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Corruption cases against Sharif: Pak court to deliver judgment today

Press Trust of India

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Islamabad, Dec 23: An anti-corruption court in Pakistan will deliver its judgment on Monday in two remaining corruption cases against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik of Islamabad-based accountability court last week reserved the judgment after completion of hearing in the Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia cases against 68-year-old Sharif.

The verdict will be announced on December 24, which is the revised deadline set by the Supreme Court to wrap up the remaining two corruption cases against the three-time former prime minister.

 

If found guilty, Sharif can be sentenced up to 14 years in jail.

The accountability court had indicted Sharif for holding assets beyond his known sources of income in August 2017.

Last week, the judge rejected application by Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Harris to provide one week time to submit more documents but allowed him to provide any document by Friday last.

The judge also observed that the court was bound to follow December 24 final deadline set by the Supreme Court.

Three cases – Avenfield properties case, Flagship Investment case and Al-Azizia steel mills case – were launched by the National Accountability Bureau on September 8, 2017 following a judgment by the apex court that disqualified Sharif.

The apex court initially set six month deadline to conclude the cases but it was subsequently increase around eight times on the request of the accountability court.

Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case in July, 2017.

In July, 2018 Sharif, his daughter Maryam and his son-in-law retired captain Mohammad Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year respectively in prison in the Avenfield properties case related to their purchase of four luxury flats in London through corrupt practices. However, the three were bailed out by the Islamabad High Court in September.

His two sons – Hassan and Hussain – were also co-accused in all three cases but they were declared absconders for failing to appear before the court even for a single time.

The court decided to hear their cases separately once they returned back.

The three-time former prime minister and his family have denied any wrongdoing.

Sharif, who religiously followed the proceeding by appearing before the court for at least 78 times, told the media after the court reserved the judgment last week that he not committed any corruption.

“Not a penny of corruption has been proven against me…I am very happy that I have done my duty, and I think that since I have stepped in politics I have never indulged in corruption nor have misused my power,” he said.

Veteran politician Javed Hashmi on Saturday predicted that Sharif will be convicted in the Flagship and Al-Azizia case as “the institutions won’t let these (cases) prove false”.

Talking to the media in Multan, he said that the purpose of the NAB was to make politicians change their political loyalties.

“I will not accept this decision as Nawaz Sharif will be convicted at any cost,” he was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.


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Attacks on Kashmiris: Valley closes down in protest

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Srinagar, Feb 17: A complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir on Sunday against the targeting of Valleyites in Jammu and other states in the backdrop of Lethpora suicide attack.

On the other hand, curfew continued in Jammu for third straight day on Sunday following mob attacks on local Muslims and Kashmiris during a shutdown call against Pulwama bombing.

The bandh call given by trade bodies in Kashmir had a thorough response on ground with transport remaining off the roads, business establishments remaining shut and all major roads wearing a deserted look.

 

Trade bodies had called for the strike in protest against the attacks launched against Kashmiris in Jammu and other states.

To foil protest demonstrations, administration in Kashmir valley had taken requisite precautionary measures including suspension of internet services, imposition of restrictions in old city areas of Srinagar.

Additional deployment of security personnel was made in various volatile areas to thwart any ‘law and order’ disruption.

No untoward incident anywhere during the present strike call was witnessed across Kashmir till this report was filed.

A complete shutdown was also observed in highway town of Banihal in Chenab Valley area as a mark of protest against the mob attacks on Kashmiris and local Muslims in Jammu.

Reports said that all shops and other business establishments were closed in the town.

Anjuman Islamia President Parvez Ahmed Sheikh has also called for a shutdown in the entire Chenab valley on Monday.“We have forwarded this strike call for Monday to denounce the attacks and intimidation of Kashmiris particularly students in different parts of India. We also denounce the violence incited by miscreants in Jammu against Kashmiris,” he told news agency CNS and urged upon people to make the strike successful.

Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party President and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday reached Jammu in a bid to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir presently staying in Jammu and convey her concern over their security to the state administration.

However according to reports she was not allowed to enter into the PDP head office located in Gandhi Nagar area of the region.
PDP’s Jammu office too, as per reports, was sealed by police and all senior leaders of the party who were helping evacuate people were restrained inside the party office.

 

Move employees urge Guv: ‘Facilitate our journey back home’ 

Srinagar, Feb 17: Employees Coordination Committee Civil Secretariat Jammu on Sunday urged the state government to facilitate their journey back to Kashmir in view of mob violence in the state’s winter capital.
In a statement, ECC Civil Secretariat Jammu chairman Ghulam Rasool Mir requested Governor Satya Pal Malik to give employees and their families transport facility and protection from Jammu to their homes as “every one of them feels insecure in Jammu.”
He said the families of move employees were facing shortage of essential commodities in the city. “In case the govt will not provide them safe passage to leave, the employees have no option but to leave till the situation doesn’t get normal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Darbar Move Employees Federation (DMEF) have decided not to join their duties from Monday.
Federation president Owais Wani was quoted saying by news agency Kashmir News Service that given the atmosphere of fear and attacks on their residential quarters, they have decided to stay indoors.
“We can’t leave home and keep our female members alone. Anything worse can happen,” he said.
He appealed Governor Satya Pal Malik to make arrangements for the families of darbar move employees.
“We are running short of essential commodities here in Jammu due to which we are not able to feed our families here,” he said.
He appealed to the Divisional Commissioner Jammu to make arrangements of essential commodities for employees putting up at government quarters.
Wani also appealed to the Jammu based employees to cooperate with them. “We appeal to our employees working in Kashmir and those who are on leave to join the protest programme of Joint Coordination committee tomorrow (Monday) at Srinagar Press enclave,” he appealed.

 

Mobile internet suspended across Kashmir

Srinagar, Feb 17: Authorities suspended the internet services across Kashmir late Saturday evening in backdrop of reports of attacks on Kashmiris in Jammu and other states.
The internet services were suspended soon after the videos clips of Kashmiris being either attacked or asked to leave outside Kashmir, mostly in north Indian states appeared on social media.
In Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and other states of the country, many Kashmiri students and traders were asked to leave the place.
Meanwhile, curfew continued on the third day as well in the winter capital. Earlier the mob in Jammu had attacked many Kashmiris and properties worth lakhs were damaged.

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Govt reviews security of valley students in other states

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Srinagar, Feb 17: Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Sunday reviewed the safety and security of the students from Jammu & Kashmir studying in different colleges and universities outside the State with the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan.

The Divisional Commissioner informed the Advisor that he was in constant touch with the authorities in different States who had assured of providing adequate security to the students.

He was also informed that Helplines have been set up by the office of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, and J&K Police to register the queries of the students and parents and for providing the response in real time.

 

The Advisor was briefed about the work being done by the Liaison Officers appointed for the purpose in various cities in the country under the overall supervision of the Principal Resident Commissioner, J&K, located in New Delhi.

The Advisor conveyed to the Divisional Commissioner that the Governor was himself monitoring the work of the Liaison Officers in various States and also enquiring about the welfare of the students.

He said the Governor has given clear directions to the Principal Resident Commissioner to take immediate cognizance of any complaint received from the students and take prompt action by informing the concerned authorities in those states.

The Advisor further stated that the Union Home Ministry had issued advisories to all the State Governments in this regard.

The Divisional Commissioner also informed the Advisor that he had personally spoken to some students and parents on phone who expressed their satisfaction about the work being done by the J&K Government for safety and security of the students.

 

U’khand police to Kashmiri students: ‘Don’t issue provocative statements’

Dehradun, Feb 17: Uttarakhand police Sunday appealed to Kashmiri students studying in the state to not issue provocative statements on social media in the wake of Pulwama attack in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed.
“People are outraged across the country over the Pulwama attack and students from Jammu and Kashmir studying in Uttarakhand should not issue provocative statements on social media to add fuel to the fire,” Additional Director General of Police Ashok Kumar told PTI.
However, Kumar added Kashmiri students have no reason to worry as police is there to ensure their complete safety.
On allegations of a section of Kashmiri girl students that they remained locked up for hours in a room as they were afraid about their safety, he said, “The matter had been blown out of proportion.”
“They had shouted anti-India slogans when a candle march procession was being carried out by locals, triggering tension. However, police intervened immediately and the matter was resolved. But they blew up the matter while talking to a section of the press,” he said.
The ADG said one Kashmiri student, who had sent a message to his friends on WhatsApp expressing happiness over the attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, has been arrested.
The student named Kaishar Rashid was arrested late on Saturday night and sent to jail, he said.
A case under Section 505(2) of the IPC had been registered against Rashid, SSP Nivedita Kukreti said.
On Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik reviewed with senior officials the security of students from the state studying in universities and colleges across the country.
The officials informed Malik that liaison officers were coordinating with university authorities and the local police to ensure safety of the students. (PTI)

 

AMU asks Kashmiri students not to move out of campus
Press Trust of India
Aligarh, Feb 17: The AMU has issued an advisory to its Kashmiri students asking them “not to move out of the campus” as a precautionary measure after protests broke out in this city in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, varsity authorities said.
In the deadliest attack on forces in Kashmir last Thursday that left 49 CRPF personnel dead, the “fidayeen” (suicide attacker) was identified as Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama.
Several parts of this city witnessed protests after the attack, prompting the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) authorities to issue an advisory to its Kashmiri students cautioning them against moving out of the campus.
AMU Proctor Professor Mohsin Khan told PTI, “The university authorities are maintaining constant vigil on law and order situation on the campus, especially in the wake of highly inflammatory social media posts emanating from the city.”
Khan added, “We are very clear that there is going to be zero tolerance on our part towards any act of lawlessness, especially one which smacks of anti-national activity even remotely.”
The AMU proctor said it suspended a Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet in connection with the Pulwama attack.
“Kashmir-origin undergraduate student Basim Hilal, suspended from the university after an objectionable tweet following the Pulwama outrage, is no longer at the campus. An FIR was lodged at the Civil Lines police station against Hilal on Friday after the post went viral on social media,” Khan said.

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Kashmiri student arrested for Whatsapp status in Himachal

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Srinagar, Feb 17: A B.Tech student of a Himachal Pradesh University was arrested for allegedly “glorifying” suicide bomber Aadil Ahmed Dar, who was behind the Pulwama attack, in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed, amid tension on campus Saturday, reported The Indian Express.
Kasauli court on Sunday remanded Tashin Gul, 21, to judicial custody till February 28.

Son of a government teacher, Gul, a resident of Harman, Shopian, was arrested on Saturday and booked under IPC section 153B (imputing, making assertions prejudicial to national integration).

The FIR was lodged on the basis of a complaint filed by retd. Col. AK Chauhan, dean of Chitkara University.

 

Gul, 21, a native of Kashmir and second-year student of Chitkara University in Baddi, had allegedly put up a picture of Dar as his Whatsapp profile photo and the words — “Allah Talah aap ki shahadat kabool kare (May Allah accept your martydom)” — as his status.

Meanwhile, the police on Sunday also detained two other students namely Rahat and Irfan, resident of Kashmir who were staying with Tashin Gul in a rented accommodation for further questioning.

Currently, over half dozen Kashmiri students were studying in different courses in the varsity. A case has been registered under section 153 –B Indian Penal Code. Further investigations are in progress.

Gul was quoted saying by The Indian Express: “When I learnt about the attack in Pulwama, I first updated my WhatsApp status and inadvertently also tagged the picture of the suicide bomber. Later, I realised my mistake and deleted my WhatsApp status. Next day, a few fellow students raised strong objections to my WhatsApp status message and picture and told me to remove it. Sensing a threat to my life, I informed the university authorities. I also submitted a written apology to the university. Later on, I came to know that the university had lodged a police complaint against me. I regret my mistake.”

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