- Fact-finding committee asks Murad Saeed to provide laptop.
- Saeed refuses to cooperate with committee, expresses reservations.
- Says he is willing to appear before SC’s judicial commission.
LONDON: A fact-finding committee formed to investigate the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif believes that former minister of communications and PTI leader Murad Saeed is in possession of the journalist’s laptop.
Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Director Dr Athar Waheed and Intelligence Bureau (IB) Deputy Director-General Omar Shahid Hamid are investigating the case and they have asked Saeed to hand over the laptop of the slain journalist to the fact-finding committee, formed by the Pakistan government, on November 28 and ensure to bring the laptop along to assist in the investigation.
Contacted by Geo News, Saeed refused to make any comment on FIA’s communications with him but the former minister shared a copy of the letter he has written to the fact-finding committee, expressing his dissatisfaction.
The fact-finding committee has written to Saeed that “during the proceedings of the finding team it has come on record that you are in possession of Apple MacBook of deceased senior journalist Arshad Sharif. Therefore you are requested to provide the device of the deceased enabling the fact-finding team to ascertain the facts regarding the assassination of senior journalist in Kenya”.
Signed off by Dr Waheed, the letter to Saeed says: “You are requested to cooperate with the fact-finding team as we have to submit report with to the Human Rights Cell of the Supreme Court [SC] wherein it has been directed to share the inquiry report”.
In his letter to the FIA fact-finding committee written on November 21, Saeed expressed reservations and refused to cooperate with the fact-finding committee. ”The mother of Shaheed Arshad Sharif has already expressed her reservations and concerns with respect to investigation into assassination of her son by the current government. She has appealed for justice and expressed dissatisfaction over the govt of Pakistan’s handling of the matter. She clearly stated: “I have no faith in the Pakistani government,” the PTI lawmaker wrote.
Saeed has written to the committee that he is “willing to appear before the judicial commission constituted by the august SC and present all the information he has with respect to the matter”.
The fact-finding team has also asked Tasnim Haider Shah from London to appear before the committee on November 28 and give evidence in support of his claim that Sharif’s iPad and iPhone are in the possession of Nasir Butt in London. Tasnim has said that Waqar Ahmad and Khurram Ahmad, who hosted Sharif in Kenya on Tariq Wasi’s request, were controlled by Butt from London.
Sharif was killed on October 23 in Kenya by the General Service Unit (GSU) officers while he was on his way from AmmoDump to Nairobi. Khurram was driving the car when Sharif came under the attack.
CEC says election schedule to be issued in a ‘few days’
- CEC Raja issues message to mark National Voters Day.
- Fully prepared, committed to conduct transparent elections, he says.
- Urges people to use their right to vote for the “bright future”.
ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja has said that preparations for the general elections are underway in full swing and the schedule for 2023 polls will be issued in a few days.
In a message to mark National Voters Day, the CEC said the Election Commission is fully aware of its constitutional and legal responsibilities, reported Geo News.
“Fully prepared and committed to conduct transparent and peaceful elections,” he added.
He said the polls organising body is currently busing in election preparations and the printing and distribution of electoral rolls have been completed.
CEC Raja said a notification for the appointments of election staff including returning officers (Ros) and district returning officers (DROs) will be issued in a few days.
His statement came amid heightened political temperature in the country with political parties busy in electioneering and political wheeling and dealing to strengthen their position in the elections slated to take place on February 8, 2023.
The Finance Division on Tuesday released Rs17.4 billion to the ECP for polls arrangements, putting to rest election delay rumours.
Last week, the ECP also notified the final list of delimitation of constituencies of the national and four provincial assemblies, paving the way for the announcement of the election schedule.
In the message today, the CEC also reiterated that elections will take place at its scheduled time and maintained that the commission will ensure complete security during the polls.
He also urged the people to use their right to vote for the “bright future of the country and nation” and cooperate with the ECP to ensure peaceful elections.
Raja also reminded the people that they have “power of vote,” asking them to cast their ballot while keeping in view the future of their children.
He also called upon voters to fully participate in the election process.
Manzoor Pashteen handed over to police on seven-day physical remand
- PTM leader arrested in Chaman for clashing with police.
- Holding rallies is Manzoor Pashteen’s right, lawyer tells court.
