Archive for January, 2013

Rental power case: SC orders arrest of PM Ashraf

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in the Rental Power Plants case on Monday, reported Express News.

The court also ordered all other respondents in the case to be arrested, and gave 24 hours deadline to the authorities to implement the orders.

The court maintained that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will be responsible if any of the respondents manage to escape.

The Supreme Court’s order came at a time when Minhajul Quran International (MQI) chief Tahirul Qadri was leading a long march in Islamabad to demand electoral reforms.

Participants of the march were seen celebrating while chanting “Long Live Supreme Court” when Qadri mentioned the court’s decision during his speech.

The Karachi Stock market also crashed immediately after the court’s order, as the 100-index fell by 450 points.
PM Ashraf was given the title of Raja Rental after he was accused of receiving kickbacks in the rental power projects. He was also accused of buying property in London from money earned through corruption in various scams.

He has been defending himself in the Supreme Court.

On March 30, the apex court had directed the National Accountability Bureau to proceed against those who were in the post of minister for water and power from 2006 till the next general elections. As a result, on April 20, NAB issued arrest warrants for 33 persons, including Ashraf.

Case background

Earlier last year, the court directed NAB to proceed against all government functionaries involved, including the ministers for water and power during whose tenure the RPPs were approved or set up, and the minister and finance secretary holding charge when down payment for RPPs was increased from 7% to 14%.

Liaquat Jatoi and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf were water and power ministers in 2006 and 2008, respectively, while Shaukat Tareen was the finance minister in 2008, when down payment was increased.

Of the 19 RPP deals signed initially, only nine were allowed to function after a damning Asian Development Bank evaluation report. Subsequently, six of those nine RPPs were discontinued.

January 15, 2013 Posted Under: News update   Read More

Terrorism threats: Qadri asks SC to take suo motu notice against Malik

LAHORE: Minhajul Quran International (MQI) chief Tahirul Qadri requested the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice against Interior Minister Rehman Malik for having information regarding terrorist attacks.

Qadri, during a press conference in Lahore on Saturday, played footage of Malik in which he announced the threats Qadri will face during the long march.

“He did not say there might be an attack on me. He said there will be one,” said Qadri. “Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the Supreme Court should take a suo motu notice of this person on his statements of spreading terrorism. He should be arrested and sent to jail,” he maintained.

Qadri said that if Malik knows about all terrorism threats then he must have all information regarding terrorist groups across the country. “He should be interrogated. Information should be sought from him regarding the terrorist network and then the network should be broken.”

He also termed Malik’s statement as a “direct threat” to him and said that he is not afraid of anyone but God.

Qadri invites PTI

Inviting leaders and workers of all political and religious parties of the country to his march, Qadri specially invited the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Qadri said that the leaders of PTI should join him as their slogan of “change” is the same as his.

He said that he does not want political workers to leave their parties, but wants them to take part in the change process to avoid regretting it later.

January 12, 2013 Posted Under: News update   Read More

Qadri faces security threat: Malik

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Saturday said that he had received information related to the security threat to Dr. Tahirul Qadri.

In a statement, he said the evidences could be produced at any forum including the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which provided Dr. Tahirul Qadri brings the source of heavy funding for this anti-democratic attack.

The interior minister also chaired a high level meeting to review law and order situation and security arrangements for the Long March.

Minister for Interior approved the SOPs evolved by CCPO Lahore for security arrangements in buses, said a press release issued here.

Under the SOPs, organizers will nominate a group leader for every bus/vehicle and his name alongwith cell number be communicated to the District Administration and Police.

Every vehicle will be searched and scanned by EDS and after clearance, be taken over by the group leader and a certificate in writing be handed over to Police.

A list of all vehicles will be provided to District Administration and police for the purpose.

List of all passengers boarding the buses should also be maintained with CNIC number which should be handed over to the District Administration.

CNIC and cell numbers of drivers and conductors of vehicles to be provided to Police.

No vehicle to be allowed to join the caravan without security clearance.

All the places/locations where participants would be stayingduring the long march must be identified to police for security sweeping and clearance.

The Minister Instructed the ICT Administration that all the intended participants of Long March staying in the residential area of Islamabad, the owner of the house will be responsible to ensure that no terrorist or miscreant is living with them. Owner of the house will render a certificate to this effect.

The similar instructions are to be passed to all the Hotels, Sarai, Hostels, Madrassas etc.

The head of the establishment shall render a certificate regarding the individual staying with them, in these days.

It was pointed out by the Police representatives of KPK and Punjab that as per credible intelligence information Dr. Tahirul Qadri and its Long March is under imminent threat of attack by TTP and other terrorist groups.

The Minister instructed Punjab, KPK and Islamabad Administration to provide Box Security as well as must take foolproof security measures to protect Dr. Tahirul Qadri and his Long March.

Rehman Malik appreciated good will and harmony prevailing between Federal and Provincial Governments and hoped that this will help in achieving the maximum peace and tranquility in coming days, particularly during Long March and “Sit in” in Islamabad.

He thanked all the representatives from Punjab, KPK, Sindh, Balochistan AJ&K and Civil Armed Forces for their full cooperation in terms of manpower and logistics support.

January 12, 2013 Posted Under: News update   Read More

Punjab textile industry without gas since Dec 20

LAHORE – The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited has supplied gas to industry only for three days during last December while gas supply in current month has totally been disconnected to textile sector.

The government is not fulfilling its commitment of 16-hour power supply to the industry for running two shifts, as just 12-hour electricity supply is being given to mills.

This was stated by the central chairman of the APTMA Ahsan Bashir and Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan while talking to journalists on Saturday.

“There is zero supply of gas to the textile mills on the SNGPL network and the industry got gas merely for three days in between 1st December to 20th December 2012 after which there is a complete shutdown of gas supply to textile mills in Punjab.

Central Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir said that gas supply to the textile industry in Punjab is already in limbo; resulting into over 30pc capacity closure, lay off the workforce and cancellation of export orders. The role of Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain in adverse circumstances is highly appreciable. It is responsibility of every government to react immediately and act prudently whenever there is a crisis like situation for any sector of the industry in country. Dr Asim Hussain has taken steps to resolve energy crisis of textile industry in Punjab in a prudent, fair and transparent manner. An appropriate gas load management policy devised by Dr Asim Hussain has helped the industry floating even in the challenging period it is passing through.

Shahzad Ali Khan said there is no comparison between the textile industry and the CNG pumps, as textile industry earns $14 billion and provides jobs to 45pc of the total manufacturing sector workforce while consuming less gas comparing with the CNG pumps. Also, the total employment of 3200 CNG pumps in the country may be equivalent to the strength of a single textile unit. It is also an open secret that the CNG Association has usurped the precious energy resources of the province of Punjab and contributed to creating circular debt of Rs 700 billion. He said total demand of textile industry is not more than 500MMCFD out of 4000MMCFD gas totally available in the country, which is 12.5pc. According to him, Dr Asim Hussain had announced gas supply for six hours a day to mitigate the impact of electricity load shedding in Punjab. However, this announcement could not be materialised due to complete suspension of electricity to textile mills in Punjab. According to APTMA leadership, the textile industry in Punjab has witnessed historical blackout of electricity supply from 22nd December to 1st of January 2013. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and his key Cabinet members took notice of the situation and directed for 16-hour a day uninterrupted power supply to textile mills in Punjab. Unfortunately, this decision has not been implemented in true letter and spirit and there is yet three hours unscheduled load shedding besides eight hours a day scheduled loadshedding for industry in Punjab.

January 6, 2013 Posted Under: News update   Read More