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The Times of India
US military quietly prepares for a last resort: War with North Korea
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:01:42 GMT
The scope and timing of the recent US exercises suggest a renewed focus on getting the country's military prepared for what could be on the horizon with North Korea. more...
No Haj subsidy from this year: Naqvi
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:26:50 GMT
more...
Haj subsidy for pilgrims withdrawn: Who said what
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:01:30 GMT
more...
2nd Test Live: India lose openers in chase of 287
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:04:22 GMT
Follow all the live updates from the Day 4 of the 2nd Test between India and South Africa in Centurion. more...
Forces to get 72k assault rifles & 93,895 carbines
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:44:15 GMT
Under the proposal, cleared at the meeting chaired by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, 72,000 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines will be procured, the sources said. more...
Soon, universities to offer online degree courses
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:49:52 GMT
Higher education institutions with top National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) ratings will be allowed to offer three-year degree programmes through open and distance learning (ODL) mode. These degrees will be treated at par with regular courses. more...
Isro releases 1st image captured by Cartosat-2s
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:30:54 GMT
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Tuesday released the first image captured by Cartosat-2 series satellite, four days after it was placed in orbit by PSLV-C40. The satellite is seventh in the remote sensing Cartosat series. more...
Pak clerics issue fatwa against suicide bombings
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:08:57 GMT
For years, Pak has been plagued by violence and militants often use suicide bombers to convey that their struggle is a holy war. Such attacks are frequently condemned as fanatical and immoral, especially when civilians are killed. Now, the clerics declared suicide bombings to be forbidden, or "haraam". more...
Black Death plague 'spread by humans, not rats'
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:47:57 GMT
Black Death devastated European populations from 1346 to 1353 and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people. According to scientists, human "ectoparasites", such as body lice and human fleas, might be more likely to have caused the epidemic. more...
Black money: Govt to deregister 1.20L more cos
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:19:50 GMT
more...
22 Android phone apps you should delete right away
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 04:09:29 GMT
more...
Patanjali goes online, eyes Rs 1,000 crore sale
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:13:17 GMT
more...
TOI Budget 2018 special: Service Tax v/s GST
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:47:35 GMT
more...
Pay Rs 570 for using this expressway starting Jan 20
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:58:26 GMT
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Manushi to debut in Daboo Ratnani's calendar
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:37:25 GMT
more...
Cut bureaucracy for economic power: Israel PM
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:11:07 GMT
more...
Mamata's picture defaced inside Jadavpur varsity
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:22:20 GMT
A hoarding with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's picture was found defaced inside the Jadavpur University campus here triggering condemnation by the vice chancellor and the state education minister. more...
How to make your salary tax efficient
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:42:07 GMT
These avenues could ensure less tax outgo and more money in hand more...
The Dawn News - Home
'Entire nation is grieving Zainab's murder': SC summons all investigation teams
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:00:36 +0500
Zainab goes missing, is found The Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing a suo motu case on the grisly rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab in Kasur.A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, noted that the entire nation is grieving the death of the minor, whose body was found in a trash heap on January 11.Punjab Additional Inspector General (AIG) Abubakar Khuda Buksh appeared before the court and told the bench that Inspector General of Police Arif Nawaz could not be present today as he was busy."The person behind Zainab's murder is a serial killer," the chief justice observed during the hearing. He noted that a gap between the judiciary and the police must be bridged so that mistakes that have been made by the latter in such cases can be avoided."The police does not take guidance from the court's decisions. The same mistakes are made in all such cases," he said."We are trying to close the gap between the courts and the police. Why shouldn't there be communication between the courts and the police?" Chief Justice Nisar added.The chief justice said that the court requires assurance that the culprit responsible for Zainab's death will be arrested."I want the criminal to be captured, not killed in an encounter," the chief justice added.He said that if the matter is not resolved, it will be the failure of the police and the government. The chief justice told the AIG that the hearing could be moved into the chambers if he did not want to reveal aspects of the investigation in the courtroom.The AIG said a time for the arrest of the rapist and murderer could not be provided at the moment. So far, 1,100 suspects have been interrogated and DNA tests of 400 people have been conducted, he informed the court.During the hearing, the apex court halted the proceedings of the Lahore High Court that had also taken up the Zainab case, saying the high court did not have the jurisdiction to hear suo motu cases.The apex bench adjourned the Zainab case until Sunday, summoning the entire investigation team probing the minor's death at the next hearing which will be conducted at the SC Lahore Registry.Zainab goes missing, is found Zainab went missing on January 4 while heading towards a relative's home. Her bruised body was found a few days later in a dump in the city.The news shocked the entire country with #JusticeforZainab becoming the rallying cry while violent protests broke out in Kasur.The six-year-old's autopsy had confirmed that she was strangled to death. It suggested that she had been raped before being killed.At least four agencies — the Counter Terrorism Department, the Intelligence Bureau, the Special Branch and the Punjab Forensic Science Agency — have been seized with the case and each agency has arrested suspects separately while investigating the matter.However, no major headway has been made in the case since Zainab's body was found. more...
Govt unveils 'Paigham-i-Pakistan' fatwa against terrorism
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:30:40 +0500
Political party leaders and religious scholars called for unity and a unanimous narrative to counter terrorism in Pakistan at a ceremony announcing the 'Paigham-i-Pakistan' fatwa in Islamabad on Tuesday. President Mamnoon Hussain, while speaking at the ceremony, expressed confidence that the unanimous fatwa issued by religious scholars belonging to various schools of thought would help address the challenges posed by terrorism, extremism and sectarianism, Radio Pakistan reported.Issuing a fatwa drafted by means of a consultative process is a step in the right direction, the president said, adding that it would portray a "soft and positive image of Pakistan" and highlight Islam as a religion of peace, brotherhood, tolerance and accommodation.Explore: Ulema must undo extremist narrative of religion: PMInterior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, while addressing participants of the ceremony, underlined the urgent need for Muslim nations to progress and have something positive to show over the next 400 years, and touted the fatwa as a means to obtain national unity."If we want to correct our direction for the future, it is necessary that society is peaceful and stable because without them we cannot embark on this journey. We must introspect and look within instead of hypothesising about conspiracies. We need to be ready and accountable in order to undertake this journey," he said. "Pakistan was not created so it could be just one more addition to a list of the world's poorest countries. It is necessary to show the world that even in this modern day and age, the Muslims of South Asia have the ability to form a successful nation on the basis of Islamic principles," he stressed. "It is a matter of concern that after 70 years, the dream for Pakistan, the dignity and justice we had to provide the nation, were not realised. All of this is only possible when the ethos of a nation or group of people is apparent to them," he said."When the nation ceases to believe in self-reliance and its narrative pertaining to itself is scattered, then it becomes a group of people who have differences with each other. When differences are prevalent, then the outcome is that which we are seeing today," he said. "The fatwa will provide a platform for national unity... So that in the 21st century, we can make Pakistan a distinguished country, an Asian tiger, and bring the Quaid's dream to fruition," he claimed."We have been fighting regional conflict, and the events we face today are not completely of our doing. To a great extent, the world powers who fought the Soviet Union are responsible," Iqbal said. "But when the Soviet lost in Afghanistan, the world powers dusted off their hands and disappeared, leaving behind piles of weapons and the poorest segments of those societies," he said.Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif at the ceremony urged the nation to own the narrative the fatwa is based on, and to back all national institutions that are working against terrorism. "With this narrative, we make it clear to the entire world that all national institutions are united against terrorism," Asif said. "We have rejected all forms of terrorism and extremism," he asserted."The land of Pakistan at no time shall be allowed to be used for the propagation of any kind of terrorism," he said, adding that this included training and recruitment of terrorists, along with execution of terror activities in other countries "and other such ulterior motives".The outcomes of this narrative will be evident to the nation soon, Asif vowed. Speaking to APP on the eve of the unveiling of the Paigham-i-Pakistan, religious scholars had urged collective efforts by state institutions, within the ambit of the Constitution, to cleanse society of the menaces of extremism and terrorism. Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had said that "all religious parties and scholars are with the state and Constitution for the welfare of people. Religious scholar Maulana Rafi Usmani described the unveiling of the narrative as 'historic'. He said that scholars from all sects had deliberated over each word in the document for months before preparing a decree. "We hope that the Paigham-i-Pakistan will help improve the present situation in the country and set a future course to lead the nation to a destination of peace and prosperity," he added. more...
LHC full bench takes up petitions against Tahirul Qadri's upcoming protest
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:16:54 +0500
Traders want protest moved to Nasir Bagh Educational institutions to remain shut, PAT gears up A larger bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday decided to take up a petition against the Pakistan Awami Tehreek's (PAT) upcoming protest against the PML-N government, set to begin on January 17.LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah had ordered the formation of a full bench, under Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Shahid Karim.However, just as the larger bench sat down to begin the hearing, Justice Farrukh recused himself from the case, citing personal reasons.The bench was then reformed with Justice Aminuddin leading it and Justice Shahid Jamil Khan replacing Justice Farrukh.The petition was filed by Advocate AK Dogar in the name of the lawyers' forum.According to the petition, protests called by political parties are against Article 124 of the Constitution, adding that such protests may cause disruption in the country."Such protests also cause a hindrance in the daily life of the citizens," the petition said.The petition stated that the LHC should call for a reply from the political parties that are planning the protest and in the meantime, keep them from blocking Mall Road on January 17.The bench adjourned the hearing till tomorrow morning while asking the federal government and other stakeholders to submit their replies in the caseTraders want protest moved to Nasir Bagh In a separate petition regarding the same matter, traders from the area where the protest will be held asked the court to move the venue of the protest to Nasir Bagh."We do not want to deprive the protesters from their democratic right, however if the protest is moved to Nasir Bagh, our daily lives will not be disrupted," the protesters petition said.The hearing of the case is still underway.Educational institutions to remain shut, PAT gears up As the PAT gears up to take to Mall Road tomorrow and re-launch an agitation campaign against the PML-N government, the Punjab education ministry has decided to keep schools and colleges in the area shut for at least the next two days."The government will decide when to reopen educational institutions depending on what the situation is," said Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashood.The private school association has also agreed to keep all schools shut in the area as well.On the other hand, PAT is busy preparing for its protest on Mall Road, where they will reiterate their demand for Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah's resignation for their alleged complicity in the Model Town incident.The main stage for the protest is being created at the Charing Cross roundabout. The stage is 80 feet long and 40ft wide. Due to security concerns, 40ft on the sides of the stage will be kept vacant. The PAT leadership has placed five large television screens from Charring cross to DPO roundabout — the area which will be occupied by PAT protesters.All markets at or near Mall Road, Panorama Centre, Hall Road and Regal roundabout will remain shut for the duration of the protest. more...
Council of Islamic Ideology to contemplate meaning and religious connotations of 'Black Friday' sales
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:30:03 +0500
The Council Of Islamic Ideology (CII) will convene on Wednesday to discuss the core meaning of the term 'Black Friday' and look at it from an Islamic point of view, DawnNews reported on Tuesday. CII Chairman Professor Dr Qibla Ayaz will chair the meeting.The term 'Black Friday' has come under much criticism from religious quarters as various brands and stores began offering massive Black Friday discounts in keeping with retail and consumer trends in the United States.According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the day after the (American holiday of) Thanksgiving has been called Black Friday since at least the early 1960s.""The explanation typically given for the day’s name is that it is the first day of the year that retailers are in the black as opposed to being in the red. In other words, the day is the first of the year that retailers have turned a profit," says an article on the Oxford English Dictionary website. The article adds: "The use of colours here refers back to the bookkeeping practice of recording the credit side of an account in a ledger in black ink and the debit side in red ink."The term 'Black Friday' became controversial and widely criticised on social media in Pakistan when certain quarters put forward the idea that Friday, the day of the weekly congregation, could not be associated with the colour black, which archetypically corresponds with negative omens. However, observations on the criticism note the underlying racism evident in associating the colour black with negativity. Others point out that associating a colour with a specific day does not undermine the religious significance of that day.In addition to debating the meaning of 'Black Friday', the CII is set to pass a resolution protesting US President Donald Trump's decision to shift the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.The December 6 announcement incited severe global criticism and warnings that the move would jeopardise regional peace and create unrest among Muslim nations, as Jerusalem is claimed by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. The CII will also debate a bill that looks to provide members of the transgender community more rights.The Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017 which looked to make changes to the oath taken by non-Muslims when being sworn in to office will also be discussed in the meeting. more...
Minister for ‘ruthlessly candid dialogue’ with US
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:15:53 +0500
ISLAMABAD: Regretting how the United States downplays India’s aggressive posturing along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary, Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan on Monday called for “ruthlessly candid dialogue” with Washington to remove all types of misconceptions and misunderstandings.“It’s time for a courteous yet ruthlessly candid dialogue between Pakistan and the US with everything on the table,” the defence minister said while reading out a policy statement on the government’s foreign policy contours and the security situation in the country on the floor of the National Assembly.The minister’s statement triggered a debate on the foreign policy issues during which the members both from the ruling coalition and the opposition termed it “insufficient” and “confusing statement”. The members were of the view that the foreign policy should originate from parliament and there should be no role of other institutions.The minister said the perception of India was one of the foundational divergences between Pakistan and the US. He said that Washington had been trying to convince Pakistan that India was not a threat and, therefore, Pakistan should change its strategic stance. Says Indian govt has reduced space for any advocacy of peace “But the truism remains true. Both India’s capacity and intents are today hostile towards Pakistan,” he added.Mr Dastagir alleged that “India has amassed men, material and garrisons along the border with Pakistan”. He said that 2017 was the deadliest year in terms of LoC violations by India and the killings of civilians. “India today is a highly militaralised and an increasingly belligerent neighbour,” he declared.“The unrelentingly hostile and anti-Pakistan stance taken by the current Indian government has reduced drastically the space for any advocacy of peace,” the minister added.He said Pakistan was being made a scapegoat as the US was not winning in Afghanistan. He said they had cleared Fata, Karachi and Balochistan as a result of the Operation Zarb-i-Azb and there were no safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan. He urged the US to recognise the sacrifices which Pakistan and its people had given in the war on terror since 2001. He criticised the US for not pursuing internal reconciliation in Afghanistan which had now become a safe haven for terrorists.Parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party Syed Naveed Qamar welcomed the minister for making a policy statement in the assembly and suggested that Pakistan should have a “stable approach” while dealing with the US, saying that while the US could afford to be irresponsible, Pakistan could not afford it.Dr Shireen Mazari of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf termed the minister’s statement “confusing”. She said that they should not be aggressive towards the US, but there must be efforts to revive dignity and self-respect of the country. She said that today Pakistan was a need for the US which had stuck in Afghanistan.Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman criticised the policies of the recent governments to become a coalition partner of the US in the so-called war on terror.Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai warned against the efforts being made by “institutions” to derail the democratic process in the country. He warned that war clouds were hovering over Pakistan.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
Gen Bajwa meets top Sri Lankan military leadership, discusses ways to improve defence ties
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:18:10 +0500
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa reached Sri Lanka on a two-day official visit on Tuesday and held meetings with the top Sri Lankan military leadership, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said. Visiting on an invitation from his Sri Lankan counterpart, Gen Bajwa met the chief of defence staff and chiefs of all three services.During the meetings, the two sides discussed various new initiatives and ongoing projects to strengthen defence ties between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, read the ISPR statement. A guard of honour is presented on Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's arrival. —ISPR Guard of honour was presented when the COAS visited headquarters of the Sri Lankan military, the ISPR said. Gen Bajwa interacted with the faculty and staff at the Defence Services Command and Staff College.The Sri Lankan military leadership "expressed their gratitude and appreciation for Pakistan's unequivocal moral and material support during Sri Lanka's successful war on terror", the statement said.During his visit, Gen Bajwa claimed that after having cleared "troubled areas from terrorists of all hues and colours", Pakistan is now cracking down on militants' "disorganised residual presence"."Pakistan and Sri Lanka are probably the only two countries which understand what it takes to defeat the menace of terrorism," Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying. more...
CM Sindh orders judicial inquiry into teenager Intizar's killing by undercover cops
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:04:24 +0500
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday assured the father of a teenager killed by Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) personnel last week that a judicial inquiry would be conducted in the case, Dawn News reported.Nineteen-year-old Intizar Ahmed has been fatally shot by undercover ACLC officers on Khayaban-i-Ittehad in Karachi's Defence Housing Authority area on Saturday night after he failed to stop his vehicle at their signal. After taking into custody six of the nine ACLC men accused (three have gone into hiding), DIG South-Zone Azad Khan had said that no leniency will be shown to the culprits. However, the deceased's father is not satisfied the case will get fair treatment."When policemen themselves were involved in the murder of my son, how can I expect them to punish their own," the grieving father said while asking the army chief and the chief justice to take notice of the incident.He later sent a written request to the CM Sindh seeking a judicial inquiry, which the CM has been more than willing to accommodate."I understand your grief and pain," CM Shah told Intizar's father Ishtiaq Ahmed during a telephonic conversation on Tuesday. "Whatever you say will happen. If you want a judicial investigation then we will do that." "Give me a day to finalise all the formalities," the CM said before directing the chief secretary Sindh to initiate proceedings for a judicial inquiry.CCTV footage and the mystery girlIshtiaq said he had seen the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of his son's murder. "First, a black car stopped in front of my son's car, forcing him to stop his vehicle," he said. "Another car came from the left and then policemen in plainclothes reached there on a motorcycle. One policeman kept on shooting towards my son."The deceased's father said there was an unknown girl in the car with his son and demanded that she must be brought to the fore as she is an eyewitness. "I don't know who that girl was but she must be identified," he said."I was shown the footage where the girl fled the scene," Ishtiaq added. Later, when the girl was identified, he said: "My son was sleeping at our home when Mariam* called him and asked him to come, after which he left."Post-mortem reportAccording to the post-mortem report, he died of a single bullet, which entered from behind his right ear and exited from the other side.The report said that Intizar had expired on the spot.*Name has been changed to protect her identity. more...
Sharif vows to unearth Balochistan 'conspiracy'
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:19:13 +0500
PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday described the dethroning of former Balochistan chief minister Sanaullah Zehri as "a joke with democracy" and vowed to unearth the motives behind the "conspiracy"."It is beyond perception as to why a member of a minority party who secured just a few hundred votes was made the chief minister," Sharif was quoted as saying during an advisory meeting on Balochistan. He was referring to new Balochistan CM Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, who replaced Zehri last week. "I have convened a meeting to probe the matter," Sharif said."Dethroning a chief minister of a majority party in an engineered manner to bring forth a person whose guarantee money was nearly confiscated is a joke with the nation and democracy," Sharif said. "The Balochistan issue is a serious one and it should be taken seriously. We shall deliberate on the situation at the party level."Sharif also warned that machinations against his party in Balochistan could threaten the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)."CPEC can change the fortunes of Balochistan and the Baloch people, but political anarchy carries the threat of damaging this project," he warned.When asked about proceedings against him in the National Accountability Bureau court, Sharif said: "the media and the nation are witnesses that the case carries no weight or concrete evidence.""I fail to understand what is actually the case against me," he added. more...
US Gen Dunford hopeful that relations with Pakistan will improve
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:59:41 +0500
Talking to reporters in Brussels, the United States' (US) Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Joseph Dunford insisted that he had not given up hope on the US mending relations with Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported on Tuesday.Gen Dunford proposed military-to-military dialogue as a means to improve relations between the two nations, which have been strained since US President Donald Trump in a New Year's tweet accused Pakistan of "harbouring terrorists" and subsequently blocked military aid to Pakistan. The decision had elicited a strong reaction from Pakistan, where the civil and military leadership denounced the allegations and regretted that Washington did not value the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism.But while the relationship between the US and Pakistan remains tense, both countries have insisted that officials from both sides are in contact. On January 15, US diplomat Alice Wells commended Pakistan's efforts to establish peace in the region during a scheduled dialogue on bilateral and regional cooperation between delegations of senior officials from Pakistan and the US.On January 12, Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa received a positive phone call from Commander US Central Command (Centcom), Gen Joseph L. Votel as well. According to a press release from Inter-Services Public Relations, Votel told the army chief that the US merely seeks Pakistan's cooperation in tackling Afghan nationals who, in America's view, use Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan. That, the American general said, has been undermining Pakistan’s contributions in the war.He also assured the army chief that Washington was not considering to take any unilateral action on Pakistan's territory, which negated an earlier report that Washington was willing to take unilateral steps in Pakistan if the interests of the two countries converge. more...
SC dismisses request to omit observations against Chaudhry Nisar from Quetta carnage report
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:31:47 +0500
Implementing the inquiry commission's recommendations Protecting the Hazara community The Supreme Court on Tuesday released its written judgement in the 2016 Quetta carnage case, dismissing a request to omit observations against former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar from the Quetta inquiry commission's report.In September 2016, giving into calls for judicial intervention, the apex court had taken suo motu notice of the deadly suicide bombing at Quetta Civil Hospital, which had claimed 76 lives, a month earlier. Fifty-seven lawyers were killed in the carnage.Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who presided over the three-member bench that heard the case, issued the five-page written judgement today. "The said findings [...] are based upon observations of the commission and are not to be treated as findings of this court," Justice Khosa wrote, rejecting Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf's request to omit the observations against Nisar from the report compiled by the Justice Qazi Faiz Isa-led Quetta inquiry commission .The inquiry commission's report on the 2016 tragedy had regretted a meeting that Nisar held on Oct 21, 2016, with Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, the head of three banned organisations — Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, Millat-i-Islamia and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat — to listen to the latter’s demands. Perspective: Carnage now, confusion laterAccording to the commission's report, Nisar had been unable to fulfil his responsibilities as an interior minister."In the 3.5 years that he held the post of interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar only called one session of the National Counter Terrorism Authority's (Nacta) executive committee," the commission's report had said.The AG had maintained that the observations against Nisar were "person specific" and "uncalled for". Implementing the inquiry commission's recommendations In the written judgement, Justice Khosa noted that Balochistan attorney general had stated before the court that the provincial government has taken measures in keeping with the inquiry commission's recommendations.Similarly, the judge added, Attorney General Ausaf told the court that the commission's report served as a "source of guidance" for the federal government.Justice Khosa added in the judgement that, according to Attorney General Ausaf, Nacta had been made fully active and the recommendations of the Quetta inquiry commission were implemented."According to [Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf], some aspects of the recommendations made by the inquiry commission are being implemented immediately whereas the other areas are being attended to in all earnest," Justice Khosa noted in the written judgement."[Ausaf] has submitted that some changes in the relevant legislation are being worked upon, the National Action Plan is being put into practice, a counter-narrative qua extremism is being developed and all out efforts are being made by the Government of Pakistan to remove the shortcomings highlighted in the report," he added."We find that at this stage, most of the major issues arising out of the said incidents have seriously been attended to or solved by the Government of Balochistan as well as the Government of Pakistan after persistent nudging by this court," reads the judgement. "Indeed, the Quetta carnage was a national tragedy," the judge wrote. "Due to the carnage, several other problems took root. In order to resolve those problems, the courts had to fulfil its responsibilities."Protecting the Hazara community In his written order, the judge disposed of the application of a member of Hazara community, requesting to be made party to the suo motu case.The judge wrote in the judgement that the federal government and the Balochistan government have already taken steps towards the protection of the community."We expect the federal and provincial governments to continue their efforts in that regard and to leave no stone unturned for securing their lives, legal rights and legitimate interests," Justice Khosa added."This application is disposed of with this exception," the judge said. more...
Court bans usage of 'deaf, mute, blind or lame' to describe differently-abled persons
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:03:05 +0500
In a landmark ruling passed on Tuesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) banned the usage of andha (blind), goonga (mute), behra (deaf) and langra (lame) to describe differently-abled persons in official matters and directed the government to make the necessary changes in this regard to the The Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance of 1981.In the ruling, LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah also directed that disabled persons must now be referred to as "special persons". When referring to persons who are unable to see, the term "visually impaired" must be used, the ruling said.The case had been taken up by the LHC after Barrister Asfand Khan Tareen filed a petition in this regard, naming the Punjab government, the federal government and the law ministry as respondents.The Social Welfare Department's lawyer, Tariq Ismail, who represented the state, assured the court that in light of the verdict, The Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance, 1981 will be amended to expunge the banned terms. more...
Chaudhry Nisar hits back at 'habitual sycophant' Pervaiz Rasheed
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:57:11 +0500
Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday criticised fellow PML-N politician Pervaiz Rahseed some more as the war of words, which had started over the weekend with the latter's provocation in a TV interview, refused to die down."Pervaiz Rasheed is continuously giving wrong statements and is a habitual sycophant," Nisar was quoted as saying by his spokesperson. "These are the only two specialties which make him PML-N's Aristotle."Rasheed had claimed that Nisar never won an election without PML-N's banner — a statement Nisar completely disagreed with, as his spokesperson explained: "Chaudhry Nisar contested the provincial elections of 1985, 1988 and 1990 without PML-N's electoral symbol of lion, and by the grace of Allah, he won."Nisar's spokesperson also said that the Dawn Leaks committee in its report accused Rasheed of continuously lying and held him responsible for hiding the facts. He advised Rasheed that instead of making unnecessary public statements, he should urge his government to make the Dawn Leaks report public so that the nation could know the truth.The two PML-N stalwarts have very rarely seen eye to eye but the recent round of their verbal spat began when Rasheed, over the weekend, called on Nisar to “leave the party”, since he had spoken against it in times of crisis. He had also accused Nisar of having him “sacked in order to please someone”, a thinly veiled reference to the military establishment.“If Chaudhry Nisar is a man of principles, he should leave the PML-N. I will speak to the party leadership about a decision in this regard,” Senator Pervaiz Rashid had told a private TV channel. more...
New Zealand coast to easy victory against Pakistan in 4th ODI
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:47:23 +0500
Pakistan innings New Zealand coasted to an easy victory against Pakistan with five wickets to spare in the fourth One-Day International in Hamilton on Tuesday. Although the green shirts seemed to be in control with a solid 262-run total in the first innings, the black caps were able to meet the target with 25 balls remaining.Colin de Grandhomme racked up the highest total on the NZ side, with 74 runs not out by the end of the match, while his partner Henry Nicholls had the third-highest total with 52 runs. The match appeared to be going in Pakistan's favour until the tail-end partnership upended the game. Grandhomme wrested back control with seven 4s and five 6s. Young Shadab Khan put up a high-class display of legspin bowling, taking three of five wickets.Rumman Raees took two wickets while Harris Sohail bagged one. The black caps began the innings with a steady 56 by Colin Munro and 31 by Martin Guptil. The game appeared to be going against them when the first wicket fell in the 14th over with 88 runs on the board.Following Munro's lead, Guptil made his way back to the pavilion in the 16th over. Ross Tailor added just one more run to the gross total before he was declared lbw on Rumman's delivery.Tom Latham was sent back to the pavilion by Shadab with just 8 runs to his name. Kane Williamson, with 32 runs to his name. was caught by Rumman on a delivery by Harris.Pakistan innings Earlier in the day, Mohammad Hafeez top scored with 81 as the tourists' batsmen finally managed to notch some runs, with Fakhar Zaman, Sohail and captain Sarfraz Ahmed also posting half centuries. Paceman Tim Southee led the New Zealand attack with three for 44 and skipper Kane Williamson took two for 32. Pakistan finished their 50-over innings at 262 for eight, thanks to some big-hitting from Hafeez, who smashed 22 from the final over. It was a gutsy fightback from a side that was reeling at 11 for two in the fifth over and looked in danger of another humiliation after being skittled for 74 in their last outing. Already 3-0 in the five-match series, Pakistan had little to lose and promoted hard-hitting allrounder Faheem Ashraf to open the batting in the search for runs. The gamble backfired when Faheem departed for one after edging a swinging Southee delivery to the wicketkeeper in the third over, bringing Babar Azam to the crease. He lasted only nine balls before becoming Southee's second victim, trudging back to the pavilion with only three runs to his name. Fakhar Zaman was lucky not to follow him on seven when he spooned the ball to mid-wicket, only for Colin Munro to drop the chance. Fakhar made the most of his life, bringing up his half-century off 68 balls as part of a productive 86-run partnership with Haris Sohail before departing for 54. Haris, returning to the ODI arena for the first time since 2015, also failed to push on after reaching 50, smashing the ball to Henry Nicholls on the boundary as he looked for a big six. Incoming batsman Shoaib Malik had an injury scare as he ran into the path of fielder Munro's throw while trying to scamper back to his crease and the ball hit him flush on the head. Shoaib, who was not wearing a helmet, fell down onto the wicket but was able to continue after consultations with team medics, although he was dismissed in the next over. Pakistan were 175 for five with 10 overs remaining before Sarfraz and partner Hafeez stepped up the pace. Sarfraz Ahmed reached 51 off 46 balls while Hafeez's 81 included five fours and four sixes. more...
TLYRA's 'jail bharo' movement to start from Jan 27
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:02:52 +0500
LAHORE: After expiry of the deadline set by the Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah for the acceptance of its demands, the party on Monday announced it would launch a ‘Jail Bharo’ (fill the jails) movement from Jan 27.The party’s demands include resignations of law minister Rana Sanaullah, making of Raja Zafarul Haq report public and compensation for those killed during Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwat. At a press conference here, Labaik chief Ashraf Asif Jalali said 100 workers of his party from Lahore would court arrest in front of the Punjab Assembly building on Jan 27, launching the movement. From the very next day (Jan 28), he added, 100 workers of the party from other cities would start courting arrests daily till all jails of Punjab got filled.“The government has made repeated promises to the Tehreek for meeting all its demands but it failed to keep them. The movement has been reminding it (the government) of all the promises and extended deadline twice to give it more time, but to no avail. Now, the patience was running out because of repeated breaking of the promises, leaving the party with no choice but to take practical steps like “filling the jails”. The party would also keep assessing the situation and keep coming up with its responses accordingly”, he said.Instead of improving, the situation has in fact worsened during the last few weeks since the Tehreek ended its sit-in in the city. “It was fighting for those killed during the movement, whereas now minor girls like Zanaib were being raped and killed. The chief minister has surrounded himself with some sycophants, who have been misleading him on all issues afflicting his government. The party is starting with this movement and would continue improving its tactics till it forces the government to meet its demands. People like Rana Sanaullah have committed a sin and a crime and the recording of his statement, which proves his crime, is available, why is government reluctant to remove him? The party has now decided to force the government to meet its demands,” he concluded.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
Modi invites Israel to invest in defence production
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:02:27 +0500
NEW DELHI: On his second day in India on Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a revolutionary leader and heard his proposal for Israel to invest in India’s defence sector.The two countries signed nine pacts to boost cooperation in key areas including cyber-security. The two prime ministers underscored the grave threat posed by terrorism and agreed to hold the next meeting of the Joint Working Group on Homeland and Public Security next month.The issue of India voting against Israel at the UN on the Jerusalem issue also figured in the talks in which Indian officials maintained that both sides put forth their views and that the two leaders agreed that ties “are not determined by a single issue”.Describing their talks as “wide-ranging and intensive”, Mr Modi said they reviewed the progress in the bilateral relations and agreed that “the possibilities and the opportunities” that beckon the two countries need to be seized.“We will strengthen the existing pil­­lars of cooperation in areas that touch the lives of our peoples. These are agriculture, science and technology, and security…In defence, I have invited Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalised FDI [foreign direct investment] regime to make more in India with our companies.”Mr Netanyahu described his host as a “revolutionary” leader. “You are a revolutionary leader and you are revolutionising India. You are catapulting this magnificent state into the future. And you have revolutionised the relations between Israel and India,” Mr Netanyahu told Mr Modi.A joint statement said both prime ministers noted that Israeli companies were ready to enter joint ventures with Indian companies in the defence sector under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.On the Palestine issue, the statem­ent said that the two prime ministers discussed the developments pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.“They reaffirmed their support for an early resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians for arriving at a comprehensive negotiated solution on all outstanding issues, based on mutual recognition and effective security arrangements, for establishing a just and durable peace in the region,” it said, without referring to the status of East Jerusalem.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
China deplores Indian army chief’s remarks on Doklam
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:02:27 +0500
NEW DELHI: China has hit out at Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat for calling Doklam a disputed territory, the Indian Express reported on Monday, quoting the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson in Beijing.Spokesman Lu Kang described Gen Rawat’s remarks at a news conference as “unconstructive” and said they were not helpful for maintaining peace at the borders.Mr Lu said the comments were against the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at the BRICS countries summit last September to revive the ties and preserve peace on the border.According to the newspaper, Gen Rawat suggested on Saturday that India needed to shift focus from its border with Pakistan to that of China and spoke of pressure being exerted by Beijing along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).“Donglang is China’s territory. China will continue to exercise its sovereignty rights in accordance with the historical convention and steadfastly uphold its territorial sovereignty,” Mr Lu said.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
Pakistan welcomes talks between North and South Korea
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:30:53 +0500
Pakistan welcomes the recent high-level diplomatic talks between North Korea and South Korea that were held between the two countries for the first time in more than two years, a press release issued by the Foreign Office (FO) said on Tuesday. Islamabad also expressed hope that the recent talks between the two countries would "help ease tensions" in the Peninsula and "lead to lasting peace, prosperity, stability, reconciliation and cooperation in the region".The FO statement said Pakistan has always urged both states to resolve their differences through "meaningful negotiations" and ensure that they abide by their "international obligations and pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy to reduce tensions and work towards achieving a comprehensive solution."Last week, North Korea and South Korea had sent their delegations to hold high-level diplomatic talks in Panmunjom, a truce village in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), after North's Kim Jong-Un said he was willing to send athletes to participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics that are to be held in Pyeongchang in the South. more...
PIA's core business to be sold off by April 15: privatisation minister
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:33:50 +0500
Privatisation reinitiated PPP opposes move PSM privatisation 'intact' The government is committed to finalising the process of privatisation of loss-making Pakistan International Airlines' (PIA) core business before April 15, Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz said on Monday.Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the minister emphasised that the government plans to sell only the core business relating to management and flight operations of the national flag carrier, whereas the rest of the business would remain in the government's custody.The government is also planning to establish another company under which all the fixed assets of PIA would be managed, he said.Aziz claimed that during the privatisation process, all legal rights and monetary benefits of PIA employees will be "fully protected".Also read: PM’s adviser asks Senate body to ‘shut down’ PIAThe minister said according to the PIAC Conversion Act, 2016, that was adopted unanimously by the parliament, the government was bound to complete the privatisation process by April 15 this year.He said PIA has been incurring losses for decades and is a huge burden on the national kitty, therefore the agenda of divesting the national airlines had always been a top priority of every government. The total losses incurred by the airlines by March, 2017 stood at a whopping Rs325 billion, Aziz revealed.He said he would closely monitor the privatisation exercise and ensure complete transparency in the process in the larger interest of the country.Claiming that the sell-off will be highly beneficial for the country and the people, the minister said the privatisation will not only help overcome huge losses to the national exchequer but travellers will enjoy more competitive rates for flights with "state-of-the-art international facilities".Due to loss-making State-Owned Entities (SOEs), the country was facing a huge loss of over Rs600bn annually for the last three decades, Aziz said. "Had this amount been spent in the development sectors at the grass-root level, [Pakistan] would be competing with developed countries like Singapore," he added.Explore: Everyone seems to have a solution for PIA“We are planning to make Pakistan an 'Asian tiger', however, in the presence of such bleeding SOEs, the country’s economic growth can not be sustained for a long time and a huge chunk of resource has to be utilised to cover losses of such entities.”When asked how soon a transaction to acquire PIA could take place, Aziz told Reuters news agency: “Tomorrow morning. If you have the money, come and buy it.”Privatisation reinitiated At its November 2, 2017 meeting, the Privatisation Commission headed by Daniyal Aziz had decided to “reinitiate” the process of privatising PIA — a commitment made by the PML-N government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when it secured a $6.2bn bailout.A mammoth organisation buried under nearly Rs300 billion of debt, PIA had been spared privatisation in 2016 after it was converted into a public limited company (PIACL) by a joint session of parliament.Examine: The big debate: to sell or not to sell PIA?The law converting PIA into a public limited company was called the PIAC Conversion Act, 2016, and included a bar on the federal government trying to transfer ownership of the entity. What could be sold was the management of the airline; ownership would always stay with the government as they would retain a majority share with 51 per cent.The Privatisation Commission is now seeking a reversal of this rule because it would pave the way for the government to sell ownership, and not just management, of the airline.Both Emirates and Etihad, two of the largest Gulf carriers, had shown interest in buying PIA before the government's clumsy handling of the privatisation effort collapsed in 2016, The Express Tribune reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed official privy to privatisation developments.PPP opposes move Meanwhile, the opposition in the National Assembly rejected the government plan to sell-off PIA's core business, holding the ruling PML-N responsible for the national flag carrier's sorry state of affairs.Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah in a statement said the government's privatisation plan is a cause of concern for not just PIA employees but the general public as well. He alleged that the government had failed to do anything for PIA's betterment in the last four-and-a-half years and "now wants to put the burden of its failures on PIA employees by privatising the airlines"."The government itself is responsible for PIA's losses as it imposed inefficient and corrupt top management on [the airlines]," he said.Shah said the PPP, the party he belongs to, will forcefully raise the issue of PIA's sell-off inside and outside the National Assembly."We stand with PIA employees against government steps that are inimical to workers' interests."PSM privatisation 'intact' At the press conference, Aziz said the process to privatise the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) is also intact as the entity's operations have been shut for the last three-and-a-half years and the government had to pay billions of rupees on account of salaries and pensions.He said after assuming the charge of the privatisation ministry, he had helped release four months of salaries to PSM employees. However, he said this arrangement could not continue for long and the mills had to be privatised at one point.He said due to PSM's closure, the government had to foot a huge import bill as massive quantities of steel was being imported to complete projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).The minister said the privatisation process would be a "blessing in disguise" for the country and its people as it will bring with it increased investment and employment opportunities. more...
Proposal for meeting of Pak-India DGMOs under study
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:01:24 +0500
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is considering a proposal for a meeting with India’s military operations chief for lowering of tensions along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary through fresh confidence-building measures.A defence ministry official told the Senate defence committee on Monday that a “fresh proposal of DGMOs’ (Director Generals of Military Operations) meeting is being considered”. The defence panel’s meeting was chaired by Senator Mushahid Hussain, who heads the committee.Pakistan-India DGMOs have a frequent hotline contact, but they last met four years ago at Wagah. The Wagah meeting took place after a break of 14 years. That meeting was also held for discussing ways to ensure peace along the LoC and WB. Last such negotiation took place four years ago at Wagah One of the confidence-building measures being considered for the planned meeting of DGMOs is ‘calibre reduction’ of the arms being used at LoC. India committed 1881 ceasefire violations last year — the highest number of breaches since the 2003 ceasefire understanding. Those violations left 87 people martyred on the Pakistani side. The casualties included both civilian and military.The official briefed senators about the latest trends in Indian ceasefire violations. He said the Indian troops were “sniping with heavy calibre weapons and targeting women and children for terrorising civilian population”. He said the Indian forces were using “artillery, heavy mortars, missiles, rockets and heavy automatics besides employing deadly air bursts”.The official said that alongside calibre escalation, Indian troops were targeting lines of communication.Four Pakistan army soldiers, who embraced martyrdom in Jandrot, Kotli sector, in the latest attack, were busy in maintenance of ‘Line of Communications’ when they were hit by a mortar round.The official said that India had also increased airspace violations. Last year, 66 airspace violations were recorded. These violations were committed by remotely piloted vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and quadcopters. Three quad copters were shot down by Pakistan.He feared that supply of armed drones to India by US could add a new dimension to the situation along the LoC.A resolution adopted by the Senate committee through consensus condemned Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s statement about “calling nuclear bluff of Pakistan” as stupidity and provocative. They termed it a war-like proclamation. Meanwhile, the committee also discussed the matter of appointment of a serving major general to the post of Director General of Military Lands and Cantonments. The matter was referred to the committee by Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani.“The continued posting of serving military officers since 1999 on the civilian cadre post of Director General of Military Lands and Cantonments is an issue of violation of the Supreme Court’s June 2013 order, of conflict of interest, of keeping a prime minister not fully informed and demoralising civilian service cadres,” said Senator Farhatullah Babar. First, he said, the Director General of Military Lands is supposed to watch the interests of the land owner, namely the federal government, whereas the military was the user of the land.“Placing the interests of land owner into the hands of land user is a serious conflict of interests,” he said.The Additional Secretary of Establishment, Mr Afzal Latif, informed the committee that the summary for amending the rules was moved by the defence ministry directly to the PM House and Establishment had nothing to do with it.After some discussion it was decided that the summary will be provided to members within a week.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
Police constable gunned down in Quetta
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:11:28 +0500
A constable was gunned down by unidentified men on Quetta's Raisani Road on Tuesday, in what police believe is another attack targeting law enforcers in the province.The constable, identified as Naseer Ahmed, was on his way to work when he was shot, the officials said, adding that he had died on the spot. The attackers fled the scene after shooting Ahmed. Police and security forces reached the site of the shooting, where an investigation is underway.Security officials, along with religious minorities, are often targeted by militants in Quetta. At least four attacks on security personnel have occurred in Balochistan in the past two weeks alone, three of which were carried out in Quetta.On January 1, three security officials were injured in twin attacks in Chaman when militants attacked an under-construction building and a police checkpost in the same area.Six Frontier Corps (FC) officials were injured in a bomb blast near an FC checkpost, which was reportedly followed by gunfire, on January 2 in the suburbs of Quetta. Last week, five policemen were martyred when a suicide bomber rammed into a police truck parked on Quetta's Zarghoon Road. Two passersby also died in the attack. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, which claimed the attack, had clarified that the target of the attack were officials and not the Balochistan Assembly, which is located in the same area.On Monday, five security personnel were martyred when the vehicle carrying them turned over during an ambush in Kech district of Balochistan. According to officials, suspected terrorists had opened fire on the security forces' vehicle. more...
