PM Nawaz’s political appointments irk politicians, diplomats alike

Dr Yousaf, who is a blue-eyed of Sharifs, forcing them to violate all rules for posting him as High Commissioner to Ottawa
Dr Yousaf Junaid, who is a blue-eyed of Sharifs, forcing them to violate all rules for posting him as High Commissioner to Ottawa

 By: Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Days after the controversial appointment of PML-N Stalwart Barjees Tahir as Governor Gilgit Baltistan made headlines, credible sources in the foreign office Islamabad said another controversial appointment is happening, this time at diplomatic front which is likely to be challenged in the apex court.

Sources said that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has given approval to the appointment of Dr. Yousaf Junaid, a PML-N loyalists and non-diplomatic bureaucrat, as Pakistan High Commissioner to Canada.

Also read:  Wrangling in foreign ministry keeps vital post vacant for almost a year

Like the political appointment of GB Governor which attracted severe criticisms from political parties like PPP and PTI, the reported appointment of Dr Yousaf Junaid as the High Commission of Pakistan to Canada is expected to be challenged in the apex court, source said.

According to diplomatic sources, Dr Youasaf Junaid, a Grade 20 Officer, is currently serving as Consul General of Pakistan in Istanbul for the last five years.

“As an officer of Commerce and Trade Group he was posted one of the Commercial Missions of Pakistan for a term of three years after which he was supposed to return to Pakistan and serve in his Ministry for a specific period of time which could be 2 to 5 years” source said, adding upon his turn he would again be considered for a posting abroad against a commercial post.

“By violating all the procedures he is being appointed as High Commissioner for Pakistan on which a grade -22 officer of Foreign Service of Pakistan was posted. The post had been kept vacant for almost a year to accommodate Dr. Juniad” tells a source in foreign office Islamabad.

Also read : ‘Obstructing Swiss cases earns Bhounr Chairman Sindh Public Service Commission post’

As per the rules either the Officers of Foreign Service of Pakistan can be posted against as Ambassadors or High Commissioners, as they have unwritten quota of 80% posts and the remaining 20% goes to the Political appointees. The political appointees may include people from all walks of life who are deemed fit for the job but excluded in Service Officers.

The rule says is that no serving Officer of any service can be appointed as Ambassador or High Commissioner except that of Foreign Service which has been made exactly for the purpose.

Officers in Foreign Office have told this scribe that Dr. Junaid has worked in close collaboration of Chief Minister Punjab and has managed the commercial deals taking place in Turkey. “These Include the Multibillion dollar Metro bus projects, investment in Power sector and so long and so forth” sources claimed.

There are also reports that the sister of Dr. Junaid is the Private Secretary of Ms. Kalsoom Nawaz and this brings Dr. Junaid close to the family circles of rulers.

It is pertinent to mention here that during the last regime, President Zardari tried to post his favorite in France. Jahanzeb Khan a grade 20 Officer of District Management Group was posted as Pakistan’s Ambassador to France. The Foreign Office Officers’ Association went to the court and same day the appointment was cancelled.

“Now again, without learning anything Prime Minister is again doing the same thing. Foreign Office of Pakistan’s current spokesperson was at the forefront against that appointment”, told an official while demanding complete anonymity.

Source said that the incumbent Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Chaudhry, who would send the summary to Prime Minister for appointment of Dr. Junaid against all rules to save his skin, had been against to such appointments in the past.

Sources said that Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, is supporting the appointment Dr Yousaf despite the fact that as a career Officer of Foreign Service he had been speaking against appointment of political ambassadors.

Despite several attempts the foreign secretary could not be reached while the cell phone of Tanseem Aslam, the foreign office spokesperson, was also going unattended till filing this report.

Edited version of this story has been published here 

TTP chooses female bombers for carrying out fresh attacks


By: Naimat Khan

KARACHI: With heightened security measures being taken by the security agencies, the terrorists have now planned to carry out fresh attacks with female suicide bombers, discloses a ‘threat alert’ sent by the federal interior ministry to the provincial governments of the country.

The lady bombers easily escape search due to lack of lady searchers at most of the places, increasing the ratio of their success that’s why the terrorists have planned to use them for bombing innocent people, law enforcement agencies and sensitive installations, sources said.

“It has been learnt that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is planning to carryout terrorist activity against Law Enforcement Agencies, sensitive installations and security personnel” warns a letter sent to received by the Sindh Home Department.

According to sources a suicide bombers team, including female bombers, has been selected for the tasks.

The provinces have been advised to adopt extreme vigilance and heightened security. “Special measures may be taken to avoid any untoward incident” the letter states.

The provincial Government and sub-ordinate departments have also been cautioned to take strict security measures for security of sensitive installation, headquarters of LEAs and the residences of high-ups while ensuring extensive body searches and particularly arrange women staff to not let any woman go without proper search.

TTP has the history of using female bombers for attacks however no such incident has been witnessed in the recent past.
A female suicide bomber was killed when she tried to take explosive material inside an Imambargah near Khalid Bin Waleed Road Karachi in December 2013.

In June last year Karachi police had claimed to identify two sister bombers who were indoctrinated by the arrested Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants.

Police sources said the women being vulnerable to indoctrination by militants and extremists can be used as suicide bombers however it was difficult to hunt them as compared to male terrorists.

Last year Lal Majid cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz in an interview with Bloomberg News had claimed that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had  500 female suicide bombers who were ready to act.

Originally Published here 

‘Foreigners go untraced after they enter Karachi’


KARACHI: At a time when the law enforcement agencies have launched a crackdown against common Afghanis besides local and foreign militants, intelligence sources say majority of the foreigners, especially Afghan nationals, go untraced after their arrival into Karachi.

Highly credible sources told  that the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) provincial government is taking necessary steps at the entry points of Sindh, but the airport, being a potential entry point for the terrorists and their financers, has totally being ignored from where not only Afghanis but nationals of other countries also entre into the restive metropolis.

“Once they are entered into the troubled Pakistani port city no one knows as where they went and what are they doing” told a senior police officer while demanding complete anonymity.

Even there is no clue whether they remain in the city’s boundaries or move illegally to Balochistan and cities of other provinces due to lack of monitoring and proper report systems, sources said.

According to details, the majority of foreign nationals who are visiting Karachi don’t report for their arrival in Foreigners Registration Section (FRS) of Special Branch in Karachi, which keeps an eye over their movement.

Intelligence sources said at the time of arrival at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, they mention name of hotel of stay at FIA/Investigations Counter, but they don’t arrive at hotels and manage their stay at various places of the city.

“Some of them who stay at hotels upon their checkout don’t leave for airport but manage their extended stay in various parts of the city” sources inform.

In this connection, the law enforcers have been cautioned that in the prevailing state of affairs, ongoing operation Zarb-i-Azb and action against terrorists and criminals, necessary measures should be ensured to avoid any terrorist act.

According to a report, appeared in this newspaper last year, as many as eight international spy agencies are providing direct financial support to the killers and terrorists in Karachi.

Three of these agencies are working under the supervision of neighboring country and arch rival of Pakistan, India, which is also supporting terrorism in troubled Balochistan.

It is pertinent to mention that the ruling Pakistan People’s Party had expressed serious reservations over the extension of stay of war-hit but peaceful Afghan refugees till 31 Dec 2015 but its government has completely failed to monitor the movement of Afghan and other foreign nationals, who may be involved in criminal and terrorists activities.

The story is originally published here

LAEs clueless as Nadra fails to identify finger of Shikarpur Imambargah’s bomber


Naimat Khan

KARACHI: The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has failed to identify the finger of alleged suicide bomber of Shikarpur blast, sources said.

The federal interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, while speaking in the lower house of the parliament on last Friday, had claimed to have identified the suicide bomber and mastermind to a ‘’great extent’’.

But highly credible sources said the Mr Khan claims were based on whims and the development may be a setback for the law enforcers to reach to the killers and mastermind.

Well-placed sources in the authority told that the finger, one of the main sources of identification, could not be identified. However, some of the investigators claim other identification clues, including DNA, may yield any results.

On the contrary a high official in the provincial capital was cynical of any outcome of the remaining clues, when shared the information regarding the status of identification of finger of the alleged suicide bomber.

Around 62 people were killed when powerful bomb went off in the crowded imambargah near Lakhidar Chowk during Friday prayers in the last week of January.

The second big terrorist attack, after the Peshawar’s army public school carnage, shocked the nation as there were no prior intelligence reports of the attack.

Fahad Marwat, a spokesperson of the Jundullah accepted responsibility of the blast which the CID of Karachi police rejected.

According to a report quoting CID officer Raja Umar Khittab around four earlier claims of the terrorist outfit, including that of the Waga border blast, turned out to be false, decreasing the creditability of claims of responsibility by Jundullah.

Besides, the outfit had no network outside Karachi where the terrorist organization has carried out attacks, said Khittab while talking to a news outlet.

The CID officer had also hinted the involvement of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has not only countrywide network, but had safe access to Shikarpur from its stronghold Quetta, may be involved in the terrorist attack on Imambargah.

The edited version of this story was published here