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    GUJRAT: The PML-N has clinched another Punjab Assembly seat from the PTI in the by-election for PP-27 (Pind Dadan Khan) Jhelum as Haji Nasir Lilla of the PML-N has been declared winner in the final result after the votes recount.

    Though the by-election was held on Oct 14 and the PML-N had won the seat but the result was withheld after the runner-up applied for the recount since the victory margin was very slim. The margin for the PML-N nominee has been reduced to 438 votes compared to earlier 656 votes. After the recount, the winning candidate has 61,139 votes whereas he had obtained 61,542 votes as per initial results.

    The application for the recount was filed by the PTI’s Raja Shahnawaz whose votes too reduced to 60,701 from earlier announced 60,886 votes. The number of invalid votes has increased from 1,554 to 2,401 in the recount as the total number of valid votes is now 124,806 from earlier 125,391 votes.

    The PP-27 was vacated by Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry who retained NA-67 Jhelum.

    The PML-N workers from across the Jhelum district gathered in Pind Dadan Khan to celebrate the victory of the party candidate after a very tough competition. As the party had lost three PA seats and both NA seats of the district in the general election, the win on a PA seat has brought consolation for the party workers.

    Jhelum had always been a PML-N stronghold until 2018 election. It had won both the NA and four PA seats in 2008 and 2013 elections.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    PML-N has clinched another Punjab Assembly seat from the PTI in the by-election for PP-27 (Pind Dadan Khan) Jhelum as Haji Nasir Lilla of the PML-N has been declared winner in the final result after the votes recount. — File PhotoPML-N has clinched another Punjab Assembly seat from the PTI in the by-election for PP-27 (Pind Dadan Khan) Jhelum as Haji Nasir Lilla of the PML-N has been declared winner in the final result after the votes recount. — File Photo

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    ISLAMABAD: Mild tremors were felt in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday evening. No loss of life or property has been reported yet.

    The jolts were experienced at 6:26pm due to a 5.3 magnitude earthquake originating 120km deep in the Tajikistan- Xinjiang border region.

    Tremors were experienced in various Pakistani cities including Abbottabad, Nowshera, Buner, Malakand, Mingora and other parts of KP, apart from several areas of northern and central Punjab.

    This was the second earthquake on Friday, though the one earlier was low intensity.

    The National Seismic Monitoring Centre (NSMC) in Islamabad has reported that the first earthquake also originated very close to the epicentre of the earthquake in the evening.

    “The one at noon on Friday was recorded at 3.9 on the Richter Scale, which is mild and the shock waves do not travel very far from the epicentre,” an NSMC official said.

    He explained that earthquakes of magnitude five are considered moderate and those between five and six are considered moderate to heavy.

    “However, any activity over magnitude six is considered very heavy or severe,” the official added.

    A series of earthquakes have occurred in the Hindu Kush Mountains in the recent days but most have been low intensity and their shockwaves did not reach even Peshawar and Islamabad.

    The last of these low intensity jolts in the Hindu Kush region was in Afghanistan on Oct 18 at 8:29 Pakistan time which was recorded at four on the Richter Scale.

    However, three days earlier a 5.3 magnitude quake occurred in northern Xinjiang, China on Oct 16, at the depth of 20 kilometres, but its tremors too were not felt in Pakistan.

    The authorities say that the waves of deep quakes travel vast distances, whereas shallow activity has a limited impact.

    “Today’s earthquake had an intensity of 5.3 magnitude but it was 120km deep which allowed the waves to travel to distances beyond Islamabad,” the NSMC official said.

    The south of the country also experienced tremors and a magnitude 4.5 earthquake was felt in western Balochistan on Oct 17 which originated in southeast Iran.

    On Oct 4, parts of Balochistan and Sindh, including Karachi, were hit by a locally originating earthquake of 4.5 magnitude, the epicentre of which was 12km deep on the Sindh-Balochistan border.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan was chairing a meeting of party spokespersons when the earthquake happened.

    A source in the PTI said most participants of the meeting stood to leave.

    However, the prime minister decided to continue with the meeting.

    The source said security staff deputed with the premier told him to come out of the room. He is reported to have said he will not leave the room because the tremors can be felt both inside and outside the room.

    The PTI has a number of spokespersons who represent it in various TV talk shows and during meetings, they inform the premier about their performance and the challenges they face.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    Mild tremors were felt in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday evening. No loss of life or property has been reported yet. — File PhotoMild tremors were felt in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday evening. No loss of life or property has been reported yet. — File Photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The Islam­abad High Court suspended the 20-year jail term for an employee of the Axact group in the fake degrees case on Friday and ordered his release. The court told Rizwan Shah, a senior manager of M/S Axact, to furnish surety bonds of Rs 500,000.

    In July, the Sessions Court of Islamabad had convicted Axact owner Shoaib Sheikh, Rizwan Shah and 21 others in the fake degree scam case and awarded 20 years imprisonment under different charges.

    Mr Shah challenged the conviction before Justice Athar Minallah. His counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi and advocate Sohail Warriach argued before the court that the conviction was not sustainable since there was insufficient evidence to link the convicted persons with the crime.

    Shoaib Sheikh, the owner, has also challenged his conviction before the court.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    A senior manager of M/S Axact, has been told to furnish surety bonds of Rs 500,000.A senior manager of M/S Axact, has been told to furnish surety bonds of Rs 500,000.

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    PESHAWAR: The opposition members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday criticised the PTI government in the province for ignoring its election manifesto in the budget on creation of jobs, construction of houses, and investment in the education sector.

    In the sitting chaired by Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, they wondered that though the ruling PTI’s projected top agenda was to create 10 million jobs and build five million houses in the country, the budget documents didn’t have a single word about it.

    Participating in the debate on the 20180-19 budget, which had begun on Thursday, Ahmad Kareem Kundi of the PPP asked the government about where the jobs promised by the PTI would be created.

    “There’s no plan with the government about how to build houses for the poor people as promised by the prime minister,” he insisted.

    The opposition lawmaker said the people had expected decrease in the prices of edible and non-edible items after the PTI’s election to power, especially when ‘economists’ had been made the federal and provincial finance ministries, but they’re disappointed after being further burdened with higher prices.

    Wonders why govt obtaining loans if budget is surplus

    He said if the government’s claim of presenting a surplus budget was true, then why it was obtaining billions of rupees worth of foreign and local loans as shown in the budget documents.

    Maulana Lutfur Rehman of the JUI-F wondered why the plans for the construction of houses and creation of jobs weren’t reflected in the budget.

    He asked the provincial government about its ‘tall claims’ about improvements in the education sector.

    The JUI-F leader wondered if the PTI had succeeded in doing away with the class-based education system in the province.

    He said the provincial budget had the Rs57 billion deficit but the government had shown it to be surplus by fudging figures.

    “Some good recommendations would have emerged had the government placed the correct budget figures before the house and people,” he said.

    Sardar Yousaf of the PML-N said the federal and provincial governments of the PTI had made the people’s life miserable by increasing the prices of electricity, gas and edible items.

    “The results of the PTI’s policies are terrible,” he said.

    The PML-N leader, a former federal minister, said the opposition would give a tough time to the treasury if it was denied development funds for their respective constituencies.

    Parliamentary leader of the ANP Sardar Hussain Babak said the budget documents showed that the government had planned to construct 10 new colleges at the cost of Rs3 billion but just Rs100,000 had been allocated for the purpose in the current fiscal showing the government’s non-serious approach towards the education sector’s improvement.

    He said the PTI government had failed to achieve revenue targets during the last six years.

    The ANP leader also said tourism was one of the sectors, whose development as claimed by the PTI had been prioritised but ironically, only Rs15 million had been allocated for it in the budget.

    He said the poor planning for the Peshawar Bas Rapid Transit project had virtually turned the provincial capital into ruins, while the project’s cost was fast escalating.

    The chair adjourned the session until today (Saturday).

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    A view of the KP Assembly. — Photo/FileA view of the KP Assembly. — Photo/File

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    ISLAMABAD: For the last over a week, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), an umbrella organisation of 422 educational institutions in the capital, has been without a permanent head to run its affairs.

    The last temporary director general (DG), Hasnat Qureshi, relinquished the charge on Oct 10.

    Mr Qureshi, chairman of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Piera), held the acting charge of the FDE for one-and-a-half years.

    Since Dec 2016, no permanent director general of FDE could be hired and last acting head relinquished charge on Oct 10

    Sources in the FDE said in the absence of the DG, official matters were facing delays. They said 21 buses, which the FDE had received under the Prime Minister’s Education Reforms Programme, remained parked for the last few days as they could not be delivered to schools and college in the absence of the DG.

    Officials in the directorate said the taking over of schools renovated under the reforms programme was also facing a delay.

    The revised PC-I of a number of development projects also remained pending as without approval of the DG the FDE could not move them to the ministry. As the office of the DG is locked for over a week, there are also hindrances in other routine official businesses.

    However, the sources said a file was in process for the appointment of the regular DG and the matter was expected to be resolved in a few days.

