Ashiana housing case: Punjab govt suspends Ahad Cheema

Suspension period will start from the day of his arrest by NAB and will last for three months

Amin Hafeez

LAHORE: The Punjab government has suspended from service for three months Lahore Development Authority former director general Ahad Cheema, who was arrested on February 21 in a case related to Ashiana-e-Iqbal housing project.

According to a notification issued by the Punjab government, Cheema’s suspension will start from the day he was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau and will last for three months.

Cheema, a grade-19 employee, was serving as the chief executive of Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power Limited when he was arrested.

The sources in Punjab Civil Secretariat said that notification of Cheema’s arrest was issued after approval from the federal government.

Cheema was arrested after NAB detected illegalities and corruption worth billions in a deal between Paragon Housing Society and Punjab Land Development Company to construct the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Society, a low-cost project of the Punjab government.

A NAB representative said Cheema allegedly received 32 kanals of land as bribe from the owners of Paragon Housing Society.

As DG LDA, Cheema awarded contracts worth billions to the same company.

It has also been said that he illegally distributed expensive tracts of land among those who were his favourites.

Following his arrest, the Punjab bureaucracy went up in arms demanding that their colleague be treated with respect. Moreover, the Punjab Assembly also passed a resolution against NAB for its alleged maltreatment of Cheema.