PESHAWAR - National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter, Wednesday arrested Provincial Housing Authority (PHA) Director Planning Salahuddin and Assistant Director Planning Muhammad Yaqoob, allegedly involved in the high-profile case of acquisition of land at Mouza Darwaza Nathiagali, Abbottabad.

In 2012, the Provincial Housing Authority (PHA) acquired land for a housing scheme for government servants and general public at Mouza Darwaza Nathiagali, district Abbottabad, at an exorbitant rate, causing the huge loss of about Rs 400 million to the public exchequer.

Initially, the approved site of the scheme was near the main Ayubia-Nathiagail Road, but the PHA officials, with mala fide intention and ulterior motives, changed the site and acquired land away from the approved site at an extremely high rate. The land which was worth Rs 700,000 or Rs 800,000 per kanal was purchased for Rs 2.4 million and Rs 2.5 million per kanal by planting front men in connivance with the then top bureaucrats of PHA, including Sharifullah and Zakiullah.

It is worth mentioning here that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa NAB in the case has already arrested three accused persons, former PHA Director General Javed Ahmad, Land Acquisition Collector Naveed Qadir, former secretary housing Zakiullah, presently working as member, Provincial Inspection Team, Sharifullah, former PHA director finance, presently working as additional accountant general Pakistan Revenue, and Muhammad Asif, a front man.

During an inquiry and in the light of interrogation, it was unearthed that accused Salahuddin, being the PHA director planning, facilitated the other accused for the embezzlement of Rs 400 million by misusing his official power to get illegal gain/kickback.

Similarly, Muhammad Yaqoob, (Assistant Director Planning PHA) also assisted and abetted other accused persons and paved the way for misappropriation, causing a huge loss to the public exchequer to receive his illegal share/kickback. The accused persons will be presented in the accountability court for obtaining their physical remand.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa NAB is actively perusing the investigation and role of these who were behind this scam.