Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

Ishaq Dar summoned by Supreme Court on May 8

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday summoned defunct finance minister Ishaq Dar ? who has been in London since Oct 2017 ? to appear for a hearing regarding his eligibility to hold a seat in the Senate.

    Dar, who was re-elected to the Upper House on March 3, 2018, as an independent PML-N-backed candidate, has not yet taken oath as a Senator.

    His eligibility was challenged by PPP’s Nawazish Pirzada who contended that an absconder could not contest elections. Dar was declared an absconder by the accountability court last year for his failure to appear in court since he has been in London allegedly receiving medical treatment.

    Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar ? who has heading a three-judge bench hearing the case today ? asked Dar’s lawyer where the former minister is. The lawyer, Salman Akram Raja, told the court his client has “a medical issue”.

    The CJP, however, rejected the explanation saying that Dar “has no illness”.

    “He has been ill for quite some time,” Justice Nisar observed. He then told Raja to find out when Dar would return, and to inform the court. “We will be present here until 8pm,” the CJP said. “Find out and tell us.”

    Additionally, the CJP assured Raja that Dar would not be arrested upon his return. “We will grant him interim bail and pass orders against his arrest,” he said.

    The court subsequently summoned Dar on May 8 for a hearing of the case.

    “Ishaq Dar should obey court orders,” the CJP said, adding: “If he doesn’t appear, we will make whatever decision we deem appropriate.”

    More details to follow.

    ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


    Via DAWN.com

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - April 24, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Categories: The News   Tags:

    Chinese ambassador invites Pakistanis to take advantage of CPEC and Chinese expertise

    • ,’Close friends’,

    Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Tuesday invited Pakistani citizens to take advantage of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as Chinese expertise.

    He was addressing the ,CPEC Summit,, being hosted by the Dawn Media Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Development, which kicked off at Karachi’s Bagh-i-Jinnah on Monday.

    Various speakers — including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Punjab and Sindh chief ministers, and several prominent researchers and analysts — had addressed the conference on the first day of the event.

    Talking about the Chinese model of economy, Jing, while quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping, said that China has the largest foreign reserves. “In the past 40 years, China has developed; it has combined a socialist system with a market economy that suits the country.”

    He extended his cooperation to Pakistan, saying, “China wants the entire region to develop. We want Pakistan, our iron brother, to develop.”

    Read: ,Caution and optimism at CPEC conference,

    “Our purpose is a better life for Pakistani people [particularly] through the scientific implementation of CPEC,” he said, adding that currently, his government was focusing on the infrastructure structure [under the project].

    “I am sure with our combined efforts, CPEC will be successful and our state to state relations will be further strengthened and become an example for the [global] community,” he remarked.

    ‘Close friends’

    Senator Mushahid Hussain also spoke at the event, touching upon bilateral relations between the two countries. “When we look at China-Pakistan relations, both countries are seen as best friends. Pakistan is the only country that supports the core interests of China, and vice versa.”

    Pakistan has supported China in all its border conflicts, he added, saying: “Economic power is shifting from the West to the East. China is growing from a regional to a global power. It has become a major player in international politics and global affairs, like climate change.”

    A day earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that CPEC has now become a reality. “Two power projects under the initiative have been completed and the third one is about to be finished.”

    “We look upon CPEC as a partnership between two governments,” he had said, adding, “It is a new form of cooperation.”

    The summit is one of the biggest events to be held in the country on CPEC aimed at educating the public about the objectives of CPEC and its umbrella project, the Belt and Road Initiative.

    ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


    Via DAWN.com

    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 11:25 am

    Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

    JI reviewing its role in KP govt, says Sirajul Haq

      LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: As the relationship between the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) appears to have turned sour on the issue of Senate elections, JI chief Senator Sirajul Haq on Monday declared that his party was “reviewing its role” in the PTI-led provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

      Talking to Dawn in Lahore, the JI chief claimed that they had held back so far because budget preparations were under way and a member of their party held the portfolio of finance ministry in the KP government.

      “The Jamaat has decided that it should neither weaken the KP government nor become the reason for its downfall when budget preparations are under way,” Mr Haq said, ignoring the fact that PTI chairman Imran Khan had already announced that KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak will not present the provincial budget this year.

      “On top of that, only a few weeks of its (KP government) life are left anyway,” Mr Haq said in an apparent reference to the ,challenge put before him by the PTI, — to quit the government if they believed that the PTI had played a negative role in the Senate elections.

      The two parties have had strained relationship since the Senate elections in which the JI did not support the PTI-backed candidate for Senate chairperson seat, Sadiq Sanjrani.

      The differences between the two parties became apparent when, while talking to the media at Mansoora last week, Mr Haq disclosed that KP CM Khattak had told him that the ,PTI had received directions from somewhere to support Mr Sanjrani, for the office of Senate chairman. The PTI had reacted strongly to this “disclosure”.

      Mr Haq had revealed that Mr Khattak had called him some days before the Senate chairman’s election and sought JI’s votes for their nominee. The JI chief claimed that when he asked about the name of the nominee, Mr Khattak feigned ignorance and said that he was also not aware of the name yet because the decision was coming from the top and the only thing he knew was that the nominee was from Balochistan.

      The JI chief hastened to add that he did not understand what Mr Khattak had meant by “from the top”.

      When asked why he had waited so long time to reveal this, Mr Haq said he had only responded to a query put before him by a media person.

      Amid a back-and-forth between leaders of both parties, Mr Khattak explained that he meant that he had received instructions from Banigala — the residence of party chairman Imran Khan.

      “No one can issue orders to me. I receive orders only from Allah and in party matters, from Imran Khan,” the chief minister explained, while responding to a question during a press conference in Islamabad on Monday. He added that he had told the JI chief that the PTI had decided to support a candidate from Balochistan for the post of Senate chairperson, while for the post of deputy chairperson they would support a candidate from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). He, however, criticised Fata senators for not showing unity and forcing the PTI to vote for the Pakistan Peoples Party’s candidate.

      The JI has already announced its decision to join the recently-revived Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) and, according to sources, the party is expected to take some important decisions with respect to its relations with the PTI and its role in the KP government in consultation with other component parties of the MMA during a meeting of the alliance scheduled for April 27.

      Reacting angrily to the JI chief’s disclosure, PTI’s information secretary Fawad Chaudhry challenged the JI to quit the KP coalition government.

      “I am surprised as to why the JI has not yet quit the PTI-led KP government,” Mr Chaudhry had said in a statement issued by the party’s media office in Islamabad on Sunday.

      The PTI leader had regretted that on one hand, the JI had filed a petition in the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and, on the other hand, had become an ally of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the election of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman, alleging that the Jamaat’s politics was based on “hypocrisy”.

      “The JI has so much love for the government that it is not ready to come out of the PTI-led coalition in KP,” the PTI leader said, terming the Mr Haq’s allegations against his party “baseless”.

      Once again on Monday, Mr Chaudhry attacked the Jamaat, saying there “there is a need to check on whose agenda Sirajul Haq is working,” and added: “At present, both Nawaz Sharif and Sirajul Haq seem to have the same tone and tenor.”

      Separately, Mr Chaudhry dared the ruling PML-N to take action against its party members who had voted for PTI’s Chaudhry Sarwar in the Senate elections.

      Mr Chaudhry said the PTI had taken a courageous step by taking action against its 20 MPAs who were found to be involved in horse-trading in the Senate elections. He said the PML-N had been alleging that Chaudhry Sarwar had been elected through bribers and after purchasing votes. He said if the PML-N’s allegations were true, it should immediately take action against its legislators who were a part of the alleged horse-trading.

      Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2018

      ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


      Via DAWN.com

      SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

      Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 11:25 am

      Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

      ‘CPEC is a reality’: Two-day summit kicks off in Karachi

      • ,’CPEC is not a debt trap’,
      • ,’CPEC is a reality’,
      • ,’CPEC not only about economic growth’,
      • ,’CPEC is not about roads and motorways; it’s about connectivity.’,
      • ,’China and Pakistan have enjoyed great relations for past 5 generations’,
      • ,‘KP’s hospitality being extended to economic friendships through CPEC’,
      • ,‘One can’t imagine CPEC without Gwadar’,
      • ,Objectives of CPEC,

      The ,two-day CPEC Summit,, being hosted by the Dawn Media Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Development, kicked off at Karachi’s Bagh-i-Jinnah on Monday.

      Various speakers, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, addressed the conference on the first day of the event.

      While addressing the summit, PM Abbasi remarked that while the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was unheard of merely three years ago, the world acknowledges it as a reality today.

      The prime minister and all of the other speakers discussed the importance of CPEC with the attendees of the summit.

      Representatives of all four provinces discussed the importance of the joint initiative with reference to the development that it has brought to their particular region.

      ‘CPEC is not a debt trap’

      Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal in his address talked about the progress and development made in the country during the tenure of the PML-N’s government.

      Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal addressing the CPEC Summit. — DawnNewsTV

      Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal addressing the CPEC Summit. — DawnNewsTV

      “This event proves that Karachi is changing,” he said, adding that when the PML-N came to power in 2013, the city was known for target killings and extortion.

      “This is an age of development and growth, with the speed of an electron,” he remarked.

      Talking about the Belt and Road initiative, he termed it a huge opportunity. “Pakistan will become a hub of development with the help of this project.

      “We made regional connectivity a key component of our Vision2025 project,” he said, terming CPEC the biggest flagship project of the One Belt One Road initiative.

      PM Abbasi, Sindh CM Shah, Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing at the first day of CPEC Summit. — DawnNewsTV

      PM Abbasi, Sindh CM Shah, Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing at the first day of CPEC Summit. — DawnNewsTV

      “China extended its hand towards Pakistan when no one wanted to invest even 10 dollars.”

      Addressing the reservations about CPEC, Iqbal said: “There are lobbies that are not happy with CPEC — it is not a debt trap.”

      “Some say China will become the East India Company; they haven’t read history. China seeks partnership. There is nothing to fear for Pakistani businesses [...] this is propaganda.”

      “Long live China-Pak friendship,” Iqbal concluded.

      ‘CPEC is a reality’

      PM Abbasi addressing the CPEC Summit. — DawnNewsTV

      PM Abbasi addressing the CPEC Summit. — DawnNewsTV

      “We look upon CPEC as a partnership between two governments,” said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi — the event’s chief guest — at the inauguration of the summit in the morning. “It is a new form of cooperation.”

      “Three years ago CPEC was unheard of — today it is known globally. The BRI initiative of Chinese President Xi is a project for generations,” he said, “Recently, we discussed security and connectivity with Afghanistan, which also recognises CPEC as an opportunity.”

      “CPEC has now become a reality — two power projects under the initiative have been completed and the third one is about to be finished.”

      ‘CPEC not only about economic growth’

      For the past 40 years, China has made every effort to develop and grow its economy, said Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing in his address.

      “We’ve combined socialism and market economy to benefit people.”

      Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing speaking at the CPEC Summit. ? DawnNewsTV

      Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing speaking at the CPEC Summit. ? DawnNewsTV

      “China wants to see its relationship with Pakistan serve as an example for its relations with other states,” said Jing while speaking on the CPEC.

      “We look at CPEC as a significant project. I’m proud that after five years of implementation, it [CPEC] has contributed to Pakistan’s development.”

      “CPEC is not just about economic growth; we want to develop a community.”

      ‘CPEC is not about roads and motorways; it’s about connectivity.’

      Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif addressed the summit in the session ‘View from Punjab’.

      “CPEC has helped strengthen the federation of Pakistan; today, Pakistan is a happening place and CPEC has proven that it is a country where people’s money is safe,” he said.

      Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif — DawnNewsTV

      Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif — DawnNewsTV

      “CPEC has been a turning point in Pakistan’s history,” he said, adding: “Those who doubt intentions of the Chinese are enemies of Pakistan.”

      He negated the impression that CPEC was limited to one area or province, saying, “Together with Sindh, Balochistan, KP, FATA and AJK, we will build a better tomorrow.”

      “China is one of Pakistan’s most reliable friends. Once the Chinese were convinced that people of Pakistan rightly deserved their support, then came President Xi’s vision of ,Belt and Road Initiative, (BRI) which came to be known as CPEC,” said Shahbaz.

      Praising China’s support further, the Punjab CM said there has been no conditions or mantra of “do more” — a reference to the ,often repeated demand from the United States, — from the neighbouring country.

      “CPEC is not about roads and motorways; it’s about connectivity.”

      ‘China and Pakistan have enjoyed great relations for past 5 generations’

      Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah addressed the summit in the session ‘View from Sindh’.

      “The past five generations of the Chinese leadership and previous Pakistan governments have all had a great working relationship with each other,” the CM said.

      Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah — DawnNewsTV

      Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah — DawnNewsTV

      He added: “When China stood isolated on the world stage, it was Pakistan under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that staunchly supported its neighbour. Today, China Pakistan Economic Corridor has seen light of day because of President Xi Jinping and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s vision.”

      Speaking about the development taking place in Sindh under the CPEC plan, CM Shah said: “CPEC has resulted in the optimal utilisation of two commercial ports and the opening of Keti Bunder. The development of our commercial ports is in line with the CPEC plan, and Sindh pledges its full cooperation and facilitation in this regard.”

      “Sindh had started working towards renewable energy projects long before the formal launch of CPEC and it remains the the only province which has a land grant policy for renewable energy parks,” the CM said, adding that the long-term vision of the Sindh government has produced “turning results.”

      He elaborated that Sindh currently contributes 930 megawatts of wind energy to the national grid, “a large chunk of which comes from three early-harvest CPEC projects.”

      He also told the audience that an additional 300MW generated through wind power projects would be added to the grid once the projects are completed in October 2018.

      ‘KP’s hospitality being extended to economic friendships through CPEC’

      Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Secretary Hassan Ansari, who was representing the KP government at the summit, said that the province is responsible for the production of 15pc of Pakistan’s natural gas output.

