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    PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court election tribunal on Monday dismissed petitions against the election of three MNAs and six MPAs on July 25 declaring them non-maintainable on technical grounds.

    Justice Mussarat Hilali announced the rejection of the nine petitions under Section 145 of the Elections Act, 2017, observing that the petitioners didn’t fulfil the legal requirements to file petitions.

    Three petitions were filed by the losing candidates against MNAs, including PTI’s Jawad Hussain from NA-47 Orakzai tribal district, JUI-F’s Abdul Shakoor from NA- 51 tribal Frontier Regions, and independent MNA Mohsin Javed Dawar from NA- 48 North Waziristan tribal district, while six challenged the election of MPAs, including senior minister Atif Khan from PK-50 Mardan, PML-N’s Jamshed Khan Mohmand from PK-55 Mardan, and PTI’s Khalid Khan from PK-56 Charsadda, Tufail Anjum from PK-49 Mardan, Mohammad Arif from PK-60 Charsadda and Jamsheduddin Kakakhel from PK-63 Nowshera.

    However, the tribunal accepted as maintainable for hearing the petitions filed against the election of three MNAs, including federal minister Noorul Haq Qadri from NA-43 Khyber tribal district, former chief minister Amir Haider Hoti from NA-21 Mardan, and PTI’s Sajid Khan from NA-42 Mohmand tribal district, after rejecting objections to them.

    Declares pleas non-maintainable, accepts three others for hearing

    The petitions are filed by losing candidates Haji Shah Jee Gul Afridi, provincial minister Mohammad Atif Khan and Bilal Rehman respectively.

    In the petitions, which were dismissed by the tribunal, lawyers Shumail Ahmad Butt, Ijaz Khan Sabi, Abdul Samad Khan, Qazi Jawad Ahsanullah and Arshad Nowsherwi appeared for the winning election candidates, while advocates Farmanullah Khattak and Nasir Mehmood Khattak defended the Election Commission of Pakistan.

    The counsel for the winning candidates contended that the petitions against their clients’ election were not maintainable as mandatory provisions of the Elections Act 2017 weren’t followed during their filing.

    They said under Section 143 of the Act, the petitioners should join all contesting candidates as respondents in their petitions and should produce a copy of the election petition with all annexure on each of the respondents.

    The counsel said under Section 144 of the Act, the petitions should include a precise statement of the material facts on which the petitioner relied, and full particulars of any corrupt or illegal practice alleged to have been committed, including names of the parties, who were alleged to have committed such corrupt or illegal practice.

    They said there were several documents mentioned in the law which should be attached with the election petition including complete lists of witnesses and their statements on affidavits; documentary evidence relied upon by the petitioner; relief claimed by the petitioner; affidavits of service to the effect that a copy of the petition along with copies of annexure had been sent to all the respondents by registered post or courier service.

    The lawyers said an election petition and all its annexure should be signed by the petitioner and should be verified in the manner provided in the Code of Civil Procedure.

    They said some petitioners didn’t properly verify their petitions and didn’t sign each and every annexure, while in certain cases, the petitioners didn’t provide copies of the petitions and annexure to all respondents.

    The counsel also said several required documents weren’t annexed with the petitions.

    They said under Section 145 of the Act, if any of the relevant provision wasn’t complied with, the election tribunal should summarily reject the election petition.

    The lawyers for the petitioners contended that the petitions could not be dismissed merely on the ground of some minor flaws.

    The petitioners had challenged the election of their rival candidates on multiple grounds.

    In some cases, they sought re-counting of all votes insisting that the votes were not properly counted by the relevant presiding and returning officers.

    Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2018


    The file image shows a judges' hammer.— Reuters/FileThe file image shows a judges' hammer.— Reuters/File

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    KARACHI: The Supreme Court-mandated commission on water and sanitation in Sindh on Monday expressed serious reservations over the provincial authorities’ decision to empower the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) to regulate town planning.

    The commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Amir Hani Muslim, summoned the chief secretary for Dec 13 directing him to come up with the decision of the government regarding conversion of industrial plots into commercial ones across the province.

    It asked the chief secretary to inform the commission about the stance of the provincial government on the amendments empowering the SBCA for regulating town planning as well as some other issues which remained unattended by the provincial authorities for the last several months.

    Summons the Sindh chief secretary for Dec 13 over conversion of industrial plots

    The commission regretted that it was unfortunate that the SBCA was assigned to execute the job of town planning. It observed that the SBCA was the body required to regulate buildings’ construction.

    The commission said that the task of town planning could not be assigned to the SBCA through amendments in the law.

    It said that prima facie these were person-specific amendments that multiplied the miseries of the common man.

    The commission observed that the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE) and SBCA had allowed conversions of industrial plots into commercial ones, but the issue was lingering on for the last two to three months as the provincial government had yet to take a decision in this regard.

    It’s almost next to impossible to fix responsibility, but there were exceptions where innocent people mistakenly purchased the plots and raised construction whereas the departments concerned failed to anticipate the consequences which were to follow after allowing residential and commercial multistorey buildings, but there was no accountability of the officers concerned who had been responsible for making such ill-conceived plans, it added.

    The commission further said that under these circumstances, the chief secretary was directed to appear before it with the government decision on these issues, which were of utmost public importance and would continue to multiply the problems of the public if not resolved.

    “Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawab­shah and Larkana do not have master plans resulting in mushroom and haphazard growth of these cities. The commission is told that Hyderabad has a master plan which is not approved by the Sindh government and steps have been taken by the SBCA to get it approved in the view of the amendments brought in by the Sindh Assembly empowering the SBCA to regulate the town planning also,” it added.

    Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2018


    Retired justice Amir Hani Muslim. — Dawn/FileRetired justice Amir Hani Muslim. — Dawn/File

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    RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: As many as 207 workers and activists of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), including its three local leaders, have been booked on the charges of sedition, blocking roads and damaging public property.

