Why did NAB arrest Khursheed?


ISLAMABAD: The top anti-corruption watchdog claimed on Wednesday that investigators arrested Pakistan People’s Party senior leader Syed Khursheed Shah, who according to them, acquired assets worth some Rs700 million on names of his frontmen through ill-gotten money.

NAB’s top officials probing the matter claimed to acquire several important records/files from Sukkur district administration where revenue officers shared important details, which led ultimately to Mr Shah’s arrest from Islamabad on Wednesday.

“We have acquired details of all assets and property on Mr Shah, his family’s names and his front-men,” a senior official of NAB told this correspondent. Sharing the facts/findings, NAB official claimed that Sukkur NAB team got access to documents, which revealed that PPP MNA Syed Khursheed Shah through his friend acquired New Taj Hotel, Shikarpur road Sukkur, worth Rs250 million. The friend is known as Aijaz Balouch (benamidar/frontman) in Sindh, added the official. A petrol pump worth some Rs90 million at Rohri Road in the name of Qasim Shah (benamidar/frontman), another official of NAB claimed. A bungalow in the name of Pappu Mahar (benamidar/frontman) on government land was also allegedly built by Syed Khursheed through kickbacks, revealed a senior official of NAB now posted in Sukkur.

A hotel named Gulf Hotel was also constructed by Mr Shah in Rohri in the name of (benamidar/frontman) where money was arranged through kickbacks by the local contractors, the official added on condition of anonymity.

NAB officials further claimed that Mr Shah as MNA also misused his authority got huge contracts for his partners and agents including M/s Umar Jan and Com, Nawab and Com, etc in interior Sindh where millions of rupees were embezzled.

NAB is also probing Khursheed’s properties, which were located in Sukkur, Rohri and Karachi, NAB officials revealed. Mukesh Flour Mills, Glamour Bungalow, Junejo Flour Mills and 83 other properties are registered against the names of Shah’s alleged frontman, Pehlaj Rai, they further revealed. Officials further claimed that some 11 properties were registered in the name of another front man, Lado Mall, and 10 properties are registered in the name of Hussain Soomro. Officials further claimed that more high profiles arrests are also expected in Sindh. These arrests would link to this case, they added.

PPP in its reaction rebutted all the allegations leveled against its senior leader by the NAB team. “It is political victimisation as NAB was turning its guns toward the opposition only. We would fight our case in the court,” said PPP leader Murtaza Wahab. NAB should operate indiscriminately and we are really stunned that all PPP leaders were being arrested only at inquiry stage while the watchdog was not operating against the PTI’s men in power, the PPP leader added.