Friday, July 31, 2009

Default by members of KSE: Names placed on ECL after two members flee country

Though it was a bit late to act, government finally has placed the names of five suspended members of Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Exit Control List (ECL).

Ministry of Interior placed these suspended members on ECL on the recommendation of Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), sources told on Thursday.

However, the action taken by the government with regard to these suspended members was of little use as two of these members have already flown out of the country; one reportedly in Europe and other in Singapore.

Though sources in SECP termed the placement of the names of suspended members on ECL to safeguard the interests of investors whose hard-earned money is at risk due to inability of these members to pay-off their liabilities, market participants said that apex regulator acted late and it should have taken this step once the membership of these brokers was suspended on June 30, 2009.

SECP took the action after failure of these members to give a specific timeframe to clear their liabilities and any concrete action plan to for the resolution of outstanding investors’ claims. Upon which, by using the regulatory powers, apex regulator issued orders for the suspension of registration of the said brokers. The suspended securities are Eastern Securities, Prudential Securities, Capital One Securities, MKA Securities and Click Securities. The owners of two brokerage firms that owed the majority of default amount are out of the country now.

Although, the working is underway to calculate the exact amount of defaulted amount of these companies, the varying estimates put the amount around Rs 1.5 billion with the Rs 630 million defaulted amount owed by those two firms whose owners left the country.

The default committee of KSE has given August 12, 2009 as the final deadline to these suspended brokerage houses to pay off the defaulted amount, otherwise their cards would be auctioned.

At the time of suspension of their membership SECP declared that the registration of the above-mentioned brokerage houses would remain suspended, in the public interest and for the protection of investors and to preserve capital market integrity, till claims against them in light of the investors complaints are ascertained and settled.

According to a director of KSE, these suspended members should not only be put on ECL but also should be blacklisted because they have breached the confidence of investors. He was critical of the way SECP handled the issue and said that action should have been taken since the launch of the inquiry against these members.


The Councilor of Canadian High Commission’s Commercial & Economic Affairs Marilyn MacLean Denton along with Canadian Trade Commissioner Ather Moeen Khan called on City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal at his office and discussed matters of mutual interest besides the development in Karachi.

Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal on this apprised the Canadian Councilor about the development works that have been performed by city government during last four years in Karachi.

He said that besides an important international city, Karachi is also the gateway for Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan. Considering this we had initiated a comprehensive infrastructure uplift process in this city during which lot of mega projects were completed in very short time.

City Nazim said that in order to provide best and unique facilities to citizens in Karachi, we have used latest and most modern technology in every sector. The complaints and information management system 1339 has given great convenience to citizens to register their daily complaints through an effective way. He said that the city government has also introduced a central command and control system in the city which will be implemented gradually.
Nazim Karachi also informed the delegation about the development works performed by city government in various sectors including water and sewerage, road infrastructure, health, education and recreation.

He said that the development works have been done by city government in each and every area of the city and comparing past the citizens have much better facilities in their daily life today.
The Canadian Councilor during the meeting praised the performance of City Government Karachi and congratulated Nazim Karachi on the completion of mega projects in least time.

Plan chalked out to rescue Karachi

The government, after due consultations and threadbare discussion with all stakeholders ranging from the gas and oil companies to power generating utilities, has succeeded in chalking out a plan aimed at eliminating loadshedding in Karachi by December next.
This announcement was made at a join media briefing conducted by Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Federal Minister for Privatisation Naveed Qamar at the Governor House on Wednesday.
Pervaiz Ashraf announced that Pakistan State Oil (PSO) had been advised to provide non-stop supply of oil on 90 days credit to all the power generating units, and the Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGPL) will also be giving uninterrupted supply of 276 mmcft gas, which would help to generate 100 to 150 Megawatt additional electricity in the system.
Moreover, Wapda will continue to supply 650 megawatt of power to KESC despite the prevailing crisis in the country, he added.
The five-member Cabinet Committee on Energy Crisis comprising of the above mentioned ministers besides Federal Labour Minister Syed Khursheed Shah and Federal Minister for Overseas Dr Farooq Sattar met at the Governor House and discussed in the power crisis faced by Karachi, the economic and commercial hub of the country.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also attended the meeting.
The cabinet committee, which summoned the KESC administration, identified three major areas - generation, transmission and distribution - to improve the performance of the power utility.
It was decided that committee would meet again on coming Wednesday.
Meanwhile, it has summoned the owners of KESC to brief them about the financial management of the company.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said all these measures would help KESC generate 1750 megawatt non-stop electricity, while Raja Pervaiz Ashraf directed the Pepco to continue to supply of 650 megawatt power to KESC.
Kaira said the CEOs of two IPPs were present in the Governor House to sign an agreement with KESC that will add 80-megawatt power in the system of utility in August. He said due to this addition, people of Karachi would also get 3 MGD more water.
He said 60 years old worn-out distribution network of KESC needed revamping with a view to reducing line losses. As a role model, the utility has been given the task to completely overhaul the distribution and transmission in three towns-Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulberg and Shah Faisal town by the end of August. Sindh government will provide full assistance to achieve the target in these three model towns.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Acid-injected mother wants perpetrator’s arrest

