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Ahsan Iqbal disassociates himself from construction of Sports City project

Ahsan Iqbal disassociates himself from construction of Sports City project
December 15, 2019
NAROWAL (92 News) – Former interior minister and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) senior leader Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday disassociated himself from the construction of the Sports City project in Narowal. Speaking to the journalists, the PML-N senior leader said that the approval of the Sports City project had been approved by the forum of the Ministry of Planning Central Development Working Party (CDWP). “The development budget granted after the approval from the cabinet and parliament. Our ministry never involve in any construction work,” he said. Ahsan Iqbal also said that he has no link with the construction of Sports City project. “I will never bow down before the tactics of negative propaganda and character assassination against me,” he added. The former minister also mentioned that he is being blackmailed through sports city project. He also urged the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to present its stance before the media over Sports City project. “I cannot be suppressed or fear due to the governmental pressure and I am always ready give his arrest,” he maintained. Ahsan Iqbal further said that the drama is being run on the name of accountability, adding that after the investigation, NAB should issue him a certificate that his assets were more in 1993 or now. Earlier, the NAB has tightened the noose around PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal in the Narowal Sports City project. On Saturday, a NAB team visited Narowal city and recorded the statements of the people. They also gleaned information about the project. In May 2018, the National Accountability Bureau had initiated probe against then minister for planning Ahsan Iqbal for his alleged involvement in irregularities committed in the sports city project. The official press release of the NAB released had stated that NAB Chairman (retd) Justice Javed Iqbal had ordered the bureau to verify the complaints against the alleged misappropriation of government funds – a staggering six billion rupees — in the construction of the Narowal Sports City Project (NSCP). The bureau elaborated that the chairman had taken notice of the matter as rules were violated in the construction of the project and there was also the additional issue of security concerns. The case was intriguing because a special allocation was made in the Public-Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the project. The funds allocated were then spent through the Sports Board of Pakistan (PSB). According to the PSDP 2018-19 report, the cost of the project was Rs 2.9 billion. Just over Rs 2.5 billion has already been spent while the remaining Rs 467 million have been apportioned for the upcoming fiscal year. One of the major objections against the project was if it was really necessary to build such a huge sports city in a small town like Narowal, when the same funds could have been used to build a similar facility in a bigger city like Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad.