ISLAMABAD (APP): US Ambassador David Hale on Thursday called on National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua and shared views with him on US President Donald Trump’s new policy for South Asia.
US acknowledges Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism and it is hoped that Pakistan will continue to play its cooperative role, the US diplomat said at the meeting.
“The additional US troops in Afghanistan will also act against Pakistan’s enemies,” he said, adding that the US is aware of Pakistan’s concerns over India’s role in Afghanistan. He also said that Washington is ready to help reduce Pakistan-India tensions.
Hale said the US president did not blame Pakistan for [US] failure in Afghanistan. “President Trump didn’t speak of military solution to Afghan issue; it is a component of the regional policy.”
He added that Pakistan’s role toward resolution of Afghan issue has not been ruled out.
Earlier this month, Trump cleared the way for the deployment of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan, backtracking from his promise to rapidly end America’s longest war while pillorying ally Pakistan for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos.”
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said, warning that vital aid could be cut. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”
In response, Janjua said Pakistan is carefully analysing new US policy and it is pondering over all options. “The statement by the US president hurt sentiments of the Pakistani people and government.”
He said that Pakistan was wrongly accused and threatened, which gave a negative perception, adding, “Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were wrongly linked to terrorists and the new US policy created an atmosphere of uncertainty and regional imbalance”.
The Pakistani NSA stressed that everyone should work together for ending dispute in Afghanistan.
LONDON (NNI): Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday met his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in a London hospital where she is being treated for throat cancer.
Sharif reached London on Thursday morning to meet his wife who is suffering from throat cancer. He also met the doctors who assured him that her wife s disease is curable but will require her to stay in the hospital for the next few weeks.
Earlier, Begum Kalsoom Nawaz was diagnosed with throat cancer on August 22 after she went to London for an unexpected checkup on August 17. She was due to lead her campaign in the NA-120 by-polls which are scheduled on September 17.
However, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) didn’t change their candidate for the much hyped by-polls and Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Nawaz Sharif, is leading the election campaign on behalf of her mother.
ISLAMABAD (INP): National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has sent a reference against former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member and MNA Ayesha Gulalai seeking to denotify from her seat, to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The ECP confirmed it has received the notice. PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday had sent a notice to Gulalai stating that she has defected from the party in terms of Article 63 A (1) of the Constitution.“In furtherance thereof and in compliance with the requirements of Article 63 A (2) of the Constitution, this declaration is being forwarded to you as well as the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chief Election Commissioner for further action in accordance with the Constitution,” states the notice.
Gulalai, a member of the National Assembly from the PTI, quit the party earlier this month after levelling allegations of harassment and corruption at the PTI chief. The notice, dated August 28 and sent to Gulalai’s home addresses in Islamabad and Peshawar, states that Gulalai on August 1 publicly resigned from the party, did not vote for the party’s designated candidate in the prime minister’s elections on August 1.
LAHORE: Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here on Thursday.
Matters relating to overall political situation and international affairs were discussed during the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif said Pakistan is a sovereign country and it has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in war against terrorism. He said the international community should acknowledge Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism.
He said Pakistan’s role against terrorism and it sacrifices needed to be recognized at international level. He said respect and esteem of the country was foremost, adding the live nations face the challenges with bravery. He said current challenges have brought new chances for Pakistani nation. He stressed the need to gain benefit from these challenges.
CM Punjab further flaunted that Pakistani nation has the ability to change their destiny. He urged to work with dedication, passion and hard work to bring the country on new heights. He said it was hardest to find example of sacrifices rendered by Pakistan against terrorism. He added due to these sacrifices the country is today peaceful and safe. He said Pakistan’s measures against terrorism and sacrifices would be written with golden words in the history.
He underlined the importance of forging unity among our ranks in order to foil nefarious designs of the enemies. He said it was the time of unity and solidarity and not to divide the nation.
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Yasmin Rashid on Thursday said the party has various options, including holding a sit-in, if its concerns over NA-120 by-poll are not addressed.
Addressing media while visiting the constituency, Rashid demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) take notice of the violation of code of conduct by the ruling party. She said that the party has registered its concerns with the ECP on issues like pre-poll rigging and polling scheme.
The PTI leader criticised Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for not paying heed to the needs of the constituency’s residents, saying PML-N should have started development here before the announcement of the polling schedule.
The party has expressed similar concerns, saying the ECP is not independent and works under the incumbent government.
LONDON (INP): “There will be no justice till Pervez Musharraf answers for his crimes,” Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, daughter of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto tweeted in reaction to the verdict in the murder case of her mother.
The former prime minister’s daughter further said that justice was still awaited even after 10 years and while abettors had been punished, those guilty of Benazir’s murder roamed free.
Assefa’s elder sister Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari also called for the arrest of Pervez Musharraf.
After nearly ten years, on Thursday an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) announced the verdict in the murder case of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was declared an absconder in the case and the ATC ordered the seizure of his property.
Five accused in the case were acquitted while two former policemen Saud Aziz, who was the police chief in Rawalpindi at the time of Bhutto’s assassination, and former Rawal Town SP Khurram Shahzad, were sentenced to 17 years each and ordered to pay a fine of Rs0.5 million each.
ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) summoned sacked premier Nawaz Sharif on September 13 regarding a petition to ban ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
ECP has asked the ex-PM to either give an appearance at their Islamabad office on the due date or submit their response on the matter through a lawyer. ECP issued the summon along with these directions on Thursday.
The petition to ban PML-N was submitted by advocate Abdul Wahid after Supreme Court ousted Nawaz Sharif in Panama case verdict. The petitioner also demanded ECP to ban all political activities of the PML-N leader.
Nawaz Sharif left for London on Wednesday to meet his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz who has been diagnosed with throat cancer. Kulsoom Nawaz is also contesting NA-120 by-poll as PML-N candidate which is due on September 17.
Nawaz Sharif reached Lahore’s old airport from Jati Umra amid strict security. All routes to the airport were sealed, and security agencies were on high alert. Cellular phones of the staff that was appointed on duty were taken as well.
LAHORE (NNI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi demanded investigation into the Multan Metro project scandal in which allegations of corruption and money-laundering were leveled against the provincial government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
In a press talk on Thursday in Lahore, Qureshi declared the bus service a failure, foreseeing that further instances of corruption will come to light once the investigation goes underway. He claimed that more cases of corruption will be revealed in the audit report.
PTI leader recalled that Metro bus project was developed even though Multan parliamentarians had said there is no need of such service. Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif had stated that Multan Metro project will not be stopped even though the biggest problem in the district is that of poor sewerage system. Shehbaz Sharif had earlier denied bribe allegations regarding the project saying there should be an indiscriminate action against corruption.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi claimed that the ruling PML-N is involved in pre-poll rigging before NA-120 by-election as they are utilising government’s resources and development projects in the constituency. Why ex-PM’s daughter Maryam Nawaz given VVIP protocol, he asked while highlighting that the any area where she arrives is sealed in the name of security arrangements.
“NADRA doesn’t have any record of 29,000 voters that live in NA-120. These votes should be cancelled if no record of identification is available,” he opined.
JEDDAH (AFP): President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, where the latter praised the resilience of the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey and offered his condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.
President Trump and King Salman also discussed the need to defeat terrorism, cut off terrorist funding, and combat extremist ideology.
According to the White House readout, Trump urged that all parties to the Qatar dispute find “a diplomatic resolution that follows through on their commitments made at the Riyadh Summit, to maintain unity while fighting terrorism.”
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE began their boycott over allegations that Qatar funds extremist groups and has too warm of ties with Iran. The two leaders also addressed the threat Iran poses to the region.