7 killed, 24 others wounded in blast targeting police vehicle in Quetta

At least seven people, including five policemen, were killed and 24 others injured in an explosion targeting a truck carrying police officials in the Sariab Mill area of Quetta on Wednesday.

Investigators examine the burnt police truck after the blast. ? AFP

Investigators examine the burnt police truck after the blast. ? AFP

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Abdul Razzaq Cheema said an investigation is underway to determine whether the blast was a suicide bombing or whether an explosives-laden vehicle was detonated remotely when the police truck was passing by, adding that the death toll could increase.

The 35-strong contingent of elite policemen had been recently assigned patrol of various sensitive areas and were on their way to work on the Quetta-Sibi road when the explosion took place, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti told DawnNews.

Bugti told AFP that a car rammed the police vehicle before catching fire, adding it was "apparently a suicide attack", in an account confirmed by.

Investigators collect evidence from the site of the attack. ? AFP

Investigators collect evidence from the site of the attack. ? AFP

"Police were targeted in this attack," Bugti said.

DIG Cheema confirmed the death toll, saying that 24 people were wounded, several critically.

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, but the claim has not been independently verified by Dawn.com.

Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, while speaking to reporters, said the bomb contained 80 kilograms of explosive material.

Following the attack, an emergency was imposed in hospitals in Quetta. Some of the injured were admitted to Civil Hospital Quetta, while the rest were being treated at Combined Military Hospital.

Investigators collect evidence from the site of the attack. ? AFP

Investigators collect evidence from the site of the attack. ? AFP

A forensic team and the Bomb Disposal Squad had reached the site of the attack to investigate the nature of the blast, Bugti said, adding that a forensic team from Lahore would arrive in Quetta tomorrow to aid in the probe.

"The war against terrorism is not over. Balochistan is on the forefront of this fight and we will not stop until every single terrorist has left the area," the home minister said.

He added: "These cowardly attacks will not hinder our security forces in executing their duties."

In a separate incident, Police Inspector Abdul Salam was shot dead on Quetta's Qambrani Road, in what security sources claim was a target killing.

Balochistan has experienced incidents of violence and targeted killings for over a decade. In recent months, the province has faced a number of security challenges, with security personnel in the province often being targeted in roadside explosions and suicide attacks.

,Fifteen people, including eight soldiers, were martyred, when a suicide bomber targeted a military truck near the Pishin bus stop in Quetta on August 13.

Earlier in June, ,14 people ? including seven policemen ? lost their lives, in a suicide blast that shook Shuhada Chowk in Quetta's Gulistan Road area.

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APS mastermind Umar Mansoor dead: TTP

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday confirmed that militant commander Umar Mansoor, the mastermind of the Army Public School attack, had been killed.

Usman Mansoor Hafizullah will replace ,Umar Mansoor, as the faction's commander in Darra Adam Khel and Peshawar, TTP Spokesperson Muhammad Khorasani said in an email sent to journalists.

The TTP's claim has not been independently verified by Dawn.com.

The statement comes a day after six suspected TTP militants were killed in a US drone strike targeting alleged militant hideouts in the Pak-Afghan border region close to Kurram Agency.

Sources told Dawn that Umar Khalid Khorasani aka Abdul Wali, the chief of the outlawed Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), was wounded in the drone strike that took place in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.

Umar Mansoor, who had claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on Bacha Khan University in 2016, was said to be the mastermind of 2014's massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar which left at least 144 people, mostly children, dead.

Correction: An earlier story incorrectly stated that Umar Khalid Khorasani was killed in a drone strike. The error is regretted.

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Graft cases: Dar’s lawyer fails to appear, court adjourns hearing till October 23

  • ,'Assets beyond known income',

The accountability court on Wednesday adjourned the sixth hearing of three graft cases against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar till October 23 after the minister's senior council left the country in a rush earlier the same day.

The accountability court had indicted Dar last month in ,a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference, pertaining to his owning assets "beyond his known sources of income”.

As the hearing went underway, Advocate Momina, a junior member of Dar's legal team, moved the court to adjourn the hearing till October 25 as Haris would be out of town until then.

