Accountability won’t affect CPEC, Chairman should face allegations: Maryam Nawaz
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz has said that the process of accountability of one person will not affect the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and asked its chairman retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa to face corruption allegations against him.
Referring to a recently published investigative news report about alleged offshore properties and businesses of Bajwa and his close family members, Maryam stated that answer to questions in the report should not be taken as a “conspiracy against CPEC”.
“If the founder of CPEC [Nawaz Sharif], who brought investment of $60 billion to Pakistan and was removed because of one ‘iqamah’ and that did not affect the project, then the removal or addition of one person won’t affect CPEC,” she said.
“It is the matter of an individual. Allegations have been made against him [Bajwa] and he should answer them,” she added.
Maryam said that the evidence against Bajwa was “huge” and called for him to clarify his position in front of the nation.
“If you have been appointed to a government post on taxpayers’ money and allegations are made against you and evidence is presented, you should face them,” she said.
“In our case, it was like making a mountain out of a molehill but still we served punishments thrice. If you have been accused and evidence has been brought, then you should not hesitate to face the law,” she added.
Attacking Prime Minister Imran Khan, Maryam said, “[Imran Khan] used to say that Nawaz has left the country which has weakened his narrative of accountability. Then he used to say that someone has gotten bail [or] someone has been acquitted so his narrative of accountability has weakened.”
“I want to question Imran Khan and his government that today, when allegations have been made against Asim Saleem Bajwa with proof, why is his narrative of accountability sleeping? Is there no challenge to his narrative of accountability now?”
Maryam said that everyone was equal under the law and if she and her father could serve jail time for “false cases”, then nobody else could be exempted either.
“If Nawaz Sharif can face the law and serve jail time, if his daughter who is not holding a government post can serve punishments twice, once for six months and the second time for five months and stay in a death cell, if Nawaz Sharif can reach the point of death in jail and surrender to the law then whether it is Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Shehbaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Asim Saleem Bajwa, Mir Sahkilur Rehman, Qazi Faez Isa or Sarina Isa, they are equal in the eyes of the law,” she said.
“If Qazi Faez Isa, while being a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, and Nawaz Sharif, a three-time former prime minister, [and] their wives and daughter while not being government employees can face the law then there is no exemption for anyone,” she asserted.