In compliance with Supreme Court injunctions, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) took the first step towards imposing travel and financial curbs on 19 ex-ministers, officials and bureaucrats implicated in shady deals involving 12 rental power projects (RPPs).
Among them are three former federal ministers, five former federal secretaries, six heads of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) and four officials of the power generation companies (Gencos), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and Panel of Experts of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB).
The anti-graft body has asked the interior ministry to place their names on the Exit Control List (ECL), which bars them from travelling abroad to escape prosecution, sources familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune. In addition, it has ordered the freezing of bank accounts and assets of those individuals.
The NAB authorities have approached banks and concerned district coordination officers (DCOs), district revenue officers and other officials to freeze their bank accounts and assets, according to sources.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik, however, told The Express Tribune late Monday that the travel curbs had not been imposed yet. FIA officials posted at different airports also corroborated this, saying that they had not received any written or verbal orders from the interior ministry about the recommended measures against the implicated former federal ministers, federal secretaries and Pepco chiefs.
Several luminaries such as former federal ministers for water and power Raja Pervez Ashraf, Liaquat Jatoi and former Wapda chairman Tariq Hameed and ex-finance minister Shaukat Tareen are among those whose names appear. Apart from them former federal secretaries of water and power and finance Salman Siddique, Shahid Rafi, Ashfaq Mehmood, Saeed Zafar, Ismail Qureshi have also been named.
Six Pepco chiefs Anwar Khalid, Munawwar Baseer, Tahir Basharat, Khalid Irfan, Fazal Khan, Saleem Arif also figure on the list.
Another five names of the concerned officials from Nepra, Gencos and PPIB have also been included in the list sent to the interior ministry.
Sources said that in this regard a meeting was held in the NAB headquarters in Islamabad under the chairmanship of Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari. His deputy Javed Qazi, the director general operations as well as the special operations division Col (retd) Shahzad Anwar Bhatti also attended the meeting besides other concerned officials which continued till 9:30 pm.
The names of the owners, chief executives and agents of rental power companies have been obtained from the water and power ministry as well as the finance ministry, sources further revealed.
A second list carrying the names of the owners, chief executives and agents of the 12 rental power companies will also be prepared and sent out to the interior ministry for placement on the ECL, according to NAB officials.
On Monday, the offices of the ministries of finance and water and power remained open till 9:00 pm to flesh out these issues.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.