Friday, August 2, 2013

Michael Jackson ((♥)) Billie Jean ((♥)) 30th Anniversary Madison Square Garden

Pakistan: Its time CJ Chaudhry resigns, says Khuhro
Consultations with political parties on new local government system are in process and new draft will be prepared with consensus. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and Senior Education and Literacy Minister, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said on Wednesday while talking to journalists after attending the inauguration ceremony of videoconference room at Dawood University. “It will be a new LG system of 2013,” he said, adding that the new LG system will be presented before Sindh Assembly for approval after developing consensus. The minister said that the new LG system will be prepared in light of ground realities. The positive points of both, 1979 LG system and SLGO, 2001 will be included in the new system, he added. He said that the new system will be acceptable to people of the province. Responding to a question about a possible alliance with the MQM, he said that the government has kept its doors open for the MQM as it does not believe in solo flight. He denied the emergence of a forward block in the PPP, and said that these are just rumours. To a question about resignation of Fakhruddin G Ebrahim he said that he should have resigned earlier when the apex court had changed schedule of the Presidential Election. “Now Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry should also tender his resignation for the same mistake”, he added. To another question he said that the Education Department has temporarily restored DDO powers of ADEOs of the department.


U.S. employers added 162,000 jobs in July, a modest increase and the fewest since March. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to a 4½-year low of 7.4 percent, a hopeful sign. Unemployment declined from 7.6 percent in June because more Americans found jobs, and others stopped looking and were no longer counted as unemployed. Still, Friday's report from the Labor Department pointed to a less-than-robust job market. It suggested that the economy's subpar growth and modest consumer spending are making many businesses cautious about hiring. The government said employers added a combined 26,000 fewer jobs in May and June than it previously estimated. Americans worked fewer hours in July, and their average pay dipped. And many of the jobs employers added last month were for lower-paying work at stores, bars and restaurants. For the year, job growth has remained steady. The economy has added an average 200,000 jobs a month since January, though the pace has slowed in the past three months to 175,000. Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, called the employment report "slightly negative," in part because job growth for May and June was revised down. Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West, said it showed "a mixed labor market picture of continued improvement but at a still frustratingly slow pace." The reaction from investors was slightly downbeat. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 17 points in early-afternoon trading, and broader stock indexes also declined. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.62 percent from 2.71 percent. The Federal Reserve will review the July employment data in deciding whether to slow its $85 billion a month in bond purchases in September, as many economists have predicted it will do. Weaker hiring could make the Fed hold off on any pullback in its bond buying, which has helped keep long-term borrowing costs down. Beth Ann Bovino, senior economist at Standard & Poor's, said she thinks Friday's report will make the Fed delay a slowdown in bond buying. "September seems very unlikely now," she says. "I'm wondering if December is still in the cards." Still, it's possible that the lower unemployment rate, along with the hiring gains over the past year, could convince the Fed that the job market is strengthening consistently. "While July itself was a bit disappointing, the Fed will be looking at the cumulative improvement," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. "On that score, the unemployment rate has fallen from 8.1 percent last August to 7.4 percent this July, which is a significant improvement." The decline in unemployment to 7.4 percent was derived from a survey of households, which found that 227,000 more people said they were employed last month. And 37,000 people stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The job gain for the month was calculated from a separate survey of employers. More than half of July's job gain came from lower-paying industries, extending a trend that is limiting Americans' incomes and possibly slowing consumer spending. Retailers, for example, added nearly 47,000 jobs — the biggest gain for any industry last month. Restaurants and bars added 38,400. Low-paying industries have accounted for 61 percent of jobs added this year, even though they represent only 39 percent of U.S. jobs overall, according to Labor Department numbers analyzed by Moody's Analytics. Mid-paying industries have accounted for fewer than 22 percent of the jobs added. Some job gains were made in higher-paying fields last month. Financial services, which includes banking, real estate and insurance, added 15,000. Information technology added 4,300, accounting 2,500. And manufacturing added 6,000 jobs, though that figure was offset by an equivalent loss in construction. One growing source of better-paying jobs is local governments. They've now added jobs for five straight months and have helped offset job cuts by state and federal governments. The result is that governments overall are much less of a drag on hiring than they were earlier in the economic recovery. All told, they've shed 39,000 jobs in the 12 months that ended in July. That's down from a loss of 137,000 in the 12 months that ended in July 2012. Many of the jobs that employers added in July are only part time. The number of Americans who said they were working part time but would prefer full-time work stands at 8.2 million — the highest since last fall. Part-time jobs account for 65 percent of the jobs added in July and 77 percent of those added this year. The percentage of Americans either working or actively looking for work dipped in July to 63.4 percent. This is called the "labor force participation rate." The participation rate has been generally declining since peaking at 67.3 percent in 2000. That's partly the result of baby boomers retiring and leaving the workforce. Job gains are being slowed by the economy's tepid growth. It grew at an annual rate of just 1.7 percent in the April-June quarter, the government said this week. That was an improvement over the previous two quarters, but it's still far too weak to rapidly lower unemployment. Recent data suggest that the economy could strengthen in the second half of the year. A survey Thursday showed, for example, that factories increased production and received a surge of orders in July, propelling the fastest expansion in more than two years. The survey, by the Institute for Supply Management, also showed that the housing recovery is spurring more output by lumber companies, furniture makers and appliance manufacturers. Businesses have ordered more industrial machinery and other equipment for four straight months. Europe's troubled economies are showing signs of recovery, potentially a lift to U.S. exports. U.S. automakers are reporting their best sales since the recession, a sign that Americans are confident enough in their finances to make large purchases. Car sales rose 14 percent in July from 12 months earlier to 1.3 million. Healthy sales have encouraged more hiring by Ford Motor Co. The company said last week that it will hire 800 salaried professionals this year, mostly in areas like information technology, product development and quality control.

