ISLAMABAD - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sought the General Headquarters’ (GHQ) probe report into the National Logistics Cell (NLC) scam by June 30, and also told the interior secretary on Saturday to withdraw Rangers deployed to protect various non-government VIPs within a month.
The PAC, which met here with Chairman Nisar Ali Khan in the chair, told Planning Commission Secretary Sohail Ahmed to present the GHQ probe report on the NLC scam before the PAC through the Defence Ministry by the specified date.
Ahmed told the PAC that the committee formed by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to probe the scam had submitted its report to the GHQ, which would be duly presented to the PAC. “The chief of army staff had said that the probe would be completed within two months, but now seven months have passed and no inquiry report has been submitted to the PAC,” said Nisar.
He said according to investigations conducted by the auditor general and the PAC, three retired military generals were found to be involved in the scam. “By holding a few guilty officials accountable, institutions can save their image from being tarnished,” he said.
General Kayani had ordered a high-level inquiry in November 2010 after the multi-billion rupee scam surfaced. A serving corps commander had been nominated to head the inquiry along with two major generals as members of the inquiry team.
The PAC also told the government to stop the payment of Rs 350 million to 35 advertising agencies until the removal of objections raised by the auditor general. The PAC members also raised serious concerns over the allocation of Rs 3 billion to secret funds of the Information Ministry.
The PAC also told Interior Secretary Qamar Zaman Chaudhary to withdraw Rangers deployed to protect unconcerned people within a month. The PAC also ordered a review of the entire Rangers security protocol provided to everyone.
Nisar said that the use of Rangers for security by VIPs had become a fashion. “Rangers are not a private force and if someone requires security, police guards can be provided and if they are not satisfied they should hire private security at their own expense,” he said.
PAC member Riaz Fatiana said the confidence of people in the security forces had been shaken by recent incidents. Nadeem Afzal Chan said that even low-ranking officers in Punjab and Sindh were keeping security squads with them now.
Reviewing audit objections regarding the Cabinet Division, the PAC formed a three-member sub-committee, naming Nadeem Afzal Chan its convener. The sub-committee would look into the position of leases given to nurseries and the purchase of 359 acres of land by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Banni Gala.
Acting CDA Chairman Waheed told the committee that the authority possessed 359 acres of land in the village of Lakhwal near Islamabad. He said the CDA had cancelled the illegally awarded lease of eight nurseries. Nisar also sought a report from the CDA on banners displayed against him on CDA billboards, within one week. “How can CDA billboards be used for a smear campaign against me?” he asked.
The committee also took serious notice of the facilities given to former Pakistan Housing Authority managing director Hassan Waseem Afzal under the PMO scale and ordered that Rs 1 million be recovered from him. Housing Secretary MB Awan told the committee that Afzal had been given extra perks and privileges on written orders from former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999.
The PAC also condemned the misuse of official vehicles in the PTA and instructed the authorities concerned to apprehend those responsible within a week. The PAC also banned hiring in the PTA for one month, until its next meeting.