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How a stolen police badge raised concerns about Abdullah Shah and his connections with Edmonton police

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For more than three years, Edmonton police Det. Dan Behiels investigated notorious Edmonton landlord Abdullah Shah and some of his alleged accomplices. In January 2021, when the investigations concluded and no charges were laid, a frustrated Behiels took the extraordinary step of leaking the confidential investigative documents to CBC News. He is now suspended and facing disciplinary charges. CBC Edmonton’s new series — Behind the blue line: Investigating Abdullah Shah — digs into those documents and why Behiels decided to put his career on the line for them.

Part Four looks at Shah’s relationship with at least one former high-ranking police officer. 


It was during the investigation into Abdullah Shah as part of Project Fisk that now-suspended Edmonton police Det. Dan Behiels raised concerns about the connections between the notorious inner-city landlord and high-ranking police officials.

As Behiels dug deeper, he began to form the opinion that those connections might have prevented thorough criminal investigations.  

One particular relationship that raised concerns for him was between Shah, also known as Carmen Pervez, and now-retired Supt. Ed McIsaac.

Behiels formally raised those concerns twice with Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee, first in March 2019 and again in January 2021 after he leaked information to CBC News about the Fisk investigation.

“It is my belief that Supt. McIsaac has participated in a protracted relationship with Shah which has either impeded or otherwise prevented thorough criminal investigations where they otherwise have been warranted,” Behiels alleged in the March 22, 2019 report to McFee.

In an email to CBC News in August, McIsaac vehemently denied all of Behiels’ accusations, calling it a “theme designed by a suspended disgruntled employee.”

Ed McIsaac (left) at a 2016 news conference regarding a drug bust. (CBC)

When asked about the allegations, Shah’s lawyer suggested in an email to CBC News that Behiels had an “apparent vendetta” against McIsaac, and that the allegations about McIsaac undermine Behiels’ credibility and raise questions about his fitness for duty. 

“As far as my clients are aware, Ed McIsaac has always acted with integrity and any suggestion that any of my clients have benefitted from any ‘corruption’ or other improper conduct by Mr. McIsaac or any other EPS officer is blatantly untrue,” Erika Norheim wrote.

Lost police property found by Shah

Shah has been the subject of a number of EPS investigations. He is a well-known person in Edmonton’s inner city, where at one point he owned up to 100 properties. He has a criminal record going back to 1983, has served time for drug trafficking and for a $30-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme, and he currently is on probation after pleading guilty to paying people to assault his former employee last year. 

He also is recovering from being shot in the jaw in August, and faces a preliminary hearing next year on fentanyl trafficking charges.

Abdullah Shah has a criminal record that dates back to 1983. (Edmonton Police Service)

On March 8, 2019, during the Project Fisk investigation, Behiels discovered Shah and McIsaac had recently communicated with each other.

Nine days earlier, detectives had seized a cellphone as part of an investigation into allegations of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence — aggravated assault — levelled against Shah, Behiels wrote in his 2019 report to McFee.

The phone logs revealed that in mid-afternoon on Feb. 26, 2019, Shah called McIsaac and the two men spoke for just under two minutes. 

Five minutes later, Shah texted two images to McIsaac. The photos were of a police badge that had been reported stolen in November 2018 along with the affected officer’s police identification card. 

At the time the two men spoke, Shah was being actively investigated by police under Project Fisk.

“I don’t believe that [Shah] was aware there was an investigation. There was an investigative strategy,” McIsaac wrote to CBC News when asked about the phone calls and text messages.

“If [Shah] knew there was an investigation, he probably would have changed his communication process … If I did not answer his calls, he may have been suspicious.” 

Behiels showed the text messages and phone log to another detective who then approached McIsaac. A police report obtained by CBC News shows McIsaac told the detective he did not act on the information about the stolen property because he no longer worked in the downtown division. 

“I advised Mr. [Shah] that I was no longer in charge of downtown division, and if he had any information to assist the Edmonton Police Service, there were numerous other ways to report and communicate, and not to report through me,” McIsaac further explained to CBC News in a September email.  

Behiels wrote to McFee in his March 2019 report that he found it troubling that the phone messages between Shah and McIsaac didn’t prompt an immediate investigation into the discovery of the stolen badge.

