LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has barred Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former Punjab Education and Sports minister Rana Mashood from flying abroad at Lahore airport early Saturday.
Sources relayed Rana Mashood was offloaded from a private airline’s aircraft by immigration officers of FIA at 2am because of his name being on a blacklist over his involvement in alleged embezzlement of funds of the Punjab Youth Festival. He was to fly to the United States.
After being offloaded from the aircraft, he was allowed to leave the airport, they added.
In a statement, the PML-N leader said he was stopped from going abroad as he arrived at the airport.
He said he was told that the corruption watchdog has got his name added to the blacklist. He added he kept asking FIA officials about details of a case registered against him but they feigned ignorance.
Upon being contacted, according to Mashood, the bureau clarified that he was not required in any case and thus, be allowed to go abroad. By that time, his flight had already departed for its destination, he added.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched a probe into alleged misappropriation of millions of rupees of the Punjab Youth Festival in 2011 and 2012. It is likely to investigate the PML-N leader in this case.
Earlier, on June 21, the bureau had arrested former DG Sports Board Punjab Usman Anwer in the case.
He has been accused of violating Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules in awarding contracts worth millions of rupees. —NNI