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August 2, 2012

PAC asks NAB to probe generals who got LPG quota

August 2, 2012


ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe the allotment of LPG quota to four ex-generals who made hay while the sun shone during the tenure of former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
The list of close aides of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf includes two former chairmen NAB — Lt General (retd) Khalid Maqbool, (who also remained Governor Punjab), and Lt Gen (retd) Munir Hafeez — besides former Interior Minister and former Governor Sindh Lt Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider and Lt Gen (retd) Saeeduz Zafar, whose name also echoed in the major scam of Railways.
The PAC, in its meeting on Wednesday presided over by Chairman Nadeem Afzal Chan at the Parliament House, dealt with the audit paras relating to the National Accountability Bureau for the fiscal year of 2004-05 and 2006-07.
Khawaja Asif, who remained a victim of the NAB during the Musharraf era, questioned from the NAB chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari whether he was ready to probe those ex-generals who had taken the LPG quota during the previous tenure when they were calling the shots.
He said the Gen (retd) Khalid Maqbool, who was the chairman of NAB, got a loan of Rs2 billion from the Bank of Punjab for the LPG business and the loan was not returned to the bank yet.
He said another former chairman of the NAB, Muneer Hafeez, availed the quota of 10 tonnes of LPG in the name of his spouse while another ex-General Lt Gen (retd) Saeeduz Zafar also got the LPG quota in the name of his spouse.
“If the NAB wants, I am ready to tell the person in whose name Lt Gen Saeeduz Zafar availed the LPG quota,” he said and added that Lt Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider also did not lag behind other generals.
Chairman NAB Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari assured him that a probe would be made into this issue. When he asked Khawaja Asif to furnish the evidence, Chairman PAC Nadeem Afzal Chan told him to take

directives of the committee as a complaint.
The committee has given a deadline of one month to the NAB for the complaint verification process and probe the whole scam.
The PAC members also questioned the double standards of NAB on the accountability process as he said that civilians were arrested while in comparison military personnel were never probed or arrested.Khawaja Asif also questioned as to why a special treatment was given to retired officials of the military as compared to the serving and retired civilian officials and politicians.
Chairman NAB Admiral (retd) Fasih Bukhari said that under the rules, the NAB cannot probe serving military officials as they could only be court martialled by the GHQ and punished if found guilty.
Citing the probe into the scam of NLC, he said the matter was taken up with the GHQ about three generals who were accused in the NLC scam and the GHQ had informed him that the NAB could investigate them as they were now retired.
The chairman NAB admitted that the NAB in the past was being used as a political tool against the politicians but now it had more focus on prevention of corruption. He told the committee that he had constituted a committee under the Prosecutor General Accountability to review the cases which were being framed on political basis. “The committee will decide about the cases which are based on political basis. We cannot take any decision,” he added.
The chairman NAB said that there was immense pressure from the judiciary, media and political parties.On this, Chairman PAC Nadeem Afzal Gondal told the NAB chairman that he could assure him on behalf of the committee that it would never put any pressure on him.
Meanwhile, the PAC also directed the NAB to expedite the probe into the sale of shares of Peco and its Rs20 billion land.The 61 percent shares of Peco were privatised to Arif Habib.




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