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Friday, 6 May, 2016

NEWS

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AccepT or negoTiATe: shAh sends opp’s Tors To pM NA OPP LEADER SAYS READY TO DISCUSS TORS WITH GOVT, AS PTI CHIEF VOWS NOT TO ALLOW REMOVAL OF ANY POINT FROM TORS SENT TO PM ISLAMABAD

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Opposition Leader Shah sent a onepage letter along with the TORs to the prime minister. In the letter, Shah told Prime Minister Nawaz that the opposition was willing to have a dialogue with the government on the TORs framed for the commission probing the Panama Leaks. Sources said that after receiving Shah’s letter, the prime minister held a consultative session with his cabinet ministers and close aides to discuss the contents of the letter and the TORs proposed by the government. Talking to a private news channel later in the day, Khursheed Shah said that they had never refused to

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EADER of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Thursday formally forwarded to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the Terms of References (TORs), jointly compiled by the opposition parties to probe the Panama Leaks, urging him to accept the TORs, as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said that he would not allow removal of even one point of the TORs sent to the government.

hold negotiations on the TORs as only a dictator would deny dialogue. He said that there was nothing wrong with the TORs framed by the opposition parties. He said that the prime minister needs to provide answers regarding his sons being named in the Panama Papers. “If sons of a country’s prime minister do not pay taxes then how can he expect others to pay them,” Shah said, adding that the PM was trying to prove his innocence by spending millions of rupees in advertisements propagating his stance. Shah said that the PPP was aware that the late Benazir Bhutto would not become the country’s prime minister for the third time, adding that an amendment was done in the constitution during PPP’s tenure to ensure that Nawaz Sharif does take the throne for the third time. “Why would we want Nawaz Sharif to lose his office then,” he asked. The

PPP senior leader said that the opposition parties wanted accountability of everyone. But the process should start with PM Nawaz and his family, he added. Shah said that transparent investigation of the Panama Leaks revelations could only be done through the TORs presented by the opposition parties. The prime minister should not avoid investigation when he has been claiming innocence since the start of the Panama uproar, he said. PTI WON’T BUDGE ON TORS:

No major gulf between civil and military leadership: Nisar

69,534 selected through balloting under govt Hajj scheme ISLAMABAD APP

A total of 69,534 intending pilgrims were selected through open computerised balloting on Thursday to perform the sacred religious obligation under the Government Hajj Scheme 2016. Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousuf conducted the balloting at the Committee Room of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. According to details, the selection has been based on groups from one to 14 pilgrims. The selection of group leader meant selecting the whole group, the minister said, adding that as many as 17,213 groups had been declared successful. Yousuf announced the names of first aspirants, the group of Noor Rehman from Bajaur Agency, followed by Pervaiz Khan Shakir from Peshawar and Ajmal Shah from Peshawar. The list of successful applicants will be put on the ministry website by 10:00 pm Thursday. The applicants can check their names by clicking their application numbers www.hajjinfo.com; www.mora.gov.pk. The successful aspirants will be intimated through text messages on their mobile phones. They will also be sent intimation letters. The successful applicants can also check their names by visiting their respective banks. The rejected applicants will be able to take their money back from the banks from Friday. There will be no need to get approval of the ministry in this respect.

INTERIOR MINISTER SAYS PM, ARMY CHIEF HAVEN’T MET AS PM IS NOT WELL CALLS FOR PROVINCIAL GOVT TO ORDER JUDICIAL ENQUIRY INTO MQM LEADER’S DEATH IN RANGERS’ CUSTODY MONITORING DESK Eyebrows were raised Thursday after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali said there was no major gulf in relations between the civilian government and the military on issues of corruption and the Punjab operation. The statement was significant as it seemed to imply that there were indeed points of difference between the civilian and the military leadership of the country. “The perception is not correct that there is a major gulf between prime minister and army chief,” the interior minister, said and added, “The two haven’t met recently as you are aware Prime Minister Sharif hasn’t been well,” Nisar said while talking to a private news channel. “Insha’Allah (God willing), such meetings will resume once again,” he said. ‘I WAS INFORMED OF MILITARY OPERATION’: To a question about General Raheel Sharif’s public statements on corruption, Nisar said that he won’t interpret the army chief’s re-

marks. Nisar said that he was taken into confidence by the military leadership before launching an operation in Punjab. “The operation was launched after we got overnight intelligence reports about terrorists in Punjab. I was informed. Yes, there was some communication gap with the Punjab government.” READY TO DISCUSS TORS: The interior minister said that the government is ready to sit with the opposition parties to develop a consensus on the Terms of Reference (TORs) for a transparent probe into Panama Papers. “This issue cannot be resolved through rallies or speeches. There has to be a forum to determine truth behind allegations of offshore companies,” he said. He said that he had accepted a demand from PTI Chairman Imran on an investigation by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), but the PTI leader backtracked. “The issue has been politicised and if the FIA launches an inquiry, it will not be accepted by the opposition,” he maintained. “Thos who leaked Panama Papers clearly

said these were mere allegations. It was not yet established that offshore companies were bought through illegal means,” he said. The enquiry, he alleged, was delayed by the opposition as they were in confusion. He said the Sharif family never concealed owing the Mayfair apartment. “In fact, the prime minister himself lived there and used to conduct meetings there,” he said. NISAR WANTS JUDICIAL ENQUIRY INTO MQM LEADER’S DEATH IN RANGERS’ CUSTODY: Responding to a question about the death of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker Aftab Ahmed in Rangers’ custody, Nisar proposed the Sindh government order a judicial enquiry. “The provincial government can order an inquiry. The army chief and Rangers have also ordered enquiries. But to make it meaningful, the Sindh government should set up a judicial commission,” he said.

