Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as Zardari

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

Please follow and like us:

Pakistan will not attend OIC moot: FM Qureshi

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is invited to the OIC moot as a guest of honour despite strong protest from Pakistan.

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is invited to the OIC moot as a guest of honour despite strong protest from Pakistan. FM Qureshi informed the lawmakers that did not attend the conference in UAE in protest.The invitation was sent without consultation. Hence, I have decided to not attend the session, he told the Parliament.The foreign minister also wrote a letter addressed to the OIC content of which was approved by the members of the Lower House and political parties.India is not a member of the OIC, he asserted and added that Ankara and Tehran were also displeased over extending an invitation to New Delhi.Qureshi, briefing the parliament on his conversation with United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said: He said the invitation was extended before the Pulwama attack. But the crown prince showed the willingness to rethink the decision.
We have a total of 19 resolutions at the OIC – all include human rights violations committed by the Indian occupying forces in the disputed valley. Our stance will be presented at the conference by  officials from the foreign ministry.”“Any bid to grant observer’s status to India will be opposed by Pakistan at the OIC.The foreign minister further said that the decision was backed by Turkey and the country had promised to play their role in it.
In Hanoi, United States President Donald Trump said he did not want instability in the sub-continent. The US has long-standing ties with Pakistan, recently its relations with India have improved.Trump directed US envoys to play their part in de-escalating the recent situating. I thank him for the efforts.
In my trip to Moscow before the Pulwama attack, I had expressed concerns about possible misadventures from the Indian side. Today, the Indian nation and political opposition are vindicating Pakistan’s stance that Narendra Modi is escalating the situation for political gains, he said as he referred to Bharatiya Janata Partys (BJP) regional chief boasting that the air strike will secure at least 22 more seats for the party.
PM Imran tried to contact Modi thric Shehbaz Sharif lauds Turkeys supportTaking the floor after the foreign ministers address, Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif thanked Turkey for standing by Pakistan side in tumultuous times.Shehbaz regretted that other allies of the country did not issue statements favouring Pakistan’s stance.“It would have helped to strengthen our position globally.”The PML-N president further suggested sending a delegation to allied countries to push Islamabad’s narrative.
In the end, he thanked the armed forces for their sacrifice and paid tribute to the three armed services.PM throws ball in Modis courtPakistan should have engaged the OICPakistan Peoples Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, however, disagreed with the government’s decision to not attend the OIC conference.
“I feel Pakistan should have engaged the OIC as disengagement is not a solution. It will only drive India further.”Zardari stressed that OIC members were Pakistan’s friends. “I believe we should strengthen our ties with neighbours and allies.In 2008, after the Mumbai attack, we contained the situation through diplomatic channels by engaging our allies. I accept the government’s decision to not attend the conference but I would rather we went and held talks with the members.”The former president also thanked Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilot Hasan Siddiqui for defending the country. “Yes, we are both nuclear-armed countries.
I would like to mention that Benazir Bhutto brought nuclear technology to Pakistan.”“We are emotional at the moment but we should not forget that wars are fought between nations and not just armies.And the nation is ready – but it should be our last resort.”“Modi’s adventurism has backfired.
God has been very kind. We managed to come out of the situation with dignity – we should hold on to it, not squander it.”Zardari said the captured pilot’s release was a welcome move. “It is soft diplomacy – and it is the need of the hour.
The move depicts us in a better light in the world. India is painting us as a terrorist state but our actions show that we are a democratic state.”Trump hints at de-escalation between India, Pakistan as US mediatesFully capable to defend our bordersFinance Minister Asad Umar began his address by paying tribute to the armed forces. “It is because of them that we can sleep peacefully at night.”Umar was impressed by Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan’s talk. “The forces are doing their job, the responsibility to ensure regional peace lies with the political leadership.”The PTI leader said that the nation was united at the moment, unlike India. He further urged the Modi-led government to contain war-hysteria.
“Pakistan may be going through an economic crisis but we are fully capable to defend our borders.”Pakistan to hand over captured IAF pilot to Indian authorities at Wagah BorderSupport FM Qureshi’s decisionFormer foreign minister Khawaja Asif expressed pleasure at the united front being shown to the world.
“India is using its Muslim population as leverage to become a member of the OIC. Today, they have been invited as a guest of honour, next they will vie for observer’s status.Hence, I support FM Qureshi’s decision to not attend the OIC.”He urged the Parliament to stand united and send a message to the world that Pakistan is eliminating terrorism.“The United State is ready to engage in dialogue after 17-year-long conflict. We are providing them an escape route,” he said.
Referring to PM Imran’s call to Modi – which the Indian premier ignored – Asif lamented that Nawaz Sharif was called a traitor for opening a dialogue with Modi. “Nawaz saw it coming.He urged economic development and ties. Today, Imran is doing the same thing.
And we are standing behind him [Imran],” he said as he urged for unity.Asif quipped that Imran can call Modi but shies away from shaking opposition leader’s hands.On Kashmir, he said freedom was every Kashmiri’s birthright. “Even the United Nations have endorsed that Kashmiris have a right to self-determination which India is denying.

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

Zardari, Talpur bail extended in fake bank accounts case

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 alleged laundering of billions of rupees through .
Zardari and Talpur arrived at the court amid stringent security, while the incarcerated suspects Omni Groups Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, Pakistan Stock Exchange former chairperson Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha 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 Bureaus prosecutor maintained that the case should be transferred to Islamabad and said the move was approved by NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal.
He also requested the court to dismiss the bail extension pleas. The FIA prosecutor seconded his stance, arguing that the Supreme Courts directives in the suo motu case do not leave room for bail.Zardaris counsel Farook H Naek 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 the SC order.The court told FIA to submit documents if there had been any new developments in the case.Later, the court adjourned the hearing of Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghanis bail pleas till February 20 and granted extension in pre-arrest bail to Zardari, Talpur and five others till March 5.
th 2019.

Please follow and like us: