Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Pakistan doesn’t have democracy but ‘worst kind of dictatorship’ under CJP Nisar: Nawaz

  • ,Sirjaul Haq’s remarks about Senate elections ‘meaningful’,

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that recent actions by the top judiciary indicate that a regime worse than a martial law has been imposed across Pakistan.

Speaking to reporters inside the accountability court in Islamabad, Sharif claimed: “What is prevalent in the country is not democracy, but the worst kind of dictatorship under [Chief Justice Mian] Saqib Nisar.”

“What is happening in the country is not less than a ‘judicial martial law’,” said the former prime minister, who returned from London late on Sunday after seeing his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who has been undergoing cancer treatment there.

Editorial: ,The denial of exemption to Nawaz and Maryam from accountability hearings is wrong and shameful,

Criticising recent judgements by the courts as “illogical”, Sharif said the alleged silencing of 220 million people of Pakistan would not be acceptable to him.

“These many restrictions were not even imposed during the martial laws that we are seeing today,” he remarked.

The former premier claimed serious efforts are being made convict him in the corruption references being heard by the accountability court, which he said were an attempt “to make the five judges successful” — a reference to the five-member SC bench which had disqualified him last year in the Panama Papers case.

Directing his criticism at the CJP once again, Sharif said Justice Nisar visits hospitals regularly and talks about vegetable prices, but “he should also visit the home of an oppressed person whose case hasn’t been decided for 20 years”.

“It is not your job to summon the chief minister and make the government stand in the line,” he said, addressing the CJP.

The Supreme Court, under its ,2018 agenda,, is focusing on human rights issues, particularly those relating to the people’s right to quality education and healthcare. However, this course of action is also being seen as an ,overstepping of boundaries, by the apex court, similar to the ,Iftikhar Chaudhry era,.

However, the chief justice has stood by the court’s actions, reiterating that such criticism will not deter him from exercising what he considers is his “constitutional right”.

Sirjaul Haq’s remarks about Senate elections ‘meaningful’

Referring to the ,remarks by Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) emir Senator Sirjaul Haq, about Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) voting for Sadiq Sanjrani during the Senate elections following an “order from the top”, Sharif said the revelation was meaningful.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan has reprimanded his party’s MPAs who allegedly engaged in horsetrading, but he should open himself to criticism as well for voting on somebody’s instructions, Sharif said.

“Will Imran Khan also answer the nation about how Chaudhry Sarwar managed to get votes [in Punjab]?” he questioned.

“Will Imran Khan assure the nation that he did not vote for the arrow?” he asked, referring to PPP’s symbol.

The hearing of the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference could not be held today due to an apparent confusion about recording the testimony of Wajid Zia, the head of the SC-sanctioned joint investigation team. The hearing of the case was adjourned until Tuesday, and Sharif and his daughter Maryam were allowed to leave by the court.

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CJP removes vice chancellors of four Punjab universities

    LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Sunday made vice chancellors of three public sector universities resign, announcing the posts would be filled afresh on merit through the newly constituted search committees.

    The vice chancellors of Fatima Jinnah Medical Uni­versity (Rawal­pindi), Faisal­abad Medical University and Rawalpindi Medical University complied with the order without delay.

    But the vice chancellor of Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Prof Uzma Qureshi, was suspended by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar after she insisted that her appointment had been made on merit and that her career would be tainted if she tendered resignation.

    The chief justice told her that the court had full knowledge about the role of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal in her appointment. Prof Qureshi, however, kept saying that her appointment had been made without any political consideration or pressure.

    When asked about her relation with the interior minister, she said Mr Iqbal was the student of her father only. “Attempts have been made to malign me,” she added.

    CJP Nisar observed that the court could not tolerate any appointment made without transparency.

    A two-judge bench headed by the chief justice was hearing a suo motu case about the appointment of vice chancellors at the public universities.

    Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafiq, health secretary Najam Shah and higher education secretary Nabeel Awan were present in the court. Minister for Higher Educa­tion Syed Ali Raza Gilani also appeared on court’s direction.

    The chief justice directed the education minister and secretary to discuss the matter with the chief minister and reconstitute an inquiry committee to decide pending complaints against Prof Qureshi regarding her research work.

    The chief justice further directed them to appoint the senior most professor of the university as acting vice chancellor till the appointment of a regular vice chancellor.

    Justice Nisar ordered the health minister and secretary to constitute new search committees for the appointment of vice chancellors at the three medical universities. The education secretary told the court that the search committee earlier constituted for the Punjab University could be tasked with the LCWU matter.

    The court accepted the suggestion.

    Meanwhile, the education secretary stated that the appointment of a regular vice chancellor at the Punjab University would be made by Aug 5. He said that since the university was the biggest institute of the province, a large number of candidates had applied for its top slot and the scrutiny process would take considerable time.

    Having been irked with the statement, the chief justice told the secretary that he never came across a DMG officer like him who was trying to protect the interest of political government with all means.

    “Who is responsible for over two-year delay in the appointment — secretary, minister or chief minister?” asked the chief justice and observed, “It shows incompetence of the government.”

    CJP Nisar directed the secretary to make the appointment of a regular vice chancellor at the Punjab University within six weeks.

    He also ordered the government to constitute new search committees for the ap­­p­oint­­ment of vice chancellors at other three medical universities.

    Earlier, Prof Dr Zakraya Zakir, who tendered resignation as acting vice chancellor of the Punjab University the other day, urged the court to show compassion in his case. He said he served the university for 28 years with a spotless career.

    CJP Nisar snubbed him and said the court was fully conversant with his financial affairs even. “If you want to confront the court, we can refer an inquiry to the Federal Investigation Agency,” the chief justice said to Prof Zakir.

    Before concluding the proceedings, the chief justice told the health minister that he was not bound to appear on the next proceedings unless required by the court.

    “But keep Khawaja Saad Rafique alert, as anything can happen anytime,” the chief justice asked him on a lighter note.

    Khawaja Salman Rafique is younger brother of Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq who is facing a NAB inquiry into a land deal.

    Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2018

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    SC asks NAB to probe alleged corruption in Punjab Institute of Cardiology

    • ,Expenses of withdrawn police personnel Rs38bn a year in Punjab,
    • ,CJP orders medical machinery to be brought to Pakistan within ten days,

    The chief justice (CJP) while hearing a suo motu case against the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) said on Sunday that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) would investigate alleged corruption in the organisation.

    An assistant pharmacist who claimed she was wrongfully removed from her position at the PIC brought the matter to the attention of the court earlier. A two judge bench led by CJP Mian Saqib Nisar today held the first hearing of a suo motu case regarding the matter at the Lahore registry.

    The CJP lambasted Punjab government and PIC officials over the appointment of PIC board member Afzal Bhatti ? who also holds a post as the commissioner of the Overseas Pakistanis Commission Punjab ? asking how a dual national was designated commissioner and a board member of the PIC.

    CJP Nisar also asked Bhatti how much his salary was, to which the latter replied that it was Rs550,000 a month. The CJP observed that the provincial chief secretary only earned Rs180,000 a month. “What makes you so special?” he wondered.

    Adviser to the Chief Minister Khawaja Hasan, Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique and PIC head Nadeem Hayat Malik also appeared in court today.

    “How did all this happen in your presence?” the CJP asked Hasan. “I am sorely tempted to summon the chief minister and show him these proceedings.”

    The CJP also asked Khawaja Salman Rafique to keep noting “whatever is happening in the Health Ministry”.

    “This will be the charge-sheet against you,” he said.

    The CJP observed that people often exercise influence in order to be recruited into government jobs. “We cannot ignore this.”

    The Punjab advocate general was also reprimanded for interfering in the matter.

    “This judge is not so weak. Everything will come to light once the matter is sent to NAB,” Justice Nisar said. “Those responsible will not be let off easily,” he added. “We will get to the bottom of this.”

    The court summoned Director General NAB Lahore Saleem Shahzad to inquire into the matter and ordered Bhatti’s name to be placed on the ECL.

    The court adjourned the hearing until April 28 and summoned all relevant officials before the court in the next hearing.

    Expenses of withdrawn police personnel Rs38bn a year in Punjab

    While hearing the suo motu case regarding security being given to non-entitled persons, the chief justice remarked that the monthly expenses of ,4,610 police personnel recalled in Punjab, came to over Rs119 million.

    He noted that the amount goes up to Rs38 billion a year and that things would be different today had the same money been spent on health and education.

    CJP orders medical machinery to be brought to Pakistan within ten days

    Hearing another suo motu case regarding the non-treatment of children born with familial hypercholesterolemia, the CJP ordered machinery for the treatment to be brought to Pakistan within ten days.

    “The machine costs Rs8m. If the Punjab government does not have the funds, you can can take them from me by today evening,” he told officials.

    Justice Nisar also reprimanded the father of children suffering from the rare disease when he urged the court make for an alternate arrangement until the machines required for his children’s treatment are not available in Pakistan.

    “You want to use your children to go abroad; the court will not let this happen,” he remarked.

    The CJP also told the father of the sick children that action would be taken against him if he showed negligence in their treatment.

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    All 17 judges of Supreme Court to resign on first sign of ‘judicial martial law’, CJP says

      Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday, while rubbishing the idea of a ‘judicial martial law’, said all 17 judges of the Supreme Court would step down if anyone tries to “harm” the country.

      “This could be someone’s heart’s desire, but people should not think that we are doing anything to usher in ‘judicial martial law’ in the country,” the chief justice said while addressing an event at Lahore’s Aiwan-i-Iqbal.

      “There is no such thing in the Constitution, and we will not do anything that is not by the book,” the CJP said, before adding that no one in the country would let the judges do such a thing.

      “I earlier said that if any such move is made, I will leave my post. Today, I am saying that if anyone tries to harm this country, all 17 judges of the Supreme Court will no longer continue in their posts.”

      He also stated unequivocally that the court will not take any pressure.

      “This country is a democratic state. Allama Iqbal and the Quaid-i-Azam dreamt of it as a democratic state, and so it shall remain,” he said.

      “We will fight for the nation’s rights and the day we feel that the country does not stand with us, we will give our posts up,” Justice Nisar stated.

      “I promise this nation that I will do whatever is in my power for this country,” he added.

      “Nations with no countries of their own are unfortunate. We should thank the Almighty that we have a country to call our own, which the Quaid [Muhammad Ali Jinnah] and Iqbal fought for us to get,” Justice Nisar said.

      “We did not get Pakistan as charity. We had to fight hard and sacrifice blood, sweat and tears to build this country. However, this country today is not being given its due importance.”

      “In my eye, education is the most important issue of all. Those nations which have educated their youth are leading the world today. We, on the other hand, are shutting educational institutions down instead of creating new ones to cater to our needs,” the chief justice said.

      Referring to the ,Punjab University, case he had ruled on earlier in the day, Justice Nisar said, “80 canals of land from a university were taken away to build a grid station. How will this nation flourish until we give our youth the education they need to excel.”

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      CJP wonders who is responsible for case disposal delays

      • ,Imran’s response to criticism,

      PESHAWAR / CHARSADDA: Seeking cooperation of the legal fraternity in addressing the issue of delay in disposal of cases, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar stated on Friday that it was time for the judiciary to deliver otherwise it would not be able to achieve its goals.

      CJP Nisar was addressing members of the Charsadda District Bar Association at the newly-constructed Charsadda Judicial Complex. Institutions were not made of buildings but by people, he told the lawyers. The chief justice said nations developed through education, leadership, judicial system and institutions. “Our laws are outdated and updating them is not our job,” he said.

      He urged lawyers to hold workshops and to look for solutions to the problem of delays in disposal of justice within the existing legal framework. “Tell us how, with the cooperation of the bar and bench, we can decide a civil case in a few months,” he said.

      He asked who was responsible for the delays and added: “I, this system, and all of us are responsible for this problem.” Commenting on the suo motu actions he had taken recently, the chief justice stated that they were related to the enforcement of fundamental rights. He said the right to life was an inalienable right, as was the right to education.

      Says it’s time for judiciary to deliver

      CJP Nisar said the other day he had questioned the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister about educational initiatives in Peshawar or any other city in his province, but the latter couldn’t provide a satisfactory answer.

      He hailed Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Yahya Afridi, who had conceived the idea of building a judicial complex, as well as the architect and contractor for the project. CJP Nisar said this was one of the best judicial complexes in the world.

      Separately, the chief justice visited the Charsadda District Headquarters Hospital and issued directives to ensure provision of lifesaving medicines.

      Earlier in Peshawar, a bench headed by CJP Nisar had ordered the KP Health Care Commission to ,close down clinics and shops run by quacks, within a week. The bench ordered that no court would issue a stay order in favour of any suspected quack seeking any interim relief.

      The bench, whose other two members were Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, expressed dissatisfaction with the commission’s performance and directed its chief executive Azr Sardar to work harder.

      The bench asked him his salary, and Mr Sardar replied that it was Rs500,000 per month. The bench then asked KP Chief Secretary Muhammad Azam Khan what his salary was, and he told them that it was Rs180,000 per month.

      The CJ wondered how a chief secretary could receive a lower salary than the head of a commission that was subservient to him.

      Imran’s response to criticism

      Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said that two questions regarding the governance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were important for the consideration of the chief justice. “Are the conditions in KP better today than they were five years ago and are the people of KP comparatively more satisfied today than they were five years ago,” Mr Khan said in ,one of his tweets, on Friday.

      Mr Khan, ,apparently responding to the CJP’s remarks, about the conditions of various public institutions in the province, said that as far as the situation in the Lady Reading Hospital was concerned it was easier to set up a new organisation than to rectify the one plagued with problems.

      Separately, in compliance with an order of the Supreme Court, KP IGP Salahuddin Mehsud submitted a report to the SC bench stating that since Thursday, they had withdrawn around 1,769 police personnel who were performing security duty with unauthorised people in the province. The day before, the bench had ordered IGPs of all provinces and Islamabad to withdraw police personnel from people who were not entitled to security under law.

      The chief justice lauded the IGP for his compliance, observing: “If the court was allowed to salute someone I would have saluted the IGP.”

      Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2018

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      Shut down quack doctors in KP within a week, orders chief justice

      • ,CJP praises IG Mehsud,
      • ,CJP in Peshawar,

      Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health commission Chairman Azar Sardar to shut down all quack doctors in the province, giving him a week’s time to do so.

      The chief justice issued those directives while hearing a case against quack doctors at the Supreme Court registry in Peshawar today.

      Justice Nisar grilled chairman health commission for not doing enough against quack doctors, saying: “You draw a salary of Rs500,000 but your output is zero. It’s your duty to take action on the matter.”

      Upon being told that there are as many as 15,000 quacks in KP, the chief justice asked for a comprehensive inquiry report on the issue.

      Justice Nisar set a one-week deadline for Sardar to take province-wide action against quacks, making it clear that “no stay orders will be issued in this case”.

      “If anyone wants a stay order then they should come to the Supreme Court,” he advised.

      CJP praises IG Mehsud

      Justice Nisar was, however, full of praise for Salahuddin Mehsud, the inspector general of police for KP, for withdrawing personal security granted to unauthorised persons.

      The CJP had, a day earlier, ordered that all security protocol granted to unauthorised persons in all provinces be withdrawn.

      IG Mehsud submitted his report in court today, telling Justice Nisar that security protocol of 1,769 unauthorised people has already been withdrawn on court’s orders.

      At this, the CJP commended the IG, saying: “You have done excellent work. Thank you.”

      The chief justice also said that he is content with Chief Secretary Azam Khan’s conduct. “Chief secretary, you have also done good work,” he added.

      CJP in Peshawar

      CJP Nisar, who is on a two-day official visit to Peshawar, had summoned KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Thursday and told him that he had heard a lot about PTI’s good governance but the situation on the ground was different.

      The bench had expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the KP government in the social sector — including health, education and provision of potable water — regretting that not a single standard hospital or school had been set up in the provincial capital by the government over the past five years.

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      Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by PAK NEWS - April 20, 2018 at 8:26 am

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      Federal, KP govts get apex court notices over APS carnage

        PESHAWAR: A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday issued notices to the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments over an application of parents of several students, who were martyred in the 2014 Army Public School attack, seeking a judicial inquiry into the carnage.

        Amidst moving scenes as several parents burst out crying, the chief justice requested them to give him at least one week time to go through their case and understand their demands.

        The full bench, whose other two members were Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, also directed the court’s registrar to call the petitions on the APS attack pending with the Peshawar High Court.

        CJP asks students’ parents to give him one week to understand their demands

        The chief justice observed that he would either visit Peshawar or task another bench with hearing the parents’ grievances.

        The chief justice took a suo motu notice of the matter when parents of some martyred students, including mothers, approached him when the bench was hearing other cases.

        The courtroom at the Supreme Court’s Peshawar registry was packed beyond capacity as the people turned up in large numbers to apprise the chief justice of their grievances.

        The mother of martyred student Asfand Khan started crying when she narrated the ordeal of the most APS students’ parents. She said she had never slapped her son but the terrorists had fired six bullets at him.

        She said that for the last over three years they had been moving from pillar to posts seeking justice but in vain.

        Other parents including women carrying pictures of their sons appeared before the bench.

        Almost all of them complained that several weeks before that unfortunate occurrence the concerned authorities were conveyed by National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) about plans of terrorists to attack any army run educational institution including Peshawar APS. However, they said no steps were taken to avert that attack.

        They pointed out that their demand was to conduct an impartial judicial inquiry so as to fix responsibility of negligence on the officials concerned.

        They asked why the authorities were shy of conducting the inquiry.

        “You have been bestowed the responsibility of dispensation of justice by Almighty Allah and if you fail in providing us justice, you will be answerable on the Day of Judgment,” one of the mothers said. She said that her lone son was killed by terrorists in the said occurrence and she still did not know who was responsible for his murder.

        Another mother while profusely crying asked the chief justice could he bring her son back for a moment only so that she could hug him.

        Chief secretary Azam Khan said the basic demand of parents was the holding of a judicial inquiry into the whole incident.

        The chief justice observed why the government had not ordered an inquiry so far. He added that he was like father to all of them and would strive to provide them justice.

        COLLEGES FEE: The bench ordered all private medical colleges in the province not charge more than Rs800,000 fee per annum from students.

        It also ordered the freezing of the accounts of one of these colleges, Al-Razi Medical College, over complaints filed by the students that the administration had been charging exorbitant fee.

        The bench directed the Federal Investigation Agency to conduct an inquiry in that regard.

        The chief justice also visited the college and inspected the facilities provided to students.

        Meanwhile, advocate Abbas Khan Sangeen informed the bench that few months ago, the PHC had decided some petitions and had issued several directives to the private schools to streamline their affairs.

        He however said the schools had not been implementing the judgment and had been claiming that their appeals were pending before the apex court.

        The bench directed the court’s registrar to fix those appeals in Islamabad for early decision.

        It continued the hearing into the grievances of several people until evening and announced it would meet again on Friday.

        Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2018

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        ‘I’ve seen no improvement’: CJP takes KP chief minister to task over water woes, state of hospitals

        • ,Visit to medical college,
        • ,’No improvement’ at the Lady Reading Hospital,
        • ,APS victims’ parents plead for justice,
        • ,Personal security granted to unrelated persons in all provinces be withdrawn: CJP orders,
        • ,Setting controversy over judge’s reference to rest,

        Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday censured the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government over its failure to provide clean drinking water to citizens and the unsatisfactory progress made by it for the disposal of sewage and industrial waste.

        The CJP, who was hearing a suo motu case at the Supreme Court’s Peshawar registry, ordered KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to appear before the court and explain the reasons behind his government’s shortcomings.

        When the chief minister appeared before the three-member bench, the CJP informed him that he had visited Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) earlier in the day but observed no improvement in the state of affairs there.

        “Do you know what is the population of Peshawar [and] how much waste is flowing into its streams?” he asked Khattak, who remained silent in response.

        “It is your duty to satisfy the public, which you failed to do,” remarked the CJP, who is in Peshawar ,for a two-day visit, during which he will be hearing cases at the SC’s Peshawar registry.

        The CJP observed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-led government makes tall claims, but asked the chief minister how many new hospitals and schools were constructed during the last five years of his government, which he stressed was “not a short amount of time”.

        “The slogan of ‘honour the vote’ is being raised [by political leaders], [but] the real honour lies in serving the public,” Justice Nisar remarked.

        Chief Minister Khattak then defended his government’s performance, saying the structure of schools and hospitals was in a shambles when he started and things have since improved.

