Sindh govt moves apex court in bid to replace IGP Khawaja

The Sindh government approached the Supreme Court on Monday to challenge the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) ruling regarding the functioning of A.D. Khawaja as the provincial police chief,

The petition maintained that services of an inspector general of police (IGP) are offered to the province on the will of the provincial governments. It added that the provincial cabinet of Sindh has decided to change the IGP but the SHC had ruled that Khawaja will continue to function as the provincial police chief.

Farooq H. Naek on behalf of the provincial government submitted the Constitutional plea. He pleaded before the SC to declare the SHC order null and void. The petition held Khawaja and the director general Rangers, among others, as respondents.

Earlier on Saturday, the Sindh cabinet had decided to ask the Centre to replace Khawaja with Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as the new police chief since he is a grade-22 officer while the incumbent is in grade-21.

The PPP-led Sindh government had twice tried to remove IG Khawaja from his post — first in December when it sent him on forced leave and then in April this year when it surrendered his services to the federal government and appointed Dasti, then in grade-21, as the provincial police chief.

In the latest development on Monday, the provincial government argued in the petition that the order of the provincial cabinet is supreme as per the Constitution.

The Sindh Cabinet had earlier given its nod for the removal of Khawaja in April but the decision was reversed after a judicial intervention. After a months-long tussle with Khawaja, the Sindh government entered into an unannounced working relationship with the IGP last month after the Sindh High Court (SHC) ruled that Khawaja will continue functioning as the provincial police chief.

The Sindh government had in June withdrawn Khawaja’s powers to decide the transfers and postings of senior police officials in the province. However, the court in its judgement restored IGP Khawaja’s powers.

In its short order, the bench had dismissed the notification for removal of Khawaja from the post of IGP, ruling that the provincial government could not remove an IGP without any justification.

The court had also made it mandatory for the government to follow the judgement in the Anita Turab case under which an IGP could not be removed from his post before three years of his appointment.

Recently, the IGP has issued directions for posting of SHOs across the province under a strict criterion and following a test as well as an interview. Apparently, the disagreement between the IGP and the PPP-led government was initiated when the former appointed scores of policemen reportedly on merit.

Sindh govt slammed for trying to remove Khawaja

The petitioners of the Police Reforms Case / A.D. Khawaja Case on Sunday expressed their deep disappointment with the decision of the Sindh government to recommend the removal/replacement of Inspector General of Police Khawaja and non-approval of the Sindh Police (Posting, Transfer and Tenure) Rules, 2017.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, they stated that they were disappointed because both these decisions clearly showed that the Sindh government was trying to subvert the spirit of the Sindh High Court’s ‘landmark’ judgement while ‘pretending’ to implement it.

As to the decision to recommend the removal/ replacement of IG Khawaja with Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti, the petitioners pointed out that this was a repeat of the April 1st, 2017 notification through which the Sindh government had removed the IG and this very notification of April 1, 2017, was declared illegal by the Sindh High Court in its judgment.

Pakistan to benefit from peaceful Afghanistan: American diplomat

WASHINGTON: Pakistan will benefit from a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, top American diplomat Alice G Wells has said.

Speaking about the recent visit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Pakistan, she said the secretary during a meeting with the Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership underlined that the Afghan strategy was an opportunity since Pakistan, with the exception of Afghanistan, has the most to benefit from a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.

Acting Secretary of State for South Asia and Central Asian Affairs Alice G. Wells who is also Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan was speaking at a press briefing.

She said that despite several critical junctures over the last 70 years, the US has worked very closely with Pakistan, and the recovery of a Canadian-US couple from the clutches of the Taliban was an example of what both the counties can do when they were all moving in the same direction.

Under the strategy, the US has laid out some very specific expectations of how Pakistan can help create the conditions that will help bring the Taliban to the table, she said.

She insisted this was not about giving dictation to Pakistan. “We have described our strategy, we’ve described a very important role for Pakistan, who we see as a very important country in the region, but it’s up to them whether or not they want to work with us on this strategy.”

She said Tillerson welcomed Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s trip to Kabul and both countries’ commitment to ensure that neither country’s territory nor soil would be used against another.

Federal Govt to hire 200 teachers for computer labs in city schools

SLAMABAD: The Federal Government has decided to recruit around 200 teachers for the Computer Labs of the public sector educational institutions of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

Adviser to Prime Minister Education Reforms Programme (PMERP) Ali Raza said that the task for the induction of computer teachers has been given to Ministry of Information Technology (IT).

Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) has asked the Ministry of IT to conduct exam and interview of the candidates in a transparent way, he added. Ali Raza said that a criteria has been finalized for the appointment of computer teachers adding that minimum qualification of these teachers would be BS Computer Science.

However, the candidates who had BS degree in other subjects should have diploma in computer science for applying.

Ali Raza said that the CADD in collaboration with IT was establishing  modern computer labs in 226 girls’ public educational institutions of the federal capital.

The teachers for these computer labs would be hired on contract basis for the period of three years and their salaries would be paid by the ministry of IT, he added.

During this contract period, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) would create posts and induct teachers on regular basis for the labs, he added.

He said this project has been initiated by the Ministry of IT for three years term to help out the FDE and after the given time the project would be handed over the directorate.

In the first phase, the computer labs would only be established in all girls’ schools of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and the Ministry of IT would bear all expenditures in this regard, he further added.

It is pertinent to note here that all 423 public sector schools of the ICT were being upgraded under the ongoing Prime Minister Education Reforms Programme and the induction of computer teachers is part of it.

Fuel rates may increase by Rs2 on global cues

KARACHI: The federal government may increase the prices of domestic petroleum products by Rs1 to Rs2.50 as the crude oil prices in global market hiked by more than $2 per barrel during the outgoing week.

Both benchmarks for oil trends, the US and British crude oil commonly known as Nymek and Brent shot up to $53.90 and $60.44 per barrel respectively.

The government may announce a hike in petroleum products prices from November 1, 2017.

According to oil experts, the sharp increase in the crude oil prices may impel the government to consider an upward revision in the domestic petroleum product prices.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority would prepare the summary of oil products on October 30 which would be sent to the ministry of petroleum and ministry of finance, analysts said.

However, as per the price trend, there is a likelihood that the price of high-speed diesel and motor gasoline might go up in the range of Rs 1 to Rs 2.50 but it all depends on the summary to be sent by OGRA and approval from the ministries, the analysts opined.

The current motor gasoline price stood around Rs 73.50 per litre, high-speed diesel Rs 79.40 per litre, kerosene oil Rs 48 per litre and light diesel Rs 46 per litre.

Accountability for all is my motto now: NAB Chairman

LAHORENAB Chairman Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal while reviewing the overall performance of Prosecution Division of NAB at NAB Headquarter has said that when I was acting as chief justice of Pakistan I believed in ‘justice for all’ and now when I head NAB I believe in ‘accountability for all’.

He said that due to constant deliberations, monitoring and performance analysis of Prosecution Division, the overall conviction ratio has gone up which is one of the best conviction ratio due to hard work put in by NAB Prosecution Division. He assured the staff that he personally will assess their service and salary structure and will protect their rights. He asked them to work diligently and without any fear.

He said that NAB is the only Anti-Corruption Organization who has prescribed a maximum time limit – from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to-investigation and finally to a reference in the Accountability Court for expeditious disposal of all cases including white collar crime cases which is a challenging task but we are committed to beat the clock by putting hard work and ensuring transparency as per law.

He appreciated the professional work done and performance of Prosecution Division. He said no discrimination will be done to Sharjeel Memon and Dr. Asim Hussain, but NAB has nothing to do with the non-bailable warrants as this power lies with the court. He said that an effective accountability mechanism is qualitative and quantitative and is always vital for further improvements. He said that NAB is committed to perform its national duty for a corruption free Pakistan by adopting Zero Tolerance Policy across the board.