Posts Tagged ‘Quetta’

Western route not part of CPEC, says BAP leader

QUETTA: Ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) founder Saeed Ahmed Hashmi has said that federal Minister for Planning Khusro Bakhtiar has confirmed that western route is not part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“The apprehensions of the people and political forces of Balochistan have proved to be true after the federal minister’s statement,” Mr Hashmi said while talking to journalists here on Wednesday.

He said if the planning minister’s statement was true then it would be a big injustice with the people of Balochistan.

Mr Hashmi criticised the PML-N government for deceiving the people of the province and said that deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif had taken Meh­mo­od Khan Achakzai, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other leaders to Zhob and told them that he had inaugurated the construction of western route at Mughal Kot.

He said the people and the government of Balochistan had no knowledge about the development projects included in the CPEC.

“Despite passage of about five years the people of the province have witnessed no development project initiated under the CPEC,” Mr Hashmi said, adding nobody knew about the share of Balochistan in the $62 billion project.

He said the CPEC was the last chance to bring prosperity to Balochistan.

The BAP leader urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to take steps to satisfy the people of Balochistan in this regard.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2018

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Gwadar port may be gateway to landlocked Central Asian states, says Balochistan CM

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has said that Gwadar Port can serve as the gateway for the landlocked Central Asian states by providing them access to maritime routes and a trade corridor for doing business with all countries of the world.

According to a statement issued by the Balochistan government, the chief minister was speaking at a meeting of heads of the Regions Forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) states in Chelyabinsk city of Russia on Wednesday.

“Pakistan and China are working together to develop the Gwadar Port to facilitate connectivity, trade and investment in the region and beyond,” he added.

The SCO comprises eight member states: Pakistan, China, Russia, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Four other states have observer status in the organisation.

The SCO’s major objectives include strengthening mutual confidence and good neighbourly relations, promoting effective cooperation in politics, trade and economy, science and technology, culture, education, energy, transportation, tourism and environmental protection.

Prime Minister Imran Khan nominated Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan to represent Balochistan and Pakistan in the forum, while Punjab minister Mian Mohammad Aslam Iqbal, Kamran Khan Bangash, special assistant to the KP chief minister, and Aamir Shoakat, SCO director, accompanied the Pakistani delegation.

The chief minister said that in the integrated world, regional organisations such as the SCO played an important role in coordinating actions and polices to ensure security, peace and development in the region.

“We are highly appreciative of the Russian Federation and Chelyabinsk region for bringing us together at this important platform,” he said, adding that “we would specially thank Mr Dubrovsky, Governor of Chelyabinsk region, for taking this initiative to host the first meeting of the forum”.

“I invite you all to come and visit Balochistan or send your investors to explore possibilities for investment for mutual benefit and cooperation in the province. My government stands ready to extend all possible facilities to all investors,” Mr Khan said.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2018

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Struggle for rights to continue, says Achakzai

QUETTA: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Meh­mood Khan Achakzai has said that his party will continue its peaceful struggle for protection of people’s constitutional and dem­­­ocratic rights.

Speaking at a public meeting held here on Sunday to commemorate the 45th death anniversary of Khan Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, he said: “This is our country and our loyalty is to a federal and democratic Pakistan where equal rights of every nationality, ethnicity and minority are guaranteed by the constitution which the state should hold sacrosanct and supreme.”

Senior PkMAP leaders Ayaz Khan Jogezai, Abdur Rauf Lala, Senator Usman Kakar, Obaibullah Babit, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal and Nasrullah Zerey also spoke on the occasion.

They paid tribute to the late Samad Khan Achakzai and underlined the need to follow in his footsteps and political and ideological philosophy.

Asserts PkMAP’s loyalty is to a democratic Pakistan where equal rights to all are guaranteed

Mr Achakzai said he believed in non-violence and peaceful struggle. He said Pakistan needed to be a genuinely democratic federation where people enjoyed constitutional guarantee of their fundamental, political, economic and cultural rights. He said the establishment had no right to interfere in politics.

The PkMAP chief called for convening a multi-party conference to take stock of the political and economic situation.

He expressed concern over the ongoing violence and alleged violation of rights, particularly in the Pakhtun belt.

“Pakhtuns are not terrorists. We should erase such stereotypes and concocted images,” he said, adding that “Pakhtuns love their land”.

He said in order to establish peace in Afghanistan, its sovereignty should be respected by all the powers involved.

“Conducive environment needed to be created to enable the Afghans to bring peace to their country,” he suggested.

Senator Usman Kakar criticised the government for its lack of democratic credentials and inefficiencies.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2018

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Investigators claim ‘breakthrough’ in probe into attack on Chinese consulate

KARACHI: Investigators have achieved a “breakthrough” in their probe into the attack on the Chinese consulate as it has emerged that one of the killed militants had stayed in Karachi and carried out a prolonged reconnaissance while more than a dozen suspects and their abettors have been detained for interrogation, it emerged on Saturday.

Three heavily armed militants were shot dead in a shoot-out with police and Rangers during a gun-and-grenade attack on the Chinese consulate. Two police officials and two visa applicants, a father and son, were also killed in the Nov 23 assault.

The banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed credit for the attack.

Consulate’s reconnaissance

Sources familiar with the proceedings of the investigation told Dawn on Saturday that it emerged during the probe that one of the killed militants, Abdul Raziq, resident of Kharan, with his accomplice Abdul Latif, hailing from Khuzdar in Balochistan, had visited Karachi on Aug 6 also. They both stayed at hotels in Lyari and Saddar and conducted reconnaissance of the consulate.

More than 15 suspects and abettors detained for questioning

With the help of technology, it has also been discovered that the killed militants had also stayed in Sindh’s two cities, Shahdadpur and Sukkur, before going back to Quetta. They returned to Karachi via Hub, Balochistan, on the night of Nov 23 and stayed for a while in the Shershah area of Karachi before launching the gun-and-grenade attack.