What failed in Pakistan won't work in Egypt

By David Rohde
Amid violent clashes in Egypt, White House officials argued this week that the United States can't cut off its $1.3 billion a year in assistance to Egypt. To do so would cause Washington to lose "influence" with the country's generals. Vital American security interests are at stake, they said, and keeping the torrent of American aid flowing gives Washington leverage. If that argument sounds familiar, it is. For the last decade, the United States has used the same logic in Pakistan. The U.S. has given $11 billion in military aid to the Pakistani military in the name of maintaining American "influence" in Islamabad. From new equipment to reimbursements for Pakistani military operations, the money flowed year after year, despite complaints from American officials that the Pakistanis were misusing funds and inflating bills.
Can the United States do better in Egypt? Pakistan and Egypt are vastly different, but as the Obama administration fervently embraces its Pakistani tactics in Egypt, it's worth examining the results of our dollars-for-generals approach. A decade on, little has changed in Pakistan. The country's military continues to shelter the Afghan Taliban, hundreds of American and Afghan soldiers have died in cross-border attacks from Pakistan and the army remains by far the most powerful institution in the country.
Yes, the government of outgoing Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari performed poorly and mismanaged the country's economy. And it's wrong to assume or argue that an effective, efficient civilian government would emerge if Pakistan's army would give up its decades-old domination of the country. But what did the United States get for its $11 billion? One goal of providing U.S. military aid was to get the Pakistani military to crack down on the thousands of Afghan Taliban who have lived, trained and planned operations from inside Pakistan since 2001. But so far that has not happened. Republicans and Democrats poured money into the coffers of the Pakistani military but it did not change the Pakistani military's long-running view that Afghan Taliban and other militants are useful proxies against Pakistan's arch-rival India. American officials say the $11 billion did allow the United States to get what it most wanted: drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas that weakened al Qaeda and may have thwarted terrorist attacks in the United States. The strikes fuel sweeping anti-Americanism in Pakistan, but the cold political calculus for any American president, officials argue, is preventing terrorist attacks on the homeland. So far, the Obama administration appears intent on following the same aid-for-leverage approach in Egypt. The White House delayed the delivery of four new F-16 fighters to Egypt this week. But the fact that the Egyptian military has already killed 140 protesters, twice as many as Iran did in its 2009 crushing of the Green Movement, apparently gives administration officials little pause. In a visit to Pakistan this week, Secretary of State John Kerry gave the administration's most full-throated defense of the Egyptian military yet. "In effect, they were restoring democracy," Kerry said in a Pakistani television interview. "The military did not take over, to the best of our judgment - so far, so far - to run the country. There's a civilian government." Last week, the White House announced that the Obama administration would not enforce an American law requiring the U.S. government to cut off American aid to any government the carries out a coup. How? By ignoring it. "The law does not require us to make a formal determination as to whether a coup took place, and it is not in our national interest to make such a determination," a White House official told the New York Times. "We will not say it was a coup, we will not say it was not a coup, we will just not say." In other words, America will look the other way to maintain "influence" with the Egyptian military. One of the lessons from the last decade in Pakistan is that money might buy American officials a seat at the table. But Pakistani generals or Egyptian generals will not necessarily listen. And they will definitely blame their problems on us. For the last decade in Pakistan, military officials have used pro-military media outlets to spread a message that an all-powerful United States is behind the country's ills. The drone strikes are a case in point. Since 2004, the Pakistani military has covertly supported American drone strikes in the country. For years, they allowed American drones to fly out of a Pakistani military base. Pakistani air force planes could have easily shot down slow-moving, propeller-driven American drones at any time - if given the command. At the same time, Pakistani generals and civilian officials publicly condemned the attacks as an outrageous American violation of their sovereignty. The Taliban insurgency inside the country was fueled by drone strikes, they argued. No mention was made of the fact that many of the jihadist groups were originally trained and funded by the Pakistani military to serve as proxies against India. After initially supporting the jihadists, Pakistan's military has lost control of many of them. Some of the same patterns are emerging in Egypt. The Egyptian military blames the United States for the country's ills. They also oversee a vast economic empire that enriches senior officers. Dalia Mogahed, an expert on Egypt and the former executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, believes the United States should take a more aggressive stance in Egypt. Providing $1.3 billion per year with few questions asked is not a recipe for change. "We need clear conditions on aid that we actually follow through with," Mogahed said in an email. "We're dealing with military massacres of protestors. Our values and our interests dictate that we condition aid on the immediate halt of excessive force and holding accountable those responsible for it." One administration official, who asked not to be named, argued that there was no alternative to Egypt's generals. If the Sinai, for example, becomes a safe haven for militants, they would pose a direct threat to Israel and the United States. The official said he was skeptical that civilian governments could emerge that could stabilize Egypt and secure the Sinai. That is the same argument American officials have been making in Pakistan for years. The core question is simple: can democracy emerge in the region? Putting conditions on our aid that require the Egyptian military to carry out elections will help answer that question. Hurling billions at generals will not. Pakistan has taught us that much.
(David Rohde is a columnist for Reuters, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a former reporter for The New York Times. His latest book, "Beyond War: Reimagining American Influence in a New Middle East," was published in April. )

Bahrain's Twitter Army Cracks Down on Dissent

In Bahrain, all it takes is clicking on the wrong link to end up in jail. A new report prepared by Bahrain Watch, an activist organization critical of the ruling monarchy, details how the Bahraini government creates fake Twitter accounts to reveal the identity of anonymous anti-regime tweeps -- and then prosecutes them on the basis of "secret evidence." Here's how it works. Dozens of shell accounts -- many designed to impersonate top figures within the Bahraini opposition -- have tweeted links to anonymous Twitter users who comment on Bahrain. The links include spyware that reveals the user's IP address, which the government can use to identify the name and street address of the person behind the account. From there, it's simple police work: The government can raid the house and build a case against those living there, usually on charges of "insulting the king." In total, Bahrain Watch found that more than 120 accounts were targeted by the government in this way. With the government having crushed large street demonstrations in the capital, the online debate has become the new front line of the revolt. In May, five men were sentenced to a year in prison for violating Article 214 of Bahrain's penal code, which prohibits "offending the emir [king] of the country, the national flag or emblem." During the trial of one of those men, Ammar Makki Mohammed al-Aali, an official for the Bahraini police's Cyber Crime Unit said that his IP address was obtained through "a private way I cannot reveal." But the government's tactics are not only repressive -- they're inexact. A Twitter user other than the one being targeted may click on a publicly available link, or the targeted user may click on the link -- but do so while using a connection not registered in their name, directing the government to someone else's IP address. Take the case of Mahdi al-Basri, a lawyer who was sentenced to a year in prison in May for operating the anti-regime account @karrana14. However, one of the account's operators said Basri was not involved -- the account operator had merely clicked on a "suspicious link" while using Basri's Internet account. The monarchy in Manama makes a show of being different from the other "Arab Spring" regimes -- but by using tools that are both authoritarian and catch civilians up in a broad dragnet, its tactics look pretty familiar.

Afghan children collect trash for money

CNN PRODUCER NOTE: Student Islamuddin Noor kept seeing young children collecting trash outside American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, so he started to get to know them and decided to share their story. He spent two weeks documenting the lives of 11-year-old Wajma, her family and her two friends, Rayeesa and Suwaspari, in April and May 2013. “[Wajma’s] life is typical of the street children in the city. She goes to a government school from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. in the hope that one day she will be able to change the life she and her family are living. How can someone be capable of learning when their life is so full of hardship?” Noor said. Wajma’s family has seen much hardship. Her father used to work in a brick kiln, but he left the job when his asthma made the work too difficult. The family depends on the income that Wajma and her brothers make on the streets. Wajma picks up trash, and her brothers, Wakil, 12, and Basir, 7, fetch cabs for people. Wajma’s older sister was sold as a housekeeper at age 9, Noor said. As for why Noor, 24, wanted to tell the story of these young trash collectors, he said, “I hope to achieve help for Wajma, Rayeesa, Suwaspari and their family so that they can go to school and don't need to pick up trash and or being sold like happening to daughters in this country.”
On a very hot day in Kabul, Wajma grabs a bag and starts to collect trash near the American University of Afghanistan. Nobody seems to take care of her or her friends, Suwaspari and Rayeesa. At 11 years old, she is one of the numerous children in Kabul who work on the streets. No one has ever noticed how innocent and beautiful she is, just as beautiful as the children who dress well, eat delicious food and live in luxury houses. The innocence and beauty of her are covered by the dark spots that the sun’s hot rays have marked on her face. In cold weather her skin is chapped, leaving dry spots on her face, hands and feet. Wajma is one of many street children suffering in order to help her family survive. Wajma lives in a small place in Darulaman Street in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her life is typical of the street children in the city. She goes to a government school from 6am until 9am in the hope that one day she will be able to change the life she and her family are living. How can someone be capable of learning when their life is so full of hardship? “She is not even able to write and read simple words,” her teacher says. After school she continues the day with Suwaspari and Rayeesa, searching for trash at “Deh Dana” and “Ala’od din square”. She begs outside the American University of Afghanistan to help her mother to feed the younger children in the family. Wajma says, “I really love seeing all the big cars and well-dressed people outside the university. I like to hang out here. It motivates me to change my life one day”. Wajma’s two brothers, Wakil and Basir, work on the streets too by finding passengers for the city cabs. They get 5 Afs from each car when it is full. They work in all weathers to earn 70-100 Afs a day to support their family. Wajma still can get to school but her brothers cannot. Probably they are never asked why they need to work on the streets when they could help shape the future of their country by studying. Wajma’s father is a traditional man and used to work in a brick kiln. Since he has got the excuse of asthma, he prefers to depend on the little cash his children earn from working on the streets. He does not spend time with his children but loves his pet bird. He sold his elder daughter seven years ago at the age of nine; for a little money, she went to another family to be their housekeeper. Selling a daughter is very common in Afghanistan. Wajma’s mother shared her story of a life full of sorrows but was too frightened of her husband to say it in a recording. Wajma’s mother is an Afghan woman living with the pain of losing her older daughter and having to see her children making a living on the streets. She has eight children: five daughters and three sons. For many years, Afghan women have been oppressed by tradition. They have been treated like machines for producing children rather than as life partners or human beings. Illiteracy in Afghanistan is common; that is one reason why so many children are born without their parents thinking of the financial implications. Wajma’s family lives in a house where the windows are covered with plastic to provide some shelter from the cold. Her mother says, “When it’s terribly cold in winter, most of the nights we spend sitting all together under an old blanket, because we can’t lie down and sleep on the freezing ground”. In winter, Wajma is not able to collect enough flammable material for their oven (which is called “Deg Dan” in the Dari Language) and for heating. Wajma says, “There is disgusting mud, the ground is sodden and very cold during the winter so I can’t find the things I need”. Most of us go winter shopping and buy warm clothes without thinking. No one realizes that children like Wajma don’t have the basics of clothing and shelter to save them from the cold. According to Mike Thomson’s BBC report, “some 37,000 children live on the streets of the Kabul”. Most of the children have lost their parents in the war. Widows have no other choice but to let their children go on the streets and earn some money to survive. These children are also the only resource for fathers who are disabled and lost their legs in the war. Since it is so common to see children on the streets, some people use their children this way when they are capable of work themselves and could send the children to school. Afghanistan is facing the enormous challenge of poverty. More than a decade has passed since the collapse of the Taliban government. Much money is being spent on military developments and the establishment of larger businesses. Meanwhile, innumerable children in the Afghan capital are helping their struggling families to survive. Wajma and the other street children have their dreams. They believe there will be change in their lives, one day.

