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    Lahore: The Regional Police Officers (RPO) Conference allowed on Friday the audit of its wings — investigation, Special Protection Unit, Counter Terrorism Department, Punjab Highway Patrolling Police, Special Branch, Punjab Constabulary, Training, Traffic and Dolphins.

    Field officers were told to complete audits in a week and submit report to the Central Police Office.

    Chaired by Inspector General of Police Punjab Amjad Javed Saleemi, the conference ordered intensive crackdown on drug peddlers in educational institutions, including universities, medical colleges, government schools and other private institutions, spoiling the future of young generation.

    Addressing the regional police officers, the IGP said that the properties and lives of citizens would be protected and writ of the state ensured at any cost as no subversive and anti-state element will be spared.

    He ordered the department to demolish all private constructions at police’s land immediately and all encroachments must be removed so that the welfare projects could be started. He said no leniency and negligence in this regard would be accepted.

    Mr Saleemi added that no recruitment will be made without biometric verification of the candidates in the future.

    “It has been decided that no station house officer will display his name on police station boards in their jurisdictions,” the IGP said All RPOs and district police officers were directed to personally monitor the security of Chinese experts in their respective districts, saying that no negligence in this regard would be accepted.

    The progress regarding the establishment of Resource Management System in all districts was also reviewed in detail in the conference.

    Additional Inspector General Rai Babar Saeed said at the meeting all resource management centers had been linked up with the Central Police Office through a software and inventory of all items, including weapons, uniforms, bullet proof jackets, equipments of anti riot force and other weapons, had been digitized.

    The IGP heard that Khidmat Marakaz had been integrated with 36 districts and Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid had been communicated for integration of Khidmat Counters with district headquarters hospitals.

    PROMOTION:

    The Punjab government on Friday approved the recommendations of Inspector General of Police Amjad Javed Saleemi and promoted 40 deputy superintendents of the police (DSPs) to the rank of superintendents of police (SPs).

    The IGP had chaired the meeting of the promotion board on Nov 14 at the Central Police Office wherein the cases of 133 DSPs were considered for promotion to the next rank. The board had recommended the promotion of 40 of them and the cases were forwarded to the chief minister for final consideration.

    The Punjab government on Friday approved the cases.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    The Regional Police Officers (RPO) Conference allowed on Friday the audit of its wings.  — AFP/File photoThe Regional Police Officers (RPO) Conference allowed on Friday the audit of its wings. — AFP/File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Friday decided to gift 40,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan and allowed about $83 million international grant to Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) to pull thousands of poor people out of poverty.

    The meeting presided over by Finance Minister Asad Umar approved a proposal of Ministry of National Food Security and Research for provision of 40,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as a gift.

    The ECC also approved a proposal for provision of $82.6m funds as grant to PPAF for disbursement to 320,000 beneficiaries of Benazir Income Support Programme to help them graduate out of poverty.

    A gift of 40,000 tonnes of wheat also approved for Afghanistan

    The meeting was informed that the government had provided unconditional cash transfer (UCT) to BISP beneficiaries since its inception in 2008-09 and had so far disbursed a total of Rs618 billion to around 5.7m beneficiaries.

    A proposal was floated during the tenure of the previous government to gradually graduate these beneficiaries out of poverty which announced various budgetary initiatives, including ‘BISP Beneficiary Graduation Programme’ in the 2017-18 federal budget.

    Under the programme, selected beneficiaries of BISP would be provided with entrepreneurial training, along with one-time cash grant of Rs50,000 to start their own business and become productive members of the society and discontinue receiving Rs5,000 UCT grant.

    In this regard, PPAF devised the “National Poverty Graduation Programme” (NPGP).

    The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) had agreed to provide a loan amounting to $82.6m to the Government of Pakistan (GoP) for NPGP on highly concessional rates, free of interest with 0.75pc per annum service charges and a maturity period of 40 years, including 10 years as grace period.

    The Economic Affairs Division has already signed Project Financing Agreement with IFAD on November 14, 2017.

    As per agreement, the government shall make available the loan proceeds as grant to the poverty fund.

    Moreover, the government through the PPAF shall provide $5m as counterpart financing for the programme from the already deployed ‘Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme’.

    Successful implementation of the programme is expected not only improve the livelihoods, and income generation capacity of the 320,000 poor households, but to also reduce the liability of the government from paying the UCT of Rs6bn per year to these BISP beneficiaries.

    As per the terms of agreement with IFAD, the government is required to relend the ‘loan’ proceeds received from IFAD to the PPAF as a ‘grant’, in relaxation of the re-lending policy of the government that normally charged 12-14pc interest rate.

    The ECC, therefore, approved relaxation in the relending policy for provision of $82.6m as grant to PPAF for BISP beneficiaries under the NPGP.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    A gift of 40,000 tonnes of wheat also approved for Afghanistan.— PID/FileA gift of 40,000 tonnes of wheat also approved for Afghanistan.— PID/File

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    KARACHI: The queues outside the National Coaching Centre gates were unending on Friday.

    The fourth and final day of the 10th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2018 organised by the Defence Export Promotion Organisation at the Karachi Expo Centre was open to the general public, who after getting their passes made took the shuttle which was leaving every five minutes or so to proceed to the venue.

    There were happy children, some dressed in camouflage T-shirts smiling and posing on top of tanks, armoured vehicles and aircraft. Some of them were surprised to find out about other tanks besides the famous Al-Khalid and Al-Zarrar.

    Keen youngsters were told by a nonagenarian ex-serviceman a gun must always be treated as loaded

    Other productions of the Heavy Industry Taxila such as the command vehicle SAKB, the recovery vehicle Al-Hadeed, the logistics vehicle Al-Qaswa, the protection vehicle APC M113P and the armoured security vehicle Mohafiz IV/Interceptor also earned several fans. Some also got fooled by the inflatable smart decoys for deception, which seemed unbelievably realistic.

    China’s LY-80 Lomads guidance vehicle and firing vehicle, their IBIS-150 Radar and heavy mechanised bridge 84-A were also attracting big crowds.

    Many students among the visitors pleasantly surprised the representatives at the stalls by asking them intelligent questions. The expertise with which they were handling the weapons made one ask if they had practice. “No, not really. When we were children we used to play with plastic guns. Now we realise how heavy the real ones can be. As for the handling bit, well, we have watched how people do it in the movies,” said one youngster.

    Among the young trying out weapons at the Turkish stalls, there was also an old man. “I am in my nineties,” said the gentleman who introduced himself as F.H. Malik, a retired air-force officer. He said that he had served with the Royal Air Force before Partition.

    The gentleman was great at explaining to the young visitors around him how to safely handle guns and how to always treat them as loaded in order to be careful. “Guns are not to be taken lightly even when you know they are unloaded,” he told them while himself pulling the trigger as he kept the weapon pointed downwards.

    Class-fellows Bilawal and Subhan said they would love to own the 8mm pistol, adding that visiting IDEAS 2018 became part of their plan only this morning. “We had an entry test at the University of Karachi today, which got postponed. That was when we decided to head here and see if anyone would even let us in. But it was no problem at all. Everyone has been very nice,” said Bilawal.

    Mini thermal binocular unveiled

    Among the tanks, aircraft, weapons and equipment produced indigenously was Skua LR Long Range-thermal binocular Tarsier Mini from Pakistan’s first private infrared or thermal imager manufacturer SHIBLI based in Islamabad. Said to be a must-have on the battlefield, the binocular weighs even less than 1kg and thus can be easily mounted on any firearm, thanks to its Nato-standard Picatinny rail. Its qualities also include perfect engineering for maximum precision for close combat and target acquisition.

    Thankless jobs

    The reception desk with young volunteers Yumna, Izma, Sonia, Ayesha, Sana, Saira, Maha, Rija, Asmara and others, all dressed in red, would make sure that everyone had the floor plan of the exhibition along with the latest gazette informing the day’s programme.

    The AK Regiment and Air Defence military bands were another lot doing a thankless job as day after day they sat waiting under the open sky and the harsh sun to get up and start playing inspirational tunes for any VIP who happened to pass by them. Afterwards, they would quickly take off their pagg turbans and bagpipes. “You should wear our turbans for two minutes to understand why we can’t keep them on our heads for long,” said Sagheer Ahmed, chief of the AK Regiment band.

    “They are made from woollen material. The bagpipes are no different. Our ceremonial uniform can get quite uncomfortable in this heat,” he said. But even though they put up tents and marquees with plenty of air-conditioners and pedestal fans to keep everyone cool and comfortable at the Expo Centre, the bands were not extended such luxury.

    Police, Rangers and army men and women on duty outside also deserve a mention for even on the final day as they said that they had not gotten a chance to see the exhibition as yet.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    KARACHI: (clockwise) People wait in long queues outside the Expo Centre to witness the tenth International Defence Exhibition and Seminar on Friday. Pakistan Army soldiers demonstrate a counterterrorism exercise. A view of the exhibition. A visitor poses for a picture next to an aircraft.—Photos by Writer/AgenciesKARACHI: (clockwise) People wait in long queues outside the Expo Centre to witness the tenth International Defence Exhibition and Seminar on Friday. Pakistan Army soldiers demonstrate a counterterrorism exercise. A view of the exhibition. A visitor poses for a picture next to an aircraft.—Photos by Writer/Agencies

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    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the federal government to come up with its plans about releasing funds for the construction of Nai Gaj dam in Dadu district of Sindh.

    The directive was issued to the federal government by a three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar that had taken up a petition moved through senior counsel Rasheed A. Razvi highlighting hurdles in the way of Nai Gaj dam’s construction.

    The court had already issued notices to the Planning Commission, Wapda and the provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan in this case.

    The petitioner sought a directive for allocation of sufficient funds to complete Nai Gaj dam’s construction as early as possible.

    Nai Gaj is a hill torrent which emanates from Khuzdar district of Balochistan and after passing through plains of Kutch it eventually enters Manchar lake. The Nai Gaj area remains dry for eight months and gets water in four months during monsoon season. After Manchar lake attains its peak level and no more remains in a position to receive water in monsoon season, water flows from Nai Gaj often devastate flood-protection bunds and inundate agricultural lands.

    After inundating agricultural lands and devastating houses and standing crops, the monsoon water falls into the sea and, as such, a huge amount of water is wasted, the petition says.

    Apart from serving as continuous flow of fresh water to Manchar lake, which will improve the ecology of the lake, the Nai Gaj dam will also serve as a lifeline for the people of this mountainous region in Dadu district with the potential of changing their socio-economic conditions.

    The petition highlights that construction of the dam is blocking the inflow of a huge quantity of fresh water to Manchar lake. For improving the situation, Wapda has proposed 50 cusecs of continued piped water supply to the lake from the dam.

    The petition seeks a directive for the government to provide early funds for completion of the project as well as consider increasing up to 100 cusecs fresh water flows from the dam to Manchar lake.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    The court has already issued notices to the Planning Commission, Wapda and the govts of Sindh and Balochistan. — AFP/FileThe court has already issued notices to the Planning Commission, Wapda and the govts of Sindh and Balochistan. — AFP/File

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    LAHORE: Students from both state-run and private educational institutions marched on The Mall here on Friday to seek free education, restoration of student unions and an end to class-based exploitation.

    Belonging to the Government College University, Forman Christian College, Punjab University, Lahore University of Management Sciences and other institutes, the participants — holding red flags and banners inscribed with their demands — started their march from Istanbul Chowk and culminated it at the Charing Cross.

    They demanded free education, restoration of student unions, increase in education budget, ending sexual harassment and class-based exploitation.

    A street theatre performance highlighting the problems the students are facing at their respective institutions was performed before adopting a resolution vowing to continue the struggle till the fulfillment of their demands.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    The participants belonged to the Government College University, Forman Christian College, Punjab University, Lahore University of Management Sciences and other institutes. — Arif Ali/File photoThe participants belonged to the Government College University, Forman Christian College, Punjab University, Lahore University of Management Sciences and other institutes. — Arif Ali/File photo

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    RAWALPINDI: The Pirwadhai general bus stand has become a bone of contention between the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and the Punjab government with the latter eying control of the lucrative property.

    The general bus stand spreads over 207 kanals and has 36 bays, two petrol filling stations, 800 shops, four hotels, one canteen, two bank branches, a police checkpost and a post office.

    The bus stand was constructed in the late 1970s on the directives of then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to cater to the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The RMC purchased the land and managed it till 2006.

    In 2006, the provincial government divided the bus stand between the then city district government and the Rawal Town Municipal Administration.

    The city government was made responsible for collecting the entry fee while the rent of 800 shops, four hotels, two petrol filling stations and the wagon stands went to the TMA till 2015.

    After the formation of the new local government in 2016, the district administration handed over the bus stand along with the authority to collect the rent of shops, hotels etc., back to the RMC. But soon after coming to power this year, the PTI-led government in Punjab started trying to get possession of the lucrative bus stand from the RMC.

    The RMC has a majority of PML-N members and Rawalpindi Mayor Sardar Naseem also belongs to the opposition party.

    On Friday, Punjab Minister for Transport Jehanzeb Khan Kitchi directed the deputy commissioner of Rawalpindi to send him proposals to change the status of the Pirwadhai general bus stand from ‘C’ to ‘B’ category so that the provincial government could get possession of the bus stand.

    He issued the direction at a meeting held at the commissioner office to review arrangements in the general bus stand.

    The minister visited the bus stand on Thursday night.

    Basically, the visit was aimed at inspecting the site for setting up a shelter home for the homeless people.

    However, the provincial government cannot start any such work without the permission from the civic body.

    A senior official of the RMC requesting not to be named told Dawn that the provincial government wanted to get possession of the bus stand, which was the major source of income for the civic body.

    “RMC is earning Rs80 million from rent and entry fee of buses and if it loses its major earning source it would face problems in paying Rs300 million per year to its 2,000 pensioners and salaries to its 300 employees.”

    He said there were four sources through which the RMC generated revenues: the Pirwadhai bus stand, a slaughterhouse, building plan and commercialisation fees. “Its share in the property tax comes through the provincial government,” he explained.

    The official said the RMC had purchased the land for the bus stand through its own resources in the late 70s from private landholders to shift the bus stand from Liaquat Bagh to Pirwadhai.

    “All the record is available with the RMC and it would be presented to the government if it wanted. The land revenue department also has the record,” he said.

    When contacted, PML-N city chapter general secretary and former MNA Haji Pervaiz said the RMC owned the land and had been managing the bus terminal for over 30 years. It would be difficult for the Punjab government to get possession of it, he added.

    Mr Pervaiz said the PTI government was being run by an immature team who did not know legal positions of departments.

    “The PTI government is busy in political victimisation as it knows that the PML-N has a majority in the RMC. It wants to make the RMC cash-starved so that it could always seek financial help from the provincial government.” He said the PML-N union council chairmen would resist the proposal.

    Meanwhile, during his visit to the bus stand the minister examined the implementation of the standard operating procedure (SOP) chalked out by the provincial government to ensure foolproof security measures, cleanliness and proper facilitation for the travellers.

    The minister expressed displeasure over unhygienic conditions and inadequate sanitary arrangements at the bus stand and asked the concerned officers to adopt every possible step to strictly implement the SOP.

    Mr Kitchi warned that a crackdown would be launched against all illegal transport stands in the province and encroachments.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    The Pirwadhai general bus stand has become a bone of contention between the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and the Punjab government with the latter eying control of the lucrative property. — INP/File photoThe Pirwadhai general bus stand has become a bone of contention between the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and the Punjab government with the latter eying control of the lucrative property. — INP/File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The enforcement team of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), backed by Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, was on Friday called back from Bahria Enclave when it had not even started its operation to retrieve 510 kanals of state land.

    After its notice to Bahria Enclave expired on Nov 16, CDA made “complete” arrangements for conducting an operation but when the team got there, it was called back by senior officials.

    The CDA team reached the site along with the necessary machinery in the morning. It was accompanied by a heavy contingent of police as well as the city administration officials. But the team was called back by high civic agency officials for no ‘apparent reason’.

    CDA issued the housing society notice on Nov 9 to vacate 510 kanals in a week

    Later on, property tycoon Malik Riaz visited the CDA headquarters on Friday and met with CDA Chairman Afzal Latif and senior officials of the ICT administration. They met in the chairman’s office, sources said. However, no official announcement was made about the meeting.

    A couple of days back, in response to CDA’s notice, Bahria Enclave management stated that it was ready to hand over, what it claimed was disputed 400 kanals to CDA, and make payments for the remaining land, which it claimed was public area and included a free dispensary, a children’s park and zoo.

    Sources said that CDA cannot sell its land without open auction.

    When asked about any chance of taking alternative land in exchange for the state land in possession of the housing society, the civic agency officials replied that there was no such provision.

    It may be mentioned here that CDA had swapped land with the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) after “relaxing” its rules in 2007.

    But civic agency has yet to benefit from the 2007 deal as DHA has not given the civic agency possession of the developed plots it was supposed to get in place of its land used by the housing authority.

    When asked, CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali said the operation was postponed as a strategy and claimed there were chances of a clash with the locals.

    When the spokesman was asked why such heavy machinery was taken to the site, Mr Ali said the operation had to be delayed after sensing the ground situation.

    Meanwhile, he said notices were issued to the encroachers on Friday on individual basis and that the operation will be conducted after the expiry of the notice.

    Asked about the CDA chairman’s meeting with Malik Riaz, he said he was “not updated on the matter at the moment”.

    The civic agency had issued Bahria Enclave a notice on Nov 9 to vacate 510 kanals of state land in a week. The notice was sent a day after a local court dismissed Bahria Town’s application seeking a stay against a demarcation of the disputed land.

    On the other hand, CDA official say seven houses, two commercial plazas and a hotel have been constructed on the remaining 100 kanals and that these buildings were served notices on Friday.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    In this file photo, a replica of the Statue of Liberty stands on a hill overlooking the construction of new homes in Bahria Town on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan in March 16, 2016. — Reuters/FileIn this file photo, a replica of the Statue of Liberty stands on a hill overlooking the construction of new homes in Bahria Town on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan in March 16, 2016. — Reuters/File

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    ISLAMABAD: Progressive and democratic students staged a rally for restoration of student unions and better facilities in educational institutions.

    Scores of students from the Progressive Students Federation (PrSF) along with representatives of other student organisations from the twin cities gathered outside the National Press Club Islamabad and marched toward Super Market and then Jinnah Avenue.

    The student unions were banned during the regime of military dictator Ziaul Haq.

    In 1993, the Supreme Court also prohibited the formation of student unions and called for a proper mechanism if the government wanted to revive them. But successive governments did not take any step for the revival of the student politics by taking shelter under the court verdict.

    The rally was part of a countrywide ‘Student solidarity march’ held in major cities, including Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Gilgit and Quetta.

    In Islamabad, the rally was also joined by scores of workers and activists from progressive political parties.

    Abdul Hameed Bukhari, a student leader, told Dawn that there was a need for restoration of the student unions. He said in the absence of the unions, students had been facing several challenges such as shortage of hostels, increase in fees and shortage of transport etc.

    Another participant, Danish Yaseen, said without restoration of the unions, students could not get their due rights.

    The speakers on the occasion also called for the resolution of problems being faced by students.

    Their charter of demands included students’ representation in decision-making processes on the campuses, restoration of student unions, issuance of degrees to all enrolled students, functional harassment policies on the campuses and freezing of fee hikes and improving quality of teaching and research.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    Progressive and democratic students staged a rally for restoration of student unions and better facilities in educational institutions. —Khurram Amin/File photoProgressive and democratic students staged a rally for restoration of student unions and better facilities in educational institutions. —Khurram Amin/File photo

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  • 11/30/18--17:54: Return filing date extended
  • ISLAMABAD: The government has extended the date for filing income tax returns and statement for the tax year 2018 until Dec 15, said a press statement issued by the Federal Board of Revenue on Friday.

    Originally, the deadline for filing returns of total income/statement was Aug 31, which was then extended to Sept 30, and eventually to Nov 30. The date to file returns for companies, individuals and association is now Dec 15.

    In the last two days, taxpayers were facing problems while filing their tax returns through ‘IRIS’ system of FBR, as users failed to access the system for electronic filing despite attempting for several hours.

    However, FBR has denied these complaints and said the system is up and running. In major cities, IRIS mostly choked as its servers could not support the excessive traffic on the website.

    The tax machinery also disclosed that as of Nov 30, it has received 1.14 million returns, growing by 16.75 per cent compared to 0.976m recorded in the corresponding period of last year - an increase of 163,607 tax returns filed.

    Meanwhile, Pakistan Tax Bar Association, through a letter, had also requested to the chairman FBR for extension in the last date for the filing returns and wealth statements.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    The date to file returns for companies, individuals and association is now Dec 15. — Photo courtesy FBRThe date to file returns for companies, individuals and association is now Dec 15. — Photo courtesy FBR

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    ISLAMABAD: Though efforts were made to ensure people with disabilities were facilitated during the elections, they still faced many problems in getting to the polling stations and casting their votes.

    Election staff and workers of political parties also needed to be sensitised on how to facilitate people with disabilities, a new report launched on Friday by the Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA) says.

    Infrastructural barriers across the country inhibited people with disabilities from voting properly, said PMHA Chief Executive Zulqarnain Asghar at the launch of the report titled Inclusion of Persons Living with Disabilities in Electoral Process.

    Polling booths were inaccessible, no signs for those with impaired hearing, no directions for the blind

    He said polling booths were inaccessible for persons with disabilities, that there were no signs for those with impaired hearing nor were there directions and instructions for the blind. There were also no ballot papers for the blind nor were there transport facilities for the disabled.

    He said that according to the report, 15.04pc of the population suffers from some form of disability while the government estimates this figure to be 2.38pc and the 2017 census says 1.48pc of the population has disabilities.

    “Many say this figure is under reported mainly due to political and social pressure as well as the stigma attached to disability.

    “The registration of persons with disabilities is necessary to make them a part of the electoral process,” he said.

    Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Additional Director General Gender and Disability Affairs Nighat Siddique said some 220,000 people with disabilities are registered with ECP and that many are not registered voters due to the difficult process of obtaining a CNIC.

    Persons with disabilities have to obtain a disability certificate in all four provinces in order to acquire the Special Computerised National Identity Card.

    She said the ECP is working on a system for providing disabled persons their CNICs at their doorsteps with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority.

    “We are currently doing a post-election review and recommendations by all such organisations will be taken into account to improve the next elections. We are also issuing show-cause notices to polling staff who have violated election rules,” she said.

    Information Commissioner Zahid Abdullah said that ECP should sensitise polling staff about persons with disabilities through trainings before the local government elections

    The report says that 186 polling stations were accessible for wheelchair users and that Braille embossed posters were placed in 385.

    However, polling-day barriers hindering disabled persons from voting included inaccessible polling stations and booths, lack of ballot papers in Braille, no posters for those deaf people, inaccessible ballot stamping spaces, absence of ramps and inaccessible doorways. A few recommendations were also presented at the event including that political parties ensure necessary arrangements for persons with disabilities including transport facilities.

    It was suggested that the government should exempt the condition of disability certificates in for a Special CNIC.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    Election staff and workers of political parties also needed to be sensitised on how to facilitate people with disabilities, a new report launched on Friday by the Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA) says. — File photoElection staff and workers of political parties also needed to be sensitised on how to facilitate people with disabilities, a new report launched on Friday by the Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA) says. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: The enforcement team of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), backed by Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, was on Friday called back from Bahria Enclave when it had not even started its operation to retrieve 510 kanals of state land.

    After its notice to Bahria Enclave expired on Nov 16, CDA made “complete” arrangements for conducting an operation but when the team got there, it was called back by senior officials.

    The CDA team reached the site along with the necessary machinery in the morning. It was accompanied by a heavy contingent of police as well as the city administration officials. But the team was called back by high civic agency officials for no ‘apparent reason’.

    CDA issued the housing society notice on Nov 9 to vacate 510 kanals in a week

    Later on, property tycoon Malik Riaz visited the CDA headquarters on Friday and met with CDA Chairman Afzal Latif and senior officials of the ICT administration. They met in the chairman’s office, sources said. However, no official announcement was made about the meeting.

    A couple of days back, in response to CDA’s notice, Bahria Enclave management stated that it was ready to hand over, what it claimed was disputed 400 kanals to CDA, and make payments for the remaining land, which it claimed was public area and included a free dispensary, a children’s park and zoo.

    Sources said that CDA cannot sell its land without open auction.

    When asked about any chance of taking alternative land in exchange for the state land in possession of the housing society, the civic agency officials replied that there was no such provision.

    It may be mentioned here that CDA had swapped land with the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) after “relaxing” its rules in 2007.

    But civic agency has yet to benefit from the 2007 deal as DHA has not given the civic agency possession of the developed plots it was supposed to get in place of its land used by the housing authority.

    When asked, CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali said the operation was postponed as a strategy and claimed there were chances of a clash with the locals.

    When the spokesman was asked why such heavy machinery was taken to the site, Mr Ali said the operation had to be delayed after sensing the ground situation.

    Meanwhile, he said notices were issued to the encroachers on Friday on individual basis and that the operation will be conducted after the expiry of the notice.

    Asked about the CDA chairman’s meeting with Malik Riaz, he said he was “not updated on the matter at the moment”.

    The civic agency had issued Bahria Enclave a notice on Nov 9 to vacate 510 kanals of state land in a week. The notice was sent a day after a local court dismissed Bahria Town’s application seeking a stay against a demarcation of the disputed land.

    On the other hand, CDA official say seven houses, two commercial plazas and a hotel have been constructed on the remaining 100 kanals and that these buildings were served notices on Friday.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    In this file photo, a replica of the Statue of Liberty stands on a hill overlooking the construction of new homes in Bahria Town on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan in March 16, 2016. — Reuters/FileIn this file photo, a replica of the Statue of Liberty stands on a hill overlooking the construction of new homes in Bahria Town on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan in March 16, 2016. — Reuters/File

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    KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Friday held a “protest convention” outside the office of the Karachi mayor against what it described as a “biased anti-encroachment operation”, being conducted by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) in the city.

    A large number of party workers along with affected shopkeepers and people from different walks of life, including members of the private schools’ association, attended the protest.

    Addressing the protesters, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rahman announced that his party would stage a sit-in outside the Civic Centre on Dec 5 in protest over the displacement of shopkeepers and traders of the old city area markets.

    The party would also initiate a protest campaign in the residential areas and trade centres from Saturday (today), he added.

    The party plans a sit-in outside Civic Center on Dec 5

    “The victims of the anti-encroachment campaign should register their cases with our Citizens’ Action Committee, which we have set up to facilitate the displaced shopkeepers and traders,” he said. “Our party would continue its legal and democratic struggle for the displaced shopkeepers and traders of old city area. The protest campaign will begin in every nook and corner of the metropolis to raise voice against injustice.”

    He demanded alternative places and compensation for the displaced shopkeepers.

    He also asked the authorities not to demolish the shops of those who had got lease documents and called for introducing a regularisation policy for the displaced shopkeepers on the same pattern as that of the regularisation of Banigala, where Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Islamabad residence is located.

    “We would also take our fight to courts and put our case before the judiciary against the KMC and Sindh Building Control Authority [SBCA] officials who were involved in illegal constructions,” he said. “We are not against the verdict of the Supreme Court but legal rights should prevail for all stakeholders during the anti-encroachment operation.”

    He said that on one hand, the poor are being deprived of their employment and businesses and on the other the authorities concerned had not yet evacuated the encroached playgrounds and public parks from the land mafia.

    He said that the Sindh government was equally responsible for the recent crisis.

    He demanded strict action against those involved in illegal constructions and sought registration of criminal cases against those involved in “china cutting” of government land in the past.

    “Around 6,000 shops have been demolished by the KMC during the anti-encroachment operation which has hit 50,000 families. It is sheer injustice by the state and it is so unfortunate that the authorities concerned have not taken any step to remove the encroachments from parks and playgrounds,” said Hafiz Naeem.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    JI activists and traders hold a sit-in in front of the KMC building on Friday.—White StarJI activists and traders hold a sit-in in front of the KMC building on Friday.—White Star

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    PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is likely to allow cabinet members, bureaucrats and others to use its helicopter with the chief minister’s consent besides increasing grant to furnish the official residences of the ministers.

    The administration department has drafted two amendments to the KP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act, 1975, for the purpose, sources told Dawn.

    The sources said the first amendment to the law proposed to increase the house furnishing grant for ministers from Rs500,000 to Rs1.5 million per annum, while the other was about the permission for ministers and bureaucrats to use the government’s chopper after the chief minister’s approval.

    Amendment to law also ready to increase grant for furnishing ministers’ houses

    An amendment proposed to Section (8)(2) of the Act proposed increasing that grant from Rs0.5 million to Rs1.5 million.

    Section 8(2) states: “the official residence of a Minister shall, subject to such conditions as may be imposed by Government from time to time, be maintained by Government and shall be furnished at a cost not exceeding [five hundred thousand] rupees. The term furniture will include carpets and curtains but will not include the cost of [two] air-conditioner and one refrigerator to which a minister is otherwise entitled.”

    The other amendment proposes the creation of three new sub-sections to Section 7 of the Act, which entitles a minister to use the official car maintained at the government’s expense.

    The proposed Section 7(1) of the Act says: “the chief minister can use aero plane or the helicopter of the government, while 7(ii) says that the chief minister may requisition at the cost of the government aeroplane or the helicopter of the Pakistan Air Force or the federal government.”

    Sub-section 7(iii) of the law says the chief minister can allow a minister, a public servant or any other person authorised by the chief minister to use the government’s helicopter.

    Sources said the administration department, which dealt with the cabinet-related matters, had made the draft amendments to the law, which would be presented before the cabinet after vetting by the law department.

    A source told Dawn that the home furnishing costs were being increased as minister of the previous PTI government Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli had complained about the minister home furnishing expanses surpassing the permissible limit.

    An official questioned the rationale for the move at a time when the country’s economic situation is bad.

    He said the law covered the travels for ministers by rail, plane and road and that there was no need for new provisions in it.

    The official said following the fresh amendments to the law, the provincial government’s helicopter could be used by anyone allowed by the chief minister and therefore, the cost the cash-strapped province dearly.

    He said ironically, the proposed amendments didn’t carry any justification for the move, which gave ministers and bureaucrats a blanket permission to use the government’s copter.

    Currently, the National Accountability Bureau is investigating the alleged misuse of KP government’s helicopter by Prime Minister Imran Khan during the PTI’s first government in the province.

    Spokesman for the government Shaukat Yousafzai was not available for comments. However, administration secretary Imtiaz Ayub denied amendments to the KP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act, and said only house furnishing grant for the ministers was being increased from Rs0.5 million to Rs1 million.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    KP cabinet members, bureaucrats and others could use the helicopter with the chief minister’s consent.—Tass/FileKP cabinet members, bureaucrats and others could use the helicopter with the chief minister’s consent.—Tass/File

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    CHITRAL: A trapped Kashmir markhor could not be retrieved from a small cave in a hill along the Chitral River near the Chew bridge where it had taken refuge after being frightened by the motorists on the Airport Road on Friday morning.

    Divisional forest officer, Gol wildlife division, Irshad Ahmed told Dawn that while grazing in the vicinity of Balach village near the national park, a horde of Kashmir markhor were chased by the stray dogs, as a result, one of them slipped onto the road and rushed to a cave.

    He said the field staff of wildlife department and the Rescue 1122 personnel carried out a joint operation to catch the animal and bring it to the road so that it could go back to the park, but the action had to be stopped as it might have frightened the animal into jumping into the river.

    The forest officer said the watchers of the department had been posted along the road near the cave to watch the markhor’s movement.

    He said the animal could come out of the cave, possibly in the morning when it felt safe.

    “We will call in swimmers and will make concerted attempts to safely grab the five-year-old female markhor from the cave and release it into the park on Saturday, if it does not come out early in the morning,” he said.

    He said the population of markhor in the park had exceeded 2,800, adding the animals came to the lower altitudes in search of food and come closer to the villages of Balach, Singur and Goldur.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


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    HARIPUR: The FIA cyber branch on Friday arrested a man for making and selling porn videos of children.

    The accused was allegedly running his business from his residence in Ghazi tehsil, police said, confirming that the FIA’s local cyber wing had detected a racket that was involved in making porn films of children and was operating internationally.

    The accused identified as Waqar Khan was held during a raided on his house in Mehran Colony. A phone set, laptop and digital gadgets were recovered from his possession.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


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    SUKKUR: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Imran Khan has not given anything to people except skyrocketing pri­ces; his government has snatched jobs instead of providing livelihood to people and failed to meet its promise of building five million houses.

    Mr Shah told journalists at the residence of his adviser Mohammad Bux Khan Mahar in Khangarh on Friday that the federal government had so far made 400 people jobless.

    He said that Pakistan Peoples Party was giving a tough time to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf govern­ment, which was still conducting itself as part of opposition.

    PTI rulers were offering oppo­sition containers to stand on and protest if they wanted to protest, which showed they had not yet been able to extricate themselves from the oppositional mode, he said.

    He said that despite selling buffa­loes and vehicles, the PTI government went to International Monetary Fund to seek new loans. Imran Khan had pledged that he would not visit any foreign country for the first three months while in power but he had so far visited several foreign countries. He said that poisonous runoff of industries of Punjab was coming to Ghotki district which was causing massive damage to agricultural land. The issue had also been taken up in a meeting of the Council of Common Interests, he said, adding that Kalabagh dam would not be built.

    Mr Shah said that he was saddened at murders of Sajid Kalwar in Adilpur and Ghulam Mohammad Mahar in Khanpur Mahar in Ghotki district thought police were working on the cases and some suspects had also been picked up. The killers would soon be arrested, he said.

    He said that all recruitments in different departments of Sindh government including education department were made on the basis of merit and with a view to ending unemployment.

    Mr Shah said that sugar mills would start crushing soon. He had talked to minister of agriculture and issued him directives in this connection.

    About reinstatement of teachers who had passed job test conducted by NTS, the chief minister said the issue would be resolved soon.

    Provincial minister Ali Nawaz aka Raja Khan Mahar, Jam Mahtab Mahar, Ghotki Deputy Commis­sioner Saleemullah Odho, Ghotki SSP Asad Aijaz Malhi, officials of health department and others were also present at the luncheon given in honour of the CM by his adviser.

    Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018


    Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah speaks to journalists as his adviser Mohammad Bux Khan Mahar and provincial minister Ali Nawaz Khan Mahar look on.—DawnSindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah speaks to journalists as his adviser Mohammad Bux Khan Mahar and provincial minister Ali Nawaz Khan Mahar look on.—Dawn

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    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday set a one-week deadline for Lahore deputy commissioner to hand over to its rightful owner the land recovered from alleged land grabber Malik Mansha Ali Khokhar — widely known as Mansha 'Bomb'.

    Justice Nisar also replaced the civil judge assigned to cases pertaining to overseas Pakistanis on receiving a complaint that the judge was disrespectful towards the plaintiff but politer to Mansha and his counsel.

    The top judge issued the orders at Lahore registry while hearing a petition of an overseas Pakistani — Mahmood Ashraf — against police's purported inaction against Mansha, whom he had accused of depriving him of his property.

    The chief justice, during the hearing today, berated DIG Operations Waqas Nazir and summoned the provincial police chief as well as the Lahore deputy commissioner.

    "Is this the police of Naya (new) Pakistan?" Justice Nisar asked. "Police should have some shame. They are called names and yet they defend thugs."

    DIG Nazir argued that it was police which had arrested Mansha Bomb and Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi. He assured the court that the police were following its orders in letter and spirit.

    The clarification, however, was not to the satisfaction of the top judge, who summoned "Mansha Bomb, Afzal Khokhar and all those who were trying to influence the case".

    "Police are unable to overcome a single Mansha Bomb," Justice Nisar remarked. "You are hand in gloves with gangsters, this is how you ensure the implementation of the law? What is your relationship with Mansha Bomb? Why are you trying to protect him?"

    "You will not leave in uniform if proven guilty," the chief justice warned the DIG operations.

    The plaintiff complained that Civil Judge Noor Mohammad treats him rudely but is courteous with Mansha Bomb and his counsel. At this, the top judge summoned the civil judge to his chamber and later relieved him of the case.

    The chief justice also reprimanded Inspector General of Police (IGP) for Punjab Amjad Javed Saleemi for his force's conduct.

    When the top cop claimed that police was doing a "fantastic job", Justice Nisar reminded him that "Mansha Bomb had surrendered in my court".

    Meanwhile, Mansha Bomb, on his turn, broke down in the courtroom and pleaded the judge for mercy.

    "You did not think about crying when you were grabbing others' land," the chief justice said. "Don't you have the fear of God?"

    At one point, the chief justice had also considered summoning Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, noting: "Where is the chief minister? He had claimed with quite an authority that grabbed land would be retrieved."

    On Oct 2, 2018, the Lahore administration had launched a grand operation against encroachments, retrieving illegally possessed land, including around 80 kanals possessed by Mansha Bomb in Johar Town worth Rs5 billion.

    On Oct 4, 2018, an investigating officer had told the court that Mansha Bomb had gone underground since the Supreme Court ordered a crackdown on land grabbers.

    On Oct 15, 2018 Mansha Bomb was taken into custody from the Supreme Court after he had gone there to "surrender" himself.


    Alleged land grabber Mansha Bomb is seen in this file photo. — DawnNewsTV/ FileAlleged land grabber Mansha Bomb is seen in this file photo. — DawnNewsTV/ File

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    Information minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday announced that Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi has been booked under treason and terrorism charges at Lahore's Civil Lines police station.

    The minister was briefing the media regarding last week's countrywide crackdown against TLP leaders and workers at a press conference in Islamabad.

    Information minister Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
    Information minister Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

    Pir Afzal Qadri, another top leader of the religiopolitical party, has been booked under treason and terrorism charges in Gujrat, Inayatul Haq Shah has been booked under treason and anti-terrorism laws in Rawalpindi and Hafiz Farooqul Hassan also been booked under similar charges, Chaudhry announced.

    On November 23, Rizvi was taken into "protective custody" by police from Lahore as law enforcement agencies launched a massive crackdown against workers of TLP and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA).

    Chaudhry revealed that a total of 2,899 people were taken into protective custody from across Punjab while 139 persons from Sindh and 126 from Islamabad were also taken into custody.

    He said the government would allow protests that protect the rights of people but that "the state will not remain silent on a protest that violates the rights of people and is beyond the ambit of the Constitution and law."

    The TLP through its protests — starting with its 20-day sit-in at Faizabad interchange in November last year — caused harm to people's lives and properties despite government efforts to convince the party to protest peacefully, the minister said.

    The crackdown against TLP had come ahead of Rizvi's call to party members to observe martyrs’ day on November 25. He had asked workers and supporters to gather at Faizabad in the federal capital — the same venue where the party had staged a weeks-long sit-in last year that had virtually paralysed the federal capital and led to several people losing their lives.

    Rizvi and his fellow party leaders are accused of staging violent protests, passing incendiary remarks against the judiciary and the prime minister as well as provoking the military to stage a mutiny — all in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.


    More to follow.


    TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi was taken into protective custody last week in Lahore. — File photoTLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi was taken into protective custody last week in Lahore. — File photo

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    Aleema Khanum, Prime Minister Imran Khan's sister, did not benefit from a tax amnesty scheme on a flat in Dubai — Inland Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner of Lahore Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan told the Supreme Court on Saturday.

    During a hearing of the suo-motu case regarding Pakistani citizens maintaining foreign accounts without disclosing the same or paying taxes, the tax commissioner informed the court at its Lahore registry that media reports of Khanum taking the amnesty were incorrect.

    The Supreme Court, a day earlier, had asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to provide the court with Khanum's tax details.

    The tax commissioner today furnished before the court its sealed report and apprised the court that Khanum was served a notice in February 2018 for not declaring the flat.

    Dr Khan explained that Khanum had procured the flat through a bank loan, which was paid off through rent. Once the loan was repaid, he said, the flat was sold off.

    The commissioner said that whether or not Khanum incurred a loss on the sale was not their concern.

    Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar ordered for action taken against Khanum to be made part of the record, adding that the case will next be heard on December 6 in Islamabad.

    The court has taken up a case against 44 politically exposed individuals or their benamidars who possessed properties in the United Arab Emirates.

    Khanum is identified as benamidar of a property. Earlier, a notice was issued to her through email as well as delivered at her home address, but her domestic staff said she was abroad.

    According to an FBR official who appeared in court yesterday (Friday), Khanum had benefited from a tax amnesty scheme and thus her tax information was confidential.

    "You can provide the information to the court in a sealed envelope and we will take a look at it," the chief justice had responded.

    Politically exposed people

    The list of politically exposed people was part of an annexure submitted to a three-judge SC bench comprising Justices Nisar, Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

    Taking suo motu notice of the matter, the apex court had observed that it appeared the money siphoned off abroad without payment of taxes through illegal channels represented either ill-gotten gains or kickbacks from public contracts.

    “Such money creates gross disproportion, inequality and disparity in society, which warps economic activity and growth, and constitutes plunder and theft of national wealth,” it said.

    In an earlier order, the court had also observed that it was common knowledge for years that a large number of Pakistani citizens were maintaining their bank accounts in other countries without disclosing these to the authorities competent under the laws of Pakistan or paying taxes on the same in accordance with the law.


    Aleema Khanum, Prime Minister Imran Khan's sister, had not taken any tax amnesty on a flat in Dubai, said the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner of Lahore Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan. — FileAleema Khanum, Prime Minister Imran Khan's sister, had not taken any tax amnesty on a flat in Dubai, said the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner of Lahore Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan. — File

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    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday announced that from 2019 a separate development programme will be created for south Punjab to remedy the imbalance of resource allocation in the province.

    The minister, during a media talk in Multan, said that "keeping in mind the region's population, backwardness and requirements, it has been decided that from next a year a separate development programme be set up."

    Referring to the previous as well as the current year's budget, Qureshi said that "most money had gone to other areas and there was an imbalance".

    "We want to fix this imbalance," he added, stressing that the planned development was also the wish of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

    The foreign minister said that turning south Punjab into a province is his party's wish as well as a promise in their manifesto, and while he claimed that progress is being made in this regard, he acknowledged that their plans have encountered some legal hindrances.

    Qureshi noted that the PTI alone does not have a majority to make constitutional amendments and needed the support of the opposition.

    "They [opposition] also say that there should be a province," he said. "Then come and sit with us."

    The foreign minister said that certain decisions have already been taken at the executive level to provide better facilities to the people of south Punjab.

    These steps, he said, included the creation of a secretariat in south Punjab so that the problems of employees and citizens could be solved closer to their homes instead of Lahore — the provincial capital.


    Qureshi acknowledges that the government will need opposition's help to create a new province. — DawnNewsTVQureshi acknowledges that the government will need opposition's help to create a new province. — DawnNewsTV

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