–Agency holds 34 senior officials of CAA, retired military officers responsible for corruption, causing delay in Islamabad airport project
–Former CAA chief finds refuge by petitioning in Sindh High Court
–No FIR registered against the accused, sources confirm
ISLAMABAD: Despite finding senior officials of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and ex-military officers responsible for corruption and causing the delay in the construction of New Islamabad International Airport (NIIA), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is yet to take any against them.
An inquiry conducted by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) of the FIA has confirmed the involvement of senior officials of the CAA in corrupt practices and for causing the delay and significant increase in the NIIA project cost.
According to a document submitted by Ministry of Interior in the Senate, the FIA has also penalised senior retired officers of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force holding them responsible in delay of the project.
However, it is relevant to note that one of the accused Vikram S Sodha, former project director of CAA, had filed a writ petition in the Sindh High Court challenging the jurisdiction of the FIA inquiry proceedings. The petition is still pending before the court and the FIA has not yet taken any action as the matter is sub judice.
In response to a question raised by Senator Kalsoom Perveen, Ministry of Interior told Senate that the FIA conducted an inquiry in the case of the alleged corruption in the NIIA project.
34 HELD RESPONSIBLE:
Referring to the inquiry, the ministry informed the house that the FIA found 34 various individuals responsible for delay and cost overrun of the NIIA project, and identified them as primary and secondary accused in the case.
Out of the total 34 accused, the bigwigs of the CAA have been identified in the report as allegedly primary accused while 13 retired officers of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force have also been alleged for their role as secondary accused in the matter.
The report has categorised ten officers as primary accused while 24 individuals and organisations have been held responsible as secondary accused in the airport delay and rise in the costs of the project.
NO STEP TAKEN:
The FIA sources have informed Pakistan Today that following the inquiry, the FIA has not taken any step in the matter and even no FIR has been registered to move against the accused identified in the enquiry.
According to the inquiry, the FIA has identified Sodha, Ex-Director P&D CAA & ex-Project Director of NBBIAP, Asif Bashir Ahmad, ex-Director P&D CAA, M Roohullah, ex-Director P&D CAA, Brig (r) lftikhar Ali, ex-Project Director, NBBIAP (on contract), Brig (r) Bilal Hameed, ex-Project Director NBBIAP (on contract), M Musharraf Khan, ex-Project Director NBBIAP, Yousaf Kamal, ex-Director Works & Development CAA, Senior officials of the Project Management Consultant; LBG USA & ECIL Karachi, Design Consultants of Airside Infrastructure: ADPI France & NESPAK Pakistan, and Design Consultants of PTB: CPG Singapore & ARCOP Karachi as primary accused in the case.
The FIA report also categorised some former high-ranking officials of military as secondary accused, including Lt Gen (r) Tariq Waseem Ghazi, CAA Board ex-chairman, Kamran Rasool, CAA Board ex-chairman and former PIA chairman, Munawar Hameed, CAA Board ex-member,
Maj Gen (r) Mir Haider Ali Khan, ex-member CAA Board, Mian Muhammad Mansha, ex-member CAA Board, Qasim Rabbani, ex-member CAA Board, Gisuddin Ahmed, ex-member CAA Board, AVM (r) Shahid Latif, ex-member CAA Board, Tariq Kirmani, ex-member CAA Board, Alam R Khan, ex-member CAA Board, Liaqat Ali Ch. ex-member CAA Board, Air Marshal (r) Rashid Kaleem, ex-member CAA Board, Muhammad Azhar-ul-Haq, ex-Member CAA Board, Akram Malik, ex-Member CAA Board and Basit Ahmed Sultan Bukhari, ex-Member CAA Board.
Maj Gen (r) Ashraf Ch, ex-member CAA Board, AVM (r) Ritz-ul-Haq ex-deputy DG CAA, AVM (r) Salid Habib, ex-deputy DG CAA, AVM (r) Junaid Ahmed Siddiqui, ex-deputy DO CAA, AVM (R), M Safdar Khan, ex-deputy DO CAA, Air Cdre (r) Junaid Ameen, ex-DG CAA, Nadeem Khan Yousafzai, ex-DG CAA, Farooq Rehmatullah, and ex-DG CAA, and AVM (r) Khalid Ch, ex-DG CAA, have also been categorised as secondary accused by the FIA.
CAUSES OF DELAY:
Main causes of delay in completion and cost overrun of the project have been identified as: faulty PC-1, splitting of project into 17 packages, faulty land procurement, low standard services by PMC/ LBG USA & ECIL Karachi, arbitrary increase in capacity of passenger terminal building, conversion of emergency runway into secondary, package-zero of earthwork, wrong selection of M/s CPC Singapore & ARCOP Karachi, inaction against the PMC/ M/s LBG USA and awarding construction of Passenger Terminal Building to World Bank debarred company. As far as action taken by FIA in this regard is concerned, the agency concluded the inquiry in 2014 and submitted two successive reports to the Ministry of Interior.
Afterwards, the Prime Minister Office constituted a senior three-member committee headed by Shams-ul-Mulk, former WAPDA chairman, in 2015 to examine the fact-finding inquiry report by Lt Gen (r) Shahid Niaz and FIA inquiry report by Ghalib Ali Bandesha, the then FIA DG.
The committee upheld the findings of both the previous inquiry reports and recommended the CAA to initiate departmental action against the project directors concerned for their inaction and inefficiency; and also to seek the support of the FIA to pursue investigation where deemed mandatory.