Pakistan desires further expansion ties with UK: President

President appreciated Lord Wajid’s efforts for raising concerns about human rights violations of the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)


Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday said that Pakistan attached high priority to its relations with the United Kingdom and wanted to further expand bilateral relations in all areas of mutual benefit. The president, in a meeting with Lord Wajid Khan, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, briefed him about Pakistan’s smart lockdown policy that led to successfully containing the COVID-19 pandemic. He also highlighted Pakistan’s successes against the war on terror during the last 20 years.

Exchanging views on the situation in Afghanistan, the president also highlighted that Pakistan had extended humanitarian support to Afghanistan and facilitated the evacuation of over 12,000 Afghan and foreign nationals.He informed that Pakistan was hosting about three million Afghan refugees for the last four decades, besides contributing to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

President Alvi felicitated Lord Wajid on his elevation to the prestigious House of Lords.

He added that his elevation to the House of Lords reflected the high regard the people and leadership of UK had placed in his vision.

The president appreciated Lord Wajid’s efforts for raising concerns about human rights violations of the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

He urged the international community to take notice of the reign of terror being unleashed by the Indian occupation forces against the innocent people of IIOJK and hold India accountable for its abhorrent conduct.

Lord Wajid Khan congratulated Pakistan on handling the COVID-19 pandemic in successful and lauded Pakistan’s smart lockdown strategy in this regard. Adding to this, President Dr Arif Alvi, while calling for probing 700 Pakistanis mentioned in the Pandora papers, questioned the justification of tax havens protected by the West.

He said after Panama and Paradise, now Pandora papers had confirmed that 1000s of offshore companies used for money laundering of looted wealth.

On Twitter, he said the 700 linked to Pakistan must be investigated for illegality and source of money and that the plundered money must be brought back.

“But what about these tax havens?” he questioned.

The president said the tax havens protected by the West since more than a century, having a long history of hiding plundered wealth be it from the persecuted Jews, or from many countries including Pakistan, that runs into trillions of dollars seemed to be a “sophisticated scheme in the style of East India Company.”

He said while Pakistan was cleaning its system to stop its wealth from going out and the FATF helped in this regard; however, “the receivers of our wealth have enriched themselves at the cost of poor of the world for too long.”

The president also quoted the verses of Allama Iqba’s anthology “Zarb-e-Kaleem” in which he said, “both are same looters small & big in dialogue between a pirate & Alexander.”

Earlier, President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday promulgated National Accountability (Amendment-II) Ordinance (NAO) 2021 under Article 89 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Under the said Ordinance, Section 4 of the Ordinance 1999 had been amended, a press release said.

According to the ordinance, it will not apply to federal, provincial and local taxation/levies matters, and the decisions of the federal and provincial cabinets, whereas committees and sub-committees would not fall under the purview of the promulgated law.

The ordinance will not apply to the decisions of the CCI, NFC, ECNEC, CDWP, SBP.

Further amendment was made to the Section 5 of the Ordinance 1999.

Under the new ordinance, the president in consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan would establish accountability courts in the country.

The judge of the Accountability Court would be designated with the consultation of the CJP whose age should not exceed 68 years and his appointment would be made for the three years term.

The president would have the authority to remove a judge of the accountability court in consultation with the CJP.

Section 6 of the Ordinance 1999 was also amended under which the president will appoint the NAB chairman in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.

In case, there is no consensus on the appointment of new NAB chairman, the matter will be referred to a parliamentary committee.

In that case, the Speaker National Assembly would constitute a parliamentary committee with equal representation from the treasury and the opposition benches.

According to the ordinance, the term of NAB chairman’s office will be of four years.

The ordinance further said that the procedure for the removal of Supreme Court judges as envisaged in Article 209 of the Constitution will be applicable over NAB chairman.

The chairman NAB could be appointed for a period of further four years after completion of his or her term. Under the new amendment, the incumbent (outgoing) chairman would perform his duties till the appointment of new chairman.

Whereas, Section 31 DD was also added through the new amendment. Without the approval of Governor State Bank of Pakistan, no proceedings/investigations could be held against any board of the bank, or financial institution.

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