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Wednesday, 4 December, 2019 I 6 Rabi-us-Sani, 1441 I Rs 19.00 I Vol X No 154 I 16 Pages I Islamabad Edition

NAB freezes properties owNed By shehBAz shArif ANd soNs g

anti-gRaft watchdog seiZes Residential pRopeRties of pMl-n leadeRs UndeR nao 1999, anti-Money laUndeRing act 2010




he national accountability bureau (nab) on tuesday froze immovable assets owned by pakistan Muslim league-nawaz (pMl-n) president shehbaz sharif and his sons, hamza shehbaz and suleman shehbaz, over charges of money laundering and possessing assets beyond known sources of income. these properties are located in lahore, chiniot, haripur and abbottabad and will remain under the accountability watchdog’s custody for a period of 15 days, during which the bureau would seek confirmation of its


bUReaU will pResent oRdeRs foR confiRMation befoRe accoUntability coURt within 15 days

orders from an accountability court. shehbaz’s properties include two houses in the cooperative Model town society ltd in Model town and one bungalow in nishat lodges, doonga gali in abbottabad was acquired in his wife nusrat shehbaz sharif’s name. a cottage, a villa, and a six marla plot in Khasra and two houses in defence housing authority (dha) phase V lahore bought by the former opposition leader in the name of his second wife tehmina durrani. hamza and suleman’s immovable properties include two plots in chiniot’s tehsil bhowana, nine in Ma Johar town lahore and four in Judicial colony phase 1 (extension). the order, signed by nab lahore

NAB fails to make case against Shehbaz’s bail in Ashiana reference STORY ON BACK PAGE

director general shahzad saleem, cites an “investigation against accused shehbaz sharif, hamza shehbaz sharif, suleman shehbaz and others for offence (s) of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under section 9(a) punishable under section 10 of the national accountability ordinance 1999 read with section 3 of anti-Money laundering act 2010.” nab also said that the according to the evidence collected against the three, there were “reasonable grounds” for believing that they were involved in corrupt practices. the order will remain in force for a period of 15 days within which the antigraft watchdog will file an application in the accountability court under section 12 of the nao 1999. on Monday, the lahore high court (lhc) had dismissed a petition against step of freezing al arabia sugar Mills – owned by shehbaz’s family – by nab. the division bench headed by Justice ali baqar najafi had heard the petition filed by al arabia sugar Mills. a counsel on behalf of the petitionermills had argued that the bureau had issued orders of freezing al arabia sugar Mills on november 25, 2019. he had submitted that the orders were illegal as nab lahore dg saleem had issued the orders by using powers of nab chairman. he had argued that the bureau had launched an inquiry against shehbaz, suleman and others and no assets could be freezed at the stage of inquiry. he had pleaded with the court for setting aside the orders. a nab prosecutor had opposed the petition and submitted written parawise comments to the petition.


Govt and Opp lock horns over ECP members, CEC STORY ON PAGE 02

nab files reference against abbasi, Miftah in lng import case STORY ON BACK PAGE

Zardari, Talpur move IHC for bail g

ZaRdaRi seeKs bail on Medical gRoUnds, says he has diabetes and heaRt condition STORY ON PAGE 02

Malik Riaz agrees to hand over assets worth £190 million to UK crime agency STORY ON BACK PAGE

LHC seeks record of special court in Musharraf treason case STORY ON BACK PAGE

CMYK Wednesday, 4 December, 2019


ZardarI, Talpur move IHC for baIl ISLAMABAD



AKISTAN People’s Party (PPP) senior leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur on Tuesday approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking bail on medical and humanitarian grounds, respectively. Zardari, who is currently undergoing treatment at the Pakistan Institute of Med-

ical Sciences (PIMS), requested the high court to allow him relief on the basis of his failing health. The PPP co-chairman maintained that he was suffering from a heart condition and has had three stents placed in his heart and added he also suffered from diabetes. “I have to constantly monitor my blood sugar levels due to the disease,” he pleaded. Zardari’s medical reports were also submitted along with the application to the IHC so that bail may be granted.

Talpur also sought bail, maintaining that she is the mother of a differently-abled child. In order to care for her child, she asked the court to grant bail until the completion of the trail. Zardari was arrested by NAB after the cancellation of his pre-arrest bail by the IHC in the fake bank accounts case on June 10, followed by the arrest of Talpur in the same case. Zardari, Talpur and other accused face charges of corruption through fake bank accounts and embezzlement in the financial facility for

Park Lane Private Limited and Parthenon (Pvt) Limited. NAB alleged that the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs3.77 billion because of the irregularities. The IHC was moved after the PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari hinted at it during a press talk in Islamabad following a party meeting. “Zardari, who is under detention on charges of money laundering and presently undergoing treatment at a hospital, has agreed to file a bail petition on

medical grounds at the insistence of his family members. His lawyers are expected to move the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday (today) for his bail,” he had said. “(Former) president Zardari had stopped us from filing the bail petition which was a difficult situation for us, my sisters and the whole family. Now he has accepted Aseefa’s request and, Insha Allah, the PPP will apply for the bail on medical grounds after finalising it,” he had added. He said the doctors at Pims must be competent, but he and his family did not have trust in them and they would feel satisfaction after getting a “second opinion”.

Govt and Opp lock horns over ECP members, CEC ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

A parliamentary committee comprising the government and opposition lawmakers failed to evolve a consensus on the appointment of the chief election commissioner (CEC) and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) members from Sindh and Balochistan. The in-camera meeting that was held in the federal capital on Tuesday was chaired by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari and attended by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan among others. After the huddle that considered nominations forwarded by the treasury and the opposition, Mazari said that the government and the opposition were inching towards a consensus. “The opposition has sought time for further discussion. We are expecting

that a decision on this will be taken tomorrow as both sides want to cooperate,” she added. “Discussions between the government and the opposition are still on. The ECP is an important institution of the country and we have to select its members responsibly. We are aiming to make decisions on merit,” said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. The meeting comes a day after Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser joined heads to resolve the standoff. They had warned if the parliamentary committee failed to evolve a consensus on the makeup of the ECP, then they would use their discretion and finalise names of members from Sindh and Balochistan. On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) President and National Assembly Opposition Leader

Shehbaz Sharif sent recommendations for ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan to Asad Qaiser and Sanjrani. For the post of ECP member from Sindh, the PM had proposed the names of Justice (r) Sadiq Bhatti, Justice (r) Noorul Haq Qureshi, and Abdul Jabbar Qureshi, according to a copy of his letter. He had recommended Dr Faiz M Kakar, Mir Naveed Jan Baloch, and Amanullah Baloch for the office of the ECP member from Balochistan. Shehbaz had recommended Nisar Durrani, Justice (r) Abdul Rasul Memon, and Aurangzeb Haq for the post of ECP member from Sindh. Whereas, for ECP Balochistan member, he proposed the names of Shah Mehmood Jatoi, Muhammad Rauf Atta and Rahila Durrani. Shehbaz had also written a letter to the PM, suggesting names for the post of the chief election commissioner. He had proposed the names of three personalities who are “eminently qualified” for the

position that comprised former bureaucrat Nasir Mahmood Khosa, former ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani and ex-civil servant Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar. He had maintained that PM Imran should have initiated this process of consultation a long time ago. I am starting this procedure to prevent the ECP from getting non-functional, the PML-N leader added. Earlier, PM Office had raised objections on the names recommended by opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif for the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner. The suggested names were Nasir Mehmood Khosa, Jalil Abbas Jilani and Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar. Jaleel Abbas Jilani remained principal secretary of former premier Nawaz Sharif and worked as chief secretary Punjab under CM Shehbaz Sharif. Nasir Mehmood Khosa is considered close to the Sharif family and Akhlaq Tarar has also worked as a federal secretary.

Shehbaz slams student activist's arrest, urges govt to 'engage youth' A day after a local court booked a student activist, Alamgir Wazir, for allegedly delivering a seditious speech, National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday condemned the filing of a first information report (FIR) against students and urged the government to “engage the youth”. On Monday, a Lahore court sent Wazir – who was detained three days ago in a sedition case registered against the organisers and participants of the recently held Students Solidarity March – on a 14-day judicial remand. He is accused of delivering provocative speeches and chanting slogans against the state and its institutions. Speaking on the aftermath of the March, Shehbaz wrote: “The nation’s future hinges on the youth. Their voices must be respected and demands heeded”. Students and activists held demonstrations across the country last week, calling upon the government to restore unions in colleges and universities. NEWS DESK


Imran promises good news on economic front ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the economic team’s performance during a federal cabinet meeting. The prime minister was briefed on the improving economic situation of the country. “The economic team has turned around the economic condition of Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying. “I am very satisfied with their performance.” The prime minister was also quoted as saying that people would hear good news on the economic front very soon. He urged members of the federal cabinet to highlight the positive points of the Moody’s report so the general public would know about it. The federal cabinet was also briefed on the appointments of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) members and its members. The federal cabinet also gave its approval for the appointment of WAPDA personnel. The cabinet further gave approval for the establishment of special courts for minors. The credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Services, on Monday, revised upwards Pakistan’s outlook from ‘Negative’ to ‘Stable’. Moody’s announced bumping Pakistan’s outlook rating in a report released Monday, affirming a B3 rating for the country and confirming that the economy’s future looks stable as opposed to negative earlier. The credit rating agency said it had positively revised the outlook in light of further improvement in Pakistan’s balance of payments. Although the foreign exchange reserves were still low and that it would take time for the figure to boost, it said the policy adjustment and free floating — or flexible — exchange rate would help enhance the balance of payments.

CMYK Wednesday, 4 December, 2019



pml-N NoT INTeresTed IN legIslaTIoN IF pTI remaINs HosTIle: aHsaN Iqbal ISLAMABAD



AKISTAN Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said the government was not serious in amending the Army Act to extend army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure, questioning the timing of the attachment of the properties owned by party president Shehbaz Sharif and sons. Last week, the Supreme Court gave the government six months to bring necessary legislation to pave way for Gen Bajwa to stay on the COAS until a new law determined his terms of service. “This government would not be on the path of war with the opposition if it was sincere on the matter,” he said while addressing the media outside the Parliament House. He said freezing PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s declared properties and

Nab To INvesTIgaTe raNa saNaullaH over ‘Illegal asseTs’ ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday decided to file six new corruption references and initiate inquiries against several personalities including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah for possessing assets beyond known sources of income. A meeting of the executive board was held under the chairmanship of NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal earlier in the day. The meeting was attended by the deputy chairman, prosecutor general, DG operations and other staff members. During the meeting, it was decided that a reference will be filed against the former Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) chairperson. The institution also decided to file corruption references against Sikander Javed and others over charges of illegally awarding contracts. The anti-graft body decided to pursue legal steps against four advertising companies for awarding contract of running an illegal ad campaign. “Legal steps are being taken following the financial loss to the national exchequer worth Rs1.46 billion,” the declaration stated. An inquiry will be initiated against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) central leader Nisar Khuhro, whereas the NAB’s executive board will hold an inquiry against former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif in Cholistan Development Authority case. “Balighur Rehman, Chaudhry Muhammad Umer Mehmood, Rana Sanaullah, Agha Siraj Durran, Senator Anwarul Haq and Abul Rauf Khosa will also face inquiries by the anticorruption watchdog after the approval of NAB executive board,” the declaration added. Addressing the meeting, the NAB chief said that the anti-graft body has recovered about Rs73 billion from the corrupt elements over the course of past two years. The NAB chairman reaffirmed the commitment to bring mega corruption cases to their logical conclusion. He said that 1,270 corruption references valuing about Rs910 billion are currently being heard in accountability courts. He added that NAB is pursuing the policy of ‘accountability for all’. Justice (r) Iqbal further said that world institutions are also applauding the performance of the anti-corruption watchdog. STAFF REPORT similar vindictive moves were being carried out at the government’s behest. “Now, if the government is willing to engage the opposition in the matter of army chief’s extension then we would directly talk to

[Prime Minister] Imran [Khan] Niazi and not with his ministers,” he maintained. “We thought the government would extend an olive branch to the opposition on the matter, but it did exactly the opposite.

This attitude suggests that the government is not serious in amending the Army Act,” he remarked. The PML-N leader said the prime minister had also shown non-seriousness attitude on the issue of appointing

Collective efforts needed to counter Islamophobia, says Qureshi DOHA PPI

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said Pakistan fully supported the Kuala Lumpur Summit, an initiative of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad, bringing together five Muslim nations to achieve socio-economic development. Addressing at the second Kuala Lumpur Summit Ministerial Meeting held in Qatar’s capital, the Foreign Minister said the challenges of governance, development, climate change, terrorism and rising Islamophobia, warranted an integrated and comprehensive response. Muslim countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey and Qatar are participating in the ministerial meeting in Doha on invitation from Malaysia. The main summit will be held in Kuala Lumpur from December 18 to 21. The seven areas of focus include development and sover-

eignty; integrity and good governance; culture and identity; justice and freedom; peace, security and defence, trade and investment and technology and internet governance. The foreign minister said with the juggernaut of globalization causing a civilisational and cultural erosion, it was imperative for the Muslim world to tread a cautious path. “We must not only make sure that we are not left behind but are able to preserve our unique civilisational identity, cultural personality and national sovereignty,” he said. Qureshi said Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Iran and Turkey collectively accounted for about 50 percent of the total GDP, 37 percent each of natural gas production and population, and 18 percent of the total area of Muslim world. He said for the nations situated in close proximity to the strategic maritime points of the world – namely the Straits of Malacca, Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz, and the Bosphorus, there

IHC accepts pre-arrest bail of JuI-F’s akram durrani ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday accepted pre-arrest bail application of JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani in an illegal assets case. The hearing of the case was presided over by an IHC bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mian Gul Hassan. The court after hearing arguments from both sides, accepted Durrani’s interim bail against four surety bonds of Rs0.5m each. Earlier on October 14, Akram Durrani had failed to satisfy the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in an ongoing investigation in assets beyond means case against him. The JUI-F stalwart was grilled for around four hours by the accountability team during which he failed to give satisfactory answers. Durrani served as the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 2002 to 2007. He served as federal minister for housing and works in the Shahid Khaqan Abbasi cabinet from August 2017 to May 2018. STAFF REPORT

Indian woman prevented from escaping Kartarpur and illegally entering pakistan Pakistani authorities last month foiled the attempt of an Indian national from illegally entering the country. According to reports, a girl traveling to Pakistan for pilgrimage to the Kartarpur Darbar Sahib for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sikkhism’s founder, Guru Nanak, attempted to escape the gurdwara and enter the country alongside her Pakistani boyfriend. Manjeet Kaur, a Sikh girl from Indian state of Haryana had arrived in Pakistan as a Sikh pilgrim on November, 23 in order to meet her Pakistani boyfriend at the Darabar Sahib Gurdwara in Kartarpur, reports claimed. Kaur reportedly decided to stay in Pakistan following a conversation she had with her boyfriend on the gurdwara’s premises.She traded identification papers with one of her boyfriend’s associates who was traveling with him after which she attempted to enter the country but was apprehended by Pakistani authorities.Reports said that security around the gurdwara compound has been tightened following the incident and visitors have been asked to follow bio-metric verification before leaving the site. NEWS DESK

existed an immense potential for collective development and shared prosperity. “We must have the requisite political and diplomatic space to enhance beneficial cooperation among us for socio-economic development,” he said. “No country can face the problems that exist today, by itself,” he said. Qureshi emphasised that countries should form a joint strategy to tackle the challenges that they face in terms of Islamophobia, terrorism and environment. “We should utilize our potential for collective development and prosperity,” he added. The foreign minister said Pakistan was working on proposals for cooperation within the KL Summit framework in the fields of trade, tourism, Islamic banking, food security, higher education, science and technology and women empowerment. While charting the future course of KL Summit or ‘Perdana Dialogue for Civilization’, he said there was a need

to be mindful of the perceptions and perspectives of the partners inside and outside of the Muslim world. He endorsed the statement of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir that “we are not here to challenge any existing organization or directing our cooperation against any third party.” The ‘Perdana Dialogue’, he said would not just be a think tank or a forum for discussions but would also allow the participating countries to undertake concrete projects for collaboration. He expressed the confidence that sharing of experiences, knowledge and resources would help the participating counties in achieving the targets of socio-economic and cultural development, driven by innovation and technology in a peaceful and secure environment.“We have to create a knowledge-seeking culture for our youth, who are going to be the future leaders, at all levels,” he added.

Earth’s temperature marks hottest decade on record, report reveals BARCELONA AGENCIES

The past decade is almost certain to be the hottest on record, weather experts warned on Tuesday, painting a bleak picture of vanishing sea ice, devastating heatwaves and encroaching seas in a report launched at a climate summit in Spain. An annual assessment of the Earth’s climate by the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) underscored the stakes at two weeks of talks aimed at shoring up the 2015 Paris Agreement to avert catastrophic global warming. “Heatwaves and floods which used to be ‘once-in-a-century’ events are becoming more regular occurrences,” WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. “Countries ranging from the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique suffered the effect of devastating tropical cyclones. Wildfires swept through the Arctic and Australia,” he said. Among the report’s findings: l Average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and 10-year (2010-2019) periods are almost certain to be the highest on record. l 2019 is on course to be the second or third warmest year on record. l Sea water is 26 per cent more acidic than at the start of the industrial era, degrading marine ecosystems. l Arctic sea ice neared record lows in September and October, and Antarctica also

saw record low ice several times this year. l Climate change is a key driver of a recent rise in global hunger after a decade of steady declines, with more than 820 million people suffering from hunger in 2018. l Weather disasters displaced millions of people this year and affected rainfall patterns from India to northern Russia and the central United States, and many other regions. The report also noted that surges in sea temperatures known as “marine heatwaves” which devastate underwater life had become more common. The report said the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a record level of 407.8 parts per million in 2018 and continued to rise in 2019. Opening the climate summit on Monday, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned that 400 parts per million had once been considered an “unthinkable” tipping point. A drumbeat of dire reports from climate science in the past year has fuelled environmental activism, prompted some companies to commit to slashing emissions and raised concerns among investors about the stability of asset prices. Nevertheless, delegates in Madrid are facing an uphill battle to persuade major emitters to embrace the kind of radical change needed to shift the Earth’s climate system onto a more habitable trajectory.


the chief election commissioner (CEC) as the opposition leader in the National Assembly was yet to receive a ‘positive message’ despite recommending three candidates of good repute for the post.

Firdous ashiq awan says lawmaking irrelevant for opposition Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Media and Broadcasting, Firdous Ashiq Awan, on Tuesday accused the opposition of running away from the process of parliamentary law-making, a local media outlet reported. Taking to Twitter, Awan grilled Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Ahsan Iqbal for advocating on the behest of Sharif family. Awan also added that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s past deeds were now coming back to haunt him and blaming the process of accountability on the government’s whims was ludicrous. She said that all institutes established to ensure transparency and accountability in national matters were sovereign, the law has taken its due course and was now knocking on Shehbaz Sharif’s door. Lambasting the opposition in the parliament, SAPM Awan claimed that the opposition parties were staying clear of forming and implementing new laws, hence running away from their prime responsibilities. NEWS DESK

CpNe concerned over anti-dawn protests LAHORE: The Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) President Arif Nizami has expressed concern over the protests outside Dawn newspaper’s offices in Islamabad and Karachi and demanded the government put an end to attacks on the media. A few dozen unidentified people staged protests outside Dawn offices in Islamabad and Karachi on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, over the publication of a news report regarding the ethnicity of the London Bridge attacker who stabbed two persons to death last week. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Nizami said that under the incumbent regime, the attacks on journalism have increased manifold which point towards its hostility towards the so-called fourth pillar of state. He condemned the statements made by sitting ministers that preceded the attack, saying that the remarks were a source of concern for the journalist community. Arif Nizami also questioned the silence of the government officials on the incidents, saying the policies employed by the government against media are hurting journalists. The CPNE chief said the censorship imposed by the state apparatus will not do the country any good, adding that journalists must be free to report independently without any fear or pressure from the state quarters. “Free media is vital for the political, economic, defence, and cultural stability of the country as it provides a platform to express and disseminate various type of information and opinions with all kinds of diversity; thus creates enabling environment for a tolerant society,” the CPNE president said. STAFF REPORT


Wednesday, 4 December, 2019










Buzdar reduced expenses By rs550m in first year, chohan claims LAHORE



unJAB Information Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan Tuesday said that Chief Minister Sardar usman Buzdar has reduced government expenses by Rs550 million and recovered over 900,000 kanals of official land from encroachers. Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Chohan asserted that the former government caused loss of $21 billion to the national exchequer. He said that more than 2,000 officials were appointed for the security of ex-CM Shehbaz Sharif’s relatives and he had established eight camp offices but neither of them was in Lahore. However, Buzdar has worked silently, did not form any camp office and has reduced the expenses by 60 percent, therefore, he should be praised like Sher Shah Suri, he added.

The provincial minister said, “People like Talal Chaudhry, Daniyal Aziz and Javed Latif had earlier taken over the system. Buzdar’s government has recovered loans worth over Rs10 billion in one year whereas allocated 35 percent budget for South Punjab and built shelter homes for the poor.” He said that the chief minister allocated a huge portion of funds for the development of South Punjab in the provincial budget for the first time in history. “Policies pertaining to district, industry and special education were approved during Buzdar’s tenure and construction of nine universities and nine hospitals has been started. Langar khanas (communal commissary) have been opened in Punjab for the first time.” Chohan said, “Previously, every person raised slogan against neglecting South Punjab. now, six out of nine hospitals in the province are being constructed in South Punjab. CM Buzdar could be titled as Waseem Akram Plus if we thoroughly review his

LAHORE Former superintendent of Kashana Lahore Afshan Latif on Tuesday petitioned the Lahore High Court (LHC) regarding her allegation that the facility is being used to supply underage girls to powerful ministers of the Punjab government. Last week, Afshan Latif in a series

of videos posted on social media, had made the startling claim and accused the Punjab government of persecuting her for bringing the matter to light. She had alleged that even after her appointment, the illegal practices continued at the center. She had filed a complaint to her department against the Director-General of Kashana, Afshan Kiran Imtiaz. The complaint

performance of over one year.” He said, “Punjab has collected 104 per cent tax revenue under his leadership which increased the province’s income up to Rs75 billion. In the first year, policies for tourism, agriculture labour, industries, water, forests approved in Punjab.” The provincial minister continued that 36 bills have been approved by the Punjab government for the first time in the history of the province besides giving go-ahead to modalities to develop South Punjab. “So-called political leaders of Pakistan Muslim League nawaz (PML-n) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had grabbed government lands during their tenures.” He said that Buzdar can’t be compared with the opposition as he had not laundered money abroad. Chohan said that the financial services’ company, Moody’s, had admitted for Pakistan’s economy entering into its stability phase.

stated that Imtiaz was pressuring Afshan Latif to marry underage girls to high-ranking officials. In her petition filed in the LHC, today, Afshan Latif requested that a judicial commission be formed to investigate the matter. Subsequently, the court summoned DC and the director of Darul Amaan. Afshan said that she had knocked on every door for justice,

but when no one heard her, she turned to social media. She said that this was not about her but about the future of the girls at Darul Amaan. Former provincial minister of social welfare Ajmal Cheema dismissed Latif’s allegation and termed it “baseless”. While demanding a thorough investigation into the allegations, Cheema also said they would approach the court.

Lahore’s Orange Line train to begin test runs from Dec 10

NEWS DESK Lahore’s Orange Line train is ready to be functional from March 2020, officials said Tuesday while adding that the metro train will officially be launched for public after test-runs that will start from December 10. All the technical and mechanical work on the project has been completed. “Once the train starts, several tests of aligning, breaking and signalling will be conducted and all of the services will then be integrated into the train,” Punjab Transport Secretary Asad Rehman Gilani said. “During the technical test, five bogies will be attached to the engine which will cover a distance of 27 kilometres in 35 minutes,” he said. The finance department has

started working out the service fare which is expected to be between Rs40 to Rs50. “Our aim is that the people taking a rickshaw from point A to point B get better transport facilities. We hope that they reach their destinations on time and their travel costs are low,” said Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, the Punjab minister of finance. Construction work on the project began in 2014 but was halted after the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) failed to release funds to construction companies. Last year, the court had ordered the authority to release funds worth Rs400 million and Rs600 million to contractors after which the construction work resumed. The project is expected to facilitate more than 350,000 passengers every year.




LHC moved for Kashana child abuse scam STAFF REPORT











police register case after minor boy ‘sexually assaulted’ in muzaffargarh MUZAFFARGARH: A case was registered against a suspect for sexually assaulting a six-year-old boy in the Rohillanwali town of Muzaffargarh district. According to the publication, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered at the Rohillanwali police station on Dec 1 under Section 377 (unnatural offense) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Later Section 367-A (kidnapping or abducting in order to subject a person to unnatural lust) was also added to the FIR. According to the complainant Muhammad Ashraf, on the day of the incident, his six-year-old nephew had gone out of the house alone at 3:00 pm to buy something from a shop. When the minor did not return for a long time, the complainant became concerned and went to look for him with others. According to the FIR, they heard screams and as they approached the sound, they saw the victim being sexually assaulted. When the suspect saw Ashraf and others approaching, he left the victim and escaped. Ashraf said his nephew was unconscious at the time. Police said the boy was shifted to a hospital where a medical examination was conducted and efforts are underway to arrest the suspect. STAFF REPORT

sialkot woman murders son’s alleged killer A woman in Sialkot has allegedly killed her son’s suspected murderer after the Lahore High Court (LHC) had exonerated him of the charge due to lack of evidence, media reports emerged on Tuesday. According to the details, nouman had killed Perveen Akhtar’s son – Tasleem, 21 – seven years ago over a domestic issue in Sialkot. Akhtar had lodged a case against the suspect in a court. After the proceedings, the court had found nouman guilty of the charge and handed him a death sentence. However, later, nouman filed a plea in the LHC against the sentence and in April this year, the court annulled the lower court’s verdict and declared him “innocent”. After his release, nouman left for Dubai and remained there for several months. upon his return to Pakistan, he was killed by Akhtar. Police have registered a case against Akhtar and four alleged accomplices for nouman’s murder. A police official said that they have arrested Akhtar and conducting raids to apprehend the co-accused. According to the official, two murder cases were also registered against Tasleem. NEWS DESK

lhc issues stay order on official price of ghee LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued stay order on the imposition of oil prices set by the federal government. The decision was taken during the hearing of a case pertaining to the price of the ghee. The plaintiff said that the government had issued notification without consulting with the owners of ghee mills. “We cannot sell our product on the prices provided by the government,” he clarified. STAFF REPORT

IGP calls for swift crackdown on crime LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Punjab Inspector-General of Police Shoaib Dastgir has sought reports of action taken against criminal elements across the province and has also directed the respective Regional Police Officers (RPOs) and District Police Officers (DPOs) to initiate speedy crackdown on crime. In this regard, Chiniot DPO Syed Husna Haider while sharing the monthly progress of Chiniot police under his supervision said that police is working to maintain law and order. Community policing, timely justice, protection of people’s lives and


property are among top priorities of police and in this regard, at least 302 accused have been arrested including 132 proclaimed offenders while large quantities of illegal arms and drugs have been seized during the past one month. Likewise, 48 cases have been registered against drugs dealers and 52 suspects have been detained. Over 12 kg hashish, 937-litre alcohol, and have also been recovered, while several alcohol kilns have been sealed by police during this time. Moreover, in other cases over 28 criminals have been arrested and 13 pistols, 10 guns, four rifles and one revolver with 86 bullets have been recovered from them. upon violation of the amplifier act,

cases have been registered against eight suspects, while 36 persons have been arrested for illegal sale of petrol. 17 persons have been arrested for power theft, two have been arrested for water theft, and eight persons arrested for using fake number plates. District police also recovered money amounting to over 40 lac rupees which was apparently stolen during incidents of thefts. The Chiniot DPO further said that as per directions of Punjab IGP Shoaib Dastgir, search operations and snap checking are being boosted. He further directed police to conduct operations with utmost care and vigilance so as not to disrupt daily lives of law-abiding citizens.

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019



Police shift blame of Dua mangi kiDnaPPing on criminal gang KARACHI


sargodha shrine accused handed death sentences SARGODHA: An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday handed death sentences to the custodian of a shrine in Sargodha and his three accomplices in a case involving the murder of 20 individuals. The court handed 20 death sentences to Pir Abdul Waheed and his three accomplices and also ordered confiscation of their properties. Abdul Waheed, who was the custodian of Darbar Ali Muhammad Gujjar, a shrine in chak-95 of Sargodha, used a club and knives to kill his victims in April 2017. The motive for the killings is unclear but some officials claim that the accused had mental health issues and had used violence on his disciples before. Four women were also among the 20 victims, while four others were injured in the brutal incident including two women. All victims were sedated before being murdered, reports claimed. According to police, During the assault, 20 people were killed, among whom were six belonging to a single-family, while three were injured. out of the three injured, one informed police. The victims belonged to various parts of Punjab; 11 were from Sargodha, two from islamabad, two from layyah and one each from Mianwali and Pir Mahal, while one body of a woman could not be identified. STAFF REPORT

Punjab govt providing free treatment to hepatitis patients, says Dr Yasmeen LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid has participated in international conference arranged by World Health organisation in a local hotel as chief guest. Programme Manager Punjab Hepatitis Program Dr. Khalid Mehmood and representatives from iraq, oman, Palestine, WHo, Agha Khan University, the Health Foundation, Association for Social Development, eMRo and from different walks of life were there on the spot. World Health organization officers appreciated the efforts of Minister Health Dr. Yasmin Rashid for eradication of hepatitis from Punjab. Dr. Yasmin Rashid has said on this occasion that we are trying to get goals of universal health coverage. Model plan is going to be started from district Nankana. legislation is being completed to ensure strict action against violation of hepatitis SoPs. The Health Minister said that we are providing free of cost facility of medicines, treatment and tests to all hepatitis patients under Punjab Hepatitis control Programme. She appreciated the efforts of WHo for arranging such important conference. STAFF REPORT


olice on Tuesday said they suspect a criminal gang is behind the kidnapping of Dua Mangi, a young girl who was abducted from Karachi’s DHA neighbourhood late Saturday night and remains missing. A senior police official, who wished not to be named, told a local media channel that a preliminary probe into the case had revealed that a criminal gang had intercepted the 20-yearold girl and her friend as they were walking on the road, injuring the boy and kidnapping her for ransom, however, the girl’s family had so far not received any ransom call. Additionally, police claim they have made some

progress in the case, citing the recovery today of the car used by the abductors. The car was found abandoned in Gulshan, within the limits of Sharea Faisal. DiG South Sharjeel Kharal said different probe teams are working on the case. He said police are in touch with the family and making concerted efforts “to recover the girl safely”. Meanwhile, a protest by members of the civil society is being staged at the city’s Teen Talwar roundabout. According to police, around 100 people are protesting, joined by PTi lawmakers Khurram Sherzaman and Aftab Qureshi, PPP leader Najmi Alam and by members of Sindh Thinkers Forum. Traffic has been diverted to alternate routes. The sister of the kidnapped girl told media that the family is not satisfied with the police’s performance

as “despite the passage of three days, the police have failed to recover her”. earlier in the day, police arrested two students in the case. on November 30, five armed men in a car intercepted Dua and her young friend, who were strolling along the road, fired multiple shots, left him wounded and took away the girl early morning. law enforcement officials believe that the case pertaining to Dua’s kidnapping may be a case of exacting revenge. According to sources, Dua’s father told police that 10 days ago her daughter had a fight with her friend, later identified as Muzafar, and a few days later she was abducted. on Monday, police deduced that the kidnappers may have used a car that was snatched earlier from Karachi’s Pakistan employees cooperative Housing Society (PecHS) neighbour-

hood last week. Ferozabad police station’s Station House officer (SHo) inspector Aurangzeb Khan Khattak said that a car that was snatched from a trader, Danial Javed, at gunpoint in PecHS Block 2 was suspected to have been used by Dua’s kidnappers. Khattak added that four armed robbers had snatched Javed’s car at gunpoint from outside his residence and a first information report (FiR) was subsequently registered at Ferozabad police station. Sindh chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and iG Dr Syed Kaleem imam had ordered fast-paced investigations into the alleged kidnapping, asking the authorities to use every possible channel and technology to arrest the culprits and recover the girl safely. They also assured the families of the two victims of their full support and cooperation.

Portugal to support Pakistan for extension in GSP-Plus status: Sarwar LAHORE APP

Punjab Governor chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar held important meetings with Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and cooperation Teresa Ribeiro and Vice President of Parliamentary committee for Foreign Affairs and Portuguese communities Pedro Filipe Soares. They assured to support Pakistan for extension in GSP-Plus status. According to a communiqué issued by Governor House on Tuesday, Sarwar during his visit to europe met with Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and cooperation Teresa Ribeiro and Vice President of Parliamentary committee for Foreign Affairs and Portuguese communities Pedro Filipe Soares. Matters pertaining to extension in GSP-Plus status to Pakistan, Kashmir issue, indian war hysteria, peace in Afghanistan, Pak-Portugal relations, trade, tourism and other issues were discussed. While Military Secretary col. Mohsin Raja and Board of Revenue Punjab’s Senior Member Babar Hayat Tarar also accompanied the Governor. The governor said that Teresa Ribeiro and Pedro Filipe Soares have not only lauded the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan’s government, armed forces and the people in the war against terrorism and for the cause of peace but also assured him of their full cooperation. After the meetings, Punjab Governor said that meetings with Teresa Ribeiro and Pedro Filipe Soares

were held in a very cordial manner and these were successful meetings by all aspects. “i am also holding a meeting with members of the european Parliament and Pakistan will succeed with regard to extension in GSP-Plus status.” Pakistan has obtained benefits worth more than 15 billion dollars from GSPPlus during the past five years, and GSPPlus will benefit the country and strengthen its economy in future as well. Portuguese investors and business community are keen on investing in the projects under the china-Pakistan economic corridor (cPec). Sarwar said that he also apprised the Portuguese authorities about the measures taken by Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister imran Khan for the establishment of peace and elimination of terrorism, despite india’s war hysteria, and the situation created due to the Kashmir issue. He also urged the european Union to play its role in lifting of curfew and stoppage of indian aggression in occupied Kashmir, adding that settlement of Kashmir issue has become indispensable for regional peace and stability. There is no doubt in it that the entire world community, including Portuguese authorities is all praised for Pakistan’s endeavors for peace. During the meeting with the Portuguese leader, he said, promotion of religious tourism and other tourist places were also discussed. Tourists are being provided complete security and other facilities in Pakistan, where total peace prevails.

Journalists trained in basic life-saving skills LAHORE: A two-day first aid training workshop meant to impart basic life-saving skills to journalists concluded here on Tuesday. The workshop was organized by Pakistan Red crescent Provincial Punjab office to assure a proactive provision of first aid to victims during natural and man-made disasters. over thirty journalists from various media houses attended the session. During the workshop, participants received information on key relevant topics, such as cardio pulmonary resuscitation (cPR), choking; fractures, shock, bandages and heart attacks. Mock sessions were also held on how to handle emergency situations and transport patients to safety. Addressing the concluding ceremony, chairman Pakistan Red crescent Provincial Punjab office Justice (r) Sheikh Ahmed Farooq said initial minutes are crucial for survivors in any disaster situation and many lives can be saved if the people around have first aid training. He added that PRc also maintains a blood bank which provides free of cost blood to thalassemia patients. Mahboob-ul-Haq further said that training is necessary for journalists as whenever any untoward incident takes place in any area, media personnel are usually the first to reach the spot. The chairman also distributed certificates among participants. Participants of the workshop lauded efforts of PRc Provincial Punjab office and said they were now prepared to provide on-spot first aid to survivors. The training was facilitated by renowned first aid trainer, Muhammad imran and was held under PRcS Media and communication Department officer Ali Raza Mukhtar. STAFF REPORT

Pakistan’s policy response to Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C LAHORE PRESS RELEASE

As more than 15 million people are currently living with hepatitis B or c in Pakistan, the second highest incidence of this disease in the world, the country’s policymakers are waking up to contain the scale of hepatitis c virus (HcV) infection and elevating it to a public health priority after years of inadequate action. Meanwhile, stable or declining infection rates of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in many regions suggest Pakistan’s vaccination programme is currently holding this virus strain at bay. A national survey from 2007- 08 found a prevalence of 4.8% for HcV and 2.5% for HBV. Previous treatments were comparatively ineffective in Pakistan, where the genetic makeup of the population leaves them susceptible to certain strains of the virus. While a cure rate of only 50% has been achieved in Pakistan. Recently, a survey conducted in Punjab showed that rates of HcV increased sharply from to 6.7% in 2008 to 17% in 2017. on the other hand, the prevalence of HBV decreased slightly to 2.2% from 2.4% over the same period. This was attributed

to the introduction of an HBV vaccination programme for infants at six weeks of age. According to one study, tackling HcV effectively will save more than 320,000 lives and US$2.6 billion in direct costs between 2015 and 2030. But crafting the appropriate policy response requires a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of current viral hepatitis rates. UNSAFE INJECTIONS: Reuse of syringes has been the primary cause of high HcV rates in Pakistan, especially in rural districts says Arshad Altaf, an injection safety expert and consultant for the World Health organization (WHo). in 2012, the rate of 5.15 injections per person per year, was seen, as opposed to a global average of 1.64 in 2015. More importantly, it is estimated that 17-50% of injections are administered with reused syringes. The government aims to replace half of syringes with auto-disabled syringes by 2021, with the provision of funding to 17 local producers. The healthcare system in Pakistan is highly fragmented, making it harder to regulate healthcare providers. The private sector makes up 70% of Pakistan’s healthcare sector. “Private providers have mushroomed everywhere,” says Dr Altaf.

