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SHC seeks details of $70m girls’ education programme

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the Attorney General of Pakistan to submit details of the programme “Let Girls Learn” under which former US First Lady Michelle Obama had pledged $70 million for promotion of girls’ education in Pakistan.

A division bench of SHC was seized with the hearing of a petition seeking directives for the national anti-graft watchdog to investigate alleged embezzlement of above-mentioned funds.

The petitioner pleaded with the court to direct the federal authorities to explain in what capacity former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz had signed the agreement with the former US first lady.

During the hearing, federal law officer told the judges that he had written to the respondents – finance ministry, Maryam Nawaz and NAB, but they are yet to respond. He sought time to submit their comments.

The court granted his request and adjourned the hearing until Oct 16.

The petitioner submitted that former US First Lady Michelle Obama and Maryam Nawaz had launched the “Let Girls Learn” programme at the White House in July, 2016 for promotion of girls’ education in Pakistan. The $70 million programme was aimed to educate young girls, help build over a dozen new schools and rehabilitate hundreds others, he added.

The agreement which was to benefit 200,000 girls in Pakistan seemed to have been hold in abeyance or the amount has been embezzled as no practical steps to that effect have been taken as yet, the petitioner said while requesting the court to direct the authorities to submit details of progress, if any, on the programme.

The court was further pleaded to direct the NAB to conduct an inquiry into the matter.



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