Shagufta, a twenty-four year mother of three innocent boys, wants the person who injected acid into her body after physically molesting her arrested immediately. Recuperating at Burn Centre Karachi, where she has undergone three painful surgeries, Shagufta was lured by the landlord Sahebzada Swati who after molesting her injected acid into her private parts and dumped her at the doorsteps of her house just a short distance away from his own.
Shagufta insisted that accused Sahebzada be arrested immediately talking to head of Madadgar Helpline, Pakistan’s first referral centre for Child and Women victims of violence, Zia Ahmed Awan Advocate and Field Officer Bushra at Burn Centre Karachi. Shagufta, who was transferred from Crisis Centre Hyderabad to Burn Centre Karachi eleven days ago on the instruction of provincial minister for Human Rights Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto is recuperating from three surgeries necessary to save her life. For the time being nothing matters more to Shagufta than the arrest of accused Sahebzada Swati, However, who has not yet been arrested despite the lodging of FIR No. 62/09 at Tando Yusuf Police Station, Hyderabad.
Zia Awan Adv expressing grave concerns at the rising incidents of burns to women throughout the country stressed on the need for maximum sentences prescribed under the law as the only effective deterrence. He also stressed on the need not only on the rehabilitation of the victims and their families but also on measures to bring heinous crimes against women to an end. He demanded registering case against accused Sahebzada under Anti-Terrorism Act and trying him at Anti Terrorist Court.
Statistics of heinous crimes against women paint an ugly picture. So far this year a 103 cases of women suffering severe burns have been reported while the total number of women-burn cases reported since 2001 adds up to 2,125. Of these 2,125 reported cases; Adv Zia says that majority of such cases never get reported in the country, 1,030 happened in Punjab; 903 in Sindh; 159 in NWFP and 33 in Balochistan. Of the 2,125 women reported severely burned 1,255 were married while 870 were unmarried.
According to details Shagufta’s husband Zulfiqar, a laborer, lived on rent in the house of the accused who from the very beginning had roving eyes and bad intentions about her. Zulfiqar left the house and rented another premises nearly in Hyderabad after he came to know about the immoral activities of the accused. However, on the 12th of this month the accused lured Shagufta into his office on the pretext of cleaning his house but instead not only physically molested her but also injected acid into her body and later dumped her unconscious at the door step of her house.
Zulfiqar, Shagufta’s husband, claims that police is protecting the accused which is evident from the fact that SHO and Liaquat, a policeman of Tando Yusuf PS warned the accused on phone that “the media knows about the case” thereby warning him to flee. According to Zulfiqar police is providing protection to the influential accused who sells narcotics, occupies Railway quarters as well as a land grabber who has built half dozen houses on Hindus’ graveyard. (NC Report)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Karachi Nazim files petition against CM orders

City Nazim Mustafa Kamal has filed a constitutional petition in Sindh High Court (SHC) against orders of Sindh Chief Minister of slashing powers and not letting him to do work.

Nazim in his petition says the orders have been passed without legal formalities and he is not allowed to do work.

Governor, City Nazim inaugurate CNG Bus Project

Governor of Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan and City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal yesterday inaugurated the CNG Bus Pilot Project at Surjani Town. The Governor inspected the CNG Bus Terminal and also traveled through a CNG bus on this occasion.
Earlier addressing the inaugural ceremony Governor of Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan congratulated the citizens of Karachi for getting another gift in the form of CNG buses. He also paid tribute to City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal under whose leadership the city government could perform such a marvelous work during the last four years.
He said that the City Nazim Mustafa Kamal has through his services proved that he is a true leader who has served the citizens with great fervor and spirit. Today, he has achieved another goal of providing the citizens with respectable and comfortable means of transport in shape of dedicated CNG buses.
The governor added that the city is most important part of the country while the City Nazim has ensured with his utmost dedication that the city must keep the wheels moving.
In his address, Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal appealed to the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Yusuf Raza Gilani to help stop the bureaucracy at the federal and provincial level from creating impediments ahead of city’s development projects.
Kamal said further that hundreds of studies have been done so far but still the city is lacking its Mass Transit Program due to obstacles that the corrupt bureaucracy had always created.
Similarly, certain other viable public projects such as Bus Rapid System, Light Rail System and Circular Railway are still in pending.
He said that the CNG bus project is totally funded by City Government. Without taking even a single penny for the project from the federal or provincial government, we have spent Rs 250million on purchasing of these dedicated CNG buses while we have also allocated funds for purchase of another fleet of 100 buses in next budget, Nazim added.
Nazim Karachi said that in past diesel buses were introduced in Karachi by the name of CNG buses while we have completed all homework before starting the CNG bus operation. All required infrastructure was provided to these buses so that the project could be run smoothly and without any hurdle. He said.
Nazim Karachi said that it is hard for a city government to undertake a huge project like mass transit system. In all over the world the MST was done by the federal governments.
He however called it unfortunate that the city of Karachi despite of all the studies still deprived by the Mass Transit Facility.
He said that Karachi is the key city of Pakistan. It provides livelihood to labors from all over the country. We will continue development process in the city, he added.
The pilot project contains 50 dedicated CNG buses that would be plying on two routes initially. Two different manufacturers with 25 buses each have manufactured these CNG buses locally. The CDGK has already paid full cost of these 50 buses.
The purpose of plying dedicated CNG buses is to ensure most modern urbanized system of transport with complete self-esteem of the commuters. In this regard, the CDGK has already put to operate the e-ticketing facility, as there would be no bus conductor. The passengers should buy under self-service traveling coupons from e-ticket booths established at different locations on the prescribed routes. Provincial ministers, MNA, MPA, Town Nazims, DCO Karachi and other dignitaries were also present. (NC Report)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Target killing in Karachi aimed to sabotage peace process in Sindh: MQM’s Rabita Committee

MQM's Rabita Committee while denouncing the firing at JSQM rally stated that anti-state elements would not be allowed to sow the seeds of hatred and prejudice in the soil of Sindh and MQM will spoil all such conspiracies.
While addressing a press conference here Sunday members of MQM's Rabita Committee (Coordination Committee) stated that the Government should expose the criminal elements engaged in target killing of MQM's members and involved in firing at JSQM Chairman Bashir Khan Qureshi.
MQM denounces firing at Chairman of JSQM and termed the incident as a conspiracy to bring the people of Sindh in confrontation with each other by sabotage the peace of the province and to derail the incumbent democratic set up in Sindh, Rabita Committee said.
Rabita Committee also urged on President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani, Federal Interior Minister, Chief Minister Sindh and Provincial Interior Minister Zulifqar Ali Mirza to investigate the firing incident at JSQM chairman by firing FIR against the accomplices.
Rabita Committee further elucidated that peaceful policy of MQM should not be termed as weakness of the party, as MQM has aimed peace and stability in the province and will not allow anti-state elements to sabotage the peace in the metropolitan city.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

NEPRA may take control of KESC

The power tariff will be inflated by Rs 3 when the government withdraws the subsidy on electricity in line with a commitment between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Federal Water and Power Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said on Saturday.

Replying to questions at a press conference, the minister said the average electricity generation cost was Rs 8.37 per unit and the average selling price was Rs 5.37 per unit – the difference translates into the subsidy provided by the government, which would be withdrawn to fulfil the commitment with the IMF. But he did not provide a specific date for the likely increase.

He said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) would take over the management of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) if there was no improvement in efficiency in the supply of power. He said NEPRA had already served a show-cause notice on the KESC, and in case the company failed to satisfy government, legal action would be taken. “This includes taking over management control of the company if we are unable to de-privatise it [KESC],” he said, adding that Karachi was the industrial hub of the country, and the government wanted to ensure a smooth supply of power to the port city.

Ashraf said the Water and Power Ministry had rejected several proposals by NEPRA on increasing the power tariff. “The power tariff is not the top issue for the government … the administration is making all-out efforts to eliminate load shedding from by December,” he said.

He said the government had already cleared more than half of the circular debt, and hoped that the remaining Rs 70 billion would be paid soon.

The minister lamented that some political leaders were making “irrelevant statements” on the power crisis. He said the government was committed to overcoming the problem on “war footing”.

He claimed that the defeat of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid in the general elections of 2008 was a result of severe load shedding in the country during the party’s tenure.

The minister also lamented the propagation of the 1994 independent power providers’ policy (IPP), and said it had driven investors away.

Ashraf said the minister had formed a committee on power crisis, which met daily to monitor the situation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

President Zardari, PM Gilani take note on load shedding in Karachi

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani held meeting here on Tuesday.

According to sources, the meeting discussed the issues relating to electricity crisis in Karachi which has broken out violence here.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, taking strong notice of power outages in Karachi and elsewhere and the subsequent nationwide violent demonstrations, directed the relevant authorities to issue a show-cause notice to the management of the KESC for the frequent power breakdowns in the Sindh capital.

The decision to serve a show-cause notice on the KESC was taken during their meeting at the Presidency on Tuesday night at a dinner in which they discussed a host of issues, including the power outages in Karachi and in other parts of the country.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said that the president advised the government to take appropriate action immediately to streamline the working of the KESC and make it responsive to the challenges. Following the presidential advice relevant authorities were instructed to take immediate action.

Accordingly a show-cause notice was issued to the corporation late at night saying that action might be taken against it under the law. It includes the taking over of the KESC management for its consistent failure in meeting its obligations.

The president also briefed the prime minister on his meeting with PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif in which the two parties agreed to reform the Constitution in accordance with the Charter of Democracy and purge it of the 17th Constitutional Amendment.

Meanwhile, sources said the law and order situation in the country due to power outrages also came under discussion.

Sources said the prime minister informed the president about the formation of the ministerial committee to look into the energy crisis as the first meeting of the committee was being summoned today (Wednesday).

Sources said the president and the prime minister also discussed the thorny issue of local government system. The prime minister sent an advice to the president last Saturday to allow the provinces to process draft Provincial Governments Acts, 2009 and to make amendments to their Local Government Ordinances for the dissolution of the institutions and appointment of government officers as administrators.

Sources said the president and the prime minister decided to hold further discussion on the issue to take a final decision.

Sources said Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan, who was also present in the meeting, briefed the president and the prime minister about the legal and constitutional aspects of the issue.

Sources hinted that another meeting between the president and the prime minister is expected on Wednesday to decide the fate of the local government system in the country.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home dept approves KBCA Police Station

Home Department, Government of Sindh through a notification has approved the establishment of a police station for Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA). The police station has been named as Karachi Building Control Authority Police Station under Establishment of City Government Police Station and Criminal Procedure Code 1898. It will work under the supervision of Local Government Department, Government of Sindh.
The police station will be authorized to file cases pertaining to violation of Karachi Building Control Ordinance 1979 and impose penalties against the accused.
This step of Sindh government will be a useful source against illegal encroachments and promote beauty and development in Karachi, a handout said yesterday.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Police stop Sindh minister for not carrying arms licences in Karachi

Police on Monday stopped Sindh Transport Minister Akhtar Jadoon at the Karachi airport when he failed to show licences for weapons found in a car that had come to pick him up, reported a private TV channel. According to the channel, the PPP minister was stopped when he was leaving the airport after flying in from Islamabad. Police asked the minister to show licences for a pistol and a Kalashnikov found in his vehicle. Jadoon admitted that the weapons were his, but said he did not have the documents on him, claiming “they are home”. He asked police to “cooperate” and let him go. But the policemen refused, and said he could leave the airport only after showing the licences.

Talking to the channel, Minister of State for Ports and Shipping Nabeel Gabol praised the police team, and said any one keeping unlicensed arms should be sent to jail, “even if he/she is a minister”. He said, “It was absolutely wrong that the minister did not have the licences, which he should have.” He said action should be taken if the minister did not possess the licences. The channel later reported that the minister was allowed to go home to fetch the licences. daily times monitor

Sindh Governor not being changed: Malik

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said yesterday that Sindh Governor is not being changed and rumors in this regard are baseless.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani have also refuted the rumors about such a change, he said while talking to newsmen after having a meeting with Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan at the Governor’s House, here. During the meeting, the leaders discussed prevailing peace situation in the province, particularly in Karachi. “Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan is not being changed as he is standing with me,” Malik confirmed.
President Zardari and Altaf Hussain have contacted with each other and there is full understanding between them. “There will be zero tolerance of the government about target killings. Stern action will be taken if any kind of such incident happens, ” he warned.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Arif Habib Bank launches free 'eTop Up' service

Arif Habib Bank Limited (AHBL) launched free "eTop Up" service for its existing customers. This service allows the customer to top-up call credit directly through their mobile phone via SMS or alternatively through a landline by calling the Bank's Call Center at 0800-24252.

KBCA starts operation against illegal farm houses

The Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) has started action against various commercial farm houses on agricultural and poultry land in Gadap Town, on the directive of Chief Controller of Buildings, Manzoor Kadir.
In this regard a KBCA demolition team razed illegal RCC bungalow-type rest house portion with the help of heavy machinery constructed in Sita Gadyano Farm House and Super Millennium Farm House.
The demolition operation was carried out under the supervision of TBO Gadap Town, Aqeel Ahmed Abidi, Controller of Demolition Capt (Rtd) Shahid Waseem, Deputy Controller Gadap Town, Waqar Ahmed and Assistant Controller Mazhar Shah.
A heavy police posse headed by TPO Gadap Rao Anwar, SHO Gulshan-e-Maymar Police Station Amanullah Marwat and SHO Gadap Sajjad Hyder was present to control any law and order situation.
A KBCA spokesman said yesterday that demolition action will continue against more illegal farm houses with the cooperation of area police.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chief of Capital City Police suspends DSP, 5 SHOs

The Capital City Police Officer, Karachi, Waseem Ahmed suspended a DSP and five SHOs for failing to stem target-killing and other crimes in the city.

According to a spokesman, the suspended police officers include DSP Ferozabad, SHO Ferozabad, SHO Gulshan-e-Iqbal, SHO Taimuria, SHO Aziz Bhutti and SHO Shah Faisal.

It merits mention here that earlier, the city police chief addressed the police officers at Arts Council Auditorium and said that the incidents that occurred in the past three days in Karachi, are a mark of shame for the police force.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

MURDER OF MINOR GIRL, ATC judge remands policemen to police custody

Administrative Judge Anti-Terrorism Courts Karachi, Justice Faisal Arab of Sindh High Court yesterday remanded two policemen, allegedly involved in kidnap & murder case of three year old girl, to police custody till July 17, 2009.
HC Bashir Ahmed & PC Noor Muhammad were produced before AJ ATCs following transfer of case by Judicial Magistrate, East, Karachi, Malik Akhtar Hussain for trial by AJ ATCs on application of Sindh CM’s Advisor Sharmila Farooqui. She stated accused committed brutal offence & liable to be tried by Anti-Terrorism Court.
According to prosecution, HC Bashir Ahmed & PC Noor Mohammad living in rented house of same locality kidnapped Sana on July 3, 2009 playing near her home in Korangi, Karachi. Her family reported matter to PS Zaman Town.

AKEB SSC exams, Shahwilayat School bags first position

KARACHI: Arsalan-ud-din, student of Shahwilayat Public School secured 1st Position in SSC examination for 2009 from Aga Khan Education Board. Arsalan achieved 91.36 per cent marks.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pakistan’s first multi-storey CDGK Parking Plaza inaugurated

By Sohail Rab Khan
KARACHI: Governor of Sindh province Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan and Karachi City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal inaugurated Pakistan’s first ever multi-storey CDGK Parking Plaza for vehicles in Saddar town yesterday.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony on this occasion Governor of Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan congratulated citizens of Karachi for completion of the project and also praised the efforts of City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal and his team for performing unprecedented and extraordinary development works during the last four years in Karachi.
The Parking Plaza was built at a cost of Rs 650 million and has 11 floors altogether in which seven floors are reserved for parking, two floors consist of Shopping Plaza while remaining two are consist of basement. 700 cars and 500 motorcycles can be parked in the said plaza at a time while the parking charges are very nominal i.e. only Rupees 20 for first three hours and then Rs. 10 will be charged for one hour. It may be mentioned here that the Parking Plaza has been made fully computerized with surveillance, video cameras have been installed at all major locations and the building is also equipped with heavy elevators and standby generator.
Replying to a question regarding care-taker administrator, Ebad said it is not necessary that the care-taker administrator be a government man, he could be from any political party, he added
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal said that today is a good day for the public in Karachi and for all Pakistanis that Pakistan’s first ever car Parking Plaza has now been opened for public. He said that the City Government has made a plan under which the busy area of Saddar would be made pedestrian area on gradual basis.
Nazim Karachi said that with the completion of this project and development work around the CDGK Parking Plaza, the area of Saddar is now presenting a new and refreshing look.
He said that after the completion of corridor-III the motorists would have 18 kilometers of signal free journey from Saddar to Safora Goth, Malir Cantonment and even further 10 km to Tool Plaza at Superhighway. (NC Report)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Arms license books to be computerised in Sindh

The Sindh Home Department is about to initiate the production of computerised arms license books, which will be similar to machine readable passports, Sindh Special Home Secretary Kamran Dost told The News.

Dost said that money had been approved for this purpose in the budget for the current fiscal year, adding that this was being done to eliminate rampant corruption in the department. In his opinion, the new system would also increase the revenue of the department, as at later stages, arms license books could be registered online.

Replying to a question, he said that besides the computerised registration of books, the Home Department was also seeking the help of National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) to maintain all records of arms license branch. At present all record is maintained through manually. According to him, a computer department is being established and staff is being trained with the help of NADRA officials.

Dost added that the move would also help in minimising “the immense pressure on the Home Department” for issuance of new arms licenses. On the contrary, a survey of the Sindh Home department conducted by The News found that no such department had been established as yet that could ascertain any plans for the computerisation of arms license.

According to sources, the new system is being brought in place to remove corruption, although many more meetings will be held before a final decision is taken. Sources also said that NADRA officials are ready to facilitate the Home Department, but will also have to undertake a detailed survey for the new system to work without any hurdles.

However, Home Department officials fear that renewing license fees and supplying data electronically may cause problems for people in rural areas, and such impediments must be removed before any records are computerised.

Sources said that normally it takes two months to issue an arms license in Karachi. When the license is issued, the Home Department then checks for fake licenses. Currently, applying for an arms license is free of cost, but once the records are kept electronically, there will be an official fee of Rs 4,000 to be submitted to the office of the District Coordination Officer (DCO) of Karachi.

Thousands of applicants approach the Home Department everyday to obtain arms licenses, out of which many return frustrated. Even though weapons are licensed by the Home Department, special permission is still required to be allowed to carry them. This was not the case before the Nishtar Park bombing on April 11, 2006.

Despite this, many influential people affiliated to political parties openly display sophisticated weapons without suffering legal consequences. Private security guards, for example, have also been observed displaying dangerous weapons like Kalashnikovs and even firing on some occasions.

Official sources claim that the government has fixed the amount of arms licenses certain officials can issue. The For instance, the Sindh Home minister can issue 366 licenses for pistols, seven for revolvers, 24 for rifles, and 105 for shotguns. Similarly, the Home secretary can issue 896 licenses for pistols, 20 for revolvers, 99 for rifles, and 304 for shotguns. The DCO Karachi can issue 819 licenses for revolvers and/or pistols, 27 for rifles, and 129 for shotguns. However the chief minister can issue an arms license at any time according to his discretion. A total of 2,796 non-prohibited bore arms licenses were issued this year from January to June.

Moreover, NADRA has also started the registration process, but officials from the Home department claim that NADRA has first to prepare a software, after which the Home department will provide all records.

Underworld assassin held

The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Sindh police has arrested a man associated with the underworld.

The man was identified as Sultan Arain alias Chief. SIU chief SSP Raja Umer Khattab said the arrested person was an assassin by profession and was associated with the Manzar Abbas group of the underworld. Abbas was presently running a dancing and drugs club and also a moneychanger business in South Africa.

“Arain has killed nine people on payment...he received Rs 0.5-1 million for each murder,” said the SSP. “He killed five people in Karachi, while four others in South Africa. “I made a team headed by DSP Ali Raza that arrested him from the Garden area after an encounter. A 9mm pistol was also recovered from his possession,” the SSP Khattab added. The SIU chief said the culprit belongs to Faisalabad. He met Ibrahim Dada, an underworld man in jail, when the Bahadurabad police arrested him in 1994. He then went to South Africa and joined the group of Manzar Abbas, which was operating his underworld gang in South Africa and Karachi. He arrived in the country in 2004 and was arrested again by the FIA when he was leaving the country for South Africa and sent to jail. staff report

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nazims should act to minimize fears of Talibanization: Dr Ishrat ul Ebad

Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan has stressed upon the town Nazims to play their active role in apprising the international media about the dangers of Talibanization and acts of terrorism.
He said fears of Talibanization are being continuously presented in international media and said by being Town Nazims this fear of Taliban and terrorism at grass root level could be minimized.
This he stated while addressing the Town Nazims of the cities of Sindh. The city Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal also attended the meeting and appraised the development made in Karachi.(NC)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

‘Need for proper utilization of biotechnology’

KARACHI: Information Minister Shazia Marri has said that today Pakistan is on path of economic, political and technological progress.
She was addressing a workshop entitled “Commercial Importance of Biotechnology”, organized by the Dr. AQ Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), University of Karachi, yesterday.
Information Minister said we should produce expert scientists who could lead the world in future and brighten the name of the country.
She was of view that proper utilization of biotechnology would convert this world a better place to live. Biotechnology has brought revolution in the field of health, agriculture, industry and other sectors, she said.
Pakistan is an agricultural country and the government is striving to bring development in this important sector, Marri said.
“Government is focusing on all sectors, particularly on research”, she said and added that young talent is being groomed with the assistance of educationalists and experts.

Monday, July 6, 2009

War Against Rape (WAR)

War Against Rape (WAR) is a group of committed women and men dedicated to building a sensitized society free from gender-based oppression, discrimination, exploitation and violence. WAR aims to raise awareness about the issues of sexual violence and rape; help the survivors legally, psychologically and medically; punish the perpetrators and improve the laws relating to rape and other forms of sexual abuse and violence.

In 1989 WAR was established by a group of highly motivated volunteers and functioned as a pressure group working to ‘break the silence’ surrounding the issue of rape. WAR has since then grown into a formal organization having a blend of professional salaried staff and volunteers. The WAR office is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm except for Saturdays and Sundays.

Over the years WAR has come to realize the widespread prevalence in our society of sexually abusive relationships within the home such as incest, marital rape and child sexual abuse. Experience has also highlighted the far-reaching traumatic effects of verbal, emotional and physical abuse that women are subjected to in the home, in the work place and in society in general.

This has lead to WAR extending its sphere to include all cases of sexual abuse ranging from sexual harassment to the absolute aggravated cases of rape. With successes in the legal field, the establishment of Women’s Police cells and several awareness and para-legal workshops behind it, WAR has launched a new Awareness Program and hopes to continue it’s momentum of growth and effectiveness

MQM re-organizes party’s Central Information Department

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Rabita Committee yesterday announced the re-organizing of party’s Central Information Department and its sub committees. This was announced by MQM leader, Anees Ahmed Qaimkhani at Khursheed Begum Memorial Hall, Azizabad, said a statement issued by MQM.
Earlier, a joint meeting of members of MQM’s media, news, video, cam-zone and photo sections was also held at Khursheed Begum Memorial Hall.
According to the announcement, member of the Rabita Committee, Syed Qasim Raza will be the Incharge while Syed Saif Abbas will be Joint Incharge of a 10-member Central Information Department of the MQM.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tappedar’s plea to President for justice


By Mirza M Jodat Baig

KARACHI: An unrest has developed in the Sindh Revenue Department following the unjust treatment by the authorities against their staff particularly the ‘Tapedars’ belonging to Karachi.
A protest is feared soon as these employees reportedly have decided to take up the matter to President Asif Ali Zardari for justice.
According to the reports and survey conducted by National Courier as many as 12 ‘Tapedars’ belonging to the city have resigned in protest while the rest of the 20 were thrown out in the far flung areas of the province. On the other hand the persons who are close to the authorities and related to some ministers of other top brass of the ruling government have been posted in the city due to the reasons ‘known’ to everybody.
Over fifty ‘Tapedars’ from other parts of the province have been posted in the city limits which would only create problems as the working of land mafia is likely to strengthen further.
Sources said that the right of remaining in the town is of those employees who are residing in the city but they have been replaced by the persons of choice from interior Sindh.
It is feared that corruption would certainly rise in the already ill famed department due to the postings of outsiders while the local people would suffer as they would be made sandwich between the internal tussle of the department.
These employees are running from pillar to post as neither the City Nazim, nor any elected representatives are in a position to provide justice to these persons.
They have appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Governor Ishrat-ul-Ebad to take immediate notice of the situation and action against Sindh Revenue Department which is involved in this grave injustice.
All of the 32 tapedars have claimed that they are the residence of the city and belong to the families of those who sacrificed their lives for the Pakistan People’s Party leadership, but regretted that they are being punished during their own party’s government.
The Tapedars themselves, of the PPP, are said to have complained that they did not deserve such a mistreatment by the Revenue Department despite the sacrifices and loyalty of the Tapedars to the party. (NC Report)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Chief Justice approached for taking note of PCB irregularities

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, has been approached for taking suo motto action against the former officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) having been found guilty of massive financial irregularities by the Auditor General of Pakistan.

Razaullah Khan, the longest serving council member of the PCB, who has been known and feared for calling a spade a spade, has once more taken the initiative of bringing to book the people having been engaged in malpractices of the highest order.

“Yes I have submitted a request to the Chief Justice for taking a suo motto action against Dr Nasim Ashraf, Shafqat Naghmi and others who have been found involved in the embezzlement of funds to the tune of Rupees seven billion,” Razaullah Khan remarked in an interview recently.

“Alongwith my application to the Chief Justice I have submitted a copy of the report of the Auditor General of Pakistan that details the corrupt practices of the PCB officials. I have also brought the matter to the notice of Chaudhary Nisar Ali, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, by sending him a copy of the same report,” he added.

Razaullah Khan, who has been associated with the game of cricket in various capacities for nearly half a century now, did not mince words in stating that he has had to approach the Chief Justice after having failed to get any response from the government agencies.

“I have communicated to the Chief Justice that I have approached him after having knocked at the various doors without any response. The people in the government have their own reasons of not initiating action against the former PCB officials even though the report of the Auditor General of Pakistan has found them guilty,” Razaullah Khan said.

“The Auditor General of Pakistan has compiled the report after they had been assigned the task by the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the Patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board,” the former PCB Council member revealed.

“Now when the report has come out and it has been very clearly pointed out that the former officials of the PCB were guilty of financial embezzlement there is no reason why they should not taken to task. I have appealed to the Chief Justice to take suo motto action and register a case against them,” Razaullah Khan stated.
“Exemplary punishment must be given to the PCB officials for having misused the public money and having derived huge personal benefits besides having obliged their near and dear ones,” he pleaded.

“It was a common belief that Dr Nasim Ashraf and Shafqat Naghmi were running the affairs of the PCB at their whims. The recent report by the Auditor General of Pakistan has only confirmed that they have deprived the nation of billions of rupees,” Razaullah Khan believed.

He didn’t expect the present officials of the PCB to move against their predecessors because in his opinion there still were quite a few employees in the Board having sympathy with their former masters.