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Thursday, May 23, 2024

PM Imran rejects resignation of SAPM Bajwa, says he is ‘satisfied’ with asset explanation

Prime Minister Imran Khan has rejected the resignation put forth by Lt Gen (retd) Bajwa citing that he is satisfied with his explanation of assets

Prime Minister Imran Khan has not accepted the resignation of Ltd Gen (retd)  Bajwa saying that he is satisfied with the explanation of assets by the former. This comes after allegations were levied against SAPM Bajwa that he had falsified his asset statement in the documents submitted for the SAPM position.

PM Imran Khan has refused to accept Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Asim Saleem Bajwa’s resignation on Saturday, telling him to carry on as his aide.

Prime Minister satisfied with the explanation that Bajwa forwarded

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Bajwa forwarded his resignation to the prime minister today which the premier rejected.

The prime minister was quoted as saying that he was satisfied with the clarification that Bajwa had provided in response to a published article on his assets.

The former head of the military’s media wing had revealed in a conversation with Geo News anchor Shahzeb Khanzada Thursday night that he would hand in his resignation to the prime minister on Friday.

Bajwa has also been noted to have played an integral part in the security of the CPEC projects.

According to several videos shared on social networking platform Twitter by users around the world, Ahmed Noorani, the journalist who wrote the now-debunked expose without revealing his sources, had relied on a video made by a retired major of the Indian Army, named Gaurav Arya.

Arya is notorious for misinformation campaigns on Twitter.

“Abhinandan flew into Pakistan…shot down an F-16, had tea, changed into a blue jacket and Pakistanis came all the way to drop him to Wagah border…all in two days. Now tell me, how was the tea,” he said.

However, reputed American publication Foreign Policy said in a report that two US defence officials with direct knowledge of the matter said US personnel had done a count of Pakistan’s F-16s and found none missing. Arya has had a history of exaggerating or downright lying, even about the news that is internationally accepted.

Read more: Gwadar has potential to become a global city: Asim Bajwa

Bajwa said he would request the premier to relieve him of his duties as his special assistant on the information.

The retired lieutenant general said that he would continue his work as Chairman China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority.

Bajwa had also said that the premier’s priority is CPEC “and I believe as well that this project is the country’s future”.

It is believed that

“I hope that the prime minister will allow me to concentrate all my focus on CPEC,” he added.

The announcement came after a strong rebuttal to allegations raised against Bajwa in a news broken on an “unknown website” on August 27 by journalist Ahmed Noorani.

Lt Gen Bajwa on Thursday “vehemently denied as incorrect and false” all allegations.

The four-page rebuttal to the accusations was posted to Twitter by Lt Gen Bajwa, along with the following statement: “I strongly rebut the baseless allegations levelled against me and my family. Alhamdolillah another attempt to damage our reputation belied/exposed. I have and will always serve Pakistan with pride and dignity.”

The premier’s aide said that he has “not shied away to explain the allegations shamelessly levelled” against him.

Allegations hurled to tarnish reputation, says Ltd Gen (retd) Bajwa

These allegations have been hurled at me to tarnish my image,” he said.

The rebuttal noted that the news has alleged as follows:

“All the adverse insinuations leveled in the news item in question so also the aspects mentioned in the para 2 above, are materially false,” Lt Gen Bajwa said.

He said that the allegation that his declaration of assets and liabilities dated June 22 suffers from omission of the investment of his wife abroad, is “materially false”.

Lt Gen Bajwa said that when the declaration was filed, his wife was “no longer an investor or shareholder in any business” belonging to his brothers or anyone else abroad.

“My wife had disinvested all her interests as at 01.06.2020 in any entity abroad and such fact has been duly documented in the official records in the USA,” he said, adding that the company registered in the SECP in Pakistan was Liaison Office of the companies in the USA.

Lt Gen Bajwa noted that allegations have been made with regard to his children’s businesses.

“It has been alleged that one of my sons had owned a company by name of Scion Builders and Estates (Pvt) Ltd, which has been registered in the SECP. It may be stated that this company has never done any business and same is dormant since inception,” he said.

Lt Gen Bajwa also noted that it was suggested that the company Himalaya (Pvt.) Ltd was registered by one of his sons in the SECP.

“It may be pointed out that my son owns only fifty percent of the shares. This is a very small company and in the last three years has made a total cumulative profit of about less than Rs500,000,” he said.

Regarding a company named Mochi Cordwainers, Lt Gen Bajwa said that it is true that one of his sons is the sole proprietor of the “small entity”. He said for the last five years the said business entity “has made a total loss”.

The statement by the premier’s aide also addressed allegations pertaining to a business entity by the name of Krypton “which was brought about by one of my sons, which dealt with mines and minerals and was registered at the time when I was posted in Balochistan”.

“Unfortunately, none has bothered to find out that said business entity is registered as a sole proprietorship in the FBR in 2019 but it has always been dormant and has not done any business. It has never opened a bank account or obtained a lease,” said Lt Gen Bajwa.

The premier’s aide said that “baseless allegations” have also been leveled that a business entity of his two brothers by the name of Sijkling Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd has been formed to acquire CPEC contracts.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday also sought to clarify the matter, telling the media that the authenticity of a news report on alleged offshore properties and businesses of Lt-Gen (r) Bajwa and his family would be cleared soon. “It is now a common practice that the news is run without confirmation,” Qureshi reportedly said.

GVS News Desk