Posted on

Provocative speech case: Nehal Hashmi’s lawyer puts blame on Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD (APP): Senator Nehal Hashmi’s lawyer Hashmat Habib on Monday laid blame of his client’s threatening language against the judiciary and public servants on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan.

During the hearing of the suo moto case against Senator Hashmi’s controversial speech, the lawyer argued that the entire incident happened because of Imran Khan.

“What does Khan has to do with this case? His matter is not with us,” said the judge.

Nehal Hashmi’s lawyer Hashmat Habib requested the court to provide time for submitting reply to the charge sheet and finding witness in the case. He asked to adjourn the hearing of the case till the fourth week of August.

“Shouldn’t we postpone the case until 2019?” Justice Ijazul Ahsan inquired in a criticizing tone.

He remarked that nothing more would be present in the CDs than the material already submitted in court by Hashmi. “Nehal Hashmi committed contempt of court prima facie,” pronounced Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

Hashmat Habib told that they have also filed a plea against TV channel. “You did nothing and the footage was made by the channels itself,” the judge sternly remarked.

Director General Pemra presented the list of channels which aired Hashmi’s speech. “The broadcast of various channels was checked for around one hour. We always take notice ourselves if the speech is against the code of conduct,” he explained to the court.

Attorney General told the court that no channel aired the complete speech but rather different parts.

“We understand what is happening. Are you yourself a hostage or making the witness as one,” said Justice Azmat Saeed while expressing severe displeasure.

“If the TV channels have aired the speech more than the record submitted in court, then DG Pemra will be going to jail instead of home,” said the judge.

The court while adjourning the hearing till August 21 has summoned reply from Nehal Hashmi in two weeks.

Posted on

Supreme Court stays execution of convict sentenced to death by military court

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of a convict who was handed death sentence by a military court.

The accused, Mohammad Akbar, was convicted of murdering two soldiers in 2009. He had challenged the military court verdict in 2016.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, after staying the convict’s execution, issued notices to the attorney general and the petitioner’s counsel.

At the time of his arrest, five kilogrammes of explosives were also found from Akbar, whose appeal against the death sentence was dismissed by Peshawar High Court.

The convict’s counsel contended before the SC that the military court did not take legal provisions into consideration while handing down the punishment, adding that his client was not given the opportunity to defend himself.

The Supreme Court subsequently stayed the implementation of the execution order after suspending the military court’s verdict. The hearing of the case was adjourned for an indefinite period.

Military courts

Military courts were disbanded on January 7, 2017, after the expiration of a sunset clause included in the legal provisions under which the tribunals were established.

However, on March 31, President Mamnoon Hussain gave his formal assent to the Pakistan Army Act 2017 and the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill ─ the two pieces of legislation aimed at granting legal cover to military courts ─ after they were cleared by the parliament.

The courts were subsequently revived and given legal cover from the day of their disbandment.

Posted on

Pakistan to face political instability if PM removed through undemocratic process: Sanaullah

LAHORE (NNI): Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah  has said on Monday that Pakistan will become unstable if the Prime Minister is removed from office in an undemocratic and non-public manner.

“If such a leader who has been elected by millions as prime minister is removed in an undemocratic and non-public manner, it will create political instability in Pakista,” he said.

While requesting the Supreme Court (SC) to thwart the conspiracy against the government, Sanaullah said that the opponents are trying to have the support of SC to fulfill their aims.

“People are coming to Supreme Court as if the government is being distributed,” he criticized.

He warned that the public will not approve the move if article 62 and 63 is used in the capacity of 58-2B.

Whether 58-2b is utilized by a dictator or article 62, 63 is used in its form, it is not acceptable for this public as it is their right,” said Sanaullah.

Posted on

Oil tanker owners on countrywide strike

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association (APOTA) announced to go on a countrywide strike starting Monday in protest of the safety rules imposed by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).

The decision has been taken to also protest the fines being levied by the Motorway police, APOTA Chairperson Yousaf Shahwani said.

“OGRA and the Motorway police are being unfair,” he said, adding the owners of oil tankers pay advance tax for three months to the government, but it was not giving them any relief. “They’re instead exploiting us.”

Besides, the Motorway police was bent on levying penalties, while the patrolling police was harassing the oil tanker owners in Punjab, Shahwani said. In Sindh, he added, the excise police was extorting them.

There has been no meeting among the heads of OGRA, oil marketing companies and oil tankers owners association ever since the petroleum ministry handed over the matters of oil tankers to OGRA, Shahwani maintained. “Whatever decisions are implemented are made behind closed doors.”

The association members have decided not to supply oil to fuel stations in protest for an indefinite period, until their demands are met.

On the other hand, OGRA will start checking the tankers being used by oil marketing companies. According to sources, it is feared many oil tankers do not fulfil the quality criteria.

OGRA decided to implement the safety rules after the horrific incident in Ahmedpur East, which claimed lives of over 200 people.

On June 25, an oil tanker overturned in Bahawalpur’s Ahmedpur East. The oil that leaked from the toppled vehicle attracted people from the surrounding areas who rushed to collect oil. It was then that the spilled oil exploded in an inferno, killing several dozens on the spot.

‘Ample Oil reserves at stations’

According to Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association Abdul Sami Khan, oil in sufficient quantity is present in reserves of fuel stations.

While talking to Geo News, Sami Khan said measures have been taken to avoid any inconvenience to the public.

Another official of the association, Malik Khuda Baksh, has advised the public to not get more fuel filled in their vehicles, than what is required.

According to an official in the Ministry of Petroleum, there is no shortage of oil in the country as the current stock of petrol stands at 210,000 metric tonnes. Moreover, he added there are four ships available with 1,106,000 metric tonnes of petrol and over 400,000 metric tonnes of diesel.

However, the supply of oil from Keamari and Port Qasim has been nearly suspended.

At least 600 tankers at Port Qasim have been stopped from transporting oil to different parts of the country while 300 others have been put on a standstill, Oil Tanker Contractor Association’s Babar Ismail said.

Posted on

No objectionable content in Volume 10 of JIT report: PM’s lawyer

ISLAMABAD (APP): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris has said that there is no objectionable content in Volume 10 of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report.

Khawaja Haris stated that a specific part of Volume 10 is about Nescol and Nelson companies, and the letter of July 16 has also been attached with it. He also said that details of Volume 10 have been mentioned in Volume 1 as well.

PM’s lawyer told that JIT had requested British Virgin Islands (BVI) to give details about the ownership of London flats. BVI had pointed out JIT’s mistakes in attorney general’s letter, he remarked.

Khawaja Haris added that he has requested the apex court to give its verdict after listening to Sharif family’s stance if any document comes. He said the objection on Volume 10 was made only to keep his client aware of the proceedings.

Posted on

Won’t let Imran hide behind welfare institutes: Khawaja Asif

SIALKOT (Online): Defence Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Khawaja Asif has said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan will not be allowed to hide behind welfare institutions.

The minister expressed his views while talking to media after holding an open court at the Muslim League House in Sialkot, and demanded Imran Khan to give details of the assets that he inherited.

Khawaja Asif said there is a difference between welfare institutions and politics, and we won’t allow PTI chief to misuse institutes like National University of Modern Languages (NUML) and Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKCHRC). Politics is a cruel thing, he remarked.

The defence minister continued that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is being held accountable for those things which are not even linked with him, but Imran Khan is being asked about his own particulars. We have proven our money trail, he commented, now it is Imran’s turn.

Asif said Imran Khan has changed three to four statements on his Bani Gala palace. He advised PTI chairman to not run away as he will be chased down by PML-N.

The minister said Imran has lodged a defamation case again me for seeking details about the donations that he received. Khawaja Asif let it be known that he is still standing firm on his viewpoint, and will question Imran Khan in the court.

It is worth mentioning here that Imran has always rubbished PML-N’s claims of corruption in the donations that Shaukat Khanum Hospital and NUML receive, and has time and again challenged the incumbent government to take action against him if it has got any proof of embezzlements of funds.

