Jun 232017
Supreme Court says will charge Nehal Hashmi on July 10

The Supreme Court on Friday announced that it would indict Nehal Hashmi, the senator who became a political pariah after his incendiary speech criticising an investigation into the prime minister's business dealings abroad was circulated widely on media.During Friday's hearing on the matter, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed expressed severe displeasure at Hashmi's unannounced absence from the courtroom.Upon being told by Hashmi's lawyer that his client had gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, the judge said he should not have left without informing the court.Dismissing the written reply the senator had submitted earlier this week to explain his threats against "those investigating" Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, the court said it will now bring criminal charges against Hashmi. The charges will be framed on July 10.The senator had come under fire after he was seen in a video apparently warning individuals conducting a Supreme Court-sanctioned investigation that they will be "taken to task" for grilling the premier's family.His remarks were, prima facie, directed at the Supreme Court-appointed joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Sharif family's business dealings abroad.Hours after the senator's incendiary remarks made national headlines, Hashmi's membership of the PML-N was suspended and a show-cause notice was issued to him.The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the video and summoned the senator to appear before the special bench overseeing the implementation of the Panama Papers verdict.Subsequently, the senator also tendered his resignation from his seat in the Senate; however, a few days later, he withdrew [Read More…]

Jun 192017

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has raised serious questions over the conduct of Intelligence Bureau (IB) in the ongoing Panamagate case probe by a joint investigation team (JIT) into the Sharif family’s offshore wealth. A three-judge implementation bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, warned the civilian intelligence agency against harassing the JIT members, investigating the allegations of corruption against the ruling family in line with the top court’s historic April 20 verdict in the Panama Papers case. “Harassment of JIT members must be stopped forthwith, otherwise we will have to pass unpleasant orders,” remarked Justice Ijazul Ahsen. The judge asked Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf Ali to tell government officials to “remain in limits”. SECP chief calls for a thorough inquiry in Whatsapp call controversy Another judge, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, asked the AGP to tell the IB officials to immediately stop harassing members of the probe body. “Advise your government not to create obstructions in the operation of the JIT and don’t enforce us to pass any order,” Justice Sheikh said. “For god’s sake, don’t use IB in this matter.” The judge went on to ask whether the agency was working for private individuals or the state of Pakistan. He observed the IB committed a crime by passing on the information of JIT members to a private person (Hussain Nawaz). The bench sought legal assistance from AGP regarding IB’s role in the Panamagate proceedings. Justice Khan asked the AGP to inform the court [Read More…]

Jun 122017

ISLAMABAD: A day before former interior minister Rehman Malik was scheduled to appear before the joint investigation team (JIT) investigating the Panama Papers, his spokesperson has said the senator is not in Pakistan. Riaz Ali Turi, in a statement, said the JIT issued a letter on June 10, summoning Malik to appear before the bench on June 13. Rehman Malik, however, is travelling for work related to the PPP’s overseas affairs and meetings with foreign leaders, he added. Turi added that Malik has been informed about JIT’s letter and is cutting his visit short, however has requested for a short adjournment and a new date for his appearance. JIT summons PM Nawaz on June 15 Meanwhile, the JIT has also summoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday, June 15. According to an official letter dated June 8, the PM has been asked to appear before the investigation panel at 11am Thursday with all documents relevant to the case. The PM’s sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz have already been summoned and questioned by the JIT in recent days. The post Panama JIT summons Senator Rehman Malik appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jun 112017
PM decides to appear before JIT on Thursday

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will appear before the Joint Investigation Team in the Panama Papers case on Thursday.This was stated by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, while talking to PTV on Sunday.She said that the Prime Minister has decided to appear before the JIT to uphold rule of law and the Constitution. She said the third-time elected Prime Minister of the country will present himself for his accountability.Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage. Click for detailed story

Jun 042017
Case filed against Nihal Hashmi over inciting remarks about civil servants

A case was registered on Sunday against PML-N leader Nihal Hashmi over his recent inciting remarks about civil servants.According to the first information report, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the case was filed in Bahadurabad police station under Sections 189 (Threat of injury to public servant), 228 (Intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding) and 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code.It is pertinent to mention that the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) had asked the Sindh prosecutor general on Saturday to initiate proceedings against Hashmi.The AGP wrote a letter to the prosecutor general stating that since the speech was made by Hashmi in Karachi, proceeding against him be initiated there.Hashmi had resigned from Senate hours after a video surfaced last week, showing him lashing out at "those investigating" Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family.In the video, the senator had warned that those conducting the investigation will be "taken to task" for grilling the premier's family.His remarks were apparently made in reference to a Supreme Court-sanctioned investigation into the Sharif family's business dealings abroad.Hours after the senator's incendiary remarks made national headlines, DawnNews reported that Hashmi's membership of the PML-N had been suspended and a show-cause notice issued to him.Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar also took suo motu notice of Hashmi's remarks and summoned him in person on Thursday to appear before the bench implementing its Panama Papers verdict. Click for detailed story

May 302017
Panama probe: JIT grills Hussain Nawaz for five hours

Hussain Nawaz, the elder son of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Tuesday appeared again before the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case, reported DawnNews.Hussain Nawaz was grilled by the JIT members for almost five hours at the National Judicial Academy. Earlier, he had appeared before the Supreme Court appointed JIT on Sunday May 28.The premier's son had refused to answer any question put forth by the JIT, saying that the JIT's status was 'sub judice' as he had already filed a petition before the apex court regarding two of its constituents. On Monday, the apex court turned down Hussain's objections against two of the JIT members. He, through his council, had argued that the two called him a liar during the interrogations. He had also asked the country's top court to disassociate the two from the JIT. He had objected to the inclusion of two members — Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s Bilal Rasool and State Bank of Pakistan’s Amer Aziz — accusing them of being close to the PML-N’s political rivals. The three-member bench of the court declared that the JIT could not be reconstituted merely over reservations. The premier's son warns that he will approach the court again if dealt unfairly. —Online The JIT had issued another summon on May 28, directing Hussain Nawaz to appear before the team again on Tuesday along with all relevant records, documents and material for the recording of his statement and an examination by the JIT.Following his hours-long [Read More…]

May 022017
Maryam Nawaz schooled on Panama Papers scandal by Pulitzer-winning journalists

The Pakistani Twitter-sphere today saw the prime minister's daughter being schooled by two Pulitzer prize-winning journalists on the true nature and global impact of the Panama Papers scandal.In a bid to 'cleanse' her family's name of the Panama Papers controversy, Maryam Nawaz had taken to Twitter Tuesday evening to share her thoughts. She claimed the Panama Papers, which rocked some of the most powerful public office holders in several countries, had been "trashed in the rest of the world". She doubled down on that statement by tweeting that the scandal was "never about corruption". Unexpectedly, Bastian Obermayer‏ — a Pulitzer-winning journalist from German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung who was the first to receive the Panama Papers and who eventually took the lead in breaking the story internationally — stepped in at that point to set the record straight."Sorry to tell you," he said, "[but the] Panama papers ARE about corruption." Maryam retorted saying that the "misery of the journalists" who broke the Panama story "is understandable". She also expressed regret over what she alleged was a "nexus" between the Panama Papers journalists and their "Pakistani counterparts" and said it was "sad that they became a part of conspiracy against Pakistan". Obermayer responded by giving her some perspective on what journalism is about and what the scope of the Panama Papers actually was: Minutes later, Frederik Obermaier‏, another Pulitzer-winning journalist who worked on the Panama Papers and who co-authored the authoritative book on the international scandal with Bastian Obermayer, joined the conversation. [Read More…]

Apr 262017
?Pakistan?s looming political instability and China?

LAHORE: An article published in China.org.cn says the latest verdict by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case has created more confusion than resolving anything. The judgment came at a crucial… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Click for detailed story

Apr 222017
Panama verdict: LHCBA demands PM to quit in a week

LAHORE: After the Supreme Court ruling on Panama Papers case, the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) on Saturday gave one-week deadline to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down or face… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Click for detailed story

Apr 192017

ISLAMABAD: A day before the Supreme Court’s much-awaited judgement on the Panamagate, the top leadership of the ruling PML-N on Wednesday held marathon consultative sessions to deal with any situation arising out of the court’s verdict. Soon after the meeting of the PML-N’s Sindh chapter, which was held apparently to discuss the party’s reorganisation in the province, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a low-key meeting of party members comprising his close aides — including federal ministers, lawmakers, advisers, special assistants and personal staff members — to discuss the expected Supreme Court decision and its possible implications on the Sharif family and the ruling party, The Express Tribune has learnt. “Different possibilities were considered,” said a source privy to the meeting. The unannounced meeting took place apparently immediately after the prime minister met party members from Sindh in a bid to skip the media’s attention with regard to the Panamagate. One of the possible scenarios arising out of the Supreme Court’s verdict, discussed in the meeting, was the possibility of a direct impact on the PM, the insider said. Panamagate suspense to end tomorrow “There is an opinion in the party that the PM may not be directly affected in consequence of the apex court’s verdict, but if his family members face the consequences, it would eventually have a negative impact on the premier, at personal level, and on the PML-N, at the party level,” he said. To respond to the situation, the PML-N leadership is set to resort to public-friendly measures [Read More…]

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