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Posts tagged as Shah

Opposition holds mock assembly session

KARACHI: The opposition on Tuesday continued its protest for the second day in Sindh Assembly and later held a “mock assembly session” at the main gate of the assembly building, demanding that the chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Amid the noisy session that started with the protest, the lawmakers belonging to Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) staged a sit-in before the Speakers podium and shouted slogans of Go Zardari go, no corruption no.The treasury members responded by shouting slogans of, Ro Imran ro [Cry Imran, cry].Opposition threatens mock NA sessionPakistan Peoples Party minister Imtiaz Shaikh addressing the Speaker said, This is not the way.He said that the opposition was displaying rowdyism in the House.Unable to control the rumpus in the House, the Speaker adjourned the session for ten minutes, but the opposition MPAs leaving their seats staged a sit-in in front of the Speakers chair and continued their protest.
When the Speaker returned, he adjourned the session till Thursday.After the session, the opposition parties gathered outside the assembly and held a mock session nominating Hussain to chair the session.
Naqvi was nominated as the opposition leader and Khawaja Izharul Hassan as the parliamentary leader of his party. Hussain, who had donned the Speakers gown, presided over the session on a chair while members sat on the stairs of the assembly building.The lawmakers moved resolutions on water, sanitation, health and education issues.Wasimuddin Qureshi of MQM-P criticising Speaker Durrani, who is currently in custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and comes to chair the session, said, Not only the Speaker, but the entire assembly seems to be under NABs remand.
He said that Durrani comes to assembly soon after NAB finishes its morning investigations due to which the session scheduled at 2pm is delayed by two to three hours.He expressed dismay over the officials of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) who according to him have turned blind eye to peoples problems.
Opposition stages mock session outside parliamentHaleem Adil Sheikh of PTI, while addressing the mock session drew attention towards civic issues and alleged that the ruling party PPP had even failed to provide potable water and sanitation in Larkana, Benazirabad and other strongholds of the party. Nothing will happen in this assembly.
It is defending the thieves sitting inside it.  According to Sheikh, PTI and other opposition members who have gotten a mandate from their constituencies continue raising genuine issues of their voters.Garbage is piling up in Karachi every day, he said lamenting, Local government department has totally failed and we have no other option, but to throw the garbage at the ministers doorsteps.Barrister Hasnain Mirza, Nusrat Seher Abbasi of GDA and Rashid Khilji of MQM-P also spoke.While speaking to the media, PPP Minister Nasir Shah termed the oppositions protest as drama. He said, This protest is aimed at getting cheap publicity.He added that there were a total 34 standing committees of various government departments in Sindh Assembly of which 14 have been offered to opposition parties.  In these 14 committees, we have given them eight departments of their choice, but they are demanding PAC under their command, which is not possible.
Referring to the rules of the assembly, Shah said, There is no rule or law that obligates the government to appoint opposition leader as PAC chairperson. No one can challenge us even if we dont allot a single standing committee to them.
th, 2019View on tribune.com.pk

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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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The Rushdie Fatwa, Thirty Years Later

Thirty years ago today, the then ruler of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini, sent a valentine to Salman Rushdie in the form of a fatwa.His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), featured a storyline about Muhammed and the Koran that was deemed blasphemous throughout the Muslim world, leading the novel to be banned in over a dozen countries.The fatwa condemned Rushdie, his publishers, and his editors to death, and called on “all valiant Muslims wherever they may be in the world to kill them without delay, so that no one will dare insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth.” Khomeini’s government announced that anyone who assassinated Rushdie would receive $6 million, if he survived, and instant martyrdom in Heaven, if he didn’t.The fact that Rushdie, an outspoken leftist, had joined many other cultural-elite types in supporting the overthrow of the Shah apparently didn’t impress Khomeini enough to keep him from ordering Rushdie’s murder. At that time, the word fatwa was unfamiliar outside the Muslim world.Indeed, for most people in the West, the idea of the long arm of Islam reaching out from that primitive corner of the planet and into the civilized West was a relatively new idea – even though, in historical terms, it was a very old idea, dating back to Islam’s seventh-century founding. Even the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre was widely seen not as a strike against the Free World that was motivated by Islamic ideology but, rather, as an act of Palestinian Jew-hatred There was also, of course, the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-81, but that event, although it involved the detention of fifty-two Americans and had been in the news for 444 days straight, had occurred in Tehran, not in the West, and, in any event, hadn’t exactly been perceived as an act of terrorism.
So it was that at the time of the Rushdie fatwa, terrorism was still associated in the Western mind less with Islam than with the Irish Republican Army, with FARC and other groups in Colombia, with Basque separatists in Spain, with Shining Path in Peru, and with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh. Hence the idea of some religious leader in Iran ordering the death of a prominent British subject struck many in the West as grotesque, absurd – a joke, even.
But it soon became clear that this was no joke. Bookstores in the U.S. and Britain were bombed.Copies of the book were publicly burned in a number of British cities. Across the Muslim world, dozens died in anti-Rushdie riots.
In 1991, the book’s Italian translator was beaten and stabbed and its Japanese translator murdered; in 1993, William Nygaard, its Norwegian publisher, was shot several times outside his home, but survived. (Nygaard would live to publish the 2004 memoirs of child-murdering terrorist Mullah Krekar and to host Krekar at a garden party.) The fatwa also exposed for the first time the readiness of many Western political leaders and cultural icons to appease Islamic bullies – a readiness that, thirty years later, continues to define much of the Western establishment. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called The Satanic Verses “a direct insult to millions of Muslims.” Muslim leader Iqbal Sacranie, whom Tony Blair would later award with a knighthood, said that death was perhaps too easy a punishment for Rushdie. Hugh Trevor-Roper, one of Britain’s most respected historians, said he “would not shed a tear” if a pack of Muslims “were to waylay [Rushdie] in a dark street.” Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie denounced the book. So did John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York.
So did John Paul II’s Vatican. Its importation into Canada was forbidden.
Major U.S.bookstore chains stopped carrying it, and publishers in France, West Germany, and other countries dropped plans to publish it. To their credit, most Western governments criticized the fatwa, with some of them temporarily withdrawing their ambassadors to Tehran.
A great many writers also (eventually) voiced their solidarity with Rushdie. But not all of them did: children’s author Roald Dahl called Rushdie an “opportunist,” the premise apparently being that he had deliberately invited the fatwa in order to garner free publicity, while Germaine Greer refused to stand up for him, saying he was a “megalomaniac.” As for Rushdie himself, he and his wife went into hiding immediately after the fatwa was declared, and were given full police protection by orders of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (whom Rushdie despised); understandably, Rushdie offered Khomeini an apology, but the ayatollah was having none of it, and reiterated the need to “send him to Hell.” The Rushdie affair, as I have noted, taught many Westerners a new word: fatwa.
But at the time, relatively few people in the West recognized it as a lesson in a much broader topic – namely, Islam. Yes, the episode taught millions that Islam takes blasphemy very seriously and that Muslim leaders feel empowered to order hits on their enemies.
But few high-profile Western commentators extrapolated very far beyond the particulars of the episode. Since no modern Western cultural production had sparked anywhere near such fury in the Islamic world, most Westerners, I gather, developed the impression that Khomeini was a particularly testy kind of a Muslim and that Rushdie, who had been raised in that faith, had knowingly ventured out onto a minefield.This was not to say that people in the West thought Rushdie had it coming, but rather that they considered it unlikely that such a case would arise again anytime soon. Rare indeed were those in the West who seriously entertained the possibility that this was not a one-off but the beginning of a new chapter in the history of relations between Islam and the West.
And why should that possibility have occurred to them? In 1988, almost no one in the West was aware of the core Islamic concept of jihad, or of the long history of jihad against the West that dated back to Islam’s birth. Although the Rushdie affair made worldwide headlines for months, there were few if any informed attempts in prominent Western media to contextualize it by enlightening the general public about Islamic law and doctrine.
Consequently, few in the West imagined that the Rushdie fatwa, coming at a time when Communism was beginning to fall in Eastern Europe, might mark the rekindling of a centuries-long war with another totalitarian enemy. Even at the height of the fatwa drama, then, virtually nobody in the West could have foreseen what the next three decades would bring on this front.Who imagined that, on a September morning twelve years after the ayatollah announced his fatwa, Islam’s contempt for Western freedom and Western lives would be manifested in an attack more breathtaking than any in human history, and that that attack, which took thousands of lives, would be followed by dozens of deadly, large-scale jihadist assaults on Western metropolises? Who imagined that, despite these acts of mass murder, Western countries would continue to welcome to their shores armies of Muslim immigrants, shower them with welfare benefits, tolerate their violent crimes, and surrender to their increasingly aggressive demands that Western society and culture be made sharia-compliant? Who imagined that mainstream Western publishers, news media, and film and TV producers would routinely celebrate Islam, even as they systematically smeared its critics and denied them a platform? Who imagined that people in Western countries who dared to speak the truth about Islam would be harassed by the police and dragged into court? Who imagined that countless Western political leaders, law-enforcement officers, social workers, and journalists would cover up the brutal organized rape of thousands of “infidel” girls by Muslim rape gangs? And, having asked all of the above questions, let us ask one more: now, in 2019, who among us would dare to predict what the Western world will look like thirty years from now?

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