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    PESHAWAR: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has unearthed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 30 benami accounts from which transactions worth billions of rupees have been made.

    FIA’s KP Director Mir Wais Khan told Dawn that most of the benami accounts were traced in the far-off areas of the province like Swat and Besham. “We have recently completed inquiries into the benami accounts and are now going to register FIRs against the account holders.”

    The FIA director didn’t reveal the exact amount transected through these accounts, but said different teams had been constituted to probe the fake accounts. He said certain influential personalities had opened bank accounts in the names of their poor servants.

    The FIA has launched a countrywide investigation into the benami or fake accounts on the orders of the Supreme Court.

    Transactions worth billions of rupees made from the accounts opened in servants’ names

    Wais Khan said the benami accounts were mostly opened for money laundering as the amount transected through them had not been used for business purposes.

    When asked if any arrest was made, he said that after the registration of FIRs action would be taken against those involved in illegal transaction.

    Of the 30 benami accounts traced, he said, transaction of large sum of money had taken place in 17 accounts.

    DawnNews quoted FIA Deputy Director Tariq Pervez as saying that transactions worth Rs10 billion had been made from these accounts. He said the accounts were in the names of eight domestic workers who usually earned Rs12,000-Rs15,000 per month, adding that these accounts were opened in banks located in Buner, Kalam, Swat and Basham.

    An official said that some of these poor servants were even not aware about the opening of such accounts in their names. He said raids were conducted on different premises, including a residence in Peshawar cantonment, adding that during the raids certain documents were recovered which led the investigators to trace different fake or benami accounts.

    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had in July ordered freezing of certain fake bank accounts.

    A few weeks ago, the FIA had launched a crackdown on currency dealers in Peshawar’s Yadgar Chowk and Karkhano market and arrested 44 people involved in hundi and hawala business. They were detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance.

    However, the Peshawar High Court had suspended the orders of their detention issued by Peshawar deputy commissioner under the MPO on Sep 19 and directed the detainees to submit two surety bonds of Rs 200,000 each.

    The FIA had claimed that it had recovered currencies of several foreign countries worth around Rs25 million from these dealers during the crackdown launched to meet the requirement of the Financial Action Task Force that had placed Pakistan on its grey list for terror financing.

    Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018


    Transactions worth billions of rupees made from accounts opened in servants’ names. — Photo/FileTransactions worth billions of rupees made from accounts opened in servants’ names. — Photo/File

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    KARACHI: Accusing the Pakistan Peoples Party of governing the province through strong-arm tactics, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday hinted at the fall of the PPP’s Sindh government.

    “There is a goonda rule in Sindh whose elimination is necessary,” said the information minister while speaking at a press conference here. “It is yet to be seen how many days it [the PPP government] would last as bank accounts having billions of rupees are being found [here] in the name of rickshaw drivers and vendors.”

    His remarks drew a strong reaction from the Sindh government, as Information Adviser Murtaza Wahab asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to clarify his minister’s indication regarding the “end of the Sindh government”.

    However, when asked about the possibility of the imposition of governor’s rule, Mr Chaudhry said there was no need for governor’s rule in Sindh as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had already become popular here and would get a two-thirds majority in the Sindh Assembly in the next elections.

    Says no need for governor’s rule; PPP slams indication about end of Sindh govt

    In reply to a question, he said that the present PPP was not the party of the Bhuttos, but of Asif Ali Zardari’s.

    He said he met PTI parliamentarians who lodged strong complaints against the Sindh government for initiating actions against them.

    He said strong-arm tactics and “ethnic politics” had been the tradition of the PPP, but thanks to the PTI the menace of ethnic politics had been eliminating and the people of Sindh were being brought into the mainstream.

    Sindh got Rs750bn in 10 years

    He claimed that the federal government had given Rs750 billion to the Sindh government during the past 10 years.

    He asked the provincial government that where it had utilised such a huge amount of “Rs75,000 crore”.

    He said that the federal government had started taking measures to solve the problems of Karachi.

    “We are improving infrastructure of Karachi and we hope that clean water supply issue would soon be solved as talks in this connection were in progress with the UAE government,” he added.

    He said everyone was aware of the performance of the Sindh police but if the federal government talked about it, it was termed “interference in the provincial autonomy”.

    He said the federal government wanted to take the Sindh government along because if it did not cooperate with the provincial government there would be a lot of hurdles for the latter. However, the rulers of Sindh ought to realise their responsibilities, he added.

    The federal minister ruled out any compromise with the PPP and PML-N, saying they had to face cases as the federal government was not offering them any NRO.

    He said Imran khan had ushered revolution of middle and lower middle class in the country. He also said that the complaint cell being set up in the Governor House would be linked the compliant cell of the prime minister’s house.

    Meets Sindh governor

    The information minister exchanged views pertaining to facilities extended to entrepreneurs, federal-funded development projects in Karachi, the federal government’s development package for Karachi and its progress and other matters of mutual interest with the Sindh governor.

    Speaking on the occasion, Governor Ismail said that after restoration of law and order, the situation was quite conducive for investment in the province.

    He said that infrastructure in Karachi would certainly improve with the implementation of the federal government-funded development projects.

    He also said that the federal cooperation with the provincial and local governments would continyue for the development of the province.

    Mr Chaudhry said the dream of a new Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan would certainly be materialised.

    Centre’s design against Sindh exposed: Wahab Irked by Mr Chaudhry’s statement, Chief Minister’s Adviser on Information and Law Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that the indication about the end of the Sindh government by the federal minister was regrettable.

