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    Prime Minister Imran Khan met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday while on his first official visit to China, Radio Pakistan reported.

    In the meeting between Khan and Xi, the premier told the Chinese president about Pakistan's "very difficult" economic situation, Reuters reported.

    "My party has only been in power for two months. Unfortunately we have inherited a very difficult economic situation," PM Khan said.

    "Countries go in cycles. They have their high points, they have their low points. Unfortunately, our country is going through a low point at the moment with two very big deficits, a fiscal deficit and a current account deficit. And so we, as I’ve said, have come to learn," Reuters quoted Imran Khan as saying.

    The premier described Xi as a role model owing to his vision and leadership. "Our country is very impressed the way China has progressed. China's phenomenal achievements are worth emulating. No other country has tackled poverty and corruption the way China has tackled it," he said.

    "Pakistan wants to learn from China's experience in poverty alleviation and curbing corruption," he added.

    President Xi Jinping, while welcoming the prime minister, said that Pak-China relations have already been strengthening, and have now gained momentum.

    "The relationship has not only benefited the two countries but also the region," Xi said.

    President Xi told PM Khan that he valued both countries' relations, and reaffirmed their "all-weather" friendship.

    "I attach great importance to China-Pakistan relations and am willing to work together with the prime minister to strengthen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and build a new era of China-Pakistan destiny," Xi said.

    PM Khan extended an invitation to President Xi Jinping to visit Pakistan.

    Neither side mentioned economic aid in their comments in front of the press, Reuters reported.

    Both leaders reinforced their shared commitment to taking their all-weather and time-tested Pak-China friendship to new heights,and further strengthening the existing multifaceted equation of the two countries for theirs and the regions's benefit, Radio Pakistan reported.

    Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is accompanying the PM, met his counterpart, Wang Yi.

    Delegation-level talks

    Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L) listens to Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 2, 2018. ─ AFP
    Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L) listens to Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 2, 2018. ─ AFP

    Both sides also held a delegation-level meeting. PM Khan is leading the Pakistani delegation, while President Xi is leading the Chinese side.

    Both sides are discussing bilateral ties and matters of mutual regional and international interests, and reviewing all aspects of the Pak-China strategic partnership.

    Pakistan looks to review bilateral ties

    The PM's four-day visit is aimed at reviewing the entire range of bilateral relations and to participate in the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Both sides are also expected to sign several agreements and MoUs of cooperation in diverse fields.

    He is also scheduled to meet Premier Li Keqiang, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Jin Liqun, and Minister for International Department of the Central Committee Communist Party of China Song Tao.

    On Thursday, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bukhtiar said that Pakistan would not seek rescheduling of about $2.7 billion in Chinese loans due for repayment this year but expected a good economic package, including exp­ansion of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to another level.

    Read more: Islamabad expects good economic package from Beijing

    The prime minister separately told Chinese journalists that he hoped the scale of Chinese partnership would help Pakistan bridge its current account deficit and build foreign exchange reserves. He said his government had been working on two paths, including an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and support from friendly countries.

    He noted the assistance agreed to by Saudi Arabia, and said that China's support would allow Pakistan to avoid a large IMF loan that may attract tough conditionalities which ultimately lead to inflation, squeeze the economy and put additional burden on the people.

    The premier is accompanied by Bakhtiar, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Industry and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood, and Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Mir Kamal on his trip to China.

    PM Khan was received at Beijing Airport by China’s Minister for Transport Li Xiaopeng, Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, and other senior government officials. Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khalid was also present.

    The premier is expected to visit Shanghai to participate in the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai, where Pakistan is exhibiting a wide range of export products.

    He will be a keynote speaker at the inauguration of the Expo, and will hold meetings with other world leaders on the sidelines of the event.


    Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R). ─ AFPPrime Minister Imran Khan (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R). ─ AFP

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    The National Assembly session scheduled for Friday was adjourned till Monday evening within five minutes of commencing after a lawmaker pointed out lack of quorum.

    Under the rules, the presence of one-fourth of the members (86) of the 342-member house is required to maintain quorum.

    Soon after a recitation from the Holy Quran, Agha Hassan of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) pointed out lack of quorum. Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri subsequently ordered a head count and then adjourned the session till Monday 5pm after finding that the quorum was not complete.

    The assembly's adjournment considerably irked the opposition, which had already expressed disappointment on Thursday for Prime Minister Imran Khan's absence from the assembly at a time when the country is facing an abnormal situation due to nationwide protests by religious groups against the Oct 31 Supreme Court verdict in the Aasia Bibi case.

    Sources told DawnNewsTV that the opposition later refused to meet a government delegation over the adjournment of the assembly. The government had reportedly approached opposition leaders for support for a bipartisan resolution to be moved in parliament against protesters.

    The government wants all parties on board over the law and order situation, the source said. The PPP had earlier announced that it would support the government against the protesters. The prime minister, who is currently on visit to China, has tasked his ministers with keeping contact with the opposition over the current situation.

    The PPP's Raja Parvez Ashraf, who spoke to media after meeting Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, said: "It is without precedent that the government itself pointed out quorum and then adjourned the session."

    "The entire nation is disturbed. We should be kept informed minute by minute about what's happening in the country."

    "All roads, schools and hospitals are closed," he claimed. "It is strange that, instead of taking the opposition into confidence, the government adjourned the assembly."

    "We went to the deputy speaker but could not speak to him. This non-serious attitude is beyond comprehension. The PPP leadership had proposed that the parties sit and decide how to proceed together."

    "We were told that the government was going to brief the opposition, but they're still missing. The opposition is still ready to talk — but we can only talk when the government is available," he said.

    "It is unfortunate that the army has been dragged into this. The judicial decision may be crticised, but these protesters should not harass the public," Ashraf added.

    However, he also made it clear that the PPP would not support a forceful solution to the situation. "We want a resolution through dialogue," Ashraf said.

    The opposition parties have so far clearly refused to support the government in case it decides to use force to re-establish its writ. Some opposition leaders had also criticised the 'forceful manner' in which Prime Minister Imran Khan warned the agitating parties to not challenge the state and disrupt civilian life.


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    Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) teams once again raided sugar mills reportedly owned by the Omni Group in three towns of Badin district on Thursday, credible sources said.

    According to the sources, the raids took place late at night on Thursday in Khoski, Talhar and Matli towns during which some records were seized.

    FIA teams also seized official records from a branch of Sindh Bank set up within the boundary of Khoski Sugar Mills. The seizure was in relation to an alleged scam —which surfaced around two years ago — which netted an amount of Rs700-750 million.

    The raids are the latest in an ongoing probe of money laundering cases against various Omni Group officials, including Anwar Majeed and his sons, former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.

    Majeed, a close aide of Zardari, and Abdul Ghani Majeed of the Omni Group are the prime accused in the multi-billion-rupee fake accounts case currently being investigated by the FIA.

    According to sources, FIA officials asked the sugar mill officials about a stock of sugar which had gone 'missing' after the fake accounts case was taken up in the apex court.

    A FIA team along with paramilitary forces had earlier raided Khoski Sugar Mill on August 26, .

    During the raid, an official said, the FIA team recovered seven Kalashnikovs, four semi-automatic rifles, two digital video recorders, 27 hard discs, one virtual storage device and financial files and ledgers.

    Local officials refused to comment on the recent raids on sugar mills.


    Omni Group's chairman Anwar Majeed. — File PhotoOmni Group's chairman Anwar Majeed. — File Photo

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    Lahore-based Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat Chairman Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi, while addressing a press conference on Friday, called for nationwide calm and urged protest leaders to ask their followers to desist from hurting people or damaging personal property.

    The head of the religious organisation appealed to the nation in a press conference accompanied by other religious leaders at Lahore Press Club.

    "This is not a time to fight each other, it is a time to be peaceful, to have courage. Are we trying to tell the world that we [religious leaders] are politically inclined? That we are extremists and want to harm our own people?" he asked.

    "We request protesters and their leadership that they tell their followers... That they can protest, but don't take people's lives or damage private property. Take care of minorities. All citizens in Pakistan have equal rights."

    Other religious leaders also spoke at the press conference, urging demonstrators to remain peaceful.

    They maintained that peaceful protests are the democratic right of every Pakistani citizen, but that no one had the right to damage public or private property of their fellow citizens.

    They asked central leaders of protesting religio-political parties to keep "extremist elements" away from their sit-ins and called for resolution of all issues through dialogue.

    The press conference comes as protests spearheaded by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) against the Supreme Court's judgement in the Asia Bibi case run into their third day.

    Photos and videos from various protest sites across the country have shown protesters damaging private and public property and issuing inciteful statements against the country's leadership, and members of the judiciary and army.


    Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat Chairman Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi addresses a press conference at the Lahore Press Club. ─ DawnNewsTVTanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat Chairman Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi addresses a press conference at the Lahore Press Club. ─ DawnNewsTV

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    The federal government on Friday appointed grade-21 officer Amir Zulfiqar Khan as the Inspector General (IG) of Islamabad police after former IG Jan Mohammad relieved his charge, DawnNewsTV reported.

    According to a notification issued to this effect, Zulfiqar Khan was serving as the officer on special duty (OSD) in the Establishment Division before being “transferred and posted as IG Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) police, under Interior Division, with immediate effect until further orders”.

    Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, while taking a suo moto notice, had suspended the 'unlawful' transfer of the Islamabad police chief after it emerged that he had been removed from the post following verbal directives from Prime Minister Imran Khan.

    On Friday, however, Jan Mohammad appeared reluctant to resume charge of his duties in Islamabad, after which the court removed its earlier suspension of the directives for the IGP's transfer.

    Jan Mohammad, a retired lieutenant, and a BS-20 officer of the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), was posted out from the force and his services were surrendered to the Establishment Division.


    Zulfiqar Khan was serving as the officer on special duty in the Establishment Division before being transferred. —FileZulfiqar Khan was serving as the officer on special duty in the Establishment Division before being transferred. —File

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    The National Assembly session scheduled for Friday was adjourned till Monday evening after a lawmaker pointed out lack of quorum five minutes after it started.

    The assembly's adjournment considerably irked the opposition, which had already expressed its disappointment a day earlier for Prime Minister Imran Khan's absence from the assembly at a time when the country is facing nationwide protests by religious groups.

    Soon after a recitation from the Holy Quran, Agha Hassan of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) pointed out lack of quorum. Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri subsequently ordered a head count and then adjourned the session till Monday 5pm after finding that the quorum was not complete.

    Under the rules, the presence of one-fourth of the members (86) of the 342-member house is required to maintain quorum.

    The opposition later used the adjournment of the assembly as a pretext to refuse a meeting with a government delegation that had support bipartisan support for a parliamentary resolution against the protesters.

    The PPP's Raja Parvez Ashraf, who spoke to media after meeting Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, said: "It is without precedent that the government itself pointed out quorum and then adjourned the session."

    "The entire nation is disturbed. We should be kept informed minute by minute about what's happening in the country."

    "All roads, schools and hospitals are closed," he claimed. "It is strange that, instead of taking the opposition into confidence, the government adjourned the assembly [session]."

    "We went to the deputy speaker but could not speak to him. This non-serious attitude is beyond comprehension. The PPP leadership had proposed that the parties sit and decide how to proceed together."

    "We were told that the government was going to brief the opposition, but they're still missing. The opposition is still ready to talk — but we can only talk when the government is available," he said.

    However, he also made it clear that the PPP would not support a forceful solution to the situation. "We want a resolution through dialogue," Ashraf said.

    The opposition parties have so far clearly refused to support the government in case it decides to use force to re-establish its writ. Some opposition leaders had also criticised the 'forceful manner' in which Prime Minister Imran Khan warned the agitating parties to not challenge the state and disrupt civilian life.

    PML-N refuses to discuss protest till assembly is reconvened

    Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had expressed a willingness to meet with them and had promised to respond as to what time would be suitable.

    "However, it's been four hours and we have received no word from them," said Mazari.

    "I am leaving now, but Fawad Chaudhry will still be here," she added.

    She said before leaving that a meeting had been held successfully with PPP representatives and that their focal person, Naveed Qamar, had been apprised of the ongoing law and order situation.

    However, Mazari's disappointment at the PML-N's no-show did not sit well with the opposition party's leaders.

    "The government itself broke quorum and did not complete the formality of ringing the bell," Khwaja Asif complained when approached by the media to comment on the issue.

    He said the opposition had been scheduled to address parliament today, which was "sabotaged by deferring the session".

    "If the government wants to hold talks with us, they should do so in the assembly," Asif asserted.

    "Given the current situation, if the government proceeds with the policy it has undertaken, it will cause things to worsen," he warned.

    "Imran Khan is the one who began this dirty tradition of sit-ins," Asif said. "It is because of his precedent we are faced with this situation today."

