- Ex-Chairman of Saaf Pani allegedly awarded contracts for 84 water treatment plants in four tehsils at inflated rates
- Shehbaz Sharif summoned on July 5 and Zaeem Qadri on June 27
- Ex-PM Abbasi calls arrest ‘contempt of elections’
- Fawad Hasan Fawad summoned in Ashiana Housing Scheme case
LAHORE, June 26: An accountability court on Tuesday handed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Engineer Qamarul Islam and Waseem Ajmal, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Saaf Pani project, to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on physical remand till July 9.
The suspects were presented in court on Tuesday following their arrest on Monday evening.
Islam is the PML-N ticketholder against former interior minister Chaudhry Nasir Ali Khan from Rawalpindi’s NA-59 constituency. He was the chairman of the Punjab government-owned Saaf Pani Company and is accused of awarding contracts for 84 water treatment plants at a higher price in four tehsils.
During the hearing, NAB officials stated that the accused are involved in corruption worth millions of rupees. The NAB prosecutor requested the judge to grant a 15-day physical remand of the accused.
Islam’s lawyer opposed NAB’s request, alleging that his client was being subjected to political victimization. However, the judge admitted NAB’s plea and gave the watchdog custody of the two accused.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Islam claimed that he will still receive votes even if he’s incarcerated.
According to NAB, the accused had awarded contracts to SB Pumps Company and KSB Pumps Company on inflated rates, and got contract of 102 water plants forcibly approved from the board of Continued on page 7
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The anti-graft watchdog asserted that the former CEO of Saaf Pani Company installed eight illegal filtration plants in Tehsil Dunyapur and money was acquired for office that was not established.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi demanded an immediate release of Islam while speaking to reporters in the federal capital.
Following Islam’s abrupt arrest by the anti-graft body, the PML-N had objected to it, arguing it could impact elections.
Abbasi termed the arrest “pre-poll rigging”, and stated the act was contempt of the election itself.
Meanwhile, the anti-graft body has also summoned former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and former PML-N leader Zaeem Qadri on July 5 and June 27, respectively.
On June 4, Shehbaz Sharif had skipped pertaining to the Punjab Saaf Pani Company (PSPC) scam and instead, sent a representative who submitted written answers to the bureau’s questions. He has skipped two NAB hearing in total hitherto-June 25 hearing as well.
According to NAB, Shehbaz was summoned because he, in his capacity as a chief minister, had approved the alleged illegal projects being run by the company.
Separately, NAB has also summoned Fawad Hasan Fawad, Ex-Principal Secretary, on July 3 in a case pertaining to the Ashiana Housing Scheme.
Fawad is accused of overstepping his authority in Ashiana project, which he denies. He is suspected of having misused his authority while he was posted in the Punjab government.-Agencies