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Pakistan

‘Willing to be friends, but not slaves to anyone’, says Imran

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FAISALABAD:

Addressing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) long march at Mandi Bahauddin on Monday, former prime minister Imran Khan stressed that his party’s policy was not to make enemies of anyone, but not be slaves to any country.

The deposed premier’s remarks came amid the hullabaloo in government quarters over his Financial Times interview in which he stated that he had put the ‘US conspiracy’ matter “behind him”.

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“No sane man wants to have enemies. But we don’t want to be anyone’s slaves,” the PTI chief said at the march today.

“A propaganda cell is feeding journalists. They pick up things that I say and purposely misinterpret them,” Imran said adding that the cipher was in the NSC, parliament as well as with the president.

“What is the issue in this? When we say that we are moving forward, it means we want good relationships,” he clarified.

“Our journalism has reached a point where even foreign journalists have to clarify their stories,” Imran added.

Earlier, speaking of rule of law, the PTI chief said the country could not progress until there was rule of law.

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“Today if you see the global index… countries where rule of law exists, you will see that all countries on the top slots are the most prosperous. Pakistan, on the other hand, ranks 129 on the rule of law index. How then do we think that this country will prosper? It can’t!”

Rule of law will not only help the country progress but also give the people ‘real freedom’, for which this movement stands, the party chief added referring to the PTI’s long march.

“We want rule of law in this country. If an ex-PM can’t get an FIR register as per his claims… It is my right as per the Constitution to file an FIR. But I was unable to register it,” he said as he spoke about the FIR registered in the Wazirabad attack case.

He added that “if this how I was treated then what will happen to the common citizen of this country”.

On the matter of the new army chief, Imran again criticised Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his brother Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, and questioned how PM Shehbaz could consult with “a convict” on the appointment of the new army chief.

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“This is a violation of the Official Secrets Act. We will consult our lawyers […] How can he consult with an absconder and a convict regarding such an important decision,” he stated.

The PTI chief said that Nawaz had no stake in the country as he and his children were all living abroad, adding that he was no one to give his opinion on such an important matter.

‘Nation standing with Imran’

Earlier, PTI senior leader Asad Umar said that the nation was standing with former prime minister Imran Khan for its ‘real freedom’ because “important decisions are being taken in London”.

“It has been 75 years since the British left, but even today major decisions related to Pakistan were being taken in London. This is why the nation has stood with its captain for its ‘Haqeeri Azadi’,” he said.

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Focal person to PTI chairman Azhar Mashwani announced that the party chief will address the participants of the long march at 4.30 pm today.

In a tweet, Mashwani added that the address will be streamed in Mandi Bahauddin, Jarranwala and Charsadda.

Long march reaches Khurianwala
PTI’s long march, under the leadership of Umar, reached Khurianwala.

Earlier, while addressing participants at Chak Jhumra, the PTI senior leader asked a charged crowd if they were ready for Islamabad. “Will you leave [for Islamabad] when [Imran] Khan gives a call for Islamabad? Are you ready?” he asked. He further jokingly asked party workers if they were “scared of [Interior Minister] Rana Sanaullah and calls from ‘unknown numbers’”.

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Umar promised the crowd that until the ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ movement is successful the “kaptaan” will not stop.

“We will not stop, we will not get scared, we will not bow down. We will keep standing until we win,” he said while addressing the crowd.

According to the party’s official twitter handle, the march was to resume from Faisalabad’s Chak Jhumra today at 9:30 pm.

“All patriotic Pakistanis are requested to join this movement for ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’,’’ the tweet stated, adding that the march will proceed towards its destination from Chak Jhumra, Jinnah Park in Faisalabad.

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Senator Faisal Javed Khan said the PTI chief will address the participants of the long march in Mandi Bahauddin today, adding that Imran launched his public communication campaign from the same city.

“We have been in the public for 9 months continuously – after Almighty, the captain addressed the people – the efforts of the entire nation will give real freedom to Pakistan,” the senator added.

Imran dedicates verse to Arshad Sharif

PTI chairman Imran Khan, in an early morning tweet, dedicated a verse to slain journalist Arshad Sharif, shot dead on the outskirts of Kenya’s Nairobi city on October 23.

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“This verse refers to human societies that remain neutral when faced with injustice & degradation of their moral values should not expect any blessings from the Almighty as He proclaimed in the Quran to ‘enjoin the good and forbid evil’,” the PTI chief said.

Imran added that he was dedicating the verse to the journalist who took a stand against injustice despite threats to his life.

March under Qureshi’s leadership

Sharing today’s plan for the march, PTI leader Musarrat Cheema shared that the march will resume from Mandi Bahauddin at 2:30 pm under the leadership of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, adding that the party’s vice chairperson will address the workers at 4 pm, followed by the PTI chief’s address that he will conduct via a video link at 4:15 pm.

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Earlier, while addressing participants of the long march simultaneously in Faisalabad, Kharian and Nowshera via a video link from Lahore the PTI chief said he did not “want a fight with anyone” rather desired to pursue an independent foreign policy of the country that only served the interests of Pakistan and the Pakistanis.

Imran also emphasised that he wanted the US policy towards Pakistan same as its policy towards India.





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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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