By Sarmad Ali
Islamabad, Sept 7 (www.pakdestiny.com) Peerzadas’ reconciliation efforts with the USAID over $1 million row met failure as the latter asked the former return its dollars or get ready to go behind the bars.
Reliable sources informed Pak Destiny that
Peerzadas of Rafi Peer Theater involved their ‘common friends’ to persuade the USAID to settle the case out of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) but the US officials of the aid agency refused to have any patch up with them.
“Pay the money ($1 million) or go to jail,” the US officials were reported having said to the common friends.
NAB has started investigation against the Rafi Peer Theater Workshop (RPTW) and Pakistan Children’s Television (PCTV) for allegedly committing fraud, forgery, and embezzlement of around US$1 million from USAID-funded projects in Pakistan, while procuring video, sound, design, and animation equipment.
The USAID-funded projects in Pakistan came under the spotlight, namely the Sesame Street television program. Allegations of corruption taken from the USAID Anti-fraud Hotline, compelled US authorities to stop funding this project and call for an investigation.
The issue came to the surface during a daily briefing of the State’s Department on June 5, 2012 when Mark C. Toner, Deputy Spokesperson, accepted that allegations were serious enough that US authorities wanted to suspend or cut off the Sesame Street program until US authorities were able to complete this investigation.
RPTW’s Faizan Peerzada, Usman Peerzad, Imran Peerzada, Samina Peerza and Tasneem Peerza are in the dock as they all are beneficiaries.
Peerzadas however deny the charge. – www.pakdestiny.com
Peerzadas trying to defend themselves in program News Night with Talat, Dawn TV