Adviser to the P.M. on Accountability Shahzad Akbar dismisses allegations, saying he does not even know who Sajjad Bajwa is
A former official of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), who was dismissed from his post on charges of inefficiency and leaking sensitive information to sugar mills owners, has alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan, Adviser to the P.M. on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, and P.M.’s Principal Secretary Azam Khan helped the “sugar mafia” make Rs. 400 billion in profits.
In an interview with BBC Urdu, former FIA deputy director Sajjad Bajwa has claimed that the decision to dismiss him from office had nothing to do with the allegations against him. He said he led the first of nine sugar inquiry commission teams tasked with investigating the sugar mills owned by the family of Economic Affairs Minister Khusro Bakhtiar.
He claimed that he had questioned the role of the State Bank of Pakistan, the Federal Bureau of Revenue and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan during the sugar inquiry, angering “powerful people.” He went on to allege that he had also pointed out that the sugar exports to Afghanistan were not actually being sent to the neighboring nation.
He said the government’s failure to act on the findings of the sugar inquiry commission had resulted in the price of sugar rising from Rs. 70/kg to Rs. 115/kg, resulting in profits worth billions for the sugar mills owners.
To a question, Bajwa claimed he had wanted to “expose the whole system,” adding he would soon go to court to provide evidence proving the alleged misconduct of members of the federal cabinet.
Dismissing the allegations, Akbar said neither he nor the P.M. had anything to do with Bajwa’s dismissal. He claimed that he did not even know who Bajwa was.
He told media that the allegations had no merit, as the government would not have taken the matter to court if it were trying to “hide” or “protect” anyone guilty of causing the sugar shortage in the country.
In a separate clarification, the Interior Ministry has claimed Bajwa was removed after an inquiry against him, adding that he had been given ample time to prove his innocence. It claimed that Bajwa, despite repeated notices and warnings, had refused to participate in the inquiry and clarify the questions about his misconduct.
The inquiry against Bajwa was launched on April 30, 2020 and he was removed from his duties last week.