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March 3, 2019

Court extends remand of director archaeology Abdul Samad


March 3, 2019

PESHAWAR: An accountability court extended the remand of Director Archaeology and Museums, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Abdul Samad for four days.

Dr Abdul Samad, who was arrested on February 15 for his alleged involvement in misuse of authority, is in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

An official said NAB KP had received a complaint against Dr Abdul Samad for his alleged involvement in corruption. He said the NAB had initiated an inquiry into the matter.

The official said the accused with the connivance of others misused his authority and allegedly embezzled funds meant for different projects.

The official said Dr Abdul Samad had allegedly misappropriated antiques and made numerous appointments at different archeological sites in gross violation of rules.

He said that the NAB was pursuing the case and had requested for extension of the physical remand of the accused for interrogation purposes.

Earlier, the NAB had obtained his five days remand from the accountability court judge Naveed Ahmad Khan even though it had asked for 14 days. The judge had also directed NAB officials to treat him well.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken notice of the arrest of Dr Abdul Samad, holding a PhD degree, after some ministers and other people criticised NAB in the social media for handcuffing him while producing him in the court. The Prime Minister had asked the NAB chief retired Justice Javed Iqbal to take action against those in his institution who were responsible for this disgraceful act.

The NAB had then directed the provincial NAB to bring the accused and the record of the case to Islamabad for discussion. However, the accused wasn’t taken to Islamabad but the record was presented to the NAB head. The NAB is forcefully following the case it believes it has evidence to show that the accused was involved in misappropriation of expensive antiques and sculptures and had appointed 94 employees without following the set criteria.

Though there is some support for Dr Abdul Samad in the social media and in the civil society, certain archaeologists have been pointing out that the accused had to answer a lot of questions concerning his stint as director of archaeology and museums in the province.

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