Tag - Zardari

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Mirza’s statements continue against MQM and Rehman Malik
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MQM may be rejoin Govt. today
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Death toll rises to 38 after school bus accident in Pakistan
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National T20 Cup gets into action at NSK from today
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Aafia Siddiqui Trial: Pakistan Government Simply Posturing
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Clearing Air: An Interview With Wajid Shamsul Hassan

Mirza’s statements continue against MQM and Rehman Malik

Zulfiqar Mirza again said that Interior Minister Rehman Malik is liar and referred to him as “Shitan Malik”.

Malik was talking to the media persons in Lyari that no one has permission to ban Peoples Aman Committee.

The Supreme Court decision on Karachi Situation; Mirza said every faithful Pakistani is disconsolate over the judgment and he will issue 5 lacs more weapons license if he will again be given the assortment of Home Minister; he added.

Dr. Mirza said that assertion of extortion on Jamaat-e-Islami is drivel because there is no such allegation on the party in the past three-and-half years.

Former Home Minister more added that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will absolutely take part in elections from Lyari.

MQM may be rejoin Govt. today

All members of the MQM party will be attend the meeting in coordination committee in Karachi including members of Sindh assembly, Senators and MQM office bearers would be attended.

MQM Chief Altaf Hussain had sent the green signal to the members Coordination Committee two days ago to rejoin the government after President Zardari supplicated taking out of the resignations of his party’s federal and Provincial Ministers.

Conversely, Altaf Hussain had asked the Central Committee to hold a meeting to discuss with the party’s parliamentarians and office-bearers before reaching a result on the issue.

The sources said that the meeting would also consult on the current state of affairs in Punjab; where protests against loadshedding had turned violent as well as the law and order situation in Pakistan

Death toll rises to 38 after school bus accident in Pakistan

The death toll has risen to nearly 40 after a school bus carrying more than 100 young people overturned in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Monday evening, police said on Tuesday.

The accident happened near the town of Kallar Kahar, located in Chakwal District, where the students had visited a salt mine and joined a school picnic. They were on their way back to Millat Grammar School in the city of Faisalabad when it happened.

More than 100 young people were on board the bus when it overturned and plunged into a ditch due to a suspected brake failure. Photos from the scene showed the heavily damaged vehicle with the seating area completely crushed.

As of Tuesday morning, police said at least 30 students, six teachers and a school principal were killed as a result of the accident. A spokesman said all the students who were killed were believed to be between the ages of 12 and 20.

In addition to those killed, officials reported that around 70 people were injured and taken to area hospitals where an emergency was declared. Some of those injured were in an extremely critical condition, and officials fear the death toll will rise further.

Hours after the accident, President Asif Ali Zardari expressed his ‘profound grief’ over the loss of life. “The President prayed Allah Almighty to rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with fortitude,” a statement issued by state-run media said. It added that the president directed officials to provide the best medical treatment to those injured.

Road accidents are common in Pakistan with more than 5,500 fatalities in 2007, according to the most recent figures released by national police. Many accidents are the result of poor infrastructure and the disregard of traffic laws.

Last Friday, seven people were killed and twelve others were injured when a passenger bus fell down a trench in northwestern Pakistan. The accident occurred in the Ashiri Drah area in the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

National T20 Cup gets into action at NSK from today

KARACHI: The focus will return to the playing field on Sunday after PCB’s patron-in-chief President Asif Ali Zardari, following all hue and cry, took timely action to shift the Faysal Bank T20 Cup from dengue-plagued Lahore to the National Stadium, Karachi.

The highlight of the tournament’s eighth edition is obviously the foreign flavour in the shape of Afghan Cheetahs, who are the national champions of the game’s shortest format back home in Afghanistan.

Their participation is a welcome relief to the cricket-starved public of Karachi who last saw most of the national heroes in action when the tournament held here from February 28 to March 7, 2010.

The PCB has a mandatory policy in place since the Twenty20 segment made its debut on the domestic cricket front in 2004 to ensure the country’s top players turn out for their respective regional sides.

The addition of Afghan Cheetahs will further add to the drama that will ultimately decide who will pocket the trophy as well the Rs2.5 million bounty to be presented to the champions.

This time too the competition promises a lot of thrills and spills as Lahore Lions defend the crown they won for the first time when they beat the Shahid Afridi-led Karachi Dolphins, who are saddled with the unhappy tag of underachievers since they are yet to be crowned champions despite repeated attempts in several finals they have figured in.

The Dolphins suffered more pain as recently as July 1 when Rawalpindi Rams upstaged their fancied opponents in the first Faysal Super Eight final in a one-over eliminator at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.

Sialkot Stallions will be hoping that the National Stadium proves lucky for them again as they bid for their sixth title, After missing out in the inaugural edition, the Stallions galloped to their way to five successive titles.

Faisalabad Wolves, who are skippered yet again by Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, have not annexed the trophy after winning the first-ever event. Inevitably not for the first time, they will be starting as one of the favourites.

With Mohammad Yousuf opting out altogether, experienced all-rounder Abdul Razzaq is available to lead Lahore Lions after his English T20 champions Leicestershire side failed to make the cut for the ongoing Champions League’s main round in India.

Younis Khan, the veteran Pakistan batsman who had played for Peshawar Panthers in the past, meanwhile has added some twist to the competition by stating his desire to play for Abbottabad Falcons rather than Karachi Zebras.

According to sources, the PCB was in process of sorting out this otherwise immaterial development along with a few more aspirants of some other competing teams who want to emulate Younis.

Groups and schedule:
Group ‘A’: Karachi Zebras, Lahore Eagles, Abbottabad Falcons, Quetta Bears.

Group ‘B’: Faisalabad Wolves, Multan Tigers, Rawalpindi Rams, Afghan Cheetahs.

Group ‘C’: Sialkot Stallions, Lahore Lions, Hyderabad Hawks.

Group ‘D’: Karachi Dolphins, Islamabad Leopards, Peshawar Panthers.

Sept 25: Abbottabad Falcons v Quetta Bears (12:00 noon); Lahore Lions v Hyderabad Hawks (4:00pm); Karachi Zebras v Lahore Eagles (8:00pm).

Sept 26: Sialkot Stallions v Hyderabad Hawks (12:00 noon); Karachi Zebras v Quetta Bears (4:00pm); Lahore Eagles v Abbottabad Falcons (8:00pm).

Sept 27: Lahore Eagles v Quetta Bears (12:00noon); Karachi Zebras v Abbottabad Falcons (8:00pm).

Sept 28: Islamabad Leopards v Peshawar Panthers (12:00 noon); Faisalabad Wolves v Multan Tigers (4:00pm); Afghan Cheetahs (8:00pm).

Sept 29: Multan Tigers v Rawalpindi Rams (12:00 noon); Faisalabad Wolves v Afghan Cheetahs (4:00pm); Karachi Dolphins v Islamabad Leopards (8:00pm).

Sept 30: Multan Tigers v Afghan Cheetahs (12:00 noon); Faisalabad Wolves v Rawalpindi Rams (4:00pm); Karachi Dolphins v Peshawar Panthers (8:00pm).

Oct 1: First semi-final –– Group ‘A’ winners v Group ‘C’ winners – (4:00pm); Second semi-final – Group ‘B’ winners v Group ‘D’ winners – (8:00pm).

Oct 2: Final (7:00pm).

Aafia Siddiqui Trial: Pakistan Government Simply Posturing

The Pakistani government has been giving the impression that intense legal and diplomatic efforts are underway to secure the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, but there is little sign of those efforts in the courtroom where she is on trial for attempted murder.

In a recent statement to the media Interior Minister Rehmen Malik stated that Zardari had “taken up” the issue of her release with Robert Gates.

However the U.S. Government’s Justice Department has spared no expense in trying to ensure that Siddiqui spends the next 20 years of her life in prison.

The US Government has a team of their best prosecuting attorney’s working on the case. There have been as many as 8-10 Government attorneys seen conferring about the case during the trial. They have been aggressive throughout, filing every motion possible to secure a conviction.

The U.S Government also brought two Afghan nationals to America even giving one permanent immigration status and money to establish himself in the U.S.

