The News – Nawaz appears in accountability court to face indictment proceeding

Islamabad, 2 October 2017. Former prime minster Nawaz Sharif has appeared in accountability court for indictment proceedings in three NAB references.

Former PM arrived in Islamabad late night on Sunday, where he held a consultative meeting with senior leaders and lawyers to discuss the prevailing issue regarding his appearance in the accountability court.

It is a closed-door hearing in which only Nawaz, his counsel, a group of supporting lawyers, are allowed entry into the court. The main gate of the Federal Judicial Complex, where the court is located, is not opened to journalists.

About 2,000 Rangers and police personnel have been deployed in and around the judicial complex where the hearing is taking place.

Nawaz had earlier appeared before the accountability court on September 26 in connection with three graft cases.

According to details, former Prime Minister decided to appear in accountability court where he is likely to be indicted in NAB references today. However, his children Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Safdar have not come from London to appear in court to face the graft cases.

Former PM and his family members had been summoned by the court with regards to three corruption references filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

At the last hearing, Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir ordered to indict Nawaz and issued bailable arrest warrants for his absent family members, including daughter Maryam, sons Hussain and Hasan, and son-in-law MNA Captain (retired) Safdar as they failed to appear in court despite two summons.

The accountability court may issue non-bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz’s children and son-in-law for skipping the proceedings for the third consecutive time.

Talking to media, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that Sharif’s children are busy looking after their mother (Kulsoom Nawaz) and unlikely to appear in the accountability court. The court should have given more time for indictment, he added.

It is to mention here that former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz has undergone three successful surgeries for throat cancer in London and her condition is stated to be stable.

The Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif, as Prime Minister on July 28 in the Panama Papers case and ordered the NAB to file references against the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the light of the Joint Investigation Team’s report.

Finance Minister Dar has already been indicted in the reference against him for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

Advertisements – More than 3000 Sikhs Granted Access To Nankana Sahib

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan

Sikh24 Editors

Ferozepur-Panjab-India, 29 September 2017. More than 3000 Indian Sikhs have been granted a 10 days visa by the Pakistan government to celebrate the 548th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, at Nankana Sahib, in West Punjab, Pakistan.

These Sikh pilgrims will depart for Pakistan from Attari Railway Station on November 2.

According to information shared by the Bhai Mardana Memorial Kirtan Darbar Society, the Sikh pilgrims will be directly routed to Nankana Sahib, to Gurdwara Sacha Sauda. Then congregation will be routed towards Hasan Abdal to have a glimpse of Gurdwara Panja Sahib.

Following this, Sikh pilgrims will be brought to Lahore to visit Gurdwara Dehra Sahib. For the remainder of the visit, the Sikh pilgrims will also be allowed pay obeisance at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, Gurdwara Rodi Sahib, Bhai Lalo Di Khuhi (Aimnabad), returning back to India on November 11.

The President Harpal Singh Bhullar of the BMMKDS has appealed for 400 pilgrims to carry five plates and five glasses with ‘Gurdwara Nankana Sahib’ inscribed on it. He has further said that if any pilgrim would like to donate big utensils like cooking vessels or cauldrons then these can easily be transported in an open cabin of train.

Schooldreef – Zonnestraat / Kortemeer – Gravensteen

23 September 2017

Brusselsesteenweg – Stop for Tram 2

Brusselsesteenweg – Tram 2 to Melle Leeuw

Zonnestraat / Korte Meer
23 September 2017

Tram 2 to Melle Leeuw

Korte Meer – Tram 1 to Evergem

Korte Meer – Tram 1 to Evergem

23 September 2017

Gravensteen – Tram 1 to Evergem

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Published in: on October 2, 2017 at 6:04 am  Leave a Comment  

The Guardian – Canada’s Jagmeet Singh becomes first non-white politician to lead major party

Justin Trudeau congratulates 38-year-old Sikh lawyer on election to lead New Democratic party into 2019 federal election

Toronto-Ontario-Canada, 2 October 2017. Jagmeet Singh, a 38-year-old lawyer and practising Sikh, was elected on Sunday to lead Canada’s left-leaning New Democrats, becoming the first non-white politician to head a major political party there.

The Ontario provincial lawmaker, whose penchant for colorful turbans and tailor-made three-piece suits made him a social media star, was elected on the first ballot to lead the New Democratic party (NDP) into the 2019 federal election against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

“Thank you, New Democrats. The run for prime minister begins now,” Singh tweeted.

Singh secured 54% of the vote, defeating three rivals to become the new head of the NDP, succeeding Thomas Mulcair. The results of the vote, conducted online and by mail, were announced at a party meeting in Toronto.

Trudeau congratulated his new political rival on Twitter on Sunday, saying: “I look forward to speaking soon and working together for Canadians.”

The Toronto-area politician, who has led in fundraising since joining the race in May, had been touted by supporters as someone who could bring new life to the party, which has struggled since the death of charismatic former leader Jack Layton in 2011.

Singh’s profile was boosted early last month after a video went viral showing him calmly responding with words of love to a heckler who interrupted a campaign event to accuse him of wanting to impose Shariah law in Canada.

Christopher Cochrane, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said: “His skill, in being able to defuse the situation, it understandably appealed to a lot of people who ended up supporting him.”