        “You would have seen [how bad the situation was] if you had visited four years ago,” he said, adding that the results of his administration’s educational and other efforts will become apparent 4-5 years later.

        But the CJP appeared unconvinced, saying he has had to face “hopelessness” from every side. He said he was well aware that things were being cleaned up in Peshawar a week in advance of his visit.

        Justice Nisar had earlier in the day grilled provincial officials over the steps taken to ensure that clean drinking water is available to citizens.

        “Which canal are you throwing Peshawar’s waste into?” he asked KP Chief Secretary Azam Khan, before asking why no dumping ground existed in the city for the purpose.

        Justice Nisar took the secretary to task when he informed the court that sewerage water is dumped into canals and rivers. “You say everything is good here … where is your ‘good governance’?” he asked.

        At the outset of the hearing of a case concerning the disposal of hospitals’ waste, the CJP had remarked that the conditions in hospitals of Karachi and Lahore has improved on the court’s orders and asked the health secretary what the situation was like in KP.

        The health secretary revealed that a total of 1,570 hospitals are operating in the province while two districts lack a district headquarters (DHQ) hospital. On the court’s orders, the secretary also submitted a report about the process adopted by the government to dispose of medical waste.

        Visit to medical college

        The CJP also heard a case about exorbitant fees charged by private medical colleges in the province.

        CJP Mian Saqib Nisar talks to medical students during his visit to Al-Razi Medical College in Peshawar. — DawnNews

        CJP Mian Saqib Nisar talks to medical students during his visit to Al-Razi Medical College in Peshawar. — DawnNews

        The administration of Al-Razi Medical College informed the court that the students were being charged Rs800,000 fee per year. However, a student present at the hearing informed the court that he was being charged Rs1.2 million and presented receipts to corroborate his claim.

        At this, the CJP ordered the college to return the extra fees charged to students on an immediate basis. He also ordered authorities to seize the college’s records and freeze its assets.

        Justice Nisar later also visited Al-Razi Medical College, where he interacted with students and examined the facilities.

        “Tell [me] honestly how much fees you have paid?” he asked a class of medical students. “You don’t need to be afraid at any time, no one can expel you [from this college],” he had assured the students.

        ‘No improvement’ at the Lady Reading Hospital

        The CJP then visited the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), the largest public sector teaching hospital in the province.

        “I saw no improvement during my visit to LRH,” the CJP remarked after the visit, and asked the chief secretary how many hospitals the provincial government had built along the lines of LRH in the last five years.

        “What steps were taken to reduce the throng of patients at LRH,” he asked.

        APS victims’ parents plead for justice

        Meanwhile, the parents of some children who had perished in the Army Public School attack in December 2014 appeared before the SC today.

        Emotional scenes were witnessed when the parents informed the court that their “generations had ended with their children’s death” but they had yet to receive justice over the tragedy.

        The CJP, who was visibly moved by the victims parents’ pleas, sought one week’s time to seek the government’s response. The court subsequently issued notices to the federal and provincial governments to file their replies in the case.

        Personal security granted to unrelated persons in all provinces be withdrawn: CJP orders

        While hearing a separate case about the deployment of security personnel in the province, the CJP ordered that all additional security protocol granted to unrelated persons in all provinces be withdrawn.

        The order was issued after KP Inspector General Salahuddin Mehsood informed the court that as many as 3,000 security personnel were currently deployed for ‘personal security’ throughout the province.

        “Those who possess everything can also arrange their own security,” the CJP remarked. He ordered the police chief to withdraw all police personnel deployed for the security of officials by midnight. The IG assured the court that the same will be done by the evening.


        The apex court, under its ,2018 agenda,, is focusing on human rights issues, particularly those relating to the people’s right to quality education and healthcare. However, this course of action is also being seen as an ,overstepping of boundaries, by the Supreme Court, similar to the ,Iftikhar Chaudhry era,.

        However, the chief justice has stood by the court’s actions, reiterating that such criticism will not deter him from exercising what he considers is his “constitutional right.”


        Setting controversy over judge’s reference to rest

        While addressing a gathering of lawyers at the Peshawar High Court in the afternoon, the CJP sought to end ,misgivings among KP’s legal fraternity, about why no reference was held on the eve of retirement of Supreme Court judge Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, who hails from KP’s Bannu district.

        PHC Chief Justice Yahya Afridi had last month called on CJP Nisar to convey the resentment expressed by the Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) over the non-holding of the reference.

        The absence of the reference and subsequent dinners by the SC as well as the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association had stirred rumours about a “conspiracy” being the reason why the reference wasn’t held.

        In an effort to put the issue to rest, Justice Nisar told the lawyer’s gathering that Justice Khan had refused to attend the reference due to personal reasons and he was handed over some gifts by the judges over tea instead.

        The CJP regretted that he was accused by the PHCBA of preventing the reference from taking place without looking into the reasons.

        “You assumed that I would be so cheap and shallow [...] so as to bid farewell to an outgoing friend like this?” he said, adding that he is open to arranging a reference for Justice Khan even now if he so desires.

        The CJP also took the opportunity to once again urge the judges of lower courts to decides cases expeditiously, saying it was their duty to provide quick justice to the public.

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        ‘I’ve seen no improvement’: CJP summons KP chief minister to explain water woes, state of hospitals

        • ,Visit to medical college,
        • ,’No improvement’ at Lady Reading Hospital,
        • ,Personal security case,

        Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday ordered Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to appear before the court and explain the provincial government’s failure to provide clean drinking water to citizens and the steps taken by it to dispose of sewage and industrial waste.

        Hearing a suo motu case at the Supreme Court’s Peshawar registry, the CJP censured the KP government over the steps taken by it to provide drinking water to the public.

        Justice Nisar remarked during the hearing that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) which has been leading the government in KP for the past five years should explain what it has done to ensure that clean drinking water is available to citizens.

        “Which canal are you throwing Peshawar’s filth into?” he asked the KP Chief Secretary Azam Khan, and questioned why no dumping ground existed in the city for the purpose.

        Justice Nisar took the secretary to task when he informed the court that sewerage water is dumped into canals and rivers.

        “You say everything is good here… what else is ‘good governance’?” asked the CJP, who is in Peshawar ,for a two-day visit, during which he will be heading a bench at SC’s Peshawar registry to hear different cases apart from other engagements.

        The CJP ordered the chief minister to appear before the court, stressing that Khattak could come at any time as he “will be here even at 2am”.

        At the outset of the hearing of a case about disposal of hospitals’ waste, the CJP remarked that the conditions in hospitals of Karachi and Lahore has improved on the court’s orders and asked the health secretary what the situation was like in KP.

        The health secretary revealed that a total of 1,570 hospitals are present in the province while two districts lack a district headquarters (DHQ) hospital. The CJP ordered the secretary to submit all details regarding health facilities in the province by 6pm today.

        Visit to medical college

        The CJP also heard a case about exorbitant fees charged by private colleges in the province.

