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Posts tagged as Barrister Murtaza Wahab

PPP’s thinly-veiled attempt to outwit the NAB

KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) seems determined to use all its resources to ensure the early release of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, who was arrested from Islamabad on Wednesday by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) One such move was to summon the Sindh Assembly session five days ahead of its scheduled date, which the ruling party is likely to use to convey its anger over the speaker’s arrest.

On Thursday, the chief minister, flanked by his cabinet, also demanded action against the NAB for harassing Durrani’s family members.Incensed by Durrani’s arrest, PPP lashes out at CentreA riot predictedIn a bid to outwit the physical remand given to the NAB, the deputy speaker Rehana Leghari also issued production orders for Durrani, asking the NAB to present him for the session.Issuing a letter to the NAB Director-General, the Sindh Assembly secretary referred to Rule 82(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Sindh Assembly and called for Durrani to be produced in the Sindh Assembly. “Madam Speaker has summoned the above member to attend the session of provincial assembly starting from Friday.

It is therefore requested to please ensure the production of Agha Siraj Durrani, MPA, till prorogation of the session.”According to a PPP lawmaker familiar with the development, the treasury members plan to wear black armbands in the session and pass a privilege motion or resolution against the NAB.The session, which is slated to commence at 2 pm will likely witness uproar as the opposition has also devised a strategy to counter the PPP’s plans.Murad demands action against NAB Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the NAB officials had not only arrested Durani illegally, they also transgressed the sanctity of `chadar and chardiwari’ by intruding into his house, misbehaving with the women present in the house and keeping them hostage for over seven hours.
“This is unprecedented in a civilised society,” he said, demanding the NAB Chairman to take action against the officials involved in the episode. He questioned if the NAB had so much evidence and documentary proof that they decided to arrest a person [Agha Siraj Durani] who held a Constitutional position in the Sindh Assembly, then why did they raid his house in search of evidence.The CM made these remarks on Thursday while addressing a press conference at the Committee Room of the old Sindh Assembly Building. He was flanked by PPP Sindh President Nisar Khuhro and his Adviser on Information Barrister Murtaza Wahab.
Shah said that Durrani was a respected senior parliamentarian. His father, Agha Sadaruddin and uncle had been speakers of the Sindh Assembly and now he was holding this Constitutional position.

“The way he was arrested from a hotel in the federal capital was disgraceful and unconstitutional,” he said, adding that as far as the allegations leveled against Durani were concerned, he would face them. In the past he had faced a number of cases and was acquitted.The CM also expressed displeasure over the raid conducted by the NAB authorities at Durrani’s house where his wife, three daughters and a maid were present.He said he had spoken to Durrani’s wife and she had told him that the raiding party, which included two women, forced them to stand in the lawn.
Durani’s daughter had tried to stop a NAB official from smoking when he lit a cigarette, the CM quoted Durrani’s wife as saying. In reaction, the NAB official exhaled the smoke into her face.“This was the way the women were treated inside the house of a person who is Speaker of the Sindh Assembly,” he lamented.Zardari calls Durrani’s arrest a challenge to democracyProduction ordersThe chief minister said that the deputy speaker had summoned the Sindh Assembly session for 2pm on Friday, for which she had issued the production orders of the speaker.

“I am sure the NAB authorities will produce him for the session,” he said.In response to a question, the chief minister said that the registration of an FIR against the NAB officials for raiding their house was the family’s prerogative.“If they want to register a case, we will support them,” he said.To another question, the chief minister said that there was no need for the speaker to resign.“Even if he resigns, he will remain a member of the Assembly,” he said, adding that in 2016, when Durrani had contested the election of the speaker, his opponent was in jail custody but they had not raised any objection. He added, however, that it would be Durrani’s personal decision whether he wanted to continue as speaker or not.

