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    An anti-terrorism court in Karachi on Monday sentenced a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker to imprisonment for life after finding him guilty of involvement in the target killing of three clerics in Karachi in 2013. The court, however, acquitted three other accused MQM workers due to ‘lack of evidence’.

    Four accused said to be associated with the MQM – Syed Haider Ali alias Police Wala, Asghar alias Kaka Banda, Wajahat alias Chikna and Syed Ali Hassan Zaidi – were detained after being charged with the murder of Mufti Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, Mufti Muhammad Saleh and Moulana Hassan Ali Shah in a targeted attack in broad daylight near the Nursery flyover on Sharae Faisal on January 31, 2013.

    On Monday, the ATC-XX judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced his verdict, which was reserved earlier after recording the evidence and hearing final arguments from both sides.

    The judge acquitted three men — Syed Haider Ali, Asghar and Wajahat — of the charges of premeditated murder due to the lack of evidence and ordered them to be released forthwith if their custody was not required in any other case.

    However, the judge found the fourth accused Syed Ali Hassan Zaidi guilty of premeditated murder and terrorism, sentencing him to life imprisonment.

    According to the prosecution, the armed men had sprayed bullets on the vehicle of the clerics, who succumbed to their wounds.

    A case under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 109 (abatement) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with the Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was registered at the Tipu Sultan police station.

    In 2013, two teachers and a student of Jamia Banori Uloom Islamia were gunned down in an attack on their hi-roof van on a stretch of Sharae Faisal between the Nursery bus stop and the Finance and Trade Centre (FTC) in front of the Sindhi Muslim Housing Society’s Block-B.

    The closing moments of the shooting were caught by a CCTV camera installed at a wedding lawn in front of which the shooting took place. The footage showed that three assailants escaped on a motorcycle after attacking the van which was on the left track of the road.


    An anti-terrorism court in Karachi acquits three accused due to ‘lack of evidence’ in the case pertaining to killing of clerics in 2013. —FileAn anti-terrorism court in Karachi acquits three accused due to ‘lack of evidence’ in the case pertaining to killing of clerics in 2013. —File

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    ISLAMABAD: The National Highway Authority (NHA) has fetched over Rs213 million by auctioning its 201 vehicles that were being used at offices of the authority in different parts of the country.

    The vehicles were auctioned in line with the austerity drive launched by the federal government to cope with the serious economic crisis the country is facing.

    The process of auction of the NHA’s vehicles began on Oct 15 and concluded on Monday when 19 vehicles of the authority’s Gilgit office were auctioned for Rs4.51 million.

    Earlier, the NHA auctioned 62 vehicles at its headquarters, 15 at the Peshawar office, nine at the Abbottabad office, 24 at the Lahore office, 14 at the Multan office, 10 at the Sukkur office, 13 at the Karachi office and 35 at the Quetta office.

    The NHA is facing a serious financial crisis and its liabilities (payments to be made to contractors) have risen to over Rs30 billion.

    The financial crunch has forced the NHA management to stop not only mega development projects, but also those projects that were being executed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

    Recently, the finance division gave Rs8 billion to the NHA against its total liabilities of R40 billion to provide the authority some relief, but the amount of liabilities — in terms of payments to be made to contractors — is increasing with each passing day because after certain days the authority is bound to pay dues of the contractors with seven per cent interest.

    Once the construction work stops on development projects because of non-payment of dues by the NHA, the contractors also charge prolongation charges (for their labour, machinery, etc, on the site).

    Because of this situation, actually the liabilities of the NHA have been increasing by Rs600 million a month (with seven per cent interest which is estimated at Rs200 million and prolongation charges of Rs400 per month).

    NHA sources said that because of the financial crisis, development work on the 400km Hakla-DIK Motorway and all projects relating to the Karachi-Lahore Motorway had been stopped.

    Most of these projects were related to the CPEC and were to be completed by December this year.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Vehicles are being auctioned in line with federal government's austerity drive. — Photo/FileVehicles are being auctioned in line with federal government's austerity drive. — Photo/File

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    QUETTA: Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai has said that he is deeply concerned over the depleting underground water reserves in Quetta and other parts of the province.

    According to the retired justice, the situation is alarming and the agriculture and livestock sectors are going to be impacted.

    Mr Yasinzai made these comments while speaking to a delegation of agriculturists from Muslim Bagh here on Monday. “Low rainfall and depleting water level has created a drought-like situation in the province, which must immediately be addressed,” he said.

    Governor Yasinzai said it was imperative that the government build small dams across the province to preserve rainwater. If things continue the way they are, the province will turn into a desert.

    The governor said it was time to launch a campaign to create awareness among people about the importance of water conservation.

    “Environmental experts and researchers could be effective in controlling the crises in Balochistan, and advocating for conservation.”

    Meanwhile, meeting a delegation headed by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s Mir Zabid Reki, the governor said that “without educating our children we can’t end poverty and deprivation in Balochistan.”

    “The provincial government has declared an educational emergency and is pursuing a zero tolerance policy towards educational fields. Therefore government employees, particularly in health and education departments, must ensure their presence in remote areas.” the governor added.

    Assuring to address issues of Washuk and Basima districts, the governor stressed that parents must encourage their children — especially girls — to pursue quality education.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Governor suggests small dams be built across the province. — Photo/FileGovernor suggests small dams be built across the province. — Photo/File

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    QUETTA: The Baloch­istan Assembly through a unanimously adopted resolution on Monday demanded of the federal government to declare all drought-stricken areas in the province as calamity affected. It also urged the central government to immediately announce a relief package for farmers in the province who were badly affected by the worsening situation.

