Categories: National

Long list of corruption cases to test Imran Khan’s conviction

–PM-elect vows strict accountability, says there’ll be no NRO for those who looted nation’s wealth

–Cases against former premiers, ministers, business professionals, civil and military bureaucrats await attention

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan, in his first brief speech made in the National Assembly on Friday, vowed not only to carry out strict accountability against corrupt persons who looted the nation’s wealth but also made it clear that no NRO will be given to the crooked politicians.

A long list of corruption cases awaits Imran Khan’s conviction after his oath-taking today as the state machinery has failed time and again to hold the corrupt politicians, civil and military bureaucrats and business professionals accountable. Even Imran Khan will find many such individuals around him as many are in his own party and among allies while the big fish are also among the opposition ranks.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the prime anti-corruption body, had submitted a report to the Supreme Court some years ago containing details of 150 mega-corruption cases which now await the PM-elect’s sight.

The list includes cases against high-profile figures, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz Sharif, former premiers, ministers and top bureaucrats.

Similarly, in land scams, out of 29 cases, inquiries and investigations are underway in 13 scandals while references have been filed in eight cases.

Inquiries were also made into cases of abuse of power, while investigations into cases have kicked off and references have been filed in other cases.

The report reveals that an inquiry is being carried out by NAB against Nawaz Sharif and his brother in a case, pertaining to the construction of a road from Raiwind to Sharif family’s residence worth Rs126 million.

According to the report, a scam worth Rs700m against Ghazi Akhtar of Tandlianwala Sugar Mills is being inquired by the NAB.

Inquiries are also underway against former chairman of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) Ayaz Khan Niazi over embezzlement charges worth Rs2 billion and another ex-chairman of NICL Abid Jawed over a potential scam worth Rs2 billion, besides some other figures.

Investigations have already been launched against Schon group for alleged embezzlement of Rs1,245 billion, Younus Habib for alleged ill-intentioned default of three billion rupees, former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Aslam Raisani for possessing Rs 100 million in assets beyond resources case.

A similar enquiry is under process against ex-premier Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain in assets beyond means case worth Rs 2,428 billion. A case of the same nature was also filed against the sitting treasury minister Ishaq Dar. He is under inquiry for three cases of 23 million pound, 3,488 million dollars and 1,250 million dollars.

Hussain Haqqani, a former information secretary and ambassador to the US, is accused of embezzling funds, but NAB has so far failed to calculate the amount in this regard. He was also accused of issuing licenses of FM stations to three private companies.

Former interior minister Aftab Sherpao is also facing an inquiry for having assets beyond resources. A case was also being heard against former president Asif Ali Zardari for having assets beyond resources. Investigations are also in the process against Zardari for corruption of $22 billion and $1.5 billion. FIA is also conducting a probe into money laundering involving Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur and others amounting to billions of rupees.

Following is the list of some more cases.

Rental Power Projects (RPP) scam: In 2006, reports emerged on a case involving several instances of bribery in the Rental Power Projects (RPP) where top-level PPP ministers were involved. Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf was also allegedly involved in these cases of corruption but was later cleared by the NAB. His involvement, in this case, earned him the nickname “Raja Rental”.

PMDC fake registrations: In 2010, Dr Ahmad Nadeem Akbar, Registrar of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council had cancelled fake registrations done by some PM&DC officials and had dismissed them from service as they were found to issuing fake registration of medical professionals, allowing for inexperienced personnel to take up important positions in medicine and play with lives of public.

Mismanagement of state-owned institutions: Pakistan’s flagship airline Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was reported to have been mismanagement by the executive authorities giving rise to a corrupt culture of bribery. Corruption in PIA led to losses of around US$ 500 million. Similarly, massive financial losses were reported for Pakistan Railways caused by embezzlement.

Hajj corruption case: Media reported on an ongoing corruption scandal involving federal ministers extorting illegal payouts from travel agents involved in fleecing Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

NATO containers case: Media reported on 40 NATO containers that went missing on their way to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. It was later identified that the missing containers carried cargo that was considered contraband in Pakistan, including liquor to be sold in the country.

Pakistan Steel Mills scam: The media reported a major scam in the Pakistan Steel Mills involving Rs 26.5 billion. Once the scam was reported, the FIA initially took action but their progress turned sluggish due to which the Supreme Court issued a contempt of court notice to the interior minister Rehman Malik for hindering and interfering with the investigation.

NICL corruption case: The National Insurance Company Limited scandal was first reported in the media in 2012 involving the purchase of 10 acres of land in Karachi by the company at ‘an exorbitant price’ and the transfer of millions of rupees from the account of Zafar Salim, a cousin of the land seller Khwaja Akbar Butt into the joint accounts of Makhdoom Muhammad Ameen Faheem, his wife and his son.

Ephedrine quota case: The Ephedrine quote case was a scandal involving prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son, Ali Musa Gillani, who pressure officials of the Ministry of Health into allocating a quota (worth Rs 70 billion) of controlled chemical ephedrine to two different Multan-based pharmaceutical companies.

The media-gate scandal: It was reported that former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s son had allegedly taken money from Malik Riaz Hussain, a real-estate tycoon, to persuade courts to give decisions in favour of the latter.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at hussainmian@gmail.com

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Tags: Corruptioncorruption casesEphidren caseFiaImran KhanNabNawaz Sharifpm-electRaja Pervaiz AshrafRental power projects (RPPS) caseShehbaz Sharif

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