Posts Tagged ‘Musharraf’

Sharifs will be offered neither deal nor concession: minister

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday rejected the notion that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members were ,released from jail, under a “deal” and that Saudi Arabia had played any role in it.

“Nawaz Sharif is not so important for Saudi Arabia that they will talk about him,” said Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry while speaking at a news conference a day after Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar were released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail after suspension of their sentences by the Islamabad High Court in the Avenfield properties case.

Editorial: ,Much room for NAB process against Sharifs to improve,

The IHC verdict coincided with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia, giving rise to speculation in some circles that the Sharif family members’ release was a result of the Saudis’ request.

It may be recalled that Saudi Arabia was a guarantor in a deal between the Sharif family and then military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2000 under which the Sharifs were released from jail and allowed to leave the country.

PML-N terms Fawad Chaudhry’s remarks ‘irresponsible’ and asks him to focus on governance

“Those who say that Saudi Arabia would have talked [about Nawaz Sharif during Prime Minister Khan’s visit] actually don’t know what kind of relationship the Saudis have with Nawaz Sharif,” the information minister said without elaborating.

“There will be no deal and no dheel (concession) with them (the Sharifs),” he declared, adding that soon “they will be back to the place where they had been a few days back”. “Nawaz Sharif will be in and out of jail. This thing will continue,” he said, adding that the Sharifs had only been granted bail and the case was still pending against them.

“Those who were questioning the government for putting the names of the Sharifs on the Exit Control List (ECL) would have got the answer now. Had we not done so, they could have flown to London soon after their release, and where would we have looked for these princes then?” he said, justifying the decision of the federal cabinet to place the names of the Sharifs on the ECL during its first meeting.

“We will not allow Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to leave Pakistan and at the same time we will not allow (former finance minister) Ishaq Dar, and Hassan and Hussain (the two sons of Mr Sharif) to stay out of Pakistan,” he said.

Mr Chaudhry said that for them it was not important that how much time the Sharifs would spend in jail, as for the government bringing back the looted money of the people of this country was more important.

Lashing out at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, he said it was heartening to see the PML-N people praising the courts. “So if the verdict is in their favour, all is well with the judiciary, and if it is against them, then the system is corrupt?” the minister said, asking the PML-N to decide once and for all as to what was their stance to end their confusion.

“In my opinion, the judiciary is free and independent,” he added.

Mr Chaudhry said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also an independent institution and the government had no control over it. He said the government was looking for the loopholes due to which the Sharifs had been granted bail and soon they would rectify them and send them back to jail.

PML-N’s reaction

The PML-N termed the information minister’s remarks “irresponsible” and asked him to focus on “governance” instead of wasting time on petty matters.

Talking to Dawn, PML-N information secretary Mushahidullah Khan said that no party leader had given any statement about courts after the IHC verdict as they believed that Mr Sharif had only got “relief” and not justice.

Commenting on Mr Chaudhry’s statement regarding deal, he said the PML-N had not struck any deal when it could have done so in the past then why it would be doing it now. “Had we struck a deal, Nawaz Sharif would have been prime minister even today,” he said.

Mr Khan also ridiculed the minister’s justification for putting the names of the Sharifs on the ECL, terming the government’s act “vindictive”. He recalled that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were in London when the NAB court had announced the verdict and they returned home despite knowing that they would straightaway land in jail.

On the other hand, he said, the PML-N government did not put the name of Imran Khan and even President Arif Alvi on the ECL despite the fact that they were facing terrorism charges.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2018

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 21, 2018 at 6:25 am

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Seeking details of Benazir’s assets disrespect to a martyr: Zardari

ISLAMABAD: Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, challenging its Aug 29 order in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case in which the court had sought details of his and those of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s foreign assets.

Terming the seeking of details of Ms Bhutto’s assets disrespect to a martyr, Mr Zardari argued in the petition that such details had nothing to do with the case and that it was out of context and against his fundamental rights.

A three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar which is seized with a petition filed by the Lawyers Foundation for Justice president Feroz Shah Gilani asked Mr Zardari in the Aug 29 order to submit an affidavit highlighting details of foreign assets and bank accounts, including Swiss accounts, belonging to him, his slain wife, children (Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari) and other dependants.

Mr Gilani’s petition seeks recovery of public amount allegedly wasted against the backdrop of the NRO in 2007. He nominated Mr Zardari, former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and former attorney general Malik Abdul Qayyum as respondents in the case.

PPP co-chairman challenges apex court’s Aug 29 order in National Reconciliation Ordinance case

Moved by senior counsel Farooq H. Naek, the review petition argued that the Aug 29 order had erroneously shifted the burden of proof to Mr Zardari, asking him to prove his innocence. This is something that Mr Zardari has done time and again and even he has been acquitted multiple times on merit.

The actual burden of proof, the review petition argues, remains on the party which has brought the case before the court. The Aug 29 order prime facie aimed at seeking to gather information which would somehow incriminate Mr Zardari, it added. This is against the spirit of Article 13 of the Constitution which provides protection against double punishment.

Moreover, the review petition says, setting Oct 5, 2007 as date from which financial information of Mr Zardari and his family should be included in the affidavit is arbitrary, ad hoc and does not find basis in the law.

The Aug 29 order has also failed to take into account the practical difficulties that would occur in attempting to gather information required to be furnished in the affidavit sought under the order.

The record is likely to have been shredded and no longer available, especially when it comes to old property documents and details of their sale and purchase price, it says.

The order is also in violation of Article 4, 175 (2) and 187 (1) of the constitution which guarantees rights of individuals to be dealt with in accordance with the law, establishment and jurisdiction of the courts and issue and execution of processes of the Supreme Court, respectively.

Thus, the petition of Mr Gilani does not fall within the purview of Article 184(3) of the constitution, the review petition says, adding the Aug 29 order is asking for the details for a period spanning over a decade. Even under income tax law the limitation prescribed for assessments by Section 121 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 is five years and anything before the same is exempt from assessment.

Moreover, under Section 60 of the Election Act 2017, a candidate is only to furnish a statement of his assets and liabilities for the preceding year whereas under the Aug 29 order the affidavit to be supplied covers the period from Oct 5, 2007 till date, which is unheard of.

Even under the election law a candidate is only supposed to furnish details of his spouse and dependent children whereas the order seeks details of the children who were not dependant, the review petition says.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2018

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 19, 2018 at 4:25 am

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Draft law finalised to obtain financial crimes evidence from abroad

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Law and Justice has finalised the draft of much-awaited legislation meant to obtain evidence from foreign jurisdictions about financial crimes and mega corruption cases involving Pakistanis.

