Islamabad - The Federal Investigation Agency has asked the government to depute Rangers at its offices in the capital until the FIA itself becomes capable of thwarting any possible attack from terrorists, The Nation has learnt reliably.

“The FIA offices will be a potential target for terrorist as its offices are easily accessible to general public. There is an acute shortage of weapon-trained personnel with the Agency to perform satisfactory security duties,” said a letter written by FIA to the Ministry of Interior, a copy of which is exclusively available with this correspondent.

The letter said the training of recently-recruited FIA personnel from various police training centres has not yet started and until the completion of the training, Rangers security be provided at its offices in Islamabad.

FIA is a premier law enforcement agency of Pakistan. Its manpower is generally trained for white collar crime investigation. In 2003, FIA was given a mandate of Special Investigation Unit now known as Counter Terrorism Wing to take initiative against terrorist activities/incidents in the country.

This additional responsibility apparently resulted in the terrorist attacks against FIA offices including ‘suicide bombing attack (VBIED) on FIA zonal office Lahore in 2008’, ‘multiple weapons and terrorist assault on zonal office Lahore in 2009’ and ‘hand-grenade attack on FIA zonal office Quetta in 2010’.

The FIA authorities are of the view that as the Protection of Pakistan Act has been notified on the schedule of FIA/CTW, which will further enhance the responsibilities of the FIA, already actively involved in curbing terrorists’ financing.

The FIA feared that its offices in Islamabad might be a potential target for terrorist attacks as they are easily accessible to general public.

The offices include FIA HQ G-9/4 Islamabad; FIA Islamabad zone Iqbal Town Islamabad; FIA NR3C, National police building G-10/4 and FIA Special Investigation Unit Police station 20-A main Nazim-ud-Din road F-10/4.

The letter said that FIA had received security threats on various occasions against possible terrorist attacks.

Through the letter, it has requested that Punjab Rangers personnel may be provided till the training of FIA personnel is completed.

The FIA is a counter-intelligence and security agency under the Ministry of Interior of Pakistan, tasked with investigative jurisdiction on undertaking operations against terrorism, espionage, federal crimes, fascism, smuggling as well as infringement and other specific crimes.

The FIA also undertakes international operations with the close cooperation and coordination of Interpol. Headquartered in Islamabad, the agency has various branch and field offices located in all major cities throughout Pakistan.

The FIA’s main goal and priority is to protect the nation’s interests and defend Pakistan, to uphold and enforce criminal law, and law enforcement in the country.