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TLP protests in various cities against Asia Bibi’s acquittal in blasphemy case

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Workers of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has protested in different cities of Pakistan on Wednesday the top court of Pakistan verdict acquitting and ordering the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death over blasphemy allegations.

According to reports, protests were being staged in different cities including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, with major roads blocked.

Earlier, the Punjab Home Department has imposed Section 144 barring the gathering of people in public places. Section 144 has been imposed across the province from October 31 to November 10.

TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi was leading a protest at Charing Cross on Lahore.

The Lahore-Islamabad Motorway was blocked at Sheikhupura. The GT Road has also been blocked.

In Islamabad, Faizabad, Aabpara, and Kashmir Highway adjacent to Aabpara have been blocked by protesters.

In Peshwar, protests were being staged at the Ring Road, GT Road, Jamil Chowk, and outside the Peshawar Press Club.

Protests were also being staged in Gujranwala, Layyah, Chishtian, Mansehra, Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, and other cities across the country.

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Top Court summons Fawad Chaudhry, Azam Swati in Islamabad IGP transfer case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has summoned Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Federal Minister Azam Swati in a case regarding the transfer of Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jan Muhammad on Wednesday.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard a suo motu case on the transfer of the Islamabad IGP.

Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed, secretary establishment and interior secretary appeared before the court for the hearing.

During the hearing, the court took strict notice of the statements of Fawad Chaudhry and Azam Swati and summoned them. The bench also directed the affected family to appear before court.

The chief justice also called for clips of Swati’s speech.

Justice Nisar remarked, “It was said that the Supreme Court cannot remove an IGP.”

Holding the constitution book in the air, Justice Nisar remarked, “It is the Supreme Court that sent a prime minister home as per the Constitution.”

Stating that “there is no doubt that the prime minister is the chief executive”, Justice Nisar lashed out at Chaudhry and said, “The information minister issued an irresponsible statement. Are such statements given? There is a limit to irresponsibility.”



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Ashiana housing scam: Accountability court extends Shehbaz Sharif’s transit remand till Nov 6

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad has extended the transit remand of Shehbaz Sharif till November 6 in the Ashiana Housing scheme case on Wednesday.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president was produced before Judge Mohammad Bashir by the National Accountability Bureau in Islamabad.

The NAB sought a seven-day extension in Shehbaz’s transit remand, which was granted by the court.

PML-N President, Shehbaz Sharif was arrested on October 5 in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme case after he appeared before NAB in the Saaf Pani case. On October 6, an accountability court in Lahore granted NAB a 10-day physical remand of Shehbaz. The PML-N president’s remand was then extended on October 16 by 14 days.

He was already on transit remand, which was to expire today before the court extended it by seven days.

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Afghan military helicopter crashes in Farah, killing 25 on board

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Afghan officials confirmed that an Afghan military helicopter crashed on Wednesday in Farah province of Afghanistan, in a result all 25 on board were killed in the incident.

A spokesperson for the governor of Farah province Naser Mehri, told Afghan media that two military helicopters were on their way to neighboring Herat province when one lost control.

He said the aircraft crashed in bad weather.

According to International news agency, the Taliban spokesperson has claimed the responsibility.

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Seven killed in suicide attack near Pul-e-Charkhi prison

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Afghan Interior Ministry has confirmed that at least seven people were killed and seven others were injured in a suicide attack near Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul on Wednesday.

Afghan Interior Ministry, spokesman Najib Danish told media that three security force members and three civilians, including children, were killed in the attack.

He added that s suicide bomber reportedly targeted a prison staff bus that was transporting employees to work.

The incident happened at about 7:30am local time after a vehicle belonging to Pul-e-Charkhi prison was targeted, according to the officials at the Ministry of Interior.

However, no group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the blast immediately.

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No need of incompetent ministers in cabinet, says PM

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned the ministers to work in the better interest of the masses otherwise there is no place for the incompetent ministers in the cabinet.

This he said while talking to provincial ministers in Lahore, where he said that opposition’s work is to criticize while the government’s role is to serve.

PM Imran Khan added that Pakistan Citizens Portal has opened now, the public cannot hold us accountable. Corruption will be under check and hard work is required for the purpose so now it is minister responsibility to work in the people interest and shows the positive image of government.

He added that the entire focus is on improving governance, asking the ministers to priortise serving the people.

PTI wants to make Pakistan a welfare state and education and health are first most priority of the government, said the prime minister.

The provincial minister expressed complete trust upon the leadership of the prime minister and gave recommendations for improving different sectors, said an official press release.

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Tough contest expected in SCBA elections today

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) elections are scheduled to be held on today (Wednesday).

According to details, total 3,047 voters will cast their votes to elect the 22-member body of SCBA.

The Lahore registry has 1291 registered votes while the Karachi registry has 504. In Islamabad, there are 484 registered votes while Peshawar has 280 votes. Quetta, Bahawalpur and Multan have 196, 89 and 203 registered votes respectively.

Polling stations have been set up in Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur, Islamabad and other cities.

The slot of the president has been reserved for Balochistan this year with the two candidates vying for the being Ali Ahmad Kurd and Amanullah Kanrani.

For the slot of the secretary, the contest is between Shamim-ur-Rehman Malik and Azmatullah Chaudhry while Ali Ahmed Rana and Mahmood A Sheikh are in the running for the finance secretary.

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20 injured as bus overturns

F.P. Report

JAHANIYAN: At least 20 passengers were injured when a speeding bus overturned on late Tuesday night at the Khanewal Road in Jahaniyan.

According to details, the bus was travelling to Sadiqabad from Lahore turned turtle due to over-speeding in Jahaniyan in a result 20 passengers including women and children were injured.

Police and rescue teams reached the spot after being informed and shifted the injured to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Jahaniyan.

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FM Qureshi and Iran’s Zarif discuss issues of mutual interest

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as discussed issues of mutual interest with the Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Foreign Office Islamabad on Wednesday.

Iranian FM Zarif, who arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday morning and later they held a meeting and both the leaders discussed different matters of mutual interest.

Foreign Office Spokesman confirmed that FM Qureshi welcomed Zarif at foreign office and detailed discussions on all issues of mutual interest including ways to enhance cooperation took place.

Zarif landed in Islamabad this morning for what marks his second visit during the newly-elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government.

The Iranian foreign minister is also expected to meet PM Imran during his visit.

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Supreme Court acquits Asia Bibi facing death sentence for blasphemy  

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has acquitted Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who was facing death sentence for blasphemy, on Wednesday.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar headed a three-judge special bench. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel were included in the bench. The bench announced the verdict on the final appeal filed by the convict.

The apex court ordered to release the Christian woman, who was in jail for past nine years, if he was not nominated any other case.

The court had reserved his verdict over the appeal on Oct 8.

The allegations against Bibi date back to June 2009, when she was laboring in a field and a row broke out with some Muslim women who alleged that she committed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). A case was filed against her by a prayer leader in Katanwala village of Nankana Sahib.

Bibi was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 2010.

In Islamabad, Red Zone has been sealed due to security concerns. The road from Rawal Dam roundabout to Red Zone has also been blocked by placing containers.

Meanwhile, the security has also been beefed up in all areas with minority population, and places of worship.

Heavy contingent has also been deployed at the apex court and other courts.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other religious parties have also arranged gatherings in different areas of Pakistan to hear the verdict of the Supreme Court.