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Pakistan EXPOSED! It’s selling nuclear stuff to N Korea; China knew

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Nuclear Material

Even as Pakistan continues to urge the international community to accept its membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, highly placed sources in the United States who are involved with the tracking of nuclear commerce have claimed that Islamabad is still selling nuclear materials to North Korea.

In making this dramatic revelation, the sources said that entities of the Pakistan Energy Commission have been continuing to supply restricted items such as Monel (a nickel-copper alloy with high tensile strength and resistance to corrosion) and ‘ Inconel (an alloy of nickel containing chromium and iron, resistant to corrosion at high temperatures) material to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions.

The sources said that nuclear materials supplied to the PAEC by Chinese entities have also found their way to North Korea, with the China Atomic Energy Authority recently receiving a written complaint that supplies of a Chinese company, Beijing Suntech Technology Company Limited, to Pakistan were being diverted to North Korea by the Pakistani authorities.

The Chinese government hushed up the matter, as it could have consequences for Beijing’s bid to support Pakistan at the NSG.

But this information leaked out of North Korea and came to the knowledge Of Western governments who are members of the NSG.

In another alarming revelation, informed sources said Pakistan has been giving North Korea equipment which has a direct bearing On producing nuclear weapons.

Sources said the Beijing Suntech Technology Company Limited manufactures Vacuum Induction Melting furnaces, which find application in refining hard metals such as uranium and plutonium, which are used in making nuclear warhead cores.

Pakistan is known to have procured these items from China and has passed them along to North Korea.

When asked if this evidence of Pakistan’s illicit nuclear trade with North Korea has been brought to the notice of NSG nations, US sources said all evidences which confirm the violation of sanctions against North Korea and more so the ongoing dangerous nuclear trade has been brought to the notice of “those who need to be informed at the NSG level.”

Behind the scenes, Pakistan is aware that its nuclear trade with North Korea has been uncovered, but is counting on China to keep the global pressure at bay, said sources.

Giving details of North Korea’s nuclear commerce links with Pakistan, informed sources mentioned that two North Korean diplomats — Kim Yong Choi and Jang Yong Son — posted in the North Korean Embassy in Tehran visited Pakistan eight times between 2012 and 2015.

They were associated With the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation — an entity sanctioned several times by the United Nations Security Council since 2005 for its involvement in North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction programme.

These diplomats met Pakistani officers involved in the nuclear programme. They were tracked and investigated by the Western authorities as yet another proof of Pakistan’s continuing nuclear links with North Korea.

Based on Western inputs on these links, the United Nations Security Council 1718 Committee, which is monitoring the implementation of sanctions against North Korea, sought information from Pakistan in November 2015 regarding the frequent visits of the two North Korean diplomats from Tehran to Islamabad and Karachi.

At first, say informed sources, Pakistan denied it, but when confronted with photographs and other recorded evidence, Pakistan acknowledged that the two North Korean officials under investigation had indeed visited Islamabad and Karachi.

Highly-placed sources said that the West has so far kept this information under wraps in recognition of Pakistan’s value in the war against terror.

But now, when Pakistan has gone into overdrive to upset the equilibrium of the NSG, Western nations of the grouping are saying that Islamabad needs to “look at itself in the mirror ” and ask “how can it run with the hare and hunt with the foxes”, meaning it can’t claim to fulfill the NSG’s requirements, and at the same time, sell nuclear weapons materials to North Korea.

Source : ANI

South Asia

Pakistan Supreme Court orders ex-PM Nawaz Sharif removed as head of his political party – judge

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nawaz sharief

ISLAMABAD: In another blow to the ruling PML-N, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday ruled that a disqualified individual cannot head a political party.

The apex court elaborated that a person disqualified under Article 62, 63 of the Constitution can not head the party. As a result of this verdict, all decisions taken by Nawaz as PML-N’s president stand null and void.

As a consequence, Senate tickets issued by Nawaz are also declared void, throwing the fate of March 3 Senate elections in doubt.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar concluded on Thursday the hearings of several petitions against the recently-passed Elections Act 2017.

A three-member bench had been hearing several petitions challenging specific clauses of the act that led to Nawaz Sharif’s appointment as party president following his dismissal as prime minister last year.

During today’s hearing, the chief justice remarked that the country’s leadership is respectable, adding that the media misreported the court’s remarks.

Chief Justice Nisar also observed that there is no reason for the apex court to use words like thief, adding that the fallout of the issue is unacceptable.

Addressing the Pakistan Peoples Party counsel Latif Khosa during the hearing, the chief justice remarked that there would be a difference in rallies held by you or [slain party leader and former prime minister] Benazir Bhutto.

Another petitioner’s counsel, Farogh Naseem, argued that there is a precedent of a court order against a political party’s head.

The chief justice remarked that in other countries intra-party elections are held but the situation is different in Pakistan.

“The party head is an important position,” the chief justice observed, adding that in Pakistan people are willing to sacrifice their lives for their leaders.

Disqualification to party president
Following Nawaz’s disqualification as prime minister in July 2017 in the Panama Papers case, the ruling party managed to amend the Constitution to allow the former premier to retain his chairmanship of the PML-N.

As a result, the Elections Act 2017 was passed by Parliament bringing Nawaz back as the party president despite his disqualification from the National Assembly.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, MNA Jamshaid Dasti, National Party and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), among others, challenged the law for allowing a disqualified parliamentarian to become a party head.

The petitions, challenging specific clauses of the Elections Act 2017, state that Nawaz’s appointment as party president is in violation of Clause 5 of the Political Parties Order 2002 and Article 17 of the Constitution.

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South Asia

Imran Khan gets married for a third time, marries faith healer Bushra Maneka.

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Imran Khan

Imran Khan is no more single, and it’s official. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has confirmed that their chairman has tied the knot for a third time.

Photographs of Imran Khan’s Nikah with Bushra Wattoo have been unveiled. The photographs show Imran and a veiled Bushra along with several others, including PTI leaders Awn Chaudhry and Zulfi Bukhari.

On January 3, media was abuzz with reports of the PTI chief having contracted a third Nikah with the lady he used to visit for spiritual guidance.

But the party said that the Nikah ceremony was solemnised in Lahore on Sunday by Mufti Saeed.

Party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry has wished the couple a happy married life.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

After much drama, Imran had broken his silence about his third marriage last month, clarifying that he had only sent a wedding proposal to Bushra and was awaiting her response.

According to a statement issued by the spokesperson for the PTI chief, Imran had sent a marriage proposal and the lady had sought time to consult her family, especially her children, before making any decision.

The statement insisted that the PTI chief would announce it publicly if Bushra accepted the marriage proposal.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

Last month, a local newspaper had claimed that Imran had already married for a third time and the woman in question was someone he used to visit for spiritual guidance.

The report also claimed that the wedding was held in Lahore on January 1 and was attended by Imran’s close aides.

In response, the PTI said an extremely private and sensitive matter was made the subject of an erroneous story leading to all manner of public conjecture.

“This has put an unacceptable burden, especially on the children of Bushra and Khan, who have had to learn of such a private and intimate issue from the media,” the statement said.

Stressing the need for restraint, Imran had urged the media to “give the two families, especially the children, their privacy”.

Imran Khan was previously married twice, but neither of his marriages lasted. He married Jemima Goldsmith, a British socialite, in 1995. The relationship ended in divorce in 2004. He then married journalist Reham Khan in 2015, but the marriage ended after just 10 months.

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Lavrov, Tillerson discuss need for urgent North Korea negotiations: Moscow

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Lavrov Tillerson

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday discussed North Korea’s nuclear programme with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, stressing the need to start a negotiations process.

“The sides were united in the opinion that nuclear missile projects in North Korea violate the demands of the UN Security Council,” the Russian foreign ministry said after the two men spoke by telephone.

Lavrov “once again highlighted that it is unacceptable to exacerbate tensions around the Korean peninsula with Washington’s aggressive rhetoric toward Pyongyang and increasing military preparations in the region,” it said.

“It was underlined that it is necessary to move from the language of sanctions to the negotiating process as soon as possible,” the statement said, adding that it was Tillerson who initiated the call.

The UN Security Council on Friday slapped new sanctions on North Korea that will restrict oil supplies vital for its missile and nuclear programmes, the latest response to Pyongyang’s ICBM test last month.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it attacks the United States, while North Korea insists the world must now accept that it is a nuclear power.

Pyongyang has slammed the UN sanctions as an “act of war”.

Moscow has called for talks between North Korea and the United States, warning of a “risk of uncontrolled escalation”. Russia has also criticised Washington’s military drills with South Korea saying it provokes Pyongyang.

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