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    LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched an investigation against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Rana Sanaullah for his role in the change of the design of an underpass in his hometown of Faisalabad allegedly to benefit some people.

    A NAB official confirmed to Dawn on Friday that the bureau had initiated the probe after receiving a complaint that the former Punjab law minister used his influence to change the design of the underpass to accommodate his ‘favourites’.

    In reply to a question whether Mr Sanaullah had been summoned in this regard, the official said:

    “It will be decided later as the investigation against him is at the preliminary stage.”

    MNA Rana Sanaullah told Dawn that he had not ordered any change in the design of any underpass in Faisalabad. “There are three underpasses on the Canal Expressway which could not be made on any other road... so there is no question of change of design. Such a complaint has been filed (in NAB) by our political opponents,” he said and asked if NAB probed “such frivolous complaints” against PML-N rivals, too.

    “After failing to prove anything against PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif in the Ashiyana housing case, initiation of probe against Marriyum Aurangzeb (PML-N spokesperson) and me will further erode the credibility of NAB,” the PML-N leader said and warned the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government against targeting its political opponents through investigation agencies.

    The Lahore NAB also received a complaint against PML-N MNA from Lahore Rana Mubashir. He is accused of grabbing the land of a widow in his constituency.

    This week, NAB initiated probe against former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in connection with income beyond her means.

    Ms Aurangzeb said she was always open to accountability, but warned that she wouldn’t let anyone berate or even think of insulting her. She urged the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of NAB defying its order.

    “There is a clear directive of the Supreme Court that NAB should not share any information with the media before completion of an inquiry or filing of a reference, but the bureau is not following the order of the top court,” she said.

    She said she would gain even more credibility from this frivolous smear campaign regardless of what NAB would get out of such a tainted act.

    The former minister alleged that NAB had deprived her of the right of fair trial under Article 10-A of the constitution.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    Former Punjab law minister used influence to change design of an underpass to accommodate favourites. — File photoFormer Punjab law minister used influence to change design of an underpass to accommodate favourites. — File photo

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    KARACHI: Former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday called for establishing a parliamentary committee on national security comprising all stakeholders to be tasked with formulating terms of reference for an effective foreign policy.

    “Such a committee had also been formed in the past; and we need it dearly for designing our future foreign policy. It should comprise all stakeholders and [be] tasked [with] formulating terms of reference that later [can] be passed by a joint sitting of parliament,” said Senator Rabbani while speaking at a distinguished lecture series held at the Festival of Arts and Ideas organised by the Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU).

    Mr Rabbani, a Pakistan Peoples Party leader, also demanded that the foreign affairs committees of the National Assembly and Senate be made functional.

    The veteran politician asks the govt to make public its ‘deal’ with KSA, UAE

    Besides, academics and students should also be involved to chip in for a handy foreign policy document, he added.

    He said until the state policies were criticised and questioned, they could not be rectified.

    He said that the Senate had passed a resolution demanding lifting of the ban on student unions in educational institutions, but no action had been taken as per its recommendation.

    ‘India behind terrorism in Balochistan’

    Mr Rabbani termed absurd the Indian claims in which New Delhi blamed Pakistan for being involved in state-sponsored terrorism and said India itself was involved in terrorism in Balochistan and elsewhere in Pakistan.

    “Indian-sponsored terrorism [is] taking place in Pakistan. Indian-sponsored terrorism [is] taking place in Balochistan,” he said.

    He added that the worst violations of human rights were being committed in India-held Kashmir, where all international laws and norms were being violated as the rest of the world was criminally silent.

    He asked where was the conscience of the West in Kashmir where children, women and men were being killed and maimed.

    He said Muslims in India were being attacked and killed on the pretext of eating beef.

    Mr Rabbani criticised the United States for continuously pressuring Pakistan to ‘do more’ despite the fact that the country had endured grave losses in terms of human casualties and economy while fighting the Afghan war on behalf of America.

    He said Pakistan had been “gifted” to the US since its inception seven decades ago without involving then parliamentary forums or allowing academicians or experts to offer their views.

    US slammed

    He added since then Pakistan had been fighting on behalf of the US and in return the “imperialist state” had never acknowledged what Pakistan had done for it. Instead, they abandoned Pakistan after a given task was accomplished, he said.

    He said that Americans had never protected the interests of Pakistan; instead they had always been concerned about their own interests. “Once their interests are fully served, they show no qualms in leaving us high and dry.”

    He said Pakistan itself suffered the arrival of drugs and Kalashnikovs in its territory in the wake of the Afghan war. However, once the Americans got their job done, they never came to rescue Pakistan from such menaces.

    Senator Rabbani said Pakistani autocratic rulers had pleased the imperialist power to such an extent that a parliamentary committee found no agreement in writing from the President House, Foreign Office and defence ministry when they searched for it regarding handing over of the Shamsi air base to Americans after Sept 11, 2001 attacks. The base was used for drone attacks, he added.

    He said the US wanted to make India the regional policeman because it considered India as its strategic partner. However, such American design was not acceptable to Pakistan, he added.

    The PPP leader said the mindset of the Indian establishment was more rigid and narrower than its counterpart here, as it had sabotaged every good offer from Pakistan.

    He referred to the recent inauguration of work on the Kartarpur corridor by Pakistan, but lamented that the Indian external affairs minister had refused to attend the ceremony.

    He criticised the US for putting Pakistan on the blacklist of religious freedom violators.

    He also asked the government to inform the people about whatever deals it had made with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visits in which the army chief also accompanied him.

    Pakistani students in Turkey

    Prof Zeliha Kocak Tufan, a member of the Turkish Council of Higher Education, spoke on the issues relating to higher education.

    She said 1,822 students from Pakistan studied in Ankara and Istanbul.

    She added that her country eagerly wanted greater cooperation with Pakistan in the field of education.

    Author Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo’s life was discussed and students presented the poetry of Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi and Allama Iqbal.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    Rabbani also demands that the foreign affairs committees of the National Assembly and Senate be made functional. — FileRabbani also demands that the foreign affairs committees of the National Assembly and Senate be made functional. — File

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    LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly remembered on Friday martyrs of the Army Public School (APS) and asked the federal government to start observing Dec 16 as ‘National Day against Terrorism and Extremism’.

    In a joint resolution, both the treasury and the opposition, the anniversary of the tragedy, which falls on Sunday, is a day to pay tribute to the martyrs and their families and also renew the determination to deal with twin menace.

    The resolution was originally initiated by PML-N’s Hina Parvaiz, which the treasury also supported and offered to make it joint resolution, adding Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat as co-signatory to it.

    “Though four years have passed since the tragedy, wounds and memories are still fresh,” reads the resolution.

    “This house not only stands with the families of victims and prays for the departed souls but also requests the federal government to declare it (Dec 16) as national day against terrorism and extremism. This house salutes those enforcers who laid their lives and requests whole nation to stand united against the twin menace”.

    Though resolution on the APS sailed smoothly, it was not the case with an earlier resolution praising, what the mover – Uizma Kardar – called it a diplomatic victory of the PTI government. The words ‘diplomatic victory’ irked the opposition when Ms Kardar read her resolution, which was taken out of turn by suspending normal business of the house.

    “This house congratulates the federal government on a huge diplomatic victory which it won when the US had to withdraw the name of Pakistan from a list of those countries where religious exploitation is reported. The withdrawal after a hectic diplomatic effort – reminding the US that minorities here were safe and Pakistan does not need lecture from any country for on the issue – represents victory for the PTI government. Pakistan not only has fully active Human Rights Commission but has also reserved seats for minorities in the parliaments.”

    The opposition was not ready to let this declaration of victory pass by easily.

    PML-N’s Azma Bhukhari was more measured in her criticism: “Yes, Pakistan does not need lectures on the issue but it is also a fact that the situation is not ideal for minorities. Nomination and withdrawal of name of Atif Mian only left a bad mark on Pakistan. The US dropping of name was motivated by its geographical and political compulsions, not by any diplomatic effort by the PTI government that justifies it as a victory.”

    Waris Kalo of the opposition was more direct: “Call it a diplomatic victory of Indians, who, despite being the worst offenders of human and minority rights in Kashmir and Gujarat, not only escaped the list but got Pakistan placed there. How could the PTI government – clear loser in the game – has audacity to declare it a victory and came up with a self-congratulatory resolution?” he wondered.

    Agenda for the day also included general discussion on annual report of the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women but only brief discussion could be held and the report was not distributed in the house before hand. The discussion was still on when the chair prorogued the house, winding up the session.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    A file photo of the Punjab Assembly.A file photo of the Punjab Assembly.

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    LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday seized the record of 14 private school chains in Lahore and Gujranwala for their forensic audit in connection with the Supreme Court order.

    FIA Punjab Deputy Director Khalid Anees told Dawn the record regarding fee, salaries and other affairs had been taken into possession and a primary report would be submitted to the Supreme Court in 15 days.

    He said the schools included Beaconhouse School System, The City School, Lahore Grammar School, Learning Alliance, Lahore College of Arts and Sciences (Lacas), Resource Academia of Punjab Group of Colleges, Salamat School System, Alliance Resource in DHA Lahore and Gujranwala, Eden School System and City Public School, Gujranwala.

    Editorial: Cut in school fee

    The apex court had on Thursday ordered private schools to slash their fees by 20pc and refund 50pc of the fee they charged during the summer vacation.

    The court’s bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Faisal Arab that was hearing a suo motu case about a fee hike capped the annual increase at 5pc and directed the Federal Board of Revenue chairman to scrutinise the tax records and accounts of private schools.

    During the proceedings, audit reports of some schools were also presented before the bench. One of the reports said three directors were paid Rs8.3m each as monthly salary.

