Thursday, 17 May, 2018 I Ramzan 1, 1439 I Rs 20.00 I Vol VIII No 319 I 20 Pages I Lahore Edition
Punjab, KP ‘Powerless’ for hours after massive breaKdown g
NAtIoNAl grId suFFErs shortFAll oF 4,000 MEgAwAtts AFtEr trIppINg oF MAIN trANsMIssIoN lINEs IN puNjAb ANd Kp
MINIstEr tElls NA hE hAs ordErEd AN INquIry INto tEchNIcAl brEAKdowN At tArbElA plANt
Nawaz ready to ‘spill more beans’ as party ‘advises’ caution Nawaz, Maryam to record statements in Avenfield case tomorrow STORIES ON PAGE 02
NAB chief gets more time to appear before NA body STORY ON PAGE 02
Ex-generals record statements with FIA in Asghar Khan case STORY ON PAGE 10
fiqah-e-hanfia sehr 3:31 aM
owEr supply in several cities in punjab and Khyber pakhtunkhwa (Kp) was gradually restored following a massive breakdown that caused the national grid to suffer a shortfall of 4,000 megawatts, resulting in power outages across punjab and Kp since wednesday morning. A statement issued by wApdA said, “the electricity transmission system, which split into North and south due to tripping today at 9:28am resulting in electricity supply failure to punjab and Kp areas, was restored at 5:13 pm (7:45 hours) with major power generation plants gradually increasing their input in the national grid.” According to the initial report,
the 500 kV transmission line guddu 747-raheem yar Khan tripped at 09:28 am and at the same time, 500 kV guddu-dg Khan transmission line also tripped. As a result, the load increased on 500 kV guddu-Muzaffargarh transmission line from 733 Mw/ 72 MVAr to 1559 Mw/ 717 MVAr as recorded at 500 kV Muzaffargarh end. this line also tripped at resulting in under frequency on a system within 5 seconds. resultantly, under frequency schemes came in action and frequency again improved, wApdA said. “Meanwhile, some other power stations also tripped perhaps due to frequency fluctuation/ jerk and cascade tripping started in the northern part from guddu to peshawar. the system went under partial failure from guddu to peshawar when frequency decayed
down,” the statement said. “the southern part of the country from guddu onward, however, remained normal during the entire day which includes sindh and balochistan areas,” it said. As soon as the partial supply failure was reported, the National transmission and despatch company’s (Ntdc) ground teams were immediately mobilized to check the high transmission lines. power division also notified an enquiry committee headed by Additional secretary waseem Mukhtar to ascertain the causes of tripping, the process of restoration and suggestions for system to avoid such incident in the future. the additional secretary will be assisted by three experts as member of the committee.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 03
ATC takes up Mumbai attacks case after Nawaz questions delay
STORY ON PAGE 03
Govt challenges Imran Khan’s acquittal in SSP torture case
STORY ON PAGE 02
iftar 6:54 pM
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iftar 7:04 pM
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
Nawaz rEady to ‘SPIll morE bEaNS’ aS Party ‘advISES’ CautIoN DEPOSED PM SAYS WILL SOON REVEAL PM ABBASI AND PUNJAB CM SHEHBAZ ‘ADVISE’ NAMES OF THOSE BEHIND PTI-PAT NAWAZ TO TAKE IT EASY, AVOID CONFRONTATION SIT-IN PROTESTS IN ISLAMABAD WITH MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT ISLAMABAD
RIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif met their party’s supreme leader, deposed premier Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday and “advised” him not to escalate confrontation with the military establishment, hours after the latter announced that he will now name those responsible for the 2014 sit-in. According to reports, Abbasi and the younger Sharif ‘advised’ Nawaz to refrain from issuing harsh remarks against the establishment. The move came after the deposed PM refused to retract his remarks on the Mumbai attacks and is now reportedly digging in his heels over requests for rapprochement with the state institutions. Talking to reporters outside the accountability court after attending the AlAzizia corruption reference hearing,
Nawaz said “everything will be revealed soon”. The former PM was asked whether the two parties — Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) — had staged the protests themselves or were ‘directed’ to. The PML-N Quaid further said the secrets behind the 2014 sit-in will be revealed and criticised the opposition PTI for lacking an ideology. “When the time is right, I will reveal who was behind the 2014 incident,” Nawaz added. “PTI as a party waits for the umpire’s finger,” he said, in a clear jibe towards PTI chief Imran Khan. “There is no concept of respecting of the vote in that party.” Interestingly, Nawaz dodged a question regarding the support of his younger brother, Shehbaz. Nawaz was asked whether Shehbaz is with him, but he chose to ignore the question. Shehbaz is the chief minister of Punjab and took the reins of the party after Nawaz was barred by the Supreme
Court from holding party office due to his disqualification from Parliament in the Panama Papers case last year. Soon after the deposed PM returned to Punjab House from the judicial complex, PM Abbasi and Shehbaz Sharif called on him. Sources said that Nawaz refused to budge from his stance, and the two senior PML-N leaders had to return emptyhanded. According to media reports, the former PM is annoyed with PM Abbasi for not voicing support for him when the declaration of the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting regarding the Mumbai attacks was being drafted. “Nawaz expressed his annoyance when Abbasi met him on Monday to take him into confidence regarding the press release that was to be issued from the NSC forum,” said the report, adding that Abbasi held the press conference to ‘balance the equation’ in a bid to appease Nawaz. In the same presser, the
premier denied that NSC condemned Nawaz’s statement, saying the meeting ‘actually condemned Indian media’s propaganda’ and misreporting in the media. The NSC had unanimously rejected all the allegations and condemned the fallacious assertions raised by the Nawaz Sharif regarding the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Shehbaz-led PML-N had also termed Nawaz’s remarks against the party policy, but Nawaz continued to stick to his stance. On May 12, Nawaz, during an interview with a local English daily, had said: “Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?” “We have isolated ourselves. Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan’s narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it,” he added. His remarks were immediately picked up by Indian media, which termed the former prime minister’s statement as a confession of Pakistan’s role in the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.
NAB chief gets more time to appear before NA committee NA COMMITTEE DIRECTS JUSTICE (R) IQBAL TO APPEAR BEFORE IT ON MAY 22 AFTER CHIEF’S NO SHOW ‘DUE TO PRIOR COMMITMENTS’ PTI AND MQM-P MEMBERS OPPOSE COMMITTEE’S DECISION TO SUMMON NAB CHIEF, SAY HE DID NOTHING WRONG BY ORDERING PROBE AGAINST NAWAZ ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal on Wednesday sought more time to appear before the National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Law and Justice for questioning related to his decision to initiate an inquiry against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on the basis of a ‘flimsy’ newspaper column alleging the latter of laundering money to India. Accepting the request submitted by NAB representative Irfan Naeem Mangi, the NA committee asked the chairman to appear before it on May 22. The response submitted on behalf of the NAB chief stated that Justice (r) Iqbal has prior commitments therefore he cannot appear before the committee on Wednesday. However, the committee declined the request and directed the NAB chief to review his decision. However, later in the day, the committee directed him to appear before it this Friday but later
changed the date to May 22, Tuesday. Members belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) had opposed the committee’s decision to summon the chairman, with their lawmakers arguing that Iqbal had done nothing wrong by ordering an inquiry in the allegations. Minister for State Tallal Chaudhry explained that the purpose of summoning the chairman was not to disrespect anyone but to find out what the procedure of issuing a press release is. PTI MNA Arif Alvi remarked that the NAB chief should not be insulted like this and claimed he was being pressured by the ruling lawmakers. The NA committee, headed by a PML-N lawmaker from Sahiwal, Chaudhry Mohammad Ashraf, had summoned the NAB chief hours after the issue was raised by Rana Hayat Khan while speaking on a point of order in the house. The matter had been referred to the committee by former law minister Zahid Hamid, who was presiding over the session at that time.
Meanwhile, a meeting of PML-N’s leaders at Punjab House condemned the NAB chairman’s no-show. Last week, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had criticised NAB on the floor of the National Assembly for its “faux pas” over the alleged $4.9 billion money laundering to India by Sharif. According to the complaint, NAB said it would investigate the World Bank’s migration and remittance book, released in September 2016, that carried information that the foreign exchange reserves of India increased by $4.9bn after the amount was laundered to the country by the then government. However, the World Bank had promptly responded to the NAB statement, saying: “the report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals”. The State Bank of Pakistan had also said that the estimates showed in the WB report were based on “assumptions” which did not reflect the reality. Lashing out at the NAB chairman for ordering a probe merely on the basis of a media report, the prime minister had asked NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq to constitute a special committee to summon the NAB chairman and seek an explanation. PML-N’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif has also called for the NAB chairman to either apologise for the blunder or resign. Justice (r) Iqbal, however, has remained adamant in continuing his work as the bureau’s head. “NAB is not in panic and is not afraid,” he had said previously.
ECP chief rules out interference of ‘aliens’ in 2018 polls ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan on Wednesday made it clear that no interference will be tolerated in upcoming elections, will repeat the process of delimitation again if required. Addressing in a ceremony in Lahore, Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan said that it is the prime responsibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold fair and free elections. DROs have to play an important role in conducting fair and free elections. He said that election staff will be provided full security in the upcoming polls of 2018. “The elections are very vital for country’s prosperity and future and we will hold them in strict adherence to the constitution,” he said. He underlined that the judiciary is a transparent institution and that is the reason DROs were appointed from among the judiciary. The ECP chief reiterated that no intervention will be tolerated in the polls and all the election staff would be provided due security. On the occasion, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob said that no delay in the general elections will be tolerated, ruling out the interference of “aliens”. ECP has prepared a code of conduct for foreign observers in the upcoming general elections. The election commission said that foreign observers can come to Pakistan for four to six weeks. ECP said that the foreign ministry will issue instructions regarding visa for foreign missions. The election commission has also extended the deadline for submission of applications by political parties and electoral alliances for election symbol till May 25.However, the ECP notified that the applications submitted before the previous deadline of May 15 would not be considered and advised all such parties and alliances to submit fresh applications because incomplete applications or requests through fax will not be entertained. STAFF REPORT
IHC moved against Imran’s acquital in SSP torture case ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday challenged a verdict of an antiterrorism court that acquitted PTI chief Imran Khan in a case pertaining to the manhandling of then SSP Islamabad (Operations) Asmatullah Junejo during the 2014 sit-in in Islamabad. The state through the Islamabad advocate general filed an appeal in the IHC, naming the PTI chief and ATC judge as respondents. In the appeal, the high court has been pleaded to set aside the May 4 verdict. On May 4, Judge Shahrukh Arjumand gave the verdict on an application of the PTI chairman seeking acquittal in the case for want of evidence. The PTI chief filed an application under section 265-K of CrPC, requesting the court to acquit him in the case for lack of evidence. Police had booked Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri along with their supporters in a number of cases during the 2014 sit-in calling for the resignation of the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. STAFF REPORT
Nawaz, Maryam to record statements in Avenfield case on Friday ACCOUNTABILITY COURT HANDS OVER QUESTIONNAIRE TO DEPOSED PM, OTHER ACCUSED FOR PREPARING THEIR RESPONSES FOR NEXT HEARING SLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam, and son-in-law Capt (r) Muhammad Safdar will record their statement in the Avenfield properties reference on Friday. The orders were given by the accountability court as it resumed hearing the corruption cases against the former premier and his family. Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir observed that the accused will be given a questionnaire during Wednesday’s hearing with regards to their recording of statements on Friday. At the last hearing, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi had pleaded the court to record the statement of Nawaz and his family in the Avenfield case. After Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris and Abbasi completed their arguments on the re-
NAWAZ’S COUNSEL BEGINS CROSS-EXAMINATION OF NAB WITNESS WAJID ZIA IN AL-AZIZIA REFERENCE quest, the court reserved its verdict on the plea. It ruled later that it would prepare a questionnaire on Wednesday to be presented to the accused as a prelude to recording their statement. Moreover, during Wednesday hearing, Nawaz’s counsel began the cross-examining of the prosecution’s star witness, Wajid Zia in the Al-Azizia reference. Zia, an additional director at the Federal Investigation Agency, headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family’s assets last year. Nawaz and his daughter Maryam were present in the accountability court. The hearing of the Al Azizia reference was then adjourned until Monday, when the cross-examination will continue. At the last hearing, Zia had completed recording his statement in the accountability court. Zia has previously testified against the Sharif family in Avenfield reference, over which Harris cross-examined him for 10 days. The Al Azizia Steel Mills reference is among three filed against
former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family by the NAB last year on the Supreme Court’s directives. The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London. NAB had earlier filed interim references in all three cases and later added supplementary references to them with new evidence and witnesses. Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only. The court originally had a deadline of six months which ended in mid-March but was extended for two months after the judge requested the apex court. Later, on May 9, the trial court’s second plea for a deadline extension was approved by the Supreme Court which gave a month to both sides to finish the corruption cases.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
atC takES uP mumbaI attaCkS CaSE aftEr Nawaz quEStIoNS dElay ISLAMABAD
N anti-terrorism court on Wednesday summoned the last two Pakistani prosecution witnesses and directed government officials to submit details regarding the availability of 27 Indian witnesses in the next hearing “so as to conclude the trial expeditiously”, as it resumed the hearing of the 2008 Mumbai attacks case. The Mumbai attacks reemerged in headlines recently after ousted premier Nawaz Sharif on Saturday, in a controversial interview with a local English daily, had asked: “Why can’t we complete the trial?” The case is being tried in the ATC since 2009. On Wednesday, Dera Ghazi Khan District Police Officer Sohail Habib Tajik recorded his statement before ATC Judge Shahrukh Arjumand. The statements of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director General Wajid Zia and another official, Zahid Akhter, are pending. The prosecutors sought adjournment
in the hearing due to other engagements, to which the court ordered Akhter to appear in the next hearing, while Zia was summoned on May 23. The prosecution completed the testimonies of 68 Pakistani witnesses last year. The court “observed with concern that since January 2016 upon the request of the prosecution, government functionaries sitting at the helm of affairs were directed repeatedly for producing 27 Indian nationals so as to give evidence in
the case, but till date no serious and final response has been given by the government”. “Now the case is in the final stages and only statements of two Pakistani officials have to be recorded, therefore, notice be served upon DG FIA, secretary of Interior and secretary for Foreign Affairs for submitting their final and concrete response in the court qua the availability of 27 Indian nationals so as to conclude the trial expeditiously,” the court order stated.
Punjab, KP ‘powerless’ for hours after massive breakdown contInueD froM pAge 01 Clarifying on the reports that electricity demand had surpassed the supply, the power regulator clarified that before the tripping occurred, the system was having surplus electricity as compared to the demand, therefore, the temporary load shedding was purely associated with system fault. Earlier reports stated that the breakdown occurred when the Tarbela, Mangla and Ghazi Barotha (GB) power plants tripped, apparently due to technical faults in the main transmission line. It was reported by the power plant officials that the sudden blackout had affected various cities, including Lahore, Multan and Bahawalpur. Moreover, in KP, it had affected cities like Peshawar, Swat and Lakki Marwat. Other cities including Vehari, Sahiwal, Rahim Yar Khan, Kasur and Faisalabad were also deprived of electric power, while some parts of KP experienced a 10minute breakdown. Around noon, the Power Division stated that electricity was completely restored in Multan and 80 per cent of Islamabad, with reparation work underway. The division’s spokesperson added that the Ghazi-Barotha hydel plant was also back online. Later, there were reports of intermittent electricity in Peshawar but none in Lahore. The blackout also disturbed the proceedings of Punjab Assembly, with opposition members protesting against the government for its failure to fix the country’s power system. The breakdown also affected the operations at the already-troubled New Islamabad International Airport. According to reports, the offices of airlines, baggage handling and the Airport Security Force base camp, among other areas, were devoid of power. The loss of power also caused misery for patients and attendants at Rawalpindi’s Benazir Bhutto Hospital, with the public hospital’s generators also failing to give a backup supply of electricity. MINISTER ORDERS INQUIRY INTO
Imran says Nawaz promoting PtI by his ‘love fest with modi’ ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Wednesday taunted deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif by saying Nawaz was in fact campaigning for his party through the ‘love fest’ with Indian PM Narendra Modi. In a sarcastic tweet, the PTI chief said, “I appreciate Nawaz campaigning for PTI through his now-obvious love fest with Modi, to save his corruption and business interests.” “I am alarmed that at the rate he is speaking Modi's language, PTI may not be able to take in the massive exodus from
BREAKDOWN: While addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday, Power Minister Awais Leghari said that the situation was under control in Islamabad. However, it will take a couple of hours before the power system is fully restored, he added. The minister said that the inquiry report into the breakdown, headed by the division’s additional secretary, will be completed by Wednesday evening. Furthermore, Power Division secretary along with the required teams reached the site to fix the fault. The secretary was present at the National Power Control Centre to monitor the situation closely. No proper timeline, however, had been given as to when the repairs were expected to finish from his end. A spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Commission said that the tripping of lines from the Tarbela plant caused all four Chashma Nuclear Power Plants to trip as well. It was also reported that the present energy demand of the country was around 20,000 megawatts. On the other hand, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed had pointed out that there were plans to add 50,000 megawatts of electricity to the system by 2025. About the power outages in Karachi, the minister said the situation had improved following the intervention of the prime minister. In terms of restoration of power, the Power Divison official stated that the National Transmission and Despatch Company’s (NTDC) 500KVA main transmission line had developed some faults due to which five distribution companies (Discos) in the north had been disturbed. According to reports, 60-70 per cent of electricity was restored in the capital by the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco). However, following this restoration, Mangla was energised and suspended again. The official said that Ghazi Barotha had been synchronised and connected to the national grid.
