Opposition leader urges PM to announce early polls
ISLAMABAD: In a statement that is likely to reverberate in the corridors of power for days to come, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Tuesday said the prime minister should take it upon himself to announce early polls to save the nascent democratic system.
However, the veteran Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader said the system would be disrupted if mid-term polls are held forcefully. “PPP will not accept mid-term polls if the premier is forced into announcing them.”
The PPP stalwart has been criticised of late for being soft on the PML-N government — a change in the party’s stance points towards a strategic shift after being crushed in last year’s general elections by the PML-N.
Shah went on to clarify that his party supports democracy and wants to strengthen Parliament. Further, he claimed, PPP’s public meeting in Karachi on October 18 is aimed at strengthening democracy. “It has nothing to do with lending any support to Imran Khan or Dr Tahirul Qadri. Our rally will be for strengthening the system,” he added.
The PPP leader slammed PTI chief Imran Khan – who has levelled corruption allegations against Shah in recent times – saying he lives in a fool’s paradise. “Imran’s dream of rooting out PPP from Sindh will never come true,” he added.
Shah also demanded a Supreme Court-led probe into rigging allegations. Referring to the sit-ins in Islamabad, Shah said, “the government is facing the current crisis as a result of their own mistakes.” He went on to add that negotiations are the only solution to resolve the current political stalemate, while warning of a ‘third force’ which is waiting to take advantage of the impasse.
The PPP leader also admitted that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz came into power because of mistakes by the PPP government.
Afghanistan and US sign long-delayed troop pact
KABUL: Officials from Afghanistan and the United States on Tuesday signed a long-delayed security agreement to allow American troops to stay in the country after the end of the year, filling a campaign promise by new President Ashraf Ghani.
National security adviser Hanif Atmar and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham signed the bilateral security agreement in a televised ceremony at the presidential palace, one day after Ghani was inaugurated.
"As an independent country, based on our national interests, we signed this agreement for stability, goodwill, and prosperity of the our people, stability of the region and the world," Ghani said in a speech after the signing.
Ghani's predecessor, Hamid Karzai, had long refused to agree to the deal, citing his anger over civilian deaths and his belief that the war was not fought in the interests of his country, souring his ties with the United States.
Under the terms of agreement, 12,000 foreign military personnel are expected to stay after 2014, when the combat mission of Afghanistan's U.S.-led NATO force ends.
The force is expected to be made up of 9,800 U.S. troops with the rest from other NATO members. They will train and assist Afghan security forces in the war against the Taliban.
Ghani was inaugurated on Monday and called on the Taliban to join peace talks. He formed a unity government with election rival Abdullah Abdullah after a prolonged standoff over vote results that ended in a deal to make Ghani president and Abdullah a chief executive in the government with broad powers. - Agencies
Khursheed Shah sends Rs10b notice to Imran Khan
ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Tuesday sent a legal notice to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for defaming him through “false allegations” of corruption.
The legal notice demanded that Khan should issue an apology for levelling allegations of corruption and also demanded Rs10billion as compensatory money.
Following a meeting with National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, the opposition leader also severely criticised the government, saying that timely implementation should have been done in relation to PTI's demands of re-elections in four constituencies due to alleged rigging.
Khan in his speech on September 19 had alleged that the opposition leader was supporting the government as two corruption cases were pending against him in the National Accountability Bureau.
On Sept 20, Shah had asked Khan to prove the allegations within three days or get ready to face a court of law.
He said the PTI leader had wrongly claimed that corruption cases had been pending against him.
Govt slashes up to Rs2.95 off petroleum products
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday approved up to Rs2.95 per litre cut in the price of petroleum products (POL), effective from October 1.
A notification was issued after the approval of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif under monthly POL price review mechanism.
According to the notification, the new price of petrol will be Rs103.62 after a reduction of Rs2.94; High Octane Blended Component (HOBC) will be priced at Rs131.13, a reduction of Rs1.88; kerosene oil will be priced at Rs95.60 after a cut of Rs1.31; high-speed diesel will be priced at Rs107.39, a reduction of Rs0.95; and light diesel oil (LDO) will be sold at Rs91.46, a reduction of Rs0.67.
According to sources, amid reduction in the rates of petroleum products worldwide, the country has lost a relief package amounting to Rs10 billion as the political turmoil has taken the economy under its grasp which has resulted in further devaluation of the rupee against the dollar.
Sources in the Ministry of Petroleum said that if the country was not subject to nationwide protests and sit-ins in the federal capital, the masses would have received a relief of Rs6 per litre in the price of petrol, high speed diesel would have been reduced by at least Rs5.50, while the price of kerosene oil would have been reduced by Rs5.87 respectively.
Balochistan lawmakers want return of Khan of Kalat
BA passes 3 bills of salaries, allowances
QUETTA: Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday adopted a unanimous resolution with regard to the respectable return of Khan of Kalat, Mir Suleman Daud Ahmedzai from abroad.
Members of treasury and opposition benches supported the resolution tabled by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) member Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran relating to the return of Khan of Kalat.
“A tribal jirga must be constituted to negotiate with Khan of Kalat for his return,” Sardar Khetran told the assembly while commenting on the resolution. He mentioned that the exiled-Baloch leader could play an important role in restoration of peace in Balochistan, plagued by violent attacks by Baloch separatists and banned sectarian outfits.
Khan of Kalat, Agha Suleman Dawood has been leading life in exile since the murder of elderly Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in August 2006.
Commenting on the resolution, Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said that he was ready to play his role in bringing back Daud.
“I stand for peace and I will make all possible efforts for negotiated settlement of issues relating to the province,” Dr Baloch said. He stated that for a peaceful solution of Balochistan issue, it was decided to convene an All Parties Conference (APC) to pave the way for dialogue. “I knocked every door whenever I see any hope", he added.
Apart from Khan of Kalat, the chief minister said efforts should also be made to bring other exiled-Baloch leaders in the national mainstream.
The house then unanimously passed the resolution after Deputy Speaker Balochistan Assembly Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, who was chairing the session, put it up for voting.
The provincial assembly passed three amendment bills - Balochistan Chief Minister and Provincial Ministers Salaries, Allowances and Privileges Act 1975, Balochistan Speaker’s and Deputy Speaker’s Salaries, Allowances and Privileges Act 1975 and Balochistan Assembly Members Salaries, Allowances and Privileges Act 1975 - separately before the House Which the house okayed unanimously.
US to back UNSC reforms for India’s global role: White House
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama took a first chance to size up Narendra Modi Monday, as the new Indian Prime Minister, an intriguing novice on the world stage, brought a tour which wowed New York to the White House.
Modi met Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other key US officials at the White House for a private dinner, ahead of formal talks in the Oval Office on Tuesday.
During the meeting, both the leaders agreed on preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, decreasing dependence on nuclear weapons and eliminating the menace of terrorism.
The White House said the United States will back reforms in the United Nations Security Council for India’s global role. - Agencies
Plea filed in SC for formation of larger bench
ISLAMABAD: Advocate Gohar Nawaz Sindhu, one of the applicants in the case seeking PM Nawaz Sharif's disqualification from the National Assembly for giving a false statement, on Tuesday moved a plea for constituting a larger bench to hear the case.
Three petitioners - Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf member Ishaq Khakwani and lawyer Gohar Nawaz Sindhu - are seeking the premier's disqualification under Article 62 (f) of the Constitution for giving a 'false' statement regarding the role of army chief in resolving the current political crises in the country.
Advocate Sindhu said on Tuesday that he had filed a request in the Supreme Court to form a larger bench to hear the case. Currently, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja is hearing the petition.
Sindhu added that interpretation of Articles 62, 63, among others was also required.
Following a brief hearing of the plea on Monday, the case was adjourned until October 2 due to shortage of time.
Both, PTI and PML-Q are considering following Sindhu's lead to file a petition requesting the constitution of a larger bench to hear the case. Both parties may submit an application in this regard as soon as today. If disqualified, Nawaz will not be the first member of the National Assembly to be found afoul of the law. A number of parliamentarians have previously been disqualified on same grounds during the tenure of former Chief Justice Chaudhry.
Advocate Sindhu added that a decision on his petition is expected to be forwarded to the Chief Justice on Wednesday who will then decide whether a larger bench will be formed or not.
Man behind Rehman Malik flight expulsion sacked from job
KARACHI: Arjumand Azhar Hussain — the man who reportedly filmed the video of politicians allegedly responsible for the delay of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight on September 16 — was fired from his job at Gerry's Group.
Speculation was rife on Tuesday that Hussain’s sacking was linked to the video clip he filmed that showed irate airline passengers barring Senator Rehman Malik and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) Member of National Assembly Dr Ramesh Kumar Wakwani from boarding the PIA aircraft after facing what they said was a delay of two and a half hours.
Gerry's Group, which was Hussain's former employer took to their Facebook page to respond to rumours that the sacking was due to political influence, saying their decision was “purely based on merit”.
Rehman Malik and Ramesh Kumar Wakwani were accused of holding the plane back while other passengers waited for hours.
Malik denied that the delay had to do with him, and said that take-off was delayed due to a technical fault. PIA confirmed that the delay was due to a technical fault, but later said that there was a "further unnecessary delay" that resulted in action against PIA staff. Two employees of PIA were subsequently suspended.
PM orders Centre to implement Punjab Citizen Feedback Monitoring Programme
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday ordered the implementation of Punjab Citizen Feedback Monitoring Programme in the federal government to improve service delivery and to enhance communication with ordinary citizens.
He was chairing a meeting here at the PM House.
He was briefed that Punjab Citizen Feedback Monitoring Programme was an internationally recognized innovation profiled by the renowned London-based journal, The Economist and many other publications.
The meeting was informed that in this programme, identified users of services are proactively contacted by the government to seek their opinion on the quality of services received, while offices of Chief Minister and Chief Secretary follow up on the feedback received.
So far more than 4000 corrective actions have been taken in this regard.
The Prime Minister appreciated the usefulness and effectiveness of this home-grown innovation and said that its implementation at the federal level will help improve services, increase citizens trust, and enhance accountability.
"We need to reach out to the ordinary citizen. The citizens should not be required to come to the state," said the Prime Minister.
He ordered implementation of the programme in important public dealing departments like Immigration and Passports, NADRA, SNGPL, IESCO, CDA, Capital Police, Embassies, Railways, PIA and other federal agencies within one month for proactive collection of feedback from identified users of services. - APP
© Copyright 2012 - Daily The Statesman - All rights reserved.
Bilal Town, GT Road Peshawar City
12 SNC Center, Fazlul Haq Road, Blue Area
22, 1st floor, Aiwan-e-Mashriq, 17 Abbortt Road
Room No 4, 1st Floor, Abdul Rusool Building