Bangladesh's Jamaat Islami crimes exposed to new generation

Isolated and cornered
BY: Syed Bashir
The High Court’s order cancelling the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami has left the party with not many options. Specially if the Supreme Court turns down its appeal against the High Court order. The Jamaat will also have to get an immediate stay order to stop the Election Commission from implementing the High Court verdict — or else the Jamaat stands effectively debarred from contesting all elections including the one coming up for the parliament later this year or early next. At its hour of peril, the Jamaat actually finds itself totally isolated — bereft of friends and left to face its usual foes. Pakistan, to maintain whose unity the Jamaat fought and earned its share of notoriety by perpetrating horrible atrocities against its own people, has washed its hands off the Islamist party. Its foreign office has said: “Jamaat and what happens to it in Bangladesh is the internal matter of Bangladesh”. That in a way is a subtle admission of the atrocities that were committed in 1971 Liberation War, which the current Pakistani government is unwilling to get stained with. So leaving Jamaat to its fate works for Mian Nawaz Sharif perfectly. He is himself uncomfortable with the Pakistan army which brought down his government in 1999 and would not like to get entangled with 1971 war crimes because that is bad publicity for Pakistan, when it seeks to project itself as a key ally of the West in the war against terror. Sharif may still not consider putting out a public apology to Bangladesh for the horrendous atrocities of 1971 because that may upset the army once again which he cannot afford. But why stand up for Jamaat! Not the least because it is hardly popular in Bangladesh and never stands a chance of coming to power on its own. Why add to Pakistan’s own unpopularity, which is expectedly profound in Bangladesh by standing up for Jamaat! Sharif is smart enough to see through that. Now to Jamaat’s domestic allies. BNP and its top leaders may cry foul of Bangladesh’s justice system as being undermined by the ruling Awami League — whipping that up serves its campaign against the ruling alliance. But the BNP has no great reason to come out in support of Jamaat and defend its case for registration.Since Bangladesh returned to democracy from military rule in 1991, the BNP has needed the Jamaat to win elections because of the decisive vote bank the Jamaat enjoyed. But the Jamaat’s controversial wartime baggage has been becoming a huge liability for the BNP as it jockeys for power in a country which has upturned ruling governments every term since 1991. What happens if the Jamaat fails to contest if its registration is not restored? Will a Jamaat voter vote Awami League! Perhaps never. The Jamaat voter, like all hardline Islamists in Bangladesh, will have no choice but to vote for BNP in an electoral contest. So the BNP is not expected to make much noise on the Jamaat losing its registration except for the general critique of the ‘justice system under a government using it’ — that would expectedly be one of the many issues the BNP would raise in its litany of complaints against the ruling party. But much like having to support ‘on principle’ the war crimes trial (though calling it a farce to undermine the government), the BNP is not expected to go to town in a big way on the Jamaat losing its registration. In private, many BNP leaders, specially the freedom fighters in their ranks, are happy this has happened. The BNP is now free to fight the Awami League on its own terms, without having to carry a controversial ally who has failed to find a place in the heart of the nation. Quite literally. What about other Islamist groups who would normally be seen as blood brothers of Jamaat! Many of them including the Hifazat-e-Islam would love to see what has happened, because it frees the limited political space for hardline Islamist politics that Jamaat represented. With the Jamaat out of the scene, if that happens, the space for hardline political Islam is left vacant for others to jump in and capitalise on. In fact, some of these groups like the Hifazat may actually cash in on the Jamaat’s desire to keep that brand of politics alive in Bangladesh for obvious reasons by getting access to its considerable financial resources – at least until these groups have been able to carve out a space for themselves. In fact, the war crimes trials have exposed Jamaat to the new generation, Bangladesh’s GenNext. The media coverage of the trials have brought to this generation the sordid history of one of the most brutal repression campaign that gave birth to Bangladesh. A hard earned freedom any proud Bangladeshi will like to defend with every drop of his blood. Jamaat’s role in that war — being on the wrong side of history — will never enable it to find a place, as they say, in the heart of the nation. Even those who want to pursue hardline Islamist politics would like to do so without the 1971 baggage of Jamaat. That includes the younger generation of Jamaat leaders who want a party — perhaps a new one — which does not carry the foul odour of 1971 war crimes with them. And for the Awami League and its allies, the de-registration of Jamaat gives them a chance to whip up secular nationalist passions that had subsided after the Shahbagh platform was forcibly packed off by the government. Because revival of these passions seems to be the only way to beat the anti-incumbency trends that became evident in the five recent city corporation polls. So Jamaat now finds itself on the floor, alone and friendless. Will that force the party to go underground and become a terror group, as many in the US and other western intelligence have long feared? That’s a question only time can answer.

Afghanistan: US Drawing Down, Not Withdrawing Troops: Kerry
At a press conference held in Islamabad on Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed that the US and some other countries have already made commitments to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 for fighting militancy and to provide assistance, training, advice and equipments to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In-spite of strong criticism over drone attacks by the Pakistanis, Kerry emphasised on intensifying such attacks in order to eliminate the insurgents from Pakistan's tribal belts. Meanwhile, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's National Security and Foreign Affairs Advisor assured that Pakistan will assist in paving the way for negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. At a joint press briefing with the Pakistani National Security Advisor, Mr. Kerry stressed that the US and some other countries will have military presence in Afghanistan post-2014. He emphasised on the fact that Afghanistan at this juncture cannot be left alone. "The US is drawing down not withdrawing, there is a distinction. The President will announce the number of forces that he will commit for the US. Other countries have already committed certain number of forces, who will remain in Afghanistan for two purposes: Firstly, counter terrorism and secondly, to train equip and advise the armed forces of Afghanistan," said Mr. Kerry. While Pakistani officials strongly criticised the US drone attacks, Mr. Kerry justified the act by saying that such attacks have been very effective in eliminating the insurgents and refused to promise that US drone attacks inside Pakistan would stop and rejected the impression that the strikes were a violation of the country's sovereignty. "I know there are issues of sovereignty that are raised. I would simply remind all of our friends that somebody like al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri is violating the sovereignty of this country. And, they attack people in mosques, (they) blow up people in villages, in market places, they are violating the sovereignty of the country," added Mr. Kerry. Meanwhile, Pakistani foreign affairs and national security advisor Sartaj Aziz has assured that Pakistan will pave the way for talks between the Taliban and Afghan government. Mr. Aziz said that Pakistan will support an Afghan-led peace process. Although, the Taliban is not ready to join the negotiations, Mr. Aziz stressed that efforts are underway and will continue until success is achieved. Mr. Kerry mentioned that trilateral efforts are underway to check the movements of the insurgents from Pakistan and suggested the need for further expansion of such cooperation between Islamabad and Washington.

