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Pakistan Emerging Squash player from Lower Dir Noorena Shams

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: A rising star in Pakistan Squash sports Noorena Shams hails from Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Noorena Shams the 21 year old emerging star was invited by the United Nation Headquarter to speak on women rights in 2017.

“My goals are so big that they sometimes scare me when I think of them,”  “My aim is to go as high as I can in squash.”

But squash is not an end to her aspiration. Besides rackets and courts, Shams also has interest in automobiles.

“I have a dream of becoming a Formula One car racer and an automobile engineer,” she said. “Thinking about achieving all these goals sometimes gives me with sleepless nights.”

She has grown up without a father in Timergara, an area in Lower Dir district, which was no less affected by terrorism and the subsequent war to eradicate the menace.

“I was repeatedly told I could only succeed if I studied hard and do what this society wanted me to do,” she said. “As an 11-year-old I could only open my books and do nothing else.”

But then, her area was hit by war closing down schools and confining locals to their houses.

She was sent to Peshawar for further studies but before that Shams played cricket with her brothers and security personnel in the area, which motivated her once again to pursue sports.

“I was sent to Peshawar for my education, as passionate as I could have been, I joined an all-boys cricket academy where I at first was told that I could not be as good as boys until I proved myself,” she recalled.

It has been three years since then, Noorena has got herself recognized and a place in Women Squash Ranking and has had the honour to be the first-ever female sportsperson from Malakand Division in the past century. “I have represented Pakistan at every possible international event I could have.”

“What always encourages me to pick sports over everything is that it gives me the unstoppable energy, which I never get when I am doing something else,” Shams said. “It gives me the confidence to be myself. It is that intense desire that I never had. It is the passion that speaks for me wherever I go. I can pick sports a thousand times over everything.”

But, she still feels a lot is still needed to be done, at least for female athletes of country.

She feels that opportunities for female aren’t as equal as they are for male athletes in Pakistan.

“I want to make sure that the problems I have faced or worst problems that many athletes face now will not exist in future,” she stated when asked about her dreams.

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Pakistan will perform as per expectation but still need improvement: Sarfraz

Monitoring Desk

LEEDS: Pakistan Cricket Team Captain Sarfraz Ahmed said on Thursday that Pakistan team performing as per expectation but the England should not take as easy in second test match.

Pakistan and England 2nd test will be played on 1st June at Leeds as earlier in the first cricket match Pakistan beat England team by nine wickets and secure its position by 1-0 in test series.

“It’s a good sign that our team is performing as per expectations in all three departments. But we have a lot to learn even then and have to accomplish a lot,” the Pakistani skipper said while speaking to journalists at Headingley.

He further said that Usman Salahuddin to replace injured Babar Azam in second Test

Ahmed confirmed that middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin has been chosen over opener Fakhar Zaman to replace injured Babar Azam for the second test.

Sarfaraz said that the team practiced in an open field on Wednesday and refrained from issuing a comment on the pitch condition.

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ECP announce general election on 25th July, 2018

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: According to the Election Commission of Pakistan the General Election in the country will be held on 25th July, 2018.

ECP secretary Babar Yaqoob while addressing a press conference here in Islamabad today said that they [read ECP officials] had issued schedule as per jurisdiction bestowed on them by Constitution and law.

“Election will be held on 25th of July, 2015 whereas returning officer will issue a notice in this regard tomorrow”, secretary told reporters.

“From 2nd of June to 6th of June, candidates will submit nomination papers while a list would be displayed on June-7. [ECP] will scrutinize candidates’ papers till June-14.

The final list of candidates will be issued on June 27 and electoral symbol will be allotted to candidates on June-27”, stated Yaqoob.

He further went on to say that appeals can be lodged against returning officers till June 19 and tribunal will make verdicts on this appeal till June-26.

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Democratic government can resolve all issues, PM Abbasi addresses last NA session


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday has said that Pakistan’s issues can only be resolved by a democratically-elected government.

Addressing the last National Assembly session, PM Abbasi said, “Pakistan’s issues can only be resolved through a government which comes through the will of the people.”

Stating that many undemocratic governments assumed power in the country but none of them ‘delivered’, the premier asserted, “The need of democracy and Pakistan today is free and fair elections.”

The premier reiterated, “We will not tolerate even a day’s delay in the upcoming elections.”

“A big part in ensuring transparent elections is the freedom of media,” the premier further said.

The premier also appreciated the opposition’s role as the PML-N-led government became the second democratically elected government to complete its tenure in the history of Pakistan.

“The assembly would not have completed its term today, had it not been for the leader of the opposition,” the premier said.

Praising Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah, the premier said, “He served as an exemplary opposition leader and did not leave anything in his struggle to take forward the democratic process.”

Thanking National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, PM Abbasi said, “I would like to thank the speaker for the way the assembly conducted its business over the past five years; you never let the opposition feel that you are partial towards one side and tried your hardest to have consensus in the house over all matters.”

Highlighting the achievements of his government, PM Abbasi said, “Despite internal and external challenges, economic growth was recorded and Pakistan’s security situation improved considerably since 2013.”

“We should analyse the past five years and see how the country was when the [PML-N] government assumed power and if there is any change in it now,” he continued.

“Economy improved considerably in the in the last five years and Pakistan is a top investment destination today,” he upheld.

Stating that Karachi used to be the fifth most dangerous city in the world and is no more ranked in the top 50 most dangerous cities, the premier said, “Thanks to all parties law and order was established in Karachi.”

The incumbent federal government’s five-year constitutional term ends at midnight.

The National Assembly will stand dissolved at midnight tonight, paving way for establishment of a caretaker setup before the general elections scheduled on July 25 this year.

The five-year term of the Punjab Assembly and Balochistan Assembly is also ending tonight.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah have already named former chief justice Nasirul Mulk as interim prime minister.

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US blaming Pakistan for its failure in Afghanistan:  Dastagir

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan on Thursday said that the US is always demanding Pakistan to do more but indeed the US has failed in Afghanistan.

“In order to cover up for its defeat during its war in Afghanistan, US pressurises Pakistan,” the foreign minister said while addressing a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad along with Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.

“Relations with US are important and we wish to continue talks with them,” the foreign minister asserted.

Responding to a question regarding the downward trend in Pakistan-US relations after 9/11, Dastgir said, “In 2011, a few incidents happened which deteriorated our relations.”

“First was the Raymond Davis incident, then the attack on World Trade Centre masterminded by Osama Bin Laden and then the Salala incident in which US forces martyred 24 Pakistani soldiers,” he said.

Dastgir continued, “However, Pakistan has moved forward from these incidents through operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad and we have tried to explain that to our American partners repeatedly.”

“But the American mindset is stuck in 2011,” he lamented.

Stating that the US has not changed its perception of Pakistan since 2011, the foreign minister said, “You can deduce this from their statements.”

“Although, our American partners acknowledge the sacrifices of the armed forces and the nation but they do not appreciate the operations,” he continued.

“They haven’t acknowledged how much Pakistan has done to free itself of terrorism,” he regretted.

Dastgir further said, “Our American partners who visited Islamabad always stressed on action in North Waziristan and we took action. PML-N government and armed forces gave exemplary sacrifices to break the backbone of terrorists.”

Shifting focus to relations with India, Dastgir said, “We tried to improve relations with India but did not receive a positive response from them.”

Regarding relations with India in the future, the foreign minister said, “When a new government is sworn in they will decide on how to take forward relations with India depending on their mandate.”

“Pakistan raised the issue of Indian atrocities in Kashmir on every forum,” he stressed.

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Shahbaz should give statement like senior politician not childish: Chaudry Nisar


LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz senior leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday said he was surprised over the PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif statement to not differentiate between childish and mature behavior.

The politician was reacting to an earlier statement by Shehbaz who had said Nisar was ‘immature’. “He needs to be dealt with like a child and we keep trying to pacify him and resolve any issues,” the Punjab chief minister had said.

“Childish behaviour is what [Shehbaz’s] party leadership is exhibiting,” he noted, with an advice to the PML-N president to not discuss incidents that had happened 30 years ago.

He further said Shehbaz’s inability to do anything regarding the behavior of his party’s leadership could be termed as nonserious behavior.

“Shehbaz should invest his energies to get out of the difficult situation,” Nisar advised Shehbaz.

Nisar, who has been associated with the PML-N for over three decades, has publicly spoken about his differences with the party following Nawaz’s ouster last July and subsequent public mobilisation campaign. In February it was reported that Nawaz had parted ways with his longtime associate Nisar.

