Shahbaz inspects Metro Bus Project

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that metro bus project is not just a project but a great mission and will be completed in time with missionary spirit and determination. He said that completion of this project will not only result in availability of modern, comfortable, economical and rapid transport facilities to the people but will also save their precious time. He said that this project will also enable common citizens and students to reach their destination in time.

He said that temporary difficulties being faced by the people will soon be transformed into permanent relief. He said that at the beginning of metro bus service, free travelling facility will be provided to the public for four weeks.

He expressed these views after paying a surprise visit to metro bus project early Sunday morning and later presiding over a high level meeting to review the security plan and the pace of progress of metro bus project at Chief Minister\’s Secretariat. Chairman Lahore Transport Company Khawaja Ahmad Hasaan, Member Provincial Assembly Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmad, Project Director BRT, Director General LDA, District Coordination Officer Lahore, Chairman PITB and contractors besides other concerned authorities were also present. DG LDA gave briefing to the Chief Minister at various sections of the project. Continue reading

Property dispute: 3 women killed, 2 hurt in Nankana Sahib

LAHORE: Three women were killed and two people were injured on Sunday over some property in Nankana Sahib.

Bara Ghar police said that one of the assailants was a proclaimed offender wanted for attempted murder.

Station House Office Tahir Bashir said complainant Ghafoor Ahmed, a resident of Thatha Purbera village, had named 11 men in the FIR, who he said he had had a property dispute with. The complainant said that the men attacked his house on Sunday killing his wife Daulat Bibi, daughter Sajida Bibi and daughter-in-law Nausheen. His daughter Shazia Bibi and Nausheen’s father Ghulam Rasool were injured. They were taken to district headquarters hospital, where doctors said that they were out of danger.

The SHO said Ghafoor claims to have bought an eight-marla plot at the back of his house from Abbas, one of the suspects. However, Abbas, the SHO said, claimed that Ghafoor had taken possession of the land without making a payment. Continue reading

Haris Steel Mills case : NAB traces sale of frozen property back to accused

LAHORE: Contrary to allegations by the accused in the Haris Steel Mills case against the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the bureau’s probe has traced the sale of the former’s frozen property back to its owners, sources familiar with the case have revealed.

During the case hearing in the Supreme Court on October 22, co-accused Sheikh Afzal’s counsel had claimed NAB and the Bank of Punjab (BoP) sold his client’s property in Dubai for Rs1.5 billion, which he maintained was roughly half its market value. He had requested the court order NAB to probe the matter.

The property, situated in Dubai’s affluent Emirates Hill neighbourhood, had been frozen along with other assets belonging to the accused – which include Sheikh Afzal’s brothers Yaqoob, Munir and Nisar, and his son Haris – after they failed to return a Rs9 billion loan obtained from BoP.

NAB and BoP had also requested UAE authorities to transfer this particular property to the latter. Both parties had also informed the Pakistani Embassy in Dubai and authorities in the UAE to prohibit the sale or transfer of the property. Following these legal formalities, the property had been sealed. Continue reading

Austerity aside: The high cost of diplomacy abroad

ISLAMABAD: 

Austerity may not be the gravest of concerns when selecting property for diplomatic missions, reveal documents submitted by the foreign ministry to the National Assembly.

Though incomplete, the documents submitted in response to a question by parliamentarian Khalida Mansoor show that Pakistan has spent billions of rupees in rent for its diplomatic missions abroad.

The country has run up a collective bill of Rs2.2 billion for 69 diplomatic missions – embassies and consulates – over the last five years. This includes Rs39 million spent on the consulate in Chicago, USA, a country where Pakistan already has four other diplomatic missions.

However, not all the details are listed as Pakistan has over 120 missions abroad. Some very important embassies, including the high commission in Ottawa, Canada, are missing altogether. In some cases, the exchange rate is either incorrect or not mentioned, making the value of payments in rupees unknown. Continue reading

Property tax defaulters served notices

ISLAMABAD - The Excise and Taxation Department Rawalpindi has issued notices to hundreds of property tax defaulters with tax arrears worth Rs 50,000 to 100,000.

According to sources, the defaulters had been asked in the notice to pay their tax arrears within 10 days, otherwise their properties would be sealed.

The Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO) Property Tax, Sheikh Tahir Mansoor said that the defaulters, including owners of residential and commercial building, were being issued final notices urging them to pay the taxes and arrears, the source informed.
If the defaulters did not pay the arrears within the deadline, their properties would be sealed, said the ETO, adding that a monthly one percent surcharge was also imposed on the defaulters who did not pay taxes. Continue reading