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NAB Chief terms corruption as really poison

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chairman, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal Tuesday described bribery and corruption as really poison, saying “We must put it down with an iron hand.”

Father of nation Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had also termed bribery and corruption as “one of the biggest curses.”

Chairing a meeting here, he said NAB was committed to corruption free Pakistan and would recover looted money from corrupt persons and bring them to justice as per law.

He said the Bureau has chalked out a comprehensive operational methodology for proceeding of cases complaint verification, inquiry and investigation.

The Chairman said to close possibility of any single NAB officer/official influencing discharge of official business, the concept of a “Combined Investigation Team” (CIT) has been introduced where two investigation officers and a legal consultant are working as a team for a fair, transparent and unbiased, inquiry/ investigation. He said due to NAB’s efforts, national and international organizations have rated decrease in Pakistan’s Corruption Perception Index from 175 to 116.

Pakistan is the only country whose corruption perception index is persistently on declining trend.

NAB had been unanimously elected as Chairman of SAARC Anti Corruption Forum which is the great achievement.

Justice Javed said NAB has apprehended various corrupt and presented them before the respective Accountability Courts as per law. He said NAB with improved infrastructure and rationalized workload, timelines has been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases.

 

 

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PM in Madina Munawwara on 1st visit to Saudi Arabia

F.P. Report

MADINA MUNAWWARA/RIYADH: Prime Minister arrived in Madina Munawwara Tuesday evening on his first official visit to Saudi Arabia for talks with the Kingdom’s leadership on bilateral cooperation.

Governor Madina-tul-Munawwara Prince Faisal Bin Salman received the Prime Minister on the airport.

The Prime Minister will pay his respects at Roza-e-Rasool and perform Umra.

Meanwhile, the Saudi officials on Tuesday reaffirmed their resolve to fully collaborate with any ruler chosen by the people of Pakistan.

“Saudi Arabia regards the matter of rulership of Pakistan as its internal affair,” the Saudi officials said upon arrival of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Madina on a two-day official visit.

The Pakistani delegation was received by Madina Governor Shehzada Faisal bin Salman. Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Khan Hasham bin Siddiq, Saudi Arabian officials and officials of Saudi Arabian consulate were also present on the occasion.

The officials said Saudi Arabia had full trust on people of Pakistan. They said it was a reflection of love for humanity that the kingdom showed during the tenures of different governments.

The officials said Imran’s relation with Saudi Arabian leadership was based on mutual trust.

The prime minister is visiting Saudi Arabia on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

According to a press statement released by the Pakistani Embassy in Riyadh, Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to discuss many important bilateral, regional and international issues with the Saudi leadership.

Matters related to welfare of the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia and ways to enhance people to people contacts are also likely to come up for the discussions.

The Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen will also call on the Prime Minister.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhdary and Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood are accompanying the Prime Minister.

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CJP takes notice of 10-year-old Amal’s death in Karachi

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar took notice on Tuesday of 10-year-old Amal’s death, who was hit by a stray bullet during a police encounter in Karachi’s Akhtar Colony area.

The bullet that hit Amal was from an AK-47 and was fired by a policeman attempting to kill a bandit, who had robbed the 10-year-old’s family a few minutes earlier as they waited at a traffic light to attend a concert on the eve of Independence Day.

After Amal’s parents raised the issue and it came into media highlight, the CJP took suo moto notice, and fixed the matter for hearing on September 25.

Notices have been sent to Advocate General, Secretary Health, and Inspector General of Police in this regard.

A notice has also been sent to Administrator National Medical Centre Karachi, where Amal was initially taken for medical treatment.

Amal’s parents had appeared on Geo Pakistan and narrated their ordeal of the day they lost their daughter.

“We were travelling from Korangi Road towards FTC when a man approached us at the signal and asked us to hand over everything,” Amal’s father, Umer, recalled.

“There was a lot of traffic at the signal at the time. The man took my wife’s phone and bag and then told us to roll up the windows and left,” he continued. “As soon as I started the car, we heard a gunshot and a bullet suddenly hit our windshield.”

Naturally, Umer and his wife, Beenish, turned back to check up on their two daughters sitting in the backseat, who they had asked to lie down when they heard the gunshots.

“When I turned, I saw Amal lying in a pool of blood and my other daughter clutching my seat,” Umer said.

The parents claimed that the staff at the NMC had refused to help them as it was a ‘medico-legal case’ and asked them to take the child to Jinnah Hospital.

The hospital initially did not even help them arrange an ambulance, Beenish said.

After much insistence, someone from the hospital called the Aman Foundation, who refused to send an ambulance till “arrangements were made” at Jinnah Hospital, she further said. “When we asked if we could take the ambu bag along, the NMC staff refused.”

By the time an ambulance reached them and they took their daughter to Jinnah Hospital it was too late. Amal had lost the battle for her life by then, the parents said.

Sources at NMC conflicted the parent’s version and claimed that the girl had passed away when she was brought to the hospital.

Mother of the girl, Beenish said, “My daughter was breathing till we were at NMC.”

Aman Ambulance CEO Shazina Masood said that the ambulance service received the first call at 10:32 pm, for a duration of 4.5 minutes and returned the call at 10.42pm and the ambulance reached at 10.52pm.

“We just have 60 ambulances to cater to the city and our average response time is from 12 to 14 minutes,” said CEO Aman ambulance service.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Javed Alam Odho, who was also present on Geo Pakistan was questioned regarding policemen firing from an AK-47 in a crowded area. “We are aware this wasn’t a routine case,” he said.

“As per the inquiry report, two policemen deployed in the area were informed about a robbery at a close distance following which both of them arrived at the site and took action,” the DIG South said.

Responding to a question regarding a medico-legal case being registered, the officer said, “It is important in case an injury or death occurs. If a medico-legal case is not registered, an investigation cannot take place as we will not have the evidence to present in court.”

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Sharjeel declared co-accused in liquor case Challan

F.P. Report

KARACHI: In a twist to the liquor case, in which police had given clean chit to former Sindh minister earlier, on Tuesday declared Sharjeel Inam Memon as co-accused the case. The case emerged on first of this month had made headlines.

A challan of the case was presented in court, which stated that Sharjeel Inam Memon, former Sindh Minister, was under treatment in VIP room number of 4013 of the Ziauddin Hospital. On August 1, it was noted that illegal activity has been carried out in his room. “In the CCTV footage the accused were seen doing suspicious activities,” reads the Challan, telling that one of the bottle recovered during the visit of Chief Justice had 2 inch liquor in it.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar discovered alcohol bottles in his surprise visit to Memon’s room at a private hospital in Karachi. Following the raid and examination, Memon was shifted to Central Prison Karachi.

The suspects, Muhammad Jam, Shakaruddin, and Mushtaq Ali, has admitted tampering with the evidence. Shakaruddin has admitted to chucking liquor bottles in a dustbin. Police recovered two cigarette packs from the room. The CCTV shows that the suspect tampered with pieces of evidence.

As many as 15 eyewitnesses will be presented before the court, said the challan, and except Memon, all other suspects are on bail.

On September 2 police arrested assistant superintendent of the central jail Karachi and five others, including hospital staff and police personnel, in connection with liquor case, which staff of the former minister Sharjeel Inaam Memon was granted bail a day earlier.

The official and personnel were arrested after an inquiry team headed by DIG South Javed Odho, found them in CCTV footages behaving suspiciously.

The footages show Memon’s domestic help taking alcohol bottles out of his hospital room after Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar paid a surprise visit to the facility.

According to reports Justice Nisar saw alcohol in the bottles found in the room. But when the Supreme Court team reached the sub-jail the alcohol was replaced with honey and olive oil.

However, police have claimed of taking help from the CCTV footage and recovering the alcohol bottles from where Memon’s domestic help had hidden them.

Meantime, a video surfaced in which the doctors of Sindh Government may be seen checking the bottles recovered from Sharjeel’s hospital room without chemicals.

Meantime, the Chief Secretary of Sindh told Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar that the test reports were suspicious which were prepared by tempering the sample.

A day earlier, a local court in Karachi granted bail to his employee after a medical test found no traces of alcohol in bottles, Sharjeel Memon’s blood samples.

The accused Shakar Din, Muhammad Jam and Muhammad Mushtaq Ali approved the bail application of all three employees of Sharjeel Memon, who were arrested by the boat basin police station after FIR against them.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Home Department canceled the order declaring Ziauddin Hospital as sub-jail.

Memon’s blood samples were sent to two hospitals for testing after Chief of Justice of Pakistan in a surprise visit found bottles allegedly containing alcohol in his hospital room.

According to the report the blood samples did not contain traces of plasma alcohol and ethanol. Three other test reports were also found out to be normal, according to report which will be sent to the apex court.

A report by Chief Chemical Examiner, Dr Zahid Ansari states that the bottles recovered from Memon’s room did not contain alcohol.

According to the report, one of the bottles contained honey and the other cooking oil.

An investigation team, heading by Javed Odhi, the DIG South, was formed on Sunday to probe the discovery of liquor bottles from the room of a hospital where Sharjeel Inam Memon was under treatment.

Former Sindh Minister Sharjeel Inaam Memon was moved back to central prison after Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, found bottles of liquor from his room in the PPP leader’s hospital here on Saturday.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, who was hearing different cases in the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry here on Weekend, on Saturday morning visited Ziauddin Hospital in Clifton to make surprise visit of the room of former minister and accused of billion rupees corruption.

As Justice Nisar entered into the room of Memon on the sixth floor of Karachi’s Ziauddin Hospital, he found no nurse or doctor in the sub-jail.

According to reports, the chief justice examined Memon’s room for nearly three minutes and even questioned about the PPP leader’s health.

Bottles of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes were found from Memon’s room which the court staff confiscated. According to sources Chief Justice found two bottles in the cotton and one was used and placed on the table.

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Zulfi Bukhari appointed as special assistant to PM on overseas Pakistanis

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Zulfi Bukhari was appointed as a special assistant to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development on Tuesday, according to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s official Twitter account.

The London-based businessman, who is a close friend of Prime Minister Imran Khan, will have the status of a minister of state.

According to sources, the prime minister has instructed Bukhari to prepare a detailed report on overseas Pakistanis.

Furthermore, Bukhari will also monitor matters pertaining to contribution of overseas Pakistani to the dam fund, sources further said.

Earlier this year, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) began a probe into offshore companies held by Bukhari.

The anti-graft body is investigating the use of his offshore companies to buy dozens of expensive commercial properties in London.

Bukhari’s name was also added to the Exit Control List (ECL) in August as part of the probe.

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How Maryam was convicted on property owned by Nawaz, inquires IHC

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday directed legal counsel of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to sum up his arguments on Sharifs’ petitions challenging conviction in Avenfield reference till Wednesday.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani resumed hearing on petitions here in Islamabad today.

As the hearing began, the bench inquired why Maryam Nawaz had been convicted under Section-9A of the NAB’s ordinance if assets were owned by Nawaz Sharif. The bench further inquired how two individuals can be convicted on assets owned by a single person.

“How Nawaz Sharif can own property when the ownership of the same rests with his children? Does court announce verdict merely on basis of this myth?”, remarked Justice Athar Minallah.

NAB’s prosecutor—during hearing—argued law turns onus of proof on accused after ownership of flats [by Sharifs] has been established. He said, “The agreement of money transfer turned out to be fake. Likewise, the deed declaring Maryam Nawaz trustee was also proved fake. She possesses assets beyond her declared source of income”.

NAB prosecuted further added Sharifs had not registered ‘Calibri font’ trust deed in UK. He said, “Maryam Nawaz crafted this trust deed and declared his brother beneficial owner”.

To this, bench remarked whether NAB’s prosecutor wanted IHC to uphold conviction merely on basis of myths.

Later, the court adjourned hearing till Wednesday.

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Govt tables motion in NA to probe alleged rigging in Election 2018

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday has tabled a motion in National Assembly to investigate alleged rigging in recently held General Election 2018

Addressing the session being chaired by Speaker Asad Qaisar, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that transparent elections are necessary for democracy.

He said that the incumbent government doesn’t intend to hide any fact from the nation, adding the parliamentary committee will be free to hold inquiry regarding the rigging allegations.

Meanwhile, Khurrum Dastagir demanded to give equal representation to opposition and government in the parliamentary committee.

Earlier, Pakistan Alliance for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFE), an amalgam of 11 political parties formed against PTI had staged protest outside Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office against alleged rigging in General Elections 2018.

The participants marched from Parliament House to ECP office and chanted slogans against the commission.

A protest was also organised in front of the ECP office in Peshawar while a rally was also carried out by the grand opposition alliance in Quetta.

In his first speech after winning the elections, Imran Khan had apprised political parties leveling rigging allegations that members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) were elected by two big political parties. “We are ready to initiate probe into opposition’s rigging allegations”, stated Khan.

Election Commission Secretary Baber Yaqoob had said that ECP was open for investigation into election results.

He said free and fair elections were conducted across the country and no complaint of rigging was received.

“We have full confidence in the transparency of this election. Security provided by the military was plausible. The attitude of the troops on poll duty was also commendable,” he added.

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Accountability court approves Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Babar Awan’s bail in Nandipur project case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court hearing Nandipur Power Project case, has directed former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader, Dr Babar Awan, to submit a surety bond of Rs0.2 million on Tuesday.

Both the leaders appeared before the court and during the hearing; the court approved Ashraf and Awan’s bail and directed them to submit a surety bond.

The hearing was then adjourned till October 2.

While talking to media after the hearing, former premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that he was surprised to find my name linked to this case and adding that the case against me is baseless.

The Nandipur power project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on December 27, 2007, at a cost $329 million.

Its contract was signed on January 28, 2008, between the Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and Dong Fang Electric Corporation of China and two consortiums — COFACE for 68.967 million euros and SINOSURE for $150.151m were established for financing the project.

A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) report stated that a ground check of the project had been conducted by the combined investigation teams of the anti-graft body and relevant records taken into possession from the ministries of law, water and power and finance.

During the course of investigation, NAB said, it came to record that the officers and officials of the law ministry had failed to exercise their lawful authorities by not issuing legal opinion, causing losses to the national exchequer, hence they committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under Section 9(a)(v) and (xii) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO).

In its 94-page report, the commission said the national exchequer had suffered a colossal loss of Rs113 billion due to negligence of the then law minister for causing delay in giving necessary approval and completing documents for the execution of 950MW projects of Nandipur and Chichon-Ki-Malian.

There was also negligence on part of executive authorities of the law ministry, which caused the delay in completion of the projects, the report added. The law ministry did not clear the issuance of sovereign guarantee of the finance ministry to the contractor, resulting in termination of work.

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PM Imran Khan to leave to Saudi Arabia today

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will leave for a two-day state visit to Saudi Arabia today.

Prime Minister will be visiting the Kingdom on the invitation of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince His Royal Highness Mohammad Bin Salman, a statement released by Foreign Office said.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Finance Asad Umar and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood.

The Prime Minister will call on His Majesty King Salman and hold a bilateral meeting with the Crown Prince.

The King will also host a state banquet for the premier at the Royal Court. Accompanying ministers will also meet their counterparts to discuss bilateral cooperation.

The Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr Yousaf bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen will also call on the PM Imran during his visit.

The Prime Minister will also perform Umra during his two visit.

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UNGA: FM Qureshi to visit US on Saturday

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will represent Pakistan at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly and he will leave to US on Saturday.

According to details, the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) will open on September 18. 2018 and the first day of the high-level General Debate will be on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, and is scheduled to last for nine working days.

FM Qureshi will also hold meetings with his counterparts of different countries including the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

It is pertinent to note here that earlier this month, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Pakistan visit, the foreign minister had announced that during his visit to New York for UN General Assembly session, he will also call on the Pompeo to hold talks.