Posts Tagged ‘Musharraf’

NA must debate withdrawal of Rs3m from Musharraf’s accounts: PML-N

ISLAMABAD: The main opposition party in the National Assembly, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), on Wednesday submitted six adjournment motions seeking debate on different issues, including ,cash withdrawal from former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf’s frozen bank accounts, and increase in prices of medicines.

One of the adjournment motions, a copy of which is available with Dawn, stated that recent reports of cash withdrawal from the former military ruler Gen Musharraf’s frozen bank accounts had raised serious doubts over the ongoing impartial accountability mantra of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.

“This is a clear evidence of incompetence and politicisation of the government departments by incumbent rulers, and is a serious failure of the government in upholding court orders. It is requested to adjourn proceedings of the National Assembly and discuss the issue,” the motion stated.

Adjournment motions tabled in the house seeking discussion on drug price hike, Mohmand dam contract, power crisis

According to media reports, around Rs3 million had been withdrawn from the frozen bank accounts of former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal, while speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, said that withdrawal of the money from the bank accounts showed that orders of the Supreme Court had been ignored.

The adjournment motion, regarding the increase in prices of medicines by nine to 15 per cent, stated that the recent increase in prices of medicines, including essential and life-saving drugs, had badly affected all segments of society.

“This unprecedented increase in prices of medicines has a serious impact on the welfare of the common man and the issue is clear evidence of mismanagement and incompetence of the government,” he said.

Through other adjournment motions, the PML-N has sought debate on the power crisis, award of contract for the Mohmand dam, progress in projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and increase in debt.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2019

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Can CDA demolish attached property, Musharraf asks

ISLAMABAD: Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, in response to being fined by for excessive construction at his Chak Shahzad farmhouse, has asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to clarify if it can demolish a property that has been attached and frozen by the court.

Mr Musharraf was recently fined Rs21 million by the CDA, which he has not yet deposited. The CDA has also issued him a show-cause notice.

In a letter dated Jan 10, Mr Musharraf’s personal secretary told the authority that a response to the CDA’s first notice, dated Dec 8, 2018, had already been sent “along with copy of court orders for which the lease holders seeks some clarification on legal issues, which are still awaited”.

Mr Musharraf has asked the CDA whether the authority can demolish a property attached and frozen by the court. The letter said that a copy of the CDA’s show-cause notice was submitted to a Supreme Court lawyer and Mr Musharraf’s attorney, who would contact the authority soon.

Last month, the former president’s personal secretary said that a court order mentioned payment to the CDA for excess covered area.

The letter said there was no mention in the notice of Rs1.25 million already paid.

“The earlier letter also stated that an area of 715.45 square foot was constructed for the security personnel while the ex-president of Pakistan arrived in Islamabad in early 2013 to face the court cases. It is requested the area built for security personnel (Rangers/Police) may kindly be exempted as special case,” it said.

The letter went on to say that all of Mr Musharraf’s properties, including the aforementioned farmhouse, his accounts, his pension account and his mother’s family pension account, have been attached and frozen by the court.

It said: “The lease holder respect the Honourable Courts and ready to comply court orders but to proceed further, please clarify that can it be legally permissible to demolish the property attached/frozen by the Honourable Courts?”

The letter also asked the CDA to refund the sum already paid for the excess construction.

“The refund amount may please be paid in the name of Begum Sehba Musharraf, which can be used as expenditure for demolish the excess area, as the ex-president have no other source of income,” said the letter in response to which the CDA issued a show-cause notice to Mr Musharraf stating that the excess construction would be demolished if he does not pay the fine.

On Jan 10, Mr Musharraf issued another letter asked the CDA to clarify if frozen or attached property could be demolished.

According to a survey by the authority, there are 117 agro-farmhouses with excessive construction.

“After the survey, 117 farmhouses were found where the covered area exceeded the permissible limit of 9,500sq ft.” said a CDA official, who added that notices and show-cause notices were served to the owners of these properties.

In a judgement issued last September, the SC permitted 9,500sq ft of legitimate covered area on agro-farms and up to 12,500sq ft with a fine. CDA official said some 10 violators have paid fines to regularise excessive construction.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2019

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Bilawal pledges to combat ‘politics of vendetta’

KOTRI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has vowed to fight the “politics of vendetta” saying he is not afraid of threats of the exit control list, National Accountability Bureau and imprisonment.

Addressing a public meeting here on Saturday after inaugurating Kotri-Jamshoro overhead bridge, he said the PPP had faced “Gen Zia’s lashes and Gen Musharraf’s prisons and exile” and it was not afraid of the incumbent “puppet and benami prime minister”.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, PPP provincial president Nisar Khuhro and MPA Malik Asad Sikandar also spoke on the occasion.

PPP leader warns PTI govt against testing patience of jiyalas

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said if the people of Sindh, Balochistan, southern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa decided to “take on Islamabad” to secure their rights and protest against deprivation, it would prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the “fake government”.

He warned the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government against testing patience of PPP jiyalas, saying if it didn’t refrain from it, the PPP would show it how “theft of vote” was avenged.

He said the PPP preferred service delivery like construction of bridges over the River Indus, canal lining, road networks, subsidy to farmers and provision of employment in Thar and quality cardiac care services.

He said the “selected prime minister” and the Punjab chief minister could not compete with the Sindh chief minister.

“Your plan to oust us through conspiracies has failed and you will fail again,” he said while addressing PM Imran Khan.

He said an inept federal government was meting out step-motherly treatment to the people of Sindh who were being punished for voting for the PPP.

He said Imran Khan needed to learn principles of politics before talking about principled politics and added that the finger of umpire worked in cricket and the people’s will in politics.

He accused the PTI of making false promises and fraudulent claims and said Pakistan was heading backwards under its government. “The national economy remains weak and people are drowning in the tsunami of price hike while mills and shops are being closed.”

The PPP leader said poor people didn’t have two square meals a day because their sources of livelihood had been snatched.

He said those who talked about providing 10 million jobs and five million houses to people had snatched from them already available job opportunities and deprived them of shelter.

“Pakistan does not have electricity, gas and investment but the federal ministers are claiming there is no price hike and advising people to be patient. The eyes of the ministers are closed with arrogance and minds intoxicated with power while their hearts are insensitive”, he said.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari accused the government of closing water and electricity supplies to Sindh which contributed 80pc of gas produced in Pakistan.

He said billions of rupees of the Sindh government had been withheld which badly affected development process.

He asked for what crime the people of Sindh were being pushed against wall and then answered his question, saying because they did not vote for “puppets” and were loyal to the Bhuttos.

He said the government didn’t know how the rupee got devalued and the wheels of economy got jammed although it claimed to be working faster than light’s speed.

“The government doesn’t know how the debt of Rs5bn has increased but those who said they preferred suicide over the begging bowl are now celebrating foreign borrowings”.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said the federal government had tried to commit robbery over the mandate of Sindh in just three months but got only disappointment and shelved the plan.

CM Shah said the Kotri-Jamshoro bridge had been completed in a record period of time and urged Mr Bhutto-Zardari to take up the issue of dualisation of Indus Highway between Jamshoro and Sehwan in the National Assembly.

Earlier, Mr Bilawal-Bhutto visited residence of Asad Sikandar during which shops of the area were closed by the administration. He also took tea at the residence of MPA Hina Dastagir.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2019

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‘Positive U-turn’: PM concedes PAC chairmanship to Shahbaz Sharif ‘in the interest of democracy’

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced in the National Assembly on Thursday that Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to not stand in Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif’s way, if he wants to head the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“We met Prime Minister Imran Khan today on the issue of PAC chairmanship,” Qureshi said. “We had offered the opposition to nominate any person other than Shahbaz Sharif but they did not budge.

“Imran Khan has reviewed his decision and if Shahbaz Sharif wants to head the PAC, the government will not cause hindrances.

“In the larger interest of democracy and in order to make the parliament functional, we concede to the opposition’s demand.”

The development is a major breakthrough as the ,impasse between the government and opposition parties over PAC chairmanship, had hampered legislative proceedings since the PTI assumed power in August.

Opposition lauds PM’s ‘most positive U-turn’

Shahbaz Sharif addresses the parliament. — DawnNewsTV

Shahbaz Sharif addresses the parliament. — DawnNewsTV

Sharif credited the PM for “reviewing his stance”, recognising that “the government wants to make this parliament functional as it wants to bring important legislation for the welfare of the people.”

PML-N leader and former NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq felicitated the prime minister and termed the decision as his “most positive U-turn”.

“If he continues to take such U-turns, democracy will be strengthened,” he said.

Sadiq pointed out that PAC chairmanship would only count as one vote in the committee, in which government members would still be in majority.

Furthermore, he said, “when the audit paras of the PML-N government will come up before the committee, it will be headed by some other senior member.”

PPP leader and former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf acknowledged NA Speaker Asad Qaiser’s efforts “for playing a positive role” in the resolving of the PAC chairman issue.

Ashraf also lauded the government for reviewing its decision, adding that “after four months, this house will become functional”.

“Hopefully, the parliament will now carry out legislative business,” he said.

The PAC is the apex parliamentary watchdog that oversees the audit of revenue and expenditure by the government and it is considered to be the most powerful and important committee of the parliament. Previously, the PAC comprised only members of the National Assembly, but recently members of Senate have also been made part of it.

Though there is no restriction on the government in the rules to give the chairmanship of the PAC to opposition parties, it has been a parliamentary practice and tradition that the office is given to an opposition member to ensure transparency in financial matters.

Opposition walks out over Saad Rafique’s production order

Earlier, Sharif requested the speaker to issue a production order for fellow PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique, who was remanded to the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody a day earlier as part of a probe into a housing scheme scam.

Speaker Qaiser said he would seek the legal opinion of the law ministry on the issue but assured that “I will not let this house down.”

Later in the session, Sharif’s request was reiterated by Sadiq, who urged the Speaker to unilaterally issue Rafique’s production order instead of seeking the law ministry’s guidance.

The former NA speaker told his successor that his name “will be written in golden words in history if he would issue the production order”.

“It was in the dictatorship of General Musharraf that the production order of Javed Hashmi was not issued,” Sadiq recalled.

The opposition parties then walked out of the parliament, with Sadiq declaring that they “will boycott the house until Rafique’s production order is issued”.

The NA session was adjourned till Friday morning.

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NAB granted 10-day physical remand of Khawaja brothers in Paragon Housing scam case

An accountability court in Lahore granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) 10-day physical remand of PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique in the Paragon Housing scam case.

NAB, which had ,taken the siblings into custody a day earlier, following the rejection of their petition to obtain pre-arrest bail, had sought 15-day remand of the two. The court instead granted 10-day remand with instructions to produce both the accused before the court on December 22.

Ahead of the hearing, roads around the accountability court were closed for normal traffic, while police also placed barbed wires around the judicial complex in order to keep PML-N workers at bay.

After the hearing began, NAB’s Special Prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua apprised accountability court judge Justice Syed Najamul Hasan of its accusations against Saad and his brother.

“Khawaja Saad Rafique opened a company in his and his wife’s name,” he said. “Then, Executive Builders’ name was changed to Paragon.”

“Paragon Housing Society is illegal; an approval for its construction was not obtained,” the NAB official alleged. “Ninety people from whom the Khawaja brothers took money but did not allot plots to have contacted NAB. They also took a lot of commission from Executive Builders’ accounts. We have to conduct an inquiry.”

When the judge asked if the Khawaja brothers had been cooperating with NAB’s investigation, the prosecutor replied in the affirmative. “Yes, indeed, they have been appearing before NAB and recording their statements,” Janjua said.

The NAB prosecutor produced the statement of a certain Shahid Butt who, it said, is a partner of a block in the Paragon scheme and has admitted that Saad used to attend every meeting of scheme’s administrators.

At this, the accountability judge instructed the NAB official to present a handwritten statement from Butt, adding that “this seems as if it was written by NAB itself.”

“Do not put [words] in Shahid Butt’s mouth,” the court warned.

The prosecutor then informed the court of a statement provided by one Qaiser Amin Butt who, it said, has claimed that “the Khawaja brothers are co-owners of the Paragon scheme and that Nadim Zia is their frontman.”

Amjad Pervez, the Khawaja brothers’ counsel, told the court that their clients have been cooperating fully with NAB and have presented themselves before the watchdog six times.

The defence counsel said that cases of alleged corruption were also created against Saad during Pervez Musharraf’s era but that after three years, NAB did not find anything.

“Political cases were created against the brothers then, and political cases are being created against them now,” Pervez said.

He denied that the siblings had anything to do with the Paragon housing scheme, adding that “the project was built 15 years ago but not a single document has been found that proves that they they are the owners.”

Saad unhappy with NAB lock-up conditions

Saad, during a conversation with his counsel in courtroom today, complained of conditions in the NAB lock-up, where he spent the previous night.

“My home-cooked meals have been stopped,” the former Railways minister said. “There is no door bolt in the washroom [although] they have removed cameras from there.

“I did not take my breakfast this morning because the [food served] was not of the quality that it could be eaten.”

The accountability judge expressed his anger at NAB over Saad’s complaint, saying: “This should not happen even if someone is a convict. NAB should commit in writing that it will place door bolts in its washrooms.

“Investigate, but not by unnatural means,” the judge further instructed the bureau’s representatives.

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Saad spills the beans on PML-N strategy to ‘go soft’ on PTI

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Khawaja Saad Rafique has spilled the beans on his party’s strategy to “go soft” on the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and “mysterious silence” of former prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz.

The former railways minister also believes that his ‘difficult days’ may be over if he becomes a “good boy” and keeps mum on the wishes of the powers that be.

“We fear that if political temperature is raised, democracy may be derailed and that is why we are not going for agitation,” Mr Rafique said at a press conference here on Friday.

“We want to save Pakistan from repeat of another [Bangladesh-like] incident. At present there is a civil martial law in Pakistan in the name of democracy. We see a terrible political future of Prime Minister Imran Khan the way things are going. It is very much likely that Mr Khan will not be able to complete his term,” he said, adding that the country could not be run through “puppet rulers”.

Says Maryam is silent but silence has its own voice

“Such a selective premier like Imran Khan is brought in the wake of rigged polls. Imran Khan and those supporting him want that vocal leaders are sent to jail. Going to jail is the fate of only politicians and a few civil servants. We are told to stitch our lips and become ‘good boys’ and if don’t we are tagged ‘bad boys’. Let me tell you I will play on front foot,” he declared and urged that those involved in “this dangerous game” should stop playing it as it would be detrimental to the solidarity of the country.

In reply a question about prolonged silence of Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N leader said: “Yes, she is silent but silence has its own voice.”

Ms Nawaz has stopped tweeting and issuing statements since she got bail in the Avenfield reference along with her husband and father in September.

Mr Rafique, who is being named as ‘beneficial owner’ of the Paragon Housing Scheme, took on the National Accountability Bureau for forcing his ‘old friend’ Qaisar Amin Butt to become an approver against him.

“Mr Butt, who started his political career as a councillor along with me, was forced by NAB to turn an approver against me. A magistrate before whom Mr Butt did not give statement against me was changed. Then in the presence of NAB officials a statement of its (NAB’s) choice was extracted from Mr Butt (against me) in violation of the Lahore High Court’s order,” he said and alleged that four other witnesses in this case were tortured [to extract statements against him].

Pointing to his younger brother Khawaja Salman Rafique, who was sitting next to him during the press conference, the PML-N leader said: “He is an innocent man and he is also facing the music [in the NAB case] because of me.”

He said that evidence against him and his brother was being collected in the Paragon housing case for the last one and a half years. “In the PML-N case, NAB first makes arrests and then starts collecting evidence.”

Mr Rafique alleged that Shahzad Akbar, special assistant to the prime minister on accountability, was a link between NAB and Imran Khan. “Shahzad Akbar holds meetings in NAB as he is the link between the bureau and the premier.”

He also said that two new trains were operated on Mianwali and Karachi routes on 100 per cent loss on the wishes the prime minister and the president. “Because of these trains, substantial increase was made in the fares.”

The PML-N leader taunted PM Khan for his failure on the diplomatic front with India. “Today Imran Khan is begging India to hold talks but the latter is refusing it. The damage done to CPEC by PTI is more than what India could do,” he said.

Reacting to the former railways minister’s remarks, Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan criticised the former for his “dubious role” in the PML-N. “Saad Rafique along with Qaiser Amin Butt launched Paragon Housing Scheme in 2000 when Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif were attending court hearings [in different cases during the Gen Musharraf regime]. Could both Khawaja brothers have made business without striking a deal with a dictator [Musharraf]?” he told reporters outside the Punjab Assembly. Mr Chohan said Mr Rafique was upset after Mr Butt became an approver against him.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2018

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Nawaz says rupee should not be devalued without govt permission

ISLAMABAD: Wondering over Prime Minister Imran Khan’s assertion that he did not know about the ,recent devaluation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar,, former prime minister and supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that never once the local currency was devalued without his permission during the previous PML-N government.

Speaking to reporters outside the accountability court where he appeared in connection with a reference against him, he said during his tenure rupee was not devalued even 10 paisas without the government’s permission. During the whole term of the PML-N government the rupee did not experience the kind of huge devaluation that it faced during the four-month period of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, he added.

Answering a question about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claim that he had learnt about the rupee’s devaluation through the media, Mr Sharif said “that should not have been done without the approval of the prime minister”.