        CJP Mian Saqib Nisar talks to medical students during his visit to Al-Razi Medical College in Peshawar. — DawnNews

        CJP Mian Saqib Nisar talks to medical students during his visit to Al-Razi Medical College in Peshawar. — DawnNews

        The administration officials of Al-Razi Medical College informed the court that the students were being charged Rs800,000 fee per year. However, a student present at the hearing informed the court that was being charged Rs1.2 million and presented receipts to corroborate his claim.

        At this, the CJP ordered the college to return the extra fees charged to students on an immediate basis. He also ordered authorities to seize the college’s records and freeze its assets.

        Justice Nisar later also visited Al-Razi Medical College, where he interacted with students and observed the facilities.

        “Tell [me] honestly how much fees you have paid?” he asked a class of medical students. “You don’t need to be afraid at any time, no one can expel you from [this college].”

        ‘No improvement’ at Lady Reading Hospital

        The CJP also visited Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), the largest public sector teaching hospital in the province, on Thursday.

        “I saw no improvement during my visit to LRH,” the CJP remarked after the visit, and asked the chief secretary how many hospitals the provincial government had built along the lines of LRH in the last five years.

        “What steps were taken to reduce the throng of patients at LRH,” he questioned, directing the KP chief minister once again to appear before the court.

        Personal security case

        While a hearing separate case about the deployment of security personnel in the province, the CJP ordered that all additional security protocol granted to unentitled persons be withdrawn.

        The order was issued after KP Inspector General Salahuddin Mehsood informed the court that as many as 3,000 security personnel were currently deployed for personal security throughout the province.

        “Those who possess everything can also arrange their personal security,” the CJP remarked. He ordered the KP police chief to withdraw all police personnel deployed for the security of officials by tonight. The IG assured the court that the same will be done by the evening.

        The apex court, under its ,2018 agenda,, is focusing on human rights issues, particularly those relating to the people’s right to quality education and healthcare. However, this course of action is also being seen as an ,overstepping of boundaries,, similar to the ,Iftikhar Chaudhry era,.

        The chief justice has stood by the court’s actions, reiterating that such criticism will not deter him from exercising what he considers is his “constitutional right.”

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        No politics acceptable in social sectors of Balochistan: CJP

          QUETTA: The Supreme Court regretted on Tuesday that health and education sectors in Balochistan were worse than those in Sindh and warned that if the situation did not improve the court would consider imposing a ban on trade unions in these departments.

          “No politics is acceptable in these sectors,” said a three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.

          The bench had taken up a suo motu case about the plight of people being deprived of basic amenities like healthcare, education and clean drinking water in Balochistan at the court’s Quetta registry.

          “We thought that the situation in Sindh was very poor, but the situation in Balochistan has no match. Everybody is trying to put responsibility on others, when we ask anyone about any matter,” the court regretted.

          Chief Justice Nisar expressed his annoyance over the absence of two former chief ministers of Balochistan — Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and Nawab Sanaullah Zehri — from the hearing despite ,the issuance of summons,. He directed them to appear before the court on April 30 in Islamabad.

          The court had summoned the former chief ministers to explain what they had done during their tenures to resolve numerous issues faced by people in Balochistan.

          Orders transfer of health secretary to some other department

          The court directed the provincial government to finalise the education policy in 15 days and also submit a compliance report in one week after admitting 100 students of Balochistan to private medical colleges.

          Balochistan Chief Secretary Aurangzeb Haq, Additional Chief Secretary for Planning and Development Nasibullah Bazai, Education Secretary Noor-ul-Haq Baloch, Health Secretary Saleh Mohammad Nasar and Advocate General Rauf Atta appeared before the court.

          The chief secretary assured the bench that after the provincial cabinet’s approval a draft of the education policy would be submitted to the court in Islamabad.

          The chief justice lashed out at the health secretary for coming late and said he was not satisfied with the performance of Mr Nasar. “You should leave service if you cannot come on time.”

          When the CJP asked the health secretary which province he was from, Mr Nasar said he belonged to Balochistan.

          At this, Justice Nisar said: “If you are from Balochistan then you should work for the province. Have you seen the conditions of hospitals? There is no single MRI machine in Civil Hospital.”

          The CJP directed the chief secretary to transfer the health secretary to some other department.

          He regretted that the Balochistan government paid a doctor Rs24,000 per month, whereas the monthly salary of a driver of the apex court was Rs35,000.

          Chief Justice Nisar directed the chief secretary to equip hospitals with modern instruments in order to provide better health facilities to people.

          The education secretary informed the court that over the last three years, 400,000 children had been enrolled in schools in Balochistan.

          On a court query, Mr Baloch said there were no drinking water and washroom facilities in 50 per cent primary schools in Balochistan and the situation was same in middle and high schools as well.

          When the chief justice asked how much time would be required to provide such facilities in schools, the education secretary said washrooms would be constructed in 11,000 schools over the next three years. “We need Rs6 billion for providing these facilities in all schools across the province.”

          The CJP said the planning and development and finance departments were part of the government and if they were not releasing funds for education then who was responsible, adding that the provincial government had failed in good governance.

          Mujeebullah Ghirsheen, a representative of the Government Teachers Association, informed the court that schools were being occupied by landlords and the provincial government had failed to take action against them.

          Chief Justice Nisar criticised the role of the association and reprimanded Mr Ghirsheen, asking him to educate children instead of proving himself to be a leader. Political interference in the education department would not be tolerated, he warned.

          The chief justice ordered the transfer of Mr Ghirsheen to Khuzdar.

          Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2018

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          Musharraf ensured PML-Q defeat in 2008 polls: Shujaat

            LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid president Chaudhry Shujaat Huss­ain says retired Gen Pervez Mush­arraf and his friend Tariq Aziz made a plan to ,ensure PML-Q’s defeat, in the 2008 elections because he [Musharraf]had ,struck a deal with the Pakistan Peoples Party,.

            Mr Hussain reveals this in his autobiography titled Sach tou yeh hai (Truth is this) which was launched here on Tuesday.

            Talking about the ‘conspiracy to stop the PML-Q from returning to power’, he writes in his 328-page memoir: “When I asked former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage during a meeting in Lahore after the 2008 elections why you were part of the conspiracy to ensure our [PML-Q] defeat in the polls, he said, ‘It was not I but your two good friends — Gen Musharraf and [former security adviser] Tariq Aziz — who along with [then US secretary of state] Condoleezza Rice made that happen.”

            Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Wasim Sajjad, S.M. Zafar, Khalid Ranjha and Mushahid Hussain Sayed were also present at the meeting, Mr Hussain states.

            He claims that the 2008 elections were fixed. “A few days before the 2008 elections, three US senators — Joe Biden, John Kerry and Charles Hagel — met Pervaiz Elahi in Lahore and flatly told him that though he had done a great job in the health and education sectors, they would not accept the result of the election if his party won.”

