Sunday, April 23, 2017

Urdu Ghazal - Malika Pukhraj & Tahira Syed - Abhi To Main Jawan Hoon

Former President Asif Ali Zardari condemns the attack on FC Personnel near Turbat

پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی پارلیمنٹیرینز کے صدر اور سابق صدر پاکستان آصف علی زرداری نے تربت کے قریب دہشتگردوں کی طرف سے فرنٹیئر کور کے جوانوں پر حملے کی سخت الفاظ میں مذمت کرتے ہوئے کہا ہے کہ ایف سی کے جوانوں کی قربانی رائیگاں نہیں جائے گی۔ شکست شدت پسندوں اور دہشتگردوں کا مقدر ہے۔ سابق صدر نے ایف سی کے شہداءکے ورثاءسے تعزیت اور ہمدردی کا اظہار کیا۔ انہوں نے شہداءکے اعلیٰ درجات، زخمیوں کی جلد صحتیابی کے لئے دعا کی۔ انہوں نے متاثرہ خاندانوں کے ساتھ ہمدردی کا اظہار کیا۔
https://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/

Pakistan - Sharif`s finances in foreign tax havens not accessible to JIT




Even before the formation of a seven-member joint investigation team (JIT) on the money trail of assets owned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court, new questions have arisen over its supposed modus operandi.
The JIT team will not be able to obtain information from other countries over tax details of the Sharifs through the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters until September 2018.
Pakistan formally became a part of the 109-member Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in April 2017; according to its laws, member States will begin to exchange and receive records of assets from next year.
Under the convention, Pakistan will receive details of its citizens holding funds abroad and will exchange similar information with other countries whose citizens hold bank accounts in Pakistan from July 2018.
Interestingly, Pakistan is not a member of any bilateral treaty with nine other tax havens, identified in the leaks.
Reports suggest, most individuals named in the leaks are said to have accounts in the British Virgin Islands, followed by Bahamas, Panama, Seychelles, Niue, Samoa, Mauritius, Anguilla and Jersey.
Pakistan reached out to the nine tax havens seeking access to details regarding offshore companies. Only Samoa replied; in the negative.
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered further investigations into corruption allegations levelled by the opposition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying there was insufficient evidence to order his removal from office.
"A thorough investigation is required," Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said, announcing the highly anticipated decision following a months-long hearing stemming from the Panama Papers leak last year that linked PM Sharif´s children to offshore businesses.
The verdict ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation team (JIT) to carry out an investigation into how Gulf Steel Mill came into being, its sale and liabilities, how the sale proceeds ended up in Jeddah, Qatar and the UK. How the prime minister's children at their tender age had the means to purchase the flats in the early nineties.
It further raised questions regarding the letters written by Qatari Prince Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani, how the bearer shares crystilised into the flats, who the real owner and beneficiary of the offshore company Neilsen Enterprises and Nescol Limited was, how Hill Metal Establishment came into existence; where the funds for Flagship Investment Limited and other companies set up by Hasan Nawaz Sharif came from and where working capital came from and the source of millions gifted by Hussein Nawaz Sharif to his father originated from.
To seek answers to the questions raised, the Supreme Court ordered the formation of a JIT to investigate and present its report every two weeks before a Supreme Court bench. The court also ordered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and his sons Hasan and Hussein to appear before the JIT as and when required, which will complete its investigation within 60 days of its formation.
The order further added, that after receiving the JIT reports, periodic or final, the matter of disqualification of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif shall be considered.
Observing that the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had failed to carry out his duties, the apex court ordered the JIT to comprise one senior official each from NAB, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and the Military Intelligence (MI) will be tasked to carry out the probe.
The detailed decision by the apex court comprised 549 pages, with the verdict split 3-2 between the five-member apex court bench.

