Pakistan arrests provincial assembly speaker over corruption

National Accountability Bureau says Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was arrested in the capital. (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
Updated 20 February 2019

Pakistan arrests provincial assembly speaker over corruption

  • Siraj Durrani was arrested in the capital
  • Durrani is a member of the Pakistan People's Party

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's anti-corruption body says it has arrested the speaker of a provincial assembly and member of an opposition party headed by former President Asif Ali Zardari.

In Wednesday's statement, the National Accountability Bureau says Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was arrested in the capital, Islamabad, on charges of "possessing assets beyond his known sources."

The anti-graft body has arrested several politicians and businessmen on corruption charges since Prime Minister Imran Khan took office last year following the removal of Nawaz Sharif by the country's top court over corruption allegations.

Durrani is a member of the Pakistan People's Party. Its leader, former President Zardari, faces a multimillion-dollar money laundering case opened last year, and is currently out on bail.


Partnership with Pakistan can set science advance for Arab world – minister

Updated 3 min 33 sec ago

Partnership with Pakistan can set science advance for Arab world – minister

  • Islamabad and Riyadh have yet to cooperate in science
  • Pakistan can solve many of Saudi Arabia’s technology problems, says science minister

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s minister of science and technology on Thursday said his country’s expertise in the field of technology could benefit the Arab world, especially if a special technical partnership is forged with Saudi Arabia.

“I would like closer cooperation with the Arab world in science and technology,” Fawad Chaudry said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

He noted that while Pakistan and Saudi Arabia already cooperate on a large scale, scientific cooperation has yet to be established.

The former information minister, who eight months ago was assigned the science and technology portfolio and pledged breakthrough advancements said that Pakistan is the world’s fourth-largest freelance software exporter, “so instead of relying on Europe and USA for routine software, and pay huge money for that,” the Arab world should rather focus on Pakistan. “We will be able to bring your requirements, frankly much cheaper than what you are getting now, and the standard will be as good.”

“The Arab world can benefit immensely from Pakistan’s experience.”

When asked what cooperation he seeks with the Kingdom, he said: “Saudi Arabia can take care of the budgets. This technical cooperation of Pakistan will actually solve many of Saudi Arabia’s technology problems.”

Pakistan is engaged in multimillion-dollar worth projects under the Islamic Development Bank’s (IsDB) Science, Technology and Innovation Transform Fund, which aim to help Muslim countries find practical solutions to their key development challenges through the power of innovation.

“I hope that once that fund will be available, we will be able to help many other Muslim countries,” the minister said, explaining that Pakistan wants to contribute to the smart villages concept. “We would like to give this smart village experience to other Muslim countries, African Muslim nations, and the Middle East.”

Smart villages use innovative solutions to improve the resilience of rural communities through facilities such as sustainable energy services to enable their access to education, health care, better nutrition, and sanitation.

Highlighting his country’s technological advancements, the minister cited Pakistani-made unmanned aerial vehicles. He said that since drone technology in Pakistan is advanced as in Europe, “on the issues of surveillance, agriculture, and many other areas, we can immensely help the Arab world, especially Saudi Arabia.”