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    A joint investigation team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court earlier this month to probe alleged abuse of power by Minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati has held the lawmaker and his employees responsible for the altercation that took place at his farmhouse involving slum dwellers — an official close to the investigation told DawnNewsTV.

    Swati, a member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), is accused of playing a role in the transfer of former Islamabad police chief Jan Mohammad — an allegation over which the SC had pondered taking action against him under Article 62 of the Constitution before forming a JIT.

    The IG’s transfer took place after Swati’s son registered a case against a family of slum dwellers for allegedly trespassing on his family’s land. Five people, including two women, were arrested for trespassing on the land and beating Swati’s guards up.

    They were released after a day’s detention as police said a settlement had been reached between the minister and the detained family.

    Led by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Director General Irfan Mangi, the JIT, also comprising members of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), had begun its inquiry against Swati and visited his residence in Islamabad on November 7.

    The probe body submitted its final report on the matter in the apex court today.

    The report, comprising five volumes, states that the inquiry against Swati was linked to the situation that arose after the minister's son had a case registered against a neighbouring family.

    The report, which has not been released publicly, also raises questions regarding the transfer of the former Islamabad IG by the government in the aftermath of the altercation.

    The SC had directed the JIT to probe alleged misconduct on the part of Swati, besides examining the minister and his children's assets and tax payments. The team was asked to present its report within 14 days.

    The JIT had communicated with a number of people during the probe, and also included Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi in the investigation.

    Alleged abuse of power

    The alleged abuse of power on Swati's part had emerged following an altercation between his domestic staff and neighbours, whose cattle had reportedly ventured on the minister's farmhouse and caused damage to his property.

    The altercation, coupled with the IGP's transfer, had caught the attention of the media as well as the apex court. In the meantime, it had appeared that Swati's family may have been encroaching upon government land, following which the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had issued Swati's wife, the owner of the property, a notice to remove encroachments and unauthorised construction from her farmhouse in 15 days.


    Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Azam Swati. — FileFederal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Azam Swati. — File

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    The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development on Monday launched online complaint centre Call Sarzameen and an e-governance web portal.

    Special Assistant to PM on overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari, in his speech at the launch ceremony, said: "The ministry of overseas Pakistanis is the first [ministry] that has opted for e-governance."

    "I am not convinced with manual files," said Bukhari, whose appointment by the PM is being probed by the Supreme Court. "Thick files waste the entire day and nothing happens. The entire system has now been computerised; a tracking system has been created that shows updates on files."

    Read: Overseas Pakistanis to be excluded from second round of by-elections: ECP

    The PM's special assistant explained the purpose of Call Sarzameen and E-governance web portals, saying: "The Call Sarzameen centre will work round the clock for overseas Pakistanis across the world. Their complaints will be heard immediately, while mobile apps of Call Sarzameen will also be developed."

    According to the ministry spokesperson, "Call Sarzameen is a complaint centre for Pakistanis living abroad. These complaints reach the minister, who can then take action."

    Regarding the e-governance portal, the spokesperson said: "E-governance is a commendable step to digitalise the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.

    "The paper culture is being abolished and the ministry is going online so that daily task could be processed immediately. From now on the processing of any file will not require more than a day."


    Call Sarzameen is a complaint centre for Pakistanis living abroad.Call Sarzameen is a complaint centre for Pakistanis living abroad.

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    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday clapped back at United States (US) President Donald Trump on Monday, suggesting that Washington assess its efficacy in the War on Terror in Afghanistan instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures.

    While speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Trump had attempted to justify his administration's decision at the start of 2018 to pull "military aid" to Pakistan by linking it to Osama bin Laden being found in Pakistan in 2011. "They [Pakistan] don’t do a damn thing for us," the US president had said.

    Speaking of the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was found in 2011, Trump said the bin Ladens had been "living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there."

    However, contrary to Trump's insinuations, former US president Barack Obama, the raid was carried out, had said last year: "We had no evidence that Pakistan was aware of his presence — that is something that we looked at."

    Trump also added that the US used to give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year, but doesn't anymore. "I ended it because they don't do anything for us."

    Read more: 'Appeasement does not work with US': Shireen Mazari claps back at Trump over tirade against Pakistan

    PM Khan responded to Trump's statements, saying that Islamabad had decided to "participate in the US War on Terror" although no Pakistani was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

    "Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123 billion was lost," he added, of which "US 'aid' was a miniscule $20bn", the premier said.

    In addition to economic losses, the PM highlighted the impact of the US war on Pakistan's tribal areas. "Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of people were uprooted from their homes. The war drastically impacted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis," he said.

    "Pakistan continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications (GLOCs/ALOCs)," he added.

    "Can Mr Trump name another ally that gave such sacrifices?" he asked.

    "Instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 Nato troops, plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before," he suggested.

    Earlier today, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also called Trump out over his remarks about Pakistan, saying: "@realDonaldTrump suffers conveniently from perpetual historic amnesia!"

    Calling Trump's tirade a lesson for Pakistani leaders "who kept appeasing the US esp after 9/11", the minister added: "Whether China or Iran, US policies of containment and isolation do not coincide with Pakistan's strategic interests."