    The resolution was moved by Sanaullah Baloch of Balochistan National Party-Mengal soon after the provincial assembly’s session, which was presided over by Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhel, began.

    Speaking on the resolution, Mr Baloch said that according to international institutions Balochis­tan had been facing drought-like situation for long. In view of the worsening situation the province should be declare calamity affected and the federal government should announce a relief package for farmers of the province.

    Urges federal government to announce relief package for farmers

    He said because of the devastating state of the Balochistan’s economy the federal government should also announce other relief packages for the province, such as relaxation in the payment of electricity dues and agriculture loans for farmers.

    He also called for reduction in the loadshedding hours, saying that at least 18-hour a day power should be provided to the province’s agriculture sector.

    The resolution wanted the federal government to appeal international donor agencies to provide financial assistance and 300 solar tube wells to Balochistan

    Provincial Minister for Information and High Education Mir Zahoor Buledi said that the water crisis in the country, particularly in Balochistan, was now at an alarming level. He said the provincial government was taking some measures on an emergency basis to improve the situation.

    Nasrullah Khan Zerey of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party said that environmental experts had urged the provincial government to build small dams in Quetta. The previous government had proposed 200 small dams in hills in adjacent areas of the city, he added.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Balochistan urges federal government to announce relief package for farmers. — Photo/FileBalochistan urges federal government to announce relief package for farmers. — Photo/File

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    ISLAMABAD: A retired government official has claimed that Rs3 million was withdrawn fraudulently from his bank account a few days ago.

    Dr Yousuf Khilji, who served as chief scientist in the Khan Research Labora­tories, has urged Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to intervene in the matter to recover his whole life’s saving.

    In his application to the chief justice, he said that someone had withdrawn Rs3m from his account in Model Town Humak branch of the Bank Islami Pakistan Limited (BILP), Islamabad, within 17 hours.

    Dr Khilji said he received a phone call from an unknown number on Oct 25. The caller introduced himself as an official of BILP and sought “my name, account number and date of birth”, he said, adding that the caller told him that the information was required for sending him a code.

    After providing the information to the caller, Dr Khilji said, he brought the matter into the notice of the bank manager who, after asking some questions, assured him that there was nothing to be worry about.

    “The next day, on Oct 26, I went to the bank and inquired about the balance in my account. I was shocked to know that an amount of about Rs3m had been fraudulently withdrawn from my account,” he said in his application, adding that he came to know that 2,015 withdrawals were made in about 17 hours.

    “Such abnormal pattern of transactions is evidence of the alarming situation,” he said, adding that astonishingly, the bank officers and staff did not notice the fraud.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Dr Yousuf Khilji says his life's savings have been stolen within 17 hours. — Photo/FileDr Yousuf Khilji says his life's savings have been stolen within 17 hours. — Photo/File

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    ISLAMABAD: Star prosecution witness Wajid Zia, who headed the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in the Panama Papers case, completed his testimony on Monday as did the lead defence counsel his cross-examination in 11 consecutive proceedings.

    By concluding Mr Zia’s testimony, the accountability court has come closer to winding up the prosecution evidence in the Flagship Investment reference. The court has already closed evidence in the Al-Azizia reference and in the next stage former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will record his statement under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code after which the prosecution as well as the defence counsel will start final arguments.

    The court will commence recording of the statement of the last prosecution witness, the investigation officer in the Flagship Investment reference, on Tuesday.

    The statement of the last prosecution witness to be recorded today

    The defence counsel and the prosecutors are hopeful that the proceedings in both Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references would be completed within the Nov 17 deadline set by the Supreme Court.

    During Monday’s proceedings, lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris put several questions to Mr Zia about the competency and affiliation of other five members of the JIT.

    Mr Zia admitted that it was in his “knowledge that Mr Bilal Rasool, executive director of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, was the real maternal nephew of Mian Mohammad Azhar, former governor of Punjab”.

    He, however, could not “recall that…wife of Bilal Rasool was a nominee of PML-Q for the special seat reserved for women for the provincial elections held in 2013 or that later she was an ardent supporter of the PTI”.

    Regarding the State Bank of Pakistan’s representative Amir Aziz, the star witness testified before the court that Mr Aziz was working on deputation with the National Institute of Banking and Finance when he was nominated as a JIT member.

    Mr Zia conceded that “it had come into my notice during investigation that Mr Amir Aziz was inducted into NAB on deputation as a banking specialist during the Musharraf regime and he was part of the investigation team which, inter alia, investigated the Hudaibya Paper Mills (HPM) case”.

    The witness then acknowledged that the HPM reference was filed in 2000, but was subsequently quashed by the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court upheld the LHC decision.

    Regarding NAB director general Irfan Mangi, the prosecution witness said that “at the time of his nomination as a member of JIT, there was an inquiry pending against him [Mangi] regarding his appointment/induction in NAB”.

    When the defence counsel asked about the status of a nominee from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) since, according to the counsel, he was not a regular employee of the spy agency, Mr Zia said: “It had not come to my notice that at the time of nomination as member of JIT, retired Brigadier Mohammad Noman Saeed was not a regular employee of ISI, rather he was an ex-employee who was re-employed as a source employee of the ISI. I am not familiar with the working of ISI, therefore cannot explain what a source employee is.”

    The star witness said that “the fifth member of the JIT Brig Kamran Khurshid belonged to Military Intelligence”.

