LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Saturday suggested its chairman to take steps for placing names of 23 bureaucrats believed to be close to the Sharif family on Exit Control List (ECL).

According to a NAB spokesman, the step was taken in the backdrop of alleged misuse of authority and their involvement in different corruption cases.

He said they had prepared a list of the bureaucrats [close to the Sharif family] and also sought details of their perks and privileges given to them.

The bureaucrats whose names were suggested to be placed on ECL include Primary and Secondary Health Secretary Ali Jan Khan, Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power Plant CEO Najam Shah, Paragon City Finance Director Farhan Ali and Manager Shahzad Waheed, LDA City development partners Malik Asif, Mian Tahir Javed, Abdul Rasheed Ahmed, Shahid Shafiq and Ibrahim Bhatti.

Others include Power Development Compnay CEO Syed Farrukh Shah, Gujranwala Waste Management Company CEO Wasim Ajmal, Khalid Majeed, Rana Muhammad Arif, Jameel Ahmed, Okara DCO and former chairman Faisalabad Industrial Company Muhammad Aslam Qasim and some other bureaucrats - Irshad Ahmed, Muhammad Lateef, Aslam Khan and Ali Bajwa.

The spokesman said the anti-corruption department and an intelligence agency were conducting an inquiry against Chief Engineer Shahid Azahar, said to be front man of Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, for his alleged involvement in plundering Rs180 million in water supply scheme at Nankana Sahib, Rs10m in water scheme at Mandi Faizabad and Rs50m in sewerage plan in Shahkot.

The bureau had already been investigating allegations of corruption in 56 companies. A majority of the above-mentioned bureaucrats had served in these companies. Besides those named in the companies [scam] were accused of involvement in other projects. The NAB feared that the suspects might flee from the country.

Former LDA chairman Ahad Khan Cheema is already in jail over allegations of corruption in Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Society scam. The NAB is working on another case of corruption against Cheema. Ex-secretary to prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad is already appearing before NAB in the case.

Sources in NAB said the bureau might summon more bureaucrats including police officers posted at key posts during tenure of the previous government for investigations into the graft cases.

In the past, the bureaucrats had protested against the arrest of Ahad Cheema and apprehended more cases against them [in the near future].

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2018

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