What is the "Evidence" of "Corruption" Against Retired General Asim Saleem Bajwa?
|General Asim Bajwa's Wife's Shareholdings|
Ahmad Noorani has cited a document signed by Asim Bajwa's brothers and his wife as proof of ownership by Mrs. Asim Bajwa. They have also shared General Asim Bajwa's declaration of assets which clearly says "shares in family business" held "in wife's name" and values them at Rs. 3.1 million. Noorani says the value of shares is significantly understated. Noorani also alleges that "(T)he 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, who is now chairman of the country’s massive China-financed infrastructure project and a special assistant to the prime minister". Noorani implies that Nadeem Bajwa's success is built on his brother Asim Bajwa's corrupt earnings.
|General Asim Bajwa's Declaration of Assets|
Who is Nadeem Bajwa?
Nadeem Bajwa is General Saleem Bajwa's younger brother. While it is true that Nadeem Bajwa owns a large Papa Johns' franchise business in the United States, there is nothing to support the allegation that this business has been built with funds stolen and remitted from Pakistan. Nadeem Bajwa is a self-made millionaire. His story is, in fact, typical of many successful Pakistani immigrants who have worked hard to achieve entrepreneurial success in America. The best example of a Pakistani immigrant's franchise success story is that of Shoukat Dhanani whose Dhanani Group's annual revenue is over $2 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Other examples of Pakistani immigrant multi-restaurant franchise success stories include Aziz Hashim, Aslam Khan, Tabassum Mumtaz, Ali Butt, Shoukat Dhanani and many more. Most of them started as drivers, cooks or cashiers and then bought and built up their franchise successes.
Nadeem Bajwa's Success Story:
Nadeem Bajwa came to the United States as a student in 1991. He took a job as a pizza delivery driver for Domino's while going to college in Indiana. “The delivery driver job was one of the easiest when going to school,” Bajwa told Nation's Restaurant News in 2014. “There wasn’t a lot of stress or pressures and other students were doing it. I heard they made good pay, and every day you just deliver pizzas and make decent tips.”
In 1994, Bajwa took a job with Papa John’s as a driver, was quickly promoted to general manager and then operating partner within 10 months — all while continuing his education. “I was busy, and then when I got promoted I was still finishing up school,” he said. “But when you have goals in mind, you just keep going. Sometimes anxiety isn’t such a bad thing.” Bajwa signed his first franchise in 2002 and then grew his business from there.
The franchisees such as Nadeem Bajwa's main asset is the prior franchise operations experience they bring. Franchisee and his/her partners/investors must also come up with 10-20% of the total funds needed to start operations. The rest of the money comes from commercial banks or other lenders such as the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Borrower must be creditworthy, typically must contribute some equity, and are expected to repay the loan out of the franchise's cash flow. The franchise loans from US Small Business Administration (SBA) offer the lowest rates. Some franchisers may also offer internal financing, according to Wall Street Journal.
Pakistani reporter Ahmad Noorani has made multiple allegations of corruption against CPEC Authority Chairman Asim Bajwa. Of these allegations, the only one that may require further investigation is that General Asim Bajwa may have deliberately understated the value of his wife Farrukh Zeba's shares in Bajco, a company built by Asim Bajwa's brother Nadeem Bajwa who is a self-made millionaire. Undervaluing assets is the kind of allegation that may apply to many Pakistani politicians, judges, bureaucrats and others who are required by law to disclose their assets. Nadeem Bajwa started in a low-level job in a pizza restaurant and worked his way up. His story is a typical immigrant success story like many other immigrant success stories in America. Other examples of Pakistani immigrant multi-restaurant franchise success stories include Aziz Hashim, Aslam Khan, Tabassum Mumtaz, Ali Butt, Shoukat Dhanani and many more. Most of them started as drivers, cooks or cashiers and then bought and built up their franchise successes.
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