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MQM-PTI alliance for Shah Mehmood Qureshi as next Opposition Leader

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) have agreed to nominate Shah Mehmood Qureshi as next Opposition Leader in National Assembly.

Both parties expressed reservations on Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Khurshid Shah as leader of the opposition. Addressing to a joint press conference in Karachi, MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar said the party shares the same opinion on several national issues with PTI.

He thanked the group of PTI leaders for their arrival and welcomed them. Leaders of PTI and MQM-P held discussion on various political issues.

Talking about the meeting, Farooq Sattar stressed that his party is in favour of mutual consent on national agenda. “Mandate of Pakistan is divided. Only one party cannot save the people from problems,” he stated.  

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Fawad wants court to take notice of Sharif’s presser

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf spokesman Fawad Chaudhry Tuesday called on the judiciary to take notice of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s presser saying it attempted to discredit and hold the superior court in contempt.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the PTI spokesman has said that Nawaz Sharif has returned not to face accountability but to salvage his politics. “Nawaz Sharif has returned not to face accountability but to strengthen this politics,” he said,

“Nawaz Sharif has charge-sheet the judiciary in the press conference,” he said adding that it was unprecedented the manner in which the superior judiciary was being mocked by the former president.

“What is the JIT members enmity with you,” he questioned. “Is held being held accountable for your money a conspiracy,” he asked adding that Sharif’s son bought a house worth over Rs6 billion and should be held answerable.

“It is heartening that dad has returned home,” he said adding it is now time that Nawaz and his children faces accountability and return public money. “We know all sort of delaying tactics will be used to avoid accountability,” he said adding that Sharif has returned but his children are still present in London.

He decried the use of public funds over the brief presence of Sharif in an accountability court saying a suspect arrived in a cavalcade of 45 cars. ” You can travel alone in London, but in Pakistan you need a grand appearance with protocol,” he sad.

He said Nawaz Sharif cannot even answer journalists let alone judges. “If you had answered over the money then you would not have asked the reason for your ouster,” he said adding that Sharif was also asked previously over the source of funds but was never held accountable.

Furthermore, he assailed Nawaz’s excuse of his wife’s treatment in London to escape accountability. He said that Nawaz Sharif had also cited health reasons when he was overthrown by Pervez Musharraf, and ultimately moved to Saudi Arabia.

He asked whether there was conspiracy over the transaction in which Rs88 milllion was transferred to Maryam Nawaz. There is proof in the Hill Metal case that money was moved, and transactions were conducted in the Hudaibiya Paper Mill case. “There were fourteen companies formed which are involved in transactions worth Rs3000 crores,” he claimed.

He said Nawaz was elected prime minister thrice, while Shahbaz Sharif was also consecutively elected as chief minister. “If you have returned back then you should face accountability,” he said adding there the court should not have soft corner for them.

“The courts should not discriminate others over them,” he said adding that Yusuf Raza Gillani and Raja Pervez Ashraf were also former prime ministers facing accountability. “The court should not be pressurised, we are there to support the judiciary,” he said.

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Army chief to visit Afghanistan this week

F.P. Report

KABUL: Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is expected to visit Afghanistan this week for talks on counter-terror efforts and measures to involve the Afghan Taliban in peace talks.

The Afghan defence ministry announced Bajwa’s upcoming visit on Tuesday, saying he will hold talks with top Afghan officials. Peace talks with the Taliban will be among the issues to be discussed during the visit, it said.

The Afghan government will reiterate its call to Pakistan to act against terrorist hideouts and safe havens in Pakistani territory, defence ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told the media.

“We will ask Pakistan to act honestly, otherwise these trips will not have results,” Waziri said.

A number of Afghan lawmakers have called on officials to provide the Pakistani side with “solid evidence” of Islamabad’s support for the Taliban. They said the Afghan government should pressure Pakistan to abide by its commitment to fight terrorism.

“Pakistan should be asked to hand over the leadership of the Afghan Taliban to the Afghan government and act solidly for the elimination of terrorist hideouts,” MP Fatima Aziz told Tolo News channel.

“The Afghan government should hand over all evidence to the Pakistani side and categorically tell them this action is no longer acceptable to us,” said MP Abdul Hai Akhundzada.

Bajwa’s visit comes ahead of his trip to Russia, which is also scheduled to hold a meeting of delegates from 50 countries to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan.

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IHC seeks Khawaja Asif’s reply on UAE iqama

ISLAMABAD (NNI): A larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notice to Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on a petition seeking his disqualification under Article 62 and 63 for concealing details of his foreign work permit.

The larger bench, headed by Justice Aamer Farooq, and also comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb.

