Sharif returns to Pakistan, scotching opposition speculation

Nawaz Sharif
Updated 26 September 2017
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Sharif returns to Pakistan, scotching opposition speculation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned to Islamabad from London on Monday, laying to rest speculation that he had fled the country to evade an ongoing corruption trial against him and his family.
Sharif had been abroad with his children tending to his wife, who is recovering from throat cancer treatment.
Sen. Dr. Asif Kirmani, special assistant to Sharif on political affairs, told reporters that Sharif will appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday regarding the graft cases, which accuse him of mass corruption, tax evasion and concealment of assets.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nominated Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz as candidate for NA-120 Lahore District by-election, after the seat was left vacant by Sharif’s judicial ouster.
The party won the much-anticipated by-election after a rigorous campaign by Sharif’s daughter in her mother’s absence.
Pakistan’s accountability court is set to conduct a hearing into three cases against Sharif, and one against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, as filed by the NAB.
Dar returned from London on Sunday, accompanying Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to face the courts. But in a twist on Friday, Pakistan’s Senate passed an election bill for 2017 dropping a clause that barred Sharif from leading his PML-N party.
“Knowing what he faces is NOT accountability, the man decides to return. It is not about this person anymore. It is the battle of 200 million,” tweeted Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz.
“It takes great courage and valor to be willing to pay the price for challenging what needs to be changed. Not everyone can do that.”
The Sharifs fear they may not get a fair trial, and have spoken of a conspiracy against them. But political analyst Zahid Hussain said the family had ample time to satisfy the Supreme Court before its final verdict.
The cases against the Sharifs stem from the Panama Papers leak in 2016 from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which suggest the family owns millions of dollars’ worth of property and companies worldwide via offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands.
“I won’t say it’s a conspiracy, because that means the Supreme Court was party to some kind of conspiracy with either the security agencies or somebody else. That’s just not correct,” Hussain told Arab News.


Iran adhering to nuclear deal: British PM

Updated 23 September 2018
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Iran adhering to nuclear deal: British PM

  • “From what we see, we believe that it is doing that,” Theresa May told CBS
  • But there are other issues outside the deal that also need to be dealt with, she said

WASHINGTON: Iran is adhering to its commitments under the Iran nuclear deal and the accord — repudiated by the United States — should stay in place, Britain’s prime minister said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
“From what we see, we believe that it is doing that,” Theresa May told CBS.
“We believe that that should stay in place. And others, involved in putting that deal together believe that it should stay in place,” May said in excerpts of an interview shown on “Face the Nation” that was to air in full Monday on “This Morning.”
But there are other issues outside the deal that also need to be dealt with, she said.
“Looking at the issue of ballistic missiles. Looking at — the way in which — Iran is acting in the region — to destabilize the region. We need to address those issues,” May said.
May’s interview came as world leaders geared up for a week of high-stakes diplomacy at the UN General Assembly, which is set to be dominated by North Korea and Iran.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump will for the first time chair a Security Council meeting on non-proliferation and weapons of mass destruction that will focus heavily on Iran — likely triggering a clash with other big powers.
Earlier this year, Trump pulled the US out of the deal it reached with Iran and five other countries in 2015. That accord lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
Now, the US is reimposing those sanctions.
Other parties to the deal have argued that it is working and should stay in place, while the International Atomic Energy Agency has said Iran is complying with the accord.