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    The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and PML-N Senator Nuzhat Sadiq in a suo motu case concerning civil servants holding dual nationality.

    The court's decision came after the Foreign Office submitted a report to the court stating that both Sarwar and Sadiq had permanently renounced their foreign nationalities.

    Holding dual nationality can potentially disqualify lawmakers under Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution.

    The top court had taken up the matter in March, soon after the Senate elections. The chief justice had inquired about senators who held dual nationality.

    The attorney general had told the court that four senators, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) Chaudhry Sarwar, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's sister Sadia Abbasi, and the PML-N's Nuzhat Sadiq and Haroon Akhtar possessed dual nationality.

    Foreign Office report reveals that Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar has renounced his foreign nationality for good. — File photoForeign Office report reveals that Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar has renounced his foreign nationality for good. — File photo

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    A 'mobile tax policy' for foreign visitors and travelers returning to Pakistan has been announced, and the Federal Board of Revenue has released the details of duties it has imposed on imported handsets.

    For people still confused about how the two things affect them, we've put together this brief explainer to help them navigate the process.

    What is the registration process?

    The registration process is entirely voluntary. When you arrive in the country, you can register your device(s) at the customs counter at the airport you land at.

    You can download and print the declaration form beforehand and hand it to the customs authorities at the airport upon arrival to save time. You can also ask for a copy of this form at the airport counter.

    The form is available here.

    Please note that this form is meant to be printed out, filled in, and handed to customs authorities. Do NOT send it or email it to the PTA.

    You will be asked to provide a 15 digit IMEI number for your device at Customs and a proof of identity (usually your NIC or passport number). Customs will use that information to register the device's IMEI on the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority's network. Your mobile phone will not be confiscated during this process.

    Alternatively, you may choose to leave the airport and have your mobile device registered later at a Custom House near your location within 15 days of arrival.

    Please bear in mind that the documentary requirements at the Custom House may be different than the requirements at the airport customs counter.

    Documentary and other requirements specified at the Karachi Customs House.
    Documentary and other requirements specified at the Karachi Customs House.

    The Custom House Karachi is located near the KPT Head Office in Kharadar. Custom House Lahore is located near the AG Office in Anarkali; Custom House Islamabad is located near the KRL Hospital in G-9/1; and Custom House Peshawar is located in University Town off GT Road.

    Many more offices have been set up in other cities to facilitate citizens. Please check with your local customs office for guidance.

    The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has shared this video detailing the mobile device registration process for international passengers if you need further help.

    Question: What if I want to sell or gift the device I am bringing into the country? Will the device's IMEI be registered in my name only? Is it something I have to be concerned about?

    Answer:The registration of the IMEI has nothing to do with how the device is used in the future, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority's Director (Type Approvals) Nouman Khalid explains. "We don't know who is using the IMEI. The system only analyses whether the IMEI [provided by the traveler] is legitimate, whether it was reported stolen in Pakistan (we can detect if it was) and whether the IMEI [of the device] you are bringing is already being used by somebody else in Pakistan ... No personal information is linked to the registration."

    Question: Then why do the customs authorities want my identification information?

    Answer:The purpose of asking for the CNIC number or passport number is to help customs keep an eye on the number of devices you have brought in to the country in one year. The first device is duty free, and you are allowed to bring in a maximum of four more devices after paying the proper taxes, Khalid explains.

    How much will the registration cost me?

    The first device is duty free!

    Under customs regulations, every traveler flying in to Pakistan is allowed to register one handset without having to pay any duty charges.

    This one device allowance extends to each traveler, even if they are only 1-year-old. One device per passport is allowed duty-free. Therefore, a family of five people (mother, father and three children) can bring in five devices without having to pay any taxes.

    When do i not have to register my phone?

    1. You do not have to register or pay any duty charges on mobile devices that will be used on a roaming network (i.e., used with a foreign SIM card).
    2. You do not have to register or pay any duty charges on mobile devices that will be used in Pakistan with a local SIM for less than 30 days.
    3. If you are carrying a phone that was used in Pakistan with a local service provider SIM before December 1, you do not need to worry about anything. That device is already registered on the relevant authority's monitoring system.

    In case you are carrying extra devices, you will be informed about the taxes applicable on them based on their pre-assessed value. You will be asked to settle those taxes before your device can be registered.

    Keep in mind that each person is allowed to bring in a total of five devices every year. This quota is reset on December 31. Only the first device is duty free, and the remaining devices have to be paid duty on.

    The following calculator can help you figure out roughly how much in taxes you can expect to pay based on the dollar value of your device.

    Please bear in mind that these figures are very close to, but NOT the exact amount you will be required to pay in tax.

    For simplicity's sake, the calculator also assumes that you are a tax non-filer.

    The exchange rate is assumed to be $1=Rs140.

    You can also calculate your tax liability using this information.
    You can also calculate your tax liability using this information.

    Why is this system in place?

    The government is basically attempting to control the influx of smuggled mobile devices through a system called 'DIRBS'. That's short for Device Identification Registration & Blocking System.

    PTA Director 'Type Approvals' Nauman Khalid told us that DIRBS forces anyone who plans to import a mobile device or purchase an imported device within Pakistan to ensure that the device's International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is "PTA approved and compliant".

    This basically means that the PTA keeps an eye on all mobile phones brought into the country and makes sure they are taxed properly under the tax regime defined by the government.

    Smuggling phones into the country had previously been a big problem and DIRBS has been set up to render smuggled phones useless as communications devices.

    With a flip of a (virtual) switch, any unregistered and non-compliant device will be unable to register onto a mobile phone network (and therefore make phone calls, send and receive messages, use a mobile data network, etc).

    Help! I have a dual SIM phone but only one IMEI is registered as compliant!

    PTA Director Nauman Khalid has assured people who may have forgotten to register both IMEIs of a dual-SIM phone that they can still have the second IMEI registered if their case is genuine.

    Users who are facing this issue can email "" with the subject line: "Registration of second SIM slot non compliant IMEI"

    You need to specify which IMEI is compliant and which one is not compliant. Secondly, you need to provide contact details (an email ID and a phone number) and your CNIC number.

    Director Type Approvals of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Nauman Khalid said all devices used on Pakistani networks till Dec 1 were automatically white listed. — File photoDirector Type Approvals of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Nauman Khalid said all devices used on Pakistani networks till Dec 1 were automatically white listed. — File photo

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    The 24th death anniversary of renowned poetess Parveen Shakir was observed on Wednesday.

    Born on November 24, 1952, in Karachi, Parveen Shakir was a self-made woman and adopted a purely eastern style in her poems. She not only expressed her feelings but also of working women. She was regarded as pioneers in defying tradition by expressing the female experience in Urdu poetry.

    Her famous poetry books include Khushbu, Mah-i-Tamam Sad-Barg, Khud kalaami and Inkar. The spontaneity of expression is the hallmark of her poetry that continues to mesmerise the readers, especially the youth.

    Parveen Shakir is remembered for the depiction of romanticism in her poetic work. She also portrayed the issues related to women. The poetess started writing at an early age and published her first volume of poetry, Khushbu (Fragrance).

    Her work was often based on romanticism, exploring the concepts of love, beauty and their contradictions, and heavily integrated the use of metaphors, similes and personifications.

    She died in a car accident in Islamabad on December 26, 1994, while going to work.

    Members of Parveen Shakir Trust offer prayers at the grave of Parveen Shakir in H-8 graveyard. —APPMembers of Parveen Shakir Trust offer prayers at the grave of Parveen Shakir in H-8 graveyard. —APP

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    The Supreme Court on Wednesday was told that an audit report on Pakistan Railways' finances during former minister Saad Rafique's tenure showed that there had been no corruption or irregularities in the state-owned company.

    A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to losses racked up by Pakistan Railways allegedly during Rafique's incumbency.

    A member of the company's finance department had earlier informed the court that it had faced losses to the tune of Rs163 billion during the PML-N government's tenure, and generated a total revenue of Rs180bn.

    In April this year, the apex court had asked chartered accountancy firm AF Ferguson to carry out a forensic audit of Pakistan Railways to find out the reasons behind the colossal losses the department had faced over the last five years.

    The former minister, who is currently in National Accountability Bureau custody, was presented in court today. His lawyer submitted the court-ordered audit report on Railways losses and told the bench that it didn't turn up any corruption or irregularities.

    "But were there losses?" Justice Nisar inquired.

    "These are not losses but a deficit that has carried on for the past 65 years," the lawyer responded.

    The court ordered the auditor general and federal government to furnish their replies to Rafique's response.

    Rafique also addressed the court, saying that before his term, Rs58m in pensions was paid to railways employees by the federal government, but during his tenure, the department itself had paid Rs21m.

    "At least applaud this," he asked the chief justice, to which Justice Nisar responded that the PML-N stalwart would be praised when the matter is resolved.

    Saad Rafique's lawyer says Pakistan Railways is plagued by a 65-year-old deficit, not losses. ─  DawnNewsTVSaad Rafique's lawyer says Pakistan Railways is plagued by a 65-year-old deficit, not losses. ─ DawnNewsTV

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    WASHINGTON: Building up a relationship is a process not an event, says the outgoing Pakistani ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui who completed his last working day at the embassy on Monday.

    During his May 29-Dec 24 stay in Washington, Ambassador Siddiqui represented the country in the US capital during a period when bilateral relations went from cold to frigid. The bitterness, which began with Osama bin Laden’s discovery in Abbottabad and his subsequent elimination in a US commando action in 2011, has continued to increase over the last seven years.

    2018 in review: Pakistan's foreign relations in flux

    During Mr Siddiqui’s tenure, there were occasions when both Washington and Islamabad made little attempt to hide this bitterness, creating a difficult environment for the new envoy to operate.

    “The relations have improved, although slowly,” said Ambassador Siddiqui when asked how would he judge his efforts to restore once close relationship between the two countries.

    “This is a long process and it includes many factors and institutions,” he said. “The embassies, the ministries for foreign affairs and others are all involved in this process.”

    For further improvement, he suggested staying engaged with the US Congress. His last major event at the embassy was the inauguration of a Pakistan caucus foundation to boost Pakistan’s image on Capitol Hill.

    “We have a caucus, established decades ago, but it has been inactive,” he said. “We need to reactivate it and to use it properly,” he said.

    The ambassador also stressed the need for bringing Pakistani parliamentary delegations to Congress for greater cooperation between the two legislative bodies.

    He said that 38 US lawmakers had shown interest in joining the new caucus “and we hope to expand it to 50”, which would be about 10 per cent of the 435-member House of Representatives. “If we have these 10 per cent votes with us, it will help us when anything related to Pakistan goes to the House.”

    The task of strengthening the new caucus now goes to Dr Asad Majeed Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador in Tokyo who is scheduled to come to Washington next month to take charge of his new responsibilities. Dr Majeed is not new to Washington. He served here as Charge d’ Affaires as interim from May 2013 to January 2014 and as Deputy Chief of Mission from March 2012 to September 2015.

    On the last working day before Christmas, the US State Department hosted a farewell reception for Ambassador Siddiqui at the Blair House, the official guesthouse of the US president, indicating that he did succeed in creating a pocket of influence in Washington during his brief stay.

    And he used this influence to promote Pakistan’s cause on Capitol Hill and in the US administration. He also worked closely with the Pakistani defence establishment to arrange some important meetings in the Pentagon, which won him Rawalpindi’s confidence as well.

    The perception in Washington is that his close relations with a member of the House of Trump and some ruling families in the Middle East also helped Ambassador Siddiqui in Washington, a perception he never confirmed or contradicted.

    Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2018

    US State Department hosted a farewell reception for Ambassador Siddiqui at the Blair House, the official guesthouse of the US president. — File photoUS State Department hosted a farewell reception for Ambassador Siddiqui at the Blair House, the official guesthouse of the US president. — File photo

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    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed the concerned authorities to finalise the policy on renewable energy within a month’s time, Radio Pakistan reported.

    Chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy in Islamabad, the prime minister underscored the need for improved coordination between the relevant departments and called for addressing governance issues in the energy sector.

    Imran Khan emphasised upon the need for timely and accurate estimations about demand and supply in the energy sector so as to avoid any interruption in the power supply.

    The prime minister was briefed about the current demand and supply situation in the power sector, the projections of petroleum and power division for the next six months, the existing energy mix, and the availability and utilisation of indigenous resources.

    Also read: Pakistan’s renewable energy agenda

    It was also briefed about gas management plans of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company for the winter season.

    The meeting was briefed that efforts are being made to curtail the duration of gas loadshedding to other sectors such as CNG and captive power plants of general industries.

    The meeting decided to immediately notify a ban on any further import of furnace oil.

    The prime minister directed that a detailed plan, in consultation with refineries, regarding the upgradation of existing facilities and export of surplus furnace oil should be worked out on priority basis.

    Imran Khan calls for timely and accurate estimations about demand and supply in the energy sector. —PIDImran Khan calls for timely and accurate estimations about demand and supply in the energy sector. —PID

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    The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Sindh police on Wednesday claimed to have made some headway in the investigations into the murder of former MQM lawmaker Ali Raza Abidi and said that "one of the murder weapons had also been used in another killing in Liaquatabad recently".

    According to CTD officer Raja Umar Khattab, two 30 bore pistols were used in Abidi's murder. Six shots were fired from one weapon, while a single shot from another, he said. Investigators collected seven spent cartridges from the crime scene which were sent to the police forensic laboratory, the official added.

    The laboratory's report received by the investigators states that the 30 bore pistol from which six shots were fired was previously used in the murder of 23-year-old Ihtisham in Liaquatabad on December 10.

    Police 'twiddling thumbs'

    Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday reiterated his commitment to making the city of Karachi peaceful and prosperous, and directed the law enforcement agencies to make foolproof security arrangements accordingly.

    This he said while presiding over an emergent meeting at Chief Minister House to review law and order situation in the metropolis.

    The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, CM's Adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab, Director General Rangers Major General Mohammad Saeed, Police Inspector General Dr Kaleem Imam, the provincial heads of intelligence agencies, Deputy Inspector General South Javed Alam Udho and other concerned officers.

    Briefing the chief minister about the murder of Ali Raza Abdi, DIG South Javed Odho told the chief minister that cartridges were found from the spot where he was shot dead. The cartridges were sent for forensic testing and the report has revealed that the pistol was used previously in some other crimes which were already under investigation.

    He also said that the victim's mobile phone has been taken into custody and was being decoded so that his messages and calls could be investigated.

    Addressing the participants of the meeting, the chief minister said that during the last six weeks six terrorist incidents have taken place in the city which was serious and alarming and could be not tolerated, therefore the law enforcement agencies, particularly the police, should take strict security measures and improve their performance.

    Shah recalled and counted that in this time a blast in Landhi had claimed innocent lives, Chinese Consulate was attacked, a vehicle in District South was attacked, a Mehfil-i-Milad was attacked with a cracker in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, then PSP workers were killed in their office and now former parliamentarian Ali Raza Abdi has been killed.

    “This shows that the disbursed terrorists are getting organised once again and we are twiddling our thumbs,” he said.

    "There is no political interference in police affairs," the chief minister said, adding that as the minister in charge of the Home Department he has made the police department an independent organisation. "Despite all that, the results were disturbing and painful."

    Shah mentioned that out of the six incidents, three have happened in the South district, therefore South police have to be more vigilant and active.

    “I want you to conduct a security audit of the city and strengthen security at vulnerable points,” he said and directed the IG police to keep him posted with day to day reports on the law and order situation in the province in general and Karachi in particular.

    The intelligence agencies also briefed the chief minister about the incident and suggested some strict security measures. They also pointed out that discord within some parties was also leading to violence.

    The meeting was briefed that police and Rangers have made some arrests and they were sure that some solid clues would be unearthed to arrest Abidi's killers. At this, the chief minister categorically said he wanted the expedient arrest of the killers.

    A forensic report says one of the two 30 bore pistols used in the incident was also used in a Liaquatabad killing. —Photo courtesy Ali Raza Abidi's Twitter accountA forensic report says one of the two 30 bore pistols used in the incident was also used in a Liaquatabad killing. —Photo courtesy Ali Raza Abidi's Twitter account

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    Two Pakistani nationals who were imprisoned in India crossed over to their home country through the Wagah-Attari border crossing after they were released by Indian authorities on Wednesday.

    Indian border authorities handed over the two men, Abdullah Shah and Muhammad Imran Warsi, to Pakistan Rangers officials at the border, sources in the paramilitary force said.

    Shah, who hails from Swat's Mingora city, was taken into custody by Indian officials from Attari in 2017 while Warsi, of Karachi, spent 10 years in Bhopal jail on charges of “forgery and spying” after travelling to India in 2004.

    Warsi had gone to India to meet his Kolkata-based relatives when he was arrested by Indian police.

    The two prisoners' release comes days after Pakistan released and repatriated Indian citizen Hamid Nehal Ansari.

    Ansari was detained by Pakistani authorities on charges of illegally entering the country through the Afghanistan border in 2012. He served a three-year sentence after being convicted of espionage and forging documents by a military tribunal.

    Released Pakistani prisoners Abdullah Shah (3R) and Mohammad Imran Warsi (2L) gesture as they prepare to cross the India-Pakistan border in Wagah on Wednesday. — AFPReleased Pakistani prisoners Abdullah Shah (3R) and Mohammad Imran Warsi (2L) gesture as they prepare to cross the India-Pakistan border in Wagah on Wednesday. — AFP

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    A man shot dead five of his family members, including three brothers, over a domestic dispute before committing suicide in Peshawar's Tehkal area on Wednesday, police said.

    The 24-year-old man first fatally shot his father after a verbal altercation between the two.

    Later, when three of his brothers and an uncle reached the site of the incident, he opened fire on them, leaving all four of them dead.

    The suspect then killed himself. Police said he reportedly had mental health issues.

    A police team rushed to the area after the killings and shifted the bodies to Khyber Teaching Hospital for postmortem examination.

    The 24-year-old opened fire on the five men reportedly after a verbal altercation with his father. — AFP/FileThe 24-year-old opened fire on the five men reportedly after a verbal altercation with his father. — AFP/File

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    PESHAWAR: The government’s plan to strengthen primary and secondary level health facilities and provide treatment to the people at the local hospitals is yet to materialise despite steep rise in the budgetary allocation and massive recruitment of doctors, according to official sources.

