LAHORE: The Punjab government has said it is ready to join investigation the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) is conducting into the affairs of a Chinese company, Yabaite, allegedly involved in Multan metro bus project “kickbacks”.

“The Multan bus project had been carried out by three contractors and none of them had any connection with the Yabaite. We are ready to join the CSRC probe in this regard and also want the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to investigate who is behind leakage of fake documents to a private TV channel anchor who launched a malicious propaganda campaign against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif (regarding taking kickback in the project),” Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmad Khan told a press conference here on Thursday. He said the government had served a legal notice on the anchor and the private channel for airing baseless news.

“If they do not apologise in the next 24 hours, we will move the court against them (anchor and the TV channel),” he said, and added no one would be allowed to defame anybody for vested interest.

Mr Khan said that according to the SECP no team of CSRC ever visited Pakistan for investigation or recording statements of certain individuals in connection with the Multan metro bus project.

The SECP said the CSRC had sought assistance from it in the investigation against the Yabaite for violation of the Chinese securities laws.

Khan further said the SECP had sent letters to the Federal Investigation Agency and the Punjab government along with documents with the advice to investigate the matter independently.

He dared the detractors to bring forth documents to prove their allegation against the chief minister or tender an apology.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2017