Sources told Dawn that a system launched by the Sindh police with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority a few days before the attack on the foreign mission was providing much help to the investigators.

Biometric authentication

The Sindh police on Nov 17 formally launched the biometric verification services at the Central Police Office in Karachi, which would help access record of criminals and identify unclaimed bodies with Nadra’s help.

The police now have access to data of at least one million criminals across the country, said the sources. A software has been provided to all hotels in the city and with the writing of a name and the computerised identity card number in a register the data will be transferred to the police’s control room “within 30 seconds”.

The sources said that this software helped the investigators ascertain that the killed militant Raziq and his accomplice Latif had stayed at two hotels in the city. It appeared that Raziq was commanding the attack on the consulate.

They said the technology was helping the investigators in intensifying the search for the suspects and their abetters.

At least 15 suspects and their accomplices have been detained for questioning, added the sources.

They revealed that the investigators had learned that the BLA separatists had been planning a deadly attack on the Chinese consulate for the last eight to 10 months.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2018

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No govt employee will be sacked, decides cabinet

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Thursday resolved that no government employee would be sacked from service.

A meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan hours before a special ceremony to mark the completion of government’s 100 days in office, decided to separate tax policy from revenue administration in line with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s manifesto.

To this effect, the cabinet constituted a committee to work out legal and technical modalities.

The cabinet tasked the committee with working out details with no deadline. The Federal Board of Revenue will remain within the ambit of the existing revenue division with its role to be confined to tax administration and collection. The committee will also find ways for creation of separate division, rules for postings and transfers, administration and reporting line to be posted in the policy division.

The cabinet reiterated maintaining strict discipline for curtailing fiscal deficit and ensuring that expenditures and revenue remain within the budgeted estimates.

Tax policy will be separated from revenue administration

The meeting approved Rs400 million as a technical supplementary grant to resolve the issue of delay in salaries and pensions of employees of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC).

The cabinet, however, directed the PBC to chalk out a comprehensive plan to ensure strict financial discipline and enhancement of revenues for sustainability of the corporation.

The cabinet approved release of Rs20 billion during the current financial year for the fencing and lighting project on the Pak-Afghan border.

The meeting discussed the issue of pending payments of the growers and availability of surplus sugar stock in the country and decided to refer it to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet for detailed deliberations and proposing a workable solution to address the issue on priority.

The prime minister reiterated during the meeting that the interests of the farmers would be protected while resolving the issue of sugar mills.

The mill owners have warned the government not to start cane crushing until their demands are met.

The cabinet approved reconstitution of a ‘search committee’ for appointment of the vice chancellor of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad. The committee will be headed by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari.

It approved appointment of Ayla Majid, Ghiasuddin Ahmed and Hamid Ali Khan as independent directors of the Central Power Purchasing Agency (Guarantee) Limited.

The cabinet also approved appointment of Faisal Ahmed, Pharmacist Drug Testing Laboratory, Quetta, as technical member-I of the Drug Court Balochistan, Quetta.

The meeting ratified the ECC decisions taken during its meeting on Nov 22. The decisions included grant for disbursement of provident fund, gratuity and payroll due to the heirs of deceased employees of the Pakistan Steel Mills, natural gas load management during winter and release of public sector’s surplus wheat to the Poultry Association of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2018

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Foreign investors to be allotted land on lease basis in Balochistan

QUETTA: Announcing the land lease policy of the Balochistan government for foreign investors after a two-day cabinet meeting, Balochistan Information Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi said that the provincial government had decided to allot land to foreign investors in the province on the basis of lease for a certain period instead of granting them the ownership rights.

The duration of the lease would be decided later by the government.

Speaking at a press conference here on Saturday, the minister said that the cabinet noted that existing land lease policy did not mention anything about land lease to foreign investors and foreign companies and it was, therefore, decided that from now onward the land allotment to foreign investors and companies would be made on the basis of lease.

“The ownership rights of the leased land to foreign investors and companies will remain with citizens of Pakistan and competent authority,” Mr Buledi said, adding that cabinet had also decided to form an allotment committee for the purpose.

Ownership rights of the property will remain with citizens of Pakistan and competent authority

The minister said that the cabinet had also decided to start new recruitments against vacant posts in different government departments and directed all departments concerned to launch the process of filling vacant posts.

The cabinet asked the unemployed educated youth to apply against vacant posts in different government departments with confidence as all appointments would be made against all posts purely on the basis of merit.

He said that the cabinet had also approved some important amendments to the Balochistan Public Service Commission regulation under which the number of members of the commission would be enhanced up to 12, including the chairman.

Two women will also be made members of the commission.

“Fifty per cent members of the commission will be retired grade 20 and above administrative secretaries and retired judges while the rest will be from private and government sectors and retired educationists,” Mr Buledi said.

He said that for selection of the chairman and members of the commission, a board, headed by chief secretary, would be set up and that the board would send three names for the post of each member to the chief minister who would send the names to the governor with his recommendation for the appointment.

He said the government had decided to set up a bank of the province named Balochistan Bank and this bank would create about 1500 new jobs for the youth of the province besides generating a revenue of Rs1.5 billion.

Provincial ministers Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa, Mir Arif Jan Muhammad Hasni and Sardar Abdul Rehman Khatiran were present at the press conference.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2018

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Health minister declares nutrition emergency in Balochistan

QUETTA: Provincial Health Minister Mir Naseebullah Marri has declared nutrition emergency in Balochistan and said the provincial government planned to expand its campaign for combating malnutrition, being conducted in seven districts, to other parts of the province.

He expressed these views while talking to the media after an annual progress review meeting of the Balochistan Nutrition Programme for Mothers and Children (BNPMC).

Read more: ,Dispatch from Balochistan: How mothers try to keep their newborns alive,

He praised BNPMC manager Dr Amin Khan Mandokhail for his dedication to serving the poor.