“These are responsible for the majority of the injections administered; patients turn to private providers after government hospitals close at 2pm.” in other cases, some smaller healthcare providers cannot afford to purchase new syringes. There is a lack of public awareness of the risk factors for bloodborne illnesses, especially in rural areas, where illiteracy rates are high, Blood banks are supposed to be regulated by the government, but they are not,” says Dr Altaf. Small blood banks provide unclean blood, thus the issue is compounded. Poor waste-management at healthcare facilities is seen, while the infected needles and blades are spreading the disease. A WHo evaluation in 2013 revealed that; 43% had no internal quality audit system. A centralized regime for testing and screening blood supplies has improved the situation. in June 2019 the Ministry of Health invited a team of international experts to Pakistan who concluded that a greater commitment is needed for the prevention of blood-borne illnesses. NATIONAL PLAN NEEDED: on World Hepatitis Day in July 2019, the MoH announced an ambitious screening and treatment programme, to eliminate

HcV and HBV by 2030. This programme aims to scale up prevention, testing and treatment efforts in the four provinciallevel hepatitis programmes, supplementing the existing National Hepatitis Strategic Framework 2017-2021. The aim is to test and treat 70% of the population by 2023. Based on modelling supported by the University of Bristol, initial estimates indicate that around 140m people will need to be screened. of these, 14m may be positive for HcV and will require more sophisticated testing, while approximately 10m are likely to require treatment. Testing and treatment will be offered to the public free of charge. The government’s healthcare budget has funds earmarked for HcV treatment, but this will not cover the cost of testing and treatment across the country. The government will need an investment of more than US$3bn over the next 10 years. While the funds are expected from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB), governance of these funds must be strengthened, to avoid improper use and corruption. The government plans to make the birth dose of the HBV vaccine mandatory by 2020; the first dose will

then be provided within the first 24 hours, rather than six weeks after birth. FINDING THE MISSING MILLIONS: A mass education campaign will be required to raising public awareness of; risk factors, prevention strategies and access to care. it is imperative to inform the people that it spreads through unclean water, contaminated food or other environmental problems. Greater public awareness can create caution. Use of contaminated razor blades at barbers and salons must be discouraged. A tailored message is needed to be deployed in regional languages across all electronic, print and Social-media channels, as the population is largely uneducated. This must be complemented by training programmes for medical professionals at the primary healthcare centers, along with Data-collection across key performance indicators Blood tests for HBV and HcV should be included in the demographic and health survey, conducted every four years. All these measures can help in resolving this health crisis. All the data in this story are extracted from the recent ‘The economist’ intelligence Unit Report - A Renewed commitment: Pakistan’s policy response to hepatitis B and c.

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019


New York Times Deepika paDukone as tolD to ilaria parogni

It would happen when I least expected it. Suddenly, I would have to find a quiet corner to myself to break down and cry. Once, I was on the set of a film I was working on. We were shooting a song sequence, and the cast’s energy was high. Everyone was happy and in a celebratory mood. I was surrounded by so many people, yet I felt lost and alone. I ran back to my trailer, locked myself in the bathroom and started crying. Over the course of my career as a Bollywood actress, I have played many different characters, from bubbly party girls to beautiful queens to grieving widows. But the role that truly changed me was one I had to take on in real life — as a person struggling with depression. Being able to define my condition was an important first step on my path to recovery. I started experiencing symptoms in 2014. It was mid-February, and I had fainted after a long day of work. The next morning, I woke up with an empty feeling in my stomach and the urge to cry. On paper, that should have been a great period in my life — I had just starred in four of my most memorable movies, my family was extremely supportive and I was dating the man who would later become my husband. I had no reason to feel the way I did. But I did. I was exhausted and sad all the time. If someone played a happy song to cheer me up, it only made me feel worse. Waking up every day felt like a huge endeavor. All I wanted to do was sleep. When I was asleep, I didn’t have to deal with reality. For months I suffered silently, not knowing what was happening to me. I was unaware that many people around the world — more than 300 million, according to the World Health Organization — were facing the same challenge. Then my parents came to visit me in Mumbai. For the duration of their stay I put on a brave face. But as they packed their bags before heading to the airport, I broke down in tears. My mother looked at me and asked, “What’s wrong?” But I had no answer. She asked me if I was having issues at work. She asked if my partner and I were doing O.K. All I could do was shake my head. After taking a moment to herself, she said, “Deepika, I think you need professional help.” The psychiatrist’s diagnosis was clinical depression. I had been so desperate that as soon as the doctor said, “This is what you have,” I felt immediate relief. Finally, somebody understood what I was going through. Not knowing what I was experiencing had been the biggest struggle. The moment I had the diagnosis, my recovery began. One of the kindest things I did for myself was to accept my condition. I didn’t fight it. The doctor prescribed me medication and recommended some lifestyle changes, prioritizing

sleep, healthy eating, exercise and mindfulness. The process made me a lot more aware of who I am. As I recovered, I started to reflect on my experience. Why did I not know anything about this illness? Why had no one — with the exception of my mother — recognized the signs? And why had I been so reluctant to voice my own feelings? Those questions led me to the decision to go public with my condition. If even one person struggling with mental health issues read about my story and felt they were not alone, it would be enough. My team and I decided to do it in a way that would reach the largest number of people in India: an interview with the Hindustan Times, followed by an appearance on national television. It was 2015. I didn’t think about the consequences — whether it might cause me to lose movie roles or product endorsements. I just wanted to be honest and share my story. Sure, I had a little apprehension. A few people wondered if it was a publicity stunt. Some suggested I was being paid by a pharmaceutical company to speak about the illness. But the impact I was able to have on the people hearing my story was what mattered most. Luckily, I received a lot of support. What I had been through resonated with many people. Everywhere I went — an event, a film set, the spa — people wanted to share their mental health struggles with me. It was as if this secret that had been hidden at the back of our shared closet had finally come out. The more that people reached out to me, the more I realized I was not finished. I felt I needed to do much more. So I set up the Live Love Laugh Foundation. Mental health issues are largely taboo in India, even though they are pervasive. Almost 57 million people across the country struggle with depression, a 2017 W.H.O. report estimated. A 2016 survey commissioned by the Indian government found that 85 percent of people with common mental health problems do not receive adequate treatment for them. For a country with one of the highest suicide rates in the world, a shortage of mental health professionals and a population of 1.3 billion, this is extremely worrisome. Over the past four years the Live Love Laugh Foundation has worked to increase awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness in India. We have run public health campaigns, started school programs, conducted studies, partnered with doctors and launched a mental health care project devoted to rural parts of the country. Our main goal is to remind people that they have a chance for a better life. That is why we named the foundation “Live Love Laugh” — it’s about what a person feels as much as it is about the medical aspect of treating their illness. We are committed to giving hope to those affected by mental illness, and a big part of that consists of teaching people to be kinder to themselves. More than ever, we need to remind ourselves to be vulnerable, human and sensitive — authentic, in one word. Recovery is about finding a sense of balance. On a personal level, I think I have finally found that peace and comfort within myself. I surround myself with people who are honest with me, and I take care of myself without any guilt. Not a day goes by when I don’t worry about relapsing. Still, today I know that my struggles have given me a deeper connection to my mind and body. If I ever find myself dealing with a bout of depression again, I know I’ll be strong enough to face it.


sYdNeY morNiNg Herald angela Jackson


uDgE not, that ye not be judged”, Matthew 7:1. Or in layman’s terms, those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Teachings the Prime Minister would have been well-advised to have considered as he made numerous salvos at Westpac’s inexcusable failures to report over 23 million transactions to AuSTRAC. While we know Westpac’s failures facilitated the abuse of children, we have little idea what the government’s failure to strengthen Australia’s weak antimoney laundering laws has facilitated. Money laundering turns the illegal proceeds of drug trafficking, child exploitation, bribes and other criminal activity “legitimate” so criminals can continue their sordid businesses. In times gone by, money laundering was local, and involved crooks and corrupt politicians putting their dirty money through a sham business or betting at the race track to clean the funds. Today the practice is truly global, with hundreds of billions of dollars laundered through complex international deals and transactions every year. Reflecting the global nature of money laundering and its links to the financing of terrorism, countries came together in 2006 under the Financial Action Taskforce to agree a number of measures to combat it and iden-

tify organised crime and corruption. Westpac is in hot water for not complying with the first round of these measures, which included the requirement that banks and casinos report suspicious activity to regulators. The second round was meant to capture other avenues of money laundering including real estate agents, lawyers and accountants. There have been lots of promises over the years that reforms were on the way, but this second round has never materialised. Worryingly, the government has recently indicated we should not expect any meaningful action. This is despite Australia signing up to these reforms 13 years ago. This is despite the Liberal and Labor Parties claiming to support their implementation. The failure to extend reporting obligations to real estate agents, lawyers and accountants has left a large hole in our antimoney laundering regime and places us as an international outlier among our peers, including Britain and New Zealand. There is no obligation for real estate agents to report any suspicious activity. During the last review of our compliance by the Financial Action Taskforce in 2015, Australia fully complied with only 26 of its 40 obligations. Our next review will be next year and unless the government changes course we will once again be ranked well below our peers. This is good news for Australians profiting from doing business with crooks keen to clean their money and fund their drugs trade, child exploitation rings and terrorist activities. But it represents a massive failure of Australia’s international obligations. There is also

an economic cost to Australia from money laundering. It distorts markets and increases the cost of doing business. Markets become distorted because money launderers are spending illegal cash, which isn’t worth as much to them as legal cash is to you and me. To clean their money, they are happy to lose a bit of it along the way. The money launderers are willing to pay more for an asset than it is worth, or charge less for a service than is profitable. This is the price of cleaning money they can reinvest in their illegal activities. It creates an uneven playing field, where the money launderers win and legitimate businesses lose. Particular concerns exist about the effect this is having on the perennial Australian barbecue stopper, the housing market. While home owners are enjoying the pre-Christmas lift in house prices, there is a real question about how much of this is driven by money laundering. AuSTRAC identified that in 2015-16 there was $1 billion of suspect funds flowing from China alone into our housing market. And yet there is no obligation for real estate agents to report any suspicious activity, meaning the real figure could be much higher. Because our housing market is being used to launder funds it creates a market where people are prepared to pay more for houses than they are worth – housing boom anyone? The government’s continuing failure to introduce the reforms, even in the face of international criticism and countless reviews calling for change, is a story we have seen repeatedly in Australian public policy. There are strong vested

interests – lawyers, real estate agents and accountants – who unsurprisingly have questioned the need for additional regulation. None of us like paperwork and the changes would involve compliance costs and risks – just ask Westpac. But all reforms come with opponents – we elect governments to act in the national interest, not in the vested interest. Adding to the inertia is the government’s broader narrative around reducing red tape, which does not fit with a stronger anti-money laundering narrative. But then again, one must presume that neither does making Australia a destination for child abusers, drug traffickers and terrorists looking to clean their money. In Westpac’s case, it was serious governance failings that led to the situation where they unwittingly facilitated child abuse. Westpac’s non-compliance was not intentional. The government does not have the same defence. As the government weighs up the costs of action versus non-action, it should reflect on how it will explain to the Australian people its failure to act despite the warnings, despite its previous commitments and despite mounting evidence of Australia being used to launder funds. The Prime Minister was right to hold the chief executive and board of Westpac to account. But he should expect the same level of accountability if he continues to allow Australia to be a facilitator for international crime and corruption. The time for judgment is over, the time for action is now. Angela Jackson is an economist at Equity Economics.

Rural unrest spreads in Europe PoliTico artHur neslen anD eDDY WaX

A wave of countryside unrest has brought tractor blockades to Berlin and Paris this week as a cocktail of grievances boils over. Eu trade deals, a retail squeeze on food prices and green-use restrictions on nitrates and pesticides have all fanned farmers’ frustrations, union leaders say. Economic issues were “the first topic” of a protest by thousands of French farmers which partially shut down the ChampsElysées avenue on Wednesday, Christiane Lambert, the president of the French FNSEA union, told POLITICO. “We can’t make a success of the ecological and energy transitions if we don’t have better prices,” she said. “They are imposing rules on us everywhere to do with health, the environment, social, of every kind — and the borders are opening to lowpriced products which don’t have at all the same conditions of products.” At a tractor demo in Dublin on Wednesday activists warned that “there will be no food or drink in this capital city for Christmas,” unless talks resumed in a beef dispute, and court injunctions against farmers were dropped. In October, it was the Netherlands’ turn, when roads into The Hague were brought to a halt by thousands of tractors in

a protest against measures to cut nitrogen emissions. On Tuesday, an estimated 8,600 tractors — and 40,000 farmers — rolled into Berlin in a show of opposition to new rules on fertilizers and price dumping in supermarkets. Maike Schulz-Broers, the initiator of the Land schafft Verbindung (“Land creates connections”) page on Facebook that turned into a social movement, highlighted some of the common themes. “The farmers of Europe are united in concern for their existence,” she said. “We all want to make our businesses fit for the future and also to secure them for our children. We all want to ensure that our own countries receive at least basic services, in order not to become dependent on foreign despots.” There is a widespread belief in farming communities that Europe’s producers of beef, poultry and sugar beet have been thrown under a bus by the European Commission, in order to boost opportunities for the Continent’s car and machinerymakers in a recent, controversial trade deal with South American countries that has yet to be ratified. Brussels says that quota increases for such products would be modest but, with nearly a fifth of French farmers existing on declared incomes of “zero” or less, they could still hurt. In Ireland, average family farm incomes fell by 21 percent last year. “If a farmer is working hard and can’t pay the bills, there’s going to be frustration and anger and eventually that will boil over and you’ve seen elements of that across Europe in recent months,” said Joe Healy, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA). As a far-reaching re-

form of the bloc’s flagship Common Agricultural Policy is currently being discussed by Eu policymakers, along with the Eu’s long-term budget, a proposed 5 percent cut to the CAP budget raised more fears, according to Healy. It would only worsen the situation, he added. The mainstream union leader did not rule out joining the Christmas protests in Dublin, called for by smaller unions. until now, the demands of the grassroots groups that protested this week in Dublin have been too diffuse, Healy argued. But the IFA could be “willing to block up the streets of Dublin and cause a bit of mayhem,” he said, if “a specific issue like for example, the beef crisis,” arises. Resentment at a diminishing social role — and waning economic power — also seem to be playing a part in the new movements. Rank-and-file farmers have threatened to return to Dublin’s streets if no progress is made on their dispute by December 15. One thread uniting farmers across Europe’s barricades is the perceived cost they face from green commitments foist on them by governments, although this is challenged by some environmental scientists. “Plus vert, plus cher” (“More green, more expensive”), quipped France’s Lambert when asked what linked the snowballing demonstrations. But resentment at a diminishing social role — and waning economic power — also seem to be playing a part in the new movements. “As farmers, we have lost our voice in society and politics,” Schulz-Broers said, adding it is “clear” that a mood of rural discontent is spreading.

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019

irAq pArTies in TAlks Over new pm Amid unrelenTing prOTesTs




RAQ’S rival parties were negotiating the contours of a new government on Monday, after the previous cabinet was brought down by a two-month protest movement insisting on even more deep-rooted change. After just over a year in power, premier Adel Abdel Mahdi formally resigned Sunday after a dramatic intervention by top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

That followed a wave of violence that pushed the protest toll to over 420 dead — the vast majority of them demonstrators. Parliament on Sunday formally tasked the president with naming a new candidate, but Iraq’s competing factions typically engage in drawn-out discussions before any official decisions are made. Talks on a new premier began before Abdel Mahdi resigned, a senior political source and a government official told AFP. “The meetings are ongoing now,” the political source added.

Such discussions produced Abdel Mahdi as a candidate in 2018, but consensus will be harder this time around. “They understand it has to be a figure who is widely accepted by the diverse centres of power, not objected to by the marjaiyah (Shiite religious establishment), and not hated by the street,” said Harith Hasan, a fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center. The candidate would also have to be acceptable to Iraq’s two main allies, arch-rivals Washington and Tehran. “The Iranians invested a lot in the political equation in the last few years and won’t be willing to give up easily,” said Hasan. Tehran’s pointman on Iraq, Qassem Soleimani, who heads the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations arm, arrived in Iraq last week for talks, official sources said. The United States said that Soleimani’s presence showed that Iran was again “interfering” in Iraq, accusing Tehran of having “exploited” the neighbouring country. David Schenker, the top US diplomat for the Middle East, also called the weekend killing of 40 protesters in the flashpoint city of Nasiriyah “shocking and abhorrent.” “We call on the government of Iraq to investigate and hold accountable those who attempt to brutally silence peaceful protesters,” he told reporters in Washington. Protesters hit the streets in October in Iraq’s capital and Shiite-majority south to denounce the ruling system as corrupt, inept and under the sway of foreign powers.

