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Posts tagged as Tehreek-e-Insaf

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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FM Qureshi arrives in China on three-day visit

ISLAMABAD : Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reached China on a three-day visit on Monday. The foreign minister will attend the first Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue during his visit, Radio Pakistan reported.
The foreign minister will attend the first Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue during his visit, Radio Pakistan reported.Chinese envoy Mr. Yao Jing, Ambassador to China Masood Khalid and other embassy officials welcomed FM Qureshi upon his arrival.A Foreign Office (FO) statement said both sides will hold comprehensive discussions on the entire range of bilateral relations, including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and also discuss regional situation and cooperation at multilateral forums.During the visit, FM Qureshi will address the Political Parties Forum on CPEC and participate in the ruling parties’ dialogue between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Communist Party of China.The foreign minister will also call on the Chinese leadership.In a video message, the Qureshi said that China is a time tested friend of Pakistan and supported Islamabad at every critical time.‘NZ attack grim reminder of Islamophobia sweeping the world’Time has come to hold consultations with China and make a joint strategy for the future, the foreign minister went on to add.FM Qureshis visit is of high importance in the current political scenario.

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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.

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Revival of discretionary funds

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s one of the important decisions of banning the discretionary spending on parliamentarians’ schemes could not withstand the harsh political ground realities for more than six months.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first cabinet meeting had decided to ban the use of discretionary funds of the President, the Prime Minister and MNAs in view of the new government’s austerity drive.The decision had been taken after the previous PML-N government had doled out billions of rupees to win over constituencies.In order to meet these expenditures, the government has now diverted Rs24 billion from CPEC projects and other initiatives for discretionary spending on parliamentarians’ schemes.
On February 19, the Ministry of Planning surrendered Rs24 billion in favour of the Cabinet Division to execute these projects.Former prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo had first introduced the concept of discretionary spending with his Prime Minister’s Special Local Development Programme in 1985.After that every successive government used this avenue to win the loyalties of legislators. Spending on development projects is not a bad idea but a cavalier attitude towards the scarce resources of a poor country is lamentable, particularly when there is full realisation of wastage of money.
The schemes to be financed out of the discretionary spending pool are not scrutinised in the manner other projects are vetted by the Planning Ministry. A legislator recommends a scheme, which is executed by the Pak PWD department through a contractor, often recommended by the legislator.This nexus allows siphoning off taxpayers’ money that PM Khan had promised to protect.The government must review its decision.It is not only against the political ideology of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf but also a continuation of 1985’s Pakistan where taxpayers’ money was used to forward personal agendas.th, 2019.

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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.

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Govt uses back-channel to send ‘positive note’ to India

LAHORE: The government has begun backdoor contacts with India and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is currently in India, has met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma.
Vankwani also met Minster of State for External Affairs General VK Singh, the four-star general who has also served as the Indian army chief.“I have communicated a positive note to the Indian leaders and I hope there will now be a change in their behaviour,” Vankwani said on Saturday while talking to The Express Tribune over telephone.The Sindh-based PTI leader, who is a lawmaker on minority seat, is in India on a religious trip amid heightened tensions between the two rival states in the wake of February 14 suicide attack that killed at least 40 India paramilitaries in occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Trump alarmed by ‘very dangerous situation’ between Pakistan, IndiaVankwani said he encountered Modi during an event and the Indian PM met him warmly. He said he told Modi that he had come with a positive message and wanted to return with a positive message.He said later on Modi’s directive, Sushma Swaraj also held a 25-minute-long meeting with him.“I told the Indian foreign minister that in Pakistan its captain’s [Prime Minister Imran Khan] government now; he is a Pathan and he does what he says.We assure you that no Pakistani institution is involved in Pulwama attack. If India provides evidence, we will facilitate the investigation,” Vankwani said.
According to the MNA, he told Swaraj that the two countries need to take lessons from past and not to hold on to it.“Enmity can be brought to an end by befriending the enemy,” he said, adding that he himself has returned after Ganga Ashnan (ablution) and never tells lies.FO sets up ‘Crisis Management Cell’ in Pulwama aftermath“I told them that we need to get out of politics of accusations,” he added.According to Vankwani, after the meeting he felts that the atmosphere was beginning to thaw.
“Indian PM during his Rajasthan rally has hinted at holding dialogue with Pakistan,” he added.PTI’s Ramesh Kumar Vankwani meets State Minister for External Affairs Gen VK Singh.EXPRESSHe said he had come to India on invitation from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for participation in Kumbh Mela. “220 people from 125 countries from all over the world have been invited to participate in this event and I am representing Pakistan,” he added.
PHOTO: EXPRESSWar frenzy has been sweeping across India ever since a young man from Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) rammed a vehicle full of explosives into a military convoy in Pulwama, killing nearly four dozen soldiers.India airlifts thousands of paramilitary troops to occupied KashmirJaish-e-Mohammad militant group, which Delhi claims operates from Pakistan, purportedly claimed credit for the deadliest attack on Indian troops in IoK.Delhi put the blame squarely on the state of Pakistan, deployed its troops menacingly close to the border, and started issuing threats.Amid crescendoing war hysteria and relentless threats of military action from India, the Pakistan Army on Friday also issued an unambiguous warning to New Delhi: Dont mess with Pakistan.
We do not wish to go to war. But please be assured, should you initiate any aggression, you shall never be able to surprise us.We shall, for sure, surprise you, the chief military spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor, said during an unusual media briefing

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Sindh Assembly censures NAB over Durrani’s arrest

Despite repeated attempts by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Opposition parties refused to support the resolution. Durrani, who was arrested by the NAB on Wednesday, was brought to the session after acting speaker Rehana Leghari issued his production.Durrani, who was arrested by the NAB on Wednesday, was brought to the session after acting speaker Rehana Leghari issued his production orders.
The resolution, moved by PPP MPA Ghanwer Ali Khan Isran, took exception to the targeted victimisation under the guise of accountability, terming the move selective and discriminatory.We vociferously renounce the way and manner of the arrest of Sindh Assembly speaker without any offence being proved against him, reads the resolution.
This house unequivocally condemns the reprehensible manner in which the search of his home was conducted by NAB officials, which went on for hours at a time when only his wife, daughters and daughter-in-law were at home, it adds.This house also resolves and recommends to the government of Sindh and chief minister to approach the federal government to request an inquiry by chairman NAB into reprehensible behaviour of NAB officials, who raided Speaker Agha Siraj Durranis house.Chaos in the HouseEarlier, as the question and answer session came to an end, PPP MPA Isran sought the speakers permission to move his resolution.  At this, the opposition members also stood up from their seats.Hasnain Mirza, the parliamentary leader of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), waving a copy of his resolution, said, I also want to move a resolution on the Kashmir issue and Indian atrocities.NAB granted eight-day physical remand of Agha Siraj DurraniChief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah intervened.
We want to bring a resolution on NAB and will later consider the Kashmir issue, he said. Mr Speaker, since you are the victim in the NAB case, we request you to hand over the proceedings to the deputy speaker for a while, so that we can debate this resolution and pass it.
GDAs Mirza , supported by other opposition members, however, refused to budge. Kashmir is a more important issue, he said.Let us pass it first, and then you can take up your speakers agenda.At this, the CM became emotional.
No. We will take up the NAB issue first and then you can bring a joint resolution on Kashmir by re-inviting Speaker Durrani to take part in it too.The back-and-forth arguments between the CM and Mirza grew more heated. Leader of the Opposition Firdous Shamim Naqvi, as well as other Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and GDA MPAs started protesting in the House Kashimr, Kashmir.
We need Kashmir, they shouted, before staging a token walkout.The chief minister stood up again to clarify his stand.No one can deny the importance of Kashmir. We are ready to bring a joint resolution on it and want to convey a strong message against India atrocities.We will smash Indian eyes, if they try to attack us, he said.Amid the Oppositions protest, Durrani left the session, giving his seat to the deputy speaker.
Acting speaker Leghari allowed the PPP MPA to move a resolution against the NAB. PPP lawmakers Saeed Ghani and Imtiaz Shaikh tried to woo the opposition MPAs to return to the House, but their efforts remained unsuccessful.
Saleem Baloch and Sadia Javed of the PPP as well as Kanwar Naveed Jameel and Khwaja Izharul Hassan of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Paksitan, expressed their sympathies with Durrani and condemned the raid at his house. We condemn the NAB officials behavior with the family of Agha Siraj Durrani, but cant support the resolution, said MQM-Ps Hasan.The CM requested the deputy speaker to move the resolution for a vote so that the issue of Kashmir could be taken up. As the resolution was moved, MPAs from the treasury supported it, while the opposition members voted against it.
Durranis speechEarlier, as the Assemblys agenda came to an end, Speaker Durrani narrated his story in the session. I want to inform this House about the episode.PPP’s thinly-veiled attempt to outwit the NABHe said that the NAB arrested him from a hotel in Islamabad and later harassed and humiliated his family members. The action was not taken against me, but against the Speakers chair, he said.
After taking me into custody, the NAB officials barged into my home and kept my entire family hostage at gunpoint for more than seven hours.  No one can tolerate this, he said.Durrani, who looked frustrated with the authorities, said, My family has rendered scarifies for Pakistan and were one of the signatories to the first resolution passed by the then Sindh Assembly for the creation of Pakistan in the 1940s.He said the NAB officials not only went through the cupboards and other items present in his house, but also harassed his daughters and grandchildren.I am the Speaker of this House and was not running away. I fail to understand why they treated the Speakers family like criminals, he lamented.
This was all done in my absence, otherwise the NAB or anyone else wouldnt have dared enter my home and behave like this, he remarked.Durrani requested the chief minister to investigate the the matter and present a report in the Assembly regarding the raid on his home and harassment of his family members.The Speaker also expressed concern over some Opposition MPAs who welcomed the NABs actions and demanded his resignation. I am not a convicted person.It is just an inquiry against me. I am Speaker of this august House, he said.Before the session commenced on Friday, Durrani met party leaders and his family members after he was brought to the Assembly premises by the NAB. PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari also visited the Assembly to meet Durrani.

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All the (ex) president’s men

The high-profile arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani on Wednesday signals the beginning of the end of the unfinished agenda of the 2013 Karachi operation, launched to eradicate terrorism, militant wings of political parties, terror.
It seems that the back-to-back arrests of the former president’s men may conclude with the nabbing of the “key man” himself.Interestingly, even with the change of government in 2018, the main objective of the operating authorities remains unchanged. On the contrary, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the centre and Imran Khan as prime minister, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have emerged more powerful in the last six months and further expanded their scope of action. While all the ex-president’s men are now in trouble, the man himself, Asif Ali Zardari, announced on Wednesday that he always considered “prison as his second home”. His first home once used to be the Prime Minister House, and later the President House.
It is highly unlikely that Zardari will be revisiting his first home again, but the possibility of him ending up in his second home are high.And if that were to happen, how will his party, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), counter the move? One option will be to use the Parliament and provincial assemblies to lodge a protest, and in turn create political turmoil.
Sources within the party say Zardari may even be ready to sacrifice his men, in case the NAB comes looking for him.Durrani was arrested by the anti-graft bureau from Islamabad in connection to a 2008 probe for allegedly owning assets beyond his means of income.The speaker could be the latest addition to the 2013 clean-up operation, which saw the targeting of Zardari’s other men, Dr Asim Hussain, Manzoor Kaka, Nisar Morai, and Sharjeel Inam Memon.In 2015, for the first time in years, the NAB and FIA resuscitated, it seems, as big stories of corruption began to make front-page news and bulletins.That immediately led to tension between the PPP and then ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N). And for the first time, the Sindh government threatened to withdraw the powers of the paramilitary forces in the province.
Dr Asim Hussain’s arrest in the Rs460 billion NAB case, and another of providing medical treatment to terrorists, was the turning point. It led to the breakup of relations between former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari.The probe against the Omni Group and Anwar Majeed and Co. was also initiated by the NAB during the previous government’s tenure.Majeed’s office and home were raided as a result.Yet, the last nail in the coffin of the Sharif-Zardari ties came when one of the premier intelligence agencies picked up three close aides of Zardari, one from Islamabad and two from Sindh, and kept them under detention for a few days.This put an end to all kinds of political and even personal ties between the two leaders, despite Sharif’s clarifications that he was not involved. He even told the then interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, to not go too far against the PPP.
Separately, the FIA initiated a high-profile probe into the fake accounts case on the report of the State Bank of Pakistan. In June 2015, the FIA raided the Sindh Building Control Authority’s office and took away some 16,000 files, most of which were later handed over to the NAB, which spawned an investigation into the ‘China-cutting’ and ‘Real estate’ scam.
During the course of investigation, the ex-president’s man and head of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), Manzoor Kaka, managed to escape. The anti-graft agencies then tightened their grip around alleged terror financing and money laundering by swooping the offices of the fisheries department.Nisar Morai, who is also considered close to Zardari, was arrested in connection to the case.In 2015, for the first time an apex meeting was held, attended by Sharif, Zardari, former Chief of Army Staff General (retd) Raheel Sharif, the head of the intelligence agency, and Lt General Bilal Akbar, the then-DG Rangers Sindh.
The Rangers presented a charge-sheet against the Sindh government, which shocked both Zardari and former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah.This week, the PPP leadership and the Sindh government were expecting the arrest of Zardari, his sister, Faryal Talpur, and Murad Ali Shah after the Supreme Court rejected their review appeal in the benami accounts case.
But NAB surprised them by going after Durrani instead.Zardari would never take the risk of dissolving the Sindh Assembly or resigning from the assemblies, as the PPP leadership fears falling into a trap.This means that, in the coming days, more of the ex-president’s men will be cuffed. But will this eventually lead to “the man” being arrested? Regarding which a reliable source said: “When it comes to arresting him, we do not want to bowl a no-ball.

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Incensed by Durrani’s arrest, PPP lashes out at Centre

KARACHI: The provincial government and members of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have taken strong exception to the arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in Islamabad by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday …
The party has decided to challenge the arrest in the court and protest in the upcoming session of the Sindh Assembly, scheduled for February 27.The partys chairperson, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari took to to lash out against the move. Attack on Speaker of federating unit is unacceptable, he tweeted.
Undemocratic attempt to dislodge Sindh govt. Failed before will fail again.Independent institutions shouldnt unwittingly be part of political engineering, he added.His sister, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, also expressed her concern on the micro-blogging platform.Chairman Bilawal was placed on exit control list post his Dec 27 speech and later PTI did a press conference claiming to take over Sindh. There has been no subtlety on what PTI want.Cases and ECL for Sindh chief minister and arrest of speaker, all insult to Pakistan and democracy.The arrestDurrani, who was facing an inquiry relating to the accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income, was arrested by NAB Karachi in Islamabad.
After getting his transit remand, he will be moved to Karachi for further investigation today [Wednesday].This is the first time that a sitting Speaker of a legislative assembly has been arrested in the country.A source privy to the development told The Express Tribune that two other inquiries of corruption and illegal appointments are already pending before the NAB against Durrani. He has been arrested in the assets beyond means inquiry, but the NAB will also look into other inquiries against him, said the source, adding that there has been massive bungling in the construction of MPAs Hostel of the Sindh Assembly and hundreds of people were given jobs in the local government department in violation of the rules when Durrani was minister of the department from 2008 to 2013.
Sindh govts stanceAccording to the Sindh government, the Speaker is the custodian of the House representing 168 MPAs elected from various constituencies of the province. Therefore, he [Durrani] cannot be arrested merely on the basis of an inquiry.
But the NAB officials were of the view that the arrest came after Durrani did not present himself before the inquiry committee, even after being issued three notices.Soon after news of his arrest, PPP ministers held a press conference, where they alleged that there were separate sets of laws operational one for the PPP and another for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its allies.Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who was flanked by provincial ministers, including Syed Awais Shah and Shabbir Khan Bajarani, referred to the Constitution and said, The arrest of Speaker Durrani was a breach of Article 25 of the Constitution under which all citizens are equal and entitled to equal protection before the law. No reference or case is registered against him.He is innocent until proven guilty, he said.Quoting inquiries against incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet members, including the National Assembly speaker and Punjab Assembly speaker, Barrister Wahab said, None of them have been arrested.
On the contrary, they are enjoying all perks and privileges and full protocol.Transport Minister Owais Shah called Durrani a custodian of the Sindh Assembly elected by 99 MPAs.The NAB has breached the privilege of the Sindh Assembly. We will protest it on all forums, he said.We are not against the accountability process, but want to know why such actions are not being taken against opposition parties [in Sindh Assembly], he said, adding that they will devise a strategy on it soon.The PPP ministers were of the opinion that the people of Sindh were being victimized as they had voted for PPP, but the PTI would not succeed in its nefarious designs.
Later in the evening, the PPP leaders gathered at the Chief Minister House to devise a strategy in light of Durranis arrest. The meeting decided to approach the court against the move as well as take up the matter in the upcoming session of the provincial assembly.
PTI demands resignationOn the other hand, the PTIs Sindh lawmakers demanded the resignation of the Speaker, given his involvement in corruption cases. MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman, who is also the partys city chief said, Agha Siraj Durrani has lost the moral authority to remain on the seat.
He himself should resign.Zaman added that all the local bodies ministers, who had ruled Sindh in the past, were on the NABs radar.
Corruption will end in Pakistan, he said. Referring to the resignations of PTI lawmakers Aleem Khan, Babar Awan and Azam Swati, Zaman called on the PPP to follow the PTIs example and replace the speaker.Sindh Assembly sessionThe Sindh Assembly session has been summoned for February 27. According to officials, under the prevalent circumstances, the deputy speaker, Rehana Leghari, will chair the session.If the speaker is on leave or absent for some reasons the deputy speaker will work as the acting speaker, the Sindh Assembly Secretary told The Express Tribune, while referring to Article 30 of the Constitution.  The acting speaker can issue his production order to attend the session, said the secretary.When asked who would chair the session if Durrani came to the Assembly, he said, He is the speaker and will preside over the session whenever he is in the Assembly. st, 2019.

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