Dr Asim admits role in KSE crash in 2008, court told

NAB report says ex-minister helped a broker approve $170m right issue.

By Afzal Khan

Published: Wed 6 Jan 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Jan 2016, 10:19 AM

Islamabad: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has told an accountability court that former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain allegedly confessed to his 'role' in a Karachi Stock Exchange crash and named veteran stockbroker Jahangir Siddiqui and former privatisation minister Syed Naveed Qamar for illegal approval of a right issue through the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
"Interrogated accused who disclosed about another scam of Karachi Stock Exchange collapse which happened to occur in 2008-09 because of right [issue] approved in favour of Jahangir Siddiqui to the tune of $170 million," reads a progress report submitted before the administrative judge of accountability courts Saad Qureshi by the NAB.
Dr Asim, a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, is facing an inquiry into alleged misuse of authority in fraudulent allotment of plots and encroachment of state land for Dr Ziauddin Hospital/Trust, kickbacks and commission through fertilizer cartel for illegal curtailment, fraud with public in the name of charity hospital and money laundering.
On Tuesday, after the end of his third remand, the NAB produced him in the court, where the investigation officer, Zameer Abbasi, submitted the progress report and claimed that 80 per cent of the investigations had been completed.
The court was informed that Dr Asim disclosed that he was privy to the effect that Jahangir Siddiqui, through one ex-DIG Malkani, approached ex-minister Qamar for approval of right issue through the SECP, which was "ultimately done in favour of Jahangir Siddiqui through SECP illegally which resulted into severe loss to KSE".
It said that Dr Asim admitted to have extended "his role" in getting ex-DIG Malkani the right issue.
The IO told the court that more details were being collected from the KSE and SECP for "perusal of competent authority".
The court was informed that 56 government institutions and organisations were on the panel of Dr Ziauddin Hospitals and during 2007 to 2015 the hospital charged Rs3 billion from them for providing treatment through alleged over-invoicing.
The report added that the verification of over-invoicing, falsification of accounts were to be carried out after seeking record from government organisations concerned for comparison and alleged that on the directives of the suspect exorbitant rates were charged from government-run institutions.
Referring to allegations of illegal gas curtailment, the NAB submitted that the record provided by Mari Gas Public Limited showed that in 2010 they curtailed gas from all fertilizer plants proportionately to be provided to the Guddu power plant, but the gas was not provided to the power plant and the curtailment was not justified. It said that in 2013 gas for Guddu power plant was diverted and given to Engro Fertilizer only.

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