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Pakistan

PM directs Gwadar port to be used for wheat, urea cargo

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ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that he would not tolerate any laxity in the implementation of the Kisan Package announced by the government.

The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned to use Gwadar Port for the cargo of 50% of wheat and urea as the operationalisation of the port was essential for the uplift of Balochistan.

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The prime minister, chairing a review meeting on the execution of the package, said the government was providing a subsidy on the tube wells to farmers in the flood-ravaged areas.

He said the government was extending all possible support to the farmers in this distressing moment to enable them to sow the upcoming crop.

He also assured that the government would take all possible measures to operationalise the Gwadar Port.

During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed in detail about the implementation of the Kisan Package, tube well subsidy to the farmers in flood-hit areas, and facilitation of the farmers for the upcoming crop.

Federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Engineer Khurram Dastgir and Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State Dr Musaddiq Malik, Advisor to PM Ahad Cheema and senior officials attended the meeting.

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Pakistan

PTI dials down rhetoric, hails top military appointments

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ISLAMABAD:

Hailing the appointments of the next army chief and chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the PTI on Thursday hoped that the new leadership of the armed forces would play its role to strengthen the constitutional rights and democracy in the country.

While referring to the approval to the top military positions by President Arif Alvi, the former ruling party in a statement said that it was ready to take measures in the “best interest of the nation’s security and stability of state institutions”.

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The PTI said that the events during the last eight months had caused “deep divide” across the country and measures taken during the time had brought “extensive damages” to the country and its state institutions.

The statement said that human rights were “grossly violated” and the media was subjected to “torture and harassment”, recalling that “Arshad Sharif, one of the senior journalists in the country, was assassinated” during the said period.
The PTI said that its chairman Imran Khan was “pushed against the wall” by the “imported government”.

“The imported govt & the state, in pursuit of pushing the leader of the largest political party against the wall has plunged the country into the worst form of political instability that has essentially sent the economy into a tailspin,” the statement said.

The party hoped that the new leadership of the armed forces would play its role in strengthening the constitutional rights and democracy in the country.
It expected that “people’s right to elect a new leadership through fresh elections would be recognised”.

“The people of Pakistan expect that their armed forces, while dealing with an array of external threats, would stay out of the politics of domestic affairs and that the rights of political parties would not be infringed,” the statement said.

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“Free, fair & transparent early elections are the only solution to the prevailing crisis in the country and we believe that all individuals as well as institutions who feel the pain of the nation, must play their role in ensuring this democratic future,” it added.

The party congratulated General Sahir Shamshad Mirza on his appointment as chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and General Syed Asim Munir as chief of the army staff.

Meanwhile, the PTI chairman once again reiterated his stance of holding early polls in the country, saying not doing so would lead the country towards “economic chaos”.

“If they (government) don’t hold elections immediately, it does not bother my party, because we are gaining all the time. But our worry is that they will leave the country in a … state where it will be beyond anyone’s control,” he said in an interview with PBS.

Imran said his party would “wait” if the incumbent regime “goes the whole way fine”.

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“My only concern is that, the way things are going, we could be heading toward chaos. I mean economic chaos”.

He stressed that the PTI’s protest in Rawalpindi would be “completely peaceful”.
On US-Pakistan relationship, the PTI chief said that Islamabad acted as Washington’s “handgun” during the war on terror.

“It is just a fact that the Pakistan-US relationship has been lopsided … In Pakistan, we have been — well, the war on terror, we were like a hired gun. And I think it is a very undignified relationship.”

Imran replied in the affirmative when asked whether he could have a good working relationship with the US if he wins the office.

“The United States is a democracy. Democracies accept criticism. Democracies accept other people’s point of view. Master slaves don’t,” he said.

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“Pakistan’s relationship with the US is very important for us. So, just because [of] the regime change, it shouldn’t mean that I should have not in future [a] relationship with the US. And, yes, I have my right to criticise”.

Separately, Imran urged all the Pakistanis to participate in his party’s much-hyped long march on Saturday (tomorrow).

“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.

The PTI chief said the nation would 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.





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Pakistan

Apex court tells Vawda to admit mistake

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ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court asked former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Faisal Vawda on Thursday to admit his mistake and accept the one-time disqualification, otherwise the court had enough material for his disqualification under 62(1)(f).

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ayesha Malik, heard Vawda’s appeal against a decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which had upheld the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) ruling for his disqualification because of dual nationalities.

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During the hearing, Chief Justice Bandial said that either Vawda should admit his mistake and be disqualified under 63(1)(c), otherwise the court would proceed with the case under 62(1)f. he added that there was enough material before the court to disqualify Faisal Vawda for life.

The chief justice emphasised that Vawda must admit his mistake in writing, adding that Vawda must appear before the court and say that he changed the date of dual citizenship. He directed Vawda’s lawyer to bring the certificate of renunciation of US citizenship by Vawda.

The lawyer argued that the ECP was not a court of law, therefore; it did not have the power to disqualify anyone for life. The chief justice told the lawyer that there was material before the court which proved that Vawda gave a false affidavit.

Justice Malik said that if the ECP did not have the authority, then the IHC had the authority to declare lifelong disqualification. Justice Mansoor Shah asked the lawyer why couldn’t the Supreme Court disqualify him for life with the evidence in front of the court.

The court observed that Vawda told many lies to cover up one lie, adding that he submitted the affidavit not for a job but for the election. Being honest and trustworthy was a condition for contesting elections, the judge emphasised. “There is no room for mistake in politics,” he said.

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After which the court adjourned further hearing of the case till Friday (today).





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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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