Moreover, the Pakistan Government has not been able to ensure that her family and attorneys have free and open access to her. Nor have they been able to stop the humiliating strip searches that Siddiqui must endure every day. Her brother has not been able to see her since she was brought to the U.S. He’s been allowed a few very restricted phone calls, but that’s it.

Federal Judge, Richard Berman, has also ruled on the side of the prosecution in nearly every motion. One of the most surprising, say legal experts, is when he allowed statements that Dr. Siddiqui made while at a hospital in Bagram to be used against her although she had not been “Mirandized” This refers to the Miranda Laws that direct law enforcement officials to identify themselves to an arrested individual and to advise that individual of their rights, including the right an attorney.

This ruling came a day after Pakistani Ambassador Hussain Haqqani, had a private meeting with Judge Richard Berman and attorneys from both sides, which he described as “positive”.

Dr. Siddiqui was not only “not Mirandized”, but she also had all 4 limbs tied to a bed, was recovering from surgery, on heavy medication, sleep deprived, and most importantly under 24 hour surveillance by FBI officials who failed to identify themselves as such when she made the alleged statements. According to Siddiqui one of the FBI officials “tortured” her and thus she did not speak to him at all. The other, a female agent, pretended to be her friend. These are the same agents who testified against her in the trial. Despite that, Siddiqui was able to give context to the statements she made and continued to maintain her innocence.

Berman, has also sustained a majority of prosecution objections and overruled a majority of defense objections; even those that follow normal standards of jurisprudence. Although Siddiqui is not on trial for terrorism, the judge has allowed inuendo and questioning that suggest exactly that.

Many of her supporters have also been raising questions about her defense team. “I was worried when I heard that the defense was only going to have 1-½ days of testimony.” said an African-American Muslim supporter who has been at the court every day, “But sister Aafia saved the day”. However, she testified against the advice of her defense team.

The defense did not ask their client any questions about her secret detention or her fears that her kids would be harmed during their redirect. This would have explained her motivations for wanting to escape which the prosecution has been using as a sign of her guilt. Human Rights observers who have also been at the trial everyday were hoping for more information about her detention and some clues as to what happened during the 5 years she was “missing“. Although the U.S has deemed that classified information, Dr. Siddiqui seemed ready to talk about everything.

The defense did not follow-up with her on this subject. Although they may have had very sound legal reasoning behind that decision, it was not apparent to Siddiqui’s lay supporters who felt that her references to her “secret detention” helped give a plausible explanation to the events. Speculation on both sides of this case runs wild, but there are people who wonder if the defense is tight lipped on this issue because of the Pakistan government’s role in the possible tragedy. It is, after all, the Pakistani Government that has hired these attorneys.

As Dr. Fowzia, Aaffia Siddiqui’s, sister stated in a recent interview, it is ironic that the people who imprisoned and detained Aafia are now giving her a “fair” trial, and the people who kidnapped her are now paying for her defense. Though the family expressed appreciation for any help they get from anyone, if Aafia Siddiqui is acquitted it be due, in large part, to her moving testimony on her own behalf; and the compassion of jury members who may have the courage to believe her.

The Pakistani public’s demand to know what happened to Aafia Siddiqui will only grow with time. The Pakistani Government ought to establish a truth and reconciliation commission so that full disclosure is allowed in her case and the open cases of all “the disappeared” . This is the only way to ensure that it does not happen again.

Clearing Air: An Interview With Wajid Shamsul Hassan

The ISI had plotted a stint to malign the President of Pakistan and that is why the Pakistani High Commisioner to Britain was intercepted in Geneva while retrieving documents for the National Acountability Bureau from Swiss attorneys. He was accompanied by Dr. Danishwar Malik of NAB and they were performing a government duty but they were represented as acting criminally by a GEO TV reporter. The following interview of Wajid Shams-ul-Hassan was conducted one day before the Supreme Court decision on NRO..

Ibrahim Sajid Malick (ISM): What were you doing in Geneva?

Wajid Shamsul Hasan (WSH):  I was officially assigned by the Pakistan Foreign Office to accompany NAB Prosecutor General Dr Danishwar Malik to Geneva. Dr Danishwar Malik was dispatched from NAB Islamabad to go to Geneva to collect the cartons lying with the Swiss lawyers.

ISM: What documents did you pick up from the attorney and why?

WSH:  It was the NAB Prosecutor General who received the closed cartons in my presence and that of Mr. Aftab Khokher, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Pakistan’s Geneva Mission. Since the boxes were closed I do not know the nature of things inside the boxes.

ISM: Why did you not respond to Geo stringer?

WSH: I was intercepted by two hoodlum looking guys in a Geneva street. They did not identify themselves as such and I was not obliged to respond to thug-looking strangers.

ISM: Is it your intent to destroy these documents? If not, can they be used against President Zardari? Are you willing to make them available to Pakistani judicial system?

WSH:  Boxes sent in sealed diplomatic bags from Geneva by the Pakistan’s Permanent Representative’s office are in the safe custody of Pakistan High Commission in London. These sealed diplomatic bags containing the boxes were inspected by the NAB Prosecutor General Dr. Danishwar Malik on his arrival in London from Geneva. There was no intent and there is no question of either tampering with them or destroying them. They will be shipped as and when NAB makes arrangements. As regards their

ISM: NAB Chairmain Naveed Ahsan has asked that you send the Swiss court record of cases against President Zardari as soon as possible through diplomatic bag and special courier. Will you comply?

WSH: Yes. Those boxes lying in the Pakistan Embassy in London are NAB’s property. I have requested the NAB authorities to assign Dr Danishwar Malik who brought them here, to come over to London, collect them after inspection and conform if these were subjected to any tampering or foul play as was alleged by a section of Pakistani media. I have requested that either NAB Prosecutor General Dr Danishwar Malik or any person authorized by NAB is sent to London as a special courier to inspect those boxes. Pakistan High Commission will make arrangements accordingly for their shipment in the same sealed diplomatic bags they were sent to London from Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan’s Permanent mission in Geneva.

ISM: Did you benefit from NRO? If not, why is your name in the list of NRO beneficiaries?

WSH: I did not benefit from NRO. It was clarified by the Minister of State for Law Mr. Afzal Sindhu, that in his press conference while announcing the list of NRO beneficiaries my name was mentioned inadvertently as a mistaken identity since a name similar to mine was in the list. My position was repeatedly clarified in the media.

However, I regret that despite clarifications a particular group in the media continues to mention my name as a beneficiary although its channel Geo was the first to highlight Law Minister’s clarification. Obviously this could mean there is a sinister method behind this madness. And, the conspiracy to destabilize the democratic government is gaining strength.

ISM: Do you know a gentleman name Naseer Malik in Geneva? Why was he so interested in embarrassing you?

WSH:  Most certainly not.

ISM: Why do you think ISI’s Joint Counterintelligence Bureau rep who works within your premises provided your travel information to Geo’s stringer?

WSH: I do not think that any one working in my Mission was involved in ‘leaking’ the information of my travel. Any way my visit was not clandestine or mysterious as everything was on record.

ISM: Why were you framed? Who gains from it?

WSH:  I feel that I have been made a victim of a scandalous campaign by Bhutto-haters with the sole objective of targeting President Zardari. By hitting me they think they weaken Mr. Zardari.

ISM: Why do you think Pakistanis who support democracy are muzzled?

WSH: It is a game of lethal perceptions let loose in a section of the media with an agenda of their own to destabilize and derail democracy.  Since they could not manage an electoral defeat to keep PPP out of power, they now want democracy to be murdered judicially. This is amply reflected in their comments that whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, the recent ‘disclosures’ by the media shall have to be taken notice of. I am confident that Pakistan’s judiciary has come of age through toughest trial; it won’t play to the media gallery and shall act on merit. President Zardari has been a victim of political vendetta for more than ten years. The pudding of vendetta has been tasted by the Chief Justice himself who was made a similar victim of reference of fabricated charges by President Musharraf. Had there been no change in government General Musharraf would have made him rot in detention. He was brutally maligned by that section of the media who dance to the tunes played by their masters who had supported Musharraf in his action against the Chief Justice.

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