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June 24, 2016

FIA levels, NCHD officials deny, corruption charges


June 24, 2016


FIA Deputy Director, Anti-Corruption Circle, wrote a letter on May 5, 2016 to Madam Razina Alam, NCHD Chairperson copy of which is exclusively available with The News mentioning that directors of NCHD Iqbalur Rehman and Javed Azam were appointed at lump sum salary of Rs150,000 as PC-1 on contract basis from 2009 to 2013. Now they are getting salary up to Rs350,000, which includes Rs50,000 as conveyance allowance that is not permissible to any officer of basic scal-19 and same has been pointed in audit report of 2013-2014.

FIA also says that Iqbalur Rehman is alleged to have manipulated to assign the task of book writing for class-1 (English-1) to Farhat Yasmeen and Sindhi language. It further said that bilingual book was to be written in English and Sindhi while the book had been written half in English and Sindhi while later half in English and Urdu. However, the book in Sindhi has been written by Farhat Yasmeen and Ghazal Ehsan and reviewed by Iqbalur Rehman and none of them knows Sindhi language. The book was published; payments were made, but dumped in NCHD concealed stores inflicting heavy loss to the state exchequer.

FIA also mentions that Iqbalur Rehman had caused loss to exchequer while publishing book with a controversial cartoon that created blasphemy and consequently Mr Rehman destroyed 300,000 copies of the book without approval of competent authority.

Iqbalur Rehman and Javed Azam have allegedly minted millions of rupees in training project designed for vocational training in Sindh in which they were to train 10,000 women and at the completion of training each trainees was to be awarded Rs10,000 each as stipend and a sewing machine. The internal audit of NCHD indicates that over 50 percent entries of trainees were fictitious.

The FIA letter also unveils that selection procedure of both Iqbalur Rehman and Javed Azam is devoid of transparency. It also unfolds that Javed Azam is also involved in serious sort of misuse of official transport as pointed out in federal audit report 2013-14. Javed Azam is also involved in corruption of Rs8.5 million as District General Manager, Mansehra.

However, the officials named by FIA, when contacted, refuted the charges leveled against them saying they would emerge as innocent in the FIA probe as allegations were superfluous, frivolous and concocted and had no ground to get proved true.

Iqbalur Rehman, Director Education in NCHD, when contacted for knowing his side of the story, said it was not possible for anyone to increase salary on his own saying NCHD was a prestigious institution and it had a commission that decided about the salaries of employees. “We have responded to FIA in detail on this particular issue,” Rehman told in a confident tone posing a question: “How can I increase my own salary by committing forgery in the official documents?”

“There is a laid down procedure under which the output of any official is evaluated, then the NCHD’s commission decides accordingly and then approves the raise in salary,” Mr Rehman stressed emphatically.

However, he admitted that a controversial cartoon got published on the title page of the book designed for the children of less privileged people in Sindh. “We have removed the objectionable cartoon and now the books are cleared,” Rehman said. He also went on to say, “There is no truth that 300,000 copies of the book have been dumped as in the initial stage this issue was coped with.”

As far as the vocational training for women is concerned, there is no problem at all as if the educational portion of the project is viewed, then there is no wrongdoing surfaced so far. However, he said that he had nothing to do with distribution of sewing machines. To a question, Mr Rehman said that he responded to the every query of FIA in details and since then FIA was silent.

Javed Azam, another director in NCHD whose name is also mentioned in FIA correspondence told The News that allegations were not less than a white lie as they all were baseless. However, Mr Azam said that he also submitted to FIA the detailed answers in para-wise format and was still awaiting the response of the investigation agency. “Earlier NCHD has submitted a detailed response to FIA comprising 245 pages and then deposited another detailed reply with 265 pages,” he said.

Farhat Yasmeen, another official of NCHD, who is also named in FIA’s letter, narrated her side of the story mentioning that there was material development section in NCHD which designs the courses for the kids. Earlier, the courses were designed in Urdu, but later on, it was known that Urdu was not studied in primary classes in Sindh. “So we again translated the course in Sindhi.”

Ms Yasmeen also dispelled the accusation, which says that course is not translated in Sindhi language up to the mark as it contains a lot of mistakes, arguing that she did not receive any complaint to this effect and the lady that was hired to translate the course in Sindhi language was reputable and also belonged to interior Sindh.

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