The court, however, adjourned the hearing till Oct 23 after discovering that Haris will return to Pakistan on Sunday night (Oct 22).

During the proceedings, the court also called Dar to the rostrum and asked him why his lawyer had failed to appear in court, upon which the finance minister said that his lawyer had no intention of leaving the country till last night, but had to leave "due to an emergency".

In the ,preceding hearing of the case,, Haris had cross-questioned Al-Baraka Islamic Bank's Assistant Vice President Tariq Javed — the prosecution's third witness.

During his cross-examination, Haris had claimed there were discrepancies in the statement of bank accounts and the details presented by the witness, adding that some documents were also missing.

When the court asked about the importance of the discrepancies, Haris said on the basis of Section 265-K of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the accused may be acquitted for insufficient evidence.

On the other hand, the NAB prosecutor had objected to several questions Haris had put to the witness, saying the defence counsel was posing "irrelevant" questions.

Under the law of evidence, the contents of documents are only for the court to examine and these could not come under discussion during the cross-examination.

At the outset of the proceedings in the case, Dar had sought an exemption from personal appearances in court as he had to attend a joint meeting of the cabinet and the Revenue Division, but the court turned down his request.

The NAB prosecutor had opposed the exemption, arguing that under the law, the presence of the accused was mandatory during the recording of evidence.

'Assets beyond known income'

On July 28, a five-member Supreme Court bench had ordered NAB to file three references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and one against Dar, on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Imran Khan, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Sirajul Haq and Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

In its reference against the finance minister, NAB has alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependants of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx)”.

The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”.

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Qandeel murder case: Mufti Qavi arrested on the way to Jhang

  • ,Qandeel's murder,

Cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi was arrested by police on the highway from Multan to Jhang on Wednesday after his application for an extension in his pre-arrest bail in the ,Qandeel Baloch murder case, was rejected as he fled a sessions court earlier, police said.

Mufti Qavi had appeared before the sessions court for the first time in connection with the murder case on Tuesday. Upon his lawyer's request, the court had adjourned the hearing of the case till October 18 (today).

The cleric had earlier filed an application for an extension his pre-arrest bail.

Explore: ,The story behind the Qandeel selfie that got Mufti Qavi suspended,

As the hearing began today, District and Sessions Judge Chaudhry Ameer Ahmad Khan reserved his decision on the bail plea for a few minutes.

However, before the judge could announce his decision on the application, a group of lawyers helped Mufti Qavi escape from the court, and he departed without talking to reporters.

The judge later rejected the application for an extension in the cleric's pre-arrest bail.

He also ordered the investigating officer to arrest Mufti Qavi and submit the challan of the Qandeel murder case in the court soon.

Investigating Officer Noor Akbar said police would arrest Mufti Qavi and present him in court in compliance with the judge's orders.

Superintendent of Police Cantonment Dr Fahad confirmed to Dawn that the cleric had been arrested on the highway from Multan to Jhang.

While arriving at the court on Tuesday, Mufti Qavi had said that he had presented himself in the court as per orders.

"We will accept whatever decision the judiciary announces," he had said at the time.

Police had included Mufti Qavi's name as a suspect in the murder case of the social media celebrity on the request of her father, Muhammad Azeem, the complainant in the case, who in a statement before the police suspected the cleric's possible role in her murder.

Judge Ameer Ahmad Khan last week granted pre-arrest bail to Mufti Qavi shortly after a trial court issued his non-bailable arrest warrants in the Qandeel murder case.

Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Pervaiz Khan had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Mufti Qavi when the investigation officer informed the court that he was not cooperating with police in the investigation.

Soon after the non-bailable warrants were issued, the counsel for Mufti Qavi had filed a pre-arrest bail application, which the judge had granted against a surety bond of Rs100,000.

Qandeel's murder

Model and actress Qandeel Baloch was found strangled to death in her house in Multan's Karimabad area on July 16, 2016. Her father claimed that she was killed by her younger brother, Waseem, in the name of honour.

Her brother Waseem was arrested by police in Dera Ghazi Khan later that night and confessed to killing her in the name of 'honour'. Accompanied by police at a press conference, Waseem alleged to have drugged and strangled her, saying that she "brought dishonour to the Baloch name" due to her risque videos and statements posted on social media.

"There are other issues as well… Like the maulvi issue," he said, in an apparent reference to a controversy in the weeks leading up to her death after Qandeel took selfies with Mufti Qavi.

Qavi's selfies had gone viral on social media, causing a nationwide furore, after which the cleric's membership of the Ruet-i-Hilal committee and the National Ulema Mushaikh Council had been suspended.

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Sethi promises 4 PSL fixtures in Karachi in ‘best-case scenario’

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi on Wednesday said that the board is looking to get Karachi's National Stadium ready in time for the third season of Pakistan Super League.

"The best-case scenario is that four PSL matches will be held in Karachi and three will be held in Lahore," he said in a press briefing on Wednesday. "However, the worst-case scenario is that one match will be held in Karachi. It depends on the security situation," he said.

"The stadium will be renovated in two phases. We are looking to complete the first phase in the next four months, in time for PSL 3. The long-term plan, which will take a-year-and-a-half and will cost around Rs1.5 billion," Sethi said while addressing a press conference in Karachi.

"Our bigger concern at this moment is to make sure the stadium is ready in time for PSL3. That needs to happen so that we can start convincing players to come to Karachi for a few matches."

"I have met Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and discussed Karachi's security situation with him. We are working on a plan," he said.

"Work has been completed on Karachi's Centre for Excellence [of Cricket] and it will be made functional as soon as possible. Mudassir Nazar and I interviewed three candidates to head the centre and a decision will be made soon," he announced.

Sethi added: "I admit that this centre is more important than the one in Lahore and I believe the creation of it has already been delayed by 10 years."

On Tuesday, a senior PCB officials had told DawnNews that the ,PCB is planning to host at least four fixtures of PSL 2018 in Pakistan.,

The players' draft for PSL will be held on November 10, in Lahore, whereas the 2018 edition of the tournament will be played in February next year.

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2 security personnel killed in North Wazristan IED blast

Two security personnel were martyred as a security forces vehicle hit an IED in North Waziristan's Miramshah on Wednesday, security forces said.

According to sources, the forces vehicle was on its way from the Khajuri check-post to Khwar check-post when the blast occurred. Security forces sealed the area and started a search operation following the incident.

In an attack last week, ,three Frontier Corps men had been martyred in the area.,

Attacks on security forces in the area have been infrequent since Operation Zarb-i-Azb began in the area. Recently, it also hosted a cricket match between British journalists and a Pakistan XI side.

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Import duty on eatable, luxury items raised by up to 50pc

  • ,Eatables,
  • ,Cosmetics,
  • ,Ceramics,
  • ,Electronics,
  • ,Sports products,

ISLAMABAD: The government has imposed regulatory duty on import of 36 new products and raised its rates on the existing 240 items in a fresh move to curtail rising ,trade deficit of the country,.

The import of these eatable and luxury items — on which the duty has been raised by up to 50 per cent — saw approximately 40pc growth in the first three months of the current fiscal year, despite the fact that the government has already increased regulatory duties on most of these products in the last budget. This is the second time that the PML-N government has come up with such a huge increase in the rates of regulatory duties on imported items. In the budget for 2017-18, the government raised the regulatory duties on 565 tariff lines.

On Tuesday, the Federal Board of Revenue issued a new notification of regulatory duties on 731 tariff lines.

Also read: ,Fresh duties to cut import bill by up to $2 billion,

But a senior customs official said that all the items subjected to regulatory duties were consolidated into one SRO as against the earlier eight different SROs. He said no change was made in regulatory duties on 430 tariff lines.

Prices of wheat, sugar, vegetables, fruits, cosmetics, electronics and cars will go up

According to the official, the additional duty to be collected from these products would be used to provide cash subsidy to exporters and clear their outstanding dues stuck with the government. The new items that were subjected to regulatory duties include washing preparations, plastic products, tyres of trucks and cars, parts of air-conditioner, varnishes and cigarette papers.

On import of new cars of up to 1800cc, 15pc regulatory duty was imposed while in the case of above 1800cc luxury cars, the duty was increased to 80pc from 50pc.

Examine: ,A balancing act to keep IMF at bay,

Eatables

The eatable items on which regulatory duty has been increased include whey powder (from 20pc to 25pc), curd (15pc), grated or powdered cheese of all kinds, processed cheese (from 20pc to 40pc) and desiccated coconut (from 15pc to 35pc).

The duty on fresh grapes, watermelons, apricots and peaches has been raised from 20pc to 40pc, on prunes, apples, tamarind, cherries, pine nuts (chilgoza), plums, lychees, raisins and dried fruits from 20pc to 50pc and on peaches from 20pc to 45pc.

The duty on wheat and other types of wheat has been increased to 60pc from 25pc, on betel leaves to Rs400 per kg from Rs200kg and on beet sugar, jaggery (gur), cane sugar, white crystalline cane sugar and cocoa powder to 40pc from 20pc.

The regulatory duty on potatoes, vegetables and mixtures of vegetables has been raised to 50pc from 20pc. On import of pineapples and aerated water, the duty has been raised to 40pc from 20pc. The duty on different types of juices, soya sauces, tomato ketchup, tomato sauces and mustard flour has been enhanced to 50pc from 20pc.

Cosmetics

The duty has been raised to 50pc from 20pc on perfumes, lip makeup preparations, eye makeup preparations, nail polish, face powder, talcum powder, face and skin creams, tonics and skin food, shampoos, cream for hair, hair lacquers, dyes for hair, toothpaste, dental floss, perfumed bath salts and other bath preparations and shaving cream.

The duty has been raised to 50pc from 20pc on contact lens solution, joss sticks (agarbatti), medicated products for toilet use, soap in other form and organic surface active products and preparations for washing the skin in the form of liquid and cream.

The regulatory duty has been raised to 40pc from 20pc on products of leather. The duty on articles of apparel and clothing accessories of leather has been raised to 50pc, on footwear to 35pc from 15pc and on different marbles to 45pc from 25pc.

Ceramics

The duty has been raised to 40pc from 20pc on washbasin, cisterns ceramic, sink ceramic, toilet ceramic, ceramic sinks, washing basis and dinner sets, dishes, plates, tea cups. The duty on glass beads and imitation pearls has been enhanced to 55pc from 25 and on imitation jewelry to 45pc from 15pc. The duty on LCD, LED and TVs has been raised to 40pc from 20pc and on wood and metal furniture to 40pc from 20pc.

Electronics

The duty has been raised from 20pc to 40pc on ACs self-contained or split type comprising inner and outer unit whether or not imported separately and air-conditioners and on part of air-conditions and fully-automated machines from 20pc to 40pc. The duty has been raised to 50pc from 20pc on chandeliers, lightings, electric tables, desk, bedside or floor standing lamps, illuminated signs, illuminated name plates, videogames consoles and machines.

Sports products

The regulatory duty has been raised to 50pc from 20pc on various articles of table tennis, badminton, squash, cricket balls, balls of other games and football, and to 30pc from 20pc on different products like cover, bladders, bats, wickets, pads, sets, sticks, etc.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017

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In a first, PSL 2018 to be broadcast in India

Indian cricket fans wanting to watch the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will now be able to watch it on their television sets, as DSport, associated with the Discovery channel, has acquired the rights to broadcast the league in India, the ,channel says on its website,.

PSL was previously not broadcast in India, and those wanting to watch the games had to stream it over the internet.

The league's viewership is expected to increase considerably with the development, which will positively impact advertising revenues and help the league grow.

PSL's third edition begins in February next year, while the players' drafts are expected next month. Six teams will now participate in the league, with Multan Sultans being the newest addition.

Four matches of PSL 2018 will be played in Pakistan, with two of them being played in Karachi, Chairman PCB Najam Sethi revealed on Wednesday.

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Maryam meets Shahbaz, Hamza amid rumours of differences

LAHORE: The Sharif family scions — Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shahbaz — sat on Tuesday face to face for the first time since the Panama Papers case rocked the country’s political landscape and led to the disqualification as parliamentarian of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, according to sources.

The two met at the Sharifs’ Model Town residence here, reportedly after the intervention of their elders.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ‘mediated’ between the ‘rival’ cousins. Hamza’s brother Suleman was also present on the occasion.

