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Subjugation and indignation; Meshrano Jirga scolds Ghani’s advisor on ‘Smart City’ project

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Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: The Complaints Committee of the Meshrano Jirga scolded President Ashraf Ghani’s legal adviser for his alleged involvement in signing of the Smart City Township project with a defaulter of the Kabul Bank.

President’s Legal Adviser Abdul Ali Muhammadi on Wednesday told the committee that some people were trying to hamper the government’s campaign against corruption.

He said this in an explanation to the Complaints Committee (CC) over signing of the Smart City Township’s contract with Khalilullah Ferozi, one of the Kabul Bank defaulters.

The controversial contract sparked criticism in intellectual circles and the parliament. Pursuing the matter, the Complaints Committee has summoned Abdul Ali Muhammadi for his version on the contract.

Muhammadi rejected his involvement in signing the contract, saying that there are some hands hatching plots against him. He said that the “unseen hands” want to hamper the anti-corruption efforts of the president, promising to expose the conspirators soon. The president’s adviser claimed that some of these people are not letting the Kabul Bank defaulters to return the loan.

The legal adviser accused the minister of Urban Development of signing the contract with Ferozi. He said that he has never ordered signing such agreement and it was beyond his authority.

The adviser has directed the Ministry of Urban Development through an official letter to help Nabizadah Construction Company to build a township on 62 acres land belonged to Khalilullah Ferozi.

Responding to the queries of the CC members, Muhammadi said that his aim was to recover the Kabul Bank loan from Khalilullah Ferozi because some individuals have told the defaulter not to pay the debt. He assured the senators of exposing these persons.

When asked why he was not disclosing their names now, Muhammadi replied that the country was passing through a critical juncture and he does not want to make public their names.

Local news channels had shown Muhammadi thanking Khalilullah Ferozi for signing the contract, indicating his involvement in the project. However, Muhammadi said that thanking the Kabul Bank defaulter was not for signing the contract.

Terming the adviser’s explanation as fabricated lie, Chief of the Complaints Committee, Zalmai Zabuli, said that office of the president’s adviser was involved in the scandal.

Zabuli said that Muhammadi violated the law, adding the adviser has signed contract with a person who received 10-year sentence.

“Khalilullah Ferozi cannot sign any contract with the government because some of his civil rights have been refused according to Article 156 of the Punishment Law. Minister of Urban Development, Sayed Saadat Mansoor Naderi, has told the Meshrano Jirga that he has signed the contract because the legal adviser told him so,” he said while scolding Muhammadi.

He said that the committee would call up the special representative of the president on good governance Ahmad Zia Masood, the chief of Attorney General Office, Commander of the Puli-e-Charkhi prison and the minister of Urban Development for explanations.