Ex-generals to be tried in Railway land scam

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–NAB files references against Lt Gen (r) Javed Qazi, Lt Gen (r) Saeeduz Zafar, other senior officials for illegally awarding lease of Railway Golf Club in Lahore

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday filed a corruption reference against two former lieutenant generals from the Pakistan Army and others in relation to the illegal award of lease of “Railway Golf Club, Lahore in Islamabad Accountability Court.

The reference filed in a local accountability court has named Lt Gen (r) Javed Ashraf Qazi, Chairman Railways and former Federal Minister for Communication and Railways Lt Gen (r) Saeeduz Zafar, Maj Gen (r) Hamid Hassan Butt, Pakistan Railways former Member Finance Brig (r) Akhtar Ali Baig, Pakistan Railways former GM Iqbal Samad Khan, Pakistan Railways former Operations General Manager (GM) Khurshid Ahmed Khan, Directorate of Property & Land Pakistan Railways Director Abdul Ghaffar, Pakistan Railways former Divisional Superintendents Ramzan Sheikh and Pervaiz Qureshi sponsors of Royal Palm Golf Club and five other officers/officials, stated a NAB press release.

During a board meeting held last month, NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal approved the corruption references filing in the case concerning a land deal made in 2001.

In the year 2001, Pakistan Railway offered the lease of its Golf Club at Canal Bank, Lahore for a period of 33 years for which a number of firms submitted bids including MAX Corps Pvt Ltd. During the bidding process, the lease period was illegally enhanced to 49 years instead of 33. Moreover, the land area that was being offered was illegally increased from 103 acres to 140 acres by demolishing the Railway Officers Colony.

Hence, the precious piece of land was leased out in a non-transparent manner in order to grant illegal benefits to the leaseholder who is Mainland Hasnain Ltd (MHPL).

It has been established that during the investigation, the above mention accused person committed the offence of corruption through the misuse of authority by the illegally leasing land to Mainland Hasnain Pakistan Ltd for commercial purposes which resulted in the national exchequer losing Rs 2 billion.