Tag Archives: Assembly

Sindh Assembly condemns Bhatti’s assassination

by Imtiaz Ali

Karachi : The Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Friday to pay tributes to the slain federal minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was assassinated in Islamabad on March 2.

The resolution was moved by power minister Shazia Marri and was supported by MQM’s Izharul Hasan and Abdul Moeed Pirzada, PML-F’s Nusrat Abbasi and PPP’s Pitanber Sewani and Dr Sikandar Mandhro.

“This assembly strongly condemns the assassination of federal minister for minorities’ affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, a man of courage and a symbol of equality in Pakistan,” the resolution reads.

The assembly considered Bhatti’s assassination as yet another attack on the peace and progress of Pakistan. …

Read more : The News

Pakistan assembly fails to denounce Bhatti’s death

by Imtiaz Ahmad,

While Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced a national mourning for the slain minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, many politicians and political parties in the country have chosen to remain silent on the issue. In the country’s parliament, a joint statement also could not be iss ued as many MPs refused to condemn the killing.

The main opposition parties, headed by the PML-N party of Nawaz Sharif, has remained strangely silent. Religious parties, which include the Jamaat-e-Islami party have termed the murder a plot to malign Pakistan.

A similar silence was seen when Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was shot earlier this year. After that killing, most political figures including Nawaz Sharif, and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who is the chief minister of Punjab, stayed away from the funeral prayers of the slain governor.

This silence is seen as an endorsement for the murder,” MP Asia Nasir, a Christian, said in parliament. Nasir also pointed to the picture of Muhammad Ali Jinnah hanging on one wall in parliament and told the assembly that it was a sad day for minorities.

Read more : Hindustan Times

Dedicated to Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti

The legislator, MNA, Asiya Nasir, elected on a reserved women’s seat from Balochistan, the only minority female legislator in the Federal Assembly and speaking the day after the murder Shahbaz Bhatti. She holds a Masters in English literature from the Government Girls College, Quetta and a certificate in Teachers’ Training and is a member of the NGO Aurat Foundation. She has been a member of the House since 2002 when she was elected on a reserved seat for minorities.

MNA, Asiya Nasir protesting in the Federal Assembly against the brutal assassination of federal minister “Shahbaz Bhatti”. She is speaking harsh but truth. No one is a superior creature than other human beings. God, Allah, Jesus, Bhagwan, what ever has created human all are alike without any discrimination. If any one believes in God, he should respect and treat every human equally.

Pakistani Christians didn’t come from outside, they always lived here… Christianity came… Just like Islam came… in the same way Hindus were always here and Sikhs started their religion in 17-18th century.

Basically she is saying Pakistan is sinking!!! She was condemning the death of Shahbaz Bhatti, the minorities minister who has been assassinated by terrorists in Pakistan. She said her daughter even wants to leave this country but she has told her that this is our motherland, and they will always remain here no matter what. She is sickened by terrorism in Pakistan. …

You Tube

This is how the poor people of Pakistan subsidized the Millionaire/ Billionaire ruling elite of Pakistan

Pakistan’s Federal Assembly Canteen price list: Tea Rs.1.00, Chicken Soup Rs.5.50, Dal Rs.1.50, Meals Rs.2.00, Chappati Rs.1.00, Dosa Rs.4.00, Veg Briyani Rs.8.00, Fish Rs.13.00. The language of the program is urdu/ Hindi.

Courtesy: Dunya TV (Program Hasb e Haal with Sohail Ahmed, Junaid Saleem and Najia Baig)

You Tube

Obama condemns violence against protesters in call with Bahraini King

By BNO News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday spoke by telephone with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa as anti-government protests have thrown parts of the nation into chaos, the White House said.

Earlier on Friday, Obama had said through a statement that he condemned the use of violence against anti-government protesters in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. “I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen,” he said, adding: “The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur.”

The U.S. President said the United States expresses its condolences to the family and friends of those who have been killed during the protests. “Wherever they are, people have certain universal rights including the right to peaceful assembly,” he said. “The United States urges the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests, and to respect the rights of their people.” …

Read more : Wireupdate

Pakistan radicals rule the streets

by Amanda Hodge

TENS of thousands of people crowded the streets of Lahore late on Sunday demanding freedom for the assassin of Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

The protestors are also demanding death for the US consular official who killed two suspected armed robbers in self-defence.

