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Police arrest 60 suspects in Hangu

F.P. Report
HANGU: Police arrested 60 suspected persons including 13 proclaimed offenders in a search and strike operations conducted in different parts of the district on Thursday.

The operation was conducted on the directives of DPO Ihsanullah Khan and DSP Omar Hayat supervised the search and strike operations in the jurisdiction of City, Saddar and Thall police stations. Police arrested 60 suspected persons including 13 proclaimed offenders and recovered four Kalashnikov, two pistol, one gun, hundreds of bullets and more than four kilogram of hashish during the operations. DPO said that the operation against the criminal will be continue till the elimination of last criminal from the area.

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Prophet Muhammad (SAW) torch bearer for entire universe: Ayaz

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said that the modern world can attain true peace by emulating the principles espoused by Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).

He expressed these views in his message on the eve of “Eid Milladun Nabi PBUH” being commemorated throughout the Muslim world on Friday, said a press release issued here.

He said that the life of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is an excellent demonstration of truthfulness, balance, justice, coexistence and compassion.

While congratulating the entire Muslim Ummah on this auspicious day, the Speaker said that Holy Prophet (PBUH) is a torch bearer and blessing for the entire universe. Underlining the impact of the life of the Holy Prophet PBUH, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq highlighted that the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) lifted humanity from the abyss of ignorance, reformed man’s ideals, accorded him an elevated status and injected vitality into the decadent social order.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq mentioned that it is a matter of pride that we are the adherents of Muhammad’s religion whose own life is embodiment of mercy and lofty moral ideals.

He reiterated that the life of the Holy Prophet is a never ending stream of guidance for all humans in all walks of life. “The legacy of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) will live on forever” he said.

Deputy Speaker, Murtaza Javed Abbasi in his message on this occasion said that Prophet (PBUH) revolutionized the world in a shortest time and changed every aspects of people life through his personal example and deeds. “He articulated a comprehensive code of conduct for interpersonal relations and formulating a healthy society through his personal conduct” Deputy Speaker added.

The Deputy Speaker said that life of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is perfect example and should be followed by every individual. He stressed that there is a solution to every problem in the teaching of our beloved Prophet (PBUH).

He said that we should get rid of all the prejudices based upon caste, creed and colour and bring happiness into the lives of people in light of last message of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).

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BISP is complementing PM’s uplift package for Balochistan: Marvi

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon visited Gwadar Thursday to spot check progress of Waseela-e-Taleem (WeT) program in line with the uplift package for the development of Balochistan as announced by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Under the newly-announced 10 year development package, all union councils in Balochistan will receive education, electricity, water, gas and health facilities. Federal government would provide 50 per cent of the funds for the plan while the provincial government would finance the remaining half, said a press release. During the visit, Chairperson BISP interacted with primary school students enrolled under BISP WeT and held meetings with BISP Beneficiary Committee (BBC) and the local notables.

There are 60,000 BBCs, each comprising of 25 to 30 women, across the country. BISP uses this platform to spread awareness among beneficiaries on education, nutrition, basic counting, the rights given to women by Islam and other local issues. In Balochistan, there are 2018 BBCs while in Gwadar, there are 451 BBCs. Under WeT initiative, BISP enrolls 5-12 years old children of its beneficiary families into primary schools. The beneficiary families receive Rs. 750/- per quarter per child with the condition of 70% attendance compliance other than unconditional cash transfer (UCT) of Rs. 4834/- per quarter.

In the meeting with BBC, the minister stated that BISP is complementing Prime Minister’s uplift package for Balochistan development as BISP is not only contributing in the financial and educational uplift but also in nutrition, health and women empowerment. She said besides providing financial assistance to 1,95,145 beneficiaries, BISP has enrolled 33,320 children under WeT in Balochistan, 2151 children in Awaran, 13,166 in Gwadar, 8,472 in Jhal Magsi, 3,827 in Loralai, 1,009 in Musakhel and 4,695 children in Nushki. The Chairperson congratulated mother beneficiaries of Gwadar for enrolling highest number of children into schools in Balochistan. She added that the expansion of WeT to four more districts in consultation with Balochistan Education department would start in Kohlu, Naseerabad, Qilla Abdullah and Sherani from March 2018.

Chairperson BISP encouraged the beneficiaries to enable themselves in basic counting so that they are fully aware of release, withdrawal and the savings from the quarterly stipend of Rs. 4,834. She informed them that to overcome the difficulty in using ATM by beneficiaries, BISP would soon covert the payment mechanism to Biometric Verification System (BVS). She also urged them to benefit from Nutrition Awareness Campaign launched by BISP and feed their children nutritious food which would result into better IQ levels, better education performance and ultimately better employment opportunities. In order to increase their income and resolve the issue of unemployment, the Minister urged the beneficiaries to save money from BISP stipend and invest into making traditional handicrafts and products like shawls under BISP E-Commerce Initiative so that they may graduate out of poverty.

BISP E-Commerce is an initiative of BISP to harness entrepreneurial potential of its beneficiaries by online marketing and selling their products through its partners like Alibaba, Cheezmall and TCS. The committee also highlighted the problem of clean drinking water. The Minister ensured that she would convey their concerns to the Federal Government and their problems would be resolved. In the meeting with local government representatives and notables including Chairman District Council Babu Gulab, Vice Chairman Distrct Council Haji Inayat, Chairman Muncipal Committee Abid Sohrabi, Vice Chairman Municipal Committee Maula Baksh and others, Ms. Marvi informed them that pilot of BISP resurvey has been completed in Naseerabad, Qila Saifullah and Kech.

She added that national roll out of resurvey including whole of Balochistan will soon start. BISP aims to enroll maximum number of deserving population in every area of Balochistan as the security situation of the province has improved due to the efforts of PML (N) Government. She urged them to facilitate and cooperate with survey teams as a matter of national duty which will help BISP to develop number one National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) in the world.

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US should come clean if it’s looking for pretext to destroy N. Korea: Russia

Monitoring Desk

MOSCOW: The US has been consciously provoking North Korea to take action, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov alleged after Pyong-yang’s latest ballistic missile test. Moscow suspects the US wants a pretext to attack North Korea, he said.

Commenting on the latest developments, Lavrov said it seems that the US wants North Korea to resume the tests.

“The latest US action seemed to be directed tow-ards provoking Pyongyang into taking some rash action,” he told journalists on Thur-sday.

The foreign minister called the missile test “an adventure,” but said that Wa-shington has apparently been trying to goad North Korean leader Kim Jong-un into it.

“The Americans should start with explaining their intentions to us all. If they are really looking for an excuse to destroy North Korea, as the US envoy to the UN said at a Security Council meeting, let them spell it out clearly and let the US leadership confirm it. Then we will decide how to react,” Lavrov said.

On Wednesday, North Korea tested the Hwasong-15 missile, which splashed off the Japan coast. Pyongyang claims it was an upgraded projectile capable of delivering a nuclear payload to any part of the United States.

The test followed a two-month pause in test launches, which gave some hope that Pyongyang and Washington may find a way to talk their differences over instead of resorting to belligerent rhetoric, which has been their main mode of operation this year.

The US has been demonstrating to North Korea its military might by staging a number of exercises in the region, some jointly with its allies South Korea and Japan. The escalation in tensions came as a disappointment for Moscow, which is advocating a ‘double freeze’ approach, in which North Korea halts missile and nuclear tests and the US stops its military maneuvers.

Sergey Lavrov said, “in September the American colleagues hinted that the next exercise may not come until spring [2018], which may give North Korea a pause and make it refrain from any rash action… We were hopeful about the approach, but then they stage [an] unscheduled exercise in October, then in November, and now they have declared they will have [a] large-scale unscheduled exercise in December.”

The US policy of ramping up sanctions on North Korea to force them to roll back the missile and nuclear programs is not working, according to Lavrov.

The potential for the pressure “has essentially exhausted itself” he said, adding that Washington should stop ignoring the calls from other countries, including Russia, which ask it to open direct negotiations with Pyongyang.

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NAB appeal against bail: IHC summons Safdar

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court has issued notice to Capt (retd) Safdar for December 14 on a petition of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) challenging accountability court decision to grant bail to Safder in a corruption case.

The two member bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani passed the orders after going through the arguments placed by the NAB Special Prosecutor Afzal Qureshi.

NAB prosecutor pleaded the court that the accountability court ‘illegally’ passed the order as it had no power to release any accused from custody under National Accountability Bureau  Ordinance, 1999.

