ISLAMABAD - Despite quick fixes by Prime Minister Gilani and the Cabinet Secretary through amendment in the Staff Car Rules, 1980, mystery continues shrouding the exact number of bulletproof cars on the pool of Cabinet Division, sources said on Monday.

According to the sources, the number of bulletproof cars on the pool of the Cabinet Division is higher than what the Secretary had disclosed before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in its meeting held on May 15.

The sources said that there were at least 24 bulletproof cars in the use of VVIPs, but the Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi had just disclosed 22, thus making it a mystery for many where were other cars and who was using them.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had approved an amendment in the Staff Car Rules, 1980 as observed by the Chairman Public Accounts Committee during the meeting, by inserting a proviso under rule 24 (2)(A) of the Staff Car Rules, 1980 which reads “provided that the protected vehicle shall be allocated to a vulnerable dignitary subject to availability and approval of the Prime Minister. However, the repair/ maintenance and POL of the vehicle shall be responsibility of the respective Ministry/Division/Department or the dignitary concerned”.

The Public Accounts Committee observed that the rules on the subject do not have any provision for allocation of the protected vehicles to any office holder/dignitary. The PAC directed that the relevant rules might be modified for regularization of the matter or bulletproof vehicle allocated be taken back within one month period. In view of the current security environment prevailing in the country, the retrieval of the vehicles from the dignitaries would not be a viable option. Therefore, on a summary by the Cabinet Division, the Prime Minister approved the above insertion of proviso in the Staff Car Rules, 1980.

Sethi had told the PAC that some of the 22 bulletproof vehicles were being used by Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman Senate Nayyer Hussain Bukhari, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fahmida Mirza, Speaker Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Chief Ministers of Balochistan and KPK, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Industries Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

She further stated that among the politicians Asfandyar Wali of ANP, Chaudhry Shujaat Husain of PML-Q and Nawaz Sharif of PML-N were using these vehicles.

Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi had briefed the PAC that these vehicles were procured on orders of the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz at a cost of Rs 600 million that were later provided to VVIPs without amending the concerned rules and regulations.