    In the absence of proper monitoring at the district hospitals, patients continue to visit the tertiary care hospitals in Peshawar which not only adversely affect the treatment of the critically-ill patients but also cause economic losses to the people coming to cities.

    Official sources said that provincial health department appointed 3,000 doctors during the last four years to provide basic health services to the people.

    However, they said, the situation remained the same as the patients had not developed trust in the primary and secondary health facilities in their respective districts.

    In absence of proper monitoring at district level, patients continue to visit hospitals in Peshawar

    During the past few years, the annual health budget had gone up to Rs65 billion from Rs35 billion and bulk of the amount was being spent on the salaries of staff and equipment. “Still there is little improvement as the three teaching hospitals in Peshawar receive 80 per cent patients, who can be treated in their native hospitals,” they added.

    The health department has also been awarding enhanced salaries to the doctors working in remote districts as an attempt to ensure their presence at the basic health units, rural health centres and civil hospitals. However, there is no system in place to check the presence of health staff and people are yet to start benefiting from the measures taken by the government.

    Officials said that health department provided equipment worth Rs2 billion to the peripheral hospitals during the past one year on the proposals of medical superintendents of the district headquarters hospitals to put in place basic diagnostic services there.

    According to them, the doctors working in far flung areas receive double and triple salaries compared to their colleagues posted in Peshawar. They said that a hospital, which had two doctors one year ago, had then the services of six to eight doctors but the patients’ trust was yet to be developed.

    The medical superintendents and district health officers, who control the district health system, have no authority to take action against the doctors as they can hold accountable paramedics, nurses and Class-IV staff only.

    “Even the provincial director-general health services lacks powers to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the doctors for staying absent from their duty places,” said sources.

    Officials said that the government could improve healthcare scenario by empowering the district health authorities to check absenteeism of doctors but centralisation of powers emboldened the doctors, who were certain that they could not face any action.

    “Not only the patients suffer, when they come to Peshawar for minor ailments but they also spend more amount as they are accompanied by at least two attendants here,” said the officials. As opposed to it, the patients can be treated for minor diseases at primary and secondary health facilities in their own areas and only those people, who are referred by the doctors out of needs, will have to visit Peshawar for treatment of their ailments.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    In absence of proper monitoring at district level, patients continue to visit hospitals in Peshawar. — File photoIn absence of proper monitoring at district level, patients continue to visit hospitals in Peshawar. — File photo

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    LAHORE: The PTI’s Punjab government has called its cabinet meeting in Bahawalpur without even a single item related to south Punjab on its 12-point agenda.

    The meeting has been scheduled for Dec 29 (Saturday) at the Islamia University.

    Since Chief Minister Usman Buzdar belongs to south Punjab and the PTI government has vociferously been advocating the creation of south Punjab province since its general election campaign, the agenda has surprised many as neither there is anything on south Punjab province nor is there anything about its secretariat. There is not even any specific development agenda.

    The cabinet, according to agenda, will discuss draft Punjab Water Policy and formulation of provincial labour deletion policy.

    As recommended by the standing committee of cabinet on legislative business, the cabinet will take up the matter of amendment to the Punjab Government Rules of Business, 2011.

    Top of the agenda item relates to the allocation of vehicles to the provincial cabinet and rationalisation of official vehicles.

    The cabinet will take up an unsolicited proposal by the Defence Housing Authority, Rawalpindi; the DHA Islamabad; Bahria Town, Ltd, Habib Rafique (JV Partner) for grant of concession for the construction of operation and maintenance of Dadhocha Dam in Rawalpindi on a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis – in line with the Punjab government’s Public Private Partnership Arrangement.

    It will also discuss handing over of control of lower portion of Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) and supply of full share of water from the CRBC to Punjab.

    The cabinet will discuss three options regarding enhancement of salary of doctors working in specialized healthcare and medical education as well as primary and secondary health departments as advised by the Chief Justice of Pakistan – on a Human Rights case No 505 of 2018.

    Establishment of South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) is also on the agenda as it was reflected in a constitution petition No 17 and 19 of 2018.

    The cabinet will constitute a search committee as well as finalise an eligibility criteria for selection and appointment of vice chancellor, Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Science, Bahawalpur.

    It will also discuss the Annual Performance Report 2017 of Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB), energy department; as well as audit reports of Auditor General of Pakistan on the accounts of District Management Organisation Punjab, Audit Year 2017-18; and accounts of District Health and Education Authorities Punjab for the audit year 2017-18.

    Following the cabinet meeting, the CM will hold meetings on law and order and development profile of the division.

    The Bahawalpur commissioner will brief the chief minister on development profile of the division and the RPO Bahawalpur will brief on law and order.

    The chief minister will also hold a meeting with MNAs, MPAs, president and general secretary of the PTI and Chairman District Council of Bahawalpur Division as well as representatives of the Bahwalpur High Court and District Bar Association. He will also hold a separate meeting with the members of the Bahawalpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    Agenda for Punjab cabinet meeting has surprised many as there's nothing about south Punjab province or its secretariat. — File photoAgenda for Punjab cabinet meeting has surprised many as there's nothing about south Punjab province or its secretariat. — File photo

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    LAHORE: The Punjab chief secretary on Wednesday dispatched 15 secretaries and the cane commissioner to three districts in south Punjab for staying there for three days and preparing for a cabinet meeting scheduled to be held there by the weekend.

    Official sources said the secretaries were asked to fully prepare for the first-ever cabinet meeting in the remote districts of south Punjab and briefing the chief minister. They said five secretaries each were assigned three districts and asked to remain there from Dec 27 (tomorrow) to Dec 29. The secretaries were struggling to get accommodation in the assigned districts and reach there by Thursday morning, officials said.

    Earlier, the secretaries would rush to Murree for cabinet meeting or briefings to former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif during all his three stints. And they are being dispatched to south Punjab because the present chief minister hails from there.

    According to a direction issued by the cabinet division earlier in the day, the secretaries of the school education, specialised healthcare and medical education, housing, industries and livestock and dairy development were assigned Bahawalnagar.

