Anti-graft watchdog detains former interior minister over alleged corruption in Narowal sports complex
Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau on Monday arrested former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal when he visited the watchdog’s Rawalpindi office to record a statement in the ongoing probe over the Narowal Sports Complex.
Iqbal, a senior leader of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), was taken into custody over his alleged role in the embezzlement of federal funds allocated for a sports city in Narowal—Iqbal’s constituency.
A spokesman for NAB said the PMLN leader would be presented before an accountability court on Tuesday for physical remand. A statement issued by the bureau also said that a team of doctors had been summoned to conduct a medical assessment of Iqbal today to ensure his health was not at risk.
Prior to his arrest, Iqbal had told media that he had already submitted documents related to his income and expenditures to NAB’s Rawalpindi branch. He said he had also responded to a detailed questionnaire given to him by the bureau in connection with the case.
Iqbal has consistently maintained that the establishment of the Sports Complex was not at his behest, as it was launched in 2009 when the Pakistan Peoples Party was in government and he did not hold the rank of a federal minister. He has also slammed the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for destroying the national asset. “NAB should take those people to task who are responsible for turning it to ruin,” Iqbal told media, adding that the sports city had been 90 percent complete before the 2018 general elections and the government had let it go to rot rather than expediting its completion.