CPEC not linked to Sharif family’s corruption: Fawad

Accuses PML-N of escaping accountability in roads projects


APP October 01, 2021
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addressing media in Islamabad. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday lashed out at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for linking its corruption in road infrastructure projects with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying that “it is beyond comprehension”.

“As far as CPEC is concerned, I am unable to understand as to why the PML-N wanted to link China with its corruption. The corruption of Sharif family will be investigated at all costs as it has nothing to do with CPEC,” the minister said during the launching ceremony of a book written by sports analyst Dr Nauman Niaz.

The minister alleged that the PML-N leadership was trying to link China and state institutions with their corruption in the hope to get relief in the investigation being carried out in road construction projects during the era of the previous government.

They would never succeed in their plan, he said while accusing the PML-N of weaving a plot to hide behind institutions to escape accountability.

In this week, he added the government had decided to take action against those who were involved in the alleged corruption committed in the road infrastructure projects during the PML-N government.

The minister voiced hope that PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal and his party would avoid such a “negative attitude” towards CPEC, which was an initiative of national importance.

Iqbal should first decide who was running the affairs of the PML-N, Fawad said.

He (Iqbal) should first get a vote of trust from the PML-N and then ask others for a vote of confidence, the minister said while responding to a query.

Prime Minister Imran Khan not only enjoyed the confidence of the National Assembly but also of the entire nation that voted him into power, Fawad said, adding that the premier would continue to rule on the basis of the people’s trust in his leadership.

Read Fawad wants Shehbaz graft cases heard daily

About the importance of cricket in Pakistan, he said the game was key to unite people in Pakistan from Karachi to Peshawar and the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan to Gwadar’s ocean.

“Our hearts beat with [national] team and [its] players,” he said while recalling massive financial losses inflicted on the PTV sports channel and a ‘demoralising effect’ on the nation in the wake of the cancellation of cricket tours by New Zealand and England.

“We were in Dushanbe and the prime minister was about to deliver his speech when I was given a message that the Prime Minister be informed that New Zealand cricket team has called off the tour. At that point in time, I, [Foreign Minister] Shah Mahmood Qureshi and (National Security Adviser) Moeed Yusuf were unanimous that the prime minister should not be told the news until he concludes his speech, otherwise it will have its effect,” Fawad said while describing the impact of cricket in national affairs.

Lauding the efforts of Nauman Niaz for Pakistan’s cricket, the minister said that after serving the PCB, the author became a journalist and now was hosting the ‘Game on Hai’ show that had quite impressive viewership.

“The library you have created and the book you have written, I would like to thank you on that on behalf of our people,” he said.

The minister said the library had every collection that the cricketing world loved, including bats of the best players of the world and the balls that were used in the Aussies cricket series.

He announced an exhibition in future to promote the library and congratulated Niaz on such an initiative.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib also congratulated Niaz over the launching of his book that had preserved the history of cricket in itself.

PTV Managing Director Aamir Manzoor, ARY TV CEO Salman Iqbal, Chief Selector Muhammad Waseem, Rashid Latif, Umer Gul, Yasir Hameed, and Muhammad Akram also spoke.

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