Faisal Raza hurls allegations against CJ, demands his resignationSenator Faisal Raza Abidi on Sunday hurled allegation of prejudice against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and demanded resignations from him and other judges who were reinstated but had taken an oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), DawnNews reported.
He said that his party would get rid of PCO judges and would present a bill in the parliament to reinstate the 110 judges who had been sacked earlier.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Abidi said that the chief justice should have resigned after his son, Arsalan Iftikhar, was alleged to have indulged in financial impropriety.
He alleged that Chief Justice Iftikhar had directed the Lahore High Court (LHC) to issue a stay order in a case pertaining to the 46 billion rupees of outstanding dues on different cellular companies.
Abidi said his party would “force him out the same way he had been restored as a judge.”
He said the PPP had always respected the courts, adding that, the party’s ministers had appeared before the courts and even a PPP prime minister had been sacrificed.
Abidi said “a judicial martial-law has been imposed in the country.”
The senator said his party was being targeted by the court while cases against PPP’s opponents had been granted stay orders.
The PPP senator requested the government to come forward and take steps to restore the parliament’s supremacy, adding that, the parliament had the authority of enacting and amending laws.
Abidi said the parliament was supreme and above other institutions. “Parliament is an institution which forms laws and constitutions. No one has the right to criticise its laws,” he said.
He said the courts should have taken action against dictators.
He alleged that Chief Justice House Islamabad had been misused for commercial purposes of Arsalan Iftikhar.
The senator showed bank account statements of Arsalan Iftikhar and raised questions about the legitimacy of his assets. He also showed that the billing address mentioned was that of the Chief Justice House in Islamabad.
Abidi said he would soon go to London to collect evidence against Arsalan Iftikhar and would call another press conference after doing so in 10 days.
Contempt law verdict to be challengedISLAMABAD: Having burnt its fingers by not filing a review petition against the order which declared former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani guilty of contempt of court, the government has decided to challenge the Supreme Court’s Aug 3 decision which struck down the controversial Contempt of Court Act (COCA) 2012.
In April when the Supreme Court convicted Mr Gilani of committing contempt of court, disqualified him and sent him home the government didn’t go into appeal.
Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar confirmed to Dawn that the government had decided in principle to file a review petition against the SC decision nullifying the new contempt of court law which had been passed by the two houses of parliament last month.
Mr Babar said the government would also contest the apex court’s July 12 order in which Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had been asked to implement the NRO judgment and write a letter to Swiss courts for re-opening cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Prime Minister Ashraf has been given the deadline of Aug 8 to submit his response in the NRO judgment implementation case.
When asked how quickly the attorney general would file the two review petitions, considering that on Aug 8 the SC will be hearing the NRO case — the spokesman said: “I cannot give you the exact date, but it will be done as soon as possible.”
Replying to another question, Mr Babar said the decision to go into appeal against the SC decision had been taken in consultation with allied parties and legal experts.
Sources claimed it was only at the insistence of the PML-Q and MQM that President Zardari, who is also co-chairman of the PPP, agreed to go into appeal. Otherwise, PPP hawks were for a presidential ordinance on the lines of COCA to provide immunity to PM Ashraf.
However, legal experts are sceptical about the review petitions helping the government to buy adequate time that it needs.
“As long as the Supreme Court doesn’t issue a stay order against its Aug 3 decision on COCA, the decision will remain in effect.
Admissibility of a review petition does not automatically disqualify the original decision that remains in place till the time the court decides otherwise,” SC lawyer Salman Akram Raja said.
“Yes, if the government goes into appeal prior to Aug 8, the prime minister in his reply to the court can argue that he has gone into appeal against the July 12 decision and, hence, he should be given time,” he said in reply to a question, adding that it was up to the court whether to accept this argument.
Barrister Zafarullah Khan termed the proposed move as a time-buying tactic and said historically speaking review petitions had always little chance of success.
“Even if the SC decides to hear the review petition and doesn’t reject it forthwith, the original decision on COCA will remain in the field until and unless the court suspends it in so many words,” he said.“It’s very rare that the court suspends its own decision while hearing a review petition,” added Barrister Khan who was one of the petitioners against COCA.
Replying to another question, he said there wasn’t any immediate threat to the new prime minister. “Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, even if Mr Ashraf refuses to write the said letter the court will first issue him a show-cause notice, followed by a formal charge-sheet and trial, before taking a final decision about him,” Barrister Khan said.
Commenting on the executive-judiciary tussle, a senior SC lawyer who declined to come on record said this game of cat and the mouse would continue between PPP leaders and judges in coming weeks.
“I personally believe this time the court will not send the prime minister home for not writing the letter and may keep on putting pressure on the government that could lead to early elections.”
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Pakistan can surpass $500mn exports of Halal foodISLAMABAD: Pakistan can surpass $ 500 million mark from the exports of Halal food in international market in just five years if speedy initiatives are taken, said Ahmed Jawad, Member Export, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) on Sunday.
Talking to PPI, he called to comply with the international codes to seize this opportunity, saying it would not only lead to earning big foreign exchange but also stabilize the national economy.
Taking the tentative first steps towards becoming a major international player in the Halal food industry, in which the country has a strong competitive advantage, can earn huge foreign inflows as we have around 159 million animals.
Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, UAE, Indonesia, Oman, Kuwait & Iran are the big buyers for Halal Meat.
“Pakistan has extraordinary natural strengths, the country also faces massive infrastructure shortcomings which handicap the ability of many Pakistani businesses to effectively compete against firms from Australia, Brazil or even India,” he added.
Jawad explained the Halal food market, at just over $640 billion a year worldwide, is one of the largest opportunities in the food and agribusiness sector and plays to the unique advantages of being based out of Pakistan. Presently our total meat exports stand at around $100 million and could surpass the $500 million mark in about five years.
Halal and organic are now used interchangeably, fueling the growth of the former more strongly. Halal meat is also one of the fastest growing segments within the global food trade.
Between 2001 and 2009, the global beef trade grew at an average of 10.4 per cent to reach just over $30 billion, according to data available from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Ahmad Jawad also mentioned that it looks very pathetic that Pakistan’s market share within this rapidly growing market is only 2.9 per cent. However, he said Pakistani exporters seem to be determined to make up for the lost time.
In the six years ending in 2009, Pakistani red meat exports have risen by an average of 68.6 per cent a year, though admittedly from a very low base. According to him, with the advent of more and more new players, and with surprisingly robust support from the government, Pakistan is set to become one of the largest players in the meat trade, at least within the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
He informed that three countries with the largest market shares are Australia, Brazil and India and each has considerably higher shipping costs to these export markets compared to Pakistan that can get benefit of it.
“The Brazilian animal is exactly the same as most of our breeds of cattle. The quality of meat is also the same. The only difference is their ability to market their meat better than us”, he added.
He further said that Pakistan can easily displace Brazil as the Middle East’s leading meat supplier.
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