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Khawaja Asif draws monthly salary of Rs1.43 million from UAE firm

KARACHI  (INP): Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif is drawing a monthly salary of Rs1.43 million from a UAE’s firm, it emerged on Wednesday.

According to a copy of Khawaja Asif’s contracts letter obtained from the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the Pakistani defence minister works as a “Management Consultant” in a Abu Dhabi-based firm and draws a monthly salary of AED50, 000 for his services.

He also had his UAE labour card renewed as recent as June 29, 2017 and it would remain valid till June 28, 2019.

Khawaja Asif is tipped to be the interim premier in case Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is ousted by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.

The defence minister, on the other hand, claimed the salary he receives through the Iqama has been declared with the ECP and Federal Bureau of Revenue.

“I have been receiving the funds from proper banking channels since 1983,” Asif added.

The defence minister is the third PML-N leader after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal who were found to be working for overseas firms.

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Court orders NADRA to block CNIC of absconders

KARACHI (Online): The court has ordered National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to block the CNIC of approximately one hundred thousand absconders in different cases.

During the hearing of a case regarding the absconders, a bench of Supreme Court Karachi Registry has ordered NADRA to freeze the bank accounts of absconders and also to collect the information about their properties.

The members of the bench have expressed annoyance over the performance of Sindh police saying that it has failed to apprehend the absconder.

The bench also directed the provincial home department to apprehend the accused immediately and produce them before court.

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PM’s unconstitutional ouster to create instability: Hanif Abbasi

ISLAMABAD  (NNI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi Wednesday said any effort to oust Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in an unconstitutional way would create instability and chaos in the country.
Talking to media in Islamabad, Hanif Abbasi said, “The elements, who were working on an international agenda to turn Pakistan into a war torn country like Syria and Iraq, were hatching conspiracies to get the prime minister removed through illegal ways.”
He alleged that, “Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was not working for the people’s welfare, which was evident from the fact that terrorist incidents in the country had decreased due to the government’s efforts, but he was not acknowledging it.”
He said, “The Prime Minister had not misdeclared his assets and he owned no offshore. Imran Khan was now facing disqualification because of the financial irregularities, Nawaz Sharif would be acquitted by the court.”
He said he was not afraid of going to jail and would not step back from exposing the real face of Imran Khan before the nation. He had faced a number of false cases filed by his opponents, he added.
He said, “The PML-N struggled for the revival of independent judiciary and it would also accept any verdict of the apex court.”
Referring to Jehangir Tareen, Hanif Abbasi said “Imran Khan’s ATM” was now also on the verge of collapse.”
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SC should give verdict soon, country in stalemate: Imran Khan

BANI GALA (NNI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the entire country is in stalemate and the Supreme Court should give the decision regarding Panama Leaks case soon.

He was addressing media representatives, where he said that the government is trying to save the corruption of PM Nawaz.

Such a big tragedy shook Lahore but the PM is in Maldives, said Imran.

He said that the apex court should give the verdict soon, so the country could move forward from this issue, adding that the country’s economy is suffering. The public is awaiting the SC verdict, said the PTI chief.

He said that several countries gave invitation to the PM then withdrew.

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Shehbaz meets Nisar to ‘woo him into not holding press conference’

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif met Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday and requested him not to make his party’s internal conflict public by holding a press conference.

The chief minister held a meeting with his fellow Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader at the Punjab House and urged him to resolve the issues amicably, sources said. Sharif said the ongoing rift could be taken care of internally and there was no need to make it public.

Shehbaz commended Nisar’s efforts for the party and told him that he was an important part of the PML-N.

The interior minister said that his differences were based on principles and that he was not working for his own interests but for the party and the country.

The sources said senior PML-N leaders were trying to convince Nisar not to go for a hard-hitting press conference and refrain from targeting the policies of his party’s leadership in handling the situation which had led to the mess the party was in now.

The party leaders are asking Nisar to either call off his press conference or to avoid targeting the party leadership should he feel inclined to go ahead with addressing the media.

Party insiders said the PM was not happy that the interior minister was not on the forefront in dealing with the ongoing crisis wherein the demands for his resignation had gained momentum.

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Panama JIT dissolved as members back to routine jobs

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed to probe the Sharif family in the high-profile Panama Leaks case, reported back to their routine jobs after the team disbanded following submission of the report to the Supreme Court.

The JIT, which comprised of six senior government officers picked to investigate the Prime Minister and his children in the Panama case, submitted its final report on alleged money laundering by the ruling family to the apex court on July 10.

The team, put together on May 6 in light of the Supreme Court’s April 20 judgment in the Panama case, had been given 60 days to complete its probe.

The six-member JIT was headed by Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia and comprised of Amer Aziz of the State Bank of Pakistan, SECP Executive Director Communication Bilal Rasool, Irfan Naeem Mangi of the National Accountability Bureau, Brigadier (retd) Nauman Saeed of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Brigadier Kamran Khurshid from the Military Intelligence.

The Federal Judicial Academy in Islamabad had served as the secretariat of the JIT while it carried out its work.

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Two MQM-London suspects involved in killings arrested: Rangers Sindh spokesman

KARACHI (Online): Sindh Rangers Spokesman Colonel Qaiser said on Wednesday that two suspects from Muttahida Quami Movement-London have been caught who were behind the killing of two people on July 17 in Orangi Town.

The Rangers spokesman was addressing a press conference, where he also played the audio recording of the MQM founder.

“MQM founder praised those who killed the two people,” he said. He said that the suspects were getting financing from South Africa and they received a message on WhatsApp to carry out the killings.

The suspects received Rs50,000 in their accounts, said Rangers Sindh spokesman. Col Qaiser said that the suspects after being arrested also revealed the names of their accomplices. They named MQM founder, Nadeem Nusrat, Qamar Daddy, and Babu Bhai.

The suspects have been identified as Muhammad Raheem and Muhammad Danish, he said, adding that ammunition has been recovered from the suspects as well.

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Former cricketer Saleem Malik joins PML-Q

LAHORE (APP): Former cricketer Saleem Malik joined Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) on Wednesday.

Malik met senior leaders of the party, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Chaudhry Shujat Hussain at the latter’s residence, and announced his decision.

The former skipper appreciated PML-Q leaders for promotion of sports in the country.

Chaudhry Shuajaat on the occasion said his party had an open-door policy for all Pakistanis, committed to work for the betterment of the country.

Malik was one of three international captains, along with South Africa’s Hansie Cronje and India’s Mohammad Azharuddin, to be given life bansfrom all forms of cricket after Delhi police discovered evidence in 2000 that Cronje had accepted money from a bookmaker to throw matches.

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12,000 Sindh cops have ‘suspicious’ records, inquiry team tells SC

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): About 12,000 police officers have ‘suspicious’ records, according to an inquiry team report, which was presented to the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry on Wednesday.

The report was compiled by an inquiry committee, headed by Additional IG Rana Sanaullah Abbasi, in a case pertaining to taking action against police officers involved in criminal activities.

The report analysed the records of more than 100,000 policemen of Sindh police. Of the policemen, about 17 were terminated, 11 took voluntarily retirement. The inquiry committee had investigated about 100,009 policemen of which 15,000 were summoned by the court and 11,000 were given a clean chit.

During court proceedings, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah expressed his anger over lack of action regarding officers of higher grades. He remarked: “why isn’t action being taken against police high ups?” He added, “Do you think we are unaware of all that goes on in Sindh Police [affairs]?”

After this, the court ruled that it is unfair that only junior officers are investigated for involvement in different crimes and not senior officers.

Later, the bench summoned chief secretary Sindh over the matter and then went into a short recess.

After the recess, the court ordered advocate general Sindh to prepare a report on the investigations against officers above Grade 17 and submit it to the court on July 28.

On July 6, the SC had expressed anger over inaction against high-ups in the Sindh Police who have been involved in illegal activities in Karachi.

During the hearing, the inquiry committee, constituted by the Supreme Court, submitted an interim report over the matter, but the report did not have material over any action taken against high-ups in the police department.

Justice Maqbool Baqar said there is a strong grouping in the Sindh Police. He added this impression should be eradicated by carrying out indiscriminate action instead of picking and choosing.

Therefore, the court ordered the committee to carry out action against all the corrupt employees, including officials of the rank of deputy inspector general, of the department and sought a report within two weeks.

While taking suo motu notice against cases the Supreme Court had found out police officials being involved in murders, robberies and extortion cases. FIRs were also registered against the accused, but they continued to enjoy their positions in the department. Therefore, the SC had constituted the inquiry committee to take action against such officials.

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CM Sindh criticises NAB ordinance, vows to stand by accountability bill

KARACHI (PPI): A visibly irritated Murad Ali Shah criticised the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 in his Sindh Assembly speech on Wednesday, vowing to press for the bill repealing the ordinance.

Earlier in the Sindh Assembly, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) lawmaker Faisal Subzwari had questioned the provincial government’s “mala fide” intention in passing the NAB Repeal Bill which, in his view, was an attempt to protect the corrupt.

Taking offence over Subzwari’s comments, the Sindh chief minister clarified that the government would have “no role in the appointment of a chairman” of the proposed accountability body. The chairman will be appointed by a committee consisting of three members, each from the treasury and opposition benches as well as the speaker, who will have the decisive vote in case of a dispute, said Shah.

He also took the opportunity to criticise the federal government for its inaction in certain cases.

The federal government has passed laws regarding NAB and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which enable them to prosecute the government’s own officers, he said, responding to the opposition’s concern that “the cat cannot be the protector of milk.”

“We should let the federal government pass laws for us and we should pass laws for them, or ask another country to pass laws for the country if your argument is to be accepted,” Shah argued.

The chief minister also criticised NAB policy of plea bargain and their operations. He claimed that a tractor company which was receiving subsidy from the government was involved in financial irregularities worth Rs1.5 billion but had received a “clean chit” from NAB. “It was only after we reopened the case after NAB closed it, that we found out,” he said. Criticising NAB Ordinance 1999, Shah said that the law was such that no one else could take up a case already taken up by NAB, which was problematic.

He also cited an accountability law passed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly as an argument supporting the Sindh government’s view that the assembly could legislate on the matter.

The opposition walked out of the house while the bill was being passed and announced that it would collectively take the issue to courts.

The National Accountability Ordinance 1999 Repeal Bill 2017, first passed on July 3, aims to repeal the applicability of the NAO in departments and autonomous bodies controlled by the provincial government. It was sent back to the assembly by governor Sindh who asked it to reconsider and discard the bill for being “repugnant to the provisions” of the NAO 1999 and the Constitution.