Samim hits back at finance minister
KABUL (PAN): Wolesi Jirga member Samiullah Samim on Tuesday suggested a special tribunal be established to investigate Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal’s allegations against him and five other parliamentarians.
A day earlier, Zakhilwal revealed the names of the lawmakers he had earlier accused of smuggling and making illegal demands on the government.
Blamed for seeking illegal favours were Abdul Zahir Qadir, Mohammad Naeem Hamidzai Lalai, Mohammad Azim Mohseni, Mohammad Arif Rahmani, Mahmud Khan Sulaimankhel and Samiullah Samim.
Accused of smuggling five fuel tankers from Iran into Afghanistan, Samim told reporters Zakhilwal had no evidence to support the allegation. When the tankers were captured, Samim allegedly phoned the minister from Germany to free up the vehicles.
But Samim said he had three passports but there a German visa on none of them. If anyone found a German visa on his passports, the remarks of Zakhilwal would be considered correct, the legislator said.
“The fuel company has a director and a deputy director; they should be asked to say on oath if I have any shares in the firm,” he added.
“If the finance minister shows any evidence of my involvement in smuggling banned beverages, I will hang myself in front of the parliament,” the MP promised, while rejecting the allegations.
He asked Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi and other lawmakers for the establishment of a special court to investigate allegations against him.
Zakhilwal had blamed Wolesi Jirga members to hide his own corruption, claimed Samim, who divulged the minister had been sent to Canada on scholarship through the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Zakhilwal’s assets in 2002 should be compared with the current level of wealth and properties to know whether or not he had robbed the national exchequer, Samim proposed. In Toronto the minister owned whose design had cost $2.5 million, the public representative alleged.
“I have documents to substantiate my claim and would share them with media outlets at the end of the press conference,” he said. However, Samim showed media representative no such documents.
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