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Opinion

Imran Khan’s crusade against corruption hits the glass ceiling. It is made in China

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For those who remember the memorable scene in Tom Cruise’s box office hit, “Some Good Men,” in which Jack Nicholson, in a moment of extreme provocation, exclaims, “You can’t handle the truth,” the situation in Pakistan today is a grim reminder of the opacity with which the deep state operates to protect its interests. Even Imran Khan, the guy in the establishment’s cartel, didn’t realize how deeply vested the Army’s interests are in state affairs when he decided to take his anti-corruption crusade to the next level by going after entrenched businesses. The initial euphoria over the leaked report on the modus operandi of independent power producers in April suddenly evaporated even as the government and NAB continued to relentlessly pursue the opposition and some of their own allies over sugar and other scams. What was different about the power sector scam that the government was forced to suppress the report?

Imran Khan is not new to embarrassing U-turns at the dictation of his mentors. His hopes of a diplomatic coup were dashed late last year when he was forced to cancel his participation in the Kuala Lumpur Summit in light of the sensitivities of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. The deletion of the electricity sector report also reeks of a similar intervention. After all, the report had unequivocally exposed the extreme speculation embedded in contracts with the Independent Power Producer, or IPP, two of which were Chinese companies under the glorious flagship of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or the CPEC extravagance. .

Commenting on the two CPEC projects, Sahiwal and the Port Qasim coal plants, the IPP report revealed that “the installation cost in excess of Rs 32.46 billion was allowed for the two coal-based plants due to the misrepresentation of sponsors regarding Interest during construction, or IDC. ” as well as the non-consideration of the early termination of the plants … “.

IDC was allowed in for 48 months, while the plants were completed in 27-29 months, resulting in an excess return on equity of $ 2.7 million annually over the life of the 30-year project in the event from the Sahiwal plant, also known as Huaneng Shandong Ruyi (Pak) Energy or HSR. The overpayment estimated taking into account an annual rupee depreciation of 6 percent against the dollar equals a whopping Rs 291.04 billion.

The report further revealed the covert nature of HSR’s financial misrepresentations in blatantly claiming IDC based on the margin of a long-term loan at the rate offered by London InterBank, the benchmark interest rate at which major global loans loan to each other on the international interbank market short-term loan, + 4.5 percent during the entire construction period despite the fact that the Chinese company did not borrow funds during the first year of construction and only short-term loans at rates of Substantially lower interest during the second year.

The gains from speculation are too great for the common mind to be lost to supervision. The complicity of government authorities in negotiating agreements that are so profitable for the Chinese is the unwritten corollary of the report.

For just two projects that were examined, the report found an overpayment of Rs 484.84 billion, or approximately $ 3 billion. Official recognition of the IPP report would have opened a Pandora’s box. The public would have required a similar audit of all CPEC projects estimated at nearly $ 62 billion.

Imran Khan’s U-turn and the deafening silence of the media tell a sordid story of how the deep state uses fear as an instrument of coercion to manipulate public discourse, or in this case, make it disappear entirely. Despite the fact that the report has already leaked, it’s amazing how an entire nation has closed its eyes to its existence.

People may be able to handle the truth about corruption in high places. Some might even argue that they are already immune to it. However, what they may not be able to handle so easily is the truth about the dishonest nature of their establishment that they would prefer ordinary Pakistanis to pay through the nose to protect their “friends” in Islamabad and Beijing.

Original source

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