            In his memoir, PML-Q leader talks about betrayals by Nawaz Sharif; says he was pressurised to get Zardari booked in drugs case

            Mr Hussain writes that Mr Elahi told him that a conspiracy had been hatched against the PML-Q and that had been confirmed by the US senators. “Gen Musharrf telephoned me on polling day saying my party would get 40 to 45 seats [of the National Assembly] and that I should accept the result. I told him how he could say so as counting had not yet started. We had information that to give credibility to the election a plan had been finalised to ensure defeat of some 30 big names of the PML-Q, including myself. Later when I inquired from Gen Musharraf about this, he had no straight answer.”

            Similarly, he says the PML-Q was in a position to form government in Balochistan and it had finalised the candidate for the office of chief minister, but Gen Musharraf stopped it saying he wanted to provide ‘comfort level’ to PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari.

            Mr Hussain also reveals that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had pressurised him to book Mr Zardari in a narcotics case when the former was federal interior minister. In 2011, Mr Zardari had confirmed this by saying: “Had Chaudhry Shujaat got me booked in narcotics case, I would not have become president of Pakistan.”

            The PML-Q chief talks about betrayals by Nawaz Sharif on a number of occasions. Mentioning Mr Sharif’s first visit to his residence, he writes: “Young Nawaz Sharif first came to see my father Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi during an election campaign. Nawaz said his father wanted to give funds for the election campaign. Pervaiz Elahi told him that Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi did not need any funds. Upon this, Nawaz left.”

            In the book, Mr Hussain talks about his family’s political struggle, Ayub and Bhutto regimes, 1977 elections, Gen Zia’s era, the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, Benazir Bhutto’s governments, Nawaz Sharif government’s second tenure, Musharraf’s takeover and Pervaiz Elahi’s government in Punjab.

            Facts, not opinions

            Speaking at the book launching ceremony, Mr Hussain said his book did not contain opinions but only the facts of the given period. “I have written my memoirs without any prejudice and have stated facts. I have tried my best that no one is hurt. After going through this book people will make their own opinion.”

            Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo praised the PML-Q leader for always giving respect to the people of Balochistan. “No matter in which party my colleagues and I are, we have a great respect for Shujaat sahib. Together we have to eliminate hatred (in Balochistan),” the chief minister said.

            Criticising the former prime minister, Mr Bizenjo said: “The PML-N had been in disarray in Balochistan only because Nawaz Sharif never gave respect to the party’s lawmakers from the province. He should see his shortcomings instead of finding faults in others.

            “Mr Sharif does not give respect to people, especially when he is in power. Mr Sharif should give respect to the Senate chairman from Balochistan. His slogan of ‘Give respect to the ballot’ seems to apply only to himself. If the vote is given to him or his party candidate then it is fine, but if it is given to someone else then that vote does not have any respect for him.”

            Referring to the taunts of PML-N leaders about 500 or so votes he had secured in the election, Mr Bizenjo said election in his constituency was held in such circumstances that the voters received death threats for going to polling stations.

            Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid said Mr Sharif was desperately looking for an NRO, but “I want to tell him that every day is not Sunday”.

            Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2018

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            8 PML-N lawmakers break rank to demand new province for south Punjab

              Khusro Bakhtiar, a PML-N leader from South Punjab, held a press conference on Monday flanked by like-minded lawmakers to demand a new province “for the security of the future of the children of south Punjab.”

              During his press conference, Bakhtiar explained: “New provincial demarcations are the need of the time. We are not here to start a rift — time has made the need for new provinces very apparent.”

              “The demarcation of new provinces will ensure that funds allocated for Rajanpur are not given to Multan,” he continued. “All we want is equality amongst the regions.”

              “We have a single point agenda: the creation of a new province in south Punjab,” Bakhtiar said while announcing that he, along with the other like-minded lawmakers, would be initiating the ‘South Punjab Front’ movement.

              “The size of South Punjab is almost the same as Khyber Pashtunkhawa. We have 46 MNAs in the [National] Assembly at the moment and yet they gave us just one seat in Senate.”

              Bakhtiar said that the South Punjab Front will take its message to the people through the media, through schools and through personal contact with voters.

              “It is natural that all of us want that each district flourishes, has better law and order, and a better education system. For these things to be achieved, we need more provinces,” he said.

              Speaking of the movement’s future alliances, Bakhtiar said, “We are ready for dialogue with any party.”

              “Our goal is simple: when the new assemblies take oath, the legislation for a new province should be passed within the first session. If that does not happen, we will go to the Supreme Court,” he stated to cries of assent.

              Tahir Basheer Cheema, another PML-N defector, said: “This demand [for a new province]
              is not a new one, it is a demand our ancestors made and a demand our children will make.”

              “It is time we are given equal rights,” Cheema continued, adding that the demand for a new province is one that various South Punjab leaders have made throughout Pakistan’s history.

              He added: “This need [for a different province in south Punjab] is not a linguistic problem. Our demand is simply to safeguard our rights.”

              During the press conference, it was announced that a total of six MNAs and two MPAs would be defecting from the PML-N and resigning from their posts soon.

              However, hours after the briefing, MNA Syed Muhammad Asghar said he would not be resigning from his seat or leaving the party, but would continue to lend his support to the movement.

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              SC summons former Balochistan CMs to explain what they did for improvement in province

              • ,Lacking medical facilities,
              • ,Hospital visit,
              • ,Meeting with Hazara community,

              Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday directed the last two chief ministers of Balochistan — Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and Nawab Sanaullah Zehri — to appear before the apex court and explain what they did for the improvement of governance in the province during their respective tenures.

              A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the CJP, was hearing cases at the court’s Quetta registry regarding the plight of public hospitals and medical colleges, and a doctors’ strike in the province.

              “Three chief ministers came during one tenure [of the federal government] but what did they do for improvement of governance?” the CJP asked. “Call these chief ministers who ruled here for more than four years.”

              The incumbent Balochistan chief minister, Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, also reached the apex court along with Health Minister Mir Majid Abro.

              Over one million children in the province remain out of schools, Secretary Education Noorul Haq Baloch informed the court, adding that around 2.6m children should have been currently enrolled in schools.

              “Why has the government failed to enrol out of school children?” the chief justice asked.

              Lacking medical facilities

              During the hearing, Justice Nisar asserted that he would want provision of water and healthcare to become the primary focus of the government. “According to Articles 184 and 199 of the Constitution, we have the right to intervene wherever basic human rights are violated.”

              Secretary Health Saleh Nasar informed the court that a policy was being planned within the next ten days to improve the condition of government-run hospitals.

              “Let us know what help you require from the federation,” the CJP told the officials. He also expressed his surprise upon learning that the OPDs in public hospitals of the province had been closed down.

              The CJP ,repeated his commitment, to ensuring medical colleges don’t charge exorbitant fees. “We want the money to be returned to 20 million students,” he said, adding that all amounts above Rs856,000 in annual fees should be returned by the medical colleges.

              “Unfortunately, our medical colleges are substandard,” he remarked.

              Hospital visit

              The chief justice later visited Quetta Civil Hospital where he interacted with the patients and visited the strike camp of paramedics and young doctors. He ordered the authorities to listen to the protesting medics’ demands and present a report to him following which the medics called off their strike.

