ISLAMABAD - The government on Wednesday informed the Senate that an enquiry of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has found over a dozen retired senior military officials among the 34 facing charges of corruption in the project of New Islamabad International Airport.

The Interior Ministry in its written reply shared with the Senate the details of an enquiry conducted by FIA in the alleged embezzlement in the construction of New Islamabad International Airport.

According to the FIA enquiry, total 13 retired officers of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have been allegedly found involved in the corruption scandal including one each retired lieutenant general and air marshal, two retired major generals, six retired air vice-marshals, two retired brigadiers and one retired air commodore.

The enquiry says that out of the total 34 accused, 10 are primary accused and 24 people are secondary accused while two retired army brigadiers are among the primary accused and all other retired  army and air force officials are out of the secondary accuse.

The House was informed that 10 primary accused include former project directors of the new airport Brig (Retd) Iftikhar Ali, Brig (Retd) Bilal Hameed, M Musharraf Khan and Vikram S Sodha; Asif Basheer Ahmad and M Roohullah, ex-director planning and development Civil Aviation Authority (CAA); and Yousaf Kamal, former director works and development CAA.

The primary accused also include senior officials of the Project Management Consultant, LBG USA & ECIL, Karachi; Design Consultants of Airside Infrastructure: ADPI France & NESPAK Pakistan; and Design Consultants of PTB: CPG Singapore & ARCOP Karachi.

The 24 secondary accused include retired military officials; ex-chairman Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Board Lt General (Retd) Tariq Waseem, former members of the CAA Board Major General (Retd) Mir Haider Ali Khan, Major General (Retd) Ashraf Chaudhry, Air Marshal (Retd) Rashid Kaleem and AVM (Retd) Shahid Latif; ex -directors general CAA AVM (retd) Khalid Ch and Air Commodore (Retd) Junaid Ameen; ex-deputy DGs of CAA AVM (retd) Ritz ul Haq, and AVM (Retd) Salid Habib; and ex-Deputy DOs CAA AVM (Retd) Junaid Ahmad Siddiqui and AVM (retd) M Safdar Khan.

Among the secondary accused, the civilians are ex-chairman CAA Board Kamran Rasool; former members of CAA Board Munawar Hameed, Mian Muhammad Mansha, Qasim Rabbani, Gisuddin Ahmed, Tariq Kirmani, Alam R. Khan, Liaquat Ali Chaudhry, Muhammad Azhar-ul-Haq, Akram Malik, and Basit Ahmed Sultan Bukhari; and ex-directors General CAA Nadeem Khan Yousafzai and Farooq Rehmatullah.

The Interior Ministry informed the Senate that these accused were found by the enquiry responsible for the delay in completion and cost overrun of the project.

Main causes of this delay included faulty PC-1, splitting of project into 17 packages, faulty land procurement, low standard services by consultants and arbitrary increase in capacity of passenger terminal building.

The other reasons are conversion of emergency runway into secondary, package-zero of earthwork, wrong selection of consultants and awarding construction of passenger terminal building to World Bank debarred company.

The FIA had concluded enquiry in 2014 and submitted two successive reports to the Ministry of Interior (MOI). 

Afterwards, the Prime Minister Office constituted a senior three member committee headed by Mr. Shams-ul-Mulk, former Chairman WAPDA in 2015 to examine the Facts-Finding Enquiry Report by Lt. Gen. (R) Shahid Niaz and FIA Enquiry Report by Ghalib Ali Bandesha, the then DG FIA.

The committee upheld the findings of the both previous enquiry reports and recommended the CAA to initiate departmental action against concerned project directors for inaction and inefficiency and seek support of FIA to pursue investigation where deemed mandatory.

The Interior Ministry in its reply said that one of the accused Vikrarn S. Sodha, ex-project director CAA filed a writ petition in the Sindh High Court challenging the jurisdiction of the FIA enquiry proceedings. Petition is still pending before the court, the ministry added.