    He said that Mr Chaudhry should not count the days of the Sindh government but take care of his government’s performance in the federation.

    He said that the federal minister by issuing such sensational statements wanted to divert the attention of the people from his government’s incompetency.

    By mentioning the end of the Sindh government, Mr Chaudhry had exposed the design of the federal government, he added.

    Also, Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said that “Fawad Chaudhry should not become ‘Fasad Chaudhry’ and should hear it with open ears that provinces are autonomous”.

    He asked Mr Chaudhry where he was when the federation remained hostage for three days and “Imran Khan Niazi had surrendered before those who had abused the judiciary and the army”.

    He said that the mandate of Karachi was stolen and given to the PTI.

    Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018


    “There is a goonda rule in Sindh whose elimination is necessary,” said the information minister.— AFP/File“There is a goonda rule in Sindh whose elimination is necessary,” said the information minister.— AFP/File

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    NOWSHERA: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) has blamed foreign elements for the murder of its leader Maulana Samiul Haq.

    “It is confirmed to thousands of his followers, the party, Darul Uloom Haqqania and his family that martyrdom of Maulana was not an internal issue rather Indians, Afghans and other elements are involved in this act,” said a statement issued by JUI-S here on Sunday.

    Maulana Samiul Haq was stabbed to death at his home in Rawalpindi on Friday.

    The statement said that some elements were trying to hide their incompetency by issuing different statements about the murder of JUI-S leader, terming it result of domestic dispute or sectarian issue.

    The party appealed to security agencies to arrest the real killers of Maulana and award them exemplary punishment. It said that he always played key role in mediation between Taliban and other groups including Afghan government.

    Demands exemplary punishment for killers

    The statement said that a delegation of Afghan government had requested Maulana Samiul Haq in October to play role in talks between it with Taliban. They started propaganda against him and Darul Uloom Haqqania when they failed to persuade him, it alleged.

    It said that the entire Muslim Umma was showing grief over his tragic death but Afghan media were trying to tarnish his image. It said that Maulana had friendly relations with all sects and groups despite having ideological and political differences with them.

    Thousands of people including top political leaders reached Darul Uloom Haqqania on Sunday to condole the death of Maulana Samiul Haq and condemned his murder.

    National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, Federal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, QWP chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Irfan Sadique, retired General Ihsanullah, Senator Hafiz Hamdullah, Maulana Ahmad Ludyanwi, Sikandir Sherpao, Ilyas Bilour, Arab Alamgir Khan and others were prominent among the participants of condolence gathering.

    Speaking on the occasion, Asad Qaisar said that government would leave no stone unturned to arrest of the killers. He said that they had developed a close liaison with provincial government of Punjab and other investigative agencies to arrest the culprits.

    Talking to journalists, Aftab Sherpao said that Maulana played great role for restoration of democracy in the country. He urged people to shun difference and forge unity among their rinks against the enemies of the country. He said that the country was passing through a critical time.

    Senator Mushahid Hussain said on the occasion that Maulana Samiul Haq always tried to play his role for cordial relations among Muslim countries.

    Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018


    A file photo of JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq.A file photo of JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq.

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    KARACHI: Police in Karachi have registered 17 more cases against what they called “unknown persons” for staging

    rallies, sit-ins and rioting during the protest campaign mainly organised by the Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.

    Officials said that the first case was registered at the Korangi police station on Saturday and 17 similar FIR were lodged on Sunday.

    A total of 12 cases have been registered in the police stations that fall within the East zone of the police’s organisational structure and six cases in South and West zones.

    All the cases were registered on behalf of the state under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with a deadly weapon), 149(every member of an unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant), 324 (attempted murder), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

    Police file 17 more FIRs against ‘unknown persons’ for rioting

    So far, only two protesters have been arrested in the first case registered on Saturday. No arrest has been made in any of the 17 cases registered.

    “We have registered 11 FIRs [today] against unknown persons in the East zone only,” said DIG-East Amir Farooqi.

    He said so far no one had approached the police for lodging FIRs about destruction of their property during the protest sit-ins.

    The Sharea Faisal police registered a case against 200-250 unknown persons for staging a sit-in at Star Gate on the main artery that connects city with the airport. The complainant, the area SHO, stated that the protesters at 7.45am on Oct 31 had blocked both tracks and did not allow even pedestrians to pass through it.

    He stated that he tried to persuade them to vacate the road but they refused.

    1,300 police personnel for crowd management

    Police authorities have decided to deploy 1,300 policemen in the metropolis for ‘crowd management’ and equip them with anti-riots gears, said city police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh on Sunday.

    He said that 300 policemen — 100 policeman for each zone — who would be trained by the armed forces, would be given to the three zones from Monday.

    He said that the inspector general of police, Sindh was also requested for additional 1,000 policemen from the Sindh Reserve Police for deputing them in the city for crowd management.

    The police have identified perceived trouble spots in the city where existing CCTV cameras would be repaired if the same were malfunctioned and new cameras would be installed.

    Besides, the police with the help of the Rangers and other law enforcement agencies have updated a list of workers and leaders of the outfits and groups which had been active during recent sit-ins and protests.

    The city police chief said that the police did not use force to disperse the protesters as it was apprehended that such action might trigger a widespread reaction in other parts of the country.

    Besides, the police knew that the authorities concerned had already engaged the protesters in talks and the city police did not want to sabotage the negotiation process with TLP leaders in the country by using force.

