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MQM slams US for Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s sentence

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KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain deemed the United States responsible for the unrest in the world, demanding the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

Pakistan said it would leave “no stone unturned” in trying to bring home Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who was sentenced to 86 years in jail by a US court.

Hussain addressed the scores of people, estimated to be 300,000 by the MQM, who gathered on his call at MA Jinnah road, near Tibet centre, on Tuesday to condemn an American court’s verdict of Siddiqui’s case.

On September 23, she was sentenced to 86 years in prison on seven charges, including the attempt to murder US military personnel.

The rally was declared successful as members of MQM-opposing groups including the Sunni Tehreek and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam also participated in the rally. Representatives of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Karachi Bar Association, trade unions also joined to condemn the verdict of Dr Siddiqui’s case.

Claiming that Siddiqui is innocent, Hussain demanded her release. “The Americans are responsible for what they have done to the world. America has killed innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he decried.

“The allegations against Dr Siddiqui are false as they could not prove them. America is answerable [not Dr Siddiqui],” he said, slamming the US. Hussain claimed that ninety percent of the world’s population is against the US and its policies.

The MQM showed solidarity with Dr Siddiqui’s cause in more than one way – representatives of MQM’s Rabita Committee were sitting with Dr Siddiqui’s sister, Fauzia Siddiqui. Altaf Hussain called for a united stand on Dr Siddiqui’s case, urging all civil society groups to join in the “struggle”. “Dr Aafia is the daughter of the nation and a symbol of pride [as she] stood courageously and faced the trial. It was exemplary to see a Muslim woman not give up and fight,” Hussain claimed.

Security arrangements

A few hours before the rally, men in yellow caps guarded the entry and exit points of the venue, while a heavy contingent of police and other law enforcing agencies were also deployed. MQM’s security personnel searched each and every participant of the rally at the entrance. The police was seen on the roofs of buildings around MA Jinnah road while the paramilitary Rangers took their resistant positions after the rally ended.

Rallies across Sindh

Several rallies were organised in various parts of the province to protest against Dr Siddiqui’s sentence. Activists of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Muslim Students Federation held a demonstration outside the Hyderabad Press Club to condemn the sentence. Protesters shouted slogans against the verdict and claimed that the government has not taken the issue seriously.

Meanwhile, in Sukkur, a rally was led by Qutubud Din, the MQM Sukkur Zone incharge, during which protesters marched from Jinnah Chowk to the press club. Activists of the Sunni Tehreek and the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz also participated in the rally.

Raisani invites political parties to solve Balochistan issue

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* Chief minister says appointments on 16,500 vacancies will be made by provincial Public Service Commission

By Mohammad Zafar

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani on Sunday again invited all the political parties of the province for a dialogue to solve the problems of Balochistan.

The Balochistan chief minister renewed his offer while expressing his satisfaction over the conduct of written tests held throughout the province for 5000 vacancies in the educational sector under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package initiated by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led federal government. Raisani said more than 38,000 unemployed graduates had applied for the posts under the federal and provincial government and all appointments would be made on merit. The PPP stalwart said the first phase of the written tests, which started on May 22, proved that the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package would solve the problems of the province. He said the Baloch youth needed a role in the development of the province and no one would be allowed to exploit their rights.

The chief of the Sarawan tribe said the tribal and the political leadership of Balochistan should work together to solve the problems of the most backward province of the country. Raisani said the PPP and its coalition partners were following a unified approach to confront the issues of the common man. “Since the last two years our government has made remarkable achievements to secure the rights of the Baloch people,” the Balochistan chief minister said. Raisani said, “As a result of our untiring efforts, the federal government realised that it was time to announce the NFC Award, the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package and the 18th Amendment, which shows its commitment to strengthening the federation”.

