LAHORE: PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb says the irony of the situation is that those (Shahzad Akbar) who openly demand ‘commission’ on the nation’s money, are accusing Shehbaz Sharif of corruption in the award of the solid waste management contract.
Talking to reporters outside the NAB court here on Saturday, Ms Aurangzeb slammed allegations against Shehbaz and said there was a “documentary proof” of how the opposition leader in the National Assembly saved the nation’s billions in different development projects, including the Lahore Solid Waste Management Company.
She said the company was carrying out solid waste collection, mechanically and manually, within zone 1 and zone 2 of Lahore.
“The contract for all these jobs was tendered and the lowest bid was by Al-Bayrak and Ozpak which had been conducting the task since 2011. The lowest bid for zone 1 was Rs199.21 million and for zone 2 it was Rs228.13m, totaling Rs427.34m. After the final bid, Shehbaz formed a procurement committee to negotiate further cost cut with the companies, after which zone 1 came down by Rs10m and zone 2 by Rs1.13m,” she said.
Ms Aurangzeb said Shehbaz held meetings with the companies and negotiated a further decrease and at the end of his tenure he saved the nation’s more than Rs107m.
She alleged the PTI government was incompetent and incapable of public service delivery which was why it persecuted those who served the people through political victimisation.
She said the ‘so-called’ adviser on accountability Shehzad Akbar had embarrassed himself.
“From Saaf Pani, Ashiana Scheme, Multan Metro, DFID to all other cases, despite having access to all records and abuse of government power, not a single penny of corruption was proved against Shehbaz.”
The “selected” prime minister praised those for their “brilliant performance” who could not even manage Lahore’s garbage, she said, adding the city of flowers, which had become an example for the whole Pakistan, was littered with garbage ever since the PTI came into power.
She regretted the city where mechanical sweeping and transportation of solid waste was done, was now being managed through bull and donkey carts. The vehicles that used to transport garbage had become rusted rotten garbage themselves under this “imposed administration”, she said.
Answering a question regarding why Imran kept praising Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar despite his poor governance, Marriyum said it was because who else would have facilitated “Rs400 billion dacoity” of the public money in sugar, “Rs225bn robbery in flour”, besides commissions and land grabbing, that she alleged paid the cost of the renovation of Imran’s Zaman Park house and his Bani Gala mansion.
She said even Imran’s car could be questioned under asset beyond means.
Shehbaz was answering every question by the court, and would be vindicated because he had served the people of Pakistan with devotion, she said.
Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2021