Tuesday May 28, 2024

Ministers, bureaucrats among big beneficiaries of NRO

By Zahid Gishkori
April 25, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The ghost of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) re-emerged on Tuesday as the Supreme Court (SC) begins the process of estimation about how much it cost the national kitty, a move likely to bring into the spotlight the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) in the run-up to 2018 polls. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar issued notices to all those who were behind the notorious ordinance which resulted in dropping of more than 8,000 criminal cases ahead of the 2008 general elections.

The then President Pervez Musharraf promulgated the NRO after striking a deal with PPP to make sure its political survival. Approximately, financial crimes involving around one thousand billion rupees were dropped under the deal which was later scrapped by former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, investigators claimed.

But the trial against those 8,043 individuals allegedly involved in murders, corruption, misuse of authorities, embezzlement, etc, could never be concluded by the National Accountability Court (NAB) Petitioner Feroze Shah Gillani requested the SC to take serious action to recover the billions of rupees the country had suffered due to NRO.

According to the top corruption watchdog list, 248 beneficiaries were accused of amassing wealth beyond their known source of income or embezzlement worth approximately Rs147 billion. Former President Asif Ali Zardari was among top of the NRO beneficiaries who was accused of amassing wealth of $1.5 billion and Rs22 billion under various kickbacks but all the cases were dismissed by the accountability courts. MNA Nawab Yousaf Talpur was also co-accused in Ursus tractors with Mr Zardari. Former MNA Anwar Saifullah Khan was accused of misuse of authority in allocating LPG/appointments Rs41.76 million, $4.68 million, Rs7.64 million, Rs67.9 million and $0.395 million. Other people on the list were Rehman Malik, involved in two cases of illegal detention of complainant and illegal gratification amounting to Rs1.5 million.

Former Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Haji Mohammad Nawaz Khokhar was accused of corruption and corrupt practices worth Rs1.896 million, former federal minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar faced a case of misuse of authority in issuing sugar export permits to non-entitled persons in 1994, PML-N's former member parliament Haji Kabir Khan, involved in a zila council fraud cases of Rs60.5 million and Rs82.42 million and PPP Secretary General late Jahangir Badar was accused of corruption in SSGC worth Rs50 million and Rs8 million.

Former chief minister of NWFP Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao was also facing a case of illegal allotment of plots Rs21.5 million and Rs170 million, former minister for education, Sindh, Agha Siraj Ahmad Durrani was accused of purchasing of furniture for PSIT worth Rs319.5 million, former MPA Malik Mushtaq Ahmad Awan was accused of embezzling in Octroi contracts involving Rs260 million and former MNA Rana Nazir Ahmad was facing inquiry into an assets case and misuse of authority involving Rs46.37 million and Rs9.6 million.

Among other top guns were former MPA Mian Mohammad Rashid (illegal appointments involving Rs15.8 million); Nusrat Bhutto (assets beyond means case amounting to Rs1.5 million), former MPA Tariq Anees (assets beyond means Rs15 million); former MNA and mayor Sargodha Chaudhry Abdul Hameed (assets beyond Rs20 million); ex-MPA of Gujrat Mian Tariq Mehmood (assets beyond means Rs5.15 million) and ex-MNA Sardar Mansoor Laghari was also a co-accused in corruption in Utility Stores Corporation. Former provincial minister NWFP Ghaniur Rehman was wanted in a case of misuse of authority/land acquisition, ex-provincial minister Habibullah Khan Kundi in acquisition of land and former federal minister Mir Baz Muhammad Khetran was accused of in misappropriation of government funds allocated for people's works programme, Rs21 million.

MQM London chief Altaf Hussain had got withdrawn 72 cases against him, MQM Pakistan chief Dr Farooq Sattar got withdrawn 23 cases against him, Shoaib Bukhari of the MQM got benefit in 21 cases. Former Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Ghouri, Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad, Imran Farooq, Saleem Shahzad, Waseem Akhtar and former MNA Kunwar Khalid Yunus were other prominent MQM leaders who benefited from the NRO.

Similarly, government servants Usman Ghani Khatri of the Privatisation Commission of Pakistan made Rs695 million through corrupt practices; former spy master Brig (R) Imtiaz Ahmed (assets beyond means worth Rs233 million and $1.9 million), ex-chairman Pakistan Steel Mills Muhammad Usman Farooqui (causing losses to mills of Rs43.285, Rs15.9 and Rs157 million); ex-secretary commerce Salman Farooqui (co-accused in Nayyer Bari case of Rs3.88 million); ex deputy director (immigration) FIA Chaudhry Muhammad Sharif (assets beyond means worth Rs3.258 million) and ex-chairman PACO Javed Burki was facing inquiry for allegedly misusing of authority amounting to Rs1.7 billion.

