PML-Nawaz MNA caught ‘stealing’ gas for his textile mills for the last three years

FAISALABAD, Dec 14: A Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA has been caught ‘stealing’ gas for his textile mills for the last three years or so, it is learnt.

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited connection (now severed) was being obtained in the name of a confectionary owned by one of the mills employees. Officials said the mills management had been using the commercial gas connection obtained for industrial use during curtailment of gas to the industry.

The SNGPL officials, led by information, raided Masood Textile Mills owned by PML-N MNA Asim Nazir and his brother Shahid Nazir on Nov 28 last and detected gas theft through modern gadgets. They found the gas was being used at the mills through underground supply of Akhtar Confectionary. The bakery is owned by Muhammad Akhtar, a resident of Khurrianwala’s Iftikhar Colony.

Information gleaned by this correspondent revealed that Akhtar had been paying income tax since 1995. Masood Textile Mills’s NTN 0658678-3 with its address Universal House West Canal Road is also mentioned on the taxpayer’s profile.

Akhtar, 62, works at the mechanical department of the mills. He did not attend calls by this correspondent.

An official told Dawn that this was a typical tactic by politicians to illegally obtain facilities. He said the MNA was aware that in case of theft detection he could save his skin by blaming it on bakery.

“During digging two illegal tappings merging into a 2” dia bypass was detected in front of the premises of the Akhtar Confectionary adjacent to the mills at Chak 169-RB, Ghaseetpura (Khurrianwala),” he explained. He said MTM was the industrial consumer of the SNGPL.

He said the use of the bypass on the industrial premises confused the officials who continued digging and found certain modifications in their internal houseline and repair work. The bypass which was installed for the confectionary was bigger enough to cater to the gas requirement of a large industry, he said.

He said now the MNA and his brother were trying to clear their names by calling it a pre-poll mudslinging campaign.

MNA Asim Nazir said neither he was director of MTM nor was Akhtar his employee. He said Akhtar was owner of the confectionary set up near the mills. He said Zahid Nazir intended to contest election from NA-75. A website page of the mills shows Asim Nazir as chief executive officer. The front page, however, shows his elder brother Shahid Nazir as the CEO.

The Balochni police have registered a case against the confectionary owner and two others two weeks after receiving an application. The complainant is Engineer Aamar Yasir who has nominated confectionary owner Akhtar in the case.The applicant said he, along with Rafaqat Ali, Asif and others, checked the connection of confectionary on Nov 28 and found it commercial. He said the digging continued for three days and the police station concerned was also informed through the special judicial magistrate.

The police registered a case under section 462-E of the PPC