    They said as per rules the DG was hired from the pool of senior-most degree college principals (BPS-19) or the senior-most director of the FDE.

    The post of the DG fell vacant in Dec 2016 after the retirement of Dr Shahnaz Riaz. Since then no effort has been made to appoint a regular head. In the absence of the regular DG, a number of bureaucrats enjoyed the additional charge of the FDE. The sources said the newly-created post of the executive director (ED) of the FDE was also vacant. In March 2016, the federal government created the post for looking after the affairs of the FDE.

    The then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had approved the summary for appointing either a civil servant or an educational professional from the open market to improve the functioning of the directorate. But after creation of the post, no step was taken to make the appointment.

    Until recently, the FDE was a subsidiary of the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) but after the latter’s abolishment it has been placed under the administrative control of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training.

    Now, the education ministry will send three names to the prime minister for picking one of them to fill the post of DG.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    Federal Directorate of Education. — File PhotoFederal Directorate of Education. — File Photo

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    KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was on Friday told that the number of children that had died during 2018 in the desert region of Thar was highest in past four years.

    Health Secretary Usman Chachar briefed the chief minister at a high-level meeting held here that over 505 children died in Thar during the current year.

    He said 450 children died in the region in 2017; 479 died in 2016 and 398 children lost their lives in 2015.

    He said that the deaths took place because of various reasons, including pre-term/low birth weight, birth asphyxia, severe pneumonia, neonatal sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), acute malnutrition with complication, sepsis (under five) and diarrhoea.

    The CM has asked public-sector medical universities to set up camps in the desert region

    The chief minister said that despite making huge investment in every sector in Thar “we are still receiving news of infant and child deaths which is quite painful and depressing for me, therefore we have to make a holistic approach to resolve the issue for good”.

    He directed the health department to widely and properly implement the mother-child health programme in letter and spirit.

    Medical varsities asked to set up camps

    At the same meeting, the CM directed all public-sector medical universities to set up health camps in the desert region.

    The meeting was attended by vice chancellors of different public and private sector universities, eight provincial ministers, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah and others.

    He also issued directives to explore alternative employment opportunities for the people of the region to resolve the issue for good.

    He directed the chief secretary to ensure implementation of family planning, nutrition programme and provision of clean drinking water by making all the closed reverse osmosis plants functional.

    The meeting was also informed about the rainfall in different cities and towns of Thar.

    The chief minister directed the chief secretary and Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah to review the Drought Mitigation Act and give a detailed presentation to him so that it could be implemented with necessary improvements.

    “I am of the view that a Thar commission or authority be established to implement all the programmes under one roof,” he said.

    167 dehs affected due to less rains

    The chief minister was told that 167 dehs of Tharparkar were affected on account of untimely and inadequate rainfall during monsoon season.

    “Wheat relief has been given to 276,152 heads of families in seven talukas of Thar at a scale of 50kg. Some 116,713 families have received wheat till Oct 16,” the meeting was told.

    The chief secretary informed the CM that some 850 RO plants would be made functional by December.

    The chief minister was also informed that 18 small dams, including 10 from annual development programme and eight from the public sector development programme, had been completed at a cost of Rs2.583 billion and nine others were being constructed at a cost of Rs1.2bn.

    The meeting was informed that 587 RO plants were working in different areas of Thar, installation of 247 more RO plants was in progress while 834 would be installed by December.

    The chief minister was told that 726,602 animals had been vaccinated. At this, CM Shah directed the livestock and wildlife departments to provide fodder, treatment of animals and wildlife in the remote areas.

    The chief minister said that his government was making important interventions for poverty reduction. “Five goats and 10 hens are being distributed in each and every family in the remote areas and the programme would benefit 300 families. So far 256 families have taken benefit and 54 families are yet to receive.”

    The CM directed all provincial ministers to keep visiting all government facilities such as schools, health facilities, RO plants/water schemes in Thar to keep a check on their performance.

    He also directed the health department to establish a health information management system not only for Thar but for whole Sindh.

    This system would not only expose the performance/negligence of each and every hospital but it would be helpful to make necessary interventions for improvement, he added.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    CM has asked public-sector medical universities to set up camps in Thar. — Photo/FileCM has asked public-sector medical universities to set up camps in Thar. — Photo/File

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    QUETTA: Train service remained suspended for sev­eral hours between Quetta and the rest of the country on Friday after twin bomb explosions at the main railway track near the Hirak area of Bolan district.

    The Peshawar-bound Jaffar Express narrowly escaped the explosions, which were reportedly planned by unknown militants, said a railway official.