    Responding to a question about payment of Rs110 million to NAB by Mr Sharif, he said that this fact also came into the notice of the JIT during the course of investigation that Mr Sharif had paid this amount to NAB “pursuant to his conviction by the Anti-Terrorism Court, Karachi, on April 6, 2000, and by Accountability Court of Attock on July 22, 2000”.

    These courts had convicted Mr Sharif following the cases instituted against him by the Musharraf regime.

    Mr Zia admitted that “it had come to the notice of JIT that as per the judgement it was held that NAB had no jurisdiction to receive any money on behalf of accused Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif pursuant to the aforesaid convictions”.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Prosecution's star witness Wajid Zia. — Photo/FileProsecution's star witness Wajid Zia. — Photo/File

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    ISLAMABAD: The Senate func­tional committee on human rights on Monday recommended allowing international non-government organisations (INGOs) to work as, in the light of a Supreme Court verdict, the interior ministry was not authorised to ban or stop them from working.

    “The 2016 apex court verdict clearly says that only the government, which is the federal cabinet, can take decisions, but in this case without seeking approval from the cabinet it was decided that the controlling authority of INGOs would be the interior ministry rather than the Economic Affairs Division. The interior ministry cannot be controlling authority unless the federal government decides about it,” said Senate committee’s chairman Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, who belongs to the Pakistan Peoples Party.

    “Moreover it was unfair that the INGOs were not informed about the reason for which they were stopped from working. That decision not only triggered criticism but also allowed foreign envoys to write a letter to the prime minister asking him why INGOs were not informed about their unlawful activities,” he said.

    Shireen Mazari says by writing to the prime minister foreign envoys overstepped their limits

    On Oct 29, the Senate committee took notice of banning of INGOs and directed the interior secretary to brief it on Nov 5. The notice was taken after criticism on social media and circulation of a joint letter of foreign envoys which requested the prime minister to look into the matter.

    Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said that by writing the letter to the PM foreign envoys overstepped in Pakistan’s mandate.

    “They cannot force Pakistan to change the rules. A number of Muslim INGOs are not allowed to work in Europe. In Pakistan, INGOs are given the right of appeal, but Pakistanis, who try to get work permit in the West, are not granted this right. Moreover, some German INGOs were not doing social work and had political agenda as they were attached with German political parties. Some INGOs were doing mapping in Pakistan and they entered in security domain,” she said.

    “However, I agree that INGOs should have been told the reason why they were stopped from functioning because if that was done the issue would not have blown up,” Dr Mazari said.

    Earlier, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Mohammad Siddique informed the committee that it was a four-year-old issue and needed to be linked with the war on terror and incidents of terrorism in the country.

    “Policy for INGOs was revised in 2015 and earlier this sector was unregulated. Some INGOs were working beyond their mandate so we limited them to socio-economic development. Applications of all INGOs were examined by a body which has representation of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior, the Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence, etc. Applications of 74 INGOs were approved and 27 were rejected,” he said.

    “Nine INGOs decided to leave the country, but 18 filed appeals. All of them were given an opportunity of personal hearing and after that some applications were rejected. They have been directed to wind up their operations within two months and leave the country. They can again apply after six months but they would be limited to issues such as clean drinking water, education, health, etc. In the past, they were holding debates on homosexuality, etc,” Mr Siddique said.

    “It has been decided that the German INGOs would be handled by the ministry of foreign affairs. We are not against any country as INGOs, which have been stopped from working, belong to different countries including Japan and the US,” he said.

    Representative of an INGO Khurram Hashmi said that during a number of meetings he was never told about any illegal practice.

    “We provided all the documents demanded by the body, but 18 INGOs were directed to stop operations on the same date. Now we are being told to apply again after six months. INGOs would not return if they were directed to leave the country. A large number of people are losing jobs,” he said.

    Another representative of an INGO Saba Gul Khattak asked how organisations could change their programme if they were not told about their flaws.

    The committee directed the interior ministry to share the reasons with INGOs for which they were directed to stop operations.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Several INGOs operating in Pakistan have been ordered to shut down. — Photo/FileSeveral INGOs operating in Pakistan have been ordered to shut down. — Photo/File

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    ISLAMABAD: Defending its decision of replacing the Pakistani flag on the tail of Pakistan International Airlines aircraft with the picture of markhor, the PIA management on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the rebranding initiative was intended to make a comeback to the global arena.

    In a report furnished before the Supreme Court through senior counsel Naeem Bokhari, the PIA management explained that the airline embarked upon the renewed branding initiative in April 2016 and used the emblem of markhor, the national animal of Pakistan, to define PIA’s journey as a resilient national icon striving to make a comeback to the global arena.

    The SC is seized with a case regarding reports that PIA accumulated losses of Rs360 billion till December 2017 and that the total liabilities amounted to Rs406 billion against assets of Rs111 billion and plans were afoot to sell off the national asset at a throwaway price.

    Decision was part of rebranding initiative to show airlines’ comeback to global arena, SC told

    Last month the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) in a report had blamed the absence of a professional and experienced leadership for the present state of affairs at PIA and regretted that the corporation was being run like a non-business entity.

    PIA was also blamed for wasting money in changing the livery of the aircraft by replacing the Pakistani flag with the emblem of markhor.

    PIA explained that the rebranding of the airline with the symbol of markhor was presented to the PIA board. The board approved that two aircraft namely A320 (AP BLU) and Boeing 777 (AP BMH), which were already in the hangers requiring paint, would be the candidates for the new livery.

