LAHORE: An intelligence asset who was a major source of information for many years in the former Ehtasab Bureau, forerunner of the current National Accountability Bureau (NAB), still awaits the national accolade announced for him fourteen years back.
The award money is also sorely missed.
Aamir Ahsen Khan, in his days as an intelligence agent, played an instrumental role in assisting the Bureau to recover Rs3 billion from the Schon Group.
Fourteen years on, the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz announced for his feat remains elusive.
Khan, while talking to The Express Tribune, revealed that he had been physically abused by the then-sitting chairman of Ehtesaab Bureau for not acceding to his demands.
The chairman wanted Khan to accept nominal prize money and sign to have received the full amount.
“When I refused to do so, as a matter of principle, Saifur Rehman and his brother Mujeebur Rehman physically assaulted me,” Khan said.
Khan was working as a senior manager maintenance with the Schon Group in 1997 when he was pressurised to sign bogus bills of Rs640 million.
According to the intensive ‘transparency’ policy of the time, as well as the Ehtasab/NAB ordinance 1999, the informant was to be paid the (widely publicised) reward money of 10% of the recovered amount.
The then-prime minster Nawaz Sharif had personally seen the application of Khan, marking it for the release of reward, according to the documents obtained by The Express Tribune. The documents further reveal that after exposing the corruption of Schon Group, Khan wrote numerous letters and had personal audience with the officials concerned. He was assured that his case will be dealt on a priority basis. That failed to materialise.
In the tenure of former president Pervez Musharraf, NAB Chairman Naved Ahsan referred Khan’s case to the ousted DG NAB Kausar Iqbal, who deliberately delayed it for another 6 years, Khan alleged.
He was subsequently left with no option but to seek Justice from Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
When contacted, NAB officials familiar with the matter confirmed Khan’s claims.
Sources in NAB say that Khan has a strong case. If taken up by the court, NAB and the government will be left with no option but to pay the due reward, they added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2012.