LAHORE - The president of UET Technical Staff Association has expressed distrust at the NAB investigation into alleged embazzlement by former vice chancellor of Government College University (GCU) and 16 office bearers of UET Housing Society.

The accused are facing charges of embezzlement in more than Rs90 million funds of the society. The Association’s president, Manzoor Ahmad Bhatti, told The Nation that his association members and effectees of the society will stage protest demonstration outside Lahore Press Club against NAB authorities on their lukewarm interest in this probe.

He was of the view that the NAB authorities had summoned all accused on September 23 last month but none of them complied with the orders. Since then there was no development in the case, he added.

NAB has launched an inquiry into alleged financial misappropriation at the University of Engineering and Technology, where officials are said to have embezzled millions of rupees for the housing society project.

The university management started the project of a cooperative housing society for its employees in 2005. The varsity workers paid around Rs90 million for the project, but even after a lapse of 11 years, no plot has been transferred to any employee who paid for the land.

According to an application filed to NAB, the university officials allegedly received millions for the housing project and misappropriated the money. NAB has now asked the university administration to provide details of 17 current and former employees in connection with the alleged graft.

In the letter written to the UET registrar, the bureau has asked the varsity to provide information under Section 9 (corruption and corrupt practices) of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

“The subject inquiry [against management of UET] is under process in NAB,” the letter states. “You [UET] are, therefore, requested to provide copies of service profiles and CNICs of the employees mentioned and members of Engineering University Employees Cooperative Housing Society, Phase II, Kala Shah Kaku.”

The officers include Prof Dr Ehsanullah Bajwa, Dr Qamar Rafique, Muhammad Ibrahim, Muhammad Inamullah, Altaf Ashraf, Hafiz Tehzeebul Hassan, Abdul Waheed Sheikh, Prof Suhail A Qureshi, Prof AR Saleemi, Prof Dr Khaleequr Rehman (former VC GCU), Iqbal Muhammad, Prof Nadeem Ahmed Mufti, Abdul Hayee Ghauri, Prof Saleem Mian, Dr Tahir Izhar, Prof Khalid Mehmood Ghauri and Muhammad Arshad.

Of the people mentioned in the letter, two are serving as deans of different departments while one is serving as the chairperson of a department. Bhatti alleges that NAB is dragging innocent peoples also in the matter including Sohail Aftab Qureshi and Khaliqur Rehman, who are pioneers of the society and they are with poor employees. “None of them was involved in any embezzlement,” he told The Nation.

He further said that some officers from inside UET were also involved in the embezzlement who distributed money among some employees only for the reason to keep them quiet over the issue. He said that Dr Muhammad Qamar Rafique distributed the amount through Muhammad Anwar Zahid former president of Technical Staff Association.

UET had formed a two-member team to conduct departmental inquiry into the dispute. The inquiry team comprised Dr Hameedullah Mughal of Mechanical department and Dr Habeeb of Civil department.

The committee recommended in its report the forced retirement of Dr Ehsanullah Bajwa then president of the Housing Society and Dr Qamar Rafique was terminated from service. Interestingly, Dr Ehsan’s retirement was already due after one and half month.

When contacted, UET Registrar Muhammad Asif said that the university has no concern over the issue since the housing society was registered under Cooperative Housing Society Act. UET employees are struggling for 11 years to get their due right.