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JIT recommends NAB reference against PM, children

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which investigated the Sharif family’s business dealings has recommended that the National Accountability Bureau open a reference against the prime minister and his family after it found glaring disparities between their known sources of income and their actual wealth.

The JIT report, a section of which has been circulated on media, suggests that a reference should be filed against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, as well as daughter Maryam Nawaz under Section 9 of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance 1999.

In the probe completed today, the JIT found that the assets of all four are more than the sources of their income and said that they were unable to provide substantive evidence of a reliable money trail.

“Significant gap/disparity amongst the known and declared sources of income and the wealth accumulated by the Respondent No. 1, 6, 7 and 8 have been observed,” the JIT observed in its concluding remarks. Respondent 1 refers to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif; Respondent 6 was Maryam Nawaz; Respondent 7 Hussain Nawaz; while Respondent 8 was Hassan Nawaz.

“The financial structure and health of companies in Pakistan having linkage to the Respondents also do no substantiate the wealth of the Respondents,” it continued.

“Moreover, irregular movement of huge amounts in shape of loans and gifts from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-based company (Hill Metals Establishment), United Kingdom based companies (Flagship Investments Limited and others) and United Arab Emirates based Company (Capital FZE) to Respondent No. 1, Respondent No. 7 and Pakistan based companies of Respondent No. 1 and family have been highlighted.

“The role of off-shore companies is critically important as several offshore companies […] have been identified to be linked with their businesses in UK while conducting this investigation. These companies were mainly used for inflow of funds into UK based companies; which not only acquired expensive properties in UK from such funds but also revolve these funds amongst their companies of UK, KSA, UAE and Pakistan.”

“In addition to the companies, Respondent No. 1 and 7 have been found to be recipients of these funds movement into Pakistan as gifts/loans whose purpose/reason have not justified by them before the JIT. Needless to say, these UK companies were loss-making entities with heavily engaged in revolving of funds vis-a-vis creating a smoke screen that the expensive properties of UK were due to the business operations of these UK companies.”

The JIT then refers to Section 9(a)(v) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 — which states that “A holder of public office, or any other person, is said to commit or to have committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices […] if he or any of his dependents or benamidars owns and possesses or has acquired right or title to any assets or holds irrevocable power of attorney in respect of any assets or pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, which he cannot reasonably account for or maintains a standard of assets beyond that which is commensurate with his sources of income…”

The JIT also invokes Section 14(c) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, which states that: “In any trial of an offence punishable under clause (v) of sub-section (a) of Section 9 of this Ordinance, the fact that the accused person on his behalf, is in possession for which the accused person cannot satisfactorily account, of assets and pecuniary resources disproportionate to his known sources of income, or that such person has, at or about the time of the commission of the offence with which he is charged, obtained an accretion to his pecuniary resources or property for which he cannot satisfactorily account, the Court shall presume, unless the contrary is proved, that the accused person is guilty of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices and his conviction therefore shall not be invalid by reason only that it is based solely on such presumption.”

PML-N refuses to back away; to challenge JIT report before July 17 hearing

ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is reportedly to challenge the report of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in the top court before the hearing of the Panamagate case on July 17.

Sources privy to the government have reported that legal team of the ruling party has given confidence to the leadership over challenging the 256-page report of the probe committee after it was filed in the top court today.

JIT has recommended the court to have National Accountability Bureau (NAB) lodge a case against Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif and his two sons, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz.

Proceedings and report of the Panamagate JIT was taken objection with by ministers belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) before it was submitted.

They had maintained in a press conference yesterday that Qatari royal’s statement was needed to be recorded for a fair probe and the political party would not accept the report if their prime witness, the Qatari prince is not taken in the loop.

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China says third country’s army could enter Kashmir on Pakistan’s request

BEIJING (NNI): A third country’s army could enter Kashmir at Pakistan’s request, using the ‘same logic’ the Indian Army used to stop the Chinese military from constructing a road in the Doklam area in the Sikkim sector on behalf of Bhutan, an analyst at a Chinese think tank said.

“Even if India were requested to defend Bhutan’s territory, this could only be limited to its established territory, not the disputed area,” Long Xingchun, Director at the Centre for Indian Studies at China West Normal University, said in the article he wrote in the Global Times.

“Otherwise, under India’s logic, if the Pakistani government requests, a third country’s army can enter the area disputed by India and Pakistan,” the article said. The Chinese state media have carried a barrage of critical articles on the Doklam standoff criticising India, but this was the first time Pakistan and Kashmir have been brought into the narrative.

“Indian troops invaded China’s Doklam area in the name of helping Bhutan, but in fact the invasion was intended to help India by making use of Bhutan,” it said, referring to the June 30 statement issued by India’s External Affairs Ministry.

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese Army’s construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region that Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.

“For a long time, India has been talking about international equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of others, but it has pursued hegemonic diplomacy in South Asia, seriously violating the UN Charter and undermining the basic norms of international relations,” it said.

“Through mass immigration to Sikkim, ultimately leading to control of the Sikkim parliament, India annexed Sikkim as one of its states,” it alleged. “This incursion reflects that India fears China can quickly separate mainland India from northeast India through military means, dividing India into two pieces,” it said.

“In this case, northeast India might take the opportunity to become independent. India has interpreted China’s infrastructure construction in Tibet as having a geopolitical intention against India. India itself is unable to do the same for its northeastern part, so it is trying to stop China’s road construction,” it said.

“India’s incursion, based on its own strategic judgment, is a clear violation of international law,” the article said, claiming that the western countries will not unconditionally support India as they have a wide range of ‘common interests’ with China.

“As for the territorial dispute between China and Bhutan, it should be resolved by both sides and India must respect Bhutan’s sovereignty,” it said.

“China can show the region and the international community or even the UN Security Council its evidence to illustrate China’s position. It highlights China’s sincerity and effort to maintain peace as a responsible big power. It will never resort to force till it is the last choice,” it said.

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Army’s high command reviews geo-strategic security environment

RAWALPINDI (INP): Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa presided over the 202nd Corps Commanders’ Conference at GHQ on Monday.

According to the ISPR, the forum reviewed geostrategic security environment with focus on evolving situation in the Middle East / Afghanistan and its implications on Pakistan.

The forum reiterated to continue supporting and enabling national efforts to play a positive role in line with Pakistan’s national interests.

Progress of Operation Raddul Fasaad, military-to-military engagement with Afghanistan for better border management, internal security situation of country, including preparations for flood relief operations, if required and force development plan was also discussed.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Army on Monday destroyed two Indian army posts and killed four soldiers in response to unprovoked Indian firing in Rawlakot sector along the Line of Control (LoC). “Pakistan Army has befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing, causing substantial losses in men and material.

Two Indian Army posts firing on innocent civilians have been destroyed. Four Indian soldiers killed,” said a press release issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).  The press release said, “Pakistan Army will protect civil population against unprovoked Indian aggression at all cost.”

Director General ISPR, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor also released a video on Twitter showing the two Indian army posts being destroyed.

“In utter failure to cap remembrance of Wani’s shahadat, Indian forces targeted innocent civilian along LOC. Indian guns silenced effectively!” he tweeted.

“Pak Army stands by innocent civilian population against unprovoked Indian ceasefire ceasefire violations and would continue to respond befittingly to this naked aggression,” he said.

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Supreme Court charges Nehal Hashmi with contempt of court

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday charged former PML-N stalwart Senator Nehal Hashmi for contempt of court following his earlier controversial remarks.

The apex court had taken suo motu notice of Hashmi’s speech which went viral on May 31 wherein he threatened ‘those investigating the PM’s family’.

The SC notification stated that Hashmi committed contempt of the SCP within the meanings of Article 204(2) of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.

The apex court in its notification mentioned the quotes by the senator and stated: “ That by the way of the aforesaid speech you threatened judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan their families and children and members of the JIT and their families and children.”

The notification said that the act tends to scandalise the court and bring the authority of the court into hatred, ridicule and disrespect.

Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf had earlier initiated action to file a criminal case against Hashmi.

Nehal Hashmi, in a speech to workers in Karachi at a Youm-e-Takbeer event, on May 31 had threatened the prime minister’s unidentified ‘enemies’.

“The one you are investigating is the PM’s son,” roared Hashmi.

Without identifying who he was referring to, Hashmi said, “You will not be spared; you are in service now but remember you will retire tomorrow.”

“Those investigating us [must know] we will observe your day of judgment,” he stated further.

Soon after the video emerged, he was stripped of his party membership and was made to resign from his Senate seat too.

Taking notice of the issue, the Supreme Court served a contempt notice on June 1 over his controversial remarks.

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India holds naval exercises with US, Japan

NEW DELHI (AFP): India began holding naval exercises with the United States and Japan off its south coast on Monday, seeking to forge closer military ties to counter growing Chinese influence in the region.

The exercises come as Indian and Chinese troops face off in a remote and strategically sensitive part of the Himalayas where India, China and Bhutan meet.

India has a longstanding territorial dispute with its northern neighbour, which is also expanding its naval presence in the region.

It is the fourth consecutive year Japan´s Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) has taken part in the Malabar Exercise, conducted annually by the US and India in the Bay of Bengal since 1992.

In a statement, the US said the exercises had “grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific”.

The US navy is fielding the USS Nimitz, the world´s largest aircraft carrier, for the drills which go on till July 17.

China has stepped up its activities in the Indian Ocean in recent years, building ports in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The area also features heavily in Beijing´s new One Belt One Road initiative to revive ancient trade routes from Asia, which has caused concerns in New Delhi.

Troops from the two nuclear-armed neighbours have for weeks been engaged in a stand-off on a disputed section of land high near what is known as the trijunction, where Tibet, India and Bhutan meet.

China has alleged that the Indian troops are on its soil, but both Bhutan and India say the area in question is Bhutanese territory.

The maritime exercises come weeks after US President Donald Trump declared that ties between Washington and New Delhi had “never been stronger” as he held his first talks with India´s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Beijing already claims large swathes of the resource-rich South China Sea and East China Sea, putting it in competition with Japan and other countries in the region.

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JIT recommends case against Nawaz and Family

ISLAMABAD : – Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has recommended the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) to order National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to pursue case against Sharif family over Panamagate, reports Dunya Tv.

Dunya News has obtained copy of the JIT report filed in the top court today that comprises of 256 pages and ten volumes.

Out of the ten volumes, nine were made public by the top court and are available at the registrar office.

According to the report, the probe committee has found lifestyle of the first family not in lines with the income that they are shown to earn in documents. Which is why, it is recommended, the JIT states, that the case be forwarded to NAB to lodge a reference against the family.

A lot of offshore companies are linked with family’s businesses in London, the report reads.

Reportedly, the record put forth by PM s cousin, Tariq Shafi in his two JIT appearances failed to match those obtained from central bank of Dubai.

“We would like to inform that after check in records of Dubai Customs, it seemed that there wasn t any scrap machinery transported from Dubai to Jeddah during 2001-2002.”