Shehbaz is a Sharif man, says China | Pakistan Today

Shehbaz is a Sharif man, says China

  • Acting Chinese ambassador says allegations of corruption against Punjab chief minister in Multan Metro Bus project are false 
  • Lijian says Jiangsu Yabaite Technology Co. Ltd was not operating in Pakistan ‘and had presented fake letters to cheat govt’
  • Shehbaz Sharif says Chinese govt’s statement ‘magnificent vindication’ of Punjab govt

The Chinese government has rejected allegations of corruption levelled against Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, saying reports of him receiving kickbacks from the Multan Metro Bus project through a ‘fake’ Chinese firm are false.

Responding to a tweet, Acting Ambassador Zhao Lijian said that the Chinese company in the middle of the scandal, Jiangsu Yabaite Technology Co. Ltd, was not operating in Pakistan and had presented “fake letters to cheat [the] government”. He added that the Chinese government had taken action against the firm.

“Thx for advice. This Chinese company Yabeite was not working in Pakistan. It made up some fake letters to cheat government and was punished,” he tweeted.

In another tweet, the diplomat said CPEC projects are transparent and clean and there is zero tolerance for corruption.

The Punjab chief minister welcomed the ‘vindication’ of his stance on the issue in a tweet.
“I bow my head before Him for, it isn’t my vindication alone, it is magnificent vindication of all my colleagues and Govt of Punjab…thanks!,” he tweeted.

In another tweet, Shehbaz continued: “And above all enhancement of respect of the people of Pakistan in the eyes of our great Chinese friends.”

On Tuesday, ARY News channel had alleged that a Chinese regulatory authority had released a report stating that the Punjab chief minister had received more than Rs10 million in kickbacks from the Multan Metro Bus project through Jiangsu Yabaite Technology Co. Ltd, a Chinese company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

According to the report, Jiangsu is being probed by Chinese authorities after unusual transactions of money were detected in the company’s accounts. Pakistan, however, came into focus only after the Chinese company informed authorities in Beijing that the money involved in its unusual transactions was actually the profits it had earned from the Multan Metro Bus project through its Pakistani partner company, Capital Engineering and Construction Company (Pvt) Ltd.

The channel claimed in its report that on further investigation, the Chinese board ‘discovered’ that the company in Pakistan belonged to Shehbaz Sharif.

According to the report, the China Securities Regulatory Commission approached the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and asked for its assistance pursuant to International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCOs) and Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) about Jiangsu Yabaite and Capital Engineering and Construction Company. The CSRC also enquired from the SECP whether these two companies participated in the construction of Multan Metro Bus Project, as claimed by Yabaite.

The SECP approached the State Bank of Pakistan as well as the Federal Board of Revenue to know if there is any bank account of Capital Engineering Company in the country, or any record of tax returns. The SECP also wrote to Pakistan Engineering Council to know if any such engineering company was registered with the council but no such company was found in the council’s record.

Yabaite, in light of the investigations, submitted to the CSRC two appreciation letters: one allegedly from Shehbaz Sharif, another from Senator Kulsoom Parveen, who hails from Balochistan, and one blank paper signed by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, which endorsed Senator Parveen’s letter in May 2017.

The Punjab chief minister, as well as the two senators, have categorically denied writing any such letter.

Shahbaz had vehemently rejected the allegations in a press conference on Wednesday, saying that “if anyone can prove a penny of corruption against me, they can hold me accountable”.

Moreover, Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmad Khan said on Thursday that the provincial government was ready to join the investigation that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was conducting regarding Yabaite’s affairs.

Khan also said that according to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), no team of CSRC ever visited Pakistan to investigate or record statements in connection with the Multan Metro Bus project.

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  2. Pakistantoday said:

    One could only laugh at such silly and sinister defense.

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