Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

Dawn News RSS feeds

older | 1 | .... | 2820 | 2821 | (Page 2822) | 2823 | 2824 | .... | 2886 | newer

    0 0

    The Prime Minister's Special Assistant for Political Affairs, Naeemul Haq, on Tuesday announced that the government has agreed to all demands put forth by employees of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC).

    USC employees have been protesting on the streets of various cities while claiming that Abdul Razzaq Dawood, adviser to the prime minister on industries, is following in the steps of former finance minister Ishaq Dar and wants to shut down the stores in the name of reforms.

    The USC, which provides state-subsidised groceries, has in the past been accused of gross mismanagement and widespread embezzlement by employees.

    The protesters claim that shutting these stores down will not only jeopardise the livelihood of 14,000 employees of the USC, but also leave citizens at the mercy of retailers.

    The protesters further want the services of USC employees to be regularised.

    "There are no demands that the Utility Stores Corporation Employees have made that we have not agreed to," Haq said.

    "Some negative elements from the PML-N and the PPP are trying to coerce these people [into believing otherwise]," he added.

    "These two [political] parties are responsible for looting this corporation during their respective tenures and they are still trying to darken the future of these employees."

    "The attorney general's report is full of PML-N and PPP's wrongdoings. These parties are not looking to safeguard the rights of the corporation's employees, they are looking to keep us from finding out their wrongdoings."

    He also said that the government will work towards protecting the rights of these employees and that "the Utility Store Corporation employees should work alongside the government rather than these miscreants."


    This file photo shows citizens lining up outside utility stores to buy subsidised groceries.This file photo shows citizens lining up outside utility stores to buy subsidised groceries.

    0 0

    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman on Tuesday admitted that awarding a party ticket to his brother in the PK-71 by-polls was a "wrong decision" on his part.

    During the October 21 by-polls, the PTI lost the provincial assembly seat to the Awami National Party in Peshawar.

    "I admit that I was wrong and in future I will not push for any member of my family to be awarded a party ticket. As an ideological member of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, I am against generational politics," the KP governor said.

    "I will discourage the introduction of such practices within the party in the future," he added.

    Zulfiqar Khan had contested the by-polls on PTI's ticket on the seat vacated by his brother Shah Farman when he became the governor of KP.

    Farman belongs to the Badbher village located on the outskirts of the Peshawar city.

    He had worked as the minister for public health engineering and minister for information in the previous PTI-led cabinet.


    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman. —  FileKhyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman. — File

    0 0

    Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has challenged government ministers to have a live debate with him on television over the issue of alleged corruption in LNG deals and power projects set up during the PML-N government's tenure.

    Speaking at a news conference at National Press Club in Islamabad on Tuesday, Abbasi refuted the allegations of Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry that the PML-N government had set up costly projects due to which they would now have to increase the power tariff.

    The allegations the former prime minister was referring to were made on October 19 during a news conference following a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan. In the conference, the petroleum minister had discussed the LNG agreements signed by the PML-N government: a gas supply deal with Qatar and two LNG re-gasification terminals with two local business groups.

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

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

    Flanked by PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb and PML-N Senator Musaddiq Malik today, Abbasi declared that he owned each and every decision taken by him as the prime minister and is ready to have a debate on the same at any forum.

    "I am ready to have a live debate on TV at just one hour's notice. If I fail to prove my claims, I'm prepared to go to jail. Otherwise (petroleum minister) Ghulam Sarwar Khan and (information minister) Fawad Chaudhry will have to go to jail", he said, challenging the two ministers.

    Abbasi claimed that Pakistan had set up the cheapest LNG terminals in the world. He said that a complete record of the LNG agreement with Qatar was available and it had already been discussed in the parliament.

    He said had there been no LNG in the country, the energy crisis would not have been resolved. He said the country was making huge savings through the production of electricity from LNG instead of furnace oil.

    The former premier also ridiculed the information minister's claim that Pakistan was producing costly electricity due to the expensive power projects set up by the previous government. He said that it was due to these projects Pakistan would continue to get the cheapest electricity in the world for the next 15 years.

    He said a number of power projects, including the Thar coal power project, were in progress which would be completed in the next two to three years.

    Abbasi said that the Bhasha Dam project was not facing any financial hurdles. Rather, he said, the main issue was that of political commitment.

    He also criticised the PTI government for making the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) "controversial". He denied charges that China was providing loans on high interest rates, and said the average cost of Chinese loans was 2.4 per cent and these loans were payable in 20 to 25 years.

    The PML-N leader proclaimed that if Pakistan's problems could be resolved by sending him and his cabinet members to jail, then they were ready for it.

    He said there was in fact a need to send the "incompetent ministers " of the present government to jail, who he said were not armed with even the basic knowledge of the economic issues the country is faced with despite attending three Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meetings.

    Responding to a question, he said he would use the forum of the parliament to present his viewpoint. He also vehemently denied the PTI's charge that the PML-N had left an empty exchequer.

    He said when the PML-N government completed its term on May 31, there were $16 billion in foreign exchange reserves in the country.


    PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi defending decisions taken by the PML-N government. —Photo provided by authorPML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi defending decisions taken by the PML-N government. —Photo provided by author

    0 0

    Reporting of cyber crimes, especially the harassment and blackmailing of women, has increased sharply in Pakistan in the last three years, DawnNewsTV reported on Tuesday citing figures released by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

    The agency said that its cyber crime circle has so far conducted 2,295 inquiries, registered 255 cases and made 209 arrests in 2018 — all highest since the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), 2016 was enforced.

    The corresponding figures for 2017 were 1,290 inquiries, 207 cases registered and 160 arrests made, whereas figures for 2016 stood at 514, 47 and 49.

    The FIA admitted that cyber crimes are on the rise in Pakistan but added that "the government's recent measure to establish 15 new cyber crime reporting centres" will help control the situation.

    In June, FIA Cyber Crimes Director retired Capt Mohammad Shoaib had told a Senate standing committee that the agency only has 10 experts to investigate cyber crimes in the country.


    Cyber crimes are on the rise in Pakistan. — FileCyber crimes are on the rise in Pakistan. — File

    0 0

    Police on Tuesday seized narcotics worth Rs8.5 million from three Nigerian nationals near the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) campus in Islamabad.

    The three men, who were arrested, are suspected of supplying drugs to students in educational institutions of the capital, police said.

    The drugs recovered by Secretariat Police from the suspects included 800 grams of heroin, 250g cocaine and 300g marijuana.

    Senior Superintendent Police (operations) Mohammad Amin Bukhari, on whose directions the operation was carried out, praised the station house officer of Secretariat Police Station over the seizure of the drugs.

    "The criminals destroying the future of children will be dealt with an iron hand," a police statement quoted Bukhari as saying.


    A security official holds a bag containing drugs.  — FileA security official holds a bag containing drugs. — File

    0 0

    Reporting of cybercrimes, especially the harassment and blackmailing of women, has increased sharply in Pakistan in the last three years, DawnNewsTV reported on Tuesday citing figures released by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

    The agency said that its cybercrime circle has so far conducted 2,295 inquiries, registered 255 cases and made 209 arrests in 2018 — all highest since the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), 2016 was enforced.

    The corresponding figures for 2017 were 1,290 inquiries, 207 cases registered and 160 arrests made, whereas figures for 2016 stood at 514, 47 and 49.

    The FIA admitted that cybercrimes are on the rise in Pakistan but added that "the government's recent measure to establish 15 new cybercrime reporting centres" will help control the situation.

    In June, FIA Cybercrimes Director retired Capt Mohammad Shoaib had told a Senate standing committee that the agency only has 10 experts to investigate cybercrimes in the country.


    Cybercrimes are on the rise in Pakistan. — FileCybercrimes are on the rise in Pakistan. — File

    0 0

    The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday levelled severe criticism at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for its "double standards" and questioned why the corruption watchdog has become "politicised".

    A three-member bench of the apex court made the remarks after hearing a petition for bail filed by the Sindh Ministry of Information's Section Officer, Sarang Latif.

    After turning down the petitioner's bail request, the bench severely censured NAB.

    "It seems as if NAB is in no mood to proceed with this trial," Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked, before asking: "Who is the prosecutor for this case?"

    An additional prosecutor told the judge that the lead prosecutor is from Karachi and he did not know his name.

    "[This] is a case concerning [corruption to the tune of] Rs5 billion," Justice Gulzar said in exasperation. "It looks like the local prosecutor takes his money, shows up in court and leaves [without accomplishing anything]."

    Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked that "NAB's conduct is not the same in every case."

    "In some cases NAB goes the extra mile, but in others it does not seem to care," he added. "Why is NAB getting politicised?"

    Justice Gulzar also accused NAB of "colluding" with its targets and asked why it so often offers plea bargains.

    "NAB does not seem to want to do anything; it has put everyone in misery," he said. "Millions of rupees of this nation are spent on NAB. Has it ever accomplished anything other than plea bargains? Let us know just one case where it has made a recovery."

    At this, Justice Isa suggested that a case should be registered against "the top officials of NAB" for their handling of the Mushtaq Ahmad Raisani case, from whose Quetta residence more than Rs730 million had been recovered in 2016.

    "NAB wanted to strike a plea bargain even with a person from whose home billions were recovered," he recalled.

    "NAB should make follow some principle in [pursuing] its cases; it does things its own way in every case."

    Justice Gulzar further recalled that when the Supreme Court rejected bail requests in the Raisani case, NAB had approached subordinate courts and secured bail anyway.

    "[Even when] the Supreme Court turns down bail petitions, the accused gets out in two months," he noted.


    Retired Justice Javed Iqbal is the current head of NAB. — FileRetired Justice Javed Iqbal is the current head of NAB. — File

    0 0

    Charred bodies of four persons were recovered from a torched vehicle in North Waziristan's Spin Wam tehsil on Tuesday. Security officials confirmed that the bodies are of three employees of Maripur Oil and Gas Company and a Frontier Corps (FC) official deployed for their security.

