ISLAMABAD: Senator Mian Raza Rabbani Thursday said the holding of a free, fair and transparent election was becoming controversial as he claimed Election Commission was taking decisions without consulting political parties.
Speaking on a point of order in the Senate, he asked chairman Senate to constitute a committee of the whole to summon the chief election commissioner and secretary of the election commission to brief the house about measures taken for holding free, fair and transparent elections.
He said the committee of the whole should seek answers from the chief election commissioner and secretary of election commission about the measures taken to hold transparent elections. He suggested Senate session should be continued for a few weeks more and added Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had reservations over the role of some institutions. He observed the notables were being pressurized to change their loyalties.
Seeking answers to the questions, Raza Rabbani said secretary of election commission should be asked why security had so far not been provided to any candidate. ECP should also be asked what measures had been taken to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. Criticising National Accountability Bureau (NAB), he said NAB was only targeting two parties. There was no third party worth accountability, he asked.
Meanwhile, Speaking on a Point of Order, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Sherry Rehman said Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) held a protest demonstration in front of the DAWN newspaper yesterday. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and some other political parties had expressed solidarity with the media. Media censorship was affecting the atmosphere, she added.
Countrywide uniform higher education system!
ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI), which met here Monday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to finalize its recommendations within a month for a countrywide uniform higher education system in coordination with federal and provincial governments.
The HEC was further directed to formulate a strategy for the uplift of educational institutions as well as better coordination between the Center and provinces.
The CCI directed the Planning Commission to review the projects of power distribution and transmission network in Balochistan, besides calling for the launch of work on the projects of crucial nature.
It referred the request of Sindh province seeking additional water supply for Karachi to the National Water Council, which would present its recommendations to the CCI keeping in view the situation of existing water reservoirs, water sharing formula among provinces and the ground realities. Besides, the National Water Council would also suggest measures to stop wastage of water and ensure its judicious use.
Deliberating over the less availability of water in Pat Feeder and Kirthar canals, the CCI asked the chief ministers of Sindh and Balochistan to sort out the matter mutually.
The Center and the provinces agreed over the true implementation of AGN Qazi formula for the distribution of net hydel profits.
The CCI constituted a committee under the Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination to formulate recommendations on devolution of Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and the Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) to the provinces.
The Council decided to refer the Sindh government’s proposed amendments in Petroleum Policy 2012 to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC), which would formulate recommendations considering the proposed amendments.
The CCI reached a consensus to hand over to Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority the responsibility of uniform standards and the provision of one-window facility to the relevant companies.
In that regard, a committee comprising representatives from all the provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan was also constituted to look into the legal and constitutional aspects.
The Council also formed a task force to propose measures for effective implementation of regulatory authorities and the establishment of government’s writ in the provinces.
It decided to launch a nationwide “Pakistan Cleanliness Movement” that would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on October 7. The provinces also assured their full participation in the campaign.
The prime minister, in his remarks on the occasion, stressed on the need for improvement of educational standard in Balochistan and directed the HEC to take measures in coordination with the provincial government.
He told the meeting that the services of Shaukat Khanam Hospital would be extended to Balochistan for the provision of healthcare facilities, particularly, the diagnosis of cancer.
The prime minister directed to establish a comprehensive and transparent mechanism for water distribution among the provinces and the provision of timely updates to the provinces. He viewed that as the non-provision of correct information caused misunderstandings, immediate measures must be taken in that regard.
He assured all-out cooperation of the Federal Government to the provinces in all matters. He said the Federal Government was committed to make the CCI an effective platform and to play a positive role in the resolution of issues among the provinces and strengthen the federation.
Plagued Modi trying to hide behind anti-Pak rhetoric
ISLAMABAD: After being exposed by the French government for influencing 36 Rafale fighter planes deal, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has charged his cannons to fire obsolete anti-Pakistan rhetoric to mock fanatic Indians.
The Rafale scandal has been a burning question since the opposition blew the whistle of hefty corruption when Modi announced to purchase the French fighter jets on his visit to Paris. The opposition party ‘Congress’ has accused the government for choosing Reliance Defence over state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to benefit the private firm though it did not have any experience in the aerospace sector.
The Congress also demanded the Modi government to elucidate the thrice increase in the prices of the jets which was a mere eyewash that erupted a huge corruption scandal narrating unprecedented plundering of public money.
Interestingly, prior to the Modi government, the deal to purchase the Rafale aircraft was also done during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government where its largest member party is the Indian National Congress.
According to the Congress, the cost of an aircraft at that time was Indian Rs 5900 million, while the deal was finalized by the Modi government three times the price.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi also boiled a hot war on the social media portal Twitter slamming PM Modi for betraying the country. Rahul said, “The Prime Minister spoke privately about Rafael Deal behind the closed door and made a change in it. He has betrayed the country and insulted our martyrs”.
The former French President Francois Hollande according to a French media report clarified: “The Indian government proposed Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rafale jet fighter deal and France did not have a choice”.
According to reports in Indian media, the French government claimed to have no involvement in the choice of Indian industrial partners for the Rafale fighter jet deal, insisting that French companies have full freedom to select Indian firms for the contract.
Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, had chosen Reliance Defence as its partner to fulfill offset obligations of the deal. The government has been maintaining it did not have any role in selection of the offset partner by Dassault.
In a statement, Dassault Aviation said it decided to partner with Reliance Defence in accordance with the policy of ‘Made in India’.
In the recent escalating crisis over the controversy, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has alleged that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a multi-billion ‘surgical strike’ on the defense forces.”
The Indian Air Force (IAF) had termed that deal as oxygen for Indian Defence but allegations of corruption on PM Modi has raised many questions about the transparency of the deal.
After a plethora of allegations against Modi, the Indian Prime Minister opted for anti-Pakistan rhetoric to hoodwink his masses no matter that Indian opposition parties themselves exposed the real face of Modi’s BJP not before the Indian citizens but also the world democracies.
The PM Modi’s narrative against Pakistan was not well taken by Indians themselves as the mega corruption charges in an important defense project raises questions on his own commitment to safeguarding his motherland and the opposition called him ‘the plunderer instead of protector of national assets.’
Modi has now entered into a blind alley and retaliates through outmaneuvering repeated trivial narrative with greater lucidity to pacify the lurking public outrage. His people, the neighboring countries as well as world democracies have ample substance to understand as to why he denied dialogue with Pakistan.
China set up power projects under PPA: Ahsan Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Member National Assembly Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that 35 billion dollar energy projects had been set up under China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Speaking in the National Assembly he said, “We have not taken even a single penny loan to set up power projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor as all the projects had been established by the private sector of China in line with the PPA.”
Under the agreement, he said, the generated electricity will be added to the national grid as per rate determined by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).
“We should be grateful to China for making such a huge investment in Pakistan when other countries and local investors are shying to invest ten dollars”.
He appreciated the Chinese government for helping Pakistan in difficult times to end load-shedding from the country.