    Relations between the United States and Pakistan, which began to strain in 2011, reached a new low in January when Trump suspended US security assistance to Islamabad over the alleged presence of Afghan militant groups in Fata. The government as well as the military had rejected the charge as incorrect.

    The Inter-Services Public Relations had clarified at the time that that the Coalition Support Fund, received from the US, is reimbursement of money spent for operations in support of the coalition for regional peace.


    Prime Minister Imran Khan responds to US President Donald Trump's statements about Pakistan yesterday. ─ File photoPrime Minister Imran Khan responds to US President Donald Trump's statements about Pakistan yesterday. ─ File photo

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    The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) officials on Monday said as many as 800 shops in the famous city markets were demolished during the third week of the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in the metropolis— being carried out on the directives of the Supreme Court.

    “Nearly 350 illegally-built shops in Aram Bagh furniture market and 450 shops near the Light House area were razed by the anti-encroachment staff with the help of heavy machinery,” said a KMC official.

    The local authority termed it the "second major action" after the anti-encroachment drive around the historical Empress Market, where over 1,400 shops were demolished last week.

    Editorial: Anti-encroachment drive

    According to the KMC spokesperson, the demolition was monitored by Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saifur Rehman, who asserted that the illegal structures were being removed on the directives of the apex court and that "no one will be allowed to acquire even an inch of space illegally."

    Sharing details of the operations, Dr Rehman said a total of 175 shops were registered with the Estate Department of KMC in the Aram Bagh market and 297 were registered in Lunda Bazaar, however, these shops were later divided and made 450 and 350 shops, respectively, by the shopkeepers on their own.

    All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Chairman Atiq Mir told Dawn that as many as 450 shops were demolished in both the areas, rendering around 2,000 families jobless.

    Mir pointed out that the shopkeepers and vendors, whose shops were demolished, have been doing businesses here for the past 38 years and that they regularly paid rent to the KMC.

    The business leader suggested that those shopkeepers who have been paying rent to the KMC should be provided alternative places for doing their business.

    Separately, shopkeepers affected by the anti-encroachment drive held a protest rally outside the Karachi Press Club, requesting the chief justice to take notice of the allegedly ruthless drive and provide them alternative places for conducting business.


    KMC staff busy in removing encroachments and illegal constructions near Light House area in Karachi. —APPKMC staff busy in removing encroachments and illegal constructions near Light House area in Karachi. —APP

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    The Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Monday approved a proposal to include 1,230 MW Haveli Bahadur Shah and 1,223 MW Balloki power projects in the active list of the privatisation programme for early implementation.

    The CCI meeting, held in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, emphasised upon the need for greater focus towards renewable energy in existing energy mix, Radio Pakistan reported.

    In October, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) had approved sell-off of the newly established 1,233-megawatt RLNG-based Balloki Power Plant and 1,230MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant.

    Last week, the Privatisation Commission had asked the National Power Parks Company (NPPC) to submit a working paper on its feasibility.

    The Balloki and Haveli Bahadur plants would either be privatised as a bundle package or as separate entities, and the working paper to be prepared by the NPPC will identify timelines, justifications and issues ancillary to it for consideration of the Privatisation Commission board and the cabinet committee on privatisation.

    Editorial: Opposition to privatisation

    The participants of the meeting decided to further improve the ease of doing business in the country in order to attract investments and to promote industries so that it could truly benefit from the export potential.

    The meeting also discussed the issue of rapid population growth of the country which currently stands at 207.8 million with a growth rate of 2.4% per annum.

    It was decided to constitute national and provincial task forces, to be headed by the prime minister at the federal level and by the respective chief ministers at the provincial levels.


    The Haveli Bahadur Shah RLNG power plant has a capacity to produce  1,230 MW. —Dawn ArchivesThe Haveli Bahadur Shah RLNG power plant has a capacity to produce 1,230 MW. —Dawn Archives

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    What started with United States President Donald Trump’s tirade against Pakistan on Sunday night culminated into a heated exchange between him and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Twitter on Monday, with the latter making it clear that “Now, we [Pakistan] will do what is best for our people and our interests."

    PM Khan’s latest rebuttal came after Trump tweeted about Pakistan’s alleged inaction against “Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan”. The US head of state was repeating his statements from his interview to Fox News on Sunday in which he attempted to justify his administration's decision to pull "military aid" to Pakistan.

    The US president claimed he had pointed out Osama bin Laden in his book "just BEFORE" the 9/11 attacks and that his country "of course" should have captured the Al Qaeda leader "long before we did".

    "President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!.." he wrote.

    Reiterating his earlier comment, Trump said the US no longer pays billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan "because they would take our money and do nothing for us". He cited the capture of bin Laden in Abbottabad and the Afghanistan war as the two areas of alleged inaction by Pakistan.

    "They [Pakistan] were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!" Trump said.

    The US president's tweets were shortly followed by a Twitter post by Prime Minister Khan, who said Trump "needs to be informed abt historical facts".

    "Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury [that] Pak has suffered in US WoT in terms of lives lost & destabilised & economic costs," the premier wrote.

    "Pak has suffered enough fighting US's war. Now we will do what is best for our people & our interests," he concluded.

    PM Khan's response to Trump's tirade

    PM Khan first hit back at Trump's remarks earlier today, suggesting that Washington assess its efficacy in the War on Terror in Afghanistan instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures.

    While speaking to Fox News, Trump had justified his administration's decision to cancel military aid for Pakistan by linking it to bin Laden being found in Pakistan in 2011. "They [Pakistan] don’t do a damn thing for us," the US president had said.

    Speaking of the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was found in 2011, Trump said the bin Ladens had been "living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there."

    However, contrary to Trump's insinuations, former US president Barack Obama, under whom the raid was carried out, had said last year: "We had no evidence that Pakistan was aware of his presence — that is something that we looked at."

    Trump also added that the US used to give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year, but doesn't anymore. "I ended it because they don't do anything for us."

    Read more: 'Appeasement does not work with US': Shireen Mazari claps back at Trump over tirade against Pakistan

    PM Khan responded to Trump's statements, saying that Islamabad had decided to "participate in the US War on Terror" although no Pakistani was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

    "Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123 billion was lost," he added, of which "US 'aid' was a minuscule $20bn", the premier said.

    In addition to economic losses, the PM highlighted the impact of the US war on Pakistan's tribal areas. "Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of people were uprooted from their homes. The war drastically impacted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis," he said.

    "Pakistan continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications (GLOCs/ALOCs)," he added.

    "Can Mr Trump name another ally that gave such sacrifices?" he asked.

    "Instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 Nato troops, plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before," he suggested.

    Earlier today, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also called Trump out over his remarks about Pakistan, saying: "@realDonaldTrump suffers conveniently from perpetual historic amnesia!"

    Relations between the United States and Pakistan, which began to strain in 2011, reached a new low in January when Trump suspended US security assistance to Islamabad over the alleged presence of Afghan militant groups in Fata. The government as well as the military had rejected the charge as incorrect.

    The Inter-Services Public Relations had clarified at the time that the Coalition Support Fund, received from the US, is reimbursement of money spent for operations in support of the coalition for regional peace.


    Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) and US President Donald Trump. — FilePrime Minister Imran Khan (L) and US President Donald Trump. — File

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    GUJRAT: Contrary to the tall claims of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Prime Minister Imran Khan about depoliticising the bureaucracy and police, the party’s Punjab government seemed to be failing to resist political pressure for the posting and transfer of senior officials.

    Tariq Abbas Qureshi who was posted as Gujranwala regional police officer some two weeks ago was again transferred on Nov 16 by the Punjab government and his services were put on the disposal of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

    However, his transfer to the federal government was cancelled by the Establishment Division the same day. Though the officer was asked by the Punjab government to continue, the orders for cancellation of his transfer were yet to be issued.

    Mr Qureshi had earlier (on September 8) been transferred to the FIA by the federal government but he did not join there and in the meantime he was posted as Gujranwala RPO in November.

    A senior police official posted in the Gujranwala said the summary to cancel the RPO’s transfer order has already been moved to the competent authority in Punjab.

    Another source said the abrupt transfer of RPO Gujranwala had also been brought into the notice of Prime Minister Imran Khan by one of his close aides in the ruling PTI after which Mr Qureshi’s services were again handed over to Punjab government.

    Mr Qureshi has vast experience of serving in Gujranwala region as he served as the DPO Gujrat and Hafizabad in 2009-2010 and was also posted as a trainee ASP in Gujrat back in 1997-1998.

    An official privy to these developments said that the move was “politically motivated”.

    Official sources told Dawn that because of Punjab government’s ambivalence in posting and transfer matters, the officers felt unsure about their tenure and could not introduce reforms in their respective fields.

    Earlier, around a week ago the Jhelum Deputy Commissioner (DC) Muhammad Suhail Khawaja, a BS-19 officer of the Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS), was transferred only two weeks after his posting. Khalid Mehmud Tipu, the Jhelum additional deputy commissioner revenue was given the additional charge of Jhelum DC on November 12.

    The sources said Suhail Khawaja’s transfer was influenced by a PTI MNA.

    Similarly, Gujranwala deputy commissioner was transferred four days ago because of the alleged political interference but he has yet to relinquish the charge.

    An administrative official in BS-17 told Dawn on condition of anonymity that he had been asked by the senior authorities to arrange recommendation of any ruling party lawmaker from the district where he wanted to get posted as assistant commissioner.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    Contrary to the tall claims of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Prime Minister Imran Khan about depoliticising the bureaucracy and police, the party’s Punjab government seemed to be failing to resist political pressure for the posting and transfer of senior officials. — Photo courtesy of Punjab police Facebook/FileContrary to the tall claims of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Prime Minister Imran Khan about depoliticising the bureaucracy and police, the party’s Punjab government seemed to be failing to resist political pressure for the posting and transfer of senior officials. — Photo courtesy of Punjab police Facebook/File

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    GUJRANWALA: A ruling party MPA and some other office-bearers of the party are opposing the abrupt transfer of Deputy Commissioner Shoaib Tariq Waraich but so far they are unable to get the order reversed.

    Mr Warriach, it is believed, was transferred for issuing a notice to demolish an illegally-constructed petrol pump on state land by PML-N MPA Iqbal Gujjar’s family. His son Ahsan Jameel Gujjar, who remained in media limelight during the Pakpattan DPO transfer case taken up by the apex court, allegedly used his connections in the PM House and got the official removed on last Friday. The DC was yet to relinquish the charge till Monday night.

    Following the transfer, MPA Shaheen Raza and other PTI people came in the open to defend the deputy commissioner and urged the chief minister to cancel the transfer order. They said Mr Warriach was a brave officer who had taken bold steps against the land grabbers and retrieved more than 5,000 kanal state land from influential people, including former minister Khurram Dastgir Khan.

    MPA Ch Iqbal Gujjar said in a press conference that the petrol pump belonged to his son Hassan Sultan and it was built on land allotted to them by the government of Pakistan in 1947 when they migrated from India. He said they had got a stay order from the court against the demolition plan. He denied that his family was behind the DC’s transfer.

    Meanwhile, Punjab government spokesman Dr Shehbaz Gill has said the transfer of Gujranwala Deputy Commissioner has been made purely on merit.

    He claimed the government was not satisfied with the performance of the DC. “During the recent sit-in, a question mark was raised on the performance of the DC and the judiciary also expressed its dissatisfaction over his performance. Giving any other impression to this transfer will be totally baseless and beyond facts and the Punjab government fully believes in merit and performance,” the spokesman claimed.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    A ruling party MPA and some other office-bearers of the party are opposing the abrupt transfer of Deputy Commissioner Shoaib Tariq Waraich but so far they are unable to get the order reversed. — Photo courtesy of Twitter/FileA ruling party MPA and some other office-bearers of the party are opposing the abrupt transfer of Deputy Commissioner Shoaib Tariq Waraich but so far they are unable to get the order reversed. — Photo courtesy of Twitter/File

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    LAHORE: A delegation of senior journalists on Monday conveyed concern of the entire journalist community to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar over his remarks about veteran journalist Hussain Naqi during hearing of a case pertaining to Punjab Healthcare Commission’s board of commissioners the other day.

    While the CJP was hearing multiple cases of public interest at the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court, the journalists approached the rostrum of Courtroom 1 and sought permission from the top judge to express their concern.

    Former presidents of Lahore Press Club Shahbaz Mian and Arshad Ansari along with Shafique Awan, Ziaullah Niazi, Gohar Butt and Shahzad Butt stated that Mr Naqi was a man of principles and enjoyed great respect amongst the entire country’s journalist community.

    Mr Shahbaz said the journalists also had great respect for the courts and the CJP, however, the community was disheartened by the remarks of the top judge about Mr Naqi. He said Mr Naqi was like a teacher to almost three generations of journalists and his life was full of struggle against oppression and dictatorial regimes in the country.

    Court acknowledges veteran’s services

    At this, Chief Justice Nisar said that the court had no ego and acknowledged the services of Mr Naqi. “Do you want the court to include Mr Naqi in the board of commissioners again?” the chief justice asked the journalists. However, Mr Shahbaz said Mr Naqi had no desire for any position.

    Meanwhile, Joint Action Committee for People’s Rights took exception to the treatment meted out to Mr Naqi in the Supreme Court.

    In a statement, the JAC said Mr Naqi was widely respected and known for his untiring struggle for democracy, rule of law and justice. His contribution influenced a large number of journalists and human rights defenders in Pakistan and abroad.

    The committee noted with concern that while Mr Naqi gracefully showed respect towards the SC and offered an unconditional apology, he was denied a fair response and deserved due respect by the court.

    “We expect the honorable CJP to publically show respect to Mr Naqi as this will send out a positive message to the public at large,” the statement added.

    CJP Nisar had taken suo motu notice of resignation by PHC chairman retired Justice Amer Raza Khan following alleged humiliation he faced during the first meeting of the board.

    Following an order by the chief justice, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and all members of the board, including Mr Naqi, had appeared before the court on Saturday.

    “How dare you disrespect Justice Khan and force him to resign?” the chief justice had angrily asked Mr Naqi.

    Mr Naqi, however, rejected the impression and requested the CJP to listen to his point of view. “I am 20 years older to you. Let me explain my position,” said Mr Naqi.

    Chief Justice Nisar, however, directed the security to accompany Mr Naqi out of the court. “Why should I leave? I have been elected to the board. I should be given a chance of hearing,” responded Mr Naqi.

    At this, the CJP said the board stood dissolved and warned him of being issued a contempt of court notice if he did not apologise for his conduct. Mr Naqi tendered an apology and the security officials accompanied him out of the court.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    A delegation of senior journalists on Monday conveyed concern of the entire journalist community to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar over his remarks about veteran journalist Hussain Naqi during hearing of a case pertaining to Punjab Healthcare Commission’s board of commissioners the other day. — File photoA delegation of senior journalists on Monday conveyed concern of the entire journalist community to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar over his remarks about veteran journalist Hussain Naqi during hearing of a case pertaining to Punjab Healthcare Commission’s board of commissioners the other day. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: A citizen on Monday approached the Supreme Court challenging National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s domain to probe into matters already pending adjudication before the superior courts.