Demonstrators from religious parties Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan and the banned terrorist-linked charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa held banners in support of Mumtaz Qadri — the police guard who killed Taseer last month because the governor had supported changes to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws.

Opposition party leaders from more mainstream parties also lined up to assure the protesters they would never support changes to the blasphemy law and would quit the National Assembly should the government attempt to amend them.

Protesters chanted slogans such as “Free Mumtaz Qadri” while demanding the harshest penalty for Raymond Davis, a US consular official who was arrested for double murder on Friday after shooting two armed motorcyclists he feared were about to rob him.

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“We warn the government and administration that . . . if they help the arrested American illegally, then this crowd will surround the US embassy and presidential palace in Islamabad,” one official from the Jamiat Ulema Islam party said.

The US has demanded Mr Davis’s release, claiming he has diplomatic immunity, but the Pakistani government says the courts should decide his fate.

In another corner of the Punjab’s once feted cultural capital, 500 people attended a peace rally and remembrance vigil for the slain governor.

Among them was liberal commentator Raza Rumi, who conceded yesterday: “It’s not a good time to be a liberal in Pakistan.

“Forget liberal — it’s not a good time to be a moderate.”

Analysts say the fact that among the speakers at the larger rally was JUD founder Hafiz Saeed, believed to have also founded terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, says much about the complicity of state forces in Pakistan’s extremist groundswell.

But just as telling was who was sharing the podium.

Members of Imran Khan’s so-called moderate Tehreek-e-Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party also spoke in support of the blasphemy laws.

“All the major political parties from the Right and the centre were there, which shows the Right is capturing more and more political space,” says Rumi. …

Read more : The Australian

Sindhi bboli Qoumi bboli (Sindhi Language should be a National language)

Hyderabad – Sindh : Recently some members of National (Federal) Assembly from treasure and opposition benches has presented a private member bill on national language issue. Members have mixed various dialects and mother tongues with national languages status. In this regard on Tuesday, 01-02-2011, a rally was organised by Sindhi Adabi Sangat (Markaz) in front of Hyderabad Press Club under the slogan of ‘Sindhi Bboli Qoumi Bboli’ (Sindhi Language should be National language). This rally was a start of mobilization of people on national language issue. Procession was attended / participated by a large number of leading writers, intellectuals, linguists, civil society, lawyers, peace and human rights activists, and poets.

Pakistan: Hindu politician resigns from assembly; moves to India

Hindu legislator quits in Pakistan, shifts to India

ISLAMABAD: A Hindu member of the legislative assembly in Pakistan’s Sindh province resigned from his seat after receiving threats and shifted to India, media reports said Saturday.
Ram Singh Sodho was elected a member of the Sindh assembly on a reserved seat for minorities on a Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) ticket in the 2008 general elections, Dunya TV reported.
Sodho received threats and shifted base to India, from where he sent his resignation to Sindh assembly speaker Nisar Ahmad Khoro, the report said. …
Read more : The Times of India

More details : oneindiaNewsBBC urdu

Pakistan will have up to eight national languages

NA bill proposes eight `national languages`

By Raja Asghar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will have up to eight national languages — not just Urdu — if a private bill introduced in the National Assembly on Tuesday without any government objection is passed by parliament as a constitutional amendment.

The introduction of the long-pending and potentially divisive bill came after the government said it had no objection to the process, but there was no immediate indication if the ruling Pakistan People`s Party (PPP) would actually back the draft, most of whose 22 authors are its members, with Nawab Mohammad Yusuf Talpur on the top of the list, along with some well-known members of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Q. …

Read more : DAWN

DHA: authority within authority

PML-N to oppose DHA bill in parliament

This draft is not only repugnant to basic tenant of the constitution but is also against the provincial autonomy, laws of Pakistan and international agreements,” said PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

ISLAMABAD: The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) bill may not be enacted into law as the main opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has decided to vehemently oppose the bill whenever it comes to the parliament.

