Most of the NRO beneficiaries, whose corruption and criminal cases would re-open on Nov 28, will not be able to get pre-arrest bails as their offences under the NAB Ordinance are non-bailable, NAB officials told The News. NAB Prosecutor General Danishwar Malik, when contacted, confirmed to The News that all offences under the NAB Ordinance were non-bailable. He said trial courts (accountability courts) had no authority under the law to entertain bail applications of any NAB accused. It was never done in the past either, he said. About the non-bailability of offences under the NAB Ordinance, its Section 9(b) reads: “All offences under this ordinance shall be non-bailable and, notwithstanding anything contained in Sections 1, 426, 491, 497, 498 and 561A or any other provision of the code, or any other law for the time being in force no court shall have jurisdiction to grant bail to any person accused of any offence under this ordinance.” REFERENCE: Beneficiaries of NRO cannot get bail: NAB By Ansar Abbasi Friday, November 13, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25545
Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, The Present Group Editor of The News International and Former Founder Editor of American Based Web Based Magazine South Asia Tibune Mr Shaheen Sehbai in fervour of "Get Asif Ali Zardari" is ready to give importance to the Partial, Biased and Unjust Corruption Cases registered against Pakistani Politicans by Rampant Martial Law Regime of General Musharraf [1999 - 2008] with malafide intent. Whereas the same Mr Shaheen Sehabi used to trash National Accountability Bureau founded by General Musharraf, on his web based magazine South Asia Tribune [Shaheen Sehbai Founded this magazine after he escaped from Pakistan in 2002 to seek political asylum in USA]. Let say and assume that Musharraf is right about Zardari and other politicians [as per Shaheen Sehbai] but then question arises about Shaheen Sehbai's veracity about National Accountability Bureau founded by the same Military Regime in 1999???
Mr Shaheen Sehbai's website on National Accountability Bureau and Accountability Process started by Musharraf Military Regime.
Former ISI General Becomes Test Case of Musharraf Regime's Corruption By Mahr Ahmed WASHINGTON DC, April 6, 2005 ISSN: 1684-2057 www.satribune.com http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/200504/P1_qazi.htm
ISLAMABAD, April 6: For the first time elected parliamentarians of Pakistan have picked up courage to bring a former ISI Chief, a retired General, one who is also very close to General Musharraf, into the dock for a botched up deal of $100 million with China, in which there are accusations of largescale corruption.
“The China Railways deal is already shaping up as the first test case between politicians and Generals with the parliamentarians testing their limits as if they were shadow boxing with General Musharraf himself,” a member of the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly told the South Asia Tribune. Former ISI Chief and Pakistan’s Railways Minister, Lt. General (Retd) Qazi Javed Ashraf (Left) is facing the probe by the NA Committee after Railways Ministry officials held him solely responsible for a faulty deal of $100 million with China for importing 69 defective electric Railway engines against a commercial loan. The PAC members who grilled the Railways Ministry bosses during a special meeting on March 29, suspected that General Qazi, and/or some others attached with this deal, may have pocketed big commissions as Qazi had himself ordered the import of the engines in bulk, instead of ordering a few samples first for trial runs.
The locomotives developed faults quickly and their frames cracked within a year on Pakistani Railway tracks.
The PAC formed a three-member sub-committee to probe into the deal and initial investigations revealed that General Qazi himself was solely in charge of the import orders. He took the case to the National Security Council (NSC) single handedly for approval of the faulty deal with China. The NSC, obviously influenced by General Qazi and his closeness with General Musharraf, approved the deal against a commercial loan. Chairman of the Railways Board, Shakeel Durrani, after facing a lot of grilling and tough questioning by parliamentarians, first resisted but then conceded that Lt General Javed Ashraf Qazi was responsible for the purchase of these defective locomotives. He said on record: “General Qazi had actually got the approval of the whole plan from the NSC presided over by General Pervez Musharraf on December 29, 1999.”
