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  • Punjab govt donates Rs 50 million to Shahid Afridi Foundation to establish hospital in Thar

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    Pakistan Today. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif donated Rs 50 million on behalf of the provincial government to Shahid Afridi’s charity ‘Shahid Afridi Foundation’ on Tuesday.

    During their meeting, Shehbaz Sharif lauded the former captain’s efforts in promoting the health and education sectors in Pakistan and presented a cheque of Rs 50 million to the foundation to build a state-of-the-art hospital in Thar.

    The chief minister said that there was a strong need for the private sector and government to work together to promote health, education and other social sectors in the country. He encouraged members of the private sector to come forward and participate in projects that worked for the welfare of the society, adding that they could rest assured of the government’s support.

    Afridi thanked the chief minister for the donation and added that the chief minister’s services in areas of health and education were worthy of praise.

    He said that he wanted to give back to the society that had given him so much love for many years, saying that he planned to make health and education his priority areas.

    On Monday, Afridi inaugurated a school in Lahore under the Shahid Afridi Foundation.


    PAKISTAN TODAY

     

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  • US should show restraint on drone strikes during Afghan peace talks: Asif

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    Geo News. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has called on the United States to exercise restraint on drone strikes at a time when attempts are underway to revive Afghan-Taliban peace talks.

    Speaking on Geo News’ programme ‘Aapas Ki Baat’, the foreign minister expressed hope that the four-nation moot in Muscat, Oman to find ways of reviving peace talks with Afghan Taliban militants would yield positive results.

    “But the US should show restraint on drone strikes anywhere in Afghanistan, or Pakistan,” he said.

    Asif said the US is not providing any aid. “We want relations with US based on equality,” he reiterated.

    Four nations meet to resume stalled Afghan peace talks in Oman

    Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and the United States met in Oman on Monday to try to revive Afghan-Taliban peace settlement. The four-nation Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QGC) — which last met in Islamabad early last year, has been trying to ease the path to direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

    But it was not clear if any Afghan Taliban had joined the talks, which have so far failed to restart a tentative process that collapsed in 2015.

    The Pakistani delegation is being led by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.


    GEO NEWS

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  • Army chief has right to comment on country’s economy, says Abbasi

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    DAWN. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said a military chief has the right to discuss or comment on the economic condition of the country. He was commenting on the recent controversy which started following Gen Qamar Bajwa’s remarks during a seminar on economy.

    Abbasi, while giving an interview to Aaj TV, clarified that there was no tension in the civil-military relationship.

    “The army chief has expressed his opinion. He went to address an economic forum, everyone does that,” the premier maintained.

    Last week, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that the army was keenly watching developments in the country’s economy and shares some of the apprehensions being voiced about it.

    “Growth has picked up but the debts are sky high. [The situation regarding] infrastructure and energy have improved considerably but the current account balance is not in our favour,” the army chief was quoted as saying by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

    Furthermore, ISPR chief Asif Ghafoor later said that “the country’s economic health, if not worse, was not good either”. This draw a strong response from Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal urged Ghafoor to refrain from making comments on the national economy.

    “Such irresponsible statements can dent Pakistan’s global image,” the minister had said.

    Responding to criticism of Gen Bajwa’s comment on the economy, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) also jumped in and said that the military could not remain indifferentto deteriorating economic situation of the country.

    The prime minister said, “The economic indicators are very transparent. World Bank’s report is not too favourable but The Economist has placed Pakistan in world’s five growing economies.”

    “I agree with ISPR chief. Every decision must be taken by the Parliament and according to the Constitution. [If democracy is attacked] the country will suffer.”


    DAWN

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  • Imran changes statement on 100,000 pounds in new documents submitted to SC

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    Pakistan Today. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan submitted more documents in the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday, backtracking on his earlier position regarding a sum of nearly 100,000 pounds that had come under scrutiny of the top court.

    The documents were submitted in reference to a petition filed against Imran by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi, which seeks the disqualification of the PTI chief over the non-disclosure of assets and existence of offshore companies.

    Changing his earlier position that approximately 99,000 pounds had been spent on legal fees and associated costs, Imran on Monday claimed that the amount had only initially been retained but parts of it were later remitted to him by the company.

    Khan said that he was initially informed by the directors and shareholders of Niazi Services Ltd. (NSL) in 2003, that approximately 100,000 pounds had been retained by NSL for legal costs after a county court decision against them in United Kingdom.

    However, after an appellate court decision in their favour, NSL transferred 40,000 pounds to his account in May 2014. The amount “was not recalled earlier” by Khan and his tax consultants, which is why the court had not been informed of it, he said.

    Furthermore, 42,456 euros were remitted to him after NSL reached a settlement with the tenant of the London flat in two installments in 2007 and 2008.

    The 40,000 pounds were declared to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) since Khan was an MNA in the period. However, the 43,456 euros amount was only declared to the tax authorities and not to the ECP because the PTI chief had ceased to remain the MNA in 2008.

    “The position earlier taken qua the remaining almost GBP 100,000 retained by NSL in 2003 was based on memory, incorrect advice, absence of requisite record, lack of documentary information,” the statement said about Khan’s previous position on the matter.

    Earlier this month, in documents submitted to the SC, Khan had claimed that the 99,000 pounds leftover in the NSL bank account had been spent on legal matters. It was added that Khan had no more money to show in connection with the account of NSL.

    His reply to the petition argued that the PTI chief remained an MNA between 2002 and 2007 and during the said period, he did not receive anything from the said account, as there was no receivable amount.

    By 2013, the money in the account had been spent so there was nothing to show in the financial documents for the 2013 elections.

    Hanif Abbasi, the petitioner in the case, had then requested the court to not consider the ‘unverified’ documents submitted by Khan.

    In a message on Twitter, Imran Khan said by the grace of God and thanks to [ex-wife] Jemima’s record keeping, he has submitted all the additional money trail record demanded by the SC.

    “My record of £672k now before SC in entirety. Meanwhile, NS [Nawaz Sharif] not provided any doc beyond fraud Qatari letter of Rs 300bn money laundering,” he wrote in another tweet.

    He also quipped that a ‘friend’ called him to say that had he been in Imran’s place, his former wife would have taken money from Sharifs and put him in jail.

    At present, the court has wrapped up its proceedings in the case but not given a verdict as it is hearing the second part of Abbasi’s petition — against PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen.

    TAREEN SUBMITS RECORD OF LEASED LAND:

    Tareen also submitted a detailed record to the Supreme Court of land he has leased.

    The record submitted to the court comprised 10 volumes.

    “Complete record of 18,000 acres leased land with lease deeds, crossed cheque payments and revenue docs confirming ownership submitted,” Tareen wrote on Twitter.

    The voluminous record includes details of land leased by the PTI leader in Rahim Yar Khan and the 18,500 acre land he acquired via private lease.

    The record includes transfer deeds, lease agreements, witness declarations and other details concerning the leased land.


    PAKISTAN TODAY

     

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  • Pak vs Sri Lanka: Babar’s ton guides Pakistan to victory

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    Pakistan Today. Pakistani bowlers tore through the Sri Lankan batting order, taking the team to an 83-run victory in the first ODI at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

    Hasan Ali and Rumman Raees spearheaded the Pakistani assault with their impressive performances, taking 3-36 and 3-49 respectively to restrict Sri Lanka to 209 in 50 overs.

    Pakistan scored 292 for six in their 50 overs, led by a brilliant 103 by Babar Azam and helped by a quick-fire 81 off 61 by Shoaib Malik.

    Earlier, Babar Azam returned to form with a brilliant century, while Shoaib Malik hit a rapid fifty, to propel Pakistan to 292-6 in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka in Dubai on Friday.

    Azam finished with 103 from 131 deliveries for his sixth ODI hundred, as Malik smashed a 61-ball 81 as the pair added 139 for the fourth wicket after Sri Lanka had won the toss and opted to bowl first.

    Malik joined Azam at 124-3 and smashed five fours and two towering sixes before holing out at deep midwicket off the last ball of the 47th over.

    Azam completed his hundred off 128 balls in the next over with a single, but three runs later miscued a drive off paceman Suranga Lakmal, who finished with 2-47 from his ten overs.

    Azam managed a poor 38 runs in the preceding 2-0 Test-series defeat but batted with guts to prove his credentials as a limited-overs batsman.

    Pakistan got off to a poor start when opener Ahmed Shehzad fell for a 12-ball duck, caught off Lahiru Gamage in the fourth over of the innings.

    Fakhar Zaman and Azam took the total to 75 before Akila Dananjaya bowled the opener with a googly.

    The left-handed Zaman played well during his 45-ball 42 though, hitting four fours and a six.

    Pakistan are counting on a change in format and players to overcome a resurgent Sri Lanka in the five-match one-day series, after facing a 2-0 upset in the preceding Test series.

    But they are hoping to change their fortunes and carry the limited over form which helped them win the eight-nation Champions Trophy held in England in June this year.

    They only have skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, batsmen Haris Sohail and Babar Azam and fast bowler Hasan Ali from the Test series, while experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and opener Ahmed Shahzad amongst the 11 who joined the squad.

    Sarfraz feels the pressure of losing his first Test series but promised a better performance in the limited over matches.

    “Obviously, when you have a first Test series as captain, and you lose it, pressure will be there,” said Sarfraz who played a match winning 61 not out against Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy group match.

    “But we will try and get out of that. Our one-day team is balanced and our record is very good. We will have some senior players returning and I hope we´ll play better cricket.”

    Pakistan also have a young crop of fast emerging players in opener Fakhar Zaman — who hit a century in the Champions Trophy final against India — leg-spinner Shadab Khan, all-rounders Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf, and pacers Rumman Raees, Junaid Khan and Usman Shinwari.

    Spearhead Mohammad Amir was ruled out of the series with a shin injury sustained in the second Test in Dubai.

    Pakistan’s loss in the Test series was their first in United Arab Emirates in 10 attempts since they were forced to play at a neutral venue amidst security fears sparked after 2009 attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

    But their one-day record in UAE has been abysmal, having lost nine of the 12 series since 2009, only winning twice against Sri Lanka and once against the West Indies.

    Sri Lanka have come from wretched one-day form, having lost 16 of their last 21 games, winning four with one no result. That included a 5-0 whitewash against South Africa and India and first-ever series defeat against minnows Zimbabwe.

    That defeat against India last month put pressure on skipper Upul Tharanga.

    “We lacked consistency. We didn’t bat, bowl or field well. We were outplayed by India. I am disappointed with our batting effort,” said Tharanga whose team failed to reach 250 in any of the matches.

    The remaining matches are in Abu Dhabi (16 and 18 October) and Sharjah (October 20 and 23). Three T20 matches will follow the ODIs, two in Abu Dhabi (October 26 and 27) and the last in Lahore (October 29).


    PAKISTAN TODAY

     

     

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  • Abbasi to inaugurate Pakistan’s first coal, clinker and cement terminal at Port Qasim today

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    Daily Times. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi would inaugurate Pakistan’s first coal, clinker and cement terminal at Port Qasim today; established by sponsors of the Marine Group. The project was completed this year and succeeded to berth 12 coal ships at the terminal since inception of operations.

    The company has invested around $285 million in establishment of the county’s first and only common user coal, cement and clinker handling terminal at Port Qasim, it was reported. The terminal is capable of handling twelve million tonnes of coal in bulk per annum, and with an average discharge rate of over 30,000 tonnes per day, the cargo handling time at Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBTL) is at international levels of efficiency, informed PIBTL CEO Sharique Siddiqui.

    “We have currently over 20,000 shareholders and we work tirelessly to add value to our shareholders across society”, Siddiqui added.

    PIBTL, under a 30 year build–operate–transfer (BOT) agreement with Port Qasim Authority, has built its own jetty and is equipped with two coal ship unloadingcranes and one cement/clinker loading crane, Siddiqui informed. The state-of-the-art infrastructure at the terminal would not only reduce handling time, but would also decrease wastage of coal and cement during handling and their amalgamation with external particles during storage, he said. PIBTL’s vision is to transform the port infrastructure through investment in the latest technologies and the best global standards for handling cargo, and its goal is to strive for excellence, and to build world-class port infrastructure in the country, the CEO stated.

    The dedicated terminal is dredged 13.0 meters deep and capable of handling ships of up to 65,000 tonnes. The terminal operates more speedily, efficiently and reliably than the coal operation’s done by stevedores at Karachi Port, Siddiqui said. The terminal jetty has been built to handle deeper draft vessels of 15.5m and PIBT will be able to handle larger vessels once Port Qasim dredged the channel deeper beyond 13m draft, he added.

    A coal cargo ship with similar tonnage of cargo currently takes around five days at Karachi Port Trust (KPT) while the same cargo can be handled within two days at PIBTL due to the modern and mechanized handling system, the CEO said. Port Qasim has advantages not only for its proximity to Karachi, the financial hub, but also due to its linkage with the rest of the country through the National Highway, both of which would help reduce costs for importers, he added.

    Siddiqui stated now that a modern coal handling terminal had been added to the port infrastructure of the country, the handling of coal should be done at the dedicated terminal to eliminate pollution caused by coal handling at Karachi Port, which is in the heart of the city.

    PIBTL is financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, and had built the facility on the World Bank standard of environmental, health and safety.

    PIBTL is listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange and is sponsored by the Marine Group of Companies, and also partly financed by the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.


    DAILY TIMES

     

     

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  • Pakistan, US heading towards ‘a much better relationship': Trump

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    Geo News. US President Donald Trump said early Saturday morning he wants to express his gratitude to Pakistan and its leadership for their “cooperation” — something that came as a stark contrast to the scathing comments he had made earlier this year during the unveiling of the American strategy in South Asia.

    Starting to develop a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders. I want to thank them for their cooperation on many fronts.

    The American commander-in-chief reasoned that the US is “starting to develop a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders”.

    Back in August, Trump disclosed his long-awaited strategy for South Asia — especially Afghanistan — as he put his own touch to America’s longest war in his first formal presidential address to the nation.

    Trump had lambasted Pakistan and its leadership for providing safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorist elements and urged the nation to “do more” to prevent it.

    Pakistan needs to show ‘commitment to civilisation, order, peace': Trump

    “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time [when] they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said, warning that the vital aid the US offers to the country could be cut.

    “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”

    In response, the Pakistan Army had brushed off speculation that Trump’s new strategy could include taking a stronger line against Islamabad, insisting the country has done all it can to tackle militancy.

    “Let it come,” army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters, referring to Trump’s decision. “Even if it comes… Pakistan shall do whatever is best in the national interest.”

    Elsewhere in Pakistan, Trump’s statement also caused an uproar as well. Numerous politicians and analysts had voiced their frustration — including PIT chief Imran Khan, senators Sherry Rehman, Mushahid Hussain, Rehman Malik, and ANP leader Shahi Syed.

    However, China and Russia soon came to Pakistan’s defence.

    Zamir Kabulov — the Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan — slammed the strategy and insisted that Islamabad is “a key regional player to negotiate with”.

    “Putting pressure [on Pakistan] may seriously destabilise the region-wide security situation and result in negative consequences for Afghanistan,” the presidential envoy told a news publication.

    Prior to that, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi — in a phone call to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — urged the US to value Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan.

    “We must value Pakistan’s important role on the Afghanistan issue, and respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and reasonable security concerns,” the diplomat said.


    GEO NEWS

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  • Hero Asia Cup 2017: Pakistan draws against Japan

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    Pakistan Today. Pakistan and Japan played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in their Pool A encounter here at the Hero Asia Cup 2017 held at Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium on Friday.

    Goals for Pakistan were scored by Mohammad Arslan Qadir (16’) and Mohammad Umar Bhutta (50’) while Kenta Tanaka (22’) and Heita Yoshihara (29’) scored for the Japanese.

    Both teams started the match aggressively as they looked to get the lead early on, however, the defence was solid in the first quarter for either team which saw them end the first quarter goalless.

    The second quarter saw three goals being scored as Pakistan were awarded a penalty corner in the 16th minute which was well converted through some lovely team-work. Captain Mohammad Irfan flicked the ball fiercely towards Mohammad Arslan Qadir, who then deflected the ball towards the goal to give Pakistan the lead.

    However, Japan made a comeback into the match as they produced two field goals to take a 2-1 lead going into half-time. First, it was Kenta Tanaka who scored Japan’s first goal of the match as he ran into the box with the ball, beat two defenders and shot at goal which was saved by Pakistan’s goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas, but Tanaka was quick to score off the rebound in the 22nd minute.

