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August 8, 2017
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Remand of PHA officials in Astro Turf corruption case extended

National

August 8, 2017

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Rawalpindi: Additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) Gulzar Ahmed has extended for three more days physical remand of five officials of the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) and a contractor arrested for alleged overpayment in the purchase of Astroturf for two football grounds in the city here on Monday. The ADSG has directed the investigators to reproduce the accused in the court on August 10.

Officials of PHA whose physical remand has been extended include Director General Malik Abid, Deputy Director Azizullah, Deputy Director Saqib Elahi, Assistant Director Khalid Saeed Butt, sub-engineer Shakeel Ahmed and a contractor Khawar Saeed

The anti-corruption department, Rawalpindi has so far failed to arrest two main culprits in corruption case regarding overpayment in purchase of Astroturf for two football grounds in the city.

The main accused in the case, Shafiq-ur-Rehman, from Rawal Construction and Jabbar Shah from DJ Construction fled from the scene. They are the contractors of this project and bought grass from New Zealand and Malaysia through Tiger Tuff Company. The two contractors, Shafiq-ur-Rehman and Jabbar Shah set a deal with Khawar Saeed who is in police custody to buy Astroturf grass. It was the contract of Rs25.6 million while PHA had already made payment of Rs14 million while the remaining amount was still pending.

The sources said that it was pre-planned to arrest government officials including director general PHA in this case. It was a plot of Shafiq-ur-Rehman, Jabbar Shah and a famous political leader of Rawalpindi belonging to PML-N. There was a tussle in between PHA director general and political leader of PML-N as government officer was running official matters strictly on merit, the sources said.

It is worth mentioning here that PHA Director General Malik Abid did PhD in Horticulture and performed 4 years in Capital Development Authority (CDA) established 220 parks during his tenure in Islamabad. He was performing well and planted thousands of plants and trees here in Rawalpindi city. He has the reputation of making Rawalpindi city a ‘Green City’.

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