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October 13, 2013

Interpol quashes red warrant against Saifur Rehman

October 13, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Interpol has quashed the red warrant against former accountability chief Senator Saifur Rehman on persuasion of the government of Pakistan who is staying and doing his business in Qatar after self-imposed exile.
He was implicated in several cases by the Pakistan People’s Party government. Saifur Rehman was chief of accountability in the second tenure of Nawaz Sharif government and instituted a number of cases against Benazir Bhutto, her spouse and several top leaders of the PPP for alleged corruption.
The PPP government instituted cases against him when it took over in 2008. The Pervez Musharraf government earlier arrested him after taking over immediately but Saif managed to escape the country.
Well placed sources told The News that Senator Saif came to Pakistan and had meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other stalwarts of the party before returning to Doha. He has no plan to take part in politics but sources said he is contesting cases against him in the court to obtain a clean chit.

page 12

Dar invites American entrepreneurs to invest in Pakistan
Pledges security for foreign investors; meets Japanese deputy PM, US under-secretary; addresses gatherings in US
WASHINGTON: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday invited American entrepreneurs to make use of lucrative investment opportunities existing in a host of areas in Pakistan as he held out Islamabad’s commitment to good governance and transparency as part of efforts to facilitate business and economic activity in the country.
Speaking to members of the US-Pakistan Business Council, Senator Dar particularly underlined the vast investment potential the county offers in the fields of energy, gas and oil exploration.
“Transparency, merit, due process, good governance are going to be hallmarks of the government,” he stated.
Dar also pledged security for foreign investors in Pakistan.
“We are implementing reforms and policies — we

mean business, and Pakistan will be a good host,” he told the gathering of prominent business leaders. The new government, he said, is focused on addressing three inter-related problems including energy, economy and extremism.
On steps towards meeting Pakistan’s exponential energy requirements, the minister spoke of the Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha dams and added completion of these projects would help ensure smooth flow of energy. In the immediate context, he said, the government has paid off the circular debt of around Rs500 billion to spur supply of power.
He said the investors could avail a lot of opportunities in the energy sector as Pakistan has proven reserves of coal and gas and a number of hydro power projects are under way as well.
He apprised the business and corporate leaders of the reforms and measures the government has taken to check inflation, curb fiscal deficit, attract foreign investment, bolster revenues, step up tax collection, and said as a result of the new government’s steps, the international business and financial institutions’ confidence in the country’s economic development potential has increased tremendously.
The minister, who is heading a Pakistani delegation to annual IMF-World Bank meetings, is accompanied by Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan, Governor State Bank Yaseen Anwar and Secretary Economic Affairs Division Ms Nargis Sethi.
Earlier, Esperanza Jelalian, Executive Director of the Council, welcomed the minister.
In her opening remarks, Carolyn L Brehm, Vice President of the US Pakistan Business Council, spoke of the great economic potential of Pakistan and its advantageous geographic location.
“Our members see value in Pakistan’s geographical proximity — it has a talented workforce,” she said, noting that a number of companies are running profitable businesses in the country. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Dar called on Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, who is also finance minister of his country, as the two sides discussed Tokyo’s support for major Pakistani projects.
During the meeting, Senator Dar briefed the Japanese leader about the macroeconomic policies of the Pakistani government.
He informed the Japanese deputy premier about the Yamaha Plant, being set up in Pakistan. Dar expressed hope that the Japanese leadership would give a go ahead signal to Japanese International Cooperation Agency for approval of major projects like Karachi Circular Railway for which the spade work has already been completed.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also separately met with US Undersecretary of Treasury for International Affairs Ms Lael Brainard and briefed her about the country’s efforts towards macroeconomic stabilisation.
He informed Brainard about the actions taken by the new government in first four months, saying these had put the economy back on track, an aide to the finance minister said. Dar said the government had set an ambitious target for the economy in the next three years which include reducing the fiscal deficit by half, doubling of GDP growth rate and increasing the investment by 50 percent. The finance minister stated that the actions taken by the government had led to the approval of the programme with the IMF. The Fund, he said, has endorsed the policies of the government, headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Ms. Lael Brainard appreciated the bold decisions taken by the new government to revive the Pakistani economy. She observed that these steps would help create jobs and pull investment into the country. She assured finance minister of all possible help to achieve the targets set by the government. Later, Ishaq Dar addressed a gathering of Pakistani-Americans at the Pakistani embassy, which hosted a dinner in honour of the visiting finance minister and his team of economic managers.

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