Former Malaysian PM testifies in multi-billion dollar scandal KUALA LUMPUR AGENCIES

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak took to the witness box for the first time on Tuesday to defend himself on criminal charges linked to a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Najib is accused of illegally receiving $10 million from former 1MDB unit SRC International and was ordered to present his defence in November after a judge ruled prosecutors had successfully established a case against him. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power in the SRC case. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who leads Najib’s defence team, said in an opening statement ahead of the former premier’s testimony, that his client had no reason to believe that proceeds of any illegal activity were transferred to him. “(Najib) was not involved in any corrupt arrangement involving funds of SRC and did not solicit any bribes from any person,” he said. Najib, clad in a blue suit, took the oath in both English and Malay before starting to read from his 243 page-long written testimony in Malay. His testimony, in a question and answer format, began with how he set up 1MDB in 2009 and how the fugitive Malaysian finan-


Hong Kong leader warns US law will hurt business confidence HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday US legislation supporting protesters may damage business confidence in the financial hub, as she announced a fourth round of relief measures to boost the city’s battered economy. Lam told reporters the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act signed into US law last week was “wholly unnecessary”, as the former British colony grapples with its first recession in a decade. The act requires the US State Department to certify at least annually that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to justify favorable US trading terms, and threatens sanctions for human rights violations. “The impact currently is on confidence […] because corporates will be worried about the actions the US government may take in the future after they review this legislation,” Lam said. The unrest has hammered retail sales which fell by their steepest on record in October as protests scared off tourists and hit spending. China on Monday banned US military ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong – a rest and recreation stop for the US Seventh Fleet – in retaliation for the US legislation. AGENCIES

Typhoon Kammuri kills two in Philippines, closes Manila airport MANILA: Typhoon Kammuri killed at least two people in the Philippines on Tuesday as it tore roofs of houses and forced the international airport in Manila to shut down. The storm roared ashore late Monday and passed south of Manila — home to 13 million people — and thousands of athletes at the regional Southeast Asian Games. As the typhoon was exiting the Philippines it hit one last major landmass, the central island of Mindoro, where one man was crushed by a falling tree and another killed by a flying piece of lumber, police said. Ahead of the storm’s arrival a 33-year-old man was electrocuted on Monday while securing a roof against the winds, which by late Tuesday weakened to a maximum of 140 kilometres (85 miles) per hour. Authorities were still assessing the storm’s impact, but a small local airport was seriously damaged, many power poles toppled and homes were battered. “A lot of trees fell… There were a lot of roofs flying during the typhoon too,” said Junie Castillo, a disaster officer in one of the areas first hit. Due to the high winds, Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport was “closed for operations”, general manager Ed Monreal told AFP. It was not clear when flights would resume, but authorities gave an estimate of 11:00 pm (1500 GMT) Tuesday and said their decision would depend on the weather. AGENCIES

Nepal's mass animal slaughter begins despite outcry cier Jho Low, said to be at the centre of the scandal, came to be associated with the fund. “[Low] portrayed himself as someone influential in the Middle East countries who I believed was able to facilitate investments and partnerships between them,” Najib said, speaking calmly and deliberately to a packed courtroom. Low has been charged in Malaysia and the United States over the alleged theft from 1MDB. Low has denied any wrongdoing. His whereabouts are unknown. The United States Department of Justice

has said about $4.5 billion siphoned from 1MDB was used by Low and his associates to buy a yacht, a private jet, as well as Picasso paintings, jewellery, and real estate. Najib, who unexpectedly lost a general election last year, is now facing dozens of graft and money laundering charges over allegations that he received about $1 billion in 1MDB funds. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. If convicted, Najib, 66, could face hefty fines and jail terms ranging from 15 to 20 years on each charge.

POKHARA: The stench of raw meat hung in the air and pools of blood dotted the muddy ground on Tuesday as what is thought to be the world’s biggest animal sacrifice swung into action in a remote area of Nepal. Efforts from activists and officials were expected to cut the death toll from the 200,000 butchered at the last Gadhimai Festival five years ago, but thousands of creatures were still set to be killed over the two days. The event in honour of a Hindu goddess kicked off in the early hours amid tight security, with the ceremonial slaughter of a goat, rat, chicken, pig and a pigeon. A local shaman then offered blood from five points of his body. Some 200 butchers with sharpened swords and knives then walked into a walled arena bigger than a football field that held several thousand buffalo as excited pilgrims climbed trees and walls to catch a glimpse. AGENCIES

Stunned residents return after IS losses in east Afghanistan KABUL AGENCIES

Afghan farmer Gulnar Malik had seen her share of hardships as war ravaged her country for decades — but nothing prepared the mother of five for the arrival of the Islamic State group. IS militants seized her village in the east Afghanistan province of Nangarhar, bordering Pakistan, nearly five years ago, unleashing a tide of carnage and slaughter as they sought to expand their self-declared Syria and Iraq “caliphate” into Afghanistan. The IS “fighters committed a lot of atrocities”, Malik, 55, told AFP shortly after the Afghan army dislodged the jihadists from her home district of Achin, following weeks of house-to-house fighting, shelling and US air strikes. “They shot dead one of my children

and injured another. My dead boy was trying to run away when they shot him,” she recalled, adding that her husband had been detained and tortured over a threeweek period. Malik went home last month having spent years in the comparative safety of a nearby town, after Afghan military officials announced that IS’s Afghan branch, also known as IS in the Khorasan, or IS-K, had been completely defeated in Nangarhar. While some local officials are not convinced that the loss is comprehensive, the Nangarhar gains — if they hold — would mark a major accomplishment for Afghanistan’s beleaguered security forces. The exact nature of links between IS in Afghanistan and the Middle East remains unclear, but IS-K first emerged in the region in 2014, largely made up of disaffected fighters from the Taliban and

other jihadist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia. IS-K fighters coalesced in the hilly district of Achin in Nangarhar in 2015,

the first time they controlled territory inside Afghanistan. They confounded early US predictions they would be defeated quickly,

withstanding continual air strikes, as well as battles with the rival Taliban. They replenished their ranks using a mix of cash and extreme ideology spread inside Kabul’s universities. An AFP correspondent recently travelled with an Afghan army unit to a small village in Achin and saw the destruction wrought by IS-K. Built on a forested hillside, many stonework buildings had been reduced to rubble, house walls were pockmarked with bullet holes and there were mangled remains of cars on the roadside. “We were forced to leave our homes. Now we have returned, all our houses and all of our belongings are destroyed,” said local resident Himatullah, 36, who only uses one name. He recalled that when IS-K fighters first arrived, they forced residents to sit on bombs, then detonated them.

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019

08 COMMENT Too early to celebrate Moody’s upgradation A tough climb ahead


O rare is even a minor piece of progress under the PTI that PM’s Finance Adviser Dr Hafeez Shaikh waxed effusive over Moody’s upgradation of Pakistan’s outlook to stable from negative. But as Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar rightly put it, the main utility of the upgradation by Moody’s is that it would help improve access to financing and reduce its cost. Pakistan will thus be better placed as it launches a eurobond and a Sukuk worth around $2 billion in the world markets in the next couple of months. While these will provide Pakistan much needed financing, these will also add to Pakistan’s debt burden. Pakistan paid over $1 billion on Monday against a matured Sukuk floated in November 2014.This shook up the foreign currency reserves, which stood at $8.68 billion in the week ending on November 22. Moody’s rating is dependent on hopes and expectations like the balance of payments dynamics would continue to improve, supported by policy adjustments and currency flexibility. Moody’s is however careful. It expects the government’s fiscal deficit to remain relatively wide at around 8.6 per cent of GDP in fiscal 2020 compared to 8.9 per cent in fiscal 2019, before narrowing to an average of around 7 per cent over the fiscal 2021-2023. The next two years are thus going to be lean. There is a lot for the economic managers to do to ensure improvements in the economy. As national media has pointed out, Pakistan’s economic fundamentals, including its strength and susceptibility to event risk, had not materially changed even though institutional strength had avowedly increased. The IMF has noted that Pakistan’s credit strengths are balanced against structural constraints to economic and export competitiveness, the government’s low revenue generation capacity that weakens debt stability, and that fiscal strength that will remains weak over the foreseeable future as well as political and still material external vulnerability risks. The government would do well under the circumstances to improve relations with the opposition and undertake moves to ensure peace in the region. Moody’s upgradation of Pakistan’s outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’ is a good sign for the economy provided further steps are taken to bring it out of the doldrums.

Attack on newspaper office Another form of persecution


OMeONe’S cup seems to have run over. The frustration which had produced such curbs as preventing a newspaper from circulating in certain areas, preventing cable operators from broadcasting a particular channel, pulling certain interviews off a channel (the latest example being that of Gen (retd) Aslam Beg), has now boiled over into the threat of violence, as shown by the siege to a newspaper office in Islamabad over a news item it published earlier about the London Bridge attacker. The objection of the crowd of several dozen, who surrounded but did not enter the offices, was to a news item from the newspaper’s London correspondent which identified the attacker, mentioned that he was born in the UK of parents from Bhimber, and described his earlier conviction for terrorist conspiracy. The demonstration seemed to have gained viciousness from Indian media attempts to link the attacker to Pakistan, but if newspapers are going to be attacked merely for reporting facts, there will be a lot of attacks. The attack has been condemned by all representative press organisations and opposition political parties. However, it represents another dimension of the creeping censorship that seems to be afflicting the media in Pakistan, and which is a new development after a period of relative freedom. However, attempts to impose censorship failed in the past, and were weathered by the media then. They will be weathered again, by the same methods of carrying out its task of reporting the truth to the public, so that it can make an informed judgement. It seems as if there are powerful elements which fear that judgement. Is it purely a coincidence that the newspaper had very recently carried a report on how the trending of hashtags could be manipulated on the social media? Does somebody fear the exposure of its shenanigans on the next frontier of the media (as well as of politics), the social media? Will the attempt to control the media go to the next level, and are the crowd attacks of the past due for a revival? It should be remembered that such tactics have not worked before, and will not work again. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry should be in the forefront of the struggle to identify the culprits of Tuesday’s attack, and it should be mindful that its reaction will be watched closely.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Umar Aziz

Asher John

Joint Editor

Executive Editor

Deputy Editor

Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965


amjed jaaved


He recent Babri Mosque judgment shows that India’s Supreme Court is the handmaiden of Hindu fanatics. The judges rewarded the party that demolished the mosque. As eyewash, they ordered land for a new mosque to be allotted to the losing party. The judgment is based on uncorroborated myths. The Babri Masjid (Mosque of Babur) was one of the largest mosques at Ayodhya in Faizabad district (Uttar Pradesh). According to the mosque’s inscriptions, it was built in 1528–29 Ce (935 AH) by Mir Baqi, on orders of the Mughal emperor Babur (after whom it is named). There is no evidence about Babur constructing a mosque in Ayodhya after demolishing a temple there. All sources are mute, be it Babur’s memoir Baburnama, Humayunnama by Babur’s daughter Gulbadan Begum, Abul Fazal’s Ain-iAkbari or Tuzk-e-Jahangiri. The first reference to Babri appears in a travel account by a Jesuit priest, Joseph Tiefenthaler, in 1768. The inscriptions, inside the mosque, often quoted in books on Ayodhya or Babur, were fake. They were fixed in the mosque 280 years after its supposed construction in 1528. Babur did visit Gwalior temples. But, neither he, nor his commander Mir Baqi (distinct from Baqi on masjid inscriptions), ever visited Ayodhya. Mir Baqi of the Baburnama was never governor of Ayodhya. Property or Ram birth at stake?: BJP President L K Advani admitted on September 30, 1990: ‘No one can prove that it was the birthplace of Shri Rama.’ It was a matter of belief. Can this belief receive judicial sanction to the point where it can override the moral and legal rights of others? The court disapproves of the placing of idols forcibly and deceitfully in the mosque on the night of 22-23 December 1949, and its demolition on 6 December 1992. In a letter to Prof. Hiren Mukerji, on 5 June 1989, BJP PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee accepted: “It is not possible to pinpoint the exact spot where Ram was born”. The RSS supremo M D Deoras said: “This is not a case in which the judiciary can pass a judgment. What type of evidence are the Hindus expected to produce? That Ram was born and that his birthplace is Ayodhya?” That is why the BJP in its Palampur resolution declared: “Litigation certainly is no answer” (11 June 1989). The claim that god (Ram) was born there is fictitious. Indian court ignored the fact that the Muslims have been in current possession of the disputed site since times immemorial. No claim by Hindus during Mughal or British Raj was made. Shankaracharya’s Nyas originally owned only one acre of land, the rest of the land (addi-

Judicial and physical vandalism Babri Mosque: Reliance on myths tional 42 acres of so-called undisputed land) was given to it on lease by Kalyan Singh government in 1992 to develop a Ram Katha Kunj (park). even Tulsidas does not mention the Janmabhoomi or a mosque built on it. The judgment is a slap on face of secular India. Hearsay as evidence: The mosque was located on a hill known as Ramkot (‘Rama’s fort’). According to hearsay, Baqi destroyed a pre-existing temple of Rama at the site. No corroborative evidence exists to support this view and the existence of the temple itself is a matter of controversy. even the excavations done by the Archaeological Survey of India, under orders of the Allahabad High Court in 2003, failed to support the claims by the Hindu extremists about remains of a temple under the Babri Mosque. Hindutva Influence on Ayodhya-Case Judges: The Court’s decision on excavation reflected that it disregarded customary law, res judicata principles, and the equity maxim that ‘equity helps the vigilant, not the indolent’. Pandora’s Box: Determination of title to ownership based on excavation has opened up the Pandora’s Box of further excavations on flimsy grounds. Anyone may any time complain to a court about a temple having been converted into a Masjid hundreds of years ago. Fate of 5,000 other mosques after Babri: It is unfortunate that even India’s apex-court judges buckled under the influence of a Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (Ram birthplace trust) to investigate the fictitious claim about Ram’s birth. Now some BJP’s legislators have demanded excavation of 3000 to 5000 mosques, including Delhi’s Grand Mosque. MP Sakshi Maharaj even offered to be hanged if idols were not found underneath the staircase of the Jamia Masjid. He demanded that Modi 2.0 should ‘bring in a law for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya as he did in regard to Somnath Temple before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections’. At a press conference in New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh BJP’s president Vinay Katiyar said, “The court has shown the way. Why should we confine (ourselves) to Ay-

odhya, Kashi and Mathura? Why not talk of 5,000? All sites should be dug up to verify the claims on the pattern of Ram Janmabhoomi”. Masjid Shahid Ganj versus Babri Masjid: The cases of the two mosques bear a marked contrast. Sikhs and Muslims acrimoniously contested the Shaheed Ganj case (Lahore). Muslims’ claim was rejected for laches (time bar). The Gurudwara Shahidganj stands with aplomb in Lahore as it did before 15 August 1947. Hardly any Sikh visits it now. Yet no Pakistani Muslim ever tried ever to desecrate or demolish it. But the Babri Masjid became a heap of rubble even before India’s Supreme Court declared it to be a temple. The arguments in the two cases concerning property and longevity of possession were similar, less the myth of birthplace of Indian god Ram. even LK Advani admitted on 30 September 1990: ‘No one can prove that it was the birth place of Shri Rama.’ India’s secular constitution was no fetter to judges who delved into religious issues. earlier, a court had declared that a masjid was not essential for the Muslim way of worship. Conspicuously, even the judges of Indian courts are human beings with natural concerns about the safety of their own lives and those of their kith and kin. The Court ignored the fact that the Muslims have been in current possession of the disputed site since times immemorial. Those fascinated by secular India’s democracy should wake up. When Jinnah left for Pakistan on 7 August 1947, Patel said, ‘The poison had been removed from body of India’ He added, ‘As for the Muslims they have the roots, their sacred places and their centres here. I do not know what they can possibly do in Pakistan. It will not be long before they return to us’ (ibid.). Babri case should make one thank ‘poisonous’ Jinnah for his vision and legacy, Pakistan. Amjed Jaaved is a freelance journalist, has served in the Pakistan government for 39 years and holds degrees in economics, business administration, and law. He can be reached at

Globalisation, uncertainty and our borderless world Globalisation offers both opportunities and has dangers

Zainab naZir


e live in a global village without realising its true essence. A globalised world brings with it the intensification of economic, social, cultural and political interconnectedness. Globalisation explains how different cultures are connected in new space-time boundaries and how new bonds of humanity are being created without geographic limitations. Globalisation cannot be equated with modernisation or colonisation. Globalisation is somehow related to the spread of modernisation across different borders. Modernisation and development is a process of change whereby less developed countries acquire the status and characteristics of industrialised societies. Modernisation highlights the concept of being “superior” or “inferior”. It is “making things common around the world” while globalisation is an integration, not an imitation. Colonisation was a concept that originated centuries ago and resulted in the process of globalisation. Colonisation and globalisation usually have an integration among the population. Globalisation can be referred to as an economic movement while colonisation is a relatively more aggressive tertiary and political movement. The world is readjusting and

Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9


modifying itself to this doubleedged sword. It has exciting potential and at the same time unprecedented dangers. We are experiencing an extraordinary age from all points of view: from economy to politics, from international relations to technological advancements, from global war to demography. This phenomenon of globalisation is making the world more accessible to everyone. Globalisation helps in the exchange of technology which aids in information transfer across the globe. Globalisation leads to an increase in investment levels among states and vast multinational managements and is beneficial for the world economy in terms of liberalisation of trade, labour migration, greater competition, and investment increase. This increases global productivity. The benefits of globalisation are shared by all living in the global village. Globalisation is real, globalisation is true, for better or for worse. Policy makers recommend globalisation for national public policy and believe that its results are good for the human population. It is good in a way that it promotes a more unified, friendly and amicable humanity. At the same time, globalisation has some alarming impacts. Developing countries hardly compete

Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545


with developed countries and they often face problems with tariff protection. Labour migration which seems to be good is actually not in favour of states. It is accompanied by a brain drain or a labour drain, which is a danger for developing countries. Moreover, globalisation is increasing environmental issues, making the world an unhealthy place to live. If we talk about the demographic dimensions of globalisation, global population is the first thing that comes to mind, mirrored in which is a monumental demographic divide. The Global South which is made up of the Middle east, Africa, and Latin America is home to a greater population of young individuals with rising population and growing birth rates, whereas, the Global North which is made up of countries like the United States, Canada, Japan, and Israel has a declining population. Developing countries struggle with educating and providing employment to the youth who leave their own countries and migrate to places with better opportunities and wages. This creates economic and political instability between countries. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that demographic diversity is the result of changes in the determinants of population growth and



global population structure. These factors include birth and death rates, and developments in medical science making life expectancy longer. For example, in the Philippines, the death rate is declining due to improved health services and better standard of living. The morality of globalisation is the most important issue on today’s global agenda. The morality and ethics of globalisation demand a change in principles focusing on human security, economic stability and global peace. By thinking and acting collectively every one of us can contribute towards building a more just and humane world. Globalisation has recently hit a speed bump, provoking exigent evaluation of its causes, characteristics and implications. Pessimists predict that one of the many results of globalisation would be competition between different states as they would seek to protect their independence and preserve national security. On the other hand, an optimistic scenario predicts a world of “global citizens” who remain loyal to the common interests of everyone. These set of predictions strike fear into the hearts of those living in the “global village”. Zainab Nazir can be contacted at She tweets at Twitter: ZainabNazir28


Wednesday, 4 December, 2019

COMMENT 09 Editor’s mail

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail: Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively

Umrah banned in ‘State of Madina’?

