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    BAHAWALNAGAR: The Saddar police on Sunday registered a case against a man for allegedly raping a five-year-old boy at Chak 133.

    The child was admitted to the Civil Hospital after the incident.

    The family told police that they had hired a 30-year-old man to look after animals in their barn. The suspect took the child to the barn where he raped him and his parents found him crying. They said the suspect fled.

    PUNISHMENT: The Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) Bahawalnagar Superintendent Engineer Saifullah Soorani has been suspended from service for corruption.

    A committee has been set up to probe the charges against him. Mepco CEO Muhammad Akram Chaudhry received a complaint that the electricity connection of a mill was disconnected against rules and bribe was being demanded to restore the connection.

    The CEO ordered to restore the connection immediately but the SE did not do it and filed a report of restoration of the connection.

    The mill owner once again filed a complaint saying that the SE was demanding Rs1 million to restore the connection.

    The CEO, on the second complaint, suspended the SE and ordered an inquiry against him. The committee is headed by Mepco Chief Engineer Abdul Aziz Niazi and the director admin.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


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    PESHAWAR: The provincial government seems to have focused its gaze on taking over assets of the erstwhile Fata after its merger with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rather than ameliorating the future of its people.

    Provincial tourism department and other entities are eying Fata House Islamabad, Khyber House Peshawar, presently serving as office-cum-residence of deputy commissioner Khyber tribal district, and the century-old Governor’s Cottage in Parachinar, Kurram tribal district.

    Recently the provincial tourism department has asked the federal government to hand it over the ownership of Fata House located in the centre of the federal capital. The department has planned to use the building for revenue generation.

    A senior official in the civil secretariat, overseeing administrative and financial affairs in the seven merged tribal districts, said that centre had recently handed over the ownership of Fata House to the provincial government.

    Sajjad Hameed, the general manager of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, confirmed that the department had moved a summary to the chief minister asking for handing over ownership of the building to the corporation.

    Fata House Islamabad, Khyber House Peshawar and Governor Cottage in Parachinar on radar of provincial govt

    He said that provincial government already possessed Pakhtunkhwa House in the federal capital and there was no need for another rest house. “The department has planned to use Fata House as accommodation facility for tourists to generate revenue,” he said.

    Pakhtunkhwa House is used for official meetings of the provincial government and accommodation purposes by officials, parliamentarians and MPAs from the province. It was constructed to hold meetings and conferences related to former Fata, accommodation of provincial governor, officials and parliamentarians from tribal districts.

    Located near two five-star hotels in Islamabad, Fata House was constructed over four-kanal land at Rs80 million. The construction of the house having 30 rooms and annexes was completed in 2016. Despite spending huge money, the building still lays empty.

    Sources in the civil secretariat told Dawn that the house could not become operational owing to disputes among different quarters over appointment of the staff. They said that around 70 vacancies of different grades were proposed for look after of the building and guests.

    Former MNA from Bajaur Shahabuddin Khan said that Fata House was never opened for parliamentarians for a single. He was suspicious about the utilisation of the rest house.

    “Bureaucrats built this well-furnished house to entertain themselves and the sitting government should hold investigations into some appointment there,” he said. If tourism department wanted to use Fata House as a hotel, then its revenue should go to the seven tribal districts, he added.

    “The government should focus on reforms in the merged districts instead of disposing of assets of former Fata,” suggested Shahabuddin. He added that merger of tribal areas with the province had been confined only to documents as practical steps were still a far cry.

    MNA from Kurram Muneer Khan Orakzai said that Fata House issue would be discussed in National Assembly and Senate. He said that government should devise a proper mechanism to transfer the assets of Fata to the provincial government.

    British rulers, defunct Fata Development Corporation and attached departments of the civil secretariat had constructed forts, cottages, rest houses and guest houses in seven tribal districts. These facilities belong to the departments concerned.

    According to reports, the sprawling Khyber House in Peshawar Cantonment and the Governor’s Cottage in Parachinar are also on the radar. Built before partition, the historic Khyber House comprises office of the now deputy commissioner, his residence, lockup and offices of relevant departments.

    Sources said that fate of Khyber House had been under discussion before the merger of the district with the province. A proposal is under consideration to shift office of the deputy commissioner from Peshawar to Khyber after merger.

    Similarly, the Governor Cottage adjacent to cantonment in Parachinar was built in 1895. The building, made of black stones and red bricks, has a historical significance where head of states and foreign dignitaries had stayed.

    The British rulers had also built specious Governor Cottage in Wana, South Waziristan which is located inside the Scouts Fort. Same type facility has been established in the cantonment area of Miramshah, North Waziristan tribal district.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.— DawnNewsTVKP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.— DawnNewsTV

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    LAHORE: As many as 11.8 million children have so far been inoculated during the first six days of the ongoing anti-measles campaign.

    Health Services Director General Dr Munir Ahmad said on Sunday that so far, the health department teams had vaccinated 60 per cent of the targeted children in the age group of six months to seven years.

    He said the target for 12-day vaccination campaign, concluding on Oct 27, was to inoculate 19 million children.

    “A total of 100,000 trained workers constitute 15,600 teams that are vaccinating the children. All deputy commissioners are monitoring the campaign on a daily basis in their respective jurisdictions. Moreover, 10 special teams are also monitoring kit camps set up for vaccination,” said Dr Munir.

    He appealed to the parents that if they had still not got their children vaccinated, they should immediately benefit from the free facility and get inoculated them against measles.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    .— File.— File

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    LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar says the dream of a new province in south Punjab will come true during the tenure of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government to mitigate the sufferings of the people of that region.

    He was speaking to federal minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht at the chief minister’s office here on Sunday.

    Mr Buzdar said the PTI government was committed to redressing the grievances and deprivation of people of the south Punjab.

    “The south Punjab would be the first region to enjoy the dividends of the change brought about by the PTI government in the centre and Punjab,” he said and added that the Punjab budget for the current fiscal had given priority to south Punjab and other less developed areas of the province.

    “The situation of hospitals and educational institutions in south Punjab would soon be transformed. Creation of south Punjab province will remain the flagship initiative of the Naya Pakistan,” the CM claimed.

    Mr Bakhtiar briefed the chief minister about the progress on the working on creation of south Punjab province.

    Meanwhile, the chief minister held a meeting with Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar and discussed administrative matters, good governance, transparency and adoption of austerity. He directed the chief secretary to refuse any request from any quarters that did not fulfill merit criteria, saying that the bureaucracy should root out corruption from the government departments.

    The chief minister stressed the bureaucracy should listen to the public complaints and redress them at the earliest as impartial administration could play a proactive role to perform official tasks and better governance.

    Mr Buzdar also met the people who had come to see him from different cities and listened to their complaints. He issued orders to resolve the genuine complaints on the spot.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    Buzdar says the govt is committed to redressing the grievances and deprivation of people of the south Punjab.— FileBuzdar says the govt is committed to redressing the grievances and deprivation of people of the south Punjab.— File

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    QUETTA: National Party President Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo has said his party will not accept any deduction in Balochistan’s constitutional share in the next National Finance Commission (NFC) award and it will oppose any rollback of the 18th Amendment.

    Speaking at the Kech Council of the National Party in Turbat, he said that after years of struggle the provinces had got their rights through the 18th Amendment, but the PTI government was unable to swallow it.

    “The National Party will not allow denial of constitutional rights of smaller provinces and no-one will be allowed to reverse the 18th Amendment,” Mr Bizenjo said.

    He said that instead of increasing the share of provinces in the NFC, the federal government was planning to reduce it, but the NP would vehemently oppose any such federal government move.

    He demanded of the Transparency International to review the federal government’s agreements with managements of Saindak project and Sui Southern Gas Company.

    He asked NP workers to intensify preparations for the party’s congress.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    National Party President Hasil Bizenjo. — Photo/FileNational Party President Hasil Bizenjo. — Photo/File

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    CHARSADDA: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Sunday that parliamentary elections in Afghanistan did not carry any legitimacy in the presence of foreign forces.

    Talking to mediapersons here on Sunday, he said elections in the war-torn country were meaningless and would not put any positive impact on the country’s future.

    He argued that Afghanistan was an occupied territory where America and other countries had stationed their troops.

    “As the right of self-determination has no substitution in the Indian held Kashmir, same is the case of Afghanistan,” he replied when asked about the parliamentary polls in the neighbouring country.

    He was of the view that a puppet government had been installed in Kabul which did not enjoy support of the Afghan nation.

    He said negotiations were the only way to end four-decade-long war in Afghanistan.

    Mr Rehman said Pakistan had been handed over to “incapable” people by rigging the July 25 general elections.

    He said he did not accept the results of the general elections as these were ‘engineered and rigged’. He predicted that international lending institutions, including IMF, won’t extend bailout package to Pakistan.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — AFP/ FileJamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — AFP/ File

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    ISLAMABAD: A woman, who tried to forcefully enter Diplomatic Enclave without number plates on her car on Wednesday, was sent to jail on a judicial remand on Sunday, but landed in Polyclinic minutes later.

    “The woman was brought to the hospital by police for a checkup and during electrocardiography (ECG) some premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) were observed due to which it was decided that she should be kept under observation for one day,” Polyclinic’s spokesperson Dr Sharif Astori told Dawn.

    On Monday morning, he added, the woman would be examined again and can be discharged if her reports are normal.

    PVCs are extra heartbeats that begin in one of the heart’s two lower pumping chambers (ventricles).

    These extra beats disrupt the regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing the person to feel a fluttering or skipped beat in the chest.

    She is under observation for extra heartbeats and can be discharged if her reports are normal on Monday morning, Polyclinic spokesman says

    On Oct 17, the woman reached Gate-1 of Diplomatic Enclave in a black Honda car which did not have number plates. She told the police that she was going to the United States embassy.

    However, she was not allowed entry as vehicles without number plates cannot enter the high security area. But the woman lost her temper and started threatening the officials and also used foul language.

    She then dialed a number on her mobile phone and handed it over to a police officer.

    The person on the line claimed that he was an embassy official and asked the police to allow the woman to enter the enclave. But the police refused and the woman left.

    A video clip of the incident went viral on social media triggering a debate about how a citizen can misbehave with the police and force them to allow her to violate the law.

    A case was registered against the woman on Saturday. State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi took notice of the incident and ordered the police to take action against the woman.

