NLC scandal: PAC goes after generals

In an unprecedented move, PAC held former army generals responsible for financial corruption.

Shahbaz Rana June 26, 2011


In an unprecedented move, the parliamentary public accounts committee (PAC) has held three former army generals responsible for financial corruption – in this case the Rs1.8 billion losses at the military-run National Logistics Cell (NLC).

The three retired generals – Lt-Gen Khalid Munir Khan, Lt-Gen Mohammad Afzal Muzaffar, and Maj-Gen Khalid Zaheer Akhtar – along with a civilian chief financial officer, Saeedur Rehman, have been found responsible for the losses at the NLC, a commercial logistics company operated by the military.

“In the light of three inquiry reports, the PAC finds serious violation of rules, the prime minister’s directives and discipline and holds
three generals and a bureaucrat responsible,” said PAC Chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during the committee meeting.

The PAC postponed a decision on penalties, however, in anticipation of receiving the military’s internal inquiry report. Acting Defence Secretary Air Vice-Marshal Najum told the committee that the military had completed its inquiry, and was reviewing it.

The PAC decision comes after months of wrangling between the PAC and the military hierarchy, which had set up its own inquiry commission in November last year even though the PAC had already been investigating the matter since February 2009. The military had initially asked for a month to deal with the issue. It has now been more than seven months since the inquiry initiated by Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani began.

On June 13, the PAC expressed frustration over the slow pace of the military investigation and said that if the military did not submit a response soon, the PAC would have no choice but to take a unilateral decision without any military input.

The PAC is required to submit a complete review of government accounts by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Five people in the NLC management – three retired generals and two civil servants – were responsible for illegally borrowing Rs4.3 billion from commercial banks between 2003 and 2008 and investing the money on the Karachi Stock Exchange, incurring a loss of Rs1.8 billion to NLC, which eventually had to be paid by the national exchequer.

Former prime minister Shaukat Aziz had barred the NLC from making such investments in the stock market, but Lt Gen Muzaffar is reported to have continued to do so until his retirement in 2008.

“In March, Gen Kayani shared certain findings of the [military’s] inquiry which are very much in line with our findings,” said Chaudhry Nisar.

He said military brass had been acting “hyper-sensitive” in recent days and he urged them to get over their sensitivity and take action against corrupt individuals to save the institution.

Meanwhile, the PAC also gave the government three days to recover the car illegally being retained by Brigadier (retd) Mazhar Qayyum after his retirement as chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

The PAC also ordered the recovery of Rs678,000 from former managing director of the Pakistan Housing Authority Hassan Waseem Afzal for availing irregular perks during the second PML-N tenure in the late 1990s.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2011.


Imran | 10 years ago | Reply While I agree with this in principle, the only question is why Ch. Nisar sat on it for 3 years! Only after ISI Director turned down his request, he turned against army. Before, he was secretly holding meetings along with Maulvi Shahbaz Sharif. In the end, this is too little too late!
asif murtaza | 10 years ago | Reply I think its high time we must have some permanent solution to this menace of corruption which has ruined our economy,but as far as this particular incident is concerned we must consider that nowadays our armed forces are continuously been pointed out by media.My point is we must think for a while Are only armed forces corrupt? what about our politician are they free of they are not then why all of sudden whole media is changing the perception of masses i think Armed forces are probably the institution which have best of check and balance system so one odd case may be accepted but again we should not refer it to complete institution and start maligning it only our enemies would be happy about it.... i am not saying generals mentioned in the list are innocent but i think whatever decision comes out it should not be accepted as just one time measures.....every corrupt pakistani should face the music and law and order must be same for everyone ...only then would we be able to bring change...
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