- Pak Destiny broke this story last week
- Saad unlikely to get away this time as he is named in both Ashiana and railways signals scams
By Kiran Bokhari
National Accountability Bureau finally has summoned railways minister Saad Rafique for March 22 in Rs14bn Ashiana housing scam.
Pak Destiny had broken this story last week. He will be summoned in railways signals scam later.According to a source in NAB Rafique is summoned to clarify his position for getting a road taken out in his Paragon City society by the managers of Ashiana Housing project. This was the smart move of the minister to benefit his housing project at the expense of national kitty.
Now he will have to face the music. “Rafique is in the dock. He is unlikely to get away with both Ashiana and railways signals scams,” an official said.
Paragon City was developed by Saad Rafique after joining the Sharifs in 1990s. Since the Supreme Court has ordered the NAB to look into the allegations that Mr Rafique was behind the Paragon City affairs/investment the bureau is thoroughly probing the matter.
Early this month Rafique appeared before the Supreme Court and claimed that he has no links with the Paragon City. The SC however ordered the NAB to look into the allegations against Saad Rafique in the Ashiana scam.
During investigation in the Rs14 billion Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing scam, NAB has got a clue that Mr Cheema is a shareholder of Rs400m in a housing society on Ferozepur Road.
Recently NAB has found ‘evidence’ of former Lahore Development Authority director general Ahad Khan Cheema’s Rs400 million share in another housing scheme in Lahore.
“During investigation in the Rs14 billion Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing scam, NAB has got a clue that Mr Cheema is a shareholder of Rs400m in a housing society on Ferozepur Road. There are three partners in this scheme. Director properties of M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Limited Nadeem Zia is said to be the second partner and Saad Rafique the third,” he said NAB has yet to confirm the name of the third partner.
“The Punjab Land Development Company had assigned the low-cost housing scheme of the Punjab government to the LDA through an agreement in January 2015. Ahad Cheema, being LDA DG, awarded contract of the project of Rs14bn approximately to M/s Casa Developers, a joint venture of three firms M/s Bismillah Engineering Services Co, M/s SPARCO Construction Company and M/s China First Metallurgical Group Co Ltd.”
The bureau said Nadeem Zia, a close aide to Mr Cheema, received Rs30.9 million in his bank account from the M/s Paragon City – The said land was transferred in the name of Ahad Khan Cheema’s family members
NAB said the suspect’s illegal actions caused loss to the national exchequer as the contractor willfully failed to even initiate Ashiana-i-Iqbal project over the past three years. “Almost 61,000 poor applicants submitted around Rs60 million as processing fee in recent years for allotment of houses. The government incurred an amount of Rs190 million and the contractor M/s Casa Developers also caused loss in the form of liquidation damages of Rs455 million approximately. In addition, the project cost also increased by hundreds of millions of rupees,” NAB said.
The bureau said Nadeem Zia, a close aide to Mr Cheema, received Rs30.9 million in his bank account from the M/s Paragon City (of Saad Rafique) account maintained at DHA Lahore and same was paid for the purchase of 32-kanal land in Mouza Tedha tehsil in Lahore Cantonment. “The said land was transferred in the name of Ahad Khan Cheema’s family members – a brother, a sister and a cousin.”
NAB had recently raided the residence and office of Mr Zia to arrest him but returned unsuccessful. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad are other top PML-N personalities appeared before NAB and recorded their statements in the case. – Pak Destiny