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December 7, 2018

Detained top official plays key role toward holding of population control moot


December 7, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Under detention for last five months over alleged corruption charges, Fawad Hasan Fawad, former Principal Secretary to ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, made a major contribution to the preparation of a report which led to the holding of conference on population control by honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, according to sources.

Fawad, who has not been formally indicted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), was member of the committee constituted by the CJP in early July to formulate a national policy on how to defuse the ticking population bomb.

Two days after the formulation of the committee, the officer was arrested by NAB in Ashiana Housing Scheme case though NAB has yet to come up with any reference against Fawad or former Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, who too was arrested later in October in the same case.

Fawad participated in a number of meetings of the committee while being in NAB custody and even after having been sent to jail on judicial remand. These policy formulation meetings were held in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Ministry of Health Regulation. Top sources revealed Fawad had been brought to Islamabad by NAB and jail authorities to attend these meetings.

According to an official who was associated with the committee, Fawad had a major contribution in the preparation of the report which was submitted to the chief justice, who had directed that the report be discussed with the provinces and all other stakeholders in the Inter-provincial coordination committee (IPCC) headed by the prime minister.

Reportedly, he burnt mid night oil during his legally complex imprisonment at NAB and Camp Jail Lahore to firm up his contribution. The source said that even the CJP once acknowledged the officer’s contribution.

Expressing serious concern over the alarmingly high population growth rate in the country, the CJP had constituted the committee to formulate a uniform national policy for population control. The NAB Lahore had arrested Fawad in the first week of July this year in Ashiana case. Fawad was accused of getting cancelled contract of Ashiana Housing Scheme in 2013 with an alleged motive to give the same contract to a favourite contractor.

Ironically NAB is still in the process of mustering evidence to substantiate its allegations against Fawad and others. Instead a legal document reveals that contract of Latif Sons for the project was never cancelled but rescinded following a mutual agreement between the contractor and Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC).

Copy of the agreement has been obtained by The News recently. The emergence of the agreement gave a significant twist to NAB’s case against the former Punjab chief minister and former principal secretary to PM.

The agreement, which was also presented before Lahore High Court last month by the counsel of Fawad Hasan Fawad, contains the signature of both the parties- Latif Sons and PLDC- and announces: “The parties do hereby agree that the agreement dated 16-02-2013 for the execution of the project for a contract price of Rs1495222824/- (Rupees one billion four hundred ninety five million two hundred twenty two thousand eight hundred twenty four only) is immediately terminated and rescinded on the date of the execution of the instant agreement.”

The agreement signed on November 9, 2013, clearly mentioned that the parties with freewill and consent have mutually resolved to reside from the agreement dated 15-02-2013 for execution of the project and to terminate the said agreement executed inter-se between the parties due to unavoidable circumstances and issues with no claims whatsoever from either of the parties against each other.

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