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Ritual washing of Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine performed

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The ghusal (washing) ceremony of the Shrine of Hazrat Ali Bin Usman Ali Hajveri, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh was performed here on Saturday.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, provincial ministers – Zaeem Qadri, Bilal Yaseen and others participated in the ceremony, which is performed ahead of the Sufi saint’s annual Urs ceremonies. The tomb was washed with rose water.

All arrangements have almost been finalized for the three-day long festival marking the Urs of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh. Stringent security measures have been put in place to avoid any untoward incident during the Urs.

People from all walks of life and far flung areas of the country throng at the shrine to participate in the Urs festivities. Food and Sabeel being distributed among devotees, sufis perform dhammal (ritual dance) and musicians play music during the three-day long rituals.

Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali Bin Usman Sheikh Ali Hajveri was born in Ghazni in Afghanistan during the rule of Ghaznavi dynasty and later came to Lahore where he settled, guided his disciples and passed away.

He contributed significantly to the spread of Sufi teachings of Islam in South Asia through his teaching and preaching. Some historians have described him as one of the most important figures to have spread Islam in the Indian subcontinent.

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CCTV footage of Karachi knife attacker surfaces: Police register two more cases

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Police have obtained CCTV footage of what seems to be the notorious Karachi knife attacker who has stabbed and injured eight women so far in the city.

According to details, the Karachi knife attacker case has seen some progress as a CCTV footage showing the suspect travelling on his motorcycle in an alley has been obtained.

The attacker can be seen in the CCTV footage passing through an alley as children played in the street. He is clad in a black shirt and is wearing black pants. The suspect is seen to be wearing a helmet in the footage.

Police have also obtained details pertaining to the identity of the suspect. According to the description provided by the women who were attacked by him, the suspect is a thin man with a light shave and curly hair. He also attacked one of the victims without wearing a helmet. The knife attacker carries a bag with him too.

Meanwhile Police have booked two more cases reported by victims of stabbing attacks in the city’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar locality this week, bringing the total at five.

Till Thursday, eight women in areas of Rabia City and Jauhar Chowrangi had reported being stabbed by an assailant on a bike. A 28-year-old woman, attacked said that a man on a motorcycle, wearing a helmet, had attacked her with a sharp-edged instrument from behind.

The incidents have sparked fear and panic among the area residents, forcing women to take extra precautions before going outside.

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Hafiz Saeed sends Khawaja Asif Rs100m defamation notice

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): A legal team — on behalf of the chief of the banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), Hafiz Saeed — on Friday sent a Rs100 million defamation notice to Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif for his remarks at the Asia Society forum in New York earlier this week.

Asif, who told the forum that Pakistan was not to blame for militant outfits in the country, had said: “Don’t blame us for the Haqqanis [the Haqqani Network] and don’t blame us for the Hafiz Saeeds [referring to the head of banned Jamaatud Dawa]. These people were your darlings just 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House and now you say ‘go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people’.”

The notice, served by Advocate AK Dogar under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance of 2002, claims that Saeed is “respected as a deeply religious and devout Muslim”.

“I will be failing in my duty as a lawyer if I do not remind you of the Fundamental Right enshrined in Article 14 that [the] dignity of man is guaranteed by our Constitution,” it continues.

The notice accuses Asif of “an absolute lie and falsehood that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is one of those persons who had been the darlings of Americans and had been dining and wining in the White House.”

“I have been advised by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to tell you that he has never been near the White House, not to speak of wined and dined. It is shocking to know that the foreign minister of my country is accusing Hafiz Muhammad Saeed of taking wine. This is abusive language and can never be used about my client. He is [a] patriotic Islam loving Muslim following the dictates of [the] Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). This is a defamatory statement punishable under Section 500 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to five years imprisonment and with [a] fine.”

Dogar provides the definition of defamation as under Section 499 of the PPC: “Whoever by words either spoken or intended to be read makes any imputation concerning any person so as to harm his reputation is said to defame that person.”

“The imputation of wining is a false statement which has injured the reputation of my client and lowered him in the estimation of others. This is slander and actionable libel. I am constrained to issue this 14 days’ notice under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002 of the intention of my client to bring an action against you specifying the defamatory matter complained of.”

“Please take notice that my client intends to file a suit for damages to the tune of Rs100m for injuring the reputation of my client not only in Pakistan but all over the world.”

“Please take notice that apart from civil remedy, my client has a right to file a criminal complaint against you under Section 500 of the PPC. It goes without saying that you will be responsible for the entire cost of litigation,” he finishes.

Saeed was put under house arrest at his residence in Lahore’s Johar Town earlier this year in what Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) termed “a policy decision”.

Director General ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said of the arrest: “This is a policy decision that the state took in national interest. Lots of institutions will have to do their jobs.”

He denied that any foreign pressure was behind the arrest of the JuD chief.

He was detained under Section 11-EEE(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977, according to an Interior Ministry notification issued at the time.

Recently, the Punjab home ministry, responding to an appeal for Saeed’s release before the Lahore High Court, said that releasing the JuD chief would cause unrest in the province.

The ministry said that Saeed was put under house arrest under the anti-terrorism laws to keep him from collecting funds – which is a violation of various resolutions of the United Nations – and that reports on the matter from the police and Counter-Terrorism Department had been submitted to the court.

The ministry pointed out that various cases were registered against members of JuD for collecting hides during the three days of Eidul Azha in contempt of the ministry’s orders. Cases were also registered against the party for collecting funds in contempt of the provincial ministry’s orders, the reply said.

The ministry also mentioned in its reply that the Election Commission of Pakistan had asked the JuD’s political wing Milli Muslim League’s (MML) NA-120 by-poll candidate to remove Saeed’s pictures from the promotional posters.

The house arrest of Saeed comes after years of pressure on Pakistan to put the JuD chief on trial and could ease recently escalating tensions with neighbour and arch-foe India.

Saeed had been accused by the United States and India of masterminding the 2008 attacks on the Indian financial capital Mumbai that killed 166 people.

He, however, has repeatedly denied involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.


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Theft at residence of PTI’s Awn Chaudry; three mobile phones, cash stolen

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Thieves have stolen around Rs60,000 and three mobile phones from the residence of senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Awn Chaudhry, police said on Saturday.

Awn Chaudry, the PTI chairman’s political secretary, also confirmed the theft early this morning at his Bani Gala house, where Naeemul Haque also resides.

“The thieves entered my house around 3:30 AM this morning. They took three of my mobile phones and Rs60,000 in cash,” he said, adding that there were also some credit cards in his wallet which was taken by the thieves. Awn Chaudry, a close aide of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, said the incident “appears to be an ordinary case of theft”.

He said that Haque was sleeping in the room next to his when the robbers came. Police confirmed that Naeemul Haque tried to chase thieves.

The local police officials said that important details of PTI are stored in the stolen phones, adding that the theft happened within Bani Gala police remits.

An FIR has been registered at the Bani Gala police station.


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Pak choices over new Afghan policy under watch: Mattis

KABUL (AFP): Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said that the US will “watch” Pakistan’s choices on President Donald Trump’s new Afghan and South Asia strategy to combat terrorism in its tracks.

Pakistan has opposed Trump’s Afghan and South Asia policy, saying it ignored the country’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism. But, Mattis during a visit to Kabul said the new strategy was “not exclusive of someone”. It is inclusive for all responsible states that want to stop terrorism in its tracks and defend the innocent, he said.

Mattis said the South Asia strategy announced by the president in August was an opportunity for Pakistan. “I agree 100 percent with President Ghani that this South Asia strategy and this renewed commitment is an opportunity for Pakistan to engage in the counter terror campaign,” Mattis told reporters at a joint news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, according to a Pentagon transcript.

