Pakistan’s top anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), has launched an investigation against the brother of former army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani over his alleged role in a `17 billion scam associated with a defence housing scheme in Lahore.
Raids are now being conducted to arrest Kamran Kayani, who is accused of duping the army’s housing authority, and taking advantage of his brother’s position as the army chief to escape arrest for several years.
There are a number of scams associated with Kamran, who also cheated thousands of investors into giving him millions of rupees as investment in what later turned out to be fictitious schemes. This is the first time the scandal has officially been highlighted, but some observers believe that it is being done to embarrass the former army chief and to shame the army as a national institution. Fahad Hussain, a senior journalist who wrote on this scandal, said it is rare for the army’s dirty linen to be washed in public. “But this is being done at the behest of the Sharif government which wants to put pressure on the army as an institution,” he added.
This is not the first time a civilian government has highlighted wrongdoings of the army and its economic activity. In 2010, parliament started to investigate a multi-billion rupee scam related to investments made by two generals in the stock market and the losses that they incurred.
At that time, Kayani had taken over the investigation under the Army Act. This year, the two generals were finally fired from service.