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It seems parliament is being undermined: Ahsan Iqbal

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has on Saturday said that it is looking like efforts are being made to usurp parliament’s rights and to make it worthless.

The interior minister expressed his views while addressing a press conference in Lahore, and said it has been learnt that some influential persons have forced National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to open Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, and Chief Justice of Pakistan should take notice of it.

Taking about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s ousting, Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has reservations regarding the apex court’s decision, but it has accepted the verdict.

Iqbal said the case of Nawaz Sharif has entered in the list of those in which history will give a different viewpoint. The elected premier of Pakistan was ousted under such an article of the constitution in which there is even no right to appeal, he added.

The minister maintained that international media is also claiming that Nawaz was overthrown by a conspiracy, and people as well as legal experts have concerns over the decision as well. He made it clear that PML-N is united under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

Ahsan Iqbal commented that the incumbent government does not need the certificate from opposition or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that Pakistan has made economic progress. He also taunted on the rivals by saying that some people always spread hopelessness.

The interior minister paid tribute to World XI players who came to Pakistan in a bid to revive cricket here and took part in the Independence Cup.

“The successful PSL final was the impetus behind the international players’ motivation to come to Pakistan,” he said. Ahsan congratulated the area residents over security arrangements and said that soon Karachi will also get security clearance to hold matches.

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NA-120: SC to hear petition against Kulsoom Nawaz’s candidature

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): The Supreme Court on Saturday accepted a petition against the candidature of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s for hearing.

PPP candidate Faisal Mir submitted the petition in the apex court, with Kulsoom Nawaz, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and others made as respondents.

He added in the petition that the PML-N candidate failed to submit full details of her tax returns and statements of assets and liabilities. The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidates had challenged Kulsoom’s nomination papers.

PAT and PTI had said the name of a disqualified individual’s party could not be used in the election and her UAE Iqama (work permit) was not affixed with documents. The returning officer had approved the nomination papers of Kulsoom Nawaz, PTI candidate Yasmin Rashid and PPP candidate Faisal Mir for the NA-120 by-election.

The reservations raised by the opposition parties were rejected by the RO. He had said the objections by the petitioners were rejected after thoroughly listening to arguments. Daughter of Kulsoom Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz, is handling the NA-120 campaign while Kulsoom Nawaz undergoes treatment for lymphoma in London.

The by-election on the seat left vacant after Sharif’s disqualification by the Supreme Court on July 28, will be held on September 17. A total of 44 candidates will contest the NA-120 by-poll.

In the 2013 General Elections, Nawaz won the seat by a substantial margin, defeating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Yasmin Rashid — who will be contesting for the seat this time around too.

 

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Imran Khan politically immature: Sindh CM

F.P. Report

SUKKUR: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Saturday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI chief Imran Khan was a seasoned cricketer but when it came to politics, he was still naive.

“Imran Khan still has a lot to learn in politics,” Shah told reporters in Sukkur. “A few politicians joined the PTI after its rallies and that led Imran into believing that the entire nation supports him,” the CM maintained.

“However, that is not the case. In the next elections, the PTI will also lose the few seats it had managed to win in Sindh.” Speaking on the issue of the Sindh IGP’s tenure, Shah said the issue had been exaggerated by the media.

However, he added, the Sindh government did have some reservations over the issue, will discuss with the legal experts , but it would comply with the court’s orders on the matter.

About population Census, Murad Ali Shah said Sindh had asked the federal government not to make the census record secret and demanded records of blocks.

The CM said the World XI tour was a very heartening development and Sindh would host international matches too.

“We will get in touch with the Pakistan Cricket Board for organising international cricket matches in Karachi and other cities in the province,” he added. “In fact, the law and order situation in Sindh is much better than it is in other provinces,” he maintained.

