All posts by Talha Shahid Khan

Talha is a seasoned writer, blogger and web content specialist having three years of experience and written for websites such as www.meritaleem.com and www.executivesdiary.com. When he is not churning out words for the Daily Ausaf, he likes to read, take naps and relax at home. Follow him @MTalhaKhan92 on twitter.

PML-N leader Miftah Ismail files for pre-arrest bail at Sindh High Court

 

PML-N leader Miftah Ismail on Friday submitted an application for pre-arrest bail at the Sindh High Court (SHC), a day after National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal signed his arrest warrants and dispatched teams in Karachi and Islamabad to take the former finance minister into custody.

Ismail reached the courtroom after submitting the bail application.

In an informal conversation with media, the PML-N leader said there was no need for NAB to conduct raids, adding that he had received notices after 3pm yesterday. He said whenever the accountability bureau had summoned him, he had appeared before it.

A NAB team is also at the SHC premises today, where Ismail and former managing director of Pakistan State Oil Sheikh Imranul Haque, for whom arrest warrants were also issued, are present.

On Thursday, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested by a 12-member NAB team in the LNG (liquefied natural gas) import contract case.

Ismail said Abbasi’s arrest was illegal, adding: “Pakistan has never seen a man as sincere as Abbasi”.

Hours after the arrest of the former premier, NAB officials had raided Ismail’s residence in Karachi’s DHA but returned empty-handed as the former finance minister was not found at home.

Though there was no word from NAB officials about the motive behind the raid and its link with Abbasi’s arrest, a senior leader of the PML-N, Mohammad Zubair, said that personnel of the anti-graft watchdog had searched Miftah’s residence.

“I went to his [Miftah’s] house when I came to know that there were NAB officials outside the residence,” Zubair told Dawn. “At around 6:30pm NAB officials with women personnel went inside his house and carried out a detailed search. He was not there. He has not been in contact with his family or any PML-N member as his phone has remained switched off since afternoon. We and his family are concerned about him and no one yet knows his whereabouts.”

NAB arrests former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

 

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday from the outskirts of Lahore.

He is the latest political leader and the second premier from the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to be arrested.

Abbasi was arrested for his involvement in the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) scandal, said a statement released by the accountability bureau. NAB escorted the PML-N leader to its local Lahore office.

Authorities intercepted Abbasi’s vehicle at Lahore toll plaza when he was on his way to meet PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.

The former premier was due to appear in the accountability court at 10am on Thursday [today]. However, he recused himself from appearing on the pretext that he was busy to appear in court.

The arrest warrant –a photocopy of which was reportedly shown at the time of arrest – says that Abbasi is “accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under Section 9(a) of National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999.”

The warrant also states that the former prime minister will be presented in the court for “such period as may be necessary for finalisation of the investigation”.

PML-N leader and spokesperson Mariyum Aurangzeb condemned the incident and said NAB had arrested him without an arrest warrant.

She added that Abbasi’s arrest was “highly expected from the Imran Khan-led federal government”.

Huawei announces $100m investment in Pakistan

 

ISLAMABAD: Huawei, a leading Chinese mobile phone company, will invest $100 million in Pakistan this year, which envisaged a technical support centre along with the regional headquarters in Islamabad, a top official of the Huawei Group announced on Wednesday.

Huawei Group Vice President Mark Xueman said Pakistan is a strategic market therefore the company will set up regional headquarters in Islamabad at a cost of $55 million that will create job opportunities for young engineers from the country.

Mark Xueman called on Planning and Development Minister Makhdum Khsuro Bakhtyar, for talks, which were also attended by Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Project Director Hassan Daud.

“Huawei will also invest $15 million in its technical support centre in Pakistan and it will also hire more workforce for it, taking the number of its staff from 600 to 800 this year,” Xueman told the minister. “Huawei is eager to initiate more projects in Pakistan on grant funding from Chinese government.”

Bakhtyar, while appreciating Huawei’s continued engagement in Pakistan, said that the leading technological company could support Pakistan in developing and upgrading of information technology (IT) sector of Pakistan.

He noted that Huawei has 25% share in the mobile industry of Pakistan and is also the top tax-paying Chinese company in the country. He lauded Huawei’s engagement with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the smart schools project.

