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May 15, 2019

Amir Muqam’s son remanded in FIA custody for 3 days


May 15, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday obtained the three-day physical remand of Ishtiaq Ahmad, son of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Amir Muqam, from an anti-corruption court.

He was arrested on Monday for alleged corruption in the construction of the Alpuri-Bisham Road in the Shangla district. The FIA officials produced Ishtiaq Ahmad before Syed Kamal, a judge of special anti-corruption court, and sought his physical remand for further investigation in the case. The court, after the preliminary arguments, granted three days remand of the accused to the FIA.

The FIA’s anti-corruption wing arrested the son of PML-N’s Khyber provincial president Amir Muqam and four contractors on charges of causing huge losses to the government kitty during the construction of Alpuri-Bisham Road in the Shangla district.

The other accused, who were taken into custody, were identified as Mohammad Ashfaq, former project director, Mohammad Ayaz, resident engineer, Associated Consulting Engineers (ACE), Mohammad Arshad, resident engineer ACE, and Mohammad Ali, attorney holder at Mohammad Irshad and Company.

As per the first information report, three other accused identified as Mian Mohammad Asghar, former general manager for the Asian Development Bank’s project, and Habibur Rehman, former director of the project, and Mohammad Saeed would also be arrested in the case.

Brief facts of the case are that the Joint Secretary (Admn) Ministry of Communication through a letter issued November 27, last year requested the FIA DG that Alpuri-Bisham No-90, rehabilitation and widening of Earthquake affected section of NHA, project of NHA caused heavy loss to the exchequer due to non-compliance with NHA code and improper execution of the project.

It said the joint secretary (Admin) of the Ministry of Communication requested for fixation of criminal liability on part of NHA officers, consultants and contractors.

It was stated in the FIR that the complaint letter was forwarded to FIA KP director on November 27, last year for further action and thus inquiry was initiated.

During the course of the inquiry, it said, the record of the project was obtained from the NHA. With the assistance of the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) experts, a physical inspection of the project site was made, the collection of samples and analysis was done.

As per the inquiry report, it said the thickness of Asphaltic Base Course for lot No. 01 and No. 03 were satisfactory, but the lot No. 02 and lot No. 04 showed some deviation in thickness. In the case of lot No. 02 at same location aggregate base was provided and deviation was also witnessed in lot No.01 and lot No. 04 design.

A source in the FIA said the company had to complete the project costing Rs850 million in a year’s time, but it could not be completed even after 10 years. The estimated cost of the project has now crossed Rs2,800 million.

The inquiry by the FIA, added the source, had recommended to the National Highways Authority (NHA) to take departmental action against 11 officials who were hand in glove with these contractors. It also asked for blacklisting the firm —Amir Muqam and Company.

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