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PM Abbasi to attend 72nd UNGA Session

ISLAMABAD (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will lead Pakistan delegation to 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York from September 18.

The Annual gathering of the 193-member body will give Pakistan an opportunity to engage multilaterally and bilaterally to advance its priorities in diverse areas. The Prime Minister will hold bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders and the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Foreign Office announced.

The Annual Session of the General Assembly has special significance as is attended by a large number of Heads of State and Government. The regular session of the UNGA began on September 12, and the General Debate will open on September 19, with a focus on the theme, “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”

On the sidelines of the General Assembly Session, the Prime Minister will address the Council on Foreign Relations besides interacting with the US Pakistan Business Council. The Prime Minister will also have extensive interaction with the international media.

On the margins of the session, Ministerial level meetings of many regional and sub-regional organizations will be held, including OIC, G-77, ECO, SAARC, Commonwealth, D-8 and others. A meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir will also be held. Pakistan is a great advocate of multilateralism and the United Nations to promote collective responses to the multifaceted challenges of global peace, security and development.

The statement said Pakistan would continue its constructive role and engagement at the UN with a view to protecting and promoting its national interests, including on core issues such as Jammu and Kashmir, reform of the Security Council, counter-terrorism, human rights, peacekeeping, and a host of development and other matters.

 

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Hudaibiya Paper Mills is ‘mother of all crimes’: Sheikh Rashid

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Awami Muslim League (AML) Chairman Sheikh Rashid on Saturday declared the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case as the ‘mother of all crimes’ of the Sharif clan.

The Hudaibiya Paper Mills were allegedly used as a cover by the Sharif family to launder money outside the country in the 1990s.

It was in relation to this case that the Sharif family’s trusted aide, Ishaq Dar, recorded a confessional statement on April 25, 2000, in front of a magistrate in Lahore.

“Dar should resign immediately,” Rashid demanded, further claiming ‘money launderers’ were appointed in the State Bank of Pakistan The AML chief also claimed that daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will divide the Sharif family and the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N).

“Maryam caused the most harm to Nawaz’s tenure [as prime minister],” Rashid declared while addressing a press conference in Lahore. Maryam spearheaded the election campaign in the NA-120 constituency after PML-N’s candidate and her mother — Begum Kulsoom Nawaz — was diagnosed with cancer.

The seat fell vacant after Nawaz was disqualified from holding public office at the behest of the Supreme Court. They by-poll is set to be held on September 17 (tomorrow). A tough contest is expected between PTI candidate Yasmin Rashid and PML-N’s Kulsoom Nawaz. According to the returning officer, there are 44 contestants in total for the by-poll.

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Imran promoted indecent culture in Pak politics: Ayesha Gulalai

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Member of National Assembly (NA) Ayesha Gulalai on Saturday said that everyone should respect state institutions by refraining from uttering indecent language against them.

In a TV interview, Ayesha Gulalai said that not appearing before Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will give negative message to the youth. She said we have to eradicate the culture of hurling baseless allegations against each other.

Talking about the members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Gulalai said that you cannot eliminate corruption by hiring crooked people. National Accountability Bureau (NAB) didn’t find any corruption evidence against me, she added.

She said I am standing in front of the nation after acquittal as groundless accusations were leveled against me. She said that the PTI chief Imran Khan has promoted indecent culture in the politics of the country.

 

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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.