Retreat Arsalan case from NAB: SC
ISLAMABAD: While announcing the verdict of Dr Arsalan Iftikhar case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) ordered to retreat the case from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and form a new investigating commission, Geo News reported Thursday.
A special bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justice Jawad S Khwaja and Justice Arif Khilji, passed the judgment.
Earlier on Tuesday, the bench after completing the proceedings on Dr Arsalan Iftikhar’s review petition had reserved the judgment.
The bench had stopped the joint investigation team (JIT) from investigating Arsalan Iftikhar’s case on August 2. Arsalan’s counsel Sardar Muhammad Ishaq completed the arguments on Tuesday after which Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for Malik Riaz Hussain, gave counter arguments.
Zahid Bukhari expressed serious reservations over a press note against the record of the Supreme Court’s registrar in which he (the registrar) had stated that investigation against Arsalan Iftikhar had not been stopped. He said the statement given by the registrar was against the facts.
The special bench on August 2 had stopped the JIT from investigating the case until further orders, while the investigation team was due to go to London next day to collect evidences but could not leave.
The bench had assured of a suitable action in this regard.
Giving his arguments, Bukhari said that in view of Dr Arsalan Iftikhar’s reservations, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman had called back Assistant Superintendent of Police Faisal Bashir and a DSP from the investigation team after which there was no reason to take further action on it.
Bukhari also argued that neither any solid basis of objections nor any proof was brought against NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bukhari. He said that an investigation could not be transferred to any other department merely on the basis of allegations. According to the NAB law, no other department can act against a crime, which comes under the purview of NAB.
Bukhari referred to the cases of Moonis Elahi and Abdul Qadir Gilani wherein the Supreme Court did not change investigation teams despite their objections to the investigation officers. Only NAB has the authority to investigate.
Investigation officers could not be appointed on the wish and desire of an accused. Bukhari objected to an application of the counsel for Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, saying Malik Riaz Hussain cannot trust any judicial commission that was why he (Malik Riaz) would not accept any commission.
Since June 6, the court has been issuing arrest warrants against Malik Riaz Hussain and his family members using Anti-Corruption Establishment of the Punjab government. As judicial officers are subordinate to the chief justice of Pakistan, the commission would not be able to dispense fair justice.
Malik Riaz’s counsel also took plea that the current review petition is not fit for hearing. A review petition cannot be based on unfair implementation of a decision. The court was also told that transferable and non-transferable property of Bahria Town was being seized on the pretext of Ali Riaz Malik’s arrest.
The NAB prosecutor told the court that the officials of the Federal Investigation Agency and Islamabad police were included in the JIT to ensure a transparent investigation and there was no other intention.
The NAB additional prosecutor general assured the court that investigation would be completed in good faith, with honesty and according to the law without bearing any pressure.
He further said that cases in question come under the purview of NAB and the bureau is ready to fulfill its responsibilities.
The bench reserved the judgment for two days after hearing lawyers of both the parties. Regarding Malik Riaz’s review petition, which has been pending for two years, the bench held that it will not hear the review petition, but it will form a larger bench comprising three judges whose names will be decided by the chief justice of Pakistan.
During the hearing, Malik Riaz’s lawyer, Zahid Bokhari, objected to the repeated allegations leveled against Malik Riaz and the NAB chairman by Dr Arsalan Iftikhar’s counsel, Sardar Ishaq, and requested the court to stop them from repeating the allegations over and over again.
On which, the bench ordered Dr Arsalan’s counsel to be careful and refrain from repeating the same points. Zahid Bokhari requested the court that if Arsalan’s counsel repeated the allegations against his client, that will not be tolerated.
Bokhari told the court that Arsalan Iftikhar never appeared before the NAB chairman or any other senior officer to refute the allegations against him. Despite this, Dr Arsalan has been allegedly writing threatening letters to the NAB chairman.
4 MQM Workers, PPP man among 11 killed in cityKARACHI: As violence in the city raged on, four workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, an activist of the Pakistan People’s Party and a Rangers man were among the nearly a dozen persons killed in separate incidents of violence on Wednesday, when another worker of the MQM wounded on Monday night also died.
An MQM activist from a Malir locality was gunned down near Mehran Depot in the old graveyard alley within the remit of the Model Colony police station.
Police said suspects riding a motorcycle followed Khalid Kashmiri, 42, to the alley, where they shot him dead with a hand gun.
“The suspects pumped eight bullets into the victim’s head and chest causing his instant death,” said a police officer of the Model Colony police station. The assassins escaped firing into the air, the police said.
The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre by the police for medico-legal formalities.
On learning about the murder, a large number of party workers gathered at the hospital.
The slain Mr Kashmiri was an area office-bearer of the Muttahida Organising Committee.
Quoting area people, police said the victim was a resident of Amirabad in Model Colony. He was the father of three and owned an auto workshop in the area.
Following the killing, tension gripped the Model Colony area where all shops and markets were closed amid heavy firing.
In another incident, early on Wednesday morning a city warden and activist of the MQM was shot dead in North Karachi.
Police said the incident took place in Mustafa Colony within the remit of the Bilal Colony police station where suspects riding a motorcycle targeted Shaukat Maqsood, 27, who was sitting in front of his home.
The victim was seriously wounded in the firing. He was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), where he died during treatment.
Police, quoting area people, said the victim was waiting for water supply when he was attacked.
An officer of the police station said he was an activist of the MQM’s unit 140-B and worked as a city warden.
Following the killing, tension gripped the area on Wednesday morning, when all shops and markets of the area were closed.
An activist belonging to the MQM was gunned down in Landhi late on Wednesday night.
Police said the incident took place in Sector 46-C within the remit of the Landhi police station, where suspects targeted Iqbal Yaseen, 30.
Police said Iqbal was targeted while he was riding a motorbike near his home.
They said the victim belonged to Unit 80 of the party’s organisational structure. His body was shifted to the JPMC for medico-legal formalities.
Following the killing, tension gripped the locality and incidents of firing were reported in the area.
A young man was killed and three others were wounded in what police described as a shootout between two groups in Delhi Colony on Wednesday night.
The police said the incident took place in Delhi Colony within the remit of the Frere police station.
They said the incident took place near Naz Biryani Centre, where Ahsan Sadiq, 20, a worker of the MQM’s Unit 6, suffered three gunshot wounds. He was rushed to the JPMC, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police said three other persons were also wounded in the firing.
A police officer quoting the victim’s father said Ahsan was killed by activists of a political party active in the area.
Till late in the night, the situation was tense in the locality, where shops and businesses were closed. Additional police were deployed in the area to avert further clashes.
Wounded activist dies
An activist of the MQM, who was wounded on Monday night on Jahangir Road within the remit of the Jamshed Quarters police station, died during treatment at a private hospital.
Police said Saqib, 25, son of Shafeeq, a worker of the MQM’s Unit 57, was shot at by three suspects near Jahangir Road late on Monday night.
He was rushed to a private hospital, where he died during treatment on Wednesday.
Police said the victim was a resident of Jahangir Road and was sitting outside his home when shot.
A worker of the PPP was gunned down in Orangi Town on Wednesday night making him the fifth victim of the same party killed within a week.
Police said the incident took place in Orangi Town’s Qasba Colony No 1 within the remit of the Pirabad police station, where Bacha Khan, 42, was targeted as he came out of Mohammadi Masjid.
He was rushed to the ASH, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The police said the victim had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. The killers fled the scene. They said the victim was a resident of Qasba Colony and office-bearer of the PPP’s PS-96.
Police said the suspects were said to have been waiting for the victim near the mosque.
Following the incident, tension gripped the locality and shops and markets were forced to shut.
Earlier on Tuesday, two PPP workers were gunned down in Sector 4-I of Baldia Town within the remit of the Saeedabad police station. Amjad alias Gogi, 30, and Kashif, 35, were near their home when suspects riding a motorcycle opened fire on them.
On Monday two activists of the PPP were gunned down in Orangi Town.
A Rangers personal was gunned down near Star Gate on Sharea Faisal on Wednesday night.
A duty officer of the Airport police station said the incident took place near Stat Gate, where assailants targeted Mohammad Younus, 40, who was riding a motorcycle in civilian dress.
He was rushed to the JPMC, where he was pronounce dead on arrival.
A middle-aged man was shot dead by unknown suspects at Sohrab Goth on Wednesday night.
Police said the incident occurred in Deluxe Town within the remit of the Sohrab Goth police station, where unknown suspects targeted Ahsan Usmani, 50. He was a resident of the same area and was going home after offering prayers at a nearby mosque.
Police suspected personal enmity as the motive for the murder. The victim originally hailed from Sahiwal.
The police shifted the body to the ASH for meidico-legal formalities.
Stabbed to death
The body of a taxi driver was found in North Karachi Sector 7B near the Mohammad Shah graveyard.
Police said the victim was stabbed to death. A duty officer of the Sir Syed police station said the victim was identified as Mohammad Saleem.
Police suspected that the motive for the killing was personal enmity. He was a resident of a katchi abadi in Sector 7-A.
Police shifted the body to the ASH for medico-legal formalities.
