Maryam, Safdar’s appeals against Avenfield verdict to be filed today: sources

ISLAMABAD: Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retired) Safdar Awan are likely to file an appeal challenging the verdict in the Avenfield Properties corruption reference against them, according to media sources.

An accountability court last week sentenced Maryam, the daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, to eight years in prison with a £2-million fine (Rs335-million), and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar to a year in prison. Nawaz himself was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped with a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion).

 

Nawaz and Maryam arrived in Pakistan on Friday evening, where they were arrested upon their arrival and shifted to Adiala Jail in separate convoys. Safdar was arrested earlier on July 9.

 

Maryam’s appeal has been drafted and her legal counsels will visit the jail shortly to get the power of attorney signed by their client, sources further said.

 

According to media sources, the appeal asks for the accountability court’s verdict to be declared null and void. It highlights the legal flaws in the verdict.

 

The appeal asks for Captain (retd) Safdar’s sentence to be suspended till a decision on the petition seeking the accountability court’s verdict to be declared void is reached, sources said.

Case registered against attack on JUI-F leader’s convoy in Bannu

BANNU: Police registered on Saturday a first information report (FIR) against the attack on the convoy of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Akram Khan Durrani.

The case registered at Haved Police Station also includes terrorism charges.

Further, security has been tightened across the city following the attack and investigations are under way.

A day earlier, at least four people were killed and 10 injured in an explosion near the JUI-F leader’s convoy as it was headed back from an election rally.

Speaking to reporters after the attack, Durrani said the blast took place near the tyre of his jeep when he was passing through Haved Bazaar after addressing an election rally. “There were workers surrounding my jeep when the blast took place.”

Durrani is contesting the election from NA-35 (Bannu) on a MMA ticket against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. He has served as the federal minister for housing and works in the last federal government and is also a former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

This was the second major incident of pre-poll violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this week. On Tuesday, Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour, among 22 others, was martyred in a suicide attack in Yakatoot neighbourhood of Peshawar.

On Friday, a suicide blast at a political rally in Mastung martyred 128 people and injured more than 150, in one of the deadliest attacks in the country´s history

FIA issues red warrant against Ishaq Dar, SC informed

ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has issued a red warrant against former finance minister Ishaq Dar, attorney general informed the Supreme Court on Saturday.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the case pertaining to Dar’s return to Pakistan.

Attorney general further said that the red warrant was issued after the approval of Ministry of Interior Affairs, adding that FIA has forwarded the red warrant to Interpol.

Moreover, the interior ministry submitted a reply over Dar’s return to the Supreme Court and stated that the former finance minister will be brought back with help from Interpol.

Furthermore, Justice Sardar Tariq asked the attorney general regarding the update on seizing Dar’s property. “What has been done pertaining to seizing Dar’s foreign property,” he questioned. “The request to seize property has been attached with the red warrant,” attorney general replied. The case has been adjourned for two weeks.

Balochistan in mourning after Mastung suicide blast martyrs 128, including Raisani

QUETTA: The Balochistan government has announced two-day mourning in the province after a suicide blast at a political rally in Mastung martyred 128 people and injured more than 150, in one of the deadliest attacks in the country´s history.

Among the martyred was Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with the newly-formed local Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

Authorities said the suicide bomber detonated in the middle of a compound where the political meeting was taking place, in Mastung’s Darengarh area. The blast was the latest in a string of attacks that have spurred fears of violence ahead of the general election on July 25, and came hours after four people were killed and 39 injured in a bomb blast targetting a JUI-F convoy in Bannu on Friday.

The national flag will be flown at half-mast at all public buildings in the province. The BAP has also cancelled its election rally in Quetta today in memory of the deceased.

The Pakistan Bar Council has announced two-day mourning and is boycotting all court proceedings today in condemnation of the tragedy.

Funeral prayers for Siraj Raisani will be offered at 3pm in the provincial capital today. He will be laid to rest in Kanak, Mastung.

Levies personnel said on Saturday that evidence is being collected from the site of the attack, which has been secured by the forensics team. A case would be registered against the attack once all necessary proceedings have been conducted, officials added.

The Mastung attack was the most lethal since Taliban militants assaulted Peshawar’s Army Public School in 2014, killing over 150 people, mostly children, and one of the deadliest in the country´s long struggle with terrorism.

On Tuesday, a bomb targeted a rally by the Awami National Party (ANP) in Peshawar, martyring local ANP leader Haroon Bilour along with 21 others. Thousands flocked to his funeral the next day.

The military has warned of security threats in the run-up to the election on July 25, and said it will deploy more than 370,000 soldiers on polling day.

The fresh spate of violence was strongly condemned by political leaders and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who expressed sorrow over the loss of innocent lives and vowed that attempts of inimical forces to derail important democratic activity shall not succeed.