Now Reading: Pakistan’s Former Indonesian Ambassador Faces Charges for Illegally Selling Embassy Building
Pakistan’s top anti-graft body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has found out that the country’s former ambassador to Indonesia – Major General (retd) Syed Mustafa Anwar – is guilty of illegal selling of embassy buildings. The Bureau filed the reference against the former ambassador in an accountability court in Islamabad over the charges of illegally selling the Pakistani embassy building in Jakarta during 2001-02 at “a throwaway price”.
According to the reference submitted to the registrar’s office by NAB, Anwar had, without any consent from the ministry, illegally sold the building which caused a loss of $1.32 million to the national treasury. “He without having any authority entered into a contract and sold the buildings against 12.5 billion Indonesian rupees,” read the reference. It further read that the former ambassador had issued the ad for the building’s sale without any information being provided to the foreign ministry and therefore had no approval from it. Hence, he had misused his powers under Section 9 (A) 6 of the National Accountability Ordinance.
NAB’s findings also made the shocking revelation that Anwar had already made up his mind and initiated the process of selling the embassy building immediately after his appointment in Jakarta. He had also allegedly appointed M/s Palma Citra Permai to work as an agent or broker to help him sell the building. He kept the ministry of foreign affairs in the dark about this eventual sale and only sent the proposal to them AFTER the sale process had started, at which point there was no backing out.
Not only that, this was such a blatant abuse of power as at the time, the foreign affairs ministry had banned the sale of any and all embassy buildings without prior approval in several exchanged letters, just like they outlawed the selling of the building in letter exchanges in Jakarta, which was completely ignored. With the reference revealing all this, it would be sent to the administrative judge after a detailed examination and fine tuning at the registrar’s office.
NAB’s Competence in Question
The Supreme Court, last month, had maintained that the National Accountability Bureau itself was responsible for delaying decisiveness in corruption reference. It held the NAB office’s incompetency as the cause of these delays, including against these former ambassadors. “Its (NAB’s) officials were not competent,” said SC.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had also noted that the officers working at NAB did not have enough expertise to be working in the world. That is to say that they were under-qualified for conducting proper inquiries which led to no measures being set in place on the basis of which investigations would normally be based on.
Do you think that NAB is doing the best it can or is it really as incompetent as the SC claims? Tell us in the comments below!