    Around 300 workers and activists of the religious group, who were arrested during a major crackdown before its Nov 25 planned protest at Faizabad, were on Monday sent to Mianwali and Bhakkar prisons. Besides, 190 individuals, including 97 arrested by the Islamabad police, were being kept in the Adiala jail.

    Of the 207 workers and activists, 102 have been identified and nominated in three FIRs registered with the Waris Khan, City and Rawat police on charges ranging from sedition to creating law and order, damaging public property, blocking roads and violating Section 144.

    On the other hand, 16 activists arrested in Attock under the Anti-Terrorism Act were produced before an ATC court here which handed them over to the police on a seven-day remand.

    Around 300 arrested people shifted to Mianwali and Bhakkar prisons while 190 others, including 97 rounded up by Islamabad police, are kept in Adiala jail

    Following intelligence that TLP leaders Inayatul Haq Shah, Farooqul Hassan and others were trying to lead a protest and delivering speeches and messages to their workers and activists through the social media against the government from a house in Bahria Town Phase VIII, the Rawat police conducted a raid there.

    The police said the religious group’s local leaders were calling their workers to reach Liaquat Bagh and other areas to block roads. They were accused of inciting people against the state and its institutions by using the social media and mobile phones and calling their workers to gather at Liaquat Bagh for blocking roads.

    When the police arrived at the Bahria Town house on Sunday evening, a watchman informed them that Inayatul Haq Shah, emir of TLP Rawalpindi; Mohammad Farooq Al-Hassan, finance secretary; Tahir Mehmood, organiser; along with Mohammad Usman, Mirza Amir Jabbar, Syed Fareedul Haq Shah and Riaz Hussain had been staying there for two to three days. They left the house two hours before the arrival of the police.

    The police booked the seven TLP leaders and workers under Section 124-A of the PPC and Section 29 of the Telegraph Act on the complaint of Tariq Mehmood, the station house officer (SHO) of Rawat.

    Section 124-A of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which is related to sedition, states: “Whoever brings into hatred or contempt the federal and provincial government shall be punished with up to imprisonment for life to which fine may be added.”

    The Islamabad police rounded up 221 local leaders and activists of the TLP under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance during its crackdown launched on Friday.

    Over 100 of the detained people approached the district magistrate and sought their release on bail, pleading they had no links with the TLP and its protest.

    In response, a verification of the applicants was sought from the police and on the light of it 37 people were released.

    An officer told Dawn that only those people were released who had been arrested wrongly.

    “The arrests have been made on the directions of the government. Though the date of the protest has passed, a decision about the release of the arrested people would be taken by the government.”

    He said vigilance was still mounted around seminaries to prevent its administrations and students from taking part in any protest.

    He said officials of the police and administration held talks with the administrations of the seminaries and a majority of them said they had nothing to do with the TLP and its protest. But seven seminaries were reluctant to give such assurances. Police were then deployed around the seven seminaries to monitor the movement of its students.

    Meanwhile, 50 activists of the TLP were taken into custody in Taxila and Wah on Sunday night.

    Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2018


    16 activists arrested in Attock under Anti-Terrorism Act were produced before an ATC; police given seven-day remand. — Dawn/File16 activists arrested in Attock under Anti-Terrorism Act were produced before an ATC; police given seven-day remand. — Dawn/File

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    KARACHI: Although the Bahadurabad group of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan had expelled disgruntled leader Dr Farooq Sattar from the party, the relationship between the two sides dipped to a new low on Monday when the former convener was warned that “civil and criminal actions” could be instituted against him if he failed to offer an unconditional apology to the party.

    The warning came through a legal notice sent to Dr Sattar on behalf of MQM-P’s deputy convener Kanwar Naveed Jameel.

    Dr Sattar, who was in Lahore on Monday, did not offer any immediate comment. However, he told media there that his “own people” were not listening to him and they were also expelling those party workers who stood by him. He has been busy contacting like-minded people and meeting civil society, politicians, etc. Last week, he met Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi chief Afaq Ahmed, but his spokesperson described it as a “chance meeting”.

    In the legal notice, Kanwar Naveed’s lawyer stated that it was in response to the “baseless, malicious and defamatory remarks” made in a press conference on Nov 10 in which Dr Sattar “malafidely intended to injure” his client’s reputation.

    Dr Sattar was asked to “immediately render an unconditional apology” to Kanwar Naveed and MQM-P and to pay damages to the tune of Rs500 million within 14 days.

    He was warned that his client “reserves the right to institute civil and criminal actions” against him if he failed to apologise in the given time.

    Previously, many politicians, including Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Mustafa Kamal, had also levelled serious allegations against the MQM-P, its founder Altaf Hussain, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and other senior leaders but the party did not initiate civil or criminal actions against them.

    Differences between the two MQM-P groups — Bahadurabad and PIB — had surfaced on Feb 5 when Dr Sattar left the meeting of the coordination committee after it refused to allot a Senate ticket to his favoured candidate Kamran Tessori.

    Last month, Dr Sattar had announced formation of an organisation restoration committee (ORC) and appointed himself as the patron in-chief of the new body parallel to the MQM-P’s coordination committee.

    The Bahadurabad group finally struck back and expelled Dr Sattar from the party asking workers not to contact the former Karachi mayor.

    Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2018


    Bahadurabad group warns Dr Sattar of legal action if he fails to offer an unconditional apology to the party.— DawnNewsTV/FileBahadurabad group warns Dr Sattar of legal action if he fails to offer an unconditional apology to the party.— DawnNewsTV/File

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    KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday made it clear that it was committed to building the crucial bulk water project, called K-IV, for Karachi even if the federal government did not pay half of the required funds it had promised.

    “The first phase of the K-IV project will be completed [within] two years, which the Sindh government is committed to doing even if the federal government does not have the required fund as per the formula agreed upon,” said Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani while wrapping up the debate on water-related issues in the provincial assembly on three identical adjournment motions with Speaker Siraj Durrani in the chair.

    The motions were tabled by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s parliamentary leader Kanwar Naveed and his party colleagues Nadeem Siddiqui and Jawed Hanif.

