Posts Tagged ‘Banned’

Judge orders White House to restore CNN reporter’s access

A federal judge on Friday ordered the White House to reinstate the press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta, whose pass was revoked after a ,heated exchange with President Donald Trump,.

Judge Timothy Kelly issued a temporary restraining order that requires the White House to restore Acosta’s access until a full hearing is held, according to the network.

CNN and other media groups, including Trumfavouritete Fox News, backed the lawsuit, which claimed that revoking Acosta’s pass violated constitutional guarantees of a free press.

Kelly, a Trump appointee to the bench, said that his ruling was based on “due process” for the journalist, and that he would hold additional proceedings on the constitutional issues at stake, including the First Amendment free press guarantee.

“I want to be very clear that I have not determined that the First Amendment was violated,” he said in the Washington courtroom, adding that he based his decision on a 1977 ruling that required the White House to offer reasons for denial of press credentials and an opportunity to respond.

Following the ruling, the White House said it would “temporarily” reinstate Acosta’s press pass.

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said, “in response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass.” But she left open the possibility of seeking to remove Acosta’s access later and said new rules would be imposed “to ensure fair and orderly press conferences”.

CNN said in a statement: “We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”

Acosta said outside the courthouse: “I want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who supported us this week. And I want to thank the judge for the decision he made today. And let’s go back to work.”

CNN‘s lawyer argued in court on Wednesday that the White House violated Acosta’s First Amendment right to free speech in revoking his credentials.

The US Justice Department’s lawyer, James Burnham, countered that Acosta had “disrupted” last week’s news conference. Burnham insisted “there is no First Amendment right to access the White House.”

Acosta, CNN‘s chief White House correspondent, angered Trump when he persisted in questioning the president at a November 7 news conference, ignoring demands he yield the microphone.

From the podium, Trump called Acosta — a frequent target of his ire — a “rude, terrible person”.

Media organisations backing CNN included the Associated Press, Bloomberg, First Look Media Works, Gannett, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, NBC News, The New York Times, Politico, Press Freedom Defence Fund, EW Scripps Company, USA Today and The Washington Post.

“Whether the news of the day concerns national security, the economy or the environment, reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions,” the media groups said in a joint statement ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

‘Broad discretion’ argument

The White House said in its legal filing that it has “broad discretion” to restrict media access to the president, disputing the argument that its actions violate the constitution.

“The president and White House possess the same broad discretion to regulate access to the White House for journalists (and other members of the public) that they possess to select which journalists receive interviews, or which journalists they acknowledge at press conferences,” said the brief.

The filing by US Justice Department lawyers argued that “the president could choose never to hold another press briefing again and cancel all press passes, without implicating due process protections.”

CNN — part of the WarnerMedia division of AT&T — filed suit on Tuesday.

Trump’s administration initially said Acosta was banned for inappropriately touching a White House female intern as he struggled to hold on to a microphone.

The White House cited a video that analysts said had been sped up, giving the appearance that Acosta struck the intern’s arm.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - November 16, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , ,

Peace talks in Moscow ‘not about holding negotiations’, say Taliban

Moscow on Friday hosted international talks on Afghanistan aimed at kickstarting direct negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban militant group, both of whom sent delegations.

Russia hopes “through joint efforts to open a new page in the history of Afghanistan,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said as the talks opened at a Moscow hotel on Friday morning.

He said that the participation of both Afghan leaders and the Taliban was an “important contribution” aimed at creating “favourable conditions for the start of direct talks”.

“I am counting on you holding a serious and constructive conversation that will justify the hopes of the Afghan people,” he said before the talks continued behind closed doors.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told AFP that the militant group was sending five representatives. They will not hold “any sort of negotiations” with the delegation of Kabul administration, he said.

“This conference is not about holding negotiations with any party whatsoever, rather it is about finding a peaceful solution to the issue of Afghanistan,” he added.

This is the first time that a Taliban delegation is taking part in such high-level international meeting, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

The Taliban is banned from operating in Russia as it is classified as a “terrorist organisation”.

The Afghan delegation is made up of four representatives of the High Peace Council, a government body responsible for reconciliation efforts with the militants, spokesman Sayed Ihsan Taheri said.

The Afghan foreign ministry has emphasised that the council does not represent the Afghan government at the meeting, however.

Moscow said it had invited representatives from the United States (US) as well as India, Iran, China, Pakistan and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Pakistan, which has long been accused of providing support to the Afghan Taliban, would “definitely” attend, foreign ministry spokesman Muhammad Faisal told AFP.

The US embassy in Moscow was sending a representative to observe the discussions.

The Moscow meeting was initially scheduled to take place in September but was postponed after Kabul insisted that the process should be Afghan-led.

The meeting comes at a sensitive time. Newly appointed US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been trying to convince the Taliban to agree to negotiate an end to the war and there are fears the Russian meeting could derail those efforts.

A US government watchdog last week said Kabul’s control of Afghanistan had slipped in recent months as local security forces suffered record casualties while making minimal or no progress against the Taliban.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - November 9, 2018 at 11:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , ,

Court to decide whether Aasia Bibi will be placed on ECL, says religious affairs minister

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri while speaking to the media on Tuesday said that the court would decide on the matter of placing Aasia Bibi’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The government and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) had on ,Friday, reached an agreement after which the latter ended its three-day-long nationwide protests against the Supreme Court’s acquittal last week of Asia Bibi who had been sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy.

One of the points both parties agreed on was that the government would “initiate the legal process” to place Aasia Bibi’s name on the no-fly list.

When asked whether her name had been placed on the ECL, Qadri said: “If you read the agreement, you’ll see it says that legal process will be undertaken to place her on the ECL.”

“When there are cases in the Supreme Court and high court, the court itself says that so-and-so should be placed on the ECL. So we will follow that process.”

“The TLP also said that some miscreants used their platform to damage public property and had behaved inappropriately. The state will take action against them,” he added.

“We stand by the agreement, and it will be acted upon,” Qadri asserted.

When asked whether the TLP would be banned, the minister said that there was no plan to ban the TLP.

“However, if someone’s intentions or designs are in conflict with the national narrative and policies, then hopefully steps will be taken against them,” he replied.

Qadri said that the role of the state and the government is like that of a mother, and the government’s first responsibility is to restore peace.

