Connect with us

Politics

Govt claims Reko Diq issue settled with Akhtar Mengal, BNP-M denies

Published

on

  • Tarar says he was in touch with coalition partners over Reko Diq.
  • BNP-M vice president says their concerns weren’t addressed.
  • Says law minister’s statement was contrary to facts.

ISLAMABAD: Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP) has denied the claims of federal Minister for Law Azam Nazir Tarar, who said that issue surrounding the Reko Diq deal had been resolved with the party head.

The federal cabinet earlier this week approved funding for the project but coalition partners BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) had some concerns regarding it. Moreover, Mengal even warned of parting ways with the federal government.

However, Law minister Tarar claimed that the matters had been resolved with Mengal, saying that he was in touch with the BNP-M chief and other coalition partners who wanted to limit the Foreign Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act, 2022 to Reko Diq. 

Responding to the claim, BNP-M Vice President Malik Wali Kakar said that their grievances had not been addressed by the federal government. He refuted Tarar’s statement that the issue had been resolved and said the minister’s statement was contrary to the facts.

He also said Federal Minister Ayaz Sadiq had sought time for a meeting, which would be agreed upon after consultation with his party.

Fazl-Mengal discussion on Reko Diq

On Tuesday, PDM Chairman and JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and BNP chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal expressed reservations about not taking them into confidence on the legislation concerning Reko Diq.

Fazl met Mengal in which matters pertaining to the overall political situation of the country and Balochistan came under discussion. 

In this regard, sources said both the leaders expressed concern over not being taken into confidence on the Reko Diq legislation and agreed to adopt a joint political strategy.

BNP-P summons core committee meeting

Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tried to allay the allies’ apprehensions.

The sources have claimed that Mengal, who was considering parting ways with the ruling coalition, had summoned a meeting of BNP-M’s core committee to discuss the recent developments and future plan of action.

The former chief minister of Balochistan had also refused to support the Foreign Investment (Promotion and Protection) Bill, 2022 in the lower house of parliament. However, the ruling alliance, while apparently bulldozing the concerns raised by the allies, managed to take the parliament’s nod on the bill.

SC okays deal

Last week, the apex court declared the new deal between a Canadian firm and the government on the Reko Diq project legal. 

A five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, shared its opinion on a reference sent by President Arif Alvi.

Canadian company Barrick Gold, which ended a long-standing dispute with Pakistan in March last to strike a new agreement, earlier asked the federal government to get clearance from parliament and the country’s top court to make its investment in the project safe.

In its short verdict, the apex court observed that the government had signed the agreement after taking the Balochistan Assembly into confidence and consulting experts.

Politics

May 9 arsonists also attacked police on March 8 outside Zaman Park: Mohsin Naqvi

Published

on

By

  • Naqvi says “propaganda” being done on arrest of female PTI workers.
  • Caretaker CM says 2-year-old videos were shared on social media.
  • Punjab IG says police ready to appear before the judicial commission. 

LAHORE: Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Tuesday shared that those who attacked the police in Zaman Park on March 8 were also involved in the rioting that took place on May 9 after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest.

On March 8, the PTI chief planned to launch a rally in Lahore but things turned sour when the interim government-imposed Section 144 within the provincial capital. Following this, there was a clash between the police and PTI workers.

However, today CM Naqvi said that the same people that had clashed with the police on March 8 were also involved in the May 9 rioting.

On the “propaganda” being done regarding the arrest of female PTI workers, the caretaker chief executive claimed that 2-year-old videos were being shared on social media.

He also said that 32 women were arrested related to the attack on military installations in Punjab. However, 21 of those have already been released while only 11 are on judicial remand.

CM Naqvi added that nearly 500 women were involved in the May 9 incidents but the interim government avoided their arrest.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Punjab (IGP) Police Dr Usman Anwar, while clearing the air on the arrest of female PTI workers, said that the police have videos of people getting arrested on the spot.

He further added that those involved in the May 9 mayhem uploaded videos themselves.

“Various agencies verified with their own camera system. These lists [of people involved] are complete, and action is being taken,” the police chief said. 

He also slammed the PTI for claiming he had sent his men to torch the important installations. “Whoever wants to form a judicial commission can form it we are ready to go before any judicial commission.” 

Continue Reading

Politics

PTI’s Shehryar Afridi re-arrested upon release from Adiala jail

Published

on

By

  • “Afridi was released on completion of his ‘house arrest’ period.”
  • Police officials take the PTI leader to an undisclosed location.
  • Shehryar Afridi along with his wife was picked up on May 16. 

Amid the ongoing crackdown against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in connection with the May 9 attacks on the civil and military installations, the party’s leader and former state minister Shehryar Afridi was re-arrested shortly after being released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail on Tuesday.

Afridi along with his wife was picked up on May 16 from his residence in Islamabad under Section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance 1960, which enables the government to arrest persons “acting in any manner prejudicial to public safety”. His wife, however, was released later on the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Soon after his release from the jail, police officials again took him into custody and transported him to an undisclosed location.

According to the jail administration, Afridi was released on completion of his “house arrest” period under the MPO.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner has extended Afridi’s house arrest under MPO for another 15 days.

The duo was apprehended after violent protests, triggered by the arrest of PTI chairman Imran Khan from the IHC in the Al-Qadir Trust case, erupted almost across the country.

During the days-long protests, which ended only after Khan’s release, enraged PTI workers allegedly attacked private and public properties, including military installations — the Lahore Corps Commander’s House or Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) entrance. At least eight people lost their lives during the violent protests.

Continue Reading

Politics

ATC declares Zaman Park search warrant ‘ineffective’

Published

on

By

  • One-time search warrants are not for forever, judge says.
  • PTI chief Khan had moved ATC against search warrants.
  • He claimed LEAs secured warrants with “malicious intent”.

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore Tuesday declared a police search warrant for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence “ineffective”.

ATC Judge Abhar Gul Khan, while announcing the reserved verdict on the PTI chief’s plea, said one-time search warrants are not for forever.

The PTI chief had moved the court three days back against the search warrants, naming the state, commissioner of Lahore, DIG operations Lahore, SSP operations Lahore, and others as respondents.

In the plea, the PTI chief claimed that law enforcement personnel secured the warrants with “malicious intent”.

“It is most respectfully prayed that the search warrant relating to petitioner’s house situated at Zaman Park, Lahore may kindly be set-aside /cancelled/recalled being illegal, unlawful, inappropriate which lacks the requisite legal parameters for a valid warrant in the interest of justice and fair play,” he said in the plea.

Urging the court to take strict action against the respondents, Khan asked the court to deal with them severely for “their unlawful and illegal misuse of authority under the pretext of the search warrant”.

The authorities had secured the search warrants claiming that they wanted to arrest the “terrorists” present inside the PTI chief’s residence. However, when they arrived there on May 19, Khan refused to allow a search operation at his residence.

The hearing

At the outset of the hearing, the judge asked the commissioner what was the reason behind the law enforcers’ action at Zaman Park. The commissioner said his men went here to remove encroachments.

But, he noted, they had not followed up on the search warrants so far.

The judge asked the investigating officer whether he still needed the search warrants. At this, he said that he would respond to the court’s question after consulting his colleagues.

The court, after hearing arguments, had reserved the verdict.

Continue Reading

Trending