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    LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Tuesday returned Rs169.68 million to 1,474 affectees of the Double Shah scam after recovering the amount from the fraudster.

    The recovered amount was returned to the affectees at a ceremony held at the NAB’s Thokar Niaz Beg office here.

    According to the NAB, it was the third phase of the returning of the recovered money to the affectees of the scam. It said the bureau had so far distributed Rs1.2 billion among 6,490 affectees of the scam.

    On the occasion, NAB Lahore Director General Shahzad Saleem said the Double Shah (Sibtul Hasan Shah) was known for defrauding the public with the promise of multiplying their principal amounts.

    “People were fooled by such fraudsters as they invested their amount with them and later regretted,” he said.

    Talking about the fraud in housing sector, Mr Saleem said according to the list presented before the Supreme Court, 70 per cent housing societies were found to be illegal.

    He said in the housing sector, NAB Lahore received over 64,00 complaints and had returned the whole amounts to the 3,249 victims so far.

    He said only NAB Lahore chapter had recovered more than Rs4bn this year in different scams.

    He said the NAB reached a plea-bargain (PB) of Rs2bn in the Ferozepur City scam.

    “NAB Lahore has confiscated property worth over Rs3bn from a suspect, Farhan Cheema, in the Model Housing Enclave scam,” he added.

    In the Pak-Arab Housing Society, the director general said, within six months the scheme administration would have to give plots worth Rs18bn to the affectees.

    Similarly, he said, the Elite Town affectees had been returned Rs360 million by the NAB Lahore so far. He said the bureau had also ensured handing over of the plots and houses to the affectees in Khayaban-e-Amin Housing Society worth over Rs4bn and directed its administration to give the remaining plots and houses to the owners by Dec 31.

    The NAB said the conviction rate of the cases with the bureau was 78 percent as compared to less than five per cent in the matters handled by police and other investigation agencies.

    A NAB official seeking anonymity, questioned the government’s move to change the NAB rules.

    “Why not rules of the Federal Investigation Agency, Police, Anti-Corruption Establishment are changed despite low conviction rate,” he asked.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Tuesday returned Rs169.68 million to 1,474 affectees of the Double Shah scam after recovering the amount from the fraudster. —nab.gov.org/FileThe National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Tuesday returned Rs169.68 million to 1,474 affectees of the Double Shah scam after recovering the amount from the fraudster. —nab.gov.org/File

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    ISLAMABAD: A new research study carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has found a relationship between smog and the practice of rice residue burning by farmers in the rice belt of Punjab.

    Findings of the study provide scientific evidence of the causes of smog, and the relationship between smog and crop residue burning. The study will be instrumental in helping reduce the contribution of the agriculture sector towards the formation of smog, FAO Representative in Pakistan, Mina Dowlatchahi said on Tuesday.

    The study carried out under the ‘Remote Sensing for Spatio-Temporal Mapping of Smog’ project in collaboration with the Punjab government, found that the formation of smog, however, was not dependent only on the presence or increase of these pollutants, but certain meteorological and weather conditions also help these pollutants suspend in the lower atmosphere because of which the pollutants from a dense visible layer of smog.

    FAO responded to a request from the Punjab government in 2017 and initiated the project, which has now been completed. It is a first of its kind evidence-based geospatial research which will contribute to findings on emissions and drivers of smog. FAO will present the report to the Punjab government next week with its recommendations.

    The research findings were reviewed by FAO global technical experts on information with a geographical component, methods and tools and validated by a wide array of Pakistani experts and institutions. Representatives of the ministry of climate change and the Punjab government were present on the occasion.

    Speaking to experts, the FAO representative stated that the organisation remained committed to support the government efforts to help devise appropriate strategies and action plans to tackle smog in Pakistan.

    Pakistan suffered one of the highest death tolls in the world from air pollution in 2015, when, according to UN estimates, thousands lost their lives because of the high level of fine particles in the air.

    This phenomenon engulfs several cities in Punjab province, particularly Lahore, during the winter months and has evolved into a public health and economic emergency.

    Smog is one of the several forms of air pollutants that cause harm to human functioning. Formation of smog, however, is not dependent only on the presence or increase of these pollutants, but certain meteorological and weather conditions also help these pollutants suspend in the lower atmosphere because of which the pollutants form a dense visible layer of smog.

    FAO is also carrying out water accounting in the Indus Basin using geospatial data and techniques.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    "The study will be instrumental in helping reduce the contribution of the agriculture sector in the formation of smog."— AFP/File

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    ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday issued a notice to the wife of Azam Khan Swati, federal minister for science and technology, for removing encroachments and unauthorised construction from their farmhouse in 15 days.

    The minister’s farmhouse remained in the news after a confrontation between his servants and neighbours over a cow wandering into his land, and the Supreme Court (SC) also took suo motu notice of the matter.

    The notice issued to the minister’s wife Tahira Swati, who is the owner of plot 71, Orchard Scheme, the CDA pointed out to unauthorised construction at the side setback, a basement constructed without approval and encroachment on CDA land.

    The notice, available with Dawn says: “the owner of the said plot has committed violations of the Islamabad Building Regulations 1963 and Islamabad Residential Sectors Zoning, Building Control Regulations 2005, by making said unauthorised constructions”.

    Sources in the CDA said that in 2016, the authority also issued a notice to Ms Swati for building violations but that time, the civic agency did not mention encroachment on state land.

    After the recent controversy, the civic agency mentioned the encroachment, but not the volume of encroachment.

    A CDA document points out that CDA has some 0.44 acres of land next to the minister’s farmhouse and that four kanals of this land is encroached on.

    CDA sources said that the minister’s wife had in 2015 and 2016 applied for the 0.44 acres of land east of the farmhouse, for it to be rejected both times as there was no policy in vogue for allotting extra land to someone.

    However, sources said the minister’s wife was not conveyed the status of the applications.

    CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali told Dawn that in case the violations pointed out by the CDA are not removed in the stipulated time, the civic agency will initiate action against the owner of the farmhouse.

    “Previous notices were also not complied with. However, the authority will conduct an operation if the violations are not removed this time,” he said.

    After a dispute between Mr Swati’s servants and some neighbours, the minister’s son registered an FIR against the other party for beating their servants and trespassing into the farmhouse. Several members of the same family were sent to jail and released later.

    The prime minister also transferred the inspector general of police (IGP), Islamabad via verbal orders on the complaint of the minister for not being cooperative. However, the IGP was later restored by SC.

    When the matter reached SC, one of the neighbours said they have reached a settlement with the minister’s family but the apex court rejected their plea and on Friday ordered the formation of a joint investigation team to probe the alleged abuse of power by Mr Swati.

    In a recent survey, the CDA found that 117 agro farms of a total of 541 contain excessive construction. CDA bylaws and SC ruling allows 9,500 sq ft of covered area while those with up to 12,500 sq ft are allowed to regularise their farms after paying fines.

    CDA officials told Dawn Mr Swati’s farm does not have excessive construction and has not even utilised the 9,500 sq ft he is allowed.

    “The issue is of an unapproved basement and construction at the side setback as well as encroachment on CDA land,” a building control inspector said.

    Mr Swati could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday issued a notice to the wife of Azam Khan Swati, federal minister for science and technology, for removing encroachments and unauthorised construction from their farmhouse in 15 days. —DawnNewsTV/FileThe Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday issued a notice to the wife of Azam Khan Swati, federal minister for science and technology, for removing encroachments and unauthorised construction from their farmhouse in 15 days. —DawnNewsTV/File

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    RAWALPINDI: Four more people, from Ratta Amral, were questioned in connection with the assassination of Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq. The four individuals had been in contact with the JUI-S chief recently.

    Investigators have collected hair of three lengths, the bed sheet with blood on it and three glasses from the crime scene in addition to other evidence. The hair and blood samples were sent to a forensic laboratory for DNA testing.

    A source said the police’s information technology wing is working on the mobile phone data of the slain JUI-S leader and the calls he made before mobile phone service was suspended due to the Tehreek-i-Labbaik protest. The police are trying to reach out to people who had links with the victim.

    They had been in contact with the slain JUI-S chief in the weeks before he was killed

    He said the police have questioned more than 20 people including neighbours, private security guards and tubewell operators, but none of these were detained.

    The police have conducted a search of the gardens in neighbouring homes and the surrounding hilly areas for the murder weapon and other evidence which could lead them to the killer.

    The police have also obtained the medical examination report from the private hospital where Maulana Samiul Haq was taken and pronounced dead.

    Doctors said he had died an hour before he was brought to the hospital. The medical reports include an ECG, x-rays and details of the stab wounds. All of the stabs were delivered to the upper half of the body and there were no stab wounds on the lower arms either.

    The police had not received any calls from the late JUI-S leader or anyone else regarding the incident, perhaps due to suspension of mobile phone services.

    However, police experts from the IT department are working on retrieving the data of incoming and outgoing phone calls on Maulana Samiul Haq’s phone.

    The source said four people were in contact with the victim over the last week. They were picked up by the police from Ratta Amral and were allowed to go after being questioned in order to establish links with other people.

    According to sources, a police team will likely be sent to Akora Khattak to interview the secretary of the former senator and some other individuals who had been in contact with him.

    Maulana Samiul Haq’s secretary, Syed Ahmed Shah, left the JUI-S leader alone in his bedroom on the second floor of a Safari villa in Bahria Town and locked the main gate from outside before leaving for a nearby water filtration plant.

    An initial police investigation suggests that Mr Shah returned after some 15 minutes to find the main gate unlocked and Maulana Samiul Haq stabbed in his bedroom.

    The police think the killer may have been inside the house when Mr Shah went outside as he had locked the gate before leaving.

    They said Mr Shah’s statement will help them get to the killer and the motive behind the murder.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq. —AFP/FileJamiat-i-Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq. —AFP/File

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    ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Tuesday criticised the vague policy of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) about the registration of orphans and children with unknown parentage.

    During a meeting, the Senate Special Committee on the Issue of Increasing Incidents of Child Abuse was informed that Nadra randomly picked names of fathers for such children from its system without the consent of the persons concerned.

    The meeting was held at Parliament House with Senator Nuzhat Sadiq in the chair.

    Father’s name of an orphan or child with unknown parentage is randomly picked from system, Nadra officials tell Senate body

    Nadra officials informed the committee that while registering such children the system selected the name of a citizen at random to whose family tree the child was added.

    In reply to a question, the officials told the members that this was being done without informing the family already registered with Nadra.

    Senator Sitara Ayaz said selecting names at random was a major loophole in the working of Nadra and that the issue must be addressed.

    Senator Raza Rabbani said adding unknown children to a family without informing its head could lead to major issues with respect to succession and inheritance.

    After the meeting, Senator Ayaz told Dawn that the confused policy of Nadra could create succession issues. She said whenever family members would know that there was another person in their family, it would be a complex issue for both the family and the person who was added to the family tree.

    “Since the briefing by Nadra was incomplete and unclear, we have decided to take up the matter again in the next meeting where Nadra will brief the committee in detail.” She said the percentage of registration of orphan and children with unknown parentage was very low as so far only a few thousands such children have been registered with Nadra.

    But an official of Nadra told Dawn that there was no loophole in the policy.

    “Randomly, we only allot father’s name from our database but never issue identity card numbers to the children. So without this (ID card numbers) one cannot claim any rights,” he said.

    During the meeting, while discussing growing incidents of child abuses in the country, the convener of the committee expressed displeasure over the lack of preparedness and coordination between different agencies for the protection of child rights.

    It was recommended that all agencies work collectively to save time and that a subcommittee be formed to sort out the overlapping of efforts.

    Secretary Ministry of Human Rights Rabia Javaria Agha briefed the committee about the steps being taken to address the issue of child abuse and challenges.

    Quoting Article 25-A of the Constitution, she said the government was to provide mandatory education for every child up to the age of 16 years. She said according to Article 11-C of the Constitution, the age limit had been shortened to 14 years so there was contradiction on the definition of a child.

