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PPP seeks NAB reference against ex-CM Khattak over BRT

PPP seeks NAB reference against ex-CM Khattak over BRT

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has urged the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference against former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak for alleged irregularities in the multi-billion Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project being undertaken in Peshawar.

Read: Damning report of public money waste on Peshawar BRT

PPP KP president Humayum Khan and secretary general Faisal Karim Kundi called on NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal here on Thursday and submitted a complaint in this regard.

The complaint said: “Since from the very inception of contract, its award, technicalities involved in the matter, the survey reports, assessment of ridership, import of buses for the said project, acquisition of land, its utilisation and compensation made thereof was based on nepotism, favouritism, biasness and glaring illegalities floating on the surface of the record which has caused grave loss to the government exchequer and further weakened the economic situation of the province.”

The NAB chairman assured the PPP leaders that the complaint would be entertained according to the law. “NAB believes in accountability for all and self-accountability as per law,” he said, adding that NAB respected all politicians and it had no affiliations with any party, group or individual.

The complaint said the previous KP government had claimed that the BRT project cost was far less than other projects, but it went up almost twice and even after completion the failures and defects of drawing, maps, construction and roads were apparent on the surface.

It said the BRT project was so devised to implicate as if it would bring peace, prosperity and tranquility to the inhabitants of Peshawar, but it had uprooted the very economic fabric of the district.

The PPP leaders claimed that the project was so ill-planned that no concept paper was prepared to see if it was feasible for domestic needs or not.

They said the KP government had failed to complete the project within the stipulated time and as per media reports its cost had reached Rs70 billion, which was still enhancing as the project had not yet been completed.

They alleged that the government officials concerned launched the project for personal benefits and caused loss of billions of rupees to the exchequer. “The recent report of provincial inspection team speaks irregularities in award of contract as well as its execution later on,” they added.

“The government officials have committed an offence under Section 9 of the NAB Ordinance for favouring their blue-eyed persons and for their own illegal gains and motives, which is punishable under Section 10 of the NAB Ordinance,” they said.

The PPP leaders requested NAB to investigate the case and file a reference in the competent court so that the “black sheep” could be surfaced and they be dealt in accordance with the law.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2019

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