Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz never refused medical treatment nor sought to travel abroad: Abbasi

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday that it was on record that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz.He made the comment while speaking to the media after the Supreme Court suspended Nawaz’s sentence on medical grounds for six weeks.

Nawaz, who is currently imprisoned at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, was awarded a seven-year imprisonment sentence by an accountability court in the Al Azizia/ Hill Metal Establishment corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau in light of the top court’s Panamagate judgment.An apex court bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Azmat Saeed Khosa heard an appeal submitted by Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris, seeking suspension of sentence for eight weeks on medical grounds.The bench granted a six-week suspension and allowed Nawaz to receive treatment from his personal physician but restricted him from travelling abroad.Dismissing reports that Nawaz had refused treatment in jail, Abbasi said the top court had acknowledged that the three-time premier neither refused treatment nor asked to be treated in London.

It is on record now that Nawaz never refused medical treatment nor did he seek to travel abroad. The SC observed that the doctors failed to concur on how and where Nawaz should be treated.”SC suspends Nawazs prison sentence on medical groundsHe blamed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for creating a false perception that Nawaz had refused to be treated locally and wanted to travel abroad. “Nawaz was given relief by the top court.We are confident his appeal against the verdict will also be accepted.”He critcised the federal ministers for playing politics on a matter concerning a person’s health.

Please follow and like us:

Chinese vlogger Trevor James has fallen in love with Pakistani food

Trevor James is a Chinese video blogger who explores street food culture in different countries. After visiting Pakistan with his wife, he couldn’t stop posting about his love for the country.
“Pakistan is the land of hospitality!!! We’ve been here one week now and have fallen in love with the delicious food,” he wrote in a post.The couple’s first stop was at Monal restaurant in Islamabad which James described as “incredible.” They went to Waris Nihari in Lahore next. “Eating the BEST nihari I’ve ever tasted!!! The ultra rich beef stew at Waris nihari in the deep back lanes of Lahore is a life changing flavor you must try in your lifetimein heaven right now,” he posted on Food Ranger (their handle).

Please follow and like us:

Nawaz has option of plea bargain: Fawad

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Sunday said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif might leave the country after entering into a plea-bargain with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He said the leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were doing politics on the health of Nawaz Sharif and trying to halt the ongoing accountability process.He said Nawaz Sharif would have to bear the brunt of his deeds and he would be held accountable for them, adding that all the cases against Nawaz Sharif were instituted during the past regimes.Rejecting media reports that Nawaz Sharif was not being provided best medical treatment, he said extraordinary medical facilities are being provided to Nawaz Sharif to treat his cardiac, kidney and diabetes ailments but he had refused to avail himself of the treatment within Pakistan.
He said, recently, Punjab Chief Minister’s spokesman Dr Shahbaz Gill alongside senior journalist Mujeebur Rehman Shami met Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat Jail to offer him the medical treatment of his choice within Pakistan but he declined.The minister said, despite Nawaz Shairf’s refusal to get treatment in the country, he said the Punjab government had established a mini-cardiac unit at the Kot Lakhpat Jail with three cardiologists and three technicians available round the clock, but Nawaz Sharif had not allowed them any access.

He said, as a matter of fact, Nawaz Sharif did not want to be treated in the country as he did not have faith in the health facilities being provided in the country which he and his brother Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif built over three decades.The minister recalled the past incident when Imran Khan fell off a staircase during the general elections campaign in 2013 and said it was only Prime Minister Imran Khan who refused to go abroad for treatment and preferred to be treated at Shaukat Khan Memorial Hospital (SKMH), although an air ambulance had been arranged for shifting him abroad for treatment.He said, similarly, Imran Khan’s late father also got all treatment from Pakistan instead of going abroad.He said this was the spirit what differentiated between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-N leadership.

Fawad Chaudhry said that Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his family are insisting that he be sent to the hospital in London where the former premier received treatment before.Fawad alleged that the complications that have come up in Nawaz’ health are because of doctors in London.The information minister presented a review of the various developments in the former premier’s health over the past few months.Fawad Chaudhry said that certain tests including a thallium scan were done after which a doctor recommended that Nawaz be shifted to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) for further tests.On January 22, Sharif was shifted to PIC where he underwent tests.Following this at 3 30pm on the same day the former premier went back to jail.

The information minister added that on Jan 25 the Punjab Home Department constituted a six-member board including doctors from Lahore and Rawalpindi cardiology hospitals while Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) personnel had also been nominated.On Jan 30, this board met Nawaz in jail and advised that the former premier be shifted to a hospital due to previous ailments he had suffered.He added that in 2001-02 Nawaz underwent an angioplasty and in 2016 he had a bypass surgery.Meanwhile in an interview with a private TV channel, Fawad Chaudhry said that no formal negotiations have been held with the United States regarding release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and no substantive progress has been made regarding this matter.Fawad said, It is our desire that Dr Aafia should be handed over to Pakistan and she should complete the remaining term in Pakistan which is her right being the Pakistani citizen. Fawad said that Pakistan has signed extradition treaty with Britain but has no such agreement with the United States adding that this depends on the US policy.

Fawad Chaudhry said that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting is going to be held in June adding, We will fulfill most of the conditions of FATF and will come out from the gray list in September. He said that the meeting of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with Nawaz Sharif was meeting between the two disappointed persons.
Fawad said that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari have contested their last elections, however, Bilawal’s politics will continue.Replying a question Fawad said that the investigations into the suicide of Brigadier (R) Asad Munir should be held so that the causes of suicide could be ascertained.He said that the postmortem of Asad Munir’s body should have been conducted and application of Asad Munir’s family for not conducting the postmortem should have been rejected.

Addressing a press conference along with Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasim Rashid here at the Press Information Department (PID), he said the accountability process against Nawaz Sharif would not stop on the pretext of his bad health, adding that Nawaz Sharif would have to return every penny of the masses only then he could be allowed to leave the country.He said the leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were doing politics on the health of Nawaz Sharif and trying to halt the ongoing accountability process.He said Nawaz Sharif would have to bear the brunt of his deeds and he would be held accountable for them, adding that all the cases against Nawaz Sharif were instituted during the past regimes.

Rejecting media reports that Nawaz Sharif was not being provided best medical treatment, he said extraordinary medical facilities are being provided to Nawaz Sharif to treat his cardiac, kidney and diabetes ailments but he had refused to avail himself of the treatment within Pakistan.He said, recently, Punjab Chief Minister’s spokesman Dr Shahbaz Gill alongside senior journalist Mujeebur Rehman Shami met Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat Jail to offer him the medical treatment of his choice within Pakistan but he declined.The minister said, despite Nawaz Shairf’s refusal to get treatment in the country, he said the Punjab government had established a mini-cardiac unit at the Kot Lakhpat Jail with three cardiologists and three technicians available round the clock, but Nawaz Sharif had not allowed them any access.He said, as a matter of fact, Nawaz Sharif did not want to be treated in the country as he did not have faith in the health facilities being provided in the country which he and his brother Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif built over three decades.

The minister recalled the past incident when Imran Khan fell off a staircase during the general elections campaign in 2013 and said it was only Prime Minister Imran Khan who refused to go abroad for treatment and preferred to be treated at Shaukat Khan Memorial Hospital (SKMH), although an air ambulance had been arranged for shifting him abroad for treatment.He said, similarly, Imran Khan’s late father also got all treatment from Pakistan instead of going abroad.
He said this was the spirit what differentiated between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-N leadership.Fawad Chaudhry said that Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his family are insisting that he be sent to the hospital in London where the former premier received treatment before.Fawad alleged that the complications that have come up in Nawaz’ health are because of doctors in London.The information minister presented a review of the various developments in the former premier’s health over the past few months.Fawad Chaudhry said that certain tests including a thallium scan were done after which a doctor recommended that Nawaz be shifted to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) for further tests. On January 22, Sharif was shifted to PIC where he underwent tests.

Following this at 3 30pm on the same day the former premier went back to jail.The information minister added that on Jan 25 the Punjab Home Department constituted a six-member board including doctors from Lahore and Rawalpindi cardiology hospitals while Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) personnel had also been nominated.On Jan 30, this board met Nawaz in jail and advised that the former premier be shifted to a hospital due to previous ailments he had suffered. He added that in 2001-02 Nawaz underwent an angioplasty and in 2016 he had a bypass surgery.Meanwhile in an interview with a private TV channel, Fawad Chaudhry said that no formal negotiations have been held with the United States regarding release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and no substantive progress has been made regarding this matter. Fawad said, “It is our desire that Dr Aafia should be handed over to Pakistan and she should complete the remaining term in Pakistan which is her right being the Pakistani citizen.Fawad said that Pakistan has signed extradition treaty with Britain but has no such agreement with the United States adding that this depends on the US policy.Fawad Chaudhry said that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting is going to be held in June adding, “We will fulfill most of the conditions of FATF and will come out from the gray list in September.” He said that the meeting of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with Nawaz Sharif was meeting between the two disappointed persons. Fawad said that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari have contested their last elections, however, Bilawal’s politics will continue.Replying a question Fawad said that the investigations into the suicide of Brigadier (R) Asad Munir should be held so that the causes of suicide could be ascertained. He said that the postmortem of Asad Munir’s body should have been conducted and application of Asad Munir’s family for not conducting the postmortem should have been rejected.

Please follow and like us:

NA proceedings adjourned without any business

ISLAMABAD: The proceedings of the National Assembly (NA) on Tuesday were adjourned without taking up any business as the opposition parties stuck to their demand of resignation of the Federal Minister Faisal Vawda and cancelation of his membership.
The Speaker Asad Qaisar occupied his seat at around 7.30 instead of 4: pm and announced adjournment of proceedings soon after the national anthem.The office of the Speaker did not state any reasons for delayed start and adjournment of proceedings.However, the sources said deadlock between the government and opposition benches persisted on objectionable remarks of Faisal Vawda on a television channel.The PML-N parliamentarian Ahsan Iqbal, later talking to newsmen, said the government had almost suspended the Parliament and there has been no business for the second day.
He said the government should seek resignation of the federal minister for his objectionable remarks. The government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is misusing religion to fan hatred between people of different religions, he said, adding the government was doing nothing but staging dramas.
He alleged that the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was not being provided health facilities. The government will be responsible in anything happened to Nawaz Sharif, he said.The issue of remarks uttered by the federal minister on a television channel was raised by members of Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and they were also supported by other opposition parties in the House. “We demand cancellation of his membership for use of highly objectionable words,” they said.
They also wanted to get a resolution passed by the House to condemn act of the minister. The government side, however, feels that Faisal Vawda be given an opportunity to explain his position.

Please follow and like us:

The bittersweet smell of money

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) has come and gone. He arrived amid great fanfare and departed on a high note, leaving behind a government grateful for a seemingly significant package of promised investments worth billions of dollars.
But what does the visit really amount to in both political and economic terms? The promise of $21 billion is nothing to trifle about.But seen in a broader historic context, the promises come in the shape of memoranda of understanding (MoU), not actual investments. A report in this newspaper last week revealed that Pakistan had signed over 10,000 MoUs in the last two decades but only two percent materialised into on-the-ground investments.The political context matters. The latest Saudi promises translating into MoUs have been underwritten by MBS himself on his first-ever visit to Pakistan, and come on the heels of hectic deliberations over the last four months, including two meetings between him and IK in Riyadh and another three with Pakistan’s military leadership.
They also follow two separate sets of $3 billion assistance for balance of payment support and oil on deferred payments, which led to similar arrangements with the UAE and China, thus preventing potential bankruptcy.This total of $12 billion worth of investments in oil and mineral sectorare already materialising and go beyond MoUs, so that is something.
The other significant aspect is that the MoUs are for investments that specify several projects and acquisitions such as a major refinery in Balochistan and power plants in Punjab — in a staggered manner over the course of five years. That the promised money has a high probability of materialising into Pakistan’s fraught economy is hinted at by the establishment of an Implementation Coordination Council to be co-chaired annually by MBS and IK, with its maiden meeting held in Islamabad and co-chaired by the two leaders even before the ink on the MoUs had dried.A three-year priority list and action plan were promptly drawn up, bilateral working groups created, and tasks assigned. This is super-fast by Pakistan standards and smell of real money!While the fate of the investments is in the hands of the working groups, what cannot escape scrutiny is the fact that these promises-leading-to-investments really constitute an economic bailout for Pakistan, which require payback.
Pakistan must start paying back $12 billion to Saudi Arabia, UAE and China starting from the new fiscal year in equal annual installments. This is on top of the current annual $9 billion debt servicing obligations.
The $21 billion Saudi investments will come at an average of $5 billion a year, if all of it will flow in, and that too will depend on Pakistan creating and utilising capacity for delivery.In addition to Pakistan having to deliver on these tough financial terms and economic performance, the real cost of this Saudi bailout over several years may be political and tougher to deliver.
The deep involvement of the Pakistani military in bringing fractured bilateral ties between Islamabad and Riyadh cannot come without expectations on the issue of security.The Saudi refinery at Gwadar will kill any remaining chances of a long-gestating Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline as it allows the Saudis to export oil supplies to China and Central Asia right through Iran’s backyard.
A former Pakistan Army chief is already head of the security alliance against terrorism based in Saudi Arabia. He shuttled between Islamabad and Riyadh, meeting both IK and the COAS, ahead of the MBS visit.The previous government led by Nawaz Sharif, otherwise considered historically close to the Saudis, balked at providing outright support of the military to the Saudi security alliance which is seen as one that aligns Sunni states. It was IK who protested on the streets against Pakistan aligning itself with the military alliance currently fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.
Ironically, IK seems to have reversed his stance on the issue now that he is in power and is ready to go the extra mile with Saudi Arabia.While there has been no formal mention of Pakistan’s security partnership during the MBS visit, everyone found themselves focusing on it when the Saudi foreign minister, accompanying MBS, said in a press conference jointly with his Pakistani counterpart that Iran was a sponsor of terrorism.This brought into open the elephant in the room – Pakistan’s ties with Iran – even though the engagement was a bilateral one between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. This embarrassed Pakistan and its foreign minister had to call his Iranian counterpart within a couple of hours of his press conference with the Saudi foreign minister to assuage concerns that Pakistan was neutral with Iran and that its ties with Saudi Arabia were not going to influence its relationship with Iran.
This ‘X’ factor in Pakistan’s strengthening ties with Saudi Arabia – Iran –will test Pakistan’s diplomatic and political skills at packaging a neutrality-in-policy that is not neutrality-in-practice. The Saudi refinery at Gwadar will kill any remaining chances of a long-gestating Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline as it allows the Saudis to export oil supplies to China and Central Asia right through Iran’s geographic backyard.Iran will not let go this strategic slight by Pakistan. This will make a long-term de facto or de jure security pact between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia all but inevitable to counter Iranian anger.
The MBS visit to Pakistan definitely carves out a more strategic engagement with Pakistan by moving the course from hitherto an assistance relationship to an economic relationship. But that is really a thin cover for a broader, long-term security relationship that will pitch Pakistan into a larger strategic regional game but, considering how security interests in Pakistan impact national polity, will end up changing Pakistan’s political landscape.And, from the perspective of the people, this will not necessarily be for the better. COAScrown prince Mohammad bin Salman Gwadar Imran Khan MBS Pakistan and Saudi relations Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia and Pakistan Adnan Rehmat 2019-02-24 TNS Editor tweet The author is a political analyst and media development specialist.

Please follow and like us:

