Journalist Panel wins NPC elections 2018-19 secured all seats except the secretary finance seat..

ISLAMABAD: The Journalist Panel swept the National Press Club elections on Saturday and secured all seats except the secretary finance seat.

The panel’s Tariq Mehmood Chaudhry was elected president with 989 votes while Shakeel Anjum was elected general secretary after securing 1,225 votes. His opponent, Sami Ibrahim got 650 votes.




The victorious panel has been in power for ten years.


The Azad Panel’s Nausheen Yousaf was elected secretary finance with 1,013 votes while her opponent Shakir Solangi received 848 votes.Shakeel Qarar, the presidential candidate of the Azad Panel, put up a good fight and secured 978 votes.

The Azad Group has alleged the election committee deprived it of its mandate.

The Journalist Panel’s Asif Bashir Chaudhry, Bilal Dar and Khawaja Kashif Rafique were elected as vice presidents while Maira Imran of the same panel was elected on the vice president woman seat by getting 943 votes.

All seats of the governing body were also won by this panel.


Floor at Indonesia’s stock exchange collapses, 20 injured

A floor at Indonesia’s stock exchange collapsed into the building’s lobby on Monday, injuring at least 20 people according to officials, as victims were carried out on stretchers.

Part of the floor on the first level gave way, sending a cascade of debris crashing onto the ground level, a Jakarta police spokesperson said, adding that it was an accident and not an explosion.

The director of the Indonesian stock exchange, Tito Sulistio, said those injured had been sent to hospital.

“At least 20 people have been injured, but I can definitely confirm there are no deaths,” Sulistio said on Metro TV.

Those hurt mostly sustained injuries to their legs and arms, Jakarta police spokesperson Argo Yuwono said.

Injured people lie on the steps outside the Indonesia's stock exchange after an internal floor collapsed.─AFP
Injured people lie on the steps outside the Indonesia’s stock exchange after an internal floor collapsed.─AFP

“The accident happened at the first floor… It’s a floor where many employes are passing by. There are some victims but they have been taken to a nearby hospital,” Yuwono told reporters.

He did not confirm how many people had been hurt in the accident, which took place in one of two towers in the modern complex.

Television footage showed several people lying on the ground and being carried outside the building, with crowds of panicked and screaming people being evacuated amid piles of debris.

Despite the chaos, stock exchange spokesman Rheza Andhika said trade continued as usual in the afternoon session.

The accident happened shortly after noon local time (0500 GMT) while the market was on its lunchtime break.

“There was a lound banging so people who were inside immediately ran outside of the building,” said Metro TV journalist Marlia Zein who was on the scene.

The Indonesia Stock Exchange is located in the centre of Jakarta, and the local office of the World Bank is also housed on the 12th floor of the complex, according to its website.

In 2000, powerful plastic explosives packed in the trunk of an old car caused a blast at the Exchange building, leaving 15 dead and several injured.

IHC again bars ECP from taking action against Imran Khan

The Islamabad High Court (IHC), once again, issued a stay order to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), barring it from taking action on notices against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for allegedly flouting election code of conduct.

The ECP had taken notice against Khan for addressing public gatherings and campaigning in different constituencies even after the announcement of by-elections in those areas.

Babar Awan represented Khan in court on Monday and said that politicians who are public office holders are not allowed to participate in election campaigns under Article 260, but Khan is not a public office holder. He is only a representative of the public and thus, he cannot be kept from participating in election campaigns, Awan said.

While presenting his arguments to the court, Awan also said that ECP notices that are sent out after an election has taken place are not effective.

After hearing the PTI lawyer’s arguments, Justice Amir Farooq, who was hearing the case, stayed ECP from taking action against Khan until further notice.

The case was adjourned until February 12.

NAB files review petition on SC’s rejection of reopening Hudaibiya case

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday filed before the Supreme Court a review petition on the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

On Dec 15, a three-judge bench of the apex court had rejected the bureau’s appeal to reopen the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference, challenging the 2014 order of the Lahore High Court to quash the reference.

The Supreme Court’s detailed order on its decision to reject NAB’s appeal stated that the case had been dismissed as the reference had exceeded its expiry date and that the matter had died its death while it was being dragged through various courts for years.

The 40-page appeal was prepared by NAB’s special prosecutor Imranul Haq.

The NAB has challenged, among other points of the detailed order, paragraph 23 which states that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, were “subjected to intensive investigation and by those who would be considered inimical to them”.

SC’s detailed order

The apex court’s detailed order on its decision to reject NAB’s appeal to reopen the Hudaibiya reference stated that — contrary to a widely-held belief — neither the Panama Papers case joint investigation team, nor Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had ever issued any explicit directions for the reopening of the Hudaibiya reference.

This had been an important sticking point during the hearing of the petition, with the judges repeatedly telling the prosecutor in the case “not to parrot from the Panamagate verdict” without understanding it.

The reference, which named several defendants — including Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif — had been filed in 2000 against the accused’s alleged operation of benami overseas accounts in 1990. However, the National Accountability Bureau failed to pursue it rigorously and the case was dismissed by the Lahore High Court in 2011 after being adjourned repeatedly.

The SC’s judgement states that the dismissal of the case was a well-founded decision as the reference had by then gone well beyond its expiry date. And while a high court judge later ordered a fresh probe into the case, the SC said the judge had weak grounds to do so.

“In this case we have come to the painful conclusion that respondents 1 to 9 were denied due process. The legal process was abused by keeping the reference pending indefinitely and unreasonably. The said respondents were denied the right to vindicate themselves. The reference served no purpose but to oppress them. We have also noted with grave concern the lack of commitment and earnestness on part of NAB at the relevant time,” the court noted.

Penned by Justice Qazi Faiz Essa, the detailed judgement also stated that the NAB chairman seems to have done nothing in the last four years to pursue the case. Admonishing the corruption watchdog’s dilly-dallying on the matter, the court stated that the case seems to have been kept pending for an indefinite period, which was “an insult to the legal process.”

The decision further said the Sharif family was deprived of their rights to defend themselves and that the purpose of the reference seems to have been just to pressurise the accused at a moment of the prosecutor’s choosing.

NA’s Fata move raises doubts about govt intentions

PESHAWAR: The much-publicised adoption of the bill proposing extension of jurisdiction of superior courts to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) by the National Assembly has raised many eyebrows, with legal experts expressing scepticism about the government’s intentions.

The bill titled “The Supreme Court and High Court (Extension of Jurisdiction to Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Bill 2018” now awaits approval by the Senate and subsequent assent by the president to become an act of parliament.

This future law, however, is not enforceable with immediate effect because contrary to the prevalent practice its implementation will be subject to notification by the federal government, which could be different for different tribal areas.

Amid euphoria over the passage of the bill, legal experts from the tribal areas have pointed out several flaws in the law, observing that it will be up to the federal government to notify the enforcement of the law in the tribal areas.

At the same time, without amending the colonial-era Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), 1901, extension of the superior courts’ jurisdiction will create legal complications, as the FCR provides a separate hierarchy of judicial forums contrary to those existing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other provinces.

According to official sources, earlier it was planned that a sunset clause will be included in the bill about abolition of the FCR, but that provision has not been incorporated into the future law.

Experts say without changing FCR extension of superior courts’ jurisdiction to tribal areas will create problems

“It appears to be a fraud with the people of tribal areas. Extending the jurisdiction of superior courts to the tribal areas without setting up matching judicial structure will be a joke with people,” said a former MNA and senior lawyer, Abdul Lateef Afridi.

He pointed out that without extension of the Civil Court Ordinance 1962 to Fata the judicial structure there would remain unchanged.

Presently, under the FCR, the political agents or assistant political agents act as trial court judges or judicial officers and criminal and civil cases are decided by them in the light of jirga findings, he said.

Mr Afridi said that under the FCR an appeal against the judgement of a political agent was made to the authorised commissioner or additional commissioner. The third and final judicial forum under the FCR was that of the three-member Fata Tribunal, which is empowered to hear revision petitions originating from the order of the appellate forum (commissioners).

The bill’s Section 1(2) says: “It shall come into force on such date or dates in such Federally Administered Tribal Areas or part thereof, as the federal government may, by notification in the official gazette, determine from time to time.”

“This provision clearly shows that despite enactment of this law the inhabitants of Fata will be depending on the whims of the federal government for its enforcement,” said Ijaz Mohmand, the central president of the Fata Lawyers Forum.

He said the future law empowered the authorities to enforce it in some parts of the tribal areas, or the whole of it, and that the government could take years to issue the relevant notification for its enforcement.

While under Article 1 of the Constitution the Fata and Pata (the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas) are part of Pakistan, through Articles 246 and 247 these areas have been assigned different statuses. Normal laws of the land are not applicable there unless the president extends the same to Fata through separate notification, and the governor of the province extends them to Pata after taking approval from the president.

Mr Afridi, who is also a former president of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association, said that many people had expected the tribal areas to be turned into a provincial territory instead of a federal one.

He said that once the law became an act of parliament he would challenge the black law of FCR in the Peshawar High Court (PHC).

Advocate Mohmand shared similar views and said the PHC would exercise its jurisdiction in Fata under Article 199 of the Constitution and inhabitants of Fata would move the superior courts on the touchstone of the fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

“We have been struggling for bringing prime changes in the Constitution and other laws related to Fata, but in the present bill other laws and the Constitution have been ignored altogether,” he said and added that the existing judicial set-up would remain the same, including trial courts and appellate forum.

Mr Afridi pointed out that just like Fata, the superior courts initially did not have jurisdiction over Pata. However, through the Supreme Court and High Court (Extension of Jurisdiction to Certain Tribal Areas) Act, 1973, which was published in the official gazette on Feb 9, 1973, the jurisdiction of SC and PHC was extended to Pata, including Chitral, Dir, Swat, Malakand Protected Area and Kalat.

He pointed out that the said act was enforced in Pata with immediate effect, whereas the federal government had to issue a separate notification or notifications for enforcement of the future law.

He said that it would be strange if to certain tribal areas the jurisdiction of the superior courts was extended but to others it was not.