    An official of the Secretariat police, Abdul Jabbar, told Dawn that as the First Information Report (FIR) had already been registered, a police team arrested the woman from a housing society in the federal capital on Sunday.

    “The woman, a doctor by profession, seemed fine and healthy so we produced her in front of the judicial magistrate. The court sent her to Adiala Jail. However, later we learnt that the jail police had shifted her to the hospital where she was admitted,” he said.

    Before the judicial magistrate, the woman’s lawyer argued that the clauses mentioned in the FIR were bailable.

    The counsel also said his client was a heart patient and under pressure due to which her mental health can be affected.

    He claimed that instead of helping her, the police officials had pressured her.

    Judge Adnan Rasheed rejected the lawyer’s plea and directed the investigation officer to get a medical test conducted on her.

    He said if the medical test confirmed that the woman was healthy she would be sent to jail otherwise she can be admitted to the hospital.

    Dr Astori said cardiologist Dr Roshan Javed examined the patient and found PVC changes in the ECG.

    In such cases, risk cannot be taken so it was decided to keep the patient under observation in the coronary care unit (CCU).

    “The patient has been given medicines and she can be discharged on Monday morning if she is all right,” he said.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    The arrest comes as video showing abusive behaviour of the woman goes viral on social media.— Screenshot courtesy: DawnNewsTVThe arrest comes as video showing abusive behaviour of the woman goes viral on social media.— Screenshot courtesy: DawnNewsTV

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    KARACHI: With a conviction rate of 13.20 per cent, the antiterrorism courts (ATCs) in Sindh disposed of 2,386 cases in the first eight months of the current calendar year, while 3,717 cases are still pending, it emerged on Sunday.

    The statistics of 45 functioning ATCs, out of the 53 set up across the province, obtained by Dawn showed that out of 2,386 disposed of cases, accused were acquitted in 2,071 cases and convicted in 315.

    The official figures further showed that the antiterrorism courts handed down death sentence to 10 while 16 others were given life imprisonment.

    Some judges took exception to the weak prosecution

    The ATCs were established under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997, for speedy trial of cases pertaining to terrorism, sectarian killing, extortion and kidnapping for ransom.

    According to Section 19 (7) of the ATA, the court shall, on taking cognizance of a case, proceed with the trial on a daily basis and shall decide it within seven days. Section 13 (2) of the law said that the cases shall be assigned to a court on the basis of one case at a time.

    Sindh has 33 permanent ATCs, including 20 in Karachi and three in Hyderabad, two in Sukkur and one each in Badin, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur and Kashmore / Kandhkot.

    In March 2013, the government on the directives of the Supreme Court had set up 15 sessions courts in Karachi.

    Later, the number of the permanent ATCs was increased to 33 while nearly 23 district and sessions courts were given the powers to try and punish the suspects under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. However, five ATCs at Karachi were lying vacant for quite some time due to want of the judges, who were finally appointed in July and onwards.

    The ATC/1st ADJ West, ATC/1st ADJ Hyderabad, ATC/1st ADJ Shaheed Benazirabad, ATC/2nd ADJ Shikarpur, ATC-II Sukkur, ATC/1st ADJ Khairpur showed a zero conviction rate.

    In Karachi, the 31 ATCs disposed of 2,056 cases — 1,255 acquittals and 801 convictions — from January 1 to August 31. Around 2,878 cases are still pending.

    Of them, 11 sessions courts holding trial in ATA cases, decided 801 cases with 722 acquittals and 79 convictions.

    More than 10 cases have still been awaiting disposal in the ATCs for the past one decade.

    The case against a suspected militant of Jundullah, Qasim Toori, who had allegedly masterminded the 2004 attack on a convoy of the then Karachi corps commander, 2006 Nishtar Park bombing case, a 2001 case pertaining to the killing of the elder brother of former Sindh governor Moinuddin Haider against alleged Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militants, around five sectarian killing cases of 2002 against LJ militants are still pending before ATCs. The case relating to the 2009 Ashura bomb blast was also pending trial.

    ATCs monitoring judges’ concerns

    Judicial sources told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that the Sindh High Court’s Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, who is the monitoring judge for the ATCs in the province, had expressed serious concerns over the high acquittal rate in the cases being tried by the ATCs.

    The sources said that Justice Phulpoto had also issued directives to the heads of the police and prosecution departments to take measures for strengthening the investigation, particularly for the training of the investigation officers and the prosecutors serving in the ATCs, in order to remove the technical loopholes and lacunas in the investigation so that the hardened criminals could be punished strictly in the accordance with the law.

    The Supreme Court’s monitoring judge for the ATCs across the country, Justice Faisal Arab, had also been expressing concern over the high acquittal rate in the antiterrorism courts and been issuing directives to the Sindh police and prosecution’s heads to deal with this important issue.

    Weak prosecution

    The prosecution sources told Dawn that the some ATC judges had taken exception to the weak prosecution and directed the Additional Inspector General Police, Karachi, to initiate disciplinary action against the investigating officers or other police officials over faulty investigation, etc.

    The sources deplored that powers were rarely exercised by the ATC judges due to which the investigating officers were repeatedly committing the same mistakes, which resulted in the acquittal of the criminals due to the ‘benefit of doubt’.

