KARACHI, Sept. 5 (TNS): National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi has sent an inquiry report to NAB chairman, Islamabad for filing a reference against Director General Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) on owning assets beyond his sources of income.
According to NAB, a reference would be sought against SBCA DG Iftikhar Qaimkhani, after an approval by the executive board meeting. As per the standard operational procedure (SOP), NAB is required to gain an authorisation from the NAB headquarters (HQs) to take further action against grade 21 officials.
Meanwhile, NAB Karachi has also forwarded its recommendations on the case to NAB chairman through NAB Operations Division as well as NAB Prosecutor Division. Qaimkhani confirmed to Daily Times that NAB Karachi has sent an inquiry against him to NAB Headquarters in Islamabad.
DG SBCA Iftikhar Qaimkhani was allegedly involved in collecting billions (bn) of rupees and accumulating assets beyond means and partnering with builders in many housing projects. These revelations were made during the course of investigation against former SBCA director Nisar Ahmed Ansari who was arrested and interrogated. Following the interrogation, the authorities searched his house and seized important documents. Some of the seized documents revealed that the current SBCA DG owned assets beyond his means.
After receiving a complaint on May 10, 2017 Karachi NAB deputy director Mir Ali Raza Talpur, NAB additional director Shahzada Imtiaz Ahmed launched a probe into Iftikhar Qaimkhani’s assets after NAB chairman approved the inquiry request on September 13, last year.
Among the documents retrieved from the former SBCA director’s house was an unsigned arbitration award. The document revealed that Iftikhar Qaimkhani was the business partner of Nisar Ahmed Ansari and Faisal Hussain in many projects and there arose dispute among them and finally the matter went into arbitration tribunal Karachi.
According to documents available with Daily Times, Iftikhar Qaimkhani is the sole owner of a plot in Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society (PECHS) on Khalid bin Waleed Road. However, the SBCA DG’s name is not included in official record kept by Land Administration & Revenue Management Information System (LARMIS). His other properties include a plot in Hydri, North Nazimabad and a penthouse in a project namely Palm Residency which is located in Frere Town.
As per the reply received from Clifton Cantonment Board chief executive officer (CEO), a house in Phase VI, Defence Housing Authority (DHA) with an estimated market value of Rs70 million (mn) is owned by Ms Uzma Iftikhar, the wife of Iftikhar Qaimkhani. Another house in Navy Housing Society, where Qaimkhani resides, is registered in name of rear admiral Syed Rashid Hussain. .
The Karachi MEO Karachi, through a letter issued in 2017, approved transfer of property in name of Iftikhar Qaimkhani but Iftikhar Qaimkhani has reportedly not approached the office to change ownership of properties with an estimated market value Rs 200 mn.
Meanwhile, Justice (r) Ameer Muslim Hani who is also the head of Water Commission (WC), during a hearing on illegal parking lot built by Imtiaz Supermarket, warned Qaimkhani to dismantle the site. Under his observations, Justice (retd) Hani also directed the SBCA DG to remove encroachments in parts of city under SBCA’s jurisdiction.
WC upon receiving public complaints also issued a notice to Qaimkhani and directed him to demolish encroachments in Nazimabad and adjoining areas. However, Qaimkhani sought one month’s time for completion of action on hearing day as 26 days were left for furnishing his obligation.
Meanwhile, Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani has also sought details from SBCA DG on illegal construction and actions taken by SBCA to put an end to them. The minister has also inquired about action taken against malpractice of the SBCA officials.