    Moreover, he said that a high-level committee comprising representatives of the police, other law enforcement agencies and Karachi commissioner was formed and they remained in touch with the leaders of the protesters and informed them about red lines.

    Officials said that besides TLP, other religious groups and parties had also staged protests and sit-ins in the metropolis and they apprehended a law and order situation.

    They said the outlawed Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat became active and held a big protest sit-in on Friday at Daud Chowrangi.

    Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018


    Police file 17 more FIRs against Police file 17 more FIRs against "unknown persons" for rioting. — File

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    LAHORE: Punjab police arrested 1,100 suspects till Sunday evening and registered 130 cases against them for their involvement in injuring policemen and people and damaging public and private properties during the protests following the Supreme Court verdict acquitting Aasia Bibi of blasphemy charge.

    The crackdown was launched after the interior ministry directed all the provincial governments and federal agencies to take action against the culprits involved in violence and damage to public and private property during the last week protests and sought compliance report till 5pm on Monday (today).

    The interior ministry sent first letter in this regard to the provinces on Saturday and followed it up with another office memorandum on Sunday , directing all (provincial governments and federal agencies) to strictly comply with the direction.

    Crackdown was launched after interior ministry called for compliance report by Monday

    Stating that the Ulema had disowned the elements involved in violence, the interior ministry said video clips and photographs should be used to identify the miscreants in coordination with the PTA and Nadra.

    The Punjab police spokesperson told Dawn 800 people were arrested for violating section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1960 and 300 others under the FIRs registered for injuring policemen, damaging public and private properties and vehicles in different areas of the province.

    She said the protesters had injured 63 police officers in different areas of the province who were shifted to nearby hospitals for treatment. Of them, 58 policemen were discharged but five others who had sustained severe injuries were still getting treatment.

    She said 300 suspects were identified through different footage available to the police. She said the number of the FIRs and the arrested would increase with the passage of time as the police were taking across-the-board action against the miscreants.

    Answering a question, she said most of the arrests had been made from Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi divisions. The Islamabad police registered two FIRs against 25 people.

    Interior Minister Shehryar Afridi chaired a meeting in Islamabad on Sunday and took stock of the situation. The meeting asked the provinces that general public should be advised to file/ lodge complaints against such people, share videos and help government in identifying such elements.

    The interior ministry also asked all the provincial governments to convey WhatsApp numbers to general public through electronic and print media so that public could send information/ videos that might be referred to relevant departments for necessary action.

    Phoolnagar police in Kasur registered cases against 348 protesters of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), including 48 nominated, under various sections including section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act.

    The TLP activists had allegedly attacked police force on Friday on Multan Road at Jamber Chowk and injured six personnel, including a DSP, an inspector and four constables. The protesters had also damaged six police vehicles, an ambulance of Rescue 1122 and several vehicles stuck on Multan Road due to road blockade.

    According to the FIR lodged on the complaint of Phoolnagar SHO Muhammad Azam, 48 nominated including four local prayer leaders and 300 unidentified agitators had attacked police when the later tried to prevent them from delivering anti-judiciary and anti-state speeches.

    Receiving information, Pattoki circle DSP Muhammad Saleem along with a heavy contingent of police reached the spot.

    The protesters who wielded weapons and clubs went violent and attacked the police. The protesters used clubs against police officials and pelted them with stones.

    The FIR said the protesters also kidnapped two police constables Jahangir and Iqbal. Most of the nominated accused belonged to Kot Tank Singh village. Four local prayer leaders — Qari Nazar Imam, Mufti Naveed, Zainul Hassan and Qari Abdul Shakoor — were also nominated in the FIR. Police said additional force had been deployed in Phoolnagar and raids were on to arrest the accused.

    In Gujranwala, police registered cases against nine identified and 2,500 unidentified people for thrashing citizens, damaging government and private properties and looting people on roads.

    The Kotwali police DSP told Dawn video clips had been sent to the interior ministry to identify the culprits.

    In Sindh, Nawabshah police booked two activists of TLP for resorting to aerial firing and forcing businessmen to close shops.

    An FIR was lodged at A-Section police station against Bilal Arain and Sabir Arain under sections 147, 148 and 337 H II of the Pakistan Penal Code for carrying out aerial firing and forcing traders to shut their shops. The police arrested both the accused.

    Similar cases were also registered in Karachi.

    Afzal Ansari from Kasur, Akram Malik from Gujranwala and our staff reporter from Islamabad also contributed to this report

    Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018


    Crackdown was launched after interior ministry called for compliance report by Monday. — Photo/FileCrackdown was launched after interior ministry called for compliance report by Monday. — Photo/File

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    A police official, his driver and his guard were gunned down by unidentified assailants on GT Road in Sheikhupura district on Monday.

    Station House Officer (SHO) at Lahore's Rang Mahal police station, Zahid Mehmood, was injured in firing and was being transported to the hospital when he succumbed to his wounds.

    His driver and guard died on the spot, District Police Officer (DPO) Sheikhupura Jahanzeb Nazir Khan told DawnNewsTV.

    Mehmood had been travelling from his home in Sheikhupura's Murdike area to Lahore when gunmen opened fire on his car on GT Road, the DPO said.

    The assailants fled the site of the attack. Police have erected district-wide blockades and initiated a search operation in an attempt to arrest the suspected attackers.