      “In hydropower, KP has the potential of producing 30,000MW of energy. There are a number of fruits that grow in the province around the CPEC route,” Ansari briefed the attendees of the summit.

      Ansari also said that two hydropower projects in Chitral are part of the CPEC framework.

      ‘One can’t imagine CPEC without Gwadar’

      Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, who claimed to be representing the people of Balochistan and not the provincial government, said, “CPEC could not be conceived without Gwadar.”

      Bizenjo said that Balochistan constitutes 43pc of Pakistan, and is home to Reko Diq, the second largest copper reserve in the world, and many other minerals.

      “The people of Balochistan are hopeful that CPEC will grow and when it does, they will get to grow with it,” he explained.

      Objectives of CPEC

      A symposium, “The dynamics of economy and finance”, preceded the inauguration ceremony.

      The discussion featured, among others, former State Bank governor Ishrat Husain and former finance ministers Shaukat Tarin and Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

      It’s one of the biggest events to be held in the country on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor aimed at educating the public about the objectives of CPEC and its umbrella project, the Belt and Road Initiative.

      The highlight of the second day will be a session titl¬ed “The view from China”. Yao Jing is slated to be the main speaker.

      ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


      Via DAWN.com

      SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

      Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - April 23, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

      Pakistan doesn’t have democracy but ‘worst kind of dictatorship’ under CJP Nisar: Nawaz

      • ,Sirjaul Haq’s remarks about Senate elections ‘meaningful’,

      Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that recent actions by the top judiciary indicate that a regime worse than a martial law has been imposed across Pakistan.

      Speaking to reporters inside the accountability court in Islamabad, Sharif claimed: “What is prevalent in the country is not democracy, but the worst kind of dictatorship under [Chief Justice Mian] Saqib Nisar.”

      “What is happening in the country is not less than a ‘judicial martial law’,” said the former prime minister, who returned from London late on Sunday after seeing his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who has been undergoing cancer treatment there.

      Editorial: ,The denial of exemption to Nawaz and Maryam from accountability hearings is wrong and shameful,

      Criticising recent judgements by the courts as “illogical”, Sharif said the alleged silencing of 220 million people of Pakistan would not be acceptable to him.

      “These many restrictions were not even imposed during the martial laws that we are seeing today,” he remarked.

      The former premier claimed serious efforts are being made convict him in the corruption references being heard by the accountability court, which he said were an attempt “to make the five judges successful” — a reference to the five-member SC bench which had disqualified him last year in the Panama Papers case.

      Directing his criticism at the CJP once again, Sharif said Justice Nisar visits hospitals regularly and talks about vegetable prices, but “he should also visit the home of an oppressed person whose case hasn’t been decided for 20 years”.

      “It is not your job to summon the chief minister and make the government stand in the line,” he said, addressing the CJP.

      The Supreme Court, under its ,2018 agenda,, is focusing on human rights issues, particularly those relating to the people’s right to quality education and healthcare. However, this course of action is also being seen as an ,overstepping of boundaries, by the apex court, similar to the ,Iftikhar Chaudhry era,.

      However, the chief justice has stood by the court’s actions, reiterating that such criticism will not deter him from exercising what he considers is his “constitutional right”.

      Sirjaul Haq’s remarks about Senate elections ‘meaningful’

      Referring to the ,remarks by Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) emir Senator Sirjaul Haq, about Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) voting for Sadiq Sanjrani during the Senate elections following an “order from the top”, Sharif said the revelation was meaningful.

      PTI Chairman Imran Khan has reprimanded his party’s MPAs who allegedly engaged in horsetrading, but he should open himself to criticism as well for voting on somebody’s instructions, Sharif said.

      “Will Imran Khan also answer the nation about how Chaudhry Sarwar managed to get votes [in Punjab]?” he questioned.

      “Will Imran Khan assure the nation that he did not vote for the arrow?” he asked, referring to PPP’s symbol.

      The hearing of the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference could not be held today due to an apparent confusion about recording the testimony of Wajid Zia, the head of the SC-sanctioned joint investigation team. The hearing of the case was adjourned until Tuesday, and Sharif and his daughter Maryam were allowed to leave by the court.

      ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


      Via DAWN.com

      SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

      Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 3:26 pm

      Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

      IS accused of beheading trio of brothers in Afghanistan

        Three brothers have been beheaded in restive eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday, blaming the gruesome executions on Islamic State group fighters.

        The men aged 19, 24 and 27 were taken from their home and killed by IS on Sunday night in Chaparhar district in Nangarhar province, provincial governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani told AFP.

        Nangarhar borders Pakistan and is a stronghold for IS militants.

        Two of the brothers recently graduated from medical school and the third was still at university, Khogyani said, adding the boys’ father was also killed by IS last year.

        “Their bodies were found in Chaparhar district where they lived,” said the spokesman.

        Provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal confirmed the brutal murders and said an investigation had been launched.

        “They were taken out of their house by armed men and their beheaded bodies were found by villagers near their house,” Mashreqiwal told AFP.

        IS first emerged in Afghanistan in 2014 as NATO combat troops withdrew from the country and handed over responsibility to Afghan security forces.

        Despite being far smaller than the Taliban, IS has claimed responsibility for devastating attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in the country.

        On Sunday, IS claimed a suicide attack in a large crowd outside a voter registration centre in Kabul that killed 57 people and wounded more than 100.

        Some Western and Afghan officials believe IS has received help from the Haqqani Network, a brutal wing of the Taliban.

        Following an intense air and ground campaign by Afghan and US forces in Nangarhar, IS spread beyond its stronghold to the northern province of Jowzjan where it has also come under pressure.

        Earlier this month top IS commander in northern Afghanistan Qari Hikmatullah was killed in an airstrike.

        ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


        Via DAWN.com

        SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

        Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 3:25 pm

        Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

        PTI challenges Jamaat to quit KP coalition govt

          Sirajul Haq kicked up a storm by accusing PTI of voting for Senate chairman on ‘order from the top’.

          Sirajul Haq kicked up a storm by accusing PTI of voting for Senate chairman on ‘order from the top’.

          ISLAMABAD: Angry over remarks of Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq ,questioning the credibility, of last month’s election of the Senate chairman, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has indirectly suggested to the JI to better part ways with the coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if it sees any negative role of the PTI in the Senate polls.

          “I am surprised as to why the JI has not yet quit the PTI-led KP government,” said PTI information secretary Fawad Chaudhry in a statement issued here on Sunday in response to the JI chief’s recent claim that the PTI had voted for Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani following an “order from the top”.

          On the other hand, the JI says the two parties have been working together in the KP government for five years and the party cannot end this long-time association abruptly in reaction to an “emotional reaction” of the PTI information secretary.

          Mr Chaudhry regretted that on one hand, the JI had filed the petition in the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court against Nawaz Sharif and, on the other hand, it became an ally of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the election of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman. He alleged that the JI’s politics was based on “hypocrisy”.