    Prosecution-police alliance

    Sindh Prosecutor General Ayaz Tunio, when contacted, told Dawn that in the light of the SHC’s monitoring judge’s directives, he held a meeting with the Additional IG Sindh in order to devise a programme for the training of investigating officers and the prosecutors to remove the lacunas and gaps in the investigation that were resulting in high acquittal rate.

    Mr Tunio said he pointed out around 20 decisions rendered by the ATCs and the Sindh High Court wherein the criminals were acquitted and released due to faulty investigation.

    He said the AIG Sindh had agreed to start a programme for training of the IOs in collaboration with the Prosecution Department.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    With a conviction rate of 13.20 per cent, ATCs in Sindh have disposed of 2,386 cases in the first eight months of this year. — Photo/FileWith a conviction rate of 13.20 per cent, ATCs in Sindh have disposed of 2,386 cases in the first eight months of this year. — Photo/File

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    HYDERABAD: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Dr Farooq Sattar has said that big dams are required to be built and the chief justice of Pakistan is playing an important role in this regard but inter-provincial water dispute should also be resolved.

    He was speaking to reporters at a temple within the circuit house here late on Saturday evening where he also attended a ceremony organised by the Hindu community to celebrate the religious festival of Dassehra.

    He said that Pakistan needed big reservoirs to store water and appreciated efforts being made in this regard by Supreme Court Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. He said people must also participate in this campaign. However, he also called for resolving the water sharing dispute between provinces.

    When Sukkur and Guddu barrages had been built, then dams could also be built, he argued, and said construction of small water storage projects was also an option that should be considered as well.

    About his position in the MQM-P, he said he was part of the party and had made his position known to everyone in his recent press conferences.

    Speaking about rights of minorities in Pakistan, he said they, being Pakistani citizens, had equal rights as enshrined in the Constitution. He referred to the Aug 11, 1947 speech of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in which he had envisioned a state where Muslims and religious minorities would have equal rights. He said that Jinnah’s speech should be made part of the Constitution.

    Dr Sattar said that he would stand for religious minorities’ rights. They must have rights in social, education and health sectors, adding that if any conspiracy was hatched against religious minorities, it would be conspiracy against this country. “Pakistan must progress and prosper,” he said.

    The MQM-P leader said that minorities should know that the Muslim community was under religious obligation to protect their fundamental and religious rights and their places of worship.

    Rallies and demonstrations

    The Sindh Sufi Sangat (SSS) took out a rally from Hyderabad against construction of Kalabagh dam and other “anti-Sindh projects” on Sunday.

    Led by Akash Mallah, Punhal Sario, Abdul Fatah Channa, Ali Raza Khaskheli, Darshan Sachdev, Dr Ashothama, Niaz Ahmed Panhwar and other nationalist and rights activists, the rally reached Tando Mohammed Khan in the evening.

    Speaking to the participants, the activists described Kalabagh dam as a controversial project and claimed that the recent announcement in favour of the dam was aimed at “inciting Sindhi people to a revolt against the project”. They said that it [announcement] was tantamount to hurting sentiments of people of three [smaller] provinces.

    They also urged the government to order repatriation of “aliens” to their countries of origin from Sindh in order to put an end to terrorism in the country.

    They were of the view that successive governments had been implementing “anti-Sindh projects” only to perpetuate their rule.

    Separately, activists of the Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) held a demonstration here on Sunday against Kalabagh dam and proposed issuance of national identity cards to illegal immigrants living in Karachi.

    Led by Dr Aziz Talpur, Dr Gulzar Jumani, Zeenat Samoon and others, they participants also held a sit-in at Pakorra bus stop. The leaders, speaking to the protesters, said that a robbery had been committed to deprive Sindh of Indus water and render the province barren.

    The activists pointed out that tail-end growers of Sindh were facing tremendous difficulties due to unavailability of water.

    “Prices of farm produce are artificially brought down; sugar cane crop’s price is not fixed because 18 sugar mills are owned by those who are in power; even last year’s liabilities of growers against millers are not cleared,” one of the activists said.

    They observed that illegal immigrants, including Afghans, Bengalis, Bihari and Burmese converted Sindhis to a minority in this province. They claimed that issuance of NICs to them was aimed at getting their votes.

    BADIN: Awami Tehreek (AT) president Dr Rasool Bux Khaskeli, along with Noor Mohammed Katiar, Begum Zauner and other party colleagues led a rally here on Saturday against construction of dams over Indus and moves to grant nationality to illegal immigrants.

    Expressing their concern over corrupt ministers, officials and other people being granted bail, they claimed that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials were facilitating their release on bail. “Looted wealth [of the country] should be recovered from big fish after arresting them,” they stressed.

    AT women wing (Sindhiyani Tehreek) leaders and children also took part in the rally. A group of activist observed a token hunger strike during the two-day protest outside the local press club.

    Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) activist Dr Musrrat Hussain Khwaja, Jaey Sindh Mahaz-Riaz (JSM-R) chief Riaz Chandio and others visited the protest camp and expressed solidarity with them.

    LARKANA: An organisation calling itself the National Peace Committee for Interfaith Harmony (NPCIH) organised a rally here on Sunday in favour of constructing big dams.

    Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of new dams, the participants held a march from Tank Chowk to Jinnahbagh.

    The rally was led by NPCIH chairman Zulfikar Magsi, Jan Mohammed Tunio and others.

