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On court order: Muqam gets his funds

June 21, 2012

ISLAMABAD, June 20: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered release of development funds of former leader of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) Amir Muqam.

The decision came after the federal government admitted that the funds had been frozen on the recommendation of his previous party chiefs.

Engineer Amir Muqam has joined the PML-N on April 6 after leaving the PML-Q.

Earlier on April 4, the IHC judge Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan, while hearing the petition of Mr Muqam seeking release of the funds for his constituency, NA-31 Shangla, restrained the respondents from giving the funds to any other constituent.

The court also sought the reply of the respondents, the prime minister’s secretariat, secretaries cabinet division, planning and development division, housing and works and director general Public Works Department.

The Prime Minister’s Secretariat in its written reply to the petition admitted that the funds had been frozen on the recommendations of the leaders of PML-Q.

The reply said on the complaints about misuse of the funds in the development schemes of Shangla, the PML-Q leadership proposed the freeze in the public interest.

According to the reply, earlier PML-Q president had recommended to the prime minister to allocate Rs200 million for the execution of development schemes identified by engineer Amir Muqam for his constituency under People’s Works Programme-II.

The reply said after freezing the funds “MNA Muqam approached the PM secretariat for its restoration but he was requested to approach his party leadership (PML-Q) in this regard as the funds were granted on their recommendations.”

His counsel Athar Minallah pleaded before the court that Shangla district was being “victimised” because its elected representative Amir Muqam opposed his party’s joining the coalition government at the centre.

According to him, the federal government on December 12, 2011 arbitrarily withdrew the development package for Shangla. Later, Mr Muqam was approached and asked to reconsider his decision of joining the PML-N and in return was offered resumption of the package for his constituency.

Advocate Minallah pointed out that after the refusal of Mr. Muqam to take his decision back he was removed from PML-Q and the government froze funds for all the development schemes of his constituency on March 28, 2012.

He said the government was not only victimising the legislator but also creating problems for other residents of the area, adding that their actions were actually causing loss and damage to the constituents of NA-31 as well as to the national exchequer.