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November 2, 2012

Three ex-generals appear before NAB

November 2, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Top former generals accused of billions of rupees corruption in the multi-billion scam of leasing the land of Pakistan Railways to the Royal Palm Golf Club lost temper on Thursday while talking to the media after appearing before the top accountability body of the country, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which had summoned them for an inquiry into the case.
“No comments, no comments; shut up idiot,” said Lt General (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi, a former minister for railways during the Musharraf regime, when the media outside the NAB headquarters asked questions about the allegations against them.
Javed Ashraf Qazi, along with former chairman Railways Lt General (retd) Saeeduz Zafar and former general manager Railways Major General (retd) Hamid Hasan Butt appeared before the investigating team of the NAB on Thursday while two civilian officials, former member finance PR Khursheed Ahmad Khan and ex-GM operations Pakistan Railways Iqbal Samad Khan will appear on Monday.
After the inquiry when the generals came out of the NAB headquarters, they were visibly angry and refused to talk on the issue. Lt General (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi was furious and gave the journalists a shut up call while repeatedly saying no comments, no comments. “Shut up, idiot”, he replied in anger when a journalist asked a question about the scam.
Lt General (retd) Saeeduz Zafar said that for the last 11 years only the generals were being held for accountability. When a journalist pointed out that more politicians than generals faced accountability, he said sarcastically “really”. He claimed he was not involved in corruption and he did not want to make any comment as the case was in the court and warranted no comment. Major General (retd) Hamid Hassan Butt refused to talk to the journalists and said that he had come here to meet someone. During the Musharraf regime, these three retired generals allegedly leased 103 acres of Railways land for a period

of 33 years, causing Rs9.6 billion loss to the national exchequer.
The Railway administration illegally and unjustifiably included in the deal 41 acres of additional prime land and also enhanced the lease period from 33 years to 49 years without re-tendering and obtaining consequential benefits in return.
Last month, the PAC had directed the NAB to investigate the case and recommended for scrapping the agreement of Royal Palm Golf Club with Pakistan Railways and directed the National Accountability Bureau to initiate criminal cases against all the accused in the mega multi-billion scam.

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