The badge incident wasn’t the first time Shah had told police about found items. Between March 2017 and July 2018, Shah reported other found items to McIsaac, including a Transport Canada badge, explosives and a duffel bag of Edmonton fire department equipment.

When asked for an explanation, McIsaac told CBC News, “I believe Mr. [Shah] understood that certain pieces of property should be turned over to the Edmonton Police Service.”

Edmonton police turned down repeated requests for an interview with McFee but a spokesperson confirmed Behiels’ concerns led to investigations by two external law enforcement organizations. 

When CBC News asked McIsaac about his relationship with Shah, the retired officer said he was simply doing his job.

My role was to engage with the community– Retired Supt. Ed McIsaac

“While I was the superintendent in downtown division, my role was to engage with the community, foster professional relationships and assist the community ethically and professionally,” McIsaac wrote in a September email to CBC News. “Like numerous other citizens in the community, I had a professional relationship with [Shah] and to suggest anything more is incorrect.”

Repeated communication between Shah, police superintendent

Communications between Shah and McIsaac had previously come up in a different police investigation.

In November 2017, McIsaac authorized and supervised Project Domino, an undercover and wiretap operation into alleged drug activity by Shah and persons of interest. The superintendent approved staffing and the budget.

The wiretap on Shah’s cellphone revealed that on Nov. 29, 2017, McIsaac phoned Shah at 4:03 p.m. The call lasted 25 seconds.

That same day Shah called McIsaac another eight times between 4:57 p.m. and 7:21 p.m.

McIsaac called Shah twice in that same period.

All the calls lasted less than a minute. The final exchange was a phone call made by the police superintendent to Shah that lasted almost seven minutes.

Project Domino was suspended the next day. 

Edmonton police headquarters in downtown Edmonton. (Amber Bracken)

In his August email to CBC News, McIsaac said the project was put on hold after he sought expert advice on the admissibility of evidence. 

No charges were ever laid as part of Project Domino.

Edmonton police say that Behiels’ allegations against McIsaac were thoroughly investigated.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the province’s police watchdog, conducted a preliminary investigation into the allegations Behiels made about McIsaac in his 2019 report to McFee and determined they were not criminal.

ASIRT handed the file back to EPS.

“Given the nature of the allegations, the EPS felt it would be more appropriate for an outside agency to investigate,” Edmonton police spokesperson Cheryl Sheppard said in a written statement to CBC News.

EPS then asked the Calgary police anti-corruption unit to conduct a criminal investigation into McIsaac. 

McIsaac told CBC News he cooperated with the investigation and that he applauded the decision to have Calgary police conduct the probe.

“Regardless of how ludicrous the allegations are, the chief is always mandated to investigate,” McIsaac wrote. “There is no concern with any member raising concern on any other member’s conduct or behaviour.”

Ed McIsaac had a long career with the Edmonton Police Service. (Edmonton Police Service)

After 35 years with Edmonton police, McIsaac retired in August 2020. At the time, the Calgary police investigation was still ongoing. 

Five months later, with the Calgary police still investigating, Behiels repeated allegations against McIsaac in a January 2021 report to the chief and implicated others without naming them.

Behiels also alleged McIsaac’s relationship with Shah was noticed by other officers. 

“Officers conducting vehicle stops on [Shah] would often approach the driver’s window to find Pervez on the phone with, or threatening to call, McIsaac,” Behiels wrote in the January 2021 report.

An example of that kind of interaction was later noted in a May 2021 decision by the Law Enforcement Review Board (LERB), a quasi-judicial body which hears appeals about police decisions on complaints about the actions of police officers. It was looking into a complaint Shah lodged against a constable who pulled his vehicle over in February 2017.

“It is not disputed that Shah telephoned and was speaking with…McIsaac on his cellphone during part of the incident,” the LERB said in its decision. 

Sheppard said Behiels’ January 2021 allegations were passed along to the Calgary Police Service, and investigators questioned Behiels shortly afterwards.

On July 26, 2021, Behiels received a letter from Det. Keith Peters with the CPS anti-corruption unit, saying the investigation had concluded after more than two years. 

“An extensive and thorough investigation was conducted and found that the evidence did not support or meet the threshold for criminal charges,” Peters wrote.

“There will not be any additional investigative steps taken by the Calgary Police Service related to these concerns.”

