Wednesday, June 29, 2011

3 more witnesses deny recording statements against Moonis Elahi

Lahore (June 28, 2011) The remaining three prosecution witnesses presented by the FIA today in Lahore Banking Court in the NICL case like the five other prosecution witnesses have also refuted the charges leveled against senior Pakistan Muslim League Leader Moonis Elahi. Earlier during the proceedings the cashier of UBL, Airport Branch, Lahore Safdar Ali testifying before the Honorable Judge Malik Abdur Raheed stated that it was Adil Manzoor who had come to the bank with a cheque and taken the money. He further stated that the FIA had summoned him on Feb-05 where he had not recorded any statement. 

The second prosecution witness was ABL, Multan Road Branch Vice President Maroor-ur-Rehman who stated that a man named Khadim Rasool had himself come to the bank and opened the account. He further stated that it was Khadim Rasool who later brought a cheque and took the cash. During investigation I was summoned by the FIA but I had not given any statement to them, testified the ABL Vice President. The third prosecution witness Hafiz Shahid Bilal the cashier at ABL Multan Road Branch also testified that it was only Khadim Rasool who used to come to the branch with cheques for encashment and he had given Khadim Rasool money after his identification. Both the bank cashiers informed the court that they could recognize Adil Manzoor and Khadim Rasool. On the Honorable Judge’s query Hafiz Junaid Shahid after looking at the individuals present in the court room testified that none of them was Khadim Rasool. The bank cashiers also stated that money was only handed over to M/s Adil Manzoor and Khadim Rasool after checking their National Identification cards. After the witnesses’ statements the Honorable Judge adjourned the court hearing till July-5. Earlier Moonis Elahi was brought amid heavy security to the Banking Court where a large number of Pakistan Muslim League’s workers and Moonis Elahi supporters had assembled to express solidarity with him.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

FIA Investigation Officer denies Moonis involvement in NICL scam case

Thursday, June 23, 2011


The FIA deputy director and investigation officer (IO) of National Industrial Corporation Limited (NICL) land scam on Wednesday denied Moonis Elahi’s involvement in the main fraud case of Rs.168 billion.

During his testimony before special banking offences court, the FIA director, Basharat Shahzad, stated that Moonis was not directly involved in subsequent two fraud cases of Rs.320 million.

Meanwhile, another prosecution witness, Hina Rabbai, an employee of the Allied Bank Limited, Multan Road branch, also denied recording of any statement as witness before the FIA. On Wednesday, FIA produced Moois Elahi before the court amid tight security.

The FIA deputy director, during cross examination, said that Moonis was not involved in NICL main scam of Rs. 1.68 billion. The whole embezzled amount had also been returned to Commerce secretary, he added.

On this, Moonis counsel asked if his client was also involved in other two FIRs(24/10 and 46/11) related to the scam.

Replying to Moonis counsel, Bashart said that Moonis was not directly involved in both FIRs. He stated that, after getting a questionnaire from Moonis, he had written a letter to the FIA director general that Moonis was not directly involved in both of the subsequent FIRs.

Meanwhile, Hinna Rabbani, while recording her statement, said that FIA had called her on February 5 at about 9pm in FIA office, asking her to record her statement as witness against Moonis but she had not recorded any statement against him.

Summoning further prosecution witnesses, the court adjourned the hearing by June 28.

According to the FIA, Moonis had opened bogus accounts in the name of his manager Abdul Malik and his wife for corruption in NICL.

Later, the FIA lodged two FIRs against Moonis Elahi, alleging that his manger Muhammad Malik had opened forged accounts in Allied Bank Limited, New Airport, and Dubai Islamic Bank Main Boulevard branch. Mohsin Warriach deposited Rs. 320 million, 220 million in first account and 100 million in second account. First FIR was registered on December 27, 2010 while the second was lodged on January 27 this year.

The FIA alleged that the money was actually taken by Moonis Elahi. As per FIA report, Malik had stated that he had opened an account on the instruction of Moonis and an amount of Rs.220 million was allegedly transferred in that account. Later, Malik was resiled from his statement. Eight prosecution witnesses while recoding their statements before a magisterial court also denied recording any statement as witness to the FIA.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Punjab is confronted with this current tragic fate because of a polygamous ruler’s mismanagement and incompetence: Moonis Elahi

Punjab Assembly Budget 2011-12 
Speech of Mr. Moonis Elahi

(Since I have been unjustifiably refused my fundamental right as an elected public representative by none less than the House Custodian himself, I deem it necessary to present my views, analyses and observations to you on this year’s Punjab Budget in writing.  I am exercising my democratic right to opinion, refused otherwise through the following lines. Moonis Elahi)

