KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has denied any link with a suspected mass murderer, Yusuf Thelewala, saying that neither does he know him nor has he ever met him. “But under a conspiracy a spoon-fed statement of the accused has been recorded on a mobile phone in which Thelewala has taken my name,” he said on Thursday.
“This is quite surprising for me that my connection with an accused, a mass murderer, has been tried to be established, but this attempt is bound to fail as it is baseless, unfounded and mala fide.”
He was talking to the media at the National Institute of Management where he presided over the graduation ceremony of 27 Midterm Career Management Course.
He said he had met IGP Dr Kaleem Imam, AIG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon and given them the task to conduct an inquiry and trace the conspiracy, whatsoever, that how his name was taken by the accused. “I have also asked them to inquire as to how a selected reporter(s) was allowed to record the statement of the accused in his mobile phone, otherwise there was no mention of my meeting with the accused in the press conference.”
Sindh cabinet bans wheat quota to flour mills involved in plea bargain
Mr Shah said that in 2017 Yusuf Thelewala was arrested by Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, and the accused was saying that he had met him. “Let the inquiry take its course,” he said.
Answering another question, the chief minister said that a car with a fake number plate was seen on the road with a police mobile escorting it. “This video went viral on social media and on my inquiry the excise and taxation minister told me that the vehicle belonged to Governor House.”
The chief minister said that the police had registered an FIR but it was not against the governor. “When I became the chief minister I got all the CM House vehicles registered with the excise and taxation department and I would talk to the governor and request him to get all his house vehicles registered,” he said.
Wheat quota ban
The Sindh cabinet on Thursday banned wheat quota to the flour mills involved in plea bargain, defaulters of government dues, non-functional flour mills and chakkis and decided to purchase wheat from the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) to control wheat/flour price and release wheat to eligible flour mills at a subsidised rate of Rs3,450 per 100kg bag.
The cabinet, which met here on Thursday presided over by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, also gave 15 days to the defaulters to clear their dues to get restored their wheat quota and asked functional flour mills to show the electricity bills to prove their functionality before release of their quota.
By another decision, the cabinet also decided to make those mills liable to penalty with the recovery of subsidy if they get quota but did not function.
The chief minister directed the chief secretary to coordinate with NAB authorities to get back the collected amount of Rs2 billion received as plea bargain from the flour mills.
The cabinet decided that the local recruitment from grade BS-1 to 4 would be made through a selection committee headed by a deputy commissioner, and at the divisional level the selection committee would be headed by the commissioner while from BS-5 to 15 would be made through third party and above BS-15 by the Sindh Public Service Commission.
The chief minister also constituted a committee with Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh, Labour Minister Saeed Ghani and Adviser on Law Murtaza Wahab to work out a mechanism for recruitment from BS-5 to 15 and submit their recommendations within 15 days. The recruitments in the police department would be through the Institute of Business Administration.
Wildlife Act 2019
The Sindh cabinet also approved the Sindh Wildlife Protection, Preservation, Conservation, and Management Act Bill 2019. The newly passed law prohibits hunting, shooting, killing, trapping, snaring and poisoning of wild animals. The hunting of game animals shall be regulated in a prescribed manner.
The cabinet constituted a nine-member council for the conservation of wildlife with the function of giving vision and guidance for sustainability of wildlife.
The other decisions taken by the cabinet included approval of the Sindh Sustainable Forest Management Policy, 2019 with the objective to maintain, restore, enhance and sustainably manage the forest resources by following the highest standards of professional forestry, promoting public awareness and participation, strengthening institutional capacities and mobilising stakeholders’ support.
SCDA and PTDC
The cabinet was told that the Sindh governor had referred back the amendments in the Sindh Coastal Development Authority Act, 1994 with the observation of interfering in the jurisdiction of the Pakistan Maritime Security. The cabinet approved the bill once again and referred it to the assembly.
The culture department told the cabinet that the federal government had taken certain decisions to devolve the assets of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation on certain conditions.
On a request of the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) the cabinet accorded exemption of Sindh sales tax collection on mobile phone services for the period from June 13, 2018 to April 24, 2019. After this date the SRB would be authorised to collect the Sindh sales tax on cellular phone services.
The cabinet approved implementation of the Hague Convention on Civil Aspect of International Child Abduction, 1980 by bringing it within the jurisdiction of family court.
The cabinet also approved the rules of Sindh Hindu Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2018 under which the marriage cases would be tried in family court.
The rules of Sindh Employees Social Security Bill 2016 were also approved by the cabinet.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2019