NAB initiates probe against Lahore Knowledge Park Company officials

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RANA MUSHTAQ
ISLAMABAD
Punjab former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif had formed the Lahore Knowledge Park Company at a cost of Rs107 billion for better education in the province but the corruption, mismanagement, malpractices and misuse of authority made the company a complete failure.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has started an investigation against the company officers and in the result of the probe a list of beneficiaries who took undue financial advantages from the company has unveiled.
The investigations have disclosed that out of 802 acre land of the Lahore Knowledge Park Company, 3.5 acres was captured by a local housing society. The land is situated on Bedian Road, Lahore which had cost billions of rupees.
Investigation revealed that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Zubair Iqbal hired Muhammad Rasheed as a private secretary for himself against Rs250, 000 per month salary. Rasheed has a fake educational degree.
The company CEO had appointed Mehwish Rafi who was blue eyed of Shehbaz Sharif as the company’s chief commercial officer against a salary of Rs0.9 million per month while the appointment and salary given to her has also been declared illegal.
The company’s another CEO Abdul Razzaq, Chief Financial Officer Abdul Jalil and Yasir Malik had received Rs70 million illegally. The officials have received monthly salaries varying Rs0.2 million to Rs1.4 million.
The official documents showed that the Higher Education Department Additional Secretary, Shahid Zaman had been receiving Rs280,000 from the government on account of house rent allowance despite he used to live in government’s accommodation while it was also showed that despite taking his monthly salary, he also received Rs1400,000 every month from the company illegally. It is also undisclosed that Ali Murtaza, the owner of Triple “A” Film and Digital Entertainment has received the amount of Rs2400,000 illicitly, which has been decided to be recovered while the officers of the company have also given Rs20 million and Rs3.7 million to an advertising company,Blutter which will also be recovered.
The documents showed that Shehbaz Sharif had appointed Manzoor Ali as the supervisor of the company who only had basic education and he was also receiving the salary of Rs65, 000.
Shehbaz had neglected the highly educated candidates for the slot of deputy manager recruitment in the company and had appointed a 64-year-old Mukhtiar Ahmad, who had passed only intermediate standard and was given a package of Rs150, 000 on monthly basis.
The contract of appointments in the company was given to a private company of Islamabad which was also paid Rs2330000.
The Punjab former chief minister had also established Board of Directors to run the dealings of Lahore Knowledge Company. General (Retd) Muhammad Akram was the board chairman while the others members included Syed Ali Gilani (former education minister), Kamran Shams, Jahanzeb Hamid Khan and Barrister Nabil. NAB has also decided to initiate inquiry against them.

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