Musharraf's Generals, Exposed by Musharraf's Generals
April 29: General Pervez Musharraf cannot, and does not, publicly
claim that he has eliminated corruption altogether in Pakistan
but he frequently boasts about cleaning up the top levels
of his military cum civil administration.
his own trusted men are exposing these tall claims by pointing
fingers and naming the military regime’s big guns who
are turning out to be the really big thieves. A few most glaring
When a prominent cabinet minister who was visiting Washington
a few months back, revealed quietly to me and a friend, the
horrifyingly ugly scale of land grabbing and fake land sale
scams going on in Pakistan, especially in Punjab, we frankly
did not believe him.
We thought the minister was trying to get even with his uniformed
masters for not fulfilling the tall political promises made
to him. But the magnitude of the scams was such that the minister
genuinely felt concerned and wanted us to write about them,
although as a politician he was not going to raise his voice
publicly and was prepared to serve those very Generals in
every top position.
The minister has now been proved right. Thanks to one of the
more upright Generals in the present lot, the Corps Commander
of Lahore, Lt. General Shahid Aziz, details of the massive
land scams are emerging.
ministerial source says Corps Commander Aziz, has started
a serious investigation against his predecessor, the last
Corps Commander of Lahore, currently posted in the GHQ, Lt.
General Zarrar Azim, known in the real estate world of Lahore
as General Zarrar Zamin (land).
results of this fight between the top military bulls has revealed
that General Zarrar was so deeply involved in the scam of
Lahore Defence Society that in the price of every plot of
land allotted in the society, a fee of Rs 600,000 (US$10,000)
had to be built-in, almost automatically, meant for the Corps
this scam, it is now being found by the detectives of the
new Corps Commander, that not only the out-going CC was involved,
he was using a junior officer, Major Lodhi as a front man.
This major is related to General Musharraf’s coup partner
and now retired General Aziz of Kargil fame.
details of these Defence Society scams are mind boggling.
Thousands of plots of lands are designated in official files
as Defence Society land and these plots are then sold and
re-sold on files. More paper Housing Societies are registered
and approved and they claim vast tracts of land without owning
a square yard.
to our source, in Lahore alone there are 12,000 files of plots
for Sectors 7, 8, 9 and 10 for which there is no land actually
available on the ground. How many thousands of more such plots
have been sold is not yet known but the probe ordered by Lt.
Gen. Aziz will bring out some facts.
to a going joke in the Army Mess Circuit, the last request
General Musharraf made to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
in Delhi was to give him 8,000 acres of land from the Indian
territory across the Wagah-Atari border, 30 miles from Lahore,
in return for Kashmir and Siachin, because “my boys
have already sold this land in the files.”
is not the only Land of Land Scams. What has happened in Gwadar
and Rawalpindi is of no less import.
The ministerial source said in the Bahria Town of Rawalpindi
and Lahore, thousands of non-existent plots have been sold
by the scheme managers. In Bahria Town of Lahore for 7,000
available plots 28,000 applications were accepted with deposits.
But in Bahria Town Islamabad/Rawalpindi 77,000 plots have
been sold which require land equivalent to 16 built-up sectors
we are getting into is the Mother of all Scams because billions
upon billions of people’s money has been collected by
these project sponsors while there is no land to be allotted.
How many of these buyers get back their deposits and when,
is the 50 billion rupees question,” the source said.
official records of the Ministry of Defence presented before
the National Assembly show that Pakistan Army has Defence
Housing Societies in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on an area
of only 179,308 Kanals, or 22,500 acres. Pakistan Navy and
Air Force have two housing societies each covering an area
of 712 and 536 acres of land respectively.
of Musharraf’s top commanders, Lt Gen. Tariq Wasim Ghazi,
former Corps Commander of Karachi became notoriously famous
in Karachi for similar land scams in Defence Society, Karachi,
including Creek City and allotment to two special people,
Humayun Butt and Fareed Veerani. Who are these specials and
what is their involvement is being investigated by South
Asia Tribune and will be revealed soon.
