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NAB Arrests 70-Year-Old Retired Official ‘Without Concrete Evidence’

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Islamabad

The National Accountability Bureau has arrested a seventy-year-old retired secretary Suleman Ghani for his failure to raise an objection to a mining contract in a board meeting of Punjab Mineral Department (PUNJMIN). Surprisingly, the secretary had never attended the said meeting.

According to a report in The News, the retired secretary, Suleman Ghani, was the former chairman of Planning and Development Punjab, and is purported to have committed offences as defined under Section 9(a) and Schedule of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

The accused is alleged to have deliberately not raised any objection to the decision made by the board of directors of PUNJMIN regarding a joint venture agreement with Earth Resource Private Limited (ERPL).

The agreement revolves around the iron ore deposits in Chiniot Rajoa. Ghani is accused of endorsing a proposal for the venture between ERPL and PUNJMIN even though the latter is not authorised to make agreements with a private company.

According to a NAB document that details the secretary’s case, Ghani is further accused of deliberately portraying the agreement as a ‘good opportunity’. It also states that the secretary failed to give an explanation for the charges against him.

In his comments to media, the secretary said that he did not attend the meeting in his personal capacity and at no stage was the case put to him.

According to officials who know Ghani, NAB’s grounds for arresting him are weak, and that it was wrong to arrest the officer on such ‘flimsy grounds’ and ‘without concrete evidence’.

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