PTI to finalise strategy for PAT rally today

| Asad concerned over delay in probe into $8b investment in Dubai

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf here on Friday summoned an emergency meeting of its core committee for Saturday (today) to finalise the strategy as part of its earlier announcement that it would join the anti-Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz movement led by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek on January 18th.

The PTI Chairman, Imran Khan, has summoned an emergency meeting of the core group in Islamabad and the entire central leadership has been asked to ensure its presence, a statement issued by the party’s Central Media Department said.

The meeting chaired by Imran Khan will take important decisions regarding his earlier decision to join the PAT’s protest on January 18 over the Model Town tragedy, and the rape as well as brutal killing of six-year-old Zainab in Kasur.

The meeting will also analyse the overall political situation of the country.

The PTI spokesperson, Fawad Chaudhry, said that the meeting would decide the modus operandi of the protest against the ruling PML-N. The PTI chairman, the other day, had announced that his party would join the PAT protest with full force on January 18th.

The PAT chief, Dr Tahirul Qadri, had announced the anti-PML-N movement from January 17 demanding justice in the Model Town carnage as well as resignations of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah. The PAT has already announced a protest rally at the Mall Road in Lahore on that day, however, it is unclear that the PAT would turn this protest rally into a protest sit-in or not.

Meanwhile, the PTI has moved an adjournment motion in the Senate seeking to adjourn normal proceedings of the house to discuss the rape and brutal murder of Zainab in Kasur. The PTI has asked for military trial of the Kasur incident culprits.

The PTI Senator, Azam Khan Swati, has moved adjournment motion in the Upper House of the Parliament. The motion, also signed by the PTI senators Shibli Faraz, Nouman Wazir Khattak, Mohsin Aziz and Liaqat Khan Tarakai, sought to adjourn normal business of the house to discuss the horrific Kasur incident.  The motion reads that the brutal killing of Zainab Amin has tarnished the soft image of Pakistan. People across the country are justified in asking the higher officials’ resignation.  The PTI urges to have military trial of the perpetrators and a public hanging. The motion further says that the state is responsible for protection and well-being of all children.

People are outraged and demand arrest of culprits in the interest of collective public justice and their protection; it further says adding that the state needs to end the lacklustre attitude towards gender equity.

“People are demanding action much more than condemnation to save future of their children,” it says.

Meanwhile, PTI lawmaker Asad Umar on Friday expressed concern over the delay in investigating the $8 billion investment made by hundreds of Pakistanis in Dubai during the last four years without taking approval from the departments concerned.

In a letter to Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Umar said that the parliamentary committee should ascertain why the investigation was being hindered. “It is with deep concerns, I bring to your attention the fact that no meeting of the sub-committee to investigate the issue of Dubai properties has taken place since the 23rd November 2017 which was more than seven weeks back,” said Umar. He said that the case has potentially involved billions of dollars laundered money. The PTI lawmaker has already raised the issue at the committee meetings several times in the past.

In October last year, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance constituted a sub-committee to probe the $8 billion investment made by several Pakistanis in Dubai during the last four years. The committee in its initial meetings had decided to involve the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in seeking information from the UAE authorities. However, the committee has not formally asked the NAB to investigate the matter. At the last meeting of the sub-committee, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Pasha said that the FBR had written a letter to the UAE authorities seeking details of 100 Pakistanis who had invested in real estate business in Dubai. The FBR had received a list of 100 Pakistanis who had invested in real estate business in Dubai from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

“Initially, all knowledge of the prior FIA investigations into the issue was denied. When confronted, it was grudgingly conceded that investigation had taken place and only a few names were shared with the subcommittee,” said Umar, who is a member of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance. He further said that an attempt was made to wind up the sub-committee falsely stating that according to the rules the time of the sub-committee was up. “That attempt to stop the work of the sub-committee failed with the correct rules being pointed out that life of sub-committee had not come to an end,” he said. “Seemingly, a new approach is now being taken to stop this investigation by simply stopping any meeting of the sub-committee from taking place,” Umar said.

 He urged the chairman of the standing committee to take up the matter at the next meeting of the main committee and ascertain why the investigation was being hindered.



Imran Mukhtar

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