The minister underlined the need for exploring new business models for future projects and joint ventures in Pakistan. “Huawei can contribute to the government’s e-governance initiative as well in centralising data to improve efficiency and productivity,” he told the Chinese delegation.

The minister opined that Huawei could support IT start-up projects in Pakistan to benefit the youth in this important sector. He assured the Huawei Group of his ministry’s all possible cooperation in the future joint ventures.

Flocks of Birds Halt Flight Operations at Lahore Airport

 

At least seven Lahore-bound flights have been forced to land in other cities following a bird strike at Allama Iqbal International Airport, officials said on Wednesday.

According to a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) official, large flocks of birds was at the airport today. Therefore, the aviation authority is not allowing any of the flights near the airport.

A spokesperson of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Mashood Tajwar said the flights were diverted because of safety concerns. He also apologized to the passengers for the delay.

As per the airport sources, a Lahore-bound PIA flight PK-734 from New York was asked to land at Sialkot airport in the early hours of Wednesday.

Similarly, a Jeddah-Lahore flight PK 760 was diverted to Multan airport while another PIA flight coming from Dubai was made to land at Karachi airport. Another Lahore-bound flight from Doha was sent back to Qatar.

Sources say that the authority is making efforts to avoid bird strike incidents and resume the flight operations as soon as possible.

ICJ gives verdict in favor of Pakistan in Kulbhushan case

 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday announced its verdict on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, ruling that Jadhav be allowed consular access immediately and asking Pakistan to ensure “effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and sentences”.

The ICJ, however, rejected all other remedies sought by India, which included the annulment of the military court decision convicting Jadhav, restricting Pakistan from executing the sentence, securing Jadhav’s release and ordering his return to India.

Accompanied by English Queens counsel Barrister Khawar Qureshi, a 13-member Pakistani delegation, led by Attorney General Anwar Mansoor along with the Foreign Office’s Director General South Asia Dr Mohammad Faisal and comprising officials of the ministries of law and foreign affairs, was present in the courtroom.

Pakistan’s team, headed by Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, had reached The Hague earlier in the day to hear the verdict. The team also included Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.

he ICJ said that even though it had found Pakistan in violation of Article 36 the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), “it is not the conviction and sentence of Mr. Jadhav which are to be regarded as a violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.”

The most the ICJ said it could do was to order Pakistan to cease violation of Article 36 and review the case in light of how that violation may have affected the case’s outcome.

Article 36 of the Vienna Convention simply states that when a national of a foreign country is arrested, they must be informed of the right to have their country’s consulate notified and should also have the right to regular consultation with their consulate’s officials during their detention and trial.

Pakistan had argued that Article 36 is not applicable to persons believed to be involved in espionage.

“The Court notes that Pakistan acknowledges that the appropriate remedy in the present case would be effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence,” it observed.

To this end, Pakistan was directed to immediately inform Jadhav of his rights under Article 36, grant India consular access, and then review the case while considering, under the laws of Pakistan, how not doing so earlier may have impacted the case’s outcome.

“The Court considers that the violation of the rights set forth in Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention, and its implications for the principles of a fair trial, should be fully examined and properly addressed during the review and reconsideration process,” the court directed.

“In particular, any potential prejudice and the implications for the evidence and the right of defence of the accused should receive close scrutiny during the review and reconsideration,” it said.

“The Court notes that the obligation to provide effective review and reconsideration can be carried out in various ways. The choice of means is left to Pakistan,” it added. However, it stressed that, “Pakistan shall take all measures to provide for effective review and reconsideration, including, if necessary, by enacting appropriate legislation.”

While that matter is decided, Pakistan has been directed to suspend the execution of the death penalty awarded to Jadhav.

Banned JuD leader Hafiz Saeed arrested in Punjab

 

Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was on Wednesday arrested in connection with a terrorism financing case while on his way from Lahore to Gujranwala, officials of the Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department confirmed.

According to a spokesperson for CTD Punjab, Saeed was sent to prison on judicial remand after the counter-terrorism department presented him before a Gujranwala anti-terrorism court (ATC).

The CTD has been directed to complete its investigation and submit a charge sheet to the court in the stipulated time.