Ex-PM justifies PML-N govt’s measures to stabilise local currency’s value against dollar

He said the rupee had never been devalued without his permission during the PML-N government and that was the reason that his government had remained successful in stabilising the value of the local currency.

In reaction to PM Khan’s assertion that the PML-N government had taken artificial measures to stabilise the rupee’s value against the dollar, the former prime minister questioned: “What was that artificial method by the way?”

He claimed that international financial institutions rated Pakistan’s economy strong and balanced from 2013 to 2017 when his party was in power. The world had appreciated his government’s economic performance, he said, adding the stock market’s benchmark index had increased from 19,000 to 53,000 points during his tenure.

He claimed that as per a report of the International Monetary Fund the country’s growth rate during the PML-N government was 6.6 per cent.

The former prime minister criticised the economic policies of the PTI government, saying they had caused price hike in the country. The PTI government had increased the prices of gas, fertilizer and petroleum products despite the fact that oil prices were moving downward in the international market. “The economy grows with sincerity, honesty and hard work and not by taking U-turns,” he added.

Mr Sharif claimed that the PML-N government was also successful in the fight against terrorism.

The former prime minister alleged the July election in the country were rigged and cited the example of a National Assembly seat that his brother Shahbaz Sharif lost to a PTI’s candidate with a very small margin.

Mr Sharif said despite his reservations about the National Accounta­bility Ordinance which was introduced by military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, he and other leaders of his party faced cases made by the National Accoun­tability Bureau (NAB) against them. Though his party considered it a flawed law, PML-N leaders faced NAB cases, he said, adding “we have faced NAB and now it is others’ turn to face them”.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2018

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Nawaz welcomes Imran’s remarks on early elections

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday welcomed the remarks of incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan about early elections and claimed that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was ready to go for a contest.

After testifying in the Flagship Investment reference in the accountability court, Mr Sharif during his informal discussion with journalists said that if the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) wanted to go for midterm elections, this would be a blessing for the people of Pakistan.

“The people are happy over these remarks as they want to get rid of this government even before the schedule time,” he said.

According to him, the PML-N is in a position to win elections whenever they are held.

While recording his testimony before the accountability court, Mr Sharif said that the reference against him was not only against legal norms, but also contrary to religious, social and ethical values of society.

Says reference against him is not only against legal norms, but also contrary to values of society

He said it was ironic that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was trying to portray a fair and transparent matter as an illegal practice. Around eight million overseas Pakistanis earn their livelihood in different countries and some of them secured distinction in their respective professions and businesses. “Have overseas Pakistanis or their parents in Pakistan ever faced references for sending or receiving remittances?” he asked.

He pointed out that his sons sent him different amounts from time to time not because he was the owner of their businesses, but they did it for being his children.

According to the statement of the former prime minister, “there are four ingredients to be proved by the prosecution, (i) The onus is on the prosecution to prove that the accused has paid for certain property, (ii) Titled documents were in possession of the accused person, (iii) The properties are in possession and being occupied by the accused, and (iv) It is on the prosecution to prove motive for benami. In case, the prosecution levels allegation of benami it is up to them to prove the allegation”.

The statement further said: “As far as this [Flagship Investment] case is concerned, everyone knows the treatment meted out to Sharif family for two and half years in the name of accountability. None in Pakistan has ever faced such [harsh] accountability.”

The statement, however, termed it a matter of pride that the ruthless accountability could not prove an iota of corruption against Mr Sharif or his family members.

It claimed that the whole case against him was based on assumptions. It started from allegations of billions of rupees corruption and ended with the offence “assets beyond means” and the prosecution could not prove that as well, he added.

Mr Sharif then gave a background of his family properties and industries which were run by his father Mian Mohammad Sharif. He told the court that in 1969-70, his family purchased seven bungalows comprising 10 kanal each and their Ittefaq foundries were dealing with steel furnaces, sugar mills, cement industry parts, defence-related products, gear boxes and many others.

Mr Sharif said that in January 1972, Ittefaq foundries were nationalised in Pakistan whereas they were taken over by the Bangladeshi government after the fall of Dhaka. In 1979, while Ittefaq foundries were operating at a loss, they were returned to the Sharif family which invested a huge amount and turned them into a profitable organisation again.

He said that both his sons had been helping Mian Sharif since they had been students and both of them started independent business during the lifetime of their grandfather. The former prime minister said that his family business paid a huge cost for politics.

During the regime of military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, his family business was victimised. The then regime converted his house in an old home and his brothers Shahbaz and Abbas Sharif had to live in rented houses. Even today, industrial units owned by the Sharif family were not working due to political victimisation, he said.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2018

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Zardari ‘doubtful’ of PTI government completing its term

Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday cast doubts over the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government completing its term, saying: “I can’t see this captain [Imran Khan] being able to manage [this government] for long.”

In today’s world, Zardari said, a government that did not deliver has to step down. “He [Prime Minister Khan] will not be able to manage the economy, nor will he be able to hold up to the false commitments he made,” said Zardari while addressing a PPP rally in Sadiqabad.

The PPP co-chairperson also criticised the premier for the latter’s statement on taking ‘U-turns’.

Last month, the prime minister ,had said that Adolf Hitler and Napolean Bonaparte failed, because they “they did not change their strategies according to the situation”. “Why doesn’t history remember Hitler and Napolean as heroes?” asked the PPP co-chairperson. “Because it was not just a matter of one war. Hitler led to the murder of 55 million people [...] the blood of so many humans was shed. [Imran Khan] should think about this, value human beings.”

Zardari said that the prime minister had read “a couple of books but could not understand a thing”.

‘Give rights to provinces’

He demanded the government fulfil its promise of creation of a South Punjab province.

“You [PTI] stole our slogan [of creation of South Punjab province],” Zardari claimed. “We said great, you take this step, someone should. Now they don’t have the courage.

