–Four NAB KP prosecutors resign citing ‘personal issues’
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday said that it has not given a “clean chit” to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mehmood Khan in Malam Jabba land leasing case contrary to the latter’s claim on Monday.
NAB, in a statement, clarified that the “clean chit” claimed by Mehmood Khan was not true. The statement of Mehmood Khan before the joint investigation team (JIT) of KP NAB was unsatisfactory and he could be summoned again anytime in the same case, NAB added.
Meanwhile, four KP NAB prosecutors on Tuesday tendered their resignations to the NAB chairman, citing “personal issues” as the reason.
The prosecutors include Umer Farooq, Ashfaaq Dawoodzai, Hasnain Tariq, and Zairullah Khattak. The prosecutors had been serving the anti-graft body for many years. As a result of the prosecutors’ resignations, the ongoing cases in the accountability court are likely to be impacted.
The KP CM on Monday said that he had been given a “clean chit” by NAB over allegations of misappropriation of land that was leased out in Malam Jabba, Swat, for the development of ski resorts.
The chief minister appeared before accountability officials in Peshawar in connection with the case.
While talking to the media, he claimed that this was his “first and last appearance before NAB” in relation to the case. Mehmood Khan elaborated that he was only summoned given that he served as the KP sports, culture, tourism and museums minister at the time the decision to lease the land occurred.
“I was not aware of the lease nor had I signed an order allowing the lease,” he added.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader also defended the move to lease the land.
It was revealed in January this year that the KP government had leased 275 acres of land in the region instead of the original plan of leasing only 17 acres. The KP Forest Department owned the lands that were leased out to a private company for a period of 33 years even though original plans mandated a lease for 15 years. This was deemed to be in violations of rules and regulations.
KP Ehtesab Commission and the inspection team of the KP chief minister had also raised objections against the agreement at the time.
In January this year, NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal had directed the anti-graft body to initiate a probe into the matter.