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Posts tagged as Sindh government

India trying to undermine PSL from very first day: Ehsan Mani

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani on Monday said that from the very first day, India is trying to undermine the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Monday, he said that Pakistan faced many challenges like terrorism, adding that the protection of cricketers is our top most priority.Terrorism would win if cricket is stopped in Pakistan, he said and added cricket shouldn’t be stopped due to terrorism.The PCB chairman further added that politics has entered regional cricket, adding that politics and sports should be kept separate.
It only damages cricket, he said. Mani, on behalf of the PCB, has paid glowing tributes and thanked the die-hard cricket fans, the 39 foreign international players and all the local stars for making the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 an overwhelming success.He termed the league as a resilient’ event and said it had delivered all event objectives despite tough operational and logistical challenges caused due to reasons beyond the PCB’s control.Mani also thanked all the franchise owners and their players, as well as the Sindh Government and all the security agencies involved in providing a safe and secure environment for the commercial partners, players, spectators, officials, media and service providers for the eight Pakistan-leg matches played at the National Stadium.
The fans made this a truly Pakistan event. Cricket euphoria gripped the entire country as the fans got behind the tournament and made this an overwhelming success, Mani said, adding the fans not only enjoyed and celebrated the festival of cricket, but they also portrayed a very positive image of Pakistan.This is the real power of a nation and I can’t thank the fans enough for the way they got behind the tournament, supported all the teams and applauded good performances, Mani said.The success of any event is gauged by crowd attendances and I am delighted that the overall crowd turnout at the National Stadium over the seven match days was nearly 95 percent.
This reflects the passion and love for cricket here.The PCB chairman said: Despite facing severe mid-series operational and logistical challenges, the league didn’t drop the ball at any stage and continued to maintain its very high standard and quality.The 2019 event has shown how resilient this league is. Having lost the production partner in the first week and then the fallout from last month’s turn of events, to pull everything smoothly, flawlessly and professionally reflects the strength and power of this league.Shane Watson’s decision to come to Karachi after having declined pre-event, is a testament of the confidence he had in the PCB and all the security agencies. It was also a validation that he too considered Karachi as a peaceful and cricket-loving city, while reinforcing his respect and commitment for the league.

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All the (ex) president’s men

The high-profile arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani on Wednesday signals the beginning of the end of the unfinished agenda of the 2013 Karachi operation, launched to eradicate terrorism, militant wings of political parties, terror.
It seems that the back-to-back arrests of the former president’s men may conclude with the nabbing of the “key man” himself.Interestingly, even with the change of government in 2018, the main objective of the operating authorities remains unchanged. On the contrary, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the centre and Imran Khan as prime minister, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have emerged more powerful in the last six months and further expanded their scope of action. While all the ex-president’s men are now in trouble, the man himself, Asif Ali Zardari, announced on Wednesday that he always considered “prison as his second home”. His first home once used to be the Prime Minister House, and later the President House.
It is highly unlikely that Zardari will be revisiting his first home again, but the possibility of him ending up in his second home are high.And if that were to happen, how will his party, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), counter the move? One option will be to use the Parliament and provincial assemblies to lodge a protest, and in turn create political turmoil.
Sources within the party say Zardari may even be ready to sacrifice his men, in case the NAB comes looking for him.Durrani was arrested by the anti-graft bureau from Islamabad in connection to a 2008 probe for allegedly owning assets beyond his means of income.The speaker could be the latest addition to the 2013 clean-up operation, which saw the targeting of Zardari’s other men, Dr Asim Hussain, Manzoor Kaka, Nisar Morai, and Sharjeel Inam Memon.In 2015, for the first time in years, the NAB and FIA resuscitated, it seems, as big stories of corruption began to make front-page news and bulletins.That immediately led to tension between the PPP and then ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N). And for the first time, the Sindh government threatened to withdraw the powers of the paramilitary forces in the province.
Dr Asim Hussain’s arrest in the Rs460 billion NAB case, and another of providing medical treatment to terrorists, was the turning point. It led to the breakup of relations between former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari.The probe against the Omni Group and Anwar Majeed and Co. was also initiated by the NAB during the previous government’s tenure.Majeed’s office and home were raided as a result.Yet, the last nail in the coffin of the Sharif-Zardari ties came when one of the premier intelligence agencies picked up three close aides of Zardari, one from Islamabad and two from Sindh, and kept them under detention for a few days.This put an end to all kinds of political and even personal ties between the two leaders, despite Sharif’s clarifications that he was not involved. He even told the then interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, to not go too far against the PPP.
Separately, the FIA initiated a high-profile probe into the fake accounts case on the report of the State Bank of Pakistan. In June 2015, the FIA raided the Sindh Building Control Authority’s office and took away some 16,000 files, most of which were later handed over to the NAB, which spawned an investigation into the ‘China-cutting’ and ‘Real estate’ scam.
During the course of investigation, the ex-president’s man and head of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), Manzoor Kaka, managed to escape. The anti-graft agencies then tightened their grip around alleged terror financing and money laundering by swooping the offices of the fisheries department.Nisar Morai, who is also considered close to Zardari, was arrested in connection to the case.In 2015, for the first time an apex meeting was held, attended by Sharif, Zardari, former Chief of Army Staff General (retd) Raheel Sharif, the head of the intelligence agency, and Lt General Bilal Akbar, the then-DG Rangers Sindh.
The Rangers presented a charge-sheet against the Sindh government, which shocked both Zardari and former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah.This week, the PPP leadership and the Sindh government were expecting the arrest of Zardari, his sister, Faryal Talpur, and Murad Ali Shah after the Supreme Court rejected their review appeal in the benami accounts case.
But NAB surprised them by going after Durrani instead.Zardari would never take the risk of dissolving the Sindh Assembly or resigning from the assemblies, as the PPP leadership fears falling into a trap.This means that, in the coming days, more of the ex-president’s men will be cuffed. But will this eventually lead to “the man” being arrested? Regarding which a reliable source said: “When it comes to arresting him, we do not want to bowl a no-ball.