Also read: ,Sharif and the family feud,

According to the sources, the chief minister urged Maryam to “observe a ceasefire” because any clash with the judiciary or the military would “be in the interest of neither the country nor the PML-N”.

Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has also asked Maryam to be careful in her remarks.

An official source told Dawn that since Hamza’s ,dissociation from Kulsoom Nawaz’s election campaign, in Lahore’s NA-120 constituency about two months ago, the relations between the cousins plunged to a new low and intervention of their elders seemed inevitable. Hamza was ‘forced’ to stay out of the country for about one-and-a-half months and returned recently after Begum Nawaz won the ballot.

Punjab CM urges niece to refrain from assailing judiciary, military

“A single meeting is not enough to end the differences, but ice definitely melts [during such a meeting],” the source said, adding that it was an important development with regard to the Sharif family’s internal politics.

,,

After the meeting, Maryam said she was surprised to see “the spin” the media had given to it. “I had gone to say Salam to my Uncle [Shahbaz Sharif] where he most lovingly treated me to lavish afternoon tea. Had good chat with him, my brothers Hamza, Suleman and other family members. Those who wish to drive a wedge will remain unsuccessful as always,” she tweeted.

“Confrontation among institutions is not in the best interest of the country,” Shahbaz said after the meeting. He also inquired after the health of Begum Nawaz and prayed for her early recovery.

,,

Following in the footstep of his father, Hamza said clash of institutions would be harmful for the system. “Therefore, all of us should work together. I love my forces — army, Rangers and police. If any harm is done to Pakistan we cannot forgive ourselves,” he said and termed democracy the only way forward.

“The solution to all problems is in democracy,” he added.

A senior PML-N leader from Punjab said that Shahbaz’s ‘advice’ to Maryam to be careful in her criticism of the judiciary and army might fall on deaf ears if Nawaz had chosen to tread the path of confrontation. “Maryam will only follow the advice of her father and no one else,” he said requesting anonymity.

It appeared that Maryam had already been directed by her father not to take on the establishment and judiciary at least for the time being, he said. “After getting some serious message from the quarters concerned, Mr Sharif and Maryam have begun to observe a temporary truce.”

In her interaction with party workers in the NA-120 constituency in the last two days, Maryam avoided addressing them or holding media talk. “I do not want to do any political talk today as I am here to serve the people,” she replied to a questioner.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017

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Recovered American hostage Caitlan Coleman rushed to hospital, says husband

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was rescued with his family last week by Pakistani troops, said on Tuesday that his wife had to be rushed to the hospital and remains there.

Boyle told The Associated Press in an email that his wife, Caitlan Coleman, was admitted on Monday. His email did not specify why she was taken to the hospital.

“My wife has been through hell, and she has to be my first priority right now,” Boyle wrote.

Boyle, his American wife and their three children were rescued on Wednesday, five years after the couple was abducted in Afghanistan on a backpacking trip. The children were born in captivity.

Joshua Boyle said after landing at Toronto's airport on Friday that the Taliban-linked Haqqani network killed an infant daughter and raped his wife during the years they were held.

In prior email exchange with AP, Boyle did not respond to a question about the fourth child but later told Canadian Broadcasting Corp that it was a forced abortion. The Taliban said in a statement it was a miscarriage.

On Monday, Boyle told the AP that he and his wife decided to have children even while held captive because they always planned to have a big family and decided, “Hey, let's make the best of this and at least go home with a larger start on our dream family.”

“We're sitting as hostages with a lot of time on our hands,” Boyle told AP.

“We always wanted as many as possible, and we didn't want to waste time. Cait's in her 30s, the clock is ticking.”

Boyle said their three children are now 4, 2 and “somewhere around 6 months.”

“Honestly we've always planned to have a family of 5, 10, 12 children … We're Irish, haha,” he wrote in an email.

The parents of Caitlan Boyle have said they are elated she is free, but also angry at their son-in law for taking their daughter to Afghanistan.

“Taking your pregnant wife to a very dangerous place, to me, and the kind of person I am, is unconscionable,” Caitlan's father, Jim Coleman, had previously told ABC News.

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Imran Khan challenges arrest warrants issued by ECP in Islamabad High Court

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday, challenging the non-bailable arrest ,warrants issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan, (ECP) against him on contempt charges.

