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Posts from — December 2015

Constable gunned down in another incident: report in The News, Dec 1, 2015

SWABI: Dr Muhammad Yaqoob, head of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) in the district, was shot dead and his driver injured here on Monday.
Unidentified motorcyclists fired at them in jurisdiction of Zaida Police Station when they were on way to Bacha Khan Medical Complex at Shahmansoor from Dodher village in an official vehicle.
The incident occurred on the Zaida Bypass. After hearing the gunshots, people rushed to the spot but the assailants had fled the scene within no time.The EPI chief died on the spot and his cousin Muhammad Irfan, who was driving the vehicle, sustained injuries. He was taken to the Bacha Khan Medical Complex and hospitalized.
Soon after Dr Yaqoob’s killing, people of his village and doctors of the Bacha Khan Medical Complex placed his body on the Swabi-Jehangira Road to stage protest and demand arrest of the killers.
The protestors blocked the road for all kinds of traffic for about two hours.Later, the officials of the district administration assured them that the killers would be arrested by the police within 48 hours. After getting this assurance, people took the body to Dodher village for burial.
When contacted, District Police Officer Javed Iqbal said that it was too early to say anything about Dr Yaqoob’s killing but the incident seemed to be an act of terrorism.Meanwhile, the Paramedics Association announced one-day mourning while demanding the arrest of Dr Yaqoob’s killers.
Meanwhile, unidentified assailants killed a cop and injured another when they opened fire on two policemen patrolling the area on a motorcycle here on Monday.DPO Javed Iqbal said the cops were performing routine duty in the assigned area of Thandkhui village on a motorbike when two unidentified assailants fired at them. The attackers were also riding a bike.
Constable Imtiaz Khan, who belonged to Managi village, was killed on the spot and his colleague Ghulam Abbas was taken to Bacha Khan Hospital Complex at Shahmansoor town in an injured condition.
When contacted, the doctors said that he was in a serious condition and preparing were being made to take him to a hospital in Peshawar.Officials said that it was a case of target killing and it seemed the incident was linked with terrorism. http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-354359-Constable-gunned-down-in-another-incident

December 1, 2015   No Comments

PPP’s Dr Asim confesses to charges framed against him: by Nazir H Siyal in Daily Times, Dec 1, 2015

KARACHI: Former minister for Petroleum and a close aide of PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Dr Asim Hussain, on Monday confessed to all charges framed against him.

Dr Asim was presented before a judicial magistrate in Karachi city courts. The former minister while recording his statement confessed to all charges levelled against him. His statement was recorded under Section 164 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which deals with ‘abetment by public servant of offences such as taking gratification by corrupt or illegal means and exercise of personal influence’.

The court provided opportunity to Dr Asim Hussain to think again over what he has said in his statement. But he pleaded guilty saying what statement he had recorded was the voice of his conscience and no pressure whatsoever was mounted on him from any side for recording this statement.

According to reports, Dr Asim Hussain has mentioned name of Wasim Akhtar, Qadir Patel and several other political leaders in his statement.

According to legal experts Dr Asim Hussain can be awarded life imprisonment for confessing the accusations. In case he becomes an approver, his sentence term can be reduced.

His statement was sealed and forwarded to respective ATC judge. He was later handed over to the Rangers.

The anti-terrorism court also extended physical remand of the former minister for seven days and allowed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate him in the corruption cases.

The NAB had approached the court to obtain custody of Dr Asim for questioning him regarding an embezzlement case. The court while rejecting NAB’s request directed them to investigate Dr Asim in police custody.

Deputy Managing Director of Ziauddin Hospital Dr Yousuf Saattar, who is also a close aide of Dr Asim Hussain, meanwhile, admitted that ‘militants’ belonging to different political parties were treated at the hospital on Dr Asim’s orders.

Dr Sattar recorded his statement as a witness under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

According to Dr Sattar’s statement, some political leaders used to call him to provide treatment to their workers injured in clashes with law enforcers and rival groups. “Some political militants were also provided a hiding place in the hospital,” he added. The statement of the witness has been made part of the investigation in an ongoing terrorism case against Dr Asim. The sealed statement of the witness will be sent to an anti-terrorism court where the case is being heard.http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sindh/01-Dec-2015/ppp-s-dr-asim-confesses-to-charges-framed-against-him

December 1, 2015   No Comments

Militants treated on Dr Asim’s order, confesses hospital official

KARACHI: Deputy Managing Director of the Ziauddin Hospital, Dr Yousuf Sattar, who is also a close aide of the PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain, on Monday confessed that terrorists, militants and Lyari gang war operatives were treated at the hospital on Dr Asim’s orders.

The witness also identified Asim Hussain in the court. In his statement, Dr Sattar said terrorists, militants from banned outfits and Lyari gang war operatives were sheltered and treated at the hospital.

He said political party-backed target killers were also given 50 percent discount.Dr Asim Hussain was produced before the judicial magistrate central where Dr Sattar recorded his statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure CrPC.

According to Dr Sattar’s statement, some political leaders used to call him for the treatment of their workers injured in clashes with law enforcers and rival groups.Some political militants were also provided refuge at the hospital, he added. The statement of the witness has been made part of investigation in the ongoing terrorism case filed against Dr Asim.

The sealed statement of the witness will be sent to an Anti-Terrorism Court.Dr Asim is accused of providing shelter and treatment to target killers and terrorists at the Ziauddin Hospital that he owns. After the 90-day remand expired, a case was launched against him with the North Nazimabad Police Station. The case involves terrorism sections.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) members have also been nominated in the case.The authorities have stated that Asim had given safe havens to terrorists on the request of MQM leaders, including Rauf Siddiqui, Waseem Akhtar, Saleem Shahzad and Anees Qaimkhani.

On the other hand, PPP’s Qadir Patel used to call on Asim for treatment of gang war criminals. The anti-terrorism case states that the former president Zardari’s close confidant, Asim, had permitted stay of militants at his hospital.

The First Information Report (FIR) further accused Asim of graft as he allegedly pocketed bribes to recruit employees in the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Sui Southern Gas as their administrator.

He has been accused of forwarding contracts to companies and different persons whoever offered him the highest price. Besides terror charges the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has also involved Asim in a case.

The police shifted Dr Asim from Gulberg Police Station to the judicial magistrate court under tight security. Dr Asim maintained silent when the court sought his comments on the witness’s remarks.

On the other hand, MQM’s Rauf Siddiqui vowed to take the case to its conclusive end. Siddiqui was granted a four-day protective bail on submission of surety bonds worth Rs200,000.

Talking to the media, he claimed innocence and said he was wrongly nominated in the case registered with the North Nazimabad Police Station.

Meanwhile, PPP Senator Saeed Ghani, while talking to the media at the Bilawal House’s media centre, said the party had reservations about the way Dr Asim was arrested. He said whatever Dr Asim was made to say in the law-enforcers custody was yet to be taken to trial.

The party would review whatever Asim has confessed to in legal boundaries, he added. However, he said the PPP would accept the court verdict in the case as the party always respected courts.—Agencies

Zaib Azkaar Hussain adds: Former adviser on petroleum and natural resources and former federal minister and chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, Dr Asim Hussain, has confessed to have obliged his political friends in providing medical treatment to alleged injured terrorists.

Dr Asim, who was produced before the Judicial Magistrate (Central) for recording his confessional statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), confessed to have violated rules and regulations and misappropriated funds in the Sui Southern Gas Company.

Dr Asim accepted the claims made by a Joint Interrogation Team (during his detention by the Rangers for 90 days) and said that during the “operation” he had provided medical treatment to terrorists at his hospital. He added that he had provided treatment after his political friends, Rauf Siddiqui, Qadir Patel and others, had asked him to do so.

Dr Asim was also produced before the administrative judge of anti-terrorism court who extended the period of his physical remand for seven days.

He also confessed to have misappropriated funds along with Sui Southern Gas Company deputy director Shoaib Warsi and former managing director Zuhair Siddiqui and others.

It may be mentioned that Sui Southern Gas Company deputy director Shoaib Warsi and former managing director Zuhair Siddiqui and three other alleged accomplices of former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain are also facing corruption charges. They were produced before a National Accountability Bureau court on November 28 and remanded for 14 days for interrogation.http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-40975-Militants-treated-on-Dr-Asims-order-confesses-hospital-official

 

December 1, 2015   No Comments

Terrorist suspects among 50 arrested, arms recovered in Kohat

KOHAT:  The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) personnel arrested 50 suspects including a terrorists besides recovering arms during search operation here on Monday.

 

According to DPO, the police and security forces personnel conducted joint operation against anti-state elements in different areas of Kohat district. He said that during search operation a suspected extremist stated to be hailing from a banned outfit along with 50 suspects were detained.

 

Arms were also recovered from the possession of the nabbed suspects who were being interrogated and important revelations were expected.http://nation.com.pk/national/30-Nov-2015/terrorist-suspects-among-50-arrested-arms-recovered-in-kohat

December 1, 2015   No Comments

BlackBerry to pull out of Pakistan over government surveillance

By SamuelGibbs in The Telegraph, Nov 30, 2015 at 13.00 GMT

Smartphone and secure communications company BlackBerry will pull out of Pakistan by the end of the year over government intrusions into user privacy.

 

The Pakistani government has banned the use of the company’s BlackBerry Enterprise servers, which provide encrypted data and communications services to BlackBerry mobile phones.

 

BlackBerry will “exit the country entirely” on 30 December, when BlackBerry mobile phones within the country will cease to operate. Originally BlackBerry was due to pull out in November, but the ban on its servers was put back by a month by Pakistan.

 

BlackBerry chief operating officer Marty Beard said: “The truth is that the Pakistani government wanted the ability to monitor all BlackBerry Enterprise Service traffic in the country, including every email and BBM message. But BlackBerry will not comply with that sort of directive.

 

“We do not support ‘back doors’ granting open access to our customers’ information and have never done this anywhere in the world.”

 

BlackBerry’s secure servers cannot be intercepted by the Pakistan government, meaning that messaging services, email and browsing can be obfuscated from snooping. But BlackBerry insists that it will respond to “lawful government investigative requests of criminal activity”.

 

Beard said: “Pakistan’s demand was not a question of public safety; we are more than happy to assist law enforcement agencies in investigations of criminal activity. Rather, Pakistan was essentially demanding unfettered access to all of our BES customers’ information. The privacy of our customers is paramount to BlackBerry, and we will not compromise that principle.”

 

BlackBerry has faced similar problems in the past in India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. In 2010, BlackBerry services were banned within the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Bans were lifted in some states but with tightened restrictions.

 

For Pakistan, BlackBerry’s exit comes after a ramping up of government surveillance, which Privacy International said was an abuse of communications surveillance powers, including widespread internet-monitoring and censorship. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/30/blackberry-pakistan-government-surveillance

December 1, 2015   No Comments