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February 11, 2018

Asif Hashmi ‘escapes’ arrest on his return


February 11, 2018

LAHORE: The FIA and NAB teams couldn’t arrest former chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board Asif Hashmi on his return from abroad at the Allama Iqbal Airport on Saturday. Asif Hashmi, wanted by FIA and NAB in several cases of alleged corruption and corrupt practices, was allowed to go home after he handed them over an order of a Supreme Court bench hearing the matters related to ETPB, in which it restrained them from arresting Hashmi. FIA Punjab Director Dr Usman Anwar confirmed to The News that the FIA team was at the airport to arrest Hashmi but couldn’t do so as the accused had a restraining order from the apex court. The former chairman ETPB, who is also a senior PPP leader, was facing several cases when he fled the country in 2013. The FIA had booked him for a controversial land deal worth billions of rupees signed during his tenure with Defence Housing Authority Lahore. In accordance with the terms of the deal signed in 2009, the ETPB was to handover its land measuring over 1,940 kanals to DHA against a share of 33 per cent in residential and commercial plots. Earlier, the DHA agreed to give ETPB a 33 per cent share but it was revised during the tenure of PPP leader. Former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while taking a suo moto notice in 2011 had declared the deal null and void. The Supreme Court also ordered the DHA to accept the deal with 33 per cent share or return all the land transferred in its favour by the ETPB. On the other hand, the NAB started investigation on the complaints of former ETPB chairman Siddiq-ul-Farooq regarding hundreds of alleged illegal appointments, investments of millions of rupees in stock exchange and sale of ETPB land, properties at throw away prices. Talking to media outside the airport, Hashmi refuted the allegations levelled against him by his successor Siddiqul Farooq and said he would present his point of view before the SC bench. He also said he would file a defamation suit against the PML-N

appointee (Siddiqul Farooq) over the baseless accusations.

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