    The leaders said that construction of Diamer-Bhasha and other dams was essentially needed to address the growing water and energy issues. They said the country could face a major crisis if the dams were not built now as it was already faced with a serious water and electricity shortages.

    They urged people to fully participate in the ongoing campaign for the construction of big and small dams in the country.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    MQM-P leader Dr Farooq Sattar speaks to the Hindu community at the temple on Saturday evening.—OnlineMQM-P leader Dr Farooq Sattar speaks to the Hindu community at the temple on Saturday evening.—Online

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    LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has directed the legal brains of his party to contest the National Accountability Bureau’s plea for further extension of Shahbaz Sharif’s physical remand when it comes up for hearing on Oct 30.

    The ousted premier believes that the NAB’s case against Shahbaz is “very weak” and his physical remand in the bureau’s custody should not be extended.

    Naseer Ahmad Bhutta, who heads the PML-N’s Lawyers Forum, Azam Nazir Tarar, a member of the Pakistan Bar Council, and Senator Rana Maqbool, a former provincial adviser on prosecution, briefed Mr Sharif about the case of PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif at his Jati Umra residence on Sunday.

    After the meeting Naseer Bhutta told Dawn that they had briefed Mr Sharif exclusively about the Ashiyana housing case in which Shahbaz Sharif had been arrested by NAB.

    Ex-PM believes NAB case against opposition leader is ‘very weak’

    “Mian Sahib is very concerned about Shahbaz’s case as he believes it is a weak case and he (Shahbaz) should not be in NAB’s custody. Mr Sharif has directed the legal team to contest in the accountability court NAB’s request for further extension to his (Shahbaz) physical remand,” he said.

    An accountability court extended the physical remand of Shahbaz Sharif, the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, last week for 14 days (till Oct 30) in the Rs14 billion Ashiyana-i-Iqbal housing scheme scam.

    The Lahore NAB arrested Mr Shahbaz on Oct 5 after he appeared before a combined investigation team in this case. The former Punjab chief minister claimed that he was summoned over the Saaf Pani Company case for investigation, but arrested in the Ashiyana case instead. Shahbaz dismissed all allegations by NAB.

    Mr Bhutta, a former additional attorney general, said NAB had no evidence against Shahbaz Sharif in the Ashiyana case as he did not commit any illegality.

    “Since Mr Shahbaz is cooperating with NAB [in the Ashiyana case investigation], there is no justification for his arrest. We will strongly oppose in the court further extension in his remand and afterwards move for his bail,” he said.

    In the last hearing, NAB’s special prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua argued that the former chief minister had been trying to conceal the identity of the complainant on the basis of which contract of the Ashiyana scheme was withdrawn from the successful bidder on verbal orders from him (Shahbaz).

    Mr Shahbaz has not so far responded to queries as to why he ordered the execution of the housing project under public-private partnership and entrusted it to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), Mr Janjua added.

    Shahbaz Sharif is primarily accused of directing the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) to assign the Ashiyana project to the LDA, resulting in the award of contract to Lahore Casa Developers , causing a loss of Rs715 million and eventual failure of the project.

    The former chief minister had also directed the PLDC to award consultancy services of the project to M/s Engineering Consultancy Services, Punjab, for Rs192 million, whereas the actual cost was Rs35m, as quoted by Nespak.

    Fawad Hasan Fawad, a former principal secretary to the prime minister, and Ahad Khan Cheema, LDA’s ex-director general, have already been arrested in the Ashiyana case and are in jail on judicial custody.

    The National Accountability Bureau has recently launched another investigation against Shahbaz Sharif to look for his “illegal” assets.

    The bureau initiated this inquiry on reports that Shahbaz possesses assets beyond his known sources of income.

    During interrogation, Shahbaz Sharif said his son Salman looked after the family business.

    “Salman Shahbaz provided some record to NAB, but it sought more details from him, terming his reply unsatisfactory,” an official said.

    Meanwhile, Shahbaz’s wife Nusrat and sons — Hamza and Salman — met him in NAB’s provincial headquarters at Thokar Niaz Beg, Lahore, on Sunday.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    Ousted premier Nawaz  Sharif. — Photo/FileOusted premier Nawaz Sharif. — Photo/File

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    A rickshaw driver who had attempted to self-immolate in protest over the alleged extortion by traffic police succumbed to his injuries on Monday, police said.

    Rickshaw driver Khalid had sprinkled oil on his body and set himself alight near the city police office in Karachi's Saddar area on Saturday, saying he was "fed up" with the daily challan and alleged "extortion" by the traffic police.

    In his statement being shared on social media, Khalid had alleged that Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Mohammed Hanif had been extracting Rs100 from him daily. He gave the policeman Rs50 on Saturday, but the latter insisted on Rs100 and on refusal the ASI handed him a challan.

    According to the rickshaw driver, his challan was without any merit and the traffic police had victimised him several times.

    The rickshaw driver had been admitted to the Burns Centre of Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital for treatment. Sindh police chief Dr Syed Kaleem Imam had taken notice of the incident and ordered the DIG traffic to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report to him.

    A police official had told Dawn that the traffic official Hanif claimed that he had issued a challan to the rickshaw driver for a violation of traffic rules.

    Karachi police chief Dr Amir Shaikh had suspended the traffic police official and visited the rickshaw driver at the hospital.