    The report furnished by the PIA management stated the markhor livery was selected to be applied by the modern method of decals for quicker turnaround and more vibrant look. Since the engineering department showed its inability to do so, it was decided that brand management section would spearhead the project and get it done through the scope of promotional material printing.

    Subsequently, necessary approvals were obtained from the relevant authorities and a tender was floated with the involvement and full information of stakeholders. After completion of the process, the purchase order was issued to the qualified party, PIA management explained.

    The task was completed and payments were processed, but to create pressure on the then PIA CEO, the provisional purchase order (PO) was released to the media and unions were incited, the report added.

    With regard to the hiring of the brand consultant, the brand consultancy process was done in full compliance of the PPRA (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) regulations through open tender and evaluations by multiple departments, the report contended.

    Hiring, renewal of contracts

    Referring to a ban placed by the SC on recruitment of employees in PIA, an application was filed to seek court permission to allow advertisement for the key vacant positions to hire employees having specific skills to efficiently deal with the consistently deteriorating situation.

    The application explained that some key positions were lying vacant across the organisation as the specific skill required to fill those positions was not available within PIA.

    In 2010, the PIA board of directors had decided to appoint skilled workers on a contractual basis so that they could assist PIA to reach its desired objectives.

    The apex court was assured that the hiring would be carried out on a merit basis conforming to the approved human resource budget while the salaries to be paid would correspond to the existing market rates as the management had every intention to maximise PIA’s efficiency and profitability.

    The PIA management also sought a direction of the apex court for renewal of contracts of the existing contractual employees.

    It said this was required urgently as a number of contractual employees were already approaching the competent courts of law for renewal of their contracts.

    Ex-CEO seeks permission to travel abroad

    On Sept 3, the Supreme Court had set aside the appointment of Musharraf Rasool Cyan as PIA chief executive officer for being against the rules and procedure.

    Mr Cyan later approached the apex court with a request to order removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

    In the application, Mr Cyan gave an undertaking that he would return to Pakistan within three days of notice by the court or required by the auditors appointed on the orders of the apex court to conduct audit of the airline.

    He contended that he needed to go to the US and his trip would not exceed more than 15 days. He added that his wife and two children were in Pakistan and wished to remain in the country.

    The former CEO explained that he had to attend to his property matters in the US but the applicant’s name still figured on the ECL in pursuance of the SC observations.

    He explained that he had already deposited Rs2.3 million with PIA being the cost of passengers who were taken by PIA on the inaugural air Safari trip of the PIA to promote the flight for additional revenues. The persons were selected by the commercial department of PIA and not by him, he contended.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    PIA management says decision to change aircraft's emblem was part of rebranding of the airline. — Photo/FilePIA management says decision to change aircraft's emblem was part of rebranding of the airline. — Photo/File

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    KARACHI: Over 100 illegally constructed shops were demolished and hundreds of stalls removed from footpaths and pavements in Saddar on Monday as local and municipal administrations jointly launched a massive anti-encroachment operation in the vicinity, witnesses and officials said.

    The operation launched jointly by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and city administration on the directive of the Supreme Court of Pakistan will continue till the removal of all encroachments in Saddar.

    The apex court had asked the authorities concerned to make Saddar an “encroachment-free” zone before the action was initiated across the city.

    Sources said that staff of the KMC on Monday removed more than 100 concrete shops, hundreds of pushcarts and stalls from pavements in Saddar and surrounding area and deposited seized items in the KMC store.

    The drive will continue till Saddar, Empress Market are encroachment-free, says mayor

    They said that the action was taken on Daudpota Road, Zaibunnisa Street, Mansfield Street, Passport Office, New Preedy Street, Empress Market and near Regal Chowk and Naveed Clinic by the KMC officials with the help of district administration, Rangers, police, cantonment board Karachi, Solid Waste Management Board, Sui Southern Gas Company and K-Electric.

    The sources said that four teams were formed and each one comprised of officials from the KMC’s anti-encroachment department, district administration, Rangers, police and other government bodies.

    Talking to media, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said that action against encroachments in the most important commercial area of Saddar would continue till Saddar and Empress Market were encroachment-free.

    “Citizens of Karachi will soon see the Saddar area in its original shape and get rid of the trouble and problems being faced by them due to encroachments in Saddar and adjoining areas,” he added.

    Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman, who supervised the operation, told Dawn that the KMC staff reached Saddar around 11am along with necessary gear and demolished several illegally constructed concrete shops in different lanes and removed hundreds of encroachments.

    Over 500 KMC workers, who had brought with them heavy machinery and vehicles, including 50 trucks, carried out the first phase of the operation smoothly without facing any resistance as heavy contingents of paramilitary Rangers and district police remained on the scene.

    The sources said that encroachments in and around the iconic Empress Market would be removed on Tuesday during the second phase of the operation.

    The sources said that most of the vendors and stall owners had already removed their goods from the pavements because the KMC had earlier informed them of the action through banners and pamphlets.

    However at some places the affected persons took to the streets, blocked roads and set alight tyres.

    Four persons were arrested during the anti-encroachment operation.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Qawwal Gali in Saddar. — File photoQawwal Gali in Saddar. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The National Highway Authority (NHA) has fetched over Rs213 million by auctioning its 201 vehicles that were being used at offices of the authority in different parts of the country.

    The vehicles were auctioned in line with the austerity drive launched by the federal government to cope with the serious economic crisis the country is facing.

    The process of auction of the NHA’s vehicles began on Oct 15 and concluded on Monday when 19 vehicles of the authority’s Gilgit office were auctioned for Rs4.51 million.

