Arts Forum vows not to allow ACP turn into hub of money laundering

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KARACHI: (L-R) Qandeel Jaffery, Col (Retd) Mukhtar Butt, Najamuddin Sheikh, and Mubasher Mir addressing a Press conference, here at Karachi Press Club, Thursday. - Staff Photo

Staff Reporter

KARACHI: Officials of The Arts Forum have demanded from the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu action of the affairs of Arts Council Karachi. The Arts Council administration wants to open offices abroad for raising funds to promote Arts and Culture but Arts Forum has serious concern that ACP President will misuse his authority. The federal government should take notice because there are bright chances of money laundering because Ahmed Shah does not enjoy a neat & clean record. The Arts Forum will not allow ACP to become the centre of money laundering.
These views were expressed by The Arts Forum President Najamuddin Sheikh Secretary Mubasher Mir, Col (Retd) Mukhtar Butt, Qandeel Jaffery, Z.H Khurram and others while addressing a Press conference, here at Karachi Press Club Thursday.
Officials of The Arts Forum said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan should take suo moto notice of their attempt to establish a monopoly in Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi. The remarks made by the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court regarding Arts Council Karachi are based on real facts. The body is incomplete after the demise of Haseena Moin and Ibne Hassan. So, no elections were held for the posts of treasurer and vice president.
The said the attempts are now being made to convene an emergency general body meeting to pass arbitrary amendments. List of the members is not provided because there are host of secret memberships given by Ahmed Shah just for the sake of getting vote for himself so as to strengthen his regime and now he is trying for the proposed amendments.
The leaders of The Arts Forum said that the present management of the Arts Council has so far spent more than Rs2 billion during the last 12 year and now wants to open offices abroad. The Federal Investigation Agency should take serious notice of this, as there is a risk of money laundering in these efforts, they added.
Mubasher Mir said Pakistan is already facing difficulties in this regard because of FATF. The Federal Minister for Finance, FBR should keep a close watch on these serious matters which may create new worries in the form of economic sanctions.
He said that if such amendments were made, we would knock the door of the court and would not allow Arts Council Karachi to become a hotbed of money laundering. By obtaining foreign funding, problems will be created for the country here. There is already a case against Ahmed Shah in NAB Sindh, for which no decision has come to the light yet.
The Representatives of The Arts Forum said that the shape of Art is distorted, that’s why people associated with art have moved away from this institution. The Urdu Conference and the Women’s Conference were failed miserably. The participation of the members in both programs of the Arts Council is not even 10%, so it is necessary to purify this institution.
He said that efforts are being made to increase the powers of the President of the Arts Council which will establish dictatorship. The Arts Council is not someone’s estate, it should work on the basis of democracy but the current president is trying to be a dictator and feudal lord who disrupted the Artists community here, he concluded.
Qandeel Jaffery said that our society has lost moral ethics and our poor artists were sold by getting small favors from Ahmed Shah. There is no information/Profile of the President ACP on the Arts Council available on the Website and nobody knows from where Ahmed Shah is brought up and occupied the Arts Council.