PML-N,” he added. Since a number of exPML-N leaders were joining PTI, Imran mocked the ruling party by saying that his party may not be able to take in the massive exodus from the PML-N. He criticised Nawaz for 'speaking Modi's language' and being a security threat for the country. It should be noted that Nawaz Sharif is under fire from his opponents following his controversial statement on the 2008 Mumbai attacks. His statement was unanimously rejected by the National Security Committee, which termed it "incorrect and misleading". However, he himself ‘rejected’ the statement issued by NSC in a press talk later on. Following the NSC statement, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had clarified at a press conference that Nawaz's remarks were misquoted in the media. STAFF REPORT
“The response of said three senior government representatives duly signed by them personally shall reach this court till next date,” it added. The Pakistani government had contacted Indian authorities in Jan 2016, asking them to send the witnesses to Pakistan to testify against the Mumbai attacks suspects, including the alleged mastermind. Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and the other suspects — Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younus Anjum — are being tried by the ATC in Islamabad since 2009. In August last year, the FIA also arrested Sufyan Zafar, the alleged financier of the attack. The lone surviving attacker, Kasab, was caught injured and was executed by India in 2012 before he could record his statement in front of Pakistani investigators. In September 2016, India finally agreed to share the material evidence. At the time of the attacks, Lakhvi was believed to be the operational head of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that has been accused by India of carrying out the attacks in India’s financial hub. Lakhvi along with Zarar Shah was al-
ATC JUDGE SUMMONS LAST TWO PAKISTANI WITNESSES TO RECORD STATEMENTS SO THAT ‘TRIAL MAY CONCLUDE EXPEDITIOUSLY’ ORDERS GOVT TO INFORM IT ABOUT AVAILABILITY OF 27 INDIAN NATIONALS SO THAT IT CAN PROCEED FURTHER IN THE CASE legedly the key planner of the attack that killed 166 people. Though a prime suspect in the case, the Lahore High Court had released Lakhvi on post-arrest bail in 2015 after he furnished Rs2 million in surety bonds. The Indian government lodged a strong protest over his release, however, the Pakistani authorities asked India to provide incriminating evidence against him so that he can be held in jail and tried effectively. Meanwhile, Lakhvi’s request for exemption from appearing in court on Wednesday was accepted by the judge.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
WEATHER UPDATES THURSDAY
Govt fails to regulate Hindu marriages LAHORE ihSaN QaDir
The Punjab Assembly, which is about to complete its constitutional tenure on May 31, has failed to frame rules of business to regulate the marriages of the province’s Hindu community, Pakistan Today learnt Wednesday. Amarnath Randhawa, President of Hindu Sudhar Subah, an nGO working for the rights of Hindu minorities, expressed frustration over the issue and lamented that the Punjab Assembly was tasked to frame the rules of business through the Law Department but had failed to do so. “nothing has been changed. Hindus like always are unable to register their marriages and there is no legal assistance available for them as of yet,” he said. He lamented that the Punjab Assembly was about to complete its term but the rulers had not paid heed to a genuine issue being faced by the Hindu community. According to him, it was unfortunate that the Sikh Marriage Act was passed by the assembly even though Sikhs were small in number as compared to the Hindus. It may be noted that the Punjab Assembly unanimously passed the Punjab Sikhs Anand Karaj Marriages Act 2017 in March 2018 to provide legal status to Sikh marriages in the province and it was tabled by Sikh Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora. It effectively repealed the Anand Marriage Act, 1909, that was passed
under the british rule. Hindu MPA Kanji Ram said he made untiring efforts to frame rules of business in the Punjab Assembly for regulating marriages of the Hindu community. “The Punjab Assembly had no time for Hindus who make around 10 million of the country’s total population, but they had time for Sikhs, the number of whom in Punjab is only 5,000,” he said. The lawmaker said rules of business were necessary for the operational structure and functioning of the bill and in their absence, marriages of Hindu women were not officially registered and they could not have their own national Identity Cards (nICs). He said that Sindh had framed its own laws for regulating the marriages of the Hindus but Punjab had done nothing. It is worth mentioning here that the national Assembly passed the landmark Hindu Marriage Act 2017 on March 21, 2017, which was the first elaborate personal law of the Hindu community. It pertains to marriage, registration of marriage, separation and remarriage, with the minimum age of marriage set at 18 years for both boys and girls. The law paved way for a document ‘Shadi Parath’ on the pattern and similar to the ‘nikahnama’ for Muslims to be signed by a pundit and registered with the relevant government department. However, the absence of rules of business has made it hard for the Hindus, especially women, to regulate their marriages.
Religion, science can exist in their domains without clashing: Hoodbhoy LAHORE Staff report
Renowned nuclear physicist, activist distinguished Forman Christian College professor Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy on Wednesday said that there was no danger to religion from science, and therefore both could exist in their own domains without clashing. Speaking on “Science and Reason in the Age of Unreason” held at the Centre for Governance and Policy of Information Technology University (ITU), Hoodbhoy said that Ibne Khaldun was the last great Muslim scientist 700 years ago and after him the Muslims never engaged with science as with the beginning of the fourteenth century the Islamic world came under the sway of religious scholars who disregard and disparage science. He gave a broad historical overview of the development of science in the world and said that Muslims were world leaders in science. “It was led initially by translation efforts, but soon enlightened Caliphs made the Islamic world the centre for the world’s knowledge,” he exclaimed. He charted the development of science in South Asia by noting that despite the fact the Mughals were very rich and made magnificent buildings, they did not promote the study of science. “The king liked the telescope and used it, but never wondered how it was made,” he said while underscoring the need for curiosity and learning. He also said that Hindus in South Asia excelled in science and especially mathematics was that the Muslims, who were the
rulers, were not interested in it, and therefore left it to others. “The fault is our own, we never wanted to engage with science,” he said. Speaking about the vision and works of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and the Aligarh movement, Professor Hoodbhoy said that Sir Syed showed that one could both be a good Muslim and still be rational as he emphasised that if the realms of religion and science were kept separate then there was no clash between the two. Discussing the present scenario, he decried the state of science research, learning and teaching in Pakistan and added, “It was not that we never engaged with science as in 1973 our institutions had an excellent group of scientists, but later on science was relegated to the background and pseudo-science and religiously oriented science was promoted.” “The mixing of science and religion under General Ziaul Haq was the deathknell for the disciple in Pakistan,” he argued. “We need to change our approach to science for it to develop and flourish in Pakistan,” he emphasised. Professor Hoodbhoy further elaborated the rise of anti-science moments all around the world, especially in the United States and India. “In the US the number of people who believe in evolution is decreasing, while in India people now believe that there was plastic surgery in the Vedic age,” he exclaimed. This lack of scientific approach and rationality, he argued, was the result of rapid sociological and technological change that has led to a certain kind of group thinking and herd mentality.
photo: Zubair MehfooZ
CM inaugurates OLMt’s test run CALLS ON MASSES TO AVENGE IMRAN KHAN’S ACTIONS IN UPCOMING ELECTIONS
VOWS TO END PTI CHIEF’S POLITICAL CAREER
UnjAb Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday inaugurated the test run of Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT). The chief minister aboard the metro train from the Islam Park station and participated in the test run that successfully concluded at Laxmi Chowk. He was accompanied by the Chinese consul general, ministers, assembly members and a large number of people. Speaking at the occasion, Shehbaz said that OLMT in Lahore was a glowing and immortal example of PakistanChina friendship. “Lahore has become the pioneer of this mass transit project and had Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) not created hurdles in the public welfare project, hundreds of thousands of people would have been benefitting from it already,” he said. The chief minister said that the Pakistan Muslim League-nawaz (PML-n) government had taken a number of steps for providing cost-effective, qualitative and comfortable traveling facilities to the people. “OMLT and metro bus projects have been completed for the common man,” he said and criticised Imran Khan for not reforming the education and healthcare sectors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). “now, the people have to take revenge of Imran Khan’s undue delay in this public welfare project by drowning PTI’s ship in the upcoming elections,” said the PML-n president while adding that he would put the PTI chief’s “political career to an end”. He also regretted that people had to face some difficulties due to the construction work of OLMT and added that if an opportunity was accorded after the next general elections then a committee would be constituted to compensate the traders’ losses. Earlier at the occasion, it was in-
formed that the total length of orange line metro’s track was 27.12 kilometers. Out of it, 25.4 kilometers of the track was elevated while 1.72 kilometers had been constructed beneath the ground to protect historical places. OLMT has a total number of 26 stations out of which 24 stations were made at the height of 12 meters whereas the remaining two were constructed underground. It was further told that the number of trains was 27 with five bogies each. Moreover, the train would complete a distance of 27 kilometers – from Ali Town to Dera Gujran –in just 45 minutes. The participants of the gathering were apprised that the train would pass through the congested areas of the city, facilitaing more than 250,000 people on a daily basis and within the next few years, the train would facilitate 500,000 passengers every day. It was told that tendering was done at the start of the project in spite of a government-to-government agreement and Rs69 billion were saved by the Punjab government through post-bidding whereas around Rs6 billion were saved in local tendering in collaboration with the Chinese government. The project was then divided into four packages to expedite the construction work. The metro train track was
being constructed under package-I and II while depot and stabling yard were being constructed under package-III and IV respectively. The construction work for the track started on October 25, 2015, while that for the depot at Dera Gujran and stabling yard in Ali Town started on january 22, 2016. It was further told that up till now, more than 88 per cent construction work had been completed. 94 per cent work of package-I from Dera Gujran to Chauburji, 84 per cent work of package-II from Chauburji to Ali Town, 89 per cent work of package-III depot and 91 per cent work of construction of the package-IV stabling yard had also been completed. The Chinese-made metro train bogies are air-conditioned and comfortable. Each train consists of five bogies and each bogie is 20 meters long with 60 seats. Separate seats have been allocated for women, senior citizens and special persons. 200 passengers can travel in each bogie and public address system has also been installed for the convenience of the passengers. The doors of the electric train are fully automatic and have also been installed at the platform to ensure double safety of the passengers. Installation of electric accelerators is in full swing as well, the officials informed.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
Punjab Assembly passes itness protection bill The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed the Punjab Witness Protection Bill 2018 aiming to protect witnesses in criminal proceedings, including sexual offences and terrorismrelated crimes, and ensure effective and speedy disposal of trials, reported a local English daily. According to the bill, a Witness Protection Board to formulate policy and supervise its implementation would be constituted besides two witness protection units pertaining to offences of terrorism and other serious offences. The units would assess if a victim, witness or any other person related to any case requires protection and would be able to ensure their lodging at a safe house, temporary or permanent relocation, change of identity, concealment of identity for criminal proceedings as well as provision of financial assistance if they are unable to undertake regular employment or when his freedom of movement is severely curtailed. According to the bill, the anonymity of the person would also be maintained. It also specifies rules for reporting of sexual offences and terrorism-related crimes, and states that the identity of a "person connected with an offence of terrorism or a sexual offence" or their family members would not be reported by the media if they are minors or if the court feels that it would affect the case. NeWS DeSK
DHa asks resiDents nOt tO Let servants ‘MingLe’ LAHORE
EFEnCE Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore on Wednesday asked its residents not to allow their drivers and other domestic servants to socially interact with others in the neighbourhood in a bid to “control the increasing number of thefts and other social evils”. In a text message, a screengrab of which has been making rounds on the social media, DHA Security advised the people of the community to bar their “servants to sit outside the houses in groups as they exchange information about owners” and added, “This leads to thefts and other social evils like teasing, staring and clicking the ladies in the streets.” “You are requested to exercise strict control over your servants/drivers in order to curb their habit of sitting in groups which invariably becomes a breeding spot for social crimes,” the message concluded. Speaking to Pakistan Today, human rights’ activist and lawyer Shahzeb bukhari said that the authorities of DHA had violated the right of associa-
OFFICIALS DENY HAVING CIRCULATED SMS ADVISING ‘STRICT CONTROL’ OVER DOMESTIC HELPERS tion of workers that was guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution. Criticising the step, he said that it was nothing but an absurd way to stop crime as it was the right of every person to sit with others and chat. “It is ridiculous to deprive someone of their right because ‘it allegedly leads to crime’,” he said. “A better solution to prevent crime is to promote equality. You won't need to waste resources on policing people if you only give people a better life,” said Shahzeb. Meanwhile, DHA security authorities expressed ignorance – regardless the fact that the message was bulk sent by DHA Security – and said it might have anything to do with the human resource department. However, an official of the authority while speaking to Pakistan Today on the condition of anonymity said that the officials
Research culture can play vital role in promoting education: Dr Nasira LAHORE Staff report
Punjab University (PU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr nasira jabeen on Wednesday said that the varsity would play its role in promotion of research culture as it was necessary for development of the education sector in the country. The PU VC was addressing the 9th post graduate conference organised by Institute of Education and Research at Waheed Shaheed Hall. Faculty of Education Dean Prof Dr Mumtaz Akhtar, Institute
of Education and Research Director Prof Dr Rifaqat Ali Akber, Dr Shahid Farooq, senior faculty members and a large number of young researchers from various parts of the country were present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Dr nasira jabeen said that such positive activities should be encouraged because it gave opportunities to learn from experiences of each other and congratulated the organisers for successfully organising a good academic event. Faculty of Education Dean Prof Dr Mumtaz Akhtar said that the conference had been organised to create conference among MPhil and PhD scholars. Dr Rifaqat Ali Akbar said that research and development played an important role in the development of nations and IER would contribute to the development of the country. He also said that as many as 85 research papers would be presented in the conference.
were trying to make up for their action that had “backfired” following its circulation over social media. They also told that it wasn’t the first time such a text message had been circulated and it was, in fact, a routine. It is pertinent to note here that this isn’t the first time the plight of domestic helpers in Pakistan has been highlighted as numerous cases of violence and maltreatment of domestic helpers have surfaced within the short span of a year. In november 2017, a few pictures
started making rounds on social media which showed a maid being forced to sit in the trunk of a car that was parked in perhaps the most affluent of destinations in Lahore. The scene that was revealed by these pictures is truly heart-wrenching and pitiful. Earlier, the case of Tayyaba, who was allegedly tortured by former additional district and sessions judge (ADSj) Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife was another sorry reminder of the state of affairs of domestic help abuse in the country. Though thankfully, the child was rescued after a suo motu notice by the chief justice of Pakistan, the case is an awful reflection of abuse that domestic helpers receive, even at the hands of the so-called custodians of justice.
06 FOREIGN NEWS
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
FIRST FEMALE TO HEAD CIA
Gina Haspel passes ‘crucial’ senate committee vote JOHN MCCAIN SAYS HASPEL’S APPOINTMENT WILL SEND WRONG MESSAGE ON AMERICA’S TORTURE STANCE WASHINGTON
S President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the CIA has passed a crucial Senate committee vote, all but guaranteeing she will be confirmed as the first female director of the agency. Gina Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran and current acting director of the agency, passed her Senate Intelligence Committee vote easily, with 10 senators in favour and five opposing. Haspel was a controversial choice for CIA director given her involvement in the agency’s post-9/11 interrogation programme. In her Senate confirmation hearing, Haspel refused to disavow techniques previously used by the CIA – such as waterboarding – or to deem them immoral.
But in letters to Democratic senators ahead of the committee vote, Haspel said that the CIA should never have undertaken the interrogation programme and would not return to it under her leadership. The letter convinced Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the vice chair of the intelligence committee, to pledge his support for the nominee. In a statement following the committee vote, he praised Haspel as an independent voice and strong advocate for the agency’s workforce. “Most importantly, I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the president if ordered to do something illegal or immoral – like a return to torture,” he said. Another Democrat on the committee, California Senator Kamala Harris, voted against Haspel, citing concerns about her commitment to transparency. Much of Haspel's three-decade CIA career is classified, and several senators have questioned whether the agency purposefully withheld damaging information about the nominee. Four more Democratic senators – Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Joe Manchin, and Joe Donnelly – have pledged to support Haspel, all but guaranteeing her the Senate majority she
needs to be confirmed. Two Republicans – John McCain and Rand Paul – have said that they will oppose her nomination. McCain, a US navy veteran who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said that confirming Haspel would send the wrong message about America’s position on torture. “Ms Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing,” he said
in a statement. “Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination.” Civil rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have also expressed concern with Haspel’s nomination. In a statement following the committee vote, the ACLU criticised Warner
and committee chair Richard Burr for proceeding to a vote without releasing classified information about Haspel’s role in the interrogation programme. The intelligence committee, the ACLU said, “let Gina Haspel get away with hiding the entirety of her torture record.” Haspel briefly oversaw an American black site prison in Thailand where at least one detainee was waterboarded. In her confirmation hearing, she refused to say whether she had overseen the waterboarding, or had pushed for the expansion of the enhanced interrogation programme. As chief of staff for the clandestine service director in 2005, Haspel also drafted a cable ordering the destruction of nearly 100 videotapes of CIA waterboarding sessions. Haspel and the CIA maintain that her boss at the time, Jose Rodriguez, independently chose to sign and send the cable. A 2011 internal review absolved Haspel of any wrongdoing. The CIA’s interrogation programme has been denounced as torture by multiple foreign governments, United Nations officials, and even former US president Barack Obama. A 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report found the programme was flawed, and that officials portrayed it as more effective than it was.
