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Bajwa data leak: Islamabad court grants bail to journalist Shahid Aslam

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Bajwa data leak: Islamabad court grants bail to journalist Shahid Aslam

An Islamabad sessions court on Wednesday granted bail to Bol News journalist Shahid Aslam, who was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from Lahore last week for his alleged part in leaking personal tax data of former army chief General (retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In November, a report published by investigative news website FactFocus — which describes itself as a “Pakistan-based digital media news organisation working on data-based investigative news stories — accused the army chief and his family of amassing assets worth Rs12.7 billion over the past six years.

The report cited tax records and wealth statements of the Bajwa family to corroborate its claims about the alleged accumulation of assets by the family inside and outside Pakistan.

Taking notice of the report, the finance minister had said that the leak was “clearly violative of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the law provides”.

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Aslam, who has been arrested in connection with the data leak, was presented before the court of Special Judge Muhammad Azam Khan today.

During the hearing, the journalist’s lawyer requested the court to accept Aslam’s bail application.

Meanwhile, FIA prosecutor Zulfiqar Naqvi said that the journalist had refused to cooperate with the investigation officers and did not share his mobile or laptop passwords with them.

“We have sent the electronic devices for forensics,” he revealed, adding Aslam was arrested for violating Section 216 [harbouring offender who has escaped from custody or whose apprehension has been ordered] of the Pakistan Penal Code.

After hearing the arguments of both sides, the court accepted Aslam’s plea and approved his bail against surety bonds worth Rs50,000.

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The case

The case pertains to the report published by FactFocus last year, accusing the former army chief and his family of amassing assets worth Rs12.7bn over the past six years.

The report, authored by journalist Ahmad Noorani, cited tax records and wealth statements of Gen Bajwa and his family to corroborate the claims about the alleged accumulation of assets inside and outside Pakistan.

Aslam has been accused of obtaining the tax records and sharing them with Noorani. The FIA arrested Aslam from Lahore on Jan 13 and later shifted him to Islamabad.

On Jan 14, he was handed over into FIA’s custody for two days. After the completion of the remand, the journalist was sent to jail on judicial remand for five days.

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Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

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Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

 YouTuber and anchorperson Imran Riaz has been released following a court order that discharged him from charges of interference in official duties.

Imran Riaz’s lawyer, Mian Ali Ashfaq, confirmed the news on his official X (formerly Twitter) account.

Media reports indicate that on May 29, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, Justice Aamer Farooq, allowed Imran Riaz to perform Hajj. However, despite the court’s permission, he was barred from travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj on June 3 and had to return home, stating his intent to seek court intervention again.

On June 12, the Islamabad High Court once more permitted Imran Riaz to proceed with Hajj. Yet, on the same day, he was arrested at Lahore Airport, clad in ihram, just as he was about to depart.

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A case under Section 406 for breach of trust was filed against him, but the Model Town Court in Lahore dismissed these charges on June 13. Nonetheless, he was rearrested in connection with another case.

This time, Imran Riaz was accused in a case registered at Sarwar Road Police Station in Lahore for allegedly interfering with official duties by forcibly driving his vehicle through an airport checkpoint, damaging a barrier.

However, on June 14, the Cantt Court in Lahore discharged Imran Riaz from the interference charges, leading to his release as per the court’s order.

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Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

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Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

Federal Information Minister Atta Tarar announced that health insurance for 5,000 journalists will be ensured in the first phase.

While addressing the media at the press club, Tarar stated that the government is committed to the welfare of journalists. He underlined the need to work together to serve the country. He also asserted the government’s belief in freedom of expression while stopping misinformation.

Also read: PPP standing with journalists over defamation law: Hassan Murtaza

Tarar highlighted that everyone must play a part in ending fake. He mentioned that a long meeting with journalists will be held soon saying that his doors are always open for them.

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Furthermore, Atta Tarar said that the government will ensure a minimum wage of Rs 37,000

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Political parties must prioritise country’s progress: President Zardari

Political parties must prioritise country’s progress: President Zardari

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Political parties must prioritise country's progress: President Zardari

 President Asif Ali Zardari has emphasised that political parties must prioritise the country’s progress and prosperity by fulfilling their democratic and constitutional responsibility.

He was talking to Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, who called on him in Islamabad on Friday.

The president said we must only think about Pakistan and put aside personal differences.

He stressed the need to take Pakistan forward and everyone has to play his role in this regard.

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Speaking on the occasion, the Interior Minister said any challenge can be tackled through the power of unity and solidarity.

Besides, matters of mutual interest and country’s overall situation were discussed in the meeting.

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