He said the Balochistan government might work in collaboration with the federal government, UN agencies and NGOs to address malnutrition among the lower strata of society.

Highlighting the severity of the problem, Mr Marri said the challenge facing the province was enormous, adding that under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Balochistan government would make all its possible efforts to resolve the issue of malnutrition and stunting.

However, he said, technical and financial support was needed from the Centre, as well as development partners.

Fight against malnutrition and disease affecting the heath of mothers and children was his government’s motto, he added.

The progress review meeting was attended by Director General of Health Services Dr Shakir Ali Baloch, BNPMC provincial coordinator Dr Amin Khan Mandokhail, representatives of Unicef and WHO and relevant stakeholders.

The participants regretted that 2011 Balochistan figures portrayed a dismal picture in which 40 per cent of children under five years are underweight, 52pc stunted, 61pc have Vitamin-A deficiency (maternal) and 74pc Vitamin-A deficiency (child), 49pc Anemia (maternal) and 57pc Anemia (child). They said that the recent wave of drought and water unavailability had increased the ratio of poverty disparity in the far-flung areas of the province where majority of population was food insecure.

It is critical to expand and improve the nutritional status of children under five years and that of pregnant and lactating women by improving the coverage of effective nutrition interventions with a priority focus on malnourished among the poor and other disadvantaged, including women, nutritionally vulnerable groups, ethnic and religious minorities, and socially marginalised occupational and settler groups in all districts of Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2018

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Brothers of man involved in consulate attack held in Quetta

QUETTA: Law enforcement agencies arrested two brothers of Abdul Razzaq Baloch, who had been killed with two other militants of the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) during Friday’s attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, in Kharan on Saturday.

The investigation agencies found that one of the slain militants — Razzaq Baloch — belonged to Kharan. Sources said that law enforcement agencies conducted raids in different areas of Kharan on Saturday and took two of his bothers — Mohammad Aslam and Khosti — in custody. They were handed over to the authorities for interrogation.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Saleem Ahmad Khosa said that the name of Razzaq Baloch had been put on the missing persons’ list over the past two years. He said that a large number of people mentioned in the list had gone aboard for terrorism training.

The minister said that BLA commander Aslam alias Acho had been injured in a gun battle with security forces last year, but he managed to escape and later went to India where he was provided medical treatment.

He said that many BLA commanders had been killed in that operation conducted by security forces. The minister said that India was directly involved in the worsening situation in Baloch­istan.

However, he added, the designs of the enemy would be foiled as had been done during the attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi. He termed the botched attack an attempt to harm the growing relations between China and Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2018

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Father, son who lost lives in attack on Chinese consulate laid to rest in Quetta

Niaz Muhammad and his son Zahir Shah — who lost their lives on Friday ,when gunmen tried to storm the Chinese consulate in Karachi, — were laid to rest in Quetta on Saturday.

Yesterday, three heavily armed militants were shot dead in an encounter with law enforcers during a gun-and-grenade attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi. The attack also claimed the lives of two police officials.

,According to preliminary investigation,, the three armed men came out of a white Suzuki Liana car around 9:30am after parking it near the consulate. As they proceeded towards the consulate with Kalashnikov in their hands, two policemen posted at a checkpoint opened fire on them. CCTV footage showed that the attackers became panicky and resorted to a grenade attack.

Two of the attackers then moved towards the visa facility near the reception area of the consulate. A private guard immediately shut the main gate while a female official of the consulate closed the door of the visa facility area. In an attempt to break open the armoured gate, the militants resorted to heavy firing, leaving the two visa applicants — Niaz Muhammad, 55, and his son, Zahir Shah, 25 — dead.

Niaz Muhammad (right) and his son Zahir Shah (left) were laid to rest in Quetta on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

Niaz Muhammad (right) and his son Zahir Shah (left) were laid to rest in Quetta on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

The father and son were applying for Chinese visas for business purposes. The two, who were from Quetta’s Pashtun Abad area, had been doing business in clothing with China for over a decade.

The funeral prayers for the duo were offered in Quetta’s Eastern bypass area on Saturday. A large number of people participated in the prayers.

Muhammad leaves behind his wife, seven daughters and three sons.

“Since morning, there has been mourning in our house,” a visibly emotional Habibur Rehman, Muhammad’s younger brother, told DawnNewsTV.

Rehman criticised the Sindh government for not cooperating with them. He said that the government had not provided any ambulance services and they had brought the bodies of their loved ones to Quetta themselves.

Rehman also complained that no one from the the Balochistan government had contacted them “to extend any support”.

No MPA or official from the Balochistan government or Sindh government had attended the funeral prayers of the father and son, Rehman said.

When contacted, central leader of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Noor Muhammad Dumar, expressed “deep sorrow over the loss of precious human lives in Karachi”.

He admitted that officials had failed to participate in the funeral prayers of the victims.

Dumar said that very soon an official delegation from the Balochistan government will meet the bereaved family to offer condolences.

Shortly after Friday’s attack, Prime Minister Imran Khan ,had strongly condemned the incident, and said: “Such incidents will never be able to undermine Pak-China relationship that is mightier than Himalaya and deeper than Arabian sea”.

Other political leaders, including Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, had also condemned the attack.

‘Suicide mission’

CTD officer Raja Umar Khattab, who is investigating the case, said the militants did not wear ‘suicide jackets’ though it appeared they were on a ‘suicide mission’ as they intended to kill and die. Timely action of the police and other law enforcers ‘foiled’ their bid to enter the consulate, he believed.

“If they had succeeded in entering the consulate, they might have caused more damage,” apprehended the official.

Khattab believed that the banned insurgent group Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) was involved in the attack, who claimed responsibility before the operation was even over.

According to him, the assault bears resemblance to an attack on the Chinese nationals in Balochistan some months ago when the suspects had used an explosive-laden vehicle to target their vehicle but missed it.

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Terror attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi foiled; 3 terrorists killed

A terror attack targeting the Chinese Consulate situated in Karachi’s Clifton area was foiled by security forces on Friday, leaving at least seven people dead.

Two policemen lost their lives due to multiple injuries caused by explosive material, while a private security guard was injured in the blast, Dr Seemin Jamali, JPMC Executive Director, told Dawn.

The police officers were identified as Assistant Sub Inspector Ashraf Dawood and Constable Amir, while the private security guard was identified as Muhammad Juman, ,according to police,.

Two civilians, a father and son, named Zahir Shah and Abdul Karim, were also killed in the attack, Dr Jamali said.

Three terrorists were killed in the operation by security forces, according to Sindh Police and the army’s media wing.

A map showing the site of the attack.

A map showing the site of the attack.

The heavily-guarded E-Street neighbourhood, which is considered a red zone, is home to a number of upscale restaurants, diplomatic missions and schools. The schools and eateries were locked down while a clearance operation was initiated.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and police officials said it was too early to comment on who was behind the attack. However, the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) via its Twitter account — which has now been suspended — reportedly claimed responsibility. The claim could not be verified independently.

‘Firing outside the embassy’

Smoke rises from the area near the Chinese Consulate in Karachi. — DawnNewsTV

Smoke rises from the area near the Chinese Consulate in Karachi. — DawnNewsTV

Gunshots and multiple blasts were heard in the area between 9:30am and 10am. Images from the area showed smoke rising from the Chinese Consulate building, which also serves as the residence for Chinese diplomats and other staff.

The attackers first opened fire at a checkpost, then detonated a hand grenade in the area, DawnNewsTV reported.

Additional Inspector General (AIG) Amir Shaikh said that the attackers had parked their vehicle at some distance from the embassy before moving towards it.

Exclusive footage of the scene outside the consulate at the time of the attack. ? Video courtesy Abid Japanwala

Defence analyst and security contractor Ikram Sehgal, whose company’s guards have been posted at the consulate, said that the attackers engaged in an exchange of fire with policemen.

After the policemen were martyred, he said, the attackers proceeded towards the gate of the consulate. However, the guards were quick to usher civilians with consular business into the building and shut the gates behind them.

Chinese staff at the embassy were taken to a main building, Sehgal added.

AIG Amir Shaikh briefs the media on the attack. ? DawnNewsTV

AIG Amir Shaikh briefs the media on the attack. ? DawnNewsTV

Muhammad Ashfaq, a police official quoted by the Associated Press, said that the attackers opened fire at the consulate guards and then managed to breach the main gate and enter the building.

Shortly after, the Rangers arrived in the area and an hour-long exchange of fire took place between security forces and the attackers, leaving three terrorists killed. Weapons and explosive materials were recovered from the attackers, police said.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Javed Alam Odho told AFP that at least one attacker had been wearing a suicide vest which did not detonate.

Police and Rangers began a combined operation in the area, and the Bomb Disposal Squad began conducting a sweep to ensure there are no more explosive materials in the area.

A photograph showing a burnt out car next to an Edhi ambulance at the site of the attack. ? DawnNewsTV

A photograph showing a burnt out car next to an Edhi ambulance at the site of the attack. ? DawnNewsTV

Police said that all Chinese staffers “are safe and secure”. The security situation has been brought under control and all areas will soon be cleared, they added, and police have been deployed inside the consulate.

At 12:15pm, a Rangers spokesman told journalists that the search operation had been completed.

He added that all diplomatic staff is secure, and praised the Rangers, Police and FC personnel for their quick response to the attack.

Explosives and weapons were recovered from the site, he said, adding that more details would be shared later.

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‘In touch with Chinese officials’

Sindh police chief Syed Kaleem Imam and Chief Minister Murad Shah both reached the Chinese Consulate following the terror attack.

IGP Imam briefed the Chinese consul general about the successful combined operation conducted by security forces. He also congratulated Assistant Superintendent Police Suhai Aziz Talpur ? who has been handed the charge of SP ? for running the successful security operation which foiled the attack.

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The IGP also recommended ASP Talpur for a Quaid-i-Azam police medal for demonstrating bravery during the attack. She is the first female police officer for whom the award has been recommended, according to the Sindh police.

Governor Imran Ismail also took notice of the attack. The governor called for a report on the matter from the Sindh police chief.

Shah later told media persons that three terrorists reached the Chinese consulate at around 9:10am.

“The police stationed at the consulate resisted and an exchange of fire began,” he said, adding that the terrorists had wanted to enter the consulate premises but their attempts were thwarted by police.

CM Shah asks LEAs to speed up intelligence-based operation

While presiding over a special law and order meeting held at Chief Minister House, Shah directed law enforcement agencies to speed up intelligence-based targeted operation against terrorists in the metropolis.

Shah raised concerns over the fact that the terrorists equipped with weapons and explosives stayed somewhere in the city, then travelled from the place of their stay to Clifton but were not checked anywhere.

“This shows that our road checking system needs to be stricter and more effective,” he said and directed AIG Shaikh to conduct snap checking in the city.

The chief minister directed IGP Imam to look after the families of the two policemen who valiantly laid down their lives in the line of duty and also make necessary arrangements for shifting of the bodies of both the civilians to Quetta, their home town.

Attack an attempt to undermine CPEC: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, the premier said the security forces had “reached quickly and neutralised the attackers”.

“It could have been worse if they [the terrorists] had gone inside,” he said.

“We had prior indication that attempts would be made to destabilise Pakistan,” he said, praising the security forces for their quick response.

The PM later tweeted saying that today’s attacks in Karachi and Orakzai were “part of a planned campaign to create unrest in the country by those who do not want Pakistan to prosper. Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we will crush the terrorists, whatever it takes.”

“The failed attack against the Chinese Consulate was clearly a reaction to the unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from our trip to China. The attack was intended to scare Chinese investors and undermine the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. These terrorists will not succeed,” he added.

