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    ISLAMABAD: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) registered 312 FIRs and lodged 1,560 cases against the manufacturers of spurious medicines and other violators in drug court this year, the Senate was told on Friday.

    Minister of National Health Services (NHS) Aamer Mehmood Kiani informed the Senate that Drap has been vigilant in the eradication of spurious and unregistered drugs.

    In response to a question from Senator Mohammad Ali Shah Jamot, Mr Kiani said that 190 FIRs were lodged in 2017 and 2,495 cases were launched in drug court by Drap and provincial governments.

    NHS minister says 0.08pc of samples tested between Jan and June this year were declared spurious

    He said Drap had approached the Supreme Court regarding uncooperative investigating partners, resulting in action against spurious and unregistered drugs by Everest Pharmaceuticals in Islamabad.

    The manufacturer was allegedly involved in manufacturing and selling 73 unregistered and spurious drugs, and the upper house was informed that around 111 FIRs and cases have been registered against the company.

    The Senate was also told that the company’s premises was sealed and the CEO was arrested in a raid in March. The case is being tried in the court of the chairman of the Islamabad drug court.

    A national taskforce was subsequently constituted in collaboration with provincial health departments to eradicate spurious and unregistered drugs. During this campaign, 4,568 inspections were carried out, 1,758 Drap Act violations were observed and 1,282 regulatory actions – such as sealing premises and seizing stock – were taken.

    Mr Kiani said two quarterly reports have been submitted to the SC on its directions and the campaign is ongoing.

    Pakistan tested and analysed 61,266 samples last year, of which 83 (0.13pc) were declared spurious. Between January and June this year 26,521 samples were tested by drug testing laboratories and 20 (0.08pc) were declared spurious.

    The minister added that Drap, with the NHS ministry’s approval, had increased the number of drug inspectors from 14 to 21 to strengthen the implementation of the Drap Act.

    He said the federal government has notified the barcode system for prompt tracing and tracking of spurious and counterfeit drugs at every level, but it has yet to be fully implemented.

    The legislation procedure for the registration of drugs has been upgraded in accordance with international guidelines that will enable the authority to obtain more information on active pharmaceutical ingredients, manufacturing and analysis methods, product characteristics that will enhance product quality, he said.

    Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2018

    NHS minister informed Senate that Drap has been vigilant in eradication of spurious and unregistered drugs. — File photoNHS minister informed Senate that Drap has been vigilant in eradication of spurious and unregistered drugs. — File photo

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    SUKKUR: Senior Pakis­tan Peoples Party (PPP) lea­der Syed Khurs­heed Shah has said that his party still has reservations over res­ults of the recent general elections in the country but it will continue to extend its cooperation to the elected government in the greater interest of the country and nation.

    “We want to see that issues of the general public are resolved, no matter who resolves them,” he said.

    He said PPP believed that the ruling party should be allowed to fulfil the commitments it had made to the masses during its election campaign.

    Mr Shah was speaking at a ceremony organised by the Hindu community in Kan­dhra town near Sukkur on Friday to celebrate Diwali.

    “We stand by our stance that the [recent] general elections are controversial and so we have reservations over the results. However, we also realise that the dispensation emerging from the results is better than dictatorship.

    As such, we extend our cooperation to the government in the interest of the general public and hope that people’s issues will be resolved,” said Mr Shah.

    The senior PPP leader said that all that the masses expected from the government was peace and prosperity. “If an entity succeeds in achieving the goal by ending poverty, unemployment and crime in the country, we will not have any objection even if it [the entity] is our enemy,” he added.

    He said PPP did not want to rule over the country but it was eager to see the country becoming a developed one and the nation getting prosperous.

    Khursheed Shah took exception to the use of offe­n­ding language and rem­arks by rival political parties against one another, saying that the PPP did not believe in such dirty politics. He said no good could be earned by abusing others.

    Commenting on the government’s success in getting foreign and IMF loans, Mr Shah said this had only further indebted the country. “Every child [of Pakistan] has now become debtor of Rs150,000 as against the previously Rs60,000 to Rs70,000.

    He said the PPP under the chairmanship of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was following the politics of its founder chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhu­tto and assassinated chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

    “Z.A. Bhutto laid the foun­dation of democracy and his daughter Benazir Bhutto revived it after dictatorship undermined it ... PPP rendered great sacrifices to protect the democratic system and see it flourishing.”

    Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2018

    Senior Pakis­tan Peoples Party (PPP) lea­der Syed Khurs­heed Shah. — AFP/FileSenior Pakis­tan Peoples Party (PPP) lea­der Syed Khurs­heed Shah. — AFP/File

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    LANDI KOTAL: The Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) has announced to pay all the cash grants to families in different tribal districts which were suspended after lapse of six months following their return.

    A notification issued by FDMA office said on Friday that director general Nasir Durrani had repealed the previous policy devised in 2016 under which every returning family was entitled to Rs10,000 for transportation and Rs35,000 as cash grant for emergency spending soon after their return.

    It said that the monetary assistance to a large number of returning families was withheld as the head of family or other responsible person from the returning families could not collect the amount at the time of their return.

    The new policy now would ensure receipt of all the suspended money through the SIM cards of the affected family head or other authorised person even after the lapse of six months after their return.

    The notification said that the new policy would be intimated to all those whose cash grants and transport charges were withheld by FDMA at different times.

    The amount withheld was refunded into the authority’s bank account which could now be reclaimed and paid back to the affected families.

