Issue No 11, Sept 30-Oct 06, 2002 | ISSN:1684-2075 | satribune.com


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Owner of Husnain Construction Company reveals all in a Press Conference

Musharraf's Close Relative Paid in Rs 7bn Motorway project

Special SAT Report

ISLAMABAD: The first solid proof of involvement of General Pervez Musharraf’s close relative, his son Bilal’s father in law, in a multi-billion rupee road construction contract, has come to light.

The proof was provided by the owner of the construction company, Husnain Construction, at a news conference at the M-3 Motorway site near Islamabad last week. Surprisingly it has remained buried without any discussion in the mainstream Pakistani media, although leading newspaper Dawn published portions of the incriminating statement on Sept 26 in a very subdued manner, hiding the disclosures under a positive statement by the National Highway Authority Chairman, Major General Farrukh Javed. Click Here to read Dawn Report

In just under 5 weeks after SA Tribune broke the scandal of General Musharraf’s “Golfway” Project, a mix of the Rs 25 billion Golf Course in Lahore and the Rs 7 billion Pindi-Peshawar Motorway, Brig (Retd) Aftab Siddiqui’s was confirmed to be the big beneficiary. The proof came from the Horse Owner’s mouth, if not the Horse himself.

The SA Tribune first reported in our Aug 26 issue that Musharraf's "Golfway" project, conceived and launched by an ex-ISI chief, held secret from the public for ‘national security reasons’ had a real connection with his close relatives. http://www.satribune.com/archives/aug26_sep1_02/P1_Grapevinecomm.htm

On Sept 9, it was reported that the in-laws of Musharraf’s son were reportedly flying out of Pakistan “lock, stock and barrel” after their names were revealed in the Motorway project. http://www.satribune.com/archives/sep09_15_02/P1_Grapewinecomm.htm

These were Sa Tribune reports. Now comes the surprising statement by Sheikh Yousaf, owner of Husnain Construction, which is the contractor for the Pindi-Peshawar Motorway project, also known as M-3. He spoke to journalists at a Press conference and admitted everything, as reported in Pakistan’s leading Daily ‘Dawn’ on Sept 25, 2002.

Dawn’s Islamabad Staff reporter said: “Sheikh Yousaf explained the phases for which his company passed for converting the M-3 project from the Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT) plan to the government funded project.”

“When asked as to how much his company had been helped by Brig (Retd) Aftab Siddiqui father-in-law (of General Musharraf’s son), Bilal Musharraf, he said the gentleman had worked with his company as a consultant.”

“Mr Yousaf said it was originally agreed that he would get two per cent of the profit from the project for 25 years, but since the project had been converted to a government funded plan, Aftab Siddiqui was no longer with his company. The cost of M-3 is Rs7 billion.”

“He, however, said Mr Siddiqui had been paid for the 'services' which he rendered, but refused to give more details... Everything was documented, and the payments to Mr Siddiqui had been made through cheques the copies of which had been provided to "a number of government departments," he said.”

The Dawn report then added a dramatic twist: “Then his son (Sheikh Yousaf’s son) rushed to the stage and asked Mr Yousaf not to answer more queries on the subject.”

Still, “Mr Yousaf said the company was heading the consortium of the Pakistani construction companies called PAMIC, and added that they were completing the project to show that the country had the expertise to construct the motorway. He said it was the first contract of its kind which had no escalation clause.”

“When asked as to how many projects his company had fetched in the period of military government, he avoided giving straight answer, and said that whatever his company had got was on merit. He admitted that he had purchased about a dozen sick industrial units.”

The dramatic Press conference raised a plethora of questions which are begging for answers. The Chairman of the company confirmed that Bilal’s father in law “had been paid for his services”, which in other words means he had delivered his part of the contract. And since he is no longer with the Company, it can be safely guessed that he is enjoying the two per cent somewhere, may be in US.

Sheikh Yousaf, revealed that Bilal’s Father-in-Law had been paid through cheques and copies had been given to various departments of the Government. That would make the job of future Accountability Bureaus much easier, it seems.

Then he was asked a very pertinent question. How many contracts his company had fetched during the Musharraf Regime? This apparently puzzled him and he could not give a straight answer. He still did not realize that some smart reporter was trying to trap him. But his son rushed to the stage and stopped him from making more disclosures.

But his answer, reported in Dawn, at least gave an insight of how much they had already made. “He admitted that he had purchased about a dozen sick industrial units,” was his reply to one question. This seems to be an impressive record which would beat any Sharif or Zardari hands down.

However many questions are now being raised. What are the rates at which he has purchased these units? Who else bid for them? What were the terms of purchase? Was there any competitive bidding? Was any undue government influence used for these purchases? What was the role of Bilal Musharraf’s father-in-law in these purchases? Is this not corruption? Is this what General Musharraf means by good governance?

 

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