Disgraced former religious affairs minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi tried yet again to prove his innocence, this time by alleging a link between former Director General Hajj Rao Shakeel and Prime Minister Gilani, through his son Abdul Qadir Gilani.
The former minister who quit after allegations of irregularities in Hajj arrangements, told the media at parliament house on Wednesday: “All three allegations behind the suo-moto notice taken by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry were proven false in January. I do not know where to go (to get justice).”
Kazmi expressed his unhappiness with the Supreme Court, which he says was informed by the FIA that the PM’s son had been gifted a car valued at Rs9.9 million by Rao Shakeel, but did not take notice of the irregularity.
Kazmi said that through the media he wanted to request the Supreme Court to reconsider the report presented by the FIA.
The former minister said that the 22,000 pounds found in his account were sent to him by his brother, and that he had documents to prove it. When asked about the reason behind cancellation of bail by the Central Special Judge in his case, Kazmi said “if he has denied me bail on the basis of allegations which have been proved false, then he must have been under some pressure.”
Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) demanded the government to immediately withdraw the recent increase of Rs3 per unit in electricity tariffs in the country. Haider Abbas Rizvi of MQM demanded this while addressing the National Assembly on a point of order.
Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour told the house that Pakistan Railways has outstanding loans worth Rs61 billion which were to be paid to different foreign institutions and as overdraft to the State Bank of Pakistan. The minister informed the house that Pakistan Railways repaid Rs26 billion in the last five years.
Bilour said that during the last three years, at least three foreign donors agreed to invest in the ailing organization. The EXIM Bank China, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) were to invest in procurement of 75 locomotives and 202 passenger coaches, besides financing rehabilitation of track from Lahore to Peshawar and Quetta to Taftan.
While the issue of procurement of locomotives was sub judice as a case was being heard in the Lahore High Court, the first batch of 56 completely built passenger coaches were expected to reach this month from China, Bilour said.
The minister for commerce, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, told the National Assembly that Pakistan’s trade deficit has touched $5.1 billion during the period July-September 2011-12. “It was caused by an increase in import value of petroleum, food, chemicals and metal commodities,” he said.
Responding to a question, foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khan told the house that a proposal was under consideration for opening a Pakistan Consulate General in Bandar-Abbas, Iran.
She also provided details on 1,032 Pakistani prisoners who were serving time in India, Nepal, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey and Iran at present. Almost all 76 prisoners in Iran were imprisoned for drug trafficking, theft, kidnapping, spying, and murder besides illegal entry. All 522 in India were held for illegal entry.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2011.
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