Tag Archives: Nawaz

Mazar-e-Quaid rally: Not even US, Saudis can save Nawaz, syas Imran


The objective of Imran Khan’s whirlwind Karachi trip was to muster support of the people of the metropolitan city for the ongoing anti-government campaign of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). And Sunday’s rally apparently did achieve this aim.

“I’ve come here to unite Punjabis, Sindhis, Mohajirs, Pathans and Baloch living here. I’ve come to make you one nation,” the PTI chief told a zealous crowd of tens of thousands gathered near Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi.

Clad in white shalwar-kameez and donning a red and green stole, Imran Khan – who chose to spend the 39th day of his Dharna in Karachi – reiterated that his party’s campaign would not stop until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned.

“No one can save you this time, not even America, Saudi Arabia or Gullu Butts,” he said, addressing the prime minister. For thirty years, Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party have been taking turns to get into power, and the two families [Sharifs and Bhuttos] have been growing richer while the people are getting poorer, he added.

As red and gold fireworks lit up the sky, a beaming Imran said: “It seems we have achieved freedom. It seems that Nawaz Sharif has resigned, though that time is not far off.”

Addressing the massive crowd, Imran said some people were claiming that the sit-ins were being held at ‘someone’s behest’. “Have you come out on the army’s instructions?” “No” was the loud reply from the crowd.

Flanked by senior party leaders Jahangir Tareen, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Arif Alvi and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Imran said that people’s fundamental rights were to elect their representatives through voting and not through rigging. “Except for the 1970 elections, all elections in the country had been rigged. But no one has ever been caught or made accountable.”

Calling out to the people of both urban and rural Sindh, the PTI chairman said: “Sindh get ready. I am coming.” He said votes were being snatched from the people of Sindh in the name of the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. “But I will teach you how to fight against these feudal lords,” he added.

He said the most oppressed people were peasants and laborers of Sindh. “For the past three months, workers have not been getting salaries in Steel Mills while Hindus are being forced to leave Sindh. This will not happen in Naya Pakistan,” he promised.

The PTI chief vowed to de-politicise the police force in Karachi. “Some people in the government are supporting target killers.”

He specifically made mention of Lyari and said the people living there had no water or civic facilities while criminal gangs operating there were not brought to justice. Imran vowed that he would fight against the water and land mafias in the city.

The PTI chief said MNAs and other powerful people would continue to oppress people until the local government system was introduced. “With this system in place, people at lower strata would have the power to run their own affairs and keep a check on police,” he said.

During the speech which lasted less than an hour, Imran did not mention Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), its chief Altaf Hussain or the recent war of words between his party and the MQM on the division of Sindh.

Earlier Shah Mahmood Qureshi criticised PTI’s defunct president Javed Hashmi and alleged that the so-called ‘Baghi’ had joined hands with Nawaz Sharif. “The people of Sindh are fed up with corruption. They see Pakistan Peoples Party as the party of  ‘Zar’ and ‘Zardari’,” he added.

After addressing his supporters in Karachi, the PTI chief reached D-Chowk in Islamabad Sunday night.  Joyous over the success of the Karachi rally, Imran reiterated his stance that the prime minister should resign for one month so that transparent investigation into alleged rigging in the May 2013 elections could be carried out.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2014.


Reviving protest: PTI workers observe ‘Go Nawaz Go Day’


Scores of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers across the province observed a “Go Nawaz Go Celebration Day” announced by PTI chairman Imran Khan earlier this week.

“We will not leave Islamabad till the prime minister resigns,” PTI Punjab president Ejaz Chaudhry said on Friday.

He said they would put an end to dynastic politics in Pakistan.

Khan will continue touring flood-hit areas in Punjab to express solidarity with the people there, Chaudhry said. The Imran Khan Foundation had distributed large quantities of food and relief goods among victims across the province, he said. The IKF had established health camps to provide treatment to flood victims.

PTI supporters living in Defence Housing Authority held a sit-in at Lalak Chowk.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2014.

Upping the ante: PML-N workers express solidarity with Nawaz

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s provincial president Pir Sabir Shah raised his voice in support for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at an Istehkam-e-Pakistan rally in Peshawar.

Party activists from across the province gathered at Eidgah, Charsadda Road on Friday.  In his address, Shah billed the political standoff between the government and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) as the continuation of a long-standing conspiracy against Nawaz Sharif.