    Security officials said two explosive devices were planted at the main track between Mach and Hirak stations. The bombs were detonated with brief intervals, destroying the track in the process.

    “The train was at some distance from the Hirak station when the bombs went off,” Waseef Ali Mughal, divisional superintendent of Pakistan Railways, Quetta division, said, adding that the train operator hit the emergency brakes, stopping the train immediately. Despite the fierce attack, there were no casualties and the train itself remained safe. However, a large portion of the track was destroyed.

    Soon after the blast, personnel of the Frontier Corps and Levies rushed to the site and cordoned off the area. After the second explosion, the bomb disposal squad was able to get pieces of evidence from the rubble. “A hand-grenade was recovered from the site as well,” a senior security official said.

    “All railway traffic, to and from Quetta, was stopped following the attack and operators were asked to halt their trains at various train stations they were close to,” said an official.

    Engineers and support staff arrived at the station to repair the track. Train service was restored later in the evening after replacing the damaged track and clearing the area.

    Official sources said that the security detail of the tracks were enhanced after the explosions, with security personnel stationed along the lines.

    Law enforcement agencies have launched a search operation in the area to arrest those involved in the terrorist attack. Some suspects have been taken into custody for questioning.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    SIBI: Security officials pictured near the scene of the blast.—PPISIBI: Security officials pictured near the scene of the blast.—PPI

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    LARKANA: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s statement branding Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf as Tehreek-i-Intiqam is simply laughable as only corrupt elements who are seeing the noose being tightened around their necks are crying foul, said PTI Sindh president Amir Bakhsh Bhutto.

    Mr Bhutto said in a press statement on Friday that instead of criticising PTI Bilawal should look into the deeds of his party’s 10-year rule which was littered with incidents of political victimisation.

    He cited cases lodged against him, Shirazis of Thatta, Zulfikar Mirza, Liaquat Ali Jatoi and Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto as brazen examples of political victimisation, which were just tip of the iceberg.

    He said that PPP leaders stooped so low that even a low-ranked employee was transferred from one district to a remote area in punishment.

    Mr Bhutto said that PPP had in its 10-year tenure deprived opponents of development schemes, jobs and even postings and trampled over all rules to favour jialas.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. — Photo/FilePakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. — Photo/File

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    LAHORE: The role of the federal cabinet in placing or removing names from the Exit Control List (ECL) has been challenged in the Lahore High Court for being an uncalled for step.

    Through a writ petition, lawyer Munir Ahmad questions the procedure for inclusion or exclusion of names from the ECL saying the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981 needs to be regulated in view of fundamental rights as guaranteed under the Constitution.

    He pleads that the Ministry of Interior’s working is very slow and outdated as most of times when courts permitted exclusion of name of a person from the ECL temporarily or permanently the ministry delays strategy as it always presents a summary regarding inclusion or exclusion of name from the ECL before the federal cabinet for approval.

    Sometime, the petitioner contends, the federal cabinet keeps sitting on such summaries despite directions issued by courts for inclusion or exclusion of names from the ECL. He argues that the courts’ directions need to be implemented in letter and spirit by the interior ministry without the role of the cabinet.

    The lawyer argues that in view of settled laws to place or delete someone’s name from the ECL, the power rests with the federal government and that power has to be exercised by secretary interior or any subordinate officer.

    In any case the federal cabinet has no power to interfere in this matter as it is independent and exclusive power of the interior ministry, he adds.

    The petitioner asks the court to declare that exercise of authority and jurisdiction through cabinet, which is abusing the power of federal government in pursuance of provision of the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981 are not only illegal but without jurisdiction and beyond the scope of the Constitution.

    He pleads that directions may be given to the interior ministry to process each and every case within the scope of the ECL Ordinance, without any hindrance or interruption by the federal cabinet.

    He also asks the court to summon policy details from the government as well as procedure regarding the process of inclusion or exclusion of names of citizens from the ECL.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    The role of the federal cabinet in placing or removing names from the Exit Control List (ECL) has been challenged in the Lahore High Court for being an uncalled for step. — File PhotoThe role of the federal cabinet in placing or removing names from the Exit Control List (ECL) has been challenged in the Lahore High Court for being an uncalled for step. — File Photo

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    KARACHI: Investigators grilling three men held for their alleged connection with the militant Islamic State group found that they had generated funds for the global militant outfit by committing crimes and sent the money to Afghanistan through normal as well as informal banking channels.

    Informed sources told Dawn on Friday that the law enforcers recently arrested Naeem, Mukhtiar and Roohullah in the city for their alleged involvement in kidnapping a resident of Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

    The resident was released by kidnappers after getting a ransom of over Rs10 million. When he safely reached home, the law enforcers started working on some leads and finally arrested the three suspects.

    During investigations, the held suspects had confessed to their involvement in several cases of kidnapping for ransom.

    Officials said they had kidnapped and murdered Abid Sohail in September 2017 and buried his body in Manghopir.

    In January 2017, the same group had also kidnapped a member of the Ismailia community from Karachi. They shifted him to Hub, Balochistan, in the trunk of their vehicle. However, he managed to escape from their custody. Later, the police had raided their hideout in Hub area and recovered a suicide jacket and explosives.

    Police sources said that this group was involved in at least five to six kidnapping-for-ransom cases in the city. They generated funds through this criminal activity and sent the money to the IS head in Afghanistan.

    Suspects Roohullah and Mukhtiar were involved in sending money abroad through hundi and hawala. The third suspect, Naeem, was said to be the IS chief in Karachi.

    During their interrogation, it transpired that several bank accounts had been opened through which they transferred funds to Afghanistan to carry out acts of terrorism in Pakistan. The sources said that members of this outfit had been involved in terror financing in the metropolis for the past many months.

    They claimed that IS had been involved in major terrorism acts in Sindh and Balochistan including the deadly blasts at Sehwan Sharif and Shah Noorani. The sources said that a joint investigation team (JIT) comprising representatives of the State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, law enforcement and intelligence agencies and others had been formed to further grill the suspects.

    Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018

    Police have arrested three suspects in kidnapping case. — Photo/FilePolice have arrested three suspects in kidnapping case. — Photo/File

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    The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Saturday issued show cause notices to news channels which had aired a controversial speech by former PML-N Senator Syed Nehal Hashmi in which he had allegedly criticised the armed forces while defending the role of politicians in the development of the country.

    Hashmi, who had previously faced imprisonment for his controversial remarks against the judiciary, while addressing a function at the Karachi Medical and Dental College on Friday, had reportedly said that the armed forces had “done nothing for the defence and betterment of the country” and that the weapons acquired for the defence were “merely showpieces”.

    The outspoken politician's speech was subsequently broadcast on TV channels — something which Pemra deemed a violation of its code of conduct.

    The regulatory body, in its notification, asked news channels why they had aired the speech of an individual who has a history of making controversial remarks. It also instructed the said channels to explain why they should not be punished with a fine or even a suspension.

    Soon after Hashmi’s hard-hitting speech went on air, the PML-N had launched a damage control exercise and dissociated itself from what the former senator had said about the military.

    Senior PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah had said that Hashmi’s statement had nothing to do with the party and reflected his personal views.

    “Mr Hashmi has been expelled from the PML-N, so the party cannot take any action against him,” the former Punjab law minister said. “He was sacked after he refused to step down as a senator on party orders over the statement that he made against the judiciary. One may disagree with state institutions but this is not the way to register a protest.”

    Former PML-N Senator Syed Nehal Hashmi. — File PhotoFormer PML-N Senator Syed Nehal Hashmi. — File Photo

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    Power was once again cut off in large parts of Karachi due to the tripping of a high tension wire on Saturday.

    Due to the subsequent supply shutdown to various grid stations, North Karachi, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Surjani. New Karachi Industrial Area, Nusrat Bhutto Colony, and Buffer Zone suffered a prolonged power outage.

    Besides this, Liaquatabad C One area, Korangi, Board Office, Pahar Ganj, Yousuf Goth, Sindhi Hotel, Powerhouse Chowrangi, Defence, PIB Colony, Quaidabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Johar, Mahmoodabad, Akhtar Colony, Kashmir Colony, Clifton, I I Chundrigar Road, Kharadar, and Saddar including old city area also remained without power.

    The K-Electric spokesperson said that the "tripping in the transmission line of the national grid has had a rollover effect on local circuits serving Karachi".

    Also read:What is the next move for K-Electric?

    The power utility company also tweeted the following statement after work began to restore power: "Supply resumes in various parts of the city whereas restoration work in other areas is underway. Supply to the city from the National Grid has also been restored."

    "Power in the city was affected following sudden tripping in transmission line of National Grid that created a rollover effect. K-Electric's plants landed safely in 'Island Mode' which has enabled swift progress in restoration," the statement concluded by saying.

    Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took notice of the disruption in power supply and directed the energy minister to immediately contact K-Electric and instruct them to work expediently to restore supply.

    "These breakdowns not only cause immense suffering to the people but also bring economic activity to a halt," he remarked.

