Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique requested on Thursday the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore to postpone questioning him in a housing scam. NAB Lahore had summoned the federal minister and his brother, provincial minister Khawaja Salman Rafique, in relation to a corruption probe into a private housing scheme reportedly owned by them in Lahore.
Rafique shared with a news channel that he received the NAB summons on Wednesday. ‘I am currently in Islamabad and busy with official work. I have to meet the Chinese ambassador as well,’ he said, adding that he has sent a letter to the NAB asking to set another date for questioning. ‘I am willing to cooperate with NAB and provide them all the details. I will submit a reply to all the questions asked by the accountability bureau.’ He also shared that he has been summoned in the probe into Paragon Housing Society.
The federal minister reiterated his earlier claims and said that guise of accountability is being used to target people. ‘The accountability process has never been transparent in Pakistan. People continue to be targeted under the name of accountability.’ He further remarked that this is the ‘black law’ of the NAB and he does not believe in it. ‘I will still appear before NAB despite not believing in its black law.’
The anti-corruption body has been probing into corruption allegations against government officials in the province. The Punjab government, on March 17, suspended Lahore Development Authority’s (LDA) former director general Ahad Cheema, who was arrested on February 21 in a case related to Ashiana-e-Iqbal housing project. Cheema is accused of misusing his authority and with criminal intent, to award a contract of the Ashiana-e-Iqbal housing project of approximately Rs14 billion to Lahore Casa Developers a joint-venture which was ineligible for the contract.—INP