Posts Tagged ‘Ishaq Dar’

Pakistan moving towards instability: Nawaz Sharif

December 15, 2017

Geo News

LONDON: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said the country is moving towards instability and the current circumstances in Pakistan are not satisfactory.

Image result for Nawaz Sharif, photos

Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz added that the country, which was progressing well, is now moving towards instability after the July 28 decision.

“I said it during my rally in Quetta too, such decisions become the reason for anarchy in a country,” said the former prime minister.

Nawaz is in London after the court had exempted him for a short duration from appearing in the hearings held for the NAB references registered against him.

Nawaz said his government has worked hard during the last four years to improve the country and the circumstances of the masses.

However, he said, terrorism which was under control during his leadership is again rearing its head in the country.

“CPEC projects have slowed down, projects are not progressing at the speed as they were during our tenure,” elaborated Nawaz further and added that the stock exchange, which was hovering around 54,000 points, has now dropped down to around 37,000 points.

“These are all economic indicators. Political instability effects the country.”

Nawaz also expressed his dismay at the current circumstances.

Image result for Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, photos

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Earlier today, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif arrived at Hasan Nawaz’s office in London to meet party leader and former premier Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz’s daughter Maryam, Shehbaz’s son Salman, and other members of the family were also present at the meeting.

Abbasi said the government would complete its tenure and elections would be held on time.

“The government will complete its tenure and elections will be held on time,” said the prime minister, reiterating the government’s stance.

The prime minister also said that the merger of FATA with KP is part of the agenda and some reservations raised are being allayed.

The PML-N leaders also met former premier Shaukat Aziz at his London residence yesterday to offer their condolences on the demise of his son.

According to credible sources privy to developments in PML-N, Nawaz has also recently met former finance minister Ishaq Dar in London. The meeting was held at the residence of Nawaz’s son, Hasan Nawaz, wherein the present situation of the country came under discussion, sources said.


Pakistani Government’s Deal With Islamist Protesters Signals Weakening Stance

November 27, 2017

Agreement with protesters, brokered by the military, bolsters standing of armed forces, critics say

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Pakistan’s decision to accept the demands of Islamist protesters who had blocked a main road into Islamabad, leading to a deadly showdown over the weekend, has further set back the South Asian nation’s struggle to restrain the rise of religious hard-liners.

After failing to break up the protests in a crackdown on Saturday, which led to at least seven deaths and 260 injured, Islamabad  bowed to the key demand of protesters, the resignation of the law minister.

The agreement with the protesters, which was brokered by the military, bolstered the standing of the armed forces while weakening the stance of an already-fragile government, critics said.

“The scale of appeasement is breathtaking,” said Farzana Shaikh, author of the book Making Sense of Pakistan. “This is a humiliating defeat for the government and a country of more than 200 million that has been held to ransom.”

The protests started peacefully when activists from a mainstream sect of Islam descended on the outskirts of Islamabad on Nov. 7, blocking a major entry route to the capital, saying they were there to defend the honor of the Prophet Muhammad and prevent blasphemy.

They said proposed legislation had tried to water down an oath that parliamentarians take, swearing Muhammad was the final prophet. They blamed Law Minister Zahid Hamid for the change and demanded he quit.

The protesters are from the mainstream Barelvi sect of Islam and organized around a group called Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah, which formed a political party in recent weeks. The group aims to maintain Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws, which carry the death penalty for anyone insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

The government decided to act on Saturday and sent around 8,000 police and paramilitary to clear the road of thousands of protesters. The crackdown just sparked further protests elsewhere in the country, including Karachi and Lahore, its two biggest cities. The government shut down private news broadcasts as well as social media including Facebook and Twitter.

The eventual deal to diffuse the crisis exposed the tension between the civilian government and the military.

Some government officials privately said that they were forced to agree with the protesters after the military didn’t come to the government’s aid.

As violence escalated late Saturday, the government asked for help from the army. But the military didn’t deploy around the protest and said it should be resolved peacefully.

The government then switched from trying to break up the protests to negotiating with the protesters and giving into their demands.

The protesters Monday said they had negotiated with the military and refused to deal with the government.

“If the government wants to stay in power, they will now have learnt lessons that they can only stay if they kowtow to the military’s wishes and commands,” said Asma Jahangir, a leading human-rights lawyer.

The military had said late Saturday that the police operation hadn’t been handled well but warned in a letter to the government that its troops weren’t well-suited to riot control, as “employment of army implies application of a force which is traditionally not just used for dispersal of crowd / protesters.”

The military didn’t respond to a request for comment on Monday.

The government has been struggling since the courts earlier this year ousted Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. Mr. Sharif, whose party remains in office, has repeatedly said the military establishment is the force behind his removal, an allegation it denies.

A State Department spokesperson on Sunday said the U.S. was monitoring the situation closely. Defense secretary Jim Mattis is expected to visit Islamabad for talks next week.

