The parliamentary affairs advisor to Prime Minister Babar Awan set the example for the others to follow when he resigned to face a NAB reference. It is not a good tradition in Pakistan to relinquish the position to face the charges or allegations in any court of law.
The advisor to PM on parliamentary affairs Babar Awan submitted his resignation to Prime minister Imran Khan. His decision came after NAB filed a reference against him in the accountability court over Nandipur power project scam. Babar Awan announced his decision of resignation on social media site Twitter.
In his tweet he said: “Just reached PM House to tender my resignation from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. Rule of Law begins with me. Thank you, Insafians for standing by me always. I will never let you down.”
In his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the PTI leader said that he has resigned from his post to prove the allegations against him are baseless. Babar Awan stated that the rule of law should begin from him, adding that he is not one of those who stick to their positions.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had constituted a commission comprising of Justice Rehmat Hussain Jafri to determine the responsibility for delaying causes in Nandipur Project, which conducted the inquiry by examining the record as well as witnesses and submitted its report on April 9, 2012.
The commission in its report held the officials of the Ministry of Law and Justice responsible for the delay. But then Ministry of Water and Power had referred the matter to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the light of the report of Judicial Commission. Babar Awan was the law minister during that period.
The Nandipur Power Project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) December 2007 at a cost of US$ 329millions. After approval, the contract was signed in January 2008, between Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and Dong Fang Electric Corporation (DEC), China and two consortiums i.e. COFACE for Euro 68.967million and SINOSURE for US$150.151million were established for the financing of the project.
The Ministry of Water and Power approached Ministry of Law to issue the legal opinion as per schedule of agreement in July 2009 but accused in connivance with each other and with malafide intentions repeatedly refused to issue on flimsy grounds. Furthermore, the ministry of water and power also failed to take any concrete measures to resolve the issue, and the matter remained pended.
During the course of an investigation, it has been established that accused persons in connivance with each other failed to exercise their authority and thus caused a loss of more than Rs27million to the national exchequer. Babar Awan served as a law and justice minister during the last PPP government.
Te NAB reference came as a big blow for PTI leader and a prominent lawyer. He was expecting to become a senator on a seat vacated by Governor designated Punjab Ch Sarwar. His hopes to become senator and then federal minister have been dashed by this NAB reference.
Babar Awan quit the PPP few months back and joined PTI. He has set good example with his resignation. Her decision to quit the public office to face charges in the court of law and to clear his name is a welcome step that must be appreciated.
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16 June, 2019