The Balochistan chief minister said that appointments to 16,500 vacancies of BPS-1 to 15 would be made by the Balochistan Public Service Commission and merit would be observed at all costs. Raisani said he had directed the deputy commissioners to conduct written tests and interviews in a transparent manner. “No leniency would be tolerated in this regard and if any complaint was received and proven, the officer concerned would be taken to task,” the Balochistan chief minister said. He said the provincial government would try its level best to solve the problems of the masses.

The PPP leader requested all the tribal and political leaders to shun their differences and work for the economic, social and political development of Balochistan. “It should be our collective responsibility to serve our people without biases and prejudices as our province has been ruthlessly exploited by successive federal and provincial governments”, the chief minister said.

Energy sector Govt’s top priority: Gilani

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LAHORE,: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Sunday said on Sunday that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government attaches top priority to the energy sector and every measure would be taken to end the load-shedding. “The PPP government has the capability and the will to resolve the crises and it would take the country out of current energy crisis as it had pulled the country out of other crises”,he said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of 62 MW Gulf Rental Power Plant at Eminabad, Gujranwala.

The prime minister said the country was facing a deficit of 3000 MW electricity which would be overcome with hydro, rental power plants, coal and other renewable energy resources.

He said that the government had held Energy Summit which recommended to introduce load management and that had helped to overcome unscheduled load-shedding in the country.

Gilani said Pakistan was not the only country to face power shortage, India was facing a shortfall of 50,000 MW while Bangladesh and Nepal also confronted a problem of load-shedding.

He said the PPP government of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had brought the IPPs to the country in order to bring an end to load-shedding, and now while following her policy, the present PPP government too would resolve this crisis .

He said this was followed by scathing criticism to make the people believe that all investment would be deterimental to the economy of the country.

He said our standpoint stands vindicated after a lapse of a decade as the IPPs have established their credibility and they had become successful partner of the government in the matter of power generation.

“Your elected government is aware of its responsility to redress grievances of the masses,” he said.

The prime minister urged the investors to invest in Pakistan as the country offered very good opportunities to them.

Earlier, the Prime Minister inaugurated the 62 MW Gulf Rental Power Plant which is financed by a consortium of Saudi and Pakistani business houses within the record time period of seven months.

The Prime Minister said that the current power situation has not only dissapointed the masses but it has also badly affected the industry and slowed down economic growth in the country.

He said that the gap between demand and supply of power will have to be bridged in order to attain economic stability adding that Pakistan’s economic growth is seriously affected by the fast increasing gap between supply and demand of energy resources in general and electricity in particular.

Gilani said the government believes in expediting sustained economic growth by enhancing direct investment for industrial and infrastructure development and at the same time safeguarding the interests of the common citizens besides improving their standard of living.

He said the government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to provide electricity to every nook and corner of the country.

He said this strategy will enhance the capacity of building new power generation plants as well as upgradation of the existing transmission and distribution of infrastructure.

Gilani asserted that public and private sectors have to work hand in hand adding the government has already announced a lucrative framework to attract investment in energy sector.

He said the government will provide full support to encourage local and foreign power generation companies.

It has been the policy of the democratic government led by PPP to make Pakistan self-sufficient in the field of energy.

Gilani said the government would extend complete help for completing mega 850 MW Suki Kinari Hydro Power Project which will cost USD 1.4 billion.

He said that Suki Kinari hydel power project would be one of the largest hydro power projects in Asia.

The prime minister said the government would double the generation capacity of the country from the current 20,000 MW to 40,000 within the next ten years.

The Prime Minister also sought larger private investment and said that public private partnership could greatly help set up energy projects.

He said the government would form partnerships with the multilateral financial institutions besides ensuring cooperation between the federal and provincial governments as both will have to work attaining the objective.

He said he has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help secure support as needed from bilateral partners.

The prime minister said the government would work hard to realise this vision.

Responding to the cheering of the party workers, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said he would convene a meeting of the local party workers to resolve their issues.

He also received applications from the party workers while leaving the venue of the public gathering.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said, “We will rid the nation of the menace of load-shedding by seeking a balance between demand and supply of electricity”.

The Minister said the purported campaign against the IPPs by our detractors has failed adding that the impression that IPPs were set up without guarrantees is incorrect.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the inauguration of Gulf rental power plant has been launched to treat the chronic power shortages, inherited from the previous dictatorial regimes, is a lucid proof of the vision of Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto adding that the dream of making Pakistan self-sufficient in power generation would be realized under the dynmaic leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and competent command of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

The minister said 3000 MW of electricity would be injected into the power generation capacity of the country by the end of this year.

Federal Minister for Population Welfare Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Minister for State for Communication Imtiaz Safdar Warraich were also present on the occasion.

Nawaz Sharif’s Indian Connections

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What make Nawaz Sharif U-Turn on NWFP and 18th Amendment? (2)

By Dr Shahid Qureshi

People of Pakistan are still in shock with the actions of Nawaz Sharif on the issue of 18th Amendment when he seemingly forced to support pro-Indian agenda parties like ANP/MQM and PPP. His links with Indians are not as simple and transparent as it looks. He is a apparently a fan of NDTV and Bombay Palace Restaurant in London.

“Late General Ziaulhaq decided to sack Nawaz Sharif due to his connections with the Indians’ just before Air Crash of 17th August 1988, Said a senior security source. If General Ziaulhaq was alive one more week Nawaz Shairf would have been removed’, said a defence source who closely worked with the late President Ziaulhaq and still alive. While talking to the writer in London on 9th April 2010, Agah Murtaza Poya former editor of The Muslim said, ‘I have mentioned it on many occasions that Zia was going to sack Nawaz Shairf’.

According to a book, “Air Massacre over Bahawalpur” page 341, written by Commodore Tariq Majeed: “Nawaz Sharif’s Indian Connection: India’s RAW hosted Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Delhi in 1978 and cultivated him in some ways, but he had been picked up and programmed by RAW’s masters, CIA and Mossad, to serve, like Ms Bhutto, the Zionist interests. What gives special significance and authenticity to this disclosure is that its author was a member of the key staff in ISI when Nawaz was being hooked by RAW.

Did Nawaz Sharif have any link with the C-130 disaster? Apparently ‘No’. In its aftermath he remained well in the background. Setting up the Commission to inquire into the disaster may also go in his favour. But deeper analysis alters the picture. In August 1988, Nawaz (Sharif) was Chief Minister of Punjab. The disaster occurred in his domain. He had plenty of intelligence resources, besides commanding one of the premier secret agencies, the Special Branch, that is exclusive to the province of Punjab and keeps the Chief Minister aware of what is going on and what may happen.

It is Zinjry’s (Zionist International Jewry) usual strategy that it connects certain of its leading local puppets and other prominent persons with major sabotage or sting operations in the target country. Many of the facts of the Air Massacre are still hidden. However, it is known, that with India’s secret establishment and thus with the Zionist network, Nawaz’s links were, if not closer, as close as those of Benazir.

On the eve of general election, The Muslim, Islamabad an English daily Newspaper, 24 January 1997, published a revealing column by a retired brigadier:

“Despite Nawaz Sharif riding a reasonable wave and popular ground swell, his acceptability to the people that matter still seems questionable. Besides, the known reasons of lack of commitment, competence and integrity, the ‘Indian Connection’ seems to be the biggest hump for Mian Sahib.

Mian watchers confirm that he was picked up even before he actually started appearing on the political scene. Intelligence reports on Mian Sahib’s visit to India in 1978 question as to why this unknown businessman from Lahore, resting in Dubai, was given a red carpet treatment and political parleys arranged with senior members of the Indian intelligence-political elite?

However, when Mian Sahib’s interest in politics became evident in 1979, and he brought himself to the Senior Minister status in the Punjab Government in 1981 and made it to Chief Ministership in 1985, the pieces started falling into place. And as early as mid-1985 Mian Sahib had started working for the Prime Minister’s slot, hoping to sweep Punjab in the next election. However, unrelated reports but authenticated by late General Zia’s family confirm that had General Zia lived another week he would have dismissed Nawaz Sharif for his Indian Connection, and diminishing his prime ministerial chances for good.

