IHC tells Nawaz ‘to surrender’, appear before court at next hearing

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) said on Tuesday that it was giving former prime minister Nawaz Sharif a chance “to surrender” and appear before the court at the next hearing scheduled for September 10.

An IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani was hearing the appeals of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband, Safdar, against their convictions in the Avenfield reference.

The bench will also hear an appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Nawaz’s acquittal in the Flagship reference as well as appeals against his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference.

During today’s hearing, Justice Farooq said that the court was not declaring Nawaz an absconder and was giving him “one more chance to surrender”.

Earlier today, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her husband, retired captain Mohammad Safdar, appeared before the court.

Maryam travelled to Islamabad from Murree and was welcomed by hundreds of party workers and supporters, who shouted slogans and showered her with rose petals, when she reached Bhara Kahu.

Several PML-N leaders also accompanied Maryam to the high court including party leaders Pervaiz Rashid and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Speaking to the media before the hearing, Maryam said that only the All Parties Conference (APC) will reveal whether the PPP was with the PML-N or not, adding that the latter will “definitely” attend it.

“Opposition parties should work together to take action against the government,” she said.

She also commented on Nawaz’s health. “No one would want to stay away from the country at this age. [Nawaz’s] treatment is ongoing but was delayed due to the coronavirus.”

She added that she wanted her father to complete his medical treatment and not come back to Pakistan. “[But] knowing his condition, I can say with certainty he will not stay away from Pakistan.”

A large number of police officials have been deployed to ensure security at the high court. According to Islamabad police, 560 officials, three DSPs and nine inspectors have been deputed.

Only lawyers and media representatives will be allowed to enter the court premises, police said, adding that officials in plainclothes will also be patrolling the streets.

References against the Sharifs

All three references — the Avenfield reference, the Flagship reference and the Al-Azizia reference — are offshoots of the Panama Papers leak case relating to 785,000 offshore companies. The PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami and Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had brought the matter before the Supreme Court.

The apex court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister and directed NAB to file three references against the Sharif family and one against then finance minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court.

Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir had on July 6, 2018 convicted Nawaz, Maryam and Capt Safdar in the Avenfield reference while they were in the United Kingdom taking care of ailing Kulsoom Nawaz, handing the former prime minister 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond known income and one year for not cooperating with the bureau.

Maryam was given seven years for abetment after she was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and one year for non-cooperation with the bureau.

Her husband was given one year jail time — for not cooperating with NAB, and aiding and abetting Nawaz and Maryam.

Following the conviction, the Sharif family members returned to Pakistan and were imprisoned. However, all three were released from Adiala jail in September after the IHC had suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption reference.

PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz appears before IHC in Avenfield reference appeal

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her husband, retired captain Mohammad Safdar, appeared before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.

An IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani is hearing the appeals of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband, Safdar, against their convictions in the Avenfield reference.

The bench will also take up an appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the acquittal of Nawaz Sharif in the Flagship reference as well as appeals against his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference.

Maryam travelled to Islamabad from Murree and was welcomed by hundreds of party workers and supporters, who shouted slogans and showered her with rose petals, when she reached Bhara Kahu.

Several PML-N leaders also accompanied Maryam to the high court including party leaders Pervaiz Rashid and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Speaking to the media before the hearing, Maryam said that only the All Parties Conference (APC) will reveal whether the PPP was with the PML-N or not, adding that the latter will “definitely” attend it.

“Opposition parties should work together to take action against the government,” she said.

She also commented on Nawaz’s health. “No one would want to stay away from the country at this age. [Nawaz’s] treatment is ongoing but was delayed due to the coronavirus.”

She added that she wanted her father to complete his medical treatment and not come back to Pakistan. “[But] knowing his condition, I can say with certainty he will not stay away from Pakistan.”

A large number of police officials have been deployed to ensure security at the high court. According to Islamabad police, 560 officials, three DSPs and nine inspectors have been deputed.

Only lawyers and media representatives will be allowed to enter the court premises, police said, adding that officials in plainclothes will also be patrolling the streets.

References against the Sharifs

All three references — the Avenfield reference, the Flagship reference and the Al-Azizia reference — are offshoots of the Panama Papers leak case relating to 785,000 offshore companies. The PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami and Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had brought the matter before the Supreme Court.

The apex court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister and directed NAB to file three references against the Sharif family and one against then finance minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court.

Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir had on July 6, 2018 convicted Nawaz, Maryam and Capt Safdar in the Avenfield reference while they were in the United Kingdom taking care of ailing Kulsoom Nawaz, handing the former prime minister 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond known income and one year for not cooperating with the bureau.

Maryam was given seven years for abetment after she was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and one year for non-cooperation with the bureau.

Her husband was given one year jail time — for not cooperating with NAB, and aiding and abetting Nawaz and Maryam.

Following the conviction, the Sharif family members returned to Pakistan and were imprisoned. However, all three were released from Adiala jail in September after the IHC had suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption reference.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her husband, retired captain Mohammad Safdar, appeared before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.

An IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani is hearing the appeals of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband, Safdar, against their convictions in the Avenfield reference.

The bench will also take up an appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the acquittal of Nawaz Sharif in the Flagship reference as well as appeals against his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference.

Maryam travelled to Islamabad from Murree and was welcomed by hundreds of party workers and supporters, who shouted slogans and showered her with rose petals, when she reached Bhara Kahu.

Several PML-N leaders also accompanied Maryam to the high court including party leaders Pervaiz Rashid and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Speaking to the media before the hearing, Maryam said that only the All Parties Conference (APC) will reveal whether the PPP was with the PML-N or not, adding that the latter will “definitely” attend it.

“Opposition parties should work together to take action against the government,” she said.

She also commented on Nawaz’s health. “No one would want to stay away from the country at this age. [Nawaz’s] treatment is ongoing but was delayed due to the coronavirus.”

She added that she wanted her father to complete his medical treatment and not come back to Pakistan. “[But] knowing his condition, I can say with certainty he will not stay away from Pakistan.”

A large number of police officials have been deployed to ensure security at the high court. According to Islamabad police, 560 officials, three DSPs and nine inspectors have been deputed.

Only lawyers and media representatives will be allowed to enter the court premises, police said, adding that officials in plainclothes will also be patrolling the streets.

References against the Sharifs

All three references — the Avenfield reference, the Flagship reference and the Al-Azizia reference — are offshoots of the Panama Papers leak case relating to 785,000 offshore companies. The PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami and Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had brought the matter before the Supreme Court.

The apex court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister and directed NAB to file three references against the Sharif family and one against then finance minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court.

Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir had on July 6, 2018 convicted Nawaz, Maryam and Capt Safdar in the Avenfield reference while they were in the United Kingdom taking care of ailing Kulsoom Nawaz, handing the former prime minister 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond known income and one year for not cooperating with the bureau.

Maryam was given seven years for abetment after she was found “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and one year for non-cooperation with the bureau.

Her husband was given one year jail time — for not cooperating with NAB, and aiding and abetting Nawaz and Maryam.

Following the conviction, the Sharif family members returned to Pakistan and were imprisoned. However, all three were released from Adiala jail in September after the IHC had suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption reference.

Continued protests may help Trump’s re-election

WASHINGTON: Police used chemical irritants to disperse protesters from streets around the White House on Monday as President Donald Trump claimed Democrats had lost control over the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Thousands gathered in Washington this weekend to protest racism and alleged police brutality. The rallies began on Friday evening and continued till Monday morning, splitting into small groups and marching in the streets around the White House.

Mostly, the protesters remained peaceful, standing in lines, chanting slogans and taunting police. But clashes with police were reported from cities across the nation, including Washington, enabling President Trump to portray the campaign for black rights as an uprising by the radical left.

“The Radical Left Mayors & Governors of Cities where this crazy violence is taking place have lost control of their movement,” he said in a tweet on Monday. Most of these mayors and governors are Democrats.

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but the Anarchists & Agitators got carried away and don’t listen anymore — even forced Slow Joe (Joe Biden) out of basement,”

The US president describes the “Black Lives Matter” movement as a law and order situation and urges Americans to vote for him if they want to protect themselves from this alleged lawlessness. Political observers say that the movement could benefit Trump if it intensified and became violent.

In Washington, police arrested five people on Saturday night for their involvement in riots at Black Lives Matter Plaza, near the White House. Police said the riots started when some protesters began setting fires, lighting fireworks and throwing projectiles at their officers. Five officers and some protesters were hurt. The clashes continued till Sunday morning.

The clashes resumed on Sunday evening when police used chemical irritants to disperse the protesters who spread across downtown Washington and continued their agitation until Monday morning.

“For most of the evening, the majority of the crowd had moved peacefully in protests,” The Washington Post observed. Some protesters were also arrested on Sunday evening and Monday morning. More than 500 people have been arrested in Washington since May 30 when the anti-racism protests began.

The protests followed the death of an African American, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis three months ago.

This week’s protests followed the death of another African American man, Jacob Blake, during a police action in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23. The demonstrations intensified and spread across America when a white teenager shot dead two Black Lives Matter protesters in Antioch, Illinois, on Aug 25.