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor ,lauded the professionalism, of the first responders. “From preempting the terrorism attempts to foiling these at first checking point is the testimony,” he added. “Salute to our police and its martyrs.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also condemned the incident and praised the way the attack was foiled by the law enforcement agencies.

“This was a sad incident. The two terrorists involved in the incident have been killed. We are in contact with the Chinese consul general,” the foreign minister said.

He added that Pakistan and China would together defeat the forces that wish to halt development in the country.

Beijing also strongly condemned the attack and ,asked Pakistan to ensure the safety, of Chinese citizens in the country.

“We appreciate the Pakistan Army and Police for their timely and proper action against the attack. We believe that the Pakistan side is able to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan.”

“Any attempt to undermine the China-Pakistan relationship is doomed to fail,” ,a statement tweeted, by Chinese Deputy Chief of Mission Lijian Zhao said.

Attacks targeting Chinese nationals

Today’s attack is also the latest in a series of assaults on Chinese nationals, including workers involved in the multi-billion dollar infrastructure project in Pakistan.

Thousands of Chinese workers are employed in development of about $60 billion worth of infrastructure projects under Beijing’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. The port and road-building projects have come under frequent attacks in Balochistan.

China had in Dec 2017 warned its citizens in Pakistan to be on alert after receiving intelligence reports about possible attacks targeting Chinese.

The Chinese Embassy in Islamabad said it had information about a “series of terror attacks” planned against Chinese organisations and personnel.

The government has promised Beijing that it will deploy troops to secure the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Chinese nationals in the country.

,A motorcycle bomb in 2012, also exploded near the Chinese consulate in Karachi. At the time, police said it appeared the target was not the consulate but the Rangers, who had been the primary targets of a string of IED explosions over a two-week period in July that year.

However, some police officials believed it may have been tied to the Zulfikarabad city project which, at the time, was likely to be taken up by the Chinese. Security officials were of the view that the attack could be the handiwork of elements linked to a separatist group.

Karachi hit by 2 attacks in one week

Although the sprawling metropolis has seen a sharp decline in terror attacks since the Rangers operation began in 2013, this is the second blast in Karachi in a week.

On Nov 17, ,a blast in the Quaidabad area, killed two teenagers and wounded 12 others. An initial probe into the attack suggested the involvement of sub-nationalist groups.

With additional reporting by Naveed Siddiqui.

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Mani eyes future PSLs in Pakistan as Qalandars pick De Villiers

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani, speaking at the Pakistan Super League (PSL) players’ draft here on Tuesday, said that he is hopeful all PSL matches will be played in Pakistan in the next two to three years as Lahore Qalandars snapped up explosive South African batsman A.B. De Villiers for a whopping sum.

De Villiers is expected to play a few matches in front of the Pakistani crowds in the upcoming fourth edition of the league which begins from February 14 next year in the UAE as the last eight matches, including the final in Karachi on March 17, slated to be held in the country.

The inaugural edition of the glitzy Twenty20 league was totally played in the UAE, the final of the second edition was played in Lahore while the last edition saw two matches in Lahore and the final in Karachi.

And Mani is hoping that the day isn’t far away that the league is totally played in Pakistan. “It’s a question of confidence of the [foreign] players,” Mani told reporters. “I hope their confidence will rise with the passage of time and I hope all PSL fixtures will be played in the country in the next two to three years.”

WATCHED by Karachi Kings’ owner Salman Iqbal (second L) and former Pakistan captains Wasim Akram (second R) and Rashid Latif, fast bowler Mohammad Amir speaks to media.—White Star

WATCHED by Karachi Kings’ owner Salman Iqbal (second L) and former Pakistan captains Wasim Akram (second R) and Rashid Latif, fast bowler Mohammad Amir speaks to media.—White Star

De Villiers was joined by veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez in the Qalandars’ roster and the two platinum category signings along with those of West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, New Zealand’s Corey Anderson and Nepali leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane left franchise owner Fawad Rana hopeful of an upturn in fortunes with his team finishing bottom in each of the first three seasons.

“I’m optimistic for this year,” he told reporters as coach Aaqib Javed said that the team will “have a good balance”.

The Sixth team, formerly Multan Sultans, were the other big winners at the draft as they bagged the services of former Australian captain Steve Smith and ex-Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi.

FLANKED by Lahore Qalandars’ owner Rana Fawad (L), CEO Rana Atif (third L) and head coach Aaqib Javed (second R), the franchise’s bowling mentor Shoaib Akhtar interacts with media.—White Star

FLANKED by Lahore Qalandars’ owner Rana Fawad (L), CEO Rana Atif (third L) and head coach Aaqib Javed (second R), the franchise’s bowling mentor Shoaib Akhtar interacts with media.—White Star

They also picked England opener Joe Denly, Afghanistan leg-spinner Qais Ahmed and West Indian wicket-keeper batsman Nicolas Pooran in the gold category.

For now, the franchise is owned by the PCB until its rights are resold. “We will try to win the event,” the team’s captain Shoaib Malik told reporters. “We’re still waiting to see who takes over the franchise.”

Reigning champions Islamabad United, who have seen captain Misbah-ul-Haq depart, have picked a trio of English cricketers including Ian Bell, Samit Patel and Phil Salt.

“We will do our best to regain our title,” said United owner Ali Naqvi.

Former Pakistan skipper Misbah, who initially agreed on being United’s team mentor before changing his mind and deciding to keep on playing, will now feature for Peshawar Zalmi, who have also secured the services of hard-hitting West Indian batsman Kieron Pollard, England opener Dawid Malan and Pakistan batsman Umar Amin.

ISLAMABAD United’s director Waqar Younis speaks to reporters as the franchise owner Ali Naqvi (R), leg-spinner Shadab Khan (L) and former New Zealand wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi look on.—White Star

ISLAMABAD United’s director Waqar Younis speaks to reporters as the franchise owner Ali Naqvi (R), leg-spinner Shadab Khan (L) and former New Zealand wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi look on.—White Star

Quetta Gladiators, who had already drafted in West Indian spinner Sunil Narine, picked his compatriot Dwayne Bravo as their other platinum player.

