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April 27, 2018

NAB raids PIC, seizes procurement, budgeting record

Lahore

April 27, 2018

LAHORE: A team of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Thursday raided administration block of Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) and confiscated procurement and budgeting record of the PIC.

The sources in the bureau informed The News that a NAB team around 2pm raided the administration block of PIC and seized multiple files related to procumbent, budgeting, installation of stents and other monetary related documents of last four years.

The National Accountability Bureau is probing the matter of alleged corruption in PIC on the directions of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar. The reliable sources in National Accountability Bureau disclosed that the apex court had issued directions on the complaint of one Fariha Majeed.

They said that the bureau had asked Fariha to appear before the bureau and record her statement. After which she appeared before the bureau and recorded her statement. As per documents available with The News on April 22, the Chief Justice had ordered NAB to probe the matter on a petition moved by a an Assistant Pharmacist, Fariha Majeed, of PIC who claimed that she was wrongfully removed from her position at the PIC.

She contended before the court that she was removed from the service as she refused to approve over invoiced payments by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Later, the apex court through an order copy of which is available with The News directed NAB DG Lahore Saleem Shahzad to appear before the court on April 28 and submit a report regarding procurement process, irregularities and misappropriation of funds by various functionaries of the PIC.

The raid was a bid to compliance with the apex court’s orders. The apex court had also directed NAB to probe circumstances and reasons for appointment of Afzaal Bhatti as Commissioner Overseas Pakistanis and a member of PIC along with putting name of Afzaal Bhatti on Exit Control List (ECL).

The sources in the bureau said that there is great apprehension after the statement of complainant that the bureau will find a lot of irregularities in the record confiscated from the PIC. They said that the CJ has summoned DG NAB Lahore on April 28 and more likely a direct inquiry will be authorised to the bureau on that hearing.

They said that most likely the bureau will summon Afzaal Bhatti in coming days to record his statement and other functionaries of the PIC. They said that the appointment of Afzaal Bhatti as overseas commissioner is a different matter compared to his appointment of as a member PIC board and alleged corruption in PIC procurement. The bureau will probe both matters simultaneously, they added.

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