Will quit PML-N if Maryam is made its leader: Chaudhry Nisar

ICMD, March 19, 2018 Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, senior PML – N leader said on Monday that he will not remain a part of of the party if Maryam Nawaz becomes its leader, private TV channels reported. “She [Maryam] is not the party leader but if she is given the mantle I will quit,” he added. While referring to certain quarters in the PML-N who denounced him for opposing ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s challenging the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case, Nisar said: “When nothing could be found against me they began to question my friendship with Imran Khan,” he said. He also said, “My relationship with Imran goes all the way back to school.” The former interior minister went on to say that he told Sharif that he could engage in personal attacks on Imran. He, however, said that he would always criticise the PTI when it comes to politics. He underscored that he did not need a political party’s ticket to contest elections. “I don’t need anyone’s ticket to contest elections.” “I’ve never applied for a ticket throughout my political career,” he insisted. On March 16, Nisar sought a public explanation from the government over its decision to ignore anti-corruption watchdog’s recommendations regarding placing the name of ex-PM Sharif on the Exit Control List. Responding to a query in the National Assembly, he said during his tenure as interior minister for the first time the ECL policy was reshaped. “Prior to my tenure names were placed on the ECL even after a brawl between a couple. Now matters of the ECL are decided by a committee set up in the Ministry of Interior,” he stated on the floor of the house,” he. -- ET

Aamir Liaquat set to join PTI

KARACHI: ICMD, March 18, 2018 Televangelist, TV host and former Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Aamir Liaquat Hussain has decided to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, a senior PTI leader said on Saturday. “He [Mr Hussain] would formally announce joining the PTI on Monday in a press conference,” said PTI leader Imran Ismail. When asked about his possible role in the party, he told Dawn: “It’s not decided yet but definitely he would be given a position where he can serve the party and its objective better considering his choice and preference.” A previous attempt by the TV host to join the PTI in October last could not meet success amid reports of objections from within the party over his sometimes controversial and aggressive tone in TV shows and for representing the MQM as its key leader. However, Mr Ismail denied such reports saying that Mr Hussain couldn’t join the party last year due to his personal reasons. “There can never be a 100 per cent consensus in a party on any decision,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean that there is any resistance or anger on any decision which is made by the leadership. Amir Liaquat is largely welcomed in the party and we hope he would serve the PTI’s cause and purpose in a much better way in line with his abilities.”

Nawaz slams PPP, PTI ‘politics of deception’

ICMD, March 16, 2018 Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that the politics of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) only means to deceive the general public. Speaking to journalists outside the accountability court after Avenfield case hearing, Nawaz Sharif criticised PPP-PTI alliance during Senate elections. The former PM added that both the parties aim to ‘deceive’ and ‘cheat’ the public and that PTI and PPP ‘want to come into power via the backdoor’. Talking about the judicial system of the country, Nawaz said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would propose judicial reforms when elected to power in the general elections 2018. He also complained about his disqualification as party president, while he added that PML-N would ensure transparent elections. The accountability court resumed proceedings of key witness and head of former joint investigation team (JIT) Wajid Zia’s statement recording in Avenfield properties corruption case against Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz Sharif appeared in court along with Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar and stayed till the end of the hearing. -- Agencies

ECP blocks notifications of five newly elected senators

ICMD, March 9, 2018 The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued notifications of 47 newly elected senators, however blocked the notification of five members of the Upper House because of their alleged dual nationality. Nuzhat Sadiq, Haroon Akhter, Chaudhry Sarwar and Sadia Abbasi from Punjab and independent candidate Khuda Babar from Balochistan did not receive the notification. The court hearing on the reported dual nationality for these members will take place today. Eight senators from Punjab – Rana Mehmood ul Hassan, Mussadik Masood Malik, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Dr Asif Kirmani, Shaheen Khalid Butt, Hafiz Abdul Kareem, Ishaq Dar and Kamran Michael – have received their notifications as independent members of the Upper House. All of them belong to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) but they contested the election as independent candidates due to a Supreme Court ruling in a case related to Elections Act, 2017. Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), Farogh Naseem of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Moula Bux Chandio, Mustafa Nawaz Kokar, Sayed Muhammad Ali Jamot, Mian Raza Rabbani, Imamuddin Shouqeen, Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Rukhsana Zuberi, Quratulain Marri, Keshoo Bai and Anwar Lal Dean of Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarians (PPPP) have been issued notifications from the Sindh province. In KP, Faisal Javed, Muhammad Ayub, Fida Muhammad, Azam Khan Sawati and Mehar Taj Roghani of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Behramand and Robina Khalid of the PPPP, Muhammad Talha Mehmood of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamat-e-Islami (JI) and independent members Syed Sabir Shah and Dilwar Khan – who were in fact backed by the PML-N – got notifications from the ECP. Muhammad Akram and Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo of the National Party (NP), Molvi Faiz Muhammad of JUI-F and seven independents Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, Ahmed Khan, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, Sardar Shafiq Tareen, Naseebullah Bazi, Abida Azeem and Sana Jamali have been issued notifications from Balochistan province. Shammim Afridi, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Hidayat Ullah and Hilal ur Rehman were issued notification from FATA while Asad Ali Khan Junejo and Mushaid Hussain Sayed have been declared returned candidates from the federal capital. -- DT

N-League MNA from Faisalabad joins Imran

ICMD, March 2, 2018 A PML-N MNA from Faisalabad on Friday announced his decision to leave the party and join PTI. Dr Nisar Jatt made the announcement following a meeting with PTI chairman Imran Khan, said a press release issued by the party. It said that PTI’s former general secretary Jahangir Tareen was also present at the meeting. Dr Nisar Jatt announced to join the PTI along with his aides. PTI Chairman appreciated his decision and said that it will be proved in future that Jatt had made the right decision, distancing himself from ‘a mafia’. The PTI chairman, further, said that the nation is ready for change and in the next month his party’s countrywide election campaign will begin with a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore. Last week, the ruling PML-N had lost two of its lawmakers from Gujranwala to PTI. The trend continued from last year when a number of political workers and lawmakers of the ruling N-League and PPP joined Imran Khan-led PTI. These included PPP’s Nazar Gondal, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Babar Awan, and former chief minister of Sindh, Liaquat Jatoi. -- DT

Asad Ashraf wins from Nehal Hashmi's Senate seat

ICMD, March 1, 2018 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s independent candidate Dr Asad Ashraf wins from Nehal Hashmi’s Senate seat at Punjab Assembly. Ashraf ran independently due to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) latest decision to nullify all nomination forms signed by Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Dr Zarqa Taimur. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah was the first to cast his vote while Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also reached the Punjab Assembly to cast his vote. Earlier, the opposition protested against some ministers who were taking the voters to the polling booth. Polling came to a close at 4pm. Hashmi’s Senate seat became vacant after the Supreme Court rejected his unconditional apology in a contempt of court case and sentenced him to one month jail time. The three judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa announced the verdict in contempt of court case against Hashmi for delivering hate speech against judges. Hashmi, along with the jail sentence, has also been ordered to pay a fine of Rs50,000. Hashmi was been barred from holding public office for the next five years. After the SC decision the ECP de-notified Hashmi from the Senate. -- ET