    According to the details provided by an FC official to DawnNewsTV, the oil firm's employees and the FC official were reported missing a day earlier, and later their bodies were found burnt alive inside a torched vehicle in Spin Wam's Abakhel area following a day-long search operation.

    The official revealed that the deceased include an FC official, a foreman, a driver, and a labourer.

    Moreover, the security official said this was the second such incident to take place in the span of two weeks. Earlier, two employees of the same company had gone missing, of which one was recovered through the efforts of a local jirga.


    0 0

    Charred bodies of four persons were recovered from a torched vehicle in North Waziristan's Spin Wam tehsil on Tuesday. Security officials confirmed that the bodies are of three employees of Maripur Oil and Gas Company and a Frontier Corps (FC) official deployed for their security.

    According to the details provided by an FC official to DawnNewsTV, the employees of the oil and gas exploration company and their paramilitary escort were heading towards their office a day earlier when they were kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

    Later their bullet-riddled bodies were found burnt inside a torched vehicle in Spin Wam's Abakhel area following a day-long search operation, the official said. He further revealed that the deceased include an FC official, a foreman, a driver, and a labourer.

    A local intelligence official also confirmed the incident and fatalities, saying it was unclear where the gunmen were from as no group has so far claimed responsibility for the incident.

    The identities of the deceased persons remain unknown so far.

    Moreover, the security official said this was the second such incident to take place in the span of two weeks. Earlier, two employees of the same company had gone missing, of which one was recovered through the efforts of a local jirga.


    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: Federal Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan on Tuesday confirmed the existence of an entrenched culture of corruption and inefficiencies in the power sector that hampers ending loadshedding even if floodgates of supply have been opened.

    “The dilemma is that even if we open floodgates of electricity, we cannot end loadshedding and this will devastate the national economy,” he said while testifying before the Senate Standing Committee on Power.

    The minister said electricity theft was widespread across the country which was not possible without involvement of officials of the power companies.

    The committee headed by Senator Fida Muhammad expressed concern over conditions prevailing in the power sector. Senator Nauman Wazir deplored that circular debt now hovered around Rs1.3 trillion ($10 billion) — incidentally equal to the amount that Pakistan is seeking from the Inter­national Monetary Fund and others. “You would not need a bailout if you are able to recover unpaid electricity bills,” he said.

    The minister said it was his top priority to get inefficiencies out of the distribution network for which engineers would need to be recruited and technology introduced on urgent basis. He said the transmission and distribution system required an investment of about $5bn to control system losses and ensure stable power supply.

    Omar Ayub says electricity theft not possible without involvement of officials of power companies

    The minister said the power division was engaging with the provinces on creation of special task forces with the support of the provincial governments and local authorities and law enforcement agencies for crackdown against power theft. He said he himself and the power secretary would visit various parts of Balochistan next week and take the provincial government on board in this regard.

    He said the power division was currently working on a mechanism to deal with power theft) with the support of the power companies, provincial authorities and notable consumers to ensure that suspension of electricity supply in high-loss areas was limited to transformer level, instead of closure of grid stations.

    Power Secretary Irfan Ai said anti-theft operations were so difficult that consumers resisted removal of installations. He said a team of the Quetta Electric Supply Company was held hostage by Frontier Constabulary personnel a few days ago when it was removing a high-loss transformer in Mastung. The team members were released only after intervention from Islamabad through the chief secretary and high ups of the paramilitary force.

    The minister admitted that there was fictitious billing even his own constituency, besides kundas, theft and non-recoveries. “But that is not enough. There are a number of islands of corruption. Meter workshops is one, transformers is another, supply of materials yet another and all these have to be blocked at the earliest.

    For this, he said, the enterprise resource system was being made part of the financial models of the power companies.

    The minister said given the fact that power theft was not possible without officials of power companies who were more prone to help big commercial and industrial consumers, the government had now decided to launch an anti-theft campaign from big thieves and defaulters.

    He said shortage of staff was a serious challenge and, giving an example, added that there was only one meter reader in his constituency for 20,000 connections which meant it was practically impossible for him to ensure meter reading even if a helicopter was on his disposal.

    He said the aerial bundle cables were being introduced in the distribution companies to minimise kunda culture by ensuring actual measurement of power supply between a grid and a feeder and down to transformer level and then move on to advance meter reading at consumer stage.

    Senator Wazir proposed making recoveries, correct billing, reduction in losses and similar other benchmarks part of the key performance indicators of the staff of the power companies for promotions and incentives. He said the contractors should be hired in high-loss areas, who should get returns on incremental reduction in losses and increase in recoveries.

    The meeting was told that there were more than 6,000 illegal tubewells in Balochistan besides about 29,000 registered tubewells against which neither the consumers nor the federal and provincial governments were clearing their dues.

    The chief executive officer of the Lahore Electric Supply Company said there was no mechanism in place to exactly know distribution losses in domestic and industrial sectors. He said an electricity theft of 4 million units was unearthed at an industrial unit and legal course was currently in progress.

    Secretary Ali said the government had linked clearance for materialisation of Shanghai Electric and Abraaj deal for transfer of K-Electric shares to clean and clear settlement of liabilities payable by KE to the National Transmission and Dispatch Company. He said the parties had not been able to reconcile these liabilities, particularly late payment mark ups.

    The committee was informed that Diamer-Bhasha dam involved land acquisition of 37,500 acres and 83pc land acquisition had been completed. The construction on the dam was expected to begin in April 2020 and complete in 2028. Likewise, the construction of Mohmand dam was expected to start in April 2019 and complete in 2025.

    The meeting was told the delay in land acquisition was mostly because of boundary issues. It was reported that Basha dam would have two power houses and they would be situated one each in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    Federal minister says loadshedding won't even if government opens Federal minister says loadshedding won't even if government opens "floodgates of electricity".

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has challenged the government ministers to have a live debate with him on television on the issues of alleged corruption in LNG contracts and power projects set up during the previous government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

    Speaking at a news conference at the National Press Club here on Tuesday, Mr Abbasi refuted the allegations levelled by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry that the LNG terminal contracts had been given at exorbitant rates and these showed that there were some underhand deals.

    “I am ready to have a live debate on TV at just one hour’s notice. If I fail to prove my claims, put me in jail. Otherwise Ghulam Sar­war Khan and Fawad Chaudhry will (have to) go to jail,” the PML-N leader said.

    Flanked by PML-N spoke­sperson Marriyum Aurang­zeb and Senator Musaddiq Malik, Mr Abbasi said he took the responsibility of each and every action taken by him as prime minister and was ready to have a debate on the same at any forum.

    Briefing reporters after a meeting of the federal cabinet on Oct 19, the petroleum and information ministers had alleged that the country’s economy was under tremendous stress because of the two LNG terminal contracts signed by the previous PML-N government in “frustration, haphazard manner and with malevolence”.

    The petroleum minister had said the cabinet had decided to renegotiate the contracts with terminal operators as a first step, adding that the contracts carried clauses that allowed “revisit with mutual consent”, otherwise the government would trigger other options. He said the agreement with Qatar had been under investigation by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and other institutions, alleging that the LNG contracts had been given to two business groups at “exorbitant rates of unprecedented levels and showed there were some underhand deals”.

    Similarly, the information minister at a news conference on Oct 17 had put the blame on the PML-N government for “setting up costly power projects” in the country and announced that the government had decided to carry out an audit of all power plants set up during the last five years.

    Former prime minister Abbasi claimed that Pakistan had set up the cheapest LNG terminals in the world. He said a complete record of the LNG agreement with Qatar was available and the issue had also been discussed in parliament. He said that if the PTI government wanted to renegotiate the LNG deals, it could do it.

    He was of the view that had there been no LNG in the country, the energy crisis would not have been resolved. He said the country was making huge savings through the production of electricity from LNG instead of furnace oil.

    He said that 3,600 megawatts of electricity were being produced in the country through LNG plants, including those run by some of the ministers of the present government, which were producing electricity at Rs5 per unit cheaper than furnace oil.

    Mr Abbasi said Pakistan was the world’s second largest importer of furnace oil after China, but during the tenure of his government there was zero import of furnace oil in November last year. The import, he said, again began during the caretaker set-up.

    He also ridiculed the information minister’s claim that Pakistan was producing costly electricity because of the expensive power projects set up by the previous government. He said it was due to these projects that Pakistan would continue to get the cheapest electricity in the world for the next 15 years.

    Mr Abbasi said that a number of power projects, including the Thar coal power plant, were in progress and these would be completed in the next two to three years. He said the Bhasha dam project was not facing any financial hurdles. Rather, he said, the main issue was lack of political commitment and harmony among the provinces.

    He also criticised the PTI government for making the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor “controversial”. He denied that China was providing loans on high interest rates and said the average cost of Chinese loans was 2.4 per cent and these loans were payable in 20 to 25 years.

    The PML-N leader proclaimed that if Pakistan’s problems could be solved by sending him and his former cabinet members to jail, then they were ready for it. He said there was in fact a need to send the “incompetent ministers” of the present government to jail as they were not armed with even the basic knowledge of economic issues being faced by the country.

    Asked if the ministers did not accept his challenge of live debate, Mr Abbasi, who won the National Assembly seat from Lahore in a recent by-election, said he would use the forum of parliament to present his viewpoint if the ministers did not have the courage to face him.

    He also refuted the PTI ministers’ allegation that the PML-N government had emptied the national exchequer and said that when the PML-N government completed its term on May 31, there was $16 billion in foreign exchange reserves and this figure could be verified from the State Bank of Pakistan.

    In response to a question, he regretted that despite ruling the country for 10 years, the two PPP and PML-N governments failed to abolish the black accountability laws introduced by military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addresses a press conference on Tuesday.—Photo by Tanveer Shahzad / White StarFormer prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addresses a press conference on Tuesday.—Photo by Tanveer Shahzad / White Star

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has expressed disappointment over complete omission of the most serious issue of sea intrusion from the International Water Conference organised by the Supreme Court last week.

