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Bilawal reaches constituency to condole death of drowned persons

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari offered condolences to the family members of six persons who were drowned near Gaddani during Eid holidays more than a week ago.

Accompanied by former Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and other PPP leaders, PPP Chairman visited the residence of the victims, met their bereaved families and sympathized with them for the unbearable losses.

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari visited the Dargah of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi, offered fateha and showered rose petals at his mausoleum on Saturday.

PPP Chairman was accompanied by former Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, former Sindh Minister Nasir Shah, Rashid Rabbani, Waqar Mehdi, Saeed Ghani and others accompanied him.

Earlier, Ali Raza Shah, grand-son of G. M. Syed from Jamshoro district called on the Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Bilawal House and announced joining PPP on Saturday.

Former Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and PPP leader Malik Asad Sikandar were also present on the occasion.

Ali Raza Shah was former Tehsil Nazim of Manjhand, is son of former MPA Ameer Haider Shah and grand-son of G. M. Syed.

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Supported Nawaz for 34 years and never asked for anything: Nisar

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Former interior minister and disgruntled leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chaudhry Nisar on Saturday said that he has supported former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for 34 years and had never asked for anything.

Addressing a public rally in Chakri on Saturday, he said that for the last 34 he has kept the interest of the area first, adding that there were no roads and hospitals in the constituency but by the grace of almighty Allah, we provided light in every village.

I have not started a single mill, he said and added only worked for the constituency when came in power. Several development projects have been completed in the constituency, he added.

The ex-minister said that his opponents have not done nothing for the people of the constituency, adding that whole country’s eyes are on this constituency.

Nisar went on to say that he was doing politics for honour, adding that the PML-N ticket was no problem for him as it was on a distance of an application but he did not compromise.

The estranged PML-N leader said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan is his friend and openly offered him to join PTI but he did not compromise on principles.

Nisar said: “I have started military operation in Karachi along with Pakistan Army and restored peace in Karachi and blocked social media when blasphemous content was viral.”

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Disgruntled PTI women workers protest against Ali Amin Gandapur

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Disgruntled women workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday protested against former provincial lawmaker Ali Amin Gandapur and announced that they would present hair accessories and bangles to him.

Speaking in a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club, former MPA Zareen Zia alleged Gandapur is selling the party tickets reserved for women seats, adding that a seat was given to the wife of a chauffeur of an influential based in Noshera.

“The women workers supported the party in difficult times but today on the recommendation of Gandapur, a ticket has been allotted to a woman who is not even member of the party,” she said. “I will make Gandapur wear Parandah and bangles.”

The disgruntled workers demanded PTI Chairman Imran Khan to take notice of the situation.

Earlier, on Friday, the party chairman, and his wife reconciled women workers of the party staging protest over the distribution of party tickets outside Khan’s Lahore residence.

PTI women workers were staging the protest over the distribution of tickets for Punjab Assembly constituencies PP-65 Mandi Bahauddin and PP-14 Rawalpindi.

The disgruntled women workers held a meeting with the PTI chairman, which also had Bushra Bibi in presence. The wife of the PTI chief managed to reconcile the disgruntled workers at the meeting.

Speaking to the media, the women workers were all praise for Bushra Bibi.

“Bushra Bibi is such a kind-hearted woman that her address brought tears into our eyes,” said Fatima Usman, a PTI worker.

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General Musharraf urges people of Chitral to elect APML candidates

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf in a video message to the people of Chitral has urged them to vote for All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) candidates Dr Muhammad Amjad and Sohrab Khan saying that the two will better serve the people in comparison with any other representative as he would be directly monitoring their progress by himself and would also guide them.

APML Patron-in-Chief General Musharraf said that neither he left his party nor he has separated himself from the politics. In 2013 I was barred to take part in the elections as a measure of political vendetta and in 2018 I was once again not allowed to take part in the elections on the allegations of political in nature.

During my tenure in the government, I worked for people of Chitral and initiated many projects for their prosperity. In return Chitrali people always loved me. Now I am asking them for the votes and help APML candidates winning 2018 elections. This vote will be for me, General Musharraf said. I am with APML and providing back support to the APML Chairman Dr Amjad.

Dr Amjad is known to me for the last many years and I assure you that he will better serve you in comparison to other candidates, General Musharraf said while addressing to Chitrali people.

He said that he constructed canals in Chitral, started hydro power projects there and also initiated the massive project of Lawari Tunnel that people of Chitral had been demanding for the last 50 years.

“The reason these people loves me and believe in my leadership that is a matter of pride for me. It is love of the people area that in 2013 and 2018 elections, I submitted my nomination forms from Chitral but due to political vengeance, I was barred to take part in the election process. After I was disqualified to contest the elections in 2013, people of Chitral voted for my candidate. In 2018, I once again submitted nomination forms from Chitral and once again I was not allowed to take part in the election,” the ex-General said.

He said that he would disclose reasons behind this and would also disclose that why he was stopped coming to Pakistan.

“Now Dr Amjad is taking part from NA-1 Chitral while Sohrab Khan from PK-1 while I am proving my full support to them. I haven’t left the political field empty. I will definitely return to the country and will be with Pakistani people once again,” the former president said.

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Sindh to install 20,000 night-vision cameras to monitor polling stations

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Sindh Government Saturday decided to install 20000 day and night vision cameras at 5776 polling station to monitor the entire polling process right from start of the polling to its completion and counting of the votes.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Caretaker Chief Minister Fazal-ur-Rehman. All the caretaker cabinet members, Chief Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman, IGP Sindh Amjad Javed Saleemi, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Information Qazi Shahid Pervez, Secretary GA Zulfiqar Shah, and other concerned secretaries, Chairman National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) Brigadier Taufiq Ahmed and others.

The chief minister said that in the last cabinet meeting keeping view the shortage of time [election 2018] had approved exemption from operation of Sindh Public Procurement Rules 2009 regarding procurement of equipment and services for video surveillance system for highly sensitive polling stations.

He said that the surveillance of all the polling stations was very necessary to make the system of polling station right from the start of the polling process to the end and then counting and sealing of the bags [votes]. “Since the amount [funds] involved in the procurement of the CCTV and other required equipments was very high, therefore I had assigned the task to the chief secretary to negotiate with the NRTC so that the entire project could be commissioned at minimum cost,” he told the cabinet.

Chief Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman said that NRTC had offered a rate of Rs1 million cost per polling station for the purchase of CCTV camera. “Hence, for 4154 polling stations cost comes to Rs4.154 billion,” he said and added later the home department estimated a revised cost for 5000 polling stations to Rs1.79 billion for purchase of CCTV camera system.

The chief secretary further said that in consultation with the chief minister he decided to the acquisition of CCTV camera system on rental basis.

The chief secretary said that the NRTC came up with a fresh proposal of Rs915 million, excluding GST for 5000 polling stations comprising 15000 CCTV cameras. He added that he constituted a four-member committee comprising Secretary General Administration (GA) department Zulfikar Shah, Home Secretary Mohammad Haroon, Secretary IT, Director IT and a representative of NRTC.

Secretary GA Zulfiqar Shah briefing the cabinet said that after detailed negotiations with NRTC the committee was able to bring down the rates from Rs915 million to Rs575 million, including GST. He added that the additional concessions were also obtained from the NRTC which include the number of sensitive polling stations was increased from 5000 to 5776, the number of CCTV cameras in the negotiated price were increased from 15000 to 20,000 cameras and 30 percent of all the CCTV cameras and video recorder would become the property of Sindh government after completion of the task.

Chairman NRTC Brigadier Taufiq Ahmed through a presentation told the cabinet that 20,000 [cameras] day and night Vision of 2MP HD cameras would be installed at 5776 polling stations and each polling would have the coverage of three CCTV cameras.

He said that there would be 5776 Video Recorders (VR-4, IU), 5776 Hard Disk Drive each one of 2 TB for recording, 5776 LCD Screen and 5776 One KV UPS each one with 1x200AH Wet Battery.

The cabinet appreciated the efforts of the chief secretary and his team for reducing the cost of the CCTV project.

The cabinet approved the project and the Chairman NRTC told the cabinet that the work would be started from July 2 and after installation of all cameras, their accessories and other equipments, including back up system and training of the concerned staff would be handed over to Election Commission of Pakistan on May 23.

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Rabita committee rejects Sattar’s request to withdraw from election

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Rabita Committee of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan politely declined on Saturday Farooq Sattar’s plea to withdraw from the General Election 2018.

The MQM-P leader along with MQM Bahadurabad faction was addressing media, where party leader Faisal Sabzwari said that Sattar has accepted the committee’s decision.

Earlier, Sattar had revealed that he excused himself from contesting the election. The MQM-P leader said that he does not aspire to contest the elections. “I have asked the Bahadurabad faction to decide upon the matter,” said Sattar.

On June 27, the Bahadurabad faction had finalised a list of the party candidates, following which the MQM-P senior leader said that he has given his list of candidates to party convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

“There should be no quota for Bahadurabad and PIB factions,” he said.

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Lahore Zoo loses one of its three new giraffes

F.P. Report

LAHOE: A female giraffe died at the Lahore Zoo on Friday. The animal was recently brought to the city from South Africa.

It was one of three giraffes that were recently purchased from South Africa for Rs19 million According to officials, the three-year-old animal fell ill when it arrived in Pakistan.

The Punjab wildlife director said the giraffe was already ill when it arrived in the country.

This leaves just one pair of giraffes at the Lahore Zoo.

The director said these giraffes are able to survive in Pakistani climate and that this giraffe died because she was already ill.

