Parliamentary panel seeks audit of elite clubs

Seeks detailed reports on Islamabad Club and Gun and Country Club

Shahzad Anwar August 16, 2017
Seeks detailed reports on Islamabad Club and Gun and Country Club. PHOTO: GUN AND COUNTRY CLUB

ISLAMABAD: A panel of parliamentarians on Tuesday expressed dismay over alleged financial irregularities in the accounts of Islamabad Club and the Gun and Country Club.

The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat also summoned Islamabad IG and officials of these clubs to appear in the next meeting.

The Senate panel met at Parliament House with Senator Talha Mehmood in the chair. The committee members directed Guns and Country Club administration to implement Islamabad High Court (IHC) orders in letter and spirit.

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They also expressed serious reservations over permits issued by the National Highways Authority to housing societies allowing them to construct loops and interchanges the Islamabad Motorway and termed it a security risk to the New Islamabad Airport and other sensitive installations. The housing societies include City Housing Society and Mumtaz City.

The committee has called an emergency meeting to discuss the matter in detail on August 22, in which officials of Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Law Ministry, IGP Islamabad, Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi and Attock and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have been summoned to give their inputs.

The committee also reviewed financial matters of both Islamabad and Gun and Country Clubs in detail. Islamabad Club Secretary Muhammad Mobeen briefed the committee members and said that club was being run by a managing committee and seven sub-committees. Members of these committees are selected by the federal government and appointed after a formal approval by the prime minister, he added.

Mobeen said that administrator of the Islamabad Club is appointed from the senior ranks of bureaucrats. In response, Senator Mehmood asked that Islamabad Club was occupying Capital Development Authority land and for how long will they keep possession of that land. He urged the secretary to present details of the land in the next meeting and directed him to submit comparison of rates between Islamabad Club, Peshawar Club and Lahore Gymkhana Club fees and charges.

In reply to a question raised by the Senator Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi, the committee was told that parliamentary approval for setting up of Islamabad Club was not obtained which was mandatory as per Islamabad Club Ordinance.

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The committee was told that the content of audit report presented before the committee had not been changed for the past many years. The panel also expressed apprehension over loss of Rs510 million to the club despite having 7,000 members.

The chairman observed that club membership was being given on the basis of personal contacts. He suggested that effective amendments to the Islamabad Club Ordinance shall be made and summoned officials of Law Ministry in the next meeting.

He said while these institutions were established to facilitate people, but due to corruption and mismanagement they have lost its purpose.  He said affairs of Gun and Country Club were not different from Islamabad Club, adding that despite IHC orders employees had not received their salaries since eight months.

According to the media reports, the administrator of the Guns and Country Club physically tortured and manhandled employees of the club.

The committee members also censured NHA and said that according to information NHA officials had taken bribes to allow the construction of loops and interchanges of two housing societies to pass through the Motorway. Parliamentarians observed that the administration of Top City Housing Society was arrested after land grabbing cases against him had emerged.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2017.


Farooq Ahmed | 5 years ago | Reply The elite will rule, loot and exploit the system, the only hope is from political leadership to change this trend and earn some respect and credibility.
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