    She said children required an identity and basic birth registrations were just 30pc in Pakistan.

    Children who have no birth registrations cannot be found and in case of abuse cannot have their complaints registered.

    The secretary praised Unicef for working towards birth registrations which was necessary for acknowledging a child’s identity.

    The chief of the Unicef Child Protection Programme, Silvia Pasti, briefed the committee on the programme and said Unicef took into consideration the rights of the child.

    She said the main issue faced by Unicef was lack of evidence of abuse that children faced in the country. She said the major objective of the programme was to support the government to generate evidence which would assist policy making regarding the issue. She said under the programme Unicef planned to conduct a survey in all provinces on violence against children and their economic exploitation.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    A parliamentary committee on Tuesday criticised the vague policy of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) about the registration of orphans and children with unknown parentage. — APP/FileA parliamentary committee on Tuesday criticised the vague policy of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) about the registration of orphans and children with unknown parentage. — APP/File

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    KARACHI: Once a safe haven for encroachers and land grabbers, the vicinity of Saddar wore a different look on Tuesday as the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation claimed it had removed all unauthorised cabins, shops, stalls and sugar-cane juice machines in one of the most congested commercial areas of the city on the second day of its anti-encroachment operation.

    According to KMC officials, the operation launched jointly by the KMC’s anti-encroachment department and city administration on the directive of the Supreme Court would continue till the removal of all encroachments in Saddar.

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

    All illegal structures around iconic Empress Market removed, claims KMC

    Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman monitored the operation, whereas officials of the KMC’s anti-encroachment department, district administration, Rangers, police, Cantonment Board Karachi, Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, gas and power utilities were also present.

    While the authorities cleared almost all footpaths and pavements of encroachments, pedestrians were still facing problems as several motorcycles, believed to be belonging to shopkeepers and their employees, were seen parked on the walkways meant for people.

    Besides, the anti-encroachment staff did not make any effort to remove the “parking and car washing mafia” from nearby Shahrah-i-Liaquat, where traffic jams had become a routine feature.

    KMC officials said that clearing the streets from parking and car washing mafia was not their mandate.

    They said that a major portion of the road housing the Passport Office, FIA offices and Election Commission of Pakistan was illegally occupied by car washers, who were running their illegal business in active connivance with the district and traffic police.

    However, the metropolitan commissioner said that the orders of the Supreme Court for clearing encroachments would be implemented in letter and spirit with the assistance of the law enforcement agencies.

    He said that the second phase of the operation was also completed and work on the third phase would also be continued.

    He said that all encroachments around Empress Market had been removed. “This iconic British-era market is our heritage and we will restore it to its original shape,” he said.

    The metropolitan commissioner said that footpaths were meant for use of pedestrians and no encroachments would be allowed there.

    He said this operation was being carried out on the orders of the apex court and would continue till the removal of all encroachments in this area. Various monitoring teams were also formed to oversee the area and stop any encroachments established again, he added.

    Mayor calls for protecting heritage buildings

    Mayor Wasim Akhtar stressed the need for making strict laws for preservation of heritage buildings in Karachi to save these from demolition.

    “The provincial and federal governments have this responsibility to avert decaying of old structures of historical importance. Such gems of Karachi have to be protected for our future generations,” he said.

    The mayor expressed these views while speaking as chief guest in the inaugural session of a seminar ‘Architectural Gems of Karachi’ organised by the KMC’s culture and sports department at the Khaliqdina Hall in coordination with the NED University of Engineering and Technology on Tuesday.

    Sindh Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Secretary Ghulam Akbar Leghari, former secretary and member advisory committee on heritage Dr Kaleemullah Lashari, chairperson of the NED University’s architecture and planning department Prof Dr Anila Naeem, Assistant Prof Saeeduddin, chairman of the finance committee Nadeem Hidayat Hashmi, culture and sports director Rehan Khan and other officers were also present.

    The mayor said that Rs20 million was earmarked in the current budget for restoration of Khaliqdina Hall to its original shape whereas other historic buildings owned by the KMC were also being restored.

    He appreciated the seminar and said such informative events would prove beneficial especially for the young generations and our students, who have to protect our heritage in future.

    “It is unfortunate that we always treated our heritage badly whereas in developed countries they ensure full preservation of heritage buildings,” he said.

    He assured full cooperation to the organisers of the seminar and said such seminars need to be held on a regular basis.

    Speaking on the occasion, Mr Leghari said some mafias were up against the heritage in Karachi and wanted to demolish these structures for their own commercial benefits.

    He said heritage belonged not only to a certain department or organisation but “to all of us and as a citizen of Karachi we have to play our role for its preservation”.

    Prof Anila Naeem thanked the mayor for the seminar and said that this would pave the way for a long-term cooperation in the preservation of historic buildings of the KMC.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    HEAVY machinery is being used to remove an illegal signboard in Saddar on Friday. However, as seen on the right, encroachers carry on business as usual under the nose of civic authorities.—White StarHEAVY machinery is being used to remove an illegal signboard in Saddar on Friday. However, as seen on the right, encroachers carry on business as usual under the nose of civic authorities.—White Star

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    KARACHI: Chief of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan Khadim Hussain Rizvi arrived in the city on Tuesday and visited the families of two workers of his party who were killed during last week’s sit-in in New Karachi.

    A statement issued by the TLP said that Mr Rizvi also visited a hospital on Stadium Road where workers injured in the incident were being treated.

    The statement said that in the evening he held a meeting with a well-known cleric and chief of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, at his residence.

    “The two clerics discussed issues of mutual interest and shared thoughts about recent challenges being faced by the Muslims world,” said the statement, adding that Mr Rizvi announced that Iqbal Day would be observed on Nov 9 across the country. The TLP would organise several activities to highlight the message of Allama Iqbal.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    "Rizvi also visited a hospital on Stadium Road where workers injured in the incident were being treated." — Courtesy: Khadim Rizvi Twitter

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    ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has said it does not wish to carry on with the “Markhor” emblem since the airline has detached itself from branding of all the instruments and communications since May 2018.

    A PIA spokesperson explained that the national flag carrier would honour the Supreme Court’s order to change the new livery in letter and spirit and it consequently had detached completely from the Markhor emblem.

    The spokesman said the decision on the Markhor emblem had been complied with. PIA does not wish to carry on this matter any further and presently there is no question of defending the same.

    The Supreme Court is seized with a case relating to 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 assets at throw away prices. The court also took notice of the change of the livery by replacing the Pakistani flag with Markhor.

    In a report furnished before the Supreme Court, the PIA management had explained that the airlines embarked upon the renewed branding initiative in April 2016 and used the symbol of Markhor to define the journey of PIA and to show a resilient national icon striving to make a comeback to the global arena.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    A PIA spokesperson says the national flag carrier will honour the Supreme Court’s order.— SS courtesy: PIAA PIA spokesperson says the national flag carrier will honour the Supreme Court’s order.— SS courtesy: PIA

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    KARACHI: Sindh Chi­ef Minister Syed Mur­ad Ali Shah said on Tuesday that government officials on important positions had stopped working due to fear and insecurity.

    In an oblique reference to the National Accountability Bureau, he said it had created “a wave of fear and insecurity” among the officers, many of whom now chose to remain without posting and those holding important positions preferred to not perform.

    “This is a serious situation that has caused serious dent to service delivery,” he said while speaking at the graduation ceremony of 26th Mid-Career Management Course at the National Institute of Management (NIM) here.

    Calls for increase in salaries of bureaucrats

    He asked the officers to come out of the fear [of NAB] and start serving people without any stress and pressure.

    He also asked the NIM to design such courses which inculcate confidence among fear-infested officers.

    Pleading the case of bureaucrats for an upward review of their salaries, he said that the bureaucracy had considerably lower salary structure and perks if compared to people of the same merit in other sectors.

    “Bureaucracy is the backbone of this country and they have to play their due role for the development of its people,” he said and appreciated NIM for offering excellent training programmes for capacity building of the bureaucracy.

    He objected to the slogan “Say no to corruption” and said it “implies as if we all as a society and as a nation are corrupt.

    “We have governance issues but with the establishment of good governance, corruption would automatically dwindle,” he added.

    He termed 18th Amend­ment to the Constitution a great achievement of the then PPP government and said: “That was the time of reforms — the formula of seventh National Finance Commission award was changed for the first time in history and it paid the provinces abundantly.”

    He said he was surprised to see that some people were now talking about scrapping the 18th Amendment.

    Mr Shah urged the federal government to hand over the collection of sales tax on goods to provinces to collect on behalf of the federal government and the provincial governments, particularly Sindh and Punjab, were capable enough to enhance collection manifold.

    Talking about Thar, Mr Shah urged the NIM administration to take their under-training officers to Thar to show them the work done by the provincial government. “We have improved overall lifestyle in Thar where people have started living in pukka [concrete] houses ... we have improved road infrastructure and created employment opportunities.”

    ‘Centre not giving Sindh’s due share’

    Talking to media, the chief minister said the federal government was not giving due share of funds to Sindh.

    “This year they have given Rs12bn less than the agreed amount,” he lamented.

    Regarding Prime Min­ister Imran Khan’s speech in China, the chief minister said: “This was the same speech he had made in the National Assembly and had addressed to the nation.

    “The prime minister delivered such a speech when Chinese refused to give him what he was expecting.”

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    “This is a serious situation that has caused serious dent to service delivery,” CM Murad said.— DawnNewsTV/File“This is a serious situation that has caused serious dent to service delivery,” CM Murad said.— DawnNewsTV/File

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    ROME: Italy said on Tuesday it would help a Pakistani Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, leave her country because her life was in danger following charges of blasphemy that put her on death row for eight years.

    The Supreme Court had acquitted Aasia Bibi last month, but the decision sparked mass protests and her husband, Ashiq Masih, says they could be killed by those opposing her acquittal. Authorities have indicated they may bar Aasia from travelling abroad.

    “I want women and children whose lives are at risk to be able to have a secure future, in our country or in other Western countries, so I will do everything humanly possible to guarantee that [for Aasia],” Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said. “It is not permissible that in 2018 someone can risk losing their life for a ... hypothesis of blasphemy,” said Salvini, who is also interior minister.

    Italy is working discreetly on the case with other countries, he told an Italian radio station.

    Earlier, the international Catholic agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) quoted Ashiq Masih as saying in a telephone call: “I appeal to the Italian government to help me and my family leave Pakistan. We are extremely worried because our lives are in danger. We don’t even have enough to eat because we can’t go out to buy food.”

    In the interview with the radio station, Salvini was asked to respond to Aasia’s husband’s appeal.

    Aasia’s case has prompted groups such as ACN, which has close ties to the Vatican, to demand protection for Christians in countries where they are a minority.

    Soon after the Supreme Court verdict, the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) blocked roads in major cities of the country for three days, condemning the judges who acquitted Aasia Bibi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and the army chief.

    The TLP called off the protests after striking a deal with the government that could bar Aasia from leaving the country and open a review of the judgement.

    Aasia’s lawyer Saiful Mulook fled to the Netherlands because of fears for his safety.

    Two prominent Pakistani politicians who spoke out in Aasia’s defence were assassinated in 2011.

    Deputy Prime Minister Salvini said Italy had nothing against the Pakistani government. “The enemy is violence, extremism and fanaticism,” he added.

    Ashiq Masih and one of the couple’s two daughters met Pope Francis at the Vatican in February and participated in a demonstration organised by the ACN in which Rome’s Coliseum was lit in red to bring attention to the woman’s plight.

    The group plans to dye parts of the Grand Canal in Venice red at another demonstration this month.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    .— Reuters/File.— Reuters/File

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    PESHAWAR: Federal minister for water resources Faisal Vawda on Tuesday said the delay in the construction of Dasu dam is costing the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments Rs340 million daily.

    After holding talks with Chief Minister Mehmood Khan and senior officials on Dasu dam along with the representatives of Water and Power Development Authority and water ministry, the minister told reporters that for the first time, the KP CM had been taken on board by the federal authorities on the reservoir’s construction.

    He said the project delayed for several years had been causing billions of rupees worth of losses to the centre and province altogether.

    Minister says centre will go ‘out of the way’ to help provinces execute hydropower projects

    “The federal government is suffering a loss of Rs300 million every day, while KP’s daily losses stand at Rs40 million due to delay in the dam’s construction,” he said.

    Mr Vawda said during the last PML-N government, the relevant federal authorities had denied the KP chief minister a meeting on the issue for four years.

    He said the centre and province had agreed to tackle the dam issue on a war footing, while the World Bank had also showed interest in building the water reservoir.

    The minister said the construction of this dam would benefit the people of the province.

    He said another meeting on the matter would take place on Nov 30.

    Mr Vawda said the centre was extending all possible support to all provinces on hydropower projects.

    “We will go out of the way to facilitate provinces on such initiatives,” he said, adding that he would also try to ensure funding for the purpose.

    The minister said the Nawaz Sharif government had delayed the crucial Dasu dam project fearing that the rival PTI’s government in the province would take the credit for it.

    He said such vital projects had been delayed for years causing billions of rupees worth of losses to the country.

    Mr Vawda said the process of land acquisition for the dam was delayed but the government had decided to ‘directly’ tackle the issues it inherited from the previous government.

    He said the federal government would not be blackmailed in the name of the 18th Constitutional Amendment and that it was ready to ‘go out of the way’ to help the provinces execute water and power projects.

    The minister appreciated the KP chief minister’s efforts to facilitate his ministry on hydropower projects.

    He said the KP government was not to blame for delay in the land acquisition for the Dasu dam project as the last PML-N-led federal government took 16 months to hold a single meeting on it.

    Mr Vawda said the money for large hydropower projects could be arranged through public-private partnership.

    On the occasion, Chief Minister Mehmood Khan said the province had several sites, which could be developed for hydropower projects.

    He said his government was striving to generate power through water resources.

    MOU SIGNED: The KP government on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with a Korean firm for the execution of hydropower project in Kohistan district.

    A statement issued here said under the MoU, the Spatgah hydropower project would be executed on the basis of public-private partnership.

    It said the five-year 456 megawatts project would generate the province Rs3 billion revenue annually.

    The statement said the MoU was signed between the KP government and Korean firm, KHNP.

    Koran ambassador Sung Kyu Kwak was also present in the MoU signing ceremony.

    In 2012, the KP government had signed a MoU with another South Korean company for the construction of the same project. However, the agreement expired in 2014.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    Minister says centre will go Minister says centre will go "out of the way" to help provinces execute hydropower projects.— AFP/File

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    KARACHI: With a change in its format, the 10th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2018 will include a Sindh culture show, a sports festival and a golf tournament.

    This was disclosed by the media director of Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO), Commodore Tariq Javed, during an informal meeting with reporters at the Karachi Expo Centre on Tuesday.

    The biennial event, with ‘arms for peace’ as its motto, will be held from Nov 27 to Nov 30. The golf tournament, however, will take place on Nov 26 as it would prove helpful in generating interaction and networking among the visiting delegates while also promoting a soft image of Pakistan.

    There will also be a seminar with experts along with a services conference that will be divided into three sessions and will commence on the morning of Nov 28.

    “The Pakistan Army will be in charge of the morning session, the Navy will cover the afternoon followed by the Pakistan Air Force the next day. It will provide a good chance to listen to and meet policy- and decision-makers. All the three armed forces chiefs will remain available during the conference,” said Commodore Javed while sharing a tentative timetable for IDEAS 2018 with the media. He said they would also be organising a counterterrorism demonstration during the event, which is being revived after the 2008 edition.

    He said that the culture show, named IDEAS Karachi Show, will take place between 3pm and 5pm on Nov 29. “As IDEAS is not just a business activity but also about promoting Pakistan, the show will be open to the visiting delegates as well as all citizens of the city, but they should have their CNICs on them,” he said.

    It was also mentioned that the Pakistan Postal Service would bring out a special stamp worth Rs10 in recognition of IDEAS’ 10th edition. “The stamp will be launched at the Expo Centre on the morning of Nov 27 and it will be available at the conference as well as at all post offices,” said Commodore Javed.

    IDEAS 2018 will be witnessing the involvement of some 25,000 people in generating business activity for Karachi and Pakistan. The fourth day of the event (Nov 30) would be open for the public. However, youths under the age of 18 will not be allowed. Traders and business personnel may register through the IDEAS website. They can also download a mobile App from Google Play Store for registration.

    Meanwhile, Badar Expo Solution chief operating officer Zohair Naseer said that so far 47- 48 countries had confirmed their participation. “There will also be country pavilions for 14 to 15 countries. All the six Expo Centre halls will be engaged with the addition of five marquees,” he said.

    The media was also informed that after consulting all the stakeholders the DIG Traffic had also planned out a coordinated traffic plan details of which will be shared at the curtain raiser briefing.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    Commodore Tariq Javed, along with Badar Expo Solution chief operating officer Zohair Naseer, Lt Commander Shabbir andCommodore Tariq Javed, along with Badar Expo Solution chief operating officer Zohair Naseer, Lt Commander Shabbir and

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    PESHAWAR: Expressing concern about the mysterious disappearance of a senior officer of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police in Islamabad, Tahir Khan Dawar’s family and elders of North Waziristan tribal district on Tuesday demanded the immediate recovery of the superintendent of police.

    “The government should recover the missing police officer within five days otherwise the residents of North Waziristan district will organise sit-ins protest in Islamabad and Peshawar simultaneously,” said Malik Jalal Khan told a joint news conference here.

    The tribal elders, family members of the missing officer, including his two small daughters, and the activists of Waziristan Qaumi Welfare Jirga, who were present in the news conference, said the government seemed clueless about the whereabouts of SP Tahir.

    Set five-day deadline for recovery of SP

    Mr Tahir, the Peshawar SP (rule zone), had left his house in Islamabad for a walk on Oct 27 but didn’t return.

    No group or individual has claimed responsibility for his ‘abduction’.

    A family member told Dawn that a text message sent by an anonymous mobile phone user few days ago read that Tahir Khan was in Punjab’s Sarai Alamgir area.

    “We think that the message was fake,” he said.

    Sources said the police department continued to be groping in the dark about the disappearance of its senior officer.

    They said the disappearance had been really embarrassing for the department and had caused discomfort among the police officials.

    A source said the city police’s chief had visited Islamabad on Tuesday to discuss SP Tahir Khan’s disappearance with his counterparts.

    He said provincial police chief Salahuddin Mehsud was also in the federal capital to take up the issue with the relevant federal authorities.

    Addressing the news conference, Malik Jalal said the family of Tahir Khan, especially his children, was distressed as the police department didn’t give satisfactory response about his disappearance.

    He said the people of Waziristan were concerned about the matter.

    “The elders of Dawar and Ahmadzai Wazir tribes held separate meetings with police chief Salahuddin Mehsud and other senior officers of the department but they gave verbal assurances only,” he said adding that SP Tahir Khan was a very patriotic officer and had fulfilled his duty and responsibilities honestly.

    The elder regretted that a senior police officer had gone missing in Islamabad but the authorities concerned were still unable to find his whereabouts.

    He said the federal police and interior ministry couldn’t absolve themselves of the case and that KP police and provincial government should play the due role in the recovery of their officer.

    Malik Jalal said if the government failed to recover SP Tahir Khan in the next five days, then the people of North Waziristan would stage sit-ins in Peshawar and Islamabad.

    He appealed to the prime minister, Supreme Court chief justice and army chief to take notice of the police officer’s disappearance and the silence of the relevant departments on it.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    Family members of missing SP Tahir Khan Dawar address a presser at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday. — White StarFamily members of missing SP Tahir Khan Dawar address a presser at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday. — White Star

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    KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed an antiterrorism court to conclude the trial of a case pertaining to the murder of renowned social worker Perween Rahman within two months.

    Ayaz Shamzai, alias Swati, Mohammad Amjad Hussain Khan, Ahmed Khan, alias Ahmed Ali alias Pappu Kashmiri, Mohammad Imran Swati and Mohammad Raheem Swati have been charged with killing Ms Rahman, director of the Orangi Pilot Project, on Manghopir Road in March 2013.

    Three accused persons through their counsel moved bail applications before the SHC while an official of the legal branch of police informed the SHC that out of 29 prosecution witnesses, 19 had been examined so far.

    After hearing both sides, a two-judge bench of the SHC headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh discharged the bail applications and directed the trial court to decide the case within two months.

    A case was registered under sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Pirabad police station. Later, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was incorpo­rated in the case on a directive of the Supreme Court.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    Perween had a personal rapport with the women in Orangi. — Photo courtesy OPPPerween had a personal rapport with the women in Orangi. — Photo courtesy OPP

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    NAWABSHAH: Everyone comes to power under a “deal” in Pakistan and so did [ousted prime minister] Nawaz Sharif and [Prime Minister] Imran Khan, none of whom know how to get jobs done and how to run the country’s affairs.

    This was stated by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, who is a former president of Pakistan, while speaking to party workers and supporters at the residence of a party activist, Imdad Hussain Rahu, in Sabu Rahu village near Sakrand on Tuesday.

    Disapproving PM Khan’s way of bringing in investments and arranging for bailout packages for the country, Mr Zardari remarked that the “prime minister is begging all around which is not good [for the country’s prestige].

    “Our party ruled over the country with available resources,” he said.

    Mr Zardari said that Imran Khan proudly made mention of the achievement with regard to bilateral business with China in the latter’s currency but he [PM] did not know that the PPP government had signed such an agreement with six countries, including China. “The other countries include Jordan, Turkey and Sri Lanka,” he claimed.

    The former president, currently a member of the National Assembly, noted that the federal government was planning and finding ways to arrest him [in the wake of ongoing investigations into several money-laundering scams]. “But this will add to the popularity I already enjoy,” he remarked, and said he was not afraid of such things as he had already gone through such episodes of tussles with governments in the past.

    Mentioning the 18th Constitutional Amendment and Balochistan package as PPP government’s distinctive initiatives, Mr Zardari said that he [as the head of state and the PPP] gave constitutional rights to Balochistan though no one had approached him with such a plan. “We also got provinces autonomy through the 18th Amendment because it was their right,” he added.

    Turning to the PPP government in Sindh, Mr Zardari said it had accorded a priority and set its focus on the agriculture sector. Lining of watercourses was done throughout Shaheed Benazirabad district. “Nawabshah was given several packages previously and will be given another special development package,” he announced.

    MPAs Haji Ali Hasan Zardari, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Sardar Khan Mohammed Dahiri, former law minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar and other PPP leaders were also present.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    Zardari says PM Khan is Zardari says PM Khan is "begging" all around which is not good [for the country’s prestige].— Reuters/File

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    LAHORE: The Punjab Higher Education Department (PHED) has initiated a move to introduce a uniform higher education policy by next month.

    The department has constituted six groups comprising top academics to give recommendations to Punjab Higher Education Minister Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz by Nov 19.

    The groups started holding consultative meetings from Nov 4 and the final draft will be sent to Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for approval next month.

    Punjab Higher Education Secretary Sarah Saeed told Dawn that the government was working to devise its first higher education policy and groups comprising education experts had been established for consultations on different agendas.

    The groups were asked to hold meetings to develop recommendations for the department to help devise the new policy.

    The secretary said the objectives of these groups were to suggest reforms in the higher education sector for bringing about improvement in the quality of education.

    She said the groups were tasked with furnishing their recommendations to overcome shortcomings in the sector, including reforming college education, qualifications, courses and curricula standardisation, faculty development for better learning and research outcomes, fostering research, innovation and developing partnerships with businesses and examinations and assessment systems.

    According to a PHED notification available with Dawn: “In order to carry out focused deliberations on the key parameters of the upcoming Provincial Higher Education Policy for Punjab and to subsequently present their recommendations to the Higher Education Department Punjab, the working groups have been constituted along with the TOR.”

    One group is tasked with exploring access, equity and affordability in the higher education sector with Lums Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Ahsan Rana as its focal person.

    The second group will deliberate on reformation of college education, idea of community colleges and other approaches for better employability. Its focal person is Lums professor Dr Jamshed Hassan Khan.

    The third group is tasked with working on qualifications, courses and curricula standardisation and comprises Lums Dr Tahir Andrabi as its focal person.

    The job of the fourth group is to discuss faculty development for better learning and research outcomes and comprises Lums professor Dr Fareed Zaffar as its focal person.

    The fifth group is tasked with suggesting ideas on fostering research, innovation and developing partnerships with businesses. Its focal person is Dr Arif Nazir Butt from Lums.

    The sixth group is tasked with reviewing examinations and assessment systems and comprises Lums professor Dr Faisal Bari as the focal person.

    The terms of reference of the groups state that the secretary of each group, in consultation with the focal person, will organise the first meeting not later than Nov 4.

    All the groups were required to present their draft recommendations to the higher education minister in the week commencing from Nov 19 and, if needed, the focal persons of all the groups could engage any relevant stakeholders to be part of their deliberations.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    The Punjab Higher Education Department (PHED) has initiated a move to introduce a uniform higher education policy by next month.  —AFP/FileThe Punjab Higher Education Department (PHED) has initiated a move to introduce a uniform higher education policy by next month. —AFP/File

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    ISLAMABAD: Expressing surprise over the Islamabad High Court’s Sept 19 judgement which had suspended sentences earlier awarded to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other members of his family by an accountability court in a corruption case, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar observed on Tuesday that the Supreme Court had no option but to suspend it.

    The CJP was heading a three-judge SC bench which resumed hearing a petition of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) which has challenged the Sept 19 IHC judgement.

    “The judgement has spoiled the jurisprudence so far developed in the country that deeper appreciation on merits in a case cannot be given at the bail granting stage,” observed CJP Nisar.

    “We have no other option but to suspend the IHC judgement of Sept 19, 2018,” the CJP observed while referring to paragraph 28 of the judgement in which the high court had held that in the light of the obvious and glaring defects and infirmities in the judgement of the accountability court, the high court had formed a prima facie (tentative opinion) that the convictions and sentences handed down to Mr Sharif and other members of his family might not be ultimately sustainable.

    “Is this the kind of judgements which could be rendered by the high court while dealing with bail petitions?” the chief justice asked, saying the high court should have taken up the appeal against the conviction first to decide the same.

    Explains high court’s judgement spoils jurisprudence that deeper appreciation on merits in case cannot be given at bail granting stage

    The CJP observed that the IHC had given an ultimate finding in its judgement. But Mr Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed contended that it was a tentative observation on the part of the high court.

    Accountability judge Mohammad Bashir awarded 10 years imprisonment to Mr Shairf, seven to his daughter Maryam Nawaz and one to his son-in-law retired Captain Muhammad Safdar in the Avenfield apartment reference on July 6, 2018.

    A division bench of the IHC suspended the sentences on Sept 19 while accepting petitions of the Sharifs against them.

    Taking up the petition of NAB against the IHC judgement, the SC on Oct 24 issued notices to the Sharifs.

    CJP Nisar on Tuesday asked Khawaja Haris as well as NAB special prosecutor Akram Qureshi to furnish their propositions and formulations explaining their respective stands which will be taken up by the court again on Nov 12 (Monday).

    The CJP wondered whether the counsel wanted the apex court to hold that the writ jurisdiction of the high court was on a par when the ordinary laws like the criminal procedure code do not apply in matters relating to special courts like NAB (accountability) courts.

    He said it was not the job of the high court to fish or indulge in roving inquiry to find out errors in the trial court’s judgement.

    The apex court asked the Sharifs’ counsel to point out errors or defects in the trial court judgement which had become basis for the suspension of the conviction.

    The counsel explained that the trial court had held that his client possessed assets beyond his known sources of income. In a nutshell the trial court had held that upscale Avenfield apartments in London belonged to the Sharifs, he added.

    On one point, the CJP reminded the counsel that he had to listen to the court first and then respond, adding he could lose his temper in the trial court or the high court, but not here in the apex court.

    The counsel argued that the prosecution had to first quantify the known sources of income of his client. But, he added, in the entire verdict of the trial court there was not a single mention about the value of the properties in question.

    On the question of the CJP that to whom the assets belonged, the counsel said they belonged to Mr Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz.

    Whether the assets came out of nowhere, the CJP observed, adding the onus to prove innocence was on the accused on the principle of strict liability.

    But the counsel argued that it was for the prosecution to prove that the properties were amassed beyond known sources of income, The CJP, however, insisted it was for the accused to explain that the assets were not acquired through illegal means.

    The counsel, however, said that until NAB proved that the accused did not have enough means to possess the assets, the burden to prove innocence was not on the accused. The SC had already held the same in four different judgements that it was the burden upon the prosecution to prove guilt, he added.

    The CJP observed that the apex court had shown a great courtesy by referring the matter to the trial court in the Panama Papers case, otherwise it could have held the Sharifs as accused in the matter.

    At the outset of the proceedings, Khawaja Haris congratulated CJP Nisar for his successful cardiac procedure at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology. “We hold the CJP in high esteem and it is a great relief that he is in good health,” he said.

    Mr Haris said being a friend of the court he would like to advise the CJP to take some time off instead of holding the court.

    CJP Nisar, however, replied that his doctor had not allowed him to resume work, adding that a doctor was sitting in an adjacent room. He said he could not absolve him of his responsibilities because the case at hand was of sensitive nature.

    This was not the matter of a person, but the development of the jurisprudence and the law, the CJP said.

    At the end of the proceedings, Akram Qureshi recalled that CJP Nisar used to tell him that the matters of health should be taken seriously.

    On this, the CJP said he could not answer this question in the open court, adding that institutions of this country were of paramount importance to him.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar expresses surprise over the IHC judgement, observes that the SC had no option but to suspend it. ─ File photoChief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar expresses surprise over the IHC judgement, observes that the SC had no option but to suspend it. ─ File photo

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    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday extended his wishes to all Hindu citizens on the occasion of Diwali, the festival of lights.

    Other prominent members of the government, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, also wished the Hindu community a happy Diwali.

    National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser also greeted Hindu parliamentarians and the Hindu community on the occasion, describing Pakistan as a "pluralistic country and enriched with cultural diversity", Radio Pakistan reported.

    Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif also wished the Hindu community on the occasion, asserting that members of the Hindu community are equal citizens of Pakistan.

    The PML-N president said that the rights of non-Muslims were enshrined in the Constitution and guaranteed by Islam, and that members of minority communities have played an important role in the formation, defence, construction and development of Pakistan.

    He added that the PML-N would continue to play its role in protecting the rights of non-Muslims.

    PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also extended his greetings to Hindu communities across the world and in Pakistan on the eve of Diwali.

    Pakistani border officials also exchanged a gift of sweets with their Indian counterparts at the Wagah border to mark the festive occasion.

    Pakistani border officials (centre L) exchange a gift of sweets with their Indian counterparts (centre R) to mark Diwali at a Wagah border post about 35km from Amritsar on November 7. — AFP
    Pakistani border officials (centre L) exchange a gift of sweets with their Indian counterparts (centre R) to mark Diwali at a Wagah border post about 35km from Amritsar on November 7. — AFP

    Twenty-one days after "Dussehra" ─ a festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil ─ comes one of the most awaited festivals among Hindus, Diwali, which is celebrated to mark the day when Lord Rama returned home after his 14-year exile.

    Diwali is a five day colourful festival which involves lighting of candles, worshipping, celebrations and prayers.

    Diwali is celebrated in more than 10 countries: Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad, Tobago, Suriname, Singapore, Fiji, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

    During this time houses are cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Candles and lamps are lit in and outside every home as a greeting to Lakshmi.

    All celebrations end at daybreak, and people then visit friends, relatives and exchange sweets and gifts.


    Prime Minister Imran Khan wishes all Hindu citizens a happy Diwali. ─ Photo courtesy Imran Khan official InstagramPrime Minister Imran Khan wishes all Hindu citizens a happy Diwali. ─ Photo courtesy Imran Khan official Instagram

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    NAWABSHAH: Everyone comes to power under a “deal” in Pakistan and so did [ousted prime minister] Nawaz Sharif and [Prime Minister] Imran Khan, none of whom know how to get jobs done and how to run the country’s affairs.

    This was stated by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, who is a former president of Pakistan, while speaking to party workers and supporters at the residence of a party activist, Imdad Hussain Rahu, in Sabu Rahu village near Sakrand on Tuesday.

    Disapproving PM Khan’s way of bringing in investments and arranging for bailout packages for the country, Mr Zardari remarked that the “prime minister is begging all around which is not good [for the country’s prestige].

    “Our party ruled over the country with available resources,” he said.

    Mr Zardari said that Imran Khan proudly made mention of the achievement with regard to bilateral business with China in the latter’s currency but he [PM] did not know that the PPP government had signed such an agreement with six countries, including China. “The other countries include Jordan, Turkey and Sri Lanka,” he claimed.

    The former president, currently a member of the National Assembly, noted that the federal government was planning and finding ways to arrest him [in the wake of ongoing investigations into several money-laundering scams]. “But this will add to the popularity I already enjoy,” he remarked, and said he was not afraid of such things as he had already gone through such episodes of tussles with governments in the past.

    Mentioning the 18th Constitutional Amendment and Balochistan package as PPP government’s distinctive initiatives, Mr Zardari said that he [as the head of state and the PPP] gave constitutional rights to Balochistan though no one had approached him with such a plan. “We also got provinces autonomy through the 18th Amendment because it was their right,” he added.

    Turning to the PPP government in Sindh, Mr Zardari said it had accorded a priority and set its focus on the agriculture sector. Lining of watercourses was done throughout Shaheed Benazirabad district. “Nawabshah was given several packages previously and will be given another special development package,” he announced.

    MPAs Haji Ali Hasan Zardari, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Sardar Khan Mohammed Dahiri, former law minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar and other PPP leaders were also present.

    Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018


    Zardari says PM Khan is Zardari says PM Khan is "begging" all around which is not good [for the country’s prestige].— Reuters/File

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    The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa additional advocate general four weeks to complete the investigation into the 2012 killing of four girls and two boys from Kohistan.

    The Kohistan video scandal made headlines in 2012 when the boys and girls were killed by members of their tribe after a mobile phone video of them dancing at a wedding in a remote village in Kohistan emerged on social media.

    Mohammad Afzal Kohistani, a brother of the boys seen in the video who were killed allegedly by members of their tribe, had earlier demanded the authorities to protect his brothers.

    The apex court had taken suo motu notice of the Kohistan video case in 2012 since reports emerged that clerics had allegedly issued orders for the killing of the boys and girls in the video.

    In today's hearing, the provincial additional advocate general told the court that the KP forensic lab had failed to identify the girls seen in the video.

    Upon hearing this, Justice Ijazul Ahsan pointed out that the court had earlier ordered that the video be sent to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) for testing as "they have better devices".

    The additional advocate general said that the video was not sent to the PFSA. He further told the court that investigating the case was proving to be difficult as the town in question is at a six-hour distance, and while people of the area have been previously questioned, they need to be asked some more questions.

    During the hearing, Justice Ahsan also mentioned that two members of the forensic board had agreed that the girls in the video were the same as the ones that had been killed, while one member had said otherwise.

    The additional advocate general requested the court that the investigation team be given two months to complete their work. The court adjourned the hearing while granting the investigation team a month to wrap up its probe.


    The Supreme Court has given the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa additional advocate general four weeks to conclude the investigation into the 2012 killing of four girls and two boys in Kohistan after a video showing them dancing at a wedding surfaced on social media. ─ Reuters/FileThe Supreme Court has given the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa additional advocate general four weeks to conclude the investigation into the 2012 killing of four girls and two boys in Kohistan after a video showing them dancing at a wedding surfaced on social media. ─ Reuters/File

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