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LAHORE: Former railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq and his brother former provincial minister Khwaja Salman Rafiq on Saturday slammed jail officials for bringing them to the accountability court in an old and uncomfortable Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).

“The uncomfortable journey has increased my leg pain,” Saad complained talking to media persons after the hearing of Paragon City scam. He reminded the officials of Punjab home department and police that the present government would not be everlasting. He demanded of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to take notice of the situation and order action against the responsible jail officials.

Meanwhile, the court extended judicial remand of the Khwaja brothers till March 4 and directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to ensure early filing of the reference in the Paragon case.

The NAB alleged that Saad Rafiq through his “benamidar” wife Ghazala and in connivance with his brother Salman, former MPA Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue. It said the project was later converted into a new housing project namely Paragon City Pvt Ltd. The Paragon City was an illegal society and not approved by the Lahore Development Authority, it added.

It further alleged that the suspects along with other accomplices cheated public at large and obtained illegal financial benefits from the funds of the society. It said the former railways minister had been and was continuously receiving monetary benefits from the housing project as he obtained 40 kanal land in his own name and in the name of his brother.

It said Saad received Rs100m from Executive Builders (proxy setup of Paragon City) in bank accounts of M/s Saadain Associates and M/s KSR Associates.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2019