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The Times of India
IPL: All-round Rashid stars as Sunrisers Hyderabad enter final
Fri, 25 May 2018 17:52:03 GMT
An all-round show from Rashid Khan saw Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 13 runs in the second Qualifier of the Indian Premier League 2018 at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Chasing 175, KKR managed 161/9 in a see-saw affair in front of a packed stadium with SRH setting up title clash with Chennai Super Kings on Sunday. more...
Summit with Kim may still happen, says Trump
Fri, 25 May 2018 14:08:14 GMT
US President Donald Trump said on Friday it was possible a planned summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un could still take place on June 12 as originally planned. more...
K'taka CM promises 'new kind' of coalition govt
Fri, 25 May 2018 10:00:48 GMT
Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy said neither he nor the Deve Gowda family ever hankered after power, and pointed out that they had spent much of their political life in the opposition. more...
When and why Mark Zuckerberg said sorry
Fri, 25 May 2018 12:49:42 GMT
HDK wins trust vote in K'taka amid BJP walkout
Fri, 25 May 2018 10:21:21 GMT
Indian woman's death led to referendum in Ireland
Fri, 25 May 2018 11:19:44 GMT
8.55% interest on PF for 2017-18, lowest in 5 yrs
Fri, 25 May 2018 14:45:28 GMT
Army orders court of inquiry against Major Gogoi
Fri, 25 May 2018 10:53:18 GMT
The Army has ordered court of inquiry against Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, who was briefly detained by police in Srinagar on May 23 after an altercation when he was allegedly trying to enter a hotel with an 18-year-old woman. more...
'Pakistan must stop sending terrorists into J&K'
Fri, 25 May 2018 10:31:29 GMT
The suspension of combat operations in Jammu and Kashmir can be extended further if the atmosphere of peace continues in the state, but any action by terrorists would trigger a rethink immediately, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Friday. more...
Videocon case: Sebi notice to Chanda Kochhar
Fri, 25 May 2018 11:46:48 GMT
Appropriate response would be submitted to the Sebi, the country's largest private bank said in a stock exchange filing. more...
New governors appointed for Odisha, Mizoram
Fri, 25 May 2018 16:33:59 GMT
Apple's $539m win over Samsung: 12 things to know
Fri, 25 May 2018 09:55:09 GMT
CBSE 12th Result 2018 to be out tomorrow
Fri, 25 May 2018 12:26:08 GMT
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is all set to declare its Class 12 results on May 26, 2018 Saturday, tomorrow. more...
India among top 3 targets for phishing: Report
Fri, 25 May 2018 09:45:29 GMT
US to soon decide on fate of H-1B spouses
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:39:26 GMT
Watch: How it feels to ride a driverless car
Fri, 25 May 2018 09:51:53 GMT
TOI hopped on to an autonomous vehicle on the sidelines of the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany. Watch the video to find out what happened/ how it went. more...
Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, sex crimes
Fri, 25 May 2018 13:09:11 GMT
​​Police announced in a brief statement that at the downtown Manhattan station, Harvey Weinstein was "arrested, processed and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women." more...
Stocks surge over 41% during 4 yrs of Modi govt
Fri, 25 May 2018 12:41:42 GMT
The Dawn News - Home
Senate approves KP-Fata merger bill by 71-5 majority
Fri, 25 May 2018 13:53:31 +0500
'Parliament failed to act on reforms on its own'Passing the bill in KP AssemblyThe constitution amendment bill for the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formally known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Reforms Bill, passed in the Senate on Friday by an overwhelming 71-5 vote. The bill had already been passed by the lower house a day earlier after receiving support from both the treasury and opposition benches. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, who rarely attends NA sessions, also participated in the historic vote which was opposed by government allies Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) who chose to walk out. The only votes against the bill, presented in the Senate today by Law Minister Chaudhry Bashir Virk, came from from PkMAP while JUI-F chose to walk out again. Soon after the announcement of the results, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani greeted the nation in general and Fata people in particular over passage of the historic bill. Read: Integrating Fata Before the bill was tabled, Leader of the Opposition Sherry Rehman acknowledged the democratic right of those opposing the bill. She said Fata mainstreaming was the dream of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who had first formed a committee on the issue in 1970s. Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto had also moved the Supreme Court on the matter, she said. Rehman also denied the impression that the bill was being passed at someone's behest. She said that the people of Fata were demanding basic rights and that the responsibility of ensuring that now lies with the KP Assemly whose nod would be required before the bill is signed by the president into a law. Historic day as #FATAMergerBill passes in the Senate today by 2/3 majority defeating its 5 opponents with 71 votes in favour. The pace of reform is now in the hands of the KP assembly.We owed this to FATA for too https://t.co/LlcXF187n2 least now the same laws should apply to all— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) May 25, 2018 PkMAP Senator Usman Kakar said both yesterday and today were black days because the bill was passed by the lower and upper houses. He regretted that in the past Fata was used as a base camp for the war in Afghanistan, adding that the people of Fata hated terrorism and the terrorists in the area had arrived from outside. Before staging the walkout, JUI-F Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri objected that the status of Fata was being changed without seeking consent of the people of Fata. Haideri said that his party believed that Fata had a separate status and claimed that a decision was being imposed on its people. 'Parliament failed to act on reforms on its own' Senator Raza Rabbani insisted that the initiative for the bill was not taken by the parliament on its own. He said that when former president Asif Ali Zardari was about to announce Fata reforms, he was prevented from doing so by "certain forces" who did not want the merger back then. "But when the intentions of some forces change, the parliament follows suit," Rabbani said. He said the merger had not been possible despite several attempts by the parliament but it happened after a corps commanders conference and the National Security Council talked about it. He said that it was unfortunate that the parliament was unable to act on Fata reforms from within and was told from outside to do so. "Yet it is a positive move that should have happened earlier," he said. Rabbani also opposed the rising calls for new provinces to be made on administrative grounds. "We will not allow for administrative units to be created," Rabbani said, clarifying that provinces have their unique ethnicities, cultures, languages and histories. "A province cannot be made until these ingredients are present." The bill had required 69 votes in the house of 104 to be passed by two-thirds majority. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas represent the gateway to the plains of the subcontinent through seven passes: Bajaur, Dir, Khyber, Mohmand, Peiwar Kotal in Kurram Agency, the Bolan Pass and Gomal in South Waziristan. The long-awaited mainstreaming of the tribal areas has been in the works for four years. Passing the bill in KP Assembly Another daunting task for the political leadership is to get the bill passed with a two-thirds vote in the KP Assembly before the expiry of its term on May 28, three days before the National Assembly’s dissolution. As per Article 239(4) of the Constitution, the president cannot assent a constitutional amendment bill which affects geographical boundaries of a province without approval by the assembly of that province. Article 239(4) of the Constitution reads, “A bill to amend the Constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a province shall not be presented to the president for assent unless it has been passed by the provincial assembly of that province by the votes of not less than two-thirds of its total membership.” If the bill does not get through the KP Assembly, then the fate of Fata merger will be in the hands of new representatives to be elected in the coming general elections. Even after its passage from the National Assembly and the Senate, the president will have to wait to give his assent till the installation of the new assembly. more...
