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Special court allows transfer of Qureshi to hospital due to health condition

The former foreign minister’s health condition deteriorated in the jail

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Special court allows transfer of Qureshi to hospital due to health condition

The Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain allowed the Adiala Jail officials on Thursday to shift Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf vice chairman to the hospital following his health condition.

The former foreign minister’s health condition deteriorated in the jail when the officials approached the court seeking its permission to transfer him to the hospital. The officials requested the court that Mr Qureshi would undergo several tests as per jail doctor’s advice we have to shift him to the PIMS hospital for this purpose.

Following the request, the judge granted permission to shift Mr Qureshi to the hospital.

The PTI leader is incarcerated in the Adiala Jail as he was arrested in connection with the Cipher case.

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‘Hamstrung’ PTI makes do with Barrister Gohar Ali Khan for chief’s throne

‘Hamstrung’ PTI makes do with Barrister Gohar Ali Khan for chief’s throne

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'Hamstrung' PTI makes do with Barrister Gohar Ali Khan for chief's throne

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday put rumours to rest by announcing Barrister Gohar Ali Khan’s candidature for party’s interim chairman slot in the intra-party elections. 

The party announced that the all-important intra-party elections would be held on Dec 2 (Saturday). 

Addressing a press conference outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office in Islamabad, Barrister Ali Zafar said the party elections would be held on Dec 2. He said the party had reservations against the ECP decision but elections would be held on Saturday. The party would challenge the commission’s decision at a later stage, he added. 

He said the PTI chairman had given his consent for Barrister Gohar Ali Khan’s nomination as interim chairman. He said the party did not want to take any risk and for the time being, he (PTI chief) would not take part in intra-party elections. 

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He dispelled the impression of “minus-one formula” –  a reference to PTI chief’s ouster from the election process. 

The PTI, he said, stood nowhere without its chief. He said only Toshakhana case had been decided so far. He said the sentence awarded to the PTI chief was illegal and unconstitutional. 

He said the PTI had held intra-party elections in 2021 and 2022. Its legal team met the ECP representatives back then and presented documents regarding elections in 2021 and 2022. The ECP said the commission was satisfied that the party had held elections. 

Barrister Gohar briefly spoke to media and said the PTI chief was, is and would be chairman of the party, implying that he (Gohar) was in the race as a stop-gap arrangement.

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IHC acquits Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield reference

IHC acquits Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield reference

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IHC acquits Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield referenceIHC acquits Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield reference

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was on Wednesday acquitted in the Avenfield reference by the Islamabad High Court in what is being seen as a major legal victory for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

The court also dismissed the plea filed by the National Accountability Bureau in the Flagship reference against the PML-N leader’s acquittal after the accountability watchdog withdrew it.

The verdict was announced by a two-judge bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.

Interacting with media outside the court, Nawaz Sharif said he had entrusted the matter to Almighty God who has vindicated him. “Also in Al-Azizia reference, I’ve left the matter to Almighty God,” added the three-time premier.

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Commenting on the high court’s verdict, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, who had recently been acquitted along with her spouse Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar in the Avenfield reference, wrote on X, “When a person, despite enduring injustice, entrusts their affairs to Allah Almighty, then He makes the person triumphant in the eyes of the whole world. This is an example of gratitude, praise be to Allah!”

During Wednesday’s hearing, the court heard the arguments of the two sides that lasted two hours, and later acquitted former premier Nawaz Sharif.

At the outset of the proceedings, Amjad Pervez, the counsel for Nawaz Sharif, informed the court that the co-accused in the case, Maryam Nawaz and Capt (r) Safdar, had been acquitted earlier this year.

He stated, “The allegations levelled against them included aiding the crime. Islamabad High Court’s acquittal of the co-accused is final.”

Nawaz’s counsel asked the court whether or not his client had to mention the price of the assets when they had been purchased when he disclosed his assets to the relevant authorities.

The lawyer also mentioned that there had been cases in which the value of the assets was known, but not the income, noting that in such cases, the court had declared that the case could not be made because the income was not known.

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When Justice Aurangzeb asked the counsel about the first thing the prosecution should prove when making its case, the counsel replied that the prosecution should first prove that the accused was an officeholder and he had listed two more things.

Nawaz Sharif’s counsel remarked that accountability watchdog had not been able to prove anything. “Neither in the Panama verdict, JIT nor in NAB investigation reports could NAB prove Nawaz Sharif’s relationship with the property,” he added.

Ex-FIA DG Wajid Zia, the lawyer, also admitted that there was no evidence that proved Nawaz Sharif’s relationship to the properties.

Upon this, Nawaz Sharif’s counsel stated that it was the NAB’s responsibility to prove that Nawaz had paid for the property.

When IHC CJ Justice Farooq asked whether all of this was the prosecution’s job. Nawaz’s counsel replied in the affirmative.

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Later the court acquitted Nawaz Sharif in the Avenfield reference.

In July 2018, a trial court convicted Nawaz Sharif in the Avenfield reference for owning assets beyond known sources of income. He had been awarded 10 years in jail along with a fine of approximately Rs1.3 billion.

Both Nawaz and his daughter Maryam were arrested in Lahore in July 2018 on their return from London.

Later in December same year, Nawaz was awarded a seven-year jail term and a fine of Rs1.5 billion in the Al-Azizia reference by a NAB court.

Nawaz was diagnosed with an immune system disorder while serving the sentence in the Al-Azizia reference and was therefore permitted to proceed abroad for treatment.

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Subsequently, an IHC bench, headed by Justice Farooq, dismissed his appeals against conviction on June 24, 2021, for his failure to attend proceedings.

Upon his return to Pakistan back in October, Nawaz surrendered before the court, requesting his appeals be restored.

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Missing persons – IHC hints at case against caretaker PM, interior minister

Missing persons – IHC hints at case against caretaker PM, interior minister

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Missing persons - IHC hints at case against caretaker PM, interior minister

A senior judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday hinted that he would order registration of a case against the caretaker prime minister and Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti if missing persons were not recovered. 

IHC’s Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the case of enforced disappearances being pursued by the Baloch Students Commission. 

During the hearing, the case of missing students came to the fore and it was revealed that 22 of them had been recovered and 28 were still missing. Justice Kayani deplored the absence of law and order, and accountability mechanism against the high and mighty. 

The court stressed that the authorities concerned should solve the enforced disappearance cases promptly and adjourned the hearing till Jan 10. The judge told the interior minister that he would order registration of a case against him (Bugti) and the prime minister if those missing were not traced.   

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Also read: Aitzaz approaches SC against ‘enforced disappearances’ of citizens 

Previous hearing 

Earlier, the Islamabad High Court had summoned caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Nov 29 in connection with the missing Baloch students’ case. 

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the case of the implementation of the recommendations of the commission and rejected a report submitted by the ministerial committee formed for the recovery of missing persons.

Issuing a notice to the prime minister, the judge said the interior and defence ministers also would be summoned in this case. He remarked that it was the task of the executive but the court was now performing it.

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The judge questioned, “Would it be wise to refer this issue to the United Nations? Should we disgrace our country?”

The additional attorney general requested the court not to summon the PM and the ministers. However, the judge remarked that the issue was being treated lightly as people were going missing.

The judge emphasised that “while sitting in Islamabad we are talking about the Balochistan rights. I am giving one week to implement the recommendations of the Baloch Students Commission and produce 55 missing students. Otherwise the PM will appear before the court,” the judge ordered.

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