    In a statement issued by the party’s media office here on Tuesday, senior PPP leader and former senator Taj Haider said that during the hearings on the water issue in Karachi, he had personally submitted summaries and conclusions of six studies on sea intrusion to the court which was pleased to assure that the issue was of very serious nature and would be taken up in the international conference.

    “It is not sweet water which is going into the sea. It is precious agricultural land of Pakistan that has been devoured by the sea,” Mr Haider said, adding that 2.5 million acres of Thatta and Badin districts had already been lost and the studies pointed out that if sea intrusion was not effectively checked, the sea would reach the city of Thatta by 2050, completely submerging the Indus delta.

    Taj Haider says 2.5m acres of land in Thatta and Badin lost to sea

    “If 32 MAF of fresh water per year was actually going into the sea, as claimed, we would not be facing the problem of sea intrusion. The fact is that even the 10 MAF release downstream Kotri agreed upon as an interim measure pending detailed studies in the inter-provincial water accord was not being provided,” he added.

    Mr Haider said that construction of a carryover dam at Diamer-Bhasha would certainly serve to control heavy floods that came every eight to 10 years. The stored water, he said, could be used in subsequent years in a planned manner to make up for shortages in river flows. He said this would boost agricultural economy. The major problem is that no agreed operational criteria had been framed for the already existing two dams or for the two link canals, he added.

    The PPP leader said Mangla and Tarbela dams were being operated as power plants and not as water reservoirs, giving priority to meet irrigation needs of the provinces as laid down in the water accord. Water needed for irrigation is not allowed to flow downstream in order to maximise the generation of electricity. It was obvious that in the absence of an agreed operational criterion, Bhasha dam would be similarly operated, he added.

    “Wasn’t it a fact that the two link canals on Mehran at Chashma and Taunsa were also planed as flood canals but were later turned into perennial canals?” he asked.

    In these days of highly developed agricultural technology, Mr Haider said, there were so many ways not only to overcome water shortages but also to multiply agricultural yields. However, there was only one way to save depleting river deltas and stop sea intrusion and that was to allow required quantities of fresh water to flow down to the sea, he concluded.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    Taj Haider says 2.5m acres of land in Thatta and Badin lost to sea.Taj Haider says 2.5m acres of land in Thatta and Badin lost to sea.

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: Senior counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan on Tuesday suggested it was not necessary to display the name of the father on the identification documents provided such information was available in the official records and databases.

    “In the present age, identification documents and databases are computerised and CNICs issued by Nadra [National Database and Registration Authority] contain microchips,” the counsel explained, adding that the passports issued by the DG Passports were also machine-readable.

    “Persons are identified through thumb impressions, facial recognition technology and retina scans at all major airports in Pakistan and abroad,” said Mr Khan, who was appointed amicus curiae by the Supreme Court in the unusual case of a 22-year-old girl seeking removal of her father’s name from the parentage column of her passport and identification documents because he abandoned her in childhood.

    Court refers matter of a 22-year-old girl seeking removal of her father’s name from papers to interior ministry

    In her petition, Tatheer Fatima claimed that her father played no role in her life since her birth and that she was raised by her mother Fehmida Butt as a single parent. She had requested the apex court to order her registration as a citizen of Pakistan without her father’s name appearing in any official record or identification documents. She had also sought a directive for Nadra and the director general of Immigration and Passports to issue the CNIC and passport without her father’s name on them.

    A three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, after hearing Makhdoom Ali Khan, referred the matter to the interior ministry for finding a solution to the issue.

    At the request of the girl’s mother, the court also restrained Mohammad Shahid Ayub, the father, from issuing any statement to the press in view of the sensitivity of the matter that could cause embarrassment to Tatheer.

    Born on Aug 14, 1996, the girl had applied for CNIC on Aug 14, 2014, but the request was turned down by Nadra on the grounds that she did not provide the requisite details such as her father’s name. And since Tatheer’s father had also not included her name in the family tree with Nadra, her name could not be traced in the authority’s database.

    The synopsis of the amicus curiae suggested that only the identification forms prescribed under the rules would have to be modified if the requirement to display the father’s name on the documents was to be removed. Otherwise, various amendments to the statutory provisions and rules have to be made to eliminate the requirement of including father’s name in the official documents of a person.

    In the United States, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Canada, Kenya, the UAE and many other countries, the name of the father is not displayed on the passports of citizens, the synopsis said, adding that in the UAE, the name of the father was also not displayed on the driving licence.

    “There are many examples where identification documents do not display the information collected by the authorities,” the synopsis said, adding that when a person submitted an application for issuance of a visa to the US, a detailed form had to be submitted. The form contains information relating to the applicant’s parents, his/her education, marital status, travel history and even details of the friends or family in the US. While this information is collected, it is not displayed on the visa issued by the US Consulate because as soon as the visa is scanned at the immigration desk, all information provided by the person becomes available to the immigration officer.

    “Article 35 of the Constitution imposes a duty on the state to protect the marriage, the family, the mother and the child,” the synopsis said.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    22-year-old girl Tatheer Fatima is seeking removal of her father’s name from papers. — Photo/File22-year-old girl Tatheer Fatima is seeking removal of her father’s name from papers. — Photo/File

    0 0

    LAHORE: Chief Traffic Officer Liaquat Ali Malik has dismissed from service four wardens and awarded other punishments to 21 more for “breaching the official secret”.

