Thursday, December 1, 2011

Khawaja Asif, Memogate, & Brigadier (R) Niaz.

ISLAMABAD: Admitting Nawaz Sharif’s petition on the memogate scandal for hearing on Thursday, the Supreme Court issued notices to the president, the army chief and others party to the case, DawnNews reported. The court moreover directed the authorities to submit a report on the issue in 15 days’ time along with barring Husain Haqqani from leaving the country. A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry issued the directive. During the hearing, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s chief Nawaz Sharif told the court that the secret memo was approved by the country’s top political leadership. He further said that if a similar scandal had propped up during his government, he would have tendered his resignation. Sharif claimed that a force was stopping Pakistan’s parliament from functioning independently. During the proceeding, Justice Jawad Khwaja said that the memo scandal was so far based on assumptions and determining the facts of the matter was obligatory. Moreover, Justice Saqib Nisar questioned whether the memo case fell under the jurisdiction of the court or that of the parliament. Responding to which, Sharif said that the parliament was not functional and was only passing resolutions. He added that the parliament was not going to do anything regarding the scandal. Chief Justice Iftikhar said the scandal had civil and military implications and that military courts had the authority to act on the information. He further said that newspapers had been reporting that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had investigated the issue, adding that Husain Haqqani’s resignation did not prove the charges that were being levelled. Also, Sharif asked the court to summon every individual suspected of involvement in the case to determine where the responsibility lay. REFERENCE: Nawaz claims memo approved by top political leadership

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ILLEGALLY Favours Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Shareef didn't Walk through Security Gates in Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: Former Director-General of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Tariq Khosa has refused to head a one-man commission to investigate the memo scandal, DawnNews reported on Saturday. The commission was set up by the Supreme Court. Khosa, who has also served as inspector general of Balochistan police, is a brother of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Punjab Chief Secretary Nasir Khosa. Earlier, former law minister Babar Awan had questioned Khosa’s nomination at a press conference by saying that he was a brother of the Punjab chief secretary and a judge of the Supreme Court. But those who worked with Khosa called him an ‘upright’ man and a ‘clean’ government officer. The scandal erupted when US citizen of Pakistani origin, Mansoor Ijaz, accused Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, of masterminding an alleged memo sent to a senior US military official asking for help to rein in the Pakistani military after the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May. Haqqani denied the allegation and resigned from his position of ambassador in the wake of the controversy. REFERENCES: Tariq Khosa refuses to head commission on memogate December 3, 2011 •One-man commission named •PPP’s angry reaction •President, COAS, ISI chief to explain position: SC orders memogate inquiry, tells Haqqani not to go abroad December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011, Moharram-ul-Haram 05,1433 A.H. Updated at: 1400

Thursday, December 01, 2011, Moharram-ul-Haram 05,1433 A.H. Updated at: 1700

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif succeeded in pushing back the memogate affair under the spotlight as he and his party members dubbed the Parliament a failure before a nine member larger bench of the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday. On several occasions, before finally ordering a probe into the scandal, judges reminded Sharif and his party members to limit their submissions to the legal arguments. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief said he would not have been wasting the court’s time had the parliament been keeping its word on matters involving the sovereignty and security of the country. “Neither the resolutions of the parliament and the parliamentary committees were implemented nor the joint sessions of the parliament succeeded in achieving its purpose,” Sharif said. Nawaz, while providing evidence in the absence of his lawyer, said that Pakistani American businessman Mansoor Ijaz has proved that the memo was written after the approval of a “higher authority in Pakistan”. The SC on Thursday gave the respondents in the memogate scandal case 15 days to submit their evidence to the apex court. A notice was issued in this regard by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who said that all parties named in the petition must present their evidence in order for the memogate scandal to be investigated. Justice Iftikhar noted that the case comes under the ambit of civil and criminal law. The petition names 13 respondents including President Asif Ali Zardari, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and the Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The president’s secretary, the prime minister’s principal secretary, foreign secretary, defence secretary, interior secretary, secretaries of all provincial governors and the chief secretaries of all provinces are also among the respondents. The court also said that former Ambassador Husain Haqqani, who has resigned over the matter, should not leave the country till the court’s decision is announced. PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar, one of the petitioners in the case, was asked by the judges about the mandate of the ‘Parliamentary Committee on National Security’, which had been tasked with investigating the memogate affair. Dar said the committee did not have any constitutional backing and may not be able to initiate action against the culprits. “Such committees seldom put in real work and are formed only to sit and talk,” added Dar. He said the parliament should understand it would cease to exist if it failed to have its decisions implemented. The PML-N has filed at least seven petitions for bringing to book the characters behind the memo affair after holding an independent probe. The Attorney General (AG) of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq, defended the parliament and said the committee set up for investigating the memo affair was validly formed and its findings should be given weight. Justice Saqib Nisar observed if the AG was trying to say that the SC should not order a probe because the parliament was to begin investigation. “All I am saying is that the parliamentary committee has been empowered to collect the evidence in this important affair. The court should wait for the findings before ordering an independent probe,” the AG pleaded. REFERENCE: Memogate: Parliament failed to protect sovereignty says Nawaz By Express / Faisal Shakeel Published: December 1, 2011  
History & Memory Loss of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif & Khawaja Muhammad Asif 
Khawaja Muhammad Asif Speech on Pakistan Army - 1 (2007)

LONDON: PML-N President Mian Shahbaz Sharif has confirmed that during his meeting with the trusted friend of President Pervez Musharraf, Brig (retd) Niaz, shortly before his arrival in Britain, both had discussed “important political matters” of Pakistan, but no secret message was delivered to him from the presidency. In an exclusive interview with The News after his arrival in London, Shahbaz said he had visited the residence of Brig Niaz, as he was not only their family friend but a well-wisher too. Explaining the nature of his meeting which triggered reports that perhaps once again Brig Niaz was out to bridge the gap between his common friends, the Sharif brothers and Musharraf, Shahbaz said he had visited his house to pay a courtesy call. He said since he went to Pakistan in November last year, he had not met Brig Niaz, who was respected and admired in his family. He said he had come to know that Brig Niaz was ill and he went to inquire about his health. When asked whether Brig Niaz had delivered any message of Musharraf in the changed situation, Shahbaz denied it outright and said no such message was given to him. To another question if he had discussed the current political situation with Brig Niaz, Shahbaz said, “Definitely, the political situation was discussed during the meeting and we both exchanged our political views on all the issues confronting Pakistan.” “Of course, when we meet, like common Pakistanis, we also discuss the current political situation. It was very natural to discuss the prevailing political situation in the country,” said Shahbaz while defending his conversation on political issues with the trusted friend of General Musharraf. Asked whether being an elder and old friend, Brig Niaz gave him any political advice about the political course the Sharif brothers should take now, Shahbaz replied that he always gave them advice that we all should work for the betterment of Pakistan. “I hope, Brig Niaz was giving similar advice to his friend General Musharraf, too,” Shahbaz said. When told that his meeting with Brig Niaz had given currency to reports that finally the PML-N was bridging its gap with Musharraf, Shahbaz rejected this widely-perceived notion and wondered how one could draw such kind of wild conclusions. He argued that one could have common friends and it did not mean that there was any new deal or arrangements in the making with Musharraf. To support his argument, Shahbaz said: “Now PPP senator Farooq Naik happened to be the brother-in-law of PML-N leader Khawaja Mohammad Asif. Does it mean that we should dismiss Khawaja Asif from our party, as he is related to a senator of PPP?” Asked whether there was any possibility of his meeting with Musharraf in London, Shahbaz said: “Absolutely not”. When told that Brig Niaz was reaching London and whether he would meet him during his stay here, Shahbaz replied he had no idea whether Brig Niaz was also in London. When asked whether the PML-N would become a part of a national government after the general elections in the country as proposed by Asif Zardari, Shahbaz said it was too early to comment on what would be the response of his party. However, he said both the political parties had a working relationship and both had signed the Charter of Democracy in London, which might become the basis of cooperation in the future. He reiterated the demand that a neutral and independent government should hold free and fair elections in the country and the Election Commission should be strengthened to ensure transparency of polls. Shahbaz said by visiting the General Hospital Rawalpindi to mourn the killing of Benazir Bhutto on December 27 followed by his visit to Naudero, Nawaz Sharif had saved the federation. REFERENCE: Shahbaz admits political dialogue with Brig Niaz Rauf Klasra Friday, January 18, 2008

Khawaja Muhammad Asif Speech on Pakistan Army - 2 (2007)

ISLAMABAD: Brig (retd) Niaz, a friend of President Pervez Musharraf, had more than once facilitated return of some female members of the Sharif family to Pakistan in the past to attend to family affairs. He had no acquaintance with the Sharif family until he was approached by a common friend a few years ago, seeking his help in facilitating travel of female members of the Sharif family to Pakistan through his good offices with President Pervez Musharraf to attend marriages of their relatives. Sharifs were then in Jeddah. "I was groomed in an environment that doesn't allow being discourteous with anybody expressing his desire to meet him," the former brigadier had told this correspondent before Nawaz made an abortive attempt to return to Pakistan on Sept 10 last year. Niaz met the Sharifs in London where he had primarily gone for treatment. The soldier had sought that since he was an apolitical person he should be spared from being embroiled in any controversy. He did not agree to a record chat, but consented to tell the story about his contacts with Sharifs and how relations between Musharraf and him built up. Before his failed attempt to return to Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif was thrashing Musharraf in his live news conferences in London. At that point, one clearly noticed that Niaz was greatly distressed by Sharifs' diatribe against Musharraf. But he was helpless and felt embarrassed. His last encounter with Sharifs in London had turned out to be a futile exercise when he failed to convince Nawaz Sharif to delay his return to Pakistan for some time. However, when the common friend had urged Niaz to talk to the president, he was quick to say yes. He had met Musharraf and secured the requisite go-ahead for Sharifs to attend marriages in their family. The six feet-plus tall former brigadier, originally hailing from Chakwal, one of the main recruiting areas of the Pakistan Army, faced no difficulty in obtaining the president's consent for Sharifs to come back, saying that female members should not suffer for the faults of their male elders. During his meetings with Sharifs, Niaz had been urging them to show restraint towards the president, realising the grave situation in Pakistan. But the two brothers had never practically did that and kept on with their rhetoric. Niaz again hit the headlines last week when Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif met him at his Islamabad residence. This was basically meant to thank and show respect to the former brigadier for facilitating the Sharif family at the most difficult time for a private affair. "This was basically a courtesy call from Shahbaz, who was meeting people that had come to their rescue during their time in exile," a PML-N leader told The News. "Like Niaz's previous encounters with Sharifs, this one, too, failed to moderate them. Niaz, however, did stress that Sharifs should lower their temperament," he said. When one had met Niaz, the judicial crisis was at its peak and Musharraf had been pushed to the wall. The former brigadier was extremely distraught over the point where Musharraf had gone because of the immense public pressure. He was also displeased with what a set of judges of the Supreme Court and his detractors were doing against the president. Particularly, Sharifs unhealthy role in the whole situation disturbed him a lot. He gave the impression as if his mission miserably failed. Cigar-smoking Niaz did not know Musharraf at all till a former colonel, who was his and the president's friend, arranged a meeting between them. This is how the two became friends. Niaz was penniless when he had to leave the Army in 1977 for his refusal to fire at protesters during the limited martial law in Lahore. He was extremely worried about how he and his children, including a blind daughter, would make both ends meet. He had no home, no other resources to fall back on. It was the then Chief of the Army Staff Mirza Aslam Beg who, knowing Niaz since long, enquired after his plight and came to know about his condition. He pushed him to involve himself in defence purchases. Niaz was reluctant, saying he has no experience in the field and did not know complexities of the business. Finally, he agreed and earned kudos. He later bought the present sprawling house in Islamabad. Wherever he went in army offices for business purpose, he found officers, who had been his students in the Army when he was an instructor. It turned out to be an easy sailing for him all around. Niaz, around 80, has been seriously ill for the past few years. He was suffering from memory loss and other brain problems that also resulted in significant weight loss. He has to give up some of his old habits, including cigarette smoking, but sought permission from doctors to smoke cigar, which was less injurious. He visits Britain off and one for treatment. REFERENCE: Brig Niaz: the man playing the informal go-between Tariq Butt Tuesday, January 15, 2008 

Khawaja Muhammad Asif Speech on Pakistan Army - 3 (2007)

LONDON: Brigadier (retd) Niaz Ahmed, a secret negotiator between Nawaz Sharif and General Pervez Musharraf since the former prime minister’s days of exile in Jeddah, has reached London. The visit comes amid reports about revival of backdoor channels by the two parties to reach an understanding in the new scenario. Another Musharraf aide is also said to be on his way to London to revive contacts with Nawaz after the exiled prime minister, in a big departure from his seven-year-old stance, dropped a hint at a press conference here on Thursday that he was ready to sit with General Musharraf for the sake of a grand political reconciliation if the president quit power. It is being claimed here that the Musharraf camp, having left with little options following the SC verdict, is set to revive backdoor channels with Nawaz through a common friend Brigadier (retd) Niaz. The family members of Brigadier Niaz confirmed to The News from Islamabad that he was in London. When this correspondent contacted his residence in London, the inmates said Brig Niaz would be available on Monday. When contacted, Press Secretary to the President, Major General Rashid Qureshi told The News from Islamabad that he had no information about the revival of backdoor channels through Brigadier Niaz or for that matter Tariq Aziz visiting London. The News tried to contact Shahbaz Sharif for his comments, but he was not available. The Musharraf camp is said to be quite optimistic aboutr eaching an understanding with the Nawaz camp, after involving Brigadier Niaz, who is highly respected by the Sharif brothers for what he has done for them in the past. Sources said the first sign of flexibility in Nawaz Sharif's approach emerged at his Thursday’s press conference when replying to a question, he said he was ready to sit with General Musharraf if he announced to quit power. This change is said to have given enough space to the Musharraf camp to revive the old links. Sources said the Musharraf camp might offer a safe landing to Nawaz in Pakistan. And he might be told that Musharraf is ready to take off his uniform before the presidential elections. But the PML-N should not resign from parliament as it had earlier announced. Nawaz might also be given an assurance that a level-playing field would be given to his party to contest the elections. But a source told The News that Nawaz might not be tempted to strike a new deal with Musharraf after winning a legal battle because he was not expected to get anything significant in return in case Musharraf continued in power and Benazir Bhutto captured the slot of prime minister. Sources said after the SC verdict, the Nawaz camp might not be ready to offer this big political price as by not resigning from the Parliament, the Sharif brothers might be agreeing to continuation of Musharraf in power and holding of elections under his supervision, something not acceptable to them and their charged followers. REFERENCE: Efforts on to revive Musharraf-Nawaz contacts Rauf Klasra Saturday, August 25, 2007

Kamran Khan & Shaukat Aziz discussing Saudi - Nawaz Sharif Deal.

ISLAMABAD: In a significant political development President Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahbaz Sharif will have an important meeting with President Pervez Musharraf’s close aide and former instructor Brigadier (retd) Niaz Ahmad here in Islamabad today (Saturday). Brigadier Niaz Ahmad had been playing the role of envoy to President Pervez Musharraf in interacting with the Sharif brothers in recent months first in London and lately in Saudi Arabia. The PML-N president has come to the federal capital for the purpose and the meeting is expected to help reduce tension between the presidential camp and its arch critic, the PML-N leadership. It would be Shahbaz Sharif’s third meeting with the brigadier after the Sharif family returned home from exile. The brigadier had been playing the role of go between former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Pervez Musharraf. Political observers are not ruling out a breakthrough between President Pervez Musharraf and Shahbaz Sharif within a day or two sequel to the meeting. Nawaz Sharif had expressed his willingness to meet the president conditionally early this week. He put the restoration of superior judiciary as the lone condition for such a meeting. Highly placed sources told The News Friday evening that PML-N is inclined to play a positive role in reducing the prevailing tension in the country so that polls could be held in a free atmosphere where the president would not feel any hesitation to hand over power to any party that could win the majority vote. The meeting would be a landmark occasion in view of the upcoming elections which are less than five weeks away. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has already softened its tone towards the administration to smoothen the atmosphere and concentrating on electioneering, the sources pointed out. It appears that all the stakeholders are in a reconciliation mood in the interest of holding the polls in a peaceful manner. The emanating threats to the country’s nuclear programme and increasing suicide bombings that has hurt the social and economic fibre of the country are proving the source of motivation for the major political parties to help lower political temperature so that the enemy does not take advantage of the situation. President Pervez Musharraf is also following the path of reconciliation and his Thursday interview with a Singapore newspaper to hint at resigning if an impeachment motion was moved against him in the Parliament after the polls, is believed to be an expression of change of his mind. Brigadier Niaz Ahmad is the one who worked out details for return of the Sharif family to Pakistan in November last year. He assisted the team of the Presidential camp first in London and then in Jeddah for making their return smooth, the sources said. The president’s former Chief of Staff General Hamid Javed led the Presidential team in the initial talks. The sources said that President Pervez Musharraf had marathon meetings with Brigadier Niaz Ahmad in Rawalpindi this week where vital national interests, especially the precarious security situation came up for discussion. The brigadier is widely respected in the army as he has taught almost every general currently sitting at the helm of affairs in the GHQ. He is in his late 80s and has unblemished record during the service of armed forces of Pakistan. He resigned on April 10, 1977 in Lahore when he was commanding the troops and martial law was imposed. He was ordered to fire at the people protesting against the government but instead of shooting at the innocent people he opted to resign there and then. In an exclusive chat with The News, Brigadier Niaz Ahmad said Friday evening that he has received a call from Shahbaz Sharif, who will be visiting him on Saturday. “I have no political ambition. I wish to serve my country that need healing handling. Every one of us must play our role at this critical juncture,” the brigadier said in a sentimental tone. Brigadier Niaz has planned to leave for London tomorrow on a private visit. If there is any follow up meeting at a different level, it would take place before his departure for the UK, the sources opined. Interestingly, Nawaz Sharif is also in the proximity of the federal capital and Shahbaz will report to him immediately after the meeting. The Sharif brothers will evolve some strategy after the meeting today. They will also have consultations with their political allies and party leaders for any further action, the sources added. REFERENCE: Shahbaz meets president’s aide today Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sharif Brothers, Brigadier Niaz, Musharraf and Saudi Arabia

شریف خاندان مشرف کو کیا دے رہا ہے؟

علی سلمان
بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لاہور
وقتِ اشاعت: Sunday, 25 November, 2007, 06:33 GMT 11:33 PST
Former Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif brother of Mian Nawaz Sharif. ‘Listen to Shahbaz Sharif admitting deal’

Almost a Decade ago "Mr. Ansar Abbasi" had filed these News Reports on Mr. Nawaz Sharif and on PML (N) Governance in "Daily Dawn", April 25: Government agencies involved in the accountability exercise are said to be avoiding the processing of cases of alleged corruption or misuse of authority against members of the ruling PML, it is learnt. Investigations into the working of the Ehtesab commission and the interior ministry which are directly concerned with the accountability process under a statute, show that neither of them has been processing the references against PML leaders. According to sources, the two agencies have even been told to lay off certain cases. The sources claimed that some of the top PML leaders against whom references had been pending were Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sindh Chief Minister Liaquat Jatoi, Punjab Assembly speaker Pervez Elahi, former chief minister of the NWFP Pir Syed Sabir Shah, former Balochistan chief minister Zulfiqar Magsi, and former Punjab minister Raja Ishfaq Sarwar. Besides, a case against the NA deputy speaker, Jaffar Iqbal, was referred by an advocate from Multan to the Ehtesab Commissioner. But the commission has denied having received any formal reference in this regard.

A commission source, however, told this correspondent that the reference had actually been sent to the commission and it had been redirected to the provincial anti-corruption department for verification of the allegations. The Ehtesab Commission has so far referred a total of 54 cases to special benches of the high courts for trial. These include only two references against the PML leaders Chaudhry Sher Ali (MNA) and Jam Mashooq Ali (MNA). But both had been sent to the high courts much before the present government came to power. It is learnt that the agencies concerned have been told to keep a low profile in some cases involving bureaucrats and other top officials. The case of Raana Sheikh, former MD, PTV, for instance, has been pending with the interior division but they have been asked not to send it to the Ehtesab Commission, interior ministry sources told dawn. Later, the Accountability Cell of the PMs Secretariat suspended all these officers except the two Ahmad Riaz Shiekh and Chaudhry Sharif. The FIA administration, the sources said, wanted to move against these two officials but they had not only been saved but the authorities had also been asked to process the case of promotion of one of them. According to one source, these officers have set the condition that they will only go to FIA if the incumbent director general is removed. REFERENCE: PML leaders being excluded from Ehtesab process Ansar Abbasi DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 26 April 1997 Issue : 03/17, Dec 27: The year 1998 has been one of the worst years for civil bureaucracy in Pakistan for mounting politicization, intensified inter-service rivalries, controversial promotions and non-resolution of outstanding issues. According to official sources, during 1998 well over 90 persons were appointed on political basis and were given key positions in the civil bureaucracy on the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The political appointees include retired government servants and persons from open market. At least 13 persons were offered grade 22 positions; 17 were adjusted against grade 21 posts; 31 were offered grade 20; and the rest in other grades. These include the retired civil servants re-employed in violation of the rules and without fulfilling the conditions for re-employments. These political appointees also include those retired military officers who were re-employed without following the prescribed procedure. “Most of these appointments were irregular,” a source said, adding the prime minister had been using his discretionary powers to make these appointments.

Political appointments in certain cases is allowed under the rules provided it is done in the public interest. However, during the year under review hardly any of these political appointments were made on the recommendation of relevant government agencies. “Everything has been travelling down from big office,” a source said. The sources said transfer of bureaucrats remained a tricky issue and most of the appointments at key positions were made without consulting the government agencies which were supposed to initiate and regulate the transfers of bureaucrats. The establishment division, which is responsible for the career planning of the officers, has turned into a post office and is there only to stamp whatever is communicated to it by the prime minister’s office. Under the rules the prime minister issues the transfer order for bureaucrats in grade 21 and 22. The rest is the jurisdiction of the secretary, establishment. But in case of the transfer of grade 21 and 22 bureaucrats the establishment division is the authority to identify the vacancy, look for suitable candidates and propose a panel of officers before the prime minister. The PM is then supposed to select one of the officers.

“But in actual practice no such exercise is done. Now everything is done by the PM’s office who simply conveys as to who should be transferred against which position,” a source said, adding during this year almost all the key positions like federal secretaries, chief secretaries, inspector generals of police (IGPs) and heads of different departments were decided without the knowledge of the ED. “The ED has been only bothered at the time of the issuance of notifications,” the source said. Even in those cases where the secretary, establishment, is the competent authority, the PM office has been interfering to give the plum postings to ‘blue-eyed’ bureaucrats. Sources in the PM’s office confirmed to this correspondent that most of these posting orders were issued by the PM’s office on the wish of the parliamentarians and other influentials. The promotions have also been very controversial during this year. Most of the groups of the civil bureaucracy remained frustrated because of their bleak promotion prospects. The district management group, however, got good promotions. It got two promotion in grade 22, 14 in grade 21, at least 21 in grade 20 and others.

Information group officers, having very bleak promotion prospects, were happy during this year because of their en-block promotions. These promotions were made without following the statutory provisions. Disparity in the pace of promotion between different groups has further worsened. Bureaucrats, particularly belonging to the groups of office anagement/secretariat, information, military land and cantonment, railways, and commerce and trade, remained the worst as far as promotion is concerned. The government has set a new precedent during the year 1998 by giving out of turn promotions to at least four of its ‘blue eyed’ bureaucrats. Two juniors were promoted (in grade 20 and 21 respectively) in PSP; and one each in secretariat group (in grade 22) and DMG (in grade 20) without considering a brigade of their seniors. All these officers were promoted without following the statutory provision or fulfilling the prescribed procedure and in complete violation of government rules. Long-standing issues, like the fixation of share for different occupations in the secretariat group, remained unresolved. The issue is pending since the introduction of the 1973 administrative reforms. REFERENCE: Over 90 men appointed on political basis Ansar Abbasi DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 02 January 1999 Issue : 05/01, Oct 6: The reported statement of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, in which he had accused the Taliban of backing sectarian violence in Pakistan, has stunned the high authorities here. The Foreign Office has formally regretted what it termed “the baseless speculation and incorrect reporting in some sections of the media, claiming that the Taliban government of Afghanistan is allegedly involved in recent incidents of terrorist violence in the country.” Sources in the relevant agencies of the federal government have expressed complete ignorance about the availability of any intelligence report that could support what the Punjab CM was reported to have said in his talk with newsmen at Lahore on Tuesday. They said the Punjab delegation which had attended an inter-provincial meeting on Monday, a day before the CM’s reported statement, did not mention a word about the Taliban backing the sectarian violence in Pakistan. There was absolutely no mention of the Taliban in the meeting which was called merely to discuss sectarianism,” a source who attended the meeting said. The Punjab Chief Secretary, A.Z.K. Sherdil, however, told Dawn by telephone from his Lahore residence that some intelligence reports did suggest that religious extremists from Pakistan got training in Afghanistan and before joining sectarian violence in the country. He said these intelligence reports maintained that such elements received training in camps inside Afghanistan, had fought along with the Taliban against the Afghan opposition, and had infiltrated into Pakistan and were involved in sectarian violence. “We are quite concerned about this situation and want a comprehensive policy to check this movement across the Pakistan-Afghan border,” Mr Sherdil said. He, however, denied that there was any mention, in these intelligence reports, about Riaz Basra’s protection by the Taliban. The chief secretary said there was massive gun-running from Afghanistan to the tribal areas in Pakistan from where the weapons came to the NWFP and then supplied to other provinces. He said since the Pakistan-Afghan border was not properly manned, this practice continues. However, official sources in the federal government totally deny having seen any such intelligence report. But some sources believe that the Punjab chief minister who has recently returned from an “important US trip” had taken an initiative to dissociate Pakistan from the Taliban and Afghanistan. Meanwhile the Foreign Office, in a press statement issued here on Wednesday evening, regretted “the baseless speculation and incorrect reporting in some sections of the media, claiming that the Taliban government of Afghanistan is allegedly involved in recent incidents of terrorist violence in the country.” REFERENCE:Shahbaz Sharif talks of intelligence report; flat denial by FO Ansar Abbasi DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 09 October 1999 Issue : 05/41, Aug 30: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered re-inquiry against an FIA official who investigated the foreign currency accounts of Mian Abbas Sharif, the younger brother of the premier, it was learnt. The PM set aside the findings of the investigation carried out by Sajjad Mustafa Bajwa, assistant director (under suspension). He also rejected the recommendations of a former secretary of interior who had exonerated Mr Bajwa and called for his immediate reinstatement. However, a deputy secretary of the interior ministry who was asked to reopen inquiry against Mr Bajwa refused. Now a joint secretary of the interior division Javed Raza, has been nominated the inquiry officer. REFERENCE: Nawaz orders fresh inquiry against FIA official By Ansar Abbasi DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 04 September 1999 Issue : 05/36

WASHINGTON, June 1: The Committee to Protect journalists, a New York-based press freedom organization, is conducting an investigation into a “hit list” prepared allegedly by the Pakistan government. “We are looking into it,” a CPJ spokesperson said, confirming that the list contains the names of 35 prominent journalists. According to the CPJ, the names were: Irshad Ahmed Haqqani, Rehmat Ali Razi, Anjum Rasheed, Suhail Warraich, Sohaib Marghoob and Roman Ehsan, (Jang Lahore), M. Ziauddin and Ansar Abbasi (Dawn Islamabad), Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Javed Jaidi, Nusrat Javed and Mariana Babar (The News Islamabad), Rehana Hakeem and Zahid Hussain (Newsline), Ejaz Haider, Khalid Ahmed, Jugnu Mohsin and Adnan Adil (The Friday Times), Mahmood Sham (Jang Karachi), Rashed Rehman (The Nation Lahore), Amir Ahmed Khan (Herald), Imtiaz Alam, Beena Sarwar, Shafiq Awan, Kamila Hyat and Amir Mir (The News Lahore), Abbas Athar (Nawa-i-Waqat Lahore), Kamran Khan and Shehzad Amjad (The News Karachi), Azam Khalil (Pulse), Mohammad Malik (Tribune), Imtiaz Ahmed (The Frontier Post Peshawar), Ilyas Chaudhry (Jang Rawalpindi), Naveed Meraj (The Frontier Post Islamabad) and Syed Talat Hussain (The Nation Islamabad). According to reports received by the CPJ, the federal government had decided to establish a special media cell comprising officials from the police, Intelligence Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency to punish the journalists who have been writing against the government. Ehtesab Bureau Chairman Senator Saifur Rehman Khan would head this cell which would function simultaneously at Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar with its head office at Islamabad. REFERENCE: 35 journalists on govt’s ‘hit list’DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 05 June 1999 Issue : 05/23, Dec 12: The government did not consult the Cabinet but took into confidence the military elite while granting pardon to Nawaz Sharif and sending the family into exile. A well-placed government source confided to Dawn that the dramatic decision had been taken purely by the men in uniform. The matter was discussed in the closed circles of the military before being put to the corps commanders at their two-day meeting last week. Asked whether the matter was placed before the cabinet, the source said: “No”. It was too sensitive a matter to be discussed by the cabinet, he added. The military elite’s support to the idea came when it was explained that the pardon and the exile was being allowed following Saudi Arabia’s request. It was said that the Saudi government had given assurance that the Sharifs would not take part in politics “for quite some time”. “Besides, the Sharifs, too, had given the undertaking in writing not to take part in politics,” the source said. Asked how Saudi Arabia would prevent any of the Sharifs to travel to London and issue political statements from there against the military regime, the source said: “If the Saudis can get the Sharifs freed, they can also make them behave accordingly. They (the Saudis) are very strict in their commitments.” The source, however, refused to accept that there was any Saudi “pressure” on the government to get the Sharifs off the hook. In reply to a question, the source said that those exiled to Saudi Arabia would remain there. “If anyone of them goes to some other country he would be bound to come back to the country of exile,” the source said. “We have the best example of Idi Amin who lives in Saudi Arabia with his 19 wives but as a completely non-political entity.” Persuading the government for pardon, the Saudi authorities had said that not only would it be an Islamic act to set Nawaz Sharif free after the payment of Qisas but it would also be politically helpful to the military regime. “We were told by the Saudis that they had also tried to get Zulfikar Ali Bhutto freed but Pakistan’s response in negative had plunged the country in an unending political turmoil,” the source said. He stated that the military government was expecting that the departure of Sharifs’ from politics would set things, particularly economic situation, right for the country. The government, he said, hoped that the present state of “shock” and “uncertainty” would not last long. “Don’t you agree with the idea of throwing the dirt out to get the house in order,” the source commented. REFERENCE:Cabinet had no idea of exile deal Ansar Abbasi DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 16 December 2000 Issue : 06/48
ISLAMABAD, Dec 10: The exile of the Sharif family to Saudi Arabia following the pardon announcement by the government, has deprived the Raiwind dwellers of their 15 assets, worth billions of rupees. A spokesman for the government, Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi, told Dawn on Monday that almost 80 per cent of the Sharifs’ property had been “taken over” by the government. According to Mr Qureshi, the 15 assets that have been taken over by the government in return for providing a safe “exit” to the Sharif family include Rs300 million in cash; industrial assets including Brother Steel Mills; Ilyas Enterprises; Hudaybia Paper Mill; Hudaybia Engineering Company; Hamza Spinning Mills; residential property including the Model Town bungalow; three houses at Mall Road Murree; property at 135 Upper Mall Lahore; a plot at Model Town Lahore; a plot at Upper Mall, Lahore; agricultural property including 10.2 kanals of land at Khanpur Sheikhupura Road Lahore; 41 acres and 7 kanals of land at Sheikhupura; 14.2 kanals of land and another 35 kanals at Bhaipharu in Chunnian and 88 kanals of land at Raiwind. The Raiwind palace of the Sharif family, which ruled the country for almost 15 years, has however not been Confiscated by the government. Mr Qureshi dispelled the impression that there had been any underhand deal between the government and the Sharif family. He said the government had simply responded to the repeated mercy petitions filed by the Sharifs. Contrary to what the Sharifs were pretending before the public and in their statements to the media, Mr Qureshi said they had been writing to the government including the chief executive and the president, appealing for pardon. “We were receiving their requests for mercy in the past three to four months particularly after the courts handed over decisions against Nawaz Sharif,” he said. These requests were renewed recently following Nawaz Sharif’s reported ailment. Mr Qureshi stated that since the chief executive had repeatedly said that he was not vindictive so he recommended to President Tarar that the imprisonment of the Sharifs be pardoned and turned into exile while the rest of the punishments including fines, forfeiture of property and disqualification should stay. When told that the people in streets felt as if they had been betrayed by the government for allowing a safe exit to the Sharifs, the government spokesman said, “the Government has actually taken a compassionate view of the situation and converted the imprisonment into exile.” Qureshi dispelled the impression that a “deal” was ‘brokered’ either by a Saudi prince or was the exit the consequence of Saudi Arabia’s pressure. REFERENCE: Sharifs lose 80pc of assets, says Qureshi Ansar Abbasi DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 16 December 2000 Issue : 06/48

No comments: