PPP Senator Rubina Khalid faces NAB reference over 'graft' in Lok Virsa funds

05:49 PM | 1 Jul, 2019
PPP Senator Rubina Khalid faces NAB reference over 'graft' in Lok Virsa funds
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ISLAMABAD – The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed a reference against Senator Rubina Khalid of Pakistan Peoples Party.

In its reference, the anti-graft body has alleged that the senator committed embezzlement in funds of Lok Virsa.

NAB investigation officer Afshan Basharat filed the reference before an accountability judge in Islamabad today.

The reference also nominated Mazhar-ul-Islam, the former executive director of Lok Virsa, Islamabad, and Dr Tabinda Zafar, who is the current chief executive director of Cosmos Productions (Pvt) Ltd.

According to the anti-corruption watchdog, the evidence that was collected during the investigation had established that the accused had committed the “offence of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under Section 9 (a), (VI) and (XII) punishable u/s 10 of [National Accountability Ordinance (NAO)] 1999.”

NAB said that during the investigation, it was established that Mazhar had misused his authority and illegally extended the contracts worth millions of rupees in favour of Cosmos Productions “in connivance with” PPP stalwart Senator Khalid and Dr Zafar.

Additionally, the bureau said that Senator Khalid and Dr Zafar had “gained illegal benefits by getting the extension of [the] agreement without calling the fresh tenders/without any competition and also failed to deposit the 50 per cent profit earned by them.”

“This had resulted in a loss of Rs30.13 million to the national exchequer,” it added.

In a meeting of the NAB’s executive board in November last which was presided over by its chairman Javed Iqbal, the corruption watchdog approved probe against various persons, including Senator Rubina Khalid.