Posts Tagged ‘Rawalpindi’

Imran asks Punjab, KP to fine-tune new LG system

LAHORE: Prime Minis­ter Imran Khan on Sunday granted yet another extension in ,the deadline for local government reforms,, this time by 48 hours, and directed the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to fine-tune the new LG system, besides issuing orders for formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe into loss of Punjab’s official record in fire incidents.

During his second visit to Lahore since assuming the Prime Minister’s Office, Imran Khan also chided the Indian leadership’s arrogance and said: “If India hurls threats, it will be given a befitting reply by the Pakistani nation. However, he declared, “Pakistan wants peace, friendship and trade to develop the region.”

He asserted that Pakistan would never bow to any pressure, not even by any super power.

He expressed these views while addressing the bureaucracy after holding meetings with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and his cabinet members to review Punjab’s progress on the government’s 100-day agenda.

Says India will be given a befitting reply if it hurls threats though Pakistan wants peace, friendship and trade

Speaking to police officers and civil servants, Mr Khan said Pakistan wanted to have cordial relations with all nations and promote trade and economic ties to overcome the financial crisis. With a vital geo-strategic positioning, he said, Pakistan could attract massive foreign investment, provided it streamlined its governance system and win investors’ confidence. “I did not go to Saudi Arabia and the UAE to beg but to invite investment for Pakistan,” he explained.

De-politicisation of bureaucracy

In a tacit reference to the Pakpattan incident that resulted in the transfer of a district police officer, Mr Khan said he had allowed the bureaucracy to report any political meddling in official working to top bosses. He took serious note of complaints by two deputy commissioners and a police officer who, he said, had violated the chain of command. “Any move of making complaints public will not be tolerated from now onwards and will invite strict disciplinary action,” he warned.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government wanted to free bureaucracy from political pressure and asked the bureaucracy to seize the opportunity and deliver in the best interest of people. He urged the bureaucracy to shun political affiliations and perform their duties professionally for the well-being of people and the country.

Mr Khan said that PTI members had been instructed that any issue they would face at the hands of bureaucracy should be reported to the chief minister, who himself would eventually sort out matters with the chief secretary and police chief.

“The PTI legislators will not directly interfere in bureaucracy’s functioning,” he promised.

He said bureaucrats should think afresh and serve the masses on merit. “This new mindset actually means Naya Pakistan,” he said, adding that the prime minister and chief minister offices would establish complaint cells to address grievances of the masses.

Three points for new LG system

Following the PM’s meeting with the Punjab cabinet, a separate meeting with CM Buzdar, a senior minister and law minister on local government system, federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry told the media that Mr Khan had held a detailed discussion on new local government system and finalised three basic principles – the LG system should be simple, hold direct elections and ensure empowering elected representatives to serve the masses at the grassroots level.

As the village councils’ experiment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had rendered results, the PM wanted to resize union councils in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, he said. “Village council is a smaller unit catering to some 2,000 to 6,000 people, while each UC in Punjab covers around 30,000 people. The discussion is hovering around whether village councils be created or UC size be reconsidered,” he explained.

Besides, he said, there was a question whether the direct mayor election should be held at tehsil or district level.

Mr Chaudhry said the prime minister also assigned targets to respective ministers demanding that they should come up to the expectations to the leadership as well as the people of Punjab, who were looking towards them with a new hope. “The incumbent PTI government wanted to behave as a people-friendly government,” he said.

Audit reports of metro bus projects received

The information minister said the prime minister ordered investigation into all fire incidents that burnt important record in government offices.

He said reports of simple audit into metro bus projects in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan had been received but forensic audits would take time. “All these scandals will expose those involved in corruption and they will land in jails,” he asserted.

Answering a question, the information minister said ousted premier Nawaz Sharif’s political future was dark and now he should pray for his personal future as the Hill Metals Establishment case was near conclusion. He said the case found unaccounted for transactions worth Rs800 million to Maryam Nawaz and Rs160 million to a cook’s account. “Nawaz Sharif should bring nation’s money back to Pakistan,” he said.

‘Modi caught in scandals’

Answering a question about Pakistan’s offer and consequent Indian reply, the information minister said Pakistan wanted peace and wanted that the neighbouring atomic powers hold a dialogue on all longstanding issues. While India by cancelling the scheduled meeting of foreign ministers indicated its desire to weaken Pakistan, “this is not possible because only regions rise, not individual countries,” he said.

Mr Chaudhry said Indian premier Narendra Modi had been caught in an internal “Rafale scandal” involving $8 billion to $10 billion and wanted to shift public attention from internal to external politics to save his skin. He said Modi should contest his own case instead of shifting the blame on Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2018

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PML-N, PPP mull over joining hands in by-polls

ISLAMABAD: After going separate ways during the recent election for the key offices of prime minister and president and causing serious damage to the opposition’s unity, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) are now considering joining hands in the coming by-elections.

A PML-N delegation, headed by Opposition Leader in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, met PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bokhari at his residence here on Sunday and conveyed him a message of the PML-N leadership that the two parties must work together from the platform of joint opposition inside and outside the parliament.

The PML-N delegation comprised Senator Chaudhry Tanveer, former minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and former MNA Anjum Aqeel.

Talking to Dawn after the meeting, Mr Bokhari said the two sides had discussed the possibilities of fielding joint candidates in next month’s by-elections to be held in 11 constituencies of the National Assembly and 26 of the provincial assemblies. These seats have fallen vacant due to different reasons, including resignations by those elected on more than one seat and death of some contesting candidates.

Zafar-led delegation conveys party high-command’s message to Peoples Party

Mr Bokhari said they had discussed various options and proposals, but refused to provide details, saying he could not do so before discussing them with his party’s leadership. He said the PML-N leaders had also sought time so that they could also consult their leadership.

In reply to a question, the PPP leader said cooperation between the two parties would not be limited to two or three seats, and they would have to agree on a formula for all the constituencies.

Asked if the PML-N delegation had conveyed any message of their supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, Mr Bokhari said, “The message was simple that we should work as joint opposition inside and outside the parliament to give a tough time to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.”

He expressed the hope that there would be more meetings between the two parties in a few days and said that not only the PML-N, but other opposition parties would also be taken on board, if they (the PPP and PML-N) reached consensus.

Similarly, when contacted, PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq said the two sides had agreed to increase coordination and cooperation with a view to playing an effective role of opposition. He said they had discussed the option of jointly contesting the upcoming by-elections, but no final decision had been made so far.

Sources said the main purpose of the visit of the PML-N’s delegation was to seek cooperation on the two National Assembly seats — NA-53 Islamabad and NA-60 Rawalpindi. However, they said, Mr Bokhari made no commitment with the PML-N team and stressed the need for a broader cooperation and adjustments on all the seats being contested in the by-polls.

The sources said that PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif was reaching Islamabad on Monday (today) after which contacts between the country’s two major parties and arch rivals of the past were expected to increase. PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is also expected to be present in the capital as the National Assembly is also in session.

It was the first direct and formal contact between the two parties after the Sept 4 presidential elections in which the PPP had fielded Chuadhry Aitzaz Ahsan whereas the PML-N and other opposition parties had nominated Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as their joint candidate against the PTI’s Dr Arif Alvi.

Despite hectic efforts and mediation of other parties, the PML-N had refused to vote for Mr Ahsan due to his controversial remarks about the illness of Nawaz Sharif and his wife Kulsoom Nawaz whereas the PPP had also refused to withdraw from the race.

The failure of the opposition parties to field a joint candidate virtually provided a walkover to Dr Arif Alvi who managed to win the election without facing any difficulty.

And after facing humiliation in the presidential poll, the two parties started passing the buck holding each other responsible for it.

Making a direct attack, PML-N information secretary Senator Mushahidullah Khan had alleged that Mr Zardari had damaged democracy. He alleged that the PPP had ditched the combined opposition twice — first by refusing to vote for Shahbaz Sharif in the election for the prime minister and then by unilaterally nominating Aitzaz Ahsan as the presidential candidate.

Another PML-N leader Engineer Amir Muqam was of the opinion that Prime Minister Imran Khan and president-elect Dr Alvi should be “thankful” to Mr Zardari for the party’s victory in the presidential election.

Similarly, when a reporter sought Mr Zardari’s comments on the PML-N allegations, he had said with his usual smile on his face: “They are saying that Zardari has broken the opposition alliance. Why shouldn’t we say that Mian Sahab (Shahbaz Sharif) has never been in the opposition?”

The grand opposition alliance formed by 11 parties soon after the July 25 elections had fallen apart within weeks following the PPP’s refusal to vote for PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif against PTI chief Imran Khan in the election of prime minister despite agreeing on a formula during a meeting of the multiparty conference.

The PPP backed out of its commitment and asked the PML-N to replace Mr Sharif with some other candidate, explaining that the party could not vote for him as he had made some controversial remarks against Mr Zardari during the election campaign.

The cracks within the opposition ranks deepened when the PPP unilaterally nominated Mr Ahsan as the presidential candidate, drawing the ire of other opposition parties.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2018

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Hanif Abbasi shifted from Adiala jail to Attock prison after photo leak controversy

PML-N leader Mohammad Hanif Abbasi was on Saturday morning shifted from Adiala prison in Rawalpindi to Attock jail, sources told DawnNewsTV.

Abbasi, who is serving a life sentence after his ,conviction in the ephedrine quota case,, was shifted to the prison in Attock in the early hours of Saturday on the recommendation of a two-member inquiry committee, a source in Adiala jail said.

The committee was ,formed to investigate, how photographs were taken of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and others in the office of the Central Jail Adiala superintendent prior to Sharif’s release on Wednesday on orders of the Islamabad High Court. Abbasi was one of the leaders seen in the photo.

Formed by Inspector General of Prisons Punjab Shahid Saleem Baig, the committee, which consists of Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Multan Region Malik Shaukat and Additional Inspector General Judicial Malik Safdar, was tasked with investigating who managed to bring a camera or phone into the office of jail superintendent Saeedullah Gondal. Mobile phones and cameras are not permitted within the prison facility.

The committee will interview Gondal and other jail staffers, as well as view CCTV footage of the visitors.

Members of the committee also visited Adiala jail, and recommended that Abbasi be transferred to Attock prison, sources told DawnNewsTV.

Two photographs released on social media showed Nawaz Sharif with Shahbaz, former adviser to the prime minister on aviation Sardar Mehtab Khan, Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Raheel Munir.

Another photograph showed Abbasi sitting beside Sharif in the jail superintendent’s office. The deputy inspector general of prisons Rawalpindi region could be seen sitting in the jail superintendent’s chair and speaking to both politicians.

Search operation

Following the shifting of the PML-N leader, a search operation was started at Adiala jail during which all barracks and cells of the prison were scoured.

Nearly 200 additional personnel were called from the prisons in Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal for the search operation at Adiala, sources revealed.

ANF had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under sections 9-C, 14 and 15 of the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Act for misuse of 500kg of ephedrine.

The CNS Court of Rawalpindi sentenced Abbasi to lifetime in prison in the case just before the July 25 general elections.

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Sharifs will be offered neither deal nor concession: minister

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday rejected the notion that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members were ,released from jail, under a “deal” and that Saudi Arabia had played any role in it.

“Nawaz Sharif is not so important for Saudi Arabia that they will talk about him,” said Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry while speaking at a news conference a day after Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar were released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail after suspension of their sentences by the Islamabad High Court in the Avenfield properties case.

Editorial: ,Much room for NAB process against Sharifs to improve,

The IHC verdict coincided with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia, giving rise to speculation in some circles that the Sharif family members’ release was a result of the Saudis’ request.

It may be recalled that Saudi Arabia was a guarantor in a deal between the Sharif family and then military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2000 under which the Sharifs were released from jail and allowed to leave the country.

PML-N terms Fawad Chaudhry’s remarks ‘irresponsible’ and asks him to focus on governance

“Those who say that Saudi Arabia would have talked [about Nawaz Sharif during Prime Minister Khan’s visit] actually don’t know what kind of relationship the Saudis have with Nawaz Sharif,” the information minister said without elaborating.

“There will be no deal and no dheel (concession) with them (the Sharifs),” he declared, adding that soon “they will be back to the place where they had been a few days back”. “Nawaz Sharif will be in and out of jail. This thing will continue,” he said, adding that the Sharifs had only been granted bail and the case was still pending against them.

“Those who were questioning the government for putting the names of the Sharifs on the Exit Control List (ECL) would have got the answer now. Had we not done so, they could have flown to London soon after their release, and where would we have looked for these princes then?” he said, justifying the decision of the federal cabinet to place the names of the Sharifs on the ECL during its first meeting.

“We will not allow Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to leave Pakistan and at the same time we will not allow (former finance minister) Ishaq Dar, and Hassan and Hussain (the two sons of Mr Sharif) to stay out of Pakistan,” he said.

Mr Chaudhry said that for them it was not important that how much time the Sharifs would spend in jail, as for the government bringing back the looted money of the people of this country was more important.

Lashing out at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, he said it was heartening to see the PML-N people praising the courts. “So if the verdict is in their favour, all is well with the judiciary, and if it is against them, then the system is corrupt?” the minister said, asking the PML-N to decide once and for all as to what was their stance to end their confusion.

“In my opinion, the judiciary is free and independent,” he added.

Mr Chaudhry said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also an independent institution and the government had no control over it. He said the government was looking for the loopholes due to which the Sharifs had been granted bail and soon they would rectify them and send them back to jail.

PML-N’s reaction

The PML-N termed the information minister’s remarks “irresponsible” and asked him to focus on “governance” instead of wasting time on petty matters.