Railways Ministry officials also confessed before the NA Committee that because of these defective locomotives, Pakistan Railways was suffering a daily loss of Rs2.4 million. The Secretary Railways, who was aided by engineers and other concerned officials, told the PAC the Chinese deal had landed the Railways into big financial trouble. According to a member of the PAC, Railway Ministry officials who appeared before the Committee were so scared for almost 30 minutes none of them spoke a word, despite relentless questioning by parliamentarians. Almost all the members of PAC put probing questions to these Railway Ministry officials but when the pressure increased, they finally had to name the former Minister and the General, as he was obviously the driving force behind the deal.
The PAC members were at a loss to understand as to why recommendations of the Railways Technical Committee were not implemented and without any precedent such big numbers of defective locomotives were purchased without fear of accountability. The Committee members wanted to know whether the Pakistan Railways had checked the credentials of the supplier and whether any other country in the world had purchased similar locomotives from this Chinese company. But, PR officials had no reply to these questions. Former Minister and PML-N leader Choudhry Nisar Ali Khan was of the view that the PAC probe had initially established that serious irregularities had been committed in the purchase of these locomotives and a sub committee was constituted to deeper into the deal and fix the responsibility.
The Chairman of PAC agreed with the proposal of Nisar Ali Khan and announced formation of the sub-committee that would probe the General. The case has drawn immediate attention as the first serious confrontation between the elected representatives and the Generals who have been running the country like their grand dad’s property for years. General Qazi is known to be a rude and foul-mouthed military man who ordered the thrashing of a PML activist and Information Secretary, Siddiqul Farooq, just because the politician had demanded a probe against the General. Qazi later went on air on the BBC to publicly abuse the political activist and was condemned by all sections of the civil society for his ill manners and arrogance. He, however, remained oblivious to the criticism. Later when the US announced a $240 million grant for development of education in Pakistan, Qazi used his influence with General Musharraf to become the country’s first Education Minister who himself desperately needs some basic education in good manners and public behavior. Currently the General is educating Pakistan, but more importantly, spending the $240 million grant in doing that.
Voodoo Video: BB's New Name: Smart Nephew: Slam Dunk Books By LampPost Issue No 12, Oct 07-13, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075 satribune.com http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/oct7_13_02/P1_Grapewinecomm.htm
ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON: Floodgates of information about scandals hitherto hidden under wraps, seem to have burst open in Islamabad revealing what has been going on in the past three years. This has started as the cloak of honesty and accountability gives way to very familiar stories of loot and plunder in the name of national security and good governance.
Thanks to the revelations by the unsophisticated corporate head of Husnain Construction Company, who revealed all about the “Mr Two Per cent” of the Big Mush (BM) government, new people are now coming forward to speak out. This Mr Two Per Cent has, however, closeted himself into a very quiet corner, somewhere on this planet and even after 11 days of the facts given out by his employer, he has not uttered a word in his defence. Nor has any one from the Government or the chief executive’s secretariat or the Information Ministry which is so quick in issuing denials, they sometimes do it even before a story is published. LampPost has now heard from very credible insiders that a huge scandal in the Tele-communications sector, involving a so-called “nephew” of BM, was dumped by the partisan National Accountability Bureau (NAB) but not after a big row between its head and BM himself, resulting in the former deciding to quit NAB. This NAB Chief, reported by all to be really honest guy who was seriously interested in “across the board” accountability was so frustrated when BM himself ordered that he should not probe into the wrong doing of this so-called Nephew, fronting for a Canadian Company against the ever dependable Chinese bidders, that he ultimately quit his job.
The issue was of a $70 million contract for making mobile telephones and the nephew prevailed upon all, including the NAB chief although at one stage, a senior NAB official virtually scolded him and threw him out of the NAB office. But Lo and Behold, he came back with the authority of the Big Boss and got his way, taking with him two high level casualties, one Anis Bajwa, PSO to the big boss and ultimately the NAB chief himself. Now LampPost has learnt that the nephew’s company has been given another two-year extension of the contract. Who said nepotism had ended with the ouster of the “dirty politicians”. LampPost has been promised full details and documents of this scam soon and these will be up for every one to see, revealing the real face of the main players in this game. This also shows not just the “dirty politicians” had dirty linen which the Press washed in public. In fact the khakis are so scared of "their dirty linen" they are rushing through new and ridiculously dubious Press laws. They want to whack the media hacks into total silence. Some details of these laws have been posted elsewhere, but LampPost has learnt that the conspiracy to stop the media from using any government document as evidence against any government functionary was basically the brainchild of BM and his close corrupt ones, who were scared of getting exposed sooner than later.
