Tag Archives: Islamabad

The PM is urged to form a commission to investigate the 137 missing paintings from the NAG | Instant News


Artists and art experts have urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to form an independent high-level commission to investigate the Anwar Jalal Shemza painting scandal case and 137 other missing paintings from the National Art Gallery (NAG), run by Pakistan’s National Council. Arts (PNCA).

Speaking at the webinar, the participants agreed to have a jury, former PNCA director general, senior artists and art experts, representatives from investigative agencies, and representatives from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as members of the proposed commission of inquiry. Participants suggested that the proposed commission should be directly under the prime minister’s office for an independent and fair inquiry.

The participating artists also highlighted grave concern over the inability of NAB to take action.

“The top cultural organization of the Pakistani government will be of no use if urgent steps are not taken by the prime minister,” they added.

Organized and conducted by journalist and broadcaster Munir Ahmed, the webinar was organized by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) on Sunday.

Famous artist and former director general of the PNCA, Jamal Shah called the denial of Shemza’s painting scandal a “bunch of lies”. He said the current head of the PNCA should publish decades-old correspondence or any letter written to the government, by his wife, asking to return Shemza’s painting.

“He has committed a serious crime on the shoulders of the current PNCA BOG which must be examined by a high-level independent commission under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s office.”

Shah said that Naeem Tahir and Mian Ijaz ul Hassan had presented the facts about Shemza’s donation to the National Art Gallery and looked at the possibility of returning Shemza’s painting.

On the other hand, the famous Pakistani artist Mansur Rahi refused to take responsibility for the decision to return AJ Shemza’s painting as chairman of the PNCA BOG committee.

“I attended one of the events where I talked about art collections and art items and the importance of the national art gallery. I have a hearing loss lately, Haajra (his wife) facilitated me to find out what was going on there. They never asked me to join them again for any meeting, but one day a PNCA staff member came and asked me to sign a paper because I had attended the meeting. I signed it without asking Haajra to read it to me while he was sleeping, ”said Rahi.

Nahida Raza, Ahmed Habib, Riffat Khattak, Samia Nazir, Riffat Ara Baig, Zainab Qayyum, Shagufta Khan, Sumera Shehzad and several other artists also supported the suggestion of forming a high-level independent commission under the prime minister’s office to carry out a transparent investigation into missing paintings and the scandal surrounding AJ Shemza’s painting.

In a separate statement, Jamal Shah said, “I abstained from issuing any statement as former Director General of PNCA but the new regime is trying hard to hide their insincere draft by blaming the previous regime for being negligent so this is my version. “

Shah stated that at his appointment at PNCA, an investigation had been formed and an FIR report was filed against those responsible for the missing artwork, and forwarded to the board. In addition, PNCA has received notification of returning Shemza’s painting from the law firm Aasma Jahangir.

“This case was also filed with the council and council unanimously that work should not be returned and Mary should be contacted. Later, Rukhsana Khan came to me with the request and I politely told him that the matter was complicated and a certain investigation was also being carried out by the FIA, therefore, I would not be able to return the job. I told her to ask Mary to provide us with incontrovertible evidence and also reconsider her request to return. He understood what I meant and did not go after the notification sent by the law firm, ”added Shah.

“To be honest I haven’t seen most of the letters circulating lately with the exception of one list of 10 Shamza paintings from 1985 at prices like Rs4800 to Rs5000 plus, but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to return the work. . I recently came across a BBC report and also learned that Mary was here in 2005 or 2007 with Shamza’s work on display at the NCA during Sajda Vandal’s tenure through Mariam Habib. Sajda had purchased two paintings for 30,000 each while Mary had one gifted to the NCA. “

Shah claimed the BBC’s report on the missing painting was “unprofessional and sensational” because it did not include comments from him, former DG, or Mian Ejaz ul Hassan.

“According to the BBC, these paintings were hidden somewhere through a malicious plot that was not true because Shemza’s work was always displayed with great pride and was even included in one of my curation exhibitions called Iconic Presence in 2007 and was widely publicized.”

He confirmed that there was correspondence between Naeem Tahir and Mary regarding the condition of Shemza’s painting, dated 2009.

“This email and some of the other letters that have appeared now have to be sent for forensic examination because I as DG never saw them, which is why I asked Rukhsana to provide me with undeniable documents.”

Shah added, “The question is why isn’t Mary interested in taking back Shamza’s painting when she’s here herself? I am sure Naeem Tahir Owner would comfort her because she also knew Shamza and could happily pay the fair price Sajda paid for the two paintings. “

Shah said that Mary never asked for the paintings because she didn’t want to claim them, however, after her work got a good price at auction, we suddenly saw Salima, as Mary’s agent, demanding the return of Shamza and then Rukhsana’s work. given the authority as the heir. “Rukhsana was always in Pakistan but he became his heir in 2017, it seems like a poorly cooked story but the new government without good reason decided to hand over PNCA and Lok Virsa to Shafqat Mehmood at his request. Everyone knows that Shafqat is related to Salima, that’s why the first thing he asked me on his first official visit to PNCA was a return of Shamza’s work. My answer to him was that the problem was complicated, which is why I couldn’t return the ten paintings. “

“As soon as I ended my tenure, he brought in new people, new administrators and the first thing on the agenda at the first meeting became Shamza’s job. He left the BOG meeting immediately after agreeing to the first item on the agenda and the work was hastily returned to Rukhsana. “Shah added.

The issue came to light after the Pakistan National Association of Artists (NAAP) wrote to Federal Minister for Education and Heritage Shafqat Mehmood warning him of the matter.

Renowned artist and former PNCA director general Naeem Tahir said that this should not have happened. He explained that if an artist has contributed his work and entered the national gallery inventory, then the work becomes a national treasure and no one has the right to claim it as their own or take the decision to return it, regardless of the circumstances. Becomes.


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‘More divisions within PML-N are coming soon’ | Instant News


Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Sunday said that Nawaz Sharif’s narrative is aimed at creating uncertainty and chaos in the country.

Speaking to reporters, he said the PML-N Quaid’s “revolutionary” stance was false and based on double standards, adding that voices were raised on Nawaz’s narrative within his own party.

Some PML-N members understand that their leaders are using them for their personal gain, said Shibli, adding that there are good people in PML-N too.

The minister said that Sharif’s family was also facing certain problems and quoted Sheikh Rashid as saying that more divisions within the PML-N ranks were about to emerge.

Shibli added that the PML-N political movement is baseless and without good reason because it only wants to create chaos that is now visible in PML-N itself.

“In such conditions, what is the moral value of PML-N activities,” he said.

Shibli Faraz accused the PML-N leadership that the trap was tightened because of the NAB case. He said that in this situation, the opposition was attempting to blackmail the government and threatened to submit his resignation from the assembly.

“If they resign, the government will hold a by-election and get a majority in the DPR which will also prove beneficial to the law,” the minister added.

He said the opposition used various tactics to overthrow the government, but they failed in its design.

In his statement, Shibli added that PML-N was looking for an agreement and was in constant contact with government officials.

“After failing to thwart the law regarding the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), now the opposition wants to take to the streets,” he added.

According to the Minister of Finance, PML-N leaders have always pursued political nepotism because they have been involved in politics to increase their own assets.

Shibli Faraz said that because of various government initiatives, economic stability was achieved at home and it was upheld that Prime Minister Imran Khan was committed to accountability for all corrupt elements.

Answering a question, he said that PML-N’s “organizational campaign” was running smoothly in Faisalabad, referring to the Talal Chaudhry incident.


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Karachi West Deputy Commissioner Saleemullah Odho and Park Director Hafeez Hassan make unannounced visits to various Parks in the city | Instant News

KARACHI: Sep 26, 2020 (TNS): Deputy Commissioner of Karachi West Saleemullah Odho and Park’s Director Hafeez Hassan made unannounced visits to various Parks in the city. The management also disclosed the bad condition of the park about the park’s poor condition. According to details issued by officials for park rehabilitation, West Deputy Commissioner Saleemullah Odho and two other directors. Park made unannounced visits to Shaheed Benazir Park, Shaheed Shamim and Family Park where they expressed their displeasure over the deteriorating sanitary conditions in the Park and instructed officials including Park cleaning to clean up all of the Parks. Along with planting trees, orders were also issued to care for them. On the occasion, Deputy Commissioner for West Saleemullah Odho said that these parks must be repaired as soon as possible and all facilities must be provided for public entertainment. Park’s Acting Director Hafeez Hassan Revenue and other senior officials were also present at the occasion


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13 ABAD developer promises Rs1.37tr construction project | Instant News


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the development of the construction sector could play a key role in minimizing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the national economy through job creation.

The prime minister chaired the weekly meeting of the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) for Housing, Construction and Development, attended by 13 representatives of the Pakistan Builders and Developers Association (ABAD) via video link.

Prime Minister Imran said the government provided all facilities that allow for the development of the construction sector and urged the business community to take full advantage of the opportunities by investing.

The meeting reviewed in detail the progress made by the government in the construction sector together with the announced incentives for promotion.

ABAD representatives paid their respects to the prime minister for providing incentives and historic facilities in the construction sector. They mentioned that for the first time in the country’s history, builders and developers were encouraged by private banks for construction activities.

Simplifying no objections (NOCs) and licensing processes has encouraged people involved in the construction industry, they added.

Thirteen ABAD representatives at the meeting promised to start projects in the next three to four months, which would result in economic activities of Rs1.37 Trillion. Projects include the construction of around 100,000 housing units.

The prime minister said he was satisfied with the guarantees given by ABAD to take full advantage of the concessions given to the construction sector and to start billions of rupees worth of economic activities.

The meeting was informed that the provincial government of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had created a modern portal to streamline the NOC application process and other agreements in the construction sector through an online system and to ensure the rapid disposal of applications that were delayed for years.

The Punjab secretary secretary gives guidance on portal features, modalities and monitoring of the entire system by the main secretary’s office and also processes requests received from government agencies.

The prime minister was told that electronic service centers had been established in nine Punjab divisions for the convenience of builders and developers with one-window facilities. On August 14, the scope of the electronic service center will be extended to all districts.

It is highlighted that the portal will provide developers and builders with a platform for sending online applications from their homes and offices to ensure timely decision making.

PM Imran praised the performance of Punjab and KP in creating and activating portals. He also directed other provinces including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to launch a similar portal and one-window facility. He said the purpose of portals, mobile applications and online systems is to minimize human interference in the system and to ensure transparency and efficiency.

He directed that the relief channel must play its full role at the federal level to ensure the timely provision of facilities such as electricity and gas in new construction especially in residential units, residential colonies and commercial buildings.

The prime minister instructed all chief secretaries to ensure the provision of facilities in the housing sector including electricity and gas and demanded strict action against personnel that caused obstacles in the delivery.


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Germany supports Pakistan’s efforts to reduce the social economic impact of Covid-19 | Instant News


German Ambassador Bernhard Schlagheck said Sunday his country supports Pakistan in its efforts to overcome the socio-economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and to rebuild better for a more sustainable future.

“Covid-19 has shaken the world unexpectedly – and we will continue to feel the socio-economic consequences of this virus for quite a long time. Showing solidarity with each other during difficult times is the responsibility of all of us, “he said as he spoke APPLICATION.

Ambassador Bernhard said successful bilateral development cooperation between the two countries lasted for decades. “The current portfolio includes more than 500 million Euros in renewable energy and climate change, sustainable economic development and good governance,” he added.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted the importance of access to health and education facilities, and stressed the need to support the weakest sections of society.

He said the German government had decided to increase its support for the local Pakistani government in their struggle against the pandemic. It has provided 0.5 million Euros to Pakistan to promote activities, which will help reduce the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic at the local level.

Germany will also commit six million Euros to support the Pakistani community that houses Afghan refugees, to improve local health and education services, he added.

The Ambassador said the project would be implemented by the German development organization Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.


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