Talking to Dawn, PML-N information secretary Mushahidullah Khan said that no party leader had given any statement about courts after the IHC verdict as they believed that Mr Sharif had only got “relief” and not justice.

Commenting on Mr Chaudhry’s statement regarding deal, he said the PML-N had not struck any deal when it could have done so in the past then why it would be doing it now. “Had we struck a deal, Nawaz Sharif would have been prime minister even today,” he said.

Mr Khan also ridiculed the minister’s justification for putting the names of the Sharifs on the ECL, terming the government’s act “vindictive”. He recalled that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were in London when the NAB court had announced the verdict and they returned home despite knowing that they would straightaway land in jail.

On the other hand, he said, the PML-N government did not put the name of Imran Khan and even President Arif Alvi on the ECL despite the fact that they were facing terrorism charges.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2018

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Ashura being observed today amid tight security

QUETTA: Frontier Corps personnel seal a shop in a market on Muharram procession route here on Thursday.—PPI

QUETTA: Frontier Corps personnel seal a shop in a market on Muharram procession route here on Thursday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Ashura will be observed on Friday with solemnity to pay homage to Imam Hussain and other martyrs of Karbala amid strict security to protect mourners from any terrorist attack across the country.

Apart from the security measures, local administrations, all over the country, have placed hospitals and ambulance services on high alert. Moreover, the governments of the four provinces, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan have taken adequate measures to ensure security on the day.

As there will be no Ashura procession in the federal capital, police and administration of Islamabad will cooperate with the Rawalpindi administration to carry out checks at all entry points between the twin cities.

However, extraordinary security arrangements have been made in Rawalpindi considering the past incident at Raja Bazaar as Ashura has coincided with Friday.

In 2013, authorities had to impose a curfew in parts of Rawalpindi after sectarian clashes erupted during a Muharram 10 (on Friday) procession near Fawara Chowk, that left at least eight people dead and dozens injured.

The security has remained a matter of concern for over a decade because of a number of incidents of suicide attacks and sectarian violence.

Apart from police, Ran­gers and Frontier Corps personnel have been deployed in many cities on the routes of Ashura processions, while the army is also kept standby and can be called in case of an emergency.

Pillion-riding has been banned in many cities across the country. Although a blanket blackout of cellular service across the country is not under consideration on 10th Muharram, citizens can face partial suspension of the service in different cities due to security reasons, said sources in cellular companies.

Police have already conducted a survey of procession routes across the country and sealed all shops, houses and buildings on the routes after a thorough check by bomb disposal squads.

On Thursday, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi reviewed the security arrangements of main procession in Sector G-6 Islamabad. He said no compromise or sluggishness would be tolerated over such arrangements as it is prime responsibility of the government to ensure protection to the lives and property of the citizens.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2018

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Sharifs, Captain Safdar shifted back to Adiala jail as five-day parole ends

As the five-day parole granted to them by the Punjab government ended on Monday, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law were taken back to Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail to resume their sentences in the Avenfield apartments reference.

A convoy of cars carrying the trio left Jati Umra — the Sharif family residence in Lahore — for the city’s old airport, where they were boarded on a special plane for Islamabad, sources told DawnNewsTV. Upon landing in the capital, they were taken directly to the prison.

Cars carrying Sharif family members leave Jati Umra. — DawnNewsTV

Cars carrying Sharif family members leave Jati Umra. — DawnNewsTV

Sharif, Maryam and Safdar were ,released on parole last week, after the death of three-time former first lady Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in London. The parole was to end today at 4pm.

Before leaving for the airport, the three visited the graves of Kulsoom, her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif and offered fateha, DawnNewsTV reported.

Begum Kulsoom had undergone several surgeries and chemotherapy treatment at a private hospital in London after being diagnosed with lymphoma in August 2017. She suffered a heart attack in mid-June and was put on a life-support machine. In the first week of August, her condition improved and she was taken off from the ventilator. However, her condition deteriorated again on Sept 9 and she breathed her last on Sept 11.

Her sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz along with their uncle Shahbaz Sharif and other party leaders offered her funeral prayers in London before her body was shifted to Lahore. After her second funeral, which was attended by her husband, daughter and other relatives besides workers and leaders of various political parties, she was laid to rest near the graves of her father-in-law and brother-in-law at Jati Umra on Sept 14.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 17, 2018 at 10:25 pm

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Sharifs being shifted back to Adiala jail as five-day parole comes to an end

As the five-day parole granted to them by the Punjab government nears its end, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law are being taken back to Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail to resume their sentences in the Avenfield apartments reference.

A convoy of cars carrying the trio left Jati Umra — the Sharif family residence in Lahore — for the old airport, where they were made to board a special plane for Islamabad, sources told DawnNewsTV. Upon landing in the capital, they will be taken to the prison.

Cars carrying Sharif family members leave Jati Umra. — DawnNewsTV

Cars carrying Sharif family members leave Jati Umra. — DawnNewsTV

Sharif, Maryam and Safdar were ,released on parole last week, after the death of three-time former first lady Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in London. The parole will end today at 4pm.

Before leaving for the airport, the three visited the graves of Kulsoom, her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif and offered fateha, DawnNewsTV reported.

Begum Kulsoom had undergone several surgeries and chemotherapy treatment at a private hospital in London after being diagnosed with lymphoma in August 2017. She suffered a heart attack in mid-June and was put on a life-support machine. In the first week of August, her condition improved and she was taken off from the ventilator. However, her condition deteriorated again on Sept 9 and she breathed her last on Sept 11.

Her sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz along with their uncle Shahbaz Sharif and other party leaders offered her funeral prayers in London before her body was shifted to Lahore. After her second funeral, which was attended by her husband, daughter and other relatives besides workers and leaders of various political parties, she was laid to rest near the graves of her father-in-law and brother-in-law at Jati Umra on Sept 14.

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Customs court again issues bailable arrest warrants for Ayyan Ali in currency smuggling case

A special court on custom, excise and taxation on Saturday issued bailable arrest warrants against model Ayyan Ali — who is facing trial in a ,currency smuggling case, — due to her absence from court since 2015.

The case was presided over by Arshad Hussain Bhutta, who observed in annoyance that the suspect was once again a no-show for the hearing.

Ayyan Ali was represented by Syed Iqbal Hussain, a junior lawyer associated with the chamber of former Punjab governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, who submitted before the court that she was unable to appear “due to illness” and requested that she be granted temporary absence.

The court rejected the application filed by the defence lawyer.

Read next: ,Ayyan Ali’s trial: The ‘model’ coverage,

Customs Prosecutor Amin Feroz highlighted the fact that the model has been absent since December 8, 2015, and that this practice has been going on for the past 25 hearings.

The prosecutor requested the court to issue non-bailable arrest warrants for the model but the court decided to issue bailable arrest warrants ,once more, against her, as issued in June last year.