On the list are ex-principal secretary to PM Muhammad Ahmad Sadiq is accused of amassing assets beyond means worth Rs25.7 million; ex-secretary commerce Brig (R) Aslam Hayat; ex-secretary finance Javed Talat and ex-secretary commerce Salman Farooqi (all co-accused in ARY Gold case); chief secretary Javaid Ahmed Qureshi (co-accused in fraud in ZCL's Lahore contracts); Pakistan's ambassador to US and ex-secretary information and broadcasting Hussain Haqqani (co-accused in the BB case of FM Channels involving Rs18.15 million); ex-chairman CBR AR Siddiqui (co-accused in SGS case), ex-principal secretary to the PM Saeed Mehdi (co-accused in polo ground case); ex-chief executive CAA Raees M Irshad (corruption in the construction work of Islamabad international airport amounting to Rs2.195 million) and ex-PCP chairman Peer Mukarramul Haq was accused of embezzling Rs23.195 million and Rs1.7 billion from national exchequer.

Forty-two officials in the list that carried some big names of bureaucrats have been retired. The list carried 24 Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) employees in 2010. Their names include: Collector Custom Muhammad Nawaz Butt, Assistant Collector Muhammad Ali Changezi, Inspector Custom Khalid Aziz, Collector Adjudication Customs Javed Iqbal Mirza, Ex-Regional Commissioner of Income Tax Abrar Ahmad, Superintendent Dry Port Customs Muhammad Saleem, Assistant Collector Customs Asim Majeed and Khizar Iqbal, Appraising Officer Naseerud Din, Principal Appraisar Sakhi Muhammad, Appraising Officer Customs Qasim Pervaiz, Deputy Superintendents (R) Nazir Ahmad and Qazi Naveed Ahmad, AC Customs (R) Khalifa Abdul Qayyum, Superintendent Customs (R) Aslam Bajwa, Principal Appraiser Custom Qazi Afzaal Hussain, UDC Income Tax Muhammad Usman, LDC Income Tax Arshad Mehmood, AC Custom Javid Iqbal Mirza, Inspector Customs Sarwar Akhtar, Accounts Officer Muhammad Sarwar, Superintendent Customs Muhammad Younis Butt, Inspector Customs Sher Dad Khan and Sajjid Hussain.

Also on the list are 20 officials of Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) who had been facilitated under the NRO in 2007-08. They are: Ex-Senior Auditors Muneeruddin Chaudhry, Syed Javid Iqbal, Irshad Hussain, Ex-Account Officer Mirza Muhammad Ayub, Assistant Superintendent Abdul Razzaq Bhatti, Ex-Counter Clerk Mehr Sajjad Ahmad, Ex-Account Officer Mukhtar Ahmad, Ex-Account Officer Muhammad Iqbal Shah, Account Officer Shahamat Ali, Ex-Account Officer Muhammad Shafiq, Ex-Junior Auditor Syed Muzzafar Hussain, Typist Tariq Mehmood, Assistant Audit Officer Hanif Ahmad Rahi, Senior Auditors Abbas Ali, Muhammad Safdar Hussain and Junior CM Ibrar Hussain. The list further cites the names of the employees of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited who also got relief under this law introduced by then president Pervez Musharraf. They are: Ex-Chairman OGDCL (the late) Riffat Askari, Ex-Executive Director Jaffar Mohmand, Ex-GM Production Khalid Rahim, Ex-AMs Muzzafarul Hassan, Khalid Subhani, Ex-Chief Procurement Capt Nazir Ahmad, Ex-Chief Internal Audit Muhammad Ishaq, Ex-AGM Finance Qammar Saeed Awan, Ex-Principal Project Najmul Hassan Naqvi, Ex-Chief Procurement Muhammad Israil Khan, Ex-Manager Bashir Ahmed Bhatti, Ex-ED Ain-un-Din Siddique. T

he officials of Capital Development Authority (CDA) on the list are Assistant Director Manzoor Hussain Shah, Ex-Accountant Officer Attaullah Khan, Ex-Patwaris Muzzamal Hussain and Muhammad Farooq, Naib Tahsildar Taramat Hussain. Besides, the officials of Port Qasim Authority also profited from this law. They are Ex-DGMs Irshad Ahmad Sheikh, Sahib Dad Mangal, Ex-Manager Abdul Hakeem Makhdoom, XENs Civil Pir Bux Solangi and Hamzo Khan Gabol. Officers of the Ministry of Minorities were involved in this deal are Ex-Administrator Maj (R) Rashid Khan and Anis Alam. Names of two retired officers of the Ministry of Housing and Works also appear on the list signed by Secretary Establishment Division Ismail Qureshi. The names are Ex-Director General Iqbal Ahmed and Ex-Executive Engineer Murid Ahmad Baloch. The name of a retired officer of Pak-Arab Refinery Limited, Amjad Hussain Sadhal, also makes it to the list.