ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) closed an investigation against Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the Punjab Assembly in an alleged corruption case for lack of evidence and authorised the filing of seven references to others, including Balochistan officials and public representatives.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the NAB Executive Board (EBM), chaired by its retired chief, Justice Javed Iqbal.
Due to lack of evidence, the EBM has approved the closure of investigations against Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Speaker Punjab Assembly, and two senior bureaucrats, Qazi Laiq Ahmed and Khalid Sherdil,” a press release issued by NAB headquarters said The EBM has authorised the closing of investigations.
NAB Deputy Chairman Hussain Asghar, Attorney General Syed Asghar Haider and Director General (operations) Zahir Shah participated in the conference. It was attended by the Directors General of regional offices via video connect.
The EBM approved the filing of a reference against Rehmat Ali, Balochistan’s former Minister of Health, for alleged misuse of power, the award of unlawful contracts, the making of illegal appointments and the acquisition of properties beyond the means available.
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Another reference was accepted against Mir Muhammad Sadiq Imrani, Balochistan’s former minister, for illegally devouring a five-acre piece of land from the All Pakistan Clerk Association that caused the national exchequer to lose Rs280.26m.
A reference was approved against Maqbool Ahmed, Balochistan’s former mining and mineral production minister, for allegedly granting his favoured company a contract by reducing the reserve price to Rs21m from Rs32.15m, thus leading the national kitty to lose Rs11m.
The EBM authorised the filing of a corruption reference against Nisar Ullah Khan, Bannu’s former district officer, and others for alleged complicity in the award of illicit FC land in Bannu and Tank, causing the national exchequer to lose Rs160.27m.
Sher Zaman Khan, former Deputy Project Director; Muhammad Jehangir Khan, Project Director, Pat Feeder Canal Extension Project; Abdul Hameed Mengal, former Deputy Project Director; Muhammad Jehangir Khan, Project Director; Abdul Jabbar, former Assistant Engineer; Sardar Khan Soomro, former Assistant Engineer; Muhammad Abrahim Rind, former Chief Resident Engineer; In connivance with the builder, they are accused of unlawfully accepting escalation payments in the funds of the Pat Federal Canal programme, which led the national exchequer to lose Rs597.741m.
The NAB Board approved the filing of a reference against Arshad Ahmed Khan, former Nowshera District Health Officer; Dr. Abuzar, District Preventive Officer; and Dr. Mujtaba Ali, former Extended Immunization Program (EPI) Coordinator, for their alleged presence in 127 irregular appointments at various Nowshera District Hospitals.
A reference against Mara Jan, former manager of the Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan, Gilgit, and Qalab Ali, former chairman of the Gilgit District Council, was authorised by the EBM for allegedly shifting the commission loan balance of Rs5.72 million to a personal account via a cheque, which led the national exchequer to lose Rs7.78 million.
Six inquiries against Sardar Asiq Hussain Gopang, Member of the National Assembly, and others were approved by the anti-graft watchdog; Aftab Ahmed Khan Memon, Secretary of the Utilisation Department; Shaukat Jokhio, Former District Revenue Officer; Muhammad Sohail, Former Director-General; Malir Development Authority Staff, Karachi; Ghulam Shabbir Sheikh, Former Acting Inspector-General;
Three investigations against Abdullah Venice, a former member of the provincial assembly, were authorised by the meeting; Aurangzeb, chief executive officer of Alkabir Town Private Limited, Lahore; and Sohaib Ashfaq and Nasir Farooq, inspectors of the Punjab police.
Chairman Javed Iqbal told the meeting that the priority of NAB was to eliminate corruption and to logically conclude mega-corruption proceedings. “NAB is not associated with any political party, individual or organisation, but only with the state of Pakistan.”
He said NAB directly or indirectly recovered the Rs466 billion record by following the strategy of transparency for all. He added that NAB’s success was respected by prestigious national and foreign organisations.
In addition to completing case verifications, inquiries and investigations within the specified time span, the NAB chairman ordered the use of all available tools for nabbing declared criminals and absconders. Since making detailed arrangements, he asked prosecution and investigation officers to battle cases in order that the corrupt could not avoid justice.