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No need to protest after Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause restored, says Ahsan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that there is no need to continue the protest as clauses pertaining to Khatam-e-Nabuwat (Finality of Prophethood) have been restored to its original form.

Speaking to media at Press Information Department on Friday, he said all the parties came together to restore the clauses of Khatam-e-Nabuwat [Finality of Prophethood] to their original form.

On Friday, Senate passed on Friday the Elections Amendment Bill, 2017, related to Khatam-e-Nabuwat clauses for voters, after the National Assembly (NA) did the same on Thursday.

On the Islamabad protest, he remarked that it has brought life to a standstill in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. “After all our tries and negotiations, they [the protesters] have not left till today,” said Ahsan.

“For the last 10 days, they have created a lot of problems for people of the two cities. It has increased traffic congestions and affected the daily lives of students, labourers, traders, shopkeepers.”

Interior minister further said, “We want the issue to be resolved in a peaceful manner.”

The protesters no longer need to protest as we have given them a bigger law than they asked for, he remarked, adding “the issue has been resolved.”

Iqbal once again asked the protesters to engage in a dialogue with the government so that the issue can be resolved in an amicable manner.

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Always ready to respond to threats on LoC, eastern border: COAS

RAWALPINDI (NNI): Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that Pakistan Army is always be ready to respond to any threats across the country’s eastern border with India, including the Line of Control (LoC).

“There cannot be any let up for our preparedness for response against perpetual threat on our eastern border including LoC and Line of Actual Contact (LAC),” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) quoted the army as saying in a statement on Friday.

The COAS made these remarks on his visit to Headquarters Rawalpindi Corps, where he was given a comprehensive briefing on the prevalent situation along the LoC and operational preparedness of the formations.

The statement came in the wake of increasing ceasefire violations from the Indian side.

Indian occupation forces violated the ceasefire in Chirikot and Nezapir sectors earlier in the day, martyring two civilians, and injuring five others, including two women.

In this year alone, over 1,300 ceasefire violations have taken place along the LoC and the Working Boundary, according to a Pakistan Foreign Office tally. This has led to at least 52 civilians being killed and over 170 others injured.

Last week, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had approved funds to develop community protection bunkers for the safety of civilian population along the LoC.

Indian envoy summoned

The Director General (SA & SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner JP Singh and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations.

“The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. “The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.”

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Key suspect of Sehwan blast arrested in Karachi

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Police on Friday claimed to have arrested key suspect in blast on shrine of Lal Shehbaz Qalandar in Sehwan.

Addressing news conference at the Counter Terrorism Department’s civil line office, Deputy Inspector General of Police CTD, Amir Farooqi said that Nadir Ali was arrested near Hub River when he tried to enter Karachi from Balochistan.

“On tip off police conducted a raid and arrested Nadir Ali who was riding a motorcycle,” Farooqi told reporters; claiming Nadir was the key suspect in blast. He informed that the planning of the Sehwan attack took place at Dera Murad Jamali — a city located in Nasirabad District in Balochistan.

He added that all the people of the group involved in the attack have been identified by the police officials and are either dead or on the run. The officer said that Daesh’s Sindh chief has been killed by the law enforcement agencies as well. During interrogation it emerged that the suicide has stayed at the house of Nadir Ali Jakhrani situated in Kandhkot area of Sindh.

A cache of weapons and explosive material was recovered from the possession of the terrorist, identified as Nadir Ali by DIG Farooqi.

The deadly attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, which was claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group, had resulted in the deaths of at least 88 people and left at least 150 others wounded. Following the bloodbath, the army had launched Operation Raddul Fasaad, saying it was aimed at eliminating the “residual/latent threat of terrorism”.

DIG Farooqi said the foothold of IS had been weakened in Pakistan after several operations targeting its operatives.

“After the Mastung Operation, one by one their [IS] militants are being captured. Today, [the key suspect in the shrine attack] has been arrested. They have become very weak here,” the DIG CTD said. “Their people have escaped and the group’s presence is found across the border in Afghanistan,” Farooqi said.

“They (IS) were not operating here. The group’s elements used to be associated with various political parties, primarily the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Then they went towards IS,” he added. “Foreign elements are definitely involved in incidents of terrorism – they fund, train and assign targets to these groups,” he said.

However, the DIG said that the army’s operations had limited the group.

“They have been eliminated now,” he claimed.

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Asim asks Bilawal to relieve him of duties as Karachi chief

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Former Petroleum Minister and accused in case of billions of corruption, Dr Asim Hussain, has requested Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to relieve him of duties as party’s Karachi Chief, it emerged on Friday.

Hussain was severely reprimanded by Faryal Talpur, aunt of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the party’s central leader after the Karachi chief met with Farooq Sattar after his presser in which he alleged elements of establishment to force him to make alliance with Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).

“Asim Hussain has met Farooq Sattar in personal capacity,” Ms. Talpur clarified after the former’s meeting with MQM-P chief.

Sources say Asim Hussain was not happy with the way he was treated after meeting with Sattar and was mulling to resign. “But some close friends suggested him to choose a respectable way of stepping down by excusing under the guise of illness,” an insider told The Frontier Post.

Pakistan People’s Party Leader, Dr Asim Hussain during a meeting with the top leadership of PPP informed that he is going abroad for medical treatment, confirmed a press release issued here on Friday evening.

According to spokesman, Dr Asim Hussain, told the PPP leadership that due to incessant pain in his back-bone, an immediate surgery is scheduled to take place in near future on account of which he is going abroad for treatment. Moreover, he further said that until then he could not continue working as President PPP, Karachi Division.

Dr Asim further requested Chairman, Pakistan People’s Party, to relieve him with the existing responsibility as President PPP, Karachi Division from his shoulders at the instant moment, whereas he will continue working as a PPP political worker in future.

Earlier in August Asim Husain said, “The Pakistan Army has done commendable job in rest of the country whereas the paramilitary Rangers have done great job in Karachi, which should be appreciated,” Dr Asim Hussain said while talking to media persons after he appeared in the accountability court.

On Saturday, the Pakistan Rangers Sindh had rubbished a claim by Dr Asim Hussain that he was heavily drugged by interrogators for recording confessional statement.

“Dr Asim has alleged of being drugged by the investigation team before recording his statement, which is contrary to the fact,” a Rangers’ spokesman said, adding that the former PPP minister was neither tortured nor compelled to give any statement.

“The allegations leveled by Dr Asim Hussain are contrary to the fact and he never alleged during confinement, hearing or after being released on bail,” the statement reads.

Close aide of former President Asif Ali Zardari and President of the Pakistan Peoples Party had claimed in a TV show a day earlier he did not remember what he had said in the confessional video because he had been drugged and confined to a basement.

He claimed that he also did not know what drug he had been administered by Rangers personnel. “I don’t remember because I think I was heavily drugged into it,” he said. In the footage telecast by TV channels last year in June, Dr Asim was seen sitting on a chair and maligning the party leadership. He also leveled serious allegations against Zardari’s foster brother Owais Muzaffar alias Tappi.

The Rangers recalled that Dr Asim is currently released on bail and cases registered against him are being heard in courts. Dr Asim was released from a sub-jail set up for him at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on March 31 after a little over 19 months in detention.

He was granted bail in two corruption references filed by NAB for allegedly causing huge losses to the national exchequer through corrupt practices.

Dr Asim, who was serving as chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, was picked up by Rangers personnel on Aug 26, 2015, for his alleged involvement in offences falling within the ambit of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

He remained in Rangers’ preventive detention for 90 days before being handed over to police in a case registered against him and others for allegedly treating and harboring suspected terrorists, political militants and gangsters at his hospital on the request of Rauf Siddiqui, Wasim Akhtar and Saleem Shahzad of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM); Pak Sarzameen Party president Anis Kaimkhani; PPP’s Abdul Qadir Patel, and Pasban’s Usman Moazzam.

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Islamabad protest: IHC orders local admin to clear protesters by tomorrow

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the authorities on Friday to clear the Faizabad Interchange for traffic and removed the protestors from the area till Saturday 10 am.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed the authorities to vacate the key route from the protesters which was creating problems for the commuters from the past 12 days.

Workers of different religious parties have staged sit-in protest on the key route of Islamabad against the government and demanded action against those involved in change of a religious clause in the Constitution.

Earlier on Thursday, the IHC ordered the protesters to disperse but they still occupying the main route of the capital and continued their protest.

Justice Siddiqui summoned the administration and ordered the police to take the assistance of Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Rangers if it needed and clear the route and dislodge the protestors at any cost.

The deputy commissioner asked for time as preparations will take three to four hours as the protestors carrying weapons and their strengths to be around 2,000 and it is expected that will increase after the Juma prayers.

Justice Siddiqui lashed out at administration failing to play its due role in resolving the crisis and merely watching the drama.


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Turbat: Key commander of terrorist group killed in search operation

F.P. Report

TURBAT:  A key commander of banned organization was killed and three other terrorists were arrested in a search operation conducted by security forces in hilly areas of Turbat on Thursday.

Private news channel reported that security forces conducted search operation in Gorok area of Buleda near Turbat where 15 young men killed by terrorists on Wednesday.

The terrorists were hiding in the area and they opened fire at the security forces and in returned the security forces retaliate and killed top commander of the banned group the fire as a result a top commander identified as Younas Baloch of of banned organization and three others were arrested in the crackdown.

The security forces also recovered weapons from the possession of the arrested terrorists and as per the news reports the operation was going on in the area.


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Senate approves Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Senate of Pakistan passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017 on Friday after the National Assembly did the same on Thursday.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid presented the bill in the Senate. He said on the floor that we are Muslims and it is our faith that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the last prophet. He said this while referring to the passing of the seconds bill of Elections Act 2017 in the National Assembly on Thursday which is related to Khatam-e-Nabowat. The senate also passed that bill too and restored the actual form for candidates.

Deputy Chairman Senate, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, who belongs to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), said the Ahmadis’ status is the same as it was in the 1973 Constitution.

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NAB wants finance minister’s name on ECL, interior minister Ahsan may replace Dar

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday recommended Ministry of Interior to place name of Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar on Exit Control List (ECL).

This recommendation has been made after issuance of non- bailable arrest warrant of Ishaq Dar, NAB announced here.

Ahsan on verge of becoming finance minister: Ishaq Dar’s days as minister of finance may be numbered as Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is about to replace him with Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

“A notification in order to give additional charge of the finance ministry to Iqbal is expected to be issued shortly,” sources in the Prime Minister office told on the condition of anonymity.

Iqbal already has a lot on his plate as he is the incumbent interior minister and is also at the helm of the Ministry of Planning and Development.

Sources said the decision to replace Dar comes because he has become ineffective as a minister since the opening of the accountability reference against him after the Supreme Court’s Panama Papers judgment.

The sources said that in a recent meeting at Jati Umra, Nawaz Sharif was joined by Abbasi, and despite the latter’s persistence to get approval for the change, Sharif refused.

However, the sources maintained that after the reopening of the Hudabiya Paper Mills case, where Dar is a co-accused.

At the November 2 hearing, the accountability court approved NAB’s request to freeze Dar’s assets.

All accounts belonging to Dar, except those operated by accountant general revenue, were to be frozen after the court order.

The bureau froze the assets after its chairman ordered to do so on October 18 but it needed the court’s endorsement as according to NAB laws, the order is only valid for 15 days.

NAB was seeking the freezing of Dar’s six bank, properties and vehicles in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates as well as investments in both countries.

NAB, in its application, had informed the court of serious apprehensions that the accused, his dependents/benamidars might dispose of, alienate, sell, create charge or change the status of the properties/investments.

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NAB asks interior ministry to put Ishaq Dar’s name on ECL

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday requested the Ministry of Interior that it include the name of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on its Exit Control List (ECL).

The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by the NAB Chairman, retired Justice Javed Iqbal, a statement issued by the NAB spokesperson read.

An accountability court on Tuesday had issued non-bailable warrants for Dar over his continuous absence from proceedings in a corruption reference pending against him.

The noose had seemed to be tightening further around the incumbent finance minister after NAB decided to reopen the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibya Paper Mills reference against him on Wednesday.

The Hudaibya reference will be the second ‘mega-corruption’ case against Dar being investigated by NAB, after the reference filed against him in the wake of the Panama Papers case judgement.

The reopening of the case was recommended by the joint investigation team formed by the apex court to probe the Panama Papers allegations against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.

“To meet [a] legal requirement in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision, NAB is reopening its investigation into the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference,” said an official press release issued by NAB.

“Ishaq Dar became an approver in the Hudaibya Papar Mills reference and after the quashment of that reference, a fresh investigation is being initiated against Ishaq Dar as an accused,” it said.

On Tuesday, Dar’s counsel, Qusain Faisal Mufti, had told the accountability court that during his client’s angiography it was discovered that one of the blood vessels leading to his heart had ruptured, and offered that the court try him via video link.

Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir, however, dismissed Dar’s application and directed his guarantors to ensure the finance minister’s presence at the next hearing on Nov 21, or else face confiscation of his bail bonds.

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NA restores original Khatam-e-Nabuwwat declaration as Elections (Amendment) Bill 2017 passed

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved revival of the 7-B and 7-C clauses of the amended election bill, relating to Khatam-e-Nabuwwat in their original forms.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill 2017 was presented by Law Minister Zahid Hamid and restored status of Ahmadiyya and Lahori groups as in the Constitution of Pakistan.

Law minister clears his stance

He told his only concern was that to remove the 10-day limit to submit the declaration of Khatam-e-Nubuwwat, adding that the bill restored the clause in its original form. He said that both declaration have been made part of election act.

During address, the law minister said that before 2002 general elections, seats were increased and collective polls were approved. He clarified that the same status of Ahmadiyya and Lahori groups will be retained as in Constitution.

“I firmly believe in Khatam-e-Nubuwwat (finality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and can’t even think against it,” he cleared, stressing that he was wrongly quoted in the matter. He told that he had to issue a video message for his constituency. He also said, “I and my family are ready to sacrifice our lives for the sanctity of Prophet (PBUH).”

While Zahid Hamid was clarifying his stance on the serious concern, Sheikh Rasheed chanted slogans against the government at which Speaker Ayaz Sadiq turned off his microphone. “We have not asked Law Minister Zahid Hamid to clarify the matter,” said Sheikh Rasheed.

He demanded of revealing the name of those who were responsible for the mistake, adding that no compromise can be made in the matter. He said that he recommendations of committee chaired by Raja Zafar-ul-Haq should be put forward in the assembly.

He clarified that the same status of Ahmadiyya and Lahori groups has been retained as in Constitution. Elections Bill 2017. Hamid had dismissed rumours pertaining to controversy about Finality of Prophethood (Khatam-e-Nabuwwat) which was created by Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed of Awami Muslim League during passage of the Election Bill 2017. Meanwhile, Islamabad High Court had directed the religious parties to call off their sit-in staged in Faizabad against government for their alleged move of omitting Khatam-e-Nabuwwat.