ISLAMABAD: The Sindh government finds itself in hot waters as investigations conducted by the Rangers and NAB have found some key provincial ministers and a large number bureaucrats and police officials involved in corruption and misuse of authority.
Although, Rangers are depending much on the provincial government to proceed against the identified two dozen influential persons allegedly backing the Karachi mafia, NAB is already on the fast track of collecting evidence against some key ministers and a number of bureaucrats for their alleged corruption and misuse of authority.
NAB has only recently authorised inquiries against PPP’s Pir Mazharul Haq and Syed Ali Mardan Shah for alleged misuse of authority and corruption. Some provincial bureaucrats have started spilling the beans, which might get some more PPP ministers into trouble.
Informed sources said that Secretary Information Sindh, Zulfikar Shalwani, against whom warrants were recently issued following which he got bail of protective custody from the court of law, appeared before the NAB Karachi on Friday.
During the probe, the information secretary tried to shift the responsibility of alleged corruption involving Rs200 million on an influential and outspoken cabinet minister of Qaim Ali Shah government.
NAB is seeking concrete evidence to include the Sindh minister into the probe.Besides some key ministers of the Sindh government, the NAB inquiries involve a large number of Sindh bureaucrats and provincial secretaries against whom evidence of massive corruption is being collected.
In certain land-related frauds including the 530-acre land scam, some key officials of the Board of Revenue and top bosses of the civilian administration are alleged to have played an important role. Some senior officials of land utilisation department and Karachi civil administration may also find themselves in serious trouble.
On Friday evening, NAB Sindh also arrested one Ghulam Mohammed Qaimkhani, ex-DG Hyderabad Development Authority, (currently chief accounts officer HDA) in connection with the Hyderabad Cooperative Society fraud case.
In 2014 as the DG HDA, he had allegedly allowed the Hyderabad Railway Cooperative Society to start work on 19 acres of land. He is alleged to have fraudulently passed a master plan, annexed five acres of land (worth Rs1.5 billion) of TMA, Lateefabad, and allowed for the society to be built on 24 acres of land.It is said that certain members of the bureaucracy have also started sharing information of alleged corruption and misuse of authority with the NAB as well as other security agencies.
Besides NAB, the Rangers have also started a campaign against the mafia active in Sindh. As reported by The News on Friday, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has been provided by the Rangers a list of around 24 politicians, members of bureaucracy, police officers and others who are allegedly involved, directly or indirectly, in “financial terrorism” that is believed to be the major contributing factor in crime and terrorism in Karachi and Sindh.
The military establishment and Rangers want the PPP government in Sindh to choke all the sources of finances for terrorists, mafias and criminal gangs in Karachi for which those harbouring these mafias, whether in the government, amongst politicians or in the bureaucracy, should be fixed without any fear and favour.
Since the Rangers as well as NAB’s operation is bound to hit some influential PPP ministers and leaders, some People’s Party leaders have been asked to issue statements against NAB, Rangers and even the federal government. The political response of the PPP, it is said, is expected to gather momentum in the days to come.
However, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with the governor and Sindh chief minister underscored the need to eliminate all these mafias from Karachi because of their deep link with terrorism and crime in the city.
According to a federal government source, the Centre would continue its focus on the Karachi situation and would back the Rangers and other law enforcing agencies to eliminate the mafias in Karachi. However, the PPP’s legitimate right to rule would not be challenged.
It is said that instead of going for any confrontation, the irritants would be resolved amicably and politically without any compromise on the objective of establishing durable peace in Karachi.