Filed by his counsel Babar Awan, the petition argues that the ECP has no authority to issue non-bailable arrest warrants against the PTI chief.

The warrants issued by the commission on October 12 are therefore unconstitutional, claims the petition, which names ECP and PTI dissident Akbar S. Babar as respondents.

The issuance of arrest warrants by the commission has caused the PTI chief "mental anguish" and political opponents are directing their criticism at him, reads the petition.

The application urges the high court to suspend the warrants issued by ECP. The petition was received by the registrar office of IHC.

The warrants were issued last week following Khan’s continuous failure to appear before the commission on the show-cause notice issued on August 24 over his “defaming and scandalising” the ECP in the ,foreign-funding case,, which seeks Khan's disqualification on charges of collecting party funds from "prohibited" sources.

Hours after the issuance of the warrants, Khan had told a TV channel that he would not appear before the commission and was instead ready to be arrested.

The contempt application was filed on Jan 23 this year by the PTI’s founding member and former vice president Akbar S. Babar, who developed differences with Khan in 2011 over alleged internal corruption and illegal funding of the PTI. The ECP verdict was announced a day after a three-member larger bench of the IHC directed the ECP to proceed on the contempt application.

The commission directed the authorities concerned to arrest Khan and present him before it on October 26.

Earlier on September 14, the ECP had issued bailable arrest warrants against Imran Khan following his failure to show up for the contempt of court proceedings, which were later suspended by the IHC on the PTI’s petition.

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Provinces told to launch action against banned religious outfits

RAWALPINDI: The federal government has directed the provinces to launch action against proscribed (banned) religious outfits and those kept under observations by seizing their offices, weapons and properties.

The Ministry of Interior also instructed all the provincial chief secretaries and the chief commissioner of the capital territory Islamabad to submit reports on the organisations’ financial activities.

According to sources, the orders were issued to the chief secretaries of the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir to restrain members of all such organisations from continuing their activities.

The decision was taken after the recent statement of Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in which he stressed the need for “putting our own house in order.”

This was followed by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s statement in the Senate on Thursday that it was the responsibility of the provincial governments to keep an eye on and take action against banned outfits, including those resurfacing under new names.

Interior ministry seeks reports from chief secretaries about financial activities of proscribed outfits

There are, according to unconfirmed reports, around 64 banned religious organisations in Pakistan in addition to four who are under observations.

Two others – Al-Akhtar Trust and Al Rashid Trust – have been enlisted under a UN Security Council resolution for observations.

The federal government’s ‘most immediate’ communiqué was sent to the provincial governments and the chief commissioner Islamabad. The directive was issued under the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 against proscribed and under-observation organisations.

The provinces were directed to seize all literature, posters, banners as well as printed, electronic, digital or other material of the outfits. Under the law, publication, printing or dissemination of any press statements, press conferences or public utterances by or on behalf of or in support of a proscribed organisation is prohibited.

The provinces were directed not to issue a passport or allow to travel abroad the office-bearers, activists or members or the associates of such organisations.

The provincial authorities were also directed that no bank or financial institution shall provide any loan or financial support or issue credit cards to such individuals who had been active members of the banned outfits.

And arm licences, if already issued, to them should be considered cancelled and the weapons be deposited in the nearest police station.

If they failed, all such arms shall be confiscated and the holders shall be liable to punishment provided under the Pakistan Arms Ordinance.

Besides, the provincial authorities were directed to ensure that the proscribed organisations shall submit all accounts of their income and expenditure for political and social welfare activities and disclose all funding sources to the competent authority.

When contacted, City Police Officer Rawalpindi Israr Ahmed Abbasi said proscribed organisations cannot be allowed to operate or hold any press conferences or publish any material.

“When an organisation has been banned, its activities are illegal. If anybody is found doing illegal activities, the police as well as the CTD will take action under the relevant sections of the ATA,” he said.

The CPO said the police had also been keeping vigilance on members of religious organisations placed under observation.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017

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Bajwa back home after ‘quiet’ visit to Saudi Arabia, UAE

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa returned from a three-day visit to the Middle East on Tuesday, military sources told Dawn.

The army chief’s ‘quiet’ visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia coincided with a meeting of representatives from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US in Muscat to revive the stalled Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG).

On Saturday, Gen Bajwa met Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE, as well as other key Emirati leaders.

He thanked the UAE government for extending “humanitarian assistance” to Pakistanis residing in the country, according to Arab News.

He later flew to Saudi Arabia to attend the inaugural session of the second International Conference on C4I Solutions at the King Saud University, Riyadh. Organised by the Saudi defence ministry, the theme of this year’s conference was “Alliance Against Terrorism: Strategies and Capabilities”.

Gen Bajwa met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the conference.

There was no official word on the army chief’s meetings or the trip, which was shrouded in secrecy, with the only media coverage being photographs of Gen Bajwa’s meeting with the crown prince published in the Arab press. According to Arab News, Crown Prince Salman received Gen Bajwa in Riyadh on Monday.

The army chief reviewed the scope of bilateral relationship with the Commander of Saudi Ground Forces, Lt Gen Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017

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Punjab govt says crucial to keep JuD chief detained

LAHORE: An official of the Punjab home department told a provincial review board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday that keeping Jamaatud Dawa’s (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and his four aides under detention was critical for the maintenance of law and order.

The board was hearing a Punjab government application seeking extension in the detention of Mr Saeed and his four aides.

The official said that the ministries of interior and foreign affairs had ample material to justify detention of the JuD leaders. He said the United Nations had banned the JuD and its leaders had been detained on direction of the federal government.

Earlier, police brought Mr Saeed and others to the high court under strict security arrangements for their production before the three-member review board.

Some workers of JuD were present at the court premises when Mr Saeed and four others were brought there.

Senior puisne judge Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali headed the board along with Justice Abdul Sami Khan and Justice Alia Neelum. The proceedings of the board were in-camera.

The board sought personal appearance of secretaries of the ministries of interior and foreign affairs to decide the Punjab government’s application.

The board adjourned the hearing till Oct 19 and directed the secretaries to appear along with relevant record.

JuD’s counsel A.K. Dogar told media later that the Punjab government had withdrawn its application before a federal review board for further detention of his clients after it failed to establish the charges.

He condemned detention of Mr Saeed and others, saying fresh detention order issued under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960 was based on mala fide intention. He rejected a claim of the provincial government that the UN’s resolution was being implemented by detaining the JuD leaders.

He insisted that not a single criminal case had been registered against any member of the JuD.

Advocate Dogar did not appear before the review board as detainees, under the law, are supposed to defend themselves on their own.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017

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Minibus driver, conductor beat passenger to death in Karachi

KARACHI: A 30-year-old man was beaten to death by the driver and conductor of a minibus in Bahadurabad on Tuesday when the passenger argued with them over bus fare, police said.

The bus driver and conductor have been taken into custody.

The police added that the deceased identified as Abdul Rahman argued with bus conductor Umar Khan of route X-23 over fare when the vehicle was standing near the Bahadurabad roundabout.

The bus driver, Arif Nawaz, intervened and the heated debated turned into a brawl, with the two badly thrashing Abdul Rahman.

The bus conductor was also injured in the fight, the police added. “Rahman sustained serious head injuries which suggested that he was hit on the head multiple times with some heavy metal instrument,” said inspector Qamar Zeb Satti, the SHO of the SITE B police station.

“The brawl in Bahadurabad left Abdul Rahman unconscious and conductor Umar Khan injured. The driver panicked and asked other passengers to get out of the vehicle so he could take him to hospital. The driver brought the two injured to Metroville to shift them in a charity organisation’s ambulance.”

The driver, the SHO said, was nervous and used the charity’s ambulance to avoid his involvement in transporting them to hospital.

The area police was informed by the charity workers about the injured. The police detained the bus driver.
The police later also arrested the bus conductor after he was released by the hospital following treatment, he added. The deceased was associated with a private security company.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017

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Xi is everywhere: China’s omnipresent leader

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s stiff smile greets visitors in room after room at a Beijing exhibition put up by the Communist party to tout its past five years of accomplishments.