    Iqbal Ahmed through his counsel Afshan Ghazanfar filed an application with a request to the apex court to allow him to become a party in the appeal moved by NAB challenging the Sept 19 order of Islamabad High Court (IHC) that suspended the jail term awarded to Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

    A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has already constituted a larger bench which on Dec 12 will consider the superior court’s jurisdiction about granting bail in cases where there is a statutory ouster.

    “Can NAB probe into the acquisition of properties by a person before Jan 1, 1985, which is the date of commencement of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, and can the acquisition of such properties become a charge before the accountability court under the ordinance.”

    Can NAB probe acquisition of properties by a person before Jan 1, 1985, petition filed in SC asks

    Mr Ahmed also asked if the bar contained under Section 9-B of NAO was in violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, adding constitutional guaranties as provided under Articles 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 and 25 do not protect the freedom of a person.

    Section 9-B holds that all offences under NAO will be non-bailable and notwithstanding anything contained in sections 497, 498 and 561A or any other provision of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) or any other law, no court will have jurisdiction to grant bail to any person accused of any offence.

    The applicant requested the Supreme Court to declare section 9-B as illegal, null and void ab initio.

    Mr Ahmed contended that he had a locus standi to file the application, adding prior to the promulgation of NAO he had pending cases before the Sindh High Court.

    Arising out of his litigation, several other petitions were filed by him in different courts, including the Supreme Court, and that the property being tried or investigated by NAB was already a subject matter of a reference.

    He recalled that he was aggrieved by the recent acts of NAB where the bureau had initiated investigations and finally on Oct 26, 2018, a reference was filed.

    Thus it has become all the more important for the larger bench of the apex court to determine the points he had raised.

    The applicant said through section 9-B, an attempt had been made to preclude the judicial review through statutory provisions that purported to strip the superior courts of their jurisdiction.

    “Thus serious questions about the relationship among different organs of the government, judicial independence and their constitution have emerged in view of these ouster clauses,” the applicant stated.

    The larger bench will also determine the scope of the constitutional jurisdiction for grant of bail during investigation/trial or release on bail by way of suspension of sentence.

    Besides, the court will ascertain parameters for tentative assessment of evidence and how it can be differentiated from deeper appreciation of evidence, particularly in cases involving grant of bail by suspending the sentence and release on bail during pendency of the appeal.

    Other points included the question whether guidelines provided by the superior courts regarding ouster of Section 426 of the CrPC were required to be followed for the suspension of sentence in NAB cases.

    And if so, what were the principles regulating suspension of the sentence under Section 426 of the CrPC.

    The court would also ascertain if the principles regulating bail under Sections 497 and 498 of the CrPC would be applicable while considering the suspension of sentence.

    Besides, if the convict was entitled to suspension of sentence but the judgment/order suspending the sentence was not happily worded, what would be its effect?

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    A citizen on Monday approached the Supreme Court challenging National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s domain to probe into matters already pending adjudication before the superior courts.  — AFP/File photoA citizen on Monday approached the Supreme Court challenging National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s domain to probe into matters already pending adjudication before the superior courts. — AFP/File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has said Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari alias Zulfi Bukhari was not cooperating with the investigators probing a case related to his alleged illegitimate assets.

    NAB on Monday submitted its reply to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in reply to petition filed by Mr Bukhari seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

    The bureau stated: “The respondent (NAB) has initiated the inquiry proceeding against the petitioner as per mandate of law, to probe into allegations of corruption and corrupt practices under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.”

    Special Prosecutor NAB Imran Shafique appeared before the court and informed Justice Aamer Farooq that the interior ministry on the request of NAB had placed Mr Bukhari on the ECL on Aug 4 since he was facing an inquiry for accumulating assets beyond known sources of income.

    “The petitioner intentionally avoided appearance before the investigation officer and concealed himself from the inquiry proceedings.”

    The reply said since there were “strong apprehensions of his abscondance, NAB recommended to the Ministry of Interior for placing the petitioner on the ECL in order to ensure his attendance in the inquiry proceedings.”

    Regarding the ongoing inquiry, the reply said: “Consequent upon revelation of Panama Papers, various allegations leveled that the petitioner in connivance with others has established various offshore companies in the British Virgin Island (BVI).”

    It said the chairman NAB had authorised an inquiry on Jan 15 to probe into allegations against the petitioner and unearth the element of corruption in establishment of companies in BVI.

    “The petitioner along with his family members own companies namely K Factor, Broadbury, Baytech Limited, Bayla Trading, Poieim Trading and Genstam Trading Limited incorporated in the BVI since 2006 onward. These companies established in the BVI have not been declared or reported to the concerned authorities in Pakistan.”

    The bureau said Mr Bukhari “did not cooperate with NAB by knowingly and willfully not joining the inquiry proceedings even after issuance of four summons.”

    Mr Bukhari in his petition adopted that he “is a British citizen of Pakistani origin…and is currently at Islamabad…his spouse and children are domiciled [in UK] from where his business interests are managed.”

    The petition said that Mr Bukhari was cooperating with the investigation team but “was shocked and dismayed to learn” that he was placed on the ECL.

    The petition said Section 3 of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981 provided for a right of review for any order made by the federal government. However, such a review only creates an illusory remedy.

