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India’s conditions for granting medical visa ‘highly regrettable’: FO

ISLAMABAD (APP): A Pakistan foreign affairs ministry spokesperson has said the restrictions placed by India on medical visas were “against diplomatic norms”.

When asked during a questions/answers session of how the ministry felt about India placing an “entire onus of non-issuance of visas” on the people of Pakistan, the spokesperson replied that such restrictions were not placed on other countries.

“It is highly regrettable that India has placed such restrictions on visas for patients who are suffering from serious and terminal illnesses,” he noted. “Asking for a letter from the foreign affairs adviser is against diplomatic norms.

Such a requirement has not been prescribed for any other country. We are making suitable alternative arrangements, both within Pakistan as well as in friendly countries,” said spokesperson Nafees Zakaria.

India had recently imposed sanctions on Pakistan and said only those who had a formal letter from the foreign affairs adviser would be granted visa for medical purposes. This has led to a rise in cases of Pakistani citizens who need to go through a long and painful process to acquire visas for medical care.

The issuance came after tensions between the two countries started to grow rapidly, and India stated that Foreign affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz would have to review every applicant before Indian High Commission would issue visas.

 

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PTI discusses strategy to deal with PML-N in the post-PM resignation scenario

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): Chalking out a strategy following the prime minister’s resignation, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan told his party members on Saturday that they would not allow the country to fall into the grip of corruption again.

Presiding over a meeting at his Bani Gala residence of the PTI’s parliamentary parties in the national and provincial assemblies and the Senate, Khan said that the Supreme Court’s verdict disqualifying Nawaz Sharif and the prime minister’s subsequent resignation were a a victory achieved through hard work and patience.

During the meeting, the political scenario following the prime minister’s resignation and the efforts of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that could possibly negate the effects of the top court’s verdict were discussed.

In a landmark verdict, the apex court’s five-judge larger bench on Friday unanimously disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif due to his failure to disclose his ‘un-withdrawn receivables, constituting assets’ in his nomination papers filed ahead of the 2013 general elections.

The verdict – announced in the packed courtroom 1 of the Supreme Court – came as a major blow to the ruling family as the court also asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file three different references against PM and his three children – Maryam, Hussain and Hassan – as well as Captain (retd) Safdar.

The court ordered NAB to file the references within six weeks before the accountability court of Rawalpindi-Islamabad on the basis of the material collected and referred to by the Joint Investigating Team (JIT) that probed into Sharif’s offshore assets as revealed in April last year by Panama Papers.

Interestingly, disqualification of the premier was not made on the basis of the corruption charges levelled by the PTI after the emergence of Panama Papers.

The SC disqualified the PM by relying on documents collected by the JIT during its probe through Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request. The documents showed that the PM had been an employee of a Dubai-based firm, Capital FZE, and as chairman of its board on a salary.

Sharif resigned from his postafter the Supreme Court disqualified. The Prime Minister’s office said in a statement that Sharif has “stepped down” despite having “serious reservations” about the judicial process. The federal cabinet also stands dissolved.

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Four killed in Panjgur blast near Pak-Iran border

PANJGUR (NNI): Four persons were killed in a blast that occurred within Panjgur district of Balochistan, situated near Pakistan and Iran border.

At least five people have been injured and admitted to local hospitals for treatment. Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri took notice of the blast and sought an immediate report from law enforcement agencies.

The Balochistan Chief Minister expressed grief on the loss of precious lives, promising medical treatment for those injured. The blast took place on roadside in Cheeqgi area.

Sources told the blast happened due to explosive material. No terrorist organisation has yet claimed the responsibility of the attack. The Iranian forces had reportedly opened fire at rescue officials which delayed the process.

The officials of security forces took control of the situation by covering the area before rescue teams reached for medical assistance.

The investigation has commenced as injured were admitted to tehsil headquarters hospital in Panjgur.

