PAC to get GHQ findings in NLC scam soon

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ISLAMABAD – The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Saturday that the inquiry conducted by the General Headquarters (GHQ) into mega financial scam of the National Logistic Cell (NLC) would be provided to it soon. Opposition leader Nisar Ali Khan, who chaired the meeting, praised the Ministry of Defence and the GHQ for their cooperation with the PAC in probing the NLC scam. “I also received a message from a very senior official in the GHQ that the inquiry into the financial irregularities in NLC was being conducted in the light of the directives of the PAC,” Nisar said, adding, “We have been assured of complete cooperation from the GHQ.”
Praising the performance of Defence Secretary Lt General (r) Athar Ali and Housing and Works Secretary Raja Abbas on audit reports relating to their ministries, Nisar said there were some ministries which were not complying with the PAC’s directives.
The auditor general of Pakistan had reported to the PAC a few months ago that the NLC had obtained Rs 4.3 billion in loans from banks between 2004 and 2008 for investment in volatile bourses and suffered Rs 1.84 billion losses. “NLC was also paying Rs 2.7 million per day on account of mark-up on loans illegally obtained to invest in the stock market,” the audit officials had told.
In December 2010, the PAC had expressed reservations over the probe being conducted by the Pakistan Army into the National Logistic Cell (NLC) scam on the directions of army chief General Ashfaq Kayani. “The PAC has already complied three inquiry reports on the NLC scam and the inquiry report of the Pakistan Army would be considered a fourth one without any status of being a final verdict,” PAC Chairman Nisar had said at that time. He had questioned the army’s authority to probe retired military officials under the Army Act, upon which Defence Secretary Athar Shah had said according to military rules, the army could investigate any serving or retired military official.
General Kayani had ordered a high-level inquiry into allegations of corruption of Rs 4 billion in NLC. A serving corps commander had been nominated to head the inquiry along with two major-generals as members. The inquiry reports pending before the PAC, had established the involvement of two retired lieutenant generals, one major general and two civilians in the scam. The accused included Lt Gen (r) Afzal Muzaffar, Lt Gen (r) Khalid Munir Khan, NLC DG Maj Gen Khalid Tahir Akthar, DFA Najeebullah and chief finance officer Saeedur Rehman. On Saturday, Nisar directed the Auditor General of Pakistan to finalise their report into misuse of official vehicles in the government departments.
He pointed out that the PAC and its special committees including the implementation and monitoring committee had played a defining role in recovery of embezzlement in the national exchequer. “It is an achievement that the PAC’s working resulted in recovery of Rs 18 billion in the last six months,” he said. The officials from the Ministry of Interior and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), who had been summoned to respond to public complaints with regard to fictitious CNICs and their issuance to non-residents, told the committee that more than 90,000 CNICs issued to Afghan refugees had been cancelled and such cases had been forwarded to Interior Ministry for investigation.

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