LAHORE: An accountability court approved a 14-day physical remand of senior bureaucrat Fawad Hasan Fawad into National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody on Friday.
Fawad was arrested by the anti-graft body on Thursday over various corruption charges including the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.
NAB officials initially denied the top civil servant’s arrest on Thursday, stating that he was summoned to the bureau for questioning. However, Director General National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore Shahzad Saleem later told the media that Hasan was arrested for causing a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer in various scams.
The anti-graft body had requested the accountability court, today, to grant a physical remand of the accused for further investigation.
Commenting on Fawad’s arrest Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah alleged that NAB has been used in the past before election and it is now being used for the same purpose.
According to NAB officials, Fawad wrongfully awarded the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme’scontract to ‘favourites’, illegally ordered the shifting of nine CNG stations and also worked in a private bank from 2005 to 2006 without official permission.
Moreover, while being the provincial health secretary, Fawad acquired six mobile health units which were purchased at a higher-than-market rate, a NAB spokesperson said.
Fawad has served as former PM Nawaz Sharif’s principal secretary and is considered close to the former premier. He was removed from the post of principal secretary on June 1 this year and appointed director general of Civil Services Academy, Lahore.
The accused bureaucrat was also being probed by NAB for possession of assets beyond known sources of income.
According to NAB, the contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company titled Chaudhry Latif and Sons.
However, NAB says then Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his aides awarded the Rs14 billion contract to Lahore Casa Developers – a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by Railways Minister Saad Rafique.
Fawad, who was implementation secretary to the chief minister Punjab at the time, levelled charges of wrongdoings against Chaudhry Latif and Sons in order for the contract to be awarded to Casa Developers.
Shehbaz has already appeared before NAB in the case while former Lahore Development Authority chairman Ahad Cheema is on judicial remand after having been arrested over the case.