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Imaan Mazari denies allegations of encouraging mutiny

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  • Imaan denies all allegations in FIR registered against her.
  • Lawyer says she was worried about her mother.
  • Attempts being made to stop me from activism, she adds.

ISLAMABAD: Advocate Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir Wednesday denied allegations levelled against her of encouraging soldiers of the Pakistani Army to launch a mutiny against the force’s senior leadership.

Mazari — the daughter of former human rights minister Shireen Mazari — made the statement in a written response to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which has granted the advocate a pre-arrest bail in a case lodged against her at Islamabad’s Ramna Police Station under PPC Sections 138 (Abetment of act of insubordination by soldier) and 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief).

The lawyer had issued remarks regarding the institution earlier this month when her mother was detained by Punjab’s anti-corruption department in a case related to the encroachment of a piece of land in District Rajanpur.

In the FIR registered against Imaan, the complainant said: “The above-named lady abused the senior military leadership of the Pakistan Army. Her derogatory statements are highly disparaging.”

“Such statements, made with the intent to cause and create unrest and Chaos in the Pakistan Army which is also leading to the punishable offence,” the FIR read.

But in her response to the IHC, the lawyer rejected all the claims made in the FIR saying that attempts were being made to stop her from her activism.

“All allegations levelled in the instant FIR are denied as being made with mala fide and ulterior motives, constituting an attempt to deter my public participation through legal work and activism […] the FIR is baseless and an abuse of legal process,” the lawyer said in the written response.

Imaan informed the court that when her mother was subjected to an “unlawful arrest”, she approached the relevant police station to inquire about her whereabouts.

However, Imaan noted that she was repeatedly informed by the relevant police officials that her mother was not in their custody and they were not aware of her whereabouts.

“In view of the statements of relevant police officials and the information shared by my mother before her disappearance. Any statement made by myself on the day of my mother’s unlawful arrest voicing my reasonable suspicion cannot be categorized as an attempt to “aiding/abetting an act of insubordination by officers/soldiers of Pakistan Army.”

“At no point in any statement, did I encourage soldiers in the Pakistan Army to mutiny against the senior leadership of the Armed Forces, nor did I provide any means of assistance for them to do so,” Imaan said.

She added that in any event, the content of the FIR reveals no intent to commit the said offence, nor does it cite any statements made by her that incite officers/soldiers of the Pakistan Army to commit insubordination.

“It is ludicrous to allege that at the time of my mother’s disappearance I intended to cause mutiny, my only concern at the time was to ensure my mother’s safe return and to ensure that a lawful and efficient inquiry is conducted in the matter of her illegal and suspicious arrest,” she said.

“It was and is my right to name the suspects based on the information I had. My only intent at the time was to ensure that individuals who I reasonably believed to be behind her illegal arrest are investigated.”

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government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

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On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

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Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

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With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

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