Elderly man killed
An elderly man was killed by unknown persons in Orangi Town on Wednesday.
Police said the incident took place in Sector 12 near Nishan-i-Haider Chowk, where suspects riding a motorcycle opened fire on his car. Sher Mohammad, 75, suffered multiple gunshot wounds while Haji Nusrat, who was also in the car, escaped unhurt.
The victim was rushed to a nearby private hospital, where he died during treatment, the police said.
The elderly victim was a resident of Faqeer Colony and had gone to Sector 12 to attend a funeral. A duty officer of the Orangi Town police station said police suspected that the victim fell prey to personal enmity.
Later his body was taken to the ASH for medico-legal formalities.
Two women found dead
The body of an unidentified woman was found in Ibrahim Hyderi on Wednesday morning.
A duty officer of the Ibrahim Hyderi police station said the woman’s corpse was found on a pavement near the Korangi Creek PAF base.
Police shifted the body to the JPMC, where doctors said the victim had been strangled as the marks of a rope were visible on her neck.
She was wearing a burqa.
Following the medico-legal formalities, the body was taken to the Edhi morgue for want of identification.
The body of another woman was found in the graveyard of MPR Colony in the Manghopir area on Wednesday.
Police said the body was found in the graveyard within the remit of the Orangi Town police station and it was taken to the ASH.
The victim, in her late teens, had been shot to the head causing her instant death, the police said.
She was identified as Reema, daughter of Mohammad Faiz. Her brother Mohammadzada told the police that about a month back Reema had fled home with a young man identified as Akhlaq.
Her father had lodged an FIR at the Mangopir police station reporting the kidnapping of her daughter by Akhlaq.
Police said that after contracting marriage in Karachi, the couple had gone to Rawalpind. Akhlaq had sent a copy of the marriage contract to the girl’s parents through courier, the police added.
The girl’s family had left their Mangopir home and relocated to Shah Faisal Mohallah in Orangi Town.
Family members said they would lodge an FIR after the burial of the victim.
Essa Nagri protest
A protest against an incident of snatching during which a young man was wounded in Essa Nagri caused a serious traffic jam during the evening rush hours on University Road and Sir Shah Suleman Road on Wednesday.
An officer at the PIB police station said Faisal Maish, 20, resisted a snatching attempt in which he sustained a gunshot wound.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted for treatment.
However, following the incident, residents of Essa Nagri took to the streets and burnt tyres and blocked the evening rush traffic.
The protesters forced closure of the shops at Hasan Square. However police arrived there, teargassed and dispersed the protesters and helped traffic ease.
Firing during the protest was also reported. Three of the protesters were picked up by the police.
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Talks on BIT inconclusiveISLAMABAD, Aug 29: Talks between Pakistan and the United States on the signing of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) remain inconclusive.
Officially, the talks were scheduled to conclude on August 28, but were extended till Wednesday. The US delegation, which was holding parleys with government stakeholders for the past three days, decided to extend its stay in Islamabad for a positive outcome.
A broad range of investment areas were under consideration of the US-Pakistan negotiating teams. This includes civil nuclear energy as well as defence production. The US team was holding parleys with all stakeholders including defence production and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.
The US investment is expected to cover social as well as manufacturing sectors. The US negotiating team while speaking informally to a selected group of journalists here on Wednesday, expressed optimism for the signing of the BIT.
“We have extended our stay in Islamabad to sort out unresolved issues, explained members of the negotiating team. However, the team avoided comments on the final outcome of ongoing negotiations but only resorted to say that good progress was being made in talks.
The US negotiating team was hopeful of reaching consensus on unresolved issues including appointment of senior management board members of investment companies, high level of transparency in the implementation of treaty, investment laws and
regulations, basic investment protection and state-to-state dispute settlements.
There is a disagreement between Pakistan and the United States on the issue of appointment of senior management board. The US team has proposed that the members of senior management board should be exempted from any sort of clearance by
security agencies in Pakistan.
Whereas, the Pakistani team stressed that the security process has to be observed as any Israeli or Indian could be named on the senior management board.
Pakistan would not accept any Israeli since it does not recognize Israel nor it has diplomatic relations with that country.
Likewise, Pakistan also has reservations that Indians could also be included in the management board.
When asked about the timeframe for the signing of the BIT, the US team members avoided to give any timeframe and said the process of negotiation is yet to be completed.
The Board of Investment had expressed the hope that the signing of BIT would take place in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in which President Asif Zardari will lead Pakistani delegation.
The members of the team stated that they were negotiating with all stakeholders to find potential investment by US private sector. The US government was encouraging investors to tap the potential in Pakistan.
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