More generals in the dock | Pakistan Today

More generals in the dock

Just days after the Supreme Court held two former army generals guilty of manipulating the 1990 elections, three former army generals were grilled by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigators on Thursday for their alleged involvement in the award of a lease of 141 acres of Pakistan Railways’ land to Royal Palm Club at throwaway prices.
This was a rare occasion as NAB has been run by military officers and traditionally it only questioned civilian bureaucrats and politicians.
The three retired generals appeared before an investigation team at the NAB headquarters and recorded their statements in the Royal Palm case. The NAB team had issued summons to the three retired generals and two civilian officers.
Lieutenant-General (r) Javed Ashraf Qazi, Lieutenant-General (r) Saeeduz Zafar and Major General (r) Hamid Hassan Butt were thoroughly questioned by the NAB team for “causing a loss of millions” to the national exchequer.
The retired generals have been accused of illegally allocating 140 acres of land on lease belonging to the Pakistan Railways to Royal Palm Club for 49 years.
At the time of the allotment, Qazi was minister for railways, Zafar was the secretary, and Butt was the general manager as the military used to run the Pakistan Railways.
While two civilian officers – former Pakistan Railways finance member Khursheed Ahmad Khan and former Pakistan Railways general manager operations Iqbal Samad Khan – were asked to appear before the NAB team on Monday, November 5, to record their statements.
Following the recording of statements, the retired army officers were confronted by reporters prompting controversy as the retired military officers were in no mood to respond to grilling following their ordeal at the NAB headquarters.
Going beyond the norms of decency, Lt Gen Qazi said to a journalist
“shut up idiot”.
His ‘partner in crime’, Lt Gen Saeeduz Zafar said the journalists were holding a media trial of the military generals.
He also mocked the people’s mandate by saying that the masses should elect Almas Bobby, chief of the Shemale Association, in the coming elections.
NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal had earlier told reporters that a new agreement had been signed in September this year between Pakistan Railways and the club’s management on the directives of NAB under which an additional amount of Rs16 billion was being paid to the PR.
However, the NA’s Public Accounts Committee had called for the agreement’s cancellation, calling for a fresh bidding for the land and disciplinary action against former Railways bosses who had endorsed the agreement.
A report issued by the NA’s Special Committee on Railways on the allotment of land for setting up Royal Palm Golf and Country Club in Lahore reveals a number of financial and administrative irregularities and recommends prosecution of all members of PR’s executive committee.
On the committee’s directives, the Federal Investigation Agency started the investigation, but later the case was referred to NAB. NAB also sought all the records of the Pakistan Railways from the FIA when it took over the case. The special committee’s report said the land had been allotted at a nominal price, causing a huge loss to the exchequer because the land utilisation charge was reduced from Rs52.43 per square yard to only Rs4. The report said construction of a hotel was not mentioned in the terms of reference (TOR) completed on April 20, 2001. “There was no mention of construction of a hotel in TOR evaluation form filled between April 17 and April 20, 2001, and on the basis of this evaluation the land was awarded to the lessee as the executive committee’s approval was given on the same date,” the report said. On a suo motu notice, the Supreme Court completed hearing on the case in March last year, but it has yet to issue a judgment.
NHA officials: Meanwhile, NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari on Thursday presided over a meeting of the executive board in which it was decided that an inquiry be authorised into a case against the National Highway Authority (NHA) officials. The accused had been alleged for misuse of authority and violation of Public Procurement Rules (PPRA) in awarding the tender of five toll plazas (Iqbal Shaheed, Haro, Mandra, Tarraki and Jhelum) in September 2011.
NAB observed that the bidding process was in violation of the PPRA rules and advised the NHA under its prevention regime to re-tender the five toll plazas on priority. The NHA was warned to take corrective measures to ensure transparency and impartiality in the light of PPRA Rules 2004. “A clear cut violation of PPRA Rules 2004 was again observed by NAB in the re-tendering process. The NHA ignored NAB’s direction three times,” said a NAB statement. NAB Awareness and Prevention Division, vide its letter dated October 2, clearly mentioned that the subject tendering tantamount to mis-procurement under Public Procurement Rules 2004 and misuse of authority under Section 9 of NAO 1999 as major violations and irregularities had been observed. The project has been halted for the time being on the direction of the A&P Division.



