KP CM appears before NAB in Malam Jabba land case

Mehmood Khan, former KP tourism minister, summoned by NAB today for questioning


PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mehmood Khan appeared before the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) Peshawar office on Monday in connection with a case involving misappropriation of land leased out in Malam Jabba for ski resorts.

According to NAB officials, Mehmood was summoned for questioning in his capacity as the former provincial minister for sports, culture, tourism and museums. He was to be questioned about his alleged involvement in the scam during the last Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in KP.

Speaking to media following his appearance, the chief minister said he did not remember if the alleged illegal lease took place during his tenure as the provincial tourism minister. 

Mehmood said he had no connection to the case, adding that the provincial government was making efforts to boost investments. 

Earlier in January this year, it emerged that the KP government had illegally leased 275 acres of land in Malam Jabba, a tourist attraction in Swat district, which belonged to the provincial forest department.

The provincial government was to lease a mere 17-acre patch: five acres for construction of a hotel and 12 acres for a chairlift project, for 15 years. However, instead it allegedly gave 275-acre land to a private company on lease for 33 years, violating the rules and regulations.

The vast tract was reportedly leased despite objections by the KP Ehtesab Commission and CM's inspection team.

NAB had launched an inquiry into the matter on the instructions of its chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.