    “Those who claim that this project will take 10 years to complete can rest assured we will complete its first phase [within] two years,” said the minister.

    He, however, hoped the federal government would contribute half of the cost, which had swollen to a whopping Rs75 billion from the earlier estimate of less than Rs30bn.

    ‘We will complete its first phase within two years’

    “The present federal government has many parliament members and ministers from Karachi in addition to the governor and we hope the federal government will chip in with the required funds.”

    He said a big mistake was committed by everyone in 2007 that began with the initial summary and consultants and travelled to the top central forums such as the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) and none of them noticed some huge components were missing from the project.

    Availability of water

    He said making a grand project was not the only thing that could reduce the water woes of the city; what was necessary for the scheme was the availability of water itself.

    “We need more water when K-IV becomes a reality. The Sindh government has constantly been requesting the federal government to sanction 1,200 cusec additional water dedicated to Karachi. But so far our requests have not been positively responded to.”

    He asked the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) members on the opposition benches to take up the issue with Islamabad as it was Karachi’s right to have its own dedicated quantum of water because it was the city which served the entire country and welcomed everyone coming from the length and breadth of Pakistan.

    He, however, said that so far Islamabad had not approved water for the 260mgd first phase of K-IV. However, even if the federal government did not sanction the required water, Sindh would not leave its teeming capital thirsty.

    “Karachi is our heart. Sindh will direct whatever amount of water is required to its capital from its own share if we don’t get a dedicated quantum of water required for the project,” said the minister.

    Alleged supply to a housing scheme

    He dismissed the claim made by a member that the water for Karachi was being directed to a grand housing scheme sitting on the fringes of the sprawling metropolis, adding that the route of water coming to Karachi was different.

    Mr Ghani said the K-IV project was conceived in 2007 when “neither the Pakistan Peoples Party was in power nor Bahria Town existed”.

    He said all meetings related to the mammoth scheme were held in Governor House when Dr Ishratul Ibad resided there. About realignments, he said 21 such alignments were made of which 13 were major and three technical. Besides, he said the remaining 10 involved disputed lands of which nine were outside the limits of Bahria Town.

    He said the city suffered from deficient water supply. Its Hub source, which supplied 100mgd to the city’s western neighbourhoods, had dried up because of no rains. He said the government had not dropped a 65mgd scheme as had been claimed by the opposition.

    He said a power plant would be commissioned through public-private partnership to get 50MW electricity to run the K-IV project.

    “Everything for this project is being utilised by the Frontier Works Organisation. This project is critically important for Karachi. We’ll not abandon it because of an increase in its cost. It has to be completed.”

    Minister Ghani said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had taken up the issue of water shortage in Sindh on every available forum in addition to several letters on the subject he had written to the relevant federal authorities.

    ‘We are clearing the mess’

    He said the MQM-P should not talk about the plight of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board.

    “We are clearing the mess that you created,” he said.

    Mr Ghani said more than 330 reverse osmosis plants were not installed in time as 100 of them were stopped by the caretaker government.

    Mover Kanwar Naveed criticised the government for failing to make an effective strategy vis-à-vis the K-IV project.

    He said the water tanker mafia’s business involved billions of rupees. He asked the government to make greater investment in reducing people’s hardships.

    Leader of the Opposition Firdous Naqvi said the availability of drinking water should be made in the light of an increase in Sindh’s population. He said drinking water should be the first priority and everything else came next.

    He warned that the opposition would not sit idle if the government failed to evolve some concrete action plan to end the water woes of Karachi and elsewhere in Sindh.

    Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal’s Abdul Rasheed referred to an earlier statement by a PTI member saying that it was an insult to the democratic institution, ie provincial assembly, to call for handing over a public entity such as the KWSB to the armed forces.

    “We should hand entire Pakistan to our forces if we have no ability to run it. Our armed forces should do their own duty and we should do our own,” said Mr Rasheed.

    He asked the federal government to sanction 1,200 cusec water exclusively for Karachi.

    PPP’s Heer Ismail Soho wondered how a member could say no water should be given to lands for irrigation before people got it for drinking. “How can we get food when we don’t irrigate lands?”

    PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman demanded that the KWSB be handed over to the Rangers or armed forces as the Sindh government had failed to provide water to everyone in the city.

    Improper distribution

    MQM-P’s Khwaja Izharul Hasan said the city received 450mgd water and everyone could get water if it was rationed properly.

    Khwaja Izhar said there was a colony in Karachi where houses were being built with water meant for drinking needs of the city.

    He said FIRs should be registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act against those involved in water theft. He claimed that the K-IV project could not be completed before 2028.

    He warned he would be part of the sit-ins that the residents of Karachi would be organising against the non-availability of water.

    Nand Kumar, Imdad Pitafi, Shabbir Qureshi, Tariq Talpur, Jawed Hanif, and Nadeem Siddiqui also spoke.

    Responding to a query asked in a previous sitting, Minister Ghani said Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar had informed him that only those shops would be razed which were built on encroached lands inside or outside the markets, and the ones duly allotted to shopkeepers would not be removed.

    He said the Sindh government was devising a strategy to provide livelihood to people affected by the ongoing anti-encroachment operation in Karachi.

    Responding to Jawed Hanif’s query whether the Council of Common Interests had approved a summary of the final results of the 2017 census without a post-enumeration audit of five per cent census blocks, Mr Ghani said census was not on the agenda of the recent CCI meeting.

    Earlier, calling-attention notices by Rabia Azfar, Seema Zia, Shehzad Awan, and Adeeba Hasan were responded to by ministers Azra Pechuho and Saeed Ghani before Speaker Siraj Durrani prorogued the session.

    Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2018


    Says will complete its first phase within two years.— Photo courtesy of TwitterSays will complete its first phase within two years.— Photo courtesy of Twitter

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    ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it had approved a management information system for online registration and assessment of disabled persons.

    “The data so developed will help people with disability in finding suitable jobs as per their capacities both in public and private sectors against the three per cent job quota for disabled persons,” said a report furnished before a two-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, which had taken up a case relating to the rights of disabled people in the country.

    The report submitted on behalf of Ambreen Raza, Secretary of the Punjab Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal Department, said the provincial government had increased the job quota for the disabled from 2pc to 3pc, adding that till date 4,294 posts in BS-1 to 4 had been advertised for all departments and 3,988 such persons had been recruited.

    Provincial government increases job quota for people with disability from 2pc to 3pc

    The disability profile of recruited individuals showed that 2,947 (74pc) were physically disabled, 690 (17pc) visually impaired and 351 (nine per cent) were hearing impaired. During the last five years — from 2013 to 2018 — the provincial government received Rs149.9 million as funds collected from private establishments not employing the disabled against 3pc job quota, donations, government funds, Punjab Bait-ul-Maal or Welfare Trust for the Disabled. Around 597,432 such persons benefited from the amount disbursed among them, the report said.

    About the implementation of the 3pc job quota, the report explained that since recruitment against the quota was a perpetual process, the implementation statistics/status might vary due to increase or decrease in the number of posts in each cadre or by fresh induction.

    In addition to the Provincial Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons, the report said, the Punjab government had established the Punjab Welfare Trust for the Disabled, which had started its operations in February 1997 and a board of governors supervised it. The executive committee administered the affairs of the trust and an annual grant of Rs100m was released by the provincial government, it added.

    According to the report, this grant is disbursed to associate NGOs to undertake financing of new initiatives and ongoing community projects, financial assistance to newly registered NGOs whereas any surplus amount is invested as endowment fund of the trust.

    The report suggested that the existing laws with regard to the disabled persons needed amendments to bring it in conformity with the global recognitions which protected the rights and catered to the grievances of persons with disabilities in a better way. “A draft bill for the new law is also under preparation,” the report said.

    The social welfare and Bait-ul-Maal departments have also established a dedicated provincial facilitation cell to gather requisite information from all departments and districts for implementation of the 3pc recruitment quota. The cell will provide assistance to the disabled, especially the visually impaired persons, at their home towns, besides maintaining constant liaison with the visually impaired persons.

    Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2018


    Punjab government increases job quota for people with disability from 2pc to 3pc. — APP/FilePunjab government increases job quota for people with disability from 2pc to 3pc. — APP/File

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    A Pakistani-born American woman has acknowledged her role in defrauding numerous financial institutions in a bitcoin scheme to help the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

    Prosecutors say Zoobia Shahnaz, a naturalised US citizen living on Long Island, pleaded guilty in federal court in Central Islip on Monday to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.

    The 27-year-old was charged with laundering bitcoin and wiring money to the IS group. After quitting her job, she was stopped at Kennedy Airport last year attempting to fly to Pakistan.

    Shahnaz's lawyer has said she was trying to help Syrian refugees.

    She faces up to 20 years in prison.


    Pakistani-born woman admits her role in defrauding financial institutions in a bitcoin scheme. — File photoPakistani-born woman admits her role in defrauding financial institutions in a bitcoin scheme. — File photo

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    The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) decided during a meeting on Tuesday that there will be no gas loadshedding in winter, DawnNewsTV reported.

    It was also decided that 150-200 mmcfd of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) will be injected in the system to overcome the gas shortage.

    Gas loadshedding, especially in Punjab and Balochistan, accompanies winter every year due to a shortage in the system. Every year authorities attempt to overcome the shortfall, yet the issue has persisted.

    Participants of the meeting — which was chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar — also decided to allow the Power Division to avail the Islamic Financing Facility by borrowing Rs38 billion.


    Finance Minister Asad Umar chairs ECC meeting. ─ File photoFinance Minister Asad Umar chairs ECC meeting. ─ File photo

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    Former Indian cricket star Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday arrived in Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Nankana Sahib.

    Sidhu arrived in response to the invitation extended to him by Foreign Minister Shah Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week.

    Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the corridor on Wednesday (Nov 28). The proposal to construct the corridor providing visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims was renewed by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in August this year.

    Sindhu thanked the prime minister and, while speaking to journalists upon crossing the Wagah border, said that he was bringing a message of love and peace.

    "90 per cent of people in India want bilateral cricket between the two countries," he said while responding to a question. "Art and artists work to bridge gaps among nations," he added.

    The 4-km-long corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The corridor will provide visa-free access to the Indian Sikh pilgrims to the shrine.

    Lying dormant due to the tense relations between the two countries since 1988, the proposal to construct the corridor had been renewed by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in August this year.

    The government had invited Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu besides 17 Indian journalists to the ceremony. Swaraj and Singh both declined to attend the ceremony. Two other ministers will be attending in Swaraj's place.

    Take a look: The legacy of Guru Nanak lives on in four historic gurdwaras in Punjab

    Kartarpur is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. It is said that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life there. The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of the Ravi River, about three-four kilometres from the border in Pakistan.

    On Monday, Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Gurdaspur.


    Navjot Singh Sidhu arrives in Lahore via Wagah border.— Photo courtesy ANINavjot Singh Sidhu arrives in Lahore via Wagah border.— Photo courtesy ANI

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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited to Pakistan for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit, Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said on Tuesday.

    Ties with Saarc member states have been tenuous since the 19th summit─ which was to be held in Pakistan in 2016 ─ was cancelled after India boycotted the event, causing Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan to also pull out.

    While addressing the Kashmir Conference in Islamabad, Dr Faisal recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first address had said that if India took one step forward, Pakistan would take two.

    He added that the premier, in his response to Modi's letter, had expressed Pakistan's openness to resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue with India.

    "We fought a war with India, relations cannot be fixed quickly," Dr Faisal said.

    The FO spokesman said that the Kartarpur Corridor, which will facilitate the visa-free travel of members of India's Sikh community to their religious site in Pakistan, will be inaugurated tomorrow and is expected to be completed within six months.

