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Prime Minister Imran Khan promises sweeping reforms in inaugural address

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged that his government would cut spending and launch austerity measures that affect the welfare of the nation.

In his inaugural address to the nation on Sunday, Prime Minister Khan thanked his supporters and workers for standing by him during his political struggle.

“First of all, I would like to thank my workers who joined my movement and jihad. I want to specially pay tributes to two of my late colleagues, first Ahsan Rashid and Saloni Bokhari. They joined my party during my early days.

“I never considered politics a career. For me Holy Prophet is my role model. My mission is to transform Pakistan into a state it was supposed to become.  I want to let my nation know the challenges we are facing.”

“Our national debt has reached at Rs28, 000 billion.  The debt we took over the last 10 years has doubled. We are facing a situation where we have to take loans to pay off the interest on our foreign debt.”

“The pressure being faced by rupee is due to foreign debts. On one hand, we are under heavy debt, on the other hand, our human development index is at the lowest in the region.”

According to UN report, we are ranked in five countries where more infant mortality rate is very high.

“In Pakistan, our ruing elite is living a luxurious life. Prime Minister of Pakistan has more than 500 employees. The prime minister uses 80 vehicles. “We have rest houses, chief minister houses, secretaries and dcs and commissioners. They live in big houses.”

“A prime minister spends 650 million on foreign visits. Why do they such expensive visits? Why do they achieve? Do they go there to conquer countries?”

“We have to change our mindset and lifestyle if we have to save our nation. Another problem Pakistan faces is from global warming and climate change.  It’s about time we change our mindset and way of life.  Our role model of Holy Prophet (pubh).  First of all, we have to adhere to rule of law which is vital to change our destiny.  Two courts had to face courts of law. “

Zakat

“Then there was system of Zakat. It meas people have to pay progressive taxes, a  concept the western nations have adopted. There was system of merit in the state of Medina.  Our caliphs used to present themselves for accountability. Rulers were not above the law.”

Conflict of interest

“When Hazrat Umar (RA) became caliph, he shut down his clothing business due to conflict of interest. Now look at our rulers, who joined politics to make money. “

Education

“The greatest world leader Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to emphasize on education. The principles of the state of Medina had been adopted by the West. We also need to adopt them.”

He said Pakistan was not established to replace  rich  Hindu elite with Muslims. We have to protect our marginalized communities.

“I have learnt one thing in my life and that is not to give up. You have to become my team  and I shall prove that we can fix the system. “

PM House to be made university

“I will live in the house of my military secretary. It’s a three-room residence which has only three servants. We will put the cars on auction.”

“We have decided to set up a committee of experts to decide what can be done with governor houses”

The Prime Minister House will be converted into a top world-class university. We will also form a task form under Dr Ishrat Hussain to make suggestions to cut spending.

People should realize that we have to change our mindset. We need a new mindset in naya Pakistan. We have to save the money and spend it on the most underprivileged section of society.

No country  can grow or progress through loans. The loan cane be acquired for a short period. We cannot last forever through loans. When we get loans, we compromise our self respect and integrity.

I will feel ashamed of begging to foreign countries for loans. Inshahullah, I have to make the nation stand on its feet. We have to become a great nation. No nation can become great through begging bowls. We have to collect money.

Only 800, 000 pay taxes in  a country of 220 million.  We have to introduce reforms in FBR. I will spend  taxes only on people.

“It is your responsibility to pay taxes. When you evade taxes, you cause harm to your own country,” he said. “The tax will be like giving Zakat.

Task Force

We are setting up a high-powered Task Force to bring back money laundered to foreign countries from Pakistan.

Never vote for a party leader whose businesses are based in foreign countries and then he come back to rule this country.

We have to increase our exports. We have made a business advisory councils  to facilitate investors and business community and remove hurdles they face to export their items.  We have to develop small and medium industries.

We have to deliver a message to our foreign missions that they need to help overseas Pakistanis to facilitate them.  We will help our people who have been languishing in jails in other countries.

Overseas Pakistanis

We will create investment opportunities in Pakistan. We want you to bring your money back to Pakistan and invest in this country. I want our Pakistanis to help us.

Crackdown on corruption

This is our biggest problem.  I will hold a meeting with NAB’s chairman. We will provide him all the resources he needs at his disposal to go after corrupt elements. We will go after crooks everywhere.  The corrupt elements will make a lot of noise but rest assured that you have to stand by me.

Reforms in justice system

I will meet Chief Justice and sit with him. We will introduce judicial reforms to make sure that every case is settled within one year.  I will request the chief justice to take up cases of widows at the earliest.  When I first came into politics, a woman wrote a letter to me with her blood that she had no access to justice.

Police reforms

We have to fix the police system. The crime rate has come down in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to police reforms. Nasir Durrani, who was our police chief in KP, had led the reforms police.  Police is a provincial subject. We cannot directly intervene, but we are ready to work with them to fix the police. We have to address the issue of child abuses.

Education

Education remains our top priority.  The standard of education at government-run schools is very poor. We know how middle class suffers due to lack of quality education in government schools.  We will declare education emergency. We will not forget children who are enrolled in seminaries. We have to make sure that students studying in madrasses also become doctors and engineers.

Health

We will change the management system of government hospitals. We have to fix the health system. We have made a task force which will review it. We will introduce health cards across Pakistan.  The poor can go to any hospital and get himself/herself treatment through health insurance .

Water

Karachi is facing acute water shortage. There is no water in Karachi. Situation is same in Quetta and Islamabad. We will guide farmers to save water.  But it is inevitable to at least construct one dam. Bhasha dam must be built at soon as possible. We will raise funds to construct Bhasha Dam.

Agriculture

We have to help our farmers to increase their yield and earn money. Agriculture Research is needed to help farmers.

Civil Service Reforms

If civil service doesn’t execute government’s reforms, how are we going to resolve our issues. There was time when our civil services was one of the world’s best. Dr Ishrat Hussain will carry out reforms in civil services. There will be no political interference. We will give you complete respect.  The common man needs to be respected by the civil servants.  We will give bonuses to departments which perform well and those who don’t will be penalized.

LG system

We have devolved power to grass-root level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We will introduce a new local government system to directly elect a nazim.  Nowhere in the world, MNAs/MPAs are given funds for development. They can identity areas but they cannot be given funds.

We have to build new playgrounds and parks for people. It is the right of our women and children to go to park and relax.

Plantation

We have to plant billions of saplings across Pakistan. We took the initiative in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We have to replicate this in rest of the country. We will run new campaign to plant trees with the help of our youth.

We have to launch cleanliness drive in Karachi and rest of Pakistan and tackle the issue of pollution. We have to organize ourselves.

In five years, Pakistan should be transformed into a clean and green nation.

Tourism

We are going to open new resorts every years to promote tourism in this country. We will develop beaches where our people could go.

FATA Reforms

We have to introduce reforms to develop FATA.

Balochistan

Our government will try its level best to address the sense of deprivation in Balochistan. I will supervise these efforts myself.

South Punjab

South Punjab province must be carved out of Punjab.

Karachi

Police need to revamped in Karachi. We need to carry out cleanliness campaign in Karachi. We will set up deslination plants in Karachi.

NAP

The 20-point national action plan (NAP) will be implemented. It’s a national plan. We cannot progress without combating terrorism.

Foreign policy

Our priority is to talk to our neighbours and restore peace in the region.  Many leaders have phoned me. We will talk to them and discuss how can we restore peace in the region. We should have better relations with our neighbours.

In the end, the prime minister said that he would not do any business as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

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Baghdad gun shops thrive after Iraqi rethink on arms control

BAGHDAD (Reuters): In the middle of Baghdad’s busy commercial neighborhood of Karrada, where most retail outlets sell home appliances, shoppers can now also buy handguns and semi-automatic rifles legally for the first time in decades.

After the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, illegal weapons trade flourished across the country. Looted guns from ransacked police stations and military bases were sold in streets and public areas to residents seeking to protect themselves in a state that was largely lawless.

The authorities have since been battling to curb illegal weapon sales and the government has stepped up efforts to control gun ownership through regulation.

The latest initiative came into force this summer and allows citizens to own and carry handguns, semi-automatic rifles and other assault weapons after obtaining official authorization and an identity card that also details the individual’s weapons.

Previously, gun sales were restricted to firearms for hunting and sport.

Hamza Maher opened his new gun shop in Karrada after receiving official approval from the Interior Ministry and says there has been growing demand for his wares.

“Customers are mainly men, but the number of women buyers is growing,” said Maher inside his shop, where a variety of pistols and assault rifles are on display.

“The reason for buying is self-defense, and it’s safer for citizens to buy a weapon from an authorized store instead of from an unknown source.”

Pistol prices in Maher’s shop range from $1,000 to $4,000, while Kalashnikov assault rifles can be had from as little as $400 up to $2,000, depending on the brand and manufacturing origin, he said.

Haider al-Suhail, a tribal sheikh from Baghdad, welcomed the legalization of gun stores.

“Yes, it will decrease crime,” he said on a visit to Maher’s shop to buy assault rifles for his ranch guards. “The criminal who plans to attack others will understand that he will pay heavy price.”

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No ceasefire unless ‘other side’ agrees to one: CEO

KABUL (TOLONews): Addressing a select group of people on Sunday evening at Darulaman Palace in Kabul to mark Independence Day CEO Abdullah Abdullah essentially said there would be no unilateral ceasefire this Eid.

However he stated that if the insurgents were to respect a ceasefire, one could be announced but without the “other sides” cooperation such a move would be meaningless.

This comes after days of discussions on the subject with politicians, political parties, organizations and foreign stakeholders.

On Sunday, the High Peace Council (HPC) said they had gathered the opinions of members of the public over the past month on a ceasefire and had forwarded their findings to President Ashraf Ghani.

Earlier in the day, sources told TOLOnews that government was still discussing the issue and had not reached a final decision.

HPC spokesman Sayed Ehsan Taheri said their findings show that people want a permanent ceasefire between government and Taliban.

“We have finalized the ceasefire plan which was asking the people’s opinions. The people want a long-term ceasefire not an interim one. They want the ceasefire to help both sides, government and Taliban, to trust on each other and start direct talks,” said Taheri.

Members of Parliament meanwhile said another ceasefire should be a bilateral ceasefire, not a uniliteral ceasefire.

“Another ceasefire should be a bilateral ceasefire and should be guaranteed. This ceasefire should pave the ground for a lasting ceasefire,” MP Sayed Ali Kazimi said.

Sources from government said government had ordered security forces to be alert over Eid days.

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Nangarhar Governor Lays Wreath On King’s Tomb

JALALABAD (TOLONews): Nangarhar government Hayatullah Hayat placed a wreath on the tomb of King Amanullah Khan on Sunday at a ceremony to commemorate the 99th anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence.

The late king has always been credited with the signing of a treaty with the British Empire in 1919, proclaiming full independence and the creation of the nation.

Hayat was also accompanied by provincial government and security officials.

He said after the wreath-laying ceremony that he hopes to soon restore the king’s tomb and its surroundings.

“We are committed to restoring the tomb and its surrounding areas,” he said.

Nangarhar residents meanwhile celebrated the day throughout the city, which was not only bedecked with flags but colorful neon lights had also been strung up around the city ahead of Sunday.

Independence Day meanwhile generated messages of congratulations from people, organizations and governments around the world.

The US government sent an early morning congratulatory message and said it commends the people of Afghanistan’s resolve and determination in continuing to strive for a future of peace and prosperity.

UNICEF Afghanistan also issued a message on Twitter and said: “As we commemorate the Afghanistan Independence Day today, we re-echo our call for an end to violence, especially against children and hope for the emergence of a peaceful, stable and beautiful Afghanistan.”

Resolute also took to Twitter and said: “NATO Allies and partners serving in the Resolute Support mission wish Afghanistan congratulations for Independence Day. We remain united in our commitment to help Afghanistan attain peace. We pay tribute to the ANDSF and the Afghan people.”

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Businessmen raise funds for Dams

F.P. Report

LAHORE: As the fund dedicated for the construction of Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams has received a lukewarm response from across the country, the Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) managed to held an Independence Day music concert to raise funds for the construction of theDiamer Basha and Mohmand Dams.

PIAF chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said the Jashn e Azadi concert was held at National Hockey Stadium Lahore which was attended by a large number of business community with their families by purchasing tickets. He said the earnings and contributions of this concert will be fully donated to the supreme court of Pakistan Diamer Basha & Mohmand Dam fund lead to construction of the dams.

He said that the project will contribute towards alleviation of acute water shortages in the Indus Basin Irrigation System caused by progressive siltation of existing reserves.

A large number of renowned personalities who attended the event including Mian Anjum Nisar, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh Sohail Nisar, Tariq Nazir chief secretary Akbar Durani, Imran Tarar, DG LDA Amna Imran Shakil Anjum, Kh. Javed Aslam Qaiser Sultan and many TV/ Film actors and artists and thousands of others.

Quoting the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), he said that the total collection from within Pakistan was recorded at Rs854.8 million so far for dams’ construction. The detail shows that the fund received Rs22 million on August 13, Rs87.4 million on August 9, Rs63.4 million on August 8, and Rs44.9 million on August 6.

He hailed the decision of the Supreme Court for initiating the move, also asking the government to start work on Kalabagh Dam without any further delay. He observed that KBD is the most thoroughly studied project by world’s top experts, reviewed by noted international panels of professionals and thoroughly appraised by the World Bank. The project is located in the middle of load centre, easy to approach and no long distance transmission lines are required for it. It is ready for construction since mid eighties and international financing from World Bank or Asian Bank can still be easily arranged.

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Sergio Aguero scores hat trick as Manchester City hit Huddersfield for six

MANCHESTER (Agencies): Sergio Aguero scored his 13th hat trick for Manchester City as the Premier League champions brushed Huddersfield aside in a 6-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.

City swarmed around the Huddersfield area in the opening moments, Aguero having a shot blocked and the visitors’ Steve Mounie miscuing a clearance onto the top of his own bar inside three minutes.

Terriers keeper Ben Hamer made a good stop from Gabriel Jesus, clean through, before a threatening David Silva cross hit a defender and was grabbed by Hamer.

But Huddersfield gained a foothold in the game as the quarter of an hour approached, seeing a bit more of the ball before another City attack brought a Jesus header that was comfortably handled by Hamer.

Ilkay Gundogan blasted an effort from the edge of the area that cannoned to safety, and then David Silva’s superb angled cross was headed into the side-netting by Aguero.

Aymeric Laporte thumped over from 30 yards, and Jon Stankovic did the same for the Terriers after a rare but neat counter-attack. But within seconds, City had made a 25th-minute breakthrough as Aguero latched on to Ederson’s accurate goal-kick and, as Hamer advanced to the edge of his area, chipped superbly over him.

The home side doubled their money after 31 minutes when Jesus lashed a low effort beyond Hamer after the ball had broken to him. Ten minutes before the break, City made it three as Hamer spilled a low cross from Benjamin Mendy and Aguero tapped home — but Huddersfield got one back, Stankovic stabbing home after Mounie had flicked on.

The visitors made a half-time change, bringing on Laurent Depoitre for Abdelhamid Sabiri, but within three minutes of the restart they were 4-1 down as David Silva curled an exquisite free kick high into the net.

Bernardo Silva began the move that saw an Aguero shot blocked, and the striker then saw his low 25-yard shot cannon off the post with Hamer beaten. Aguero sliced wide after a lovely flick from Jesus before Huddersfield made another switch, bringing Adama Diakhaby for Alex Pritchard.

The sparkling David Silva was replaced by Riyad Mahrez moments later as Pep Guardiola made his first change, and then Huddersfield defender Christoph Schindler was shown a yellow card for a hack on Jesus. Hamer made a smart save from Aguero — but with a quarter of an hour remaining the Argentina star sealed his treble in style, flicking home yet another dangerous Mendy cross.

Aguero came off moments later to be replaced by Leroy Sane, the substitute’s blocked shot drawing an unlucky own goal from Terence Kongolo, while home-grown midfielder Phil Foden got a late cameo as he replaced Gundogan.

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Asian Games football: Pakistan bag first victory after 44 years

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan football team won their first Asian Games match after nearly 44 years as they defeated Nepal 2-1 in their last group D match in Bekasi, Indonesia on Sunday.

The team made things impossible for themselves in an already dreary record at first when they scored an own-goal in the 12th minute, a mistake by Shahbaz Younus. But they were dominant in the second half as Muhammad Bial scored in the 54th minute and then captain Saddam Hussain sealed the win courtesy a penalty in the 72nd minute.

The win has brought hope for the country to progress to the knock-out round, however, out of the other nations Pakistan has the worst goal-difference of -6, as they were thrashed 3-0 by Vietnam 0 in their first match and then lost 4-0 against Japan on Thursday.

Pakistan has only ever won three matches at the Asain Games football event now, the other two being in 1954 and 1974. The rules of fielding the teams at the Asian Games had changed in 2002, as the participating nations can field only three seniors players now, and the rest of the squad should be U23.

Dark side of the win

While the victory may be a great consolatory moment for Pakistan, but it has its cost as the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) did not send any physio or doctor with the team, and went ahead by sending a masseur instead.

This means that if any of the players would get injured they will not have instant access to doctors or physios to treat them. The PFF will be relying on the host nation’s physicians. And like in the past, the players, if they pick any injury, will get back home without any support or back-up plan for them.

Earlier the PFF had been extremely furtive with their selection of the players and sending the squad to the games, without ever publicising it. The team only had a tour to Bahrain for training where they played the local club teams.

Earlier on the Asian Games website too, the Denmark-based Yousuf Ijaz Butt was named as the goalkeeper, but the PFF sent Saqib Hanif in the squad.

Similarly there are question raised on other players too who made to the team as the PFF’s new coach, Brazil’s Jose Antonio Nogueira never revealed the criteria for selection, and the federation’s technical director Shahzad Anwar is accompanying the team instead of a physio.

Pakistan are ranked 201 in the Fifa ranking and this was their first tournament since March 2015, when the team last played the Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Yemen, and lost.

Fighting with the with the ex-captain

The PFF’s offical Sardar Naveed Haider has been accusing former captain Kaleemullah, who became the first Pakistani to play at the United Soccer League (USL) with clubs like Sacremento Republic and Tulsa Roughnecks, of being greedy and unpatriotic for ditching the national side for the club football in Turkey.

However, Kaleemullah had been purposefully subsided by the federation for speaking up against PFF’s unprofessionalism. In a fresh spat the controversial congress member, Haider, also the Punjab Football association president, claimed that Kaleemullah cannot justify his move to Turkey, however, the PFF is confused with in.

Kaleemullah had gone to the national training camp before the Asian Games, where his name was not in the list and was later included only to be struck out again.

Meanwhile, Kaleemullah is adament that he wants to play for the country at the Asain games, and now at the upcoming South Asian Football Federation Championship, if the federation calls him. But more importantly he shed light on the issue of player-care.

“Our federation doesn’t provide any facilities,” Kaleemullah said.

“He had predicted Pakistan to play well against Nepal, however. “We play against the Saff teams well, because that is all we prepare for. We can’t play Japan and Vietnam because we are at the lowest level of the football in the continent. We don’t get to play among the top-tier teams anyway. We prepare for Asian Games too like we prepare for the Saff Championship.”

Kaleemullah added that at the end of the day it is the players who make the difference but they are out-powered against nations like Japan because the federation does not provide good diet for the players, they are worried of doing their own laundry after the matches.

“The diet we have, you can’t win against Japan, even their U21 team by having ‘daal-chawal’, and worry about washing your clothes after the matches so that they are available for practice the next day. It does not work like that. I also would think when I was in the national team that this is how it works, but now that I’ve had the exposure of playing for international clubs I can see why we don’t do well in football. It is the federation that has no idea how to provide the players with facilities and professional training,” explained Kaleemullah.

Instead of paying attention to Kaleemullah’s pleas, PFF is accusing him of being unpatriotic. The Technical Director had said previously that Kaleemullah was not physically fit; however, he has been inducted by Turkish football club.

“I’m not scared of PFF anymore, I see what they have been doing,” said Kaleemullah. “Other players are stuck; they’ll pay for speaking up. Like maybe I’m paying by being out of the team. Despite everything I still want to play for my country.”

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India 329 all out against England in 3rd Test

LONDON (Agencies): India were bowled out for 329 after losing the toss on the second day of the third Test against England at Trent Bridge on Sunday.

After resuming on their overnight 307 for six, India lost their last four wickets for 22 runs in 19 balls. James Anderson wrapped up the innings with two wickets in two balls as he dismissed tailenders Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

That means England s all-time leading Test wicket-taker is on a hat-trick when he next bowls in this match.

The wicket also took Anderson, who had innings figures of three for 64, to 556 career Test wickets — just seven shy of retired Australia great Glenn McGrath s tally of 563, the most by a pace bowler in Test cricket.

Virat Kohli, the India captain, top-scored with 97 on Saturday and shared a fourth-wicket stand of 159 with Ajinkya Rahane, who made 81. England lead this five-match series 2-0.

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Presidential elections: PPP approaches PML-N, requests support of Aitzaz Ahsan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by Syed Khursheed Shah called on former speaker National Assembly (NA) Ayaz Sadiq and requested support of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) for PPP’s nominee for president Aitzaz Ahsan.

As per details garnered, PPP had also announced to support Shehbaz Sharif for the slot of opposition leader in the lower house of the parliament.

PPP’s delegation told Sadiq that they had penned letter to NA speaker Asad Qaiser stating support for Sharif Jr. The letter has been signed by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto, Khursheed Shah and Raja Pervez Ashraf.

The move came days after PPP backtracked from the agreement and abstained from voting in favor of Shehbaz Sharif for slot of premier.

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DSP suspended after youth seen driving his police vehicle

F.P. Report

KARACHI: DSP Mauripur Asghar Masood was suspended from duty after a group of young boys were found to be driving a police mobile, which turned out to be his.

Police authorities took notice after a video went viral of three under-age boys driving the vehicle in Bahadurabad early morning for breakfast at an eatery.

The boys are reportedly close relatives of Masood but it is not clear whether they took out the car with his consent and/or knowledge.

Police authorities confirmed further inquiry will be carried out into the incident.