    Earlier, the NHA auctioned 62 vehicles at its headquarters, 15 at the Peshawar office, nine at the Abbottabad office, 24 at the Lahore office, 14 at the Multan office, 10 at the Sukkur office, 13 at the Karachi office and 35 at the Quetta office.

    The NHA is facing a serious financial crisis and its liabilities (payments to be made to contractors) have risen to over Rs30 billion.

    The financial crunch has forced the NHA management to stop not only mega development projects, but also those projects that were being executed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

    Recently, the finance division gave Rs8 billion to the NHA against its total liabilities of R40 billion to provide the authority some relief, but the amount of liabilities — in terms of payments to be made to contractors — is increasing with each passing day because after certain days the authority is bound to pay dues of the contractors with seven per cent interest.

    Once the construction work stops on development projects because of non-payment of dues by the NHA, the contractors also charge prolongation charges (for their labour, machinery, etc, on the site).

    Because of this situation, actually the liabilities of the NHA have been increasing by Rs600 million a month (with seven per cent interest which is estimated at Rs200 million and prolongation charges of Rs400 per month).

    NHA sources said that because of the financial crisis, development work on the 400km Hakla-DIK Motorway and all projects relating to the Karachi-Lahore Motorway had been stopped.

    Most of these projects were related to the CPEC and were to be completed by December this year.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Vehicles are being auctioned in line with federal government's austerity drive. — Photo/FileVehicles are being auctioned in line with federal government's austerity drive. — Photo/File

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    KARACHI: The Sindh government has raised its voice against the federal government’s attitude saying that despite its commitment to share the expenditures on targeted operation in the city, so far no funds have been released.

    Besides taking up the issue of extraordinary burden on the provincial exchequer, the Sindh government has decided to generate electricity from garbage in the metropolis, which generates 17,000 tonnes of garbage daily from which 250MW power could be generated.

    Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah raised the issue of extraordinary burden on the provincial government during his meeting with chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik, who called on him here on Monday at the CM House. He said that the federal government had vowed to share financial burden incurred on the targeted operation launched under the National Action Plan but not even a single penny had been released for it.

    Minister told to prepare a policy for handing over garbage to a private company for power generation

    “This has put an extraordinary burden on the provincial exchequer,” he said and urged Senator Malik to discuss this matter in his committee. “I am ready to brief the committee about the expenditures the provincial government has sustained,” Mr Malik said.

    He assured the chief minister that he would put the matter before the committee and discuss it so that the burden of the provincial government could be lessened.

    Mr Shah also said that the federal government had not given due share in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects to Sindh and his government was providing proper security to the CPEC projects and even looking after the security of the Chinese nationals working in non-CPEC projects.

    Power generation from garbage

    Presiding over a meeting on ‘Waste and water energy project’ here at the CM House, the chief minister said that Karachi was generating 17,000 tonnes of garbage every day from which 250MW power could be generated. He directed the relevant authority to prepare a policy to hand over garbage for power generation.

    The chief minister said that according to experts 50MW power could be generated by feeding 3,000 tonnes of garbage every day. “We generate 17,000 tonnes of garbage and can easily install five plants, each of 50MW to generate 250MW electricity from garbage,” he said.

    He asked Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani to prepare a policy of handing over garbage to any private company for power generation.

    Recycling waste water

    The chief minister also directed the water board to prepare a proposal for recycling 73MGD waste water for industrial purposes.

    “This is high time to take necessary measures for the implementation of the project,” he said and asked P&D chairman Mohammad Waseem to send the proposal to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) unit for expeditious processing of an unsolicited bid as per the PPP rules.

    In the meeting it was proposed to convert an RO plant installed at Hub into a 100MGD desalination unit. Along this desalination unit, a 900MW RLNG-based power plant could also be installed, the experts proposed to the chief minister.

    MoU with Belgium

    A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Sindh government and Belgium state-owned Wallonia Export-Investment Agency was signed for the promotion of trade, investment and jointly working on the PPP mode in Sindh.

    On behalf of the Sindh government, director of the Sindh Board of Investment Azeem Uqaili and on behalf of the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency Ms Pascale Delcomminette signed the MoU. CM Murad Ali Shah and Ambassador of Belgium Frederic Verheydin also witnessed the ceremony.

    The chief minister told the trade delegation led by Mr Verheydin that there was a big potential in corporate cattle farming in Sindh. The visiting trade delegation showed interest in renewable energy, urban water supply for Karachi and the BRT. It was decided that Belgium’s traders and the Sindh Board of Investment would jointly explore avenues for investment.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah  exchanges views with Senator Rehman Malik at CM House on Monday. — PPIChief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah exchanges views with Senator Rehman Malik at CM House on Monday. — PPI

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    KARACHI: The Supreme Court-mandated commission on water and sanitation in Sindh on Monday directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director to ensure fair distribution of water in the provincial capital.

    In a previous hearing, the commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Amir Hani Muslim, had passed directions regarding equitable distribution of water in the city on complaints of many citizens, mostly from Baldia Town.

    On Monday, the KWSB MD offered an explanation in this regard. However, the commission said the explanation was not convincing and observed that fair distribution of water must be done as earlier connections were given to favourites.

    Judicial commission summons a number of persons over conversion of industrial plots

    The MD must take steps to ensure that the issue was resolved in conformity with fair distribution of water within a week and a compliance report be submitted to the court, it added.