Contempt case: SC orders Imran Khan to resubmit reply till Aug 28

Contempt case: SC orders Imran Khan to resubmit reply till Aug 28
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan reiterated his demand for detailed investigation and voters’ verification in the four constituencies in May 11 elections, and said that why he should apologize for contempt when he has not even committed it. Imran Khan was speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court building after the hearing of contempt of court case against him. He said that he stood by each and every word he said. He told that by “shameful” he meant that the returning officers did not fulfill their responsibility to conduct fair elections. He said that it was the first time he came to know that using the word “shameful” was abusive. Imran Khan repeated that he has not done anything wrong and that his criticism was confined to the conduct of returning officers, and said that he had said nothing that calls for punishment. Imran Khan said that PTI sacrificed the most for the restoration of sacked judges and that he can never imagine using disrespectful words against the higher judiciary. He said the independent judiciary has done some incredible work and he always respected the judiciary and rule of law. It is pertinent to mention here that the SC rejected Imran Khan’s rejoinder submitted in the contempt of court case and ordered yet again to submit his detailed statement by August 28. The court had given Imran Khan time till 11:30 am today to submit his second and revised reply today but rejected it once again, terming it “disappointing”. The court had termed his earlier response as “insufficient”. According to his revised response submitted in the court today, Imran Khan’s July 26 statement was not against the chief justice or the Supreme Court but he meant to criticize the role of the returning officers and district returning officers during 2013 elections. The court did not approve his second response as well and instructed his counsel Hamid Khan to submit a third and more heartfelt written response by August. 28. The court, then, adjourned the hearing till then.

SC rejects Imran's second reply to contempt charges

The Supreme Court deemed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan’s verbal and written reply both as “insufficient” during the hearing of the contempt of court case, Express News reported on Friday. The bench was headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprised of Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Azmat Saaed. Imran’s lawyer arrived from the US last night, therefore a brief verbal response was delivered. The court expressed dissatisfaction over the verbal reply and adjourned the hearing till 11:30am (today) for a better, written response. Imran and his lawyer were in court before the allotted time with the written two-paragraph reply. In his reply he stated that he did not use the word “shameful” for the judiciary, rather for the presiding officer in the election process. “Can such words be used for the judiciary?” asked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had earlier asked during the hearing. CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry added that since Imran is a leader and public figure, such words and statements are not expected from him. Lawyer Hamid Khan said Imran had complaints regarding the Election Commission of Pakistan however Imran holds no disrespect for the court or the judiciary. Imran stated that he and the party strongly support the judiciary and had worked hard during the movement for restoration of the judiciary. “The restoration of the judiciary had been on my agenda. I had also spent eight days in jail for that”, said Imran in court. The court deemed the replies as inadequate and allotted Imran’s lawyer, Hamid Khan three weeks time to submit a detailed written response. Imran Khan had vowed on Thursday that he would stand by his stance, even if it meant he is sentenced and disqualified from being elected into the assemblies. The PTI chief asked if a citizen of Pakistan had the right to seek justice from the Supreme Court over the alleged rigging during the May 11, 2013 elections. “If this is contempt, then I do not think they know the meaning of contempt.”

Pakistan: No headway: YouTube to remain blocked until filter applied

YouTube cannot be reopened unless a mechanism is adopted to permanently block blasphemous material on the website, the Ministry of Information Technology informed the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday. A Peshawar High Court division bench comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Malik Manzoor was hearing a petition filed by Mina Muhibbulah Kakakhel challenging the ban on the video-sharing website. YouTube was blocked in September 2012 by former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf after the trailer of a blasphemous film, titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’, sparked outrage and violence among Muslims across the world. The ban remained in effect after Google refused Islamabad’s request to take down the video. Later, Advocate Kakakhel challenged the ban and argued before the PHC that students have been facing immense problems while searching for academic content and requested the court to direct authorities to filter all blasphemous material and reopen the site. During the case hearing, the bench was informed the ministry has been devising methods to stop such material from being uploaded to YouTube as it “hurts the public’s sentiments resulting in countrywide protests”. The bench, however, was informed that unless a solution was found, the ministry will not unblock YouTube. Deputy Attorney General Iqbal Mohmand told the court that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and information technology ministry have submitted written replies, while the interior ministry was yet to respond. The court then asked the petitioner to file a rejoinder to the PTA and IT ministry’s replies and adjourned the case hearing. Earlier, the court had maintained that if PTA lacked experts, there was no reason why experts from other countries could not be asked to block blasphemous material before it is made accessible to the general public.

LeT, TTP, al Qaeda violating Pakistani sovereignty: Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday said terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the al Qaeda were violating the sovereignty of Pakistan. “Pakistan faces a very serious threat. The LeT, TTP, al Qaeda and the Haqqani network attack and kill people in mosques. They blow people up in market places,” Kerry told senior anchor Hamid Mir in an exclusive interview. Asked about US drone attacks, the US secretary of state said drone strikes were conducted in the defence of the United States. “We are engaged in counter-terrorism for self-defence. We are very appreciative of Pakistan and understand the powerful feelings about any of these efforts.” Kerry added that terrorist activity in Pakistan was taking place before drones and in areas where there were no drone attacks. “Blowing up women and children can never be excused.” Kerry said the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui was not raised. “People in Pakistan will feel very good about it (Dr Aafia’s release) but we have a legal situation which we have to analyse.” He also told Mir that the US was decreasing and not completely withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan. “Not every single soldier will leave in 2014. We have been very clear about that. We are not withdrawing, we are drawing down.” Speaking on the situation in Egypt, Kerry said Muhammad Morsi was ousted on the will of the people, adding that the US was against violence in Egypt and had spoken to the Egyptian army chief personally regarding the matter.
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Contempt hearing: Imran Khan's counsel seeks time to furnish detailed reply

The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of contempt of court notice against Imran Khan till 11:30 AM today. The bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaundy, Justice Jawad S Khuwaja and Justice Azmat Saaed was hearing the case. During the course of proceedings, Imran Khan s Attorney Hamid Khan says that his client has not tried to malign the court. He believes in the supremacy and independence of the court, he added. Earlier, Hamid Khan said that he would verbally present the case for initially, and would submit the written reply afterwards. A short statement of the PTI leader Imran Khan has been presented in the court. The Chief Justice has said that as institution, none is above the judiciary. Justice Jawad S Khwaja observed the mutual respect must be taken care of. The CJP said that court has overseen the issue of thumb impressions in the four constituencies. Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has arrived in Supreme Court (SC) for contempt of court hearing against him. The PTI chief was being accompanied by senior party leaders including Javed Hashmi. Talking to media before leaving for SC, Imran Khan reiterated that May 11 elections were the most rigged elections in the history of Pakistan, adding that he will not apoligise for any of his comments. Khan said he was only seeking justice as a citizen of Pakistan, adding that he has the right to seek justice from the Supreme Court over the alleged rigging during the May 11, 2013 elections. Asked that if the court convicted him of contempt of court and sentenced him, would he accept the sentence or term it a conspiracy to disqualify him, Imran said he was ready for the punishment and would maintain his stance till the end. The SC issued him notice to appear before it on August 2 and explain as to why contempt of court proceedings may not be initiated against him. Khan had criticized the role of the top court and the Election Commission of Pakistan in the conduct of the recently held general election, which saw Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N emerging as the single largest party in the National Assembly. Sources in the PTI said that Imran Khan spent a busy day on Thursday with his legal advisors for consultation over the imminent proceedings in the court. Khan, who appeared defiant ahead of the hearing, said that he would not extend apology over his stance and would stand firm as he was struggling for the democracy in Pakistan.

