News Desk |
The incarcerated former Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif coerced the directors to leave their posts as revealed in the documents concerning Latif and Sons Contractors in Ashiana Housing Scheme Corruption Scandal, sources revealed.
According to the documents, Shahbaz Sharif made the directors flee and leave the contract of the scheme by threatening them of dire consequences to award the billions rupees contract to the company of his choice.
The concerned DPO has conceded before the court that he had registered the case on the directive of the Shahbaz Sharif.
The facts according to the record obtained through sources disclosed that Latif and Sons is a registered company which after completion of development projects of Rs. 180 billion had achieved the brand of best company of the country. The contracts included motorway, roads projects, metro bus projects, water supply schemes, construction of bridges and different housing schemes.
It is also known that ‘Latif and Sons’ was the favorite company of Shahbaz Sharif in his previous government term, but afterward he turned against it for reasons best known to him. It is believed that the core reason for opposing the company was the Ashiana Scheme.
The documents show that the project was not canceled, rather Latif and Sons were put aside in the light of an agreement between the parties as the government contended that due to a scarcity of funds it was not able to complete the Ashiana Scheme.
The sources claim that the clause of the agreement reads that Latif and Sons may go on with the rest of the projects which clearly shows that the government of Shahbaz Sharif was entirely satisfied with the performance of the company.
Shahbaz Sharif in a bid to press Latif and Sons registered a case of mud theft of Rs. 76 thousand in district Rajanpur.
Even after taking away the Ashana Scheme, the federal government and the government of Punjab awarded other contracts to the same company. The company has successfully completed a number of projects including Orange Train Project Package no.2, Green Line Project in Karachi, and the roads and bridges liking Islamabad New International Airport. In various projects, Shahbaz Sharif himself accorded approval to award the contracts to the company.
According to the documents, Shahbaz Sharif’s government in 2017 had renewed the license of the company and awarded many contracts to it worth billions of rupees. The company has also been coming up to the benchmark of the Pakistan Engineering Council regularly.
Shahbaz Sharif in a bid to press Latif and Sons registered a case of mud theft of Rs. 76 thousand in district Rajanpur. The concerned DPO has conceded before the court that he had registered the case on the directive of the Shahbaz Sharif.
The Ashiana case depicts the abuse of power carried out by those on top. It also highlights the form of alleged corruption that the PML-N has become notorious for. While the PPP is infamous for taking kickbacks and siphoning rupees directly from government treasuries, the PML-N it is alleged takes an indirect path – of using front companies for leeching funds.
The same is the case for the Punjab Saaf Pani scandal. According to reports, in the Saaf Pani scandal, overpriced contracts were awarded to front companies of Hamza Shahbaz. Sources indicate that contracts which should not have exceeded $200,000 per tehsil were priced at $650,000 per tehsil and awarded against merit.
As the investigation continues, the misdeeds of those once deemed powerful are rising to the surface. It only remains to be seen whther they will be brought to justice.