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Fact-check: NAB prosecutor was appointed during PTI’s term, not PM Shehbaz’s

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Rival politician has accused PM Shehbaz of appointing state prosecutor in case of graft against his own niece, Maryam.


A rival politician has accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of appointing the state prosecutor in a case of graft against his own niece, Maryam Nawaz Sharif. The claim is false.
Claim
On September 20, Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, a senior leader of the PTI and the former minister for information, tweeted that as the Islamabad High Court was hearing a corruption case against politician Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the prosecutor assigned by the prime minister was confused regarding which side he was presenting, the NAB or the accused.

The prosecutor in question is Barrister Usman Rasheed Cheema.

The tweet has been retweeted over 10,000 times and liked over 26,000 times.

Fact

Barrister Usman Rasheed Cheema was appointed as a prosecutor of the anti-corruption body in 2020, during the tenure of Chaudhry’s own political party, the PTI.

Initially, the lawyer represented the NAB in a case of money laundering against Shehbaz Sharif and his family.

Then in July 2021, Cheema was appointed lead counsel and the head of a five-member prosecution team by NAB to counter an appeal filed by Maryam Sharif against her conviction in the Avenfield apartments case, as per a notification seen by Geo Fact Check.

Cheema has been retained as counsel in the case. Neither has he been de-notified nor reappointed since 2020.

Fawad Chaudhry’s claim that Shehbaz assigned Barrister Cheema is incorrect.

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On April 16, President Zardari will speak to the joint session of parliament.

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As to the press statement from the President’s House, the joint session of parliament is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 16, at 1600 hours.

In accordance with Article 56(3) of the Constitution, which states that the President “shall address both Houses assembled together and inform the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) of the causes of its summons” at the beginning of the first session following each general election to the National Assembly and at the beginning of the first session of each year,” he would address the joint session.

By virtue of the authority granted by Articles 54 (1) and 56 (3) of the Constitution, President Zardari called a joint session of the legislature.

It is important to note that National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq chaired the previous joint session of Parliament, which was called on March 9th in preparation for the presidential elections.

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Elections

The PPP seeks assistance from political parties in the election of the Senate chairman.

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The PPP special committee members have contacted other political parties in an attempt to get votes for Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, the party’s nominee for the Senate majority.

In order to create a plan for the chairman’s election, Senator Sherry Rehman and Naveed Qamar reached out to former PM Gillani.
According to Sherry Rehman, Yousaf Raza Gillani has a resounding majority in the Senate, and the PPP, together with its allies, will demonstrate its dominance in the chamber tomorrow (Tuesday).

It should be noted that tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., President Asif Ali Zardari will convene the Senate.

In addition to the newly elected senators taking an oath during the Senate session, the election of the chairman and deputy chairman will also take place on the same day.

On Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recommendation, the president had previously signed a summary designating Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar as the presiding officer of the senate session.

37 candidates who were selected to fill Senate seats in the most recent election were notified by the election commission.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s eleven Senate seats are still up for election.

Analysts stated that the election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the process because there are just 11 lawmakers holding KP seats.

There is currently no election calendar for the 11 open KP Senate seats.

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Elections

Core Committee: PTI to abstain from Senate Chairman and Dy Chairman elections

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It has also been determined by the party to file a legal challenge against the election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman.

According to PTI core committee sources, the election was unlawful because the home was not completed. According to insiders, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s election was unconstitutional because senators were not elected.”

In the absence of the chairman, PTI sources claimed, “the house has been dysfunctional.” Except in administrative matters, the Senate Secretariat was unable to make decisions.

The sources stated that under pressure, “the Secretary Senate could not himself interpret the constitution.”

“Without the Senate Chairman, the upper chamber has merely functioned as a department,” the sources stated, calling for constitutional violations against individuals responsible for the dysfunction of the Senate.

Sources continued, “It is the first time the Senate has been rendered inoperative in the nation’s democratic history.”

A petition was previously submitted with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which is supported by the Pakistan Terrorists (PTI), asking for a postponement of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman elections due to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s lack of Senate elections.

In the case where the petitioner asked the ECP to call an early election for the province’s 11 Senate seats, attorney Hamid Khan filed the plea on the SIC’s behalf.

Postponing the April 9 Senate chairman and deputy chairman election is recommended by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed SIC, which claims that the Electoral College will be incomplete without the KP Senate poll.

Recall that the opposition members’ application led to the provincial election commissioner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa postponing the Senate elections on April 2.

Because the disagreement over the oath-taking of the opposition members elected to reserved seats in the KP Assembly has not been settled, the opposition members had moved the ECP.

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