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Archive for category Nawaz Sharif-The Prime Minister from Hell

Prosecutor Pushes for Indictment of South Korean President in Samsung Scandal

S.Korea Prosecutor Ready to Indict Impeached President Ms.Park:

Pakistan Supreme Court Sits on Nawaz Sharif Panama Case Judgement 

Prosecutor Pushes for Indictment of South Korean President in Samsung Scandal

FEB. 28, 2017

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Ms. Park’s presidential powers have been suspended since the impeachment vote in December. The Constitutional Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether she should be reinstated or formally removed from office. Even if she resumes the presidency, her five-year term ends in February, after which she can face criminal charges.

On Monday, Ms. Park’s lawyer, Yu Young-ha, rejected the special prosecutor’s findings, saying his investigation was “politically biased” and “lacking in fairness.” He called the bribery allegation “an absurd fiction.”

But on Monday, Mr. Park, the special prosecutor, who is not related to Ms. Park, said his team found enough evidence that Ms. Park and her confidante, Choi Soon-sil, conspired to collect bribes from Samsung.

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On Feb. 28, he indicted Lee Jae-yong, the third-generation scion of the family that runs Samsung, on charges of giving or promising $38 million in bribes to Ms. Park and Ms. Choi. He also added a bribery charge to the case against Ms. Choi, who is already on trial.

Mr. Lee offered the bribes in return for political favors from Ms. Park, most notably government support for a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015 that helped him inherit corporate control of the Samsung conglomerate from his incapacitated father, Lee Kun-hee, the prosecutor said.

Acting on Ms. Park’s order, her aides forced the government-controlled National Pension Service, a major shareholder at the two Samsung companies, to vote for the merger, though it was opposed by many minority shareholders and devalued the pension fund’s own stocks there, the prosecutor said.

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A protest against President Park in Seoul on Saturday. The special prosecutor also said that Ms. Park should face a criminal charge of abusing official power over a blacklist of artists. CreditJung Ui-Chel/European Pressphoto Agency

On Monday, Samsung denied the special prosecutor’s findings.

“Samsung has not paid bribes nor made improper requests seeking favors,” it said in a statement. “Future court proceedings will reveal the truth.”

On Monday, Mr. Park, the special prosecutor, said that the president should also face a criminal charge of abusing official power, saying she conspired with aides to blacklist thousands of artists, writers, and movie directors deemed unfriendly to her government and exclude them from government-funded support programs.

Ms. Park also fired three senior Culture Ministry officials who had been reluctant to discriminate against some of the 9,473 names on the list, the prosecutor said. She demoted and later fired another senior ministry official who had angered Ms. Choi, her friend, by investigating allegations of corruption involving her family, the prosecutor said.

While blackballing unfriendly artists, Ms. Park’s office ensured that pro-government civic groups received special favors, he said.

It asked the Federation of Korean Industries, which lobbies on behalf of Samsung and other big businesses, to provide $5.9 million for those groups between 2014 and 2016, the special prosecutor said. Some of those groups, like the right-wing Korea Parent Federation, have held noisy protests in downtown Seoul calling the critics of Ms. Park “commies.”

Besides Samsung, scores of other South Korean companies were found to have made payments to two foundations controlled by Ms. Choi. But on Monday, the special prosecutor did not recommend further actions against them, and state prosecutors had earlier said that those companies were coerced to donate and were not engaged in bribery.

Ms. Park has repeatedly denied any legal wrongdoing, insisting that she was framed by hostile political forces and that she was not aware of any criminal conspiracy by Ms. Choi. She said she only let Ms. Choi edit some of her speeches and run her personal errands.

On Monday, the special prosecutor said Ms. Park and Ms. Choi had 573 phone conversations between April and October last year using cell phones issued under borrowed names. Of these calls, 127 took place between September, when Ms. Choi left for Germany, and October when she returned home to be arrested.

The prosecutor accused Ms. Park of impeding his investigation. She refused to be questioned by his investigators and also did not allow them to search her office. As a result, he said his team could not fully determine what she was doing at her residence for seven hours in April 2014, when a ferry loaded with hundreds of schoolchildren sank, killing more than 300.

Ms. Park said she was working at the time, getting reports on the disaster. But she has been haunted by lurid rumors, some of them claiming that she was having a romantic encounter or undergoing plastic surgery.

On Monday, the prosecutor said a cosmetic surgeon gave Ms. Park at least five simple face-lifting operations at her residence between 2013 and 2016. Even unlicensed people visited her there to give her nutritional shots and help her with kinesiotherapy and reiki, a form of traditional healing. But investigators could not find evidence that such things took place on the day of the ferry disaster.

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Racial profiling of Pashtuns by Brig. (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Racial profiling of Pashtuns

Asif Haroon Raja

Ali Wazir has posted a video clip on social media showing Punjab Police manhandling some persons. He has craftily given a twist to the story by projecting the Pashtuns living in Punjab as the victims. I am sure, he must have been handsomely rewarded by RAW or NDS for this villainous act which has raised the tempers of the Pashtun community. Imran Khan added fuel to fire by giving a color to anti-terrorism drive in Punjab as racial profiling of the Pashtuns. Opposition leader Khurshid Shah sprinkled more oil on the hurt feelings of Pashtuns. The Pashtun nationalists took to twitter to vent their anger. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly has passed a resolution demanding an immediate halt to anti-Pashtun campaign in Punjab and has warned of dire consequences if it is not stopped. Asfand Wali threatened to oust Punjabis from KP. Pamphlets are in circulation. Within no time, Afghan social media posted series of fake videos to paint Pashtuns as victims of Punjab vandalism. Altaf Hussain sitting in London also sung the same song. Liberal and progays Marvi Sarmad tweeted in favor of Pashtuns. The speed with which all of them have ganged up for a fake cause is quite intriguing. None bothered to see that the clip going viral on social media relates to a 15 years old incident in Baluchistan province and not Punjab, in which suspected Afghans were rounded up by the police. The clip seems to be cleverly doctored. Notorious Jibran Nasir is the main instigator behind racial profiling memo.

 

 

 

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Coming weeks are likely to witness the shrill exchange of hot words and accusations between the KP and Punjab governments, duly aggravated by social media, which is already working on someone else’s agenda. The purpose behind exacerbating ethnic feelings is to drive a wedge between the Punjabis and Pashtuns. The two communities have been at peace and enjoying most cordial relations in all the provinces and never picked up arms against each other. Pashtuns settled in Punjab do not wish to return to KP.  

The juvenile reaction of nationalist Pashtuns is a consequence of the nationwide operation Raddul Fasaad that was launched in the wake of a new wave of terrorism unleashed from the soil of Afghanistan in which targets were struck in all the four provinces and almost 200 people were killed. It was gathered that the handlers and facilitators in each incident were from inside Pakistan. The whole trail has been unearthed after arresting the accomplices. The security forces have no political axe to grind and go after terrorists only who have no religion or ethnic identity.    

The main objective of the operation is to destroy leftover hideouts/camps of terrorists both sides of the Durand Line, get hold of handlers, facilitators, carriers and financiers of terrorists, demolish sleeping cells and terrorists network in urban centres, choke funds and supplies by  further improving border management, and expedite implementation of 20 points of National Action Plan (NAP). This operation in which all the three services are taking part under a coordinated plan had been necessitated in the wake of dangerous agenda of enemies of Pakistan to destabilize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan. For the achievement of their sinister goals, they have been making all out efforts through paid proxies and propaganda war to make Pakistan insecure and to make CPEC less attractive for outsiders.

India has all along been resorting to subversive activities in Pakistan to breed misgivings, disenchantment and hatred between smaller provinces and Punjab on the basis of socio-politico-economic grievances, stir up provincialism by encouraging fissiparous tendencies, stoke ethnicity and sectarianism, widen religious divides and sharpen political polarization and befriend 5th columnists and disgruntled elements. India helped by its moles in Pakistan has been playing its role in making power centres fight with each other and in spoiling civil-military relations.

The purpose behind subversion is to keep Pakistan perpetually politically unstable, economically weak and internationally isolated and discredited. A segment of Pakistani media, NGOs, and pseudo-intellectuals on the payroll of foreign powers have been instrumental in sensationalizing weak points and undermining strengths.

Former NWFP was already in the grip of Pakhtun nationalism at the time of partition and Pakhtunistan stunt championed by Khan Brothers (associated with Indian Congress) and had the support of Kabul. The movement has still not died down since the likes of Asfandyar Wali and Mahmood Achakzai, helped by India and Afghanistan, carry forward this agenda. Billboards of ‘Greater Pakhtunistan’ were on display in KP during the last PPP rule. 

After successfully stoking Bengali nationalism and building hatred against West Pakistan in general and Punjab and Army in particular, India accomplished its mission of separating East Pakistan from the body of Pakistan in 1971.

RAW was next mandated to achieve similar results in Sindh and Baluchistan. Sindhi and Baloch nationalism were fueled in the two provinces to intensify hatred against Punjab and the Federation. RAW’s efforts gave birth to Sindhu Desh movement of Sindhi nationalists led by late GM Sayed in Sindh. Baloch insurgency led by Marris and Mengals in Baluchistan in the 1970s was a follow up of earlier rebellious tendencies of some Baloch Sardars and of Samad Achakzai in Baluchistan. Under the name of Baloch nationalism, settlers were targeted and forced to migrate. The Baloch insurgency was fully supported by KGB, RAW, and KHAD.

Having succeeded in subverting the Sindhis, RAW stimulated anti-Sindhi sentiments among the Urdu-speaking settlers in urban Sindh and pitted new Sindhis against old Sindhis, again on the basis of socio-economic grievances. Altaf Hussain established APSMO in 1978 and created MQM in 1984. RAW handed him the blueprint plan of Mujibur Rahman led Awami League, how to go about separating urban Sindh from rest of Pakistan and creating a new state for the Mohajirs. Altaf was glamorized and popularized among the Urdu speaking community as their hero. Besides blaming the Sindhis, Altaf and his disciples blamed the establishment and agencies for the woes of Mohajirs. This line was adopted to project the Mohajirs as victims and to hide fascist and terrorist activities of the MQM aimed at controlling Karachi and Hyderabad through terrorism. A stage came when the MQM militants indulged in bloody duels against the Sindhis and settlers from other ethnic communities in Karachi in the late 1980s. Three operations were launched in the 1990s to control MQM militancy.

After 9/11, FATA was created as a new conflict zone by RAW and its allied agencies to fan terrorism in Pakistan. TTP was created with an ostensible aim of demolishing the existing governing structure and replacing it with Sharia-based system and establishment of Islamic Emirate. The real aim was however to stoke chaos, pin down a sizeable portion of Army in the northwest, and destabilize the country. Despite launching several large size military operations such as Rah-e-Raast, Rah-e-Nijat and Zarb-e-Azb, and recapturing the entire space captured by the TTP and its affiliates, terrorism couldn’t be rooted out.

The reason is that Afghanistan that had been converted into a strategic launching pad for cross-border terrorism in Pakistan in 2002 is still fully operative. All the planners, executors and coordinators of covert war sit under one roof at Sehra Neward Intelligence Centre north of Kabul and their objectives against Pakistan remain unchanged. The other reason is the Pakistani power wielders providing protection and funds to the terrorists and the natural alignment of the religious right with the TTP and other so-called religiously motivated militant groups.

Former Army chief Gen Raheel was right in stating that terrorism cannot be rooted out unless financiers, handlers, and facilitators are taken to task and the nexus of financial terrorism, corruption and terrorism is broken. The military prong which achieved over 80% progress couldn’t achieve conclusive results because of the bases in Afghanistan and backing of terrorists by foreign patrons and local supporters.     

Baluchistan that was peaceful from 1979 to 2003, was made restive in 2004 and this time Bugtis were made to join the Marris and Mengals as well other Baloch nationalists to wage province-wide insurgency backed by RAW, NDS, CIA, MI-6, Mossad. Socio-economic deprivations were once again drummed up and Nawab Akbar Bugti was made into a hero to promote Baloch nationalism. Punjab was held responsible for the backwardness of the province. Mega development projects were objected to and the Army, FC and intelligence agencies demonized on the made-up allegations that they were responsible for the Baloch missing persons and mutilated bodies. Sectarianism was fanned by targeting Hazara community in Baluchistan.

In September 2001, Altaf residing in London since 1992, gave an undertaking to Tony Blair of MQM’s full support in the war on terror. From 2008 onward, the re-strengthened MQM undertook planned destabilization of Karachi, the economic hub of Pakistan, so as to further bleed Pakistan’s economy. A spate of target killings, kidnappings for ransom and extortion was unleashed and the daily score of target killers was 10-12. Altaf kept raising alarm bells about the threat of Taliban and Pashtun settlers to the peace of Karachi, which in actuality had been ruined by the Sindh ruling coalition of PPP, MQM, and ANP. Sindh had begun to die an economic death.

Karachi was stabilized after a targeted and intelligence based operation was launched by the Rangers equipped with police powers under Article 147 of the Constitution in September 2013. However, MQM which was mainly responsible for lawlessness made a hue and cry that the operation was not even-handed and was Mohajir focused. When the Rangers started nabbing the ones involved in financial terrorism and went after some in interior Sindh, the ruling PPP started creating impediments in the way of Rangers.

The RAW sponsored MQM in Karachi has got divided into four factions – MQM London, MQM Pakistan under Farooq Sattar, Pakistan Sar Zamin Party under Mustafa Kamal and MQM Haqiqi under Afaq. Its militant structure has been broken and Altaf is debarred from making speeches on phone to instigate violence. Altaf is now the most hated man in Pakistan and a red warrant for his arrest by Interpol has been issued. Ironically, he is now trying to portray himself as a friend of Pashtuns and is openly espousing the agenda of enemies to break Pakistan into pieces. He is equating Indian atrocities against Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir with Rangers operation in Karachi against Mohajirs. Like Mujib, he is threatening the government to stop operation Raddul Fasaad or else face annihilation of Army.  He is exhorting his followers to get ready for the final battle against the Army and is seeking another Gen Arora like General in India.   

PPP, MQM, and PTI demanded an operation in Punjab arguing that it was also prone to crime and terrorism. They quoted the presence of Punjabi Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah Sahaba and Chotu gang in South Punjab. This demand was put in with an eye on elections in 2018, hoping that action against Punjabi militants will dilute the vote bank of PML-N in Punjab.

Punjab government expressed reluctance on the plea that law and order situation in Punjab was under control and developments works were proceeding smoothly.  It was owing to persistent demand of other provinces and the terror attack in Lahore on February 13th that it was decided to include Punjab in the ambit of operation Raddul Fasaad as well.

Some Inferences

As a result of RAW’s subversion, Pakistan had to face Sindhu Desh movement and MRD movement in interior Sindh, Mohajir movement in urban Sindh, Baloch separatist movement in Baluchistan, low-keyed Saraiki movement in southern Punjab, TTP insurgency in the northwest, and Balwaristan movement in Gilgit-Baltistan, each aspiring for a separate state outside the concept of Pakistan. Effective measures taken by the incumbent government, security forces and law enforcement agencies has taken the wind out of the sails of all the movements/insurgencies. 

Till 9/11, India was the support base for all the rebel groups/political parties in Pakistan. After the occupation of Afghanistan by the US in November 2001, Afghanistan has become the operational base. RAW has also been making use of Iranian territory for carrying out sabotage and subversion in Baluchistan and Karachi. Rajgarh and Ramgarh in Rajasthan continue to be used for dispatching supplies to the terrorists in Sindh, interior Baluchistan, and southern Punjab.

The proxies undertaking terrorism in Pakistan are the TTP, its breakaway faction Jamaat-al- Ahrar (JA), Lashkar-e-Islam, LeJ, Al-Alami, IMU and TTA based at Kunar, Nuristan and Nangarhar since 2009. RAW and NDS have outsourced terrorism and have circulated a menu-like price list to all these groups. Rupees 4 million is spent on a single suicide mission.

In Baluchistan, major proxies are BLA, BRA, BLF that used to operate from interior Baluchistan but now mostly operate from Spin Boldak and Lashkargah in Afghanistan. Their leaders espousing separatist agenda are housed by Britain, America, and Switzerland. A red warrant has been issued against Brahamdagh Bugti. Large numbers of Baloch fighters have voluntarily forsaken militancy and joined the mainstream thereby taking the steam out of the separatist movement. 

In Baluchistan, major proxies are BLA, BRA, BLF that used to operate from interior Baluchistan but now mostly operate from Spin Boldak and Lashkargah in Afghanistan. Their leaders espousing separatist agenda are housed by Britain, America, and Switzerland. A red warrant has been issued against Brahamdagh Bugti. Large numbers of Baloch fighters have voluntarily forsaken militancy and joined the mainstream thereby taking the steam out of the separatist movement. 

Baluchistan has weak border management and 95% of its territory is in control of ill-trained and corruption-prone Levies that are controlled by Sardars. Owing to over a dozen crossing points, it is more vulnerable to infiltration and requires concrete steps to prevent cross-border movement.  

Foreign agencies have been fishing in the camps of 3 million Afghan refugees residing in KP and Baluchistan since 1979 to find handlers and facilitators as well as saboteurs. They take full advantage of the porous western border with negligible border control mechanism. Apart from the socio-economic burden, unregistered among them have become a security hazard and has forced the government to expedite their return and also to verify them. Vested groups are however making hue and cry and making it into a political issue. Arrest and interrogation of suspected Afghan refugees are being mixed up with Pakhtun racialism.     

Daesh joined up with JA and TTP and has made Nangarhar as its base camp for fighting Afghan Taliban as well as striking targets and making inroads in Pakistan. Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, supervising the whole covert war against Pakistan had facilitated Daesh marriage with JA-TTP in 2015.

All bases of TTP and its affiliates have been busted in the northwest and so have the Farari camps in interior Baluchistan. Since the start of 2015, all acts of terror emanate from Afghanistan right under the nose of NATO and CIA.

Afghan unity government which is a puppet in the hands of Washington and Delhi has adopted a hostile posture against Pakistan. It is averse to border management since it will prevent cross-border terrorism and also expose its oft-repeated claim that instability in Afghanistan is owing to terrorism springing from Pakistan. It has taken no step to dismantle safe havens of TTP and JA, and to close down Pakistan specific India consulates filled with RAW officers, or to rein in NDS.

For the first time, Pakistan has changed its defensive posture to offensive defence and has struck JA and TTP terror camps across the western border with precision. Western border has been closed. Pakistan has handed over a list of 76 most wanted terrorists belonging to these banned groups to Kabul for their extradition.

 An equally aggressive posture has been adopted along the LoC in Kashmir, which India has intentionally kept on the boil to distract the attention of the world from its atrocities in occupied Kashmir, which is slipping out of its hands. Gen Qamar Bajwa has given a loud message that he means business.    

Safety of the CPEC and Gwadar seaport has been ensured by deploying a division size force, while the Marine Force of Navy has been mandated to guard the coastline, exclusive economic zone and the sea lanes in the Arabian Sea.   

Frustrated by the failure of multiple covert efforts including pitting Deobandis against Barelivis, the enemies of Pakistan have devised a new plan to trigger Pashtun-Punjabi ethnic war to fail Operation Raddul Fasaad.

Punjab government will have to ensure evenhandedness in the ongoing operation in Punjab to allay the fears that Pashtuns are being racially profiled. At the same time, leaders of smaller provinces should also behave responsibly and avoid pouring scorn on Punjab for petty political gains.

Ongoing efforts to denigrate and topple the elected federal and Punjab governments will serve the interests of enemies only and will do no service to the country. What is needed is unity of federating units and a joint strategy to eliminate the scourge of extremism and terrorism.

There is a direct linkage between the terrorists and terror financing. This financing has a direct linkage with Mega Corruption lorded over by the politicians, particularly in Sindh who are raping the economic hub of the country like parasites. The police, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary in Sindh are playing the role of facilitators. Their thorough politicization has blunted the system of accountability.

No effort is in hand to reform the police, bureaucracy and criminal justice system. Till these flaws are doctored, NAP implemented in real earnest, the operational base of Afghanistan neutralized, and the border is effectively guarded, the military prong at its own will not be able to root out terrorism.

Lastly, law enforcement agencies will have to further polish the systems of investigation, intelligence gathering and sharing mechanism and rapid response system to achieve tangible results.     

The writer is a retired Brigadier, a war veteran, a defence analyst, a columnist, an author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, and is the Director of Measac Research Centre. Email: asifharoonraja@gmail.com  

 

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WHAT A JOKE — RECORD OF PROPERTY BOUGHT IN 2006 WAS LOST DURING 1999 MARTIAL LAW!

Panamagate: No record for Sharifs’ past business dealings, counsel tells Supreme Court

HASEEB BHATTI 

in DAWN, Pakistan

As the Supreme Court resumed hearing the Panamagate case on Wednesday, Advocate Salman Akram Raja picked up his arguments where he had left them off.

After welcoming Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed — whose sudden illness had forced a suspension in the case’s daily hearings — Raja reminded the court that “this is neither a trial nor the defendant a witness.”

“I will only argue this case based on the evidence present,” Raja, who represents Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, continued.

The record for the Sharif family’s business dealings for the last 40 to 45 years cannot be reproduced, the counsel said, as “it was lost during the 1999 martial law.”

The matter can be sent to relevant departments for inquiry as the Arsalan Iftikhar case determined that trials for cases can be held at corresponding forums, Salman Akram Raja told the court.

“A court has never conducted an independent inquiry in any criminal case,” Raja argued, adding that Article 10 of the Constitution says that every citizen of this country deserves a fair trial and that departments formed under the law should be allowed to do their job.

“There is no charge against the Prime Minister, so there is no charge against his children either,” he continued.

“If we suppose that the PM’s children are his employees, according to the National Accountability Bureau’s laws, then the burden of proof does not fall on the defendants,” Raja argued in court.

“This is not a criminal court, so even if Hassan and Hussain Nawaz are suspected, there is no proof against them,” he added.

There were eight questions that the court posed to the defendants, including the relationship between Mian Mohammad Sharif and the Al Sani family, the shares in Nielsen and Nescoll, and the profits the family gained from them, the counsel recalled.

Lawyer Salman Akbar said that Sharif family has ties with more than one Qatari royal family but he cannot disclose the name of other royal families before the court due to certain reasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There were questions about the trust deed as well, and in this hearing, I will answer all these questions,” he told the court.

Justice Khosa advised Raja that he should first finish his arguments before answering the court’s questions.

Moving on to the matter of the London flats, Hussain Nawaz’s counsel argued that the flats were bought by the Al Thani family between 1993 and 1996.

“The Sharif family did not own the flats in 1999, as Hussain Nawaz was given the bearer certificate to the flats by the Al Thani family,” Raja argued. He added that the shares for the flats were given to Minerva Financial Services in 2006.

Upon hearing this argument, Justice Azmat Saeed asked the counsel to provide a paper trail for these transactions, and said, “You have been moving from one point to the other since the beginning, but have failed to provide any evidence in this regard.”

The allegation is that Maryam Nawaz contacted Minerva Holdings, Raja retorted, upon this, the bench asked that evidence should be proved that Hussain Nawaz is the beneficial owner of the offshore companies.

PTI’s new evidence

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) had announced on Tuesday that it would submit three more documents to disprove the stance adopted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, but the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is not convinced.

“We are submitting three more documents — one from PTI chairman Imran Khan that authenticates all previous documents presented by the party, the expert opinion of UK-based lawyers and a document that proves that Maryam Nawaz is the owner of UK-based firms Minerva, Nielson and Nescoll,” PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry told a press conference.

He said that Imran Khan would submit an affidavit stating that all documents previously submitted by the party were credible and authentic.

PML-N MNA Daniyal Aziz told Dawn that PTI’s lawyers had already completed their arguments and submitted all the evidence they had to the apex court. “Once they have completed their arguments, how can they file more documents?”