    Subsequently, the policeman, Mohammad Hanif, was arrested and a case registered against him under section 161 as it was proved during the course of inquiry that Hanif had stopped the rickshaw driver with ulterior motive and for illegal gratification, a police officer said, adding that the case was registered on behalf of the state.


    According to the rickshaw driver, his challan was without any merit and the traffic police had victimised him several times. ─ Photo by Hufsa ChaudhryAccording to the rickshaw driver, his challan was without any merit and the traffic police had victimised him several times. ─ Photo by Hufsa Chaudhry

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    International public policy and gender reforms specialist Salman Sufi received the prestigious Mother Teresa Award in Mumbai on Sunday for his work on empowerment of women in Pakistan over the past four years.

    Sufi, who authored the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act 2016, has also conceptualised South Asia’s first one-stop help centre (Violence Against Women Centre) for female survivors of violence.

    Sufi is also credited for launching Pakistan’s first campaign for women’s mobility called Women on Wheels. His work included adding chapters on women’s rights in Punjab text books.

    According to a press release, Sufi in his acceptance speech paid tribute to Mother Teresa and the countless women who face abuse but are unable to seek justice.

    He termed the status of women in Pakistan and India as alarming and asked both countries to compete with each other for eradicating violence against women.

    Sufi acknowledged the political support of former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif as the imperative factor behind the implementation of his women empowerment reforms.

    He announced that he is planning to establish a network of his projects in all SAARC countries so an entire ecosystem of women's empowerment can be established across the South Asia region.

    The award was conferred upon him by Harmony Foundation and Missions of Charity.

    Other recipients included Shirin Ebadi (Nobel Laureate- 2003), Tawakkol Karman (Nobel Laureate- 2011), First Lady of Afghanistan Rula Ghani, Yeonmi Park ─ a North Korean refugee, Founder of Bring Back Our Girls Oby Ezekwesili, Nobel Laureate, Yazidi refugee and UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking Nadia Murad, and CEO and Founder of Pyramedia Dr Nashwa Al-Ruwaini.

    The ceremony was attended by notables including Mahesh Bhatt, Dr Abraham Mathai, Rizwan Merchant and Bollywood stars.


    Sufi stresses upon India and Pakistan to compete with each other for eradicating violence against women. — Photo ReleaseSufi stresses upon India and Pakistan to compete with each other for eradicating violence against women. — Photo Release

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    QUETTA: Pakistan on Sunday reopened the friendship gate at the Afghan border in Chaman, resuming trade activities, Nato supplies and the transit trade between the two countries.

    Pakistan had closed the border at Chaman and Torkham on Friday in connection with parliamentary elections in Afghanistan that had suspended trade activities in the border town Chaman and Spin Boldak.

    The Afghan government had requested the Pakistani authorities to close the border at Chaman and Torkham.

    Hundreds of trucks carrying Nato supplies and transit trade goods crossed into Afghanistan after reopening of the border.

    Pakistan had closed the border soon after the Kandahar Police chief, the governor and intelligence chief of Kandahar and a cameraman were killed in the firing in the Governor House.

    Following the Kandahar incident, security officials in Quetta issued a high alert.

    A meeting attended by senior officials of police, Frontier Corps, Levies and other security institutions reviewed the situation. The provincial ministers, MPAs and other government functionaries were asked to limit their movement for a few days.

    Patrolling by police, FC and other forces was increased in and around the provincial capital. People and vehicles were checked strictly at all entry and exit points.

    Police, personnel of counterterrorism department and FC were deployed at public places and markets to keep an eye on the movement of the suspected people.

    The authorities had also increased deployment at the border after exchange of fire with Afghan forces in north of Chaman town last week.

    Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018


    Chaman border was closed at Afghan government's request. — Photo/FileChaman border was closed at Afghan government's request. — Photo/File

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    A Russian Army contingent has arrived in Pakistan to participate in a Pak-Russia Joint Training Exercise named Druzhba-III, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted on Monday.

    The Russian Army contingent arrives in Pakistan. — Photo courtesy of Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor Twitter
    The Russian Army contingent arrives in Pakistan. — Photo courtesy of Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor Twitter

    "This is third exercise as part of Pak-Russia bilateral training cooperation," the DG ISPR wrote adding that the first exercise was held in Pakistan in 2016 and the second in Russia in 2017.

    According to Radio Pakistan, the drills are expected to go on till Nov 4.

    The first ever joint Pak-Russian exercise in Sept 2016 was seen as a demonstration of closer defence ties between both countries after they signed a military cooperation pact in 2014.

    It boosted cooperation for promoting international security, intensification of counter terrorism efforts and arms control activities, and strengthened collaboration in various military fields.


    The Russian Army contingent arrived in Pakistan to participate in the Pak-Russia Joint Training Exercise ‘Druzhba-III’. — Photo courtesy of Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor TwitterThe Russian Army contingent arrived in Pakistan to participate in the Pak-Russia Joint Training Exercise ‘Druzhba-III’. — Photo courtesy of Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor Twitter

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    International public policy and gender reforms specialist Salman Sufi received the prestigious Mother Teresa Award in Mumbai on Sunday for his work on empowerment of women in Pakistan over the past four years.

    Sufi, who authored the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act 2016, has also conceptualised South Asia’s first one-stop help centre (Violence Against Women Centre) for female survivors of violence.