US envoys treated badly in Pakistan, Pompeo tells Congress
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:58:58 +0500
WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has informed the Congress that American officials are treated badly in Pakistan, adding that Washington released “far fewer funds” to Pakistan in 2018 and may give even less next year. The decision to raise the issue of mistreatment of US officials in Pakistan during a public hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee indicates that Islamabad’s once close relationship with Washington has almost ended and Pakistan is now treated as an adversary. “My officers, our state department officers are being treated badly as well, folks working in the embassies and councils [and] in other places are not being treated well by the Pakistani government either,” said Mr Pompeo during a debate on the US State Department’s budget requests for the next fiscal year. While the discussion focused on Iran, North Korea and other urgent issues, Congressman Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, brought Pakistan into the debate, saying: “As to Pakistan, it is a country of great importance to us and…I hope the state department would do public diplomacy in the Sindhi language and I hope that you would reach out to the leaders of Pakistan about the disappearances in Sindh and the forced disappearances [in other areas].” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, later noted that the Trump administration’s budget request for the next year had no increase for Pakistan. “I don’t see any reason whatsoever to give the government of Pakistan any money…in terms of our foreign aid until Dr [Shakil] Afridi, the man who helped us bring justice to Osama bin Laden [is released],” he said. “Our Pakistani friends have proven their friendship by keeping them in a dungeon in Afghanistan,” he added with a sarcastic note. Secretary Pompeo informed him that the administration had “released far fewer funds” in 2018 than in the previous year. “The remainder of the funds available are under review. My guess is that that number will be smaller still,” he said. He said that in his previous role as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), he “worked diligently [but] unsuccessfully” on the issue of Dr Afridi. “Please be aware that it’s at my heart and I know it’s important and we can do that. We can achieve that outcome,” he added. Congressman Rohrabacher, who, like Mr Sherman, often works with Pakistani dissident groups in Washington, went back to the issue of forced disappearances. “And it’s getting worse in Pakistan. These people in Karachi and the Sindhis and the others, they’re now facing these, you know, people who are killing their leaders or killing their people who believe in certain things that are different than the radical Islamic philosophy of some of the people in the Pakistani government,” he said. Secretary Pompeo raised the issue of mistreatment of US officials in Pakistan while responding to Mr Rohrabacher’s remarks, claiming that Pakistan was meting out a similar treatment of American diplomats as well. It is “a real problem that we need to take the measure of also,” he said. Earlier this month, the United States ordered Pakistani diplomats in Washington to remain within a 25-mile radius of the city, indicating that it was in retaliation for similar restrictions on US diplomats in Islamabad and other Pakistani cities. Thomas Suozzi, a New York Democrat, asked the secretary who would be his main point person on Afghanistan and Pakistan. “We have a number of people. We have Ms [Alice] Wells working on it, we have in our ambassador in Kabul, Ambassador Bass, we have our master in Islamabad, Ambassador Hail, each of whom is working on implementing” the administration’s South Asia strategy, he said, indicating that he had no plan to appoint a new person. Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018 more...
'Hussain Nawaz real beneficial owner of Nielsen and Nescoll,' Maryam testifies in court
Fri, 25 May 2018 13:35:56 +0500
Maryam Nawaz told the accountability court on Friday that the trust deeds related to the offshore companies Nielsen and Nescoll were original but the Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had deliberately declared them false in order to name her and her husband Captain Safdar in the Avenfield properties reference. Maryam continued her testimony in the reference for a second consecutive day today under Section 342 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and pointed out what she said were several flaws in the way the trust deeds were examined. At the outset, PML-N quaid Nawaz Sharif's daughter confirmed the statements her brother Hussain had made in interviews given to some media outlets, and said that he was the real beneficial owner of the British Virgin Islands offshore companies Nielsen and Nescoll, which held the Avenfield apartments. Maryam testified that she had "produced two declarations of trust deeds certified by the notary public as true and exact copies of original". Read more: Falsified documents used to mislead SC on Mayfair apartments: JIT report Regarding the engagement of the services of forensic expert Robert M. Radley — who in his report stated that the trust deeds were false and fabricated — she said that the Supreme Court, in its order of April 20, "never directed the JIT to make me and my husband a part of its investigation". "The JIT decided on its own — without any reference of an SC order — to procure the so-called expert opinion on the trust deeds with mala fide intentions." Maryam further said that the forensic expert was engaged by Akhtar Riaz Raja, who happened to be a first cousin of JIT head Wajid Zia. There is no plausible reason as to why Radley's services were engaged through Raja when the said expert could have been engaged by the JIT through the Foreign Office as Zia had admitted during cross-examination, Maryam said, adding, "In fact, services were engaged through Raja to procure an utterly false and manipulated report which suits the designs of the JIT — to implicate me and my husband in the case." Regarding the use of Calibri font — which, according to Radley, was not commercially available in February 2006 when the trust deed was signed — Maryam testified that Radley "during his cross-examination admitted that there was a pre-release of Window Vista Beta-1 version, which was available in April 2005, with subsequent versions in September and October 2005." During her testimony, Maryam also said that her grandfather Mian Muhammad Sharif looked after the entire family, provided them expenses and even fixed pocket money for each family member. more...
Imran Khan praised me, says PTI's Naeemul Haque after justifying Daniyal Aziz slap
Fri, 25 May 2018 13:52:12 +0500
Under-fire Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader (PTI) Naeemul Haque who earlier this week lost his temper on a TV show and slapped PML-N's Daniyal Aziz said on Thursday that party chief Imran Khan had lauded his move. Haque and Aziz, in an appearance on Geo TV's 'Aapas Ki Baat' programme at the Islamabad studio, traded barbs when some remarks made by Aziz apparently infuriated Haque, who then slapped the privatisation minister. A video clip shows the PTI leader slapping Aziz, saying: "How dare you [Aziz] call me a thief, you should be ashamed of yourself." Aziz appeared visibly stunned after the incident. In a video shared by Dunya News on Twitter, Haque said: "This person (Aziz) attacked Imran Khan's character ─ and he kept doing it, and then lying, and when he called me a thief, slapping him was a natural response," he explained. "Imran Khan praised it, saying that I did the right thing because he had been spitting venom for a long time." "All the PTI's supporters have lauded the move," he added. #PTI Chief #ImranKhan has also praised me for slapping #DaniyalAziz: #NaeemulHaq@naeemul_haque @PTIofficial #DunyaNews #DunyaVideos @DaniyalNA116 #DunyaUpdates pic.twitter.com/jpZHA0bEq5— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) May 25, 2018 Shortly after Haque's statements in the Dunya News video were reported, the PTI leader took to Twitter to defend his remarks, saying: "Contrary to what some media is projecting, Imran Khan never appreciated the slap but commended me for countering the abusive and false onslaught of Daniyal. Imran Khan never encourages [the] use of violence anywhere anytime." Contrary to what some media is projecting IK never appreciated the slap but commended me for countering the abusive and false onslaught of Danial. IK never encourages use of violence anywhere anytime.— Naeem ul Haque (@naeemul_haque) May 25, 2018 Haque came under fire for the slap from a number of political leaders and commentators. This is not the first time he has been involved in a physical altercation while appearing on TV. In 2011, the PTI leader threw a glass at PPP's Jameel Soomro after the former allegedly hurled verbal abuse against him. Aziz, while commenting on the incident, said that the general attitude of PTI leaders is very intolerant. "They cannot tolerate criticism and resort to violence." He added later that it was a "pre-planned move" by Haque and the PTI to provoke him, and that it reflected frustration in the PTI and among its "handlers". more...
Pakistan woman flies back to Italy after forced abortion
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:58:58 +0500
Italy’s foreign minister tweeted a picture of Farah after her arrival at the ambassador’s residence in Islamabad. ROME: Italy’s foreign minister proudly announced the return to the country on Thursday of a Pakistani woman who it claimed had been taken by her family to Pakistan to have an abortion against her will after she got pregnant by her Italian boyfriend. The case of young Farah attracted a lot of interest in Italy following the recent strangulation in Pakistan of Sana Cheema, an Italian of Pakistani origin who police suspect was killed by her family because she refused an arranged marriage. Farah, 19, didn’t have Italian citizenship, only a residency permit. Nevertheless, the foreign ministry activated Italy’s embassy in Islamabad after Verona authorities heard from Farah’s friends that she had been tricked into going home and was forced to have an abortion. Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano tweeted on Thursday that Farah was safely back in Italy, and he thanked Pakistani authorities who had removed Farah from her family’s home in a Lahore area and brought her to the Italian embassy in Islamabad. Italian politicians join hands to express solidarity with Farah Alfano had previously said that Italy acted in Farah’s defence as a matter of respecting her human rights and “fundamental rights based on the equality of men and women.” According to Italian news reports, Farah managed to sneak text and audio messages to her friends in Italy, recounting that her parents had tricked her into returning to Pakistan for her brother’s wedding and then forced her to abort her child. She wrote of being afraid for her life. Once in the embassy, Italy arranged for Farah’s Pakistani passport to be renewed as her family had destroyed the one she travelled with and issued her a visa to return to Italy. Farah’s case prompted an outpouring of solidarity from Italian politicians from across the political spectrum eager to prevent a repetition of the Cheema case. Verona’s social services office, which had received complaints from Farah previously about her abusive father, guaranteed her needs would be met and safety ensured. Left-leaning lawmaker Laura Boldrini, the former house speaker, praised Farah for raising her voice and “making us understand that when a woman rebels against those who want to oppress her, she will never be left alone”. Right-wing leader Giorgia Meloni, who has demanded a harsher crackdown on illegal immigrants, went so far as to call for Italy to grant Farah citizenship. Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018 more...
Shafiq, Azam learn wearable gadgets on cricket field is not a 'smart' idea
Fri, 25 May 2018 14:23:37 +0500
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit (ACU) on Thursday told Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam to not wear smartwatches during matches as doing so is prohibited under the Player and Match Officials Area (PMOA) Regulations, DawnNewsTV reported. The duo were seen sporting wearable gadgets on day one of Pakistan's opening Test against England despite clear ICC rules in this regard. They were given the directives by the officials of the governing body's ACU following the end of day's play; Pakistan Cricket Board's ACU officials were also present during the meeting. "Communications devices are prohibited within the PMOA and no player is allowed to be in possession of or use a communications device which is connected to the internet whilst there," the ICC later stated in a press release. "Smart watches in any way connected to a phone or WI-FI or in any way capable of receiving communications are not allowed and as such we will be reminding players that such devices must be surrendered along with their mobile devices on arrival at the ground on match days," it added. more...
Samsung directed to pay Apple $533m for copying iPhone design
Fri, 25 May 2018 17:39:25 +0500
Long legal roadTechnology vs StyleA federal court jury on Thursday ordered Samsung to pay Apple $533 million for copying iPhone design features in a patent case dating back seven years. Jurors tacked on an additional $5 million in damages for a pair of patented functions. The award appeared to be a bit of a victory for Apple, which had argued in court that design was essential to the iPhone. The case was keenly watched as a precedent for whether design is so important that it could actually be considered the "article of design" even in a product as complex as a smartphone. "We don't think it is supported by the evidence," Samsung attorney John Quinn told US District Court Judge Lucy Koh after the verdict was read in her courtroom in Silicon Valley. "We have every concern about the determinations about the article of manufacture." Quinn declined an offer by the judge to send jurors back for further deliberation, saying Samsung would pursue post-trial motions to address its concerns about the verdict. Juror Christine Calderon said the panel agreed that one of the design patents — the grid of colored icons — did represent the whole phone, while the other two at issue in the trial were seen as the display assembly that gave the iPhone its look. She compared it to the Mona Lisa: "You use the paint, but it is not the article of manufacture." "I had to really think about it," the 26-year-old Calderon, a technical writer, said after Koh dismissed the jury. "We kind of felt like we ended up at a happy medium." Long legal road The case had been sent back to the district court following a Supreme Court decision to revisit an earlier $400 million damage award. Apple reasoned in court that design was so integral to the iPhone that it was the "article of manufacture" and worth all the money Samsung made by copying the features. The lower figure sought by the South Korean consumer electronics titan would have involved treating the design features as components. The jury had been asked to determine whether design features at issue in the case are worth all profit made from Samsung smartphones that copied them — or whether those features are worth just a fraction because they are components. Apple argued in court that the iPhone was a "bet-the-company" project at Apple and that design is as much the "article of manufacture" as the device itself. The three design patents in the case apply to the shape of the iPhone's black screen with rounded edges and a bezel, and the rows of colorful icons displayed. Samsung no longer sells the smartphone models at issue in the case. Two utility patents also involved apply to "bounce-back" and "tap-to-zoom" functions. An original trial finding that Samsung violated Apple patents preceded a lengthy appellate dueling over whether design features such as rounded edges are worth all the money made from a phone. Technology vs Style Samsung challenged the legal precedent that requires the forfeiture of all profits from a product, even if only a single design patent has been infringed. The US Supreme Court in 2016 overturned the penalty imposed on the South Korean consumer electronics giant. Justices ruled that Samsung should not be required to forfeit the entire profits from its smartphones for infringement on design components, sending the case back to a lower court. "Today's decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages," the South Korean company said in response to an AFP inquiry. "We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers." Apple did not respond to a request for comment. The key question of the value of design patents rallied Samsung supporters in the tech sector, and Apple backers in the creative and design communities. Samsung won the backing of major Silicon Valley and other IT sector giants, including Google, Facebook, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, claiming a strict ruling on design infringement could lead to a surge in litigation. Apple was supported by big names in fashion and manufacturing. Design professionals, researchers and academics, citing precedents like Coca-Cola's iconic soda bottle. The case is one element of a $548 million penalty -- knocked down from an original $1 billion jury award -- Samsung was ordered to pay for copying iPhone patents. more...
Lord's Test: Pakistan strengthen grip against England with 166-run lead on day two
Fri, 25 May 2018 17:48:57 +0500
Pakistan strengthened its grip on the first test against England on Friday by reaching 350-8 to take a 166-run lead after the second day at Lord's. Babar Azam was the top scorer with 68 before retiring hurt after being struck on the arm by a rising delivery by Ben Stokes, while Azhar Ali (50), Asad Shafiq (59) and Shadab Khan (52) also made half-centuries on a day when England dropped five catches. Mohammad Amir (19) and Mohammad Abbas (0) were there at the close, and it wasn't clear if Babar would be returning to bat on Saturday for the final wicket. James Anderson (3-82) and Stokes (3-73) were the pick of the bowlers as England toiled for a second straight day at the home of cricket. “Good two days, we will enjoy them,” Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said, “but the reality is we've got plenty to do.” After England collapsed to 184 all out soon after tea on Thursday, Pakistan resumed on 50-1 and resisted for an hour before losing two wickets Haris Sohail (39) and Azhar in the morning session to reach 136-3 at lunch. Pakistan was limited to 91 in the afternoon session with Stokes removing Sarfraz Ahmed (9), who top-edged a hook to Mark Wood on the deep square leg boundary, and Shafiq, who edged to slip. Babar struck 10 fours before going off injured after tea, leaving England to attack Pakistan's tail. Still, Faheem Ashraf (37) and Amir have managed to add crucial runs to allow the tourists to take charge. more...
7 killed in road accident on Mehran Highway near Khairpur
Fri, 25 May 2018 21:57:56 +0500
At least seven people were killed and two injured when two high-speeding cars collided head-on on the Mehran Highway near Khairpur on Friday, DawnNewsTV reported. Of the two vehicles that collided, one was on its way from Nawabshah to Khaipur while the other had disembarked from Khairpur and was headed towards Kot Diji. As a result of the accident, four people died on the spot and five were critically injured who were shifted to hospitals in Setharja and Gambat, where three succumbed to their injuries while two are in critical condition and efforts are being made to save their lives. "Both cars were over speeding and rammed into each another. The collision resulted in the death of seven people including Lal Mohammad Shaikh, Ali Madad, Ghulam Mehdi, Mohammad Ibrahim, and Iqbal Shaikh," said police. "The impact caused a loud explosion and both cars were destroyed," the police added. Relatives of the deceased have taken the bodies of victims back to their respective hometowns. The deceased are said to be residents of Nawabshah and Khairpur. more...
Nawaz wants NSC to discuss serious information 'leaked' in new spy book
Fri, 25 May 2018 13:05:24 +0500
What if a politician had done this?Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday appeared to draw a parallel between his own recent statement on the Mumbai attack case and the contents of a new book jointly penned by former ISI chief Lt Gen Asad Durrani and former RAW chief A.S. Dulat, and called for the National Security Council (NSC) to re-convene on the matter as it had in his (Sharif's) case. Durrani and Dulat's paperback — The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace — released on Wednesday, has served as an ice-breaker of sorts between the two warring neighbours while also spurring criticism of Indian state repression in held Kashmir. Read: Ex-RAW chief wants India to invite Gen Bajwa However, Nawaz believes that the former DG ISI, through this book, has made public some "serious information" and that it is now necessary to call an emergency NSC meeting to discuss the matter. It is pertinent to mention here that Nawaz, in an interview to Dawn early this month, had said: "should we allow them [non-state actors] to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?" — remarks that were perceived across the border as an open admission that the state of Pakistan was involved in the infamous 2008 Mumbai attacks. Indian media's inflammatory reportage was soon picked up in Pakistan, leading to criticism and condemnation of Nawaz Sharif's stance. To address the 'situation' arising from the media furore, an NSC meeting was called over the matter during which Nawaz's comments were deemed "incorrect and misleading". Nawaz, who made these remarks while speaking to reporters outside an accountability court today, further suggested the formation of a national commission to ascertain and investigate events such as the toppling of the PML-N government in Balochistan, the election of the Senate chairman and horse trading in Senate elections. The beleaguered PML-N leader said that people are witnessing how "certain plotters are controlling the media and encroaching upon its freedom". "They are putting pressure on TV channels and interrupting the circulation of newspapers and also managing the transmission through cable operators," he said, referring to curbs placed on two major media organisations in the country. Nawaz said such tactics are tantamount to denying freedom of expression and vowed that that the PML-N will form a powerful commission to address these core issues if it comes to power again. What if a politician had done this? In a similar vein, Senator Raza Rabbani, while addressing the upper house on Friday, remarked that if a politician had teamed up with an Indian counterpart to write a book like this, they would have been branded a traitor. “It is shocking that on one hand Pakistan and India relations are at an all-time low and on the other hand, former spy chiefs of both the countries are teaming up to write a book,” the former Senate chairman was quoted as having said by Geo News. more...
