The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has raised objections over the new seven-storey building housing the US Embassy in Islamabad that it would allow surveillance of the government offices in its vicinity.
The AGP expressed reservations claiming that ‘the rooftop of the building could be utilized to install surveillance devices that can be used to spy government offices in the surrounding.’
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) had refused to issue the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for the construction of the seven-storey building for the embassy without the consent of the prime minister, as the authority can approve the construction of up to five-storey building in the area, the audit report was cited by Dawn News in its Tuesday report.
The report further said that the US government started building the office despite pending approval by the prime minister. “Despite pending approval by the prime minister, construction had started,” the audit report says.
The report revealed that country’s security agencies had wrote a letter to the CDA Chairman voicing objections against the building as saying the seven-story building “would overtake most of the ministries and other official buildings along the Constitution Avenue”
Failing to implement rules and “lack of oversight” caused such kind of the irregularity, the report said, adding that a meeting of the departmental accounts committee was not called despite several requests made by the AGP office.
It has been again asked the authorities concerned to hold a high-level inquiry against the construction of the building and take “appropriate corrective action”.
The building plan was approved without any objection in February by a high-level committee comprising the CDA officers and members from Planning, Emergency and Disaster Management Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners.