Bajwa's tenure as CPEC chairman seems to have come to an end
Lieutenant General (retired) Asim Bajwa has extended his best wishes to Khalid Mansoor to take the CPEC forward after the latter was appointed special assistant to PM Imran Khan on Tuesday.
Shahbaz Gill, the special assistant to PM on political communication, shared the appointment letter on his Twitter account.
“The Prime Minister, in terms of Rule 4 (6) read with Serial No. 1A of Schedule V-A of Rules of Business, 1973, has been pleased to appoint Mr Khalid Mansoor as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on ‘CPEC Affairs’ with immediate effect,” the letter said, adding that his appointment is in “honorary capacity”.
Responding to the news, CPEC Chairperson Lt Gen (retired) Asim Bajwa posted a tweet wishing Mansoor the best which led people to speculate that his tenure as the chairman has come to an end.
“I bow my head before Allah Almighty for giving me an opportunity to raise and steer the important institution of CPEC Authority as one window for all CPEC projects, charting the future direction,” Bajwa said on Twitter. He claimed that this wouldn’t have been possible without the full confidence and support of the PM and government.
“My best wishes to Khalid Mansoor sb, who is fully equipped to take it forward,” he remarked. CPEC is Pakistan’s lifeline and it will transform the country into a progressive and developed country.
On October 12, 2020 Lt Gen (retired) Asim Bajwa resigned from the additional charge of the special assistant to the prime minister on information and broadcasting. He confirmed on Twitter that his request has been approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He, however, remained the chairperson of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority.
In an interview with ARY News on September 3, 2020 Bajwa said that he would resign from the SAPM post. I wish to pay my full attention to CPEC projects, Bajwa said. CPEC projects are the future of Pakistan.
On August 27, a website known as Fact Focus published a story, claiming that Lt Gen (r) Bajwa’s family has set up 99 companies in four countries, including a pizza franchise with 133 restaurants. The website further claimed that Lt Gen (r) Bajwa’s wife is a “shareholder” in at least 86 companies. Of them, 71 were set up in the US, seven in the UAE and four in Canada.
Bajwa has rejected the story on his family’s assets as “incorrect” and “false”.
In his statement shared on Twitter, Bajwa said all the adverse insinuations levelled in the news item were “materially false”.
The former military official had replaced Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan as PM Khan as special assistant on April 27, 2020.
He remained the director general of the ISPR from 2012 to 2016 and served as the commander of the Pakistan Army’s southern command before his retirement.