Palestinians mourn ‘Trump acted more like an enemy than a friend’ killing of loved ones SOFIA
FAMILIES IN GAZA IN SHOCK, MOURNING AFTER ISRAELI ARMY KILLED 62 PEOPLE PROTESTING THEIR RIGHT OF RETURN GAZA STRIP AGENCIES
Nisma Abdelqader is in denial over her 18-year-old son's death. Israeli soldiers shot Bilal alAshram, who was completing his last year of high school, in the head while he was participating in protests in the Gaza Strip, AlJazeera reported. With tears streaming out of her swollen eyes, Nisma described her first-born child as her whole world. "He was my support system," she said. Bilal was the eldest of her eight children and held the family together in the absence of her husband, who has been working in Jordan for the past six years. Nisma said that she tried to prevent Bilal from participating in the mass protests along Gaza's eastern border along the highly militarised fence with Israel. The rallies, which have been ongoing since March 30, call for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to the homes and villages they were forcibly expelled from to create the state of Israel 70 years ago. This ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias in 1948 is known as the Nakba - or catastrophe - and is commemorated annually. While some 750,000 people were forcibly expelled from historical Palestine, many became internal refugees. About 70 percent of the Gaza Strip's population of two million are descendants of Palestinians who became refugees in 1948. They live under a decadelong land, sea and air blockade
and cannot leave the Gaza Strip without hard-to-obtain permits from the Israeli military. Leaving through Egypt - their only other option - is restricted to a few days a year when the Rafah border is open. Since March 30, the Israeli army has killed 111 Palestinians, including an eightmonth-old baby girl who died of tear gas suffocation. More than 12,000 have been wounded since then. A day before he was killed, Bilal wrote on Facebook he was heading to Bir Seb'a, a city in the south of the country that his family was expelled from during the Nakba. "I was very afraid. He was very excited to participate in the protests. When the protests calmed down on May 15 I was relieved. I thought nothing would happen to him," his mother said. "I'm not against the Great March of Return, but I am against losing our boys and our children. We have a right to return, but at the end of the day, these are our children. They are still in the prime of their lives, and the occupation will never show us mercy. "What threat did he pose to the Israeli occupation?" Nisma said during her son's funeral in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Under international humanitarian law, it is illegal for soldiers to use live ammunition in situations that do not constitute an imminent threat to life. Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, said Israel has violated international law in its response to the protests. In Gaza, “where you have soldiers firing live ammunition at many feet away at people separated by a buffer zone who are at most throwing rocks, or even Molotov cocktails as Israel claims, at a long distance, that would not meet the standards of an imminent threat to life," Shakir told Al Jazeera.
The European Union's top official launched a stinging attack on Wednesday on President Donald Trump, slamming his capricious assertiveness and saying the US leader acted more like an enemy than a friend. EU president Donald Tusk lashed out at Trump over his decisions to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and to impose trade tariffs on Europe, which have caused a transatlantic rift. Tusk even compared the US administration to Europe's traditional foes Moscow and Beijing in his broadside, which came as the 28 EU leaders met in Bulgaria to discuss how best to react to Trump. "Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think with friends like that who needs enemies,” Tusk told reporters. "But frankly speaking, Europe
should be grateful to President Trump, because thanks to him, we have got rid of all illusions. He has made us realise that if you need a helping hand you will find one at the end of your arm,” the European Council president added. The transatlantic rift has hijacked the agenda of a summit on Thursday at which the EU leaders will meet their Balkan counterparts in a bid to foster closer ties and keep Russia out of their backyard. European ministers met with a top Iranian official in Brussels on Tuesday in a bid to save the Iranian nuclear accord after Trump decided to pull out. Meanwhile, the EU is still trying to win exemptions from tariffs on steel and aluminium exports. Tusk called for more unity in the divided EU -- which is set to lose Britain as a member next year -- to face the growing challenges. "Besides the traditional political challenges such as the rise of China or the aggressive stance of Russia, we are
witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration," Tusk said. "I have no doubt that in the new global game, Europe will either be one of the major players, or a pawn. This is the only real alternative." The 28 leaders will also discuss the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza after Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, in another move that the Europeans had strongly opposed. Tusk said he wanted the European leaders to "reconfirm" that they will stay in the Iran deal, as long as Tehran respects it – although Europe must now find a way to make up for the US sanctions on Iran that Trump will reactivate. British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will "present their assessment of the situation" to their colleagues, he said
TRUMP TOWER MEETING
US Senate panel releases documents from probe TRANSCRIPTS DETAIL QUEST FOR DIRT ON HILLARY CLINTON WASHINGTON AGENCIES
A US Senate committee released thousands of documents on Wednesday from its probe into a meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr and Russians who had promised incriminating material on Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr, in testimony released by the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee, says he did not tell his father ahead of time about the meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer five months ahead of the November presidential vote. The June 9, 2016 meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya was also attended by thenTrump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. It has fuelled speculation about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and is believed to be of interest to special counsel
Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the election. Trump has repeatedly denied his campaign colluded with Russia to get him elected and has denounced Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt." The Trump Tower meeting was arranged by a music promoter, Rob Goldstone, who reached out to Trump Jr saying he had "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." Trump Jr responded "I love it" when first offered the political "dirt" on Democratic presidential nominee Clinton. But Trump Jr has said since that no "meaningful information" was offered and the meeting focused mostly on the issue of adoptions of Russian children. Among the 2,000 documents released by the Judiciary Committee was the full transcript of the testimony by Trump Jr. In a statement to US media on Wednesday, Trump Jr said he appreciated the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry. "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked
and was candid and forthright with the committee," he said. Manafort, who has since been charged with a variety of non-campaign related offenses as a result of Mueller's investigation, was not interviewed by the committee. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was releasing the documents so "Americans can now review this unfiltered information and arrive at their own conclusions." Democrats on the committee said the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting confirms that the Trump campaign was willing to accept Russia's assistance. "Their efforts to conceal the meeting and its true purpose are consistent with a larger pattern of false statements about the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia," they said in a statement. "The Committee has found evidence of multiple contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials or their intermediaries, including offers of assistance and purported overtures from Vladimir Putin, which warrant further investigation," they added.
WORLD VIEW 07
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
‘The PalesTinians have noT forgoTTen, They have noT gone away’
How to report misuse of charity funds in Saudi Arabia
SEVENTY YEARS AFTER THE NAKBA, ISRAEL HAS NOT SUCCEEDED IN ERASING PALESTINE—OR THE PALESTINIANS
ITH the replacement of Palestine by Israel and the expulsion of most of its Arab population in 1948, it appeared that the Zionist dream had become a reality. A Jewish state had arisen, and there was no competing Palestinian state; ethnic cleansing had produced a massive demographic transformation, and the land of all those “absent” Arabs could be appropriated. The Zionists’ hope and expectation was that the refugees would simply disappear, and even the memory that this had been an Arab-majority country for more than a millennium could be effaced. As Golda Meir put it, “There were no such thing as Palestinians…. They did not exist.” It seemed that the colonial-settler ideal had been realized: The natives were gone, there was plenty of space, their beautiful stone houses could be repurposed, and their “khummus” could be rebranded and mispronounced. Taking the long view, however, things look quite different. From this perspective, it is clear that for all the power of the Israeli military and its lethal security services, the vibrancy of the Israeli economy, and the aggressive potency of Israeli nationalism, this is in many ways a failed colonial-settler project. As the historian Patrick Wolfe has written, “Settler colonies were (are) premised on the elimination of native societies…. The colonizers come to stay: invasion is a structure not an event” (emphasis added). In Palestine, however, the native society has not been eliminated. Palestine is not “as Jewish as England is English,” as Chaim Weizmann once candidly expressed Zionist aims. Instead, today, the population of the entire country from the river to the sea is at least half Palestinian, and that proportion is growing. The natives are still there,
unified by decades of occupation and colonization since 1967, and they are restless. Those Palestinians who have managed to remain in historical Palestine—in spite of the ceaseless efforts to dispossess them— continue to resist erasure. Outside of Palestine, an equal number remain profoundly attached to their homeland and to the right of return. The Palestinians have not forgotten, they have not gone away, and the memory of Palestine and its dismemberment has not been effaced. Indeed, wider international audiences are increasingly aware of these realities. Nevertheless, the situation in Palestine today seems gloomy. The Palestinian national movement is in an advanced state of dilapidation and without a strategy, and the Palestinian people are physically fragmented. The occupation and its evil stepchild, the never-halted colonization of Palestine, are proceeding apace. For decades now, the bulldozers have not stopped working for a moment. Unarmed Palestinians are gunned down with impunity, with thousands wounded and scores killed in Gaza just in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Israel’s vital connection with its longtime enablers in the American metropole is stronger than ever in the era of Trump and Bibi. However, two new phenomena have ominous implications for the Zionist colonial-settler project and for the Greater Israel movement that dominates the country. The first has developed among Palestinians, who understand the futility of the approach of both wings of their national movement, located in ramallah and in Gaza. Instead of futile diplomacy and pointless (and easily exploited) armed resistance, nonviolent grassroots movements are growing stronger. They range from the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement to the kind of marches we’ve seen for the past several weeks in Gaza. Despite what we’re told in the media, Palestinians have long employed nonviolent tactics in their quest for liberation. Like the ground-up, community-based, and mainly nonviolent resistance witnessed during the general strike of 1936 and the first intifada from 1987 until the early ’90s, this involves a fertile and in-
ventive range of efforts. Such an approach terrifies the Israeli security establishment, which depends on demonizing any Palestinian resistance to absolute Israeli dominance as “terrorism” and then smashing it. As retired Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad said of Israel’s response to Palestinian nonviolence, “We don’t do Gandhi very well.” The other new development is in the United States. The growing dissent from the consensus of idiocy on Palestine that grips most of the US political and media class is a remarkable phenomenon. This dissent encompasses universities and colleges, most recently Barnard, where a resolution supporting divestment from companies that benefit from the oppression of Palestinians passed overwhelmingly. It includes the Movement for Black Lives, whose platform embraces a clear rejection of Israeli apartheid practices and the overlapping tactics and ideologies of the Israeli and US police states. It also includes the Democratic Party, where the gap between the increasingly enlightened grass roots and a leadership still addled by Israel-advocacy Kool-Aid is growing apace. Most strikingly, however, it is profoundly affecting the American Jewish community, where there is growing revulsion at the increasingly intolerant, illiberal, fundamentalist, and racist cast of Israeli politics and society. None of this means that we are on the brink of a just peace in Palestine that would enable two peoples to live as equals in the same land. Nevertheless, after seven decades of attempting to replace one people with another, Zionism faces the unsustainability of such a project in the 21st century. Edward Said wrote that, at the outset, Zionism “won the political battle for Palestine in the international world in which ideas, representation, rhetoric, and images were at issue.” It is losing that battle today, which is a cause for optimism for those who seek peace with justice for Palestinians and Israelis. Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, is the author, most recently, of Brokers of Deceit: How the US Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.
ArAb News DIMAH TALAL ALSHARIF
vEr been plagued by annoying messages asking for donations? With the advent of the holy month of ramadan, the calls to collect alms and donations for poor people are increasing. Usually, charitable organizations supervise these donations and the journey of the benefactors who make the donation ends when he or she delivers the donation. After that, the responsible charity will distribute donations to those in need. However, sometimes contributions fall into the wrong hands and are used for financing terrorism and extremist movements. Unfortunately, over the past decades, non-profit organizations have been the golden goose financing terrorist projects that seek to destroy nations and break down societies. recently corrupt organizations have started using television adverts and communication via text messages to collect large numbers of donations. They employ the trick of splitting up donations — spending some of the funds on legitimate operations and using the rest to finance terrorist activities. This sensitive topic is being highlighted to warn people as there are legal consequences for this. Efforts must be employed to identify the corrupt use of charity funds to prevent donations being used for malign purposes. At the end of 2013, Saudi Arabia introduced Combating Terrorism and Financing of Terrorism regulations, referencing nonprofit institutions as one of the means by which terrorists may hide behind. The system gave prosecutors the right to request records or documents from a suspicious institution. In return, the system has obliged the institutions to implement the application in a full and accurate manner.
Moreover, any person who contributes in whole or in part in collecting or transferring funds shall be punished by imprisonment of at least five years and up to 15 years. Such punishment shall also include those who were aware of the intention to use these funds in suspicious operations. Also, the regulation clearly states that in case of any misuse of a position to benefit such acts, the imprisonment sentence shall not be less than 10 years. It is important that each nonprofit organization establishes the regulations and memoranda required to confirm its understanding of the risks of such acts and how to control this type of funding. The Ministry of Labor and Social Development is responsible for the supervision of these charities’ workflow and accessing their data and records to ensure that they are consistent with the purposes for which they were established. At the international level, Saudi Arabia has become a member of several organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa Task Force on Combating Terrorist Financing and Money Laundering, which is also working to take measures across the region to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in a way that does not conflict with the cultural values of member states, their constitutional frameworks and their legal systems. If an individual becomes aware of any attempt to make a suspicious transaction, he or she should inform the General Directorate of Financial Investigations at the Ministry of Interior, a public department at the Ministry of the Interior and directly linked to the minister of the interior, immediately. The directorate will ensure that the source’s anonymity is preserved. The directorate’s main task is to receive reports of suspicious financial transactions, analyze them, report them to the authorities and save the information to their own database for reference. It also exchanges information with relevant authorities inside and outside the Kingdom and coordinates with them to combat the financing of terrorism and money laundering. Dimah Talal Alsharif is a Saudi legal consultant, head of the health law department at the law firm of Majed Garoub and a member of the International Association of Lawyers.
Trump is playing with matches in the Middle East JERUSALEM EMBASSY MOVE ON TOP OF IRAN DEAL PULL OUT WILL COST THE US DEARLY FiNANciAl Times EDWARD LUCE
n its face, the US embassy opening in Jerusalem looked like a calculated provocation. Donald Trump sent his closest family — his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner — to the ceremony. They made no mention of the Palestinians protesting the 70th anniversary of losing their homeland. On the same day, the Israeli army killed dozens of the protesters and wounded thousands. Meanwhile, Mike Pence, the US vice-president, likened Mr Trump to the biblical King David — the one who defeated a mighty foe against impossible odds. All in all, it was an egregious day’s work. Yet this Trumpian special was born of negligence rather than design. Had Mr Trump wished to inflame Arabist sentiment, he could not have done it better. That would have been a more reassuring explanation. In practice, alienating Palestinians was collateral damage. Mr Trump could not resist the adulation — down to the out-
sized typeface of his name on the embassy plaque — around the event. Such is Mr Trump’s love of branding that he is prepared to be reckless with his own agenda. High on that list is his yet to be published plan for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine problem. Mr Trump believes he can succeed in the Middle East where his predecessors have failed. Much the same spirit animates his upcoming summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Yet the Jerusalem move directly undercuts his hopes of brokering a solution. By taking the Holy City’s final status off the table, Mr Trump has all but guaranteed the Palestinians will not come to the table. He is also making life tougher for his Arab friends. Arab leaders have been inching closer to acknowledging Israel’s right to exist. Last month Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that he accepted the right to a Jewish nation state in at least part of their ancestral homeland. Coming from the custodian of Mecca, this was a radical opening. The crown prince also told a Jewish gathering in New York that the Palestinian question did not feature in the top 100 issues for ordinary Saudis, according to people who attended. That was then. After Monday’s
Jerusalem ceremony, the Palestinian question is surely back in their top 10. Such is the strength of Arab feeling that American embassies in the Middle East had to be reinforced with US marines. If this is how Mr Trump conducts diplomacy, what need is there for war? Alas, prospects for a real war are growing rapidly. Mr Trump is stoking them with his actions. In this respect, he differs from prior US presidents. Even George W Bush, who unleashed America’s “war of choice” on Iraq, conveyed some sensitivity for the Arab street. Mr Trump cares about the Arab penthouse — particularly those in the Gulf. They are happy to have Mr Trump on their side in the larger Sunni-Shia stand-off. It is one thing for a US president to try to solve a regional sectarian conflict. It is another for him to take sides in one. Students of history should consult Europe’s 30 years’ war between Catholics and Protestants. The Middle East faces a comparable spectre today. America has lost the will to direct events in the region. National interest dictates it should therefore prevent another power from doing so. A different US president would pursue what some call “offshore balancing”. That would mean backing the minority power — in this case, Iran — in the inter-
ests of regional balance. Mr Trump is doing the opposite. By pulling out from the Iran nuclear deal, he is egging on the team in the Sunni shirts. He is leaving the role of referee to russia’s vladimir Putin. Third-party diplomacy is always tough. In the Middle East it requires the patience of Job. The starting point is to grasp that Israelis and Palestinians each have a deeply rooted standpoint. History has burdened Jews with a unique, existential fear for their own survival. Nobody should second guess that. The Palestinians have been driven from their homeland. Their claim cannot be auctioned off. An
honest broker would start by acknowledging these mutually exclusive positions. The world awaits Mr Trump’s twostate plan with unabated breath. It is being drawn up by Mr Kushner. You could not make it up. Observers of Mr Trump keep checklists of his campaign promises. One such vow was to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Another was to abandon the Iran nuclear deal. On both he has been true to his word. But the assurance he truly believed is the one he cannot keep. “I alone can fix it,” Mr Trump said. That is turning into one of the most expensive promises ever made.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
For Nawaz, it’s not new
Truth and reconciliation commission Really?
Or all of PML-N’s chest-thumping, Prime Minister Abbasi’s proposal about forming a truth and reconciliation commission, a day after Nawaz Sharif asked for a national commission, allegedly to weed out traitors from the country’s institutions, is a non-starter. For one thing, what sort of a commission would the ruling party agree to considering how it has reacted to the Supreme Court ruling that disqualified Nawaz? For another, do they realise that any such commission would have to probe matters beyond Nawaz’s statement about the Mumbai attackers. And since ‘Quaid for life’ has been consistently unable to answer for his large list of assets abroad, there’s a good chance that any commission digging the truth will arrive at the same conclusion as the SC. Then there’s more – a lot more. how will Nawaz feel, for example, when the asked-for commission reaches questions raised in the Asghar Khan case? Opening this Pandora’s Box, so late in the game and just because Nawaz got the axe for corruption, is more likely to put the spotlight on the PML-N leadership more than any other major player of the last three decades. And how will he champion ‘power of the vote’ when his own baby steps in politics, so ably guided by Gen Zia’s political machinery, are brought to the fore once more after all these years? These calls for forming commissions, as well as threats to spill the beans about the 2014 dharna, etc, are clearly tactics meant to divert the criticism snowballing towards the ruling party since Nawaz’s controversial statement. Yet even if Abbasi succeeds in controlling the damage – even though it is getting harder with time – he’d still be pushing the party in a dangerous direction this close to the election. Also, judging by news reports, it seems Shahaz Sharif, as new party president, is not too far from laying down some red lines for the rest of the campaign. Instead of taking the house for a ride, the prime minister should help his new party president and bring some sort of order to the campaign.