This was announced by Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Farogh Naseem during a press conference on Friday.

He said successive governments over the past nine years had failed to enact legislation for a mutual legal assistance regime. The law ministry, he added, had finalised the Mutual Legal Assistance Bill and shared its draft with the Ministry of Interior, Federal Inves­tigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He said a meeting of all stakeholders would be held next week to review the draft and to ascertain their views on it.

Farogh Naseem says amendments to be introduced in civil law to provide speedy justice

He said the government had begun the process of drafting a new law despite the fact that a number of bills seeking amendments to the NAB Ordinance, 2002 had already been discussed by various committees of the Senate and the National Assembly over the past 10 years.

Barrister Naseem was of the view that there was a dire need of giving a holistic change to the accountability law for empowering NAB. He said the government would not introduce any amendment to the law which might create hurdles for NAB in dealing with corrupt elements.

The country’s two major parties — Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — through the famous Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed by former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif in London in 2006 had agreed to abolish NAB and replace it with a new institution to be named National Accountability Commission (NAC). The two parties allege that NAB was established by former military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for arm-twisting of his political opponents.

The PPP government under former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had moved in parliament a bill seeking to establish NAC in 2009. But the bill could not be passed due to failure of the government and opposition parties to reach a consensus on its draft. Though the two parties had agreed on a majority of the clauses of the proposed bill, they had failed to resolve differences on petty issues.

Similarly, when the PML-N came into power in 2013, it also initiated the move to replace NAB with NAC, but again both the parties failed to fulfil their commitment under the CoD. During the previous government’s term, a number of private members bills seeking to change the NAB law were also introduced and a special committee was constituted to discuss those bills after clubbing them together, but the committee had failed to present its report to the National Assembly.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), which was in the opposition in the previous parliament, had initially supported the initiative of the PML-N government, but later opposed the idea of creating a new accountability commission and called for empowering and improving the existing law.

Soon after assuming office, Prime Minister Imran Khan had declared his intention to empower NAB and even appointed a special assistant on accountability and later constituted a task force.

Amendments to civil law

The law minister also announced that in order to provide speedy justice, necessary amendments would be introduced in the civil law.

Giving details, he said that in first track main cases would be heard, in second track other matters pertaining to stay orders, receivership would be addressed and in the final stage evidence would be recorded.

Barrister Naseem said that a panel of well-reputed lawyers would be constituted which would collect evidence that could save time of courts.

He said the whole procedure — from filing of a civil case to giving defence — should be done within 75 days. The issue could be framed within 30 days and 15 to 20 days would be given for witnesses and evidence.

For saving the time of courts, he said, the commission would record mandatory evidence which would be recorded within 90 days. Soon after the passing of a judgement, it would be implemented without wasting any time, he added.

Giving reference of the Sup­reme Court, the minister said that if any judgement was reserved, it should be announced within three months and after the judgement it was not necessary to issue a decree.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 15, 2018 at 10:25 am

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Kulsoom Nawaz laid to rest at Jati Umra in Lahore

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz was laid to rest at Jati Umra, the Sharif family residence in Lahore, near the graves of her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif, on Friday.

Her funeral prayers, led by Maulana Tariq Jameel, were offered at a ground at Sharif Medical City around 5:30pm, after which her body was transported to Jati Umra.

Begum Kulsoom, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in August last year, had passed away in London on September 11.

Maulana Tariq Jameel leads Begum Kulsoom’s funeral prayers.

Thousands of PML-N supporters, well-wishers and politicians gathered to pay their respects to the three-time first lady and offer funeral prayers, which were held in the grounds of Sharif Medical City, adjacent to the Sharif family’s Jati Umra residence.

Security at the ground was high, and barbed wire was used to separate the high-profile attendees from ordinary citizens. Despite these measures, television footage showed politicians being jostled by the crowd as they were led to their places.

A protective human chain was formed around Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Maulana Tariq Jameel once they arrived so that the funeral prayers could be offered.

Nawaz Sharif talks with Maulana Tariq Jameel as he arrives to attend the funeral. —AP

Nawaz Sharif talks with Maulana Tariq Jameel as he arrives to attend the funeral. —AP

Former president Mamnoon Hussain, former law minister Rana Sanaullah, former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Javed Hashmi, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Punjab Housing Minister Mehmoodur Rasheed, former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi, MQM leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Farooq Sattar, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and Saudi officials were among the attendees.

Congregational prayers (Rasm-i-Qul) for Begum Kulsoom will be offered on Sunday between Asr and Maghreb, a spokesperson had said earlier.

Body repatriated

Begum Kulsoom’s casket reached the provincial capital this morning on PIA flight PK-758 from London. Her body was received by members of the Sharif family, including Hamza Shahbaz, and was later transported to Jati Umra via ambulance.

Explore: ,At Sharif home, an outpouring of sympathy,

Hundreds attend Kulsoom Nawaz’s funeral in London

Funeral prayers had previously been offered for Begum Kulsoom at London’s Regent Park mosque on Thursday, where hundreds of people had showed up to pay their respects. The funeral had been arranged since Kulsoom’s sons, Hasan and Hussain, decided against travelling to Pakistan.

Other members of the Sharif family, including Asma, Nawaz and Kulsoom’s daughter, Shahbaz Sharif, and Zikriya Sharif, were in attendance at the funeral in London, alongside others such as former finance minister Ishaq Dar and former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar.

Shahbaz Sharif arrives at London's Regent Park mosque for Begum Kulsoom's funeral prayers. — DawnNewsTV

Shahbaz Sharif arrives at London’s Regent Park mosque for Begum Kulsoom’s funeral prayers. — DawnNewsTV

Sources said the family had received a death certificate issued by the private hospital where Begum Kulsoom Nawaz breathed her last on Tuesday, and the “out-of-England” letter from the coroner’s court, paving the way for the departure of her body to Lahore this evening.

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Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar, who were all sentenced to jail by an accountability court weeks before the July 25 polls in the Avenfield property reference, were granted parole by the Punjab government on an application moved by Shahbaz in order to attend Begum Kulsoom’s funeral.

The Punjab Home Department later announced an extension in the short 12-hour parole for an additional five days, from Sept 12 (4pm) to September 17 (4pm). The time does not include the time it takes to travel.

Nawaz oversees funeral arrangements in Lahore

Nawaz offers prayers at Sharif Medical City where he paid a visit on Thursday to oversee arrangements for his late wife's funeral. ? DawnNewsTV

Nawaz offers prayers at Sharif Medical City where he paid a visit on Thursday to oversee arrangements for his late wife’s funeral. ? DawnNewsTV

Also on Thursday, Nawaz Sharif paid a visit to Sharif Medical City to oversee arrangements for his deceased wife’s last rites.

The former prime minister directed that all arrangements for the funeral be complete so that everyone is able to comfortably offer the funeral prayers. “There should not be any kind of issue in Sharif Medical City,” he had said.

He was accompanied on the visit by his son-in-law retired captain Muhammad Safdar, grandson Junaid Safdar, and nephew Salman Shahbaz. During the course of this visit, Nawaz met some PML-N leaders at Sharif Medical City.

Condolences offered for Begum Kulsoom

To condole her demise, PML-N and other political party workers have been visiting the Sharif family residence at Avenfield House in London and Jati Umra in Lahore since Wednesday.

Former Balochistan chief minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and Rasikh Elahi, son of Punjab Assembly speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, were prominent among the visitors in London.

PML-N leaders, supporters and well-wishers arrive at Jati Umra to offer their condolences to the Sharifs. ? Online/File

PML-N leaders, supporters and well-wishers arrive at Jati Umra to offer their condolences to the Sharifs. ? Online/File

In Lahore, political leaders and workers including former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khurram Dastagir, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Malik Pervaiz, Saad Rafique, Ameer Muqam, Ali Pervaiz, Uzma Bokhari and Rana Mohammad Iqbal visited Jati Umra to offer their condolences.

Regarding reports that Nawaz Sharif did not see the visitors on Wednesday because he was unwell, Marriyum Aurangzeb said: “That was not the case. Mian sahib was shattered and tired but he met relatives. On Thursday, he will meet the political leaders and workers between 4pm and 6pm. Similarly, Maryam Bibi also met relatives.”

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman pays a condolence visit to Nawaz Sharif.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman pays a condolence visit to Nawaz Sharif.

Hamza Shahbaz met those arriving at Jati Umra to condole the death of the former first lady.

Former president Mamnoon Hussain also called on Nawaz on Thursday and offered his condolences to the PML-N quaid.

Former president Mamnoon Hussain also called on Nawaz and offered condolences on the demise of Begum Kulsoom.

Begum Kulsoom, a woman of substance

Begum Kulsoom served as first lady of Pakistan in her husband’s three non-consecutive terms as prime minister from 1990-1993, 1997-1999 and 2013-2017.

Born in 1950 in Lahore to a Kashmiri family, Begum Kulsoom attended Islamia College and graduated from the Forman Christian College in Lahore. She received a Master’s degree in Urdu from Punjab University in 1970.

She married Nawaz Sharif in 1971, and served as the president of the PML-N from 1999 to 2002, after her husband’s government was dismissed by former president Pervez Musharraf, and nearly all the Sharif family’s men were jailed.

Both mother and daughter were also placed under house arrest following Nawaz’s dismissal by Musharraf.

Begum Kulsoom led defiant, lonely protests against the Musharraf regime to get her husband freed from prison.

On July 9, 2000, she slipped through a police cordon that had been placed around her Model Town home the previous night to bar her from leading a protest rally against Gen Pervez Musharraf. Her ‘escape’ led to a car chase that ended when the police finally intercepted the car on Canal Road.

But the former first lady refused to leave the car. She locked it and made it known that she was going nowhere. Eventually, it was an overhead crane summoned to salvage the situation that bodily lifted the car and took it to a police compound nearby. The standoff lasted around 10 hours.

This moment when she sat suspended in midair was the high point in Begum Kulsoom’s short but eventful political career that started soon after Gen Musharraf, with the help of other generals close to him, ousted Nawaz Sharif.

That eventful day in 2000, she created an image of resistance, bringing the PML-N out of the shadow of the establishment.

“There are two chapters of resistance in the history of the PML-N. The second one is this period since Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court in July 2017. But the original one was written under the stewardship of Begum Kulsoom. Until she started challenging the military dictator, this aspect of the party was hidden from public view,” argued a political commentator who wishes to remain anonymous.

“I wonder if it would have been possible to write the second chapter of resistance if she hadn’t written the first,” said the commentator.

But once she had done her job, Begum Kulsoom slowly withdrew from public view. She was nowhere to be seen during Nawaz Sharif’s third term in office even though her assessment of political matters and people was considered flawless in the Sharif household. “She was a typical eastern woman who would do anything to protect her family,” says journalist Suhail Warraich.

She never, however, refused to play a role whenever she was called upon. Over the last 30 years, she had stood by her husband and advised him on various government affairs. Party leaders have also said that she occasionally wrote many of Nawaz’s speeches.

In a 2012 interview with Newsweek, Maryam had said her mother “dauntlessly challenged the usurper when a lot of men backed out… She’s contributed famously to my father’s life and to democracy in Pakistan.”

She is credited with convincing her husband to allow Maryam to enter politics.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 14, 2018 at 2:26 pm

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Condolences pour in for Kulsoom Nawaz: ‘The woman who stood like a rock in the face of dictatorship’

Politicians tweeted heartfelt condolences as news of ,Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s death, spread on Tuesday.

The official PML-N Twitter account tweeted party president Shahbaz Sharif’s confirmation of the news and prayed for her forgiveness.

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President Arif Alvi also issued a statement, tweeted by the official account of the President of Pakistan, offering support to her family.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his grief over Begum Kulsoom’s death and promised his government’s assistance to the Sharif family in this time of grief.

He also directed the Pakistan High Commission in Britain to facilitate Begum Kulsoom’s family in London in every way possible.

“Sad to learn of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s death,” his account tweeted on Tuesday evening. “She was a courageous woman of great dignity and confronted her disease with fortitude. My condolences and prayers go to the Sharif family.”

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The official account of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the ruling party, also paid respect to the former prime minister’s wife, saying that the party had “massive respect for her”.

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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, in a video message, said Begum Kulsoom was a “brave woman who stood her ground in difficult times”, as he extended “sincere condolences” to PML-N workers and Sharif family.

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PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto paid homage to Begum Kulsoom, calling her a “brave woman” who struggled for democracy.

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India’s Minister of External affairs Sushma Swaraj also expressed grief over the demise of Begum Kulsoom and extended “heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family”.

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PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan also offered his condolences and prayed that God grants her family “enough strength” to cope with her loss.

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Former PML-N minister Khurram Dastagir Khan hailed Begum Kulsoom as a “dissenter against dictatorship” and a “courageous Pakistani”.

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Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari expressed her grief at the news and extended her condolences to the Sharif family, noting that Begum Kulsoom “deserves the nation’s respect”.

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PPP leader Sharmila Faruqi also tweeted prayers that Begum Kulsoom’s family finds the strength to cope with the event.

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MQM leader Syed Ali Raza Abidi hoped that the government would grant “early bail” to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain retired Mohammad Safdar, who are serving sentences in Adiala jail.

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Pak Sarzameen Party founder Mustafa Kamal said he was saddened to hear the news and extended support to Begum Kulsoom’s family.

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National Party leader Hasil Bizenjo prayed that the deceased rests in peace.

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Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also extended his condolences “to the bereaved family on [the] sad demise of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz”.

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Chief Justice of Pakistan also expressed “deep sorrow and grief” on Begum Kulsoom’s demise and said that he “prayed to Almighty Allah to shower His blessings upon the departed soul”.

Remembering Begum Kulsoom Nawaz

As news of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s passing spread, friends and acquaintances expressed grief and shared their memories of the three-time first lady and her role in Pakistan’s politics.

Journalist Nusrat Javed

“She played an extraordinary role [during Musharraf's martial law era]. In fact, at that time it felt there was a sole face and singular voice of dissent [Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's].

“In a personal capacity, she was a very loving woman. She used to always step forward in times of need, when for example, news of someone surfaced who was in a critical medical condition and did not have the means to seek treatment. She used to help such people quietly.

“She had a very motherly behaviour not only towards the party members but people in general.”

PML-N lawmaker Ahsan Iqbal

“She was a very loving lady and my association with her was that of a fellow party member as well as a leader. When martial law was enforced and Nawaz Sharif was jailed, she stood bravely in the face of such dire circumstances and carried forward the party’s struggle for democracy. She served as an inspiration for us all.”

Former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair

“She was an outstanding lady and in my opinion, an exemplary one, whatever one’s political views are.

“She supported her husband throughout his political career. And when Nawaz Sharif went to jail, she came out and engaged in a political struggle, even though it was unheard of for a woman in Pakistan to do so at the time.

The few times that I met her, she came across as a good Pakistani housewife; she was educated, articulate and intelligent.”

Journalist Meher Bokhari

“It’s very unfortunate for the children and Mian [Nawaz Sharif] Sahab. Maryam Nawaz would credit [her political standing to] her mother ? her father was not in favour of her entering politics. Her mother said that she [Maryam] was ready.

“She played a crucial role in convincing her husband given how well she [Maryam] had campaigned for the 2013 elections … It was Begum Kulsoom who broke the family’s long-held tradition of not allowing women to foray into politics.”

ANP leader Zahid Khan

“Whenever I met her during talks between leaders, I found her to be a very wise and prudent woman. I never once saw bitterness in her temperament. She was the sole lady to stand up in the face of Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship. Even the male members of the party were not as bold as she. It is not just a loss for the party but for the whole nation.”

Journalist Mujahid Barelvi

“I was recalling the time when I was on the flight during the [Sharifs'] visit to Azerbaijan and Madina. I had the opportunity to join them for breakfast.

With other leaders and their families, I had never known spouses to have that sort of presence. In her case though, I observed her to be a very impressive personality. She used to join in during conversations and even quipped when Nawaz asked ‘Is there no Nihari or paaye for breakfast?’ to say ‘No we have put a stop to all these things’.

It is very unfortunate the way she was consumed all of a sudden by such an illness for a whole year and which caused so much suffering for the family.”

Journalist Iftikhar Shirazi

“There is no doubt that in 1999, when the military coup took place and Nawaz Sharif’s government was dissolved, all the bigwigs of the N-League were not fighting his case (like they should have). In such dire times, Kulsoom Nawaz took matters into her own hands. She took to the streets and held protests the result of which was a secret agreement which then led to Nawaz Sharif and his family living in exile in Europe for 10 years.

“In such stressful times, no other member of the party played such a crucial role, as she did. They all either parted ways or stepped back or changed loyalties, but either way they did not stand with Nawaz Sharif.

“Even now, when he was disqualified and his NA-120 Lahore seat was left vacant and she stood for elections, it was unfortunate that she was unable to appear in the assembly and take oath as a parliamentarian; yet it can be said that she was a member of parliament for more than a year.

“She may not have forayed into politics the way her husband or the Sharifs in general had, but whenever dire circumstances arose, she was with Nawaz Sharif. She served as his advisor as well; whenever she was needed, she never refused to serve the party in any way she could and to bring the family out from all the tough times it went through.”

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 12, 2018 at 12:25 pm

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Begum Kulsoom Nawaz passes away in London after battle with cancer

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is survived by her husband, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and their four children. ? DawnNewsTV

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is survived by her husband, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and their four children. ? DawnNewsTV

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, passed away in London on Tuesday after a months-long battle with cancer.

She is survived by her husband and four children, Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.

PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb told the Associated Press that arrangements were being made to bring her body back to Pakistan for burial.

Party leader Khawaja Imran Nazeer, speaking to the media in London, said Begum Kulsoom may be laid to rest in the family home at Raiwind, but clarified that all decisions will be finalised only after consultation between family members. He said in case the family decides to bury her in Pakistan, the repatriation process may take two or three days.

Begum Kulsoom, 68, had been placed on life support earlier today as her health began deteriorating, sources at London’s Harley Street Clinic had told ,GeoNews,.

Begum Kulsoom’s health began deteriorating last night as she had developed a lung problem again, Geo had reported.

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The three-time former first lady was ,diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma, in August last year and had been in London since, where she underwent multiple surgeries and at least five chemotherapy sessions.

She had suffered a cardiac arrest and was ,placed on a ventilator, in June this year. Her family reported a ,slight improvement in her condition, on July 12, a day before Nawaz and Maryam were set to return to Pakistan after an accountability court ,sentenced them to jail, in the Avenfield corruption reference.

The former PM and his daughter are both currently ,serving their sentences, in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz was ,elected to Lahore’s NA-120 constituency, in a by-poll after her husband was disqualified from the seat by the Supreme Court last year, but left for the United Kingdom before she could begin campaigning for the by-poll.

In her absence, Maryam ,ran her campaign instead,. Due to her illness, Begum Kulsoom was unable to return and formally take oath for the seat.

Begum Kulsoom served as first lady of Pakistan in her husband’s three non-consecutive terms as prime minister from 1990-1993, 1997-1999 and 2013-2017.

Born in 1950 in Lahore to a Kashmiri family, Begum Kulsoom attended Islamia College and graduated from the Forman Christian College in Lahore. She received a Master’s degree in Urdu from Punjab University in 1970.

She married Nawaz Sharif in 1971, and served as the president of the PML-N from 1999 to 2002, after her husband’s government was dismissed by former president Pervez Musharraf, and nearly all the Sharif family’s men were jailed.

Both mother and daughter were also placed under house arrest following Nawaz’s dismissal by Musharraf.

Begum Kulsoom led defiant, lonely protests against the Musharraf regime to get her husband freed from prison.

Over the last 30 years, she had stood by her husband and ,advised him on various government affairs,. Party leaders have also said that she occasionally wrote many of Nawaz’s speeches.

In a 2012 interview with ,Newsweek,, Maryam had said her mother “dauntlessly challenged the usurper when a lot of men backed out… She’s contributed famously to my father’s life and to democracy in Pakistan.”

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SHC orders reopening of May 12, 2007 mayhem cases

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday ordered reopening the cases regarding ,the May 12, 2007, mayhem,, which claimed at least 50 lives in Karachi.

The court, which had earlier reserved its decision on a plea to reopen the 65 pending cases — most of which were declared ‘A Class’ (proceedings in the case frozen with the approval of the court) — announced its verdict today in connection with the May 12 cases.

According to the verdict, the SHC chief justice (CJ) will appoint a judge to oversee the proceedings, a joint investigation team will be constituted to probe the matter, and the provincial government will constitute a tribunal for the cases.

The court directed the Sindh government to write a letter to the SHC CJ to relaunch an inquiry into the matter.

Around 50 people were killed and over 100 wounded in attacks on rallies organised by members of political parties and legal fraternity who had attempted to receive the then deposed chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammad Chau­dhry, at the Karachi airport ahead of a lawyers’ gathering.

Justice Chaudhry was forced to fly back to Islamabad after having been restricted to the airport for nine hours. MQM’s Waseem Akhtar was home adviser to the Sindh chief minister at the time.

Petitioner Iqbal Kazmi had moved the court to constitute a judicial commission to probe into the matter. The federal government representative and amici curiae (friends of the court) had argued in the favour of the petitioner whereas the Sindh government had opposed the idea in the court.

The petitioner held former president Pervez Musharraf, MQM founder Altaf Hussain and Akhtar, who is currently serving as mayor Karachi, as respondents in the petition. He contended that the MQM had committed the massacre on the orders of Musharraf.

Earlier on May 12 this year, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had directed the high court to decide the case within three months. Subsequently, the court reserved the decision after both sides had completed their arguments.

The counsel for the Sindh government had contended during the hearing of the case that there was no need to ignite the 11-year-old issue. He argued that during the current year a larger bench of the high court had declared the case non-maintainable.

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NAB prosecutor named to oppose Sharifs’ appeals against Avenfield conviction

ISLAMABAD: The National Account­ability Bureau (NAB) has appointed Mohammad Akram Qureshi as special prosecutor to oppose appeals against the conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar.

Mr Akram Qureshi is a former additional judge of the Lahore High Court and was among those judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order after the 2007 emergency proclaimed by former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.

As the Islamabad High Court (IHC) bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb was formulating a strategy for expeditious disposal of the pending petitions seeking suspension of sentence against Mr Sharif, Ms Maryam and Capt Safdar, advocate Qureshi tried to drag the case to the next week.

At the outset, Khawaja Haris Ahmed, counsel for Nawaz Sharif, requested the court to decide the pending petitions first before taking up the appeals against the conviction.

He was of the view that since the Supreme Court has ordered that the pending trial against Mr Sharif in Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references be concluded in six weeks, it was not possible for him to argue in the accountability court and the high court simultaneously.

Khawaja Haris requests court to decide pending petitions before taking up appeals

He pointed out that since the evidence in all three references — Avenfield properties, Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment — was the same any observation of the IHC regarding it during the course of hearing of the appeals would affect the trial.

Advocate Qureshi argued that NAB wanted to produce the relevant orders of the Supreme Court regarding the similar evidence and said that the apex court had rejected the appeals of the Sharif family seeking clubbing of the three references on this ground.

Justice Minallah remarked: “We don’t want to delay this; Khawaja Haris sahib will argue his case till Wednesday and then NAB will start its arguments, in the meanwhile they [NAB] may file the relevant record.”

The prosecutor on the other hand expressed inability to present the record before Monday and suggested that the proceedings might be adjourned till next week since the bureau would obtain the certified copies of relevant court orders from the Supreme Court.

“You know this statement badly affects the reputation of your organisation,” pointed out Justice Aurangzeb as the prosecutor apparently tried to drag the court proceedings.

But Justice Minallah resolved the issue by allowing NAB to file the required documents by next Monday. The judge, however, advised Khawaja Haris to confine his arguments to the facts other than included in the evidence.

“It had been heard at length. There are some other questions for the defence counsel, since the scope of Section 426 of the Criminal Procedure Code is limited. It is not a case of bail. We cannot discuss evidence,” reminded Justice Minallah.

Khawaja Haris replied that he would try to establish the case without touching the evidence. “I will start my arguments from tomorrow,” he said.

The court directed both the prosecutor and the defence counsel to submit synopsis of their arguments by Wednesday and adjourned proceedings till Tuesday.

The court also warned NAB that in case it failed to submit the documents by Monday, the court would decide the case without any further delay.

President of the Pakistan Muslim League-N Shahbaz Sharif, Ayaz Sadiq, Marriyum Aurangzeb and other party leaders witnessed the IHC hearing.

Meanwhile, defence counsel Khawaja Haris continued cross-examination of star prosecution witness Wajid Zia in the accountability court on Monday.

During the cross-examination, Mr Zia who headed the JIT in the Panama Papers case testified that except an unattested source document, there was nothing on record which mentioned the Hill Metal Establishment (HME) as a corporate entity.

Referring to another document regarding registration of the HME, the witness informed the court that document showed that it was the sole proprietorship owned by Hussain Nawaz and was established in 2005.

He said the HME’s registration certificate was received after a request for mutual legal assistance was sent to Saudi Arabia.

Raja Zafarul Haq, Pervez Rashid, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Mehtab Abbasi, Javed Latif, Chaudhry Tanvir, Javed Abbasi, Saadia Abbasi, Anjum Aqeel, Malik Ibrar, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and other PML-N leaders were present inside the courtroom.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018

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Musharraf treason case: Court asks ministry to suggest options for ex-president’s extradition

A special court hearing treason charges against retired Gen Pervez Musharraf on Monday invited suggestions on ways to extradite the absconding former president.

Headed by Justice Yawar Ali, a two-judge bench of the court heard a high treason case against Musharraf for suspending the Constitution on Nov 3, 2007 — an offence for which he was indicted on March 31, 2014.

In March 2016, however, ,he left the country, for Dubai to “seek medical treatment” and hasn’t returned since.

Justice Yawar today mulled whether Musharraf’s statement could be recorded in his absence, and if his statement could not be recorded, then what options were available so that hearings of the case could be conducted.

The special court judge directed the Interior Ministry to suggest ways through which the former military dictator “could be brought back to Pakistan”.

“Is there not another option besides Interpol to bring him back?” he asked, adding that the ministry should apprise the court in this regard in the next hearing, the date for which has been fixed for October 9.

“We now have to rule on this case and bring it to its final conclusion,” the judge remarked.

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Musharraf treason case: court asks ministry to suggest options for ex-president’s extradition

A special court hearing treason charges against retired Gen Pervez Musharraf on Monday invited suggestions on ways to extradite the absconding former president.

Headed by Justice Yawar Ali, a two-judge bench of the court heard a high treason case against Musharraf for suspending the Constitution on Nov 3, 2007 — an offence for which he was indicted on March 31, 2014.

In March 2016, however, ,he left the country, for Dubai to “seek medical treatment” and hasn’t returned since.

Justice Yawar today mulled whether Musharraf’s statement could be recorded in his absence, and if his statement could not be recorded, then what options were available so that hearings of the case could be conducted.

The special court judge directed the Interior Ministry to suggest ways through which the former military dictator “could be brought back to Pakistan”.

“Is there not another option besides Interpol to bring him back?” he asked, adding that the ministry should apprise the court in this regard in the next hearing, the date for which has been fixed for October 9.

“We now have to rule on this case and bring it to its final conclusion,” the judge remarked.

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Supreme Court declares PIA CEO’s appointment null and void

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday declared the appointment of Pakistan Inter­national Airlines (PIA) CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan as null and void, citing a “violation of guidelines during his appointment procedure”.

A three-member bench of the SC, under Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar’s stewardship, gave the verdict while hearing two separate PIA-related cases: one on Dr Cyan’s appointment and another on the national carrier’s audit.

The PIA officers’ association had challenged Cyan’s appointment in the apex court, while the Auditor General of Pakistan had ,also recommended, Cyan’s immediate sacking after terming his appointment an “irregular favour”.

“According to initial reports, CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan’s appointment was not in accordance with the law,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan told Cyan’s attorney, Naeem Bukhari, today.

“Sardar Mehtab Abbasi was a party to the appointment,” Justice Ahsan observed, to which the chief justice added: “Cyan has been the personal secretary of Abbasi as well.”

“Was Musharraf Rasool interviewed by the board?” Justice Ahsan questioned.

“When the foundation is wrong, the entire building collapses.”

Cyan’s attorney told the SC bench that the case has already been dealt with by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). “The IHC had sent the matter to the cabinet,” Bukhari recalled.

“We set aside the IHC’s decision,” the chief justice countered.

“Such organisations should have capable and competent persons. Now, good people should come and set things right.”

Regarding Abbasi, the former adviser to the PM on aviation affairs who was involved in Cyan’s appointment, Justice Nisar said that he “respects Sardar Mehtab Abbasi as a politician” but wondered why he was given “the rein to run such a big organisation”.

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Interpol not ready to issue red warrants for Musharraf, court told

ISLAMABAD: The special court hearing treason charges against former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf was informed on Wednesday that Interpol had refused to issue red warrants for his repatriation from the United Arab Emirates where he has been living since 2016.

Interior Secretary Yousuf Naeem Khokhar told the court comprising Lahore High Court Chief Justice Yawar Ali and Justice Nazar Akbar that Interpol had explained to Islamabad that the high treason case being a political one in nature did not encompass the charter of the international law enforcement organisation.

The special court, however, asked the secretary to furnish copies of the correspondence between Islamabad and Interpol before postponing the proceedings till Sept 10.

The previous government had in April requested the special court to proceed and conclude the treason trial without waiting for the former military ruler’s personal appearance.

But before adjourning the treason case, the court also sought assistance from the parties, including the federal government, asking whether the court could record Mr Musharraf’s statement under Section 342 of criminal procedure code through video facility or Skype — a social media application — when the accused was not appearing before the court, and whether it could proceed in the absence of any statement of the accused under Section 342.

At the outset of the proceedings, the special court accepted an application of senior counsel Akram Sheikh, who was earlier prosecuting Mr Musharraf as head of the prosecution team. Mr Sheikh had sought the court’s permission to withdrawn himself as prosecutor, saying that since the present case involved a fundamental civil-military relationship, the new federal government should have an opportunity to decide how it would like to handle the matter.

The counsel said he had submitted his resignation to the caretaker government on July 30, but did not receive any response.

After the court hearing, the interior secretary told reporters that his ministry would consult the law ministry for the appointment of a new prosecutor. Asked if the new government would withdraw the treason complaint from the special court, he said the complaint had been filed by the federal government and the law would take its own course.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2018

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SC rejects affidavits submitted by Zardari and Musharraf, seeks assets details of past 10 years

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the affidavits submitted by former presidents Asif Ali Zardari and retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, and ex-attorney general Malik Mohammad Qayyum regarding assets owned by them in Pakistan and abroad.

While hearing a petition regarding the 2007 National Recon­ciliation Ordinance (NRO), a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar ordered the three men to submit complete details of their assets and bank accounts held inside and outside the country in the past 10 years within three weeks.

The trio has also been directed to disclose before the court the details of assets of their spouses and children both in the country as well as abroad.

Nothing could be proven against Zardari: lawyer

The counsel representing Zardari, Farooq H. Naek, argued before the bench today that the PPP co-chairman had spent nine years in jail but “nothing could be proven” against him. He said Zardari should get some sort of compensation for the nine-year prison sentence.

At this, the CJP responded that Zardari could only achieve the reward in the form of clearance by the Supreme Court and that the prison sentence did not translate into an exemption from disclosing his assets.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that political leaders should get the “blemishes on [their reputation] removed”.

The bench asked the counsel whether Zardari ever held bank accounts in his name, or in the names of his wife — slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto — or children, in Switzerland. Naek replied that he would respond to the question after consulting Zardari.

Rejecting the affidavit submitted by the former president, the CJP then ordered Zardari to submit details of all his local and foreign assets since 2007, including whether he owns or is the beneficial owner of any trust, or is the direct or indirect owner or shareholder of any bank account

In his affidavit submitted on Tuesday, Zardari had affirmed that he owns neither moveable or immovable property nor any bank account outside Pakistan.

The affidavit was moved before the apex court which is hearing a petition of Advocate Feroz Shah Gilani, president of the Lawyers Foundation for Justice, in which he had named Musharraf, Zardari, Qayyum and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as respondents.

In his petition, Gilani had pleaded before the court to order recovery of huge amounts of public money wasted by the respondents through unlawful means against the backdrop of the NRO in 2007.

Musharraf owns apartment in Dubai, 3 cars

In his arguments, the lawyer representing Musharraf, Akhtar Shah, informed the court about the assets held by the former military dictator.

A statement of assets and liabilities submitted by Musharraf to the court stated that the only property he owned abroad is an apartment in Downtown Dubai worth 5.4 million dirhams.

According to the document, Musharraf owns three vehicles, including a 2015 model Mercedes worth 230,000 dirhams, a Tahoe Jeep 2017 model worth 150,000 dirhams and a Chevrolet Impala 2018 worth 130,000 dirhams.

He has three foreign bank accounts holding 92,100 dirhams, 21,550 pounds and 268,653 dirhams.

Justice Nisar, who was unconvinced by the details provided, wondered whether Musharraf could purchase the Dubai flat from “even the salary of his entire life”. He said Musharraf should appear before the court in person and explain his assets.

Shah maintained that Musharraf’s foreign assets are from his days after stepping down as the president.

The CJP asked the lawyer whether one could make so much money from giving lectures, which Musharraf is seen occasionally delivering.

“Why don’t I start giving lectures after retirement as well?” he wondered, tongue-in-cheek.

The top judge then asked who owned the farmhouse in the Islamabad suburb of Chak Shahzad, to which the counsel responded that it was owned by Musharraf.

The bench then ordered the counsel to submit details of assets held by Musharraf and his wife in Pakistan within three weeks.

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SC issues show-cause notice to ARY’s Arshad Sharif for holding ‘media trial’

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to ARY News host Arshad Sharif for discussing sub-judice matters on his talk show Power Play.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken up a suo motu notice regarding the programme’s ,August 28 episode, in which an affidavit ,submitted by former president Asif Ali Zardari, regarding his assets was discussed.

“Did Zardari submit a false affidavit in the NRO [National Recon­ciliation Ordinance] case?” was among the questions raised and discussed during the programme.

The TV host, who appeared in court along with Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, was taken to task by the CJP for discussing the case during the show.

“How can you discuss cases being heard in courts [during your programme]?” Justice Nisar asked, addressing Sharif.

He recalled that the top court has also advised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against inadvertently or intentionally defaming individuals who are subject to accountability inquiries.

“Comments like these [those made in the show] are prejudicial to court proceedings,” the CJP remarked, warning Sharif of action against him. He also termed the discussion akin to “interference in court matters”.

The top judge also questioned whether the TV programme was “sponsored” by anyone, asking: “On whose direction did you conduct the programme?”

“This is a straightforward [case of a] media trial,” observed Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

After hearing all arguments, the court issued a show-cause notice to the ARY News host. Notices were also issued to the attorney general, Pakistan Broadcasters Association and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

The bench directed Pemra to present clips of the programme Power Play in court. The hearing of the case was adjourned until September 12.

Zardari in his affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, had affirmed that he owns neither moveable or immovable property nor any bank account outside Pakistan.

The affidavit was submitted to the apex court in response to a petition moved by Advocate Feroz Shah Gilani, president of the Lawyers Foundation for Justice. The latter has named former presidents retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and Asif Zardari, former attorney general Malik Mohammad Qayyum and the National Accountability Bureau as respondents.

In his petition, Gilani had pleaded that the court order the recovery of huge amounts of public money allegedly wasted by the respondents through unlawful means against the backdrop of the NRO in 2007.

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Zardari tells SC he owns neither any property nor bank account outside Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari affirmed through an affidavit before the Supreme Court on Tuesday that he owns neither moveable or immovable property nor any bank account outside Pakistan.

The affidavit was moved before the apex court which is hearing a petition of Advocate Feroz Shah Gilani, president of the Lawyers Foundation for Justice, in which he had named former presidents retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and Asif Zardari, former attorney general Malik Mohammad Qayyum and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as respondents.

In his petition, Mr Gilani had pleaded before the court to order recovery of huge amounts of public money wasted by the respondents through unlawful means against the backdrop of the National Recon­ciliation Ordinance (NRO) in 2007.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar is expected to take up the case on Wednesday.

On July 4, the apex court had asked for the details of assets of Pervez Musharraf, Asif Zardari and Malik Qayyum in addition to furnishing bank accounts and assets both inside and outside the country as well as investments made in offshore companies.

The parties involved in the matter are also required to disclose before the court the details of assets of their spouses and children both in the country as well as abroad.

Earlier, Mr Zardari in his reply had contended that no case of causing loss to the public exchequer or looting and plundering the national wealth had ever been proved against him in Pakistan or abroad.

Likewise, Mr Zardari claimed that he had no role in the promulgation of the NRO because he was in jail when it was introduced. Cases against him were reopened when the NRO was set aside by the Supreme Court and all the cases were tried de-novo which resulted in his acquittal on merit.

On Aug 8, NAB had told the Supreme Court that $60 million money laundering case against Mr Zardari before the Swiss courts could not be reopened since Pakistan’s appeal was time-barred. NAB also contended that no exact quantum of loss was available allegedly due to misappropriation of public money through unlawful means.

The reply was furnished on behalf of NAB special prosecutor Chaudhry Faridul Hassan.

In its reply, NAB also assured the court that if any determination was made as to the quantum of money misappropriated, the same would be implemented, honoured and adhered in letter and spirit.

NAB had explained that an inquiry was conducted to probe into the role of Malik Qayyum, the outcome of which reflected that prima facie he did not commit any offence or misused his authority.

The bureau, therefore, had to close its inquiry on Sept 17, 2012, against Malik Qayyum when it was found that whatever he did was in accordance with the existing law of the time i.e. the National Accountability Ordinance.

NAB also explained that a number of corruption references against Mr Zardari were still pending in different courts namely ARY Gold case, Ursus Tractor Scheme case, pre-shipment inspection contract to Cotecna firm, pre-shipment inspection contract to SGS firm and assets case.

On the other hand Pervez Musharraf in his reply pleaded that the NRO was promulgated in 2007 without having any mala fide or vested interest with an objective to end acrimony between different political parties and political conditions prevailing then.

He contended that the NRO 2007 was promulgated by him as the then president on the advice of the government which was later declared by the apex court as void ab initio through its judgement in December 2009.

Gen Musharraf argued that the NRO was aimed at fostering mutual trust and confidence amongst the holders of public office and removing the vestiges of political vendetta and victimisation and to make the election process more transparent and to amend certain laws in addition to connected matters.

In his petition, Mr Gilani had contended that Gen Musharraf subverted the Constitution by declaring emergency followed by the promulgation of NRO, arbitrarily withdrawing criminal and corruption cases against the politicians, including Asif Zardari which caused huge financial loss to the exchequer.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2018

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Aamir Liaquat accuses PTI leadership of neglecting Karachi

Televangelist and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Aamir Liaquat on Tuesday issued multiple berating statements against the party’s senior leadership including Prime Minister Imran Khan, voicing concerns that the representatives from Karachi were being allegedly sidelined.

Liaquat launched into a tirade against the party during a talk show on Samaa TV. He complained that Prime Minister Imran Khan did not nominate anyone from Karachi and completely ignored the province for the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

When asked what the premier should do to address his grievances, Liaquat said: “They [Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf] have no movement in Karachi. The ‘winds of Imran Khan’ were blowing in Karachi which brought them success in certain constituencies, while in others certain personalities secured victory for them.”

“I told Imran Khan we need to focus on forming a concrete movement for Karachi at ground level because local body elections are to take place after 17 months. If you want to win, you will have to work on the union council level,” the MNA said.

He protested that the government is not extending the lease for Martin Quarters, complaining that the people of Clayton Quarters were forced to live under the open sky. “Moreover, the residents of Press Quarters lost their homes today as they were torn down, while the people living in FC Quarters are in utter despair,” he maintained.

Here the show host pointed out, “But isn’t it true that PM Khan has said he feels the pain of Karachiites and is even fielding a candidate of presidentship from Karachi?”

On this, Liquat flew off the handle and said: “Was Mamnoon Hussain from Lala Musa? Was Pervez Musharraf from Jhelum?”

“What a strange point you have raised,” he said rebuking the show host.

“This is [tantamount to] throwing dust in people’s faces if one says ‘he [PM Khan] is bringing a candidate from Karachi’,” he said in vexation.

“What begs more attention than ‘austerity’ is the fact that you dig out all the money sitting comfortably in the bellies of thieving crocodiles who have stolen it,” he asserted.

“Saving costs on ’18 cars and teacups’ will not bring about simplicity,” he said disdainfully.

“Feeding people is a tradition of the Prophet (PBUH). No one left with an empty belly from the Prophet’s home,” he said while criticising the austerity measures announced by the PTI government.

“For now, they should bring their own house to order and address the grievances of their own who are unhappy.”

When asked by the show host who else is unhappy besides him, he responded while chuckling: “You think I am so naive that I would tell you how many people I have who stand with me?”

He went on to steer the conversation back to the issue of Karachi, saying that the city had been sidelined. “I was not invited to a meeting held by the Sindh governor today. Imran Ismail sahab did not invite me.”

Liaquat said that stories alleging that he [Ismail] did not have my number were concocted whereas “just one minute prior to coming on your show I was on the phone with him”.

“He [PM Khan] is not ready to talk on these basic issues because ‘I am a stranger and an outsider’,” the PTI lawmaker claimed, convinced that he was being ignored due to his specific background.

The show host then pointed out that many people were from the outside including the Punjab Assembly Speaker, to which Liaquat responded by saying: “There is a lot of difference between those outsiders and this outsider.”

The host interjected by saying: “Imran Ismail brought you into the party’s fold himself with a lot of affection.”

“I am not going to say anything to Imran Ismail, however, I will say about Faisal Vawda, who has given a beeper on Samaa TV, that he should keep his wits about himself.

“He [Vawda] said we don’t take Aamir Liaquat seriously. Well, you will soon take me very seriously,” warned Liaquat.

“Take care of your own food and your life. Worry about where you are eating nowadays,” he continued to warn Vawda.

“I am saying all this to him [Vawda] ‘between the lines’ because given what he has said I could have responded with much more than this but I do not wish to drag this matter any further than this.”

When asked if Liaquat plans on “moving left or right” the show host was told that there was no question of such a thing.

“I will remain in PTI and its Karachi chapter,” said Liaquat resolutely.

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PM entrusts finance minister with task of running ECC affairs

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minis­ter Imran Khan has declined to lead the Economic Coordina­tion Committee (ECC) of the cabinet and has delegated the responsibility to Finance Minister Asad Umar who will lead the reconstituted economic decision-making body.

A senior government official told Dawn that the cabinet division had moved a summary to the prime minister seeking his approval to head four major cabinet committees, which included those on restructuring, privatisation, energy and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Take a look: ,Bringing back money sent abroad illegally is top priority: Asad,

The prime minister, however, appointed his finance minister as chairman of the ECC, which has 12 other members — six of them are yet to be appointed though. The official said the decisions of the finance minister-led ECC would have to be endorsed by the federal cabinet to give them legal cover.

Other members of the ECC would include ministers for law and justice Farogh Naseem, petroleum Ghulam Abbasi, planning & development Khusro Bakhtiar and railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, besides the prime minister’s advisers on commerce and textiles Razak Dawood and institutional reforms and austerity Dr Ishrat Husain. In addition, six more ministers — communications, national food security, power, privatisation, statistics and water resources — will also be appointed members of the ECC according to the notification.

The official said there are no set standards and rules directing who should head the ECC or other sub-committees of the cabinet. Different prime ministers have made varying decisions in the past. He explained that it was the prime minister’s prerogative under the Rules of Business, 1973, to appoint as many committees of the cabinet as he or she desired and to assign any subcommittee of the cabinet to anyone of their cabinet colleagues.

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had decided to head the ECC himself after replacing the finance minister at the time, Ishaq Dar. Mr Abbasi’s decision had brought back the direct control of the prime minister’s office — over federal ministries and divisions — that it had enjoyed when Shaukat Aziz was prime minister under retired General Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship.

Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani initially continued with the arrangement when he inherited the government. Syed Naveed Qamar was finance minister at the time. The authority was subsequently transferred when Shaukat Tarin took the reins of the ministry.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had delegated all economic and financial powers to Ishaq Dar who reportedly headed, at one time, more than four dozen committees, including those on legal, constitutional and political affairs.

Meanwhile, the first meeting of the reconstituted committee has been called on Wednesday to take up a few major issues including an increase in consumer gas prices by an average 30 per cent. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority had determined the rise, but the caretaker government declined to pass it on to the consumers even though it was legally required to do so within 40 days of the proposal. The government contended that this increase was a major policy decision, which ought to be made by the new elected government.

According to the agenda, the ECC will also take up the issues of the liabilities of the Pakistan State Oil, rising circular debt in the power sector, and the predicted shortage of fertilizers, an official said.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2018

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Via DAWN.com

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