Citizens Portal a great success Encouraging results in providing good governance

malik muhammad ashraf


He concept of good governance centres on the responsibility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the masses as opposed to select groups in the society. It involves a process of decision making and the implementation of those decisions through the state institutions created for the purpose. The major attributes and characteristics of good governance universally acknowledged and advocated are responsiveness of the system of governance to the public needs, sensitivities and complaints. If we apply the foregoing touchstone for judging the quality of governance and review the current situation, we can safely infer that over the last 20 years the people have endured bad governance. It is however encouraging to note that the PTI government, which sought the mandate of the people on the basis of its narrative to curb corruption and give the country good governance, sticking to its pledge with the people, has shown unflinching commitment to not only bringing reforms to plug the avenues of political and systemic corruption but is also working with unruffled focus to make the lives of the people comfortable by ensuring that their complaints and grievances against the government departments are attended and taken care of without any loss of time. In this regard Pakistan Citizens Portal was launched on 28 October 2018 by Prime Minister Imran Khan. It was the first positive move that marked the beginning of country’s march towards good governance. This arrangement for on-line registration of complaints by Pakistanis, whether living in Pakistan or abroad, was the first of its kind in Pakistan. The citizens were able to register their complaints through an app which runs through Beta Android version. The government also envisaged inclusion of IOS version so that the citizens who were using iPhones could also register their complaints through the devices possessed by them. The arrangement ensured one-click access to 7000 government offices of the federal and provincial departments through the portal. The system ensured that the complaints lodged by the citizens automatically reached the heads of the concerned departments. The citizens could also upload videos, audios and picture files in support of their complaints. The heads of the departments were bound to settle the complaints within ten days of their receipt. A

complaint registered by a citizen also became im- partment were issued show cause notices. An Asmediately available at the dashboards of the min- sistant Commissioner of Income Tax Department istries and departments. The system also enabled has been suspended for showing slackness in rethe citizens to provide feedback to the govern- solving the complaint of a citizen and harassing ment and rate their complaint resolution. The him. The Prime Minister has ordered the FBR to Prime Minister has been personally monitoring complete the inquiry within 21 days. To make the system more effective and effithe whole exercise, as all the departments and ministries were required to send regular reports cient, the Prime Minister has decided to take strict to him to keep him abreast about the working of action against government officials not showing the system. elaborating on the system on the eve seriousness in resolving public complaints. All the ministries and departof its inauguration he had ments have been asked to said that the system would constitute five-member make the bureaucrats, committees to monitor the ministries, government dashboards of the apemployees and MPs acpointed officers and subcountable, besides addressing concerns of the The system put in place by mit their reports to the Minister Secretariat investors. He said that the the government has shown Prime within 30 days. The comcitizens would also be able to lodge complaints very encouraging results, mittees have also been assigned the responsibility of about private institutions. not only in addressing the pinpointing inadequacies An incisive look into regards to the rethe structure raised for public complaints but also with solved and unresolved handling the online comcomplaints besides fixing plaints and its envisaged with regards to the responsibility for good and objectives reveals that the accountability of the bad performance. system has worked with With regards to great efficiency. During government officials. 85,000 complaints lodged the one year since the sysHopefully, with further by overseas Pakistanis tem became operational, the cabinet has approved it handled 1.23 million envisaged improvements in the constitution of a highcomplaints and resolved 1,057,334 of them showthe system, including web- powered committee with the responing a success rate of 86 access to citizens not having charged sibility to resolve all the per cent. The break-up of the pe centage of comandroid phones, putting in complaints within three months and present its replaints resolved by fedplace an inter-departmental port to the Cabinet. eral government, and the to the figgovernments of Punjab, conflict system and ensuring uresAccording compiled by conKPK, Federal Capital, Balochistan, GB and transparency and openness cerned authorities, in the domain the regisSindh is 92 per cent, 88 of the government through civilian tration of 47000 citizens per cent, 87 per cent, 89 per cent, 79 per cent, 72 Open Government Portal- was suspended on provision of invalid ID cards per cent and 40 per cent Strategy Document, it will and there was also a drop respectively. As is evident 121,000 complaints the percentage of combecome even more effective of pertaining to court matplaints addressed by the ters, political issues, dofederal government and in dealing with public matters, service the provinces where PTI complaints and improving mestic matters, classified matgovernments are in place ters, and sensitive issues is much higher than the governance during the last one year. province of Sindh, indiThe foregoing facts surely cating the difference in testify to the fact that the commitment to resolve system put in place by the the public complaints. government has shown The major complains pervery encouraging results, tained to police, land revnot only in addressing the public complaints but enue, education and health. It is pertinent to point out that attention was also with regards to the accountability of the not riveted only on addressing the complaints of government officials. Hopefully, with further enthe aggrieved parties and individuals, but the gov- visaged improvements in the system, including ernment officials responsible for showing indif- web-access to citizens not having android ference to the public complaints were also held phones, putting in place an inter-departmental accountable for their inaction. A number of high- conflict system and ensuring transparency and ranking police officers in Punjab were suspended. openness of the government through Open GovFive officers of the rank of deputy commissioner ernment Portal-Strategy Document, it will bewere issued warning letters, three assistant com- come even more effective in dealing with public missioners were suspended while 20 were con- complaints and improving governance. veyed the displeasure of the government. More Malik Muhammad Ashraf is an academic. than 60 officers of the Local Government department and 22 functionaries of the education de- He can be contacted at:

THROUGH the pages of your prestigious newspaper, I want to draw the attention of higher authorities towards the unjustified and illegal ban imposed on federal government teachers who intend to perform Umrah. Federal Directorate of education (FDe) is responsible for supervision of nearly 422 educational institutes in Federal Capital and works under the aegis of Federal of Ministry of education and Professional Training. This week, my sister, who is a teacher in one of the institutions under FDe, applied for a No Objection Certificate (NOC), which is a pre-requisite for all government servants travelling abroad. The family is travelling in the form of a group and all members, including my sister, have got visas stamped and tickets confirmed. Yet she got the surprise of her life when staff of Director General (DG) FDe office informed her that a ban has been imposed on all teachers for performing Umrah throughout the year except summer vacation period. The Director HR, also confirmed that the DG, who is himself on a foreign visit, has issued strict instructions not to entertain any request from Federal Government teachers for issuance of NOC for performing Umrah. The move seems to be motivated by Punjab government’s recent decision to bar all teaching and non-teaching staff of public schools across the province from undertaking foreign trips. A circular by the Schools education Secretary Irum Bukhari issued on October 20 was sent to heads of educational institutions in all 36 districts of the province. However, it clarified that teaching and non-teaching staff would be granted an exemption if the foreign travel involves performing pilgrimage such as Umrah, Hajj, etc or if it was to seek medical treatment. The DG FDe seems to have read the news and decided to blindly follow suit but instead went a step further and banned Umrah also. Performing Hajj and Umrah is the greatest wish of every Muslim and there is no precedence in the country’s history that any department or ministry in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has ever thought of banning the religious obligation under any pretext whatsoever. Rather many departments in both public and private sector hold a lucky draw annually to send the deserving employees on Umrah and Hajj. FDe is known for its poor administration and such illogical and unconstitutional orders as allowing Umrah only in summer vacation speak volumes about the mindset of those running the helm of affairs. Moreover, during previous summer vacation period, teachers were not allowed to leave stations and proceed to home towns under the pretext that FDe had arranged teacher-training programmes, and the coming years would be no exemption. The honourable President, Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Federal Minister of education and Professional Training are requested to intervene and save my sister and dozens of others belonging to teaching fraternity who may be facing imminent danger of incurring monetary loss besides receiving a serious blow to their basic human and fundamental constitutional right i.e. right to exercise religion. In the context of Prime Minister’s recent statements of his vision to transform Pakistan into the ideological role model of the State of Madina, banning the holy journey to sacred cities of Makkah and Madina is strange. While the big-hearted move of incumbent government to facilitate Sikhs by opening the Kartarpur Corridor deserves appreciation, Road to Makkah for Muslims should not closed. – A concerned brother. M A ALAM Islamabad

Honey please! KHAIRPUR Mirs is well-known for its pulchritudinous and paramount architecture. It is only city of Sindh where there is production Date Palm fruits. The orchards of Date Palm trees are habitats of many living organisms. Such as, Squirrels, Crows, Honey Bees, Parrots and Mynas. The honey bee is only, which is on the verge of extinction because of the use of pesticides on Date palm fruits. There are two types of honey bees in Khairpur Mirs. 1, Apis florea which is commonly known by the name, Nandhi Makhi (dwarf honey bee) or ‘Desi Makhi’ by the laymen of these areas people. 2, Apis dorsata which is commonly known by name Wadi Makhi( giant honey bee) or ‘Angrezi Makhi’. Apis florea and Apis dorsata are distinct in characteristics. Apis florea formed their colonies in Data palm trees, Azadirachta indica (Neem tree), and Mangoes orchards. Whereas, Apis dorsata makes their colonies in Mangoes orchards, Azadirachta indica (Neem tree) and have rarely been seen their hives in Data Palm trees due to their giant beehive and sometimes on buildings as well. Apis florea is good pollinator and its honey is delicious in taste as compare to Apis dorsata. As eye witness, I have seen Apis dorsata sitting in man feces and filthy water. I am not entomologist but I need suitable justification regarding this statement from entomologists? According to research, “Pollinators affect 35 per cent of global agricultural land, supporting the production of 87 of the leading food crops worldwide.” As prominent scientist Albert einstein states, “if the bee disappear from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” In fact, seventy to ninety per cent eatable plant is rely on pollinators. Definitely if there would be no bee then there will be no food, if no food, there will be no life. All types of bees are essential for our ecosystem, but the Apis florea is on verge of extinction. To save the honey bees from extinction all the relevant organisations such as, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, should promote awareness among people against the use of pesticide and DDT on Data palm trees and agriculture fields to protect and enhance honeybees and their habitats, as well as, to improve their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping. NAIMATuLLAH GAdHI Khairpur Mirs

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019


Trump begins meeTings wiTh nATO leAders Amid impeAchmenT inquiry NEW YORK



S President Donald Trump kicks off a two-day whirlwind of meetings with Nato alliance members, but his focus appears to remain centered on the impeachment inquiry playing out at home. Before departing for London to meet on Tuesday with other leaders from the 29-member alliance, Trump accused Democrats of trying to embarrass him by scheduling this week’s impeachment hearing while he’ll be abroad with Nato leaders. Trump, who arrived in London late on Monday, called the trip one of the most important journeys that we make as president before he departed Washington and said Democrats had long known about it. He was back to lashing out at Democrats minutes after landing in London late Monday night, touting a Republican impeachment report calling Trumps decision to hold up military aid to Ukraine entirely prudent. Democrats contend that Trump abused presidential powers by holding up the aid to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate for-

Greek hologram billionaire told to pay $58m for sexual harassment ATHENS: Greek billionaire Alkiviades “Alki” David was ordered to pay $58 million damages to a Hollywood assistant in one of the largest sexual harassment awards in US history, her attorney said Monday. David, an heir to a Coca-Cola bottling fortune who has also battled recent lawsuits over his 3D hologram and online streaming businesses, was accused of routinely groping Mahim Khan. The verdict was “a reminder to predators everywhere to not think they can get away with hurting others,” Khan said in a statement to AFP. Attorney Gloria Allred described it as one of the largest sexual harassment punitive damage awards in US legal history. “In this ‘Me Too’ movement, women like Ms Khan are no longer willing to suffer in silence,” she said. Khan’s lawyers presented evidence that, two to three times per week, David would grab her by the neck and simulate oral sex. They also told jurors that David repeatedly groped Khan’s private parts and on one occasion exposed her breasts. David, who denies sexually harassing Khan, was not in court Monday. Earlier in the trial, he was stripped of his ability to represent himself after a series of outbursts against Khan and her attorneys. AGENCIES

Prince Andrew’s accuser slams 'ridiculous excuses' LONDON: An American woman who claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew criticised the royal’s “ridiculous excuses” in an interview aired on Monday. The interview was recorded before Andrew’s own BBC interview, which prompted him to stand down from public duties because of a backlash at his defence of his friendship with Epstein. But Virginia Giuffre called on the British public to support her as she dismissed claims initially made by the prince’s backers that a photograph apparently showing him with his arm around her might not be genuine. “The people on the inside are going to keep coming up with these ridiculous excuses like his arm was elongated or the photo was doctored,” she told the BBC’s Panorama programme. “I’m calling BS (bullshit) on this. He knows what happened, I know what happened. And there’s only one of us telling the truth,” she said. “It’s a real photo. I’ve given it to the FBI for their investigation.” Andrew himself doubted the authenticity of the photograph during his badly received interview, saying “nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored.” AGENCIES

mer vice president Joe Biden and his son. “Prior to landing I read the Republicans Report on the Impeachment Hoax. Great job! Radical Left has NO CASE,” Trump tweeted. “Read the Transcripts. Shouldn’t even be allowed. Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?” Trump’s trip comes amid ongoing quarrels over defence spending by Nato allies and widespread anxiety over the

American president’s commitment to the alliance. He has a busy schedule over the two days at the leaders conference, including scheduled one-on-one meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte.

He will also attend tea with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host Trump and the other Nato leaders at back-to-back receptions Tuesday evening. Trump is also scheduled to squeeze in a campaign fundraiser with American expatriate supporters that is expected to raise $3 million for his re-election effort and the Republican National Committee. Trumps meeting with Macron on Tuesday comes after Robert Lighthizer, the chief US trade representative, recommended $2.4 billion in new tariffs on French cheese, sparkling wine and other products. The call for new duties came after his office completed a five-month investigation that concluded that a French digital services tax unfairly discriminates against US tech companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. The president said his trip would be focused on fighting for the American people. But in the more than two months that the impeachment inquiry has been underway, he has constantly drifted back to what he frames as the Democrats unfair effort to overturn the results of his 2016 election. The House Judiciary Committee

is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on the constitutional grounds for impeachment before Trump wraps up at the Nato meeting. Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House counsel Pat Cipollone and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway all complained about the timing, with Pompeo saying the hearings would distract the president from his important mission overseas. Trump insists he is solely focused on scoring domestic and foreign policy wins, including revamping Nato so that allies spend more on defence. But he’s often appeared consumed by the day-to-day battle against impeachment. In recent days he has repeatedly lashed out about the impeachment hoax and the scam inquiry, even delving into impeachment at a ceremony to celebrate National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes and at last week’s annual turkey pardon. White House aides say the summit offers Trump an opportunity to counter the impeachment narrative in Washington and demonstrate to voters that he is keeping a business-as-usual approach while Democrats concentrate on the probe. But soon after Air Force One departed, Trump took to Twitter to slam ‘Do Nothing Democrats’ for scheduling the hearing during the Nato meeting as ‘Not nice!’.

Elon Musk to go on trial in defamation case NEW YORK AGENCIES

Elon Musk is going on trial on Tuesday for his troublesome tweets in a defamation case pitting the billionaire against a British diver he allegedly branded a paedophile. The Tesla CEO will be called to testify early in the case in Los Angeles federal court to explain what he meant when he called Vernon Unsworth, who helped rescue youth soccer players trapped underwater in a Thailand cave, “pedo guy” in a Twitter spat more than a year ago. Musk later apologised for lashing out at Unsworth on Twitter after the diver belittled Musks efforts to build a tiny submarine to save the trapped boys as a PR stunt. The tweet, which was widely interpreted as a reference to a paedophile, was removed by Musk, who disputed that is what he meant.

“Pedo guy was a common insult used in South Africa when I was growing up,” Musk said in a court declaration. “It is synonymous with creepy old man and is used to insult a person’s appearance and demeanour”. Unsworth’s lawyers have laughed off that explanation and said his claim was undercut by a subsequent tweet when he said, “Bet ya a signed dollar its true” in response to a question about whether he had accused Unsworth of being a paedophile. The lawyers also said he hired private investigators to dig up evidence Unsworth was a child molester, which they never found, according to Unsworth’s lawyers. The lawsuit is not the first time Musk’s tweets have landed him in hot water. Musk and Tesla reached a $40 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last year on allegations he misled investors with

a tweet declaring he had secured financing to buy out the electric car maker. He agreed in the settlement to have future tweets about the company screened. He was forced back into court on accusations he violated that agreement by tweeting a misleading figure about how many cars Tesla would manufacture this year. The SEC sought to hold him in contempt of court, which led to a new agreement imposing tighter controls on Musk’s tweets about the company. The cave drama played out for more than two weeks in the summer of 2018 when the 12 boys ages 11-16 and their soccer coach were trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand. Musk and engineers from his SpaceX rocket company custom built a mini-submarine to help with the rescue. The device was heavily publicized but never used. Unsworth, a diver and caving ex-

pert whose advice was considered crucial in the rescue operation, said the sub would never have fit in the caves tight spaces. He told CNN that Musk could stick his submarine where it hurts. Musk responded two days later with his series of tweets. Musk claims he wasn’t making a factual statement and no one reading his tweet would take it seriously and interpret it as defamatory. Despite removing the tweets, he later suggested in emails to the news website BuzzFeed that Unsworth was a “child rapist” and had moved to northern Thailand to take “a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.” He provided no evidence. Unsworth is seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress. The defence has resisted efforts to turn over financial records to show Musk’s wealth but has stipulated his net worth exceeds $20 billion.

Squabbles overshadow NATO 70th anniversary summit BELGIUM AGENCIES

NATO leaders gather Tuesday for a summit to mark the alliance’s 70th anniversary but with leaders feuding and name-calling over money and strategy, the mood is far from festive. The 29 allies will descend on London ready to lock horns overspending and how to deal with Russia in a major test of unity as NATO seeks to assert its relevance. US President Donald Trump arrived in London keen to see evidence of European countries boosting their military spending, after repeatedly lambasting them for what he considers freeloading on America for their defence. NATO officials hope a managed series of spending announcements by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last week will appease Trump, who turned the 2018 summit on its head with furious rants at European partners. Stoltenberg pointed out on Friday that by next year, non-US allies will have increased their defence spending by $130 billion since 2016. En route, Trump boasted that he had convinced European allies to boost their defence spending, tweeting: “Since I took office, the number of NATO allies fulfilling their obligations more than DOUBLED.”

