Musharraf ignores PM’s bid for lavish perks and allowances

November 14th, 2007 - 2:53 am ICT by admin  
The perks would include duty free cars, 80 per cent of the salary as pension, diplomatic passports even for the family, income tax relief, permanent security escort and many more benifits.

A draft bill, sent to the Presidency for initial clearance months ago, has not been touched despite repeated reminders by the PM Secretariat.

Now it can only be issued in the form of an ordinance, and that too if Musharraf wants to grant extraordinary rewards for Shaukat Aziz, his family and by default on another ex-PM, Zafarullah Khan Jamali.

The craftily drafted proposed law on the perks and privileges of former Prime Ministers makes it a pre-qualification that a PM must have served for at least one year.

This clause effectively excludes Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who remained PM for about 30 days.

A special clause has been added to disqualify former premiers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.

It proposes that benefits would be given to every person who after having held the PMs office after October 2002 for not less than one year, “has not been removed for violating the constitution or gross misconduct”.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sher Afgan Niazi confirmed that the bill was first sent to the PM secretariat after it was given final touches by the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry.

After getting vetted from the Ministry of Law And Justice, it was forwarded to presidency from PM secretariat for approval before it could be put before the Parliament, The News reported.

But, he said, so far, the bill has not been cleared by the presidency.

Niazi, however, strongly defended the bill saying that it was not illegal to grant perks to a former Prime Minister as this was a practice all over the world.

“This issue should not be scandalised at all as it was not a person specific law and anyone who would spend one year as Prime Minister would be eligible to get these privileges,” Niazi said.

“I will once again talk to President Musharraf to inquire what had happened to the bill,” he said. (ANI)

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