Thursday May 13, 2021
LAHORE: Amid reports of involvement of high-profile government functionaries, the PMLN has demanded the constitution of a judicial panel, comprising the judges of the Supreme Court, to investigate the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal.
An inquiry had been held at the highest level in the provincial government after which it emerged that changes had been made to the actual plan of the Rawalpindi Ring Road to create new road infrastructures.
These changes, the inquiry determined, were made to benefit some influential personalities. These changes would have increased the cost of the project by Rs25bn, said sources.
Implementation of the plan was stopped on the orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan once he was apprised of the scam.
Following the investigation, the Punjab government had removed six mid-career officers over their alleged involvement in the scandal.
PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar, while talking to media at the party’s Model Town office on Wednesday, said that nowadays the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal has been the talk of the town and many bureaucrats were transferred due to this scam.
He alleged that so far Rs2.3 billion has been paid to various property dealers and most of them were the frontmen of a close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan and PTI minister Ghulam Sarwar. He also claimed that CM Punjab Usman Bazar held two meetings through PND to remodel the project.
He demanded the Punjab government to release the original plan of the project and tell the people that from where it was starting and where it was ending.
Tarar further claimed that Adviser to Chief Minister Salman Shah also held meetings on it.
The PML-N leader alleged that the Punjab government was buying land and paying compensation only to like-minded people as many friends and advisers of the prime minister live there.
He recalled Imran Khan always said that he will not give NRO to the Opposition but he never took action against his own people and it seemed that this time he will again reward his people.
Tarar claimed that the PML-N had planned 26km but the PTI government extended it to 66 kilometres and this project was also extended to Islamabad.
He declared it as a daylight robbery by the PTI stalwarts.
“You have carried out this robbery using government resources and extended the project to 66 kilometres,” he said, adding the PML-N government was accused of wrongdoing in the Ashiana project, which was on public-private partnership and so far nothing came out of it.
He criticised the government for making government officials scapegoats.
The PML-N leader said on February 19, 2021, Usman Buzdar's Adviser Salman Shah also approved it and two PTI leaders had been given crores of rupees.
He demanded that a commission of the Supreme Court should be formed to investigate this scandal. He also appealed to the Supreme Court to take notice of this issue.