ISLAMABAD: The National Ac­­c­o­untability Bureau chairman informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday that the bureau had initiated inquiries against flagship projects of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government of PTI and these inquiries would conclude soon.

Briefing the PAC, NAB Chairman Aftab Sultan said that inquiries had been initiated into alleged corruption in Malam Jabba and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects some six weeks ago and these inquiries would be completed within six months.

In September this year, the PAC had directed the bureau to revive the investigation into the Malam Jabba and the Bank of Khyber cases. It also asked the bureau to pursue the BRT case in the Supreme Court.

In July last year, NAB had given a clean chit to Azam Khan, then PM’s principal secretary, KP Chief Minis­ter Mehmood Khan and ex-minister Pervaiz Khattak in the 275-acre Malam Jabba skiing-chairlift resort case.

An inquiry against them was auth­orised to probe allegations of “lease of forest land measuring 270 acres”, “extension of lease period from 15 to 33 years” and “irregularities/violations in the bidding process”.

The bureau was also probing the illegal appointments in the Bank of Khyber. However, this inquiry was closed a couple of years ago.

Mr Sultan told the PAC that NAB would open an inquiry into the alleged misuse of the helicopter of the KP government. He said the bureau had acquired a list of those people who had misused the helicopter, adding that names of some media persons were also included in the list.

Mr Sultan said that NAB had sent the list to the KP government, asking the provincial government to recover the amount from those who had misused the helicopter.

The NAB chairman said that the bureau had shared report with the KP government about the inquiry and, the provincial government objected to the proposed bill of Rs198 million and sought details from the bureau.

PAC chairman Noor Alam Khan said that the Bank of Khyber had refused to share the record with the Auditor General of Pakistan.

Mr Khan said that PAC would ask NAB to probe alleged corruption in mega projects of other provinces, adding that the committee would refer the Karachi Port Trust case to the bureau.

The committee noted that NAB had not initiated proceeding into a case referred to it by the PAC about installation of a pipeline from Mohmand Agency to Lahore.

The NAB chairman assured the committee that he would conclude the proceedings against all cases referred by PAC, adding that action would be taken against those officers who deliberately delayed investigation into the cases.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2022

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