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


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

Dawn News RSS feeds

older | 1 | .... | 2906 | 2907 | (Page 2908) | 2909 | 2910 | .... | 2937 | newer

    0 0

    HYDERABAD: In the wake of Supreme Court’s warning against imposition of governor’s rule on Sindh, the provincial chapter of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday continued its efforts to weaken Pakistan Peoples Party within the assembly and maintain political pressure on it.

    PTI parliamentary party leader Haleem Adil Shaikh, who along with Governor Imran Ismail spent the last two days in Khangarh and discussed modalities of a future government with Mahars of Ghotki, held consultations with Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) secretary general Ayaz Latif Palijo, who heads the Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT). Mr Shaikh also met provincial general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in this regard.

    Read more: Information minister to visit Sindh to garner support for move against PPP

    MPA Shaikh, who accompanied him, quoted from findings of the SC-mandated joint investigation team (JIT) and said that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and their business associate Anwer Majeed were facing charges of involvement in a massive corruption scam.

    He said the CM allegedly facilitated corruption instead of fulfilling his responsibilities as the province’s chief executive.

    “We are also preparing a list of those bureaucrats who acted as facilitators of corruption during PPP’s rule over the province. We are going to launch a campaign to rid the province of corruption and all corrupt elements,” he said, adding that the campaign would start with demand for CM Murad Ali Shah’s resignation.

    Speaking to the media at his residence in Qasimabad, Mr Palijo said that a new government in Sindh would be formed within the constitutional, democratic and moral parameters.

    The MPA remarked that people of Sindh knew everything about massive corruption in all departments much before the JIT looked into the affairs and collected facts.

    Read more: PTI leaders vow to topple Sindh govt

    All constitutional, legal, democratic and moral obligations would be adhered to, he said.

    “Imposition of governor’s rule is one option. Though we do not opt for it, it cannot be ruled out,” he said referring to the the Article 234 of the Constitution.

    MPA Shaikh said that the 18th Amendment could not allowed to be used as the “licence for corruption”. Those who got received government funds would have to go through the process of accountability, he said, adding that they would have to account for every single penny of the exchequer.

    He claimed that honest PPP MPAs had already decided to form their bloc and this would emerge in the days to come.

    GDA secretary general Palijo said that the alliance and PTI were set to form a coalition in the provincial assembly.

    He also did not favour imposition of governor’s rule, saying: “Vote of confidence or vote of no-confidence may be the first option which is very much a democratic practice.”

    He alleged that corruption on the part of PPP and [its supremo] Asif Ali Zardari had destroyed Sindh and action against them would ultimately benefit the masses.He said the GDA leadership would meeting on Jan 8 to take important decisions.

    Sindh JUI-F leader meets Palijo Later, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Sindh secretary general Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro called on Mr Palijo and discussed the situation arising out of the revelations contained in the JIT report.

    Maulana Soomro observed that all provincial departments were plagued by corruption during the PPP rule.

    Regarding his party’s strategy vis-a-vis the proposed GDA-PTI campaign against PPP government, Maulana Soomro told Mr Palijo that he would consult with his party’s top leadership, which would eventually take a decision.

    Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2019


    GDA secretary general Ayaz Latif Palijo speaks at the press conference in Qasimabad on Monday.—DawnGDA secretary general Ayaz Latif Palijo speaks at the press conference in Qasimabad on Monday.—Dawn

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday sent a reference to President Dr Arif Alvi for reconstitution of the 9th National Finance Commission (NFC) after all the provinces sent in their nominations for their non-statutory members.

    A senior official at the finance ministry said the four provinces had nominated their non-statutory members to the NFC. Sindh has nominated Asad Syed for the position, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has named Musharraf Rasool as their private member to the commission.

    Balochistan has nominated former finance secretary Mahfooz Ali Khan and also demanded an increase in its share out of the federal divisible pool taxes on the basis of the 6th population census that showed its population had increased, while those of other provinces had reduced when compared to the population count of 1997.

    The Punjab government has sent several names and the finance ministry is reported to have supported Anwar Ahmad’s nomination as a non-statutory member of the most populous province.

    The commission may face yet another legal challenge in the absence of formal notification of census results

    Finance Minister Asad Umar has been asking the provincial governments since Sept 3 to send their nominations to complete the NFC as the Centre struggled to finalise an economic package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because the federal government has to indicate a clear line about financing arrangements for tribal districts being merged with KP and financing requirements of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

    The reconstituted 9th NFC would be required to give 8th NFC award for five years but would have to face yet another legal challenge in the absence of formal notification of the results of the National Population Census because of concerns from various stakeholders, particularly about Karachi.

    The parameters of the next NFC award are widely anticipated to change for various provinces, particularly in view of the addition of about five million population from the tribal region to KP. This required a meeting of the Council of Common Interests to endorse census results, notwithstanding objections, because a massive exercise of census could neither be repeated nor ignored.

    As required under Clause (1) of Article 160 of the Constitution, the 9th NFC was constituted on April 24, 2015. Since new governments are in place both at federal and provincial levels after the 2018 general elections, reconfirmation of the non-statutory members from the provinces was necessary. The five-year constitutional term of 9th NFC is to expire in June 2020.

    The provinces have been delaying the NFC completion owing to calls from various quarters, including the Ministry of Finance, the armed forces and the IMF to rebalance the transfer of larger chunk of divisible pool resources to the provinces under the 7th NFC award even though no change could be effected without consensus of all the five stakeholders (the Centre and four provinces). Also, the Constitution held that provincial shares could not be reduced.

    Federal and provincial finance ministers are the statutory members of the NFC. It is customary to include one non-statutory member from each province. Practically, it would be a totally new NFC because all the finance ministers, except from Sindh, would be new faces on the constitutional body.

    The PML-N government had last reconstituted the 9th NFC in February 2016 when Naveed Ahsan was made non-statutory member from Punjab in place of Dr Ayesha Ghous-Pasha who became provincial minister in Shahbaz Sharif’s cabinet. The NFC, however, held only a couple of formal meetings in five years instead of compulsory 10 biannual meetings.

    As a consequence, the 7th NFC award announced in 2009 continued with annual extensions and remains in place even now instead of constitutional term of five years that came to an end on June 30, 2015. There have been calls from various quarters — including the defence authorities and former finance ministers — for readjustment in centre-provincial sharing of resources to create fiscal space for the Centre to meet additional requirement of security expenses, besides special allocations for special areas like Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and tribal areas now merged with KP.

    The provincial governments get shares from the federal government under the 7th NFC award as per the following formula: Punjab 51.74 per cent, Sindh 24.55pc, KP 14.62pc and Balochistan 9.09pc.

    Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2019


    President Arif Alvi will approve the reconstitution of the 9th NFC. — File photoPresident Arif Alvi will approve the reconstitution of the 9th NFC. — File photo

    0 0

    Justice Sardar Mohammad Shamim Ahmed Khan on Tuesday took oath as the 48th chief justice of the Lahore High Court, succeeding former chief justice Anwarul Haq.

    Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar administers oath to Justice Sardar Mohammad Shamim Ahmed Khan

    Haq, who had become the chief justice of the provincial high court in October, retired from his position on Monday, just two months into the job.

    The oath-taking ceremony was held at Governor House Lahore, where Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar administered oath to the new chief justice. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was also present during the ceremony.

    Justice Shamim was given a warm welcome upon his return to the high court, including a guard of honour by Punjab police.

    Justice Shamim already had a taste of his new job in August last year when he took oath as the acting chief justice when then incumbent Muhammad Yawar Ali and puisne judge Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq had both travelled abroad to attend a conference.


    Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar administers oath to Justice Sardar Mohammad Shamim Ahmed Khan. — DawnNewsTVGovernor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar administers oath to Justice Sardar Mohammad Shamim Ahmed Khan. — DawnNewsTV

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: Prime Minis­ter Imran Khan ordered on Mon­day to provide health cards to 500,000 families in the former Federal Administered Tri­bal Areas by the end of January.

    A meeting presided over by the prime minister reviewed progress on administrative affairs, health, education, law and order and development in tribal areas which have been merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) this year.

    Finance Minister Asad Umar, KP Governor Shah Far­man, Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, PM’s adviser Arbab Shahzad and KP’s Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Khan also attended the meeting.

    Imran Khan told the meeting that the government wanted to bring Fata at par with other developed areas of the country.

    He directed the chief minister, provincial ministers and relevant provincial secretaries to pay frequent visits to already merged tribal areas and different departments and inspect development works.

    The prime minister also directed the provincial government to enforce local government system in tribal areas and fill vacant posts in education, police and health departments.

    NAYA PAKISTAN HOUSING AUTHORITY: In a separate meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the draft of the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority has been prepared and it will be presented before the federal cabinet soon.

    Similarly, the Real Estate Regularity Authority will also be formed and its draft proposal will be present to the cabinet next week. Following formation of the authority, the regulatory department will be separated from development.

