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Posts from — February 2017

Red warrants for Altaf: MQM-P not taking Govt’s intentions seriously

By Javaid-ur-Rahman in The Nation, Feb 9, 2017
ISLAMABAD – MQM-Pakistan is not taking seriously the intentions of incumbent government to issue ‘red notice’ for extradition of Altaf Hussian, as the party believes that it might prove a futile exercise and only for media consumption.

“If really the incumbent government is serious than it must fulfill all requirements of justice, as it seems only a media trial,” said MQM’s MNA Ali Raza Abidi, commenting on the Interior Ministry’s order for FIA to contact Interpol to arrest Altaf Hussain.

To a question about ‘law of land’, MQM-Pakistan lawmaker said there would be a need to present all evidences to prove the case. “It will not be easy for the government as law of land is a bit different in the United Kingdom (UK),” said he added.

The Interior Ministry also reportedly confirmed that the notice was issued against Altaf Hussain specifically for delivering an anti-Pakistan speech on Aug 22 last year that triggered riots in Karachi.

The parliament a couple of months ago had strongly condemned the controversial remarks of Altaf Hussain against the country.

The lawmakers from both sides of the aisle denounced the anti-Pakistan slogans raised on August 22 (2016) during a hunger strike of MQM.

MQM had clearly disassociated itself from its founder after his controversial statement. The party had divided into further two parts (MQM-Pakistan and MQM-London). As earlier Altaf Hussian’s blue-eyed Mustafa Kamal changed his loyalties and founded his new party with the name of Pakistan Sarzameen Party (PSP). http://nation.com.pk/newspaper-picks/09-Feb-2017/mqm-p-not-taking-govt-s-intentions-seriously

February 9, 2017   No Comments

MQM-Pakistan still in touch with London faction, says Kamal

By Umer Farooq in The Express Tribune, Feb 9th, 2017
Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chief Mustafa Kamal claimed on Wednesday that the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement’s London-based faction is still in touch with MQM-Pakistan but the latter is keeping those overtures under wraps out of fear of state reprisal.

“They have agreed (among themselves that) in public, they will criticise MQM-London, without completely slamming doors on them,” Kamal told reporters at the Press Club in Peshawar.

He expressed wonder as to why the MQM-Pakistan had waited until August 22 to sever ties with the London-based faction. But he claimed that “if they had really wanted to distance themselves from MQM-London, they would have joined his party”.

Answering a question, the PSP chairman stated that although there was a list of people who would never be allowed to join PSP, his party’s doors were always open for Dr Farooq Sattar. “Yes, they will surely think if Haidar Abbas Rizwi and Babar Ghauri contacted and wished to join PSP.”

He also stated there was ample evidence against MQM-London chief Altaf Hussain.

“Whenever they [the federal government] need him [Altaf Hussain], they ask the speaker of the National Assembly or Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to talk to him,” Kamal insisted.

Accusing the Dr Ibad of being involved in Karachi’s destruction, he said that the government should file a case against him.

According to him, powers were devolved to the province after the adoption of the 18th Amendment, but the provinces did not transfer powers to the union council level.

“I (had) thought Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would have developed Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (and bring it at a par with) Europe and the US, but it is also yet to empower local governments.”

“Cities such as London have been developed by mayors, and not by prime ministers … When we already have NAB and the anti-corruption department, why do we need to introduce a super-NAB or a super anti-corruption department to curb corruption?,” asked Kamal.https://tribune.com.pk/story/1321140/fearing-reprisals-mqm-pakistan-still-touch-london-faction-says-kamal/


February 9, 2017   No Comments

Thar people air complaints before SC commission:

Report in Dawn February 9th, 2017
UMERKOT: The people of Thar poured their hearts out to Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, who heads a judicial commission recently formed by the Supreme Court to probe the state’s failure in providing clean drinking water and sanitation facilities to the people of Sindh, at the district court here on Wednesday.

They aired before the judge complaints about bad governance, contamination of underground water with fluoride, arsenic and other toxic chemicals, civic bodies’ failure to supply safe drinking water to people, mixing of sewage with drinking water, non-chlorination of water in storage tanks, delay in completion of Rs650 million filtration project, non-functioning of reverse osmosis plants and water supply schemes, unsanitary conditions and cultivation of vegetables on sewage etc.

They said that 70 per cent population of the district was being supplied water from Chotiaryoon dam, which was unfit for human consumption as well as for the soil.

Justice Kalhoro expressed displeasure over the answers to general complaints offered by the officials concerned of the departments of revenue, health, public health engineering (PHE), taluka municipal administration, Hyder­abad Electric Supply Company, as well as the representative of Pak Oasis company, which installed the RO plants.

PHE assistant engineer Abdul Qadir Memon informed the commission that water was taken from Thar Wah and stored in reservoirs for supply to general public.

The water filtration plant set up in 2006 was completed by June 2016 at a cost of Rs650m but it could not be made functional because Hesco had not installed transformer for the scheme despite receiving Rs3.6m in 2012 for the connection, he said.

The Hesco officials said the transformer could not be installed because the PHE did not submit them a copy of the demand note. The commission termed the reply a lame excuse and directed them to provide connection within a month.

Abid Ali, zonal in-charge of Pak Oasis, informed the commission that out of 52 RO plants installed in the district nine were out of order.

Justice Kalhoro was not satisfied with the official’s answers about water testing mechanism and expressed annoyance when he was told there was no water testing laboratory in Umerkot.

He directed water technologist Dr Ahsan Siddiqui to take water samples for examination and report to the commission within a month.

He asked district health officer Karmoon Mal and civil surgeon Dr Jam Kunbhar about disposal of medical waste and incinerator; the officials replied that they burned the waste in the open.

Displeased, the judge directed them to ensure proper handling of dangerous waste under the set guidelines of WHO.

Earlier, Justice Kalhoro, accompanied by district and sessions judge Nasiruddin Shah, SHC registrar Ghulam Mustafa Channa, Sindh chief minister’s focal person Dr Saeed Ahmed Qureshi, petitioner Shahab Usto, deputy commissioner and SSP of Umerkot visited water supply and drainage installations and RO plants. http://www.dawn.com/news/1313642/thar-people-air-complaints-before-sc-commission

February 9, 2017   No Comments

Only six killers of 248 cops in Karachi convicted so far

By Ansar Abbasi in The News, February 09, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Almost 248 police officials who took part in 1992 and 1996 Karachi operations were killed; however, so far only six killers of these cops have been convicted.

A total of 378 accused were arrested. Challans submitted in 121 cases out of which in six cases killers have been convicted whereas a total of 55 accused acquitted and the remaining 60 are still under trial.

Even otherwise, Karachi remained the most troubled area for the police officials.Official statistics show that from 1995 till 2016, almost 1,488 policemen were killed in the Karachi Range. Although, the most number of cops – 261 — were killed in 1995 yet otherwise 2012, 2013 and 2014 were the worst years for the Karachi Police with 123, 165 and 136 killings respectively.

The ongoing Rangers’ led operation appears to have been a blessing even for the Karachi Police as killings of cops in the city had drastically reduced in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, only 29 policemen were killed whereas this figure was 67 in 2015.

The official data shows that a total of 261 policemen were killed in 1995; 58 were murdered in 1996; 74 in 1997; 97 in 1998; 59 in 1999; 49 in 2000; 58 in 2001; 14 in 2002; 19 in 2003; 23 in 2004; 24 in 2005; 40 in 2006; 51 in 2007; 48 in 2008; 41 in 2009; 49 in 2010; 53 in 2011; 123 in 2012; 165 in 2013; 136 in 2014; 67 in 2015; and 29 in 2016.

Outside Karachi in Sindh, Larkana appears to be the most dangerous place for policemen from 2001 till 2016. Each year’s number of policemen killed in Larkana district during the period (from 2001 till 2016) is 8; 7; 17; 1; 6; 4; 11; 21; 13; 13; 13; 8; 13; 20; 10; 9; and 5 respectively.

These figures show that the most difficult time for the Larkana police has been from 2007 to 2014 — the period during which the killing of policemen remained high.

Otherwise, in the Hyderabad district, the police had a bad time really in 2014 when a total of 27 cops got killed. On Tuesday, the Sindh IGP AD Khawaja urged upon the need for reforming the police, recalling that in the mid-90s, the police had effectively dealt with the violence and killings in Karachi.

He said that the police had done all that without the help of the Rangers or the army. But, he lamented, after that, it turned into a political game which led to the killing of police officers not only on its streets but inside mosques and imambargahs too.

He added that hundreds of policemen who had participated in the operation against violence in Karachi were killed one after the other but nobody spoke out for them.Two or three policemen were being murdered every day but nobody dared to raise their voice against it, he lamented, adding that while these cops were being killed, the murderers were comfortably sitting in the corridors of power. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/185073-Only-six-killers-of-248-cops-in-Karachi-convicted-so-far

February 9, 2017   No Comments

Suspected terrorist may be in ISI custody: Police

By Malik Asad in Dawn, Feb 9th, 2017
ISLAMABAD: A suspected terrorist affiliated with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), wanted by the anti-terrorism courts (ATC) in the assassinations of minorities affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti and a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) special prosecutor, may be in the custody of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The suspect, Abdullah Umar, had been in judicial custody since May 2014, until an Islamabad ATC granted him pre-arrest bail in June 2014 in the murder trial of FIA special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali.

On June 24, 2015, when the case was fixed before the court to frame charges against the suspects – Mr Umar, Adnan Adil and Hammad Adil – Mr Umar’s father told the court he had been missing since June 20.

Mr Umar’s wife Zainab Khan filed a petition with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking the recovery of her husband the same year.

The Margalla police have recently revealed, during the hearing of Ms Khan’s petition, that Mr Umar “might have been detained somewhere by the ISI or any other intelligence agency”.

IHC Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi subsequently issued notices to the ISI and the defence secretary seeking their replies.

The police arrested Mr Umar from the Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital in Islamabad following the May 3, 2013, attack on Ali, who was on his way to a Rawalpindi ATC to submit a charge sheet against former president Gen Pervez Musharraf in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The case began on June 25, 2013, after Mr Umar’s arrest. The other suspects in the murder were arrested by the police on Aug 31, 2013.

Mr Umar was arrested almost a month after the prosecutor’s murder. He was paralysed below the waist at the time of his arrest, after a bullet fired by the prosecutor’s guard hit his spinal column.

However, the suspect’s father, retired Lt Col Khalid Mehmood Abbasi lodged an FIR with the Ratta Amral police in Rawalpindi saying his son was shot by robbers.

A joint investigation team constituted to locate Mr Umar claimed he was involved in terrorism, including Shahbaz Bhatti and Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali’s assassinations. Its report, submitted before the court by Senior Superintendent of Police Sajid Kiani stated: “Abdullah Umar was active member of proscribed TTP and is involved in the above mentioned high profile cases and has been declared proclaimed as absconder by the ATC and it is apprehension that the accused has [hidden] himself at some unknown place to avoid appearance before the trial court… JIT is in constant contact with the political agents of Tribal Areas to trace [his] whereabouts.”

The report said Mr Umar was wanted in FIR No.94, dated March 2, 2012, for assassinating Bhatti, an advocate for the reform of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Two assassins fired at the minister’s car, shooting him eight times, before scattering pamphlets calling him a “Christian infidel” that were signed by the “Taliban al-Qaeda Punjab”.

The other FIR, No.223 dated May 3, 2013, accuses Mr Umar of killing Ali. In addition to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto – in which five TTP members, two high ranking police officials and Mr Musharraf were suspects, Ali was also allegedly dealing with the Mumbai attacks case, the Haj corruption case and other high profile cases.

February 9, 2017   No Comments

Opposition turns tables on govt over military courts

By Sardar Sikander in The Express Tribune, Feb  9, 2017.
ISLAMABAD: The opposition’s implied support for giving an extension to the military courts seems to have turned the tables on the government.

This is because the ruling party is faced with hostility from its major allies over political issues due to which they have silently distanced themselves from recent deliberations on the issue.

The PML-N’s two allies – the JUI-F and the PkMAP – were not present during Tuesday’s crucial meeting that saw “implied consensus” on the introduction of the 25th constitutional amendment to extend the military courts’ tenure for two years.

Sources in the opposition believe by agreeing to support the government on the military courts’ extension issue, the opposition has put the government in a defensive position since the ruling lot was previously using lack of support from opposition parties as an explanation to stall progress on the issue.

“The ball is in their court now,” said a key opposition member, requesting anonymity. “They can no longer accuse us of being unresponsive. We have played our part. Now, it’s up to them to coax their allies into supporting military courts’ extension.”

Opposition parties, he said, shared a feeling that the government was using the opposition’s concerns regarding the military courts to cement its position.

“They were playing it tactfully. By putting the gun on our shoulders they were getting things go their way.”

This was the major reason the opposition came together in favour of granting extension to the military courts after Director General Military Intelligence Major General Nadeem Zaki Manj briefed lawmakers during an in-camera session of the parliamentary committee on the subject.

“In reality, it was the government, not the opposition, that was shrewdly acting to keep the matter lingering. They need to put their own house in order and get their allies on board. The JUI-F and the PkMAP have some issues regarding the federal government policies.

The source said the opposition’s demand to be briefed in detail on the performance of the military courts was met following the briefing from the military top officials. “After that, there was hardly any room for us to point fingers [at them].”

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said the opposition’s concerns were related to the federal government – not the military.

“These concerns are still there because we were only satisfied with the briefing from military authorities – and not the federal government. Our reservations regarding the federal government still stand. Our questions have not been answered.

The AML predicted that a ‘clear breakthrough’ in the form of a formal consensus between the government and the opposition on the issue was likely in the next meeting scheduled for February 16.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah said the PPP’s stance on the military courts was clear.

“Right from the day one, we made it clear that the onus of the initiative was on the federal government. And, if they seek our support, they better come up with valid explanations and respond to our questions. The answers came from the security brass.”

Asked about the PPP’s stance on the issue after being briefed on the performance of the military courts, Shah said, “The PPP is part of the opposition. We do not believe in taking solo flights and make decisions in consultation with other opposition forces.

“If the opposition wants to make a decision, whether positive or negative, we are with it. The PPP follows the policy of inclusion,” he said, referring to his party’s ‘favourable’ stance towards military courts.

Senior JUI-F leader and Federal Minister Akram Khan Durrani denied that the JUI-F did not attend Tuesday’s meeting out of its opposition to the military courts.

“There are some issues that are dealt with politically. Just because a political party does not show up at a meeting does not necessarily mean it is opposed to the meeting’s agenda. Another meeting is scheduled for February 16, and we’ll see what we can do,” he said without elaborating.

February 9, 2017   No Comments

Retired Pak Major General Moves Lahore HC for contempt

By Faisal Kamal Pasha in The News, Feb 9, 2017
RAWALPINDI: A former major general of Pakistan Army has submitted a contempt of court petition before the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on the plea that his petition against depriving him of all his service benefits has been pending since February 16, 2015 and the Ministry of Defence has still not submitted comments on it.

An LHC bench on May 24, 2016 heard this petition and issued notices to the respondents for Sept 21, 2016 seeking their reply but after a passage of four months, still no reply has been submitted by the ministry.

The petitioner has prayed to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the respondents. He has cited Secretary Ministry of Defence Lt Gen (retd) Zamir-ul-Hassan and Adjutant General of Pakistan Army Lt Gen Anwar Ali Haider as respondents. In the main petition, the petitioner had alleged that the former military dictator Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf in a vindictive move deprived him of all his service benefits by canceling allotment of 50 acre land in Bahawalnagar, a plot in DHA Karachi and another plot in DHA Rawalpindi.

Maj Gen (R) Ahsan Ahmed through his counsel Col (R) Inam-Ul-Rahiem advocate has contended that Musharraf did all this as the petitioner refused to assist him inrigging in the elections of October 2002.

The petitioner has adopted that he got commission in the Medical Corps of in 1965 and after rendering 34 years of service, retired on September 13, 1999. As service benefits on April 17, 1999 he was allotted 50 acres agricultural land under Settlement Scheme in District Bahawalnagar. Further he was allotted a plot in DHA Rawalpindi and as per rules the petitioner was allotted a plot at Askari Villas, Zam Zama, Clifton, Karachi on December 13, 2002. The petitioner made full payments for all these provision and became legal owner of the properties.

That during June 2000, the petitioner was chosen into Sindh Government as Minister of Health and Population Welfare and he was awarded the presidential shield for best performance on July 11, 2002.

Differences of the petitioner arose with former President Gen Pervez Musharraf when the petitioner opposed the idea of referendum in the cabinet during 2002.

That gulf further widened when election schedule of October 2002 was announced and the government of Pervez Musharraf planned large scale rigging. He pressurised the petitioner through the then Governor of Sindh and operative of secret agencies to relocate the officials of Health and Population Planning for so-called management of election which the petitioner outright declined. After this all the property allotted to him was cancelled. In the main petition, petitioner has prayed to the court to issue directions for the retrieval of all his confiscated property.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/185047-Retired-major-general-moves-LHC-for-contempt

February 9, 2017   No Comments

Will JuD face defections?

By Azaz Syed in The News, Feb 9, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) is silently controlling its activists for any possible defection and falling in the hands of anti-state elements particularly organisations like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) commonly known as Daesh which is ideologically most suitable place for the defected elements of JuD.

“On January 31 when we were informed about placement of our organisation on, ‘Watch list’, initially Hafiz Saeed, the amir of JuD, was against protests but later we decided to protest not only using our democratic right but also avoiding possible defection from the ranks,” a key leader who is part of the central consultative group of JuD told The News while requesting anonymity.

“There is no possibility of any reaction or defection by any of our activists as they are groomed to follow the leadership,” says Amir Hamza, a central leader of JuD while outrightly rejecting the possibility of reaction or defection by any rank of the organisation.

According to the JuD sources, about 500 hardcore trained activists of JuD had defected on different occasions during last one and a half decades.

On the other hand, a source in a Counter Terrorism Department revealed that they had almost details of about 300 ex-Jud activists who defected and joined other militant organisations like defunct Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known as Daesh. Months back the list of defected JuD activists was also circulated among the law enforcement agencies including police.

“When you raised the emotions of your young activists to a certain level sometimes it becomes difficult for some of them to come back to the normal position even if their leadership orders,” says Tahir Alam, ex-Police chief while sharing his experience of dealing with such activists.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/185077-Will-JuD-face-defections

February 9, 2017   No Comments