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    LAHORE: Initially, seven doctors mustered up the courage to speak up about certain unidentified people blackmailing them through stolen social media and mobile phone data. Now, more women doctors and medical students have come up with complaints about being blackmailed by some unidentified people.

    Dr Salman Kazmi, a complainant in the case, says over 200 women were targeted and harassed. Of them, he says he told the police, 50 had either been deprived of money or blackmailed in other way.

    The Gawalmandi police lodged on Wednesday a first information report under section 25-D of the Telegraph Act and 506 and 385 of the Pakistan Penal Code against unidentified people for harassing medical students and doctors of government teaching hospitals of Lahore.

    Majority of victims from five hospitals

    Dr Kazmi said a majority of the victims are from Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, and Social Security Hospital.

    He says the suspect had sent photoshopped work and other personal information of a doctor to her in-laws after she refused to accept his demands.

    He said the suspect trapped a doctor of Mayo Hospital and met her at a fast food outlet. There, the doctor managed to take his picture by her mobile phone and shared it with her male colleagues to pass it on to law enforcement agencies.

    “The identity of the cheater has been established,” Dr Kazmi said. The 25-year-old suspect is a resident of Toba Tek Singh. His other credentials like national identity card, passport, cell phone record and family background have been obtained by the officials of a sensitive agency.

    He said the suspect had transferred phone balance to a doctor from a particular shop. That was a vital lead to trace the suspect.

    Gawalmandi sub-inspector Abdul Majeed told Dawn the caller would use a SIM registered in the name of a woman of Muzaffargarh.

    He said after collecting evidence, they would arrest the suspect who had gone underground.

    Dr Usman, a relative of a victim doctor, said the suspect used to get access to Facebook and Whatsapp accounts of the targets by sending them a special code through a software.

    As soon as the recipients accepted the code, data was transferred from the recipient’s phone to the suspect’s system.

    An official of the cyber-crime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency said the complaints of social media accounts hacking had been surfacing all over the world. He said it would be premature to say anything in this particular case without analysing technology the cheater used.

    Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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    Looking for your daily Hamza Ali Abbasi fix? Here it is: his dance debut in Jawani Phir Na Aani!

    The first song from the Eid ul Azha release, 'Jalwa', shows him get his mehndi mode on — hair flicks, tambourine shakes, he's done it all.

    'Jalwa' must be one of the more kosher dance numbers in JPNA, for Hamza has recently expressed regret at doing two "inappropriate" dances in the film:

    Also read: Indecent proposal? Hamza Ali Abbasi may drop out of his own film's promos

    But there's nothing that would raise an eyebrow in this boy-and-girl dance-off, unless you mean the shameless sponsor plug.

    In addition to showcasing the coquettish antics of the lead pair, the song also manages to peddle a fairness cream in its hook.

    Dressed up in the signature trappings of a 'wedding number' — grandiose set, snazzy boys and girls, occasional disco lighting for effect — it disappoints not just in this product placement (Sohai is dressed in an unflattering pink that brings the brand to mind) but also its most fundamental aspect: the dancing.

    Photo courtesy Ahmed Ali Butt's Instagram
    Photo courtesy Ahmed Ali Butt's Instagram

    An Indian choreographer, Shabina Khan who's recently done dances for Jai Ho, Super Nani and Dolly Ki Doli, was brought in to give the song additional impact, but apart from Sohai's lithe moves, the boys' dancing was a let-down big time.

    While Humayun struggles to impart the kind of energy needed on centre stage, his trio of best men – Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Ali Butt and Hamza Ali Abbasi – seemed to have the worst of the moves alloted to them.

    Maybe that's why Hamza's so mad at the movie. He even looks miffed during rehearsal:

    Photo courtesy Shabina Khan's Instagram
    Photo courtesy Shabina Khan's Instagram

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    Quetta: The Balochistan government has finalised a plan to take over 64 acres of land owned by Radio Pakistan in Quetta by shutting down the station’s transmission, removing its machinery and transmission towers from the Sariab area.

    On Wednesday, sources confirmed that government officials had been directed to put finishing touches on the plan to take over land worth billions of rupees belonging to the radio station. Sources claim that the land was being taken over under the pretext of constructing a sports complex and park.

    Also read: Radio Pakistan woes

    “You will not be able to listen to local shows or programmes in other languages from Radio Pakistan Quetta,” said a senior Radio Pakistan official while talking to IDawnI. “The government is going to remove the transmission towers and other machinery from the land on Sariab Road. It was allotted to Radio Pakistan in 1964.”

    He added that by using this piece of land for a sports complex would be like gagging the voice of the station as it would be take several shows, including those on recitation of the Holy Quran and other popular programmes in different languages, off the air.According to the station’s senior official, when a government official was asked about why they wanted these 64 acres, he replied: “Some people have had their eyes set on this precious land for a long time. They want to take over the land by claiming to build a sports complex even though Quetta already has a large sports complex [Ayub Stadium].”

    The station was set up in Quetta in 1956 on 64 acres on Sariab Road. In 1959, Radio Pakistan installed medium-wave and short-wave transmitters on the property so the station’s programmes could be heard all over the province.

    Radio Pakistan Quetta had installed 93.5 kilowatt transmission on the site before Ramazan this year, and had launched an FM transmission, “Sout-ul-Quran”, for programmes related to recitation of the Holy Quran and Islamic teachings.An official of Radio Pakistan expressed fears that if the provincial government decided to go ahead with the plan, these transmissions and shows would have to be taken off the airwaves.

    A government official said the Shahwani Sports Stadium constructed by the government had the capacity for building a new sports complex and was located close to Radio Pakistan. He said that the provincial government also had acres of official land available on the Hazarganji and Sibi roads linking to Sariab Road and they could construct a new sports complex there instead.

    He added that he did not know why the provincial government was insisting on constructing a sports complex on Radio Pakistan’s property. A senior official of the radio station said the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation should take notice of what was happening in Quetta and ask the federal government to release funds to install powerful transmitters and other equipment to enable Radio Pakistan Quetta to air its programmes for listeners across the province.

    Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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    The Radio Pakistan land is being taken over under the pretext of constructing a sports complex and park.—Farooq Soomro/FileThe Radio Pakistan land is being taken over under the pretext of constructing a sports complex and park.—Farooq Soomro/File

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    Ever since local films started vying for screen time in cinemas, many filmmakers are pushing their films for a later release so as not to clash with each other.

