Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels

Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

Dawn News RSS feeds

older | 1 | .... | 2849 | 2850 | (Page 2851) | 2852 | 2853 | .... | 2886 | newer

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: Former military ruler retired General Pervez Musharraf on Monday challenged the order of the special court, seized with the high treason trial, for recording of his testimony through a commission.

    Gen Musharraf, through his counsel Barrister Salman Safdar, filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against the constitution of the commission.

    An IHC bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani will take up the petition on Tuesday (today).

    The petition said that Gen Musharraf was ready to testify before the court, but due to his deteriorating health he was unable to record his statement either through the commission or in person.

    Former president says he is unable to record statement because of deteriorating health

    Giving a brief background of the case, the petition said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had constituted the special court on Nov 20, 2013 to try Gen Musharraf on high treason charge.

    A complaint was filed against Gen Musharraf under Article 6 for subverting the Constitution on Dec 13, 2013.

    In January 2014, the petitioner’s old age combined with the innumerable stresses and anxieties bearing on his mind resulted in his worsening health. On account of a family medical history leaning towards heart problems, the petitioner began suffering discomfort in his arm and chronic chest pain.

    On Jan 2, 2014, when the petitioner was en route to the special court, he experienced acute chest pain. He was immediately rushed to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), Rawalpindi, for a medical check-up.

    The special court constituted a medical board of senior doctors and asked it to submit a report on the petitioner’s medical condition. On March 31, the medical board confirmed that the petitioner suffered “coronary artery disease”. It further stated that the serious and unpredictable nature of the disease necessitated close and constant supervision.

    Later, as the petitioner’s cardiac problems showed no signs of improvement, his medical condition became too precarious to risk ordinary medical treatment. The healthcare facilities available in Pakistan were not adequately equipped even to diagnose the disease. The petitioner was advised to seek healthcare abroad as it became necessary to seek the advice of international experts.

    On March 16, 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the Sindh High Court’s June 12, 2014 order of removing the petitioner’s name from the ECL. Subsequently, the petitioner went abroad for a medical check-up.

    However, the court declared him a proclaimed offender and his family property in Pakistan was seized by the government. As a result, the proceedings in the treason trial remained suspended from July 2016 to March 2018.

    Since the prosecution evidence had been closed and the trial was at the stage of recording statement under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), it was necessary to first procure the petitioner’s physical attendance before the special court and then, subsequently, resume the trial.

    On Sept 10 this year, the special court decided that the trial proceedings would resume and the case would be taken up on a daily basis. This step was taken without granting due consideration to the circumstances in which Gen Musharraf left Pakistan and the strong medical reasons for which his stay abroad had been prolonged, the petition said.

    The court also asked the defence counsel to contact Gen Musharraf and determine whether the petitioner would like to have his statement under Section 342 of the CrPC recorded through Skype/video link.

    The petition said Gen Musharraf was “severely ill”.

    Citing the medical report submitted to the special court, the petition said: “The report indicates a rare form of cardiac disease causing the freezing of the heart muscles, resulting in the reduced capacity of the petitioner’s heart to pump blood. The disease is in its late stages and requires consistent medical intervention.”

    The petition requested the high court to set aside the order of the special court.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Former president Pervez Musharraf says he is unable to record statement because of deteriorating health. — File photoFormer president Pervez Musharraf says he is unable to record statement because of deteriorating health. — File photo

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday issued bailable arrest warrants for a co-accused in the Royal Palm Golf Club corruption reference.

    Judge Mohammad Bashir issued the warrants for private contractor Ramzan Sheikh because of his absence from the court proceeding and directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to ensure his presence at the next hearing in the second week of December. The court also summoned three foreign witnesses — Dato Mohd Kasa bin Ada Aziz, Anuar bin Adam and Aldian bin Adam — to appear before it.

    The court also sought a reply from the prosecution for separating the case against the three foreign witnesses — Malaysian nationals — as they have not been joining the proceedings since April this year when the case was filed.

    Former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) retired Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi, who served as railways minister during the regime of military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf, retired Lt Gen Saeeduz Zafar, retired Maj Gen Hamid Hassan and retired Brig Akhtar Ali Baig were nominated as accused in the Royal Palm Golf Club, Lahore, corruption reference. Other accused are Iqbal Samad Khan, Khurshid Ahmed Khan, Abdul Ghaffar, Ramzan Sheikh, Pervaiz Qureshi, sponsors of the golf club and five other officers allegedly involved in illegal award of lease of the club.

    During the hearing, the defence counsel claimed that NAB had dragged the ex-army officers in the corruption reference following the media campaign that criticised the anti-graft body for being lenient in cases against former army officers.

    According to NAB investigation, the railways had in 2001 offered the lease of its golf club in Lahore for 33 years for which several firms had submitted bids. During the bidding process, the lease period was illegally enhanced from 33 to 49 years. Moreover, the land offered for lease was also illegally increased from 103 to 140 acres by demolishing the Railway Officers Colony. Hence, the precious piece of land of the railways was leased out illegally in a non-transparent manner to benefit the leaseholder and owner of Mainland Hasnain Pakistan Ltd, a private firm.

    It has been established during the NAB investigation that the accused had committed corruption through misuse of their authority by illegally awarding 49-year lease of the golf club in 2001 to the private firm for commercial purposes, causing a loss of Rs2.2 billion to the national exchequer.

    The reference against the four army officers had been filed after the Islamabad High Court observed that retired military officials could not hide behind the army’s accountability process.

    Interestingly, the retired army officers had been summoned by NAB in 2012 for recording their statements, but no action was taken against them.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Golfer plays at Royal Palm Golf Club. — File photoGolfer plays at Royal Palm Golf Club. — File photo

    0 0

    LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday summoned the Punjab law secretary on a petition seeking implementation on the provisions of Police Order of 2002 with respect to appointments of provincial police chief and district police officers.

    The petitioner submitted that a provincial police chief could not be appointed except by public safety commission envisaged in the police order. Under chapter 11 of the police order, the commission would recommend the names of three police officers for the appointment of the provincial police officer and capital city police officers.

    However, it said, the safety commission had never been properly constituted since the promulgation of the police order in 2002. It asked the court to restrain the government from appointing new inspector general of police (IGP) till the constitution of the public safety commission.

    An additional advocate general told the court that a summary was awaiting decision of the provincial cabinet for amendment to the police order eliminating the role of National Public Safety Commission in the appointment of the IGP.

    Chief Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq adjourned hearing till Nov 22 and sought personal appearance of the law secretary.

    SMOG: The LHC sought a report from the Punjab government about the implementation of recommendations by a court-made smog commission.

    Petitioner Sheraz Zaka said the chief secretary and the environment secretary failed to perform statutory obligations. He said the entire province was adversely affected by the spillover effects of smog.

    He said the respondent authorities should be directed to clamp down on the commercial activities of factory owners established in residential areas in Lahore and Gujranwala especially.

    The court adjourned hearing till Nov 19.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Only public safety commission envisaged in the police order could appoint a provincial police chief. — File photoOnly public safety commission envisaged in the police order could appoint a provincial police chief. — File photo

    0 0

    GUJRAT: An expatriate Pakistani living in Germany was booked by the local police on Monday under the blasphemy charges after his “blasphemous” video went viral on the social media.

    Imran Rafique, a resident of Kathala Chenab village, lodged a case with Gujrat Saddar police against the suspect, who was a resident of the village and had settled in Germany many years ago, alleging that he committed blasphemy.

    The applicant alleged that the suspect had aired his “blasphemous” video on a web-based television channel, dated Nov 11, which was also available on Youtube and other social media sites.

    The complainant also demanded the extradition of the suspect from Germany and death penalty for him.

    He also demanded the suspect’s family and any other person who believed in the blasphemous remarks uttered by him should also be taken to task, whereas the legal action should also be taken against the web-based news channel which aired the video.

    Police have registered a case against the suspect under Section 295-C and started investigation.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Petitioner levels blasphemy allegations after a Petitioner levels blasphemy allegations after a "blasphemous" video by the arrested went viral. — File photo

    0 0

    QUETTA: Federal Secretary for Railways Farrukh Habib has blasted the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government for turning the once profitable department into a sinking ship.

    “We have moved against people who have been looting public money and they can no longer hide from being held accountable,” the secretary said while speaking to media personnel at the Divisional Superintendent Office in Quetta.

    “The least developed province, Balochistan, was blatantly ignored by the previous government. The people have continued to suffer from the neglect,” he said.

    Mr Habib said the department had decided to introduce a digital system across the country.

    “The incumbent federal government has a bold vision for people in Balochistan, and the journey of Naya Pakistan will start from Balochistan,” he said.

    Sharing details of the Sibi-Harnai Railway track he said, 90 per cent of construction of the track has been completed and the train service will be restored in the coming days.

    Mr Habib alleged that the railway minister of the previous PML-N government wasted millions of rupees over constructions of Narowal and Raiwind stations. The secretary claimed that the former minister wanted to keep his leader happy who was living like a king in a poverty stricken country. “Today they are complaining against accountability, but they would do well to remember that no one who has looted public money will be spared.”

    The Divisional Superintendent of Pakistan Railways in Quetta division, Wasif Ali Mughal, and provincial Minister for Forest Mir Zia Langove were present with the secretary when he made these comments.

    Mr Habib said that the agriculture sector and the railways were both important subjects and they were discussed in China during the prime minister’s visit. The secretary claimed that there was an overwhelmingly positive response from several Chinese companies that wished to invest in the railways in Pakistan.

    He said issues of the railways administration were being addressed by digitalising its functions.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Federal Secretary for Railways Farrukh Habib has blasts PML-N government for turning the once profitable department into a sinking ship. — Photo courtesy: National Assembly websiteFederal Secretary for Railways Farrukh Habib has blasts PML-N government for turning the once profitable department into a sinking ship. — Photo courtesy: National Assembly website

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: The families of Pakistanis imprisoned in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states appealed to the prime minister on Monday to bring as many as 11,000 citizens home.

    They said the PML-N government had done nothing for the prisoners, but in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first address to the nation he spoke of the rights of overseas Pakistanis and gave them the hope that their loved ones would return soon.

    They said that Pakistan lacks a policy under which the state can give citizens legal support, due to which Pakistanis abroad have to rely on lawyers provided by states where they are imprisoned. They also do not get interpreters in their trials.

    The families had come to the capital from Mardan, Muzaffarabad, Peshawar and other cities, to urge Mr Khan to take up the matter with Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries so Pakistanis may be brought back and allowed to complete their prison terms in Pakistani jails.

    More than 3,000 Pakistanis are currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Since December 2014, Saudi Arabia has executed 80 Pakistani prisoners.

    Addressing a press conference, Asma Shafee from Chichawatni, whose brother has been in prison in Saudi Arabia for nine years, urged the government to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities and negotiate and prisoner transfer agreement on an urgent basis.

    The families have also written Mr Khan a letter urging him to play his role and halt the imminent executions of Pakistanis on death row in Saudi Arabia.

    The letter states that the number of Pakistanis being executed in Saudi Arabia was rising at an alarming rate and media reports have indicated that eight Pakistanis have been executed in the past month.

    Available with Dawn, the letter states that the situation has left prisoners in a state of panic and fear, as the consulates responsible for guaranteeing their wellbeing have all but abandoned them and provided them no legal or moral support whatsoever. The cost of this is borne most by women and children who are kept separately in Saudi prisons.

    It said this fear is heightened by the fact that Saudi officials have begun a systematic operation to collect information on Pakistani prisoners who are to be executed, and these people are then separated from the general population.

    The families said their loved ones have been pillars of emotional and financial support for them their entire lives and have wives and children. They urged the state to take up the matter with Saudi Arabia and bring them back.

    The letter states: “You mentioned in your inaugural address that you will listen to the plight of overseas Pakistani prisoners. This is the first time in years that we have felt a semblance of hope. We were also heartened to hear of your recent visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their hand of friendship to your administration. We hope that you continue the process of finalising the prisoner transfer agreement with Saudi Arabia that the government committed to in March this year.”

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Prisoners' families hope PM Khan would live up to promise of protecting rights of overseas Pakistanis. — File photoPrisoners' families hope PM Khan would live up to promise of protecting rights of overseas Pakistanis. — File photo

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi on Monday said the government would soon announce a special package for families of martyred policemen.

    Addressing an event arranged to pay tributes to the police martyrs on Monday he said: “The martyrs of police are a pride of the whole nation and the government will soon announce a special package for the families of those personnel who laid down their lives in the line of their duty.”

    Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government is determined to transform the capital police into a model force, he said, adding that the police officials will be given due respect and honour in the Naya Pakistan.

    He said the government would provide all possible facilities to the martyrs’ families including financial assistance.

    Minister says government is determined to transform the capital police into a model force

    He said: “Allah Almighty had selected 41 police personnel of Islamabad for the great cause of sacrificing their lives to protect others’ lives,” the state minister said.

    Mr Afridi also informed the audience that he also had the honour of having martyrs in his family.

    “Martyrs have great respect in Islam,” he added.

    The federal government will provide protection to all citizens of the country, Mr Afridi said, adding that “the nation is proud of all law-enforcement agencies for rendering great sacrifices to ensure peace in the country”.

    The government is determined to providing all available resources to Islamabad police for their capacity building, he said, adding that work on police act had been started to introduce reforms in the capital police.

    Under the reforms programme, lower rank police officials’ promotion to higher ranks will be ensured.

    Intelligence and technical schools would also be set up for capacity building of the Islamabad police, the minister said, adding that problems faced by police, like accommodation and transportation, would be solved on priority basis.

    Inspector General of Islamabad police Mohammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan paid tributes to martyrs of the Islamabad police and said their sacrifices for the country would be written in history in golden words.

    The IGP said the family of a martyred constable of the Islamabad police was given a meagre amount of Rs3 million while in the Punjab the amount was Rs20 million, adding this disparity is unjustified.

    He requested the ministry to name city roads after martyred policemen.

    “Rendering one’s life for security of others is one of the biggest sacrifices,” he stated. Later, the minister distributed compensation cheques among heirs of the martyrs’ families.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Schoolchildren sing a song during a ceremony held to pay tributes to martyrs of Islamabad police at the Police Lines Headquarters on Monday. — APPSchoolchildren sing a song during a ceremony held to pay tributes to martyrs of Islamabad police at the Police Lines Headquarters on Monday. — APP

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: During a meeting on development activities and law and order in the capital, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the Ministry of Interior and Islamabad’s administration to take action against what he called a powerful ‘land mafia’ that had deprived people of their holdings.

    The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Ali Nawaz Awan, MNA Raja Khurram Nawaz and senior interior ministry and capital administration officials.

    A senior officer who participated told Dawn: “The prime minister directed the participants of the meeting to prepare a comprehensive package for the capital to revive its natural beauty.”

    The package would envisage the completion of all stalled development projects, water supply schemes, road maintenance, the development of new residential sectors, a comprehensive streetlight plan and waste management and disposal.

    It was observed that since the division of administrative powers between the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), the capital’s development and beautification has been ignored.

    Mr Khan was told that 58 years after the capital was made, Islamabad still lacks basic amenities and many parts of the city are without water. There is no waste and garbage dump in the city, and at night the city goes dark due to non-functional streetlights.

    Participants of the meeting were informed that there was a plan to bring water from Ghazi Barotha (Tarbela) to meet the city’s requirements, which was made more than 10 years ago and could not be implemented by the PPP or the PML-N governments due to objections from provinces to cutting into their water share for the twin cities.

    Earlier in the meeting, Mr Khan was briefed on operations against land grabbers and encroachment by Mr Afridi.

    The state minister said operations will continue until the last encroachment and the occupation of state and private land by land grabbers.

    The participants decided to form a committee led by the interior secretary against the ‘land mafia’, drug dealers and drug use in educational institutions, which would be supervised by Ali Nawaz Awan and Raja Khurram Nawaz.

    Mr Khan also sought recommendations to improve the performance of the police.

    While discussing land grabbing, he said no concessions would be given to land grabbers who deprived the poor of their land holdings in the outskirts of Islamabad.

    He said the local administration and police would receive support to make Islamabad a model city and ensure the law is implemented without discrimination.

    “Unfortunately, discriminatory laws are being implemented in the country where offences of powerful people are ignored and the poor are punished,” he said, adding that the government was committed to changing this tradition.

    He added that the ongoing operation against land grabbers and the illegal occupation of state land should be accelerated with the support of the people of the capital and the media.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Prime Minister Imran Khan. — Photo courtesy: premier's official Instagram accountPrime Minister Imran Khan. — Photo courtesy: premier's official Instagram account

    0 0

    BAHAWALNAGAR: Three more cases surfaced on Monday where citizens were deprived of their savings.

    In the first instance, Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Chak Madrassah, received multiple calls in which the callers claimed to be officers from his bank and demanded his account details.

    On his refusal, he was told that his bank account in a private bank in Ghallah Mandi would be closed. He then gave the details to the caller. On the next day, Ghulam Nabi learnt that Rs129,8000 had been withdrawn.

    In the second case, disabled clerk Nisar Ahmed, serving in a girls’ college in Chishtian, was forced to share his account details by a female caller and next day Rs36,000 were withdrawn from his account.

    A labourer in Faqirwali told media that a caller claiming to be an army officer got details of his ATM PIN and other bank information and an amount of Rs14,000 was withdrawn.

    NAROWAL: A suspected hacker has stolen money from accounts of two citizens here last week.

    Reports said Shakil Ahmad of Haider Park and Aslam Mukhtar of Sadiqueabad received phone calls from a man impersonating an army major.

    The caller said: “The army wants to verify the information which was given by you for census.”

    The caller got the bank account particulars from both citizens of Narowal. The suspect allegedly hacked Shakil’s account and withdrew Rs200,000 and Rs500,000 from Aslam Mukhtar’s account. Mukhtar is recently retired from traffic police.

    He said: “At first the hacker called from an unknown cell number and wanted to get information by introducing himself as an army major, but I refused to disclose the particulars on which he said will you give the details if you receive a call from the bank head office? After some time I received a call from the private bank [HBL] and the bank employee asked me to provide account details. I told the account number and PIN code.”

    Shakil said one year ago he lodged a complaint with the bank about some ATM malfunction and recently I received a call about it and provided account details.

    “When I contacted the bank I came to know that Rs200,000 are missing from my account. I had only Rs200,000 which were taken away,” Shakil said.

    Aslam Mukhtar said: “I had deposited the amount [Rs500,000] with the bank which I received on retirement from traffic police and now the amount is missing.”

    The affected account holders have urged the prime minister and Chief Justice of Pakistan to look into the matter.

    SAHIWAL: Hackers took away Rs190,000 from the account of another resident of Chichawatni city on Monday.

    Citizen Waheed Nawaz of Khalid Town said he lodged a verbal compliant with the bank manager [JS Bank] and Saddar police station but no action was taken.

    Waheed said he received a call from bank head office, Karachi, telling him that Rs190,000 got transferred from his account to another account through ATM. The bank record shows money was transferred to another account holder named Sajid Mahmood.

    Waheed said he did not conduct this transaction. He said the local branch staff said his account was hacked.

    Last week, a school teacher from Chichawatni was also deprived of Rs400,000 cash by hackers.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Three more cases surface of citizens who have been deprived of their savings. — Photo/FileThree more cases surface of citizens who have been deprived of their savings. — Photo/File

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court hearing a Rs35 billion fake accounts case was told on Monday that two witnesses to whom the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had issued summons for investigation had vanished.

    A three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, however, issued notices to Inspector General of Sindh Police Kaleem Imam after senior counsel Sardar Muhammad Aslam requested the court to order the provincial police to recover the disappeared persons.

    The chief justice asked what would police do if someone had disappeared on his own? “Let us ask from the IG Sindh whether they have disappeared on their own or someone has abducted them,” he said.

    Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan asked if the provincial police could be of any help.

    Mr Aslam is representing the family members of Mohammad Bashir and Abdul Jabbar — the two witnesses who have disappeared in a mysterious manner after they were summoned by the joint investigation team that is probing the fake accounts case.

    Apex court has been requested to order Sindh police to recover the disappeared persons

    The counsel later told Dawn that the manner in which the two witnesses were abducted was similar. He said that in both cases, armed men came in sports utility vehicles and forcibly abducted the two men. FIRs of the abductions had been lodged at the relevant police station, the counsel stated.

    One of the witnesses disappeared on Oct 31 and the other within two or three days after it, he said.

    At the last hearing on Oct 22, Additional Director General of FIA Ahsan Sadiq, who was appointed head of the JIT by the SC on Sept 6, furnished a second progress report highlighting that the Sindh government appeared reluctant and was not extending cooperation to the JIT in its probe into the fake accounts case.

    The report had stated that the information being provided by the Sindh government was piecemeal and not complete, adding that around Rs54 billion was transferred from 36 different “Benami” companies of which transactions worth Rs47 billion through thousands of fake accounts had been identified.

    During the hearing, the chief justice observed that criminal proceedings should be initiated in the case and ordered the authorities to produce Abdul Ghani of the Omni Group of Companies before the court with a directive that he be transferred from Sindh to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi since he was still issuing directives over the phone.

    During the proceedings, the JIT furnished a report stating that nine sugar mills owned by the Omni Group availed financial facilities, including cash finance (CF) worth Rs13.5 billion approximately, from different banks against pledge of stocks (sugar bags).

    The nine sugar mills are Ansari Sugar Mills Ltd, Bandhi Sugar Mills Ltd, Bawany Sugar Mills Ltd, Khoski Sugar Mills (Pvt) Ltd, Naudero Sugar Mills Ltd, New Dadu Sugar Mills Ltd, Chamber Sugar Mills (Pvt) Ltd, Larr Sugar Mills Ltd and Tando Allayar Mills (Pvt) Ltd.

    The FIA report explained that records from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Omni Group were still to be collected and analysed.

    The court, however, summoned senior officials of banks that claim to have loaned billions of rupees to the Omni Group to appear before it on Nov 17 in the SC’s Lahore Registry.

    Nimr Majeed, son of Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, appeared before the court on Monday and expressed ignorance about the pilferage of stocks that were shown by the Omni Group against loans obtained from different banks.

    Waqf property

    In another case concerning allotment of Waqf property attached to the shrine of Hazrat Baba Farid-ud-Din Masud Ganj Shakar, Pakpattan Sharif, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif furnished his reply requesting the court to discharge the notice in the interest of justice.

    Mr Sharif is facing charges that being the chief minister of Punjab in 1986 he ordered withdrawing a notification of Dec 17, 1969.

    The reply states that it is a very old matter having taken place about 32 years ago and, therefore, does not recall having ever passed any such order of withdrawal purportedly attributed to him being the chief minister, Punjab, at the relevant time.

    Quoting the record submitted by the Punjab government before the SC, the reply said the then Punjab chief minister did not order the withdrawal of the relevant notification of Dec 17, 1969.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Apex court has been requested to order Sindh police to recover the disappeared persons. — File photoApex court has been requested to order Sindh police to recover the disappeared persons. — File photo

    0 0

    KOHAT: The Qabail Qaumi Tehreek (QQT), which has been formed to raise voice against the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has asked the government to refrain from making hasty decisions about the fate of the tribesmen and halt making any administrative changes without their consent.

    The demand was made at a meeting of QQT held in Darra Adamkhel on Monday, where it formally elected its chairman, former senator Hamidullah Jan, and chief organiser, former MNA Haji Baz Gul Afridi Zarghun Khel.

    Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jan demanded that the deployment of police and judiciary should be made after talks otherwise tension would be created between the tribesmen and the government.

    The QQT was constituted at a jirga last month where its official flag was also launched.

    Speaking at the jirga, chief organiser Baz Gul rejected the merger decision of the government and termed it a direct attack on the centuries-old culture and civilisation of the tribesmen. He renewed their demand for a separate province for the tribal regions.

    He said earlier the government had decided to uphold the jirga system for two years before introducing civil and criminal courts and policing.

    But, he said the Peshawar High Court had ordered immediate abolition of the jirga system within 30 days.

    When contacted, assistant commissioner, Darra, Shayan Ali Jawa told Dawn that they were functioning under sections 10, 11 and 13 of Fata interim governance regulations as a replacement for police and courts.

    But now as the PHC had struck off the sections they would have to implement the new regulations as formulated by the civil secretariat as Fata secretariat was being abolished.

    To a query, he said as a preliminary step Levies force was being turned into police force.

    The aged khasadars would be retired and young would be inducted in the police system, he added.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    QQT leader says police and judiciary deployment should be made after talks to avoid tensions between locals and Centre. — File photoQQT leader says police and judiciary deployment should be made after talks to avoid tensions between locals and Centre. — File photo

    0 0

    BUNER: One labourer was killed and two others suffered injuries when explosives planted at a marble mine went prematurely in Bhai Khan Bampokha area here on Monday.

    According to police, Bakhtyar, a resident of Nanseer Buner, was killed in the incident while Sahibzada, a resident of Alisher Torwarsak, and Ghafar, a resident of Bampokha, received serious injuries in explosion in a marble mine.

    The local people rushed to the spot and shifted the injured workers to the nearby rural health centre in Jowar.

    They were provided with first aid there and then referred to district headquarters hospital.

    Jowar police registered a case on the complaint of Ghafar and started investigation.

    It merits a mention here that Salarzai Bampokha region has marble resources. The marble from the area are transported to parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in a large quantity.

    According to locals, these marble mines fulfil about 70 per cent requirements of across the country.

    The landowners, lease holders and agents are earning billions of rupees but the labours are mostly exposed to threat, they say.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Locals say landowners, lease holders and agents earn billions of rupees from mines but labours are exposed to threat. — File photoLocals say landowners, lease holders and agents earn billions of rupees from mines but labours are exposed to threat. — File photo

    0 0

    PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has ruled that any judicial power exercised by the executive officers in the tribal districts after the enactment of the 25th Constitutional Amendment were unconstitutional and against the principle of separating the judiciary from the executive.

    A bench consisting of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Mussarat Hilali, which had declared unconstitutional on Oct 20 several provisions of the Fata Interim Governance Regulation (FIGR), 2018, has ruled that any decision of civil or criminal nature under that law would be void after a month of the said judgement.

    “By now the constitutional requirement is a separate and independent judiciary from the executive and as such any powers exercised by the executive, which come within the domain of judiciary/judges, the same would be nullity in the eyes of law,” it declared in the detailed judgment.

    Govt’s move in this respect violates spirit of separating judiciary from executive, rules court

    The bench observed that the FIGR was promulgated by the government to cover up its inefficiency of not formulating any formula for separation of judiciary and the executive when the Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Act was passed.

    “The moment 25th Amendment (Act No XXXVII of 2018) was introduced, the job of a judgement/ decision in criminal and civil disputes is to be done by a judge and not executive, as has been done by the impugned Regulation, 2018,” it declared.

    The bench had last month accepted a petition filed by lawyer Ali Azim Afridi and pronounced a short order.

    The petitioner had challenged the FIGR on multiple grounds requesting the court to declare the same unconstitutional, especially the exercising of judicial powers by executive officers in tribal districts, which he claimed was a violation of Article 175 of the Constitution.

    Through the FIGR promulgated by the president of Pakistan in May, the colonial era Frontier Crimes Regulation was repealed. However, the judicial powers continued to be assigned to the executive officers including political agents (now deputy commissioners) and assistant political (now assistant commissioner).

    “Indeed the separation of executive from the judiciary is a hectic exercise, which should have been done before the 25th Amendment (Act No XXXVII of 2018) therefore, we feel it appropriate to give some time to the concerned to have the same exercised but not later than one month, from the date of the judgement, as any law/ regulation made or action taken in violation of principles contained in Article 25 is liable to be struck down and same is the power with thus court,” the bench declared.

    It added that the mere existence of a tribal society or a tribal culture didn’t create a hurdle to the enforcement of an ordinary procedure of criminal law or civil law, trial and detention, which was enforceable in the entire country.

    “In view of the above, we while allowing the writ petition as prayed for, declared the notification dated 29.05.2018 whereby Fata Interim Governance Regulation, 2018, was promulgated, as ultra vires of the Constitution, to the extent of allowing the commissioners to act as judges; council of elders deciding civil and criminal matters; constitution of qaumi jirgas; modified applications of Chapter VIII and CLII of the Code of Criminal Procedure for security; Third schedule (of the regulation); administered areas, and after one month from the date of judgment any decision of civil or criminal nature would be void ab-initio,” it ruled.

    The bench cited several Supreme Court verdicts in its detailed judgement.

    It declared: “the command of Constitution and above cited judgements/ precedents, the legislature was required to have done the exercise much earlier, as has been done by way of 25th Amendment (Act No XXXVII of 2018) and for doing the same it was the duty of the executive to have formulated the formula of separation of each and every category for the purposed of smooth running of the daily functions, but unfortunately no preparation was done and in order to cover up the said inefficiency, the government had to promulgate the impugned Fata Interim Governance Regulation, 2018.”

    The bench ruled that the separation of judiciary from the executive and others was not only in the upper hierarchy/ superior judiciary rather the same began from a very lower level i.e. magistrates and civil judges.

    It added that the functions of judicial work i.e. settlement of civil and criminal disputes had to be done by a judge and in the entire country the same was being done.

    The bench ruled that in view of the Supreme Court judgements and precedents, where under the separation of judiciary had been ordered from the executive and the trichotomy of power had been defined, there existed no reason whatsoever to assign work to the executive in this respect.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    Govt’s move in this respect violates spirit of separating judiciary from executive, rules court. — File photoGovt’s move in this respect violates spirit of separating judiciary from executive, rules court. — File photo

    0 0

    KARACHI: Police on Monday launched an investigation into the alleged food poisoning, which claimed the lives of two minor brothers in Clifton on Sunday.

    Investigators have detained three employees of the restaurant for interrogation while CCTV footage of both the restaurant at Zamzama and candy shop at a park in Defence Housing Authority have been obtained for investigation, officials said.

    However, so far no concrete evidence has emerged about the exact cause of deaths.

    Ahmad, one and half years old, and Mohammad, 5, died from ‘food poisoning’ on Sunday afternoon, “believed” the officials. Their mother, Ayesha, was admitted to a private hospital.

    After having dinner and visiting Nisar Shaheed Park, where the children bought candies, the family returned to their Creek Vista residence at around 2am. However, their condition deteriorated at around 6am on Sunday when the minor brothers and their mother started vomiting.

    Restaurant sealed; samples of food, candies taken

    They were transported to the South City Hospital in Clifton at around 2.45pm after a considerable delay, according to the city police chief. The children died on Sunday afternoon during treatment while their mother was admitted for treatment there.

    Additional inspector general Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh told Dawn that since it was a serious matter, he had directed the police to get done a post-mortem examination of the bodies as the cause of death was still not determined.

    He said he had also appointed South SSP Pir Mohammad Shah to conduct an investigation into the incident.

    Post-mortem examination

    Late on Sunday night, the bodies of the minor brothers were brought to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for a post-mortem examination.

    JPMC’s additional police surgeon Dr Sheeraz Ali Khowaja told Dawn that an autopsy of the brothers was carried out and that they had reserved the cause of death for “chemical examination, microbiological, bacteria and histopathological reports”.

    Dr Khowaja said the bodies were brought to the hospital after 10 hours of their death.

    A senior medico-legal official, who wished not to be named, said that in cases of purported poisoning, crucial evidences were often lost as doctors at private hospitals instead of informing the medico-legal section of government hospitals to take samples tended to wash affected patients’ stomachs.

    Minister concerned

    In a related development, minister for food Hari Ram Kishori Laal held a meeting of the Sindh Food Authority board, which was attended by senior officials.

    The minister said the death of two children was a regrettable act and directed the authorities for an early completion of the inquiry and taking action against responsible persons.

    The minister also directed for “finalising laws concerned within one week” to make the food authority “completely functional”.

    “We don’t want to close anyone’s business, but the sale of unhealthy food will not be allowed,” said the minister.

    Separately, Minister for Local Bodies Saeed Ghani told the media that the death of the two minor brothers from ‘food poisoning’ was tragic.

    “A high-level inquiry is being conducted,” said Mr Ghani.

    He said the Sindh government had established a food authority but it had “limited resources”.

    As Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and sought a report from the commissioner of Karachi, director for operations of the food authority Abrar Shaikh on Sunday sealed the restaurant and took samples of food. He also took eight samples of candies from the shop in Defence.

    Mr Shaikh in his report submitted to the chief minister claimed that they had also given a notice to the said restaurant to improve its conditions recently.

    Meanwhile, the funeral prayers of the two brothers were held at a local mosque in Defence. The relatives while talking to the media claimed that the children died from food poisoning. They demanded action against the food inspectors concerned and early completion of the inquiry so that the culprits could be taken to task.

    Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018

    No concrete evidence has emerged about the exact cause of deaths. — FileNo concrete evidence has emerged about the exact cause of deaths. — File

    0 0

    A free non-government school in Karachi's Lyari's neighbourhood provides a few hours of classes per day to children who otherwise have no access to education. *Image by Insiya Syed for Human Rights Watch*
    A free non-government school in Karachi's Lyari's neighbourhood provides a few hours of classes per day to children who otherwise have no access to education. Image by Insiya Syed for Human Rights Watch

    Pakistan is failing to educate a huge proportion of the country's girls, who have little or no access to education, notes a recent report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

    The report called 'Shall I Feed My Daughter, or Educate Her?', catalogs barriers to girl's education based on over 200 interviews – most of them with girls who never attended school or were unable to complete their education, and their families – conducted in all four of Pakistan’s provinces in places like Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, and several nearby rural areas.

    The report concludes that in a country of 200 million, a shocking 22 million children are out of school— with a majority of them being girls.

    In fact, by 9th grade only 13 percent of girls are still in school.

    Also read: 10 alarming statistics about Pakistan’s out-of-school children

    “The Pakistan government’s failure to educate children is having a devastating impact on millions of girls. Many of the girls we interviewed are desperate to study, but instead are growing up without the education that would help them have options for their future.” — ” Liesl Gerntholtz, women’s rights director at HRW.

    “Even parents who are not educated themselves understand that their daughters’ future depends on them going to school, but the government is abandoning these families,” Gerntholtz said.

    As of 2017, Pakistan was spending less than 2.8 percent of its gross domestic product on education– far below the recommended 4 to 6 percent.

    Below are some of the factors that keep girls out of schools, as highlighted by the report:

    1. A wildly inadequate government school system

    • There is a lack of a functioning school system.

    • Many children have no real access to a school, and many others can access only prohibitively expensive private schools.

    • The government doesn’t provide anything approaching the number of schools necessary to educate Pakistan’s children.

    • There are many more schools for boys than for girls, and it is more difficult for girls to walk long distances to school. This helps explain the disparity between girls and boys.

    2. Chronic under-investment in education

    • Pakistan spends less than 2.8 percent of its GDP on education.

    • The government would need to double its expenditure on education to be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of universal completion of secondary education by 2030.

    3. Flourishing unregulated private sector means poor quality private schools

    • The private sector has filled the gap and operating schools has become a lucrative business.

    • Private schools are almost entirely unregulated by the government.

    • Low-cost private schools are often of poor quality, with unqualified and poorly-paid teachers.

    4. Corruption contributes to poor quality government schools

    • Government schools are also often of poor quality that parents see no point in sending their children to them.

    • A major problem in government schools is corruption—many teachers gain jobs via bribery or nepotism and may not be qualified/interested in teaching or even show up.

    Saba is one of almost 22.5 million children who are out of school. She sells potatoes on the street outside a private school and longs to attend school herself. *Image by Insiya Syed for Human Rights Watch*
    Saba is one of almost 22.5 million children who are out of school. She sells potatoes on the street outside a private school and longs to attend school herself. Image by Insiya Syed for Human Rights Watch

    5. No education is free

    • Families below the poverty line have little or no ability to pay for education.

    • Even “free” government schools require parents to pay for uniforms, shoes, school supplies and exam fees. These expenses make it impossible for many poor children to study or continue their education.

    6. No effort has been made to make education compulsory

    • The constitution makes education free and compulsory for children ages 5-16, but in reality the needed schools don’t exist and the government makes no systematic effort to get children into schools or keep them there.

    7. Girls face discrimination

    • Gender discrimination including families prioritising boys’ education, sexual harassment on the way to school, child marriage, and harmful social norms.

    • External factors also include child labour, insecurity and attacks on education.

    Bushra, a 10th grader, sews to help earn money for her expenses. Education cost often increases as children advance in grades. *Image by Insiya Syed for Human Rights Watch*
    Bushra, a 10th grader, sews to help earn money for her expenses. Education cost often increases as children advance in grades. Image by Insiya Syed for Human Rights Watch

    Key recommendations by HRW:

    • Spend more money. Double the expenditure on education, as recommended by UNESCO.

    • Provide equal access for girls and boys.

    • Improve the quality of both government and private schools.

    • Implement the constitution’s promise of compulsory education to age 16.

    Compiled by Shahbano Ali Khan

    0 0

    Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani on Tuesday formed a committee to revive the Sindh Food Authority (SFA) in light of the recent death of two minors from what is believed to be a case of food poisoning.

    The committee, which includes lawmakers Dr Sohrab Sarki, Sanjay Parvani and Ganhor Khan Asrani, has been tasked to revive the SFA.

    The committee will give suggestions to improve the SFA's working while also assessing its performance.

    The move comes after Ahmad, 1.5, and Mohammad, 5, died from what is believed to be a case of food poisoning on Sunday afternoon. Their mother was also hospitalised after falling sick.

    However, so far no concrete evidence has emerged about the exact cause of deaths.

    The two boys had had dinner with their family at Arizona Grill at Karachi's Zamzama locale and later visited Nisar Shaheed Park, where they bought and consumed candies.

    The family returned to their Creek Vista residence at around 2am. However, the children's condition deteriorated at around 6am on Sunday. They died later that afternoon.

    Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani at a press conference.  — APP/FileSindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani at a press conference. — APP/File

    0 0

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all provinces to impose a Re1-per-litre tax on companies bottling and selling water while also constituting a committee to examine the quality of 'mineral water' being sold by these companies.

    The tax will be applicable on water extracted from the ground by mineral water companies. The issue as it concerns beverages companies will be taken up at a later stage.

    The committee to examine the quality of bottled water being sold in the markets will be headed by environmental scientist Dr Ahsan Siddiqui and include officials from the Environment Protection Agency, Punjab Food Authority as well as representatives of bottled water companies.

    The committee will submit a report on its findings within the next 10 days. In case it finds that any company is selling 'substandard' mineral water, the company in question will be given three months to improve its product before punitive action is taken against it.

    Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar issued orders to this effect while wrapping up a suo motu case pertaining to the exploitation of water resources by mineral water companies operating in the country.

    The issue had cropped up in September during the hearing of a case related to the drying up of the Katas Raj pond due to heavy consumption of subsoil water by nearby cement factories.

    Take a look: The real cost of bottled water

    Arguments dismissed

    During today's hearing, a Nestle representative told the apex court that the company earns Rs158 million per year from bottled water. He said the company has been operating in the country for the last three decades.

    Discussing the cost of Nestle water, he said it cost the company Rs5 to add minerals to the water it extracts. At this, the CJP intervened and remarked that he had seen a report according to which there was no [additional] mineral in the water.

    "Water companies have stolen water for their gains," CJP Nisar regretted, adding that the court will constitute a commission to find that how much water had been used up.

    "Bottled water companies earn billions of rupees without paying a single penny: I will not let people die of thirst for the profit [of bottled water companies]," the CJP remarked.

    "What would we say to our offspring 30 years hence if they do not have enough water to consume," the CJP said at one point.

    "If you don't want to accept the deal [paying Re1 per litre], you are free to exit the industry," the CJP said while concluding the case.

    "Show some courage and close the factory. I will see how long can you keep it closed," he challenged the companies.

    During the last hearing, Justice Nisar had regretted that bottled water companies were selling water after extracting it from the ground almost for free and had summoned the owners of all mineral water companies to appear in person before the court on Nov 13 (today).

    Testing water quality at a government facility.— File photo provided by Zofeen T. EbrahimTesting water quality at a government facility.— File photo provided by Zofeen T. Ebrahim

    0 0

    The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday warned that it would stay the screening of Bollywood film Kaala if all parties to the case were unable to submit their responses by Nov 16 to a petition seeking a ban on its release.

    A petition filed by filmmaker Sohail Ahmed Khan last month argued that the release of Indian films in Pakistan has an adverse effect on the local film industry. Khan is a member of the Pakistan Film Producers' Association.

    Khan's lawyer Amir Saeed, who appeared before court on the producer's behalf, alleged that recently the Bollywood film Thugs of Hindostan had been released in local cinemas illegally.

    The high court issued notices to the Central Board of Film Certification, the Information Ministry, the Commerce Ministry and the federal government.

    Private cinema owners, who today requested to become party in the case, were directed to submit their responses to the court by Nov 16.

    The censor board, ministries of commerce and information and the federal government have already submitted their replies in the court.

    Lahore High Court building. — File photoLahore High Court building. — File photo

    0 0

    The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday heard a petition filed by retired Gen Pervez Musharraf's counsel, who has sought a stay against the formation of a judicial commission that will record the absconding former dictator's statement in a high treason case outstanding against him.

    In the last hearing of the high treason case, a special court had ordered the formation of a commission that would go abroad to record Musharraf's statement in accordance with Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure — a development Musharraf's counsel had opposed and moved the high court against.

    "The order to form a commission to record a statement is illegal [in this case]," Musharraf's counsel argued before a two-member IHC bench today. "A commission can only be formed to record the statement of a foreign witness."

    To this, Justice Amir Farooq inquired if there was any restriction on Musharraf preventing him from returning to Pakistan.

    "It's barely a two-hour flight from Dubai; [Musharraf should] just book a ticket and come back to Pakistan," he advised.

    Musharraf's counsel replied that his client does not face any restrictions, but the only reason he was not returning was his illness.

    "A proclaimed accused's petition cannot be heard until he has surrendered to the court," Justice Farooq reminded the counsel. "How is this petition maintainable despite him being a proclaimed accused — present your arguments on this point," he urged.

    The case was adjourned until November 19.

    High treason case against Musharraf

    Musharraf is facing the high treason case for suspending the Constitution on Nov 3, 2007 — an offence for which he was indicted by the special court on March 31, 2014. That same year, the state prosecution laid down all its evidence but the progress in the case still slowed down due to the former military ruler having filed multiple petitions against his trial at the appellate forum.

    In March 2016, he left the country for Dubai to "seek medical treatment" and hasn't returned since.

    In the case's last hearing on October 15, Musharraf's counsel had told the special court that his client was was unable to record his statement via video link since he is indisposed.

    The court had then ordered the formation of the aforementioned judicial commission.

    Musharraf says he is unable to return to Pakistan due to health issues. — FileMusharraf says he is unable to return to Pakistan due to health issues. — File

    0 0

    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi discussed Aasia Bibi, recently freed from prison following the overturning of her blasphemy conviction by the Supreme Court, in a phone call with his Canadian counterpart on Monday, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal confirmed on Tuesday.

    "[The] Canadian FM appreciated [the] Supreme Court's courageous decision and [the] Prime Minister's positive speech," the tweet added.

    In a second tweet, the FO spokesperson added: "FM Qureshi said that Aasia Bibi is our national and Pakistan fully respects her legal rights".

    The confirmation of talks between the two governments on the issue came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said his government was talking to Pakistan over potentially offering asylum to Aasia Bibi.

    “We are in discussions with the Pakistani government,” Trudeau had said in an interview to AFP in Paris, where he was attending a peace conference organised by French President Emmanuel Macron.

    “There is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don't want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country,” he said.

    Aasia Bibi has been 'taken under protection' by the Pakistani state after the overturning of her conviction prompted a wave of protests by religio-political groups.

    After her release from prison, she has been flown to a “safe place”. Several governments have offered to grant her family asylum.

    Her husband has appealed in particular to Britain, Canada and the United States, claiming that Aasia Bibi's life would be in danger as long as she lives in Pakistan.

    FM Qureshi meets with Dr Aafia Siddiqui's sister, discuss possible ways forward for her "repatriation"

    FM Qureshi also met Dr Aafia Siddiqui's sister on Tuesday in Islamabad and informed her about the government's efforts regarding her sister's case, Radio Pakistan reported.

    Dr Aafia was convicted in 2010 on charges of attempted murder and assault of United States personnel and is serving an 86-year sentence at the Federal Medical Centre, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a US federal prison for female inmates of all security levels with special medical and mental health needs.

    In a tweet shared on Tuesday, FM Qureshi said that he had asked the Pakistani Consul General in Houston to seek regular consular visits and to "ensure Dr [Aafia] Siddiqui's well being in line with her legal and human rights".

    Qureshi added that he had assured Dr Fauzia Siddiqui of his "full support" and said that the two had also discussed possible ways forward for Dr Aafia's return.

    FM Qureshi on Tuesday met with Dr Aafia Siddiqui's sister in Islamabad during which he informed her about the governments efforts regarding her sisters case, Radio Pakistan reported. — Photo courtesy of Shah Mehmood Qureshi TwitterFM Qureshi on Tuesday met with Dr Aafia Siddiqui's sister in Islamabad during which he informed her about the governments efforts regarding her sisters case, Radio Pakistan reported. — Photo courtesy of Shah Mehmood Qureshi Twitter

older | 1 | .... | 2849 | 2850 | (Page 2851) | 2852 | 2853 | .... | 2886 | newer