ISLAMABAD: Taking a strong exception of Shehbaz Sharif’s speech on Mohmand Dam contract in the National Assembly, Federal Minister for Water Resources, Faisal Vawda, has said that the Leader of the Opposition had lied in the assembly and left the house without listening to the facts, ARY News reported on Monday.
Vawda, whose turn to speak came after Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chair Asif Ali Zardari and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif, had a mountain of questions in front of him to answer regarding the planned Mohmand Dam.
“The Mohmand Dam was only in files and limbo for 54 years. Now that the wheels have started rolling, they are uncomfortable”, he said.
Expressing his views on the award of dam’s construction contract to Descon on reported ‘single-bidding’, the minister said that the narrative presented by Sharif before the assembly was falsified.
“When bids are invited through advertisements, they can’t be called ‘single-bidding’”, he said.
“For single-bidding, an approval from the Prime Minister and the [federal] cabinet is required”, he added.
Expanding on the details, Vawda said that five companies took part in the bidding process for Mohmand Dam’s construction contract.
“Bids were invited in November 2017, and the documents were submitted in June 2018. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) or Imran Khan was not in the government office at that time”, he said.
The minister further said that the government didn’t decide on the tender itself, instead relied on reports of independent national and international forums.
Responding to Sharif’s earlier criticism on the government regarding Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, the minister said that the rules stated by the opposition leader were not correct.
“If the Leader of the Opposition cannot understand rules written in English, I can bring him an Urdu-translation”, he taunted.
Vawda thanked the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr Saqib Nisar for taking notice of the delay in construction of the Mohmand Dam, saying that the construction of the dam would not stop in the broader interest of the country.
The minister also criticised Shehbaz Sharif for staging a walk-out from the assembly before listening to the response. “He first presented a falsified narrative, and then left the house without listening to a response”, he said.
“PPP and PML-N are making the dam controversial because their politics will end the day Pakistan’s problems are resolved”, he said.