There was also much fanfare around a billion-dollar contract signed last week with US planemaker Boeing to upgrade the organisation’s AWACS reconnaissance planes. NATO members have also agreed to lower the cap on US contributions to the alliance’s relatively small $2.5 billion operating budget, meaning Germany and other European countries — but not France — will pay more. Trump will have the chance to discuss the measures with Stoltenberg when they meet for breakfast on Tuesday before he

talks with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of an evening reception at Buckingham Palace. If Trump’s refrain about spending is a familiar one, a more dramatic row blew up in recent weeks after Macron despaired of the club’s strategic direction, saying it is suffering “brain death”. The comments riled other leaders and drew a rare public rebuke from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And on Friday Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, furious at Western criticism of his military operation in

northern Syria against the Kurds, hit back with a personal attack on Macron. “First of all, have your own brain death checked. These statements are suitable only to people like you who are in a state of brain death,” Erdogan declared, insisting he would say the same again at NATO. French officials summoned the Turkish envoy in Paris to complain while a US administration official predicted that many members would tackle Turkey over its purchase of a Russian S-400 air defence system. WHERE NEXT? The substance of the meeting is thin, with only one threehour session planned, where leaders are expected to sign off on a set of decisions already taken by NATO foreign and defence ministers. These include making space a full domain of conflict — alongside land, sea, air and cyberspace — as well as a new report on how the alliance should approach China and its growing international assertiveness. What is likely to be more significant in the long run is the fallout from Macron’s broadside, in which he complained NATO talks too much about money and not enough about strategic priorities. In response, Germany has suggested setting up an expert panel to look at how NATO can be adapted to address political questions more effectively.

Wednesday, 4 November, 2019

FBR diReCTed To expediTe sales Tax ReFund pRoCess ISLAMABAD



DVISER to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has directed the Federal Board of Revenue to take input and suggestions from the textile exporters and simplify the H-form within a week so that the process for the payment of sales tax refunds could be expedited. He gave the instruction during a meeting with the office-bearers and members of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Tuesday. Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms & Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain,

HafEEz SHaikH givES fBR onE wEEk to Simplify tHE H-foRm foR ExpoRtERS SEEking REfund claimS Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Task Force on Textile Chairman Ali Habib, FBR Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi, former finance minister Shaukat Tareen and Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch were also present on the occasion. Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told the exporters that the government was not at all interested in keeping their money and that the government was willing to listen to and accommodate any solution or

recommendations from the exporters to simplify the H-Form and ensure prompt payments of sales tax refunds to them. He directed the FBR to expedite the payment of nearly Rs10 billion worth of customs duty drawback to the exporters. FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi told the meeting that the revenue board has so far received claims for sales tax refunds to the tune of Rs10.14 billion for the period from July to Octo-


ber 2019, adding that cases amounting to Rs8.02 billion have already been processed for payment. "As many as 1,604 cases have been accepted for payment which would be made at the earliest," he stated. Earlier, the APTMA leaders and members informed the finance adviser they were happy and satisfied with the documentation drive of the government and wanted to process their claims for sales tax refunds through the newly introduced Form-H. They said that they have formulated their recommendations to further simplify the Form-H in view of certain problems being faced by them in filling out the form.

'Efforts underway to bridge digital divide between urban, remote areas' SYEDA MASOOMA Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said on Tuesday that efforts were being made to bridge the digital gap between the urban and remote areas. "The Universal Service Fund has been helpful in this regard as it developed telecommunication services in the unserved as well as underserved areas of the country," he said while addressing the first session of the three-day International Sustainable Development Conference organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad. The minister noted that revenue generation and documentation of economy are among the major challenges of the country, adding that latest technology is being utilized to achieve the desired results. The conference kicked off with the welcome address by SDPI's Board of Governors Chairperson Shafqat Khakhel. Speakers of the first session included former Board for Investment chairman Sharif Haroon, Prime Minister's Economic Advisory member Abid Qaiyum Suleri, former provincial finance minister Aisha Ghaus Pasha. Most of the discussion from the panel was rhetoric about lauding the current government on bringing Pakistan towards digital economy, improvement in ease of doing business ranking, and government's plan to improve and increase technological influences in ways of operating. However, some speakers did point out useful and practical steps on how to improve the imple-

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir on Tuesday hailed the recent economic achievements of Pakistan, reaffirmed by American credit rating agency, Moody's.


US President Donald Trump said a trade agreement with China might have to wait until after the US presidential election in November 2020, denting hopes of a resolution soon to a dispute that has weighed on the world economy. “I have no deadline, no,” Trump told reporters in London, where he was due to attend a meeting of NATO leaders. “In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal. But they want to make a deal now, and we’ll see whether or not the deal’s going to be right; it’s got to be right.” European share prices and US stock futures fell, while the Chinese yuan currency sank to a five-week low on the comments by Trump, who has sought to increase trade pressure on other countries in the past 24 hours. On Monday, he said he would hit Brazil and Argentina with trade tariffs for “massive devaluation of their currencies”. The United States then threatened duties of up to 100pc on French goods because of a digital services tax that Washington says harms US tech companies. Investors have been hoping that the United States and China can defuse their trade tensions, which have strained ties between the world’s biggest and second-biggest economies since 2017, the first year of Trump’s presidency.

Portugal to help Pakistan retain GSP-Plus status BUSINESS DESK mentation and utilization of technology in improving the economy as well as efficiency in other regulatory areas. Sharif Haroon said that Pakistan needs to learn from other countries with respect to how they formed strategic partnerships. He said with changing times, students and youngsters also have to move towards skills likely to be demanded in the future as opposed to only the skills in demand today. Aisha Pasha said while the implementation of biometric system brought out visible betterment, Pakistan still has a long way to go before it can become a digital society. She added that digital monitoring of vaccinations helped the government and that technology is the way forward to improve governance. Another session on Emerging Technologies and Regional Stability dis-

cussed water management and the fourth industrial revolution. Speakers of the session opined that the impact of this revolution for Pakistan will be determined by the methods implemented for upgrading skills of the workforce and the time it takes to respond to global changes. World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Illango Patchamuthu also participated in the session on digital technology and e-payments. UN Expert Ali Saleem said that there is an obvious policy gap in Pakistan on youth and peacebuilding and it may take another three decades to achieve the potential. Dr Rajan Sudesh Ratna from United Nations ESCAP said that women cannot only be empowered through social means rather economic empowerment is the key. "Both India and Pakistan are

lacking in gender equality," he said. During the conference, it was also highlighted that the private sector in Pakistan is willing to work in the renewable energy sector and they must be facilitated in doing so. Fatima Khushnud from Independent Power Plants Association said that the price of energy cannot be reduced or controlled unless old energy plants are decommissioned. Economist and former finance adviser Sartaj Aziz got candid in his statements during the discussion on provincial development, saying that developmental projects should not be restricted to Punjab alone but should be spread all across the country. Senator Shibli Faraz opined that a separate ministry for renewable energy must be established.

SBP governor hails economic progress BUSINESS DESK

Trump says China trade deal might have to wait for 2020 election

Dr Baqir lauded the efforts of Pakistan's economic team, which helped improve the country's ranking from 'negative' to 'stable'. The governor stated that the recent improvements were attributable to the difficult decisions taken by the incum-

bent government, adding that the fruits of hard work and dedication were now showing results. The SBP governor emphasised that this achievement should now be translated into “relief for the common man” of Pakistan. "The middle class of the country has

borne the brunt of economic decisions made by the government and now they must be rewarded for their steadfastness," he said. “The impoverished segments of the society should also be facilitated, and a concerted effort is required in this regard.”

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that Portugal would help Islamabad retain the GSP-Plus status, a facility that provides Pakistani products duty-free access to the European market. According to a statement issued by the Governor House on Tuesday, Chaudhry Sarwar hoped that Pakistan would get an extension in GSPPlus status. He said that Pakistan has gained benefits of more than $15 billion from GSP-Plus status during the last five years, adding that the continuation of the facility would help strengthen the country's economy. During his ongoing visit to Portugal, the Punjab governor met with Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Teresa Ribeiro and Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs Vice President Pedro Filipe Soares. Matters pertaining to extension in GSP-Plus status to Pakistan, Kashmir issue, bilateral trade and Afghan peace process were discussed during the meetings. Sarwar said that meetings with Teresa Ribeiro and Pedro Filipe Soares were held in a very cordial manner, adding that the Portuguese investors and business community were keen to invest in the projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

India seen making sixth interest rate cut, but no cure for economy's ills MUMBAI AGENCIES

Five interest rate cuts since the start of the year hasn’t stopped India’s economy from slowing to its weakest growth rate since 2013, but the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to make its sixth cut on Thursday to give what little relief it can. Growing by 4.5pc annually in the June-September quarter, down from 7pc a year earlier, the economy is expanding well below the rate needed to generate enough jobs for the millions of young Indians entering the labour market each month. The gross domestic product numbers released on Friday showed government

spending helping to prop up weak demand, but private investment growth had virtually collapsed, with a crisis in the shadow banking sector causing illiquidity in the economy. Re-elected for a second five-year term in May, Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s government needs all the help it can get turning the wheel on an economy, whose loss of momentum is becoming acute. A Reuters poll of 70 economists predicted the RBI would cut its repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 4.90pc when the monetary policy committee’s decision is announced on Thursday, and then by another 15 bps in the second quarter of 2020, where it will stay at least until 2021.

A 25 bps cut would take the cumulative rate cuts by Asia’s most aggressive central bank to 160 bps since February and will be the most in a calendar year since 2009. Madhavi Arora, economist forex and rates at Edelweiss Securities, said the RBI faced “a tough policy dilemma”, as economic growth was underperforming, inflation was overshooting, and the government lacked fiscal room to manoeuvre. She said the latest GDP numbers supported the view in Edelweiss that the RBI will ease “by at least another 50 bps in this cycle, despite an uptick in inflation beyond the 4pc comfort zone in the coming months.”

Annual retail inflation rose to 4.62pc last month, climbing above 4pc for the first time in 15 months and up from 3.99pc in September. Analysts believe transient factors were to blame, so the central bank still had room to continue cutting rates. The September industrial output too contracted 4.3pc, following a decline of 1.4pc in August. At its policy review in October, the RBI sharply lowered its growth projection for 2019/20 (April-March) by 80 bps to 6.1pc, but most economists expect another downward revision on Thursday. Rate cuts alone are however expected to do little to revive growth and calls for more direct fiscal stimulus have grown in

recent weeks. A significant minority of economists - 24 of 56 - who answered an additional question in the poll said rate cuts would marginally boost the economy, while nearly a third said they would have little or no impact. Anagha Deodhar, economist at ICICI Securities in Mumbai said there was a strong case for an interest rate on Thursday, though monetary policy has limited benefits in the current circumstances. “Hence, fiscal policy will have to do the heavy-lifting to boost growth. Sectorspecific measures and increased government spending could be the quickest way to boost growth in the near term,” Deodhar said.

Wednesday, 4 November, 2019


‘inTeResT RaTe May CoMe down nexT MonTh’ financE adviSER SayS SHoRtfall in fBR taRgEt will BE mEt tHRougH non-tax REvEnuE of RS1.2tR Hammad azHaR tERmS SEaSonal diSoRdER, adminiStRativE failuRE aS REaSonS BEHind RiSing inflation ISLAMABAD



N order to attract investments in the country and to facilitate the largescale manufacturing sector, the government on Tuesday hinted at reducing the interest rate in January 2020. Addressing a joint press conference flanked by Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi in Islamabad, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh said that the policy rate may come down by next month. However, he added, the Monitory Policy Board of State Bank of Pakistan would decide about the rate, keeping in view the inflation ratio. "The current policy rate was decided in the best interest of the people, as inflation directly hits the masses. The policy

board of the independent central bank is reviewing everything related to the [interest] rate," he added. With an aim to contain inflation, the SBP had increased interest rate from 5.75pc in September 2018 to 13.25pc. Talking about the continuous slide in the large-scale manufacturing sector, Minister Hammad Azhar said that the sector was hardly 15pc of the entire economy, adding that negative growth in one sector should not be counted as an overall reduction in growth. "With 3pc growth in the overall economy, the LSM sector will also see a positive change," he maintained. To a question regarding rising inflation, Hammad Azhar said that inflationary indication, noticed in consumer items, has multiple factors, including seasonal disorder, administrative failure and lack of facilities at utility stores. He said the ban on imports of some agricul-

seCp issues revised aMl/CFT guidelines for npos ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has issued revised and more elaborative Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financial Terrorism (AML/CFT) guidelines for non-profit organizations (NPOs). The new guidelines explicitly highlight the consequences of money laundering, terror financing, predicate crimes and other abuses on the NPO sector. The AML/CFT guidelines for NPOs, firstly issued in September 2018, aimed at facilitating Section 42 Companies Ordinance with compliance with AML/CFT Regulations 2018. The amended version would provide the NPO sector an improved understanding of risks of terror financing, including transnational TF risk. The guidelines also include major findings of Pakistan’s National Inherent Risk Assessment on money laundering and terrorism financing. The revised guidelines have elaborated terror financing process including directions, sources and channels of TF; and updated the criteria for assessment of vulnerable or high-risk NPOs. SECP has amended the guidelines to account for the evolving TF risks and to further make the NPO sector aware of the best practices, good governance measures as well as the red flags to mitigate such risks. The SECP’s AML/CFT guidelines are developed in a manner that these can also be adopted by NPOs registered/licensed with provincial governments. STAFF REPORT

Punjab sugar mills halt crushing owing to ‘non-availability of sugarcane’ LAHORE: Punjab sugar mill owners on Tuesday stopped their crushing processes and decided to close their mills owing to “nonavailability of sugarcane”. Around 30 sugar mills in the province have decided to halt the crushing process due to non-availability of sugarcane, sources confirmed, adding that only eight mills were currently operational in Punjab. Sources said that the shutdown of sugar mills in the province would result in a hike in sugar prices. The mill owners, while inviting the government’s attention, have warned that the sugarcane crisis would aggravate further in days to come. The issue of sugarcane price has always been a bone of contention between various stakeholders in Punjab and Sindh, two major sugarcane producing provinces of the country. The mill owners resorted to delaying tactics at the beginning of the crushing season in order to take advantage of the weak bargaining position of the farmers. The farmers complained that the Punjab sugar mills owners and other quarters, having vested interests in the industry, use delaying tactics for crushing season and that they do not increase the procurement rate, which results in economic problems for farmers and crisis for the industry workers. The growers and sugar mills owners have remained in a constant dispute for several years over the issue of fixation of sugarcane price, long delays in release of payments to growers and clearance of liabilities by factory owners. INP

ture items from India had also created temporary shortages. In reply to another query, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi said since the automation of refunds system, there has been no issue regarding holding of exporters' refunds claims. "At least Rs5 billion have been released through the automatic system without any human interference. Out of the Rs25 billion worth claims, refunds of Rs16 billion are already under process." The FBR chairman admitted that there was a difference between the number of actual filers and the revenue generated, noting that there was a 50pc jump in filers as compared with 16pc increase in tax collection during the past few months. "The jump in the number of filers does not mean a similar increase in revenue as there are many filers contributing

little in taxes," he explained. To a question, Dr Hafeez Shaikh said that the shortfall in revenue against the ambitious target for this fiscal year would be met by non-tax revenue of around Rs1,200 billion. "Due to the prudent policies of the government, Pakistan's nontax revenue has witnessed a 100pc increase." 'INT'L RECOGNITION': Earlier, Dr Hafeez Shaikh informed media that international organisations were affirming Pakistan's economic progress. "Bloomberg has endorsed Pakistan's strong economic indicators and termed the country's stock market as 'world-beating'," he added. The adviser claimed that the International Monetary Fund has also lauded the pace of Pakistan's economic progress and that the fund has decided to release the second tranche


Bears return as KSE-100 sheds 335 points


Bulls of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) seemed exhausted on Tuesday, as the indices, which opened on a positive note, failed to sustain gains amid profit-taking. Foreign investors remained net buyers of $1.64 million in the previous session. On the political front, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has issued orders to freeze assets owned by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza and Salman Shehbaz in different cities, including Lahore, Chiniot, Haripur and Abbottabad, citing corruption offences. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to simplify its system for payment of refunds so that exporters, especially small and mediumsized ones, do not face any difficulty in recovering dues. The benchmark KSE-100 Index recorded its intraday high at 40,444.05 after gaining 319.83 points during the initial trading hours. It then changed its

direction and recorded its intraday low at 39,725.70 after losing 398.52 points. The index settled lower by 335.49 points at 39,788.73. The KMI-30 Index declined by 629.16 points or 1.01pc to close at 62,598.09, while the KSE All Share Index fell short by 152.72 points, ending at 28,118.73. The overall trading volumes declined from 557.39 million in the previous session to 448.88 million. K-Electric Limited (KEL +2.18pc), TRG Pakistan Limited (TRG +1.15pc) and The Bank of Punjab (BOP -3.55pc) remained the volume leaders of the day. The scripts had exchanged 42.81 million, 25.29 million and 19.15 million shares, respectively. Sectors that pulled the index lower included banking (-87.61 points), cement (-79.15 points) and fertilizer (64.74 points). Among the companies, Engro Corporation Limited (ENGRO 56.83 points), United Bank Limited (UBL -34.49 points) and Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK -34.03 points) dented the index the most. The cement sector lost 3.27pc from its cumulative market capitalization. D G Khan Cement Company Limited (DGKC -3.62pc), Bestway Cement Limited (BWCL -4.39pc), Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF 4.45pc) and Lucky Cement Limited (LUCK -2.77pc) all closed negative. Hyundai Nishat Motors, a joint venture of Nishat Mills Limited (NML +0.06pc) and Hyundai Motors Limited, has announced to have launched its first commercial vehicle ‘Hyundai Porter H 100’. The company plans to invest more than $230 million to enhance its production capacity from 15,000 units to 30,000 units.

of $500 million to Pakistan. He said for the first time in Pakistan's history, portfolio investment reached $1 billion, exports increased by 10pc while foreign direct investment rose by 236pc during the last five months. The adviser continued that Pakistan current account rose into surplus, "which means that the economy was heading towards the right direction". The adviser noted that Pakistan's economic outlook would be stabilised and the balance of payments dynamics would continue to improve, supported by policy adjustments and currency flexibility. He said the government's expenditures were being controlled as part of measures for economic uplift. "The SBP reserves, which were struggling for the past few years, have now been stablised," he said, adding that petroleum prices were lowered keeping in view the reduction in prices worldwide. On Monday, Moody's rating agency had changed Pakistan's economic outlook to stable from negative. The agency had kept Pakistan's rating outlook unchanged to B-3. It had said the Pakistani economy was improving and the biggest challenge being faced by the Pakistani economy, the current account deficit, was also shrinking.

oil steadies as Riyadh pushes for further supply cuts LONDON AGENCIES

Oil prices steadied around $61 a barrel on Tuesday as rising expectations of deeper output cuts from OPEC and its allies were countered by a potential delay to a US-China trade agreement until after the next US presidential election. Brent futures rose $0.04 to $60.96 a barrel by 1116 GMT while US West Texas Intermediate crude was up $0.08 at $56.04. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, are discussing a plan to increase an existing supply cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by a further 400,000 bpd and extend the pact until June, two sources familiar with the matter said. Saudi Arabia is pushing the plan to deliver a positive surprise to the market before the initial public offering of state-owned Saudi Aramco, the sources said. US President Donald Trump said that a trade agreement with China might have to wait until after the US presidential election next November, denting hopes of a quick resolution to a dispute that has weighed on the world economy.“I have no deadline, no. In some ways I think it’s better to wait until after the election,” Trump told reporters in London, where he was due to attend a meeting of NATO leaders. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Tuesday said he expected this week’s meeting to be constructive but added that Moscow had yet to finalise its position. Vagit Alekperov, CEO of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer, Lukoil, said it would not be expedient to deepen production cuts in the winter, especially for Russia. Goldman Sachs on Monday said that OPEC+ is likely to extend output curbs through June but expects the “uneventful” three-month extension to provide little support to prices. The factors behind this view included a large increase in production from legacy non-OPEC projects and an as yet uncertain outlook for demand growth, it added. The investment bank said it expects Brent to trade around $60 a barrel in 2020 in the absence of geopolitical shocks. OPEC ministers will meet in Vienna on Thursday and the wider OPEC+ group will gather on Friday.

