Irfan Haider

Dec 142017
 
SC to announce verdict on Imran Khan, Jehangir Tareen's disqualification tomorrow

The Supreme Court on Friday will announce its verdict on a petition seeking the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and secretary-general Jahangir Tareen, DawnNews reported on Thursday evening.The verdict, which had been reserved by the bench on November 14, is expected to be read out at 2pm tomorrow afternoon by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. Justices Nisar, Faisal Arab and Umar Ata Bandial had comprised the three-member bench which heard the case. The petitions filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi on Nov 2 last year sought the two PTI leaders’ disqualification over non-disclosure of assets and existence of their offshore companies, as well as receiving foreign funds for their party.Senior counsel Naeem Bukhari, who represented Khan, had argued during the proceedings that the case should not be treated on a par with the Panama Papers case in which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified because, according to him, there was a world of difference between the two.In this case, he had said, no money was sent out of the country, adding that it could be the case of a young man who could not manage his accounts properly.Bukhari had also argued that his client did not mention his Draycott flats of London in his statement of assets and later benefited from the tax amnesty scheme of 2000, asking if utilising the amnesty scheme be considered dishonesty. But he admitted that the line between honesty and dishonesty had to be drawn by the apex court.During closing arguments [Read More…]

Dec 142017
 
NAB decides to approach Interpol for Ishaq Dar's arrest in London

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday decided to approach the Interpol for the arrest of former finance minister Ishaq Dar who is currently in London, DawnNews reported.The decision was taken during a meeting of the NAB Executive Board presided by NAB Chairman retired justice Javed Iqbal.“Ishaq Dar is not suffering from any disease that cannot be treated in Pakistan,” the NAB chairman was quoted as saying in a declaration issued by the bureau. Dar has been declared a proclaimed absconder by the accountability court after the former finance minister repeatedly failed to join the trial, he added.The former finance minister has been nominated as an accused in a corruption reference which alleges that “Dar possesses wealth and assets beyond his known sources of income”, read the declaration.The accountability bureau will now ask the interior ministry to contact the France-based Interpol secretariat for the issuance of “red warrants” against Dar.On Tuesday, Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir in a detailed judgement released regarding the status of Ishaq Dar as a proclaimed offender observed that the under-trial former finance minister, who is currently in London, does not seem to have a serious heart condition.Earlier this week, the judge had declared Dar a proclaimed offender in a corruption reference initiated against him for possessing assets beyond his sources of income after he repeatedly failed to join the trial, remaining instead in London where he has reportedly been undergoing medical treatment for a heart-related ailment.During the case proceedings, Dar's lawyer had submitted a new medical report [Read More…]

Dec 142017
 
'We should move forward with our eyes open': Shah advises caution after Sadiq's statement

PML-N leaders: Everything is all right Though top PML-N leaders have been quick to dismiss National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq's apprehensions — expressed Wednesday night — that the government may not be able to complete its term, opposition leaders have smelled blood and are advising caution "in these dangerous times."Sadiq, while speaking to a TV channel on Wednesday, had said that though the continuity of the democratic system was critical in ensuring the strengthening of institutions in the country, he "does not see the [incumbent] assembly completing its tenure"."What's happening now has never been witnessed before," he said, adding that everyone should prioritise national interests instead of focusing on personal benefits. The NA speaker, however, rejected any possibility of a martial law being imposed on the country, saying the current situation was "worse than the Musharraf regime, but there is no chance of martial law".Read more: Ayaz Sadiq fears PML-N govt will not complete its constitutional termLeader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah, responding to Sadiq's statement, said the speaker seemed to be telling the "inside story", and that the situation "seemed suspicious" to him as well."The way his party is under pressure to hold early elections — it can be seen how the roads are being blocked and fights are being fought everywhere — everyone understands the dangers which Pakistan is going through," Shah said cryptically. "We should move forward with our eyes open," he warned.Later, while speaking in the assembly, Shah added that attempts to reduce the Parliament to [Read More…]

Dec 142017
 
Eyewitnesses identify second suspect in Karachi Do Darya firing case

‘History of violence’ A second suspect linked to the murder of Karachi college student Zafir Ahmed Zuberi near the city's Do Darya area earlier this month was identified by three eyewitnesses in court on Thursday.The eyewitnesses, who appeared in the court of a judicial magistrate today, were able to identify Abdul Rehman, one of the 10 absconders in the case. Once of the eyewitnesses who identified Rehman told the court that he is a friend of Dr Abdul Raheem, a motorcyclist who was hit by the victim's car.The eyewitnesses also placed Rehman at the site of the shooting and said that he had broken the windows of the victim's car.The Investigative Officer in the case said that some of the ammunition used in the shooting belonged to Rehman. Zafir and his friend Zaid were on their way to have breakfast at the beach on Dec 3 when they had a minor accident with Dr Abdul Raheem's motorbike. After the accident, suspects travelling in a double-cabin vehicle had chased them and opened indiscriminate fire on the youths' Mercedes in what seemed to be an act of vengeance around 9am on Abdul Sattar Edhi Avenue, police said.As a result, the two passengers sustained bullet wounds and were transported to a private hospital where doctors pronounced Zafir, 18, dead, and Zaid received treatment for a bullet wound.A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the deceased’s [Read More…]

Dec 122017
 
PTI to move high court against decision to try Imran Khan in anti-terrorism court

Babar Awan calls on Imran Khan Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday reiterated that cases concerning the storming of the state-run broadcaster's offices during the 2014 sit-in do not qualify as terrorism cases.An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had on Monday rejected PTI Chairman Imran Khan's request to transfer the ongoing 2014 Pakistan Television (PTV) attack case to a civil court.In 2014, Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chairman Tahirul Qadri staged a major rally in Islamabad against alleged rigging in the 2013 election and the Model Town tragedy, which had seen as many as 14 people killed and 100 others injured when police attacked Qadri's residence during an 'anti-encroachment' operation. The protest had continued for a record 104 days. On Sept 1, 2014, while the sit-in was still ongoing, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Asmatullah Junejo had been beaten up by protesters on Constitution Avenue as they stormed the Pakistan Television (PTV) headquarters and the precincts of the Parliament. A case had later been registered against Khan, Qadri and others for 'torturing' SSP Junejo and five other police officers and attacking public property. On December 7, 2017, the PTI chief had requested that the cases be transferred from the ATC to a civil court since they did not qualify as "terrorism". However, his counsel failed to satisfy the court in this regard. On his way to court, Khan had alleged he was being victimised by Nawaz Sharif's family for pursuing corruption cases against them. On Tuesday, Chaudhry held a press [Read More…]

Dec 122017
 
Govt sends new bill on moon sighting for cabinet approval

The Ministry of Religious Affairs has forwarded to the federal cabinet the draft of a new bill governing the moon sighting ceremony that marks the start of a new month in the lunar Hijri calendar, Dawn learnt on Tuesday.The Ruet-i-Hilal Bill 2017 seeks the reconstitution of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee and suggests a one-year imprisonment, a Rs200,000 fine or both for anyone who announces the sighting of the new moon before the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee. Two members of each province and one each from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Islamabad will be a part of the new committee. One representative each from the meteorological department, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs will also be a part of the committee. Read: Moon gazing — Profile of Mufti Muneeb-ur-RehmanTelevision channels which announce the sighting of the moon before a formal announcement by the committee will be fined up to Rs1 million and could also face suspension under the proposed bill. The bill also suggests a six-month imprisonment or a Rs50,000 fine or both for those providing false evidence of moon-sighting. It also seeks to limit the tenure of the committee's chairman to three years and appointments for the post to be rotated between all four provinces. The bill will be presented to the cabinet for approval, following which it will be presented to parliament. Moon sighting in Pakistan becomes a cause of controversy each year around [Read More…]

Dec 122017
 
Bangladeshi-origin NYC bomber motivated by 'Israeli incursions in Gaza': reports

Trump slams 'chain migration' Bangladeshi-origin Akayed Ullah, the perpetrator behind Monday's bomb attack in a New York City subway passageway, told police that he was motivated by Israeli 'incursions in Gaza', CNN reported. Three people were injured yesterday when Akayed, 27, a Brooklyn resident, detonated a pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded passageway during the morning rush hour. The blast took place in the subway station at the Port Authority bus terminal, not far from the city's iconic Times Square, sparking commuter panic and travel disruptions.A law enforcement official quoted by CNN said recent Israeli actions in Gaza had compelled Akayed to carry out the attack, adding that the suspect had said he was "upset" with the "incursion into Gaza". However, it is unclear which incursion the suspect may have been referring to, as Israel launched airstrikes against Hamas, killing two members of the group. The airstrikes, which followed a rocket attack on Israel, came days after United States (US) President Donald Trump recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. According to the CNN, Akayed has also pledged allegiance to the militant Islamic State group. Trump slams 'chain migration' After Monday's attack, President Trump renewed his criticisms of US immigration policy. Akayed Ulla came to the US from Bangladesh in 2011 on a visa available to certain relatives of US citizens.Trump says that programme "is incompatible with national security." Trump's administration has called for limiting family-based green cards to spouses and minor children.Akayed's family have [Read More…]

Dec 122017
 
5 PML-N lawmakers formally submit resignations over inaction against Sanaullah

Five PML-N lawmakers formally submitted resignations to their respective assembly secretariats on Tuesday in protest over government inaction against Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. Resignation letters were submitted by two members of the National Assembly ─ Dr Nisar Ahmad Jutt and Ghulam Bibi Bharwana ─ and three members of the Punjab assembly ─ Maulana Rehmatullah, Khan Muhammad Baloch and Nizam-ud-Din Sialvi, who is the nephew of Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi, a former senator.The resignation letters were submitted through Nizam-ud-Din's personal secretary days after the lawmakers announced their resignation at a Khatm-i-Nubuwat conference in Faisal­abad organised by Pir Sialvi.The lawmakers had said that they would step down from their positions in the assemblies due to government inaction against Sanaullah, who came under fire from various quarters for his remarks regarding the status of Ahmadis in the country in a TV show. The provincial minister had said that his remarks had been “distorted and twisted by some rivals to take political advantage”. Click for detailed story

Dec 122017
 
ECP slams PTI's 'delaying tactics' in party funding case

The chief election commissioner (CEC) lashed out at Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) when the party's senior lawyer Anwar Mansoor and finance secretary failed to appear for a hearing of on the party's source of funds on Tuesday.The court expressed anger at PTI junior lawyer's request that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) hear the party's arguments "calmly", saying that the party had been employing delaying tactics regarding the matter for over three years. "You are telling us to listen to you calmly when the case is being delayed due to your party's constant failure to appear before the bench," the CEC said.Petitioner Akbar S. Babar ─ one of the founding members of PTI ─ complained to the ECP bench that whenever the body demands an answer from the PTI, the party fails to respond. He blamed the party for delaying the case for more than three years.The bench regretted that both parties kept bringing up political issues instead of presenting legal arguments.The case was filed on Nov 14, 2014 by the estranged Babar, after he developed differences with PTI chief Imran Khan over internal corruption and abuse of laws governing political funding.The petitioner has alleged that nearly $3 million in illegal foreign funds were collected through two offshore companies, registered under Imran Khan’s signature, and that money was sent through illegal ‘hundi’ channels from the Middle East to accounts of PTI employees. He also alleged that the foreign accounts used to collect funds were concealed from the annual audit reports submitted [Read More…]

Dec 122017
 
Siraj demands KP-Fata merger by Dec 31

Fata reforms and the draconian FCR Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Emir Sirajul Haq on Tuesday warned the government to ensure the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) before December 31. The JI chief, while addressing a long march to Islamabad protesting the delay in the KP-Fata merger, said there would be a much larger sit-in if their demand was not met by the deadline.Siraj said the government is being "extremely insensitive" about the problems faced by residents of Fata, and had left them helpless at the hands of local political agents. "The political agent in tribal areas is more powerful than Mughal kings," he said."If the laws in Fata are so good, they should be imposed across the country. Otherwise the laws of Pakistan should apply to Fata as well," he said.He said that the people of Pakistan were unaware of the difficulties of Fata's residents and demanded an end to injustices against them. Earlier, the long march led by the JI protesting the government's slow progress on a proposed merger between KP and Fata reached Islamabad Tuesday morning. The march, which was joined by thousands of JI supporters and Fata residents, set out from Peshawar's Bab-i-Khyber on Dec 11 seeking to exert pressure on the federal government to revoke the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) and merge the tribal areas with KP before the next General Election.These steps are part of the Fata reforms which have been discussed for years, but were formally enshrined in the [Read More…]

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