          War of words between allies intensifies over Senate polls

          “The JI has so much love for the government that it is not ready to come out of the PTI-led coalition in KP,” the PTI leader said, terming the allegations of Mr Haq against his party “baseless”.

          When contacted, JI secretary general Liaquat Baloch endorsed the viewpoint of his party chief, stating that whatever Mr Haq had said about the Senate elections was based on “facts”.

          Mr Baloch said the PTI’s reaction to Mr Haq’s remarks was incomprehensible for him as Imran Khan had himself issued show-cause notices to 20 party MPAs for selling their votes in the Senate elections, thus proving that whatever Mr Haq had said was true.

          Mr Baloch was of the view that Fawad Chaudhry had issued the statement without prior approval of the party leadership. He expressed the hope that the PTI leadership would take notice of the statement and would not endorse it.

          Talking to the media at Mansoora last week, Senator Sirajul Haq had disclosed that KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had called him some days before the Senate chairman’s election and sought JI votes for their nominee.

          The JI chief claimed that when he asked about the name of the nominee, CM Khattak feigned ignorance, saying he was also not aware of the name yet because the decision was coming from the top and the only thing he knew was that the nominee was from Balochistan. The JI chief then hastened to add that he did not understand what Mr Khattak meant by “from the top” — whether it was from heaven or somebody else.

          The PTI’s reaction to the JI chief’s comments came a day after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif challenged PTI chief Imran Khan to identify those who had “ordered him to vote” for the candidates of the two Senate offices and explain his motives.

          Talking to reporters in London on Saturday, Mr Sharif, while referring to the JI chief’s statement, had stated that the PTI chief by voting for the Pakistan Peoples Party candidate in the Senate polls proved that he and other political parties had always been “looking for the umpire’s finger” and “orders from the top”.

          The PML-N supreme leader said the way the Balochistan Assembly was “rigged and his party taken over” and then in the manner the Senate elections were held, the Senate chairman and deputy chairman stood discredited, especially after PTI’s confession of horse-trading.

          Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2018

          ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


          Via DAWN.com

          SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

          Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 5:25 am

          Categories: The News   Tags: , , , ,

          Imran assails PPP, PML-N over charter of democracy

            KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has said that his party will not make any alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the upcoming elections.

            Talking to media in London on Sunday, he accused the PPP and PML-N of striking a deal in the name of Charter of Democracy and 18th Amendment for installing the caretaker government which held the elections in 2013.

            He said the only task of the caretaker government was to hold a free and fair election, but every political party had levelled allegations of rigging in the 2013 elections.

            About ‘horse-trading’ in the recent Senate elections, he said the PTI had taken action against its people who sold their votes. “Will other parties take action against their own people [who sold their vote],” he asked.

            He said that if no action was taken by other parties then he would himself reveal the names of their people.

            He said Chaudhry Sarwar got elected as senator from Punjab on a PTI ticket as he got votes from members of other opposition parties as well as those PML-N lawmakers who had joined his party.

            Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2018

            ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


            Via DAWN.com

            SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

            Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 5:25 am

            Categories: The News   Tags: , , , ,

            PTM Lahore rally: Manzoor Pashteen announces to take grievances to Karachi on May 12

            • ,Manzoor Pashteen addresses charged crowd,
            • ,Bilawal, Maryam back PTM’s right to protest,

            The Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) rally at Lahore’s Mochi Gate kicked off on Sunday as planned, despite Punjab government’s refusal to issue a permit for the event.

            During the gathering it was announced that PTM will now hold a rally in Karachi on May 12 to condemn the violence that the city witnessed in 2007.

            Among those who took the rostrum were Tahera Jalib — daughter of revolutionary poet Habib Jalib — who read out Dastoor, a famous poem of her father; and Amina Masood Janjua of the Defence of Human Rights Pakistan, whose husband has been missing since 2005.

            PTM rally was attended by people from all walks of life. —Aima Khosa

            PTM rally was attended by people from all walks of life. —Aima Khosa

            Advocate Fazal Khan, father of a student martyred in the 2014 Army Public School attack, also spoke at the event, repeating his demand of formation a judicial commission to investigate the attack.

            Awami Workers Party President Fanoos Gujjar, while addressing the crowd, said: “Yesterday when PTM leaders were arrested, we were asked: ‘There is peace in Lahore and you are anti-state traitors. What will the traitors do here? Pakhtuns here are studying and conducting trade, why are you taking their peace away?’”

            He went on to claim that Pakhtuns in Punjab face atrocities at the hands of the Punjab police which extorts money from labourers, and that many people are still being picked up in broad daylight from Lahore.

            PTM’s central leader Ali Wazir said, “The movement has come to Lahore so that if something [untoward] happens in the future, nobody can say ‘You never reached out to us’.”

            A view of PTM rally in Lahore. —Mohsin Dawar

            A view of PTM rally in Lahore. —Mohsin Dawar

            Manzoor Pashteen addresses charged crowd

            Manzoor Pashteen then took to the stage, saying it was the PTM’s “heartfelt wish” to present the situation hidden from the media and the eyes of the public to the people of Lahore.

            He explained why the PTM had included the arrest of Rao Anwar and recovery of missing persons in their demands.

            He said the whole country had seen the result of PTM’s first demand: the arrest of former SSP Malir Rao Anwar. “Now even the court is saying Anwar is a terrorist and Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud, who was shot dead in a police encounter, has been declared innocent.”

            He then narrated stories of innocent people who were killed in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) without naming who was responsible for their deaths.

            “When they can sell 4,000 people, they can do a lot more,” Pashteen said, referring to a recent claim by Justice Javed Iqbal, the head of the missing persons commission, who had accused former president Pervez Musharraf of handing over 4,000 Pakistanis to United States.

            “We demand that we should be told the amount for which they [missing persons] were sold. We will collect that money and give it to you so you can bring them back. Do not release them, just give them to the courts if they have committed a crime.”

            He also demanded that first information reports against students in Lahore, who are PTM supporters, should be withdrawn. “We are very peaceful but do not forget that we are young, and young people do not have a lot of patience.”

            “Now that we have risen up against oppression, we do not fear for our heads,” the PTM leader asserted.

            Pashteen announced that the next stop for the movement would be Swat following which a gathering would be held in Karachi on May 12 — to mark the day when over 40 people were killed in the metropolis in 2007.

            He also took on the media, which he said was covering the PTM in a biased manner. “We respect you, but you are being hypocritical.”

            The district administration had earlier rejected an application by the Lahore Left Front for the PTM rally citing security concerns.

            Ali Wazir, one of the main PTM leaders, had earlier appealed to Lahore’s residents to join the gathering to learn about the ordeal residents experienced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. He said the gathering was aimed at uniting the exploited and oppressed masses of KP and Punjab in general, and highlighting woes of ordinary Pashtun labourers in Lahore in particular.

            Punjab police officials — both male and female — provided security at the venue to ensure that no one entered the ground with weapons or sharp objects.

            A number of PTM leaders were ,briefly detained, on Saturday while workers found the venue of the rally flooded with water when they arrived to kickstart preparations today. Both the instances, the PTM claims, were attempts to coerce them into not holding the rally.

            Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Haider Ashraf on Sunday denied arresting any PTM leaders, saying they had only been called to the police headquarters to negotiate on security for the event as the district administration has refused them permission to hold the rally. They were later released after 3-4 hours.

            A day earlier on Saturday, DIG Ashraf had said the PTM leaders had been engaged to get affidavits that they would not take part in any anti-state activity.

            The refusal of Punjab government to grant permission to the PTM for its rally, combined with the detention of its workers, was criticised by Maryam Nawaz, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, all of whom backed the movement’s right to protest.

            The Lahore rally had been announced earlier this month when the movement held its first power show in Peshawar, demanding all missing persons be produced in courts and provision of basic rights to the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

            Bilawal, Maryam back PTM’s right to protest

            PML-N’s leaders Maryam Nawaz and Senator Pervaiz Rasheed both said that the rally should have been allowed while Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the “high-handedness and disregard for the constitutional rights of the people” shown by the Shahbaz Sharif-led provincial government.

            In a tweet early Sunday, Maryam said that the arrested activists should be released and the PTM should be allowed to hold its rally. “This country is as much their’s as it is our’s,” she said.

            ,,

            “Attempts to suppress voices rising against oppression and excesses can never have never been successful, nor will they ever be,” she added.

            In his statement, Senator Rasheed said that the ban on the rally was a painful act and that the Punjab government should not only listen to the pain and misery of the protesters but also play their part in alleviating them. “This is not the time to repeat bitterness of the past, but to learn from them and strengthen national unity.”

            Bilawal, in a tweet, said that every Pakistani citizen has a right to protest and “PTM are no different”, concluding with #VoterKoIzzatDo, in a reference to PML-N’s slogan demanding respect for vote.

            ,,

            ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


            Via DAWN.com

            SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

            Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - April 22, 2018 at 7:25 pm

            Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

            ‘Nobody will vote’: attack on Afghan election centre in Kabul leaves 57 dead

            • ,Voter security,

            An Islamic State suicide bomber killed at least 57 people including women and children and wounded 119 outside a voter registration centre in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday in the latest attack on election preparations.

            The assaults underscore growing concerns about security in the lead-up to legislative elections scheduled for October 20, which are seen as a test-run for next year’s presidential poll.

            There were anguished and angry scenes at Isteqlal Hospital where many of the victims were taken, with relatives criticising the Afghan government for failing to protect their loved ones.

            “Our patience is running out. This government should take responsibility for the lives of all these innocent people lost every day,” a man called Hussain, whose cousin was wounded in the blast, told AFP.

            “Nobody will go to vote anymore.” The health ministry gave the latest toll for the attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State group via its propaganda arm Amaq.

            The interior ministry had earlier said 48 people were killed and 112 wounded. Its spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the new toll.

            Blood-stained National ID papers and voters' photos are seen on the ground after the suicide attack. — AP

            Blood-stained National ID papers and voters' photos are seen on the ground after the suicide attack. — AP

            “They are civilians, including women and children,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said earlier.
            The centre in a heavily Shiite-populated neighbourhood in the west of the city was also being used by people to register for national identification certificates, which they need in order to sign up to vote.

            “I found myself covered in blood, with dead people — women and children — around me,” said Ali Rasuli, who had been standing in a queue outside the centre when he saw a “fireball” in front of him. He was taken to hospital with leg and abdominal wounds.

            Sheets of paper and passport-sized photos lay scattered amid shattered glass and pools of blood on the street near badly damaged cars — grim evidence of the force of the blast.

            “This senseless violence shows the cowardice and inhumanity of the enemies of democracy and peace in Afghanistan,” US ambassador John Bass wrote on Twitter. Nato and the United Nations also condemned the bombing.

            The last major attack in Kabul was on March 21 when an IS suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd celebrating the Persian New Year holiday and killed at least 33 people.

            Voter security

            Ariana TV showed angry crowds shouting “Death to the government!” and “Death to the Taliban!” A wounded man in a hospital bed wept as he told the network: “I don’t know where my daughters are. God damn the attackers!” A witness to the attack named Akbar told Tolo TV: “Now we know the government cannot provide us security: we have to get armed and protect ourselves.”

            Elsewhere, a roadside explosion in the northern province of Baghlan on Sunday killed six people, including three women and two children.

            President Ashraf Ghani condemned both attacks as “heinous”.

            Afghanistan began registering voters on April 14 for the long-delayed legislative elections.

            Officials have acknowledged that security is a major concern because the Taliban and other militant groups control or contest large swathes of the country.

            Afghan police and troops have been tasked with protecting polling centres, even as they struggle to get the upper hand against insurgents on the battlefield.

            Militants on Friday launched rockets at a voter registration centre in the northwestern province of Badghis, killing a police officer and wounding another person.

            Officials blamed the Taliban for the attack.

            On Tuesday gunmen attacked a voter registration centre in the central province of Ghor, kidnapping three election workers and two policemen.

            Taliban militants released the five on Thursday.

            Over the next two months, authorities hope to register up to 14 million adults at more than 7,000 polling centres for the parliamentary and district council elections.

            Officials have been pushing people to register amid fears a low turnout will undermine the credibility of the polls.

            Since the Persian New Year attack a tense calm had permeated the Afghan capital as people brace for the Taliban’s launch of its customary spring offensive.

            The Taliban are under pressure to take up Ghani’s peace offer made in February but so far the group has given only a muted response.

            Some Western and Afghan officials expect 2018 to be a particularly bloody year.

            General John Nicholson, the top US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, told Tolo TV last month that he expected the Taliban to carry out more suicide attacks this fighting season.

            ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


            Via DAWN.com

            SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

            Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 7:25 pm

            Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

            31 killed in suicide attack on Kabul voter registration centre: ministry

            • ,Voter security,

            A suicide bomber killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens outside a voter registration centre in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, the health ministry said, in the latest attack on election preparations.

            The assaults underscore growing concerns about security in the lead-up to legislative elections scheduled for October 20, which are seen as a test-run for next year’s presidential poll.

            “It happened at the entrance gate of the centre. It was a suicide attack,” Dawood Amin, city police chief, told AFP.

            Health ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh said 31 people had been killed and 54 wounded. The higher toll could not be immediately confirmed, but a police official told AFP on condition of anonymity that at least 25 people had been killed and 70 wounded.

            Earlier, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish put the death toll at nine and 56 wounded. He could not immediately be reached for an update.

            Afghan officials often give conflicting tolls in the wake of attacks and routinely understate the figures.

            Editorial: ,Kabul attacked, again,

            The centre in the heavily Shiite-populated neighbourhood in the west of the city was also being used by people to register for national identification certificates, which they need to sign up to vote.

            Footage on Ariana TV showed pools of blood and shattered glass on the street.

            Angry crowds shouted “Death to the government!” and “Death to the Taliban!” There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

            The Taliban have denied they were involved.

            A wounded man in a hospital bed wept as he told Ariana TV: “I don’t know where my daughters are. God damn the attackers!”

            A witness to the attack named Akbar told Tolo TV: “Now we know the government cannot provide us security: we have to get armed and protect ourselves.”

            Voter security

            Photos posted on social media purportedly of the scene showed several bodies on the ground and a badly damaged two-storey building.

            Afghanistan began registering voters on April 14 for the long-delayed legislative elections.

            Officials have acknowledged that security is a major concern as the Taliban and other militant groups control or contest large swathes of the country.

            Afghan police and troops have been tasked with protecting polling centres, even as they struggle to get the upper hand against insurgents on the battlefield.

            Militants on Friday launched rockets at a voter registration centre in the northwestern province of Badghis.

            At least one police officer was killed and another person was wounded, officials said, blaming the Taliban.

            On Tuesday, gunmen attacked a voter registration centre in the central province of Ghor, kidnapping three election workers and two policemen.

            Taliban militants released the five on Thursday.

            Over the next two months, authorities hope to register up to 14 million adults at more than 7,000 polling centres for the parliamentary and district council elections.

            Officials have been pushing people to register amid fears a low turnout will undermine the credibility of the polls.

            The last major attack in Kabul was on March 21 when an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd celebrating the Persian New Year holiday.

            At least 33 people were killed and dozens more wounded in the blast, which also happened in a Shiite area of the city.

            Since then a tense calm has permeated the Afghan capital as people brace for the Taliban’s launch of its customary spring offensive.

            The Taliban are under pressure to take up President Ashraf Ghani’s peace offer made in February, but so far the group has given only a muted response.

            Some Western and Afghan officials expect 2018 to be a particularly bloody year.

            General John Nicholson, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, told Tolo TV last month that he expected the Taliban to carry out more suicide attacks this fighting season.

            ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


            Via DAWN.com

            SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

            Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 9:26 am

            Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

            Bilawal, Maryam back PTM’s right to protest after crackdown ahead of Lahore rally

            • ,PTM workers detained,

            Politicians on Sunday backed the Pakhtun Tahafuz Movement’s (PTM) right to protest, a day after a ,number of its leaders and allies were held, in Lahore following the district administration’s refusal to allow them to hold a rally at Mochi Gate.

            PML-N’s leaders Maryam Nawaz and Senator Pervaiz Rasheed both said that the rally should have been allowed while Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the “high-handedness and disregard for the constitutional rights of the people” shown by the Shahbaz Sharif-led provincial government.

            In a tweet early Sunday, Maryam said that the arrested activists should be released and the PTM should be allowed to hold its rally. “This country is as much their’s as it is our’s,” she said.

            ,,

            “Attempts to suppress voices rising against oppression and excesses can never have never been successful, nor will they ever be,” she added.

            In his statement, Senator Rasheed said that the ban on the rally — scheduled for today — was a painful act and that the Punjab government should not only listen to the pain and misery of the protesters but also play their part in alleviating them. “This is not the time to repeat bitterness of the past, but to learn from them and strengthen national unity.”

            Bilawal, in a tweet, said that every Pakistani citizen has a right to protest and “PTM are no different”, concluding with #VoteKoIzzatDo, in a reference to PML-N’s slogan demanding respect for vote.

            ,,

            PTM workers detained

            Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Haider Ashraf on Sunday again denied arresting any PTM leaders, saying they had only been called to the police headquarters to negotiate on security for the event as the district administration has refused them permission to hold the rally.

            A day earlier on Saturday, he said PTM leaders had been engaged to get affidavits that they would not take part in any anti-state activity.

            Police added that the rally would be provided security according to the standard operating procedure (SOP).

            Meanwhile, the PTM said that all its leaders were released after being held for 3-4 hours.

            The Lahore rally had been announced earlier this month when the movement held its ,first power show in Peshawar,, demanding all missing persons be produced in courts and provision of basic rights to the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

            ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


            Via DAWN.com

            SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

            Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 9:26 am

            Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

            Absconders can’t be barred from polls under law: Dar

              ISLAMABAD: Senator-elect Ishaq Dar pleaded before the Supreme Court on Saturday that neither the Constitution nor the country’s election laws barred individuals from contesting elections for parliament, even if they had been declared absconders.

              The former finance minister, through his counsel Salman Aslam Butt, moved a rejoinder to a petition by Muhammad Nawazish Ali Pirzada in the Supreme Court in which he had challenged a Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict allowing Mr Dar to contest the March 12, 2018 Senate elections.

              He also accused Mr Dar of being an absconder from judiciary.

              The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz stalwart asked the Supreme Court to dismiss Mr Pirzada’s petition for not being maintainable and for violating various provisions of the Constitution.

              A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, will take up the petition moved by Mr Pirzada on Tuesday. At the last hearing, the Supreme Court had directed Mr Dar to appear in court.

              Rejoinder to petition challenging defunct minister’s election to Senate submitted to Supreme Court

              In response, the former finance minister furnished a concise statement in which he stressed that the 18th Amendment had repealed the amendment inserted through the Legal Framework Order, and then preserved through the 17th Amendment in Article 63(1) of the Constitution, in which a person convicted of absconding was disqualified from contesting elections.

              He argued that it was clear that ever since the enactment of the 18th Amendment, there was no prohibition under the Constitution, on someone who has been declared an absconder, from contesting Senate elections.

              On Dec 11, 2017 an accountability court had declared Mr Dar an absconder in a corruption reference after he had repeatedly failed to attend the trial proceedings against him.

              In his rejoinder, Mr Dar has argued that a person who has been declared an absconder is not deprived of constitutional and civil rights which include the right to contest elections.

              Provisions under Article 62 also did not apply to absconders, as they dealt with qualification of parliamentarians, he said, adding that he had explained why he couldn’t attend his trial in the accountability court.

              The rejoinder noted that the law favoured a liberal interpretation in facilitating people in contesting elections, and that a writ petition disenfranchising a candidate could not be readily invoked in the ‘post-election-stage’. It said that Mr Pirzada’s petition was not maintainable on these grounds.

              Such a matter should be raised at an appropriate stage in an appropriate manner before the competent tribunal, instead of a court, said the rejoinder, adding that otherwise Article 225 of the Constitution would be deprived of its meaning and content.

              The rejoinder contended that the petitioner (Mr Pirzada) did not have locus standi to assail the high court order since he had neither objected to Mr Dar’s nomination papers during the scrutiny process, nor did he file an appeal or cross-appeal against the order of the returning officer who had accepted his nomination papers.

              In his challenge, Mr Pirzada had objected to Mr Dar’s election to the Senate, stating that the former finance minister was not entitled to contest polls under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. The entire system would be affected if an absconder was allowed to contest elections, the petition had contended.

              Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2018

              ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


              Via DAWN.com

              SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

              Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 9:25 am

              Categories: The News   Tags: , ,

              PTI voted for Sanjrani on ‘order from top’: Sirajul Haq

                LAHORE: Questioning the credibility of the Senate after its recent elections and adding fuel to political fire, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) emir Senator Sirjaul Haq on Friday claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had voted for Sadiq Sanjrani following an “order from the top.”

                Talking to the media at Mansoora, he said: “Khyber Pakhtunkwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak called me some days before the Senate chairman’s election and sought JI votes for their nominee. When I asked about the name of the nominee, Khattak feigned ignorance, saying he was not aware of the name yet because the decision was coming from the top; the only thing he knew was that he (the nominee) was from Balochistan.”

                KP govt spokesman rejects JI chief’s claim

                The JI chief hastened to add that he did not understand what Mr Khattak meant by “from the top” — whether it was from heaven or somebody else.

                His disclosure, however, was rejected by KP government spokesman Shaukat Yousufzai who said: “Sirajul Haq should not play innocent now (meaning thereby he was in the loop for everything). His party enjoyed power for five years and now he is trying to turn his back on everything.”

                Amirul Azeem of the JI responded in the same coin to the statement of Mr Yousufzai, saying that he was just being emotional. “Otherwise, the JI chief has only hinted at the self-accountability that Imran Khan has been trying to promote. It is because of the JI that the PTI is completing its term in the KP.”

                Precisely because of this, horse-trading and the allegations of money changing hands in the elections, the Senate had lost its moral position, Senator Haq insisted.

                He said that not a few horses but the entire stable had been bought and sold and those sitting in the upper house could not see eye to eye with each other because of this moral compromise.

                But Senator Haq also insisted that if those who sold their souls and votes were guilty, so were those who purchased them. “Only exposing the commodity is not enough, the purchasers should also be exposed as they are equally guilty.”

                Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2018

                ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


                Via DAWN.com

                SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

                Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - April 21, 2018 at 4:25 am

                Categories: The News   Tags: , , , ,

                PAC grills NAB chief over ‘media trial’ of politicians

                  ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday grilled National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal for what it termed a media trial of political figures by leaking information and documents related to them.

                  Justice Iqbal appeared before the PAC to give them an in-camera briefing about the ongoing investigation into the Reko Diq project and the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) scheme at Barakahu. The briefing continued for about half an hour followed by a question and answer session that lasted two and a half hours, sources told Dawn.

                  Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Syed Naveed Qamar, Sherry Rehman and Mushahid Hussain Syed were among those PAC members who extensively questioned the NAB chairman over the unofficial rele­ase of information to the media mostly in cases pertaining to politicians.

                  According to the sources, most of the PAC members were of the opinion that the leak of information against politicians regarding authorisation of an inquiry or investigation had damaged their reputation in society. Besides, the sources said, the politicians through the media trial were declared guilty even prior to the commencement of a trial in court.

                  Move to curtail powers of anti-graft watchdog opposed

                  Asked if there was any checks and balances system in the bureau, Justice Iqbal said about 220 NAB officials had been arrested over corruption and misconduct. NAB received about 100 complaints against its officials every day and over 400 inquiries were in process against its own officials, he said. When the NAB chairman was questioned if the bureau had ever proceeded against a person for lodging a fake complaint, Justice Iqbal mentioned two such cases registered for lodging fake complainants since 1999.

                  Justice Iqbal explained to the PAC that he was working on the restructuring of the anti-graft body and said a proposal in this regard would be tabled before parliament soon, the sources said. However, they added, he strongly opposed a move to curtail NAB’s jurisdiction and powers through any presidential ordinance or any other means. “It is better to close NAB offices rather than limit its powers,” he said, adding that parliament was supreme and they could shut the entire bureau or reject the proposal for restructuring the anti-graft body.

                  When a senator asked if NAB was repeating the same exercise that it had done during the regime of former military dictator retired general Pervez Musharraf, Justice Iqbal replied that NAB was not targeting a specific party or its politicians, but was working as per its lawful mandate, the sources said.

                  They said Justice Iqbal clarified his position explaining that he was neither under any sort of pressure nor was following any hidden agenda against any specific political party.

                  NAB has opened numerous inquiries and investigation against politicians, most of them belonging to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Recently the bureau summoned party’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif in a two-decade-old inquiry related to the widening of a road in Raiwind.

                  The sources said he defended the re-opening of decades-old inquiries and quoted him as saying that the bureau was “clearing the backlog”.

                  Earlier during the briefing over the Barakahu housing and Reko Diq projects, the PAC was informed that the Reko Diq was a sub judice matter while the bureau would file a reference against the officials of the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation and a private contractor within 30 days.

                  After attending the PAC session, the chairman encountered media persons outside the committee room where he dispelled the impression about curtailing NAB powers.

                  Justice Iqbal also dispelled the impression that there was someone pulling NAB’s strings. He said: “Whenever someone tries to pull the strings, I will pick my briefcase to leave NAB for good.”

                  About inquiries into the Panama Papers allegations, Justice Iqbal said NAB had started investigation into the allegations against those named in the Panama Papers leaks and assured the PAC members that all pending inquiries would be done properly.

                  About the ambassador-designate to the United States Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, Justice Iqbal said steps had been taken to place his name on the Exit Control List (ECL) but a court of law had restrained the bureau from proceeding further in this regard.

                  When asked why NAB did not try to stop Nawaz Sharif from proceeding to the UK, he replied to the journalists that there should be some humanitarian consideration and said: “Even otherwise it is not my responsibility to stop him from leaving the country.

                  “The bureau has nothing to do with holding or not holding general elections and if anyone is involved in corruption, he has to face the music,” the NAB chairman said, adding that if someone would “prove any discrimination in any case, I will take the responsibility and will resign accordingly.”

                  About a clarification by former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao over Justice Iqbal’s revelations a few days earlier that Gen Musharraf handed over about 4,000 Pakistanis to other countries when Mr Sherpao was the interior minister, the NAB chairman said: “Our interior minister had never been much powerful as to hand over people to other countries.”

                  Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2018

                  ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


                  Via DAWN.com

                  SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

                  Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - April 19, 2018 at 12:25 pm

                  Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

                  Army, judiciary urged to work within constitutional framework

                    ISLAMABAD: The country’s five major political parties — four of them from the ruling coalition — have vowed to launch a movement for the ,supremacy of parliament, and preservation of the democratic process and urged the army and the judiciary to work within “constitutional framework”.

                    Speaking at a “National Seminar on Sanctity of Ballot” at the National Library auditorium here on Tuesday, supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) president Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and National Party (NP) president Hasil Bizenjo expressed concern over “continued interference of the judiciary and the military in the domain of the executive” and warned that the country could face a 1971-like debacle if they did not act now.

                    Take a look: ,Judiciary, parliament should avoid ‘entering into controversy’, advises Rabbani,

                    Following the Lahore High Court’s directives regarding ban on airing of anti-judiciary speeches, the state-run Pakistan Television and most of the private TV channels did not cover the speeches of the speakers of the seminar. The channels went live when Nawaz Sharif came to the rostrum, but as soon as he started talking about his disqualification, the channels first muted his speech and then discontinued the live coverage.

                    The Awami National Party (ANP) was the only party from the opposition which participated in the seminar that was jointly organised by the PML-N, PkMAP and the NP. The ANP was represented by its general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who told the audience that he was representing party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan who could not travel due to illness.

                    Coalition partners NP, PkMAP and JUI-F as well as opposition ANP throw their weight behind PML-N movement for ‘sanctity of vote’

                    All speakers, except Maulana Fazl, extended support to the ongoing Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) and called for giving its leaders a ‘patience hearing’, terming all their demands “genuine and within the constitution.”

                    “We should engage those running the PTM. If we can talk to India and the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan people, then what’s wrong in talking to the Pashtun youth?” asked PML-N Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed who was the convener of the seminar.

                    Nawaz Sharif said when they did not respect the sanctity of vote in 1970, they faced the East Pakistan tragedy. He regretted that not a single prime minister was allowed a full five-year term, saying 20 elected prime ministers had ruled the country for 38 years whereas four military rulers had ruled for 32 years.

                    The former prime minister alleged that by continuing unabated use of powers under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, the judiciary’s hands had now reached parliament. He said the executive had been paralysed as it could not even make ordinary transfers and postings. And all this wass happening when millions of cases were pending before the judiciary.

                    Mr Sharif alleged that the PML-N was not being provided a level-playing field in the coming elections as most of the party leaders were either facing cases in accountability courts or contempt charges. He alleged that like in Balochistan and Karachi, efforts were now on to form a political group in southern Punjab to manipulate results of the elections.

                    Mr Bizenjo said “trust deficit” among the state institutions was increasing at a time when Pakistan was facing international isolation. He said it was the State and not the government which was weakening due to the tussle between the institutions. The most impressive and emotional speech was delivered by ANP’s Iftikhar Hussain, who said that his party was participating in the seminar despite not being in the ruling coalition because they also wanted to ensure “sanctity of ballot” in the country.

                    He said all demands of the PTM were constitutional. “Do you want that Pashtuns should keep silence even after facing oppression?” he asked.

                    He alleged that the former police officer Rao Anwar, the main accused in the extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud, was backed by a “network” which needed to be unearthed and punished.

                    There was a pin drop silence when Mr Hussain narrated how his only son was assassinated by terrorists and how he and other party leaders had held negotiations with the Taliban.

                    The ANP leader said popularity of Mr Sharif was increasing after he was being pushed to the wall but warned that the PML-N supreme leader could face more difficulties in the days ahead.

                    Mr Achakzai said a final battle between democratic and undemocratic forces had begun in the country. He said if any institution — be it the armed forces, judiciary or politicians — would go beyond constitutional limits, they would oppose them. He said if the judiciary would indulge in “activism” and interfere in the executive’s affairs, it was against the basic spirit of the Constitution. Similarly, he said, if a general who had taken oath to protect the Constitution violated his oath, it was their duty to stop him from doing so.

                    “Don’t force us to take to the streets like the people of Turkey,” Mr Achakzai warned in a reference to the public revolt against military takeover in Turkey in 2016. He said Pakistan had already suffered a lot due to violation of the vote’s sanctity, and warned that if it happened again, then nobody knew what would be the fate of the country.

                    Maulana Fazl said they had no conflict with the armed forces as the country needed them for protection of the country’s geographical boundaries. “However, when it will overstep its constitutional limits and will take over the government and indulge in politics, then it is unacceptable,” he said.

                    He also criticised the judiciary, saying the “judiciary should play the role for justice (Insaf) and not for Tehreek-i-Insaf.”

                    He said if a judge felt that any of the parties considered him biased, he should recuse himself. “If there is a feeling in the country that a judge has become a party then the decisions of that judge will always be considered controversial,” he said.

                    Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2018

                    ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


                    Via DAWN.com

                    SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

                    Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - April 18, 2018 at 6:25 am

                    Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

                    Pakistan calls for making global non-proliferation regime fair, equitable

                      ISLAMABAD: Pakistan continues to remain engaged with global non-proliferation regime despite its politicisation and other defects and calls for making the regime fair and equitable.

                      Speaking at a seminar at the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) on Tuesday, retired Lt Gen Mazhar Jamil, who retired as the director general of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) a few months ago, said: “There is a concern that the non-proliferation regime is becoming increasingly politicised and discriminatory. Despite these abnormalities in the nuclear order, Pakistan remains positively engaged.”

                      The statement follows last week’s meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s consultative group that deliberated on the criteria for admitting non-NPT countries into the 48-member cartel controlling the international nuclear trade. Stalemate on the issue of admission of non-NPT countries persisted at the last meeting of the consultative group.

                      The US is spearheading India’s campaign for inclusion in the group and contends that after attaining membership of other multilateral export control regimes like Missile Techno­logy Control Regime (MTCR), Australia Group, and Wassenaar Agreement Indian case is ripe for membership. However, a small albeit depleted group is holding out preventing consensus on new admissions.

                      Pakistan believes that key decisions at NSG, like admission of new members, are politicised. The decisions instead of following an equitable and non-discriminatory approach are motivated by geo-political considerations.

                      Gen Mazhar Jamil said: “Pakistan does what it can, the non-proliferation regime should also do what it must to become equitable and rule-based.”

                      He recalled that Pakistan had voluntarily committed itself to the ideals such as non-proliferation and prevention of arms race in outer space. “Pakistan is a responsible nuclear power and shall continue to exercise restraint and responsibility,” he added.

                      Speaking about the regional situation, he asked India to “shun belligerence and war-mongering and resolve disputes peacefully”.

                      Comparing the Indian strategic thinking with that of Pakistan, the former SPD chief said Pakistan’s strategic culture, in contrast, “has always been characterised by restrained responses, pursuit of conflict resolution and closing the space for war”.

                      SVI president Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema, on the occasion, said Indian National Security Strategy (NSS) objective was to maintain an overwhelming conventional and nuclear weapons capability by developing strategic and conventional offensive capabilities for full spectrum of military conflicts.

                      The main instruments of India’s force posture were deterrence, coercion and coercive diplomacy, he said. The joint Indian armed forces doctrine contemplated the use of military force aimed at destruction, disruption and constraining its adversaries in South Asia, with specific concentration on Pakistan, he added.

                      Meanwhile, the Strategic Studies Institute Islamabad hosted a Public Talk on “The 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR): Global and Regional Security”.

                      Ambassador Munir Akram said that although South Asia had not been mentioned in the NPR, the region had been covered in the context of non-proliferation.

                      The NPR, which endorses nuclear modernisation and sustenance programme of the US, he believed, would trigger arms race and also increase greater likelihood of use of weapons. He said the NPR would affect Iran and North Korea.

                      Director General Strat­egic Studies Dr Shireen Mazari said Pakistan had increasingly become the target of US criticism, especially in the context of its nuclear weapon. She reiterated that Pakistan should remain wary of the US-India strategic partnership.

                      Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2018

                      ,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


                      Via DAWN.com

                      SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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

                      Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

                      Next Page »