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Pakistan News And Discussion-12
<b>Musharraf’s popularity hits all-time low</b>
How? Last week he won election by 98% votes like Saddam and Gadafi.
<b>47 Army officers strike it rich by selling off plush farmhouses </b>
By Rauf Klasra
ISLAMABAD: As many as 47 officers of the Pakistan army who were allotted big farmhouses in the suburbs of Islamabad by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) at throwaway price for growing “vegetables, orchards and poultry” have quietly sold off their 310 acres of prime farmland at exorbitantly high price. The market prices are in the range of Rs100-200 million per acre depending upon on the location of the farm.

The CDA has submitted the names of these army officers to the Supreme Court of Pakistan along with 499 top guns who own 2500 acres of prime farmland worth Rs75billion.

General Pervez Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz too are among those powerful people who now own these plush farmhouses.

At the time of allotment of these farmhouses, these army officers were shown as the interested parties and individuals keen to grow vegetables, orchards and poultry products, in line with the CDA’s policy, for supply to the residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. These farms were allotted to these military officers in the farming schemes in Chak Shahzad, Orchard Scheme Murree Road, etc. But, after getting them allotted at highly subsidized rate, these officers later sold these farms at market rates to earn massive profits.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed the CDA authorities to submit a report containing the names of all those who were given land at throwaway prices for growing vegetables. The CDA has now submitted the list of these 499 big and influential people who have converted these big farms into residential palaces. The Authority too is blamed for changing the byelaws to accommodate the high and mighty of Islamabad to give legal cover to the otherwise massive irregularities committed in the name of growing vegetables and orchards.

The names of those army officers who have sold their farmhouses are given below:

Maj Sajid Hussain sold 2 acres of land to ISI, Mohammad Asim sold his farm to ISI, Sub Muhabat Khan to Mr Rashid etc, Flt Lt Fazal Hussain to Ms Bushra Akram, Major Maqboolur Rehman to Mohammad Ilyas, Maj Islam Khan to Mohammad Zubair Kidwai, Wing Commander Hasham Jamal Dani to Kalimur Rehman and others, Col SM Fazail to Ms Mihala Hussain wife of Tariq Hussain, Majr General Ikhlaq to Ms Ambreen Haroon, Brig Esa Khan to Nisar Ahmed and others, Col Mohammad Aslam Khan to Ms Usman Ahmed Janjua, Brig Khushi Mohammad Ch to Nighat Rehman daughter of Raza-ur Rehman, Major Mahmoodur Rehman to Ms Zohra Nasim, Brig Malik Shahnawaz to Ms Naz Aziz Ahmed, Col Mohammad Riazul Hassan to Ms Shamim Ara and others, Major Mohammad Safeer to Bilal Hussain son of Hassan Din, Lt Col Mohammad Hanif to Ms Shafi un Nisa wife of Mumtaz, Col Moinuddin Khan to Waseem Akthar Kh, Col Mohammad Saleem to Ch Abdul Hameed, Brig Shaukat Ali sold two farms of 2.5 acres each to Mr Shamoon Zakria, Lt General Jamal Said Mian to Ali Ejaz Hussain, Brig Mohammad Afzal Khan to Jahnzeb Khan Orakzai and others, Brig Abdul Qayum to Brig Fazalur Qadir, DG ISI sold two plots to Tanver Ilyas and Ms Tricon Developers, Commd MA Arif Khan to Mehran Gul, Major General Riaz Rabbani to Malik Saleem Raza, Maj General Saad Tariq to Mehraj Ent, Col S Ghaffar Mehdi to Mohammad Younis, Col Abdullah Khan to Saifur Rehman, Major Syed Azmat Ali Bokhari to Mian Abdul Rasheed, Major Anees Ahmed to Ch Khalid Aziz and others, Major M Younis Khan to Mohammad Irshad and others, Lt Col Asghar Khan to Shafaul Haq and others, Sq Ldr MKR Aziz to Raja Mohammad Arshad, Maj General M Rahim Khan to Faqir Syed Muniruddin Bukhari, Lt Col SM Akhtar to Ms Shamim Afridi, Sub Mansabdar to Maj Genreal Ashraf Khan, Lt Col Raja Zahoor Akthar to Tariq Saleem, Lt Col Noor Ellahi to Dr Naseemudin, Cap Dr Ahmed Ali Khan to Qadir Gilani, Sub Mansbadar to Dr Mohammad Ashiq and Brig Khushi Mohammad sold his farm to Irfanul Haq Alvi.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>New security force fails to garner recruits</b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><i>* Local Taliban have warned tribesman against enlisting</i>

ISLAMABAD : The government’s plan to create a 2,800-strong paramilitary force in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan seems unlikely to succeed because people from the area are unwilling to join the force, sources in the Interior Ministry told Daily Times on Saturday.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->However, Interior Ministry officials are questioning whether the new force would be able to maintain peace in the tribal region where around 80,000 army troops, over 30,000 Frontier Constabulary personnel and paramilitary forces such as the Mohmand Rifles, Bajaur Scouts, Mahsud Scouts, Tochi Scouts have already failed to deliver.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Foreign engineering firms may capture Pak market</span></b>[/center]

<b>LAHORE : With a contribution of less than three per cent to exports, the local engineering sector mainly comprising small and medium enterprises is likely to surrender the domestic market to foreign companies as the economy further opens up.</b>

Engineering experts have urged entrepreneurs and government planners to coordinate in facilitating the local engineering industry by lowering the cost of doing business, providing increased access to funds, capacity-building to connect globally and improving global marketing.

They pointed out that the exports of engineering goods had not increased in line with the increase in total exports during the past one decade. The share of engineering goods’ exports, they added, was still less than three per cent of the total exports. The engineering sector has been the real growth promoter and accounted for over 60 per cent of the total global trade.

They said exports from the engineering sector in Pakistan were limited to the electrical and mechanical industry only and pointed out that engineering and construction services, engineering design services, energy and telecom were also part of the engineering sector, besides light engineering (for example fans), home appliances and auto part sub-sectors, which should lead growth in exports.

Engineering experts considered high interest rates as a small component in the cost of doing business in Pakistan and said that the cost of engineering goods increased due to wastages that occurred owing to unscheduled and frequent electricity breakdowns.

Also, closure of industries for long periods due to official holidays pushed up the cost and they cited the example of four straight holidays announced on the occasion of Eid this year.

They said no local construction company had the capability to build a 70-storey building, encouraging construction companies from Bosnia, Turkey, Dubai and Malaysia to start mega residential and commercial projects. They said these companies were likely to stay on after the completion of projects and grab a share from local construction companies for smaller projects as well.

They said the construction industry in Pakistan would have to gear up to thwart the challenges posed by the foreign construction companies in the future.

They said the situation in the automobile industry was not as bright as was being propagated by the planners. Pakistan is saving just 30-40 per cent of foreign exchange on locally-produced cars as indigenisation has not been carried out on a rational basis.

<b>They pointed out that although the government claimed that the local car industry had indigenised 53 to 73 per cent of auto-parts, their value was too small even for cars with 73 per cent deleted parts when compared to the cost of 27 per cent parts that had to be imported.

In other words, even for the highest deleted car models the country has to pay over 50 per cent in foreign exchange.</b>

Engineering experts also blamed entrepreneurs for their failure to raise funds through secondary markets. No engineering concern in Pakistan has the capacity to meet even 25 per cent requirement of any component required by any leading global car-maker. They said the inability to reach global markets also increased the cost of production.

The engineering experts, however, appreciated the government’s policy of entrusting the responsibility of engineering sector development to the private sector. They said the former chief executive officer of the Engineering Development Board, who belonged to the private sector, took bold steps to encourage local entrepreneurs to participate in international engineering fairs and broaden their horizon.

However, the EDB has been working without a head for eight months as the private sector CEO was forced to resign due to a non-cooperative bureaucracy. The government has once again appointed a private sector entrepreneur as the EDB head who would again need compliance from the bureaucracy which should be ensured.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

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