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Ashiana Housing scandal: Accused sent on judicial remand again

LAHORE: An accountability court of Lahore sent Ahad Cheema and Shahid Shafique, accused in Ashiana Housing scheme scam, on a judicial remand for eight days.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) presented the two accused before the court in the case pertaining to the financial irregularities in Ashiana Housing scheme.

According to NAB officials, Ahad Cheema, as director general of Land and Development Authority (LDA), gave the contract of Ashiana Housing Scheme to a company in Rs14 billion whereas; it is unlawful to make any agreement above Rs150 million with a company.

It was due to the hired company’s incompetence that the project could not be completed in three-year duration which brought upon a loss of Rs640 million to the government, NAB officials said.

The anti-graft watchdog further apprised the court that 16,000 poor citizens paid Rs 610 million in Ashiana Iqbal Housing scheme.

The court later extended the judicial remands of Ahad Cheema and Shahid Shafique and adjourned the hearing until September 11.

In next hearing, it is expected that charges will framed against Ahad Cheema in the accountability court.

National Accountability Bureau had filed a reference, comprising more than 3000 pages, in which Ahad Cheema and others are accused of plundering national exchequer with embezzlement of billions of rupees.

The other suspects include proprietor of Bismillah Engineering Company Shahid Shafiq, Israr Saeed, Arif Majeed as well as Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) officials Imtiaz Haider and Bilal Qidwai.

It is worth mentioning that senior bureaucrat Fawad Hasan Fawad is also accused in Ashiana Housing scam and is in NAB’s custody at present. Fawad has twice served as principal secretary of former premiers Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif.



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