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Ahsan Iqbal moves IHC for bail in Narowal Sports Complex case

Ahsan Iqbal moves IHC for bail in Narowal Sports Complex case
January 30, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal has moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for bail in the Narowal Sport Complex case on Thursday. In the petition, Ahsan Iqbal contended that he did not face the allegation of bribe or illegal benefit. “I have never refused to appear before the NAB. I should be granted bail till the case verdict,” he said. Ahsan Iqbal stated that the NAB arrested him when he joined investigation on December 19. “I face the allegation that Narowal Sport Complex was a provincial matter, but it was constructed through the budget given by the federal government,” he said. 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.