Categories
-Top News Asia News

Imran’s top aide arrested on sedition charges

Another PTI leader Murad Saeed also reported his arrest and said that the glass windows of his car were broken. He also claimed that an assistant of Gill was beaten up…reports Asian Lite News

PTI leader and Imran Khans chief of staff, Shehbaz Gill, has been arrested on sedition charges, media reports said.

Imran Khan has called an emergency meeting of the party over the arrest. Gill’s arrest was first reported by PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry and Murad Saeed on Twitter, Samaa TV reported.

“Shahbaz Glll has been abducted from Bani Gala Chowk by people who came in vehicles without number plates,” Chaudhry said in a tweet.

Bani Gala Chowk is located around one kilometre from Imran Khan’s Bangi Gala residence.

Another PTI leader Murad Saeed also reported his arrest and said that the glass windows of his car were broken. He also claimed that an assistant of Gill was beaten up.

A video shared by PTI’s official Twitter handle showed broken glass. There was no official word on the �arrest’ of Gill. However, police sources said that Gill has been detained in connection with an FIR registered against him, Samaa TV reported.

He faces sedition charges and has been accused of incitement in connection with a troll campaign against institutions, the sources said. Gill has been moved to an undisclosed location.

A joint investigation team is probing a troll campaign that was launched immediately after a Pakistan Army helicopter crashed in Balochistan’s Lasbela district.

Murad Saeed, in his tweets, said that a “horrible plan” had been hatched yesterday (Monday) night.

Saeed did not elaborate on the alleged plan he was referring to. However, Sheikh Rasheed, a close ally of Imran Khan, also spoke about Khan’s possible arrest and disqualification.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has warned the Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan government saying that if anyone tries to arrest Imran Khan that would trigger instability and bloody politics in the country.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Sheikh Rasheed said, “The two-vote government, with 15 coalition parties, is going rampant. Their failed agenda is to disqualify Imran Khan and qualify Nawaz Sharif. Economic destruction, political instability, extortion and terrorism. The beginning of his politics will be buried.”

“The security of the country is more important than national politics and power. Afghanistan’s instability will also affect Pakistan. Extortion and suicide attacks have begun. Desires of the government cannot make news,” he said adding that arresting Imran Khan or planning to break PTI will be the start of bloody politics.

The former federal minister’s statement came right after the government filed references against the PTI chairman in prohibited funding and Toshakhana cases.

Moreover, the Federal Investigation Agency has also launched a probe into the illegal funding and has summoned senior PTI leaders to appear before it, The News International reported.

Blaming the Shehbaz government for Pakistan’s economy, the former federal minister further said that China is thinking well of Pakistan and the rulers should understand its signals.

The agenda is to disqualify Imran Khan and make Nawaz Sharif eligible, he said. (IANS/ANI)

ALSO READ: Imran in trouble after chief of staff Shahbaz Gill’s arrest

Categories
-Top News Asia News PAKISTAN

Setback to Imran as Hamza Shehbaz takes oath as Punjab CM

Hamza secured 179 votes against 176 votes received by Pervaiz Elahi, a joint candidate of PTI and PML

Hamza Shehbaz, son of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was administered the oath of office on Saturday after he won an election to retain his seat as the Chief Minister of Punjab province.

Clad in a black sherwani, Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman administered the oath at a ceremony held at the Governor’s House in Lahore.

Hamza secured 179 votes against 176 votes received by Pervaiz Elahi, a joint candidate of the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), deputy speaker Dost Mazari announced late Friday night.

Elahi had received 186 votes, including 176 from PTI and 10 from the PML, but the deputy speaker excluded the 10 votes of the PML after its chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain wrote a letter to his party members not to vote for Elahi, Xinhua news agency reported.

This is the second time that Hamza beat Elahi in the contest for the Punjab Chief Minister.

The election was held on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan after the PTI filed a petition in the apex court saying that Hamza has lost the majority in the house.

Earlier on April 16, he was elected as the new Chief Minister of Punjab with 197 votes, including 25 dissidents of the PTI.

On May 20, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-seated 25 dissident members of the provincial assembly of the PTI for voting fpr Hamza in the election against the orders of the party leadership.

Later the ECP allocated five reserved seats to the PTI and announced by-elections on the remaining 20 seats on July 17.

The PTI won 15 seats while PML-N got four seats and an independent candidate also won the election.

PML member Basharat Raja objected to the deputy speaker’s decision to exclude votes, saying that it is against the constitution of the country because only a leader in the assembly can pass such orders to its members while Hussain is not the party leader in the house.

The PTI and PML both announced that they will go to the Supreme Court of the country to challenge the verdict made by the deputy speaker.