No criminality or evidence of corruption–  EPS Spokesperson cheryl Sheppard

Four days later, EPS spokesperson Sheppard noted in an email to CBC News that the “extensive” investigation by Calgary police found “no criminality or evidence of corruption by the EPS and its members.” 

As a retired officer, McIsaac is no longer subject to any internal disciplinary investigation.

Behiels says he has more questions than answers.

“The threshold of criminal charges is very different than knowing what needs to be cleaned up,” Behiels said in an interview with CBC News. 

Complaints made by Shah against police

While Behiels was making internal allegations about McIsaac, Shah and his associates were filing formal complaints about Behiels and other Edmonton police officers. 

An exhibit log obtained by CBC News shows that between April 2015 and October 2019, Edmonton lawyer Erika Norheim filed 24 complaints on behalf of Shah and his associates or tenants against Edmonton police officers. 

Edmonton lawyer Erika Norheim filed two dozen complaints about EPS officers between 2015 and 2019 on behalf of Shah and his associates or tenants. (LinkedIn)

Of that number, seven named Behiels. None were made against McIsaac.

In his 2021 report to the police chief, Behiels alleged that in 2013, Shah “began using the EPS complaints process to frustrate investigations into his criminal enterprise.”

McIsaac told CBC News that Shah “had numerous complaints about the division,” and that as superintendent, he tried to stickhandle those situations.

“As the superintendent, I attempted to assist and did assist the division and the members through a number of [Shah’s] complaints,” McIsaac wrote in his August email. 

In April 2019, the Law Enforcement Review Board asked McFee to re-investigate one of the complaints against Behiels.

It was related to a January 2018 alleged trespassing and search of a garage without a warrant.

In the decision, the LERB noted that Shah “alleged this was part of a pattern of harassment by the EPS in relation to this property.”

The reinvestigation could result in a disciplinary charge being laid against Behiels; however, as of last week, Behiels said he has so far not been advised on the conclusion of the reinvestigation.

Shah’s lawyer, Erika Norheim, wrote a July 2019 email to an Edmonton Journal reporter: “Det. Behiels is also currently facing a disciplinary hearing in connection with an unlawful search of a residence” that was owned by one of Shah’s HPS associates.

In that email, Norheim suggested she was surprised the chief would allow Behiels to remain on files related to Shah. “It is evident that Det. Behiels bears animosity” toward Shah, she wrote. 

Behiels is also currently under investigation for leaking information to CBC News. He faces possible charges of insubordination, breach of trust and discreditable conduct.

Coming up tomorrow: Part Five: Civil lawsuits and the aftermath


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Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan | News

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan policeman opened fire on us with his AK-47, emptying 26 bullets into the back of the car. Seven slammed into me, and at least as many into my colleague, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus. She died at my side.

Anja weighed heavy against my shoulder. I tried to look at her but I couldn’t move. I looked down; all I could see was what looked like a stump where my left hand had been. I could barely whisper, “Please help us.”

Our driver raced us to a small local hospital in Khost, siren on. I tried to stay calm, thinking over and over: “Don’t be afraid. Don’t die afraid. Just breathe.”

At the hospital, Dr. Abdul Majid Mangal said he would have to operate and tried to reassure me. His words are forever etched in my heart: “Please know your life is as important to me as it is to you.”

Much later, as I recovered in New York during a process that would turn out to eventually require 18 operations, an Afghan friend called from Kabul. He wanted to apologize for the shooting on behalf of all Afghans.

I said the shooter didn’t represent a nation, a people. My mind returned to Dr. Mangal – for me, it was him who represented Afghanistan and Afghans.

I have reported on Afghanistan for the AP for the past 35 years, during an extraordinary series of events and regime changes that have rocked the world. Through it all, the kindness and resilience of ordinary Afghans has shone through – which is also what has made it so painful to watch the slow erosion of their hope.

I have always been amazed at how Afghans stubbornly hung on to hope against all odds, greeting each of several new regimes with optimism. But by 2018, a Gallup poll showed that the fraction of people in Afghanistan with hope in the future was the lowest ever recorded anywhere.

It didn’t have to be this way.

I arrived in Afghanistan in 1986, in the middle of the Cold War. It seems a lifetime ago. It is.