    Interestingly, Mr Bukhari criticised his own government as the petition said: “The petitioner filed a representation and review petition…despite passage of about two months, the review petition of the petitioner has neither been put up for the cabinet, nor decision has been taken thereon by the federal government.”

    It requested the court to direct the interior ministry to remove his name from the ECL.

    The IHC adjourned further hearing on the petition to Nov 27.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has said Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari alias Zulfi Bukhari was not cooperating with the investigators probing a case related to his alleged illegitimate assets. — File photoThe National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has said Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari alias Zulfi Bukhari was not cooperating with the investigators probing a case related to his alleged illegitimate assets. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The Japanese government has announced providing $4.6 million grant to Pakistan to support the supply of essential polio vaccine for campaigns during 2018-19.

    Notes of grant were signed and exchanged here on Monday between the government of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

    The grant will support procurement of 25 million doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) which would be sufficient to vaccinating children under the age of five in high-risk districts across the country thus enabling the programme to quickly close immunity gaps.

    With this latest grant aid, the Japanese government had contributed about $230 million towards polio eradication initiative since 1996. To achieve and maintain interruption in polio transmission, Japan believed that robust routine immunisation was required, and had provided technical assistance for the Expanded Immunisation Programme (EPI) in Pakistan since 2001.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    The grant will support procurement of 25 million doses of oral polio vaccine to vaccinate children in high-risk areas.— AP/FileThe grant will support procurement of 25 million doses of oral polio vaccine to vaccinate children in high-risk areas.— AP/File

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    LAHORE: A Lahore High Court full bench adjourned the hearing of a petition seeking treason proceedings against two former prime ministers — Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi — and Cyril Almeida, a Dawn staffer, as counsel for the petitioner remained absent for the second consecutive hearing.

    As soon as the bench, headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, resumed the hearing, an application for adjournment was filed on behalf of the petitioner’s counsel, saying that his presence was needed for a hearing at the Supreme Court.

    The counsel was supposed to open his arguments on the maintainability of the petition as directed by the bench during two previous hearings.

    Meanwhile, the bench allowed Mr Almeida to go abroad before the next hearing. Advocate Ahmad Rauf filed an application before the bench and pleaded that his client wanted to go abroad.

    The bench accepted the application and allowed Mr Almeida to go abroad.

    Advocate Naseer Ahmad Bhutta filed an application on behalf of Nawaz Sharif seeking permanent exemption from personal appearance in the proceedings. The bench adjourned further hearing till Dec 11. In this case, all the three respondents have already submitted their written replies denying the allegations against them.

    The petitioner said that a meeting of the National Security Council was held to discuss a “misleading” statement by Mr Sharif. After the meeting, she added, then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met Mr Sharif only to convey to him the concerns of the military leadership and minutes of the meeting. She contended Mr Abbasi’s action was a violation of his oath as he was bound not to allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct. She pleaded that Nawaz Sharif be tried for treason under Article 6 of the constitution as well as the Pakistan Penal Code.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    In this case, all the three respondents have already submitted their written replies denying the allegations against them.— Photo courtesy LHCIn this case, all the three respondents have already submitted their written replies denying the allegations against them.— Photo courtesy LHC

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    LANDI KOTAL: Trading activities with Afghanistan resumed at the Torkham border on Monday when the protesting clearing agents and transporters ended their five-day-long strike after successful negotiations with collector customs in Peshawar.

    A delegation of the Torkham customs clearing agents met collector customs Saeed Jadoon with Torkham station assistant collector Sajid Mohmand, assistant commissioner, Landi Kotal, Mohammad Imran and office-bearers of both Sarhad and Khyber chambers of commerce and industries also in attendance.

    Zar Qeef Khan, president of clearing agents association, said after the meeting that all their legitimate demands were accepted and they were given assurance about redressal of their grievances regarding undue obstructions in clearance of goods at the border crossing.

    Mr Khan clarified that none of his association member was averse to use of Web Based One Custom system introduced at the border but insisted that the Collectorate of Customs must ensure high speed internet facilities and uninterrupted supply of electricity at their offices for effective functioning of the system.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    The agents and transporters ended their five-day-long strike after successful negotiations with collector customs. — AFP/ FileThe agents and transporters ended their five-day-long strike after successful negotiations with collector customs. — AFP/ File

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    ISLAMABAD: Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, special assistant to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development, contends that mere allegations are not sufficient to remove someone from office.

    Popularly known as Zulfi, Mr Bukhari — who is facing corruption charges — is said to be a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

    “No one resigns over just allegations. Moreover, soon it will be proved that all the allegations against me were wrong,” he said while speaking to reporters during the launching ceremony of different initiatives of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development (OPHRD) on Monday.

    Mr Bukhari expressed the hope that his name would soon be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL).

    Expresses hope that his name will soon be struck off from Exit Control List

    It is worth mentioning that Mr Bukhari has been facing allegations of having offshore companies. He has reportedly failed to give a satisfactory response to the National Accountability Bureau due to which his name has been put on the ECL.

    Currently, a case is being heard by the Islamabad High Court to remove his name from the ECL. Mr Bukhari hoped that the case would be concluded by next week.

    In reply to a question about corruption in the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI), Mr Bukhari said the ministry was preparing a white paper over the issue and soon it would be published.

    “It is not possible that the EOBI chairman would do corruption of billions of rupees, but the minister remains unaware. I assume that the minister was also involved in it,” he said.

    Call Sarzameen

    Earlier, Mr Bukhari inaugurated a website ‘Call Sarzameen’. He said that the website would enable overseas Pakistanis to lodge complaints round the clock, adding that they would be able to check the status of their complaints.

    He said the Ministry of OPHRD was the first ministry which had introduced the e-system due to which it had become possible to check the status of every file.

    “Moreover, now files cannot be lost or tampered with as every amendment in the file will be saved and that record cannot be corrupted or deleted. Officers will be able to track every file and see why it was delayed and for how long it remained stagnant at one table,” he said.

    A new website of the ministry was also launched at the occasion. It was informed that it was a comprehensive website due to which overseas Pakistanis would be able to get all relevant information.

    In response to a question about the difficulties being faced by overseas Pakistanis, Mr Bukhari said that issues of overseas Pakistanis were being resolved. Efforts were also being made to send more Pakistanis to different countries, he added.

    “We want to get a handsome percentage in the total labour hired in different countries and would take up the matter with those countries,” he said.

    A number of ministers and political personalities, including Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan, Minister of State for Communications Murad Saeed, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani and Parliamentary Secretary Javeria Zafar Aheer, were present on the occasion.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    Expresses hope that his name will soon be struck off from Exit Control List.— APP/FileExpresses hope that his name will soon be struck off from Exit Control List.— APP/File

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    KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed a senior education department official to file till Dec 3 the complete record of fee structure of private schools that had been approved by the provincial authorities.

    A three-member SHC bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, was hearing contempt of court applications with regard to non-implementation of the court’s earlier order about hike in schools’ annual tuition fee.

    The bench also directed the lawyers for private schools to file their reply in the next hearing.

    On Monday, the director general of the directorate of inspection of private schools, Mansoob Siddiqui, appeared before the bench and filed an interim report.

    The bench came down heavily on Mr Siddiqui for not implementing its order and warned of initiating contempt of court proceedings against him.

    Mr Siddiqui said that he suspended the registration of two private schools for not complying with the court order. He said that he was helpless since the management of the schools was influential.

    The bench said it was unfortunate that the provincial authorities were often seen under pressure of influential individuals.

    It also expressed displeasure with the management of schools and their lawyers for not complying with its order and still issuing previous fee vouchers to the parents of students. The lawyers sought time to file comments.

    The bench directed the DG to come up with a complete report of the approved fee structure on the next date.

    The parents of a large number of students enrolled in various private schools across Karachi filed applications seeking contempt of court proceedings against management of schools for allegedly defying the Sept 3 judgement of the bench, which ruled that the private schools could not enhance the annual tuition fees more than five per cent.

    Applicants’ lawyers contended that despite the SHC judgement, the schools had enhanced the tuition fee more than five per cent. They informed the bench that as per the director general of the directorate of inspection of private schools the record of fee structure was lost in rain.

    On Sept 3, the same bench had declared more than 5pc increase in annual tuition fees by the private schools and institutions as illegal and directed the schools to refund the amount within three months.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    The Sindh High Court building.— Photo courtesy SHCThe Sindh High Court building.— Photo courtesy SHC

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    KARACHI: A ‘high-profile’ militant linked with the banned Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has been apprehended in Karachi, it emerged on Monday.

    A security official who wished not to be named told Dawn that Umar Jalal Chandio alias Kathio was detai­ned from Gulshan-i-Iqbal recently.

    Jalal hailed from Mirpurkhas. He shifted to Kotri where he remained neighbour of Tahir Minhas alias Sain. Minhas was one of the main accused in the Safoora bus carnage in which over 47 members of the Shia Ismaili community were shot dead in 2015.

    Minhas along with other militants was arrested in 2015 by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

    A joint investigation team (JIT) in its report on the Safoora carnage revealed that Jalal was appointed AQIS’s local emir after the arrest of previous AQIS’s chief Abdul Rehman in 2001 in Karachi.

    According to JIT, when Minhas was associated with AQIS, Jalal Chandio asked him to move to Karachi.

    During a press conference in 2015, Raja Umar Khattab of the CTD had stated: “Jalal was associated with Al Qaeda’s Arab network while Haji Sahib (code name) was active in Karachi and the Wadh area of Balochistan where the group’s mainly Baloch youths were involved in kidnapping for ransom, terrorism and attacks on Nato forces’ containers.”

    Sources told Dawn that Jalal’s wife was also a high-profile activist of AQIS.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    "Umar Jalal Chandio alias Kathio is detai­ned from Gulshan-i-Iqbal recently."— DawnNewsTV/File

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    KARACHI: As the ride-hailing services and the Sindh government come close to resolving issues of route permits, the provincial authorities have prepared a checklist for the companies to address security of the people using them after they “received a few complaints of crime-related activities being executed through these vehicles”, said a top official on Monday.

    The disclosure came from the top when Sindh Transport Minister Syed Owais Qadir claimed to have received at least two complaints against one of the two major ride-hailing services in Karachi and the nature of attempted illegal activity was not a minor one.

    “I have personally received two written complaints against one of the services and one of the complainants has personally met me in my office,” he told Dawn when asked why so much focus on security-related compliance by the Sindh government. “Both complaints were related to kidnapping attempts. This is a serious issue and we need to address it immediately. We can’t be so callous and it’s under my domain to ensure safe and secure transport service for the people.”

    Transport minister says firms have not shared data of their fleets with him

    Last month, the transport minister ordered Careem and Uber to obtain route permits within a week or be prepared to “face a ban”. After the warning, the provincial regulatory body and the operators apparently agreed to expedite the process. However, this time the issue doesn’t seem only about the route permits as minister Shah sounded more concerned about the security issues than the regulation of his transport department.

    The minister mentioned two episodes which had come to his notice directly through the affected persons in which attempts of kidnappings were made by the drivers apart from an incident last month when a woman jumped out of a moving Careem car on Sharea Faisal to escape alleged harassment by the driver. The police had later arrested and booked the driver on charges of harassment. The situation pushed the Sindh ministry to take up the issues of both transport regulation and security at the same time.

    “We have prepared a checklist for the companies [ride-hailing services] which would enable us to monitor their security standards. It also involves the role of our law enforcement agencies and we have decided to involve police in the process. We require one simple thing — safe and secure ride for the people. For that objective we would go to every extent which falls under our domain,” said Mr Shah.

    He questioned the way ride-hailing services responded to the government’s queries. Despite heading the transport ministry, Mr Shah wondered, he did not even know the number of vehicles being operated by the ride-hailing services as the companies had not shared such data with his ministry.

    The minister’s claims were confirmed to a large extent when, despite repeated attempts, none of the two major companies — Careem and Uber — responded to Dawn’s queries and shared the number of vehicles they are running in Karachi and other parts of the province and their status of talks with the government.

    When asked about the mandate of his ministry in addressing security issues of the ride-hailing services, Mr Shah said that being a regulatory body of the transport system, it enjoyed all powers to ensure safety and security of the passengers in every aspect.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    Transport minister says firms have not shared data of their fleets with him.— AFP/FileTransport minister says firms have not shared data of their fleets with him.— AFP/File

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    LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Monday gave another extension of three weeks to accountability court-II of Islamabad to decide two references – Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment against the Sharif family.

    A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that further extension to the trial court will not be granted after the [three-week] deadline.

    The trial court judge, Arshad Malik, had filed an application seeking extension in the deadline pleading that the references were about to conclude. However, he said, it was not possible to close the trial within the deadline previously given by the apex court.

    Advocate Khwaja Harris Ahmad appeared on behalf of the Sharif family and requested the court to allow more time for the disposal of the references.

    The Supreme Court had on Oct 12 last granted an extension to the accountability court to conclude the references by Nov 17.

    In July, an accountability court had decided the Avenfield reference against the Sharif family handing down 11-year imprisonment to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, eight years to his daughter Maryam Nawaz and one year to her husband retired Capt Muhammad Safdar.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    The Supreme Court on Monday gave another extension of three weeks to accountability court-II of Islamabad to decide two references – Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment against the Sharif family. — File photoThe Supreme Court on Monday gave another extension of three weeks to accountability court-II of Islamabad to decide two references – Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment against the Sharif family. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that his sons Hussain and Hassan started businesses in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia because the environment in Pakistan for them was not favourable at that time.

    During the hearing of the Al-Azizia reference, Mr Sharif answered 28 more questions put to him by the judge of the accountability court. So far he has responded to 148 of the 151 questions.

    Also read: Court given more time in two cases against Sharifs

    While recording his statement, the former prime minister said the Sharif family was forced to establish its business abroad and his father set up Gulf Steel Mills in Dubai after the nationalisation of his steel mills.

    He said that following the October 1999 military coup, the then military dictator sent the Sharif family into exile abroad where Hussain and Hassan started businesses to earn their livelihood.

    Former PM’s statement in Al-Azizia reference before accountability court continues

    He said the Sharif family did not leave the country out of their own volition but were forced to do that.

    “Children of various people go abroad to acquire education and do business there and send remittances to their families, but if my sons send me some money it is being treated as a crime,” he said.

    “I was prime minister thrice and if my sons were doing business in Pakistan my political rivals would call it conflict of interests,” he said, adding that his sons’ decision of doing business abroad was good.

    He then asked the judge whether the prosecution accused him of taking kickbacks, laundering money or establishing business through proceeds of crime.

    “I have failed to understand why these cases have been instituted against me. I am sure that the prosecution will fail to prove any illegality in these transactions.”

    The National Accountability Bureau’s special prosecutor said the case against Mr Sharif was to know how his family’s companies were established and from which resources.

    The court adjourned the proceedings in the Al-Azizia reference till Tuesday.

    The defence counsel said that since the court was proceeding in the Flagship Investment reference simultaneously, he would request it to cross-examine the last prosecution witness in this case.

    Meanwhile, the defence counsel informed the accountability court that the Supreme Court had further extended the time frame for concluding the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references.

    The apex court has allowed another three weeks to the accountability court to conclude these references.

    Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018


    Nawaz Sharif.— AFP/FileNawaz Sharif.— AFP/File

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