Says remnants of ‘corrupt legacy’ continues to show loyalty to past masters
Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday said that the Sharif family plundered public resources mercilessly in the past, adding that Shehbaz Sharif embezzled Punjab’s development funds along with his henchmen.
Talking to the media at DGPR Office here on Tuesday, Dr Firdous said that Prime Minister Imran Khan exposed the corruption and plundering of the Sharif family.
However, she regretted that the remnants of the past corrupt legacy are continued to show loyalty to their past masters in civil service, politics and other walks of life.
She said the Ring Road project was launched in Rawalpindi to reduce the traffic load. The project was launched in the public and national interest but efforts were made to use that project for personal benefits, she further said.
The Special Assistant disclosed that the alignment of 65-km long Rawalpindi Ring Road was illegally altered and the pre-determined route was deviated while the expression of interest was already advertised.
The former Rawalpindi Commissioner Muhammad Mehmood and his associates illegally prepared the alignment of the ring road in connivance with the consultant.
Dr Firdous said the former commissioner Muhammad Mehmood Ahmed, former land acquisition collector Wasim Ali Tabish and former deputy director project management unit Abdullah indulged in irreparable and illegal activities while conducting misconduct and fraud. They issued directions sans any authority and as a result, the national exchequer was misused to benefit a few, she said.
The SACM said their case is being forwarded to NAB and disciplinary action including suspension from service etc. has been initiated. All those including someone from the incumbent government, opposition and a few bureaucrats are being brought before the court of law to ensure justice.
The Special Assistant said that NAB would inquire about the illegal expenditure of Rs2.3 billion by former commissioner Mehmood Ahmed to illegally acquire such land which increased in price of real estate owned by the influential people.
The inquiries are also being held against some residential schemes for being benami front men of the powerful people, she said.
The SACM further said that Mehmood Ahmed and his associates have been suspended from service as the former commissioner allegedly broke the rules and regulations and sought financial benefits for himself as well as worked to promote the interest of different residential schemes including Nova City, Capital Smart City, New Airport City / Al-Asif Housing, Top City, SAS Developers, Blue World and Islamabad Capital Housing.
Dr Firdous regretted that Punjab and Federal governments were kept completely in the dark about the facts in this regard and the instructions to present this alignment to the Chief Minister at the highest level were deliberately ignored.
With the immoral cooperation of a member, the project was also illegally advertised on March 1, 2021.
She said that FIA is being directed to conduct a forensic audit of such residential schemes to identify the sale of plots in excess to approve lands and illegal online sales. They are directed to collect information in this regard, she said.
The SACM said the former commissioner worked very rapidly on this illegal alignment and performed many illegal activities.
The former commissioner discreetly worked to hide illegal activities and financial stakes from the people.
The rapid pace of construction activities hushed up these illegal activities and every effort to gleam facts was foiled, she said.
Some engineering firms that have purchased Request for Proposal (RFP) documents have made huge investments in properties along with illegal portions of Ring Road. The bidding process for the project has now been cancelled.
Since the alignment of the ring road was made illegally therefore no one can ever regularize it legally because irreparable and illegal work has been done, she said.
Responding to a question, the SACM said that a statement was issued by a politically infant child from Sindh in which he said that the government had failed to provide any subsidy but this political minor has failed to understand the vision of subsidy as flour bag being sold in Punjab at Rs 800 is available in Sindh at the cost of Rs1200.