“Why don’t they announce [a separate province]? Why don’t they divide Punjab’s budget? But they never intended to [act on their promise]. They don’t have any understanding of politics.”

The former president declared that his party alone had given rights to the provinces and pulled the country out of the crises it faced during Pervez Musharraf’s government. Zardari promised that if the PPP came to power again, it would ensure that the provinces, which produce gas and water, received royalties.

He said that the PPP government “held no political prisoners, nor did it think of holding anyone accountable”.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - December 2, 2018 at 8:25 pm

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SC summons Aleema Khanum’s tax details

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to provide the court with tax details of Aleema Khanum, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister.

The court has taken up a ,case against 44 politically exposed individuals, or their benamidars who possessed properties in the United Arab Emirates.

Khanum is identified as benamidar of a property. A notice was issued to her through email as well as delivered at her home address, but her domestic staff said she was abroad.

According to an FBR official who appeared in court today, Khanum had benefited from a tax amnesty scheme and thus her tax information is confidential.

“You can provide the information to the court in a sealed envelope and we will take a look at it,” Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar responded.

The chief justice also said that the court had pinpointed 20 people to be investigated. The FBR official told the court that the board is conducting an investigation into these 20 people.

“Six of these people have been cleared on the basis of the sworn statement to the FBR and the Federal investigation Agency (FIA),” the official said while adding that the statement the other 14 gave to the FIA do not match the FBR’s records.

Dissatisfied by the speed of the process the judges said that if the FBR continues at the current pace, the completion of this investigation will take a long time.

“How long will you take to complete the investigation,” the chief justice asked.

“Sir the process will be completed by the end of December,” the FBR official responded.

The CJP, however, directed that Khanum’s tax record be brought to court today, adjourning the hearing till later in the day.

This list of politically exposed people was part of an annexure submitted to a three-judge SC bench comprising Justices Nisar, Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

Taking suo motu notice of the matter, the apex court had observed that it appeared the money siphoned off abroad without payment of taxes through illegal channels represented either ill-gotten gains or kickbacks from public contracts.

“Such money creates gross disproportion, inequality and disparity in society, which warps economic activity and growth, and constitutes plunder and theft of national wealth,” it said.

In an earlier order, the court had also observed that it was common knowledge for years that a large number of Pakistani citizens were maintaining their bank accounts in other countries without disclosing these to the authorities competent under the laws of Pakistan or paying taxes on the same in accordance with the law.

PPP, PML-N call for investigation into Khanum’s wealth

The PPP and PML-n claim that payment of fine by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister for the properties she owns in Dubai is, in fact, a case of confession of holding illegal assets as she hasn’t mentioned them in her tax record.

“The nation wants to know the money trail of her foreign properties,” ,Nawaz Sharif had, said during an interaction with reporters after attending court proceedings in the Flagship Investment reference on Tuesday.

The former prime minister said that Khanum, a member of the board of governors of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, was not doing any business.

“Apparently, there was no source of income. It must be thoroughly investigated how she accumulated wealth to acquire properties in Dubai, whether it was her own money or someone used her to purchase benami properties,” he said.

She regularised the Dubai properties by paying a ‘nominal fine’, Nawaz said.

“Wasn’t that an NRO?” he asked, referring to the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had promulgated to settle pending cases.

“As Khanum has agreed to pay the FBR 25 per cent tax as much fine for her Dubai properties, it means she has admitted the illegality in holding the assets,” ,PPP deputy information secretary had said in a statement,.

The PPP leader said Khanum would have to satisfy the people and courts if she was ever summoned by the judiciary.

He said Khanum could be tried under money laundering laws if she failed to provide the bank transactions record.

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Nawaz demands investigation into Aleema’s assets

ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be his first political outburst since suspension of his jail sentence in the Avenfield properties reference, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday demanded an investigation into the assets of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan.

“The nation wants to know the money trail of her foreign properties,” said Mr Sharif during an interaction with reporters after attending court proceedings in the Flagship Investment reference.

The ex-premier said Ms Khan, a member of the board of governors of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, was not doing any business. “Apparently, there was no source of income. It must be thoroughly investigated how she accumulated wealth to acquire properties in Dubai, whether it was her own money or someone used her to purchase benami properties,” he said. She regularised the Dubai properties by paying a ‘nominal fine’, the ex-PM said. “Wasn’t that an NRO?” he asked, referring to the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had promulgated to settle pending cases.

Flagship reference investigation officer cross-examined

Mr Sharif, who met his ailing brother Shahbaz Sharif in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau a couple of days ago, said he worked day and night for timely execution of development projects yet he was arrested and being interrogated. He said he didn’t believe in blame game and never used foul language against rival politicians.

He accused the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government of misusing NAB to suppress the opposition. He said NAB arrested leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif without even examining primary record. Mr Shahbaz was being grilled for ‘unilaterally’ cancelling the Ashiyana housing scheme contract, the supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said, adding that the bureau did not even notice that the contract was revoked with mutual consent of the contractor.

While referring to Lowari tunnel and Neelum-Jhelum hydel projects, a network of motorways, improvement in power generation and gas supply, economic uplift, stock market boom and exchange rate stability, the former premier claimed that the PML-N government had taken the initiative for the opening of the Kartarpur border to facilitate Sikh pilgrims’ travel to their holy places in Pakistan. Mr Sharif added that the PTI government neither fulfilled what it had promised to the nation during its election campaign nor achieved the targets it set for the initial 100 days in office.

Flagship reference

Earlier, the last prosecution witness in the Flagship investment reference admitted before the accountability court during cross-examination that Mr Sharif did not hold public office at the time of the establishment of Flagship Investment companies.

According to the prosecution, the Flagship Investment Ltd was established in 2001.

Investigation officer Mohammad Kamran, the last prosecution witness, said: “It is correct that accused Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif was not holding public office with effect from October 1999 till May 13, 2013.”

