NAB files reference against ex-envoy to Indonesia

Mustafa Anwar faces charges of illegally selling embassy building in Jakarta


Our Correspondent August 20, 2020
Former ambassador to Indonesia is accused of causing $1.32 million loss to national exchequer. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The country’s top anti-graft body on Wednesday filed a reference in an accountability court against former ambassador to Indonesia Major General (retd) Syed Mustafa Anwar over charges of illegally selling the Pakistani embassy building in Jakarta at "a throwaway price" during 2001-02.

According to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi’s reference submitted to the registrar's office, Anwar illegally sold the building and caused a loss of $1.32 million to the national exchequer.

The reference read that the former ambassador had issued an advertisement for the sale of the building without the foreign affairs ministry’s approval. Therefore, he had misused his powers under Section 9 (A) 6 of the National Accountability Ordinance.

NAB alleged that Anwar had started the process of selling the building immediately after his appointment in Jakarta and kept foreign affairs ministry in the dark about his plans. Once the process of sale started, he sent the proposal to the ministry.

The reference further read that the ministry had banned the sale of the building without its approval in several letters. After scrutiny at the registrar's office, the reference will be sent to the administrative judge.

Last month, the Supreme Court had held that the NAB office itself was responsible for delay in deciding corruption references including that against the former ambassador as “its officials were not competent”.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had observed that NAB officers did not possess enough expertise to conduct proper inquiries and apparently there were no measures in place on the basis of which investigations were examined.

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