Chronic revenue problems Alarming capital flight
he 20pc year-on-year drop in FDI last month, despite a CPeC fuelled 2.4pc expansion over Jul-Apr (y-o-y), ought to ring alarm bells in the finance ministry as well as the state bank. Yet, with Miftah sweet talking all the way to the election, all one gets to hear is how mega projects have and motorways have unleashed an economic revolution, resulting in record growth. The truth, however, is that because of our inability to breathe any life into exports, while also failing to stimulate tax earnings, we have a chronic revenue problem and our growth trajectory is among the weakest in the region. News reports that Kharif crops may face a drought like situation, therefore, have come at a very bad time. Any dip in agriculture not only directly affects subsistence and employment of a large majority of the population but, considering the makeup of our agribased exports industry, also brings down revenue from commerce. Nobody has forgotten, of course – except perhaps the top leadership of the ruling party – that the fiscal deficit at this point is the highest in our history. And for all the roads and power plants that successive governments have built, nobody has ever been able to improve indigenous earnings through exports or taxes. Also, our addiction to debt, even for the day-to-day functioning of the government, has now brought us to the position where heavy repayments are due. Failure, of course, will mean threat of default sooner or later. Yet there is no serious, institutional effort to streamline revenue. All we have shown, so far, is how good we are at triggering capital flight – from the real economy and capital market. It was our political logjam, after all, that made almost everybody pack up and leave the equity market, turning it from the best regional performer in 2016 to the worst in the whole world in 2017. And the same political environment is now responsible for the FDI flight in April. A very dark future awaits Pakistan on the economic front unless urgent steps are taken now.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
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Honour and politics
T is not for the first time that Nawaz Sharif has landed himself in trouble because of his words or actions. The speeches being lately delivered by the ousted premier may sound inflammatory and mutinous to some but for the majority his words are not new. And for Nawaz Sharif, stooping low from the stature of elected representative to a rebellious bête noire for establishment and state institutions is not at all new. Cyril Almeida titled his yet another incendiary article “For Nawaz, it’s not over till it’s over”. Going by it, slight variation in the title would have portrayed the current state of affairs more aptly; in other words, “For Nawaz, it’s never over”. The attack on the Supreme Court in 1997 is an indelible chapter in our history wherein the breaching of police barrier and vandalisation of the building by a mob of PML-N supporters led by Sardar Naseem and retired Colonel Mushtaq Kheli have been inscribed in golden words. reason behind the attack? hundreds and thousands of party workers were gravely influenced by the impressing words uttered by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in contempt of the Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. On 30 November, when Sharif appeared before the court for the proceedings, the mob entered the courthouse, chanted slogans against the chief of the institution and even threw and broke the portrait of Quaid-e-Azam. That
day reliability and credibility of Sharif should have shattered into as many pieces as the portrait but we, as a nation, tend to turn a blind eye to what we deem forgettable. Why this particular statement is kindling fire and receiving backlash from all the quarters is because of lack of responsibility and sanity that has been demonstrated by a former head of the government. “Militant organisations are active.” There is a difference when President Putin and President Xi say it and when former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif confesses it. “Call them nonstate actors” is big enough a statement to profess your incapability to forestall external influence in running the country, let it be international pressure or non-state actors. If the existence of non-state actors and their irrepressible influence on internal and foreign policies of Pakistan is eyed as a high-priority reality by Sharif then he must also acknowledge the involvement of agents operating from across the border as that, too, puts inexorable effect on how our affairs have to be tackled. While killing of 150 people in India at the hands of “non-state actors” operating in Pakistan is an alleged conjecture, assassination of hundreds of innocent citizens all over Pakistan through Kulbhushan Yadav and several other rAW agents is an established fact. has India ever admitted that despite it being an inveterate reality? Then why is our former premier, who, in his own words “is not only a Pakistani but also an elected prime minister”, is so keen to take up a responsibility of something which: 1) is not proven; 2) he was himself accountable for just an year ago? For the first time in my conscious I have seen a premier defending his political party’s leader instead of his country while standing on the floor of the National Assembly. For the first time I have witnessed a prime minister justifying his leader’s
Why this particular statement is kindling fire and receiving backlash from all the quarters is because of lack of responsibility and sanity that has been demonstrated by a former head of the government
Tit-for-tat diplomacy! A gift of lost credibility or interest?
Hussaan Tariq “Force is all conquering, but its victories are short lived” he present administration of the United States, apparently, seems to have forgotten the aforementioned quote from one of its most celebrated past presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Inclined towards sticks and carrots approach towards diplomacy, where Washington used to follow the practice of carrying a gun in one hand, and a sandwich in the other, asking the other side to choose any for itself, in recent times seems to have been carrying guns in both hands. With President Donald Trump in the driving seat, in particular, the US administration is least interested in offering a sandwich to anyone. The coercive diplomacy is visible from Washington’s adamant stance on international issues, and tough demands from its regional, and global counter parts. Whereas the coercive diplomacy might have temporarily delivered results as desired by sitting US administration/s, it has, on one side, adversely effected Washington’s credibility as a super power, and a sane global leader, and on the other has resulted in deteriorating bilateral relationships with potential allies across regions, and the globe at large; speaking of which, Pakistan can find itself on top of the
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questionable wisdom instead of going by the oath he had taken in order to become a member of the house. Warranting your stance by quoting what has been previously said by your opponents is a newly evolved logic we all need some time to comprehend. A statement following the NSC meeting on Monday said: “The participants observed that it was very unfortunate that the opinion arising out of either misconceptions or grievances was being presented in disregard of concrete facts and realities. The participants unanimously rejected the allegations and condemned the fallacious assertions.” Then why did one of the participants, the prime minister himself, strongly back Sharif while addressing the house later by saying: “The person who turned Pakistan into an atomic power despite immense (international) pressure is facing treason allegations.” What does atomic power have to do with this treachery? A man can lose sanity at any stage of life. A comparison was drawn by some intellectuals between Nawaz Sharif and Donald J. Trump some time back whereby their involvement in family businesses was discussed. One reason why Trump has remained in news for a long time was his alleged ties with russia. That was treachery, wasn’t it? A controversy that has clung to his team throughout the election campaign and after that, it even dragged his son-in-law into the mess, just like Sharif’s who ignites debates pertinent to religion every now and then. If russian interference in the 2016 Unites States elections can be held as disloyalty to the country then this surely is a clear-cut incident of perfidy and should be dealt with accordingly. As Benjamin Disraeli put is: “There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.”
list of such allies. The relations between Pakistan and the US are as old as approximately 70 years, and have been marked by ups and downs. The history of Pak-US relations is witness to Washington abandoning Islamabad upon achievement of its geostrategic interest in the region, keeping the latter behind, and lagging in economic, technological, and military advancements. The situation, seemingly, drifted in Pakistan’s favour with the initiation of the global War on Terror, with the United States endorsing Islamabad as not just a front-line ally, but a long term strategic partner in the South Asian region. The awkward love affair between the odd couple, however, did not last long yet again, as the US administration, since then, has blamed Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorist outfits within its territories, hence resulting in the demand from Islamabad to do more. As the US continuing with its streak of abandoning Pakistan further fueled the anti-US sentiment among the general public, the government, and diplomatic circles of Pakistan remained accommodative in every possible way to Washington’s demands. This scenario, however, seems to have changed, and is changing further. Overtime, whereas the US has considerably cut down the aid to Pakistan, the Trump administration has denied Islamabad of the military aid under the Coalition Support Fund, leaving it to fight the war on terror by itself; having already borne severe setbacks in terms of both, the economy, and the lives lost. Not to forget that the US is also in hot pursuit of placing Pakistan on the black list of FATF (Financial Action Task Force). In addition to all these, Washington recently placed a re-
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Aminah Mohsin is a freelance columnist.
striction on the movement of Pakistani diplomats based in the US, with Islamabad returning the favour by restricting the US diplomats’ movement in Pakistan. Washington’s persistence on coercive diplomacy in case of Pakistan now seems to have backfired, as Islamabad apparently is not in the mood of holding back its horses. But what are the possible contributing factors to a changed diplomatic response from Pakistan? has the US lost its credibility as a responsible super power? Or has Islamabad lost interest in the love for Washington? Perhaps both. With guns in both hands, prioritising and pursuing its own interests rather than promoting bilateral win-win scenarios, and forcefully imposing its own version of larger than life values like freedom, justice, and equality, the US itself has distorted its credibility as being the sole world leader. Despite having made the greatest sacrifices, and achieving remarkable landmarks in the war on terror, Washington has pushed Islamabad away by choosing India, over Pakistan, to be its strategic partner in the region. Backing out of the Iranian nuclear deal is another relevant example where other western powers like Britain, France, and Germany not only condemned the US decision but vowed to continue together on the agreed upon path under the deal. having no sandwich to offer either has further pushed Pakistan to search for options other than the US in the form of its look east approach, strengthening its ties with China as never before, in addition to exploring potential relations with other regional and world players. The coercive diplomacy by the US has resulted in tit for tat diplomacy by Pakistan, demanding relations with Washington based on equal terms, respect, and prevalence of bilateral interests. Something, definitely, to look forward to!
The relations between Pakistan and the US are as old as approximately 70 years, and have been marked by ups and downs
Hussaan Tariq is an HR professional. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
Editor’s mail Water shortage
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively
Politics of creation of more provinces People do not need more provinces on administrative or ethno-linguistic basis
malik muHammad asHraf
Or quite some time echoes for creation of more provinces have been resonating in the country with fluctuating intensity in the demand for them. We have heard demands for creation of a new province of South Punjab, restoration of the state of Bahawalpur, carving out of hazara province from the present KPK and making Karachi a separate governing unit. The arguments in favour of the creation of more provinces usually have been poor governance, lack of development and distance factor from the provincial capitals. An incisive look into the issue however reveals that the political parties have never shown required seriousness in the issue and have used this slogan sporadically to gain political mileage out of the prevailing political environment. In the present scenario the demand for creation of South Punjab province is quintessential of the politicians and parties trying to exploit permeating political ambience for their narrow political ends. It is interesting to note that those who defected from the PML-N ranks and formed Janoobi Punjab Sooba Muhaz never raised the issue while they were part of the government for nearly five years. These turncoats actually invented a justification for their betrayal at the fagend of the PML-N government to try their fortunes at another platform which in their estimation was likely to rule the roost after next elections. Their joining PTI has removed all the haze about the game that has been played behind the scenes. Imran Khan, who has been welcoming the saleable horses and electables into his party in the hope of getting more seats in the ensuing elections or even winning a majority with the help of his mentors, at the time of merger of the Muhaz with PTI pledged that he would make South Punjab a separate province within a hundred days of coming into power. That surely is a political hoax
to say the least in view of the fact that it involves a host of considerations and pre-requisites in creating a separate province, including economic viability and the existence of necessary paraphernalia and administrative structures. In the absence of these ingredients any claim to create a province amounts to blatant attempt to hoodwink the people for narrow political ends. Probably the revolutionary who has cast off his cloak to become a traditional power grabber does not know that a new province cannot be created through any administrative order or political ambitions. It can only be done according to Article 239 (4) of the Constitution which says “A Bill to amend the Constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a Province shall not be presented to the President for assent unless it has been passed by the Provincial Assembly of that Province by the votes of not less than two-thirds of its total membership.” The first requirement therefore is winning two-third majority in Punjab for him do fulfill his pledge, which seems a remote possibility when one looks at the ground realities. The PML-N notwithstanding the difficulties that it is going through at the moment remains the most popular party and a major political force with in Punjab and it would be difficult to clean sweep the province for any other political party unless the elections are rigged in its favour, which to me seems impossible. The PTI might have a few more seats if the defectors joining it from South Punjab win their seats but it would not be in a position to topple the PML-N. Creating provinces on linguistic basis as is the case for demand of Seraiki province (South Punjab) is fraught with danger. In an environment when Pakistan is confronted with internal and external dangers that pose an existentialist threat to the country, which requires strengthening of the state edifice and governing apparatus, any talk of dividing it further on linguistic basis is absolutely unjustifiable. Demands for more provinces largely represent populist slogans targeting Pakistani desires for instant short cuts to good governance. They confuse the functions of provinces and districts. There is, therefore, a need to improve governance instead of adventuring with the idea of more provinces. The real issue is about improving governance and regrettably the political parties, instead of resolving real problems through improvement in governance, have been focusing
The practice of giving development funds to the MNAs and MPAs needs to be scrapped as it has hardly paid any dividends
on serving their narrow and transient political interests. The constitution of Pakistan does provide the solution to the problems regarding governance and development of the deprived areas. What is required is to translate those constitutional provisions into reality. After the eighteenth amendment the provinces have been given the required autonomy and the right to own and use their resources for the benefit of the people. Improving governance depends on devising mechanisms to implement those constitutional provisions in letter and spirit. The solution to the problems indicated by the proponents of more provinces lies in strengthening the local bodies in conformity with the article 140 A of the constitution. Our constitution stipulates three-tier system of governance ie local government, provincial government and the federal government. Local Bodies are meant to deliver to the people at the grass-root level and according to article 140 A are supposed to be enjoy almost plenipotentiary powers in regards to running their respective territorial domains. The article reads“each province shall, by law establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to the elected representatives of the local governments” Under this article the local administration is supposed to be under the elected people at the district level who are responsible for overseeing the administration, carrying out development projects imbued with the powers to generate financial resources of their own. A close look at the prevailing system of local bodies reveals that they are not functioning in accordance with the constitution in all the four provinces and are still under the thumb of the bureaucracy which to a great extent scuttles their ability to deliver. The practice of giving development funds to the MNAs and MPAs needs to be scrapped as it has hardly paid any dividends. In fact development funds are like pocket money given to the lawmakers for winning elections. Unfortunately our law makers and bureaucracy have been the major hurdle in empowering the local bodies according to the constitution. As is evident from the foregoing, the people do not need more provinces on administrative or ethno-linguistic basis. They want and need their problems to be resolved at the local level which can be done only through strengthening the local government as per the constitution and implementation of the eighteenth amendment in letter and spirit. It is therefore incumbent upon the political parties to shun their traditional politics of fooling the people and show honesty of purpose in resolving their problems through improved governance in consonance with the constitution.
Those who defected from the PML-N ranks and formed Janoobi Punjab Sooba Muhaz never raised the issue while they were part of the government
Malik Muhammad Ashraf is an academic. He can be contacted at: email@example.com.