The investigation officer also admitted that he “did not attempt to record statement of Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani”. After getting a response from the UAE government on the request seeking mutual legal assistance, “I did not deem it fit” to record the statement of the Qatari prince (a defence witness), he added.

Mr Kamran testified that the former premier did not name any of the companies owned by Hassan Nawaz in his televised address to the nation or during his speech on the floor of the National Assembly.

The accountability judge later adjourned the proceeding till Thursday when the prosecution is likely to advance final arguments in Al-Azizia reference.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2018

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Senior SC lawyer Akram Sheikh claims his bank accounts have been frozen

ISLAMABAD: Moham­mad Akram Sheikh, a senior Supreme Court lawyer who had prosecuted former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf on treason charges and later pleaded a case seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Imran Khan, claimed on Monday that his bank accounts had been frozen and he was unable to run his law office.

Besides this, he said, he had also received a notice from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for Rs11.2 million as advance tax for the tax year 2018.

“How can I pay tax, even if I had to, when the bank accounts have been frozen and the deadline for making payments is fast approaching?” asked Mr Sheikh while talking to reporters at the Supreme Court building. “How can I pay salaries of my staff or clear utility bills if the bank accounts remain seized?” he wondered.

“I always receive professional fees as a lawyer through banking channels and not through hundi and have never accepted cash amounts,” Mr Sheikh said, adding that he had been paying taxes regularly for the past 43 years without fail and had received income tax notice only for the second time in his life, first being in 1994.

He said that ever since he had taken the treason case and filed a petition in the Supreme Court which led to the disqualification of PTI’s former secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen, his corporate and individual clients were being chased and his practice as a lawyer had nosedived. Even the payment of $500,000 as a fee had been withheld for pleading the case of Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz in the Memogate scandal despite earlier assurances in the shape of a promissory note, he regretted.

“My office in Islamabad has been picketed and the guards and chowkidars [watchmen] of adjacent houses have been replaced with new ones,” Akram Sheikh said, adding that a number of diplomatic friends had suggested to him on a number of occasions that he would not be having a smooth sail in Pakistan after the change of government and, therefore, he should consider joining a think tank or involving himself in some kind of research or giving lectures in different institutions abroad.

“I will always prefer to live as a first class citizen in my country and will fight back but never give in,” he said, wondering why he was facing such kind of treatment when he had never made any irresponsible statements against Prime Minister Imran Khan, Finance Minister Asad Umar or institutions responsible for national security. “Being a professional lawyer it is my job as well as my right to fight cases in the court.”

The lawyer said he had quit his morning walk for the last one year as he had been receiving threats asking him to leave the country because his life was under serious threat for he already had his ‘say’ through the cases he had done recently. Mr Sheikh warned of approaching the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights by writing letters in case he was pushed to the wall.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2018

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Indian govt’s decision to open Kartarpur crossing is ‘victory of peace’: information minister

Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday welcomed the Indian cabinet’s announcement to commence the construction of the Kartarpur corridor, calling it a “victory of peace”.

“It is a step towards the right direction and we hope such steps will encourage voice of reasons and tranquillity on both sides of the border,” ,he said via Twitter,.

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan had already informed India of its decision to open the Kartarpur corridor for Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. “PM Imran Khan will break ground on Nov 28; we welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion,” added Qureshi.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet decided today to develop the corridor that will enable Sikh pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, located in Kartarpur, Narowal district without a visa, ,the Times of India reported,.

The corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in Indian Punjab’s Gurdaspur to Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Narowal district where the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib — the shrine of revered saint Baba Guru Nanak — is situated, according to the publication.

Take a look: ,The legacy of Guru Nanak lives on in four historic gurdwaras in Punjab,

Earlier today, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal had said the government will soon announce “good news about the opening of Kartarpur crossing”.

In August, ,Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had told, Indian politician Navjot Singh Sidhu that Pakistan would open the Kartarpur crossing “when [the Sikh community] celebrates the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Nanak”, when the latter had visited Islamabad for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony. The 550th birth anniversary of the revered Sikh figure is next year.

In September, Chaudhry, in an interview to Hindustan Times, ,reiterated the offer, saying that “[the government] wants to formalise the informal proposal the Pakistan army chief made to Sidhu”.

“This is an issue of the ordinary people, Sikhs and other Indian pilgrims, and an issue of faith,” the information minister had said in a phone interview. “They shouldn’t suffer and we want to formalise the informal proposal the Pakistan army chief made to Sidhu.”

On the Pakistani side, various proposals have been discussed and announcements made since the Musharraf era, but lack of interest by the Indian side has kept the proposals confined to cold storage.

Thousands of Sikh devotees from India visit Pakistan every year to celebrate the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. This year — for the 549th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak — the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi issued over 3,500 visas to Sikh pilgrims who wished to attend the celebrations that will last for more than a week.

‘You’re a gem’

Sidhu took to Twitter to thank Prime Minister Khan for announcing the opening of the Kartarpur corridor.

“Thank you @ImranKhanPTI Bhai, we welcome the positive step, it means the world to us,” he wrote, addressing Khan. “You’re a gem! This is a great service to mankind. Kudos to you!”

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He had earlier welcomed the Indian cabinet’s decision to develop the corridor, saying the move will “build bridges, burn animosity and will act like a soothing balm for [the] two neighbouring countries”.

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Nawaz Sharif responds to court’s questions in Al-Azizia corruption case

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday submitted his responses to 45 of 50 questions posed to him by the court in the Al-Azizia corruption reference.

When Nawaz approached the rostrum to verbally record his testimony, Accountability Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik asked him to return to his seat, and informed Nawaz that he himself would read the statement out in court for it to be recorded.

The PML-N supreme leader said that he would need time to consult his lawyer Khawaja Haris before he could provide responses to the five unanswered questions posed by the court.

“Some questions are complicated and records will need to be checked [before they can be answered],” Nawaz told the court.