The court warned her counsel that if she does not appear for her next hearing, non-bailable arrest warrants will be issued against her. The case was adjourned till October 6.

Ayyan Ali was ,arrested by the Airport Security Force, in March 2015 at Benazir International Airport along with $506,800 she was allegedly trying to smuggle to United Arab Emirates (UAE).

She was granted bail in July 2016 after spending around four months in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail — and after her judicial remand was extended at least 16 times.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 15, 2018 at 8:25 pm

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Two complaining Punjab DCs get notices under removal from service law

LAHORE: While Prime Minister Imran Khan asked bureaucrats on Friday to take bold decisions without political pressure, the Punjab government issued show-cause notices to two deputy commissioners for “violating the chain of command” by ,reporting political meddling, by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf legislators.

Sources in the Punjab government said the deputy commissioners of Chakwal and Rajanpur had been asked why they should not be tried under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act 2006 (removal from service) for violating the chain of command.

It is learnt that two inquiries into the complaints lodged by the deputy commissioners have been received by the Punjab government and sent to Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

Officers accuse PTI legislators of interfering in administrative matters

The sources said the inquiries held both DCs responsible for violating the chain of command as well as releasing the official matter to the media. They said the two officers belonging to the provincial management service were likely to be removed from their offices after Ashura.

Chakwal DC Ghulam Saghir Shahid and Rajanpur DC Allah Ditta Warraich had closely served former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif’s son Hamza Shahbaz at the chief minister’s secretariat. They were posted as deputy commissioners towards the end of the PML-N government’s term.

The Chakwal DC had on Sept 3 accused PTI MNA Sardar Zulifqar Ali Khan of “political interference in the administrative matters” and sought action against the lawmaker.

Ghulam Saghir had written a two-page letter reporting that the MNA from NA-64 had sent him a list of 17 patwaris and girdawars, seeking their transfer and posting according to his will. The MNA later visited the DC as well to press him to do the needful.

Alleging that the MNA had hurled threats, the DC sought action against the legislator and addressed his complaint to the chief election commissioner, the chief justice of Pakistan and the Punjab chief secretary.

The very next day, a similar case of political meddling was reported by Rajanpur DC Allah Ditta Warraich. He stated that PTI MNA Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dareshak and his sons MPA Sardar Hasnain Bahadar Dareshak (now minister for livestock and dairy development), Sardar Ali Raza Dareshak (former MPA) and MPA Awais Dareshak were pressurising him for transfer and posting of various revenue and Border Military Police officials.

In his complaint addressed to the Dera Ghazi Khan commissioner, the Rajanpur DC stated that MNA Dareshak along with Awais Dareshak had humiliated him in his office on Sept 1 and asked that all transfers of patwaris and BMP officials should be made according to his instructions.

He requested the D.G. Khan commissioner to refer the matter to the competent authority to initiate proceedings against the MNA as per law on the charges of political interference in the working of the office of the deputy commissioner and humiliating a government servant for not according him undue and unlawful protocol. The DC also sent the copies of his complaint to the CEC, Punjab chief secretary and secretary to the chief minister.

The Rawalpindi and D.G. Khan commissioners, who conducted the inquiries of their respective subordinates, stated that the two DCs had violated the “chain of command” as clearly mentioned in the rules of business of civil service.

“The violation of chain of command warrants strict disciplinary action against the two deputy commissioners,” a senior official said.

Defending the conduct of elected people, Senior Minister Aleem Khan said that ministers, MNAs and MPAs would have to “interfere” on reports of mala fide actions by government officials to establish the writ of the government.
“Officials cannot be given a free hand if the political government is to be held responsible,” the minister added.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018

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No wrongdoing in Grand Hyatt project, FIA tells SC

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has informed the Supreme Court that all charges of wrongdoing in the land lease for construction of Grand Hyatt Hotel have been dropped after a fact-finding committee falsified the claims made by a team which had earlier investigated the scam.

A report submitted to the apex court showed that facts were distorted to target a single individual, adding most of the allegations leveled in the case were wrong.

The report said the bidding process was transparent. It referred to the judgment of Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench dated April 4, 2005, that said: “The auction held on 9.2.2005 in which different parties participated and BNP group offered the highest bid and the bidding was supervised by the Chairman CDA, members of the Board, and representatives from the Board of Investment, Privatization Commission and print and electronic media was a fair-play.”

Facts were distorted by investigation team as bidding for land lease was transparent, report says

About the allegation that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had allowed a change to the master plan of Islamabad, the report said the investigation team was ignorant of the fact that in June 1997 the cabinet had approved the alteration in the master plan to provide for a five-star hotel adjacent to the Convention Centre.

It had also allowed relaxation in the use of land in Zone III to accommodate a hotel and shopping mall under the ICT Zoning Regulations 1992.

The investigation team wrongly attributed the site location of the five-star hotel and service apartments to Zone-VI which in reality is located in Zone III, it added.

The report referred to the formation of the fact-finding committee after a complaint was lodged with the director general of the FIA.

It said the accused and the members of the investigation team had been called by the committee and during the cross-examination the accused persons presented a number of documentary evidence to prove their innocence.

The investigation team members did not rebut the evidence but showed ignorance to the fact that such evidence was available.

There was no evidence in the case file regarding the loss of Rs25 billion to the government exchequer.

“During the cross-examination, the investigation team could not produce evidence to substantiate this allegation.”

The report said the accused in the case included Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of BNP, former CDA chairman Kamran Lashari, retired Brig Nusrat, ex-member planning CDA; Kamran Qureshi, ex-member finance; Shoukat Mohammad, ex-member administration; Moin Kakakhel, ex-member engineering; Habibur Rahman Gilani, ex-director estate management; Dr Faisal Awan, former director project management, and others. It, however, said except the person whose firm won the bid the investigation team did not call any other accused person.

The first rescheduling of M/S BNP was requested after the Oct 2005 earthquake required formulation of new building codes.

The report said the rescheduling had been approved in consultation with the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet the second rescheduling was approved in Nov 2012 as the CDA failed to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for construction of the hotel tower.

On July 29, 2016, the lease deed was cancelled by the CDA without any justifiable grounds.

“This was the time when no criminal case was registered and the NOC for construction of hotel tower was still pending with the CAA.”

The CAA issued the NOC for the construction of the hotel with a restricted height of 331 feet whereas by that time the lease deed had already been cancelled.

The report also rebuffed the accusation that no bank guarantee had been obtained from BNP.

It said the performance guarantee was waived in the pre-bid meeting.

The specific insertion of a cancellation clause in the lease deed secured and protected the CDA’s interest, it added.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018

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Turkey desires a peaceful solution to Kashmir issue: Turkish FM Cavusoglu

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday assured Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi of his country’s support in the bid to find a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue.

