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    LAHORE: Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz has asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to tell [us] who sought the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) for the Sharif family.

    “Niazi Sahib... who has sought NRO from you. From where you have got this news. Neither we have nor we will seek NRO,” he said at a press conference here on Thursday.

    He said Imran Khan was biased against the Sharif's and he should stop threatening them.

    He said Shahbaz Sharif did not commit any illegality and he would be acquitted of all charges (in Ashiana housing scam).

    “The National Accountability Bureau is playing in the hands of Imran Khan,” he said and asked the premier to stop threatening them (Sharifs) as they were not afraid of arrest.

    “Imran had got Shahbaz arrested. Today the Supreme Court judges are saying that NAB has been politicised,” Hamza said and admitted that it was PML-N’s mistake that it could not do away with the NAB’s ‘black law’ which was introduced by a dictator Musharraf.

    “It was our mistake that we could not repeal the black law of NAB despite getting the opportunity.”

    To a question whether the PML-N would participate in the multi-party conference being convened by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Hamza said the party had not decided yet.

    He also criticised the Punjab assembly speaker for suspending PML-N’s six MPAs on a ‘fake picture’ and rejected the committee in which 10 members are from treasury and two from opposition to probe hooliganism in the assembly.

    Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

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    Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz. — File PhotoOpposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz. — File Photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) have joined hands to counter extremism and terrorism through joint research and collaboration with a special focus on campus extremism.

    At a ceremony held at the HEC on Thursday, both the organisations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly carry out research on topics related to terrorism and extremism.

    The HEC and Nacta will engage faculty members and students from universities across the country in developing a national strategy to counter on-campus extremism.

    Acting Executive Director HEC retired Lt Gen Mohammad Asghar and Nacta National Coordinator Khaliq Dad Lak signed the MoU.

    MoU signed to jointly carry out research on topics related to terrorism and extremism

    Nacta said the purpose and scope of the MoU was to foster partnership between the two organisations in combating extremism and terrorism through joint research and collaboration.

    “This will help in promoting research culture in public sector as well as improving policy making process. Another main objective of the MoU is to enhance awareness/prevention against extremist ideologies and mindset and to provide education on the topics of counter extremism and counter terrorism through participatory approach of the HEC and to increase awareness programmes through the support of HEC.”

    It was decided that awareness programmes and activities would be initiated for students in area of counter-extremism, de-radicalisation and counter-terrorism through seminars, workshops, essay competitions, debates, sports events and cultural activities.

    The FM radio channels of the universities will also be utilised for the purpose.

    Teachers will also be sensitised and both the organisations will conduct workshops, seminars and hold discussions in this regard.

    It was also agreed that steps would be taken to review the existing curriculum and make recommendations for its improvement to counter extremism, hate material, radicalisation and terrorism.

    The two organisations will also find ways and means to bring madressah and university students closer for fight against extremism and terrorism. Academic, sports and extra-curricular activities will be chalked out for this purpose. Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the acting ED said HEC had been very actively promoting the cause of peace at universities.

    He hoped that the partnership between HEC and Nacta would help sensitise students, faculty and the entire academia on the menace of extremism and terrorism.

    He said universities played a very vital role in training youth and inculcating a moderate approach to life in their minds. He said Islam was a religion of peace and there was a need for promoting its true teachings. “We hope HEC and Nacta will work very closely in the years to come to address the multidimensional causes of extremism,” he added.

    The Nacta coordinator appreciated the HEC for partnering with the authority in its efforts to counter extremism and terrorism. He said Nacta devised national anti-terrorism strategies and carried out research on various aspects of terrorism. He hoped that the partnership would help utilise the research conducted related to causes, threats and solutions of terrorism.

    The involvement in militancy of young individuals from universities is an alarming phenomenon. Several such cases surfaced in the country in the recent past.

    They included an attack on Sindh MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan last year by a former student of the University of Karachi, the involvement of an ex-student of the Institute of Business Administration Karachi Saad Aziz in the Safoora Goth carnage, the alleged link of an MBBS student of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Science, Hyderabad, Naureen Leghari, with a militant group and the lynching of Mashal Khan by his fellow students at Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan.

    Similarly, on the campus religious or ethnic disputes between students are also common in some universities where student wings of religo-political parties have active.

    Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

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    Higher Education Commission. — File PhotoHigher Education Commission. — File Photo

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    QUETTA: Minister of State for Interior Shaharyar Afridi on Thursday condemned the attack on inspector general of FC (South) Major General Saeed Ahmed Nagra, saying such cowardly attempts could not “deter us from fighting against the menace of terrorism”.

    Speaking at a news conference, Mr Afridi paid tribute to the FC soldiers who embraced martyrdom in the attack that took place in the Washuk area.

