LAHORE - The LDA has turned into a “Gold Mine” for its top officials who are making money through kickbacks, commissions, bribery and financial corruption which has come into light due to the constant lobbying by LDA Director Admin Shahid Farid to retain his LDA office despite being posted Deputy Secretary Local Government.
LDA Johar Town office sources said that LDA Director Admin Shahid Farid, who was brought to LDA on Grade 17 on depuration, and was later appointed on grade 19, has started flexing his muscles to keep his post after he was posted. “Lobbyists are arguing for Shahid Farid case, son-in-law of Punjab Law Secretary Abu Al Hassan Najmi, by presenting the case of other top LDA officials stayed on their seats despite postings to higher grades in other departments,” sources added.
This is not the first time: One of the lobbyists’ seeking anonymity told Pakistan Today, “The case of Mansoor Qadir is a good example in this regard. Mansoor was appointed Land Acquisition Collector. But later he remained LDA’s Additional Director General (Housing). He was posted in important department but he managed to get back on the LDA post. However, after objections were raised in the CMIT report, he went abroad.”
He cited another example. “Ahmed Ali Zafar, once held post of Director Admin before Shahid Fareed, was posted as DMD WASA in upper grade by then LDA DG Umer Rasool but he rushed back to his previous post. “Ishtiaq Ch, who is now director (C & I) during his posting as Director Estate Management (LDA Avenue I housing scheme) was posted in 18 grade but he succeeded to get back to his office,” the lobbyist added.
Political sway: According to available information, Shahid Fareed has strong political connection and due to his sway, LDA has already binned the observations of Chief Minister Inspection Team (CMIT) on the posting of low grade officer to higher grades as flouting parameters of good governance merits and transparency, hallmarks of the guiding principles of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif
The CMIT objected the posting of LDA director (Administration) Shahid Farid on grade 19, who was actually a section officer of grade 17 in a 19-point inquiry report submitted to CM secretariat.
“Shahid Fareed was working in LDA on deputation for the last two years, but despite the lapse of a number of months, neither former LDA DG Umer Rasool nor new LDA DG Abdul Jabbar Shaheen mustered the courage to follow the CMIT observations. This is because Shahif Farid is son-in-law of Punjab Law Secretary Abu ul Hasan Najami,” a senior LDA official told Pakistan Today. The exception to the rule: The CMIT observations said that Shahid Fareed (PS 17) had been posted against the post of LDA Director (Admn BPS 19).
“Although instruction of the Punjab government provide for appointment of a junior officer against the higher posts but such arrangement maybe in public interest and may be for a limited period. It is required that the course of provided in the rule for filling a higher post should be followed. Such provisions are instrumental in favouring “blue eyed boys,” observations said. They said that it was highly objectionable that an officer working in BPS-17 maybe posted against a post in BPS19 since his actual promotion to BPS-19 would mature after a period of 10 to15 years.
“Such arrangements certainly creates heart-burns for senior officers already working in BPS-19,” CMIT observation revealed and said that similarly posting of a particular officer time and again in an autonomous body on deputation also creates doubt. Though in light of CMIT observation, Umer Rasool who was former DG of LDA and his pampered official Suqrat Aman who was former Director (Headquarter) had been removed, however Shahid Fareed whom posting was mentioned by CMIT 19-point report against the rules continued to survive, a official of LDA said.
Shahid Fareed told Pakistan Today that he was criticized and alleged with various wrongdoings due to his strict action against mafia. He claimed the land grabbing mafia was behind the media campaign to defame him. “Recently I sacked the LDA mafia ring leaders and cases were registered against five persons involved in selling fake files in Gujjarpura in anti-corruption department,” he added.