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FIA lets DHA Lahore off the hook
01-13-2014, 04:37 PM
Post: #1
FIA lets DHA Lahore off the hook
LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has let the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) off the hook after it agreed to revise a land deal in favour of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).

On the directions of the Supreme Court, the FIA over two months ago had launched an investigation into a ‘shoddy’ land deal between the ETPB and the DHA Lahore that had reportedly caused over Rs1 billion loss to the national exchequer.

Officials told Dawn on Saturday the DHA had agreed to revise the deal under which it had acquired ETPB’s 843 kanals located in Mauza Mota Singhwala and Mauza Lidhar (where phase-VI of the DHA has been developed) from the board and in exchange handed it over 33 per cent of developed plots. The authority would also not receive development charges from the board, thus compensating the latter’s loss.

Earlier, the ETBP under the chairmanship of Syed Asif Hashmi had allegedly agreed to receive 25 per cent of the ‘undeveloped’ plots instead of 33, thus benefiting the DHA.

“Since the DHA has agreed to revise the deal in favour of the government institution, the FIA will not lay a hand on any of its (DHA) officials,” a source said.

On the other hand, the FIA registered a case against former ETBP officials, including Hashmi, former federal secretary Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, Joint Secretary Zahir Shah and five others under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust), 109 (abetment), 420 (fraud and cheating), 468 and 471 (wrong presentation of facts) of Pakistan Penal Code.

Both the secretaries were on bail until Jan 18, while Hashmi is in London. Four other accused, former board officials – Chaudhry Saeed Anwar, Asif Raza Sheikh, Muhammad Siddique and Salim Sandhu – are on judicial remand.

Officials said the court had declared Hashmi a proclaimed offender and the process of issuance of his red warrant would be initiated shortly.

Hashmi had claimed the federal government had authorised the sale of the land to the DHA against 25 per cent exempted plots and it was not his decision.
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