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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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SC approached for inquiry into Rao Anwar’s ‘444 killings’

ISLAMABAD: Civil society members have approached the Supreme Court for the constitution of a broader independent commission, headed by a retired superior court judge to conduct detailed inquiry about four hundred and forty four (444) extra-judicial.
The petitioners namely Muhammad Jibran Nasir, Muhammad Khan, Jamshed Raza, Mahmood Aquila Ismail and Nazim Fida Hussain Haji through their lawyer Faisal Siddiqi have filed a constitutional petition under Article 184 (3) of the constitution with Anwar, Inspector General of Sindh Police (IGP), federal government as respondents.The petition pleaded SC that the proposed commission should inquire as to whether 444 extrajudicial killings conducted by Rao Anwar, along with his gang of police officers, were genuine encounters in accordance with law.Secondly, if all or any of these extrajudicial killings were illegal then what administrative and penal action should be taken against the officer(s).Thirdly, identify the civil servants and politicians, including but not limited to the Sindh Police Officers, who prevented and subverted the accountability of any of these illegal extrajudicial killings conducted by the respondent No.1, along with his gang of police officers.
Fourthly, whether the victims of such extrajudicial killings are entitled to any compensation from the government and whether such compensation should be recovered from the concerned police officers found involved. Fifthly, suggest various measures to prevent future extrajudicial killings from taking place.The petition says the provincial government and IG Sindh police should also be asked to provide all facilities and further direct this commission to act with such powers as conferred by this court and submit a report within three months for the consideration of this court and for passing of appropriate orders. Likewise, it is also pleaded that both provincial government and IG Sindh be directed to provide copy of the entire official record of 444 extrajudicial killings conducted by Anwar, to the petitioners.
The petition also submitted that during the course of the investigation conducted in the case of Naqeeb ullah Mehsood, the Sindh police unearthed the encounter killing history of Rao Anwar and prepared a summary of police encounter cases carried out in District Malir during his tenure.It is submitted that according to records of the Sindh Police, Rao Anwar has been involved in illegal encounter killings since 2011, yet not a single inquiry has been conducted against him.
It is further submitted that a letter was sent to IG Sindh by the petitioner, requesting that an inquiry should be initiated against Rao Anwar regarding involvement in extrajudicial encounter cases. However, no response has been received.Therefore, the inaction of Sindh government by not initiating any inquiry till date against Rao Anwar and his gang shows that the Sindh police is not holding the respondent No.1 and his gang accountable for their illegal actions.

