Friday, March 29, 2019

#Pakistan - #CFWIJ condemns death threats to Marvi Sirmed

The Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ) condemned the campaign against its member and prominent Pakistani journalist Marvi Sirmed.
According to the statement issued by the Coalition, the online campaigns against women journalist in Pakistan “are reaching unprecedented capacity”.
It said the murder threats given to Sirmed fall “under incitement of serious crimes against humanity and the authorities must act … to ensure her safety and security.”
“On March 29, our member Marvi Sirmed became the target of a new online campaign that is spreading misinformation and inciting people to violence against her,” the statement said. “Sirmed was incorrectly linked to a news story about incest. The account that posted the campaign on Facebook goes by the name of Saqib Hussain, started off with installing a false claim that Sirmed brought 10 homeless people to Islamabad and encouraged them to participate in incestous acts. The account is followed by more than 225,000 people.”
Photos stolen from Sirmed’s Facebook account were made public, along with other personal details, including her home address, ID card number, and other contact details.
The post ends by calling on all muslims to murder Sirmed and her “mafia of godless liberals”.
Speaking about the growing abuse of women journalists in Pakistan, CFWIJ Founding Director Kiran Nazish said, “Every few days in a month I find myself grappling with a new set of cases of different forms of harassment against women journalists coming from Pakistan. This is unprecedented and we demand the Pakistani government to get involved immediately, to ensure the safety of women journalists in the country.” She also said, “Inciting violence and propaganda against women journalists in the country has become a norm and it is imperative that the government gets involved.”
“Social media is a tool that can be used for great good but is also, unfortunately, being used for negative purposes that violate fundamental rights and human dignity. Posts targeting women particularly create a negative environment that enables further abuse,” said senior journalist and member of CFWIJ Beena Sarwar. “When we report these posts, Facebook and Twitter often respond saying that the posts don’t violate their standards. I understand the need for the importance of freedom of expression and free speech but social media platforms also need to understand cultural context.”

China And Saudi Arabia Converge On Pakistan – Analysis

By Dilip Hiro

China and Saudi Arabia step in to support Pakistan after the US cuts $2.1 billion in financial and military aid.
A trilateral alliance of China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia, driven by geo-economic interests, is emerging, with the Pakistani port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea as its hub. This builds upon a geopolitical foundation dating back to the mid-1960s. With the Trump administration cutting $2.1 billion worth of financial and military aid to Islamabad, neighboring China and friendly Saudi Arabia have taken cash-strapped Pakistan under their wings to strengthen its economic base. In contrast to the wavering Washington-Islamabad relationship, Sino-Pakistani ties have become tighter with each passing decade.   
China’s interest in Gwadar dates back to 2001 when the visiting Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji signed an agreement with Pakistan to turn the facility into a deep-water port. China covered three-quarters of the $250 million cost of building the port commissioned in 2007. Yielding to pressure by the United States, Pakistan’s president opted for giving the 40-year operating lease to PSA International, owned by the Port of Singapore Authority. The port was not operationally profitable, and Pakistan transferred control to state-owned China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited, or COPHCL, in 2013.
Gwadar is strategically important for China, as 60 percent its imported oil originates in the Gulf region and passes through the Strait of Hormuz, a gateway for a third of the globe’s traded petroleum. The port is 650 kilometers from this strait whereas the Chinese port of Xingjian is 15,000 kilometers away. Crude oil arriving at Gwadar is to transported to China’s far western Xinjiang Autonomous Region overland by pipeline and the upgraded 1,300-kilometer Karakoram Highway, which opened to public in 1986.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2015 visit to Islamabad, Pakistan and China inked an agreement to start work on the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, a network of infrastructure and energy projects. The corridor is an integral part of Beijing’s $900 billion One Belt, One Road, later renamed Belt and Road Initiative, that was unveiled in 2013. With that, Gwadar became the end point for one of six economic corridors stemming from China. The total investment in CPEC rose to $62 billion.
In 2016, CPEC became partially operational when Chinese goods were transported over the Karakoram Highway to Gwadar Port for maritime shipment to the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Five months later, the Pakistani government leased Gwadar Port to the COPHCL for 40 years, authorizing the Chinese port holding company to carry out development work on the port and the vast adjoining free economic zone. Scale of the enterprise could be judged by Pakistani media reports suggesting that Gwadar’s population would rise exponentially to 500,000 by 2023, with gated residential quarters being constructed for about 10,000 Chinese and Pakistani professionals and their families. 
By all accounts, the future of the Gwadar port and the free economic zone is rosy. That was why during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Sultan’s February visit to Islamabad, $8 billion of the $20 billion his government committed to invest in Pakistan were earmarked for an oil refinery in Gwadar.
With its foreign exchange reserves at $506 billion, the fourth highest in the world. Saudi Arabia can easily invest the sum it promised Islamabad – and even throw a $6 billion lifeline to save Pakistan from defaulting on servicing a huge loan secured from the International Monetary Fund in 2013. However, the kingdom did so only after Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to attend October’s Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, boycotted by Western governments and financial institutions following the grisly murder of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier that month.
Underlying these moves by the Saudi Kingdom is the realization, shared by China, that only by building new infrastructure in Pakistan and repairing its dilapidated facilities can its chronic economic ills be cured.
While China is forging ahead with Xi’s signature Belt and Road Initiative, Riyadh’s overambitious economic blueprint – Saudi Vision 2030, announced in 2016, to wean the kingdom away from oil, diversify its economy, bolster public services, build infrastructure and shore up its defense industry – has failed to take off. Most of the funding for the Saudi initiative was to have come from phased privatization of state-owned Saudi Aramco, the globe’s largest oil corporation. The $100 billion initial public offering of the company’s 5 percent share, expected in 2018, was postponed indefinitely due to legal concerns and the kingdom’s failure to achieve its total desired valuation of $2 trillion, based on oil barrel selling for a minimum of $70.
Briefed on the hurdles facing Saudi Vision 2030, Xi broached the subject with Bin Salman during his February visit to Beijing. “Our two countries should speed up the signing of an implementation plan on connecting the Belt and Road Initiative with the Saudi Vision 2030,” he said. No details were released. 
In contrast, the Trump administration is unlikely to end its shunning of Islamabad. In January 2018, Donald Trump canceled government plans for $1.3 billion of military aid to Pakistan and announced on Twitter that Pakistan had “given us nothing but lies and deceit,” accusing the nation of providing “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.” In addition, Washington cut $800 million to reimburse Islamabad for expenses incurred to support the US-led coalition’s counter-insurgency operations.
Altogether, since 9/11, Pakistan received more than $33 billion in US assistance, including more than $14 billion from Washington’s Coalition Support Funds.
By contrast, China’s diplomatic entente with Pakistan after the 1962 Sino-Indian War graduated to military cooperation with the common aim of containing the power of India, then backed by the Soviet Union. China’s military aided its Pakistani counterpart to set up ordnance factories with improved technologies. China started selling battle tanks and armored vehicles to Pakistan. Later Chinese military engineers designed tailor-made advanced weapons for Pakistan’s army, and issued licenses for domestic production.
Around the turn of the century Beijing started turning attention to the Pakistani air force and navy. This led to the co-production of China’s JL-8 fighter aircraft in Pakistan and China. In 2009, Pakistan became the first foreign country to receive China’s advanced fighter aircraft, JL-10. The two countries also turned to joint development of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft and K-8 Karakorum training aircraft.
During a 2015 visit of Pakistan’s Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described Pakistan as China’s “irreplaceable, all-weather friend.” Three months later, China agreed to sell Pakistan eight conventional submarines worth $5 billion, the biggest arms sale by Beijing. In addition, China’s weapons deliveries to Pakistan include naval patrol vessels, unmanned aerial vehicles and surface-to-air missiles. Last December, a Special Forces contingent of China’s military arrived in Pakistan to participate in the sixth Pakistan-China joint military exercise. 
Pakistani troops played a major role in overpowering the armed militants who had seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979, threatening the Al Saud dynasty. Since then the nation has signed periodic contracts with Riyadh to post its soldiers in the kingdom. Pakistan has lent military expertise to Saudi Arabia, and the two nations conduct joint exercises annually. Joint naval exercises, called Naseem Al-Bahr, began in 1993 and have become a biennial feature. With Pakistan becoming a declared nuclear power in 1998, its strategic value to Saudi Arabia, wary of rival Iran’s nuclear ambitions, has risen sharply.
On the other side, India and the United States are worried about the prospect of China building a military base at Jiwani, 60 kilometers west of Gwadar, which already hosts a small naval base and airport.