“Whenever this bill is tabled before the National Assembly, Muslim League (N) will play its historic role by opposing it,” said the N-League spokesman on Thursday. …

Read more : DAWN

G. M. Syed

G. M. Syed (January 17, 1904 — April 25, 1995) was a Sindhi nationalist, leftist, revolutionary, writer and a Sufi. G M Syed was the first leader who proposed the bill for Pakistan in Sindh Assembly. Before, it Muslim league had presented resolution in Lahore  and the full council of Muslim League in the leadership of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had unanimously passed 1940 Lahore Resolution, later known as Pakistan Resolution. The full council of Muslim league granted only three aspects of governance–currency, foreign affairs, and defense related communication–to a future federation and Sindh had joined Pakistan on the condition that the states (provinces) will be ‘independent states’.

Unfortunately, the 1940 resolution was not implemented in letter and in spirit — Sindh, Bengal,  Balochistan and NWFP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) — were deprived of all their rights and its people treated as slaves. Due to it, one province of the federation named east Pakistan or Bangladesh has already seceded from Pakistan. However, G. M. Syed became the first political prisoner of Pakistan because of his differences with the leadership of the country.

Continue reading G. M. Syed

Flight of Reason – by Aamer Ahmed Khan

We published two photo galleries on BBC’s Urdu website last Friday. One on the Jamaat-e-Islami’s youth wing Shabab-e-Milli’s tribute to Mumtaz Qadri’s father in Rawalpindi and the other on the candlelit vigil in Lahore in memory of the slain Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.

As expected, comments started to pour in almost instantly. The most telling among them simply said: “Please compare the crowd in the two, for every Taseer mourner, there are at least 50 Qadri supporters.” If nothing else, it says a lot about the state of siege in which liberal opinion finds itself, as more and more people flock behind Mr Qadri, a cold-blooded killer who had been painstakingly planning Taseer’s murder for weeks before he struck.

Irrespective of the number of people who gathered for the vigil in Lahore, I am stunned at their courage in standing up to a crazed mob that neither understands its religion nor the man who brought it to them. It is a mob of moral cheats that has become religiously, politically, intellectually and morally so bankrupt that it seems to have convinced itself that its only salvation lies in baying for innocent blood.

Let us give ourselves some idea of how courageous the dozens who flocked to the vigil in Lahore really are. Since the glowing tribute paid to Qadri by lawyers at his first court appearance, we have been trying to contact the lawyer leadership that spearheaded the civil society movement only three years ago to bring down General Musharraf’s dictatorship. In that movement, millions around the world saw the seeds of a politics that Pakistan has desperately been waiting for all its life — a politics that flows from the combined intellect of the mobile middle class instead of dynastic politics, hereditary constituencies and endemic corruption.

Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed, Aitzaz Ahsan, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Justice (retd) Tariq Mahmood became household names as tens of thousands of people rallied behind them wherever they went. For weeks, no political talk show in the country was considered complete without at least one of them in the chair. Since Taseer’s murder, they simply seemed to have vanished into thin air.

We finally managed to get through to two of them: one simply said that we are free to call him a coward if we want to but he doesn’t want to comment on the issue at all. The other one went even further: he said he would not even allow us to report that he was contacted for his opinion on the issue.

Predictably, Asma Jahangir was the honourable exception who not only spoke in detail about the atrocity against Taseer but was candid and unambiguous in her criticism of the legal fraternity’s sudden gush for a killer. But then, one has always known her to be one of the bravest women in the country.

Which brings to mind another brave woman who dared to bring a bill to the National Assembly aimed at amending some of the more draconian provisions of a law that has spawned nothing but injustice in the quarter century of its existence. Our crazed mob has distributed pamphlets advocating that she must meet the same fate as Mr Taseer. I am proud to have worked for her at Herald for six years. She was one of the bravest editors I know. Today, she has been forced into abandoning her public life by the tyranny of bloodthirsty criminals masquerading as religious zealots.

President Asif Ali Zardari’s administration has already surrendered to these criminals. It is pointless to expect him to fight this battle. However unfortunate as it may be for the liberals, they do not have the luxury to follow suit. They have to go on fighting even if their battle is far more dangerous than the one Pakistan has been fighting in its tribal areas for the last 10 years.

Courtesy: http://www.columnspk.com/flight-of-reason-by-aamer-ahmed-khan/

“Why democratic system is weak in Pakistan: Causes and Solutions”

by Jamil Hussain Junejo

Executive Summary – Pakistan has been in quest for stable democratic system from its very inception.The process of its democratization has been slow and passive. Its nature has remained fragile. It has been showing high vulnerability towards non democratic interventions. Besides, it has been easily falling prey to non civilian forces. As a result, Pakistan has been continuously failing to offer what a democracy promises. Such pathetic scenario has various reasons behind it at all three levels: State, government and society.

Continue reading “Why democratic system is weak in Pakistan: Causes and Solutions”

Most of the leaders of third world countries on sale, but Pakistan’s ruling elite is exception & it is very lower level satrap and slave

ANALYSIS: Schamlosigkeit! — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

….. Here, our easily purchasable politicians and bureaucrats do not hesitate to barter away their souls and, in Reko Diq’s case, the asking price is not their souls but the easily dispensable rights and future of the Baloch people.

The rights of the Baloch people seem inconsequential to the centre and they flout them with brazenness. Recently, Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mohammad Aslam Bhootani minced no words and exposed the immense pressure being put on them by the Prime Minister’s House to allot 70,000 acres in the environs of Hingol National Park to Arab princes for rest and recreation. He emphasised that the Balochistan government had earlier refused this land to a federal security institution because of the local people’s opposition. The Arab princes would do well to remember that in Balochistan they will not enjoy the tranquillity that Cholistan offers because here the people will definitely resist their unwanted presence.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, president of the UAE, alone has been allotted hunting permits in Zhob, Ormara, Gwadar, Pasni, Panjgur and Washuk districts. Pakistan is a signatory of the UN Bonn Convention on migratory species, which protects the endangered Houbara Bustard. But expecting respect for ‘bird rights’ where ‘human rights’ suffer immeasurably is infantile fantasy.

The Arab royalty have also been granted tax exemptions for all their property and imports for hunting purposes. The Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) clarified that “similar exemptions were also given to the United Nations, charitable organisations and diplomats”. The Arab rulers certainly qualify as ‘charitable organisations’ for the rulers and politicians here. They give them asylum and plead their case with the US.

The Pakistani politicians and the establishment are very fragile and vulnerable to pressures as is amply proved by the WikiLeaks or rather the ‘Wikitorrents’ that they have turned into. WikiLeaks certainly threatens to sweep away many a reputation and career around the world except perhaps in Pakistan and the Middle East where phenomenally shameless unashamedness or Schamlosigkeit exists as a unique quality in the rulers and establishments; the worse the reputation, the better are the chances of success.

The respect that the Arab princes and rulers accord to the rulers and politicians here is apparent from the choice epithets used for them in WikiLeaks. Some are considered dirty but not dangerous and others are dangerous but not dirty, and yet these shameless people go grovelling to their liege lords like serfs and subjects.

These rulers and politicians and the establishment sacrifice self-respect for material benefits; they cannot be expected to stand up for the rights of the Baloch people over their resources and land. And, moreover, because the Baloch do not expect them to protect their rights, they will resist Tethyan and the Arab princes’ encroachments on their land and resources in the same way that made, in spite of the huge military presence, Amoco Oil Company give up oil exploration in the Marri area in 1974.

To read full article : Daily Times

The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He can be contacted at mmatalpur@gmail.com

Sindh cultural unity

Sindhi cultural unity days —Nizamuddin Nizamani

Sindh volunteered to be the part of Pakistan and the Sindh Assembly took the first initiative to pass a resolution in favour of Pakistan. The incoming ruling elite of newly established Pakistan behaved contrary to the commitments and instead deprived the province of the privileges enjoyed even before independence

Sindh is celebrating culture days on December 4 and 5, 2010 to revitalise and revamp the Sindhi cultural symbols and way of life presumed to be under threat from the so-called external encroachment and the risk of extinction.

According to anthropologists, culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

Sindh and the Sindhi language have a rich cultural heritage and have acquired many symbols from other cultures, eastern and western simultaneously, without compromising their basic formation. Historically, the Sindhi language was among the few recognised official languages in undivided India under British rule. The Sindhi vernacular has rich expressional potential catering to all aspects of socio-economic and administration systems, has written and oral capacity, symbols and phonics about all tangible and intangible things, emotions, feelings, norms, has a versatile and comprehensive vocabulary with many words for the same items in varying degrees and having multiple meanings for the same words.

The content and quality of the dialect, according to Tariq Rehman, impressed the British government. The Bombay government adopted Sindhi as the official language at the local level and in September 1851 made it mandatory for British officials to pass a Sindhi language exam as a prerequisite to qualify for a job in the administrative system of Sindh. The administration also took supportive steps to modify, simplify and enhance the Sindhi language by redesigning Sindhi letters into Arabic letters and increased the number of alphabets to 52 to cover all the sounds.

Tariq Rehman also provides that Sindhi remained a major language of basic schooling in the province. Sindhi intellectuals, researchers and critics argue that though Sindh volunteered to be a part of Pakistan and the Sindh Assembly took the first initiative to pass a resolution in favour of Pakistan, the incoming ruling elite of newly established Pakistan behaved contrary to the commitments and instead deprived the province of the privileges enjoyed even before independence.

In such a backdrop since partition, Sindhi culture has been on the defensive. Sindhi nationalists observe that since independence the state has been imposing Mughal and Arabic culture in the name of a single Pakistani identity at the cost of other cultures. ….

Read more : Daily Times

Sindh Assembly passed a unanimous resolution for WAPDA’s rotational chairmanship with representation of every province

SA passes six resolutions

* Representation of all provinces in WAPDA’s Board of Directors stressed

By Masroor Afzal Pasha

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly (SA) passed a unanimous resolution on Wednesday for the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)’s rotational chairmanship in all provinces with representation of every province in WAPDA’s board of directors (BoD). …

Read more : Daily Times

An apologist and fearful PPP

The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: SAMAA TV ( News Beat with Meher Bukhari, guests Tahmina Doltana of PML-N and others, 9th Nov. 2010)

Via – ZemTVYouTube Link

Islamabad : The National Assembly appeared shocked : A lot of military activity on the Constitution avenue – The soldiers did not salute the national flag which is the duty of every uniformed Pakistani and they insulted a federal minister in his flag-bearing car

Two soldiers ‘train’ guns at minister
Chaudhry Nisar said he saw “a lot of military activity” on the avenue at the time, giving him the impression that “some four-star general” was coming to meet either the president or the Prime Minister.
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly appeared shocked to hear from opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday that two soldiers had insulted a federal minister in his flag-bearing car earlier in the day by training their guns at him at a checkpoint near parliament when a four-star general too was in the area.

The government acknowledged that this “serious” incident had happened, which Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Naveed Qamar said would be taken up with “appropriate authorities”.

Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, chairing the proceedings at the time, called for a report about what he called an incident of “highhandedness” before the house concludes its current session after four days.

But neither of the three men who spoke about the matter identified the minister involved in the incident, which the opposition leader said happened some time in the afternoon, when he also drove around 2pm through the Constitution Avenue, on which the Parliament House is located and where one of the checkpoints normally manned by police checks vehicles going towards the Parliament House as well as the nearby presidency and the Prime Minister’s House.

Also none of them named the general for whom troops came to control traffic, although Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani met President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday afternoon.

Chaudhry Nisar said he saw “a lot of military activity” on the avenue at the time, giving him the impression that “some four-star general” was coming to meet either the president or Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and that he was informed by some witnesses later on coming to his office in parliament about a minister’s car flying the national flag having been stopped along with other cars by two soldiers “carrying bandooks (rifles)” and controlling traffic at the checkpoint instead of police.

“The soldiers did not have the courtesy to salute the national flag… which is the duty of every uniformed Pakistani,” he said.

“The matter did not end there,” he said, and added that when the driver of the minister — who too he thought was heading towards the presidency or the prime minister’s house — “tried to move his car forward, the two soldiers trained their guns” (towards the inmates).

“Is it the national army or an individual’s army,” the opposition leader asked and stressed the troops had no business to assume police job. “If they stop me tomorrow, I will not stop.”
The army would enjoy the nation’s respect only if it complied with its constitutional duty of defending the borders, Chaudhry Nisar said, drawing cheers from his PML-N colleagues as well many PPP members.

Minister Naveed Qamar said it was a “serious matter” to stop the car of a minister with the national flag or of any elected member of the house and added: “The government takes it seriously. We will take up the matter with appropriate authorities.”

Read more : DAWN

More details BBC urdu

Khwaja Asif on Pakistan Army

Khwaja Asif shows Ainay Ka Doosra Rukh!

