LAHORE: At a time when Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ‘promised’ to submit a written reply to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to defend himself in Lahore’s Ashiana-i-Iqbal scam at the earliest, the bureau has issued yet another notice to him with a direction to submit within a week complete detail of ‘illegal’ construction of a road leading to his and Nawaz Sharif’s residence in Jati Umra, Raiwind, according to a report by a private media outlet.
Separately, NAB has also summoned Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf central Punjab president Abdul Aleem Khan and PML-Q parliamentary leader in Punjab Assembly Moonis Elahi in connection with their offshore companies on Jan 29 and 30, respectively, at its Thokar Niaz Baig office.
Moonis Elahi said he would duly appear before NAB to respond to all its queries as “I have all the respect for the institutions”.
Retired Justice Javed Iqbal, the NAB chairman, had recently ordered an investigation of 435 offshore companies owned by Pakistanis.
The NAB executive board had already approved filing a reference against Nawaz, Shahbaz and others involved in this (road project) case.
Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hassan and Hussain, daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Mohammad Safdar are facing trial in three corruption references filed against them by NAB.
CM Shehbaz is also accused of directing the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) to assign the project of Ashiana-i-Iqbal to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) resulting in award of contract to M/s Lahore Casa Developers (JV), thus causing a loss of Rs715 million and ultimately “failure of the project”.
NAB said Shehbaz Sharif also directed the PLDC to award consultancy services of this project to M/s Engineering Consultancy Services Punjab for Rs192 million whereas the actual cost was Rs35 million as quoted by Nespak.
After appearing before the accountability institution on Tuesday last, the chief minister had lashed out at it. He, however, parried the media question on the Aashiana-i-Iqbal project.
NAB has already recorded the statements of the chief minister’s blue-eyed officer — LDA’s former DG Ahad Cheema — and officials of Paragon City and Paragon Exchange in this case.
A NAB source said only 200 apartments had been built in this project so far and the affected persons had paid four-year instalments. Under a contract, 6,700 houses have to be constructed over 1,000 kanal.