Tareen tops list of lawmakers paying taxes in 2017

ISLAMABAD: The top ten parliamentarians in terms of their tax contributions paid Rs322 million in taxes, equal to 60% of total taxes paid by all members of the parliament in tax year 2017, raising questions whether lawmakers were fulfilling their moral,
Former member of National Assembly (MNA) Jahangir Khan Tareen paid Rs97.3 million in income tax, which was the highest paid by any national lawmaker in 2017, according to a tax directory for the year released by the government on Friday.Tareen’s tax contribution was equal to 18.2 per cent of the total taxes paid by 423 members of parliament. His numbers also showed an 81 per cent increase in his tax contribution from the previous year, when he was also the country’s highest tax contributor.
Imran reiterates resolve to hold everyone accountableSkewed numbersExcluding these ten members, the average tax contributions by the remaining 413 members of the National Assembly and the Senate paid Rs212 million in taxes – an average of Rs513,000 per parliamentarian.Such a poor tax contribution does not commensurate with the life styles of these worthy members of the Parliament, a fact that was acknowledged by Finance Minister Asad Umar on Wednesday.
True VIPs are those who pay taxes, says PM ImranBy including the tax contributions of top ten parliamentarians, the average per parliamentarian tax contribution would jump to Rs1.26 million, which does not present realistic picture.
Crests and troughsThe tax contributions by former premier Nawaz Sharif and incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan also nosedived in tax year 2017, which was the fiscal year 2016-17. Few weeks after the end of that fiscal year, Nawaz was removed by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.
Presumably, his tax returns were filed after he was ousted from power. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid just Rs 263,173 in taxes in 2017, as against Rs 2.52 million paid in the preceding  year.Meanwhile, PM Imran was a member of National Assembly from a Rawalpindi constituency at that time.
He paid a paltry sum of Rs 103,763 in income tax, which was less than by 35% or Rs 55,0000.Overall, there was an upward trend in tax contributions by members of parliament.
The fifth tax directory of parliamentarians showed that national lawmakers, including members of the federal cabinet, paid Rs535 million in taxes during tax year 2017 – up by Rs139 million or 35 per cent The tax contributions by the members of the Senate increased to Rs254 million – up by 14 per cent. MNAs paid over Rs281 million during tax year 2016, an increase of 26 per cent.But a significant number of parliamentarians were still paying far below their potential, showed the tax directory. Many of them paid Rs138,573 annual tax, which suggested that they paid taxes only on the income that the earned as member of the National Assembly or the Senate.
The tax directories for fiscal year 2016-17 that ended in June 2017 were released by Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar. Tax year 2017 was the fourth year of the PML-N term but the directories were released after a lag of over one year.The numbers of total taxpayers increased by over 34 per cent in tax year 2017, said Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Jehanzeb Khan while speaking at the launch ceremony.Overall, out of a total 1,169 members of the Senate, the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies, as many as 98 legislators did not file their tax returns.
Under the law, filing the income tax return is binding on every citizen who earns more than Rs400,000 per annum and non-filer parliamentarians may face serious consequence, provided FBR plays its due role.Six senators and 17 MNAs did not file their annual income tax returns.Top taxpayers in parliamentSenator Rozi Khan Kakar paid Rs40.9 million in income tax, which was lower by Rs9 million over the preceding year.
Senator Taj Mohammad Afridi paid Rs29.4 million, which was less than his previous contribution of Rs35.3 million. Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood paid Rs43.2 million, which was higher by 33%. Senator Aitzaz Ahsan paid Rs25.9 million, showing an increase of 86.3%.Senator Ishaq Dar paid Rs9.4 million and Senator Farogh Naseem paid Rs27.9 million in income tax, which was higher by 37.5%.Senator Farooq H Naek paid Rs11 million in income tax.Among the members of the National Assembly, MNA Sheikh Fayyaz uddin paid Rs14 million in income tax, MNA Isphanyar Bhandara paid Rs22.95 million income tax.Former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif paid Rs10.3 million in income tax, which was higher by nearly 9%.Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who owns a controlling stake in Air Blue, paid Rs3.1 million in income tax, higher than the previous year. Finance Minister Asad Umar paid Rs4.85 million in income tax in 2017. Hamza Shehbaz Sharif paid Rs8.3 million income tax.Senator Rubina Khalid paid only Rs44,485 income tax, Senator Saleem Zia just Rs173,362.Former MNA Haji Ghulam Bilour paid Rs138,573 income tax, former Chief Minister KP, and MNA Amir Haider Hoti paid Rs168,586 in income tax. Sheikh Rashid Ahmad paid just Rs702,698 income tax.

Please follow and like us:

IHC to hear appeals against Al-Azizia case verdict today

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will be taking up appeals filed against accountability court’s verdict in the Al Azizia corruption reference.The verdict had convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif and sentenced him to seven-year imprisonment.
The Al Azizia corruption reference was filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Supreme Courts verdict in Panamagate case.A division bench bench, comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, will hear petitions filed by Nawazs counsel challenging the verdict and seeking bail on medical grounds.The bench will also hear appeal filed by the anti-graft watchdog against Nawaz’s acquittal in the Flagship reference and another petition seeking increase in penalty and sentence for the deposed prime minister in the Al-Azizia referenceThe IHC has issued notices to both Nawaz and NAB.In the hearing today, Khawaja Haris, the counsel for Nawaz will continue his arguments for a bail on medical grounds.Meanwhile, the high court has demanded of NAB to present the case record of Al-Azizia and Flagship references.th, 2019.

Please follow and like us: