Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Tuesday condemned the arrest of party leader and former Karachi Port Trust (KPT) chairman Javed Hanif by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
“Javed Hanif’s only crime is providing jobs to Karachi’s youth,” MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said in a press conference that was called to welcome Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) members who returned to the MQM-P fold.
Siddiqui said the arrest of Hanif, who is contesting the upcoming general elections from PS-95 Korangi constituency, was an attempt to influence elections and requested the army chief to take notice of the action.
Responding to the presser, NAB denied the allegations, saying the arrest was not politically motivated. The bureau’s spokesperson said that an inquiry against Hanif was initiated three years ago when he was not associated with any political party.
The bureau also gave a list of four people appointed by the former chairman, allegedly in connivance with former ports and shipping minister Babar Ghauri, who had serious offences registered against them.
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Earlier, NAB Karachi announced the arrest of former KPT chairman Muhammad Javed Hanif from his residence.
“The accused was wanted in an investigation against officers of KPT on charges of corruption, corrupt practices and abuse of authority for illegally appointing 940 employees in KPT in connivance with [the MQM’s] Babar Ghauri, the then minister for ports and shipping,” the release stated.
The bureau had alleged that the appointments were made in violation of KPT law, rules and regulations “without advertisement of vacancies, competitive process, age criteria, medical examination of appointees and in violation of basic formalities”.
The bureau said that a large number of those appointed had a criminal record in serious cases such as “terrorism, premeditated murder and robbery” and that the illegal appointments resulted in losses to the national exchequer to the tune of Rs 2.8 billion.
The accused was later produced before an accountability court in Karachi, where the administrative judge remanded him in jail custody till July 16 and directed the NAB investigating officer to submit a progress report on the next date.
— With additional input by Naeem Sahoutara.