ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has approved probes against many bigwigs – including Federal Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak, Speaker of the Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani and Mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar – for their alleged involvement in corrupt practices.
The anti-graft watchdog decided to initiate inquiries against them in its executive board meeting (EBM) chaired by the bureau’s chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal.
NAB issued a press release after the meeting but it did not carry details about the cases ordered against Khattak, Durrani, Akhtar, prominent businessman Iqbal Z. Ahmed, former additional chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Khalid Pervaiz, Managing Director of KP Tourism Corporation Mushtaq Khan, Yousaf Jamil Ansari, Iftikhar Qaimkhani, Director General of Sindh Building Control Authority, Imtiaz Mallah, former special assistant to Sindh chief minister, Dilawar Hussain Memon, CEO of Sukkar Electric Power Company, Nazir Soomro and Messers Crystal Mood Town, Rao Muhammad Shakir and other owners of Rao and Rana Associates.
The press release said details of inquiries and investigations would be shared at appropriate time as per directives of the Supreme Court.
However, a source in NAB said that earlier the cases of Pervaiz Khattak, Siraj Durrani and Wasem Akhtar had remained in the compliant verification stage for two months and now they have been sent to the inquiry phase.
Under NAB laws, once a complaint has been verified, it becomes an inquiry – and subsequently an investigation – before finally being converted into a reference. The whole process has to be completed in 10 months.
Khattak has been accused of allotting 274 kanals of forest land for establishing a resort on 33 years lease by misusing his powers as KP chief minister in 2015. The source said the former CM had not called bids for the lease and also that he did not have the authority to award lease for more than 15 years.
Siraj Durrani has been accused of having assets beyond his known sources of income and also of making illegal appointments.
Mayor Waseem Akhtar is facing a NAB inquiry for alleged misuse of funds of Karachi city.
Karachi-based Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf leader Faisal Vawda had filed a petition in the Sindh High Court in July showing concern over what he called “mismanagement of funds and corruption” in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation under the elected mayor of Karachi. The Sindh government has also been nominated as a respondent in the petition.
The petitioner had said that he had evidence that approximately Rs10 billion has been received by the KMC under the mayorship of Wasim Akthar. “However, he has been using his powers and funds entirely for fulfilment of ulterior motive,” the petitioner alleged.
The NAB meeting also approved investigations against Dr Shahid Mehboob, Vice Chancellor of GC University Faisalabad and Ali Gul Kurd, Director General, Finance, Balochistan.
The EBM accorded approval to the filing of references against Dr Ahsan Ali, former VC of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, and others for inflicting upon the national kitty a loss of Rs328 million in the award of a contract of purchasing IT equipment to favourite companies on higher rates.
Another reference was approved against Nawabzada Mehmoodzaib, former provincial minister for technical education, manpower, industries and mineral development of KP, for his involvement in Rs 350m loss through the award of phosphate exploration contract of 498.96 acre land on cheaper rates.
The meeting approved another reference against Izhar Hussain, former food minister of Balochistan, and others. They have been accused of misappropriation in supply of 35,000 sacks of wheat.
Sultan Muhammad Hinjra, a former member of the National Assembly, and others will also face a reference for illegally allotting 1342 kanal state land of Thal Development Authority. Speaking at the meeting, NAB chief Javed Iqbal said the top priority of NAB was to conclude mega corruption cases.