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June 28, 2018

Saaf Pani Company scam: NAB to summon Shahbaz through police on July 5

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June 28, 2018

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to summon former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif through police after he didn’t appear before the Bureau twice in the Saaf Pani Company scam. It was learnt that the Punjab Police will deliver the summons to Shahbaz and assist the NAB in producing him on July 5.

The sources in the Bureau have informed this scribe that it has been decided to write a letter to the CCPO Lahore with the directions to deliver the summons to Shahbaz through his office. Moreover, it was learnt that the CCPO will be asked to ensure his presence before the combined investigation team (CIT) of the accountability watchdog. To make sure the delivery of summons to Shahbaz’s residence in Model Town, the Bureau will ask the CCPO office to submit a report through the SHO concerned on July 4, a day before the appearance of the former chief minister before the NAB.

The sources in the Bureau, while talking to The News, said they had decided to take help from the police due to different reasons and the continuous non-appearance before the CIT was one of them. Moreover, most of the accused had made it a habit to blame the NAB of not sending notices and summons despite delivery of summons and notices to them by the bureau. They said even on Wednesday, allegations surfaced from Zaeem Qadri that summons were not delivered to him contrary to the fact that they were and it is part of the record. In order to avoid such a situation, the Bureau decided to seek police help for delivery of summons and their presence before the NAB. Zaeem Qadri’s appearance was due on Wednesday before the NAB but he didn’t appear. The Bureau also summoned former MPA Saif-ul-Malook Khokhar in the same scam for June 28 (today).

Earlier, on June 25, the Bureau arrested Qamarul Islam Raja, who is a PML-N ticket holder from NA-59 Rawalpindi-III and contesting against Chaudhry Nisar, for forging documents and awarding contacts of 84 water filtration plants on exorbitant rates, causing a huge loss to the national kitty. The anti-graft body had also arrested Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry, who is a former chief executive officer (CEO) of Saaf Pani Company and secretary P and D. The accused approved with mala fide a payment of Rs24.7 million to the management of Ali and Fatima Developers Private Limited as office rents for the Saaf Pani Company without the requisite approval of the BoD despite the fact that the possession was not been taken till date. It is pertinent to mention that Ali and Fatima Developers is owned by Shahbaz's son-in-law Ali Imran Yousaf.

Other than these arrests, the NAB has so far arrested five accused in the scam. They are: Dr Zahiruddin, Muhammad Saleem Akhtar, Nasir Qadir, Khalid Nadeem Bukhari and Masood Akhtar. Zahiruddin was working as chief technical officer (CTO) in the Saaf Pani Company and Nasir Qadir as the chief procurement officer (CFO). Moreover, Associated Consultant Engineer Saleem was attached with the project.

NAB was directed by the apex court to probe in the Saaf Pani Company’s multi-billion scam. The apex court was informed that four billion were spent on the Saaf Pani Project but not a single drop of drinking water was made available to the public. The company’s CEO informed the court that Rs300 million were spent on the services of foreign consultants.

According to the NAB, many water filtration plants were installed at exorbitant rates and false estimates of the plants in documents were mentioned.

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