NAB launches probe into Rawalpindi Ring Road project over alleged corruption

Accused suggest forming expert-level committee to probe allegations of kickbacks, rent-seeking

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to investigate the Rawalpindi Ring Road Project over alleged corruption committed in the acquisition of land. 

In this regard, NAB chairman Javed Iqbal on Monday directed the bureau’s Rawalpindi branch to submit a report about the authenticity of the allegations after conducting an inquiry into the proposed project. 

The NAB chairman said that the department believes in corruption free Pakistan and the anti-corruption department has evidence against those who looted the people’s money through illegal housing societies besides damaging the national kitty.

It is pertinent to mention here that Commissioner Rawalpindi Gulzar Hussain Shah had submitted a report recommending NAB to probe Rs2.3 billion spent unlawfully by former Rawalpindi commissioner Capt (r) Muhammad Mahmood and  former LAC Wasim Tabish in the illegal acquisition of land.

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However, both members denied the allegations saying that there was no illegal activity at any stage of the project.

They added the alignment was prepared by NESPAK in 2017 but it was not approved while National Highway Authority (NHA) and other organisations had also objected to it.

The officials wrote that in 2021, a new alignment was prepared by Zurich International and these changes were purely technical and did not benefit any society in particular. They suggested forming an expert-level committee to probe into the allegations of kickbacks and rent-seeking.

Meanwhile, another member of fact finding committee Rawalpindi ADC Shoaib in his report stated that there was no evidence of the involvement of public functionaries; however, windfall effect and rent seeking by a large number of estate players was due to  alignment being made public after the project’s approval.  

He maintained that the PPP board did not raise any objections to the new alignment prepared by Zurich Internationa

 

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. The project is expected to cost around Rs 33.7 billion to alleviate traffic congestion in the Twin Cities, of which Rs 27 billion is for construction and Rs 6.7 billion for land acquisition.

  2. There was certainly a need for this inquiry at this point in time. Construction of the Ring Road was meant to help Pakistan develop. The majority of landlords, however, took advantage of this opportunity by first acquiring land in close proximity to the project. Their influence later allowed them to completely change the road’s map and plan. Besides adding to the government’s financial burden, it caused a delay in the completion of the project. As well as setting up an office there, Any Courier Tracking planned on providing online courier tracking services to the people there. In spite of this, we as a nation do everything in our power to destroy our country.

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