In Portland, Washington, protests have continued for nearly one hundred nights to demand changes to law enforcement and an end to systemic racism and injustice.

Saudi king sacks two royals under defence corruption probe

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman sacked two royals and referred them along with four military officers for investigation into corruption at the defence ministry in a royal decree issued early on Tuesday and carried by state media.

The decree said Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud would be removed as commander of joint forces in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, and his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd relieved of his post as deputy governor of al-Jouf region.

It said the decision was based on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s missive to the anti-corruption committee to investigate “suspicious financial transactions at the defence ministry”.

After becoming heir to the throne in 2017 in a palace coup that ousted his predecessor, Prince Mohammed launched an anti-corruption campaign that saw scores of royals, ministers and businessmen detained at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. Most were released after reaching undisclosed settlements with the state.

The young prince has made fighting corruption a pillar of his reforms. Critics saw the purge as a power grab by the crown prince, who has moved to sideline any rivals to his eventual succession to the throne, take control of the country’s security apparatus and crack down on dissent.

Authorities wound down the Ritz campaign after 15 months but said the government would continue to go after graft by state employees. In March, authorities arrested nearly 300 government officials, including military and security officers, on charges involving bribery and exploiting public office.

Before becoming commander of joint forces in the coalition, Prince Fahd was commander of the Royal Saudi Ground Forces, paratroopers units and special forces, according to Saudi daily Arab News. His father was a former deputy minister of defence.

The decree said the crown prince designated Lieutenant Gen Mutlaq bin Salem bin Mutlaq Al-Azima to replace Prince Fahd.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that ousted the Saudi-backed government from power in Sanaa. The conflict, seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been in military stalemate for years.

Three days after rains, Karachi business struggles to recover

KARACHI: Traders in the old city areas — dealing with the bulk of country’s wholesale trade — on Monday continued to struggle with stagnant rainwater and assessing inventory losses while industrialists in different areas gave a mixed picture of production activities and export activities on the first day of the week.

Korangi Association of Trade and Industry President Sheikh Umer Rehan said some 30 per cent of the 4,500 units in the area faced severe hardship as rain water inundated the factories and go downs, causing huge inventory losses of finished goods and raw materials.

He said that most of the staff was unable to arrive at factories due to flooded roads which brought down production by almost 30-40pc.

A sizable number of labor in the area usually arrives from the EBM causeway and Korangi Crossing, which were opened on Monday evening after continuous rains last week. Hopefully, labor turnover would improve from Tuesday onwards, he added.

Traders and industrialists to release loss estimates in next few days

“Industrial units are draining out accumulated rain water with their own efforts,” he said adding that the “affected units would share details on inventory losses in a day or two.”

F.B. Area Association of Trade and Industry (FBATI) President Abdullah Abid said only 15-18pc of the small and medium sized units out of the total 2,200 in the area were facing issues because of rain water.

He said the situation in FBATI was better because the association had already procured six water draining pumps to clear rain water from the area.

Site Association of Industries President Suleman Chawla said production activities in the area remained normal but added that laborers were facing problems in reaching factories their units owing to the bad road conditions in Site area.

Meanwhile, Bin Qasim Association of Trade and Industry Secretary General Abdul Rahman Ismail said production remained normal in 350-400 large to medium-sized units despite power breakdown issues at some units. He said that so far, he had not received any complaints regarding stagnating rain water from industrialists in the area.

North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry President Naseem Akhtar claimed “all the units resumed full production activities on Monday.”

“Luckily, rain and sewerage water did not enter any factory despite incessant rains,” he claimed adding that export shipments from the area also resumed on Monday.

All City Tajir Itehad General Secretary Ahmed Shamsi said traders in the old city areas like medicine market, Densohall, electric market, Khori Garden, Marriot road, cloth market, plastic market etc were working to clear rain and sewerage water from their shops and godowns on their own.

“Traders are analysing inventory losses at shops and go downs and may come out with a report in a day or two,” he added.

Moreover, Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association Chairman Anis Majeed said around 350 of the 700 shops in Dandia Bazar — hub of essential food items — were still inundated with 1-1.5 feet of rain and sewerage water on Monday. The water had damaged various commodities, he added.

All Pakistan Restaurant Association Convener Athar Chawla requested Sindh government, Defence Housing Authority, Cantonment Board Clifton and concerned departments to clear out rainwater to save the restaurant industry from further devastation.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Mian Anjum Nisar said heavy rains have inundated the entire city and severely damaged the roads and exposed the already-weak infrastructure. The city, that contributes more than 60pc of the revenue to the national kitty has been left at the mercy of nature and relief measures are highly inadequate, he complained.