ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday indicted senior Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal in the Narowal Sports City Complex case.
The reference was heard by accountability judge Syed Asghar Ali. Former Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) director-general Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, Sarfraz Rasool, ministry of planning officer Asif Sheikh and a private contractor named Muhammad Ahmed were also charged for their involvement in the case.
All the accused including Ahsan Iqbal pleaded not guilty and opted to face them. Iqbal objected to the indictment and said the judge did not even listen to the prosecution. In response, the presiding judge said the court is would not listen to such remarks and he should file a petition or speak through his lawyer.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has stated that the sports city project was conceived on the instruction of Iqbal without any feasibility report. It was initially approved at a cost of Rs34.74 million while Iqbal was serving as Minister for Planning and Development.
NAB maintains that Iqbal illegally directed the PSB and NESPAK to increase the scope of the project which enhanced the cost exponentially to Rs97.52 million. The accountability court has summoned witnesses from NAB against Ahsan Iqbal on January 12.
Speaking to journalists outside the court after the indictment, Iqbal said the purpose of these false references is to discredit, pressure and hurt the opposition.
He added that the chief justice should order the media to broadcast the proceedings of political cases so that the public should know how many pawns Imran Khan has in the accountability bureau.
Ahsan Iqbal said the government is wasting state resources by lodging cases against the opposition, adding that NAB could not prove any financial corruption against him.
He said that Imran Khan used his office and his powers to regularise the house. “Bani Gala’s NRO recipients will not be forgiven,” he said. He added that action should be taken against the Capital Development Authority (CDA) officers for the illegal regularisation of Imran Khan’s house.