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August 4, 2018

Who wants to spoil Aleem Khan’s bid for Punjab CM slot?


August 4, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Whether it was twist of fate or a deliberate attempt on part of NAB and CDA to spoil Aleem Khan’s bid for the office of the Punjab chief minister, the PTI leader was thrown in possible hot water by the two government entities at a time when he was being seriously considered for the high profile slot.

What raises suspicions is the fact that a senior NAB official personally told different newsmen during the last a few days that Aleem Khan had “failed to justify the means” to buy his London flats and other properties in Dubai.

The newsmen were even told that the Bureau has a strong case of assets beyond means against the senior PTI leader. Usually even for an ordinary query, it is hard for journalists to get to the NAB’s official spokesman but in this case a senior Lahore-based Bureau official has been found willingly telling the journalists that Aleem may face serious trouble.

In a strange coincidence, the CDA has also issued notice to different housing developers including Aleem Khan and his company, who have been told to appear before the Authority or get ready for criminal proceedings.

Although Aleem Khan was already being probed by the NAB, this time when the PTI was finalising its candidate for the office of Punjab chief minister, the NAB shared a twisted “leak” which clearly suggested that Khan is going to face the music. With such a message from “NAB sources” making headlines in the media, the obvious objective could be to shoot down Aleem’s name from among those being considered for Punjab chief minister office.

NAB, however, has repeatedly reiterated that it has no political objective and is performing its duty as per law and on merit. As it happens mostly, the NAB spokesman was contacted by this correspondent on Thursday but he did not attend the call.

Contrary to NAB’s claim that it has no political objectives, the history of the Bureau is full of instances where it has been used for arm twisting for political gains of rulers or others in different times.

Before and after the 2002 elections, NAB was massively used in the making of the King’s Party- the PML-Q- and to create forward block in PPP to make a choice government for the then military dictator.

Although Aleem Khan has a controversial reputation, he was a strong contender for the CM slot for the PTI. But, it is believed that the NAB’s latest move has almost ruined his case. As if NAB was not enough to dent Aleem’s chances, the CDA also came into action and issued on Thursday notices to the operators of various housing developments including PTI leader Aleem Khan.

According to a newspaper report, the notices were issued for various violations and directed operators to appear before the CDA and explain themselves on Aug 8, or else the Authority will initiate criminal proceedings against them.

The notice issued to Aleem Khan said that based on a site report by Building Control field staff and the available records, the CDA can begin criminal proceedings against him for allowing construction in his housing development without approval from the Authority’s Building Control Directorate. The notice said the case will also be referred for cancellation of the layout plan of the Park View Housing Scheme, but gives Mr Khan and others a chance to explain their positions on Aug 8 before proceedings begin.

According to the report when asked about the timing of the notices, CDA Director Building Control II Shafi Marwat said: “We issued notices to operators of around 50 housing schemes, including Aleem Khan’s Park View society.”

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