The real story behind the take over of Lahore’s Royal Palm Club by Saad Rafique-led Railways

The-real-story-behind-the-take-over-of-Lahore's-Royal-Palm-Club-by-Saad-Rafique-led-Railways

  • Minister wanted a ‘valuable piece of land’ on Burki Road
  • Minister accepts LHC verdict with a ‘heavy heart’
  • ‘Dubious’ Matters of Paragon City Lahore
  • ‘Kickback’ in Import of Railway Track
  • ‘Dubious Deal’ in Import of Chinese Engines
  • A Curious Case of 150 Plots

By Kiran Bokhari

(Pak Destiny – Investigative Report) The real story behind closure of the famous Country Royal Palm Club (RP) is ‘a valuable piece of land’ which Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique wanted from its management, an insider in the Railways disclosed.

The RP management refused to ‘hand over’ the ‘valuable land comprising a couple of acres on Burki Road’ which it acquired of late.

“Since Saad Rafique has been in land and housing societies business for a long he through a ‘common friend’ conveyed his wish of getting the Burki Road land (where Rafique’s Paragon Housing Society located) as a ‘gift’ from the RP management. The RP owned by Ramzan Sheikh and company took little more time to oblige… and in a result this delay made them to pay a very heavy price,” the source said.

Khwaja Saad Rafique has risen through the cadres of PML under Nawaz Sharif in a span of 25 years which includes his stint as student leader of Muslim Students Federation in 1988-1990.

Khwaja Saad Rafique has risen through the cadres of PML under Nawaz Sharif in a span of 25 years which includes his stint as student leader of Muslim Students Federation in 1988-1990.

The furious Rafique ordered closure of the RP on June 24 without caring for the superior court’s order that the RP could not be closed even for a day.

The Pakistan Railways have been in litigation with the RP management since long over the lease and dues issues but this country might have never seen such an action by a PML-N federal minister against a public club which has more than 3,000 members who remained deprived of visiting the club for about two weeks.

The furious Rafique ordered closure of the RP on June 24 without caring for the superior court’s order that the RP could not be closed even for a day.

The furious Rafique ordered closure of the RP on June 24 without caring for the superior court’s order that the RP could not be closed even for a day.

Subsequently, the RP management moved the Lahore High Court which ordered handing back its management to the Sheikhs but let the railways cops stationed there till next hearing on Sept 1, 2016.

Ironically, Rafique accepted the LHC decision with a ‘heavy heart’ expressing his ‘reservation’ over the verdict.

It will be very interesting to see whether the Sheikhs now ‘oblige’ Rafique to stop him from the government machinery against them or the club in a different way or keep their faith in the country’s courts.

Dubious Matters of Paragon City Lahore

Khawaja Saad Rafique has substantial shares in the Paragon Housing Society on Burki Road. Since the acquisition of some ‘controversial land’ the National Accountability had initiated probe into it during the Musharraf regime. But the matter had been swept under the carpet since the last PPP regime.

Earlier it has been reported that Saad Rafique managed to ‘forcibly’ got vacated 10.5 Acres Railways land located at Singh Pura, GT Road, Lahore in order to make it part of his Paragon City Housing Society Lahore.

paragon-city

There are reports that Khawaja Saad Rafique had also planned to lease out the land recovered from encroachments located at Mecleod Road, Lahore to Paragon Housing Society

Insiders say the minister smartly exploited the orders of Supreme Court for vacating of the said encroached land of the railways because as he wanted to allot it to Paragon Housing Society.

But his plan could not be materialized because of the opposition from Arif Azeem, then secretary Railways. The minister taught Azeem a lesson by sending him on ‘forced’ leave sometimes ago. “The minister wanted to construct a complex of marriage halls at 10.5 Acres of land at Singh Pura, GT Road, Lahore,” a Railways insider told Pak Destiny.

There are reports that Khawaja Saad Rafique had also planned to lease out the land recovered from encroachers located at Mecleod Road, Lahore to Paragon Housing Society. “The minister also intends to lease out the recovered land of Railway at Karachi to local party of Karachi to get heavy amount as kickback,” the insider says.

Kickback in Import of Railway Track

The Railways insiders say during October/ November 2013, Khawaja Saad Rafique issued a tender notice of import of 40,000 tons of Railway Track and gave the contractor to ‘own favorite party’.

NAB authorities interfered into the import of 40,000 ton Railway Track and the matter is still pending with the bureau.