The minister said that the government was formulating strategies in anticipation of similar situations in the future.

Qadri also commented on the recent death of Maulana Samiul Haq calling it a unfortunate incident, and described it as part of a greater conspiracy.

Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Maulana Samiul Haq was assassinated in his house in Bahria Town on ,November 2,.

Qadri said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had given orders for an investigation into the murder of Maulana Sami while he was still on his trip in China.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - November 6, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , ,

Bahrain’s opposition chief gets life in jail over Qatar spy case

DUBAI: Bahrain sentenced the head of the country’s Shia opposition movement to life in prison on Sunday for spying for rival Gulf state Qatar in a ruling rights groups have called a travesty.

Sheikh Ali Salman, who headed the now-banned Al-Wefaq movement, and two of his aides had been acquitted by the high criminal court in June, a verdict the public prosecution appealed.

The public prosecutor said in a statement that the three had been unanimously sentenced by the appeals court for “acts of hostility” against Bahrain and “communicating with Qatari officials … to overthrow constitutional order”.

Ali Salman was acquitted by trial court, but public prosecutor said the appeals court sentenced him for ‘acts of hostility’

Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, severed all ties with Qatar in 2017, banning their citizens from travel to or communication with the emirate over its alleged ties to both Iran and radical Islamist groups.

Sunday’s verdict against the Shia cleric can still be appealed.

‘Unlawful verdict’

Opposition movements, both religious and secular, have been outlawed since 2011 and hundreds of dissidents imprisoned — many of them stripped of their citizenship in the process.

Salman’s Al-Wefaq was dissolved by court order in 2016. The cleric is currently serving a four-year sentence in a separate case — “inciting hatred” in the kingdom.

Human rights groups have said cases against activists in Bahrain — men and women, religious and secular — fail to meet the basic standards of fair trials.

Amnesty and HRW categorise Salman and other jailed opposition leaders prisoners of conscience.

Advocacy groups, including Amnesty, slammed Sunday’s ruling against 53-year-old Salman and his aides, Hassan Sultan and Ali al-Aswad as political reprisal.

“This verdict is a travesty of justice that demonstrates the Bahraini authorities’ relentless and unlawful efforts to silence any form of dissent,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director.

“Sheikh Ali Salman is a prisoner of conscience who is being held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.”

Bahraini activists said Sunday’s verdict highlighted a broader regional policy towards freedom — the same policy that saw Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered this month.

“Despite the ongoing scrutiny on the Gulf region, with Saudi Arabia being under the spotlight for its brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Bahrain has made a decision that reeks of arrogance,” said Sayed AlWadaei, head of advocacy for the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.

The verdict comes ahead of controversial parliamentary elections that Bahrain’s King Hamad has called for Nov 24.

Dissolved opposition parties, including Al-Wefaq and the secular Al-Waad, do not have the right to put forward their own candidates in the vote.

In June, Bahrain amended its law on political rights, prohibiting “leaders and members of political associations dissolved for violating the kingdom’s constitution or its laws” from running in legislative elections.

Alistair Burt, the British Foreign Office’s minister responsible for Middle East affairs, said he was “very concerned” by the life sentence, in a statement released on Sunday.

Ruled for more than two centuries by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, Bahrain has been hit by waves of unrest since 2011, when security forces crushed Shia-led protests demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - November 5, 2018 at 8:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

JuD, FIF no more on list of banned outfits, court told

ISLAMABAD: The Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) headed by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed are no more on the list of banned outfits after the presidential ordinance that proscribed them under a UN resolution lapsed.

During the hearing on Thursday of a petition filed by Hafiz Saeed, his counsel informed the Islamabad High Court that the presidential ordinance had lapsed and it had never been extended.

The petitioner had challenged the ordinance under which his organisations had been banned for being on the watch list of the United Nations Security Council.

The ordinance that proscribed these organisations under a UN resolution has lapsed

In February this year, former president Mamnoon Hussain promulgated an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, with regards to proscription of terrorist individuals and organisations to include entities listed by the UN Security Council — in a move to declare JuD and FIF as proscribed groups.

Hafiz Saeed’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi and Sohail Warraich appeared before Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC. On a query, the counsel informed the court that the PTI government did not extend the ordinance or table it in parliament to convert it into an act.

Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood Khan confirmed that the ordinance had lapsed. He, however, declined the request of advocate Abbasi for giving a statement on behalf of the interior ministry regarding the lapse of the ordinance.

Mr Khan informed the court that since the petitioner did not cite the interior ministry as a respondent, he could not give a statement unless the petition was amended and the interior secretary added as a party in the petition.

Subsequently, Justice Farooq held that the petition became infructuous since the ordinance challenged by the petitioner had lapsed.

The judge disposed of the petition with an observation that in case the government renewed this ordinance, the petitioner was at liberty to file another petition against the promulgation of the law.

Hafiz Saeed contended in the petition that he established JuD in 2002 and cut off all ties with the banned Lashkar-i-Taiba, but India continued to malign JuD for its past association with the banned outfit.

The petitioner said he was kept in detention in 2009 and 2017 due to India’s pressure. He added that the UN Security Council had passed a resolution against JuD after which the government of Pakistan put it on the watch list.

The JuD chief termed it against the sovereignty of Pakistan that an ordi­na­nce was issued to ban his organisation.

The petitioner claimed that the promulgation of the ordinance and addition of Section 11-EE were not only prejudicial to the sovereignty but also contradictory to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

He said that any law which was violative of constitutional provisions was liable to be struck down.

The petitioner argued that under Article 199 of the Constitution, the court was competent to strike down any legislation which was beyond the scope of the Constitution or ultra vires. He requested the court that the vires of the ordinance and consequent amendment in sections 11 B and 11-EE of the ATA might be declared illegal.

According to a list updated on Sept 5 on the National Counter Terrorism Authority’s website, 66 organisations have been banned in the country and JuD and FIF are not among them. However, the two Hafiz Saeed-linked organisations are “under watch by the ministry of interior” under Section 11-D-(1), read with Schedule-II of the ATA.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

,Google Play,

,Apple Store,

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 26, 2018 at 7:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , ,

Putin warns Trump over ‘dangerous’ plan to quit N-deal

MOSCOW: Russia on Sunday warned US President Donald Trump that his plan to ditch a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Moscow was a dangerous step.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said this “would be a very dangerous step” and accused the US of risking international condemnation in a bid for “total supremacy” in the military sphere.

He insisted that Moscow observed “in the strictest way” the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF, while accusing Washington of “flagrant violations”. The treaty was signed in 1987 by the then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

INF treaty was signed in 1987 by Reagan and Gorbachev

But Trump on Saturday blamed Russia for violating it.

“We’re the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honoured the agreement, but Russia has not unfortunately honoured the agreement, so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” he told reporters.

“Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years. I don’t know why president (Barack) Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons (while) we’re not allowed to.”

Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton was set to arrive in Moscow on Sunday evening and meet next week with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

That comes ahead of what is expected to be a second summit between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin this year.

Bolton was also set to meet Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Putin aide Yuri Ushakov. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a “possible meeting” was being arranged between Putin and Bolton.

Deputy foreign minister Ryabkov said he hoped that Trump’s national security adviser would explain the US plans “more substantively and clearly”. The US administration has complained of Moscow’s deployment of 9M729 missiles, which Washington says can travel more than 500 kilometres, and thus violate the INF treaty.

The treaty, which banned missiles that could travel between 500 and 5472 kilometres, resolved a crisis that had begun in the 1980s with the deployment of Soviet SS-20 nuclear-tipped, intermediate-range ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

A Russian foreign ministry official earlier accused Washington of implementing policy “toward dismantling the nuclear deal”.

Washington “has approached this step over the course of many years by deliberately and step by step destroying the basis for the agreement”, said the unnamed official, quoted by Russia’s three main news agencies.

The official accused the US of backing out of international agreements that put it on an equal footing with other countries because it wanted to protect American “exceptionalism”.

Russian senator Alexei Pushkov wrote on Twitter that the move was “the second powerful blow against the whole system of strategic stability in the world” after Washington’s 2001 withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

“And again, the initiator of the dissolution of the agreement is the US,” he added.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 22, 2018 at 3:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , ,

Hamza announces PML-N boycott of Punjab Assembly

Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz on Friday warned that the PML-N would boycott the assembly unless six suspended MPAs were permitted to participate in sessions.

Shahbaz was referring to MPAs Malik Muhammad Waheed (PP-156), Muhammad Ashraf Rasool (PP-137), Muhammad Mirza Javed (PP-172), Tariq Masih Gill (NM-371), Zaib-un-Nisa Awam, Muhammad Yasin Amir (PP-162), who were earlier this week issued show-cause notices and banned from attending the ongoing budget session by Speaker Pervaiz Elahi for allegedly “attacking the assembly staff, damaging the furniture and using abusive language about the government”.

Shahbaz, speaking outside the PA, said that his party would boycott the assembly unless Elahi’s demeanour changed and the temporarily barred MPAs’ “honour is not restored”.

The PML-N also held a protest outside the PA today against the non-entry of the MPAs to the assembly building.

Rowdyism in the Punjab Assembly

This photograph of the Punjab Assembly premises shows damaged furniture and torn up copies of the budget after Tuesday's rowdy session. ? Dawn/File

This photograph of the Punjab Assembly premises shows damaged furniture and torn up copies of the budget after Tuesday’s rowdy session. ? Dawn/File

On Tuesday, ,rowdyism marred the all-important budget session, of the Punjab Assembly, with treasury and opposition members coming to blows during the provincial finance minister’s speech.

Charged PML-N MPAs wearing black armbands stood on their seats when the speaker did not allow Malik Muhammad Ahmad to speak on a point of order. The speaker said as the finance minister was to present the budget speech, no point of order could be taken before it.

Reacting to it, many opposition members stood on the seats while others came right in front of the speaker’s dais and started chanting slogans against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The opposition lawmakers forced the assembly staff sitting on the front row to leave the bench for them and even went to the extent of tearing the budget copies which they threw at the treasury members. They also shouted slogans, making it difficult for Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht to be audible during his speech.

The protest took an ugly turn when lawmakers Tariq Masih Gill and Malik Waheed tried to pick up the chair of the assembly staff next to the speaker. This prompted the speaker’s sergeant-at-arms to intervene but the lawmakers shoved him back. Many PTI MPAs moved forward and this led to a scuffle between the opposition and treasury members.

Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz and senior PTI legislators then intervened and stopped their ‘charged’ members, but the hullabaloo continued till the finance minister concluded the speech and introduced the Punjab Finance Bill 2018.

Hamza Shahbaz today raised questions over the authenticity of the photograph of the Punjab Assembly following the session. The photograph showed damaged furniture and torn-up copies of the budget littering the floor.

“The fake speaker took a fake step,” he alleged, referring to the release of the photograph. The opposition leader claimed that the assembly houses benches, not chairs, and called for a committee to probe the authenticity of the photograph.

“All members of the assembly are my family, and I will stand with them. I will not go to the assembly until they are allowed in,” he added.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 20, 2018 at 1:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , ,

‘Non-transparent’ LNG contracts to be renegotiated

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Petroleum Chaudhry Ghulam Sarwar Khan, along with federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, briefs the media about the cabinet meeting on Thursday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Petroleum Chaudhry Ghulam Sarwar Khan, along with federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, briefs the media about the cabinet meeting on Thursday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Thursday ordered renegotiation of ‘non-transparent’ contracts of the previous government with LNG terminal operators, beginning of sugarcane crushing latest by Nov 15 and closure of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra).

A meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, also constituted a ‘high-powered committee’, to be led by the Sindh governor, for development works in Karachi and asked for expediting the process of finalising the Nat­ional Finance Commi­ssion (NFC) award to allocate three per cent of divisible pool resources for development and mainstreaming of the tribal region.

Speaking at a news conference after the meeting, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the previous government signed three LNG agreements — a gas supply deal with Qatar and two LNG re-gasification terminals with two local business groups.

He said the agreement with Qatar had been under investigation by the National Accountability Bureau and other institutions. The petroleum division has also submitted its findings and the audit report to the Supreme Court.

“Pakistan economy is under tremendous stress because of these two contracts (of LNG terminals) that were signed in frustration, haphazard manner and with malevolence,” he said.

The minister said the cabinet had decided to renegotiate contracts with terminal operators as a first step, adding that the contracts carried clauses that allowed “revisit with mutual consent”, otherwise the government would trigger other options.

“If they have to live and do business in Pakistan, they would have to revisit the contracts or the government would take other measures,” he said.

When asked about the other measures, he said that “we are talking about resolving the matter on the table first”, otherwise relevant institutions were looking into the matter deeply and it might lead to filing of corruption references if re-negotiations were not fruitful.

Ghulam Sarwar said the two LNG terminal contracts were given to two business groups — Engro and Pakistan Gas Port — at “exorbitant rates of unprecedented levels and showed there were some underhand deals”.

He did not agree that such steps would put off investors, saying it was a myth created by the vested interest, but the fact was that transparency in contracts and businesses encouraged investors to come forward.

Sugarcane crushing

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the government had allowed sugar export a couple of weeks ago to reduce two million tonnes of surplus stocks so that sugar millers could make timely payments to farmers, but strangely the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association and some other influential people were talking about delaying sugarcane crushing until Nov 30.

“This is unfair to the farmer and unacceptable to the PTI government,” he said, adding that the cabinet had decided to stand by the farmers and not let them suffer at the hands of millers. He said the government was well aware who was behind sugar mills in Sindh and what was the situation in Punjab.

“The sugarcane crushing will start by November 15 at all cost and there will be no compromise,” he said, adding that the prime minister had given unequivocal orders to the provincial governments to enforce the Nov 15 deadline by utilising entire machinery.

Armed licences

Mr Chaudhry said the cabinet had decided to withdraw an appeal filed by the previous government against a ban on prohibited and automatic arms licences in the Supreme Court and directed the interior ministry to formulate in consultation with the provinces a new arms licence policy keeping in view local custom and traditions.

He said the PML-N government had banned prohibited and automatic arms and cancelled their licences which were challenged and overturned by high courts because the subject fell in the provincial jurisdiction in the aftermath of 18th Constitution Amendment. The federal government had challenged this in the Supreme Court.

The minister said the PTI government also believed that it was a provincial subject and all the provinces, particularly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, also had their local custom which could not be undone at the federal level. The provincial governments were better placed to deal with the subject, he added.

Karachi development

The information minister said the cabinet had constituted a high-powered committee for transformation of Karachi and revamping of the Karachi Development Company against whom a lot of complaints were flowing in on account of misuse of provincial and federal funds.

The committee headed by the Sindh governor and comprising Karachi-based members of the National Assembly and other notables would work out how effectively federal funds could be utilised for development of Karachi and solution of people’s problems, he said, adding that the provincial government would also be taken on board.

Fata uplift

The minister said the cabinet directed Finance Minister Asad Umar to expedite the process of finalising the NFC award so that three per cent funds from shares of the four provinces could be diverted for development of tribal areas and their merger with KP. The meeting reviewed the progress on Fata mainstreaming and was told that the Fata secretariat would come under the KP chief minister and the Peshawar High Court had finalised the judicial mechanism.

Erra abolition

Mr Chaudhry said Erra was established after the 2005 earthquake to respond to recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of devastated areas and it had mostly completed its task by now. Therefore, he added, the cabinet had decided to abolish the body and merge it with the National Disaster Management Authority. The existing NDMA chairman would be responsible for merger and remain its head as well in the intervening period.

He said that of the 950 staff of Erra, those belonging to Azad Kashmir and KP would return to their respective governments while the federal employees would be absorbed in the NDMA and none would be laid off.

Foreign visits

The minister said the cabinet had decided to reduce obligatory foreign visits of the federal government by 33.3pc to 428 from 642. Apart from the foreign affairs, no minister would visit abroad more than thrice a year and in case of urgency would require approval from the prime minister.

Commenting on the Imran Khan’s latest statement that Pakistan may not need an IMF programme, Mr Chaudhry said the prime minister and the finance minister had always been talking about the financing gap of $12 billion and simultaneous negotiations with friendly countries and the IMF. He said the gap could be bridged with the combination of two sides and the prime minister was not saying something new.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 19, 2018 at 5:26 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘I say sorry to Pakistan’: Danish Kaneria admits to involvement in spot-fixing scandal

Danish Kaneria has finally admitted his role in a fixing scandal that led to the imprisonment of former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield after six years of denials, Britain’s ,Daily Mail, reported late on Wednesday.

Kaneria, who was given a life ban by English cricket chiefs that effectively applied worldwide, said in an interview for an Al Jazeera television documentary quoted by the Mail: “My name is Danish Kaneria and I admit that I was guilty of the two charges brought against me by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2012.”

Leg-spinner Kaneria, who insisted he was repentant as he called for his life ban to be overturned, added: “I want to apologise to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, my Essex cricket club, my Essex cricket fans. I say sorry to Pakistan.”

Westfield spent two months at Belmarsh prison in south-east London after pleading guilty to accepting 6,000 pounds ($7,862) from an illegal bookmaker, Anu Bhatt, to concede 12 runs in his first over of an English county 40-over game against Durham in 2009. He conceded only 10, but still took the money.

Kaneria was the “middle-man” in the scam, having introduced Westfield to Bhatt, but avoided criminal charges when English legal authorities decided they lacked the evidence for a conviction.

Now 37, Kaneria remains Pakistan’s leading spinner with 261 Test wickets.

‘Forgiveness’

He last played for Pakistan in the Trent Bridge Test of 2010, and has not appeared in any first-class game since March 2012, with all major boards upholding the ECB ban under International Cricket Council guidance.

“I want to ask people’s forgiveness,” said Kaneria. “Cricket has given me so much in my life and I want to give something back.”

“If the ECB and ICC and other bodies would give me a second chance I can help to educate young people in cricket, teach them that if you do wrong you are finished like me.”

Kaneria said the fear of embarrassing his father, who died in 2013 and had been suffering from cancer, explained part of the reason behind his repeated denials of wrongdoing.

“His health was getting worse and worse,” he recalled. “I didn’t have the courage to face him and tell him that I was wrong. He was a very, very proud guy. Very, very proud of me and what I did, representing Pakistan, representing my country.”

“I want to apologise to my father, who has always been a role model for me.”

Meanwhile Westfield told the Mail he accepted Kaneria’s apology, saying: “This whole chapter of spot-fixing changed my life, but I have never blamed anyone for the terrible mistake I made.