“I will ask you [further] questions regarding the replies which are not satisfactory,” Judge Malik said, asking Nawaz if he had examined all the evidence presented by the prosecution, to which the latter responded in the affirmative.

Nawaz told the court that he was “elected prime minister three times. Pervez Musharraf established martial law on October 12, 1999 and I did not hold any public office from that time to 2013. I remained exiled from 2001 to 2008.”

“I cannot answer questions regarding the income tax returns and wealth statements of Hassan and Hussain Nawaz. It is not within my purview,” he added.

The ousted prime minister further said: “I have shown all my income tax returns, my assets and my sources of income. It is true that the financial documents, including tax records, wealth statements and wealth tax returns, are all my own.”

The court observed that since Nawaz held public office, he was “the most influential person in the Sharif family”, to which the former PM replied that this was an opinion formed by the Investigation Officer.

“My father Mian Muhammad Sharif was the most influential person in the the family until his last breath,” he explained.

Nawaz left the court while his statement was being read out in court. Once the reading of his statement concludes, he is expected to return to court and sign his testimony.

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IHC takes up Musharraf’s petition today

ISLAMABAD: Former military ruler retired General Pervez Musharraf on Monday challenged the order of the special court, seized with the high treason trial, for recording of his testimony through a commission.

Gen Musharraf, through his counsel Barrister Salman Safdar, filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against the constitution of the commission.

An IHC bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani will take up the petition on Tuesday (today).

The petition said that Gen Musharraf was ready to testify before the court, but due to his deteriorating health he was unable to record his statement either through the commission or in person.

Former president says he is unable to record statement because of deteriorating health

Giving a brief background of the case, the petition said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had constituted the special court on Nov 20, 2013 to try Gen Musharraf on high treason charge.

A complaint was filed against Gen Musharraf under Article 6 for subverting the Constitution on Dec 13, 2013.

In January 2014, the petitioner’s old age combined with the innumerable stresses and anxieties bearing on his mind resulted in his worsening health. On account of a family medical history leaning towards heart problems, the petitioner began suffering discomfort in his arm and chronic chest pain.

On Jan 2, 2014, when the petitioner was en route to the special court, he experienced acute chest pain. He was immediately rushed to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), Rawalpindi, for a medical check-up.

The special court constituted a medical board of senior doctors and asked it to submit a report on the petitioner’s medical condition. On March 31, the medical board confirmed that the petitioner suffered “coronary artery disease”. It further stated that the serious and unpredictable nature of the disease necessitated close and constant supervision.

Later, as the petitioner’s cardiac problems showed no signs of improvement, his medical condition became too precarious to risk ordinary medical treatment. The healthcare facilities available in Pakistan were not adequately equipped even to diagnose the disease. The petitioner was advised to seek healthcare abroad as it became necessary to seek the advice of international experts.

On March 16, 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the Sindh High Court’s June 12, 2014 order of removing the petitioner’s name from the ECL. Subsequently, the petitioner went abroad for a medical check-up.

However, the court declared him a proclaimed offender and his family property in Pakistan was seized by the government. As a result, the proceedings in the treason trial remained suspended from July 2016 to March 2018.

Since the prosecution evidence had been closed and the trial was at the stage of recording statement under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), it was necessary to first procure the petitioner’s physical attendance before the special court and then, subsequently, resume the trial.

On Sept 10 this year, the special court decided that the trial proceedings would resume and the case would be taken up on a daily basis. This step was taken without granting due consideration to the circumstances in which Gen Musharraf left Pakistan and the strong medical reasons for which his stay abroad had been prolonged, the petition said.

The court also asked the defence counsel to contact Gen Musharraf and determine whether the petitioner would like to have his statement under Section 342 of the CrPC recorded through Skype/video link.

The petition said Gen Musharraf was “severely ill”.

Citing the medical report submitted to the special court, the petition said: “The report indicates a rare form of cardiac disease causing the freezing of the heart muscles, resulting in the reduced capacity of the petitioner’s heart to pump blood. The disease is in its late stages and requires consistent medical intervention.”

The petition requested the high court to set aside the order of the special court.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

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Under-fire NAB chief to face Senate panel

ISLAMABAD: Amid ongoing controversy over recent TV interviews of a senior official of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), its chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal will be appearing before a Senate committee on Nov 16 for a comprehensive briefing on the “working and performance of the bureau”.

The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice, headed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Javed Abbasi, had called the NAB chairman with complete record and data of the cases currently being investigated and disposed of by the bureau since its inception about 19 years ago, particularly in the last three years.

According to the agenda issued by the Senate Secretariat for the Nov 16 meeting of the standing committee, the NAB chairman is scheduled to brief the members on the “procedure for taking cognisance of cases, inquiry and prosecution, details of pending cases at various stages with current status and reasons for pendency in each case, details of recoveries made during the last three years, details of cases disposed of with percentages of acquittal and conviction, and mechanism regarding recommendations for placing a person on the Exit Control List with the details of such recommendations made in the last three years with the reasons thereof”.

Opposition members will raise issue of controversial TV interviews of bureau’s Lahore DG

The opposition parties, particularly the PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party, have been criticising NAB for the last one year for its alleged “one-sided accountability”. They allege that NAB, which was created by former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1999 through an ordinance, had always been used as a tool for political victimisation of opponents.

During the previous two-week long National Assembly session, NAB came under fire in almost every sitting and Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif — who has been under NAB custody in connection with investigation into the Ashiyana housing scam since Oct 5 and attended the assembly proceedings after issuance of his production order by Speaker Asad Qaiser — had alleged that there was an “unholy alliance” between the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and NAB, complaining that the bureau had been active only against the PML-N people.

And on the last day of the NA session on Nov 9, the opposition lodged a strong protest over TV interviews of NAB Lahore Director General (DG) Shahzad Saleem in which he had unfolded details of the investigation against Shahbaz Sharif in the Ashiyana housing scam.