    K-Electric was also issued instructions to continue a steady stream of supply to the Karachi Water Supply Board.

    A power transformer in Karachi. —File photoA power transformer in Karachi. —File photo

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    Overseas Pakistanis will not be able to vote in the second round of by-elections scheduled for Oct 21 because they were never registered by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), an ECP official told DawnNewsTV on Saturday.

    By-elections for National Assembly constituency NA-247 in Karachi and the provincial assembly seats PS-111 Karachi and PK-71 Peshawar are to take place on Sunday.

    Overseas Pakistanis had been entitled to vote for 35 constituencies in the by-elections held on Oct 14. The decision in this regard was taken on the directives of the Supreme Court by the ECP and trialed for the first time. Out of the 7,364 overseas Pakistani who registered for the programme, 6,233 had polled their votes through an i-voting software.

    The ECP had decided to include the votes cast by the overseas Pakistanis in the first round of by-poll results after consulting with National Database and Registration Authority authorities.

    Overseas Pakistani's will not be allowed to vote during the second round of the by-elections scheduled for Oct 21, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said on Saturday. — AFP/FileOverseas Pakistani's will not be allowed to vote during the second round of the by-elections scheduled for Oct 21, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said on Saturday. — AFP/File

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    The Balochistan Assembly has formed an eleven-member committee to take up with the federal government the issue of the lease of the Saindak gold-copper project to a Chinese company, it emerged on Saturday.

    The committee includes government and opposition lawmakers including Finance Minister Arif Jan Muhammad Hassani, Balochistan National Party (BNP) legislator Sanaullah Baloch, Khaliq Hazara of Hazara Democratic Party, and Information Minister Zahoor Buledi.

    The federal government had leased out the mega project to a Chinese company for a five-year period on October 17, 2017. BNP ideologue Sanaullah Baloch had raised the issue on October 4 during a session of the Balochistan Assembly.

    Explore:The Saindak files

    "The Balochistan government was completely bypassed while leasing out the project to a Chinese company", Baloch told DawnNewsTV after the formation of the committee.

    The federal government gets a 50 per cent share in the profit of the Saindak project while the rest goes to the Chinese company. Of its 50pc share, the federal government keeps 20pc profit and passes on 30pc earnings to the provincial government.

    In addition, Balochistan receives a 5pc royalty over the Saindak copper-cum-gold project.

    The committee will devise ways to seek a reasonable solution for handing over the Saindak project to the province, in line with the 18th Constitutional amendment, a notification released by the Assembly said.

    "Balochistan must be kept on board with regard to all decisions," Baloch reiterated.

    The MCC Resources Development Limited (MRDL),  owned by the Chinese government, working on the Saindak copper-gold mining project. —File photoThe MCC Resources Development Limited (MRDL), owned by the Chinese government, working on the Saindak copper-gold mining project. —File photo

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    A woman on Saturday jumped out of a moving vehicle of a ride-hailing service on Karachi's busy Sharea Faisal road after allegedly being harassed by the driver.

    The woman remained safe during the incident and police have arrested the driver on charges of harassment, said City SSP Dr Samiullah Soomro, who is also the in-charge SSP of South district.

    Social media users claimed the online cab service the accused driver belonged to is Uber. has reached out to Uber for a comment.

    A Careem spokeswoman said the driver in question was not registered with her company.

    The woman was travelling to Saddar from Gulshan-i-Iqbal when she jumped out of the car near a five-star hotel on Sharea Faisal.

    A policy party rushed to the spot and brought both the driver and the woman to a police station, SSP Soomro told Dawn.

    The woman in her statement claimed that she had jumped as the driver was allegedly harassing her. She did not suffer any injury during the episode.

    "Everyone is entitled to get justice," she said while describing the incident to reporters.

    The driver has denied the harassment charges.

    SSP Soomro said the Saddar police have registered a first information report (272/2018) against the driver on a complaint of the woman under Section 354 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

    The woman who jumped out of a moving car of a ride-hailing service talks to reporters in Karachi. — DawnNewsTVThe woman who jumped out of a moving car of a ride-hailing service talks to reporters in Karachi. — DawnNewsTV

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    A young girl hired as a domestic worker in Rawalpindi was allegedly tortured by her employers for over a year, it emerged on Saturday.

    The case, a grim reminder of the infamous Tayyaba torture case of 2016, came to light through a series of videos shared on Twitter in which the child can be seen narrating her ordeal.

    The child named Kinza, an 11-year-old per her own estimate, says that she is employed as a domestic worker at the residence of Ammara Riaz, a major in the Pakistan Army, and her husband Mohsin Riaz, who is a doctor by profession. The house is located in Wilayat Colony, Scheme III, Chaklala.

    The girl, who managed to escape the house, accuses her employers of starving her and torturing her with wires, belts and ropes for over a year. She further says she is kicked and stomped on while she sleeps.

    When asked by the videographer to describe how she has been mistreated, she explains that she is not fed properly by the family she lives with, and when she steals food out of hunger, she is administered inhumane beatings.

    In the video, Kinza shows injuries that she has sustained, including her bloodshot, black eyes as well as multiple wound marks on her arms, neck and head.

    Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari took notice of the case and said the ministry is "keeping a close eye [on the matter] to ensure justice for the little girl".

    According to a report submitted to the ministry by Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO) Abbas Ahsan, the incident came to the Airport police station's knowledge on Friday.

    As per the report, the torture of the child was first reported to Rescue 15 by a resident of Wilayat Colony, named Colonel Sajjad.

    Col Sajjad informed Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Sajjad Hussain, who was sent to investigate the matter, that Kinza used to live at the house of his neighbour Dr Mohsin and had now come to their (Sajjad's) home.

    Col Sajjad then called up Kinza's father, Mohammad Shabbir, and asked him to reach his house. After reaching Col Sajjad's house on Saturday, Shabbir gave a written statement to police saying he had left his daughter at Dr Mohsin's residence "to study" and that he was now taking his daughter back home to Samundri in Faisalabad, where she will continue her studies.

    CPO Ahsan told DawnNewsTV that the girl's father refused to press charges and took her back with him to Samundri. The ASI returned and did not file a report, due to which he was suspended.

    Shireen Mazari also shared the affidavit submitted by Kinza's father, in which he absolves her employers of any sort of violence and says the child had been injured when "she was climbing the gate in an effort to escape". He also says that his daughter had attempted to escape her employers' house twice in the past as well.

    CPO Ahsan said a team of officers had been dispatched to Samundri to bring back Kinza and her father upon which a full investigation will be launched. He said that a medical exam will be conducted to ascertain the extent of the girl's injuries and a probe conducted against the employers.

    The army has also been contacted and informed about the allegations against Major Ammara, revealed CPO Ahsan, explaining that the police cannot take any direct action against a serving army officer.

    Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner Dr Umar Jahangir was contacted for a response, but could not be reached.

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    The family of a six-year-old victim of alleged sexual assault are awaiting findings from a chemical examiner's report in a case which took place in Jamshoro on September 30, it was learnt on Saturday.

    The case surfaced on social media earlier this week, following the hanging of six-year-old Zainab Amin's rapist and murderer, Imran Ali. In a tweet, a user demanded similar "attention, outrage and coverage" so the child could get justice.

    Police had lodged a first information report (FIR) under Sections 511 and 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against a young boy, who is alleged to have attempted to rape the minor girl. He was sent to jail after having been arrested in the FIR lodged on a complaint of the girl’s father, Imtiaz Hingoro.

    “They are my neighbours and I had deep trust in them... yet this family has done this to us,” said Hingoro, who is an employee of a public sector university. “I was away from home when I was called by my wife to get back immediately. Upon reaching home I was told that this incident had happened,” he said.

    Hingoro initially took the child to a female doctor who advised them to report the matter to police in view of the nature of the case. The suspect, whose father is a low-ranking policeman in Hyderabad, is currently in prison on judicial remand.

    Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jamshoro Suahee Aziz Talpur had conducted the initial investigations of the case and met the girl and her family. She has now been transferred to the central police office.

    “When I was in Jamshoro we had sent samples taken from the girl and the boy for chemical examination,” she told Dawn, adding that a DNA test can also be done from the samples if deemed necessary.

    Quoting the FIR, Talpur said it was a case of attempted rape. She further elaborated by saying that the doctor who examined the girl had stated that rape had not been committed because "had it happened the girl would have become unconscious and her survival might have been endangered as she was weak and only six years old.

    Hingoro claimed that his daughter had identified the suspect at the police station during an informal parade in which four dummies were also presented.

    “My daughter identified [the suspect] each time for having done this to her,” Hingoro said. He said he and the police are awaiting the results of the chemical examination which will be released on October 23.

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    GWADAR: The government has assured fishermen that their livelihood will not be affected and their rights will be fully protected after the construction of East-Bay Expressway and the implementation of Master Plan.

    Balochistan Information Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi held out the assurance at a press conference after Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani met a delegation of fishermen in Gwadar on Saturday.