OICCI stresses need for robust enforcement of IPR laws BUSINESS DESK Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) on Tuesday announced the key findings of its latest Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Survey. The OICCI 2019 IPR survey highlighted that IPR protection continues to be of high importance for the business community of Pakistan, whereas there is need for better appreciation of the importance of IPR among other

key stakeholders, including the government and the media. Approximately 50pc of the respondents believe that IP rights are not adequately protected in the country. However, comparing the IPR environment with other countries in the region, OICCI members perceive that the IPR environment in Pakistan to be ‘better’ or ‘same’ than Bangladesh, India and Philippines and their feedback indicates that it has improved somewhat as compared to

the survey conducted in 2017. In terms of estimated revenue losses, 17pc of the respondents indicated losing more than 20pc of their annual turnover due to IP violation, compared to 6pc in 2017. The survey highlights the need for a concerted effort by the relevant authorities towards robust enforcement of IPR laws as the foreign investors expect a significant improvement in the IPR regime to facilitate FDI in Pakistan. Some of the concerns shared by the sur-

vey respondents included lengthy timelines for granting IP rights as well as judicial proceedings. They also mentioned a lack of awareness about IPR amongst some stakeholders, other than brand owners, and few IP Tribunals for timely resolution of IPR infringement cases. Currently, over 90pc of the OICCI members prefer reliance on their own resources for monitoring the threat of IPR violations. However, there is a great desire for all the IP owners to

work with the government for a better IPR regime in Pakistan. The OICCI 2019 IPR survey results reflect the assessment of the foreign investors, who are members of the chamber, on the state of intellectual property protection in Pakistan. The survey was conducted during August –September 2019, following up on a similar survey conducted in 2017. Protection of IP is one of the key elements in attracting FDI in the country.

5 ReAsons Why TRAvelling is essenTiAl foR youR MenTAl And PsychologicAl gRoWTh By Rohama Riaz


re you in a phase where you feel stuck, or you do not seem to make progress? Let’s search for a reason. There are times when we need to boost our energy. Just like everything needs force to move, our souls need a kick to get that required energy. If you have been overworked physically and mentally and you are occupied with unnecessary worry and stress, traveling is your solution. These are the reasons why traveling can be an energy kick for all of you. A Boost to your confidence: When you travel, you meet hundreds of people and it is somewhat necessary to get in contact with people who you are traveling with or the locals of your destination. This boosts your confidence. You learn to talk to people. It teaches you how to look out for

solutions to your problem. You learn from the locals and the people around you. Along with that, even if you have no one to help you, you will learn to deal with the obstacles on your own which can prove to be a good confidence dose. PeAce of mind: While you are at your job, dealing with a lot of people and a bundle of files; you are nowhere around peace. You are

not just dealing with your work but also other related issues. At this point, traveling will give you a new vision, a hope to work again with energy reload by recharging your confidence. Once your body and mind get enough space, you are back on your toes to work in a better way with more enthusiasm. WAy to knoW yourself: Traveling reveals facts that you cannot even imagine about yourself. It will tell you about your tolerance towards any kind of situation. It will show your immense confidence to deal with an unforeseen situation. Traveling is basically a bundle of uncertain events. This will introduce you to a completely unknown side of yourself by putting different circumstances in front of you. This should never be traumatizing. If you do not like a situation, leave it then and there. But, if you think it is a great and healthy challenge to your body,

go for it. Always learn from your experiences. mAkes you grAteful : When you are traveling, you are away from home, deprived of any facilities and any kind of leisure. When you move away, it gives you a sense of realization that how blessed you are to have a family, friends and a support system around you back home. A sense of gratitude arises and it lasts forever. A greAt leArning exPerience: When you travel to an entirely new place, you learn their culture, language, their history and overall importance of that place. This will give you a chance to meet new people, adapt their lifestyle for the time being and will give you an insight into a whole new experience. All these and many new opportunities come your way while traveling. So, save up and book your next destination for an amazing and lifetime experience.

Ravens in captivity can learn to talk better than parrots.

BETABIYAN: A VERY SIMPLE ROMANTIC STORY Betabiyan has a good music and this is something that can pull the audience towards the cinema By hasan Kazmi



hen you have suffered from films like Gumm, Sirf Tum hi To ho, Daal Chawal and Talash, a simple film like Betabiyan may perhaps makes you feel better. One questions, is it a bad film, then answer is no it is not, also it seems to be following a classical Pakistani Filmy era when a simple love story can pull the audience especially families who loves to watch romantic films, and that is certainly what is all about Betabiyan. It is a story of a daughter who lost her mother during pregnancy and her father raised her with the help of his college friend, a friend who never bother to marry herself and sacrifice her life for the child and her college love. Just like every other Pakistani film, the title makes little or no sense because it is not related to the storyline at all. however, despite several errors, Betabiyan has a good music and this is something that can pull the audience towards the cinema if (and it is a big if) we had cinemas that still sells tickets at rs. 200 to rs. 300. Betabiyan is a combination of 2 love stories, where a daughter eventually wants her dad to marry since her mother left during her pregnancy. For me who has watch blockbusters of Baber

Ali on circuit cinema, it was really nostalgic to watch him again on silver screen. he does hold his charm even to this day. Although the film does not revolve around his character but he is an integral character of the story. The film also highlights the father daughter love which till today is a bit complicated in the absence of a mother. Baber Ali was simple and reminds me of his calm character he played in Miss Istanbul. he acted well, true to his potential and never tried extra hard to push his boundaries which makes it suitable for the role he is portraying. hiba Ali, being her first film was slightly

charming however, there was certainly no effort for her styling and wardrobe. A little effort towards her would have bear better results. Saima Baloch performed well in few songs as she specializes in dance. her acting also fine as it didn’t require much effort however the role demands to cast a much younger girl which she tried her best, however something one can’t help. This is a typical Lollywood style and it still carrying on. The biggest issue with this film is the hero Zain, played by Syed Arez. I never quite understand what he was trying to do. he tends to be romantic which he is not of course and he always tries to copy (read mimic) some great actors which sometimes feel hilarious but often irritating. Towards the end, Javed Shiekh and Saba hameed entry was interesting element in the film. I would say that Betabiyan is basically an oversimplified romantic film that has a good music, yes 8 songs and still it only runs for 2 hours. Some I really appreciate as the director kept the duration in check. Lastly, this is not a badly made film like I mentioned earlier, it is simple and sometimes you feel it is too simple perhaps, however at the moment if Pakistani Cinema can have too simple films it can help at least the remaining few circuits running for the time being.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Leaks Include John Cena, Adam Warlock

David Corenswet Rumored For J.J. Abrams' Superman

A batch of possible Guardians of the Galaxy 3 leaks has surfaced on both 4Chan and reddit which mention Adam Warlock and more. Worth a mention is that prior to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, leaks also surfaced on 4Chan which basically turned out to be legit. As the following info could be correct, SPOILer warning is in effect. Will be released July, 28, 2023. Guardians of the Galaxy 3 takes place after Thor: Love and Thunder. Thor's role in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is yet to be determined because of the events in Thor: Love and Thunder, so Gunn has a draft with Chris hemsworth and without hemsworth as Thor. rocket raccoon and the Guardians face the high evolutionary, who is the creator of rocket and Lylla (rocket's sapient otter soulmate).

According to online rumors, with J.J. Abrams about to take over Superman, 26-year-old actor David Corenswet might be playing the new Man of Steel, replacing henry Cavill. David Corenswet does actually look a lot like henry Cavill and Superman, and would probably just need to bulk up a bit for the role. he's known for the netflix series, The Politician, Affairs of State and has Project Pay Day and the hollywood TV series in the works. I was actually the first to reveal that J.J. Abrams is taking on Superman, as well as Green Lantern, as DC insiders filled me in at Comic-Con that Abrams would be going with a younger Superman which would be attached to the robert Pattinson Batman (Abrams is best buds with The Batman director Matt reeves). Abrams actually touched upon Superman while promoting the release of Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker, where rolling Stone mentions (note: bold my own): Interestingly enough, Man of Steel's Faora, Antje Traue, also teased that something may be happening.


Bela Lugosi was buried in full Dracula costume— cape and all.

Central Park's lampposts contain a set of four numbers that can help you navigate. The first two tell you the nearest street, and the next two tell you whether you're closer to the east or west side of the park (even numbers signal east, odd signals west).

Panipat song Sapna Hai: Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon tie the knot in this royal wedding number Arjun Kapoor and Kriti Sanon’s romantic song Sapna hai Sach hai from Panipat is out now and is a beautiful picturisation of Sadashiv rao and Parvatibai’s love story back in the time. The song shows their traditional Maharashtrian wedding post which they went on to become each other’s strength. Written by Javed Akhtar, Sapna hai Sach hai has been sung by Abhay Jodhpurkar and Shreya Ghoshal and composed by Ajay-Atul. Arjun also shared a video in which he can be seen talking about working on his first period film. The actor is seen getting his head being shaved for the role of a Maratha warrior and says, “I was not convinced that I could look like a Maratha, like a Peshwa but Ashu sir was convinced. he is a very meticulous person. he had done his research, he had seen my films, my images. ‘Andhadhun aake nahi bol rahe the ki tu takla ho jaega aur kar lega’. There was some thought behind it. he had a lot of clarity regarding my role.”

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019


Messi wins sixTh BallOn d’Or as rapinOe Takes wOMen's prize PARIS



IONEL Messi said he hoped to carry on undimmed by age after claiming a record sixth men's Ballon d'Or award at the age of 32 in Paris on Monday, while USA World Cup superstar Megan Rapinoe took the women's prize. Rapinoe was not at the Chatelet Theatre in the French capital, unable to make the trip back to the country where she led the USA to victory in July. However, Messi was there with his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, and two of their children. It is Messi's first Ballon d'Or since 2015 and his sixth overall as he moves one ahead of old rival Cristiano Ronaldo. "It is 10 years since I won my first Ballon d'Or here in Paris and I remember coming here with my three brothers, I was 22 and it was all unthinkable for me what I was going through," Messi said on stage after receiving the award from last year's winner Luka Modric. "I hope I have several years left to keep enjoying my football. I am aware of the age I have and these moments are all the more enjoyable be-

cause the moment when I have to retire is getting closer and that is difficult. "All going well I'll have several years left but at the moment time seems to be flying and everything is happening very quickly. "I hope to keep enjoying

my football, my family, facing my rivals and all of this life that I have." This is just the second year that a women's Ballon d'Or -- voted for by 48 journalists -has been awarded, with Rapinoe succeeding Norway's Ada Hegerberg. Rapi-

noe was the star of the Women's World Cup on, and off, the field, winning the Golden Boot for top scorer, with six goals, and Golden Ball for best player. She scored the opening goal as the USA beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the final. But the 34-year-old feminist icon made headlines with her outspoken criticism of US President Donald Trump during the tournament and has led calls for her team to be paid the same as their male counterparts. "It's been an incredible year," said Rapinoe in a recorded video message. "I want to say a huge thank you to my team-mates, the coaches, the US Soccer Federation, for all of the support to allow me to be who I am and do what I do on the field but also be the person who I am off the field." Rapinoe was one of four members of the US side that lifted the World Cup to be nominated for the prize, along with Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle and Alex Morgan, who finished third on Monday. England's Lucy Bronze came second. Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, the ex-Ajax star now at Juventus, succeeded Kylian Mbappe as the winner of the Kopa Trophy for the best player aged under 21.

Solskjaer does not fear for his future at Man Utd despite sackings LONDON AGENCIES

Man Utd 'a closed chapter’, says Mourinho ahead of Old Trafford return

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he does not fear for his future as Manchester United manager despite a spate of Premier League sackings as he prepares to face his predecessor Jose Mourinho. Spurs turned to Mourinho after dismissing Mauricio Pochettino last month, while Arsenal and Watford have subsequently sacked Unai Emery and Quique Sanchez Flores. Solskjaer is under increasing pressure, with United ninth in the Premier League, 22 points behind

leaders Liverpool and eight off a topfour spot as they prepare for Wednesday's match against Tottenham. "No, it doesn't make me more concerned," Solskjaer said at his prematch press conference on Tuesday. "I'm just focusing on my job and that's just doing as well as I can, and look forward to the next game, and look long-term, plan things with board. "It's that time of year. It's never nice to see your colleagues lose your jobs -- three in a very short space of time. "It's a game of margins," he added. "Sometimes you have luck, sometimes you don't, but


Jose Mourinho says his time at Manchester United is "a closed chapter" and he is only interested in beating them when he takes his in-form side to Old Trafford on Wednesday. It is the new Tottenham manager's first return to the touchline at United's home ground since his sacking by the club last December. "This is a closed chapter for me," said Mourinho, who has won all three of his matches in charge of Spurs. "I left the club, I took my time to process everything that happened, I took my time to prepare myself for the next challenge. "Honestly, United for me is in my book of experiences, it's in my history book." United are struggling under Mourinho's successor, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but go into the game just two points behind fifthplaced Spurs. "It is not for me to analyse United now," Mourinho said at his prematch press conference. "I analyse them as an opponent, how they play. How can we beat them? How can they beat us? For me that is the important thing." Mourinho is excited about the prospect of returning to Old Trafford. He said: "I feel good, I like to play big matches, I like to play against the best teams and go back to a place where I was happy. "I have a great relationship with the Manchester United supporters. I went back as a pundit and I was humbled by such a beautiful reception. "Tomorrow I go back as the coach of the team that will try and beat Manchester United. "I understand that what they want is the exact opposite of what I want. Of course during the match I expect them to forget me."

it doesn't make me any more concerned that it's December. "I'm good, absolutely no problem. Sometimes you laugh when you read stories about what I've said and stuff, at least I know the sources are just made up, blatant lies." The United boss bemoaned his team's failure to turn draws into wins, saying they were not getting the results their football deserved. The club are winless in three games and Solskjaer's job will not get any easier with a derby against Manchester City on Saturday to follow the game against Mourinho's Spurs side. The Norwegian, though, dismissed any need for crisis talks with the United board. "Three days or four days are not going to change a whole lot, but these two games are great chances for us to prove things and prove to ourselves that we can continue in the vein we have had against some of the better sides," he said. Solskjaer expects Mourinho to receive a warm welcome when he returns to Old Trafford a year after being sacked, having won the League Cup and Europa League during his time in charge. "We know we have to improve, we are working hard to do that right and when you change a manager halfway through the season (it) isn't where it is supposed to be," said the Norwegian.

liverpool belief is sky-high, says OxladeChamberlain LIVERPOOL AGENCIES

Liverpool midfielder Alex OxladeChamberlain says the Premier League leaders are going into every game believing they can win after racking up 13 victories in 14 games. Jurgen Klopp's unbeaten side have dropped just two points this season and established an eight-point advantage over secondplaced Leicester. But even the pressure of maintaining their winning run, which appears to grow with every game for a club searching for their first league title since 1990, has not affected the mentality within the club, according to OxladeChamberlain. "I'm going into it (a game) with the mindset that we're going to win. I think that's how we all feel," the England international told the PA news agency. "We're going into the games expecting ourselves to win and anything else we're disappointed with." He added: "I think that's the mentality you need to be successful, to have those high standards that nothing else is acceptable. Then you've got to let history take its course." Liverpool are firm favourites to end their title drought but midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain said they needed to remain mentally strong. "You've got to just keep going out and churning out results," he said. "There might be a time where results don't go so well and people maybe close the gap a little bit. "We've got to be also ready for those moments mentally as a team to just keep going and see what happens." Liverpool's next match is the Merseyside derby at home to struggling Everton on Wednesday, with the Reds unbeaten against their local rivals at Anfield since 1999. But Klopp's side have not kept a clean sheet at home all season and are without suspended first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker. "I don't think we're leaking loads of goals but probably just a few little silly mistakes here and there all over the pitch," said OxladeChamberlain.

World No 1 Barty hopes 2020 will be golden year CANBERRA AGENCIES

Ash Barty won her third Newcombe Medal as Australia’s top tennis player this week but the world number one says she hopes to earn a more coveted medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old has had a whirlwind 2019, claiming her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open to become the first Australian to win one of the four majors since Sam Stosur’s 2011 U.S. Open triumph. Barty also became Australia’s first woman to earn the No. 1 ranking since Evonne Goolagong in the 1970s and led the nation to the Fed Cup final for the first time in over a quarter of a century. “I’m really excited to hopefully be

a part of my very first Olympics,” Barty told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday. “I think it could make the year extra special, but there are so many parts of the year that I’m looking forward to.” Her first big goal in 2020 will be to end her country’s long wait for a home winner at the Australian Open which starts next month. The last was Chris O’Neil, who claimed the women’s title at the 1978 tournament. Barty will be the centre of attention as top seed at Melbourne Park but said it would not change her approach. “There are 127 other girls in the draw that I have to try and beat as well,” she said. “Regardless of the number next to your name, everyone’s trying to do the same thing. “It’s about me preparing in the right


way over the next five or six weeks to give myself the best chance to be ready

and to be feeling really good coming into the Australian Open.”