“Five Years On” looks at China’s changes since 2012 – when Xi came to power – ahead of the twice-a-decade party congress which opened Wednesday. Xi’s omnipresence at the Soviet-style Beijing Exhibition Centre is yet another example of the cult of personality that the state propaganda machine has wrapped around the most powerful Chinese leader in decades.

Alongside every flow chart and diorama on display in the red star-topped building loomed a larger-than-life photo of the president: commanding a lectern, striding alongside farmers or foreign dignitaries, inspecting a steel plant, even aiming a gun alongside troops in Macau.

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Other displays showed five-year-old menus and receipts from modest meals Xi ate while inspecting villages in the countryside. His fans flocked to the exhibit. “We don’t find the photos weird. We grew up in this environment,” said finance manager Liu Wen, 35, pointing out that the face of modern China’s founder, Mao Zedong, graces every yuan bill.

“It’s not a cult of personality, because as people from a collectivist society, when we see Xi Dada, we think of the team behind him, not of him as an individual hero,” he added, using a chummy nickname coined for the leader by party propaganda organs that roughly equates to “Big Uncle Xi.”

Xi’s ever-expanding power and intolerance for dissent has earned him comparisons to Mao. While his father was purged under the Communist leader, 64-year-old Xi rose through the ranks without scandal, thanks to an unassuming demeanour that earned him fewer rivals than most.

“He believes that the party is the force that can really transform China,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, China politics specialist at Hong Kong Baptist University.

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Beginning as a county-level party secretary, Xi rose to become governor of coastal Fujian province, then party secretary of Zhejiang province and eventually Shanghai, in 2007. That same year, he was appointed to China’s top governing body, the Politburo Standing Committee, a group he has led since 2012 as general secretary.

Xi is now expected to secure a second five-year term as head of the party during the congress, like his predecessors. But more importantly, he will have the opportunity to stack key positions with loyalists.

Xi is the first Chinese leader to have been born after 1949, when the Communist revolution that gives the party its legitimacy ended. The son of revolutionary hero Xi Zhongxun, he was born in Beijing in 1953 into privilege. A so-called ‘princeling’ who reaped the benefits of his father’s acclaim, Xi studied chemical engineering at the prestigious Tsinghua University before turning to politics.

After a divorce, Xi married his second wife, the celebrity soprano Peng Liyuan, in 1987, at a time when she was much more famous than him. The couple’s daughter, Xi Mingze, studied at Harvard and stays out of the public eye. But official media have aggressively shaped an image for Xi as a man of the people, who dresses modestly and buys his own steamed buns at a common shop.

They have also highlighted the time he spent during the Cultural Revolution as a “sent-down youth” in the countryside, labouring alongside farmers and living in a cave. In the run-up to the congress, state media touted his accomplishments, running a video series on his growing diplomatic clout and stories on the poverty alleviation programme of the man now known as the “core” of the Communist Party.

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The propaganda, however, glosses over the series of crackdowns on activists, lawyers and academics that Xi has overseen. Authorities have also clamped down on what can be said on the internet, tightening censorship in a country where young people are avid users of social media. That very definitely includes what can be said about Xi Dada – even obliquely.

Since comparisons were first made in 2013 between China’s leader and a certain portly yellow bear who likes honey, references to the most famous inhabitant of Hundred Acre Wood have periodically been blocked. As the congress got under way on Wednesday, a Chinese language search on Weibo for “Winnie the Pooh” and “Xi Jinping” returned the message: “According to relevant laws and policy, the search results are not displayed.”

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Policeman gunned down in Quetta shortly after blast

QUETTA: A police inspector was gunned down by unidentified assailants on Quetta’s Qambrani road on Wednesday, shortly after an explosion targeting a police vehicle.

Abdul Salam was shot multiple times, police said. His body has been shifted to Civil Hospital, Quetta.

Earlier today, at least seven people, including five security personnel, were martyred as an explosion ripped through a police truck in Quetta. At least 12, including nine policemen, were also injured in the attack, according to police sources.

5 policemen killed in suicide attack in Quetta

The truck was carrying police recruits, five of whom were martyred, along with two passers-by on the city’s eastern outskirts, Quetta Police Chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack along with Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri and directed authorities to provide best medical treatment to the injured.

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