    The second goal for Japan was scored by Heita Yoshihara who picked up the ball on the right flank, cut inside and sent the ball past Pakistan’s goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas into the back of the net in the 29th minute.

    Japan showed good defensive skills in the third quarter to keep out Pakistan’s efforts of equalizing the score as the teams finished the third quarter with the score 2-1 in Japan’s favour. But it was the fourth quarter where Pakistan stepped up their attacking efforts as they looked to get the all-important equalizer.

    With 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Pakistan’s Mohammad Arslan Qadir picked up the ball and dribbled past the Japanese defenders parallel to the base-line and passed the ball in front of the goal which was tapped in by Mohammad Umar Bhutta in the 50th minute to equalize the scores at 2-2.

    Both the teams continued to put their opposition under pressure and put the defenders to test, however, neither team were able to make effective forays as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.


    PAKISTAN TODAY

     

     

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  • PM Abbasi assures implementation of Fata reforms amid protest

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    Daily Pakistan Global. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has reiterated its commitment to bring Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) at par with other provinces following the recommendations made by the Fata reforms committee amid protests against delay in mainstreaming of the area.

    Talking to a delegation led by PML-N leader Ameer Muqam, comprising  Fata lawmakers Shahjee Gul Afridi, Shahabuddin Khan, Mohammad Nazir Khan, Sajjad Turi and Sajid Turi in Islamabad, he highlighted reforms were being implementing citing government’s recent action of revocation of Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) and implementation of Pakistan’s laws are part of Fata reforms.

    However, the delegation expressed its complete confidence in the leadership of the prime minister, Radio Pakistan reported.

    Protest

    On Monday, thousands of protesters from the Fata gathered near Islamabad’s D-Chowk to protest against the delay in the implementation of Fata reforms and demanded the early merger of the tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    The protesters had initially planned to stage a sit-in at D-Chowk but were stopped by police from proceeding to the area.

    Among the demands put forward is the representation of tribal people in the KP Assembly and convening of a meeting of the Council of Common Interests on the matter. The protesters are also seeking amendments to the Constitution to extend the jurisdiction of the superior courts to Fata.

    The demonstrators said that their protest will continue till President Mamnoon Hussain signs the Fata merger into law.

    Security personnel stand by the rally at Islamabad’s D Chowk.

    Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, however, has not joined the protest. Yesterday, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that the FATA-KP merger issue was being used by certain elements for political gains.

    “The decision to merge Fata with KP has been made by the people of Fata,” ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan said, asking the government to have “mercy” and abolish the Frontier Crimes Regulation.

    PPP leader Syed Akhunzada Chattan said that the people of Fata had no peace and their human rights were being violated.

    “There is havoc in Fata,” Chattan said, demanding that Fata be given it’s right to the National Finance Commission award. He said the government is yet to announce a budget for Fata.

    If the government had implemented the reforms, this day would not have come, Chattan added.

    Jamiat Ulama-i-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq said that “some people in Islamabad do not believe that Fata is part of Pakistan.”

    The joint protest rally by the leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and ANP started from Peshawar and headed towards Islamabad earlier in the day.

    The protesters, including political activists from the tribal areas, left from the Peshawar toll plaza.

    “The participants of the rally will stage a sit-in at Islamabad Press Club, and if the government does not take notice on our first sit-in, then the next sit-in will be held at D-Chowk,” senior ANP leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain said.

    Hussain said that the joint rally demanded from the federal government to immediately abolish FCR, adding that if their demands were not accepted they would prolong the sit-in.

    KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, former federal minister Ghulam Ahmed , former provincial minister Aqil Shah, Haroon Bilour and MNA Alhaj Shahji Gul participated in the rally.

    PTI Chairman Imran Khan had also directed his party workers, MNAs and MPAs to take part in the protest. During a press conference in Peshawar on Friday, Imran had demanded a Fata-KP merger before the 2018 general elections.

    FATA Reforms

    A 24-point reforms package regarding local government (LG) system, education and jobs opportunities for youth and upgradation of Levis Force and other had been sent to the President following the approval of the federal cabinet.

    The reforms have been approved for the seven agencies, including Khyber Agency, South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Mohmand, Kurram, Bajur and Orkazi, of the tribal region.