    He insisted that the assembly's session be reconvened to deliberate how to tackle the situation.

    Meanwhile, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal rubbished PTI's claim that the opposition was unwilling to hold talks.

    "This government is non-serious and is not fit to be in power," he remarked, adding that because of the government's steps, the country been forced into a critical situation.

    "Thousands of people have besieged the streets. We wanted to find a solution to the current situation in the assembly, but the government fraudulently deferred the session," he said.

    He said that if the government wants to talk to the opposition, then it should immediately call a session and the opposition will summon its members to attend it.

    "In the face of such grave conditions, making the National Assembly a rubber stamp is a big example of the lack of seriousness of the government," Iqbal said, concluding by saying that whatever talks that will be held with the government will be held in the assembly.

    Shahbaz Sharif was then asked by a reporter what he would have done had he been the premier.

    "The PML-N has given its stance regarding this," Shahbaz responded.

    He said the situation "will have to be dealt with wisdom and prudence".

    When asked if he would cooperate with the government, Shahbaz replied by saying: "Yes we have already spoken about this. We will cooperate with them."


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    Influential religious scholar and former senator Maulana Samiul Haq has been assassinated at his residence in Rawalpindi, his son has confirmed.

    Maulana Hamidul Haq said his father was stabbed to death while he was resting in his room.

    "His driver Haqqani had gone out. On his return, he saw that Maulana Sami was lying in his bed in a pool of blood. He was no longer alive," Hamid said while talking to Geo News.

    The news of his death comes at a sensitive time, with religio-political parties out on the streets protesting the Supreme Court's acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, in a blasphemy case.

    According to Hamid, Maulana Sami was unable to take part in the protest that was underway against Bibi's acquittal due to road blockades and had returned home.

    "He was stabbed multiple times," he said. Maulana Sami's driver/gunman had left the house for approximately 15 minutes when he was stabbed.

    Police have started an investigation into the killing.

    Maulana Sami, said to be around 83 years old, was the head of the Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Akora Khattak.

    He was a member of the Senate of Pakistan from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1991 to 1997.

    He had been aligned with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the July 25, 2018 election.

    Prime Minister Imran Khan's party had sought to work closely with him to implement various reforms and mainstream madrassah education.

    Maulana Sami was an influential figure among members of the Taliban on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

    Last month, a high-level delegation from Afghanistan had called on Sami, known as the "Father of the Taliban", at Darul Uloom Haqqania and urged him to play a role in resolving the Afghan issue.

    The delegation had appealed to the JUI-S chief to play the role of a mediator between different groups of Taliban as they considered him [Maulana Sami] their elder. The delegation members assured him that they would accept his decision for reconciliation in Afghanistan.

    Maulana Sami had told them that the Afghan issue was very complicated and its resolution was not an easy task for him. However, he had said he wished to see a logical end to the Afghan issue and an end to bloodshed in the country.

    Profile: Maulana Sami

    The Senate website describes him as: "A qualified religious scholar, an educationist, a research scholar and a lieutenant of his father, late Maulana Abdul Haq."

    According to his Senate profile, Maulana Sami came from the spiritual family of Akora Khattak, where he was born in 1936.

    A holder of Sanad-e-Fazilat-o-Faraghat and Sanad Daura Tafseer-e-Quran from Darul Uloom Haqqania, and Shaikh-ul-Hadith (honorary) from Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Sami imparted religious education at his alma mater to the students and held important positions in the academic and administrative staff of the seminary.


    This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.


    A file photo of JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq.A file photo of JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq.

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    Abdullah Gul, son of former ISI chief Hamid Gul, on Friday claimed to have survived an attempt on his life, saying his vehicle came under fire on the Islamabad Expressway.

    Talking to media persons outside Safari Hospital, where the body of slain JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq has been kept, Abdullah said armed assailants opened fire on his vehicle on the Islamabad Expressway. However, he remained unhurt in the attack.

    Maulana Sami had been assassinated at his residence in Rawalpindi just hours earlier. Unidentified attackers stabbed the cleric to death while he was alone, initial reports said.

    Maulana Sami, said to be around 83 years old, was the head of the Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Akora Khattak.

    Maulana Sami and Abdullah's father, retired Lt Gen Hamid Gul, had both been involved in Afghan war at various stages.


    A file photo of late retired General Hamid Gul and his son Abdullah Gull.A file photo of late retired General Hamid Gul and his son Abdullah Gull.

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    The government and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) have reached terms to conclude the latter's nationwide protest, DawnNewsTV has reported, with the government making the concession to "initiate the legal process" to place Asia Bibi's name on the exit control list (ECL).

    The government has also said it will not oppose a review petition filed against the Supreme Court's judgement in the Asia Bibi blasphemy case.

    The government has also promised to take appropriate legal action to redress any deaths that may have occurred during the protests against the Asia Bibi verdict and to release all people picked up in connection with the protests starting October 30.

    The TLP has in turn apoloigised if it "hurt the sentiments or inconvenienced anyone without reason".

    The agreement was signed by Dr Noorul Haq Qadri (religious affairs minister) and Raja Basharat (law minister Punjab) on behalf of the government, and by Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri (senior leader of the TLP) and Muhammad Waheed Noor (central chief nazim of the TLP).

    The complainant in the Asia Bibi case, Qari Muhammad Salaam, had filed a review petition a day earlier through his counsel, Ghulam Mustafa, against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Asia's conviction in the blasphemy case.

    The petitioner had also sought the placement of Asia's name on the Exit Control List (ECL) till the judgement is reviewed.

    The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had said yesterday that the federal government does not plan to “put Asia Bibi’s name on the exit control list (ECL) or [file an] appeal for a review against the apex court’s verdict”.

    It had further said that the review petition filed by Salaam was "filed by the concerned party, which has nothing to do with the government”.


    TLP supporters shout slogans at a demonstration in Lahore. Photo:AFPTLP supporters shout slogans at a demonstration in Lahore. Photo:AFP

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    The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday approved the hearing of appeals filed by the federal government against the Peshawar High Court's (PHC) decision to set aside the punishments awarded to 74 convicts by military courts in various cases of terrorism.

    In addition to this, the top court has stayed the release of the alleged terrorists, until a written order is issued after hearing the appeals which were filed by the Ministry of Defence.

    The appeals submitted by the attorney general state that the acquitted convicts were "involved in serious acts of terrorism" and that the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had "ordered their release without considering the facts".

    The petitions further request that the PHC ruling be declared void and the military court's decision be reinstated.