The animals are being fed chickpeas, fruit and vegetables.

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Muslim group calls for end to attacks on Syria’s Daraa

DOHA (Anadolu Agency): The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) demanded on Saturday an end to crimes against Syrians in Daraa province.

The Secretary-General of the IUMS, Ali al-Qaradaghi, condemned the “brutal attacks against and around Daraa, where photographs and reports show that these crimes are very serious, amounting to war crimes against humanity”.

The Doha-based group appealed to charity organizations to help the victims of war and assist Jordan in carrying out humanitarian work.

The statement pointed out that the number of people displaced in the conflict have exceeded 150,000.

In the last several days, Daraa has been the target of intense air and ground attacks by the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies, who have advanced deep into Daraa’s eastern countryside, capturing the towns of Busra al-Harir and Nahtah.

At least 97 civilians have been killed and thousands displaced since the regime offensive began two weeks ago.

Following peace talks held last year in Kazakh capital Astana, Daraa was designated a “de-escalation zone” in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

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Trump says Saudi king agrees to ramp up oil production

WASHINGTON (AFP): US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia´s King Salman had agreed to his request to ramp up oil production, a week after OPEC already announced an output rise.

“Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & dysfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference,” Trump announced in an early morning tweet.

“Prices too high! He has agreed!”

Trump has repeatedly lashed out at OPEC on Twitter in recent months, piling pressure on Riyadh, a major ally, to boost output as he hopes for lower pump prices before midterm congressional elections in November.

His latest comments come a week after ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — of which Saudi Arabia is the major member — had already agreed to raise output from July.

Non-OPEC member Russia on June 23 also backed the effort, capping a week of tense diplomacy for the grouping that averted a damaging rift between arch foes Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The ministers announced they would ramp up oil production by around one million barrels a day from July.

“I think it will contribute significantly to meet the extra demand that we see coming in the second half,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Faleh told reporters at the time.

The talks had centered on whether to amend an 18-month-old supply-cut deal between OPEC members and allied countries, including Russia, that has cleared a global oil glut and lifted crude prices.

Saudi Arabia, backed by non-member Russia, had argued strongly in favor of increasing production as grumbles in major consumer countries like the United States, India and China have grown about high prices.

Iran opposed any changes to the original production-cut deal at a time when its oil industry is facing renewed sanctions over Trump´s decision to quit the international nuclear deal with Tehran.

In the end, both sides were able to save face.

The current production curb pact calls for participating countries to trim output by 1.8 million barrels a day.

But production constraints and geopolitical factors have seen several nations exceed their restriction quotas, keeping about 2.8 million barrels off the market, according to OPEC.

By agreeing to collectively raise output by a million barrels, member countries are simply committing to comply fully with the deal struck in late 2016.

Iran has accused Trump of trying to politicize OPEC and said it was US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela that had helped push up prices.

Saudi Arabia was producing more than 9.9 million barrels a day in May, according to OPEC, citing secondary sources.

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Israeli forces martyr two Palestinians in Gaza border protests

GAZA (AFP): Israeli forces martyred two Palestinians, one of them a 14-year-old boy, and wounded 415 others with live fire and tear gas during protests along the Gaza border on Friday, Gaza health officials said.

Gaza medical officials said the boy, Yasser Abu Al-Naja and Mohammad Al-Hamayda, 24, were hit by live bullets. They added that four other men wounded by live fire were in critical condition.

The Israeli military said in a statement that troops had used “large amounts of riot dispersal means”. In some cases, when the non-lethal means proved ineffective, live fire was used “in accordance with the standard operating procedures”.

It said thousands of Palestinians had “participated in extremely violent riots”, hurling a grenade and rocks at troops and the border fence and burning tires.

It said the reported death of the boy would be investigated and that legal action could be taken, if appropriate.

Gaza officials say Israeli troops have martyred at least 135 people since the weekly protests began on March 30.

Palestinians say the protests are a popular outpouring of rage against Israel by refugees demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from on Israel’s founding 70 years ago.

Israel says the demonstrations are organized by Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip and denies Israel’s right to exist. Israel says Hamas has intentionally provoked the violence, a charge Hamas denies.

Tens of thousands took part when the protests were launched at several locations along the Gaza border but the number has dropped significantly in the past few weeks and only a few thousand have participated more recently.

Israel’s deadly tactics have drawn international condemnation. But support has come from its main ally, the United States, which like Israel, has cast blame on Hamas.

Israel has accused Hamas of stoking the violence in an attempt to deflect domestic opinion from Gaza’s energy shortages and faltering economy.

Israel maintains a naval blockade of Gaza and tight restrictions on the movement of people and goods at its land borders. Egypt has also kept its own Gaza frontier largely closed. Both countries cite security concerns for the measures, which have deepened economic hardship.