KP CM appears before NAB in Malam Jabba land case

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mehmood Khan on Monday appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a case involving misappropriation of 275 acres of Malam Jabba’s forest land.

The land was leased out to a private firm during the previous government’s tenure when Mehmood Khan served as minister for sports, culture, tourism and museums in Pervez Khattak’s cabinet.

The chief minister was questioned by the NAB officials about his alleged involvement in the scam; however, he rejected all the allegations and claimed that he has worked for the promotion of tourism.

“I do not remember if the alleged illegal lease took place during my tenure as the provincial tourism minister,” the chief minister said while talking to media outside the NAB office following his appearance.

Mehmood Khan rejected all the allegations leveled against him and claimed that it was his first and last appearance before the NAB in the case as NAB has given him a “clean chit”.

He added that the provincial government was making efforts to boost investments in the tourism sector of the province. The provincial government was to lease a mere 17-acre patch: five acres for construction of a hotel and 12 acres for a chairlift project, for 15 years.

However, instead, it allegedly gave 275-acre land to a private company on lease for 33 years, violating the rules and regulations.

The alleged scam was reported in January 2018, after which NAB had launched an inquiry into the matter on the instructions of its chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.

Former Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, former chief secretary Amjad Ali Khan and the prime minister’s principal secretary Azam Khan have already recorded their statements in the case.