Now Reading: Internet shook as allegations against Gen. Asim Bajwa’s assets surface
The internet is in a frenzy as shocking allegations against Lt General, Chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) AND Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting – Asim Saleem Bajwa’s assets – have surfaced. This corruption scandal against the CPEC chairman and his family has caused social media to erupt and people have never been more divided on an issue.
“The growth of the Bajwa family’s business empire in the United States and later in Pakistan directly matches the rise in power of retired general Asim Saleem Bajwa, who is now chairman of the country’s massive China-financed infrastructure project and a special assistant to the prime minister,” the allegations stated.
Major Allegations of Corruption against the CPEC Chairman
On Thursday, a report was published by journalist ‘Ahmad Noorani’ on his website Fast Focus. The published report claimed that unlike the declaration by Gen. Asim Bajwa, who took an oath, claiming his wife has that he and his wife have no “immovable property held outside Pakistan” and “no business capital” outside the country as well, Asim Bajwa’s wife and sons now own a gigantic business empire of international scale that has set up a total of 99 companies in four countries.
The allegations further claimed that out of the total 99 companies, 66 are main companies. Meanwhile, the other 33 companies branch out of the main companies. Five companies are also dead now. The report also pointed to Asim Bajwa’s younger brother – Nadeem Bajwa – who is a successful businessman and is the Chief Executive Officer of BajCo Group. It noted that Nadeem Bajwa started as a delivery driver and now, BajCo owns several Papa John’s outlets as well as Dairy Queen. The pizza franchise they own has 133 restaurants, worth an estimated $39.9 million.
This week in our #PapaProfiles series, we hear from Nadeem Bajwa, who worked his way up from delivery driver to now operating multiple Papa John’s locations. Watch for more about his loving (and growing) pizza family. pic.twitter.com/foG8MxvbFN
— Papa John's Pizza (@PapaJohns) December 21, 2018
The report made the claim that Asim Bajwa’s wife and sons also have stakes in the group, contrary to Bajwa’s declarations. Moreover, Ahmad Noorani reported that from the very beginning, Asim’s wife had stakes in all the family’s foreign businesses. It added that even at present, Farrukh Zeba (Asim’s wife) is ‘associated with or is a shareholder in 85 companies including 82 foreign companies (71 in United States, seven in UAE and four in Canada). In short, according to the report, Bajwa’s wife is has equal stakes with his five brothers in the parent company i.e. BajCo Global Management.
The entire report in detail can be read here.
The Bajwa Family Responds
A day after Ahmad Noorani published the report in which he elaborated the “suspicious” financial dealings of Bajwa’s family (worth millions of dollars) i.e. on Friday, someone hacked the website of the Pakistan Remittance Initiative. The hack involved putting up a picture of Gen. Asim Bajwa and his family, calling them out for the corruption scandal. The hackers further asked for Asim Bajwa’s assets to be revealed and justice to be done.
This led to the Tamgha-i-Basalat and Hilal-i-Imtiaz holder responding to the allegations and completely rejecting them. Labeling the report as a ‘malicious propaganda story on an unknown site’ against him and his family, Gen. Asim Bajwa stated that he completely rebuts these fake allegations.
A malicious propaganda story published on an unknown site, against me and my family, (just uploaded on social media)is strongly rebutted
— Asim Saleem Bajwa (@AsimSBajwa) August 27, 2020
Before this scandalous report was published, some users on twitter questioned the President of BajCo group – Malik Bajwa – about similar things. Upon being asked whether Asim Saleem Bajwa’s sons were also part of the company, Malik Bajwa stated;
“There are three persons running the company, Nadeem Bajwa, Faisal Bajwa and myself. None of his son is involved in Bajco. Website clearly shows the entire expansion history which started from 2006 and always used Bank financing which is available on very low interest rate.”
He further added that Asim Bajwa himself also had nothing at all to do with the group. Instead, it was established in 2002 with some family friends already in the US and with bank loans.
My dear, Bajco Group was formed in 2002. and all the information is available on our website https://t.co/CSjfJRCG4s . General Asim Bajwa has nothing to do with this business. We started this company with some family friends in the USA and most of the money was borrowed from Bank
— Malik Bajwa (@malikbajwa) July 24, 2020
Social Media in a Frenzy
This entire situation, with all the serious allegations and what not, has drove social media into a frenzy. The people have split up into three sides by using various trends i.e. #GameChanger_AsimBajwa, #BajwaLeaks and #papajohns. First two of these three are being used to show their support and discontent with Gen. Asim Bajwa respectively while the third one is being used for people just ‘enjoying’ the show and making memes and such.
The first side declared this report an attack on CPEC’s progression. They stated that this propaganda is being executed by enemies of the nation who are plotting to prevent this project from excelling and also showered praises for Asim Bajwa who is leading it right now for Pakistan’s development.
Whilst the CPEC Progress is in full swing in Pakistan,its not difficult to recognise the enemies of the soil right now
Plotting against Asim Bajwa who is excellently leading CPEC projects clearly means a heinous conspiracy against development of Pakistan#GameChanger_AsimBajwa pic.twitter.com/AJ5soVrx2S
— Noshi Gilani (@noshigilani) August 28, 2020
Meanwhile, the second side is all about the Lt General being held accountable and giving a detailed money trail. Human rights activist Aima Khan also made the case that if someone like a PM’s daughter and a judge’s wife can be held accountable for their actions, why not keep the same energy with the wives and daughters of a general as well.
When the daughter of a three-time elected Prime Minister can be brought to justice
When the veiled wife of a respected judge can be brought to justice,
So are the wives and daughters of the generals not held accountable?#BajwaLeaks #AsimBajwaMoneyTrailDo pic.twitter.com/5EjQ25FARr
— Aima Khan (@aima_kh) August 28, 2020
The last trend is being used by people who are just here for giggles and memes. Citing the “Papa Johns” section of the report, trolls have taken to the internet to meme the situation.
— Faysal Malick (@FaysalMalick1) August 28, 2020
Where do you stand on this situation? The attacking, defending or the spectating side? Tell us in the comments below!