Pakistan’s court dismisses ex-PM Sharif’s appeal, bail plea

Pakistan’s Supreme Court removed previous Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, above, from his position in July 2017. (AFP/File)
Updated 25 February 2019

Pakistan’s court dismisses ex-PM Sharif’s appeal, bail plea

  • The previous PM is receiving treatment for heart problems at a hospital currently
  • He was also sentenced for 10 years of imprisonment, but it was suspended later

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani appeals court rejected former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeal over a seven-year prison sentence for corruption on Monday and refused to grant him release on medical grounds.

The Islamabad High Court’s two-judge panel announced its ruling after the appeal hearings concluded last week.

Sharif’s aide Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, also a former prime minister, said the former premier’s legal team will take the case to the Supreme Court. “We are disappointed but respect the court verdict,” Abbasi said. He added that there is still further legal course to exhaust. “Our legal team will file an appeal to the Supreme Court against it.”

Sharif and his family members have been embroiled in several trials on corruption charges after the Supreme Court disqualified him from office in July 2017.

An anti-graft tribunal had sentenced Sharif to 10 years in another corruption case last year but that sentence was later suspended pending appeal.

Later in the day Sharif was moved back to prison. Shahbaz Gil, spokesman for the Punjab provincial government, said doctors had released Sharif from hospital in the eastern city of Lahore, where he was being treated for heart-related issues.

Ruling Prime Minister Imran Khan won last year’s elections following pledges to uproot public corruption in Pakistan.


Indian govt slammed over poor ranking in global hunger index

Visitors try out food at 'Bengaluru Aaharotsava', a 3-day vegetarian food festival, in Bangalore on October 18, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 19 October 2019

Indian govt slammed over poor ranking in global hunger index

  • This ranking reveals a colossal failure in Govt policy and blows the lid off the PM’s hollow ‘sabka vikas’ (development for all) claim,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi, who leads the opposition Congress party

NEW DELHI: India’s poor rating in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) has come in for sharp criticism, with the opposition calling it a “colossal failure of government policy.”
The GHI showed that India ranked 102 in the database of 117 nations and trailed its smaller South Asian neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. In 2000, India ranked 83 out of 113 nations.
The index is designed to measure and track hunger at a global, regional, and national level. The report, which was released on Wednesday, was a joint effort between Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organization Welt Hunger Hilfe.
“This ranking reveals a colossal failure in Govt policy and blows the lid off the PM’s hollow ‘sabka vikas’ (development for all) claim,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi, who leads the opposition Congress party.
Thomas Isaac, finance minister in the southern state of Kerala, said: “The slide started with PM (Narendra) Modi’s ascension. In 2014 India was ranked 55. In 2017 it slipped to 100 and now to the levels of Niger and Sierra Leone. The majority of the world’s hungry now resides in India.”
The GHI score is based on four indicators — undernourishment; child wasting (children below five who have a low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting, (children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and child mortality, the mortality rate of children under the age of five.
“India’s child wasting rate is extremely high at 20.8 percent, the highest for any country,” the report said. It added that, with a score of 30.3, India suffered from a level of hunger that was serious.

BACKGROUND

The Global Hunger Index showed that India ranked 102 in the database of 117 nations and trailed its smaller South Asian neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. In 2000, India ranked 83 out of 113 nations.

International NGO Save the Children  said the government needed to focus on wasting and stunting. Other low- and middle-income countries in the world which are faring better have actually scored better than India in those two areas, it added.
“There are nearly 1.8 million children in the country who are wasting and for that we will need comprehensive interventions, including the provision of therapeutic foods for such children to be managed at a community level,” it told Arab News.
The NGO warned of serious social consequences, with wasting leading to impaired cognitive ability and poor learning outcomes. “Furthermore, for underweight and stunted girls, it invokes a vicious cycle whereby initial malnutrition with early child-bearing gets translated into poor reproductive health outcomes.”
Arab News contacted the Child and Family Welfare Ministry for comment but did not get a response.
Nepal ranks 73 in the index, Sri Lanka is placed at 66, Bangladesh is in 88th place, Myanmar is at the 69th spot and Pakistan ranks 94.
The GHI said these countries were also in the serious hunger category, but that their citizens fared better than India’s.