Stories about minister

Lawmakers annoyed at Senate-heavy cabinet

Almost all newspapers carried an almost identical and startling news report on Monday morning: during his ongoing meetings with IMF managers in Washington, Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh accused public representatives of blocking progress on the reforms package that his predecessor had negotiated with global financiers. The statement attributed to him sounded ominous, if you recall a statement that none other than President Zardari had made in Larkana earlier this month. Addressing a party workers’ meeting on the death anniversary of the PPP’s founder chairman, he revealed that the makers and breakers of governments in this country were now discussing the ...

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The govt ‘takes notice’ of target killings today, tomorrow and forever

Once again the chief minister of Sindh, the governor of Sindh and other responsible senior functionaries of the government have taken notice of the recent spate of target killings in Karachi. But I have to say that I have been reading such reports ever since my childhood, saying that such and such authority has taken notice of such and such incident, and promising such and such action. But it has never really amounted to anything except an exercise in public relations. The first time I heard of this “taking notice” was when a provincial minister education ‘took note’ of an incident ...

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Media man Malik: More than the average minister

There are a few good reasons you would end up on http://www.rehmanmalik.com. You may explore it if you enjoy the banality of a reporter’s life, the superficiality of a politician’s or the masochism of a news junkie’s. For those of you with a penchant for the absurd, allow me to take you on a short tour of the honourable (and flamboyant) Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s website. I’m reluctant to call it official as the ‘contact us’ link just points towards the Pakistan Secretariat, which is one of the few non-residential buildings in Islamabad. For any loyal Pakistan People’s Party politician, it is a ...

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My Lent prayer for Pakistan

This year, Lent began on March 9 for Christians. Lent is a period of fasting leading up to the feast of Easter, recalling Jesus’ 40 day fast in the wilderness, where he had to struggle with hunger, thirst and the temptations of the devil. In Catholic churches, ashes in the shape of the Cross are applied on the foreheads of all Christians. It is a symbol that we are from “dust and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). It reminds us that God created everything and no one has superiority over Him. Through these 40 days of lent, Christians should give up ...

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We do not deserve Shahbaz Bhatti

Minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti has been brutally gunned down today –  joining the list of many to have been killed.Voices of sanity do not do well here in Pakistan. Just when you start thinking things will be okay, that now the maniacs have safely put away Aasia Bibi and they’ve killed Salmaan Taseer so maybe that’s enough to make their point – you are jolted into the reality that is Pakistan. You understand completely and fully, even if you did not that morning when reading the opinions page of The Express Tribune, why George Fulton is leaving. Today’s breaking news ...

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I know a secret: Loyalties and limousines

Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti may have survived the attempt on his life last weekend, had his pleas for better security, in particular a bullet proof car and a house in the Ministers’ Enclave been heeded. While some cronies of the man on the hill have been given bullet proof cars, without holding any cabinet portfolio. ************************************************ Elections to the Lahore High Court Bar, the biggest associations of lawyers in the country in terms of membership, were held on the last Saturday of February.  The contest was between Muhammad Asghar Gill and Rai Bashir.  Gill won by over 1,562 votes polling 4,172 votes. ...

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Ethnic rift rocks G-B government

Corruption is contagious – this is what Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah proved when he and other members of his government were accused of violating the principle of merit in terms of appointments, postings and transfers, along with the arbitrary suspension of employees in different departments. Despite the ban on appointments in G-B, a large number of people, PPP activists in particular, have been appointed in different positions seemingly through the backdoor. In a recent incident, the provincial Finance Minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar was manhandled by the adviser to the CM, Muhammad Musa, and was warned by Education Minister Ali Madad ...

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Skeletons in the Cabinet: A reshuffle that makes no sense

After almost three years of unprecedented failures, the government finally overhauled the Cabinet this week. Or has it? The new and improved ‘small’ cabinet includes  a lot of old faces but there have been plenty of surprises – and they have been shockers. Ministry for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, of heera mandi attack fame, who is often called to talk shows when a little ghunda element is needed has been given the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Dr Awan is now responsible for ‘handling’ the media, and tactfully explaining the government’s policies and defending it’s mistakes. From now on, after every single cabinet ...

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What really goes on in the Sindh Assembly

In June 2010, legislators from the Sindh Assembly zealously thumped their desks after passing a bill for the establishment of the “Sindh Revenue Board” to collect sales tax on services. While covering the story, I was surprised to know that a majority of legislators were not even aware of the bill’s significance; they didn’t know the difference between tax on services and tax on goods. One of the MPAs went on to say, “We have no idea about the bill; it is enough that we have supported it.” And I can assure these were the exact words of the lawmaker, who ...

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Sialkot’s neglected journalists

Sialkot, the city of eagles, is proud to have produced many prominent politicians of the country. Of course, its most illustrious son was Allama Muhammad Iqbal but in recent years, it has given rise to many a prominent politician. One of them, of late, is Firdous Ashiq Awan, the current information minister. Many journalists from the city supported her during her rise to political office, in large part because she was a local politician and in part because they believed that having an information minister from their city could help in some of their own many problems as journalists. For ...

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