    Bahawalpur was assigned to the secretaries food, agriculture, local government, primary and secondary health, and energy.

    Rahim Yar Khan was assigned to secretaries irrigation, excise, human rights, sports, auqaf and the cane commissioner. They were asked to remain present in the assigned districts from Dec 27 to 29 prior to the visit of the chief minister and a cabinet meeting.

    “The deputed officers will monitor the ongoing major projects/new initiatives of the government in the district in general and initiatives of their own departments in specific including monitoring of sugarcane crushing, if pertaining to Bahawalpur division, and present a brief/comprehensive report to the chief minister on Dec 29,” the order said.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will hold first-ever cabinet meeting in South Punjab. — File photoChief Minister Usman Buzdar will hold first-ever cabinet meeting in South Punjab. — File photo

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    LAHORE: The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) on Wednesday declared 61 ghee and cooking oil brands unfit for consumption and confiscated 47,233 litres of ghee and cooking oil from the market.

    The provincial food regulatory body has released the results of sample collection of edible ghee and cooking oil.

    PFA Director General Muhammad Usman said the purpose of sample collection drive was to confirm the availability of requisite micronutrients in it and check the quality and standards. He said 61 brands of oil and ghee had failed whereas 118 others were found up to the mark.

    He said the authority would not compromise on the quality of food items and no one would be allowed to sell the unfit products.

    However, the analysis of 88 brands is in process and it will be completed soon.

    The PFA food safety teams removed 29,099 litres from Lahore Zone, 15,661 from Rawalpindi Zone and 2,473 from South Zone so far. The teams had collected 267 samples of cooking oil and ghee for laboratory test from open market in the presence of company’s representatives by following blind-sampling method throughout the province.

    The ghee and cooking oil which failed to meet safety and quality parameters included Abid Koh-e-Noor Banaspati, Ambar Banaspati, Apna Banaspati, Apna Canola Oil, Areej Premium Banaspati, Atif Banaspati, Attiya Banaspati, Badar Cooking Oil, Behtreen Banaspati, Crispo Vegetable Oil, Dawat Cooking Oil, Enam Cooking Oil, Faizi Banaspati, Gai Canola Cooking Oil, Gai Cooking Oil, Gai Sunflower Cooking Oil, Ghousia Banaspati, Ghousia Canola Oil, Gold Rehmat Banaspati, Hoor Canola Oil, Hoor Cooking Oil, Hoor Sunflower Oil, Ittehad Cooking Oil, Kamiyab Cooking Oil, Kamran Banaspati, Karwan Banaspati, Kausar Canola Oil, Kausar Cooking Oil, Khajoor Cooking Oil, Kisan Cooking Oil (Sunflower), Lives Cooking Oil, Mamta Banaspati, Mujahid Cooking Oil, Naimat Canola Oil, Naturelle Cooking Oil, Nice Banaspati, Nirala Banaspati, Olio Premium Canola Oil, Olio Premium Sunflower Oil, Qarni Banaspati, Rahat Banaspati Ghee, Seasons Frying Oil, Sitara Cooking Oil, Soya Supreme Banaspati, Sultan Sunflower Oil, Zareen Banaspati, Chand Banaspati, Ella Cooking Oil, Evolin Vegetable Banaspati, Evolin Vegetable Cooking Oil, Fauji Cooking Oil, Golden Sun Banaspati, Golden Sun Cooking Oil, Ittehad Banaspati, Khajur Banaspati, Lives Banaspati, Madni Cooking Oil, Shamim Banaspati, Sultan Canola Oil, Sultan Cooking Oil and Zaiqa Cooking Oil.

    In another operation, the food safety teams sealed five production units of Gourmet Foods in Faisalabad, Sialkot and Multan city over failure to meet the standards of the Punjab Pure Food Regulations.

    The authority teams sealed beverages section of Gourmet Five Stars for failing to provide halal certificate. The teams also discovered stinky environment, improper cleanliness arrangements and rusty filters of syrup room tanks.

    Gourmet Hajveri Foods in Sialkot was shut down over non-compliance of the authority instructions, preserving food on foot level, improper freezer storage and storing raw and cooked meat together in the cold storage.

    The teams also raided ANC Foods Gourmet in Multan and sealed it on account of improper labeling and use of naswar.

    The PFA also sealed kitchen section of Gourmet Foods in Lahore at Bhobhattiyan Chowk for violating the PFA Act.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    PFA says 118 brands are safe for consumption while analysis of 88 others will be completed soon. — File photoPFA says 118 brands are safe for consumption while analysis of 88 others will be completed soon. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan does not have credible data for the health sector, mostly because over half the services are provided by the private sector which does not share its data with the government, National Institute of Health Executive Director Prof Dr Aamer Ikram told President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday.

    He said the passage of the Public Health Act (PHA) will bind the private sector to share its data with NIH, which will make it possible to make policies in accordance with the country’s requirements.

    The president was visiting the institute for the first time since he assumed office and was shown the various departments of NIH including the Emergency Operation Centre, which conducts a real-time surveillance of issues such as tuberculosis, malaria and the Expanded Program of Immunisation.

    He was informed about the manufacturing of different vaccines and other incentives.

    New bill will bind private sector to share data with govt to devise health policies, NIH head says

    Dr Ikram told Dawn that PHA will be the first act which will bring the private sector in the government’s ambit.

    “It will make clear who will be responsible for declaring emergencies regarding diseases and directives will be issued and policies will be made in light of the data,” he said.

    “Rs1 spent on preventive measures can save the Rs100 spent on treatment. It is unfortunate that we are not spending on the prevention of diseases and have been spending more on treatment,” he said.

    Dr Ikram said the president was informed that NIH will also prepare the first dental policy of Pakistan.

    “No one cares about teeth in Pakistan and people start developing dental issues from a young age, which get complicated with time. A dentist by profession, the president appreciated the proposal and assured us of his support for it,” he said.

    “He was told that NIH’s virology lab analyses 73 sewage samples, 53 from across Pakistan and 20 from Afghanistan, to screen then for the polio virus every month,” he said.

