LAHORE - A number of more bureaucrats from Punjab are expected to be arrested by the NAB on different charges after the arrest of Ahad Cheema.
Fawad Hasan Fawad, who was holding an important position in Punjab before his elevation and transfer to the federal government, is among such officers, The Nation has reported.
The provincial bureaucracy is already observing strike after the arrest of Mr Ahad Cheema, a step strongly opposed by the Punjab government as discriminatory but vehemently defended by the NAB .
Since Saturday and Sunday are closed holidays, the bureaucracy is expected to announce its future course of action on Monday (tomorrow), the first working day of the week.
The gravity of the situation could be gauged by the fact that Rangers had been deployed at NAB <link> Lahore for the protection of Mr Cheema and official records. Observers say that the step amounted to a no-trust against the provincial law enforcers.
There are reports that investigators have retrieved important data from Mr Cheema’s computer and cell phone.
The information gained from the arrested bureaucrat and his electronic devices have led to the arrest of Shahid Shafique, who is the brother of Paragon Society chief executive Nadeem Zia.
Shahid himself is the CEO of Bismillah Engineering Company, the entity that was awarded contract for the Ashiana Housing Scheme – despite its being not qualified for the job.
Some banners calling for the release of Mr Cheema were seen on The Mall, but were removed when the matter was pointed out by the media.
About the arrest of Cheema, the spokesman said it had been carried out in accordance with the law and the Bureau had concrete evidence against him.
The Bureau, he said, had nothing to do with politics or any political party or group. The NAB’s first and last affiliation is with Pakistan, its constitution and people, he said. The spokesman assured that nobody would be discriminated against on any basis.
Official sources say NAB <link> has also been investigating Metro Bus Multan project. It has not only sought project details from the government but also summoned officers allegedly involved in embezzlement of public money.
Those wanted by the anti-graft body include Multan Metro MD Sibtain Fazal, PD Sabir Khan and ex-PD Capt Asadullah Khan (who is also former Multan commissioner); and P&D ex-chairman Irfan Elahi, former Member Services Dr Naveed Ahmad, Member Infrastructure Dr Abid Bodla and chief technical officer Khalid Javed.
Multan Metro project suspects also include Punjab Mass Transit Authority GM Aziz Shah, Finance additional secretary Ashiq Hussain Aulakh, Housing additional secretary Shahid Latif, Dr Bushra Aman and others.
As for other mega corruption probes, former Saaf Pani Company CEO Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry – who was suspended by government on corruption charges – is wanted byNAB <link> . The Bureau is also investigating alleged corruption by former Rawalpindi Commissioner Zahid Saeed – who was project director of Metro Bus Rawalpindi.
The officers involved in mega scams are holding important positions. Former Multan Metro PD Asadullah Khan is now Irrigation secretary while former Rawalpindi Metro PD is now chief secretary of Punjab. Likewise, former P&D chairman Irfan Elahi is now federal secretary for Aviation.
Former Nandipur power generation project MD Capt (r) Muhammad Mehmood is serving as Agriculture secretary, former Member Services Dr Naveed Ahmad was posted Literacy secretary and then Member BOR, while former LDA DG Ahad Cheema holds the position of Quaid-e-Azam power company CEO.
Bureaucrats feel that the reaction being shown by the provincial government on the arrest of Mr Cheema was not seen when some other bureaucrats were made to face similar action in the past.
A senior administrative secretary of the DMG said that when Punjab government suspended officers on corruption charges, they were either arrested by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) or tried by the CMIT or other probe bodies, or they were expelled from the province.
Nobody had spoken for those officers then why all this hue and cry for Ahad Cheema alone, he questioned. He said that the ACE also arrested 12 livestock department directors, including the director general, but nobody raised a voice for them.