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    LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to recover salaries from former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Cheema that he received being the chief executive officer of the Bhikki power plant over and above his regular salary.

    Earlier, NAB brought Mr Cheema from jail on the direction of Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar in a case related to the LDA City housing scheme. He is an under-trial prisoner for his involvement in the Ashiyana-i-Iqbal scam.

    The CJP rebuked him for misusing the public exchequer for development schemes such as the Orange Line Metro Train project and also showed displeasure with NAB for its poor investigation in the case. “I can tell you they will all be freed soon. Solving a white-collar crime is not an easy task,” the CJP reminded the NAB counsel.

    Ex-LDA chief received Rs1.4m a month as Bhikki power plant CEO whereas his regular salary was around Rs100,000

    Answering a court query, Mr Cheema explained that the LDA had decided to outsource the acquisition of land for the housing scheme to avoid litigation. He said a big housing scheme of the authority namely the LDA Avenue-I had not been accomplished so far due to litigation despite the lapse of decades. He said the government adopted the idea of public-private partnership from the Defence Housing Authority model.

    Mr Cheema claimed that the process of land acquisition was going smoothly till NAB intervention.

    Unimpressed with the explanation offered by Mr Cheema, CJP Nisar snubbed him saying such kind of briefings would work before a chief minister but not in court.

    When asked, Mr Cheema said he was getting a Rs1.4 million monthly salary as the CEO of Bhikki power plant whereas his regular salary was around Rs100,000. To justify his salary, he said the government had made a policy to hire competent officials on market-based salaries. The CJP observed that the beneficiaries of the market-based salaries were the real brain behind the discriminatory policy.

    “Why you have not returned the excess salary while other officers have already surrendered theirs as per the court order,” the CJP asked Mr Cheema. “I have no money. And I have not been informed about such an order in jail,” Mr Cheema replied and also complained about his ‘deteriorating’ health in the jail.

    CJP Nisar directed NAB to recover the excess salaries from Mr Cheema by confiscating his properties if he did not have cash. He said the court would order Mr Cheema’s medical checkup at

    any government hospital if he filed an application.

    Meanwhile, the court directed LDA Director General Amina Imran Khan and lawyers for three development companies / partners to reach a solution to meet deficiency of the land to complete the LDA City housing scheme.

    Lawyers for Urban Developers, Maymar Housing and Pak-Estate undertook before the court that they were ready to acquire the required land for the LDA. Urban Developers’ counsel Ahsan Bhoon said if the court ordered, his client was ready to acquire the deficient land measuring 20,000 kanals for the whole project.

    The court adjourned the hearing till Dec 29.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    Ex-LDA chief Ahad Cheema received Rs1.4m a month as Bhikki power plant CEO. ─ DawnNewsTVEx-LDA chief Ahad Cheema received Rs1.4m a month as Bhikki power plant CEO. ─ DawnNewsTV

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    ISLAMABAD: The Pak­istan Electronic Media Reg­ulatory Authority (Pem­­ra) has issued an advisory to all satellite news and current affairs channels, urging them to highlight positive developments in the country and promote optimism to build healthy society, instead of portraying a bad image of the country by giving extra coverage to crime news and negative issues, Dawn has learnt.

    The advisory says that despite repeated requests some channels are still in the race of glorifying crime news in the prime time.

    Even minor crimes rec­eive media hype and they are repeatedly shown on news channels without realising the impact of such reports on people, it says, adding that licensees must realise that outreach of satellite TV channels is bey­ond territorial boundaries of Pakistan and they are wat­ched across the globe, hence, a negative perception is built about the country among international viewers due to such content.

    The pattern of news presentation lacks understanding of psychological impact on human behaviour, it says, adding that this trend has echoed on various for­u­ms, including the Pemra’s complaint cell centre, particularly among parents who are demanding restriction on TV channels from back-to-back reporting/coverage of violence, crime, sex­ual abuse, terrorism, kidnapping, etc.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    The pattern of news presentation lacks understanding of psychological impact on human behaviour, says Pemra. ─ AP/FileThe pattern of news presentation lacks understanding of psychological impact on human behaviour, says Pemra. ─ AP/File

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    ISLAMABAD: On the directions of the Ministry of Interior, the capital territory administration has selected two abandoned buildings for the establishment of shelter houses (Panah Gah) for homeless people.

    One of the buildings located at Tarlai can house around 150 males and 50 females. The other building is in Sector I-11 and has the capacity of accommodating around 100 males.

    An official of the capital administration said the building at Tarlai was being used to store goods of sitting and former officers of the local administration. It has been decided to vacate the building which is in a good condition for use as a Panah Gah, he said.

    “The building has two halls in which more than 100 people can be housed. There is one dining hall and five rooms on the first floor. There is another wing in the building in which women can be housed. Moreover, there are separate rooms for the staff,” he said.

    Every day, a large number of labourers and other people reach Tarlai, which is emerging as a new city, to find work. These workers would be able to stay in the shelter house.

    “The other building has been selected in Sabzi Mandi (I-11) where a large number of labourers also work but have no shelter. We are expecting that both the buildings would be inaugurated as shelter houses before the end of the current year,” the official said.

    He said Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed had been supervising the renovation work on both the buildings. Security cameras would be installed in the buildings along with the deployment of guards.

    In the past, there was a shelter home in Sector G-7 but it could not serve the purpose as many people stayed there for years and no one was able to get the rooms vacated.

    In reply to a question, the official said such shelters cannot be run by the government departments so it would be suggested that the administration of both the shelters should be handed over to philanthropists.

    “We may involve philanthropists to run and finance the shelters and the capital administration would be a facilitator. As far as modalities to house people in the buildings are concerned, they should also be left at the administrator,” he said.

    Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi on Saturday visited the building at Tarlai. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate the Panah Gah.

    The minister also visited the facilitation centre which will provide facilities to residents of the federal capital, including in resolving issues related to the revenue department.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    One of the buildings can house around 150 males and 50 females, the other can accommodate around 100 males. — FileOne of the buildings can house around 150 males and 50 females, the other can accommodate around 100 males. — File

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    HARIPUR: A local court on Saturday stopped the communication and works department and contractor from demolishing or making changes to the structure of the historic Harkishan Garh Fort.

    Jawad Habib and two other citizens had moved the court of Civil Judge-VIII Mohammad Shoaib complaining that the communication and works department has awarded a contract for the establishment oftehsil offices after the demolition of the historic fort.

    They claimed that the fort had an archaeological importance and needed to be properly conserved in line with the Antiquities Act, 1979, and KP Antiquities Act, 1997, and therefore, the communication and works department and the contractor should be immediately stopped from demolishing it or carrying out any changes to it.

    Court asks officials to respond to petition on matter

    The court provided them a temporary relief by issuing a stay order against the fort’s demolition and served notices to the deputy commissioner of Haripur, executive engineer of the C&W department, contractor Waheedullah, provincial chief secretary, archaeology secretary, commissioner of Hazara division and others for filing their respective replies to the petitioners by Tuesday (Dec 18).

    When contacted, sub-divisional engineer of the C&W department Syed Jaffar Shah said the government had approved a grant of Rs100 million for the construction of revenue offices after the demolition of the houses, which the fort had been housing since the British era.

    He said the offices to be built included muhafiz khana and those for tehsildar and naib tehsildar.

    Spread over 70 kanals of land, the fortwas built in 1822 and 1823 by the then governor of Hazara, Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa. The construction occurred four years after Sikhs annexed Kashmir and its gateway, the Hazara valley, following a fight with local fighters. It was used as the base for Sikhs for further advances and operations and as the district headquarters of British administration from 1849 to 1853.

    It is encircled by a strategically important 20 feet deep and 60 feet wide trench to protect the garrisoned Sikh forces. Four yards thick and 16 yards high carved stone walls with two tall wooden gates represent the magnificent masonry work of Sikhs.

    Though in bad shape at several places due to neglect, the walls from the eastern and northern side of the fort are still visible. However, the wooden gates that the Sikh forces built to protect the inhabitants have been either stolen or taken away either bythe police and revenue officials occupying the fort since British era or the contractors.

    The fort has remained exposed to encroachment by the government departments. The police department was the first to occupy its western part and set up city police stations and policelines, the tehsil municipal administration constructed an overhead water tank, and the district administration constructed a three-storey building of the district accounts offices.

    The TMA filled the historic trench with earth and cement in the last two months to turn it into the Woman and Children Park.

    Local social activist Mohammad Ahsan Khan said changes ordamage to historical sites was a crime under the NWFP Antiquities Act, 1997.

    He suggested that the government take steps for the preservation of historical sites, including the fort, and shift all offices departments from there.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    Court asks officials to respond to petition on matter. — FileCourt asks officials to respond to petition on matter. — File

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    PETARO: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership and other political figures are not afraid of accountability but they insist is that no one should be victimised on political grounds.

    Due process of law must be followed in accountability, he stressed.

    Mr Shah was speaking to the media after attending the 57th Parents’ Day of the Cadet College Petaro in Jamshoro on Saturday.

    He told a questioner that he was invited to a meeting in Beijing on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) where he would discuss Sindh’s three approved projects -- the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Dhabeji economic zone and Keti Bander port.

    Commenting on the crisis caused by gas closure, he said that under the Constitution, provinces had the first right on their respective resources. As such, Sindh should have first right on its gas production, he added.

    The CM said that he had taken up the matter with the Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan in Karachi on Friday and was assured that provisions in the Constitution would be followed.

    Earlier, speaking at the Parents’ Day programme as the chief guest, the chief minister appreciated performance of the college and observed that the institution had been maintaining high standards of discipline and quality education for 60 years.

    Mr Shah expressed the hope that the issue would be resolved soon.

    He announced an increase of Rs25 million in its annual grant from Rs75 million to Rs100 million next year.

    He also announced a reward of Rs100,000 for cadet Aazar Jan who secured the top position in computer science in GCE O-Levels this year.

    The CM congratulated ex-cadets Captain Izhan on winning the ‘Stick of Honour’, cadet Abdul Salam on winning the ‘Best in Academics’, award, cadet Mehboob Imdad for clinching the ‘Badge of Honour’, Ahmed Ali Kazi for getting the ‘Best Staff Officer’ award and Hafiz Khalid Majeed for grabbing the ‘Best Teacher’ award.

    Welcoming the guests, college principal Commodore Mehboob Elahi Malik (SI-Military) presented the instiution’s annual report.

    During the function, cadets presented march past and demonstrated their skills in PT, gymnastic, karate and horse-riding.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    CM Murad Ali Shah speaks at the Cadet College Petaro function on Saturday.—DawnCM Murad Ali Shah speaks at the Cadet College Petaro function on Saturday.—Dawn

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    TAXILA: The body of a woman who was buried alive in a well on the premises of her home was recovered after a 30-hour search operation by Rescue 1122 officials.

    Shabana Bibi, 38, was allegedly killed by her brothers Mohammad Farhan and Mohammad Kamran, who buried her alive in the well on Dec 4 and then filled it with debris to ‘rid the family from evil forces’ on instructions from a local spiritual figure. The well was on the premises of their home in Banni Mohallah.

    Speaking to press at the site of murder, investigating officer Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Mohammad Shahzad said Shabana Bibi’s mother left a tip regarding the presence of the body. She had said the victim was bundled into a blanket and thrown in the 300-metre deep well, which was then filled with debris.

    He said the family had been ‘treated’ by the spiritual figure as the doors, walls, windows and kitchen items had crosses on them, which according to the suspects in the case was to keep ‘evil forces’ away from the house. ASI Shahzad said a dressing table mirror had also been blinded with white paint.

    ASI Shahzad said Farhan and Kamran are in police custody. A murder case has been registered against them, and they have begun interrogations.

    He added that although the body of the victim is mutilated, it has been taken to the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital for an autopsy.

    It took around 30 hours to retrieve the body from the well, Rescue 1122 official Yasir Mehmood said, because the well was full of debris.

    He said a number of rescue officials dug up the well, and dozens of oxygen cylinders were consumed in order to retrieve the body.

    The victim’s uncle Abdul Lateef told the press that the suspects killed the victim because they believed she was under the influence of ‘evil forces’ and wanted to protect the rest of the family.

    He said both men’s wives had returned to their parents’ homes some time ago, and they also believed that the disturbance with their wives was because of their sister, and killed her to get rid of her.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    Shabana Bibi, 38, was allegedly killed by her brothers to ‘rid the family from evil forces’. — FileShabana Bibi, 38, was allegedly killed by her brothers to ‘rid the family from evil forces’. — File

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    KARACHI: An accountability courts has indicted 18 people, including revenue officials/officers, builders and private persons, in a case pertaining to alleged illegal allotment of 731 acres of valuable state land to DHA City off the Superhighway.

    The National Accountability Bureau had filed a reference relating to allotment of 731 acres in Deh Babbar Band, Bula Khan taluka along the Superhighway. The federal anti-graft watchdog had nominated 18 persons for getting the precious government land allotted through fake entries in the land record.

    Judge Rashida Asad of the Accountability Court-I read out charges to which they pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the case.

    The court summoned all prosecution witnesses on the next date to record their testimonies.

    The accused government officials are: then mukhtiarkars of Thana Bola Khan Irshad Kamalani, Ghulam Muhammad Memon; then deputy commissioner Jamshoro Sohail Adeeb Bachani; then additional deputy commissioner-I Jamshoro Habib Ahmed; then assistant commissioners Thana Bola Khan Javed Soomro and Mumtaz Ali Channa; then revenue surveyor, director of settlement, survey and land record, Hyderabad Mr Liyar; supervising tapedar Abdul Rahim Burfat; Ghulam Mustafa Dawach, Ghulam Nabi Mallah.

    The accused prepared fake record to sell the land to DHA, Karachi

    The private persons indicted were Mian Khan Palari, Muhammad Hanif Lalani, Mian Bux Lalani, Imam Bux Lalani, Farooq Qasmani, Muhammad Iqbal and his brothers Ghulam Dastagir Jokhio and Nazir Ahmed Jokhio.

    Their indictment said that despite knowing that the fake revenue and survey record pertaining to Survey Numbers 301 to 498 were prepared and valuable government lands measuring over 731 acres and 28 ghuntas were fraudulently sold to the Defence Housing Authority Karachi by the accused officers/officials of the revenue and survey department, Hyderabad together with accused Lalani and others.

    The court also charged Lalani with starting efforts to get the backdated letters prepared and signed by mukhtiarkars Baharuddin Mangi and Abdul Latif Brohi, who remained posted in Taluka Bola Khan in 2009 to fraudulently show that the Ghat-Wadh Forms and Survey Numbers were genuine.

    The prosecution also named both Mr Mangi and Mr Brohi as witnesses in the reference.

    Lalani was also charged with initiating efforts by making requests to the then mukhtiarkar and assistant commissioner, Thana Bola Khan, in 2009 to get the survey numbers (301 to 498) made by them. Moreover, he was charged with hiring the services of Mallah’s being the then Tapedar of the revenue department.

    Mallah, who remained posted as Tapedar of Thana Bola Khan (in 2009) during tenure of Mr Mangi and Mr Brohi, was charged with approaching them from time to time and luring them to sign the supporting documents relating to the said Ghat-Wadh Forms in backdates. However, both of them had refused, but as per the plea of accused Lalani and Liyar, accused Mallah managed their fake signatures and brought the signed documents to them, which he together with Lalani, handed over to Liyar.

    Subsequently, the court charged them with misusing their official authorities and managing fake, fabricated revenue and survey record relating to 731-28 acres of the government land situated in Deh Badar Band, Tapo Hathal Buth in Taluka Thana Bola Khan of Jamshoro district in the name of the accused persons and causing heavy losses to the government exchequer, thus committing offence of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under Section 9(a)(iii)(iv), (vi) and (xii), punishable under Section 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

    It also charged the deputy and assistant commissioners, revenue officers and surveyors with conducting illegal survey of the Hyderabad and Jamshoro districts for the purpose of illegal mapping of the DHA City and providing the same to the DHA Karachi illegally.

    Private accused persons Mian Bux Lalani and Imam Bux Lalani were charged with obtaining confirmation letters regarding the ownership of the land and no-objection certificate (NOC) for sale to obtain illegal pecuniary benefits in connivance with the revenue officers/officials concerned.

    Mian Lalani was also charged with finally selling the land to DHA Karachi through its secretary, retired Brigadier Inam Karim for the sale consideration of Rs1.6 million.

    Moreover, as per the registered “Conveyance Deed” No. 23, Book No. 1, dated: 6-3-2015 and Digital Scanning No. 15-30-23, both Lalanis received residential plot files for the area admeasuring 18,000 square yards (360 files for 500 square yards). The market value of these files was estimated at approximately Rs900m.

    The private persons in connivance with the officials got fake entries made in the land record and got the same allotted to the large housing scheme in 2015 which caused losses to the tune of nearly Rs3 billion.

