- NAB gives clean chit to PML’s two former lawmakers, PPP’s three ex-ministers to face the grind
- Accountability court to decide senator Mandokhail’s fate in Parliamentarian’s Enclave Housing Scheme scam
National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s Executive Board, in its meeting with NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry in the chair, on Tuesday gave a clean chit to the ruling party’s former federal minister from Balochistan while Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s one former and two sitting ministers from Sindh and Balochistan are set to face the grind.
The board decided to close enquiry against former federal minister Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir and officials of Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC) for “lack of incriminating evidence”.
In 2008, soon after the elections, then minister-incharge of Prime Minister’s Secretariat had produced NAB’s report in National Assembly, carrying the names of those politicians against whom the bureau had taken action during past five years.
In a written reply to a question raised by MNA Chaudhry Barjees Tahir, the House had been informed that NAB had taken action against 5,288 people. The list included Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Syed Zafar Ali, Aslam Buledi, Sardar Yaqoob Nasir and many others. However, now NAB has suddenly decided not to take further action after passage of almost eight long years.
The NAB meeting also decided to close investigation against former senator and Ayaz Builders CEO Ayaz Khan Mandokhail over an alleged fraud in the Parliamentarian’s Enclave Housing Scheme, Islamabad under Section 9-C of NAO-1999. Mandokhail had served a three-year term as Balochistan senator from 2003 to 2006 on Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) ticket.
Interestingly, a NAB board meeting held in 2009, under the chairmanship of Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari, had discussed the same case for payment to the victims by Mandokhail. A press release issued by NAB had stated that earlier a refund of Rs 55 million to the victims had already been made by the former Senator to the victims.
“Four years ago, the accused senator had backed out from his commitment but has now committed to the accountability court that if his assets are released, he would make the required payments to the affectees. It was decided that NAB would proceed as per law to ensure payment to the housing scheme victims,” the official handout of the NAB had stated in 2009.
Now, another statement by NAB has claimed that it had decided to close investigation against Mandokhail. Now it is anybody’s guess as to why the former senator had committed to NAB for paying the victims if he was not involved in the scam.
When contacted, NAB spokesman Nawaz Ali Asim confirmed that Mandokhail had made the payment to some of the victims of the Parliamentarian Enclave Housing Scheme scam.
“A settlement has been reached between the affectees of the scam and the former senator. He has made the payment to all the complainants according to the record available with the NAB. However, we have taken an undertaking from Mandokhail that if any other complainants appear, he would also make the payment,” he added.
The spokesman claimed that now the NAB would take the matter again to the accountability court concerned and his case may be closed under 9-C of the National Accountability Ordinance 2002 with prior permission from court.
The NAB board also decided that no further action on complaint verification against former Higher Education Commission (HEC) executive director Dr Sohail Naqvi and others due to lack of incriminating evidence.
PPP LEADERS TO FACE THE GRIND:
While the two Muslim league politicians were given a clean chit by NAB, the board decided to authorise two enquiries against PPP leaders.
First enquiry was authorised against former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Aslam Khan Raisani. In this case, the accused allegedly misused his authority by illegally appointing three naib tehsildars.
The meeting also decided to authorize complaint verifications against PPP ministers Pir Mazharul Haq and Syed Ali Mardan Shah.
In Haq’s case, he is accused of illegal/ghost appointments of teachers in Sindh Education Department and receiving bribe/gratification. On the other hand, Mardan Shah has been accused of misuse of authority and embezzlement of government funds.