Punjab Food Authority bans Chinese salt after scientific panel finds it hazardous for health
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:50:27 +0500
The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) on Monday banned Ajinomoto, commonly known as Chinese salt, after the authority's scientific panel found it hazardous for health. According to the findings of the scientific panel of the PFA, Chinese salt contains Monosodium glutamate (MSG) which can cause headaches, fatigue, palpitations, nausea and vomiting, sweating, flushing and numbness of the face, more so among people who are sensitive to it.It can also cause hypertension and is extremely hazardous for pregnant women, the panel found. The PFA scientific panel recommended banning the usage of Ajinomoto in all eateries, frozen foods, and all other food products. The authority has issued a final deadline of March 31 to bring the use of Chinese salt to a complete halt. Chemically, it is a salt of the amino acid family — Glutamic Acid (glutamate). According to some reports, regular use of this ingredient can cause long-term issues like high blood pressure, autism, hormonal imbalance, epilepsy, food allergies, asthma, reduction in bile formation, cancer and possible sterility in females. According to some findings, the MSG over-stimulates the brain tricking one into thinking that food tastes really great, so the person consuming it not only wants to have more of that food, but also want to go back to it. This is termed as magic ingredient that food companies love to use as a flavour enhancer in their products. more...
Autopsy confirms minor Mardan girl strangulated
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:36:20 +0500
MARDAN: Autopsy report of a four-year-old baby girl whose body was found here on Sunday evening established that the minor was strangulated and there were also torture marks on her body, police said.The body was recovered from sugarcane fields in Chandarpar Mohallah neighbourhood falling in the limits of Saddar police station.An official requesting anonymity told Dawn that though the autopsy had established the strangulation as the cause of death besides torture marks on minor’s body, to establish whether the toddler was raped or molested, they had to wait for the forensic report which would take about three to four days. Meanwhile, briefing reporters at the Mardan Press Club, district police chief Dr Mian Saeed said Mohammad Zahir, the complainant in the case, had approached the police saying her four-year-old niece had gone missing on Saturday evening. He said the family members told police that they searched for the minor but were unable to locate her. DPO Saeed announced a reward of Rs0.5 million for anyone providing police with information, leading to the arrest of the alleged killer. He said a joint investigation team had also been formed under his supervision to investigate the incident. He added the incident occurred in a far off area where CCT V cameras and other electronic facilities were not available on the crime scene, and due to this reason it was difficult for police to investigate the case on technical basis.He added the police were depending only on human information, adding a jirga of local elders had also been established to help the police investigations.He said the police had arrested 20 suspects in connection with the case who were being interrogated so that to reach the real culprits. Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
Traders seek CJP help to stop PAT protest on The Mall
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:02:52 +0500
LAHORE: The All Pakistan Anjuman-i-Tajiran will move the Lahore High Court on Tuesday (today) against the Punjab government, making the chief secretary, CCPO, DCO, commissioner and CTO a party, to stop PAT from committing contempt of court by holding a protest rally on The Mall, which is banned by the court.Addressing a press conference on Monday at the press club, APAT general secretary Naeem Mir requested the Pemra and all media groups and organisations to stop the coverage of Tahirul Qadri’s rally for being contempt to high court.APAT general secretary appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to take Suo motu notice of this contempt, giving a direction to the LHC to accept our petition immediately and pass the decision the same day, so that the order of ban could be implemented on Jan 17 properly.He said a petition had been moved by a citizen against the Wednesday protest but LHC Justice Shahid Karim issued notices for Jan 20. LHC judge for larger bench “What is the benefit of accepting this petition when the decision is not made before Jan 17?” he asked.LHC’s Justice Ijaz Chaudhry had, in November 2011, imposed a ban on all kinds of protest and rallies on The Mall on a petition of the All Pakistan Anjuman-i-Tajiran. Later, on a petition against government’s failure to stop protest rallies on The Mall, the court issued notices to the Punjab police chief and the home secretary, asking them to ensure implementation of the order and allocate alternate venues for rallies. On the order of the LHC, The Mall was declared as red zone from Mian Mir bridge to PMG crossing.Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court on Monday refused to stay the forthcoming sit-in of opposition parties in the city but issued notices to federal and the provincial governments on a petition against the protest. After issuing notices, Justice Shahid Karim also referred the petition to the chief justice for constitution of a larger bench to further hear the matter. Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, PML-Q, Jamaat-i-Islami and Pakistan Awami Tehreek had been made party in the petition with a request to declare their Jan 17 sit-in unconstitutional and aimed at bring hatred towards the government established under the law.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
IIUI still using Faisal Mosque’s premises, NA told
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:03:04 +0500
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Monday that the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) was still using the premises of Faisal Masjid even though it had been allotted the entire sector of H-10 (700 acres). During the question hour, Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry in a written reply to a question said 51,000 square metres covered and other area of Faisal Masjid was under the use of the IIUI. “The IIUI is of the view that it is the custodian of Faisal Mosque and has the authority to use/misuse its designated places besides allotment of a sector to IIUI in H-10,” the minister said. He said the matter had been reported to the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat through a public petition. The committee was told that the IIUI administration had forcefully occupied the grand mosque’s premises even though it had been allotted 700 acres by the CDA.The minister told the house that the committee had directed the IIUI to vacate the mosque as soon as possible but the direction has not been implemented.The Senate committee in July last year during a discussion on sanitation and maintenance of the mosque was informed by the CDA that the IIUI still had several offices on the mosque’s premises.The CDA officials had told the committee that besides other issues the civic body was facing challenges in looking after the mosque’s affairs because certain portions of the structure such as an auditorium and hostels were under the possession of the IIUI.After hearing CDA’s viewpoint, the committee members had resolved to raise their voice against what they called “illegal occupation of the mosque’s premises” by the university.A spokesman for the IIUI while responding to the committee’s remarks, had said the university was the caretaker of the entire mosque and its adjoining buildings, adding there was no weight in CDA’s claim.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
NAB claims Dar is playing hide and seek with courts
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:13:35 +0500
ISLAMABAD: Terming the absence of ‘ailing’ defunct finance minister Ishaq Dar from the trial proceeding deliberate, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has accused him of playing “hide-and-seek” with courts and the investigation agency. NAB in its written reply to Mr Dar’s petition submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) claimed that being fugitive of the law the defunct minister cannot seek any relief from courts. A division bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, on December 20 issued a stay order against the trial proceeding of the accountability court in the assets reference against Mr Dar. The accountability court had last year declared Mr Dar a proclaimed offender within 10 days of the issuance of the proclamation and initiated ex-parte proceedings against him in his presence. Written reply submitted to IHC claims that as fugitive of law, defunct minister cannot seek relief from courts The IHC on December 20 while restraining the accountability court from proceeding against Mr Dar had asked NAB to explain why section 17(c) was invoked to declare him a proclaimed offender after 10 days of the issuance of the proclamation whereas under the routine practice of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) the minimum period for such an exercise is 30 days. The bench had asked NAB to explain “whether the trial court exercised its discretion in accordance with the law; whether orders were sustainable on the touchstone of reasonableness and if initiating proceedings against Mr