    He said that the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor is a great success for the country.

    He added that Indian media had been invited to cover the inauguration ceremony, and that Pakistan is not hiding anything.

    "In this century diplomacy has completely changed," he said, adding: "Now policies are made based on citizens' emotions and wishes."

    More details to follow


    Dr Mohammad Faisal addressed the Kashmir Conference in Islamabad on Tuesday. — PID/File photoDr Mohammad Faisal addressed the Kashmir Conference in Islamabad on Tuesday. — PID/File photo

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    A team of Karachi Development Authority's (KDA) anti-encroachment cell was shot at and pelted with stones, allegedly by land grabbers, in Korangi area on Tuesday, according to the authority's spokesperson.

    The team was conducting an operation in the Mehran Town area of Korangi when they faced severe resistance, the spokesperson said.

    The development authority's representative claimed that three employees of KDA's Estate and Enforcement department were injured as enraged protesters attacked them.

    A KDA photographer was also among the injured.

    The injured have been shifted to a hospital for treatment, while KDA officials are in the process of getting a first information report (FIR) registered against the attackers.

    The KDA, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other civic bodies, backed by law enforcers, are currently carrying out anti-encroachment operations throughout the metropolis on the orders of the Supreme Court.

    On November 11, the authorities had demolished more than 1,000 shops in four markets in the surroundings of the iconic Empress Market, while a 'grand operation' along both tracks of the Karachi Circular Railway was to be launched on Monday.


    An official injured in the violence during an anti-encroachment drive in Korangi on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTVAn official injured in the violence during an anti-encroachment drive in Korangi on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

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    The government on Tuesday said it has decided to close a mandatory audit and waive a Rs20,000 penalty imposed on citizens who recently filed returns for tax years preceding 2017-18.

    The Federal Board of Revenue had on Nov 14 issued audit notices to over a million late filers who had submitted returns for tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017. They were asked to pay a Rs20,000 penalty or higher taxes for automatic closure of audit proceedings.

    The audit and penalty were imposed because the filers had submitted their returns after the expiry of the deadlines for preceding years.

    The late filers were subsequently selected for audit under Section 214D of the Income Tax Ordinance. The facility for availing automatic closure of audit (after paying Rs20,000 penalty) under Section 214E was to be available till Dec 31 and approximately 1,022,000 taxpayers were eligible for it.

    Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar today announced that the government has decided to waive the penalty and audit for late filers for preceding years as well.

    "These cases were selected for audit and penalty was prescribed by the previous government," he said, adding that the current government is committed to facilitating the filing of tax returns.

    Section 214D was deleted from the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 under the Finance Act 2018. The new government had said it had decided to do away with the section to avoid "undue hardships" faced by new taxpayers and to facilitate the process of broadening of tax base.


    Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar says that the government has decided to waive the penalty and audit for late filers. ─ Photo courtesy FacebookMinister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar says that the government has decided to waive the penalty and audit for late filers. ─ Photo courtesy Facebook

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    A team of Karachi Development Authority's (KDA) anti-encroachment cell was shot at and pelted with stones, allegedly by land grabbers, in Korangi area on Tuesday, according to the authority's spokesperson.

    "Unknown miscreants" also set fire to 3-4 motorcycles at a workshop, an estate agency and a scrap car during the violence, police said.

    A shop is set on fire in Korangi's Mehran Town. — DawnNewsTV
    A shop is set on fire in Korangi's Mehran Town. — DawnNewsTV

    The team was conducting an operation in the Mehran Town area of Korangi when they faced severe resistance, the KDA spokesperson said.

    The development authority's representative claimed that three employees of KDA's Estate and Enforcement department were injured as enraged protesters attacked them. A KDA photographer also sustained injuries.

    An official injured during the violence in Korangi. — DawnNewsTV
    An official injured during the violence in Korangi. — DawnNewsTV

    The encroachment operation was stopped following the violence, police said.

    The injured have been shifted to a hospital for treatment, while KDA officials are in the process of getting a first information report (FIR) registered against the attackers.

    A statement issued in the evening quoted Korangi Industrial Area (KIA) police as saying that the KDA officials were injured during the pelting of stones.

    Seven people involved in the violence, including those who allegedly opened fire on police, were arrested during an operation started by law enforcement agencies in the area. A 9mm pistol was also seized.

    A motorcycle set on fire in Korangi. — DawnNewsTV
    A motorcycle set on fire in Korangi. — DawnNewsTV

    Taking notice of the episode, Inspector General of Police Sindh Dr Syed Kaleem Imam directed the DIG East to submit a report after conducting an inquiry and provide details of actions taken by the police.

    He instructed the SSP Korangi to ensure the implementation of law while following the prescribed rules and regulations.

    The KDA, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other civic bodies, backed by law enforcers, are currently carrying out anti-encroachment operations throughout the metropolis on the orders of the Supreme Court.

    On November 11, the authorities had demolished more than 1,000 shops in four markets in the surroundings of the iconic Empress Market, while a 'grand operation' along both tracks of the Karachi Circular Railway was to be launched on Monday.


    Karachi: tajawizaat girany kay khilaf shadeed hungama, amlaak nazar e aatishKarachi: tajawizaat girany kay khilaf shadeed hungama, amlaak nazar e aatish

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    ISLAMABAD: The United Nations has placed Pakistan in the group of Asia-Pacific countries that spend the least on social protection, education and healthcare.

    According to the ‘Social Outlook for Asia and the Pacific 2018’ report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) on Tuesday, other countries in the group are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal and Timor-Leste.

    With the exception of Timor-Leste, it said, all other countries in the group spent around five per cent of their GDP on the three social sectors, which was below the regional average of nine per cent of GDP.

    Most of these countries were also all low-income states, many of which had seen human and other resources depleted by conflicts and natural disasters. The main challenge for this country grouping, it noted, was to gather political will and public support for significantly boosting investments in people.

