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Supreme Court to hear Asma Rani murder case today

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear the suo motu case of Asma Rani murder case, who was medical student and was killed by nephew of PTI Kohat president after refusing the marriage proposal.

The family of Asma Rani claimed that she was shot dead by the prime suspect Mujahid Afridi who fled the country to Saudi Arabia.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday took suo motu notice of the murder of a medical student in Kohat.

CJP had summoned a report from the Inspector General Police Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Salahuddin Mehsud, the deadline for which expires today.

The chief justice questioned how the suspect was able to flee the country.

Meanwhile, sister of the murdered student in Kohat, Safia Rani, has claimed that her sister murder was pre-planned and adding that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police was aware of life threats to her.

While talking to private news channel, Safia added that both police and Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) Kohat chapter president Aftab Alam knew about life threats to Asma Rani, but did nothing to stop Mujahid Afridi from killing her.

She further added that her family has had to face fear over a long period of time at the hands of Mujahid Afridi, nephew of PTI Kohat district president Aftab Alam and adding that her sister faced a constant campaign of harassment and threats from Mujahid Afridi, despite the fact that Asman and her family spoke to Aftab Alam, begging for help at least three times.

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Dharna violence cases: Shah Mehmood Qureshi gets interim bail

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Senior Leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shah Mehmmod Qureshi on Wednesday gets an interim bail anti-terrorism court in cases related to violence during a sit-in the capital in 2014.

Anti terrorism court ordered Qureshi to pay surety bonds of Rs 100,000. He appeared in the court for the first time after absconding for about two years.

ATC was hearing four cases relating to violence, including destroying of property in the Red Zone, attacking the state TV channel’s building and injuring SSP Junejo during the 2014 sit-in protest.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi are named in all four cases. Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahirul Qadri and workers of both parties are also named in the cases.

Islamabad police submitted an interim charge-sheet before the ATC on Tuesday, which named Imran as a suspect and included a list of 14 witnesses against the party chief.

Bails of PTI leaders Shireen Mazari, Arif Alvi and Asad Umar were approved on January 17 after they appeared for the first time in the court in the case after absconding for two years.

In August 2014, violence broke out in the federal capital when PTI and PAT supporters attempted to break a police cordon and storm the PM House, using cranes to remove barricades.

The clashes between police and protesters resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to over 560. Of the injured, 77 were security officials deployed in the Red Zone, including SSP Junejo.


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Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan to work together in Sui Dhaaga

Monitoring Desk

MUMBAI: Bollywood Actress Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan united for the first time in the upcoming movie ‘Sui Dhaaga’ which is said to be released in September.

Anushka Sharma, who has always known for her looks and she always experimented for PK or Sultan, now she is all set to be seen opposite Varun Dhawan in Sui Dhaaga.

‘Sui Dhaaga’ is being directed by Sharat Katariya and will see Varun and Anushka collaborating for a film for the first time.
Both the Anushka and Varun, will be seen in a totally de-glam avatar.


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Zeenat Aman files a police complaint against businessman for stalking

Monitoring Desk

MUMBAI: Veteran Indian actress, Zeenat Aman has filed a case against a businessman in Mumbai and demanded a protection from the police.

According to Indian media, the 66-year-old actress Zeenat Aman on Tuesday has registered a case of stalking and criminal intimidation against a businessman.

Zeenat Aman and the businessman identified as Amar Khanna were said to be good friends but their relationship were broken because of unknown reason.

Zeenat told that the accused is continuously following her.

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Turkey seeks explanation for terrorist sighted in Sochi

Monitoring Desk

ANKARA: Turkey on Tuesday demanded an explanation from Russia after a terrorist was sighted among participants at the Syria congress in Sochi, Russia, diplomatic sources said.

Turkey’s official delegation saw Mihrac Ural, the leader of the THKP-C — a pro-Syrian regime militia  at the congress, according to the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry delegation reportedly demanded an explanation from Russia’s Defense and Foreign Ministries.

The delegation expressed their discomfort at the terrorist’s presence at the meeting in the Russian Black Sea city, as he was not included on the list of invited delegates given to Turkey.

In response, Russian officials said they would immediately look into the matter and report back, the sources added.

