LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore arrested on Monday Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s ticket holder from NA-59 Rawalpindi-III in connection with Punjab Saaf Pani Company corruption case.
Engineer Qamarul Islam, who has served as the chairman of the Saaf Pani Company, is accused of having awarded contracts for 84 water treatment plants at a higher price.
The Punjab government established the company to conceive, plan, design, execute and manage projects for provision of safe drinking water, in terms of both access and quality, to the communities living in unserved and underserved areas i.e. rural and peri-urban areas of the province.
According to the NAB, Islam misused his position and awarded contracts at a higher rate.
The arrest comes a day after the PML-N fielded Islam against Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in NA-59 constituency.
Responding to a question about the arrest of PML-N candidate from NA-59 constituencyQamar-ul-Islam, Nawaz said that he was upset when he learned of Islam’s arrest.
We would get more information about his arrest, he added.
On the other hand, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar said that the NAB action was condemnable.
The former interior minister said that this could make the election controversial.
‘Sabotaging election campaign’
Islam’s daughter, Uswa Islam, said that her father was an honest man, alleging that the purpose of Islam’s arrest was to “sabotage his election campaign.”
She said that another purpose of her father’s arrest was to affect the popularity of the PML-N.
Uswa said that her father was present at the NAB’s Lahore office following a letter written to him pertaining to an inquiry by the anti-graft body.
“My father is a diabetic and he is not being allowed administration of injections,” she alleged.
NAB arrests ex-CEO of Saaf Pani Company
On the other hand, NAB officials also apprehended former CEO of Punjab Saaf Pani Company, Wasim Ajmal.
Ajmal is accused of making changes to the company’s documents after project bidding, the NAB said, terming the act a violation of rules.
The anti-graft body, in a statement, said the former CEO illegally set up 8 filtration plants in tehsil Dunyapur.
The area was not listed in the contract and Ajmal changed the clauses with the connivance of contractors and the consultant, the statement said.
The NAB further stated that Ajmal provided Rs24.7 million to a firm without approval from board of directors [of Punjab Saaf Pani Company].
It further said that Ajmal’s appointment as CEO was also illegal.
Islam and Ajmal will both be produced before an accountability court on Tuesday, the NAB said, for the sake of obtaining their physical remand.