    Sufi is also credited for launching Pakistan’s first campaign for women’s mobility called Women on Wheels. His work included adding chapters on women’s rights in Punjab text books.

    According to a press release, Sufi in his acceptance speech paid tribute to Mother Teresa and the countless women who face abuse but are unable to seek justice.

    He termed the status of women in Pakistan and India as alarming and asked both countries to compete with each other for eradicating violence against women.

    Sufi acknowledged the political support of former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif as the imperative factor behind the implementation of his women empowerment reforms.

    He announced that he is planning to establish a network of his projects in all SAARC countries so an entire ecosystem of women's empowerment can be established across the South Asia region.

    The award was conferred upon him by Harmony Foundation and Missions of Charity.

    Other recipients included Shirin Ebadi (Nobel Laureate- 2003), Tawakkol Karman (Nobel Laureate- 2011), First Lady of Afghanistan Rula Ghani, Yeonmi Park ─ a North Korean refugee, Founder of Bring Back Our Girls Oby Ezekwesili, Nobel Laureate, Yazidi refugee and UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking Nadia Murad, and CEO and Founder of Pyramedia Dr Nashwa Al-Ruwaini.

    The ceremony was attended by notables including Mahesh Bhatt, Dr Abraham Mathai, Rizwan Merchant and Bollywood stars.


    Sufi stresses upon India and Pakistan to compete with each other for eradicating violence against women. — Photo ReleaseSufi stresses upon India and Pakistan to compete with each other for eradicating violence against women. — Photo Release

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    An accountability court on Monday sent Punjab University's former vice chancellor, Dr Mujahid Kamran, and others to jail on 14-day judicial remand in a case pertaining to alleged corruption, illegal appointments and nepotism.

    NAB's Lahore chapter in an application informed the court that it had concluded its investigation and that "further physical custody of the accused persons shall not be fruitful for the prosecution".

    The anti-corruption watchdog subsequently requested the court grant a 14-day judicial remand of the suspects, including Dr Kamran, Prof Dr Raas Masood, Prof Dr Liaqat Ali, Prof Dr Aurangzaib Alamgir and Prof Dr Kamran Abid.

    NAB in its application stated that the bureau's chairman had issued arrest warrants for the suspects on Oct 3 after which they were taken into custody on Oct 11.

    After this they were presented before the accountability court which granted NAB a 10-day physical remand of the suspects. They were presented in court today as the remand expired.

    Charges against Dr Kamran and others

    The main charge they are facing is related to 550 illegal appointments, mostly grade 17 and above between 2013 and 2016.

    Sources have claimed that most of the jobs were given on a contract basis and no selection rules were followed and the contracts were renewed.

    Dr Mujahid has also been accused of illegally appointing his second wife Dr Shazia Qureshi as principal of the Punjab University Law College (PULC).

    “The suspect had also awarded scholarships to favourite students and was involved in award of contract in violation of procurement rules,” the source had claimed.


    Punjab University. — File PhotoPunjab University. — File Photo

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    Kinza, an 11-year-old domestic worker in Rawalpindi who had suffered torture allegedly at the hands of her employers, recorded her statement in front of a civil judge at the Civil Judicial Complex on Monday.

    The girl's case surfaced on Saturday through a series of videos shared on Twitter in which she could be seen talking about her employers' alleged mistreatment of her.

    On Sunday, a medical examination confirmed that the bruises and wounds found on the 11-year-old's body were consistent with her account of the torture. The examination report confirmed that there is evidence of torture carried out 15-20 days ago using "knife, belts and persons standing on her straight with full weight multiple times".

    A case was registered at the Airport police station against Kinza's employers on the complaint of the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CPWB). According to the police, the couple will be tried under the Child Protection Act.

    Toady, members of the CPWB took Kinza to the judicial complex under security provided by police, who barred media representatives from entering the courtroom where Civil Judge Sumaira Alamgir recorded the minor's statement.

    Once her statement was recorded, police took Kinza out of the court through a back door to keep the media from interacting with her.

    Dr Mohsin Riaz, husband of Major Ammara Riaz, and one of the accused in the case, also presented himself before an additional and sessions judge to acquire bail in the case. The court granted him interim bail against Rs50,000 until October 29.

    Notices were also sent to the police and the petitioner — the CPWB — to appear in court on Oct 29, the date of the next hearing.

    Kinza's case

    Kinza's 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 narrated her ordeal.

    She was hired as a domestic worker in Rawalpindi's Chaklala area by Major Ammara Riaz and her husband Dr Mohsin Riaz, where she was allegedly tortured by her employers for over a year.

    The 11-year-old had managed to escape the house of her employers, who she accused of starving her and torturing her with wires, belts and ropes for over a year. She also claimed that she was kicked and stomped on while she slept.

    When asked by the videographer to describe how she has been mistreated, she explained that she was not fed properly by the family she lived with, and when she stole food out of hunger, she was administered inhumane beatings.

    In the video, Kinza showed injuries that she had sustained, including her bloodshot and bruised 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 on Saturday and said the ministry was "keeping a close eye [on the matter] to ensure justice for the little girl".


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    The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on Monday opened its doors to citizens applying for a house under the first phase of the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) initiated by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, DawnNewsTV reported.

    So far, Nadra is accepting forms at select centres in seven districts: Sukkur, Quetta, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Swat, Islamabad and Faisalabad.

    According to Nadra's website, candidates can submit forms until Dec 21. The centres where forms can be submitted will be open on Saturday and Sunday as well.

    Candidates will be required to submit Rs250 along with the form, and can also submit a photocopy of the form, provided that they have provided "complete and clear information".

    Only one person per family will be eligible to apply for the scheme, and preference will be given to candidates who do not own property in Pakistan.

    The initiative was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month where he had announced that five million affordable houses would be constructed over a period of five years for low-income segments of society.

    He had disclosed that a 60-day pilot project would commence from today in coordination with Nadra in seven districts to assess the demand and payment capacity for affordable houses.

    PM Khan had said that the housing programme would bring long-due prosperity to the country, adding that at least 40 other industries connecting to the housing industry would be set in motion as soon as construction for the project started in urban as well as rural areas.

    "The target of this [plan] is the common man, who could not even think about owning a house," he had said.


    Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month. — Photo/FileNaya Pakistan Housing Scheme was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month. — Photo/File

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    Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to leave for Saudi Arabia today (Monday) to attend the Future Investment Initiative Conference (FIIC) in Riyadh, Radio Pakistan reported.

    According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO) on Friday, the prime minister received a special invitation to attend the conference from King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

    The conference, which will host businessmen and "representatives of hi-tech industry" from around the world, will serve as an "opportunity to interact with important business leaders who are interested in investing in Pakistan", the statement said.

    "Prime Minister Imran Khan’s participation in first day of the conference is aimed at projecting Pakistan’s economic and investment potential and the [premier's] vision of the country in the five years to come," the press release read.

    The prime minister's participation in the conference signifies Pakistan's "solidarity with the Kingdom in its efforts to become emerging hub of international business and investment", the press statement said, even as dozens of executives, media powerhouses and business leaders opted out of the event in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

    On Saturday, organisers said more than 120 speakers and moderators will participate. Last Monday, they had listed more than 150 speakers. The summit organisers have now removed the list of speakers from its website.

    The FIIC has already been boycotted by United Kingdom, United States and France.

    Pakistan briefly weighed in on the Khashoggi incident earlier this month, calling on Turkey and Saudi Arabia “to jointly address the matter”.

    It will be PM Khan's second visit to Saudi Arabia in just a little over a month. The tour comes as Pakistan continues to court “friendly” nations in search of billions of dollars to shore up its deteriorating finances as it faces a balance of payment crisis and upcoming talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a potential bailout.

    PM Khan's government has sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials, and embarked on a series of high-profile populist austerity measures.

    But help has been in short supply and economists' warnings have grown increasingly urgent.

    The visit also comes as Pakistan's central bank warned this week that inflation would likely double in the coming year — hitting 7.5 per cent — while the country's growth target rate of 6.2 per cent would likely be missed.

    PM Khan will also meet King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to discuss "matters of mutual interest".


    Prime Minister Imran Khan. — File PhotoPrime Minister Imran Khan. — File Photo

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    The PML-N on Monday announced that its newly elected MPAs from Punjab will not take oath for their provincial assembly seats and that the party would not attend Punjab Assembly (PA) proceedings until six suspended party MPAs are permitted to participate in sessions.

    During the PA budget session last week, Speaker Pervaiz Elahi had issued show-cause notices to half a dozen PML-N MPAs for allegedly attacking the assembly staff, vandalising furniture and using abusive language about the government, and had banned their entry to the assembly during the ongoing budget sessions.

    In the aftermath of that rowdy session, Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz had warned that the party would boycott the assembly if the suspension of its MPAs was not lifted.

    Khawaja Imran Nazir, a former provincial minister who is now a PML-N MPA, told DawnNewsTV today that the party has decided to follow through with its promise, adding that the MPAs who won their seats in the recently held by-elections will not take their oaths in protest.

    "We will [also] not go to the parliament until our six suspended MPAs are not reinstated," he said.

    The suspended sextet comprises Malik Muhammad Waheed (PP-156), Muhammad Ashraf Rasool (PP-137), Muhammad Mirza Javed (PP-172), Tariq Masih Gill (NM-371), Zaib-un-Nisa Awam and Muhammad Yasin Amir (PP-162).

    Following the PML-N's announcement, PA Speaker Elahi said that a six-member committee to investigate the allegation of vandalism against the MPAs will be formed.

    "The investigation committee will analyse the video of the incident and then take further action," he said, adding that "things will move forward when opposition leader Hamza Shahbaz attends the house committee".

    Elahi, however, made it clear that the house's proceedings will take place as per the law and Constitution "whether anyone comes or not".

    Later on, Hamza, who protested outside the parliament with his party's MPAs, labelled the suspension of PML-N MPAs an "illegal act".

    He singled out the speaker for severe criticism, accusing him of "biased" conduct, saying: "There is a committee inquiry conducted before the speaker's ruling but here one-sided action was taken."

    Hamza said that the house committee will be acceptable to him only if it has equal representation from the treasury and opposition benches.


    Ruckus at the PA's budget session last week had seen six PML-N MPAs suspended. — FileRuckus at the PA's budget session last week had seen six PML-N MPAs suspended. — File

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