ISLAMABAD: In yet another case of huge corruption, the man who is alleged to have given bogus allotments of almost 1,000 plots and several agro farms in the federal capital area is an appointee of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Dr Wasim Shamshad, Director Land, Capital Development Authority, who is alleged to be the architect of this fraud, is from Multan and was appointed by the Establishment Division in the CDA some two years back following verbal directions of the Prime Minister’s Office.
How powerful is the Multan-connection? The answer is that the officer continues to serve in the CDA as Director Lands even though the CDA chairman has already confirmed to The News that when the chairman was away for two days, the officer set a record by issuing 500 allotment letters for residential plots on one day and another 400 the next day.
But what the director (Lands) has done has baffled even the chairman of the Authority, Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, who in a desperate move has ordered immediate halt to the issuance of new allotment letters and cancellation of all those issued already under the name and seal of Director (Lands) Dr Waseem Shamshad.
According to sources, Wasim Shamshad’s strength that brought him to the federal capital despite some pending inquiries against him in the Punjab Anti-corruption department was his Multan connection. Reportedly, the officer’s family has been living in the same locality in Multan where the prime minister lives.
The sources said that the Punjab government did not give Shamshad any posting when Shahbaz Sharif came into power due to the reputation and pending inquiries against the officer. But later Shamshad was transferred to the Centre and given the lucrative posting in the Capital Development Authority.
In the mega Haj corruption scandal too, all the roads lead to Multan as all the suspects identified are close to Prime Minister Gilani. The sacked Minister for Religious Affairs, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, the recently-removed Secretary Religious Affairs Agha Sarwar Raza Qazlibash and ex-DG Haj Rao Shakil are known close associates of the prime minister.
All the three were also responsible for the 2009 Haj operation, which according to the government’s own report involved corruption of billions of rupees, but the said report was never touched by the prime minister.
In the CDA bogus allotment scam, it was the CDA chairman who recently told a senior correspondent of The News that Director (Lands) of the CDA, Dr Waseem Shamshad, an officer of the District Management Group (DMG) cadre, who joined the Authority around two years ago on deputation for a period of three years, apparently fell prey to lures he found irresistible.
“I really fail to understand what prompted him to do all this. Apparently, he was simply overpowered by raw greed and played havoc with the CDA’s revenue records as he issued almost a thousand or may be even more allotment letters to the absolutely undeserving claimants in the upcoming satellite settlement of the federal capital, the Model Village Kurri,” Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi was quoted as telling The News.
Sources said that the CDA chairman wanted to immediately proceed against the officer and had even got his suspension order typed but everything was reversed and left for an internal inquiry to be led by yet another DMG officer to probe and determine the wrongs allegedly done by the officer.
The CDA had announced Model Village Kurri some time back and the land was acquired for setting up this model village for housing units each measuring 30x70 feet, to be allotted to the local people on priority from whom the CDA had acquired the land.
The officer had reportedly taken stacks of blank printed allotment letters to his home along with his official seal, the inkpad and even the embossing seal of the Authority, which made the document legally authentic and original.
“We know wrongs have been done in the CDA all the time, one way or the other. But what this officer has done has surpassed all the past records. Not only me but the whole CDA Board was shocked over the sort of corruption that has been committed,” the CDA chairman was quoted as saying.
Months back, again it was Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who attained new heights of bad-governance when he appointed his jail-mate friend and a mere matriculate as the head of the most profit making public sector entity, the OGDCL. However, like the Haj scam, it was the Supreme Court of Pakistan that took suo motu notice of the issue and got Gilani’s friend jailed.