Update on The Performance of Democratic Institutions | June 2022

Share:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


This update is meant to identify key developments during the month on Performance of Democratic Institutions in Pakistan with selected high-profile international developments included occasionally.

In this issue:

  1. Any agreement with TTP subject to approval by the Parliament: PMO
  2. ECL Rules within Legal Ambit: CJP
  3. Pakistan Successfully Completes FATF Action Plans
  4. Formalising the role of Intelligence Agencies as Special Vetting Agencies
  5. Justice (Retd.) Javed Iqbal quits as NAB Chairman
  6. ECP reserves Judgement in PTI Foreign Funding Case
  7. Clear Appointments Criteria for Elevation of Judges
  8. Pakistan Army wants former COAS to return to Pakistan: DG-ISPR
  9. COAS hails smooth conducting of LG polls in Balochistan
  10. 80th Formation Commanders’ Conference
  11. Speaker National Assembly meets Foreign Dignitaries
  12. Chairman Senate meets Foreign Dignitaries
  13. Prime Minister’s Interactions with COAS

Any agreement with TTP subject to approval by the Parliament: PMO

Prime Minister Mr. Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif

Termed by the PMO as a meeting on national security issues, a meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s house on June 22 which was presided by Prime Minister Mr. Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif. During the meeting, it was shared that Pakistan has been engaged in negotiations with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) through facilitation by the Afghanistan government under the ambit of Pakistan’s constitution and any agreement with the TTP will be subject to the approval by Parliament. [1]

Participants of the meeting included Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Federal Ministers of Defence Production, Economic Affairs, Interior, Information and Broadcasting, Finance and Revenue and Communications. Other participants included Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, Mr. Ameer Haider Hoti, Mr. Mohsin Dawar, Mr. Khalid Magsi, Mr. Aslam Bhootani, and Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah. The briefing at the meeting was made by Peshawar Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid who has been spearheading the TTP talks and ISI Director General Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum. [2]

ECL Rules within Legal Ambit: CJP

Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Chief Justice of Pakistan

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Umar Ata Bandial has asked that any beneficiary of the recent amendment to the ‘Exit from Pakistan (Control) Rules, 2010’ should not leave the country without prior permission from the Interior Ministry until the Federal Cabinet comes out with a final decision in this regard. [3]

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Umar Ata Bandial comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar had taken suo motu notice over the removal of names from the Exit Control List (ECL) and questioned the procedure for doing so on apprehensions that criminal justice might be undermined by people in positions of authority.[4]

The Federal government had removed a large number of names from the Exit Control List (ECL) and had announced that if a person’s name has been on the ECL for more than 120 days, their name would be automatically removed. [5]

Pakistan Successfully Completes FATF Action Plans

On June 17, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) acknowledged that Pakistan substantially completed its two action plans, covering 34 items.

Director General ISPR tweeted on June 17 that “Completion of FATF AML /CFT action plans by Pak is a great achievement. A monumental effort paving way 4 whitelisting. “Core cell @ GHQ which steered the national effort & civil – military team which synergised implementation of action plan made it possible, making Pak proud” COAS.” [6]

FATF will now make an on-site visit to verify Pakistan’s progress in tackling terrorism financing before deciding whether to delist the country. The verification process through Pakistan visit would be completed before FATF’s plenary in October 2022. [7]

Formalising the role of Intelligence Agencies as Special Vetting Agencies

The Federal Government has formalised the role of intelligence agencies in the verification and screening of all public office holders for induction, postings/ appointments and promotions.

In a notification issued on June 2, 2022, Prime Minister notified the ISI as Special Vetting Agency for verification and screening of all Public Office Holders (officers’ category) for induction, important postings/ appointments and promotions.[8] On June 18, IB was also notified as a Special Vetting Agency for officers category for initial appointments and postings. [9]

In practice, the intelligence agencies have had a de-facto role in the verification and screening of all public office holders for induction, postings/ appointments and promotions. It appears that the notifications have been issued to formalise their existing role.

Justice (Retd.) Javed Iqbal quits as NAB Chairman

Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal

On June 2, Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal relinquished his charge as Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau after the expiry of the ordinance which had allowed him to stay in office until the appointment of a new chief. He served as Chairman NAB since October 2017.[10]

ECP reserves Judgement in PTI Foreign Funding Case

On June 21, the ECP reserved its judgement in the PTI foreign funding case. The verdict was reserved after a three-member ECP bench headed by the CEC heard arguments of petitioner Akbar S. Babar’s nominated chartered accountant Mr. Arsalan Vardaq, who reportedly presented registration data of foreign companies that donated funds to the PTI, including two companies registered in Cayman Islands. He also specified funds received from Canada, Australia, Finland, Norway and other European countries where PTI chapters were registered and from where funds were received but details were never disclosed before the ECP until their identities were revealed through the documents requisitioned through the State Bank of Pakistan. [11]

Clear Appointments Criteria for Elevation of Judges

The June 28th session of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan convened to consider elevation of seven judges to the Sindh High Court was postponed until the commission’s rules committee comes out with a clear appointment criteria. The session was presided over by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Umar Ata Bandial. Attorney General Mr. Ashtar Ausaf could not attend due to being unwell while Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was in attendance in his capacity as the provincial law minister. Justice Qazi Faez Isa participated online from Spain.

In a press statement, Senator Raza Rabbani said that there is a need for revisiting the JCP rules and formulating seniority-cum-fitness criteria. Mr. Rabbani further added that multi-dimensional appointment criteria should be put in place so as to reflect the federal diversity. He also recommended that the Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of Judges should amend its rules to play an effective role in the appointment of judges. [12]

Pakistan Army wants former COAS to return to Pakistan: DG-ISPR

DG ISPR

Speaking to a media channel on June 14, DG ISPR said that while former COAS Musharraf’s return to Pakistan from the UAE was a decision for his family and doctors to make, Pakistan Army and its leadership wish that he should come back.

Hour after DG ISPR comments, former Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif tweeted that he has no personal enmity or animosity towards Mr. Pervez Musharraf and he does not want anyone else to suffer the trauma which he had to endure. [13]

COAS hails smooth conducting of LG polls in Balochistan

During a visit to Quetta on June 02, Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the Corps Headquarter in addition to the Command and Staff College, Quetta. While referring to the Local Government elections held in Balochistan, the ISPR reported that the “COAS lauded the efforts of formations deployed across the province for providing a secure environment for socio-economic activities, including local bodies elections in the province.” [14]

80th Formation Commanders’ Conference

While speaking at the 80th Formation Commanders’ Conference held at the GHQ on June 08, Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, said that safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity was army’s “sacred duty” and it would never fail the country. He also expressed satisfaction over the progress of Operation Raddul Fasaad and lauded the achievements made in the fight against terrorism. [15]

Speaker National Assembly meets Foreign Dignitaries

Raja Pervez Ashraf, Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan
  1. On June 02, Raja Pervez Ashraf met with acting Chinese Ambassador at the Chinese Embassy, Islamabad.[16]
  2. On June 13, Google Team called on Raja Pervez Ashraf at the Parliament House.[17]
  3. On June 21, Dr. Christian Turner, High Commissioner of UK in Pakistan, called on Speaker, National Assembly at the Parliament House.[18]
  4. On June 24, Dr. Niels Hegewisch, Country Director, FES Pakistan, called on Speaker, National Assembly at the Parliament House.[19]

Chairman Senate meets Foreign Dignitaries

Senator Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman Senate of Pakistan
  1. On June 03, Ambassador of Azerbaijan called on Chairman Senate at the Parliament House. [20]
  2. On June 08, Country Director World Bank for Pakistan, called on Chairman Senate at the Parliament House. [21]
  3. On June 13, Ambassador of UAE called on Chairman Senate at the Parliament House. [22]
  4. A five-member delegation of Chinese Investors called on Chairman Senate at the Parliament House. [23]
  5. Ambassador of Turkey to Pakistan called on Chairman Senate at the Parliament House. [24]
  6. A Saudi delegation of “Road to Makkah” project called on Chairman Senate at the Parliament House. [25]
  7. WHO Country Representative to Pakistan called on Chairman Senate at the Parliament House. [26]
  8. President of Azerbaijan met with Chairman Senate at Baku, Azerbaijan. [27]

Interactions of COAS with Foreign Dignitaries

General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff

Following interactions took place between the Chief of Army Staff and foreign dignitaries during June 2022:

  1. On June 7, Commander Qatar Emiri Air Force called on Chief of Army Staff at the GHQ.[28]
  2. On June 12, Vice Chairman, Central Military Commission of China met with General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in Beijing, China. [29]
  3. On June 26, COAS met with Saudi Crown Prince, 1st Deputy Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Chief of General Staff of Saudi Armed Forces in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. [30]
  4. On June 29, German Ambassador to Pakistan called on the Chief of Army Staff at the GHQ.[31]

Prime Minister’s Interactions with COAS

Prime Minister Mr. Shehbaz Sharif, and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa met twice during June 2022:

  1. At the Command and Staff College, Quetta on June 3. [32] Federal Minister of Defence, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, accompanied the Prime Minister on the visit.
  2. During a meeting on national security issues on June 22 at the Prime Minister’s House. Minister of Defence was not reported to be part of the meeting. [33]

References

  1. “سیاسی وعسکری قیادت کا قومی سلامتی پر اہم اجلاس,” PMO online, June 22, 2022, accessed July 4, 2022. https://pmo.gov.pk/press_release_detailes.php?pr_id=4233.

  2. Baqir Sajjad Syed, “TTP deal subject to parliament’s approval,” Dawn online, June 23, 2022, accessed July 4, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1696259/ttp-deal-subject-to-parliaments-approval.

  3. Nasir Iqbal, “Those on ECL need interior ministry nod to travel abroad,” Dawn online, June 15, 2022, accessed July 4, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1694873/those-on-ecl-need-interior-ministry-nod-to-travel-abroad.

  4. Haseeb Bhatti, “SC expresses concern over removal of names from ECL in ‘perceived interference’ suo motu case,” Dawn online, May 27, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1691738.

  5. “New govt amends ECL rules, removes thousands of names from list,” The News International Online, April 22, 2022, accessed July 4, 2022. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/952441-new-govt-amends-ecl-rules-removes-thousands-of-names-from-list.

  6. DG ISPR @OfficialDGISPR Twitter, June 17, 2022, 11:11 pm, accessed July 04, 2022. https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1537860477136551936.

  7. Khaleeq Kiani, “Pakistan to stay in ‘grey area’ until FATF visit,” Dawn online, June 18, 2022, accessed July 3, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1695417/pakistan-to-stay-in-grey-area-until-fatf-visit.

  8. Noor Aftab, “ISI authorised to vet postings, appointments of public officials,” The News International online, June 04, 2022, accessed July 2, 2022. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/963293-isi-authorised-to-vet-postings-appointments-of-public-officials.

  9. Azaz Syed, “PM Shehbaz Sharif appoints IB as vetting agency for initial appointments, postings,” The News International online, June 19, 2022, accessed July 02, 2022. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/967435-pm-appoints-ib-as-vetting-agency-for-initial-appointments-postings.

  10. “Javed Iqbal quits as NAB chief,” Dawn online, June 3, 2022, accessed July 1, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1692887/javed-iqbal-quits-as-nab-chief.

  11. “ECP reserves verdict in PTI funding case,” Dawn online, June 22, 2022, accessed July 02, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1696112/ecp-reserves-verdict-in-pti-funding-case.

  12. Nasir Iqbal, “JCP session postponed till clarity on criteria for appointments,” Dawn online, June 29, 2022, accessed July 4, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1697285/jcp-session-postponed-till-clarity-on-criteria-for-appointments.

  13. “Army, Nawaz on ‘same page’ over Musharraf’s return,” Dawn online, June 15, 2022, accessed July 01, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1694858/army-nawaz-on-same-page-over-musharrafs-return

  14. “General Qamar Javed Bajwa COAS visited Command and Staff College Quetta,” ISPR online, June 03, 2022, accessed July 02, 2022. https://ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6400.

  15. Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Safeguarding sovereignty army’s ‘sacred duty’: Gen Bajwa,” Dawn online, June 09, 2022, accessed July 02, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1693894/safeguarding-sovereignty-armys-sacred-duty-gen-bajwa.

  16. Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Hostile forces targeting CPEC progress: Chinese envoy,” Dawn online, June 03, 2022, accessed July 03,2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1692879/hostile-forces-targeting-cpec-progress-chinese-envoy.

  17. Speaker-National Assembly of Pakistan @NASpeakerPK Twitter, June 13, 2022, 1: 51 pm, accessed July 04, 2022. https://twitter.com/NASpeakerOffice/status/1536269920689963013.

  18. “Speaker NA expressed desire to further strengthen relations between Pakistan and UK in a meeting with UK Ambassador in Pakistan Dr. Christian Turner in Parliament House – June 21, 2022,” June 21, 2022, accessed July 03, 2022. https://na.gov.pk/en/pressrelease.php?content=101#4848.

  19. Speaker-National Assembly of Pakistan @NASpeakerPK Twitter, June 24, 2022, 4: 00 pm, accessed July 04, 2022. https://twitter.com/NASpeakerOffice/status/1540288770871889921.

  20. “Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani exchanging views with Ambassador of Azerbaijan H.E Khazar Farhadov at the Parliament House on Friday 3rd June 3, 2022.,” Senate of Pakistan online, June 03, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4328.

  21. “Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, exchanging views with Mr Najy Benhassin, Country Director, World Bank for Pakistan in Islamabad on June 8, 2022,” Senate of Pakistan online, June 08, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4330.

  22. “Ambassador of UAE Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Al-Zaabi called on Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani to Pakistan H.E here at Parliament House on Monday 13th June 2022,” Senate of Pakistan online, June 13, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4336.

  23. “A five-member delegation of Chinese investors called on the Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani on Thursday June 16, 2022 at Parliament House,” Senate of Pakistan online, June 16, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4342.

  24. “Chairman Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Senate, Mirz Muhammad Afridi exchanging views with ambassador of Turkey to Pakistan, Mr. Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul at Parliament House Islamabad on June 17, 2022,” Senate of Pakistan online, June 17, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4343.

  25. “A Saudi delegation of “Road to Makkah” project called on Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani at Parliament House,” Senate of Pakistan online, June 21, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4350.

  26. “The WHO Country Representative to Pakistan, Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, called on Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani here at Parliament House on Monday 27 June 2022. The meeting discussed WHO’s key programmes and projects in Pakistan,” Senate of Pakistan online, June 27, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4360.

  27. “Chairman Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani exchanging views with the President of Azerbaijan. Ilham Heydar Oqhlu Aliyev, at Baku, Azerbaijan on June 30, 2022,” Senate of Pakistan online, June 30, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://senate.gov.pk/en/news_content.php?id=4373.

  28. “Pakistan values its brotherly relations with Qatar: Gen Bajwa,” Express Tribune online, June 08, 2022, accessed July 04, 2022. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2360625/pakistan-values-its-brotherly-relations-with-qatar-gen-bajwa.

  29. “A senior level tri service military delegation of Pakistan visited Peoples Republic of China from 9 to 12 June 2022,” ISPR online, June 12, 2022, accessed July 03, 2022. https://ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6407.

  30. “General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army staff (COAS) visited Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on an official tour,” ISPR online, June 26, 2022, accessed July 03, 2022. https://ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6410.

  31. “German envoy pays farewell visit to army chief,” Dawn online, June 30, 2022, accessed July 03, 2022. https://www.dawn.com/news/1697434/german-envoy-pays-farewell-visit-to-army-chief.

  32. “Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif visited Command and Staff College, Quetta,” ISPR online, June 03, 2022, accessed July 03, 2022. https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=6402.

  33. “سیاسی وعسکری قیادت کا قومی سلامتی پر اہم اجلاس,” PMO online, June 22, 2022, accessed July 4, 2022. https://pmo.gov.pk/press_release_detailes.php?pr_id=4233.