ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Sunday alleged that the Sharif family bought London apartments through corruption in the construction of the Lahore-Islamabad highway.
He was speaking here at a press conference, with Communications Minister Murad Saeed. Fawad said corruption was legally protected in the past and that when the Lahore-Islamabad highway contract was signed, the Avenfield apartments were bought by the Sharif brothers in London.
The minister identified the threat of corruption as the main reason for inflation and the weakness of the national economy and alleged that the Pakistani Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) government signed expensive contracts worth 1,000 crore rupees for road construction.
The Minister of Information underlined that Prime Minister Imran Khan had always said “we are facing the mafia; it is the mafia ”that the Pakistani government Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) fought. “This is the reason why gasoline, vegetables and pulses are so expensive today,” he said.
The minister stressed that Imran Khan was not against the roads; he was against corruption. The PMLN engaged in corruption in the name of road building, noting that Pakistan’s debt from 1947 to 2008 was 6 trillion rupees, which Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif increased to 27 trillion rupees. from 2008 to 2018.
He recalled that a news item had been published in an English-language daily indicating that the cost of the Islamabad highway had exceeded 60 billion rupees. The Minister regretted that unfortunately the money pocketed from the loot was not spent in the country, but rather transferred abroad. He continued that the PTI government paid the Daewoo company $ 2 billion in interest on the highway. He said highways should be built, because without roads there is no concept of development, but the PMLN, during his tenure, launched corrupt activities under the guise of road building, which weakened the country’s economy. “We have repaid $ 10 billion in loans over the past three years,” he added.
“Whenever we investigate power, road or development projects from previous eras, a mountain of corruption surfaces. “The Sharif family and the Zardari family transferred the looted wealth abroad. There is a case of corruption worth Rs25 billion and this money was transferred to Shehbaz Sharif from the accounts of his employees.
Responding to a question, the Minister said that the PMLN government signed the highway agreement in the 1990s; they sent money [received as commission] overseas to buy apartments in Avenfield via ‘Monday’, and “we’re trying to reopen the deal”. He said the PTI would take the issue to Parliament now.
Fawad noted that the country imports oil, its prices are linked to the world market. If the prices go up, it has to be subsidized to reduce the prices inside the country, but if the country is required to repay the loans, then it is difficult to give subsidies.
Referring to statements from the PMLN leadership on inflation and rising prices, he said that Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif were shedding crocodile tears; but because of them there is inflation in the country today.
The APP adds: Communications and Postal Services Minister Murad Saeed said the PTI government has built low-cost national highways and highways compared to those built by the previous PMLN government.
He said that the PMLN government has minted around one trillion rupees in awarding highways and highways contracts, while the PTI government has saved billions of rupees by ensuring transparency of road infrastructure projects.
The minister shared the details of the kilometer cost of the roads, built by the PMLN and PTI governments. He said the PTI government was building historic roads and highway systems on the ‘Build. Operate, transfer ‘the base and through investment, instead of loans.
He said the PTI government has completed planning for the construction of additional 6,118 km roads, highways and highways, including Peshawar-Dera Ismail Khan and Swat Motorways phase II and many other megaprojects.
Meanwhile, Federal Energy Minister (Electricity Division) Hammad Azhar reacted strongly to Shehbaz Sharif’s comment, saying the PMLN had started crying out for rigging two years before the election, when the defeat of the party was looming. He said if they were so afraid of poll rigging why they opposed the use of modern technology, electronic voting machines (EVMs), in upcoming polls.