Politics on Panama Karachi Politics F-16 Fiasco Other News
Politics on Panama
Since after Panama leaks, opposition had been trying to develop a consensus over their strategy to demand accountability. Finally, a term of references (ToRs) has been compiled jointly by opposition parties and forwarded to prime minister by leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah. A one-page letter has been sent along with a copy of the ToRs which was received by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
However Khursheed Shah has confirmed that the government had not approached the opposition for talks over the ToRs so far. He said that the opposition has not demanded PM’s resignation but given him an opportunity to present himself before parliament and explain his position.
The opposition also shows willingness to have a dialogue with the government over the ToRs, but maintained that a transparent investigation can only be made possible through the ToRs proposed by the opposition parties. Earlier this week the opposition drafted the consensus ToRs for the judicial commission after a two-day brainstorming session demanding the investigations must begin with the ruling family. Meanwhile Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated once again that the government would not be deterred by opposition criticism and it would continue to pursue the agenda of development and prosperity. However he also announced to resign if corruption worth a single penny is proved against him
War of words begins once again between Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Rangers when an MQM leader claimed that a party member, Aftab Ahmad who was coordinator to senior party leader Dr Farooq Sattar, died in the custody of the Rangers. Ahmad had been in Rangers ‘custody for 90 days. The party claimed he was “brutally tortured” to death and demanded an inquiry into the incidence.
Meanwhile a brief statement issued by the Rangers said that Ahmed was arrested by the paramilitary force due to his involvement in several crimes and an anti-terrorism court was informed about his 90-day preventive detention for investigation. The statement also said that they suspended an unspecified number of officials for their suspected involvement in Ahmed’s death. It also announced set up of an investigation team to probe the cause of death and reveal the facts.
Meanwhile Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif also ordered an inquiry into the death of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist. Ahmed had been associated with the MQM since 1990 and had been serving as the coordinator to Dr Farooq Sattar since 2002.
Pakistan has expressed disappointment over Congress’ unwillingness to fund F-16 sale to Pakistan as Washington told Islamabad it would have to finance the purchase itself. Sartaj Aziz, the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, admitted that arranging funds for eight F-16s was an issue. Previously, Islamabad was supposed to pay only $270 million while the Obama administration was to pay $430 million in subsidy through the US foreign military financing budget for the fighter jets. However, during a recent Congressional hearing, US lawmakers made it clear that they would not allow the Obama administration to use American funds for the deal. At the hearing, US lawmakers accused Pakistan of not doing enough to fight militants while also raising objections to using American taxpayers’ money to fund the sale.
Meanwhile Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs termed the fiasco over F-16 fighter jets deal with US a ‘total failure’ of Pakistan’s foreign policy, claiming that Indian lobby was behind it. The Committee was of the view that main purpose of getting the latest fighter jets was to improve performance of armed forces in the ongoing war on terror in tribal areas of the country. It said that refusal by US to fund F-16s was a huge setback for efforts against militancy
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