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Murad forms body to firm up recommendations for making RO plants efficient

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the installation of RO plants in the water-starved areas, particularly Thar where water table is so deep with highest rate of TDS, was a revolutionary step to provide drinking water but “our efforts are being criticised that the plants are not working to their capacity has shed water on our efforts.”

This he said while presiding over a meeting here at the CM House to review the progress of installation of Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plants and converting them on solar-based energy.

He said that he has reports that some of the plants have failed to work and some others have capacity issues.

“All these issues must be addressed through technical and scientific approach,” he said.

Secretary Special Initiative Department Aijaz Ali Khan giving presentation said that in the phase-I, 500 plants were installed between 2012 to 2015 for Rs2.44 billion.

Out of 500 plants, 393 are operational and providing water to 1.63 million people. He added that so far 68 RO plants have been converted on solar energy while work on others is in progress.

He said that in phase-II 750 RO plants are being installed for Rs4 billion. Out of 531 RO plants have been installed of them 379 have been made functional.

He added that the solarisation of 135 plants is in progress. He went on to say that 17 more RO plants would be made functional if their bores are made deep.

The meeting was told that in the third phase of installation of 750 RO plants started in 2014 for Rs5.49 billion and are scheduled to complete in 2018. So far 525 RO plants have been installed, of them 430 are functional. The solarisation work of 27 ROI plants was in progress.It was pointed out that in phase-I & II some 1050 RO plants are being turned on solar energy and so far work on 600 units have been completed. The solarisation of Manora RO (Desalination) Plant launched for Rs427 million is in progress.

The meeting was informed that in Phase-III 750 Plants being installed at Tharparkare have 145 units at Mithi, 136 at Islamkot, 131 at Chhachro, 129 at Dahli, 71 at Diplo and 95 at Nagarparkar. Out of 707 RO plants, 550 have been installed, of them 125 are functional at Mithi, 108 at Islamkot, 68 at Chhachro, 50 at Dahali, 42 at Diplo and 37 at Nangarparkar.

On this, the chief minister said that it means 277 RO plants are nonfunctional in Tharparkar on which he asked the secretary to submit him a report with reasons in detail.

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PML-N govt aims to make AJK hub of tourism: PM

ISLAMABAD (APP): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government aims at making Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) the hub of tourism.

“The Federal Government is focusing on infrastructure and tourism development at AJK which is manifested by two folds increase of federal funding for these sectors,” the PM said while talking to Minister for Information and Tourism AJK Mushtaq Minhas in Islamabad.

During the meeting, Minister for Information and Tourism briefed the Prime Minister regarding various development projects undertaken by AJK government.

The Prime Minister further stated that, “PML-N will deliver on promises made with the people of AJK regarding improvements in education, health and social sectors. I will visit AJK soon to meet with PML-N workers,” expressed the Prime Minister.

With regards to human rights violations in the Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said, “Pakistan has always strongly condemned the use of force on innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“Pakistan will keep on extending diplomatic and moral support towards the rightful demand of self-determination of the Kashmiri people,” stated the Prime Minister.

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Pakistan, US enjoy exceptional relationship for past 70 years: Aizaz Chaudhary

ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan and United States have been enjoying an exceptional relationship for the last seven decades, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry while addressing a gathering over dinner in Chicago on Monday.

According to a press release issued here, he said seven decades of our excellent relations do not only comprise of government to government relations but also robust people to people ties. He also appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani-American community for welfare of their country origin along with the role of Pakistani-American community of Midwest in cementing Pak-US relations.

Aizaz Chaudhry urged the Pakistani-American community to focus on assimilating with other communities living in United States and the country is emerging as a fast developing and modern republic in South Asia. He advised the young generation of Pakistani-Americans to actively participate in the local political scene.

The ambassador drew attention of Pakistani-American businessmen of immense business potential in Pakistan and encouraged them to invest their expertise and capital in Pakistan.

The dinner was organized by the consul general of Pakistan in collaboration with Pakistani-American Community of Chicago to welcome Ambassador Chaudhry on his first visit to Midwest US after assuming office in Washington. Congressman Danny K Davis, attended the event and greatly appreciated the role of Pakistani-American community in strengthening robust ties between the two countries.

Speaking at the event, Consul General of Pakistan Faisal NiazTirmizi, thanked the participants and especially urged Pakistani-American business community to attend the “Trade and Property Show” which is being organized in Chicago under the auspices of Pakistan Consulate and Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the first week of August 2017.

Representatives of Attorney General of Illinois, Mayor of Chicago, Chancellor East West University, Chairman Central Asian Productivity United of North Illinois University and a large number of Pakistani-American community attended the dinner.

The event was concluded by presenting a Certificate of Appreciation by Ambassador Chaudhry to Michael Blair. Michael Blair is Director Sales at Community Tissue Services and played a pivotal role in dispatching donation of skin grafts for burn victims of fuel tanker blast in Pakistan last month.

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Tale of corruption hidden in every project of Punjab government: Ellahi

LAHORE (Online): Pakistan Muslim League central leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervez Ellahi has stated that Auditor General’s report absolutely confirm the tale of corruption hidden in every project of Punjab government.

He said this during meeting with a delegation of senior lawyers of Lahore High Court belonging to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party, who called on him here on Monday headed by Rana Asad Munir advocate, and announced joining Pakistan Muslim League.

The delegation included Faisal Aman advocate, Irfan Ghaffar, Nadeem Aman, Ejaz Hussain Shah, Atif Ahmad and Mazhar Ali advocate.

Pervez Ellahi said that the Panama case came from Almighty Allah for catching the corruption of the rulers, that rulers will have to account for their doings, people should not be dodged by their innocent faces this time because the Supreme Court has opened their corruption to the people.

Welcome the lawyers leaders in the party fold, Ch Parvez Elahi said that our party has always been in the front for solving the problems of lawyers’ community on priority basis, established institution of Prosecutor General during our tenure, set up Consumer Courts and formulated housing scheme for the lawyers.

“Rulers will have to account for their doings, Panama case came from Almighty Allah for catching the corruption of the rulers, people should not be dodged by their innocent faces this time because the Supreme Court has opened their corruption to the people”, he added.

He said that corruption worth billions of rupees was committed in laptop scheme, sasti roti, yellow cab, mechanical tandoor and ashiana scheme. Highlighting the major achievements of his tenure, Ch Parvez Elahi said we have introduced private universities for popularizing education, established IT Tower for promotion of Information Technology (IT).

He said focus of our politics is common and poor man and as such our projects 1122 emergency service, patrolling posts, tax exemption for farmers over twelve and half acres, exemption of five marla from tax are also for welfare and well-being of common man and poor man but N-League hate farmers as well as the poor man because of this tax was reimposed again on the farmers and the poor.

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‘Politics can wait’: Ch Nisar postpones press conference in light of Lahore blast

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday postponed his much awaited press conference after a suspected terror attack in Lahore today.

Discussing the delay in his press conference, Nisar said, “I have been ill but I would rather go back today, than discuss politics while a tragedy has hit the country.”

He continued: “I was bedridden for the past two days and saw a number of speculations in the media about my condition. I would like for you all to keep those at bay and focus on the matter at hand — the Lahore blast.”

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PML-N degraded Pakistan’s minority community, PTI tells SC

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Monday contended before the Supreme Court that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has degraded Pakistan’s minority community by raising objections over PTI receiving funds from non-Muslims.

Anwar Mansoor Khan counsel for PTI submitted a reply in the Hanif Abbasi case wherein he stated that the petitioner’s statement is “a slap on the face of the great minority community of Pakistan”.

“It seems to be objectionable that the PML-N counsel while referring to PTI’s documents said the party’s foreign funding sources include names like Yadav,” said Khan. PTI submitted that such names exist in Pakistan and they are also citizens of the country, adding that the constitution does not distinguish between Muslims, Hindus and Christians in its definition of ‘citizen’.

Further, PTI rejected PML-N’s allegations that the party received funding from foreign countries. However, the party admitted that it received funds from dual nationals.

Expressing his inability to submit a money trail of his London flat, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan claimed on Saturday that English counties he had played for in the 1970s and 80s do not maintain salary records of their players beyond 20 years.

“I do not have any record of the exact schedule of my employments,” reads a concise supplementary statement submitted by Imran’s counsel in a case pending before the Supreme Court seeking his disqualification for non-disclosure of assets, ownership of offshore companies and receipt of foreign funds for the party.

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Resolution seeking removal of SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa submitted in Senate

ISLAMABAD (NNI): A resolution seeking immediate removal of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa, having signatures of 40 Senators, has been submitted in the Senate on Monday.

The resolution claims the incumbent governor is not eligible to the post since the SBP rules have been transgressed for making this appointment.

It asserts that section-10 of the State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956 has been violated with the appointment of Bajwa. “No person shall hold office as Governor, who is employed in any capacity in the public service of Pakistan or of any province of Pakistan or holds any office or position for which any salary or other remuneration is payable out of public funds,” Section-10 of the act says.

Retiring as the secretary of Economic Affairs Division and Finance on June 18, Bajwa joined the Civil Services of Pakistan back in 1981. He was appointed as new governor of the SBP via a notification on July 7preceding by Ashraf Wathra who retired on April 28.

Riaz Riazuddin was serving as SBP’s acting governor till July 7 as the top slot of the central bank fell vacant following the retirement of preceding SBP governor Wathra.

Bajwa’s appointment came in the wake of sudden depreciation and subsequent appreciation in the value of the rupee against the dollar. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had termed the depreciation artificial, which was the largest drop in the rupee value in nine years.

Previously, Bajwa was appointed as a director at the SBP and was also member Bank of Punjab’s board of directors.

He is the brother of Asif Bajwa, chief statistician in the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) who conducted the recent population and housing census. Another brother Dr. Rashid Bajwa is the CEO of National Rural Support Programme.

The resolution has signatures of 40 senators belonging to the PTI, PPP, ANP, and others excluding PML-N’s senators.

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Provocative speech case: Nehal Hashmi’s lawyer puts blame on Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD (APP): Senator Nehal Hashmi’s lawyer Hashmat Habib on Monday laid blame of his client’s threatening language against the judiciary and public servants on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan.

During the hearing of the suo moto case against Senator Hashmi’s controversial speech, the lawyer argued that the entire incident happened because of Imran Khan.

“What does Khan has to do with this case? His matter is not with us,” said the judge.

Nehal Hashmi’s lawyer Hashmat Habib requested the court to provide time for submitting reply to the charge sheet and finding witness in the case. He asked to adjourn the hearing of the case till the fourth week of August.

“Shouldn’t we postpone the case until 2019?” Justice Ijazul Ahsan inquired in a criticizing tone.

He remarked that nothing more would be present in the CDs than the material already submitted in court by Hashmi. “Nehal Hashmi committed contempt of court prima facie,” pronounced Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

Hashmat Habib told that they have also filed a plea against TV channel. “You did nothing and the footage was made by the channels itself,” the judge sternly remarked.

Director General Pemra presented the list of channels which aired Hashmi’s speech. “The broadcast of various channels was checked for around one hour. We always take notice ourselves if the speech is against the code of conduct,” he explained to the court.

Attorney General told the court that no channel aired the complete speech but rather different parts.

“We understand what is happening. Are you yourself a hostage or making the witness as one,” said Justice Azmat Saeed while expressing severe displeasure.

“If the TV channels have aired the speech more than the record submitted in court, then DG Pemra will be going to jail instead of home,” said the judge.

The court while adjourning the hearing till August 21 has summoned reply from Nehal Hashmi in two weeks.

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Supreme Court stays execution of convict sentenced to death by military court

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of a convict who was handed death sentence by a military court.

The accused, Mohammad Akbar, was convicted of murdering two soldiers in 2009. He had challenged the military court verdict in 2016.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, after staying the convict’s execution, issued notices to the attorney general and the petitioner’s counsel.

At the time of his arrest, five kilogrammes of explosives were also found from Akbar, whose appeal against the death sentence was dismissed by Peshawar High Court.

The convict’s counsel contended before the SC that the military court did not take legal provisions into consideration while handing down the punishment, adding that his client was not given the opportunity to defend himself.

The Supreme Court subsequently stayed the implementation of the execution order after suspending the military court’s verdict. The hearing of the case was adjourned for an indefinite period.

Military courts

Military courts were disbanded on January 7, 2017, after the expiration of a sunset clause included in the legal provisions under which the tribunals were established.

However, on March 31, President Mamnoon Hussain gave his formal assent to the Pakistan Army Act 2017 and the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill ─ the two pieces of legislation aimed at granting legal cover to military courts ─ after they were cleared by the parliament.

The courts were subsequently revived and given legal cover from the day of their disbandment.

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Pakistan to face political instability if PM removed through undemocratic process: Sanaullah

LAHORE (NNI): Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah  has said on Monday that Pakistan will become unstable if the Prime Minister is removed from office in an undemocratic and non-public manner.

“If such a leader who has been elected by millions as prime minister is removed in an undemocratic and non-public manner, it will create political instability in Pakista,” he said.

While requesting the Supreme Court (SC) to thwart the conspiracy against the government, Sanaullah said that the opponents are trying to have the support of SC to fulfill their aims.

“People are coming to Supreme Court as if the government is being distributed,” he criticized.

He warned that the public will not approve the move if article 62 and 63 is used in the capacity of 58-2B.

Whether 58-2b is utilized by a dictator or article 62, 63 is used in its form, it is not acceptable for this public as it is their right,” said Sanaullah.