    Read more: Two security men martyred in attack on FC convoy in Washuk

    Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfiqar Bukhari also attended the minister’s press conference.

    “The federal and provincial governments won’t allow terrorists to spoil peace of Balochistan and such cowardly attacks can’t deter us from rooting out the scourge of terrorism from the country,” the minister said. “Disgruntled elements of Balochistan who have gone to mountains and started an armed struggle against the country should come back and join the mainstream. We will welcome the elements who join the mainstream, but those who are challenging the writ of the government will not be spared,” Mr Afridi said.

    Pilgrims to Iran and Iraq

    Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bukhari said the federal government had provided all facilities to pilgrims going to Iran and Iraq.

    “During the last one week 45,000 Shia pilgrims travelled to Iran and Iraq from Pakistan and they were provided complete assistance and facilities by the government,” Mr Bukhari said.

    Meanwhile, Mr Afridi said that provision of better facilities to the pilgrims travelling to Iran, Iraq and Syria was the main responsibility of the government.

    He said this during his visit to the border town of Taftan along with Mr Bukhari.

    The two dignitaries were briefed by Chagai Deputy Commissioner Qaseem Khan Kakar about travel, security and accommodation facilities for Shia pilgrims in the area.

    Later, Mr Afridi and Mr Bukhari visited the Pakistan House, FIA Immigration Office and Customs House at the Taftan border crossing.

    Mr Afridi praised improvement in the facilities being provided to pilgrims in Taftan and directed authorities concerned to ensure best security arrangements for the pilgrims.

    He also met pilgrims staying at the Pakistan House and listened to their grievances.

    He assured them of provision of better accommodation, security and immigration facilities at the border.

    Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

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    Minister of State for Interior Shaharyar Afridi speaks at the press conferenceMinister of State for Interior Shaharyar Afridi speaks at the press conference

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    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered constitution of a special committee to suggest measures to curb unchecked availability of smuggled Indian direct-to-home (DTH) devices in the local market, which is one of the reasons behind the country’s revenue losses.

    The committee will consist of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Jahanzeb Khan, Member Customs Mohammad Zahid, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Bashir Memon and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Chairman Saleem Baig.

    The directive was issued by a three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, which had taken up a case relating to easy availability of Indian DTH or magic box in Pakistani markets. The DTH satellite TV is the latest technology to deliver digital TV to households.

    The court directed the committee to come up with a way out on a war footing to tackle the menace seriously and submit their recommendations in 10 days. The court also ordered the member Customs to identify how such devices were being smuggled into Pakistan.

    The CJP regretted that such devices mostly consisting of Indian channels resulted in draining of hard-earned money out of Pakistan.

    Meanwhile, a report furnished by Additional Attorney General Nayyar Abbas Rizvi on grey traffic activities in the country suggested carrying out forensic audit of all mobile service providers — Zong, Ufone, Telenor, Jazz, etc — by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on a war footing so that any company doing online business could come under surveillance.

    The report was submitted to the Supreme Court during the hearing of a suo motu case relating to grey traffic networks in the country.

    The report recommended that the FIA publicise raids or prosecution on all media forums to ensure a strong message to grey traffickers. It suggested that web portals be developed for sending daily reports of the mobile operators’ grey detections for access to the PTA and FIA for speedy investigations and bust operations. “And where the government entity is found guilty of being party to grey traffic activities or involved in protecting a grey traffic, the government official should immediately be removed from his office and face prosecution,” the report suggested.

    It said that the use of false CLI (caller line identification) on incoming international calls was also a national security risk as it impeded any call tracing and prevented lawful interception. It also results in the revenue loss to the mobile operators or LDI (long distance and international connectivity) equals a loss on taxation that could have been earned by the tax authority.

    However, the current risk of OTT (over the top) bypass was quite minimal as Viber was not being widely used in Pakistan, but the focus should be on other grey traffic frauds, the report said.

    During the hearing, the FIA director general informed the court that the agency was carrying out operations against grey traffic activities.

    Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

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    .— File.— File

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    KARACHI: Concerns related to serious environmental degradation affecting the federally administered Port Qasim area dominated the proceedings of a public hearing held at a hotel on Thursday.

    Among other reservations, questions were raised as to why the area had been heavily industrialised without assessing the cumulative impact of projects.

    The public hearing called by the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) pertained to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of a proposed project titled ‘Expansion of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and VCM (vinyl chloride monomer) manufacturing plant’ by Engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited (EPCL).

    The EIA report was prepared by Hagler Bailly Pakistan (HB-P).

    The project site is located in the eastern industrial zone of Port Qasim and southern part of Malir district.

    The programme started off with a brief presentation on the project by Athar Abrar Khawaja, manager of the Engro project, who explained the design, major processes and operational controls of the existing plant.

