Kayani accused of being involved in defence land scam

Kayani accused of being involved in defence land scam

Kayani accused of being involved in defence land scam

Pakistan's former Army Chief Gen (Retd) Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has been accused by another senior officer of being involved in a major land scam in a defence housing scheme to benefit a real estate company.

A former official of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Lt Col (Retd) Tariq Kamal on February 22 approached the anti-corruption watchdog National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate whether Kayani was involved in irregularities or misappropriation related to DHA Valley contracts or whether his name was used by the decision makers to benefit real-estate developers Bahria Town.

The DHA Valley scam is one of 50 mega land scams the NAB has listed before the Supreme Court and the anti-corruption watchdog is already investigating alleged embezzlement in sale, development and purchase of land, the Dawn reported.

The NAB has estimated that the scam involves 1,310,000 kanals of land.According to the application, Bahria Town failed to fulfil its commitment and caused losses to DHA.

All DHA big deals should be approved by the army's top command and it is where Kayani may be probed for overlooking a joint venture which resulted in losses. Kayani was appointed army chief in December 2007, while DHA and Bahria Town signed a joint venture contract for DHA Valley in 2008.

Kayani's two brothers, including a retired brigadier are already under scanner of the NAB for alleged corruption in the development projects of DHA.

Kamal's application, however, may not be processed as NAB cannot take up matters related to armed forces personnel who are not working in the civil administration, the daily said.

NAB Rawalpindi Director General Zahir Shah told the paper that the bureau cannot initiate inquiries against army officials.

However, NAB recently arrested former DHA administrator Brig (Retd) Javed Iqbal and former DHA project director Col (Retd) Sabahat Qadeer Butt for misusing their authority and violating the contract by selling DHA Islamabad allotment certificates illegally and in violation of the agreement between DHA and Elysium Holdings Pakistan.

According to Shah, since Iqbal and Butt were working for DHA – which was created through an act of parliament – the bureau can take action against them.But army can initiate cases against any former officer if there is evidence of his involvement in any wrongdoing.