LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Lahore has launched formal investigations into several high-profile graft allegations against including former Chief Minister of Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, former Provincial Minister Ali Afzal Sahi and Moonis Elahi.
The inquiries follow allegations of corruption in construction contracts in Gujarat and Mandi Bahauddin, with the accused reportedly receiving over one billion rupees in illicit kickbacks through intermediaries in 226 contracts.
Sources suggest that the entire group operated under the guidance of former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Punjab, Muhammad Khan Bhatti, for the purpose of soliciting bribes.
XEN Rana Iqbal is also implicated in the scandal, accused of accepting millions of rupees in exchange for facilitating transfers within the Punjab Highway Department. The proceeds from these transfers were allegedly conveyed to senior officials through Muhammad Khan Bhatti.
The accused are believed to have sanctioned a total of 226 contracts in Gujarat and Mandi Bahauddin to benefit their preferred contractors.
During 2021-22, 45 schemes were approved in these districts, while for the year 2022-23, an additional 181 schemes were included, all of which are now subject to allegations of corruption. Directives were also issued from the Chief Minister’s Office to the Ministry of Communications for the approval of 184 summaries.
In response to these developments, NAB Lahore has assembled a high-level investigative team to conduct inquiries against the Department of Communications and other senior officials. There is a strong likelihood that all accused parties will be summoned by the NAB team in the near future.