Nowadays "Kamran Khan, Jang Group of Newspapers, GEO TV, and The News International "advising" Nawaz Sharif for the Long March whereas 11 Years ago read what Kamran Khan had filed in The News International/Daily Jang on Sharif Brothers, Accountability process, Senator Saifur Rehman and what not, read the history and Watch the Video of Former DG IB Mr. Iqbal Niazi.
KARACHI: Despite winning a life term on hijacking and terrorism charges against deposed premier Nawaz Sharif, the team of government officials and lawyers responsible for driving the state`s case to its logical conclusion was worried on Thursday that Judge Rehmat Hussain Jafri`s judgment did not provide them any ground to predict a ``sure-shot`` win in the next two stages of appeal. The judgment is such that both Sharif`s supporters and state prosecutors were busy till late Thursday night to complete preparations to lodge their appeal against the judgment with the Sindh High Court before next Thursday. Some of the leading lawyers, who spoke to the News Intelligence Unit (NIU) after the announcement of the verdict, said Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Rehmat Hussain Jafri`s judgment handed a significant blow to the prosecution`s case and the appellate court would have some room to do so, if it wanted to over-turn the judgment. Talking to NIU, Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, Hafeez Pirzada, Iqtidar Ali Hashmi, Abdul Hafiz Lakho and two leading lawyers now working full time for the government had no difference of opinion that the judgment was a setback to the government`s legal position in the hijacking case, and it would make the prosecutors` job even more difficult during the appellate process.
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.
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By Thursday night, Sindh Advocate-General Raja Qureshi had the executive clearance to file an appeal with the Sindh High Court against the decision not awarding a death sentence to Nawaz Sharif and acquitting Shahbaz Sharif, Saifur Rahman, Ghous Ali Shah, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Saeed Mehdi, and Rana Maqbool. The advocate-general`s appeal would unveil the government`s version of loopholes in the judgment. Interestingly, it seemed that Jafri`s ruling about the involvement of six alleged co-conspirators in the hijacking drama would serve as common ground for the prosecution and the defence in their appeal against the ATC verdict. The prosecution, sources said, would forcefully argue that the Nawaz Sharif-led hijacking could not be completed without the connivance of the acquitted persons who had played the role of implementer in the conspiracy.
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``The appellate court can easily take a view that if the same set of evidence is not fit for the conviction of the co-defendants, how can it be used for the conviction of Nawaz Sharif,`` noted a senior criminal advocate now working full time for the government.
Asking not to be named, the same advocate said: ``I have also given my opinion to the government that the judgment could ultimately pave the way for Nawaz`s acquittal from the superior courts.`` Though the leading prosecutors do not share this view, they stopped short of describing the verdict as favourable to their case. Top criminal lawyers are also unanimous in their view that the judgment had dealt a severe blow to the prosecution`s thrust on the conspiracy theory as the judge refused to accept that anyone except Nawaz Sharif and Aminullah Chaudhry were involved in the hijacking.
Former federal law minister Abdul Hafiz Pirzada thought that the state did not have a strong case to defend in the appellate courts because Judge Rehmat Hussain Jafri, through his judgment, had already expressed dissatisfaction over the evidence produced against other co-defendants.
Pirzada was particularly surprised that evidence against Rana Maqbool, who had ordered the take-over of Karachi and Nawabshah airports, was not concrete enough for the judge to consider conviction.
``By way of evidence, conspiracy cannot be established against all the accused,`` said Iqtidar Ali Hashmi, one of the leading criminal lawyers. ``It would not be difficult for the prosecution to expect a similar judgment from the appellate courts before they substantially prove their case against the acquitted persons.``
Eminent jurist Fakhruddin G Ibrahim gave the same line when he said the weakness of the government`s case was evident from the nature of the judgment, where the judge had acquitted six out of the seven accused. He said: ``The judgment should give some hope to Sharif`s lawyers in their appeal.``
There is also an opinion that the appellate court would also take this into account that the trial judge did not accept the chain of events as stated by the prosecutors and it may also contribute to the final judgment on the appeal.
``Here is a case where the conspirator has been convicted but the judge is not ready to accept the prosecution`s version about its implementer,`` said Abdul Hafiz Lakho, another leading lawyer. Lakho also noted that ``by virtue of the ATC judgment, the prosecution`s chain of evidence has broken.`` He thought that a doubt had also been created in the minds of the people about the actual role of Nawaz Sharif in the execution of the hijack conspiracy.