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ICC congratulates Pakistan for successful staging of Independence Cup

ISLAMABAD (APP): The International Cricket Council (ICC) Saturday congratulated Pakistan for successful staging of the Independence Cup against World XI at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

ICC Director, Giles Clarke, and ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson, thanked the people of Pakistan for embracing the World XI players, and said the series has demonstrated Pakistan’s passion and love for cricket, as well as its ability to provide an environment in which international cricket stars can show their talent, according to an ICC press release.

They said these are small steps for Pakistan towards the safe and steady revival of bilateral international cricket, and indicated that the next step would be a tour by a Full Member country as opposed to a composite side. Clarke, who attended the first two matches, said the reaction of Pakistanis who were at the ground is something I have never seen in my life. “This tour unleashed the deep and powerful emotions that exist around cricket in this country’s makeup and its society,” he said.

“It has been a fantastic tournament and I am very grateful to everybody for all the hard work – by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and everybody else,” he said. Richardson, who attended the second T20, said “with the tour having gone off so successfully and the security arrangements having being implemented so well, we can call it a success.” “The players that came on the tour witnessed the security arrangements firsthand and can go back and report back that although there may be some level of risk, it can be managed successfully,” he said.

“The main objective of that is to try to build confidence in the likes of the Australians, South Africans and other countries that the threat can be managed and this tour has shown that is the case. Returning full-time international cricket back to Pakistan is not going to be an overnight miracle. It has to take time. The PSL final was the first step, this is the second.” He said “we are really very happy for the people of Pakistan and grateful that they have welcomed the World XI in the fashion that they did.”

 

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India, Pakistan talks fail to end deadlock on Indus water dispute

WASHINGTON  (NNI): Two days of talks here between India and Pakistan amidst the current chill in bilateral ties failed to break the deadlock on the design of two hydro-electric power plants in Jammu and Kashmir.

The September 14-15 secretary-level talks under the auspices of the World Bank on the technical issues of the Kishenganga and Ratle hydro-electric power plants within the framework of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.

The World Bank, which is also a signatory to the water sharing treaty between India and Pakistan, assured the two countries of its continued assistance in resolving the issues peacefully.

The talks were held by the World Bank in Washington “on the technical issues of the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power plants within the framework of the Indus Waters Treaty”. “While an agreement has not been reached at the conclusion of the meetings, the World Bank will continue to work with both countries to resolve the issues in an amicable manner and in line with the Treaty provisions,” the press release stated.

The Pakistani delegation was headed by Secretary Water Resources Division Arif Ahmed Khan and included Secretary Water and Power Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Indus Water High Commissioner to Pakistan Mirza Asif Baig and Joint Secretary Water Syed Mehar Ali Shah.

According to sources, Pakistan was to reiterate its reservations under the Indus Waters Treaty over the design change in the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant being constructed at River Neelum by India, as well the design of the 850 MW Ratli Hydroelectric Plant being constructed on River Chenab.

The Pakistani side was to also raise the objection that the design of these projects being constructed on Pakistan’s share of the rivers will obstruct water flow in the country’s rivers. India has also begun electricity projects including the 1,000 MW Pakal Dul, 120 MW Miyar and 48 MW Lower Kalnai projects on River Chenab’s tributaries. Pakistan planned to raise its reservations over these projects too.

The last secretary-level talks between the two countries were held in the last week of July in Washington. Pakistan and India share the waters of Indus River Basin which has been a major source of contention between the two states since independence. In order to resolve the disputes, both countries signed the treaty in 1960 with the help of World Bank which has survived over five decades of hostilities between the two states.

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Pak-Afghan border at Torkham remains closed on second day of blasts

TORKHAM (NNI): The Pak-Afghan border crossing at Torkham Saturday remains closed on second day of blasts that injured nine including eight Frontier Corps (FC) personnel.

Afghan transit trade, Nato supply and pedestrian locomotion is suspended as the gate is shut. It may be noted that the Torkham border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan was closed on Friday after at least seven persons including six Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were injured in two hand grenade blasts near the border.

Security forces while confirming the blasts said that Pakistani border forces were performing duty when they came under the grenade attacks from across the border from Afghanistan.

