close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
November 19, 2020

NAB files references against Ahsan Iqbal, Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law

Top Story

November 19, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau, Rawalpindi, has filed two separate references against former Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal and son-in-law of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, Ali Imran Yousaf. The anti graft organisation also nominated Sharif’s daughter Rabia Imran and former CEO Punjab Saaf Pani Company, South, Waseem Ajmal, in the reference.

In case of former Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, the reference was filed in connection with the Narowal Sports City project where he is accused of misusing his authority to illegally enhance the scope of the project from Rs34.75 million to Rs2,994 million approximately.

According to NAB, Narowal Sports City (NSC), formerly known as Sports Stadium Narowal, was initially conceived in 1999 on the directions of accused Ahsan Iqbal without any feasibility. The project was initially approved at the cost of Rs34.74 million by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) headed by Iqbal. Iqbal illegally directed the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and NESPAK to enhance the scope of the project, which resulted in enhancement in the cost of the project to Rs97.52 million.

According to NAB reference, Iqbal not only enhanced the scope of the project but also personally identified the land for the NSC project and provided specific Khasra nos. to the PSB to acquire the land identified by him. The project was shelved in the year 1999 by the PSB on the directions of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, on the grounds that the NSC project did not have the requisite weightage with respect to economic necessity.

It was restarted in 2009 and approved at the cost of Rs732 million approx. However, the project was devolved to Government of Punjab in 2011 after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

According to NAB, when accused Ashan Iqbal took over the charge of minister PD&R in 2013, he illegally directed officials of his ministry to include the NSC project in PSDP 2013-14, which was not included in draft PSDP 2013-14 as it was a devolved project and was also reflected in Annual Development Program (ADP) 2013-14 of Govt of Punjab.

The former federal minister, by misusing his authority, hijacked the provincial project in violation of 18th Constitutional Amendment and CCI decision dated 28.04.2011 with ulterior motives and made huge wasteful expenditure from the federal government exchequer.

Moreover, accused Ahsan Iqbal, by misusing his authority illegally and unlawfully, without any justification increased the cost of project from Rs730 million to Rs3 Billon (approx), by misusing his authority for personal political mileage.

Iqbal from 2012-13 to 2016-17 diverted about 90pc of sports funds of the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination to his constituency by misusing his position to cement his political position by depriving the whole country through blatant conflict of interest.

According to NAB in 2012-13, Rs41 million were allocated to the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination for sport infrastructure and no funds allocated for the Narowal Sports Complex.

In the fiscal year 2013-14, Rs338 million were allocated to the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination for sport infrastructure and out of it Rs200 million were allocated for the Narowal Sports Complex.

Later, in fiscal year 2014-15, Rs843 million were allocated to the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination for sport infrastructure and out of it Rs730 million were allocated for Narowal Sports Complex. The process was followed in 2015-16, when Rs463 million were allocated to the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination for sport infrastructure and out of it, Rs450 million were allocated for the Narowal Sports Complex.

During 2016-17, Rs729 million were allocated to the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination for sport infrastructure and out of it, funds of Rs 715 million were allocated for the Narowal Sports complex.

In a related development, the National Accountability Bureau also filed a reference against Ali Imran Yousaf, son-in-law of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and others for misusing authority and causing a loss of Rs24.7 million to the national exchequer. The NAB has also nominated Shahbaz Sharif's daughter Rabia Imran and former CEO Punjab Saaf Pani Company, South, Waseem Ajmal, in the reference.

Earlier, the executive board of the NAB had approved filing of a supplementary reference against Waseem Ajmal, former CEO, Punjab, Saaf Pani Company, South, Imran Ali Yousaf, CEO M/s Ali, and Fatima Developers, on acquiring an under-construction building (Ali Trade Centre) on rent by abusing authority, which caused a loss of Rs24.7 million to the national exchequer.

Yousaf is already a proclaimed offender in this case while Rabia Imran is likely to be declared proclaimed offender in a money laundering reference against the Shahbaz family. Fatima Developers is a company owned by Ali Imran Yousaf and his wife Rabia Imran.

In 2018, an accountability court had declared Imran Yousaf an absconder for receiving graft money from the CEO of the Punjab Power Development Company Ikram Naveed. According to NAB, Ikram Naveed confessed to giving illegal monetary benefit worth Rs132 million to Ali Imran.

Naveed bought three floors worth Rs132 million in the Ali Trade Centre, owned by Imran Ali. Ikram, his wife Samina and son Farjad, bought two complete commercial floors and a complete penthouse floor in Ali Trade Centre. Interestingly, the accused directly transferred more than Rs60 million from the accounts of Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority to the accounts of Ali and Fatima Developers, owned by Imran. Ali Imran through Ali Trade Centre which was under construction allegedly minted more than Rs100 million of government money.