New Pakistan PM; Trump's Immigration Proposals; Gulalai's Allegations

Who's Pakistan's New PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi elected after Nawaz Sharif's disqualification? What's his background? Is he just a temporary seat-warmer until another Sharif becomes PM? Will he able to make a difference? Will he be able to act independently of the Sharif family's power and influence? What is the future of Nawaz Sharif and his immediate family? Will NAB pursue charges against them? Will PMLN survive?


Politicians Dominate Off-shore Company Owners in Panama Leaks 

What is the proposed Cotton-Perdue RAISE (Reform American Immigration for Strong Economy) Act backed by President Donald J. Trump? Will it reverse the diversity of immigrants put in place by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (also known as Hart-Celler Act) that was pushed by Sen Edward Kennedy and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson? Is it a racist act insisting on immigrants being able to speak English when they first enter the United States? Will it significantly reduce immigration?

What are PTI MNA Ayesha Gulalai's sexual harassment and sexting allegations against party leader Imran Khan? How serious are they? Why did these allegations surface in the immediate aftermath of Panama Verdict that disqualified PM Sharif? Are these payback from PMLN for PTI Chief Imran Khan's anti-corruption campaign against its leaders? Will the courts interpret articles 62 and 63 to disqualify Imran Khan for not being truthful and trustworthy? Where will this stop? Are these articles equally applicable for all manner of lying and personal character flaws unrelated to the affairs of the state?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/Rjmum4J8QkM





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Panama Verdict Disqualifies Nawaz Sharif

Trump's Immigration Policies: Mexican Wall, Muslim Ban

Imran Khan's Campaign Against Sharifs

Did Musharraf Steal People's Money?

Trump's White House

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's new PM charges ahead with reforms. #energy, #economy, #civil #military ties, - Nikkei Asian Review

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/Pakistan-s-new-PM-charges-ahead-with-reforms

As soon as he became chairman of the Economic Coordination Committee, or ECC, the government's highest decision-making body for economic policies, Abbasi founded Ministry of Energy by merging of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Water and Power to accelerate construction of the power infrastructure so essential for economic growth.

The new prime minister appointed former Minister of Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, one of his most able cabinet members in the area of economic reform, as minister of interior. Abbasi is also keeping a close eye on security, especially in preventing terrorism and deterring organized crime.

The business sector has welcomed the new prime minister. If he follows the previous government's policies that proved moderately successful in implementing reforms and achieving high economic growth, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), or PML-N, could likely overcome the Sharif scandal and do relatively well in next summer's general election.

Key ministries merge

Merging government offices in charge of energy policy had been discussed in order to deal with the massive power shortage, which has exceeded 5000 megawatts. But the merger failed to materialize due to lack of political will within the ruling party and the government.

Since his days as minister of petroleum and natural resources, Abbasi has been pushing for construction of liquefied natural gas terminals and development of gas fields. The creation of the ministry of energy jibes with his long-held view that the country should expand gas-based power generation to address energy shortages.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who oversaw economic and fiscal policies, was the key player in the previous cabinet. But he gave up ECC chairmanship to Abbasi because of a Supreme Court order to investigate allegations that he illicitly amassed personal wealth. This clearly shows that the power center has shifted within Pakistan.

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In mid-August, Abbasi met prominent business leaders in the country's commercial hub of Karachi, where he personally answered their questions and addressed concerns. "[We are] really impressed they are overcoming the damage by the disqualification of the former PM and [are] much more united," said one of the participants. "[Abbasi's] business practice is much better than his predecessor."

Pakistan's economy is projected to achieve growth of more than 5% in the fiscal year that ended in June, due in large part to support from the International Monetary Fund, projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, expansion of foreign investment, and a recovery in personal spending. This would be the highest growth rate in 9 years.

The fiscal deficit is moderately expanding due to pork-barrel projects ahead of the general election, and exports aren't growing as expected. But investors at home and abroad are showing more faith in the government because of the improved energy and security situations.

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"The new prime minister is a businessman turned politician, having run the state airline and set up a low-cost carrier," says Ehsan Malik, CEO of the Pakistan Business Council, a leading think tank on economic policies. "He has deep understanding of business and economic priorities. He is also a good listener and a quick decision-maker."

Malik is also optimistic about the ruling party's recovery from the Sharif scandal. "Notwithstanding the change of leadership, the PML-N government will complete its five-year term," he says.
Riaz Haq said…
New #UK #property law could spell doom for #Pakistan politicians. #NawazSharif #MaryamNawaz #PanamaPapers #London #Corruption

https://www.aninews.in/news/world/europe/new-uk-property-law-could-spell-doom-for-pak-politicians201802051452480001/

London [UK], Feb 5 (ANI): The United Kingdom Government has introduced new rules which gives the law enforcement officers sweeping powers to usurp assets and properties that have been accrued through "dirty money."

The new rules have been designed to stop corrupt people from using the UK as a safe haven to amass unaccounted wealth. Individuals can be fined and jailed if they make misleading statements.

British authorities have the right to freeze and recover properties of more than 50,000 pounds if individuals cannot give a genuine explanation on the source of the property and legal proof showing that they have acquired the property legally, The Dawn reported.

The UWO (Unexplained Wealth Order) that initially came into force on February 1, looked to target Russian businessmen and industrialists having assets in the UK. However, the new property law could, however, spell the same trouble for some Pakistani politicians.

Another issue that goes against Pakistani politicians is "the lower threshold as a UWO made in relation to a non-EEA [European Economic Area] PEP [Politically Exposed Person] would not require suspicion of serious criminality".

London-based anti-corruption group, Transparency International (TI) said that it has identified properties worth 4.4 billion pounds in the UK that can be taken up in the new legislation.

It has already prepared a list of five cases and feels that the investigation would not be delayed for long. This also includes the Avenfield House flats case, involving former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Suspecting Sharif as the owner of four Avenfield House flats worth eight million pounds, TI said in a statement, "The Land Registry documents showing the four properties are owned by two companies registered in the British Virgin Islands- Nescoll Limited and Nielsen Limited.

"According to information published as part of Panama Papers, these companies were controlled by the former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. In 2017, Pakistani authorities initiated an investigation into these assets, which found that they were purchased without a mortgage between 1993 and 1995, just after Sharif reported a growth in wealth without any plausible declared source of income. In July 2017, Sharif was removed from the office after the investigation found that he had failed to disclose these properties on his official asset declaration," added TI.

Igor Shuvalov, the Russian first deputy prime minister is the alleged owner of two flats worth 11.44 million pounds at 4 Whitehall Court in London.

Sharif is not the only politician to have links to a series properties in the UK.

Other media reports have mentioned that various Pakistani politicians have also purchased properties and amassed unaccounted wealth in the UK.

India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim has been reportedly linked to a series of properties across the United Kingdom, according to a UK media report.

The UK newspaper compared the details from documents prepared by Indian authorities related to the records held by UK's Companies House, Land Registry and the Panama Papers.

The documents also alleged that Ibrahim's right-hand man, Muhammed Iqbal "Mirchi" Memon, amassed huge properties in the UK, such as hotels, mansions, and houses in South-East England.

Memon held at least 11 company directorships in tiling, construction and lettings firms in the UK before he died in 2013 after suffering a heart attack. He had consistently denied his involvement in Ibrahim's cartel.

Memon, also a suspect in the 1993 Mumbai attacks, had sought refuge in London after the blasts and attempts to extradite him to India had failed. He sought refuge in London after the 1993 Mumbai attacks. India has tried to extradite him but in vain.

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