Dar were in consonance with law.” NAB’s special prosecutor Imran Shafique Advocate in the reply stated that a proclaimed offender, absconder or fugitive from the law cannot be heard unless he surrendered to the court of law. “The petition on this ground alone is not proceedable, hence liable to be dismissed,” he contended, adding it was also a settled law that a writ petition emerging from a criminal matter cannot be filed on the basis of special power of attorney. NAB said the petitioner was bound to disclose his bona fide which lacked in the instant matter. Therefore, the petitioner is debarred from invoking the jurisdiction of the IHC. It alleged that the defunct minister was guilty of playing hide-and-seek with the court of competent jurisdiction, adding the court was constrained to pass an order for taking coercive measures against the accused. It maintained that Mr Dar had assailed numerous orders passed in different applications pertaining to different subjects in a single writ petition which was not warranted under the law. In response to the IHC’s questions, NAB came up with two questions: whether the accused was able to make a case for exemption on the basis of medical ground and if the appointment of pleader in the case was possible and it was justified to allow the trial to continue in “self-imposed exile of the accused.” It said these questions were worth consideration by the court as the answer to the remaining questions revolved around the same. The reply stated that the last medical report was submitted by the accused on December 5 which was based on the conclusion of a doctor regarding a cardiac problem allegedly faced by the accused. “Even if taken as a gospel truth and relied upon, the report itself is sufficient to refute the petitioner’s stated cardiac problem,” it stated. Relying on a medical report, NAB has concluded that Mr Dar is not suffering from any disease which cannot be treated within the country. He has no major medical issue and life threatening disease and no restriction on the movement and travel of the accused has been suggested. NAB added that Mr Dar through his counsel had produced seven medical reports before the trial court which were not only inconsistent and contradictory but were sufficient to expose the mala fide of the “petitioner who in order to escape from the court staged the drama of serious heart problem.” He took adjournments spreading over 81 days from the last absence. The reports are blatantly violative of the laws of the country from which they have been produced. It said the accused cannot be given a privileged and extraordinary concession in the matter of a criminal trial. The appointment of pleader and grant of exemption are discretion of the trial court which cannot be claimed as a matter of right. Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
CTD arrests two Jamatul Ahrar men, recovers grenades, arms
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:02:52 +0500
LAHORE: The counter-terrorism department claimed to have defeated a terrorist plan in Lahore by arresting two members of a banned outfit from Harbans Pura.A spokesperson said a CTD team raided a house and arrested Amjad Khan and Daood Khan, both alleged members of banned terrorist outfit Jamatul Ahrar.The team recovered hand grenades and small-scale arms from the suspects, he said, adding that the suspects had planned an attack on security check points in the provincial capital.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
PAT may not go for sit-in on day one of protest
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:02:52 +0500
LAHORE: After the expiry of yet another deadline for resignation, this time for the entire Punjab government, the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), supported by all major parties, will kick off its protest movement tomorrow (Wednesday) with a rally on The Mall.According to party sources, the PAT still prefers to keep the rally a one-day event for a number of reasons but the final and formal decision will be taken by the steering committee, which will meet in the container late on Wednesday night.The PAT chief is expected to conclude it with a “charter of demands, which will have entire opposition’s consensus” behind it.PPP, the PTI and Jamaat-i-Islami leaders will be sharing rostrum with the PAT chief on Wednesday as all of them – Imran Khan, Asif Ali Zardari, Sirajul Haq, Sheikh Rasheed and Chaudhrys of Gujrat – have confirmed their participation.Taken in the light of statements and preparations by all parties in the last two days, they all seem determined to turn it into a big event: sounding the PML-N a serious warning of what is coming its way.The PAT chief, flanked by other parties, has recently explained his high hopes: for the first time entire opposition has rallied on one point – justice for Model Town victims. The national political consensus coupled with the moral strength of the demand would force the government out and Wednesday would prove to be beginning of the end, he told a recent press conference.The rally, however, has its own weaknesses despite a wider consensus. For example, two of its major components – PTI and PPP – are still at odds. That is why Imran and Zardari may appear on the stage at different times to address the participants.Despite all that optimism, the PAT seems to be treading carefully on two accounts: length of the protest and its venue. It has already put up a preparatory camp close to the Punjab Assembly and is preparing to hold the rally on The Mall. Its choice of venue is still not final among official circles.The PAT says the PTI, on behalf of the opposition, had submitted an application to the city administration for a rally on The Mall. Commissioner Abdullah Khan Sumbal, confirming receipt of the application, however, maintains that since the court has banned rallies on The Mall, the government was in the process of offering alternatives.PAT’s Noorullah Siddique thinks that since the verdict is applied selectively, the PAT rally will be held on The Mall. Though the PAT sources maintain the steering committee will meet in the container late on Wednesday and decide the future strategy, whether to prolong the rally or wind it up right away but the PAT insiders explain for avoiding a sit-in situation. “The PAT does not want to spend all financial and human resources in the beginning. That is precisely why it has only invited workers from Lahore for the first rally,” says a party insider. “The PAT is avoiding sit-in situation for many reasons. It pondered some basic questions like who will bring in people for the sit-in, especially with night temperatures falling below five degree Celsius. Who is going to serve them meals thrice a day? Who will foot the bill? How the PAT will get out of the ditch if the Punjab government refuses to resign and let the sit-in linger on? On top of it all, what if courts intervene on behalf of public which will be the major sufferer if The Mall is blocked for a longer period.Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018 more...
4 Pakistan Army soldiers martyred by cross-border mortar shelling in AJK
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:36:50 +0500
Islamabad summons New Delhi's envoy Four Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred by shelling across the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir's Jandrot sector on Monday, according to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The army's media wing said that the troops were busy with maintenance of a communication line when they were "fired upon and hit by [a] heavy mortar round." The ISPR said three Indian soldiers were killed and a "few injured" in an exchange of fire. The latest incident of cross-border firing comes days after Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat threatened to call Pakistan's "nuclear bluff" in a statement regarded as reckless and irresponsible by Pakistani leadership. Islamabad summons New Delhi's envoy Later in the day, the Foreign Office summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh to lodge a protest about the incident, the state-run Radio Pakistan, reported.FO Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said ceasefire violations by India are a "threat to regional peace" and security, and may lead to a strategic miscalculation."India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations despite calls for restraint," Faisal was quoted as saying.Deliberately targeting civilian populated areas and troops carrying out maintenance activities is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights, and humanitarian laws, the Foreign Office maintained. Furthermore, Islamabad urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate the latest violation and other such incidents, and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary.According to the Foreign Office, Indian forces have committed more than 70 ceasefire violations along the LoC and Working Boundary in 2018, in which at least one civilian has died and five people have been injured.Ceasefire violations are a frequent feature along the LoC and Working Boundary despite the leadership of Pakistan Rangers and India's Border Security Forces agreeing in November 2017 that the "spirit" of the 2003 Ceasefire Agreement must be revived to protect innocent lives.Unprovoked firing by Indian forces across the LoC had taken 832 lives, left 3,000 injured and had damaged 3,300 houses in the first half of 2017, according to the director general of the Disaster Management Authority, Zaheeruddin Qureshi. more...

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