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    MUZAFFARGARH: Thousands of people have become jobless after the closure of brick kilns in Muzaffargarh because of smog and now due to a delay in start of the crushing season.

    At a press conference on Tuesday, Awami Raj Party Chairman Jamshed Dasti said if the mills did not start buying sugarcane, he along with farmers would start a Kissan Bachao Mazdoor Bachao Tehreek in the next two days.

    He said where was Naya Pakistan which Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader and Prime Minister Imran Khan used to talk about during the D-Chowk dharna days.

    He said he had contacted the Environment Protection Department secretary about the closure of the kilns in Muzaffargah, and according to Mr Dasti, the secretary said he had not given orders to close the kilns.

    Another Awami Raj Party leader Chaudhry Amir Karamat said the party would hold a demonstration at Kutchery Chowk against the closure of sugar mills and kilns. He said farmers were selling their cash crop as fodder to cattle farms. He said that in the previous years, kilns owners bought the cane as fuel at low rates.

    Sugar mills say they will start buying cane from Dec 10. Seeing a delay in the crushing season, the farmers have started making jaggery (gur).

    Farmers alleged that the mills would start the crushing season late knowing that they would have to cut their crops to cultivate the wheat crop.

    Gur is being sold for Rs2,200 to Rs2,400 per 40 kilo. The government has fixed the prices of sugarcane at Rs180 per 40kg but last year the mills did not follow these rates. Most of the mills bought gur at Rs150.

    A farmer from Qasba Gujrat Ghulam Esa said he was very happy when the PTI came into power because the party used to talk more about farmers’ issues. He said he was disappointed to see that for the first time the sugar mills could not start the crushing season on time.

    Another farmer Kaleem Gurmani said the economic policies also affected the rates of cotton in the last two weeks. Earlier, rates of cotton were Rs4,000 per 40kg, but now it was being traded at Rs2,500. He said mostly farmers had delayed selling their yield in a hope to get better rates but they were disappointed by the policy of cotton factories.

    Farmers demanded that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi work for pro-farmer policies.

    SHOT DEAD: A woman who left Darul Aman with her family was killed by unidentified people late on Monday near Sarwar Shaheed Chowk, the police said.

    Tasleem Bibi took shelter in Darul Aman on Monday after her husband Mohammad Ramzan beat her. Soon her brother-in-law and sister-in-law (bhabhi) came to Darul Aman and asked Tasleem to come back home. She agreed to leave the shelter and left Darul Aman for home with them in a car.

    They were traveling on MM Road when unidentified gunmen opened fire at the car in a drive-by shooting.

    Passersby said when they arrived at the scene, they saw Tasleem had died while her sister-in-law Neelam Bibi was injured and brother-in-law Mohammad Saqlain and car driver remained unhurt.

    The Sarwar Shaheed Chowk police said that on the orders of District Police Officer Imran Kishwar, a case had been registered.

    Her husband Ramzan would be arrested and investigated, according to Station House Officer Ghulam Mohyuiddin.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    Thousands of people have become jobless after the closure of brick kilns in Muzaffargarh because of smog and now due to a delay in start of the crushing season. ─ File photoThousands of people have become jobless after the closure of brick kilns in Muzaffargarh because of smog and now due to a delay in start of the crushing season. ─ File photo

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    NOWSHERA: After a strong protest by the journalists’ community against the targeted killing of Nowshera-based reporter of a private channel, Nurul Hassan, in Peshawar on Monday, the deceased was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in Shaidu village here on Tuesday.

    Mediapersons from Nowshera, Jehangira, Khairabad, Pabbi and Swabi demanded judicial investigation into the murder of Hassan. The protesters brought out a procession on the main GT road and blocked it to traffic for some time.

    The journalists threatened to extend protests across the province if the government failed to arrest the culprits immediately. They demanded of the government to include 7-ATA in the FIR and announce Shuhada Package for the family of the deceased journalist.

    Meanwhile, journalists in Bajaur tribal district also held a protest demonstration against the killing of Nurul Hassan.

    Holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans condemning the killing, scores of journalists attended the demo held outside the Bajaur Press Club.

    The participants of the demo jointly organised by Bajaur Press Club and Bajaur Union of Journalists strongly condemned the killing of Hassan and called it an attack on the entire journalistic community.

    They said the killing of Hassan in a city like Peshawar had upset the whole journalists’ community. They slammed the Peshawar police for not arresting the killers immediately.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    Mediapersons from Nowshera, Jehangira, Khairabad and Swabi demand judicial investigation into murder of Nurul Hassan. — File photoMediapersons from Nowshera, Jehangira, Khairabad and Swabi demand judicial investigation into murder of Nurul Hassan. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: A leader of former chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry’s Pakistan Justice and Democratic Party (PJDP), who had sought disqualification of incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan, has decided to withdraw his petition and joined the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) after quitting his party.

    Abdul Wahab Baloch was PJDP’s general secretary who had contested for NA-53 (Islamabad) seat which was won by Imran Khan in the July elections and later retained by the PTI in by-poll.

    Mr Baloch had raised objections to the nomination papers of Mr Khan for ‘concealing’ his alleged love child even before the general elections. He later filed petitions seeking Mr Khan’s disqualification on the same grounds.

    According to the PTI’s central media department, Abdul Wahab Baloch decided to join the PTI and announced withdrawal of all the pending litigation against PM Khan.

    Some other PJDP office-bearers also parted ways with the ex-CJP to join the PTI, added the statement issued by the PTI media department.

    PM’s special assistant on political affairs Naeemul Haq welcomed the newcomers, according to the statement that termed the development shocking for the party of the former chief justice.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    PJDP leadership, including ex-chief justice Itikhar Chaudhry (C) and Abdul Wahab Baloch (2nd left). — File photoPJDP leadership, including ex-chief justice Itikhar Chaudhry (C) and Abdul Wahab Baloch (2nd left). — File photo

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    PESHAWAR: Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement about early elections will trigger more economic crisis in the country.

    In a statement issued here on Tuesday, he said the prime minister’s interview had created many questions and confusion. He said early polls was not only a way of escape but would also plunge the country into further economic turmoil.

    He said the prime minister gave an impression that opposition leader was making demands from the sitting government to be appointed as the head of the Public Accounts Committee. He termed record depreciation of the rupee economic terrorism and held Imran Khan responsible for it.

    He said the government should give explanation as to who was responsible for the ‘economic terrorism’. He said the prime minister claimed that he was not informed about devaluation of rupee against the dollar and learnt through media.

    He said there was lack of coordination between the Prime Minister House and the finance ministry.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan says early polls will plunge country into further economic turmoil. — File photoAwami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan says early polls will plunge country into further economic turmoil. — File photo

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    LAHORE: A special medical board in Lahore examined on Tuesday PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif.

    The Punjab government constituted the board in compliance with the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB’s) directive to ascertain the ‘exact nature of his ailment’ and furnish recommendations.

    The board consisting of Fatima Jinnah Medical University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Amir Zaman Khan, Allama Iqbal Medical College head of oncology Prof Dr Muhammad Akram, FJMU head of radiology department Prof Dr Shahzad Karim Khwaja, head of pathology department Prof Dr Farrukh Kamal, head of medicine department Prof Dr Bilquis Shabbir, head of urology department Dr Khizar Gondal and endocrinologist Dr Muhammad Adnan Hashim.

    The board may co-opt any expert to firm-up its opinion.

    Earlier tests in Islamabad showed Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Sharif is suffering from a kidney infection, has lymph node in his chest and there are chances of recurrence of cancer.

    The CT (computed tomography) scan report of Mr Sharif shows a number of problems and his medical certificate suggests adding more doctors, including an oncologist and a urologist, to the medical board taking care of his health. In the light of early medical reports, NAB has shifted Mr Sharif to a ventilated room in the NAB Lahore building.

    Mr Sharif has been in NAB’s custody since Oct 5 in Ashiana scam.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    Earlier tests in Islamabad showed Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Sharif is suffering from a kidney infection, has lymph node in his chest and there are chances of recurrence of cancer. ─ DawnNewsTVEarlier tests in Islamabad showed Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Sharif is suffering from a kidney infection, has lymph node in his chest and there are chances of recurrence of cancer. ─ DawnNewsTV

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    KASUR: The anti-corruption establishment on Tuesday initiated an inquiry into a land ‘scam’ and issued summons for Dec 10 to Bahria Town chairman Malik Riaz in a forgery case of land measuring 641 kanals and seven marlas (about 80 acres) situated at Shah Inayat village in Kot Radha Kishan tehsil.

    According to complainant Sajid Jahangir, the land bearing Khewat nos. 61 and 62, Khatooni no. 120, Jamabandi, 2002/2003 at Mauza Shah Inayat belonged to him and others including Muhammad Khalid, Majid Jahangir, Sikandar Azam, Shahid Ajmal, Raeesa Begum and Ajmal Khan.

    Jahangir claimed that all the owners issued a combined power of attorney in the name of Ajmal Khan for the purpose of division [and identification] of the land as per their share, and he (Jahangir) went abroad.

    The complainant claimed that Ajmal Khan had in May 2004 submitted an application on behalf of all owners to the office of local assistant collector for the division and identification of the land against Rana Buland Akhtar, who also owned a tract in the same Khatta.

    Jahangir alleged that Akhtar at the behest of Malik Riaz and with the connivance of revenue officials prepared bogus Iqrar Namas, power of attorney and other documents in his (Akhtar’s) name. Later, Akhtar got the land transferred to Bahria Town. He alleged that Malik Riaz got mutation of the land in the name of Bahria Town in 2008.

    ACE Deputy Director Iqbal Hameed and Circle Officer Shahid Inayat Bhatti are probing the matter.

    Hameed told Dawn that some high profile cases [including this] were hit by ‘red tape’ but following instructions of their chief Muhammad Asghar Joyia, probe was started.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    Bahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz. ─ Reuters/FileBahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz. ─ Reuters/File

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    KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was on Tuesday informed that mobile phone snatching had increased during the current year as so far 14,051 cell phones were snatched compared to 12,187 in 2013 in Karachi.

    The chief minister was presiding over a meeting here at CM House to review law and order situation in the province ahead of a forthcoming meeting of the Sindh apex committee.

    Inspector General of Police Dr Kaleem Imam briefed the meeting on police performance with crime statics during the calendar year.

    The IGP tells the CM that terrorism, kidnapping for ransom and targeted killing cases decrease

    He claimed that the cases of mobile phone snatching had gone up due to registration of FIRs, as in the past the victims were reluctant to register their cases because of poor law and order situation.

    The chief minister told the IGP that regardless of any reason the crime must be curbed.

    Terrorism, kidnapping for ransom down

    The IGP also informed the CM that 61 incidents of terrorism took place in 2013 but in 2018 only two acts of terrorism occurred.

    Compared to 509 targeted killings in 2013, the crime had dropped down to 131 in 2018, he said, adding that the cases of kidnapping for ransom also came down from 173 in 2013 to only 12 in 2018.

    About snatching of cars and motorcycles, the CM was told that 5,118 two-wheelers and 980 four-wheelers were snatched in 2013, but five years later the number of snatched motorcycles and cars had reduced to 1,892 and 165, respectively.

    Mr Shah said that the crime rate had come down because his government had provided maximum facilities to the police and equipped them with latest weapons and training.

    He also stressed the need to change the thana (police station) culture and to make police people-friendly.

    Crackdown against vehicles on ‘open letter’ ordered

    The CM also ordered a crackdown against vehicles plying in the city on open transfer letters as the use of vehicles on such letters was illegal.

    The decision to enforce the law strictly was taken when Additional IG of the Special Branch Dr Waliullah Dal informed the CM that the vehicle used by militants in the Chinese consulate general attack was owned by a person who had sold it six years ago and died five years ago, but subsequent owners used the vehicle on open letter.

    The CM directed the excise and taxation department to start a crackdown against the vehicles plying in the city on transfer letters.

    The chief minister directed the IGP to provide bulletproof jackets to all policemen deployed at important installations, including foreign missions, CM House, Governor House, etc. “They must wear bulletproof jackets,” he said.

    Mr Shah also directed Home Secretary Kazi Kabir to finalise compensation for two civilians from Balochistan who were killed in the Chinese consulate attack.

    When asked about the treatment of the wounded security guard of the consulate, he was told that the he was being taken care of.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    THE chief minister presides over the meeting at CM House on Tuesday.—PPITHE chief minister presides over the meeting at CM House on Tuesday.—PPI

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    ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar has informed the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) that the government is cognisant of print media’s problems.

    In the short term, he said, it was the government’s responsibility to help media houses ease the financial crisis they were facing.

    He was talking to APNS office-bearers and members of its executive committee at a dinner hosted by federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry for the committee’s members. Mr Umar said that negotiations with the International Monetary Fund were still going on.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    Finance Minister Asad Umar says it is government's responsibility to help media houses. — File photoFinance Minister Asad Umar says it is government's responsibility to help media houses. — File photo

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    RAWALPINDI: One month on, the police have not made any progress in the investigation into the murder of Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq.

    However, an interim charge sheet of the case was submitted by the police in the court of an additional session judge on Monday.

    The interim charge sheet contains the statements of the victim’s son and a report on more than 12 individuals, the mobile phone data of the JUI-S chief, the preliminary statement given by the victim’s secretary and a police investigation report.

    Police submit interim charge sheet in court a month later when they were to file it within 14 days

    However, it does not identify a prime accused. The police was to submit an interim charge sheet for the murder case within 14-days of the incident.

    The police have been waiting for the DNA report of the samples taken from the victim’s body and those taken from elsewhere at the crime scene.

    The police have been reluctant to share details of their investigation with the deceased’s family nor have they made the details public. No cash reward has been offered for information that could lead to the murderer.

    “We cannot say anything at the moment because we are still investigating into the murder,” a police official close to the investigation said.

    The police’s attempts to exhume Maulana Sami’s body for a post-mortem have also been unproductive after the concerned court of law as well as the family refused permission for the exhumation.

    The request was made to the additional session judge by the Rawalpindi police which was forwarded to the concerned court in Nowshera which rejected it.

    JUI-S leader Maulana Samiul Haq was killed in a Safari Villa in Bahria Town on Nov 2 when his secretary, Syed Ahmed Shah had gone to get water from a nearby filtration plant.

    Mr Shah, who is considered the prime witness, was allowed by the police to attend the funeral but he did not turn up and has been missing since.

    On Monday, Maulana Sami’s son, Maulana Hamidul Haq, met with senior officials of the Rawalpindi police to discuss the progress made, if any, in the investigation.

    Mr Haq told Dawn the police are not sharing anything with the family regarding the investigation into his father’s killing.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq was murdered at his residence last month. — File photoJUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq was murdered at his residence last month. — File photo

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    LAHORE: Criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that the armed forces support the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) manifesto, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has demanded that the institution must clarify its position on it.

    “The army must clarify its position on Imran Khan’s statement that it is standing by his party’s manifesto which contains objectionable things against the opposition,” PPP’s Punjab president Qamar Zaman Kaira said here on Tuesday.

    “Whether ISPR (public relations wing of the army) silence on the statement should be taken as an endorsement? Should we construe from it that (the institution) is not standing by the manifestos of other parties?”

    Offers cooperation in reforming NAB to make its prosecution more result-oriented

    Explaining his objection at a joint press conference with Chaudhry Manzoor, the PPP leader said institutions must stand by the decision of a government and not manifesto because manifestos were chalked out by political parties and not governments.

    He said they welcomed the (army’s) cooperation with the incumbent government with the question that this kind of cooperation was not extended to past governments. “Are those laying down their lives for the solidarity of the country not Pakistanis?” he asked, regretting that IJI (a political alliance formed against the PPP ahead of the 1988 polls) and Patriots (a splinter group of the PPP parliamentarians formed in 2002) were formed against his party.

    Mr Kaira also chided the prime minister for saying that had the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) been under his control, he would have jailed at least 50 opposition leaders.

    He dared Mr Khan to move the FIA, the investigation agency under the federal government control, if he had credible corruption evidence. “The prime minister has rather committed dishonesty by not forwarding the corruption evidence to NAB.”

    Mr Kaira offered the opposition’s cooperation in reforming NAB to make its investigations and prosecution more result-oriented.

    He also challenged Mr Khan to make public the names of those who had stashed over $11 billion in foreign banks.

    The PPP leader criticised the premier for vowing to run the government through ordinances. He wondered why the government was afraid of law-making though the opposition had time and again offered its cooperation for it in the larger national interest.

    He reminded the rulers that promulgating ordinances had become a temporary solution after the 18th Amendment because an ordinance had to be tabled before the relevant elected assembly in the first session to be convened after its promulgation. “The prime minister is satisfied neither with the judiciary, nor with NAB, opposition parties and assemblies. Which forum would be acceptable to him?” Mr Kaira asked.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    Qamar Zaman Kaira has demanded that the institution must clarify its position on it. — File photoQamar Zaman Kaira has demanded that the institution must clarify its position on it. — File photo

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    A five-member Supreme Court bench on Wednesday will hold a hearing to decide if a new joint investigation team (JIT) can be formed to probe the Model Town case which is still pending a formal judgement.

    The bench comprises Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, and Justices Asif Saeed Khosa, Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Faisal Arab and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel. The chief justice had announced forming a larger bench to decide the legal point last month while hearing a petition requesting a new JIT to probe the incident.

    A two-member Supreme Court bench, headed by the chief justice, was hearing a petition filed by Bisma Amjad, a woman affected by the incident in the top court's Lahore registry.

    The court has issued notices to 146 people, including, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N's Rana Sanaullah, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar and former foreign minister Khawaja Asif.

    Model Town incident

    On June 17, 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others injured after police launched an assault on PAT supporters gathered outside the residence of Qadri in Model Town, Lahore.

    A subsequent judicial inquiry report on the incident pointed fingers at then Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and the Punjab police for what had transpired that day.

    From a reading of the conclusions of Justice Baqar Najafi's report, it is understandable why the provincial government fought tooth and nail to prevent its release.

    It is also understandable why its publication was preceded by a lengthy press conference by Rana Sanaullah in which he sought to highlight the report's flaws, including what he called its reliance on "secondary evidence" and it, therefore, having no legal status whatsoever.

    He kept referring to it as "defective", and the Punjab government made sure the Justice Najafi report was accompanied online by a one-man committee's report on a review of its flaws.

    Delineating the chronology of events, Justice Najafi reported that then Punjab minister for parliamentary affairs Rana Sanaullah seemed to have already decided on June 16, 2014, that the PAT Chairman Qadri would not be allowed any opportunity to hold a long march from Rawalpindi to Lahore, as the latter had planned to do on June 23, 2014.

    This single-minded determination of the minister to thwart Qadri's political objectives ended up influencing the police's heavy-handed strategy in dealing with the situation, which resulted in the needless loss of lives the very next day, Justice Najafi argued in the report.

    Though Justice Najafi himself did not affix responsibility for the tragedy, he invited readers to review the facts and circumstances and "easily fix the responsibility of the unfortunate Minhajul Quran incident" themselves.


    14 people were killed in the tragic Model Town incident that occurred in 2014. — File photo14 people were killed in the tragic Model Town incident that occurred in 2014. — File photo

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    ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan on Tuesday assured a parliamentary committee that the government would soon move a constitutional amendment to ensure appointment of government officers/officials as per provincial quota.

    Addressing the Senate Functional Committee on Government Assurances, the minister said the amendment would soon be moved and for that the government was trying to muster support of all political parties.

    It is worth mentioning that under Article 27 of the 1973 Constitution, the quotas for the provinces were fixed for 40 years, and that period ended in 2013. However, soon after coming to power, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government decided to extend the quota system for another 20 years and introduced a bill in parliament for the purpose. The bill, however, could not become a law over the next five years.

    Since it is a constitutional amendment, the government requires a two-thirds majority in parliament to get the bill passed.

    Committee chairman Mohammad Tahir Bizenjo, who belongs to the National Party, said that not only the bill should be tabled at the earliest but the quota system should also be implemented in letter and spirit.

    “Unfortunately, quota system has never been implemented. Currently, there is not a single federal secretary from Balochistan which is nothing but unfair with less populous provinces,” he added.

    He said that since the employment quota had expired in 2013, it should have been extended through constitutional amendment without any delay. Unemployment and sense of deprivation was increasing in Balochistan, he said.

    Mr Bizenjo was of the opinion that the bill should be moved at the earliest and he did not see any hindrance in its passage.

    “The Pakistan Peoples Party introduced the quota system so it will never go against it. Moreover, all the parties of less populous provinces will also support the bill. We assure you that the bill would easily sail through the National Assembly and the upper house of parliament,” he said.

    Other members of the committee also said that the quota system was extremely essential to mitigate the grievances amongst less populous provinces and the underprivileged areas of the country.

    Since implementation of the quota was a problematic subject, it was stressed that the parliamentary affairs ministry should look into the implementation of the quota system in letter and spirit.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan says bill will be moved soon. — File photoMinister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan says bill will be moved soon. — File photo

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    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday, during the hearing of a petition seeking the disqualification of prime minister's aide Syed Zulfikar Ali Bukhari — aka Zulfi Bukhari — said that if appointments are made on the basis of nepotism, then the court will interfere.

    The petition — filed by Muhammad Adil Chattha from Lahore and Mirza Abdul Moiz Baig from Karachi — has raised objections over Bukhari's appointment as the prime minister's special assistant on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development on account of his dual nationality.

    "The court cannot change its decisions because someone is upset," remarked Chief Justice Nisar.

    Earlier, Bukhari submitted his reply in the case, arguing that he held a British nationality because he was born there and got a Pakistani citizenship later. Bukhari gained his secondary education from a private school in Islamabad, where he studied from the age of 13 to 18. His family, the reply said, hails from Attock.

    The prime minister, Bukhari said in his reply, had the right to appoint anyone as his aide.

    The reply further said that Article 62 and 63 was only applicable to members of the Parliament and Bukhari was not a lawmaker.

    Bukhari noted said that the top court had granted overseas Pakistanis the right to vote. "To grant them [overseas Pakistanis] the right to vote but bar them from contributing to the country's development raises a question mark."

    He also argued that if Pakistan can seek aid from international organisations like the International Monetary Fund, why can't it employ the services of Pakistanis holding dual nationality.

    The hearing was adjourned until Dec 24 due to the absence of Chattha's lawyer who is currently abroad for medical treatment.

    Bukhari is also facing an inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau for allegedly owning offshore companies in British Virgin Islands and assets beyond his known sources of income.

    On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved its verdict on Bukhari's petition seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).


    Zulfi Bukhari is currently facing a case in the Supreme Court over his dual nationality. — DawnNewsTVZulfi Bukhari is currently facing a case in the Supreme Court over his dual nationality. — DawnNewsTV

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    Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, in a telephonic conversation on Wednesday, felicitated Prime Minister Imran Khan on assuming the top office and acknowledged his efforts to eradicate polio from the country.

    In the phone call that lasted for 30 minutes, Gates — also the co-chairman of the Bill & Malinda Gates Foundation — assured the prime minister of his continued assistance in various sectors, Radio Pakistan reported.

    The duo also exchanged ideas to boost the IT industry in Pakistan, according to Babar Bin Atta — the focal person to PM Khan on polio eradication — who was with the PM at the time of his conversation with Gates.

    Read: Health ministry reports two new polio cases

    The prime minister, in reciprocation, thanked Gates for his work in the social sector.

    This is not the first time that Gates has acknowledged Khan's anti-polio efforts. In a letter drafted in March 2015, he had commended the PTI chairperson's commitment to the eradication of the polio virus in Pakistan.

    Later that month, Gates had called Khan to further appreciate his efforts in trying to eliminate polio virus from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    At the start of this year, days after the Trump administration announced it was suspending security assistance to the country, the philanthropist had committed that his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will increase financial aid for Pakistan.

    In a letter to Minister for National Health Services (NHS) Saira Afzal Tarar, Gates had praised the then government’s commitment to the eradication of polio.

    The Microsoft founder had also acknowledged the receipt of certain concept notes regarding innovations in the health sector, especially with regards to “strengthening mother and child care and reproductive health”.

    Pakistan faces an uphill task in its battle to eradicate poliomyelitis despite a reduction in the instance of the disease this year, compared to last year.

    According to Babar Bin Atta, focal person on polio to the prime minister, the number of cases is declining. “In 2014, we had 306 cases which came down to 54 in 2015, 20 in 2016 and eight in 2017, but we are concerned about the circulation of the virus in Peshawar, which is the main obstacle in our way if we want to align ourselves with the World Health Organisation’s eradication initiative."

    Countrywide, 236 million children have so far been vaccinated this year and several measures have been taken to strengthen routine immunisation, provide safe water and improve sanitary conditions.


    Philanthropists Bill Gates speaks during an interview on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in New York. Gates pitched an optimistic future for the world's poor and sick his annual letter, arguing passionately against three myths he said hurt efforts to bring people out of poverty, save lives and improve living conditions. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)PM Khan in conversation with Bill Gates. — Photo courtesy Radio PakistanPhilanthropists Bill Gates speaks during an interview on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in New York. Gates pitched an optimistic future for the world's poor and sick his annual letter, arguing passionately against three myths he said hurt efforts to bring people out of poverty, save lives and improve living conditions. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)PM Khan in conversation with Bill Gates. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan

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    A five-member Supreme Court bench on Wednesday wrapped up a petition requesting a new joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the 2014 Model Town incident and ordered the Punjab government to reconstitute a probe team to investigate the case.

    The larger bench ─ constituted specially to debate a legal point today ─ comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, and Justices Asif Saeed Khosa, Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Faisal Arab and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, decided to hold a hearing to determine whether a new JIT could be formed to probe the Model Town case which is still pending judgement.

    Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri was among those who presented their arguments on the matter in court today.

    "My lawyers are present for legal questions," he told the bench. "I will only present facts before the court."

    "No case is political for the court," the chief justice remarked, ordering the lawyer behind the PAT chief to sit down.

    Justice Khosa said that all statements would have to be recorded again.

    "The trial has now come back to zero," Qadri said. "After constitution of the larger bench, the victims were hopeful about getting justice."

    The trial of the accused persons is ongoing in the anti-terrorism court, he said, adding that there is a trial on both the cases together.

    "What FIR was the JIT formed on the basis of?" Justice Khosa asked, to which Qadri responded that the police first formed the JIT on their own FIR.

    "Later it was formed on our FIR," Qadri said. "The judicial commission gave its findings on the matter too."

    The commission report, which was made public a few months ago, brought a lot of facts to light, the PAT chief said, telling the chief justice that of the 157 witnesses in the case, 23 had recorded their statements already.

    "It is important to take an overview of the situation before the incident as well, to know why it happened," Qadri pointed out.

    After the court heard his arguments, it asked the Punjab Advocate General Ahmed Awais what the provincial government's stance on the matter was.

    Awais responded that the Punjab government had no objections to the reconstitution of a JIT, adding: "You may go and constitute the JIT."

    The court subsequently ordered the Punjab government to form a new JIT to conduct a fresh investigation, and directed that the statements of the remaining witnesses must be recorded.

    "The Punjab government has adopted the clear stance that it has agreed to form a new JIT," the court said, adding that it the probe team would be formed under Section 19 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

    The aim of the petitioner has, through this move, been fulfilled, the court noted, wrapping up the petition.

    Qadri, while speaking to the media after the hearing, thanked the bench for the decision, saying all five judges had heard his arguments "with great interest".

    "We are convinced that a JIT must be made," he said, adding that the provincial government had no reservations over the formation of a new JIT to conduct a fresh probe.

    Model Town incident

    On June 17, 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others injured after police launched an assault on PAT supporters gathered outside the residence of Qadri in Model Town, Lahore.

    A subsequent judicial inquiry report on the incident pointed fingers at then Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and the Punjab police for what had transpired that day.

    From a reading of the conclusions of Justice Baqar Najafi's report, it is understandable why the provincial government fought tooth and nail to prevent its release.

    It is also understandable why its publication was preceded by a lengthy press conference by Rana Sanaullah in which he sought to highlight the report's flaws, including what he called its reliance on "secondary evidence" and it, therefore, having no legal status whatsoever.

    He kept referring to it as "defective", and the Punjab government made sure the Justice Najafi report was accompanied online by a one-man committee's report on a review of its flaws.

    Delineating the chronology of events, Justice Najafi reported that then Punjab minister for parliamentary affairs Rana Sanaullah seemed to have already decided on June 16, 2014, that the PAT Chairman Qadri would not be allowed any opportunity to hold a long march from Rawalpindi to Lahore, as the latter had planned to do on June 23, 2014.

    This single-minded determination of the minister to thwart Qadri's political objectives ended up influencing the police's heavy-handed strategy in dealing with the situation, which resulted in the needless loss of lives the very next day, Justice Najafi argued in the report.

    Though Justice Najafi himself did not affix responsibility for the tragedy, he invited readers to review the facts and circumstances and "easily fix the responsibility of the unfortunate Minhajul Quran incident" themselves.


    Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri thanks the Supreme Court bench for its decision. ─ DawnNewsTVPakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri thanks the Supreme Court bench for its decision. ─ DawnNewsTV

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    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has addressed a symposium in the capital on the alarming population growth in Pakistan.

    The chief justice termed unbridled population growth as the "most disastrous issue" for Pakistan, and regretted that the "menace" was not given any attention in the past 60 years.

    "Our water reserves and resources are depleting, but our mouths [to feed] are increasing," he said.

    The top judge said that the apex court had created a task force, which made its recommendations but added that that's the extent of their power.

    "The judiciary does not have any mechanism to act on these recommendations," he said. "The only person who can get any action done is the prime minister."

    Justice Nisar said the burden on the judicial system did not go back to just the past five to seven years but it was centuries old.

    "The tools have to be given to us by the parliament," he said, adding that so much time had passed but laws had not been updated.

    "I am hopeful that with good intentions, in a few years we will reach our dream," the top judge said.

    Problems exist due to 'short-term thinking': PM

    Prime Minister Imran Khan began his address by thanking the top judge for welcoming him to the event. "I am glad I am not being presented in courtroom number one," he joked.

    Speaking at the day-long symposium, Khan expressed "the nation's resolve to address the population growth in the country", reported Radio Pakistan.

    Addressing CJP Nisar, the premier said that the steps that the top judge had taken should have been taken by democratic governments instead.

    "The democratic governments only used to think about five years," he said, adding that nothing could be accomplished in that time span for major issues.

    "We are in these problems because of a short-term thinking," Prime Minister Khan regretted.

    'Singularity of narrative'

    The event is being attended by provincial chief ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, ministers and other officials including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider.

    Former senator Javed Jabbar, while addressing the symposium, acknowledged former president Ayub Khan's contribution, noting that while he may not have been a democratically elected leader, credit should be given to him for highlighting family planning.

    "Why have we forgotten the narrative [in the last fifty years]?" he asked. "There needs to be a singularity of narrative."

    Renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jamil observed that the problem in Pakistan was "illiteracy" and stressed the importance of education to bring population growth under control.

    He noted that while the symposium was being held in Islamabad, the problem is more prevalent in rural areas.

    Vice-president of the Population Council, John Bongaarts, the first speaker of the event, highlighted the levels of contraceptives used in Pakistan as compared to other countries in the region such as Bangladesh and India.

    Furthermore, he presented the benefits of family planning programmes, adding that this was an extremely important event for Pakistan.

    Co-chair of the World Health Organisation High-Level Independent Commission on Non-communicable diseases, Dr Sania Nishtar, while addressing the symposium, said "today is a landmark day" and remarked that the "stellar show of strength" of various stakeholders was "critical" to the cause.

    A documentary on population dynamics was presented at the event.


    This is a developing story. More details to follow


    CJP and PM Khan headline a symposium in the capital on population growth in Pakistan. — DawnNewsTVCJP and PM Khan headline a symposium in the capital on population growth in Pakistan. — DawnNewsTV

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    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday reiterated Pakistan's "abiding interest" in achieving lasting peace and reconciliation in war-torn Afghanistan through a political settlement.

    The premier gave the reassurance during a meeting a with the US Special Envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who called on Khan at the Prime Minister House.

    Khalilzad conveyed good wishes by President Donald Trump to Khan, saying the "US leadership looked forward to working with Pakistan in furthering the shared goal of peace through a political settlement in Afghanistan", according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.

    During the "courtesy call" by the US envoy, Prime Minister Khan recalled his personal commitment to the cause of regional peace, the press release said.

    He welcomed the letter written to him by President Trump seeking Pakistan's cooperation in ending the 17-year-old Afghan conflict, as well as Washington's "assurance to work with Pakistan on this shared objective".

    Khan also emphasised the importance of boosting regular bilateral engagement in priority areas especially trade, investment, education, health and social sector development, the statement said.

    Ambassador Khalilzad is on his third visit to Pakistan since he took charge of the office dealing with peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan in September. He accompanied Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Islamabad just a day after his appointment and later visited the country again in October. His planned visit in November was cancelled because of scheduling issues.

    Despite reservations over his appointment, Pakistan extended full support to him because of its principled position about supporting efforts for peace in Afghanistan and secondly to capitalise on the shift in the Trump administration’s policy towards negotiations with the Taliban.

    In a major gesture to Washington in October after Khalilzad’s visit, Pakistan had set free former Taliban deputy chief Mullah Baradar. Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal had on that occasion said that Baradar was released “at the US request in order to move forward on the shared objective of pursuing a political settlement in Afghanistan”.

    There was, however, a brief hiccup afterwards due to Trump’s interview and a twitter exchange with Prime Minister Khan in which the US president questioned Pakistan’s contributions in the fight against terrorism, saying it did not “do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us”.

    However, in an effort to salvage the situation, Khalilzad’s Islamabad trip was preceded by a letter from President Trump to Prime Minister Khan in which he sought Pakistan’s help for the peace process and at the same time acknowledged that Pakistan suffered from terrorism. The letter managed to set a positive tone for the special envoy’s visit.

    Khalilzad had in an interview before he embarked on his latest trip to the region said that he had been reassuring Pakistani leaders that the US was “not seeking an Afghanistan as the result of a political settlement that’s hostile to them”. He said that it was time for Pakistan to “play a positive role” for peace in Afghanistan.


    US Special Envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad meets Prime Minister Imran Khan at Prime Minister House. — screengrabUS Special Envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad meets Prime Minister Imran Khan at Prime Minister House. — screengrab

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    ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s latest remarks that the government can run the legislative business through presidential ordinances have stirred another controversy, with the opposition parties questioning the practicality of the idea.

    The opposition leaders allege that the prime minister’s statement showed that he had no knowledge about the Constitution of the country which, after the 18th Amendment, has curtailed the government’s arbitrary powers to use ordinances as an alternative to legislation outside the parliament.

    In an interview to TV anchors on Monday, the prime minister had stated that although the PTI and its allies lacked majority in the Senate to pass legislation smoothly, they would not go for any settlement with the opposition parties to take their support and would make legislation through ordinances.

    In the interview, the prime minister had highlighted salient features of the legal reforms which the government wanted to enforce to facilitate early disposal of cases and inheritance rights of women and widows.

    Information minister says PM was talking about ‘emergency legislation’ only

    When asked as to how the government would ensure legal reforms without having the support of the opposition, which had a majority in the Senate, PM Khan said legislation would be done through presidential ordinances, adding that the option of entering into a settlement with the opposition meant that corruption cases against their leaders should be closed and he would never go for it.

    Under Article 89(1) of the Constitution, “the President may, except when the (Senate or) National Assembly is in session, if satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action, make and promulgate an ordinance as the circumstances may require”.

    It says that an ordinance promulgated under this Article shall be laid before the National Assembly or the Senate, whichever goes into session first and “shall stand repealed at the expiration of 120 days from its promulgation or, if before the expiration of that period a resolution disapproving” it is passed by any house of parliament “upon the passing of that resolution”.

    Under the Constitution, an ordinance can only be re-promulgated once as it says that “either House may by a resolution extend it for a further period of 120 days and it shall stand repealed at the expiration of the extended period, or if before the expiration of that period a resolution disapproving it is passed by a House, upon the passing of that resolution”.

    The opposition leaders are of the opinion that Mr Khan cannot even do legislation through ordinances without the support of the opposition.

    Contempt of parliament

    Senior leader of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Ahsan Iqbal termed the prime minister’s remarks “disrespect and contempt of parliament and its role in law-making”.

    Mr Iqbal was of the opinion that the provision of legislation through ordinances was meant only for emergency situation and it could not be adopted for minor and routine legislations.

    “(PM) Imran Khan has once again demonstrated that he does not have any understanding as to how parliament functions,” he said, adding that Mr Khan should know that legislation through ordinances was always considered to be “bad legislation”.

    Similarly, former Senate chairman and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart Raza Rabbani also expressed his displeasure over the prime minister’s remarks, saying that it exposed Mr Khan’s complete ignorance about legislative work.

    Talking to Dawn, Mr Rabbani regretted that parliament had not passed any act since the formation of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government after the July 25 elections and the present rulers had already made parliament redundant.

    The PPP leader recalled that as Senate chairman he had given a very detailed ruling on the issue of legislation through ordinances. Besides, he added, there were a number of such rulings from the superior courts of the country. He said an ordinance was not only required to be laid before parliament, the government was also bound to give reason for the delay of each day in laying it in parliament.

    Mr Rabbani said the government had not taken parliament into confidence on a number of major developments which showed that the rulers had no respect for parliament.

    “It should be realised that in the scheme of trichotomy of power, parliament is the mother of all institutions and making such an institution dysfunctional will have disastrous effect on the institutional structure of the state,” warned Mr Rabbani.

    The PPP leader alleged that through a deliberate intent, “a systematic campaign is being carried out to demonise and bring into ridicule the offices of the Senate chairman and the NA speaker”.

    When contacted, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry clarified that the prime minister had made the remarks in the context of emergency situations and he was talking in the perspective of “emergency legislations”. He said Mr Khan had been a member of the assembly for the third time and he was well aware of the constitutional provisions regarding legislation.

    Mr Chaudhry alleged that the opposition parties were non-serious as far as legislative work was concerned and they were only interested in getting themselves clear from corruption cases.

    Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018


    PM Imran Khan said that the government would make legislation through ordinances as ruling party lacks majority in the Parliament. — File photoPM Imran Khan said that the government would make legislation through ordinances as ruling party lacks majority in the Parliament. — File photo

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    Senator Talha Mehmood, the chairman of Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat, on Wednesday alleged that the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had issued CNICs to Afghan intelligence persons.

    Speaking to the media after an in camera session of the committee, Mehmood said that hundreds of Afghan and Tajik persons had been issued CNIC cards.

    "The passports of the foreigners with Pakistani identity cards also had Indian visas on them," the senator claimed.

    Mehmood added that the list of the identity card holders had been handed over to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and they would investigate the foreigners holding Pakistani CNICs. The bureau has been asked to submit a report in this regard.

    He said the intelligence agencies had provided Nadra with a list of suspicious persons and directed them to look at their CNICs but Nadra didn't act on those recommendations.

    Mehmood added that 150 identity cards of Tajik persons were found in Lahore and while the cards were blocked, no arrests had taken place.


    Senate committee chairman Talha Mehmood claims hundreds of Afghan and Tajik persons had been issued CNICs. —Dawn ArchivesSenate committee chairman Talha Mehmood claims hundreds of Afghan and Tajik persons had been issued CNICs. —Dawn Archives

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    The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday denotified PML-N's Mian Ziaur Rehman as a member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, after his disqualification in a fake degree case.

    Rehman was re-elected MPA from Mansehra’s PK-30 constituency in the July 25 general elections this year.

    The Peshawar High Court (PHC) had de-seated him and disqualified him for life to hold any public office in 2013 after his degree was found to be fake. However, Rehman had obtained a stay order from the Supreme Court that same year against his disqualification.

    Five years later, in October this year, the SC had upheld the high court's verdict to disqualify him.

    While withdrawing the notification of his victory in the July 25 polls in wake of SC's order, ECP today declared the PK-30 seat vacant. The commission is expected to issue a schedule for a by-election in the Mansehra constituency in the coming days.

    According to the PHC judgment, Rehman in his elusive declaration in the nomination form had stated his educational qualification as BA on the basis of a ‘Sanad’ — that was found to be fake and fabricated.

    Separately, the ECP also denotified Rai Mustafa Babar as the chairman of the Jaranwala Municipal Committee and declared his position to be vacant.

    The decision came after a no-confidence vote against Babar by members of the committee.


    PML-N's Zia-ur-Rehman had emerged victorious from PK-30 Mansehra-I in the July 25 general elections. — KP Assembly/FilePML-N's Zia-ur-Rehman had emerged victorious from PK-30 Mansehra-I in the July 25 general elections. — KP Assembly/File

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