Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi on Tuesday said the nation had unshakable faith that struggle and voice of the Palestinian people would never be suppressed, assuring that Pakistan firmly stood by its principled stance regarding the independence of Palestine.
Taking part in a debate on the Palestine issue in the Senate, the minister stated that the entire Pakistani nation stood united on this issue.
He told the house that Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar had telephoned Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.
“There is no division on this [Palestine] issue, we all are united,” Solangi said. “From Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to the incumbent caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, every Pakistani leader had expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people,” he added.
نگران وفاقی وزیر اطلاعات مرتضیٰ سولنگی کا سینیٹ اجلاس میں اظہار خیال
فلسطین کے معاملے پر پوری قوم یکجا ہے، مرتضیٰ سولنگی
ایوان بالا نے فلسطین کے حق میں آواز بلند کی، مرتضیٰ سولنگی
قیام پاکستان سے لے کر اب تک ہر پاکستان کے ہر سربراہ نے فلسطینی عوام کے ساتھ یکجہتی کا اظہار کیا،… pic.twitter.com/dqez4AUoZ1
— PTV News (@PTVNewsOfficial) October 31, 2023
He reiterated Pakistan’s principled stance regarding the independence of Palestine.
“Pakistan is among the few countries which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Even we have diplomatic relations with the countries we had fought wars with, but not with Israel.”
Meanwhile, the Senate continued its debate on the ongoing crisis in Gaza.
Solangi told the upper house of parliament that Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani or any other minister assigned by the prime minister would wind up the debate.
Earlier in their speeches, the senators denounced the Israeli military’s relentless assault on Palestinians.
Describing the conflict as a systematic attempt at the genocide of Palestinians, the speakers stressed the need for urgent global intervention to counter Israel’s aggressive actions.
Those who took part in the debate included Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Dilawar Khan, Quratulain Marri, Mohsin Aziz, Sherry Rehman, Zarqa Suharwady, Raza Rabbani, Khalida Ateeb, Humayun Mohmand, Nuzhat Sadiq, Danish Kumar, Sajid Mir, Seemi Ezdi, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Jam Mehtab Hussain, Shahadat Awan, Waqar Mehdi, Falak Naz, Dr Afnanullah, Gurdeep Singh, Fida Muhammad, Palwasha Khan, Muhammad Akram and others.
Read More: Pakistan to send humanitarian aid to Gaza
They also urged Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to appeal to parliaments of Western nations through a letter to take a decisive stand against Israel’s atrocities.
The Senate chairman agreed to the proposal to forward a letter along with a resolution to be passed by the Senate in this session.
Ahad Cheema acquitted in NAB reference
An accountability court on Friday acquitted Ahad Cheema, the special assistant to the caretaker prime minister, in assets beyond means reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Accountability Judge Ali Zulqarnain had reserved the ruling on the acquittal plea after hearing arguments of the NAB prosecutor and the defence counsel earlier in the day. Cheema also appeared before the court during the proceedings.
On Nov 27, in a supplementary report, NAB informed the court that Cheema’s assets were consistent with his known income, asserting that properties held by alleged benamidars/relatives were not his. Based on evidence, the case under NAO, 1999, was not substantiated, it added.
Cheema had served as the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general during the PML-N government in Punjab. The bureau had arrested Cheema in 2018 when he appeared before a joint investigation team in connection with the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.
Later, NAB initiated assets beyond means and other inquiries against him. However, Cheema obtained bail in three cases, including assets beyond means case in 2021.
Bilawal consults legal minds on ZAB reference
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday consulted legal minds of his party on the presidential reference case of his late grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The development came during a meeting of central and provincial officials as well as legal experts of the Peoples Lawyers Forum (PLF) at Zardari House here. Bilawal chaired the meeting.
During the meeting, the PLF officials briefed Bilawal on the presidential reference case of ZAB. Farooq H Naik and Shahadat Awan participated in the meeting through video link while Qazi Bashir, Bahram Khan Tareen, Raheel Kamran Cheema, Sajid Tanoli, Gohar Rehman Khattak, Ghiyasul Haque and Asrar Abbasi were present.
Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Faisal Karim Kundi, Raza Rabbani and Amna Paracha were also present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, a civil society delegation also met with Bilawal and discussed the challenges faced by the masses and their solutions.
Bilawal appreciated the delegation for their services and performance in their respective fields.
Ahmed Faraz Khan Advocate, Barrister Saifullah Ghori, Bilal Tariq Khan, Dr Abdul Mohiman, Dr Maria Hamid, Dr Salma Malik, Faheem Sardar, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir, Huma Fawad, Jahanzeb Durrani and Kanwal Malik were among those who met the PPP chairman.
Lubna Bhayat, SM Tariq, Javed Akhtar, Pir Mohammad Anwar, Junaid, Raja Mohammad Khan, Sania Kamran, Shehbaz Zaheer, Shamamata Al Ambararbab, Buland Sohail, Kashaf Ahmed, Talha Rahmani, Osama Malik, Usman Iqbal Bandal and Yusuf Masih were part of the delegation. PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi was also present on this occasion.
SC to take up appeals against military trial verdict on Dec 13
The Supreme Court is set to take up high-profile cases in the coming week, including the appeals against its verdict in the trial of civilians in military courts and pleas filed by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.
A Supreme Court larger bench will hear on Dec 13 the intra-court appeals against its judgment in the case of civilians being tried in military courts. The appeals have been filed by the caretaker governments and the defence ministry.
On Oct 23, a five-judge bench of the SC unanimously declared the trial of civilians in military courts as null and void and ordered that the 103 accused in cases relating to the violence on May 9 and 10 be tried under ordinary criminal laws.
Moreover, Justice Naqvi, who is facing complaints of misconduct, recently wrote a letter to the top court’s three senior-most judges’ panel to point out the silence over his petitions challenging the issuance of a show-cause notice to him by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) despite the lapse of time as stipulated in the SC (Practice & Procedure) Act, 2023.
A three-judge bench, comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Musarrat Hilali, will hear his petitions on December 15.
A nine-member larger bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa will take up a presidential reference for revisiting the judgment wherein the death sentence of PPP founder and former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was endorsed.
The bench will conduct its proceedings in courtroom No. 1 on December 12. These decisions were made by the SC three-member committee comprising CJP Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
The other high-profile cases that will be tackled by the SC in the coming week include the evacuation of illegal Afghan residents, reclassification of commercial land in Karachi, and reinstatement of the FIR against PTI leader Moonis Elahi.
The top court has scheduled the hearing for petitions challenging the evacuation of foreign nationals, especially Afghan citizens, residing unlawfully in the country.
A three-judge bench, comprising Justice Masood, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ayesha Malik, will hear these pleas on December 12.
Farhatullah Babar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Amina Masood Janjua, Mohsin Dawar, Jibran Nasir, Syed Muaz Shah, Pastor Ghazala Parveen, Imaan Zainab Mazari, Ahmad Shabbar, Advocate Imran Shafiq, Luke Victor, Sijal Shafiq, and Rohail Kasi are contesting the evacuation orders.
In a separate case, the dismissal of a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) case against PTI’s Moonis by a special judge in Lahore and then the upholding of that decision by the Lahore High Court, has been challenged in the SC.
The FIA has filed an appeal against the dismissal, leading to a review in the apex court.
Moreover, the SC, previously deliberating on the powers of the caretaker government, directed the attorney general for Pakistan (AGP) to assist the court in forming a larger bench to interpret its authority.
In addition, review petitions challenging the decision on the reclassification of land in Karachi to commercial status will be heard in the coming week as well. A three-judge bench, led by Justice Ahsan, is scheduled to hear the matter on December 11.
The court has issued notices to all relevant parties, including the Sindh government, following its earlier ruling invalidating the conversion of public land into residential and commercial categories.
These petitions stem from a challenge initiated in 2010 by former Karachi nazim Niamatullah Khan against the alteration of public land’s categorisation.
A five-judge bench, led by CJP Isa, will also take up on December 14 former Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s petition against his removal.
It is expected that the proceedings of both Bhutto and the ex-IHC judge’s cases will be available on the SC website.
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