    The meeting was informed that the PM’s Task Force on Housing will soon receive recommendations of the State Bank of Pakistan on interest rates on real estate.

    The draft bill on urban regeneration will be given final shape in two weeks.

    Representatives of the Federal Government Employ­ees Housing Foundation told the prime minister that the foundation will construct houses for 100,000 government employees.

    Forty-one firms have so far shown interest in construction of housing units under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. Twenty-five of them wanted to construct houses at one venue while 14 firms are keen to initiate the project in other places.

    Meanwhile, a delegation of overseas Pakistani businessmen from Dubai, who had recently raised $918,510 for construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam, called on the prime minister.

    Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2019


    About 50,000 families to be provided health cards, instructs Prime Minister Imran Khan. — File photoAbout 50,000 families to be provided health cards, instructs Prime Minister Imran Khan. — File photo

    0 0

    Prime Minister Imran Khan with the dawn of a new year on Tuesday resolved to battle poverty, illiteracy, injustice and corruption in the country in 2019.

    In a tweet on Jan 1, the prime minister declared that his government would "wage jihad against the four ills of our country: poverty, illiteracy, injustice and corruption."

    "InshaAllah 2019 is the beginning of Pakistan's golden era," the premier promised.

    President Arif Alvi shared his best wishes for citizens and prayed that the new year would bring success and prosperity to the people and the country.

    "May Allah grant you and your families success and happiness this year," he tweeted.

    "I also pray that Pakistan continues on its path to progress so that [it] can be rid of poverty, hardship and unemployment."

    Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor declared 2019 as the "year of progress" in a message tweeted on New Year's Eve.

    "In our national pursuit for a peaceful, prosperous and vibrant Pakistan, 2019 is year of progress," he said, adding: "United we shall consolidate our successes."

    He went on to pay tribute to "resilient Pakistanis and martyrs".

    Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry tweeted a couplet encouraging the nation to move forward together and look for solutions to the problems that the country is facing.

    He urged the people to "live and let others live" and leave outdated customs behind.

    Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah paid a sudden visit to the secretariat on Tuesday, where he reviewed progress and checked the attendance register. Talking to the media afterwards, he said that he was not happy with the attendance but he had given a clear message that the new year is the "year of hard work".


    PM Khan resolves to battle PM Khan resolves to battle "four ills of our country" in 2019. ─ File photo by Irfan Ahson

    0 0

    Pakistan on Tuesday shared a list of 537 Indian prisoners with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad in accordance with the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access, Radio Pakistan reported on Tuesday.

    About 54 prisoners on the list are civilians, while 483 are fishermen.

    According to the 2008 agreement, India and Pakistan are required to share a list of prisoners both countries are holding across the border twice a year on Jan 1 and July 1.

    India is also expected to share the list of Pakistani prisoners that are currently under Indian custody, with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

    Both countries also shared lists of nuclear facilities and installations with each other. The move is in accordance with Article II of 1988's Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities signed by Islamabad and New Delhi.

    Under the agreement, India and Pakistan are supposed to share lists of nuclear facilities and installations with each other on Jan 1 every year.


    54 prisoners on the list are civilians while 83 are fishermen. — File photo54 prisoners on the list are civilians while 83 are fishermen. — File photo

    0 0

    ISLAMABAD: The year 2018 saw a remarkable reduction of 45pc in militant attacks in Pakistan.

    A study conducted by Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies showed that the security situation significantly improved in the year as the number of attacks, resultant deaths as well as injuries declined by 45pc, 37pc and 49pc, respectively, compared to 2017. The number of suicide attacks also declined.

    According to a press release, militants carried out 229 attacks in different provinces in which 577 people were killed - 356 civilians, 152 security forces personnel and 67 militants. Besides, 959 people were injured, including 693 civilians and 261 security personnel. But the ratio of security forces’ casualties per attack significantly increased in 2018 compared to 2017.

    A consistent decline in militant attacks was noticed since the launch of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in June 2014. The average militant attacks per month declined from 35 in 2017 to 19 in 2018. In 2014, it was 134 which dropped to 59 in 2015 and 42 in 2016.

    Average militant attacks per month decreased from 35 in 2017 to 19 in 2018, report says

    Balochistan remained the most troubled province where the highest number of militant attacks (99), highest number of deaths (354) and highest number of injured (570) were recorded.

    Of the total attacks in the country, 61pc of the deaths and 59pc of the injuries took place in Balochistan.