Pakistan - Panama and our morality crisis


Imtiaz Gul


There are plenty of examples from around the world where incumbents faced with public criticism over corruption charges had bowed out of politics.
Pakistan’s ruling elite is not known for drawing moral lessons from its experiences.
The elite know that its money and muscle can help it find its way through the system with the help of highly-paid barristers on its side. When barristers represent tainted property tycoons only to please their political bosses or when they take up cases only to fatten their bank accounts, one can rest assured that there is little room in the country for principles and morality.
Against this context, it should be obvious that the Panama Papers case before the Supreme Court was never just a legal battle. As seen over the course of several months, lawyers defending the ruling party had multiple tricks up their sleeves to drag the proceedings. They even deployed dirty tricks such as the submission before the bench of a letter from a notorious Qatari prince.
The case should not be seen as having a political impact either. The divided opposition never represented a real threat to the ruling PML-N. The party’s majority in the Punjab and the National assemblies, won through a politics of patronage mastered over the past three decades, gives the Sharif brothers enough confidence to ignore dissenting voices in and out of the Parliament. What matters most to them is protection of their political empire and business interests. Personal honour and integrity hardly seems to be a concern to them.
Yet, the dominant majority of frustrated and helpless Pakistanis still aspire for a society where rule of law can be applied to the mighty as well as the weak.
Those of us hoping that the Supreme Court could possibly rattle the consciences of those under question seem to have been proved wrong.
Those unending arguments before the Court had essentially stemmed from a crisis of moral integrity ailing our ruling elite. For the elite, what matters is the parliamentary majority alone. Moral authority seems to be of no relevance to them.
That is why all hopes and expectations of a consequential judgment in the Panama Papers case were really a case of wishful thinking. Our society’s ruling elite thrives on the nexus between politics, business and civil-military bureaucracy. This nexus is too strong to ignore. It seems even the courts think several times before daring to “set a dangerous precedent” such as disqualifying the prime minister over financial fraud and deceitful conduct.
There were plenty of examples from around the globe where incumbents faced with public criticism over corruption charges had bowed out of politics or even ended their lives to salvage some pride.
In 1986, a chief minister of a Federal German province Uwe Barschel had taken his life after it was proven that he had lied under oath. Another German statesman Willy Brandt had instantly resigned from his party office over criticisms regarding “willful decisions and nepotism.” In February 2012, a German leader, former president Christian Wolff, had tendered his resignation after prosecutors asked the Parliament – the Bundestag – to end his immunity from prosecution over accusations of improper ties to businessmen.
Japan, too, is known instances of resignations by prime ministers and other ministers. Excerpts from an article on the subject that appeared in the US journal The Atlantic (June, 2011) merit reproduction here:
“So why is Japan different? Why do its top officials resign from office, seemingly, at the drop of a hat? The theories are endless, most of them relying on oft-repeated but simplistic stereotypes about the supposed centrality of honour, saving face, and respect in Japanese culture. But if these traits really are so important to Japanese culture, then the same could be said of Arab culture. But, clearly, Arab political leaders feel no compunction to step down, even if they become so loathed that the country rises up by the millions to demand their exit.”
As the citation suggests, it is compunction that triggers a resignation ie drawing moral lessons from an instance. However, such behaviour seems to work in societies where systems are raised on principles and not personal whims and where moral authority of public office holders trumps the holder’s individual interests.
So, we should neither be surprised nor shocked over events that have unfolded since April 20. The status quo refuses to give in. Yet, status quo forces will never be the same post-SC verdict. Inspired by the split decision, clouds of dissent and critique will grow and thicken as days go by.
It will be interesting to see how the SC eventually closes this case based on the JIT investigation, though one should not be very excited about the prospects of the JIT investigation.
The Panama Papers issue did not require a months-long litigation at the Supreme Court. It also did not need any JIT as ordered by the court itself. It should have been settled last year through a voluntary exit and an apology.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Music Video - Iggy Azalea - Mo Bounce

Video Report - ‘No borders!’ Scuffles erupt between protesters & police at anti-AfD party demo in Cologne

Video Report - Tear gas, smoke grenades & flares: Violence erupts at Paris protest day before election

Video Report - Protesters to Trump: Science matters

Comedy Stop - The Trump Administration's Reefer Madness: The Daily Show

More than 100 soldiers killed or injured in Taliban attack on Afghan base





By Ehsan Popalzai and Jason Hanna

Taliban fighters dressed in military uniforms raided an army base in northern Afghanistan, raking it with gunfire in an hours-long attack that killed or injured more than 100 soldiers, officials said.
The attack started as soldiers were observing Friday prayers at Camp Shaheen near Mazar-e Sharif, the country's third-largest city, the Afghan military said.
As many as 140 people may have been killed in the attack, sources close to the situation told CNN. The sources are officials who requested anonymity so as not to interfere with the Ministry of Defense or Ministry of Interior, which are responsible for reporting official tolls.
    Dawlat Waziri, an Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman, declined to give a more precise accounting of dead and injured but said one would be released later.
    The uniformed attackers entered the base in vehicles and opened fire, Afghan army spokesman Abdul Qahar Araam said. The gunfire was followed by an explosion at one of the base's gates.
    CNN Map
    ATTACK ON AFGHAN BASE
    The attack lasted six hours. By the end, at least five attackers were killed, and one was arrested, Araam said.
    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has declared Sunday to be a national day of mourning in remembrance of the Afghan forces killed on the base. The Afghan national flag will be flown at half-staff in Afghanistan and its missions.
    The base is the headquarters of the 209th Shaheen Corps in Balkh province.

    In Jhang, Bilawal renews demand for PM’s resignation

    PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has reiterated his demand that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif step down on moral grounds in the wake of Panama Leaks verdict.

    “Mian Sahab, you are not fully acquitted. If you have an iota of shame, you should resign,” Bilawal Bhutto said while addressing a gathering of supporters in Jhang district of Punjab.

    “There is one Pakistan for Sharifs and another for masses,” he said, adding that no law is applied on Sharif.

    He said that Sharif brothers are spared even if they attack the Supreme Court.

    “We need one Pakistan and one law for all citizens,” he maintained. - SAMAA

    Pakistan - Resign or face lawyers' movement bigger than 2007: LHCBA to PM

    In light of the Supreme Court ruling on the Panama Papers case, the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) on Saturday gave an ultimatum to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: resign within a week, or face a lawyers' movement bigger than the one that followed ex-chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's ouster in 2007.
    The demand comes days after the Panama Papers case verdict was announced, directing that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) be instituted to investigate the prime minister and his sons for alleged corruption.
    However, opposition parties have expressed reservations on the integrity of a probe against the premier carried out by officials that the PM himself has appointed.
    The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), PPP and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) have all demanded that the PM resign until the JIT has completed its investigation.
    LHCBA President Zulfiqar Chaudhry, vice-president Rashid Lodhi, secretary Amir Saeed Raan and finance secretary Zaheer Butt presented their demand for the PM's resignation at a press conference. Chaudhry stressed that if the prime minister does not relinquish his post within a week, they will launch a movement bigger than the lawyers' movement for restoration of the deposed judges.
    "The [Panama Papers case] decision is unanimous," said Chaudhry, referring to Thursday's verdict.
    "Throughout the world, public office holders implicated in the Panama [Papers] scandal have relinquished their posts, but the prime minister is adamant to stay in power," he complained, emphasising that the bar association's demand for PM's resignation was legitimate and fair.
    "How can officers under the PM conduct a fair investigation into the PM's alleged corruption?" asked Chaudhry.
    Rashid Lodhi, vice president of the bar association said: "This is the first time such a high-profile case of corruption went up to the Supreme Court and some pertinent questions were raised by the court regarding the PM's money-trail. These questions can not be put ignored."
    Explore: Read the full text of the Supreme Court's Panamagate judgement here
    He said the apex court has rejected the prime minister's claims, and for that reason, Sharif has lost the moral authority to stay in power.
    "The SC verdict has, in effect, indicted the prime minister," said Amir Saeed Raan, secretary of the LHCBA.
    "Two of the five judges have made it clear that the PM is not 'Sadiq' and 'Ameen'," he stated, adding that the prime minister should have the courage to resign, instead of letting his own appointees investigate him for alleged corruption.
    The legal fraternity in Pakistan flexed its muscles back in 2007, when ex-president Pervez Musharraf ousted the then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The lawyers' movement that followed, gained enough momentum to result in the reinstatement of the deposed judiciary.
    The LHCBA representatives stressed that their demand must not be seen as to be politically motivated.
    https://www.dawn.com/news/1328555/resign-or-face-lawyers-movement-bigger-than-2007-lhcba-to-pm

    #MashalKhan - Vigilante Injustice





    Mashal Khan’s murder has created the space to open up the much needed debate about the misuse of the blasphemy law and the gruesome result of false accusations of blasphemy. While the initial reaction in such cases is usually to remain quiet; a number of offline and online protests throughout the country have pushed the masses to discuss the matter.
    One welcome step has been taken by Mashal Khan’s neighbours in Swabi; they have realised that they should be showing solidarity with the family during this ordeal and have apologised for not standing by them earlier.
    There are others who need to apologise. In this case, it is those religious parties that failed to give any statement against the brutal killing; the university administration, which started the witch hunt and falsely accused Mashal of committing blasphemy for pointing out the ills on the campus; the Imam at the mosque in Mashal Khan’s home town who refused to lead his funeral prayer; and the hordes of people who use violence in the name of a religion of peace.
    The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government immediately announced a judicial probe and the federal government took up the issue in the National Assembly to make amends to the blasphemy law, only to be blocked by religious parties again, who after initial support in the matter, backed off by accusing liberal, secular forces wanting to amend the law. The current demand to change these laws to discourage false accusations of blasphemy is not liberal or secular – it is very moderate and conservative, and only aims to quell the wave of religious violence.
    The police on Friday prevented a charged mob from attacking a man for allegedly committing blasphemy following Friday prayers in Chitral. On Tuesday, three women killed a man in Sialkot, for allegedly committing blasphemy thirteen years ago. The mob must be stopped.

