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Opening of cases against leaders is pre-poll rigging: PPPP

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KARACHI: PPP while reacting to the opening of money laundering cases against its leadership stated in a Presser: “The case that has been dredged up against  Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur was Instituted three years ago. It has been dragged out of cold storage two weeks before an election as a clear case of political victimization and can be classified as pre-poll rigging.

“The fact that the investigation is headed up by Bashir Memon, DG FIA, whose brother is contesting the election against the PPP in Matiari, Sindh, and whom we have been asking to be removed for his politically partisan behavior is all the more malicious.“There is an active FIR against Najaf Mirza as well, therefore it is shocking that he has been made in charge of the investigation.

“The scale of disinformation is also high. The company in question is neither in the business of money laundering nor was it used at any point for any criminal activity. Even the amount it allegedly transacted business for is one and a half crore, which as a loan was on record as returned. None of this amounts to money laundering or criminal transaction. Both are allegations which shall be contested in court. Reappearance in court we will ensure compliance as directed.

“Chairman Bilawal’s campaign has also encountered alarming roadblocks and media blackouts all over the country. First in Lyari, then on way to Ucch Sharif, then later in Multan. Jalsa permissions are also denied in many parts of KP while others are being allowed.“While candidates from our parties are disqualified on flimsy grounds, it is very troubling that about 150 candidates from violent extremist organizations, including some on the 4th Schedule for terrorism, have been magically cleared to contest the forthcoming election.

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Crime

News agencies in Europe to fight fake news

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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.

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Cancellation of 30-year lease due to non-utilisation

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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”. 

 

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Crime

Probe against MDs SNGPL, SSGPL

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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.

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