[This news was published in The Frontier Post on 26 Sep 2013. Sharjeel Memon was arrested Today, on October 23, 2017 by National Accountability after Sindh High Court rejected his plea for extension in bail.]
KARACHI: The Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inaam Memon, who has been badly failed to project the positive works done by PPP’s Sindh government, has used his brain otherwise and to plunder the taxpayers’ money, it has been reliably learnt.
The Sindh Information Department (SID) has been publishing good quality two monthly magazines of 60-page each, namely “Izhar” (Urdu) and “Pegham” (Sindhi) since 1970s but the Sindh Information Minister during the last months of previous PPP’s provincial government launched 28-page weekly magazine “Sindh Manzar”, apparently in order to plunder yet through another mean the taxpayers’ money, which is supposed to be spent on their welfare, sources in Sindh Information Department told this correspondent.
The Bungalow in affluent Clifton which is being acquired on rent for a 26-page magazine
Whereas the staff of two magazines is conveniently being stationed in the magazine rooms inside the office of Sindh Director Publication, Yasmeen Memon, the idea was floated to acquire on rent a double-story bungalow in upper class Clifton neighborhood for starting a below average magazine which could have been published with facilities already at the disposal of Sindh Information Department.
If it was not enough the Minister got approved rent almost on double amount and paid in millions as security deposit from the public exchequer to the owner through an estate agency allegedly owned by a PPP leader, sources privy to the deal told.
Sources in the SID told that unlike the old magazines all payments including the house rents and utility bills were paid by the Sindh Finance Department directly on the directions from influential minister who is close to Sharjeel Memon, the Sindh Information Minister.
The sources further told that though Director Publication, Yasmeen Memon was incharge of all publications, she had least say in the affairs of Sindh Manzar which is controlled from “elsewhere”. When this scribe visited her office for acquiring her version, Yaseem Memon had left the office while phone contacts also yielded no results.
When this correspondent showed the Bungalow to a well-known estate agent of the affluent locality he told on the condition of anonymity that the rent for house may be at least half of the rent paid to the owner. He further told that when the rent increases the amount of security deposit also automatically increases, putting the load of millions of Rupees on the public exchequer being run on loans from foreign banks and monitory institutions.
It is also relevant to mention that different quarters have been alleging the Sindh Information Ministry of large scale corruption. Last year the PML-N leader, Syed Nihal Hashmi had accused that Sharjeel Inam Memon was actively involved in corruption in his department.
“The Sindh Information Department has a budget of Rs. 40 crore for electronic media but during the last one year it has released one billion rupees to different TV channels,” maintained Hashmi and asked from where was such a hefty amount released and how much commission was being taken?
The PML-N leader had also asked the NAB to expand its investigation to the Sindh Information Department and interrogate high officials of the department including Sindh Information Minister who, he blamed, was directly involved in corruption.
To get the version of Sindh Information Department, The Frontier Post made several attempts to contact secretary information Aijaz Memon but he did not respond. A message was sent on his cell phone but he avoided commenting on the news