Archive for the ‘Pakistan’ Category

International corruption report lauds Indian SC, slams Pak army

June 26, 2008

An independent group has praised Indian Supreme Court for its efforts to fight corruption in government and political life but strongly criticised the Pakistani military for perpetuating corruption and flouting law for “grabbing land and companies” for its officers.

“The Supreme Court takes corruption seriously in both the general and political domains. Political corruption is not confined to monetary considerations but extends to making false promises to secure votes, helping colleagues, conflicts of interest and manipulating law to help interested parties,” the report by Transparency International (TI) says.

The apex court also brings the issue of corruption into its judgments, it says.

It particularly refers to more than 300 laws placed in the “ninth schedule” to grant immunity from being tested in the courts. But the Supreme Court, it says approvingly, did away with immunity by observing that since the basic structure of the Constitution includes some of the fundamental rights, any law granted ninth schedule deserves to be tested against these principles.

Referring to Pakistan, the report says that the share military controls was a “carefully guarded secret” until July last year when Ayesha Siddiqa, a civil servant who worked in defence accounting, published her book.

According to her, full generals enjoy individual wealth of USD 8.3 million and President Pervez Musharraf has “converted USD 690,000 of army granted farmland into USD 10.3 million moveable assets,” it says and accuses military of “grabbing” land and companies.

Pointing out the military has held power for most of the 60 years of the Pakistan’s existence, it says it is not surprising that arms procurement has provided a flourishing channel for corruption as “it also has in India and Sri Lanka.” But the report on global corruption says what is less well-known is the “inroads” made by the military into “civilian” sectors of Pakistan’s economy, including land, construction, property, manufacture, fertilizers, manufacture, road-building, health, education, insurance and banking.

The Pakistani military’s interest in civilian sectors, the report says, are held by charitable foundations set up in the colonial era to look after the retired members of the armed forces, particularly the officers’ class.

The wealthiest, it says, is the Fauji Foundation (FF) the country’s largest corporation with a turnover of USD 500 million in 2001 as well as the country’s largest landowner.

Askari Bank, owned by the Army Welfare Trust, is the country’s most successful bank and the trust also has interests in farming, milling, insurance and retail, it says.

The Shaheen Foundation, run by Air Force, specializes in aviation-related services including owning the country’s second largest airline, Shaheen Air, aviation maintenance and in-flight catering, it says.

Besides, the Foundation also has interest in commercial property, television and radio, and computer technology and National Logistic Cell, the army’s transport fleet, enjoys a near monopoly on all large haulage contracts, it adds.

The army also houses “defence colonies” which provide officers with prime housing at “peppercorn” prices and acquires farmland for cultivation by ex-servicemen,” it says.

“Since President Pervez Musharraf came to power by coup in 1999, the military has extended its economic reach through appointment of 92 senior officers to key posts in public sector, diplomatic service and leading utilities, providing further scope for illegal enrichment,” the report says.

“So much has been grabbed by the military that it will take years to just catalogue it,” the report quotes Lord Patten, former European Union Commissioner for external relations, as writing in 2006.

Courtesy :- Yahoo

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$5.6 billion US aid to Pak unaccounted: Are you still sleeping Mr.Bush?

June 25, 2008

US & Pak presidentsNearly six billion US dollars provided by the US to Pakistan to fight against terrorism since the September 9, 2001 attacks on America has been of little use for that purpose, an independent audit has found out.

The findings by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released in a report on 24 June, 2008, showed a troubling lack of oversight and accountability for the US funds to Pakistan that were meant to combat terrorism.

The findings angered Congress members with the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrat, Howard Berman expressing shock at the lack of oversight of several billion dollars heading the way of Pakistan from Coalition Support Funds, which is funding the war on terror.

”I’m shocked at the lack of oversight of billions of dollars that have been doled out in Pakistan in an effort to fight terrorism,” Berman said in a statement.

The US has provided Pakistan about USD 5.6 billion since 2001 attacks on World Trade Centre, when more than 3000 people were killed. The GAO found several cases where the Bush Administration could not explain or account for such payments, including millions of dollars for road construction with no evidence that any roads were built, and reimbursement costs to the Pakistan military that may be duplicative.

”The report documents how US funds were used without any evidence that they supported counter-terrorism efforts. ”The US government is being asked to reimburse Pakistan for non-incremental air defence radar maintenance when al Qaida is not even known to have an air force. The purpose of these funds is to support the fight against extremists, and not to boost Pakistan’s conventional warfare capability,” Howard Berman said.

Bush :- Don’t worry man, Half of the money spent on ISI to combat against India and remaining went into pockets of politicians.

Howard BermanĀ  :- Pakistan is spending more than budget allocated funds on ISI. There is no accountability for their own money how can you expect the accountability for US funds. But good try, Let’s see when will US government open it’s eyes.

Readers :- Most of the US (World) enemies (Taliban, Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussain etc) are once funded and supported by US. Once the designated work over, they became enemies (Only God knows the reasons). Let’s see whether history repeats or not?

Courtesy: NDTV