Lahore, November 15: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concern over reports of registration of a criminal case against 175 tenants of military farms in Okara, for allegedly resisting a contractor from taking possession of 100 acres of land leased to him.
A statement issued by the commission on Sunday said: “It is a matter of concern that tensions have once again risen in the villages of military farms in Okara. The tenants’ claim that a number of tough men had accompanied the contractor to take possession of land that had previously been under the tenants’ cultivation is a matter of concern. Media reports suggest that the tenants had overpowered and handed over to the police at least one proclaimed offender. In the circumstances, registration of a case against the tenants necessitates a transparent inquiry.
HRCP must emphasise that no one must be allowed to take the law into his own hands. The movement of Okara tenants for their rights has been characterised by non-violence. HRCP hopes that the legal process will not be used to victimise anyone.
The Commission also has apprehensions about the living conditions of tenants in six villages of the Okara military farms—villages 11/4L, 15/4L, 16/4L, 24/4L, 25/4L, and 26/4L—in the Okara cantonment limits. Credible reports suggest that no development work has taken place in these villages for a decade. Basic facilities such as roads and sewerage in the six villages have fallen apart due to lack of allocation of funds.
Furthermore, HRCP has received with alarm reports that although National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had issued National Identity Cards (NICs) to residents of the six villages, and that these cards bear the address of these villages, now the NADRA authorities in Okara say that no such villages exist and that they have no record of the six villages. This despite the fact that in the last general elections voters from the villages had exercised their right to vote on the basis of NICs issued by NADRA.
The tenants also say that four years earlier the authorities had stopped the construction of a primary school building for boys in village 26/4L, and village children were facing difficulties as the incomplete building only needed a roof. Meanwhile, measures to prevent tenants’ children from attending school in the cantonment area, if true, can only be strongly denounced.
To state the obvious, the tenants are as entitled to development in their area as residents of any other part of the country and a systematic denial of development funds gives credence to the apprehension of the tenants that they are being punished for demanding their legitimate rights and that such tactics are a device to force them out of their villages.
HRCP demands that the military farm tenants must be allowed to exercise all the rights that the law of the land provides and that they must not be targeted through abuse of the legal process. They must also not be denied their identity documents nor the right to peacefully live, work and prosper on land that they and their forefathers have brought under cultivation through their sweat and toil.”
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is in possession of a list of 172 journalists who were given plots in the federal capital in line with their two per cent quota in G-13 and G-14 sectors. The names of journalists who were given plots against payments were:
Sarwar Munir Rao
Syed Fahd Hussain
Shakeel Ahmed Turabi
Sheikh Zamir Ahmed Qadri
Absar Alam (he later returned the plot)
Kh Sharif Ahmed
Sami H Zubari
Muhammad Ilyas Bhatti
Khan Zaman Malik
Syed M Qasim
Syed Qamar Abbas
Shamim Sherrei Sardar
Abdul Aziz Muhammad
Abrar Ali Saeed
Syed Farhan Bokhari
Ch. Muhammad Ilyas
Rashida Begum Butt
Muhammad Sarwar Awan
Muhammad Afzal Nadeem
Altaf Hussain Bhatti
Muhammad Ehsan Elahi
Shahid Mahmood Malik
Syed Itrat Hussain
Rana Ghulam Qadir
Imran Nallam Ahmed
Masood Majid Syed
Syed Zargoon Shah
Kunwar Rashid Habib
Abdul Manan Haid
Shaukat Rehman Malik
Muhammad Javed Akhtar
Murad Shaz Khattack
Attaur Rehman Tahir
Muhammad Jamil Khan
Kh Javed Bhatti
Kaleem Ahsan Shah
Muhammad Javed Iqbal Khakwani
Mazhar Ali Khan
Syed Qasir Sherazi
Azam Ahmed Khan
Najumul Islam Usmani
Syed Ali Nasir Jaffiri
Syed Raza Shah
Shabir Khamid Bukhtawari
Bashir Ahmed Shad
Syed Aswad Ulfat
Agha Mahrooz Haider
Masood Abdul Raheem
Raja Mahmood Bashir Usmani
Muhammad Ilyas Khan
Muhammad Mushtaq Ghuman
Mashkoor Hussain Shah
Masroor Mohsin Gilani
M Ibrahim Khan
M Shahbaz Khan
Syed Azhar Hussain
Muhammad Farooq Khan
Ali Imran Javed
Muhammad Riyaz Akhtar
Muhamamd Afzal Malik
Muhammad Jameel Mirza
Abdul Mateen Khan
Akhtar Ali Khan
Abdul Jabbar Khan
Muhammad Rizwan Khan
Rafiq Hussain Khan
Malik Muhammad Ilyas
Zahid Hussain Hashwani
Four journalists Rauf Klasra, Amir Mateen, Khaleeq Kiani and Javed Ch were given plots in light of the Lahore High Court decision of 2006 in their favour after their names were deleted from the final list on the orders of the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz.
The list also contains the names of PTV employees who were given plots. They include Nazir Tabsum, Qamar Mohiuddin, Nisar Baloch, Syed Javed Ali, Khalid Iqbal Warriach, Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Ayub Minhas, Asmatullah Khan Niazi, Muzamil Ahmed Khan, Majeed Afzal Khan (Sajan Khan), Awaid Butt, Rashid Baig, Ramzan Khalid, Muhammad Arshad Saleem, Muhammad Zakariya, Musadiq Kaleem, Arif Mahmood.(ET)
A comparative analysis of the assets declared by MNAs belonging to the 12th and the 13th National Assembly of Pakistan reveals that the average value of an MNA’s assets has increased three folds in six years from 2002-2003 to 2008-2009. The average value of an MNA’s Assets in the 12th National Assembly was just below Rs. 27 million in 2002-2003 which has increased to almost Rs. 81 million in 2008-2009, a 3-fold increase in six years, according to a PILDAT Analysis of the Declarations of Assets submitted by MNAs. The analysis also indicates that an average MNA of the current (13th) National Assembly is twice as rich compared to his/her counterpart in the previous (12th) National Assembly.
The PILDAT report series titled How Rich are Pakistani MNAs? has analysed assets declared by MNAs for the years 2002-2003 to 2005-2006; 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 through 3 separate reports. The latest of this series of PILDAT reports, comparing assets declared by MNAs belonging to the 13th (current) National Assembly of Pakistan, has used data contained in the Gazettes published by the Election Commission of Pakistan on October 15 2008 and October 27 2009.
The report depicts that the current average value of assets held by an MNA stands at Rs. 80.89 million, based on the 2008-2009 declarations. This figure demonstrates a modest increase of 9.5% from the 2007-2008 figure of Rs. 73.92 million. The average value of assets owned by non-Muslim MNAs, Rs. 20.35 million, is 75% lower than the overall average of almost Rs. 81 million, based on 2008-2009 figures.
In terms of individual wealth, the 2008-2009 declarations reveal the wealthiest MNA to be Mr. Mehboob Ullah Jan (NA-23, Kohistan, KP, PPPP) with total assets of Rs. 3.288 billion. He is followed by Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (NA-50, Rawalpindi-I, Punjab, PML-N), with total assets of Rs. 1.627 billion, Mr. Jahangir Khan Tareen (NA-195, R.Y.Khan-IV, Punjab, PML-F) with total assets of Rs. 1.095 billion, Mr. Saeed Ahmed Zafar (NA-162, Nankana Sahib-II Old Sheikhupura-VII, Punjab, IND) with total assets of Rs. 1.030 billion, and Ms. Nuzhat Sadiq (NA-277, Punjab-V, PML-N) with total assets of Rs. 912.81 million.
In 2007-2008 declarations reveal the wealthiest MNA to be Mr. Mehboob Ullah Jan (NA-23, Kohistan, KP, PPPP) with total assets of Rs. 3.252 billion. He is followed by Ms. Nuzhat Sadiq (NA-277, Punjab-V, PML-N), with total assets of Rs. 1.514 billion, Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal (NA-162, Sahiwal-III, Punjab, PPPP), with assets amounting to Rs. 1.248 billion, Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed Jatt (NA-167, Vehari-I, Punjab, PML) (who later resigned while facing charges of processing a fake degree; Chaudhary Asghar Ali Jatt is re-elected on this seat in by-election 2010), with assets worth Rs. 843 million and Mr. Jahangir Khan Tareen (NA-195, R.Y.Khan-IV, Punjab, PML –F), with assets amounting to Rs. 716 million.
At the other end of the assets spectrum, the least wealthy MNAs in 2008-2009 is Mr. Saeed Iqbal Chaudhary (NA-81, Faisalabad-VII, Punjab, PPPP) with approximately Rs. 29 million net liabilities, followed by Mr. Roshan Din Junejo (NA-236, Sanghar-III, Sindh, PPPP), Sheikh Rohale Asghar (NA-124 Lahore-VII, Punjab, PML-N), Mr. Ghulam Farid Kathia, (NA-161 Sahiwal-II, Punjab, PPPP), Minister of State for Education, and Mr. Ayaz Amir (NA-60 Chakwal-I, Punjab, PML-N).
Ms. Nuzhat Sadiq (NA-277, Women Punjab-V, PML-N), has remained the richest female MNA in 2008-2009 and 2007-2008, with assets worth Rs. 912.81 million and Rs. 1.514 billion respectively. The second richest female MNA in the current National Assembly is Mrs. Asma Arbab Alamgir (NA-325, Women KP-IV, PPPP) with assets of 515.25 million and 682.05 million in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 respectively while Ms. Belum Hasnain (NA-292, Women Punjab-XX, PPPP) with assets of 332.50 million in 2007-2008 and 298.40 million in 2008-2009 is the third richest female MNA.
Mr. Mohammad Kamran Khan (NA-40, Tribal Area-V, FATA, IND) proved to be the most effective asset manager whose assets grew 42 times from over the period of a year, followed by Maulana Muhammad Qasim (NA-10, NA-10 Mardan-II, KP, MMA), with a 12 time increase in assets and Mr. Bilal Yaseen (NA-120, Lahore-III, Punjab, PML-N) whose assets increased 9 times during the period.
In 2008-2009, the PML-F is the richest or on top of the list in terms of the average wealth of its MNAs (average assets per MNA: Rs. 239 million), followed by the NPP Rs. 122 million, the independents Rs. 108 million; the PPPP Rs. 102 million; the PML-N Rs. 75 million; the PML Rs. 62 million; the ANP Rs. 61 million; the PPP-S Rs. 37 million; the MQM Rs. 25 million; the BNP Rs. 14 million and the MMA Rs. 6 million. These figures demonstrate a 42 fold difference between the average wealth of the MNAs in the party with the greatest average wealth and that with the least. From 2002-2006, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) topped the list in terms of average wealth of its MNA as its lone MNA Mr. Imran Khan (NA-71, Mianwali-I, Punjab, PTI, 12th NA) held assets worth Rs. 85 million at that time, followed by the PML-N (average assets per MNA at Rs. 61 million); PML Rs. 56 million and the PPPP Rs. 34 million.
In geographical terms, the differences in average wealth are significant. In 2008-2009, MNAs from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) have the highest average value of assets per MNA followed by those from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, FATA, Sindh and Balochistan respectively. Similarly, in 2007-2008, MNAs from the ICT headed the list. This trend has been maintained earlier from 2002-2006 when on average an MNA from the ICT was the richest followed by an MNA from Punjab, FATA, Balochistan, Sindh and KP.
In terms of the percentage share of the combined value of assets in the year 2008-2009, Punjab tops the list, with a share of 54 % (down from 73% in 2002-2006); followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 31 % (up from 4% share in 2002-2006); Sindh 10 % (down from 11% in 2002-2006); FATA maintaining its 3 %; ICT 1 % (down from 5% in 2002-2006) and Balochistan at 1 % (down from 4% in 2002-2006).
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern over the murder of labour leader Mustansar Randhawa and his brother in Faisalabad and called upon the government to track down and try the culprits and to prevent violence against those raising their voice for labour’s rights.
In a statement issued on Friday, HRCP said: “The murder of Mustansar Randhawa, a leader of textile and power loom workers in Faisalabad, and his brother, Naseer, is a stark reminder of the risks labour leaders and human rights defenders face in Pakistan.
The state is under an obligation to protect the lives of all human beings, but individuals that are exposed to specific threats deserve additional protection measures. Mustansar had been receiving death threats reportedly from power looms and textile mill owners for several days, apparently because of his role in orgainzing workers in the area.
The labour movement in Pakistan has long been protesting in a peaceful manner for the rights of workers who find themselves squeezed by the economic downturn, lack of benefits, poor and unsafe working conditions, and wages that bear no relation with the escalating cost of living and inflation. The government is duty-bound to ensure not only that workers get their rights, but also that they are not prevented from raising their voice for such entitlments.
The government must ensure that the killers of Mustansar and his brother do not enjoy impunity. Failure to apprehnd and punish the killers would convey the message that the barrel of the gun is the most effective means to further one’s interests. It is in the interest of the state to do all it can to prevent that message from taking root.”
Lahore—Forty Two people were killed and 175 others injured as a result of twin suicide attacks inside Data Darbar and the third blast outside the shrine here late Thursday night.
A hand grenade has been found near Wazoo Khana of Shrine while police has cordoned off the area.
The injured, some of them in critical condition, have been shifted to nearby hospitals.
According to bomb disposal squad the two blasts inside the shrine were suicidal while the nature of the third blast is yet to be ascertained.
Data Darbar has five doors out of which four were closed. The only door kept open had a scanner installed with it and it is still unknown how the bombers made their way inside the shrine.
Earlier, the Punjab Government had decided to launch operation against terrorists in various areas of provincial capital and in South Punjab.
The decision to this effect was made in a High-level meeting held on Thursday morning. It was chaired by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.
The CM was briefed regarding security situation in the province. The meeting had decided to initiate operation against terrorists in the provincial capital and in South Punjab that would be jointly participated by police and secret agencies. (PO)
India arrested its diplomat, working in the Indian Embassy in Pakistan for passing secret information to Pakistan, Indian news channel claimed yesterday.
The female diplomat Madhuri Gupta, who was arrested from New Delhi, has been charged with giving secrets to Pakistan for at least two years.
She was second secretary in Press and Information Wing.
Second Secretary-level woman diplomat working in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad has been arrested for allegedly passing on information to Pakistani intelligence agencies.
Simultaneously, the station head of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Islamabad R K Sharma has also come under the scanner, official sources said.
A promote officer of Ministry of External Affairs, 53-year-old Madhuri Gupta, was arrested here four days back after she was summoned to Delhi on the pretext of discussions on the current SAARC summit meeting held in Thimpu, Bhutan, the sources said.
The officer, a Second Secretary working in the Mission for nearly three years, is alleged to have been passing on information from the Mission to her contacts in ISI till her movements came under surveillance of Intelligence Bureau sleuths.
Home Secretary G K Pillai said Gupta had been passing information to Pakistani agencies.
Shoaib Malik cannot leave Hyderabad Deccan without permission, Hyderabad police chief said yesterday.
Indian immigration officials have been requested to stop Shoaib Malik from leaving India, Indian police said. Hyderabad police’s move came after the father of Ayesha Siddiqui, the alleged wife of Shoaib Malik, lodged an FIR with the police against Malik. ACP Ravender Reddy said a case has been registered against Shoaib Malik.
However, he said no interrogation has far been initiated against Malik.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday announced formal withdrawal of the two suspended presidential notifications following his meeting with Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at the PM House. PM said a fresh notification will be issued to elevate Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Asif Saeed Khosa of Lahore High Court (LHC) to the Supreme Court (SC) while Justice Khawaja Mohammed Sharif would continue as LHC Chief Justice. Following an over three-hour long meeting here at the Prime Minister House, Gilani announced the decision superseding the earlier notification of the President for appointment of Justice Khawaja Mohammed Sharif as judge of the Supreme Court and Justice Saqib Nisar as acting Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court. The Prime Minister also announced that Justice (Retd) Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday who retired as judge of the Supreme Court last month would also be appointed as ad-hoc judge of the Supreme Court for a period of one year. Gilani said the meeting was “part of the consultative process for the appointments in the superior judiciary which has to be participatory, and consensus oriented.” About the court’s verdict on appointment of Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Gilani said “leave the decision about the NAB to the government.” He said during the meeting important decisions were taken under which two permanent and one ad-hoc judge would be appointed in the Supreme Court and all vacant seats in the judiciary would be filled in immediately. He said the process for the elevation of judges in the Lahore High Court and the Sindh High Court was finalized and appointments would be made after observing procedural requirements. According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister House, the meeting took stock of institutional framework as enshrined in the Constitution and it was reiterated that the rule of law “forms the basis for the functioning of all the state organs to ensure greater welfare of the people”. “It was decided that judiciary would be further strengthened to provide cheap and immediate justice to the public at their doorsteps.” The Chief Justice of Pakistan said the judiciary would continue to play its role for upholding the rule of law and constitution to strengthen the democratic system for the greater glory of Pakistan. (NC Report)
Jhelum - January 31, 2010: An impressive passing out parade of police personnel, who had successfully completed their special anti terrorism training, was held at Padhar Training Centre near Jhelum. As many as 160 Policemen of the Punjab Police completed the specialized anti terrorism training under auspices of the Pakistan Army at Padhar Training Centre. Brigadier Tariq Mahmood, Brigade Commander reviewed the parade. This training is a sequel to ongoing special anti terrorism training which is being imparted by Pakistan Army to the Police personnel in all the four provinces. It may be mentioned here that prior to this 792 personnel of Punjab Police have already been trained by Pakistan Army while over 8400 personnel of the NWFP Police have also been trained so far in various Army units since July 2007.
Speaking on the occasion Brigadier Tariq Mahmood congratulated the passing out personnel and emphasized the importance of specialized training to combat prevailing menace of terrorism. He expressed confidence and hoped that special anti terrorism training imparted by dedicated Army personnel will go a long was in improvement of professional acumen of Law Enforcement Agencies. He urged the passing out police personnel to maintain the standard of marksmanship, physical fitness and mental robustness which they have attained during the course of training.
Later, Chief Guest awarded the prizes to those Policemen who distinguished themselves during training period. First prize was awarded to Constable Qaiser for being over all best in all training events. ASI Faisal won the 2nd position prize while ASI Abdul Rehman won the 3rd position.
A scintillating demonstration of anti terrorism drill was also presented by the passing out Police personnel which was appreciated by all. Among others the ceremony was also attended by SSP Jhelum Dr Azam Khan and SP Rawalpindi Muhammad Ishfaq.
AMRITSAR: The Border Security Force (BSF) of India, which had branded teenaged Pakistani national Nauman Arshad as a potential suicide bomber, has not been able to support its claims despite all top investigating and intelligence agencies jointly interrogating him over the past six days, TOI reported on Saturday.
His police remand over on Wednesday, Arshad, 18, has been shifted to the jail now. He was found in India by the BSF without any valid travel documents on January 14 and booked under various sections of the Indian Passport Act and the Foreigners Act at Gharinda police station. However, no incriminating evidence has been found since to link him to a terror group. The BSF had claimed that Arshad was on a recce mission of the border to monitor movements and find holes in barbed wire fencing for facilitating infiltration of seven suicide bombers, including three females, to carry out a bombing spree this side of the border.
Highly-placed sources on Friday informed TOI that sustained interrogation has revealed that Arshad was under immense pressure from his mother, Tahira Ramzan, a teacher in Cantt Girls Middle School, Manawan, 8km from the Indo-Pak border, to perform well in studies since he had scored badly in December examinations of Class IX. Unable to excel in studies like his brother and sister, the youth had left home to meet his uncle — a Pakistan Ranger posted at Wagah (Pakistan) border. It so happened, that his uncle was not at the border the day Arshad landed there and then crossed the international border inadvertently, they added.
City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has thanked American Business Council for Rs.01 billion aid to the affectees of Ashura incident. Attending the meeting of ABC Executive Board in a local hotel he said that the blast on Ashura was a big incident in which dozens of people were martyred or injured after that the conspirators set on fire the city’s busiest commercial area.
The members of American Business Council in the meeting discussed the modus operandi for dispatch of Rs.01 billion aid to the affectees.
City Nazim on this occasion said that City Government had started work for rehabilitation of affectees just after the incident. He said that Karachi was the only city that had peace and stability in the country and the secret hand has targeted Karachi only to hurt the national economy.
Nazim Karachi further informed the council about the repair and reconstruction work in the affected area. He said that city government has already completed 40 percent work of the repair work on 9 buildings that had been cleared by the KBCA. He said that the restoration work will continue till the last trader is rehabilitated.
City Nazim also invited members of executive board of American Business Council to visit the affected area on which the council members said that they will soon visit the area. Earlier President of American Business Council Arif Usman welcomed city nazim.