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Federal PAS officers continue to plunder the province of Sindh

Federal PAS officers continue to plunder the province of Sindh
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Ahmad Badwani

The corruption scandals of Sindh continue to unearth and this time these are the federal PAS officers who are plundering the public exchequer of Sindh.

The corruption of the public exchequer is rampant in the province of Sindh. The corruption scandals are coming to the surface in sequential terms. It highlights the gravity of the situation. The emergent scandals are reshaping the traditional house of public corruption as the federal PAS officers are plundering not the millions but the billions of rupees. It also vindicates the corruption level permeated in the administration in Pakistan.

Earlier, An anti-corruption court in Hyder Abad on Thursday remanded former Matiari deputy commissioner Adnan Rasheed to judicial custody till December 7 in line with an investigation into a financial scandal appertained land acquisition for the M6 (Hyderabad-Sukkur) motorway.

Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) arrested Adnan on November 17. Former Saeedabad assistant com­m­i­ss­ioner Mansoor Abbasi is also involved in the scandal.
Details of the case indicate that over Rs2.14bn was withdrawn from Sindh Bank’s Saeedabad branch through open bearer cheques under the garb of land acquisition for the Hyderabad-Sukkur M6 motorway. However, the accused met no procedural requirements before they made the withdrawals. The ACE sought further remand of the accused, contending that the remand was crucial for recovering evidence.

Then, the court declined the request, stating that the ACE lacked sufficient grounds to seek Adnan’s remand. Rasheed was sent to Nara jail in Hyderabad on judicial remand for six days.

Earlier this week, the court rejected Abbasi and Sindh Bank Area Manager Tabish Shah’s pre-arrest bail in the case mentioned earlier.

On the information provided by Adnan, the ACE had recovered Rs420m from the assistant commissioner’s official residence, which was located upstairs in his office. The recovery had been disclosed before the court by prosecutor Mazhar Ali Siyal.

An amount of Rs2.14bn was withdrawn between October 17 and November 11 this year, although funds for land acquisition of the M6 Motorway project were transferred by National Highway Authority (NHA) in 2018.

Earlier, the Sindh government formed a two-member fact-finding team that documented details of fraud and illegal withdrawal of funds from the Sindh Bank. As per findings, Rs2.14bn was withdrawn. Later, more funds were withdrawn in cash, increasing the amount to Rs2.3bn.

The former Saeedabad AC withdrew this amount for disbursement of payment to landowners whose lands were to be acquired for the construction of the M6 Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway under the Land Acquisition Act 1894.

Surprisingly, the amount of Rs2.3bn was withdrawn and disbursed among people even without the passage of the Land Acquisition Award under the provision of section 11 of LAA 1894 by the concerned land acquisition officer as a mandatory requirement.

Federal PAS officers are posted in the provinces on posts connected with the affairs of a province. They are not accountable to the provincial administration because they are federal employees. Establishment Division, Islamabad, fixes the terms and conditions of these officers. Over the years, cases have been reported where federal officers go unchecked for alleged corruption and delinquency. It is an actual test of whether the Sindh government can hold federal officers accountable for the alleged crime.

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