Archive | Politics

‘Serial grooms’ become talk of the assembly

‘Serial grooms’ become talk of the assembly

Posted on 20 February 2018 by Usama Hashmi - Total hits: 24

LAHORE: Instead of legislative matters, the treasury and opposition benches seemed more concerned about the marriages of Shehbaz Sharif and Imran Khan. Both PML-N and PTI went at each other with hammer and tongs, calling leaders of the other party “serial grooms”.

The pandemonium broke out when Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Syed Haroon Ahmed Sultan Bokhari, with a wry smile on his face, said he even allowed wedding ceremonies in parks of those people who hoped to marry three or four times.

Bukhari was responding to a question put forward by PTI minority MPA for Shunila Ruth who asked how many public parks were allowed to be used for wedding ceremonies. Bukhari said there were 813 small and big parks in Lahore, adding the law did not allow such functions, but they were still being held. The MPA found the information illogical, stressing that the law does not give permission for these ceremonies. The minister replied with a joke, saying that he even grants permission to those people who were marrying for the third or fourth time to host functions at these parks.

In reaction, the opposition MPAs stood up from their seats and said this was an irresponsible answer to a serious query. PTI’s Shaikh Khurram, naming the wives of the Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif, said that Imran Khan never forced a divorce

Opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed and other PTI legislators Dr Murad Rass, Nabila Hakim Ali Khan and others also reacted strongly to the minister’s answer which clearly targeted their party chief Imran Khan.

Responding to another query by JI MPA Dr Waseem Akhtar who asked when the government would implement its “master plan” of clean drinking water and sewerage for the people of Bahawalpur, Bukhari admitted there was no doubt the southern area was deprived of several facilities.

He said several schemes had been launched in different areas, but the projects never reached completion due to the negligence of departments concerned. However, he assured that specific problems, if sorted out, would be resolved at the soonest.

Minister Syed Haroon Ahmed Sultan Bokhari also could not satisfy PTI’s Dr Nausheed Hamid who asked if the news that the government had allotted 15 marlas of property to land grabbers was correct. The minister responded that the information was incorrect and the land was only handed over to deserving people by then chief minister Nawaz Sharif in 1990. Hamid objected by saying the property was not given to deserving people.

On Monday, there were 34 questions related to the Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department on the agenda. Of the total, only six were taken up and five discussed. One of them was the question of PTI’s Shunila Ruth who protested against the unsatisfactory answers.

Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan had to leave the rest of the questions pending as the question-answer session time had finished due to a delay in the start of proceedings. The House was to begin at 2PM, but it started at 2:40pm instead.

The speaker adjourned the House for 10 minutes due to the absence of the minister and the department secretary concerned. After that, proceedings started again with a delay of more than 30 minutes. Meanwhile, PTI’s Nabila Hakim Ali Khan pointed to the quorum and said the government could not show the required number of legislators after which the assembly was adjourned till 10am on Tuesday.

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Khalid Maqbool set to become new MQM-P CONVENER

Khalid Maqbool set to become new MQM-P CONVENER

Posted on 13 February 2018 by Usama Hashmi - Total hits: 32

KARACHI ‘: After removing Farooq Sattar as its convener a day earlier, the Rabita Committee on Monday requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as the party chief.

“Vide the minutes of the meeting of Rabita Committee held on February 11 at Bahadurabad, Sattar has been removed as convener. In his place Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has been elected by two-thirds majority,” said an application written by deputy convenor Kanwar Naveed Jamil, bearing signatures of 26 of the total 35 Rabita Committee members.

A senior ECP official confirmed to The Express Tribune that the Rabita Committee’s plea for a new convener has been accepted and Siddiqui will replace Sattar. “We have not yet issued a notice, but Siddiqui will head the party.”

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MOM-P) nominee for Senate election Barrister Farogh Naseem said that the party was not registered with Sattar, but he was its head.

“The Rabita Committee has removed Sattar with two-thirds majority. He is no longer the party head,” Barrister Naseem said, adding that Bahadurabad was the office of MQM-P and no one could claim it.

Responding to a question, he said, “The Rabita Committee has the authority to make such decisions under MQM-P’s constitution. It has also nominated candidates for the Senate election. Sattar can challenge it in court if he has any reservations over it.”

The general workers’ meeting convened by Sattar holds no legal or moral value as the Rabita Committee has removed him, he added.

When the Rabita Committee removed Sattar as convener, Sattar dissolved the committee in retaliation during a public meeting at KMC ground on Sunday night. He announced to hold intra-party elections on February 17 to elect a new body.

