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ISLAMABAD: The special assistant to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari on Monday resigned from his position over the allegations levelled against him in the Rawalpindi Ring Road project scam. In a series of tweets, he said he was stepping down until his name was cleared of any allegations and media’s obnoxious lies regarding the case.

He recalled Prime Minister Imran Khan as saying that "if a person has been named rightly or wrongly in any inquiry he should cease to hold any public office till his name has been cleared of charges.

“Owing to the allegations in ongoing Ring Road inquiry, I want to set this example by resigning from office until my name is cleared up of any allegations and media’s obnoxious lies,” he tweeted.

Bukhari reiterated that he had nothing to do with the Ring Road or any other ongoing real estate project, adding this time, the inquiry should be done by capable personnel, saying he would also endorse a judicial inquiry. “I’m here to stay in Pakistan and stand united with the prime minister and his vision,” Bukhari added.

“I sacrificed my life overseas to come and serve my country…I’m ready to face any inquiry,” he claimed.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Imran ordered a full-fledged inquiry into Rawalpindi Ring Road project scam after which the Punjab government decided to send the case to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) or the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for thorough investigation.

The decisions were taken as two fact-finding reports – one by the Rawalpindi commissioner and the other by the deputy commissioner – landed at the prime minister office, with the second report hinting that the project had been realigned with the approval of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and his finance adviser Dr Salman Shah.

However, the PML-N demanded action against the relevant authorities for approving the ring road’s realignment, asserting that neither Chief Minister Buzdar and Prime Minister Imran nor direct beneficiaries such as cabinet members Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Bukhari should be exempted.

PML-N deputy secretary general Attaullah Tarar had alleged that both Bukhari and Khan had received huge financial benefits through the ring road project because their lands were near the project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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