Ex-army officials accused of corruption in Islamabad airport project, Senate told | Pakistan Today

Ex-army officials accused of corruption in Islamabad airport project, Senate told

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday informed the Senate that an inquiry of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has found over a dozen retired senior military officials among the 34 facing charges of corruption in the project of New Islamabad International Airport.

The interior ministry in its written reply shared with the Senate the details of an inquiry conducted by FIA in the alleged embezzlement in the construction of New Islamabad International Airport.

According to the FIA inquiry, a total 13 retired officers of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have been allegedly found involved in the corruption scandal including one each retired lieutenant general and air marshal, two retired major generals, six retired air vice-marshals, two retired brigadiers and one retired air commodore.

The inquiry found that out of the total 34 accused, 10 are primary accused and 24 people are secondary accused while two retired army brigadiers are among the primary accused and all other retired army and air force officials are out of the secondary accuse.

The House was informed that 10 primary accused include former project directors of the new airport Brig (retd) Iftikhar Ali, Brig (retd) Bilal Hameed, M Musharraf Khan and Vikram S Sodha; Asif Basheer Ahmad and M Roohullah, ex-director planning and development Civil Aviation Authority (CAA); and Yousaf Kamal, former director works and development CAA.

The primary accused also include senior officials of the Project Management Consultant, LBG USA & ECIL, Karachi; Design Consultants of Airside Infrastructure: ADPI France & NESPAK Pakistan; and Design Consultants of PTB: CPG Singapore & ARCOP Karachi.

The 24 secondary accused include retired military officials; ex-chairman Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Board Lt General (retd) Tariq Waseem, former members of the CAA Board Major General (retd) Mir Haider Ali Khan, Major General (retd) Ashraf Chaudhry, Air Marshal (retd) Rashid Kaleem and AVM (retd) Shahid Latif; ex-directors general CAA AVM (retd) Khalid Ch and Air Commodore (retd) Junaid Ameen; ex-deputy DGs of CAA AVM (retd) Ritz ul Haq, and AVM (retd) Salid Habib; and ex-Deputy DOs CAA AVM (retd) Junaid Ahmad Siddiqui and AVM (retd) M Safdar Khan.

Among the secondary accused, the civilians are ex-chairman CAA Board Kamran Rasool; former members of CAA Board Munawar Hameed, Mian Muhammad Mansha, Qasim Rabbani, Giasuddin Ahmed, Tariq Kirmani, Alam R. Khan, Liaquat Ali Chaudhry, Muhammad Azhar-ul-Haq, Akram Malik, and Basit Ahmed Sultan Bukhari; and ex-directors General CAA Nadeem Khan Yousafzai and Farooq Rehmatullah.

The interior ministry informed the Senate that these accused were found by the inquiry responsible for the delay in completion and cost overrun of the project.

Main causes of this delay included faulty PC-1, splitting of the project into 17 packages, faulty land procurement, low standard services by consultants and arbitrary increase in capacity of passenger terminal building.

The other reasons are the conversion of the emergency runway into secondary, package-zero of earthwork, wrong selection of consultants and awarding construction of passenger terminal building to World Bank debarred company.

The FIA had concluded inquiry in 2014 and submitted two successive reports to the Ministry of Interior (MOI).

Afterward, the Prime Minister Office constituted a senior three-member committee headed by Shams-ul-Mulk, former WAPDA Chairman in 2015 to examine the fact-finding inquiry report by Lt Gen (retd) Shahid Niaz and FIA inquiry report by Ghalib Ali Bandesha, the then DG FIA.

The committee upheld the findings of both previous inquiry reports and recommended the CAA to initiate departmental action against concerned project directors for inaction and inefficiency and seek the support of FIA to pursue investigation where deemed mandatory.

The Interior Ministry in its reply said that one of the accused Vikram S Sodha, ex-project director CAA, filed a writ petition in the Sindh High Court challenging the jurisdiction of the FIA inquiry proceedings. The petition is still pending before the court, the ministry added.

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