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ICJ sets new timeline for submitting pleadings in Jadhav case

ICJ sets new timeline for submitting pleadings in Jadhav case

Posted on 23 January 2018 by Usama Hashmi - Total hits: 114

ISLAMABAD: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has given new timeline to both Pakistan and India for filing another round of memorials in the case of convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, sources have revealed to The Express Tribune.

Sources revealed that the ICJ has set April 17 for India to file another memorial, while Pakistan will have to submit a counter memorial by July 17.

In view of the timeline, they also informed that there is little chance that the hearing of the case will resume in 2018, adding that the two-month summer vacations of ICJ judges will start in August, and when it ended, the court will take up cases that have already been fixed before it.
Earlier, New Delhi sought time to file an additional memorial at the ICJ. Legal experts are, however, wondering why India is trying to unnecessarily drag the matter.

While submitting a 1,700-page counter memorial in the ICJ on December 13 last year, Pakistan rejected the Indian objection of not giving consular access to Jadhav, saying the provision of such access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors, and not spies.

Pakistan said that since India did not deny that Jadhav was travelling with an assumed Muslim name, they have no case to plead.

India has repeatedly sought consular access to Jadhav, but Pakistan has turned down its requests, citing a bilateral accord that does not permit such access to spies.

However, on December 25, Islamabad allowed Jadhav’s mother and wife to meet with him on purely humanitarian grounds.

It was learnt that the government has also sought legal assistance from two top lawyers of the country. The initial memorial was drafted by Khawar Qureshi.

According to sources, Pakistan stated in the memorial that India did not explain how a serving naval commander, operating under India’s spy agency – Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) – was travelling under an assumed name. This leads to only one conclusion, that India seeks consular access to the information he [Jadhav] had gathered, it added.

It said since Jadhav was on active duty, it is obvious that he was a spy sent on a special mission.

“Only a state that adheres to legitimate actions can request the court to intervene in a matter between two states. A state which does not come with clean hands cannot get any relief,” Pakistan contended.

Pakistan further said that sending Jadhav for espionage and funding terrorist activities were some of the reasons that disentitle India from invoking jurisdiction of the ICJ.

Sources said Pakistan also highlighted constant violations of human rights by India in occupied Kashmir. It said India is a habitual violator of human rights and has not honoured the UN resolutions on Kashmir.

“Giving false identity to Kulbhushan, sending him for espionage and funding of terrorists activities are all some of the reasons which disentitle India from invoking the jurisdiction of the ICJ,” said the counter memorial according to a source. The ICJ will decide the schedule of hearing within 15 days.

On September 13 last year, India submitted a 22-page memorandum wherein it objected to Jadhav being tried by a military court in Pakistan.

The sources said India contended that Jadhav’s trial should have been conducted by a civilian court and that Pakistan was bound to give him consular access.

The federal government has already appointed former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as an ad hoc judge for the case at The Hague.

Legal experts are urging all stakeholders to increase coordination in devising the final draft of the memorandum.

The ICJ on May 18 last year halted the execution of Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a military court on April 10 after being convicted on charges of terrorism and espionage.

Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel was apprehended on March 3, 2016, after he illegally crossed into Pakistan via Iran border.

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Naqeebullah encounter: FIA foils Rao Anwar’s attempt to flee country

Naqeebullah encounter: FIA foils Rao Anwar’s attempt to flee country

Posted on 23 January 2018 by Usama Hashmi - Total hits: 348

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials stopped former Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) of Malir Cantt Rao Anwar at Benazir International Airport, Rawalpindi, from an international flight early Tuesday morning, Express News reported.

Authorities at BIA barred him from travelling to Dubai on flight EK-615, stating he cannot travel under current circumstances. Anwar is currently facing a departmental inquiry over the alleged extrajudicial killing of a 27-year-old Naseemullah alias Naqeebullah Mehsud, had gone into hiding along with his entire team.

According to airport sources, Anwar was stopped at the immigration counter at around 2am. When asked to submit a written notification, immigration officials said they are not permitted to do so under order 506.

The decision was taken during a high-level meeting of police officials in Karachi headed by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional DIG Sanaullah Abbasi, who is also heading a committee formed to probe into the alleged custodial killing, Express News reported.

Muzamil Mumtaz Meo Rajput, a practicing lawyer, had approached the court seeking formation of a board to inquire into killings of more than 250 suspects in alleged encounters by the former SSP in the city since 1992.

