The News – Who owns what? Imran, Zardari and Maryam declare assets

Karachi – Sindh – Pakistan, 20 June 2018. PTI chairman Imran Khan, former president Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz have submitted details of their assets in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

According to documents obtained by Geo TV, Imran Khan has disclosed agriculture, salary, pension and bank profit as his sources of income. Documents show that Imran Khan owns 169 acres of irrigation land.

The PTI chairman has also submitted details of his foreign visits. He had made 28 international trips from 2015 to 2018 and most of them were sponsored.

In his nomination papers, Khan has declared assets of Rs 4.77 million. Imran Khan has declared his salary to be Rs 1.89 million in addition to agriculture income of Rs 2.36 million, according to documents.

Last year, the PTI chairman had paid Rs 103, 763 in the form of income tax. He said that his wife Bushra Maneka and two children were his dependents.

According to the documents, Imran Khan doesn’t have a personal car and holds two foreign currency accounts in Islamabad.

The documents further reveal that Imran Khan has 14 properties in Lahore, Islamabad and other parts of Pakistan which he had inherited.

Imran Khan has no business ventures in Pakistan or abroad, it added.

Asif Zardari owns Rs 758 million

Former President Asif Ali Zardari, who is running from his home constituency of Nawabshah, owns assets worth Rs 758 million. In his declaration, Zardari has disclosed agriculture and business as his major source of income.

According to details, Asif Zardari owns 349 acres of irrigation land in addition to 7399 acres of rented land.

The former president had earned Rs 100.55 million from his agriculture investment and a further Rs 7.66 million from other businesses.

According to details submitted in the commission, Asif Zardari had paid income tax of Rs 1.95 million in 2015. Next year, he was taxed Rs 2.5 million and in 2017, the PPP co-chairman paid income tax of Rs 2.63 million.

The former president doesn’t have a foreign passport, according to the election documents.

Maryam Nawaz is worth Rs 858 million

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz, while submitting her nomination papers, declared that her net assets amount to a total of Rs 845 million.

This information was shared by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding assets of electoral candidates on Wednesday.

Daughter of former Prime Minister, Maryam who has submitted her nomination papers from NA-125, NA-127 and PP-173 constituencies revealed that she is a shareholder in Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited, Hamza Spinning Mills Limited, Muhammad Buksh Textile Mills Limited, Hudabiya Papers Mills Limited and Hudabiya Engineering Co Private Limited.

Furthermore, she also owns 1,506 kanals irrigation land, which have increased by 548 kanals in the last three years.

Maryam also disclosed that she invested Rs 3.4 million in her family flour mills and had lent a loan worth Rs 7 million to Soft Energy Private Limited. She also stated that she currently owns gifts and jewellery worth Rs40 million and 1.7 million respectively.

Moreover, Maryam shared that her brother Hasan Nawaz had also given her a loan of Rs 20 million.


The News – Ruet-e-Hilal Committee to meet on Thursday for Eid moon sighting

Kararchi – Sindh – Pakistan, 13 June 2018. The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet for sighting of Eid moon on Thursday with Mufti Munibur Rehman in the chair.

The authorities have set up Special Cells to collect evidence of moon sighting from different parts of the country.

People have been asked to approach the relevant authorities to submit evidence.

Here are the contact number people can dial to submit the evidence:

Mufti Munibur Rehman: 0300-9285203 and 0321-2022000

Noor Islam Shah (DG R &R): 0333-5453499

Hafiz Abdul Qudoos (Deputy Director 0333-2697051 and line numbers 021-99261412 &021-9926413.

Eidul Fitr is the holiday that marks the end of Ramzan-u-Mubarak.

Beside the Central Ruet-e-Hial Committee, zonal moon sighting bodies hold their meetings in major cities of the country to collect the evidence regarding the sighting of crescent.

The News – Sherry Rehman suggests student’s degree be revoked for hate speech

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 07 June 2018. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman on Wednesday stated that National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) should revoke the degree of a student who suggested columnist Gul Bukhari be tortured sexually.

After brief abduction and release of social media activist Gul Bukhari, many people had voiced their support for the victim whereas a user named Mursaleen had tweeted: “Sexual torture would be perfect for this s***.”

His comments were caught by lawyer and rights activist Nighat Dad who attached a screenshot of another tweet Mursaleen had had posted saying: “About to graduate, Last Day at NUST #Engineer.”

Nighat’s tweet had read: “Mashallah he is graduating today from NUST. And that’s what he said just a day before his graduation. Dangerous things our institutions are producing.”

The internet activist’s tweet had soon gone viral and reached Senator Sherry Rehman who retorted suggesting the university revoke the degree of the individual for the hate speech.

“Irrespective of whom he is targeting I assume @OfficialNUST will revoke degree and @PTI (which is part of his twitter Identity) will move against such an open call to bloodlust and torture. There must be no impunity, or social or professional tolerance for such heinous hate speech,” Rehman’s tweet had stated.

The News – Sikhs demand arrest of Charanjeet’s killers

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 01 June 1984. The Sikh Community demanded the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government arrest the killers of Sikh Sardar Charanjeet Singh without any delay.

In a press conference held at Gurdwara Sahib in Lahore on Thursday, the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) on behalf of all Sikh nation condemned the brutal killing of the Sikh social activist.

They said Sardar Charanjeet Singh alias Babu was a strong patriot and social activist. He stood against the Indian propaganda on Hangu issue, they said. They said he made Iftar arrangements for Muslims brethren during Ramzan.

His killing is believed to be part of big conspiracy against the country and Sikh-Muslim friendship, said the Sikhs. The PSGPC announced Rs 500,000 financial assistance for his family.

They demanded complete security to the Sikh Community in KP. Sikh leader Bishan Singh said that Sikh community was more secure in Pakistan. The country is like a paradise for Sikhs, said Bishan Singh while talking to journalists.

Sardar Gopal Singh Chawla asked the Indian Sikhs not to defame Pakistan by making propaganda.

Sikhs’ relation with Pakistan could not be ended, said Chawla. Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora, former MPA, condemned the targeted killing of Sardar Charanjeet Singh and termed it a conspiracy against Pakistan. He also criticised the elements trying to portray negative images of Pakistan.

The News – Another PML-N MNA joins PTI

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 18 May 2018. Another sitting Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA from Rajanpur, Sardar Jaffar Khan Leghari has parted ways with PML-N and joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a day after three sitting PML-N MNAs, one MPA and three former MPAs switched over to the PTI.

PML-N MNA Sardar Jaffer Laghari announced to join PTI in a meeting with Imran Khan in Lahore.

Former MNA Dr Mina Leghari and former Senator Mohsin Leghari also announced to join PTI in meeting with Imran along with Jaffar Leghari on Friday.

PTI leader Jahangir Tareen and President South Punjab Ishaq Khakwani were also present.

On Thursday, three sitting PML-N MNAs, one MPA and three former MPAs switched over to the PTI, announcing their desertion in a meeting with party chairman Imran Khan at his residence in Bani Gala.

The seasoned politicians, Sahibzada Nazir Sultan and Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, joined the PTI to get tickets for the 2018 elections.

Sahibzada Nazir Sultan had won several previous elections on the PPP ticket and recently joined the PML-N after winning the 2013 elections.

MNA Ghulam Bibi Bharwana is the maternal granddaughter and political heir to late Ghulam Haider Bharwana, who also won the 1970 elections on a JUP ticket by defeating Colonel Syed Abid Hussain, the late father of Syeda Abida Hussain.

Online adds from Faisalabad: PML-N MNA Colonel (retd) Ghulam Rasool Sahi on Thursday joined the PTI after resigning from the National Assembly.

Rasool’s brother and MPA of the ruling PML-N from Faisalabad also announced joining the PTI. Ghulam Rasool Sahi and Muhammad Afzal Sahi, who were the PML-N legislators, met the PTI chairman and announced unconditional support to the party.

A number of Rasool’s supporters also joined the party, the PTI said on its website.

The News – IHC rules US diplomat Colonel Hall doesn’t have ‘absolute immunity’

Islamabad – Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 11 May 2018. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday directed the interior ministry to decide on placing the name of US diplomat Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall, Defense and Air Attache, on Exit Control List (ECL) within two weeks.

Justice Amir Farooq of IHC court issued this order on a petition filed by father of victim Ateeq Baig, who was killed after US diplomat’s car hit his motorcycle in federal capital on April 07.

The IHC ruled that US diplomat Colonel Joseph Emmanuel Hall, who was involved in the traffic accident that led to the death of Ateeq does not have ‘absolute diplomatic immunity’.

The court had reserved the verdict on Monday.

The CCTV footage of the incident indicates that the white Land Cruiser jumped the red light and hit the motorbike being driven by Muhammad Ateeq while Raheel Ahmed was on the back seat.

The accident resulted in Ateeq’s death on the spot while Raheel Ahmed sustained serious injuries.

The News – UK MP Naz Shah meets Imran Khan

Islamabad – Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 05 May 2018. British MP Naz Shah called on PTI Chairman Imran Khan at his Bani Gala residence in Islamabad on Saturday.

“She exchanged views about the relations of Pakistan and England on different levels,” according to a statement issued by the PTI.

Imran Khan warmly welcomed the delegation, it said.

“Was lovely to meet UK MP Naz Shah and learn about all the difficulties Muslims face in Britain due to Islamophobia,” Khan tweeted.

The News – Indian fishing boat crew hails ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ after receiving medical aid from Pakistan Navy

Islamabad – Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 29 April 2018. Pakistan Navy Ship ‘Alamgir’ (Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigate) successfully rescued a stranded Indian fishing dhow named ‘St. Marys’ via a rescue operation while conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSOs) in the Gulf of Aden.

The boat which sailed from the Indian port of Colochel had reportedly become non-operational due to loss of engine propulsion in open sea near Salalah (Oman) for last 8 days with 12 crew members on-board.

On receipt of information and request for help from the fishing dhow, Pakistan Navy Ship was promptly dispatched which through its technical team repaired the boat, removed its defect and made it seaworthy.

The rectification of defect required miscellaneous repairs including gearbox removal and re-fixing followed by alignments and repairs through improvised solutions by technical team on-board the Indian boat.

The stranded boat crew was dehydrated and also required medical care and edibles. Pakistan Navy Ship rescue team provided it the necessary edibles and medical care.

The master and crew of the stranded boat thanked Pakistan Navy for its kind gesture and swift response, by hailing ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ (Long live Pakistan), and thereafter shaped course to Indian port.

The News – LHC bans airing ‘anti-judiciary’ speeches of Nawaz, Maryam

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 16 April 2018. The Lahore High Court (LHC) has banned airing anti-judiciary speeches of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N leaders and directed media regulator to decide the matter within 15 days.

A full bench of the LHC comprising Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan was hearing the case.

Over a dozen petitions were filed in the LHC, seeking court order to ban contemptuous speeches by PML-N leaders and initiating contempt proceedings against them.

The petitioner appealed the court to direct Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) not to air their speeches as they are speaking against the judiciary since the Panama Paper verdict.

The News – A war with no winners

A Rauf K Khattak

Op/Ed, 10 April 2018. Do ideologies rule the world? Do they last? Yes, they rule and last as long as they serve the purpose of powerful nations or individuals. This is a cynical statement. But cynicism is not without reason or it would not have existed.

Adam Smith, a Scottish economist, wrote his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776), which is considered to be the Bible of capitalism. His ideas ran counter to the prevailing economic theories of his day, especially mercantilism. He propounded the idea of free trade.

Free trade does not have a single, unified definition. It generally refers to trade between nations without any artificial barriers introduced by the government. He said that free trade brought wealth and prosperity to individuals and nations and, thereby, increase the sum-total of human welfare.

Governments, he said, should allow the “invisible hand” to rule the markets. If everybody acts from self-interest and is spurred on by the profit motive, then the economy will work more efficiently.

Smith wrote that it is as if an “invisible hand” guides the actions of individuals for the common good. Government action, however, was required to impose anti-trust laws, enforce property rights, and police and protect the industry essential for national defence.

This idea was further developed and refined by British politician and economist David Ricardo in 1817 when he presented the law of comparative advantage.

Simply stated, if two nations trade and one of them is more efficient in producing both goods A and B, it should produce good A in which it is more efficient and leave good B to the other trading partner nation to produce.

As a result, trading goods A and B with each other becomes more beneficial, even when one nation is more productive than the other.

Britain adopted free trade and became the leading industrial nation of the 18th and 19th centuries. It gathered enormous amounts of wealth and riches. Unfortunately, the ideology applied to Britain only. Its vast colonies were excluded from this ideology.

Let’s not forget how it pulverised the weavers of Bengal. Textile was the leading industry of the Subcontinent at the time. Soldiers were sent to destroy the looms so that the factories owners of Lancashire could thrive.

The worst example was the Salt Act. Britain’s Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt – a staple in their diet. Citizens were forced to buy the vital mineral from the British who, in addition to exercising a monopoly over manufacturing and selling salt, also exerted a heavy salt tax.

Defying the Salt Act, Mahatma Gandhi started the Salt March or the Salt Satyagraha in March 1930 – a trek of 240 kilometres on foot to the sea to make their own salt. The British called it an act of rebellion.

The Roaring Nineties and globalisation, an era of great optimism and great expectations, heralded not only free movements of goods and services but also resulted in free movements of finance and ideas. The world is one village, it was proclaimed.

Reams of paper were wasted celebrating globalisation and high-minded pronouncements came from intellectuals of all stripes. Poor nations were given hope that their days of deprivation will soon be over. The West will become the East and the East will become the West and happily the twain shall live.

China appears on the world stage with economic reforms called ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics’. These reforms were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China that was led by Deng Xiaoping.

In three or more decades, it became the second largest economy of the world and was referred to as the factory of the world. According to the World Bank, more than 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty over the last three or more decades.

Unable to cope with a surging China, America’s public opinion shifted inwards and compelled Trump to push his ‘America First’, agenda.

Adam Smith has once again been turned on his head. On March 9, Trump slapped a 25 percent tariff on steel and 15 percent tariff on aluminum imports, daring the world to start a trade war. He said: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win”.

Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune. It is the mother of impudence and the nurse of obstinacy. Wars, whether they involve physical warfare or trade, have never been won. It is the war that wins.

After independence from Britain, the US embraced free trade as a policy, but only when it was favourable to it. The most prominent trade war of the 20th century was ignited by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which imposed steep tariffs on almost 20,000 imported goods.

America’s trading partners retaliated with tariffs on US exports, which plunged to 61 percent from 1929 to 1933. America had to repeal tariffs in 1934. It was such a disaster that it held sway over American trade policy for 80 years.

Free trade between rich countries and poor countries usually does not work to the benefit of both
Man in Blue

The writer is a former civil servant and a former minister.