Despite PM office ‘intervention’: Adil Gilani faces fresh probe from FIA
By Zulqernain Tahir
LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched another probe against Transparency International (TI) Pakistan chairman Adil Gilani despite he approached Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to “bail him out from the formerÂ’s attempt to involve him in the Rs3.3billion National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) land scam”.
“Yes, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat had asked us about the allegations on Adil Gilani and we duly have submitted reply (to it),” FIA Lahore Director Zafar Ahmed Qureshi told Dawn. He however parried a question whether there was any pressure from the PM secretariat not to quiz Adil.
Mr Qureshi said the TI chairman was reluctant to appear before the investigation team when he was called for questioning on Dec 23 following which it sent him a questionnaire. Though he replied, the FIA seems not satisfied with the response. Now, he has been told to appear before the FIA on Jan 10.
Mr Qureshi said the agency received a complaint from Abdul Wahid, chief executive of Far East Oriental Trading Company, Karachi, accusing Adil, who has been an employee of the Karachi Development Authority in the 90s, of awarding a construction contract for FTC building in Karachi against rules.
“When the investigation was closing in on him, Adil escaped to Africa. When the matter settled down he returned and joined the Karachi Port Trust as a project manager where he peddled and sold confidential information entrusted to him by the KPT to the highest bidder from the private sector.”
The complainant said that on the platform of the TI, Adil had filed a lawsuit against Emaar Giga Karachi Ltd, which had secured a huge construction project by outdoing the Aqueel Karim Dedhi (AKD) group. “This is also where he met Qasim Ameen Dada, currently absconding in the NICL scam, and is related to AKD and had worked in hand in glove with Adil to hijack and control the bids of various government departments.
“After a strong smear campaign, Adil would offer to give the government officers and their departments a clean chit from the TI as long as the officials and the departments signed accords with him allowing him to be the de facto approver of the bids,” Wahid is stated to have told the FIA.
Mr Wahid has provided the details of several other alleged corruption cases of Adil.
“There have also been other allegations against the TI chief leveled by former NICL chairman Ayaz Niazi and the members of its board of directors,” the FIA director said.
The main allegation against the TI chief in the NICL scam is that he asked Amin Qasim Dada, a member of the NICL board of directors, to sign an agreement with the TI regarding award of contracts in the proposed project and in return he would give a “clean chit” about the deal.
Adil also has to explain his position regarding the TI agreements with 19 organisations of the country for implementation of the Integrity Pact and transparency in its procurement systems.
“In the TI MoU with the Pakistan State Oil there is a mention of a coordinating committee with responsibilities related to law, finance and technical departments. The TI chairman will act its chairman,” the FIA said, asking Adil why he was interested in becoming the chairman of a committee that introduced approval systems to process and award contracts.
The FIA Lahore has registered two cases in connection with the scam and arrested 13 people, including former minister Habibullah Warraich, Akram Warraich, PML-Q’s Moonis Elahi’s manager Abdul Maalick, M Zahoor, Naveed Hasan Zaidi, Syed Hur Riahi Gardezi, Zahid Hussain, Ali Ather Naqvi, Ijaz Ahmed Naqvi, Imran Saddique and Ayub Saddiq under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.
Three other accused, Mohsin Habib Warraich, Amin Qasim Dada and Javed Syed are at large. The FIA has got issued red warrants for Mohsin and has requested the United Kingdom authorities for his extradition.