December 2, 2023

Put me on ECL till probe is complete, says Zulfi


Islamabad – Staff Reporter:

Former special assistant to the prime minister for overseas Pakistanis and human resource development Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari said that he resigned from his post two days ago out of his free will, and that his name could be added to the Exit Control List (ECL) if someone fears he’d flee the country.

In an interview, he said that had his name not been referenced in the Rawalpindi Ring Road scam inquiry report, he would not have tendered his resignation.

“I have not been accused of anything in the report but my name has been irresponsibly referenced in the report,” Zulfi said. “The report mentions the name of Dr Tauqeer Shah, who is my mother’s first cousin. I am the only relative of Dr Shah who works for the government,” he added.

Zulfi said: “Even if that one line referencing me had not been mentioned in the report, I would not have resigned.” Zulfi Bukhari said that Dr Tauqeer Shah was Shahbaz Sharif’s principal secretary in 2017.

“Dr Tauqeer is entitled to defend himself, but how could the (inquiry commission) link my name with him?” Zulfi questioned. “The one who has referenced my name in the report should bring forth evidence first,” he said. Zulfi said that he wants the government to form a judicial commission to probe the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal and has already requested Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the matter, adding that it makes no difference to him as to who would conduct the inquiry.

“According to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, I will get hold of a briefcase and flee the country. My name could be entered into the ECL if someone fears I’d flee. I am not going anywhere. The inquiry should be completed,” he said.

He said that he was first an overseas Pakistani and chose to become a local Pakistani later, adding that Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Shahbaz Sharif are the ones who want to flee the country, not him.

When questioned about him owning property in Pakistan, Zulfi said that he owns a property development business in England but he or his family does “not even own an inch of property anywhere near the Ring Road.”

It should be recalled that Zulfi had resigned from his post on Monday, May 17, after his name was referenced in the R3 scam inquiry report. Taking to Twitter, the former SAPM had written that resigned from the post as PM Imran Khan has always maintained that a person named in an inquiry should resign from public office till they are cleared of the charges.

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