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LHC rejects CCPO’s request to set aside suspension notification

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LAHORE:

The Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected on Tuesday Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Ghulam Mahmood Dogar’s request to set aside the notification concerning his suspension.

As the proceedings commenced, Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabir was told that neither was any show cause notice issued to Dogar, nor was he properly heard before his suspension.

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The CCPO’s counsel argued that the federal government had just issued a “one-line directive”. To this, the court remarked that the directives always comprise of one line.

Justice Muzamil remarked that if this matter was entertained then the petitioner will ask to be appointed as per his whim.

He said that the matter was related to and should be dealt by the service tribunal. The court cannot intervene in a matter between the federation and province, he noted, disposing of the matter and directing Dogar to approach the relevant forum.

The CCPO’s counsel argued that the Supreme Court (SC) had declared that the court could intervene if it observes that a transfer was made for vested interests. However, Justice Muzamil observed that the SC made that decision on a specific matter.

Further, the counsel argued that the CCPO’s authority was the chief minister, adding that the petitioner had also submitted an application before the federal government. However, rather than hearing his application the federal government suspended him.

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The counsel said that Dogar had not been told the actual cause of his suspension nor informed about any pending inquiry.

The additional attorney general told the court that the police service was not only confined to the province. The head of the relevant department could initiate proceedings against those who come on deputation, the CCPO’s counsel argued.

The chief secretary had refused to surrender his services, the CCPO’s counsel implored to the court. The other officers are confused as they are unaware under whose command they have to work, said the counsel.

The petition

Petitioner, CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, had challenged in the LHC the notification through which the federal government suspended him over not ensuring security of the Governor House during a concerning Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) protest against former prime minister Imran Khan’s assassination attempt during the long march.

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Read LHC moved for release of accused in IK assassination bid

He maintained in his petition that the two notifications were issued on November 5, 2022 (wherein he has been suspended) and on September 20, 2022 (whereby he had been transferred and directed to report to the Establishment Division) with a request to court to declare them illegal and unlawful.

He further requested the court that a letter issued on October 27, 2022 (whereby the petitioner was required to relinquish the charge and report to the Establishment Division within 3 days) also be declared arbitrary, illegal and unlawful.

He pleaded that the two aforesaid notifications and a letter also be set aside on the ground that the provincial government had restrained the petitioner from relinquishing charge till further order of the competent authority, Punjab chief minister.

He implored in his petition that the respondent federation of Pakistan through its secretary first transferred the petitioner from the Punjab province and directed him to report to the Establishment Division, Islamabad.

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Responding to it, the government of Punjab S&GAD Department requested the federal government to withdraw the above mentioned notification. The Punjab government also requested the federal government for provision of the allegations complaint against the petitioner. However, the federal government did not respond to the said letter and the reply is still awaited.

However, on October 27, 2022, the petitioner was directed to report to the Establishment Division within three days of issuance of this letter, failing which disciplinary proceedings under the Civil Servants (Efficiency & Discipline) Rules, 2020 were to be initiated against the petitioner.

However, the government of Punjab again directed the petitioner through IGP Punjab, to continue as CCPO Lahore and has not allowed him to relinquish charge.

He submitted that as per Rule 23(1) read with 4th Schedule of Punjab Government Rules of Business, 2011, it is the Punjab chief minister who has the authority to pass orders regarding matters of appointment, promotion, posting and transfer of posts inter alia the CCPO Lahore.

He implored in his petition that the Establishment Division had transferred the services of the petitioner with the direction to report to the Establishment Division on the basis of complaint, in order to initiate enquiry in terms of Rule 6 of the Civil Servants (E&D) Rules 2020.

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In the case of all members of Pakistan Service posted in a province, the Establishment Division was to refer the case to the chief secretary concerned for probe or fact finding inquiry. However, no complaint or allegations have been forwarded to the Punjab chief secretary by the Establishment Division so far. Thus, the whole exercise prima facie appears to be based on malafide.





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Pakistan

Imran’s right of defence struck out in defamation case

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ISLAMABAD:

Additional District Judge Lahore Chaudhry Muhammad Asif struck out the right of defence of former prime minister since concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff were not submitted on Thursday.

“This court has been left with no option except to strike out the right of defence of the defendant (Imran Khan) in this case due to non-submission of requisite replies by the defendant regarding concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff. So, the right of defence of the defendant is hereby struck out in this case accordingly,” the order stated.

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The court asked the plaintiff to submit a list of witnesses on November 29.

It has been learned that the court has so far conducted 78 hearings of the case.

The order stated that the counsel for the defendant submitted an application for adjournment on the ground that the defendant was going to file a revised petition against the order of the court regarding the dismissal of concerned objections of the defendant.

Also read: ‘No objections’ to Imran’s helicopter landing at Parade Ground: GHQ

“From the perusal of record, it reveals that various reasonable opportunities have been provided to defendant to submit the requisite replies to concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff but the defendant has not done the needful,” it stated.

