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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.

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Hearing of Mukhtaran Mai review petition adjourned till March 27

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of a review petition filed in the Mukhtaran Mai case against the acquittal of 13 people accused of gang-rape.
A three-member bench led by Justice Gulzar Ahmed fixed the hearing for March 27.The decision came after the accused sought time to hire legal counsel.SC to take up Mukhtaran Mai’s review plea on 6thIn June 2002, Mai was gang-raped on orders of a ‘panchayat’ as punishment after her younger brother was accused of illicit relations with a girl from a rival tribe.
In August 2002, an anti-terrorism court awarded death penalty to six out of 14 identified by Mai – four were sentenced for rape while two were awarded capital punishment for being part of the village council. The ATC released eight others.In March 2005, five convicts were acquitted by a Lahore High Court bench while one’s sentence was converted into life imprisonment.The acquittal was challenged in the apex court.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan and comprising former CJPs Nasirul Mulk and Mian Saqib Nisar upheld LHC decision and rejected the appeal in its April 2011 verdict.Mai filed a review petition against the judgment in May 2011.
In her review petition, Mai has pleaded that the court should review and recall the judgment and grant relief as prayed in the appeal. She has also requested the court to constitute a larger bench to hear her petition, contending that she is aggrieved of and dissatisfied with the findings of the court.
13 accused in Mukhtaran Mai case set freeMai took the rare step of filing criminal charges against her attackers. Her decision to speak out earned her widespread recognition.She was named Glamour magazine’s 2005 woman of the year and her autobiography at one point was the number three bestseller in France.She started the Mukhtar Mai Women’s Welfare Organization to help support and educate Pakistani women and girls with money she received from the government and from donations.

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Apex court orders anti-encroachment drive to continue

The hearing related to the anti-encroachment drive was held before the three-member-bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry.
The Sindh Advocate-General, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and Sindh Building Control Authority Director-General Iftikhar Kaimkhani appeared before the court.
As the hearing was ongoing, Justice Alam remarked that business organisations and restaurants had been established on small plots. We also wish that Karachi be restored to its original form and the liveliness of the city return, he remaked.There is no place left to walk in the streets, he said, adding that the SBCA had failed at its job.The court ordered the chief secretary to supervise the operation and clear the debris in the aftermath of the anti-encroachment campaigns immediately from Bagh Ibne-Qasim, as well as other parts of the city.The court remarked that the chief secretary should ensure the cooperation and consultation between the various government departments and civic bodies. No organisation should interfere in the anti-encroachment operation or the removal of the debris, said the court.
SC orders top officials to clear Karachi of encroachment Seeking assistance,The Sindh Advocate-General informed the court that the provincial government was seeking assistance from experts to restore Karachi to its actual form. Suggestions from experts have been taken at a consultative meeting held on January 1, earlier this year.The AG added that a human tragedy could occur if action was taken without proper planning and asked for time to plan the campaign. The SBCA also asked for another eight weeks to plan and execute the operation.
Justice Alam remarked that he would request the chief justice himself that the case be transferred to the related bench and the agencies be given time for the operation.Illegal structures: Anti-encroachment drive starts in residential areasMarriage hallsBesides, the same bench also heard a petition to review the SCs earlier order to raze all marriage halls constructed on military land.The petitioners counsel, Rasheed A Rizvi, argued that the orders to raze the marriage halls had been passed without hearing their arguments. We will satisfy the court, therefore our arguments should also be heard, he pleaded.
Justice Alam remarked that they would not pass any orders at the moment. The court subsequently issued notices to the Sindh Advocate-General and others to seek their response over the demolition of the marriage halls.On January 24, a two-member bench, comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, had ordered razing of all the marriage halls built on Karachis Sharae Faisal and Rashid Minhas Road, besides cinemas, plazas and other commercial establishments built in cantonment areas.In its written order, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the court had also sought reports on the demolition of the Global Marquees on Emergency Military Medical Supplies Land for Sindh and Balochistan.The order further stipulated that all cantonment lands meant for cantonment purposes are to be used only for cantonment purposes and not for any other, 2019.

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SC approached for inquiry into Rao Anwar’s ‘444 killings’

ISLAMABAD: Civil society members have approached the Supreme Court for the constitution of a broader independent commission, headed by a retired superior court judge to conduct detailed inquiry about four hundred and forty four (444) extra-judicial.
The petitioners namely Muhammad Jibran Nasir, Muhammad Khan, Jamshed Raza, Mahmood Aquila Ismail and Nazim Fida Hussain Haji through their lawyer Faisal Siddiqi have filed a constitutional petition under Article 184 (3) of the constitution with Anwar, Inspector General of Sindh Police (IGP), federal government as respondents.The petition pleaded SC that the proposed commission should inquire as to whether 444 extrajudicial killings conducted by Rao Anwar, along with his gang of police officers, were genuine encounters in accordance with law.Secondly, if all or any of these extrajudicial killings were illegal then what administrative and penal action should be taken against the officer(s).Thirdly, identify the civil servants and politicians, including but not limited to the Sindh Police Officers, who prevented and subverted the accountability of any of these illegal extrajudicial killings conducted by the respondent No.1, along with his gang of police officers.
Fourthly, whether the victims of such extrajudicial killings are entitled to any compensation from the government and whether such compensation should be recovered from the concerned police officers found involved. Fifthly, suggest various measures to prevent future extrajudicial killings from taking place.The petition says the provincial government and IG Sindh police should also be asked to provide all facilities and further direct this commission to act with such powers as conferred by this court and submit a report within three months for the consideration of this court and for passing of appropriate orders. Likewise, it is also pleaded that both provincial government and IG Sindh be directed to provide copy of the entire official record of 444 extrajudicial killings conducted by Anwar, to the petitioners.
The petition also submitted that during the course of the investigation conducted in the case of Naqeeb ullah Mehsood, the Sindh police unearthed the encounter killing history of Rao Anwar and prepared a summary of police encounter cases carried out in District Malir during his tenure.It is submitted that according to records of the Sindh Police, Rao Anwar has been involved in illegal encounter killings since 2011, yet not a single inquiry has been conducted against him.
It is further submitted that a letter was sent to IG Sindh by the petitioner, requesting that an inquiry should be initiated against Rao Anwar regarding involvement in extrajudicial encounter cases. However, no response has been received.Therefore, the inaction of Sindh government by not initiating any inquiry till date against Rao Anwar and his gang shows that the Sindh police is not holding the respondent No.1 and his gang accountable for their illegal actions.

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CNIC registration camps set up for persons with disabilities

KARACHI: Camps will be set up at district levels for the issuance of national identity cards (CNICs) to persons with disabilities, said Syed Qasim Naveed Qamar on Sunday.
For this purpose, NADRA and DEPD will set up camps in all districts.The second camp of its established will be held on February 18 in Tando Muhammad Khan while the first was set up in Karachi, said Qamar, while presiding at a meeting in his office. Present on the occasion were DEPD Secretary Khalid Chachar, DEPD Deputy Secretary Shahzaib Shaikh, NADRA Director Operations Shankur Ghori and other officials.
SC summons officials for violating disabled persons job quota.According to Qamar, the Sindh government was taking measures to provide relief to persons and children with disabilities. Those present at the meeting were told that as many as 28 centres have been established across the province to provide disability registration certificates to facilitate their easier access to CNICs.
In Karachi alone, five such centres have been set up. Besides, the staff posted in these centres is under strict instruction to cooperate with those coming to collect these certificates.The certificate is an essential requirement for persons with disabilities in order to get a special CNIC, which they need to access benefits such as concession on public transport, employment opportunities on quota and others.In an earlier meeting, it was decided that 15 schools for special needs children from across the province will be handed over to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in order to improve the standard of education and care facilities for the students.
This meeting was with Public Private Partnership Unit Director General Khalid Mehmood. Qamar expressed the hope that in collaboration with the private sector, such initiatives can improve access to education for special needs children.

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Zardari, Talpur granted another bail extension in fake accounts case

KARACHI – A banking court in Karachi on Thursday extended till March 5 the pre-arrest bail granted to former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and other suspects in a case pertaining to money laundering of billions through fictitious .
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) top leadership, the Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza are among those being investigated in the case.The matter is also being heard by the Supreme Court.Zardari and Talpur arrived at the hearing under stringent security, while the incarcerated suspects Anwar Majeed, Abdul Ghani, Lawai and Raza were brought in by police.During the hearing, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted a medical report citing reasons for its failure to present main accused Aslam Masood, who was recently apprehended with the help of Interpol.Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau’s prosecutor maintained that the case should be transferred to Islamabad and said the move was approved by NAB chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.He also requested the court to dismiss the bail extension pleas.The FIA prosecutor seconded his stance, arguing that the Supreme Court’s directives in the suo motu case do not leave room for bail.
Advocate Farook H Naek, Zardari’s counsel, pointed out that the apex court had ordered the JIT report to be forwarded to the anti-graft watchdog in Islamabad for future corruption references.The order did not mention the case pending in the banking court, he said and accused the FIA of misconstruing SC order.
The court told FIA to submit documents if there had been any new developments in the case. The banking court adjourned the hearing of Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani’s bail pleas till February 20 and granted extension in pre-arrest bail to Zardari, Talpur and five others till March 5.In December 2015, the Federal Investigation Agency began a discreet investigation into certain bank accounts through which multi-billion rupee transactions have been made. According to FIA sources, information regarding the fake accounts came to the fore when an intelligence agency picked up a prominent money changer in an unrelated case.As the monitoring and investigation of these suspicious accounts continued, it surfaced that five of these accounts in two banks the Sindh Bank and Summit Bank had been used for transactions worth around Rs15 billion.Investigation showed the accounts were operated by fake companies.Funds were credited into these accounts from contractors with multi-billion rupee contracts with the Sindh government. The money was found to have been transferred to accounts of companies owned and operated by the Omni Group, whose chairperson, Anwar Majeed, is a close aide of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari.Another beneficiary was Nasir Lootah, the chairperson of Summit Bank.The probe, however, was shelved.
It resumed almost a year and a half later. FIA’s State Bank circle initiated a formal inquiry in January, 2018.By June, the FIA had several high-profile names on its list but was unable to make headway for several reasons. It was at his point that the Supreme Court intervened.Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the slow progress’ in the money laundering case.In July, Zardari’s close aides; Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza and two others were arrested.Subsequently, the first case was registered in the mega-corruption scandal.The FIA submitted its report to the apex court on July 8 which revealed a web of companies and accounts that were being used to transfer billions of rupees.In all, 29 accounts were identified that received payments, totaling at least Rs35 billion.

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