    The project, according to the details shared in the programme, aims to increase production of PVC — a chemical used in the manufacturing of numerous plastic products — and VCM (raw material for PVC) from 195ktpy to 295ktpy and from 195ktpy to 245ktpy respectively.

    This would be done by establishing another PVC plant within the boundaries of the existing facility. The project will also include other modifications, for instance, the addition of a 7km-long import line for ethylene dichloride and installation of another VCM storage tank.

    On corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, he said that the company planned to install five filtration plants in the area and a health clinic.

    Giving a presentation on the EIA report, Vaqar Zakaria representing HB-P said that the sampling data was collected to assess air and water quality, and noise levels, apart from secondary data on topography, geology, seismicity and climate.

    “While all other data on air quality complied with Sindh Environmental Quality Standards (SEQS), the sulphur dioxide concentrations exceeded the annual SEQS,” he said, adding that traffic on Port Qasim access roads and combustion points where coal, petrol and diesel were being used as fuel are major sources of sulphur dioxide emissions.

    Pointing to high environmental pollution in Port Qasim, he said: “Its ecology is headed towards a disaster. The area faces serious environmental issues which have emerged due to massive dredging, discharge of all kinds of waste into the creek system, destruction of mangroves and even fishing with the help of small mesh-sized nets. The larger picture of this area needs a lot of attention.”

    Sharing some EIA report data, he said that an estimated 59,000 people lived in the surveyed settlements of the study area and that water availability was a major problem being faced by locals as most underground water was saline and brackish.

    Replying to a question on pollution in the Port Qasim area during the question-answer session, Waqar Hussain Phulpoto representing Sepa said that it was only after the water commission took up the case of marine and environmental pollution that Sepa staff was allowed to visit Port Qasim for inspection.

    “Such a state of affairs is indeed a source of embarrassment for us. However, things have changed after the Supreme Court intervened,” he admitted, adding that the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) had committed to the court to build two combined effluent plants in its jurisdiction.

    Saquib Ejaz Hussain, a senior environmentalist, criticised the PQA and questioned whether they had a master plan. “The PQA allowed the destruction of mangroves grown over 200 hectares by Engro under permission from PQA, as well as of naturally grown mangroves for different projects, ignoring their protected status.”

    He called upon Sepa to review its SEQS including that of air quality which had been raised unjustifiably and were contributing to pollution.

    “Another violation (in Port Qasim) is the discharge of untreated waste by industries into Badal Nala, which is a storm-water drain,” he said, expressing concern over Sepa’s role and authority.

    Dr Syed Raza Ali Gardezi representing Citizens for Environment urged Sepa to have a uniform standard for the number of trees planted to compensate for the vegetation lost due to a project.

    To concerns related to human and environmental safety, Mr Khawaja said that the proposed plant wouldn’t generate any hazardous solid waste whereas liquid waste would be treated in the already operational treatment plant.

    “Apart from local standards, we also follow international standards. Health screening of staff is a regular feature of our operation that also includes weekly emergency drills. The data on the operation is regularly submitted to Sepa,” he said.

    Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

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    Concerns related to serious environmental degradation affecting the federally administered Port Qasim area dominated the proceedings of a public hearing held at a hotel on Thursday.Concerns related to serious environmental degradation affecting the federally administered Port Qasim area dominated the proceedings of a public hearing held at a hotel on Thursday.

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    ISLAMABAD: Envoys of several countries have asked the Pakistan government to be flexible on the issue of registration of international non-government organisations (INGOs).

    A letter signed by the envoys of the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the European Union reads: “In the interests of the Pakistani people and our ongoing cooperation, we respectfully seek your leadership to help shape a more cooperative and nuanced arrangement on INGOs.”

    Take a look: NAB to probe affairs of local, international NGOs

    The recently written letter follows the government’s directive to 18 INGOs to wrap up their operations within 60 days after their appeals against rejection of their applications for registration had been dismissed.

    Warn move could hurt Pakistan’s image as ‘a partner on human development’

    The envoys alleged “lack of transparency” in the registration process and regretted that the affected organisations and their donor governments had not been adequately explained about the reasons for the rejection of their appeals.

    The Pakistan government had started fresh registration of INGOs in 2015 after the announcement of the registration policy. A total of 141 INGOs had applied for registration under the new policy, out of which applications of 66 INGOs were approved and 41 rejected in two groups. The organisations, whose applications had been rejected, were allowed an appeal in 90 days.

    The envoys’ letter warned that the move could hurt Pakistan’s image as “a partner on human development”, besides undermining confidence of the donors and business community. “It will also have a negative impact on the amount of donor funding that will reach Pakistanis in coming years and serve as a disincentive for foreign investment,” it maintained.