“We hope that the league comes soon to Pakistan so the desired results for return of international cricket to the country can be seen,” Gladiators’ coach Moin Khan said.

The upcoming league will also feature Zimbabwe batsman Sikandar Raza and Australian spinner Fawad Ahmed — two players of Pakistani-origin who have played domestic cricket here but decided to play internationally for their adopted nations.

Fawad, who moved to Australia in 2010 as an asylum seeker and has played two Twenty20 Internationals, was picked up by the Gladiators while Sikandar, born in Sialkot and now a key member of the Zimbabwe squad, was snapped up by Karachi Kings.

The big signing for the Kings has come off the pitch with former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, having joined them as president.

“We’ve got a balanced team but in Twenty20 cricket, no team can be declared as favourites,” said Wasim.

QUETTA Gladiators’ head coach and ex-Pakistan skipper Moin Khan talks to media personnel as the team owner Nadeem Omar and his wife look on.—White Star

QUETTA Gladiators’ head coach and ex-Pakistan skipper Moin Khan talks to media personnel as the team owner Nadeem Omar and his wife look on.—White Star

Squads:

ISLAMABAD UNITED: Faheem Ashraf, Luke Ronchi, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Sami, Asif Ali, Ian Bell, Rumman Raees Khan, Samit Patel, Phil Salt, Sahibzada Farhan, Zafar Gohar, Waqas Maqsood, Hussain Talat, Cameron Delport, Mohammad Musa Khan (emerging) Nasir Nawaz (emerging), Wayne Parnell (supplementary), Zahir Khan (supplementary), Amad Butt (supplementary), Rizwan Hussain (supplementary).

PESHAWAR ZALMI: Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Kieron Pollard, Kamran Akmal, Darren Sammy, Misbah-ul-Haq, Liam Dawson, Umar Amin, Umaid Asif, Khalid Usman, Wayne Madsen, Sohaib Maqsood, Jamal Anwar, Sameen Gul (emerging), Nabi Gul (emerging), Waqar Salamkheil (supplementary), Chris Jordan (supplementary), Ibtisam Sheikh (supplementary),Samiullah (supplementary).

JAVED Afridi, the owner of Peshawar Zalmi, speaks to reporters alongside Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas, the president of the franchise.—White Star

JAVED Afridi, the owner of Peshawar Zalmi, speaks to reporters alongside Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas, the president of the franchise.—White Star

KARACHI KINGS: Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Colin Munro, Colin Ingram, Imad Wasim, Usman Khan Shinwari, Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Rizwan, Sikandar Raza, Awais Zia, Usama Mir, Aaron Summers, Sohail Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ali Imran (emerging), Abrar Ahmed (emerging), Aamir Yamin (supplementary), Ben Dunk (supplementary), Liam Livingstone (supplementary), Jaahid Ali (supplementary).

QUETTA GLADIATORS: Sarfraz Ahmed, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Nawaz, Rilee Roussow, Umar Akmal, Fawad Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Asghar, Danish Aziz, Ahsan Ali, Ghulam Mudassar (emerging), Nasim Shah (emerging), Harry Gurney ((supplementary), Ahmed Shehzad (supplementary), Azam Khan (supplementary), Jalat Khan (supplementary).

LAHORE QALANDARS: Fakhar Zaman, A.B. de Villiers, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Shah, Carlos Brathwaite, Corey Anderson, Anton Devcich, Rahat Ali, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Agha Salman, Sohail Akhtar, Mohammad Hassaan Khan, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Imran (emerging), Umair Masood (emerging), Brendan Taylor (supplementary), Gauhar Ali (supplementary), Aizaz Cheema (supplementary), Haris Rauf (supplementary).

SHOAIB Malik, the captain of sixth team, speaks to journalists as the manager of the team Nadeem Khan (L) watches. —Courtesy PCB

SHOAIB Malik, the captain of sixth team, speaks to journalists as the manager of the team Nadeem Khan (L) watches. —Courtesy PCB

SIXTH TEAM: Shoaib Malik, Steve Smith, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Joe Denly, Shan Masood, Qais Ahmad, Nicholas Pooran, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Umar Siddique, Laurie Evans, Nauman Ali, Mohammad Junaid (emerging), Mohammad Ilyas (emerging), Daniel Christian (supplementary) Tom Moores (supplementary), Ali Shafiq (supplementary), Shakeel Ansar (supplementary).

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2018

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PSL Draft: Lahore Qalandars the big winners, bag AB de Villiers for PSL 4

As expected, Lahore Qalandars were the big winners of the PSL Draft 2018 as they bagged South African superstar AB de Villiers for the fourth season of the Pakistan Super League.

The Qalandars are easily the least successful of the six PSL sides and have finished dead last in each of the first three editions of the tournament. With the first pick of the draft, the Rana Fawad-owned franchise appear to have secured the platinum category player who could ensure that they snap their run of three straight bottom finishes.

The Qalandars, who ,traded away Umar Akmal, in a blockbuster trade earlier this month, also secured the services of another veteran: Mohammad Hafeez.

Meanwhile, hard-hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard, who has played for the Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans in the past, has been snapped by Peshawar Zalmi, who ,parted ways with Hafeez, recently.

The sixth franchise, which is now unnamed following the termination of contract by the PCB, bagged two superstars: Shahid Afridi and Steve Smith.

Elsewhere, Quetta Gladiators drafted Dwayne Bravo with their platinum category pick.

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NAB law may be amended to allow court to grant bail: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has suggested that lawmakers may consider amending the National Accountability Ordina­nce (NAO) 1999 to enable an accused person to apply for bail to an accountability court.