    The second highest number of attacks (65) was recorded in the erstwhile Fata in which 107 people were killed and 150 injured.

    In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 40 attacks were recorded in which 72 people were killed and 174 injured. As many as 14 attacks were reported from Sindh in which 21 people were killed and 20 injured.

    Punjab saw six militant attacks in which 18 people were killed and 42 injured. More footprints of the militants were observed in Gilgit-Baltistan than the previous years as four militant attacks were recorded in the area during the year in which five people were killed and three injured. At least 12 schools, mostly of girls, were destroyed in a single night in the Diamer district.

    In 2017, 23 suicide attacks had been recorded in the country. However, the number declined to 18 in 2018 in which 267 people were killed and 460 injured.

    The deadliest suicide attack targeted Nawab Siraj Raisani, a popular Baloch politician during his election rally in July. ANP leader Haroon Bilour also lost his life in a suicide attack.

    July was the deadliest month of the year in which 228 people were killed and 423 injured. Around 40pc of the total deaths took place in July which was the month of general elections.

    The election campaign in 2013 was also targeted by militants who considered democracy a non-Islamic system.

    Meanwhile, a report by Centre for Research and Security Studies also said Pakistan saw an overall decline in the number of casualties from violence-related incidents in 2018, continuing the trend from 2015.

    Balochistan had the most number of fatalities at 407 followed by Fata (208) and Sindh (192). Of the 2,333 casualties in 2018, as many as 1,131 were fatalities, down 45pc from 2,047 the previous year.

    The biggest decline was observed in Punjab where fatalities dropped by nearly 69pc (469 to 146) followed by Sindh (57.8pc) and Fata (52.3pc).

    Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2019


    Consistent decline in militant attacks has been noticed since the launch of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in June 2014. — File photoConsistent decline in militant attacks has been noticed since the launch of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in June 2014. — File photo

    0 0

    Some 688 parliamentarians and MPAs have yet to submit details of their assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the watchdog said in a press release issued on Tuesday.

    The ECP issued a final notice to the Senators, MNAs and MPAs who haven't submitted these details, giving them till 5pm on Jan 15 to do so, after which their membership will be suspended.

    According to a statement shared by the ECP, 483 members' details had been received from a total of 1,174 members.

    The members who had not yet submitted their details included: 43 members of the Senate, 187 of the National Assembly, 258 of the Punjab Assembly, 86 of the Sindh Assembly, 80 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and 34 of the Balochistan Assembly.

    The list comprises notable politicians including: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi, Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, former prime ministers Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal, and PPP's Khursheed Shah.

    The ECP had asked lawmakers to submit their statements of assets for the financial year ending on June 30, 2018. On Dec 3, the body had issued notifications directing federal and provincial legislators to file their yearly statements of assets and liabilities, as well as of their spouses and dependants, by Dec 31.


    The ECP issued a final notice to those who had not yet submitted the details giving them till 5pm on Jan 15 to submit the statement of assets and liabilities, following which their membership would be suspended. — File photoThe ECP issued a final notice to those who had not yet submitted the details giving them till 5pm on Jan 15 to submit the statement of assets and liabilities, following which their membership would be suspended. — File photo

    0 0

    Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan on Monday claimed to have recovered Rs167 million from Pakistani citizens holding undisclosed foreign bank accounts and assets abroad.

    The FBR chairman made the claim while briefing a three-member bench of the Supreme Court on progress in the case so far in Islamabad.

    In Feb 2018, Justice Nisar had taken suo motu notice of foreign bank accounts held by Pakistani citizens, saying that there were reports circulating that people in positions of power have been looting money and transferring it to foreign countries.

    In a hearing of the case in Dec 2018, the court had assailed the FBR chairman and an income tax official for "slowing down" the investigation and "putting the case in cold storage".

    "We were given the impression that Rs3,000 billion will be recovered," said Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, who was heading the bench, said today. "Tell us what has been the performance of the FBR?"

    "What happened of the 21 model cases that were identified?" asked Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

    "Rs167m have been recovered so far, whereas notices for the recovery of [another] Rs147m have been sent," the FBR head answered.

    The FBR chief further said that of the total recovered amount, Rs100m came from Agha Afzal, while Imtiaz Afzal paid Rs10m. "Further investigation is underway," he added.

    When the chief justice asked about the Rs29.4m that Aleema Khanum, the prime minister's sister, is to pay in taxes and fines, the FBR chairman replied: "She has until January 13 to pay."

    Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted in court another report, saying that it had identified another 96 individuals who have properties in the United Arab Emirates.

