Face the allegations ; Maryam Nawaz advises Chairman of CPEC

By Special Correspondent

Islamabad: Maryam Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter who is taking country’s ‘politics’ by storm these days, has advised Lieutenant General (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa to face the allegations leveled against him.

She made it loud and clear on Tuesday that the process of accountability of one person would not affect the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“Chairman of CPEC and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Infor­mation retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa should face the the allegations against him,” Maryam said on Tuesday.

Referring to a recently published investigative news report about alleged offshore properties and businesses of Bajwa and his close family members, Maryam said that the answer to questions raised by the report should not be that it was a “conspiracy against CPEC”.

She was speaking to reporters after appearing at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the hearing of an appeal against her conviction, along with that of her father, Nawaz Sharif, and husband, Muhammad Safdar, in the Avenfield reference.

“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.

It is the matter of an individual. Allegations have been made against him [Bajwa] and he should answer them.”

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.

“[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?”

The PML-N vice president 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 emphasised.

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