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Posts from — January 2016

Pakistan not self-sufficient in building N-power plants: Member PAEC Report in The Nation, January 31, 2016

ISLAMABAD – Member engineering Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Syed Ziauddin said yesterday that out of many phases of building nuclear power plants Pakistan had attained self-sufficiency in some stages.
He however admitted that complete self-sufficiency in building atomic reactors was a lengthy process. He was addressing a seminar on “Nuclear Energy Scenario in Pakistan” organised by Pakistan Nuclear Society (PNS), here Saturday.
He said Pakistan was preparing as many as 500 instruments used in atomic reactors with its own resources, however, the country had to import majority of the tools and parts.
He was of the view that nuclear power plants should be built after making due consultations.
Addressing the seminar Dr Ishfaq Ahmad (NI, HI, SI) former chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said Pakistan nuclear energy programme was running successfully on international safety parameters outlined by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Prior to this Dr Syed Javaid Khurshid, President PNS welcomed the guests while shedding the light on the mandate of Pakistan Nuclear Society to promote research and development in nuclear science and technology.
Keeping in view this mandate, PNS has started awareness programme by arranging seminars and today’s seminar is first of its series, a press release said.
He said PNS was developing a visionary and looking forward Higher Scientific Board or Advisory Board on the lines of American and European Nuclear Societies, he added.
He hoped that in future PNS would become effective in dealing the climate change issues and turn into strong transmitter of nuclear scientific information for the industry and academic world.
He said after generating energy from nuclear power plants Pakistan could reduce carbon emissions and maintain transmission of electricity on a large scale.
Muhammad Naeem, HI, SI Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission while giving presentation on PAEC civil nuclear programme 2030 & beyond, said that since 1975, Pakistan in collaboration with China had started peaceful use of nuclear technology.
He said that PAEC had excellent integrated power planning, waste management techniques, operations and maintenance, quality assurance, human resource development, an above all best geological survey team before starting any project.
He said Pakistan had been running three nuclear plants successfully for the last 60 years. He Pakistan was now building four more atomic reactors out of which two projects of 1000 MW were in different stages of completion in Karachi and these will start working in 2020.
He said Pakistan government had set 8800MW target for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission by 2030. His presentation covered nuclear power generation aspects and future strategy to face the energy challenges.
While giving a presentation on Nuclear energy scenario worldwide Dr Ansar Parvez, HI, former chairman PAEC was of the view that in nuclear energy all stakeholders should play their safety role for nuclear power plants.
He said that nuclear renaissance which started from year 2000 made it possible to generate nuclear electric production worldwide.
He said that K2 and K3 power plants which under construction in Karachi were third generation power projects and modern safeguards and safety measures would be taken there. He further said that in case of any emergency these plants could have the ability stop working automatically.
Syed Ziauddin, Member engineering PAEC gave a presentation on indigenisation of nuclear power reactors.
At the seminar Anwar Habib, Chairman Pakistan Nuclear Authority (PNRA) spoke how effective PNRA is in regulating nuclear safety laws in Pakistan as a representative of IAEA.
He said any power house takes six to seven years after start of work and then begins generating energy. He international safeguards are observed during this whole process. He said Pakistan nuclear institute also monitors the whole process as per international norms.
The seminar was arranged to generate deliberations among scientists and researchers associated with this field. A large number of scientists, researchers and academicians attended the seminar. http://nation.com.pk/national/31-Jan-2016/pakistan-not-self-sufficient-in-building-n-power-plants-member-paec

January 31, 2016   No Comments

200 MNAs never moved any bill in NA: by Javaid-ur-Rahman in The Nation,January 30, 2016

ISLAMABAD – Most of the lawmakers from the lower house of the parliament seemed disinterested in being part of important lawmaking procedure or introducing their own legislation, which is their prime responsibility.

Nearly 200 MNAs, including parliamentary leaders of political parties, have never moved a single bill in the National Assembly during two-and-a- half years, which clearly reflects their level of interest in legislative business.

These 58 percent MNAs of total strength, mostly elected from the Punjab, took no interest in moving any bill.They did not even become part of a group of their party to move any bill for legislation, according to FAFEN’s data available to The Nation.

These MNAs, including parliamentary leaders, over half of the total strength of the house, from the day one of the current assembly till last sitting (28th session) never tabled a single bill.As many as 128 MNAs from the PML-N lawmakers took the lead by turning a blind eye to moving a single bill in the house, which is main part of their job.
The 32 MNAs of PPP also did not take interest in moving any bill in the house while nine PTI MNAs stood third, showing lack of interest in moving any bill, say the figures.

Most of the MNAs, mainly from back benches, seemingly did not participate in discussions on the bills as they only supported their parties.
The incumbent government, despite enjoying over two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, sometimes had to face difficulty to get bills passed because of thin presence.
This government even could not maintain quorum pointed out by the opposition members of the house for six times in last two sessions.

The names of the MNAs who did not bother to move any bill included Aftab Shahban Mirani, Naseema, Sardar Mumtaz Khan, Musarat Rafique Mahesar, Shaheen Shafiq, Muhammad Tallal Ch, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Shahida Rehmani, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan, Abdul Qadar Khan Wadan, Dawar Khan Kundi, Waheed Alam Khan, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Mian Muhammad Farooq, Sajid Nawaz, Shamas-un-Nisa, Mian Muhammad Rasheed, Syed Muhammad Ashiq Hussain, Muhammad Khan Daha, Rana Zahid Hussain Khan, Salim Rehman, Iftikhar Ud Din, Muhammad Akram Ansari, Ch.Asad Ur Rehman, Ch.Mahmood Bashir Virk, Sardar Muhammad Arshad Khan Laghari, Shahnaz Saleem Malik, Ghulam Rasool Sahi, Muhammad Junaid Anwaar Ch, Iftikhar Ahmad Cheema, Syed Iftikhar Ul Hassan, Raja Muhammad Javed Ikhlas, Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Shahjehan Munir Mangerio, Rajab Ali Khan Baloch, Shaikh Rohale Asghar,
Ch.Nazeer Ahmad, Tahir Iqbal Ch, Abdul Sattar Bachani, Mahreen Razaque Bhutto, Rana Muhammad Hayat Khan, Rao Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Muhammad Moeen Wattoo, Shakila Luqman, Malik Ibrar Ahmed, Pir Muhammad Amin Ul Hasnat, Syed Muhammad Athar Hussain Shah Gillani, Saeed Ahmad Khan Manais, Amra Khan, Gulzar Khan, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Arifa Khalid Parvez, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Dr.Tariq Fazal, Malik Itbar Khan, Amjid Ali Khan, Mian Shahid Hussain Khan, Ch.Muhammad Munir, Abdul Hakeem Balouch, Kiran Imran, Syed Sajid Mehdi, Sardar Muhammad Amjad Farooq Khan Khosa, Syed Amir Ali Shah Jamote, Bilal Rehman, Sardar Muhammad Shafqat Hayat Khan, Ch.Abid Raza, Zahid Hamid Khan, Ch.Nadeem Abbas Rebera, Nazir Ahmed Bughio, Mussarat Ahmadzeb, Sheikh Muhammad Akram, Ch.Jaffar Iqbal, Zeb Jaffar, Surriya Jatoi, Dr.Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharal, Shazadi Umarzadi Tiwana, Najaf Abbas Sial, Azhar Qayyum Nahra, Muhammad Barjees Tahir, Rana Muhammad Ishaq Khan, Syed Muhammad Saqlain Bukhari, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Ghalib Khan, Rana Umar Nazir Khan, Malik Abdul Ghaffar Dogar, Ch.Khadim Hussain, Aslam Bodla, Mian Najibuddin Awaisi, Mian Imtiaz Ahmed, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Nawab Ali Wassan, Sabiha Nazir, Shagufta Jumani, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Mehar Ishtiaq Ahmad, Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar, Dr.Muhammad Afzal Khan, Ch.Khalid Javed Warraich, Ch.Armaghan Subhani, Mian Javed Latif, Sardar Mansab Ali Dogar, Sardar Ashiq Hussain Khan Gopang, Muhammad Ijaz-Ul-Haq, Jam Kamal Khan, Usman Khan Tarrakai, Akram Khan Durrani, Nasir Khan, Ghulam Muhammad Lali, Nasir Iqbal Bosal, Sardar Muhammad Irfan Dogar, Sheikh Fayyaz Ud Din, Pir Noor Muhammad Shah Jeelani, Dr.Shazia Sobia, Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal, Syed Muhammad Asghar Shah, Muhammad Uzair Khan, Sahibzada Muhammad Nazir Sultan, Sahibzada Faiz Ul Hassan, Nauman Islam Shaikh, Mir Dostain Khan Domki, Ch.Muhammad Shahbaz, Syed Imran Ahmad Shah, Ch.Muhammad Ashraf, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Dr.Hafeez Ur Rehman Khan, Sarzameen, Dr.Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti, Ali Gohar Khan Mahar, Muhammad Riaz Malik, Waseem Akhtar Shaikh, Faqir Sher Muhammad Bilalani, Sohail Shoukat Butt, Mir Shabbir Ali Bijarani, Dr.Asma Mamdot, Shazia Mubashar, Abdul Kareem, Muhammad Nazir Khan, Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Kanwar Naveed Jamil, Shah Jahan Baloch, Mujahid Ali, Babar Nawaz Khan, Ahsan Iqbal, Nawabzada Mazher Ali, Daniyal Aziz Ch, Malik Sultan Mehmood, Mir Aamir Ali Khan Magsi, Fazal-Ur-Rehman, Ihsan Ur Rahman Mazari, Shazia Ashfaq Mattu, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Alam Dad Laleka, Pir Shafqat Hussain Shah Jilani, Syed Ayaz Ali Shah Sheerazi, Begum Majeeda Wyne, Tahmina Daultana, Ch.Bilal Ahmed Virk, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Khial Zaman, Malik Muhammad Afzal Khokhar, Chaudhry Riaz-ul-Haq, Rafique Ahmed Jamali, Syed Essa Nori, Pir Bux Junejo, Obaid Ullah Khan Shadi Khel, Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju, Ch. Tariq Bashir Cheema,Syed Javed Ali Shah, Ch.Iftikhar Nazir, Sardar Muhammad Jafar Khan Leghari, Makhdoom Syed Mustafa Mehmood, Makhdoomzada Syed Basit Ahmad Sultan Bokhari, Sardar Kamal Khan Chang, Tahir Bashir Cheema, Muhammad Ali Rashid, Ch.Parvez Elahi, Abdul Rahim Mandokhail, Rida Khan, Muhammad Zain Ellahi, Malik Iqbal Mehdi Khan, Mir Munawar Ali Talpur, Ch.Muhammad Asim Nazir, Ghulam Rabani Khar, Malik Asad Sikandar, Roshan Din Junejo, Amir Haider Khan, Jahangir Khan Tareen, Faryal Talpur, Muhammad Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, Ali Mohammad Khan Mahar, Dr. Fehmida Mirza and others.http://nation.com.pk/national/30-Jan-2016/200-mnas-never-moved-any-bill-in-na

