Category Archives: ISLAMABAD

Khursheed Shah asks govt to summon military leadership to Parliament

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in NA Syed Khursheed Shah on Wednesday demanded of the government to summon the military leadership to the Parliament and brief the house regarding the current security situation of the country.

Shah also asked for the heads of intelligence and security agencies to be present for the briefing.

“The government should summon heads of the all security and intelligence agencies in the Parliament, asking them to brief the session about the steps taken by them to provide security to the people of Pakistan,” Shah said while speaking during the National Assembly session.

The remarks by the opposition leader come two days after the carnage in Quetta, which mauled the provincial capital’s judicial community.

During the session the opposition leader suggested to establish a parliamentary national security committee in order to monitor the implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) and the progress in Operation Zarb-i-Azb.

“A parliamentary committee must be formed to review the steps taken by the government and the security agencies for implementing National Action Plan,” Shah said.

Responding to criticism by the interior minister regarding PPP’s earlier tenure, Shah said it is not the right time for political point scoring.

“PPP’s government had twice summoned the military leadership in joint parliamentary in-camera sessions and had asked it to address the concerns of the parliamentarians regarding security issues.”

Addressing the prime minister, who was present in the NA session, the opposition leader said ministers like Nisar are enough to weaken his government.

The opposition parties later walked out from the session in protest against the criticism by the minister of interior.

Earlier during the session, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan’s intelligence agencies are working day and night to defeat nefarious designs of the country’s enemies.

The premier also said that Operation Zarb-i-Azb is a unanimous national agenda that will be completed at all costs.

Carnage in Quetta

At least 70 people were killed and over 100 injured after a suicide bomber struck the emergency ward of Quetta’s Civil Hospital, where scores of people had gathered to mourn the death of Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) president Bilal Anwar Kasi in a gun attack earlier in the day.

Witnesses present at the hospital at the time of the attack recall complete chaos at the site, with bodies lying on the ground amidst pools of blood and debris.

The attack was claimed by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar and the militant Islamic State group, but Balochistan Chief Minster Sanaullah Zehri hinted at the involvement of Indian spy agency RAW.

NAB approves fresh inquiry against ex-army chief’s brother, seven others

ISLAMABAD: A fresh inquiry has been approved by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the brother of former army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, retired Maj Kamran Kayani, in a Rs165 million loan default case.

The decision was taken on Tuesday at NAB’s executive board meeting chaired by the bureau’s chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, where a total of seven inquiries — including one against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Iftikharul Hassan, were approved.According to a NAB spokesman, an inquiry will be conducted against Gen Kayani’s brother and the management of a private power producer company called Power Pack for a wilful loan default of Rs165.37m.

The case has been referred by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) under Section 31-D of the NAB Ordinance. “Retired Maj Kamran Kayani is the sole proprietor of the loan obtained,” the spokesman added.

The retired major, who is said to be abroad, was nominated in two other NAB case related to the Defence Housing Authority Islamabad and DHA Lahore.

NAB has already issued arrest warrants for Mr Kamran in the earlier cases and steps are being taken to bring him back to the country for trial.

Another inquiry was authorised against Iftikharul Hassan, a PML-N MNA from Sialkot. In this case, the NAB spokesman said, Mr Hassan was accused of accumulating assets beyond known sources of income.

An inquiry was ordered against some officials of the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and others for misuse of authority in relaxing the tax regime for some service providers, causing huge losses to the national exchequer.

The NAB chairman authorised another inquiry against officials of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the management of a private firm, Admore Gas Pvt Ltd (AGPL), and others. In this case, the spokesman said, the accused had allegedly committed misuse of authority by illegally awarding a contract worth billions of rupees to AGPL.

The fifth inquiry was authorised against the management of the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) for selling a plot measuring 3,510 square yards in Civil Lines, Karachi, at less than the market rate, causing a loss to the national exchequer.

Another inquiry was ordered against Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, former adviser to the Sindh chief minister, for accumulating assets beyond known sources of income.

The last inquiry was approved against Parveen Naeem Shah, the vice chancellor of the Shah Abdul Latif University in Khairpur, Sindh and others over a Suspicious Transaction Report forwarded by the Financial Monitoring Unit of the SBP under Section 31-D.

During the meeting, the executive board also approved the Voluntary Return application of Rs2.17m by Chaudhry Muhammad Shahid Mehmood, a contractor in an inquiry against Haroon Khan, former executive engineer, Upper Jhelum Canal, Gujrat Division, the Irrigation Department, and others.

It decided to close an inquiry against officers and officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), a former director of the Bank of Punjab, Mian Muhammad Latif, the CEO of the Chenab Ltd and group of companies, and another inquiry against Dr Ziaur Rehman, former chief executive of the Ayub Medical Institute in Abbottabad.

NAB also closed complaint verification against a former chief minister of Sindh, Arbab Ghulam Rahim, and others due to lack of incriminating evidence.

PM to discuss NAP progress with top brass today

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his security team had threadbare discussion on the National Action Plan (NAP) on Tuesday.

The meeting was meant to prepare a comprehensive working paper for a broader meeting with the military top brass, to be held on Wednesday. An official statement released after the sitting simply said: “Prime minister chaired meeting to review the internal security situation and implementation of the NAP.”

Following the Quetta tragedy, questions are being raised yet again over the effectiveness of the 20-point NAP, which was launched amid much fanfare in the aftermath of the heinous attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014.

According to independent analysts, both civilian and military leaderships have a lot of explaining to do if the NAP has lost its purpose. And if it has, who is to blame for the failure?

Talking to Media, a senior government official privy to Tuesday’s meeting said a point-wise discussion was expected with the top brass on Wednesday. “Everything under the sun which has something to do with NAP implementation will be taken up and discussed,” said the official.

Asked whether the civilian side had flagged certain key issues to be discussed on Wednesday, the official said that every single NAP point was linked to the other, hence, it would be a no-holds-barred discussion.

Govt’s security team reviews key points ahead of civ-mil meeting

“Be the issues related to intelligence-sharing between civil and military agencies, sharing of economic resources between the federal and provincial governments for implementation of the NAP, madressah reforms or action against the hate speech, nothing can be discussed separately,” the official explained.

However, the official was of the view that the focus of Wednesday’s meeting was likely to be the internal security situation.

This was even apparent from the tone and subject of discussion, as explained in the communiqué released after the meeting.

It said that the meeting discussed the internal security situation of the country at length, as well as different aspects of the National Action Plan. “Minster for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and National Security Advisor retired Lt Gen Nasir Khan Janjua briefed the premier on how terrorist organisations are attacking soft targets,” the statement said.

The meeting also observed that after Operation Zarb-i-Azb in Fata yielded positive results, terrorists were choosing targets other than state institutions out of desperation.

“We are in a state of war with an ideology that wants to change our way of life,” the prime minister was quoted as saying, adding that the government was committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure that the blood spilled in Quetta was not in vain.

PM Sharif further emphasised the need for seamless coordination between law enforcement agencies and among provincial governments and the federal government, in order to achieve optimum results within the shortest possible time period.

The prime minister also expressed the resolve that his government would “[secure] Pakistan from every [form of] terrorism and extremism as the country has embarked upon a right track and we will enable every citizen to reap the benefits of a secure, stable and prosperous Pakistan.”

According to the prime minister, terrorists think that they can sow the seeds of disharmony and disunity in the nation. “The nation is united and supports the government to stay on the course of completely eliminating terrorists from Pakistani society.

Talking to media, a serving member of the federal cabinet said it was high time both the civilian and military leaderships came good on their promises.

“The army chief will be hanging up his boots in November this year, whereas the government has less than two years left.” A few months down the road, the media will start reviewing the government’s performance, and articles have already started appearing regarding the potential legacy of the army chief, added the minister.

Corps Commanders Conference was held at General Headquarters.

Corps Commanders Conference was held at General Headquarters. General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) presided the meeting which was attended by all Corps Commanders and Principal Staff Officers. The forum expressed its deepest sympathies with grieved families and injured of Quetta blast. Participants of the conference were given detailed briefings on ongoing military operations and overall external and internal security situation in the country with particular reference to counter terrorism domain.

COAS said that this cowardly terror attack on Pakistan’s judiciary, carried out in a hospital is an attempt to undermine the successes of operation Zarb-e-Azb. He strongly stated that by adopting a whole of nation approach, its valiant armed forces would not allow anyone to reverse our gains against terrorism.

He directed the Commanders and intelligence outfits that they should further intensify the combing, and targeted operations with full vigour to eliminate terrorists and sleeper cells. He also directed commanders to provide all necessary assistance to provincial LEAs in their capacity building through training, resourcing and planning so as to integrate them effectively in counter terrorism operations.