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    LAHORE: It is not the legality of arrest or release of Aasia Bibi that is bothering the nation, but the fact that she has been released under a deal with the West, says Maulana Fazlur Rehman, president of the Mutahidda Majlis-i-Amal (MMA).

    Addressing the “million march,” which was very thinly attended when compared to the ‘figure’ mentioned in its title, he said the way the West had been celebrating the release of Aasia Bibi “showed the reality of the issue”.

    “If Aasia Bibi’s release is only a legal decision, why is there flood of personal praises directed at the CJP and Imran Khan? It only proves that the decision was taken under a deal, which is now being praised in the West. What kind of legal decision is this which is being celebrated by the West and has caused anxiety in the Ummah?,”the Maulana thundered.

    The call for the march was given by the All (religious) Parties Tahafuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat.

    The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F head alleged that an EU delegation that visited Pakistan in run-up to the decision, offered the country membership of international financial clubs and linked the offer to the Aasia Bibi’s release.

    “Misquoting the Islamic history of Misaq-i-Madina, the PTI parliamentarians are trying to justify the diplomatic recognition of Isreal as well,” Maulana told the small but emotionally charged gathering on The Mall.

    “I have been arguing since long that Imran Khan is a Jew representative and has been anointed by the West to play its proxy. Now he has been brought to power only to play games of his masters and hurt the Ummah. The government is guilty of conspiring to alter the blasphemy law, setting blasphemers free and playing to Western tunes,”. he said, adding that the movement would continue till the PTI mended its ways.

    He announced that the next protest on the issue would be held on Nov 25 at Sukkur.

    Earlier, Prof Sajjad Mir, addressing the rally, said there might be sectarian differences among different parties but they all were one on the issue of blasphemy. He too alleged “This all was being done to please the West”.

    Hafiz Idrees, the acting emir of Jamaat-i-Islami, declared that the blasphemers could not be pardoned, come what may.

    Shah Awais Noorani was of the view that the parliamentary system was being rigged to replace it with presidential form of government. He warned the religo-political forces wont allow it.

    Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2018


    “If Aasia Bibi’s release is only a legal decision, why is there flood of praises directed at the CJP, Imran Khan?“If Aasia Bibi’s release is only a legal decision, why is there flood of praises directed at the CJP, Imran Khan?" asks Fazl. — APP/File

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    KARACHI: Apart from sending notices of suspension of registration to The City School and Beaconhouse School System, the Sindh government’s directorate of education has also issued Generation’s School with a similar notice over non-compliance with court orders about hike, return and adjustment of school fees.

    In response to the notice, Generation’s School has said that the notice they got was based on the premise of alleged non-compliance with the orders of the Sindh High Court (SHC) dated Sept 3 and the Supreme Court (SC) dated Oct 1.

    But they claimed that the school had always been a law-abiding educational institution that has sought registrations as well as fee approvals as per the law.

    In a statement shared with the media on Thursday, the school management also said that their current application for renewal of registration has been pending with the directorate of private schools, Sindh, and in the meanwhile, the Generation’s School has assured the directorate and the courts that they had remained in full compliance with the SHC judgement by reducing fee levels to within five per cent of their last fee schedule.

    The Sindh school education department has told other schools also to return and adjust their fees. These include Nixor School, Happy Home, Foundation Public, PECHS, Links and St Gregory’s School.

    Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2018


    Sindh govt’s directorate of education has issued Generation’s School a notice over non-compliance with court orders about hike, return and adjustment of school fees. — FileSindh govt’s directorate of education has issued Generation’s School a notice over non-compliance with court orders about hike, return and adjustment of school fees. — File

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    Two men allegedly killed a 15-year-old girl and her 27-year-old cousin on Friday in the Laray area of Martung district in Shangla in what police suspect is a case of 'honour killing'.

    The Puran Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Zerab Gul told Dawn that the girl's brothers suspected the two were involved in a relationship and subsequently killed them in the name of 'honour'.

    The SDPO said that the two were first cousins. The girl was unmarried, while the man, Said Muhammad, had four children.

    Zerab Gul said that the murdered man's father, Khan Said, told police that his two nephews had shot his son dead while Said Muhammad was working in the fields.

    Khan Said alleged that after killing his son, the brothers went home and killed their teenage sister, police said.

    The suspects then fled the crime scene, the SDPO added.

    Locals told Dawn that a jirga of elders had, one week ago, decided that the girl and man suspected of being in a relationship should marry each other.

    Khan Said confirmed that a first information report had been registered in the Martung police station.

    The SDPO said that the case was registered under Sections 302 and 311 of the Pakistan Penal Code. An initial investigation is underway, he said.


    Two men allegedly killed a 15-year-old girl and her 27-year-old cousin on Friday in the Laray area of Martung district in Shangla in what police suspect is a case of 'honour killing'. — AP/File photoTwo men allegedly killed a 15-year-old girl and her 27-year-old cousin on Friday in the Laray area of Martung district in Shangla in what police suspect is a case of 'honour killing'. — AP/File photo

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    The Supreme Court on Friday suspended certain clauses within the The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Rules 2014 which required the provincial ACE to obtain a chief minister's permission before taking action against top-level bureaucrats.

    A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took up a petition filed by ACE Director General (DG) Hussain Asghar in which he stated that it is mandatory for the body to take permission from the chief minister before initiating proceedings against any high-profile bureaucrat.

    "If the chief minister does not give the go ahead, the body cannot even file a first investigation report against a bureaucrat," Asghar said.

    The court subsequently suspended Rules 5, 6 and 10 of the ACE rules, in which certain sub-rules pertain to obtaining the chief minister's permission prior to taking action against senior bureaucrats.

    The court also ordered that a pending anti-corruption inquiry before the Lahore High Court should be wrapped up within two weeks.


    Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment director general says the body cannot even file an FIR against top-level bureaucrats without the chief minister's permission. ─ File photoPunjab Anti-Corruption Establishment director general says the body cannot even file an FIR against top-level bureaucrats without the chief minister's permission. ─ File photo

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    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has left for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the 9th Sir Bani Yas Forum, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal shared on Thursday.

    In his tweet, Faisal added that foreign ministers from various countries will attend the conference which is being organised by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

    Issues related to the Middle East will be discussed.

    FM Qureshi is on a two-day official visit to the UAE and will hold meetings with leadership of the UAE and other countries, Radio Pakistan reported.


    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has left for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the 9th Sir Bani Yas Forum. — Photo courtesy of Dr Mohammad Faisal TwitterForeign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has left for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the 9th Sir Bani Yas Forum. — Photo courtesy of Dr Mohammad Faisal Twitter

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    ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) — the party behind protest demonstrations that paralysed the twin cities — had not yet submitted details of the expenses it made during the July elections.

    “The subject political party (TLP) participated in the general elections, 2018 but has not submitted the details of the Campaign Finance till date,” the ECP stated in a reply furnished before the SC, which will commence on Friday the hearing of a case relating to the 20-day Faizabad sit-in in November last year.

    The TLP had participated in the 2018 general elections and bagged three seats in the Sindh Assembly.

    At the last hearing on Oct 11, a two-judge SC bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam had ordered the ECP to furnish the application under which the TLP was registered as a political party and asked the accountant general to assist the court in determining whether the ECP or the federal government was empowered under the Elections Act 2017 to take remedial measures for regulating political parties on their conduct.

    Contempt of court action sought against Khadim Rizvi, Afzal Qadri

    In its reply, the ECP explained that it had issued notices to all political parties which had failed to submit the details of their campaign finances. It said that if they failed to follow the directives, their election symbols would be withheld, adding that all political parties participating in the elections were required to submit to the ECP the list of contributors who have donated or contributed an amount equal to or more than Rs100,000 for thier election campaigns within 60 days from the close of a financial year in terms of Section 211 of the Elections Act.

    The consolidated statements of political parties’ accounts were audited by a chartered accountant highlighting annual income and expenses, sources of funds and assets and liabilities, the reply stated.

    The ECP had also framed a code of conduct for political parties, contesting candidates and polling agents in terms of Section 233 of the Elections Act, it said.

    The ECP explained that after the enactment of the Elections Act, all election-related laws had been repealed, including the Political Parties Order 2002 and Political Parties Rules 2002. Section 202 (4) of the Elections Act requires all political parties to submit a list of 2,000 members along with photocopies of their CNICs and proof of deposit of Rs200,000 in favour of the commission in the State Bank or the National Bank of Pakistan as enlistment fee.

    The TLP, the reply said, had submitted the relevant documents on Jan 8, 2018.

    The reply contended that the ECP had objected to the registration of the party with the name Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah and recognised the party with the name of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, which was later accepted by the party.

    Petition against TLP

    Meanwhile, a Supreme Court lawyer on Thursday filed a petition in the apex court, seeking a directive for the federal government to commence the process of dissolution of the TLP as political party pursuant to Section 212 of the Elections Act for operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan. He alleged that the party had indulged in terrorism.

    Barrister Masroor Shah also requested the apex court to initiate contempt of the court proceedings against TLP leaders — Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Peer Afzal Qadri — for scandalising the SC and tending to bring this august court and its judges into hatred, ridicule and contempt.

    The petition asked the court to order the federal government that instead of succumbing to political exigencies and taking mere cosmetic measures, discharge its constitutional duty to protect fundamental rights of citizens and establish the rule of law in the country by taking strict meaningful legal action against Khadim Rizvi and Afzal Qadri for allegedly committing offences of sedition, incitement to mutiny, criminal intimidation, rioting and terrorism.

    The petition recalled that during three days of violent protests, the TTP leadership vociferously spat venom against judges of the Supreme Court and the chief of the army staff. They did not even shy away from inciting bodyguards and personal servants of judges and the army chief to take the law into their own hands, the petition said, adding that the TLP leadership had called upon members of the armed forces to stage mutiny against their commanders.

    Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2018


    Contempt of court action sought against Khadim Rizvi, Afzal Qadri. — APP/FileContempt of court action sought against Khadim Rizvi, Afzal Qadri. — APP/File

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    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the 9th Sir Bani Yas Forum, Radio Pakistan reported on Friday.

    A day earlier, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal shared that the minister had left for the UAE.

    In his tweet, Faisal added that foreign ministers from various countries will attend the conference which is being organised by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

    Issues related to the Middle East will be discussed.

    FM Qureshi, during his two-day official visit, will also hold meetings with leadership of the UAE and other countries, Radio Pakistan added.


    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has left for the UAE to attend the 9th Sir Bani Yas Forum. — Photo courtesy Dr Mohammad Faisal TwitterForeign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has left for the UAE to attend the 9th Sir Bani Yas Forum. — Photo courtesy Dr Mohammad Faisal Twitter

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    President Arif Alvi on Friday said he would wait to exit Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport until a 32-vehicle security protocol assigned to escort him left the premises.

    The president tweeted from within the airport highlighting his "continuous struggle to keep security but reduce protocol that inconveniences people".

    "Am at Lahore airport and there are 32 cars to escort me waiting outside. Will wait until they are sent away before I move out," he added.

    He eventually exited the airport and reached Governor House with a five-car escort, where he met Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Governor Chaudhry Sawar, Geo News reported.

    President Alvi discussed important political affairs and administrative affairs during his meetings, Radio Pakistan reported. Buzdar also apprised the president on the provincial government's performance.

    Questions have been raised about Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders being assigned large security protocols despite the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government's austerity drive, and the party's own opposition to the previous government's VIP protocols.

    In September, Karachi police booked members of the #FixIt group for trying to lift roadblocks that had been placed to make room for President Alvi's convoy along Sharea Faisal.

    Alvi has been outspoken about his security protocol in the past, previously saying that he has "asked all officials present at the airport not to embarrass me with a huge protocol".

    "I do not begrudge security but when it becomes painful for the common man we should draw a line somewhere," he earlier stated.


    "My continuous struggle to keep security but reduce protocol ... inconveniences people," says President Alvi in a tweet. — APP/File

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    Islamabad police on Friday started searching for Capital Development Authority (CDA) Deputy Director Ayaz Khan, after his brother-in-law filed an application saying that Khan had "gone missing".

    Khan's brother-in-law Hasan filed a complaint in Aabpara police station today, saying that the CDA official had gone to his office in Islamabad's Sector G-6 yesterday and had not returned home. According to the application, Khan was in contact with his wife until 8pm and told her he will be home shortly.

    After 8pm, however, the family lost touch with Khan as both of his numbers were switched off. When some family members went to his office in Sector G-6 to look for Khan, they could not find him there even though his car was parked in the building's compound.

    Khan's brother-in-law has appealed to the police to help the family in finding the official.

    Superintendent of Police (SP) City Zone Amir Niazi confirmed that the police had registered a complaint. A first information report has yet to be lodged.


    Capital Development Authority's Deputy Director Ayaz Khan has reportedly gone missing from Islamabad. — Photo courtesy FacebookCapital Development Authority's Deputy Director Ayaz Khan has reportedly gone missing from Islamabad. — Photo courtesy Facebook

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    In an interesting turn of events, Capital Development Authority (CDA) Deputy Director Ayaz Khan, who was earlier reported as 'missing' from Islamabad by his family members, issued a video statement on Friday saying he was in Dera Ismail Khan with his relatives and “completely safe and sound”.

    The video starts with Ayaz Khan identifying himself as the CDA official and engineer. He then addresses the state institutions and concerned authorities saying he has come to visit his relatives in DI Khan.

    Khan said he had lost his both mobile phones due to which he was unable to contact his family in Islamabad. The CDA official then requests the people in general and Pashtun community in specific to refrain from spreading any rumours [regarding his alleged abduction] “which is causing trouble to the state institutions”.

    Earlier today, Ayaz Khan's family had registered a first information report (FIR) against his suspected abduction. Khan's brother-in-law, Hasan, had filed a complaint in the Aabpara police station, Superintendent of Police (SP) City Zone Amir Niazi confirmed.