    "[In all], 1,211 Pakistanis have properties in the UAE," according to the progress report. "[Of this], 774 have submitted their affidavits, while 363 have been issued notices."

    The FIA report further said that 60 people could not be identified, 57 are not cooperating with the probe, and one is absconding.

    The agency, in the report, claimed that 60 Pakistanis have understated their properties to the FBR.

    Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned till January 14.


    Notices for the recovery of an additional Rs147m have been issued, says FBR chief. ─ File photoNotices for the recovery of an additional Rs147m have been issued, says FBR chief. ─ File photo

    0 0

    Renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel was admitted to the Doctors Hospital in Lahore after complaining of chest pains, his spokesperson Noman Liaquat said on Tuesday.

    According to Liaquat, doctors at the hospital have advised an angiography of the religious scholar.

    He said Maulana Jameel was out of danger but was being kept under observation at the hospital.

    A member of the Tableeghi Jamaat that subscribes to the Deobandi school of thought, Maulana Jameel is a well-known preacher in Pakistan and abroad.

    He was ranked 40th on the 2019 list of the 'World's 500 Most Influential Muslims'. He has also been previously featured on the list.

    According to 'The Muslim 500' profile of Maulana Jameel, he is one of the most popular preachers in Pakistan. After completing his pre-medical education, he was admitted to the King Edward Medical College in Lahore where, under the influence of the Tableeghi Jamaat, he changed his focus to Islamic education. He received religious training from the Jamia Arabia.

    "Maulana Tariq’s background in the sciences allows him to explain Islamic matters in a way that appeals to modern urban Muslims. Additionally, his simple lifestyle and eloquence in Urdu, as well as his fluency in Arabic, catapulted his fame across the Muslim world," the profile states.


    According to Liaquat, doctors at the hospital have advised an angiography of the religious scholar. — File photoAccording to Liaquat, doctors at the hospital have advised an angiography of the religious scholar. — File photo

    0 0

    An estimated 15,000 babies will be born in Pakistan on New Year’s day, accounting for 4 per cent of all babies born today globally, Unicef, the United Nations agency for children announced on Tuesday.

    Of the 395,072 babies who will be born around the world on January 1, a quarter will be born in South Asia.

    Internationally, half of these births are estimated to take place in eight countries, with Pakistan at fourth place.

    Unicef estimates that babies born on Jan 1 in each country will come to:

    • 69,944 in India
    • 44,940 in China
    • 25,685 in Nigeria
    • 15,112 in Pakistan
    • 13,256 in Indonesia
    • 11,086 in the US
    • 10,053 in Congo
    • 8,428 in Bangladesh

    It is expected that the year's first baby will be delivered in Fiji in the Pacific, while the United States will deliver the last.

    Sydney will welcome an estimated 168 babies; Tokyo, 310; Beijing, 605 babies; Madrid, 166, and New York City, some 317 babies.

    Around the world on the first day of 2019, families will welcome countless Alexanders, Ayeshas, Zixuans and Zainabs. But in several countries, many babies will not even be named as they won’t make it past their first day.

    Read more: Unwanted lives

    In 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5m died in just their first month of life.

    Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival.

    "This New Year's Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfil every right of every child, starting with the right to survive," said Aida Girma, the Unicef representative in Pakistan.

    "We can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands."

    2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Unicef will be commemorating with worldwide events throughout the year.

    Under the convention, among other things, governments have committed to taking measures to save every child by providing good quality health care.

    Over the past three decades, the world has seen remarkable progress in child survival, cutting the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half.

    But there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 47pc of all deaths among children under five.

    Unicef’s 'Every Child Alive' campaign calls for immediate investment to deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn.

    These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant during birth, ample supplies and medicines to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth as well empowering adolescent girls and women who can demand better quality of health services.


    Of the 395, 072 babies around the world on January 1, a quarter will be born in South Asia. — AFP/File photoOf the 395, 072 babies around the world on January 1, a quarter will be born in South Asia. — AFP/File photo

    0 0

    The Chief Justice of Pakistan on Tuesday regretted that he is held responsible for "not putting his house in order", even though the judiciary does not have the authority to legislate.

    "We have moulded our judicial procedure according to the current era," Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said during the hearing of a case regarding minority rights.

    "As far as procedure is concerned, the house is in order. We can only interpret laws, not create them."

    He said that the recommendations of the law commission had been forwarded to the law ministry but are still pending.

    "If those recommendations had been approved, dispensation of justice would have become easier," the chief justice claimed. He said that he had requested the prime minister to amend laws regarding judicial process when they had met during a symposium held last month to address the country's growing population.

    "I told him [prime minister] that we are still following laws made by the British," he recalled.

    He further promised that he will urge the law ministry to pass a bill regarding the protection of minority rights.


    Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar says judiciary cannot pass laws, only interpret them. — File photoChief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar says judiciary cannot pass laws, only interpret them. — File photo

    0 0

    PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif on Monday challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case verdict, for which he is currently serving a prison sentence.

    On Dec 24, 2018, the Accountability Court 2 of Islamabad had handed a seven-year rigorous imprisonment to Sharif along with a fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills/Hill Metal Establish­ment reference. It had, however, acquitted him in the Flagship Investment reference.

    The accountability court, as part of the Al-Azizia Steel Mills judgement, had also barred Sharif from holding public office for 10 years after completing his sentence. It had also ordered confiscation of Hill Metal Establishment and issued perpetual warrants of arrest for his sons, Hussain and Hassan, who were declared proclaimed offenders.

    Sharif's 61-page appeal against the verdict claims that the accountability court's decision was based on misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the law.

    The available evidence, according to the three-time former prime minister, were not read correctly and that the judgement was made without considering the objections raised by the defence counsel.

    Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Haris, who filed the appeal on Sharif's behalf, claimed that the judge "betrayed his predisposition and exceeded his position as a trial judge" during the hearing of the case.


    Incarcerated PML-N leader claims that the decision was based on misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the law. — FileIncarcerated PML-N leader claims that the decision was based on misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the law. — File

    0 0

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared null and void all agreements between the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and the Eden Housing Society, and ordered the former to develop the "11,000 plots sold by the latter within five years" in a bid to offer affectees some relief.

    The court further indicated that an implementation bench could be formed to resolve the case, and instructed all suspects currently in the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) custody in connection with the case to contact the relevant forums.

    A three-member bench of the apex court, under Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar's stewardship, issued the orders while hearing the case in Islamabad.

    At the outset of the hearing, the chief justice reflected on the complaints brought to him by those affected by the multi-billion housing scheme.

    "Some 11,716 people have been affected by the Eden Garden Housing Scheme, and [around] 60,000 people from Lahore have been looted [in its name]. Meanwhile, those behind this scheme have fled after pocketing Rs13 billion."

    "[These] people were defrauded in DHA's name," the top judge remarked.

    When the hearing resumed after a brief adjournment, the DHA counsel defended his client by arguing that it had limited involvement in the project.

    "This was a 25,000-kanal project," he said. "The DHA sold its name in exchange for 30 per cent of the total shares."

    However, the chief justice was not satisfied. He asked the DHA representative: "Is it the army's job to develop housing societies?"

    "I ask you, the army and everyone else this: Which country's army operates housing schemes?"

    "The army's job is to protect the country's borders; not to participate in commercial activities," the judge said. "Had the DHA done this for our martyrs, it would have been [understandable]."

    "Does any other country's army do this?" he asked again.

    "The Malaysian army is involved in housing schemes," the DHA representative offered, to which the judge countered asking: "And have you modeled the army after just that one country?"

    "Your name has been [stained] every time you have gone into housing schemes," Justice Nisar continued. "You have bought lands that were disputed and controversial, and in doing so, you have sold your goodwill.

    "It seems that you people [the DHA] run your business by using widows and martyrs as a shield, and you pocket royalties [in their name]," Justice Nisar added.

    "We should [perhaps] issue an order for DHA to acquire land and allot plots to the affected people [in the Eden Housing Society case] within three months. Whoever is owed whatever should receive their due."

    "A payment should also be made for the land Eden Housing has given," Justice Ijazul Ahsan added. "A reasonable amount has to be ascertained [for the value of the land]."

    Eden Housing Society scam

    The affectees of the Eden Housing Society accuse group owner Dr Amjad and others of defrauding more than 10,000 people.

    Dr Amjad and his two sons had fled in April 2017 to Canada as the interior ministry did not place them on the Exit Control List (ECL) despite NAB’s request.

    In March 2018, NAB had decided to launch an investigation into all housing projects of Eden Developers after its failure to compensate affected people.

    In Sep 2018, the Federal Investigation Agency had arrested Dr Murtaza Amjad, the son-in-law of former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, in connection with the scam.

    The arrest had come days after the people affected by the housing scam staged a protest demonstration outside Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Lahore residence, demanding the recovery of the millions of rupees allegedly looted from them in the name of the housing scheme.


