LAHORE: The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has booked 10 persons including former chief minister Usman Buzdar, a son and friend of former first lady Bushra Bibi and five senior bureaucrats in the transfer-posting scam in the province during the PTI rule.

The provincial anti-graft body also booked Bushra Bibi and her brother Ahmad Mujtaba Wattoo in a separate corruption case along with three others in Okara. The ACE says the cases have been lodged after months of investigation.

According to the FIR, Bushra Bibi’s friend Farhat Shahzadi alias Farah Khan would receive millions of rupees from some bureaucrats for transfers and postings during the tenure of CM Usman Buzdar.

“Transfers and postings on desired positions were made by the Buzdar administration in Punjab on the recommendation of Farah Khan,” the ACE said.

Ex-PM’s wife, brother named in another case

The bureaucrats who have been named the FIR for giving handsome amount to Farah Khan in connection with transfers and postings are Tahir Khurshid (former principal secretary to then CM Buzdar), former Lahore DC Saleha Saeed, former LDA DGs Usman Muazzam and Ahmad Aziz Tarar and Gujranwala’s ex-DC Sohail Khawaja.

The ACE said Farah Khan allegedly received a sum of R450million bribes from the bureaucrats for desired postings. “Bushra Bibi’s son Ibrahim Manika would also get share in the bribe money from the staff of Farah Khan,” it said and added Tahir Khursheed, known as TK, was said to be the frontman of Mr Buzdar.

It is also being ascertained whether Bushra Bibi, wife of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, also received any amount from the bribe money.

According to the ACE, the role of more suspected bureaucrats is being probed for giving bribes to Farah Khan in transfers and postings.

In the Okara case, ACE registered an FIR against Bushra and her brother Wattoo in the Rs25million embezzlement case. Both are accused of embezzling the amount in the execution of development projects in the district.

On the other hand, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned Farah Khan on Thursday (today) in a money laundering and income beyond means case.

The NAB has detected Rs4.5bn in transactions in over 100 bank accounts belonging to Farah Khan and her husband Jameel Gujjar. She left the country with her husband in April last year.

According to NAB, 117 bank accounts, including foreign currency accounts, have been identified, and transactions amounting to Rs4.5bn were made by the couple during the tenure of former chief minister Usman Buzdar.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2023

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