    “Many viruses transmit from animals to humans such as the Congo Virus or the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever. So, we have established a zoonotic and vector-borne diseases lab which will play its role in stopping the transfer of viruses from animals to humans,” Dr Ikram said.

    A statement quotes Minister for National Health Services Aamer Mehmood Kiani as saying that NIH is a national asset, has enormous potential and is contributing towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

    “One of our major targets was reviving the production of measles vaccine at NIH. This was critical in backdrop of growing incidence of the disease and epidemics of the disease in different parts of the country. With concerted collective effort we were able to achieve this objective,” he said.

    “Another major issue was [upgrading] laboratory facilities, a task that had been successfully undertaken. Bio Safety Level III laboratory that conforms to global standards was our first initiative at NIH,” he said.

    Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram said the production of number of vaccines including measles, tetanus and diphtheria has been started.

    Landmark initiatives have been taken to bring NIH at par with international standards, he said. The production of measles vaccine for children which was stalled for seven years has been made functional and Rs751 million have been approved for the production of Sera which is a major step forward and would meet critical demand of vaccine and Sera, Dr Ikram said.

    Health Secretary retired Capt Zahid Saeed and Director General Health Dr Assad Hafeez were present on the occasion.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    President Dr Arif Alvi visits National Institute of Health on Wednesday. Minister for National Health Services Aamer Mehmood Kiani is also present. — INPPresident Dr Arif Alvi visits National Institute of Health on Wednesday. Minister for National Health Services Aamer Mehmood Kiani is also present. — INP

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    RAWALPINDI: The PTI government in Punjab has reversed the last government’s decision to centralise procurement for health facilities three years ago, giving districts back the power to procure medication and equipment at the local level.

    The provincial government had in 2015 centralised the procurement of medicines and equipment for rural health centres, basic health units and tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospitals for 36 districts. A district’s health department would send its requirements to the provincial government, which would procure the items and give them to the district.

    The PTI has ended that system following shortages of necessary medicines and vaccines in THQ hospitals and rural health centres in the last few months.

    The government has asked district health authorities to purchase medicines according to their requirements from the funds allocated to them.

    PTI government in Punjab reverses PML-N’s decision to centralise procurement for health facilities

    A committee has also been formed to check the quality of medicines and their prices.

    The committee will be led by the divisional commissioner and comprise deputy commissioners and health authority CEOs from the district as members.

    On Wednesday, Rawalpindi Divisional Commissioner Jodat Ayaz approved the procurement of medicines for four Rawalpindi districts – Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal and Jhelum.

    The deputy commissioners of the districts and senior health authority officials attended a meeting in this regard at the commissioner’s office. The committee selected 60 medicine brands for rural health centres, basic health units and THQ hospital.

    The district health authorities were asked to start the procurement process so it may be completed by the end of next month.

    Mr Ayaz directed for the availability of necessary medicines in health centres and hospital to be ensured.

    He also asked district health authorities to utilise all their efforts to eliminate polio in the region, and suggested involving influential figures from local communities in the polio vaccination campaign to bring refusals to an end.

    He said polio had not ended in the region despite efforts because of the movement of people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Mr Ayaz said the children of Afghan refugees need to be vaccinated because the poliovirus found in sewerage was similar to that found in Kabul.

    Health officials should devise a plan for the coming days in view of past experience, he added.

    District Health Authority CEO Dr Khalid Mehmood told the meeting that medicines will be procured after tests by the drug testing laboratory.

    He also said that while there have been no polio cases in the district, attention must be given to the next polio vaccination campaign as the poliovirus was found in Leh Nullah in the Safdarabad area.

    While discussing dengue virus cases, he said a total of 421 patients with dengue were reported in government-run hospitals, but no dengue-related deaths were reported from hospitals this year.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    PTI government in Punjab reverses PML-N’s decision to centralise procurement for health facilities. — File photoPTI government in Punjab reverses PML-N’s decision to centralise procurement for health facilities. — File photo

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    PESHAWAR: Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani has sought Chief Minister Mahmood Khan’s help to ‘tame’ administrative secretaries to cooperate with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Secretariat in disposing of parliamentary business.

    “Mr Chief Minister, I have given ruling to administrative secretaries on many occasions, directing them to ensure timely reply to questions of lawmakers related to different departments. My rulings did not leave any impact,” complained Speaker Mushtaq Ghani.

    Chairing the sitting on Wednesday, he lamented that administrative secretaries did not take the assembly’s business serious and secretariat received answers of questions very late that irritated lawmakers.

    This is worth mentioning that the speaker had been directing administrative heads of the departments to cooperate with his secretariat, despite that the secretaries did not respond properly. Earlier PPP lawmaker Nighat Orakzai protested against not receiving official reply of a question related to provincial Ehtesab Commission.

    Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on this occasion directed to take action against the official, who did not submit reply to the assembly’s secretariat.

    Ghani complains about late reply by administrative secretaries

    The speaker abruptly adjourned the sitting when treasury and opposition lawmakers exchanged barbs. PML-N MPA Sobia Shahid entered the House with a placard seeking justice for imprisoned leader of the party Mian Nawaz Sharif that caused commotion.

    Earlier Minister for Health Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan admitted in the House that 60 per cent posts of specialist doctors were lying vacant in referral hospitals of the province.

    Speaking on the floor of the House during question hour, he pledged to ensure presence of doctors in all referral hospitals within a period of one month. He said that the department had started extensive exercise to streamline healthcare system and work on digitalisation plan was in progress.

    The minister said that problems existed in the referral hospitals and patients were directly referred to major hospitals from primary and secondary health units in the far flung areas of the province. He said that the department would start upgradation of hospitals in the districts after evaluating its resources.

    MMA lawmaker Inayatullah Khan, through his question, drew the government’s attention towards condition of healthcare units in Upper Dir district. He said that the department had launched standardisation of tehsil and district headquarters hospitals project about two years ago to upgrade health facilities.

    He said despite awarding contracts, construction work had not been started. The government has estimated total cost of the project at Rs3.46 billion. The mover said that patients were being referred to major hospitals owing to lack of doctors and equipment at the district level hospitals.

    Responding to another question of the same mover, the health minister said that government had distributed 1.5 million Sehat Insaf Cards and 800,000 would be issued to deserving people in near future.

