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India’s Supreme Court hears plea against Rohingya deportation

NEW DELHI (AFP): India´s Supreme Court on Monday began hearing a plea challenging a government decision to deport up to 40,000 Muslim Rohingya who have fled Myanmar, a lawyer said.

The petition was filed on behalf of two Rohingya living at a refugee camp in New Delhi since escaping Myanmar, where a military crackdown since August 25 has led to more than 400,000 Rohingya taking refuge in Bangladesh.

The challenge came after India´s junior home minister Kiren Rijiju said last month the government would expel all Rohingya, even those registered with the United Nations. According to media reports, the government will argue that the Rohingya are a security threat who could aid terrorists.

The Rohingya have denied any link with extremist groups. Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, representing the Rohingya, said the Indian constitution “provides equal rights and liberty to every person”, including non-citizens.

The United Nations says there are 16,000 registered Rohingya in India. But many more are undocumented. About 7,000 Rohingya live in shanties in India´s Jammu region in the Himalayas. They say they have faced hostility from the majority Hindu community there.

Mohammad Salimullah, one of the petitioners, said the authorities had always been helpful in New Delhi so he was hopeful the court would back the refugees. “In the five or six years that we have been here, we have never felt that we are foreigners here nor have we ever felt any kind of fear,” Salimullah told AFP ahead of the case.

The Rohingya have been leaving mainly Buddhist Myanmar — where the government calls them illegal migrants and refuses them nationality — in steady numbers for years before the military crackdown last month that opened the floodgates. While Bangladesh has been the main destination, some have ended up in neighbouring India and Nepal. There are also some in Pakistan.


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SC approves petition on Sheikh Rasheed’s disqualification

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday approved the petition filed by Malik Shakil Awan against Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad’s disqualification and formed a three-member bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, reported Dunya News. The bench will include Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Azmat Saeed.

Awami Muslim League leader, Sheikh Rasheed will now have to face the danger of being disqualified by Supreme Court of Pakistan after a petition was approved for his disqualification was approved on Monday. Sheikh Rasheed was one of the petitioners in the panama case, which ended in Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had earlier rejected Pakistan Muslim Leagues-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Malik Shakil Awan’s petition on disqualifying Sheikh Rasheed. Awan then submitted an appeal against ECP’s rejection in SC. The hearing of the case will commence on October 31.


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Protest lodged with Swiss envoy over anti-Pak ad campaign

ISLAMABAD (Online): The Swiss Ambassador to Pakistan, Thomas Kolly, was summoned by the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Monday, to lodge a protest over an anti-Pakistan advertisement campaign in Geneva.

Pakistan has said that Switzerland should not let its territory be used against another sovereign country and such acts are against international law.

Drawing the attention of the Swiss Government to the issue, Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to United Nations at Geneva demanded the Swiss government to take strict actions against those involved in the campaign.

Ambassador Farukh Amil, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations (UN), in a letter has requested the Swiss authorities to take action against those using Swiss soil to further the propaganda against Pakistan.

Amil, in the letter, wrote that the posters used in the campaign have been sponsored by an organisation called Balochistan House and added that Balochistan Liberation Army is behind the act.

He further said that Pakistan, the United Kingdom and other countries have declared the BLA as a terrorist organisation and the US State Department has termed the activities of the group as terrorist acts.

“BLA and Balochistan House’s leadership has committed many crimes against security forces and civilians in Pakistan,” said the letter.

Amil demanded that investigations should be conducted to ensure that the propaganda is blocked permanently. He expressed hope that the Swiss authorities will proceed against the local accomplices of the BLA, who lend support to the terrorist group.

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Chairman NAB should be appointed by CJP: Siraj

JI chief wants PM Abbasi to highlight issues of Myanmar, Kashmir.

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan Chief Senator Sirajul Haq on Monday reiterated his demand that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s chairman should be appointed by the superior judiciary.

He was addressing a news conference at Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi’s headquarters Idara Noor-e-Haq. Speaking on the occasion he suggested that the Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief Justices of all high courts should be given powers to appoint the chairman of NAB.

Siraj was of the view that instead of ensuring accountability, the NAB played the role of a facilitator for corruption and corrupt elements. He said that recently a chairman of the bureau has been sacked on corruption charges while the next chairman is yet to be appointed. He said that it is the right time for both the government and the leader of the opposition to show some dignity and handover the powers of appointing a NAB chief to the superior judiciary.

He said that the Nab should be an unbiased institution, free from the influence of politicians. He was of the view that the major reason behind the failure of NAB in delivering justice was that its chief is appointed by the politicians. That is why, the NAB always spared influential people and caught small fishes, he added.

The JI leader said his party will continue its campaign against corruption and corrupt elements.

He once again reiterated his demand to hold all those accountable whose names were enlisted in Panamagate. He maintained that though a prime minister has been de-seated but the accountability of 436 people is still in pending. Not only politicians and businessmen but judges and bureaucrats were also nominated in the Panamagate.

We want the supremacy of law, merit and the constitution of the country, he remarked.

Talking about the issues of Karachi, he said that the city has badly been neglected. Once there was an issue of the shortage of water but now the contaminated water has emerged as a much more grave issue. He recalled that the out of 118 samples of tap water from across the city, 88 were not fit for human consumption. He said that the situation is alarming and a matter of concern even in connection with our future generations. The issue should be taken up on all the three levels of local, provincial and federal government, he stressed.

The JI leader further said that for more than 16 months, the local government is yet to deliver on its promises. He lambasted both the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan People Party for doing nothing except playing a blame game despite enjoying local and provincial governments.

Responding to a question, he said that the Articles 62 and 63 are part of the constitution and no one would be allowed to repeal these Articles as some elements were trying to do so to facilitate just an influential personality. The Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution should equally be implemented on judges, generals and bureaucrats, he concluded.

On the occasion, he demanded of the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to highlight the issue of Myanmar and Kashmir on all regional and international forums. He shed light on the issue of Myanmar and said that the Rohangia Muslims should be provided with justice and compensation.

He urged the premier to play his due role in this regard. He also demanded of the Muslim block and global community to discharge their responsibilities in this regard.

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Dismissed reserve policemen, teachers clash with police during protest

KARACHI (PPI): Dismissed reserve policemen and unpaid teachers clashed with police at the Karachi Press Club in the Saddar area of the metropolis on Tuesday.

During the clashes, police arrested a number of protestors. Teachers were protesting unpaid salary dues

The protestors were trying to march onto the high-security Red Zone, where the Chief Minister’s House is located, to protest and present their demands.

Barred from doing so, police and the protesting teachers skirmished, with the police baton charging and using water cannons to disperse the crowd.

A number of minor injuries were reported from the clash and some protestors were also arrested.

The protestors threw stones and glass bottles at the riot police deployed to control the situation, following which police pushed the protestors back with the help of a water cannon.

The teachers claimed that they had been protesting for the past two days for their salaries, but were yet to be contacted by any government official.

On July 25, around 300 government school teachers renewed their demand for salaries outside KPC.

A similar protest was held earlier as well, which ended in front of Sindh Assembly on June 5, the same day the provincial budget was announced.

The protest ended after Secretary of School Education Abdul Aziz Uqaili assured the protesters that their problems will be resolved within a week.

Teachers across the provinces have been protesting non-payment of salaries for the last five years.

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Zardari for inclusion of youth in political parties

F.P. Report

NOWSHEHRA: Terming the youth as an asset for any party, Co-Chairman, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Asif Ali Zardari Monday underlined the need of inclusion of the youth in all parties.

Addressing the workers’ conventions here, he claimed that his party will form its government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in the next general elections. He said that his party will bring a chief minister of the province this time around. PPP will sit in the opposition if it does not emerge victorious in the 2018 elections, he added.

He further said that PPP managed to form a coalition government in the province when it just won 90 seats. “In our tenure, we did things which will be mentioned in history books,” he added. He requested the PPP workers in KP to not get disheartened.

Commenting on NA-120 by-election results, he said ‘it was a story of conflicting interests and as it happened, Maryam Nawaz revealed everything in her speech after Kulsoom Nawaz’s victory.’

Presenting his stance on PPP’s humiliating defeat in the election, Asif Zardari said, “The chief minister and prime minister are from the PML-N. Just have a look at registrations of new motorcycles and development work in the constituency in last three months.” He also announced to launch political drive across the country with full force.

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Majeed Achakzai indicted for running over traffic warden

QUETTA (APP): Session court today charged Balochistan MPA Abdul Majeed Achakzai in the hit and run case of traffic policeman on duty.

Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party MPA Dr Abdul Majeed Khan Achakzai’s vehicle was speeding along GPO Chowk intersection when it hit Traffic Sub-Inspector Haji Ataullah, which resulted in his death.

After session court’s ruling, Achakzai refused to accept the charges against him. The court in its next hearing directed the witnesses to appear before it.

Earlier, the FIR was registered against ‘unidentified persons’.


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PM Abbasi to raise Kashmir, Rohingya issues in UN General Assembly

NEW YORK (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is set to meet several world leaders, besides addressing the U.N. General Assembly, in the course of his four-day visit to New York at which he will focus on the Kashmir dispute, Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis and the Afghanistan issue, according to Pakistani diplomats.

The U.N. visit will be Abbasi’s debut into the highest international diplomacy, after being sworn in as prime minister last month.

The prime minister, who arrives Monday evening, will go through a tightly laid-out schedule, participating in U.N. events related to the 72nd session of General Assembly as also some forums on the sidelines of the 193-member body.

Briefing Pakistani journalists, Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said nine bilateral meetings, including with US Vice President Mike Pence, have been confirmed and more could also take place as the prime minister’s visit proceeds.

Other bilaterals will be with the Jordanian King and leaders of Turkey, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, the United Kingdom and Nepal. He will also have talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In addition, the prime minister will exchange views with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and some American business leaders.

More than 100 heads of state/government have signed up for the high-level debate, which begins Tuesday. The debate defines international responses to many of the global challenges of today, including protracted conflicts, extreme poverty and hunger, terrorism, the refugee crises and climate change.

