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ISLAMABAD: The list of the 282 journalists who received payments and gifts from the secret fund of the information ministry was made public following a Supreme Court order. The complete list can be viewed as a PDF here, or scroll down to the bottom of this report. The list of disbursements totals just over Rs177 million. Jasmeen Manzoor, Arif Nizami, Saleh Zafar, Munizhe Jehangir, Rameeza Nizami, Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi, Asma Chaudhry, Sherbano Taseer, Raza Rumi, Amir Mir, Sohail Warraich, Nazir Naji and Baqir Sajjad Syed feature on the list, among others. According to the rules and regulations, the purpose of the secret fund is only to obtain or uncover sensitive information necessary to protect ‘national interest/national security’. It cannot be used for any other purpose, such as emergencies or incidental expenses. All withdrawals are supposed to come under specific heads and justifications. Another list of 155 journalists who took gifts and payments from the information ministry will also be made public later. A spokesman of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting clarified that secret funds have no link with Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI),tweeted Radio Pakistan. Background SC Judge Jawwad S Khawja remarked during the April 11 hearing of the information ministry secret funds case that Rs300 million was apparently given away to a private television channel. Journalists and members of the civil society demanded the Supreme Court make public the names of the private TV channel that received Rs300 million from the information ministry and of all those journalists who allegedly received huge payments from the ministry. Complete list

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Muhammad-Nawaz-Sharif_1100

ISLAMABAD – PML-N President Nawaz Sharif made financial gains of $418 million during his two stints as prime minister of the country, according to a book, Capitalism’s Achilles Heel, by Raymond W Baker.
The book by the American is a dossier on the corruption of most dominating political families in the history, including the Sharifs, and explains how they accumulated their properties, factories and enormous wealth. According to the book, at least $160 million were pocketed by Nawaz from a contract to build the Motorway from Lahore to Islamabad during his first stint as prime minister in 1990.
Baker states in his book that Nawaz made at least $140 million in unsecured loans from banks, more than $60 million from government rebates on sugar exported by mills controlled by him and his business associates, and at least $58 million from the import of wheat from the US and Canada. “In the wheat deal, Mr Sharif’s government paid prices far above the market value to a private company owned by a close associate of his in Washington,” the book states quoting records.
Falsely generated invoices for the wheat generated tens of millions of dollars in cash. The book review went on to state, “The extent and magnitude of this corruption is so staggering that it has put the very integrity of the country at stake.”

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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau Chief (NAB) Fasih Bukhari has said that due to corruption, the national treasury is facing a Rs6 billion to Rs8 billion loss per day.

The NAB chairman said that the bureau’s job was to recover the ‘stolen’ money, not prosecute. He however added that if anyone was found guilty, they would be prosecuted.

“Till now, NAB has recovered Rs235 billion for the treasury but this is not enough,” said Bukhari, adding that the government has given approval for recruiting 300 new investigators.

Ongoing corruption cases

Referring to the rental power project case, National Accounability Bureau Chief Fasih Bukhari enquired whether the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) had placed Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) as yet.

The chairman also said that the Ashraf was interrogated for 3 hours before he was made the prime minister.

Bukhari told the media that a joint investigation team (JIT) including the FIA, NAB and police among others had been formed for investigating the Arsalan Iftikhar case and will be headed by the NAB director general (DG) Financial Crime Investigation Cell, as per the order of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s letter.

Speaking on the issue of conducting an unbiased investigation, the NAB chief said, “It doesn’t matter if we know Malik Riaz or Nawaz Sharif, the investigation will be unbiased.” He also added that he had never taken any money from Malik Riaz.

Referring to Arsalan Ifitikhar’s  letter which he sent through his lawyer, the NAB chief said it was insolent through. “The letter is threatening, it uses threatening language, said Bukhari, adding that a notice will be taken in this regard.

Bukhari said that although the Sharif brothers’ case could yield just Rs3 billion and the Swiss letter case, Rs6 billion but the case of former Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) chairman Tauqeer Sadiq could restore Rs55 billion to the treasury. He told the media that a warrant was to be issued for Tauqeer Sadiq’s arrest.

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Rawalpindi: The Anti-Corruption Court of Rawalpindi on Thursday issued arrest warrants for Malik Riaz, the real estate tycoon and main character behind Arsalan Iftikhar case, and seven other accused.

According to The News Tribe correspondent, the court has issued arrest warrants for seven people including Malik Riaz and his son Ali Ahmed Riaz in land corruption case filed in 2005.

