Punjab Anti-Corruption Dept Probes Elahi's Sleight Of Hand In Lahore Master Plan

ACE accuses Elahi of attempting to gain financial benefit by converting agricultural land into residential, commercial

Punjab Anti-Corruption Dept Probes Elahi's Sleight Of Hand In Lahore Master Plan

The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment has said that they are probing alleged corruption by former Punjab chief minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi for manipulating the Lahore Master Plan which his brief administration had finalized last year.

This was disclosed by Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Director General Sohail Zafar Chatta in a news conference at the Farid Kot House on Wednesday evening.

Chatta claimed they were investigating four corruption cases against the former chief minister.

The ACE chief said that Elahi is accused of illegally amending the Lahore Master Plan submitted by the designated consultants Darlahandsa by adding fake documents to the Master Plan to allegedly obtain financial benefits of Rs10 to Rs12 billion by converting agricultural land into residential and commercial land. To do so, Chatta claimed that Elahi had abused the powers of his chief minister's office.

The ACE chief further said that Elahi made illegal appointments in the Punjab Assembly without merit apart from illegal appointments of people of his choice on more than 300 posts on different grades. 

He said that the results obtained from the testing service were changed to enable Elahi to ensure the selection of his favourite candidates.

And by altering the result, Chatta said the right of the candidates who had met the merit was violated.

Further, the ACE said that during his tenure as chief minister, Elahi had increased the crushing capacity at the Rahim Yar Khan Sugar Mill by 30,000 metric tons from a previous capacity of 12,000 metric tons to 42,000 metric tons. Chatta argued that this was against the law and established norms as the excessive increase in capacity meant the capacity of one sugar mill had been increased to the equivalent of two sugar mills simply by using his position. Such a move would grant relevant sugar mills an unfair advantage.

Moreover, the ACE director-general claimed that the former chief minister had appointed Muhammad Khan Bhatti as his Principal Secretary, a non-government employee, to the most critical post in the province under the guise of deputation. 

Chatta said that Bhatti was unqualified for the position given that his educational qualifications were only FA and did not even meet the standards of the Punjab Assembly.

In response to a question, Chatta said that the Anti-corruption establishment conducts indiscriminate operations against corrupt elements across Punjab.

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy.