Saad Rafique tells NAB he’s busy, asks for another date

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LAHORE: Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, who was slated to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday in relation to a corruption probe into the Paragon housing scheme in Lahore, has sent a letter to the accountability watchdog asking to set another date for questioning as he is busy with official work.

Speaking to a private news outlet, Saad Rafique stated that he had received the NAB summons on Wednesday.

“I am currently in Islamabad and busy with official work. I have to meet the Chinese ambassador as well,” he said, adding that he has sent a letter to the NAB asking to set another date for questioning.

He further went on to state that he was prepared to answer NAB’s questions into the Paragon Housing probe and reiterated that he had no link with the housing society.

Saad Rafique criticising NAB said, “It has been observed that NAB follows black law, we have always considered it black law and even though we don’t adhere to this law we are still ready to appear before the bureau and submit all details.”

He added that whether it has been PML-N’s tenure or someone else’s, there has never been transparency and the officials who were hired during Musharraf’s tenure are sitting in NAB, so it is clear to see who is being targeted and questioned.

Punjab’s Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique, who is Saad’s younger brother, has also been summoned in a separate probe on March 26 by NAB.

On March 15, in an official handout, the anti-graft body’s spokesman said that NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal had approved investigation against Khawaja Saad, several PR officials and others for alleged embezzlement in the procurement of modern computer-based interlocking system, generators and other equipment for Rohri-Tando Adam Khan sector.

Earlier, NAB confiscated several laptops and document files during a raid at Paragon City office. The raid was conducted in relation to the ongoing investigation against alleged mega corruption and irregularities in Ashiana Housing Scheme.

The NAB has expanded its investigation of Ashiana Housing scandal and LDA City projects after arresting former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Cheema and Bismillah Engineering Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shahid Siddique.