Weinstein turns himself in; NY police charges him with rape and sex crimes
Fri, 25 May 2018 18:09:01 +0500
Bail package'Stop, don't'Disgraced Hollywood powerbroker Harvey Weinstein was arrested and charged on Friday with rape and sex crimes on two women, nearly eight months after his career imploded in a blaze of assault accusations that triggered the global #MeToo movement. The former mogul — once the toast of Hollywood and whose films won scores of Oscars — is expected to appear before a Manhattan court later on Friday morning, where he is expected to plead not guilty. The New York police department announced in a brief statement he was “arrested, processed and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women.” They mark the first criminal charges against the twice-married, shamed former titan faces criminal charges, despite being hit by a slew of civil lawsuits and reportedly being under federal investigation. “The NYPD thanks these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice,” the New York police department said in a statement. The 66-year-old former studio boss walked into the downtown Manhattan police station shortly before 7:30 am (1130 GMT) wearing a white shirt, pale blue sweater and dark blazer before a mob of television cameras and photographers. He stepped out of a black SUV, clutching several books — what appeared to be the Rodgers and Hammerstein biography “Something Wonderful,” a book on director Elia Kazan and a black Moleskine-type notebook — and looking glum as he walked up the steps into the station. Weinstein was understood to have had his mugshots and fingerprints taken at the station, close to his former Miramax office in Tribeca and the Manhattan townhouse he once shared with his estranged wife. Bail package As part of a bail package negotiated in advance, he will put up $1 million in cash and will agree to wear a monitoring device. His travel will be restricted and he will surrender his passport, The New York Times reported. The Manhattan district attorney's office and police have been investigating Weinstein for months, coming under growing pressure from the Time's Up movement and Hollywood actresses to bring the disgraced producer to justice. Lucia Evans, who said Weinstein forced her into oral sex in 2004, is thought to be at least one of the women whose cases triggered charges. New York police have previously confirmed an active Weinstein investigation regarding Evans, who was an aspiring actress at the time, and a credible rape allegation after “Boardwalk Empire” actress Paz de la Huerta accused the former producer of raping her twice at her New York apartment in late 2010. Also read: Sexual harassment: Pakistan's tipping point? Ben Brafman, Weinstein's powerful defense attorney, has declined to comment on his client's planned surrender. Weinstein's career went down in flames last October over sexual assault allegations following bombshell articles in The New York Times and New Yorker, which sparked a sexual harassment watershed across the United States. More than 100 women have since accused Weinstein of crimes ranging from sexual harassment to assault and rape going back 40 years. Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are among than two dozen actresses who say they were sexually harassed by the producer. A few, including Asia Argento and Rose McGowan, said they were raped. The outpouring saw people around the world come forward with cases of sexual mistreatment, leading to resignations and sackings of powerful men across industries, and the disgrace of Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. 'Stop, don't' Evans, now a marketing consultant, told The New Yorker that Weinstein approached her in a club in 2004 and that an assistant subsequently set up a daytime meeting at the Miramax office in Tribeca. “He forced me to perform oral sex on him,” she said. “I said, over and over, 'I don't want to do this, stop, don't,'” she added. Weinstein has denied any non-consensual sex and has reportedly been in treatment for sex addiction. His downfall has seen his Weinstein Company file for bankruptcy, his fashion designer wife, Georgina Chapman, leave him and sparked police investigations in London and Los Angeles. But for all the media hoopla on Friday, experts warn that any trial — let alone a criminal conviction — would still be a long way off. Sexual assault cases, particularly those that allegedly happened years ago, are notoriously hard to prosecute and often lack substantive forensic evidence. Weinstein's lawyer Brafman is one of America's most celebrated criminal defense attorneys. His past clients include former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who ultimately escaped criminal prosecution for alleged sexual assault in 2011. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, whose case against Strauss-Kahn fell apart, has been heavily criticized for failing to bring a criminal case against Weinstein for allegedly groping and harassing Italian model Ambra Battilana. more...
15 injured as IED explodes in Indian restaurant in Canada
Fri, 25 May 2018 13:08:40 +0500
At least 15 people were injured in Canada's Mississauga, when an "improvised explosive device" (IED) went off in an Indian cuisine restaurant, The Globe and Mail reported on Friday. According to Peel Regional Police, two suspects detonated the device and fled the scene. 2 suspects attended the scene, detonated an Improvised Explosive Device within the restaurant. Several injured were taken to local hospital and 3 in critical condition were taken to a Toronto Trauma Centre. pic.twitter.com/yzCT59UVN6— Peel Regional Police (@PeelPoliceMedia) May 25, 2018 Police said they received a call regarding the explosion, which occurred near Hurontario Street and Eglinton Avenue, just after 10:30pm, the report said. According to The Globe and Mail, paramedics at the scene said that three people suffered critical injuries in the explosion. "We transported three of them to trauma centres in what I would say is critical condition just from blast injuries," Peel Region paramedic Joe Korstanje was quoted as saying. He also said that the remaining 12 victims suffered minor injuries. more...
PML-N, opposition fail to reach consensus on caretaker prime minister
Fri, 25 May 2018 14:58:56 +0500
Nisar believes the issue will be referred to parliamentary committeeSince the ruling PML-N and the opposition have failed to reach a consensus on the name of a caretaker prime minister, the issue will now be sent to a parliamentary committee for deliberations, it emerged on Friday. Following the cancellation of a meeting between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Thursday, the latter told reporters in his chamber on Friday that there would be no more meetings between the two leaders on the issue. According to Shah, the PML-N had backed off from its earlier stance on the names for a caretaker prime minister. "Initially, the PPP was willing to nominate retired judges for the caretaker premier but the PML-N insisted that retired judges should not be nominated for the post, so we changed our mind and nominated Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jilani," he said. Take a look: The caretaker government: Why do we have one and what purpose does it fulfil? The ruling party, however, later changed its stance and insisted on the names of retired judges, said Shah. The opposition leader said that he will be leaving for his hometown in the evening and will return on Monday, after which he will send the two proposed names to the National Assembly speaker. He said he will also write a letter to the prime minister, apprising him about PPP's reservations. The term of the present government expires on May 31, after which the caretaker set-up will be put in place to hold elections which are expected to be held in July. In an earlier meeting, the premier and Shah had agreed that they would not disclose the names of their respective nominees for the office of caretaker prime minister till last moment in order to avoid “controversies” over the names. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already warned that if the government and the opposition failed to reach an agreement on the name of a caretaker prime minister, a bipartisan committee of lawmakers will be created to resolve the matter. If that committee is also unsuccessful, the matter will be referred to the ECP, which will then pick a name of its own choosing. Nisar believes the issue will be referred to parliamentary committee Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar on Friday said he believed that the issue of deciding upon a caretaker prime minister would be referred to a parliamentary committee. Talking to reporters after a meeting with National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq at the assembly building, Nisar claimed that Tassaduq Hussain Jillani was apparently the PML-N's top pick for the post of caretaker PM. He avoided replying to a question about the future of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan. "It is not necessary that all those who joined the PTI will win the 2018 elections," he said. The former minister said he had decided to contest the 2018 election from four constituencies — two each from the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly. In response to a question on whether his point of view had any support, he said that 95 per cent of PML-N MNAs supported his view but "there should also be someone who is willing to practically implement it." more...
Around 46m young voters set to play key role in polls
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:58:58 +0500
ISLAMABAD: Close to 46 million young voters are expected to play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the general elections expected later this year. Analysts believe the huge number of young voters — a majority of whom use social media — could not only influence the electorate using propaganda tools on online platforms, but even alter the electoral scene in several constituencies if they turn out in large numbers on election day. Ramsha Jahangir According to age-wise data collated by official sources, exclusively available with Dawn, there are 17.44m voters between the ages 18 and 25; the number of voters between the ages 26 and 35 years is 28.99m; while there are 22.48m voters between the ages 36 and 45 years. The voters in the age bracket between 18 years and 35 years are described as young voters. This group in the age brackets of 18-25 and 26-35 forms 43.82pc of total voters Of the 17.44m voters under 25 years old, 10.13m are in Punjab, 3.11m are in Sindh, 2.77m are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 0.774m are in Balochistan, 0.558m reside in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and 0.117m are from the federal capital. Of the 28.99m voters between the ages 26 and 35 years, 16.09m are from Punjab, 6.17m are from Sindh, 4.49m hail from KP, 1.23m are in Balochistan, 0.776m hail from Fata and 0.208m are from the federal capital. The breakdown of voters between the ages of 36 and 45 shows that 12.83m of them are from the Punjab, 5.13m hail from Sindh, 3m are from KP, 0.884m are from Balochistan, 0.466m are from Fata and 0.156m are from the federal capital. There are 16.13m voters in the age group of 45-55 years, of which 9.38m hail from Punjab, 3.53m are from Sindh, 2.13m are from KP, 0.634m are from Balochistan, 0.325m are from Fata, and 0.119m voters are from the federal capital. Of the 10.28m voters between ages 56 and 66 years, 6.30m are from the Punjab, 2.17m are from Sindh, 1.49m are from KP, 0.396m are from Balochistan, 0.218m hail from Fata, and 84,312 are from the federal capital. As many as 10.61m voters in the country are over 66 years old, of whom 6.3m are from Punjab, 2.17m are from Sindh, 1.49m are from KP, 0.401m are from Balochistan, 0.165m are from Fata and 80,228 are from the federal capital. In the electoral rolls prepared for the 2013 general polls, the total number of voters was 86.18m, of which 17.5m voters were under 25 years of age, while 24.2m voters were between 26 and 35 years old, 17.2m were between 36 and 45 years old, 12m voters were between 46 and 55 years old, 8.4m voters were in the age bracket of 56 to 65 years, while 6.7m voters were above 66 years of age. Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018 more...
NAB gets 10,000 acres of fraudulently allotted state land in Sindh cancelled
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:59:35 +0500
KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday claimed to have retrieved 10,000 acres of grabbed state land off the Superhighway, where some major housing schemes had been launched in connivance with revenue officials. “In an investigation against revenue authorities on allegations of fake allotments of land at Thana Bula Khan, Jamshoro, NAB has been successful in getting thousands of lands cancelled by the revenue authorities,” said a NAB spokesperson. Three officials were arrested in the case on April 17 who were wanted for making bogus entries in the record of rights with respect to state land, fraudulently shown as private land, added the official. On the basis of established “irrefutable evidence”, NAB has got more than 10,000 acres of state land, usurped by the land mafia, cancelled by the revenue authorities of Jamshoro district. ‘731 acres of the retrieved land belong to DHA City’ The NAB spokesperson said that 731 acres of Deh Babbar Band, Bula Khan taluka, was part of a “large housing scheme” whereas the rest of the land located in dehs Hathal Buth, Bula Khan taluka, was part of other various housing schemes situated along the main Superhighway. In a major success, state land was restored back to Sindh. The estimated value of the land is around Rs75 billion. The revenue authorities have now banned issuance of sale certificates in the said lands. “Investigation is at final stages for which [a] reference shall be filed against [the] accused persons soon,” said the NAB statement. However, a NAB press release was silent on the number of housing schemes launched off the Superhighway. Sources familiar with NAB investigation told Dawn that the accountability body had taken notice of Dawn’s investigative stories about two major housing schemes off the Superhighway and initiated an inquiry into it. Initially, the sources said that NAB took up the issue of 731 acres, which the NAB press release just mentioned as belonging to a “large housing scheme”. In fact, this scheme was DHA City, said the sources, which has been now retrieved. The sources pointed out that DHA City was spread over a few thousand acres, of which 731 acres were acquired through changes in the revenue record. The sources said that these retrieved lands belonged to around five to six housing schemes off the Superhighway. The sources suggested that NAB should identify those housing schemes as innocent investors were pouring in their hard-earned money to purchase lands there to save them and prevent creation of third-party interest in these schemes. Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018 more...
PTI asks applicants to swear not to leave party if refused ticket
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:59:51 +0500
RAWALPINDI: Though it is welcoming turncoats from PPP and PML-N, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is also worried about losing its leaders, and is seeking assurance on affidavits from applicants for party tickets that they will not join other parties in case they are refused the tickets. The party has asked all those who have applied for tickets for contesting elections to the national and provincial assemblies to submit assurances to not oppose the party decision on the allocation of tickets. All applicants have submitted their affidavits to the party office on stamp paper worth Rs100 stating they would not oppose the party decision or leave the PTI or start a campaign against its candidates. A senior PTI leader told Dawn that the party was divided in different groups and that the leadership wanted to take a decision on awarding tickets without pressure from any group which was why it wanted the assurances in writing. PTI is worried about losing its own leaders while welcoming turncoats from other parties “We submitted the affidavit to the party along with Rs50,000 fee for a provincial assembly ticket and Rs100,000 for a ticket for the National Assembly,” he said. Another party leader told Dawn that assurances in writing would not be effective as the party was divided in three or four groups in main cities such as Islamabad and Rawalpindi. He said the local leaders had already started campaigning against Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a close aide of Imran Khan, who announced to contest the elections on two seats in the Rawalpindi city while Imran Khan would contest from the cantonment areas. “A former office-bearer of PTI Punjab north is running a separate campaign through his supporters in the cantonment areas against party leaders as he was refused a ticket.” He added that the party would be divided further in the four districts of Rawalpindi division and Islamabad if tickets were given to newcomers. “In Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the PTI only managed to bring MPA Shehryar Riaz who had no worth in his constituency while in the ruling PML-N due to his behaviour with workers,” he said. “There will be no issue on the National Assembly seats as two of the seats will be contested by Sheikh Rashid and one by Imran Khan. People will fight for the provincial assembly seats,” he said. In Punjab north, the party conducted interviews of more than 382 aspiring candidates for the national and provincial assemblies from the eight districts from Sargodha to Attock, including the twin cities. As many as 17 candidates appeared for Sargodha’s National Assembly constituency and 52 for the provincial assembly. Six applied for the NA ticket in Khushab and 25 for the provincial assembly and three candidates applied for NA seats in Chakwal and 19 for the Punjab assembly. In Rawalpindi, 30 candidates have applied for NA seats and 141 applications were received for Punjab Assembly seats. A total of 13 women have applied for tickets from north Punjab. PTI formed a five-member committee to conduct interviews of the candidates. The committee is led by PTI Punjab north President Amir Kiani and consists of Attaullah Shadikhel, Haroon Hashmi, Qazi Ahmed Akbar and Raja Tariq. The committee will send its report to the parliamentary board regarding basic information about the candidates and their loyalty towards the party. If the candidate comes from another party, the report will also contain past allegations against them. PTI Punjab north president told Dawn that the party had sought assurance from candidates in writing in order to avoid grouping within the party on the issue of tickets. He said Imran Khan and the parliamentary board would take the final decision for awarding tickets. Mr Kiani said 382 candidates had applied for the PTI tickets in eight districts in Punjab north from Khushab to Attock, including Rawalpindi. He said the candidates in the three constituencies of Islamabad would be finalised after this. Sitting MPAs have also applied for their constituencies and there are also newcomers in the party, he added, and that everyone would respect the party decision. Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018 more...
Pakistan’s envoy meets Aafia at Texas prison
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:59:11 +0500
WASHINGTON: Pakistan Con­sul General in Houston Aisha Farooqui has rejected rumours about Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s death as baseless and false, adding that she met Siddiqui on Wednesday at a US federal facility. The two-hour meeting took place at the Federal Medical Centre, Carswell, which is a US federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, for female inmates of all security levels with special medical and mental health needs. “Consul General Aisha Farooqui today, undertook a consular visit to FMC Carswell in Fortworth, Texas, to meet Dr Aafia Siddiqui. The meeting with Dr Aafia lasted two hours,” said an official statement issued on Wednesday evening. “Recent rumours regarding Dr Aafia Siddiqui are completely baseless and false and are refuted. The Consul General met Dr Aafia in her prison cell inside the FMC Carswell complex. This was the Consul General’s fourth consular visit to Dr Aafia Siddiqui in the last 14 months,” the Consulate added. On Sept 23, 2010, a court in New York sentenced Dr Siddiqui, a neuroscientist, to 86 years in prison. Earlier reports, circulating mainly on social media, had claimed that Dr Siddiqui had died in prison. Dr Siddiqui’s sympathisers claim that she was arrested in Pakistan and handed over to intelligence agencies who then transferred her into US custody. Both US and Pakistani officials, however, say that she was arrested in Afghanistan. Dr Siddiqui, an MIT graduate, allegedly went missing for five years before she was discovered in Afghanistan. It is said that she snatched a gun during interrogation in Ghazni and tried to shoot a US soldier. She has also been accused of working for Al Qaeda. Earlier this month, Pakistan also rejected media claims that Islamabad had agreed to swap Dr Siddiqui for Dr Shakil Afridi, who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged before a congressional committee on Wednesday that he would continue to work “diligently” to get Afridi out of the prison. US lawmakers have urged the administration to bring Afridi to the United States where he is considered a hero. Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018 more...
