The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has spent the Supreme Court (SC) and Prime Minister (PM) of Pakistan’s Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund on utility bills, anchorperson Ayesha Bakhsh has claimed.
“I have been told that billions of rupees raised for the dams have been spent on utility bills by the government,” the journalist alleged while hosting “Face To Face With Ayesha Bakhsh” on GNN.
It wasn’t later that Bakhsh was called out for “spreading fake news” since the official fundraising webpage clearly states:
“NBP [National Bank of Pakistan] has made investments in market treasury bills, as detailed above, in compliance with the Supreme Court of Pakistan orders in Case C.M.A. No. 6155 of 2018 in Constitution Petition No. 57 of 2016.”
While the journalist seems to have confused investments in treasury bills with utility bills, people did not let go of the blunder easy.
The allegations were also reported to the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (PEMRA), which took action against the journalist and issued a press statement on its Twitter handle:
“PEMRA has issued a show-cause notice over the false and baseless analysis aired on GNN,” the statement read. It added that the analysis was in violation of the SC’s orders as well as PEMRA regulations.
Seeking the channel’s response, the media watchdog also warned of action under relevant laws.
Meanwhile, Bakhsh has clarified:
Established in July 2018 by then chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar, the dams fund is aimed at raising funds for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.
Later, PM Imran Khan also announced joining hands with the CJP for the cause, which resulted in the fund crossing the Rs10 billion mark after generous donations by both resident and overseas Pakistanis.
After investments in treasury bills, the current account balance of the fund stands at Rs17 million.