Then, the enemy attacking Afghanistan was the communist former Soviet Union, dubbed godless by United States President Ronald Reagan. The defenders were the U.S.-backed religious mujahedeen, defined as those who engage in holy war, championed by Reagan as freedom fighters.

Reagan even welcomed some mujahedeen leaders to the White House. Among his guests was Jalaluddin Haqqani, the father of the current leader of the Haqqani network, who in today’s world is a declared terrorist.

At that time, the God versus communism message was strong. The University of Nebraska even crafted an anti-communist curriculum to teach English to the millions of Afghan refugees living in camps in neighboring Pakistan. The university made the alphabet simple: J was for Jihad or holy war against the communists; K was for the Kalashnikov guns used in jihad, and I was for Infidel, which described the communists themselves.

There was even a math program. The questions went something like: If there were 10 communists and you killed five, how many would you have left?

When I covered the mujahedeen, I spent a lot of time and effort on being stronger, walking longer, climbing harder and faster. At one point, I ran out of a dirty mud hut with them and hid under a nearby cluster of trees. Just minutes later, Russian helicopter gunships flew low, strafed the trees and all but destroyed the hut.

The Russians withdrew in 1989 without a win. In 1992, the mujahedeen took power.

Ordinary Afghans hoped fervently that the victory of the mujahedeen would mean the end of war. They also to some degree welcomed a religious ideology that was more in line with their largely conservative country than communism.

But it wasn’t long before the mujahedeen turned their guns on each other.

The fighting was brutal, with the mujahedeen pounding the capital, Kabul, from the hills. Thrice the AP lost its equipment to thieving warlords, only to be returned after negotiations with the top warlord. One day I counted as many as 200 incoming and outgoing rockets inside of minutes.

The bloodletting of the mujahedeen-cum government ministers-cum warlords killed upward of 50,000 people. I saw a 5-year-old girl killed by a rocket as she stepped out of her house. Children by the scores lost limbs to booby traps placed by mujahedeen as they departed neighborhoods.

I stayed on the front line with a woman and her two small children in the Macroyan housing complex during the heaviest rocketing. Her husband, a former communist government employee, had fled, and she lived by making and selling bread each day with her children.

She opened her home to me even though she had so little. All night we stayed in the one room without windows. She asked me if I would take her son to Pakistan the next day, but in the end could not bear to see him go.

Only months after my visit, they were killed by warlords who wanted their apartment.

Despite the chaos of the time, Afghans still had hope.

In the waning days of the warring mujahedeen’s rule, I attended a wedding in Kabul where both the wedding party and guests were coiffed and downright glamorous. When asked how she managed to look so good with so little amid the relentless rocketing, one young woman replied brightly, “We’re not dead yet!”

The wedding was delayed twice because of rockets.

The Taliban had by then emerged. They were former mujahedeen and often Islamic clerics who had returned to their villages and their religious schools after 1992. They came together in response to the relentless killing and thieving of their former comrades-in-arms.

By mid-1996, the Taliban were on Kabul’s doorstep, with their promise of burqas for women and beards for men. Yet Afghans welcomed them. They hoped the Taliban would at least bring peace.

When asked about the repressive restrictions of the Taliban, one woman who had worked for an international charity said: “If I know there is peace and my child will be alive, I will wear the burqa.”

Peace did indeed come to Afghanistan, at least of sorts. Afghans could leave their doors unlocked without fear of being robbed. The country was disarmed, and travel anywhere in Afghanistan at any time of the day or night was safe.

But Afghans soon began to see their peace as a prison. The Taliban’s rule was repressive. Public punishments such as chopping off hands and rules that denied girls school and women work brought global sanctions and isolation. Afghans got poorer.

The Taliban leader at the time was the reclusive Mullah Mohammad Omar, rumored to have removed his own eye after being wounded in a battle against invading Soviet soldiers. As international sanctions crippled Afghanistan, Omar got closer to al-Qaida, until eventually the terrorist group became the Taliban’s only source of income.

By 2001, al-Qaida’s influence was complete. Despite a pledge from Omar to safeguard them, Afghanistan’s ancient statues of Buddha were destroyed, in an order reportedly from Osama bin Laden himself.

Then came the seismic shock of 9/11.