    The action was taken against them in the light of an inquiry report which held the 25 wardens guilty of “serious charges”.

    Four wardens dismissed from service were directly involved in leaking the secret information of VVIP movement amid high security threats to the high-profile personalities, an official told Dawn.

    Nasir, Mahmood, Rizwan and Saqib had a Whatsapp group on their mobile phones to disclose the secret movement of the VVIP personalities. They used to pass on information of VVIP movements with the identity of the personality on the Whatsapp to their colleagues, creating potential risk of reaching the state secrecy to the anti-state elements.

    It was a grave violation of the law of land and intolerable in all circumstances, he said, adding that this serious matter was accordingly probed by the SP ranked officer.

    During inquiry, some calls made by the traffic wardens pertaining to the breach of official secrecy were also traced, which further alarmed the higher authorities.

    The SP had recommended strong action against the traffic wardens held guilty of security risk.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    An official says the wardens were directly involved in leaking the information of VVIP movements. — FileAn official says the wardens were directly involved in leaking the information of VVIP movements. — File

    0 0

    Governor Chaudhry Sarwar administers oath to Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq as new chief justice of the Lahore High Court. — Online
    Governor Chaudhry Sarwar administers oath to Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq as new chief justice of the Lahore High Court. — Online

    LAHORE: Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq on Tuesday took oath as 47th chief justice of the Lahore High Court.

    Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar administered oath to Justice Haq at a ceremony also attended by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. Judges of the LHC, provincial ministers, vice chairman of Pakistan Bar Council, presidents and office-bearers of Lahore High Court Bar Association and Lahore Bar Association, provincial and federal law officers and a host of legal luminaries also graced the occasion.

    On his arrival at the LHC after the oath-taking ceremony, a guard of honour was presented to Chief Justice Haq by a police contingent.

    Later, Chief Justice Haq administered oath to six newly confirmed judges and eight newly appointed additional judges of the high court.

    The confirmed judges include Justice Mujahid Mustaqeem Ahmad, Justice Asjad Javaid Ghural, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, Justice Jawad Hassan, Justice Muzammil Akhtar Shabbir and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz.

    The newly appointed additional judges include Justice Anwarul Haq Pannu, Justice Farooq Haider, Justice Shakilur Rehman Khan, Justice Muhammad Waheed Khan, Justice Ahmad Raza, Justice Risal Hassan Syed, Justice Asim Hafeez and Justice Sadiq Mahmud Khurram.

    Meanwhile, Chief Justice Haq issued transfer and posting orders of different officers of the court. According to a notification, Registrar Bahadar Ali Khan has been relieved from the position while District & Sessions Judge Shakeel Ahmad has been posted as registrar.

    District & Sessions Judge Bushra Zaman has been posted as director general of district judiciary and District & Sessions Judge Jawadul Hassan has been posted as staff officer of the chief justice.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    0 0

    QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has said that if the water crisis in his province is not addressed timely the situation will be more serious within the next five to 10 years.

    Speaking at a consultative workshop on ‘Balochistan Water Resources’ here on Tuesday, he said: “We need to utilise our resources with utmost care and caution and every individual would have to play a role in this connection.”

    The workshop was organised by the European Union (EU) in collaboration with the Balochistan Rural Support Programme.

    The chief minister said the water crisis had gripped the entire country, but it was more serious in Balochistan owing to wrong planning, shortage of dams in the country and low precipitation.

    “We have declared a water emergency in the province soon after formation of our government,” he said.

    Calls for utilising resources ‘with utmost care and caution’

    Mr Alyani said agriculture and livestock were very crucial sectors for the economy of the province with which a large portion of the country’s population was linked. “Water crisis has also caused serious impact on both sectors,” he said.

    Because of the water crisis people had to migrate from rural to urban areas, he said, adding that migrations always caused demographic changes and created a number of issues.

    The chief minister said the Quetta city was once rich with water resources, but unfortunately now people were compelled to buy tankers because water channels in the city’s surroundings and other areas had dried. “Now we need to devise a proper strategy and planning to get rid of the water crisis and ensure better future for coming generations,” he added.

    He thanked the EU for helping Balochistan and said his government was making efforts to introduce new techniques in the agriculture sector so that less water was consumed and more production was achieved.

    The chief minister said there would be serious repercussions if pumping of ground water was not stopped promptly. “We have resources and now we need better planning,” he added.

    Speaking on the occasion, EU’s representative Milko van Gool said that the EU had a multi-annual cooperation programme with the government of Pakistan.

    Under the programme, the EU was providing a technical assistance grant of 40 million euros dedicated to the Revival of Balochistan Water Resou­rces Programme, he added.

    He said at a request of the government of Pakistan, the EU launched an identification mission (completed in July 2018) followed by a formulation mission, which is currently ongoing.

    EU consultants Shammy Puri and Rieks Bosch provided presentations on the background to the current status of land, water resources and related pressures.