NAB authorities interfered into the import of 40,000 ton Railway Track and the matter is still pending with the bureau.

The insiders say all terms and conditions of above mentioned Tender of Railway Tack was made with the consent of the said party.

NAB authorities interfered into the import of 40,000 ton Railway Track and the matter is still pending with the bureau.

Walton Railway Academy Scam

The Railways minister had also planned to construct ‘Market Shops’ alongside 3km boundary wall of Walton Railway Academy, Lahore to his close people on cheaper rates to mint money. Walton also comes in the constituency of Saad Rafique.

The PC-1 has been made and forwarded to the chairman of the Railways.

‘Dubious Deal’ in Import of Chinese Engines

The insiders further inform that the railways’ had a dubious deal under Khawaja Saad Rafique to purchase of 58 x Railway Locomotives from China despite these locomotives were not better than the existing locomotive of Korean and Japanese origin.

The insiders further inform that the railways’ had a dubious deal under Khawaja Saad Rafique to purchase of 58 x Railway Locomotives from China

The insiders further inform that the railways’ had a dubious deal under Khawaja Saad Rafique to purchase of 58 x Railway Locomotives from China

The insiders say ‘huge kickback’ was involved in the deal. The matter requires thorough investigation by NAB.

A Curious Case of 150 Plots

The Imperial Garden Housing Society — located next to Paragon City Housing Society — has alleged that Khawaja Saad Rafique had occupied its 140/150 plots and declared them as one of the blocks of Paragon City.

Insiders said Shahid Butt, one of the owners of Imperial Garden Housing Society, had used NoC of Paragon Housing Society for his Imperial Garden Housing Society as initially he did not have NoC for the said scheme.

The Imperial Garden Housing Society -- located next to Paragon City Housing Society -- has alleged that Khawaja Saad Rafique had occupied its 140/150 plots and declared them as one of the blocks of Paragon City.

The Imperial Garden Housing Society — located next to Paragon City Housing Society — has alleged that Khawaja Saad Rafique had occupied its 140/150 plots and declared them as one of the blocks of Paragon City.

No investigation has been launched as yet over the alleged occupation of the property and office of Haji Rafique’s Housing Society at Barki road, Lahore. “The minister allegedly and pressurized Haji Rafique of Green City Housing Society through his political influence by getting registered FIRs against him. Consequently Haji Rafique was compelled to hand over/transfer his property and office. Haji Rafique is presently residing in Saudi Arabia,” the insiders say.

Ring Road Compensation Scam

There are also reports that M. Ayub alias Ayub Gara, one of the front men of Khawaja Saad Rafique, remained involved in getting compensation of land of ring Road Project at Sahjpal village located in Phase-VIII, DHA, Lahore.

Insiders say Ayub got compensation of about Rs45 million by getting transferred the land in his name, though DOR Lahore Zulfiqar Ghumman.”

Lahore_Map

“Rafique is reportedly patronizing the criminal gang of Ayub Gara and his brother-in-law Billu Bhatti, resident of village Sehjpal, Airport road, DHA, Lahore. Both the individuals are involved in number of cases of fraud and kidnapping for ransom.

How Khawaja Saad Rafique Made To This Level

After PML(N)’s coming to power in 2013, Khawaja Saad Rafique was given the portfolio of Federal Minister for Railways. However, from the outset, the voices of corruption/misuse of authority by Rafique echoed from different quarters. He is widely being discussed in the context of corruption, malpractices and abuse of power.

Khwaja Saad Rafique has risen through the cadres of PML under Nawaz Sharif in a span of 25 years which includes his stint as student leader of Muslim Students Federation in 1988-1990.

He has been elected thrice as MNA and once MPA in his political career. In the course of his political career he allegedly amassed huge wealth and assets through political influence and different tactics.

His political career started on a motorcycle in 1987, which was given by Ghulam Hyder Wyne, ex- CM Punjab. During those days his family was supported by Ch. Shujaat Hussain, chief of PMLQ, as he was orphaned in early age. Now he is believed to be a billionaire though he never disclosed the value of his actual assets in the Tax Returns.

This is a ‘classical example’ of this man’s journey from the ‘penniless to billionaire’ in such a short span of time. This is possible only through ‘illegal means’ anywhere in the world. As NAB has filed a Rs462billion corruption reference against PPP’s Dr Asim Hussain there are many chances that when this Nawaz regime is over, NAB may go after this man.

Pak Destiny welcomes Mr Rfique’s version to this report and will publish it accordingly. — Pak Destiny

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