ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau and Establishment Division are looking for former Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s then-principal secretary Tahir Khursheed, who is said to have left the country to escape alleged corruption proceedings.
Government sources informed The News that the prime minister has approved proceedings against the officer under Efficiency and Disciplinary rules (E&D rules) whereas the NAB is also considering getting him declared a proclaimed offender if he does not appear before the Bureau.
Popularly known as TK, Grade 21 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS), Tahir Khursheed is wanted by the NAB Lahore in an inquiry of assets beyond means but he has been missing from Pakistan for the last four months, government sources claim.
According to these sources, the NAB Lahore recently approached the Establishment Division to ascertain the whereabouts of Buzdar’s principal secretary. The Bureau was of the view that the once most-powerful bureaucrat in Punjab during Usman Buzdar’s chief ministership was not responding or appearing before the NAB to join the probe against him.
It was found that Tahir Khursheed had gone for Umra in November 2022 but never reported back to the Establishment Division. The NAB is proceeding against the officer for avoiding the probe and not appearing before the relevant investigation officer.
The Establishment Division was told that despite being under probe, Tahir Khursheed had left Pakistan without permission from the Bureau.
However, it was found that the officer, who is presently an OSD with the Establishment Division, left for Umra last November with the permission of the ED. He, however, never reported back even after a lapse of one month’s leave.
It is claimed by government sources that the officer has instead landed in the UK. However, it is not confirmed by independent sources where the officer is right now.
The NAB, the sources said, has sent him repeated notices but he did not appear before the Bureau. It is said that the NAB is now considering the option of declaring him a proclaimed offender and issuing his red warrant through Interpol.
The NAB also sought the Establishment Division to initiate disciplinary proceedings against TK for avoiding the NAB inquiry and for being absent without permission of the competent authority.
Sources in the Establishment Division shared that these proceedings may result in his dismissal from civil service if he fails to return to Pakistan. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, it is said, has already allowed the Establishment Division to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the officer.
The NAB initiated a probe against TK in 2021 during the PTI rule in Islamabad and Punjab. According to media reports, he was summoned by NAB in July 2021 in an income beyond means case. In a call-up notice, he was asked to present a record of his inherited properties, and complete details of moveable and immovable properties owned/acquired/purchased/sold/disposed of by him and his family members. Details of investment in shares/companies and bank accounts belonging to him and his family members were also sought by the NAB.
After the ouster of Usman Buzdar and during the PMLN short-lived government in Punjab, the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) also initiated proceedings against Tahir Khursheed. But later during Pervez Elahi’s tenure, the Vigilance Wing of Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment dropped the corruption inquiry against him.
Tahir Khursheed was facing the alleged corruption inquiry involving millions of rupees and was summoned by the ACE a number of times but he never showed up.
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