One way the new scandals are to come out is through books now being rushed through the publishing houses in US, ready to reveal the inside stories of what has been going on to deceive and mislead the people of Pakistan and the world during the last three years. These books are being written by well informed Pakistani insiders, who now have settled in the US, but who have brought a wealth of information and documentation with them. These books could make life miserable for the BM government, specially after an elected Parliament comes into being with some highly motivated, articulate and brave people using the forum to show the emperor that he had no clothes on. LampPost has learnt that two of these books would be particularly damaging, one revealing many secrets of the Khakis, their ways, their infighting et al. In these days of the internet, it would take these books just a few days to spread round the world. One of the books will also cater to the political regimes before the present rule of the jackboots.
While upcoming books may not worry the people in power, or their security details, one reported event, if true, could prove to be a real embarrassment. LampPost has learnt that in one of the private parties frequented by some VVIPs in Islamabad, a video tape was made of one very important person who was said to be in high spirits in the early hours of one September night (or morning) and trying to be extra friendly to a member of the other sex. The story of this video's presence has reached the corridors of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC, but as yet no one has claimed to have seen it. In this private video some security people are reportedly running after this important person begging “the Sir” to leave the lady alone. Who can this guy be? LampPost will leave all to guess until the video itself surfaces, somewhere, sometime, God knows when, and if, on the internet.
Also coming from another circuit in US is the news that leader of the PPP, BeeBee is seriously considering the option of putting herself up as a Presidential Candidate, should the shape of the new assembly allow some politicking on these lines. Since she is disqualified to be a member of the Parliament, no such condition exists until now on the qualification of a Presidential Candidate. So if she can run for the highest office, she could give Big Mush a big run for his money. LampPost expects that this disclosure would result in the Law Ministry offices in Islamabad opened up even on a Sunday, to draw up a new list of qualifications for presidential candidates, including one which could say: “The First Name of the Candidate should begin with a Pee, ending on a Zee with the last name to start with an Emm and end on an Eff.” It would be a hard political act for BeeBee to change her name as another condition would be: “No name changed after this law is promulgated will be acceptable as a presidential candidate.”
One thing is, however, certain. BeeBee would not want to add any Effs in her name.
How NAB "thief catchers" were caught red-handed Special SAT Report Issue No 19, Nov 25-Dec 1, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075 satribune.com http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/nov25_dec1_02/P1_bankstory.htm
PESHAWAR: This story has not yet been told in full but it tells a lot more than anyone can imagine. A Pakistan Air Force Air Vice Marshal has been retired, just simply retired by the Musharraf Government, after Rs 320 million were recovered from a bank locker in Multan and a suspect said the money belonged to him.
This is a story of the people who were made incharge of catching the thieves, read politicians, if you are wearing a uniform. Two lockers were raided by authorities, one belonging to the AVM’s mother and another to his sister, married to a Collector of Customs. The Collector, Shaukat Ali Bhatti, is presently behind the bars but he has told his investigators the lockers and the money found in it, all Rs 320 million, belonged to the AVM Zakaullah, responsible for the Accountability drive in NWFP. The Collector was arrested after the money was found in the lockers but how did this scandal break out? The simple answer is fighting between thieves over the loot. The background of the case is a tussle over bribes in the local NAB office in Peshawar. There were two groups. One led by a Brigadier and the other by the AVM.
The Brigadier was transferred 4-5 months back because there were complaints against him. The AVM fell out with the rest of the team, which comprised a Colonel and two Majors, once the Brigadier was gone. The AVM transferred the two Majors who were so enraged they spilled the beans and reported the underhand deals negotiated by the AVM, besides revealing other secrets. An investigation was thus launched which led to the arrest of the Collector of Customs and the recovery of the loot from the Multan lockers. This story was reported in the Pakistani media, but suppressed. Wrong figures were quoted. Some said Rs 40 million was recovered, others said Rs 140 million. The big story is that nothing happened to the AVM who was simply retired.