As a member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly and being a representative of the people who had elected me to this august house in 2008, it was my constitutional right and privilege to have been allowed to participate in the Punjab Assembly, 2011-12 Budget Session. The Hon. Speaker’s “NO” for “unknown reasons”, to the point of order raised by Ch. Zaheer ud Din on June 10, 2011, urging him to issue my production orders for the ongoing budget session, denied me that fundamental constitutional right. This denial was a blunt refusal to honour the mandate of the electorate who had chosen me to fight for their rights in the assembly. It was also a denial to democracy to flourish at a forum solely meant to uphold, protect and respect the Will and the Voice of the People. Despite the support of the house and the already existing precedents, the Hon. Speaker by ceding his role as the Custodian of the House may have pleased “someone” but even from a lay man’s point of view, has set in motion a highly unhealthy tradition of negative partisanship and obvious partiality. Also goes without saying that in future whenever replicated the historians will be obliged to put the brunt of this unhealthy tradition’s blame on the present Hon. Speaker of the Punjab Assembly.
It is a widely acknowledged fact that the province of Punjab just four years back was a text book example of how a government and a people could come together to bring about an era of unprecedented progress and change. The provincial GDP was well above 8% and 1.4 million new jobs were coming up in the job market every year. During this time, under Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s watchful and welfare oriented administration all sections of the society including farmers, workers, masons, clerks, teachers, doctors, businessmen, minorities etc; were prospering. On the contrary, just four years later all the good work of the Pakistan Muslim League government done till 2007 seems like a distant dream. The people of Punjab are now witnessing an era of unprecedented poverty, deprivation and injustice instead. Today, Punjab’s self-styled Khadim e Ala has turned the province into a laboratory of his ill-conceived experiments that have repeatedly borne disastrous results, but to no avail. In the last four years the once economically surplus Punjab has become an epitome of financial mismanagement. In the name of dubious and short lived schemes like Sasti Roti, Ashyana, Danish Schools and now the reincarnated Yellow Cab Scheme the present rulers of Punjab have skimmed and squandered billions.
Let us first take a critical look at the self-styled Khadim e Ala’s “Bucchat” i.e. savings initiatives. The last three provincial budgets bear testimony to the fact that every year the chief minister has been expending public money way beyond the prescribed limits. The Chief Minister House budget for the past financial year was put at Rs 260 million but by the year’s end an additional amount of Rs. 60 million was spent. The chief minister and his honourable brother are known for doling out public funds and assets as gifts to their favourites. In the past financial year this “glorious” tradition continued and the chief minister gave away gifts worth a generous sum of Rs. 22.5 million out of the government kitty to God knows who. The transport allocation for the chief minister was of Rs. 4 million but here too we see Rs. 20.5 million of public money being spent. Similarly the chief minister could use up to Rs. 30 million as discretionary funds in the last financial plan but instead we see Rs 60 million being indiscreetly blown away in the name of discretionary funds.
The chief minister Punjab is maintaining at government expense two official secretariats and 5 camp offices which are actually his personal residences. Appreciating the fact that the chief minister has to look after a continuously growing number of spouses, it will not be out of place to ask him to look after his sweet hearts from his personal wealth rather than from the already depleted resources of the heart-broken and poor Punjabis.
This year’s Punjab Budget is an outcome of a mindset bent upon brutally ripping the last shreds of flesh from an animal’s carcass. Show no mercy and have no mercy on the poor is what this budget is all about. I wish to draw your attention to the block allocations mentioned in the budget. An enormous sum of Rs. 33 billion has been allocated to roads, water supply and sanitation, higher education, health, transport and planning and development projects. But my question is, whither the projects? As against these allocations not a single individual project has been ascribed.  It seems an obvious conclusion that among other robberies a Rs. 33 billion heist has also been planned through these block allocations. Allow me to call these block allocations as “Black Allocations” instead as they are surreptitiously meant to give the self-styled khadim e Ala a free hand in squandering huge government funds for furthering his vested personal and political aims.
How can one forget the Punjab chief minister’s pronouncement of breaking the begging bowl and not accepting international help? Ironically, he made this announcement just 24 days before this year’s budget. And look at the shameful turn around, as the budget figures show that this year Punjab will receive Rs. 20 billion in the form of international assistance. Why did the chief minister make an announcement and then go back on it? So much for honouring what you profess!
The Sasti Roti Scam is arguably the most thought out rip-off, of the people of Punjab in recent times. According to authentic sources a sum of Rs. 14.5 billion was systematically looted in this scam. In this year’s budget although no amount has been allocated to this disastrous scheme but ironically an amount of Rs 12 million has been allocated to the Sasti Roti Authority. This is a blatant example of nepotism and corruption where the rulers seem to be rewarding their favourites without taking into account their own dismal failures. The poor are getting poorer but the rulers unbothered are continuing with their loot and plunder.
According to the Auditor General’s report a huge amount of Rs. 40 billion is unaccounted for in the Punjab government accounts. Where has this money gone? This is a question that will be thoroughly investigated once the present rulers are voted out by the people.
