LAHORE: Lahore Development Authority’s former director general Ahad Khan Cheema on Thursday appeared before the National Accountability Bureau and recorded his statement in the mega land scam involving Paragon Housing Society reportedly developed by Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique and the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC).

The two top officials of the Paragon Society, however, did not appear as their lawyers represented them instead.

According to an official, Mr Cheema [who at present is the chief of two Punjab power companies] told NAB about the details of the ‘shady’ deal.

“However, the NAB will summon him again,” he said.

Mr Cheema did not respond to Dawn’s queries as he said he was busy with the family.

The official said chief executive officer of Paragon City Nadeem Zia and Director of Paragon Exchange Ali Sajjad did not turn up. “Their lawyers appeared on their behalf. However, both will also be summoned again,” he said.

The bureau has detected `illegalities’ in the land deal. The NAB has launched investigation into the agreement signed between the PLDC and M/s Anhui Construction Engineering Group owned by Ali Sajjad, M/s Bismillah Engineering Company owned by Nadeem Zia and M/s Sparco Group for construction of a housing project - Ashiana Iqbal Lahore - under the public-private partnership.

The NAB has received a number of complaints regarding the ‘illegal deal’ involving 3,000 kanal government land between the PLDC and the said companies. Some 6,700 apartments on 1,000 kanals were to be constructed. In lieu of this construction, some 2,000 kanals were to be given to these companies.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2017

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