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Imran demanded third-party inquiries into curruption scandals in Punjab

15 September, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday demanded third-party inquiries into alleged mega corruption scandals in Punjab.

Imran said this was necessary to unveil corrupt practices. He invited all federal agencies, including Rangers and National Accountability Bureau (NAB), to begin crackdowns against corruption in Punjab even in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where his own party is in power. Addressing a press conference at his Bani Gala residence, the PTI chief said agencies should come to Punjab and even Khyber Pakhtunkhwa “to clean up what we have been unable to do”. However, he said that it is more important than ever to cleanse Punjab because the biggest scams will be found there.

Imran said these mega corruption scandals had not come to the forefront before because the Public Accounts Committee and National Accountability Bureau were controlled by them (the PPP and the PML-N). “But today their cooperation has ended and they are at loggerheads over Rangers’ and federal agencies’ action in Sindh,” he said while referring to the tiff between the PPP and the PML-N, which has resulted in the PPP leadership giving strong statements against the PML-N-run government. Imran Khan said the Nandipur power plant corruption case would have gone unnoticed had the muk-muka (compromise) between the PPP and the PML-N not broken down.

“It is at least a Rs 22 billion project. We demand a third-party audit, not one on the lines of the Model Town investigation,” stated the PTI chief, while noting that it was intriguing why the project was delayed after so much work had been done. He held Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif responsible for it. The PTI chief went on to say that the metro bus projects by the PML-N government were also “extravagant”. “We also demand an independent audit of the metro projects,” which he said was executed at an unusually high cost.

Lauding the local bodies elections held under the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran said the elections were organised and free of rigging. “For first time in Pakistan, devolution took place,” he added. He said action has been initiated against 5,000 policemen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which, he added, was unprecedented in Pakistan. Lauding the provincial police chief, Nasir Durrani, the PTI chairman criticised the under-investigation former KP minister Ziaullah Afridi for his remarks on the KP Assembly floor a couple of days ago. “He (Afridi) has been a solid worker for our party, but what he did in the KP Assembly was very disappointing.

Even the chief justice of Pakistan had appreciated the IG.” He publicly terminated the party membership of Afridi. He said three other members of the party were currently being investigated, namely Senator Azam Swati, MPA Yasin Khalil, and Arif Yousaf. “If charges against them are proven true, they will be terminated form the party,” Imran said. “I am sacking Ziaullah Afridi from PTI. This is a message for my party… if you are under investigation you have to clear yourself first… not throw dirt and blackmail others.” Imran said the biggest of all corruption cases is the LNG scandal. The PTI chairman said not revealing the cost of the project is a questionable thing, and added that the Sindh government was right in pointing out it produced a major chunk of gas in the country.

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