    Our Faisalabad Correspondent quotes FIA Additional Director Sajid Akram as saying that during the raids conducted at the schools, computers, ledgers, folders pertaining to accounts and finance were seized. Notices were also issued to the administrations and accounts departments of these schools to produce further record.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    A file photo of children protesting against exorbitant school fees. — OnlineA file photo of children protesting against exorbitant school fees. — Online

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    LAHORE: The governing body of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) approved on Friday its much-awaited annual budget as well as its subordinate agencies— Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency (Tepa) and Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) – for 2018-19.

    The body approved the budget in a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

    The total layout of the 2018-19 budget has been estimated as Rs38.39bn out of which Rs20.18bn have been earmarked for development projects.

    According to a spokesman, the total resources of LDA (UD Wing) during the fiscal year 2018-19 have been estimated as Rs23.94bn while development expenditure during this period will be Rs16.03bn. This development expenditure includes Rs5.61bn generated through the LDA’s own sources and Rs10.41bn to be provided by the Punjab government for executing various development projects under the Annual Development Programme (ADP).

    Rs20.18bn earmarked for development projects

    An amount of Rs1.66bn has been allocated through the LDA’s own sources for carrying out development works in the LDA housing schemes. This includes Rs80m for LDA Avenue-I, Rs120m for construction of road network, water supply and sewerage in Finance & Trade Centre, Johar Town, Rs1.20bn for LDA City and Rs250m as lump sum provision for development projects in different LDA housing schemes. These projects include remodeling of junctions and U-turns at Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Khayaban-i-Firdousi and Khyban-i-Jinnah and other development schemes.

    A sum of Rs575m has been allocated for construction of various buildings, including Rs130m for extension of LDA office building at Johar Town, Rs100m for building office in LDA Avenue-I and Rs50m for additional construction work at Park & Shop Plaza, Moon Market, Allama Iqbal Town. A sum of Rs775m has been earmarked for other schemes, including Rs100m for Development and Implementation of Integrated Computerised Systems for the LDA. An amount of Rs10m has been allocated for preparation of integrated strategic development plan for Lahore. Construction of pedestrian bridges at different locations would cost Rs150m. Similarly, Rs1.25bn have been allocated for completing the ongoing schemes, including Rs480m for under-construction park and shop arena in the Johar Town and Rs50m for construction of missing links of structure plan roads.

    The LDA will also execute different projects under the ADP of the Punjab government and other deposit works, amounting to a total expenditure of Rs1.19bn. The allocations include Rs216m each for widening of Aik Moria Pul near the Lahore Railway Station and construction of flyover at Shaukat Khanum Chowk, along Khyaban-i- Jinnah, Lahore. The under-construction sports complexes in various national assembly constituencies will get Rs640m. A sum of Rs7.78bn has been allocated for carrying out various works for the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project.

    Tepa will have Rs1.64bn at its disposal whereas its expenditure has been estimated as Rs1.06bn, including the development works costing Rs800m.

    “As Wasa expects total receipts of Rs9.34bn in the financial year 2018-19, its estimated expenditures are Rs12.75bn, including Rs3.34bn for development schemes,” said the spokesman.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    The total layout of the 2018-19 budget has been estimated as Rs38.39bn. — FileThe total layout of the 2018-19 budget has been estimated as Rs38.39bn. — File

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    TAXILA: Two brothers were on Friday taken into custody by the police for burying their mentally-disabled sister alive in a well in their house on the directives of the local spiritual healer to rid the family of evil forces.

    Shabana, 38, and a resident of Banni Mohallah near Christian Hospital, had not been seen since Dec 4.

    Shabana’s elder brother, Mohammad Imran, who lives separately, lodged a complaint with the police about his sister’s unexplained disappearance.

    On Friday, the victim’s mother called her brother, Abdul Lateef, saying she had been locked in a room by her two sons, Mohammad Farhan and Mohammad Kamran, and that she had managed to break out of the room.

    Abdul Lateef came to his sister’s aid and also informed his nephew, Mohammad Imran. The victim’s mother told her brother and son that her daughter had been buried alive in the well in the house.

    Imran then informed the local police about the crime.

    Rescue 1122 was called to retrieve the body but the operation was abandoned when the oxygen supply was exhausted and it got dark.

    Rescue 1122 officer Adeel Ahmed said the operation will resume on Saturday after more oxygen cylinders are brought in.

    Investigation Officer Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohammad Shahzad told mediapersons that both the suspects were taken into custody. He said the two brothers had confessed to killing their sister on the directives of the local spiritual healer, who had told them that evil forces have descended on her which also affected their family. The spiritual healer had advised they kill her in order to rid the family of evil forces.

    He said a case will be registered against the suspects after the body is recovered.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    Police say brothers buried mentally-disabled sister alive in a well house on directives of local spiritual healer. — File photoPolice say brothers buried mentally-disabled sister alive in a well house on directives of local spiritual healer. — File photo

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    RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Postal Service has been facing a Rs12.5 billion annual deficit and the government is struggling with stabilising the department’s financial position by introducing new services including e-commerce, mobile money order and logistic facilities in the country.

    “We are working hard for putting the house in order and to earn double the amount of the deficit,” said Federal Minister for Postal Services Murad Saeed at a ceremony held at the General Post Office (GPO) Saddar, on Friday.

