Tag Archives: Nawaz

Youth loan scheme: IHC issues notices to Maryam Nawaz, cabinet secretary

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued notices to Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Scheme Chairperson Maryam Nawaz Sharif and the cabinet secretary after her appointment was challenged by a petitioner.

IHC judge Athar Minallah served the notices and sought replies in two weeks.

The court, meanwhile, also solicited help from four lawyers as amicus curiae to assist the court in disposing of the case. The amicus curiae include Senator Raza Rabbani, Hamid Khan, Rafique Rajwana and Barrister Farogh Naseem.

Petitioner Muhammad Ashiq Bhatti, while citing the cabinet secretary and Nawaz as respondents, has maintained that the appointment was made in violation of the law, merit and against a verdict given by the Supreme Court in the Khawaja Asif and Anita Turab cases, both of which placed restrictions on the appointments against certain offices.

The petitioner contended that the cabinet division issued the appointment notification on November 22, 2013, but it was not put made available on the cabinet division’s website.

“The appointment has been made just because she is the daughter of the prime minister and…is a sheer reflection of nepotism,” the petitioner said, adding that the appointment was in violation of Article 27 of the constitution, which safeguards against discrimination in services.

No raise for AGP

In a separate case, IHC judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui dismissed a petition moved by Auditor-General of Pakistan Muhammad Akhtar Buland Rana, seeking court intervention to get his salary and other perks increased to the level of apex court judges.

The petitioner had requested the court to revoke an amendment made in Section 3 of the AGP Ordinance, 2001, through which the salary and other perks of the AGP had been curtailed.

The petitioner’s counsel said that his client was getting Rs398,655 a month, while judges of the superior courts were getting double the amount, adding that the petitioner’s pay was verly low, relative to his workload.

The petitioner’s counsel said that his client wrote a letter to the finance secretary in September 2011 for requesting revision of pay and other allowances, but no heed has been paid to it. After the primary hearing, the court dismissed the petition.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2014.

Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid invites Nawaz, snubs Modi for son’s anointment

The Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, on Thursday invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his son’s anointment, but excluded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the guest list, Times of India reported.

“We have invited the prime minister of Pakistan as we have had relations with him since my father’s time, unlike with Modi, whom we have not invited,” Bukhari said, referring to the guest list for his son’s anointment as the next chief cleric.

Four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including two ministers, have also been invited to the ceremony.

The anointment of Bukhari’s son, 19-year-old Shaban, will take place on November 22 and guests have been invited for dinner on November 29.

“Modi has not done anything for Indian Muslims even after coming to power. Indian Muslims have not forgiven him for the 2002 Gujarat riots,” Bukhari said, referring to the 2002 communal clashes in Gujarat in which around 1,000 Muslims were killed.

“Modi has not even apologised (for the riots) and reached out to the Muslims,” he added.

“We have also invited Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi along with Vice President Hamid Ansari,” Bukhari added.

Earlier, on May 27 during his visit to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, Nawaz paid a visit to the historic mosque and met Bukhari.

PM Nawaz takes notice of drought-stricken Tharparkar

ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of reports of famine in Sindh, Prime Minister Nawaz has directed the Pakistan Army to provide immediate relief to the people of Tharparkar with the provision of food and medicine.

The premier also ordered the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to submit a report in this regard.

He also directed the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to submit a report regarding financial assistance provided to the residents of Tharparkar in the last six months.

Dozens of children have reportedly died of malnutrition in this drought-stricken desert district of Sindh this year alone.

In September, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Peoples Party, called for comprehensive planning to mitigate the suffering of the people of Tharparker on sustainable basis, especially during drought.

Psychiatrists believe the persisting famine is creating psychological disorders among the Tharis, leading to suicidal tendencies.

In the past 10 months, 40 people have committed suicide in Tharparkar, including two cases of mothers killing themselves along with their children, according to a report prepared by a local NGO, AWARE.

PM House meeting: Nawaz approves four demands of MQM


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday approved four demands of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the party which has pulled out of the PPP-led coalition government in Sindh triggering a political crisis in the province, The Express Tribune has learnt.

A four-member MQM delegation comprising Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi, Dr Farooq Sattar, Abdul Rashid Godil and Nasreen Jalil met the prime minister in the federal capital. According to sources, the delegation raised the issues of Karachi’s mega projects, arrest of party workers in the ongoing operation and problems with the PPP government in Sindh.

The prime minister approved MQM’s demand for the completion of four mega projects in Karachi. For this purpose, he also formed two committees: one headed by Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and the other by MQM lawmaker Dr Farooq Sattar. These committees will meet on Wednesday (today) to discuss allocation of funds for these projects which include Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Lyari Expressway, sewage waste treatment plants and water scarcity.

Sources said that the prime minister also urged the MQM delegation to end the political crisis in Karachi. He convinced the MQM delegation that PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah has already apologised over his controversial remarks against ‘Mohajirs’ and there was no need to agitate the issue further.

According to sources, the prime minister urged the MQM to sit across the table with the PPP and remove the mistrust between them. If the political crisis persists in Karachi, then the development projects could not be completed on time, sources quoted the prime minister as saying. He further said that political unrest in Sindh would distract MQM’s attention from its development agenda for Karachi.

Sources said that Dr Farooq Sattar agreed with the prime minister and said that the MQM would soon start negotiation with the PPP.

According to the official handout, the premier said that difference of opinion is the beauty of democracy and should aim at the country’s development. “Mutual differences among political parties must be sorted out through discussions and debates for which our system has provided appropriate platforms,” he added.

During the last few months Pakistan has witnessed an exemplary display of parliamentary democracy and rule of law in which all political parties expressed solidarity with the system for upholding the supremacy of democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions in the country, the prime minister said. Overall political situation in the country, particularly in Sindh, came under discussion during the meeting.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, who also attended the meeting, confirmed to The Express Tribune that the MQM delegation agreed with the prime minister’s plea to solve their problems with the PPP in a closed-door meeting. He said Dr Farooq Sattar also agreed with the prime minister’s observation that after Kursheed Shah’s apology the controversy should be ended.

Dr Farooq Sattar told The Express Tribune that they have discussed development projects with the prime minister and other political issues.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2014.

Nawaz wants provinces to redouble efforts against polio

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday wrote letters to all the chief ministers of the country, urging them to carry out steps for polio eradication.

He called on provincial governments to redouble their efforts for eradicating polio.

Nawaz urged them to immediately map out and identify high risk areas in their respective provinces, adopt specific interventions for each of them depending on their particular requirements.

His letter comes on a day when seven more cases were confirmed in the country.

Below is the text of the letter sent by the PM:

I am writing to draw your attention to the endemic eruption of polio virus in Pakistan, as a result of which polio has been declared a public health emergency and the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) launched for its eradication. Quite recently the Independent Monitoring Board for Global Polio Eradication has also declared polio as an international emergency. On the other hand, the Emergency Committee of the International Health Regulation has recommended that polio vaccines be administered to every international passenger travelling out of Pakistan.

The concern of the world community on the rapid spread of polio in Pakistan was also raised by the President of the World Bank during my visit to the USA in September 2014. It has been predicted that if the spread of polio is not contained, the number of polio cases in the country may increase tenfold over the coming years. The situation is indeed alarming, rendering it difficult to over emphasise the need to strengthen the oversight and accountability mechanisms within the NEAP, which inter alia focuses on: ensuring access to target populations in security-compromised regions; controlling further outbreaks in reservoir areas; and maintaining the polio-free status of the rest of the province.

The urgency of the situation demands that Provincial Governments redouble their efforts for polio eradication and work in harmony and close coordination with the Federal Government establishments associated with the implementation of the National Emergency Action Plan.

I would urge you to immediately map out and identify high risk areas in your province and adopt specific interventions for each of them depending on their particular requirements.

You would also need to instruct your district level administration to ensure vigilant oversight of the polio campaigns during the upcoming low transmission season (i.e. December 2014 to May 2015)

David Cameron invites PM Nawaz to attend Afghanistan conference

ISLAMABAD: British Prime Minister David Cameron has invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend an international conference on economic assistance to Afghanistan to be held in London in the last week of November.

 According to an official handout, Cameron invited PM Nawaz via telephone on Tuesday. The conference is being co-chaired by Cameron and Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani and will serve to reiterate the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan.

As one of Afghanistan’s most important neighbours, Pakistan’s participation at the highest level would serve to highlight its commitment to peace and stability in the war-torn country.

“Prime Minister’s participation in the conference would also enable the two leaders to discuss bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UK, and provide an opportunity for PM Nawaz to meet the Afghan president,” says the handout.

PM Nawaz calls for dialogue to end MQM-PPP row

ISLAMABAD: As the MQM and PPP conflict intensifies, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday urged political parties to resolve differences through discussions and debates, Radio Pakistan reported.

While talking to an MQM delegation led by Farooq Sattar in Islamabad, the premier said the constitution provides space for debate to all democratic forces in the country. “Difference of opinion is the beauty of democracy and should be aimed at country’s development,” he advised.

Nawaz went on to add that Pakistan has witnessed an exemplary display of parliamentary democracy and rule of law in which all political parties expressed solidarity with the system for upholding the supremacy of democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions in the country.

The prime minister called upon democratically elected forces to work together for the development and progress of Sindh.

Speaking about developmental projects the premier had initiated for Karachi, PM Nawaz said directions have been issued to all concerned authorities for timely completion.

Other MQM members who met PM Nawaz include Abdul Rashid Godil, Khalid Maqbool and Nasreen Jalil.

Xi Jinping’s visit: PM Nawaz blames Imran’s ‘immature politics’ for delay

ISLAMABAD: Censuring his biggest political rival Imran Khan for staging anti-government protests in Islamabad, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping was postponed because of the immature politics of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief. 

The premier made these comments moments after addressing the participants of “Invest Pakistan” – an international investment conference held in Islamabad.

Speaking to the media, PM Nawaz said Pakistan will continue to progress despite these sit-ins in the federal capital.

‘Invest in Pakistan’

In his speech during the conference, the prime minister said he has mandated board of investment to facilitate investors in planning and implementing their ventures.

Nawaz added the booming stock markets of Pakistan were vindicating progressive economic initiatives taken by the government.

“We plan privatising power and its distribution network along with rationalisation of tariff that will make investment in power sector very attractive.” Nawaz said.

“I have put in pipeline numerous projects whose production will soon outstrip demand,  Nawaz further emphasised while reposing confidence in the participants.

Being very mindful of the vast gap between production and requirement of energy, he asserted that the government had planned installation of all kinds of power generation units to boost energy production.

Nawaz further made it clear that the projected GDP growth rate of the country ranged between four and six percent, and is considerably higher in comparison to the past where it consistently failed to cross the three percent barrier.

In the end, he again welcomed international investors to invest in Pakistan and pointed out various investment opportunities available in various areas.

Fresh political forces: Nawaz appeals for PML-N unity in Sindh


In a bid to pre-empt the possible emergence of a Muttahidda Muslim League (MML) and to retain his party’s main organisational structure in Sindh, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appealed for steps to remove differences within the Sindh chapter of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N, The Express Tribune has learnt. At the same time, the prime minister approved “a package for the provincial party workers”.

According to an official communiqué, the PM met with his party’s chief in Sindh Ismail Rahu, General Secretary Nehal Hashmi, senior vice president Shah Muhammad Shah, central vice president Saleem Zia. Railways Miister Khawaja Saad Rafique was also present at the meeting.

The handout said party matters and the overall political situation in the country came under discussion. However, sources privy to the development said the PM and the Sindh office-bearers’ discussed the recent meeting of disgruntled PML-N members, who had gathered at residence of Pir Syed Sadruddin Shah.

According to sources, four former chief ministers of Sindh — Mumtaz Bhutto, Ghous Ali Shah, Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Liaquat Jatoi — want to form the MML under Pir of Pagara and wish to attract all the PML-N’s disgruntled members, including Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa from Punjab, to join the alliance.

Sources said the PM Nawaz, who is also the party’s central president, asked Sindh’s office-bearers to revive the party’s organisation and to counter the move. He asked the party organisation to focus on party workers and to ignore former politicians, who had no more room in the party.

Differences within party

According to sources, there are three groups in the PML-N Sindh Chapter – a situation which troubles the PM as he wants to see a strong organisation in the province.

The first group comprises Saleem Zia, Imdad Chandio and Zain Ansari. The second group is led by President Mamnoon Hussain and the PML-N’s central information secretary and the third group includes Ghous Ali Shah and Mumtaz Bhutto, who have also declared themselves the party head in Sindh.

Two months ago, Nawaz Sharif had obliged Mamnoon group and appointed his group as party head in Sindh. Apart from the, the PM also accommodated Saleem Zia and Imdad Chandio and appointed them party’s central vice presidents in the centre.

Sources said the premier urged the participants to immediately remove their differences and to focus on uniting the party in Sindh. Nawaz Sharif will also meet other disgruntled workers of the party from Sindh, they added.

Package for workers

The sources said the PM also approved an incentives package – including jobs for party workers in federal departments, establishment of railway stations in the party’s core constituencies, provision of gas and circular railway for Karachi.

They said the prime minister asked the office-bearers to prepare a list of party workers for jobs and to identify those areas where the federal government should focus on development activities.

According to sources, the office-bearers showed their reservations on the Karachi operation; meanwhile Saleem Zia was made the focal person to address the issues.

PTI’s move in Sindh

Sources said that the members also discussed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) political manoeuvres for making inroads in the province.

The party’s Sindh office-bearers told Nawaz that the PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi  was focusing on his followers — Ghosia Jamaat — and he would take time to lure the PML-N’s die hard workers in that province. Nawaz asked the participants to focus on rural Sindh and Karachites in the comings months.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Saleem Zia said the PM asked them to expand the party’s organisation in Sindh. He confirmed that party had sought jobs in federal government departments. “I am working hard for re-organisation of the party and hope that it will soon be revived in the province,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2014.

Nepal’s foreign minister invites PM Nawaz to 18th SAARC Summit

ISLAMABAD: Nepal’s Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Panday on Thursday extended an invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to participate in the 18th SAARC Summit being held in Kathmandu in November, an official handout stated.

The meeting took place at the PM House where Ambassador of Nepal to Pakistan Bharat Raj Paudyal and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi were also present.

“Pakistan wishes to nurture closer economic and cultural relations between the two countries,” the premier said.

“Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Nepal is not reflective of our political ties, and the potential that exists in both countries for which institutional mechanisms such as the Joint Economic Commission, need to be made more effective,” Prime Minister Nawaz said.

Further, he said, “Apart from strengthening bilateral relations with Nepal, Pakistan is particularly keen to promote SAARC activities in partnership with Nepal. Resolution of disputes between SAARC countries is important for SAARC’s progress, and Nepal can play its due role in this regard.”

During the meeting, it was also acknowledged that it is important for SAARC to develop economic partnership with major countries within the region, which is essential for its growth.

Panday also conveyed Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s best wishes, and expressed the desire to further strengthen and develop bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Nawaz reciprocated the sentiments, while conveying his best wishes for a successful SAARC Summit.