Mattis said that the United States would “watch” Islamabad’s choices. Ghani echoed Mattis’ views. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg agreed with both Mattis and Ghani, saying that this is a regional approach, which includes both Pakistan and India. Both of them have to be included in a mutual approach. He urged all countries in the region to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Mattis said India has been “very, very generous” in its development assistance to Afghanistan. India is committed to doing even more to help the people of Afghanistan, he said. Responding to a question, Mattis reiterated that Russia and US-designated state sponsor of terrorism Iran continue to provide weapons and other military aid to Taliban jihadists in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon chief blasted Russia and Iran’s continued support to Taliban jihadists, echoing concerns previously expressed by US officials, including Gen Nicholson, who has also noted that Pakistan is assisting the terrorist group as well.

“Those two countries have suffered losses to terrorism, so I think it would be extremely unwise if they think they can somehow support terrorism in another country and not have it come back to haunt them,” declared Mattis, referring to Iran and Russia, reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Support from Russia and Iran is strengthening the Taliban and lending legitimacy to the jihadist organisation, notes the newspaper, citing unnamed US military officials. “That’s a lot more dangerous right now than what they’re providing in terms of material,” a military official told the WSJ.

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Petrol price upwardly revised by Rs 2/litre

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Finance ministry has approved Rs 2 per litre hike in petrol price on Saturday (September 30th) taking the commulative to Rs 73.50/litre.

The revised prices of petroleum products would be in effect starting from midnight tonight. Price of the high-speed diesel is revised to Rs 79.40/litre, that of light speed diesel to Rs 46/litre and that of kerosene to Rs 48/litre.

According to a press release, the government has announced the prices of petroleum products for the period starting from 1st October 2017 until midnight on 31st October 2017.

On the basis of the prevailing prices in the international market, OGRA recommended an increase of Rs. 2.35/Litre in the price of MS 92 RON Petrol, increase of Rs. 2.17/Litre in the price of High Speed Diesel (HSD), increase of Rs. 19.32/Litre in the price of Kerosene Oil, and increase of Rs. 14.09/Litre in the price of Light Diesel Oil (LDO), with effect from 1st October 2017.

After considering the proposal of OGRA, the Prime Minister has decided that the prices of HSD, MS 92 RON Petrol and LDO will be increased by Rs. 2.00/Litre each, while the price of Kerosene Oil will be increased by Rs. 4.00/Litre, with effect from 1st October 2017 until midnight on 31st October 2017. As a result, the new prices will be as follows:

New price w.e.f. 1st October 2017: MS 92 RON Petrol Rs. 73.50 / Litre; High Speed Diesel (HSD) Rs. 79.40 / Litre; Light Diesel Oil (LDO) Rs. 46.00 / Litre; and Kerosene Oil Rs. 48.00 / Litre.

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30,000 police, jawans of FC, ATS & Elite Force deal with law & order during Muharram

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: As per the security plan, more than 30,000 policemen besides Frontier Constabulary (FC), Anti-Terrorism Squads (ATS) and Elite Force have been deputed to maintain law and order situation besides guarding Muharram processions. Army is also remain standby to avert any untoward situation.

The KP government has declared Peshawar, Hangu, Kohat and Dera Ismail Khan as most sensitive districts for Muharram whereas Manshera, Haripur, Bannu and Tank sensitive and Nowshera, Mardan, Lakki Marwat and Abbottabad normal.

In Peshawar, more than 9,000 police personnel have been deployed for security of Muharram processions. The main procession of 9th Moharram has been taken out from Imambargah Hussania Hall on Saddar road at around 10.00am and concluded at the same place after passing through designated routes.

All streets leading to the Saddar Road was remain closed with tents, barbed wire and concrete blocks where a large number of police personnel deployed to ensure security of mourners to be allowed to enter the premises of Imambargah after thorough checking at designated places.

Two other processions from Imambargahs Bibi Zikiri in Gunj and Imamia Colony were taken out on 9th of Muharram.

Five command posts and a supreme command post for monitoring the Muharram processions across the city were setup. The police personnel were monitoring all processions through about 100 close-circuit television cameras at the supreme command post.

The traffic police control room constantly monitored the situation through their over 100 CCTVs and Gulbahar police station through 25 cameras.

The control rooms have been established in all district of the province including Central Police Office for monitoring Muharram precessions. Police officials and sniper squads deployed at all major buildings on main procession routes and processions started before being cleared from bomb disposal squad.

All streets leading to imambargahs, processions routes plugged besides strictly discouraging provocative speeches and literature. Over 5,000 lights in premises of Imambargahs and different routes of processions were also installed as part of security arrangements.

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Deadline for filing tax returns extended till October 31

ISLAMABAD (APP): The deadline for filing of income tax returns has been extended till October 31.

Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar on Friday approved extension in the due date for filing of Income Tax Returns/Statements by Companies, salaried individuals, other individuals and AOPs, till October 31, 2017.

The minister approved the extension in view of requests made by tax bars and various trade and other associations due to Eid-ul-Azha and Muharram holidays, both falling in September.

It was felt that the taxpayers could not find ample time for filing their tax returns.

A recent study of the World Bank has found that Pakistan suffers an annual tax loss of Rs3.2 trillion due to weak enforcement and low compliance by taxpayers.

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Anti-Daesh ‘sheikh sniper’ killed in battle for Iraq’s Hawija

HAWIJA  (AFP): A veteran fighter known as “the sheikh of snipers” has been killed in Iraq’s battle to retake the town of Hawija from the Daesh group, his paramilitary force announced Saturday.

Abu Tahsin al-Salhi, who took part in conflicts dating back to the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and said he had gunned down at least 320 Daesh jihadists, died on Friday.

He was killed as he advanced on Hawija in northwest Iraq, said Ahmad al-Assadi, spokesman for the Hashed al-Shaabi alliance fighting alongside government forces against the last terrorist bastions.

At his funeral on Saturday near the southern port city of Basra, close friend Ahmad Ali Hussein said the marksman was widely known by comrades as “the sheikh of snipers” or “hawk eye”.

A grey-bearded hulk of a man who drove an off-road motorbike and wore a black-and-white chequered scarf and fingerless mittens, Abu Tahsin was inseparable from his Austrian-manufactured Steyr rifle.

In a Hashed video, the 63-year-old warrior gives a rundown of his career as a sniper, starting in 1973 when he was part of an Iraqi brigade fighting on Syria’s Golan Heights.

He also fought in late dictator Saddam Hussein’s 1980-1988 war against Iran, his 1990 invasion of Kuwait and against US troops who toppled Saddam in 2003, before turning his sights on Daesh.

“Today, I gunned down two of them (Daesh fighters). That’s ridiculous — the minimum for me is four,” he says in the video. In anti-Daesh battles in 2015 “I killed 173 of them, and now I’m at 320.”

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Chris Lynn, Mitchell Johnson Join Upcoming PSL Season

KARACHI (Online): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that Australia’s fast bowler Mitchell Johnson and one of the most sought-after T20 batsmen, Chris Lynn, have signed up for the third edition of Pakistan Super League.

Chairman PCB Najam Sethi posted about the new signings on his social media account, terming: JP Duminy, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Johnson, Angelo Mathews, Rashid Khan, Evin Lewis,” Sethi posted on his Twitter account.

In another development, the PSL’s official Twitter account announced the signing of South Africa’s Pakistan-born spinner Imran Tahir for the third edition of Pakistan Super League.

Australia’s Chris Lynn is one of the most sought-after players in T20 cricket and he has earned various deals in different T20 leagues around the world, including IPL. With an average of 36.79 and strike rate of 147.98, Lynn is sure to be on the radar of all the PSL franchises.