The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior was held today in Parliament House Islamabad and was chaired by Senator Rehman Malik. The committee was given a detailed briefing by the Additional Director-General, FIA and Secretary Petroleum on the artificial shortage of oil with reference to the failure of the concerned departments to control corruption and hoarding by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) which has caused inconvenience and unrest all over the country in July 2020.

It was briefed to the Committee that the artificial shortage was created by oil importers and FIA has detected top 12 oil importers who were directly involved in creating an artificial shortage and made illegal money in connivance with some functionaries.

Furthermore, the Director-General FIA told the committee that the artificial shortage and stockpiling of petroleum products was a major problem which caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer. He said that demand for petroleum products fell sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The members of the committee said that petroleum products have been facing some problems in every era adding the government should not only meet the shortage of petrol but also take action against those who are creating an artificial shortage. All the information in the form of the consolidated report has been handed over by the Secretary Petroleum to the Committee which was circulated to all the members of Committee.

The Chairman Committee appreciated the Additional Director FIA and Secretary Petroleum for the briefing and their excellent work in the national interest. An in-camera meeting will take place next week where FIA will explain about every oil importer and mechanics they use for this artificial shortage and the benefit drawn out of it. The public will be surprised to know the names of those people who are directly involved in this mega scandal.

The Chairman Committee had given an indication that after submission of the final report by FIA and Ministry of Petroleum, the Committee will invite Prime Minister of Pakistan in the meeting of the Committee to see the bungling by those who will be identified for action against them.

The Committee also took up the matter regarding alarming spread, selling and use of a new drug “Zombie” in Pakistan particularly in bigger cities of KPK. The drug, namely “Zombie” is highly intoxicating and makes the addict very aggressive. The Chairman Committee recommended that this drug should be added in the category of heroin and its possession, use and selling should be declared equivalent to the punishment of heroin.

The Chairman Committee said that a drug called Zombie is being introduced among the youth which causes children to start strange movements and not be able to maintain their mental balance. He said that stern actions are urgently needed against the culprits involved in this heinous crimes and law enforcement agencies should take timely actions to prevent its further spread.

The meeting strongly condemned Indian involvement in terrorist activities in the region, particularly training of terrorists of Daesh. Senator Rehman Malik said that India is training terrorists of Daesh and preparing them for terrorist and suicidal attacks in Pakistan as there are regular training camps in India. He said that cowardly attacks on the Hazara community are highly condemnable and are aimed at creating chaos and instability in Balochistan.

The meeting was attended by Senator Javed Abbasi, Senator Mian Atiq Sheikh and other senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Petroleum and FIA and other departments.

Hamza Habib is a senior journalist and former editor of who has previously worked for leading newspapers and TV networks of the country. He mainly writes on the economy and political issues.


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