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15 Comments

  1. Muhammad Younus Butt said:

    NAB is requested or declared VOID AND NULL the various actions taken by Late Gen.Zia`s MARTIAL LAW REGULATION NO.52 in P.I.A in 1981 ,when many innocent and handicapped employees were dispensed from the services without any justification.Moreover the plots in LAHORE in Sheroa areas were alloted to army personnels.

  2. Mani said:

    iT IS TIME THAT EVERY CITIZEN OF PAKISTAN, BE HE A POLITICIAN, CIVIL BUREAUCRAT OR A KHAKI BE ACCOUNTABLE BEFORE LAW. THIS COUNTRY WAS NOT CREATED TO BE A FIEFDOM OF FEW, NOR WAS IT CARVED OUT BY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS TO SERVE ITS CORRUPT PAID PUBLIC OFFICE HOLDERS AND SERVANTS OF STATE. IT WAS CREATED BY QUAID TO SERVE THE PEOPLE AND PROVIDE WELFARE TO ALL, WITHOUT ANY DISCRIMINATION.

    • pashtunyar said:

      Well said ..but you didnt have to use capital letters!

  3. Cobrajock said:

    There is no aspect of accountability in this case. Its absurd like the NLC case. No money was pocketted by any of these generals. The irony is that this media is now also the judge jury and executioner all rolled into one. All trial and inquiries are street affairs. It stems from the fact that we put the CJP back in chair illegally through street power.

    • Lazim said:

      It means you also were bribed or a relative of generals. How cud u say no money was taken?Why did those generals let the land go to RoyalPalm at throwaway prices? Because they got money under the table during this deal.

      • Cobrajock said:

        Incorrect on both counts. Please read the entire sordid history of this case event wise.

  4. Cobrajock said:

    Ironic isn't it. People who have run the Pakistan Railways into the ground are languishing while those who produced the highest revenue generating commercial project of the Pakistan Railways today; are being questioned. Is it only because they are ex- generals? Where are we headed?

  5. Pakistani said:

    It would be worth checking the dossiers of the so called reporters.Most have been picked off the streets and have the traits of tramps.First educate and train these uneducated and illdisciplined lot and then talk of SAHAFAT.None of these reporters have the basic knowledge of this noble proffession.

  6. Cobrajock said:

    @ Pakistani ….. couldn't agree with you more. These reporters have no clue of the issues at hand. The press should ask NAB to include Mr Ishaq Khakwani who was enjoying the same lease at some Rs 15/- per year from the Railways before this team turned it around into a Rs 5 Crore per year venture for the Railways with a progressive increase every year. This witch hunt of retired generals has to stop. The CJP should find other ways to amuse himself and take his axe somewhere else to grind.

  7. invictusintrepid said:

    About time that the insidious khakee clad generals were dragged through turd! Keep em' coming.

  8. A J Khan said:

    The purpose of accountability will fail, if media become Judiciary and defamation a tool for vendettta. The misbehavior of the journalist with Gen Aslam Baig was not well taken by mature people of this country. Such behavior could fire back .

  9. maryamkiphuddi said:

    The important thing to remember is that these Generals are not accused of corruption (bribes, pocketing money). They are accused of mismanagement. If the political parties had not stuffed their own party people in PIA, Railways etc, wether there was a job available or not, It would be a different situation. These general came in and cleaned up. Besides, under the present accountability law under review, their intention were good therfore they are not guilty. This is the new law that the govt is proposing. Why is it being applied to the General and won't be applied to the politicians?

    • pashtunyar said:

      The only thing the generals ever cleaned was the exchequer!

  10. temur said:

    It is not so easy to prove a case against anyone. whenever full support of investigating agencies are available then it is fruitful. corrupt and inefficient person are helpful for these CROCK people

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