Cassette exposes govt's assault on press - Mir Shakil says govt preparing anti-state cases against him; fears for his life; 'our organisation is being destroyed'; audio cassette of talks with Saif, Mushahid played during crowded press conference; journalists flabbergasted - By our correspondent KARACHI: Editor-in-Chief of Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Thursday said that after victimising his group by freezing its accounts, seizing newsprint and serving income tax notices, the government was now preparing anti-state cases against him. Addressing a crowded press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Mir Shakil said that there would not be any problem for the Jang Group if he bowed before the PML government, instead of publishing the truth. The editor-in-chief said that the PML government had attempted to create an impression that the action against the Jang Group of Newspapers was an administrative affair because of income tax issues and misuse of newsprint quota. But every government action taken against his group was to stop printing of those news items, which would go against the interest of the prime minister, his business concerns and his family, he added. Flanked by senior journalists Z A Sulehri, Irshad Ahmad Haqqani, Maleeha Lodhi and Kamila Hayat, Mir Shakil said that he was under tremendous pressure from Ehtesab Bureau chief Saifur Rahman, who was out to victimise the Jang Group of Newspapers for not bowing before his whims.During the press conference, Mir Shakil also played an audio cassette on which some of his talks with Senator Saifur Rahman, Information Minister Mushahid Hussain and senior journalist Mujeeb-ur-Rahman Shami, who played the mediator's role, were recorded.
The cassette also included the following dialogue between Mir Shakil and Senator Saifur Rahman: "Mir Shakil: The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has given verdict in our favour. "Saif: This was because of our leniency. We did not give him (chairman of the tribunal) the instructions. If we had given him the instructions, even his father could not have given that decision." Regarding the character of IT Tribunal Chairman Mujibullah Siddiqui, Mir Shakil said that he was an honest officer and had enjoyed enviable reputation for his integrity. This was a fact endorsed by senior lawyers, who had come to hear Mir Shakil's press conference. During the recorded meetings, Senator Saif and Information Minister Mushahid Hussain were heard demanding favours from the Jang Group on policies regarding the governor's rule in Sindh, the Shariah Bill and the economic policies. The government functionaries were heard as saying that 14 people on senior positions both in the Jang and The News should be removed. The journalists included Maleeha Lodhi, Kamila Hayat, Irshad Ahmad Haqqani, Mahmood Sham, Kamran Khan, Abid Tahami, Marghoob, Khawar, Aftab Iqbal and others.
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
The government also demanded that such journalists should be replaced by people who could favour the government's policies. The government had divided the unfavourable journalists into 'A' and 'B' categories. Raising objections on the reports of investigative reporter Kamran Khan, Saif said during the meetings the government had secured assurances from the ISI about him and he should be controlled by Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. The government team also accused the Jang Group of spreading hatred among the masses against the ruling party. They demanded that telephonic surveys on national issues should not be conducted by newspapers. Mir Shakil said that because of restrictions on newsprint supply, the Jang Group was facing hardships in bringing out its daily newspapers. "Despite clearance from the Customs authorities, 2,000 reels of paper have not been released todate. Because of this problem, from Saturday, daily Jang will print only six pages and The News will bring out 10 pages," he added. Mir Shakil said: "All our bank accounts have been seized. The personal accounts of mine and my mother have also been seized. Yesterday (Wednesday) when my brother gave statement in our favour, his account in the United Bank Ltd, Al-Rahman Branch, was also seized." The editor-in-chief said that the Supreme Court was moved against the injustices meted out by the PML government. "It was a remarkable thing that this step was taken by us in the country," he added. Mir Shakil said reports were received that anti-state cases were being prepared against him. He said: "The government is making all out attempts that the issue should not be construed as one of 'press freedom' and 'freedom of expression'. I am afraid that something terrible is in the making. I also fear for my life." He said he would prove whatever published in the Jang Group of Publications was the truth. "Whatever we published was also covered by other newspapers, but only our group was being targeted. I don't care whatever they will do with me. I will prove each and everything on the basis of logic and facts. Whatever we published, it is our job to prove it. And what the government said, it is their responsibility to prove it," Mir Shakil remarked. The editor-in-chief said that the government's actions were based on malicious intentions and were taken with 'unfair mind'. According to the tape-recorded message, Senator Saifur Rahman said that the income tax and other legal notices would be withdrawn and government advertisements would be released, if the Jang Group supported the government's policies.
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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Mir Shakil said: "There was a time when I got confused. I thought about my life, my family, my organisation and about my 4,000 workers and their families. It is very difficult to stand before the state power. Some people advised me to bow down and accept the government's conditions to save the institutions. But there were also people who advised me to stand for the truth." Regarding a story which was published in daily Observer of London and reproduced in Pakistan by a number of newspapers but could not be covered by the Jang because of pressure from the government, the editor-in-chief said: "I felt sorry for it. In the market economy, it is very difficult to survive, if one is not in the competition." Mir Shakil said: "The government did too much against us and is still doing a lot. The organisation of newspaper owners -- the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) -- and the association of editors -- the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) -- also intervened into the matter. But under the given circumstances, the Jang Group had to take decisions which were not recommended by the APNS and the CPNE. But they are with us. There is also a resolution from them in our favour." The editor-in-chief said that the situation was in the Jang Group's favour. "We were not involved in selling imported newsprint quota in the market. We did not avoid payment of income tax. We did not publish stories which were incorrect," he added. Without giving names of other newspaper organisations involved in selling newsprint quota, Mir Shakil said the government was not taking any action against them. The editor-in-chief said that when he addressed a press conference in August 1998, some newspapers played a nasty role. "They propagated that there was a deal between the government and the Jang Group. But that was not true. If there was any deal and if that was any administrative matter, then why the ban was imposed on releasing public sector advertisements to us," he added. Mir Shakil said: "I did not leave any stone unturned to resolve the issue. I went from pillar to post. I wrote a letter to Abbaji, the father of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but to no avail. The government's action against the Jang Group began in August 1998, when income and wealth tax cases of the group's various companies and directors, previously being dealt by different Income Tax (IT) circles, were pooled in one circle. This circle is renowned as a branch of the Ehtesab Bureau in the IT Department where cases of those politicians are dealt, against whom the government has decided to take any action."
BBC Documentary on Nawaz Sharif (PML - N) Corruption
Referring to a television programme telecast the previous night on the PTV, Mir Shakil said that it was a one-sided propaganda. "If there is democracy, then versions of both the sides should be presented and then experts will decide what is right and what is wrong. This is the policy of the Jang Group to give views of all concerned parties. We have printed complete view of the government's side also in our newspapers," he remarked. REFERENCE: Cassette exposes govt's assault on press - Mir Shakil says govt preparing anti-state cases against him; fears for his life; 'our organisation is being destroyed'; audio cassette of talks with Saif, Mushahid played during crowded press conference; journalists flabbergasted - By our correspondent February 07, 1999 The News International Pakistan http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/spedition/waronjang/news/jan99/jan99-29-1.htm
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.
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
Rehmat Shah Afridi [Frontier Posts] Exposes Nawaz Sharif (PML-N)'s Corruption 2
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.
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
KARACHI: Barring two brief stints under Major General (retd) Enayet Niazi and Khawar Zaman, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) played second fiddle to former Ehtesab Czar Senator Saif-ur-Rahman in covert operations during which numerous respectable citizens were kidnapped, tortured and placed under illegal detention, an exercise never witnessed before in the country. Officials and business sources informed the News Intelligence Unit (NIU) that Saif-ur-Rahman operated mostly through a select group of FIA officials who danced to his tunes when Mian Mohammad Amin, Chaudhry Iftikhar Ali and Major (retd) Mohammad Mushtaq were heading the FIA. Major General Enayet Niazi and Khawar Zaman had, however, resisted Saif's attempt to use the FIA for illegal activities, a position that triggered their sudden transfer from the job.
These sources believed that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had first-hand information about Saif's involvement in the kidnapping of some of the very reputed citizens as he ignored strong complaints against this nasty operation even from his cabinet colleagues. For instance when the FIA sleuths kidnapped Farooq Hasan, owner of Hasan Associates, a renowned builder and developer of Karachi last year and locked him at a Saif-run safe house in Islamabad, former federal minister Halim Siddiqi had rushed to Nawaz Sharif to inform him about Saif's involvement in the kidnapping of a well-known Karachi businessman. Halim Siddiqi's pleas both to Sharif and Saif went unheeded as Hasan had to stay for about a week in Saif's dungeon and was only released when he signed a confessional statement that had been prepared by Saif's lieutenant at the Ehtesab Cell. Saif prepared confessional statement for Farooq Hasan relating to dealings of AES power plant with the Benazir government.
