No cabinet member involved in R3 scam, Zulfi Bukhari resigned on moral grounds: Fawad

No cabinet member involved in R3 scam, Zulfi Bukhari resigned on moral grounds: Fawad

Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari and Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan. File photos.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister  Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday spoke about the Rawalpindi Ring Road (R3) scandal and said that an engineer working on the project had written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and informed him that the alignment of the road had been altered. 

Fawad said that the premier ordered a probe into the matter after receiving the latter after which it was revealed that the information about the change in the road’s alignment was true. Moreover, it was found that the road had also been expanded towards Attock by 29 kilometres. 

“The reason for expanding the road was to benefit several housing societies,” said Fawad.

Regarding the alleged involvement of Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari and Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan in influencing the officials to change the design of the project, Fawad said that so far, there is no evidence of the involvement of any minister or adviser in the Rawalpindi Ring Road (R3) project.

He added that Bukhari had tendered his resignation on moral grounds. Both the government functionaries have rejected the accusations, saying they have been “wrongly dragged into the matter.

“All citizens are equal in the eyes of law. Now there will be investigations into all allegations whether these are against opposition leaders, cabinet members, the bureaucracy or any institution,” he said in a series of tweets after the R3 scandal exploded in the media.

Fawad Chauhdry said the principle of ‘answerability’ would be applicable to everyone facing any accusations, adding it was the change in the system that had been promised.

The minister said it was only possible in Imran Khan’s government that the allegations were probed if levelled against whosoever. He said that contrary to that, during the tenures of PML-N and PPP, media had been highlighting wrongdoings loud and clear, but all went unheard.

Now, he said, the PTI government had changed the system as it strongly believed that government officials should have fear of accountability besides influential personalities were also not above the law.

Fawad said the PM was apprised about the matter of the Ring Road project that a 23-kilometre stretch was added in the original alignment to benefit housing societies that led to the additional payment of Rs20 billion on account of land procurement.

Following this, the minister said the Punjab chief minister, as well as Commissioner Rawalpindi, was asked to probe the matter.

According to the initial inquiry, he said, the commissioner confirmed the reports that the former commissioner and some officers were involved in the scandal, suggesting sending the matter to the departments concerned for further investigation. 


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