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NAB Lahore approves reference against Khawaja brothers for alleged corruption in Paragon scheme

Updated April 26, 2019

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PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother are accused of corruption in the Paragon City housing scheme. — DawnNewsTV/File
PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother are accused of corruption in the Paragon City housing scheme. — DawnNewsTV/File

The National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) Lahore chapter on Friday approved the filing of a reference against PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique as well as Nadeem Zia for alleged corruption in the Paragon City case, a press release from the accountability watchdog said.

The decision was taken in a regional board meeting that was attended by NAB Lahore's director general and other directors.

According to the handout, Qaiser Amin Butt, the director of Paragon Housing Society, was also included in the inquiry initiated by NAB; he was arrested in November last year and has agreed to turn approver against the Khawaja brothers and Zia — who is currently absconding. Butt and Zia allegedly "applied for approval of 'Lay-out Plan' from Town Nazim, Aziz Bhatti Town" for the housing scheme that would have granted them control of land measuring up to 7,002 kanals.

More than 68 reports of misappropriation in the Paragon City Scheme amounting to nearly Rs549 million have been received from the general public, the statement said. During NAB's investigation, it was revealed that the Paragon housing scheme was still "an illegal project which has no approval from Lahore Development Authority (LDA)".

The Khawaja brothers, meanwhile, are accused of embezzlement in the scheme by exchanging 50 kanals of their land for 20 plots of two kanals each owned by Paragon City.

The investigation report along with NAB Lahore's recommendation will now be sent to the bureau's chairman, retired Justice Javed Iqbal, for "ultimate approval".