Transparency International questions President Zardari’s new residence in Lahore on Pak Destiny story

Lahore, Feb 14, ( On the story of Pak Destiny the Transparency International Pakistan has made a question mark on President Asif Ali Zardari’s gesture to accept the gift of Rs5 billion bullet-proof house in Bahria Town Lahore.

Pak Destiny reported the other day that President Asif Ali Zardari has lowered his and the stature of the presiudent by ‘building’ a palatial residence in Bahria Town owned by ‘controversial’ property tycoon Malik Riaz.

Riaz has gifted about 200 kanal-house to Zardari but the major question is as why he (Zardari) in the capacity of the President of Pakistan ‘got or made’ a house in the housing scheme of a businessmen.

According to a letter written by TIP Adviser Syed Adil Gilani to Salman Faruqi, Secretary-General to President Zardari, in accordance with the rules and instructions relating to the Conduct of Government Servants (Conduct) Rules 1964, the gift should not be accepted.

Mr Gilani quoted Section 5(I) which reads: “Gifts. (1) Save as otherwise provided in this rule, no government servant shall, except with the previous sanction of the government, accept, or permit any member of his family to accept, from any person any gift the receipt of which will place him under any form of official obligation to the donor. If, however, due to very exceptional reasons, a gift cannot be refused, the same may, under intimation to the Cabinet Division, be kept for official use in the department or organisation in which he is working.”

The TIP adviser said that press reports had not been denied by anyone, and it was therefore assumed that the news about the house built and gifted by Malik Riaz to President Zardari was correct. If the news reports were correct, the Transparency International requested the secretary general of the president to process the gift of house to be transferred to the government of Pakistan.

Mr Gilani’s letter concluded with the stand that the “Transparency International Pakistan is striving to have transparency in procedures and rule of law in Pakistan, which is the only way to eliminate corruption and have good governance in the country.”
Copy of the letter has also been sent to the chairmen of the Public Accounts Committee and the NAB, the finance minister.

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