IT is a matter of great concern for every right-thinking Pakistani that water shortage both for drinking and irrigation purposes is touching serious proportions with every passing day. Indus river System Authority (IrSA), the regulatory authority for distribution of available water resources among the federating units in accordance with the provisions of the Indus Water Apportionment Accord 1991, has convened an emergency meeting of its advisory committee in Islamabad on May 15 to review the current water situation and anticipated criteria for the cropping season of Kharif 2018. As of May 12, according to IrSA sources, river inflows stood at 110,800 cusecs while river outflows stood at 119,200 cusecs and storage was recorded at 0.266 MAF (million acre-feet), total distribution of water to all the provinces stood at 111,000 cusecs as Punjab is getting 56,000 cusecs (-48 per cent), Sindh 46,000 cusecs (48 per cent), Balochistan 5,900 cusecs (0 per cent) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 3,100 cusecs (0 per cent). Furthermore, Chashma –Jhelum Link Canal has been totally closed, Thal Canal Punjab has reduced to just 2,000 cusecs from 3,500 cusecs while share of Taunsa Barrage canals has been drastically reduced to 3,000 cusecs from 6,000 cusecs. All these figures based on IrSA data quite obviously make alarming reading and reminds everyone of bitter fact of water availability gradually being reduced mainly due to lack of adequate major storage facilities. Pakistan stores only 10 per cent of its rivers natural inflows against 40 per cent and more average of other countries due to acute shortage of storage facilities. While reading and talking about water shortage deteriorating situation, one is also reminded about multipurpose, condemned, criticised and discarded Kalabagh Dam which alone could generate 2,400 to 3,600 megawatts of cheap electricity and store 7 MAF of water for irrigation purposes had it been constructed much before now and not sacrificed for petty vested political interests at the cost of national interests, please. Thanks. M Z RIFAT Lahore
Certification of loyalty ThIS is apropos reports about allegations of disloyalty levelled against former PM, following his needless statement, about alleged involvement of non-state actors in Bombay terrorist attack which occurred over nine years back in November 2008. Pakistan faces serious economic and security threats, requiring concerted efforts by all, not this internal bickering and turf wars. We need to remember that former DG FIA, Tariq Khosa has clearly elaborated on this issue, which gives some credence to charges levelled by former PM. The bitter reality is that ever since Zia got this country involved in proxy war in Afghanistan, state sovereignty has been compromised by giving sanctuary to terrorists of various shades. The Constitution of Pakistan has made it mandatory for all citizens and public office holders to uphold constitution. Both elected and paid civil cum uniformed public office holders have also sworn Official Secrets Act. Unfortunately, the constitution has been subverted so often with no punishment for offenders that it has encouraged others to follow suit. We have witnessed Musharraf admitting that his junta handed over 4,000 citizens of Pakistan for bounty, a charge confirmed recently by retired Justice Javed. Numerous elected and paid public office holders are involved in financial terrorism, transferring billions to foreign bank accounts, inflicting as much damage to this country as has been done by terrorists. MALIk TARIq ALI Lahore
With due respect I want to submit the following for kind attention of thrice former prime minister/ chief executive of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif; The statement you made the other day about Mumbai attacks was highly uncalled for and in violation of the national interests, security and defence of the motherland. The National Security Committee which met under chairmanship of your successor/nominated Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi termed the statement as incorrect and misleading. You rejected the NSC version out rightly as there is nothing wrong with your statement. Do you realise that how much damage you have so far caused and continue to cause to the national solidarity, stability and image as well as economy ever since you were ousted and disqualified through your highly objectionable and uncalled criticism of the national institutions including judiciary, army and NAB. All the past and present rulers, both civil and military, including your good self in more than 70 years have made their contributions towards goodness and badness of the country. You have the credit of making Pakistan an atomic power. Atomic programme , historically speaking, was initiated by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was hanged on the charge of abetment in the murder of father of a political adversary. You must be remembering the oath which you took thrice as the prime minister which inter alia reads “ I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions; I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of Islamic republic of Pakistan; …I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter which shall be brought under my consideration and shall become known to me as Prime Minister except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as Prime Minister”. M A H SHEIkH Lahore
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
Gen BeG and Gen durrani record statements with Fia in asGhar Khan case ISLAMABAD
ORMER army chief General (r) Mirza Aslam Beg and former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Gen (r) Asad Durrani appeared before a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) committee constituted to investigate the Asghar Khan case. According to sources, Gen Beg appeared first before the investigators and also brought relevant documents with him. After his questioning concluded, Lt Gen Durrani reached the FIA Headquarters for investigation. The FIA on Tuesday constituted a committee to conduct an investigation in the Asghar Khan case. The committee is being headed by Ahsan Sadiq, a grade 21 officer at the FIA. The other members of the committee are Dr Usman Anwar, Dr Rizwan and FIA Di-
rector Law Ali Sher Jakhrani. CABINET GIVEN ONE WEEK FOR FOLLOW-UP: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had given the federal government a week’s time to summon a cabinet meeting to determine what action to take in light of the 2012 Asghar Khan case verdict, which may also have implications for deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Declining Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf’s request seeking two weeks for the government to outline a procedure, the apex court noted that the ruling setup’s tenure was ending in three weeks, therefore, a special meeting of the cabinet can be summoned to decide on the matter. On October 19, 2012, the apex court had issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (r) Beg and Lt Gen (r) Durrani in a case filed 16 years ago by former air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan. Khan had petitioned the SC in
Pakistan to observe ‘Palestine Solidarity Day’ on 18th ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan decided on Wednesday to observe “Palestine Solidarity Day” on May 18. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi directed that the day should be observed across the country. “The government and the people of Pakistan would continue supporting their Palestinian brethren and present their case at every forum,” the statement said quoting the prime minister. The day is aimed to demonstrate complete solidarity with the Palestinians in wake of Israeli troops killing dozens of Palestinians during clashes and protests along the Gaza border against the US embassy opening in Jerusalem on Monday – the conflict’s bloodiest day in years. The governments of Pakistan and Turkey have also agreed to raise the issue of Palestinians’ massacre at the hands of Israeli forces at all international forums, including the United Nation. In the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since 2014, Palestinian Health Ministry officials said 58 protesters were killed and 2,700 injured by live gunfire, tear gas or other means. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. STAFF REPORT
PM directs PML-N MNAs not to miss budget session ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday directed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) parliamentary party members to ensure their presence in the National Assembly session when the budget will be presented for approval. According to reports, the PM took the PML-N lawmakers into confidence over the developments pertaining to party supremo Nawaz Sharif’s statement on the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which was played up by the Indian media and had drawn ire of civil and military leadership of Pakistan. During the assembly session on Friday, the finance minister could not make his budget speech as the session was adjourned owing to the lack of quorum. According to reports, the PM also took party members into confidence over the government’s plan to move a constitutional amendment seeking the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. STAFF REPORT
1996 alleging that the two senior army officers and the then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians ahead of the 1990 polls to ensure Benazir Bhutto’s defeat in the polls. The Islamic Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), consisting of nine parties including the Pakistan Muslim League, National People’s Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, had won the 1990 elections, with Nawaz Sharif being elected prime minister. The alliance had been formed to oppose the Benazir Bhutto-led Pakistan People’s Party. In 1996, Khan had written a letter to the then CJP Nasim Hassan Shah naming Beg, Durrani and Younis Habib, the ex-Habib Bank Sindh chief and owner of Mehran Bank, about the unlawful disbursement of public money and its misuse for political purposes. According to the letter, Nawaz Sharif had allegedly received Rs3.5
million; Mir Afzal Khan, Rs10 million; Lt Gen Rafaqat, Rs5.6 million [for distributing among journalists]; Abida Hussain, Rs1 million; Jamaate-Islami, Rs5 million and senior journalist Altaf Hussain Qureshi, Rs500,000. In Sindh, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi received Rs5 million; Jam Sadiq got Rs5 million; Muhammad Khan Junejo Rs250,000; Pir Pagara, Rs2 million; Maulana Salahuddin, Rs300,000 and other small groups in Sindh got Rs5.4 million. In Balochistan, Humayun Marri received Rs1.5 million. The letter also contained the names of Bizenjo and Kakar tribes. The 2012 judgement, authored by the then-CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had directed the FIA to initiate a transparent investigation and subsequent trial if sufficient evidence is found against the former army officers. That investigation is yet to conclude.
Pakistan calls for independent probe into Israeli atrocities
NEW YORK APP
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi on Wednesday called for an independent inquiry into Israeli “state terrorism” in Gaza. “I raised the issue of the massacre of Palestinians due to Israeli state terrorism in Gaza,” Lodhi said while speaking to the media after her address at the UN General Assembly during the Sixth Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. “Pakistan condemns the mas-
sacre of Palestinians and calls on the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation into the tactics used by Israeli forces,” Lodhi added. Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN further said, “Israel is already an occupying power and peace has not been restored in the Middle East because of it.” “No condemnation is enough of the brutal massacre of women and children by Israeli forces,” she added. Lodhi continued, “Notice should be taken of countries such as Israel which resort to state terrorism.” “When reviewing UN’s global counter-terrorism strategy we
should also take into account foreign occupations,” she said. “Foreign occupation is a big factor in violent extremism,” Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN urged. “Due to foreign occupations violence increases not only in the region but also other areas,” she continued. Stressing the need to address internal and external factors leading to violence in different regions, Lodhi further said, “Unresolved political disputes such as in Azad Jammu and Kashmir also need to be incorporated in UN’s global counter-terrorism strategy as both internal and external factors lead to violence.” “There is a need for a strategy to address the causes of violent extremism,” she stressed. The ambassador further said a comprehensive preventive approach is not possible without assessing the root causes for violent extremism. Lodhi further said, “Pakistan always condemns all forms and manifestations of terrorism whether state, group or individual.” Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border on Monday when the high-profile opening of the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem raised the tension to boiling point after weeks of demonstrations.
LHC directs NAB, FIA to complete probe against customs DG LAHORE ONLINE
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to complete probe against Customs and Intelligence Director General (DG) Shaukat Ali as soon as possible and present a report in the court. The court gave directives on the petition filed by an applicant, Syed Amir Shabbir, against Shaukat Ali. The court also directed NAB and FIA chiefs to cooperate in conducting the investigation against the suspected DG. Syed Amir Ali made a party to Shaukat Ali, Customs Director Jahanzeb, customs deputy director, FBR chairman, NAB chairman and director general in the case. The petitioner said that many applications against Shaukat Ali’s corruption and misuse of power have been received. It is pertinent to mention here that Shaukat Ali and his loyal associates were threatening the petitioner of dire consequences. The petitioner is also receiving threatening calls from various numbers. The petitioner informed the court that he has been threatened to take the case back, otherwise, he would be framed in fake cases. The court was also informed that an application against Shaukat’s corruption and malpractice was sent to NAB and following the application, NAB dispatched the file to FIA officials to initiate an investigation against Shaukat Ali.
Mir Zafarullah Jamali resigns from NA ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali on Wednesday announced his resignation from the National Assembly and will send his formal resignation in writing to the Speaker’s office. Jamali, who hails from Balochistan’s Jaffarabad district told the National Assembly that if the prime minister and the opposition leader are not satisfied with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman’s performance than they should resign, as the NAB chief was appointed after their mutual consultation. Moreover, while speaking in the National Assembly Jamali criticised the federal government for not allocating adequate resources for Balochistan in the federal budget. Jamali served as the prime minister from 2002 to 2004 during President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s tenure. During the session, lawmakers from Pakistan People’s Party, PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami withdrew their cut-motions on these demands of grants while those moved by the MQM were rejected by the House. STAFF REPORT
NA approves 35 demands for grants of over Rs765 bln, rejects all cut motions ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The National Assembly Wednesday approved 35 demands for grants worth Rs765,194,682,000 for the next financial year relating to divisions of cabinet, establishment, aviation and capital administration, finance, revenue, economic affairs and associated departments of these division . The treasury benches rejected all the cut motions moved by opposition members against these demands while cut motions moved for some
demands of grants were withdrawn by the opposition members. The finance minister could not present all the demands of grants due to pointing out the quorum by an opposition member, resulting in adjournment of the NA session till Thursday morning. The government after rejecting all the cut motions approved Rs263,000,000 demands of grants for Cabinet, Rs6,343,000,000 for Cabinet Division, and also approved Rs276,000,000 for emergency relief and repatriation for
which the opposition had withdrawn all the cut motions. The house also approved Rs6,207,000,000 for other expenditure of Cabinet Division, Rs97,000,000 for Aviation Division, Rs21,294,000,000 for Capital Administration and Development Division, Rs2,734,000,000 for Establishment Division, Rs636,000,000 for Federal Public Service Commission, Rs2,138,000,000 for other expenditure of Establishment Division, Rs986,000,000 for Prime Minister’s
Office, Rs272,000,000 for Board of Investment, Rs70,000,000 Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission, Rs9,412,000,000, for Atomic Energy Rs14,741,438,000 for Development Expenditure of Cabinet Division and Rs614,000,000 for Climate Change. After withdrawal of cut motions, the house approved Rs432,000,000 for Textile Division, Rs7,663,000,000 for Communications Division, Rs14,480,848,000 for development expenditure of Communications Division and Rs1,687,000,000 for Defence Division.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
Ufone to pay Rs1m each to Kharan gun attack victims ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ordered cellular service provider Ufone to submit a complete financial plan for compensation to the families of six labourers who were gunned down while fixing the company’s cellphone tower in the Liji area, in Balochistan’s Kharan district on May 3. The gun attack orchestrated by unidentified motorcyclists left six labourers belonging to Okara dead, while another was severely injured. A two-judge bench ─ comprising Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan ─ heard the case after Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the matter on May 5. In Wednesday’s hearing, the lawyer representing Ufone told the court that the widows of three of the labourers would receive Rs20,000 per month and the company would pay for the educational expenses for their children. “The families of the labourers will also receive Rs1 million,” he said. When asked about the labourer injured in the attack, the company’s lawyer told the court that he had been moved to a hospital in Lahore for treatment. Hearing this, the bench ordered that Ufone should present a financial plan for compensation in court. The court also asked the additional advocate general, who was present in court, to see what measures the Punjab and Balochistan governments were taking for the families of the labourers. “I can find out and let the court know about the provincial policy regarding providing compensation to the affected families,” the AAG said as the hearing was adjourned until Thursday, May 17. In a previous hearing of the case, conducted on May 11 at the Quetta registry of the SC, the chief justice had regretted that no security had been provided to the workers, and was told by the home secretary that Ufone’s contractor had neither applied for a no-objection certificate nor asked the government to provide security to the workers.
Nepalese army chief discusses Pakistan’s role in war on terror with Gen Bajwa RAWALPINDI INP
Nepalese Chief of Army Staff General Rajendra Chhetri on Wednesday called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release, the two army chiefs discussed matters of mutual interest, including military to military relations, regional security situation and measures to improve bilateral relations. The visiting dignitary also acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan Army’s efforts and sacrifices in the war against terrorism and for stability in the region, according to the Pakistan Army’s statement. Earlier on arrival at GHQ, the Nepalese army chief laid a floral wreath at the Martyrs’ Monument. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Army presented the Guard of Honour to the Nepalese army chief, the ISPR stated. NEPALESE ARMY CHIEF CALLS ON DEFENCE MINISTER: General Rajendra also called on Minister for Defence Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan at the Ministry. The minister warmly welcomed the Nepalese Army Chief to Pakistan, on first such a visit after 2006, and said that Pakistan greatly valued its relations with Nepal and desired to further strengthen the bilateral ties, said a press release. Both the sides agreed that there was considerable potential to further enhance mutual relations in defence and other fields. The Minister informed the dignitary that Pakistan had developed one of the best training facilities and infrastructures for its armed forces, offered assistance in the development of training infrastructure and capacity building for Nepal Armed Forces. He also proposed the establishment of institutional framework for defence collaboration between the two countries. Khurram also highlighted the important role of Pakistan as a stabilizing factor for regional security, adding that regional cooperation was essential to attain sustainable peace and stability.
'PaKistan, tajiKistan have tremendous resPonsiBility towards aFGhanistan' ISLAMABAD SHAH NAWAZ MOHAL
USLIM world needs to focus its utmost attention to countering terrorism, preventing violent extremism and radicalisation by strengthening regional cooperation and taking necessary steps to counter the challenges of terrorism and extremism, said Ambassador of Tajikistan to Pakistan HE Sherali Jononov in a briefing here on Wednesday where he talked about the outcomes International High-Level Conference ‘Countering Terrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism’ held in Dushanbe on May 04, 2018. The government of the Republic of Tajikistan in close collaboration with the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union and a number of partner countries convened and issued a joint declaration pointing out the root causes of extremism
TAJIK AMBASSADOR SAYS SOCIO-ECONOMIC INITIATIVES OFFER THE ONLY WAY FORWARD IN ORDER TO COMBAT TERRORISM and how to rid the world of terrorism and radicalisation. Shedding light on the current international and regional situation, trends of contemporary security issues, the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon in his keynote speech called for coordinated efforts in combating security threats in order to maintain peace and stability. During the Dushanbe Conference participants discussed priorities for interaction in the field of international and regional security, addressed the issues related to the status and perspectives of cooperation between the countries and international organisations, underlined the importance of consolidation and acceleration of our efforts to counter security threats, particularly terrorism, ex-
tremism and radicalism. Conference participants drew attention to the need to extend legal base for further development of counter-terrorism cooperation, strengthening efforts in identification and preemption of cross-border terrorist activity, acceleration of collaboration in the fight against cybercrime and capacity-building of the countries. The inseparable link between regional security and the situation in Afghanistan was stressed. In this connection, the participants of the conference expressed their interest to further develop cooperation across the spectrum of issues pertaining to strengthening security in Afghanistan. “The history and harrowing experience of many countries, including Tajikistan witnessed
Dar transferred Rs65.3m to his Hajvery Foundation, court told ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
A prosecution witness produced in court cheques presented by Ishaq Dar to Hajvery Foundation, as an accountability court resumed the hearing of the illegal assets reference case against the former finance minister on Wednesday. In a supplementary reference filed earlier this year, NAB named National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi as co-accused. The latter two have been identified as directors of one of Dar’s companies. All three are accused of aiding Dar in opening fictitious bank accounts and transferring money abroad. As Wednesday’s hearing went underway, the witness, Mohammad Azeem, who is an official at a private bank, produced in court the cheques presented by Dar to Hajvery Foundation. From the evidence presented in the court, it was found that on January 22, 2010, Dar issued a cheque of Rs0.4 million, while on March 1, 2010, he issued a cheque of Rs0.7 million. The court was also informed that Dar
issued cheques worth a total of Rs65.3 million to Hajvery Foundation, Azeem informed the court. At the last hearing on May 9, defence counsel Qazi Misbah began Azeem’s cross-examination. Azeem said he presented Dar’s bank transactions first to NAB and then to the court. The witness also detailed the transaction history of the former minister. Dar, a close aide of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo Nawaz Sharif, is accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.
that only cooperation and joint actions will make it possible to win in the fight against evil forces and global threats. However, sadly so far the International community has not unanimous position on definitions of terrorism and extremism,” the ambassador stressed. It is pertinent to mention here that after the anti-terrorist operations in Syria and Iraq members of individual extremist and terrorist groups came to Afghanistan and transformed this country into the field of international terrorism war. The participants showed serious concerns with the expansion of operations of the terrorist and radicalised groups such as the ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other unions in addition to the illicit drug smuggling in this country, including in its areas bordering with Tajikistan. The briefing was attended by ambassadors of Russia along with other high officials from diplomatic core and media personnel.
SC rejects plea seeking NAB chief’s removal ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
A petition filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) seeking ouster of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal was rejected by the Supreme Court (SC) registrar on Wednesday. In his objections, the registrar stated that the petitioner failed to approach another ‘appropriate’ forum for action, without providing justification for not doing so. The petition was moved by a PML-N leader on Saturday seeking removal of the NAB chairman for levelling allegations of money laundering against Nawaz Sharif. The petition filed by Noor Mohammad Awan under Article 184(3) of the constitution prayed that the court should remove the NAB chairman for “damaging the reputation of a political leader without any cogent material and causing reckless loss to the institution as he could not hold office due to partiality and unable to work with fairness”. The petition read that politicians generally level baseless allegations against their rivals to secure their political goals and motives. “The removal of NAB chairman is inevitable to meet the ends of justice,” it added.
