PPP MNA says being falsely implicated in land scam

Demands impartial probe, punishment for those involved in Rs2b embezzlement

Our Correspondent November 22, 2022
Makhdoom Jameeluz Zaman PHOTO: FILE


The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Makhdoom Jameeluz Zaman, who is also the spiritual head of Sarwari Jamaat, has deplored that Makhdoom House is being baselessly implicated in Rs2.14 billion land acquisition scam in Matiari district.

Talking to the media in Matiari on Monday at the seventh death anniversary of his father, former federal minister of PPP Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Zaman demanded impartial probe and exemplary punishment for the embezzlers.

"A fair and transparent inquiry should be conducted and no one should be spared," he said, adding, "We trust the law and the judiciary of the country."

Responding to a question he said Makhdoom House coordinator Aslam Pervez should not have taken interim bail from the court in this matter.

Some officials of Sindh Anti-Corruption Establishment, who arrested former deputy commissioner Matiari Adnan Rashid in this case on November 16, and booked an assistant commissioner and a Sindh bank's official, have the support of a political family of Matiari.

Makhdoom said, people should not jump to conclusions without allowing the ongoing probe and subsequent trial in the court to officially and legally establish the blame.

Separately, the Anti-Corruption Court, Hyderabad, on Monday extended the physical remand of the ex-DC Rashid for three more days, on completion of his five-day initial remand. A team of ACE produced him before the court and sought seven days remand. On the other hand, the assistant manager of Sindh Bank's Matiari branch, Syed Tabish Shah who is also booked in the same FIR, obtained a seven-day interim bail from Sindh High Court against a surety of Rs50,000.

Suspects are charged in an FIR with embezzling the public funds under sections 468, 467, 420, 409, 34 and 477-A of Pakistan Penal Code and section 5(2) of Anti-Corruption Act.

The National Highway Authority (NHA) had transferred in the DC Matiari's account for acquisition of land for construction of M6 Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway. A sum of Rs4.09 billion, which accumulated to Rs4.63 billion over a period of time because of the markup on deposit, was transferred to the DC's account for the land acquisition.

A former DC Matiari had initially opened an account in Bank Al Habib in 2018 to receive the NHA's funds. In December, 2020, a savings account was opened in the Sindh Bank and an amount of Rs1.385 billion, kept in the private bank, was transferred to that account. Afterwards, the NHA gave another sum of Rs2.7 billion which was kept in the same account. The balance on October 12 stood at Rs4.634 billion including Rs542 million profit on the deposit.

The alleged bogus disbursements for the land purchases began later that month and continued till early November.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2022.


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