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Found no evidence in Kenya, JIT tells Supreme Court in Arshad Sharif murder case

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Found no evidence in Kenya, JIT tells Supreme Court in Arshad Sharif murder case

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif told the Supreme Court of Pakistan that no valid evidence was found during Kenya visit and also cited lack of cooperation from authorities of the East African countries.

A five-member bench, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial comprising Justice Ijazul Ehsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the suo motu notice.

In October last, the senior journalist was shot dead by the Kenyan police in what they claimed a “mistaken identity” case while he was returning to Nairobi from Kenya’s Magadi Town. The Kenyan police claimed that they opened fire after the vehicle breached a blockade. Following the murder, the top court took suo motu notice and ordered an inquiry in the murder case.

During today’s hearing, JIT head Awais Ahmed submitted the second progress report on the probe into the killing of the senior journalist. When Justice Naqvi inquired if the JIF found something in the case during Kenya visit.

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Mr Ahmed said the team found no solid evidence in Kenya, adding that the authorities of the foreign country did not provide access to the JIT to the evidence in the case. To which, Justice Naqbi said discussion regarding evidence will be made during the trial, saying the court this time wanted to know what material they had collected in Kenya.

In reply to a question by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, the JTI head the mobile phone and ipad of Mr Sharif were in custody of the Kenay’s IT department, adding that other belongings had been received.

The additional attorney general, who also attended the hearing, said people who had registered cases against Mr Sharif were also be interrogated, adding that it would be premature to name someone as perpetrator in it.

In reaction, Justice Naqvi reprimanded the additional attorney general, saying what he had hold was first part of the investigation and it was still incomplete. “Don’t play with court,” the judge rebuked the government lawyer.

At one point, CJP Bandial remarked the investigation in Pakistan was marred by multiple mistake. He also expressed resentment over leaking of the fact-finding report in the case. “Find the person who is behind leaking the unverified report,” he remarked.

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When Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar asked if statements of two suspects Khurram and Waqar – the two Pakistanis who had hosted Arshad Sharif in Kenya – had been recorded, the additional attorney general said the Kenyan authorities only arranged a meeting with director public prosecutor. He said Kenya officials had assured full cooperation in the investigation but did not allow the JIT members to visit the crime scene. “Diplomatic pressure is also being put on Kenya,” he said.

When Justice Ahsan said the platform of the United Nations could be used to push Kenya for cooperation in the investigation, the additional attorney general said Kenya was a friendly state and “we don’t want to take step that would damage the bilateral relations”.

CJP Bandial said Kenya is an independent state and a respectful ways should be adopted to talk with the foreign country.
Later, the top court adjourn the case for one month and sought a progress report from the JIT in two weeks.

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NDMA alerts for intense rainfall, thunderstorms from April 17

NDMA alerts for intense rainfall, thunderstorms from April 17

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NDMA alerts for intense rainfall, thunderstorms from April 17

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as per the latest projections from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and multiple weather models, in its advisory has highlighted a series of moderate to intense weather systems to cause rainfall and thunderstorms in the country from April 17th to 29th.

“These weather patterns are anticipated to bring heavy rain, thunderstorms, and hailstorms, posing significant risks to various parts across the country,” said the NDMA news release issued on Wednesday.

The forecast indicated that a weather system would enter Pakistan on April 17th, initiating a period of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms lasting until April 22nd.

“The system will influence Balochistan from April 17th to April 19th, followed by impacts on Punjab and Sindh from April 18th to April 19th. Upper Punjab will experience the effects from April 18th to April 21st, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) will be affected from April 17th to 22nd April,” the advisory said.

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Following this, a weaker weather system was expected to enter Pakistan on April 23rd, bringing low rainfall and thunderstorms to certain parts of the country until April 24th.

While Balochistan and upper Punjab would experience slight impacts from April 23rd to April 24th, KP, GB, and AJK would also be affected.

However, Sindh was not expected to be impacted during this period.

Subsequently, a strong weather system is forecasted to enter Pakistan on April 25th, bringing heavy rain, thunderstorms, and hailstorms with occasional gaps until April 29th. This system will affect Balochistan from April 25th to April 29th, with intermittent gaps. Sindh will experience impacts on April 25th, 26th, and 28th, while South Punjab will be affected from April 27th to April 28th. Upper Punjab will face the brunt from April 26th to April 29th, while KP will experience effects from 25th to 29th April, potentially impacting GB and AJK from April 25th to April 29th.

The expected rainfall may trigger flash floods in local nullahs of vulnerable areas, including Khuzdar, Ziarat, Zhob, Sherani, Muslim Bagh, Quetta, Pishin, Kech, Panjgur, Gwadar, and Turbat. Flooding may also occur in low-lying areas during the forecast period, particularly in southern western Balochistan.

In the light of these projections, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issue dinstructions for Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs), and other relevant line departments to remain vigilant and prepared to respond to any emergent situations. It is imperative for departments to ensure the pre-placement of machinery and the availability of relevant staff in vulnerable areas.

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Local departments are urged to sensitize residents living along riverbanks and associated nullahs about the expected increase in water flows, and to facilitate timely evacuation of at-risk populations from low-lying and flood-prone areas as per evacuation plans. Additionally, citizens are advised to take extreme precautionary measures, such as staying away from electric poles and weak infrastructure, and refraining from driving or walking in waterways.

Farmers, cattle owners, tourists and travelers are also advised to remain cautious during this period, checking weather and road conditions before traveling, and taking necessary steps to protect crops, livestock, and personal safety.
For further updates and information, citizens are encouraged to stay tuned to local weather forecasts and advisories.

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President summons NA session on April 19

President summons NA session on April 19

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President summons NA session on April 19

President Asif Ali Zardari has summoned the session of the National Assembly on Friday, April 19, 2024 at 10:30 am.

The president summoned the session of National Assembly in exercise of the powers conferred by article 54(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In previous session, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, daughter of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari, took oath as a member of the National Assembly.

National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq administered the oath to Aseefa.

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During the session, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari provided headphones to Aseefa Bhutto Zardari to reduce the noise disturbances as PTI MNAs raised slogans calling for the release of the PTI founder.

Following Aseefa Zardari’s swearing-in, PPP members also chanted slogans in support of the Bhutto family like ‘jiye Bhutto’.  

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President Zardari for strengthening economic, cultural ties with Turkiye

President Zardari for strengthening economic, cultural ties with Turkiye

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President Zardari for strengthening economic, cultural ties with Turkiye

President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday called for further enhancing bilateral cooperation with Turkiye in the areas of trade, economy, education and culture.

The president, talking to Ambassador of Turkiye in Pakistan Dr Mehmet Pacaci, who called on him, said that Turkish companies should benefit from the investment-friendly policies of the country and invest through the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

Welcoming the ambassador, the president said that the people of Pakistan and Turkiye had historic and long-standing ties, adding that the two nations had always supported and stood by each other in difficult times.

President Zardari stated that Pakistan could benefit from the Turkish development experience, especially in the area of infrastructure development.

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In order to promote regional connectivity, he suggested undertaking a joint feasibility study to establish a railway connection between the two brotherly countries. The president also underlined the need for increasing educational and cultural exchanges to further promote people-to-people contacts. He said that Pakistan looked forward to welcoming Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the 7th High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council session in Pakistan.

President Zardari also expressed his gratitude for President Erdoğan’s congratulatory messages on his election as President of Pakistan as well as at the beginning of Holy Ramazan. He also conveyed his warm greetings and sentiments for the future success of the Turkish president. 

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