Now the newly elected government of Maulanas will pursue the case and they are sure that they will bring the culprits to book and give them proper punishment.
The Rs 25 Billion Golf Course Scandal in Lahore - Why is the Railways Minister concealing the facts? By Shahwar Faryal Issue No 16, Nov 4-10, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075 satribune.com http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/nov4_10_02/P1_golfcourse.htm
ISLAMABAD: One hundred and Fifty acres of prime Canal Road land in Dharampura, Lahore is being mysteriously turned into a Golf Course for Railway Executives under the controversial Railways Minister, Javed Ashraf Qazi, and not a soul has been told why and how he has been allowed by General Pervez Musharraf to bring the entire government into disrepute.
The Golf Course will be part of the Railway Officers Colony, a privilege which no other group in the country has ever enjoyed. Basically 95 per cent of the poor and hard pressed Railways employees would also not be eligible to even enter the Golf Course which will stay a private and privileged resort for the country’s elite.
The circumstances under which the contract for the Golf Course and the Officers Colony has been awarded has generated a lot of suspicion and doubt and not even a respected person like former Finance Minister, Dr Mubashir Hasan, has been provided any detail about the prime land being converted into an entertainment resort for a few officials. The Railway authorities claim that they are going to get a Licensing Fee of US $2.5 million besides an extra amount of Rs 15 million as “annual rental” for next 49 years, which shows the land has been leased out for the next 49 years.
But nothing more about the deal, secretly done by Javed Ashraf Qazi, is known. Dr Mubashir Hasan has been banging his head against a brick wall to get some more details because as a Lahori resident he is more concerned about his city’s future. He has been stonewalled. His first attempt was to write to the Railways authorities seeking details about the deal. Click to Read his Letter Page1 Page2 No one answered. He waited and waited and then he wrote to the Public Accounts Committee to seek details. The PAC of Mr H. U. Beg sent a routine query to the Railway authorities but the arrogant and headstrong Javed Ashraf Qazi refused to share any information until the matter was raised by some members at a PAC meeting on Railways.
To the utter shock of every body the Railways Chairman said the project was “a national security matter” and no details could be given “because the Press will make a scandal out of it.” So he was actually hiding a scandal. Dr Mubashir Hasan, in his letter to Secretary Railways Division, Government of Pakistan, had asked some simple questions to ascertain whether the project met the normal standards of transparency and whether equal opportunity was afforded to every body interested.
His questions included:
- The terms drawn by the Railways for pre-qualification of the firms;
- The names of the firms, which were eventually pre-qualified;
- Terms laid down in bid documents on which prices were invited from pre-qualified firms;
- Names of the firms which submitted their bids with the amounts offered by them.
- He sought clarification whether the land measuring 50 acres, presently under Railway Officers Canal Bank Colony, was also part of the original bid document.
- He also wanted to know if tenders were invited on international basis if the intention was to get foreign firms.
- He also demanded a copy of the final documents of the Lease Deed signed with the Malaysian firms.
Dr. Mubashir’s questions were very pertinent as such a huge deal which would yield a Licensing Fee of $2.5 million needed to pass through very stringent Transparency tests and had proper international bidding being done, much more revenues could have been generated. But the since an ex-ISI chief was handling the matter under a military government, who could question the intentions or honesty of the project managers who thought they were above and beyond any accountability.
Now the whole scandal has erupted into the face of Javed Ashraf Qazi and his attitude and behaviour has raised a million more questions about the Lahore Golf Course than he would have imagined.
The PAF Kickbacks Scandal Revealed by Mistake Special SAT Report Issue No 21, Dec 16-22, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075 satribune.com http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/dec16_22_02/P1_PAFStory.htm
ISLAMABAD: Strong evidence has surfaced of Musharraf regime's first major defense kickbacks scandal involving the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) last year when Pakistan purchased four CASA Transport aircraft from an Indonesian company for $50 million.