    Resham's comeback film Swaarangi too is going through the same phase, as the film which was set to be released on August 28 (tomorrow) will now hit screens on September 11.

    The decision to delay the release was explained on the film's official Facebook page where it was stated that it has been done in a gesture of good faith to support the revival of cinema, and to allow films that are already running to have free rein:

    However, the film will be clashing with the highly awaited directorial debut of Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, Manto. The biopic, which had been in a limbo for quite some time, will also be releasing on September 11. Although the themes of both films are not related in any way, cinema-goers will surely be divided because both films feature a stellar cast.

    Marking the return of film star Resham after seven years, Swaarangi stars veteran Ayub Khoso and is also a directorial debut of first time director Phida Hussain. The film's OST has been looked after by Sahir Ali Bagga and Asrar.

    Resham in 'Swaarangi'.Resham in 'Swaarangi'.

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    KARACHI: An antiterrorism court (ATC) on Thursday remanded Dr Asim for 90 days to Rangers custody.

    The former federal minister was presented in ATC-III by the Rangers today who informed the court that Dr Asim has been placed under a 90-day preventive detention under Section 11-EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

    Court sources told Dawn that the Rangers contended that they have credible information regarding Dr Asim's involvement in terrorism related activities as well as embezzlement of funds.

    Therefore, ATC-III placed Dr Asim under a 90-day remand to Rangers custody for further inquiry.

    Dr Asim Hussain's arrest challenged in SHC

    A petition was filed in the Sindh High Court on Thursday challenging the arrest of Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister and the chairman of the provincial Higher Education Commission (HEC).

    The petition was filed by Dr Asim's mother and Advocate Maulvi Iqbal Haider who contended that the former federal minister was an esteemed politician and his detention was unlawful as he did not have a criminal record.

    Dr Asim's arrest came in what has been described as the first major action against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership during the ongoing Karachi operation. A close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, he was taken into custody on Wednesday.

    The petitioners have asked that the court order for Dr Asim to be released. The federal and Sindh governments, the National Acountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have been made party in the petition.

    Meanwhile, Dr Zareen, Dr Asim's wife, wrote a letter to Inspector General Sindh that her husband suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure and relies on medication. She asked for permission to be allowed to meet Dr Asim in order to monitor his condition.

    Read more: Dr Asim taken into custody

    No anti-corruption agency or even police have confirmed his arrest, but sources said he was taken into custody when he was in a meeting held at the Sindh HEC’s Clifton office on the appointment of a new vice-chancellor of the Dow University of Health Sciences.

    Over a dozen men in plain-clothes belonging to the Federal Investigation Agency and an intelligence outfit arrived at the HEC office at around noon Wednesday and the man leading them introduced himself to Dr Asim and asked him to accompany them. Dr Asim was then taken to an undisclosed location for questioning.

    Sources said that before the team arrived at the HEC office, the building had been surrounded by Rangers to ward off any potential resistance by Dr Asim's armed guards.

    The NAB has denied having anything to do with Dr Asim's detention.

    According to sources, Dr Asim was being grilled for his alleged involvement in illegal occupation of government land in North Nazimabad and Clifton for the extension of his Dr Ziauddin Hospital.

    Besides, they said, Dr Asim was also being questioned for allegedly misusing authority when he was petroleum minister/adviser during the PPP government at the centre after the 2008 general election.

    In 2009, he was elected Senator from Sindh on a PPP ticket. He served as the minister of petroleum and natural resources and then the prime minister’s adviser with the same portfolio until 2012.

    After the 2013 general elections, the PPP government in Sindh made him chairman of the provincial HEC.

    He is also believed to be close to the top leadership of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

    The former federal minister was presented in ATC-III by the Rangers today who informed the court that Dr Asim has been placed under a 90-day preventive detention under Section 11-EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.—DawnNews ScreengrabThe former federal minister was presented in ATC-III by the Rangers today who informed the court that Dr Asim has been placed under a 90-day preventive detention under Section 11-EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.—DawnNews Screengrab

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    KARACHI: Justice (retd) Zafar Hussain Mirza passed away in a Karachi hospital on Thursday, hospital sources confirmed to

    The prominent judge was the father of firebrand politician Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and the father-in-law of former speaker of the National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza.

    The 88-year-old former justice was undergoing treatment at the Dr. Ziauddin Hospital in Karachi. He is survived by a wife and six children including two sons and four daughters.

    Four of his chidlren were born from his first wife, late Ms Afroze Begum, and two from his second wife, Bilquees Begum.

    Justice Zafar Hussain Mirza was born on October 9, 1926 in Tando Torho area of Hyderabad. His father, Mirza Ali Nawaz Baig, was a known writer and poet of Sindhi language and had served as a deputy collector during the British rule in South Asia.

    Naseer Mirza, broadcaster and the station director of Radio Pakistan Hyderabad Station and a known poet, who is also a close relative of the late justice told Dawn Justice Zafar Hussain Mirza received his LLB degree from Hyderabad Law College in 1953 and started practising as a lawyer.

    He became a civil judge in the mid-sixties.

    Justice (retd) Zafar Hussain was later appointed as a judge of the Sindh High Court on October 1, 1975 during the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government.

    He was also among judges who had taken oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) imposed by General Ziaul-Haq in 1981, thereby abrogating the Constitution of 1973.

    He was elevated to the post of judge of the Supreme Court on Aug 4, 1981 during the dictatorship of Gen Ziaul Haq. The justice had retired on October 9,1991.

    He had later also served as a Chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission.

    During the Musharraf era, Justice (retd) Zafar Hussain Mirza’s name was also proposed for the post of Chief Election Commissioner before the elections of 2002.

    He was a co-signatory of a declaration signed by seventeen retired judges of the country demanding that former president Musharraf revoke the State of Emergency that he had imposed on the country in 2007.

    Justice (retd) Zafar Hussain MIrza. — Photo by Hanif SamoonJustice (retd) Zafar Hussain MIrza. — Photo by Hanif Samoon

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    Abdul Sattar Edhi, Iqbal Masih and Nur Jehan
    Abdul Sattar Edhi, Iqbal Masih and Nur Jehan

    Tis' the season of biopics in cinemas around the world: whether in Lollywood, Bollywood or Hollywood, real-life stories have taken center stage.

    In Hollywood, this year alone has seen Straight Outta Compton do well, with more biopics in the works, most notably one on Steve Jobs and one on Edward Snowden. In Bollywood, Manjhi — The Mountain Man is creating buzz, and of course, here in Pakistan, we have Shah, based on the life of Pakistani boxer Syed Hussain Shah.

    Also read: Must watch: An unsung Pakistani hero comes to life in film 'Shah'

    Biopics usually follow a familiar arc: adversity trumped by ingenuity and/or perseverance. Even when biographical films are about less-than-savoury characters they manage to highlight some sort of societal trend that's worth a second look. This got us thinking — there are hundreds, if not thousands, of stirring stories of real people doing great things right here in Pakistan. Shouldn't we see more biopics in production?

    In our industry where the 'revival' of cinema has become a clichéd yet important term, the success of already released biopics like Jinnah and Shah and the hype of upcoming Manto signify the potential of such projects.

    So here's a list of famous (and not-so-famous) personalities that need to have biographical dramas made on their lives RIGHT NOW, along with suggestions for who could play these characters. Read on:

    Noor Jehan

    Noor Jehan (L), Saba Qamar (R)
    Noor Jehan (L), Saba Qamar (R)

    Called ‘Malaika-e-Tarranum’, the queen of melody, Noor Jehan started her career with singing but quickly became a sought-after actress. Her life is a series of twists and turns perfect for cinema; the singer married twice and was closely followed by the press. What really stands out in her story is that Noor Jehan created a legacy, with her family's younger generation following her into showbiz. We envision a production on Noor Jehan to be a grand multi-generational family saga. Known to speak her mind, Noor Jehan couldn't care less of what went behind her.

    Fit for the role: Saba Qamar

    Why so: A known name in the drama industry, Saba Qamar, with her flawless Punjabi and Urdu could play the role of both younger and older Noor Jehan with aplomb. Her pigtails in Digest Writer as well as a neat bun in Maat make her a considerable option. And oh, just by the way, she plays Noor Jehan in Manto, which we think is perfect practice for a feature film.

    Sultan Rahi

    Sultan Rahi (L), Shaan Shahid (R)
    Sultan Rahi (L), Shaan Shahid (R)

    As time goes by, the spectre of Maula Jatt growers ever fainter, which makes us feel panicked. What better way to celebrate a cult classic film and a character which is at par with Bollywood’s Gabbar other than making a biopic?

    The actor’s tragic death in a shooting piqued the interest of many, and it deserves to be explored. People want to find out whether bandits took him down -- or was it because he wanted to convert to Christianity? A well-researched film might not only give us some leads but will keep Jatt’s flame burning.

    Fit for the role:Shaan

    Why so: Twist his mustache, hand him a gandasa and an SMG, and Shaan is ready to become the evergreen Sultan Rahi who laid the foundation of roles aspiring to Maula Jatt-ness.


    Sadequain (L), Fawad Khan (R)
    Sadequain (L), Fawad Khan (R)

    As Europe boasts of its Michael Angelos, Picassos and Van Goghs, lets not forget that we have our own artist to take pride in. Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi’s vast body of work represents his greatness as an artist who believed in capturing the happiness of a hungry child after he finds a piece of bread in a pile of garbage.

    Fond of excess and deprivation in equal measure, the artist chose not to marry and died leaving an incomplete mural on Frere Hall’s ceiling. The mystery of his lost works still remains and a biopic dedicated to his struggles and life is something we all owe him.

    Fit for the role:Fawad Khan

    Why so? Fawad Khan’s performance in theatre as well as drama has proven that he has a knack for a challenging role. Plus, we see a faint resemblance!

    Parveen Rehman

    Parveen Rehman (L), Sanam Saeed (R)
    Parveen Rehman (L), Sanam Saeed (R)

    A name that frequently makes headlines, Parveen Rehman was an architect and a teacher who was known for her social activism. Her dedication to the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) which aimed to resettle impoverished residents in Karachi brought her to the forefront as she battled land grabbers who minted money by selling sub plots. Despite all good work she was doing, she became a victim of a targeted attack in Karachi and was killed at the age of 56. Known to be shy, she was an exemplary person who continued to fight against obstacles without raising a hue and cry and given that most people don’t attend the seminars that highlight her efforts, a biopic is much needed to tell the world about her heroism.

    Fit for the role: Sanam Saeed

    Why so? The actor, who'll be making her film debut soon, has shown through her roles that she can be a brave yet soft spoken character in Talkhiyan and Firaaq as well as a woman with a fighting spirit in Zindagi Gulzaar Hai.

    Rahman Dakait

    Rahman Dakait (L), Rashid Farooqi (R)
    Rahman Dakait (L), Rashid Farooqi (R)

    Sardar Abdul Rehman, known by his popular alias Rehman Dakait was one of the ‘most wanted gangsters’ who hailed from the once ‘no-go’ zone Lyari.

    The ‘gangster’ who also had known political affiliations was a popular figure in Lyari, and his death was commemorated in the area. Involved in at least 80 criminal cases, Rehman’s evolution from Sardar Rehman Baloch to Dakait offers an interesting insight into criminality which should be explored. This film will be a nail-biter with a rough, gritty feel, and could also feature it episodes like when a case was lodged against the then SSP Chaudhry Aslam for hunting Rahman Dakait down.

    Fit for the role: Rashid Farooqi

    Why so? He has previously played the role of a thug in telefilms and would handle this well.

    Iqbal Masih

    Iqbal Masih (L), Zuhab Khan (R)
    Iqbal Masih (L), Zuhab Khan (R)

    Sold into bonded labour at a very young age, Iqbal Masih became a symbol of hope after his relentless efforts to end the menace. After learning that bonded labour is illegal, the child activist fled the carpet factory he worked in and became an activist for the Bonded Labour Liberation Front. Sadly enough he was fatally shot at the age of 12 and speculations about his death ran rampant until today as no one has been able to pin down the reason behind his killing. With bonded labour rampant in both Punjab and Sindh, Iqbal’s untold story has to get out so the public can realise that bonded labour is not something new -- in fact, those supporting it have been benefiting from this scourge for a long, long time.