    Pakistan - Justice for Mashal







    By Afrasiab Khattak







    Writing about the lost blood of the wretched of the earth, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the outstanding progressive poet of Urdu in the 20th century, says in his poem “No trace of blood”:
    Neither on the hands and nail of the slayer
    Nor any sign on the sleeve
    No redness in the dagger’s edge
    No any colour on spear’s head
    No stain in the earth’s breast
    Or any smear on the ceiling.
    The creative genius of late Faiz could wrote the obituary of those who are falling victim to an extremist violent mindset in today’s world decades before their death. This is how wretched of the earth have always been, pious noises of the rulers to the contrary not withstanding. Mashal Khan, a young and intelligent student of Mardan University was brutally murdered on a black Thursday, April 13, 2017. The initial facts uncovered so far reveal a criminal conspiracy by a corrupt mafia in the university administration that was covered up by the lynching of the wounded Mashal by a frenzied mob consisting of students and a few others. The conspirators might have channeled the fanaticism of some youth against Mashal Khan by falsely accusing him of committing blasphemy but the wild wrath of young fanatics was by all means real. Ample footage of the savagery demonstrated on the occasion is available on the social media. Inspector General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police was not off the mark when he said, after the initial arrests, that had it not been for the social media campaign of the concerned citizens the murderers might have gotten away with their crime.
    The brutality and savagery of Mashal Khan’s lynching at a university campus was extremely shocking but scarier was the total paralysis of state and society in face madness galore. Political leaders and government authorities took their time in even condemning the murder. On the face of it, it seems to be an open and shut case due to the availability of evidence but the government was quite slow in responding to the crime. This situation has been created by the misguided state policies. The security establishment has a history of using brainwashed young men to fight its undeclared wars in neighbouring countries. There is a large body of war hardened religious fighters who spoil for picking fights. As if that was not enough, the deep state itself used the threat of using the accusation of blasphemy against critics of its policies. It is a potent weapon for silencing opponents in a society where mere accusation of blasphemy amounts to a death warrant as there are numerous examples of people taking law into their hands by murdering the accused. The bloggers who were mysteriously picked up by the intelligence agencies, tortured and released after about a month were silenced by the same weapon. Neither the parliament nor the courts came to their rescue. Even the so-called free media chose self censorship on this issue. The impunity that this accusation (even if it’s a false one) provides to the offenders of different types makes it very tempting. Is it then surprising that the criminal and corrupt mafia of the Mardan University went for it to hide their crime? Most of the crimes of mob violence have gone unpunished. In a few cases where the courts did convict the perpetrators of crimes the foot soldiers were punished but the masterminds were able to steer free of convictions.
    During the week after the murder of Mashal Khan the mainstream media also gradually focused on the case and public opinion was galvanised. There arose a hope that it may become a turning point for the state and society in Pakistan to act effectively, seriously and consistently against religious extremism and the violence that it inspires. There were even demonstrations demanding a clear and practical change in policy. Apart from some extremist fringe elements, most of the political parties and civil society not only expressed their horror but also vowed to work together to preclude the possibility of such tragedy repeating itself. But then we had the Panama circus. TV channels with “special transmissions” ensued to the exclusion of every other issue.
    One sincerely hopes that society and state take madness at university campuses, that epitomises the deep evil in our midst, seriously. We have had extremist violence but this incident represents a new and frightening level. The rise of mob violence can lead to the physical liquidation of minorities and societal dissent in the first place followed by a liquidation of state and society. Syria, Libya and Iraq used to be functioning states at one stage. They have collapsed before our eyes. It’s the extremist mindset that has to be weeded out. Even nuclear weapons aren’t effective in the struggle against the extremist mindset. It’s through a reformed and enlightened education, investment in human development and narrative of peace and progress that this war can be won. The fight is mainly for the soul of our youth. Losing it will be losing the future. Mashal means the source of light in Pashto and his lynching was literally and figuratively a lynching of light. If the blood of this innocent, charming and bright young man awakens the conscience of our society it might be some solace to the soul of the humanist that Mashal was. Justice for Mashal can be justice for our younger generations.