Courts, not govt, allowed Musharraf to go abroad: Nawaz
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:58:58 +0500
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that it was not the PML-N government but the courts that had allowed former military dictator retired General Pervez Musharraf to leave the country. On the occasion of his 73rd appearance before the accountability court, Mr Sharif made this observation in response to a question by a reporter about why his government had allowed Gen Musharraf, who is facing high treason charges as well as other criminal cases, to leave the country. Gen Musharraf went abroad because the superior courts of the country had ordered his name to be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL), said the ex-premier. On Wednesday, Mr Sharif told the accountability court that he had been implicated in three references by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which were, in fact, an attempt to “settle scores” with him for taking a firm stand on the trial of Gen Musharraf in a treason case. The PML-N government had filed a complaint against Gen Musharraf in December 2013, under Article 6 of the Constitution, for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007. The former military dictator, however, left the country after the Supreme Court dismissed the federal government’s appeal against an order by the Sindh High Court (SHC) to remove Gen Musharraf’s name from the ECL. Ousted PM complains victimisation has hit even those members of his family who have nothing to do with government functions or family business After his daughter Maryam Nawaz partially recorded her statement before the accountability court, under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedures Code (CrPC), Mr Sharif complained: “Victimisation has hit even those members of my family that have nothing to do with government functions or family business.” He said it was “painful” for him to see his daughter testifying as a suspect in the court dock. “This is a ruthless act,” he said, adding that it had set a bad precedent. “I can pass through these hard times but this trend will also be faced by others and it will be very difficult for them to go through such an experience. Those who are setting this trend will have to pay the price,” he said. The ex-premier lamented that this type of underhanded politics was a relic of centuries past. “Pakistan was not established for such victimisation... It means that we have changed our direction,” he said. Responding to a question about why he had not removed the intelligence agency chief who had asked him to resign or take a long leave during the 2014 sit-in, Mr Sharif said while his was in power, he had exercised maximum restraint. “Due to my policies of tolerance and restraint, I sidelined ministers like Pervez Rashid and Mushahidullah Khan since I did not want confrontation,” he said. The PML-N supremo explained that he had decided to open up about these details because the court had asked him why he had been implicated in the reference. It was the right time to place factual information on court record, he said, adding that the facts should be made public, because concealing them could lead to nuisance. The ex-primer stressed that one should take a firm stand on certain issues without caring too much about the consequences. He said that his stand had taken him from the prime minister’s house to the court dock. Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018 more...
Parties close ranks in NA to bury colonial Fata relic
Fri, 25 May 2018 06:58:58 +0500
PRIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi shakes hands with Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah in the National Assembly on Thursday.—PPI ISLAMABAD: Despite having a rare agreement over the draft of the bill, the defection-hit ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and opposition parties — the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) — had to labour for ensuring the presence of at least 228 members (two-thirds of the 342-member house) that is mandatory for passing a constitution amendment bill. The bill, which will be numbered as the 25th Constitution Amendment Bill, was tabled by Law Minister Chaudhry Bashir Mahmood Virk after a wait for more than two hours. Dawar Khan Kundi, a PTI dissident from Dera Ismail Khan, was the only dissenting vote after the lawmakers of two government allies — the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) — which chose to walk out from the assembly ahead of the vote as a mark of protest. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which had earlier declared that it would not support the bill, finally voted in its favour after Shah Mehmood Qureshi of the PTI, Railways Minister Saad Rafique and the PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar persuaded it to do so on the condition that Dr Farooq Sattar would be allowed to speak out his party’s reservations over the move. National Assembly passes landmark bill to merge tribal areas with KP; JUI-F, PkMAP boycott vote Both JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PkMAP president Mehmood Khan Achakzai, who have been forcefully opposing the planned merger of the tribal areas with KP, preferred to stay away from the proceedings, perhaps anticipating that they could face the wrath of the majority of the members for their stance. Maulana Fazl is reportedly in Saudi Arabia these days and there was talk in the galleries that he had been sent there by the government as a face-saving measure. In the absence of the two leaders, Fata MNA Jamal­uddin and Naeema Kishwar of the JUI-F and Abdul Qahar Khan of the PkMAP reiterated their party position and termed the passage of the bill an act that could have “dangerous consequences” for the country. “Today is a black day as the parliament is about to remove the name of Fata from the country’s constitution,” said Jamaluddin, alleging that Fata was being merged with KP as part of a foreign agenda. Jamaluddin said the PML-N and the PTI “curse each other” all the time, but today they joined hands to “usurp the rights of Fata people”. Qahar Khan said Fata people should be given the right to decide about their own future. He said, “The people of Fata want their own province, their own chief minister, their own governor and their own public service commission.” The JUI-F and PkMAP members also targeted Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid in their speeches, saying “those who have been cursing the parliament until now are today sitting here without having any regret.” Dr Farooq Sattar delivered an emotional speech which was frequently interrupted by the PPP members when he called for creation of more provinces in the country on administrative grounds. The MQM members thre­atened to stage a walkout from the house before the voting when the PPP members started raising slogans during Dr Sattar’s speech as he indirectly called for creation of Karachi province. The MQM members, however, were prevented from staging the walkout by Shah Mehmood Qureshi who also requested the PPP members to stay calm and allow the MQM leader to wind up his speech. Dr Sattar said the MQM was supporting the bill “only for the sake of political unity” as the party still believed that Fata should be turned into a separate province and a referendum should be conducted in the area to seek the people’s opinion. Farooq Sattar also called for the formation of 19 provinces — including Karachi — on administrative grounds before recalling that in the past the MQM had put forth bills for creation of provinces of southern Punjab, Hazara and Fata. He said the KP alone should be divided into four administrative units. “We fear that if Fata is merged with KP, it will become difficult to create a new province in the future,” he said, adding that the country’s constitution was “most difficult one” in terms of creation of new provinces. He also warned of violence and terrorist activities in Karachi in the wake of severe water crisis in the city. “We are the last shield in defending Karachi and the country,” he said, adding that they should not be pushed to wall. Bilal Rehman was the other MNA from Fata who opposed the bill and staged a walkout. On the other hand, Shah Gee Gul Afridi, an independent MNA from Fata, alleged that Maulana Fazl and Mehmood Achakzai were opposing the merger because they knew that “they would not get any funds from abroad after the bill is passed.” He said “real faces of those who want to keep the people of Fata divided for their political advantages have been exposed in the parliament today.” The bill will now be taken up by the Senate on Friday (today). The highlight of the day’s proceeding was participation of PTI chairman Imran Khan in the voting who had appeared in the assembly after about two years. The long-awaited mainstreaming of the tribal areas had been in the works for four years, pointed out Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. He thanked the opposition parties for their support to the bill and termed its passage a “historic occasion.” Imran Khan also congratulated parliament on coming together despite differences between the ruling and the opposition parties. The bill seeks an amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution which defines the country’s territory and mentions Fata as a separate entity along with four provinces. The bill also amends Articles 51 and 59 which specify the number of seats allocated to each of the federating units in the national and provincial assemblies. Another daunting task for the political leadership is to get the bill passed with a two-thirds vote in the KP Assembly before the expiry of its term on May 28, three days before the National Assembly’s dissolution. As per Article 239(4) of the Constitution, the president cannot assent a constitutional amendment bill which affects geographical boundaries of a province without approval by the assembly of that province. If the bill does not get through the KP Assembly, then the fate of Fata merger will be in the hands of new representatives to be elected in the coming general elections. Even after its passage from the National Assembly and the Senate, the president will have to wait for giving his assent till the installation of the new KP Assembly. Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018 more...