This connection which was kept subdued in the 1988 elections, surfaced again in the 1990 elections. Mian Sahib discarded his main IJI ally, Jamaat-i-Islami and went in for a bear hug with ANP [Awami National Party] and MQM [Mutahidda Qaumi Movement], the Indians dancing with joy. During his 3 years stint, 1990-93, Mian Sahib went soft on Islamization, retarded the nuclear option, expressed willingness to consider the ‘third option’ on Kashmir and was willing to recognize Israel, and when Nawaz Sharif had to finally bow out, the saddest were the Indians.”

Nawaz Sharif a ‘Security Risk’?
Few years ago Majeed Nizami editor of the Nawa-e-waqat a closest ally of Nawaz Sharif had to remark that they used to regard Benazir Bhutto as a ‘security risk’, it seemed Nawaz Sharif was a greater security risk. He was indeed the worst thing that had happened to Pakistan since independence. Whether it was money, morals or security, the nation found it difficult to trust him. It is interesting that while Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri freedom fighters were battling against the Indian army on the freezing heights of Kargil, Nawaz Sharif’s business proxies were selling sugar to India. India did not need to import any sugar and yet if Vajipayee had accepted to buy Pakistani sugar it was only to sweeten his relationship with Nawaz Sharif.

This is not meant to be a dossier on Nawaz Sharif’s wheeling and dealing, but it is about the implication of his wheeling and dealing for national security. Dhirubhai Ambani (late) was one of India’s top magnets. He had set up a big oil refinery in Jamnagar, but what bothered him was the very high premium demanded by the British insurance company. The insurance company said the refinery was only 130 km from Pakistan, which may be in the event of an India-Pakistan war, the first bombing target, but they might consider reducing the premium if Ambani brought a ‘certificate’ from Pakistan that it would not attack the refinery in case of a war with India.

In March 1999 Nawaz Sahrif had received at his London flats an Indian editor, R K Mishra, accompanied by a famous Bombay film star (may be Amitabh Bachan). Mishra chaired the Ambani group of Observer newspapers and Amabani reported to ‘control’ eight ministers in the Vajpayee government at the time and late Mr Ambani known to have visited Nawaz Sharif as Vajpayee’s emissary during and after the Kargil crisis.

In September 1999, Pakistan High Commission in London issued him a multi-entry visa. The visa was issued by using High Commissioner’s special powers, as no record was available.

In any event whatever else went on during these visits Ambani got the ‘certificate’ and the insurance company drastically reduced the premium had demanded.

This writer met Syed Mushahid Husain in London asked about this Ambani gate scandal. Nawaz Sharif’s information minister denied point blank and said even Musharaf government did not make that allegation against Nawaz Sharif. Well that was not very in competent of him?

The Jamnager refinery was just one instance, where the dismissed and exiled prime minister’s business interests impinged on national security and which were not reported in the press.

It is highly significant that when the Kargil crisis broke out both George Fernandez and K S Sudarshan, the former a socialist and India’s defence minister and the later leader of BJP militant wing RSS themselves exculpate Nawaz Sharif of any blame.

If the Indians were trying to protect Nawaz Sharif, they must have had very good reasons to do so, but Nawaz Sharif himself had no qualms in putting himself under the total protection of Washington.

Indians were able to plant a seed of animosity against the armed forces in the then naked head of Nawaz Sharif?

Three legislators resign for holding fake degrees

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By Sohail Khan

ISLAMABAD: Two MNAs and one MPA of the Punjab Assembly on Thursday tendered their resignations before the Supreme Court (SC) to avoid disqualification in three different cases of holding fake degrees.

A six-member larger bench of the SC, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ch Ijaz Ahmed, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Rahmat Hussain Jafferi, Justice Tariq Pervez, and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, was hearing their fake-degree cases.

