By Irum Saleem
As “Wasim Akram-plus” Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar is facing charges of receiving Rs50 million in bribe to force the Excise and Taxation Department to issue a liquor licence to a hotel in violation of the law, Prime Minister Imran Khan in a fix whether to pat his blue eyed boy or praise the National Accountability Bureau for even not sparing his handpicked.
NAB has issued a call up notice to CM Buzdar, asking him to appear before a combined investigation team on Aug 12 at its Thokar Niazbaig provincial headquarters to answers queries regarding his approval for liquor licence to a hotel in violation of law.
PM Khan visited Lahore on Friday in the face of corruption charges against his Wasim Akram plus but did not say a word on his alleged corruption.
Khan has been in fix whether to defend Buzdar and stick with him or show him the door after serious corruption allegations.
Now it seems both Mahmood and Ayaz on the same line… both PMLN and PTI members are facing corruption allegations. How come now Khan says that his team members are not NAB tainted like PMLN.
Khan needs to set his house in order and send the NAB tainted CM and other PTI lawmakers home if he thinks corruption is a real issue of Pakistan.
DAWN reported that the under-construction hotel near Lahore airport had applied to the Excise and Taxation Department for obtaining L-2 liquor licence without first obtaining registration and licence from the Department of Tourist Services, Punjab, under the Pakistan Hotels and Restaurant Act 1976 and the Rules 1977 with a 4/5 star rating.
They said the condition of 4/5 star rating was essential for obtaining L-2 liquor licence after the chief minister in 2009 approved a policy which restricted grant of L-2 liquor licence only to hotels having 4/5 star rating.
The Excise and Taxation Department granted licence to the hotel in question in 2019 in violation of the CM Policy 2009 and without registration of the hotel from the Department of Tourist Services Punjab, they said.
“The most glaring aspect of this violation is that the Excise and Taxation Department had referred the matter to CM Buzdar terming the approval against the CM Policy 2009 but it (department) was ordered (by the CM office) to issue the licence to the hotel in question whose owner happens to be an influential person.”
“Despite having the knowledge about the sensitivity of the matter, as highlighted by the department concerned time and again, the chief minister office willfully failed to exercise lawful authority to prevent the issuance of illegal L-2 licence to the hotel,” he said and also disclosed that a sum of Rs50million had been given to a “relative of Buzdar” to get this job done.
On Friday NAB summoned three more lawmakers of PTI — Karamat Khokhar, Ansar Majid and Ghazanfar Abbas — on corruption charges.
It is a test for PM khan to send NAB tainted CM and lawmakers home or stopping lecturing us on corruption. -PAK DESTINY