    The event was organised by the Post Master General (PMG) Northern Punjab Circle Hafiz Zafar Ali Malik to introduce officers and field staff to the minister.

    Minister vows to make the enterprise highest revenue generating govt organisation in a year

    Employees of the GPO, PMG Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan also attended the event.

    Mr Saeed said the department has incurred huge losses and the deficit for the last five years has been recorded at Rs52 billion. He said the government is planning to computerise postal services so it can provide faster services.

    He said there are no plans currently for privatising the organisation and that the government is working on improving the financial condition of Pakistan Post.

    “People will see the difference within three months,” he said.

    “Pakistan Post is heading towards e-commerce, rebranding, mobile money order and enhanced logistic facilities via a network of 12,000 post offices across the country,” he said.

    The minister said Pakistan Post has a market of Rs80 billion and it can capitalise on its market share with enhanced services and attractive packages.

    “We have 40,000 officials and field staff who can bring about a positive change,” he said.

    The minister urged Pakistan Post employees to conduct their duties with dedication to overcome the deficit and to make their organisation a profitable one.

    “I have set the target of a year to make Pakistan Post the organisation that generates the most revenue in the country,” he said.

    He expressed concern over the dilapidated condition of post offices across the country and said he will replace all the missing facilities in the outlets.

    Hardworking employees will be awarded and those who are negligent will be taken action against, he said.

    The minister added that he has been meeting with the private sector to bring about a change and that Pakistan Post will be signing a memorandum of understanding with the National Bank of Pakistan to improve services for overseas Pakistanis and get a share of the remittances.

    The government will also put a stop to the illegal transfer or money such as hawala and hundi, he said,

    The minister urged the media and public to help Pakistan Post recover.

    Asked about the allotment of contracts for utility bills and driving licenses to two private courier services during the PPP government, he said: “I will definitely take action and cancel all such costly contracts”.

    The Pakistan Post Employees Union presented eight demands including the promotion of employees, addressing the shortage of staff, a weekly off on the weekend such as in other departments of the federal government, the restoration of bonuses and honorariums and the improvement of the service structure.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    GPO staff in traditional clothes stand outside the venue of the ceremony on Friday. – OnlineGPO staff in traditional clothes stand outside the venue of the ceremony on Friday. – Online

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    TAXILA: Police on Friday arrested senior Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) leader Mufti Kifayatullah for allegedly delivering a provocative speech.

    Mufti Kifayatullah — formerly leader of the opposition in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly — was taken into custody after he attended a religious conference organised by Wifaqul Madaris Al-Arabia in the Hazro area at Nartopa village.

    According to police, the mufti was arrested in a two-year-old case pertaining to hate speech. He said Mr Kifayatullah was arrested by a team comprising personnel of the police and counterterrorism department after he completed his address at the conference and was taken to the Hazro police station.

    The JUI-F leader was produced before an antiterrorism court and sent to Attock jail after the court scheduled the hearing for Dec 17.

    Police said a new case had also been registered against Mufti Kifayatullah for delivering another provocative speech.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


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    LAHORE: Welcoming the federal government’s decision to appoint Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz on Friday hoped that this gesture will lead to pro-poor legislation and relief for the common man.

    Talking to the media outside the Punjab Assembly, Hamza said the first 100 days had been wasted because of the government’s stubbornness to appoint the PAC head. “Hopefully, the next 100 days will be spent on legislation,” he added.

    He also demanded production orders for MPA Khwaja Salman Rafique, saying that the other three provincial assemblies have enacted rules for such orders and it was time for the Punjab Assembly to adopt them too.

    Talking about his offloading from a Qatar-bound flight, he said it was not new for him. “I spent six months in jail during Benazir Bhutto’s regime. Pervez Musharraf did not allow me to leave Lahore for years. Now, when I go to the airport, I am told that I cannot fly abroad because of ‘orders’. This is all part of the game. But, I pray for Niazi sahib (Prime Minister Imran Khan) that God free him from jealousy and hate. I am being treated like a terrorist. The prime minister, besides mistreating opposition members, should also look at the kind of people sitting around him,” Hamza said.

    He also lamented that the houses of the poor were being razed to the ground whereas palatial palaces at Banigala were being regularised. “It is a joke how kiosks of small sellers are being bulldozed and carts confiscated in Karachi,” the opposition leader claimed.

    Offering his cooperation, he said that in the current circumstances of the country, confrontation would not benefit anyone. “Let’s cooperate for the betterment of the poor and improve governance in the country. The poor need relief and it is our duty to do everything to provide it,” he said.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    Hamza Shahbaz is the incumbent Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly. — FileHamza Shahbaz is the incumbent Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly. — File

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    ISLAMABAD: The defence counsel for Nawaz Sharif on Friday apprised the accountability court that the Supreme Court’s observations on disqualification of the former prime minister were not binding on the trial court.

    Lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed arguing before Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik of the accountability court said the apex court on July 28, 2017 disqualified Mr Nawaz from holding PM Office on the basis of two key points which are not subject to the Flagship Investment reference.

