Ahsan Iqbal nominated in Narowal Sports City corruption reference
NAROWAL (92 News) – An investigation team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) nominated PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal in the corruption reference of Narowal Sports City. Sources said that there are concrete proofs of the involvement of Ahsan Iqbal in corruption. The reference has been sent to the NAB chairman for approval. The NAB Executive Board will make the decision about the reference. The Narowal Sports City project was started in the second tenure of Nawaz Sharif in 1998. Ahsan Iqbal caused a loss to the national exchequer by widening the scope of the project. He spent extra funds by hijacking the project of the provincial government. In May 2018, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated a probe against then minister for planning Ahsan Iqbal for his alleged involvement in irregularities committed in the sports city project. The NAB press release 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 not 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.