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Imaan Mazari re-arrested outside Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi hours after getting bail



Human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir was re-arrested outside the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Monday, hours after an Islamabad anti-terrorism court granted her bail in a sedition case.

Confirming the arrest on X (formerly Twitter), the Islamabad police said Imaan was taken into custody in a terrorism case registered at the Bara Kahu police station.

A video of the arrest showed Islamabad police officials taking Imaan away in a police van from outside the jail.

The arrest comes hours after an Islamabad anti-terrorism court granted Imaan and former lawmaker Ali Wazir post-arrest bail in a sedition case.

While Imaan has been re-arrested, Adiala Jail superintendent Asad Warraich told that Wazir’s release is still pending.

Wazir was arrested on August 19, while Imaan was picked up from her home during the early hours of August 20. A pair of first information reports (FIR) were registered against the two at Islamabad’s Tarnol police station and Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station.

The arrests were made two days after a public meeting, organised by the Pashtun Tahaffuz Move­ment (PTM). Wazir, a PTM member, and Imaan had both addressed the rally, with videos circulating on social media showing speakers critici­sing the military establis­hment over enfor­ced disappearances.

On August 22, an Islamabad court had granted Imaan post-arrest bail in a rioting and dacoity case. However, she remained in police custody in connection with the sedition case.

Meanwhile, an Islamabad ATC on August 24 had rejected the prosecution’s request to extend Imaan and Wazir’s physical remand in the sedition case and sent the two to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on judicial remand.

At the same time, Imaan’s counsel Zainab Janjua had filed a petition seeking her post-arrest bail.

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invalidated the section, which pertains to the crime of sedition or inciting “disaffection” against the government, terming it inconsistent with the Constitution.

The inspector said he was present at Tarnol when a PTM rally of around 900-950 people blocked GT Road. He said Pashteen, Imaan and others had spoken against state institutions and their heads in their speeches, attempted to incite rebellion, weaken the army, compel officers to abandon their duties, promote terrorism warned of dire consequences for the judiciary and called on people to engage in civil war and strife.

The FIR specifically pointed out Pashteen and Imaan for attempting to create distance between Pakhtuns and the army and spreading fear in the public by threatening to march towards Islamabad.

Up to 3,000 people had attended the protest in Islamabad, where both Imaan and Wazir gave speeches condemning harassment against Pakhtuns and called for missing people to be returned.

“You are being stopped as if you are the terrorists, while the [Pakistani] Taliban have taken over your homes again,” Imaan had told the crowds in a video posted on social media.

A PTM spokesman told AFP that dozens more members were also detained since the protest was held in the capital.

Additional input by Tahir Naseer and Shakeel Qarar


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Trump business empire under threat as New York fraud trial opens



Former US president Donald Trump will appear in a New York court on Monday as a civil fraud trial against him and two of his sons kicks off, with the case threatening the Republican’s business empire as he campaigns to retake the White House.

In Monday’s case, Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his sons Eric and Don Jr committed fraud by inflating the value of the real estate and financial assets of the Trump Organization for years.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is now seeking $250 million in penalties and the removal of Trump and his sons from management of the family empire.

Trump said late Sunday he planned to be present for the start of the trial on Monday morning.

“I’m going to Court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and reputation,” the 77-year-old wrote on his Truth Social platform. “This whole case is a sham!!!”

In addition to this civil case, Trump also faces several major criminal proceedings in the months ahead.

He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Washington on March 4 on charges of trying to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.

Trump will then be back in New York state court, this time on criminal hush money charges, and later in a Florida federal court, where he is accused of mishandling classified documents after leaving office.

Finally, he will also have to answer to state charges in Georgia, where prosecutors say Trump illegally tried to get the southern state’s 2020 election results changed in his favor.

In the New York civil case, Engoron ruled that Trump, his two eldest sons, and other Trump Organisation executives lied to tax collectors, lenders, and insurers for years in a scheme that exaggerated the value of their properties by $812 million to $2.2 billion between 2014 and 2021.


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At least 38 injured in police station fire in Egypt’s Ismailia



A huge fire broke out at a police headquarters in the Egyptian city of Ismailia on Monday, injuring at least 38 people, according to local media.

No fatalities were immediately reported but the building is staffed by soldiers at all hours and hospitals were placed on alert.

Footage on local media showed smoke rising from the entirely blackened multi-storey building.

The cause of the blaze, which broke out at the headquarters of the Ismailia Security Directorate before dawn, is not yet known.

Of 26 wounded who were transferred to a local hospital, 24 had suffered from “asphyxiation” and two from burns, local media reported citing the health ministry.

Twelve more were treated at the scene.

The health ministry deployed 50 ambulances to the scene, which were joined by military emergency services including two planes, according to state media.

Deadly fires are a common hazard in Egypt, where fire codes are rarely enforced and emergency services are often slow to arrive.

In August 2022, a fire caused by a short circuit killed 41 worshippers in a Cairo church, prompting calls to improve the country’s infrastructure and the response time of the fire brigade.

In March 2021, at least 20 people died in a fire at a textile factory in the capital, while in 2020, two hospital fires killed 14 people.


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Annual inflation rises to 31.4pc amid high energy prices



Pakistan’s annual inflation rate rose to 31.4 per cent in September from 27.4pc in August, statistics bureau data showed on Monday, as the country reels from high fuel and energy prices.

The country is embarking on a tricky path to economic recovery under a caretaker government after a $3 billion loan programme approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July averted a sovereign debt default, but with conditions that complicated efforts to rein in inflation.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation climbed 2pc in September, compared to an increase of 1.7pc in August. Reforms required by the IMF bailout, including an easing of import restrictions and a demand that subsidies be removed, have already fuelled annual inflation, which rose to a record 38pc in May.

Food inflation remained elevated at 33.1pc with the year-on-year increase in non-perishable food items at 38.4pc and 4.37pc for perishable food items.

Annual consumer inflation in urban and rural areas increased to 29.7pc and 33.9pc year-on-year, respectively.

Meanwhile, the highest year-on-year increase was recorded in the categories of alcoholic beverages and tobacco (87.45pc), recreation and culture (58.77pc), furnishing and household equipment maintenance (39.32pc) and non-perishable food items.

Index-wise increase in inflation YoY (in descending order)

  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco: 87.45pc
  • Recreation and culture: 58.77pc
  • Furnishing and household equipment maintenance: 39.32pc
  • Non-perishable food items: 38.41pc
  • Miscellaneous goods and services: 36.42pc
  • Restaurants and hotels: 34.3pc
  • Transport: 31.26pc
  • Housing and utilities: 29.7pc
  • Health: 25.28pc
  • Clothing and footwear: 20.55pc
  • Education: 11.12pc
  • Communication: 7.42pc
  • Perishable food items: 4.37pc

Interest rates have also risen to their highest at 22pc, and the rupee hit all-time lows in August before recovering in September to become the best performing currency following a clampdown by authorities on unregulated FX trade.

On Friday, the ministry of finance said in its monthly report that it anticipated inflation remaining high in the coming month, hovering around 29-31pc due to an upward adjustment in energy tariffs and a major increase in fuel prices.

The report added that inflation was, however, expected to ease, especially from the second half of the current fiscal year that starts on Jan 1.

On Saturday, the government cut petrol and diesel prices from a record high, after two consecutive hikes. The finance ministry cited international prices of petroleum products and the improvement in the exchange rate, following the clampdown on unregulated FX trade.

Inflation has been elevated, hovering in double digits, since November 2021.
The country targeted inflation at 21pc for the current fiscal year, but it averaged 29pc during the first quarter.

Worsening economic conditions, along with rising political tensions in the run-up to a national election scheduled for November, triggered sporadic protests in September, with many Pakistanis saying they are struggling to make ends meet.

Analysts said the inflation reading was in line with market expectations.

Tahir Abbas, head of research at Arif Habib Limited, a Karachi-based investment company, said inflation appeared to have peaked for the current fiscal year and would subsequently recede.

“The higher reading is mainly due to the low base effect which was also mentioned in the last monetary policy statement. Going forward, in the next few months, we expect inflation to ease to around 26-27pc,” said Fahad Rauf, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, a Karachi-based brokerage firm.

Rauf said higher inflation statistics should not impact monetary policy.


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