The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday declared Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif “innocent” in the Ashiana Housing case, adding that no evidence of corruption was found in the contract of the scheme.
According to a report issued by the accountability bureau, there was no loss to the national treasury nor did Premier get any financial benefit from the project. NAB also reported that No misuse of authority was found during their inquiry.
“It is proved beyond any doubt that the treasury didn’t suffer any loss,” the anti-graft body concluded in its report.
Moreover, it asserted: “No evidence of misuse of powers was found against Shahbaz Sharif.”
The report submitted by NAB officials in court emphasizes that the accusations against Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana Housing scandal could not be substantiated. The inquiry was conducted twice, and no evidence was discovered to support claims of any wrongdoing.
The report submitted by NAB in court urges that the accusations against Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana Housing scandal could not be substantiated. The inquiry was conducted twice, and no evidence was discovered to support claims of any wrongdoing.
Report also stated that Kamran Kayani, brother of former Army chief General (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, also didn’t cause any damage to the treasury.
Moreover, the inquiry report also found that Fawad Hasan Fawad — who at the time was Secretary Implementation to then-Punjab chief minister Shehbaz — took no bribe to award the contract.
The NAB report confirmed that the contract for the Ashiana Housing Scheme was awarded in accordance with the law. The report emphasized that anti-corruption laws were strictly followed during the inquiry process.
Remember that it is the second major NAB case against the prime minister in which he was found innocent.
Ashiana Housing Scheme Scandal
Ashiana Housing Schem launched in 2011 which was touted as a low-cost housing scheme.
According to NAB reference, Shehbaz Sharif was accused of misusing his authority to illegally issue directives for cancellation of the contract with regard to the housing project in 2014.
In March 2014, the former chief minister had visited the Ashiana-e-Iqbal project site and halted its bidding process, according to the reference.
The Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) was looking after the project, but Mr Sharif misused his authority and after visiting the site decided to assign the project to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) which resulted in the award of the contract to the Lahore Casa Developers (JV), causing Rs715m loss to the exchequer, the reference reads.
Contracts awarded to M/s Ch. A Latif and Sons for the development and infrastructure of the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Project were illegally cancelled and awarded to Lahore Casa Developers (LCD), a proxy group of Paragon City Private Limited.
The NAB had arrested Shehbaz Sharif in the scam on 5th October 2018, inside its Lahore office where he had appeared after being summoned for questioning in connection with a probe into the Saaf Pani Company scam.
According to NAB, “the contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company titled Chaudhry Latif and Sons but former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and his aides awarded the Rs 14 billion contract to Lahore Casa Developers – a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by then Railways Minister Saad Rafique”.