    In response to the query of Judge Malik regarding Mr Nawaz’s disqualification, Advocate Haris argued that the SC in its decision categorically said the observations of the bench were not binding on the trial court. He said the SC had disqualified the ex-premier for concealing a ‘receivable’ salary while mentioning his assets in a declaration form. He said Mr Sharif was not facing any allegation of forgery and perjury while the apex court directed the trial court to decide the references on the basis of available evidence.

    The counsel said his client had never stated at any forum that he had been associated with the family business by any means. He said the SC referred the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for filing references against Mr Sharif.

    Defence counsel says ex-PM’s disqualification is based on points not subject to Flagship Investment reference

    According to Advocate Haris, the prosecution accused the ex-premier of being the real owner of Flagship Investment and other UK-based companies, which were established by his son Hassan Nawaz in 2001.

    He said the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed Panamagate linked Mr Sharif with the businesses of his two sons, Hassan and Hussain, due to his employment in the Capital FZE as its chairman. He said Mr Sharif during his exile required an Iqama to travel to and from the UAE and owing to this fact he was required to be associated with any UAE-based company.

    The JIT connected Mr Hussain’s Capital FZE with Mr Hassan’s Quint Pad­dington since the former had lent 615,000 pounds to the latter in 2008-09. Hassan in 2009-10 provided Rs87.3 million to Sharif Sugar Mills, owned by the Sharif family, and in 2012-13 Hassan gifted 800,000 pounds to Maryam Nawaz.

    The defence counsel said: “Mr Sharif was never charge-sheeted for receiving any amount from his son, Hassan”.

    In response to the judge’s comment that the prosecution case was about the wealth being circulated among family members, Advocate Haris citing the charge-sheet said his client had been accused of owing companies in the name of his sons. He said both sons of Mr Sharif were adult and were not dependent upon their father at the time of establishing their business in the UK and the UAE.

    The defence counsel said Mr Sharif never concealed this fact from the Supreme Court that he had remained an employee of Capital FZE. He said the prosecution implicated the ex-premier in the Flagship reference on the basis of his employment with the Capital FZE and the amount transferred to Maryam Nawaz as her gift from her brother Hassan. He added there was nothing on record to establish that Mr Sharif was assigned any role in the said company other than what he had already acknowledged before the SC.

    “The only person who claimed Nawaz Sharif is the owner of these companies is the investigation officer,” Mr Haris remarked.

    The court adjourned further proceedings till December 17.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    Defence counsel says ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification is based on points not subject to Flagship Investment reference. — File photoDefence counsel says ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification is based on points not subject to Flagship Investment reference. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Age­ncy (FIA) has decided to launch a massive crackdown against those Pakistanis who have purchased properties in Dubai with the money laundered to the Gulf state and money changers invo­lved in illegal transfer of funds.

    According to a document, the decision was taken in a directors’ conference held in the FIA headquarters on Dec 11. The conference was presided over by FIA Director General Bashir Memon.

    The FIA chief briefed the participants about the directives given by Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately conduct a crackdown against Hawala dealers (money changers), money launderers and those involved in siphoning off money from Pakistan for the purchase of properties in Dubai.

    He directed subordinates to conduct thorough investigations against money launderers and submit daily progress report on action against Hawala dealers and against purchasers of properties in Dubai through laundered money.

    The FIA chief directed the anti-corruption wing of the agency to present him a detailed investigation report of the suspects.

    It has been learnt that a six-member ministerial committee will monitor the crackdown being launched against elements involved in money laundering, terror financing capital flight from Pakistan.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    FIA decides to probe Pakistanis who have purchased properties in Dubai and those involved in illegal transfer of funds. — File photoFIA decides to probe Pakistanis who have purchased properties in Dubai and those involved in illegal transfer of funds. — File photo

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    The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered the federal and provincial governments to set deadlines for civil servants with dual nationalities to either give up their job or the second nationality, as it announced the suo motu case's verdict.

    A two-member bench of the court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, ordered the concerned governments to give time to its employees holding multiple nationalities to make their choice.

    Failure to relinquish their other nationalities within the stipulated time should result in legal action, the court instructed the governments.

    The court, in its written order, remarked that government employees who hold foreign nationalities during the course of their employment are a threat to the interests of the state of Pakistan.

    Furthermore, the apex court said that in case a non-Pakistani is to be engaged in employment then the concerned cabinet's permission should be secured.

    The court directed the federal and provincial governments to compile lists of its employees who hold dual nationalities, and told the parliament to legislate and take necessary measures.

    In January, the chief justice, while hearing a separate case, had taken up a suo motu case on senior government officers as well as members of the judiciary holding dual nationality.

    In March, a report compiled by the Establishment Division had revealed that a total of 213 government officers serving in various ministries, divisions, provincial departments and autonomous bodies held dual nationality.


    The SC bench under CJP's stewardship announced the verdict on suo motu case regarding dual nationals. — FileThe SC bench under CJP's stewardship announced the verdict on suo motu case regarding dual nationals. — File

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    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday ordered Punjab police and the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to set up a complaint centre to investigate claims made against PML-N MNA Afzal Khokhar and MPA Saiful Mulook Khokhar concerning alleged land grabbing by the duo.

