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SC’s ‘human rights cell’ probing Swati’s matter

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ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court on Monday said its human rights cell was looking into the objectionable video involving Senator Azam Swati and his wife.

During the hearing of a contempt plea against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the cell had taken up the PTI senator’s matter, elaborating that the top court would intervene if required.

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On Saturday, Swati burst into tears before the media, saying that his wife had received a video featuring him and her and about which he could not share further details because the “daughters of my country are listening”. The senator had blamed the interior minister and two military officers for conspiring against him and said they should be held accountable if something happened to him.

He had said that his daughter had told him that the video was from when Swati and his wife had visited Quetta. Recalling that visit, the senator said Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani had made arrangements for them to stay at the Supreme Court’s judicial lodges in Quetta.

Swati told the apex court that the site was not the SC rest house but was from his stay at the federal lodges in Quetta.

In a rebuttal issued on Sunday, the SC said that Swati had “never used/stayed in Supreme Court Judges Rest House at Quetta”.

“But you never stayed at the Supreme Court’s rest house,” the top judge added. “Your request is being reviewed and the matter will be dealt with according to the law.”

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Meanwhile, Swati said that he could only show the video to the apex court’s judges.
To this the chief justice said: “Swati sahab, may God give you patience […] we are instructing Pemra (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) and the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) to remove the alleged video.”

The senator, however, contended that it was possible that the video which was circulating online was not the same as the video sent to him.

“For now, let the HR Cell see the matter […] let it mature until the material comes […],” Justice Bandial said, urging Swati to stay strong. “We don’t know how many enemies you have and who are they.
“The truth will only come out after investigation. Today, it has become very difficult to find the truth. The truth is hidden beneath many layers of lies,” the chief justice added.

Separately, Justice Bandial also said that the court had initiated proceedings on the application filed by the mother of journalist Arshad Sharif — who was killed in Kenya last month.

“We are summoning a report from the committee that had gone to Kenya for an investigation,” he stated.
In a letter to the SC last week, Sharif’s mother requested the CJP to set up a judicial commission comprising senior Supreme Court judges to determine the real motive and identify criminals behind her son’s killing.

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“Only knowing the real motive and criminals and bringing them to justice will end the agony of Shaheed Arshad Sharif’s family and his journalist fraternity,” stated Sharif’s mother, Riffat Ara Alvi, in the two-page letter.

“Otherwise, I will rest my case to Allah awaiting His justice,” she said, also expressing confidence that her letter would receive due attention given the gravity of the case and not ignored like her son’s earlier letter he wrote to the authorities informing about the threats to his life.

On Oct 31, the government appointed retired judge Abdul Shakoor Paracha as the chairman of a three-member inquiry commission to probe into the mysterious murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya on Oct 23.





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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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