PM condemns BJP leaders’ blasphemous remarks

PM approves new transit visa policy for Afghan citizens

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has approved a new transit visa policy for the Afghan immigrant citizens.

Head of Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Initiatives Salman Sufi in a statement on Saturday said taking a notice of the issues faced by the Afghan citizens, the prime minister has accorded approval to the new policy of ‘on arrival visa for Afghan refugees who need to pass through Pakistan to reach their destination countries that have approved their immigration.

Pakistan will issue 30-day transit visas to the Afghan citizens within 24hours.

Salman Sufi said those countries that have granted immigration to the Afghan citizens, could apply for transit visas from Pakistan.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf to hold discussion on the sanctity of last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW) in the National Assembly on Monday.

In a statement today [Saturday], the Prime Minister strongly condemned BJP leaders’ blasphemous remarks.

He said the remarks have hurt the sentiments of 1.25 billion Muslims across the world. He said the Muslims are also protesting on it.

The Prime Minister said the National Assembly should also pass a resolution against the reprehensible incident in India. He said the resolution will send a clear message to the world that we are ready to render any sacrifice for the sake of sanctity of holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW).

A special court on Saturday confirmed interim bails of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others in a case registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against them

The court ordered the prime minister and chief minister to furnish surety bonds of Rs 1 million each for availing the relief.

The court also ordered the co-accused for furnishing surety bonds of Rs 200,000 each within seven days for the purpose.

Special Judge Central Ijaz Hassan Awan announced the decision on pre-arrest bail petitions, filed by PM Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz and others. The court had reserved its verdict after hearing detailed arguments of the parties, earlier in the day.

During the proceedings, Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz and others appeared before the court and got their attendance marked.

FIA Prosecutor Farooq Bajwa submitted a report about arrest warrants of Suleman Shehbaz, Malik Maqsood, and Tahir Naqvi. He submitted that the accused were not available at their given addresses.

The court observed that media had broadcast news about death of accused Malik Maqsood. Whether the news was correct, it questioned.

To which, the prosecutor replied that a letter had been written to Interpol for confirmation of the death. He submitted that after receiving Interpol reply, the court would be informed.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif came to the rostrum and sought permission for briefing the court about the case facts. He submitted that the FIA officials twice visited him in jail and he verbally briefed them about all facts. He submitted that all cases against him were decided on merit and he was cleared.

Shehbaz Sharif submitted that serious allegations were leveled against him and he attended dozens of proceedings. He submitted that it appeared that the FIA filed the challan with delay as it wanted to arrest him. Shehbaz Sharif submitted that he was neither director nor owner or shareholder of the sugar mill.

He submitted that as a result of his actions, sugar mills of his family suffered losses. He submitted that he preferred the common people over his own family members and saved billions of rupees of the nation.

He submitted that had he been interested in money-making or laundering, he would have not caused losses to the sugar mills of his family. He said the entire case was fabricated and a pack of lies.

Advocate Amjad Pervaiz argued that it was sufficient for bail of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz that they were investigated by the FIA officials in jail. He submitted that the FIA failed to produce any evidence which could connect his clients to the accounts in question.

However, the FIA prosecutor opposed the pleas and advanced arguments in this regard.

The counsel for co-accused also submitted their arguments in writing.

Subsequently, the court reserved verdict on pre-arrest bail pleas of Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz and others.

Later, after a few hours, the court announced its verdict and confirmed interim bails of prime minister and others.

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