Severance pay?: Former Punjab CM cleans out furniture from official residence

Khosa is alleged to have taken away precious items including electronic appliances.


Anwer Sumra July 26, 2012

LAHORE:


A former chief minister of Punjab is yet to return official paraphernalia and household items – worth Rs4 million – that he took with him from the official residence after vacating it, The Express Tribune has learnt.


Sardar Dost Muhammad Khosa – the younger son of senior Punjab adviser Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa – was elected chief minister in April 2008 and held the post till June 2008.

When he was sworn in as the chief minister, 12-B Aikman Road GOR-I was allotted to Khosa as his official residence. The house was officially declared the Chief Minister House and significant renovations were made on the residence. The Communication and Works Department purchased and provided new furniture, electronic appliances, crockery, lights and paintings for the house on the demands of then chief minister.

The refurbishments cost around Rs4 million to the public exchequer. After June 2008, when Shahbaz Sharif took over the post of chief minister, Khosa was assigned the portfolio of Local Government and Community Development.

On June 29, 2010, Sharif received various complaints of corruption and abuse of authority. He consequently reshuffled the departments of four cabinet members belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) including Khosa — who was given charge of Industries, Commerce and Investment Department.

In November 2011, due to certain differences with the government, Khosa left the official residence of GOR-I and shifted to a private house in DHA, Lahore.

The Express Tribune has learnt that, while vacating the official residence, Khosa’s personal employees – on his orders – allegedly took away furniture, electronic appliances, beds, paintings and crockery with them to his private residence.

In March 2012, the Race Course Police Station registered a criminal case against Khosa for the alleged kidnapping of Sapna Khan, his former wife. The PML-N conveyed to Khosa that it was facing immense criticism owing to his indictment in a criminal case. Khosa resigned from his post on April 4, 2012.

The Services and General Administration Department had allotted the official residence vacated by Khosa to Manshullah Butt, an adviser to Punjab’s chief minister in February 2012.

When Mansha’s men visited the official residence they found that all the belongings were missing from the house. The matter was taken up with XEN Communication and Works – the custodian of the official residence – who wrote a letter to Khosa to return all the official belongings allegedly taken from the government residence.

In response to the letter, Khosa wrote to the secretary of the Communication and Works Department that no item was taken away during shifting and officials were alleging theft without any solid evidence. Javed Butt, an employee of Khosa, said: “These are mere allegations to malign Sahib”.

Meanwhile, a senior official of Communication and Works Department requesting anonymity alleged that some used furniture after new polishing had been offered by Khosa but it was not accepted due to inferior quality.

The official alleged that the items had been taken away and shifted to Dera Ghazi Khan to Khosa’s ancestral family house.

He added that the former chief minister had been given the option to pay compensation of the missing items if he was not willing to return them. However, no reply has yet been received from Khosa.


(Read: The end of the affair)

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012.

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