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Posts Tagged ‘ISALAMABAD’

Islamabad: Makhdoom Shahabuddin Qureshi, who has been short-listed as one of the candidates for the prime minister’s slot  by the Pakistan People’s Party  after the disqualification of Yusuf Raza Gilani, is likely to be arrested  anytime by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) in connection with the ephedrine case, country’s leading English daily The News International reported on Wednesday.

Quoting a well placed source in the army-led ANF the newspaper said “Qureshi’s arrest is a matter of time and He can be taken into custody anytime”.

The ANF has been investigating into the drug case also involving the son of outgoing PM, Ali Musa Gilani.

The paper said a Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had already directed the ANF to arrest Shahabuddin, who had approved the ephedrine quota. Shahabuddin is being considered for the slot together with Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and Syed Khursheed Shah, with majority betting on him as he belongs to south Punjab.

it said the investigators had undeniable evidence of Shahabuddin’s involvement in the ephedrine case. “He was the man who being the health minister issued quota to Danas Pharma,” The News quoted the official as saying.

The ANF last summoned Shahabuddin in May for interrogation and he admitted issuing a quota but pleaded innocence, saying he was unaware of the purpose and persons behind the move.

Hearing the ephedrine case on June 7, the Supreme Court questioned Brig Faheem of the ANF as to why Shahabuddin had not been arrested even after it was established that he had approved the illegal ephedrine quota.

Brig Faheem had told the court that bureaucracy was creating hindrances for the ANF to proceed against the suspects in the case.

 

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Rawalpindi: Senior politician Sheikh Rashid has said that he would decided on whether to join the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf on 13th of August.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, Rashid said that no convicted person should be made prime minister of the country.

He said entire nation was suffering due to government’s decision of not writing to Swiss authorities.

The former minister said that had come to dissolve all the assemblies and announce fresh election.

He said he will support the Supreme Court of Pakistan, adding that role of leadership had become a question mark in the given political scenario.

Sheikh Rashid said Gilani’s stubbornness had sunken entire nation.

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Karachi: After leaked video fiasco, Malik Riaz (MR), the real estate tycoon, has become active on Facebook to gain public support through presenting his philanthropic activities for the welfare of poor masses.

An official fan page titled “We Support Malik Riaz Hussain” created on June 15 which attracted nearly 3,000 likes in a day thanks to advertisement.

The page portrays Malik Riaz as heroic figure of the country having his various snaps for the masses welfare activities. It is also filled up with the opinion pieces and article written in his favour by prominent journalists and analysts in leading newspapers.

The FB page also contains material which demeans Chief Justice of Pakistan Chaudhry Iftikhar Muhammad for his involvement in the corruption of his son Dr Arsalan Chaudhry.

Besides the documents (bills) were also uploaded which were evidences upon which TV anchors of different news channels had earlier conducted their talk shows

It also contains post of editorial written by his friend Najam Sethi on the prevailing issue in Friday Times.

It seems that a dedicated team of social media activists or professionals was hired to cultivate a public opinion in the favour of MR through FB pages while criticizing CJP’s son involvement in the corruption.

The MR introduction written on the FB page is

“Pakistan’s Leading Real Estate Developer & Philanthropist. Entrepreneurship has itself found new meanings in the work of Malik Riaz. Because of his philanthropic initiatives, he is being dubbed as the Warren Buffett of Pakistan.”

Malik Riaz Hussain, Founder and Ex Chairman , is a real force behind Bahria Town, started in the 1980s as a small-time contractor. As competitors targeted the rich, he built for the emerging middle class, becoming one of Pakistan’s richest developers.

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Memo commission says they found no evidence which proved Zardari was involved in the memo.

 

ISLAMABAD: The Memogate Commission in its findings has exonerated President Asif Ali Zardari from any direct involvement in the memo scandal.

The commission conceded in its final report, presented before a larger bench of the Supreme Court that “no evidence was produced before us that would indicate that the President Asif Ali Zardari had either authorised the preparation of the memorandum or directed that it be sent to the American administration…”

The report submitted by the commission to the Supreme Court found guilty, however, former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Husain Haqqani for preparing the memorandum.

Pakistani-American businessman and the main character in the memogate, Mansoor Ijaz, who conveyed it to the then US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen at the behest of Haqqani, failed to satisfy the commission that President Zardari had prior knowledge of the memorandum. The report added that Ijaz also confessed he does not have any validating proof in support of his claim.

The commission comprising three provincial chief justices headed by Balochistan High Court’s Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa had investigated the scandal thoroughly over five-months. Justice Mushir Alam, Chief Justice Sindh High Court and Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rahman were the other two members of the commission.

In its final report the commission discusses the claims made by Mansoor Ijaz.

According to Ijaz the memorandum had the support of President Zardari and in this regard he testified, “…he [Hussain Haqqani] said that it was coming from the President of Pakistan who wanted to put together a new national security team similar to the national security organization in the US. I agreed to help Haqqani and asked him what is the message he wants to be conveyed?”

Ijaz further told the commission during its proceedings that “He [Haqqani] then stated that in view of the sensitivity of the matter subsequent communication between us should, whilst referring to United States of America refer to “Isphani”, which was the name of his wife, and if referring to Pakistan government should refer to as “friends.”

According to Ijaz, in a subsequent BBM messages Haqqani made the reference more specific by using the word “friend” for President of Pakistan. He also used word “boss” for him. The term “bad boys” was meant for Chief of Army Staff and ISI. Haqqani convoyed that to him (Ijaz) “If my friend and I feel sufficiently empowered in relation to the bad boys, I will ensure we get candor.”

The report said that the commission had sent a questionnaire to Ijaz and asked him if he could corroborate it with any other person including President Zardari. To this, Ijaz confessed that he has no documentary proof but had only relied and accepted Haqqani’s words that he had the approval of President Zardari.

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Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani (R) and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne.

ISLAMABAD, June 15: In the strongest response yet to American strong-arm tactics, the Pakistan military on Friday said it would not accept any pressure to abandon the stance taken in negotiations with the United States.

“We will accept no pressure for standing up for our principles,” said Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), at a graduation ceremony of National Security and War Course at the National Defence University.

The comments came amid intensifying tensions between Islamabad and Washington. While US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s ridiculing of Pakistani security forces in India and the remarks on presence of safe havens in tribal areas wasn’t helpful, what incensed the military top brass was his backing for restrictions on military aid for Pakistan.

Secretary Panetta had said that “We (US) are reaching the limits of our patience here” for what is said to be Pakistan’s tolerance for Haqqani network and other militant groups running insurgency from sanctuaries in tribal areas.

But Gen Wynne categorically denied this allegation in his speech at the defence university. “We are combating wholeheartedly the menace of extremism and terrorism so as to banish them from our society. The people and the armed forces of Pakistan have taken up this challenge and our soldiers as well as innocent civilians are sacrificing their lives for this cause. We seek nothing beyond secure frontiers and pose no threat to any country,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff committee underscored.

The general used the occasion to remind the Americans that there could be no peace without a resolution of the Kashmir issue.

“I must also point out that as long as regional disputes, especially Kashmir, remain unresolved, stability will remain a distant dream. We must therefore continue for a just solution of the Kashmir dispute as it is only fair to all the people who dwell in this region.”

Talks on a new transit agreement for Nato supplies, meanwhile, have been suspended since last week. Both Pakistan and the US have separately said that the negotiations stalled because of bigger issues in relationship and not just because of differences over transit fee.

Diplomatic sources in the United States now blame Pakistan for blocking the Nato supply route deal by raising afresh the apology issue, claiming that all issues had been settled during and after the Chicago summit.

The downward trajectory in bilateral relationship, which started in January last year, when CIA operative Raymond Davis shot dead two young men in Lahore, aggravated with the Osama bin Laden denouement and then the Salala border post attacks in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.

The US disregard of demands for an apology over the Salala incident and cessation of drone attacks has made matters worse.

The Americans, on the other side, are frustrated with Pakistan’s perceived failure to act against the Haqqani network and other Taliban-affiliated terror groups based in the tribal areas. Conviction of Dr Shakeel Afridi, who helped CIA hunt Osama bin Laden, has added to the fury in Washington. The government’s clarification that Dr Afridi had been sentenced to 33 years for collaborating with the outlawed Lashkar-i-Islam failed to pacify US leaders.

In the backdrop of a rift with Pakistan, the US has encouraged India to play a bigger role in Afghanistan and has also launched a trilateral mechanism involving Kabul.

Although the agenda is limited to development, unlike the trilateral process with Islamabad that covers peace and security, the new arrangement is set to anger the Pakistani military, which has been sceptical of Indian involvement in Afghanistan.

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Friday took notice of the leaked video clip pertaining to mid-break discussion by Dunya TV hosts during Malik Riaz’s interview,

The SC has summoned the record of the off-air clip from Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) by afternoon.

It is pertinent to mention that behind the scenes footage showing Dunya TV hosts Mubashir Lucman and Mehr Bokhari talking to Riaz during their show has surfaced on YouTube and some mainstream TV channels under the title ‘Malik Riaz Planted Interview with Mehar Bokhari and Mubashir Lucman on Dunya TV’.

It establishes the connection of the prime minister’s son with the whole Malik affair, attempt of Mian Nawaz Sharif’s daughter to get a favourable comment from Malik Riaz.

The involvement of the owner of Dunya TV cannot be ruled out in this conspiracy, as there were strict instructions from him to the anchors not to interrupt Malik Riaz. Mian Amir was also named by Lucman that he had pressurised him to conduct the show.

It is worth mention here that Mian Amir is considered close to the government circles and his television channel is getting more share than its ranking from the government ads.

There are two videos, in one of which Mubashir Lucman is seen receiving a call on his cell phone from Ali Qadir Gilani, son of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, and Mubashir told him that Riaz Malik was not letting him name Hamid Mir, the known Geo TV anchor. Later Lucman gave his phone to Malik Riaz, and then PM’s son and Riaz Malik talked to each other.

During the mid-break ‘planning’, Mehr Bokhari told Malik Riaz that she would ask questions relating to the chief justice and Arsalan Iftikhar as Arsalan has told her that he never met Malik Riaz. Malik Riaz agreed.

Malik Riaz also asked the so-called anchors that he wanted to readout some documents, which later turned out to be orders of the Supreme Court against him.

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Islamabad: The memo sent to US, seeking support against the military takeover in Pakistan in the aftermath of Abbottabad operation was real and was written by former ambassador Husain Haqqani, according to the report presented by the judicial commission formed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

A nine-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was constituted on Monday after the commission on the memogate scandal, submitted its report on June 11,2012.

The report was read in the court room where the bench ordered that report be made public and also summoned Mr Haqqani before it put off the hearing for two weeks.

According to the report Haqqani sought US support through the memo and wanted to head new security team.

The report also stated that Haqqani was not loyal to Pakistan as he had left the country and living abroad.

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