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ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtun­khwa (KP) Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Saturday categorically denied allegations that he owned a house worth Rs350 million and was involved in the misuse of power.

Addressing a press conference alongside KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Mr Qaiser said that he lived in a rented house and had not received any notice of charges from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The presser was held following media reports that the NAB KP director, in a letter, had sought permission from the NAB chief to initiate an inquiry against Mr Qaiser over charges of corruption and misuse of power.

Media reports claimed that Mr Qaiser, while declaring his assets, had claimed that he shared a 14-marla house with his brother. Now, it was reported that he owned a 35-kanal house worth Rs350 million in Bani Gala, Islamabad.

Moreover, reports alleged that Mr Qaiser was receiving 30pc kickbacks from development projects. However, the KP assembly speaker claimed that he lived in a rented house.

While presenting the details of his property, he claimed that he had only purchased five kanals of land in 2009 in two instalments and he would happily gift the house worth Rs350 million if anyone could prove that it was his. He also vowed to quit politics if the allegations were proven.

He said it was alleged that he had awarded the tender for a road to his relative, but the fact was that the contract was awarded through proper channels and that he had no relationship with the contractor who won the project.

Mr Qaiser said his family was upset and was being made to suffer due to the allegations levelled against him.

“I believe that certain elements have been trying to bring a bad repute to me and my family, since general elections are approaching. I have been considering taking legal action over the issue,” he said.

KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, defending Mr Qaiser, said that if anyone wanted the money trail of Mr Qaiser’s property, it would be provided.

“All of Mr Qaiser’s property is registered in his name and was purchased before 2013,” he said.

When asked that if the provincial accountability commission could take up the matter, he said that when NAB took action, it could not be taken up by the provincial accountability commission.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2017