Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said on Thursday that there was no extension in the original plan for the Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR) project. He went on to claim that Prime Minister Imran Khan had himself given the permission for it. His comments came just a few days after the prime minister ordered an inquiry into the changes in the alignment of the RRR project, which increased its cost by Rs25 billion and also allegedly benefited some private housing societies. Speaking to journalists in Charsadda, where he went to pay respects on the passing of Begum Naseem Wali Khan, the PML-N president said that the prime minister had earlier defended the decision on television as not impacting the environment and instead increasing connectivity. He said the PML-N had raised its voice against the Ring Road scandal and now “the scandal and the characters [involved in it] have come in front [of everyone].” Shahbaz added that planning for the project had been completed during his tenure in 2017/2018, its papers had been prepared and it had been approved “in principle”. According to a senior official of the Punjab government, the RRR case was referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Anti-Corruption Department of Punjab on the directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan after two separate fact-finding reports came to his notice. The controversy over the project also saw the resignation of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari on Monday as SAPM on overseas Pakistanis over the allegations levelled against him in the RRR project scam. Meanwhile, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar also said that if corruption charges against him were proved he would quit politics and denied that he or his family had any links with the housing societies from which the government had acquired land for the project. Meanwhile, Shahbaz also blamed the PTI government for destroying the economy. He said increasing inflation and unemployment are causing problems for the people.