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

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  • 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.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, the former Prime Minister of AJK, has been apprehended by authorities.

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Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, the ex-prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has been apprehended by the Margalla Police in Islamabad.

Ilyas was apprehended by the authorities following the registration of a case against him at the Margalla Police Station, as stated by the police spokeswoman.

The police officials have accused Ilyas of committing six grave offences, which include assaulting the premises of a private enterprise.

The spokeswoman verified the arrest, stating that Ilyas was apprehended following a comprehensive investigation and subsequent legal actions.

This event follows the filing of a case against Ilyas, accusing him of being involved in the assault on a private company’s office.

The individual has been apprehended by law enforcement and will be subjected to investigation and subsequent legal procedures.

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Abbasi says that Pakistan’s functioning will not be efficient without implementing improvements in the system.

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Speaking to the media outside the accountability court in Karachi, he asserted that the country cannot function effectively without implementing significant reforms in the system.

He advocated for transferring authority to competent individuals to address the country’s issues.

He stated that no measures were implemented to address the violation of the constitution. If we want to recall the past, we must return to the year 1947.

“The government lacks a public mandate, and this arrangement has been established using the same method previously employed by the founder of the PTI to establish his government,” stated Shahid Khaqan.

According to him, political parties would traditionally establish themselves prior to elections with the aim of accomplishing specified objectives. “We discuss individuals’ issues, political parties have embraced this approach to secure power,” he stated.

“The court inquired about the offence.” The NAB has also stated that no pecuniary benefit was obtained in the case,” he remarked during the case hearing.

After several years of visiting courts, the NAB has been unable to provide any evidence. The previous Prime Minister said that they even neglect to specify which powers were improperly utilised. The former chairman of the NAB is obligated to provide a response for it.

According to him, the NAB has caused significant damage to the national economy.

Regarding his political party, he stated that the party will be established within the upcoming month and individuals from all regions of Pakistan will unite with it.

In an earlier hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cleared Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail, Chairman Engro Hussain Dawood, Board member Abdul Samad Dawood, and others of any wrongdoing in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) issue.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) retracted the corruption accusation against the ex-prime minister, who has persistently advocated for the elimination of the anti-corruption agency due to allegations of political persecution.

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