The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has reportedly decided to investigate former Pakistani ambassador to the United States (US) Ali Jahangir Siddiqui over charges of alleged corruption in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme scam.
According to reports, the accountability watchdog has decided to transform the inquiry against Siddiqui into an investigation after completion. An approval will soon be sought from NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal in this regard, the reports added.
The former ambassador is facing charges of alleged corruption in the Ashiana housing scam along with former federal secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad.
The NAB has reportedly availed the evidence showing his business partnership with Fawad Hasan Fawad. The reports further said that the accountability watchdog could issue arrest warrants of Siddiqui over his non-cooperation.
Siddiqui has appeared before the NAB only twice despite being summoned several times.
Former Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, former Federal Secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad, former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Ahad Cheema and others are already facing the charges of financial irregularities in Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme.
According to NAB, “The contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company Chaudhry Latif & sons but former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his aides awarded the Rs 14bn contract to Lahore Casa Developers – a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by former Railways Minister Saad Rafique”.
As per law, it is illegal for a government to make any agreement above Rs150mn with a single company.
“Fawad Hasan Fawad, who was the implementation secretary to the then Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif at the time, levelled charges of wrongdoings against Chaudhry Latif & sons so that the contract to be awarded to Casa Developers,” the anti-corruption body claimed.
It was due to the hired company’s incompetence that the project could not be completed in a three-year duration which brought upon a loss of Rs640mn to the government, NAB officials added.