    Friday, April 21, 2017

    Mob attacks man in fresh blasphemy incident in Pakistan





    An angry crowd in northern Pakistan has attacked a man accused of blasphemy and injured policemen trying to save him. It is the third violent incident related to blasphemy in Pakistan this month.
    A mob in the northern Pakistani town of Chitral on Friday attacked an alleged blasphemer - said to be mentally ill - and then injured six police officers who intervened to rescue him, police said.
    Eight protesters were also injured after police fired tear gas and live rounds into the crowd as it attacked the local police headquarters and demanded that the man be handed over to mob justice.
    Local police chief Akbar Ali Shah said assurances that the man would be tried for blasphemy if found to be mentally fit had failed to placate the irate mob.
    The man had been attacked at a mosque after declaring that all Muslims should follow him as he had been appointed as their religious leader by God, another local police official said. He said an imam had intervened when worshippers at Friday prayers had begun to beat the man, and had handed him over to police.
    This month has already seen a student, Mashal Khan, beaten to death by a lynch mob in the city of Mardan and a faith healer shot dead after they were alleged to have violated Pakistan's draconian laws against blasphemy.
    A suspicion suffices
    Also on Friday, police said that three female friends had confessed to killing a man for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
    Police Inspector Nadeem Ashraf told The Associated Press that the women were arrested this week.
    The slain man, Fazal Abbas, had just come back from living in hiding abroad for 13 years after fleeing the country in 2004 following accusations of blasphemy. Ashraf said the women shot Abbas dead at his house on Wednesday.
    Insulting the Prophet Muhammad or making statements against Islam are capital offenses in Muslim-majority Pakistan, and dozens of people have been condemned to death on such charges. Critics say unfounded allegations of blasphemy are often also misused by people wanting to settle scores with enemies, as the mere suspicion that someone could be guilty of the crime can be enough to ignite deadly mob violence.

    http://www.dw.com/en/justiceformashal-speaking-out-against-pakistans-blasphemy-laws-follow-the-hashtag/av-38541214

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    Mashal Khan murder probe: SC annoyed at KP CM, seeks explanation






    The Supreme Court has restrained the chief justice of Peshawar High Court (PHC) from constituting a judicial commission to probe the lynching of Mashal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, who was killed last week by an angry mob over the allegation of blasphemy.
    The court expressed annoyance and sought an explanation from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak why he had asked the chief justice of PHC on the floor of the provincial assembly to constitute a judicial commission when a joint investigation team (JIT) had already been constituted by the provincial police chief to probe the matter.
    A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the suo moto case on the killing of Mashal Khan on Wednesday. KP Inspector General Police (IGP) Salahuddin Mehsud, along with other police officials, appeared before the court.
    The IGP informed the court that a JIT headed by superintendent of police (SP) and comprising Intelligence Bureau (IB) personnel and three police officials had been formed to probe the incident. He said that 80 percent of the investigation into the mob violence had been completed and a challan will be presented in the court soon.
    The additional advocate general of KP informed the court that an initial report of the incident had been submitted. He said two first information reports (FIRs) of the case had been registered in which 28 suspects had been nominated. Out of these, 24 suspects have been arrested. 
    During the hearing, the chief justice asked as to why the personnel of intelligence agencies had not been included in the JIT. “Whether representatives of armed forces and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have been included in the JIT,” the chief justice questioned, adding that this was a sensitive issue and they wanted results. The chief justice directed that representatives of intelligence agencies should be included in the JIT.
    Justice Saqib Nisar said that an unfortunate incident had occurred in the country and they did not have the words to describe it. The chief justice directed that the composition of JIT should be examined and progress should be made on priority basis. He said the judiciary has full confidence in the investigative institutions of the country but "this is not a usual incident." 
    The chief justice further said that if the JIT found any hurdles, the court would extend its full support, adding that the JIT was backed by the whole nation and the judiciary. The court observed as the JIT has been constituted under the 1997 Act but the question arises as to why the government of KP felt the need for a judicial commission. The chief justice said the judiciary was already burdened with a number of cases and they cannot burden it more.
    The court restrained the chief justice of the PHC from constituting a judicial commission till further orders and ruled that the JIT formed by the KP IGP will continue to probe the incident instead. The court directed the provincial police chief to personally supervise the investigation of the case and submit a progress report to the court on weekly basis.
    The court also directed that the DPO Mardan and other concerned police officials were not required to appear before it on the next date of hearing, saying if needed, they would be asked. The court, however, directed that AIG (Legal) to appear on behalf of police officials on the next date of hearing.
    Meanwhile, the chief justice observed that some confessional statements from suspects in the Mashal murder case were circulating on social media, and directed the KP police to issue a press release in order to make the facts clear to the public. Later, the court adjourned the hearing until April 27.
      Our correspondent adds from Charsadda: The police on Wednesday arrested two more students of the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, in connection with the lynching of Mashal Khan, a student of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, police sources said.
    They said that the two persons had been identified from a fresh video circulated on social media in which a group of students can be seen congratulating each other and taking oath from the mob not to disclose the identity of the person who killed Mashal.
    The personnel of Mardan police and intelligence agencies carried out the action in Sardheri area and arrested the two persons named Ishaq Khan and Muhammad Tariq. Ishaq Khan is stated to be a fourth semester student and an activist of Pakhthun Students Federation, AWKUM, while Tariq is a student of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.