If Imran Khan is Disqualified

Big question in Pakistan’s political remains what will happen to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) if its Chairman Imran Khan is convicted in contempt of court case. Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued him a contempt notice on remarks he made in a series of press conferences in last week. He particularly lashed out at Supreme Court and election Commission of Pakistan after presidential elections on 30th July. Supreme Court came under severe criticism by opposition politicians after it passed an order to change the date of presidential elections without hearing presidential candidates. Pakistan People’s Party boycotted the polls and PTI announced to participate “Under Protest”. Imran Khan has been summoned by apex court on August 2, 2013 on Friday. Although news about possible conviction created stir on social media but PTI camp seems calm and composed. Legal think tank of PTI is of view that Chairman has not conducted any contempt because his criticism was constructive in nature and was directed to the role of returning officers during general elections 2013. “Imran Khan has criticized the role of Returning Officers who were not performing the judicial duties while holding the May 11 elections” Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad said. He was party candidate in presidential elections as well. PTI senior leaders said that Imran Khan will not have any ego problem facing Supreme Court judges and will try to convince them about his point of view. Judges normally accept apologies in contempt cases but there are also instances of conviction in similar cases. There are mixed views about contempt notice served upon him by Apex Court. Some are of the view that Imran Khan was continuously criticizing judiciary and was leveling charges of rigging against him. Others say that Khan is right in his concerns over massive rigging in elections. It is expected that common sense will prevail and Imran Khan will adopt a decent behavior when appearing before judges and will not try to level charges of partiality and bias. It is further expected that he will not raise any objection of composition of the bench as well. However, question still remains the same. What will happen if PTI Chairman Imran Khan is convicted in contempt of court case? Legal experts say he may face five years disqualification from parliament membership and party’s chairmanship. Although unlikely, but such a decision will serve a fatal blow to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf which has rose to prominence after seventeen years of struggle and became the second largest party of the country based on number of votes obtained during general elections. PTI has 36 members in National Assembly with representation in three provincial assemblies as well. However, despite the presence of seasoned politicians like Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi, and Jahangir Tarin no leader is poised enough to take responsibilities of Imran Khan. Disqualification of Imran Khan will mean that PTI will find itself difficult to stay united as most of his lawmakers are very new in power corridors. They may have tendency to leave apart ideological politics and join traditional politics. If Imran Khan is disqualified, PTI will find itself in same position as it was in 1996. - See more at:

Pakistan: Ahmedis banished from place of worship
Ahmedis in Fatehpur, Gujrat district, have been banished from their own place of worship in Ramazan and fear that they will be deprived of the property by the local government and clerics.
On July 11, the first day of Ramazan, a group of Sunnis beat up the Ahmedis and kicked them out of the place of worship, telling them not to return, according to members of the Ahmedi community. The Ahmedis filed a complaint with the police for the registration of an FIR against the assailants. The police did not register a case, nor heeded their request for protection. Instead, they sealed the place of worship, which is located on a four-marla plot, “because of concerns of a clash,” Dolatnagar SHO Riaz Qadir told The Express Tribune. He said that previously, both Sunnis and Ahmedis had prayed there. In fact, the members of the two communities are related. The place of worship is located on four marlas within an eight-kanal property owned by an Ahmedi family which they were allotted when the Revenue Department conducted a consolidation exercise, known as ‘ishtimal’, some 20 years ago. Such land consolidation exercises are carried out every so often when inheritance laws result in the non-contiguous division of land holdings between heirs. Police and revenue The SHO said that according to the Revenue Department record, the building had been a Sunni mosque, but had been transferred to Ahmedis around 20 years ago. He said that the Sunnis were now claiming ownership of the place as a Sunni mosque. The SHO said that he had seen the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya’s ownership document for a four-marla property within that eight-kanal parcel, but the document did not specify where exactly within that eight kanals the four-marla property was located. He said that the question of ownership had been referred to the National Interfaith Peace and Harmony Committee and the property sealed in the meantime, with the approval of the district coordination officer. He said that the Sunnis had agreed to this, but the Ahmedis had not. Asked why no assault case had been registered on the Ahmedis’ complaint after members of the community were beaten up and thrown out of the place of worship on the first day of Ramazan, the SHO said that since no blood had been spilt, there could be no FIR. Land record The eight kanals within which the four-marla property is located is owned by Tahir Hameed, who inherited the land from his father. Hameed, 18, said that his father had donated the four-marla property to the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya to build a place of worship, which they named Baitul Zikr. “Ahmedis have been praying there since before I was born,” he said. He said that on the first of Ramazan, Munir Shah, Ahmed Raza, Maulvi Shabbir and others had attacked his brother Qamar Hameed and his cousin Adnan Ahmed and forced them out of the worship place. He said his brother and cousin had been beaten up. He said they were under severe threat from locals and had been told to disown the property. “Some extremist clerics have turned the locals against us and are trying to dislodge us,” he said. Hameed said that the community had no faith in the Interfaith Peace and Harmony Committee, which is why they did not accept its role in arbitration. When contacted by The Express Tribune, Asim Imtiaz, the vice president of the committee, said that he was at the patwari’s office and trying to establish the ownership of the disputed land. He said that the four-marla property appeared to have been transferred to the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya by the patwari “by mistake”. He added that he was hopeful the dispute would be resolved and the property “would be given to Muslims”. Tanveer Ahmed, another member of the Ahmedi community in Fatehpur, said that local clerics had been making worrying announcements in the mosques of nearby villages and he feared that there would be mob attacks on Ahmedis. He said that Ahmedis did not trust the committee to remain impartial on the matter. “The Jamat-i-Ahmadiya has ownership documents for the property,” he said. “It is the responsibility of the police and the state to follow the law in settling the matter.”