    Prime Minister’s then Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, who was also heading the reform committee, had said that merger of Fata with KP would be completed in five years.

    “We had four options for mainstreaming of Fata — to keep the status quo, to form a council on the pattern of Gilgit-Baltistan, to form a separate province or to merge it with KP — and we opted for the last one,” Dawn News quoted Aziz.

    He explained that the five-year transition period would be utilised to prepare Fata for restoration of a enduring peace.


    DAILY PAKISTAN GLOBAL

     

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  • Maleeha Lodhi censures India for ‘mass blinding’ in Kashmir

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    Geo News. Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi condemned India on Tuesday for the aggressive use of pellet guns against peaceful protestors in occupied Kashmir, calling the act as “first mass blinding in human history.”

    While addressing the General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee, Lodhi said that India is committing ‘war crimes’ which have left the young generation sightless and maimed for life.

    “This has been aptly described as the first mass blinding in human history”, said the Pakistani ambassador to the UN, according to an official press release.

    She said that the decolonisation agenda of the UN will remain unfulfilled without peaceful resolution of one of the longest disputes of all time.

    “This represents the most persistent failure of the United Nations”, Lodhi stated.

    She further mentioned that since 70 years India has been preventing the Kashmiris from excercising their fundamental and inalienable right to self-determination through ‘force and fraud’.

    According to the press release, she said that the deployment of tens of thousands of Indian troops in the occupied territory is primarily aimed at suppressing the legitimate freedom of the people.

    “India uses all methods from barbaric violence and extreme cruelty to fraudulent elections to deprive the Kashmiris of their right to self-determination and perpetuate its unlawful occupation”, she stated.

    The people of Jammu and Kashmir will continue to wage the struggle for their right to self-determination with courage and conviction, said the Pakistani envoy.

    India ‘mother of terrorism’ in South Asia, Lodhi hits back at Swaraj

    The yearning and aspiration of the Kashmiri people for freedom from the occupation remain unbeaten, she added.

    Ambassador Lodhi asked the UN to fulfill its promise of holding a UN-supervised plebiscite in order ‘to enable Kashmiris to determine their political destiny’.

    Ambassador Lodhi while highlighting the plight of the Palestinians, said that Pakistan will continue its support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom.

    While denouncing the illegal policy of settlement construction, she said that a strong and viable state of Palestine was the only guarantor of peace in the region, she said.

    She said that the continued existence of colonialism in any form was contrary to the UN Charter and to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    “The UN has a moral responsibility in this regard and we must all work toward eliminating the remaining vestiges of colonialism”, she said in her concluding remarks.


    GEO NEWS

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  • Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar to be indicted on 13th

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    The News International. The Accountability Court of Islamabad would indict former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar on Oct 15, 2017 (Friday) in the Flagship Investments, Avenfield Apartments, Al-Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment corruption references.

    The court granted bail against Rs5 million surety bonds to Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar after inquiring him if he had that much money and telling him if he did not appear, the amount would be confiscated.

    Earlier, Captain (retd) Safdar was arrested by the NAB prosecution on Sunday night after he landed at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport. He was produced before the court in NAB custody. The court directed Captain (retd) Safdar if he even had to leave Pakistan, he would seek the court’s prior permission in this regard.

    The court, after initiation of proclamation process for Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, separated their trial from the rest of the three accused, including Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar.

    Maryam Nawaz also submitted Rs5 million surety bonds to ensure her presence while PML-N MNA Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and former federal minister for information Pervaiz Rasheed submitted personnel guarantees for Maryam Nawaz.

    During Monday’s proceedings, the court exempted Nawaz Sharif on one hearing from personal appearance before the court on account of treatment of his wife in London. The court also allowed Nawaz Sharif to be represented by a ‘pleader’ (substitute person who can either plead guilty or non-guilty) at the time of indictment on the next date of hearing.

    The Accountability Court declared Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz absconders and started process to declare them as proclaimed offenders after the NAB investigation submitted before the court that the summons were served on both at their Lahore and London residences but they were hiding themselves and were intentionally avoiding the court proceedings.

    The court also sought details of the properties in the names of Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz within 10 days time, to initiate process under sections 87 & 88 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) related to confiscation of property in case of absconding.

    The court directed the prosecution to publish summons for Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz in different newspapers.Investigation also submitted documents before the court according to which Hassan Nawaz left Pakistan on July 10 while Hussain Nawaz on August 7.

    It may be mentioned here that on the last hearing on October 2, the court issued bailable arrest warrant for Maryam Nawaz while non-bailable arrest warrants were issued for Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar.

    At the start of the proceedings, Maryam Nawaz was provided with the copies of 53 volume corruption references. After that Captain (retd) Safdar was produced before the court by NAB authorities. A NAB prosecutor told the court that he had been arrested in the light of previous court order while under Section 9-B of the NAB Ordinance, the offence of corruption and corrupt practices was non-bailable. NAB prosecutor Afzal Qureshi argued before the court that under Section 9-B only a high court division bench can grant bail to the accused, Safdar. The NAB prosecution requested the court to confiscate the passport of Captain Safdar and whenever he proceeded abroad, he might seek court’s prior permission.

    Legal counsel for Captain (retd) Safdar, Amjad Pervez, advocate, counter argued that the arrest of his client was not made under Section 9-B but in compliance with this court’s orders. In this particular matter, 9-B is irrelevant and the relevant section is 91CrPC. Under Section 91, an accused could be arrested until and unless he surrenders before a court and submits surety bonds to the satisfaction of the court. “My client was in England and he did not receive summons. Despite the fact he voluntarily appeared before the court and surrendered himself before the law,” he said.

    The AC judge then granted bail to Captain (retd) Safdar while directing him whenever he had to proceed abroad, he would seek court’s prior permission.

    During Monday’s proceedings, members of the NAB investigation team including Muhammad Kamran, Muhammad Imran and Mehboob Alam recorded their statements before the court regarding summons to Hassan and Hussain Nawaz.

    Nawaz Sharif through his counsel Khawaja Haris, advocate, submitted an application that he was London in connection with the treatment of his wife who is undergoing a surgery for lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. Nawaz Sharif said in the application when he first time appeared before the court, an alarming situation arose as doctors had told him that his wife had to undergo a third bout of surgery. Nawaz Sharif submitted that the condition of his wife was getting worse with nausea and vomiting and her oral intake had reduced. The doctors would also start chemotherapy from October 11. The wife of the applicant is fighting for life and at this critical stage, the applicant has to be with her to support her. In these circumstances, he may be granted exemption from personal appearance on October 9, 2017 and once Zaafir Khan, advocate, will represent the applicant.

    Nawaz Sharif attached the exemption application, medical reports of his wife Kalsoom Nawaz that are notarised as genuine by a notary public Andrew Brian Alexander Cooper. Medical reports are generated from Leaders in Oncology Care (LOC) health care UK hospital. In the medical report, one Dr Daniel Krell, Consultant Medical Oncologist, addressed Dr Adnan Khan and shared his findings about Kalsoom Nawaz’s disease. Dr Krell advised that Kalsoom Nawaz should be admitted to Wellington Hospital where she will be given chemotherapy on three-weekly basis for six cycles over five months.

    After the court proceeding, Maryam Nawaz, while talking to the media, said that those who themselves voluntarily appear before the court are arrested and there are a few who are absconding from the courts.

    The questions raised by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) are still questions because they are false allegations.

    Maryam Nawaz, while responding to a question about a video in which an ISI high-ranking official is coming out of accountability court, said that she has seen the video and everybody else had also seen that. Whatever message may have been conveyed, the Pakistani people know that and she did not want to comment. To a question if it was an already arranged decision as she suggested, then who arranged it, Maryam said when a case that started due to the Panamaleaks and culminated on ‘Iqama’, then certainly there would be questions and judges had to reply and for the last one and a half years they had been facing cases and several orders were passed. “We faced all the cases, give evidence and proofs but when judges become party, there is no value of proof and evidence,” she said.

    “The way this accountability process was initiated, it is now all exposed to the country and there is nothing what I have to say. This is not accountability but revenge and we are appearing before the court despite so many reservations about this process. It is good that politicians and public office holders appear before the court. We are not scared of the arrests and court proceedings. First Mian Nawaz Sharif appeared before the court and now I have. But Nawaz Sharif has already said that he knows what his crime is, even then we surrender before the court of law,” Maryam said.

    About her brothers non-appearance before the court, Maryam said, “They are non-resident Pakistanis and Pakistani law is not applicable to them. Hassan and Hussain will themselves decide their course of action.”

    On the occasion, Minister of State for Interior Talal Chaudhry said that first, Nawaz Sharif’s appearance before the court was a surprise for opponents and now the appearance of Maryam Nawaz was another surprise. “We will continue giving surprises to our opponents and we want to clear what is difference between mere talking about rule of law and proving with actions,” he said.

    Minister for Information Marryium Aurangzeb said that the nation would decide who respected the law, appeared before the court and who did not appear.Like the previous hearing on October 2, there was no mess around and inside the courtroom. The Frontier Constabulary was deputed outside the Federal Judicial Complex and inside the premises there were the Islamabad Police. In comparison to the previous hearing, the media had a bit easy access.

    AC judge Muhammad Bashir on September 13 and 19 issued summons for the Sharif family, directing them to appear before the court in the Flagship Investments, Avenfield Apartments and Al-Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment corruption references.


    THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL

     

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  • NAB laws don’t apply to me and my brother, says Hasan Nawaz

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    Geo News. Hasan Nawaz, son of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif,  said that the summons, warrants or proceedings by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) don’t apply to him and his brother Hussain Nawaz as both of them hold British nationalities.

    An accountability court ordered the initiation of the process of declaring Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz proclaimed offenders for not appearing before the court on Tuesday.

    Both the brothers have said that they have not been given the summons yet. It was announced that the process of declaring Hasan and Hussain proclaimed offenders will involve publication of notices in the newspapers directing the accused to appear in court and failure to do so will result in seizure of property and issuance of further warrants.

    Hasan Nawaz, a respondent in the references filed by NAB against the Sharif family, told Geo News that the court cannot declare him a proclaimed offender.

    “I am not a proclaimed offender and the NAB cannot make someone a proclaimed offender. In the absence of a crime, they are trying to catch a black cat in the dark,” he told.

    Hasan said he has not received any NAB summons at his residential address in London where he has been living for the last 24 years. The former prime minister’s son said he is a British citizen and has never received the said summons according to British laws.

    NAB can’t declare me proclaimed offender, haven’t received any notice: Hasan

    Hasan termed NAB’s actions an exercise that is nothing more than political victimisation and an effort to make “news headlines”.

    Hasan said he has not committed any crime which could him make him an absconder and has never fled from the country.

    Three British Pakistani legal experts told this scribe that the NAB arrest warrants and summons have no value and are not applicable to Hasan and Hussain, stating that Pakistani authorities must explain some specific crime they have committed.

    Barrister Iftikhar Ahmad, who once served as a major in the Pakistan Army, said that the NAB summons and warrants against Hasan and Hussain served out of jurisdiction are mere information and have no enforcement force while they are in the UK. “They are saying this because this is the correct legal position. At the next stage, the Pakistani court can request the Interpol, with the help from the Interior Ministry, to issue warrants for both brothers and the Inteprol will issue warrants but that will not go anywhere because the UK doesn’t extradite its citizens in the absence of an extradition treaty and cases involving political nature. Extradition has to go through a lengthy court process involving cases of terrorism and so on but that could take years and extradition is possible only through a court order,” he said.

    Barrister Rashad Aslam said that any court summons, warrants or proceedings are simply not applicable to Hasan and Hussain while they are in the UK. “There is no treaty to enforce these warrants between the two countries. Pakistani authorities know it well but they are doing so for news media and to get themselves saved from the wrath of Supreme Court, which is monitoring these cases.”

    Aslam opined that the UK authorities will know in no time this is a highly politically motivated witch hunt and they will stay away and will not extend any cooperation whatsoever.

    Dr Akbar Malik said that Pakistani authorities are wasting their time and playing to the media gallery. He said that if the summons is received by Hasan Nawaz and signed it means nothing legally and similarly anyone living in Pakistan will have the same stance on receiving summons from a UK court.

    He said the only option is to seek extradition of Nawaz Sharif’s sons and that will never happen as UK does not send its citizens to countries where people can be sentenced to death.

    The accountability court is hearing a total of three corruption cases against the Sharif family filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Panama Papers case.


    GEO NEWS

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