The petition was filed by PTI leader Usman Dar, who claimed that the foreign minister was an employee of a UAE-based company. In his arguments, Dar’s counsel Sikandar Bashir said that Khawaja Asif was a permanent employee in a foreign firm and his iqama (work permit) was valid till June 2019.

The petitioner alleged that Asif did not disclose details of his employment with a Dubai-based company and his salary. Asif did not declare his employment with the foreign company in his nomination form for the 2013 general elections, he added.

Khawaja Asif, he said, was no longer ‘Sadiq and Amin’ as he had concealed his assets and facts in his nomination papers. The court sought a response from Khawaja Asif, ECP and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

Speaking to media persons after the court’s hearing, Usman Dar said that how could Pakistan’s full-time foreign minister be an employee of a foreign company abroad.

“Khawaja Asif will be disqualified like his ousted leader Nawaz Sharif and he too will take out his own container in Sialkot to ask why he was ousted,” he taunted.


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Ahsan Iqbal attends Interpol General Assembly in Beijing

F.P. Report

BEIJING: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal represented Pakistan at the opening ceremony of 86th General Assembly of Interpol held here on Tuesday.

It was opened by President Xi Jinping and attended by over 100 countries including around 40 ministers from various countries. Ahsan Iqbal in his address on the occasion said Pakistan is strongly committed deepening cooperation for peace and security both at regional and global levels.

Pakistan, he added pursues an inclusive peace and development agenda. It has been a major victim of terrorism. They, he added, had achieved significant success in defeating the menace of terrorism in last four years and willing to share its experiences with international community.

The growing challenge of globalization at all levels requires a collaborative approach to tackle terrorism, cyber crime, narcotics trade and human smuggling. Ahsan Iqbal further said that the police in Pakistan was playing a leading role in fighting crimes in Pakistan.“We are committed to modernizing Pakistan’s Police for meeting challenges of twenty first century,” he added.

He said, today terrorists and criminals were forming global networks which required strong global network and collaboration of crime fighting organizations. Pakistan is strongly committed to the charter of Interpol and looks forward to work with international community for promoting peace and security.

Appreciating the President Xi’s vision of global security governance, he said, it was based on inclusive and fair approach which was need of the time and added, global security could not be ensured unless it addressed security concerns of all. “There can be no haves and have nots in peace and security.” The minister said all countries were entitled to peace and stability to provide better quality of life to their citizens.

Pakistan welcomes China’s big commitment announced by President Xi to help developing countries capacity in fighting crime. The Interpol General Assembly will continue till 29th September and will discuss a broad range of issues related to global security, counter-Terrorism and organized crime.

On the sidelines of the Interpol General Assembly, the interior minister held bilateral meetings with Minster of Internal Affairs of Russia Vladimir Kolokoltsev and the ministers of Internal Affairs of Turkey, Tajikistan and other participating Ministers.

Separately, Minister Ahsan Iqbal also held a bilateral meeting with Meng Jianzhu, Member of Politbureau of Communist Party of China and Head of Political and legal Committee of CPC Central Committee. The meeting was also attended by Guo Shengkun, Minister for Public Security of China.

Issues of bilateral cooperation and mutual interest were discussed during the meeting. Ahsan Iqbal termed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a game changer for Pakistan-China friendship, which had transformed bilateral relations from higher than Himalayas to higher than stars.

The CPEC will make invaluable contribution to bring peace and prosperity to conflict hit region by bringing economic opportunities. Pakistan has raised 10,000 personnel special force for protection of Chinese workers in Pakistan. The two sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the areas of counter terrorism, fighting organized crime, easing of visas and strengthening security cooperation.

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Maleeha urges Kabul to take decisive action to eliminate terrorist safe havens

F.P. Report

NEW YORK: At the United Nations, Pakistan called for support to a peace process between the Afghan Government and the Afghan insurgency that can bring the war to a political end.

Speaking in the Security Council debate on Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said that the Secretary-General has affirmed the strong international consensus that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. Pakistan has long advocated this.

She also called upon the Taliban to shed violence and agree to resume talks in one or more negotiating formats. “An agreed de-escalation of the conflict and a negotiated settlement offers the best chance to end the suffering of the Afghan people and restore peace and tranquility within Afghanistan and the region”, Ambassador Lodhi said.

She reiterated what Pakistan’s Prime Minister had stated in the General Assembly last week, “What Pakistan is not prepared to do is fight the Afghan war on Pakistan’s soil.” The Pakistani envoy also said: “We cannot endorse any strategy that has repeatedly failed in the past and would only prolong and intensify the suffering of the people of Afghanistan as well further destabilize the entire region”.

Ambassador Lodhi outlined three components of a strategy that she argued could restore peace in Afghanistan, namely, a coordinated effort to contain and defeat Daesh and Al Qaeda and their associates, including the TTP, JUA, ETIM and IMU; a sustained dialogue between the Afghan Government and Afghan Taliban and other insurgents willing to negotiate a peaceful settlement and effective measures to prevent cross border attacks by terrorists and militants from or to Afghanistan.

The fundamental sources of insecurity in Afghanistan lie inside and not outside, Ambassador Lodhi said and pointed out that the Afghan government would be better advised to focus more seriously on its persisting challenges and embark on a course correction. Ambassador Lodhi warned the Council about Daesh’s expanding reach in Afghanistan, including in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces and its increased influence in the northern and western provinces. “These are worrying signs for Afghan security and for regional stability”, she remarked.

She said that the more than 20 terrorist organizations operating from its soil has been acknowledged by Afghan government, including the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Jamaat Ul Ahrar. “These organizations are conducting terrorist attacks inside Pakistan and pose a threat to Afghanistan’s other neighbors”, she added. Urging the Afghan Government and Coalition forces to take decisive action to eliminate terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan, she said that Pakistan continues to face terrorist attacks from across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border conducted by the TTP, JUA and IS-related groups.

Pakistan, she said, has supported all regional and international efforts to promote a peaceful settlement to the internal conflict in Afghanistan and added, “We will continue to do so”. Ambassador Lodhi told the 15 member council that Pakistan has fought a successful war against terrorism. “Our military operations, involving over 200,000 troops, have crushed and eliminated terrorist groups in our frontier regions and our towns and cities. We have paid a heavy price: 27,000 civilians and soldiers have been martyred; 50,000 injured. Our economic losses are estimated at $120 billion”.

Pakistan expressed its commitment to extending all possible assistance to Afghan brothers and sisters, including by facilitating the transit of Afghanistan’s imports and exports through our ports, helping in construction of infrastructure projects through the utilization of the 500 million dollar commitment we made in Brussels and extending our assistance to the Afghan forces in securing their country.

Pakistan, Ambassador Lodhi said, has struggled together with the Afghan people to uphold their freedom from foreign occupation and intervention. “We strongly support Afghanistan’s sovereignty. We strongly oppose its use in geo-political power games” She concluded by commenting that while others can afford to orchestrate a proxy war to destabilize Afghanistan and its neighbors, for Pakistan a stable Afghanistan is vital for our own peace, stability and progress.

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Accountability court issued arrest warrants for Nawaz’s children, MNA Safdar

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing corruption cases on Tuesday against the Nawaz Sharif and his children issued arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif children including Maryam, Hussain and Hasan, and son-in-law MNA Capt Safdar in order to ensure their presence on the next hearing.

Three corruption references were filed against the Nawaz Sharif and his children and the accountability court had summoned the Nawaz Sharif and his children however, the Maryam, Hussain, Hasan Nawaz and MNA Safdar were not appeared before the court.

Accountability Court Judge, Muhammad Bashir ordered the Sharif children to make sure their presence on the next hearing on October 2

Moreover, the Sharif family members have been directed to submit surety bonds worth Rs1 million each.

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NAB references: Nawaz Sharif to be indicted on Oct 2

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court ordered on Tuesday that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will be indicted on October 2 in the corruption reference.

Nawaz Sharif appeared before the court today and the court allowed him to leave the court and later after the hearing the case the court ordered that Nawaz Sharif will be indicted in the corruption references filed against him and his family on the directives of Supreme Court.

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SC to resume hearing of Imran disqualification case today

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will resume its hearing the Imran Khan Disqualification case which was file by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar headed the three members bench and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Umar Ata Bandial and they will resume hearing of the today.

The petitioner was seeking disqualification of Imran Khan and PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen for the hiding their assets, offshore companies and also PTI being a foreign funded party.

In the hearing on 12 September, the Supreme Court had said that the PTI chairman’s counsel Naeem Bukhari has still to submit complete details of Imran Khan residence at Islamabad, Bani Gala property purchase.

The chief justice said to the PTI counsel that you need to satisfy the court regarding the 160,000 pounds which was sent by Jemima.

Moreover, the chief justice observed during the course of hearing that the PTI chairman has submitted copies of documents that are unverified.


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Shahbaz Sharif returns to Pakistan ahead of Nawaz appearance in court

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif returned to Pakistan on Tuesday morning ahead of Nawaz Sharif appearance before the accountability court in the corroption cases against Nawaz and his family.

Shahbaz Sharif travelled to London on Saturday to hold a meeting with his brother, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss the political situation of the country.

Shahbaz rejected the rumors of a rift in the Sharif family and criticized those elements who are trying to create misunderstanding in the family and said that he and whole family is standing with Nawaz Sharif.