Former PTI leader Fauzia Kasuri joins Pak Sarzameen Party
Thu, 24 May 2018 17:35:19 +0500
Former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Fauzia Kasuri on Thursday joined Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). She held a joint press conference with PSP chief Mustafa Kamal to announce the decision. "PTI has been supporting and sending those leaders to assemblies who should be tried for corruption," Kasuri said, adding that she had been "feeling since 2013 that the PTI was losing its track". "I hold no personal grudge against PTI chief Imran Khan," the former PTI leader said. "I belong to Karachi but have I never identified myself as a migrant or Urdu speaker or a Pashtun. I call myself a Pakistani," she said. "I am a founding member of PTI, I had high hopes and gave 23 years of my life to the party, thinking that it might bring some change," she said, adding that she could not become a part of other political parties which had a history of "exploiting the country". "We will see if 'seasonal birds' are able to create a new Pakistan," she said, adding that PTI did a good job in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but more good work could have been done. She made it clear that she had not asked anyone for any seat. "Imran Khan offered a reserved seat to me but I told him that I want to win a seat after contesting elections. He had also offered a Senate seat to me," Kasuri said. Kasuri, in a resignation letter bearing a May 24 date shared on Twitter, chided PTI Chairman Imran Khan for handing over the reins of the party to those ‘electable’ people she had fought against since PTI’s inception. Kasuri in her resignation said she had become increasingly disenchanted by the direction the party had taken since 2013 and no longer saw it as representative of the aspirations of the millions of underserved citizens seeking a change in Pakistan. She said the party led by Imran Khan was accepting ‘electable’ persons at the cost of workers, who in some cases laid down their lives for the cause. "Sadly, this was the final nail in the coffin," she had said. Saying she could no longer defend the party actions, she urged the chairman to accept her resignation from the party. PSP chief Mustafa Kamal, while welcoming Kasuri to the party, said that within a short span of two years, his party has accumulated strength of 18 MPs and four MNAs. "The Sindh chief minister is playing Sindhi card, whereas the Muttahida Qaumi Movement is using Mohajir card," he alleged. He announced that the PSP will not enter into an electoral coalition with anyone. "We will contest elections with our own workers and our own symbol," he said adding that electoral alliance confuses workers. "It will be our first election, so we will be stepping in very carefully," he added. PTI Central Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry claimed that Kasuri had resigned knowing she would be ousted from the party. She had been issued a show-cause notice for writing an article against the PTI in a newspaper. more...
Lord's Test: Pakistan pounce as England's top-order exposed again
Thu, 24 May 2018 17:28:34 +0500
'Behind a bit'Pakistan pacemen Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali took four wickets apiece as England suffered yet another top-order collapse at Lord's on Thursday. Hopes that a return home and a rejigged top-order picked by new national selector Ed Smith would help rid England of the batting slumps that plagued them during a run of seven straight Tests without a victory in Australia and New Zealand quickly proved illusory as they were dismissed for just 184 inside 59 overs. Abbas, in his first match at 'the home of cricket', finished with excellent figures of four for 23 in 14 overs. Meanwhile, the recalled Hasan, who did not play in Pakistan's win over Test debutants Ireland in Dublin last week, took four for 51 in 15.2 overs. Both bowlers maintained a disciplined line and length with Hasan, a star of Pakistan's Champions Trophy one-day tournament triumph in England last year, telling Sky Sports: “There was no need for bouncers because we were getting a lot of help from the pitch for bowling full and straight. “Getting the experience of playing in England in the Champions Trophy was a good thing for us.” Pakistan then consolidated their strong position by reaching stumps having lost just Imam-ul-Haq to be 50 for one — a deficit of 134 runs. Azhar Ali was 18 not out and Haris Sohail, missed in the slips when Ben Stokes dived across Dawid Malan, unbeaten on 21. 'Behind a bit' Alastair Cook in his 153rd consecutive Test, which equalled Australia great Allan Border's all-time record for successive appearances at this level, was the only England batsman to play an innings of substance, the left-handed opener making 70. But shortly before tea Cook was bowled by Mohammad Amir, a team-mate when Essex won the County Championship last season, as the left-arm quick produced a brilliant delivery that cut away late off the pitch to clip the top of the off stump. “We're behind a little bit. Pakistan have had the better day,” said Cook, England's record Test run-scorer. “But with a five-day Test match you have a chance to come back. Fifty for one can very quickly become 80 for four.” England, who had been 165 for five at tea, lost their last five wickets for a meagre 16 runs in 27 balls. Joe Root, the England captain, opted to bat first in the opening match of this two-Test series despite the fact that both sides had concerns over the reliability of their respective top orders. Overcast skies allied to a green-tinged pitch promised to assist Pakistan's pacemen but Cook defended the decision of his successor as England captain by saying: “It was a really tricky one. The pitch is dry, the forecast is it's going to get warmer, but there is live grass on it.” And in truth several batsmen contributed to their own dismissal, with Cook looking on as the other three members of England's top four all fell in single figures. Abbas made the breakthrough when he bowled Mark Stoneman (four) with a late swinging delivery. Root, promoted up the order to number three, also fell for four when a loose drive off Hasan saw him caught behind by opposing captain Sarfraz Ahmed. Jonny Bairstow (27) and Ben Stokes (38) threatened to get going but could not stop the post-tea slide. That this was indeed Pakistan's day was clear when Asad Shafiq held a difficult catch at second slip to dismiss Jos Buttler after an edged drive off Hasan. The innings ended when Amir running back at mid-on, caught Mark Wood. It was the latest memorable Lord's incident for Amir, who got his name on the honours board with six wickets against England at MCC's headquarters in 2010 — the same match where his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal led to a jail sentence and a five-year ban from cricket. Thursday's catch and the dismissal of Cook were moments of unalloyed joy, however, to set alongside Amir's role in Pakistan's Test win over England at Lord's two years ago — a victory that helped them to a 2-2 draw in a four-match series. more...
Historic building demolished, Ahmadiyya place of worship vandalised in Sialkot
Thu, 24 May 2018 19:12:04 +0500
Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya spokesperson Salim Uddin, in a press release issued on Thursday, condemned the demolition of the community's place of worship as well as a historically significant building by "miscreants along with governmental administration" in Sialkot. According to the press release, 30 to 35 employees of a Tehsil municipal committee escorted by police came to the Hakeem Hasam Uddin building around 10:45pm on Wednesday and began demolishing it. "In the meantime, more than 600 miscreants chanting slogans joined in and started demolishing an Ahmadi worship place near the building," read the press release, adding that the "vandalism" continued until 4:30 in the morning. The incident caught attention on social media when pictures and videos showing a "mob" destroying the religious site started circulating early Thursday morning. One video showed a man breaking a minaret with an iron tool. Image of the destroyed minaret. ─ Local source A separate video showed a man, who is said to be a leader in a major political party, thanking the district police officer, the deputy commissioner, religious parties and teams of the town municipal administration for their support in removing minarets — "which are a symbol of Islam" — from the place of worship. "The Ahmadi worship place and building vandalised by the mob possessed historical significance for the Ahmadi community and had been standing for more than a century," the press release stated. According to the statement, the building had been "renovated a while back, after which the municipal committee sealed it". "We are seeking legal action against [the attackers]. Vandalism of buildings by the governmental administration for the mere satisfaction of extremist forces without any judicial order only goes to demonstrate the fact that the civil establishment has given up in front of elements that use religion to seek their personal and organisational interests," the statement regretted. The spokesperson demanded security for community's worship places along with compensation for the damages, which he said ran into tens of thousands of rupees. He also asked that the miscreants be tried under the law. The local authorities, however, insisted that the building was demolished because it was an "illegal construction". Sialkot Mayor Chaudhary Tauheed Akhtar told DawnNewsTV that members of the Ahmadi community were constructing a building without having an approved design. The administration received complaints about the illegal construction and subsequently sealed the building, he added. According to Akhtar, the illegal construction continued in violation of rules and the corporation therefore "took action last night and demolished the illegal construction". When asked about the mob attacking the place of worship, Akhtar said that he had informed the assistant commissioner and the DPO. "We were supposed to demolish the illegal construction — now, it is the duty of police to investigate the incident and take legal action." DPO Asad Sarfraz said that the law is equal for all and that an inquiry has been ordered into the incident. Action will be taken after the report is furnished, he said. more...
LHC rules it doesn't have authority to order filing of treason case against Nawaz
Fri, 25 May 2018 00:21:42 +0500
Provision of security protocol to NawazLHC hears case of anti-judiciary speechesThe Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday, while hearing a case seeking filing of a high treason case against Nawaz Sharif, ruled that the court does not have the authority to directly order the registration of a case against the former prime minister. In a decision announced by Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza, the court concluded that the interior minister will have to determine what action to take based on the relevant laws. The interior minister has been directed to listen to both parties to the lawsuit and give a judgement based on the governing laws, the court ruled. An application had been filed by Pakistan Awami Tehreek's Khurram Nawaz Gandapur after ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif issued controversial remarks regarding the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Criticising the stalled progress of the case's trial, Sharif in an interview had asked: "Why can’t we complete the trial?" Earlier, on May 17, the LHC had dismissed a similar petition filed by Pakistan Zindabad Party chief Advocate Aftab Virk, who had sought registration of a case against Nawaz under Article 6 of the Constitution Article 6 states: "Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason." Provision of security protocol to Nawaz The LHC also wrapped up a case filed against the provision of security and protocol to the ousted prime minister in the light of a statement issued by the deputy attorney general. While hearing the case whose petition had been filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Andleeb Abbas, Justice Shahid Kareem remarked that Nawaz is being provided security and protocol up to the extent of his rightful claim after the supreme court had already ruled in the matter. The case was dismissed after the federal government issued their response. LHC hears case of anti-judiciary speeches The LHC also heard a case regarding anti-judiciary speeches allegedly made by Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and other party leaders. It ordered Pemra to submit a detailed report before the next hearing. Advocate Azhar Siddique requested that the court should also seek submission of reports with reference to other applications filed before the court. To this, the court responded by saying, "Azhar Siddique sahab it is necessary to file a different application every time. Your purpose was to divert the court's attention which you have succeeded in." "The real case has come to a halt. Now various applications are being addressed," he said. "Why do you file a different application every time?" Justice Atir Mehmood inquired. The hearing was adjourned until May 30. more...
Abbasi contradicts minister's statement, says it was his decision to block airing of post-NSC press talk
Thu, 24 May 2018 23:50:57 +0500
'Did not discuss Hafiz Saeed's relocation with Chinese president'Cannot prosecute diplomats, says AbbasiPrime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in an interview with Geo News host Hamid Mir, revealed that it was actually his decision to block the live telecast of a "press talk" held at PM House that followed a National Security Council (NSC) meeting on May 14. The NSC meeting was held to discuss former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's controversial statements regarding the 2008 Mumbai attacks that he gave in an interview to Dawn. "The impression that there was a blackout of the press talk is wrong," said the prime minister. "It was my decision not to air it. It was recorded but there were a lot of things that had been discussed in that briefing which [if telecast] would have given people a wrong impression. So I ordered not to telecast it since I had to address the matter before the assembly anyway." Moreover, the premier insisted that the statements in Nawaz's interview had been "misreported". However, when Mir asked whether the premier meant what had been written or what had been said, the latter avoided the question. The premier's similar remarks following the NSC meeting had compounded the confusion about the outcome of the top-level huddle when he claimed that NSC members had in fact condemned “misreporting” by the newspaper and not Nawaz Sharif’s statement, as was reported earlier. The prime minister also discussed with Mir his meeting with Sharif, which had taken place almost immediately after the NSC meeting, claiming that the ousted premier had reiterated his stance that Pakistan's territory should not be used against any other country and had agreed that the statements that had been published were "based on misreporting". 'Did not discuss Hafiz Saeed's relocation with Chinese president' Prime Minister Abbasi also denied Indian media reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping had suggested relocating Jamaatud Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed to a West Asian country during a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the Boao Forum in China. "Hafiz Saeed has never been a topic of conversation in any of the meetings I have had with President Xi," he asserted. Cannot prosecute diplomats, says Abbasi When asked about the trial of US Defence and Air Attaché Col Joseph Emanuel Hall, who had killed a biker and injured another in a road accident in Islamabad, the prime minister said that due to the conventions of diplomatic immunity it was not possible for Pakistan to try him. He claimed that the impression that Pakistan could somehow restrain the colonel and prosecute him for his crime was wrong since it was against the international law that protects diplomats. He, however, added that it was the moral responsibility of the Pakistani government to provide compensation to the victim's family. more...
Suicide bombers involved in attack on FC Madadgar centre in Quetta identified as Afghan nationals
Thu, 24 May 2018 22:57:10 +0500
The five suicide bombers involved in the terrorist attack on Frontier Corps' (FC) Madadgar centre in Quetta on May 17 have been identified as Afghan nationals, read an initial investigation and forensic report. According to the report, the suicide bombers were reportedly affiliated with Afghanistan-based banned outfit Hizbul Ahrar and worked in collaboration with the outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Balochistan chapter. The suicide bombers tried to storm inside the FC's Madadgar centre in Quetta's survey 31 area last Thursday. However, the FC personnel deployed at the gate quickly retaliated and killed the suicide bombers. Intense firing between FC personnel and terrorists left residents of the area hostage for almost an hour. "We feared that the terrorists may enter our homes. I thank God and salute our brave forces who silenced them timely," said a resident of the area, while narrating the events that took place a week ago. Also read: How death stalks policemen in Quetta An assistant patrolling officer of the motorway police Muhammad Idrees sacrificed his life that day by stopping one of the suicide bombers. Three FC personnel were also injured in the attack. The preliminary report suggests that the first suicide bomber detonated at the main gate resulting in severe damage to the gate and boundary wall of the FC sector headquarter. Taking advantage of the initial blast, the remaining four suicide bombers attempted to break in from the broken wall and the gate, the report said. According to details provided in the report, the FC personnel immediately engaged the terrorists behind the gate and side wall. The bombers were armed with suicide jackets, Kalashnikovs, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and 50 grenades packed into a single cabin vehicle. more...
Spy book release spurs criticism of repression in held Kashmir
Thu, 24 May 2018 06:53:30 +0500
NEW DELHI: The release of a book authored by two former spy chiefs of India and Pakistan here on Wednesday saw some sharp criticism of Delhi’s policy towards Islamabad and appeared to unite the opposition in an urgent quest to end a brutal repression of Kashmiris in their homeland. “They are using this so-called muscular policy in Kashmir, and we all know that a policy that uses brawn lacks brains,” former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha said in a discussion on the book co-authored by former RAW chief A.S. Dulat and former ISI chief Lt Gen Asad Durrani. The senior BJP leader is a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and an advocate of a humanitarian approach to bring peace in the disputed state. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former vice president Hamid Ansari were the chief guests, giving the occasion a sense that the opposition was uniting against Mr Modi’s foreign policy. The day also saw disparate opposition leaders coming together in a show of strength in far removed Bengaluru where a Congress-backed coalition took the oath of office in the southern Karnataka state. Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah said he was going to join the chief ministers from different opposition parties with the Gandhi family in Bengaluru but decided that the book release was equally important. He is discussed in some detail in Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI And The Illusion Of Peace. The book is mainly a series of discussions conducted between the two former adversaries on a range of topics by senior journalist Aditya Sinha. Speaking through a recorded video message, Gen Durrani said it was a blessing in a way that he was denied permission to participate in the event. “By denying me a visa they have saved me from the wrath of my hawks,” he said to applause. He said the book was Mr Dulat’s idea but at no time was it considered as an occasion to spill any secrets. Gen Durrani said he met Mr Hamid Ansari during a visit to Delhi in October 2014, and the seeds for his participation in the book were sown at the brief meeting. “Mr Ansari asked ‘Ye deewangi kab khatm hogi’. (When will this madness end?) And that one humanist sentence spurred me to join this endeavour.” Dr Manmohan Singh declined to comment, but former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon singled out the former prime minister’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, where the two had signed an unusually bold agreement, as a landmark moment that was squandered by the bureaucracies on both sides. The two had agreed on a joint mechanism to address terrorism together, opening the path to bring their intelligence agencies in a shared mission. That was not to be, but the book offers similar suggestions for cooperation between intelligence establishments. Mr Dulat fended off criticism that the book though well meaning and seeking to encourage peace between India and Pakistan was a mere romantic idea. “I am hoping to see progress way before the 2019 elections,” he said confidently. He may have had the fact in mind that the two armies were planning a first joint participation in a multinational exercise against terrorism in Russia under the aegis of SCO. Senior officials of both sides have also spoken albeit softly about the possibility of resuming their talks. Asked by moderator Barkha Dutt about his advice that India should invite General Bajwa for talks in New Delhi, Mr Dulat said such a meeting could take place with the Indian NSA and “surely the prime minister would meet him too.” He felt the civilian establishment was weak at present in Pakistan and it was difficult to figure out who to talk to. Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2018 more...

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