PTI chief also said that he never committed tax evasion and money laundering, and that is the reason why people give donations worth millions of rupees for his cancer hospital and university.

Posted on

327 pilgrims depart as Hajj flight operation begins

ISLAMABAD (APP): Hajj flight operations under government Hajj scheme begun on Monday as 327 pilgrims departed from Islamabad’s Benazir International airport.

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousuf bid farewell to the pilgrims at the airport. While talking to media he said that travelling is being made luxurious for the pilgrims. “The ministry has made elaborate arrangements in Makkah and Madina to facilitate the pilgrims in the best possible manner,” he said.

He advised the pilgrims to show discipline in Saudi Arabia as they are going there being the ambassadors of Pakistan. The minister also directed them not to take any prohibited item with them.

Speaking on the occasion, the acting Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan said the Kingdom makes comprehensive arrangements in order to ensure that the pilgrims perform their Hajj rituals with ease and comfort.

Meanwhile, eight flights from around the world flew 1954 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. The operations will also be held through private flights.

The first flight of a private airline departed from Karachi. The flight operation will be completed by August 26.

Posted on

Chaudhry Nisar postpones his press conference

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali has postponed his press conference that was scheduled to be held on Sunday (today) at 05:00 PM.

As per details made available, the presser has been delayed for one day, and will now be conducted on Monday. It has been leant that the reason behind this adjournment is Chaudhry Nisar’s illness, as he is suffering from back pain and has been advised to take rest.

Let it be known that this is not the first time that the interior minister has suffered from back pain, as he had postponed all official activities on Tuesday as well due to the same reason.

It is pertinent her to mention that after Nisar earlier announced to exchange thoughts on his ongoing rift with the party, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and another important member reached Punjab House to appease the displeased minister.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members told the interior minister that he is an asset of the party, requested him to not hold the presser, and one federal minister even beseeched Ch Nisar by joining both hands in front of him told him. Chaudhry Nisar told PML-N leaders that he is still bound to party discipline, and any sort of irresponsible behavior or statement should not be expected from him during the press conference, however, he possesses the right to express his complains.

Posted on

Khasadar force personnel killed in IED blast in Khyber Agency

PESHAWAR (INP): A Khasadar force personnel was martyred and another injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in Khyber Agency’s Sheen Drang area on Sunday, security sources said.

According to sources, the incident took place in Aka Khel area of Khyber Agency, which is situated adjacent to Peshawar, on the other side of Frontier Road.

The injured personnel was transferred to a hospital in Peshawar after the blast occurred. Security personnel cordoned off the area soon after the blast occurred.

The deceased soldier has been identified as Riaz while the injured one’s name is Saqib. A few days back, an explosion occurred in Hayatabad area of Peshawar, claiming the life of a Frontier Corps Major.

Posted on

Chaudhry Nisar won’t leave PML-N: Javed Hashmi

MULTAN (NNI): Veteran politician Javed Hashmi has claimed his experience tells him Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar will not leave the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Addressing the media in Multan on Sunday, Hashmi, a former PML-N leader himself, said Nisar should not leave the party but instead resign from his ministry.

Terming Nisar an asset of his party, he said the minister knows how to maneuver diplomatically amid political circles. Hashmi said Nisar is a reasonable and practical person, who does not want state institutions t o clash.

“Institutions should not interfere in politics,” he said further.

The minister is expected to address a press conference today after reports stated last week that he had developed serious differences with the party leadership over the handling of the Panama Papers case.

Sources said the minister may resign from his post as the country’s top civilian security czar and/or the party.

Nisar skipped a crucial PML-N Parliamentary party meeting last week whereas in the cabinet meeting a day prior to that, he reported lectured the participants for nearly an hour on their mishandling of the Panama Papers case.

Hashmi was a senior PML-N member and close associate of Nawaz Sharif when he jumped ship to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in December 2011.

However, the veteran politician parted ways with his new party in protest against Imran Khan’s ‘anti-democratic handling’ of the 2014 protest ‘sit-in’ against the government.