Islamabad [Pakistan], September 2 (ANI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz has said the process of accountability of one person will not affect the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and asked its chairman retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa to face corruption allegations levelled against him.
Speaking in response to an investigative news report on alleged offshore properties and businesses of Bajwa and his close family members, Maryam stated that answer to questions in the report should not be taken as a "conspiracy against CPEC", Dawn reported.
"If the founder of CPEC (Nawaz Sharif), who brought investment of USD 60 billion to Pakistan and was removed because of one 'iqamah' and that did not affect the project, then the removal or addition of one person will not affect CPEC," she said.
"It is the matter of an individual. Allegations have been made against him (Bajwa) and he should answer them," she added.
The PML-N leader made the comments after appearing at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for hearing of an appeal against her conviction and that of her father and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and husband Muhammad Safdar in connection with the Avenfield corruption case.
Maryam underlined that the evidence against Bajwa was "huge".
"If you have been appointed to a government post on taxpayers' money and allegations are made against you and evidence is presented, you should face them," she said.
"In our case, it was like making a mountain out of a molehill but still we served punishments thrice. If you have been accused and evidence has been brought, then you should not hesitate to face the law," she added.
Attacking Prime Minister Imran Khan, Maryam remarked, "(Imran Khan) used to say that Nawaz has left the country which has weakened his narrative of accountability. Then he used to say that someone has gotten bail (or) someone has been acquitted so his narrative of accountability has weakened."
"I want to question Imran Khan and his government that today, when allegations have been made against Asim Saleem Bajwa with proof, why is his narrative of accountability sleeping? Is there no challenge to his narrative of accountability now?" she was quoted as saying by Dawn.
The CPEC is the flagship component of China's massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure project, both of which were announced in 2015. The BRI has been heavily criticised as being a veil for Chinese colonial expansion, leaving less developed countries with huge amounts of debts, thereby allowing Beijing to exert its influence over them.
Over the years, Pakistan, which is battling with a crippling economy, has continued to seek loans from its all-weather ally China and other international organisations, including World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to shore up its crumbling economy. (ANI)