Amusingly the scandal broke when a senior PAF officer mixed up the look-alike names of the commission agents and called in the wrong guy to contact the suppliers and submit the offer. All signs are that the kickbacks of four to five million dollars, were offered to the PAF high ups, and the role of the PAF Chief himself was so dubious many believe he could have been the ultimate beneficiary. Evidence, however, firmly establishes that his Dubai-based close friend was. This is the first major defense purchase scandal of the Musharraf government though it may appear to be not so big compared to the one billion dollar submarines purchase or the purchase of several hundred million dollars worth of Ukranian Tanks, both highly controversial deals involving kickbacks. In the submarines case Admiral Mansoor ul Haq, the former Navy Chief, was arrested and tried but let off the hook after he paid some 7 million dollars. No one was touched for the Ukranian Tanks deal.
The evidence now available about the CASA CN-35 aircraft scandal reveals that the Indonesian supplier offered a 3 per cent normal commission and 5 per cent extra commission for "defence and finance personnel" on purchase of the 4 Transport Aircraft. The total cost was $49 million with commissions and kickbacks totaling four million dollars. The man in the center of the deal has now come out on record after failing to evoke a response from the PAF authorities, which refused to acknowledge or reply even to a legal notice served by him through his attorneys to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir. The original story of the CASA aircraft purchase was reported in a section of the Pakistani Press earlier this year but the dubious side of the deal was not highlighted and PAF spokesmen tried to bury it under strong denials and unofficial use of pressure to stop the story from catching wings.
The episode which could go down as a major blot on the Musharraf regime, started in December of 2000 when instead of Khalid Kashmiri, a PAF official based in Dubai and said to be a close friend of PAF Chief, Air Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir, officials contacted another ex-PAF officer, Khalid Khawaja, also in the same defense supplies business. The mix-up probably occurred because both had Khalid as their first name and all Khawajas are known to be of Kashmiri origin. "I was approached by the PAF to get them the offer, whereas they could have directly approached the company. We got the offer and when I went to Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations) Air Marshal Kaleem Saadat, along with Air Vice Marshal (retd) Khudadad, to submit it, I asked AM Kaleem why after all had I been approached in particular," Khalid Khawaja said in an EMail interview to the SA Tribune. "He laughed and said in fact the Air Chief had asked him to approach another retired officer, Khalid Kashmiri, who happens to be the Chief's friend, " Khalid Khawaja said.
“In the first place, Air Marshal Kaleem never contacted me directly. He had asked Air Commodore Ateeb, ACAS (Operations), to contact Khalid Kashmiri and Ateeb mistook it as Khalid Khawaja. Ateeb asked Group Captain Rizwan, Director Air Transport, to contact me and it was Rizwan who contacted me desperately. Later Rizwan and Ateeb followed it up and asked me to do them this "national favor". “I met Air Marshal Kaleem first time when I handed him over the offer in presence of Air Vice Marshal Khudadad who was Director General of National Accountability Bureau. Later Khudadad was the one who met the Air Chief as well as AM Kaleem to resolve the issue,” Khawaja said, adding: "I do not find any reason to believe that AM Kaleem had any vested interest in the deal as he got me the Letter of Intent (LOI) and was very co-operative without any underhand understanding." "I was conveyed by the Indonesian company, through my contacts in Indonesia, that they will give us 3 per cent commission as our processing fee and 5 per cent (kickbacks) for PAF authorities," Khawaja said.
As evidence Khawaja sent a scanned copy of an Email sent by Prima Niaga (email@example.com), sent by one Vice President (Sales) Suryana Padma Abdurrehman which stated clearly that "They (PAF) have given us a confirmation about commission fee (off the record) - Agency Fee=3%, Pakistan Finance and Defense Department=5%.” The Email also asked Khawaja to "prepare the Technoman Company Profile completely which will (be) appointed as IAe (Indonesian Aerospace) Agency." Click to View E-Mail copy Technoman is the name of Khawaja’s company.
"The point here is that this was the offer which came from the suppliers, without any demand from our side. I could have bargained more by saying that people are demanding more, as I knew that there was enough margin in the price. Instead I called Air Marshal Kaleem and told him that they must get a good bargain and the extra 5 per should be deposited in the Government/PAF treasury," Khawaja said.
"A few days after that we were told that the suppliers had chosen Mr. Khalid Kashmiri as their agent, as required by the top authority of the Air Force. In between we were told that if we let this one go to Khalid Kashmiri we can be entertained in some other deal, but I refused as I was already fed up with the past experience," Khawaja said. "Air Marshal Kaleem told me one day that it was not the PAF but the Indonesian company which had changed its agent but why would they do so, when I was doing a fine job. Why did the PAF want the deal to go through a friend of the Air Chief," Khawaja asked.
"When authorities in Indonesia were contacted they said that they could not afford to lose the business and if the PAF gave me a letter again they will be happy to deal with me." As Khawaja was frustrated in the deal, he decided to take legal action and sent a notice to the PAF Chief. Air Marshal Mushaf Mir, stating these facts. Click here for Legal Notice The Notice also stated that the supplier was prepared to pay 3% to the agency and 5% to defence and finance personnel but "Our Client immediately conveyed this, (offer) inter alia, to Air Marshal Kaleem Saadat, DCAS (Ops) and informed him that as Our Client did not intend to indulge in any unethical business practices, therefore, the 5% would be taken from the Supplier and paid into the Government Treasury." "It appears that Our Client's honesty and high moral standards were not appreciated and the Supplier was informed that the PAF would deal with the Supplier through a nominee of the highest authority. Consequently, the Supplier acting in flagrant violation of its obligations towards Our Client appointed an agent of your choice," the notice said.
When asked why he did not pursue the legal notice with a formal case, Khawaja said: "In fact some indirect communication started after the notice and the PAF Chief was too arrogant and confident that nothing can go against him. But somehow Air Marshal Khudadad after meeting the Chief and AM Kaleem could prevail upon my associates that pursuing the case will not benefit us. Rather we shall earn the wrath of the Chief and it will only damage our various business interests therefore the other directors of the company were of the opinion not to pursue the case any further." There was no immediate response to the notice from the PAF authorities but PAF media managers, however, went into overdrive to control any damage in the media and when some persistent newsmen tried to ask questions, the full force and authority of a military government was used to keep them at bay. One journalist was told to give the questions in advance, in writing, and when a very strong questionnaire was handed over, there was no response. No Pakistani newspaper touched the story again.
Musharraf's NAB Itself Faces Corruption Charges for Gobbling up Millions Special SAT Report Issue No 61, Sept 28-Oct 10, 2003 ISSN:1684-2057 satribune.com http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/sep28_oct10_03/P1_nab.htm
ISLAMABAD: General Pervez Musharraf’s main arm-twisting tool, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), is itself being investigated for a mega fraud into the use and safe-keeping of hundreds of millions of rupees recovered from criminals and plunderers through plea bargains. The Chief NAB Investigator, who has been pitching a number of international institutions for netting Opposition politicians, including Benazir Bhutto in the Swiss courts, is facing a reference accused of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of rupees of plea bargain money on which the NAB officials have been gobbling up mark ups in private accounts. According to the NAB website, during past three years the NAB has entered into 181 cases of plea-bargain through accepted court process and recovered an amount of US$36 million, out of the total amount recovered of over US$1.5 billion. The entire process of this recovery has been effected through accountability courts with defendants who pleaded guilty and who besides paying the said amount stand debarred from holding public office for ten years along with other disqualifications.
But the NAB top brass, also facing charges of involvement in this case, is attempting to hush up the inquiry. Over the past two years or so, these officials have been retaining the plea bargain money extracted from politicians and bureaucrats for allowing them out-of-court settlement in cases framed against them. The biggest of these was the case of Admiral Mansur ul Haq, the former Navy Chief, who coughed up over US$ 7 million. The recovered money has been kept in the NAB officials’ private bank accounts though their details have been noted secretly at the NAB headquarters in Islamabad. The money is largely spent on "sources" and informants who assist the NAB in netting the people listed on account of political and other affiliation to organizations that are active against the military government.
