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8 SECP Officers Issued Show-Cause Notices For Leaking Data About Asim Bajwa’s Companies

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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has issued show-cause notices to eight employees over a data leak that disclosed the number of companies owned by family members of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa.

The regulatory body also issued warning letters to two officers.

SECP Chairman Amir Khan informed Prime Minister Imran Khan that the show-cause notices had been issued on the basis of a report by a fact-finding committee headed by SECP commissioner Sadia Khan, said a report in Dawn newspaper.

He said the complete report would be submitted officially after the hearing by the SECP’s commission of the case against the persons who had been issued show-cause notices.

The notices issued by the HR department of the SECP sought replies by Sept 29 after that a hearing will be held at the commission.

Additional Director of Market Surveillance Department Arslan Zafar is also among the eight employees who were put on notice by the SECP. Dawn quoted the notice as saying that Zadar reportedly ‘made unauthorised access to personal information of SAPM Asim Bajwa and his family members, including details of their CNICs, in the last week of July’.

He has been asked to provide the reasons for his actions –a violation of SECP HR Manual– and satisfy the commission over the allegations levelled against him.

Dawn reported that the others, who have been issued show-cause notices, are: Zahid Hussain, joint director (JD) of IT department; Hussain Sarosh, deputy director IT; Muhammad Sohail, assistant joint director IT; Hammad Ahmed, deputy director IT; Sadiq Shah, assistant joint director (AJD), Companies Registration Office (CRO); Abil Ali Abid, AJD, CRO; and Syed Jamal Zaidi, AJD, CRO.

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Corruption allegation:

In a news report published on FactFocus, Investigate Journalist Ahmad Noorani accused Gen Asim Bajwa of accumulating disproportionate assets by using his influence as an army general.

Noorani revealed that 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’.

The report claimed, “The Bajwa family’s companies spent an estimated $52.2 million to develop their businesses and $14.5 million to purchase properties in the United States, while Asim Bajwa and his department were encouraging Pakistanis to invest within their relatively undeveloped country. The businesses of the Bajwa family through different companies were named as Bajco Group.”

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) demanded the authorities probe the corruption charges against Bajwa.

During a court hearing earlier this week, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said Asim Saleem Bajwa should provide a money trail following corruption allegations against him. The PML-N leader had said after the graft allegations against the former military spokesperson, an explanation was necessary.

She had said Gen Asim Bajwa should respond to the allegations of accumulating massive wealth during his tenure as the top military officer.

Farhatullah Babar, a senior leader of the PPP, had said that a story about the prime minister’s special assistant was recently published on a website but the accountability watchdog remained silent. “They (allegations) are so serious that they cannot be ignored,” Babar said. “I demand that a high-level inquiry is conducted over the story.”

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Naya Daur