- PTM claims Pashteen’s car was fired upon in Balochistan.
ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad on Thursday handed over Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen to police on a seven-day physical remand.
Pashteen was arrested in Balochistan’s Chaman area on Monday after his security guards allegedly clashed with the police and opened fire.
The PTM leader was presented in the ATC court where Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain approved Pashteen’s seven-day physical remand.
The PTM leader’s lawyer told the court that holding rallies was his client’s right and added that Pashteen’s car was fired upon in Balochistan.
Security personnel from the police, Levies and the Frontier Corps (FC) were carrying out routine checking when armed men accompanying Pashteen refused to stop the vehicle and opened fire at the security forces, the deputy commissioner had said following Pashteen’s arrest.
The official had revealed that the forces retaliated and fired at the tyres of the PTM chief’s vehicle — who along with the armed men managed to flee the scene,according to a Geo News report.
The PTM, in a statement, had confirmed the incident saying that the party chief’s vehicle came under fire near Chaman Press Club while he was en route to Quetta after addressing a sit-in organised by the All Parties Tajir Mehnat Kash.
According to a party spokesperson, eight bullets were fired at Pashteen’s vehicle with the incident injuring one woman — who is being treated in a hospital.
The party chief, along with his entourage, returned to Chaman and surrendered before the authorities, the party spokesperson added.
Toshakhana case: IHC turns down Imran Khan’s withdrawal plea
- Khan moved IHC against verdict on Oct 2023.
- IHC’s decision was reserved on Sep 13.
- ECP disqualified Khan in Toshakhana case.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday turned down former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s plea to withdraw his appeal challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict on his disqualification in the Toshakhana case.
The former prime minister had filed an appeal against the electoral body’s verdict on October 28, 2022, and later sought withdrawal on January 18, 2023.
Khan sought withdrawal of the appeal at the IHC as the matter was pending in the Lahore High Court (LHC).
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq announced the court’s decision which was reserved on September 13 after hearing arguments of all the parties.
On October 21, 2022, the electoral watchdog, in a consensus verdict, had disqualified the former prime minister under Article 63(1)(p) and ruled that the PTI founder was no more a member of the National Assembly. He was disqualified for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.
The ECP had stated that Khan submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p). The decision was taken unanimously by the electoral authority’s five-member bench.
The deposed prime minister challenged his disqualification in the IHC, praying to the court to set aside the judgment as he said the ECP had no jurisdiction over the matter.
In the meantime, a separate petition was filed in the LHC against Khan’s disqualification. The petition challenged the ECP’s relevant section under which the ex-PTI chief was disqualified.
Initially, the petitioner did not apprise the IHC about his second plea in the LHC over the same matter. Later, the PTI founder requested the IHC to allow him to withdraw his plea as he reportedly wanted the LHC to proceed with the case.
During proceedings, IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq expressed his annoyance over concealing the matter about the second petition in the LHC and remarked: “In principle, the case should proceed in the court where the appeal was filed first.”
Khan’s counsel argued that a larger bench of the LHC was hearing the case.
After hearing the arguments from all sides, the IHC reserved its verdict on September 13, 2023.
In August 2022, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf sent a reference to the ECP under Articles 62A, 63A, and 223, seeking former prime minister Khan’s disqualification in the light of the Toshakhana scam.
The disqualification reference was filed by Ali Gohar Khan, PML-N’s Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, and five others.
The 28-page reference identified 52 gift items of Toshakhana received by the former premier Khan, violating the law and rules, taken away at nominal prices and most of the gifts were sold in the market, including some precious watches.
The assessed value of the gifts has been put at Rs142,042,100. The gifts were received between August 2018 and December 2021.
According to Ranjha, Khan concealed information about the gift of watches by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his statement of assets submitted in 2018-2019.
This withholding of information is tantamount to lying which, according to Ranjha, is a crime under Section 137.
He said that Khan was no more Sadiq and Ameen and should be slapped with disqualification for life from contesting the election under Article 62(1)(f), Article 2, Article 3 of the Constitution.
Article 62(1)(f) is the same legal instrument that disqualified former PM Nawaz Sharif from contesting elections and led to his removal from power, Ranjha said.
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