He requested the court to set aside accountability court’s order dated October 9, by declaring it illegal and consequently, Safdar be remanded to jail custody.

The bench observed that respondent should appear in person to defend himself against allegations and adjourned further hearing till December 14.

The NAB official contended that the accountability court did not have the authority to release Safdar on bail, and pleaded that the court’s order rejecting their request to send him to Adiala Jail be rescinded.

Justice Farooq, who heads the bench, remarked that Safdar will have to be summoned to court since NAB seeks the cancellation of his bail.

The IHC then summoned the former premier’s son-in-law on December 14 and adjourned the hearing.

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Protesters adamant over Sana’s resignation demand

F.P. Report

LAHORE: In a dramatic turn of events protesters belonging to Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) calling for Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah’s resignation after camping out in front of the provincial assembly on Mall road here for sixth day Thursday.

The protesters have annou-nced that the sit-in will not end till the acceptance of all its demands by the Punjab government.

The leader of the faction, Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali is persistent that they will not call of their protest until Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah tenders his resignation.

Denying reaching an agreement with the government, Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali refused to have links with the protesters blocked Faizabad Interchange for three weeks.

“I do not recognize the agreement between government and Khadim Hussain Rizvi as Rizvi does not head TLYRA,” he said.

Calling for Rana Sanaullah’s resignation, Jalali, whose party is staging a sit-in outside Punjab Assembly, said that his party would continue the protest until their demand is met.

“He (Khadim Hussain Rizvi) is heading a different organisation and is on a different path since about a year. I, as chairman (TLYRA), sent him a show cause notice, he did not reply and registered his party in Election Comm-ission as TLP,” said Jalali.

He has also demanded to public Raja Zafarul Haq report, register FIR against Sanaullah and against those involved in killing the men during protest and lifetime disqualification for the parliamentarians who signed the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat bill.

He said he supported Khadim Hussain Rizvi in his cause but does not recognize the agreement between the cleric and the government as he (Jalali) was not taken into confidence.

Expressing concerns over the recent agreement, he warned extending their protest to other provinces over the government’s apathy to make a response to their demand.

However; the provincial law minister has refused to tender his resignation as demanded by a right-wing group saying that they have gotten the resignation they had initially demanded.

On the other, lesser number of protesters are present in the sit-in while public representation is also minimal.

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Blast kills 5 in South Waziristan

F.P. Report

SPINKAI: Five, including a peace committee member, were killed in an explosion in South Waziristan Agency.

According to the political administration of the agency, the explosive device was installed on a roadside in Spinkai area of Sarokai in South Waziristan.

The peace committee member killed in the explosion has been identified as Wali Jan Mehsud. His brother was among the ones critically injured in the incident.

Peace committee members are targetted time and again in the districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and agencies of its adjoining Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

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ECP to start enlistment campaign for women voters

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would start a campaign to enlist women voters in the electoral rolls from earlier next week aiming to ensure the enlisting of maximum number of women voters before the year 2018 polls.

According to ECP spokesman, the campaign would continue till April 2018.

The main target areas would be country’s 79 districts where most of the women have not been registered as voter.

Even they do not possess Computerized National Cards (CNICs).

ECP has chalked out a comprehensive strategy to get the cooperation civil society organizations, public representatives, notables of the relevant areas and above all religious leaders.

Chief Election Commis-sioner Justice (Retd) Sardar Raza would ina-ugurate the campaign from December 4. The campaign would continue till April 2018.

A team of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) would present in the ECP office to facilitate the process.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan will ensure registration of all eligible women as voters in the electoral rolls before 2018 general elections.

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Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan seek to boost ties

Monitoring Desk

BAKU: Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pak-istan agreed on Thursday to develop partnership to ach-ieve stability in the region.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov and Pakistan’s Khawaja Asif held a first trilateral meeting in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, where they agreed a joint statement.

According to the statement, the ministers expressed their strong interest in developing trilateral partnerships to advance stability, security and prosperity.

They confirmed respect and support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders of states and “stressed that their territories shall not be used for activities against each other”.

The ministers also reiterated the firm determination of their states to explore ways to develop trilateral cooperation in areas that would bring prosperity to the people.

They decided to intensify all efforts to improve their economic cooperation to meet potential in promoting investments and trade.

They agreed to hold a next trilateral meeting in Pakistan in 2018.

Also, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pakistan discussed ways to enhance relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

“At this meeting, we evaluate how to boost our relations and in what areas we should pay attention to,” Cavusoglu said.

The minister’s remarks came at a news conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov and Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif in the Azerbaijani capital Baku after the first trilateral meeting. Cavusoglu said it was “important” to strengthen economic ties among the countries, adding:

“For this, we need to remove obstacles to trade and it is beneficial for us to sign the trade agreements as soon as possible.”

He added Ankara, Baku and Islamabad can develop relations in military and defense fields, saying: “We see that we are not competitors in these areas, rather complements.”

Cavusoglu said three countries should be in solidarity on the Karabakh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Kashmir issue and the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Mammadyarov said the ministers discussed several fields, including economy and counter-terrorism.

“We also discussed the conflicts in the region. We recognize that the conflicts are undermining the stability and security,” he said.

Mammadyarov said the next trilateral meeting will be held next year in Pakistan.

“This meeting was a very good base and we define the areas where our cooperation can further go on,” he said.

Asif dubbed the meeting “fruitful”.

“This was the first trilateral meeting and we have agreed to pursue this platform more vigorously and make this platform more vibrant so that the three countries can benefit from their mutual reliable resources,” Asif said.

He added there was a “huge” potential of making relationship more meaningful and beneficial.

On Friday, Cavusoglu will attend the seventh Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Baku.

 

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Vibrant democracy

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the first unit of 1320 Mega Watts coal fired thermal power plant at Port Qasim, the prime Minister Shahid Kaqan Abbasi reiterated his resolve towards strengthening and taking forward democracy in the country. He said election will be held in August next year and our future lies in democracy, adding that there is no choice here. Prime Abbasi said, “We have a vibrant democracy; we have freedom of expression; we have free media; and together the institutions of state have delivered for the people of Pakistan. We may have differences of opinion, we may have Dharna; we may have differences; but institutions of state stood together to defeat terrorism and reject extremism”, he maintained.

There is no denying of the fact that future of the country is linked with democracy. But actions of oligarchic political elite do not commensurate what they say about the virtues of democracy. The political parties are run like family limited companies and there is no internal democracy with in their structures and organization. One man say is the order of day. The disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is still running the affairs of the country through remote control acquired under certain provisions of 18th Amendment to the Constitution. The sitting prime Minister is compelled to look up to him for decisions on various matters. Is this true and vibrant democracy? Genuine party elections are not held to organize political parties on democratic principles and traditions. Party tickets are sold for millions of rupees to the so called electable, who after becoming members of parliament give precedence to self interest over the weal and welfare of the people and purist of national interest. They seldom perform their real duty of law making and are always after the acquisition huge development funds, the larger part of which is misappropriated. Lack of Quorums in the lower and upper houses of the parliament has become a routine.

Transparency and rule of law are the basic fundamental of real democracy. The Western counties and India abide by these fundamental in letter and spirit. Does our ruling elite care for them in Pakistan? The answer is a big no. The international contracts, including the LNG deal with Qatar, have not been made in a transparent manner. In democracies the politicians pay their taxes honestly, but in our country tax evasion by the ruling class has become an established norm. Likewise, in democratic system of governments human health is the first priority, but in Pakistan it receives the worst deal. The countries of European Union are closing the coal based thermal power plants although they are using state-of-the-art technologies with built-in advanced antipollution devices. But our government is very much after setting up coal fired thermal power plants of obsolete Chinese technology which are causing half a million deaths every year in China because of fatal diseases like Asthma and cancer. These plants are installed close to the cities with big populations with no safety systems, ignoring the bitter fact that they will bring innumerable sufferings for the people.

The Paris Agreement of Climate Change emphasizes the closure of such hazardous power plants and urges embellishment of environment friendly hydro and wind power plants. Unfortunately, the ruling elite have all along shown indifference and animosity to the construction of big dams and hydro power stations. Consequently, precious water resources valuing $ 22 billion are thrown into the sea every year. Vibrant democracy does not mean merely general elections on time electing the oligarchy. It is the democratic attitude reflected in the weal and welfare of the people. We are still far away from this glorious destination.