    Fit for the role: Zuhab Khan

    Why so? Zuhab's work in Man k Moti as an impoverished child trying to make ends meet makes us think he's perfect for the role.

    Abdul Sattar and Bilquis Edhi

    Abdul Sattar Eddi (L), Bahroze Sabzwari (R)
    Abdul Sattar Eddi (L), Bahroze Sabzwari (R)

    A name synonymous with philanthropy, Abdul Sattar Edhi and his wife Bilquis Edhi run one of the biggest charity organisations, Edhi Foundation. Although Edhi is a famous and revered name and his services have been recorded in many books and documentaries, we feel he deserves yet more recognition for his services.

    Bilquis Edhi (L), Hina Dilapzeer (R)
    Bilquis Edhi (L), Hina Dilapzeer (R)

    This is a man whose simplicity and humility is awe-inspiring. His story, however, is full of hardship and personal sacrifice. A film depicting his childhood, youth and marriage to Bilquis Edhi has to be shown to the world. An angle we can't wait to see explored is his relationship with Bilquis, who has been a cornerstone for the Edhi Foundation.

    Fit for the roles: Bahroze Sabzwari and Hina Dilapzeer

    Why so? The kindness etched upon the faces of both of these personalities is quite hard to find and perhaps Bahroze and Hina can do the job well as both have played humble and down-to-earth roles in the past.

    Sara Shagufta

    Sara Shagufta's sketch (L), Nimra Bucha (R)
    Sara Shagufta's sketch (L), Nimra Bucha (R)

    Hailed as the Virginia Woolf or Sylvia Plath of her times, Sara Shagufta was a poet and to some, a rather eccentric one. Getting married at the age of 17, she tried hard to be the good wife but was unhappy and instead got married to someone of her own choice. Turmoil in her second marriage led to an outpouring of fiery creativity and she wrote about the complexities of life, especially between a man and a woman. She also rallied against oppressive military regimes, but tragically committed suicide by swallowing poison resulting in her untimely death at the age of 29. With little known to the public of her creative contributions, a biopic will do the job just fine.

    Fit for the role: Nimra Bucha

    Why so? Her recent performance in Dictator's Wife and the soon-to-be-released Manto as Manto’s muse makes her a perfect choice.

    Sohail Abbas

    Sohail Abbas (L), Mohib Mirza (R)
    Sohail Abbas (L), Mohib Mirza (R)

    Hailing from the narrow lanes of Rizvia, an old area in Karachi, Sohail Abbas made a name for himself in hockey by becoming the highest goal scorer in the history of field hockey.

    Although he was 28 when he joined the national team, Sohail made sure that his name was well-remembered. Yet after playing diligently for the country Sohail doesn’t want to talk about hockey because the sport which took his blood, sweat and tears is in a sorry state of affairs. Just like Hussain Shah, whose glory was easily forgotten and never recompensed, Sohail Abbas too wasn’t given the credit he deserved. We think it's time to change that.

    Fit for the role: Mohib Mirza

    Why so? Mohib has shown his versatility and we think he has the athleticism and grace to play a sportsman.

    Dr Abdus Salam

    Dr Abdus Salam (L), Fahad Mustafa (R)
    Dr Abdus Salam (L), Fahad Mustafa (R)

    The first Pakistani to win a Nobel Prize, Abdus Salam was a theoretical physicist whose research is considered a great leap forward in modern physics.

    However the man who brought Pakistan to the attention of the scientific community is not discussed as readily as he deserves. Born in the Ahmediya community, his name has been sidelined. Although it would be an uphill task to do so, we owe the man the recognition denied to him by preserving his legacy.

    Fit for the role: Fahad Mustafa

    Why so? A multifaceted actor, Fahad Mustafa has played various roles and will also be playing Meer Taqi Meer in Maah-e-Meer which will give him an edge in biopics.

    Adeeb Rizvi

    Adeeb Rizvi (L), Talat Hussain (R)
    Adeeb Rizvi (L), Talat Hussain (R)

    For many Adeebul Hasan Rizvi is the man behind Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplant (SIUT) but his blazing activism during his days at medical college are seldom discussed. Rizvi, whose centre offers free kidney transplants to those in need, was a part of the Democratic Students Federation (DSF), a body formed to safeguard the rights of students. His tale, from his arrival to Pakistan and labourious efforts to transform an eight-bed room to what SIUT is today deserves a second look.

    Fit for the role: Talat Hussain

    Why so? Talat Hussain's brilliant acting skills will surely bring out Abeed Rizvi's fortitude in the face of huge challenges.

    And that's just a short list of life stories that should be explored. There are many, many more that provide more than enough fodder for films, TV mini series or even stage plays.

    Who else do you think could inspire a biopic? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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    ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Qazi Khalilullah on Thursday said that Pakistan's Pakistan's ambassadors stationed abroad have been instructed to inform their host countries regarding India's involvement in promoting terrorist activities in Pakistan.

    During the foreign office's weekly briefing, the spokesman added that, "Pakistan's Permanent Representative to UN has also taken the international organisation into confidence over recent developments between India and Pakistan, including cancellations of National Security Adviser (NSA) talks."

    Read: Pakistan decries India's admission of involvement in cross-border terrorism

    Speaking to media personnel, Khalilullah reiterated that the talks were cancelled due to India's pre-conditions which Pakistan did not find acceptable.

    The spokesman further added that currently there is no proposal under consideration for a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

    Also read: NSAs’ talks cancelled over Indian conditions

    Furthermore, the FO spokesman said that Pakistan has issued a travel advisory for Pakistanis to avoid traveling to Middle Eastern and African countries as they are confronting an internal strife by non-state actors.

    "In view of the prevailing security situation in some middle eastern and African countries, the ministry of foreign affairs wishes to advise Pakistanis to avoid non-essential travel to such countries," Khalilullah said.

    Expressing concern over the security of Pakistani diplomats in Afghanistan, the spokesman said that it is the responsibility of the Afghan government to ensure security of the Pakistani mission and its personnel.