Gwadar land scam has already infuriated the Baloch leadership
and one reason why they are so violent and non-compromising
is how their mother land is being sold and resold to outsiders
after it was fraudulently bought from them for peanuts. In
Gwadar the Generals and their front men were quietly told
to buy the land from locals much in advance of announcement
of mega projects. Once this mopping up operation was completed,
the projects were announced and trading of this real estate
began, multiplying the prices by 20 or even 40 times.
ministerial source said the bigger scandal in Gwadar has started
just recently when Government has ordered all its banks and
State-owned Corporations to buy land in Gwadar at market prices.
Middlemen have already sold and resold these plots many times
over to different parties to perk up the market price. “The
tax payer will now end up paying the premium to these land
mafias,” the source said.
In a much quieter operation in Lahore the City Government
of Nazim (Mayor) Mian Amer Mahmood claimed on Sunday, April
24, that it had succeeded in vacating 3,000 kanals (375 acres)
of land belonging to schools from a land mafia, but interestingly
he did not name the mafia. Most of those who read the small
story or who were present when the announcement was made understood
who was involved.
While Corps Commanders of Musharraf are involved in perpetuating
or dismantling these land scams, one of his pillars of accountability,
the former head of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB),
Lt. General (Retd) Amjad Hussain was himself accused of massive
corruption in the corporation he has been heading.
This charge of corruption was leveled in the National Assembly
of Pakistan and involved the Fauji Foundation, undeniably
the largest corporate body of Pakistan, now waiting to take
over the largest public sector company, Pakistan State Oil.
The National Assembly was told last week that a high-level
inquiry had been ordered against the management of the Fauji
Foundation after detection of huge financial bunglings. General
Amjad was facing the inquiry for selling a sugar mills in
a non-transparent manner at less than the highest bid to a
business enterprise which did not even participate in the
Assembly was told that the Khoski Sugar Mills was sold at
Rs300 million against a previous bid of Rs387 million offered
by a private party. Defence Minister Rao Sikandar ordered
the inquiry to fix responsibility on those who violated the
financial procedures and rules by going out of the way to
benefit a favorite firm.
the above details show that in-service Generals and Corps
Commanders were being investigated for corruption, another
officially announced corruption case was against the management
of the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games, interestingly consisting
of all military officers headed by Lt. General Arif Hassan.
management of SAF Games has been found involved in financial
irregularities to the tune of Rs201 million, which among other
charges, include giving undue benefit to private organizations
through "verbal agreements," Daily Dawn
said quoting an audit report .
ninth SAF Games management included Chairman Lt. Gen. Arif
Hassan, Chief of staff and chief coordinating officer Brig.
Amjad Javaid, Information and media director Lt. Col. Syed
Mujtaba Tirmizi, Administration Director Brig. Ahmad Riza
Siddiqi, Communications Director Brig Abid Hussain Bhatti,
Technical Director Lt. Col. (retired) Muhammad Yahya, Procurement
Director Lt. Col. Mansoor Abbas, Information Technology Director
Lt. Col. Umer Farooq, Finance and Marketing Director Lt. Col.
Azhar Dean, Ceremonies Director Brig. Arif Rasul Qureshi,
Protocol Director Brig. Khalid Rasheed Lodhi and Chief Engineer
Lt. Col. Usman Saeed.
question being asked in all relevant circles was that even
to organize an sporting event, none of the very well qualified
civilians was found to be suitable and from top to bottom
all army men had been inducted as if it SAF Games were military
exercises. And now these sacred cows have been found to be
involved in irregularities and corruption.
In a military regime, obviously the Corps Commanders and senior
Generals are the top level of Government and if scams and
scandals involving these top men are officially exposed, some
in the National Assembly and others by leaks to the media
by his own people, how would General Musharraf explain his
claims of eliminating top level corruption.