Cavusoglu, who arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for high-level discussions with Pakistani officials, held a meeting with FM Qureshi at the Foreign Office today, following which the two addressed a joint press conference.

Read: ,Pakistan reiterates ‘strong support’ for Turkey after US sanctions,

FM Qureshi said that Turkey has agreed to support Pakistan’s bid for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue at the UN.

“At the United Nations conference there will be a separate conference on Kashmir on the side. It happens every year but it is different this time because a new UN report has come out which sheds light on the India-occupied Kashmir.

FM Qureshi addresses a joint presser in Islamabad — DawnNewsTV

FM Qureshi addresses a joint presser in Islamabad — DawnNewsTV

“There has certainly been a surge in the interest of people in the human rights abuses that are taking place there. I invited FM Cavusoglu to that conference, and I am thankful to him that he accepted the invitation.”

Cavusoglu said that it’s Turkey’s wish that the Kashmir issue involving India and Pakistan gets resolved the UN in a peaceful manner.

“In the group that has been formed over Kashmir in the UN, we will stand with Pakistan and try to make [its efforts] successful.”

FM Qureshi said that ways to enhance economic and commercial ties with Turkey were also discussed in his meeting with Cavusoglu.

“In our meeting today we focused on enhancing our economic relations,” FM Qureshi said. “[We discussed] ways to facilitate each other.

“Our relationship has been very strong. There is a mutual interest. We understand each other’s sensitivities. Turkey has played a role in improving regional consensus and stability.

“They also have a trilateral arrangement, which we can be used to further improve our regional stability and connectivity.”

“I got the chance today to thank the Turkish FM for supporting Pakistan’s membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). On the Netherlands caricature issue as well, Turkey supported us.”

Qureshi further said that the situation of Afghanistan, Iran and Kashmir were also discussed during the meeting.

Turkish FM Cavusoglu congratulated Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan on forming the new government in Pakistan.

“Governments and people come and go, but real friendships cannot end,” Cavusoglu said. “This friendship should remain forever.

Turkish FM Cavusoglu addresses a joint presser in Islamabad — DawnNewsTV

Turkish FM Cavusoglu addresses a joint presser in Islamabad — DawnNewsTV

“In today’s meeting I discussed a lot of issues with FM Qureshi. The most important aspect of our discussion was on the strategic council, the sixth conference of which — God willing — will take place in Pakistan, and we will do all we can to make it happen.

“We have strengthened our commercial ties, and [decided to facilitate] our companies that want to work in Pakistan.”

“We have a unique relation, therefore, we should work together to further enhance our relations.
The security issue for both the countries is important and so is the economic and military cooperation.”

FM Cavusoglu said that “there is a propaganda against Islam in Europe. We ran a campaign against the Netherlands caricatures, and thank God they shut it down.”

The Turkish minister said that Pakistan and Turkey have suffered the most hardships in the war against terrorism.

Cavusoglu said that “Turkey will never forget Pakistan and its people’s help” in the failed 2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt.

“The Gulen movement not only damaged Turkey but it caused destruction wherever it went,” he said. “Pakistan helped us in that and we would for it to keep doing so.”

Cavusoglu meets Army chief Bajwa: ISPR

Turkish FM Cavusoglu, following his meeting with FM Qureshi, called on Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

“The focus of the discussion remained on Pak-Turkey relations and regional security, including the evolving situation in the Middle East, management of defence and security cooperation between both the countries,” according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The Turkish minister, the ISPR said, “acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s contributions for conflict prevention in the region, and also pledged to keep working for better relations between the two brotherly countries”.

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Lahore High Court issues detailed order in Shahid Khaqan Abbasi disqualification case

An appellate tribunal at the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued its detailed verdict on the barring of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from contesting elections from his native NA-57 (Murree) constituency in the July 25 polls, ruling that the former prime minister was not honest and sagacious and hence disqualified for life.

It should be mentioned that the LHC had ,suspended the appellate tribunal’s verdict, on June 29, making room for Abbasi to be able to contest the July 25 elections.

The detailed 10-page verdict released today, penned by Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi, observed that the petitions against Abbasi had claimed that he was guilty of concealment of facts for not providing “the correct details and description of the immoveable property held by him within Pakistan” and for “intentionally and knowingly understating the costs of the assets”.

Finding him guilty of the charges, the judge said Abbasi had “exposed himself to the disqualification clause as provided in Articles 62 and 63 of The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and is not a qualified person to be elected or chosen as a Member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”

The court in its verdict said the appellants had noted a “marked difference in between the contents of two affidavits separately filed by the respondent/candidate along with two separate nomination papers i.e. one filed against Serial No.03 on 09.06.2018 and second filed against Serial No.12 on 11.06.2018 for constituency of NA-57 (Rawalpindi-I).”

Clause E in the affidavit filed along with the nomination paper titled Serial No.03 stated ‘none’, whereas the same clause in the papers titled Serial No.12 “was tampered with by first writing the words NONE in the same manner as was mentioned in the earlier affidavit, but after interpolation, shares in Air Blue and Blue Pines Inn Murree were noted down against such column,” the verdict noted.

The RO and Abbasi’s lawyer provided differing versions as to how and why this had occurred. “The stances taken by the RO and that of in the affidavit of Mr Asad Iqbal Abbasi, Advocate are inter-contradictory and either one of such stances is false.”

The verdict also noted that the cost of a house owned by Abbasi in Islamabad’s F-7/2 sector was shown on Form B of the nomination papers to be Rs300,000, although, in that locale, “only the open [undeveloped] land is worth Rs 50 to 60 lakhs (Rs5-6 million) per marla”.

Additionally, Abbasi had mortgaged the same house to a bank against an amount of Rs24.7 million.

“Either the cost of such house has incorrectly been shown as Rs300,000, or, if the same is the actual cost of the house, then the respondent/candidate must have obtained the mortgaged money more than 80 times of the actual cost of mortgaged property from the Bank by using his influence of being a Member of Parliament or subsequent Prime Minister of Pakistan,” the verdict noted.

“Both the positions cannot be reconciled conveniently,” it added.

The verdict observed that the purpose of furnishing asset details at the time of nomination is to give a fair picture of a candidate to voters.

“But in the case in hand, the respondent/candidate has attempted to conceal all such material facts from the constituency and the intention of the Constitution, law and the interim order passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan on 06.06.2018 [...] whereby a detailed affidavit was directed to be executed by the candidates giving full particulars for the voters,” read the verdict.

Justice Lodhi regretted that Abbasi “has been a Leader of House and thus, as prime minister, was considered to be the face of the nation.”

“The nation needs its face to be clean and clear in order to earn some respect from [the] remaining world, which is not possible if such rusty faces are allowed to represent the nation,” he regretted, adding that nations “expect high moral standards from their leaders by placing them at somewhat higher pedestal and giving a place of a role model to a leader.”

