Posts Tagged ‘Rawalpindi’

Pakistan, Iran vow to improve military ties

RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa talks to Iranian Chief of General Staff Maj Gen Mohammad Bagheri, who called on him along with a delegation at GHQ on Monday.—INP

RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa talks to Iranian Chief of General Staff Maj Gen Mohammad Bagheri, who called on him along with a delegation at GHQ on Monday.—INP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Monday pledged to further deepen their military cooperation.

This was the upshot of Iranian Chief of General Staff Maj Gen Mohammad Bagheri’s visit to Pakistan.

The top Iranian commander’s three-day trip is being attached great importance because bilateral military exchanges between Pakistan and Iran have been very rare due to their mutual mistrust that kept them divided till recently.

Gen Bagheri visited caretaker Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon at the foreign ministry and then went to the General Headquarters (GHQ) for a meeting with army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa.

The public affairs division of Pakistan military said Gen Bajwa underscored the need for intensification of military-to-military cooperation and noted that such cooperation would have a “positive impact on peace and security in the region”.

In related development, Afghan president assures Islamabad of enhanced border security on election day

Reciprocating Gen Bajwa’s offer, the visiting Iranian commander “pled­ged to keep working for better relations between the two brotherly countries”, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Gen Bajwa is believed to be the architect of improvement in Pakistan-Iran ties particularly the military relations. Last year he had made an unprecedented visit to Iran setting the stage for improved cooperation. Later, Chief of the General Staff Lt Gen Bilal Akbar visited the country in June.

As the improvement in military relations was predicated on the basis of border security cooperation, discussion on border management was also on top of agenda during Gen Bagheri’s meeting with Gen Bajwa. Another key issue on the agenda of their meeting was regional security.

The journey towards improvement in military ties had not been free of irritants and problems but both the countries worked together to overcome those challenges and prevented nascent cooperation from falling apart, a diplomatic source said.

Recently the Iranian spymaster was in Islamabad to attend a rare meeting of the spy chiefs of the regional countries that involved Pakistan, Russia and China. The meeting reportedly focused on the threat posed by the growing footprint of the militant Islamic State group in Afghanistan.

Mr Haroon during his meeting with the Iranian commander expressed Pak­istan’s desire for strengthening cooperation with Iran for the benefit of both countries and ensuring peace and stability in the region. He also appreciated the Iranian leadership’s strong and consistent support on the issue of Kashmir.

Ghani condoles deaths in terror attacks

Meanwhile, Afghan Pre­sident Ashraf Ghani assured Pakistan of heightened security along the Pak-Afghan border during the July 25 general elections.

President Ghani exten­ded the assurance during a telephonic conversation with Gen Bajwa on Monday.

He also called caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk to condole the deaths in recent attacks on election rallies in Peshawar, Bannu, and Mastung.

President Ghani “assured COAS of enhanced border security measures on Afghan side as assistance to Pak security forces during election period,” military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted.

Gen Bajwa thanked Mr Ghani for his concern, according to the ISPR.

Pakistan has long alleged that terrorists having sanctuaries in Afghanistan have been carrying out terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Although Mastung attack was claimed by the militant Islamic State, Daesh, and its local affiliate Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, other attacks are believed to have been carried out by Afghanistan-based TTP and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. It is feared that the two terrorist groups were planning further attacks.

Earlier during the 2014 presidential elections in Afghanistan, Pakistan Army had also undertaken special border security arrangements for smooth conduct of polling process. On the elections day, Pakistan had increased patrols along the border areas, besides stepping up aerial surveillance.

In his conversation with caretaker PM Mulk, President Ghani “expressed deep sorrow and sympathy on the tragic loss of precious lives”, the PM Office said in a statement.

The two countries agreed to work together to defeat the common enemies for peace and security in the region, the statement added.

While talking to Mr Ghani, Mr Mulk reaffirmed caretaker government’s commitment to hold the general elections on time. He said the attacks by the enemies were aimed at derailing the democratic process in Pakistan. “Such actions would not deter government’s resolve,” he vowed.

Published in Dawn, July 17th , 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - July 17, 2018 at 11:26 am

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

PML-N consider launching Maryam’s son

LAHORE: The PML-N is considering launching Maryam Nawaz’s son Junaid Safdar for its election campaign.

Mr Safdar, currently a student of politics at a UK university, reached Pakistan on Monday morning. He is expected to meet his grandfather Nawaz Sharif, father retired Capt Safdar and mother, all three imprisoned at Adiyala Jail.

A senior party official says whether Mr Safdar manages to visit his elders in jail or not, he is likely to address corner meetings in certain constituencies.

“Though many PML-N candidates are yearning to invite Safdar in their respective campaigns, it’s being planned to arrange corner meetings in constituencies NA-127 (Lahore-V), from where his mother had planned to contest before her disqualification; NA-132 (Lahore-X), the seat where PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif is a candidate; and in NA-59 (Rawalpindi-II), where incarcerated PML-N leader Raja Qamarul Islam is fighting against former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan,” the official says.

He says a decision on selecting more constituencies for Mr Safdar and content of his speeches will be taken after his meeting with his mother.

According to him, the party will release more audio and, if possible, video messages of Mr Sharif and her daughter during the party’s electioneering if the duo is denied bail in the Avenfield case.

One audio message each of the two leaders has already been released through the social media.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 11:26 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , ,

Letter to govt: Shahbaz seeks better facilities for Nawaz in jail

LAHORE: PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif on Monday wrote a letter to the government seeking better facilities for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.

In a letter to caretaker prime minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk and Punjab caretaker chief minister Hasan Askari Rizvi drawing their attention to the ‘abysmal conditions’ under which Nawaz Sharif is languishing in Adiala Jail.

“During my visit and meeting along with other family members I found Nawaz Sharif in a pathetic prison environment which is highly detrimental to his health and well-being. He was not even given newspaper to read, his bed was a mattress on the floor and washroom was not clean and there was no air conditioner in the room. No attendant was there and the medical check-up facility was also not up to the mark.”

He further said: “Nawaz Sharif, a heart and diabetic patient, needs timely medicine and frequent visits to a doctor. His personal doctor who knows his medical condition well should be allowed to visit him twice a day.”

Shahbaz Sharif regretted that Nawaz Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was being treated in such a “shabby manner”.”This situation is unacceptable given the minimum facilities he is entitled to as a former premier. He must be provided with the aforementioned basic facilities at the earliest,” Shahbaz said.

Earlier, the Punjab home department had notified “Better Class” category in Adiala jail for the former prime minister and retired Capt Safdar on their formal requests, while Maryam refused to apply for it.

The department had notified ‘better class’, generally known as B-Class, for the former premier. The category entailed facilities of a mattress, small table and chair, ceiling fan, 21-inch TV and a newspaper.

Retired Capt Safdar who is also serving the jail term along with his wife and father-in-law in the Avenfield properties case got ‘better class’.

Both Nawaz Sharif and Safdar had applied for the better class. However, Maryam Nawaz had refused to apply for it. In her signed letter, she said: “I was offered to apply for better class facilities by the superintendent of the jail, as per the rules that I refused of my own will. This is purely my own decision, taken without any pressure from anyone.”

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif has urged the people to free Nawaz from jail through the power of the ballot on July 25.

In meetings on Ferozepur Road, Yuhanabad, Gajomata and Kahna – the areas of his constituency NA-132 – he said the people’s court would free Mr Sharif (from jail) through their vote. He said his elder brother was not even given a bed to sleep in the jail. He said Nawaz had made this country atomic power and what treatment was being meted out to him. He said July 13 rally was historic and he had witnessed people’s passion and love for Nawaz.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 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: , , ,

Delaying elections would lead to turmoil: Sheikh Rashid

RAWALPINDI: Delaying the elections would lead to turmoil in the country, Awami Muslim League (AML) President Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said at a press conference on Monday.

He also said he feared low voter turnout and urged people to come out and vote on July 25to prevent a hung parliament and help Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan form a government.

Sheikh Rashid said people should vote for the pen and ink and the bat to bring change in the country, which is facing many challenges. The economy has collapsed, he said, adding that they hope to bring investment to the country and improve its economic condition as well as end unemployment.

“80pc of PML-N’s voters will vote for Imran Khan and I in two of Rawalpindi’s constituencies, and most PML-N union council chairmen have contacted and assured me of their support,” he said.

He said he was running a one-sided campaign against his opponent, who has not been campaigning in the city and had failed to hold any public meetings.

“We prepared a special motorcycle worth Rs15,000 for the election campaign in the city areas, and the campaign will be run on motorcycle,” he said.

“Imran Khan will arrive in Rawalpindi on July 22and address the people at Liaquat Bagh. He will make a speech at11:30pm after coming from a public meeting in Karachi,” he added.

The last public meeting of the election will also be held at Liaquat Bagh on July 23, he said, adding that workers and supporters would prove that Rawalpindi was with him and with Imran Khan.

Security for Sheikh Rashid, Hanif Abbasi

Security staff deployed with two of Rawalpindi’s main election candidates, Sheikh Rashid and Hanif Abbasi, have been directed to be more vigilant in light of security concerns reported by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and the police’s Special Branch.

A comprehensive security advisory has been issued to all candidates, and meetings have been held with them to sensitise them of security concerns.

According to sources, directives regarding heightened security around the two politicians were given to the police during a recent meeting of the divisional intelligence committee.

Security for important politicians and election candidates, political gatherings and corner meetings and the law and order situation topped the agenda of the meeting, which was attended by the regional police officer (RPO), Rawalpindi city police officer (CPO) and the Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal district police officers (DPO) and chaired by the Rawalpindi commissioner.

Participants were asked to implement the standard operating procedure for security for important personalities and people under threat in public gatherings as outlined by the home department.

All deputy commissioners, DPOs and CPOs were direct to meet with election candidates and sensitise them on the threat perception and security protocol.

It was also decided that a senior police officer would contact Sheikh Rashid and PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi to share security concerns with them.

Security staff deployed with the two politicians have been directed to increase vigilance, particularly during movement in public.

Politicians contesting the general election have been asked to seek approval from the district management and Special Branch before deciding on a venue or stage for public meetings. The base ground of the stage will also be checked by a Special Branch team, and the stage will be erected in the presence of police and Special Branch officials.

Stages should not be more than 10ft high, and must be strong enough to bear the weight of the speakers and other individuals. The reception line should not contain more than five people, the names of whom should be communicated to the police and Special Branch for security clearance.

The names of individuals to be seated on stage should also be communicated to an intelligence agency for security clearance, and unauthorised people should not be allowed to sit on stage.

Published in Dawn, July 17th , 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: , , , , , , , , , ,

Nawaz Sharif, Maryam arrested by NAB, shifted to Adiala jail

Former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials upon their arrival in Lahore on Friday night, and subsequently whisked away to Islamabad on a chartered flight.

The two were separated and taken from the Islamabad International Airport in two convoys to the Central Jail in Adiala, Rawalpindi, for a medical examination.

As per official procedure, the examination was carried out in the presence of the Islamabad magistrate and senior police officials.

Meanwhile, a NAB prosecution team had approached the accountability courts seeking an exemption for Nawaz and Maryam’s appearance before the court. NAB Additional Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told the court that the convicts cannot be produced before the court due to a high-security risk.

The accountability court conceded the request and appointed Magistrate Wasim Ahmed to execute the warrants of imprisonment at Adiala. By this exercise, the authorities eliminated any chance of producing Nawaz and Maryam before the court the same night or next morning.

Media representatives who had gathered to cover the production of Nawaz and Maryam before the court were not allowed to enter the premises of the court complex.

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz being led out of the plane by NAB officials.

There was a lack of clarity over where the two would ultimately be incarcerated, at least for the short term.

The Islamabad chief commissioner had initially issued a notification declaring the Sihala Police Training College Rest House in the capital city “as sub-jail for keeping the convicted prisoner Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, ex-prime minister, and Mariam Nawaz, who have been arrested by NAB authorities, with immediate effect and till further orders.”

However, a second notification followed, stating that Sihala would serve as a sub-jail only for Maryam and that the preceding notification would be considered void ab initio.

Conflicting reports continued to make the rounds, with some stating that both Nawaz and Maryam would be incarcerated at Adiala, while others said Maryam would be separated and shifted to the Sihala rest house.

Return to Lahore

Nawaz and Maryam had taken off from Abu Dhabi for Lahore shortly after 6pm PST on the last leg of their journey home from London.

Their flight, Etihad Airways flight EY243, was earlier scheduled to land at 6:15pm PST at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport, but suffered a nearly three-hour delay.

An airport official, when approached by our correspondent, had stated the reason for the hold-up in Abu Dhabi as a delay in an Etihad flight arriving from Bangkok, which was supposed to fly EY243′s passengers to Lahore.

The flight eventually took off at nearly 6pm PST and landed in Lahore at 8.45pm.

According to media reports, dozens of security officials entered the plane after it landed and asked other passengers to leave. The duo’s passports were seized by a three-member Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team. Their immigration formalities were completed on board the plane.

The two were taken into custody at around 9:25pm and put on a chartered plane to Islamabad.

Nawaz and Maryam had been ,convicted by an accountability court in the Avenfield corruption reference, last Friday and handed jail sentences of 10 years and seven years, respectively. The former was found guilty of owning assets beyond known income, while his daughter was convicted for aiding and abetting her father in covering up a “conspiracy”.

After the verdict was announced, Nawaz and Maryam had ,said they would return to Pakistan, and appeal against the decision.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Punjab government had made arrangements to take the father-daughter duo into custody upon arrival and shift them to Adiala Jail, where they are supposed to serve their jail term.

PML-N workers rally in support

In Lahore, authorities had braced to maintain law and order as thousands of PML-N workers and supporters had gathered at various points in the city to welcome the ousted premier and his daughter.

Security officials at the site of the rally. ? DawnNewsTV

Security officials at the site of the rally. ? DawnNewsTV

Large parts of the city were locked down as the state seemed determined to prevent supporters from reaching the airport.

PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, whose caravan had gathered at Lohari Gate, had led the main welcoming rally to the airport to accord his brother and PML-N supremo Nawaz a warm welcome.

PML-N's Mushahidullah Khan in a heated conversation with ASF personnel. ? DawnNewsTV

PML-N’s Mushahidullah Khan in a heated conversation with ASF personnel. ? DawnNewsTV

When Nawaz and Maryam were flown out, he was en route to the airport. PML-N workers who were part of the rally were chanting slogans of “Rok sako tau rok lo (stop us if you can)” and “Vote ko izzat do (respect the vote)”.

According to media reports, no PML-N supporters were allowed onto airport premises.

,#PMLN workers and supporters have come out in various parts of #Lahore to welcome the ousted premier and his daughter. #DawnToday,

A post shared by , Dawn Today, (@dawn.today) on Jul 13, 2018 at 10:09am PDT

‘Not afraid of being arrested’

While waiting at the Abu Dhabi airport for his flight home, Nawaz spoke to reporters from various news organisations over the phone.

During the call, Nawaz wondered how a flight “that is never late” had been delayed today and urged people to “think about who delayed this flight and why.”

When asked if he believes that returning to Pakistan in the current “tense” situation was a good idea, Nawaz said that he knows “what the situation in the country is like”.

“I know I have been handed a 10-year sentence and Maryam has been given seven years in jail, but we are returning because this country’s fate needs to change — we need to change it.”

“The media also needs be brave and take a stand in the face of it all,” Nawaz said, adding that the media’s freedom is being curbed today because “they see that this nation has risen and the media is rising and they are afraid. Why else would they do all this?”

“What is happening in this country today, what is happening in Lahore, raises questions regarding the elections. No other province is facing the situation we see in Lahore: hundreds of our party workers have been arrested; people are being pressured into switching loyalties. All of this forms a question mark on the credibility of the election,” Nawaz said.

“I am not afraid of being arrested. If I was, why would I be coming back? It does not matter if NAB or the people who have sent NAB personnel arrest me from here [Abu Dhabi] or from Lahore. I am ready for it,” Nawaz said.

BBC correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan Secunder Kermani, who was at Abu Dhabi airport, said that Nawaz and Maryam were in a lounge at the airport but security personnel would not let reporters through, so they had to huddle around a phone in a different lounge in order to speak to him.

Just conducted a surreal press conference with Nawaz Sharif on the phone – he’s in a airport lounge in Abu Dhabi but apparently security won’t let reporters come in – so we huddled around a phone (in a different lounge) with the speaker on, top lines of what he said coming soon

— Secunder Kermani (@SecKermani) ,July 13, 2018,

Earlier, in a video message, ,tweeted by Maryam,, the former premier had urged his followers to stand with him when he arrives and “change the fate of the country”.

“The country is at a critical juncture right now,” Nawaz said in the recording. “I have done what I could. I am aware that I have been sentenced to 10 years [in prison] and I will be taken to a jail cell straight away — but I want the Pakistani nation to know that I am doing this for you.”

Security ramped up

Cellphone services have been partially suspended in certain parts of Lahore, and as many as 2,000 Rangers personnel have been deployed at and around Lahore Airport where ? according to sources ? the Interior Ministry, in a meeting two days ago, had decided to contain Nawaz and Maryam, sources said.

Police officers deployed at Lahore airport. ? AP

Police officers deployed at Lahore airport. ? AP

Heavy contingents of police have been deployed at all entry points to the city, and containers have been readied to block off main roads.

A police official claimed that the arrangements were made to avoid any terrorism-related incidents, and that no orders had been passed to arrest political workers or to block the motorway.

Punjab Home Department sources earlier told Dawn that anyone holding a rally would have to seek prior permission from the deputy commissioner as per the Election Commission of Pakistan Code of Conduct, but so far no one has sought any permission in Lahore.

The sources had said that authorities would not allow any processions to go to the airport. Multiple blockades have been set up on roads across the city.

Three helicopters and the Punjab Chief Minister Prof Hassan Askari’s airplane have been placed at NAB’s disposal in the eventuality that Nawaz and Maryam will need to be transported to Rawalpindi.

Traffic plan

The caretaker government devised an alternate traffic plan on the eve of the arrival of Nawaz Sharif at Lahore airport on Friday.

Map of Lahore showing roadblocks around the city.

Map of Lahore showing roadblocks around the city.

Traffic coming from Islamabad will enter Lahore via motorway through Thokar Niaz Beg, Qazilbash Chowk and Shaukat Khanum Chowk. Traffic from GT Road will enter the city via Kala Shah Kaku through Thokar. Traffic from Kala Khatai Road will enter via Shahdara Chowk, Begum Kot and Faizpur Interchange through motorway. Traffic from Multan Road will enter via Bund Road and Mohlanwal Road. To exit Lahore, use Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Johar Town Main Boulevard, Shaukat Khanum, Qazilbash Chowk, Motorway Interchange or Multan Road.

The international travellers have been asked to reach at least six hours prior to the departure time at designated areas in Lahore. They will be transported to airport via a shuttle service which will be provided from Bhatta Chowk, Chungi Dogaij, Gajjumata, Mehfooz Park and Niazi Shaheed Park.

Solemn farewell

Mayam had taken to Twitter to post pictures of scenes in London ahead of the father-daughter duo’s departure.

In one picture, the father and daughter were seen bidding farewell to Kulsoom Nawaz, who is said to be comatose and admitted at a London hospital.

Told my kids to be brave in the face of oppression. But kids will still be kids. Goodbyes are hard, even for the grownups. ,pic.twitter.com/ge17Al5gfY,

— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) ,July 12, 2018,

.

بہادر باپ کی بہادر بیٹی اس قوم کے مستقبل ک جنگ لڑنے آرہی ہے ,#حاضر_وطن_کی_خاطر, ,pic.twitter.com/LN6hnbPh2d,

— ZM (@ZeshanMalick) ,July 12, 2018,

,#حاضر_وطن_کی_خاطر, ,pic.twitter.com/uH1SrAzzJn,

— Faisal Ranjha (@ranjha001) ,July 12, 2018,

Sentenced for corruption

The two PML-N leaders are returning to Pakistan to face a prison sentence handed out on July 6 by an accountability court in the Avenfield reference case, in which the judge ruled that Nawaz, Maryam and her husband Captain Safdar own assets beyond known income. They were respectively handed jail sentences of 10, seven and one year each.

The father-daughter duo were also fined £8 million and £2 million respectively. The money will go into the state treasury.

All three of them have also been disqualified from running for public office.

The Avenfield reference ? which was related to the purchase of four flats in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London ? was among the three corruption references filed by NAB against the former premier and his children on the Supreme Court’s orders in its [landmark July 28 Panamagate verdict.

Besides Nawaz, Maryam and her husband Captain Safdar, NAB had also nominated Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz — Sharif’s sons — as accused in all three SC-ordered corruption references.

Though the Sharif family insisted that they had purchased the apartments through ‘legitimate’ financial resources they remained unable to disclose those resources before the accountability court or the Supreme Court.

One day after the sentence was announced, NAB obtained arrest warrants for Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar. Safdar, who was in Pakistan at the time offered his [arrest to NAB officials in Rawalpindi][8] on July 8.

Nawaz and Maryam were in London when the verdict was announced, as they have been with the ailing Kulsoom Nawaz who was diagnosed with cancer last year and is reportedly comatose. They announced that they would return to Pakistan to appeal against the sentence after the verdict was issued.

A day before the verdict was announced, Nawaz and Maryam had [appealed to the accountability court][9] to postpone the announcement of the verdict for a week citing Begum Kulsoom’s health as the reason for seeking the delay. The appeal was turned down.

Addressing a party conference in London with Maryam by his side before his return, Nawaz said he had decided to return to the country to fulfil his pledge to ‘honour the vote’, “despite seeing the bars of prison in front of my eyes”.

“Is there any Pakistani who has had three generations of his family go through an accountability process only to find out that no corruption was ever done?” he asked during the presser that was broadcast live on Facebook.

Nawaz also criticised the court’s decision to sentence his daughter to a seven-year term in jail, saying those who did so “did not even remember in their hate what stature daughters have in Pakistan”.

This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - July 14, 2018 at 3:25 am

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

Land-based communication link with China opened

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk on Friday inaugurated the Pak-China Optical Fibre Cable project that would serve as the first land-based communication link between Pakistan and China.

The project that has been completed in two years will help develop the telecom sector in Gilgit-Baltistan region, besides contributing to enhancement of security of the schemes falling under the umbrella of the ,China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, (CPEC).

The project includes an 820-kilometre-long underground Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab and a 172-km aerial OFC link from Karimabad to Khunjerab. The project being launched as part of the CPEC also has 26 high-capacity microwave links as backup to the OFC network and nine node centres in different locations.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the project, Mr Mulk said: “The project will contribute to provision of state-of-the-art ICT [information and communication technologies] facilities to far-flung areas of the country.” The ICT services played a key role in the socioeconomic uplift of the country.

He hailed the project as one of strategic importance as it would help in “developing telecom sector in Northern Areas and regions along the CPEC route”. The project would “play a pivotal role for security requirements of CPEC projects”.

In his address, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that OFC was one of the nine projects to be completed under the CPEC. He said the CPEC would have a digital corridor as well.

The director general of the Special Communication Organisation, Maj Gen Amir Azim Bajwa, on the occasion said a communication link had been established with the Chinese side on the border that had been successfully tested for end-to-end connectivity.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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

Categories: The News   Tags: , ,

Nawaz, Maryam taken into NAB custody, flying to Islamabad

Sherrrrrrrrr ,pic.twitter.com/XOzYtEBkt5,

— Faisal Ranjha (@ranjha001) ,July 13, 2018,

Former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were taken into custody by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials shortly after arriving at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Friday night.

They were then boarded onto a small private plane bound for Islamabad International Airport (IIA). The flight has left Lahore. Upon landing at IIA, Nawaz and Maryam will either be flown to Adiala Jail or driven to Attock Jail.

The flight from Abu Dhabi to Lahore took off around 5pm local time and landed in Pakistan at around 8:45pm PST.

According to media reports, dozens of security officials entered the plane after it landed and asked other passengers to leave. The duo’s passports were seized by a three-member Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team.

Shortly after, the two were taken into custody at around 9:25pm and put on the plane to Islamabad.

Nawaz and Maryam were convicted by an accountability court in the Avenfield corruption reference last Friday and handed jail sentences of 10 years and seven years respectively. The former was found guilty of owning assets beyond known income, while his daughter was convicted for aiding and abetting her father in covering up a “conspiracy”.

After the verdict was announced, Nawaz and Maryam had said they would return to Pakistan and appeal against the decision. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Punjab governments had made arrangements to take the father-daughter duo into custody upon arrival.

PML-N workers rally in support

In Lahore, authorities have braced to maintain law and order, as a large number of PML-N workers and supporters have gathered in various parts of Lahore to welcome the ousted premier and his daughter.

Large parts of the city are in lockdown.

Security officials at the site of the rally. ? DawnNewsTV

Security officials at the site of the rally. ? DawnNewsTV

PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, whose caravan had gathered at Lohari Gate, is leading the main welcoming rally to the airport to accord his brother and PML-N supremo Nawaz a warm welcome.

He is currently at Regal Chowk, on his way to the airport. PML-N workers who are part of the rally are chanting slogans of “Rok sako tau rok lo (stop us if you can)”.

According to media reports, no PML-N supporters have been allowed onto airport premises.

Last leg

Former prime minister and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz had taken off from Abu Dhabi for Lahore shortly after 6pm PST on the last leg of their journey home from London.

Their flight, Etihad Airways flight EY243, was earlier scheduled to land at 6:15pm PST at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport, but instead took off from Abu Dhabi at 6:02pm PST after suffering a nearly three-hour delay.

An airport official, when approached by our correspondent, had stated the reason for the hold-up in Abu Dhabi as a delay in an Etihad flight arriving from Bangkok, which was supposed to fly EY243′s passengers to Lahore.

‘Not afraid of being arrested’

While waiting at the Abu Dhabi airport for his flight home, Nawaz spoke to reporters from various news organisations over the phone.

During the call, Nawaz wondered how a flight “that is never late” had been delayed today and urged people to “think about who delayed this flight and why.”

When asked if he believes that returning to Pakistan in the current “tense” situation is a good idea, Nawaz said that he knows what the situation in the country is like.

“I know I have been handed a 10-year sentence and Maryam has been given seven years in jail, but we are returning because this country’s fate needs to change — we need to change it.”

“The media also needs be brave and take a stand in the face of it all,” Nawaz said, adding that the media’s freedom is being curbed today because “they see that this nation has risen and the media is rising and they are afraid. Why else would they do all this?”

“What is happening in this country today, what is happening in Lahore, raises questions regarding the elections. No other province is facing the situation we see in Lahore: hundreds of our party workers have been arrested; people are being pressured into switching loyalties. All of this forms a question mark on the credibility of the election,” Nawaz said.

“I am not afraid of being arrested. If I was, why would I be coming back? It does not matter if NAB or the people who have sent NAB personnel arrest me from here [Abu Dhabi] or from Lahore. I am ready for it,” Nawaz said.

BBC correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan Secunder Kermani, who was at Abu Dhabi airport, said that Nawaz and Maryam were in a lounge at the airport but security personnel would not let reporters through, so they had to huddle around a phone in a different lounge in order to speak to him.

Just conducted a surreal press conference with Nawaz Sharif on the phone – he’s in a airport lounge in Abu Dhabi but apparently security won’t let reporters come in – so we huddled around a phone (in a different lounge) with the speaker on, top lines of what he said coming soon

— Secunder Kermani (@SecKermani) ,July 13, 2018,

Earlier, in a video message, ,tweeted by Maryam,, the former premier had urged his followers to stand with him when he arrives and “change the fate of the country”.

“The country is at a critical juncture right now,” Nawaz said in the recording. “I have done what I could. I am aware that I have been sentenced to 10 years [in prison] and I will be taken to a jail cell straight away — but I want the Pakistani nation to know that I am doing this for you.”

Security ramped up

Cellphone services have been partially suspended in certain parts of Lahore, and as many as 2,000 Rangers personnel have been deployed at and around Lahore Airport where ? according to sources ? the Interior Ministry, in a meeting two days ago, had decided to contain Nawaz and Maryam, sources said.

Police officers deployed at Lahore airport. ? AP

Police officers deployed at Lahore airport. ? AP

Heavy contingents of police have been deployed at all entry points to the city, and containers have been readied to block off main roads.

A police official claimed that the arrangements were made to avoid any terrorism-related incidents, and that no orders had been passed to arrest political workers or to block the motorway.

Punjab Home Department sources earlier told Dawn that anyone holding a rally would have to seek prior permission from the deputy commissioner as per the Election Commission of Pakistan Code of Conduct, but so far no one has sought any permission in Lahore.

The sources had said that authorities would not allow any processions to go to the airport. Multiple blockades have been set up on roads across the city.

Three helicopters and the Punjab Chief Minister Prof Hassan Askari’s airplane have been placed at NAB’s disposal in the eventuality that Nawaz and Maryam will need to be transported to Rawalpindi.

Traffic plan

The caretaker government devised an alternate traffic plan on the eve of the arrival of Nawaz Sharif at Lahore airport on Friday.

Map of Lahore showing roadblocks around the city.

Map of Lahore showing roadblocks around the city.

Traffic coming from Islamabad will enter Lahore via motorway through Thokar Niaz Beg, Qazilbash Chowk and Shaukat Khanum Chowk. Traffic from GT Road will enter the city via Kala Shah Kaku through Thokar. Traffic from Kala Khatai Road will enter via Shahdara Chowk, Begum Kot and Faizpur Interchange through motorway. Traffic from Multan Road will enter via Bund Road and Mohlanwal Road. To exit Lahore, use Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Johar Town Main Boulevard, Shaukat Khanum, Qazilbash Chowk, Motorway Interchange or Multan Road.

The international travellers have been asked to reach at least six hours prior to the departure time at designated areas in Lahore. They will be transported to airport via a shuttle service which will be provided from Bhatta Chowk, Chungi Dogaij, Gajjumata, Mehfooz Park and Niazi Shaheed Park.

Solemn farewell

Mayam had taken to Twitter to post pictures of scenes in London ahead of the father-daughter duo’s departure.

In one picture, the father and daughter were seen bidding farewell to Kulsoom Nawaz, who is said to be comatose and admitted at a London hospital.

Told my kids to be brave in the face of oppression. But kids will still be kids. Goodbyes are hard, even for the grownups. ,pic.twitter.com/ge17Al5gfY,

— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) ,July 12, 2018,

.

بہادر باپ کی بہادر بیٹی اس قوم کے مستقبل ک جنگ لڑنے آرہی ہے ,#حاضر_وطن_کی_خاطر, ,pic.twitter.com/LN6hnbPh2d,

— ZM (@ZeshanMalick) ,July 12, 2018,

,#حاضر_وطن_کی_خاطر, ,pic.twitter.com/uH1SrAzzJn,

— Faisal Ranjha (@ranjha001) ,July 12, 2018,

Sentenced for corruption

The two PML-N leaders are returning to Pakistan to face a prison sentence handed out on July 6 by an accountability court in the Avenfield reference case, in which the judge ruled that Nawaz, Maryam and her husband Captain Safdar own assets beyond known income. They were respectively handed jail sentences of 10, seven and one year each.

The father-daughter duo were also fined £8 million and £2 million respectively. The money will go into the state treasury.

All three of them have also been disqualified from running for public office.

The Avenfield reference ? which was related to the purchase of four flats in Avenfield House, Park Lane, London ? was among the three corruption references filed by NAB against the former premier and his children on the Supreme Court’s orders in its [landmark July 28 Panamagate verdict.

Besides Nawaz, Maryam and her husband Captain Safdar, NAB had also nominated Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz — Sharif’s sons — as accused in all three SC-ordered corruption references.

Though the Sharif family insisted that they had purchased the apartments through ‘legitimate’ financial resources they remained unable to disclose those resources before the accountability court or the Supreme Court.

One day after the sentence was announced, NAB obtained arrest warrants for Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar. Safdar, who was in Pakistan at the time offered his [arrest to NAB officials in Rawalpindi][8] on July 8.

Nawaz and Maryam were in London when the verdict was announced, as they have been with the ailing Kulsoom Nawaz who was diagnosed with cancer last year and is reportedly comatose. They announced that they would return to Pakistan to appeal against the sentence after the verdict was issued.

A day before the verdict was announced, Nawaz and Maryam had [appealed to the accountability court][9] to postpone the announcement of the verdict for a week citing Begum Kulsoom’s health as the reason for seeking the delay. The appeal was turned down.

Addressing a party conference in London with Maryam by his side before his return, Nawaz said he had decided to return to the country to fulfil his pledge to ‘honour the vote’, “despite seeing the bars of prison in front of my eyes”.

“Is there any Pakistani who has had three generations of his family go through an accountability process only to find out that no corruption was ever done?” he asked during the presser that was broadcast live on Facebook.

Nawaz also criticised the court’s decision to sentence his daughter to a seven-year term in jail, saying those who did so “did not even remember in their hate what stature daughters have in Pakistan”.

This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - July 13, 2018 at 5:25 pm

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

NAB well equipped to take care of Nawaz, Maryam

LAHORE: Three helicopters and an airplane of the Punjab chief minister have been put at the disposal of NAB to take former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam to Rawlapindi on their likely arrival at Lahore airport on Friday (today).

As many as 2,000 Rangers too have been engaged for guarding the airport, say sources in the Punjab home department on Thursday.

According to them, one helicopter is being kept at Lahore airport, one at the Islamabad airport and third in Noor Khan Air Base, Rawalpindi. The chief minister’s plane is being kept at the Lahore airport.

They said the authorities planned to arrest Mr Sharif and his daughter inside Lahore airport, and take them to Rawalpindi from there.

In case of inclement weather in Lahore, his flight could be diverted to Islamabad. And it could land at some other destination as well if weather in Islamabad was also bad, they said.

Sources said for taking out any rally in Lahore or elsewhere PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif or anybody else would have to seek prior permission of the deputy commissioner. This permission was necessary as per the Election Commission of Pakistan’s Code of Conduct for the elections. And so far none of the PML-N leader had sought any permission in Lahore.

They said that the authorities would not allow any procession to go to the airport. For that purpose there would be multiple blockades of roads everywhere in the city. They said this would be in addition to the arrest of main activists of the party. Sources said that the decision to contain Nawaz Sharif at the Lahore airport was taken at a meeting of the interior ministry two days ago.

There would be an attempt to arrest him inside the airport for two reasons, to prevent him repeat his challenging narrative and to protect him against any untoward incident.Sources said after the arrest, the NAB team would get Nawaz and his daughter medically examined. This was compulsory under the law. If needed, immediate medical treatment would be provided.

They said Maryam Nawaz would most likely to be kept in Adiala jail in a block of cells being reserved for her father and where her husband was already confined.

Like in all Punjab jails, there is a separate section for female prisoners in Adiala Jail, But sources said that it would be difficult for the jail authorities to ensure proper security measures for Maryam Nawaz there. “She may be kept close to the family members merely because of security reasons. They all will stay in separate cells,” a senior official said.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , ,

300 PML-N workers arrested in crackdown as Lahore braces for return of Nawaz, Maryam

At least 300 PML-N workers and party leaders, including a Union Council chairman, vice chairman and counsellors, have been arrested in a crackdown in Lahore as the city braces itself to receive ousted premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on Friday.

Police sources told DawnNewsTV on Thursday that 300 PML-N workers had been arrested in raids on Wednesday night. The district commissioner has provided a list to police of 300 more workers who must be arrested, the sources said.

Additionally, in order to “maintain law and order” in the city, 10,000 police officers will be deployed across Lahore on Friday, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Shahzad Akbar said.

The Anti-Riot Unit will be on alert, and the Dolphin Squad and the Police Response Unit will be deployed to sensitive areas of the city.

Containers will be set up tonight in order to block main thoroughfares across the city, while all roads leading to the airport will be sealed, according to the Lahore Traffic Police.

DIG Akbar said that all superintendents of police have been directed to take strict action against miscreant elements who, during election campaigns or rallies, take the law into their own hands.

He said that those who violated the Election Commission of Pakistan’s Code of Conduct would find themselves behind bars, while those political leaders and workers who remain peaceful would be guaranteed complete security.

“No one will be allowed to take the law into their own hands,” he asserted.

The extraordinary measures have been taken days after a rally was staged by Nawaz’s son-in-law Capt Safdar ? who received a one-year jail sentence in the Avenfield reference for abetment ? as he offered his arrest to authorities in Rawalpindi.

The arrest drama on Sunday continued for four hours during which a National Accountability Bureau team remained unable to take Safdar into custody, with police contingents standing by as silent spectators to the crowd that had gathered to show its support to the PML-N leader.

On Friday, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif is ,expected to lead a rally, to Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport to receive Nawaz and Maryam ? who have been given 10 years and seven years in jail respectively in the Avenfield reference ? as they return from London where Begum Kulsoom is undergoing treatment for cancer.

PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb in an earlier press conference claimed it would be “a historic reception”, with “tens of thousands of people” gathering in Lahore to welcome the father-daughter duo in a peaceful rally.

Traffic diversion plan

Traffic coming from Islamabad can enter Lahore via the Motorway, Thokar Niaz Baig, Qazalbash Chowk and Shaukat Khanum Chowk.

Commuters on GT Road can use the Motorway through Kala Shah Kaku to Thokar Niaz Baig, while Kala Khatai traffic will be diverted through Shahdara Chowk, and Begum Kot to Faizpur Interchange.

Multan Road traffic can use Bund Road and Mohlanwal Road. Raiwind traffic can use Bloki Road and Sue-i-Asal Road through to Nala Hadyara and Defense Road to enter Kacha Jail Road, Green Town, Lahore.

Kasur Road traffic can use Kahna Kacha Road Green Town and Rohi Nala Road to enter Defence, Lahore, and Bedian Road traffic can enter Lahore through Defence Phase 5. Barki Road traffic can use Defence Phase 6 and 8 to enter city.

To go out of Lahore, Moulana Shaukat Ali Road, Main Boulevard Johar Town, Shaukat Khanum, Qazalbash Chowk, motorway interchange and Multan Road can be used, according to the Lahore Traffic Police diversion plan.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - July 12, 2018 at 9:25 pm

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

Ahead of Nawaz, Maryam’s return, family reports improvement in Kulsoom Nawaz’s health

Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz on Thursday said that, exactly one month after losing consciousness and being placed on a ventilator, their mother Begum Kulsoom Nawaz had opened her eyes for a few seconds.

Speaking to journalists outside London’s Harley Street Clinic, Hussain Nawaz confirmed that his mother had opened her eyes for a few seconds before closing them again. He said that his mother’s condition had improved and that the doctors were adjusting the settings on the ventilator.

Maryam Nawaz also tweeted the news and asked followers to pray for her mother:

“[First] time in 30 days, Ami opened eyes for a few seconds. Don’t know if she saw or registered us. [She is] still not conscious and on ventilator. Prayers solicited.”

1st time in 30 days,Ami opened eyes for a few secs. Don’t know if she saw or registered us. Still not conscious& on vent. Prayers solicited.

— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) ,July 12, 2018,

A week after an accountability court sentenced them to jail in the Avenfield corruption reference, Maryam and her father Nawaz Sharif are set to return to Pakistan where they will be arrested upon arrival at Lahore airport.

The duo will be taken to Islamabad by helicopter so that they can be sent to Adiala jail.

The two were also slapped with fines of 8 million pounds sterling (for Nawaz) and 2m pounds (for Maryam).

After the accountability court ,announced its verdict, last Friday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had ,obtained arrest warrants, for Nawaz and Maryam.

NAB officials had also arrested Nawaz’s son-in-law, retired Captain Mohammad Safdar, in Rawalpindi and sent him to jail on Monday. He had also been sentenced by the accountability court to one year in prison on charges of abatement in the Avenfield reference.

Nawaz’s mother has issued a video message in support of his son and granddaughter ahead of their expected return.

In her recorded video message, Nawaz’s mother said the leader “who made Pakistan prosperous is returning” to the homeland.

“Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Capt Safdar have been wrongly convicted and I will not let them go to jail,” she said, adding that if they are arrested then she will go to jail along with them.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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

Categories: The News   Tags: , , ,

PML-N demands caretaker CM act against ‘pre-poll rigging’

The PML-N on Wednesday demanded that caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Hasan Askari Rizvi take action against the arrest of over 200 party workers form Rawalpindi and the imposition of Section 144 in Lahore ahead of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz’s scheduled arrival in the city on Friday.

In a letter authored by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman of the party’s Central Media Committee, the party complained that over 200 of its workers were arrested from Rawalpindi on Tuesday after frivolous cases against PML-N leaders and workers were registered.

Rawalpindi Police spokesperson Imran Kazmi had earlier confirmed that around 100 PML-N workers were arrested for participating in the rally which culminated in the ,arrest of retired captain Safdar,, as it had blocked a road and flouted other rules in the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) Code of Conduct.

The police had registered four cases against PML-N workers for their participation in the rally.

Around 26 other workers of the party were arrested yesterday for attending a breakfast hosted by a PML-N candidate, for which a road had been blocked.

A total of 105 workers were presented in different courts today as police sought judicial remand; 37 were granted bail, while PML-N leaders Abbasi and Zaibun Nisa were granted pre-arrest bail.

The letter authored by Senator Syed termed the imposition of Section 144 in Lahore a “draconian” measure which is “contrary to the spirit of democracy and free and fair elections”.

The party sought a redressing of these measures, warning the chief minister that it would otherwise presume that the caretaker setup is complicit in pre-poll rigging.

Hanif Abbasi, also a party candidate from Rawalpindi, further complained that the administration was favouring his opponent Sheikh Rashid as he is losing on both National Assembly seats he is contesting on.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - July 11, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , ,

Nawaz, Maryam to be arrested at Lahore airport on arrival, flown to Islamabad: sources

Former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz will be arrested upon arrival at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport and handed over to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials, a well-placed source told DawnNewsTV on Tuesday.

The decision was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, which was attended by the provincial chief secretary, the inspector general of police Punjab, the NAB director general Lahore, director general of the Federal Investigation Agency and Islamabad’s chief commissioner.

It was decided that Nawaz and Maryam would be flown to Islamabad on a helicopter following their arrest.

The officials present at the meeting decided that if the security situation in the capital is conducive, the father-daughter duo may be produced before an accountability court the same day. If security is uncertain, a judicial remand may be sought while Nawaz and Maryam are held at Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, where Captain Safdar is also currently imprisoned.

The officials also considered seeking assistance from Rangers to maintain law and order, the source said.

The duo, currently in London, is scheduled to ,return to Pakistan on July 13,, a week after an ,accountability court sentenced, them to serve jail time in the Avenfield corruption reference. The two were also slapped with fines of 8 million pounds sterling (for Nawaz) and 2 million pounds (for Maryam).

Nawaz Sharif speaks to reporters in London.

After the accountability court announced its verdict in the Avenfield corruption reference on Friday, NAB ,had obtained arrest warrants, for Nawaz and Maryam.

The federal Law and Information Minister Ali Zafar had said that the ,two would be arrested immediately upon their arrival, at any airport in the country “if they do not get bail before landing in Pakistan”.

Speaking to reporters in London, Nawaz said that he and his daughter would land in Lahore and decide their future strategy once they arrive in Pakistan.

NAB officials had ,also arrested Nawaz’s son-in-law, retired Captain Mohammad Safdar,, in Rawalpindi and sent him to jail on Monday. He had also been sentenced by the accountability court to one year in prison on charges of abetment in the Avenfield reference.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


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: , , , , ,

NAB weighing two options to arrest Nawaz, Maryam

LAHORE: To save it from the kind of ,embarrassment it faced in the arrest episode, of retired Capt Mohammad Safdar, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is weighing two options to ,arrest ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz ,upon their arrival, at the Lahore airport on Friday.

In the first option, NAB may write to the caretaker government seeking a helicopter to shift Mr Sharif and Maryam to Islamabad after their arrival at the Lahore airport. The other option is to request the government to divert the flight to the federal capital to take them into custody at the (Islamabad) airport.

“Lahore NAB Director General Shahzad Saleem on Monday wrote to its chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal, requesting him to take up the arrival of the convicts — Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz — with the federal government to provide the bureau a helicopter,” an official source told Dawn.

Bureau wants govt to provide helicopter to shift convicts to Islamabad from Lahore airport or divert flight to capital

He said the NAB Lahore chief apprehended that taking both the convicts to Islamabad from the Lahore airport by road might require “elaborate security arrangements”. “Since the road option may be difficult for the authorities concerned with regard to provide security cover, a helicopter should be provided,” he said, adding that both convicts would be sent to the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi after producing them before the accountability court.

“The NAB chairman will take up the matter with the federal government,” he said.

The accountability court had on Friday handed down 10 and seven years jail to Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, respectively, in the Avenfield properties reference.

Meanwhile, NAB has also written to the Lahore police chief for provision of security to its team that will arrest Mr Sharif and his daughter on their arrival at the Lahore airport (on Friday).

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Auranzeb told Dawn that on the directive of its president Shahbaz Sharif committees had been formed in all the provinces in connection with the “historic welcome” of Mr Sharif and Maryam.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - July 10, 2018 at 9:26 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , ,

Viral picture shows Safdar ‘hiding’ in Mansehra cave

Mohammad Safdar is seen sitting in a cave in Tanawal area before proceeding to Rawalpindi. — Dawn

Mohammad Safdar is seen sitting in a cave in Tanawal area before proceeding to Rawalpindi. — Dawn

MANSEHRA: A viral picture shows former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law retired captain Mohammad Safdar hiding Saturday night in a Mansehra cave along with friends ahead of his surrender in Rawalpindi over conviction in the Avenfield flats corruption case.

The accountability court of Islamabad had awarded Mr Safdar one-year imprisonment in the case.

The undated picture reportedly released by the aides of Mr Safdar on the social media claimed that the cave was located in the mountainous Tanawal area. It also showed the former premier’s son-in-law with a small suitcase.

After the court announced his conviction in the Avenfield case on Friday, Mr Safdar had announced that he was ready to surrender.

Aides of Nawaz’s son-in-law reportedly released picture on social media

He, however, went into hiding before surrendering to the NAB in Rawalpindi after high drama.

The PML-N sources claimed that Mr Safdar left the cave on Sunday morning to reach Rawalpindi by the infrequent Chappar Road, which linked Lassan Nawab area of Mansehra with Haripur.

Mr Safdar is also facing a NAB inquiry into Rs4 billion corruption in Mansehra development funds.

When contacted, PML-N district president Zafar Mehmood denied the stay of Mr Safdar in a Tanawal cave and said the former premier’s son-in-law had gone straight to Rawalpindi from Mansehra to surrender.

CANDIDATURE WITHDRAWN:

Disgruntled PTI leader Ambreen Swati has announced her withdrawal from the NA-13, Mansehra, elections as an independent candidate. The development comes in light of PTI chairman Imran Khan’s announcement that the party won’t accept independents after the July 25 elections.

The PTI had awarded the NA-13 ticket to Ms Ambreen, general secretary of its women wing in Hazara division, but later withdrew it angering the party’s woman leader, who announced that she would contest the election as an independent candidate.

“I was firm to contest election but I am no more in the election race as an independent candidate in the wake of Imran Khan’s announcement that he won’t allow the entry of independents to the party after elections,” Ms Ambreen told reporters here on Monday. She however said she wouldn’t support PTI-backed independent candidate in the constituency, Salah Mohammad Khan.

“I am bound to accept the orders of the party chairman and not those issued by the local office-bearers, who support independents in national and provincial assembly constituencies of Mansehra,” she said.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 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: , , , , , , , , ,

Captain Safdar sent to Adiala Jail

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law, ,retired captain Mohammad Safdar,, who was ,arrested, by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) yesterday, was shifted to Adiala Jail amid tight security on Monday morning.

According to jail officials, Safdar underwent a medical examination in the penitentiary and was later shifted to a barrack specified for ‘B’ category prisoners.

On Friday, Safdar had reportedly gone underground after being convicted along with his father-in-law Nawaz and spouse Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield corruption reference.

He, however, reemerged a day later in Rawalpindi and ,spearheaded a rally, of PML-N workers before finally being arrested by NAB officials amid resistance from his supporters.

However, the police today registered two cases against Captain Safdar and his supporters.

Both the first information reports filed against Safdar and some local PML-N leaders, state that the Government of Punjab has imposed a ban on taking out rallies, yet Safdar and his supporters not only did that but also blocked roads and impeded the flow of traffic.

Sections 147, 149, 188 and 341 of the Pakistan Penal Code have been included in both the FIRs, while one of the two also contains 3/4 Amplifier Act.

Later on, a third FIR featuring similar allegations was filed. That FIR, filed in New Town police station, also names PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi as one of the co-accused.

Avenfield verdict

The accountability court on Friday had announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the NAB, handing Nawaz 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond known income and one year for not cooperating with NAB. The sentences will run concurrently which means the former premier will serve 10 years in jail.

His daughter Maryam was given seven years for abetment after she was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and one year for non-cooperation with the bureau. These sentences will also run concurrently; she will serve seven years in total.

Safdar was given one year jail time — for not cooperating with NAB, and aiding and abetting Nawaz and Maryam.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - July 9, 2018 at 1:25 pm

Categories: The News   Tags: , , ,

Nawaz, Maryam to be arrested at airport, says law minister

LAHORE: Federal law and information minister Ali Zafar has said the government will implement accountability court’s orders in letter and spirit and arrest ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on their ,arrival at any airport in Pakistan,.

He was speaking at “Meet the Press” programme at the Lahore Press Club here on Sunday Mr Zafar said the (caretaker) government had no mandate to interfere in the state institutions’ working or criticise their decisions, he said, adding that anybody having reservations against any court judgment should file an appeal.

“The law enforcement agencies will arrest Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on airport, if they did not get bail before landing in Pakistan,” Mr Zafar told journalists.

‘NAB court verdict won’t affect holding of polls’

He said the ,court’s judgment against the Sharif family, would not affect holding of general elections on July 25.

“General elections will be held on time and that too in a free, fair and transparent manner,” he asserted.

Answering a question about the arrest of Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law, Mr Zafar said the government would extend full support to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to implement court orders that called for ,retired Capt Safdar’s arrest,. “The law enforcement agencies are on the move to arrest Capt Safdar,” he said.

In a later development, Safdar surrendered himself to NAB officials in Rawalpindi, after leading a protest rally.

With regard to putting the names of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister on the Exit Control List (ECL), the minister said it was the government’s responsibility to properly assess the law enforcement agencies’ requests before putting names on the list.

Acknowledging that it was a common practice to put names on the ECL just on law enforcement agencies’ requests, Mr Zafar said the courts had given relief to many and chided the government for putting people’s names on the ECL without assessing such requests. “The caretaker government is assessing every request and questioning investigators about the grounds (on which a request is made) before putting names on the ECL,” he said.

A cabinet committee discussed the law enforcement agencies’ separate requests for putting some 50 to 60 people on the ECL, he said and added that after assessment many names were put on the list, while requests for several others were declined. “It is a two-stage consultative process that helps (the government) take judicious decisions regarding putting names on the ECL,” he said.

Responding to a question about PTI chairman Imran Khan’s close aide Zulfi Bukhari, the law minister said Mr Bukhari was never on the ECL. He was on a temporary ‘black list’ that could be decided at interior secretary’s level, he claimed.

About holding of general elections and permission for giving journalists access to information, Mr Zafar said the Election Commission of Pakistan was preparing a code of conduct and the caretaker government would readily implement it.

Acknowledging the need for transparency, he said, the journalists and international observers would be allowed to monitor the July 25 elections. He said the government had requested the ECP that local journalists should be allowed access to polling stations unlike the by-elections. He, however, said the foreign journalists would be monitored to know whether they were focusing on the elections or trying to “do some other things” as well.

About the construction of dams for water storage, the minister said a 1965 report had suggested that Pakistan should have constructed 14 to 20 dams. He said the country needed reservoirs to store water and dams to generate power. “Not constructing dams is tantamount to throwing diamonds in the sea,” he said.

Regretting that Pakistan could construct only two dams since independence, he said most country’s were spending 20 to 25 per cent of their development budgets on the conservation, storage and use of water, while Pakistan was spending just five to seven per cent of it on the most important sector.

He said Pakistan was also using 90 per cent of its water resources in agriculture sector while employing age-old irrigation methods. “Modern systems, including the drip irrigation, need to be introduced to conserve water,” he said. He also called for treating sewage for reuse, except for drinking purposes.

“A committee has been formed to develop a document, which will be left for the elected government to implement, take action and save water,” he said.

Mr Zafar said the print media should defeat the social media with truthful reporting. Stating that the younger generation is depending more on the social media, he regretted that the social media most of the time ran fake news.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 1:25 pm

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

Capt Safdar finally arrested by NAB authorities after Pindi power show

Embattled former premier Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar amassed a massive show of support in Rawalpindi before he finally surrendered to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials two days after being sentenced to jail in the Avenfield corruption reference.

Safdar, who led a rally of supporters for hours before reaching Rawalpindi’s Sixth Road, was arrested in the evening and taken to NAB’s regional office in the twin cities.

According to DawnNewsTV, PML-N workers who were part of the convoy earlier resisted attempts to arrest Safdar, with some of them laying down in front of the vehicle carrying Safdar. They chanted pro-PML-N slogans as Safdar was taken into custody.

Safdar’s wife and PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz praised him for “bravely” surrendering to NAB.

“Safdar sahib is a soldier of Mian [Nawaz Sharif] sahib. I am happy that he has offered his arrest bravely, like a lion,” she told reporters.

An accountability court on Friday had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years, his daughter Maryam to seven and his son-in-law Safdar to one year in jail in the Avenfield reference. Nawaz and Maryam are currently in London but have ,vowed to return to Pakistan, on July 13.

Safdar, who has been in Pakistan, ‘went underground’ after the verdict. The PML-N media cell earlier on Sunday (today) shared an audio recording of Safdar saying he would surrender to authorities today on the directives of the party leadership.

Shortly after, he arrived in the capital where he gathered support from a number of PML-N leaders and supporters and took to the streets of Rawalpindi’s Liaquatbagh area.

PML-N leader Chaudhry Tanveer was quoted by DawnNewsTV as saying that the party’s Rawalpindi leaders kicked off the rally from Liaquat Road.

Rally on Pindi’s roads

As Safdar called upon PML-N leaders and workers to reach Liaquatbagh to show support, the gathering swelled, with hundreds of supporters pouring into the streets to show their support.

Supporters surrounding his vehicle chanted slogans of “Dekho, dekho, kon aya? Sher aya, sher aya” (look who is here, the lion is here), “Respect the vote“, and “Go on Nawaz Sharif, we are with you“.

Safdar himself was perched atop a double-cabin vehicle and briefly addressed the media gathered at the scene. He was accompanied by PML-N leaders Chaudhry Tanveer, Malik Abrar, Shakeel Awan and others.

“Today we have to decide how the country will be run,” Safdar told the media. “I am surrendering myself in order to set a foundation for democracy.”

He called upon the nation to support Nawaz Sharif in his fight for the 220 million citizens of the country.

Meanwhile, a NAB team had reached the vicinity of the rally to arrest Safdar.

The team, comprising six vehicles, had contacted the Islamabad inspector general for assistance and requested a large contingent of police to help deal with the crowd.

“Action will be taken against anyone who tries to hinder Safdar’s arrest,” NAB Deputy Inspector Mehboob Alam warned at the time.

Despite reaching Safdar’s convoy, NAB authorities reportedly had a hard time getting to him as his car was surrounded by enthusiastic supporters, DawnNewsTV reported. NAB officials reportedly wanted to wait until Safdar surrendered so as to avoid any sort of reaction or resistance.

An insider told DawnNewsTV that a NAB official and DSP Raja Taifoor were both sitting in Safdar’s vehicle.

‘Honour demands that I surrender’

Earlier today, in an audio message sent to journalists by the PML-N’s media cell, Capt Safdar said he would surrender himself to authorities today because “honour demands it”.

The decision for him to turn himself in, after he was sentenced to one year in jail for abetment in the Avenfield reference, was made by the party’s leadership, he said.

He added that he wished to be arrested in an area other than Mansehra, his hometown, or Hazara Division.

Captain Safdar arrives in Rawalpindi. ? DawnNewsTV

Captain Safdar arrives in Rawalpindi. ? DawnNewsTV

Safdar was to contest the upcoming polls on a National Assembly and provincial assembly seat from Mansehra. In the light of the verdict, both Safdar and his spouse cannot contest elections, while Nawaz has already been disqualified for life by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate case.

NAB on Saturday said that arrest warrants for Safdar had already been obtained, and a team had departed for Mansehra, where he was last seen on Friday, to arrest him.

However, he remained “underground” and was reportedly looking to consult his lawyer to get a stay order.

The PML-N’s Mansehra President Zafar Mehmood told Dawn earlier that Safdar would either surrender to NAB or avail himself of pre-arrest bail from the court in Lahore on Monday.

Nawaz and Maryam both are ,set to return to Pakistan on Friday,, July 13, exactly one week after their conviction, before expiry of the 10-day time limit set for filing of an appeal against the NAB court’s verdict in the Islamabad High Court.

In a ,defiant press conference, following the announcement of the verdict on Friday, Nawaz vowed to return to Pakistan to face prison, saying that if the punishment for “demanding respect for the vote is jail, I am coming to face it”.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - July 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm

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

Next Page »