Imran Khan: Ex-Pakistan PM tells BBC crackdown on party is ‘untenable’

Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has had a tough few weeks. Thousands of his supporters are in jail. Dozens from the leadership of his party have left – and it it could even be banned. Mr Khan himself could potentially be called before a mi…

Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has had a tough few weeks. Thousands of his supporters are in jail. Dozens from the leadership of his party have left - and it it could even be banned. Mr Khan himself could potentially be called before a military court.

"You think it is a big crisis for me, I don't," he tells me.

We are sitting inside a portacabin in the courtyard of his home in Lahore, Zaman Park. It has been turned into a media room where Mr Khan now conducts his live broadcasts on his social media platforms and his interviews - trying to win the narrative argument that he hasn't lost his chance at re-election.

That's a difficult argument to make with his Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party so depleted. This week he lost more than two dozen colleagues, including Fawad Chaudrey, the PTI's former senior vice president, and Sherin Mazari, previously Mr Khan's human rights minister.

"Firstly, we will fill in all the positions of people who have left," he says. "So have younger blood, newer people coming in. They'll probably get arrested, too."

I ask if a political party can be run that way.

"You can use these terror tactics for only a short time. The whole situation is untenable."

But there's no suggestion that the crackdown on his party is about to let up.

Behind the scenes his supporters acknowledge that the situation is tough, although some insist that this is when Mr Khan is at his best - relishing a fight-back.

He is looking increasingly isolated. Gone are the crowds of supporters who had been ever-present at the gates to his home on all our previous visits to Lahore. Now many those inside the security gates are the party's lawyers.

Mr Khan is sounding more conciliatory. He is widely believed to have lost power because of a rift with the army, but now wants to talk to them. To suggest the military would have no role in Pakistan's politics is a "fool's paradise", he says.

"I'm curious to know how do they think - and by them I mean the establishment - that by getting me out of the race, how will Pakistan benefit?"

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If talks with the military were difficult before, it's hard to see why the army would want to speak to Mr Khan now when he is in a far weaker political position. He gave us no indication of what he would put on the table that wasn't an option before, saying only that he was offering talks.

Mr Khan has faced dozens of charges, from corruption to sedition, since he was ousted last year. So his arrest on 10 May was not unexpected.

It followed the collapse of other talks - on that occasion with the government - about when to hold provincial and national elections. It looks as if a deal was possible.

But the talks broke down in what feels like a political miscalculation.

The former prime minister insists this is not the case.

He flatly denies any similarity between the arrest of members of his party leadership and the jailing of political opponents when he was in office.

"95% of the cases against the opposition were before our time, the cases were ongoing," he says.

Stuck in what appears to be a political corner, what is next for Mr Khan? Either there is no grand plan, yet, or Mr Khan isn't eager to share it.

"I'm just watching this whole scenario, wait and see. It's possible that they'll put me in jail.

"The idea that I would give in to this or I will accept this and keep quiet about it, it's not going to happen."

No further details are shared.

Source: BBC

Export led economy only viable solution for progress of country: Ahsan

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal says export based economy is only viable solution for progress and development of the country.Addressing a ceremony at the National School of Public Policy in Lahore on Monday, he said we have to find an extraordinary pat…

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal says export based economy is only viable solution for progress and development of the country.

Addressing a ceremony at the National School of Public Policy in Lahore on Monday, he said we have to find an extraordinary path to increase the export of the country.

The Minister said many elements are hatching conspiracies against China Pakistan Economic Corridor as CPEC is a game Changer Project.

He informed more than one hundred and fifty Joint Cooperation Committee meetings were held from our side on CPEC and resolved the issues.

He said ease of doing business is vital for promotion of business.

He said Chinese investors have opened their offices for investment in the country during previous tenure of PML-N.

Source: Radio Pakistan

‘Tarbela’s power generation capacity to jump to 6418 MW in 2025’

The total electricity generation capacity of Tarbela Power House will reach 6,418 megawatts from the existing 4,888 MW after the commissioning of the Tarbela 5th Extension Project in 2025.The WAPDA spokesman told APP the project would provide environm…

The total electricity generation capacity of Tarbela Power House will reach 6,418 megawatts from the existing 4,888 MW after the commissioning of the Tarbela 5th Extension Project in 2025.

The WAPDA spokesman told APP the project would provide environment-friendly and low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid.

WAPDA is constructing the Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project on Tunnel No 5 of Tarbela Dam with the financial assistance of World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Foreign Minister of Belarus to arrive in Islamabad on two-day visit tomorrow

Foreign Minister of Belarus Sergei Aleinik will arrive in Islamabad on a two-day official visit to Pakistan on Tuesday.He is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.The two Foreign Ministers will hold wide-rangin…

Foreign Minister of Belarus Sergei Aleinik will arrive in Islamabad on a two-day official visit to Pakistan on Tuesday.

He is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

The two Foreign Ministers will hold wide-ranging talks covering a range of topics of bilateral interest.

They will undertake an overview of bilateral relations and explore enhanced cooperation in political, economic, defence and science and technology domains.

Pakistan and Belarus enjoy close and cordial relations.

Source: Radio Pakistan

PTI Senators condemn violent acts of May 9

PTI Senators have strongly condemned the violent acts of May 9.Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Monday, they paid tributes to the services and sacrifices of armed forces for the peace and security of the country.They said the security pers…

PTI Senators have strongly condemned the violent acts of May 9.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Monday, they paid tributes to the services and sacrifices of armed forces for the peace and security of the country.

They said the security personnel rendered their lives for a better future of the country.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Irshad Khan announces to quit Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

PTI leader from Swabi Irshad Khan has announced quitting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.He made this announcement at a news conference in Islamabad on Monday.Condemning the incidents of violence on 9th May, Irshad Khan said the entire nation stands by the a…

PTI leader from Swabi Irshad Khan has announced quitting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

He made this announcement at a news conference in Islamabad on Monday.

Condemning the incidents of violence on 9th May, Irshad Khan said the entire nation stands by the armed forces of Pakistan.

Source: Radio Pakistan

FTO Directs FBR to Ensure Bug-Free System Integrity for POS Lucky Draws

The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to ensure quality control and maintain bug-free system integrity during the point of sale (POS) lucky draws.According to an order of the FTO issued on Monday, a complaint …

The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to ensure quality control and maintain bug-free system integrity during the point of sale (POS) lucky draws.

According to an order of the FTO issued on Monday, a complaint was filed against the FBR for sanction of the POS lucky draw amount, won in October 2022, through balloting No.10 of FBR’s POS lucky draw prize, as the payment was not received by the complainant.

The FBR responded that the complainant did not win any POS prize. The Chief Manager-lR (Ops), PRAL, Islamabad stated that the issue was due to a temporary system bug, which has been fixed, and the prize winner status can be checked from FBR’s website.

The FBR and PRAL stated that only iOS (iPhone) users received the message from PRAL, however, Android users did not receive any such messages, as the software for iOS and Android is separate and independent of each other.

Chief Technology Officer, PRAL, Islamabad submitted that the complainant has not won the prize in any POS balloting but due to some technical error, he wrongly saw the mirror image of the screen of the actual POS prize winner.

During the investigation, it transpired that the issue happened due to a system bug, which started reflecting the mirror image of the screen of one of the winners to any individual, who would enter the point of sale dashboard of the Tax Asaan App. The failure of the system impacted various users, which needed a fact-finding inquiry, which has been conducted by PRAL.

FTO stated that it is clear that the appearance of the system bug had adversely impacted multiple taxpayers including the complainant. This reflects neglect, inattention, incompetence, and inefficiency, in the administration or discharge of duties and responsibilities of FBR and PRAL and falls under the ambit of maladministration under Section 2(3)(ii) of the FTO Ordinance, 2000.

FTO has directed Member (IT) to examine the fact-finding inquiry report dated 12.05.2023 and reprimand all concerned PRAL officials and issue a final warning to them, to ensure that absolute quality control and bug-free system integrity is maintained in the future failing which necessary disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against them, as per provisions of law.

Source: Pro Pakistani

President Directs FBR to Make Payment to Citizen for Wrongly Auctioning Imported Cars

President Dr Arif Alvi has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to apologize and make payment to a citizen whose three imported vehicles were mishandled by Custom.,The Customs officials wrongly auctioned the vehicles at a low price of around Rs…

President Dr Arif Alvi has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to apologize and make payment to a citizen whose three imported vehicles were mishandled by Custom.,

The Customs officials wrongly auctioned the vehicles at a low price of around Rs. 3 million without any notice to the complainant, and the Customs Duty paid by him was refunded to some unauthorized clearing agents, who later disappeared with the money.

The president directed FBR to verify all receipts/documents, refund the amount as per the assessed value of the vehicles, and refund the duties/charges paid in favor of importers/owners. He also directed the citizen to provide all documents and reconcile with Customs to enable FBR to make payment within 30 days. He further observed that interest should be added to the payment since the auction money was lying with the exchequer.

The president gave these directions while accepting a representation filed by Iftikhar Ahmed Awan (the complainant) against the orders of the Wafaqi Mohtasib. The complainant had stated that overseas Pakistanis, living in Japan, legally imported three vehicles for the personal use of their families and the freight against the vehicles was paid.

However, FBR didn’t release the vehicles and sold the cars in an auction at a price of Rs. 3,019,385. Feeling aggrieved, the complainant approached Wafaqi Mohtasib, who directed FBR to make payment of sale proceeds of vehicles to owners. The complainant then filed a representation with the president praying that Customs should be ordered to make payment of the sale proceeds of the vehicles at prevailing market rates as well as refund all the duties/charges which were paid.

During the proceedings, it was pointed out that after the completion of all formalities, the ship carrying the vehicles landed at another terminal and the Customs auctioned the vehicles without any notice to the importer, and that the Customs Duty was refunded to unauthorized clearing agents, which resulted in huge financial loss to the importers/owners.

During the hearing, FBR’s representative admitted the fault of the Customs officials in handling the matter due to a lack of communication and system barriers. He said that as per Customs Rules, if the goods were not cleared within 15 days of the date of arrival at a Customs Station, the same could be sold in an auction. He further informed that FBR had initiated disciplinary proceedings against the delinquent officials involved in mishandling the matter and they had also been served a charge sheet in pursuance of the order of the Mohtasib. He added that the licenses of the agents, who disappeared with the money, had also been canceled.

The president said that the citizen was aggrieved by the wrong committed by Customs officials and not due to fault of his own, therefore, his representation was accepted and FBR was directed to refund the amount as per the value assessed, duties/charges paid in favor of importers/owners, and add interest to the payment.

The president concluded that mishandling of the imported vehicles on the part of the Customs was not denied and maladministration had been established. He said that due to the negligence of officials, importers/owners suffered a huge financial loss and mental agony. He added that it was a fact that financial loss occurred due to negligence, lack of communication, and deviation from the established clearing system of the Customs.

Source: Pro Pakistani