Earlier, according to CTD sources, Saeed was arrested by CTD Punjab in the Gujranwala jurisdiction while he was on his way to an ATC in Gujranwala to seek bail.

A JuD spokesperson also confirmed the arrest to Reuters.

On July 3, the top 13 leaders of the banned JuD, including Saeed and Naib Emir Abdul Rehman Makki, were booked in nearly two dozen cases for terror financing and money laundering under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The CTD, which registered the cases in five cities of Punjab, declared that the JuD was financing terrorism from the massive funds collected through non-profit organisations and trusts, including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc.

These non-profit organisations were banned in April as the CTD during detailed investigations found that they had links with the JuD and its top leadership, accused of financing terrorism by building huge assets/properties from the collected funds in Pakistan.

On Monday, a Lahore High Court division bench sought replies from the Ministry of Interior, Punjab home department and CTD on a petition filed by JuD chief Saeed and his seven aides challenging an FIR carrying a charge of terror financing.

In February, Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had warned Pakistan to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing and money laundering.

Risks to the global financial system have virtually put the country’s entire machinery into an aggressive mode to show tangible progress within two months of the warning.

While the meetings were taking place, the government had announced a ban on JuD and Falah-e-Insanyat Foundation to partially address the concerns raised by India that Pakistan supported these and six similar organisations, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or at least considered them low-risk entities.

Inzimam Ul Haq decides to step down as chief selector

 

Inzamam-ul-Haq while addressing a press conference on Wednesday announced that he would no longer be the chief selector of the men’s cricket team after July 30.

“I think it is time to step down, I will complete my term that ends on July 30,” said Haq, who was addressing the media for the first time after Pakistan’s disappointing World Cup campaign.

“When i returned [from United Kingdom], I told the Pakistan Cricket Board [PCB] that I did not want to continue with my position. I joined in 2016 and have spent a good time here. Now, I have decided that new people should come, with a new thinking and ideas.

“I thank the PCB and the team who respected my choices,” he said.

When asked if he would take on another role in the management, Haq said: “I am a cricketer, this is my bread and butter. If the board offers me another role, apart from selection, I would consider it.”

He, however, said that the board has not made him any offer as yet.

Speaking on the team’s performance during the recently concluded World Cup, in which Pakistan failed to qualify for the top four, Haq said he believed the team’s performance was good. “Pakistan defeated the two finalists, won four matches. But they were unlucky that they were ruled out [from the semifinals] due to the NRR [net run-rate].”

On a question regarding the selection of the team, he said that it was done with the consensus of the coach and captain. “The 11 [players] who play in the team are decided by the captain and coach; they can take my advise but the decision is theirs.”

“Shoaib Malik has played for us for a long time; it happens sometimes that the player selected does not perform — it does not mean the selection was wrong or the player is bad.

“Twenty youngsters are playing right now and it seems like they will play for Pakistan for the next 15-20 years and will win victories.”

Sudanese military, protesters sign power-sharing document

 

Sudan’s ruling military and the pro-democracy movement have signed a political document that is part of a power-sharing deal meant to end the country’s deadlock after weeks of stalled talks.

The two sides representatives from the military council and the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters signed a so-called political declaration, one of two documents that are part of the deal.

The other document, a constitutional declaration, is likely to be signed within days.

The ceremony took place on Wednesday in the country’s capital, Khartoum, and representatives of both sides shook hands.

The signing is a key step in the country’s transition after months of street protests that prompted the military to oust autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir and take over the country in April.

Norway arrests Muslim cleric after Italian terror trial

 

COPENHAGEN: A Muslim cleric found guilty in Italy of planning terror has been detained in Norway on an Italian arrest warrant, The Norwegian domestic security agency said.

Iraqi-born Mullah Krekar was detained late on Monday, the PST security agency said.

It was not immediately clear whether he would be extradited.

The agency tweeted hours after an Italian court found Krekar guilty of attempting to overthrow the Kurdish government in northern Iraq and create an Islamic caliphate, and sentenced him to 12 years.

Italian prosecutors had alleged Krekar, who is based in Norway, is behind Rawti Shax, a European network aimed at violently overthrowing the government in Kurdistan. Krekar, who has denied the allegations, plans to appeal, said his Italian lawyer, Marco Vernillo.

In 2015, European authorities arrested 15 Iraqi-Kurdish nationals on terrorism-related charges. Rawti Shax recruited foreign terrorist fighters to be sent to Iraq and Syria and provided logistical and financial support, according to the Italian prosecutors who spearheaded the probe. They alleged that Krekar was the leader.

Only Krekar and five others were charged, according to Vernillo.

Krekar, born Najm al-Din Faraj Ahmad, had refused to travel to Italy, fearing he would be extradited to Iraq after the trial.

A refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan who came to Norway in 1991, the 63-year-old cleric has several convictions in Norway, including for threatening Prime Minister Erna Solberg. He also praised the 2015 extremist attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Norwegian officials have long wanted to get him out of the country.

International Court of Justice to pass the verdict on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav case today

 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will announce its verdict in Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case today at 6pm.

The Hague-based ICJ, which is the United Nations’ top court, said it “will deliver on Wednesday 17 July, 2019 its judgement in the Jadhav case (India v. Pakistan)”. Pakistan’s team, headed by Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, is at The Hague to hear the verdict. The team also includes Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.

Jadhav — a serving commander of the Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan on allegations of espionage and terrorism.

In his subsequent trial at a military court, Jadhav had confessed to his involvement in terrorist plots.

The spy was subsequently sentenced to death in 2017. However, India insisted that Jadhav was not a spy and said he was kidnapped in Pakistan.

On April 10, 2017, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa had endorsed the death penalty for Jadhav. In June 2017, the Indian spy had filed a mercy petition against the death penalty, in which he again confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities.

However, before Pakistani authorities could make a final decision, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), after being approached by India, had ordered a stay in his execution through an interim order.

ICJ hearing

During the hearing of the case in the international court, India denied Jadhav was a spy and had asked the ICJ to order his release because he was denied consular access and not allowed to choose his own defence lawyer.

Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan had in turn argued that Jadhav was an Indian spy sent to Balochistan to destabilise the country and therefore not entitled to consular access. He had said that “India’s claim for relief […] must be dismissed.”

Khan had told the court that Jadhav ran a network “to carry out despicable terrorism and suicide bombing, targeted killing, kidnapping for ransom and targeted operations to create unrest and instability in the country”.

“His unlawful activities were directed at creating anarchy in Pakistan and particularly targeted the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” Khan had told the 15-judge bench.

India’s lawyers told the court in February that it was a “farcical case” based on “malicious propaganda”, while Pakistan’s lawyers hit back by accusing Jadhav of “terrorism”.

The last hearing coincided with a sharp spike in tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours after a suicide bombing in occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama, although relations have since improved.

Family meeting

India also accused Pakistan of harassing Jadhav’s family in 2017 during a meeting that it said was held in an “atmosphere of coercion”.

It said Jadhav’s conversation with his mother and wife was “tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan”.

Jadhav, on the other hand, said he “saw fear” in the eyes of his mother and wife when he met them in Islamabad on December 25, 2017, adding that an Indian diplomat accompanying them was “yelling at them”.

Foodpanda makes a clean sweep with its bouncer deals

 

Imagine this – you are at home, and the; entire family is glued to the TV set because the last couple of overs of a thrilling run chase is going on, when your stomach growls! What do you do? Have no fear, because Foodpanda is here! That’s why amidst the heat and cricket season, Foodpanda helps you with just that! Pakistanis are incredibly passionate about Cricket and what’s better than having something to munch on while you enjoy the sport from the comfort of your home!

 

Foodpanda has collaborated with more than 2000+ restaurants to give you something to munch on while you enjoy the matches hassle-free. Whether it’s a nerve-racking day at the office and you don’t have time to grab lunch or whether you’re at home and don’t feel like having “ghar ke daal chawal”, Foodpanda has got you covered, with unbelievable discounts. Now you can enjoy the match from the comfort of your home or on the go, AND have something to munch on. Oh, and don’t be worried about the world cup ending, and with it this promotion, Foodpanda offers 50% OFF deals till the end of the month!


With the new TVC, catchy jingle #DekhtayJaoKhahteyJao and infectious head bobbing, look out for ‘Rawalpindi Express’ Shoaib Akhtar, the hilarious Ali Gul Pir and many more featuring in the new campaign. If you haven’t seen it yet, find it below: (Don’t miss the funky glasses!)

With incredible Bouncer Deals still in effect, people have been raving about the fantastic discounts all around. Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, Foodpanda has got you covered with the biggest campaign of the year with up to 70% off! So don’t stress too much about what to chomp on. Don’t believe it? Some of our favorite deals are featured below:
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Burger Lab offers 50 % Off ON THE ENTIRE MENU! So instead of one, you can have TWO cheesy burgers at the price of ONE
Oh, and let’s not forget the finger lickin deal, is KFC is bringing their famous Crunch burger with a zinger chicken and drink just for Rs.240 only!

Log onto https://www.foodpanda.pk/ to place your order now!

Pakistan reopens airspace for civil aviation after nearly five months

 

Pakistan’s airspace has been reopened to civil aviation with immediate effect, the Civil Aviation Authority said on Tuesday, following months of restrictions imposed in the wake of a standoff with India earlier this year.

“With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (Air Traffic Service) routes,” according to a notice to airmen (NOTAMS) published on their website.

Pakistan had fully closed its airspace following the violation of its international boundary and airspace by Indian fighter jets on February 26. In March, it partially opened its airspace but kept it banned for the Indian flights. India had also banned its airspace for flights to Pakistan.

Earlier, Aviation Secretary Shahrukh Nusrat said: “The Indian government had asked us to open the airspace. We conveyed our concerns that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward. We are ready to open our airspace if India de-escalates.”

Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor and the airspace restrictions affected hundreds of commercial and cargo flights each day, adding to flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines.

The announcement came hours after United Airlines Holdings Inc said it was extending the suspension of its flights from the United States to Delhi and Mumbai in India until October 26, citing continued restrictions of Pakistani airspace.

New ride hailing app launched in Karachi

 

When you think ride-hailing or taxi app, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Careem or Uber. However, that might be changing soon for Karachiites with Siayara. Siayara is a new online taxi service that will cater to people looking for inexpensive transport in the city.

According to their website:

“Siayara is one of the leading car-hailing services in Pakistan aiming to build trust by providing transparency and hassle free service to Passengers and Pilots. Siayara believe in making a difference in Pakistan by creating employment opportunities for every individual willing to earn a living for his/her family”.

Syed Aamir Hussain, Director Siayara, says it is the first of its kind ride-hailing service that is primarily based in Pakistan and seeks to provide cheaper transport in the city.

Hussain said, “Initially, we have started with 2,000 cars divided into four categories – eco-mini, eco-, eco-plus, and eco-business – with reasonable fares,” adding that there aren’t any peak factor or hidden charges on the rides plus it’s a 24-hour service.

Hussain, while comparing Siayara’s rates with its competitors, said that when using an eco-mini vehicle, a minimum of PKR 15 per kilometer will be charged, which is PKR 3-4 less compared what other services charge for the same car type.

For the other modes, such as eco the base rate is Rs. 17/km, eco-plus costs Rs. 18/km and eco-business will cost you Rs. 26/km. The price difference of PKR 3-4 also applies for the other car types, said Hussain.

Hussain said that after a few months, the organization aims to introduce a motorcycle service as well.

The app is now available on Google Play Store and an iOS app is soon to be launched for Apple’s iPhone users.

Continous rainfall will cause infectious diseases in Rawalpindi: Experts

 

In the midst of worsening economic conditions and taxes being imposed or increased on nearly everything, we might be getting another nasty surprise thanks to heavy rainfall.

Severe bacterial infections are likely to spread in Rawalpindi, including cholera, typhoid, dysentery, gastroenteritis, hepatitis A and E, shigellosis and giardiasis, an infection in the small intestine.

Heavy rainfall leads to water accumulating around the houses in a number of neighborhoods in Rawalpindi, especially in densely populated and low-lying regions of the city, eventually stagnating and increasing the risk of various infections.