NAB moves against HEC oﬃcials, NTDC directors among others ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
A meeting of National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Executive Board chaired by Justice (r) Javed Iqbal was held at NAB Headquarters on Wednesday where new inquiries were authorised. The meeting authorised inquiry against Haier Pakistan and officers of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and others. They have been accused of selling laptops to HEC on higher rates causing losses of millions of rupees to the national exchequer. The meeting also authorised an inquiry against the management of National Transmission of Dispatch Company (NTDC), the board of directors (BoD) and others. The BoD has been accused of appointing Fayyaz Chaudhry as the managing director without experience and ability. This caused Rs 20.4 million loss to the national exchequer.
It authorised investigation against officers of CDA and others for illegal allotment of land worth Rs2 billion in sector E/11 Islamabad, violation of rules and corruption. The meeting authorised the filing of a reference against the management of National Highway Authority (NHA) and others. They have been accused of allotting tool plazas to their favourites and establishing an illegal CNG station at Rawalpindi which caused loss of Rs1 million to the national exchequer. It also authorised filing another reference against former Federal Urdu University vicechancellor Dr Zafar Iqbal for opening an illegal sub-campus of the university in Lahore and for corruption, causing loss of Rs16.5 million to the national exchequer. The meeting authorised yet another inquiry against the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan Managing Director and officers of Ministry of Industry and Pro-
duction and others. They have been accused of abuse of authority, corruption and shifting amount from NFC accounts to private banks causing loss of Rs3 billion to the national exchequer. The meeting approved the closing of the investigation against former MNA Raheela Kausar and others due to lack of incriminating evidence against her while authorizing an inquiry against the complainant for lodging a baseless complaint against her. It also authorised inquiry against former Pakistan Railways chairman Arif Azeem and others on purchasing 58 locomotives and 40 power vans from favourite companies. This caused loss of Rs19,900 million to the national exchequer. The meeting authorised the filing of a corruption reference against Karachi Port Trust Cooperative Housing Society Secretary Ghulab Khan and others for their alleged illegal allotment of commercial plots, causing loss of Rs1 billion to
the national exchequer. The meeting approved the closing of inquiry against officers and officials of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Bahrain owing to the absence of solid proof. It also authorised another inquiry against former Pakistan Petroleum Limited MD and other directors for devouring funds. The meeting approved inquiry against KASB Bank’s chairman’s advisor and others for withdrawing Rs3.114 billion illegally. The investigation was authorised against the officers and officials of Pakistan Steel Mills for confirming contract and daily wages employees by abusing authority, causing loss of Rs6.69 billion to the national exchequer. The meeting also authorised former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) labour minister Sher Azam and others for buying land in violation of rules which caused loss of Rs10.75 billion to the national exchequer. It also approved another corruption
reference against former Pepco MD Munawar Baseer Ahmed and others. They are accused of inflicting loss of Rs1.3819 billion to the country. The meeting approved inquiry against the officials of Pak PWD KP for awarding contracts to favourites and corruption by making fake schemes. They inflicted loss of Rs2 billion to the country. Another inquiry was approved against officers, officials and others of Bank of Khyber Peshawar for appointing 1400 people by abuse of authority ،They have also been accused of doling out heavy debt to Pesco and Punjab Food Authority (PFA) and of inflicting losses to the country. The meeting also authorised the filing of another reference against former Excise and Taxation Balochistan DG Muhammad Qasim Baloch for registering vehicles in a fake and illegal way, causing loss of Rs1.5 billion to the national exchequer.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
TrAde diSPuTe orgAniSATion AT MoC lACkS legAl Cover To Move AgAinST delinquenT firMS ISLAMABAD
S the country is yet to set up a trade dispute resolution body, the number of longstanding trade disputes has jumped to over 500, giving a bad name to the nation. Although the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has set up the Trade Dispute Resolution Organization (TDRO) in 2015 to resolve the ever-increasing number of disputes in international trade, it is unable to handle the task for want of legal cover. According to insiders, TDRO, since its inception, has only resolved only 25 to 30 cases/disputes that too with the mutual consensus of disputing parties. On the other hand, the TDRO and other concerned departments receive around 100 complaints regarding foreign trade per month. “In the absence of any mechanism and body for quick resolution of disputes, a large number of cases are pending at various courts inside and outside the country,” an official in terms of anonymity informed Pakistan Today. The TDRO needed a legal cover to make it mandatory for all exporters and importers to sign an agreement under which they would accept the decision of the organisation in case of any dispute with trade partners abroad. The foreign trade partners usually cannot act against exporters or importers in Pakistan in case of any complaint. They have the only option of going through the hectic process of courts. In case of small disputes involving small amounts, they usually avoid going to courts, sources claim. Amidst the fragile quality control and monitoring system in the country,
IN THE ABSENCE OF A DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISM, NUMBER OF TRADE DISPUTES CROSSES 500 sources say the trade disputes among local and foreign importing and exporting firms have surged to the alarming number. According to them, some of the foreign importers are pursuing cases against local exporters in various courts. A large number of cases regarding the export of substandard or poor quality goods against the import orders and specified quality have been received by the MoC during the last couple of years. As per the existing law, the ministry has no legal authority at call for any information and documents from the importers and exporters for the purpose of investigating complaints received against them from the local or foreign buyers and suppliers or take any punitive action against them. If they do not provide the requisite information and documents or the charges leveled against them, the complaints are proved and they are ultimately found guilty of the trade malpractices alleged against them in the complaints. In these circumstances, the MoC is finalising process of making the draft act of TDRO, empowering the ministry to call for any information from the importers and exporters and debar them from import and export in case of their failure to provide the desired information documents or the establishment of their involvement in any trade malpractice or irregularity. Through the move, TDRO may be empowered to debar the delinquent im-
Pakistan’s resilience to climate change is limited: Moody’s NEWSDESK: Rating agency Moody’s released an assessment report on climate change Tuesday saying Pakistan’s resilience to it was limited. The report entitled “Credit profiles of small, agriculture-reliant sovereigns most susceptible to climate change risk” said out of Sri Lanka and India, Pakistan’s credit profile was particularly susceptible with 44 per cent of the labour force dependent on agriculture, which represents 25 per cent of GDP. “Rising temperatures and erratic rainfall can affect productivity in agriculture and increase the vulnerability of energy production, as 33 per cent of Pakistan’s energy supply are hydropower-driven,” said Moody’s. “With very low fiscal strength and a low GDP per capita, the country’s resilience to climate change is limited. Despite the susceptibility to climate change and its potential impact on agriculture, the country has experienced robust GDP growth of about 5 per cent, supported by strong performance in the agricultural sector and increased China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related investment. Pakistan’s large economic and geographic size implies that natural disasters are unlikely to have country-wide impacts.” Moody’s said “of the 36 sovereigns whose credit quality is identified as most susceptible to climate change, 17 are in Africa, 12 in Asia Pacific. A common characteristic is their economic reliance on the agricultural sector (44 per cent of employment and 19 per cent of value added on average), which is typically not irrigated and is thus rainfed. Conditions in the agriculture sector drive food security, spending power and growth in other sectors.”
porters and exporters, for a specific period, for example, limited to two years or so, from import or indenting export for reasons including; contravening or failing to comply with any provision of the proposed Order/SRO, failing to comply with any regulation relating to import, export or foreign exchange control, under-invoicing or over invoicing the value of imports or exports, selling, transferring or violating the conditions of any import or export authorization issued by MoC or any officer authorised in this behalf, obtaining or attempting to obtain any import or export authorisation by fraud, committing any practice relating to trade, commerce and industry, which in the opinion of the federal government is detrimental to the public interest. Moreover, for not complying with or implementing the decision given by TDRO in case of any trade dispute, and for refusal to furnish original export contracts entered with foreign buyers or any other information or data relating to such contracts on demand by the TDRO. Through the proposed legislation TDRO could be authorised/empowered to; ask the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Pakistan Customs to debar any firm(s)/company/companies, for any reason given mentioned above, from import and/or indenting and/or export for a limited period, specifying the exact period up to two years or so, giving reasons for such debarment, and it should be binding on the SBP and cus-
toms to debar such firm(s), as the case may be, from importing and/or indenting and/or export, under intimation to TDRO. Moreover, blacklist by itself any firm(s) for any reason, mentioned above, making it ineligible, for a period up to two years or so, to avail the facilities otherwise extended by TDRO to the importers and exporters for improvement and enhancement in their exports including the facilities extended for participation in the local as well as foreign fairs, exhibitions and delegations organised by the dispute resolution body. The draft law, as per an official at MoC, the draft law of Trade Dispute Settlement Act which envisaged formation of a Trade Dispute Resolution Commission (TDRC) would work under the administrative control of the ministry with same powers as vested in a Civil Court for swift and effective resolution of disputes relating to the export and import of goods and services including import and export through e-commerce. The purpose of drafting a law on trade dispute settlement was to provide for the establishment of a comprehensive regime in Pakistan for the swift and effective resolution of trade disputes. Making such law was of paramount importance for the better promotion of trade in Pakistan, protection of all trading interests and improvement of Pakistan’s standing internationally. Through the TDRO, foreign parties would be given video conferencing facility to participate in trade dispute process. Efforts were being made to make arrangements for acceptance of TDRC decisions in foreign countries, however, non-compliant foreign companies would be blacklisted in Pakistan.
A slow day at PSX, sheds 158.33 points LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Trading at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) remained dull before the commencement of the Holy month of Ramzan. Another factor keeping activity in check was the power shutdown in many parts across the country. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, banks shall remain closed for public dealing on the first day of Ramzan and might also affect participation in the market. The KSE 100 index traded on both sides. The index fell to intraday low of 42,198.84 with a loss of 260.69 points falling from Wednesday’s high of 42,579.81 points before settling with a loss of 158.33. The KMI 30 index also traded both in the red and the green, up 333.55 points and down 462.77 points. It ended with a loss of 343.68 points at 72,170.97. The KSE All Share Index lost a minor 59.06 points only. The advancers to decliners ratio stood at 131 to 174. The market volumes were the highlight of the day. Market participation declined by a whopping 57 per cent day on day basis and was recorded at 77.44 million only. A total of 39.62 million shares were traded
cumulatively in all KSE 100 index scripts. The KMI 30 index witnessed volume of 17.46 million. The leader chart was dominated by Faysal Bank Limited (FABL -0.77 per cent) with volume of 5.11 million. The food and personal care sector was the top loser of the day. The sector lost 3.23 per cent from its cumulative market capitalisation. The commercial bank sector was lighter by 0.50 per cent and the oil and gas exploration sector inched lower by 0.35 per cent. Taking its inspiration from the previous session the initial rally fizzled out soon and after trading briefly within a tight band technical supports eventually gave way to selling pressure and the 100 Index closed down 158.33 points (-0.37 per cent) at 42,301.20.
Major drag to the KSE 100 index decline came from consumer staples (-2.55 per cent), materials (-0.66 per cent) and financials (-0.53 per cent) amid heavy losses in NESTLE (-5 per cent), LUCK (-1.52 per cent), ENGRO (-0.69 per cent), ISL (-2.44 per cent), UBL (-1.48 per cent), BAHL (-1.21 per cent), HMB (-1.65 per cent) and AICL (-2.25 per cent). Additional pressure came from select names in utilities (-0.38 per cent) and energy (-0.25 per cent) thanks to HUBC (-0.54 per cent), SNGP (-1.05 per cent), OGDC (0.90 per cent) and PSO (-0.67 per cent). Cumulative losses since April 6, 2018 (from intraday high of 47,144.12) are at -10.27 per cent (4,842.92 points); just below correction territory. Through a filling at the local bourse, MEBL has informed its shareholders that Noor Financial Plans to sale 9.59 per cent stake in MEBL. As per details, Noor Financial is negotiating with foreign institutional investors for divestment of 101.9 million shares in MEBL. Through another bourse filling, PSX Board has informed its shareholders that the board of directors of PSX has appointed Hussain Lawai as the Chairman of the board.
SBP governor ensures low-cost housing finance policy KARACHI PPI
“The financial sector is instrumental for the national development of the country. The role of institutions contributing to this sector in various forms need to be not only highlighted; but also duly acknowledged,” said State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa. He was addressing the launching ceremony of the 3rd Pakistan Banking Awards 2018 here at the Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) head office on Wednesday. While talking to media, he said all stakeholders involved in low-cost housing financing have been consulted to highlight the difficulties so that a framework could be devised for the financing policy. After the analysis and formation of policy low-cost housing financing will grow in the country, he hoped. IBP, in collaboration with A F Ferguson and Co. (AFF), have taken this initiative and it has provided a platform to recognise the contribution of institutions making a marked difference in the world of banking. “I strongly encourage maximum participation by banks and supporting institutions; and would like to see more and more entrants actively participating in this event every year. These awards will showcase their efforts in promoting and projecting Pakistan as a progressive nation that is advancing towards economic stability and developing into a welfare state,” he said. While expressing his appreciation for the jury he said as, in previous years, I am positive that in order to ensure transparency and independence at all levels, the honourable jury would maintain the secrecy and nominations would be made on merit. “These awards honour and promote the efforts of banks for developing new and innovative products and services while giving them the incentive to enhance their performance for the coming year. They encourage banks to gauge their standing within the industry by setting benchmarks. Most importantly, they inculcate a spirit of healthy competition as the awards are a great source of pride for the winning institutions, he concluded. IBP Chief Executive Hussain Lawai said the Pakistan Banking Awards 2018 will no doubt once again, serve as a distinguished platform to promote, recognize and acknowledge the contribution of the banking industry towards enhancing Pakistan’s economy. He also added that this year, one new category for “Best Emerging Bank” has been added while the name of the category “Best Bank for Corporate Finance and Capital Market Development” has been changed to “Best Investment Banking”; while all other award categories remaining the same.
