Thursday February 02, 2023

NAB summons Shahzad Akbar, ex-Wapda chairman

October 16, 2022

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned former special assistant to the prime minister on accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar on October 21.

Akbar has been called by NAB in the case pertaining to possession of assets beyond means.

Reacting to the news of being summoned, Akbar said that he found out about the NAB’s notice through the media and termed it “ridiculous”.

“The questionnaire seems like a joke,” he tweeted, adding that he would give detailed answers to questions on the Rawalpindi Ring Road as well as the sugar and petroleum commission.

The former aide to Khan further remarked that “blind vindictive accountability” becomes the norm when “money launderers are in power”.

In June this year, a news agency alleged that Akbar had formed a group and bought properties worth “billions of rupees” under the garb of making the accountability process better.

Akbar, however, denied the allegations and issued a clarification stating that the news published against him by the news agency was “baseless”.

He also warned media publications to avoid publishing such news, else he would take legal action.

Akbar is allegedly living in London following his abrupt departure to Dubai in April after his name was removed from the stop list on the Islamabad High Court’s orders.

It should be noted that the former aide tendered his resignation to PM Imran Khan in January this year — just three months ahead of his ouster through a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly in April, making him the first premier to be ousted through the move.

Akbar was later placed on the stop list — barring him from travelling abroad without permission — by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in April, following the ouster of Khan’s government.

The list also included names of five more aides serving during Khan’s tenure, including Shahbaz Gill, according to Geo News. Both Akbar and Gill had approached the IHC for removal of their names from the list, after which the court dismissed the travel ban and suspended the FIA’s notification. Akbar termed the inclusion of his name on the list as “political victimisation”.

It was also learnt that Muzammal Hussain has been asked to appear before the NAB Lahore office on October 30.

Muzammil Hussain had resigned from his office in May 2022. In August 2021, he had been given an extension for five years. The NAB had served the first notice on ex-Wapda chief over a complaint that he caused losses of $753 million to the national kitty due to irregularities in the Tarbela Hydropower Project IV.

The Bureau directed Muzammil Hussain to come along with documents of the hydropower project. He was also directed to bring complete details of funding process, contract evaluation along with PC-1 and subsequent revisions in PC-1 along with administrative approvals and technical sanctions from the competent authority. As per sources, the complainant, in his complaint against Muzammil, alleged that he abused his power in his tenure as Wapda chairman, which caused losses of billions. It was also alleged that Muzammil made wrong payments to contractors.