Riaz seems to be in the hot water after his botched attempt to malign the Supreme Court of Pakistan by launching serious allegations against the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry.

He is also allegedly involve in another land scam involving Rs 7 billion.

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Hamid Mir accuses that Malik Riaz purchased the air time on the media and provided to PMLN in 2008 election campaign. Ch. Nisar says he doesn’t know it. Watch the following video from 8:45 onward

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ISLAMABAD: Business tycoon Malik Riaz, speaking with reference to the Dr Arsalan Iftikhar suo motu case, on Tuesday claimed that he did not give any bribes to anyone but rather was blackmailed.

Riaz, who had earlier appeared before the Supreme Court to hand over his statement, was speaking to the media at a hotel in Islamabad.

“Blackmailers were sent after me. Where should I go? Why was I pushed against the wall?” Riaz questioned.

Riaz said that despite being blackmailed, he continued to “bear” the trouble to avoid destroying his credibility and his career. “I cannot see this country collapsing. I have helped built it.”

He further claimed that there is no free judiciary in the country and it is being run by a ‘don’. “Arsalan Iftikhar is the don. But I still respect the chief justice.”

“Even today I respect the chief justice. Even today, I have submitted my reply in written to the court and I stand by my statement,” Riaz said, adding that he even wrote a book in 2007 in favour of the chief justice during Musharraf’s tenure. “I also offered him my bullet-proof vehicle.”

Riaz, holding a pocket Holy Quran in one hand, questioned Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry before the media. “I have come here with the Holy Quran, just like the chief justice did. I have three questions for the chief justice.”

As his first question, Riaz asked the chief justice to tell the nation how many times they had met during the night, and if his son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar did not know him. “Was he not there in the meetings?” He further asked the chief justice to disclose how many times the prime minister and the CJ met at his partner Ahmed Khalil’s residence.

“Place this Holy Quran in front of you and tell the people: for how long have you not known about this? Why did you not take a suo motu then? Why did you take a suo motu only when the media broke the news?”

“Call me for contempt or send me to jail. I’m ready to die. I’m not afraid of the jails,” Riaz said, while promising that he will disclose more facts in “due time”.

A perturbed Malik Riaz later left the press conference after telling media persons that he had disclosed what he had to for today.

‘Riaz met CJ when judiciary was deposed’

Supreme Court Registrar Dr Faqeer Hussain, in response to Riaz’s press conference, clarified that the meetings between Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Riaz were held at the time when the judiciary was deposed, reported Express News.

Supreme Court registrar further defended the chief justice by saying that when Riaz had offered his bullet-proof car, the chief justice turned down the offer. Hussain added that Riaz tried to force the chief justice into meeting President Asif Ali Zardari, but he refused it as well.

A suo motu was taken by the chief justice against Iftikhar and Riaz, following media reports that Iftikhar had received between Rs300 and Rs400 million from Riaz to influence judicial proceedings. The chief justice had summoned his son to the court, and had later detached himself from the bench.

 

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Riaz’s speech his own point of view, not mine, says Bukhari.

ISLAMABAD: In a meeting held prior to hearing the day’s cases, the Supreme Court decided to summon the record for the press conference that business tycoon Malik Riaz held in defiance of the apex court, Express News reported on Wednesday.

As a result of the meeting, hearing of all cases began at 10am.

Riaz, on Tuesday, defied the court by holding a press conference pertaining to the Arsalan Iftikhar case.

With a pocket-sized copy of the Holy Quran in his hand, Malik Riaz hurled serious but contradictory charges against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his son.

He also claimed that there was no free judiciary in the country, saying that it was being run by a ‘don’, namely Arsalan Iftikhar.

Riaz had posed three questions to the chief justice, while daring the court to call him for contempt or to send him to jail.

Riaz’s speech his own point of view, not mine: Bukhari

Malik Riaz’s counsel, Zahid Bukhari, while speaking to the media distanced himself from Riaz’s press conference held earlier, saying that he was bound only by the written statement he had presented in court and that Riaz’s speech yesterday was his own point of view.

“I am a part of the court’s proceedings. The answers and lawful objections were raised by me and I own them too,” said Bukhari, adding that as far as the press conference was concerned, it was “not conducted on any legal directives” by him.

“The points of view Malik Riaz gave there were his own and as you must have seen, I refused to answer any questions there.”

Upon being asked if this could lead to Riaz being held in contempt of court as he had discussed a case which was still being heard, Bukhari said, “No. If that is how it is then I can be held in contempt of court too”.

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