Corruption allegations an attempt to malign Punjab govt: CM Shehbaz


LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday rejected the corruption allegations of ARY News, a local news channel, leveled against him regarding Multan Metro Bus project He said it was an attempt to malign the Punjab government.

While talking to media at his residence in Model Town Lahore, he said that if the channel had evidence against him then it should be produced in next 48 hour, otherwise it must be held accountable for spreading wrong information.

Earlier, ARY News had accused Shehbaz Sharif of taking kickbacks worth of Rs three billion in Multan Metro Bus project.

Shahbaz said that government representatives were replying to the allegations of the TV channel, but keeping in view the seriousness of the matter, he has decided to speak out himself.

He said the government had started investigating the matter after the ARY came out with it, but there was nothing to be found. ARY had alleged that corruption was done by “Capital Engineering and Construction Company” which never existed anywhere, he said. Following the accusations, the consortium checked the record carefully and reported that not such company worked with it during the metro bus project in Multan, he added.

Over the ARY’s allegation regarding delaying tactics in replying the letter to the SECP, Shahbaz said that SECP had sent its first reply on March 13 in which it was clearly mentioned that the said company had never been registered with the SECP. He said that the reference numbers given on the letter were also wrong.

Shehbaz further said by playing these trick ARY had not only tried to mislead the people of Pakistan but it tried to hurt the trust built between Pakistan and its allies, including Saudi Arabia and China.

“It is very easy to defame the politicians of the country and get away it, but such practices, especially this case, could harm the relationship with other trusted countries,” he said, adding that China is the most trusted friend of Pakistan.

While getting emotional on corruption allegations, CM said that if a single corruption charge was proven against him, he will accept whatever the punishment.

He said by acting like that, the TV channel is proving a bad influence on nation, military, youth, and judiciary.

“I have worked hard to deliver the people of the province. To eliminate poverty, numerous schemes were launched. For better education, we started Daanish Schools and started endowment funds,” he said.

“Why this channel (ARY) is silent about those who grabbed lands of poor and those who had waived their loans off from banks,” he said, adding that that such people had been sucking blood of the poor nation.

Shahbaz said that the billions of rupees of public exchequers were wasted in Rental Power projects but nobody talked about this and corruption in EOBI scandal was also proved but, again, nobody was held accountable.

“Is accountability limited to the Panama case only?” he inquired.

He commented on Trump’s criticism of Pakistan, saying the Punjab government had reacted strongly to it. “We don’t need American money and since 2010 I [Punjab government] have not taken US Aid as there is no compromise on Pakistan’s integrity,” he said.

He lashed out at Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen, saying that despite the court’s orders they did not bother to appear before the courts.


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