ISLAMABAD: The Federal Information Ministry became active in housing up a F.I.A Enquiry into Rupees 125 Million scam in government news agency Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation (APP-C).

According to a letter written by Maryam Latif, Assistant Director (Development) Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to Managing Director of APP, MD of premier news agency of Pakistan was informed that upon request of the APP, an inquiry committee has been formed to probe into alleged irregularities in the procurement process for PSDP project “Restructuring of News Operations”. The letter further says that competent authority has decided that all other inquiries/probes in the matter be suspended.

The letter requests to MD APP to ask F.I.A to put their investigation/probe on hold until further intimation by Ministry of I&B.

FIA has registered a F.I.R 16 of 2024 on a report lodged by Muhammad Asim Khichi, MD APP Corporation under section 409,420,468,471 and 34 P.P.C read with section 5(2) 47 of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The accused include Muhammad Ghawas Khan (Project Director), Musawar Imran (Deputy Director IT), Saad Mudasar (Chief Computer Engineer), Bilal Zafar (Deputy Director Cyber Wing MoIB) Arshad Majeed Choudhry (DDO/Manager Accounts) Ziaullah Bhutto Director Admin & P&D, Messer’s Tejari Pakistan Private Ltd, M/s New Horizon, M/s Commtel, M/s Artek System, M/s Media Links.

The accused persons wield influence in the MoIB and as per informations, private companies involved in the scam are owned by relatives of some of the accused. The committee of the Ministry will not be able to make a transparent, honest enquiry as one of the accused is its Deputy Director, insiders maintain adding that this is not a first scam in the government controlled news organization which is rife with illegal appointments, controversies over promotions and siphoning of huge amounts in the name of different projects. However it was the first time that a MD took a bold initiative to purge the organization of scammers but the Ministry has become active to hush up the probe and to save the skin of government employees who caused a huge loss of Rupees 125 Million in just  a single project.