    The complaint said that the CDA official had gone to his office in Islamabad's Sector G-6 on Thursday and had not returned home.

    According to the application, Khan was in contact with his wife until 8pm on Thursday, when he had told her he would be home shortly.

    After 8pm, however, the family lost touch with Khan as both of his numbers were switched off.

    When some family members went to his office in Sector G-6 to look for Khan, they could not find him there even though his car was parked in the building's compound.

    Hasan appealed to the police to help the family trace the CDA official, and later registered an FIR at the police station under Section 365 of the Pakistan Penal Code (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person).


    Capital Development Authority's Deputy Director Ayaz Khan has reportedly gone missing from Islamabad. — Photo courtesy FacebookCapital Development Authority's Deputy Director Ayaz Khan has reportedly gone missing from Islamabad. — Photo courtesy Facebook

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    The Supreme Court on Friday criticised the country's premier intelligence agency for failing to provide the financial details of leaders of the Faizabad sit-in, rejecting a report submitted by the agency in this regard.

    A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam had resumed hearing a suo motu case regarding the 20-day sit-in held at the Faizabad interchange in Islamabad/Rawalpindi by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan's (TLP) in November 2017. Justice Qazi Faez Isa was the other member of the bench.

    "Does the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] function under the law?" Justice Isa asked during the hearing, observing that the agency had said in a report it was not its job to obtain certain details of the Faizabad sit-in leaders' finances.

    Examine: Another surrender

    He said the protest sit-in had caused losses of billions and that the court wanted to know whether the persons "who can bring thousands of people" to the sit-in pay taxes.

    "Can the ISI not even find out about the bank account of a person?" the judge wondered. He said the agency had said in response to the court's query that it could not furnish income tax details of the protest leaders and that it could be provided by the Federal Board of Revenue.

    Justice Isa said if these things did not fall in the purview of the agency "then when [in the future] ISI interferes in other matters, we will ask: 'is this ISI's job?'."

    The bench then wondered if it should summon the director general of the ISI or the defence secretary for an explanation.

    Brigadier Falak Naz, the director of Ministry of Defence's law branch, said the agency could be asked to obtain the requisite details if the court so orders. "ISI looks after the national security [of the country]," he added.

    "Is the sit-in not a matter of national security?" Justice Isa retorted, observing that the ISI was subservient to the country's law and Constitution.

    The bench subsequently rejected the third report on the sit-in submitted by the ISI, and two other reports by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra).

    The intelligence agency, ECP and Pemra were directed to submit new reports as the hearing was adjourned until next Thursday.

    The court also directed the attorney general and information secretary to appear at the next hearing.

    In November 2017, TLP workers demanding the resignation of then law minister Zahid Hamid had staged a weeks-long sit-in at the Faizabad interchange that had virtually paralysed the federal capital and led to several people losing their lives.

    On November 21 of the same month, the apex court had taken notice of the sit-in and directed the defence and interior secretaries to submit a detailed report on the matter.

    Days later, the then PML-N government had launched against the protesters an operation which, when failed, had forced the authorities to cave and Hamid to resign.

    'Does anyone besides Pemra issue directions to media?'

    The SC bench earlier grilled the Pemra chairman regarding a blackout of TV news channels that had taken place during the sit-in last year.

    "Complaints had been received of [TV] channels being taken off-air during the Faizabad sit-in... what action did Pemra take against the cable operators [who took the channels off-air]?" Justice Isa asked Pemra chairman Muhammad Saleem Baig.

    "Cable operators were fined Rs50,000," Baig replied.

    But Justice Isa said the fine was not mentioned anywhere in the report submitted by Pemra. "Is there any proof that you imposed the fine?" he asked the chairman.

    The explanations given by the chairman failed to convince the judge, who told Baig: "You are misusing your office."

    The deputy attorney general, too, observed that were contradictions in the statements of the Pemra chairman, leading Justice Isa to remark, "You people do not care about Pakistan [because] you did not create it."

    Justice Isa said measures such as raising walls of schools and suspending mobile signals during sit-ins were "not a solution" to security issues. "Is this the level of our security?" he wondered.

    The bench also asked the Pemra chairman whether anyone besides the authority also issues directions to the country's electronic media.

    "Is there a clandestine force that issues directions to the media?" Justice Isa said, to which the Pemra chairman replied in the negative.

    "You are the chairman and you don't even know that secret instructions are being received," the judge told Baig. He said only a person of a high rank could have a channel taken off-air and "you can't take action against [such a person]".

    Justice Isa then recalled that a sit-in had also been staged in Islamabad's Red Zone. The sit-in, staged by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek in 2014, had demanded that a judicial commission be formed to probe rigging in the 2013 elections.

    "The judgement that the commission gave is before everyone," he said. The commission had concluded in its report that the 2013 polls were in large part "organised and conducted fairly and in accordance with the law".

    "Have the people who staged the sit-in apologised after the judicial commission's report [was released]?" Justice Isa asked.

    'Will Pakistan be run through law or street power?'

    At the outset of the hearing, the SC bench expressed severe displeasure at the absence of the attorney general at the court.

    "The attorney general was instructed to appear in [SC's] Lahore registry by the chief justice," Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mehmood revealed, asking the court to adjourn the hearing.

    "The instructions are not issued by the chief justice but the court," Justice Isa responded. "We are also a court [here] and this hearing date was set on the attorney general's wish."

    "This is not a joke," the judge remarked, wondering what other case could be more important than the one which relates to "Pakistan being shut down".

    "The attorney general is answerable because he is paid from the public's taxes," he added.

    Justice Isa said the government should inform the court if it does not want the case to continue. "Tell [us] whether Pakistan should be run through the law or street power," he added.


    In this file photo, a protester throws a tear gas shell back towards police during a clash at the Faizabad sit-in site. ─ AFPIn this file photo, a protester throws a tear gas shell back towards police during a clash at the Faizabad sit-in site. ─ AFP

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    The Supreme Court has ordered Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism Minister Fida Hussain and the arrival in charge at Islamabad Airport to appear before the court on November 17 and explain their position about an incident where Hussain allegedly misbehaved with the airport official following a flight delay on Thursday.

    Chief Justice Saqib Nisar issued court summons on Friday asking both Hussain and the airport official to appear before the Supreme Court's Lahore Registry on Saturday.

    "As per media reports, the incident took place over a flight delay due to bad weather and the minister pushed the arrival incharge so hard that he stumbled," observes the SC notice.

    On Thursday, November 16, Gilgit-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-607 scheduled for 7am was first delayed due to technical reasons and cancelled later due to bad weather.

    Videos of an angry passenger protesting against the delay went viral on social media that day.

    The passenger, reported by the videographer to be Hussain, set fire to his possessions in protest over the delay, including "an expensive jacket". When a fire extinguisher was brought to put the flames out, the passenger kicked it away in anger, as seen in the video.

    Furthermore, when an airport security official approaches him to address the matter, the passenger can be seen holding his arms up and repeating: "Go bring handcuffs."

    In another video, the same man, reportedly the tourism minister, can be seen arguing with a white-uniformed official.

    "The weather is bad you say. The weather is bad for one flight and not the other?" he exclaims incredulously before proceeding to ask the white-uniformed man his designation.

    "I am the arrival in charge," responded the man, introducing himself.

    At this the vexed passenger's annoyance turns to hostility and asking him to bring the manager of operations he shoves the arrival in charge hard, causing him to skid across the airport floor and stumble.

    Later that day, the PIA spokesperson said CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik talked to GB Law Minister Aurangzeb Khan, who was also going to travel on the flight, and told him that the flight had been cancelled due to bad weather.

    He said the passengers were moved to hotels for the night and assured that a special flight will be operated for them on Friday.


    Screengrab from video shows a passenger, believed to be Fida Hussain, allegedly misbehaving with the arrival incharge of Islamabad airport. —Photo courtesy Facebook videoScreengrab from video shows a passenger, believed to be Fida Hussain, allegedly misbehaving with the arrival incharge of Islamabad airport. —Photo courtesy Facebook video

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    The Islamabad chief commissioner on Friday formed a seven-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the abduction and murder of Superintendent of Police (SP) Tahir Khan Dawar.

    SP Dawar, head of Peshawar police’s rural circle, was kidnapped in Islamabad on October 26 and his body was recovered in Afghan­istan’s Nangarhar province on Monday.

    According to a notification issued by the chief commissioner's office, the convener of the JIT will be SP Police Investigation, Islamabad. Other members of the team will be:

    • Sub-divisional police officer Shalimar Circle, Islamabad
    • Deputy superintendent of police Crime Investigation Department, Islamabad
    • A representative of the Inter-Services Intelligence
    • A representative of the Military Intelligence
    • A representative of the Intelligence Bureau
    • Investigating officer of the case

    Following a two-day delay and hours-long negotiations on Thurs­day, the Afghan side had reluctantly handed over the body of the slain officer to his family, sparking a diplomatic row between the two countries.

    The body was taken to the city police headquarters in Malik Saad Shaheed police lines, where his funeral prayers were offered. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Governor Shah Farman, Minister of State for Interior Shahryar Afridi, and police and military officials attended the funeral prayers. The body was later sent to his Hayatabad residence on the outskirts of Peshawar.


    SP Tahir Khan Dawar was found dead in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, two weeks after he was abducted from Islamabad. — File photoSP Tahir Khan Dawar was found dead in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, two weeks after he was abducted from Islamabad. — File photo

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    The national flag carrier on Friday announced that it is restoring flights on Muscat and Sharjah routes from across the country, which remained suspended for more than a year, read a statement issued by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

    “PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik depicted his keenness to expand the business network and has advised the commercial department for manifesting an aggressive strategy to enhance airline’s access in market and revenue,” the PIA statement said.

    According to the details provided by the PIA, the Lahore-Muscat route will be restored from Saturday, November 17, operated by A320 aircraft. “PIA will operate twice weekly flights on Saturday and Sunday.”

    With the introduction of these flights, the national flag carrier will have a total of nine flights to Muscat operating from Peshawar, Turbat and Gwadar besides Lahore, read the statement.

    Similarly, PIA has also decided to restore its Sialkot–Sharjah route with twice-weekly flights every Tuesday and Friday. The fights from Sialkot will commence from November 20 after which the airline will have five flights per week including three from Turbat.

    The airline’s CEO, while sharing his views on the commencement of the flights, has emphasised upon the PIA officials to “put in their best to enhance the service standards which will definitely boost its sales”.

    “The turnaround and revival of national flag carrier is now unavoidable and the government is extending all-out support in this regard,” Air Marshal Malik was quoted as saying.


    Flight operations on these routes had remained suspended for more than a year. —Dawn ArchivesFlight operations on these routes had remained suspended for more than a year. —Dawn Archives

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    Karachi police have expressed their displeasure over the attitude of Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA), saying the PFSA allegedly committed "breach of trust" by making its findings public about the food samples collected from the house of two minor brothers who had ostensibly died of ‘food poisoning’ last week, an official told Dawn.

    The Karachi police official said they were writing a letter to PFSA that this was not an "advisable attitude" that instead of informing or handing over findings to the investigators of Karachi police, they allegedly informed the electronic media.

    A section of electronic media on Friday reported that “no trace of poison was found in the food samples collected from the house of the two children who died of alleged food poisoning after eating out at a restaurant in Karachi last week.”

    Quoting “sources in the Punjab Forensic Science Agency”, the media reports said that analysis of the food samples revealed “no trace of poison such as cyanide, insect killers or any other.”

    One police investigator probing the death of the two minor brothers said that after media reports, they made telephone contact with the official concerned at the PFSA, but their call was not attended.

    The official said that they were not in a position to make any comment about purported findings of the Punjab science lab as they have not officially received any report or confirmation so far.

    Karachi police had sent at least 30 samples of eatables and other things collected from the house of the deceased brothers. These samples pertained to milk, water, vomiting and clothes of the children etc, which were sent to Lahore by air.

    Besides, four other samples related to the post-mortem examination of the minor brothers were sent through train to Lahore in order to protect the same so that the exact cause of death could be ascertained.

    These samples were sent to Punjab as reportedly Sindh government’s laboratory concerned has become ‘non-functional’ lately.

    The investigators said that they were still probing the cause of death and hoped that PFSA’s findings of post-mortem examination samples might help them to determine the cause of death.

    The brothers, 18-month-old Ahmed and Muhammad and 5, had died from a suspected case of food poisoning on November 11, after dining out with their mother at a restaurant in Zamzama, Clifton.

    After the tragic death of the minor brothers, Sindh Food Authority had sealed the restaurant as Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of it while Karachi police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh set up a probe body led by South SSP Pir Mohammed Shah.


    Police sent samples of eatables to probe the death of minor brothers, who died of suspected food poisoning in Karachi. —Dawn ArchivesPolice sent samples of eatables to probe the death of minor brothers, who died of suspected food poisoning in Karachi. —Dawn Archives

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    Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Fayyazul Hassan Chohan on Friday said the current visit of noted Indian poet Javed Akhtar along with his wife, film star Shabana Azmi, to Pakistan would open new doors of peace for Pak-India relationships.

    In a meeting with the Indian celebrity couple, who are in Pakistan to attend the “4th Faiz International Festival”, Chohan said both the neighbouring countries should work together “in the areas of art to promote harmony and peace in the region”.

    On this occasion, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar said that they were overwhelmed by the warm welcome which had been given to them by the people of Pakistan.

    “We will never forget the love and respect which we received during the visit”, they added.

    On the first day of the festival, a session was held in which Faiz Ahmad Faiz's daughter Saleema Hashmi and Shabana Azmi, the daughter of Kaifi Azmi, recalled the friendship between Faiz and Kaifi Azmi.

    They exchanged their views about both literary personalities to spread the message of peace, love, humanity and friendship among the people of the Subcontinent.

    In the session, Azmi and her spouse Javed Akhtar presented poems to the audience which appreciated them, besides lauding the poetry of Faiz and Kaifi Azmi.

    Famous Indian actress Shabana Azmi attending the first session of 4th Faiz International Festival 2018. —APP
    Famous Indian actress Shabana Azmi attending the first session of 4th Faiz International Festival 2018. —APP

    Later, a play 'Kala Mainda Bhes,' written by Shahid Nadeem and directed by Madeeha Gauher, was presented at Alhamra Hall No 2.

    Separately, a musical show was also organised in which Tahira Syed sang poems by Faiz.

    Moneeza Hashmi, the daughter of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, lauded the government's efforts to make the festival a success in which literary figures from across the world were participating.

    She said the festival had become a symbol of love, sensitivity, and care for others, adding that a number of events had been included in the festival, especially for youth to make them aware about literary personalities and their achievements through plays and stage performances.


    Famous Indian actress Shabana Azmi attending the first session of 4th Faiz International Festival 2018. —APPFamous Indian actress Shabana Azmi attending the first session of 4th Faiz International Festival 2018. —APP

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    Prime Minister Imran Khan was quoted on Friday by various media outlets as having made somewhat interesting remarks about him shifting stance on major issues.

    The prime minister had convened a meeting with a few journalists and columnists at the PM House in Islamabad. As the conversation reportedly turned towards him changing stances, popularly referred to as "U-turns" by the media and politicians, the premier sought to set the record straight.

    Geo News reported the PM as having said that "a leader who does not take 'U-turns' according to the requirements of the situation is not a real leader."

    Furthermore, the prime minister was quoted as having made historical references to Napoleon and Hitler. Express Tribune quoted the premier as saying: "If Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte had taken U-turns, they would not have suffered such heavy losses."

    Commenting on the development, Islamabad Bureau Chief for Dunya News Khawar Ghumman expressed amazement that while "almost all TV channels are discussing PM's statement on U-turns, none has any media person who was actually present in the meeting".

    So even though it is not clear who the participants of the meeting were, the statements drew varied reactions from political figures and journalists alike.

    According to Geo News, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah while criticising the statements during his own meeting with journalists in Sukkur, said: “Imran Khan is Hitler and is taking U-turns to avoid losses.”

    Shah reportedly also remarked: “No Hitler, who was also a dictator, has ever been successful in history.”

    Meanwhile, PML-N stalwart Khawaja Asif took the premier to task on Twitter: "Are you [planning on] invading Russia that you are recalling Hitler and Napolean? Do not look for justifications in the pages of history for your hypocrisy and opportunistic behaviour."

    Journalist Zarrar Khuhro also questioned the historical reference, tweeting: "Are we invading Russia in the winter?"

    Columnist Nadeem Farooq Paracha, in his signature tongue-in-cheek style, termed the PM's statements "fair enough" whilst also remarking: "I have a feeling the PM will take a U-turn on this statement as well. A U-turn on a statement about U-turns. That would be classic IK."


    Prime Minister Imran Khan. — Photo courtesy: David Levene/ The GuardianPrime Minister Imran Khan. — Photo courtesy: David Levene/ The Guardian

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    ISLAMABAD: Prime Min­is­ter Imran Khan has said the real leader of a nation always makes U-turns and changes his or her strategy according to the situation and the need of the hour.

    He was talking to journalists who met him in the Prime Minister Office (PMO). “The leader who does not do timely U-turns is not a real leader,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by a participant.

    Mr Khan gave the example of the ‘failure of German leader Adolf Hitler and French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte in the wars in Russia’ and said: “Both Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat as they did not change their strategies according to the situation and (as a result) their armies were marooned in Russia.”

    Imran says Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat in Russia because they were not able to change their strategies according to situation

    “Leaders should always be ready to take U-turns according to the requirement of their duties and best interests of the nation,” the prime minister added.

    Interestingly, the opposition always blames Mr Khan for making U-turns in politics and backing out from what he promises to the nation. In fact, quite often he is dubbed as “master of U-turns”.

    Reacting to the prime minister’s remarks, senior leader of the Pakistan Peo­ples Party Syed Khursheed Shah said that Mr Khan had “called himself Hitler” in his “U-turn remarks”.

    Mr Shah said Hitler was a dictator and by giving his example Mr Khan had proved that he too was a dictator.

    Talking about the performance of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the prime minister said the anti-graft watchdog should first take up cases of bigwigs and then go for petty suspects.

    “NAB is an independent institution and I hope that the bureau will take it into account how many cases it can take to logical conclusion on the basis of its capabilities and human resources,” the prime minister added.

    100-day plan

    The prime minister said the government would soon present a comprehensive plan for elimination of poverty, better education and health facilities and some other reforms. “The first 100 days of any government determine its direction and policies,” he added.

    Unfortunately, he said, it had never been tried to bring in what he called “real” democracy in the country, adding that instead of democracy, kleptocracy had so far ruled the country, where rulers (mis)used their powers for their own interests.

    The prime minister deplored that despite obtaining huge foreign loans in the past, Pakistan was still among Third World countries.

    “We do not know the amount of resources our country has,” he maintained.

    Only in oil and gas sectors six per cent of the resources had so far been tapped, he said. “Unfortunately none of the governments in the past paid attention to exploring other natural resources.”

    Stressing the need for merit and fair play, Mr Khan said (previous) rulers had intentionally weakened state institutions so that they [institutions] could not make them [rulers] accountable for their deeds. “We are not at war against democrats but those who destroyed the country and plundered its wealth,” he said.

    Lauding the performance of his party in the July 25 elections, Mr Khan said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had lost about 55 seats, 14 of the National Assembly and the rest of provincial legislatures, with the margin of 3,000 to 4,000 votes. “We have offered to the opposition to open any of the constituencies but its objective is only to malign the government by levelling false allegations of rigging,” he added.

    “Maulana Fazlur Rehman (chief of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F) and other opposition leaders are making a hue and cry because they have been wiped out from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the polls,” he said.

    The prime minister said the PTI government had inherited a number of problems, including crippling economy, but he was hopeful of overcoming all of them. “Improving exports, investments and foreign remittances are among top priorities of the government,” he said.

    Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018


    Imran says Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat in Russia because they were not able to change their strategies according.— AFP/FileImran says Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat in Russia because they were not able to change their strategies according.— AFP/File

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    LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered Iqbal Z. Ahmad to pay Rs1.5 billion to the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) as admitted liability on his Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) — a private-sector gas processing plant.

    A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, also directed Advocate Khwaja Tariq Rahim, the counsel for Mr Ahmad, to sit with the SSGC officials and come up with a proposal to settle disputed liability of Rs1.8bn on the gas processing plant.

    Earlier, the counsel requested the court to allow functioning of the plant as it had been causing a great loss to the nation. He pointed out that over 72,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) had been imported by Pakistan after the closure of the JJVL.

    However, Chief Justice Nisar asked the counsel to pay the liability of the SSGC, which was also the nation’s money, if he wanted to get the gas supply to the plant resumed. “We are not going to pass any order against the interest of public,” said the chief justice.

    Referring to the era of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, the chief justice said there was a time when Mr Ahmad used to rule but now there was only the rule of law.

    Mr Ahmad was also present in the courtroom.

    “Ask your client to pay the nation’s money and we allow you to start the plant,” the chief justice gave an offer to the counsel.

    The chief justice also reminded Mr Ahmad that he had been earning billions of rupees through stay orders obtained from the Sindh High Court years ago. He said record of all those cases was being summoned by the Supreme Court for decision.

    A representative of a charted accountancy firm presented details of the liabilities of the JJVL to be paid to the SSGC.

    Advocate Raheem sought three month time for the payment of the admitted liability.

    However, the chief justice gave him eight weeks for the purpose.

    Chief Justice Nisar told the counsel that the court could run the gas plant on its own through a receiver, if it felt it necessary for the interest of public, in case his client failed to clear the liability.

    Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018


    Advocate Raheem sought three month time for the payment of the admitted liability. However, the chief justice gave him eight weeks for the purpose.— Photo courtesy: ag.com.pkAdvocate Raheem sought three month time for the payment of the admitted liability. However, the chief justice gave him eight weeks for the purpose.— Photo courtesy: ag.com.pk

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    MUZAFFARGARH: The qualifying round of Thal Jeep Rally concluded here on Friday with international drivers participating in the race.

    Nadir Magsi clinched the first spot, while Asad Khuhro stood second and Sahibzada Sultan third. At least, 88 vehicles were registered for the qualifying round. The races in stock category will begin today as well as the final between women drivers.

    Women racers are participating in the rally for the second time.

    Talking to the media, Salma and Tushna Khan said it was great as last year only two women had participated in the rally, while this year there were half a dozen of them participating.

    Deputy Commissioner Dr Ehtasham Anwar told the media that it is a great honour for Muzaffargrah district where such an international competition is being held. The rally track was 176 kilometres long and strict security measures had been taken for the competition.

    Additional District Collector (Revenue) Ataul Haq explained that the track started from Head Muhammadwali, touched the boundary of Layyah district and would finish back at Head Muhammadwali. He also said that 14 checkposts had been set up with police and Rescue 1122 personnel. Ambulance service would also be provided for medical assistance.

    Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018


    Women racers are also participating in the rally.— APP/FileWomen racers are also participating in the rally.— APP/File

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