    The meeting was attended by Senior Minister for Local Bodies Sardar Muhammad Saleh Bhootani, Finance Minister Arif Jan Muhammad Hasni, Home Minister Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa, Minister for IT Sardar Abdul Rehman Kheitran, Chairman Gwadar Port Authority Dostain Khan Jamaldini, Chairman District Counsel, Commissioner Makran division and chairman of the Alliance of Fisherman.

    Mr Buledi said the apprehensions and reservations of fishermen were discussed in the meeting. He said legislation was under way for the protection of rights of local population and soon revenue act would also be amended. He said breakwaters would be built on the eastern coast of Gwadar for fishing boats.

    Besides, the meeting also decided to construct residential colonies at every tehsil and 200 acres will be allocated in Gwadar, Pasni, Ormara and Jewani areas for the purpose, he said.

    Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2018

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    LAHORE: Lahore High Court outgoing Chief Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali has promoted two of the officers of his staff as additional registrar (BS-20) after relaxing rules two days before his retirement.

    A notification issued by the LHC registrar states, “The honourable chief justice has been pleased to promote the following officers as additional registrar (BS-20), on administrative side, in relaxation of Rules, in the public interest, with immediate effect.”

    The officers who got promoted are Afzaal Fazal Khokhar, senior private secretary/secretary to chief justice and Muhammad Ishaque Khaliqui, court associate/additional registrar (court).

    Through another notification, the chief justice created two new posts of additional registrar to post the two officers against them.

    Mr Khokhar has been posted as additional registrar (protocol for retired judges) and Mr Khaliqui has been posted as additional registrar (election tribunals).

    The chief justice also promoted Nadeem Masih, Naib Qasid (BS-4) of his court as Qasid (BS-5) on regular basis in relaxation of rules.

    CJ Yawar Ali is set to reach superannuation on Monday (Oct 22).

    Exercise of discretionary powers to benefit their personal staff by chief justices before retirement has been a common practice in the high court.

    Officers in the LHC establishment see the exercise of discretionary powers by the outgoing chief justice by relaxing rules as a violation of 2016 Supreme Court judgment regarding appointments in Islamabad High Court (IHC).

    They say that the SC had discouraged the exercise of discretionary powers by a chief justice under Rule 26 of high court rules unless it was “just and equitable”.

    After the apex court’s judgment against appointments made under Rule 26 and out of turn promotions, then IHC chief justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman had tendered resignation being judge of the SC.

    Sources claim that the promotion and appointment of the two officers against newly created posts is also against the decisions of LHC Administration Committee.

    It is to mention that a writ petition challenging the practice of relaxing rules by chief justices of the LHC and out of turn promotions is pending adjudication in the court since 2016. LHC deputy register Muhammad Akmal Khan had moved the petition.

    The officer argues that many of the LHC employees have been holding posts in leverage of Rule 26 of the LHC Establishment Rules.

    Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2018

    The Lahore High Court building.— FileThe Lahore High Court building.— File

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    ISLAMABAD: The Minhajul Quran International has approached the Supreme Court with a plea to allow the trial court hearing the Model Town case to summon the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif.

    A director of the Minhajul Quran International, Muhammad Jawad Hamid, moved the petition before the Supreme Court on Saturday through his counsel Advocate Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu, challenging the Sept 26, 2018 order of the Lahore High Court.

    The June 17, 2014 violent clash between the Punjab Police and members and activists of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) had resulted in the death of 10 persons.

    Petitioner contends that sufficient material is available to connect the respondents with the crime

    In his petition, the applicant pleaded before the court to order the trial court hearing the case to summon Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah, former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, former foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, former information minister Pervez Rashid, former water and power minister Abid Sher Ali, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, ex-personal secretary to Punjab CM Syed Tauqeer Shah, former interior secretary retired Maj Azam Suleman and Lahore’s ex-commissioner, Rashid Mahmood Langrial.

    The petition pleaded the respondents prima facie were guilty of the offences of macabre incident and hence summoning them to face trial was necessary in the interest of justice.

    The victims and families of the bereaved persons had been adversely affected by the impugned order of the high court, it added.

    The petition contended that sufficient material was available on record to connect the respondents prima facie with the commission of the crime.

    The petitioner argued that it could not be ignored that 10 innocent persons lost their lives in the incident and more than 61 others sustained injuries.

    The petition also questioned why midnight was chosen to carry out the operation for removal of barriers around the central office of Minhajul Quran International and heavy machines were used amid heavy deployment of police. The operation continued for 12 hours and was also covered by the electronic media, the petition contended.

    Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2018

    PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif. — Reuters/FilePML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif. — Reuters/File

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