This startling disclosure and the 11-year-long incarceration of President Asif Ali Zardari in cases that remained unsubstantiated in the courts give a benefit of doubt to the two main victims of this so-called accountability process bulldozed by Sharif’s confidant, Saifur Rehman of the Ehtesab (Accountability) Bureau. But what to talk of exoneration in media trials or malicious campaigns, certain quarters are unwilling to give even this benefit of doubt to President Zardari and his deceased spouse in sheer disregard for the undeniable fact that their party is still the biggest repository of the majority votes of the people of Pakistan. Yes, they were democratic machinations and nothing more than that. It was none other than the high-profile and dependable figure of Mian Nawaz Sharif who blew the gaff during his interview to renowned journalist Suhail Waraich whose book is very much available at national and international bookshops. In this interview, while pronouncing the accountability process, ie Saifur Rehman’s accountability process, as wrong, Mian Nawaz Sharif has unequivocally stated that they (the Sharifs and the PML-N) were pushed to do so. To quote Sharif further, “there was pressure on us from the armed forces and the ISI. We were made to take such steps, by design, so as to deal a big blow to the politicians’ credibility.” But that was an era when even the judicial forums have been conducting their affairs in a strange manner. On one day, Bhutto and Zardari would be ordered to appear in a Rawalpindi court and on the next day, they would be directed to appear in Karachi. This in itself speaks volumes of the anti-Bhutto and anti-Zardari conspiracies that would be pursued for years (rather for more than a decade) with ‘enthusiasm’ and exceptional shrewdness. Dates of appearance would be stage-managed, prosecutors would be given specific advice and material and the entire might of the governmental machinery and agency networks would be employed to make sure that Bhutto and Zardari remain in prison, if not as convicts, then as under-trials. The fact is the same that Nawaz Sharif has already been exposed as a leader committed sincerely to the cause of democracy. It is unfortunate that cases sans evidence were instituted during his tenure, but it is heartening that he (Nawaz Sharif) has revealed the truth without any fear or reluctance. Just have a look at some other words of Nawaz Sharif in the same interview. Sharif says: “I was not in favour of arresting Benazir Bhutto, but Saifur Rehman would insist upon her arrest. Ch Shujaat Hussain is witness to this fact that I wanted Benazir Bhutto to go abroad before being sentenced. In fact, I never wanted her to go to jail.” REFERENCE: Anti-Asif Zardari malice exposed By Fasihur Rehman Saturday, December 12, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=212970 REFERENCES: Ghaddar Kaun? Author: Sohail Warraich - Nawaz Sharif opens up to Sohail Warraich in a big way READ THE BOOK sohail waraich - ghaddar kaun http://www.scribd.com/doc/2411542/sohail-waraich-ghaddar-kaun
NOW READ THESE REPORTS FILED BY ALLEGEDLY A SENIOR CORRESPONDENT "MUHAMMAD SALEH ZAAFIR" OF THE JANG GROUP OF NEWSPAPERS/GEO TV
Former Senator Saifur Rehman has vowed that if the government authorities failed in producing whole evidence or deliberately withheld the proof about the corruptions of Asif Ali Zardari and his accomplices in the court, he would provide all the relevant documents pertaining to the ill-gotten money and corruption which have been placed at a safe place and are fully intact and retrievable. - As per Senior Correspondent of JANG GROUP/GEO NEWS i.e. Muhammad Saleh Zaafir: Former chairman of defunct National Accountability Cell Saifur Rehman has said that his name is still on the list given to the Interpol for arrest despite Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s direction to Interior Minister Rehman Malik to remove it. PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif spoke to Prime Minister Gilani three days ago and also wrote to him to end, what he called, the persecution of the Saif brothers. Talking to The News from Doha, Saifur Rehman emphatically denied the allegation that he was using electricity without paying any bill. REFERENCES: Saif to act if evidence concealed By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Thursday, December 10, 2009 Saif to act if evidence concealed By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Thursday, December 10, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=26004 Saifur Rehman pleads innocence in power scam By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Monday, May 25, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=179349
REFERENCE: http://www.express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1101006456&Issue=NP_LHE&Date=20100723 Thursday, July 22, 2010, Shaban 09, 1431 A.H http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/jul2010-daily/22-07-2010/u39505.htm
DG IB IQBAL NIAZI 1
DG IB IQBAL NIAZI 2
DG IB IQBAL NIAZI 3
DG IB IQBAL NIAZI 4
DG IB IQBAL NIAZI 5
NOW LET ME QUOTE A REPORT FILED BY PAKISTAN PRESS FOUNDATION ON THE FORMER SENATOR SAIFUR REHMAN ON ACCOUNTABILITY AND HIS METHOD OF THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF PAKISTANI PRESS/MEDIA
1999 was not a good year for democracy or for press freedom in Pakistan. The army staged a coup on 12 October as a reaction against the attempt by the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to dismiss the Chief of Army Staff General Pervaiz Musharraf. On 16 October, the constitution was suspended and a state of emergency was declared. However, because of the increasingly authoritarian attitude of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the demise of his government did not evoke a feeling of sadness or any negative reaction within the country.
Earlier in the year, the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tried to subdue the Jang Group, the country’s largest media group, and to punish Najam Sethi, editor of The Friday Times and other journalists who had cooperated in the production of a BBC’s documentary investigating corruption involving the family and business concerns of the then prime minister. These episodes, which received widespread publicity within Pakistan and abroad, illustrated the range of instruments that are in the hands of the government to intimidate, harass and punish the press. They also demonstrated the courage and determination of Pakistani journalists in standing up to extreme pressures.
Victimisation of The Jang Group
The government action against the Jang Group started in December 1998. On December 14, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided the Rawalpindi office of the daily Jang. They demanded to check the newsprint quotas and store records and harassed journalists and other staff present at the office. However, the newspapers’ staff and office bearers of the workers union resisted this attempt and forced the FIA officials to withdraw from the premises.
The government claimed the raid was a routine examination of the accounts and audit of the group was being conducted because of discrepancies in the profit declared to the income tax department and to the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC).
The Jang group spokesman contested the government’s view and maintained that the tax raids were conducted to harass and intimidate the group and its journalists to stop writing stories, reports and investigative stories critical of the government. The spokesman added that government demands included the dismissal of 16 senior journalists including Maleeha Lodhi (Editor, The News, Rawalpindi), Irshad A Haqqani (Editor, Jang, Lahore) and Kamran Khan (The News, Karachi).
The spokesman for the newspaper group also disclosed that senior government officials had asked Jang group newspapers not to carry a news story concerning the non-payment of an eleven million pounds (US$18.5million) loan by the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that had been published by the British newspaper The Observer a day earlier. The spokesman claimed officials tried to block the publication of the story and threatened that things would get "real tough" if the story was published. The story was reprinted in a number of Pakistani newspapers, including those belonging to the Jang group.
In retaliation, the government stopped advertising in Jang Group newspapers and filed claims against the group for customs duties on shipments of newsprint amounting to 1.6 billion rupees (US$31.4 million). The government also issued notices of tax evasion against the group and its owner, Mir Shakilur Rehman, amounting to two billion rupees (US$40 million).
On January 28, Mir Shakilur Rehman held a press conference during which he played discussions with Senator Saifur Rehman, head of the government’s Accountability Bureau and a close associate of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in which Senator Rehman asked for the dismissal of a number of senior journalists. The Senator also demanded a say in hiring journalists in key position. The senator was heard promising Mir Shakilur Rehman "If we see any positive change in your attitude, we will settle your problems in a positive manner." Mir Shakilur Rehman rejected the threats as well as the inducements offered by the senator.
On January 30 the police registered cases of sedition against daily Jang and two other Urdu dailies Amn and Parcham for publishing a political advertisement that “created hatred in the public by virtue of seditious contents."
In an attempt to force the closure of the publications, the government froze the bank accounts of the Jang Group and confiscated newspapers’ newsprint, and stopped newsprint shipments at the port of Karachi.
On February 1 the Supreme Court ordered the government to release the newsprint. However, the FIA in Rawalpindi defied the court order and commandeered trucks of newsprint meant for Jang publications.
A group of journalists who went to the office of the FIA to discuss the release of newsprint were abused, pushed and beaten, resulting in injury to three journalists, Mariana Baabar, Shakil Sheikh and Rana Mubashir. The same day a number of journalists were beaten by the police at the rally organised by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), to protest the victimisation of the Jang Group.
Journalists from the Jang and The News responded to police violence and the seizure of newsprint, by blocking the city's main Muree Road for nearly five hours, while heavy contingents of police patrolled the area. The next day police registered cases against eighty journalists for staging the demonstration.
On 3 February Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials and the police manhandled staff of the daily Ausaf, Islamabad. The editor of Ausaf, Hamid Mir, said that they were punished for providing newsprint to the Jang Group. Senator Saifur Rehman reportedly threatened Hamid Mir with closure of his newspaper for providing support to the Jang Group. Telephones of Ausaf's Karachi bureau were disconnected making it difficult for the bureau to send news to its Islamabad office.
On 4 February, the Supreme Court again ordered the government to release 200 of the 1,093 reels of impounded newsprint because if newsprint was not released it would not be possible to publish the Jang Group newspapers. After the Supreme Court ruling, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the police cordoned off the daily Jang's printing press in Karachi and tried to stop the printing of the newspapers. They took away the truck loaded with eight reels of newsprint belonging to the Jang Group, which was later after the intervention of Senior District Magistrate (SDM).
FIA officials said that they had received orders not to allow the newsprint to the press. The vehicle leaving the press with copies of the group's evening newspaper, Awam, was stopped by police and only allowed to leave when the editor of Awam threatened action against the policemen.
Police parked a trailer in front of the main door of the printing press and checked all cars coming towards the press and harassed the staff of the printing press. The editorial and technical staff had to rush to the press several times to argue with the police and FIA men to stop the harassment.
One positive aspect of this unfortunate act of government arrogance was the universal condemnation of government action by journalists, editors, publishers as well as national and international media organisations The government realised the operation to tame the Jang Group had backfired, and after nearly two months of hostility, a settlement was reached on 7 February at a meeting between Mir Shakilur Rehman and representatives of the government.
The agreement led to the release newsprint, the withdrawal of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and police personnel from outside the group's offices, and the unfreezing of bank accounts. The agreement led to the payment of salaries of the workers and the resumption of normal publication of Jang publications.
The other high profile episode was the victimisation and harassment of journalists who had cooperated in the production of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) documentary Correspondent dealing with corruption in the government and business concerns of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and allegations of money-laundering by his family.
The intimidation of journalists became public when intelligence agents in Lahore picked up Mehmood Ali Khan Lodhi, of The News, Lahore, on May 2. Lodhi's was released after two days of interrogation on May 4, after journalists boycotted the coverage of the Punjab provincial assembly to protest Lodhi's abduction and demanded information about his whereabouts. There was no official explanation for his illegal detention.
According to Lodhi, the interrogators wanted to know details of his involvement with a BBC team. Lodhi said the BBC had contacted him and he gave them the address, telephone numbers and directions to the house of Yousuf Aziz, Sharif's estranged cousin. Lodhi said that the interrogators were anxious to find the motives behind the documentary. He added that during the making of the documentary, he had received death threats for working with BBC.
BBC Documentary on Nawaz Sharif (PML - N) Corruption
On 4 May, just after midnight, Hussain Haqqani, spokesperson of the opposition alliance and columnist for The Friday Times and the daily Jang was taken into the custody of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for two-year old corruption and embezzlement charges. However, the real reason for his detention was to punish him for the interview he gave to programme Correspondent.
The same day, Ejaz Haider, a news editor of The Friday Times, received an anonymous note warning him to install bulletproof windows in his car. Haider was not home at the time the note was delivered to Haider’s 7-year-old son. Haider believed he was targeted because he worked for The Friday Times, whose owner, Najam Sethi had played a significant role in facilitating the production of Correspondent.
Sethi, had to bear the full force of government’s anger for his role in organising the visit and for being interviewed for the programme. According to press reports, senior government officials had cautioned him not to work with the BBC team, terming it an attempt to destabilise the country and overthrow the government.
Sethi said he had received numerous threatening phone calls he feared that his house and office would be attacked and he would be arrested.
His fears proved to be well founded and on 8 May, about fifteen armed men arrived in vehicles bearing government registration plates stormed Sethi’s house at around 3:00 am and started beating Sethi’s two personal guards posted at the gate. They then entered the house and banged at the bedroom door. As soon as Sethi opened the door they started beating him. His wife, Jugnu Mohsin was also beaten and locked in a room and warned not to raise alarm. The officials became abusive when she asked to see the arrest warrants.
The official reason given for his arrest was a speech he had delivered at the India-Pakistan Friendship Society on 30 April in New Delhi on problems facing Pakistan. The official charge did not have much credibility as Sethi had delivered the same speech earlier to the armed forces personnel at the National Defence College. A government spokesman also alleged that Sethi had been arrested for his anti-state activities and links with Indian intelligence agents.
Sethi was detained for several days at an undisclosed location. The police even refused to acknowledge that he had been arrested, although information was leaked to the press that he was in the custody of military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
On 12 May, the Lahore High Court rejected a petition by Jugnu Mohsin to produce Sethi before the court because he was being held by military intelligence. On 13 May 1999 authorities seized copies of The Friday Times.
On 17 May 1999, the Supreme Court ordered that the Sethi’s family be allowed to meet with him. The Supreme Court ruled that hearings to determine whether the ISI could arrest Sethi under the Army Act would start on 31 May.
On 1 June, the ISI transferred Sethi to police custody, after an official criminal complaint or First Information Report (FIR) was filed against him under sections 123-A ("Condemnation of the Creation of the State and Advocacy of Abolition of its Sovereignty"), 124-A (sedition), and 153-A ("Promoting Enmity Between Different Groups") of Pakistan's penal code, and Section 13 of the Prevention of Anti-National Activities Act of 1974.
However, on 2 June, during the hearing of Sethi’s bail application filed by Mohsin, the attorney general of Pakistan made the surprise announcement that the government had decided to drop all charges against Sethi. The attorney general, however, added the government reserved the right to start new proceeding against Sethi. Sethi was released the same day.
Even after his release, the government continued to harass Sethi. On June 10, Sethi accused the government of using the income tax department to intimidate him and his wife. He said government had issued over two dozen notices against him, his wife, The Friday Times and Vanguard Books, his publishing company. His wife's bank account was frozen and money was transferred to the tax department. The income tax department reopened settled income tax assessments and had laid claim to or “attached” his family's house.
On 23 June, officials of Federal Immigration Authority (FIA) at the Lahore International Airport prevented Sethi from going to London to receive Amnesty International's Special Award for Human Rights Journalism Under Threat. Sethi was informed that his name had been placed on the Exit Control List on June 2, which barred him from travelling abroad.
The next day, a petition was filed by Syed Zafar Ali Shah, a member of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's political party to disqualify Sethi from voting or running for any elected office. However, on 6 October, the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan dismissed a petition. The Chief Election Commissioner did not elaborate on his decision.
Former Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan, Syed Sajjad Ali Shah narrating details as to how Mian Nawaz Sharif and PML - N had attacked the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1997.
Nawaz Sharif (PML - N) Attacked Supreme Court 1
Nawaz Sharif (PML - N) Attacked Supreme Court 2
Nawaz Sharif (PML - N) Attacked Supreme Court 3
Nawaz Sharif (PML - N) Attacked Supreme Court 4
Nawaz Sharif (PML - N) Attacked Supreme Court 5
Arrests and attacks on journalists
While government action against the Jang Group and Najam Sethi, received the publicity they deserved, there were a number of other cases of threats, arrests and attacks on journalists throughout the year.
On January 7, Syed Rasool Rasa, correspondent of the Urdu daily Khabrain in Malakand district of the North West Frontier Province, was arrested for reporting the arrest of a member of the provincial assembly. He was kept in detention for six days during which he was mistreated and beaten to force him to issue a denial.
On January 12, Waliullah Saleem, director of the Peshawar based Sahaar News Agency, was threatened that he would be killed if he continued to speak out against the Taliban. He was harassed, followed and chased by unidentified people forcing him to leave Peshawar and hide in Islamabad.
On 30 January, three unidentified men armed with a pistol and Kalashnikov rifle ransacked the offices of the daily Khyber Mail International, in Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province. The attackers severely beat the messenger Mohammad Javed and tied him up. They smashed the furniture, fax machine and computer monitors, and took away telephones.
On 4 February, Sindh police threatened Mazhar Abbas, chief reporter of The Star and former president and general secretary of the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) for articles written by him that were critical of the police. The threat was contained in a letter to the newspaper by the police. The letter said "in case the scribe is not checked, very stringent action will be taken against him under the law” and added that if the police could take care of terrorists in Karachi, they could deal with "fortune seekers" like the journalist Abbas.
On 24th March, police assaulted Meruddin, of the Sindhi newspaper Kawish, and Sarwar Jamali, of the Sindhi daily Koshish, and ransacked their houses in Hyderabad. The journalists alleged that this action was taken at the orders of the then provincial minister Ismail Rahoo and his brother Aslam Rahoo. The two journalists alleged that they were beaten up and their family members maltreated in order to stop publication of stories against the brothers.
On 2 April 1999, the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) arrested the owner and chief executive of The Frontier Post, Rehmat Shah Afridi, on the charge of possession drugs. According to the ANF, Afridi was arrested after a tip that he would try to smuggle hashish out of the country. The ANF alleged he was arrested at 3:45 a.m. while driving along with his two guards in his car containing 20 kilograms of hashish, two licensed Kalashinkovs and a pistol. The ANF also alleged that during the preliminary investigation, Afridi revealed the whereabouts of 620 kilograms of hashish hidden in a truck parked in Faisalabad in Punjab province, which also led to the arrest of the truck's driver and a passenger.
Rehmat Shah Afridi [Frontier Posts] Exposes Nawaz Sharif (PML-N)'s Corruption 1
Rehmat Shah Afridi [Frontier Posts] Exposes Nawaz Sharif (PML-N)'s Corruption 2
Rehmat Shah Afridi [Frontier Posts] Exposes Nawaz Sharif (PML-N)'s Corruption 3
Rehmat Shah Afridi [Frontier Posts] Exposes Nawaz Sharif (PML-N)'s Corruption 4
Nawaz Sharif Osama Bin Laden Khalid Khwaja Connections 1
Nawaz Sharif Osama Bin Laden Khalid Khwaja Connections 2
Nawaz Sharif Osama Bin Laden Khalid Khwaja Connections 3