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November 10, 2019

NAB Sukkur slammed for ‘threatening labour officials’

Karachi

November 10, 2019

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman is under obligation to take stern action against the anti-graft watchdog’s director and other officials posted in Sukkur for using coercive means against officials of the Sindh Workers Welfare Fund (SWWF), said Saeed Ghani on Saturday.

Addressing a news conference, the provincial labour minister claimed that NAB officials had forced labour department officials to prepare flat allotment letters and financial assistance cheques so that the watchdog’s chairman could distribute them to labourers at a ceremony held in Sukkur on October 31.

Ghani said NAB officials had no authority to directly interfere in the affairs of a subsidiary government department under his supervision to lay their hands on allotment letters of flats and cheques of financial assistance that originally belonged to the SWWF.

The provincial minister said that the previous day he had explained the situation in detail to the relevant MPAs during the session of the Sindh Assembly as to how threatening means were used by the NAB officials in Sukkur to get a hold of allotment letters and cheques.

Ghani said he had once again been compelled to raise the same issue at the news conference so as to let the NAB chairman know about the illegal acts of the Sukkur officials of the anti-graft watchdog.

He said the chairman of NAB should know how he had been blatantly misled by the officials of his own organisation regarding the issue of allotment letters and financial cheques, as the anti-graft watchdog had nothing to do with these things because they belonged to the SWWF.

The minister said that as NAB officials had clearly overstepped their authority in the case of the October 31 ceremony, he had been left with no option but to cancel these allotment letters and stop payment against the cheques meant to assist the wards of labourers in their marriages.

He said he had been indirectly getting threats from the NAB Sukkur director that he (the minister) and his colleagues would soon get a “surprise” because he had resisted the idea of distribution of allotment letters and cheques by the watchdog’s chairman.

Ghani said the secretary and a deputy director of the SWWF had been threatened by the NAB officials in Sukkur that criminal cases would be lodged against them and they would also be imprisoned so as to get their consent regarding the distribution of the allotment letters and cheques by the NAB chairman.

He said he had also written to the province’s chief minister to apprise him about the use of coercive means against the officials of the labour department.

He also said that the night before the ceremony, he had received a phone call from the NAB Sukkur director, who had forcefully argued to persuade him (Ghani) regarding the distribution of the allotment letters and cheques in such a manner.

The minister said that despite the lengthy conversation with the NAB Sukkur official, he did not change his mind regarding the

ceremony in Sukkur to be attended by the NAB chairman.

He said that a deputy director of the SWWF, namely Ehtisham, had been forcibly taken away by NAB officials on October 31 so as to get the allotment letters and cheques prepared for their distribution by the NAB chairman.

He also said he reserved the right of getting an FIR registered or moving the court against the threats received by his subordinate officials regarding NAB’s October 31 ceremony.

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