Many Afghans mourned the American deaths so far away. Few even knew who bin Laden was. But the country was now squarely a target in the eyes of the United States. Amir Shah, AP’s longtime correspondent, summed up what most Afghans were thinking at the time: “America will set Afghanistan on fire.”

After 9/11, the Taliban threw all foreigners out of Afghanistan, including me. The U.S.-led coalition assault began on Oct. 7, 2001.

By Oct. 23, I was back in Kabul, the only Western journalist to see the last weeks of Taliban rule. The powerful B-52 bombers of the U.S. pounded the hills and even landed in the city.

On Nov. 12 that year, a 2,000-pound bomb landed on a house near the AP office. It threw me across the room and blew out window and door frames. Glass shattered and sprayed everywhere.

By sunrise the next day, the Taliban were gone from Kabul.

Afghanistan’s next set of rulers marched into the city, brought by the powerful military might of the U.S.-led coalition.

The mujahedeen were back.

The U.S. and U.N. returned them to power even though some among them had brought bin Laden from Sudan to Afghanistan in 1996, promising him a safe haven. The hope of Afghans went through the roof, because they believed the powerful U.S. would help them keep the mujahedeen in check.

With more than 40 countries involved in their homeland, they believed peace and prosperity this time was most certainly theirs. Foreigners were welcome everywhere.

Some Afghans worried about the returning mujahedeen, remembering the corruption and fighting when they last were in power. But America’s representative at the time, Zalmay Khalilzad, told me that the mujahedeen had been warned against returning to their old ways.

Yet worrying signs began to emerge. The revenge killings began, and the U.S.-led coalition sometimes participated without knowing the details. The mujahedeen would falsely identify enemies – even those who had worked with the U.S. before – as belonging to al-Qaida or to the Taliban.

One such mistake happened early in December 2001 when a convoy was on its way to meet the new President Hamid Karzai. The U.S.-led coalition bombed it because they were told the convoy bore fighters from the Taliban and al-Qaida. They turned out to be tribal elders.

Secret prisons emerged. Hundreds of Afghan men disappeared. Families became desperate.

Resentment soared especially among the ethnic Pashtuns, who had been the backbone of the Taliban. One former Taliban member proudly displayed his new Afghan identity card and wanted to start a water project in his village. But corrupt government officials extorted him for his money, and he returned to the Taliban.

A deputy police chief in southern Zabul province told me of 2,000 young Pashtun men, some former Taliban, who wanted to join the new government’s Afghan National Army. But they were mocked for their ethnicity, and eventually all but four went to the mountains and joined the Taliban.

In the meantime, corruption seemed to reach epic proportions, with suitcases of money, often from the CIA, handed off to Washington’s Afghan allies. Yet schools were built, roads were reconstructed and a new generation of Afghans, at least in the cities, grew up with freedoms their parents had not known and in many cases looked on with suspicion.

Then came the shooting in 2014 that would change my life.

It began as most days do in Afghanistan: Up before 6 a.m. This day we were waiting for a convoy of Afghan police and military to leave the eastern city of Khost for a remote region to distribute the last of the ballot boxes for Afghanistan’s 2014 presidential elections.

After 30 minutes navigating past blown-out bridges and craters that pockmarked the road, we arrived at a large police compound. For more than an hour, Anja and I talked with and photographed about a dozen police officials.

We finished our work just as a light drizzle began. We got into the car and waited to leave for a nearby village. That’s when the shooting happened.

It was two years before I was able to return to work and to Afghanistan.

By that point, the disappointment and disenchantment with America’s longest war had already set in. Despite the U.S. spending over $148 billion on development alone over 20 years, the percentage of Afghans barely surviving at the poverty level was increasing yearly.

In 2019, Pakistan began accepting visa applications at its consulate in eastern Afghanistan. People were so desperate to leave that nine died in a stampede.

In 2020, the U.S. and the Taliban signed a deal for troops to withdraw within 18 months. The U.S. and NATO began to evacuate their staff, closing down embassies and offering those who worked for them asylum.

The mass closure of embassies was baffling to me because the Taliban had made no threats, and it sparked panic in Kabul. It was the sudden and secret departure of President Ashraf Ghani that finally brought the Taliban back into the city on Aug. 15, 2021.