“However, opening up about my wrongdoing and telling the truth allowed me to move on,” added Westfield, now 30, who was banned from professional cricket for five years after being released from jail but has since played club and minor county matches.

“I hope that Danish finds peace and closure by doing this, and I wish him all the best for the future.”

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 18, 2018 at 9:26 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , ,

Three detained for running banned outfits’ web pages

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday arrested three ‘activists’ of banned outfits for allegedly operating web pages of their respective organisations on social media, Dawn has learnt.

According to FIA officials, the arrested people are members of a network operating the web pages of the banned outfits for the last couple of years and are affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Tehreek-i-Jafaria Pakistan (TJP). They have been booked in three separate cases under various sections of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act and Anti-Terrorism Act.

Two of the arrested men affiliated with the TJP are residents of Rawalpindi and Taxila, while the third belonging to LeJ lives in Islamabad.

The arrests came as a result of an inquiry initiated by the FIA’s Counter Terrorism Wing in June last year after cyber activities of the banned outfits were spotted on social media. The FIA officials said internet protocol (IP) addresses, mobile phone numbers and email addresses attached with social media pages and used while operating the pages had been put under surveillance.

FIA says the suspects belonging to LeJ, TJP have been booked under various sections of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act and Anti-Terrorism Act

They said the investigators during the inquiry also got assistance from the administrators of social media websites, including Facebook. Moreover, they added, investigation agencies of a few other countries were also approached for assistance.

As a result of more than one year’s surveillance on their e-activities and inquiry, the officials said, the FIA identified these three persons who were operating the banned outfits’ pages on social media, claiming that the agency had sufficient evidence against them for their involvement in such activities. They said efforts were under way to trace their other accomplices.

The accused were operating the pages of the proscribed organisations through their Facebook accounts, the FIA officials said, adding that they were found involved in “disseminating, glorifying and advancing the objectives of the proscribed organisations”.

They said the FIA had launched further investigations to identify and determine the role of the persons who had provided internet connection and other technical assistance to the accused. The cases have been registered against them under sections 9, 10-A and ATA 9, 11F and 11W of PECA.

Section 10 of PECA has also been included in the case registered against the accused affiliated with LeJ.

A senior FIA official told Dawn that there were 75 banned outfits in the country and 36 of them were active on social media as their activists were operating the pages. The arrested persons, he said, were spreading ideology of their banned outfits through social media and hatred against other sects.

The official claimed that the three accused were also registering members, supporters and activists through social media pages, adding that the status of the followers of these pages was also being verified and action against them would be taken, if required.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 16, 2018 at 7:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , ,

Turkey finds journalist was killed in Saudi consulate: source

Turkish police have concluded that prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi mission in Istanbul after going missing Tuesday, an unnamed government official said Saturday.

“Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day,” the official told AFP.

The news came hours after police confirmed that around 15 Saudis, including officials, arrived in Istanbul on two flights on Tuesday and were at the consulate at the same time as the journalist.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, “did not come back out” of the building, police had told the state-run Anadolu news agency.

On the back of this preliminary investigation, Ankara announced Saturday it had opened an official probe into the journalist’s disappearance.

A former government adviser who has been critical of some policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh’s intervention in the war in Yemen, Khashoggi has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year to avoid possible arrest.

The Saudi crown prince earlier denied in an interview with Bloomberg that the journalist had been inside the consulate and said Turkish authorities could search the building.

“We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises,” he said. The consulate is Saudi sovereign territory.

He added that “we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do… We have nothing to hide”, in the interview published on Friday.

Reacting to the news of his alleged murder, Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, said she “did not believe he has been killed”.

According to Cengiz, Khashoggi had visited the consulate to receive an official document for his marriage.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday summoned Saudi Arabia’s ambassador over Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, who turns 60 on October 13, fled the country in September 2017, months after Prince Mohammed was appointed heir to the throne and amid a campaign that saw dozens of dissidents arrested, including intellectuals and preachers.

The journalist said he had been banned from writing in the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, owned by Saudi prince Khaled bin Sultan al-Saud, over his defence of the Muslim Brotherhood which Riyadh has blacklisted as a terrorist organisation.

Khashoggi has also criticised Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen, where Riyadh leads a military coalition fighting alongside the government in its war with Iran-backed rebels.

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 7, 2018 at 3:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , ,

Saudi Arabia not to be made part of CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia would not be made part of the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework and the kingdom’s proposed investments would fall under a separate bilateral arrangement.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Infor­mation Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar said there was no decision to bring a third country, like Saudi Arabia, under the framework of the CPEC.

He was responding to a question about the possibility of Saudi Arabia becoming part of the Joint Working Groups (JWGs) or Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on the CPEC between China and Pakistan. He said there could be many offshoots of the CPEC where third countries could be inv­olved in trilateral arr­ange­ment for infrastructure development, like China-Pakistan-Japan, China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia or China-Pakistan-Germany.

Minister says there could be many offshoots of the project where third countries could be involved

“Saudi Arabia is not to become a collateral strategic partner in the CPEC. This impression is not true,” he said, adding that the third country participation in the CPEC was not limited to Saudi Arabia but other countries could also become part of the business and investment ventures arising out of the CPEC. “The framework between China and Pakistan is bilateral and Saudi Arabia is not entering that framework as a third-party investor, rather the base of CPEC will be broadened and its pace will be expedited.”

The planning minister expressed ignorance when asked how the cost of Main Railway Line (ML-I) had been reduced by $2bn from $8.2bn to $6.2bn as claimed by Railways Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed. “I have noticed this today that Sheikh Rashid is making some efforts [to reduce cost] but not to my knowledge. Nothing has come in front of me to suggest that the cost has come down.”

He said it was however for the new government to adopt a new model on the basis of financial viability of the ML-1 on build, own and operate (BOT) model so that its loan repayment did not become a responsibility of the government like the previous government which procured loans and built projects on EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts.

Interestingly, the previous government, during whose tenure Mr Bakhtiar was an MNA, had ann­ounced that the ML-1 would be built on BOT model.

In response to a question, Mr Bakhtiar said the CPEC portfolio currently stood at about $50bn, of which about $6bn was government-to-government loan and remaining in IPP mode mostly in the energy sector. About $29bn worth of projects were currently in progress.

He said the CPEC had far bigger potential than $50bn and would keep expanding with time as new projects come up but the previous government treated and played it like a T20 match instead of a five-day test series and focused mostly on projects which could be completed during its tenure.

The minister blamed the PML-N government for irresponsible governance and questioned where it lost $32bn low oil price bonanza. He said the economic growth of the previous government was based on borrowed money that led to increase the national debt.

He said the PML-N government did not pass on the benefit of low prices to the consumers and external debt amounted to 72pc of the GDP and total public debt went beyond Rs28 trillion. He was reminded that external debt was way below almost 31pc of GDP and he agreed.

Likewise, he said only 70,000 people in the country were direct taxpayers and return filers but when challenged said meant those earning income above Rs200,000 per month. He also claimed that the PTI government has banned all power projects on all imported fuels to shift focus on renewable energy sources and hydropower. When reminded that ban on power projects on imported fuels was imposed in May 2016, he said the project already completed and those in progress would go on but if such projects were planned but not started would not be allowed to take off.

He criticised the PML-N government for what he alleged painting artificial economic growth numbers when the losses of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) increased from Rs500bn in five years to Rs1trn and circular debt of the power sector jumping from Rs583bn in 2013 to Rs1.2trn now.

He said that previous two governments had mismanaged the country’s economy to the extent that the present government has to set the direction in every field. He said the PML-N government is taking up the issue of slash in development spending but did not disclose truth to the nation that it is befooling the masses by stating higher allocation whereas actual utilisation was 34pc lower. He said total development spending was Rs661bn last year against an allocation of Rs1trn in the budget.

“They had neither resources nor the will to increase the spending but were showing higher allocation to befool the nation,” he added. The previous government also included 343 unapproved schemes of Rs55bn in development schemes of the last budget which have been excluded from the budget.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd , 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - October 3, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

S. Arabia not to be made part of CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia would not be made part of the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework and the kingdom’s proposed investments would fall under a separate bilateral arrangement.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Infor­mation Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar said there was no decision to bring a third country, like Saudi Arabia, under the framework of the CPEC.

He was responding to a question about the possibility of Saudi Arabia becoming part of the Joint Working Groups (JWGs) or Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on the CPEC between China and Pakistan. He said there could be many offshoots of the CPEC where third countries could be inv­olved in trilateral arr­ange­ment for infrastructure development, like China-Pakistan-Japan, China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia or China-Pakistan-Germany.

Minister says there could be many offshoots of the project where third countries could be involved

“Saudi Arabia is not to become a collateral strategic partner in the CPEC. This impression is not true,” he said, adding that the third country participation in the CPEC was not limited to Saudi Arabia but other countries could also become part of the business and investment ventures arising out of the CPEC. “The framework between China and Pakistan is bilateral and Saudi Arabia is not entering that framework as a third-party investor, rather the base of CPEC will be broadened and its pace will be expedited.”

The planning minister expressed ignorance when asked how the cost of Main Railway Line (ML-I) had been reduced by $2bn from $8.2bn to $6.2bn as claimed by Railways Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed. “I have noticed this today that Sheikh Rashid is making some efforts [to reduce cost] but not to my knowledge. Nothing has come in front of me to suggest that the cost has come down.”

He said it was however for the new government to adopt a new model on the basis of financial viability of the ML-1 on build, own and operate (BOT) model so that its loan repayment did not become a responsibility of the government like the previous government which procured loans and built projects on EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts.

Interestingly, the previous government, during whose tenure Mr Bakhtiar was an MNA, had ann­ounced that the ML-1 would be built on BOT model.

In response to a question, Mr Bakhtiar said the CPEC portfolio currently stood at about $50bn, of which about $6bn was government-to-government loan and remaining in IPP mode mostly in the energy sector. About $29bn worth of projects were currently in progress.

He said the CPEC had far bigger potential than $50bn and would keep expanding with time as new projects come up but the previous government treated and played it like a T20 match instead of a five-day test series and focused mostly on projects which could be completed during its tenure.

The minister blamed the PML-N government for irresponsible governance and questioned where it lost $32bn low oil price bonanza. He said the economic growth of the previous government was based on borrowed money that led to increase the national debt.

He said the PML-N government did not pass on the benefit of low prices to the consumers and external debt amounted to 72pc of the GDP and total public debt went beyond Rs28 trillion. He was reminded that external debt was way below almost 31pc of GDP and he agreed.

Likewise, he said only 70,000 people in the country were direct taxpayers and return filers but when challenged said meant those earning income above Rs200,000 per month. He also claimed that the PTI government has banned all power projects on all imported fuels to shift focus on renewable energy sources and hydropower. When reminded that ban on power projects on imported fuels was imposed in May 2016, he said the project already completed and those in progress would go on but if such projects were planned but not started would not be allowed to take off.

He criticised the PML-N government for what he alleged painting artificial economic growth numbers when the losses of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) increased from Rs500bn in five years to Rs1trn and circular debt of the power sector jumping from Rs583bn in 2013 to Rs1.2trn now.

He said that previous two governments had mismanaged the country’s economy to the extent that the present government has to set the direction in every field. He said the PML-N government is taking up the issue of slash in development spending but did not disclose truth to the nation that it is befooling the masses by stating higher allocation whereas actual utilisation was 34pc lower. He said total development spending was Rs661bn last year against an allocation of Rs1trn in the budget.

“They had neither resources nor the will to increase the spending but were showing higher allocation to befool the nation,” he added. The previous government also included 343 unapproved schemes of Rs55bn in development schemes of the last budget which have been excluded from the budget.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd , 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 8:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Minister’s suspicious visit to Kot Lakhpat Jail shocks officials

LAHORE: Another case of political interference in official matters surfaced after Punjab Minister for Prisons Zawar Hussain visited the Kot Lakhpat Jail on Thursday and allegedly unlocked high security barracks.

The minister, along with ‘six suspected civilians’, allegedly held a secret meeting with the militants of banned terror outfits involved in suicide attacks in Lahore and under-trial sectarian inmates. Through his visit to the high-profile prisoners, he created a risk of security lapse as he allegedly unlocked the barracks, housing 109 dangerous terrorists in sheer violation of Pakistan Prisons Rules 1978.

