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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Wednesday, framed charges against former deputy chairman Senate and senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Saleem Mandviwalla and others in Kidney Hills corruption reference. The Accountability Court-I judge, Muhammad Bashir, while hearing the case, indicted Mandviwalla and other accused in illegal allotment of plots of Overseas Cooperative Housing Society Limited (OCHSL) (Kidney Hill) case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against them.

The other accused include, Nadeem Hakeem Mandviwala, Muhammad Ajaz Haroon, former secretary Overseas Cooperative Housing Society Karachi, and former chairman Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Abdul Qadir Shiwani private person, Triq Mehmood private person, Abdul Qayyum private person, and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed. Mandiviwalla and other accused appeared before the court.

The court handed over them copies of charge sheet for reading. However, they pleaded not guilty and decided to contest the allegations. The court summoned two prosecution witnesses, Nisar Magsi and Sheikh Jamal, to record their statement and adjourned the case till July 13.

Talking to reporters after appearing before the court, he said that the government is using the NAB against the opposition leaders to suppress them and to make them not speak against the government. To a question about summoning the chairman NAB in the parliamentary committees, he said that chairman Senate and speaker National Assembly did not allow summoning of the NAB chairman to standing committees, which shows that the parliament is also under pressure.

“The custodians of parliament were under pressure as they told us to avoid summoning of the chairman NAB,” he said. About reappointment of the chairman NAB, he said that he believes that reappointment of the present chairman of bureau would further destroy the country. He said that the charges levelled are based on a private transaction.

We will prove this in the court that the charges levelled against me are fake and baseless, he said, adding that we will bring the chairman NAB Javed Iqbal in this court as witness and will ask from him how he signed this reference when it was based on a private transaction. The NAB has implicated Pakistan army in this case, he said. Mandviwalla said that the Federation of Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to the chairman NAB to stop harassing businessmen.

“I recommend to the prime minister and the leader of the opposition to appoint chairman NAB as next finance minister as the anti-graft chairman is giving lecture on media that how the NAB is protecting Pakistan.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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