Pakistan on Thursday said it would not comment on reports that Chilean police had arrested the brother of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar who was accused of coordinating the 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane till details of the detained individual had been ascertained. Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua acknowledged during a weekly news briefing that a “few Pakistanis” had been arrested in Chile due to “visa issues”.
However, she said authorities would not comment on reports that Azhar’s brother Abdul Rauf was among them till the identity of the detained individuals is verified. “If there is an individual amongst them, of whatever name, I don’t think we need to comment on it till we know the details of the individual,” Janjua said in response to a question. Besides, Pakistan “need not discuss these issues in the public domain” because there was an ongoing mechanism involving the Interior and Home Secretaries of the two countries to take up issues related to counter-terrorism, she said.
A Pakistani media report Wednesday had said that authorities had refuted the Chilean police’s claim of having arrested the brother of Azhar, accused of coordinating the 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines airplane from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu to Kandahar in Afghanistan. The News daily quoted unnamed officials of Pakistani security agencies as saying that the Chilean police had arrested someone else because Mufti Abdul Rauf, the younger brother of Azhar, is present in the garrison town of Rawalpindi. The officials further said that the name of the man arrested in Chile is Mohammad Abdul Rauf and he was a Pakistani charged with possessing a fake visa. They told the newspaper that the detained man has nothing to do with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or any other Pakistani militant group.
Chilean authorities had informed the Indian probe agency CBI through Interpol on April 11 that they had arrested a Pakistani national, Abdul Rauf, who matched the description of the person charge-sheeted by the CBI in the hijacking of flight IC-814. Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice for JeM leader Mufti Abdul Rauf in 2000 and a cash award of Rs 1 million was announced for information leading to his arrest.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.