According to health experts, the accumulation of dirty water in the city due to rainfall and the wastewater overflowing out of multiple nullahs including Nullah Leh may contain Salmonella bacteria to develop, which leads to food poisoning and may cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.

tudies show that less than 100 bacterial cells are enough to cause an infection and dysentery that could destroy the epithelial cells of the intestinal mucosa. Experts say that water accumulation also increases the risk of occurrences of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever along with food-borne infections.

Dr. Muhammad Mujeeb Khan, Department Head of Infectious Diseases at Holy Family Hospital, while talking to the media, said that in the prevalent weather conditions, people must take precautions and keep their living space clean and keep food items in ideal hygienic conditions.

Dr. Mujeeb added that heavy rainfall also escalates the risk of water contamination at tube-wells but by boiling water before using it, people can avoid health hazards. Vegetables and fruit should also be washed with clean water before use.

He added that to avoid infections, any area inside the house that sees water accumulating due to sustained rainfall and overflowing of water from sewage lines must be drained immediately and it should be washed with clean water to avoid infections.

Man ‘beaten to death’ for entering women’s section of faith healer’s ‘aastana’

 

RAWALPINDI: A man was beaten to death for entering the women’s section of a faith healer’s aastana (establishment) in Rawalpindi on Monday.

Waqas Ali, the victim, was brutally assaulted by the faith healer, who has been identified as Azmat Shah, along with his son and security guards.

The victim’s father Zulfiqar Ali said that his son was thrashed by Shah and five other accomplices for entering the ladies section.

Rawalpindi police chief Faisal Rana took notice of the incident and ordered for a case to be registered against the culprits.

All of the accused persons have been arrested except Shah till the filing of this report.

The issue of fake faith healers is pervasive in Punjab as on February 22 a man posing as one was arrested by police in Multan with a woman having been recovered from his custody.

HR Ministry appoints man accused of torturing servant as ‘Focal Person for Human Rights’

 

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf’s (PTI) local leader from Ghotki, Mir Iftikhar Ahmed Lund, has been appointed as the focal person for Human Rights in Sindh.

According to reports, Iftikhar was booked for brutally torturing his driver with a steel rod in April this year.

The incident occurred in the last week of April when the driver Allah Rakhio developed some disagreement with one of Iftikhar’s cousins. Later, he was called to his employer’s residence where Iftikhar, along with his cousins, beat him with a steel rod and brutally tortured him while making a video of the whole incident.

The case got the attention of mainstream media when injured Rakhio’s video went viral on social media. In the video, he could be seen lying on his back on a stretcher and demanding justice while receiving the medical treatment.

His medical report said that Rakhio received eight stitches after a metal rod was forcefully inserted in his rectum.

Following the hue and cry on social and mainstream media, a case was registered against Iftikhar, who reportedly belongs to an influential family of Ghotki. However, no action was taken against him.

Earlier this week, Iftikhar has been appointed as the focal person for human rights. Minister Shireen Mazari has been called out by several activists on Twitter over the odd decision.

People believed that Iftikhar – a sheer human rights violator – should have been removed from his party position after the scandal surfaced. But, the irony is that he has been given a position in the human rights ministry instead to protect the same people he’s been accused of torturing.

HEC Sets. Rs. 5,000 Fee for Urgent Degree Verification

 

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has set up special booths for urgent degree verification at its headquarters and all regional offices for speeding up the process. The urgent verification of degrees will now cost Rs. 5,000 besides the normal fee of Rs. 800.

HEC has set a target of Rs. 500,000 per day for urgent degree verification. It will yield additional revenue of Rs. 150 million annually, helping the education watchdog overcome the looming financial crisis.

Director-General Attestation and Equivalence, Tahir Zaidi has said that the new procedure will eliminate nepotism, ensuring that the needy are served on a priority basis.

The dedicated slots at HEC offices are distributed as follows:

  • 45 – headquarters
  • 20 – Lahore
  • 15 – Karachi
  • 10 – Quetta
  • 10 – Peshawar

The new procedure will come into effect from Monday, 15th July and the applicants can schedule their appointments on a priority basis by opting for urgent attestation through the online portal. The booths will be available at all the aforementioned offices from Monday to Friday.

Mobile users get relief as operational and service charges on card loads are dropped

 

Mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan have withdrawn operational and service charges on card loads and balance transfers, we have confirmed with our sources.

