Belligerent Ahsan asks China to intervene over CPEC corruption allegation
Says PTI govt wanted to sabotage China Pakistan Economic Corridor
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PML-N Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal came out with guns blazing on Thursday over the fresh corruption charges levelled by a government adviser against him, saying it seemed that the current government was brought into power for sabotaging the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Addressing a press conference, Ahsan appealed to the Chinese government and the embassy in Pakistan to explain the issue by issuing a clarification amid the corruption allegations in Multan-Sukkur Motorway which had been funded directly by the friendly country.
The strong reaction came as Shahbaz Gill – an adviser to the prime minister – earlier in the day claimed that the PML-N leader caused a loss of Rs137 to the national kitty in the project.
Ahsan immediately reacted by posting a tweet in which he tagged the Chinese officials and said an adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan had alleged that he siphoned away Rs 137 billion out of Rs 315 billion Multan-Sukkur Motorway project.
PM Imran Khan’s Adviser today alleged that i siphoned away Rs 137b out of Rs 315b Multan-Sukkur Motorway project cost completed under #CPEC. Will Govt of China like to clarify allegation? CPEC was done very transparently. Such statements should be condemned@zlj517 @CathayPak https://t.co/nmbydxaUzm— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) November 19, 2020
Later in the day, Ahsan again told media persons that the project cost was Rs315 billion but the PTI government members had levelled accused them of corruption to the tune of Rs137 billion.
Rubbishing the allegations, he said over percent of the amount (Rs290 billion) for executing the project had been provided directly by China and it meant that the PTI accused the Chinese of corruption. Corruption allegation had been levelled against China, not him, Ahsan said.
The money for investment in the CPEC projects did not transfer to the national exchequer, he noted and recalled that the two countries had decided to turn the close relations into strategic partnership.
Government members like Communication Minister Murad Saeed have been repeatedly accusing Ahsan of corruption in this section of motorway since assuming power after the 2018 elections.
Murad even mentioned these allegations on the floor of National Assembly, prompting Ahsan to challenge them to constitute a JIT for a probe.