Pakistan-Afghanistan Update: Ishaq Dar Lambastes Imran Khan After JIT Appearance; Demonstrators Rally in Kabul

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Topline

  • Speaking to reporters after appearing before the Joint Investigation Team investigating the Panama Papers on Monday, Finance Minister Dar lashed out at Imran Khan, accusing him of lying and hiding his own assets. Hussain Nawaz appeared before the JIT for the sixth time on Tuesday; two members of the JIT have departed for Qatar to interview Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani on the chain of investment used by the Sharif family for the purchase of London real estate.
  • Demonstrators rallied in Kabul on Monday to reiterate their demands for the resignation of top Afghan security officials after the May 31 truck bombing in the capital; they dispersed afterwards but said protests would continue if their demands were not met. Separately, NATO diplomats and military officials held a ceremony on Sunday evening to commemorate Afghan security officers killed in the bombing.
  • In a vote on Monday, the Sindh provincial assembly approved a PPP bill that revokes the authority of the National Accountability Bureau to conduct corruption investigations against employees of provincial government departments.
  • A U.S. Senate delegation led by John McCain received a military-led tour of South Waziristan on Monday; a U.S. drone strike reportedly hit a group of Islamic State fighters in the area shortly beforehand. The delegation also met with Prime Minister Sharif in Islamabad.
  • Pres. Ghani visited Turkmenistan on Monday, signing several cooperation agreements on road, rail, and energy connectivity.
  • Tariq Mahmood Pasha, an assistant to Finance Minister Dar, has been appointed chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue.
  • Lawyers for Punjab assembly member Masroor Jhangvi, a former member of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat whose father was a founder of the Sipah-e-Sahaba sectarian group, have appealed the Islamabad High Court for his removal from the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Pakistan — Security

  • Senators Visit South Waziristan: The U.S. senate delegation led by Sen. John McCain visited South Waziristan on Monday, where they received briefings from the military; McCain was quoted saying that “we are confident that with the right cooperation and right strategy we can see success here in this very long struggle”. Dawn reports that a U.S. Predator drone strike killed four men belonging to the Islamic State in the Marghalan village on Monday prior to their visit, describing the target as a vehicle carrying commander Pir Agha. The delegation also met with Prime Minister Sharif. [AP]
  • Masroor Jhangvi Seeks Removal of Name from Terror Lists: Lawyers for Punjab provincial assembly member Masroor Jhangvi, a former member of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat whose father founded the Sipah-e-Sahaba sectarian group, have petitioned to the Islamabad High Court to remove his named from the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act. [ET]
  • Tensions with India: Pakistani foreign advisor Sartaj Aziz met with a delegation of Kashmiri journalists on Monday, telling them that Pakistan was not obliged to follow the U.S. sanctions placed on Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen leader Syed Salahuddin and would “continue moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris”. The director general of the State Disaster Management Authority in Azad Jammu and Kashmir reported that 13 peopled had been killed and 97 injured on the Pakistani side in cross-border firing incidents since January. [Dawn] [ET]

Pakistan — Politics and Diplomacy

  • Panama Papers Investigations: Finance Minister Dar appeared before the Joint Investigation Team in the Panama Papers case on Monday; speaking to reporters afterwards, he denounced PTI leader Imran Khan, accusing him of lying, accumulating assets through gambling and the use of donations for his hospital foundation, adding that he should “tell us where his loyalties lie: with Pakistan, with Muslims, or with Jews or Christians?” Dar also insisted that he and the Sharif family had fully accounted for their assets and had committed no wrongdoing, and disavowed a 2000 confessional statement related to alleged money laundering through the Hudaibya Paper Mills. In response, Imran said that “no amount of hysterical and gutter language is going to get [Dar] off the hook”. An anonymous PPP source tells The Nation that former Pres. Zardari “still thinks the prime minister can survive and continue as the head of the government”. Prime Minister Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz appeared before the JIT on Tuesday for the sixth time. Separately, two members of the JIT departed for Qatar to interview Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, who has submitted written testimony in the past regarding the money chain leading to the purchase of London properties by Sharif family members. [ET] [ET] [The Nation] [The Nation] [The Nation] [Dawn]
  • Sindh Revokes National Accountability Laws in Province: In a vote on Monday, the Sindh assembly approved a PPP bill to revoke the authority of the National Accountability Bureau to conduct investigations into departments and bodies controlled by the provincial government, over the objections of the opposition parties. [The Nation]
  • Other Political Activity: On Tuesday, Imran Khan again failed to submit a reply to the Election Commission on a contempt of court case against him regarding his accusations of bias on the part of the ECP in the PTI’s overseas fundraising; the ECP announced that it would issue a verdict in the case on July 10. [Dawn] [The Nation]

Pakistan — Economics and Development

  • New FBR Chairman Appointed: On Monday, Finance Minister Dar appointed Tariq Mahmood Pasha, who had been serving as his special assistant, as chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue; officials tell Dawn that Pasha may keep his other portfolios as well, which include the statistics division.

Pakistan — Remainders

  • Senate Committee Hears Arguments Over Wiretapping [Dawn]
  • Jamshed Dasti Released from Prison After Bail [Dawn]
  • National Ulema Council Calls to End Sectarian Divide After Parachinar Attacks [ET]
  • Balochistan Police Submit Report on Provincial Assembly Member’s Hit-and-Run Incident [ET] [Dawn]
  • Twelve Dead as Rival Tribes Clash in Shikarpur [Dawn] [The Nation]
  • Sindh Chief Minister Suspends Police Prisons Director After Karachi Jail Escape [The Nation]
  • Senate Chairman to Meet Provincial Chief Ministers [Dawn]
  • Foreign Firms Repatriated $1.88 Billion in Profits in May-June Period [Dawn]

Afghanistan — Security

Afghanistan — Politics and Diplomacy

  • Opposition Protests: Members of the “Uprising for Change” protest movement led a rally through Kabul on Monday, reiterating their demands for the removal of top security officials in the wake of the May 31 truck bombing in Kabul; the group did not set up protest camps and dispersed after a few hours, but warned of future protests if their demands were not met. Organizers tell the LAT they are not connected to the opposition alliance formed by Junbesh-e-Milli, Jamiat-e-Islami, and Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami leaders in Turkey last week. NATO diplomats and military officials held a ceremony in Kabul on Sunday evening to commemorate the Afghan security officers who were killed in the May bombing. German ambassador Walter Hassman refuted reports in the German and Afghan press last week that the embassy had advanced warning of the attack, saying there had only been general threat warnings. [TOLO] [Khaama Press] [Pajhwok] [TOLO] [TOLO] [Khaama Press]
  • Ghani Visits Turkmenistan: Pres. Ghani met with his counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Turkmenistan on Monday; the two leaders signed several cooperation agreements, including MOUs on road and rail transport and energy. [Khaama Press]

Afghanistan — Remainders

  • Iranian President Voices Concern Over Afghan Dam Construction Plans [Khaama Press]
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