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019


williaMsOn hails ‘hard wOrk’ TO save TesT, seal enGland series win WELLINGTON



ENTURIES from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor ensured New Zealand drew the rain-hit second Test against England in Hamilton on Tuesday, sealing a 1-0 series win. New Zealand batted the final day needing a substantial innings to avoid defeat and were helped by sloppy England fielding. Williamson, who had three lives including a howler of a dropped catch by Joe Denly, described it as a "good effort" to end up with a draw. "A lot of hard work had to go into saving the match when time didn't allow us an opportunity to win it," he said. However, England captain Joe Root felt the Test was always heading for a draw, saying even if the weather and fielding had gone England's way "we still couldn't have forced a result." Heavy rain arrived soon after lunch to end play on the fifth day when New Zealand were 241 for two in their second innings, 140 ahead with Taylor on 105 and Williamson on 104. It ensured the spoils went to New Zealand after their innings victory in the first Test, and

improved their record to eight wins, a draw and one loss to South Africa in their past 10 Test series. Williamson brought up his 21st Test century with a four off Joe Root in the third over after lunch, while Taylor reached century number 19 with a flourish in Root's next over when he smacked a four and two sixes in consecutive balls. Two balls after Taylor had raised his bat and poked his tongue out in his signature celebration, the rain arrived to wash out England's faint hopes. New Zealand resumed the day at 96 for two with England hunting early wickets but their plans went off track when Ollie Pope

and then Denly spilled simple chances from Williamson. The New Zealand skipper was on 39 when wicketkeeper Pope put down a regulation offering off the gloves, much to bowler Ben Stokes annoyance, and on 62 Denly inexplicably dropped an even easier chance. Williamson gently chipped a slower delivery from Jofra Archer straight to Denly at short midwicket and, as the bowler leapt in celebration and Williamson made an apologetic gesture to Taylor, the ball popped out of Denly's hands. "It was a one-off goober," said Root using cricketing slang for a shocking error. There were comparisons drawn on social media to the widely regarded worst dropped catch in Test history when England's Mike Gatting put down a sitter off the gloves of India batsman Kiran More in 1993. "We worked very hard to try and create chances on a very flat wicket and they don't come around very often. It's very frustrating and I'm sure Joe will not hear the end of it for a long while," added Root Williamson had another life when he should have been run out on 97 but Sam Curran's shy at the bowler's end from mid-off was so far wide of the stumps that the batsmen had time to return for a second run.

Nasir Jamshed stands trial in PSL, BPL spot-fixing scandal SPORTS DESK

Ganguly wants india to play pink-ball Tests in every series MUMBAI AGENCIES

Indian cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly believes pink-ball Tests are here to stay and wants the team under Virat Kohli to play at least one such match in every series. India became the last major cricket nation to embrace day-night Tests when they hosted neighbours Bangladesh in front of a sellout crowd at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens last month. As the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Ganguly’s nudge prompted India to take the plunge into day-night Tests, which pundits believe can address test cricket’s dwindling attendance in most venues. “I am pretty upbeat about it,” Ganguly told The Week magazine. “I feel this is the way forward. Not every test, but at least one test in a series.” The world’s richest cricket board aggressively marketed India’s maiden pink-ball test, illuminating prominent city landmarks in pink and overall creating a buzz around the match. Encouraged by the turnout in Kolkata, other Indian venues are now ready to host day-night Tests, Ganguly said. “I will share my experiences with the board and we will try and implement it in other places.” “After this, everyone is ready. Nobody wants to play test cricket in front of 5,000 people,” added the former India captain. Kohli has welcomed the innovation but said pink-ball Tests should be an exception and not the rule. “I think (day-night Tests) can be a oneoff thing, it should not be a regular scenario,” Kohli said in Kolkata on the eve of the test match.

Two men have admitted conspiring to offer bribes to professional cricket players. Yousef Anwar, 36, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34, were arrested last February as part of an investigation by the National Crime Agency into alleged spot-fixing in T20 tournaments organised by national cricket boards from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Both men had previously denied the offences but changed their pleas on Monday ahead of a scheduled trial at Manchester Crown Court. Anwar and Ijaz pleaded guilty to conspiring together between November 2016 and December 2016 to offer financial advantages to players in the Bangladesh Premier League, with the intention of inducing them to perform improperly by failing to play competitively in good faith. They also admitted the same charge in relation to players taking part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) between November 2016 and February 2017. Anwar, of Littlebrook Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, and Ijaz, of Chippenham Road, Sheffield, were granted bail ahead of sentencing, expected to take place early next year. A third defendant, Pakistan’s Nasir Jamshed, 33, of High Street, Walsall denies being part of the bribery conspiracy in relation to PSL. The prosecution will open its case against him today (Tuesday).The duo came into attention during 2017 edition of PSL when Pakistani cricketers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were caught playing pre-decided dot-

Bangladesh Cricket Board yet to decide on touring pakistan Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is yet to make a final decision on sending their cricket team to Pakistan, Bangladeshi media reported on Monday. According to Dhaka Tribune, BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that they would make their final decision after receiving a security report from the government delegation sent to Pakistan to assess the situation. Chowdhury said that "the report is very important to the board," adding that they are constantly in touch with the Pakistan Cricket Board regarding the tour. The BCB chief was quoted by the paper saying, “We (Bangladesh team) will not tour if there is any risk for the cricketers.” Pakistan is scheduled to play two Tests and three T20Is against Bangladesh in January and February. SPORTS DESK

nzC lodge police complaint over Jofra archer abuse incident WELLINGTON AGENCIES

balls in the opening game. Both were immediately suspended from PSL where they were representing Islamabad United. It was revealed that both the players by Jamshed who introduced them to Anwer.Jamshed was banned by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for 10 years for his role in the spot-fixing scandal. Both Latif and Khan had received five years ban with Khan having his half of ban suspended.Khan, 30, had earlier this year, confessed to

his crime and sought an apology. PCB has allowed him to return to cricket and has included him in PSL draft list.Sources believe that the confession by Anwar and Ijaz could lead to further names who were approached and who didn’t report these approaches. According to International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption code, players are bound to report all corrupt approaches to assigned anticorruption officers.

New Zealand Cricket has lodged a complaint with Tauranga police over the racial abuse directed at Jofra Archer near the end of the first Test against England at Bay Oval. Information gathered from an inquiry which included studying CCTV footage, listening to audio, interviewing bystanders and obtaining material on social media has been incorporated into the complaint. As ESPNcricinfo reported at the time, the alleged culprit contacted Archer on Instagram in the hours after the incident. While NZC describe the informationgathering exercise as "useful" and are confident they have been able to identify the culprit, they lack the authority to conclusively and publically identify the person responsible and therefore feel "unable to comment on public speculation regarding his personal details".Despite this, NZC chief executive David White said he believed there was enough material to justify lodging a complaint with the police especially, a press release stated, "if the Bay Oval perpetrator was to reoffend". "What happened to Jofra was reprehensible and has led to a general upscaling of security around the area of racial abuse at all our international venues," he said.

Naseem Shah to join Pakistan Under-19 squad to prepare for World Cup LAHORE AGENCIES

Naseem Shah, the 16-year-old Pakistan fast bowler who made heads turn during the recent senior-team tour of Australia, is expected to return to the national Under-19 ranks and link up with the rest of the squad as they prepare for the Under-19 World Cup early next year in South Africa. "He is my main weapon and I need him there at the World Cup," Ijaz Ahmed, the head coach of the Pakistan Under-19 team, told ESPNcricinfo. "He now has a taste of international cricket and now, at the home [Test] series against Sri Lanka, we are mainly banking on spinners. Pakistan have [Mohammad] Abbas and Shaheen [Afridi] to lead the fast-bowling attack according to the conditions. "I feel he [Shah] for now should only be used in conditions like in New Zealand, England, etc, when needed. For now, we have a very important event

coming up in South Africa and he is very handy for me and I will ask Misbah [ulHaq, the chief coach and selector] to release him." Shah was named in the original World Cup squad, and ESPNcricinfo understands that he will be released to prepare and take part in the tournament. Shah, who has just seven first-class matches under his belt, made an impact during Pakistan's two-Test series in Australia. He had been all the talk even before he landed in Australia, with footage of his exploits in a short domestic career going viral. He didn't bowl in the first innings of the Pakistanis' tour game against Australia A following the death of his mother, but impressed during an eight-over burst in the second innings, bowling with pace and picking up the wicket of Marcus Harris. He made his Test debut in the first game, in Brisbane, and sent back David Warner with a brute of a short ball that the batsman, then on 154, could only edge through to the wicketkeeper. Shah


had found Warner's edge earlier too, but was denied the wicket as he had over-

stepped. He was dropped for the second Test, in Adelaide.

Wednesday, 1 December, 2019

NEWS LHC seeks record of special court in Musharraf treason case The Lahore High Court (LHC) has sought the record of the formation of a special court in the Pervez Musharraf treason case by Dec 10. LHC’s Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi questioned government counsel Reza Bashir about the record of Musharraf’s case, to which he responded that he was unable to obtain any records as the case is still pending in Islamabad High Court (IHC). Musharraf’s counsel contended that the complaint against Musharraf was filed on the directives of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif instead of the federal cabinet. The prosecution team was also constituted on the then PM’s direction. He further stated that the special court was to be formed with the approval of the cabinet, but it was formed on the directives of the former prime minister. “How can an act carried out in October 1999 make an act on November 3, 2007 fall under treason,” asked Justice Naqvi. Musharraf’s counsel reiterated that the formation of a special court is illegal. Justice Naqvi questioned the representatives of the interior ministry about the records. “When will the record be produced before the court?” They responded that the case is still pending in the IHC. Meanwhile, the IHC released the complete verdict in the high treason case against Musharraf. The 24 page long, extensive verdict given after the IHC bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah had set aside the case till all parties named were heard. The verdict allows barrister Salman Safdar who is representing Musharraf in the proceedings to become a party in the case. The verdict also binds the federal government to formulate and finalise a prosecution team to pursue the case further. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year. However, due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016 and has been an absconder ever since. In September this year, a special court bench had decided to conduct the trial on a daily basis from October 8 to conclude the case. NEWS DESK




HE National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi on Tuesday filed a reference against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and former Pakistan State Oil (PSO) managing director Sheikh Imranul Haq and 7 other accomplices in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import contract case. The accountability bureau submitted the reference in an accountability court in Islamabad. According to the reference, one company received benefits of over Rs21 billion between March 2015 and September of this year. Additionally, the reference stated that the national exchequer will suffer a loss of Rs47bn by 2029 because of the contract. Former OGRA chairman Saeed Ahmed Khan, incumbent OGRA chairperson Uzma Adil Khan, Engro Corp. Chairman Hussain Dawood, Engro Corp. Director Abdul Sammad Dawood, former PQA chairman Agha Jan Akhtar, former member Ogra Aamir Naseem, former PSO MD Shahid M. Islam have also been named in the reference. Both main accused persons — Abbasi and Ismail — have been behind bars for over four months in this case, while Haq obtained pre-arrest bail last Tuesday from the Islamabad High Court (IHC). On Monday, a media report claimed that of 10 persons accused, against whom the reference has been framed, two are said

to have turned approvers. According to the publication, the source added that NAB believed that corruption of some Rs20 billion had occurred in the scam. Abbasi was arrested in connection with the case in July. LNG CASE: On Jan 2, the NAB Executive Board had authorised two investigations against Abbasi, being former minister for petroleum and natural resources — one for his alleged involvement in irregularities in LNG import and the other related to the appointment of Naeemuddin Khan as president of the Bank of Punjab. He is accused of awarding a 15-year contract for a terminal to Elehngy Terminal Pakistan Ltd – a subsidiary of Engro Corporation – against the rules when he was the petroleum minister in former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet. The case was closed by NAB in 2016 but then reopened in 2018. The former prime minister had said several times in the recent past that he had not committed any illegality in the award of contracts for LNG import and, therefore, he could prove his innocence at any forum. He was of the view that the import of LNG was the need of the hour in 2013

when the country was facing an acute shortage of gas. In the case, not only Abbasi but former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was also accused of misusing authority by awarding the contract of LNG terminal to 15 companies of their choice. It is the first NAB case against Abbasi, who had served as prime minister for almost a year after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court on July 28, 2017. Interestingly, during the previous PML-N government, the Karachi NAB in its regional board meeting had closed the inquiry against Khaqan Abbasi in December 2016. But the PTI opposed the decision and claimed that “the inquiry was stopped despite the fact that it had been proved that the contract had been awarded in a nontransparent manner”. The then Karachi NAB director-general had remarked in a meeting: “After exhaustive discussion, it has been decided that it is an ongoing project and any intervention by NAB at this juncture will jeopardise the efforts of the provision of LNG from the project of public/national importance. It is, therefore, decided [to close the] inquiry [at] our end.” However, the NAB inquiry had re-

vealed that the management of InterState Gas Systems (ISGS) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) selected M/s Engro as a successful bidder for LNG terminal at Karachi Port in a non-transparent manner. The NAB inquiry found that the SSGCL signed a 15-year contract with a subsidiary company of Engro for re-gasification of LNG at fixed daily processing charges. The government authorised the Pakistan State Oil to procure LNG on behalf of the SSGCL. At the time of closure of the inquiry, incumbent Finance Minister Asad Umar had said: “NAB closed down inquiry against Khaqan Abbasi, though it was confirmed that irregularities had been committed in the award of the LNG contract.” However, NAB reopened the inquiry against Abbasi in October 2018. In February, Abbasi appeared before NAB and recorded his statement. In April, the government imposed a travel ban on Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail, and five other persons in the same case.

NAB fails to make case against Shehbaz's bail in Ashiana reference ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday took back its petition in the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the bail granted to former Punjab chief minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana Iqbal housing scam case. Hearing the case, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that bail cannot be suspended in prima facie case. He added that some of the accused had spent several years in jail due to lack of progress in the Ashiana case. NAB’s lawyer Naeem Bokhari told the court that Fawad Hasan Fawad, the former principal secretary to ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, had allegedly taken money for the suspension of the agreement with Chaudhry Latif and Sons. The CJP asked Bokhari who had for-

ACCOUNTABILITY WATCHDOG WITHDRAWS PLEA AGAINST EX-PUNJAB CM’S BAIL AFTER SC FINDS NO ‘MAJOR MISTAKE’ OF SHEHBAZ IN SCAM warded the matter to the anti-corruption department to which the lawyer replied that Shehbaz Sharif had sent the matter to the department in order to pressurise Chaudhry Latif and Sons to withdraw from the contract. He added that the case was primarily focused on administrative irregularities that emerged in the report of the inquiry committee. Bokhari said that the former Punjab CM had constituted a committee under the supervision of the then finance secretary which declared the contract in line with the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PEPRA) laws. However, Fawad Hasan Fawad allegedly pressurised the administration of Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) to suspend the agreement

with Chaudhry Latif and Sons in favour of the second bidder, Kamran Kayani after receiving Rs550 million in bribe. CJP Khosa asked the NAB lawyer whether the new contract was handed over to Kayani or not to which Bokhari said that the second agreement had not been handed over to the second bidder. “Did Kamran Kayani demand the return of Rs550m from Fawad Hasan Fawad?” questioned CJP. “No, Kayani has absconded from Pakistan and Shehbaz Sharif is also not present in the country,” Bokhari said. The NAB lawyer told the court that the pleas of two approvers had been approved while the bureau had rejected similar pleas by two other accused. to this, the CJP said that an accused will

have to confess his crime before becoming an approver in a case. Chief Justice Khosa said that the prosecution did not mention any major mistake of Shehbaz Sharif except pointing out a meeting which had been held at his residence. “If the chief minister was head of the institutions then what’s the issue if he had summoned a meeting. The prosecution represented Shehbaz as an outsider who had summoned the meeting,” he added. “In this story, it seems that Shehbaz Sharif’s role is of a ‘good kid’ who initiated an investigation into this matter and later forwarded it to the anti-corruption department. On the other hand, the character of Fawad Hasan Fawad is like a ‘bad kid’ in this story,” the CJP said. Following the CJP’s observation, NAB announced that it was withdrawing its petition against the suspension of bail to Shehbaz Sharif.

Malik Riaz agrees to hand over assets worth £190m to UK crime agency Pakistani business tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain has agreed to hand over cash and assets worth £190 million to the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom (UK). NCA in a recent tweet disclosed the news about a settlement with a Pakistani businessman. The tweet said, “The NCA has agreed a £190m settlement with a family that owns large property developments in Pakistan and elsewhere after a frozen funds investigation”. The NCA has accepted a settlement offer in region of £190m which includes a UK property, 1 Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LH, valued at approximately £50 million and all of the

funds in the frozen accounts. The agency also said that agreement had been reached with Hussain to hand over the cash and ownership of the exclusive address, which overlooks Hyde Park, adding that the assets will be given to the government of Pakistan. In August 2019 eight account freezing orders were secured at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in connection with funds totalling around £120m. These orders followed an earlier freezing order secured in December 2018 linked to the same investigation for £20m. All of the account freezing orders relate to money held in UK bank accounts.

Earlier this year in March, the Supreme Court of Pakistan accepted an offer of Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd – owned by Malik Riaz – to settle cases pertaining to its Malir or Karachi Superhighway project in lieu of payment of Rs460 billion. The deal was struck when the counsel representing the developer agreed to enhance their offer to Rs460bn from the earlier Rs450bn. “The offer is accepted,” Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had declared after a brief hearing about implementation of the court’s judgement of May 4, 2018 in which it was held that grant of land to the Malir Development Authority (MDA) by the Sindh government, its exchange with

Published by Arif Nizami at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad. Ph: 051-2204545. Email:


the land of private land developers (Bahria Town) and anything done under provisions of the Colonisation of Government Land Act 1912 by the provincial government was illegal and of no legal existence. The acceptance of the offer by the apex court restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from filing references against the directors and officials of Bahria Town. However, in case of default in payment of the settlement amount during the period agreed to under the deal (which has been reduced to seven years from eight), NAB will be free to file corruption references against the developer, but after prior permission of the court.

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