    Panama Papers: Pakistan's most corrupt Prime Minister remains in office

    Pakistan's Supreme Court has ruled that there was insufficient evidence to oust Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over corruption allegations, but has ordered a high-level investigation into the charges.
    In 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) leaked more than 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, revealing a web of off-shore companies owned by the world's financial elite, including many sitting and former members of governments around the world.
    Owning off-shore companies is not illegal in many countries, but, for many, the most striking revelation from the documents was the scale of the wealth being stored in tax havens.
    Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's children were implicated in the leak, with documents showing that they held several companies listed in the British Virgin Islands. Last year, Pakistan's Supreme Court took up the case of establishing whether or not Sharif and his family had committed any wrongdoing in not earlier declaring these assets, and indeed on whether the funds were obtained legally.
    Al Jazeera takes a look at the complex case which has taken Pakistan's first family over a drawn out case in the supreme court.

    Video - Former President Zardari 's Press Conference On 20.4.2017 In Islamabad

    Zardari condemns SC decision, demands resignation from PM

    Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples` Party Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday has condemned the Supreme Court`s decision on Panama Leaks case and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
    Speaking to the press, along with the party stalwarts, Zardari said that “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should resign on moral grounds. I condemn the Supreme Court`s decision and reject it,” further adding, “today democracy and justice were adversely affected.
    “Prime Minister should morally tender his resignation though I know him well that he will not resign till the last extent - our struggle will continue till then.”
    Zardari, however, was all praises for the two judges who ruled against PM Nawaz.
    “I salute the two senior judges who gave the disqualification verdict against Prime Minister – decision of senior judges prevails over junior judges,” he said.  
    Speaking on the verdict, the former president said that the overall decision was a nine-month joke with the nation.
    “Can a 19-grade officer under the Prime Minister do what the Supreme Court couldn't?, ” he remarked, “will they investigate him, will they  disqualify him, will they take the statement from the prime minister from the PM house or police station.”
    Taking a jibe at the ruling party, Zardari said that the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz should be ashamed of distributed sweets after the Panama verdict.
    “They are distributing sweets, they should be ashamed. Why are they distributing sweets? Because two senior judges have called for their disqualification; they have said that you have not remained Saadiq and Amen.”
    He said that Pakistan Peoples` Party has always said that the party and nation have never got justice from these judges.
    Zardari also leveled heavy criticism against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan by calling him an ‘inexperienced politician”.
    “We said to Khan sahib to come with us and do legislation on this issue, and then later take it to the Supreme Court – he didn’t listen to us.” “He is an inexperienced politician, he has never been jailed, and he has never given his statement in a FIR.
    “He doesn’t know how the justice works and how judges do justice here.”
     SC orders JIT to probe money trail, PM not disqualified
    The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered further investigations into corruption allegations levelled by the opposition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying there was insufficient evidence to order his removal from office.
    "A thorough investigation is required," Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said, announcing the highly anticipated decision following a months-long hearing stemming from the Panama Papers leak last year that linked PM Sharif´s children to offshore businesses.
    Announcing the verdict, Justice Khosa ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation team (JIT) to carry out an investigation into how funds were transferred to Qatar, which the prime minister's children said led to assets held by his sons through the offshore businesses in Panama.
    The Supreme Court ordered the JIT to present its report every two weeks before a Supreme Court bench. The court also ordered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and his sons Hasan and Hussein to appear before the JIT, which will complete its investigation within 60 days of its formation.
    Justice Khosa said the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had failed to carry out his duties.
    He said the investigation committee comprising of one senior official each from NAB, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and the Military Intelligence (MI) will be tasked to carry out the probe.
    The detailed decision by the apex court comprised over 540 pages, with the verdict split 3-2 between the five-member apex court bench.
    Two dissenting judges on the five-member bench were of the opinion that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had not been honest to the nation and that he should have been disqualified.
    The five-member bench led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had reserved its verdict in the case on February 23. The decision comes ahead of general elections scheduled to be held next year. 

    https://www.geo.tv/latest/138824-Zardari-condemns-SC-decision-demands-resignation-from-PM