    The notification said that the new policy was devised after receipt of complaints from the affected persons and families about suspension of their monetary assistance.

    The FDMA also announced reactivation of over 200 blocked SIM cards of the families with immediate effect.

    Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2018

    Monetary assistance that had been suspended will now be paid to families that have returned to Fata. — File photoMonetary assistance that had been suspended will now be paid to families that have returned to Fata. — File photo

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    LAHORE: As PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s son Salman Shahbaz on Friday skipped the third consecutive hearing in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore in two inquiries, his family wants him (Salman) to extend his stay in London till the outcome of the investigation against his father and his elder brother Hamza Shahbaz.

    “Hamza (the opposition leader in Punjab Assembly) on Friday appeared before a combined investigation team which quizzed him for two-and-a-half hours primarily with regard to details of his family members’ properties here and abroad,” an official told Dawn.

    He said Hamza was also inquired about the affairs of the Ramzan Sugar Mills. According to the NAB, both brothers in the capacity of directors (Ramzan Sugar Mills) got constructed a bridge linking to their mills out of the public money in Chiniot. It said an amount of Rs200 million was approved by then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif for the construction of the bridge.

    The official further said Hamza parried several questions about the family assets, saying that Salman looks after the business affairs of the family and currently he is in London.

    NAB Lahore Director General Shahzad Saleem said Salman had gone to London after the bureau sought details of his family properties.

    “During interrogation accused Shahbaz Sharif has stated that all of his matters related to assets, income and expenditure 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,” said the NAB.

    Salman appeared before NAB’s CIT once early last month. “Salman appears to have left the country to avoid NAB investigation in two inquiries -- income beyond means and Ramzan Sugar Mills,” the official said.

    A source close to the Sharifs said the family desired that Salman Shahbaz extend his stay in the UK till the outcome of the NAB investigation against his father and brother.

    Malik Muhammad Ahmad, who remained a spokesman for the Shahbaz administration, told Dawn that Salman would return to face the NAB investigation.

    “Mr Salman has been in London for his already scheduled engagements. This is not the case that he (Salman) is deliberately avoiding the NAB inquiries. He will soon return and join the investigation,” Mr Ahmad said.

    Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf is also reportedly hiding in London after being declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company and the Punjab Power Development Company (PPDC) cases.

    The NAB said former PPDC chief executive officer Ikram Naveed had become approver against Yousaf. In his statement to the NAB, Naveed confessed to have paid over Rs130 million to Yousaf. Naveed was appointed to the top position on Mr Yousaf’s recommendation (by Shahbaz Sharif).

    Hamza Shahbaz is also facing an inquiry in the Saaf Pani Company for presiding over some meetings of the Board of Directors and issuing orders regarding award of contracts. The NAB said Hamza was not even member of the board.

    The NAB Lahore had on Oct 5 arrested Shahbaz Sharif in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing project scam. He is in NAB’s custody on a physical remand.

    Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2018

    Salman Shahbaz Sharif. ─ FileSalman Shahbaz Sharif. ─ File

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    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the petitioner in a case pertaining to the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to provide evidence with written arguments to convince the bench on the maintainability of his petition.

    A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, wondered if a case could be reopened on a petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution when the accused had already been acquitted of all money laundering charges by courts.

    The bench had taken up the petition of Advocate Feroz Shah Gilani, the president of Lawyers’ Foundation for Justice, seeking recovery of huge amounts of public money wasted against the backdrop of the NRO in 2007 allegedly by former presidents Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari and former attorney general Malik Mohammad Qayyum.

    Bench questions reopening of case under Article 184(3) after courts acquitted accused of money laundering charges

    Since the matter was of a very serious nature, the petitioner would have to convince the court by providing evidence against the accused, Justice Ahsan observed.

    The petitioner said he had not been ‘provided’ any evidence, but recalled that the apex court in the NRO judgement had held that the $60 million stashed in the Swiss banks belonged to the people of Pakistan and, therefore, efforts should be made to bring the money back.

    The court observed that the petitioner had to furnish solid evidence to convince the court to proceed with the matter. Justice Ahsan observed that no one would be subjected to injustice and the case would be decided in accordance with the law and the Constitution.

    Senior counsel Farooq H. Naek, representing Asif Zardari, regretted that the same old allegations were being levelled against his client time and again, though he had already been acquitted of all charges after he had spent eight years in jail.

    The counsel argued that Mr Zardari was neither the true beneficiary of the alleged $60m stashed in the Swiss banks nor was it ever maintained in his name.

    Earlier through a written submission, the ex-president had contended that no case of causing loss to the public exchequer or looting and plundering of the national wealth had ever been proved against him in Pakistan or abroad. He said cases against him were reopened when NRO was set aside by the Supreme Court and that he was tried de-novo but again it resulted in his acquittal on merit. Mr Zardari further stated that eight reopened cases were prosecuted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which were later concluded on merit and he was acquitted in all the pending cases.

    About the $60m money laundering case in the Swiss courts, he explained that the Attorney General of Geneva had finished the case on merit as well. He said Pakistan’s law ministry on the SC directive had written a letter to the Geneva’s AG for reopening of the case against him but it was not reopened.

    The SC bench questioned: “Can a case be reopened on Article 184(3) petition when already the accused stand acquitted of all money laundering charges by the courts?”

    It asked the federal government as well as NAB to re-examine the Swiss cases against the backdrop of NRO and furnish respective replies afresh. The court observed that it would determine whether to pursue the matter or not after the receipt of the replies as well as the written arguments of the petitioner coupled with evidence.

    Article 184(3) of the Constitution, which is about original jurisdiction of Supreme Court, says: “Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 199, the Supreme Court shall, if it considers that a question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights conferred by Chapter I of Part II is involved have the power to make an order of the nature mentioned in the said Article.”

    Meanwhile, on the court directives, all details of the assets and properties furnished by retired Gen Musharraf, Mr Zardari and Mr Qayyum would remain under the sealed envelopes pending decision in the case.

    Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2018

    Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo/FileSupreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo/File

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    KARACHI: Dr Farooq Sattar, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader — who many believed saved the party following its London-based founder Altaf Hussain’s Aug 22, 2016 incendiary speech— was finally shown the door by the party’s coordination committee, better known as the Bahadurabad group, on Friday.

    A brief statement issued from the MQM-P’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad said that the coordination committee in its meeting on Friday “decided to revoke basic membership of Dr Farooq Sattar on charges of violating party discipline and constitution, internal grouping and other serious organisational issues”.

    It said the decision was “unanimously” taken by the participants of the meeting, chaired by convener and federal minister Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

    The committee directed all workers not to contact Dr Sattar; otherwise strict action would be taken against them.

    The move, however, drew mixed reaction from within the MQM-P ranks as party’s former MNA Ali Raza Abidi tweeted: “Wrong move! Now many leaders and workers who are standing in support with @DFSMQM will start submitting their resignations.”

    In another tweet, he stated: “Now it appears that Farooq bhai made the biggest mistake of saving the party on 23rd August 2016. He should have just let the natural course take place and let every worker and leader on ground be taken into custody.”

    In a late-night press conference at his PIB Colony residence, Dr Sattar rejected what he called the so-called decision of the coordination committee and said his only crime was to demand for workers’ democratic right.

    “The decision of the coordination committee is illegal and unconstitutional,” he said, adding that such an extreme action could not be taken without hearing his viewpoint.

    Last month, Dr Sattar had announced the formation of a 22-member ‘organisation restoration committee’. He called upon the Bahadurabad group to hold an intra-party election. He had recently visited Hyderabad where a large number of workers welcomed him. Differences between the two factions of the MQM-P had emerged on Feb 5 when Dr Sattar left a coordination committee meeting after the latter refused to give party ticket to contest Senate elections to his close aide Kamran Tessori.

    Later, the MQM-P split into the PIB and Bahadurabad groups and resultantly lost three Senate seats.

    Before the July 25 general elections, the two groups reconciled, but failed to retain majority of their national and provincial assembly seats.

    Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2018

    Dr Sattar addresses a late-night press conference at his PIB Colony residence. He termed the decision of the coordination committee Dr Sattar addresses a late-night press conference at his PIB Colony residence. He termed the decision of the coordination committee "illegal". —

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    Pakistani Zaireen, who were stranded at the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq for the last two days — some even longer — have returned to Pakistan safely, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal shared on Twitter on Saturday.

    Welcoming the Zaireen back, Dr Faisal said that an inquiry was being initiated against the tour operator whose "inefficiency led to the problem".

    Earlier, the FO spokesperson shared a statement from the Embassy of Pakistan in Baghdad about efforts that were undertaken to resolve the issue. The embassy officials had reached the airport after finding out that 120 Zaireen had missed their flights due to late arrival to the airport or non-possession of their passports.

    "With the embassy's intensive efforts, 69 Zaireen were put on the next available flight" while 5 were put on a later flight, read the statement.

    Further 46 Zaireen belonged to a group whose group leader, in possession of their passports, arrived after their flight had departed from the airport. According to the statement, the group leader Rizvi later disappeared and left the Zaireen stranded without their tickets or passports.

    The embassy said that they had provided the stranded group of Zaireen with food, water and medicine. Rizvi had been contacted and "pressed" to arrange for air tickets as well as accommodation for the Zaireen.

    The FO spokesperson's tweet from today confirmed that all 120 individuals have now returned to Pakistan.

    Embassy of Pakistan in Baghdad provided the Zaireen food, water and medicine. — Photo courtesy Foreign OfficeEmbassy of Pakistan in Baghdad provided the Zaireen food, water and medicine. — Photo courtesy Foreign Office

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    An anti-corruption court (ACC) in Rawalpindi on Saturday extended the interim bail of Bahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz, as well as nine other suspects, in a case pertaining to land-related fraud and forgery of 1,170 kanal of land belonging to the Punjab Forest Department.

    The property tycoon, who initially was not present on Saturday, later appeared before the court.

    On October 23, Riaz was granted interim bail by the court after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against him as well as other government officials in the Rawalpindi Anti Corruption Establishment police station on Oct 5.

    In addition to Riaz, the FIR named forest department officials, revenue officers as well as former Punjab Chief Minister's secretary GM Sikandar, who were accused of providing support in the land-related fraud.

    On Saturday, the hearing of the case was postponed until Nov 24 on account of Judge Mushtaq Ahmed Tarrar's leave.

    Malik Riaz leaving the anti-corruption court on Saturday. — DawnNewsTVMalik Riaz leaving the anti-corruption court on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

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    The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has created 13 post-election review working groups to gauge the success of and identify mistakes made during elections 2018 — an official document shared by the regulator revealed on Saturday.

    The working groups have until November 15 to compile and present their reports to the core committee, whom they will provide the background, implementation process, line of action as well as challenges and recommendations regarding their respective areas assigned.

