Rashid denies he met Zardari for nephew’s sake

By Usman Manzoor

ISLAMABAD: The recent meeting of Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad with President Zardari is said to be intended to save the skin of Sheikh’s nephew, the Nazim of Rawal Town, Rawalpindi who has been found involved in Rs2.34 billion misappropriations in his town funds, says the rival political party.

The strange tone of Sheikh Rashid Ahmad against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief might be an attempt to get assurance from the high-ups that the case against his nephew would not be pursued, a top leader of PML-N opined.

Sheikh Rashid has dispelled all these impressions while his nephew Sheikh Rashid Shafiq has admitted that only a sum of Rs2 million from the public exchequer was spent on the procession of Pervez Musharraf while the rest of the money was spent transparently.

“It has been a habit of Sheikh Rashid to take shelter under those who are in power”, said Pervaiz Rashid, Advisor to the Chief Minister Punjab adding: “he is giving auditions these days by speaking against Nawaz Sharif to get his job confirmed.”

Pervaiz Rashid told The News that the Punjab Government carried out the audit of local governments and an embezzlement of Rs2.34 billion was found in the Rawal Town, where the nephew of Sheikh Rashid was town Nazim.

He said that a sum of Rs988 million in Rawal Town has been spent in non-transparent expenditures or suspected misappropriation or embezzlement, unauthorised, unjustified or wasted expenses while there was no detail of billions of rupees spent.

“Sheikh Rashid took shelter under Pervez Musharraf to hide his financial misappropriations and became the self-proclaimed spokesman of the dictator”, said the advisor who also happens to be from the constituency of Sheikh Rashid.

He added that to hide the embezzlement in the Rawal Town, the Pindi politician has once again tried to use the same old trick of taking shelter under those who were in power and his meeting with the President was the first step of his plan.

“It is shameful for the people of Rawalpindi that a politician belonging to the city is proud of having relations with the GHQ through gate number 4”, said Pervaiz adding: “The person who has been rejected by the people was hurling statements against Mian Nawaz Sharif.” He said that Sheikh Rashid’s party existed on paper only and had no political worth.

He said that the taxpayers’ money has been spent on processions of Musharraf in-cluding advertisement campaign and also in the referendum of the dictator and if the Punjab Government had started the audit of the local governments Sheikh Rashid has altered his tone and went to meet President Asif Zardari.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said he himself did not know what induced him to meet the President. “It is a big question mark for me as to what attracted me to meet President Zardari”, said the Pindi politician.

He said that he was the head of a party and went to meet another party chief, who happens to be the President of Pakistan. He dispelled the impression that he met the President to save his nephew from any legal action.

He said that the PML-N had taken shelter under Ziaul Haq for eleven years and was now declaring itself a democratic party. He said he had no link with Rawal Town and the Punjab Government had pointed out that payment should have been taken while giving away land to government for construction of a hospital.

The Rawal Town Nazim while denying misappropriation, however, admitted that a sum of Rs2 million was spent on the procession of Pervez Musharraf. He said that the Rawal Town administration had rendered the land of local government to the federal government with the consent of secretary Local Governments and with the approval of the house but the audit report says that a sum of Rs650 million has been embezzled in the land given to the federal government for a hospital. The allegations have been challenged in the court and the court has stopped the Pun-jab Government from proceeding.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=155729&Cat=2&dt=12/27/2008

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