ISLAMABAD: In its recent move, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to go after former prime minister Shaukat Aziz in a case of alleged misuse of authority, with former federal minister Liaquat Jatoi and former establishment secretary Ismail Qureshi mentioned as co-accused in the case.
NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal presided over a meeting of the NAB’s executive board and ordered bureau officials to file a reference against Mr Aziz and others.
Mr Aziz, who served as prime minister for three-and-a-half years, currently resides in the United States.
An official statement released by NAB states that its board has authorised officials to file a corruption reference against Mr Aziz, Mr Jatoi, Mr Qureshi, Muhammad Yousaf Memon, a former additional secretary of the Ministry of Water and Power (MoWP), former joint secretary of the MoWP Ghulam Nabi Mangrio, MoWP former section officer Umer Farooq, former Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) chairman retired Air Marshal Shahid Hamid, former AEDB secretary Naseem Akhtar Khan, former AEDB chief executive Arif Allauddin, and Basharat Hassan Bashir, a former consultant for the AEDB. They have all been accused of illegally appointing Basharat Hassan Bashir as a consultant, through blatant abuse of authority, according to the NAB, as it had led to a loss of nearly Rs21.6 million to the national exchequer.
Separately, the NAB board approved an investigation into allegations surrounding land acquisition for the Multan Metro Bus and faulty award of contract for the project.
In the case against the former prime minister, the process of complaint verification, inquiry and investigation had been completed and there was evidence pointing to the involvement of Mr Aziz, which is why a reference was being filed against him, the bureau explained.
The NAB board has also authorised an inquiry against the management of the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institute (EOBI) and officers of the Bank of Punjab in Lahore. The EOBI’s management is accused of illegally purchasing Rs3.8bn worth of shares of the bank.
The NAB’s executive board also approved a plea bargain application of nearly Rs178m million by Seth Nisar Ahmed, son of Muhammad Latif. The application will be sent to an accountability court for final approval.
The board also ordered an inquiry against former Punjab Cooperative Board for Liquidation (PCBL) chairman Mushtaq Anjum and others accused of illegally transferring the PCBL’s land, causing a loss of around Rs54m to the national exchequer.
An inquiry has also been authorised against officials of the Lyari Expressway Resettlement Project in Karachi, who are accused of being involved in ‘China-cutting’ and occupying commercial and residential plots, causing a loss of Rs2.7bn to the exchequer.
The NAB board authorised an inquiry against former MNA Syed Nasir Ali Shah and others for turning residential plots into commercial plots.
It authorised another investigation against former Quetta Development Authority director general Noor Ahmad Peerkani and others for misuse of authority, cheating people, and causing a loss of Rs66m. The management of Metropolitan Corporation Quetta will also come under scrutiny for misuse of authority and causing a loss of Rs270m.
NAB also approved inquiries against Pehlaj Mal, former special assistant to Sindh chief minister, Imran Noor, the acting managing director of Multan Waste Management Company, and its Human Resource Manager Aamir Maqbool.
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily