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SHC asks NAB to continue inquiries against officials2017/08/17
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has on Wednesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to continue its inquiries against the officials of Sindh government including Members Provincial Assembly (MPAs) and bureaucrats.
The court issued these directives while hearing a set of petitions challenging new provincial law repealing the applicability of the NAB Ordinance in the province.
A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Sheikh was hearing the five petitions against the new law.
The petitions were filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, MQM-Pakistan and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) against a new provincial law that repeals the applicability of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), better known as the NAB Ordinance, in Sindh.
The court has also directed to authorities to submit a list of lawmakers and bureaucrats facing NAB inquiries.
The Sindh Assembly on July 3 passed the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 Sindh Repeal Bill, 2017 that repealed the applicability of the NAB Ordinance to departments and autonomous bodies controlled by the provincial government.
It also approved the establishment of a provincial accountability agency that would replace the decades-old Anti-Corruption Establishment.
According to the petitioners, the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 Sindh Repeal Act, 2017 is an attempt by Pakistan People's Party (PPP), to protect its corruption. They claimed that the law was against the basic scheme of the Constitution.
Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair had refused to sign the bill and sent it back to the provincial government with objections. Later on July 27, the provincial assembly passed a new draft bill after the Sindh cabinet discussed the observations of the governor. However, the governor did not give his assent the second time either.
Under the new law, the Sindh government would establish accountability courts in the province which would be headed by a district and sessions judge (DJ), or a person qualified to be appointed as DJ.
There would also be an accountability commission comprising chairman of the agency, the advocate general of the province, prosecutor general, director general and director-investigation of the agency.
The commission would review the progress of cases of corruption and recommend to the government steps for the eradication of corruption in Sindh.
In a letter to respective provincial departments, commissioners and deputy commissioners on Friday the Sindh government stated that with the revocation of the NAO, all corruption cases, inquiries and complaints would now be probed by the provincial anti-corruption establishment.
The letter reiterated that with the new law in effect, NAB would have no role in the province, as it was now mandated to only probe and hear cases related to federal institutions. - NNI

LEAs arrest dozens of suspects during raids2017/08/17
ISLAMABAD: The Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) on Wednesday detained two suspects during door-to-door search operation in the federal capital within the jurisdiction of Sihala Police Station.
According to police, weapons and ammunition have been recovered from the possession of the suspects who were shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation ...

Nawaz's 'Grand National Dialogue' offer rejected2017/08/17
LAHORE: Former president Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday that he did not want to maintain contact with ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Zardari flew in from Dubai to Lahore yet stated that he had not contacted Nawaz Sharif and neither did he want to.
The former president brushed aside Nawaz Sharif's 'Grand National Dialogue' offer by stating that PPP would have no part in it. "When I don't want to maintain any contact with him then how can we have a dialogue?" he asked.
Zardari said that Nawaz Sharif's priorities changed when he assumed the mantle of prime minister of the country and when he was not. "This time democracy is not under threat, rather Nawaz Sharif's politics is," he said.
Zardari praised Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and said that he was already active in the political arena. Zardari stated that Bilawal would bring PPP popularity in Punjab.
Meanwhile, the former president chaired a high-level meeting at Bilawal House Lahore to consult party leaders on Sharif's offer. Following the meeting, Zardari said that he is not interested to establish contact with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Sources quoted Zardari saying: "Nawaz Sharif's attitude varies with passage of time as he acts completely different when he is in power. He has a different set of priorities at a time when he gains power and inverse set of priorities at a time of trouble." Sources said, Zardari asserted that when his party does not want to establish contact with the ousted PM then how could it be possible for him to initiate dialogue with Nawaz Sharif.
"Nawaz Sharif disdains Article 62 and 63 of the constitution when he gains power; it's not democracy that is endangered but his political career," sources further quoted former president as saying. Earlier in a statement, Zardari had said his party would not support any individual derailing democracy or resorting to undemocratic norms.
It merits mention here that Sharif had hinted at initiating a 'Grand National Dialogue' with other political parties following his ouster by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case. Some days ago, Bialwal Bhutto too had hinted that this time PPP is not going to bail out PML-N. "Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is only trying to save himself and making contempt of court in his speeches but it appears that contempt of court applies only to the PPP," Bilawal had said.
Bilawal Zardari said that Nawaz Sharif did not have any ideology and he only wanted to save himself. When he was removed, he began talking about the Charter of Democracy and social contract. "The PPP has never supported the PML-N but we always come forward for democracy and if there is any threat to democracy, the PPP will gain on the forefront to defend it," he said. - NNI

Qadri demands justice for Model Town victims2017/08/17
LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri on Wednesday demanded that the Model Town Incident inquiry report be made public for the sake of the families of martyrs.
Speaking to a sit-in organized by the affected of the Model Town incident, the PAT chief said that they have right to know who is being blamed for the incident and to determine who is responsible for the incident.
He questioned about the reasons the Lahore High Court has not made the report public and instead suggested that a impartial bench to be set up to decide whether the report should be declassified.
"We can snatch justice if we want, but we won't take law into our hands," he said. "You will be hanged for Model Town incident."
Fourteen people were shot dead on July 17, 2014 when Punjab police launched a crackdown against PAT activists outside the headquarters of the Minhaj-ul-Quran and Qadri's residence.
An inquiry report in to matter commissioned by Justice Baqir Najafi has not yet been made public by the Lahore High Court or the Punjab government.
"You have completed your ethical, moral and religious obligation by participating in the sit-in on Mall Road," said the cleric to the families of the Model Town incident who have remained determined and steadfast against oppression
"You are not alone, you will eventually get justice, it is only a matter of time," he said. "The criminal of Panama case has been caught, now it's time for the criminals of Model Town,"
Referring to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif as the criminal of the incident, he said the sit-in is to express solidarity and moral support with the victims of the Model Town incident.
"The political history of Pakistan shows that you have undermined the vote of the people," he thundered referring to ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He referred to how Nawaz Sharif conspired to overthrow the democratically elected governments of Benazir Bhutto in the 1990s, dissolved assemblies and didn't set up rallies for the restoration of democracy and instead introduced a culture of political horse-trading in the country for his own political and vested interests.
"Nawaz Sharif is only speaking about revolution after being disqualified by the Supreme Court," he said. "This revolution is only to save Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif," warning both are worried about retribution for the Model Town incident.
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, and Firdous Ashiq Awan were also present in the sit-in.
Qadri announced protests against injustice in Model Town incident in multiple cities after Eid-ul-Azha, including Faisalabad and Rawalpindi. 
He praised his party workers who gathered at Mall Road to express sorrow at the loss of innocent lives in Model Town incident. "We await justice and it is just a matter of time," he said while promising the people to stay with them until justice prevails.
The PAT chief thanked PTI leaders, including Firdous Ashiq Awan and Sheikh Rasheed, and other persons who arrived to express solidarity. 
 He slammed PML-N's will to introduce constitutional amendments, recalling how the ex-PM used to buy MPAs and MNAs in past, violated the sanctity of public votes and derailed democracy several times.
Slamming Nawaz Sharif's hopes of bringing revolution, he said the former premier only remembered revolution after July 28 Supreme Court verdict declaring him ineligible. 
Qadri said both Sharif brothers will be hanged to give justice to the kins of Model Town incident. 
He recalled that Articles 62 and 63 were part of his demands during 2014 sit-ins, calling the article essential. Bullets were fired at my home and the Punjab Chief Minister was declared responsible for Model Town massacre in Justice Baqir Ali Najfi report, he claimed. 
The stage was prepared at Istanbul Chowk where seats have also been placed for participants. PAT had earlier assured that they will not violate the codes and stage a peaceful protest and traffic flow will remain unaffected. They promised to conclude the sit-in by 10 pm after PAT Chief Tahir-ul-Qadri's address.
Leaders from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Awami Muslim League (AML) have also participated in the protest. Administration had offered PAT to transfer their protest at DC Road later on where they will provide foolproof security. Earlier on Tuesday, Lahore High Court (LHC) had barred the party from staging protests on Mall Road of the provincial capital in the light of Punjab govt's decision.
Later, Punjab government has allowed Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) to hold its protest by women wing on Lahore's Mall Road only for Wednesday.
Earlier today, Lahore High Court (LHC) conducted hearing over the petition filed by advocate Asad Manzoor Butt on the behalf of Mall Road Traders Association (MRTA) against PAT sit-in on Mall Road in which Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) and Deputy Commissioner (DC) appeared.
During the proceeding, the plaintiff said that a protest on Mall Road will badly affect business activities. The judge asked from PAT lawyer about the duration of sit-in and that who will be responsible if any terror incident occurs.
CCPO offered PAT to shift its sit-in to DC Road from Mall Road due to security concerns which was accepted on a condition to allow PAT chief to address today on Mall Road. It is to be mentioned here that the high court had already banned protests and processions on Mall Road and the provincial government had also imposed section 144.
On the other hand, PAT completed its preparations to stage a sit-in on Mall Road. The workers set the stage near Istanbul Chowk, and special container for Dr Tahirul Qadri was also transferred to Nasir Bagh along with lights, fans and canopies.
PAT is carrying out sit-in against the injustice in Model Town massacre at the core of the city on August 16 and Punjab police operation at Minhaj-ul-Quran office which not only injured several people but also damaged property and resulted in the loss of over a dozen lives. - NNI

PCB farewell in honour of outgoing PCB chief2017/08/17
LAHORE: A farewell ceremony was hosted in honour of the outgoing Chairman PCB Shaharyar M Khan at Gaddafi stadium, Lahore Wednesday. 
In the ceremony newly elected Chairman PCB Najam Sethi and office bearers of the PCB welcomed the outgoing Chairman and gave him a standing ovation ...

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