The judgement declared Abbasi “guilty of concealment of facts and withholding of the complete information from his voters.”

According to the judgement, Abbasi “is not an honest and ameen person” and thus “not a qualified person to be elected or chosen as a Member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) within the meaning of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.”

On June 23, Justice Lodhi had suspended the RO for NA-57 (Murree) Haider Ali Khan for accepting incomplete nomination forms submitted by Mr Abbasi.

In today’s verdict, the judge stated that the suspension would continue, and directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint a new RO for NA-57, where by-elections are to be held in October.

The LHC Registrar was also directed to initiate proceedings against Haider Ali Khan for misconduct.

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Prime Minister House to be converted into high-quality postgraduate institute: minister

Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood announced on Thursday that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government will turn the Prime Minister House into a postgraduate university of a high quality.

Addressing a press conference regarding the new government’s plans for state-owned properties, the minister announced that additional construction will also be carried out on the land behind the residence meant for the premier after a formal plan is devised in this regard.

The PM House is spread over 1,096 kanals and Rs 470 million are spent on its upkeep annually, said Mehmood, who was heading a committee formed to decide how government-owned buildings could be utilised in public interest.

“[The] PM House will become a high-quality university or institution that will be unique with its education in Pakistan,” he said.

In his ,first address to the nation, after being elected, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced that he would be staying in a “three-bedroom house that served as the military secretary’s residence”, instead of the Prime Minister House.

“I wish that the PM House will be turned into a university. It is in a great location to be one,” Khan had said at the time.

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Murree

The minister announced that the Government House in Murree, which the Punjab government had spent Rs600m on recently, will be transformed into a “heritage boutique hotel”.

“You can see gold plating on the commodes in the bathrooms of the [building],” Mehmood said, adding that around Rs35m are spent on the property’s maintenance every year.

The Punjab House in Murree, the annual expenses of which are Rs25m, would be turned into a tourist resort. The transformation will be done by the private sector, however, the Punjab government will carry out the formalities, Mehmood announced.

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Rawalpindi

A Punjab House, with a Governor’s Annexe attached to it, is located in Rawalpindi’s central district. Spread over 70 kanals, the property is used a rest house and Rs40m is spent on its upkeep annually, the minister revealed.

The rest house will either be converted into a higher education institute for IT/incubation centre, or the National College of Arts in Pindi will be shifted to this building, Mehmood announced.

Lahore

The Governor House in Lahore is spread over 700 kanals, the minister revealed. The schools and vocational training institutes located on its compound will be separated and the Governor House itself would be converted into a museum and an art gallery. The property’s grounds will be opened to the public as a park, which will include a small zoo.

According to the minister, former Punjab chief minister was using 90 Shahrah-i-Quaid-i-Azam in Lahore as one of his offices. This building, the annual maintenance cost of which is Rs80m, will be transformed into a craft museum and a hall within it will be changed into a convention centre which will be rented out for events, he announced.

The Chanda House in Lahore will be turned into Governor Office as an alternative to the expansive Governor’s House.

A state guest house situated on Mall Road, the upkeep of which costs Rs5m annually, will be converted into a five-star hotel, the minister revealed.

Karachi

The government plans to transform the Governor House in Karachi into a museum and bring its parkland into public use. These plans will be executed in consultation with the Sindh government.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, meanwhile, will shift into a state guest house in the city.

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Shahbaz joins Nawaz’s sons in London for Kulsoom’s funeral

LONDON/ LAHORE: As the Punjab government extended the parole of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law for five days allowing them to attend the last rites of his wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shahbaz Sharif along with his son Hamza Shahbaz arrived at London on Wednesday evening to take her body back to Lahore for burial at their Jati Umra residence on Friday.

Talking to the media at the airport, Mr Shahbaz paid tribute to Begum Kulsoom and said she was a brave lady who faced very difficult circumstances valiantly especially in 1999 when she was faced with the might of martial law. Regarding the release of the former premier, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar on parole, the PML-N president said that all the space available under the relevant law would be availed.

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To condole her demise, PML-N and other political party workers visited the Sharif family residence at Avenfield House. Former Balochistan chief minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and Rasikh Elahi, son of Punjab Assembly speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, were prominent among the visitors. A PML-N leader told Dawn that Begum Kulsoom’s funeral would also be held in London’s Regent’s Park mosque on Thursday at 12.15pm (BST) before the one for which arrangements were being made in Lahore. “Namaz-i-Janaza is being held in London, because her sons Hasan and Hussain cannot come to Pakistan,” he said.

Punjab govt extends parole of Sharifs for five days; another funeral in Sharif Medical Complex tomorrow

The family sources confirmed that her body had been shifted to the mortuary of Regent Park mosque in Central London for funeral after which her casket would be flown to Lahore on a PIA flight (PK758) which would leave the Heathrow Airport at 6.15pm (BST). They said the family had received a death certificate issued by the private hospital, where Begum Kulsoom Nawaz died on Tuesday, and the “out-of-England” letter from the coroner’s court, paving the way for the departure of her body for Lahore on Thursday evening.

Maryam Nawaz accepting condolences after her mother's death, at her Lahore Jati Umra residence— DawnNews TV

Maryam Nawaz accepting condolences after her mother’s death, at her Lahore Jati Umra residence— DawnNews TV

Begum Kulsoom will be laid to rest at Jati Umra near the graves of her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif on Friday.

Diagnosed with lymphoma (throat) cancer in August last year, Begum Kulsoom underwent several surgeries before she suffered cardiac arrest in mid-June and since then she remained admitted to hospital. On Sept 11, she breathed her last.

In Lahore, PML-N leaders and workers including former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khurram Dastagir, Malik Pervaiz, Saad Rafique, Ameer Muqam, Ali Pervaiz, Uzma Bokhari and Rana Mohammad Iqbal visited Jati Umra on Wednesday to condole the death of Kulsoom Nawaz with the grieving family.

However, they could not get a chance to condole with Nawaz Sharif. Before his departure for London, Mr Shahbaz’s son, Hamza, met those coming to condole the death of the former first lady. Talking to reporters, Mr Hamza said Begum Kulsoom was like a mother to him and a vacuum created after her death would not be filled.

Regarding reports that Nawaz Sharif did not see the visitors because he was not well, PML-N leader and former federal information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said: “That was not the case. Mian sahib was shattered and tired but he met relatives. On Thursday, he will meet the political leaders and workers between 4pm and 6pm. Similarly, Maryam Bibi also met relatives.”

She also dismissed media reports attributed to Maryam Nawaz after her release on parole from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail. “I just want to clarify that Maryam Bibi has not issued any statement after her release on parole or in the jail,” she added.

She said Begum Kulsoom’s funeral would be held at the Sharif Medical City, adjacent to Jati Umra residence, on Friday at 5pm. Congregational prayers (Rasm-i-Qul) for her would be offered on Sunday between Asr and Maghreb, she added.