    Speaking to media personnel at the FO, Khalilullah reiterated that the talks between the two countries' national security advisers were cancelled due to India's pre-conditions which Pakistan did not find acceptable. —APP/FileSpeaking to media personnel at the FO, Khalilullah reiterated that the talks between the two countries' national security advisers were cancelled due to India's pre-conditions which Pakistan did not find acceptable. —APP/File

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    ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) on Thursday approved a grant of $75 million for people affected by terrorism in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

    According to the statement released, the fund will be used for early recovery and facilitation of families affected by militancy, promotion of child health and to strengthen emergency response services in FATA.

    Read: China gives $10 million for rehabilitation of Fata residents

    The statement added that the grant would be disbursed to the affected families in two equal installments.

    In the first disbursement, an amount of Rs35,000 will be paid per family, and the second disbursement would further disburse a Livelihood Support Grant of Rs16,000 which would be paid in four monthly installments.

    Fata has been severely affected by unrest and military operations over the past decade. Earlier this year, the number of families displaced by fighting from different tribal areas was estimated at 260,000.

    The federal government is paying cash assistance per month to all verified IDPs (Rs 12,000 per household) of North Waziristan. Besides, the government had paid one-time cash assistance of Rs 5000 for non-food items and one-time Ramazan package of Rs 20,000. In addition, the Punjab government is also paying Rs 7,000 to IDPs of North Waziristan and the KP government is also paying them Rs3,000 every monthly. Moreover, the World Food Programme is providing food ration every month.

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    RAWALPINDI: The army will not allow the killing of fellow countrymen and will expose all enablers, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif was quoted as saying during his visit to Shawal area on Thursday.

    In a series of tweets, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa said that army chief spent the day with troops engaged in the operation in Shawal area of North Waziristan.

    The DG ISPR tweeted that the army chief visited a military post located on a 12,000 feet high mountain overlooking the Shawal Valley, where a multi-pronged operation is being carried out to eliminate terrorists. He added that "203 terrorists have been killed so far in the operation".

    General Raheel commended the troops on their efforts and gains in the operation, adding that the valley is being sanitised. He also said that "the morale of the troops is inspiring".

    The army chief directed the troops to comprehensively cleanse terrorist hide-outs, reduce the number of isolated terrorists and sever their links with their accomplices.

    The army chief also said that because of the accomplishments of our troops, the army has no match when it comes to the war against terror. He further commended troops for their "extraordinary" achievements in the operations.

    Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched in North Waziristan on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi's international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.

    General Raheel Sharif visits troops in Shawal

    Authorities have since vowed to intensify operations, using air strikes, artillery and mortars to take back territory both in the border regions and other parts of the country.

    Also read: Conclusive phase of Zarb-i-Azb next month

    North Waziristan is one of the seven regions in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) governed by tribal laws which is situated along the Pak-Afghan border.

    General Raheel commended the troops on their efforts and gains in the operations. — courtesy: ISPR TwitterGeneral Raheel commended the troops on their efforts and gains in the operations. — courtesy: ISPR Twitter

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    KARACHI: A federal anti-corruption court here on Thursday issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Yousuf Raza Gilani and Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

    The order against the former prime minister and the senior PPP leader was issued after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) presented a challan (charge sheet) with 12 new cases — relating to multi-billion rupee scandal in the Trade Development Authority (TDAP) — registered against the two before the court.

    Cases against the two PPP leaders, some former and serving senior officials of the TDAP and others were registered by FIA for their alleged involvement in approving and disbursing fraudulent trade subsidies of billions of rupees to several fake companies through fictitious claims and backdated cheques.

    Earlier last year, Gilani and Fahim were granted pre-arrest bail by the court in a dozen other pending cases, also related to the TDAP scandal.

    Read: Gilani gets bail in corruption cases

    With the 12 new cases registered against the two PPP leaders by the FIA, the total cases registered against Gilani and Fahim in the TDAP scandal are 24.

    Also read: Fahim gets bail in 12 TDAP scam cases

    The court had previously issued notices to Gilani and Faheem, requiring them to appear before it in relation with the 12 news cases against them. However, the notices went ignored.

    Approving the FIA challan during today's hearing, judge of the special federal anti-corruption court-I, Mohammad Azeem, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the arrest of Gilani and Fahim and directed the police to arrest the accused and present them before the court in the next hearing.

    Examine: Gilani exempted from appearing in 12 scam cases

    Yesterday, in what has been described as the first major action against the PPP leadership during the ongoing Karachi operation, Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister and close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, was taken into custody.

    While the National Accountability Bureau denied having anything to do with Dr Hussain’s detention, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah condemned the arrest.

    The action came a day after Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had directed the authorities to break the “evil nexus between terrorism, criminal mafias, violence and corruption” to achieve the objective of ensuring a peaceful and terror-free Karachi.


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    TOBA TEK SINGH: At least five people, including three children and a woman, were killed during a joint-raid conducted by police and security forces in Pirmahal area of Punjab's Toba Tek Singh district on Thursday, according to District Police Officer of Toba Tek Singh.

    Police say officers raided a suspected militant hideout in Housing Colony area of Pirmahal, triggering a shootout.

    The suspects also lobbed several grenades wounding three members of the Punjab Elite Police Force during the hour-long encounter. The condition of one of the wounded cops was reported as critical.

    A large contingent of security men and police commandoes reached the site and cordoned off the area.

    Police claimed to have arrested one suspected terrorist, who was in wounded condition, while another reportedly blew himself up to avoid arrest.

    The wife and three children of the suspect, who detonated his suicide vest, were among those killed in the blast. Another child was also critically injured as a result of the blast.

    Police sources also said that that the arrested suspect was a key commander belonging to the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant organisation.

    All victims were shifted to the Toba DHQ Hospital. Security was also put on high alert in the district.

    Authorities have stepped up operations against militants during the past two weeks after a suicide attack in Punjab province killed provincial home minister Shuja Khanzada and 13 others.

    Wounded policemen being shifted to an ambulance. — Photo by authorA large contingent of security men and police commandoes reached the site and cordoned off the area.  — Photo by authorWounded policemen being shifted to an ambulance. — Photo by authorA large contingent of security men and police commandoes reached the site and cordoned off the area. — Photo by author

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    Pakistan could become the third largest nuclear stock pile within the next five to ten years, behind only the United States and Russia, the Washington Post reported, quoting reports published by two American think tanks.

    The report published on Thursday by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center said that Pakistan, out of its fear of India, was far outpacing its rival neighbour in the development of nuclear warheads and may be building 20 nuclear warheads annually.

    The report cites analysts as saying that Pakistan possesses around 120 nuclear warheads as compared to India's 100. The report concluded by saying that Pakistan could have at least 350 nuclear weapons within five to 10 years.

    Read: Pakistan has world’s fastest growing nuclear programme: US think tank

    Pakistan’s lead over India could significantly grow due to its large stockpile of highly-enriched uranium that could be used to quickly produce low-yield nuclear devices.

    The report further said that though India, in comparison to Pakistan, has far larger stockpiles of plutonium, which is needed to produce high-yield warheads, India appears to be using most of its plutonium to produce domestic energy.

    “The growth path of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, enabled by existing infrastructure, goes well beyond the assurances of credible minimal deterrence provided by Pakistani officials and analysts after testing nuclear devices,” the report states.

    The report published on Thursday by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center said that Pakistan, out of its fear of India, was far outpacing its rival neighbour in the development of nuclear warheads. — AFP/fileThe report published on Thursday by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center said that Pakistan, out of its fear of India, was far outpacing its rival neighbour in the development of nuclear warheads. — AFP/file

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    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) announced on Thursday it will contest by-elections in NA-122 and NA-154 constituencies, said a report on Radio Pakistan.

    Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid invited PTI chairman Imran Khan to contest the by-elections against Sardar Ayaz Sadiq from NA-122 Lahore. Similarly, he said, Jehangir Tareen should contest by-elections from NA-154.

    Talking to media persons after a high level meeting of the party leaders in Islamabad on Thursday, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said the party would not seek stay orders against elections in these constituencies.

    They, however, said the party would seek legal remedies to keep the record straight.

    The information minister said Sardar Ayaz Sadiq would be the party’s candidate from NA-122.

    To a question he said counsel of Sardar Ayaz is out of the country and an appeal would be filed in the Supreme Court against the verdict of election tribunal, but no stay order would be sought.

    He said the party has decided to go before the court of the people against verdicts of election tribunals in NA-122 and NA-154 cases.

    “PML-N has defeated PTI in all by-elections, including the recently held in Haripur, and it would defeat PTI in the upcoming by-elections as well,” Rashid asserted.

    Also read: Ruling party weighs option of going into by-elections

    Ahsan Iqbal said PML-N would get more votes in by-elections than it secured in the general elections. He said peace is returning to the country, confidence of the international community is picking up and foreign investments are increasing.

    “By hurling threats of sit-ins, Imran Khan is trying to spoil this congenial atmosphere and joys of the people,” he said.

    Iqbal said the prime minister always believes in reconciliation, as is evident from his policies.

    It was earlier reported that after Wednesday’s decision of an election tribunal deseated PML-N’s Siddique Baloch (NA-154, Lodhran) on a petition by PTI’s Jahangir Tareen, the party leadership had now started weighing the option of going into re-elections in all the three constituencies, instead of filing appeals in the Supreme Court.

    Earlier, two tribunals in Lahore had declared the election of Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq (NA-125) and National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq (NA-122) as null and void.

    The tribunals also ordered re-polling in the three constituencies.

    While Mr Rafiq had filed an appeal in the apex court which stayed the implementation of the tribunal’s verdict, Ayaz Sadiq is yet to approach the SC.

    Pervaiz Rashid invites Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen to contest the by-polls in the respective constituencies. —APP/FilePervaiz Rashid invites Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen to contest the by-polls in the respective constituencies. —DawnNews screengrabPervaiz Rashid invites Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen to contest the by-polls in the respective constituencies. —APP/FilePervaiz Rashid invites Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen to contest the by-polls in the respective constituencies. —DawnNews screengrab

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    KARACHI: Counter-terrorism Department’s (CTD) Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Naveed Khawaja on Thursday said the security force had foiled a major terror plan in the metropolis, arresting a network of criminals trained by Indian spy agency – Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

    The senior police officer said police had arrested four accused linked to a political party in Karachi, who confessed to planning an attack on Shahe Khorasan Imambargah in the month Muharram, and received training in various parts of India.

    The names of those arrested are: Khalid, Muhammad Mohsin alias Kashif, Abdul Jabbar alias Zaffar, Muhammad Shafiq alias Pappu. SSP Khawaja said the four had also been involved in an attack on Afaq Ahmad — chief of MQM Haqiqi.

    SSP Khawaja said the detained personnel had also identified several bank accounts that were used in funding their activities, adding that the State Bank of Pakistan had been notified in this regard.

    “Several traders and businessmen were aiding these terrorists directly or indirectly,” said the SSP, adding that a case against all abettors will also be initiated.

    He said the accused had identified several locations where they claim to have hidden weapons and ammunition, adding that police will conduct raids to confirm the claims.

    The police official said a detailed investigation to verify all claims will be initiated and police will form a strong case against those arrested for conspiring against Pakistan.

    SSP Naveed Khawaja during a press conference in Karachi, Aug 27, 2015. – DawnNews screengrabSSP Naveed Khawaja during a press conference in Karachi, Aug 27, 2015. – DawnNews screengrab

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    Prof Sarosh Lodi.—White Star
    Prof Sarosh Lodi.—White Star

    KARACHI: The magnitude of Karachi as the financial, social and economic hub of the country does not add up to the risk it faces from natural disasters such as tsunamis, cyclones and especially earthquakes. With insufficient disaster management preparedness in the city, Karachi is in a very vulnerable position.

    This was the peg of the round-table discussion organised by the Institute of Architects Pakistan (IA), Karachi Chapter, on ‘Disaster risk reduction, earthquake and disaster management 2015’ on Thursday. Experts working for different national and international disaster management and rehabilitation centres and agencies, civil engineers as well as architects, came forth to chart out an effective strategy for seismic hazard and risk assessment in a city situated in a highly active tectonic setting.

    Prof Sarosh Lodi said “Karachi is very similar to Los Angeles in terms of geology and demography” and therefore the active fault lines both cities were built on made them highly vulnerable to earthquakes of varying magnitudes. What set the two apart was the manner in which infrastructure was built to withstand such calamities.

    Despite these parallels in seismic hazards, Pakistan lacks historical documentation, has limited seismic data and has shown just plain disregard in ensuring building typologies to be consistent with regulations. All these combined have left the city susceptible to widespread damage in case of a major earthquake, said Dr Lodi.