The inconsistent and temperamental policies of the present Punjab government have turned the province into a waste land and a laboratory of failed experiments. It will be most appropriate to advise the chief minister and his respected elder brother to in future kindly restrict these flop experiments to their own Jaati Umra Palace and keep the poor people of the province out of them.
The Punjab treasury is empty yet the rulers’ greed and avarice know no bounds. Take the example of the reincarnation of the fraudulent Yellow Cab scheme in this year’s Punjab Budget. Who can forget that the last time this dubious scheme was unveiled it resulted in a complete collapse of two banks and a partial melt down of five other banks. This budget round, a huge sum of Rs. 4.5 billion has been again allocated to the yellow cab scheme. According to sources, Mr. Ishaq Dar has already inked a deal with a French automobiles manufacturer and a huge chunk of the allocated funds for this scheme will go down the deep pockets of “you know who”. Yellow Cabs Part 2 will be another scandal worth public accountability in the days to come.
In the face of rampant youth unemployment the need of the hour was to lift ban on government jobs and create well thought out youth self-employment schemes. But the current Punjab rulers instead of living up to this dire need have announced another fraudulent scheme in the budget which on the face of it will be meant to give Rs. 20,000 as financial assistance to the “deserving” youth but in actuality will be meant to espouse nepotism and corruption. Pray! Let me know that in today’s day and age what kind of business can one start with such a paltry “financial assistance”? That a government which in the last three years has not paid a penny of zakat to the deserving now with elections around the corner is bent upon extorting the public rupee for vested personal and political gains is but obvious here.
The Local Governments had become the agents of progress in the past. The present Punjab dispensation on the one hand has been delaying holding of LG elections and on the other it has allocated a staggering sum of Rs. 148 billion in this year’s budget for local governments. The obvious conclusion in this regard is again that the present Punjab rulers hell bent on looting and robbing the poor and the deprived will siphon this money through their self-appointed administrators. It is but evident that the reins of these funds will be in the hands of the chief minister and his band of forty thieves.
The last three provincial budgets have proven to be a nightmare for the people of South Punjab. They have been deprived of their rightful share in the provincial resources and left out of development plans. The truth is that there are still over twenty thousand floods devastated families living in South Punjab who still have not received the long awaited first tranche of Rs. 20,000 for reconstructing their lives. They talk of a dubious Ashyana Housing scheme while thousands of South Punjab families who lost everything in floods are still living without a roof over their heads and awaiting the arrival of the much trumpeted help. This year’s announcement of Rs.72 billion for South Punjab will prove to be yet another false promise like this government’s previous announcements for South Punjab.
 On the one side, Punjab’s 63,000 plus government schools have not sighted any support in the past three budgets and on the other side their rightful share in the education budget is being vandalized in the name of the dubious Danish Schools scheme. The sel-proclaimed khadim e Ala blinded by corruption and self-glorification has brought the province’s educational growth to a grinding halt. The living proof of which is that Punjab’s literacy rate which was above 62% just four years back has now plummeted to less than 50%.
The provincial health sector is no exception to the rule. The last three years have been an unmitigated night mare for government hospitals their managements, doctors, nurses, paramedics and most of all for the poor patients. The free health care system for the sick and the needy provided by Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s government is now a thing of the past. The present government’s mishandling of the provincial health system has given birth to numerous issues and the sufferings of the ailing public have increased tremendously. Free medicines routinely available in government hospitals four years back are now no longer available. The disgruntlement of the medical community including doctors, nurses and paramedics is also at an unprecedented high. And lo and behold, the Punjab rulers instead of listening to this most vital community’s grievances preferred to beat them on roads and put them behind bars. What a shameful way to run the health system of a province of over 80 million people!
Look at the Punjab government’s callousness towards people’s right to Access of Justice. Is it not shameful that not a penny has been allocated to this vital protection of the people against the high handedness of the powerful? Is the law and order situation now so ideal in Punjab that the people have no need for such initiatives?
At the end, I will like to draw your attention towards the incumbent Punjab government’s dismal performance in utilisation of the last three year’s Annual Development Programmes’ budgets and its poor revenue collection performance. The irony is that while there is a 100% increase in the chief minister’s budget, a 50% decline in the ADP spending has been witnessed in the last three years. Similarly there is also an approximate 40% drop in the provincial revenue receipts of the last three years. I ask that with what cheek this government can claim to better the lives of the Punjabis this year when it has done everything to ruin them in the previous three years. Allow me to say that Punjab is confronted with this current tragic fate because of a polygamous ruler’s mismanagement and incompetence. At the end of the speech the Speaker accepted to make Moonis Elahi’s views on Punjab budget as part of the assembly record.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Prosecution witnesses deny Moonis Elahi's accounts

Lahore (16-06-2011) The four prosecution witnesses named in the NICL case against senior Pakistan Muslim League leader Moonis Elahi have today completely rejected the FIA version. Testifying before the special judge Banking Court in Lahore the witnesses have denied opening of any bank account by Moonis Elahi’s manager Mohammad Maalik and have informed the learned court that the accounts in question were personally opened and operated by two individuals namely Adil Manzur and Khadim Rasul.

Earlier when Moonis Elahi was brought to the court amid tight security he was welcomed by a large number of party leaders and workers. Before the start of the proceedings Moonis Elahi addressed the Banking Court judge Abdul Rasheed and expressed his complete faith in the impartiality of the judiciary.
In today’s proceedings, statements of four prosecution witnesses belonging to Allied Bank were recorded. They included three Allied Bank airport branch employees Omar Farooq Dhami(officer), Nadia Faisal (Manager Customer Services), Shaukat Hussain (Rider)  and Mohammad Atif Saleem (Manager Customer Services)working at Allied Bank, Multan Road branch. Mohammad Atif Saleem in his statement before the learned judge testified that the FIA officials threatened him of dire consequences and coerced him into signing on a blank page which was against banking rules. He stated that Khadim Rasul had opened the account at his branch and was solely operating it. He informed the court that he had visited the FIA office a few times but had never recorded any statement with them. Omar Dhami in his statement testified that the FIA authorities had required him to provide the relevant bank record which he complied but at no point had he recorded his statement with the FIA. He testified that the FIA officials forced him to sign on a blank page and he was not aware of the contents of the statement later attributed to him by the FIA officials. Nadia Faisal in her statement apprized the court that one Adil Manzur had approached the bank for opening an account and the said account was opened after verifying his national identity card from NADRA. The third prosecution witness, Shaukat Hussain testified before the court that he had seen Adil Manzur opening the bank account and was not aware of anything else. The court was reconvened at 3 pm on the insistence of Moonis Elahi’s counsels where the statements of the fourth prosecution witness, Mohammad Atif Saleem along with the FIA investigation officer were recorded. The court was later adjourned till June 22.
Later talking to the media, Moonis Elahi’s counsel Rai Bashir Ahmad said that four out of five prosecution witnesses had refuted the statements attributed to them by the FIA officials against Moonis Elahi and the prosecution had failed to obtain anything against Moonis Elahi from them. He said that the prosecution witnesses had repeated the statements which they had earlier recorded with a magistrate where they had said that the accounts were personally opened and operated by Adil Manzur and Khadim Rasul. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Court Frame charges against Moonis Elahi

The Special Banking Offences Court frame charges against Moonis Elahi, a PML-Quaid leader accused of involvement in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam case of 32 crore here on Saturday.
The advocates, including Amjad Pervaiz and Misbah Ur Rehman, appeared before the court as Moonis’ counsel. Moonis lawyers asked to cite verdicts to get witness statement copies but court rejects their plea.

The court summoned the witnesses on June 16. The judge said that the case would be decided in accordance with the law and constitution.
Moonis has been accused of having involvement in a transaction of Rs 220 million with Mohsin Habib Warraich, the main accused in the Rs 3.3 billion NICL scam.
Earlier, the lawyers pleaded that the challan of the case was incomplete as they had not been given the statements made by witnesses against Moonis.

Moonis Elahi's Lawyers asked to cite verdicts to get witness statement copies

Lahore (10-06-2011) The Banking Court in Lahore has adjourned the NICL case hearing against Moonis Elahi, senior leader Pakistan Muslim League, till tomorrow. During today’s proceedings, Moonis Elahi’s lawyers requested the court to provide them with copies of the prosecution witnesses’ statements recorded under Section 164. They were of the view that it was their right to obtain the copies of witnesses’ statements but the court for reasons not known to them was not heeding their request. Moonis Elahi’s lawyers said that the case against their client was a pack of lies devoid of evidence and reason. They accused the FIA of willfully stretching the case to prolong Moonis Elahi’s incarceration period. The Banking Court Judge, Mr. Justice Abdul Rasheed responding to their observations offered Moonis Elahi’s lawyers to get the case transferred to another court remarking that he was not very fond of hearing the NICL case. Moonis Elahi’s lawyers while expressing their confidence in the learned judge said that if he himself was not interested in hearing the case then it was another matter. 

Moonis Elahi’s lawyers included Amjad Pervez, Rai Bashir Ahmad and Misbah ur Rahman advocates. Earlier on arrival at the court, Moonis Elahi briefly speaking to the media said that he returned to Pakistan at his own accord and because he had complete faith in the independence and fairness of the country’s judiciary. Moonis Elahi’s lawyers talking to the media after the court adjournment said that according to clause 241/A of the Constitution of Pakistan, the court was responsible for providing copies of the trial related documents but in this case the court was prolonging things for unknown reasons and today the whole time was spent on arguing whether or not Moonis Elahi could be provided copies of witnesses’ statements recorded under Section 164.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Production orders for Moonis Elahi sough

LAHORE - PML-Q has asked Punjab Assembly Speaker to issue production orders of Moonis Elahi for taking part in the budget session. 
Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din, PML-Q parliamentary party leader in Punjab Assembly, through a letter on Tuesday asked the Speaker to issue production orders of Moonis Elahi following the rules of business of the Punjab Assembly, while Moonis has the privilege to participate in the assembly proceedings. He said that the presence of Moonis in the budget session was of paramount importance as an elected member of the House. 
Meanwhile, PML-Q leader condemning provincial government for rolling back Punjab government’s security from PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and senior federal minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi warned that provincial government would be responsible for any untoward incident. 
He demanded of the Punjab CM to present the report of investigation commission formed sometime back regarding the flood devastating floods in Southern Punjab last year to overcome our s0hortcomings to counter the natural calamities in a better way. 
Zaheer said that ‘Q’ would devise its budget session’s strategy after consulting with senior leadership, however they would follow the conduct of ‘N’ during the budget at the Parliament. He observed that ‘N’ wanted to grab every position without having majority.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A rally was organized to express solidarity with Moonis Elahi

Lahore (02-06-2011) A large number of Pakistan Muslim League Youth Wing Punjab members belonging to all the provincial district head quarters gathered in Lahore today to stage a peaceful protest rally from PML House Lahore to Lahore Press Club. The rally was organized to express solidarity with Moonis Elahi senior Pakistan Muslim League Leader. 

The rally participant were carrying banners and ply cards highlighting Moonis Elahi’s innocence and against his political victimization. Later President PML Youth Wing Punjab Zahid Iqbal Chaudhry addressed the rally outside the Lahore Press Club. 

In his speech Zahid Iqbal Chaudhry condemned the unfair and prejudicial conduct of the FIA and its deliberate attempts at framing Moonis Elahi in a false case. The PML Youth Wing President said that keeping Moonis Elahi under detention despite the prosecution witnesses’ denial of making any statement against him was a clear evidence of political victimization. The rally was also participated by Ahmad Faran Khan, Bilal Mustafa Sherazi, Ahmad Nadeem Gujjar, Sajjad Khan Khichi, Mian Azhar Shaukat, Nadeem Zulfiqar, Shahid Jutt, Mumtaz Yousuf, Zulfiqar Yaseen, Mian Usman, Tahir Ansari, Ateeq Rizwan, Asad Riaz Baloch, Rai Ashfaq Kharral, Tariq Majeed, Ch. Usman Gujjar and others.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Till today, copies of the challan and statements of witnesses had not been delivered to Moonis Elahi’s counsels.

Lahore (May 31, 2011) The Banking Court today adjourned the NICL case hearing with Senior Pakistan Muslim League Leader Moonis Elahi as a defendant till June-10 without any proceedings. Moonis Elahi was brought to the court in an armoured vehicle and heavy security arrangements were in place both outside and inside the court room. A large number of Pakistan Muslim League workers had assembled outside the banking court in the sweltering summer heat to catch a glimpse of their beloved leader. On his arrival, they chanted slogans highlighting Moonis Elahi’s innocence and condemning the elements behind the false case against their leaders. Later talking to the media, Moonis Elahi’s counsel said that the court could not convene today because of some other binding’s legal engagements of the honourable judge.