“In the changed scenario, the legislature may, if so advised, consider amending the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 appropriately so as to enable an accused person to apply for his bail before the relevant accountability court in the first instance,” wrote Justice Asif Saeed Khosa in a judgement on the plea of Tallat Ishaq, who had sought leave to appeal against the Jan 31 ruling of the Balochistan High Court in which his post-arrest bail was refused in a corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against him and others under Section 18(g) read with Section 24(b) of the NAO.

Justice Khosa also recommended revising the unrealistic time frame for conclusion of a trial as specified in Section 16(a) of the NAO. The time frame under the NAB law is 30 days.

In a judgement, Justice Khosa also recommends revising unrealistic time frame for conclusion of trial

The intention behind introduction of Section 9(b) of the NAO, which ousted the jurisdiction of the superior courts regarding grant of bail in a case under NAO, already stood neutralised due to opening of the door for bail through exercise of constitutional jurisdiction of a high court, Justice Khosa observed.

Resultantly, the entire burden was being shouldered by the high courts, which was an unnecessary drain on their precious time, he explained, adding that the high courts and the Supreme Court had always felt difficulty in adjusting the requirements of “without lawful authority” and “of no legal effect” relevant to a writ of certiorari (Article 199(1)(a)(ii) of the Constitution) with the requirements of bail provided in Section 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Ishaq was facing the allegation that in his capacity as superintendent in the office of Director Development, Quetta Division, he had acquired assets beyond known sources of income in his own name and in the names of his wife and others.

According to the prosecution, he had acquired 17 immovable properties worth Rs93 million and six vehicles.

The same question was highlighted by senior counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed while defending former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz before the apex court in the appeal moved by NAB against the Sept 19 decision of the Islamabad High Court to suspend the jail term awarded to the Sharifs in the Avenfield apartments reference.

In this case the Supreme Court has already constituted a larger bench to consider if constitutional jurisdiction to grant bail should be invoked when there is a statutory ouster of courts to grant bail pending appeal against special courts, like the accountability court, particularly in cases involving grant of bail by suspending the sentence and release on bail during pendency of the appeal.

The larger bench will also ponder over the jurisdiction of the superior courts regarding ouster of Section 426 of the CrPC for suspension of sentences in NAB cases. It will also ascertain the principles regulating bail under sections 497 and 498 of the CrPC while considering the suspension of sentences.

In his verdict, Justice Khosa observed that the stand taken by Ishaq before the apex court regarding properties in question were ostensibly mutually contradictory.

“The case against Ishaq is quite distinguishable from the case against his co-accused who had been admitted to bail by the high court since Ishaq is the principal accused in this case whereas the co-accused are alleged to be Benamidars only,” Justice Khosa observed, adding that no reason was cited to show why delay occurred in the conclusion of his trial and who was responsible for it.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2018

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Former police officer gunned down in Quetta

A former deputy inspector general of police was gunned down by unidentified assailants in Quetta on Saturday evening, police said.

Muhammad Naeem Kakar was walking after offering prayers at a mosque when unknown attackers opened fire on him in Junior Assistant Colony area, DIG Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema told DawnNewsTV.

Kakar was critically injured in the firing and breathed his last at the Combined Military Hospital.

Cheema said the assailants escaped unhurt from the site.

Police and personnel of other law enforcement agencies were quick at the spot. An investigation has been ordered into the incident.

“At this point of time, I cannot say whether it was a targeted killing or not,” DIG Cheema said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

Kakar had served as DIG special branch and on other important positions in Balochistan.

The incident comes less than a month after a police constable was ,shot dead, in Nawan Killi area of the provincial capital.

Police officers are said to be high-risk targets in Balochistan.

Balochistan has been divided into two areas – A and B – based on how their security is organised. Police are responsible for maintaining law and order in Category A areas ? 10 per cent of the province ? while Category B is under the control of the Balochistan Levies. However, 90pc of violent crime occurs in Category A areas that are covered by police.

The high level of organisation in police ranks is believed to be one of the factors that incite violence against it by terrorist outfits.

Around 2001, at the onset of the deterioration in Balochistan’s security situation, Baloch separatists would target police constables in Quetta, mainly because most cops hailed from Punjab.

With the passage of time, as the ethnic composition of the police department changed, sectarian and militant outfits began carrying out attacks against cops. In recent years, most targeted attacks against policemen have been claimed by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) or the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

A number of attacks in Balochistan last year targeted senior police officials.

According to the police department, it has lost over 830 officers and constables in different incidents since 1979.

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ECP orders re-election in Quetta’s PB-26 constituency

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday ordered re-polling in Quetta’s PB-26 constituency after declaring the election of Balochistan MPA Ahmed Ali Kohzad null and void.

Hazara Democratic Party’s Kohzad had received 5,117 votes in the July 25 polls against Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal runner up Wali Muhammad’s 3,242 votes.

The lawyers for both candidates were present before the ECP’s two member commission today, which was headed by Sindh member Abdul Ghaffar Soomro.

According to a report, Kohzad is an Afghan national, Soomro said, adding that the PB-26 poll could be declared null and void.

The ECP Punjab member Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi mentioned a writ petition that had been submitted to the Balochistan High Court (BHC) by Wali Muhammad against Kohzad’s election, alleging that he was an Afghan national.

Separately, Kohzad himself had also challenged the National Database and Registration Authority’s (Nadra) blocking of his computerised national identity card in the BHC. In an earlier hearing, the Quetta deputy commissioner submitted a report in court saying that the HDP leader was an Afghan national.

Wali Muhammad’s lawyer today said that the BHC had already issued notices to the parties involved in the case. He had requested that the runner-up be declared the winner.

The ECP, however, rejected his request. “How can we impose you on those who have not given you a vote?” asked the ECP Punjab member.

Qureshi added that there was no provision within the law for declaring a runner-up winner after the elected candidate was disqualified.

Subsequently, the ECP declared Kohzad’s election null and void and ordered re-polling in PB-26.

