Bilawal Bhutto Zardari congratulates the newly elected office-bearers of Larkana Press Club

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari congratulates the newly elected office-bearers of Larkana Press Club

KARACHI, December 31: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has congratulated the newly-elected office-bearers of Larkana Press Club (LPC) and pledged that his Party will continue to stand by freedom of press and freedom of expression.
In a congratulation message to the newly-elected President S. Iqbal Babu and General Secretary Muneer Soomro of LPC, the PPP Chairman said journalists of Larkana have always been forefront in the struggle for a free media.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hoped that new body of LPC will follow the principles of a free and fair media to promote and strengthen democracy and rule of law. “Please also convey my felicitations to all other elected office-bearers of LPC,” he stated in his message.

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Raza Rabbani writes open letter to Pakistanis, proposes Federal Commission for Accountability

Chairman Senate of Pakistan Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday issued an open letter in the name of people of Pakistan admitting that the current system of accountability has failed to curb the menace of corruption and threatens democratic polity and harmonization of society.   

 

Mr. Raza Rabbani has proposed Federal Commission for Accountability—one authority, one law, where all other parallel forums for accountability shall cease to exist.
 
He said that an analysis of existing situation leads to a conclusion that there is a dire need to holistically review the existing accountability mechanism, therefore, creation of a statutory/independent body to oversee all aspects of corruption, with no group or entity outside its ambit is need of the hour.
The creation of such an entity would also mean that the duplication in mandates of several agencies could be rationalized. Furthermore, People of Pakistan are expecting that Parliament, being the legislature, will act to ensure that menace of corruption is nipped in the bud and accountability is across the board.
 
The letter is reproduced as below:
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MIAN RAZA RABBANI’S
OPEN LETTER IN THE NAME OF PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN
 
I am using this tool of communication, which is not very common, due to the constraints of my constitutional office. This has been necessitated as the current system of accountability has failed to curb the menace of corruption and threatens democratic polity and harmonization of our society. This system of accountability has fallen apart, wherein any attempt to amend the existing system, in patchworks, will not work. As a stop gap arrangement, I have referred the matter of plea bargain and voluntary return (section 25 of the NAB Ordinance, 1999) to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice for consideration and report, however, I am conscious of the fact that there is dire need to holistically review the existing accountability mechanism.
 
2.         The first law passed by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947. Since then the country has passed a number of laws and established agencies to curb corruption. Some of the laws passed are,-
  • The prevention of Corruption Act, 1947
  • The Public Representatives Disqualification Act, 1949
  • The Elected Bodies Disqualification Ordinance, 1958
  • The Ehtesab Act, 1997
  • The National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999
Laws in force are,-
  • Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 1860 (sections 160-165);
  • Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1947;
  • FIA Act, 1974;  and
  • NAB Ordinance, 1999
3.         Today Pakistan has six anti-corruption agencies, two at the federal level and four at the provincial level. Federal agencies are the,-Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The agencies at the provincial level are the Anti-Corruption Establishments (ACEs). Moreover there are two sets of courts namely, – Accountability Courtsand Provincial Special Anti-Corruption Courts.
 
4.         Despite all these laws and mechanisms, the inequalities and structural imbalances within the state has given rise to the following, besides other, prevailing realities,-
  • We work under a system which has five types of applicability of law,-
    • One set of rules and laws are for the ruling elite.
    • The other set of rules are for the ruling civilian elite
    • The third category of rules is for the collaborators of the ruling elite
    • Fourth for the rich and the powerful
    • Fifth for the ordinary citizens of Pakistan 
  • Accountability agencies are working under the dominance of Government;
  • These agencies are used for political victimization;
  • There is no mechanism for accountability of said agencies resulting in unbridled powers;
  • The standalone attempts to curb the menace of corruption has failed to achieve the desired results.
  • Strong perception that NAB is only laying its hands on petty suspects and putting them in prisons, whereas, the prime duty of the anti-corruption organisation was to take up mega-corruption cases and stop them.
  • Recently observations have been made by the Courts regarding serious maladministration and want of proper procedures and supervision within NAB.

5.         An analysis of existing situation leads to a conclusion that, there is a dire need to holistically review the existing accountability mechanism, therefore, creation of a statutory/independent body to oversee all aspects of corruption, with no group or entity outside its ambit is need of the hour. The creation of such an entity would also mean that the duplication in mandates of several agencies could be rationalized. Furthermore, People of Pakistan are expecting that Parliament, being the legislature, will act to ensure that menace of corruption is nipped in the bud and accountability is across the board, therefore, the following road map is proposed:

Federal Commission for Accountability — one authority, one law.

  • All other parallel forums for accountability shall cease to exit.
  • Forums for disciplinary actions and other related matters for persons belonging to Judiciary, armed forces and bureaucracy will remain functional; however, accountability will be the exclusive domain of the Commission.

Functions of the Commission

  • Investigation and scrutiny of evidence by NAB;
  • Preliminary decision as to filing of Reference or closure of investigation to be taken by NAB;
  • Cases approved for Reference as well as closure of investigation shall be placed before the Commission for final decision in the matter.
  • The NAB shall take preliminary decision as to the reference within 30 days of receipt of case, failing which the case shall be deemed to have been transferred to the Commission.
  • The Commission shall, within 30 days, decide the matters placed before it failing which recommendation of NAB shall be deemed to have taken effect.
  • The Court shall decide the Reference within a period of four months, however, a onetime extension of not more than one month can be taken from the Supreme Court.
  • Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to be appointed by the Commission.
  • Heads of Provincial NAB is to be appointed by the Chairman NAB and shall be ratified by the Commission.
  • Assets declarations and other related matters of NAB officials to be submitted before the Commission for scrutinizing the same and shall also be made public.
  • Annual report of Commission to be laid before both Houses of Parliament.

Composition of the Commission:                      

  • One Member Judicial, a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court, to be nominated by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
  • One Member Armed Forces, not below the rank of Lieutenant General, to be nominated by the Joint Chief of Staff.
  • Member Civil Services the senior most serving Grade-22 officer.
  • One Member Police and Civil Armed Forces, to be nominated by the Ministry of Interior.
  • Four Members, one each from Bar Associations, Human Rights Activists, journalists and professionals, to be nominated by the Chairman Senate, Speaker National Assembly and Chief Justice of Pakistan. The nominations will be ratified by the Senate, National Assembly and Judicial Commission.
  • Four Members of Parliament, equally from both Houses and half from treasury and half from Opposition Benches, to be nominated by the Chairman Senate and Speaker National Assembly, respectively.
  • Chairman of the Commission – to be elected by the members –term three year –nomination to be ratified by the both Houses of Parliament within 45 days failing which deemed to have been appointed.There shall be a bar on the Members of Parliament and members of armed forces on becoming the Chairman of the Commission.
  • Secretariat- the Commission shall have a permanent Secretariat.
  • The Secretariat shall initiate the process of seeking three months prior to the completion of tenure of the Commission. If any authority/organization fails to provide nomination with the stipulated time period, the same shall be asked to appear before the Joint sitting of Parliament to explain reasons for non-provision of nomination.
  • The new Commission shall be in place on the date of completion of tenure of previous Commission.

Jurisdiction:

  • One law,one authority –the Commission shall have jurisdiction with respect to,-
    • Public Office holders
    • Persons in the Service of Pakistan (in relation to the federation or the province, as the case may be)
    • Judiciary (matters of corruption and corrupt practices to be taken up by Commission and other matters to be taken up by the Supreme Judicial Council)
    • Armed forces (matters of corruption and corrupt practices to be taken up by the Commission and all other matters to be dealt with under the relevant laws)
    • Any other person (body, corporate, entities, firms, etc.)

Investigation:

  • NAB fully independent and autonomous body under the supervision of    Commission
  • Jurisdiction of FIA in corruption cases to be ousted/omitted

Supervision:

  • Accountability Courts under the administrative control of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Safeguard:

  •  A Judge of Supreme Court or of a High Court, as the case may be, to hear;
  •  Appeal against torture (during investigation)
  • Excess of law   (during trial)

Implementation Mechanism

To consider the above, raw, amongst other proposals, following mechanism is proposed:

  • A Parliamentary Committee to be constituted to draft legislation and oversee its implementation with respect to:-
    • Establishment of Commission
    • Amendment of NAB Ordinance, 1999, to make it an autonomous investigating agency
    • Amendment of FIA Act, 1974, for omitting jurisdiction with regard to cases of corruption.
  • (Resolutions for constitution of Parliamentary Committee have already been passed by the Senate and National Assembly on 6th September, 2016 and 17th August, 2016, respectively. The Senate has transmitted the names of Members Senate of Pakistan for the said Committee on 28th September, 2016)
  • The Committee shall hold public hearings with the stakeholders.
  • The final draft of legislation shall also be circulated amongst the stakeholders and after seeking their input/opinion, the same shall be finalized.
  • The Committee shall complete its task within a period of 100 days, however the Parliament may grant one time extension of 30 days, for which Resolutions shall be passed in the both Houses of Parliament.

سی پیک پی پی کی محنت کا نتیجہ ہے،ناانصافیوں کے خاتمےاورعوام کے حقوق کے لیے پارلیمنٹ جارہا ہوں: آصف زرداری

سابق صدر اور پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے شریک چیئرمین آصف علی زرداری کا کہنا ہے کہ انہیں اسمبلی میں جانے کا کوئی شوق نہیں، بلکہ وہ عوام کے ساتھ ہونے والی زیادتیوں کےباعث پارلیمنٹ جانے پر مجور ہیں، تاکہ ایوان میں جاکر عوام کے ساتھ ہونے والی ناانصافیوں کیخلاف جدوجہد کرسکیں۔۔
آصف زرداری نے نواب شاہ میں پیپلزپارٹی رہنماؤں سے ملاقات کی اور اجلاس سے خطاب کیا۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ سی پیک منصوبے کے فوائد صرف پنجاب میں نظر آرہے ہیں، دیگر صوبے محروم ہیں، سی پیک کے لیے ساری محنت ہماری تھی، ہمارا نام ہی نہیں لیا جارہا۔ سی پیک سے سندھ کو کوئی فائدہ نہیں ہورہا مجھے اسمبلی جانے کا شوق نہیں، عوام کے کام نہیں ہورہے، اسمبلی میں بیٹھ کر عوام کیلئے جدوجہد کریں گے۔
نواب شاہ میں قائم زرداری ہاؤس میں سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری نے ضلع بینظیرآباد سے منتخب ہونے والے چیئرمین اور وائس چیئرمین سمیت معززین علاقہ سے ملاقات بھی کی۔ جس کے بعد تقریب سے خطاب کرتے انکا کہنا تھا کہ سی پیک منصوبہ ان کی کوششوں سے شروع ہوا، لیکن اس منصوبے سے تمام فائدہ پنجاب کو ہورہا ہے اور چھوٹے صوبوں کے ساتھ زیادتی کی جارہی ہے۔
سابق صدر کا کہنا ہے کہ پاک ایران گیس پائپ لائن منصوبے پرایران اپناکام مکمل کرچکا ہے، جبکہ وفاقی حکومت اس منصوبے کو پائیہ تکمیل تک پہنچانے کیلئے سست روی کا مظاہرہ کررہی ہے۔

Zardari says will join Parliament for defending people’s rights

Asif Ali Zardari says will join Parliament for defending people’s rights

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KARACHI: Launching his election campaign in Nawabshah on Friday, Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairman Asif Zardari said the prevailing political situation in the country required his presence in the National Assembly.

“I am going to parliament to raise my voice against the injustices the common man has been facing and to help the people secure their rights,” he said.

“I have no personal desire of going to the assembly but want to go there to raise my voice against injustices being meted out to the people,” he told Nawabshah’s elected representatives, local PPP leaders and notables at Zardari House, adding he would not sit idle until the people got their rights.

He added that he had returned to the country and would remain with his people. Zardari said that the CPEC project was the outcome of his struggle, but the benefits of the project were being seen only in the Punjab. He said that Punjab was reaping the benefits of CPEC, which was an open injustice with Sindh and the other provinces.

He accused the PML-N government of discriminating against the smaller provinces. “This project was started due to our relentless efforts but the federal government is giving its benefits only to Punjab.”

The former president also blamed the federal government for stalling the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project whose foundation stone was laid by Zardari as the country’s president months before the 2013 general elections.

MNAs Faryal Talpur and Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah and other party leaders were also present on the occasion.

CM Sindh meets Chinese Ministry of IT

CM Sindh meets Chinese Ministry of IT

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INDUSTRIAL IT –BASED PLANNING:
A delegation of Ministry of Industry & Information Technology held a meeting with Sindh chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and discussed the investment opportunities in IT-based industrial development.Ministry of Industry & Information Technology held a meeting with Sindh chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and discussed the investment opportunities in IT-based industrial development.
The chief minister said that there were immense investment opportunities, particularly in industrial planning, policies, standards and to promote development of major technological equipment and innovation concerning to communication sector.
He told them that at Dhabeji an Special economic Zone was being established for which Sindh government offers them to come over an invest in Technology Park.an Special economic Zone was being established for which Sindh government offers them to come over an invest in Technology Park.

FRUIT PROCESSING PLANT:
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah held a meeting with Mr Ze Wang Chairman Shunxing Agriculture Group (Food and Agriculture). The company was interested to invest in cattle farming for supply of meat, fruit and Vegetable processing plants, fruit and vegetable farming.Wang Chairman Shunxing Agriculture Group (Food and Agriculture). The company was interested to invest in cattle farming for supply of meat, fruit and Vegetable processing plants, fruit and vegetable farming.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah told them that the mango, guava of Sindh are two popular fruits in Pakistan but all over the world. He offered them to establish a fruit processing plant at Hyderabad/Mirpurkhas or in Karachi whichever site suits to them and he was ready to support them.
The Chairman of the company said that he would visit Karachi shortly to assess the requirement, capacity and location of the plant and then MoU would signed for further investment.

RING ROAD:
The China Construction Company (CCC) Chairman Cui Yuping held a meeting with the chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. The chief minister discussed the investment opportunities in road and bridge sectors. He said that he had a plan to construct Ring Road from West Warf area of KPT via Northern Bypass, Super Highway, Malir Expressway and then through DHA phase 8 to join back the West Warf Road. This could be constructed on PPPP mode or BOT basis. In both cases Sindh government was ready to support the company. He also offered them to construct bridge on River Indus at Kandhkot – Ghotki. The company said that they would send their delegation to Sindh to visit the areas to sign MoU.
Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Industries Manzoor Wassan held meetings with FOTON and SINOMA- a energy conservation company. The FOTON is a motor company which manufactures buses, coaches, coasters and trucks and such other vehicles. They offered to provide buses for Urban Transport System. Mr Wassan offered them to come over an establish their manufacturing plant in Karachi and produce buses and such other vehicles for which there was a vast market. “I would extend you all possible support right from giving you land and other facilities if you install your plant there,” he said.
They accepted the offer and agreed to dispatch their team to Karachi to explore investment opportunities and assess the market.
The chief minister was assisted by his cabinet members, Mr Manzoor Wassan, Local government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Transport Minister Nasir Shah, ACS (Dev) M. Waseem, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif, Chairperson Sindh Board of Investment Naheed Memon, Secretary Transport Tauha Farooqui, CM consultant on energy Khursheed Jamali.Secretary Transport Tauha Farooqui, CM consultant on energy Khursheed Jamali.