    The groups have been tasked with reviewing the delimitation of constituencies, revision of electoral roles, enlistment of political parties, allocation of symbols, and appointment and training of various election officials

    Furthermore, the preparation of a constituency-wise list of polling stations and a list of polling personnel, determination and printing of requisite number of ballot papers and designation of printing press, arrangements for election observers and appointment of the appellate and election tribunals will also come under scrutiny.

    The performance of the controversial result transmission system (RTS), whose reported failure on election day had at one point threatened to mar the entire process, will also be analysed.

    In addition to evaluating the various stages of the 2018 exercise, the working groups will also give their recommendations for the incorporation of new technology as well as general improvement of the entire process for future polls.

    Working groups will also make recommendations to improve the electoral process. — FileWorking groups will also make recommendations to improve the electoral process. — File

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    An accountability court in Lahore on Saturday extended the physical remand of Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif until November 24.

    Sharif was produced before court today for a hearing of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal scandal following the expiration of his transit remand. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had requested the court to extend by 15 days the physical remand of the PML-N president, who was arrested on corruption allegations last month.

    After listening to the arguments of both parties, the court had reserved its verdict.

    NAB prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua said that the anti-corruption body was unable to hold an inquiry due to Sharif's "engagements in the National Assembly and [his] other activities as leader of the opposition". Last month, NAB had secured a transit remand of Sharif, after which he was taken to Islamabad so he could attend parliamentary sessions.

    Sharif rejected NAB's claim and countered: "I can say under oath that they have been interrogating me even when my production orders [were issued]."

    Amjad Pervaiz, the accused's counsel, objected to NAB's demand for another remand and said that the body's appeal was "not in accordance with the law".

    "NAB's latest request is on fake grounds," he said. "This court is not bound to automatically grant a 90-day remand of a suspect."

    Pervaiz added that his client had cooperated with NAB's investigation, but the latter had been unable to bring forth any corruption charges against Sharif.

    The NAB prosecutor responded that the feasibility report of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme was prepared by Ahad Cheema, the former director general of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), who is also accused in the case.

    "Will you proceed further from the feasibility report?" accountability judge Syed Najmul Hasan asked Janju, possibly referring to the NAB prosecutor's similar argument in the previous hearing.

    Sharif's counsel, in response to NAB's argument, said that Sharif had "nothing to do with any report prepared by the LDA or anyone else".

    He further said that NAB can interrogate Sharif in the jail, where the opposition leader was being held.

    "They can send him a questionnaire in jail," Pervaiz said. "There is no need for a physical remand."

    Janjua, during the hearing, informed the court that Sharif was nominated and under arrest in the Ramzan Sugar Mills corruption case as well.

    "DG NAB has become a party to the case"

    Sharif's counsel also brought up Director General of NAB Lahore Saleem Shahzad's appearances on different news channels and said that the latter had become a "party to the case".

    Pervaiz said that Shahzad had issued statements on sub-judice matters on multiple TV channels.

    "Haven't you recorded your protest on the highest forum?" the judge asked, referring to a privilege motion that was moved on the matter by the opposition in the National Assembly a day earlier.

    "This court is my forum and I will present my point of view here," Pervaiz answered.

    Hamza Shahbaz was also present in court for the hearing today.

    Contingents of police were posted inside and outside the accountability court before Sharif's arrival.

    Several PML-N workers gathered outside the court ahead of Sharif's appearance and tried to enter the building which led to a clash with police, who resorted to baton charge to bring the situation under control.

    Allegations against Sharif

    According to a NAB notice sent to the former Punjab chief minister on January 16, 2018, Sharif is accused of ordering the cancellation of award of contract of Ashiana-i-Iqbal to successful bidder Chaudhry Latif and Sons, and engineering the award of the contract to Lahore Casa Developers, a proxy group of Paragon City Private Limited, which resulted in the loss of approximately Rs193 million.

    He is also accused of directing the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) to assign the Ashiana-i-Iqbal project to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), resulting in the award of contract to Lahore Casa Developers, causing a loss of Rs715m and the ultimate failure of the project.

    NAB has also accused Sharif of directing the PLDC to award the consultancy services of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal project to Engineering Consultancy Services Punjab (ECSP) for Rs 192m while the actual cost was supposed to be Rs35m as quoted by Nespak.

    PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif consults his counsel ahead of the hearing. — DawnNewsTVPML-N president Shahbaz Sharif consults his counsel ahead of the hearing. — DawnNewsTV

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    The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid's (PML-Q) reported differences with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) spilled out into the open on Saturday as a video emerged of the former's leaders complaining to PTI's Jahangir Tareen about Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar "interference".

    The emergence of the video, released by the PML-Q media cell itself, led Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to call a press conference to reaffirm ties with the PTI, of which his party (PML-Q) is a coalition partner.

    The video showed three PML-Q leaders — Elahi, MNA Tariq Bashir Cheema and Minister for Mines and Minerals Hafiz Ammar Yasir — chatting with PTI stalwart Jahangir Tareen in an informal setting.

    Towards the end of the video, Cheema can be heard telling Tareen: "Sir, kindly control this Sarwar. He will not let your chief minister continue." Elahi can be heard repeating the same: "Control this Sarwar." The video then ends abruptly.

    Examine: The weakling: Sardar Usman Buzdar

    Elahi downplayed the video at a press conference later, saying it was normal for coalition partners to sit down and talk their "grievances" out.

    "If we don't talk with our partners sitting at home, then how will the party function and complaints be addressed?" the provincial assembly speaker asked.

    Explaining what had transpired during the meeting, Elahi said Cheema was presenting before Tareen an "old complaint" regarding "interference" in his constituency, allegedly by Sarwar. He said similar complaints have been received from 2-3 constituencies.

    Pervaiz Elahi addresses a press conference.

    The speaker said it was routine practice to forward the grievances of "ignored members" of a party with their coalition partners.

    He revealed that the PML-Q will support the PTI in the Senate by-polls scheduled for November 15, as it has in past elections, and so it was customary that grievances are sorted out prior to the elections "or else the anger is expressed at the secret ballot".

    "We have very good relations with Sarwar sahib... and they will remain the same," he iterated, adding that complaints are being sorted out as they emerge.

    He suggested that the grievances were put before the PTI as it sought PML-Q's votes for the Senate by-polls. Asked what assurance Tareen had given the PML-Q in response to the complaints, Elahi said with a laugh: "He promised us the same that we do with our voters."

    In response to a question, he said Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was playing his constitutional role and taking decisions "freely", and that his party supports him in his efforts.

    '100% MPAs united under Buzdar's leadership'

    Commenting on the questions raised by the video about how much authority Buzdar actually wields in the province, Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said all lawmakers were functioning under the chief minister's command.

    "100 per cent MPAs and 100pc ministers of Punjab's treasury benches are united under the leadership of Sardar Usman Buzdar," he told Abbtakk news channel.

    He stressed that the entire provincial bureaucracy and administration is answerable to Chief Minister Buzdar.

    Talking to DawnNewsTV, he said there are no differences between the PML-Q and PTI.

    A screengrabFootage showing PML-Q leaders complaining to Jahangir Tareen about Chaudhry Sarwar.A screengrabFootage showing PML-Q leaders complaining to Jahangir Tareen about Chaudhry Sarwar.

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    Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz's responses regarding the suspension of their jail sentences in the Avenfield corruption case were submitted to the Supreme Court on Saturday, in which both have appealed that NAB's request to revoke their bails be rejected.

    The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on September 19 had granted bail to Nawaz, Maryam and her husband Capt retired Mohammad Safdar after suspending their respective prison sentences handed down by an accountability court.

    The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on October 22 challenged before the top court the IHC decision to suspend the punishments of the three accused.

    The SC heard arguments on the appeal from both sides and the hearing was subsequently adjourned till November 12 and both parties were ordered to submit their arguments in writing.

    Nawaz in his response has urged the apex court to reject NAB's plea against the suspension of their sentences.

    He has stated that the accountability court announced its decision without providing any evidence of the value of the London flats. "No records were provided which could prove the value of the properties," the response adds.

    NAB built a case around the supposition that the value of assets owned exceeds that of the income but did not state what the assets are worth and what the income amounts to, the reply states.

    "A decision was given without comparing the value of the two," Nawaz has stated, terming the accountability court's decision non-maintainable.

    The parameters involving the revocation of bail differ from those when bail is granted, the response has argued.

    The 43-page decision given by the high court consists of 32 pages worth of the counsels' arguments, whereas the reason for granting bail is covered in 12 pages, it states.

    Nawaz has further argued that the high court did not go into the depth of the evidence provided in the reference and that the decision was not a final judgement, rather a prima facie observation.

    He states that the accountability court's decision has legal flaws and to hold a suspect under custody in such conditions falls under the ambit of "unfavourable circumstances" and is contrary to one's freedom and fundamental rights.

    "If I am acquitted in the main case, who will provide redressal for the days I spent in jail?," Nawaz has stated.

    "The entire portion of my known assets has been omitted from the case," he has argued, further contending that the analytical chart used by the plaintiff to refer to assets and payments is not based on sound legal evidence.

    "I was made the owner of the flats based on mere impression in the accountability court's judgement," he has argued.

    Maryam also submitted a separate response asserting that there is no evidence against her pertaining to the ownership of the London flats and that the NAB appeal should be rejected by the SC.

    She has argued that without having ascertained the value of the flats, the question of her abetment cannot be raised and that even if the value was determined, her guilt cannot be proven without fulfilling the requirements of the accountability laws.

    Maryam has stated that the bureau has outlined four such requirements to fulfil legal conditions.

    Among the requirements, it has been outlined that it is incumbent upon NAB to prove that the accused is an office holder. NAB can also not overlook the rule of determining whether the assets are in fact beyond known income.

    She further argues that NAB provided no evidence with regard to the value of the flats purchased in London between 1993 and 1996 and neither did it raise any questions regarding the value.

    Like Nawaz, she too has argued in her response that without comparing the value of the flats and known income, it is not possible to issue a judgement on the pretext that the value of the flats is greater than the known income.

    The response states that there are three legal viewpoints available regarding the determination of whether or not the value of assets declared is beyond known sources of income.

    Maryam's response states that on the basis of prima facie, the accountability court's decision is incorrect and that she is deserving of being released on bail.

    It further states that NAB was unsuccessful in proving any conspiracy or the act of committing a crime with regard to the purchase of flats between 1993 and 1996 and the court's verdict regarding the purchase of flats cannot be tied to Nawaz Sharif.

    Additionally, Maryam's response states that the court's decision regarding trust deeds is also in contravention to the law.

    Maryam, Nawaz outside an accountability court. —Dawn archivesMaryam, Nawaz outside an accountability court. —Dawn archives

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    Pakistan's selectors Saturday included teenage pace sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi in a 15-man squad for the first two of the three Tests against New Zealand starting in Abu Dhabi next week.