According to the security officials, one grenade hit the Torkham gate while the other landed in front of the forces’ office and both the grenades exploded, resulting in injuries to six FC soldiers and a ten-year-old child. Immediately after the blasts, the security forces cordoned off the area and shifted the wounded to FC Hospital Landi Kotal Cantonment.

The injured, who were from FC’s 123 Wing of Touche Scout, were identified as Naik Amanullah, Sepoy Abdul Jalil, Fahimullah, Ziaullah, Salman and Abdul Latif. According to hospital sources, Abdul Jalil was in a critical condition.

The security officials started the investigation with the help of CCTV cameras installed at the border to map out the exact location from where the grenades had been lobbed. The officials said the border crossing was closed for all kind of movement and the security was put on high alert in Torkham.

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PML-N will have to accept SC verdict; Imran committing contempt of court: Khursheed Shah

F.P. Report

SUKKUR: Opposition leader in the national assembly Syed Khursheed Shah Saturday said that Imran Khan was following double standards as he asks Nawaz Sharif for accepting court verdict while he himself commits contempt by not appearing before the Election Commission of Pakistan.

“Imran Khan’s non acceptance of orders of ECP is a big contempt” the opposition leader remarked. Opposition leader said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N) has no choice but to accept Supreme Court’s decision in the Panama case issue.

Shah said that Imran Khan blamed PML-N for defying court but he (Imran) himself was doing the same thing. “If Imran doesn’t accept the decision then how will the institutions function emphasising that ECP was a state institution and should be respected.

He said Nawaz Sharif had highly criticised Benazir Bhutto in 1997 and he told him at that time to go to the extent that they could sit on the same container at some point of time.

Khursheed Shah said it was democratic right of the PTI and MQM to bring their own opposition leader and pointed out that there is no friend or enemy in the politics. He said that he does not have reservations over the building of ties between the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

As for the procedure for the election of opposition leader, he said opposition members will submit an application to the Speaker giving strength of members supporting them. He said for the first time FATA members are in the opposition and they would have a role to play.

He said there are several opposition parties in the national assembly and he has spoken to them including MQM leader Farooq Sattar. In addition he also talked to the PTI members on the issue.

The opposition leader said name of new Chairman of NAB has not been finalized yet. To a question, he said the PPP favours four year term for the government.

He said he has held different ministries and divisions but no body can level allegation of corruption against him. However he said people even do not spare Angeles for levelling allegations.

Khursheed Shah answering question said that a number of development projects are being implemented in Sukkur including cancer hospital, sports complex and cual carriage way.

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Pakistan beat World XI to win T20 series

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan Eleven thrashed the World Eleven to clinch the Independence Cup, winning the three-match Twenty20 International series 2-1, here amid tight security at the jam-packed Gaddafi Stadium on Friday night.

Chasing a daunting target of 184, the World Eleven led by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis could score 150 for eight in the 20 overs to lose the match by 33 runs and also the series.

Aggressive batsman from Sri Lanka Thisara Perera and South Africa’s David Miller top scored with 32 runs each while popular batsman of the West Indies Darren Sammy remained not out on 24.

Among others, Hashim Amla of South Africa made 21, Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh scored 14 and captain Faf du Plessis contributed 13.

Perera, who steered the World XI on Wednesday to a seven-wicket victory with a five towering sixes including the winning six, smashed 32 from just 13 balls with three sixes and two boundaries.

However, as soon he departed, the tourists lost hopes of winning the match and the series.

For Pakistan, pacer Hasan Ali was the most successful bowler with two wickets for 28 while Rumman Raees, Usman Khan Shinwari and Imad Wasim claimed one wicket each.

Earlier, a magnificent 102-run second wicket partnership between Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam helped Pakistan Eleven set a daunting target of 184 runs for the World.

Sent into bat, Pakistan openers Fakhar Zaman and Ahmed Shehzad provided a solid start of 61 runs before Fakhar was run out on 27. Then Ahmed joined by Babar Azam batted aggressively and both steered the team to 163 in the 18th over.