The opposition members even submitted a “question of privilege” in the National Assembly and demanded immediate intervention of the house in the matter. The speaker did not first give weight to the opposition’s move, but later assured them that he would take up the matter with the NAB chairman.

The opposition members in their motion stated that the bureau’s Lahore DG, “with the consent of the chairman NAB has appeared on TV programmes” and thus “conducted a media trial of opposition members, attempted to influence the so-called cases against the members of the National Assembly, provided details of the matters that are sub judice, revealed details of confidential and secret NAB documents and maligned the reputation of the members of the parliament”.

Interestingly, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry supported the action of the NAB Lahore DG, saying the PML-N had first set an example of maligning the bureau in the media. “Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif had spoken for three hours in the house about his NAB case — Ashiyana housing project,” he had said, alleging that the opposition wanted to undermine the NAB investigation process by using the privilege motion as a tool.

Though the Senate committee had called for a briefing by the NAB chairman much before the controversial TV interviews of the DG, an opposition member of the committee said they would definitely raise the issue in the meeting and seek an explanation.

The NAB chairman has already taken notice of Mr Saleem’s TV interviews and sought their records from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority so that an action could be taken against the official under the law. In a statement, the NAB chief said the bureau gave respect to all parliamentarians.

Sources in NAB claimed that the DG had appeared in TV talk shows without seeking prior permission of the chairman.

The NAB chairman is appearing before the Senate committee, comprising a number of political heavyweights, also at a time when both the government and the opposition have already reached an agreement that there is a need to overhaul the NAB laws to remove apprehensions about the working of the bureau in order to make the accountability process just and transparent.

In this connection, representatives of the government and the opposition had already held two meetings presided over by Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem. The opposition members claimed that the initiative for the talks on the issue had been taken by the PTI government itself.

After coming to power after the July 25 general elections, Prime Minister Imran Khan had constituted a special task force under the law minister to reform the accountability laws in the country. The task force had at its last meeting in September decided to consult all stakeholders and seek public support for preparing a new law aimed at empowering NAB.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2018

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PIA defends move to change aircraft emblem

ISLAMABAD: Defending its decision of replacing the Pakistani flag on the tail of Pakistan International Airlines aircraft with the picture of markhor, the PIA management on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the rebranding initiative was intended to make a comeback to the global arena.

In a report furnished before the Supreme Court through senior counsel Naeem Bokhari, the PIA management explained that the airline embarked upon the renewed branding initiative in April 2016 and used the ,emblem of markhor,, the national animal of Pakistan, to define PIA’s journey as a resilient national icon striving to make a comeback to the global arena.

The SC is seized with a case regarding reports that PIA accumulated losses of Rs360 billion till December 2017 and that the total liabilities amounted to Rs406 billion against assets of Rs111 billion and plans were afoot to sell off the national asset at a throwaway price.

Decision was part of rebranding initiative to show airlines’ comeback to global arena, SC told

Last month the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) in a report had blamed the absence of a professional and experienced leadership for the present state of affairs at PIA and regretted that the corporation was being run like a non-business entity.

PIA was also blamed for wasting money in changing the livery of the aircraft by replacing the Pakistani flag with the emblem of markhor.

PIA explained that the rebranding of the airline with the symbol of markhor was presented to the PIA board. The board approved that two aircraft namely A320 (AP BLU) and Boeing 777 (AP BMH), which were already in the hangers requiring paint, would be the candidates for the new livery.

The report furnished by the PIA management stated the markhor livery was selected to be applied by the modern method of decals for quicker turnaround and more vibrant look. Since the engineering department showed its inability to do so, it was decided that brand management section would spearhead the project and get it done through the scope of promotional material printing.

Subsequently, necessary approvals were obtained from the relevant authorities and a tender was floated with the involvement and full information of stakeholders. After completion of the process, the purchase order was issued to the qualified party, PIA management explained.

The task was completed and payments were processed, but to create pressure on the then PIA CEO, the provisional purchase order (PO) was released to the media and unions were incited, the report added.

With regard to the hiring of the brand consultant, the brand consultancy process was done in full compliance of the PPRA (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) regulations through open tender and evaluations by multiple departments, the report contended.

Hiring, renewal of contracts

Referring to a ban placed by the SC on recruitment of employees in PIA, an application was filed to seek court permission to allow advertisement for the key vacant positions to hire employees having specific skills to efficiently deal with the consistently deteriorating situation.

The application explained that some key positions were lying vacant across the organisation as the specific skill required to fill those positions was not available within PIA.

In 2010, the PIA board of directors had decided to appoint skilled workers on a contractual basis so that they could assist PIA to reach its desired objectives.

The apex court was assured that the hiring would be carried out on a merit basis conforming to the approved human resource budget while the salaries to be paid would correspond to the existing market rates as the management had every intention to maximise PIA’s efficiency and profitability.

The PIA management also sought a direction of the apex court for renewal of contracts of the existing contractual employees.

It said this was required urgently as a number of contractual employees were already approaching the competent courts of law for renewal of their contracts.

Ex-CEO seeks permission to travel abroad

On Sept 3, the Supreme Court had set aside the appointment of Musharraf Rasool Cyan as PIA chief executive officer for being against the rules and procedure.

Mr Cyan later approached the apex court with a request to order removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

In the application, Mr Cyan gave an undertaking that he would return to Pakistan within three days of notice by the court or required by the auditors appointed on the orders of the apex court to conduct audit of the airline.

He contended that he needed to go to the US and his trip would not exceed more than 15 days. He added that his wife and two children were in Pakistan and wished to remain in the country.

The former CEO explained that he had to attend to his property matters in the US but the applicant’s name still figured on the ECL in pursuance of the SC observations.

He explained that he had already deposited Rs2.3 million with PIA being the cost of passengers who were taken by PIA on the inaugural air Safari trip of the PIA to promote the flight for additional revenues. The persons were selected by the commercial department of PIA and not by him, he contended.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018

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