Their swift entry came as a surprise, along with the thorough collapse of the neglected Afghan army, beset by deep corruption. The Taliban’s rapid march toward Kabul fed a rush toward the airport.

For many in the Afghan capital, the only hope left lay in getting out.

Fida Mohammad, a 24-year-old dentist, was desperate to leave for the U.S. so he could earn enough money to repay his father’s debt of $13,000 for his elaborate marriage. He clung to the wheels of the departing US C-17 aircraft on Aug. 16 and died.

Zaki Anwari, a 17-year-old footballer, ran to get on the plane. He dreamed only of football, and believed his dream could not come true in Afghanistan. He was run over by the C-17.

Now the future in Afghanistan is even more uncertain. Scores of people line up outside the banks to try to get their money out. Hospitals are short of medicine. The Taliban hardliners seem to have the upper hand, at least in the short term.

Afghans are left to face the fact that the entire world came to their country in 2001 and spent billions, and still couldn’t bring them prosperity or even the beginnings of prosperity. That alone has deeply eroded hope for the future.

I leave Afghanistan with mixed feelings, sad to see how its hope has been destroyed but still deeply moved by its 38 million people. The Afghans I met sincerely loved their country, even if it is now led by elderly men driven by tribal traditions offensive to a world that I am not sure ever really understood Afghanistan.

Most certainly, though, I will be back.


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Red notice to be issued to bring back Farah Khan: Attaullah Tarar – Pakistan

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PML-N’s Attaullah Tarar on Sunday announced plans for seeking “red warrants” to bring Farhat Shahzadi — also known as Farah Khan and a close aide of PTI chief Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi — back to Pakistan.

A red notice is an international request sent to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) seeking the arrest and extradition of an individual.

Farah reportedly left the country following Imran’s ouster from power. She has since been named in several cases that have been opened against her by investigators.

Just two days ago, the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment booked Farah and her mother and arrested two others in a case concerning the allegedly illegal allotment of two industrial plots, measuring 10 acres, to a company owned by her.

The plots were allotted on a subsidised rate offered by the government that was Rs83m but their market value was about Rs600m.

In April, NAB authorised an inquiry against her on allegations of accumulating “illegal assets beyond known sources of income, money laundering, and maintaining various accounts in the name of businesses”.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore alongside Punjab Law Minister Malik Ahmed Khan, Tarar took aim at the former premier’s wife and played an audio clip featuring an alleged conversation between Bushra Bibi and PTI’s social media head Arsalan Khalid, in which the former issues instructions to the latter on labelling political opponents as “traitors”.

Tarar said the Ministry of Interior had already been communicated with about the issuance of “red warrants”.

He also said Farah had sent him a Rs6 billion legal notice, claiming her name was Farhat Shahzadi and she was wrongly referred to as “Gogi” by him during press talks.

He said Imran should call Farah back to the country if he had a firm belief that she was innocent. “I must say here that Imran is not bringing her back here because she and her husband will become approvers within an hour of their arrest,” Tarar claimed.

The PML-N leader accused the former prime minister of committing corruption through Farah, who, he said, was responsible for all “dealings”.

Tarar informed the journalists that Farah obtained an industrial plot in Faisalabad Special Economic Zone for Rs83 million against its market value of Rs600m. “Farah, her mother Bushra Khan and (Farah’s husband) Ahsan Jamil Gujjar are involved in this deal.”

He insisted that the case would not drag for long, saying “it is an open and shut case.”

Tarar said a “troika” of Farah, her husband — and Bushra Bibi — would sit together after hours at the Prime Minister’s House and “wheel and deal”.

“Imran is not an ordinary man. His corruption stories are now surfacing and a lot more will be unearthed in the days to come,” Tarar claimed.

He said those calling the former premier frugal and honest “must sit with him and talk about the industrial plot issue”, which he said “cannot be justified in any form”.

Tarar claimed Imran started “criticising the army once his corruption cases surfaced”.

PTI’s Shahbaz Gill, in a press conference later, dismissed the alleged audio as “fake”, saying the “script” was written by fools.

Shahzadi’s counsel Azhar Siddique said legal action was being taken against Tarar’s press conference and a defamation suit would be filed soon.

‘Provide evidence of institutional backing’

Earlier, Malik Ahmed Khan cast aspersions on the former premier’s allegations against the government, saying he must furnish evidence if he had any regarding the alleged backing of institutions to the PML-N.

The PTI chief, in his speech at the Parade Ground yesterday, claimed that rigging could take place during the upcoming by-polls in Punjab as “the umpires” stand on the government’s side.

“We have 20 by-elections [coming up] in Punjab. The only way they can win is through rigging. The people are against them, [but] the umpires are with them,” he had said. “We have to defeat these thieves despite their umpires.”

To this, the Punjab law minister said: “Pakistan is threatened by an internal conspiracy hatched by Imran Khan as we have no threats of an external conspiracy.”

Malik accused the former PTI government and Imran Khan of transferring “billions of rupees” from digital media wing accounts to retired servicemen, who according to him, were working for the PTI’s social media teams.

He was of the view that Imran will have to be answerable for “every wrong he has committed”.

Malik referred to Bushra Bibi as “Pinky Peerni”, asking whether it was possible for her to commit financial irregularities with the approval of Imran.

He emphasised that the government would also defeat the PTI in the by-elections in 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly. “We will win at least 19 of the total seats,” the PML-N leader claimed.

When asked whether his party still held critical views about the army as they held during the elections, Malik said: “Our criticism of the army was political and it was based on interference in [2018] elections. And we had evidence for it.”

In response to another query, the provincial law minister said the allegations of Toshakhana against ex-PM Nawaz Sharif were “baseless”. He said any prime minister was entitled to get a vehicle from Toshakana by paying its amount.

According to a reference filed by an accountability court, Nawaz as well as former president and co-chairperson of PPP Asif Ali Zardari had obtained cars from Toshakhana by paying only 15 per cent of the price of the luxury vehicles. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had alleged that ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Zardari and Nawaz by “dishonestly” and “illegally” relaxing the procedure for the acceptance and disposal of gifts vide a cabinet division memorandum of 2007.

Malik said Imran would sing praises of army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa when he was in the government. “I can show several interviews of him wherein he is commending the army.”

However, when he lost his government due to a no-trust motion, he started ‘targeting” Gen Bajwa for “not saving his government”, the law minister added. He lashed out at the former PM, saying Imran hurled allegations at all his opponents while he himself “remained involved in corruption”.

“He sold watches for Rs180 million and also took along almost all gifts from the Toshkhana,” the minister alleged, calling Imran Khan “Tosha Khan”.


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Tit-for-tat corruption allegations between ANC and DA at Theewaterskloof Municipality

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This article first appeared in the 1 July 2022 edition of the Cape Argus newspaper.

Cape Town – The ANC in Theewaterskloof Municipality has accused DA councillors of covering-up allegations of corruption and other wrongdoing against senior DA members and officials on the council, and using the Local Government MEC Anton Bredell’s office to fight their battles.

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Theewaterskloof council’s ANC whip Raymond Nongxaza said the ANC would lodge a formal complaint with the police about corruption at the municipality involving the previous DA-led administration and cadre deployment.

Nongxaza singled out former Mayco member and current DA constituency chairperson Martie Koegelenberg, whom he accused of overstepping her powers and attempting to influence the processes at the municipality.

Both the ANC and the DA are engaged in tit-for-tat allegations of corruption in Theewaterskloof Municipality with each party accusing members of the other of corrupt activities.

On Monday, Koegelenberg accused ANC Mayco members on the council of spending more than R4.3 million on VIP security, claiming their lives had been threatened.

She said: “This expenditure was not authorised by the council. We do note that the matter is on the council agenda, but it has not yet been served in any council sitting, because an investigation into the matter must still be concluded.”

In May, MEC Bredell wrote to the municipality giving officials there a deadline to respond to a letter in which he informed them that he was in possession of damaging information and gave them a chance to respond.

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The allegations against the municipality in Bredell’s letter, which were leaked on social media, were about the payment of acting allowances to municipal staffers, the irregular appointment of nine people and the suspension of deputy director of finance Francois van der Westhuizen as well as that of supply chain management manager Ashley Hendricks.

At the time, mayor Kallie Papier took issue with the leaking of Bredell’s letter and said it was a concern as it created distrust between the municipality and the department.

“As I respect the processes and rights of the municipality and its employees, I will not comment on the recent suspensions of staff members.”

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