ISLAMABAD, June 8: The National Accountability Bureau has ordered a fresh inquiry into an alleged Rs62 billion land scam in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Islamabad in which Malik Riaz, a property tycoon, is allegedly involved.
The inquiry has been ordered following a response from the NAB Rawalpindi which suggested “no further action” on it. “We referred the case to NAB Rawalpindi but on Friday it replied that no action could be taken,” NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal told Dawn, adding that a separate departmental inquiry had also been ordered against officials of NAB Rawalpindi.
He said NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari had held an emergency meeting on Friday and ordered the fresh inquiry into the scam. The scam is linked to allegations levelled by former military officer Tariq Kamal against Malik Riaz and the DHA for depriving about 150,000 people of their residential plots.
Interestingly, the NAB Rawalpindi which had received the case early this year did not take any action and no inquiry was initiated.
“We are also investigating why the application of a retired army officer filed last year had not been entertained,” said Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, an official of the NAB.
The NAB spokesman said a senior officer, Shahzad Anwar, had been assigned as head of the inquiry committee.
A press release issued by NAB headquarters on Friday said the bureau chief had authorised the inquiry into the scam which was earlier recommended for “no further action”.
According to it, complaints against the DHA management and others include allegations of illegal adjustment of 17,000 kanals of land meant for proposed Dadhocha dam, illegal resale of DHA Phase II (extension) site to the DHA Valley and illegal extension of DHA Phase II (extension) area.
The NAB chairman had directed the DG (operations) to immediately initiate a transparent inquiry into the scam so that the affected people could be provided relief, the press release added.