Earlier, a controversy surrounded the parole extension granted by the Punjab government as the Punjab cabinet reportedly approved the home department’s summary regarding a five-day parole of Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law while Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan told reporters at the Lahore Press Club that the government had extended their parole only till the funeral of Begum Kulsoom.

When asked if the government had extended the Sharif family members’ parole for three or five days, Mr Chohan said: “The government has extended their parole till the funeral of Begum Kulsoom.”

Shahbaz Sharif had sought five days’ parole for the Sharif family members so that they could attend the last rituals of Begum Kulsoom.

“Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has forwarded the summary of the home department to the cabinet for approval regarding a five-day parole for Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar,” a senior official of the Punjab government later confirmed to Dawn.

He said the summary was likely to be approved since the chief minister had forwarded it to the cabinet in accordance with the law.

The Sharifs were released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail in the early hours of Wednesday morning on 12-hour parole, which was later extended by the Punjab government for five days on an application of Mr Shahbaz. The Sharifs had been sent to jail by an accountability court weeks before the July 25 general elections in Avenfield property reference.

Earlier during the day, PML-N MPA Hina Pervaiz Butt submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly to pay tribute to Begum Kulsoom.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2018

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PM visits ISI headquarters, given eight-hour briefing

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday visited the headquarters of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the country’s premier spy agency, and received a detailed briefing on “various strategic, intelligence and national security matters”.

According to an official handout issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the prime minister was received at the ISI headquarters by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI Director General Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar.

The prime minister laid a wreath at the Yadgar-i-Shuhada and offered Fateha.

Imran praises performance of spy agency

The handout said the prime minister lauded contributions of the ISI towards national security, especially in the ongoing counterterrorism effort, saying that “ISI is our first line of defence and stands out as best intelligence agency of the world”.

Prime Minister Khan said the government and people of Pakistan firmly stood behind their armed forces and intelligence agencies and greatly acknowledged the unprecedented achievements of these institutions.

Later, the government through federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry also issued a statement about the visit, stating the army chief and the ISI head had given an eight-hour-long briefing to the prime minister and the cabinet members who accompanied him.

Mr Chaudhry said Mr Khan presided over the meeting in which he and his cabinet colleagues were briefed about the “internal and external challenges” being faced by the country.

The prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi, almost the same team which had visited the army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi with the prime minister on Aug 30.

During the visit to the GHQ, Army Chief Gen Bajwa had thanked Prime Minister Khan for “reposing confidence” in the army.

The visit had been announced by the ISPR through a tweet, saying: “Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived to visit GHQ. Received on arrival by COAS. PM being briefed on defence, internal security and other professional matters.”

The civilian leadership was briefed on the security environment, threat spectrum and response, counterterrorism operations, the situation in Karachi and the Khushal Balochistan programme during their eight-hour-long stay at the GHQ, according to sources.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2018

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CJP lashes out at dam critics, says they are ‘pursuing someone else’s agenda’

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday, while hearing a case on the Dadhocha dam, lashed out at critics opposing the construction of dams in the country, saying that they were pursuing “someone else’s agenda”.

The CJP, recalling a scientist’s remark that the Supreme Court should form its own political party, said: “There is no need for anyone to say this. It is a matter of fundamental rights.”

Justice Nisar said that dams were being constructed for Pakistan’s future generations.

He added that there would be “no compromise on this issue”, whether those criticising the move were “well-known scientists or political leaders”.

He claimed that those opposing the construction of dams are “working on someone else’s agenda, and the agenda is that ‘dams shouldn’t be built in Pakistan’.”

“We won’t let the agenda to not build dams be successful.” the CJP said. “We will build dams under all circumstances.”

The CJP, who was heading a three-judge bench, made the remarks during a case pertaining to land earmarked for the construction of the Dadhocha dam.

In 2006, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) had purchased 18,000 kanals at the site where the dam was to be built and launched a housing scheme as a joint venture with Bahria Town. The DHA Valley scheme, meant for the bereaved families of martyred military personnel, was proposed as the dam site.

On Aug 4, 2015, the SC in a suo motu case directed the Punjab government to construct the dam at the originally proposed site. Soon after these directives, the government banned the sale and purchase of land in the area and allocated funds for the construction of the dam in its annual development plan for 2017-18.

On the SC’s directives, ,the Punjab government in 2017 initiated the process, to construct the dam at a cost of Rs7 billion to overcome the water shortage in Rawalpindi.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had previously ,initiated investigations, against DHA Islamabad, Bahria Town and Capital Development Authority administrations for the Rs62 billion DHA Valley project and its Phase-II (extension) scams.

In today’s hearing, the court asked the Punjab government to examine the DHA-Bahria joint venture, and asked the JV to present its recommendations on the matter to the provincial government.

The SC also asked the Punjab government to examine the Irrigation Department’s recommendations and, if it is not satisfied with them, to inform the court and present its own recommendations.

The Punjab government was asked to inform the court of when the dam would be completed by and how much expense would be incurred during its construction.

The Punjab Irrigation Department secretary told the court that the provincial government had allocated funds for the acquisition of land for the dam. He added that the Bahria Town-DHA JV was proposed on an 11-kanal site.

The Chief Justice asked what obstacles the Punjab government was facing in the construction of the dam by Bahria Town, and added: “I know that commission mafia’s, commission will be cut and this is the obstacle.”

“I won’t let anyone take any cuts, nor will I let them appropriate commission,” he asserted.

The top judge said that the commission mafia should fear God, and that the dam project was under strain because of this commission mafia. He asked them, without naming them, to think about themselves, the country and the future of its citizens.

The CJP suggested the secretary call the Punjab chief minister and his cabinet regarding the issue, to which the secretary responded that there was no need for it since he was looking over it.

The CJP responded that the construction of dam is a national cause and they would need to “come together for it”.

Justice Nisar told the secretary that he should be giving money instead of taking money, to which the secretary responded that he had already contributed money to the Dam Fund.

The hearing was postponed till next week.

Pindi water shortage and the Dadhocha dam

According to official figures, Rawalpindi requires 50 MGD of water. It is supplied 40 MGD from the 410 tubewells in the city, Rawal Dam and Khanpur Dam.

A senior Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) official earlier told Dawn that the water deficit would increase from 10MGD to 41MGD by 2025 if our options were not explored, since the Rawal dam has outlived its design life and cannot supply more than 22MGD water ? which remains unavailable during droughts.

The official had said that rainwater is wasted due to a lack of dams and was of the opinion that work should be started on the Chirah dam as well so that water is available in the future when the demand increases.

Read more: ,Punjab Planning Commission approves Rs6bn Daducha Dam,

The proposed Dadhocha dam will be constructed upstream on Soan River and all the rainwater from Murree and the Kahuta Hills will gather in the lake at Dadhocha Village, near Sihala on Kahuta Road.

