Central Bureau of Investigation has approached the External Affairs Ministry with an unusual request. It wants to facilitate the visit of a Pakistani family to India. It is the family of Khan Bahadur Qurban Ali Khan, was the first chief of the Special Police Establishment (SPE).
In the upcoming Golden Jubilee celebrations, CBI will be honoring its past directors. Since Khan was the Chief of CBI predecessor, he is being given the honor as well. In fact, interestingly, CBI has one block in its Ghaziabad Academy. Now, it so happens that Khan Bahadur Qurban Ali Khan also happens to be one of the founding fathers of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) – Pakistan now-monstrous and dreaded intelligence organization.
SPE was started in 1941 by the British government to investigate cases of bribery and corruption in transactions of the War and Supply Department of India, which was set up during the course of World War II. Its headquarters were in Lahore and Khan, who was then superintendent of the war department, was made its chief administrator.
After the end of the war, it was felt that a central agency was needed to investigate cases of bribery and corruption by government employees. The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was brought into force in 1946 and Khan headed this department till partition, after which he migrated to Pakistan and was appointed the inspector general of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Many Indians are not happy at this invitation, but I feel it is perfectly fine. He was one of the architects of CBI as well although it hasn’t really done well – because of it being a proxy for the political establishment.
Strangely, both the organizations that he was involved in the formative years – CBI and ISI have gone way off their intended course. ISI has become THE establishment in Pakistan; CBI has become completely servile to the establishment. Shows that founding fathers don’t really matter. If anything, Khan was not much of an influence, for he leaves behind a schizophrenic legacy in the shape of CBI and ISI – two diametrically opposite agencies in terms of their ethos!