    Pakistan - Imran, Zardari demand PM Nawaz's resignation






    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Thursday once again demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation.
    “What moral right does Nawaz have to remain premier when a criminal investigation is being launched against him,” the PTI chief questioned while addressing media soon after the Supreme Court’s verdict on Panamagate case.
    Nawaz survives to see another day as SC orders probe into corruption allegations Imran had refused to speak to the media earlier while leaving the courtroom after SC gave its verdict ordering a probe into corruption allegations against the premier. Drawing a comparison between an investigation launched against Uzair Baloch and the premier, Imran said, “If Nawaz is cleared after JIT’s investigation, he can return to the seat.” Paying tribute to all Supreme Court judges for the verdict, the PTI chairman said, “The verdict is historic because a sitting prime minister has never been investigated before.”
    The verdict to form a JIT proves all arguments by Nawaz Sharif were lies, he added. “The letter from the Qatari prince has already been proven fake,” he added. “Judges have maintained that PM Nawaz should be disqualified,” the PTI chief maintained.
    Further, Imran questioned SC’s decision to include NAB official in the JIT saying, “Today, SC said NAB has failed.” “How can all those institutions working under PM apart from ISI, and MI probe him?” he further asked. “If PTI workers had not staged a protest in the scorching heat, this verdict would not have come. I pay my tribute to my workers,” he added.
    Two judges have given their verdict against the sitting prime minister. I was not expecting more from the SC, he added.
    Imran question why PML-N workers were distributing sweets, “I want to ask those who are distributing sweets that what you people are happy for? Are you celebrating because Nawaz has been proven a liar in the SC?” Addressing the media, former president Asif Ali Zardari said, “Today the nation has been deceived.
    “On what grounds is PML-N celebrating and distributing sweets? Are they celebrating that two senior judges called for the prime minister’s disqualification?”
    The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman said the party and its lawyers will go over the complete judgement and share its decision with the nation. “Those celebrating the decision should be ashamed of themselves,” he said.
    “I have said this a number of times, if Pakistan is not safe in the hands of Nawaz Sharif, it’s not safe in the hands of Imran Khan either,” Zadari stated.
    Meanwhile, PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said the decision of the two judges stands as the Supreme Courts decision. “The other three judges did not object the decision of Justice Khosa and Justice Gulzar.” He added that constituting a JIT is tantamount to giving the premier a safe exit. The prime minister has made it through the Panamagate case, but just barely. The SC on Thursday, in a 3-2 judgement on the case, ordered the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to continue probing the allegations of financial irregularities and money laundering, while noting that at present, there is “insufficient evidence to remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.”
    The JIT has been given two months to complete the probe into the premier and his sons Hussain and Hasan, all of whom have also been directed to appear before the JIT. The investigators will also have to present bi-weekly reports to a special bench of the Supreme Court.
    The JIT will be constituted within seven days and would include representatives from the ISI, MI, FIA , SECP, State Bank and NAB.
    Addressing the media after the verdict, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said, “Every party including Imran Khan, Sirajul Haq should now respect the SC verdict.”
    “We will cooperate with the JIT and keep on respecting the court. The opposition kept on questioning our party and they set a court on roads as well.” “PM Nawaz is both Saadiq and Ameen. We have not spent three decades of our lives following him in vain,” he added.

    Urdu Music Video - Gul Panra - Ishq Ziyada

    Video - Asif Ali Zardari with anchor Javed Chaudhry in ExpressNews show ‘Kal Tak’