The leading lawyers are of the opinion that the acquitted persons can file a case with Judge Rehmat Hussain Jafri`s court against the state for subjecting them to mental torture by keeping them in solitary confinement for about six months. ``An appeal can also be made against malicious prosecution, but in our society the acquitted rarely attempt this legal option,`` said Hafiz Lakho. Once the appeal against the judgment is filed with the Sindh High Court, Chief Justice Syed Deedar Hussain Shah would constitute a double bench that will, most probably, hear the appeals by the state and Sharif as one case. REFERENCE: Govt legal team concerned over verdict despite attaining life term for Nawaz News Intelligence Unit By Kamran Khan Verdict in Pakistan Press Room April 6, 2000 http://www.chowk.com/interacts/4735/1/0/200
KARACHI: The government appeared locked in a difficult situation over the Najam Sethi case on Thursday as its intelligence agencies failed to produce any evidence that may even remotely establish Najam Sethi`s links with Indian secret services. The News Intelligence Unit (NIU) understands that confusion and anxiety in top government circles over the Najam Sethi case was growing rapidly as the General Headquarters (GHQ) independently determined that there was no reason to constitute a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) to try the detained journalist under the Army Act. Sources said the government had approached the GHQ to order Najam Sethi`s court martial under the Army Act. Army`s Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch has already prepared its response to the government`s position taken before a Lahore High Court judge on Wednesday. In the past, on a very few occasions civilians directly involved in espionage activities had been court-martialled under the Army Act that almost exclusively governs the activities of army or ex-army personnel. Sources told the NIU that the government`s apparent failure in building a solid anti-state case against Najam Sethi and Army`s decision not to lock horn with the Press might soon result in Sethi`s sudden release from the official captivity. There was a perception in the government circles that a final decision on Sethi`s case would be taken on the prime minister`s return from Singapore at the weekend.
Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, a noted lawyer and former federal law minister, told the NIU that if tried under the Army Act by an FGCM, Najam Sethi would be the first Pakistani journalist to face court martial under an elected civilian government. For its part, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that had questioned Sethi for at least four days at one of its safe houses in Islamabad has concluded and reported both to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of the Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf that its interrogation with Najam Sethi has not confirmed any connection between the detained journalist and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) or any other Indian official or agencies. From their records also the intelligence agencies have not been able to dig anything that may help confirm the government`s projected image of an Indian agent for Najam Sethi, according to reliable security sources. Ranking officials told the NIU the ISI was brought into the picture in the Najam Sethi case through an executive verbal order on Sunday when the ISI high command was ordered to take Sethi`s custody from the Intelligence Bureau and have him interrogated to probe his alleged ties with the Indian security establishment.
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
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Sources said a joint team of IB and Lahore police had first arrested Sethi from his residence where he was severely beaten before being bundled into an IB vehicle. The Lahore operation, the sources said, was supervised by a senior Lahore-based IB official. In the recent months it was the IB that was repeatedly cited for chasing journalists; tapping their phones; placing threatening calls; raiding their residences and offices and abducting journalists. The organisation played an identical role under the PPP government, when the journalists were routinely targeted. Sources said soon after receiving Najam Sethi from the IB, the ISI high command noted, with some degree of surprise, that the agency`s name was extensively publicised in numerous government`s statements. Like all intelligence agencies, the ISI also hates to get mentioned in the media. The ISI got into the focus of the Sethi controversy as two statements from an unidentified government spokesman, another two statements from the interior and parliamentary affairs ministries and a statement from the governor of Punjab identified ISI as the agency that was grilling The Friday Times editor.
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``The situation rang a bell at the GHQ when the COAS was told that the situation might pitch the entire journalist community and international opinion against the Army as the ISI is mainly run by the active service army officers,`` said an official who added the situation warranted some urgent measures as the Army did not want to be a party in the case. Though the ISI has dealt extensively with the activities of journalists in Pakistan and abroad but rarely before it had received such a limelight. The ISI works under the Ministry of Defence and it takes orders directly from the prime minister. A former ISI official said the agency`s role regarding journalists largely covers the national security angle, and it has never obliged the successive political governments over their orders that relate to the media.
Background interviews with informed officials and ruling PML politicians by the NIU to find out the actual reasons behind this latest crackdown on the journalists have provided an interesting answer. Informed sources said in recent months Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been led to believe by a few of his ``closest associates`` that in order to settle scores with his administration over the Hubco/Kapco issue, the British security establishment had launched a secret drive to destabilise his government. Britain`s National Power has large stakes in Hubco and Kapco power generation projects. Both projects were the main Ehtesab Bureau targets for its probe into IPPs with Chairman Ehtesab Bureau Senator Saifur Rehman Khan claiming that the British sponsors of those projects paid at least $ 400 million to Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari in kickbacks and commission, a charge often rejected by both companies.
These sources said that the prime minister had also been warned that if the ``conspiracy and its perpetrators`` were not crushed on a war-footing, it might lead to an overthrow of his government. Without producing any solid evidence, Nawaz Sharif had also been told that the stories in the British print media against corruption in his government were part of the same conspiracy and the coming BBC documentary would serve as a major leap in bringing his government into international disrepute.
BBC Documentary on Nawaz Sharif (PML - N) Corruption
Conspiracy theorists in the government had also impressed upon the prime minister that a decree passed by the London High Court against his family for the payment of $32 million to Al-Towfeek Investment Limited was also linked to the same British plot, and a dramatic action against his family interests in London was expected soon.
The London High Court had passed an ex-parte decision against the Sharif family in March last when they refused to contest the Al-Towfeek case in London challenging the jurisdiction of London High Court. Prime Minister`s family has also been advised against visiting Britain in the near future. Those who had floated the weird conspiracy theory thought that any BBC documentary on the alleged corrupt practices of the rulers would be part of the same British plot so it was decided to confront all those who had assisted in any form the BBC news crew. Najam Sethi made a strategic blunder when the delivered a hard-hitting anti-establishment speech in Delhi, only a few days after participating in the BBC documentary on Nawaz Sharif.
Officials acknowledged that Najam Sethi`s statement before a select Indian audience in Delhi had generated an uneasy feeling in the country`s top military echelon as they received extremely negative reports on his speech through their own representatives at the Pakistan embassy in India. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had received a similar report from Ambassador Ashraf Kazi. ``What do you expect from services chiefs if they are told that a responsible Pakistani had spit venom against his own country on Indian soil,`` observed an official who thought that The Friday Times editor ``definitely crossed line in Delhi and provided an ideal hit-back opportunity to his antagonists in the country``.
Talking to the NIU Fakhruddin G Ibrahim and other senior lawyers expressed deep surprise over the government`s statement before the Lahore High Court on Wednesday wherein it was stated that Najam Sethi had been taken into custody under section 123-A of Pakistan Penal Code ``for condemning the creation of the state and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty`` and the Army had decided to take cognizance of his speech under the Army Act.
The federal Law ministry in its opinion to the government had thought that in his speech at the India International Centre in Delhi on April 30 last Najam Sethi made remarks that violated section 123-A of PPC. What surprised the legal community in the country was the government`s decision to push for his court martial and not to try him in normal courts under normal laws.
Even the best of government loyalists in their private conversations conceded that Sethi was being punished for The Friday Times` extremely adversarial editorial stance against the government. ``It hurts most when a close friend turns into a foe,`` said a close associate of the prime minister who recalled several anecdotes to establish that both Najam and his wife Jugnu once had fairly close relationship with the Sharifs.
During the caretaker administration of Malik Meraj Khalid, The Friday Times and Najam Sethi who had joined the caretaker set-up as an adviser with the status of the minister consistently demanded a bi-partisan accountability before the elections -- a position that might have irked the PML leadership. Picked by former president Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari to become a member of his interim government, Najam and The Friday Times have always remained close to the former president. REFERENCE: Case against Sethi hits a dead end Army not ready to lock horns with Press News Intelligence Unit By Kamran Khan The Dark Tower Shandana Minhas May 10, 1999 http://www.chowk.com/interacts/4548
KARACHI: Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was one of the most effective chief ministers in Punjab, has decided not to accept any restrictions on his political career and has rejected his elder brother`s deal with the military government. Shahbaz Sharif communicated this message through an intermediary to the News Intelligence Unit (NIU) on Wednesday night.