    Prof Lodi has dedicated almost 30 years of his life to studying evolving seismic activity in Karachi. The dean of faculty of civil engineering and architecture at the NED university, he elaborated how “almost two-thirds of the city has no engineering input with regards to building structures and thus are ill-equipped to withstand the peak ground acceleration of a major earthquake”.

    His presentation comprised extensive data collection in a bid to investigate the safety of Karachi’s skyline. Prof Lodi’s main thrust was on the seismic threat and vulnerability of Karachi. He stressed that it should be classified as a higher-level seismic zone than it was at present.

    Ahmed Kamal from the National Disaster Management Authority charted the vulnerabilities Pakistan faced on national, provincial and city levels. As per various international assessments, Pakistan falls in the top 10, from among 181 countries, most vulnerable to climate change, and Mr Kamal said enough was not being done to prepare for the long-term repercussions if disaster hit.

    He said Pakistan was facing multiple hazards. From inconsistent behaviour of the monsoon, melting glaciers in the northern areas, flooding, drought, higher frequency of cyclones, and overall extreme changes in climate, the societal impacts of those hazards were too great to quantify through mere research. “This is why we require a multi-hazard early warning system to tackle head-on the continual progression of such natural calamities,” he said.

    He lamented the lack of coordination between federal and provincial departments in mitigating the effects of natural disaster. This, he said, added to the impact of the disaster.

    The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015 was also a topic of discussion. The guidelines provided in the framework have been adapted by governments around the world with the aim of reducing the vulnerabilities of populations to natural hazards and therefore reduce disaster losses.

    Pakistan has also adopted the framework and has ensured disaster risk reduction on a national level to be of utmost priority. However, implementation is lacking on several agendas as prescribed in the HFA, and this may cause large-scale human and economic losses that will be difficult to overcome.

    Building codes, or lack thereof, was a subject that Tahir Shamshad tackled. The vice president of Nespak, Islamabad, he criticised the lack of building codes for various constructions in Karachi, which is earthquake prone because of its geographical location.

    Ad hoc provisions in building codes, poor evaluation of construction sites along with shabby constructions contribute to higher levels of vulnerability to earthquakes. “Poor construction plans in place today do not leave room even for evacuation measures in case of a major earthquake,” he warned.

    Participants in the discussion agreed on the necessity of giving disaster risk reduction a more organised trajectory, and bringing together individuals and organisations under one umbrella for efforts to be more widespread and proactive.

    Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2015

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    ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued instructions to all returning officers (ROs) appointed for the local government polls in Punjab and Sindh to refrain from asking candidates ‘irrelevant’ and ‘intrusive’ questions during scrutiny of their nomination papers.

    The instructions issued on Thursday were in line with a Lahore High Court (LHC) ruling from April 2013, prior to the general election, after reports surfaced that ROs were testing prospective candidates on their Islamic knowledge and ridiculing them during the examination process.

    Following the scandal, the LHC stated that asking irrelevant questions tarnished the image of the judiciary.

    ECP wants strict adherence to LHC’s order of 2013 in nomination process for local govt elections

    The ECP has ordered strict adherence to the judgement, and has applied it to Sindh as well. The commission reproduced the LHC order in its letters to ROs through provincial election commissioners.

    The order passed by the LHC stated: “All the District & Sessions Judges/District Returning Officers/Returning Officers are directed to immediately refrain from asking random, intrusive and inquisitive questions that have no nexus with the information supplied in the nomination paper or do not arise from the objections raised by the other side or from the information collected or received by the RO from the authorized agencies like NAB, SBP, FBR and NADRA as per the direction issued by the ECP on March 31, 2013 titled ‘Scrutiny of nomination papers by the Returning Officers.”

    The declaration of the candidate on oath submitted along with the nomination paper shall only be questioned by the RO if there is tangible and credible material to the contrary on the record in the shape of nomination paper or objections by the other side or information procured by the RO through the authorized agencies”.

    The ECP stated that the scrutiny process would be carried out in accordance with the law and the aforementioned instructions.

    Under the law, the scrutiny of nomination papers is to be open to candidates, their election agents, proposers and seconders, and individuals who have made objections against the nomination papers, and any voter of the constituency with the permission of the RO, prior to the commencement of the scrutiny. The RO must give all those present reasonable opportunity to examine all nomination papers delivered to him.

    In addition, the RO shall, in the presence of those attending the scrutiny, examine the nomination papers and adjudicate on any objections raised against a nomination.

    The RO may, either on his own accord or on an objection, conduct a summary inquiry as he thinks fit and reject a nomination paper if he is satisfied that the candidate is not qualified to be elected as a member, a chairperson, a vice chairperson, a major, or a deputy major. Neither the proposer nor the seconder are qualified to subscribe to the nomination paper.

    Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2015

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    ISLAMABAD: The Senate defence committee was told on Thursday that India was the only external military threat to Pakistan.

    Military officials shared the perceived threat with members of the Senate body during a visit to the Joint Staff (JS) Headquarters. In the briefing they were also informed on how the JS Headquarters worked as a higher defence organisation and Strategic Plans Division, which is the custodian of the nuclear programme.

    This was the committee’s first visit to the JS Headquarters, where the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Rashad Mahmood, and his team briefed the members.

    The Senate committee, led by Mushahid Hus­sain, was further infor­med that India had over the last couple of years purchased weapons worth $100bn — 80 per cent of which were Pakistan-specific.

    The Indian army’s shopping spree, it was said, was continuing and over the next five years it would be buying weapons worth another $100 billion.

    India, which is the world’s second largest arms importer, has more than doubled its military spending over the last decade. Delhi’s defence budget for this year was $40.07 billion.

    This requires a continuous evaluation of the situation and upgradation of the response mechanism, the members were informed.

    The situation was particularly volatile in view of the suspended dialogue between India and Pakistan and absence of any conflict resolution mechanism. Regarding the non-traditional security challenges, the officials said threats in cyberspace were posing a major challenge.

    “The joint chiefs of staff committee is recommending to the government to establish an Inter-Services Cyber Command, given the new emerging non-traditional threat of cyber attacks and cyber warfare,” said a source, who briefed Dawn about the meeting.

    Senator Mushahid Hussain emphasised the need for greater inter-service coordination as it was pivotal for national security.

    He further urged the government to implement the National Security Policy draft, which had been prepared in June 2014, and still needed to be promulgated by the government. Mushahid Hussain also underlined the need for institutions of national security like the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) and the National Security Committee (NSC) to meet regularly because it would not only promote better civil-military harmony but also lead to efficient implementation of policies on security and defence.

    Country’s defence policy, he added, was framed in 2004. An updated defence policy draft was prepared in 2010, but still awaited enforcement.

    Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2015

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    LAHORE: A number of milk suppliers and sellers staged protest demonstrations and sit-ins in many parts of the city on Thursday against the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) for allegedly victimising them on the pretext of anti-adulteration drive.

    Having arrived from various villages and small towns of Kasur and Okara, they first started gathering on Multan Road (near EME/DHA) by their trucks and vans laden with milk containers and blocked the road. Later, they reached the city’s main intersection/entry point Thokar Niaz Beg and blocked Multan Road.

    Carrying placards and banners inscribed with demands and slogans against the PFA and the Punjab government, they chanted slogans and warned the government against closing their business.

    “We have been left with no option but to protest. Now the government will have to pay the cost of highhandedness it is doing with us by wasting and discarding our milk without any reason,” Javaid, a milk supplier, told Dawn.

    They put forward two demands for PFA, govt to consider

    The protesters later moved to other roads in the form of a rally and succeeded in reaching Charing Cross, The Mall, where they staged a sit-in. Their association office-bearers and a local MPA were leading them.

    “We demand that the PFA or any other department stop our milk containers at Lahore’s entry/exit points for checking quality and if there is any doubt about quality, they should first take samples of the commodity and keep our transport in cold storage till lab test reports. And if the test report proves our milk substandard, we ourselves will discard or drain it before the officials,” Rana Muhammad Irshad Khan of the Punjab’s Milk Suppliers and Sellers Association said.

    He said the PFA Act 2011 bound the officials to discard the milk or any other commodity or seal any food outlet/milk shop after the sample test report. But the ongoing drive was hardly in line with rules and regulations, he claimed. He said the association’s second demand was about fixing the milk and yogurt’s officially notified rates that had not been rationalised for long.

    “We are being forced to sell milk and yogurt at Rs65 and 70 respectively, whereas we want these products to be sold at Rs80 and 90 per kg,” he said, adding that the drive was meant to encourage the public to buy packed milk of various brands, especially to facilitate two companies owned by political bigwigs.

    He said just a couple of days ago, the Renala Khurd assistant commissioner discarded a huge quantity of milk being transported to Lahore without taking samples. The association members tried hard to drive home their point of view in meetings with the PFA DG and other senior officials but to no avail.

    He said if the government didn’t accept their demands, they would also bring thousands of buffaloes to Charing Cross in next demonstration.

    Rana Tariq Mushtaq, another association office-bearer, highlighted the demerits of packed milk and demanded imposition of ban on the import of dry milk.

    “If anyone proves that our milk is adulterated with any chemical, detergent powder etc, we will ourselves close our business,” said a trader.

    Later, representatives of the milk sellers held a meeting with the government officials and the protesters dispersed on the assurance of consideration of their demands in the next two days.

    Meanwhile, there was shortage of milk in Lahore as most shops remained closed on Thursday.

    Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2015

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    Milk suppliers and sellers stage a rally on Canal Road against the Punjab Food Authority . — OnlineMilk suppliers and sellers stage a rally on Canal Road against the Punjab Food Authority . — Online

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    KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the city commissioner to remove bottlenecks in the shifting of oil tankers to the newly-built Zulfikarabad Oil Terminal from Shireen Jinnah Colony.

    A two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, also directed the commissioner to consult all stakeholders in the matter and file a compliance report by Monday.

    The bench was seized with the hearing of an application of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator seeking the court’s direction to the Rangers and police to ensure the shifting of the oil tankers to the Zulfikarabad oil terminal, as the tanker operators resisted the move.

    The KMC application was tagged with a petition filed by Shagufta Bibi, a resident of Clifton Block-1, who had in 2012 asked the then Chief Justice of Pakistan to order the shifting of the oil tankers from the neighbourhood.

    The woman had initially written a letter to the then CJP, who converted it into a petition.

    The petitioner complained that heavy oil tankers were parked on both sides of the main road in Clifton Block-1 and its surrounding area. Besides, she said a number of auto workshops had been opened in the locality, making the lives of area residents miserable.

    She submitted that the oil tanker operators had encroached upon streets in Block-1 and its adjoining areas, causing environmental hazards and affecting residents’ privacy, as families could not move about freely due to vehicles activity. She added that oil tankers were parked in residential parts of the colony, causing hardship to the people.

    The representatives of the oil tanker owners stated that no parking place was available for them at the moment and they were compelled to park their vehicles either near the seashore or in the adjacent populated areas.

    During the past three years, the apex court time and again directed the authorities and the oil tanker owners and operators to remove their vehicles immediately from Shireen Jinnah Colony, a neighbourhood in Clifton, but to no avail.

    On Thursday, the judges were informed that a number of oil tankers had been removed from the main street, but they were still parked on adjoining lanes. The bench ruled that the oil tankers so far removed must not be allowed to enter the locality again.

    The court expressed confidence in the city commissioner and observed that he also enjoyed the confidence of all other stakeholders.

    It directed the commissioner to ensure availability of all infrastructural facilities with the assistance of the provincial authorities.

    In his application, the KMC administrator stated that the Zulfikarabad oil terminal was fully operational, but the oil tanker owners and operators were not ready to shift to the new terminal, spread over 150 acres.

    He sought court direction to the law-enforcement agencies for assisting the city administration in shifting the oil tankers away from Shireen Jinnah Colony.

    The KMC administrator also submitted a report on the matter stating that work on 32 acres had already been completed and the terminal was operational.

    However, he said, the oil tanker owners, operators and the petroleum ministry had not paid their respective 10 and five per cent share of the expenditure on the construction of the oil terminal.

    Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2015

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    A number of oil tankers remain parked at Shireen Jinnah Colony on Thursday.—White StarA number of oil tankers remain parked at Shireen Jinnah Colony on Thursday.—White Star

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