 

From The Guardian. London Archival Report

Search for the millions Sharif ‘stole’

The investigator Pakistan’s PM could not stop


They tortured Rehman Malik by placing his hands and feet on ice for up to an hour at a time at a ‘safe house’ in Islamabad. Three years on, he still has trouble feeling sensations in his palms and soles from the punishment, meted out in black masks, by Nawaz Sharif’s heavies.His neck, too, bears the painful crick from a year spent in solitary confinement in a tiny cell at Rawalpindi’s Adila jail with a brick wrapped in newspapers for a pillow. Malik, in mortal fear of convicted terrorists and official hatchet men, found his monthly half-hour visit from his seven-year-old son his single comfort.

Three times following his arrest in November 1996 the courts ordered Malik’s release. Each time he was re-arrested on trumped up charges until, after 12 months of humiliation, the Pakistani Supreme Court itself ruled his detention illegal.

Malik’s crime? To have been the deputy head of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan’s equivalent of the FBI, investigating allegations of massive corruption by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his family, and cronies.

At 46, he was the youngest officer to reach such a senior rank, the equivalent of an army major-general. In a 20-year career, Malik had gained an impressive reputation in the West for anti-terrorist expertise, including investigation of the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing in New York and of Saudi fundamentalist Osama bin Laden. And, after Malik’s inquiries were publicized by The Observer last year, he started a ball rolling which culminated in the coup against Sharif. ‘I have suffered enormously from doing my duty as a civil servant. My friends, family, and colleagues have been harassed. My life has been at risk,’ Malik told The Observer in his first UK interview since fleeing Pakistan for London after an attempt on his life 15 months ago. ‘I am not a politician, but I welcome the army’s action. They have saved Pakistan from someone who was ruining the country. As a career officer, I would like to return to fulfill my official obligations as soon as possible.’

He is also promising further explosive revelations, which will implicate Sharif and senior Muslim League politicians in allegedly creaming off more of the country’s wealth overseas.

Malik’s report last year was painful enough for the deposed Prime Minister, as were the cat-and-mouse tactics by which Malik has been a thorn in his side since. The 200-page report, smuggled into the country on Sharif’s official Jumbo jet, set out a secret web of fake bank accounts and firms in offshore tax havens through which Sharif’s family allegedly siphoned off more than $70 million (£40m) into London property, Swiss investments and banks in New York.

The family, whose empire grew hugely while Sharif was in office, was also accused of defaulting on $120m of state bank loans, a favourite way of milking the public purse.

According to further documents seen by The Observer, however, the revelations appear to be the tip of an iceberg. Following inquiries over the past year, Malik says he has established further channels by which the Sharif family channelled money illegally offshore.

They include $2.74m allegedly deposited in the account of an Essex-based Pakistani family at the Atlas BOT (Bank of Tokyo) Investment Bank in Lahore as security for loans to four Sharif family members. They also include $4.6m deposited at the Al Faysal Investment Bank in Islamabad as security for a loan to Hamza Board Mills, a paper, and forestry firm in the Sharif family’s Ittefaq group.

Among all his amassed wealth, Sharif also appears to have concealed ownership of a Russian-made Ulan helicopter, which he used during election campaigns. The aircraft, worth more than $1m, was bought from an Arab prince, Sheikh Abdul Rehman Bin Nasir Al Thani of Qatar, in November 1996 and registered in Sharif’s name at the Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority, according to official documents obtained by Malik. It was, however, not declared on Sharif’s statutory filing of assets and liabilities to the country’s Election Commission. ‘This was a man who once told me he could not afford a second-hand Mercedes. How then could he buy a helicopter?’ Malik asks.

Most explosive of all, however, is likely to be Malik’s new investigation, which is almost concluded and alleges laundering of more than $100m offshore via a network of UK trusts, Swiss accounts and offshore havens including Liechtenstein.

An Observer investigation has revealed other instances of alleged corruption during Sharif’s last administration:

• In an emergency budget after Pakistan’s nuclear tests last year, import duties on luxury cars were cut from 325 per cent to 125 per cent. A week later they were restored. In between a friend of Sharif imported 80 cars.

• In 1996 senior figures at Bankers Equity Limited, a finance house granted a huge loan, believed to be more than £10m, to close associates of Sharif. Last summer the bank collapsed and several senior managers, including a friend of Sharif’s, were arrested. The loan is outstanding.

• After the 1997 elections the Sharif family and their business concerns were able to reschedule and renegotiate loans worth nearly £100m from eight banks. When ordered by courts to pay some back they surrendered 33 factories. Only one factory was fully operational, the rest closed, out of order, or both.

Sharif, his family, and former Ministers have consistently dismissed the allegations as politically inspired.

Sharif himself is still in ‘preventative custody’, as the army calls it, in a government guesthouse on the outskirts of Islamabad. General Pervez Musharraf, the self-appointed Chief Executive of Pakistan, has not revealed his plans for the man ousted in a coup 10 days ago. Military sources say the evidence is being gathered to put Sharif on trial for corruption and possibly treason.

Sharif’s former residence, the 100-acre Raiwind estate, near the city of Lahore in eastern Pakistan, is widely seen as a symbol of the opulent lifestyle the Sharifs have led since their pursuit of power and wealth began to pay off 15 years ago. Last week The Observer was the first Western newspaper to visit it since Sharif’s fall.

Brand new roads lead out of Lahore, where the Sharifs have two other houses, to the walled 100-acre estate. A turning leads to a helicopter pad and a set of steel gates. Beyond is an open, grassy compound where five houses, all in white-washed villa style, lie in a rough circle around a man-made pond. Each has a huge colonnaded porch sheltering a £20,000 four-wheel drive Jeep. Two of the buildings are partially constructed as is a pool, though a lake stocked with fish is completed. There is a small zoo.

All the houses are similar, with deep red carpets and velvet curtains throughout. Sharif’s own house is distinguished by the number of televisions – the Prime Minister was gadget crazy. Now army machine gunners have replaced the bodyguards who previously watched the compound’s perimeter. And the muzzles of their weapons point in as much as out.

Raiwind is, to the ousted Prime Minister’s critics at least, a symbol of how his administration manipulated government to benefit itself.

According to opposition spokesmen, Sharif has ‘used public office for personal economic gain’. It is corruption, they say, even if it is within the letter of the law.

Soon after coming to power for a second time in February 1997 Sharif declared the Raiwind site to be the ‘Prime Minister’s Camp Office’ – his home away from the capital. The local municipal authority took on the estate’s maintenance at an estimated annual cost of 40 million Pakistani rupees (£500,000) and built a new road for it, while the state has also supplied gas, electricity and a 200-line telephone exchange.

Near Raiwind last week feelings were mixed about Sharif’s fall. Many remain loyal to a man they see as a local boy made good. ‘He has done a lot around here,’ said Ahmadullah Ali, a farmer. ‘He is a good man.’ In the rough and tumble world of Pakistani politics, Sharif may be down, but he still isn’t out.

 Reference Courtesy

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The confessions of St Isaac aka Ishaq Dar By Ayaz Amir in The News International

The confessions of St Isaac

By Ayaz Amir

Islamabad diary

 

 

 

 

 

 

He has remitted around Rs20m to the country and his other assets and cash are worth Rs45m. Ishaq Dar, the Leader of Opposition in the Senate, has 15,779 dirhams in banks, owns a house worth Rs45m in Gulberg, Lahore, and six acres of land valued at Rs14.5m in Punjab.Mar 29, 2013

 

Oh, that moment of weakness if only it could be forgotten when Isaac called for pen and paper and in his own hand and at considerable length penned down the saga of money-laundering allegedly associated with the house whose top accountant he had been for so many years.

The tell-all tale was spread over 43 pages, no detail spared, everything about how fake bank accounts in international banks were opened in the names of the Qazi family, long known to Dar. Money from mysterious sources then came into these accounts before being transferred to the Hudaybia Paper Mills.          

The Sharifs are a religious family and the choice of this name testifies to their religious zeal. That this did not prevent the things being done under the rubric of this near-sacred name is, of course, a different matter.

We are more secular than we care to acknowledge, rendering unto Caesar and Mammon what is theirs, and to Allah what is His. Prayers, fasting and other religious obligations we keep for the uses of the Hereafter. For the here and now we tend to be more pragmatic.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But returning to the confessions, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had to extract no forced signatures from Isaac’s hands. He wrote the entire account himself and put his signature to it. And also, again in his own hand, he asked for leniency. Since he had out-performed any canary in singing, his name was removed from the list of the accused and he was made an approver…in other words, the prime witness for the prosecution.   

The money-laundering charge was but one case against the Sharifs. There were several others. But all of them were put on hold when through the intercession of their Saudi benefactors the Sharifs were taken from their prison cells and flown to the Holy Land. When in the twilight of the Musharraf era the so-called National Reconciliation Order was promulgated and Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan, followed by Nawaz Sharif’s own return – this too being the result of Saudi pressure – the national landscape changed.

Bhutto’s assassination rocked the Musharraf regime and in the elections which followed his King’s Party, the Q – League fared poorly. The PPP took power at the centre and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, with no small help from Asif Ali Zardari, formed the government in Punjab, the nerve-centre of Pakistani politics. The PPP and the PML-N having come close to each other, no one was interested in pursuing the old cases, including the Hudaybia case based on Ishaq Dar’s confession.

Both the Sharifs and Asif Ali Zardari were quick to approach the courts to quash these cases. Dar did the same and his confession was quashed, it being declared as of no ‘evidentiary value’. Because all of this was being played on a friendly wicket, NAB did not go into appeal against this friendly decision.

We can imagine Isaac’s sense of relief. Incarceration under the Musharraf regime was not so much a nightmare as the statement he had given. Now seemingly the nightmare was over, the albatross around the neck of the former approver finally cut loose.

Remember also that Musharraf being a coup-making general, the charges brought by his regime against the Sharifs – quite apart from whether they were true or false – never elicited any great moral outrage on the part of the intelligentsia, the political class or so-called civil society, all of whom were more obsessed with denouncing dictatorship and celebrating the restoration of democracy, these being the flavours of that time. Corruption and accountability constituted a forgotten agenda.    

Zardari was clever but the Sharifs outplayed him, successfully pulling a veil of obfuscation over their own financial exploits and keeping the spotlight on the PPP, an endeavour in which they received powerful assistance from the restored chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, who could only see the mote in the PPP’s eyes, never the glint in the eyes of the PML-N.

Small wonder, the PPP was branded as an irredeemably corrupt enterprise while the Sharifs were seen as exemplars of good governance and champions of development, a perception paying them handsome dividends in the 2013 elections.

True, Gen Raheel Sharif’s ascendancy became a problem for them because no one likes to walk in someone else’s shadow; and the 2014 dharnas came near to toppling their government. But the general in his winter no longer the commanding figure he was and the dharnas a receding memory, this was a time to savor their triumphs and think calmly about the future.

But everything has been upended by that bolt from the blue, the Panama papers and the hearings in the Supreme Court triggered by them. Uncomfortable questions are being asked for which there are no ready answers and demons long thought to have been laid to rest, like the confessions of St Isaac, are once again on the march, leading to fresh nightmares. When Dar’s lawyer said before the Supreme Court that Dar’s statement could not be used against him, it was suggested to him that could it not be used against the prime minister?      

We don’t know what becomes of it or what value is put on it. But the Sharifs have reason to be worried because the money trail leading to their offshore accounts and rich London properties is right there in this statement, backed by evidence in black-and-white: dates, bank accounts, deposits, and transfers, etc.       

The defence the PML-N is mounting rests on one word, duress – the contention that Isaac’s confessions were extracted through coercion, the word gunpoint also being used. Significantly, however, no one is saying that what is in the confessional statement, the details of money-laundering, are false. Shouldn’t that be the real burden of the PML-N’s argument?

It should really be a simple matter. The accounts opened in the names of the Qazi family may be fraudulent but the Qazis are real, living people. Why don’t they come up and say that what is being said about them is baseless, with no truth to these charges?

Why go on about duress when what Dar and his defenders should be saying is that the contents of the confessional statement are false – that there never were any Qazi accounts and so the question of mysterious funds being deposited in them simply does not arise?     

If they were to do this nothing would be left in the Panama case except sound and fury. And Dar’s nightmare would be finally over. But saying not a word about content they are giving the entire nation a sob story of extraction under pressure. If they debunk the contents of the confession the duress charge is automatically proved. But if they go on about duress while not touching the substance of the story who is to believe Isaac’s protestations?         

People retract confessions all the time, not only claiming coercion but roundly denying what they are accused of. Here the funny thing is that in a case which could well have a bearing on the country’s future a person indirectly involved is beating about the bush while saying nothing of the charge against him…and by extension, of the damning charge against the Sharifs.

 

Email: bhagwal63@gmail.com

 

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Indian interference in Balochistan proved with Modi’s statement: Zehri Courtesy:ARY News, Pakistan

Indian interference in Balochistan proved with Modi’s statement: Zehri

 

ARY News, Pakistan

 

 

 

QUETTA: Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri has slammed Baloch leader Barhamdagh Bugti, the exiled leader of Baloch Republican Party, for making anti-Pakistan statements and asserted that ‘those fuelling propaganda from foreign land’ have no support at home.

He was addressing a conference condemning Indian interference in Balochistan at Quetta Law College.

Mr. Zehri said Modi’s controversial claim that the Baloch people had thanked him for his support of the “so-called insurgency” in the province was senseless.
balochistan

The chief minister said no one could detach Balochs from their homeland. “A handful of people are shedding blood of their own brothers for the sake of some ‘peanuts’, said the CM.

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said Indian PM Narendra Modi was a murderer of thousands of innocent Kashmiris and Pakistanis.

balochistan-post-1

The conference was attended by a large number of students and civil society members.

Earlier in the day, the Indian premier’s speech on Aug 15, India’s Independence Day, triggered protests across Balochistan, with large numbers of tribesmen taking to the streets in protest in several parts of the province.

Political leaders, civil society members and citizens in large numbers took out rallies holding placards against Indian PM and their government.

In Chaman, protesters burnt effigy of Narendra Modi and Brahamdagh Bugti for their anti-Pakistan statements.

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They expressed their anger on campaign launched by the Indian premier and Baloch leader to defame Pakistan and project Balochistan in bad light at international level.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers led rallies in Dera Murad Jamali and raised slogans against India. Persistent protests blocked the main highway in Balochistan.


Chaman Rally against PM Narendra Modi by arynews
https://arynews.tv/en/protests-erupt-balochistan-india-modis-effigy-burnt/
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