According to Shah, the PML-N had made consistent efforts to initiate development work and bring peace and prosperity to the country. He accused the protesting parties of colluding and using the sit-ins in Islamabad to paralyse progress in the country.

He added PTI and PAT were needlessly involving the Pakistan Army into the political standoff despite its decision to remain impartial in the matter.

The PML-N’s provincial president took a dig at the PTI by improvising the protesters’ popular slogan ‘go Nawaz go’ to express support for the prime minister. “We are with you, go Nawaz go,” chanted Shah.

Speaking at the rally, PML-N vice president Amir Muqam said the turnout rivalled that of the sit-ins and was welcome proof of the widespread support enjoyed by the prime minister.

He stated PTI was ignoring its responsibilities towards Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. “The promises of free education and lower food prices have not been kept” said Muqam.

A question of priorities

Reaffirming his party’s stance in preserving the democratic system and supremacy of parliament, Awami National Party (ANP) president Asfandyar Wali expressed satisfaction over political parties’ united front against the sit-in at Islamabad.

“The army’s role in supporting the government during this crucial phase deserves appreciation,” Asfandyar told the media at Wali Bagh Charsadda on Friday.

It is high time all government institutions and political forces unite to protect democracy, he added.

Asfandyar denounced the PTI and PAT protest, adding there is no justification for imposing pressure on an elected prime minister to resign.

“Massive rigging was noted on the eve of May 2013 in K-P as well, but the results were accepted by ANP in the interest of democracy,” he said.

The ANP chief said it was unfortunate Imran was crying foul about rigging in the general elections but was silent about problems faced in K-P. Asfandyar said deteriorating law and order in the province needed to be prioritised. Acts of kidnapping for ransom, target killing of tribal leaders and grenade attacks in connection with extortion of money had become the order of the day. He urged the K-P government to fulfil its responsibilities toward the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2014.


Nawaz commends Parliament, urges protesters to devise ‘new’ strategy

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stuck to his guns on Friday when he reiterated that the PML-N government would not compromise the role of Parliament and the Constitution in the country.

“This tradition of dharnas will fade away after this unsuccessful attempt to topple the government,” the prime minister said, while addressing the joint session of Parliament.

Referring to the ongoing sit-ins being staged by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in the capital, Nawaz advised protesters to devise a new strategy.

The prime minister began his address on Friday shortly after the National Assembly speaker adopted a unanimous resolution against the sit-ins.

“Despite hurdles, the government is still willing to solve problems through dialogue,” said Sharif, while highlighting the damage caused to the country from the sit-ins. “Today the Chinese president is in India, when he was supposed to be here, in Pakistan,” said Nawaz.

Rigging allegations 

Nawaz also took several jabs at PTI chief Imran Khan and protesters in Islamabad. “I had gone to meet Imran after the elections and he didn’t mention anything about rigging. I don’t know why he had this epiphany after six months.”

The prime minister went on to add that the plans of nefarious elements in the country have been foiled in Parliament and the people responsible will have to face a public court to explain their actions.

“No long march or short march can derail us from our mission of upholding democracy,” the prime minister said, adding that the government has been patient for the past five weeks when it comes to the sit-ins being staged on Constitution Avenue, but it feels the pain of women and children being used as human shields,” he says.

The premier went on to add that international observers also termed the elections free and fair to a large extent and protesters didn’t have much of a case when it came to rigging allegations.

“For the first time in the country, computerised systems were used for voting and an ECP officer was appointed — which the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had also agreed to,” said the prime minister.

“He [Imran] has not given any proof [regarding the rigging allegations],” he added.

Parliament’s role

The premier also took time to commend parliamentarians, specifically the opposition leader, for the role they have played during the current crisis and their unwavering support for democracy and rule of law.

Nawaz also expressed gratefulness to members of civil society and the media for exposing those who were trying to plot against the state.

Further, the prime minister said the prevailing situation has made Pakistan a laughing stock in the world.

“The Supreme Court had given an order for the protesters to clear Constitution Avenue. However, they remained outside the Parliament House for days,” he said.

Court clears Nawaz, Shahbaz in money laundering case

RAWALPINDI: An accountability court acquitted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other members of Sharif family of all charges pertaining to a money laundering and illegal asset ownership reference filed 14 years ago, Express News reported.

