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388 cases transferred to special trial courts: NACTA

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Around 388 cases have been transferred to 11 special trial courts, established under National Action Plan (NAP) are serving as a cogent deterrent against terrorism.

The performance of Special Trial Courts (STCs) is crucial in sentencing terrorists and preventing further promotion of terrorism. The decrease in incidence of terrorism can be attributed to quick trials and sentencing of terrorists.

A Review December-2017 issued by National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) on Tuesday said decisions of these courts are forwarded to Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan Army, who issues order for the death sentence to be carried out.

During intense wave of terrorist activity, a large number of both civilian and security forces’ personnel lost their lives every week, it was a rare occurrence that a terrorist would be captured alive, or arrested prior to carrying out an attack.

However, even if terrorists were captured, the legal process was not retrofitted to deal with adverse conditions.

The Law of Evidence (Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order of 1984) could not be brought to bear for evidences against such miscreants; in some cases, arrested terrorists escaped from prisons; in other cases, suspected terrorists were acquitted for lack of evidence or due to loopholes in investigation process.

Even arrested suspects could rest assured that they would be freed for one reason or another.

The Review said upon institution of National Action Plan in December 2014, a holistic augmentation of anti-terrorism legislation took place and the judicial process for trying terror suspects was revamped. Under the 21st Amendment to Constitution of Pakistan, military courts were allowed jurisdiction over terrorism cases and were established as special ‘speedy’ trial courts.

Initial period for their op-eration was two years, which commenced on January 7, 2-015, and received an extensi-on for another two years in March 2017 through the 28th Amendment to the Constit-ution. Eleven (11) special trial courts were notified as per the above Constitutional amendments and to ensure against miscarriage of justice, a system of referring cases to Special Trial Courts has been put in place.

The step-wise system includes identification of cases by local police and CTDs and scrutiny by Chief Police Officer and submission to Home Department, after examination, Home Departments forward cases to Provincial Apex Committees which forward cases to Ministry of Interior for perusal and approval of Minister of Interior.

The Ministry of Interior forwards cases to JAG, Pakistan Army, for submission to trial court.


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CJ stresses on equality in education system

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court while hearing suo moto case regarding performance of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council PM&DC and medical colleges remarked that there was dire need of equality in country’s education system.

While chairing a three-member bench Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that “no jewel in more expensive than education, law makers should provide quality education to everyone”.

He said that judiciary did not want to destroy private medical colleges however there was a dire need of quality education and wanted their uplifting.

Chief Justice showed his desire and said ” is one bag, one book and one uniform possible for every student in whole country? so that no one could differentiate between innocent students,” adding in fact there should be equality in the education system.

During the course of proceedings, Akram Sheikh counsel for the PMDC apprised the court that in previous government, federal minister Dr. Asim Hussain registered 85 medical colleges, 90 were registered in 2007 while bypassing rules and regulations.

The Chief Justice observed that to avoid from complications it was time to look forward and remarked that if any college however registered bypassing due process of law but now performing its best then court would not pass any adverse orders for it.

Latif Khosa counsel for Dr. Asim apprised the bench that about 30 million children did not go to school in the country, where as in Sri Lanka literacy rate was 99 now.

To this, Chief Justice said that “I know all these things, I took this suo moto notice when saw a school where animals were tied, instead of giving education to our futures.”

He remarked that Article 25 of the constitution said that from 5 to 16 years providing education to children was duty of the state and inquired that whether state was doing its job.

Subsequently, the bench adjourned further hearing of the case till January 10.

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Pakistan suspends intelligence sharing, military cooperation with US

ISLAMABAD (APP): Defence minister Khurram Dastagir Khan has announced on Tuesday that Pakistan has suspended military and intelligence cooperation with United States (US) as a reaction to halt of aid and accusation of not doing enough in war on terror despite having rendered invaluable sacrifices.

Dastagir made a formal announcement of suspension of the cooperation however, he said that land and air passage have been kept permitted for now and the option would be exhausted at optimum time.

