Zulfi Bukhari returns to Pakistan, offers himself for accountability
Former special assistant to prime minister (SAPM) Zulfi Bukhari said on Wednesday that he offered himself for inquiry into Rawalpindi Ring Road scam, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Talking to 24News TV channel at Islamabad Airport soon after returning from the UAE, Zulfi Bukhari said he would appear before any inquiry team, if summoned in order to prove his innocence.
“Although Prime Minister Imran Khan had advised me not to resign, I decided otherwise so that I could clear my name,” he said, and hoped that soon truth would be separated from falsehood and his political opponents would be disappointed.
Zulfi said previously too he had proven his innocence and would succeed this time as well.
The former SAPM had flown abroad on May 28 in connection with an urgent piece of work.
After being named in the Ring Road scam, Zulfi Bukhari on May 17 had conditionally resigned to clear his name in the probe. He announced his resignation on Twitter saying, “My Prime Minister has always said that if a person has been named rightly or wrongly in any inquiry, he should cease to hold any public office till his name has been cleared of charges”.
He said, “Owing to the allegations in ongoing Ring Road inquiry, I want to set this example”. He also twitted that by resigning from his position until his name was cleared up of any allegations and the media’s obnoxious lies.
Later it was reported that Zulfi Bukhari did not resign from his post as special assistant to the prime minister for overseas Pakistanis on his own rather he was forced by Imran Khan to tender the resignation.
Quoting sources, 24NewsHD TV channel reported the inside story of the Ring Road project saga. After receiving the inquiry report Prime Minister Imran Khan had summoned Zulfi Bukhari for an explanation but he failed to satisfy his boss in a one-on-one meeting.
The inquiry report had identified the links between Zulfi Bukhari and Nova City.
According to the sources, the PM Office has ordered an inquiry into the Benami properties of Nova City. The inquiry was ordered against Capital Smart City and New Airport Society, the sources added.
Owners of 10 housing societies including Ittihad City will also be investigated, the sources further said. The sources divulged that the PMO has also summoned the files of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis for scrutiny.
Reportedly, the main accused in the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal, ex-commissioner Rawalpindi Muhammad Mehmood who tried to mislead Prime Minister Imran Khan also got the support of former adviser to the prime minister on Overseas Pakistanis who vouched for him.
Sources informed that in his meeting with Prime Minister Khan, Mr Bukhari had appreciated the services of Mr Mehmood and spoke on his behalf. He requested the PM to restore the ex-commissioner's services pleading his innocence. But the prime minister did not buy Mr Bukhari’s argument and did not lend his ear to his advice.
The Punjab government has also handed over the charge sheet to the federal government against the officers involved in the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal. The Punjab government demanded suspension of these officers and disciplinary action against them. The provincial government also demanded action against former DG RDA Abdul Sattar, who has been made OSD.
The TV channel reported that the Punjab government wrote that these officers were involved in the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal.
The Punjab government said that former commissioner Captain (r) Muhammad Mahmood had committed corruption of billions of rupees in Rawalpindi Ring Road project.
Rawalpindi Commissioner Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah briefed Punjab Chief Secretary that as per the instructions of the Punjab Chief Minister, immediate work has started on the alignment of Rawalpindi Ring Road. “It is ensured that the new alignment is free from rent-seeking and tax evasion,” he added.
Reporter Sagheer Chaudhry