              Chief minister Balochistan and other officials also accompanied the chief justice during his visit.

              The bench is expected to continue hearing cases at the Quetta registry until Wednesday.

              Meeting with Hazara community

              A delegation of the Hazara community also called on the chief justice and apprised him of their issues, according to a notification issued by the Supreme Court. Justice Nisar assured the delegation of resolving the community’s issues in accordance with the law.

              Sectarian terrorism in Balochistan has disproportionately targeted people from the Hazara community.

              A report released by the National Commission for Human Rights last month stated that 509 members of Hazara community were killed and 627 injured in various incidents of terrorism in Quetta during the last five years.

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              CJ takes exception to slow pace in Model Town trial

              • ,Power companies,
              • ,Spring festival,

              LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday took suo motu notice of delay in proceedings into the 2014 Model Town killings and summoned details of the case from the trial court and the advocate general for Punjab by April 14.

              Fourteen people, most of them members and supporters of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, were killed and 80 others injured during a clash when the police and administration tried to remove barriers placed outside the party’s headquarters in Model Town. Officials claimed the action had been taken on the demand of the area people as the barriers restricted their movement.

              The families of those killed were holding a protest outside the Supreme Court’s registry when the chief justice noticed it on his arrival and called their representatives to his chamber.

              Punjab govt told to submit record of solar energy firms by 14th

              Bisma Amjad, who represented the aggrieved families, appealed to the chief justice to take suo motu notice of the inordinate delay in dispensation of justice despite the passage of four years.

              She said they were denied a fair trial and demanded that those involved in the killing of innocent people be punished accordingly.

              The CJP expressed concern over the delay in the trial proceedings and assured the aggrieved families of complete justice. He summoned complete record of the case from the trial court.

              The trial has been pending before an antiterrorism court against police and officials of the civil administration. A private complaint filed by Idara Minhajul Quran is also pending adjudication before the trial court.

              Power companies

              Chief Justice Saqib Nisar also took suo motu notice of mismanagement in Quaid-i-Azam solar power plant in Bahawalpur and all such projects being run by different power companies in the province.

              He directed the Punjab chief secretary and the advocate general to submit by April 14 complete record of these companies as well as details of expenditures on the projects. Another suo motu notice relating to establishment of all 56 public sector companies in the province is already pending before the court.

              Besides, Chief Justice Nisar summoned Vice Chancellor of Multan’s Nishtar Medical University Dr Zafar Hussain Tanvir and members of the search committee which recommended his appointment.

              Advocate General for Punjab Shakilur Rehman Khan told a two-judge SC bench that Dr Tanvir had a PhD degree in zoology.

              The chief justice expressed his disappointment when he was informed that Prof Faisal Masood was also a member of the search committee.

              Prof Masood is acting vice chancellor of University of Health Sciences and Chief Justice Nisar regularly seeks his expertise to resolve public interest cases like medical education and quality of milk and food. However, Prof Masood was not present in the court on Sunday.

              The chief justice observed that he never thought that Prof Masood could recommend any ineligible person for the post of vice chancellor. “One cannot be a passenger of two boats at the same time,” the chief justice said, referring to Prof Masood.

              The bench adjourned hearing to April 14.

              Spring festival

              Chief Justice Saqib Nisar attended a spring festival at a hotel in Quetta on Sunday. The event was aimed at bringing together members of the diplomatic and business communities along with government officials, friends and families to celebrate the arrival of the new season.

              Various activities were organised to entertain the participants. Children enjoyed cultural walk, face painting and took photographs with those dressed up as Disney characters.

              Stalls displaying handicrafts, paintings and jewellery as well as those with food ranging from continental to local delicacies were also set up.

              Saleem Shahid from Quetta also contributed to this report

              Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2018

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              ‘We are against the oppressors’: PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen tells thousands at Peshawar rally

              • ,’Basic rights’,
              • ,The Pakhtun spring,

              Pashtun Tahafuz Movement’s (PTM) ,grand gathering in Peshawar, kicked off on Sunday afternoon with the speakers demanding the release of missing persons as well as provision of basic human rights to the Pakhtun community in Pakistan.

              People numbering in thousands, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), participated in the gathering at Pishtakhra Chowk near Ring Road and intermittently chanted the slogan da sang azadi da (what kind of freedom is this) — their movement’s rallying cry.

              The families of missing persons arrived at the gathering holding pictures of their loved ones, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

              “We are only against the oppressors,” PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen told a charged audience as he took the stage.

              “We are only the ‘agents’ of our nation,” he said, addressing allegations that the movement is being backed by foreign agencies.

              “What has happened so far for the missing persons?” he asked. “The mothers and elders whose beloveds are missing should not be coerced.”

              Family members of a missing person hold poster demanding his recovery. — Photo by Author

              Family members of a missing person hold poster demanding his recovery. — Photo by Author

              “In Karachi, money is taken in return for bodies. Even Genghis Khan did not take money after killing people,” Pashteen said.

              “After Rao Anwar (the ex-SSP Malir accused of the extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud), it is now the turn of Ehsanullah Ehsan (former TTP leader),” he said, demanding that the erstwhile TTP spokesperson should be brought to the courts.

              “After Ehsanullah, we will bring [former president] Musharraf to the courts,” he added.

              He also spoke about how businesses in Fata have been affected by the ensuing violence. “Fruit from Wana and Swat is being sold in Lahore instead of Peshawar.”

              “In Waziristan, the ‘good Taliban’ are threatening the people,” he said.

              Pashteen demanded that the practice of imposing curfews in Fata should come to an end, and that schools, hospitals under occupation should return to their usual course of action.

              “We will go to every village until our demands are met,” Pashteen announced, adding that more jalsas will be held in Karachi, Hyderabad, Loralai and Bannu, followed by a sit-in in Islamabad.

              He also announced that a gathering named “Jalsa Raddul Fasaad” will be held on April 22 in Lahore, whereas another one in Swat on April 29 will be called “Raah-e-Raast”.

              The Islamabad sit-in would end only after an international guarantee, Pashteen told the audience.

              He also said that a rally will be taken to Waziristan after Ramazan.

              “We have to give the coming generations a bright future,” he concluded.

              Thousands gather to demand basic human rights at PTM jalsa in Peshawar. — Photo by Author

              Thousands gather to demand basic human rights at PTM jalsa in Peshawar. — Photo by Author

              ‘Basic rights’

              Earlier, highlighting the plight of the tribal people, PTM’s central leader Ali Wazir said that bloodshed was being spread across the country. “The people of Fata have been rendered homeless while their belongings have been destroyed,” he added, demanding a human rights commission — rather than a judicial commission — to investigate the issues of Fata’s people.

              Meanwhile, PTM leader Sanna Ejaz demanded the closure of National Logistics Cell units in Torkham, Chaman and Ghulam Khan, as well as the return of properties in Swat and Malakand to their rightful owners.