Muslim killers of Gojra Christians walking free; 4th anniversary of Gojra carnage
On 4th anniversary of Muslim mob attack on Gojra Christian Town when more than 60 homes were destroyed and 8 Christian children, women and an elder were burnt alive , the killers are walking free in streets of Gojra City mocking justice and victims in Pakistan. In a press note, The Central Secretariat of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC issued statement of PCC Chief Dr. Nazir S Bhatti expressing grave concerns said that it seems that Christian in Pakistan will never be ensured justice. On August 1, 2009, Muslim mob attacked Christian Town in Gojra City setting on fire more than 60 homes of Christians and burning alive 8 children, women and elder in presence of police on accusation of blasphemy incident occurred in nearby village Korian where dozens of homes of Christians were destroyed when torn pages of Holy Quran were found in front of home of one Christian on July 30, 2009. The FIR was registered burning alive Christian against unknown persons while another secret FIR was lodged in which 129 Christians and 200 Muslims were nominated to pose Muslim mob attack as communal riots. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz was ruling Punjab and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif assured Christian that justice will be ensured and culprits will be punished. But later, the Police Officer who kept blind eye and not ordered police to protect Christian life and property from attack of Muslim mob was promoted and posted in Lahore by CM Mian Shahbaz Sharif to provide free hand to PML (N) Muslim voters to ransack Christian town. The police forced Christians of Christian Town Gojra to enter in compromise with culprits on threats of arrest under secret FIR of riots and life threats to those Christians who were witness in burning alive 8 Christians. Nazir Bhatti said that last week another couple is arrested in Gojra City on sending blasphemous SMS when Christians in Pakistan were organizing programs to mark 4th anniversary of Gojra carnage which have spread anger among millions of Christians. PCC Chief demanded release of report of Judicial Commission constituted after Muslim mob attack and to punish culprits involved in attack on Christian Town and burning alive 8 Christians.

Pakistan: Appointments of advisors and special assistants

The Sharif government met with its first reversal in facing the apex court regarding an unelected person's appointment to public office. Aviation Advisor to the Prime Minister, Shujat Azeem, threw in the towel before the court hearing a case related to delay in the construction of the new Benazir International Airport for Islamabad, saying he would tender his resignation. Several irregularities came to light during the hearing, including that the advisor happened to hold dual nationality of both Pakistan and Canada where he served as chief executive officer of the Royal Air Service - a ground handling company; and that during his earlier career as a Pakistan Air Force officer he was court-martialled four times. More relevant to the case before the court, Azeem has been accused of being a business partner of the main infrastructure contractor for the new airport, raising the conflict of interest question. The court has now asked for details of shareholders and directors of the Royal Airport Service from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan to establish whether or not Azeem and the airport infrastructure contractors were business partners. Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Munir A Malik informed the court that Azeem got the appointment because the Prime Minister had so desired, and that none of the offences he was accused of in court martial proceedings involved moral turpitude. But that he does hold dual nationality - which disqualifies Pakistani nationals from becoming members of parliament, provincial assemblies or ministers. The case brings into sharp focus the issue of appointments of unelected persons as advisors and special assistants. Governments past and present, both at the Centre and in the provinces, have been making such appointments. Although, they are officially conferred the status of a minister, the criteria applicable to elected ministers do not apply to these people. The prime minister or the chief minister can assign these positions to anyone on the basis of personal preferences, without a formal institutional check on the antecedents and professional qualifications of the appointees. It is about time a proper process is put in place to ascertain the suitability of unelected persons as advisors and special assistants. Guidance for the purpose can be taken from Britain's parliamentary democracy where unelected individuals having expertise in different areas are inducted as special assistants to aid and advise the government. All such political appointees are treated as 'temporary' civil servants, as against 'permanent' members of civil service as they come and go with change in governments. Their selection is regulated under Civil Service Order in Council, 1995. Some such regulatory system needs to be devised here too to ensure that all political appointees as advisors and special assistants meet the standards required of public office holders.

PML-N appoints matriculate loyalist against coveted PIA post

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has appointed Captain Humayun Jameel, a matriculate, as deputy managing director of PIA administration and operations. Appointment of Humayun, a captain of Boeing 777, against a coveted office raised many eyebrows in the PIA administration and aviation industry over the suitability of the person appointed as well as the legality of the appointment which is in violation of PIA’s rules and regulations. Interestingly, the notification of the appointment has been issued by the aviation secretary, who is not competent to make appointments, let alone making high-profile appointments. According to PIAC Act, “Power to make appointment rests with the chairman and board of governors exclusively”. Legally speaking, the aviation secretary cannot make any such appointment. Even the PIA board’s chairman is not at liberty to undertake such appointments. Per the rules, even an acting chairman, in the absence of a regular chairman cannot issue any such notification. Violation of rules does not end here in the induction of a PML-N loyalist. According to the laws governing the PIA, for all appointments in group-5 and above, the minimum qualification is graduation. Sources in the PIA said Captain Humayun was competent to handle the operations but as far as running and managing the administration was concerned he lacked requisite qualification as well as experience. Experts said the PPP had remained under fire for appointing unsuitable and unqualified people, such as Captain Haroon and Nadeem Yousafzai, against key offices. Because they were not competent, they could not contain the losses or turn PIA into a profitable and viable institution. They believed that in appointing Humayun, the PML-N government too is showing the same approach, that of pick and choose, thereby compromising on merit. In Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s previous administration when Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was the chairman of the PIA, Humayun was appointed general manager operations with officiating charge of director administration. - See more at:

Pakistan: One more contempt notice

EDITORIAL : Daily Times
The most powerful Supreme Court (SC) in the troubled institutional history of Pakistan chaired by Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry is in the headlines once again, the consistency of which since the judiciary’s restoration is not just unusual in any democratic dispensation but also disturbing at myriad levels. The latest order issued by the august court is directed at Imran Khan, chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), in the wake of his recent statements criticising the SC’s silence on the PTI’s petitions to order an investigation into the rigging allegations on four National Assembly (NA) constituencies in the May 11 elections. Khan has categorically accepted the mandate flowing from the elections, but his insistence on checking certain irregularities remains unaltered despite the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) inaction. Khan has been accused of scandalising the court and attempting to bring the judges of the SC into hatred, ridicule or contempt. He has been issued notice to appear before the SC today to explain why he should not be tried under Article 204 of the constitution and Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003. While Khan’s selection of words to voice his displeasure vis-à-vis the silence of the ECP and SC on his plea to look into election irregularities in four NA constituencies may have strayed into immoderation, it is imperative that the issue be dealt with with wisdom and restraint. With its judicial activism being welcomed by some, the SC, notwithstanding its good intent, seems to have inadvertently entangled the Court in too many decisions that should have remained the domain of other institutions or the lower courts. As is the practice in all well-established democracies, where the courts have proven records of fair play and unbiased proceedings — a system evolved over time — the overuse of certain processes can turn negative. The flurry of suo motu and contempt notices on the part of the SC has given birth to many controversial decisions, indirectly undermining the respect and dignity of the judiciary that is its due. The SC would perhaps have been better served by calling Khan to hear his point of view and issue an admonition regarding his choice of words and tone, instead of what has increasingly begun to look like a too ready recourse to the contempt provisions. It is the right of every citizen of Pakistan to be heard by the courts if a plea has been registered. The situation has almost reached a point where all dissenting voices, even moderately worded, are looked at as a sign of disrespect to the SC, and the power of the SC to ‘stop’ the opposing narrative through its frequent suo motu and contempt notices runs the risk of negatively affecting the standing of the judiciary. Perhaps it is time for the judiciary to journey back in the direction of judicial restraint in order to restore its respect and dignity without question or quibble.

Pakistan: More controversy: CECs resignation

A PRESIDENT has been elected, but the fallout from the controversial electoral process continues. The chief election commissioner, Fakhruddin Ebrahim, has resigned and, while he has not said so directly, it has been reported that Mr Ebrahim was unhappy with the Supreme Court amending the presidential election schedule and the lack of support he received from the other ECP members. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has summoned the PTI chief Imran Khan today to explain why he should not face contempt charges for comments critical of the judiciary made in the run-up to the presidential election. All in all, it is an extraordinary surge of controversy after the event — and has the potential to tarnish the reputations and democratic credentials of all involved. Mr Ebrahim’s resignation in particular seems driven more by frustration and emotion than calm rationalisation. As the CEC who presided over an election that is largely seen as credible and acceptable but not entirely free and fair, Mr Ebrahim was uniquely positioned to push the project of electoral transparency forward, especially since he was only a year into the job. From electoral rolls to vetting of candidates’ papers to enforcing campaign rules to ensuring a transparent polling-day process and much, much more, there is a lot that remains to be done. Mr Ebrahim may have chafed under the constraints of his office — previous CECs, before the last parliament’s constitutional amendments, wielded much power, whereas now the CEC has just one of the five votes in the ECP — but to give up so early into his job, even if a general and a presidential election are now under his belt, surely does not send the right signal. Yet, when seemingly clear-cut constitutional prerogatives are taken over by another institution, resignation may be the only honourable thing to do. But rather than try and wade out of controversy, the court has waded deeper in with the summons to Imran Khan. The PTI supremo’s words were uttered in public and made a clear distinction between undermining the integrity of the judicial pillar of the state and criticising specific actions or judgements handed down by the judiciary in recent electoral matters. The right to criticise a judicial pronouncement is very much a part of the democratic order. In fact, it is also part of the judicial order of things: after all, the recently forgotten practice here of dissenting opinions by judges has through near-universal legal history helped developed the law as it stands today. Too many battles and too much controversy is unhealthy for any institution.

PPP offers legal aid to Imran

PPP Secretary-General Sardar Latif Khosa has said his party is ready to provide legal aid to PTI chairman Imran Khan in the contempt case. “Issuance of contempt notice to Imran Khan is tantamount to silencing parliamentarians. To criticise court decisions is the right of every public representative,” Mr Khosa said at a press conference here on Thursday. He said the PPP supported a resolution of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, demanding presidential reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Justice Jawad S. Khwaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed for their alleged violation of the Constitution in their judgment on the election of the president. He said even a civil judge did not give a verdict without hearing both parties to a case. The former governor said the 18-month extension to the CJP could not be granted as an amendment was required in the constitution for the purpose. He said Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim should now tell the people of the country who had pressured the Election Commission of Pakistan to ensure the victory of the PML-N. He said other members on the ECP should also resign. Mr Khosa criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for “gifting” important posts like that of president of the country and Punjab governor to his favourites. “Mr Sharif is trying to impose dictatorship on the people but his dream of becoming Amirul Momineen will not materialise,” he said.
Tehrik-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has refused to tender an apology in the contempt of court case, DawnNews reported. “I am ready to go to the jail but I will not apologise,” khan said. Khan has said that he will not back down from his stance till his last breath and will not apologise even if he is declared ‘ineligible’ and sent to jail. He said that the Supreme Court made a big mistake by taking notice of ‘contempt of court’. “If the need arises, I will take up Aitzaz Ahsan’s offer,” he commented. He further said that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had become controversial after the Arsalan Ifitikhar case. The Supreme Court, in the notice issued to the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief, has said that Khan apparently had tried to incite hatred against the apex court in one of his interactions with the media. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, will hear the case on Friday.

Imran braces for court appearance

Chief of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Imran Khan Thursday said that he will not back down from his words regarding ECP’s and SC’s role in rigging the May 11 general elections. Talking to media, he announced to appear in person before the Supreme Court (SC) today (Friday) after being summoned for remarks against the court. A three-member bench of SC judges headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would will hear Contempt of Court notice against him today. He blatantly refused to apologize for what he had said earlier even if he had to go to jail or was barred from contesting future elections. “I am fighting for democracy in Pakistan and will continue to fight for democracy”, he resolved. The PTI chief said that SC had made a blunder as it sent notice to him, adding he was disappointed at the court’s decision. Imran Khan had criticized the role of the judiciary and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) while addressing a press conference on July 26. Khan will be accompanied by his lawyer Hamid Khan and senior party leaders.