The Assembly has 174 items on its agenda after a new item was inscribed on Friday. It is entitled: “The responsibility to protect and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

Extraordinary security arrangements have been put in place in around the U.N. Headquarters in New York ahead of the high-level session in which US President Donald Trump will deliver his maiden speech at the United Nations on Tuesday. The U.S. is traditionally the second speaker on the opening day of the General Debate, after Brazil.

On Sept 21, the prime minister will address the General Assembly which is often called the world parliament. He will outline Pakistan’s positions on key international political, social and development issues of vital concern to the country.

Ambassador Lodhi said the United States had suggested Vice President Pence’s meeting with the Pakistani leader because “they want to re-engage with Pakistan.” According to informed sources, the Pence-Abbasi talks will take place on Tuesday.

The meeting comes in the wake of unveiling by President Trump of his administration’s policy on Afghanistan and South Asia. The policy lays special emphasis on kinetic operations to subdue the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, envisions greater role for India in Afghanistan and the overall regional security. He also lambasted Pakistan for offering safe havens to “agents of chaos”.

Responding to questions, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Chaudhry, who was also present at the briefing, said the United States has its own views about Afghanistan and Pakistan has its own position. “We will see how it goes.”

Elaborating, Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan’s policies, which are based on the country’s national interest, are framed in Islamabad, not in Washington. She said that it had been Pakistan’s consistent position that peace could be restored only through a negotiated settlement.

Ahead of the session, Guterres, the UN chief, highlighted the grave situation confronting Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims. He called for Muslims from the country’s Rakhine state to be granted nationality or at least a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal life, while also urging the international community to help provide assistance for the nearly 400,000 people who have fled into Bangladesh.

“I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military action, end the violence, uphold the rule of law, and recognize the right of return of all those who had to leave the country,” the Secretary-General said in his first press conference since the opening of the Assembly’s 72nd session.

Guterres repeated his call for “an effective action plan” to address the root causes of the situation, which he said he been left to fester for decades and has now escalated beyond Myanmar’s borders, destabilizing the region.

On the sidelines of the General Assembly Session, Prime Minister Abbasi will address the Council on Foreign Relations besides interacting with the US Pakistan Business Council.

He will also have extensive interaction with the international media. In the course of the Assembly session, ministerial-level meetings of many regional and sub-regional organizations will be held, including OIC, NAM, G-77, ECO, SAARC, Commonwealth, D-8 and others.

A meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir will also be held. A statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad underscored Pakistan’s advocacy of multilateralism and the United Nations to promote collective responses to the multifaceted challenges of global peace, security and development.

The statement said Pakistan would continue its constructive role and engagement at the UN with a view to protecting and promoting its national interests, including on core issues such as Jammu and Kashmir, reform of the Security Council, counter-terrorism, human rights, peacekeeping, and a host of development and other matters.

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PPP files appeal in LHC against ATC verdict in BB murder case

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) challenged in the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on Monday the verdict of the anti-terrorism court in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

On August 31, the court hearing the former prime minister’s assassination case for over nine years cleared five accused in the case, sentenced two former police officials to jail and declared former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf an absconder.

Speaking to the media outside the court, PPP’s Latif Khosa, who was also a counsel in the case, said Benazir had repeatedly stated that Musharraf was not providing her security. Khosa, accompanied by senior party leaders Sherry Rehman and Nayyar Bukhari, among others, claimed Musharraf did not even let Benazir keep her own private security.

“She had said that Musharraf would be directly responsible in case anything happened to her,” reiterated Khosa.

He also claimed that Musharraf got Saud Aziz, one of the two police officials punished in the case, posted as the Rawalpindi city police officer to ensure his role in the assassination. He accused Aziz of ordering the removal of a security cordon around Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007 so Benazir could be easily killed.

Khosa explained that they have filed three appeals: one challenges the order separating Musharraf’s trial from the case, the other is against the ‘lenient’ sentences against the police officers and the last against the suspected militants exonerated in the case.

Convicted cops challenge verdict On September 11, the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench approved for hearing appeals submitted by the two policemen convicted in the case.

Aziz and Khurram Shahzad were sentenced to 17 years each and ordered to pay a fine of Rs0.5 million each for their negligence in investigating the case properly. Shahzad was SP Rawal Town at the time of the incident.

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Nine killed in clash between Mexican army & armed group

Monitoring Desk

MEXICO CITY: As many as nine persons were killed in clash between the Mexican army and armed group in the southwestern state of Guerrero.

The authorities confirmed that eight suspected members of armed groups and one soldier were died in the clash.

Roberto Álvarez Heredia, spokesman for the Guerrero Coordinating Group told media that troops were on their routine rounds in the city of Teloloapan when they were under attack from the suspected armed groups wearing fake army uniforms.

The military recovered two vans painted in disguise, weapons, and uniforms, he said.

The violence was on the rise in Guerrero from the past decade as a growing number of criminal gangs and fighting to take control on the opium crops for drug smuggling.