Petition filed against PM’s principal secretary


ISLAMABAD JULY 25 (TNS): A petition leveling allegations of “corrupt practices” has been filed against his principal secretary, Fawad Hassan Fawad, before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Khurram Mehmood Qureshi Advocate and others in their filed petition name the PM’s aide, his brother Waqar Hassan, real estate investors Gul Zareen and Qamar Chaudhry, and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as respondents and criticized the bureau for being lenient on influential individuals.

“NAB has failed to pursue matters pertaining to powerful and resourceful people in Pakistan, hence, it is encouraging corruption and has failed to act where it was bound to act,” the petition said. It alleged that Fawad, in collusion with his brother and the two investors, constructed a massive commercial project in the heart of Rawalpindi’s commercial district, where nine of the 10 floors in the building are owned by the two brothers.

It further claimed that the building was constructed by the siblings by exercising their influence to secure financing through the JS Bank. According to the petitioner, a Rs12 billion project is owned by a grade 21 officer. The petition also quoted the PM’s son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar, who had questioned Mr Fawad’s integrity on the floor of the lower house at one point in time.

It pointed out that the State Bank of Pakistan had strict prudential regulations regarding investment in construction projects. The bank in question did not provide such a loan to any other person from Rawalpindi or Islamabad for the purposes of construction in that year, and claimed that this establishes a clear bias, linked to the influence of a government servant and the misuse of his official position.

It asserts that Mr. Fawad and his brother secured the commercial plot in Rawalpindi’s Saddar area as part of an exchange with Gul Zareen – on the basis of certain promises and without any cash payment of the total amount. The two are alleged to have exchanged a residential plot on Haider Road, Rawalpindi for this commercial plot, opposite the General Post Office (GPO). The petition asked that the terms of this exchange should be probed by NAB, adding that Qamar Chaudhary is reportedly a guarantor for this deal.

In addition to the construction of a commercial plaza, the petition also leveled several other allegations; the gift of large swathes of land in Okara, shares in the New City Project Taxila and the Lahore Motorway City project etc. His involvement in the famous JS and Sprint Energy scandal regarding CNG stations may also be probed, the petition said.