Tuesday Dec 22, 2020
ISLAMABAD: An accountability court indicted on Tuesday PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal in the Narowal Sports City Complex corruption case.
The reference was heard by accountability judge Syed Asghar Ali.
Former Pakistan Sports Board director-general Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, Sarfraz Rasool, ministry of planning officer Asif Sheikh and a private contractor named Muhammad Ahmed were also charged for their involvement in the case.
Iqbal, along with the other four accused, pleaded not guilty.
NAB says the sports city project was conceived on the instruction of Iqbal without any feasibility in 1999. This project was first called the Sports Stadium Narowal.
It was initially approved at a cost of Rs34.74 million by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP), which Iqbal headed. NAB maintains that Iqbal illegally directed the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and NESPAK to increase the project's scope, enhancing the cost to Rs97.52 million.
Iqbal objected to the indictment and said the judge did not even listen to the prosecution, adding that the court had to make sure whether the case was valid or not.
In response to Ahsan's comments, Judge Syed Asghar Ali said the court is "not here to listen to such remarks," and that Ahsan should "file a petition or speak through [his] lawyer."
The accountability court has summoned witnesses from NAB against Ahsan Iqbal on January 12.
"The purpose of these false references is to discredit, pressure, and hurt the Opposition," Ahsan Iqbal said while speaking to journalists outside of the court.
He added that the Chief Justice has ordered media to broadcast the proceedings of political cases live on TV so that the public should know how many pawns Imran Khan Niazi has in the accountability bureau.
Ahsan Iqbal said the government is wasting state resources on lies by making cases against people who have nothing to do with corruption.
"The person who made the illegal construction of Bani Gala appear legit is making a case against us," Ahsan Iqbal claimed. "Imran Khan demolished the houses of hundreds of poor people by declaring them illegal.
He added that action should be taken against the Capital Development Authority (CDA) officers for illegal regularisation of Imran Khan's house.
"Bani Gala's NRO recipients will not be forgiven," Ahsan Iqbal said. "Imran Khan used his office and his powers to regularise the house. "NAB could not prove any financial corruption against me."