    Video - Aik Din Dunya Ke Sath - Asif Ali Zardari - 16 April 2017 | Dunya News

    Pakistan - Step down if SC rules against you, Zardari tells Nawaz






    Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has advised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down if the Supreme Court rules against him in the Panamagate case.
    Speaking with anchor Javed Chaudhry in ExpressNews show ‘Kal Tak’ on Wednesday, Zardari warned that reluctance on Sharif’s part to accept the court verdict might have an adverse impact on democracy. “Premier Nawaz has never been in the habit of accepting things which go against him,” he said. “[But] if there is agitation, it won’t be good for democracy.”
    Zardari gave the example of his own party in somewhat similar circumstances. “We did not resist when the Supreme Court disqualified [then premier] Yousaf Raza Gilani. We chose another prime minister,” he said. “Nawaz should do the same. The PML-N has many MNAs. Nawaz should step down and choose one of them as his replacement,” the PPP leader added. Zardari also criticised the prime minister for not attending parliament’s sessions. “Sharif is running parliament like an emperor. He rarely visits any houses of parliament,” he said, adding that a prime minister who did not attend parliament sessions weakened democracy.
    Commenting on the development work initiated by the Sharif administration, Zardari claimed all PML-N schemes were based on lies and deception. “Sharif claims everything by putting up an inauguration plaque. He even claims to be the man behind Pakistan’s nuclear programme,” he said. “The only thing the PML-N can successfully pull off is coordination with police.”
    Conversely, the PPP, he added, did not ‘put its own plaque’ on many schemes. “Benazir Bhutto used to say, ‘some secrets you take to the grave’,” he said. The PPP leader added that his party was better at management and that the PML-N has “inherited a better government than we did.”
    Zardari accused the federal government of ‘tunnel vision’ when it comes to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said the PML-N was only fixated on its own interests.
    “The federation is taking controversial positions with Sindh on many issues to shore up support for the upcoming general elections,” Zardari said. “This is against the interest of Pakistan, the federation and the 18th amendment which made it possible for Sharif to become prime minister for a third time.”
    Talking about rows with the centre on issues like gas and water, Zardari dispelled the impression that Sindh was being ‘rebellious’. “The province faces pressure. Everyone knows Sindh provides 67 per cent of the gas and needs only 37 per cent.
    PM inaugurates Bhikki Power Plant, 717MW added to national grid
    But the province receives only 18 per cent, which means you have to suspend generation at 12 power plants, which in turn necessitates load-shedding.”
    He added that PPP would support the Sindh government if it decided to take over the offices of the Sui Southern Gas Company. “The centre and Sindh are already locked in confrontation. The prime minister and the federation should engage in dialogue with the Sindh chief minister to end this. If you do not let the chief minister do his job, naturally he will protest.”
    The PPP leader vowed to take to the streets against the government over load shedding. “We will stage a sit-in against power outages, unemployment and inflation, and will protest till this government is dismissed.”

    Pakistan's top court to rule in case that may oust PM


    By Khurram SHAHZAD 


    Pakistan's Supreme Court is set to determine the prime minister's fate Thursday with a ruling on corruption allegations that could see him ousted from power after the Panama Papers linked his family to offshore businesses.
    The highly-anticipated decision threatens to plunge Nawaz Sharif's governing party into turmoil ahead of general elections which must be held by next year, and as security and the economy improve in the militancy-plagued country.
    The controversy erupted with the publication of the so-called Panama Papers last year, 11.5 million secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca which documented the offshore dealings of many of the world's rich and powerful.
    Among the global elite implicated were three of Sharif's four children -- his daughter and presumptive political heir Maryam, and his sons Hasan and Hussein.
    At the heart of the matter is the legitimacy of the funds used by the Sharif family to purchase several high-end London properties via offshore companies.
    Sharif's ruling PML-N party insists the wealth was acquired legally through family businesses in Pakistan and the Gulf.
    But lawyers for Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, argue the paper trail for the funds is non-existent, and say the onus is on Sharif to prove his relatives did not engage in money laundering.
    The case has dominated headlines in Pakistan for the better part of a year, though many observers believe the court would be reluctant to directly oust Sharif.
    It has repeatedly emphasised it is not conducting a criminal trial, while PML-N lawmakers told AFP that Sharif himself had not been named in the Panama Papers.
    "We are hopeful the decision will come according to the law of the country, not on expectations of the opposition," provincial PML-N lawmaker Hina Butt said.
    The court has taken such action before, however, holding Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in contempt in 2012 for refusing to re-open corruption investigations into then President Asif Ali Zardari, resulting in his disqualification.
    - 'Change the course of history' -
    But the five-member bench could also direct law enforcement agencies to carry out more detailed investigations into the allegations against Sharif, verbally censure him or his children, or clear him entirely.
    "The nation is expecting some sort of judgement which will change the course of history in Pakistan," senior Supreme Court lawyer S.M. Zafar told AFP, though he said it was difficult to predict the verdict.
    Regardless of the outcome, he said, the case is important for Pakistan, which ranked a lowly 116th place out of 176 countries in a corruption index released by Transparency International in January.
    Political analyst Rasul Buksh Rais said: "It's going to be (a) historic decision that will push Pakistan into electoral mood in either case," adding that he did not expect disqualification.
    He said a new judicial commission could be in the offing, which would allow Khan to claim moral victory for exposing corruption.
    PML-N and PTI lawmakers reaffirmed to AFP late Wednesday that they would accept the court's decision.
    The controversy is the latest to hit Sharif, an industrialist serving his third term as Prime Minister after the first two were interrupted by interventions from the country's powerful military.
    Late Wednesday he detailed his party's infrastructure achievements in televised comments at the inauguration of a power plant, without mentioning the looming verdict.
    If Sharif is ousted, the PML-N can select a new prime minister from within the party, though there may be political pressure for fresh polls.
    Pakistan, which marks its 70th anniversary of independence later this year, has seen a surge in optimism in recent months.
    Security has dramatically improved in the last two years, overall confidence in the economy is growing, and the military, which has ruled the country for more than half its history, appears to have reached an accommodation with Sharif's civilian government.