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Ashiana housing scandal: NAB gives ‘clean chit’ to pm Shahbaz Sharif

Shahbaz Sharif received a “clean chit” from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Ashiana Housing controversy on Saturday.

A hugely divisive topic has been the Ashiana Housing Affair, which involves charges of irregularities. However, according to the NAB report, no actual proof of corruption or abuse of power was discovered throughout their investigation, which is what led to PM Shehbaz Sharif’s acquittal.

The NAB report presented in court makes clear that Shahbaz Sharif’s alleged involvement in the Ashiana Housing issue could not be proven. The investigation was done twice, and neither time did it turn up any proof of any misconduct.

Shahbaz Sharif did not receive any personal gains from the Ashiana Housing project, according to the NAB report, which was also underlined. The information put out shows that public officials did not abuse their authority or harm the public purse by using their positions for personal benefit.

Kamran Kiyani was exonerated by the NAB findings of any wrongdoing with the government treasury account. The NAB audit states that during his term, Kiyani did not result in any financial losses for the government.

The NAB report also cleared Fawad Hassan Fawad of charges that he had accepted bribes in exchange for contract awards.

The NAB assessment attested to the legality of the contract award for the Ashiana Housing Scheme. Anti-corruption regulations were carefully upheld throughout the process, according to the study.

The matter will now be sent to the Accountability Court in Lahore with this report in hand. The court is anticipated to rule based on the facts presented and could approve Shahbaz Sharif’s motion for acquittal.

Reference: Ashiana Housing Scheme

Shehbaz Sharif was charged with abusing his position of power in the NAB reference, issuing unauthorized orders to terminate the contract for the housing project in 2014.

The reference states that the former chief minister went to the Ashiana-e-Iqbal project site in March 2014 and put a stop to the invitation for bids.

The project was being managed by the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC), but Mr. Sharif decided to transfer ownership to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) after visiting the site, which led to the award of the contract to the Lahore Casa Developers (JV), resulting in a loss to the exchequer of Rs715 million, according to the reference.

On October 5, 2018, the NAB detained Shehbaz Sharif in the scandal at its Lahore office, where he had come following a summons for interrogation in relation to an investigation into the Saaf Pani Company scam.

The housing scheme’s contract was won by the construction firm Chaudhry Latif and Sons, but Shehbaz Sharif and his aides gave it to Lahore Casa Developers, a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is reportedly owned by the former railway’s minister Saad Rafique. This contract was worth Rs 14 billion.

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