8 per cent growth required to meet growing population’s needs LAHORE MUHAMMAD FARAN
Pakistan needs a minimum of 8 per cent GDP growth to create more jobs for its expanding population, speakers at a seminar held at a local hotel here on Wednesday agreed. The seminar titled ‘Investment Climate Enablement Seminar’ held by the Planning and Development Department of the Government of Punjab in collaboration with the Investment Climate Reforms Unit was aimed at setting an
investment enabling reform agenda for the province. Pakistan’s population currently has a huge youth bulge. Almost two-thirds of the population is under the age of 16, a large proportion of which will be entering the job market in the near future. “The country needs to start growing at a minimum 8 per cent to be able to create the required jobs,” said World Bank (WB) Country Director for Pakistan Patchamuthu Illangovan. Regarding how the country should aim to achieve this target, he added that the country needs to
improve its investment-to-GDP ratio and its production rate. “Currently the Investment-to-GDP ratio is around 15 per cent, this needs to go up to 25 or 30 per cent. A lot needs to be done to rebrand Pakistan as a viable investment destination,” Illangovan insisted adding that the productivity rate also has to go up to 2 per cent from its current rate of 1 per cent. “Gender disparity in Pakistan in labour participation is huge. Women need to be encouraged to become entrepreneurs and take part in the labour force,” he continued and highlighted that recently
the country has seen an increase in women participation which is a good sign. The WB country head also insisted on the importance of encouraging crossborder trade to increase productivity. Similarly, Planning and Development Board Chairman Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan during his inaugural address also stressed on encouraging GDP growth for creating more jobs and reducing poverty. “It’s unfortunate that systematic private and public dialogue was not in place in the past. However, the Investment Climate Reforms Unit (ICRU) is working to
bridge this gap, and in the last few months, we have been able to make substantial progress in this regard,” he said adding that public-private partnership is essential for growth. The event also marked the launch of the Punjab Investor’s Handbook 2018. Punjab Minister for Industries, Commerce and Investment Sheikh Allauddin, Investment Climate Reforms Unit Managing Director Maleeha Bangash and HBL Asset Management Chief Executive Farid Ahmed Khan were also present on the occasion.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
CORPORATE CORNER PArCo awards PMC contract to TechnipfMC for largest refinery project
AudiT TeAM unlikelY To SuBMiT rePorT on ToBACCo MnCS Before PAC on 23 MAY ISLAMABAD
KARACHI: Pak-Arab Refinery Ltd (PARCO) has announced the award to TechnipFMC of a Project Management Consultancy (PMC) services contract to carry out the management of pre-EPC activities for a deep conversion refinery to be constructed at Hub. The project will be managed and operated by PARCO Coastal Refinery Limited (PCRL). The agreement was signed on May 16 2018 by PCRL CEO Tariq Rizavi and TechnipFMC SVP Riccardo Moizo. PRESS RELEASE
national Bank, Serving Hands, PHrP&J set up medical camps in Sindh’s goths
KARACHI: National Bank of Pakistan, in collaboration with Serving Hands International and Pakistan Human Rights for Peace and Justice, Tando Adam, set-up medical camps at Goth Bangoro and Rasheed Khyber Goth. About 850 patients of the area were facilitated with their free of cost medical tests on the spot. NBP VP Syed Ibne Hasan, social leader Arshad Anwar, Col Sajid Janjua and other eminent dignitaries were present at the medical camps. PRESS RELEASE
Hamdard Ceo advices youth to grow trees and fight climate change
KARACHI: A meeting of Hamdard Naunehal Assembly Karachi chapter was held yesterday on the theme - “Holy Ramazan and summer vacations”. Addressing the gathering of children, the Chief Guest, MD and CEO, Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf), Usama Qureshi said that Pakistan faced serious threats of climate change and environmental pollution as a highlt vulnerable country. PRESS RELEASE
raabta decodes federal budget 2018-2019 at Serena
HE Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) is not likely to conclude the special audit of international tobacco companies operating in the country within the given time period and is also unlikely to submit an audit report before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by May 23, 2018, sources said. Well-informed sources in the tobacco sector disclosed to Pakistan Today that despite the directions of the PAC to conclude a special audit of international tobacco companies, the AGP is not likely to conclude the audit within 15 days and submit a report before PAC on May 23, 2018. They said that multi-national companies (MNCs) engaged in tobacco sector and the audit team of the AGP while hands in glove with each other, have strategised to deal with the directions of PAC, directing to conclude the audit within 15 days. And, as per strategy, delaying tactics will be used by the audit team in finalising the forensic audit of the accounts of MNCs and it (audit team) will not submit the audit report before PAC on May 23, 2018 while the constitutional tenure of PAC is about to expire after a week. Also, the audit team will submit the audit report of MNC’s accounts to the next government as the constitutional tenure of the incumbent regime is to expire by May 31, 2018, said sources. “MNC’s have managed the forensic audit initiated by AGP on the directions of PAC, and an audit report on MNC’s accounts will not be submitted till the expiry of the tenure of PAC. The next government will look after the matter,” said sources. Taking cognizance of billion rupees worth decrease in tax collection from tobacco manufacturing industry, PAC Chairman Syed Khurshid Shah earlier summoned Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman to appear before PAC. During PAC’s proceeding, PAC passed directions to AGP to conduct a special (forensic) audit of the MNCs in the tobacco sector to find out the facts behind a massive decrease in the tax collection from the country’s tobacco sector. The PAC chairman expressed serious concerns over the reduction in tax collection from
the tobacco sector. He said FBR had collected Rs107 billion in revenue from the tobacco sector in 2014, Rs114 billion in 2015, Rs84 billion in 2016, and Rs92 billion to be collected in 2017. He said that although the FBR has introduced third slabs on cigarette price to control the sale of non-custom paid cigarettes (illicit trade) and increase in smoking rates in the country, however, smuggling (illicit trade) continues and the smoking rate is ever increasing in the country. MNCs had reduced cigarette production by 50 per cent in 2016 in a planned manner only to get the introduction of the third-tier structure on cigarette price, said Khursheed Shah. “Third slab has caused Rs30 billion in losses while 158,000 cases of cancer surfaced due to smoking, and the FBR has made cigarette price cheaper only to benefit MNCs,” said Syed Khursheed Shah. The chairman added that the only solution to control the increase in smoking rates is to jack up the price of cigarettes in the country. Earlier, the AGP had launched a special audit of international companies engaged in the tobacco sector of the country, following the direction from PAC. The AGP sought all necessary records from the tobacco manufacturing industry as this special audit was to be completed within 15 days as per PAC’s directions. The special audit of MNCs was to analyse the production of tobacco manufacturing industry and rate of tax collection from the tobacco sector as tax collection had witnessed decline while production went up 100 per cent. Moreover, the audit was to see how much tax MNC’s were being paid to FBR. Also, MNCs reduced cigarette price by 50 per cent while their production recorded 100 per cent increase in 2018, said sources. AGP spokesperson, when contacted confirmed the information and said a special audit of MNCs engaged in the tobacco sector the country is in process. He said full procedure will be followed and it will be completed in the light of PAC’s directions. He said forensic audit takes time. However, he reassured PAC’s directions will be followed in true spirit. It is relevant to mention here that FBR has retained the third slab of federal excise duty (FED) on cigarette prices and set aside stakeholder’s recommendations, asking to jack up
engro foods empowers farmers with project for dairy sector KARACHI: Engro Foods along with Punjab Skill Development Fund (PSDF)started the Big Push for Rural Economy (BPRE) project in 2017, and has targeted approximately 9000 individuals across 60 villages in the South Punjab region. The project trained selected individuals as Livestock Extension Workers, Artificial Insemination Technicians, Farm Supervisors and Village Milk Collectors. The project kicked is coming to a close in June 2018 after reaching more than 11000+ individuals. PRESS RELEASE
Pak-qatar Takaful group awarded fPCCi ’Brand of the Year’ 2018 KARACHI: Pak-Qatar Takaful Group, which comprises of Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited and Pak-Qatar General Takaful Limited was bestowed the Best Brand of the Year 2018 award by FPCCI’s apex body. Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Finance was the chief guest at the occasion. Pak-Qatar General Takaful CEO Zahid Awan, and PakQatar Family Takaful CEO Syed Nasir Ali were present at the award ceremony. PRESS RELEASE
Maker fest Pakistan returns with the Makeathon Camp ISLAMABAD: Raabta, a public diplomacy initiative by Serena Hotels, held an informative panel discussion on the Federal Budget 2018-2019 with expert panelists who brought their unique perspectives to the conversation. With Secretary Commerce Younus Dagha, IMF Resident Representative Teresa Daban, Minister of States and Chairman at the Pakistan Board of Investment Naeem Zamindar, World Bank Pakistan Lead Country Economist, Enrique Blanco Armas and moderated by Sidra Iqbal. PRESS RELEASE
LAHORE: Maker Fest Pakistan returns to Lahore with ‘Makeathon’, a unique summer camp for kids and young adults, in collaboration with the Alliance Française de Lahore. Based on the activities around Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), the camp is intended to enhance creative and critical thinking skills. The camp features workshops by accomplished DIY experts in interesting areas from 3D printing to textile and robotics to origami. Organized by SAMAAJ, the camp will take place at French Center from 7 June till 7 July 2018. PRESS RELEASE
the FED of first two slabs in the finance bill 2018-19. Rejecting the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and PAC chairman to jack up the FED imposed on cigarette prices by Rs44 per pack, FBR has increased FED rate by only 96 paisas per pack of cigarette in the Finance Bill 2018-19. According to the Finance Bill 2018-19, FBR has increased FED by 6 per cent for all three tiers of cigarette prices. For the first slab on cigarette price, FED of Rs4.48 per pack while Rs2.00 per pack for the second slab, and only 96 paisas per pack on the third slab. Sources in FBR on condition of anonymity said that FBR has collected only Rs87 billion from the tobacco sector during the ongoing financial year which is far behind the actual target of Rs120 billion. They said that although the production of cigarettes increased by 100 per cent, FBR’s tax collection from tobacco sector has witnessed a 10 per cent decline during the said year. However, FBR has rejected the recommendations of Health Ministry, parliamentary panel, NGOs, think tanks, and retained the third tier of structure on cigarette prices in the finance bill 2018-19. The sources also informed that due to FBR’s measures, cigarette production would touch 60 billion annually, while around 2.5 million young people will become smokers and the national exchequer will face almost Rs40 billion in revenue losses during the current fiscal year, only because of cheaper prices of cigarettes in the country. Surprisingly, Pakistan is a signatory of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and under the treaty, the government is bound to increase taxes to reduce tobacco consumption in the country. However, FBR has finally declined to withdraw third tier structure which has so far apparently caused a massive increase in death rate due to ever-increasing smoking rate in the country. The FBR has rejected the recommendations of Health Ministry, PAC chairman, Standing Committee of National Assembly and Senate, Sustainable Policy Development Institute (a think tank), Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) and maintained third tier structure on future cigarette price in the finance act 2018.
Hussain Lawai elected PSX board chairman KARACHI STAFF REPORT
The newly constituted Board of Directors of Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) held its first meeting on May 15, where Husain Lawai was unanimously elected as the chairman of the Board. Lawai, was recently appointed as an independent director on the PSX Board for a term of three years, with the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in terms of Securities Exchanges (Licensing and Operations) Regulations, 2016. Husain Lawai is a seasoned banker having vast experience in the banking and financial services industry. Presently, he is the chief executive of the Institute of Bankers Pakistan and also the Summit Bank Limited Vice Chairman. In addition, he is on the boards of Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, GlaxoSmithKline Pakistan Limited, Wyeth Pakistan Limited and Searle Company Limited. In the past, Lawai has remained the chairman of Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited and has also served on the boards of Pakistan International Air-
lines Corporation, State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan and Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan Limited. On the banking side, he was the first president and CEO of MCB Bank Limited for six years after its privatisation in 1991. Later on, he served as the president and CEO of Summit Bank Limited from 2008 till his retirement in 2016. He is credited with being a key enabler of the local Islamic banking system through the formation of Faysal Islamic Bank (now known as Faysal Bank Limited), the first Islamic Shariah compliant Bank of Pakistan and regional general manager of Emirates NBD Bank, for Pakistan and Far East. He was also served as a director of Security Investment and Finance Limited UK and advisor to several UK and European based banks. A staunch promoter of education, he is also a member of Board of Governors of Karachi Grammar School and he served on the Board of Governors of the Virtual University of Pakistan. On social welfare front, he assumed the office of Regional Vice President of World Memon Organization (WMO) for Pakistan for three years beginning from October 2017.
FDI up 2.4 per cent, touches $2.237 billion NEWSDESK: Data released from the State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday revealed the foreign direct investment in Pakistan had recorded a 2.4 percent increase in 10 months of the ongoing financial year 2017-18, touching $2.237 billion. The rise comes in the wake of energy and construction projects, but FDI flows declined to $143.7 million in April from $179.7 million in the same period last year (SPLY). However, experts believe direct investment would remain hugely impacted by energy and infrastructure projects linked to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The government sees net FDI to touch $3.7 billion by end of the financial year 2017-18. And FDI was recorded at $2.746 billion during FY18 as opposed to $2.305 billion last year. Data from the SBP disclosed China was the predominant force for direct investment in the country with inflows of $1.414 billion in FDI from Chinese firms during first 10 months of FY 2017-18 compared to $934.8 billion in SPLY. Power sector inflows increased to $749.9 million for the first 10 months of FY 2017-18 from $514.5 in the corresponding period last year. Construction sector related FDI inflows were recorded at $621.7 million for July-April of FY 2017-18 compared to $262.4 million in the same period of the last financial year 2016-17.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
Manager Moyes leaves West HaM LONDON
ANAGER David Moyes has left West Ham after just over six months in charge despite guiding the club to Premier League
survival. Moyes, 55, took over from Slaven Bilic on a short-term contract in November with the club in the relegation zone. West Ham secured safety with two games to spare and finished 13th. Moyes met senior figures at the club on Monday. The former Everton and Manchester United boss recorded nine wins and 10 draws from 31 games as West Ham boss. "When David and his team arrived, it was the wish of both parties that the focus be only on the six months until
the end of the season, at which point a decision would be made with regards to the future," said West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan. "We feel that it is right to move in a different direction. We aim to appoint a
high-calibre figure who we feel will lead the club into an exciting future for our loyal supporters within the next 10 days." Moyes' assistants Alan Irvine, Stuart Pearce and Billy McKinlay have
also left with immediate effect. 'EVEN guaRDIOLa TOOK a BIT OF TIME’: West Ham finished nine points clear of the drop zone, after earning seven points out of the last nine. Moyes' last game in charge was a 31 win over Everton on Sunday, after which he suggested his preference was to stay beyond this season. "Everybody always thinks the grass is greener and there's something better out there. I would say more often than not I bet you it's proved wrong," said Moyes. "We've shown we're trying to improve. I don't know if anybody can come and make that big a difference in six months. Even Pep Guardiola took a bit of time to get his team right. "I'd think you'd need to give a bit longer. But every manager now is in transit. I don't think there is a long period."
LONDON: Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola was named Manager of the Year at a League Managers Association awards ceremony on Tuesday after leading his side to the Premier League title and a host of records. The Spaniard, 47, whose team finished 19 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United, also won the League Cup in February, beating Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley. City became the first top-flight club to gain 100 points and broke records for goals scored in a Premier League season (106), consecutive wins, most victories (32) and the best goal difference (+79). Guardiola beat off competition for the award from Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp, Burnley’s Sean Dyche, Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espirito Santos, Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock and Accrington Stanley’s John Coleman. AGENCIES
Pakistan lose to Uzbekistan in Street Child Football World Cup final
‘Child footballers await cash promised to them by Bilawal’
NEWS DESK Sindh Government has allegedly remained unable to pay the cash award to the players of the Pakistan Street Child Football team, that was promised to them by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in 2014. The cash award was announced as an appreciation for the Bronze medal won by the team at the Street Child World Cup, held in Brazil in 2014. This was mentioned by the official account of the Football Pakistan in a tweet on Wednesday. The tweet reads, “Requesting Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sherry Rehman, whatever the outcome of Street Child World Cup final is, please don’t call the players to take pictures with them and announce financial rewards, because you still haven’t paid the last batch from 4 years ago.” In April 2014, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hosted the Pakistan Street Child Football team at the Bilawal House where he congratulated each player for their performance at the Street Child Football World Cup in Brazil. On the occasion, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also an-
Man City's guardiola crowned lMa Manager of the year
nounced an award of Rs100,000 award for each player that has still not been received by the players, according to the aforementioned tweet. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, Sherry Rehman, MNA Faryal Talpur, Jameel Soomro, Qadir Patel, Sharmila Faruqi also attended the event. They took photos with the team on this occasion as well. The Pakistani Street Child Football team won the bronze medal in the 2014 Street Child World Cup and was placed third after defeating the United States team.
Pakistan put up a tough fight but lost to beat Uzbekistan in the final of the Street Child Football World Cup played in Moscow. The match was tied 1-1 at the end of full time and headed to a penalty shootout. In the shootout, Uzbekistan pulled ahead 6-5. Pakistan had beaten Indonesia in the semifinal on Monday. The boys in green outclassed Indonesia 5-4 on penalties to secure their place in the final, where they will face Uzbekistan for the trophy. The match had remained goal-less draw when the final whistle blew. However, in penalty shoot-outs, both the teams managed to score four goals each. In additional penalties, Indonesia missed the target after conceding a goal to Pakistan. On the other hand, Uzbekistan had beaten Burundi in their semi-final encounter 1-0. Pakistan captain Mohammad Abdullah was named Player of the Tournament for Boys competition. Abdur Rasheed, the head coach of Muslim
Hands Pakistan Street Child team, had told Geo.tv that the team would give its best to bring the gift of the trophy home. “I request everyone in Pakistan to pray for our success,” Rasheed had said. “Insha’Allah, if the boys play according to their abilities then we will gift victory to the nation.” Earlier in the tournament, Pakistan had played a goal-less equaliser against Uzbekistan in the first match, then defeated Russia 3-1 and Tajikistan 2-0 on way to the semi-final.
England call Jos Buttler, Dom Bess for Pakistan Tests LONDON
nadal powers into rome third round ROME AGENCIES
Rafael Nadal powered his way into the third round of the ATP Italian Open on Wednesday with a straight sets win over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur. The Spaniard won through 6-1, 6-0 in an hour as he targets an eighth title at the Foro Italico and first since 2013. Nadal lost his first match on clay in over a year last week in the Madrid quarter-finals to Austrian Dominic Thiem and as a result lost his world number one ranking to Roger Federer. The 31-year-old, who claimed the 11th titles of his career at both Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, took the first set in 34 minutes coasting to victory in just one hour. The 16-time Grand Slam winner next takes on either Canadian Denis Shapovalov, 19, or Robin Haase of the Netherlands. But he will not be able to take revenge on sixth seed Thiem who lost his second round match 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to Italian Fabio Fognini.
Jos Buttler has earned a surprise recall to England's Test team at the expense of James Vince, while the Somerset spinner, Dominic Bess, was the beneficiary of his team-mate Jack Leach's misfortune, as the new national selector, Ed Smith, unveiled his squad for next week's first Test against Pakistan. Buttler, who has not played red-ball cricket for England since the tour of India in November and December 2016, has found a rich vein of form for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL this month, with a tournament-record five consecutive half-centuries, including unbeaten scores of 95 and 94 in his last two innings. "Jos Buttler is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England's white-ball teams," Smith said. "The selection panel feels that this is the perfect moment to reintroduce Jos to Test cricket, where he has already enjoyed some success, including a stint playing as a specialist batsman at number seven. Jos is playing with great confidence and flair, and he will bring unique qualities to the Test team." He will return to the middle order, with Jonny Bairstow retaining the wick-
etkeeper's role and moving up the order, meaning Vince is fall guy after a winter of false dawns, in spite of a timely Championship double-century for Hampshire against Somerset on Monday. Joe Root will bat at No.3 with Dawid Malan at No. 4. Vince, who was recalled to the Test squad for the Ashes, in spite of a mediocre start to his career against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 2016, made an attractive 83 in his first Test innings of the winter, at Brisbane in November, and signed off with 76 against New Zealand at Christchurch last month.
However, in between whiles, he made just one more score of fifty in nine innings, with a propensity to get himself out when well set costing him dear. ess, meanwhile, has leapfrogged to the front of England's spinning options, in the wake of a cruel injury for Leach in the nets at Taunton next week. A fractured left thumb means he will be out of action for both Pakistan Tests, and so will be unable to back up the promise he showed on Test debut in Christchurch last month. Moeen Ali was dropped for the final Test in New Zealand and has played no red-ball
cricket since due to his spell at the IPL. "Dom Bess has made an excellent start to his first-class career," Smith said. "He has impressed everyone with his performances for Somerset and when he has been given opportunities with England representative teams. With Jack Leach missing out due to injury, the selection panel wanted to invest opportunity in a young spin bowler. Dom's strong form, character and allround abilities presented a compelling case for selection. Chris Woakes and Mark Wood, who was recalled in Christchurch, will compete for the final fast-bowling spot while Mark Stoneman has retained his place at the top of the order despite a lean start to the season. He had faced pressure from an in-form Nick Gubbins. Meanwhile, Malan and Tom Curran have been awarded incremental contracts based on their performances in the 2017-18 period. Malan was one of the few successes in the Ashes while Curran became a regular part of the one-day side. ENgLaND squaD: Joe Root (capt), Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
CMYK Thursday, 17 May, 2018
sarfraz adMits being Worried at 14 for tHree DUBLIN
AKISTAN captain Sarfraz Ahmed admits he was worried when his team slipped to 14/3 chasing a target of 160 but praised his two inexperienced batsmen for getting them over line in the one-off Test against Ireland in Malahide. Imam-ul-Haq (74 not out), who was making his Test debut, and Babar Azam (59), in his 12 Test, combined for a 126run stand to seal a five-wicket win in the second session on the fifth and final day. Pakistan have had a tendency to screw up chasing low totals in Tests recently but Sarfraz praised the character of his two batsmen. Sarfraz said: “Definitely we were worried when we were down 14 for three. “But it’s really good that these two young players in our team, Imam-ulHaq and Babar Azam, the way they played, they showed their character, they showed their confidence. “I think the way they played gives great confidence to the team and will
bangladesh to play in Jamaica after 14 years DHAKA AGENCIES
Bangladesh are set to play their first Test in Jamaica in 14 years after Cricket West Indies announced the tour schedule. The visitors’ first Test in the two-match series will be held in Antigua and the second at Sabina Park from July 12. They will also play three ODIs and three T20Is. Bangladesh start the tour with a twoday practice match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua before the first Test begins on July 4. After the second Test, they will play the first two ODIs in Guyana, where they last played in the 2007 World Cup. The third ODI and the first T20 will be held in St Kitts while the second and third T20s will be held in Florida’s Central Broward Regional Park. This is Bangladesh’s fourth tour to the West Indies, the last of which was in 2014 when they didn’t win a single game in any of the formats.
amir hopes to get his name on lords honour board again DUBLIN AGENCIES
Mohammad Amir, the leader of Pakistan’s fast bowling artillery, is hoping to etch his name yet again at the historic Lords honour board, as Pakistan plays England this month. “Our team this time is very young but they are very keen to play at Lords and are very excited. Everyone wants to get their name on the honour board and I am also looking for it the second time,” said Amir. Speaking about the lack of swing since making his return back to international after five years, Amir said since his return the game has changed ‘totally’ and he was not even doing any kind of training during those years. “The one main reason because I am coming back after five years and since then cricket has changed completely as it is much faster and… the wickets are little bit flat now, as well,” he said. “In the five years period, I didn’t do training no bowling, so it is difficult. But I am still trying to swing the ball, because when you are swinging the ball you will get wickets,” he added.
help them in the next matches as well.” The Pakistan skipper said the victory set them up nicely for the two Tests against England, starting next week, with a relatively young Test line-up taking plenty of confidence into that series. Besides Imam and Babar, Faheem Ashraf was also on Test debut and
scored 83 in the first innings while spinner Shadab Khan, playing his second Test, took four wickets and scored a fifty. Sarfraz continued: “We are very confident. We are a very young side, we had two debutant players, but we were very confident.
“It was very important the way these two young players are batting. I think it’s very good for Pakistan as a team to chase this on the fifth day.” Pakistan will take some satisfaction that, after losing three quick wickets, the collapse was stemmed by two of the most inexperienced Test batsmen in the side: debutant Imam and Babar, in his 12th Test, who made the most of a life when he was dropped on 9. The pair put on a century stand and even two late wickets could not divert Pakistan from their goal. Imam has now scored three halfcenturies on this tour and it will have pleased Pakistan even more the way he and Babar lifted the scoring rate after early jitters. More often than not in their collapses the run-scoring slows down to a crawl in a chase. Important runs for Babar will be another bonus, given his lean Test career. They will, however, face sterner tests against the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad at Lord's next week. The first Test between Pakistan and England starts at Lord’s on 24 May.
SPORTS 15 Juventus' buffon expected to announce retirement TURIN AGENCIES
Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is expected to announce his retirement in a news conference at the Allianz Stadium in Turin on Thursday. Buffon, 40, captained Juventus to a seventh straight Serie A title and fourth consecutive Coppa Italia triumph this season. The former Parma goalkeeper could make his 640th and final Serie A appearance against Hellas Verona on Sunday. "There will never be another Gigi," Buffon's agent told Italian media. Silvano Martina added: "I can't add anything more because he will reveal what he's going to do next to the press [on Thursday]." Buffon is scheduled to appear in front of the media at 10:30 BST. He is facing a Uefa ban for comments made about English referee Michael Oliver, who sent him off in the Champions League semi-final defeat by Real Madrid. Buffon had said Oliver has "a bag of rubbish for a heart" and should "sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, having your drink and eating crisps". Italy's most capped player with 176 appearances, Buffon could make his international farewell on 4 June in a friendly against the Netherlands.
England World Cup winner Wilson dies LONDON AGENCIES
Ray Wilson, a member of England's World Cup-winning side, has died, aged 83. At 31, the left-back was the oldest player in Sir Alf Ramsey's starting XI which overcame West Germany 4-2 in the 1966 final at Wembley. He spent most of his club career at Huddersfield Town before moving to Everton, where he helped the Toffees win the 1966 FA Cup. Derbyshire-born Wilson, who also played for Oldham and Bradford City, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The Terriers said in a statement they were "devastated" to learn of Wilson's death and added: "He was a regular supporter at home match days alongside his eldest son Russell despite battling
Alzheimer's disease." Everton also paid tribute to their former player, saying Wilson was "unques-
tionably one of the finest footballers to wear the royal blue jersey". Former Toffees boss Joe Royle, who
made his Everton debut the year Wilson helped them to FA Cup success, said: "He is a World Cup winner and played in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world-class players. He was certainly one of those. "He was the best of his kind at the time. And he was a top guy, always there with a smile or a helpful word. I played a few reserve games with Ray and it was like listening to a maestro. He knew his stuff." Wilson's England team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton also paid tribute to his "close friend". The 80-year-old said: "Lady Norma and I are deeply saddened by the awful news that Ray has passed away "We shared some wonderful memories throughout our career and I had the pleasure of being his room-mate. Ray was a great man and he will be missed by so many people."
Alexander-Arnold gets England World Cup call LONDON AGENCIES
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been included in England's squad for the World Cup as Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere were the big-name casualties of Gareth Southgate's youth revolution. The England manager confirmed on Wednesday that, as widely anticipated, he had omitted both on-loan West Ham goalkeeper Hart and Arsenal midfielder Wilshere were not in his squad for the World Cup in Russia. Hart is 31 and has played 75 times for England. Injury-prone Wilshere is 26 and has 34 England caps. But 19-year-old Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold will be on the flight to Russia as Southgate has opted for a youthful selection in what he hopes will prove a bold new era for the underachieving national team. "With Joe, we've got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group. Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance?" Southgate said. The 23 players averages just 19 caps, making them England's least experienced World Cup squad since 1962. The selection of Alexander-Arnold, comes after some fine performances in Liverpool's run to the Champions League final.
"The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it's not just because they are young, it's because their performances deserve it," Southgate said. Southgate named Burnley's Nick Pope, at 26 the oldest of the three goalkeepers, in place of Hart and called up Manchester City's Fabian Delph, who can play at left-back or in midfield, to take over from Wilshere. Delph hasn't played for England since 2015, but he is coming off a Premier League title-winning campaign with City. Based on the players' age on the first match-day of the tournament, England have named their third youngest World Cup squad behind the 2006 and 1958 editions. The most capped player, with 52 appearances, is Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, at 32 the second oldest member of the squad, who was included despite missing out in recent friendlies, while there was no place for Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana, who has recently returned from a long hamstring injury lay-off. Chelsea's young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has earned selection after an impressive season on loan at Crystal Palace.
"I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about," Southgate said. "It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance. Southgate has included just four players -- Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Cahill -who played in the last World Cup in 2014. Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Sterling and Welbeck are England's attacking options.
'LOT OF ENERgY': Nobody in the squad has won a World Cup match, but Southgate is confident England can make an impact as they dream of winning the tournament for the first time since 1966. "We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we've been looking to develop," he said. "The selection process has been over months really, it's not just been the last few weeks.
Thursday, 17 May, 2018
hashMi urgEs EstablishMEnt to rEspEct politicians PML-N LEADER SAYS ARMY PRESSURISING NAWAZ FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS
CRITICISES ROLE OF ESTABLISHMENT IN PAKISTAN’S POLITICS
N a set of fiery videos and interviews, Javed Hashmi has urged the establishment to respect politicians and the civil institutions, including parliament. Addressing a press conference in Multan, Hashmi said he salutes the armed forces but hastened to add that it was his right to question them. Stressing that the armed forces must understand their role in a democratic system, the veteran politician slated top generals and said that Pakistan lost five wars to India due to poor strategy of adventuresome generals. “80 percent generals wrote in their books that all the five wars were launched by Pakistan and Pakistan lost them all too,” claimed the politician, adding that “I was told to become minister in Musharraf’s cabinet but refused.” Hashmi also drew a comparison between the armed forces of Turkey and Pakistan, saying the former enjoyed upper hand in the country as it rendered sacrifices.
“Army is not our mother or father. Instead, Pakistan and parliament are our father and mother,” he asserted. In a direct reference to the establishment, the PML-N leader said that conspiracies were hatched to oust Nawaz during his stint, for which he was a living proof. The PML-N leader also endorsed former PM Nawaz’s controversial comments on the 2008 Mumbai attacks saying that “Nawaz has uttered nothing but the truth.” “If the registration of high treason
india announces ceasefire in held Kashmir during ramzan SRINAGAR AGENCIES
case is due against Nawaz Sharif, then first it should be lodged against ex-president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf. I am a great fan of Pakistan Army and appeal them to play their role in preventing character assassination campaign of the politicians,” he asserted. The senior politician continued that a biased narrative was to victimise and defame the politicians and political parties, particularly in Punjab, but warned that its repercussions would bring about disastrous results. Echoing the remarks
PTM demands broader jirga for talks with government PESHAWAR SHAMIM SHAHID
India’s home ministry says government troops in held Kashmir have been asked to stop counter-insurgency operations during the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan. The ministry in a series of tweets on Wednesday said the decision was made so that Muslims can observe the holy month “in a peaceful environment”. Another tweet said Indian troops “reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people”. No separatist group fighting against Indian rule immediately issued any statement about the announcement. Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety. Separatists have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, demanding India held Kashmir be made part of Pakistan or unified with Azad Jammu and Kashmir as an independent country.
made by Nawaz Sharif, Hashmi demanded to constitute a national commission to probe the facts. “Only politicians had played a role in creating Pakistan and they were the prime target in the current situation. When you started penalising and defaming politicians, how will you survive in the world,” he questioned. The former legislator also took aim at the superior judiciary and said that the courts were only present to hang politicians to death. “If you are to hang Nawaz Sharif, hang me too,” said Hashmi in clear-worded remarks. He also slammed the National Accountability Bureau and said that it was a third-class institution adding that the NAB court had become a washing machine in which politicians were drycleaned. The former lawmaker also censured his former boss, Imran Khan and highlighted that the person who was declared Indian agent by military leadership was sitting with the PTI chairman. “Imran Khan was being defamed for sit-ins but in fact, he got trapped and used by them due to his desire to become Prime Minister,” he said.
The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) demanded constitution of a jirga comprising Pashtun elders from all over the country for talks with the high-ups of government institutions to help in resolving security and administrative problems faced by them throughout the country. The demand was made during a meeting between PTM representatives and government-constituted jirga members at the residence of tribal MNA Haji Shah Jee Gul Afridi in Hayatabad Peshawar on Wednesday. PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen didn’t attend the meeting and was represented by Mohsin Dawar, Ali Wazir and Dr Said Alam Mehsud. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Information Min-
ister Shah Farman, tribal elders Malik Waris Khan Afridi and Khan Marjan Wazir were prominent from the government- constituted Jirga. Upon the conclusion of over four-hour meeting, Mohsin Dawar said, “PTM is highlighting issues faced by Pashtuns and is spread throughout the country, therefore, the jirga should be widened.” In this respect, he said that PTM will suggest 10 to 12 names and later the federal government should issue a formal notification. After this notification, formal negotiations would be useful for resolving all issues, he added. Dawar further said, “Arrests, blockade of roads and creating hurdles for PTM activists are all meaningless.” He added that they diverted the attention of jirga members to-
wards arrests, registration of cases and harassment of PTM workers and supporters in Lahore, Karachi and other parts of the country. On behalf of the government jirga, Khan Marjan also condemned these tactics and urged the government to review its policies in this respect. Khan Marjan Wazir also denounced the recent target killings in North Waziristan Agency and urged the government to realise its responsibilities in this respect. He added that protest sit-in at Mirali and Miran Shah against target killing was in progress. KP Information Minister Shah Farman acknowledged the hardships and sense of deprivation amongst the Pashtuns, who according to him had badly suffered due to terrorism going on from last four decades.
‘Kp assembly seats to increase to 147 after Fata merger’ NA body on law defers considering the bill till next meeting PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT
The seats for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly will increase to 147 from the current 126 after its merger with Federally Administered Tribal Areas, according to the proposed 30th Amendment of the Constitution. The amendment, which would serve as a means to merge FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was presented before the National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Law and Justice for approval on Wednesday. However the committee decided to take it up in the next meeting. The general seats of the provincial assembly will increase from 99 to 117, the bills states. Moreover, the seats for women have been increased from 22 to 26, while religious minorities’ seats from three to four. According to the sub-section of the bill, FATA will be granted 18 general seats, four seats for women and one for the religious minority. Moreover, FATA’s 12 seats in National Assembly will be merged in KP Assembly and KP seats will increase from 48 to 60 in the National Assembly. Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch in his statement of objects and reasons said that the federal cabinet in its decision on March 2, 2017, approved the integration of FATA with KP. “FATA being a part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after such integration will require its representation in the provincial assembly of the province,” he said, adding that the seats for FATA have been created in KP assembly according to its population. “Creation of such seats is also of paramount importance for the fact that, if delayed, it will not only hamper the integration or the mainstreaming of FATA but also neglect a favourable opportunity, which might become a distant possibility before the next general elections 2023,” he added.
RHC spends Rs1 million in a day for Ramzan moon sighting ISLAMABAD OBAID ABBASI
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had already predicted that the Ramzan moon will be sighted on May 16 and scientifically and the first day of the holy month will be on May 17, but the controversial Ruet-e Hilal Committee (RHC) spent Rs1 million to see the moon in Karachi, Pakistan Today has learned. Well-placed sources in the Ministry of Religious Affairs revealed that the total cost of the RHC’s meeting was Rs1 million which was held on Wednesday at Met Office Karachi. The RHC was established in 1974 through a parliamentary resolution and has been working since then at both central and district levels without any legal or constitutional status. The committee is already a controversial entity as its legal status was questioned at many forums when members were appointed on a political basis. RHC Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman, along with its 23 members, assembled in Karachi on May 15 as the Ministry of Religious Affairs paid their expenses from transport to accommodation and others, sources close to the de-
velopment told Pakistan Today. According to sources, the cost of each member was slated at Rs40,000 which includes air ticket of each member, transport, phone, meal and accommodation charges. The members were accommodated in Darul Harman Hotel in Karachi with Rs5,000 being the cost for each room. The committee members were allowed to get Rs28,000 to Rs33,000 air tickets in economy class which will be reimbursed by the religious ministry. Each member enjoyed a meal of Rs5,000, Rs1,000 in phone charges and Rs1,000 in transport charges. “This futile exercise has been going on since the establishment of RHC which is totally political,” said the sources, who believe that the ministry has already prepared a draft to regularise the committee and the draft is still pending in the National Assembly (NA). According to the Met Office’s readings, the age of the new moon will be 26 hours and 45 minutes at the time of sighting on May 16. “The country is already facing the worst financial crisis and such expenses are an increased burden on the national exchequer,” remarked an official of the ministry, who wished not to be named.
EntirE MusliM world on thE saME pagE this raMzan
Badshahi Masjid Imam Maulana Abdul Khair Azad, who is a member of the committee, was seen at the ministry on Monday, confirming from the ministry’s official whether it will reimburse him the accommodation charges if he hires his own accommodation. However, the ministry’s official told him that the ministry will only reimburse to only those members who will avail the ministry’s accommodation. The cleric also complained that this year, the PIA charged him Rs33,000 for an air ticket to Karachi which usually costs Rs25,000-26,000. When contacted, Ministry of Reli-
KARACHI: The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee sighted the moon on Wednesday and hence the first Ramzan will be observed on Thursday, Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman announced in the much-awaited press conference. Pakistan and the rest of the world will have first Ramzan on the same day after six years. The meeting of Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee was underway in Karachi for sighting the Ramzan moon. Chairman of the committee Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman presided over the meeting. “The decision will be made on the basis of witnesses,” Munib-ur-Rehman told media. Provincial and district-level Ruet-e-Hilal committees also met in their respective areas to record witnesses of the moon. Meanwhile, the Met Office had forecasted ‘fair chance’ of sighting the moon. Earlier this month, it had announced, “According to astronomical parameters, there is Fair Chance of sighting the new moon of Ramzan, 1439 AH on the evening of 16-05-2018 i.e. on 29th of Shaban, 1439 AH.” AROUND THE WORLD: Ramzan will begin on Thursday, May 17, Saudi Arabia announced. Millions of Muslims around the world will begin the fasting month of Ramzan on Thursday. South Korea, Japan, Australia and Singapore also declared Ramzan on Thursday. STAFF REPORT
gious Affairs Director General Research Noor Salam, who supervises the affairs, confirmed that the total cost of the RHC’s meeting was around Rs1 million. However, he claimed that the venue in Karachi was decided because of fewer expenses.
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“The cost of the meeting in Islamabad is too high as compared to Karachi which is around Rs1.5 million, therefore, the ministry decided to conduct the meeting in Karachi so that the expenses could be reduced,” said the official.