ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Azam Swati on Wednesday appeared before National Accountability Bureau (NAB) authorities and pleaded innocence in a case of land encroachment and another about the transfer of Inspector General of Police (IGP), Islamabad, allegedly on his orders.
The NAB sources told Dawn that Mr Swati remained in the NAB headquarters for over an hour where he was given a questionnaire about his offshore properties.
The sources said that Mr Swati submitted a statement that was similar to the one he had submitted to the Supreme Court and said he had not encroached upon any state land.
Regarding the IG’s transfer allegedly on his orders, he claimed that he had called the Islamabad IG to seek justice and gave no order that fell out of the ambit of the law.
NAB also received details of Mr Swati’s farmhouse in Chak Shahzad and the adjacent CDA land he had allegedly encroached upon.
Last week, a team of top NAB officials, accompanied by senior officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), visited the farm house and measured the land the minister had reportedly encroached.
Mr Swati got into trouble on the issue of encroachment of state land after he lodged a case against some nearby slum-dwellers for “trespassing” the same encroached land and later allegedly got the inspector-general of police of Islamabad Jan Muhammad transferred.
The Supreme Court, taking suo motu notice of the incidents, ordered action against the minister under Article 62 for ‘unlawful’ transfer of the IG and formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the matter.
The JIT is consisted of officials of the National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
Media reports say that the IGP had been transferred by Mr Swati because he did not attend telephone calls of the minister, but Mr Swati denies this charge.
The IGP’s transfer took place after Mr Swati’s son got a case registered against slum-dwellers for allegedly trespassing the “family’s land”. Five people, including two women, were arrested for trespassing and beating up Mr Swati’s guards.
However, they were released after a day’s detention, as police sources asserted that a settlement had been reached between the minister and the detained family.
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2018