January 30, 2016   No Comments

Another minister comes up with charges against Shah: by IFTIKHAR A. KHAN —in Dawn, January 30th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: As if the allegations levelled on Thursday by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan against Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah were not enough, another federal minister came up with charges of alleged wrongdoing against the senior PPP leader on Friday.

Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanvir Hussain accused Mr Shah of getting his brother ‘illegally’ elected as chairman of the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) during the last PPP regime and of lobbying for extension in his term which expired not long ago.

He said Mr Shah had managed to get support of several government functionaries, but when no intercession worked he came to “my office along with his brother to make the same request”.

Mr Hussain alleged that the term of Mr Shah’s brother as PEC chairman was the worst in terms of corruption and financial irregularities. He said that when he refused to accept the request, the leader of opposition complained against him at higher level.

He said Mr Shah also wanted that in case of non-extension new elections should be conducted through a company owned by close relatives of his brother to get him elected as they had done during the PPP’s tenure.

“I will give first testimony about Khursheed Shah’s character if he goes to the court or the assembly,” Mr Hussain said, adding that he was ready to place before the court details of the matter and other particulars if summoned.

In a related development, a spokesman for the interior ministry said that during his Thursday’s press conference Chaudhry Nisar had not said anything about any two-way deal between the government and the opposition.

He dismissed such perception as inaccurate and totally out of context. He said the recorded words of the interior minister were as follows: “I am confirming this to you how an opposition leader achieved gains from this important office…..”

The spokesman said the sentence could also be corroborated by Chaudhry Nisar’s subsequent statement that on the one hand Mr Shah was getting favours from the government of the day and, on the other he was also criticising the government without any reason or justification.

The interior minister, he said, had made the remarks when asked to comment on the allegations levelled against him by Mr Shah.

The spokesman said the interior minister was very specific in his remarks and only referred to the person against whom the comments were being solicited.

The interior minister did not respond to critical statements against him mostly emanating from Sindh. Other political parties jumped into the debate with a TV channel reporting that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had asked what price the government had paid for a friendly opposition and PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain expressed the hope that the tension between the ruling party and the PPP would soon be over.

KARACHI OPERATION: Meanwhile, Chaudhry Nisar said on Friday that ‘hurdles’ in the way of Karachi operation would be removed.

During a telephonic conversation he had with the director general of Rangers Sindh, he discussed ways of making the operation more effective.

Chaudhry Nisar said the operation enjoyed the support of the people of the entire country and not only of the people of Karachi. The operation will be made more effective in days to come.

He expressed satisfaction over the performance of Rangers and police in the Karachi operation.http://www.dawn.com/news/1236318/another-minister-comes-up-with-charges-against-shah

January 30, 2016   No Comments

Aitzaz demands national govt: by SYED IRFAN RAZA in Dawn, January 30th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The war of words between the government and PPP continued on Friday as leaders from the two sides levelled further allegations against each other with People’s Party demanding formation of a national government.

PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said in a TV talk show that the PML-N government led by Nawaz Sharif should be ousted and a national government should be formed.

“A joint session of parliament should be convened to take parties into confidence about the national government,” he said. “All the federal ministers are coward. They should be fired as the Nawaz Sharif administration has become dysfunctional.”

The confrontation started earlier this week when Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah accused Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of not implementing the National Action Plan (NAP) designed to eliminate terrorism and extremism.

The interior minister reciprocally blamed Mr Shah on Thursday for taking ‘undue’ benefits by ‘misusing’ his position.

Accusing Prime Minister Sharif and his cabinet of making money, Aitzaz Ahsan said cowards could do no harm to terrorists.

Referring to PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain, who is presently under the NAB custody, Mr Ahsan said: “Those who are not terrorists are being projected as militants. Dr Asim Hussain might be a corrupt person, but he is certainly not a terrorist.”

PPP Spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar told Dawn that whatever the PPP leaders were saying in their statements were in the line of the party’s stance.
http://www.dawn.com/news/1236334/aitzaz-demands-national-govt

January 30, 2016   No Comments

Chaudhry of Chakri: by ARIF NIZAMI in Pakistan Today, jan 30, 2016

The writer is Editor, Pakistan Today
The enigmatic security czar Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in his signature pontification mode has declared that Pakistan winning otherwise is losing the physiological war to the terrorists. The Chaudhry from Chakri is the bête noire to the parliamentary opposition and vice versa.

He has never hidden his visceral hatred for the PPP. Being in the habit of talking down rather than talking to, Nisar is not a terribly popular figure even amongst the ruling PML-N.

According to the interior minister, the opposition buttressed by the media is spreading despondency and fear amongst the populace by its demoralising statements about the ostensible failure of the government’s counter terrorism policies. He claims that those who criticise the NAP (National Action Plan) have not even read it.

Actually like the glass being half full or half empty, Nisar is quite right in declaring that in sheer numbers terrorist incidents have markedly reduced since the military launched Zarb-e-Azb a little more than a year-and-a-half ago. But to claim that NAP is being implemented in letter and spirit, simply put, is a white lie.

Most of the credit for getting a handle on terrorism goes to the military leadership. This is not to undermine the sacrifices rendered by civilian LEAs (law enforcement agencies) under the enabling environment provided by the civilian leadership. But all this would not have been possible if the military had not changed its previous mindset and forced the hand of the political spectrum to change as well.

Public memory is not so short to forget the lament of Nisar Ali Khan when in November 2013 Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a drone attack. At that juncture the interior minister, like rest of the PML-N, was the biggest champion of talking to the terrorists.

The launch of a consensual National Action Plan, post attack on Army Public School in December 2014, should have been a wake-up call for all. The Plan however remains largely unimplemented. The interior minister, the self styled expert in counterterrorism, however does not brook any criticism about the government’s inability in creating conditions to combat terrorism.

He refuses to admit that the federal government and the provinces on one hand and the military on the other are not entirely on the same page regarding NAP’s application in letter and spirit. A few weeks ago even the military leadership in a press release issued after a corps commanders meeting expressed it reservations about tardiness of the government in implementing of some of the key components of the Plan.

One of the bedrock of the (NAP) was revival of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA). Unfortunately even after a lapse of more than a year the so called Authority, strapped for funds, remains still-born. Apparently there is a turf war regarding who will be its boss.

While the prime minister’s secretariat wants it under the prime minister, Nisar thinks it is his domain. And obviously the biggest stakeholder in counter and anti-terrorism efforts, the military, will also not let go. So much for the State providing an umbrella for a seamless counter-terrorism policy.

Under the Plan banned outfits were not to be allowed to operate under different names and financial sources of terrorists and terrorist organisation were to be cut. Little or no progress has been made on this count.

After the Pathankot incident a few weeks back, there has been a clampdown on JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed). But scores of such organisations are operating with impunity. Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid, despite his defiant demeanour and warrants for his arrest, is a free man. After release of his recent video implicating the ISI, theoretically speaking, the only place for him is behind bars.

When the opposition complains about being lied to, the interior minister resents it. He thinks that the government should not be criticised on the basis of incidents like the dastardly attack on Bacha Khan University as it spreads despondency.

In this context he has even opposed the closure of schools and some universities on the basis of inadequate security. Only a facile mindset can ignore threats made by the terrorist outfits in order to continue to wrongly claim that the psychological war against terrorism has been won.

Notwithstanding the hectoring, one of the stated aims of NAP was to destroy the communication systems of terrorist organisations. Had it been so, the terrorists command control system in Afghanistan would not have worked to make incidents like the attack on Bacha Khan University possible.

Similarly under the Plan measures were to be taken to stop religious extremism and to protect minorities. Virtually nothing has been done on this count. Resultantly minorities are sitting ducks, entirely at the mercy of sectarian outfits.

Under NAP, special efforts were to be made to clean up the south of Punjab of terrorists. The Punjab government somehow feels it does not need the helping hand of the Rangers as it can do the job on its own.

Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah has reacted strongly to Nisar’s most recent diatribe. Does this mean that the honeymoon between the PML-N and the PPP is officially dead and buried?

Nisar has echoed what the PTI has been saying all along: ‘muk muka’ (collusion) between ruling party and the PPP opposition. It seems that the interior minister is so obsessed with nurturing his bloated ego that somehow it does not even matter to him how it impacts upon doing his job as a member of the Sharif cabinet.

Without the cooperation of the provinces and the parliamentary opposition some of the basic components of an effective counterterrorism strategy will remain largely unimplemented. The PPP controls Sindh and still is the largest opposition party at the federal level. The ruling party lacks a majority in the Upper House. These are the stark realities of our prevalent political landscape.

