Thursday Sep 19 2019

Why did NAB arrest Khursheed Shah?

NAB Rawalpindi arrested PPP's Khursheed Shah in assets beyond sources of income case on Wednesday. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The top anti-corruption watchdog claimed on Wednesday that investigators arrested Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader Syed Khursheed Shah, who according to them, acquired assets worth some Rs700 million on names of his frontmen through ill-gotten money.

National Accountability Bureau’s top officials probing the matter claimed to acquire several important records/files from Sukkur district administration, where revenue officers shared important details, which led ultimately to Shah's arrest from Islamabad on Wednesday.

“We have acquired details of all assets and property on Mr Shah, his family’s names and his front-men," a senior NAB official told this correspondent. Sharing the facts/findings, NAB official claimed that Sukkur NAB team got access to documents, which revealed that Shah through his friend acquired New Taj Hotel, Shikarpur road Sukkur, worth Rs250 million. 

The friend is known as Aijaz Balouch (benamidar/frontman) in Sindh, added the official. A petrol pump worth some Rs90 million at Rohri Road in the name of Qasim Shah (benamidar/frontman), another NAB official claimed. 

A bungalow in the name of Pappu Mahar (benamidar/frontman) on government land was also allegedly built by Syed Khursheed through kickbacks, revealed a senior NAB official now posted in Sukkur.

A hotel named Gulf Hotel was also constructed by the PPP stalwart in Rohri in the name of (benamidar/frontman) where money was arranged through kickbacks by the local contractors, the official added on condition of anonymity.

NAB officials further claimed that Shah as MNA also misused his authority got huge contracts for his partners and agents including M/s Umar Jan and Com, Nawab and Com, etc in interior Sindh where millions of rupees were embezzled.

NAB is also probing Khursheed’s properties, which were located in Sukkur, Rohri and Karachi, NAB officials revealed. Mukesh Flour Mills, Glamour Bungalow, Junejo Flour Mills and 83 other properties are registered against the names of Shah’s alleged frontman, Pehlaj Rai, they further revealed. 

Officials further claimed that some 11 properties were registered in the name of another frontman, Lado Mall, and 10 properties are registered in the name of Hussain Soomro. Officials further claimed that more high profiles arrests are also expected in Sindh. These arrests would link to this case, they added.

PPP in its reaction rebutted all the allegations levelled against its senior leader by the NAB team. "It is political victimisation as NAB was turning its guns toward the opposition only. We would fight our case in the court," PPP leader Murtaza Wahab said. 

NAB should operate indiscriminately and we are really stunned that all PPP leaders were being arrested only at the inquiry stage while the watchdog was not operating against the PTI's men in power, Wahab added.

Originally published in The News