The dam may also raise the underground water table, which has been depleting fast in the garrison city.

A senior district administration official told Dawn earlier this year that the villages of Bhun, Launa and Bhaoni would be submerged in the dam, and that seven industrial and commercial units, 218 houses and other areas would be affected by the project.

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PML-N announces funeral arrangements for Kulsoom Nawaz

Spokesperson for the PML-N Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday evening announced that Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s funeral prayers will be offered on Friday, September 14, at the Sharif Medical City in Jati Umra.

Party sources in Lahore had earlier confirmed to the media that Begum Kulsoom would be laid to rest at the Jati Umra residence of the Sharif family.

Congregational prayers (Rasm-e-Qul) for the benefit of the deceased will be offered on September 16 (Sunday) from Asr (late afternoon) to Maghrib (sunset), Aurangzeb announced.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired captain Mohammad Safdar had been released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail on parole in the early hours of Wednesday, hours after Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s ,demise in a London hospital,.

They are currently at Jati Umra, awaiting the funeral. Three rooms inside the residence have been declared a sub-jail, DawnNewsTV reported.

Meanwhile, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif arrived in London in the early hours of Thursday to attend Begum Kulsoom’s funeral prayers at the Regent’s Park mosque. He will accompany Begum Kulsoom’s body back to Lahore.

Family sources told Dawn that Kulsoom’s sons would not accompany her body to Lahore, though her other daughter, Asma, and grandson, Zikriya Sharif, would go with the casket to Pakistan.

“A PIA flight carrying the body will arrive here on Friday morning and she is likely to be laid to rest the same day beside the grave of her father-in-law Mian Sharif at Jati Umra,” they said.

Kulsoom Nawaz.

Kulsoom Nawaz.

Diagnosed with throat cancer in August last year, Begum Kulsoom was still undergoing treatment when she suffered cardiac arrest on June 15 and was rushed to a private hospital in London where she had remained admitted since then.

According to family sources, her health deteriorated on Sunday night and she was placed on life support. She couldn’t be revived, however, and breathed her last on Tuesday.

See: ,A life-long regret for Nawaz, Maryam,

Parole

Shahbaz had filed an application on Tuesday for Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Mohammad Safdar’s release for at least five days so that they may attend Begum Kulsoom’s funeral.

They were initially released on 12-hour parole in the early hours of Wednesday (today) and escorted to Nur Khan airbase, from where they were flown to Lahore.

Nawaz Sharif upon arrival at Jati Umra. — PML-N

Nawaz Sharif upon arrival at Jati Umra. — PML-N

The Punjab government today decided to extend their parole for three days, ,GeoNews, reported, citing a spokesperson for the provincial Home Department. “The extension will be in effect from midnight and will expire on Saturday night,” the spokesperson told GeoNews.

In the event of a delay in Begum Kulsoom’s funeral, he said it would be “further extended”.

Condolences at Jati Umra

Relatives and leaders who arrived to condole Kulsoom's death are seen at Jati Umra. — DawnNewsTV

Relatives and leaders who arrived to condole Kulsoom’s death are seen at Jati Umra. — DawnNewsTV

A large number of relatives, party leaders, workers, politicians and well-wishers visited Jati Umra today to condole Kulsoom’s death with the grieving family.

Media representatives were present in large numbers outside the house. However, they were not allowed inside.

PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz while talking to media in Lahore said Kulsoom was a “courageous lady”. “Kulsoom Nawaz raised the flag of democracy during the rule of a dictator,” he added.

Scenes outside Jati Umra on Wednesday.

She was an ideal lady: Hussain Nawaz

While talking to reporters in London on Wednesday, Hussain Nawaz said his mother was an “ideal lady” in his eyes, and that she had set such high standards for human values in daily life that it became difficult for her children to meet them.

“We learned from her at every step till the moment she lived,” Hussain said in a video shared by the PML-N. He said he used to seek guidance from her whenever he faced a problem.

“I have a lost a great friend [in her death],” he said.

Funeral preparations underway

The PML-N announced suspension of political activities for three days and started funeral preparations at Jati Umra where Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif’s mother Begum Shamim Akhtar and their late brother Abbas Sharif’s family reside.

While talking to reporters outside the private hospital on Harley Street in London on Tuesday, Hussain had announced: “My mother died at 11:15am (BST).”

He said that during the last few weeks she made very good recovery. He said that her recovery not only helped the doctors to remove the ventilator but also allowed her to be shifted to a room.

“But on Sunday night, her health deteriorated suddenly and she had to be put back on the life support machine,” he said. “However, her condition didn’t improve and she left for her eternal abode today.”

Her body was later shifted to the mortuary of Regent’s Park Mosque where, according to the family sources, her funeral prayers will be offered on Thursday after Zuhr.

In reply to a question about her funeral, Hussain said that arrangements were being worked out and the details would be released to the media as soon as they were finalised. “It is not a long time since she breathed her last. We are working on the arrangements for her funeral prayers and will inform the media soon,” he reiterated.

To condole with her sons, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, on her death, some party workers gathered outside the hospital where various TV channels of Pakistan did live transmissions.

Later in the evening, family sources confirmed to the media that Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s funeral prayers would be offered at the Regent’s Park mosque and her body would be flown to Lahore by a PIA flight after completion of legal formalities involving death certificate from the hospital and relevant permission from the coroner allowing the family to take the body out of the UK.

Relatives meet Nawaz, Maryam

Hours after her death, Shahbaz Sharif flew from Lahore to Rawalpindi and went straight from Benazir Bhutto International Airport to Adiala jail to meet his brother Nawaz and niece Maryam for condolence. He also discussed with the former premier matters pertaining to shifting of her body and their release on parole for her burial.

Shahbaz remained with his brother for about an hour and discussed the schedule of her burial before flying back to Lahore.

Other relatives Hamza Shahbaz, Maryam’s daughter Mehrun Nisa and son-in-law Raheel Munir, Suleman Shahbaz, and Abbas Sharif’s family members also visited the jail to condole with the daughter and spouse of Begum Kulsoom. Besides, some PML-N leaders including Senator Chaudhry Tanveer and former federal minister Tariq Fazal Chaudhry also met the Sharifs in the jail.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed to facilitate the shifting of the body for burial and release of Nawaz and Maryam on parole.

“The prime minister has already directed the relevant authorities to facilitate their release on parole in accordance with the law,” Chaudhry said.

Meanwhile, it is yet to be decided whether Hassan and Hussain would return to attend the funeral prayers of their mother in Lahore. “No decision in this regard has been taken yet. Hassan and Hussain will themselves decide about their return to the country,” said former law minister of Punjab Rana Sanaullah.

A source in the PML-N said it was unlikely that Nawaz’s sons would return in the face of corruption cases against them. “Both of them have already been declared proclaimed offenders, therefore, they will not be advised by their father to return,” he said.

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Via DAWN.com

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