ACE all set to dig deep into Ring Road project

Staff Reporter

The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has started an inquiry into Rawalpindi’s Ring Road project corruption scandal to unveil all those responsible for the mega scam.

Director General Gohar Nafees on Monday formed an inquiry team, which comprises technical, legal and financial experts.

The National Accountability Bureau is also looking into the alleged corruption, irregularities and illegal land requisition in the project. NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal ordered the probe on May 17.

The same day PM’s special assistant for overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari resigned due to allegations against him in the investigation.

“My Prime Minister has always said that if a person has been named rightly or wrongly in any inquiry he should cease to hold any public office till his name has been cleared of charges,” Bukhari said on Twitter.

“Owing to the allegations in ongoing Ring Road inquiry I want to set this example by resigning from office until my name is cleared up of any allegations and media’s obnoxious lies.”

He said he had nothing to do with Ring Road or any ongoing real estate project. Bukhari, however, called for a judicial inquiry into the matter conducted by “capable personnel”.

“This time the inquiry should be done by capable personnel, I endorse a judicial inquiry,” he said.

A fact-finding committee of the Punjab government in its report earlier said that the map of the project was changed to benefit a few housing societies, according to sources.

The report was forwarded to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar by Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafiq.

Former Rawalpindi commissioner Captain (retired) Mohammad Mehmood and land requisition officer Wasim Tabish unlawfully paid Rs23 million to acquire land for the road, according to the report. They facilitated a well-known family of Sangjani in doing so.

PML-N had also accused two cabinet members of being involved in the matter through the re-allotment of land for the Ring Road project.

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had said that neither Prime Minister Imran Khan nor CM Buzdar could be exempted from this.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Zulfi Bukhari were beneficiaries in the case, she had alleged.