NAB files corruption reference against former Pakistan PM Gilani

Rawalpindi: Pakistan’s anti-graft body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), on Thursday filed a corruption reference against former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and others for allegedly misusing their authority in an illegal publicity campaign which caused a huge loss to the national exchequer.

According to the NAB, Gilani and others misused their authority in the illegal publicity campaign through M/S Midas Pvt Ltd, a Lahore-based advertising agency handling the accounts of most major political parties, Dawn online reported.

The others named in the case included former principal information officer Muhammad Saleem, former Universal Services Fund (USF) chief executive officer Riaz Asher Siddiqui, Midas CEO Inam Akbar, former USF company secretary Syed Hasan Shikoh and former personal assistant to the public relations officer IT Muhammad Hanif.

The NAB handout said that Gilani in 2011, as IT Minister, ordered the running of a media campaign to highlight the achievements of the USF. Then Ministry of IT (MoIT) secretary Farooq Awan “misused his authority in award of illegal publicity campaign through M/S Midas Pvt Ltd against rules and attempted to cause loss to national exchequer”.

It went on to say that the Midas CEO “violated the Press Information Department instructions and prescribed procedures regarding media campaigns and undertook the entire electronic media campaign without getting any written orders”.