Ahmed missed his second T20 international century when he fell for 89. His 55-ball knock included eight boundaries and three successive sixes.

Prolific scorer Babar missed his fifty as he made a 31-ball 48 with five boundaries. Imad Wasim got a duck while Shoaib Malik remained not out on 17.

For the World XI, Sri Lankan medium-fast bowler Thisara Perera was the only bowler among the wickets. He grabbed two wickets for 37.

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Misbah-Afridi get standing ovation from crowd

LAHORE (APP): Former Pakistan captains, Misbah ul Haq and Shahid Afridi were given standing ovation by a full house for their illustrious services for Pakistan cricket during the third and the last T20 international match of the independence Cup here on Friday night.

Pakistan cricket Board arranged separate rides for the two star players in ‘rikshaws’ as soon as the Pakistan innings was completed during the match.

Afridi was the first to have a round of the stadium and while passing through different enclosures a diehard crowd gave him standing ovation. Misbah also on board on a rikshaw without a roof top also received a similar acknowledgment from the crowd during his ride. The charged crowd repeated chanted slogans in recognition of their meritorious services for the Pakistan cricket.

“We were happy to see two of stars of our cricket inside the stadium and PCB deserve praise for honoruing their heros in a respectful manner”, said a section of crowd while talking to APP.

They said Misbah served the game with pride and Afridi was always instrumental in pulling crowd with his fire work batting no matter he was playing home or abroad throughout his career. “We welcomed them in a memorable way and we are here to cherish the achievements of our great players besides watching a thrilling match”, they added.

 

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Davis Cup: Hosts Pakistan take 2-0 lead against Thailand

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan took 2-0 lead against Thailand in Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group II final as Aisamul Haq Qureshi and Aqeel Khan won their singles matches on day one at the Pakistan Sports Board Complex on Friday.

Pakistan were finally able to enjoy home advantage after 12 years as the Davis Cup returned to Pakistan. Earlier, Aisam and Aqeel, the most seasoned players in the squad, had been forced to play their ties on opponents’ turf or on a neutral venue because of the security concerns forwarded by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) that would not allow foreign players to visit the country.

Capitalising on the advantage, Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) chose grass as the surface for the matches, which Aisam thinks was a good strategy as it gave the home team an edge. “If it was some other surface, like hard court, the result could have been different,” Aisam told the media. “Thai players were not sure how to operate on grass.”

Aisam helped Pakistan go 2-0 up after beating Kittipong Wachiramanowong 6-1, 6-0, 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes with the help of 23 aces.

“Wachiramanowong played well and it was a good match,” said Aisam. “My strategy was to keep the points short. I wasn’t expecting it to be a three-setter, but it was a good match. Aqeel also played well against their top seed in the first match.” Aqeel khan defeated Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in a three-set marathon. Before the tie Aqeel emphasised on the important of an early lead against the visitors, and Aisam believes it will provide a cushion to the players on day two.

“The 2-0 lead is a good thing,” said Aisam. “We can prepare a better strategy now. I’ll be with the team in the evening and we can decide how to go about the doubles rubber. It definitely gives us a cushion as to whether we can rest or not. We’ll see how the recovery process goes.”

Aisam added that it is a great achievement for Pakistan to host the ties again and his stand against New Zealand last year seems to have paid off. Aisam had refused to play the tie in New Zealand in the Group II final as a protest that team Pakistan deserves a chance of a home-advantage.

“It feels unbelievable that we are playing at home again,” he said. “I took a stand against New Zealand and it paid off. We had been asking the ITF to reconsider their decision. I’m happy it has finally happened. We are playing among our people. I just want to thank the PTF and Pakistan Army as well for making it safe for the foreign players to come. They are doing a great job.”

Pakistan and Thailand have played each other eight times previously and Pakistan won on four occasions. Aqeel and Aisam are on the roster to play the doubles rubber on day two.