    He said that the cards would cover 69 per cent of the population in the province. He insisted that health protection initiatives including card system were part of the Universal Health Care.

    The mover said that Pakistan was signatory to Sustainable Development Goals and Sehat Insaf Card was not equitable to ensure health coverage of people. He said that being signatory to SDG, the government was bound to ensure health coverage of its people.

    The assembly passed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Employees Foundation Bill, 2018 after including several amendments moved by ANP and MMA lawmakers Salahud Din and Inayatullah Khan, respectively.

    The bill aims at promotion, welfare, assistance, facilitation and benefit of the employees of the education department and their families.

    The House also passed Employees of Transport department (Regularisation of Services) (Amendment) Bill, and KP Employees of the Elementary and Secondary Education Department (Appointment and Regularisation of services) (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    A view of the KP Assembly. — File photoA view of the KP Assembly. — File photo

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    LAHORE: Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz appeared before the National Accountability Bureau, Lahore, here on Wednesday in connection with the income beyond means case

    A combined investigation team of NAB quizzed him for over an hour with regard to details of his properties in and outside the country. He could not satisfy the team and NAB might summon him again.

    Upon his arrival at the NAB office, the PML-N workers gathered there, showered him with rose petals and chanted slogans in favour of the party leadership.

    Investigators may summon him again

    Talking to reporters outside the NAB office, Hamza said neither corruption had proved against Nawaz Sharif nor Shahbaz. “Nawaz Sharif appeared in court for 165 days in references but not a single rupee corruption has been proved against him. Similarly, Shahbaz Sharif has been behind bars for three months still the NAB is looking for any evidence against him. In fact this is a fake accountability (of the Sharif family and others) by a fake prime minister (Imran Khan),” he said.

    He said Imran Khan believed in revenge and not in across-the-board accountability. “Niazi Saheb should find the corrupt in his cabinet. He should show sportsman spirit and present himself for accountability for misusing the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s helicopter and his sister Aleema Khan to disclose details of her assets and sources,” he said.

    Hamza further said Mr Niazi had expressed his wish to get 50 people arrested. “His accountability slogan reflects vengeance. We faced Gen Musharraf’s accountability for 10 years. Imran Khan can not make us afraid of accountability as it is nothing new for us,” he said and drew PM Khan’s attention towards the depleting foreign exchange reserves. “The country has foreign exchange reserves for only a few weeks. Let me tell you...this revenge politics will cost you a lot,” he said.

    Hamza is also facing an inquiry into the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. According to the NAB, Hamza and his younger brother Salman Shahbaz being directors of the sugar mills got constructed a bridge linking to their mills out of the public money in Chiniot. It said an amount of Rs200 million was approved by then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif for the construction of the bridge.

    Salman Shahbaz is in the UK. According to NAB, Salman left the country to skip its hearings. Hamza was stopped from leaving the country at the Lahore airport this month after putting his name on exit control list (ECL).

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    NAB investigation team quizzes Punjab MPA Hamza Shahbaz about details of his property. — File photoNAB investigation team quizzes Punjab MPA Hamza Shahbaz about details of his property. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the Panah Gah (shelter) for homeless women and men in Tarlai on Wednesday.

    Mr Khan was accompanied by two parliamentarians and arrived at the shelter in a private vehicle.

    The capital administration was informed of his visit, due to which Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed also reached the shelter.

    Mr Khan directed the administration to launch a free shuttle service for labourers, so they can go to their places of work in the morning and return to the shelter in the evening.

    Shelters in Tarlai and the Sabzi Mandi in I-11 were renovated in 20 days and will be made functional today (Thursday).

    The Tarlai building can house around 150 men and 50 women. The Sabzi Mandi shelter can house around 100 men.

    An official from the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration who asked not to be named said that 70 people were allowed to stay at the Sabzi Mandi shelter on Wednesday, and around 300 people were provided free meals. People will be allowed to stay at the Tarlai shelter from Thursday.

    The Red Crescent has also given assurances that it will depute doctors at both shelters.

    “After the government announced that shelters would be provided to homeless people, an abandoned building was selected in the Tarlai area for this purpose. The building was used as a store and items belonging to sitting and former ICT administration officers were placed there. It was decided to vacate the building, which is in good condition, to use it as a Panah Gah,” the official said.

    He added: “The building has two halls in which more than 100 people can be housed. There is one dining hall and there are five rooms on the first floor. There is another wing in the building in which women will be housed. Moreover, there are separate rooms for staff and officers, due to which staff will stay there.”

    The many labourers and others who visit Tarlai every day to find work will be able to find free shelter there, he said.

    “The other building was selected in Sabzi Mandi, as a large number of labourers work there and don’t have shelter.”

    The official said the chief commissioner was supervising the renovation of both buildings. Security cameras were fixed there, and guards and staff were appointed as well, he said.

    There was a previously a shelter in G-7, but people lived there for years and no one was able to get rooms vacated from them.

    In response to a question, the official said such shelters cannot be run by government departments, and instead it has been decided to involve philanthropists. Meals on Wednesday were provided by a philanthropist, he said.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    Premier Imran Khan tells capital administration to launch shuttle service so labourers can go for for work in the morning.Premier Imran Khan tells capital administration to launch shuttle service so labourers can go for for work in the morning.

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    PESHAWAR: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal has said that an organised propaganda campaign has been launched against the bureau by some elements and they (NAB authorities) believe in countering it with their performance.

    Speaking at a meeting of officials of NAB’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter during a visit to its regional headquarters here on Wednesday, Mr Iqbal said that taking cases of mega corruption to its logical conclusion was the prime priority of the bureau as survival of the country depended on eradication of corruption.

    Nawaz verdict: Politically motivated accountability? Does NAB have credibility? Is the case airtight?

    “I assure all that no politics or revengeful activities is involved in the functioning of the bureau. If preparing cases is inevitable these would definitely be pursued and sent to the court concerned and it is the task of the court to convict or acquit a person,” he said.

    Bureau has no political agenda, insists retired Justice Iqbal

    Dispelling the impression of any political agenda being pursued by NAB, he said that there were no political considerations in the functioning of the bureau.

    “Recently, some parliamentarians have sent me a letter seeking a meeting and I have welcomed them,” said Justice Iqbal.

    After a briefing by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa NAB Director General Farmanullah Khan, the chairman hailed the regional wing’s performance and said that he had deeply examined all the cases in progress and references would be filed in accountability courts within the stipulated time.

    He said that through transparent investigations, solid evidence and merit, cases of mega corruption in KP would be taken to their logical conclusion.

    About the recent death of former chief executive officer of the University of Sargodha’s Lahore Campus Mian Ahmad Jawed, he said that he was neither a professor nor a vice chancellor. “He had been in judicial custody since October and was not in the custody of NAB and, therefore, we had nothing to do with his death,” he said.

    The NAB chairman said that it was regrettable that Mr Jawed was handcuffed at the time of his death, but after looking at the picture keenly it was evident that the handcuffs were deliberately placed in such a way that these should be visible in the picture.

    He said that the government of Punjab had initiated an inquiry into the incident and held two or three police officials responsible for the occurrence.

    Justice Iqbal said that he had issued strict orders to NAB officers to respect self-esteem of every person and not to handcuff any suspect.

    The chairman said that one thing should be kept in mind now that the masses were not so naïve that they could not differentiate between right and wrong.

    He said that the people now knew about performance of every institution.

    “You are witnessing outcome of several of the cases. Such results were never achieved in the past,” the NAB chairman said, adding that action was taken in accordance with the law over those cases which had been put in cold storage for many years.

    He said that this year 440 references were filed in accountability courts across the country, adding that they were following “zero-tolerance” policy against corruption.

    Later, Justice Iqbal distributed cheques among the affected persons of the Nowshera Blue City Housing Scheme.

    Meanwhile, the chairman has directed all the regional heads of NAB to regularly hear public complaints.

    In the light of these directives, DG Farmanullah Khan will hear public complaints on Thursday (today) from 2pm to 4pm at the regional headquarters.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    National Accountability Bureau chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal presides over a meeting on Wednesday.—OnlineNational Accountability Bureau chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal presides over a meeting on Wednesday.—Online

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    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) is meeting here on Dec 31 to take up a complaint of misconduct against a judge of the Lahore High Court.

    The council is the only constitutional forum invoked under Article 209 of the Constitution for removing superior court judges.

    An informed source privy to the development told Dawn that the SJC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, might resume the reference against Justice Muhammad Farrukh Irfan Khan of the LHC on Dec 31.

    Justice Irfan is facing a reference on misconduct after his name surfaced in the list of those having properties abroad, but he was issued a show-cause notice by the SJC in February last year. The judge is also seeking a public trial of the reference pending adjudication against him before the SJC.

    The judge was also one of the movers of a petition before a five-judge Supreme Court bench which had on May 10 empowered the SJC to decide afresh by revisiting a May 18, 2017, order of holding an in-camera hearing against two sitting judges facing allegations of misconduct namely Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Irfan.

    Recently, the chief justice, in one of the proceedings, observed that he would like to clear the backlog of references before the SJC. Consequently, on Oct 12, the charges against former chief justice of Islamabad High Court Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi were dropped on misconduct, though it recommended removal of former Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui from the same high court by invoking Article 209 of the Constitution for displaying a conduct unbecoming of a judge by delivering a speech.

    Shaukat Siddiqui has since been removed as judge of the high court.

    Earlier, Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu also of the LHC had resigned on Feb 28 last year, two days before the SJC hearing against him. Likewise, allegations against Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi of the LHC were also dropped by the SJC.

    The May 10 apex court verdict, however, had explained that SJC could always direct in-camera proceedings if there was a reasonable apprehension that the judge whose capacity or conduct was being inquired into or his lawyers were likely to indulge in scurrilous and scandalous allegations against the SJC or its members, especially with the intention of publicising the same to hamper the proceedings of the council.

    The verdict had also explained that the in-camera proceedings in fact were intended to ensure protection of the rights and reputation of the person whose conduct and capacity was being inquired into and the protection of the institution of the judiciary, including members of the SJC.

    Referring to the objection raised by Justice Irfan in his petition challenging the authority of the SJC of devising its own rules, the Supreme Court had held that SJC Procedure of Enquiry, 2005 reflected the implied authority of the council to do all acts and employ all means necessary to exercise the jurisdiction conferred and to fulfil its mandate in accordance with the Constitution and hence were legally valid and effective in law.

    In response, Justice Irfan filed a review petition before the Supreme Court by challenging only that part of the judgement that allows the SJC to make its own rule.

    In his review petition, Justice Irfan through his lawyer Hamid Khan contended before the apex court that the May 10 judgement had undermined the basic structure and the scheme of the Constitution and, therefore, was against the well-established principles of interpreting the Constitution and thus violative of the express dictates of the Constitution.

    The judgement has failed to appreciate that if a rule making power did not require an express provisions of law and all institutions were vested with such implied power to make rules, then what was the wisdom of the framers of the Constitution in providing express provisions of rule-making authority throughout the scheme of the Constitution in Articles 67, 72, 88, 99, 139, 191, 202, 203 J, 221 and even for the superior courts under Articles 191, 221 and 202.

    Thus by adopting the interpretation that rule making power can be implied or is otherwise an ancillary or incidental power, the judgement is attributing redundancy to different provisions of the constitution and to laws promulgated under the law, the review petition argued.

    If the jurisdiction to make rules under Article 209 is considered to be vested under the doctrine of implied power, then by that logic there is no need to specifically confer jurisdiction under Article 210 of the Constitution on SJC to enforce attendance of persons etc. This power can also be said to have been implied with the council without an express provision, the petition contended, adding that the judgement had thus erred in declaring that SJC was the sole authority which shall determine the procedure under Article 209 and in this manner has made redundant the role of the president under Article 209 of the Constitution.

    It is expected that when the reference will be taken up by the SJC on Dec 31, the senior counsel representing Justice Irfan may invite the attention of the council to the pending review petition before the Supreme Court and seek postponement of the same.

    Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar presides over a full court meeting at the Supreme Court on Saturday.— APP/FileChief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar presides over a full court meeting at the Supreme Court on Saturday.— APP/File

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