Write to Saeed Shah at


Pakistan minister resigns after violent Islamist protests

November 27, 2017


© AFP/File | The resignation of Pakistan’s law minister Zahid Hamid is a key demand of the little known Islamist group that has virtually paralysed Islamabad since it began a sit-in on a major highway into the capital on November 6

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan’s law minister Zahid Hamid has resigned, state media reported Monday, meeting a key demand of Islamist protesters who have clashed violently with security forces and blockaded the capital Islamabad for weeks.Hamid “has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to steer the country out of crisis,” the state-run news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) said in a report citing unnamed official sources, without giving further details.

State television station PTV also reported the minister’s resignation, without citing any sources.

There was no immediate confirmation or comment from government officials.

Hamid’s resignation was a key demand of the little known Islamist group that has virtually paralysed Islamabad since it began a sit-in on a major highway into the capital on November 6.

The Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLY) have been calling for Hamid’s ousting for weeks over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear.

The protesters have linked it to blasphemy — a highly contentious issue in Muslim Pakistan that has often fuelled violence.

On Saturday security forces attempted to clear the roughly 2,000 demonstrators at the sit-in in a botched operation that devolved into violence, with at least seven people killed and hundreds wounded before they were ordered to retreat.

The clashes fuelled more protests in other cities, including Pakistan’s two largest Karachi and Lahore, and saw thousands more demonstrators arrive on the streets of Islamabad.

The government called on the army to intervene to restore order late Saturday. By Monday morning there still had been no official response from the military.

The reports of Hamid’s resignation raised hopes that the protest leaders would end the sit-in, which has enraged commuters with hours-long traffic snarls, caused the death of at least one child whose ambulance could not reach hospital in time, and infuriated the judiciary.

Numbers were dwindling at the Islamabad protest site early Monday, with AFP reporters saying around 2,500 demonstrators remained. Leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi had not yet arrived as Hamid’s resignation was reported.

The minister’s ousting is the latest in a series of heavy blows to the beleaguered Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government as general elections approach in 2018.

In July, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was deposed by the courts over graft allegations, while finance minister Ishaq Dar — also accused of corruption — has taken indefinite medical leave.


Court issues arrest warrants for Pakistani finance minister

October 30, 2017

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. (REUTERS File Photo)

ISLAMABAD: The anti-corruption court in Islamabad on Monday issued arrest warrants for Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar as he failed to appear before the court.

The hearing was scheduled for Monday morning, but he missed the hearing as he was in London for a medical check-up.

Dar could avoid arrest by paying bail, but if he declines to do so, the judge could convert the warrant into a non-bailable one.

Since the start of the case, Dar has appeared before the accountability court seven times. Lawyers say he has been given the option of paying bail to ensure his presence.

Dar’s counsel had applied for his exemption from appearing before the court, but Judge Muhammad Bashir dismissed the plea and ordered Dar to appear on Nov. 2 for the next hearing.

Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Dar were indicted earlier this month. Both pled not guilty to charges of corruption.

Pakistani Court Indicts Finance Minister on Graft Charges — Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to be indicted on October 2

September 27, 2017

ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani court in a high-profile corruption case has indicted the country’s finance minister on graft charges after investigators found his assets did not match his reported income.

State media report that Ishaq Dar was present in the courtroom Wednesday when a judge read the charges against him. Dar denied the allegations.

Image result for Ishaq Dar, pakistan, photos

Ishaq Dar

Under Pakistan’s laws, Dar can continue to work as a minister until he is found guilty. However, opposition leaders have asked him to resign on moral grounds.

Dar has close familial ties to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified from holding office by the Supreme Court for concealing his financial assets in July.

Dar’s indictment comes a day after Sharif made his first appearance before a judge to face corruption cases.


Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to be indicted on October 2

Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has appeared before an anti-graft court for the first time to face corruption charges against his family.


AAP – SBS Wires

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appeared before an anti-corruption court, kicking off trial proceedings that he says are biased and which threaten to dent his party’s chances at the next general election due in mid-2018.

Sharif briefly appeared before a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court in Islamabad on three corruption charges. He did not enter a plea.

Local TV channels reported that Sharif is scheduled to be formally indicted on October 2, about two months after his disqualification by the Supreme Court for not declaring a small source of income that he denied receiving.

A Supreme Court panel has also alleged Sharif family’s wealth far exceeds their legal income.

“He has appeared before the court and by appearing he has proved to be a lion,” said Marvi Memom, an MP for Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)party.

Sharif, who returned from London on Monday after about a month in Britain, told the court his wife was being treated for cancer in London and needs his care.

Sharif has portrayed the corruption claims against him as politically motivated, while his allies, including daughter and heir-apparent Maryam, have hinted Pakistan’s powerful military had a hand in his toppling. The military denies any such action.

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Imran Khan

“It’s a good thing that finally NAB and such institutions are holding the rich and powerful to (account),” said Shafqat Mahmood, a senior members of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

PTI, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan who doggedly pushed the Supreme Court into launching a corruption probe into Sharif, has called for an early election but it is unlikely the government will agree to that.