    On October 18, the PHC set aside the punishments awarded to the 74 convicts by military courts.

    Accepting their appeals against the military courts' verdicts, a two-member bench comprising PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Lal Jan Khattak had overturned the death and life sentences that were handed to the convicts.

    The court had overturned their sentences after concluding that the charges against the accused had not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    Though a short order, the bench had, at that time, ordered that the convicts be released. Nearly 50 of them had been sentenced to death, while the rest were awarded jail terms.

    Friday's hearing at the apex court was conducted by a two-member bench headed by Justice Shaikh Azmat Saeed. The court issued orders to all the parties involved and adjourned the hearing till an unspecified date.


    A view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan building in Islamabad. —File photoA view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan building in Islamabad. —File photo

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    KARACHI: Federal Edu­cation Minister Shafqat Mehmood has said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is working to introduce a uniform education system in the country and at present the process of consultation is under way.

    “There are no differences over introducing a uniform education system among the federation and the provinces as we want to work jointly to improving education standard in the country. However a final meeting of the four provinces is scheduled for November 12 regarding framing uniform syllabus and other educational affairs,” he added.

    The federal minister, who was talking to media after paying homage to Father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam at the mausoleum here on Friday, said there was a consensus on most of the matters on the subject with the Sindh government having uniform syllabus of five or six subjects and making regional language part of the curriculum.

    He said at present there was different systems of education in private schools and the public-sector schools, but now the time had come to have a uniform education system across the country.

    In this regard provincial governments will submit their recommendations in the meeting on Nov 12, he added. However, every province would have the authority to introduce regional or provincial languages in the curriculum.

    Replying to a question, he said the PTI believed in the rule of law.

    Responding to yet another question, the federal minister said that there was a lot of difference between the PTI sit-in and the present sit-in.

    Earlier he told journalists that he got spiritual inspiration on the visit to the mausoleum of the Father of the Nation and the PTI government would build Pakistan as per dream of Quaid-i-Azam.

    The government was making a plan to provide more facilities to visitors of the mausoleum and to further improve the museum at the mausoleum.

    Meeting with Sindh governor

    Shafqat Mehmood on Friday also had a meeting with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail at Governor House.

    During the meeting they exchanged views on opportunities of higher education in the province, promotion of research-based education in universities, solution to problems of universities, role of the Higher Education Commission, introduction of a uniform education system across the country and other matters of mutual interest.

    On the occasion Governor Ismail, who is also the chancellor of the universities, said students in Sindh were intelligent and being encouraged in research-based education.

    “They are quite capable and by providing them right guidance, the country could get more benefit from their capabilities.”

    He also said that the private-sector universities were playing prominent role in promotion of higher education.

    Minister Mehmood said that the federal government was taking measures to introduce a uniform system of education across the country and wanted to work with the provincial governments to improve the quality of education.

    He said a uniform curriculum of four to five subjects would be enforced for private and public sector institutions across the country while private institutions would be permitted to introduce three to four subjects of their choice under the new education policy.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    Federal Edu­cation Minister Shafqat Mehmood. — File PhotoFederal Edu­cation Minister Shafqat Mehmood. — File Photo

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    PESHAWAR: JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Friday held the PTI government responsible for the current turmoil in the wake of the acquittal of Christian woman Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case and announced that the countrywide agitation would continue until the government was ousted.

    “Our protest will continue until the government is sunk in the Arabian Sea,” Mr Fazl told a rally here.

    Seminarians and activists of other religious groups also attended the rally to condemn the Supreme Court’s verdict in Aasia Bibi blasphemy case.

    Says agitation will continue until PTI govt ousted

    The charged crowd demanded withdrawal of the judgment.

    The rally paralysed traffic and business activities in old part of the city.

    The Jamaat-i-Islami, political ally of the JUI-F also staged separate protest rally in the city.

    Addressing protesters, Mr Fazl said the Supreme Court’s verdict to acquit Aasia Bibi had been issued under the US and Europe’s pressure, while the rulers wanted to turn the country into a secular state.

    “Americans, Europeans and secular forces have welcomed the acquittal of Aasia Bibi and showered praise on the chief justice but the controversial verdict has disappointed Muslims,” he said.

    The JUI-F chief criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘aggressive tone’ in address to the nation and warned him against using threatening language.

    “We know about the culprit behind the (SC) verdict. You (Imran) is responsible for this controversial judgment,” he insisted.

    Mr Fazl said the JUI had forced imperialists to leave the Indian subcontinent, while his party would bring the government down.

    “Do not push us against the wall otherwise we will throw your government out,” he warned the prime minister.

    The JUI-F chief came down heavily on the PPP and PML-N for supporting the court’s verdict in Aasia Bibi blasphemy case.

    He said the PPP had yet to accept the court’s judgment to hang its founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, while the PML-N was criticising the disqualification of its supremo, Nawaz Sharif.

    Mr Fazl said he had been crying for the last one decade about the implementation of the western agenda in the country through local agents.

    “The recent decisions of the government proved that my apprehensions were correct,” he said.

    He warned the people could ‘paralyse the system to fix’ the government.

    PROTESTS: Religious parties continued to stage rallies across the province against the blasphemy case verdict bringing life to a standstill.

    Major roads and highways remained closed in different areas.

    In Mingora, angry protesters blocked all roads leading to Green Chowk.

    Mostly students of seminaries and activists of religio-political parties, they took to the streets on the call of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal and other religious organisations.

    They gathered at the Green Chowk and shouted slogans against the Supreme Court judges, Aasia Bibi and the PTI government.

    In Swabi city, the JUI-F and Khatm-i-Nabuwat party jointly staged a demonstration against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in blasphemy case after Friday congregation.

    The protesters marched through the main bazaar and demanded punishment for the blasphemy accused.

    They warned that their protest would continue until the Supreme Court reversed acquittal in the Aasia Bibi case.

    The protesters also demanded of the PTI government to go.

    In Khar area of Bajaur tribal district, too, religio-political parties staged rallies against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi.

    A large number of party workers and people attended the rallies.

    In Karak, the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal took out a procession after Friday prayer against the Supreme Court verdict in Aasia Bibi case and insisted that the announcement was a step toward the abolition of the blasphemy law in the country.

    In Ghalanai area of Mohmand tribal district, the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, JUI-F and other religious parties staged a demonstration against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi after Friday prayer.