    The chief justice, while heading a two-member bench, also issued verbal orders to put the siblings' names on the Exit Control List (ECL). However, the travel restrictions were not mentioned when the court's formal order was dictated.

    The orders against the Khokhar brothers were issued after the court took notice of a complaint made against them by overseas Pakistanis who had accused them of illegally occupying their land.

    The apex court, after summoning Afzal and Saiful Mulook, assailed and ordered them to submit the details of all assets under their and their families' names.

    "It's better that you relinquish the estate of widows and overseas Pakistanis you have seized," the top judge advised the Khokhars. "We are getting numerous complaints against you."

    At one point, the judge pulled out his phone and mentioned the complaints he had been receiving.

    "We have not grabbed anyone's land," Saiful Mulook responded.

    "If grabbing is proved, I will not spare you," the judge warned. "Everyone knows that I do what I say. It's better therefore that you don't take the risk with your MNA-ship."

    Justice Nisar asked the siblings to explain their relationship with a property dealer named Ashraf Shah. The brothers denied knowing anyone by that name.

    The chief justice instructed the LDA and police to compile and furnish a report on Khokhar brothers' alleged capture of land.

    The hearing was subsequently adjourned till December 22.


    Justice Nisar warns Khokhar brothers of strict action if it is proved that they grabbed land of widows and overseas Pakistanis. — FileJustice Nisar warns Khokhar brothers of strict action if it is proved that they grabbed land of widows and overseas Pakistanis. — File

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    The Punjab government on Saturday released a list of people who had reportedly stayed at the Punjab House in Islamabad during the PML-N government's tenure but did not clear their bills for lodging and meals during their stay, DawnNewsTV reported.

    A total of 76 people, which include various PML-N leaders, government officials and their relatives, owe a total sum of more than Rs60 million in payments.

    The Punjab government has instructed the relevant institutions to send notices to the defaulters immediately.

    According to the list, a copy of which is available with DawnNewsTV, PML-N leader and former information minister Pervaiz Rasheed owes a sum of Rs7.05 million of which Rs0.69 million is owed for his stay in 2011 from January to August and Rs6.4 million is owed for his stay between June 2013 and May 2018. His daughter Poonam Rasheed, also a Senator, owes Rs2.7 million.

    PML-N Senator Asif Kirmani owes a payment of Rs6.5 million, Managing Director Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation Chaudhry Kabir owes Rs2.3 million, whereas Ghaffar Jaleel, a Sessions Judge, owes Rs1.3 million.

    Former Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf is indebted for a sum of Rs0.34 million, Assistant Controller Khurram Rasheed has a debt of Rs2.2 million and MNA Malik Zulfiqar has dues of Rs4.1 million.

    Moazzam Ali owes the government Rs2.9 million, former Islamabad deputy commissioner Mujahid Sher Dil owes Rs1.3 million and former Punjab advocate general Mustafa Ramday owes Rs3.9 million.

    Personal Staff Officer to the Prime Minister Nabeel Awan has failed to pay a sum of Rs2.6 million, Alamgir Khan owes Rs8.4 million, Senator Ali Amil owes Rs0.1 million.

    Deputy Secretary to the Chief Minister Amir Ghazi owes Rs0.2 million and Chief Controller Aslam Butt owes Rs0.1 million.

    The Punjab government has asked that a list of Punjab House defaulters in other provinces will also be prepared and furnished at the earliest.


    The Punjab government has released a list of people to have stayed at the Punjab House in Islamabad who failed to clear bills for lodging and meals. —Wikimedia CommonsThe Punjab government has released a list of people to have stayed at the Punjab House in Islamabad who failed to clear bills for lodging and meals. —Wikimedia Commons

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    A Mandi Bahauddin resident claimed on Saturday to have mysteriously lost a quarter of a million rupees from his bank account in what he alleged was an ATM hacking incident.

    The account holder told DawnNewsTV that he had deposited Rs0.5 million in his account with a private bank at 11 in the morning on Thursday.

    In the evening, he said, he began receiving automated notifications on his mobile phone about debit transactions from his account even though his ATM card was in his possession.

    By the time he reached his bank, Rs252,000 had already been withdrawn from his account, the victim claimed, adding that he was told by the bank's helpline that the funds were withdrawn from an ATM of a branch located at Pico Road, Lahore.

    The victim said that he had been defrauded by hackers, and asked the chief minister to help recover his lost funds.

    Incidents of ATM hacking and skimming were on the rise in Pakistan in 2018, with at least six Chinese men, said to be members of an organised gang, apprehended in Karachi in January on charges of their involvement in the crime.

    Skimmers are physical devices that are installed over the actual ATM card slots that capture data from cards' magnetic strips, which are later copied onto replica cards that are used to conduct fraudulent transactions.


    A file photo of cash being withdrawn from an ATM.A file photo of cash being withdrawn from an ATM.

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    The Supreme Court on Saturday directed the federal and provincial governments to set deadlines for civil servants with dual nationalities to either give up their job or the second nationality as it announced a verdict in a suo motu case concerning the matter.

    A two-member bench of the court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, instructed the concerned governments to legislate and take necessary measures on the issue.

    Failure to relinquish other nationalities on government employees' part within the stipulated time should result in legal action, the court stated in its order.

    The court remarked that government employees who hold foreign nationalities during the course of their employment are a threat to the interests of the state of Pakistan.

    Furthermore, the apex court said that in case a non-Pakistani is to be engaged in employment then the concerned cabinet's permission should be secured.

    The court directed the federal and provincial governments to compile lists of its employees who hold dual nationalities, and told the parliament to legislate and take necessary measures.

    In January, the chief justice, while hearing a separate case, had taken up a suo motu case on senior government officers as well as members of the judiciary holding dual nationality.

    In March, a report compiled by the Establishment Division had revealed that a total of 213 government officers serving in various ministries, divisions, provincial departments and autonomous bodies held dual nationality.


    The SC bench under CJP's stewardship announced the verdict on suo motu case regarding dual nationals. — FileThe SC bench under CJP's stewardship announced the verdict on suo motu case regarding dual nationals. — File

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    RAWALPINDI: After the customs cargo (airfreight unit) building at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) started caving in, the authorities have decided to shift all staff and workers to an alternative place.

    Initially, small cracks appeared on the walls along with a leakage from the drain in the office of a senior officer and other rooms but the cracks started increasing day by day. A portion of the building is now caving in.

    5 injured as aerobridge, baggage control area ceiling collapse at Islamabad airport

    Senior officers of the customs department brought the issue to the notice of the airport manager and the project director of the IIA intimating them that the building was no longer safe for those working there.

    Cracks in cargo unit building have widened, offices to be shifted to a safer place on Monday, official says

    Additional Collector Customs Nisar Ahmed told Dawn that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would start shifting the office of the airfreight unit to another place, comprising two rooms, on Monday.

    He confirmed that cracks in the building had widened and the building was caving in from one side making it no longer safe to work in.

    The official said the airfreight unit office was shifted to the newly-constructed building on May 1, two days before the new airport was formally opened.

    But the cracks started appearing in the walls after three months.

    “After a letter was written to the CAA, the authority plastered the walls to fill the cracks but alarm bells started ringing when the building started caving in a few days ago.

    “How people can work under such a dangerous situation by risking their lives. It’s better to evacuate the staff.”

    The customs authorities informed the CAA and the project director that the building of the airfreight unit was in an extremely shabby and dangerous condition.

    The building is bearing huge cracks and the gaps in the cracks are increasing with every passing day.

    They said every day new cracks were identified and the building was crumbling very quickly.

    The authorities said the condition of the building had made the place very insecure to sit and work in.

    Every day almost 200 to 250 people come to work in the building and the situation is affecting their performance and creating hindrance in the discharge of their duties.

    They also expressed their concern and said it might be dangerous for people if precautionary measures were not taken on time.

    The building is also housing a post office and the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) branch where more than 200 to 300 people either work or visit during working days. All these offices would be relocated.

    A CAA spokesperson told Dawn that soon after the customs authorities complained about the cracks in the building, senior experts arrived from Karachi and inspected the building.

    “The CAA has provided an alternative space to the customs staff after they complained about the cracks in the building,” the spokesperson said, adding that an investigation had also been launched to find out how the newly-constructed building developed cracks.

    Hardly seven months have passed since the new IIA was constructed at a cost of over Rs105 billion. A number of incidents such as the collapse of false ceiling, choking of sewerage lines and stinking water in offices have occurred since the new airport became functional.

    Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018


    Senior customs' officials notified airport manager and project manager that the building wasn't safe for staff. — File photoSenior customs' officials notified airport manager and project manager that the building wasn't safe for staff. — File photo

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    Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Saturday promised that the gas supply will soon be restored in Sindh adding that the Karachi's compressed natural gas (CNG) sector will see a resumption of gas supply by 8pm.

    Addressing a press conference along with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail in Karachi, the petroleum minister said, "Supply of gas to Karachi's CNG sector will resume tonight at 8pm." From Sunday onwards, the industries across Sindh will receive 50 per cent supply, moreover, maximum possible relief will be provided to the CNG sector in the coming days, the minister said.

    "The current gas crisis occurred [due to some technical faults], it was not created. I came to Karachi on the instructions of the prime minister and held talks with all the stakeholders," the petroleum minister explained.

    Sarwar Khan said he had come to Karachi to resolve the gas supply issue and will be departing at 9pm after supply is restored.

    On Tuesday, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) had announced that it was stopping the supply of gas to the CNG sector and captive power plants as it was not getting the required pressure and amount of gas for distribution due to a technical fault being experienced at some gas fields.

    Subsequently, Karachiites suffered a serious transport crisis on Wednesday when a majority of the public transport vehicles stayed off the roads because of suspension of gas supply to CNG stations by SSGC.

    Owners of public transport who did bring their vehicles out on the roads despite the CNG closure charged hefty fares from people who had no option but to pay.

    Transporters said that it was almost impossible for most of them to bring their vehicles on the roads after the SSGC’s announcement on Tuesday that the situation was unlikely to change in the days to come.

    Apart from transporters, the Sindh government had also reacted strongly against the SSGC’s move and called it a violation of the Constitution.

    “The SSGC move is against Article 158-B of the Constitution,” said Sindh Transport Minister Syed Owais Qadir Shah in a statement. “The federal government has no right to suspend supply to CNG stations in Sindh which produced the largest quantity of gas.”

    Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh had said the federal government’s decision to stop gas supply to the captive power plants in the province was bound to cause unemployment and stir an industrial crisis.

    Shaikh said at an emergency press conference in his office that the federal government’s attitude towards Sindh, which contributed 70 per cent to the country’s total gas production, was tantamount to unleashing oppression on the people of the province.

    The minister said that gas loadshedding was a serious matter on which the prime minister had taken another U-turn. On Sunday, the premier had promised Karachi-based industrialists of an end to the loadshedding but soon after, the supply to the captive power plants was stopped, creating a big crisis which would affect a number of factories, he added.


    From Sunday onward, industries across Sindh will receive 50 per cent supply. —INP/FileFrom Sunday onward, industries across Sindh will receive 50 per cent supply. —INP/File

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    PPP-Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday lashed out at the superior judiciary, saying that except for the parliament, “no one has this right to decide the destiny of people […] especially those who serve fixed tenure of only three years”.

    Zardari, who was addressing a gathering in Karan Shoro village area of Hyderabad, also asked the ‘powers that be’ to “stop joking with Pakistan every day, as we have had enough."

    Alluding to Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, he said the top judge should be concerned about the 900,000 cases pending in the judicial system instead of “visiting other places and raising objections”.

    He was referring to the chief justice's recent visit to Thar and the latter's criticism of the way the Sindh government was running its affairs.

    Turning to another political nemesis, Zardari also stated that he wanted Musharraf to live and witness how people continue to express their love for Benazir Bhutto at Garhi Khuda Bux.

    The slain politician's death anniversary is later this month.

    Trouble brewing?

    This is not the first time that Zardari has lashed out at state institutions. In 2015, he had delivered a hard-hitting speech in which he lashed out at the military establishment 'for overstepping its domain'.

    The former president had said army chiefs come and go every three years but the political leadership was here to stay. “We know the country better and we know how to run its affairs," he had stressed.

    Zardari had warned the establishment to refrain from character assassination of political parties. "If you do not stop, I will come out with a list of generals [accused of wrongdoing] from the start of Pakistan's creation," he had said.

    The former president had gone on to say he did not want to weaken the country’s institutions, but "they [establishment] should also not try to create hurdles for politicians."

    Zardari had promptly left the country and spent 18 months in self-imposed exile till the military leadership was passed to the current regime.


    Asif Ali Zardari says he wants Musharraf to live and see how people express their love for Benazir at Garhi Khuda Bux. —DawnNewsTVAsif Ali Zardari says he wants Musharraf to live and see how people express their love for Benazir at Garhi Khuda Bux. —DawnNewsTV

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    PPP-Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said that except for the parliament, “no one has this right to decide the destiny of people […] especially those who serve fixed tenure of only three years”.

    Zardari, who was addressing a gathering in Karan Shoro village area of Hyderabad, also asked the ‘powers that be’ to “stop joking with Pakistan every day, as we have had enough".

    Alluding to Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, he said the top judge should be concerned about the 900,000 cases pending in the judicial system instead of “visiting other places and raising objections”.

    He was referring to the chief justice's recent visit to Thar and the latter's criticism of the way the Sindh government was running its affairs.

    Turning to another political nemesis, Zardari also stated that he wanted Musharraf to live and witness how people continue to express their love for Benazir Bhutto at Garhi Khuda Bux.

    The slain politician's death anniversary is later this month.

    Trouble brewing?

    This is not the first time that Zardari has lashed out at state institutions. In 2015, he had delivered a hard-hitting speech in which he lashed out at the military establishment 'for overstepping its domain'.

    The former president had said army chiefs come and go every three years but the political leadership was here to stay. “We know the country better and we know how to run its affairs," he had stressed.

    Zardari had warned the establishment to refrain from character assassination of political parties. "If you do not stop, I will come out with a list of generals [accused of wrongdoing] from the start of Pakistan's creation," he had said.

    The former president had gone on to say he did not want to weaken the country’s institutions, but "they [establishment] should also not try to create hurdles for politicians."

    Zardari had promptly left the country and spent 18 months in self-imposed exile till the military leadership was passed to the current regime.


    Asif Ali Zardari says he wants Musharraf to live and see how people express their love for Benazir at Garhi Khuda Bux. —DawnNewsTVAsif Ali Zardari says he wants Musharraf to live and see how people express their love for Benazir at Garhi Khuda Bux. —DawnNewsTV

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