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ETPB-DHA land deal: No cash involved, claims Hashmi
06-27-2013, 02:26 PM
Post: #1
ETPB-DHA land deal: No cash involved, claims Hashmi
LAHORE, June 26: Former Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman Asif Hashmi said on Wednesday that ‘no cash’ was involved in the sale of the board’s land to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Lahore.

“Since no cash is involved in the sale of the board’s 843 kanal land (of Muaza Lidhar and Mota Singh Wala) to the DHA Lahore, there is no question of causing a loss to the exchequer,” Mr Hashmi claimed while talking to Dawn from London by phone.

He said the federal government had authorised the sale of the land to the authority against 25 per cent exempted plots. “Neither the federal government nor I as the board chairman revised the deal from 33 per cent to 25 per cent as alleged by the Federal Investigation Agency. In fact, the ETPB-DHA deal on 33 per cent never existed,” he said.

The FIA has been investigating the ETPB-DHA land deal and other reported irregularities related to the board.

Mr Hashmi said the DHA had got possession of the land at a high cost and with great difficulty from the holders. “It was the first time the DHA had agreed to acquire the land at 25 per cent exemption from the ETPB without possession. The DHA had also acquired 1,400 kanals from Syed Shahid Ali on 25 per cent exemption plots,” he said.

Mr Hashmi further said since every penny of the board and DHA was auditable, how Rs590 million could be paid to the persons (by the DHA) in the deal who had nothing to do with the land.

“The FIA is pressuring the ETPB employees to give statements against me,” Mr Hashmi said, adding the Public Accounts Committee and the board’s special audit had cleared him of any discrepancy.

Hashmi said the complainant – Gulab Singh – in the case against him was cultivating the land of Gurdwara Babenanki which, he (Hashmi) alleged, the board had sold (to the DHA).

The former ETPB chairman, who took over in Dec 2008, said he could not be held accountable for the matters of the board pertaining to the period before his joining. “I am undergoing heart treatment in London and I will return (to Pakistan) to submit to the Supreme Court once my doctors allow me travel,” Hashmi said, adding there was neither an FIR registered against him nor his name was on the Exit Control List (ECL), so there was no question of his going into hiding.
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