Turkey blame Ural for a spate of attacks in May 2013 in the town of Reyhanli in Turkey’s southern Hatay pr-ovince that left 52 people dead.

Meanwhile, The Syrian opposition has decided not to participate in Sochi summit and instead it announced that Turkey could do it on its behalf, according to a diplomatic source on Tuesday.

A delegation of the Syrian opposition arrived at the Sochi airport for the summit but later they changed their minds when they saw pictures with Syrian regime flags on it.

After the incident, they did decide not to enter the country and gave Turkey the authority to represent it on its behalf at the summit, the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday also confirmed Turkey would represent the Syrian opposition during peace talks in Sochi.

Talking to the media after attending the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s group meeting at the parliament in capital Ankara, Cavusoglu said:

“It has been sorted out.

“The opposition has given its authorization to represent them [at Sochi] to Turkey,” foreign minister said.

The foreign minister also said a constitutional commission would be established after the summit and Russia, Turkey and Iran would assign same number of members to it. The commission will be chaired by UN’s Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura.

Also on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov spoke over the phone on the Syria process.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal will represent Turkey at the Sochi summit.

The Russian delegation will be headed by Moscow’s envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev while the Iranian delegation will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi.


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Zardari claims; PPP will form next govt in Punjab

F.P. Report

MULTAN: The co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari claimed on Tuesday that PPP will form government after 2018 elections.

Addressing press conference after attending luncheon meeting, hosted by Makhdoom Attaullah Taunsvi in Taunsa, Zardari hoped that senate elections will be held as per schedule.

He said there was big difference in Lahore and Southern Punjab, therefore Southern Punjab should be made as separate province.

He questioned deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s claim of being victimised. He asked how can Nawaz claims to be a victim while enjoying official security protocol.

“With six cars ahead, six cars behind his (Nawaz) vehicle, how can he claim himself to be a victim. We were the ones who were victimised and taken in armoured vehicles,” Zardari said.

“How can he be a victim when he has his government today”.

The PPP leader also claimed that his party will be able to form a government in Punjab. “Panama issue originated from outside, it wasn’t started by former Ehtasaab C-ommission Chairman Saifur Rehman,” said Zardari.

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Washington classifies data on districts under Taliban’s control

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Pentagon has restricted the release of information gauging the success of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, a US government watchdog alleged on Tuesday.

Data on the number of districts and people living in territory under insurgent or government control, or areas contested by both, was kept from the public, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said.

In its latest quarterly report, the watchdog said:  “The number of districts controlled or influenced by the Afghan government had been one of the last remaining publicly available indicators for members of Congress  and for the American public of how the 16-year-long US effort to secure Afghanistan is faring.”

According to the Stars and Stripe, it is the first time that SIGAR has been asked not to release unclassified information to the American taxpayer. The Department of Defense offered SIGAR no justification for the new restrictions.

John Sopko called the policy change troubling. Since January 2016, SIGAR’s quarterly reports have included tallies on how many of Afghanistan’s 407 districts are controlled by the government.

The most recent figures, published on Oct. 30, 231 of those districts (56.8 percent) were controlled or influenced by the government of President Ashraf Ghani.

The number of districts controlled or influenced by the Taliban rose to 54 in the October 2017 report from 33 in the October 2016 report.

SIGAR said the Pentagon had also asked it for the first time since 2009 to classify the figures detailing the size and attrition rates of Afghan security forces.

Reuters quoted Sopko as saying: “The implication is that the average American who reads our reports, or reads your press accounts of it, has no meaningful ability to analyse how his or her money is being spent on Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Defense denied instructing SIGAR to withhold the data. Instead it was the NATO-led Resolute Support coalition that made the determination, it explained.

“The Department continues to work with SIGAR, US Forces-Afghanistan, and NATO Resolute Support to resolve concerns about restrictions on information that was previously unclassified,” Lieutenant Colonel Michael Andrews said.

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Palestinians expel US team from Bethlehem

Monitoring Desk

BETHLEHEM: Palestinian activists on Tuesday expelled a U.S. delegation vi-siting the West Bank city of Bethlehem in protest of last month’s US recognition of J-erusalem as Israel’s capital, according to a Palestinian official.

