Pak PM Imran's close aide resigns over corruption allegations

·2-min read

Islamabad, May 17 (PTI) A close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan resigned on Monday after his name surfaced in a corruption case, in a setback to Pakistan premier who claims that he has been heading a clean government.

Zulfi Bukhari, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, was accused of using influence to expand the Rawalpindi Ring Road project to facilitate some real estate developers.

It is alleged that the cost of the project increased by Rs 25 billion after it was unnecessarily widened to give direct access to some housing societies.

'My Prime Minister has always said 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,” Bukhari tweeted.

'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 said.

Bukhari said he had nothing to do with the Ring Road or any other real estate project and demanded a high-powered judicial probe.

'I’m here to stay in Pakistan and stand united with the Prime Minister and his vision,” Bukhari, who is a British national, said, adding that he sacrificed life overseas to come and serve Pakistan.

Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who was also accused of using influence to help some developers, addressed a press conference and rejected the charges while offering himself for any kind of probe.

The Rawalpindi Ring Road project is a mega project to provide an alternative route to heavy traffic without going into the city of Rawalpindi or the neighbouring Islamabad.

According to an initial probe by Commissioner Rawalpindi, the route was unnecessarily realigned and zigzagged to touch some housing schemes which jacked up the cost.

The Punjab government has already taken action against the district commissioners of Rawalpindi and Attock and other senior revenue officers by removing them from their posts.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has announced that it will launch a probe against those responsible for corruption in the project.

The stepping down of Bukhari is a setback for Prime Minister Khan, who has always taken a high moral ground on the issue of corruption and claims that he is leading a clean government. PTI SH MRJ AKJ MRJ MRJ

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