Ban to extend independent probe into Bhutto killing

31 December 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to extend the mandate of the independent United Nations commission charged with examining the facts and circumstances behind the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto by another three months, it was announced today. According to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban has informed both the Pakistani Government and Security Council of his intention to extend the Commission of Inquiry’s mandate, which began on 1 July.The probe was due to submit its report today, but “because of the substantial amount of information collected by the Commission in Pakistan and further follow up work that remains, the Commissioners requested additional time to complete their report,” the Secretary-General said.Set up following a request from the Pakistani Government, the Commission has met with dozens of individuals and made several trips to the South Asian nation.After wrapping up its work, the probe will submit its report to Mr. Ban, who will also share it with the Government of Pakistan.The Commission is headed by Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz of Chile, and its other members are Marzuki Darusman, the former attorney-general of Indonesia, and Peter Fitzgerald, a veteran of the Irish National Police who has also served the UN in a number of capacities. read more

White paper on housing programme to be tabled in Parliament Harmon

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAcres of GuySuCo land being considered for Govt’s housing projectMarch 6, 2017In “Local News”Cabinet approves construction of duplexes, townhouses -758 units to be built this yearFebruary 18, 2017In “Local News”$484M supplementary approved to buy 1970s planes for GDFMay 12, 2018In “latest news” One of the new housing initiatives that would be pursued under the government’s new housing programmeMinister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, is set to table in the National Assembly, a white paper ( a government or other authoritative report providing information or proposals on an outlined subject matter ) on the government’s new housing programme. This was announced today, by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at a post-Cabinet media briefing held at the Ministry of the Presidency.Harmon said that the white paper will provide the National Assembly with a clear understanding of what the government is seeking to achieve with its new programme.The white paper will also provide information pertaining to the construction techniques, the method of payment for units, mortgage arrangement for recipients and the criteria for allocation.In the construction of the houses, the government would seek to focus mainly using local contractors and indigenous materials including local wood species.Harmon explained that guidelines would be issued to the contractors stating the government’s preference for the use of local building materials, taking cognisance of where the houses will be built.The government’s new programme, which has private sector involvement, has moved away from the allocation of house lots to providing actual houses in the form of apartments and duplexes.Harmon explained that the housing programme inherited from the previous administration was “ineffective” since it largely focused on the distribution of house lots to citizens. “The thrust by our government is to build communities, and this will be the focus of the housing sector development,” he said.Cabinet recently approved the roll-out of the first phase of the new housing programme. Approval was given for $5 Billion to be spent on the delivery and construction of 758 housing units in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10.Minister Harmon said today, that the construction of the houses and several other components of the housing programme are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2017.The government’s new housing programme targets particularly, public sector employees, youths and low income earners. read more