Throughout his confinement Hasan was physically abused, mentally tortured and was not allowed to sleep. Sources said during his arrest Hasan was also kept and interrogated at Saif's personal residence in Islamabad. Jamil Ansari, the Chief Executive of a famous trading and business group in Karachi, was kidnapped last year by the FIA while he was about to board a Karachi-bound flight from Islamabad. For the next four days Ansari's family in Karachi had no knowledge of his whereabouts. The case was soon brought to the knowledge of Nawaz Sharif, who conveniently ignored protest from an associate who thought that such daylight kidnappings of the business luminaries without any charges would bring the PML government into disrepute. Sources said that for more than a week, Ansari, a businessman, was questioned for his friendship with a ranking naval official. This week-long illegal detention under Saif's orders of the chief executive of a reputed firm had sent a shock wave in Karachi's mercantile community, but the Nawaz Sharif administration was not bothered.
The FIA was also involved in the kidnapping of Shahzad Sherry, a well-known international banker, from Karachi. Like other victims, Sherry was also swiftly shifted to Islamabad, where he was locked at a government-run safe house. For several days Sherry was kept in illegal confinement and questioned by the former Ehtesab Bureau stalwarts including Senator Saif-ur-Rahman. Sherry was apparently also paying price for his friendship with certain naval officials. His detention also continued for several days before being released without bringing any criminal charges against him. Karachi-based Jamil Hamdani, another representative of an international bank, was kidnapped from his house in Defence Society Karachi last month and was forced to board an Islamabad-bound flight for an urgent meeting with Saif-ur-Rahman and his team. Sources said that Saif pointedly informed Hamdani about his disliking for his bank's interest in the privatisation of Habib Bank Limited. Jamil Hamdani was believed to be working on an international consortium that was interested in the management of overseas operations of Habib Bank. No apologies were offered after Hamdani was set free three days later by the Ehtesab sleuths who also warned him not to talk to the press about his ordeal. Saif's frenzy to get private citizens abducted through the FIA touched its peak last year when he used the federal agency to kidnap Arif Zarwani, a UAE national and a reputed businessman, from his friend's house in Defence Society Karachi. Zarwani, who had been arrested in an FIA-cum-police raid, was quickly flown to Islamabad, where he was handed over to Wasim Afzal, a close associate of Saif-ur-Rahman. The Ehtesab action created a stir in the UAE as Nawaz Sharif was personally told that Zarwani's kidnapping in Karachi had endangered his official visit next day to the UAE. Zarwani, who was apparently picked up for his ties with Asif Zardari, was freed from the Ehtesab clutches, two days later, only after he was forced to listen to a telephonic sermon from Saif who was then touring Europe.
No reasons were given for Arif Zarwani's arrest nor any criminal charges were brought against him. Despite an official protest from the UAE Nawaz Sharif did not question Saif or the FIA for the kidnapping of a foreign national. In another case Ghulam Mustafa Memon, a well-known petroleum dealer and a former friend of Asif Ali Zardari, was kidnapped in an FIA action from his house in Defence Society, Karachi last year. During the operation the FIA sleuths ransacked his house. Memon, like other victims, was quickly flown to Islamabad where he was kept at a safe house for about a week. Mustafa Memon said that during the detention, he went through severe physical torture and mental harassment at the hands of senior Ehtesab officials including Khalid Aziz. At least a week later Mustafa was quietly released from Islamabad and no criminal charges were brought against him. Among others who made the hostage list of Saif-ur-Rahman was Naeemuddin Khan, a senior United Bank Limited (UBL) executive responsible for recovering Rs 1.2 billion loans from Saif-ur-Rahman's Redco Textile Mills. While using the FIA in the kidnapping of Naeemuddin Khan from his room at Karachi's Pearl Continental Hotel, Senator Saif is understood to have told the FIA that Naeemuddin was involved in money laundering. Without verifying the facts an FIA team barged into Naeemuddin's room in August this year and in the next few hours he was facing a Saif-ur-Rahman interrogation squad at an unspecified location in Islamabad.
Naeemuddin's ordeal ended after Nawaz Sharif listened to a strong complaint in this regard from National Assembly Speaker Illahi Bukhsh Soomro and ordered the bank executive's release. Sharif, however, refused to order any probe into the kidnapping of a bank executive who was being punished for his attempt to recover Rs 1.2 billion of loan from Saif-ur-Rahman. The Naeemuddin Khan episode also unveiled that Saif was using the Intelligence Bureau also to settle personal scores. Informed officials said that before being picked up by the FIA, Naeemuddin Khan was constantly followed by the IB agents while his personal and official phone was tapped for several months. The recording of his secret taping was provided to Saif-ur-Rahman. It is no more a secret that leading newspaper columnist and politician Hussain Haqqani had been kidnapped by the FIA sleuths along with his brother, an active service Army Colonel, during an evening stroll on direct orders from Saif-ur-Rahman early this year. Official sources said that it was at least three days after Haqqani's kidnapping that Saif-ur-Rahman ordered the FIA bosses to "produce" a case against him. Official sources confirmed Haqqani's account that he was beaten and kept awake during the first week of his arrest. Haqqani is of the few Saif victims whose captivity brought criminal charges, vehemently denied by Haqqani who said that the cases against him was the figment of Saif's imagination. The only Saif-sponsored kidnapping that did not have any FIA role was that of Najam Sethi, Editor, Friday Times. Sethi, who apparently served the longest term of illegal captivity, had been dragged out of his Lahore house by the Intelligence Bureau officials who later handed him over to the ISI, that kept him at one of its safe houses in Islamabad for about three weeks. Like all Saif-ordered kidnappings of various reputed citizens, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had fully supported the unlawful arrest of Najam Sethi, as it was later discovered that Sharif had personally asked Lt Gen Khawaja Ziauddin to keep Sethi in ISI custody. REFERENCE How FIA kidnapped notables to please Saif-ur-Rahman DAWN/The News International, KARACHI 6 November 1999, Saturday 27 Rajab ul Murajjab 1420 [INTERNET LINK IS DEAD]
ISLAMABAD: Leaders of major political parties of the country joined the protesting journalists on Monday in their demand for complete press freedom and marched up to the Parliament House calling upon the government to give up its hold on the press. Addressing the rally near the Parliament building, leaders of political parties as well journalists' organisations vowed to continue their battle for press freedom and asked for an end to victimisation against the press, the Jang Group in particular. Leaders of APNEC and RIUJ under Minhaj Berna, PFUJ president Abdul Hameed Chhapra, and others had organised the press freedom march to condemn the government for its 'dictatorial policies to silence the press'. Leaders of journalists' bodies CR Shamsi, Pervaiz Shaukat, Fouzia Shahid, Faraz Hashmi and others also addressed.
Chhapra said the government had tried to crush the press but pledged to lead a movement against it, saying the journalists would do all they could to liberate press from the clutches of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Senator Saifur Rahman. "The working journalists have won the first battle and would win other such battles also". He said the political leaders had joined the press in its struggle today. CR Shamsi, Pervaiz Shaukat and Faraz Hashmi condemned the government for attacks on the press and expulsion of 40 employees of daily Assas. They also called for an end to the contractual appointments. There were, in fact, two separate rallies in Rawalpindi and Islamabad as the political leaders first converged at the Murree Road and marched against 'the government's moves to muzzle the press.' Later, they travelled to Islamabad to join journalists at Aabpara Chowk and then walked up to the Parliament House. Those who attend the press freedom rally were Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, former NA Speaker and head of PML(J) Hamid Nasir Chattha, key MQM Senators under Aftab Sheikh, leader of the opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, other PPP Senators, former PPP minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Benazir Bhutto's political secretary Naheed Khan. Also present were Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Aftab Lodhi of Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT), Amirul Azim of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Senator Dr Hayee Baloch of Balochistan National Movement (BNM) and Syed Kabir Ali Wasti of Pakistan Muslim League (Qasim), besides several others. Workers of the political parties also marched with journalists up to the Parliament House. Former ambassador to the United States and editor 'The News' Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, editor Jang daily Rana Tahir, ex-editors of the Jang and scores of journalists attended the rally, which also included activists of several human rights groups, non-governmental organisations, representatives of lawyers, doctors, intellectuals, labour unions and others.
