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January 18, 2015

Probe ordered against ETPB Secretary for plot sale


January 18, 2015

The federal government has taken up the matter of plethora of complaints submitted against incumbent Secretary Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Junaid Ahmed Khan and directed the ETPB chairman to submit a comprehensive report in this regard, The News has leant.
The government has taken up the matter after the issue of the sale of an ETPB plot, worth millions of rupees in Nankana Sahib, allegedly by Junaid drew attentions of the federal government when chairman NAB on January 6, 2015 took serious note of the issue and ordered the NAB Punjab to hold an inquiry into the issue.
Junaid allegedly unlawfully obtained a one kanal evacuee trust plot bearing No 9 Block-Z situated at Area Development Scheme, Nankana Sahib and further sold it to Muhammad Aslam, son of Umer Din.
The complaint containing different allegations against Junaid had already been submitted with the Board’s chairman and the federal government a few weeks back.
Sources in the federal government told this correspondent that the Federal Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony has written a letter to chairman ETPB Siddiq-ul-Farooq a few days back and directed him to submit comments back to the ministry within 10 days about the allegations leveled against Juanid in the complaint. Similarly, soon after receiving direction from the federal government, the chairman has also directed Juanid to submit his reply within 10 days, sources maintained.
According to the complaint submitted by Officers Welfare Association of the ETPB, Junaid was the member of a committee which had invested a hefty amount of Rs 721,000,000 of the Board with M/s Highlink Capital (Pvt) Ltd violating the instructions of the Finance division. The amount has been misappropriated allegedly by former chairman ETPB Asif Hashmi and the members of the committee which had proposed the investment and caused a huge loss to the ETPB.
“The concerned HBL, Civil Line Branch, Lahore has verified the

transfer of the said amount to M/s Higlink which has now accumulated to the tune of more that Rs 1 billion. The relevant record of the case has been manipulated/ destroyed”, reads the complaint. “The Company Secretary Rana Naveed Ahmed informed the Board vide letter Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE)/2654 dated 02.05.2014 that the Board of Directors of LSE has forfeited the Trading Right Entitlement Certificate of M/s Highlink Capital (Pvt) Ltd on account of violations of General Rules and Regulations of LSE”.
Another allegation mentioned in the complaint was that Junaid had proposed and recommended the contract period of Iftikhar Ahmed, ex-Chief Security Officer ETPB, to the age of superannuation and subsequently got the approved of the same from Asif Hashmi.
It has also been alleged in the complaint that as drawing and disbursing officer of ETP Board, Junaid got approval on his own note against the recommendations of the Accounts Branch from the Acting Chairmen and unlawfully issued cheques of millions of rupees in favour of Pakistan Model Educational Institutions Foundation (PMEIF), even after its demerger from the Board without provision of funds in the Budget or approval of the Federal Government causing a huge/continuing financial loss to the ETP Board.
The complaint further alleged that during the tenure of Hashmi fresh Assistant Administrators were recruited against the vacant posts.
Two candidates including Salem Gondal and Abdullah Awais appeared in the selection test and interview and both were placed in the list of reserved candidates. But Junaid allegedly issued the appointment letters of both reserved candidates unlawfully without posts and without approval of the competent authority i.e. the federal government. Both the said candidates from the reserved list of Assistant Administrators are presently working as District Officers in the department.
When contacted Saturday, chairman ETPB Siddiq-ul-Farooq confirmed that he has received directions from the federal government to submit a comprehensive reply back to the ministry about Junaid’s issue. He said he has asked the ETPB secretary to come up with answers of all the queries taken up by the federal government. “So far I have not received any answer from the secretary as yet”, Siddiq-ul-Farooq said. To a question, ETPB chairman said in unequivocal terms that whoever had committed any wrongdoing in the past will have to face the law, adding that he would not tolerate the Board from all the black sheep eating its resources. He said the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has given him the task to keep the house of the board in order as early as possible.
Talking to The News Junaid claimed that he has no knowledge of any such development and no one has asked him to submit any reply. He refused to comment further.
It is pertinent to mention here that Junaid, who belonged to Postal Services, was posted as Secretary ETP Board on deputation vide order No. 1/79/2011-E-6 on August 16, 2011. When the incumbent federal government appointed Siddiq-ul-Farooq as chairman ETPB in October last year, he extended deputation period of the secretary for another one year.

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