Land scandal: NAB opens closed inquiry into Rs200 billion scam

Published: June 10, 2012
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Management of DHA-Islamabad and Bahria Town illegally adjusted 2,107 acres of land. PHOTO: FILE

Management of DHA-Islamabad and Bahria Town illegally adjusted 2,107 acres of land. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

The head of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday has authorised an inquiry into a deal between Defence Housing Authority Islamabad (DHA) and Bahria Town (BT) in which over 150,000 people, including 41,000 soldiers, were swindled out of a collective Rs200 billion.

The inquiry was secretly closed for two months by the Rawalpindi chapter of NAB, even after the matter was referred by the Supreme Court, The Express Tribune has learned.

NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari has expressed serious concern over the closure of the inquiry.

“The inquiry includes allegations of the illegal adjustment of 2,107 acres of land meant for the proposed Dadhocha Dam, illegal resale of DHA Phase II extension site to DHA Valley and the illegal extension of DHA Phase II extension area,” NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal told The Express Tribune.

Bokhari called for an immediate and transparent inquiry into the scam. He also directed  the NAB chief in Rawalpindi to find out why no further action was recommended for the complaint, according to NAB officials.

The complaint was lodged by the former director engineering DHA, Colonel (retd) Muhammad Tariq Kamal to the NAB headquarters in Islamabad which was then referred to NAB Rawalpindi through a cover letter titled “complaints against the management DHA-I, BT and others,” documents revealed.

On January 8, 2011 the Supreme Court referred the matter to NAB to be investigated and also sought the report from the Punjab government in the matter, according to documents. Earlier, the NAB in Rawalpindi had closed the inquiry following an executive board meeting.

The NAB report say that DHA authorities had purchased 3,718 acres of land in 2003 from private owners, including the 2,107 acres of the Dadhocha Dam site. In 2006, the DHA authorities told the district government of Rawalpindi that the site would be used for dam construction to meet water needs of DHA members. Afterwards, the DHA inked an agreement with BT for development of a housing scheme on its own terms and conditions.

DHA quietly transferred all the funds received from the public, amounting to over Rs200 billion to the account of BT CEO Malik Riaz. As per their agreements, DHA is bound to transfer the amounts to the accounts of BT within 72 hours, Kamal revealed.

Those who deposited money for plots were deliberately kept in the dark about the agreements between that DHA and BT regarding land development. Up to Rs27,750 million collected by the DHA from its members between July 2003 and June 2007 was spent on land, but the authority has yet to deliver a single plot.

DHA and Bahria Town chief Malik Riaz inked controversial agreements according to which he was entrusted to develop all the 21, 686 acres of land owned by DHA.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Noman Khan
    Jun 10, 2012 - 10:06AM

    DHA appears only to be a Rent Collector/ Commission Agent in this and in its other similar deals with EMMAR etc. May Allah save the money of the 150,000 applicants. All state agencies must ensure that the 200 billion rupees are not misappropriated.

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  • zahid
    Jun 10, 2012 - 10:13AM

    NAB! should also put their attention to the DHA1 Lawyers colony deal. members are living without roads and other promissed services! dha management, when ever contacted crys of shortage of funds! no idea where the money went which they got from lawyers colony management against development head. DHA not run by CIVILIANS
    b

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  • Adnan
    Jun 10, 2012 - 10:59AM

    DHA and Bahria Town both are involved in cheating People on massive scale. Justice should be provided to 150,000 People who put their hard earned money in DHA Valley scheme.

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  • khalid ali
    Jun 10, 2012 - 11:40AM

    It is high time that General Kayani should personally look into the matter and save the name of army and money of soldiers. urgent Please

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  • Nida Rehman
    Jun 10, 2012 - 1:18PM

    Like Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Admiral Fasih Bukhari is also facing the gigantic task of coming up clean when his own daughter has been an employee of Malik Riaz.

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  • A. Khan
    Jun 10, 2012 - 5:09PM

    Just shows that our fellow countrymen lack any moral scruples about how and where they get any money.

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  • jibran
    Jun 10, 2012 - 5:10PM

    This is the fight of big people. Poor cannot buy a house in bahria town. So no worries.

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  • Chacha Fazlu
    Jun 10, 2012 - 7:16PM

    It is time to start a new college along the lines of Army Staff College and with the name of Army Real Estate Management College for mid-level army officers. We have seen their performance in the wars and I can bet they will do wonderful in this area.

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  • Amman1
    Jun 11, 2012 - 11:10AM

    yea right..if the Justice’s own son was not alleged in a scam with Mailk Riaz then who would’ve even bothered to reopened this investigation…why we think that this file was hidden somewhere and somehow the honest and vigilant officers found it and started working on it….it was always in-front of them….its just the matter of time and a political move to open the investigation now.

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  • Brig (R) Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq, MBBS, PhD, DpBact (Manchester), FCPS (Pak), FRCath (London), FRCP Edinburgh
    Jun 11, 2012 - 11:56AM

    I shall differ with many of the comments as a mistake of an individual may be used to tarnish the image of an institute as a whole. DHA is not Army. It is a Hosuing Authority, manged by army. Once the case is with NAB, let it be sorted out as per norms and code of conduct. Those who are critical of the DHA, should develop their own housing schemes, with all transparency and professionalism. A holder of property in the DHA is still safe from so called Qabza group and encroachemnt from teh neighbours. Still the amenities are perhaps the best in the country and still the projects are completed in time.

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  • Zubair
    Jun 11, 2012 - 1:32PM

    DAMN! Fine way to find out!!!
    I bought a plot here as did my brother in 2009. We’re not Pakistani citizens either so I don’t have a clue what to do next! The LEAST DHA could have done is inform buyers themselves of what has happened.

    I bought this plot thinking I could make a nice little home in the future, close to family members. Although losing this plot (if that’s what now happens?!) doesn’t cause me too many issues, I sympathise with the thousands who have invested their life savings. This is so bad – especially as the DHA let it just happen.

    I won’t be investing in Pakistan anymore. Time to call my brother with the news!! Woohoo!!!

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  • M. Ahmed
    Jun 11, 2012 - 2:51PM

    Pakistan is merely a piece of real estate that provided the basis for a relationship which blossomed into the DHA and Bahria Town land love affair. Everything else is perishing but real estate is booming. It appears to be a real tangle.

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  • Diya
    Jun 14, 2012 - 5:39PM

    I also invested money in this scheme. My father, my other family members, we all r suffering from it. This scheme was not for upper class it was for middle and poor class as rate was too low. V were dreaming to have a little home in this country but ne v hv no home .Recommend

  • Sami
    Aug 1, 2012 - 9:28PM

    Both Dha and Bahria town are land grabbers. I have written so many times to army chief to take action against these land grabbers but all in vain. They grab land from poor people and then betray the overseas Pakistanis..this is their Bzns in 21st century…shame

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