Shaheen Qureshi, Editor Coordination Jang Group categorically denied the group had entered into any deals with the government and said the latter had agreed to certain concessions to diffuse the pressure and buy time. "Let me make it clear that there is no compromise whatsoever as the government has claimed since Saturday," he said. Shaheen noted that the attack on press freedom was in fact an issue of the survival of Pakistan and democracy because both were closely related. He said the government had destroyed all institutions and had now directed its guns at the press. He said the real person behind attacks on press freedom was Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and not 'his stooge Saifur Rzhman'. He said the Jang Group had moved the courts for justice and it would win the legal battle for freedom of the press. "We don't need certificates from anybody to prove our patriotism," Shaheen Qureshi said. Addressing the gathering, PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said victimisation of the press at the hands of Nawaz government had proved that it was out to demolish all institutions of the country. He said the federation was literally at risk now as the government aimed at dissipating the fourth pillar of the state. He said the politicians of the country had long been raising voice against the policies of Sharif but it was the press, which had united all of them as the press had also come under attack. Dr Hayee Baloch of BNM assured the journalists that his party fully supported them in their struggle. Imran Khan said the government claimed it had struck a deal with the Jang Group but asked: "Even if this be true, we won't allow Sharif to hush-up the alleged tax evasion of the Jang Group because it is the people's money." Imran said ever since "this business-minded person" had entered the Prime Minister's house, he had been signing deals for personal gains.
Syed Kabir Ali Wasti, who arrived in Aabpara at the head said the government wanted to mute the press so that its misdeeds did not reach the people of Pakistan. Amirul Azim of JI said it was a pity that those who wanted to recover the so-called taxes from the Jang Group were themselves tax-evaders. Allama Zubair Zaheer quoted a Hadith to say that truth should never be hidden and that to say truth before a tyrant ruler was Jihad. Qamar Zaidi of Therik-e-Jaffaria said Senator Saifur Rahman had resorted to a 'devilish act' . REFERENCE: Newsmen pledge to uphold press freedom Jang Group deal with govt denied; expulsion of 40 Assas workers resented By Raja Zulfikar http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/spedition/waronjang/news/feb99/feb99-09-4.htm
Read the allegation of Jang Group against Nawaz Sharif [1997-1999]:
1 - Jang Group: Deteriorating law and order situation (July 1998).
.Government reacts strongly, demands to stop the news.
2 - Jang Group: Irshad Haqqani’s column on the political situation (July 13, 1998).
NAWAZ SHARIF'S GOVERNMENT REACTION:
Objects to the column, sends seven articles, which were published on July 19, 20, 21, 23, 26, 28 and 30, 1998.
3 - Jang Group: Traders refuse to pay GST (July 15, 1998).
• Discussion on PTV, the Jang criticized by name, July 16, 1998.
4. Jang Group: People’s reaction to the freezing of foreign currency accounts (July 1998).
• Government suspends advertisements to the Jang group, July 21, 1998.
5. Oil prices increased by 25 percent (July 25, 1998).
• Government objects to the display of the news.
6. Protest against price hike (Aug. 4, 1998).
• Government objects.
7. Flour mills increase Atta prices (Aug. 4, 1998).
• Government asks not to publish stories about the re-price hike.
8. Jang Group: Sugar mills owned by the Sharif family have to pay Rs. 700 million to farmers (Aug. 13, 1998).
• Don‘t publish stories about the Sharif family, says the government.
9. Jang Group: A survey on the Independence Day criticizing the government (Aug. 14, 1998).
NAWAZ SHARIF'S GOVERNMENT REACTION:
• Newspapers have had their fun, now it is our turn: PM (Aug. 16, 1998). MSF criticizes the Jang (Aug. 15 & 17, 1998).
10. Jang Group: Reports about US missile falling inside Pakistan during the US missile-raids on Afghanistan.
• Government gets very upset, begins sending income tax notices (Aug. 18, 1998). All tax cases against the Jang group sent to a cell headed be Senator Saifur Rahman (Aug. 19, 1998). PM delivers a speech against the Jang group, PML workers chant slogans against the Jang (Aug. 23, 1998).
11. Jang Group: Ittefaq Group and Redco are defaulters: Qazi Hussain Ahmed (Aug. 24, 1998).
• A magistrate, accompanied by the police, serves notices on Mir Shakilur Rehman. Four tax notices served on Aug. 24, 1998 after midnight. Six more notices sent (Aug 25, 1998).
12. Jang Group: A close relative of Kulsoom Nawaz inducted in the FIA as an assistant director (Aug. 27, 1998).
• Nine tax notices sent on Aug. 27, 1998.
13. Jang Group: A joint APNS-CPNE meeting expresses concern over government policies (Aug. 27, 1998).
• Some newspapers are talking about martial law, we should take them to the court: PM (Aug. 28, 1998).
14. Jang Group: Mir Shakilur Rehman addresses a press conference, speaks of the government’s actions against the Jang group (Aug. 27, 1998).
15. Jang Group: Mir Shakilur Rehman meets the Prime Minister (Aug. 28, 1998).
NAWAZ SHARIF'S GOVERNMENT REACTION:
• Government restores its advertisements. Promises to withdraw the tax notices. No notices served throughout the month.
• Government objects. Serves another tax notice on Sept. 23, 1998.
• Government objects.
16. Jang Group: Stories about CTBT (Sept. 1998).
17. Jang Group: Pakistan agrees to sign CTBT unconditionally (Sept. 24, 1998).
18. Jang Group: US appreciates Pakistan’s assurance to sign CTBT (Sept. 25, 1998).
19. Jang Group: IMF-government talks produce no results (Sept. 26, 1998).
NAWAZ SHARIF'S GOVERNMENT REACTION:
• Government sends a strong warning. Urges the group not to criticize economic policies.
• Government gets very upset and conveys its anger.
20. The London Observer publishes a story about the Sharif family. Jang was asked not to publish it. The News reproduced the story (Sept. 18, 1998).
• Government objects.
• Government objects to the coverage of the Jang.
• Government objects.
• Government says the group is publishing too many stories about the armed forces.
• Government objects to stories about its economic policies.
21. Jang Group: Kamran Khan’s story saying the government spending foreign exchange on the Prime Minister’s favourite projects (Oct. 4, 1998).
NAWAZ SHARIF'S GOVERNMENT REACTION:
• Government again suspends advertisements to the Jang (Oct. 13, 1998).
• Objects to publishing stories about unemployment. Sends three income tax notices (Oct. 14, 1998). Freezes Jang’s accounts, stops supply of newsprint to the Jang group although the custom authorities had already released it. Six more income tax notices served (Oct 15, 1998).
• Government shows its contempt.
• Six more tax notices served. (Oct. 27, 1998).
• Objects to the coverage.
22. Jang Group: General Jehangir Karamat proposes National Security Council, reactions (Oct. 5, 1998).
23. Jang Group: Corps commanders express concern over the prevailing situation (Oct. 7, 1998).
24. Jang Group: General Jehangir Karamat resigns, national and international reactions on his resignation (Oct. 8, 1998).
25. Jang Group: The economic situation worsens (Oct. 12, 1998).
26. Jang Group: Protest outside Nawaz Sharif’s flats in London (Oct. 12, 1998).
27. Jang Group: UBL sacks 8,000 employees (Oct. 14, 1998).
28. Jang Group: Jang and The News reproduce a story published in the Independent, London about the Sharif family (Oct. 21, 1998).
29. Jang Group: Court asks for official record in the plot case against Nawaz Sharif (Oct. 22, 1998).
30. Jang Group: PML and the MQM split (Oct. 30, 1990).
31. Jang Group: 18 people including PML legislators convicted in the contempt case (Oct. 30, 1998).
32. Jang Group: Kamran Khan’s story saying that all the accused arrested in the Hakim Saeed case were fake (Nov. 5, 1998).
33. Jang Group: APNS, CPNE meet in Lahore, ask the government to end its victimization campaign against the Jang group (Nov 14 1998).
34. Jang Group: Stories about the deteriorating law and order and the economic situation (November, 1998).
35. Jang Group: Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the plea of the Jang group and unfreezes its accounts (Nov. 19, 1998).
36. Jang Group: Half of the newspapers are with me and the rest are with them: Prime Minister (Nov. 25, 1998).
37. Jang Group: My first preference is to make the press change its directions: President Tarar (Nov. 29, 1998).
38. Jang Group: The government is not victimizing the Jang group: Nawaz Sharif (Dec. 4, 1998).
39. Jang Group: No relief to the Jang: Official spokesman (Dec. 16, 1998).
40. Jang Group: Official actions against the press has hurt me: Waseem Sajjad (Dec. 17, 1998).
41. Jang Group: Nawaz Sharif, his mother and wife did not disclose their plots in Murree: PPP (Dec. 18, 1998).
42. Jang Group: Tax dues against Nawaz Sharif rescheduled in Jang: Mushahid Hussain (Dec. 18, 1998).
43. Jang Group: Government preparing another case against the Jang group: Saifur Rehman (Dec. 18, 1998).
44. Jang Group: Nawaz Sharif Spends three days shopping in London: Sunday Telegraph (Dec. 21, 1998).
45. Jang Group: Jang and The News publish details of the government’s actions against the group.
46. Jang Group: Mir Shakilur Rehman plays cassettes of a conversation with Senator Saifur Rahman at the Karachi press club (Jan. 28, 1999).
NAWAZ SHARIF'S GOVERNMENT REACTION:
• Objects to the coverage. Sends four fresh tax notices on Nov. 2 and five new notices on Nov. 5.
• A barrage of tax notices. Nine notices served on Nov. 5 and four on Nov. 6.
• Government objects to the Jang’s decision to take the dispute to newspaper associations.
• Government reacts strongly against the story.
• Government increase its victimization after the Tribunal’s decision. Sends a tax notice on Nov. 23.
• Sends six tax notices on Nov. 26. Another on Nov. 27. Ten notices served on Nov. 30. Customs officials stop newsprint. Another tax notice served on Dec. 3.
• A tax notice served on Dec. 10 Five notices served on Dec. 12. On Dec. 15 FIA raids the offices of The News and the Jang in Rawalpindi.
• Government intensifies the campaign against the Jang group and starts sending threatening messages. Agencies put listening devices to the telephones at the offices and homes of the editorial staff of the Jang group. Intelligence agencies increase their vigilance of the editorial staff of the Jang and The News. Another raid on Rehan Paper Mart. Agencies try to collect evidence against the Jang. APP spreads a story falsely implicating the Jang group in a case. Notices serves on Mir Shakilur Rehman to appear before a special Judge of the customs (Dec. 19, 1998).
• Expresses strong objection to the story and sends five tax notices on Dec. 22. Two income tax notices served on December 23 & 26. Five more notices on Jan. 12, 14, 15 & 21, 1999.
• FIA cordons off offices of the Jang and The News in Karachi and Lahore.
• Threat to try Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman in a military court under sedition charges. A case is registered the same day (Jan. 28, 1999). REFERENCE: Punishment For Telling The Truth A Tale of Vendetta and Intimidation http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/spedition/waronjang/ch.htm
ISLAMABAD: It is not just General Pervez Musharraf, who is caught in the Chak Shahzad power scam for using more electricity and paying less money, another former president, an ex-prime minister and a serving general too are found either using “illegal electricity tariff” or involved in cases of ‘irregularity in billing’ owing to faulty meters. These include such luminaries as former interim president and ex-chairman Senate Wasim Sajjad; ex-caretaker prime minister and ex-chairman Senate Muhammadmian Soomro; ex-chairman of the disbanded Ehtesab Bureau and former senator Saifur Rehman
; Corps Commander Gujranwala and ex-DG ISI Lt Gen Nadeen Taj and others. Farmhouse No 10-B, where former Senator Saifur Rehman’s brothers live, too is found to have been using wrong tariff. The name of the subscriber in the IESCO’s record in this case is Ahmad Touqeer Naqvi. REFERENCE: Lt-Gen Nadeem, Wasim Sajjad, Soomro among power defaulters By Ansar Abbasi Friday, June 19, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=183730&Cat=2&dt=6/19/2009
Such influentials, besides Pervez Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz who fled from the country within weeks after completing his tenure, includes former PML-N senator Saifur Rehman
and top parliamentarians and retired defence officers. In the case of Saifur Rehman, whose Chak Shahzad farmhouse is also being used as Redco’s site office, SDO Jamil said his connection was changed a few months back and given industrial tariff. The Admin officer at Rehman’s site office when contacted did not offer any comment. However, the electricity bill of Saifur Rehman’s place shows that the D-2(1) tariff is still intact at his residence though it was showing not to have consumed even one unit of electricity since January this year. An Iesco source said at least 24 air conditioner units are fixed in the Redco farmhouse buildings. The SDO also confirmed that a former ISI chief, who is also residing in the same locality, was provided free-of-cost transformer and poles, etc., following orders of the then-Iesco chief Brigadier Shahbaz. REFERENCE: Documents reveal power scandal in Chak Shahzad palaces Government found illegally subsidising Musharraf, Shaukat’s electricity bills By Ansar Abbasi Saturday, May 23, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=22302&Cat=13&dt=5/23/2009
These influential people including civil-military bureaucrats and politicians quite conveniently got these plots allotted by the CDA from time to time at throwaway price in the name of growing ìvegetables, poultry and orchardsî. President Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also purchased their farmhouses from the original allotees. The most prominent among these 499 owners are General Pervez Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz who bought these plots in 2003 from their original owners. Justice Javed Iqbal, Wasim Sajad, Saifur Rehman, Naheed Khan, former interior minister Wasim Shahzad, ISI, Hafeez Pirzada, top military and civilian officers are included in the list.
