ISLAMABAD, Jan 20: Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan warned on Thursday the ministry of defence to stay away from any joint venture with what he called the “notorious” owners of the Bahria Town real estate business.

In his remarks prior to a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly here at the Parliament House, Mr Nisar said: “It is a matter of record that over the last couple of decades these people have been found involved in all kinds of criminal activities, ranging from forceful occupation of land to murders committed in broad daylight.” Therefore, in case the Defence Housing Authority, Islamabad, entered into a partnership with the aforesaid business the armed forces of the country would get a bad name, said the head of the PAC.

Mr Nisar said the Bahria Town had complete support of the PPP government which was quite keen to get the DHA bill passed by the National Assembly, under whose façade the Bahria Town would expand its business. Behind the scenes, he said, both DHA and Bahria Town were planning a joint housing project in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

A DHA bill is currently lying with the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defence. The PML-N leadership has announced more than once that the party would oppose the bill if presented before the house.

Referring to another business tycoon who is known for his Liquefied Petroleum Gas business and for offering incentives to influential people in the form of LPG quota, Khwaja Asif of PML-N said: “Both these businessmen are the biggest criminals of the country.”

The lawmaker from Sialkot claimed that they could buy anybody in the country, be it individual or institution, to safeguard their interests.

Only this year, the owner of Bahria Town has borne the cost of Haj of nearly 300 media persons, who were sent to Saudi Arabia on a chartered plane.

“Now can you expect from these journalists who have performed Haj on his expenditures to raise any voice against him,” Mr Asif questioned.

The lawmaker also alleged that he also took care of liquidity issues of a couple of known media houses of the country.

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