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Incensed by Durrani’s arrest, PPP lashes out at Centre

KARACHI: The provincial government and members of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have taken strong exception to the arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in Islamabad by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday …
The party has decided to challenge the arrest in the court and protest in the upcoming session of the Sindh Assembly, scheduled for February 27.The partys chairperson, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari took to to lash out against the move. Attack on Speaker of federating unit is unacceptable, he tweeted.
Undemocratic attempt to dislodge Sindh govt. Failed before will fail again.Independent institutions shouldnt unwittingly be part of political engineering, he added.His sister, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, also expressed her concern on the micro-blogging platform.Chairman Bilawal was placed on exit control list post his Dec 27 speech and later PTI did a press conference claiming to take over Sindh. There has been no subtlety on what PTI want.Cases and ECL for Sindh chief minister and arrest of speaker, all insult to Pakistan and democracy.The arrestDurrani, who was facing an inquiry relating to the accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income, was arrested by NAB Karachi in Islamabad.
After getting his transit remand, he will be moved to Karachi for further investigation today [Wednesday].This is the first time that a sitting Speaker of a legislative assembly has been arrested in the country.A source privy to the development told The Express Tribune that two other inquiries of corruption and illegal appointments are already pending before the NAB against Durrani. He has been arrested in the assets beyond means inquiry, but the NAB will also look into other inquiries against him, said the source, adding that there has been massive bungling in the construction of MPAs Hostel of the Sindh Assembly and hundreds of people were given jobs in the local government department in violation of the rules when Durrani was minister of the department from 2008 to 2013.
Sindh govts stanceAccording to the Sindh government, the Speaker is the custodian of the House representing 168 MPAs elected from various constituencies of the province. Therefore, he [Durrani] cannot be arrested merely on the basis of an inquiry.
But the NAB officials were of the view that the arrest came after Durrani did not present himself before the inquiry committee, even after being issued three notices.Soon after news of his arrest, PPP ministers held a press conference, where they alleged that there were separate sets of laws operational one for the PPP and another for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its allies.Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who was flanked by provincial ministers, including Syed Awais Shah and Shabbir Khan Bajarani, referred to the Constitution and said, The arrest of Speaker Durrani was a breach of Article 25 of the Constitution under which all citizens are equal and entitled to equal protection before the law. No reference or case is registered against him.He is innocent until proven guilty, he said.Quoting inquiries against incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet members, including the National Assembly speaker and Punjab Assembly speaker, Barrister Wahab said, None of them have been arrested.
On the contrary, they are enjoying all perks and privileges and full protocol.Transport Minister Owais Shah called Durrani a custodian of the Sindh Assembly elected by 99 MPAs.The NAB has breached the privilege of the Sindh Assembly. We will protest it on all forums, he said.We are not against the accountability process, but want to know why such actions are not being taken against opposition parties [in Sindh Assembly], he said, adding that they will devise a strategy on it soon.The PPP ministers were of the opinion that the people of Sindh were being victimized as they had voted for PPP, but the PTI would not succeed in its nefarious designs.
Later in the evening, the PPP leaders gathered at the Chief Minister House to devise a strategy in light of Durranis arrest. The meeting decided to approach the court against the move as well as take up the matter in the upcoming session of the provincial assembly.
PTI demands resignationOn the other hand, the PTIs Sindh lawmakers demanded the resignation of the Speaker, given his involvement in corruption cases. MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman, who is also the partys city chief said, Agha Siraj Durrani has lost the moral authority to remain on the seat.
He himself should resign.Zaman added that all the local bodies ministers, who had ruled Sindh in the past, were on the NABs radar.
Corruption will end in Pakistan, he said. Referring to the resignations of PTI lawmakers Aleem Khan, Babar Awan and Azam Swati, Zaman called on the PPP to follow the PTIs example and replace the speaker.Sindh Assembly sessionThe Sindh Assembly session has been summoned for February 27. According to officials, under the prevalent circumstances, the deputy speaker, Rehana Leghari, will chair the session.If the speaker is on leave or absent for some reasons the deputy speaker will work as the acting speaker, the Sindh Assembly Secretary told The Express Tribune, while referring to Article 30 of the Constitution.  The acting speaker can issue his production order to attend the session, said the secretary.When asked who would chair the session if Durrani came to the Assembly, he said, He is the speaker and will preside over the session whenever he is in the Assembly. st, 2019.

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