Officials "tasking" these sources and informants to projects normally draw up the "targets" and budget the sending with the prior permission of Chief Investigator Financial Crimes, NAB. The man on this assignment, Talat Ghumman, a former Union Bank official engaged by the NAB for carrying out investigations against the "targets" is now reported to be in trouble on account of a recent fraud based on misuse of the plea bargain money. NAB insiders revealed to SA Tribunethat about three months ago there was panic at the NAB headquarters over a tiny piece of news item appearing in an Islamabad Urdu daily that indicated some "hanky panky" at NAB in handling the plea bargain money. "They started an inquiry at the highest levels to determine as to who leaked the lead to the newspaper. This inquiry was inconclusive when the NAB top bosses directed the relevant sections of the Bureau to draft a court reference against the staff that had been keeping the plea bargain money in their accounts. This reference is currently being drafted, but it is not clear whether they would actually send it to the court", said a NAB official.
He added that the reference framing was ordered as the government (may be high military hierarchy) came to know of the fraud through the news item and asked the NAB chief, Gen Munir Hafiz, to look into the matter. Talat Ghumman is reported to have deferred sending of the reference to the court, according to NAB sources. They added that Ghumman, who happens to be second only to the NAB chief, told his boss that he himself wanted to first conclude an in-house inquiry on what actually happened. Sources claim that it was him who had initially proposed to NAB that such private accounts be run to keep the plea bargain money and NAB informants protected from scrutiny.
He is already facing FIA inquiry into his own bank accounts as he is known to be one of the top spendthrifts in the federal capital, throwing parties on regular basis at which the country’s elite is reportedly offered all kinds of "ayyashi" (perverse pleasures), including strip dances by professionals from the red-light areas of the country. Running private bank accounts on the plea bargain money that is retained by the NAB for funding investigations is illegal in the first place, and the surfacing of a fraud based on extracting mark up on this money has shaken the entire edifice of the institution that was basically set up to prevent and help punish financial frauds in the country. Once it becomes known that NAB has been conducting itself at this sorry level, the investigations it has carried out against politicians would be running into jeopardy on credibility grounds.
The Opposition politicians in Pakistan have been complaining against NAB for its dubious conduct wherein it spent millions to trumped up cases against them to publicly malign them and damage their reputation. The writer of this report is a former senior bureaucrat who remained part of NAB investigations till recently.
Who Owns the Outlandish 40-Kanal Chak Shahzad Land in Islamabad? Special SAT Report Issue No 67, Nov 16-22, 2003 ISSN:1684-2057 satribune.com http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/nov16_22_03/P1_land.htm ISLAMABAD: Guess who is going to be the next door neighbor of Nawaz Sharif’s infamous persecution Czar, Saifur Rehman of Ehtesaab (Accountability) Bureau?
SA Tribune has gathered some clues and soon all names and details will be made public. But for the time being it would be enough to say that the land next door to Saifur Rehman’s Chak Shahzad Plot, the fast developing elite sector of Islamabad, has been acquired by a many starred General, one who is really powerful and who is in the center of current show. Our sources say a 40-Kanal plot of land has been taken over by this latest addition to the long list of land grabbers in the Capital of Pakistan. Why the land belongs to a General is evident from a visit on the spot. Military bulldozers, excavators, land diggers and levelers are working over time to make this piece of land the prime residence of this top star uniformed man who, like previous rulers of the country, does not want to stay homeless when out of job.
Witnesses have seen a Range Rover coming over to the site of the on-going work in progress many a time in the evenings and the vehicle is always properly guarded and fully camouflaged not to reveal the identity of the owners who seem excited about their choice of land and designs of their new palace. The price of the land is said to be close to Rs 30 million in the open market but what under-invoiced rate has been paid by the owner of this plot, if any, is yet to be disclosed. Certainly it would be something close to the declared value of Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz’s Manhattan Pent House in the posh UN Plaza Building. Just to recall, Mr. Aziz declared to the Election Commission that his Pent House was valued to US$175,000 when the real worth of such a prized property is over $10 million. But who is asking?
The Frontier Works Organization (FWO) is said to be busy in this new Chak Shahzad piece of land in a hurry because the owners are not sure whether the palace they want to build on this huge monstrosity would ever get completed before this present government gets thrown out of power. So like all previous power wielders, the present ones are using, and misusing, all state resources to complete their new residence, an impressive one to show that it belongs to someone in power now and, someone who had been in power, when ousted. Attention is, however, going to get focused on this new project in Islamabad as something this big in the center of the capital cannot stay hidden. Questions are being prepared for the Parliament to seek information, though everyone believes and understands, that no such information would be forthcoming, at least until the present lot of Generals stays in power.