Last month, Shehbaz met with Nisar and asked him to “stay with the party”.

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President Mamnoon signs Fata Reform Bill, merging FATA with KP

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) becomes part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday signed the Fata Reforms Bill on Thursday.

On the occasion, President Mamnoon Hussain congratulated the people of tribal belt as they were become part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which was long standing demands of the tribesmen.

Earlier, Fata Reforms Bill was passed by the National Assembly, the Senate and KP Assembly and later it was sent to the president for formal approval.

KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Fata Reforms Committee head Sartaj Aziz, National Security Adviser Lt Gen Nasser Janjua and Adviser to the Prime Minister Barrister Zafarullah Khan were present during the signing ceremony of the bill.

Under the Article 247, the executive authority of the federation shall extend to FATA and PATA (Provincially Administered Tribal Areas).

The president signing the Constitution (Thirty-First) Amendment Bill, 2018, means that the control of FATA Interim Governance Regulation, 2018 will be handed over to the KP government.




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JIT found no documents proving Nawaz as owner of Al-Azizia Steel Mills, says Wajid Zia

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Head of Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and main witness of prosecution Wajid Zia has said that he did not found any evidence during investigation which can proved that former prime minister Sharif is the owner of Al-Azizia Steel Mills.

This he said on Thursday during the hearing of Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Harris has started cross examination of Wajid Zia in the case against the Sharif family.

Zia told that according to the bank statement, Nawaz’s son Hussain Nawaz sent him an amount worth US$1.1 million as a ‘gift’ from July 5, 2010, to June 30, 2011 and adding that Nawaz should have declared the amount in the wealth statement for 2010-2011.

Zia, who is appearing before the court of accountability judge Muhammad Bashir, has already recorded his statement in both Avenfield and Al-Azizia references against the Sharif family.

The National Accountability Bureau has in total filed three references against the Sharif family in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.

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Asghar Khan case: CJP warn govt over lack of progress in case

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has showed displeasure over the federal government for lack of progress in the Asghar Khan case.

He remarked this after he resumed hearing the case on Thursday. CJP said that this is a serious matter and case but unfortunately the government is showing no concern over which will not be tolerated.

He questioned why the federal cabinet hasn’t done anything regarding the Asghar Khan case.

CJP Saqib Nisar headed a three-member on Thursday at Supreme Court Lahore Registry. The bench also comprises Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Gulzar Ahmed.

Earlier on May 8, the bench gave a week’s time to the federal government to summon a cabinet meeting to determine what action to take in light of the case verdict.

During today’s heading, the Attorney General (AG) requested the court for more time and saying that to please give us some time to summon a meeting of the cabinet.

In reply CJP remarked that the federal cabinet should hold a meeting today and take a decision, You must tell us about cabinet’s decision today only.

Moreover, Director-General Federal Investigation Agency Basheer Memon said that an inquiry into the case is ongoing.

At the last hearing, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that the court has given its order in the case and rejected review petitions of former army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg and former Inter-Services Intelligence DG Lieutenant General Asad Durrani, accused of illegally influencing the 1990 elections.

Former air chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan case filed a case in 1996 and later the apex court on October 19, 2012 had issued a 141-page verdict, ordering legal proceedings against Gen (retd) Beg and Lt Gen (retd) Durrani in a case.

The Islamic Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), consisting of nine parties including the Pakistan Muslim League, National Peoples Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, had won the 1990 elections, with Nawaz Sharif being elected prime minister. The alliance had been formed to oppose the Benazir Bhutto-led Pakistan Peoples Party.

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Interior ministry directs NADRA to block Musharraf’s CNIC

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Interior Ministry has directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on Thursday to block the Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) of former president Pervez Musharaf.

The private news channel reported that interior ministry has officially written a letter to NADRA over directives from the special court.

The Special court gave the orders in light of treason case against the former military ruler and his passport would also stand invalid once his identity card is blocked and it will bar him from travelling to anywhere.

Moreover, the former president’s bank accounts in Pakistan would also be frozen.

Recently, the special court ordered the federal government to take measures for Musharaff’s arrest and so block his NIC and passport.

The former army chief was indicted in the treason case in March 2014 after he appeared before the court and rejected all charges.

On March 18, 2016, the former president left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment after his name was removed from the Exit Control List over orders of the Supreme Court.

Later, the special court had declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his no-show.