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We should not give our powers to judiciary: Asfandyar Wali

Ali Sheikh

PESHAWAR: President of Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali has said that his party accepts the Supreme Court’s decision but the party has its own reservations over the verdict.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Asfandyar Wali asked the political leadership of the country to keep their powers to themselves instead of giving the powers to judiciary. “Parliament should keep its powers with itself instead of handing it over to Judiciary,” Wali said.

He said that during the process of 18th Amendment of the Constitution they wanted to bring the article 62, 63 to its original position of 1973 constitution but Nawaz Sharif was the biggest opponent to the suggestion. “We tried to amend Article 62, 63 but it was Nawaz Sharif who opposed it the most,” Asfandyar said. He said that political leadership should play a responsible role as the situation at the three borders of the country was tense. The ANP leader further said that his party would work to strengthen the democracy and Parliament.

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Nawaz’s picture removed from Karachi airport, name from NA website

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif picture was removed from the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi and his name was also removed from National Assembly website as member of the house after he was disqualified by SC in it verdict on Friday.

After the verdict on Friday, Nawaz Sharif resigns from his post after SC verdict in milestone decision in Panama case in which the court disqualified him to holding the office.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also issued a notification of disqualifying former PM Nawaz Sharif as MNA. Nawaz Sharif was elected as MNA in 2013 election from Lahore constituency of NA-120.

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PML-N likely to finalize name today for premiership

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F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim Leagues Nawaz (PML-N) likely to decide candidate for premiership, a party meeting will be held in this regard after SC disqualified Nawaz Sharif in its verdict on Friday.

According to sources, Nawaz Sharif has decided his younger brother CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for his successor as he is the suitable candidate for the post and he will get the permission from the party leaders in today’s meeting.

However, the name of interim Prime Minister needs to select for 45 days until the Shahbaz Sharif to be elected as MNA and replace the interim PM. Two senior leaders of PML-N Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi are the most favourite candidates for the premiership for short time.

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Political development in Pakistan will not harm Pak-China ties: China

F.P. Report

BEJING: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson of China, Lu Kand has said the recent political development will not affect the Pak-China relationship and all the uplift will be continue as per the plan.

While commenting on the disqualification of PM Nawaz Sharif it is Pakistan internal affair and he was hopeful that it would not affect the bilateral ties as Pakistan and China were not only neighbors but they trusted friends.

Kang added that Beijing strongly believes strategic cooperative partnership will be remaining peaceful despite the recent political development after SC disqualified PM Nawaz Sharif.

“One belt one road is a mega project for both in the favor of Pakistan and China and we are ready to continue our part of work in this regard”, he added.

As friendly neighbor and close partner on international issue China hopes that all parties in Pakistan prioritize national interest and deal with their domestic affairs with maturity and keep focusing on economic and social development, Kang said.

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Nawaz Sharif wants Shahbaz as next PM

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif or the former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz may succeed Nawaz Sharif as the next prime minister of Pakistan.

According to details, a party session headed by Nawaz Sharif decided that the party will complete it’s fiver year term in power while Nawaz suggested that his brother and current Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif should be nominated as the next prime minister.

Reports suggested that an interim prime minister will be brought in to fill the vacuum who will be appointed for 45 days before Shehbaz is elected.

Some of the party leaders have voiced their concerns over nominating Shehbaz Sharif as Prime Minister as the party will then have to look for his replacement as Chief Minister Punjab.

On the other hand, sources say that a suggestion to nominate the former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz as Prime Minister is also under consideration.

Reports suggest that if the party approves, Kulsoom Nawaz will be elected on reserved seats for women and then be made PM.

Sources claimed that the names of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq were also under consideration for the post.

 

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Editorial Note: Democracy Must Contiinue

 

Democracy Must Continue

The ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by Honorable Supreme Court in Panama Leaks case has once again given hope to the hopeless Pakistanis about their future and the future of their children. The honorable five member judges of the Supreme Court along with members of Joint Investigation Team has given a ray of hope to those who have lost faith in the judicial system of Pakistan, its parliament, the executive and even the media. Now, the next step is to let this ray of hope turn into reality for achieving a brighter future for Pakistan. And that is only possible through letting democracy grow, flourish, and strengthen.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with his family must face the courts to prove their innocence and if they have stolen wealth staked abroad, it must return to Pakistan. It is on record that most of the corruption stories related to Nawaz Sharif and his family members were published by The Frontier Post through out the course of last three decades. Now it is time for Nawaz Sharif and his family members to prove The Frontier Post stories incorrect.
Despite all the negatives about Nawaz Sharif and his family members, the reality on ground is that under democratic system of Pakistan, his party Pakistan Muslim League (N) still enjoys majority in the parliament and therefore they must be allowed to elect their leader in the house in shape of Prime Minister.
The new prime minister will be facing a unique kind of Pakistan. A Pakistan which is awakened and hopeful of faith in its institutions. This new prime minister will not only have the responsibility of saving PML (N) from complete destruction but he will also be responsible for taking Pakistan forward. Forward with honesty and integrity.
When a serving interior minister says that there are dark clouds hovering over the country, it should not be taken light. That is exactly what former Interior Minister, Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan said in his press conference yesterday. He also said that democratic system must not be derailed. Nobody disagrees with him on that either.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in not a personal property of Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari or Imran Khan. It is property of the people of Pakistan and it is a also a game changer for Pakistan. The new prime minister must continue work and progress on CPEC with even more speed and definitely more honesty than former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.
The Pakistan military, which is not only one of best army in the world but it also one of few institutions left in Pakistan should be strengthened. No political leaders in the world speak so roughly about their army as they do in Pakistan. This trend must be ended. At the same time leadership of the Pakistan army must keep away from political arena as they are already faced with multiple challenges. They should facilitate the new prime minister in every way possible.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) which has been given task by the Supreme Court to file cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif must prove their competence and honesty. Public Servants or government employees are only responsible to the people of Pakistan and its institutions. They are not personal employees of any individual or political party. Individuals like former SECP Chairman, Zafar Hijazi after proven guilty should be made examples for those government employees who are corrupt and bias. The new Prime Minister must not create any hindrance in the workings of NAB.
Whether it is us as a media house or any individual or businessman, politician, government servant, judge or a general, we are all what we are because of Pakistan. Nothing nor nobody should be given preference over Pakistan. The future of Pakistan lies in its democracy. Democracy must continue.

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With Nawaz’s disqualification, foundation of ‘Naya Pakistan’ has been laid: Imran

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Friday said with Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification, the foundation of a new Pakistan, in line with the vision of the founders, has been laid.

“I don’t have any personal grudges against anyone including Nawaz Sharif,” Imran told reporters in Islamabad hours after the Supreme Court announced its verdict in the Panama Papers case.

Expressing content with the verdict, the PTI chairman said, “I am thankful to all my supporters and the masses who played a vital role during our campaign against corruption. “I pay tribute to the judiciary of the country, especially the JIT members who can rightly be called the heroes of this nation.

Hoping that the SC judgement will have effect on many others, Imran stated that he can now see several ‘looters’ behind bars. “This is just the beginning as all others responsible for corruption will meet a similar fate,” he said, adding that “the practice of sending abroad money looted from projects in the form of commission needs to come to a halt.”

“I also question the role of state institutions which were supposed to protect the interests of the country.” “It was utterly shameful of the rulers to verbally attack a hospital meant for welfare,” he said referring to Shaukat Khanum Hospital.

PTI earlier announced they will offer prayer of thanks collectively following the Panamagate case verdict. “Today Pakistan has gotten rid of a corrupt prime minister. Basis of a new Pakistan have been built today,” said PTI leader Jehangir Tareen.

Earlier, another leader, Asad Umar, said while talking to the media that prayers will be organised to thank god after the much-awaited verdict.

The Supreme Court on Friday unanimously disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from his post after an investigative panel alleged his family’s wealth was far above their earnings in a scathing corruption report.

The apex court also ordered NAB to file a reference against the accused in an accountability court in six weeks and directed for the trial to be concluded within six months. The judges reserved that the premier had been dishonest to parliament and the courts, hence could not continue serving the office.