During a hearing on Friday at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court, Judge Anwar Ahmed termed the charges “politically motivated” while clearing the Sharif family of all charges pertaining to Hudaibiya Paper Mills, Raiwind Palace and the ownership of illegal assets.

The references were filed with the Attock NAB court in March 2000 have been pending in the Accountability Court, Rawalpindi.

The Sharif brothers were accused of misusing their authority and accumulating wealth beyond their means. Other Sharif family members accused in the case include Nawaz’s brother, Abbas Sharif, Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, his nephew Hamza Shahbaz, and his wife Kulsoom Nawaz.

A third reference was also filed against the Sharif family for willfully defaulting a bank loan regarding Ittefaq Foundry. A decision regarding acquittal in this case has yet to be made and the hearing of this case has been adjourned till October 2.

PM Nawaz to address UN General Assembly on September 26

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for the United States on September 24 to attend a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, which he will address on September 26, Radio Pakistan reported.

The premier is expected to focus on cooperation-based relationship with neighbouring countries, India and Afghanistan, in his speech. He is also expected to highlight the Kashmir issue at the general assembly.

On the side-lines of the UN General Assembly session, Prime Minister Nawaz will participate in an energy conference will explore ways to acquire energy through non-conventional sources. The premiers of Norway and Denmark are also expected to attend te conference.

Along with the US vice president and Japanese prime minister, the premier will co-chair a peace conference to review cooperation among international friends.

He will also participate in a meeting on reforms in the United Nations, where he is expected to underline the need for harmonising the UN Security Council with new global demands.

The premier will return to the country on September 27 along with his entourage of 14 people, including security personnel.

Meanwhile, the foriegn office spokesperson said on Thursday that the “It has been a longstanding practice to participate in the high level segment of UN general assembly at the leadership level and to make a policy statement which projects Pakistan’s perspective on vital issues of our interest.”

PAT presses fresh murder charges against PM Nawaz, close aides

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Awami Tehreek has pressed fresh murder charges against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, police confirmed on Wednesday.

The case relates to the deaths of three people in clashes with the police that took place on the night of August 30 after protesters attempted to storm the prime minister’s official residence and used cranes to remove barricades.

The case was registered in the Secretariat police station following an order from the district and sessions court.

On September 15, Judge Raja Jawad Abbasi of the session court ordered the Station House Officer in Secretariat police to register a first information report (FIR) against PM Nawaz and his close aides as well as the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) against the killing of PAT workers.

The decision came in response to a petition  filed by PAT leader Umar Riaz Abbasi against the Secretariat police for not registering an FIR against the killings in Islamabad.

Two victims died from rubber bullet injuries while a third had a heart attack. All were male.

A senior police official told AFP: “Yes, a case for murder, attempted murder, attack and abetment for attack has been registered against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” adding the interior minister and several senior police were also named.

Prime Minister Nawaz and other high-ranking figures were also named in a murder case related to the deaths of 14 Qadri supporters as clashes broke out with police in Model Town on June 17.

Qadri and PTI chief Imran Khan have been protesting in Islamabad for the last month to overthrow the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.

Nawaz regrets delay in Chinese president’s visit

ATTOCK: Upset over Chinese president postponing his visit to Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said President Xi Jinping was supposed to visit our country but has now gone to India because of the situation in Islamabad. 

Remorseful Nawaz, during his speech in Attock at the inauguration ceremony of an oil well, said the country knows why the visit was delayed despite complete preparations.

Touching upon the current political situation and rigging allegations, the premier said that there is just one party which is bringing the progress of this nation to a halt.

He reiterated that he would not be handing in his resignation at the say of a few thousand people.

Gas discovery 

PM Nawaz praised efforts of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) as gas was discovered in the area and ordered that all workers involved were to receive a two month bonus.

The PM went on to discuss the importance of discovering gas all over the country in order to reduce the amount of imports.

“I look forward to the day that we don’t need to import gas,” a hopeful Nawaz said.

The PM highlighted the importance of bringing an end to load shedding in Pakistan.

“To build more educational institutions, we need to end load shedding. To build more hospitals, we need to end load shedding. Our main aim is to bring an end to the load shedding and electricity problems of this nation,” said Nawaz.

He concluded by saying that he will continue his efforts to take Pakistan to new heights and will do his best to ensure that the nation prospers in every way possible.

Visit to South Punjab: Govt stands by people in testing times, says PM Nawaz


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made an impassioned pledge to flood victims on Tuesday, assuring them of continued government assistance to enable them to stand on their own feet.

“I can feel the pain and suffering you people are going through and the government will not leave you alone in these testing times,” he said.

The premier was addressing a gathering of flood victims at a relief camp in Khurshidabad. During  his visit PM Nawaz monitored the relief activities in flood-hit South Punjab.

The PM said that the government and the whole nation shared the grief and sufferings of the affected people, who were forced to leave their homes. “No one likes to leave their homes but the flood water entered houses, destroyed crops, and swept away livestock.”

The PM said the government would perform its duty with impeccable sense of responsibility to provide relief to the people and to alleviate their sufferings.

“Your every loss will be compensated,” he said. “I am aware that this unseen problem has shaken everything in your life but we will not let you struggle for getting back your hopes and dreams,” he added.

He said the government would facilitate the flood victims with all its resources. “We have diverted our available resources even from other projects for immediate relief to the flood victims,” he said.

Commending the efforts of Punjab government, he said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is the real hero of Pakistan.

“I am surprised at the dedication, loyalty, hard work of Shahbaz Sharif, who is reaching every spot before the floodwater to ensure safety of the people of Pakistan,” he added.

Earlier, PM Nawaz Sharif visited the relief camp where he saw all the tents set up for the flood affected people and talked to them to know about their problems.

Later, DCO Hafiz Shoukat Ali gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on rescue and relief operation in dMuzaffargarh .

Tribesmen’s sacrifices make nation proud: PM

The PM also saluted the brave people of the tribal areas – especially those from North Waziristan Agency (NWA) – who have rendered great sacrifices for durable peace in the country for which the entire Pakistani nation is proud of them.

He was talking to a large jirga delegation from the NWA, led by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman at the PM’s House in Islamabad.

He said the government was trying its best to ensure early return of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of the NWA to their homes, so that they could start their lives afresh in an atmosphere of peace and stability.

“The North Waziristan will soon be cleared,” he said while expressing hope that permanent peace would be restored in the area, according to a press release issued by the PM’s Office

Earlier, Maulana Fazlur Rahman apprised the prime minister of the difficulties, being faced by the displaced families and regretted that the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) was oblivious to these problems.

The tribal elders also expressed their views and submitted their recommendations. Secretary to the PM Javed Aslam and Political Secretary to PM Dr Asif Kirmani also attended the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2014.

Stoking controversy: SC accepts Nawaz disqualification plea


Hearing an appeal filed against the objections raised by the registrar’s office, the Supreme Court accepted a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Ishaq Khan Khakwani seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The appeal had been filed by the PTI leader against registrar’s office on September 11, after the latter had rejected the plea demanding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif be disqualified under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

Khakwani, through his counsel Advocate Irfan Qadir, had submitted the petition on September 2, requesting the disqualification of Nawaz — citing as reason his controversial statement made on the floor of the House regarding the role of army in the ongoing crisis.

The SC registrar office rejected the request after raising objections on it. The registrar office raised three objections, two of which were of technical nature while the third was legal.

The registrar office had objected that none of the fundamental rights of the petitioner have been violated and he has no ‘locus standi’ to file a petition for the disqualification of the PM.

It said that the premier enjoys immunity, in reply to which the petitioner submitted that the apex court has disqualified a sitting prime minister in the past.

Subsequently, Advocate Qadir again submitted the petition on September 13 after answering the objections. He also filed a request asking for speedy hearing of the case. The petitioner challenged the SC office’s objections, saying that the registrar has no power to decide as to whether the petition is maintainable or not.

“The SC’s office order runs contrary to a plethora of judicial precedents of recent years of the post-restoration period of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, according to which in similar circumstances petitions were entertained against sitting prime ministers, federal ministers and parliamentarians where many of them were directly disqualified by the SC itself with further directions to the Election Commission of Pakistan to de-notify those holders of public office”, the appeal stated.

“The question of maintainability is to be decided by the Supreme Court in terms of Article 184(3) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In the instant case, the institution officer has assumed upon himself the functions of the Supreme Court”, the PTI leader’s appeal says.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2014.