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KHI 04-12-2011_Layout 1 12/4/2011 1:44 AM Page 1 Rs22.00 Vol II No 158 27 Pages Karachi — Edition Gilani’s lucrative package for PPP MPAs attracts few PM announces development funds of Rs 70m each, arms licence and job quotas to rake in frustrated MPs g Only 60 MPAs turn up at meeting, Friday’s dinner g LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani addresses PPP MPAs at Governor’s House. LAHore I NAsiR Butt N a desperate effort to inveigle back party dissidents and annoyed legislators in Punjab Assembly, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Saturday announced a lucrative package with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani using his executive powers to announce funds of Rs 70 million for each PPP MPA in the provincial assembly from federal resources. The provincial MPAs have already been allocated Rs 20 million each by the federal government. The prime minister made this announcement while chairing a meeting of provincial PPP leaders at the Punjab Governor’s House. Responding to demands of PPP lawmakers from Punjab who complained of not having granted funds by the Punjab government to initiate development funds in their respective constituencies, Gilani formally announced a package, per which the PM directed Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to release Rs 70 million each to all MPAs belonging to the PPP for development projects. Moreover, the PPP lawmakers from Punjab have been granted a job quota in the federal departments to muster support within the electorate. Sources said Gilani assured the MPAs that the government would remove their reservations regarding affairs of their constituencies and the federal departments would also recruit people nominated by MPAs from across the country. It was also learnt that PPP provincial lawmakers would be given arms licence quota as well, as the premier assured PPP members that their demand for the approval of five prohibited bore weapons and 10 non-prohibited bore weapon licenses would be considered. Directing the authorities concerned for early completion of federal government development projects in the province, the PM directed the ministers of water and power, petroleum, interior, chairman Pakistan Baitul Maal and chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme to remain available each month in Lahore and solve the problems faced by the lawmakers. The sources said the PPP leaders harshly criticised the provincial bureaucracy in the meeting. Later, the PPP members of the Punjab Assembly expressed their confidence in the leadership of president and prime minister. However, sources said the PPP Punjab parliamentary party, which is facing an upheaval within its ranks, had again failed to gather its MPAs at the much-hyped meeting chaired by the PM. Party sources said only 60 PPP members of the Punjab Assembly attended the meeting and the same number of lawmakers was at the dinner hosted by Punjab Governor Latif Khosa on Friday. Besides dissidents and annoyed lawmakers, former provincial ministers Ashraf Sohna and Dr Tanvirul Islam also remained absent from the meeting. One of the annoyed PPP lawmakers told Pakistan Today on condition of anonymity that the disgruntled leaders avoided the meeting to express their anger and disappointment with the PPP leadership. He said all such earlier meetings had proved futile, as only shallow promises were made by the party high ups. The PPP leader said several party mates were ready to “fly” to any other political party and were waiting for an appropriate time. He said Shah Mehmood Qureshi had the support of around nine members that could increase if the party leadership did not take preventive measures. On the other hand, Governor House sources said 90 PPP MPAs had attended the meeting, while PPP Deputy Parliamentary Leader in Punjab Assembly Shaukat Basra claimed the attendance of 104. MPAs Dr Akhtar Malik and Muhammad Abbas Raan also boycotted the meeting. When Raan was contacted, he said they had an informal meeting on Friday but a majority of likeminded MPAs was in favour of revealing themselves at an appropriate time. To a question about an expected disciplinary action from party, he said they were ready to face the music and if the party moved against them, they would be free to defend themselves at all forums. About the announcement made by the PM, he said such announcements had been made several times earlier as well, but were never fulfilled. Sunday, 4 December, 2011 Muharram-ul-Haram 8, 1433 Pakistan stalling talks with Taliban, alleges Karzai Bonn Clinton fails to convince Gilani AFP Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused Pakistan, which is boycotting an international conference on Afghanistan starting Monday in Bonn, of sabotaging all negotiations with the Taliban. “Up until now, they have sadly refused to back efforts for negotiations with the Taliban,” Karzai told Der Spiegel weekly in comments reported in German and due to be published on Monday. The Bonn meeting will seek to chart a course for Afghanistan after the NATO withdrawal, but a boycott by Pakistan has dealt a stinging blow to hopes for a roadmap. Pakistan is seen as vital to any prospect of stability in the war-ravaged country but Islamabad pulled out after the killing of 24 soldiers in NATO airstrikes on two checkposts a week ago, although sources close to the German Foreign Ministry said it would be kept informed of progress at the conference. AppeAl: Karzai also appealed for continued aid to his war-ravaged nation after 2014 – when NATO troops are due to pull out. Stressing that Afghanistan will be “more than ever on the frontline,” he said, “If we fail in this war, which threatens all of us, it will mean a return to the situation before 9/11.” The Afghan leader conceded that “sadly we have not been able to provide security and stability to all Afghans, this is our greatest failure”. Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul on Saturday appealed for international support for his country after NATO troops pull out. “After 2014, we will continue to need long-term support from our friends in the international community,” Rasoul said at a discussion forum in Bonn. His German counterpart Guido Westerwelle vowed at the forum that the world would not abandon Afghanistan, while also stressing the importance of the role of women in the county, where they Monitoring desk: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and asked him to attend Bonn Conference, Geo News reported on Saturday. During the telephonic conversation, Clinton said the US respected Pakistan’s sovereignty, adding that Pak-US relations should not be affected after the NATO attacks on Pakistani checkposts. The prime minister told the top US diplomat about the decisions taken by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet and the Parliamentary Committee on National Security on the issue. currently face major discrimination. In an interview to appear in Sunday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Westerwelle again voiced his regret over the Pakistani boycott of the conference, which will gather delegates from 100 nations. “Pakistan has more to gain from a stable and peaceful Afghanistan than any of its neighbours,” he said. Mansoor Ijaz now says Haqqani says Ijaz has Zardari planned memo become habitual accuser Monitoring Desk Monitoring Desk American businessman of Pakistani origin, Mansoor Ijaz has come out with new claims regarding the controversial memo, saying the plan to send the memo was made by President Asif Ali Zardari. In a telephonic interview with a TV channel, Ijaz claimed that Zardari had given complete authority to former ambassador to US, Husain Haqqani to handle the memo. The man at the centre of the controversy in Pakistan went a step further claiming that both President Zardari and former Ambassador Haqqani had prior information about the US raid in Abbottabad to eliminate Osama Bin Laden. White house denies: However, in a late night statement, the White House denied that President Zardari and Haqqani knew in advance about the raid, saying the operation was too sensitive to be shared with Pakistan. Ijaz also accepted his involvement in back-channel diplomacy, particularly between the governments of Pakistan and India on Kashmir and nuclear proliferation. He claimed this in his article due to be published on December 5 in a US magazine. Ijaz has also provided an analysis about the recent infamous memo controversy in his article and said Haqqani had tried other interlocutors to deliver the memo to Admiral Mike Mullen and had been refused. Former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani on Saturday said that Mansoor Ijaz had contracted a habit of leveling new allegations daily, and no one among the Pakistani leadership had prior knowledge of the US raid in Abbottabad, Geo News reported. “Ijaz might say tomorrow that President Zardari and Husain Haqqani were responsible for World War II,” Haqqani said, adding that by making such baseless claims, Ijaz was revealing his “true agenda”. In a press release, Haqqani also clarified a comment taken from his telephonic interview with a TV channel the other day, saying he had merely explained that it was not treason under US law for an American citizen to send a memo to his government, whereas it was objectionable for a Pakistani to seek involvement of a foreign government in Pakistani affairs, “which I as a Pakistani citizen never tried to do”. Haqqani has also written to the editor of Daily Beast/Newsweek in response to Mansoor Ijaz’s article “ An Insider’s Analysis of Pakistan’s Memogate”. He categorically rejected as reckless, baseless and false the allegations levied against him by Mansoor Ijaz about having prior knowledge of US plans for raiding Abbottabad. “Unless Newsweek retracts the article by Mr Ijaz, and his impugning of my patriotism and loyalty to Pakistan, I intend legal action to right the wrongs done to me by these outrageous allegations,” he said. an insider analysis of Pakistan’s ‘MeMogate’ Mansoor Ijaz, a key player in the controversy, offers his interpretation of the actions of Islamabad’s erstwhile ambassador in Washington—actions that led to an uproar full article PAGE 16 in Pakistan and the envoy’s ouster

E-paper Pakistantoday KHI 4th December, 2011

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