KARACHI: The regional board of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Karachi, on Thursday gave the go-ahead to initiate inquiries against former Sindh Assembly speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, Sindh Building Control Authority director general, managing director of the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate, (SITE) Karachi and a builder. Meanwhile, the bureau also recommended starting an investigation against a senior police official.
According to the NAB spokesperson, the bureau’s provincial chief DG Mohammad Altaf Bawany met the directors of the investigation wing and members of other teams on Thursday to review the corruption cases. He subsequently ordered the officials to expedite the inquiries. “The inquiries have been initiated against these people following the verification of different complaints regarding massive bungling in government funds and illegal appointments,” the spokesperson said.
The inquiry against Durrani will look into accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income. “A second allegation against Durrani pertains to the illegal appointments of 352 employees, while a third allegation is regarding embezzlement of funds for the construction of MPA hostel, the new Sindh Assembly building and the appointment of project directors for the said project,” explained a NAB official.
The NAB board also recommended the competent authority to authorise a formal inquiry against the Karachi mayor and other officials of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). “The allegations prima facie verified pertain to the budget of Rs36 billion and subsequent amounts released to the KMC from 2015 to 2018 , which were not utilised for development work,” said the spokesperson.
Another complaint, the spokesperson said, was discussed by the meeting against Iftikhar Qaimkhani, the SBCA DG, regarding which the board recommended initiating an informal inquiry into allegations of accumulation of assets beyond known source of income. “The preliminary probe was conducted on the basis of a tip-off in one of the raids conducted some time ago,” a senior NAB official added.
An inquiry was also authorised against the management and owners of M/s Pride Builders and Developers, which is one of the allied companies of Rufi Builders and Developers.
The investigation will look into allegations of cheating the public at large in the booking of more than 1,600 residential and commercial plots valued at over Rs5,400 million in the names of several allottees. Even after the building licence and NOC was cancelled by the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), the suspects continued to develop and book the plots. The inquiry was authorised on the basis of complaints registered by several such allottees who have been cheated.
According to NAB officials, the case against the managing director and other officers of SITE Karachi was also discussed. Allegations in this case include embezzlement of funds and revenues of SITE. The board recommended an inquiry against the people involved in misusing the funds. Another case against these officials regarding the illegal allotment of plots was also recommended for inquiry.
During the meeting, a recommendation was also made to the competent authority for authorisation of an investigation against SSP Pir Fareed Jan Sarhandi over allegations of illegal recruitment of 378 constables. The inquiry was initiated on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2018.