Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 23rd 2015 Contents KALIFA CLYNE
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
must fix a glaring omission in the
Cabinet of T&T and that is to include
an Islamic minister.
This is the view of one Muslim
organisation, Ummah T&T, which it
shared in a press conference yesterday
at its office at Felicity, Chaguanas.
Chairman of the organisation Imam
Rasheed Karim said the group had
written to Rowley shortly after his
victory in the September 7 polls.
In the letter to Rowley, dated Sep-
tember 10, the organisation congrat-
ulated him and requested a meeting
to formulate plans to involve the Mus-
lim community in governance.
Imam Karim said Muslims
accounted for 150,000 people in T&T
and added that a Muslim minister in
Cabinet would ensure equity and
mean the Cabinet would be properly
advised on Muslim issues.
"The People's Partnership had three
members of the Muslim community
in its Cabinet. We will have to give
him some time but we are seeing new
ministers appointed every day," Karim
said. He said it was important for a
Muslim voice in the Cabinet to con-
tribute to decision-making.
Karim, acknowledging that Rowley
still needed to name his Opposition
Senators, said he felt a Muslim Senator
was not an appointment he would
"Cabinet is where the decisions are
made and we would feel better if there
was a Muslim minister.
"There is no reason a Muslim min-
ister cannot be appointed. The PNM
had Muslim candidates for the elec-
tion and even if they did not win a
seat, Clarence Rambharat did not win
in Mayaro and was still appointed a
minister," he said.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Muslims want man
in Rowley's Cabinet
Chairman of the Muslim Social and
Cultural Foundation Inshan Ishmael
yesterday commented on the stance
of the Ummah TT group.
"Let us face the facts, very few
Muslims put themselves up for
nomination on both sides, as such it is
expected that there will be an issue
with Muslim representation.
"For me this does not pose so much
of an issue as our concern with the
previous Government was with those
ministers whose agenda was clearly
anti-Muslim," he added.
He said he had not seen any
member of the present Government
who had pushed an anti-Muslim
agenda and that was a great start.
"I was also reassured that Muslim
representation will be present within
the Senate soon and before the end of
the year in Cabinet. Quite frankly,
based on previous experiences we
have had Muslims in Cabinet but they
did little for our community.
"I would prefer to have zero Muslims
in Cabinet rather than three non-
Muslims in Opposition whose history
against Muslims and our faith speaks
volumes," he added.
INSHAN ISHMAEL RESPONDS
Imam Rasheed Karim addresses the
media during a press conference at
his office in Felicity yesterday.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Former attorney general Garvin
Nicholas says he is very suspi-
cious that his successor Faris Al-
Rawi signed Jack Warner s United
States extradition papers three
days after the deadline had
Both Nicholas and Opposition
Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
were speaking to reporters before
participating in a UNC strategy
meeting at Paraiso Building, Clax-
ton Bay, yesterday.
Asked whether he still believed
Warner was in cahoots with the
PNM to escape extradition as tout-
ed on the election platform,
Nicholas said Al-Rawi's decision
was not one of choice.
"I believe Mr Al-Rawi really had
no choice but to sign those extra-
dition papers. It would have been
difficult to explain why he was not
going ahead with the proceedings
so he really had no choice in the
matter," Nicholas said.
He added: "What disturbs me
is that instead of giving consider-
ation to the documentation with
the team on board to allow for him
to meet the deadline, Al-Rawi's
first act was to terminate the serv-
ices of the lawyers who are far more
knowledgeable on these matters."
Nicholas said the lawyers Al-
Rawi fired would have advised him
in greater detail about how to pro-
"This would have allowed him
to meet the deadline," Nicholas
said. Asked whether the fired attor-
neys would have already been paid
by the State, Nicholas responded:
"The ones who were fired had sub-
mitted invoices but they would not
have necessarily been paid."
Defending his decision to hire
an eight-member legal team who
is expected to be paid $12 million
of taxpayer's monies, Nicholas said:
"In a matter as significant as
this and a case with such global
appeal, it was important that we
get it right. That was the reason
for having the legal expertise on
"I knew those matters would
have most likely go to the Privy
Council so it was important to have
the expertise from the very begin-
ning who could prepare for a Privy
Council challenge if it came even-
said she was not surprised that Al-
Rawi signed the extradition papers.
However, she said his decision to
sign the papers after the deadline
gave Warner's attorneys ammuni-
tion to strengthen their case.
"Nothing they do surprises me.
What is interesting is these papers
were signed after time had elapsed.
This still remains a live issue. Why
did he wait until the time has
elapsed to sign the authority to
proceed papers?" Persad-Bissessar
She added: "That question
remains unanswered. Al-Rawi may
give reason that he needed time.
We will have to await the decision
of the magistrate to see whether
the magistrate allows it, given the
fact that the deadline to sign it was
the Friday and they didn't bring
that signed document until Mon-
that Al-Rawi had asked for an
extension. Asked if she still believed
that Warner was in cahoots with
the PNM, Persad-Bissessar replied:
"Time will tell."
Questions over AG's
late signing of Jack's
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