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Panel needed to probe ‘economic terrorism’: minister

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday called for forming a parliamentary panel to probe issues linked with “economic terrorism”.

Referring to the 5,000 fake bank accounts allegedly used to stash billions of dollars abroad, he said the proposed parliamentary committee would see to whom these accounts belonged to.

Speaking in the Senate, Mr Chaudhry said information received from 10 countries showed that these accounts had been used to launder Rs700 billion. He said the committee should also see as to how allocations made in successive budgets had been spent and why the government was forced to lend money to pay back loans.

The idea was endorsed in principle by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani who promised to consult the leader of the house and the leader of the opposition in the Senate, besides discussing it with the National Assembly speaker.

Senate sees walkout over Fawad Chaudhry’s remarks against opposition politicians

The information minister regretted the remarks made against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leadership by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mushahidullah Khan on Monday and said the language used was deplorable and the member or his party should tender an apology for it.

The Senate chairman, however, asked the minister not to vitiate the atmosphere, pointing out that the member concerned was not present in the house.

At this, Mr Chaudhry said he too was not present in the house when the PML-N leader made objectionable remarks. He wondered why he could not speak on how the country had been run by the previous governments. Referring to a case relating to illegal construction of shops on the land of Baba Farid shrine in Pakpattan, the permission for which had been granted in 1985 when PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was the chief minister, Mr Chaudhry said they did not even spare shrines.

The chairman once again interrupted the minister and said the matter was sub judice.

Mr Chaudhry regretted that whenever somebody talked of investigations into corruption, accountability and fake accounts, the atmosphere in the Senate was vitiated. “It is inappropriate to sweep everything under the carpet.”

Things apparently calmed down afterwards, but rumpus ruled the house over the information minister’s remarks in response to a calling-attention notice moved by Usman Kakar of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and others raised the issue of slow pace of work on the Quetta airport and use of substandard material.

Mr Kakar regretted that while big airports had been constructed in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, the expansion work on the Quetta airport that was supposed to be completed by December last year was constantly being delayed.

Responding to the notice, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan said the PkMAP remained an ally of the previous PML-N government for five years, but they never bothered to question their allies for the delay.

This infuriated the PkMAP senators who shouted at the minister not to say anything against the previous government and instead focus on the delay.

As if what Mr Khan had said was not enough, the information minister stood up again to hold responsible top opposition leaders by name. He said Zardaris, Achakzais and Fazlur Rahmans were to blame if no uplift work could be carried out in the provinces despite provision of substantial funds. “They are the ones who looted the country.”

He also asked as to where the hefty amount of Rs42 trillion given to Balochistan over the last 10 years had been spent. “Mehmood Khan Achakzai had appointed his brother as governor of the province and had made the whole government his slave and is now giving us lectures,” he said, adding that the opposition had no right to talk like this.

“In which capacity these people are talking as these are the people who are responsible for the backwardness of the province,” he said. “There should be a committee comprising members of the Senate to probe ‘economic terrorism’ by Achakzais and Co.”

As the minister continued to hold allies of the PML-N in Balochistan responsible for the province’s backwardness, the combined opposition parties staged a walkout in protest.

Leader of the House Shibli Faraz, Senator Faisal Javed and Minister for Privatisation Mohammad Mian Soomro tried to persuade the opposition members to come back and join the proceedings, but to no avail.

When the Senate chairman reminded the information minister that it was government’s responsibility to run the house smoothly, the latter retorted that the chair should also show some concern about the ‘poor’ the way he was giving importance to the opposition members.

“Everything is alright if we don’t talk about the corruption of these protesting senators, but the moment we say something about their corruption … they start agitating. We will expose whoever is involved in plundering the national wealth no matter what,” Mr Chaudhry maintained.

In what signalled his readiness to bring his old rivalry with the information minister to an end, Mushahidullah Khan went to Mr Chaudhry and shook hands with him when he was exchanging harsh words with Usman Kakar.

Shibli Faraz proposed development of a code of conduct for the members and expressed his intention to hold a meeting with the opposition leader and parliamentary leaders — an idea that instantly won support of the chair as well.

The house will meet on Thursday (today) at 10.30 am.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2018

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Smog to blanket Karachi for next couple of days, says regional met official

Unusual smog-like conditions prevailed in Karachi on Wednesday morning, causing poor visibility and difficulty for drivers in various parts of the city, along with exacerbating respiratory issues in people suffering from asthma.

Regional Meteorological Centre Karachi Director Shahid Abbas, while explaining the weather in the metropolis, said that fog or smog is formed “when minimum temperature falls rapidly”.

“Right now, the land and sea temperature are almost the same, due to which the wind has stopped blowing,” he said, adding that this was why “smog has formed in Karachi”.

“It will remain for the next two or three days until winds from Quetta start blowing here. Then the smog will disperse and it will get two to three degrees colder,” he said.

Take a look: ,Punjab authorities are responding to help manage the smog, but is it enough?,

He ruled out the possibility of rain in Sindh over the next few days.

“There are rains in parts of Punjab ? Sialkot, Gujranwala ? but the [weather] system is passing overhead and there is no chance of rain in Sindh,” he explained.

However, “the air temperature will lower and dry winds will begin blowing, which will clear the atmosphere.”

Earlier, a Met official, requesting anonymity, told Dawn.com that the ratio of humidity in the air is around 32 per cent. He added that Nawabshah, Sukkur, Dadu, Hyderabad, Jackobabad, and Sakrund are also affected due to the situation.

Smog has become a common feature of the winter season in parts of the country, particularly Punjab. The condition has been attributed to the burning of crop stubble, and pollution from factories and traffic in the province. Burning of crop stubble ,across the border has also aggravated the situation, locally.

A global list of the 50 worst air pollutant emission hotspots in the world by Greenpeace which analysed the satellite data generated by European Space Agency’s new satellite ranked Lahore and its surrounding area at 30th place.

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