Presently, the jail houses 3,700 convicts and other inmates, including 300 death row prisoners, 45 foreigners, 70 high-profile/sectarian prisoners and those convicted by army courts, besides 2,200 other dangerous convicted inmates.

Minister Zawar Hussain allegedly forced his entry into the jail in the wee hours and stopped the jail superintendent and other senior officials from accompanying him as he went to meet the prisoners, says a detailed report dispatched to the home secretary by the prisons department.

Holds ‘secret meeting’ with terrorists, accompanied by six civilians; report of six-hour long visit sent to home secretary

It says the minister allegedly forced all the jail officials to leave the premises and made them wait outside it. He directed the officials not to enter the jail until he completes his ‘work’ as he seized the keys to the cells/barracks of the high-risk prisoners, unlocked the cells and met and interviewed the prisoners in violation of rules.

On resistance, he locked the official guards of the high-security blocks of the dangerous prisoners in a cell for ‘not cooperating with him’.

In his meeting with the under-trial militants of the banned terrorist outfits involved in suicide attacks in Lahore, he was accompanied by six civilians. The minister remained in the prison for six hours.

Superintendent of the Kot Lakhpat Jail Ijaz Asghar made these stunning revelations in his detailed report, available with Dawn, sent to Punjab Inspector General of Prisons Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig.

Mr Baig brought the matter to the knowledge of the secretary interior who ordered high-level investigation into the issue.

Earlier, incidents of political interference in the official affairs involving the PTI parliamentarians surfaced in Pakpattan and Chakwal, causing embarrassment for the party that has remained quite vocal against political interference in official matters.

In the fresh scam, the superintendent of the jail, in his report, mentioned serious violations of the prisons rules and the ‘mysterious activities’ of the minister and his six civilian companions. He took help of the CCTV cameras in the jail to prepare the report.

“According to the prisons rules 1978, the prisons guard is the custodian of the keys of jail corridor and it happened for the first time that the minister snatched keys from him and handed them over to a suspected civilian who was accompanying him,”the report says.

The six civilians who came with the minister took into custody the official walkie-talkie sets from all the deputed jail employees, it alleges.

According to the section 924 of the prisons rules, no one is allowed to enter the jail after it is locked at the specified time but the minister violated the laws and entered the premises without prior intimation. The minister violated the section 925 of the rules, got the barracks unlocked and met high-profile prisoners along the civilian men, it says. He violated the section 725 of the rules by locking the night officer and security guards, unlocking the Barrack 4 of the high value targets (prisoners), creating a serious risk for their escape.

According to the section 963 (ii) of the rules, no visitor is allowed to enter the jail without the assistance of the authorised prison officials.

“The minister stopped the superintendent of the jail to accompany him and also disallowed him to enter the jail,” says the report.

IG Prisons Punjab Shahid Baig refused to comment on the issue.

The spokesperson for the prisons minister denied the allegations of violation of rules by the minister.

Talking to Dawn, the spokesperson said the minister had paid a surprise visit to the Kot Lakhpat Jail for routine inspection and he had received many complaints against the jail officials from the prisoners who told him that the jail officials took bribe from them to facilitate them.

“The mobile phones service was also working. During the inspection, the minister found some prisoners of routine cases locked with the dangerous inmates.”

The spokesperson added that the prisoners told the minister that they were being served low-quality food and medicines were not available while 40 inmates were found asleep out of 69.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 30, 2018 at 12:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Fawad Chaudhry in the line of fire in Senate after outburst

ISLAMABAD: The opposition moved on Friday a privileged motion in the Senate against “derogatory” ,remarks made by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, against opposition leaders.

The motion was moved by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mushahidullah Khan who said the information minister had also levelled allegations against him for providing lucrative posts to his brothers in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

On this occasion, Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz and Mr Khan exchanged some harsh words.

Opposition demands minister be banned from attending sessions of both houses of parliament for at least one month

The opposition members demanded that the information minister be banned from attending the parliament proceedings for at least one month.

The information minister, in his speech in the National Assembly on Thursday, called all opposition members “thieves” and “dacoits”.

Senator Mushahidullah Khan said Fawad Chaudhry had called all opposition leaders “thieves” but he had forgotten that his uncle and former Punjab governor Chaudhry Altaf was also a leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) now sitting on the opposition benches. “Mr Altaf was an educated man and served as governor, but the information minister has called his own uncle thief and dacoit,” he said.

“Chaudhry Altaf was a respectable man but some eggs turn out to be rotten. This minister has become a member of all political parties. Is Fawad Chaudhry a minister of the state of Madina or of Rangila Shah?”

The PML-N senator said he would teach the information minister a lesson and Prime Minister Imran Khan would have to remove him (Fawad Chaudhry) from the cabinet. He said the information minister had levelled baseless allegations against him and now Mr Chaudhry had to prove them. “If the information minister fails to prove his allegations, he would have to tender an apology before the house,” he maintained.

Shibli Faraz said he and the whole house stood by Senator Mushahidullah for being hurt emotionally.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani informed the house that he had held a meeting with the National Assembly speaker who said he had expunged the objectionable words from the speech of the information minister. He said Mr Chaudhry had already tendered apology.

Mushahidullah Khan said he and his three brothers had served in PIA well before he joined the PML-N. “The information minister called me a loader of PIA, but he doesn’t know that I became a graduate even before the birth of the minister,” he said.

Senator Javed Abbasi said the language used by the information minister was not used even in private gatherings and wondered if the attitude of ministers matched their claims about running the country like the state of Madina.

Senator Chaudhry Tanveer pointed out the quorum and the opposition members staged a walkout. Later, the Senate session was adjourned till Monday.

Lack of quorum

Lack of interest of federal cabinet members and members of the treasury benches in legislative business of parliament was evident on Friday when the proceedings of both the National Assembly and Senate were suspended due to lack of quorum and non-availability of the ministers concerned.

Although the opposition has been pointing out poor attendance of treasury members in the National Assembly since the start of current sessions of the two houses, it was for the first time that the businesses of both houses were suspended the same day due to lack of quorum.

Prime Minister Imran Khan took serious notice of the issue and summoned NA Speaker Qaiser and asked for the reasons for poor attendance of members of the treasury benches.

The quorum problem had also remained a headache for the last PML-N government throughout its five-year term and the then opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf used to criticise it for not giving due importance to the parliament.

In the National Assembly, the quorum was pointed out twice. The first was pointed out by PML-N’s Sheikh Fayyaz Uddin after which the opposition members staged a walkout and the house remained suspended for 20 minutes. The second time quorum was pointed out by another PML-N’s MNA, Tehseen Watto, and the session remained suspended for few minutes to count members. However, the session resumed as the quorum was found complete on this occasion.

Earlier, former deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi accused incumbent deputy speaker Qasim Suri of running the house “unconstitutionally” and said that despite pointing out of quorum by an opposition member on Thursday, the latter continued proceedings of the lower house. Mr Abbasi said the deputy speaker had shown partiality and did not allow the opposition member, who had pointed out the quorum, to speak.

Later, during a debate on the budget, opposition members — Rana Tanvir Hussain, Naz Baloch, Ajmal Khan and Abdul Akbar Chitrali — also complained about the absence of ministers from the house.

Former opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah has been complaining about the poor attendance of the treasury benchers for one week. “We have witnessed the same situation during last PML-N government and now N-Leaguers are sitting in the opposition. If the PTI leaders do not mend their ways they would have a similar fate,” he added.

In the Senate, even Leader of the House Shibli Faraz said the absence of ministers was a source of humiliation for him.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 29, 2018 at 4:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

IHK authorities impose restrictions against Muharram processions

Authorities in India-held Kashmir (IHK) on Friday imposed curfew-like restrictions in parts of the valley including Srinagar to prevent Shia devotees from holding or participating in Ashura processions on Muharram 10.

Heavy contingents of Indian troops and police officials have been deployed in Srinagar and other towns in IHK to prevent mourners from carrying out Muharram processions and anti-India rallies after Friday prayers, the ,Kashmir Media Service, reported.

Restrictions were imposed in the parts of Srinagar falling under the jurisdictions of Nowhatta, Khanya, Safa Kadal, Maharaj Gunj, Kothibagh and Rainwari police stations.

Despite the restrictions, a large number of mourners led by Hurriyat leader Nissar Hussain Rathar, tried to reach the city centre. However, Indian police detained scores of them near Srinagar’s Badshah Chowk area, ,KMS, reported.

The mourners were also seen chanting slogans in favour of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and displaying his pictures in the ongoing Muharram processions in the territory.

The main Muharram 10 procession in Srinagar used to kick off at Aabi Guzar and end at Zadibal but was banned by Indian authorities in 1989.

All-Pakistan Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tweeted that curbs, curfews and house arrests are continuing in the restive valley even on Ashura.

“No Friday prayers allowed at many mosques in the city including #JamaMasjid by the rulers. Even majlis-i-tableegh to pay tributes to Imam Hussain (AS) and martyrs Of Karbala which I was going to address [have been] barred,” Farooq said.

,,

Kashmiri Shias detained by Indian police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on September 21, 2018. ? AFP

Kashmiri Shias detained by Indian police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on September 21, 2018. ? AFP

A Kashmiri Shia is detained by Indian police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on September 21, 2018. ? AFP

A Kashmiri Shia is detained by Indian police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on September 21, 2018. ? AFP

A Kashmiri Shia is detained by Indian police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on September 21, 2018. ? AFP

A Kashmiri Shia is detained by Indian police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on September 21, 2018. ? AFP

A Kashmiri Shia is detained by Indian police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on September 21, 2018. ? AFP

A Kashmiri Shia is detained by Indian police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on September 21, 2018. ? AFP

Kashmiri Shia women participate in a Muharram procession in Srinagar, IHK, on Sept 20. ? AP

Kashmiri Shia women participate in a Muharram procession in Srinagar, IHK, on Sept 20. ? AP

Kashmiri Shias attend a Muharram procession in Srinagar, IHK on Sept 20. ? AP

Kashmiri Shias attend a Muharram procession in Srinagar, IHK on Sept 20. ? AP

A Kashmiri Shia woman holds a child as she participates in a Muharram procession in Srinagar. ? AP

A Kashmiri Shia woman holds a child as she participates in a Muharram procession in Srinagar. ? AP

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - September 21, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ashura being observed today amid tight security

QUETTA: Frontier Corps personnel seal a shop in a market on Muharram procession route here on Thursday.—PPI

QUETTA: Frontier Corps personnel seal a shop in a market on Muharram procession route here on Thursday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Ashura will be observed on Friday with solemnity to pay homage to Imam Hussain and other martyrs of Karbala amid strict security to protect mourners from any terrorist attack across the country.

Apart from the security measures, local administrations, all over the country, have placed hospitals and ambulance services on high alert. Moreover, the governments of the four provinces, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan have taken adequate measures to ensure security on the day.

As there will be no Ashura procession in the federal capital, police and administration of Islamabad will cooperate with the Rawalpindi administration to carry out checks at all entry points between the twin cities.

However, extraordinary security arrangements have been made in Rawalpindi considering the past incident at Raja Bazaar as Ashura has coincided with Friday.

In 2013, authorities had to impose a curfew in parts of Rawalpindi after sectarian clashes erupted during a Muharram 10 (on Friday) procession near Fawara Chowk, that left at least eight people dead and dozens injured.

The security has remained a matter of concern for over a decade because of a number of incidents of suicide attacks and sectarian violence.

Apart from police, Ran­gers and Frontier Corps personnel have been deployed in many cities on the routes of Ashura processions, while the army is also kept standby and can be called in case of an emergency.

Pillion-riding has been banned in many cities across the country. Although a blanket blackout of cellular service across the country is not under consideration on 10th Muharram, citizens can face partial suspension of the service in different cities due to security reasons, said sources in cellular companies.

Police have already conducted a survey of procession routes across the country and sealed all shops, houses and buildings on the routes after a thorough check by bomb disposal squads.

On Thursday, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi reviewed the security arrangements of main procession in Sector G-6 Islamabad. He said no compromise or sluggishness would be tolerated over such arrangements as it is prime responsibility of the government to ensure protection to the lives and property of the citizens.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2018

,, ,, ,, ,, ,,


Via DAWN.com

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - at 6:25 am

Categories: The News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Next Page »