Rajput said he heard from many people that complaints were not lodged with any authority or the SHC against the policeman due to fear.

The petitioner recalled that since 1992 till January 15, 2018 the former SSP had murdered innocent persons in fake police encounters and had also looted many persons, who were murdered.

Defying the Sindh police chief’s summons, SSP Anwar and his entire team comprising at least thirteen members did not appear on Monday morning before the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh Allah Dino Khowaja and members of the National Commission for Human Rights at the Central Police Office.

A three-member inquiry committee – headed by Abbasi and comprising DIG Sultan Khawaja and DIG Azad Khan – also recommended that names of Anwar and other policemen involved in the ‘encounter’ be placed on the ECL.

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Rao Anwar, the cop who ‘encountered’ Malir

Rao Anwar, the cop who ‘encountered’ Malir

Posted on 22 January 2018 by Usama Hashmi - Total hits: 112

KARACHI: SSP Rao Anwar had been working as SSP Malir for at least six years and is said to have killed around 300 alleged terrorists in ‘encounters’. He is also said to be a close aide of a top leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and had always preferred to remain in Karachi’s District Malir.

During his tenure, the courts have served him many contempt notices for his failure to appear before them. In fact, a few inquiries were also initiated against him, but interestingly nothing could be proved against the SSP.

This is also not the first time that SSP Anwar has been suspended.
The first time that SSP Anwar was suspended was by the Supreme Court in 2013 following the deadly blast at Abbas Town.

Later, he was suspended by former Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah following his controversial press conference against the MQM for misusing his authority.

In that presser, Anwar had demanded that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) be banned following the arrests of two MQM men linked to the India’s spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. Interestingly, one of the accused – Tahir Lamba – was later released by the court due to lack of evidence.

In September 2016, Anwar was suspended on the Sindh chief minister’s order after he raided the house of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan. The SSP arrested the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly for his alleged links with terrorists. An inquiry was initiated against him. But after a few months, he was reinstated.

Since his appointment in early 1980s in the Sindh police, Anwar has remained a controversial figure and is widely considered as a “PPP man”. He became most controversial when he played a vital role in the Karachi operation against the MQM in the 1990s. During the operation he had killed and arrested several of MQM men, including the notorious Farooq Dada.

The SSP disappeared for several years after the 90s operation and during the tenure of former president General (retd) Musharraf, when MQM was in power.

Many police officials and personnel who played a part in the 90s operation were allegedly killed by the MQM’s militant wing. But after SHO Sarwar commando, he is the only officer who remained alive and continues to serve in the police department.

Anwar re-joined the force in 2008 and was posted as Keamari DSP, shortly after the PPP government came to power in 2008.

After serving few months as Kemari DSP, the PPP led government promoted him to the rank of SP and appointed him as Gadap SP.

Although SSP Anwar was famous as an ‘encounter specialist’ during the 90s operation but after PPP government elected in 2008, there was a change. After being posted as Gadap SP, Anwar was not only killing MQM men in encounters he also started killing militants of the banned outfits, particularly the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

SSP Anwar has also faced and survived multiple attacks by militants, as he was one of the main officers of the Karachi police fighting with the Taliban in Karachi and so far killed about 250 militants in the city.

The deadliest attack at him was the 2012 suicide attack which occurred at Malir Halt area of Karachi and the recent ‘suicide attack’ in the Malir Cantt area on January 13.

When Anwar was appointed as SSP Malir in 2011, he had only four police stations of Malir under his command. As the SSP is considered as the most powerful police officer in the history of Sindh police the District Bin Qasim and Gadap were also merged in with District Malir. Anwar, who is also considered to be more powerful than the Sindh IG, now had a total 15 police stations under his command.

It has also been reported that no police official, including the Sindh IG, can appoint or transfer any cop without his permission in the Malir district.

Many believe that Anwar has been a close aide of PPP Co-chairman Azif Ali Zardari. Interestingly, Anwar, during Zardari’s tenure as president, was demoted to his original rank sub-inspector after a Supreme Court order. However, the former president used his executive powers and reinstated Anwar as an SSP following a suicide blast at him in 2012.

Apart from being known for his encounters, Anwar has also been accused of being involved in land grabbing in District Malir and Gadap.

Furthermore, since Allah Dino Khawaja has been appointed as Sindh IGP, multiple attempts were made to remove him from Malir. However each time, the incumbent IG failed to remove him from the post of Malir SSP.

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