Reaction of Pakistan has come in a week after US president Donald Trump alleged Pakistan of not doing enough against terrorism and extremism and said that the States wasted the aid giving it to Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan made fools out of US leaders for the past 15 years.

Trump’s tirade sparked countrywide protests in Pakistan and military maintained that Pakistan Army is a powerful force without US aid as well.

Foreign minister Khawaja Asif had said that Pakistan would soon differentiate facts and fiction for the world to know.

Lawmakers across the board condemned US move of halting military aid to Pakistan.

Former US envoy to Islamabad Richard Olson had said that Pakistan has more leverage against States and Trump s move against Pakistan was unlikely to work.

“Pakistan, like most countries, reacts very badly to public attempts to force its hand,” New York Times quoted Olson.

“It is likely to respond by showing how it can truly undercut our position in Afghanistan,” said Olson, who also served as the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Six including four policemen martyred in Quetta blast

F.P. Report

QUETTA: At least six persons, including four police personnel, were martyred and 17 others injured on Tuesday when a suspected suicide blast rocked Quetta’s Zarghoon road near the Balochistan Assembly building.

The explosion took place near a police truck parked close to GPO Chowk on Zarghoon Road, located in the city’s high-security Red Zone, around 300 metres from the provincial assembly building.

The DC, Farrukh Ateeq, confirmed that a police vehicle was targeted in the blast. However, he said he could not confirm the number of wounded persons.

But hospital sources confirmed the death toll, saying at least six persons, including four policemen, were martyred and at least 17 others injured in the explosion.

Police officials did not officially disclose the exact nature of the blast. However, initial investigation suggested a suicide bomber was attempting to target the Balochistan Assembly building but detonated his explosives near the high-security Red Zone area.

Security sources said personnel were on their way back after completion of routine duty when the bomber detonated his explosive. The blast also damaged a public bus nearby.

Police personnel took positions around the provincial assembly building, while additional contingents were also called in following the blast.

Security officials said a bomb disposal team was also present at the location conducting necessary search and sweep exercise and examining the nature of blast.

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Imran Khan breaks silence over his third marriage rumours

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Finally breaking his silence over rumours regarding his third marriage with Bushra Maneka, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday said the opposition members are trying to portray that he has committed a biggest crime by expressing his wish to get married again.

“For 3 days I have been wondering have I looted a bank; or money laundered billions in nation s wealth; or ordered a Model Town-like killing spree; or revealed the state secrets to India? I have done none of these but discovered I have committed a bigger crime: wanting to get married,” Imran Khan stated in a message posted on Twitter.

He mentioned that the vicious media campaign led by Nawaz Sharif and Mir Shakeel-ul-Rehman does not bother him. The vicious, gutter media campaign led by NS & MSR mafia does not bother me as respect & humiliation come from Allah Almighty.

Khan said he is only concerned for his children and the very conservative family of Bushra begum, all of whom have been subjected to this malicious campaign. He said this negative campaign has only strengthened his resolve to fight his opponents all the way.

However, my concern is for my children & the very conservative family of Bushra begum, all of whom have been subjected to this malicious campaign by NS & MSR. “NS & MSR can rest assured that their vicious campaign has only strengthened my resolve to fight them all the way,” he tweets.

Khan further said he has known the Sharifs for 40 years and he is aware of all their ‘sordid personal lives’ but he would never stoop to the level of exposing these details. “I have known the Sharifs for 40 years and I know all their sordid personal lives but I would never stoop to the level of exposing these sordid details.”

At the end, Imran Khan asked his well wishers and supporters to pray that he finds personal happiness which he has been deprived of for few years. All I ask of my well wishers and supporters is that they pray I find personal happiness which, except for a few years, I have been deprived of.

Earlier on Sunday, The party of cricket legend turned politician Imran Khan confirmed that he has sent a proposal of marriage to a faith healer but that the woman has yet to decide on the matter.

The 66-year-old Khan has earlier married and divorced two women, socialite Jemima Goldsmith and journalist Reham Khan.

Rumors about Imran Khan’s third marriage continued circulating on Monday though his party, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, on Sunday issued a statement saying that “if and when the proposal is accepted” by the lady in question, Bushra Maneka, the former cricket start will announce it.

Maneka is a divorcee who comes from a deeply conservative family. Khan has in the past sought her out for spiritual healing.

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Accountability court records statement of four witnesses in corruption references against Sharif family

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing corruption references against Nawaz Sharif and his family recorded four statements of witnesses of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday.

Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar appeared before the court

In today’s hearing, NAB court recorded the statement of Sidra Mansoor, joint secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in the Al Azizia reference. She provided record regarding Mehran Ramzan Textile Mills, owned by Hussain Nawaz.

Khawaja Harris, counsel of Nawaz Sharif cross-examined the witness.

Uzair Rehan, Assistant Director NAB, Tasleem Khan and Mohammad Zubair, also recorded their statements before the court, while another witness could not attend the hearing due to illness.

Counsel for Nawaz’s children, Amja Pervaiz raised objection over non-appearance of Daraz in the court, adding that the witness should submit a medical certificate to the court.

The court has summoned Umar Daraz again on next hearing along with other witnesses named Afaq Ahmad and Nasir Junejo. The hearing has been adjourned till Jan 16.

At the last hearing, two prosecution witnesses Mohammad Tasleem, who is commissioner Inland Revenue at the FBR, and Zawwar Manzoor recorded their statements.

The NAB has filed three references against Sharif family in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case. The three references include the London flats, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd.

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CM Balochistan Zehri resigns

F.P. Report

QUETTA: Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri submitted his resignation and Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai quickly accepted his resignation without any delay on Tuesday.

Former Home Minister, Sarfraz Bugti expressed his gratitude on twitter and adding that Alhamdullilah CM Zehri resigned from his post.

Zehri submitted his resignation just hours before the Balochsitan assembly was set to vote over the no-confidence motion which was tabled against him by the opposition parties.

The motion, which was submitted on January 2 by Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Syed Agha Raza, was signed by a total of 14 parliamentarians.

In order to dismiss the motion, the provincial chief executive needed to get 33 votes from a house of 65 members.

Earlier, reports emerged that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had asked Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri to resign in order to control the rising political tension in the province.


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Some forces pulling strings of Qadri: Marriyum Aurangzeb

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State of Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb has claimed that some forces are pulling strings of strings of Tahir-ul-Qadri with the aim to destabilize the country.

She said this on Tuesday while talking to media persons. She questioned that why PAT chief repeatedly visiting Canada from Pakistan.

She added that Qadri is working on the directions of some powers and the godfathers and they need to be disclosed who want to disturb the peace of the country.

The people of Pakistan are aware of the situation and the reality of these leaders and will reject their confrontation politics, she added.

The government is facing increasing pressure from PAT, flanked by major opposition parties, for resignations of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah ended on Sunday after the Model Town incident report.

Qadri announced a countrywide protest movement against the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) government which will commence from January 17.

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Standard of justice should be same for everyone: Nawaz

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif has said that the standard of justice should be the same for everyone and adding that double standard of justice will not accepted in any manner.

Nawaz said this on Tuesday while talking to party workers in a meeting after appearing before the accountability court in corrupt references.

He added that judges needs to speak through their judgments. A campaign of revenge has been launched against him but we will face every conspiracy, he added.

A delegation of lawyers has also called on the PML-N chief, who arrived at Punjab House earlier after attending the corruption hearing against him in the accountability court.


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Indian forces martyr two Kashmiri youth in IHK

Monitoring Desk

SRINAGAR: At least two Kashmiri youth were martyred by Indian forces on Tuesday in Anantnag district of occupied Kashmir.

According to media reports, Indian Army conducted operation in Kokernag area of Anantnag district and martyred one youth namely Muhammad Farhan Wani and injured another youth identified as Ashraf Khan who succumbed to injuries later.

While talking to media persons in Srinagar, Indian army officer claimed that the deceased were militants and they were gunned down in an encounter.

Meanwhile, the Indian authorities have shut down mobile internet services in all districts of south Kashmir.