Pakistani security officials inspect the site of a bomb explosion on the outskirts of Peshawar on January 23, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/A MAJEED)
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Pakistani officials used a secret counterterrorism fund to buy wedding gifts, luxury carpets and gold jewelry for relatives of ministers and visiting dignitaries, according to documents seen by AFP.The revelations cast a spotlight on high-level corruption in Pakistan as the impoverished but nuclear-armed country battles a surge in Taliban violence.They concern the National Crisis Management Cell of Pakistan's Interior Ministry, formed in 2000 to coordinate between the country's intelligence agencies and federal and provincial governments on national security matters.The NCMC received some 425 million rupees ($4.3 million) from Pakistani government coffers from 2009-2013, according to files obtained by Umar Cheema, an investigative journalist for Pakistani daily the News, and seen by AFP.The counterterror fund was also used to buy three rugs as wedding gifts for the son of former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf early last year.Moinuddin Haider, who served as interior minister from 1999 to 2002, said the NCMC fund was not set up to pay for "gifts abroad".
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