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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

NAB summons ex-Wapda chairman over misuse of funds

According to NAB, there are allegations against him of misuse of authority and $753 million worth corruption in Tarbela extension project.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned Wapda’s former chairman, retired Lt-Gen Muzammil Hussain, on June 6 for misuse of authority and misappropriation of $753 million in the extension-IV hydropower project of Tarbela Dam.

Besides, has been accused of slowing the pace of the projects and forcefully wrong payments to the contractors in mega power projects over the last three years.

Due to delays, the per megawatt cost of 1410 Tarbela-4 mega project rose to 1410 (which is the highest cost).

According to Dawn, the NAB asked Gen Hussain to appear with “complete details of the funding process adopted, contract evaluation, PC-I and subsequent revisions in PC-I, administrative approvals and technical sanctions from the competent authority.”

Read more: WAPDA Chairman resigns from post

It also sought “completion certificates verified by the competent authority and complete details of the installation/commencement of the said project.”

It said the complaint is at the ‘complaint verification stage’ currently.

Gen Hussain resigned from his office last month for personal reasons. He said his team commissioned “several hydropower projects that were earlier subject to complications and delays, including Neelum-Jhelum, Kachhi Canal, Tarbela fourth extension and Golen Gol” during the last five years.

On Aug 24, 2016, prime minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Gen Hussain as Wapda chairman, replacing Zafar Mehmood. His contract expired in 2021, but the PTI government reappointed him – the first reappointment in the history of Wapda.

In April ,during his visit to the Diamer-Bhasha Dam site, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the Wapda chief to ensure the completion of this vital project in 2026, ahead of its timeline of 2029.

The PM told Gen Hussain at the briefing that “Nothing in this world is impossible therefore efforts to complete the Diamer-Bhasha dam project by 2026 instead of 2029 should be made.”

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In response, chairman Wapda said that it would not be possible considering the fact that the project is already facing many challenges, the security of Chinese engineers being one of them.