    Commissioner told to hold inquiry

    Earlier, the commission summoned a number of persons over conversion of industrial plots into commercial ones, or allowing commercial activities on such plots.

    On Monday, the owner of a plot, located along a drain in SITE Hyderabad, claimed that the plot was allocated as commercial premises and it was never meant for any installation of industry.

    The commission directed the Hyderabad commissioner to hold an inquiry into the matter and also record his findings whether SITE had failed to restore and revive the choked drain.

    The commission directed that the advocate general of Sindh or an additional advocate general must appear on Nov 13 to assist it after the owner of a fast food centre in Karachi contended that the plot in question was never an industrial plot.

    Meanwhile, the commission also issued notices to a number of persons for appearance at the next hearing for reportedly using the industrial plots for commercial purposes.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    The Supreme Court-mandated commission on water and sanitation in Sindh  directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director to ensure fair distribution of water in the provincial capital. — File PhotoThe Supreme Court-mandated commission on water and sanitation in Sindh directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director to ensure fair distribution of water in the provincial capital. — File Photo

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    KARACHI: As part of a crackdown against organisers of the recently held protest sit-ins in Karachi and other parts of Sindh, police have arrested another five suspects and registered 21 more cases, officials said on Monday.

    The protesters, mostly belonging to the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), had staged sit-ins from Oct 30 to Nov 2 in Karachi and other districts of the province against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.

    The sit-ins had caused traffic jams and immense hardships to the people and halted the economic and commercial activities.

    “During the protests, sit-ins and riots, total 39 FIRs have been lodged against 61 suspects. Of them, seven suspects have been arrested so far,” according to a report submitted to Inspector General of Police, Sindh, Dr Syed Kaleem Imam.

    As many as 34 FIRs were registered in six districts of Karachi; two FIRs in Kashmore and one each in Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Ghotki.

    Three of the suspects were arrested in Central district and two were taken into custody from the Korangi area.

    The report stated that remaining two suspects were apprehended from Shaheed Benazirabad district on charges of rioting.

    It said that of the 61 nominated suspects, 24 were nominated in South, two in Korangi, three in West and 24 in Central districts. Five suspects were nominated in Kashmore and two in Benazirabad district, the report added.

    The IGP was informed that around 7,100 protesters took part in the sit-ins across Sindh.

    The cost of damages to property in Central district only was estimated at Rs150,000, said the report.

    Meanwhile, the IGP directed his subordinates to furnish a report regarding law and order situation across the province on a daily basis.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    The arterial M.A. Jinnah Road wears a deserted look on Thursday. — File photoThe arterial M.A. Jinnah Road wears a deserted look on Thursday. — File photo

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    LAHORE: The police continued a crackdown on Monday on those involved in rioting, road blocking, damaging public property and injuring people and police officials across the province in protests after the Supreme Court acquitted Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case on Oct 31.

    On the directions of the federal government, the Punjab police arrested on Monday 159 people for arson, vandalism, violence and attacking the police, according to a spokesperson for the police.

    Of them, 44 were arrested in Sahiwal, 18 in Lahore, and five each in Rawalpindi and Nankana Sahib. Out of the total 25 FIRs registered in Punjab under serious charges against the violators, 11 were lodged in Lahore, six in Sheikhupura and four in Sahiwal. Some cases were registered under terrorism charges.

    Of the 63 police officers injured by offenders, 58 were discharged from the hospitals while five others, including a DSP, were being treated for their profound injuries. On the other hand, the police record showed that the 42 vehicles damaged and set on fire belonged to the public and 16 to the Punjab police department.

    Eight produced before ATC

    According to our Sheikhupra and Kasur correspondents, the police arrested 95 and 15 people, while TV channels reported 92 arrests in Faisalabad. In all, according to Interior Minister Shehryar Afridi, 1,800 people have been arrested across Punjab.

    The arrests are being made on the basis of the forensic analysis of mobile phone and CCTV footages, and other evidences.

    According to the police, damage to public and private vehicles by the offenders was estimated at Rs46.6 million. Also, the Punjab police detained nearly 800 violators under the 16 MPO. A majority of them were released on assurance from them that they would not take part in such activities in the future.

    Similarly, 300 people were arrested in the last couple of days in Punjab in 130 criminal cases lodged against them by individuals for damaging their properties.

    REMAND: An anti-terrorism court on Monday remanded eight workers of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in 14-day police custody for their alleged involvement in damaging public and private property during protests.

    South Cantonment police produced the suspects before the court of Judge Mr Sheikh Sajjad and sought their physical remand for further investigation.

    The investigating officer told the court that the suspects also tortured police personnel and tore their uniforms in addition to vandalising the public and private properties, including shops and vehicles. He said the suspects had been identified through CCTV cameras footage and mobile phone video clips made by citizens.

    The IO stated that custody of the suspects was required for investigation and arrest of others involved in the violent protests. He asked the court to grant 15-day physical remand of the suspects.

    The court, however, allowed the police 14-day physical remand of the suspects -- Ishtiaq, Imran, Afzal, Farhan, Jahanzeb, Danyal and Majid.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    Eight suspects produced before ATC. — Photo/FileEight suspects produced before ATC. — Photo/File

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    PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will launch a comprehensive report on its first 100 days in office.

    This was disclosed at a special cabinet meeting on Monday convened to assess the progress on the 100-day plan, according to a statement.

    On the occasion, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said that the progress on the 100-day plan was satisfactory and would benefit the people.

    He said the provincial government was working on the plan with full commitment and dedication and hoped that the plan would bring about positive changes in the lives of citizens.

    He said the plan would be completed by December, which he claimed, would help the government set its priorities for the next five years. He said the provincial and federal governments were on the same page and urged the administrative secretaries to focus on their respective departments to timely finalise the targets of the plan.

    Advisor to the prime minister on establishment Arbab Shehzad insisted that the 100-day plan would change the destiny of the country.

    Briefing the participants on the progress made so far, he said revolutionary steps like e-governance would add to the strength of the plan which would ultimately result in framing people-friendly policies.

    The statement said some of the targets set in the plan had already been achieved which would be inaugurated shortly.

    It was agreed upon that a comprehensive report on the plan would help the government materialise its priorities during the next five years.

    The meeting was also attended by senior minister Atif Khan, minister for local government Shahram Khan, information minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, health minister Hisham Inamullah Khan, chief secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch, IGP Salahuddin Mehsud and administrative secretaries.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    KP Assembly. — Photo/FileKP Assembly. — Photo/File

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    GILGIT: Speakers at a consultative workshop here on Monday cautioned that owing to climate change and mega projects being launched under the CPEC the natural resources of Gilgit-Baltistan were under threat.

    They urged the local community to support the institutions for better management of natural resources.

    The event titled ‘customary laws and right use of natural resources in GB’ was organised by World Wide Fund for Natural Pakistan (WWF) in collaboration with Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), a German entity working on managing natural resources.

    GB forest conservator Khadim Abbas, wildlife and parks conservator Yaqub Ali Khan, a representative of GB Environmental Protection Agency, experts and conservation community members were in attendance.

    The speakers said customary laws and signatory rules needed to incorporate conservation of endangered species and forests in the area.

    They said that WWF and HBS had conducted a research to understand status of protection of national parks under GB Wildlife Act, 1975 and to highlight natural resource management customary laws practiced by local communities.

    The findings of the research suggested that communities faithfully adhered to centuries-old practices, which had resulted in a staggering preservation of flora and fauna, maintaining biodiversity as well as saving endangered species found in the region, they explained.

    The speakers said campaigns needed to be launched to create awareness among locals about importance of management of natural resources.

    On the occasion, Danyor conservation committee chairman Haji Shifa said trees were being cut in the name of fallen trees without any check. Due to massive deforestation in GB, glaciers are shrinking and habitat of wildlife is decreasing, he warned.

    Akhtar Riaz, a member of conservation committee Hainzal, said GB police officials were involved in illegal hunting of rare species.

    Dr Mahjabeen, an adviser of HBS, expressed fear that if local communities did not play role in sustainable management of their natural resources, private sector would penetrate in the area and start plunder their rights.

    She said medicinal, herbal and mineral resources needed to be protected from exploiters. WWF GB head Saeed Abbas called for putting in place a mechanism to integrate customary laws with signatory rules.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    — Photo/File— Photo/File

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    RAWALPINDI: Army authorities have interviewed 11-year-old Kinza Bashir, a domestic employee who was allegedly physically abused by a serving army official and her husband, a doctor, who had employed her.

    According to sources close to the investigation, the child spoke of her ordeal in a confidential one-on-one session and showed them marks of abuse.

    Army authorities had sought her records and asked the Child Protection Bureau for an interview with the victim as one of the suspects in the case is serving as an information and computer information technology officer at General Headquarters.

    The victim, who is from Faisalabad, was brought back to Rawalpindi by the police once the case came to light and moved to the Child Protection Bureau.

    “Young Kinza is not going to school like the other girls staying with the Child Protection Bureau because she has only been staying here for her case,” a senior official told Dawn. He added that she is feeling well and in safe custody. Her parents have been permitted to visit her once a week.

    Since one of her employees is an army officer her case was sent by the police to military authorities.

    The woman’s husband was arrested by police and remanded to three-day custody. He will be produced before the court today (Tuesday). He had previously sought interim bail, and was arrested after his interim bail was rejected.

    Police said the man had denied that he or his wife tortured the child, but said in a statement that she would leave the house without informing them because of which she had been slapped once or twice.

    A medical examination and X-ray report have confirmed that the victim was physically assaulted. She has two fractured ribs, but no other bone injuries to her skull, shoulder or left arm; she had complained of severe pain in her arm.

    The police said the couple were nominated in an FIR registered with the Airport police on a complaint by a senior Child Protection Bureau official.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    A medical examination and X-ray report have confirmed that the victim was physically assaulted. — File photoA medical examination and X-ray report have confirmed that the victim was physically assaulted. — File photo

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    PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party has issued show cause notices to its two senior leaders over the alleged involvement in activities against its interest, policy and discipline.

    The notices issued to ANP senior vice-president and former parliamentarian Bushra Gohar and former senator and former provincial president Afrasiab Khattak were signed by ANP general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

    “On the directives of (ANP) central president Asfandyar Wali Khan, you have been issued show cause notice because your activities are against party interest, policy and discipline. It has caused irreparable loss to the party’s cause and it has been confusing the party workers causing doubts in them which amounts to causing damage to the party’s interest,” said the show cause notice issued to Ms Bushra.

    The notice was also shared by the party on its official twitter handle.

    Ms Bushra was asked to submit her written reply within seven days or face action.

    Party tells two to respond in a week or face action

    When contacted to know about the nature of her activities, which might have made the leadership take the disciplinary step, she just replied that she had “requested for details of the alleged anti-party activities. I don’t know much beyond what is written in the show cause notice.”

    ANP general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain said he had issued the notices to the two leaders on the directives of the party’s central president.

    He said the activities of Bushra and Afrasiab were not in the interest of the party and that they knew about the nature of activities they had been engaging in on social media for the last two months or so.

    Mr Mian Iftikhar said the two leaders had been asked to give written explanation on the matter within seven days or face disciplinary action.

    Surprisingly, both Ms Gohar, a vocal politician and rights activist, and former senator Afrasiab Khattak are aware of the alleged anti-party activities, which caused the wrath of the party’s leadership.

    Mr Khattak said he learned about the show cause notice through social media.

    “I really have not received anything verbally or in writing so far and only came to know about it (notice) through social media,” he said when asked what could have caused the party leadership to take disciplinary action against him.

    Whether it is against the party’s policy or not, both ANP leaders, who have been very vocal for rights of the Pashtun, actively support the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement on social media by re-tweeting and liking its tweets, whereas the nationalist party they’re associated with has tried to keep a distance from the social rights movement.

    Earlier, the ANP’s youth organisation, National Youth Organisation leader Mohsin Dawar, who had won the National Assembly election in the July 25 election as an independent candidate, was also removed from the party on the basis of some organisational grounds.

    He said he knew that ‘it’s coming since he joined the rights’ movement’.

    Ms Gohar, one of the vocal members of the last National Assembly, was sidelined long before the current show cause notice was issued.

    This year for the general election, her name was kept on Serial No 5, the second last on the priority list for the ANP’s reserved seats. A new entrant to the party was on the top of the list.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    ANP leader Afrasiab Khattak. — Photo/FileANP leader Afrasiab Khattak. — Photo/File

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    LAHORE: As the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore, has re-summoned PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s sons for Nov 9 in connection with investigation into his assets beyond his known sources of income, a prime suspect in two corruption cases has turned approver against his (Shahbaz’s) son-in-law.

    On Friday last, both brothers Hamza and Salman did not appear before a combined investigation team. Hamza Shahbaz (opposition leader in Punjab Assembly) cited traffic blockade caused by protests in connection with acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case as main reason for not showing up and Salman was in London.

    “The NAB has re-summoned both brothers for Nov 9 to seek details of their father’s and his family members’ properties,” a source told Dawn on Monday.

    He said Mr Salman earlier had appeared before a combined investigation team of the bureau in this regard but he did not provide complete details of his father’s and other family members’ assets.

    According to NAB: “During interrogation Shahbaz Sharif has stated that all of his matters relevant to assets, income and expenditures are being looked after by Salman. Therefore he should appear before a combined investigation team along with documents of all assets, properties including those sold out here or abroad, documents pertaining to sources of income, complete income tax returns and wealth tax returns, details of investments/shareholding in companies in and outside Pakistan.” Hamza has secured a pre-arrest interim bail till Nov 13.

    On Oct 5, the bureau had arrested Shahbaz Sharif in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing project scam. The opposition leader in the National Assembly is remanded in NAB’s custody till Nov 7 on a physical remand.

    Shahbaz’s son-in-law Ikram Naveed, former chief executive officer of the Punjab Power Development Company (PPDC), has become ‘approver’ against Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf, who is hiding in London after being declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company (PSPC) and the PPDC cases.

    “Ikram Naveed in his statement before NAB confessed to have paid over Rs130 million to Yousaf,” an official said, adding Naveed had caused a total loss of Rs490m to the national exchequer during his service. Naveed was allegedly appointed to the top position on Mr Yousaf’s recommendation (by former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif).

    In 2016, the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) had initiated action against Mr Naveed on charges of corruption but Mr Yousaf was ‘given a clean chit'. The former was accused of embezzling Rs450m. His property worth over Rs1bn was frozen.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif. — Photo/FilePML-N President Shahbaz Sharif. — Photo/File

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    ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) have urged the government to expose people involved in the murder of Maulana Samiul Haq.

    Addressing a press conference here on Monday, ASWJ leaders Allama Ahmed Ludhianvi, Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqui and Maulana Muawia Azam — who is an independent member of the Punjab Assembly — paid tribute to Maulana Sami for his services for Islam and said he had made great contribution to spreading a network of madressahs (religious seminaries) in the country.

    They said these madressahs had produced a large number of Afghan fighters, including many senior leaders of Taliban.

    Maulana Haq, who was chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI), was stabbed to death at his house in Rawalpindi on Friday.

    Both the ASWJ and the JUI-Sami are components of the Difa-i-Pakistan Council (DPC) — a conglomerate of dozens of religious and political parties.

    Mr Ludhianvi said those who killed Maulana Sami and those who planned the murder must be exposed even if they were members of his own party.

    He said Maulana Sami was like a father figure to him and his party.

    He warned that if the government failed to expose the people behind the JUI-S chief’s murder, his party in consultation with other parties in the DPC would announce its course of action.

    Mr Ludhianvi said that it could not be ruled out that people who were close to Maulana Sami might have been involved in his murder. But, he added, whoever was involved in the murder must be exposed and brought to justice.

    “We do not rule out any such possibility — but again it is the responsibility of the authorities to expose the killer,” he said, adding: “A couple of years ago a large number of our workers were targeted and the authorities told us that it was an internal job.”

    Mr Ludhianvi criticised the Supreme Court’s decision of acquitting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, in a blasphemy case.

    Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


    ASWJ leader Allama Ahmed Ludhianvi. — Photo/FileASWJ leader Allama Ahmed Ludhianvi. — Photo/File

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