    Traffic snarls up outside the Zaman Park residence of Prime Minister Imran Khan during protest by Eden Housing scam victims in September 2018. — White StarTraffic snarls up outside the Zaman Park residence of Prime Minister Imran Khan during protest by Eden Housing scam victims in September 2018. — White Star

    0 0

    Pakistan and India on Tuesday exchanged the lists of their nuclear sites under an agreement barring them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities in an event of war, Radio Pakistan reported.

    The annual New Year’s Day exchange was established under a 1988 pact, called the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India.

    The two countries have also set up a telephone hotline to prevent accidental nuclear conflict.

    The lists were handed over to representatives of the Pakistani and Indian High Commissions in New Delhi and Islamabad, respectively, according to a Foreign Office statement cited by the report.

    The agreement contains the provision that both countries inform each other of their nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 every year. The lists have been exchanged consecutively since 1992.

    Also on Tuesday, Pakistan shared a list of 537 Indian prisoners with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad in accordance with the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access, Radio Pakistan reported.

    About 54 prisoners on the list are civilians, while 483 are fishermen.

    According to the 2008 agreement, India and Pakistan are required to share a list of prisoners both countries are holding across the border twice a year on Jan 1 and July 1.

    India is also expected to share the list of Pakistani prisoners that are currently under Indian custody with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.


    The agreement contains the provision that both countries inform each other of their nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 every year. — AFP/FileThe agreement contains the provision that both countries inform each other of their nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 every year. — AFP/File

    0 0

    Renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel was admitted to the Doctors Hospital in Lahore after complaining of chest pains, his spokesperson Noman Liaquat said on Tuesday.

    Another spokesperson for the religious scholar, Tahir Rahimi, said Maulana Jameel's angioplasty had been completed at the hospital. His arteries had been blocked as a result of which one stent was inserted.

    He said that the religious scholar had been admitted to the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday.

    Maulana Jameel will be kept at the hospital for the next 24 hours, the spokesperson said, adding that his health was fine and doctors had recommended rest to him.

    Liaquat had earlier told DawnNewsTV that doctors at the hospital had advised an angiography of the religious scholar.

    A member of the Tableeghi Jamaat that subscribes to the Deobandi school of thought, Maulana Jameel is a well-known preacher in Pakistan and abroad.

    He was ranked 40th on the 2019 list of the 'World's 500 Most Influential Muslims'. He has also been previously featured on the list.

    According to 'The Muslim 500' profile of Maulana Jameel, he is one of the most popular preachers in Pakistan. After completing his pre-medical education, he was admitted to the King Edward Medical College in Lahore where, under the influence of the Tableeghi Jamaat, he changed his focus to Islamic education. He received religious training from the Jamia Arabia.

    "Maulana Tariq’s background in the sciences allows him to explain Islamic matters in a way that appeals to modern urban Muslims. Additionally, his simple lifestyle and eloquence in Urdu, as well as his fluency in Arabic, catapulted his fame across the Muslim world," the profile states.


    According to Liaquat, doctors at the hospital have advised an angiography of the religious scholar. — File photoAccording to Liaquat, doctors at the hospital have advised an angiography of the religious scholar. — File photo

    0 0

    Four security personnel were martyred during an exchange of fire with terrorists trying to storm the residential and administration compound inside a Frontier Corps (FC) training centre in Balochistan's Loralai district on Tuesday, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

    Also, four terrorists were killed in the clearance operation undertaken by security forces following the attack.

    According to the ISPR, the security personnel challenged the terrorists at the entry point of the "residential/administration compound of the training centre" and foiled their attempt to enter the facility.

    Having failed to enter the residential compound, the terrorists reportedly opened indiscriminate fire and entered a compound adjacent to the checkpost which was immediately cordoned off by security forces.

    The exchange of fire at the checkpost left four security personnel martyred and two others injured.

    An operation was launched to neutralise the terrorists inside the compound and the four militants were subsequently shot dead. One of the attackers was a suicide bomber who blew himself up during the final stage of the clearance operation, according to the military's media wing.

    "The valiant and timely action of security forces denied entry of terrorists into [the] residential area which would have resulted into more number of casualties," read the ISPR statement.

    The martyred security personnel were identified as Subedar Major Munawar, Havildar Iqbal Khan, Havildar Bilal and Sepoy Naqshab.


    Security personnel challenged the terrorists at the entry point of the residential compound of the training centre. —File photoSecurity personnel challenged the terrorists at the entry point of the residential compound of the training centre. —File photo

    0 0

    The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) commenced the new year on a positive note, with the benchmark KSE-100 Index gaining 929 points, or 2.5 per cent, to close at 37,996.

    The benchmark hit a day's low at 370,46 points in the first few minutes. However, it remained in the positive for the rest of the trading session. The index peaked near the end of the day at 38,047.

    In all, 96.6 million shares worth almost Rs4.3 billion were traded at the exchange. Of the 323 traded scrips, 207 advanced, 98 declined and 18 remained unchanged.

    Stockbrokers monitor the latest share prices during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange.—AFP
    Stockbrokers monitor the latest share prices during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange.—AFP

    The banking sector dominated the trading with 17.4m shares traded while the chemical and cables and electrical sectors followed with 13.3m and 12.2m shares traded respectively.

    According to a JS Global report, Prime Minister Imran Khan's pledge that 2019 is the beginning of Pakistan's golden era and unconfirmed report about China's pledge to lend at least $2bn to Pakistan to shore up its foreign exchange reserves and prevent further devaluation of the rupee against the dollar, played a significant role in gaining positive momentum at the bourse.

    A Topline Securities advisory added that international oil prices rose more than 2pc, resultantly, the E&P sector closed in the positive led by POL (+5pc), OGDC (+5pc) and PPL (+3.9pc). The investor's participation decreased as traded volumes fell by 57pc while traded value also decreased by 61pc.


    The benchmark KSE-100 Index gains 929 points to close at 37,996.— PSXThe benchmark KSE-100 Index gains 929 points to close at 37,996.— PSX

    Stockbrokers monitor the latest share prices during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange.—AFPStockbrokers monitor the latest share prices during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange.—AFP

    0 0

    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to develop a comprehensive business plan to revive Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) as a profitable institution, Radio Pakistan reported.

    The premier said this while chairing a meeting in Islamabad to review the ongoing reforms of the national carrier.

    Khan said PIA had become a liability due to the mismanagement and corruption for which taxpayers had to share the burden, the report added.

    Expressing satisfaction on the current PIA administration, the prime minister asked PIA Chairman Arshad Malik to develop a comprehensive strategy to overcome the losses the airline was facing.

    In his briefing to the prime minister, the PIA chairman said that the total deficit of the airline stood at Rs414.3 billion.

    Finance Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Privatisation and Aviation Muhammad Mian Soomro, Air Force Chief Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar, Senator Faisal Javed and others also attended the meeting.

    The national flag carrier is currently facing a deficit of Rs500 million on seven international routes in addition to the loss on domestic routes.


    Imran Khan chairs meeting to review the ongoing reforms of the national carrier. —Dawn ArchivesImran Khan chairs meeting to review the ongoing reforms of the national carrier. —Dawn Archives

    0 0

    The Ministry of Power Division on Tuesday informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the amount of circular debt had reached Rs755 billion.

    The committee met at the Parliament House with Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif in the chair.

    The ministry’s secretary, while giving a briefing to the committee, said presently the country’s installed capacity for electricity production was 33,836 megawatts (MW), while the derated capacity was about 31,000MW.

    “In 2008 the installed capacity was 17,796MW which has now reached 33,836MW,” he said.

    The secretary said currently the country was generating about 27 per cent electricity from hydel, 26 per cent from RLNG, 16 per cent from furnace oil, 20 per cent from gas, five per cent from nuclear and the remaining five per cent from renewable sources.

    The committee was further informed that seven energy projects built under China Pakistan Economic Corridor had been contributing 3,340MW energy to the national grid.

    The power ministry official further said that new renewable energy policy would likely be in operation by March 2019 following due consultation with the provinces. The new policy would be focused on generating at least 20 per cent of the total energy mix from renewable energy by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.

    “The upgradation of the national grid, as well as the introduction of regional grids, would be an important element of the policy,” he said.

    The PAC chairman informed the committee members that he had completed two LNG-based run power projects during his tenure as the Punjab chief minister.

    Responding to various questions by the parliamentarians, the secretary said that per capita electricity usage in Pakistan was less as compared to India and Bangladesh.

    The secretary, however, said that 23 per cent of the total population was currently living without electricity.


    Country’s installed capacity for electricity production is 33,836MW, while the derated capacity is about 31,000MW. —FileCountry’s installed capacity for electricity production is 33,836MW, while the derated capacity is about 31,000MW. —File

older | 1 | .... | 2906 | 2907 | (Page 2908) | 2909 | 2910 | .... | 2937 | newer