Another Shia Muslim notable has been taken into illegal and undeclared custody in Karachi’s district central today.
Syed Kazim Raza Rizvi who has been subjected to enforced disappearance is son of prominent Shia Muslim Syed Hussain Rizvi who founded Anjuman Mohammadi Qadeem in Gulbahar neighbourhood near Old Rizvia Society.
Like other such undeclared illegal detention, his family too was not informed where he was being taken away and why. The disgruntled family demanded that Kazim Rizvi is a law abiding citizen of Pakistan hence either he be released forthwith or produced in the court of law if there is any charge against him.

Bilawal says PPP won’t accept political victimisation in name of accountability

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that the party does not oppose accountability in principle if it is conducted in a transparent manner but they will certainly not tolerate political victimisation in the name of accountability.
Bilawal said in his address to party workers who had gathered at Larkana railway station to welcome their leader when he arrived at midnight on Thursday that he was being held accountable in a case that pertained to the time when he was barely one year old.
Take a look: I have had the same stance against proscribed outfits since I joined politics: Bilawal
He referred to the apex court’s comment that he (Bilawal) was innocent and said that later the comment was not made part of the original order. On whose behalf his name was implicated in the case, he asked.“They have now fixed their eyes on me, Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur but they cannot frighten us through National Accounta­bility Bureau. We don’t have any objection to a transparent process of accountability but we will never accept political victimisation in the name of accountability,” he said.He was highly critical of the move to refer money-laundering cases to Rawal­pindi and spoke about putting in place an effective system for accountability and fighting corruption instead of using NAB as a tool for political victimisation.He said that he had heard rulers’ cries when Bhuttos’ name echoed in parliament. After they failed to stop him through rigging in election they were now trying to sideline him through political victimisation.
Bilawal said that rulers wanted to roll back the 18th Amendment and impose One Unit but PPP would oppose the move tooth and nail. The prime minister had announced that NRO would not be given to anybody but then the same was granted to banned outfits and retired Gen Musharraf etc, he said. He said that ‘selected’ prime minister’s politics began and ended with NAB. Accountability should not be done on the basis of one’s association with Larkana or Lahore, he said before leaving for Naudero House where he was scheduled to stay till April 4.Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, president of PPP Sindh chapter, said in a statement that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government had been taken aback by the rousing welcome accorded to Bilawal at all railway stations from Karachi to Larkana.He said that Bilawal had chosen to travel by train only to participate in Z.A. Bhutto’s death anniversary in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto. It was just an exercise to keep workers ready for ‘train march’ to Rawalpindi later, he said.SUKKUR: Earlier, speaking to workers at Rohri, Sukkur and Gosar-Ji railway stations, Bilawal said that they were not afraid of NAB nor would they run away from inquiries. “PPP is not fleeing from accountability, we have no objection to accountability but rev­enge in the name of accountability is not acceptable,” he said.He accused the federal government of instituting fake cases against opposition and blamed the Centre for “robbing” Sindh of Rs120 billion of its share. People had been drowned in a tsunami of inflation since the day the “puppet government” came to power. “Khan Sahib, you had promised constructing houses but instead you demolished peoples’ homes in the name of encroachments and made them homeless,” he said.
Bilawal’s caravan departed for Shikarpur and Larkana after the brief stopover. Strict security arrangements were made at all railway stations where people were allowed to enter after complete body search.
PPP senior leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah told media persons at Jinnah Municipal Stadium on Thursday that Imran Khan had failed to fulfil his promises. Nothing had happened so far with regard to his slogan of provision of jobs and construction of houses, he said.
He said the government would carry out development works in Sindh if the province received Rs120bn from the Centre.
Not only Sindh but Punjab and other areas of the country were also complaining against Islamabad, he said.
He said that since the apex court had endorsed NAB’s modus operandi they respected its decision.
“We say that if there is any lacuna or weakness in a law it should be brought into parliament and debated.”

#BhuttoKaKarawan #KarawaneBhutto - #PPP بلاول بھٹو میرے 200 روپے دو

           عثمان غازی
پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کے بذریعہ ٹرین کاروان بھٹو میں ایک نوری بابا تھا، چہرے پہ جھریاں اور بالوں میں سفیدی سجائے وہ دیوانہ بلاول بھٹو کی جھلک دیکھتے ہی پوری قوت سے بلاول بلاول ایسے پکارتا کہ جیسے مجذوب دیوانگی میں ہوش کھوبیٹھا ہو اور ابھی مجھے کسی نے بتایا کہ پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی نے نوری بابا کا یہ جنون پورے دوسو روپے میں خریدا تھا!
پشاور کے وجاہت خان کو جب بلاول بھٹو کے کاروان کا علم ہوا تو وہ وہیں سے دوڑا دوڑا چلا آیا، کراچی پہنچ کر اسے تیز بخار ہوگیا، وہ تپتے بدن کے ساتھ کاروان بھٹو میں دوڑتا رہا، مجمع کی دھکم پیل کی وجہ سے وجاہت کے کپڑے پھٹ گئے، جھلک دیکھنے کے خواہش مندوں نے وجاہت کو دبوچ دبوچ کے جب ادھر ادھر پھینکا تو اس کے جسم پر خراشوں کے جابجا نشان ہیں، میں وجاہت سے پوچھنے کی بھی ہمت نہیں کرپارہا کہ اتنی مشقت دوسو روپے میں کیوں!
حبیب کوٹ ایک چھوٹا سا شہر ہے، یہ شکارپور ضلع میں آتا ہے، دیہی پس منظر والے شہر کی روایت ہے کہ یہاں لوگ جلدی سوجاتے ہیں مگر جب رات تین بجے بلاول بھٹو کی ٹرین نے حبیب کوٹ اسٹاپ کیا تو شاید شہر کا کوئی بچہ بوڑھا اور جوان ایسا نہ ہوگا جو اسٹیشن پر نہ ہو، لاڑکانہ میں صبح چار بجے بلاول بھٹو تقریر کررہے تھے اور کروڑوں روپے خرچ کرکے سیاسی جماعتیں جو مجمع دن کی روشنی میں جمع نہیں کرسکتیں، وہ رات کے اس پہر بلاول بھٹو ے دوسو روپے میں جمع کرلیا۔
عشق دوسو روپے، جنون دوسورپے، بہتے آنسو، لرزتے لہجے، بے تاب نگاہیں، دمکتے چہرے اور جھلک دیکھنے کے بعد اتراتے نوجوان سب دوسوروپے کے تھے، کراچی میں بلاول بھٹو کی ٹرین نے ڈرگ روڈ اسٹیشن پر اسٹاپ نہیں کیا، وہاں سینکڑوں نوجوان شاید اس امید پر کھڑے تھے کہ ٹرین رکے گی تو وہ اس میں سوار ہوجائیں گے، جب ٹرین نہیں رکی تو سینکڑوں نوجوانوں نے دیوانہ وار ٹرین کی جانب دوڑنا شروع کردیا، جب ٹرین گزرگئی تو کوئی بال نوچ رہا تھا اور کوئی بے بسی سے ہاتھ مل رہا تھا اور یہ تلملاہٹ، یہ بے چینی صرف دوسو روپے کی تھی!
حیدرآباد ریلوے اسٹیشن پر صرف بلاول بھٹو کو دکھانے کے لئے ایک لڑکا انتہائی اونچے پول پر چڑھ گیا تاکہ وہاں پی پی کا پرچم لہرائے، وہ پرچم بی بی کا بیٹا دیکھے گا اور اس احساس کے ساتھ وہ نوجوان اپنی ساری زندگی سرشار رہے گا، سنا ہے یہ جان جوکھم میں ڈالنا صرف دوسو روپے کی مار تھی، جنگ شاہی ریلوے اسٹیشن پر ٹرین نجانے کب پہنچے، باؤشکیل کو شک تھا کہ اسے ٹرین کے پہنچنے کا درست وقت نہیں بتایا جارہا، وہ رات کو ہی ریلوے اسٹیشن پہنچ گیا اور نگاہیں ریل کے اس ٹریک پر ٹکالیں جہاں سے بھٹو کے نواسے کی گاڑی کو آنا تھا، بلاول بھٹو کو باؤشکیل کا وہ رت جگا اور وہ انتظار سب دوسو روپے میں کتنا سستا مل گیا نا!
میں اس لڑکی کو جانتا ہوں، وہ اپنے حسن کے بارے میں اتنی حساس ہے کہ چہرے پہ دھوپ لگے تو اسے کالا ہوجانے کا خدشہ ہوجاتا ہے، مٹی لگے تو جلد خراب ہونے کا ڈر ہوتا ہے، وہ بھی اپنی سہیلیوں کے ساتھ خواتین کی بوگی میں موجود تھی، اس دن اس نے اپنی ہر نزاکت پر سمجھوتہ کرلیا تھا اور بلاول بھٹو نے یہ سمجھوتہ صرف دوسوروپے میں خریدا تھا!

#FATF expresses dissatisfaction over action against outlawed groups in #Pakistan: sources

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Thursday expressed its dissatisfaction over action against eight major proscribed organisations in Pakistan, sources informed Geo News.
The third and last round of the three-day talks between Pakistan and FATF's Asia Pacific Group concluded today in Islamabad.
The group was briefed by the officials of Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) about the steps regarding regulating suspected financial transactions.
The APG delegation was apprised of various steps including freezing of bank account and confiscation of property, as well as actions taken against financial institutions and companies.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) briefed the group about the implementation of laws regarding prevention of money laundering and financial support to terrorists.
The delegates were also briefed about the process of exchange of information and agreements with other countries for prevention of terror financing.
However, the sources said the APG maintained that Pakistan did not take effective action against eight major outlawed organisations.
The delegation expressed reservations over lack of cooperation among law enforcement agencies and their procedure of taking action against these groups, they said.
The sources further said the APG delegation expressed concern over government's dual stance on action against the ones collecting donations from mosques.
They said the APG delegation had prepared its initial report with regard to briefing from Pakistani officials.
The report pointed to flaws in measures taken by Pakistan, the sources added.

#Pakistan - #NAB hesitant to nab #PTI minister who ‘ballooned to billions’

Umar Cheema
He was simply a landlord. The annual income of entire family was around Rs60 million. His one brother was employee of a business tycoon. But this was the financial profile before he ventured into national politics. Then he won elections in early 2000, joined the federal cabinet and the family’s assets “ballooned to billions of rupees”. The present worth of the family assets is now over Rs100 billion.
The person under question is also part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet, holding a prized lucrative portfolio. His younger brother is an important minister in the provincial cabinet. Yet anotherbrother who isn’t part of the minister’s family in Nadra data (but in the land revenue record) is major shareholders of all the newly set up businesses along with mother. He was an employee of a tycoon earlier.
In September last year, NAB headquarters assigned an investigation against the minister on the basis of a complaint laden with allegations. The complaint verification was authorised to the regional NAB office. It took three months to complete the process and report back.
Not only the assets beyond known means were found, the regional office recommended full-fledged inquiry against the minister. NAB headquarters has since been sitting on this report. No inquiry has been ordered, The News has duly confirmed.
In six years of the last decade, the minister’s family did a roaring investment. It set up four sugar mills, five power generation companies, four trading companies including one in London, one ethanol manufacturing company and two others. “Their agricultural property increased from 5,702 kanals (712 acres) to 7,780 kanals (972 acres) meaning thereby an increase of 2,078 kanals (260 acres) in short span, along with 6-7 residential houses and plots in different cities,” according to complaint verification report sent by the regional office to the NAB headquarters.A couple of properties the minister purchased in his name in Lahore DHA has not been declared in the nomination papers, according to this report which further reveals that the “family received a foreign remittance of approx Rs979 million during 2011-2018.” Current market value of the assets of the minister’s family (who live in a joint family setting) is more than Rs100 billion, the report has revealed.How did this land-owning family jump into the club of top industrialists remains a mystery that NAB Headquarters is reluctant to resolve at the moment. No bank loan was taken for building this empire, the investigators concluded who say that further assets can be traced if an inquiry is ordered and the accused are investigated. This is what has been found so far is on the basis of corporate record, tax declarations, revenue documents, banking information and travel history.
The minister himself is a frequent foreign traveler. In the last five years alone, he went abroad for as many as 189 times which means more than thrice a month. What he does there will remain unknown until he is taken into custody for investigation. His number of brothers varies in different record. Nadra data shows the minister has only one brother (who is now a provincial minister) whereas the land record suggests he has two brothers.
The rise of this family has been explained in the following lines in the NAB’s complaint verification report: “From 2006, the family’s assets suddenly showed unnatural increase. An agricultural family from ‘no-where’ became industrialist and started investing amount beyond there known sources of income in corporate sector.” In the business details, sugar mills merited top mention. They are four. In each case, the minister’s mother and brother are shareholders.
One of them set up in 2006 has authorised capital of Rs1 billion. The minister’s mother and brother are its shareholders. Another set up in 2007 has an authorised capital of Rs2 billion; again the minister’s mother and brother (and his wife) are shareholders. Third one was started in 2016; the last one’s founding date is not mentioned. This brother running the sugar mills didn’t figure in Nadra record when investigators checked.
The minister has declared investment of Rs130 million in one sugar mill. He “seems to have a benami share” in other mills run by the family. “The whole family lives in a joint family system which is evident from their single residential addresses,” reads the NAB report, which has also given addresses.The four trading companies are in the name of the minister’s brother; one of them was set up in London. Five power generation companies are also in the name of the minister’s brother who appears in Nadra record as his brother. The provincial minister-brother owns an ethanol manufacturing company.As far as the land purchase is concerned, the investigation reveals that a total of 260 acres increase in agriculture land since 2004 in addition to 126 acres purchased for one sugar mill. Out of it, the minister himself got 216 acres “through a mutation of tamleek from his mother and she got that land by way of tamleek from her mother (the minister’s grandmother) and she got it by way of tamleek from her two daughters” who inherited impugned land after death of their father (the minister’s grandfather).
“Most of these alienation of tamleek took place on the same day and as I see an increase in the assets of subject’s (minister) maternal aunt in proceeding years as one of them purchased vehicles worth Rs16 million,” wrote the investigator in the report sent to NAB headquarters. He further notes, “The whole transaction seems dubious and needs a thorough probe as apparently it seems that a process of ‘layering’ has been adopted to hide the original beneficiary.” Regarding the undeclared plots of the minister, the investigation report reads, “It is also pertinent to mention here that 269 kanal agricultural land purchased at…… 1991, 36 kanals in…….2015 and 2 plots measuring 5 marla each purchased at Lahore DHA in November 2017 was not declared by subject person (the minister) in nomination papers submitted for contesting election 2018.” As many as 12 urban properties of the family purchased after 2004 are situated in DHAs of Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi in addition to Gulberg and Lahore Cantt.
Regarding the foreign remittances, the “FBR statements of the family including subject person show inflow of foreign remittances after 2011 which shows that this family has invested and can have properties abroad,” reads the report. The total amounts received through remittances is Rs797 millions of which Rs9 million landed into the minister’s account. The foreign company owned by the minister’s brother has declared assets of Rs1.06 billion in 2018 FBR statement in addition to bank accounts in City Bank, New York and Emirates NBA, Dubai.
In its concluding page, the report says that prior to his joining of national politics, the whole family including the minister’s brothers only owned lands “which was the only source of bread & butter” and after induction into the cabinet in 2004, “assets in the name of non-public office holder members of the subject’s family i.e. mother (house wife), brother having agriculture as the only one source of income ballooned to billions of rupees, despite their expenditure on more than 100 foreign trips, contesting elections.”

India ‘disappointed’ with Pakistan’s response on its Pulwama dossier

MEA spokesperson says Pakistan continues to be in denial, and has not shared details of credible action against terrorists or terror organisations.

India has said it is “disappointed”, a day after Pakistan said it had come out with preliminary findings on the dossier that New Delhi had shared on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s role in the Pulwama terror attack.
“India is disappointed at Pakistan’s response to our detailed dossier on the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s complicity in the cross-border terror attack in Pulwama, the presence of its terror camps and leadership in Pakistan,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Thursday.
He said Pakistan “continues to be in denial and even refuses to acknowledge Pulwama as a terror attack”. The 14 February suicide attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, killed 40 CRPF personnel.
“It has not shared details of credible action, if any, taken by it against terrorists or terrorist organisations based in territories under its control,” Kumar said.

Not surprised at response

However, the MEA spokesperson said India was not surprised at Islamabad’s response, as it was the same even after the 26/11 Mumbai attack in 2008 and the Pathankot attack in 2016.
“It is a well-known fact that the UN-designated terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. This was again acknowledged recently to international media by Pakistan’s foreign minister. There’s no dearth of sufficient actionable information and evidence in Pakistan itself to take action against them, if there is sincerity and intent to do so,” he said, adding that New Delhi is examining the paper handed over by Islamabad.
“Pakistan should abide by the commitment it gave in 2004, and which its current leadership has recently repeated, vowing not to allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India in any manner. Pakistan should take immediate, credible, irreversible and verifiable actions against terrorists and terror organisations operating from territories under its control.”

What Pakistan had said earlier

Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s foreign ministry stated that it could allow India to investigate the alleged terror camps New Delhi believes were linked to the Pulwama attack.
“The 22 pin locations shared by India have been examined. No such camps exist. Pakistan is willing to allow visits, on request, to these locations,” the Pakistani foreign ministry spokesperson said Thursday in a press release.
Pakistan has also briefed the foreign diplomatic community based in the country on the findings.
“During the course of investigations, all aspects of the information provided by India have been thoroughly examined, including the ‘confessional’ video of Adil Dar (the Kashmiri member of the Jaish-e-Mohammed who allegedly carried out the Pulwama attack), ‘claim’ of responsibility for the attack (by the Jaish-e-Mohammed), WhatsApp and Telegram numbers used to share videos and messages in support of Pulwama attack, list of 90 individuals suspected of belonging to a proscribed organisation, and 22 pin locations of alleged training camps,” the release said.
The Indian dossier contains 91 pages and six parts, of which only the second and third parts pertain to the Pulwama incident, Islamabad said. The other parts are generalised allegations, it added, saying Pakistan is focusing on those that relate to the Pulwama attack.
Pakistan said it had detained 54 suspects but found no evidence that they were involved in the Pulwama attack.

#Pakistan - Imran's govt walking on thin ice: Bilawal

Describing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government as “too insecure”, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has ruled out staging a long march in the coming days.
“No, this is not the case at all, they [the government] think that every move by the opposition is a threat,” the scion of the Bhutto dynasty responded to a query in an exclusive interview on the Express News show ‘Centre Stage with Rehman Azhar’.
Bilawal was referring to his recent train march from Karachi to Larkana.
“If we do go ahead with it [a long march], then the government will realise our party’s true strength and support,” he said.
With an edge of just six votes, he added, the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government is walking on thin ice.Bilawal also took a broadside at those who criticised him for calling for a clampdown on proscribed outfits.“Anyone who calls for action against banned groups is conveniently deemed to be a threat to the state,” he remarked.He added that comparing his statement on the issue to New Delhi’s narrative was “childish”.“My mother [Benazir Bhutto] and my grandfather [Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto] were also deemed to be anti-state, but looking back it is clear as to see who the real patriots were,” he maintained.When asked if this was the right time to bring up the matter of proscribed groups, Bilawal said: “If not now, then when? It’s not just today, I have always had the same stance on this issue.”
The PPP chairman said the ongoing cases against his party’s leadership were nothing more than politics of vendetta with the National Accountability Bureau being used as an instrument by the government.
He also questioned the slow pace of investigation, adding that “it is unlawful for cases to be shifted from Karachi to Rawalpindi”.
“I respect the judiciary but these proceedings have become controversial. The highest office-bearer of this judiciary said that Bilawal is innocent, but his words were not taken into consideration,” he said, referring to the former chief justice of Pakistan’s remarks in the Supreme Court.
Bilawal said that a conspiracy was being hatched against the 18th Amendment, which was passed by the National Assembly in 2010, removing the power of the president to dissolve the parliament unilaterally.Government spokespersons, he added, had openly talked about changing the amendment. “It is this mindset that is bent on creating a one unit system in this country,” he maintained.However, the PPP chairman vowed that his party would defend the 18th amendment at any cost.He also criticised the federal government for not releasing Rs120 billion to the Sindh government. “Three of Sindh’s hospitals have been snatched [by the federal government]. The rights of the province are being trampled upon by the centre and under these circumstances any changes to the 18th Amendment will be detrimental to the country’s unity,” he said.
Bilawal also expressed his displeasure over the government’s handling of foreign policy.
“Whenever a ‘selected government’ is placed in power, the foreign policy of the country suffers and becomes ineffective,” he claimed.
“Unfortunately, the situation was no better when the previous government was in power as it had not appointed a foreign minister. It has always been during the PPP’s tenures that our foreign policy has achieved its biggest milestones,” he added.
The PPP chairman clarified that his party did not want a confrontation with state institutions.
He added that it was only democracy that would prevail in the end. “We have to work together. But we should know that in the end it is only democracy that works and institutions will have to work within their limits,” he remarked.

#Pakistan - #PPP - Our next call will be for long march, says Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

PPP’s train march reached Larkana early Thursday morning.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari led the march, titled ‘Karwan-e-Bhutto, which started Tuesday morning and reached Larkana after 42 hours.
“We don’t want to topple the government,” said Bilawal upon completion of the train march. “The next call we give will be for a long march.”
The train stopped at different stations such as Hyderabad, Tando Adam, Nawabshah, Padidan, Khairpur Mirs, Rohri among others. The PPP chairperson addressed workers at more than 25 different locations.
The PPP scion even criticised Imran Khan-led government. “The government has destroyed the houses of the poor people in the name of encroachment.” Even their shops have been demolished. “What sort of a government is this?” This government is the enemy of the people, he added.
He said that opposition parties are being targeted for political revenge. “We will not accept political engineering in the name of accountability.”
Aleema Khan, Imran Khan’s sister, should give her sewing machine to us. This way the women in Sindh will be able to buy properties in the US too, he added.
Bilawal said that PPP will hold a rally in Larkana on April 4.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

#BhuttoKaKarawan #KarawaneBhutto - #PPP - Caravan-i-Bhutto - Don’t fret, Mr PM. We are not here to oust you!

* PPP chairman says people have drowned in the tsunami of poverty and inflation.
* PPP will never compromise on people's rights: Bilawal

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that he is hearing cries coming directly from the Prime Minister’s House, but “selected” Prime Minister Imran Khan should be rest assured that no initiative will be taken for toppling his government.
Bilawal said this on the second day of his Caravan-i-Bhutto – a train “march” that he has started from Karachi to Larkana “to attend Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s 40th death anniversary” at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh. “This is not a train march. The day when the PPP gives a call for a long march or a train match, the rulers will know the difference between sit-in politics and real politics,” he said.
He said certain forces believed that they would eliminate the PPP and the ideology of its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto after ensuring his judicial murder, “but they could not”. While criticizing the PTI’s incumbent federal government, he said the selected PM had rigged the people’s mandate and soon after he took oath as the country’s premier, he started depriving Sindh of its due share of water and gas. The PM used to call everyone a thief, but he himself robbed Sindh’s Rs 120 billion, he said, and added that that huge sum was taxpayers’ money. “It is very unfortunate that the politics of the selected PM revolves around the National Accountability Bureau (NAB),” he said, adding that when he started speaking for the rights of the people, the federal government launches a crackdown through the NAB. The rulers should keep in mind that the atrocities would bounce back, he said.
Bilawal said the accountability process should continue, but the people won’t accept political victimisation in the guise of accountability. He said the NAB was formulated for political engineering, and hence it should now cease to exist. “There is a dire need for a new NAB, which should treat everyone with justice, and that should not prioritise Lahore over Larkana. That new NAB should be fittest one to treat a judge, a general and a politician in the same manner,” he said, recalling that the accountability commission was wrapped up after it started the process of the accountability in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The PPP chairman said he wanted to know when the NAB would start accountability of the “Benaami” PM and his sister Aleema Khanum. Being sarcastic, he said Aleema should lend her “magical” sewing machines to the poor people of Sindh so that they could also earn enough money to buy properties in New Jersey, just like her.
He said all claims of Imran Khan proved to be false, wondering when he would see those 5 million homes and 10 million jobs. “The people have drowned in the tsunami of poverty and inflation,” he said, adding that the selected government was adding fuel to fire.
He congratulated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for obtaining bail on medical grounds and offered him to come to Sindh for better healthcare at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), and added that the people of Sindh would serve him well.
Meanwhile, Bilawal continued his Caravan-i-Bhutto as he reached Rohri Railway Station, which was overflowing with his supporters. He was received by PPP leaders Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Syed Owais Shah and Syed Nasir Shah. The second day of the caravan kicked off from Nawabshah earlier on Wednesday and turned out to be a very long journey due to the presence of scores of supporters throughout the way.
PPP leadership and supporters now travel towards the final destination, Larkana. In addition to having over 10 scheduled stops on the way, Bhutto’s journey saw people lining up alongside the tracks even where the train wasn’t scheduled to stop. One would think the heat, the time, the cramped quarters would take a toll on the travelers but the palpable energy and the passion emanating from the jiyalas served to recharge them again and again. A journey that would ordinarily take four hours took over 15 hours to complete. The PPP chairman has reportedly addressed the public around a dozen times so far.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari thanked the people and party workers on his warm welcome and said he was the son of Benazir Bhutto and grandson of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, so he would never compromise on people’s rights.
He said there would be a gigantic assembly of the people at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, and urged the people to attend the event. Upon his arrival at Daur, Padidan and Mehrabpur, locals flooded the railway stations to give him a warm welcome and have a glimpse of their leader. In addition, party workers also thronged the railway stations to welcome their leader.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, PPP Sindh President Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Saeed Ghani, Waqar Mehdi, Sardar Shah, Murtaza Wahab, Rashid Rabbani, Mukesh Chawala, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Haji Ali Hassan Zardari, Zulfiqar Behan, Mumtaz Chandio, Feroz Jamali and Shahnaz Ansari were among many senior PPP leaders accompanying Bilawal on this journey. Till the filing of the report, the caravan was a few stops away from Larkana.

Our next call will be for long march, says Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

PPP’s train march reached Larkana early Thursday morning.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari led the march,  titled ‘Karwan-e-Bhutto, which started Tuesday morning and reached Larkana after 42 hours.
“We don’t want to topple the government,” said Bilawal upon completion of the train march. “The next call we give will be for a long march.”
The train stopped at different stations such as Hyderabad, Tando Adam, Nawabshah, Padidan, Khairpur Mirs, Rohri among others. The PPP chairperson addressed workers at more than 25 different locations.
The PPP scion even criticised Imran Khan-led government. “The government has destroyed the houses of the poor people in the name of encroachment.” Even their shops have been demolished. “What sort of a government is this?” This government is the enemy of the people, he added.
He said that opposition parties are being targeted for political revenge. “We will not accept political engineering in the name of accountability.”
Aleema Khan, Imran Khan’s sister, should give her sewing machine to us. This way the women in Sindh will be able to buy properties in the US too, he added.
Bilawal said that PPP will hold a rally in Larkana on April 4.

Amid cheers and slogans, ‘Caravan-i-Bhutto’ concludes in Larkana

The Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) train march under the leadership of party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari arrived at the Larkana railway station in wee hours on Thursday after more than 40 hours of the journey that kicked off from Karachi on Tuesday.

Upon arrival at the Larkana railway station, the march titled “Caravan-i-Bhutto” was given a warm welcome by a large and charged PPP workers and activists who gathered there to fete the party’s chief.
“I’ve reached home,” the PPP chairman announced, expressing gratitude to party workers for showing up in large numbers.
Addressing at the railway station, he said former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto embraced martyrdom but never deceived the public. “Zulfikar Ali Bhutto never took U-turn on principles,” he said, slamming Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Accountability strengthens democracy. We won’t accept political vendetta in the name of accountability,” he said, alleging that the July 2018 elections were massively rigged by blocking the way of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in Punjab.
The PPP chairman criticised National Accountability Bureau (NAB) actions against party leaders, including former chief minister of Sindh and party stalwart Qaim Ali Shah
“We are not afraid of NAB or anybody else,” he said, adding they have faced NAB in the past too.
He vowed not to let anyone tinker with the country’s constitution of 1973 and provincial autonomy.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari stressed the need for across-the-board accountability to rid the country of corruption. “There should be a system of across-the-board accountability not revenge to eliminate corruption.”

بھٹو کی برسی: پیپلز پارٹی عوامی قوت کا مظاہرہ کرے گی

سندھ اسمبلی میں اپوزیشن اور سندھ حکومت کے بیچ تلخیاں بڑھتی جارہی ہیں تودوسری جانب مرکز میں بھی وفاقی حکومت اورپی پی پی کے درمیان تناؤ میں اضافہ ہورہا ہے سندھ اسمبلی میں اپوزیشن لیڈر کو پبلک اکاؤنٹس کمیٹی کی چیئرمین شپ نادینے اور مبینہ طور پر اسمبلی میں اپوزیشن کو بات نا کرنے دینے کے خلاف اپوزیشن نے سندھ اسمبلی کی کارروائی کےد وران بائیکاٹ کیا تاہم اپوزیشن کی دوجماعتوں تحریک لبیک اور متحدہ مجلس عمل نے اپوزیشن کا ساتھ نہیں دیا جس سے سندھ اسمبلی میں اپوزیشن کی تقسیم واضح طور پر نظرآئی اپوزیشن کی جانب سے اسمبلی کی کارروائی کے بائیکاٹ کے باوجود اسپیکرسندھ اسمبلی نے اجلاس کی کارروائی جاری رکھی ۔جس کے بعد سندھ اسمبلی میں اپوزیشن کی تین جماعتوں پی ٹی آئی، ایم کیو ایم اور جی ڈی اے نے قائمہ کمیٹیوں کے الیکشن کے بائیکاٹ کا اعلان کردیاتاہم دو چھوٹی اپوزیشن جماعتوں تحریک لبیک اور ایم ایم اے سمیت پیپلزپارٹی کے ارکان نے 22 کمیٹیوں کے لیے کاغذات جمع کرادیئے۔فردوس شمیم نقوی نے حکومت سندھ پر الزام عائدکرتے ہوئے کہاکہ سندھ کا ہرشہر اور ہر محلہ گواہی دے رہا ہے کہ عوام کا پیسہ عوام پرنہیں لگا۔ خواجہ اظہاراورپی ٹی آئی کے خرم شیرزمان نے کہاکہ اپوزیشن نے کہاہے کہ اس کے ارکان کو بولنے کی اجازت نہیں دی جارہی۔دوسری جانب پی پی پی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو مسلسل مرکزی حکومت پر تنقید کررہے ہیں جبکہ مسلم لیگ(ن) اس ضمن میں معنی خیز خاموشی اختیار کئے ہوئے ہیں کہاجارہا ہے کہ مسلم لیگ(ن) کے پاس اب کھونے کو کچھ نہیں جبکہ پی پی پی کی مرکزی قیادت سمیت کئی رہنماؤں کے خلاف نیب تحقیقات مکمل کرچکی ہے اور جلد ہی پی پی پی کے کئی رہنماؤں کی گرفتاری عمل میں آسکتی ہے۔ ادھریہ خبریں بھی آرہی ہیں کہ جوائنٹ انویسٹی گیشن ٹیم (جے آئی ٹی) نے میگا منی لانڈرنگ اسکینڈل کی تحقیقات تیز کرتے ہوئے سندھ کے 4 اضلاع کے ترقیاتی منصوبوں کی سندھ حکومت سے تفصیلات مانگ لی ہیں۔۔ مٹیاری اور تھرپارسمیت چارڈپٹی کمشنرز سے تفصیلات مانگی گئی ہیں۔ جے آئی ٹی کی جانب سے جاری مراسلے میں کہا گیا ہے کہ جعلی اکاؤنٹس میں ٹھیکیداروں کی مبینہ ٹرانزیکشنز پر تفتیش اور گزشتہ 10 برس میں صوبائی وضلعی ترقیاتی منصوبوں کی جانچ پڑتال جاری ہے۔ سندھ حکومت ایم پی اے اور ایم این اے کے فنڈز کی تفصیلات بھی کراہم کرے۔اسی لیے پی پی پی خدشات کے سبب پی پی پی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو مسلسل مرکزی حکومت قیادت پر دباؤ بنائے رکھے ہوئے ہیں بلاول بھٹو نے آغاسراج درانی سے اظہاریکجہتی کے لیے سندھ اسمبلی کا دورہ بھی کیا جہاں سندھ اسمبلی کے کمیٹی روم میںپریس کانفرنس سےخطاب کرتےہوئے انہوں نے کہاکہ کالعدم تنظیموں سے تعلق پر 3 وفاقی وزراء کو برطرف کرنے کا مطالبہ کردیا، انہوں نے کہاکہ اپوزیشن کے خلاف بولنے والے وزیراعظم کالعدم تنظیموں اور مودی کے خلاف ایک لفظ نہیں بولتے، سیاسی انجینئرنگ چل رہی ہے ، مجھے بے نامی اکاؤنٹس میں گھسیٹا جارہاہے، جے آئی ٹی میں آئی ایس آئی کو شامل کرکے سیاست زدہ کردیا گیا، پتہ نہیں ہر بار انہیں کیوں شوق ہوتا ہے کہ راولپنڈی میں ٹرائل ہو، مقدمہ اوربینک اکاؤنٹس سندھ میں ہیں، ہماراٹرائل پنڈی میں کیوں کیاجارہا ہے؟ جیل بھروتحریک شروع کرسکتے ہیں۔پیپلزپارٹی کے سینئررہنماخورشید شاہ نے بھی ارکان سندھ اسمبلی سے ملاقات کے دوران کہاکہ ملک میں جمہوریت نہیں جس کو چاہوپکڑوبعد میں پوچھا جائے گا راولپنڈی ہماری مقتل گاہ ہے کبھی وہاں ہمارے کیس بھیجے جاتے ہیں تو کبھی شہید کیا جاتا ہے ۔ایم کیو ایم والے مجبور ہیں ہر حکومت میں شامل ہوجاتے ہیں۔جبکہ اس بار پی پی پی کے بانی چیئرمین ذوالفقار علی بھٹوکی برسی پور ی عوامی قوت سے منانے کافیصلہ کیاگیا ہے۔ کہاجارہا ہے کہ بھٹو کی برسی کے موقع پر پی پی پی عوامی قوت کا مظاہرہ کرکے مرکزی حکومت پر دباؤ بڑھائے گی جبکہ بعض حلقے اسے سندھ کارڈ استعمال کرنے سے بھی تعبیرکررہے ہیں پی پی پی کی قیادت نے برسی کی تیاریوں کے سلسلے میں 16 رکنی کمیٹی بھی بنادی ہے۔ جبکہ کہاجارہا ہے کہ پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری اپنے ناناذوالفقار علی بھٹو کی چالیسویں برسی کی مرکزی تقریب میں شرکت کے لیے کراچی سے ٹرین کے ذریعے لاڑکانہ جاتے ہوئے شہر شہر جلسوں سے خطاب کریں گے۔ یہ پروگرام پی پی پی قیادت کی ممکنہ گرفتاری کے تناظر میں ترتیب دیا گیا ہے۔ وزیراعلیٰ ہاؤس میں پی پی پی سندھ کونسل کے اجلاس سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے بلاول بھٹو نے کہاکہ ایک طرف ملک کو معاشی مسائل کا سامنا ہے اور دوسری طرف جمہوریت بھی بحران کی زد میں ہے۔ کالعدم تنظیموں کے وزراء کو ہم کسی حال میں قبول نہیں کریں گے۔ہمارے وزیراعظم کالعدم تنظیموں کے خلاف بول سکتے ہیں نہ مودی کے خلاف۔ وہ صرف اپوزیشن کے خلاف ایکشن لے سکتے ہیں۔ حکومت دہشت گردی کے خاتمے کے لیے سنجیدہ نہیں۔ آغاسراج درانی سندھ اسمبلی کے اسپیکر ہیں۔ انہیں گرفتار کیا جاتا ہے مگر ایسا کوئی بھی اقدام کسی کالعدم تنظیم کے خلاف نہیں کیا جاتا۔بلاول بھٹونے کہاکہ ملک گوناگوں مسائل کا شکار ہے۔ سندھ کو اس کے حقوق سے محروم رکھاجارہا ہے۔ فنڈز ملیں گے تو سندھ میں اسپتال اور اسکول بنیں گے۔ چیئرمین پی پی پی کا کہنا تھا کہ پاک فضائیہ نے بھارتی پائلٹ کو گرفتار کرکے حکومت کے حوالے کیا مگر حکومت نے بھارتی پائلٹ کے حوالے سے بھی این آراو کیا۔ حکومت اور پی پی پی کے درمیان جاری اس نفسیاتی جنگ کا کیا نتیجہ نکلتا ہے یہ آنے والے چند روز میں واضح ہوجائے گا یہ بھی کہاجارہا ہے کہ مرکزی حکومت کیااتنی مضبوط ہے کہ وہ ملک کی دو بڑی سیاسی جماعتوں سے بیک وقت ٹکرلے سکیں۔پی ٹی آئی حکومت کے لیے بھی یہ ایک امتحان ہے۔ ادھرایم کیوایم پاکستان کے 35واں یومِ تاسیس پیر18،مارچ کوانتہائی پرجوش اورروایتی جذبے کے ساتھ منایا گیا۔ 35ویںیومِ تاسیس کے سلسلے میں ایم کیوایم پاکستان کے عارضی مر کز بہا در آبا د سے متصل وسیع وعریض پارک میںیومِ تاسیس کااجتماع منعقد کیا گیا جس میں ذمہ داران وکارکنان نے بڑی تعدادمیں شرکت کی ،پر گر ام کے آغا ز سے قبل ہی جلسہ گا ہ مکمل طو ر پر بھر چکا تھا جبکہ خو بصورت اسٹیج بنایا گیا تھا جس پر درج تھا اپنی تو پہچان یہی تھی اس پہچان سے پہلے بھی پاکستان کے شہر ی 35واں یو م تا سیس کے موقع پرمتحد ہ قومی موومنٹ کے رہنما ڈاکٹر خالد مقبول صدیقی نے کہا کہ ایم کیوایم کا نعرہ ہے پاکستان زندہ بادبائیس اگست کو بھی فیصلہ کیا کہ ایم کیوایم کا ایک ایک کارکن پاکستان زندہ باد کے ساتھ کھڑار ہیگا۔ 

#Pakistan - #FATF - Global Watchdog May Grey-List Pakistan Over Terror Funding: Report

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has already grey-listed Pakistan from June 2018 and any adverse findings by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) could further complicate problems for the Pakistan government
Pakistan was facing the risk of being grey-listed by the Asia/Pacific Group too as Islamabad has a high non-compliant rate of nearly 70 per cent on 40 recommendations against money laundering and terrorist financing, a media report said Tuesday. The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has already grey-listed Pakistan from June 2018 and any adverse findings by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) could further complicate problems for the Pakistan government, The Express Tribune reported.
A delegation of experts from the APG arrived on Monday to review whether Pakistan has made enough progress on global standards against financial crimes to warrant its exclusion from the Sydney-based watchdog's grey list.
Pakistan is already under intense international pressure to rein in terror groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) after the Pulwama terror attack.
As the APG begins mutual evaluation to gauge Pakistan''s compliance with global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing standards, the country faces the risk of being grey-listed by the APG due to a very high ratio of nearly 70 per cent non-compliance, the report said.
The APG is the FATF-style regional body for the Asia-Pacific region. It is an inter-governmental organisation founded in 1997. The mutual evaluation process by the APG is separate from the FATF but it is based on the implementation of 40 FATF recommendations, the report said.
The APG delegation currently in Islamabad will conduct last on-site mutual evaluation of Pakistan that began in June 2018. It will be last face-to-face meeting by the mutual evaluation team, suggesting that Islamabad does not have the luxury to take a lenient approach, the report said.
The APG has done Pakistan's second mutual evaluation in the past ten years. The last mutual evaluation took place in 2009.
The mutual evaluation would be based on a third draft of technical compliance annexure that the APG shared with Pakistan this month.
There is not much difference between the first and the latest draft technical annexure, a senior Finance Ministry official who has seen the report told the newspaper.
The APG Executive Secretary Gordon Hook is leading the delegation that is comprised of experts from the UK, the US, Turkey, China, Indonesia and the Maldives."If we go by the third draft of technical annexure shared by the APG, there are high risks of being declared non-compliant," said a senior government official who is directly working on the mutual evaluation told the newspaper.Out of the 40 recommendations, the APG has provisionally assessed Pakistan non-compliant on nearly 28 recommendations, he added.He said Pakistan has to be fully compliant or largely compliant with at least 23 recommendations to avoid the grey list. Pakistan is already on the grey list of the FATF and even if it successfully implemented all the 27 actions determined by the FATF, its fate will hinge on the mutual evaluation report outcome, the report said.It has also been conveyed to Finance Minister Asad Umar that the situation could worsen for Pakistan if it did not improve ranking on at least 8 to 10 recommendations, said another official who works for a counter-terrorism authority.Officials said all the stakeholders were not on the same page, which not only created difficulties during the October 2018 on-site inspection but might also create problems this time.
Out of the 40 recommendations, Pakistan is fully compliant with hardly two, largely compliant with three and partially to largely compliant with another three. It is either partially compliant or non-compliant with the rest of the recommendations, the report said.
But Pakistani authorities believe that they have addressed the APG's concerns in areas of customer due diligence, beneficial ownerships of legal persons, statistics, record keeping, money or value transfer services, new technologies, wire transfers, international cooperation, nuclear non-proliferation and targeted financial sanctions related to terrorism and terrorism financing, the report said.
After the current visit, the APG would finalise its draft report that is expected to be shared with Pakistan by the end of April or early May for its comments.
After obtaining Pakistan's response, the Mutual Evaluation Report will be presented in the Annual General Meeting of the APG that is likely to take place in August. The APG meeting would either accept the report or suggest changes to it, the report said.
In case of the worst outcome, Pakistan may have to implement yet another Action Plan from October onwards. The FATF's Action Plan implementation deadline is September this year.
The review on the implementation of the FATF Action Plan held in February did not go well, which has increased pressure on Pakistan, the report said.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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