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Pakistan

SC directs IG to register FIR of attack on Imran within 24 hours

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ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Inspector General (IG) Punjab Faisal Shahkar to register an FIR against the attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in accordance with the law and a submit report within 24 hours.

A five-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial presided over the hearing.

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“You are an honest and competent officer. SC will assure you that no one will be allowed to interfere with your work. Give us the time and register an FIR. You need to go ahead,” the chief justice said.

Justice Bandial furthered, “We are not taking suo motu. If they are prolonging the matter then we will proceed in an earlier suo motu matter regarding the executive’s interference in the criminal justice system”.

Read: Deadlock over FIR of Imran attack continues

Justice Bandial further stated that it is the apex court’s responsibility to ensure that justice is done in accordance with the law.

“We just want to assure that your work should be not interfered with,” the chief justice added.

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Justice Bandial also told the IG that the provincial government’s “different view” could not stop police from a fair investigation and also asked the police officer to collect forensic evidence.

The apex court’s chief justice stated that it was an assassination attempt on a national leader, adding that if the court is not satisfied with the police report, then a suo motu notice will be taken.

Earlier, Shahkar had told the bench that his view is different from the provincial government.

It is pertinent to note that Shahkar has requested for his services to be withdrawn from the Punjab government with “immediate effect” as a deadlock persists over the registration of an FIR against an attack on the PTI chief.

In a letter to the provincial government, IG Punjab said that he can no longer continue to serve his duties owing to “personal reasons” and has requested to be placed at the disposal of the federal government.

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However, sources told The Express Tribune that the federal government would most likely keep the appointment of a new Punjab IG on hold as the Centre is not in a haste to provide his replacement.

Also read: Imran’s relative files FIR request with SHO Wazirabad

On Thursday, the deposed prime minister suffered a bullet wound to his leg after a gunman opened fire on his container as Imran was leading the PTI’s “Haqeeqi Azadi March”.

While the police had on Saturday taken another person into custody in connection with the attack on Imran and other party leaders during their long march in Punjab’s Wazirabad district, the case of the incident is yet to be registered despite the passage of three days.

According to sources, IG Punjab had expressed reservations about the names being mentioned in the FIR which ultimately led to the deepening of rifts between the IG and Punjab government and PTI.

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Azam Swati appears before the court

PTI Senator Azam Swati also appeared before the bench during the hearing.

The CJP told him that his matter is being examined by the SC Human Rights (HR) cell.

While talking about the “private video” of him and his wife that was leaked, Swati told that the place in the video was not the SC rest house but the federal lodge in Quetta.

“Your grievance is very painful but the court is very careful before initiating suo motu notice. You are a senior senator. Be brave,” the CJP told Swati.

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Arshad Sharif’s mother grievances

During the hearing, Justice Bandial also said that the HR cell has also taken up the matter regarding the grievances of Arshad Sharif’s mother, who penned a letter to the chief justice requesting him to form a high-level judicial commission to probe into her son’s death.

The court added that the cell has sought a report from the fact-finding team which returned from Kenya.

Protection of police officers’ tenure

Meanwhile, the same bench has set aside Registrar’s Office objections on a Constitution petition for the protection of police officers’ tenure.

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The counsel for the petitioner contended that eight IGs were changed during four years of tenure of the PTI Punjab government, which badly affected the law and order situation in the province. The bench asked Registrar’s office to list this matter before the bench for a hearing.





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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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