ISLAMABAD: The accountability court of Islamabad on Thursday summoned former ambassador to Indonesia retired Maj Gen Syed Mustafa Anwer Husain for September 17 in a reference related to the sale of the chancery building in Jakarta at a throwaway price.

The reference alleged that the former ambassador to Indonesia also violated the procedure to sell the building. The reference is based on a complaint filed by Dr Qaiser Rashid.

Former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf had appointed Gen Husain as the ambassador to Indonesia in 2001.

According to the NAB investigation, after his posting as ambassador to Indonesia Mr Husain started work on disposing of Pakistan government-owned properties in Jakarta.

Without approval of the foreign affairs ministry/government he also appointed M/s Palma Citra Permai to work as an agent/broker for the sale of the chancery building.

The investigation also claimed that with mala fide intentions, through an official letter dated August 8, 2001, the ex-ambassador submitted a proposal regarding sale of properties in two phases.

Mr Husain, through his own sources, communicated an estimated sale price to the foreign affairs ministry without calling quotations through advertisements in violation of rules and procedure and exerted pressure on the ministry to grant him permission for sale of the properties.

The NAB reference alleged that without having any authority, he also entered into an agreement for the sale of the chancery building and kept it hidden from the ministry.

However, the accused “in order to save his skin, through his letter dated April 10, 2002, approached the office of the chief executive of Pakistan bypassing the ministry of foreign affairs to get approval regarding sale of chancery building,” the reference stated, adding Gen Musharraf had constituted a committee to probe the matter which found the former ambassador at fault.

The reference pointed out that the evaluation of the chancery building was carried out by the embassy of Pakistan through M/s Ray White.

“The report established that the accused by selling the property has caused a loss of $1.32 million to the national exchequer.”

According to NAB, “the accused has committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices” as defined in the National Accountability Ordinance.

The bureau requested the court to try and punish the accused in accordance with the law.

Accountability judge Mohammad Bashir will take up the matter again on September 17.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2020

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