With a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation looming large, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Saturday rubbished charges of corruption levied against him.
Allegations of corruption and misuse of authority by Qaiser were brought up on Friday, following which NAB KP had reportedly asked the NAB chairman for permission to initiate an investigation.
NAB had alleged that Qaiser owned a mansion in Bani Gala worth Rs350 million. The bureau also accused him of taking a cut from construction projects and hiring illegally in government departments.
Flanked by KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, the speaker spoke to media representatives in Islamabad on Saturday and stated his position on the matter.
Insisting that he does not own a bungalow worth Rs350 million — as alleged — Qaiser claimed that he, in fact, lives in a rented house.
Presenting the 'details' of his properties, Qaiser announced that he would happily gift the mansion in question to anyone who could prove its existence. He added that he had only purchased five kanals of land in 2009 in two installments.
"It was [also] alleged that I awarded the tender for the Kanda-Topi Road to my cousin. The tender was in fact awarded through an electronic mechanism, and the person who won the bid is not connected to me in any way," Qaisar stated.
He further said that if any allegations against him are proven true, he would quit politics forever.
"This negative propaganda has made the lives of my family miserable. We are being punished for a crime we never committed," he said.
Qaiser maintained that the negative campaign against him was aimed at maligning his persona as general elections move closer.
He also said he was exploring legal options to address his ‘character assassination’.
The money trail exists: Khattak
Speaking to media on this occasion, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said his presence was meant to convey that he supported Asad Qaiser and his stance.
“TV channels and newspapers are full of allegations, so we have brought all the records out in the open. If anyone else wants to corroborate them, we will provide them the money trail,” he added.
“Whatever property and home he has, has been registered in his name since before 2013,” he said, adding that he would solve the matter and initiate an investigation.
He added, however, that any case which rests with NAB can not be taken up by the Provincial Accountability Commission.