    The report said that while the Asia- Pacific region had made considerable achievements in primary education — with primary school net enrolment rates above 90pc in almost every country — gross enrolment rates for secondary education varied widely, being as low as 45pc in Cambodia and Pakistan.

    Developing countries in the Asia- Pacific region only spent about 3.7pc of GDP on social protection, compared to the world average of 11.2pc. This under-investment, the report noted, was the reason why 60pc of the population in the Asia-Pacific region had no protection if they fell ill, had a disability, and became unemployed, pregnant or old.

    The report stated that overall the region needed additional investments of $281 billion per year to match the global spending levels as a share of GDP on the three social sectors. More than two thirds of the additional spending would need to be directed to social protection programmes alone, it added.

    According to the report, about 1.2 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region still live on less than $3.20 a day. Out of the 1.2bn, 400 million are estimated to live in extreme poverty, below the threshold of $1.90 a day. Of these, almost two-thirds live in South Asia, particularly in India.

    To accelerate progress towards ending poverty, governments needed to boost the amount of public spending on social protection, education and healthcare, the report said.

    Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2018


    Other countries in the group include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal and Timor-Leste, says UN report. — AFP/FileOther countries in the group include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal and Timor-Leste, says UN report. — AFP/File

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    KARACHI: Tehreek-i-Insaf member of the National Assembly Aftab Siddiqui has highlighted the need for evolving a road map to ensure that the people living in houses built on government land should not be rendered homeless in the drive launched to get Karachi Circular Railway land cleared of encroachments.

    He appealed to the judiciary also to look into the matter on humanitarian grounds.

    Mr Siddiqui, elected from the NA-243 constituency, made this appeal during his meeting with the authorities concerned saying that the PTI was also keen to see the implementation of the orders of the Supreme Court for restoring Karachi’s grandeur by removing encroachments, but wanted that elected representatives be consulted and a road map prepared before rendering people shelterless.

    On the SC order to remove all encroachments on the KCR land and to revive it for the benefit of commuters, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has finalised a plan to get vacated some 360 acres from encroachers. As many as 5,653 illegally constructed structures will be razed during the operation to get more than 29 acres of KCR land vacated.

    In reply to a question, Mr Siddiqui told Dawn that after the announcement by the authorities and display of banners in the localities advising the people to remove their luggage before the demolition of their illegal structures on Railways land, there was fear among the people who converged at his office on Tuesday. He said he had taken up the matter with the authorities, including Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, but as the commissioner of Karachi, overseeing the operation, was busy with the IDEAS exhibition, the matter remained inconclusive.

    However, a meeting with the deputy DS of Railways, Karachi, and the deputy commissioner materialised who agreed to have a joint meeting of the elected representatives and the authorities after the conclusion of IDEAS. He said he hoped that a solution would be found during the meeting before removing the illegal structures from Railways’ land.

    He said he had conveyed his reservations to the Railways DDS about the anti-encroachment drive and suggested that a road map be given to the affected people. Mr Siddiqui said the PTI wanted that elected representatives be consulted on the issue. “We all should join hands to resolve the issue in the light of the orders of the SC without committing any excesses with the people and the problems should also be solved,” he said.

    He regretted that there was no scheme to provide shelter to the people who had migrated from other cities and villages to earn their livelihood here.

    Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2018


    As many as 5,653 illegally constructed structures will be razed during the operation to get more than 29 acres of KCR land vacated. — AFP/File photoAs many as 5,653 illegally constructed structures will be razed during the operation to get more than 29 acres of KCR land vacated. — AFP/File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif is suffering from a kidney infection, has lymph node in his chest and there are chances of the recurrence of cancer, his medical reports say.

    The CT (computed tomography) scan report of Mr Sharif shows a number of problems and his medical fitness certificate suggests adding more doctors, including an oncologist and an urologist, to the medical board taking care of his health.

    Interestingly, in a previous certificate issued by the medical board, Mr Sharif had been declared fit for the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody.

    PML-N chief is suffering from kidney infection, has lymph node in his chest and there are chances of recurrence of cancer

    In the latest medical certificate which was issued on Tuesday, the column mentioning the fitness for NAB’s detention has been left blank.

    The reports and the medical certificate, copies of which are available with Dawn, were signed by consultant physician Dr Asif Irfan, cardiologist Dr Hamid Iqbal, surgeon Dr Naveed Ullah and senior medical officer Dr Imtiaz Ahmed.

    According to the reports, Mr Sharif should be kept at a well-ventilated place to avoid chances of the recurrence of cancer.

    One of the three health experts — from whom Dawn sought comments on Mr Sharif’s medical reports — said on condition of anonymity that years go he was treated for appendicular adenocarcinoma (a cancerous tumour) and in the report it had been stated that the joint was still visible, as part of the intestine was removed, and there were chances of recurrence of the disease.

    “It is also mentioned that there is eight-millimetre lymph node in the right lung,” he said, adding that the report stated that there was a 5.9-millimetre-thick layer of fats in the left kidney. “The kidney is functioning, but there is an infection in it.”

    Another expert said that as there were chances of the recurrence of cancer, it had been suggested to engage an oncologist.

    “It has also been mentioned that the patient needs to be kept in a well-ventilated room as absence of light and less air can cause development of cancer,” he said.

    It is worth mentioning that Mr Sharif has already alleged that was kept in a room where he could not judge whether it was day or night.

    Another specialist said that though there were some changes in different organ systems, such reports needed to be compared with the old ones to know how much difference had occurred during a certain period of time.

    “I am aware that Mr Sharif had suffered from carcinoid syndrome of intestine and that he was treated abroad. The patient should provide his old reports because he has gone abroad for medical check-ups a number of times. An ideal opinion can be given after comparing old reports with the new ones,” he said.

    Talking to Dawn, Executive Director of Polyclinic Dr Shahid Hanif said that Mr Sharif needed further treatment as reports were not satisfactory.

    Mr Sharif, who is also president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, has been under NAB’s custody over corruption charges in the Ashiyana housing scandal since Oct 5.