    Provincial Minister for Public Health Engineering Noor Mohammad Dumar said ground water resources were depleting and rural population was receiving water through tankers. The situation demanded adoption of new methodologies for the revival of ground water resources, he added.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    Balochistan chief minister calls for utilising resources Balochistan chief minister calls for utilising resources "with utmost care and caution". — Photo/File

    0 0

    LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned the sons of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif in inquiry into assets beyond means, according to a source.

    Hamza and Salman have been summoned for Nov 2, a source told Dawn.

    Hamza is also facing investigation in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company for allegedly presiding over meetings of the board of directors despite the fact he was not even its member.

    Earlier, Salman Shahbaz had appeared before NAB Lahore regarding provision of the record of his family’s property.

    In the previous notice to Salman, NAB said: “During interrogation, Shahbaz Sharif has stated that all of his matters relevant to assets, income and expenditures are being looked after by you and you are acquainted with and in possession of such information/documents. You are requested to appear before a combined investigation team along with documents of all assets and properties”.

    The bureau on Oct 5 had arrested Shahbaz Sharif in the alleged Rs14bn Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing project scam. He has been in NAB custody on a physical remand till Oct 30.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    Hamza and Salman have been summoned for Nov 2, a source says. — DawnNewsTV/FileHamza and Salman have been summoned for Nov 2, a source says. — DawnNewsTV/File

    0 0

    LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday condemned “anti-army tirade” saying that Nihal Hashmi, speaking on behalf of his leadership, ignored sacrifices of the Pakistan Army and tried to make its role controversial.

    Moved jointly by Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat and Minister for Public Prosecution Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, the resolution reads: “This House is of the opinion that the entire nation is proud of its forces and it is because of their sacrifices that the nation feels safe. This nation assures full support to its armed forces.”

    Hashmi’s diatribe is a source of discomfort for the nation and this “house feels that his harangue merits sedition charges against him and an example should be created out of him,” the resolution concludes, which was carried “unanimously” because the Opposition was not there.

    Speaker forms committee to probe hooliganism during budget session

    The House met by 1pm instead of its stipulated time of 11am and survived for next two hours but not without collapsing to quorum once. Given the short attendance, it could have easily fallen prey to it again had it continued for another few minutes. But sensing the lurking crisis, the chair adjourned it at 3pm for Wednesday morning.

    The opposition continued with its boycott and protested on the stairs of the Punjab Assembly building. The opposition had called a meeting at the Model Town residence of the PML-N leadership and decided to continue boycott as long as its six suspended members are not allowed in the House. However, the tough line taken by Speaker Pervaiz Elahi was hardly an opportune sign.

    Talking to the media [outside the House], he called the opposition leader’s behaviour “childish, lacking training in basic value”.

    He also claimed that the opposition was not serious in returning to the House. When asked that in such circumstances the chair normally constitutes a committee to bring back even boycotting individual member leave alone the entire opposition, he said he was naming a parliamentary committee to look into the events of the day (Oct 12, when hooliganism in House did physical damage) and fix responsibility “In fact, 12 members were involved in [that] violence and only six have been punished so far,” dampening any chances of early return of the opposition.

    Malik Ahmad Khan of the opposition regretted those assertions, calling them against the grain of natural justice. “How can one be condemned unheard, which has been done in this case of suspension? The chair did not bother to listen to those he suspended. This is dictatorial, not democratic,” he said and one of his colleagues went further: “It is the PTI government, not of the PML-Q. This hawkish behaviour of the speaker would politically bite the PTI, not PML-Q. So, he is punishing the PML-N leadership to settle his personal score at the cost of the PTI. That is how he is availing the opportunity thrown in his way by the events and getting due support from Raja Basharat, minister for law and parliamentary affairs, and former PML-Q colleague.”

    The House did approve a 12-member committee to probe the events of Oct 12 and it included name of Zakia Shah Nawaz, an opposition member. However, the opposition claimed that it was neither consulted on the issue nor informed.

    Apart from it, it was a day as usual. The opposition arrived at the premises at around 1pm after the party meeting and six suspended members started protesting at the gates of the assembly building. The rest of the opposition occupied stairs to protest what they called highhandedness of the speaker. One of the opposition members, Tahir Jameel, kept lurking in the House to find opportunity for pointing out quorum. He got at 2.35pm and struck. But the treasury was able to bring enough numbers with the five minutes of bells. He could have got another opportunity 30 minutes down the line as the numbers dwindled again but the chair adjourned the House for Wednesday morning.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    PML-N leader Nihal Hashmi.— DawnNewsTV/FilePML-N leader Nihal Hashmi.— DawnNewsTV/File

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered formation of a medical board of renowned psychiatrists to re-examine death-row inmate Imdad Ali, who is a patient of paranoid schizophrenia, to determine since when the convict has been suffering from the disorder.

    “This is a delicate matter and affects the future since the state has to ensure that every convict awarded capital punishment should not be suffering from any physical or mental health, rather he should be normal,” observed Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, who was heading a five-judge bench that had taken up petitions of the inspector general prisons of Punjab and Safia Bano, wife of Imdad Ali, who sought review of the Sept 27 death sentence awarded to the 50-year-old inmate.

    A separate case of Kaneez Bibi had also been fixed before the court.

    The medical board would furnish its final report to the apex court in two months, the court order said. It directed that when the matter would be taken up again, a member of the medical board should be present in the courtroom.

    The same order will also apply to Kaneez Bibi who had approached the SC with a plea that she was also suffering from the same disease — schizophrenia.

    Kaneez Bibi is accused of killing two sons of Khan Mohammad — a father of five children — in July 1989 in Kamalia tehsil. On the incitement of Kaneez Bibi coupled with a marriage proposal, Khan Mohammad had also killed his wife and three daughters.

    On Tuesday, when Advocate Syed Iqbal Hussain Gillani, representing the wife of Imdad Ali, requested the court to order shifting of the patient to any mental hospital from the jail, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, cited a recent visit of the apex court judges to a mental health facility where they found the conditions of the hospital really bad.

    “We have to decide whether the execution of an inmate will remain relevant if the convict had developed the disease two years before his execution date,” Justice Malik observed.

    On Nov 18, 2016, an SC bench, headed by then chief justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, had ordered the constitution of a three-member medical board of renowned psychiatrists to thoroughly examine Imdad Ali and submit its findings after complete medical assessment of the patient.

    The same bench had on Oct 31, 2016 stayed the execution of Ali by suspending the second black warrant issued for his execution. The earlier warrant was issued on July 26, 2016. The president had already rejected Ali’s mercy petition on Nov 17, 2015.

    Safia Bano had filed the appeal against the Aug 23, 2016 rejection by the Lahore High Court’s Multan bench of upholding the death sentence awarded by the trial court.

    Earlier, the Supreme Court had ruled that mental sickness like schizophrenia did not make irrelevant the sentence of death because such psychiatric disorder was not a permanent disease and curable with proper treatment.

    “Schizophrenia is not a permanent mental disorder, rather imbalance, increasing or decreasing depending upon the level of stress,” the apex court had held, adding that in recent years the prognosis of ailments like schizophrenia had been improved with drugs by vigorous psychological and social managements and rehabilitation.

    In his review petition, the IG prisons pleaded that the court judgement had placed fetters on the definition of schizophrenia contrary to the universally accepted medical definition in terms of ‘mental disorder’ as envisaged by the Mental Health Ordinance, 2001, Punjab.

    “Across the medical jurisprudence, paranoid schizophrenia is classified as a chronic and permanent mental disorder affecting cognitive functions and with poor prognosis,” the review petition argued. It said the patient’s jail medical records reflected that he had consistently displayed symptoms of schizophrenia and was not showing signs of improvement, thus he had active psychotic symptoms.

    Moreover, the Sharia prohibited execution of a mentally challenged prisoner, the petition said, adding that the view was endorsed by Islamic jurisprudent Allama Ibne Abideen in his celebrated work — Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Dur al-Mukhtar.

    Safia Bano, in her review petition, pleaded that the medical records reflected that Imdad Ali had consistently displayed symptoms of schizophrenia he was diagnosed in prison, hence he was subject to the relevant procedures under the Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978 that asked for transfer of such patients to a mental hospital.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    "State has to ensure that every convict awarded capital punishment should be normal,” says SC judge. — Photo/File

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: As the main prosecution witness, Wajid Zia, continued getting his testimony recorded on Tuesday, defence counsel Khawaja Haris pointed out anomalies in the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) with respect to the Capital FZE — a company owned by a son of Nawaz Sharif.

    Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sacked for not declaring salary that he was supposed to receive from the Capital FZE.

    Mr Zia submitted documents relating to the registration of the company with the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza).

    Advocate Haris objected that the six-member JIT that investigated the Panama Papers case did not attach the documents to the report submitted to the Supreme Court in July last year.

    Mr Zia initially said that “there were multiple documents relating to Jafza which either were copies or related to the same subject attached in the JIT report”.

    But when Mr Haris asked him to name the documents, Mr Zia conceded that only three documents were ann­exed with the JIT report. When he provided some add­i­tional information, Mr Haris started asking questions.

    When Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik reminded him that he had to conclude the proceedings in both the references within the stipulated time frame, Mr Haris said that since the court had allowed the witness to add additional information to the voluntary portion, it was his right to ask additional questions.

    Before the start of court’s proceedings, Nawaz Sharif avoided journalists’ questions and said PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb would answer these questions. The temperature in the courtroom was rather high because one of the two air-conditioners was off and over a dozen PML-N leaders were in the courtroom to accompany Mr Sharif.

    The judge pointed out that Mr Sharif was not in prison now and these political figures could meet him at some other place.

    The court adjourned the proceedings till Wednes­day.

    Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018

    Download the new Dawn mobile app here:

    Google Play


    ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif arrives at the accountability court on Tuesday.—OnlineISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif arrives at the accountability court on Tuesday.—Online

older | 1 | .... | 2820 | 2821 | (Page 2822) | 2823 | 2824 | .... | 2886 | newer