But the record has to be kept and a gazette maintained, like it was done in the previous governments. Accountability will begin when these people yield power and then it would be seen whether they acquired the property legally or they grabbed it using the power of their gun. Yet the one undeniable conclusion which can be drawn even now is that the present lot of rulers, uniformed and in civvies, are no different than the previous ones accused of gross corruption. They are doing exactly what they have been accusing others of doing and persecuting them. So logically, when the scene changes, the present looters and plunderers will have to face the same music.
The only difference is that because they have not learnt any lessons from the misdeeds of the past rulers, as is evident from their deeds now, the level of punishment and prosecution will have to be increased manifold and some examples will have to be made to deter others. It is just possible that the owners of the new plot of land in Chak Shahzad will be the ones who become the prime examples in the not too distant a future.
Musharraf Fires US Spy Agency for Pushing Amir Lodhi's Arrest - Maleeha's Fugitive Brother Allowed to Sneak Away from Embassy in Washington Special SAT Report Issue No 66, Nov 9-15, 2003 ISSN:1684-2057 satribune.com http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/nov9_15_03/P1_maleeha.htm
ISLAMABAD: A major scandal about the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of General Musharraf's military government came to light last week when a private US spying company disclosed that wanted fugitive Amir Lodhi, brother of the Pakistan High Commissioner to UK Maleeha Lodhi, had been tracked down several times but allowed to sneak out by the Government, once from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington. According to Pakistan's influential Daily 'Dawn', Amir Lodhi, an arms dealer, was wanted by the Government of Pakistan in the French submarines case in which a former Pakistan Navy Chief, Admiral Mansurul Haq had been nabbed by the same spy agency and made to pay $7.5 million to the Pakistan Government.
Dawn reported, quoting unnamed sources, that the US company, Broadsheet, a private spy tracking agency hired by NAB, had protested as it had tracked Amir Lodhi, the brother of Maleeha Lodhi, a number of times, but the NAB was not ready to get him extradited. "In one instance, officials quoted company sources as saying, he was allowed to sneak away from Pakistan's Embassy in Washington," Dawn said.
It reported: "Pakistan recently terminated the contract of US assets recovery company, Broadsheet, as the company had raised objection on NAB's "selective approach." The paper said Pakistan had exposed itself to costly international arbitration in Ireland by terminating the contract of Broadsheet because of political favoritism. Dawn quoted officials saying the US company was frustrated at the approach of the National Accountability Bureau, as it was governed by what it termed political expediency. The NAB had entered into an agreement with Broadsheet, a specialist in asset recovery, for regaining the plundered national wealth stashed in foreign banks by public office holders.
The bureau had agreed to pay 20 per cent of the amount recovered with the help of the company. Under the contract, the government was required to hand over a list of its "targets" to the company. The sources said US company was not happy how its good work for nabbing the wanted men like, Amir Lodhi, and Abdullah Shah, was squandered by NAB for political expediency. Similarly, Dawn said, NAB showed no interest in the arrest of Abdullah Shah, former chief minister of Sindh, when the company had tracked him down as well. Sources said the company, which was getting paid only on the recovery of the stolen wealth, wanted to lay hands on at least eight Pakistani bureaucrats, and politicians hiding in foreign lands, but the NAB advised the company to "hold on." The NAB is reportedly negotiating a similar agreement with a British law firm for the same purposes. So far, the best catch in the NAB's history, former naval chief Mansurul Haq, was made possible with the help of the US company, and for that the company was paid 20 per cent of the recovered $7.5 million.
The company, which was provided a list of 250 "targets" of politicians, and bureaucrats, was also miffed at the government's deals with some of its potential targets. One of its target, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, became a minister with the change of government. The unilateral termination of the contract, sources said, in all probabilities would be raised before the arbitrators sitting in Ireland as per the agreement. Pakistan has been losing millions of dollars to foreign companies because of inept decisions. Its disputes with Saba Shipyard, Bayinder of Turkey, Impregilo of Italy, and SGS of Switzerland is costing Pakistan millions of dollars on litigation with these companies in foreign jurisdictions, Dawn reported.