But their allotment is in danger of being cancelled after the CJ directed the CDA to lunch a survey and cancel the allotments of those farms which were being used for the purpose other than for which they were actually allotted. Meanwhile, several property dealers of Islamabad have confirmed to The News that the current market value of the land owned by 499 privileged individual is Rs75 billion. One property dealer said one acre of land in this area sells for Rs200-250 million. ìThe network of carpeted roads leading to these farmhouses has further hiked the price of these expensive farms, the dealer commented. REFERENCES: 499 farmhouses are worth Rs75bn! By Rauf Klasra Thursday, October 11, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10588&Cat=13&dt=10/11/2007
ISLAMABAD: The Human Rights Watch, a New York-based organisation, on Friday released a highly controversial audio tape of Attorney-General of Pakistan Malik Mohammed Qayyum in which he talks about a rigging plan for Monday’s elections. The audio, released on the website of HRW, was obtained by it from secret sources and the organisation accused the attorney-general of saying “that the upcoming parliamentary elections will be massively rigged”. Malik Qayyum, while talking to The News, termed the recording fake and a conspiracy against him because he was a close aide of President Musharraf. He said the release of this fake audio was a conspiracy against him and the president. The Human Rights Watch claims that the conversation was recorded when a journalist was interviewing Qayyum and he took another call, putting the journalist on hold. The said journalist was recording the call and thus conversation of Qayyum with an unidentified person was recorded ultimately. In the recording, Qayyum appears to be advising an unidentified person on what political party the person should approach to become a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Human Rights Watch said that the recording was made during a phone interview with a member of the media on November 21, 2007. Qayyum, while still on the phone interview, took a call on another telephone and his side of that conversation was recorded. The recording was made the day after the Election Commission announced the schedule for the polls. The election was originally planned for January 8 but was postponed after the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan on November 25.
An English translation of the recording, which is in Urdu and Punjabi, follows: “Leave Nawaz Sharif (pause)... I think Nawaz Sharif will not take part in the election (pause)... If he does take part, he will be in trouble. If Benazir takes part she too will be in trouble (pause)... They will massively rig to get their own people to win. If you can get a ticket from these guys, take it (pause)... If Nawaz Sharif does not return himself, then Nawaz Sharif has some advantage. If he comes himself, even if after the elections rather than before (pause). Yes.” The HRW press release also claimed that its repeated attempts to contact Qayyum by phone were unsuccessful. It said in February 2001, the Sunday Times published a report based on transcripts of 32 audio tapes, which revealed that Qayyum convicted Benazir Bhutto and Zardari for political reasons. The transcripts of the recordings reproduced by the newspaper showed that Qayyum asked the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s anti-corruption chief, Saifur Rehman, for advice on the sentence: “Now you tell me how much punishment do you want me to give her?”
London-based Brad Adams, director Asia region-HRW, was asked by The News to comment on Malik Qayyum’s view that the release of the audio just two days before the elections was a conspiracy. Brad replied that his organisation had got this audio recording some three days back and as being an international NGO, it had first confirmed the voice signatures of Malik Qayyum and then tried its best to contact him for his version. Brad, however, refused to mention or give any hint regarding the source from which it had taken the audio. Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director of HRW, when asked by The News that whether his NGO had got this recording from some of its staff here in Pakistan or from some intelligence agency, said that he could not speak about the source. To a question that Pakistani government sees the release of the recording as a conspiracy, he said: “Its silly to talk like that, the government should feel sorry what it has planned for elections.” Malik Qayyum told The News that HRW did not take his version and that it did not know about the identification of the person to which he was talking, which automatically raised questions about the authenticity of the recording. REFERENCE: Malik Qayyum in new row over rigging By Muhammad Ahmad Noorani AG caught on tape again; denies HRW report Saturday, February 16, 2008 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=12981&Cat=13&dt=2/16/2008