According to details, as confirmed by an official of a telecom company, mobile phone users are now going to get around Rs. 88 after loading an Rs. 100 card. Previously this amount was around Rs. 77 when mobile phone users loaded an Rs. 100 card.

Apparently, this move was triggered by a Supreme Court order that reverted mobile phone taxes to July 2018 levels.

You might recall that the former Chief Justice of Pakistan had ordered to remove all kinds of taxes and service charges on mobile card loads, however, this decision was reversed last month and taxes on telecom services were restored. Now, telecom companies have been asked to not charge any service or operational fee for card loads.

It must be mentioned here that 12.5% withholding tax and 19.5% FED is still applicable as before and will be deducted from mobile card recharge as usual.

Hussain Nawaz offered me ‘Rs 500 million bribe’ to resign after Al-Azizia verdict: judge Arshad Malik

 

Accountability judge Arshad Malik has claimed that he was offered a Rs500 million cash bribe by the son of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, who demanded that the judge resign on the grounds that he “could no longer deal with the guilt of having convicted” Nawaz under duress in the Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment reference.

In an affidavit submitted to the Islamabad High Court chief justice, the judge claimed that he was offered bribes and threatened with dire consequences by PML-N representatives initially to force him into issuing verdicts in favour of Nawaz in the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investments references, and later to coerce him into resigning from his office.

The judge claimed that in early 2018, an acquaintance named Nasir Janjua, who was associated with the PML-N, “implored” him to issue verdicts of acquittal in the Al-Azizia and Flagship references, saying that it was on his personal recommendation to then prime minister Nawaz Sharif that he (Malik) was appointed as judge in the accountability court.

During the arguments stage of the references’ trial, the judge said he was again approached by Janjua with a “financial offer” from Nawaz of Rs100 million but that he refused the offer.

The offer was shortly followed by a “thinly veiled threat of physical harm and intimidation” by Nasir Butt, the PML-N ‘sympathiser’ who recorded the video shared by Maryam that started the controversy, the judge claimed.

“The threat was delivered by Nasir Butt saying to me in an intimidating tone that he owed Mian Nawaz Sharif a lot, as he (Nawaz) had helped him avoid punishment for 4-5 murders committed by him (Butt) by using his immense political influence and, therefore, he (Butt) was willing to go to any extent to help [Nawaz] in the trials he was facing,” judge Malik claimed.

He said when he refused to accept the bribes and give in to the alleged threats, “manipulated” video clips were screened by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz at a press conference in which she claimed the judge had confessed to have been “pressured and blackmailed” into issuing a verdict against Nawaz.

You can read the full affidavit submitted by judge Malik at:

https://www.scribd.com/document/416681369/New-Doc-2019-07-12-13-50-13#from_embed

Islamabad High Court order removal of judge Arshad Malik over video leak fiasco

 

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday decided to remove accountability judge Arshad Malik from his post, officials said, following a controversy revolving around the ‘leaked’ video tape of the judge.

Judge Malik, on Dec 4, 2018, had handed ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference. He, however, had acquitted him in a second reference related to Flagship Investments, saying “there was no case against Nawaz”.

On July 6, PML-N vice president Maryam Safdar opened a Pandora’s box with a startling claim that the judge “confessed” he had been “pressurised and blackmailed” to convict her father in the Al-Azizia reference. A video containing the judge’s alleged confession during his conversation with a ‘sympathiser’ of the PML-N, Nasir Butt, was screened during a hurriedly called presser at the party’s provincial headquarters in Model Town.

The judge, on July 7, denied being under any pressure, but admitted that Nasir Butt was an acquaintance.

On Friday, judge Malik wrote a letter to IHC acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq in which he said that the videos shared by Maryam were fake. He also filed an affidavit before the IHC chief justice along with his letter.

Justice Farooq perused the letter but decided to relieve judge Malik without conducting an inquiry since he is an official of the subordinate judiciary of the LHC.

The IHC judge directed the registrar office to write a letter to the law ministry regarding relieving judge Malik of his post and repatriating him to the parent department, the Lahore High Court.

Shortly after the announcement, Maryam Safdar — who shared the video at a press conference on Saturday — called for the verdict against her father former president Nawaz Sharif in the Al Azizia reference to be declared void.