    The 18-year-old has been in a devastating form in the ongoing one-day series in United Arab Emirates, taking 4-46 and 4-38 in the two matches so far.

    The third and final one-day international is in Dubai on Sunday.

    He also took 3-20 in a Twenty20 match against New Zealand and four wickets in two Twenty20 internationals against Australia last month, also in UAE.

    The sensational pace bowler emerged on the scene last year, taking 8-39 in an innings in his first class debut, the best-ever figures by a Pakistani bowler in his first match.

    Pakistan and New Zealand play the first Test in Abu Dhabi November 16-20.

    The second match will be in Dubai November 24-28 while the final Test is also in Abu Dhabi December 3-7. A squad for the final Test will be announced later.

    “Shaheen has been included in the squad keeping into account his current form,” said chief selector Inzamamul Haq. “He has impressed with his bowling.”

    Fast bowler Mohammad Amir is still sidelined after his recent poor form while another paceman Wahab Riaz was dropped after being wicket-less in the first Test against Australia last month.

    Also left out of the squad is opener Fakhar Zaman who made his debut in the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi last month, scoring 94 and 66 — apparently to rest his knee injury.

    Left-hander Saad Ali was selected again after his fighting hundred for Pakistan 'A' against New Zealand 'A' in Abu Dhabi this week but there was no place for Shan Masood who hit centuries in each innings of the first side game between the “A” teams in Dubai last month.

    Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza.

    Pakistan cricketer Shaheen Shah Afridi bowls during the second one day international (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand. —AFPPakistan cricketer Shaheen Shah Afridi bowls during the second one day international (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand. —AFP

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    The Sindh cabinet on Saturday imposed a three-year ban on the purchase of new automobiles for government officials but permitted the use of bulletproof vehicles by a select group of high-ranking officials.

    The provincial cabinet, under chief minister Murad Ali Shah's stewardship, held a meeting where a series of decisions were taken, chiefly among which were the ban imposed on procurement of new vehicles.

    "I want to devise such a strategy in which a government servant, when he becomes a Grade-17 officer, is leased a car," the CM said after the cabinet session. "He will pay the instalments himself, and when the instalments are complete, the car will be his."

    "Even the maintenance of the car would be his own responsibility," Shah added.

    The cabinet also decided that the governor, chief minister, Sindh chief justice, chief secretary, interior minister, inspector general of police and the two additional IGs should be allowed to use bulletproof vehicles.

    If any other minister or official requires bulletproof cars, the cabinet's permission will be sought, it was decided.

    Polythene, plastic bags banned in Sukkur

    The provincial cabinet also gave its approval to ban the use of polythene and plastic bags, initially only in Sukkur district but with an eye on extending the embargo to Hyderabad and Karachi in the next phase.

    "This ban will be implemented in three months," the chief minister said.

    "The plastic bags that are OXO-biodegradable should be used," Taimur Talpur, the minister of information science technology, added. "The CM has said that we have to improve our environment.

    "The cabinet will engage with traders on this matter."

    CM Shah chaired a cabinet meeting today. — FileCM Shah chaired a cabinet meeting today. — File

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    A senior journalist was allegedly taken away by law enforcement agencies from his home in Karachi on Saturday, according to media organisations.

    Nasrullah Khan Chaudhry, a senior journalist associated with Urdu-language daily Nai Baat, was ‘detained’ by security personnel following a raid on his residence on Saturday morning. His whereabouts are not known, said a statement issued by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ-Dastoor).

    An emergency meeting of PFUJ (Dastoor) was held at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Saturday under the chairmanship of its secretary general, Sohail Afzal Khan, and was attended by KPC office-bearers and senior journalists.

    The participants expressed their concern over "illegal detention" of Chaudhry and termed it an attack on media freedoms.

    The participants were of the view that the detention of the senior journalist was aimed at "sabotaging" the ongoing country-wide protest against the "forcible intrusion and harassment" of journalists by law enforcers at the KPC premises on Thursday night.

    “High-handed tactics are being used to harass the journalists who were protesting against the intrusion by armed personnel and violation of sanctity of the KPC two days ago," the statement said.

    The PFUJ has urged the Sindh governor, chief minister, Corps Commander Karachi, director general of Sindh Rangers and the inspector general of Sindh Police to take notice of the harassment of journalists and efforts to undermine freedom of the press. It has also demanded that Chaudhry be released immediately.

    Journalists bodies have announced a protest against Chaudhry's 'detention' on Sunday outside the KPC.

    Journalists bodies have announced a protest against Chaudhry's 'detention' on Sunday outside the KPC. — FileJournalists bodies have announced a protest against Chaudhry's 'detention' on Sunday outside the KPC. — File

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    Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Lahore on Saturday to lay the foundation stone for a shelter project in the city — the first of five in Lahore.

    These will be followed by shelters in other cities across the country, the premier shared on Twitter.

    "We are committed to building a social net for our poor citizens so everyone has a shelter over his/her head and access to health and education."

    Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar accompanied the premier at the launching ceremony for the shelter house.

    "Today, we are taking the first step for the welfare of the people," said PM Khan while speaking to the guests and media at the event.

    The premier added that now that the country has come out of the crisis of repayment of loans, all efforts will be put in for initiating public-welfare projects.

    He praised CM Buzdar for his work so far in the province. "I told him [CM Buzdar] once and he himself went and saw all the sites [for the shelter] and selected them. Work on the building has also started."

    "Usman Buzdar was chosen as the Chief Minister of Punjab so that the marginalised areas of southern Punjab could be brought at par with the developed areas."

    PM Khan announced that in seven to ten days, the government would launch its project for the alleviation of poverty, which would be "unlike any other in Pakistan".

    He added that the package would be a coordinated effort of all organisations working towards the alleviation of poverty under one umbrella.

    "We have said that we will present our full performance to the country in 100 days [since forming government]; the most important part of that is this poverty alleviation package."

    PM Khan lays foundation stone of shelter house in Lahore on Saturday. ─ DawnNewsTV
    PM Khan lays foundation stone of shelter house in Lahore on Saturday. ─ DawnNewsTV

    According to Radio Pakistan, the shelter building will be based upon a "state of the art" design with simplicity in order to improve its utility, besides availability of separate facilities to ensure best usage of the place.

    It will also include construction of multi-purpose halls for imparting training and holding of public awareness programmes on vital social objectives.

    Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurates the shelter project at Lahore Railway Station. —APPPrime Minister Imran Khan inaugurates the shelter project at Lahore Railway Station. —APP

    Prime Minister Imran Khan offering a prayer after unveiling thePrime Minister Imran Khan offering a prayer after unveiling the

    plaque of the shelter project during a ceremony held at Lahore Railway Station. —APPplaque of the shelter project during a ceremony held at Lahore Railway Station. —APP

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    GWADAR: A passenger airc­raft of Pakistan Int­erna­tional Airlines (PIA) escaped accident after it skidded off the runway while landing at Panjgur airport on Saturday.

    No one was injured in the incident.

    According to officials of Panjgur airport, the aircraft skidded off the runway during landing after its two tyres got deflated due to rough surface. The pilot, however, managed to control the aircraft and halted it over land near the runway.

    The flight PK-517 with 43 passengers on board was coming from Karachi.

    A video on social media showed panicked passengers leaving the aircraft that got stuck over the land near the runway.

    Rescue workers and firefighters reached the spot for a rescue operation.

    The flight operation remained suspended for quite some time at the domestic airport which also caters to a few international flights.

    The plane was later removed from the area close to the runway.

    A spokesman for the PIA in Karachi said that PIA President & CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik had ordered an immediate inquiry of this incident. The flight safety department had started its investigation and a report will soon be submitted to the president of the airline.

    Giving details about the incident, he said the flight (PK-517), operated by ATR-72, for Karachi-Panjgur sector “safely landed at Panjgur at 0820” but skidded off the runway for “a few metres” and as a result, “two tyres got deflated due to rough surface”.

    All 54 passengers safely disembarked the aircraft and there were no injuries, he added.

    He said that an additional ATR carrying necessary tools and equipment was immediately prepared for Panjgur, but it got delayed due to non-clearance by the Civil Aviation Authority.

    “Currently, the flight has operated and all passengers have been brought back. PIA regrets the inconvenience caused to passengers,” the spokesperson added.

    Azfar-ul-Ashfaque in Karachi also contributed to this report

    Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2018

    PANJGUR: Security personnel inspect the PIA plane after it skidded off the runway at Panjgur Airport on Saturday.—OnlinePANJGUR: Security personnel inspect the PIA plane after it skidded off the runway at Panjgur Airport on Saturday.—Online

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    ISLAMABAD: In an unusual case, two former brigadiers of the army have challenged their reinstatement orders after retirement before the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Rawalpindi bench. They have claimed that their reinstatement can have a negative impact on their retirement benefits.

    Brigadiers Sohail Akbar Khan and Ghulam Murtaza Qureshi filed petitions before the LHC through their counsel retired Brig Wasaf Khani Niazi, who was a former judge advocate general of the army.

    Brig Khan has worked in the Corps of Military Intelligence and has served as sector commander in Karachi and Brig Qureshi was an officer of Electrical and Mechanical Engin­eering (EME) Corps.

    In his petition, Brig Khan contended that he was commissioned in the army on Oct 7, 1988 in Infantry Regiment and due to his aptitude and performance, he was inducted in corps of Military Intelligence in December 1996.

    Both petitioners ask LHC to set aside the orders that have recalled their services

    He was later sent to the United Nations on deputation. After returning to the country he again joined the professional course and was assigned challenging tasks as a senior intelligence officer.

    According to the petition, as Karachi sector commander of an intelligence set-up from August 2014 to April 2016, Brig Khan was decorated with a gallantry award of Sitara-i-Jurat.

    He was later posted to General Headquarters. From January to March 2018, the petitioner was called by Personnel Service Directorate (PS Dte) and asked to explain his assets, the petition said, adding the petitioner had been regularly submitting all these details through departmental declarations as well as to the Federal Board of Revenue through wealth returns.

    On April 30, 2018, the petition said, Brig Khan received an order for his retirement from service and he proceeded on Leave Preparatory to Retirement. He was reinstated later as his services were recalled by the GHQ.

    The officer claimed in the petition that the order for his reinstatement was illegal. It said, the “retirement order was illegally re-called since the orders [for his retirement] stood executed”.

    The petition said, “it is an established fact that federal government was empowered to retire any officer in terms of Pakistan Army Act”. He said that his reinstatement “was an afterthought, mala fide and to cover up their illegal act of recalling the order which stood implemented / executed and thus was liable to [be] struck down”.

    The case of Brig Qureshi is identical. In this case, the authorities concerned sent him on retirement, recalled his service and then dismissed him from service.

    Brig Qureshi adopted in the petition that he was commissioned in the EME Corps of the army in 1986. He also worked in the UN on deputation and from August 2008 to December 2014 worked in the Heavy Industries Taxila.

    He said in 2015 the authorities summoned him to inquire about his assets and he was suspended later on. Finally, he was retired from service but in April 2016 he was again asked to appear before the PS Dte.

    In 2017, his retirement order was recalled and he was reinstated to the job but this was done to again terminate his service “due to fault”. The second termination deprived him of otherwise legitimised benefits, the petition said.

    Both petitions requested the court to set aside the orders that recalled their services after retirement and restore the post service benefits to them.

    The LHC bench heard the petitions and after preliminary hearing issued notices to the defence ministry.

    Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2018

    A view of the Lahore High Court. — FileA view of the Lahore High Court. — File

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    KARACHI: Police on Saturday night got control of a seminary and mosque in the Korangi area of Karachi after a clash between two groups left seven people injured, officials said.

    “Police took control of both seminary and mosque to prevent the situation from deteriorating after the clash,” said Karachi East Zone DIG Amir Farooqi.

    The officer said that seminary was controlled by one group while the mosque’s management was with the other group. The two groups often fought each other over ‘donations, water and plucking coconut from a coconut tree, etc’.

    However, on Saturday night, simmering dispute took an ugly turn and seven persons got injured during the clash.

    Meanwhile, Sindh IGP Dr Syed Kaleem Imam took notice of the incident and sought a detailed inquiry report from Korangi SSP, said a police spokesperson.

    Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2018

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    ISLAMABAD: At a time when the National Assembly is completely dysfunctional in terms of doing legislation due to non-existence of committees, the Senate is set to take up heavy legislative agenda as it meets after a two-day recess on Monday.

    The 35-point agenda issued by the Senate Secretariat for the private member’s day sitting shows a total of 17 bills, including three constitutional amendment bills, to be introduced by the members, mostly by those sitting on the opposition benches.

    The legislative work has come to a halt due to an inordinate delay in the formation of the standing and other committees of the National Assembly by Speaker Asad Qaiser due to an ongoing tussle between the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the opposition parties over the issue of nomination of chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

    The opposition parties want that the PAC chairmanship should be offered to them as per the parliamentary traditions and they have already nominated Opposition Leader and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif for the post.

    House also likely to discuss protests against Aasia Bibi’s acquittal, increase in gas and electricity prices

    However, the PTI is unwilling to give the PAC chairmanship to the opposition, saying it could not allow the opposition parties to review the projects that had been initiated and executed by them during their own governments.

    Under the rules, the speaker was bound to constitute all the standing and functional committees of the house “within 30 days after the election of the Leader of the House (prime minister)”. Since PTI Chairman Imran Khan had been elected as the prime minister on August 18, the speaker had time till Sept 17 for the formation of over three dozen house committees.

    All the opposition parties had already handed over the names of their members for the committees to the NA Secretariat as per rules, but the speaker had to stop the process when the opposition announced that its members would withdraw from all the committees if the PAC chairmanship was not offered to them.

    Although there is no restriction on the government in the rules to give the PAC chairmanship to the opposition, it has been a parliamentary practice and tradition for the past 10 years that the office is given to an opposition member in order to ensure transparency in financial matters.

    On Friday, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari claimed that the government had offered him the PAC chairmanship, but he refused, saying the post should be offered to the opposition leader. However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry reportedly denied the PPP chairman’s claim, indicating that the issue will keep on lingering, rendering the National Assembly non-functional.

    Besides taking up the legislative agenda, the Senate will also continue discussion on important issues, including the recent protest sit-in by a number of religious parties and groups against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi by the Supreme Court of a blasphemy charge.

    The Senate will also discuss the “recent hike in gas and electricity prices” on a motion moved by Opposition Leader Raja Zafarul Haq and signed by 44 other members of the house.

    The upper house of parliament is also set to debate on “the terms and conditions of all types of loans recently obtained or being obtained or bonds raised from foreign sources and multilateral lenders by the government in the name of Federation of Pakistan,” shows the agenda.

    An important bill making it binding upon the government to place agreements and contracts with other countries, donors and international monetary organisations before parliament for ratification is also part of Monday’s session.

    The bill titled “Ratification of Foreign Agreements by Parliament Bill, 2018” had been moved by PPP Senator Raza Rabbani in August.

    Through the bill, Mr Rabbani called upon the government to place a foreign agreement, contract or protocol to be signed with any country before both the houses of the parliament to seek approval of its draft within 15 days of its finalisation.

    At the time of submitting the bill, the PPP leader had explained that the bill provided powers to the members of parliament to suggest changes to the draft of the agreement with their recommendations. He said the government “shall take up the recommendations of the parliament with the other parties and a detailed report of the proceedings undertaken in respect of the recommendations will also be placed before the parliament.”

    Mr Rabbani has suggested in his bill that “a resolution withholding recommendation” may be passed by 55 per cent of the members of each house, thus barring the government from signing the agreement. He had clarified that he had moved the bill only for the future agreements.

    The words “foreign agreements” in Clause 2 of the proposed bill means and includes “all agreements, treaties, contracts and trade protocols signed with foreign governments or banks or donors or lending agencies” by the Pakistan government.

    “Ratification means passed by a simple majority of each House of Parliament,” says the bill.

    Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2018

    A view of the Senate as a session is in progress. — FileA view of the Senate as a session is in progress. — File

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