Jamshaid Dasti of the PPP and Nazir Jatt of the PML-Q submitted their resignations before the court. The court directed the Election Commission to arrange by-election in NA-167, Vehari-I; NA-178, Muzzafargarh-III; and PP-63, Faisalabad; in accordance with the law, besides directing the National Assembly secretary to issue a notification of vacant seat of NA-178, Muzzafargarh; within three days.

During the course of hearing, Dasti, who is also the chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports, failed to answer a volley of questions by the court.He told the court that he had done a course of Dars-e-Nizami. He, however, remained unable to tell the court even about the duration of the course.

The PPP MNA failed to answer the questions of the court about the total number of Surahs in the Holy Qur’aan, including the names of any of the five Surahs. Justice Ramday questioned Dasti: “How you did the Dars-e-Nizami course, as you even don’t know the names of five Surahs?”

The chief justice remarked that it was impossible for the court to let Dasti scot-free, as he represented parliament, adding: “I think your membership should be suspended.” Justice Khilji Arif Hussain observed that his replies have become shame for parliament. The court, before announcing the verdict, asked him to resign himself, otherwise, the court decision would create difficulties for him, as he would not be able to contest the by-elections.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rauf, the counsel for Dasti, told the court that his client had opted to resign. Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed Jatt of the PML-Q, the MNA from NA-167, Vehari-I, did not appear before the court. However, his counsel told the court that his client had sent his resignation to the National Assembly Secretariat on Wednesday.

He said his client did not resign due to holding of a fake degree, but that he wanted to join the PML-N. Muhammad Ajmal, MPA, from PP-63 (Faisalabad-XIII) also resigned on Thursday due to holding a fake degree. Rana Aftab of the PPP had challenged the election of Ajmal on the grounds that Ajmal had obtained a fake degree from Darul Uloom Mehmoodia, Bannu.

The petitioner submitted that the Wifaqul Madaris had already stated that the Darul Uloom in question was not a recognised institution and the certificate possessed by the respondent was bogus.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

March 26, 2010 at 6:05 am

LHC CJ’s remarks irk NA members

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ISLAMABAD: A reported statement by Lahore High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif that the Hindu community was funding terrorism in Pakistan, irked members of the National Assembly and many of them from across the party divide joined minority members in a walkout.

The lawmakers also demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry take a suo motu notice of the CJ’s remarks. Ramesh Lal, a minority lawmaker from the Pakistan People’s Party, raised the issue on a point of order and censured the CJ’s remarks, saying the Hindu community in Pakistan was as patriotic as anyone else in the country and the published remarks were highly uncalled for.

Lal announced a token walkout and was joined by some other members belonging to different parties, including the Awami National Party. He said the remarks hurt the sentiments of the over three million Hindus in Pakistan, adding that the statement was against national unity.

Reference: Labour Minister Khursheed Shah tried to defend the CJ, saying he could not have made such a statement and might have referred to India and not the Hindu community. The minister apologised from the Hindu community on behalf of the government. Later, Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani and some other MNAs convinced the protesting members to return.

PPP’s Mir Munawar Ahmed Talpur said the CJ’s statement against the Hindu community is condemnable, which seemed to be issued deliberately and should not be defended.

Humayun Saifullah of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid pointed out that the public procurement law was not being followed while spending national resources. He also referred to some media reports about major scams in the government and sought serious action from the prime minister against those responsible.

PPP lawmaker Yousuf Talpur said sales tax should be given to the provinces in line with international practices, adding that the provinces should also be given the right to use their own resources.

Newly-elected member from the PML-Nawaz Pervez Malik stressed the government for developing a strategy to provide relief to the masses, saying the people were fed up of unemployment, price hike and poverty. Speaking on points of order, members from both sides highlighted various problems of the people and urged the government to take measures for their resolution.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

March 17, 2010 at 8:27 am