Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Chairman China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has resigned from the post of Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information. Prime Minister Imran Khan has accepted the resignation.
I requested the honourable Prime Minister to relinquish me from the additional portfolio of SAPM on Info & broadcasting. He very kindly approved my request
— Asim Saleem Bajwa (@AsimSBajwa) October 12, 2020
Notably, Bajwa resigned from the post of SAPM on Information on September 5 after a report surfaced about his family’s business in America. The premier, however, conveyed to Bajwa to stay in his position and carry on his work. The primer also made it clear that “I am satisfied with Asim Bajwa’s rebuttal performance and the explanation he has just offered”. PM’s move was hailed by the prominent analysts as an intelligent decision.
GVS has credibly learned, from sources in Islamabad, that Gen. Bajwa was not heading CPEC Authority on the recommendation of GHQ; he was PM’s own choice on the basis of strong recommendations from his team, his personal feedback on Bajwa’s understanding on issues of CPEC because of his work on CPEC development projects in Baluchistan where he headed the Southern Command (based in Quetta) after moving from ISPR and he had earned the trust of Chinese govt.
Campaign against Bajwa
The news report on the alleged business dealings of Asim Saleem Bajwa was decidedly rebuffed last month after it emerged that the journalist responsible for writing the report had actually been relying on the testimony of a notorious social media influencer with alleged deep ties to the Indian Army.
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.
The report, published on a propaganda website named FactFocus, intended to develop a correlation between Bajwa’s rise in his professional career and the rise of his family’s business. However, investigative reporters across the country stressed that the allegations were baseless since Noraani did not publish documents to back his claims.
After the report was published, an outcry ensued on social media, with trolls and bot accounts backed by the Indian establishment working overtime to expand the reach of the story and trying to make up for the gaps in the arguments of Noorani by simply trying to get the story out to as many people as possible.
Why did Bajwa resign?
GVS learnt from reliable sources in Islamabad that Gen. Bajwa resigned after he realized that he was unable to work in the cabinet. “Probably one minister was not happy and wanted the premier to remove Bajwa,” a source told GVS. “The same minister asked the premier to demand explanation from Bajwa after a report was published against Bajwa’s family,” the source added.
It was also learnt that Bajwa was also not interested to divert his attention from the CPEC projects. “Bajwa is a soldier; he is trained to be focused and committed. He wanted to exclusively focus on the ongoing CPEC projects,” sources told GVS.