    Inspector Zahid Mehmood. — DawnNewsTVInspector Zahid Mehmood. — DawnNewsTV

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    Newly appointed Islamabad police chief Muhammad Amir Zulfiqar assured Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi on Monday that the capital police force would be made an exemplary one.

    Afridi called upon the Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) today and expressed a desire for the Islamabad police to serve as a role model for other provinces.

    He stressed the need to eliminate corruption from the police force, directed the IGP to listen to and address citizens' complaints, and to launch a campaign against the availability of narcotics in educational institutions.

    IGP Zulfiqar assured the minister that measures would be taken to make the Islamabad police an exemplary force.

    IGP Zulfiqar was serving as an officer on special duty (OSD) in the Establishment Division before the federal government on Friday appointed the grade-21 officer as Islamabad IGP after former police chief Jan Mohammad was reluctant to resume charge of his duties in the federal capital following a controversy over his transfer.

    The chief justice had last week taken suo motu notice of ─ and subsequently suspended ─ the 'unlawful' transfer of Jan Mohammad after conflicting reports emerged over the reasons behind the IGP's transfer, with some quarters pointing to his alleged inaction over minister Azam Swati's complaints regarding his neighbours trespassing on his farmland.

    The reports about the transfer being connected to Swati were rubbished by the government's fake news account on Twitter.

    The court was told that the IGP had been removed from the post following verbal directives from Prime Minister Imran Khan, and that the government had not been satisfied with his performance.

    The SC eventually decided to form a probe team to investigate the matter, and mulled proceeding against Swati under Article 62.


    Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi calls on the newly appointed Islamabad police chief Muhammad Amir Zulfiqar. ─ DawnNewsTVMinister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi calls on the newly appointed Islamabad police chief Muhammad Amir Zulfiqar. ─ DawnNewsTV

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    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the government's recent agreement with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) following the party's protests against the Supreme Court's acquittal of Asia Bibi.

    Last week on Wednesday, the top court had set aside Asia Bibi's death sentence, declaring her innocent and ordered her immediate release from prison, where she had been locked up for nine years on blasphemy charges.

    The verdict was followed by protests and sit-ins across the country by religio-political parties — most prominently the TLP — that continued for three days and disrupted life. The threatening language used by TLP's leaders was condemned by Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as ministers, who vowed that the writ of the state would be upheld.

    Late Friday, the government reached an agreement with TLP, in which it said that the state would "initiate legal process" to place Asia Bibi's name on the Exit Control List. The government also assured the TLP that it would not contest the review petition filed against the acquittal. In turn, the TLP offered an apology if it "hurt the sentiments or inconvenienced anyone without reason".

    In a statement released on Sunday, the HRCP said it was "appalled at the government’s failure to preserve the writ of the state and the sanctity of the rule of law".

    "What was hailed as a landmark judgement and a human rights victory unravelled into a situation in which there was no distinction between the peaceful right to dissent and the thuggery of mobs," the statement read.

    "HRCP is seriously concerned at how quickly the government capitulated to the demands of extremist-led mobs, despite its earlier vow to preserve the writ of the state," it further said.

    "The TLP called openly for murder and mutiny, made a mockery of the rule of law and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, and appears to have assumed all the while that its methods were legitimate means of dissent," the commission regretted.

    The body urged the government to take a firm stance against elements "that have no qualms about employing violent, extra-constitutional means to have their way".


    Religio-political parties held violent protests across country, disrupting life and destrying public property. — Photo/FileReligio-political parties held violent protests across country, disrupting life and destrying public property. — Photo/File

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    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar talks to the media. — DawnNewsTV

    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said that he would be returning to work tomorrow, just two days after undergoing an angioplasty

    He made this comment while leaving the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology where he was admitted yesterday for the procedure.

    The chief justice had gone to the hospital for a routine checkup when doctors suggested that he should undergo an angioplasty. Two balloon stents were inserted in Justice Nisar's heart during the procedure.

    Following the surgery, the chief justice was shifted to a room where his family was allowed to meet him. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had also visited Justice Nisar at the hospital.

    The hospital officials said that the chief justice has been advised to rest for at least four days.


    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar leaves the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology after an angioplasty. — DawnNewsTVChief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar leaves the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology after an angioplasty. — DawnNewsTV

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    A petition seeking damages for the destruction of public property during protests led by the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) was fixed for hearing on Monday by the Lahore High Court.

    Justice Aatir Mehmood will hear the case tomorrow.

    Protests had broken out across the country after the Supreme Court on October 30 acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death on blasphemy charges in 2010.

    Pakistanis welcomed a tentative return to normalcy on Saturday following an agreement between the TLP and the government after three days of violent protests choked various cities and throttled economic activity.

    On Friday, a citizen submitted a petition in which he stated that the TLP protests caused considerable damage to public and private property.

    The petition stated that the protection of the lives and wealth of citizens is the first responsibility of the government and added that not doing so had been a violation of citizens' fundamental rights.

    It asked the court to direct the Punjab government to compensate for all damage caused to citizens.

    Separately, four first information reports (FIRs) have been registered in Islamabad against mob violence in the capital city.

    The FIRs were registered against more than a hundred people, of which 20 are members of religiopolitical parties.


    Protests had broken out across the country after the Supreme Court's verdict on October 30 acquitting Asia Bibi, a Christian woman previously condemned to death on blasphemy charges. — File photoProtests had broken out across the country after the Supreme Court's verdict on October 30 acquitting Asia Bibi, a Christian woman previously condemned to death on blasphemy charges. — File photo

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    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar talks to the media. — DawnNewsTV

    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said that he would be returning to work tomorrow, just two days after undergoing an angioplasty

    He made this comment while leaving the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology where he was admitted yesterday for the procedure.

    The chief justice had gone to the hospital for a routine checkup when doctors suggested that he should undergo an angioplasty. Two balloon stents were inserted in Justice Nisar's heart during the procedure.

    Following the surgery, the chief justice was shifted to a room where his family was allowed to meet him. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had also visited Justice Nisar at the hospital.

    The hospital officials said that the chief justice has been advised to rest for at least four days.


    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar leaves the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology after an angioplasty. — DawnNewsTVChief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar leaves the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology after an angioplasty. — DawnNewsTV

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    ISLAMABAD: A major fraud has been detected in the National Savings — a public sector organisation of Rs3.6 trillion — in which insiders have reportedly siphoned off around Rs200 million, breaching trust of more than seven million small-to-medium individual savers.

    The fraud came to light on maturity of 10-year saving certificates of individuals at a Lahore branch where officials had diverted more than Rs110 million to bank accounts of their own and their family members and were in the process of withdrawing another Rs100m or so.

    “This is perhaps the biggest-ever fraud in the institution”, said Nadeem Iqbal, director human resources of the Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS), adding not more than three cases of fraud had been reported in the organisation over the past 15-16 years.

    CDNS Director General Dr Arshad Mahmood confirmed that a group of people, including an official of the CDNS, were found involved in the fraud by operating accounts in an organised manner to divert funds.

    Officials at Lahore branch diverted certificate holders’ funds to bank accounts of their own

    He said most of the funds illegally withdrawn by the suspects had been recovered, the case handed over to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and a special audit of entire record ordered to rule out possibility of contagious fraud.

    “At the same time, remedial measures like strengthening of systems and automation are in process to avoid a repeat in future because the National Savings is generally not prone to crime or corruption, but customers mostly belonging to poor and lower middle class could be subjected to fraud for their innocence,” the official said.

    According to insiders, initially it was reported that about 1,200 SC-1 forms (used for purchase of saving certificates) of Special Saving Certificates and Regular Income Certificates were missing. During checking, a few serious irregularities regarding the computerised working were observed. While checking the manual record of blank certificates (NS-8) vis-a-vis that being maintained with the system, it was observed that data maintained in the system was different than manual statements.

    For example, manual NS-8 being maintained by the organisation was showing consumption of 71 pieces of Regular Income Certificates of Rs1m denomination whereas the system was showing consumption of 74 pieces of the same in July, 2017. When the difference was looked into, it was observed that in the system, three pieces of same denomination were being shown issued to a different registration number and their status was changed through data manipulation as “encashed”. This situation was not being reflected in the hard copy of the record.

    A few other certificates were different on SC-1 forms and in the system. A few serial numbers of the Regular Income Certificates available in the system were also observed as duplicate. When checked with the software, it was observed that it was only possible to temper such sort of record when someone had direct access to database.

    Insiders said an unauthorised official of grade-14 had been given the charge of a grade-17 post at the Defence branch of the National Savings and his seniors misused his weak position.

    They said there was no proper handover of charge for almost a year and some back-dated entries had been made.

    However, Nadeem Iqbal denied this saying the suspect was well qualified to lead the branch. All those even remotely connected with the issue had been sidelined and were being probed, he said. A branch officer and his wife, also a government officer, were initially found to have withdrawn about Rs20m against maturity of some accounts of unsuspecting individuals, but confirmed to have gotten away with Rs50m by the same evening when confronted with some evidence.

    While the recovery was in process, internal investigation found a much bigger scam and another Rs50m in the process of withdrawal against different schemes and instruments were frozen. The CDNS leadership ordered the lodging of an FIR and involved the FIA.

    The official said the suspect group confessed to have siphoned off more than Rs104m and gave recovery of about Rs90.43m during investigation by the FIA.

    He said an official of the branch was under arrest, another of grade-18 had been transferred and two others of grade-17 and as many of grade-11 had been sidelined and were being charge-sheeted for criminal negligence, connivance or fraud. He said the investigation was currently in progress but prima facie the fraud could have been avoided if all these officials performed their duties.

    Mr Iqbal said the CDNS management had ordered reconciliation of manual and automated record of accounts and funds across the country.

    He said all branches had been advised to reconcile their accounts on daily basis with a warning that a lapse would be taken seriously. Secondly, the issuance of a check to any customer would be based on computerised identity card number across the country. In the long term, 222 branches out of total 376 branches in the country will be automated during the current year to ensure biometric verification of customers.

    Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018


    Officials of Lahore branch have diverted more than Rs110 million to bank accounts of their own. — Photo/FileOfficials of Lahore branch have diverted more than Rs110 million to bank accounts of their own. — Photo/File

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    The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday accepted an application filed by the father of Naqeebullah Mehsud — a Waziristan native killed in a staged encounter in Karachi earlier this year — to transfer the case relating to his son's murder to another anti-terrorism court (ATC).

    A division bench headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh ordered that the case be transferred to another court. The ATC that will hear the case in the future will be announced by the court's administrative office.

    Former Malir SSP Rao Anwar, then DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh, and their 10 detained and 14 absconding subordinates have been booked for allegedly killing four men, including Mehsud, in a fake shoot-out in Shah Latif Town on January 13 this year and, separately for foisting fake recoveries of illicit arms and explosives on the victims.

    Mohammad Khan, the slain model’s father, had approached the SHC in July after ATC-II judge Khalida Yaseen granted post-arrest bail in the murder case to undertrial former SSP Anwar, who was kept in a temporary detention facility in Multan Lines in Malir Cantonment.

    The applicant had shown no confidence in the ATC-II judge and had sought transfer of Mehsud's murder and other connected cases to any other court of law.

    During today's hearing, the chief justice asked Anwar's lawyer whether it was appropriate for the ATC-II judge to amend the order regarding the former SSP's bail plea twice in one day.

    "The prosecutor has also accepted that the observations of the ATC judge are not appropriate," Justice Shaikh remarked.

    Accepting the application filed by Mehsud's father, the bench subsequently ordered that the case be transferred from the ATC-II judge.

    Hearing of plea against bail adjourned

    Meanwhile, the SHC adjourned till November 26 the hearing of another application filed by Mehsud's father seeking revocation of the bail granted to Anwar and ex-DSP Qamar in a case pertaining to allegedly foisting fake recoveries on the victims and lodging false criminal cases against them.

    The hearing was adjourned without any proceedings on the matter. However, the court issued notices to ex-SSP Anwar, former DSP Qamar and prosecutor general of Sindh.

    The application filed by Barrister Faisal Siddiqui on behalf of Mehsud's father argues that the trial court had approved the suspects' bails without hearing the complainants and without taking the evidence into consideration.


    A protester holds a photograph of 23-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud during a protest in Karachi.  ─ AFP/FileA protester holds a photograph of 23-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud during a protest in Karachi. ─ AFP/File

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    Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif on Monday told PML-N lawmakers that the opposition had "not tried to take political advantage" during the crisis-like situation that had resulted from religious groups' countrywide protests against the acquittal of Asia Bibi last week.

    Sharif, who is currently in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), was chairing a meeting of PML-N's parliamentary party at the Parliament House.

    According to a series of tweets by the PML-N, Sharif during the meeting briefed party members on the steps that helped in improving the law and order situation in the country in the past few days.

    Also read: Fawad Chaudhry thanks PPP, PML-N for 'maturity' in supporting govt over handling of protests

    "[Sharif] briefed party members on the positive role played by the opposition during recent sit-ins," the party said in a tweet.

    Sharif is also expected to address the National Assembly today.

    According to PML-N party leaders, the opposition is expected to criticise the adjournment of the session on Friday after a lawmaker pointed out lack of quorum five minutes after it started.

    Ahead of Monday's session set to start at 5pm, a NAB team brought Shahbaz to Parliament House, where he held a meeting with former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq, PML-N's Sindh representative Shah Muhammad Shah and MNA Kheal Das regarding the affairs of the party's organisations across the country.

    According to PML-N party sources, Sharif also met his lawyer Amjad Pervaiz with his team during which the ongoing NAB cases against him were discussed. The PML-N president, whose physical remand is to end day after tomorrow, consulted his lawyer about their future strategy.

    The adjournment of Friday's NA session considerably irked the opposition, which had already expressed its disappointment a day earlier over Prime Minister Imran Khan's absence from the Lower House at a time when the country was facing nationwide protests by religious groups.

    Soon after a recitation from the Holy Quran, Agha Hassan of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) had pointed out lack of quorum. Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri subsequently ordered a head count and then adjourned the session till Monday after finding that the quorum was not complete.

    Under the rules, the presence of one-fourth of the members (86) of the 342-member house is required to maintain quorum.

    The opposition later used the adjournment of the assembly as a pretext to refuse a meeting with a government delegation that had requested bipartisan support for a parliamentary resolution against the protesters.


    Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of PML-N's parliamentary party on Monday. — PML-N TwitterOpposition leader Shahbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of PML-N's parliamentary party on Monday. — PML-N Twitter

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    A police official, his driver and his guard were gunned down by unidentified assailants on GT Road in Sheikhupura district on Monday.

    The Station House Officer (SHO) at Lahore's Rang Mahal police station, Zahid Mehmood, was injured in firing and was being transported to the hospital when he succumbed to his wounds.

    His driver and guard died on the spot, District Police Officer (DPO) Sheikhupura Jahanzeb Nazir Khan told DawnNewsTV.

    Mehmood had been travelling from his home in Sheikhupura's Murdike area to Lahore when gunmen opened fire on his car on GT Road, the DPO said.

    The assailants fled the site of the attack. Police have erected district-wide blockades and initiated a search operation in an attempt to arrest the suspected attackers.


    Inspector Zahid Mehmood. — DawnNewsTVInspector Zahid Mehmood. — DawnNewsTV

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    The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) on Monday said it plans to hold a 'million march' in Karachi on Thursday against the Supreme Court's recent acquittal of Asia Bibi— a Christian woman who was previously condemned to death on blasphemy charges by lower courts.

    Last Wednesday, the apex court, in a landmark judgement, had accepted Asia Bibi's appeal against her sentence, following which several religiopolitical parties had taken to the streets to protest, which at some places had escalated into riots.

    A day later, JUI-Fazl Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, whose party is one of several that constitutes the multi-party MMA alliance, had announced that a 'million march' would be held in the port city, where he said "the future strategy" on the issue would be chalked out.

    Rehman's party today recapitulated their plans, urging party workers to gather at Shahrah-e-Quaideen on November 8.

    Thursday's march will be Rehman's second major political event after he headed a rally in Peshawar last Friday.

    In the Peshawar rally, the JUI-F head had held the PTI government responsible for the turmoil in the wake of the SC's verdict, and announced that his countrywide agitation would continue until the government was ousted.


    A file photo of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal leaders.A file photo of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal leaders.

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    Former Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Monday filed an appeal against the objections that the Supreme Court registrar's had raised on his petition challenging his dismissal by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

    On October 11, the SJC had recommended Siddiqui's removal after finding him guilty of misconduct over a controversial speech he had delivered in July before the Rawalpindi District Bar Association. The recommendation was soon adopted and enforced by President Arif Alvi.

    Last week, Siddiqui had attempted to file a petition against his sacking, but his petition was turned down by the SC registrar.

    One of the trio of objections raised by the SC registrar was "that the petitioner is invoking extraordinary jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution for the redressal of an individual grievance, which is not permissible in terms of judgment reported as 1998 SCMR 793 titled as Zulfiqar Mehdi Vs PIA etc".

    Siddiqui today challenged the objections, claiming that "this is a case of common welfare" and that "the Supreme Court has had ruled in these nature of cases under Section 3 of the Article 184."

    "The Iftikhar Chaudhry case precedent is also present in this regard," the former judge stated in his appeal.

    Siddiqui, in his appeal, demands that "the SC registrar's objections be set aside and his case be heard in open court."


    A File photo of Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.A File photo of Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.

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    Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday visited National Counter Terrorism Centre in Pabbi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the last day of the ongoing Pak-Russia Joint Training Exercise Druzhba-III, read a statement issued by the military’s media wing.

    The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, “The exercise focused on counter-terrorism training of the special operation forces of Pakistan and ground forces of Russian Federation, while exchanging mutual counter-terrorism experiences.”

    The army chief appreciated the participating troops for their dedication, skill and professionalism. He said this “exercise was a great forum to reinforce the existing relationship between the two militaries”.

    Russia’s Deputy Head of Mission in Pakistan Valadamir Betezyuk was also present on the occasion.


    The army chief appreciated the participating troops for their dedication, skill and professionalism. —ISPRThe army chief appreciated the participating troops for their dedication, skill and professionalism. —ISPR

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    Members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the PPP on Monday exchanged hot words and nearly got into a physical altercation after the opposition criticised the agreement reached between the government and religiopolitical groups, who protested the acquittal of Asia Bibi for three days last week.

    The fracas began after PPP MNA Shazia Marri termed the deal finalised between the government and protesters as a "surrender document", and in a taunting reference to Prime Minister Imran Khan's surname (Niazi), compared the agreement to the surrender document signed by Gen A.A.K. Niazi that led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.

    Editorial: Another surrender

    Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan objected to Marri's remarks and asked her to desist from ridiculing an entire clan or tribe for an individual's act. He said it was true that Gen Niazi had surrendered before Indian troops in 1971 but there are other Niazis who are "rendering great services and sacrifices for the nation".

    Speaker Asad Qaiser interjected with a warning that no member would ridicule any tribe or clan in their speeches in the future.

    However, when Marri insisted she was actually mentioning the name of Gen Niazi and that she would continue to do so, a number of treasury backbenchers stood up and lodged a noisy protest to prevent the PPP lawmaker from continuing her speech.

    Meanwhile, a PPP MNA from Karachi, Syed Rafiullah, and PTI's MNA from Layyah Abdul Majeed Khan exchanged some hot words.

    Getting angry over some remarks uttered by Khan, which could not be heard in the galleries due to noise, Rafiullah was seen charging towards the PTI MNA, but he was physically stopped by a number of lawmakers.

    The speaker called the sergeants-at-arms to expel both members from the house. However, after failing to control the situation, he adjourned the sitting till Tuesday morning.

    'Govt will always defend blasphemy laws'

    Earlier, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri defended the government's act of entering into a deal with Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leaders for ending their protest sit-ins over the Supreme Court verdict in Asia Bibi case.

    Speaking during the session, the minister, who was a signatory to the agreement, said the government had not used force to disperse the protesters as per the desire of the opposition parties.

    He said Prime Minister Khan was constantly in touch with them from China and had also instructed them to resolve the matter peacefully.

    He recalled that the previous government of the PML-N had also signed a deal with the same protesters (during the Faizabad sit-in), but it was signed after three weeks and after its law minister resigned. In contrast, he said, the PTI government had succeeded in reaching an agreement in three days and without any resignation.

    Qadri stressed that the PTI-led government "will always defend Section 295-C of blasphemy laws".

    He said the speech of Prime Minister Khan about the establishment of writ of the state in the country was a policy and it would be implemented during its five-year tenure.

    "There is a need to formulate a long-term strategy to avoid such a situation [in the future]," the minister said.

    'Govt took a U-turn'

    Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had earlier demanded that some government minister should brief the House about the agreement signed by the government with the protesters. He alleged that the government had a non-serious attitude towards important national issues.

    Abbasi claimed the government had itself pointed out a lack of quorum on Friday and "ran away from the parliament".

    Rana Sanaullah, another PML-N leader, said the government had handled the protest in a non-serious manner.

    Without naming TLP leaders, he said these religiopolitical leaders had all of a sudden entered the political arena even though "none of them had contested even the municipality election before". He said these people were brought into politics during the by-election in NA-120, when Kulsoom Nawaz was contesting the polls, and they were later allowed to field candidates from all constituencies in the July 25 elections.

    When some PTI members interrupted and asked him to identify the forces who allegedly backed the religiopolitical groups, Sanaullah said they were the same elements "who brought people from south Punjab to Banigala and into the PTI fold".

    He said the agreement signed with religious groups during the PML-N government's tenure had been "forced" on them and they had not done so willingly.

    Sannaullah said the opposition had suggested not to use force only at three places — Faizabad in Islamabad, The Mall in Lahore, and in Karachi — as protesters had gathered at these places in large numbers.

    He said the prime minister in his speech had categorically stated that the writ of the state would be established at all costs, but in the next three days the nation saw no state or government.

    "After the prime minister's speech, the government took a U-turn and entered into a deal with the protesters," the PML-N leader said.

    Sanaullah also asked the government to disclose the whereabouts of Asia Bibi. "Has Asia Bibi been released as per the SC order or is she still in jail as per the agreement [with protesters]?" he asked.

    He said the government had started registering cases against the protesters and there was a fear that innocent people could also be picked up in the drive.

    'Opposition did not take political advantage of protests'

    Earlier in the evening, Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif told PML-N lawmakers that the opposition had "not tried to take political advantage" during the crisis-like situation that had resulted from religious groups' countrywide protests against the acquittal of Asia Bibi last week.

    Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of PML-N's parliamentary party. — PML-N Twitter
    Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif chairs a meeting of PML-N's parliamentary party. — PML-N Twitter

    Sharif, who is currently in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), was chairing a meeting of PML-N's parliamentary party at the Parliament House.

    The PML-N president deferred his address to the National Assembly today and is now expected to address the House tomorrow.

    According to a series of tweets by the PML-N, Sharif during the meeting briefed party members on the steps that helped in improving the law and order situation in the country during the past few days.

    Also read: Fawad Chaudhry thanks PPP, PML-N for 'maturity' in supporting govt over handling of protests

    "[Sharif] briefed party members on the positive role played by the opposition during recent sit-ins," the party said in a tweet.

    He claimed that although the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had exploited occasions like these for "political gains", the current opposition prioritised national interest instead of doing politics on the issue.

    The PML-N president was also quoted as saying that the PTI government had gained nothing from Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to China this week.

    In a statement issued, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the meeting had taken stock of the overall political, economic and internal security situation of the country and deliberated upon a strategy for the future.

    The PML-N members also criticised as an "unparliamentary act" the adjournment of the session on Friday after a lawmaker pointed out lack of quorum five minutes after it started.

    "The way the government ended the session in such a sensitive situation by pointing out the [lack of] quorum shows the government lacks the ability and courage to deal with challenges," the statement read.

    The adjournment of Friday's NA session considerably irked the opposition, which had already expressed its disappointment a day earlier over Prime Minister Khan's absence from the Lower House at a time when the country was facing nationwide protests by religious groups.

    Soon after a recitation from the Holy Quran, Agha Hassan of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) had pointed out lack of quorum. Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri subsequently ordered a head count and then adjourned the session till Monday after finding that the quorum was not complete.

    The opposition later used the adjournment of the assembly as a pretext to refuse a meeting with a government delegation that had requested bipartisan support for a parliamentary resolution against the protesters.

    'No economic vision'

    The meeting expressed concerns over the state of the economy, saying the government has "no economic vision or strategy" to deal with the crisis-like situation.

    "The increasing economic instability and uncertainty could have... serious implications for the national security," the party said.

    "Economic, agricultural, commercial and industrial activities are witnessing gradual decline which could become the harbinger of an economic disaster."

    It was decided during the meeting that the PML-N will issue a fact sheet on the PTI government's performance of first 100 days and "inform the people about the details of the current government's failures".

    The meeting also condemned complaints and reports of media censorship in the country, saying: "The PML-N considers freedom of press an essential pre-requisite to strengthen democracy."

    Shahbaz's arrival

    Ahead of Monday's session that began at 5pm, a NAB team brought Shahbaz to Parliament House, where he held a meeting with former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq, PML-N's Sindh representative Shah Muhammad Shah and MNA Kheal Das regarding matters related to the party's reorganisation across the country.

    According to PML-N party sources, Sharif also met his lawyer Amjad Pervaiz with his team during which the ongoing NAB cases against him were discussed. The PML-N president, whose physical remand is to end day after tomorrow, consulted his lawyer about their future strategy.


    Lawmakers prevent PPP's Syed Rafiullah from charging at a PTI member.Lawmakers prevent PPP's Syed Rafiullah from charging at a PTI member.

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    A court in Karachi on Monday remanded in judicial custody a suspect accused of committing online fraud in the name of hosting fake parties.

    The suspect, Arsalan Qamar, was on Sunday arrested by the Boat Basin police for allegedly running ‘dirty night’ (couple swapping) campaign through social media and defrauding citizens.

    He was later booked in a case registered under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly Inducing delivery of property) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with the Section 25-D (penalty for causing annoyance, etc) of the Telegraph Act, 1885.

    The investigating officer (IO) on Monday produced the accused before the judicial magistrate concerned (South) to secure his physical remand for interrogation.

    The IO mentioned that during the initial interrogation the suspect admitted to running fake campaigns on social media and profiting off of it.

    The police investigator sought physical remand of the suspect, saying that his other accomplices were yet to be tracked down and that the investigation of the case was yet to be completed.

    The judge, however, remanded the suspect in judicial custody till November 18, instructing the police investigator to produce him in the next hearing and also submit a progress report.


    Karachi Police arresting a criminal. —File photoKarachi Police arresting a criminal. —File photo

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