Cochrane added that Singh’s ability to connect both with young people and those in ethnic minorities would make him a “force to reckon with” when competing against Trudeau in 2019.

The NDP is the third largest party in the federal parliament, with 44 of 338 seats. The party lags well behind the centrist Liberals and right-leaning Conservatives in political fundraising this year, according to Elections Canada data.

Singh will now focus on rallying supporters and targeting center-left voters who helped propel Trudeau’s Liberals to a decisive victory in 2015.

There are hurdles ahead. Singh does not have a seat in the federal parliament and will have to win one in a special election. He also needs to persuade voters that his party can form a government, although it has never held power federally.

There are also questions over whether he will have success in Quebec, Canada’s mainly French-speaking province, where overt signs of faith are frowned upon.

Dawn – Telling dissent – treachery apart

Abbas Nasir

Op/Ed, 30 September 2017. Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s interaction at GHQ with the House committees on defence was a welcome development and more so his commitment that he was happy to appear before parliament or any of its committees.

At a detailed session last week where parliamentarians were briefed on the army’s current operational commitments and preparedness, according to published media reports, the army chief said of the country’s budget that only 18 per cent was allocated for defence.

The army chief also made a pitch for more resources as some “overdue” acquisitions had to be made. The public statement did not list these but one can be certain that the parliamentarians were taken into confidence.

This represented a departure from the past when parliamentarians were more or less asked to approve the military’s budgetary demands with their eyes shut, whereas now the army chief is seen to be making a case before them for resources.

This initiative by General Bajwa, in all likelihood, followed last month’s verbal consent by the Senate to Chairman Raza Rabbani’s proposal for starting a discussion between parliament, the executive, the judiciary and the military.

Why is it considered unpatriotic to argue that mainstreaming militants may be detrimental to Pakistan?

Presenting his proposal, Mr Rabbani argued that parliament had been weakened as many decisions were taken outside it by political parties, and that major decisions pertaining to and dealing with foreign policy, internal security, international treaties and many other matters had never been brought before parliament.

He also talked about the alarming trend of taking political questions to the judiciary for a resolution, while stressing the need for all institutions to remain within their limits as laid down by the Constitution.

Mr Rabbani’s suggestion received a positive response from several quarters though he was clear that it was beyond the scope of his office to organise or host such a meeting and the prime minister was best suited to do this.

One can only term the Senate chairman’s views as practical because despite the fact that the Constitution isn’t ambiguous in assigning various roles and responsibilities to the different institutions, problems persist in their interactions.

Now we await the formation of the Committee of the Whole, as it was described, to move matters forward enabling the proposal to take a concrete shape. For their part, the critics are already saying nothing will come of the idea.

They support their argument by saying that if it isn’t enough that the Constitution and the law lay down with clarity the do’s and don’ts for each institution of the state, how could a sit-down achieve different results.

They may have a point but my belief in face-to-face contacts in achieving the seemingly impossible fills me with hope. Frankly, I also have a stake in such a forum succeeding beyond what the Senate chairman has visualised.

One earnestly hopes that another issue of import can be raised which relates to state-level intolerance of criticism. The day after the heartbreaking news of the martyrdom of 22-year-old Lt Arsalan Alam, who fell to sniper fire reportedly from across the border in Khyber Agency last Saturday, the army chief made another statement.

To my ears, his statement held out a warning to those sitting abroad and apparently calling for a break-up of the country, that they would soon face the law. But some friends on social media expressed the view that the army chief’s words were also directed at the army’s critics.

They also said that following the enforced disappearance of some dissenting bloggers (who, barring one, were later released after being roughed up and warned to mend their ways) in Pakistan earlier this year, the army chief was trying to warn dissenters everywhere that they will also be dealt with in a similar manner if they don’t desist.

Whether I agree with the take of those on social media or not, their perception is rooted in factual, recorded incidents.

Not unlike the pro-army commentators/social media accounts that always demand assurances from the dissenters that they are not externally-funded and motivated, the latter too need to hear that dissent does not equal treachery.

Very few try and see both sides of the argument. For the military leadership, at a time when officers and soldiers alike are offering sacrifices including laying down their lives for the country, critics potentially create a morale problem in the rank and file and therefore need to be robustly tackled.

As one will find it difficult to fault the military leadership for its position, it would be equally difficult to find flaws in the argument advanced by critics that without being open about history and the policies that have brought us to this pass, how can a way forward be found and sanity restored.

That the state needs a massive deradicalisation effort with all hands on deck was evidenced again in the recently held by-election in Lahore where a condemned, executed murderer was openly eulogised as part of a religious group’s election campaign.

Videos have emerged where ‘religious leaders’ belonging to this group have energised near-hysterical crowds using similar slogans and are openly saying that next year’s election is about this issue alone.

Similarly, another group that has hailed Osama Bin Laden as a hero and still remains committed to jihad that transcends national boundaries also had a free hand in the September by-election in Lahore.

Against such a backdrop, aren’t questions about the (un-debated) mainstreaming policy, that a retired lieutenant- general has attributed to the military, in the national interest? And if I argue that such mainstreaming may be detrimental to Pakistan, why am I considered everything but a patriot?

Why am I compelled to restate over and over again that I feel the pain of losing a young Lt Arsalan Alam and seeing his mother’s grief on her stoic face, as much as anyone else? Why?

The writer is a former editor of Dawn