Activists intercepted vehicles of a U.S. State Department delegation visiting the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and chanted slogans against U.S. policies toward the Palestinians, said Mohammed Lahham, a Revolutionary Council member of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group.

“Activists told the delegation that they were unwelcome in Bethlehem and expelled them from the city,” he told Anadolu Agency.

There was no comment from U.S. authorities on the move. The Palestinian territories have remained tense since Dec. 6, when U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, triggering a world outcry and protests in the occupied lands.

Since then, at least 19 Palestinians have been martyred in clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Muslim scholars highlight Jerusalem at Istanbul meeting: Muslim scholars from around the world met in Istanbul on Tuesday to highlight the religious and historical importance of Jerusalem.

Held under the banner “Jerusalem: A city blessed by revelation”, the two-day event — organized by Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) — was attended by 70 Muslim scholars from 20 countries, including Pakistan, Britain, Indonesia and France.

Speaking at the conference, Diyanet Deputy Chairman Se-lim Argun pointed out that J-erusalem had long served as an example of peaceful coexistence. “We can’t just say, ‘Look, we have lived in Jerusalem for centuries in peace under the Muslim administration with Christians and Jews’,” Argun said. “Because today, there are terrorist organizations that accept living together as non-Islamic, and take references from religion, in different parts of the Islamic world,” he added, referring in particular to the Daesh terrorist group. Daesh, Argun said, “opposes coexistence and sees killing non-Muslims as legitimate. This is a distorted understanding”.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Early last month, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, prompting widespread condemnation and protest from across the Arab and Muslim world.

Speaking at Tuesday’s conference, Mustafa Mohamed Abdel-Rahman Tawil, the head Palestine’s Sharia Court, described Trump’s Jerusalem move as a “crime”.

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Erdogan says Free Syrian Army ‘not a terrorist group’

Monitoring Desk
ANKARA: The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is not a terrorist group, but a national organization that is defending its homeland, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
Addressing lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, Erdogan slammed the main opposition, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP), for calling the FSA “a terrorist organization”.
“The FSA is not a terrorist group, but a national organization that has people from different ethnicities who have the spirit to defend their homeland,” the president said.
He said Turkish soldiers and the FSA were jointly fighting against the YPG/PKK terrorist organization.
“A total of 16 fighters of FSA have been martyred and 100 others wounded during Operation Olive Branch,” he added.
Erdogan also thanked the Syrians living in Turkey who applied to the army for participation in the Afrin operation.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council decisions, self-defense rights under the UN Charter and respect for Syria’s territorial integrity.
Since the beginning of the operation, 20 rockets have hit Kilis, killing two civilians and injuring 21 others.
The president reiterated that Turkey respects Syrian’s territorial integrity. “We do not have eyes on anybody’s territory.”
Erdogan vowed Turkey would “resolutely” continue to fight against terrorism in the interest of securing its southern borders.
About when Operation Olive Branch would end, Erdogan said: “We will never stop until the terror threat along our borders completely disappears and nearly 3.5 million Syrians in our country return safely to their homes.
“It is up to the terrorists whether they empty their locations [in the Afrin operation area]. We will continue to advance on the terrorists without looking at their partners.”

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Operational training must continue: Air Chief

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman on Tuesday underlined the need to continue operational training to meet aerial warfare challenges.

“Our operational training must continue to evolve progressively to meet the future challenges of aerial warfare,” the Air Chief said while addressing the graduation ceremony of the 49th Combat Commanders’ Course at Ai-rpower Centre of Excellence (ACE) as the chief guest, said a statement issued here by media affairs directorate of Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

“Combat Commanders School has been imparting quality operational training to future commanders, which is extremely vital for the overall war preparedness of Pakistan Air Force,” he added.

He asked the graduates to pass on to the young officers whatever they had learnt at the prestigious institution.

The chief guest also awarded certificates and trophies to the graduating officers, who underwent a strenuous and professionally demanding course.

The Chief of the Air Staff Trophy for the best Combat Commander was awarded to Squadron Leader, Jawad Khursheed, while Air Officer Commanding Air Defence Command Trophy for best Combat Controller was awarded to Squadron Leader, Tayyab Hussain. The ceremony was attended by Principal Staff Officers and field commanders of PAF.