ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal has ordered an inquiry against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Zaeem Qadri for allegedly taking favours from the Punjab Small Industrial Cooperative Employees Housing Society.

The inquiry was ordered during a meeting held at the NAB headquarters on Monday.

According to sources in NAB, the bureau has received a complaint that Mr Qadri, who is a spokesperson for the PML-N’s Punjab government and special assistant for Higher Education Punjab, had taken undue favours from the society.

Mr Qadri is also accused of illegally occupying land of the society with the connivance of its management.

The NAB chairman directed the director general of the bureau’s Lahore region to investigate the matter and send a report to the headquarters in two months.

Before this NAB recently approved a fresh reference against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the alleged illegal construction of Raiwind Road (from Raiwind to the Sharif family’s palatial house) in 2000.

On Jan 3, NAB ordered verification of a complaint lodged against retired Capt Muhammad Safdar, son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, for alleged misappropriation of billions of rupees in government-funded development schemes in his Abbottabad constituency.

Presiding over the first executive board meeting after assuming the charge of NAB chairman last month, Justice Iqbal took a number of important decisions, including orders for inquiries against alleged corruption in the Multan Metro Bus project.

NAB has also begun investigation into severing of the Pakistan Steel Mills’ gas connection by the present government.

During Monday’s meeting, the NAB chairman also ordered an inquiry against a former member of the Punjab Assembly, Ahmed Hussain Dahar, for constructing a road in his private land allegedly at state expense, establishing a housing colony and accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income.

He ordered a separate inquiry against former chairman of Pakistan Railways Arif Azeem for ordering the purchase of 40 power vans worth Rs4.6 billion and 58 locomotives allegedly in violation of Public Procurement Regula­tory Authority rules.

According to the sources, the vans and locomotives were not being used due to substandard quality.

Meanwhile, in a separate meeting Justice Iqbal directed all NAB officers to follow orders of the Supreme Court in 173 cases relating to the bureau. “There will be no investigation out of the ambit of law,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2018

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