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“Vide previous order dated 17.11.2022, one more opportunity was granted to the defendant in this regard with the clarification that in case of submission of requisite replies from the defendant’s side regarding concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff on the next date, the right of defence of the defendant shall be struck out. No lawful justification exits for the grant of further adjournment,” it added.

The court rejected the adjournment plea of Imran’s counsel.

According to details, the defamation suit states that Imran started uttering false and malicious statements against the plaintiff (Shehbaz) that the latter offered Rs10 billion to the former through a common friend in exchange of withdrawing the case of Panama Papers pending before the Supreme Court (SC).

Also read: President Alvi in Lahore to consult Imran over COAS appointment

​​​It pleads that the baseless and defamatory statements by the defendant widely circulated by media lowered the integrity of the plaintiff and caused him extreme mental torture, agony and anxiety. The court has been requested to issue a decree for recovery of Rs 10 billion as compensation for the publication of defamatory content in favour of the plaintiff.

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In his written statement, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief states that one of his friends told him that someone known to him and also the Sharif family approached him with an offer to pay billions of rupees if he could convince him to stop pursuing the Panama Papers case.

Imran says that he disclosed the incident for the consumption of the public at large and in the interest of the public good does not constitute any defamation.





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Pakistan to send armed helicopter unit to UN peacekeeping mission

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UNITED NATIONS:

Pakistan and Bangladesh will each be sending an armed helicopter unit to the UN peacekeeping operations in Mali, which faces serious problems as several countries have withdrawn or announced plans to pull out their personnel, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Farhan Haq said that India will supply a utility helicopter unit to the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, and all three are expected to be deployed by March next year.

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“These provide much-needed support to our forces and are critical for early warning and rapid response to protect civilians,” the spokesman told reporters at the regular noon briefing at the UN headquarters in New York.

“The UN continues to discuss with member states the deployment of new assets and plans to fill longer-standing gaps in addition to those resulting from recent announcements” of withdrawals, he said.

Set up in 2013, MINUSMA has 17,622 personnel helping the Malian government combat terrorists operating in the country.

MINUSMA is one of the deadliest operations having claimed the lives of 292 peacekeepers.

France completed its withdrawal earlier this year and it was followed by Egypt in August.

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Germany said that it was withdrawing its personnel, who numbered 595 in the latest UN roster, from MINUSMA by May next year.

Also read: Who is country’s new army chief Asim Munir?

Britain is also pulling out its 249 personnel.

Ivory Coast also said that it would discontinue the participation of its personnel, who numbered 898, in MINUSMA when the current deployment ends because of a separate dispute with the Mali government over the arrest of its soldiers who went there on a mission unconnected to the UN.

Despite the dangerous nature of the Minusma, Pakistani military doctors serving in Mopti, a town in the fifth administrative region of Mali. have continued to serve, earning praise for their work. They operate a state-of-the-art hospital staffed with 75 medical personnel, including 10 women and 65 men, according to the UN.

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The hospital operates 24 hours a day, every day, and they are always on alert. All specialities are covered, from pharmacy to gynaecology. However, its main purpose is to perform life-saving and urgent surgery when peacekeepers are injured, it was pointed out.





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Imran urges ‘all Pakistanis to participate’ in PTI long march

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Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday urged all Pakistanis to participate in his party’s much-hyped long march on Saturday (Nov26) in what appears to be his final showdown with the incumbent government to force it to announce early election date.

“Dear Pakistanis, I want all of you to participate in our haqeeqi long march in Pindi at 1pm on Saturday,” he said in a short video statement.

Imran, who was removed from power through a vote of no confidence in April, said that only a nation which has justice in it will get real freedom. “When there is justice, there are rights. When there are rights, a nation is free. Only an independent nation is prosperous,” he went on to say.

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Read more: Interior ministry warns PTI of threats, urges postponing Pindi march

The former premier said that the nation will not stay silent until it gets real freedom. “I am coming for you despite my [health] condition and all of you need to come to Pindi for me,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, senior PTI leader Asad Umar presided over a meeting regarding the party’s preparation for the long march in Rawalpindi. Senior PTI leadership including Umar Ayub, Shibli Faraz, Ali Nawaz and others participated in the meeting.

The meeting discussed the overall preparations for the long march in Rawalpindi. The security plan, long march route and other significant matters came under discussion during the meeting.

The meeting was briefed that a caravan had left from Karachi for Rawalpindi whereas two others were ready to begin their journey to the garrison city from Quetta and Gilgit-Baltistan.

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A briefing was also given in the meeting regarding the accommodation of the participants.

Issues regarding the provision of all basic needs including food and accommodation to the participants of the march were also discussed in the meeting.

“The nation is fully united and eager to achieve real freedom,” Umar said, adding that the party would welcome caravans from all over Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

“The captain [Imran Khan] will lead the ocean of people in Rawalpindi on November 26,” he further said.





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