    The government had offered the affected INGOs to reapply for registration after six months. The envoys said this was impracticable.

    Envoys of these countries had last month written a letter to Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi, expressing their reservations over the manner in which the registration was conducted.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken directly to Prime Minister Imran Khan on this matter when she called to congratulate him on the assumption of office.

    The organisations that have been cleared for registration, meanwhile, have expressed reservations over the memorandum of understanding that had been offered to them. A source in INGOs said that so far there has been no change in government’s attitude.

    Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

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    A policeman stands guard outside the office of the international charity 'Save the Children', sealed by order of the interior ministry in 2015. —AFP/FileA policeman stands guard outside the office of the international charity 'Save the Children', sealed by order of the interior ministry in 2015. —AFP/File

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    President Arif Alvi will inaugurate an express train service for Karachi on Oct 31 as Pakistan Railways (PR) sets its sights on developing railways in Sindh.

    Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, without specifying the name of the train, said it would begin operating on Nov 1 and would run between Dhabeji, Landhi and Karachi.

    After the express train is up and running, Rashid said that a shuttle train running between Karachi and Hyderabad would be launched.

    The railways minister said the new express train service would be their sixth launch in 60 days.

    Rashid, while speaking to the media, said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised a local train for labourers in Karachi and that promise would now be fulfilled.

    He said that after developing railways in Mianwali and Lahore, and work on the Sukkur Express, Pakistan Railways was now turning its attention to Sindh.

    Rashid said that the target of providing 10 trains and 15 freight trains within 100 days would be achieved, and that 10,000 unemployed individuals would also be given jobs on the basis of merit.

    He added that the Pakistan Railways deficit would be eliminated within a year.


    Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid speaking to the media on Friday. — DawnNewsTVRailways Minister Sheikh Rashid speaking to the media on Friday. — DawnNewsTV

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    As the Supreme Court on Friday resumed hearing a suo motu case on the tragic Aug 13 killing of 10-year-old Amal Umer in Karachi, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar asked the advocate general to discuss compensation with the victim's parents.

    A three-member bench, headed by CJP Nisar, is hearing the case at the SC Karachi registry.

    During a previous hearing, the top court had directed the committee to identify specific lapses on the part of the hospital and the police.

    Members of a committee constituted to submit recommendations, private hospital representatives, police officials and the parents of the deceased appeared before the court today.

    Members of the committee informed the bench that police had submitted their report yesterday so they need time to review it.

    He also directed the advocate general to speak to Amal's parents regarding the matter of compensation, adding that if they didn't wish to accept compensation, they could consider depositing the money in the dam fund.

    The CJP remarked that Amal may be no more, but her sacrifice would not be in vain. "We want to do something for our daughter," he said.

    How the system failed Amal

    Amal Umer was shot during an alleged crossfire between police and robbers that occurred in Karachi's Defence area last month.

    After she was shot, Amal's parents, who were in the car with her, took her to National Medical Centre (NMC) where she passed away after being denied medical treatment.

    According to her mother, the hospital told the injured girl's parents to take her to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre or Aga Khan Hospital. NMC also refused to arrange an ambulance for Amal, who had suffered a head wound.

    Initially, police held a robber responsible for the killing. However, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Javed Alam Odho later admitted that the bullet that killed Amal was fired by a policeman.

    Take a look: How the system failed us

    Police claimed to have arrested a suspect who they said was a part of the gang that had interrupted Amal's family on the fateful day.

    According to police, Khalid was arrested on Sept 24 in some other cases. During questioning, the suspect disclosed his involvement in the girl’s murder and robbing her parents and others, they added.

    A case was lodged under Sections 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) and 34 of PPC read with Section 7 of ATA on the complaint of victim’s father at Defence police station.

    A second case was lodged on the complaint of constable Babar Shahzad under Sections 324 (attempt to commit murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 of PPC.

    The police had also lodged another case against the same incident pertaining to unintentional killing of Amal Umer naming two policemen.

    The police claimed in the investigation report that one of the suspected robbers was also killed in the encounter, but the prosecutor in his scrutiny note had cast doubts on the alleged shoot-out and questioned why the offence of murder was not invoked in the charge sheet.

    The ATC-VIII judge, who is hearing the matter in the judicial complex inside the central prison, summoned the investigating officer and the assistant deputy prosecutor on Nov 2.

    On Sept 17, the CJP took notice of the death of 10-year-old. The CJP's notice comes days after Amal's mother Beenish Umer's account of the incident appeared in Dawn. The suo motu notice concerns the "irresponsible firing" by the police as well as the "failure of [a] well-known medical hospital to provide emergency medical aid as required by the law".

    Subsequently, the apex court had constituted a special committee to suggest composition of an inquiry team for identifying negligence on part of the police and private hospitals in dealing with emergency situations.


    10-year-old Amal Umer died after being hit by a stray bullet during an encounter in Karachi's DHA area. ─ Photo courtesy Beenish Umar10-year-old Amal Umer died after being hit by a stray bullet during an encounter in Karachi's DHA area. ─ Photo courtesy Beenish Umar

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    RAWALPINDI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has established its sub-offices in Greece and Iran to check increasing activities of organised criminal networks and illegal movements of Pakistani migrants.

    A senior FIA official told Dawn that one sub-office each in Greece and Iran had been established and soon two deputy directors along with their subordinates would begin performing duties in these countries.

    The official said that one deputy director along with his subordinates would be posted in each country to check legal or illegal movements of Pakistani migrants and to look after their other issues.

    The FIA teams had already visited Turkey, Iran and Greece to finalise the setting up of sub-offices there. The plan to set up a sub-office in Turkey has been delayed due to financial difficulties.

    The decision to establish FIA offices abroad was taken after a smugglers’ boat with a majority of Pakistanis on board capsized off the coast of Libya on January 31 this year, leaving several people drowned.

    The FIA official said the sub-offices in Greece and Iran would specifically look into the issues of Pakistanis, including those languishing in detention centres.

    He said the most common land route chosen by human smugglers is from Pakistan to Turkey and then Greece.

    Iran and Turkey, he said, served as transit countries where a network of human smugglers had been actively working and they had been in contact with their agents in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan.

    He said it was important to stop young people from going abroad, especially to Europe, by boat because sometimes their journey ends up in tragedy.

    The FIA official said a campaign should be launched to tell youths not to go abroad illegally.

    He said whenever illegal immigrants are caught and put in detention centres Pakistan’s embassies make arrangements for their deportation and provide them required documents.

    He said that soon after funds were made available, the FIA would establish its sub-office in Turkey and would send the staff to Greece and Iran as well.

    Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

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    An exterior shot of the FIA headquarters.— FileAn exterior shot of the FIA headquarters.— File

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    The Pakpattan Police on Friday took two men from Kalyana into custody over their alleged involvement in the suspected rape and murder of a six-year-old boy.

    The boy — a resident of Kalyana village and a student of Class 1 — did not return home from school on Thursday, after which his family and neighbours started their search for him. The child's body was eventually found at the Government Primary School.

    Once the family and neighbours identified the body, ASP Saddar Dr Sameer Noor and the crime scene unit of the Pakpattan police reached the school to collect evidence.

    The body was moved to the District Headquarter Hospital for a postmortem examination and the police registered a first investigation report against unidentified persons for the suspected rape and murder of the school boy.

    Pakpattan District Police Officer Maria Mehmood created a joint investigation team (JIT) under the supervision of ASP Saddar.

    The gatekeeper of the Government Primary School and one other person were taken into custody by the JIT due to suspicion of their involvement in the case.

    Speaking to DawnNewsTV, ASP Noor said that the police would get to the bottom of the case at the earliest.


    The boy's body was found at the Government Primary School in Kalyana village. — FileThe boy's body was found at the Government Primary School in Kalyana village. — File

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    The Pakpattan Police on Friday took two men from Kalyana into custody over their alleged involvement in the rape and murder of a six-year-old boy.

    The boy — a resident of Kalyana village and a student of Class 1 — did not return home from school on Thursday, after which his family and neighbours started their search for him. The child's body was eventually found at the Government Primary School.

    Once the family and neighbours identified the body, ASP Saddar Dr Sameer Noor and the crime scene unit of the Pakpattan police reached the school to collect evidence.

    The body was moved to the District Headquarter Hospital for a postmortem examination and the police registered a first investigation report against unidentified persons for the suspected rape and murder of the school boy.

    The medical report confirmed that the boy was sexually assaulted before being strangled to death.

    Pakpattan District Police Officer Maria Mehmood created a joint investigation team (JIT) under the supervision of ASP Saddar.

    The gatekeeper of the Government Primary School and one other person were taken into custody by the JIT due to suspicion of their involvement in the case.

    Speaking to DawnNewsTV, ASP Noor said that the police would get to the bottom of the case at the earliest.


    The boy's body was found at the Government Primary School in Kalyana village. — FileThe boy's body was found at the Government Primary School in Kalyana village. — File

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    Nawaz Sharif's lawyers Khawaja Haris and Zubair Khalid on Friday asked Accountability Judge Arshad Malik to take notice of Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry's remarks on the Hill Metal Establishment case, in which the minister had stated that Nawaz Sharif "would go to prison again".

    At the outset of today's hearing on the references against Nawaz, Haris said that the court should take action against "the minister giving statements about you [the court] and Nawaz Sharif's arrest. This falls in your jurisdiction and you should take action against it."

    He added: "If action is not taken against this, it would create problems for the court."

    To this, Judge Malik said: "Was Chaudhry's statement general or was it a statement specifically targeting the court?"

    He also told Haris and Khalid to file a written petition in court and attach a clipping of the news report that contains the said statement.

    Speaking on Geo News programme 'Capital Talk' on Thursday, Chaudhry had said that everyone knows the facts of the Hill Metal Establishment case and that Nawaz Sharif will "definitely go to prison again".

    Today, after Haris and Khalid's remarks in court were reported, Chaudhry tweeted from his official account and said: "Had Khawaja Haris is a senior lawyer, and had he not taken millions in fees [from Nawaz Sharif's family] even he would have admitted that Nawaz Sharif should be punished. It is unfortunate that such fool-proof cases take years to be completed."

    He added: "The opposition neither has any leadership nor any vision, they are only playing politics to save their money and more than fifty of them will go to jail."


    Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry. — FileMinister of Information Fawad Chaudhry. — File

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    The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) told Dawn.com on Friday that the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) has sent boats and equipment for a cleanup operation along the Mubarak Village-Churna Island coastal belt which has been affected by an oil spill from an underground pipeline.

    Assistant Director of PDMA Ajay Kumar Sewani said that the area fell under the jurisdiction of the PMSA.

    After the oil spill polluted the stretch of the Sindh-Balochistan coastal belt, the Balochistan Environmental Protection Agency (BEPA) had on Thursday ordered Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BPPL) to halt its operations.

    A notification was issued in this regard by the provincial environment agency to BPPL warning that if operations continued, severe damage would be inflicted on marine life.

    In a disclosure of material information addressed to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday, Byco Company Secretary Majid Muaqtadir said: "Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited continues to operate its crude oil refineries. Certain reports on media suggest that an oil spill has taken place near Mubarak Village in Balochistan and attribute this to a nearby oil refinery or other unknown source".

    The statement said that no leak or loss of contaminant had taken place from BPPL's installations and stated, "all such reports purporting to the contrary are totally baseless, false, irresponsible and misleading".

    It added that BEPA and PMSA had both confirmed that there is "no oil spill from Byco's Single Point Mooring (SPM) or pipeline".

    The BEPA on Friday also placed a temporary ban on all tour operators at Charna Island who were operating without no-objection certificates (NOC).

    The order stated that these operators had not submitted an environmental management plan and added that the Regional Environmental Protection Agency office at Hub would facilitate the registration process.

    Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the pollution caused by the oil spill, and instructed the fisheries and environmental department to contact concerned federal departments and submit their reports.

    The CM also directed them to report the damage caused to aquatic life due to the incident.


    Tar and oil are wreaking havoc on the entire stretch of coast from Mubarak Village to Churna Island. —File PhotoTar and oil are wreaking havoc on the entire stretch of coast from Mubarak Village to Churna Island. —File Photo

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    Late lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir was announced as one of the four winners of the 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize on Friday.

    The announcement was made through the official Twitter account of President of the UN General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces.

    Read: Asma Jahangir — The street fighter

    "Today I announced the 2018 winners of the UN Human Rights Prize," the statement said before naming Jahangir and three other recipients, and adding: "Your work is an inspiration to us."

    Tanzanian activist Rebeca Gyumi, Brazil's first indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapixana and Ireland's human rights organisation Front Line Defenders are the other three recipients of the honour.

    Jahangir becomes the fourth Pakistani woman to be awarded the UN Human Rights Prize. Before her, Begum Ra'Ana Liaquat Ali Khan (1978), Benazir Bhutto (2008) and Malala Yousufzai (2013) had been accorded the honour.

    Jahangir, who passed away in February this year, was known for her outspoken nature and unrelenting pursuit for human rights as well as for remaining undaunted in the face of extreme pressure and opposition.

    She is also remembered as a champion of the disenfranchised and for her services towards building a democratic and more inclusive Pakistan.


    Asma Jahangir honoured by the UN posthumously. — FileAsma Jahangir honoured by the UN posthumously. — File

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    Federal Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem on Friday said that a draft of the Whistleblower Protection Bill has been prepared which will be tabled before the parliament for approval to validate the establishment of Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission, Radio Pakistan reported.

    Addressing a press conference in Islamabad this evening, the law minister said the legislation will also include protections for whistleblowers.

    Dr Naseem announced that any person who shares information about alleged corrupt practices will be given 20 per cent of the recovered amount as a reward.

