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Money laundering case: JIT urges SC to freeze Zardari, Omni group assets

ISLAMABAD: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing into the money laundering and fictitious bank accounts on Saturday recommended to the Supreme Court to freeze all the assets of the former president and the PPP President Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and Zardari and the Omni group.

The case pertains to laundering of around Rs220 billion through fictitious bank accounts.

The team also recommended seizure of Bilawal House, Karachi and Lahore, and the Zardari House, Islamabad. The investigation also urged that the New York and Dubai properties owned by Zardari, along with all five plots of Bilawal House in Karachi be seized. It also recommended confiscating all the urban and agricultural lands owned by Zardari, Talpur, and the Zardari Group. The JIT also moved the apex court to order that all assets of Omni Group, including sugar mills, agricultural companies and energy companies, be frozen.

Meanwhile, Zardari and Faryal Talpur submitted their response to the Supreme Court on the JIT’s findings. “That allegations levelled in the JIT report and the executive summary filed before the SC in the captioned matter are strictly denied in toto; it is respectfully submitted that no wrongdoings were done by the answering respondents.

The innumerable documents and statements of witnesses recorded by JIT in the JIT Investigation Report No-1 to 27 were not supplied to the respondents. The JIT be directed to provide the same including JIT Report No-25.

That the JIT Report and Executive Summary are based on surmises and conjectures and are the outcome political victimisation,” read the response submitted by Farooq H. Naek, counsel for Zardari and Talpur.

Cash and oil package: Emirates Crown Prince due today with $6.2 bn deal

UAE deal with Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: United Arab Emirates (UAE) Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is expected to officially announce a support package of about $6.2 billion for Pakistan during his two-day visit to the country on January 6. A high-level delegation will accompany the crown prince.

Reportedly, all relevant terms and conditions have been finalised, and the UAE is about to induct $03 billion cash deposit into the Pakistan economy and $3.2 billion worth of oil supplies on deferred payments for one year.

In December 2018, the UAE officially announced that it would assist Pakistan to overcome international payment crisis and to avoid the deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which contained strict terms and conditions.

The UAE has announced its intention to deposit $03 billion (equivalent to AED11 billion) in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to support the financial and monetary policy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).

Moreover, the country to recover from its economic crisis has been supported by another $1.5 billion trade finance from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

Earlier, Pakistan received $2 billion in cash from Saudi Arabia at an interest rate of 3.18 percent whereas the third tranche of $01 billion is due in the first week of February.

Car bomb in Peshawar injures six

PESHAWAR: At least six people were severely injured after a car bomb went off in the limits of Kala Bari cantonment area of Saddar, Peshawar early on Saturday.

Peshawar blast news

According to the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Qazi Jameel, a white car loaded with 10kgs of explosives detonated near the Qazi Street mosque.

The blast left six people severely injured who were later shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) for treatment.

An eyewitness told The Express Tribune that the car was parked in the area since last night and the explosion occurred after a fire erupted near the front seat.

Lady Reading Hospital spokesperson said that all the injured who were brought in were out of danger and had been treated immediately.

Those injured were identified as Muhammad Farooq, Mukhtiyara, Ibrahim, Robia, Rehmat Gul, Umair.

The police cordoned off the area and rescue work is underway.

Imran, Erdogan pledge to enhance Pak, Turkey ties

Imran, Erdogan pledge to enhance Pak

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday pledged to enhance relation between the Pakistan and Turkey.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting in Ankara on Friday and discussed bilateral relations besides regional and international issues of mutual interests.

Addressing a joint press conference in Ankara, the prime minister said that the two countries has decades long friendship, adding that the people living in Pakistani areas had played a major role in Turkey s movement of independence.

Imran Khan went on to say that Pakistan wants to increase cooperation in all the fields especially in the field of economy.
Pakistan plans to build 50 million houses in the next five years, he said and added the construction of these homes requires Turkish companies support.

Speaking on the occasion, Erdogan said that there are brotherly ties between Pakistan and Turkey.
The Turkish President hailed a ruling by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to recognize FETO as a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said that Turkey will continue to stand in solidarity with Pakistan, encouraging country’s business community to invest in Pakistan.

Earlier, PM Imran Khan paid his respects to modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the capital Ankara. Khan laid a wreath at Ataturk s Mausoleum, and he also signed a formal guest book. “It is a matter of great honor for me to be present here to pay homage to one of the greatest statesmen and visionary leaders of the 20th century — Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,” he wrote in the guest book.

“Leading the Turkish nation at one of the most challenging times, he changed the course of Turkish and indeed the world history, becoming an inspiration for all those resisting the tide of colonialism across the world. He was an epitome of courage, strength, resilience, forbearance, and wisdom.”

Khan wrote Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had described Ataturk as “one of the greatest men who has ever lived”.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Pakistan, I would like to convey my deepest admiration and respect for Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

“His glorious struggle and leadership for the independence and unity of the Turkish nation will forever remain a golden chapter in the annals of history.”

Earlier , Prime Minister on Friday met with a delegation of the Turkey-Pakistan Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey.

While addressing the delegation, the premier said that Pakistan in the 1970s “went wrong because we had a socialist mindset which became a deterrent to wealth creation.”

The premier continued that though the socialist regime stepped down in the subsequent decades, the mindset prevailed among the bureaucracy. He added that the PTI-led government, however, supports investments and is taking measures to create money making opportunities.

He assured the Turkish business leaders of an investors-friendly environment in Pakistan under the PTI government. “We, as a government, are now making every effort to remove impediments in the way of investments,” he said, adding that a separate cell has been established at the Prime Minister secretariat to monitor the process.

“We have already discussed the issues being faced by Turkish investors in Pakistan,” he said, adding that the current government’s top priority was the export sector.

The prime minister referred to the Chinese model as his inspiration for governance. “They (China) have taken 700 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years. Our main concern is also to take people out of poverty.”

Prime Minister Khan, accompanied by his economic team, is on his first official two-day visit to Turkey. He will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today.

It is expected that the prime minister’s visit to Turkey will bring some respite in the prevailing economic crunch in Pakistan as some memoranda of understanding on trade and investment are likely to be inked between the two sides.

The prime minister is accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Razak Dawood and Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari.