PSL spot-fixing case: PCB tribunal places 5-year ban on Sharjeel Khan

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)-appointed Anti-Corruption Unit on Wednesday awarded Sharjeel Khan a five-year ban in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing case, DawnNews reported.

According to DawnNews, Khan will not be able to play any form of cricket for at least 30 months, after which he may be allowed to play domestic cricket until the completion of the ban — subject to the terms and conditions set by the PCB.

Sharjeel along with four other cricketers were charged under different clauses of being involved in the spot-fixing scam which surfaced on the opening day of the second edition of PSL in Dubai earlier this year.

After the final of the PSL on March 5 in Lahore, it was decided to form a tribunal with former PCB chairman retired Lt Gen Tauqir Zia and ex-Pakistan captain Wasim Bari as its members. The panel began hearing against Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Shahzaib Hasan and Sharjeel Khan.

‘Peanuts not billions of dollars’: Nisar assails Trump’s claims of aid for Pakistan

Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday lambasted the strategy announced by US President Donald Trump for Afghanistan and South Asia, saying Pakistan was not responsible for the failure of US and its allies in Afghanistan.

Nisar also ridiculed Trump’s claim that the US has paid “billions and billions of dollars” to Pakistan, calling on the Pakistani government to put on the table the record of past 20 years to expose American claims.

“It’s not billions of dollars, it is peanuts,” the former interior minister said.

Trump used his August 21 speech to announce the new strategy, which denounced Pakistan for allegedly allowing terrorists to maintain safe havens inside its territory. It also gave India a bigger role in Afghanistan, stoking fears in Islamabad that India would use this opportunity for stirring troubles in the bordering areas of Pakistan.

Talking tough on Pakistan, Trump had said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations,” warning that vital aid to Islamabad could be cut.

“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”

PTI MNA Gulzar Khan passes away

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Gulzar Khan passed away on Monday, according to his family.

Bureaucrat-turned-politician was suffering from heart problems and passed away at his native home in Masho Gogar, in Peshawar’s Badhaber area.

His funeral prayers will be held at 4 pm in his native town.

Khan was the leader of the group of PTI’s ‘dissident MNAs’ who did not agree to the party chairman Imran Khan’s call to resign from the National Assembly, during the 2014 dharna [sit-in] against the government.

He served as the home secretary of the province as well as the deputy commissioner of Peshawar, before joining the PTI.

PTI Chairman, Imran Khan expressed his condolences on Twitter:

HBL to close its operations in NY

ISLAMABAD: Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has decided to close its operations in New York following a notice of hearing from New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in terms of which DFS seeks to impose a monetary penalty of up to US$ 629, 625,000.

There will be no material impact on HBL’s business outside of the United States and HBL will continue to service the requirements of its domestic and international customers, including for their US dollar business, said a press release issued here on Sunday.

In 2015, the HBL’s New York branch was subject to a Consent Order and a Cease and Desist Order by the DFS and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York respectively. The HBL had also notified of this to Pakistan Stock Exchange.

The said branch has been operating in New York since 1978 and mainly offers US dollar clearing services.

Maryam cancels London trip for NA-120 campaign

LAHORE: As the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) plans to move the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against Maryam Nawaz for using the Chief Minister Secretariat for running the campaign of her ailing mother for the NA-120 by-election, the daughter of the ousted prime minister has cancelled her planned visit to London for ‘uninterrupted canvassing’.

For the second consecutive day on Sunday, she held meetings with the ruling party’s local bodies’ representatives at the Chief Minister Secretariat in Model Town and took a pledge from them to work day and night for the success of her mother.

When asked by some workers when she would join them in the constituency for canvassing, Maryam said: “I will start visiting the whole constituency after Eid. I will also remain among the workers till the 2018 elections.” She also told them that she was not going to London to see her ailing mother in order to run her campaign here.

Nawaz Sharif’s sons — Hussain and Hasan — and daughter Asma are already with Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in London where she is undergoing treatment for throat cancer. Mr Sharif is expected to leave for London this week.

PTI moving ECP against use of CM secretariat for Kulsoom’s poll drive

“The Sharif family appears to be not trusting anyone else in the party to oversee the campaign in NA-120 in their absence and, therefore, Maryam is not going to see her ailing mother,” a PML-N source told Media. “Since Maryam is quite active and ambitious in politics, she cannot take chances to hand over the campaign to anyone outside the family.”

There has been a feeling in the party cadres that Maryam is responsible for the ouster of her father. She is blamed for the security leaks story as well as the party’s policy to take on the judiciary and the military establishment during the proceedings of the Panama Papers case. Even some of the outspoken leaders like Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had indirectly blamed Mr Sharif’s ‘news aides’ for mishandling the case legally and politically.

During Sunday’s meeting with Maryam, the PML-N workers were not allowed to carry their mobile phones. “We were asked to deposit our phones outside the meeting room. This was done probably to stop the leakage of the footage regarding concerns expressed by the party workers,” a vice chairman of the constituency said.

He said the good thing was this “at least after four years we (the party workers of NA-120) have suddenly become important and got the privilege to have a meeting with Maryam Bibi”.

A young woman worker of the party also reached the Sharifs’ Jati Umra residence on Sunday and wanted to see Nawaz Sharif and Maryam, but she was not allowed by the security men deployed there.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik, Punjab ministers Bilal Yasin (a relative of Kulsoom) and Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman were also present during the meeting.

Meanwhile, the PTI has announced that it will file a complaint in the ECP against Maryam for using Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s secretariat for the campaign in NA-120.

“We will move the ECP for this violation of the election code by the PML-N leadership. Already the ECP has served notice on Pervaiz Malik for running Kulsoom Bibi’s campaign in violation of its rules, but he is still active and was present in Maryam’s meetings,” PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry told Media.

He alleged that the ruling party was using state machinery in its campaign, showing no respect to the ECP order. “It seems the ECP is too weak to nail the ruling PML-N.”

The Punjab government’s spokesman, Malik Ahmad Khan, told Media that the building that housed the CM Secretariat in Model Town had two other portions — one used for PML-N activities and the other for public affairs units. “Therefore, Maryam Bibi is not using the CM Secretariat,” he said.