    Editorial: Whistleblowers bill

    The law minister said that a commission will also be set up, comprising people of moral integrity from the public or private sector, which will assess the complaints and refer them to investigation agencies including National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and anti-corruption establishments. "The commission will have wide-ranging powers to check corruption," he added.

    Dr Naseem said the draft law is part of government's drive to expose and root out the menace corruption from the society.

    Replying to a question, the law minister said the commission will work impartially and on a non-partisan basis.


    Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem addresses press conference at his office. —APPMinister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem addresses press conference at his office. —APP

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    Speaker Asad Qaiser has convened a National Assembly session on October 29 and issued orders for the production of Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, who has been in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Ashiyana housing scam.

    Members of the main opposition PML-N had on Wednesday formally submitted an application to the NA Secretariat, requesting the speaker to issue a production order for opposition leader and party president Sharif so that he could attend the upcoming session of the house beginning on Oct 29.

    The production orders, copies of which have been sent to NAB and other concerned authorities, direct the bureau's Lahore team to produce Sharif at 4pm on Monday before the parliament's sergeant-at-arms, who after the conclusion of the session will return him to NAB's custody.

    The productions orders have been issued under Rule 108 of the rules of procedure and conduct of the business in the National Assembly 2007, according to a spokesperson of the speaker's office.

    The NA rules of procedure allow the speaker to issue orders for the production of any under-custody member of the lower house if he/she considers the MNA's presence in a session to be necessary.

    Sharif was arrested by NAB Lahore authorities in the Ashiyana housing scam case on Oct 5 and since then he has been in detention on physical remand.

    Soon after his arrest, the PML-N had submitted a requisition notice to the speaker who later called the session on Oct 17 after issuing the production order for Sharif.

    The PML-N president had been specially brought to the Parliament House by NAB authorities for the one-day session in which Sharif revealed the questions being asked to him by the investigators, alleging that there was an unholy alliance between NAB and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.


    Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif. — FileLeader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif. — File

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    A special bench of the Supreme Court will on Monday hear the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) review petition against the top court's judgement regarding reopening of the Hudaibya Paper Mills (HPM) reference.

    The apex court had in December last year rejected NAB’s appeal against the 2014 Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict to quash the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibya corruption reference against the Sharif family. The bureau had submitted a review petition against the SC verdict.

    According to a supplementary cause list issued by the SC, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam will take up the review petition at 1pm on October 29. Justices Qazi Faez Isa and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel will be the other members of the bench. The same bench had rejected the NAB appeal last year.

    NAB had prepared the HPM reference against the Sharif family after the 1999 military coup which toppled the Nawaz Sharif government.

    The LHC had on March 11, 2014 quashed the reference, but NAB did not challenge it in the apex court. The matter resurfaced during the hearing of the Panama Papers case.

    A five-judge bench hearing the Panama Papers case had made a number of observations on the revival of the HPM reference. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, in his dissenting note in the April 20, 2017 verdict, had also discussed the reference in detail and criticised the chairman and the prosecutor general of NAB for not challenging the LHC judgement.

    Subsequently, NAB had filed an appeal in the apex court against the LHC verdict, but the bureau could not satisfy the three-judge SC bench for filing a time-barred case.

    In its detailed judgement, the apex court had held that legal process was abused and due process was denied to Nawaz Sharif, his brother and then Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and other respondents through “protracted” proceedings in the reference.

    “We have come to the painful conclusion that respondents 1 to 9 were denied due process,” Justice Isa had written in a 34-page verdict.

    “The legal process was abused by keeping the reference pending indefinitely and unreasonably,” the judgement had regretted, adding that the respondents were denied the right to vindicate themselves since the reference served no purpose but to oppress them.


    A view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — FileA view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — File

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    Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who earlier this month was sacked as a senior puisne judge of the Islamabad High Court, challenged his termination in the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday.

    President Arif Alvi had terminated Siddiqui on October 11 after the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) found the then IHC judge "guilty of misconduct" over a speech he delivered in July before the Rawalpindi District Bar Association.

    Justice Siddiqui in his petition contended that he was terminated without a due process and that his ouster was done without [the SJC] fulfilling legal prerequisites.

    The ousted judge mentioned that no inquiry had been conducted into his remarks regarding alleged interference by the country’s premier spy agency in the judicial proceedings.

    Siddiqui also raised a number of questions on legality of the actions taken against him, saying he wanted to highlight additional grounds in support of his petition at the time of its hearing at the Supreme Court.

    In his appeal, Siddiqui stated: "In view of the historical evolution of procedure for removal from high public office through an impeachment under the public gaze and open proceedings, the action against the petitioner [Siddiqui] is violative of rule of law and judgements of the Supreme Court of Pakistan."

    The former IHC judge also claimed that SJC members were biased against him, saying that his removal "in an illegal manner was part of [a] preconceived plan of the worthy chairman of the SJC who intended to deprive the petitioner judge [Siddiqui] from becoming the chief justice of [the] Islamabad High Court. A plan is now afoot to bring 'his man' as a chief justice of [the] Islamabad High Court This is itself sufficient ground to establish the malafide exercise of power by the Chairman."

    Siddiqui pleaded the apex court to withdraw the notification of his removal and restore him as IHC judge.

    On July 20, Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had made serious allegations against personnel of a security agency, claiming that they were manipulating judicial proceedings. He also claimed the agencies approached the IHC chief justice to ensure Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz remained behind bars for the elections.

    On July 31, the SJC had issued a show-cause notice to Justice Siddiqui on the reference for making unnecessary and unwarranted comments by accusing the establishment of manipulating the judicial proceedings.

    The SJC took up the matter after considering that such comments prima facie had the tendency of undermining the respect otherwise due to such constitutional institutions.

    On Oct 11, a letter written by the SJC had emerged, in which the council, comprising five Supreme Court judges, had said it found Justice Siddiqui guilty of misconduct over a speech he delivered in July. Later in the day, President Arif Alvi removed him. According to a statement, issued by the federal law ministry, the president took the decision after the SJC recommended his removal.


    The ousted judge contended that he was terminated without completing the due process.— DawnNewsTV/FileThe ousted judge contended that he was terminated without completing the due process.— DawnNewsTV/File

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    Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday said he will make sure that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with probing fake bank accounts receives all the documents they need from the Sindh government.

    Under the chief justice's stewardship, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court heard the case in which the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) claims that Rs54 billion were transferred through 107 fake accounts.

    The top judge, during the hearing at the SC Karachi registry, issued directives for Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah to meet him in his chamber tomorrow, despite being told by advocate general Sindh that the CM was out of city.

    "Where is the Sindh chief secretary; there are reports of non-cooperation," remarked Justice Nisar soon after the hearing began.

    "We have given all the records," the chief secretary claimed.

    JIT head Ahsan Sadiq confirmed the development, saying: "We have received the documents but need to conduct their scrutiny."

    Despite the chief secretary and the JIT head's statements, the chief justice appeared discontented, and remarked: "Tell the chief minister to come see me in the chamber. I am in Karachi until [the JIT] does not receive each and every record."

    His stance soon softened as he acknowledged: "All secretaries have assured their complete cooperation. This cooperation should continue."

    The judge, however, made it clear that "strict action will be taken against those who do not follow court orders."

    The chief justice said he was "confident that [Advocate General] Salman Talibuddin's presence, everyone would cooperate with the JIT".

    DG FIA Bashir Memon, in a brief chat with the media outside the court, also confirmed that "the Sindh government has now started cooperating" with the investigation.

    Meanwhile, detained banker Taha Raza, who is one of the accused in the case, told the court that he has fractured his leg and needs treatment.

    The court granted Raza's request and ordered for him to be transferred to a hospital.

    Fake bank accounts case

    An FIA JIT had been investigating a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions conducted through ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL.

    Seven individuals, including PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, were said to be involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.

    While hearing a suo motu case regarding a delay in the FIA probe into the case, the SC had constituted a JIT to probe into the matter.


    A file photo of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.A file photo of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

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    A severe drought-like situation has forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes in Balochistan’s Noshki district, DawnNewsTV reported on Friday.

    According to a letter written by Noshki Deputy Commissioner Razzaq Sasoli to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), the drought-like situation has affected more than 33,000 people in various parts of the district.

    “Of these 33,000, more than 23,000 people have been severely affected,” Sasoli said.

    The deputy commissioner has mentioned that residents of Dak, Anam Bostan, and Kishingi union councils have been among those severely affected by the situation. Moreover, some families have shifted to the suburbs of Noshki city after migrating from the affected areas.

    There has been less than sufficient rainfall in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan for quite a few years.

    "Shortage of water is a serious issue which impacts our economy and also creates law and order problem,” Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal said.

    The Noshki deputy commissioner said thousands of livestock have been affected by the drought, which has also badly affected the agricultural sector. Moreover, Karez, an ancient irrigation system found in various areas of Balochistan, have also dried up.

    Balochistan Home Minister Saleem Khosa, while taking notice of the adverse situation, has directed the PDMA to expedite efforts for the rehabilitation of affected people. Subsequently, the PDMA dispatched tents, blankets and food provisions for the affected families.

    A large number of school going children have also abandoned their education as the drought forced them to migrate from their native places.


    The drought-like situation has affected more than 33,000 people in various parts of Noshki district. —FileThe drought-like situation has affected more than 33,000 people in various parts of Noshki district. —File

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