ISLAMABAD -- The accountability court of Islamabad on Tuesday handed over the custody of former minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on physical remand for 13 days in the Narowal Sports City project case.
Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court also directed NAB to allow the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secretary general to meet his lawyers and family during the period of remand.
Talking to reporters outside the courtroom, Mr Iqbal, who also served as interior minister, said he would not mind if he was detained for being loyal to his constituents and party leadership or for praising the recent landmark verdict against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for suspending the Constitution. But if he had been detained for criticising Imran Khan's government, then the detention would not be acceptable to him, he said, adding that he would continue to expose double standards of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
During the court proceedings, the PML-N lawmaker apprised Judge Bashir that the sports city project for which he was detained had been completed in accordance with the laid down procedures. He said NAB alleged that Rs6 billion had been embezzled in the project whereas the total cost of the project was around Rs2.5bn.
Lawmaker allowed to meet his lawyer, family during the period of remand in Narowal sports project case
Interestingly, he added, another project in the same constituency worth Rs16bn, Kartarpur Corridor, was completed without adherence to the procurement rules, but nobody could dare to criticise it for obvious reasons.
The counsel for the ex-minister, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, explained that PC-1 of the Narowal Sports City project was approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Nov 19, 2009 at a cost of Rs732.7 million with a completion period of three years and with the condition that the Punjab government would provide land for it.
According to the defence counsel, the Punjab government through the Narowal district administration had then acquired 357 kanals in Mauza Mangian, Muridkay-Narowal Road, at the cost of Rs35.6m. Subsequently, the federal government released Rs30.5m for the project during 2009-11, which was fully utilised on preliminary works and boundaries of the project.
However, after the 18th...