NAB to probe Safe City project

ISLAMABAD, Sept 12: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday decided to conduct a full-fledged investigation against officials of Interior Ministry allegedly involved in Islamabad Safe City Project.

The decision was taken in NAB’s Executive Board meeting that was presided over by the bureau’s Chairman, Admiral (retired) Fasih Bokhari.

“The National  Accountability Bureau chief authorised an inquiry against officials of Ministry of Interior for misuse of authority in awarding the contract,” NAB Spokesman Zafar Iqbal said.

The meeting observed that official of Interior Ministry misused their powers for procurement of goods and services for the purpose of establishing a command and network centre at Islamabad for $124 million (Rs11 billion), under the project to a company called Hauwei Tech Company Limited.

Based on a constitutional petition, the Supreme Court in its judgment on August 23, 2012 declared the contract illegal and referred the case to National Accountability Bureau with the direction to ensure appropriate proceedings in the case.The National Accountability Bureau executive board directed the investigation team to proceed ahead in accordance with the direction of the apex court.

The scam directly involved former prime minister, interior minister and high-ups of the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra).

It has been learnt that a committee that was formed in March 2010 to look into the project had declared that the cost of the equipment for Islamabad Safe City was almost three times the cost of the comparable equipment available in the market.

Under this project, a security framework was to be created in Islamabad and law-enforcement agencies would have been strengthened by utilising, what the interior minister had announced ‘the state of the art technologies’.

Similarly, emergency command centres were to be established to handle any terror related and calamity incident with a centralised control room and an effective surveillance system to monitor the movement of unauthorised vehicles.

In addition to gates were to be built at entry and exit points of security zone (Red zone) in Islamabad along with installation of close circuit camera (CCTV) and police guard rooms at the gates.

The government also got two controversial and high powered explosive scanners from China that were installed at entry points.

Later, they were removed when reports appeared in the media that radiation emitted by these scanners was highly dangerous for human health.

Source: http://dawn.com/2012/09/13/nab-to-probe-safe-city-project/