    It alleged that the government land admeasuring approximating 523-8 acres (Survey Numbers 359 to 498) situated at Deh Babar Band, Tapo Hathal Buth, Thana Bola Khan, Jamshoro near Super Highway (M-9) were fraudulently sold to DHA Karachi in 2015.

    It further mentioned that two revenue entries (126 & 127) both dated March 30, 2015 along with two corresponding registered documents, according to which DHA Karachi purchased 523-8 acres from accused Imam Bux, Mian Bux and Javed Hussain at the sale consideration of approximately Rs9,250 per acres and the sellers were paid by DHA Karachi in the shape of 733 files of residential plots, each measuring 500 square yards, at DHA City Project.

    The prosecution further mentioned that 208-20 acres situated in the same vicinity and (Survey Nos.301 to 358) was also purchased by DHA Karachi from accused Mian Khan Palari, who was paid in terms of 402 plot files and in this way total land measuring approximately 731-28 acres and bearing survey Nos 301 to 498 were sold/purchased to/by DHA Karachi in consideration of 1,135 plot files.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    The accused prepared fake record to sell the land to DHA, Karachi. — FileThe accused prepared fake record to sell the land to DHA, Karachi. — File

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    BAHAWALPUR: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) on Saturday arrested two bank officials for their alleged involvement in around Rs100 million fraud in salaries of Civil Hospital staff, including doctors.

    The ACE team claimed to have taken into custody from court premises the two officials – Azhar Nadeem Ansari (operation manager) and Ikramul Haq (ex-operation manger) – of the Habib Bank’s Quaid-e-Azam Medical College (QAMC) branch, after their plea for confirmation of bail before arrest was rejected by the Bahawalpur bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

    According to a hand-out, Ansari and Ikram were allegedly involved in a case of Rs100m embezzlement in the amount of salaries of the employees, including doctors of the Civil Hospital.

    The ACE had registered an FIR against 11 suspects, including the two bank officials some two years ago.

    Both the bank officials had got interim bail before arrest while their plea for its confirmation was dismissed by the court after the ACE officials opposed the grant of relief.

    The ACE officials said they had to recover the allegedly embezzled amount from the bank officials and deposit it with the exchequer.

    According to another official press release, the ACE claimed to have retrieved over 64 kanals of federal government land worth millions at Maitla village in Liquatpur tesil of Rahim Yar Khan district.

    The press release said that several people, including Saifullah and others, in connivance with the field revenue staff had allegedly kept the land in illegal possession and had been cultivating crops on it for several years, earning millions of rupees illegally.

    It said an FIR (No 36/2018) had been registered against the land grabber Saifullah, tehsildar Muhammad Ramzan, ex-gurdawar Rashid Ahmed and patwaris Abdul Hamead and Muhammad Irshad. However, no arrest has so far been made.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    Ansari, Ikram were allegedly involved in Rs100m embezzlement in amount of salaries ofAnsari, Ikram were allegedly involved in Rs100m embezzlement in amount of salaries of

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    RAWALPINDI: The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) has approved two routes for public transport from Rawalpindi-Islamabad to the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) but no transporter is willing to run vehicles on it.

    The passengers and workers of the airport have been facing difficulty since the inauguration of the new airport near Fatehjang as there is no public transport from the twin cities to the new facility.

    They have no choice but to hire cabs which adds an extra burden to their budget.

    The RTA approved the two routes last year but despite the passage of a year it failed to attract the transporters. The length of the first route from Rawat to the IIA is 45 kilometres and the second one from Koral Chowk is 35km.

    A senior official of the district administration told Dawn that work on the two routes had not been started due to lack of interest of the provincial government and unwillingness of the transporters.

    Say district admin and RTA not ready to provide parking space in Pindi and airport, insist operators to keep fares low

    “The previous Punjab government had managed to hire a transporter who operated 60 buses on the two routes between Rawalpindi and the IIA. However, later the transporter, who belonged to Faisalabad, stopped the service due to insecurity.”

    Giving another reason, the official said the transporter wanted a piece of land for parking of vehicles in Rawalpindi but the district administration failed to arrange a space as well as fixed a reasonable fare for the air-conditioned buses.

    He said after the departure of the transporter, no other investor came up to start a service. There is a dire need to run buses on the route for the facility of the people and workers at the airport.

    When contacted, Rawalpindi-Islamabad Transporters Association Chairman Raja Riaz said they were not ready to run buses on the route due to three reasons.

    “The government is working on a metro bus service between the federal capital and the IIA and we do not want to use the route only for a few months. The district administration and the RTA officials are not cooperating and providing space for parking of vehicles at the starting point and on the premises of the new airport,” he said.

    Last but not least, he added, the transporters were asked to charge lower fares compared to other routes. This is not possible for the transporters due to rising prices of petroleum products.

    When approached, RTA Secretary Khalid Yamin Satti said the RTA had approved the two routes but transporters were not willing to run buses on any of the routes.He said the government was working on making the routes operational and would come up with a policy soon. He said the RTA wanted to launch a modern bus service for the commuters.

    About the absence of a parking space, the official admitted that there was no space in Rawalpindi as well as at the new airport.

    “We had contacted the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) but got no response,” he added.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    Say district admin and RTA not ready to provide parking space in Pindi and airport, insist operators to keep fares low.Say district admin and RTA not ready to provide parking space in Pindi and airport, insist operators to keep fares low.

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    LAHORE: Punjab Minister for School Education Murad Raas on Saturday inaugurated the first ‘model school’ under the Insaf School Programme.

    The model school inauguration ceremony was held at the City District Government High School, Kabootarpura, Gulberg. Special Secretary Schools Education Ghulam Farid, educationists, teachers and students attended the event.

    The government intends to start afternoon schools in 20 districts in the first phase till March 2019.

    The minister said the PTI government would prove the slogan of providing quality education and modern facilities to the poor and less privileged students. He said the establishment of the Early Childhood Education Classroom would provide congenial environment to children in schools to increase their interest in education.

    Mr Raas said the inauguration of early childhood education classroom, water filtration plant, girls-friendly toilet and IT laboratories were startup of new Pakistan. He said the initiative of new classrooms would prove to be an important milestone.

    He said the teachers would also have the latest educational concepts including classroom management and child psychology. He said the government-run schools would be made better than the private schools and added that comprehensive reforms agenda was under way to improve the schooling infrastructure in the province.

    He said the government would start the programme in 1,700 schools of nine districts of the province in the first phase. The programme would be launched in 20 schools of a district including Lahore, Bhakkar, Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rawalpindi, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan, Mianwali and Sargodha.

    He said the School Health and Nutrition Program would also be extended to other districts in the second phase. “We are launching the programme to monitor the nutrition of the students and also wanted to know about their need. Medical checkup of the students would also be conducted periodically,” he said.

    He said compulsory sports would be introduced and the programme regarding provision of cycles to students in 20 districts would be extended.

    The participants observed one-minute silence in the memory of the martyrs of the Army Public School, Peshawar.

    The minister also inaugurated the water filtration plant for the provision of clean drinking water to the students and also inaugurated neat and clean girl-friendly toilet in Gulberg school.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    The government intends to start afternoon schools in 20 districts in the first phase till March 2019.  — FileThe government intends to start afternoon schools in 20 districts in the first phase till March 2019. — File

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    PESHAWAR: A candlelight vigil was held here on Saturday evening on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Dec 2014 Army Public School attack, which killed 144 students and staff members.

    Besides parents and relatives of the martyred students, noted civil society activists Sana Ijaz, Dr Said Alam Mehsud and Fazl Khan also attended the event at the Shuhada APS memorial put up on the premises of the archives library.

    The parents displayed pictures of the martyred students and lit candles.

    Main functions to mark the fourth anniversary of the massacre will be held at the APS and archives library today (Sunday).

    Sana Ijaz told Dawn that arrangements had been made for the function at the archives hall. “Most parents have displayed the pictures of their martyred sons inside and outside the archives hall,” she said.

    Meanwhile, central president of Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan said the deep wounds caused by the brutal killing of APS students hadn’t healed even four years after the attack.

    “One of the killers of those innocent students has now been treated as a state guest, while their parents have been pushed from pillar to post for justice,” he said in a statement issued here.

    The ANP leader said the state had failed to bring before the nation the actual motive behind the massacre.

    “Peace can’t be restored in the country until the elimination of safe heavens and sanctuaries of terrorists,” he said.

    Mr Asfandyar said had the state taken action against terrorists, the acts of terrorism at the Bacha Khan University Charsadda and Agriculture Research Centre, Peshawar, would have been averted.

    ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the images of APS carnage were imprinted on his mind.

    He said on Dec 16, 2014, he had seen bodies of students wrapped in blood-stained shrouds at the CMH and that those scenes would remain with the parents and witnesses in particular and society in general forever.

    Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said the sacrifices of the APS students would always be remembered.

    In a statement issued here, the chief minister said the students’ sacrifices showed the resilience of Pakistanis against terrorism.

    “The Dec 2014 incident showed the brutality of terrorists’ mindset. The terrorists targeted innocent children inside an educational institution and thus, exposing their nefarious designs against humanity, education and knowledge,” he said.

    Mr Mehmood said after the APS attack, the security forces and the entire nation got united to eliminate terrorism from the society.

    He said the Dec 16 attack was very tragic for the parents of martyred students and the whole nation.

    The chief minister said the government and security institutions were on one page to execute the National Action Plan for the complete elimination of terrorists and terrorism.

    He said the government had successfully played its role for the NAP’s execution.

    “We suffered and made sacrifices, which were recognised at international level,” he said. Mr Mahmood promised all-out support to the families of APS martyrs and praised for bearing the loss with patience and fortitude.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    Members of civil society light candles at the monument of martyrs of Army Public School, Peshawar, on Saturday. — White StarMembers of civil society light candles at the monument of martyrs of Army Public School, Peshawar, on Saturday. — White Star

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    LAHORE: The FIA on Saturday seized the record of more private school chains in various districts across the province for their forensic audit following a Supreme Court order.

    According to the FIA, it seized the record of Beacon College Campus, University Road, Sargodha; Beaconhouse KG Campus Sargodha; The City School Sargodha; and Beacon-house, The City School junior and senior branches in Jhang.

    FIA Additional Director Sajid Akram Chaudhry said the other schools whose records had been confiscated were Lahore Grammar School and Resource Academia, Faisalabad. Similarly, records of private school chains in Multan division were also taken into possession. The FIA said it would submit a primary report to the Supreme Court in 15 days.

    The apex court had ordered private schools to slash their fees by 20pc and refund 50pc of the fee they charged during the summer vacation. The court had directed the FBR chairman to scrutinise the tax records and accounts of private schools.

    Schools Education Minister Murad Raas said the government would ensure that 20pc of the fee received by the elite private schools was reimbursed.

    “A draft of a proposed regulatory authority to deal with the matters of private schools is under consideration in the law department and will be presented in the next session of Punjab Assembly for approval,” he maintained.

    The minister also warned that the registration of those private schools would be suspended who failed to pay salaries less than the minimum wages to their teachers. “The 50pc of summer vacation fee will also be adjusted in the next fee plan of the private schools,” he said.

    He directed the private schools to ensure the slash in fee by Dec 31 otherwise legal action would be initiated against them.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    An external shot of the FIA headquarters. ─ Herald/FileAn external shot of the FIA headquarters. ─ Herald/File

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    ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Friday ordered the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) to respond within a fortnight to a petition filed by an animal welfare group seeking an end to the mass shooting of stray dogs by city officials.

    The petition was filed by Faryal Nawaz, a co-founder of Help Welfare Organisation (HWO), an Islamabad-based group that provides rescue services to stray and wild animals in the twin cities and surrounding region.

    The petition argued that the practice of shooting and poisoning healthy stray dogs by the CDA and MCI’s sanitation directorate was inhumane, and in violation of the Constitution, laws and Islamic principles.

    IHC directs civic agencies to respond to petition filed by animal welfare group

    Every year, personnel from the sanitation directorate use shotguns or poison to kill hundreds of stray dogs in the residential areas of Islamabad under the pretence that they are a nuisance and health risk to the citizens.

    The petition used reports of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to support its argument that the killing of dogs did not reduce the threat of rabies and other diseases but can be counterproductive and increase health risks.

    The WHO guidelines about rabies state that there is no evidence to show that the killing of dogs alone has ever had significant impact on reducing stray dog population densities or the spread of rabies. Instead, the WHO recommends mass dog vaccination programmes as the most effective measure to control rabies.

    The petition named the CDA, MCI and the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) as respondents and said they had never attempted to implement more effective and humane methods to control stray dog populations or the spread of canine diseases such as mass vaccination and neutering.

    The Cruelty to Animals Act of 1890 criminalises the killing of any animal unnecessarily.

    However, section 17 of the law makes it inapplicable to public officials. But the petitioner claimed that this indemnity to public officials violated the Constitution.

    The petition pointed to Article 2 of the Constitution, which declares Islam as the state religion and cites several passages from the Quran and the prophetic traditions which promote the welfare of animals in support of its case.

    Justice Aamer Farooq ordered the CDA, MCI, IWMB as well as the attorney general of Pakistan to submit their responses within 15 days.

    Across the globe stray dogs are vaccinated rather than being poisoned. Moreover, to reduce the number of stray dogs, they are neutered to ensure that they would not reproduce.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    IHC directs civic agencies to respond to petition filed by animal welfare group. ─ Photo by Hunaira MobinIHC directs civic agencies to respond to petition filed by animal welfare group. ─ Photo by Hunaira Mobin

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    LAHORE: The Punjab government has plans to go for a ‘major surgery’ in the governance structure of the province for, what it calls, long-term betterment.

    Former bureaucrats on Saturday briefed a meeting of the Advisory Council on Governance in Punjab, chaired by senior minister Aleem Khan and attended by some 15 departments’ ministers and secretaries.

    It is learnt that former bureaucrat Salman Shah in his presentation told the meeting that there were missing links among different departments in the Punjab government. He suggested that the departments, including agriculture, irrigation and livestock could work together.

    Similarly, he said, the sports, youth affairs and tourism departments could coordinate their work.

    Mr Shah said the recommendations had been prepared keeping in view the ground realities and department-wise proposals were ready.

    The provincial ministers for agriculture, education, health, livestock, forests, tourism, finance, industries, women development, labour, social welfare etc expressed their views and discussed different proposals.

    The senior minister said changes would be brought in the governance structure to ensure long-term betterment in the province. He said only “capable” officers would be supported, who would assist the government by showing best performance and added that there would be no pick and chose policy.

    Mr Khan said the government would consult renowned economists, as well as former bureaucrats, to introduce wide-scale reforms. He said no leniency would be tolerated in implementing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan as provision of basic needs to the masses had already been delayed.

    Chiding the previous PML-N government for introducing “illogical and poor” policies, he said there were a number of issues that needed to be resolved.

    Dr Ishrat Hussain, adviser to prime minister on institutional reforms and austerity, called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and discussed measures regarding reforms, reconstruction, savings and austerity in government departments.

    The chief minister said two task forces had been formed for reforms in government departments and institutions to implement the prime minister’s vision. He said the government wanted to carry out institutional reforms at a quicker pace to improve performance of departments.

    Mr Buzdar also stated that the PTI government had set new examples of austerity at every level, adding a considerable reduction had been brought in the expenditures of CM’s office and other departments.

    Dr Hussain stressed the need to focus on performance management and added that institutional reforms should lead to improve the departments’ performance.

    The principal secretary to chief minister, food secretary and other senior officers attended the meeting.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

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    QUETTA: Opposition and treasury benches expressed concern on Saturday over growing drought in parts of Balochistan and said that just sending a few trucks of relief goods by Provincial Disaster Management Authority [PDMA] would not resolve the problem and special measures were needed to help the people hit by the calamity.

    When the house met for the first winter session, members complained that the government was not taking them into confidence over the drought situation in the province.

    Taking part in the debate on the drought situation, BNP’s Sanaullah Baloch referred to a resolution adopted by the house in the last session on the issue, but regretted that no serious steps had been taken by the government so far.

    Relief goods sent by PDMA termed inadequate

    He said the province was facing terrorist attacks, cases of kidnapping for ransom and other serious problems, but the government was only interested in holding Jeep rallies.

    He said that a few trucks of relief goods had been sent to drought-hit areas and in his own constituency only six trucks reached, but the aid was not enough even for 50 families.

    He said that in the resolution adopted by the house, members had demanded of the government to take immediate steps for overcoming drought and to form a committee, but nothing had been done.

    Mr Baloch also spoke on the issue of missing persons, kidnapping of a senior doctor and demands of media people.

    Mr Asghar Khan Achakzai of ANP also spoke about the drought and demanded of the government to take immediate steps to resolve the matter.

    On the issue of teachers’ protest and their demand for educational allowance, Mr Achakzai said that teachers of schools and colleges were holding protest rally outside the assembly building and the government must resolve this important issue on priority basis.

    Advocate Malik Sikandar of JUI-F said the government should review educational act approved by the cabinet for legislation. Through the act, he said, the government wanted to bring education department into essential services act and ban trade union activities of teachers’ organisations.

    He said that education did not come into essential services and asked the government not to commit injustice with teachers by denying them the right to protest or form trade unions to defend their rights.

    The house was also to discuss the Auditor General’s report of 2017-18 about the provincial government’s expenditure, but was adjourned due to the death of PkMAP Senator Sardar Azam Khan Musakhail in Karachi.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    MPAs say a few trucks of relief goods sent by the PDMA will not resolve the problem, and that special measures are needed to help those hit by the calamity. ─ File photoMPAs say a few trucks of relief goods sent by the PDMA will not resolve the problem, and that special measures are needed to help those hit by the calamity. ─ File photo

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    Prime Minister Imran Khan in a message on the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attack on Peshawar's Army Public School reiterated the nation's resolve towards national, regional and world peace, Radio Pakistan reported on Sunday.

    The prime minister said that the massacre had united the whole nation against a common enemy, which he described as a "blot on humanity".

    He added that education is the best tool to eliminate extremism and terrorism permanently.

    Read more: 144 stories: Remembering lives lost in the Peshawar school attack

    Prime Minister Khan paid tribute to members of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies who have rendered countless sacrifices in the war against terror.

    The premier expressed the government's commitment to turn Pakistan into a society which does not tolerate extremism or violence in the name of sect, religion, language, skin colour or ethnicity.

    The prime minister also tweeted about his government's commitment towards the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), saying:

    "Today as we remember and pray for the survivors and the victims' families, especially the parents, of the Peshawar APS terrorist attack. My government commits itself to fully implementing NAP to rid Pakistan of all forms of terrorism, violence & hatred."

    President Arif Alvi said that the APS incident is a national tragedy as well as a day to re-pledge our commitments against inimical forces.

    He urged the nation to be ready to make every sacrifice to curb extremism in the country.

    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the fateful day of the APS attack continues to remain a scar on the collective memory of the nation. "Even after four years, the pain and sorrow of this utterly senselessness and heinous act remains fresh."

    A memorial was also arranged at APS Peshawar today to pay homage to the martyred students and teachers of the school. Similar events were also held in other parts of the country.

    Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also shared a message via the Inter-Services Public Relations' Twitter account: "Remembering and praying for our APS Martyrs. Salute to the brave parents. Nation has bravely faced challenges at heavy cost to come out successful. We stay united and steadfast to carry forward Pakistan to its rightful destination of peace and prosperity, IA.”

    Deadliest attack

    In the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history, at least 144 people ─ mostly schoolchildren ─ were killed when heavily armed militants stormed the army-run public school on Dec 16, 2014. Seven soldiers of the Special Services Group and two officers were among the wounded.

    When the nightmare unfolded, teachers and students had just returned to their classes after recess. Some students were gathered in the large auditorium and were attentively listening to a lecture.

    Days after the attack, the government launched the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism in January 2015.

    NAP comprised policy initiatives aimed at wiping out terrorist outfits across the country, integrating security efforts of the federal and provincial governments by engaging all the stakeholders, dismantling terrorist networks and ensuring deterrence by utilising available capabilities and resources of security organisations to overcome internal threats to state security.

    Read more: An amended or new NAP?

    The newly elected government plans to unveil a new version of NAP and restructure the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) to effectively tackle internal threats to security.

    Coined NAP-2, the plan is aimed at bridging the gaps in the first version rolled out in January 2015. According to a document, the interior ministry plans to create a cyber security organisation to effectively counter the growing threat of cybercrimes.

    The interior ministry plan also envisages restructuring Nacta to make it more functional, building capacity of civil armed forces, upgrading the safe city project and taking steps to curb currency smuggling from airports and borders.

    Says Pakistan has made numerous sacrifices in war against terrorism; education is the best tool to defeat extremism. — FileSays Pakistan has made numerous sacrifices in war against terrorism; education is the best tool to defeat extremism. — File

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    ISLAMABAD: Presiding over a ‘special meeting of the federal cabinet’ to review performance of the ministries and divisions in the first 100 days in office, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday announced that appraisal of each ministry after every three months would now be a regular feature.

    In the meeting which took place at Mr Khan’s Banigala residence, the ministers and the senior officials of the 10 ministries and divisions made detailed presentation.

    According to an official announcement made by the PM’s Office, the ministers also presented their “future plans” and the implementation strategy.

    The secretaries were given 10 minutes each to make presentations on the performance of their respective divisions followed by a question-answer session.

    The main focus of the briefings was on the austerity measures adopted by various government departments and offices in light of the prime minister’s directives. The performance review of 26 ministries was held on Dec 11.

    Saturday’s special cabinet meeting had been convened to review the performance of ‘remaining 17 ministries / divisions’ which had not been able to make presentations in the Dec 11 cabinet meeting due to time constraint.

    Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018

    Prime Minister Imran Khan says there will be appraisals of each ministry after every three months. ─ PIDPrime Minister Imran Khan says there will be appraisals of each ministry after every three months. ─ PID

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    A 30-member jirga is in Diamer to negotiate with the people responsible for the burning of more than a dozen schools— half of which were girls-only centres — in August this year.

    The jirga is working towards getting the fighters to surrender, said Faizullah Faraq, the spokesperson for the Gilgit-Baltistan government, on Sunday.

    An initial report suggested that miscreants carried out the attacks in an organised manner, first vandalising the buildings and then setting them ablaze.

    It also said that important evidence uncovered during the investigation suggested involvement by foreigners and some local facilitators.

    An operation was subsequently launched in the area to track down and arrest the culprits. A total of 40 people have been arrested so far in connection with the torching of GB schools, while 15 others still remained at large.

    According to Faraq, the GB government has given the jirga the mandate to conduct these talks, which are being held up in the mountains, where these terrorists live with their families.

    Faraq said that the government does not want to use force with these militants as their wives and children are also living with them in the mountains.

    Torching of schools

    In 2004, half a dozen girls’ schools had been torched in one go. Girls’ schools were also targeted by extremist forces in 2011 and 2015.

    Some traditions and extremism are main reasons for local resistance to female education in the district, which has the lowest literacy rate in Gilgit-Baltistan.

    According to Alif Ailaan’s Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017, GB received a score of 63.18, getting fourth position in the list of eight Pakistan territories with respect to quality of education.

    However, Diamer is the lowest-ranking district in terms of quality of education, with a score of 36.37, and among the 10 lowest-ranking districts in Pakistan.

    There are 244 government schools in the district, about 83 per cent of which are primary level, 10.6pc middle schools and 6pc high schools. There are no higher secondary schools in the district. Of the government schools, 156 are for boys and 88 are for girls, according to Alif Ailaan.

    Of the 16,800 students enrolled in government schools, only 20pc or 3,479 are girls.

    This file photo shows one of the schools which was torched in Diamer.This file photo shows one of the schools which was torched in Diamer.

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    Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has approved death sentences awarded to 15 hardcore terrorists by military courts, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Sunday.

    The convicts committed offences related to terrorism, attacked the armed forces and law enforcement agencies, abetted suicide attackers in the Christian Colony bombing near Peshawar, destroyed educational institutions and killed innocent civilians, the military's media wing stated.

    The atrocities resulted in the deaths of a total of 34 persons, 21 of them belonging to the armed forces, nine to Frontier Constabulary, and 2 who were police officials. Besides these, two civilians were also killed and 19 others injured.

    The sentences were handed down to the convicts after they were tried by special military courts. They confessed to their offences before a judicial magistrate and in their statements during the trial.

    All 15 of the terrorists were found to be members of banned organisations. Details of the convictions provided by ISPR are as follows:

    Hameedur Rehman s/o Moazmin Mullah

    He was involved in attacks on law enforcement agencies and the armed forces which resulted in the deaths of Maj Gen Sanaullah Khan, Lt Col Tauseef Ahmed, Naib Subedar Muhammad Aslam and 18 soldiers.

    Said Ali s/o Munawar Khan

    He was involved in attacks on law enforcement agencies and the armed forces, which resulted in the deaths of a civilian, Shah Nazar, Naib Subedar Muhammad Hanif, Havildar Muhammad Naseer, Havildar Muhammad Qayyum Ahmad along with two soldiers, and injuries to eight other soldiers. He was also found in possession of explosives.

    Ibrar s/o Abdul Rahim

    He abetted suicide bombers in attacking Christian Colony near Peshawar by planning the attack and providing weapons, suicidal jackets, and transportation to the attackers. Resultantly, a civilian named Samuel Sardar lost his life and three others were injured. The convict was also found in possession of explosives.

    12 others

    Fida Hussain s/o Muhammad Hussain, Raza Ullah s/o Ikram Ullah, Rahim Ullah s/o Fateh Khan, Umar Zada s/o Bashar, Amjad Ali s/o Muhammad Ajan, Abdur Rahman s/o Abdul Wahab, Ghulam Rahim s/o Munjra Khan, Muhammad Khan s/o Ghulam Haider, Rahimullah s/o Noorani Gul, Rashid Iqbal s/o Hameed Iqbal, Muhammad Ghafar s/o Qari Muhammad Zarif, and Rehman Ali s/o Muhammad Aziz were all involved in attacks on law enforcement agencies personnel which resulted in the deaths of Assistant Sub Inspector Noor Zaman, Naib Subedar Hussain Faraz and four other soldiers, and injuries to five others.

    The convicts were also involved in the destruction of government educational institutions in Swat. They were found in possession of firearms and explosives as well.

    In addition to the above-mentioned terrorists who were sentenced to death, 20 convicts have also been awarded imprisonment of unspecified terms, according to the ISPR.

    General Bajwa has confirmed the death penalty for the 15 terrorists who committed atrocities resulting in the deaths of 34 people. — FileGeneral Bajwa has confirmed the death penalty for the 15 terrorists who committed atrocities resulting in the deaths of 34 people. — File

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    A case was registered against seven men on Sunday after their alleged blackmailing forced a 22-year-old woman in Punjab's Muzaffargarh district to take her own life, police said.

    The victim, Alina*, was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in their house in Shehr-i-Sultan area of Muzaffargarh's Jatoi tehsil on Friday.

    According to a first information report (FIR) registered on a complaint of Alina's mother, the primary suspect in the incident, who lived in the same area, wanted to marry the victim. The suspect, Zafar*, and his accomplices started threatening and blackmailing Alina after her family refused his marriage proposal around three months earlier.

    Examine: ‘There is a sense of shame attached to reporting harassment’

    On Thursday, December 13, some of Zafar's accomplices barged into the victim's house and threatened the family, saying Zafar possesses alleged compromising material concerning Alina that he would upload on social media if she was married off to someone else.

    As the blackmail and harassment continued, Alina took the extreme step the next day by allegedly hanging herself from the ceiling using her dupatta, according to the FIR, a copy of which is available with

    The victim took her life because of the harassment and mental anguish she was subjected to by the suspects, her mother stated.

    According to Station House Office Talib Babar, a case has been registered against the seven nominated suspects, including Zafar, under Section 322 (punishment for qatl-bis-sabab) of the Pakistan Penal Code at Police Station Shehr-i-Sultan.

    Police are further investigating the incident.

    *Names have been changed to protect identities.

    The victim allegedly took her life after she was blackmailed and harassed by the suspects for refusing a marriage proposal. — Reuters/FileThe victim allegedly took her life after she was blackmailed and harassed by the suspects for refusing a marriage proposal. — Reuters/File

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