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LAHORE: A day after initiating action against PML-N senior leader Khwaja Muhammad Asif, the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab on Friday registered a First Information Report (FIR) against another PML-N senior leader Ghulam Dastgir Khan for illegally constructing a petrol station on state land.

On Thursday, the ACE sealed the offices of the Cantt View Housing Society allegedly owned by Khwaja Asif's wife and former PML-N Mayor Toheed Akhtar and 12 other "illegal" housing schemes in Sialkot. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore was already probing this matter.

The action against Ghulam Dastgir, his brothers and other unnamed beneficiaries came a day after Gujranwala Deputy Commissioner conducted and forwarded an inquiry to the ACE Punjab recommending registration of an FIR against the PML-N leader who had played a key role in organizing the Gujranwala rally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

An ACE spokesperson said that a case has been registered against Ghulam Dastgir Khan, father of former Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, and four officers/officials of the Punjab Highways Department for conveniently misplacing the lease documents of state land measuring two kanals and 11 marlas that had been under the illegal occupation of Dastgir and his brothers.

"Ghulam Dastgir, father of PML-N senior leader and ex-federal minister for defense, Khurram Dastgir Khan, had constructed an illegal petrol pump on the state land. The precious state land located on main GT Road originally belonging to the Punjab Highways Department was retrieved two years ago when the petrol pump was demolished," the spokesperson said.

According to the inquiry report, a copy of which is available with Business Recorder, the petrol pump/CNG station was demolished in 2018 due to non-extension of lease and "Tawan" was required to be imposed for the period since the expiry of lease of the fuel station by the provincial highways department, Gujranwala, but it could not be imposed due to non-availability of record which caused pecuniary loss to the national exchequer.

"Keeping in view the above, it is transpired that the original record of lease and NOC regarding the petrol pump has been misplaced/stolen with active connivance and malafide intentions of government officers and lease holder/beneficiaries. Therefore, it is required to initiate criminal proceedings against following delinquent persons including SDO Highways Department Gujranwala Mirza Shahid, Ex-Record Keeper Muhammad Maqsood, Record Keeper Noor Muhammad, Ex-Record Keeper DC office Gujranwala Mohsin Shah and Ghulam Dastgir, his brothers and beneficiaries," the report reads.

The spokesperson said that Dastgir and his brothers had claimed that they constructed the petrol pump on state land after fulfilling the codal and legal formalities of lease agreement with the government. However, in light of the inquiry conducted by the DC Gujranwala, it has been established that Ghulam Dastgir in collusion with Mirza Shahid Nadeem and three other officials got the record misplaced with "malafide intentions" and thus caused a huge loss to the public exchequer.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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