ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice, Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday said that court neither summoned Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur in personal capacity nor ordered for their names to be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).
A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed hearing of a suo moto case pertaining to money laundering of Rs35 billion through fake bank accounts. The top court also directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to hold its probe against Asif Zardari and his sister till upcoming general election in the case. During the course of proceedings, the chief justice remarked that the summon was issued to the company directors, which was respondent in the case and not in personal capacity of any politician.
However, while barring the FIA from investigation against the politicians directed them to continue the probe against non-political persons involved in the case. Subsequently, the bench while seeking a reply from all respondents in the money laundering case, including Zardari and Talpur, adjourned further hearing of the case till August 6. Advocate Aitzaz Ahsan, Advocate Farooq H Naek, and Advocate Latif Khosa appeared before the court as legal team of the former president.
Meanwhile, Farooq H Naik raised the objection that his client had reservations regarding Najaf Mirza head of the FIA investigation team and requested the bench to change him. but the court rejected his plea and said the court would deal with the matter after July 25. It may be added that a report compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Bashir Memon had briefed the apex court that SBP had reported the opening of 29 suspicious bank accounts in January this year.
A relevant piece published earlier: Newspakistan.tv has been informed by reliable sources that contrary to the reports in various sections of Media, the names of Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur have not been placed on ECL. (Published on 10th July 2018)
News agencies in Europe to fight fake news
ALBANIA: News agencies in Europe have joined forces to fight the growing threat posed by fake news.
In a resolution adopted last week in Tirana, these commit to developing effective tools and rules to enable journalists and Internet users to fight misinformation as well as to promote reliable media and educate users to surf in the digital environment.
The news agencies that attended the international conference ‘News Agencies vs. Fake News,’ organized by the ATA news agency on 3- 4 December in Tirana, also agreed to cooperate directly to check the news and discover in due time fake news and improve the transparency of online news, which entails a consistent development of professional journalism.
The purpose of these measures is to mitigate the impact of fake news on communities at the local, national and international level, to highlight the entities that are at the origin of the dissemination of fake news and to strengthen the activity and profile of news agencies as real news providers.
The aim is also to raise public awareness of the danger posed by fake news to our societies and to media professionals regarding the impact of the phenomenon on the entire media environment, to enhance the skills of journalists in identifying and avoiding fake news and to promote real, impartial and accurate news.
The resolution, adopted on the last day of the Tirana conference and published on 10 December, was initiated by 13 news agencies: ATA (Albania), PAP (Poland), CNA (Cyprus), ANA-MPA (Greece) , BTA (Bulgaria), KosovaPress (Kosovo), TASR (Slovakia), ANADOLU (Turkey), AzerTac (Azerbaijan), AGERPRES (Romania), TANJUG (Serbia), HINA (Croatia) and UKRINFORM (Ukraine).
The signatories call on all news agencies, whether state-funded or private, as well as international news agencies, to join this Resolution.
The heads of the news agencies present at the Tirana conference insisted on the need to address the global phenomenon of fake news, underlining that new technologies allow the rapid spread of fake and confusing pieces of news that violate one of the fundamental human liberties, namely the right to information.
Cancellation of 30-year lease due to non-utilisation
KARACHI: Secretary Land Utilisation, Government of Sindh, has instructed the concerned authorities to cancel a 30-year lease that is being misused.
According to the notification “it has come to the notice of this office that the different allottees that had been granted 30-years lease for agricultural/poultry-cattle-dairy farming purpose and not utilizing the same purpose, but unfortunately conditions of the lease agreements are not fulfilled and land is being wrongly utilized for various purposes. In some cases, allottees are involved in sale/purchase of 30 years lease that is totally illegal and causes lost of billions of rupees to government exchequer by occupying and raising construction over the said land.
“Keeping in view, the concerns above you are requested to cancel all leases of 30 years lease as well as short-term leases which have violated the required terms and conditions of the lease. The deputy commissioners are directed to ensure that the conditions set forth in leases referred above may be followed/implemented in letter and spirit. Failure shall remember to ascertain procedure in law. This matter may be given on TOP PRIORITY and report of which may be sent to this department”.
Probe against MDs SNGPL, SSGPL
ISLAMABAD: A 4–member Fact Finding Committee has been constituted to probe the allegations leveled against MD Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGCL).
According to a notification issued here today, Uzma Adil Khan, chairperson Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has been nominated as chairperson of the committee and members included Qazi Saleem Siddiqui, DG, (PC), Shahid Yousaf DG (Gas) and Imran Ahmed DG (LG). The committee has been directed to submit a report within 72 hours.
The committee has been authorized to get the services of an expert witness to assist in its proceedings. The committee has been constituted in pursuance of presentation to the PM on load management, PLNG supply and demand and off-take of furnace oil. The allegations against MD, SNGPL, and SSGCL included negligence in reporting of facts to the ministry or incompetence to deal with operational issues. Withholding of information from the government and overall systemic governance failure of SNGPL and SSGCL.