Ahsan Iqbal slams Murad Saeed over Rs70bn corruption allegations


–Fawad Ch, Iqbal trade bards over state of country’s economy

Former interior minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal lashed out against Federal Communication Minister Murad Saeed for claiming that Iqbal had received Rs 70 billion in commission in the Multan-Sukkur motorway project.

“If I have taken any bribes for any CPEC projects then I pray that God strikes me down” he tweeted. “But if I have not, then I leave my case to God against these people who use difficult times as an opportunity to attack the characters of their opponents,” he said responding to Murad.

Talking to journalists a few days ago, Murad Saeed said that Ahsan Iqbal frontman, Javed Sadiq, and the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif are involved in the Rs 70 billion scam.

He urged the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to take action against the corrupt immediately. “This is just the first case in many to come,” Murad Saeed said.

“I will give details of the transfer of funds to Larkana, which took place during the Pakistan People’s Party tenure,” he said.

“The PML-N finalised major projects for commission through their frontman Sadiq and in the Multan-Sukkur Motorway project, the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs70 billion,” the minister alleged. He further alleged that Ahsan Iqbal and Sadiq, back in 2013, inked the contract to benefit an international firm-China Estate Company.

Meanwhile, Ahsan Iqbal also released a video statement, saying such accusations were hurting the prospects of CPEC.

“This outburst is a reaction of the government’s incapacity and failure to carry out the CPEC projects. Instead of taking the criticism positively, pulling up their socks and getting to work on the projects, the intolerant and inept PTI government has started attacking the CPEC project itself with their baseless propaganda,” he said


Separately, Ahsan Iqbal and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry traded bards on Twitter over the state of Pakistan’s economy.

“Unfortunately, aftershocks of the politically engineered crisis continue to impact our economy adversely,” the PML-N leader wrote while sharing on Twitter the story of Moody’s changing Pakistan banking system outlook to negative.

Replying to the former interior minister, Fawad tweeted that the “consequences and curse” left by Iqbal’s party would remain for some time. “Your long stints in power were not without consequences, your curse will remain for some time but we will be out to the mess you guys created.”

Moody’s Investors Service has changed its outlook for the banking system in Pakistan (B3 negative) to negative from stable.

“Over the next 12-18 months, banks in Pakistan will see their credit profiles challenged by their high exposure to the country’s low-rated sovereign debt and a slowing economy,” Constantinos Kypreos, Moody’s Senior Vice President, said in a report released Monday.