SAPM case

13 Sep 2020


SPECIAL Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Lt-Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa is in the spotlight after the news about assets and offshore companies in the name of his wife and children worth millions of dollars.

Bajwa, who is also chairman of the CPEC Authority, has refuted these allegations, saying he would present his money trail before any judicial commission.

While Bajwa showed moral courage and values by offering his resignation, the prime minister’s action was questionable.

Advisers and special assistants of the prime minister have been the topic of fiery debates for the last two months in the assemblies, media and even in courts owing to their dual nationality.

As a result, two advisers have resigned. The prime minister accepted their resignations, although there is no restriction on having special assistants and advisers to the prime minister who have dual nationality.

However, in Bajwa’s case, Imran Khan refused to accept his resignation, for he felt satisfied by his explanation on the issue. Is this because civil-military ties are stronger now? Imran Khan has stated on various occasions that civil-military relations are stronger in his tenure compared to the past governments.

Bajwa must present his money trail before a high-profile commission. The prime minister should ask Bajwa to step down from both posts immediately and then forward this case to the National Accountability Bureau, or he should constitute a joint investigation team comprising experts from federal agencies headed by a Supreme Court judge.

He has to face accountability and can resume his job if he is cleared by the investigation.

Mahtab Ali Khan

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2020