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Five more witnesses give clean chit to PM in Ashiana case

By News Desk
March 19, 2023

LAHORE: Five more NAB witnesses on Saturday testified before an accountability court in Lahore that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was not guilty in the Ashiana Housing Society Reference.

The accountability court recorded statements of five witnesses produced by the National Accountability Bureau. The witnesses said they had no knowledge of any illegal act committed in the project. They added that the bid was opened as per the rules and regulations, the project was signed and financed through the finance committee and all relevant documents were designed according to the rules.

A NAB witness, Layyah Deputy Commissioner Khalid Pervaiz, said he had worked as LDA director from 2013 to 2015 and he signed the Ashiana Housing Society implementation project.

NAB’s second witness, Mehmood Ahmad Sulehri, said the LDA had constituted a committee on the project and asked Nespak to nominate a senior member for the body. “Nespak nominated me as a member of the committee,” he added. The bid evaluation was properly done by a committee. It was then sent to a steering committee. He said he joined the investigation on March 9, 2018 and recorded his statement.

The court also recorded the statement of witness Hussain Ahmad, a design specialist. He said he had prepared the proposal of the project. “I formulated standards relating to structure of the society. Three committees, bid opening committee, technical evaluation committee and financial evaluation committee, were formed,” he said, adding that every bid was received under the watchful eye of cameras and properly signed by every member.

The court also recorded the statement of another NAB witness, Shahid Kamran, a research analyst. The court, asking lawyers to cross-examine the witnesses, adjourned the hearing of the case until March 25.