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CNIC registration camps set up for persons with disabilities

KARACHI: Camps will be set up at district levels for the issuance of national identity cards (CNICs) to persons with disabilities, said Syed Qasim Naveed Qamar on Sunday.
For this purpose, NADRA and DEPD will set up camps in all districts.The second camp of its established will be held on February 18 in Tando Muhammad Khan while the first was set up in Karachi, said Qamar, while presiding at a meeting in his office. Present on the occasion were DEPD Secretary Khalid Chachar, DEPD Deputy Secretary Shahzaib Shaikh, NADRA Director Operations Shankur Ghori and other officials.
SC summons officials for violating disabled persons job quota.According to Qamar, the Sindh government was taking measures to provide relief to persons and children with disabilities. Those present at the meeting were told that as many as 28 centres have been established across the province to provide disability registration certificates to facilitate their easier access to CNICs.
In Karachi alone, five such centres have been set up. Besides, the staff posted in these centres is under strict instruction to cooperate with those coming to collect these certificates.The certificate is an essential requirement for persons with disabilities in order to get a special CNIC, which they need to access benefits such as concession on public transport, employment opportunities on quota and others.In an earlier meeting, it was decided that 15 schools for special needs children from across the province will be handed over to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in order to improve the standard of education and care facilities for the students.
This meeting was with Public Private Partnership Unit Director General Khalid Mehmood. Qamar expressed the hope that in collaboration with the private sector, such initiatives can improve access to education for special needs children.

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Zardari, Talpur granted another bail extension in fake accounts case

KARACHI – A banking court in Karachi on Thursday extended till March 5 the pre-arrest bail granted to former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and other suspects in a case pertaining to money laundering of billions through fictitious .
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) top leadership, the Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza are among those being investigated in the case.The matter is also being heard by the Supreme Court.Zardari and Talpur arrived at the hearing under stringent security, while the incarcerated suspects Anwar Majeed, Abdul Ghani, Lawai and Raza were brought in by police.During the hearing, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted a medical report citing reasons for its failure to present main accused Aslam Masood, who was recently apprehended with the help of Interpol.Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau’s prosecutor maintained that the case should be transferred to Islamabad and said the move was approved by NAB chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.He also requested the court to dismiss the bail extension pleas.The FIA prosecutor seconded his stance, arguing that the Supreme Court’s directives in the suo motu case do not leave room for bail.
Advocate Farook H Naek, Zardari’s counsel, pointed out that the apex court had ordered the JIT report to be forwarded to the anti-graft watchdog in Islamabad for future corruption references.The order did not mention the case pending in the banking court, he said and accused the FIA of misconstruing SC order.
The court told FIA to submit documents if there had been any new developments in the case. The banking court adjourned the hearing of Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani’s bail pleas till February 20 and granted extension in pre-arrest bail to Zardari, Talpur and five others till March 5.In December 2015, the Federal Investigation Agency began a discreet investigation into certain bank accounts through which multi-billion rupee transactions have been made. According to FIA sources, information regarding the fake accounts came to the fore when an intelligence agency picked up a prominent money changer in an unrelated case.As the monitoring and investigation of these suspicious accounts continued, it surfaced that five of these accounts in two banks the Sindh Bank and Summit Bank had been used for transactions worth around Rs15 billion.Investigation showed the accounts were operated by fake companies.Funds were credited into these accounts from contractors with multi-billion rupee contracts with the Sindh government. The money was found to have been transferred to accounts of companies owned and operated by the Omni Group, whose chairperson, Anwar Majeed, is a close aide of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari.Another beneficiary was Nasir Lootah, the chairperson of Summit Bank.The probe, however, was shelved.
It resumed almost a year and a half later. FIA’s State Bank circle initiated a formal inquiry in January, 2018.By June, the FIA had several high-profile names on its list but was unable to make headway for several reasons. It was at his point that the Supreme Court intervened.Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the slow progress’ in the money laundering case.In July, Zardari’s close aides; Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza and two others were arrested.Subsequently, the first case was registered in the mega-corruption scandal.The FIA submitted its report to the apex court on July 8 which revealed a web of companies and accounts that were being used to transfer billions of rupees.In all, 29 accounts were identified that received payments, totaling at least Rs35 billion.

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