ISLAMABAD - Four planning officials of Khyber Paktunkhwa were arrested yesterday in a fake development scandal worth 100 million rupees, the National Accountability Bureau confirmed.

NAB had made the arrests after an investigation that found embezzlement in funds earmarked by the prime minister development schemes in the province. Contractors were paid large sums of money for projects which were never initiated.

Dr Ambar Ali, Additional Secretary Planning and Development, Zulfiqar Khan DG Monitoring and Evaluation KP, Muhammad Aslam Rafique, DG Independent Monitoring Unit, Deputy Director Audit, Abdul Mustafa Contractor, Muhammad Bashir Tehsil Officer were collaborated to siphon millions of rupees through ghost and sub-standard developmental schemes in district Mansehra and Torghar.

Transparency International’s Pakistan advisor Adil Gilani said the alleged the corruption was initiated during the previous government in KP and had taken four years to complete. The new PTI government had taken a stronger stand against corruption since it came to power in 2013, he said. An earlier TI survey ranked Pakistan as one of the world’s most corrupt countries - 139th out of 176.

The NAB inquiry uncovered large-scale embezzlement in a number of development schemes in National Assembly constituency, NA -21, District Mansehra and Torghar. It included 567 roads, streets and wells under the included Rupee 225.00 million Peoples Works Programme-I project.

During their tenure as Deputy Commissioners in Mansehra, two of the accused, Dr Ambar Ali and Zulfaqar Khan, connived with others to embezzle more than Rs 100.00 million by approving schemes and payments in breach of official procedures.

NAB KP is continuing its investigation and expects to make more arrests. The accused will be presented before the Accountability Court where they are expected to be remanded.