Foreign Ministry failed to make effective case for US F-16s, senators say CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01 Karim Khawaja of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that Pakistan’s Foreign Office and diplomats were not doing their job properly and professionally. He said none of the Pakistani ambassadors brings any foreign investment in Pakistan. He said most of Pakistani the diplomats are only interested in their own affairs. “They merely want their children get education from abroad in good institutions. They have no concern with Pakistan,” Karim Khawaja said. Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F raised the issue of misbehaviour with Pakistanis in Russia last month. Foreign Affairs Minister Special Secretary Amjad Hussain Siyal replied that these Pakistanis were initially deported to Turkey on they return to Pakistan. BUDGET INCREASE: Earlier, Director General Finance of Foreign Office Shujaat Rathore informed the committee

that budget for financial year 2015-16 for the Foreign Affairs Division is Rs 1.289 billion while the proposed budget for the year 2016-17 is Rs 1.449 billion. The Foreign Ministry requested the Finance Division to provide Rs 160 million in addition to the already approved IBC. The priority committee meeting, which was held on April 11, discussed the demand of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs for provision of additional funds and advised to further discuss the requirement of additional funds with the financial adviser. It was agreed to provide additional funds of Rs 35 million for the enhancement of security arrangements and another Rs 80 for improving cyber security. The Finance Division did not agree to the proposals of provision of Rs 40 million for outsourcing cleaning service and 5 million for payment of pension contribution. The DG said the Finance Division was requested for provision of additional funds of Rs 1.577 billion above

the IBC. The request of by the Foreign Affairs Minister was discussed in the priority committee’s meeting. The priority committee advised to hold a follow up meeting with the financial adviser to further discuss the demand. In a follow up meeting with the adviser, wherein the Division agreed to provide Rs 950 million in addition to the approved IBC. The share of payment of social security to local based staff hired by the missions abroad was of Rs 110 million. For the outsourcing of cleaning services in missions abroad Rs 250 million while Rs 120 million for opening up new Councils in Madina and Dammam were approved. Additionally Rs 200 million for opening four new set ups of OM Wing in Baku, Toronto, Berlin and Los Angles and Rs 270 millions for beefing up of security of the missions abroad were also approved. He informed the committee that the Finance Division has not agreed to pro-

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vision of Rs 627 millions for revision of pay scales in missions abroad and financial implications of enfacement in age limit on education subsidy, increase in rent and replacement of vehicles. An additional Rs 150 million is required for promoting and building soft image of Pakistan by missions abroad. The Finance Division, however, has agreed to provide only Rs 15 million for the purpose. The DG said that the yearly budget and expenditure for 201516 were Rs 2.157 billion for the delegations and employees related expenses while the ministry’s expenditures up to February were Rs 1.134. The mission abroad allocated Rs 11.673 for the current financial year while the expenditures remained Rs 7.460 billion. The committee also recommended parliamentary dialogue and visits between Pakistan and Mexico for enhancing cooperation and dialogue between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the most vocal critic of the prime minister, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that expulsion of even a single point from the TORs would mean an end to the investigation. “We will not allow any commission that is not based on the TORs formulated by the joint opposition parties,” he said while talking in a news channel’s talkshow. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is putting his entire government on stake just to hide his corruption,” he said.

Eight ‘terrorists’ killed in Sheikhupura CTD encounter LAHORE stAff rePort

Eight suspected terrorists were killed while four of their accomplices escaped when the Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) exchanged gunfire with them at Sharaqpur Road early on Thursday. According to police officials, the operation was carried out by the CTD on an intelligence tipoff. Huge quantity of weapons including four Kalashnikovs, as many pistols and 6 kilogrammes of explosives were recovered from their possession, they added. Maps of sensitive locations were also recovered from terrorists’ possession, said police officials who added that the search for fleeing terrorists was ongoing in the area.

Bodies of four minors found in Quetta water tank QUETTA stAff rePort

The dead bodies of four girls, aged between two and 10, were recovered Thursday from a water tank in the Faizabad area adjacent to Quetta’s airport road, said police officials. The girls’ father, Mehmood Khan alleged his daughters were initially poisoned by their mother and then thrown into a water tank. “My wife is mentally ill. My family has been destroyed,” said Khan. Officials claim the mother also attempted suicide by trying to jump in the water tank. The dead bodies of the girls were shifted to Quetta Civil Hospital for autopsy, where the mother was also admitted in an unconscious state. Police say an investigation is ongoing, but the father is not a suspect.

NAB seeks removal of SSGC managing director KARACHI stAff rePort

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday wrote a letter to the Petroleum Ministry seeking removal of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) managing director nominated in the Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) reference against former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain. According to NAB sources, corruption cases against SSGC Managing Director Khalid Rehman and General Manager (Finance) Malik Usman are being heard by an accountability court. The Bureau alleges that the SSGC suffered huge losses under Khalid Rehman.

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