Khawaja Asif of PML-N revolts against Army Feudalism in a fascinating budget 2006/7 speech in National Assembly. Legislators shall respect such leaders so others can follow the EXAMPLE. The language of speech is urdu (Hindi).

YouTube Link- Link1, Link2

An approach to win equal rights for Sindhis in Pakistan

Preamble – “Leading towards Peace & Progress – Indus Peoples Forum (IPF)
Traversing through the yeras of history Sindh maintained its existence as an independent state even when invaders were ruling the large part of sub-continent. It maintained this status as recent as British Raj that merged Sindh into Bombay presidency in 1840s. Sindh played pivotal role in the struggle for Pakistan. Sindh Assembly was first in the sub-continent to adopt a resolution in favor of Pakistan in 1940. Sindhis wanted a Pakistan as envisioned in Resolution of 1940 and pinned their hopes in the new country.

However all the hopes were shattered with the passage of time. During initial years, vested interest forces took over the reins of power. Civil and military bureaucracy aligned with opportunist political forces to rule the country. These elements dominated all sorts of decision-making and alienated majority of people from the mainstream of the country. East Bengal, Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) were denied of their due share in federation. Bengalis parted their way after a bloody battle in 1971, Balochis faced a series of armed operations and Pakhtuns are struggling for their historic identity and rights. Whereas Sindh has been facing ceaseless stream of tyranny and injustice.

Continue reading An approach to win equal rights for Sindhis in Pakistan

Pakistan – Three ex-Army generals found guilty of 25 billion scam

Three ex-Army generals found guilty of Rs 25 bn scam – By Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD: A nine-year-old Rs 25 billion scam of the Musharraf regime has returned to haunt his three favourite ex-Army Generals, who administered the Pakistan Railways in 2001, former ISI chief Javed Ashraf Qazi, Saeeduz Zafar and Hamid Hassan Butt.

A 20-member special parliamentary committee of the National Assembly, formed by Speaker NA Dr Fahmida Mirza on April 22, 2008, investigated the lease of PR’s hundreds of acres of land of Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, Lahore, to a private party. It has now recommended to the government to register criminal cases against these ex-generals and confiscate and auction their property to recover the losses before cancelling the deal.

These generals were summoned by the committee to give their side of the story but they failed to convince the members of their innocence. This is the major finding of any parliamentary committee since the return of democracy in 2008. The special committee has recommended immediate termination of the contract signed in 2001 and appointment of a new ad hoc committee for the interim period. It recommended fresh leasing of the Royal Palm Golf Course in an open auction so that maximum revenue could be generated for the Pakistan Railways, which according to its calculation might exceed Rs 40 billion. ….

Read more >> The News

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Parliament investigates corruption of Musharraf’s Generals

Courtesy: DawnNews (Arshad Sharif)

Via >> ZemTV

>> Link

Unaccounted-for, release of Rs5.55 billion to ISI

PAC denied information about Rs5.5bn paid to ISI

By Khawar Ghumman

ISLAMABAD: Eyebrows were raised on Tuesday when finance officials informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly about an unaccounted-for, one-time release of Rs5.55 billion to Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) during 2007-08 for its operations.

When pressed for details, Finance Secretary Salman Siddique opted to keep quiet. “This is highly sensitive information and hence I can’t talk about it at an open forum.”

According to information provided by the finance division to the PAC, the amount was paid to the ISI as a supplementary grant.

Despite repeated questions and light-hearted taunts by members of the committee, Mr Siddique refused to share any details. …

Read more >> DAWN

The question of Balochistan

By: Urooj Zia

If you see the flag of Pakistan in Balochistan, you are either on the Balochistan University campus in Quetta or at the provincial assembly – or, more alarmingly, within metres of a checkpost manned by the Frontier Corps (FC), the paramilitary force that controls the province. Nowhere else in this, the country’s largest province by area, will you see the national flag. On the contrary, flags of Azad Balochistan are a dime a dozen, adorning shops, houses, streetlights and random poles. Schools in the province – even those administered by the government – start their day not with ‘Pak ser zameen’ (the national anthem), but with ‘Ma chukki Balochani’, the anthem of Azad Balochistan. Here, the Pakistani state, army and paramilitary forces are figures of hate, while the sarmachar (Baloch ‘freedom fighters’) are considered heroes.

Read more >>- HIMAL

An untimely invitation

By Haider Nizamani

AS many as 150 members of India’s 541-strong Lok Sabha (the equivalent of Pakistan’s National Assembly) have criminal records. More than 300 of these members are millionaires. More than 50 political parties have elected members in India’s national and provincial legislatures.

Corruption and crime are endemic in its political system. Yet none of these parties, from communists to communalists, can muster up the courage to invite the Indian armed forces to kick out the politicians and take up the reins of power in the country.

Pakistan is in a different league. Altaf Hussain, the long-distance leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), recently extended an invitation to the Pakistan Army’s ‘patriotic generals’ to come forward to remove feudal politicians and root out corruption from the country. When the invitation received more criticism than accolades, the MQM leader roped in the Supreme Court on Aug 28 to team up with the army to do the needful.

The MQM is a partner in the coalition at both the federal and provincial levels, and ordinarily a party in power requesting the undoing of the system would sound scandalous. On both counts, feudalism and corruption, history and the present realities suggest that the military is not the answer. ‘Feudalism’ is the term used by the MQM to refer to the country’s land-owning classes. Either Mr Hussain is politically naive and has little grasp on the country’s history, or worse, he issued the statement taking the cue from authoritarian forces. More importantly, the stance of the MQM in raking up the ghost of feudalism in the manner that it has shows the party’s lack of seriousness about putting in the hard political work needed to meaningfully confront the landed elite of Pakistan.

Continue reading An untimely invitation

Unanimous resolution against MQM for target killings passed in Kyber Pukhtunkhwa

KP resolution urges Sindh govt to protect Pukhtuns

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly through a unanimous resolution on Monday demanded of the central and Sindh government to take stern action against the people and those political parties who are involved in targeted killings of Pukhtuns in Karachi and provide protection to them.

The resolution was moved by senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour and Opposition leader Akram Kan Durrani after Speaker Kiramatullah relaxed rules 240 under rules 124 to allow the resolution. The resolution stated that member of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly strongly condemned the target killings of Pukhtuns in Karachi and demanding of the federal as well as Sindh government to take action against the political parties and the persons involved in the killing of Pukhtuns.

The resolution, which was also read out by PPP Sherpao’s Sikander, Nighat Aurakzai of PML (Q), Munawar Khan of PML (N) and Qalander Lodhi of PML (Q), stated that Sindh government must bring the culprits tobook and provides protection to Pukhtuns.

The resolution stated that members of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly are on the back of the Pukhtuns.Bashir Ahmad Bilour, debating in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly said Pukhtuns in Karachi are being targeted while government is not taking enough steps to protect their lives.PML (Q) female member Nighat Aurakzai said MQM was ‘terrorist’ group and if they are not controlled similar terrorist actions in other cities of Pakistan could also be initiated.

Bashir Ahmad Bilour in his talks with media at Assembly premises also labeled MQM as a terrorist group and urged the government to take steps for protection of Pukhtuns.

Read more >> The News

Goodbye seventh sky

by Nadeem F. Paracha

DAWN

Last Monday (June 12) in the National Assembly of Pakistan, a member of a breakaway Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), Maulvi Asmatullah, suddenly rose from his seat and started to recite the azaan (Muslim call for prayer).

It didn’t matter to him that the muezzin of the assembly mosque had already sounded the call, and the fact that Asmatullah was not facing the qibla (Kabah) while reciting the azaan.

Continue reading Goodbye seventh sky

Democracy is the best revenge

By Mumtaz Langah, Edmonton

Congratulations to all those friends to believe in democracy and respect the authority of elected parliament. All assemblies have voted and elected Asif Ali Zardari. Great credit goes to Sindh Assembly where Mr. Zardari’s opponents got zero votes. This is a great slap on the face of beauracracy and establishment. This a matter of proud that after Shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari has become elected President of Pakistan who is a Sindhi leader. Democracy is the best revenge.

Development takes time.. as does public pressure

– Prof. Gul Agha

Take simple step: Demand that the Sindh Assembly to pass a law requiring the govt. to publish all local budgets, projects, tenders and awards on-line (in Sindhi, Sindh’s official language) so citizens can see how funds are being allocated and spent. Structural changes are needed in how business is done… Development takes time.. as does public pressure. Let’s see how much time we have..

Dec 4, 2008