              Read: ,‘Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement has no anti-state agenda’,

              “The people of tribal areas should be given the same rights as the people of Lahore and Islamabad,” she said, demanding an end to target killing of Pakhtuns and the provision of basic human rights to the people of tribal areas.

              Other speakers demanded that facilities such as hospitals, schools and colleges should be provided in Fata, vowing to continue their demand for rights within the ambit of the Constitution.

              “Sindhis, Balochs and even the oppressed Punjabis are looking towards you today,” a speaker said in Urdu, addressing the crowd, adding that the movement’s leader Manzoor Pashteen is the last hope of the oppressed in the country.

              The speakers included a mix of emotionally charged young men and women as well as elders, who read poems.

              Related: ,Mazari red cap orders increase ahead of PTM meet,

              Leaders of other political parties also spoke at the gathering. Pakhtunhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Senator Usman Kakar said that whoever wants peace, education, employment and hospitals for Pakhtuns is a friend, while those wanting unrest are the enemy.

              “Rao Anwar is the name of a mindset which should be put to an end,” Senator Kakar said.

              There were unconfirmed reports of 3G and 4G internet service being interrupted in the area. A Twitter account — said to be the movement’s official account — alleged that “internet connectivity was being constantly interrupted by the state”.

              ,,

              The Pakhtun spring

              Reports of protests led by the PTM in Islamabad first made headlines following the ,extrajudicial killing of Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud, — a shopkeeper and aspiring model — in Karachi in January.

              The PTM — an organisation working for the rights of those affected by war on terror in Tribal Areas especially those from South Waziristan — staged protests in different parts of the country against alleged enforced disappearances, extrajudicial arrests and killings, as well as the mistreatment of the Pakhtun community by security forces.

              Explore: ,Pakhtun renaissance,

              The movement’s leaders claim that in the past decade, ,32,000 Pashtuns have gone missing, from Fata. They insist that their struggle is to ensure implementation of the Constitution, under which law-enforcement agencies are supposed to provide details of the people they pick up and present them before courts.

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              Pakistan’s first-ever school for transgender community set to open its doors

                A school for the education and vocational training of Pakistan’s transgender community is set to open its doors from April 15 in Lahore, DawnNewsTV reported on Friday.

                Named The Gender Guardian, the school offers a full 12 years of academic education from the primary level to matriculation, and then leading up to college.

                The school will also impart technical education, such as fashion designing, beautician and hair styling courses, graphic designing, computer and mobile repairing, among others.

                Asif Shahzad, the school’s founder, told DawnNewsTV that the school has been built by an NGO named Exploring Future Foundation and that after the Lahore branch’s opening, two more such schools will be established in Islamabad and Karachi.

                ,Read: Life no bed of roses for third gender,

                The management said that more than 40 aspiring students from the transgender community have already registered with the soon-to-be operational school and will be a part of the opening batch.

                Shahzad said that the school has 15 faculty members — three of whom themselves are from the transgender community.

                The school will be formally launched through an opening ceremony at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore’s Alhamra Hall, with several names from the showbiz industry expected to attend.

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                Nelson was water; Winnie was fire

                  PEOPLE gather outside the family home of the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, in Soweto, South Africa, on Wednesday.—AP

                  PEOPLE gather outside the family home of the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, in Soweto, South Africa, on Wednesday.—AP

                  THE ,death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at 81, brings a timely if grim reminder of the human costs of white-nationalist rule and intolerance inflicted on South Africa in the 20th century — a reminder that may be particularly useful for Americans right now.

                  When I first arrived in South Africa in the spring of 1970, I concluded that the apartheid regime had a lot to learn from the civil rights revolution that was bringing change to the American South, where I grew up. Today, it is the United States that has lessons to learn from “the rainbow nation” and, one hopes, from its new president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

                  Ramaphosa, a trade union organiser turned successful businessman, was Nelson Mandela’s first choice to succeed him and to continue his inspiring policies of racial reconciliation and business-friendly practices. Instead, the radical political forces that Winnie, Nelson’s ex-wife, did so much to foster helped bring about a decade of blatant corruption, misrule and growing racial tension that Ramaphosa must now repair.

                  This is not to diminish the important contributions that Winnie made to the anti-apartheid struggle. She was for the 27 long years of his imprisonment Nelson’s voice and symbol to an oppressed public. While he suffered a barren but predictable life behind bars, she was exposed to sudden, absurd arrests, torture, banishment to remote villages and other scarring humiliations. It is perhaps no surprise that she emerged more embittered than he did.

                  She became over time dedicated to power and radical force, while he worked for justice and reconciliation. If she was fire, he was water. Their talents mixed to serve the cause of liberation from white- nationalist rule, as uprisings in South Africa’s townships, and foreign pressure, drove the economy into a dead end and the politicians to negotiation.

                  These differences were not tactical. Winnie was already a determined social activist when they met in 1957. Seeing her at a bus stop, Nelson immediately proposed lunch to the beautiful Winnie — even though he was married with three children. Nelson and Winnie were married in 1958 and divorced in 1996, two years after he became South Africa’s president.

                  Encountering Winnie was to sit across from an open bottle of nitroglycerine, which might tip over into unexpected and even explosive statements. Her 1986 public praise for the tactic of “necklacing” — the burning of gasoline-soaked tires around the necks of suspected black informants — shocked many, as did her still murky involvement in a gang murder in Soweto.

                  Being in the company of her husband, an unfailingly warm, gentle and wise interlocutor, was exactly the opposite experience.

                  There was the time, for example, that I finished a conversation with him in New York in 1994 by insisting that he not accompany me down the long corridor of his hotel suite. He had just arrived from South Africa and seemed fatigued.

                  I had just entered that corridor when I heard the soft pad of his footsteps following me to the door to say a proper goodbye. The South African president was reminding me that he was also a Xhosa chief, with duties to visitors.

                  Under his successors, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, Mandela’s African National Congress party began to splinter into factions that fought over ideology, policy and, increasingly, the spoils of office. As a period of national mourning for Winnie is observed this week, Zuma will go on trial on corruption charges stemming from his ties to a wealthy family that, among other things, is accused of having secretly paid a London public relations firm more than $100,000 a month to inflame racial tensions in South Africa — to distract attention from Zuma’s problems.

                  That disgraceful playing of the race card did not work. The ANC expelled Zuma from office in February. The archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, on Easter Sunday gave this summary of Zuma’s efforts to restore race as South Africa’s political arbiter: “The past administration trampled our institutions and values… We now live in a South Africa that has the same inequality” of opportunity, health care, social services and education “that our grandparents suffered”.

                  That verdict would have broken the hearts of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. It is a clarion call to Ramaphosa, who seems to be listening. He has sought to win public trust by releasing extensive financial records, resigning from companies that would present potential conflicts of interest and quelling racial tensions instead of exacerbating them. He turns away from the politics of anger and revenge — or, as it is called by some in this country, “counterpunching”.

                  —By arrangement with The Washington Post

                  Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2018

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