ALSO READ: Stage set for Modi-Shehbaz meeting

Categories
-Top News Asia News

Imran’s interim bail extended till July 30

District and Sessions Judge Kamran Basharat said that it was important for Imran Khan to appear in court in case 425 registered at the Kohsar police station…reports Asian Lite News

A district and sessions court on Thursday extended the interim bail of former Prime Minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan till July 30 in 11 cases related to the party’s “Azadi March”.

The former Prime Minister had applied for pre-arrest bail in FIRs registered against him at various places of the federal capital, but he did not appear before the court as he was in Lahore, Dawn reported.

District and Sessions Judge Kamran Basharat said that it was important for Imran Khan to appear in court in case 425 registered at the Kohsar police station, in which the former prime minister has been booked under treason charges.

“A fresh bail needs to be issued in this FIR and I will only pass the orders when the accused appears in court,” the judge said, to which, Imran’s counsel said that his client would appear at the next hearing on July 30.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan, has slammed the ruling government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for failing to tackle the prevailing economic crisis in the country.

Khan said that the Sharif family has never been competent in handling difficult economic situation in Pakistan.

“The Sharif family never had any expertise in running the economy,” Khan said.

Reminding of his time in power, Khan said, “In April this year, the rupee stood at Rs 178 against the US dollar. Today, it is Rs 224, and is in a freefall despite the IMF (International Monetary Fund) agreement. The economic meltdown shows that the only expertise of the Sharif family is looting, money laundering and getting NROs.”

“The nation will hold accountable all those responsible for the regime change conspiracy and bringing Pakistan to this sorry state of affairs,” he added.

Khan’s statement same at a time when Pakistani rupee is on a sharp fall against the dollar while the market has lost over 1,500 points in the last two days of trading.

The prevailing political uncertainty in the country, coupled with an unstable government which seems to be unsure as to whether it will remain in power, has raised serious doubts among the business community.

The nosedive of Pakistani rupee against the dollar has also led to Fitch Ratings downgrading the country’s economic growth from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’.

“We are aware of IMF board approval of Pakistan’s new staff-level agreement with the IMF, but see considerable risks to its implementation and continued access to financing after the programme’s expiry in June 2023 in a tough economic and political climate,” Fitch said.

Pakistan’s deteriorating external liquidity position and financing condition, coupled with risks from renewed political volatility, is causing severe damage to the country’s financial standing, and a clear threat of bankruptcy has started to emerge.

Analysts believe that conducting general election is the only option left on the table of the government, as it would lead to political certainty and will appoint a new government for at least five years, which could stabilise the uncertain political bumps that the country is faced with at the moment.

However, the ruling government believes that its priority is not holding elections, as it prepares to take more difficult and unpopular decisions in the coming days, aimed at ensuring economic stability in the country. (with inputs from Hamza Ameer)

ALSO READ: Lanka: Military crackdown begins on protesters

Categories
-Top News Asia News

Imran slams Shehbaz govt over deepening economic crisis

Khan said that the Sharif family has never been competent in handling difficult economic situation in Pakistan…reports Hamza Ameer

Former Prime Minister and Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, has slammed the ruling government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for failing to tackle the prevailing economic crisis in the country.

Khan said that the Sharif family has never been competent in handling difficult economic situation in Pakistan.

“The Sharif family never had any expertise in running the economy,” Khan said.

Reminding of his time in power, Khan said, “In April this year, the rupee stood at Rs 178 against the US dollar. Today, it is Rs 224, and is in a freefall despite the IMF (International Monetary Fund) agreement. The economic meltdown shows that the only expertise of the Sharif family is looting, money laundering and getting NROs.”

“The nation will hold accountable all those responsible for the regime change conspiracy and bringing Pakistan to this sorry state of affairs,” he added.

Khan’s statement same at a time when Pakistani rupee is on a sharp fall against the dollar while the market has lost over 1,500 points in the last two days of trading.

The prevailing political uncertainty in the country, coupled with an unstable government which seems to be unsure as to whether it will remain in power, has raised serious doubts among the business community.

The nosedive of Pakistani rupee against the dollar has also led to Fitch Ratings downgrading the country’s economic growth from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’.

“We are aware of IMF board approval of Pakistan’s new staff-level agreement with the IMF, but see considerable risks to its implementation and continued access to financing after the programme’s expiry in June 2023 in a tough economic and political climate,” Fitch said.

Pakistan’s deteriorating external liquidity position and financing condition, coupled with risks from renewed political volatility, is causing severe damage to the country’s financial standing, and a clear threat of bankruptcy has started to emerge.

Analysts believe that conducting general election is the only option left on the table of the government, as it would lead to political certainty and will appoint a new government for at least five years, which could stabilise the uncertain political bumps that the country is faced with at the moment.

However, the ruling government believes that its priority is not holding elections, as it prepares to take more difficult and unpopular decisions in the coming days, aimed at ensuring economic stability in the country.

ALSO READ: Pakistan’s bubble is collapsing
Categories
-Top News Asia News

Ex-ISI chief joining Imran’s PTI?

Several commenters assumed that the former general had waded into politics and announced his support for PTI, however, the party’s information secretary has dispelled this impression….reports Asian Lite News

Retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam, the former chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), remained in the media spotlight after reports surfaced that he had apparently waded into the political sphere and “joined” a political party.

However, Gen Islam has not commented on these reports so far, reports Dawn news.

On Sunday, journalist Saleem Safi posted a picture of the former DG ISI on his Twitter account, where the latter could be seen standing at a podium, ostensibly while delivering a speech at a political event, that was emblazoned with the flag of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Several commenters assumed that the former general had waded into politics and announced his support for PTI, however, the party’s information secretary has dispelled this impression.

Former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Gen Islam had participated in a political event in support of a PTI candidate in the upcoming Punjab Assembly by-polls, Dawn reported.

The candidate he is said to have been supporting is Shabbir Awan, who is running for MPA from a Rawalpindi constituency.

Chaudhry told Dawn news there was no truth to rumours that Gen Islam had joined the party, adding that he was merely expressing support for a PTI candidate who happened to be a relative of the retired general.

Gen Islam served as the ISI chief from March 2012 to November 2014.

During this time, it was speculated that he had provided tacit support to the PTI during their sit-in outside parliament and remained a part of negotiations held to try and seek a peaceful resolution of the sit-in.

ALSO READ: Pakistan to narrow digital divide, promote skills

Categories
-Top News Asia News

Had no plan to pick next army chief: Imran

Khan also alleged that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif “tried to pick his favourites for such prestigious positions because he had to protect his ill-gotten wealth and looted money”…reports Asian Lite Newsa

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he had no plan of picking the next army chief of his choice because “appointments against merit ruined institutions”, the media reported.

Addressing an event here on Wednesday, the ousted premier reiterated that PML-N Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan had “confessed” the then opposition parties ganged up on him because he was planning to appoint Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as the new army chief to allegedly execute his agenda to rule the country for the next 15 year without interference, reports Dawn news.

However, the PTI chairman claimed that he had no such plans because he believed in meritocracy.

Khan also alleged that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif “tried to pick his favourites for such prestigious positions because he had to protect his ill-gotten wealth and looted money”.

Talking about his US-backed regime change conspiracy theory, the former Prime Minister alleged that Washington did not want the betterment of any country but only wanted to safeguard its interests, Dawn news reported.

“Providing military bases to the US was not in Pakistan’s interest, which was why he had flatly refused to do so. I am not anti-America, I want to have good relations with the US, but I cannot let them use us like ’tissue papers’.”

ALSO READ: Imran fraudulently acquired ‘objectionable videos’ for blackmail: Maryam

Categories
-Top News Asia News

Afghan hitman hired to kill Imran: Report

PTI leaders have recently expressed concerns about the threat to Khan’s life and have claimed that a target killer has been hired to assassinate him….reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has warned of an assassination threat against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, a media report said on Tuesday.

The threat alert issued by CTD’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wing stated that “terrorists are planning to assassinate Imran Khan, for which they have sought assistance from an assassin in Afghanistan”, Geo News quoted the Daily Jang report as saying.

According to Daily Jang, the text of the threat alert has been shared with various forums, according to which an Afghan assassin has been given the responsibility to target the former premier.

However, the said assassin handed over the responsibility to others.

The CTD has directed all concerned agencies to take all possible measures for the security of the former prime minister in the wake of the threat alert, Geo News reported.

Meanwhile, a senior police official from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa confirmed that the CTD issued the alert on June 18.

However, there were orders to keep the threat a secret and prevent it from being leaked on social media, he said.

PTI leaders have recently expressed concerns about the threat to Khan’s life and have claimed that a target killer has been hired to assassinate him.

PTI leader Fayazul Hassan Chohan had tweeted that “some people” have tasked a terrorist with assassinating the party Chairman.

“I have details that some people have ordered a terrorist named ‘Cochi’ in Afghanistan to assassinate PTI Chairman Imran Khan,” he claimed.

Later, a party worker claimed that “the assassin has even acquired a residence in Islamabad or Rawalpindi”.

ALSO READ: UN envoy bats for girls’ education in Afghanistan

Categories
-Top News Asia News

Imran says Pakistan will split into three, Shehbaz hits back

In a reference to the interview, Sharif, who is on a three-day visit to Turkey, asked Khan to rein his threats in and called him “unfit” to hold any public office….reports Asian Lite News

 Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday hit back at his ousted predecessor Imran Khan for making “naked threats against the country”.

In an interview, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman warned that if the establishment did not take the right decision then the country would split into three and quoted that as his reason for “putting pressure” on the powers that be, The Express Tribune reported.

In a reference to the interview, Sharif, who is on a three-day visit to Turkey, asked Khan to rein his threats in and called him “unfit” to hold any public office.

“Do your politics but don’t dare to cross limits and talk about division of Pakistan,” he warned.

In an interview with Bol TV, Khan had said: “If the establishment doesn’t make the right decisions then I can assure in writing that they and the army will be destroyed because what will become of the country if it goes bankrupt.

“Pakistan is going towards a default. If that happens then which institution will be (worst) hit? The army. After it is hit, what concession will be taken from us? Denuclearisation.

“If the right decisions aren’t made at this time then the country is going towards suicide.”

“Indian think tanks abroad are mulling to separate Balochistan, they have plans, this is why I am putting pressure,” the ousted premier said, without mentioning who he is pressuring.

Khan has warned that the country will descend into a civil war if elections are not announced.

“We will see if they allow us to go towards elections through legal and constitutional means otherwise this country will go towards (a) civil war,” Dawn news quoted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief as saying in an interview.

The ousted premier further said there was “no question” of returning to the National Assembly as that would “mean accepting the conspiracy” that had removed his government.

Khan said he was waiting for the apex court to decide on his party’s plea to provide protection to the protesters, after which he said he would issue the date for the next march, Dawn new reported.

The PTI Chairman admitted he did not enjoy absolute power as the prime minister, indicating that the actual centres of power in the country lay elsewhere and “everyone knows where that is.”

Khan said his government had been “weak” when it came to power and had to seek coalition partners, adding that if the same situation were to arise again, he would opt for re-elections and seek a majority government or none at all.

“Our hands were tied. We were blackmailed from everywhere. Power wasn’t with us. Everyone knows where the power lies in Pakistan so we had to rely on them,” he said without elaborating any further who he was referring to.

ALSO READ: Taliban ready to mediate between Pakistan, TTP

Categories
-Top News Asia News

Is Pak military behind surprise end to Imran’s march?

Former Pakistan National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Naeem Khalid Lodhi candidly admits that he too agrees with this, reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s surprise decision about not going ahead with the sit-in at the end of the long march left almost everyone baffled, foes and allies alike, but there is convergence on one thing, the manner in which it all ended, at least for now, carried clear indications of who made it happen, a media report said.

The general perception, though most shy away from saying that openly, is that the military had to ultimately play its role to prevent things from getting out of control, the Dawn news report said.

Former Pakistan National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Naeem Khalid Lodhi candidly admits that he too agrees with this.

“There is a strong possibility of positive interference by the military to prevent chaos and seek a return of semblance of political stability so that the process for resuscitating the economy could begin.”

Another retired general, on the condition of anonymity, said there was a realisation in the top brass that no one at the helm of affairs would be able to escape responsibility if matters were to go in a wrong direction, Dawn reported.

The biggest challenge for the military, a source claimed, was to open up communication channels with Khan, especially in view of their frayed relations. But, as the former Prime Minister proceeded with the long march plans, a sense of urgency was felt everywhere and multiple channels were employed to bring him around, Dawn news reported.

The source said those who acted as a go-between included a former chief justice, a leading businessman, and a retired general.

“It was not an easy task given Imran Khan’s obstinacy and the fact that he had invested a lot of effort into it,” the source privy to the negotiations said.

Though the source did not share the chronology of the negotiations, it appeared from the discussion that they continued late into Wednesday night and probably into the early hours of Thursday.

ALSO READ: ‘Your dictation won’t work’: Shehbaz tells Imran

Categories
-Top News Asia News

Imran hails India’s Russian oil purchase

“Despite being part of the Quad, India sustained pressure from the US and bought discounted Russian oil to provide relief to the masses,”Imran tweeted…reports Asian Lite News

 Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan once again praised India for buying discounted oil from Russia despite being a key member of a US-led Quad alliance.

“Despite being part of the Quad, India sustained pressure from the US and bought discounted Russian oil to provide relief to the masses,” Dawn news quoted Khan as saying in a tweet.

“This is what our government was working to achieve with the help of an independent foreign policy,” he added.

In a second tweet, Khan claimed that for his government, “Pakistan’s interest was supreme but unfortunately the local Mir Jafars & Mir Sadiqs bowed to external pressure, forcing a regime change and are now running around like a headless chicken with the economy in a tailspin”.

The former premier also tagged to his tweet a South Asia Index report, saying: “After buying discounted oil from Russia, the Indian government reduced petrol price by 9.5 rupees per litre, Diesel price has also been reduced by 7 rupees per litre.”

Michael Kugelman, a scholar of South Asian affairs at the Wilson Centre, Washington, also referred to this report, saying: “This is why Khan was praising India during his final days as Prime Minister.”

He pointed out that Khan wanted to import wheat and eventually gas from Russia, Dawn reported.

ALSO READ: Imran under fire for ‘sexist remarks’ on Maryam