NAB rejects allegations levelled by wife of arrested LDA ex-DG
LHC petitioned over Punjab bureaucracy’s protest against Ahad Cheema’s arrest
LAHORE: Saima Ahad, wife of the arrested former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Khan Cheema on Monday alleged that the NAB was “conducting a media trial” of her husband.
“The allegations levelled on my husband are baseless, malicious, fabricated, concocted and uncalled for,” she said while adding that Cheema had eight kanals of land in his name against NAB’s allegation of 32 kanals.
“He (Ahad) purchased this land after selling his ancestral land in Lahore and declared this land in his assets statement accordingly,” she said.
“The bureau keeps on changing its allegations in the statements that it issues to the media. The sole purpose of this practice is to malign my husband before the public and conduct his media trial since the anti-graft body has no proofs against him,” said Saima.
“There is no truth in the bureau’s allegations. The bureau also released a picture of him being behind the bars only to vilify him,” she added.
She said that the bureau confiscated Cheema’s passport which was “not fair”.
“The NAB launched a propaganda on the social as well as the mainstream media that my husband was about to flee the country. He only had a visa to Saudi Arabia and that too for performing Umrah. There was no other visa on his passport,” she claimed.
She alleged that the NAB had denied a fair trial to Cheema. “In a fair trial, proofs are gathered against the accused and it is then that he or she is investigated. In Ahad’s case, the accused has been arrested before and the bureau is later sorting out the allegations that it is going to level on him.”
Saima also lashed out over the deployment of Rangers outside the bureau after Cheema’s arrest, and raised objections over the release of her picture with her husband during the meeting and questioned why her permission wasn’t sought.
She also questioned the appointment of two NAB officers “to look over a meeting between a husband and a wife”.
NAB REJECTS SAIMA’S ALLEGATIONS:
On the other hand, NAB spokesperson Muhammad Zeeshan rejected the allegations of Cheema’s wife. “It’s the bureau whose media trial is being conducted,” he said while adding that the NAB had solid proofs against Cheema.
“If he owns eight kanals, he should prove it before the court of law. He was brought in an armoured vehicle due to security concerns. It is a general practice of the NAB to release a ‘behind the bars’ picture of the arrested to the media. This is not discriminatory. If the NAB has had no proofs against him, the judge would not have given him into an 11-day remand,” he added.
He also said the Cheema’s passport was confiscated so that he may not fly abroad. “Cheema in his replies to the NAB had said that his work did not come under the purview of the NAB,” said Zeeshan.
“The NAB under the law can arrest any government officer,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention that the NAB on Monday had allowed Cheema to meet his wife for an hour. According to a notification issued by the NAB, Justice (r) Javed Iqbal had allowed the meeting on humanitarian grounds, but Saima claimed that the meeting was arranged over court’s orders.
LHC PETITIONED OVER PUNJAB BUREAUCRACY’S PROTEST AGAINST CHEEMA’S ARREST:
Earlier on Monday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) was petitioned against bureaucrats and officers of Punjab government who protested over the arrest of former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Ahad Cheema.
Calling the protest observed by a section of the Punjab bureaucracy illegal, the petition asserts that the government officers are sole servants of the state rather than persons and their protest was in violation of the civil service rules.
The petitioner pleaded with the court for an action against the officers for intervening National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation into the Ashiana Housing scam.
It may be noted that on Friday, officers belonging to the District Management Group (DMG) locked down their offices in protest against, what they term is the “unlawful arrest” of the former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Cheema by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). During a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the officers demanded Cheema’s release, saying that if his arrest was necessary he should have been taken into custody properly and not in an “unlawful” way. Later in the day, the chief minister directed the officials to reopen their offices.
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Classic gag by all the corrupt out there. Whenever caught, blame your dead ancestors for the accumalated wealth which has not been earned!
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