NA speaker issues production order for Saad Rafique

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–Accountability court approves PML-N’s senior leader’s transit remand till Dec 26

 

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) Speaker Asad Qaiser on Thursday issued production order for detained Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Khawaja Saad Rafique.

The production order has been issued after consistent protests from the opposition parties, especially the PML-N that had vowed to not let the National Assembly function till issuance of Saad’s production order.

The order has been issued under the NA’s rule number 108 which states that a speaker can summon “an under-custody lawmaker to appear before the assembly”.

In addition to that, the accountability court has also approved Saad Rafique’s transit remand till December 26.

Saad and his brother Salman Rafique were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with the Paragon Housing Society scam after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected their request for an extension in their pre-arrest bail.

Following their arrests, NAB Lahore issued a press release stating that “accused Saad Rafique along with his benamidaar wife Ghazala Saad Rafique, brother Salman Rafique in association with Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue which was converted into a new housing project namely M/S Paragon City Pvt Limited. The record shows that M/S Paragon City is an illegal society.”

“Accused in collusion, connivance and collaboration of Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia cheated the members of the public at large and obtained illegal pecuniary benefits from the funds of the said illegal housing project,” it added.

Further, it stated, “Accused is operating this illegal housing project through his associates/ co-accused persons who are collecting deposits from the general public despite clear directions from LDA that this project is unapproved.”

“Accused has been and is continuously obtaining illegal/ illegitimate funds/ benefits from the said project as he obtained 40 kanal plots in his own name and the name of his brother Salman Rafique.”

The press release continued, “Accused by misusing his official position continued the expansion and marketing of illegal housing project and also obtained undue benefits in the form of sale of numbers of commercial plots worth billions of rupees which were actually not owned by M/S Paragon City. Thus the buyers have been cheated through this act of corruption and corrupt practices.”

PARAGON SCAM:

On December 11, the anti-graft body arrested the Khawaja brothers after the Lahore High Court rejected their bail plea in the case pertaining to Paragon City housing society scam.

NAB had launched an investigation into the alleged scam in November after a number of victims staged protests and held a press conference at the Lahore Press Club against what they termed housing society’s fraud.

Last month, in a major development, Qaiser Amin Butt, a director of the Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, became an approver against PML-N stalwart Khawaja Saad Rafique in the Paragon City scandal.

The Paragon City director recorded his confession before the NAB chief, in which he spilled the beans that real owners of the Paragon City were, in fact, Khawaja brothers, further revealing that they tricked people and deprived them of money.