Former Punjab food secretary tears into inquiry report on flour crisis, terms it attempt to deceive PM Imran.

ISLAMABAD -- Former food secretary Punjab Naseem Sadiq on Saturday said that the inquiry report into the shortages of flour in the country was being deliberately confused with crisis of wheat to provide leeway to certain 'mafias' so they could avoid blame for the whole episode.

Sugar and wheat shortages in the country at the turn of the year had led to severe criticism of the governance of the incumbent federal government. Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier this year ordered an inquiry into the shortages, promising to hold the culprits to account.

Earlier this month, a preliminary report into the shortages had been leaked to the media. Sadiq was subsequently removed from his post, and was commenting on the contents of the leaked preliminary findings. The detailed report into the shortages is expected to be released by April 24.

Sadiq termed the preliminary crisis report a proverbial fable of Greek philosopher Aesop. In a detailed response submitted to Chief Secretary Punjab on April 8, he claimed that an abortive attempt had been made to relate the flour crisis to wheat procurement.

Sadiq further termed the report a backlash in the form of prejudice that needed to be investigated in a competent law forum. "Two members of the inquiry committee, including Deputy Director General Intelligence Bureau (IB) Mubarak Zeb, had a personal grudge against me," he said.

Sadiq alleged that the inquiry committee was diverting attention away from a tangible crime by creating a smoke screen for the benefit of a 'mafia' involved in the flour crisis. "If allowed to go scot free, at this juncture, it shall again resurface to play havoc," he claimed.

'This factually incorrect information has been intentionally inserted in the report to deceive the Prime Minister of Pakistan, by deliberately building a false case of some imaginary failure of Punjab government in wheat procurement," he added.

According to Sadiq, the preliminary report is riddled with incompetency, inconsistency, and a vocally misleading paradigm. "It appears that the report prima facie was prepared by someone else and signed by the committee members without bothering to read it," he claimed.

"Except to my extent where some personal attention was given. Had that not been the case, they would have noticed that their investigations and major premise drawn were regarding the Wheat Procurement Campaign 2019-20 and not 2018-19," Sadiq revealed.

The attempt to mislead the premier was criminally...

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