    The protesters marched from Chanda area to the Mohmand Press Club and demanded that the Supreme Court review acquittal of the blasphemy accused without delay.

    They also blocked the main Peshawar-Bajaur Road for half an hour. The law-enforcement agencies beefed up security in the area.

    In Timergara, hundreds of political workers marched on Balambat-Timergara Road against the acquittal of blasphemy accused Aasia Bibi.

    The demonstration was held on the call of the Jamaat-i-Islami Lower Dir chapter, which was attended by workers of other religious organisations as well.

    In parts of Shangla district, too, protests were held against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi on the call of religious parties.

    The protesters demanded death penalty for the blasphemy accused and warned that they won’t end street protests until her name was put on the exit control list.

    They blocked roads suspending traffic for long hours to the misery of motorists and commuters.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    Maulana Fazlur Rehman addresses a protest rally at Firdaus Chowk, Peshawar, on Friday. — White StarMaulana Fazlur Rehman addresses a protest rally at Firdaus Chowk, Peshawar, on Friday. — White Star

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    QUETTA: Opposition members in the Balochistan Assembly have vowed to oppose the reduction in the provincial share in the next National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and said that the federal government must not be allowed to implement its plan and rollback the 18th Amendment.

    Nasrullah Zeray of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) had moved an adjournment motion in the house regarding the Islamabad’s proposed plan to reduce provincial shares in the next award. Mr Zeray said that the government seems to have been selected — and installed — to rollback the 18th Amendment. He said Balochistan would stand up against the proposed move and will not make any compromises. Mr Zeray added that the province was already in financial crises. Still, he said, the government was planning to reduce the NFC shares.

    He said that Balochistan had already been given less than its fair share in the 7th NFC award, and now once again, Islamabad was set to deprive the province of its due share.

    Mr Zeray demanded that in the next NFC award, Balochistan be given its share on the basis of territory, its economic fragility and rabid poverty. “We will not accept a share based only on population,” he warned.

    The former chief minister of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition government in Balochistan, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani, while taking the floor, said that he was astonished over the delay in the announcement of the 8th NFC award. Mr Raisani said that there were reports about the alleged plan to rollback the 18th Amendment, and introducing some type of presidential system in the country.

    He added that Balochistan had a surplus amount of Rs27 billion in the treasury when he left office. But now, he added, there was a deficit of Rs63bn. He demanded an investigation to find out what happened to all the funds.

    Sana Baloch, of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, said that it seemed that the federal government was set to cut provincial shares. She added that Article 163 of the Constitution clearly stated that the share of the provinces must not be smaller than the previous award, and reducing these shares was against the Constitution.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    View of Balochistan Assembly. — Photo/FileView of Balochistan Assembly. — Photo/File

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    KARACHI: An accountability court on Friday supplied copies of documentary evidence to eight suspects in an over Rs84 million graft case.

    The National Accountability Bureau booked Abdul Rasheed Khan, the personal secretary to the then Sindh local government secretary, Mohammad Javaid Qamar, an alleged frontman of a former district administrator, Mohammad Anwar Kumbhar, the ex-director of the District Municipal Corporation Malir, Ramzan Solangi, Syed Gulab Khan, Iqbal Hussain and Mohammad Arif in a corruption reference.

    On Friday, the court while providing copies of the documentary evidence to the suspects fixed Nov 8 as the next date of hearing.

    The court is likely to indict them on the next date.

    The investigating officer stated that an inquiry was initiated and converted into an investigation against ex-administrator of Orangi Town Qamaruddin Sheikh and others regarding their alleged involvement in availing illegal pecuniary gains through corruption and corrupt practices.

    The investigation revealed that Sheikh, currently a senior director (Land Record) of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, unlawfully and fraudulently got appointed as assistant land management officer in BPS-16 in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation without applying against any published post, it added.

    It further revealed that Sheikh also manipulated his date of birth to enhance the period of his service by nine years with the help and collusion of then employees of Nadra — Mohammad Ilyas Arain (supervisor) and As­ghar Ali Bhutto (operator).

    It claimed that the suspect Gulab Khan, the alleged frontman of Sheikh, illegally obtained a contract of supplying 178 fumigation machines worth Rs26.70m, causing a loss of Rs19.58m to the national exchequer.

    The federal anti-graft watchdog further mentioned that the suspect Hussain helped Khan in getting other contracts without an open competitive bidding, causing losses worth Rs118.058m, it added.

    It claimed that suspect Qamar in connivance with Qamaruddin got illegally elevated from BPS-11 to BPS-18 without recommendation of a properly constituted departmental promotion committee and without seeking approval from the competent authority.

    He caused losses to the tune of Rs46.664m to the national coffers through phony and bogus invoices, it mentioned.

    NAB officials’ recovered unexplained cash, including Rs18.391m, Saudi Riyals 300, Dirhams 2,610 and $500 from his residence, the report stated, adding that Qamar also received illegal gains of Rs750,000 per month for himself and his boss, the (then) LG secretary.

    The report stated that Rs33,257,250, Saudi Riyals 45,938, $800, 10 tolas of gold and other orna­ments were also recovered from the residence of suspect Solangi.

    Besides receiving a monthly bribe, Solangi also allegedly kept on withdrawing corruption proceeds from the funds of the DMC West on fake invoices/bills in the name of M/s South Electric and Electronics, causing losses to the national exchequer, the report mentioned. It added that Solangi’s case regarding assets was to be dealt with separately.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    An accountability court on Friday supplied copies of documentary evidence to eight suspects in an over Rs84 million graft case. — File PhotoAn accountability court on Friday supplied copies of documentary evidence to eight suspects in an over Rs84 million graft case. — File Photo

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    HYDERABAD: A total of 145 inspectors and sub-inspectors of police from Hyderabad range have been transferred from their home districts to other ones.

    A substantial number of the transferred officials belonged to Hyderabad district.

    The range has nine districts.

    The action is not without favouritism for 61 policemen, including inspectors and sub-inspectors (SIs), have been retained in their home districts by their bosses.

    The transfers are done in line with a requirement of police rules that bars posting of a police inspector and SI in home districts. According to policemen, who are transferred from their homes to other districts in Hyderabad range, “they are being discriminated against because they lack clout in their districts”.

    “We end up as losers because we have no connections with the right quarters and those who are spared,” said an inspector out of the 145.

    A Sindh-wide directive of the inspector general of police (IGP) Sindh necessitated such transfers last week in Hyderabad range. Sindh IGP’s directive deals with application of colonial era’s Police Rules. The directive was issued in the light of a Sindh High Court Sukkur bench decision over invoking of the very rule to transfer inspectors and SIs who had postings in their home districts.

    The incumbent IGP Sindh issued directive on Oct 23, mentioning that inspectors and SIs who were posted in their home district should be removed from their postings and transferred to other districts in line with SHC’s order dated Oct 24, 2012 in a matter.

    The IGP’s directive also said that “however the inspectors/SIs shall be working in their home district who are assigned clerical work, line officer, reserve inspector and traffic sergeant or those given exemption by the IGP as special case”.

    The Sindh police authorities have been intermittently violating and complying with SHC’s 2012 directives. It is again being implemented.

    Following the directives initially inspectors and SIs were removed as SHOs of various police stations. Later, many were selectively accommodated against one or the other positions on clerical or administrative side overnight, according to lists available with Dawn.

    Taking advantage of the second part of IGP’s directive police authorities — mainly Hyderabad’s — have spared 32 policemen. They are shown to have been working against non-field/clerical assignments overnight like enquiry officer, in-charges of various sections, district intelligence bureau (DIB) etc.

    Interestingly, hardly any of those posts was sanctioned within the police department, official sources said.

    “Some of these 32 policemen [were] until recently posted as SHOs. They were first transferred from police stations in line with Oct 23 directive. Shortly afterwards they are shown working against these unsanctioned posts,” claimed a range police official. For instance, he said an enquiry officer had to be a gazetted officer yet two of them — one inspector and one SI — were retained as enquiry officer or line officer. “It is in spite of the fact that none had worked as enquiry or line officer,” he said.

    “We are discriminated against and it is being done to hoodwink none other than the IGP. We are transferred because we are either not close to officers and lack clout whatsoever,” said another affected policeman. Likewise, he said, those who were still staying in Hyderabad were even otherwise holding positions of sectional “in-charges” for several years.

    Such policemen have indeed developed personal stakes and (monetary) interests in these positions if an identical IGP’s directive of Oct 22 is anything to go by. It says that ‘ministerial staff’ has been working for long on one assignment/desk.

    “Consequ­ently, concerned officials have developed personal stakes/interest in their assignments. This practice of long duration of posting on an assignment is against administrative discipline as well as root-cause of numerous malpractices,” it said. Those working for three years on same positions shall be rotated within office/units/districts/ranges, it added.

    The transferred policemen face another dilemma. Their families stay in Hyderabad and some had joint families including ailing parents. After having been transferred, the most troublesome thing they face is fixation of salary under last pay certificate (LPC). “Our salaries are not fixed that easily and we don’t get accommodation in other districts as well,” complained an inspector from a nearby district. Some districts do not have required vacancies of inspectors/SIs.

    On condition of anonymity, an officer said the list of 61 policemen — who are spared across the range by district police chiefs for working against non-field and clerical assignments — had been referred back to the IGP with each position they were holding. “A clarification that if the posts they hold are clerical was being sought for them [61 policemen] from the IGP Sindh,” he added.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    total of 145 inspectors and sub-inspectors of police from Hyderabad range have been transferred from their home districts to other ones.  — File Photototal of 145 inspectors and sub-inspectors of police from Hyderabad range have been transferred from their home districts to other ones. — File Photo

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    KARACHI: Sindh Chief Min­ister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the education department to upgrade school curriculum and textbooks to align the syllabus with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 for which special focus will be given to improvement of science, mathematics and English language textbooks.

    Mr Shah, who was presiding over a meeting held here at CM House on Friday to improve school education system, recalled that “we have a very small number of science, maths and English teachers” and highlighted the need for their recruitment through a special recruitment process.

    Addressing the meeting, which was attended by Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah, principal secretary to the CM Sajid Jamal Abro, education secretary Qazi Shahid Parvez, MD of Sindh Education Foundation and others, the chief minister said over the last five years the PPP government provided Rs3,500 stipend per child to 340,000 girl students and provided free textbooks and did not charge examination fee from students.

    “Over 30,000 teachers have been hired over the past 10 years purely on merit while 957 headmasters were recruited through IBA and 40,000 in-service teachers’ training has been made,” he added.

    Mr Shah said heavy investment in school education had been made during the last five years.

    Giving details from 2014-15 to 2017-18, he said Rs459 billion was spent.

    “We have to make more effective and focused measures to improve our school education,” he said.

    He asked the education department to start conducting viability assessment of 15,214 low or zero enrolment schools and 15,000 medium enrolment schools with the objective to rightsize the total number of schools and ensure that financial resources were invested at right place.

    He gave approval for high-priority school infrastructure project under which infrastructure of 2,632 schools would be completed by June 2019 in the first phase and in the second 1,928 schools would be rehabilitated.

    He also issued directives for increasing access to early childhood care and education.

    The chief minister directed the education department to assess the locality, enrolment size, accessibility of shelter-less schools so that appropriate action could be taken.

    Earlier, secretary of school education Qazi Shahid Pervaiz briefed the meeting participants about upgrading of 483 schools to middle and high schools, reconstruction of 185 school buildings and providing 214 shelter-less schools with new buildings.

    He said three public schools at Ghotki, Tando Adam and Umerkot had been established.

    Similarly 4,206 schools were being provided with basic facilities that were missing while 2,632 schools would be made functional by June 30, 2019.

    Over six million children out of school

    Replying to a question, Edu­cation Minister Sardar Shah said 6,413,227 children were out of school in Sindh.

    He further elaborated that major problems of dropout of schoolchildren include dearth of post-primary schools, missing facilities in 9,839 schools, 17,701 single schoolteacher schools and 4,910 shelter-less schools.

    The chief minister was told that out of 106 “state-of-the-art” schools being constructed under the USAID-funded Sindh Basic Education Programme, 43 schools were constructed and 20 of them had been handed over to operate them on public-private partnership mode while 45 primary/middle schools were constructed with the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency in remote areas of the province.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chairs a meeting at CM House on Friday to review the school education system in Sindh. — PPIChief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chairs a meeting at CM House on Friday to review the school education system in Sindh. — PPI

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    ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: Religious parties and other groups on Friday staged demonstrations and brought out rallies in Rawalpindi and Islamabad against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.

    The Rawalpindi police arrested over 245 protesters on the charges of violating Section 144 and holding rallies and protests.

    Though Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) started the protests across the country on Wednesday, some religio-political parties tried to show their presence on Friday.

    Police in Rawalpindi arrest over 245 people on charges of violating Section 144 and holding rallies

    The government had ruled out any operation to get the roads back from the protesters in order to avoid conflict. It even allowed Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) to offer Friday prayers at D-Chowk.

    The capital administration not only allowed the party to arrange the congregation in the Red Zone but also removed containers blocking Jinnah Avenue to facilitate the participants.

    JUI-F’s negotiations with the capital administration were led by Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) parliamentarians, including Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri. A majority of the participants were students and teachers of seminaries.

    The protest-cum-Friday prayers at D-Chowk facing the Parliament House ended with raising of political slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan. The protesters later left the site peacefully.

    The capital also witnessed protests and fiery speeches during Friday prayers in various mosques.

    A protest demonstration was also held at Aabpara by a proscribed sectarian party.

    The main protest by TLP continued at Faizabad where the religious group organised Friday prayers.

    Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry negated reports of an operation against the protesters and claimed that the law and order situation in the country was under control.

    In a tweet, Mr Chaudhry said the government did not want to use force against the protesters. He said Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri was holding negotiations with the protesters.

    Despite the imposition of Section 144 in Rawalpindi, protest rallies were also taken out by activists of religious parties.

    A protest rally was taken out in Bank Colony within the limits of the Saddar Bairooni police which was led by Qari Naveed. Hundreds of students from seminaries participated in the rally.

    The participants were holding placards and banners and chanting slogans against the government and judges.

    The rally was later joined by another rally led by Qari Abdul Rasheed. The participants then marched towards Faizabad to join the main protest there.

    Another rally was taken out on Adiala Road by members of the civil society and a religious group. They were also chanting slogans and marched towards Faizabad.

    Shabab-i-Milli leader Mufti Mohammad Hanif Qureshi led a protest rally from Jamia Masjid Syeda Amna in Dhoke Ali Akbar to Faizabad after Friday prayers.

    TLP Saddar chapter brought out a rally from Jamia Mohammadia Ziaul Uloom.

    The rally was led by Pir Syed Ziaul Haq Shah and Sahibzada Ahsanul Haq and attended by seminary students, traders and members of civil society.

    The rally participants marched on Murree Road and were joined by various small rallies before it joined the sit-in at Faizabad.

    Rallies were also taken out in Chakra, Misrial Road, Saddar, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Dhoke Syedan, Bakra Mandi, Morgah, Kutchery, Jhanda Chichi, Raja Bazaar, Dhoke Kashmirian, Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Sadiqabad and Shakrial.

    The Rawalpindi police arrested over 245 protesters on charges of violating Section 144.

    As many as 28 FIRs were registered with different police stations across the district.

    Besides, the police sought detention orders for about 20 active members of TLP who the police believed could create law and order situation.

    G.T. Road was blocked by protesters at Gujar Khan and long queues of trucks loaded with fruits and vegetables remained parked along the road for about two days.

    Protest demonstrations were also held in Murree, Kotli Sattian and other areas.

    The rallies were attended by activists of religious and political parties, trader organisations and other segments of society.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    Police stand alert at D-Chowk on Friday. — Photo by Tanveer ShahzadPolice stand alert at D-Chowk on Friday. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad

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    Motorists throng a filling station following the shortage of petrol in the city. — White Star
    Motorists throng a filling station following the shortage of petrol in the city. — White Star

    LAHORE: The protest and lockdown of cities by religious groups paralysed routine life across the country for the third consecutive day on Friday, confining most people to their homes.

    A number of petrol pumps in Lahore and other mega cities across the country faced a shortage of stock forcing motorists to either stay home or stand in long queues at fuel stations.

    Similarly, the industry in Punjab almost came to a halt after they neither received imported raw material from the Karachi port nor sent out export items due to closure of goods transport service in the country. “The government must take a decision urgently to end the protests and enable us to receive the raw material used for manufacturing various goods and ship our export goods out,” demanded an industrialist while talking to Dawn.

    According to the petroleum dealers association, the petrol stock at all pumps of Lahore and other mega cities of Punjab continued to deplete fast owing to the stranding of a number of oil tankers on the way to northern parts of the country from the south.

    “The Punjab capital tops in petrol consumption. Its total demand ranges from 2 to 2.5 million litres per day. There are over 1,200 petrol pumps across the province, including 350 in Lahore alone,” Khawaja Atif, an office-bearer of the association, told Dawn.

    He claimed that 50 per cent of the pumps in Lahore were closed and the remaining would not be left with petrol by Saturday evening.

    “If the situation remains the same till Saturday (today) night, there would be no petrol for motorists at any pump,” he warned.

    On the other hand, people thronged petrol pumps and waited for hours in long queues to get fuel.

    “I came here at about 5pm and got petrol at 6:30pm,” a motorist complained. “They have given me just 10 litres. They are giving only one litre to each motorcyclist. What type of country is this where no one knows what will happen all of a sudden?”

    According to a spokesman for the city district administration, the fuel supply to Lahore from Machikay depot (Sheikhupura) and another in Pattoki was suspended since Wednesday.

    “I also couldn’t get to work on Thursday and Friday due to closure of roads,” he added.

    The administration was trying hard to get the oil tankers into the city to avoid further shortage of petrol, he added.

    Meanwhile, the blockade of roads in Lahore also started causing shortage of daily eatables, including fruits, vegetables and wheat flour, leaving people wondering when the supplies would be restored if the protest continues.

    “I could only go to the vegetable market in Singhpura on Thursday as all roads leading to the main market in Badami Bagh were blocked. Today (Friday), I could not even go to Singhpura. Now, my stock has exhausted and I don’t know what will happen tomorrow,” a shopkeeper in Lahore’s Saddar Bazaar said.

    Many others said that supply to the main market in Badami Bagh was being gravely affected because of blockade of all entry points to the city for the past three days. Grocers feared dearth of wheat flour if the government failed to ensure fresh supplies to the city from Saturday (today).

    “Majority of the flour mills are situated outside Lahore, and we need the government to ensure restoration of supplies,” a grocer in Garhi Shahu said.

    Many accused the government of acting as a silent spectator to the roads blockade and doing nothing to ensure supplies of essential items to people. “All business centres and schools are closed for the past three days and no one seems to be alarmed about it. Someone must do something quickly to at least restore supplies to the entire city to avoid a major crisis,” the shopkeeper said.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


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    ISLAMABAD: Accountability judge Moh­a­m­mad Arshad Malik has summoned the last prosecution witness for recording his testimony in the Flagship reference on Nov 5 (Monday).

    Lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed assured the court that he would complete cross-examination of star prosecution witness and National Accountability Bureau investigation officer Wajid Zia by Monday.

    During the cross-examination, Mr Zia — who headed the six-member joint investigation team (JIT) — said that the investigators “did not come across any documentary or oral evidence showing that accused Hassan Nawaz Sharif had been accused of money laundering or any proceeding in this regard had been initiated against him by any UK authority for any of his business activities related to any of [his] companies.”

    According to a witness, Safdar told JIT that during his stay in Saudi Arabia he used to receive 1,500 riyals per month as pocket money from Nawaz

    The witness further said that during the investigation the JIT did not come across any documentary or oral evidence showing that accused Hassan Nawaz had been accused of any wrongdoing of any nature whatsoever concerning any of the aforesaid companies, or any investment made by him or financial transactions carried out by him as detailed in the JIT report.

    He also conceded that there was “no evidence showing that any UK authority had taken any action or initiated any proceedings against accused Hassan Nawaz Sharif in respect of his own tax returns.”

    The star prosecution witness confirmed to the court that Hassan Nawaz had established his business in the UK in 2001 when he was 25 years old.

    “It is correct that accused Hassan Nawaz…had set up Flagship Investment Company and twelve other companies in the subsequent years which were set up with minimal paid up capital of GBP1 to GBP100, and that the purpose of these companies was to acquire properties, develop them and then sell it on profit,” stated the witness.

    The witness told the court that retired Captain Mohammad Safdar — son-in-law of the ex-premier — “appeared before the JIT and stated that during his stay in Saudi Arabia he used to receive 1,500 riyals per month as pocket money from Nawaz Sharif and the pocket money was, likewise, fixed for all family members”.

    Mr Zia told the court that it had come to the notice of the JIT during the investigation that Capital FZE was set up in the year 2001. It was correct, he said, that as per documents the name of accused Nawaz Sharif was found to be associated with Capital FZE for the first time on June 18, 2006 when an application for an employment visa was filed by Manager Business of Capital FZE.

    When defence counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed asked him about the identity of the staff associated by the JIT to prepare the cash flow charts related to the business of Hassan Nawaz, Mr Zia replied: “I had not personally fed the data in the computer…the data entry operator associated with the JIT fed the data in the computer. For security reasons I cannot disclose the name of said official.” However, he admitted that there was no court order prohibiting the disclosure of the name of the said official.

    While the cross-examination was under way, a defence counsel requested the court to adjourn the proceedings since they had to offer Friday prayers.

    The accountability judge wanted Khawaja Haris to conclude the cross-examination by Friday; however, he adjourned the proceeding till Monday as the defence counsel informed that his cross-examination had almost been done and the remaining could be completed by the next working day.

    Subsequently, the court adjourned the proceedings till Nov 5.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    Prosecution witness Wajid Zia. — Photo/FileProsecution witness Wajid Zia. — Photo/File

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    LAHORE: Activists of religiopolitical parties led by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) on Friday turned violent in the provincial capital, especially on the motorway near Faizpur Interchange, where they wreaked havoc on public properties, torched vehicles and thrashed citizens.

    They also clashed with police and injured 20 of them including Ferozwala DSP who had to be admitted to the Mayo Hospital in a critical condition.

    The mob of 100 or so people went berserk on the motorway and damaged cars and trucks. A mobile phone footage went viral on the social media showing the TLP activists setting the vehicles on fire, with the motorists trapped in their cars. Another group of protesters holding iron roads and clubs was seen damaging vehicles as the owners stood by helplessly.

    The road from Babu Sabu to Faizpur Interchange turned a scene of pitched battle after clashes erupted between the protesters and police.

    Iqbal Town Division SP Operations Syed Ali and Sheikhupura SP Investigation Asadur Rehman said the activists of the religious outfits were equipped with iron roads and clubs and they mounted assault on police when they tried to rescue the citizens.

    “Our 20 policemen were injured in the clashes with the mob of the TLP activists,” Mr Rehman told Dawn. The protesters, he said, pelted the police personnel with stones to avert arrests. They had come from nearby villages such as Kot Rajeet and had ample stocks of stones, clubs and other such weapons.

    “Ferozwala DSP Mohammad Kamran suffered head injuries and was shifted to the Mayo Hospital in a critical condition,” he said, adding that 19 other policemen including two SHOs were also hospitalised with multiple injuries.

    SP Operations Syed Ali said police had managed to have the Babu Sabu Interchange cleared. “However, a group of more than 100 activists of a religious group again occupied the place on Friday, blocking the roads for traffic,” he said.

    Almost similar situation was reported in many other parts of the city. The hooligans vandalised shops, set motorcycle-rickshaws and two-wheelers on fire. They also used barbed wires and smoky tyres to block traffic at various places.

    A shocking incident occurred on Ghazi Road where a group of TLP workers, mostly young boys, attacked a family in their car. They pulled them out of the vehicle and tortured the head of the family, ignoring the cries of children.

    In yet another incident, the protesters smashed windowpanes of seven shops on Kacha Jail Road and took away valuables. A shopkeeper alleged that the attackers snatched Rs15,000 from him.

    Near Gharhi Shahu, a group of protesters stopped a motorcycle-rickshaw and set it on fire when the driver insisted that he was carrying a patient to a private hospital. Eyewitnesses said the driver was carrying Jahangir Mohammad to hospital after he suffered injuries in an attack.

    Shahdara and Data Darbar Chowk too were said to be troubled spots where the incidents of violence were held.

    City Division SP Muaz Zafar said police after a clash arrested a number of attackers of the TLP for hooliganism and lodged a case against them.

    DIG Operations Waqas Nazir dispelled the impression that the police remained aloof, saying officials responded to the situation very professionally.

    “The Babu Sabu Intersection was cleared on Thursday morning and remained open. Similarly, the roads leading to the airport and Ring Road, and the railway track at Kot Lakhpat were cleared,” he claimed.

    Additional IG Operations Punjab Azhar Hameed Khokhar said 50 policemen were injured in clashes with the protesters. During a visit to the Mayo Hospital to inquire after the injured policemen, he said security had been heightened.

    Meanwhile, IGP Amjad Javed Saleemi also chaired a meeting at the Central Police Office to take stock of the security situation.

    Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018


    Mob of 100 or so people go berserk; damage cars and trucks.Mob of 100 or so people go berserk; damage cars and trucks.

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