Shahbaz, the NIU has been told, also wants to return to Pakistan as soon as he recovers from his back ailment and completes discussions with his family on his political, business and domestic future.
Shahbaz is understood to have said that he was never part of the lengthy deliberations that his father Mian Mohammad Sharif, elder brother Nawaz Sharif and sister-in-law Kulsoom Nawaz conducted with military authorities and Saudi officials early this month.
The NIU has learned that Shahbaz has already communicated to the Saudi authorities his desire to not accept any ban on his political activities. It is expected that in coming weeks he may formally ask the Saudi government to send him back to Pakistan or allow him to leave for a country from where he can resume his political contacts and activities in Pakistan.
Officials have confirmed to the NIU that Shahbaz had declined to leave his cell at Landhi prison in Karachi at 1.30 am on Sunday when suddenly told by an army officer that he was to be airlifted to Islamabad for onward journey to Saudi Arabia. As Shahbaz declared not be part of the deal, he was asked to speak to his father on telephone and also told that in case he does not leave Pakistan, his father, elder brother and rest of the family will not be allowed to proceed abroad and would have to live in prison for the rest of their lives.
Shahbaz later spoke to his father and hesitantly agreed to leave the prison and that too without taking his belongings, hoping that he soon may have to return to his prison cell. Shahbaz has already been acquitted in cases of terrorism and hijacking instituted by the military government, while no other case was filed against him on corruption or any other charges by the NAB or any other official agency.
Announcing some features of the army`s deal with the Sharif family, Major General Rashid Qureshi, spokesman for Gen Pervaiz Musharraf, had clearly stated that there was no scope for any member of Sharif family to take part in future politics of Pakistan, but other independent sources said that Saudi negotiations only focused on Nawaz Sharif and his future in politics and for that reason Shahbaz was never included in discussions that took place here and abroad on this subject. Shahbaz, throughout his confinement, had opposed his sister-in-law Kulsoom Nawaz`s political course of confrontation with the army and had sought meaningful negotiations with the GHQ. All accounts confirmed that till the fall of the PML government on October 12 last year, Shahbaz was opposed to his elder brother`s design to sack Gen Pervaiz Musharraf, with whom Shahbaz was in contact till before Gen Musharraf left for an official visit to Sri Lanka.
In September 1999, Shahbaz was alone responsible for pushing Nawaz to end confusion over the post of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and to formalise the appointment of Gen Musharraf as CJCSC for the rest of his tenure. One of the last few things that Shahbaz did on October 12 last year was to stop Nawaz from considering a reinstatement petition from Lt Gen Tariq Pervez, the then corps commander Quetta, who had been sacked by Gen Musharraf a week before. Independent investigations carried out by military security personnel confirmed that Shahbaz was not informed about Gen Musharraf`s sacking and he was actually taking rest in his bedroom at the Prime Minister House when Nawaz issued Gen Musharraf`s sacking orders. Throughout Nawaz Sharif`s second tenure in power, Shahbaz opposed the affairs of Saifur Rahman and his Ehtesab Bureau. He took Saif on during official meetings and exposed Saif and his staff`s corruption even before Nawaz and his federal cabinet. REFERENCE: Shahbaz may return to Pakistan soon Rejects Nawaz`s deal with govt News Intelligence Unit By Kamran Khan Democracy in Pakistan: The Missing Link? Bilal Ahmad December 14, 2000 http://www.chowk.com/interacts/4948/1/0/a
ISLAMABAD, March 18: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed has revealed that Osama bin Laden had offered to buy loyalties of legislators to see Mian Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. In an interview appearing in the magazine of an Urdu newspaper on Sunday, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that Osama had visited the JI headquarters Mansoora and wanted to strike an agreement with the Jamaat but the suggestion was declined by him. Excerpts of the interview were published by the newspaper on Saturday. Qazi said he had met Osama several times in the past.However, the JI on Saturday clarified that meetings between the JI amir and Osama in Peshawar and Lahore were held in days when the Al Qaeda leader was staying in Peshawar. Recalling political events that took place when Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League and JI were components of the then Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, Qazi said Osama was a big supporter of IJI and Nawaz Sharif and wanted to see him Pakistan’s prime minister.
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“Bin Laden was prepared to pay for buying parliamentarians’ votes to achieve this objective,” said Qazi Hussain Ahmed, who also heads the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal. He said a delegation sent by Osama had visited him in Peshawar and conveyed that they wanted cooperation from JI but “we declined the request”. In a statement issued on Saturday, a JI spokesman said that excerpts from interview were published in the daily and presented on a private TV channel in such a manner that they were creating confusion in the minds of people.— PPI. REFERENCE: Osama offered to buy votes for Nawaz: Qazi March 19, 2006 Sunday Safar 18, 1427 http://www.dawn.com/2006/03/19/top10.htm
I read this headline on, THE NEWS website, Tension between Zardari, Shahbaz mounts over jailed chief editor of The Frontier Post''. This makes no sense that Rehmat Shah Afridi is still in prison, I was expecting from ANP Govt in pukhtoonistan to react on this issue but I don't understand muteness of ANP leadership, although on ANP web site I did send a message to Chief Minister, I would like to ask all the writers on this forum to send messages to CM on the following website of ANP(http://www.awaminationalparty.org/news/)and express your solidarity with The Frontier Post Chief Mr. Afridi who is in prison because he was punished for expressing his views and he was educating Pakhtuns through his newspaper. His confinement is politically motivated. The drugs were planted on vehicle he was in. Similar to innumerable judicial murders and crimes to suffocate voice of Pathans. The literate class of people in Pakistan is the only hope, which can place a check & balance on these bureaucrats corrupt politicians. Its about time this class should pick their pens. Its really amazing that criminals and thugs involved in suicide attacks can be easily released in Pakistan but someone like Mr. Afridi stays in prison. Two face Nawaz Sharif and his brother who are responsible for declaring Pakistan a failed state ran out of country but did not have courage and principles to face jail, attacked Supreme Court and insulted judges but now wants to be champions of judiciary and free press.
Rehmat Shah Afridi [Frontier Posts] Exposes Nawaz Sharif (PML-N)'s Corruption 1
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I agree with Mr. Asif Ali Zardari who bitterly asked: "Where are the champions of the press freedom today? Rehmat Shah Afridi was arrested and booked in a fake drug smuggling case on political grounds. He spent nine years in jail just for writing the truth and now he is seriously ill but some people still want to take their revenge. "Champions of the press freedom should be ashamed of themselves that for nine years some one in their ranks is in prison but they are not saying a word. Rehmat Shah Afridi was punished because he disclosed that Nawaz Sharif received Rs. 150 crore from Osama bin Ladin in the Green Palace Hotel, Madina, with the pledge that the amount would be used for furthering the cause of Jihad in Afghanistan and helping the Mujahideen and exposing the deeds of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Instead he (Nawaz) put the whole amount in his pocket. Nawaz Sharif got annoyed with Afridi when he was chief minister of Punjab in 1986.Frontier Post Chief disclosed in his newspaper that Nawaze sold the commercial land between UCH and Kalma Chowk in Lahore to his relatives for meager Rs. 400 per marla.
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After that, he distributed plots in NWFP, Punjab and Balochistan among his colleagues and opponents to get their political support. He published all this in his newspaper along with proofs, which further infuriated Nawaz Sharif. Rehmat Shah Afridi used his personal links to thwart the "no-confidence motion" against Benazir Bhutto in 1990 and asked the members of National Assembly from Punjab, FATA and NWFP to use their vote in favour of Benazir Bhutto. Mr. Afridi did so as it was in the interest of the country at that time. Nawaz Sharif once threatened him that they would rule the country for 20 years and that he (Rehmat Shah) could not harm him through publishing news items against them. This proves all cases against The Frontier Post chief were false and baseless. Detention of Rehmat Shah Afridi is no more justified. Rehmat Shah Afridi had been arrested in a fake and bogus case because the then government was not happy with his bold editorial policy. The PPP government's pro-media and democratic credentials have already been enhanced by the proposed anti-PEMRA bill in parliament. It should now do the honourable and just thing by ordering the immediate release of Rehmat Shah Afridi and winning hearts and minds all round. REFERENCE: Prisoner of conscience M Waqar New York Thursday, May 22, 2008, Jamad-i-Awal 14, 1429 A.H. http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=le&nid=360&ad=22-05-2008 ASLO READ: REFERENCE: Rehmat Shah Afridi’s case unique in country’s legal history By Abid Butt Friday, June 04, 2004 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_4-6-2004_pg7_48