ISLAMABAD: As the anti-government dharna being organised by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in the federal capital entered its second week on Thursday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned Akram Durrani, convener of the joint opposition’s Rehbar Committee, on Friday for questioning over his alleged involvement in an illegal appointment case.
“We have summoned Mr Durrani in the illegal appointment case,” NAB spokesman told Dawn on Thursday.
According to the anti-graft watchdog, Mr Durrani, who served as minister for housing during the last regime of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, is already on a two-week interim bail granted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Oct 23 in three inquiries being conducted by the bureau.
Mr Durrani, a leader of the JUI-F, claims that he is being victimised for playing a key role in the Azadi march that has been demanding resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In his petition, Mr Durrani said he is “being victimised and harassed by NAB officials”.
Mr Durrani is facing inquiries for alleged corruption in two projects of the Federal Government Housing Foundation, appointment of favourites in the Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation, allotment of ‘out-of-turn’ plots for mosques and making inductions into the Pakistan Public Works Department (Pak-PWD).
The NAB spokesman said that Mr Durrani had appointed over 70 people from his hometown in the housing ministry after illegally preparing their domicile of Islamabad in connivance with some officials of the local administration in the capital.
Mr Durrani had apprehended before the IHC that NAB may be used against the organisers of Azadi march.
He said NAB was planning to arrest him as soon as the protective bail granted by the IHC expired.
With regard to the NAB’s inquiries, Mr Durrani clarified in his petition that he is not concerned with the recruitment process carried out by the ministry or its attached departments since he was not the appointing authority.
The petition claimed that there were vacant positions in Pak-PWD for about a decade and he ensured new inductions without further delay.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2019