Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Chinese media denounces ‘groundless Pakistan news reports’ on death of Indian soldiers along Sikkim border
China’s state-run media rejects Pakistani news reports claiming that 158 Indian soldiers were killed in attacks by the People’s Liberation Army.
We are one unfortunate nation that feels pride in celebrating murderers. Whether Ghazi Alamdin, Aamir Cheema or Mumtaz Qadri, all of them are celebrated heroes of our people. Once such individuals are dead, society constructs myths to turn them into saints and pious people. People frequently use the word un-Islamic, when they fail to convince their opponents logically or politically. It is this way of looking at things that have led to the grotesque killing of Mashal Khan on his university campus.
More than forty days have passed since the JIT report on the case has been presented and the authorities have failed to take proper action against the responsible ones as per the recommendations of the JIT report. It is certainly shameful that no justice is given to Mashal even after he is no more living. The perpetrators of his killing are roaming free on the premises of university. The report clearly states that Mashal’s murder was premeditated. Mashal was accused of blasphemy to get away with his murder. Failing to take appropriate action against the responsible ones is beyond one’s comprehension. There is no reason why the university’s administration is reluctant to act according to the recommendations of the JIT report.
Failing to act upon the recommendations of the report suggests that our state and its institutions cannot ensure the supremacy of rule of law, and that these JITs are just a way to delay justice enough to make people forget. Societies fail to progress and develop if the law does not rule supreme. A society is certainly a declining one if people who are wronged, fail to seek justice. It is heart-wrenching to observe criminal silence on people’s part whenever such injustices occur.
People lack the patience to listen to any dissenting voice. The state, with aid from the intelligentsia, needs to address the issue of growing intolerance. Likewise, we need to realise the importance of maintaining the rule of law supreme. There are very few religious scholars who can understand the importance of a pluralistic society and promote non-violence. If the above-mentioned issues are not dealt with firmly, we will witness more cases of mob justice.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court began hearings this week on a case that may decide the fate of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, more than a year after revelations first emerged about links between his family’s wealth and the Panama Papers investigation.
The revelations led to protests in Pakistan and sparked calls from the political opposition for Sharif’s resignation. Sharif and his family deny wrongdoing.
In April, a Pakistani court narrowly rejected a motion to disqualify Sharif as prime minister. Instead, it established a joint investigation into reports that linked Sharif’s children to valuable property in central London held through offshore companies.
This month, the joint investigation team issued a 254-page report. It accused the Sharifs, one of the wealthiest families in south Asia, of hiding assets, perjury and forgery.
Included in the report was the finding that Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, potentially falsified ownership documents that were dated 2006 but written in a font that was not commercially available until 2007. The resulting furore trended on social media under the hashtag #fontgate.
“The report is a pack of lies,” Sharif said in response.
The Supreme Court will now decide how to respond to the report, which could involve removing Sharif from office or ordering his trial on charges of corruption. Sharif is expected to be summoned to appear before the court in the coming days or weeks.
Elsewhere, repercussions from the Panama Papers continue.
On June 28, U.S. lawmakers introduced bills to curb the abuse of domestic shell companies. Advocates argue that U.S. shell companies can be used to enable criminal behavior, including financing terrorists.
“Just over a year ago, journalists worldwide began publishing the Panama Papers — exposing global webs of anonymous shell companies used to facilitate all forms of corruption and criminal activity,” said Gary Kalman, the executive director of the FACT Coalition.
“While Panama received all the unwelcome attention, U.S. laws are no better. In many ways, it is easier to hide behind an anonymous company in this country than Panama or any other in the world.”
Earlier this month, in France, a cardboard packaging executive received a one-year suspended sentenceand a $2 million fine after reports by ICIJ partner, Premiére Lignes’ Cash Investigation, that he hid more than $20 million offshore.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a $144 million civil suit in relation to allegations of corruption involving Nigeria’s former oil minister and business associates. The DOJ described one company set up by Mossack Fonseca, Earnshaw Associates Limited, spending tens of millions of dollars to buy luxury real estate in New York City and an $80 million yacht.
“I spoke to you several times about your general behavior, acquisition of assets, etc., asking you to be a bit more careful,” said the former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke to Kolawole Aluko, in recorded telephone conversations disclosed in the court filing.
ICIJ wrote about the links between Alison-Madueke and Aluko as part of the Panama Papers investigation in 2016.