SC questions $233.7m security contract with foreign company

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ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to the federation, directing it to file para-wise comments against a petition challenging a commercial contract worth $233.7 million awarded to a foreign company for an extravagant security venture in Islamabad and Peshawar.
A two-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Ghulam Rabbani was conducting hearing on a petition filed by Shahid Orakzai that challenged the commercial contract which was allegedly in violation of fundamental right enshrined in Article 18. The court directed the federation to file the comments by March 25.
In his petition, Orakzai had contended that the respondent, the federation, signed a contract worth $233.7 million with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, China, last month for an extravagant security venture in Islamabad and Peshawar involving $124.7 million and $109 million respectively. He said the equipment was reportedly priced three times higher than current market rates, while the press allegedly reported massive kickbacks and commissions in the contract.
He contended that the price of the two projects was around Rs 20 billion and the federation planned to extend it to other major cities on inflated rates.