    After conclusion of the last National Assembly session on Nov 23, it was decided to keep Mr Sharif at his residence in the Ministers’ Enclave in Islamabad which has been declared as sub-jail because he required further medical tests. But he was shifted to Lahore on Tuesday.

    Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2018


    PML-N chief is suffering from kidney infection, has lymph node in his chest and there are chances of recurring cancer. — AFP/FilePML-N chief is suffering from kidney infection, has lymph node in his chest and there are chances of recurring cancer. — AFP/File

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    KARACHI: An accountability court on Tuesday issued bailable warrants for arrest of nine suspects absconding in a reference filed against the Karachi Development Authority’s former director general and others regarding alleged corruption of Rs60 million.

    Last week, the National Account­ability Bureau filed a fresh graft reference against KDA’s ex-DG Syed Nasir Abbas, ex-assistant director Mohammad Javaid Ahmed, ex-assistant director Mohammad Kamran, additional director Ahmed Siddiqi, Clifton XEN Syed Mohsin Raza, ex-assistant director (Gulistan-i-Jauhar) Abdul Saeed Khan, assistant director (Gulistan-i-Jauhar) Kaleemullah Kashani, Mohammad Haneef, alias Patni, and Nadeem.

    Four real estate brokers — Sadaruddin, Mohammad Zeeshan, Feroze Ahmed and Javaid Ibrahim — were also named in the reference.

    Three prosecution witnesses testify in case against Dr Asim

    On Tuesday, the matter was taken up before the administrative court concerned. The judge issued bailable warrants for the arrest of the nine suspects, shown as absconders in the reference, directing the investigating officer to arrest and produce them before court on Dec 4.

    The federal anti-graft watchdog had alleged that the nominated KDA officers had misused their official authority for illegal pecuniary gains through fraudulent transfers of three residential plots (A-28, B-56 and B-67) owned by the residents/allottees in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

    It further accused the then KDA DG Syed Nasir Abbas, assistant director Kamran, real estate broker Sadaruddin Sadroo and others of abetment of one another in the perpetration of corruption. Mr Abbas and Sadaruddin jointly engineered and executed a fraudulent scheme wherein three plots in Block 6 of Gulistan-i-Jauhar were transferred from the original allottees, it added.

    Reference against Dr Asim, others

    An accountability court on Tuesday summoned the prosecution witnesses to testify in a graft reference against Dr Asim Hussain and his co-accused in a reference pertaining to alleged corruption of over Rs462 billion.

    Dr Asim, a close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, Ejaz Chaudhry, a former chief executive officer of the Karachi Dock Labour Board, Safdar Hussain and Syed Athar Hussain, former director of the Karachi Development Authority (KDA), have been charged with misusing authority to get plots allotted fraudulently and encroaching upon state land for the expansion of Dr Ziauddin Hospital/Trust, money laundering, illegal gains, kickbacks, commission through a fertiliser cartel for illegal curtailment of gas for an exploitative price hike and defrauding people in the name of a charity hospital.

    On Tuesday, the matter was fixed before Accountability Court-IV for cross-examination of three prosecution witnesses by the defence counsel for the accused.

    The defence counsel — Amir Raza Naqvi, Shaukat Hayat, Abdul Rehman and Owais Jamal — completed the cross-examination of the witnesses, including Asim Murtaza, the then managing director of the Pakistan Petroleum Private Limited; Dr Ashfaq, the then chief medical officer of the Dr Ziauddin Hospital/Trust, and a ‘rider’ of the Trading Corporation of Pakistan.

    The federal anti-graft watchdog had listed around 30 prosecution witnesses and 15 of them have so far testified before court.

    According to the prosecution, Dr Asim fraudulently awarded contracts for five gas fields to the Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited, allegedly causing a loss of Rs17.338bn to the national exchequer.

    It further accused him of misusing his authority to get plots allotted fraudulently and encroaching upon state land for the expansion of his hospital, illegal gains, kickbacks and money laundering.

    He was arrested by Rangers personnel on Aug 26, 2015 in his office. His arrest was described as the first major action against PPP leaders during an anti-graft campaign against politicians.

    Separately, the PPP leader is also facing a criminal case pertaining to alleged harbouring and sheltering of terrorists and gangsters at his chain of private hospitals in Karachi.

    Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2018


    An accountability court summoned the prosecution witnesses to testify in a graft reference against Dr Asim Hussain and his co-accused in a reference pertaining to alleged corruption of over Rs462 billion. — FileAn accountability court summoned the prosecution witnesses to testify in a graft reference against Dr Asim Hussain and his co-accused in a reference pertaining to alleged corruption of over Rs462 billion. — File

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    KARACHI: Terming a recent public notice issued by the Sindh Building Control Authority a result of certain “misunderstanding”, Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said on Tuesday that there was no plan to shut private schools running in residential neighbourhoods in the metropolis.

    “The notice issued recently by the SBCA for taking action against the schools in residential areas is a result of certain misunderstanding,” he said while speaking to the media outside the Sindh High Court, where he had gone to appear in a case involving his election.

    He said that SBCA regulations permitted establishment of schools in residential areas, but the owners had to meet necessary legal requirements.

    Says SBCA public notice to private schools was a result of ‘misunderstanding’

    He said parents of students should not worry about the future of their children. “I assure all the parents that they should not be worried about the issue as there is no danger to the education of their children.”

    He advised the owners of private schools to get their schools regularised in the light of the SBCA rules and regulations.

    He said he had no qualms in conceding that the city had endured huge quantum of illegal constructions in the past due to involvement of SBCA staffers.

    “However,” he added, “I had made it clear to all the day I assumed office that from now on no illegal construction would be allowed in the city and elsewhere in Sindh”.

    Since then, the minister said, a number of such illegal buildings had been demolished and that policy still continued and was duly being followed.

    He asked the people to inform him about the SBCA officials who were demanding bribes or not allowing them to build legal structures. “I assure you that action will be taken against these officials.”

    Anti-encroachment operation across Sindh

    To a question vis-à-vis the ongoing operation against encroachments in the city, Mr Ghani said Karachi was a huge city and the authorities were complying with the orders of the superior judiciary.

    He added that the government or municipalities did not have the requisite number of staffers, which is why it would take time to comply with all such orders. However, the authorities concerned were carrying out anti-encroachment operations on a priority basis.

    He said the anti-encroachment operation would not be limited only to the Sindh capital, but would cover the whole province. “This operation will be carried out in the whole province. It will cover all parts of Sindh.”

    The minister said action would be taken against encroachments everywhere in the province whether it was in Hyderabad’s Pucca Qila or anywhere else.

    He said the provincial government was aware of the fact that the removal of encroachments had rendered thousands of people jobless, but, “we will not leave them alone. Our government will certainly help them”.

    About illegal constructions, Mr Ghani said the innocent people would not be punished because of errant builders or certain government institutions.

    Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2018


    Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said  that there was no plan to shut private schools running in residential neighbourhoods in the metropolis. — Dawn ArchivesSindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said that there was no plan to shut private schools running in residential neighbourhoods in the metropolis. — Dawn Archives

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    MITHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Gyanchand, MNA Dr Mahesh Kumar Malani and MPA Fakeer Mohammed Bilalani from Tharparkar on Tuesday urged Tharis to help themselves by controlling their own population in order to meet the challenge of food and water scarcity in the region.

    Speaking at a gathering organised by the population welfare department in the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Cultural Complex in Mithi, the lawmakers, other local party leaders and officials of the department shared their views with local people on increasing population of the region, drastically deficient in basic amenities. They said early marriages and tendency of having more and more children were the main causes of the deficiency.

    They advised Tharis to go for population planning, using contraceptives and avoid early marriages.

    A result-oriented massive aware­ness campaign was essentially required to be launched to control Thar’s population, they stressed. MNA Malani observed it was very unfortunate that the population welfare department could cover only 42 per cent of the targeted area in disseminating awareness and providing products to families with the aim of controlling births.

    Recruitment of an adequate number of workers was needed to achieve the goal, he said.

    Although the provincial government’s step to enact the law against early marriages was appreciable, “we have a long way to go to guide people about the modern methods of controlling the birth rate in Thar,” said Dr Malani.

    He urged the local government workers, NGO activists, religious scholars, teachers and other people to play their role in saving the future generation of Thar from drought and climate change impacts.

    Senator Gyanchand, who also heads PPP’s Thar chapter, was of the view that proper education and guidance to Tharis could help achieve desired results in efforts towards birth control and child marriage prevention.

    MPA Bilalani urged officials of the departments concerned to launch massive awareness drive in Thar in this regard and also to address the mess caused by multiple factors.

    Population welfare department’s technical adviser Dr Talib Lashari said he would take up recommendations of the lawmakers and other stakeholders with the higher authorities so that a strategy could be devised to effectively control population growth in the Thar region.

    Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2018


    They advised Tharis to go for population planning, using contraceptives and avoid early marriages. — Shaib Khan/File photoThey advised Tharis to go for population planning, using contraceptives and avoid early marriages. — Shaib Khan/File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The federal government decided on Tuesday not to resort to gas loadshedding for domestic and commercial consumers in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the current winter season by inducting imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the network.

    “The gas utilities will be allowed volumetric adjustment and financial impact on cost neutral basis in accordance with the ECC’s decision of 11th May 2018,” said an announcement issued after a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet presided over by Finance Minister Asad Umar.

    Sources said under a “gas banking mechanism” approved by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi-led ECC, about 170-180 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of regasified LNG would be injected into the distribution network of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) for three winter months.

    Allows tandoors to pay bills on previous rates

    An official explained that the impact of the sale of RLNG to domestic and commercial consumers had worked out at about Rs15 billion last year and was adjusted through the gas banking mechanism. This required formal regulatory approval by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to allow the gas utility meet its revenue requirements in its accounts.

    The ECC also decided that the recent increase in gas prices will not be applicable for tandoors, and they will continue to pay their gas bills on the previously applicable rates. The decision was taken in view of concerns that the increase in gas prices was resulting in increase in the prices of tandoori roti and naan.

    Additional Secretary In charge of Petroleum Division Mian Asad Hayaud Din explained the gas load management requirements from December to February and presented three options.

    He said the SNGPL should be asked to inject the LRNG volumes for consumption by domestic and commercial consumers provided Ogra allowed volumetric adjustment and financial impact on cost neutral basis in line with the ECC’s decision of May 11.

    Otherwise, given the wider difference in the natural gas sale price for domestic use and the RLNG price, the SNGPL should be provided direct subsidy against injection of RLNG volumes for use by domestic and commercial consumers based on actual RLNG consumption. In the absence of these two options, the SNGPL will have to manage the load of domestic and commercial consumers through varied level of pressure management during off-peak hours.

    It was reported that existing gas load management policy allowed top priority to the domestic and commercial sectors, followed by second priority to the power sector and zero-rated industry, third priority to the general industrial, fertiliser and captive power, and fourth priority to the cement including its captive power and fifth was given to the CNG sector.

    The SNGPL has reported average gas consumption by domestic and commercial consumers in summer months of 2017 at around 528 mmcfd which increased to 867 mmcfd during winter 2017-18 and created a shortfall of 339 mmcfd. The company resorted to different methods to manage this shortfall which included pressure management during off-peak hours, diversion of 150 mmcfd gas from general industrial consumers to domestic and commercial and injection of RLNG to the tune of 160-170 mmcfd in the system for use by domestic and commercial consumers.

    The SNGPL expected the total system shortfall during winter to remain generally unchanged at the last year’s level with minor variation depending on weather conditions and had proposed it be allowed to charge Rs36 per MMBTU higher rate to consumers or provided subsidy or allowed volumetric switching.

    Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2018


    Allows tandoors to pay bills on previous rates. — FileAllows tandoors to pay bills on previous rates. — File

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