In this context without a consensual concord it will be virtually impossible for the government to implement it’s anti terrorism and economic agenda. Perhaps the leader of the opposition went too far branding Nisar as, “asteen ka saanp” (fifth column), but nonetheless it does not help the cause of the government by harking back to the confrontational politics of the nineties.

Perhaps Nisar Ali Khan after the military chief’s refusal to accept an extension in his term for the sake of the institution he heads should take a cue from him. If for nothing else, in order for the democratic system to flourish, he should put up or shut up.

The prime minister is back from his extended visit to Europe. Instead of pretending to be above the fray he should, for a change, seen to be a hands-on leader.

He should admonish his interior minister to adhere to the sacrosanct principle of collective responsibility in a parliamentary system and stop behaving like the proverbial bull in a china shop.

It is another matter, however, if Sharif now in the latter part of his term wants to pursue confrontational politics. Judging from the restraint generally shown by other members of his cabinet, this however does not seem to be the case. http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/01/30/comment/chaudhry-of-chakri

January 30, 2016   No Comments

Nisar should heed wise counsel: by ABBAS NASIR in Dawn, Jan 30, 2016

The writer is a former editor of Dawn
ALTHOUGH as the point man of a government currently braving a terror campaign, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan should provide regular updates to raise the public morale, he doesn’t speak very often. But on the occasion he does, he invariably creates waves.

Who wouldn’t recall his lament in parliament when Pakistan’s enemy number one, the mass murderer Hakeemullah Mehsud, was taken out by a missile fired from a US drone? Nisar Ali Khan was so outraged that the floor of the house shook with his anger because the man he was so keen to negotiate with was no more.

If someone else matched the interior minister’s sense of outrage at Mehsud’s killing it was the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, who also wanted to talk to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, and the drone strike took away his favourite interlocutor.

With Hakeemullah gone and Nisar Ali Khan having had to face the brunt of Imran Khan’s dharna as interior minister, one would have thought the two Aitchisonians would never see eye to eye again. But one couldn’t have been more gravely mistaken.

For long, Imran Khan has used the derisory term ‘muk muka’ to describe the Charter of Democracy concluded between the PML-N and the PPP in which the two parties pledged not to repeat their nasty politics of persecuting the other when either was in power in the 1990s.

On Thursday, just two days ago, when the interior minister came under renewed attack for being apparently AWOL during a crisis period, he addressed a news conference and, instead of updating the audience about the latest measures in the context of the National Action Plan to counter terrorism, he laid into the opposition PPP.

Mr Khan lashed out at the leader of the opposition Syed Khursheed Shah after the latter echoed calls of some of the family members of those killed in the Army Public School and more recently the Charsadda terror atrocities in calling for a judicial inquiry to ascertain possible gaps in security measures.

Rather than find fault with Shah’s demand, Nisar Ali Khan said he was in a position to ‘confirm’ Imran Khan’s charge of ‘muk muka’ between his own party and the PPP, and accused the opposition leader of securing undue favours from the prime minister. He did not specify what these favours were but accused the opposition of undermining the action against terrorism.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s latest comments were reminiscent of his remarks when the PPP protested against the manner of arrest and apparent persecution of a key leader, Dr Asim Hussain by the federally controlled paramilitary Rangers in Sindh.

Rather than ask the force under his command to present evidence in the anti-terrorism court against Dr Hussain to secure his conviction, the minister had launched into a tirade against his critics and said he could present ‘tapes’ against the detained PPP leader which were full of embarrassing, incriminating material. For weeks, even months, we have waited to hear those juicy conversations.

I recall Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan from when he served in the Nawaz Sharif cabinet in the 1990s as a pleasant, civil and an amiable person. He was on top of his ministry. Despite the fact he enjoyed unrivalled proximity to the Sharifs, he had no arrogance.

One can only speculate but, it seems, two things have happened since, making him bitter and averse to criticism. The first which left him perhaps filled with guilt, even self-loathing, seemed to be his role in the appointment of the then army chief, Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1998.

Nisar Ali Khan’s brother, Lt-Gen Iftikhar Ali Khan who’d been appointed defence secretary by Sharif, was Musharraf’s senior and the commando had served under him. When after Gen Jahangir Karamat’s resignation, the prime minister was confronted with making a choice, the brothers are said to have proposed Musharraf’s name forcefully. The rest is history.

Nisar Ali Khan has always been a religious man but his years in political wilderness following Musharraf’s coup seemed to have pushed him further towards the right. Much of this information comes from sources in the PML-N and is admittedly speculative.

Therefore, it isn’t clear whether his deep-seated dislike for the PPP stems more from the allegations of corruption against the largely Sindh-based party or the avowedly secular nature of the politics it pursues.

One can believe any criticism levelled against the PPP over issues ranging from misgovernance to corruption but it is difficult to fathom that a party that has been at the receiving end of the wrath of the terrorists would harbour a soft corner for them or would want to undermine the war on terrorism.

One can be sure that a conscientious man like Nisar Ali Khan is doing the best he can against the multiple scourges of intolerance, bigotry and terrorism in the country but he should also be open to suggestions for improvements. It isn’t the PPP alone which is critical.

He need only read the op-ed pages of this newspaper alone to realise how unhappy are some of those who helped author the NAP at his own invitation. Yes, these people are not partisan political commentators but former law-enforcement officers of impeccable reputation and integrity.
http://www.dawn.com/news/1236203/nisar-should-heed-wise-counsel

January 30, 2016   No Comments

Chaudhry Nisar’s outburst; EDITORIAL in Dawn, January 30th, 2016

INTERIOR Minister Nisar Ali Khan appears to have a notoriously thin skin. It was recently on display when Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah did what he seems to do best — provoke the interior minister.  Earlier in the week, Mr Shah castigated the interior minister for his alleged unavailability in parliament and inaction over many parts of the National Action Plan.As soon as the interior minister rediscovered his health — his indisposition was perhaps the reason why he kept away from the public gaze after criticism of his ministry — he has seen it fit to assail Mr Shah.It has been a thoroughly dubious attack. The recent carnage at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda was not an isolated incident as the interior minister has suggested, nor is there an obvious reason to deny an independent investigation into the circumstances that allowed the attack to take place.Sadly, the interior minister’s belligerence is not new. At the height of the PTI protest on Constitution Avenue, Chaudhry Nisar turned his guns on veteran PPP senator Aitzaz Ahsan.At that particular moment, the PML-N needed every bit of democratic support that it could muster in parliament. Instead, bizarrely, the interior minister turned the special joint session of parliament called to reinforce support for democracy into a slanging match with Mr Ahsan.
For some reason — blame it on Nawaz Sharif who even now seems unwilling to rein in his interior minister or the latter politician himself who came across as de facto deputy prime minister, unwilling to accept a role equal to the rest of the cabinet — Chaudhry Nisar was allowed to undermine the entire joint session of parliament.It was a ghastly performance in September 2014 but unfortunately, he does not appear to have learned any lessons.Undeniably, there have been many faults in Chaudhry Nisar’s parliamentary career. However, the role of Khursheed Shah as leader of the opposition is not altogether commendable either.Mr Shah has proved himself in parliament as an orator and a combatant, but what of the timing of each of his speeches? Ultimately, it appears that whatever the legitimacy of his complaints, there is a link to the pressure on the PPP — or elements close to the PPP leadership — in Sindh.The ongoing incarceration of Dr Asim Hussain appears to have inordinately drawn the attention of the PPP. In fact, be it Dr Hussain or others accused of crimes connected to the very apex of the PPP leadership in parliament, the party only appears to become active when it finds itself under attack, either in Sindh or at the centre.The interior minister was wrong to respond in the manner he did and Mr Shah was wrong to attack.Regrettably, it appears that the only thing the parliamentary leadership is interested in is scoring political points.

January 30, 2016   No Comments

To The Contrary; EDITORIAL in The Nation, January 30th, 2016

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday accused Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah of benefiting from his office and being dishonest, while castigating the PPP over the “misleading and incorrect” statements made by its leaders. The storm of words is making the national situation unstable and the PPP is especially up in arms. Any controversial statements should be refrained from at this sensitive time. National morale is low in light of on-going threats against schools and colleges and the political parties need to exercise restraint in their political battles.

Additionally the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan urged all provincial governments not to shutdown schools over fears of terrorist attacks as he compared the closure of educational institutions with bowing down to terrorism. While we can appreciate his aims to create calm in a climate of fear as well as pacify concerns that his government has been less than adequate to end the menace of terrorism, would he send his own child to school if there was a threat? And even if he would, should he expect the rest of the nation to agree with his policy of not “bowing down to terrorism”.

It is not a new realisation that the national law enforcement system is severely out dated. It consists of unhealthy policemen with old guns for surveillance on roads and ill equipped security guards inducted in schools, and asking for the military to guard schools might be a bit of a stretch. Thus schools and parents take comfort in the fact that for a few days they don’t have to worry. Meanwhile, at the individual level they can plan and build more protection individually, because the state clearly cannot protect them.

What the PPP is doing in Sindh – refusing to admit that the Thar famine was avoidable, that its ranks are corrupt and needs to be purged, that Karachi’s security situation is product of their own politics – is the same as what the PML-N is doing in the Punjab with the NAP and the parties resistance towards openly condemning religious hate mongers and terrorist outfits. There is a stubborn refusal to cause actual change in Punjab, with statements like: “Those who are criticising the National Action Plan (NAP) and trying to create a situation of fear among the masses are working for terrorists.” The NAP’s implementation has been far from ideal, and to a large extent criticism is warranted. Had Nisar been in the opposition, he would have criticised the NAP on the same grounds.

Efforts can only be appreciated if they bear fruit. When they don’t its called defeat. How can the ruling party expect to be congratulated, when people feel so unsafe- no matter how much effort has been made to the contrary?http://nation.com.pk/editorials/30-Jan-2016/to-the-contrary

 

January 30, 2016   No Comments

Why is Ch Nisar PPP’s main target? By Mazhar Abbas in The News, January 30, 2016

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) still has cordial relationship with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari has stopped party leaders from any unnecessary criticism of Mian Sahib, but tension is building up with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The question is why he is the prime target?

They consider him as the man who shifted the “Karachi operation,” to the PPP and the Sindh government. How far it is true and will there be another ceasefire or if a friendly opposition would turn into a deadly one now?

In a “battle of giants” on Thursday, Ch Nisar and Syed Khursheed Shah, came down really hard on each other and that put Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a difficult position, and that too at a difficult time, after his return from abroad to deal with post-premature announcement of army chief, General Raheel Sharif that he would not seek any extension in service after retirement.

The PM apparently would not like to escalate tension, and he held a meeting with his core team. Though the agenda was general law and order in the post-Charsadda attack, his separate meeting with Ch Nisar might discuss how to deal with the PPP. But, there is no U-Turn on powers to rangers, NAB and FIA inquiries, but they agreed to dispel the perception of victimisation.

The question is whether Ch Nisar will get the support of the PM on this issue or not. What the PM is looking for is solution if not patch-up. He succeeded in the past, and he can do it again.

There is no doubt that this situation is linked with Karachi’s development and inquiries pending with rangers, FIA and NAB, some of which can put top PPP leaders in serious difficulties. The recent probe against Mir Munawar Talpur, spouse of Zardari’s sister, Faryal Talpur, further aggravated the situation. The former president, in a taunting tone, termed the move “Sharif’s gift of New Year”.

The only other PML-N leader, who has taken “Head on” with the PPP is Senator Mushahidullah, who had to lose his ministry for making establishment angry over one of his statements. Some PPP critics believe that Ch Nisar was against any “muk muka” from the day one and when, during the Karachi operation, reports started coming about some party leaders and ministers, he gave a go ahead. The PPP also blamed him for widening the gap between the PPP and the establishment.

Some background information revealed that there were some differences between Nawaz Sharif and Ch Nisar in 2014, when initially NAB was about to reopen some of the pending inquires against former president, two former prime ministers of the PPP from 2008 to 2013, and others.

Sources said Mian Sahib was reluctant but the interior minister took a position that the government should not intervene and should not stop the inquiries. Last year, when serious reports started surfacing about the alleged involvement of some ministers and the PPP leaders in terror financing and money laundering, which invoked a strong reaction from Mr Zardari, the interior ministry did not intervene and did not stop rangers from “crossing its red lines”.

However, sources said, Ch Nisar personally spoke to DG Rangers when it raided Sindh Buildings Control Authority, SBCA and also the manner in which Dr Asim Hussain was arrested and expressed his displeasure.

But, at the same time, the FIA, which falls under the interior ministry, was allowed to carry out its operation and Rangers assess them during the second raid in the SBCA, when they took some 15,000 files for probe in “china cutting” scam.

The top PPP leadership also suspected the role of interior minister in widening the gap between the establishment and the PPP, which led to some very sensitive inquiries linked to money laundering and terror financing.

Dr Asim Hussain’s case was a turning point in the relationship between Sindh and Centre, first because of the manner in which he was arrested, and the second, when he was booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Source close to the minister said, after Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah met the prime minister in the presence of Ch Nisar, some relaxation was given to Dr Asim, who was shifted to Jinnah Hospital for treatment, but the PPP complained that all facilities which he was given in hospital were withdrawn by NAB.

Now, it would be interesting to watch whether Rangers would pursue its case under the Anti-Terrorism Act or not, when it comes up in the ATC court on January 30, and if NAB and the FIA continue their probe into money-laundering and corruption.

The PPP leaders feared interior minister’s role in the FIA and Rangers in particular and also the manner in which NAB has grilled Dr Asim allegedly in billions of rupees scams and believe that if it did not stop, it can lead to direct confrontation if top PPP men were arrested.

Thus, there are reasons to believe why the PPP looked nervous and wanted someone else as interior minister to replace Ch Nisar and some have even approached Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to play a role to ease the tension. It would not be easy for the PM to replace Nisar and bring in some other PML leader as the interior minister.

The prime minister, in the past, succeeded in causing a ceasefire between Ch Nisar and Aitzaz Ahsan about a year back. The interior minister was not happy when he was asked by the premier not to escalate tension after the PPP leader made some personal attacks on him.

Today’s situation is far more explosive one, and the next session of the National Assembly could be very hot, which Mian Sahib wants to avoid as the PPP has geared up and formulated a strategy to hit out at the interior minister and it could repeat its demand for resignation. The PPP target would focus on Nisar and would watch the response of the prime minister.

However, the opposition will seek an answer from the prime minister on Nisar’s statement that, (1) he never directed interior minister to go to Karachi, (2) confirmation of “Muk muka” between the government and the PPP and (3) the government gave favours to the opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah.

If the PM allowed other PML-N leaders to side with the minister, in case situation goes out of control in the NA and particularly in the Senate, where the opposition is in majority, things can really go out of control.

Therefore, there is a possibility that the NA session could be delayed, but if the PPP is in a mood to escalate tension, the Senate session can be called earlier. It now depends on what transpired in a meeting between PM Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Ch Nisar on this new development as the two have not met since premier was abroad.

The interior minister is also in a serious mood, and he may place some important record in the Senate and in the NA about how former interior minister and the PPP government facilitated and protected Lal Masjid Khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz.

Nisar came under heavy criticism for not doing much against Maulana Aziz. On the other hand, sources close to the minister said, he would place on record how his predecessor facilitated the Maulana, brought him back and made weak prosecution in at least two dozen cases that led to his acquittal.

It is not an easy situation, but both the PPP and the PML-N know their limits also and they would not like to derail the system. http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/94787-Why-is-Ch-Nisar-PPPs-main-target

January 30, 2016   No Comments

RPO critical of Pakistan’s justice system : by BAQA-UL-MOHSIN in The Nation, January 30, 2016

BAHAWALPUR : Regional Police Officer Ehsan Sadiq said that civil justice system in Pakistan is cumbersome and expensive therefore, recourse to civil courts for settlement of disputes has gradually declined.
Pakistan’s criminal justice system seems offender-focused and rights of victims are often neglected, he said during an exclusive talk to The Nation here on Friday.
In the community, there was an informal system of dispute resolution, mediation between individuals and groups which has become either ineffective or redundant, he added.
“Due to this factor, the people resort to police because police are visible and have prompt powers, which motivate citizens to seek police intervention even in non-policing matters. Due to this influx, the police feel overburdened and unrelated to these issues. Even if they respond it, is either due to financial incentives or through some influence. Due to the practice which tarnishes the police image, the citizens’ sufferings remain unsolved. Apart from this, disputes get aggravated,” he said.
He noted, “There is no response to the complainants though they run from pillar to post for justice. Such are vagaries of the existing system that often a victim feels being re-victimised at different stages of the administration of criminal justice. If one succeeds in approaching the police station, he/she has to face the traditional police behaviour. Therefore, with police attitude at the stations, sometimes, it becomes a haunting experience for sensitive and self respecting people.”
He said that other vices for which the police stations are accused are corruption, highhandedness and misconduct. The policemen are not service-oriented to citizens. They do not perform their duties with responsibility/obligation to serve the people, he said.
Sadiq said that to resolve these issues, a new system of Victim Response Officers in Bahawalpur Region had been introduced. He said that the appointment of victim response officers in Bahawalpur Region is remarkable step towards changing the traditional Thana culture, rebuilding police image and winning the trust of people. They are rendering services.
He said that in this system, these officers are responsible to receive every person whether complainant or coming the police station requiring any police service. They must enter the particulars of every person coming to police station and his purpose of visiting the police station. They had been bound to solve the matters of minor/trivial nature of public by visiting the place of dispute and solve it which usually does not require police interference. They will refer the complainant of cognizable offences to the SHO for necessary legal proceedings. They had been given the duty to provide guidance to people regarding the nature of their complaints and the right path they should adopt for the redressal of their grievances, he said. He maintained that VROs were acting as a change agents and representatives of police regarding community policing. They had been made bound to give the complainants feedback on their complaints and the proceeding being taken, he said.
The RPO further said that victim response officers are provided with a motorcycle, stationary and separate office in police stations. They are exempted from other duties. On their request, they have been posted at nearest police stations of their residences. Although the resources given to the VROs are not sufficient however, they are delivering excellent results, he claimed.
He said that the Victim Response Officers (VROs) have been asked to take this cause as a mission. VROs are changing the traditional policing and concept of people regarding police, he also said. The job description of VROs is to solve the problems of people and to acquire the decaying trust level. “When I started the VRO’s system, the people were somehow hesitant to visit the VRO first as it was a new experience for them. However, with the passage of time, the people have got acquainted with the VROs. They have been given bands, being displayed on their uniform so that the people may identify these officers in the police stations and in the public places. He said that in the first phase, the above said tasks were given to the VROs. However, in the second phase, they will be assigned more responsibilities to provide the public with more sophisticated service regarding their grievances and police help. It was hoped that the initiative will go a long way in changing the traditional police culture and bring it in conformity with the international policing standards. He disclosed that 2,194 cases relating to the family disputes, 6,016 cases of quarrels, 2,185 cases of the financial issues had been solved by these VRO’s directly. 1,307 cases relating to the theft, 2,393 applications relating to the FIRs, 16,460 verifications of different types and 4,180 applications of miscellaneous issues had been dealt with by VROs in the last eight months. http://nation.com.pk/national/30-Jan-2016/rpo-critical-of-pakistan-s-justice-system

January 30, 2016   No Comments