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PML-N govt fails on all fronts: Sirajul Haq

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Ameer,  Jamaat e Islami, Pakistan, Senator Siraj-ul-Haq, has said that the PML(N) government was a complete failure on all fronts and ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who had been wielding all the powers, was responsible for that.

Talking to the media after the opening session of the JI central Shoora at Mansoroa, he said that the elections according to the schedule were the only way to steer the country out of the present uncertain situation.

Sirajul Haq said that Nawaz Sharif had not appoint a full time Foreign Minister for over four years and instead kept the foreign portfolio with himself. As such, he was to be blamed for the government’s failure to have good relations with the neighbouring countries.

He said that the ousted Premier came into power for many times but failed to put any of the state institutions in order. He said that the PML(N) government was on its way out. Therefore, it should not take any major decision such as of the privatization of the PIA.

The JI chief said that the rulers’ blind slavery of the US resulted in the                                                                  martyrdom of thousand citizens including the armed forces, and the country suffered financial loss to the tune of 130 billion dollars but the US was still issuing threat s to the country.

He said that the JI stood with the PAT Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri for the grant of justice to the 14 PAT workers killed in Model Town and a high level JI delegation would join the PAT protest on Jan. 17. He said it was a matter of shame that the killers of fourteen citizens at Model Town were not traced nor any FIR was registered against them.

Sirajul Haq said that rigged and engineered elections would not be acceptable to the  nation and any attempt to rig elections through ill gotten wealth and abduction of the election staff or to change the election results would not succeed this time.  He said it was high time to face the plunderers and thugs in the country’s politics in order to strengthen democratic system. He said the general public had lost confidence in the democratic system which had failed to provide them basic facilities of life. However, he said, there was no option except to run the country in accordance with the constitution and to strictly observe merit.

The JI chief said that the JI petition for the accountability of all those named in the Panama leaks was pending before the Supreme Court as the accountability process was not  complete with the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif.  He said that the accountability would be complete only when the ill gotten wealth of the plunderers was recovered.

Sirajul Haq said that the government, the police and security agencies had lost the public trust due to their failure to trace Zainab’s killers so far.  He said if the Punjab Chief Shahbaz Sharif strong nerves, he would have visited Zainab’s residence in the broad day light and offered his sympathize to her father.

He said that police and security agencies considered the masses as insects and believed that their only duty was to protect the ruling elite. Therefore, the masses would have to arrange for their security by themselves.

Sirajul Haq said that the JI had an honest and competent leadership to pull the country out of the present mess.

 

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Combine Opposition launches protest against Punjab govt over Model Town massacre

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri has warned Punjab government against decisive protest aimed at getting justice for victims of Model Town incident. He was talking to media in Lahore on Tuesday.

Qadri claimed that PTI Chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari will sit on same container tomorrow (Wednesday).

“Protest will be carried out within the limits of Constitution and law as our movement is aimed at restoring real democracy in the country”, Qadri told reporters while adding, “They (ministers and officials of Punjab government involved in Model Town incident) would have to resign”.

The PAT chief stated that protest would formally begin at 12PM while sit-in would be staged at two places simultaneously.

Meanwhile, the PAT is all poised to mount its protest in Lahore against Shehbaz Sharif’s government as party Chairman Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri has decided to make it the ‘conclusive round’ of his anti-government campaign.

Heads of two large political parties of the country, Asif Ali Zardari and Imran Khan have already announced to participate in the protest with all force.

The PAT protest against the Punjab government has triggered a potential threat of yet another tragedy as provincial government declined to permit the demonstration.

The PAT workers transported chairs and containers to Mall Road-the venue for the demonstration.

Deputy Commissioner said there is a ban in effect slapped against the public demonstrations on Mall Road by Lahore High Court adding the six protesting parties will be responsible for any untoward incident if it happens.

The 80-foot wide stage is being constructed opposite Punjab Assembly. The chairs are being laid on Mall Road from Charing Cross to Regal Chowk.

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WPC plans to start awareness drive on child abuse

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) on Tuesday decided to create awareness in public about child abuse by starting seminars, teachers training and parental guidance on the matter.

The decision was made in the WPC meeting which held here in wake of growing incidents of child abuse.

While chairing the meeting, Secretary WPC Shaista Pervaiz Malik said that parents are mainly responsible for the protection of their children. She said that there was a need to have further legislation, police reforms and other initiatives in this regard.

Shaista asked the members of the meeting to give their suggestions for the betterment of the society.She said that WPC would consult the Education Ministry and Religious Ministry to have joint strategy on this issue.

Members of the meeting said that there should be awareness campaigns to make children as well as parents to get knowledge of such social evils with start of training sessions with teachers and students at schools and colleges.

The members of the meeting agreed that there should be exemplary punishments to those culprits who were involved in child abuse cases. They said that immediate punishment should be given to those culprits.

They stressed upon the data collection on crime rate besides data of culprits and trend of punishment.

They also stressed that there should be betterment in police reforms and in order to control happening of such incidents, awareness on policemen and officials was also essential. They said that instead of taking departmental action against low-ranking police officers in happening of any such incident, action should should be taken against respective high-ranking police officers.

They said that these cases should be heard in anti-terrorists courts. They said that religious scholars should also be taken on board on the issue.

They said that NGOs should visit door to door in awareness campaigns on these serious issues like child abuse and that there was a need to included related subjects in curriculum to educate children.

 

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Construction work of roads to be started soon: NA told

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Communications Muhammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhry on Tuesday informed the National Assembly that construction of roads in Balochistan province will be started soon after the approval of funds by the Prime Minister.

He stated this while responding to a calling attention notice moved by Naeema Kishwer Khan regarding not taking steps for construction of Dukni-Bukki-Loralai Quetta, Taunsa Drag, Musakhali, Loralai and Spra Ragha Loralai roads in Balochistan.

The minister said that a comprehensive report will be submitted to Prime Minister within two week. He said that a letter had been forwarded to Prime Minister for the construction of the roads by the local MNA. The Prime Minister has sought a report from the NHA about the status of the roads, he added.

However, he said that mentioned roads are not coming under the purview of the National Highway Authority (NHA). He said these roads are in rural areas and are not main highway.

However he said, “Soon after the approval of the projects and funds, the construction work will be started on the roads.”

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15 Tajikistani fighters killed in air strike: ANA

Monitoring Desk

KUNDUZ: Afghan National Army (ANA) on Tuesday claimed 15 Tajikistani fighters were killed after air strike in Badakhshan province.

The aircrafts bombed a centre of foreign fighters in the Dara Khushk area of Juram district, Badakhshan province, killing 15 Tajikistani gunmen and wounding 11 others, Abdul Khalil Khalili, press officer of ANA’s 20th Division in northeastern Afghanistan, told Afghan media.

He would not say if the airstrike was conducted by Afghan Air Force or NATO-led forces.

Sources in National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the air strike targeted training centre of foreign fighters in the Dara Khushk area.

According to source, 17 fighters were killed and an unknown number more wounded in the airstrike.

Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, however, said the strike targeted civilian population, destroying numerous houses.

Besides injuring a man and a woman, several cattleheads were also eliminated in the airstrike while there was no damage to the Taliban, he said.

In another air strike, the ANA spokesman said, six Taliban were killed in the Dand Shahabuddin Khelazi area of Baghlan province.

In Chahardara district, Kunduz province, security forces launched winter operation, said Ghulam Hazrat Karimi, ANA spokesman in Kunduz.

Backed by air support, the operation “Pameer-17” would eliminate Taliban bases and bunkers in the district, he said, adding four gunmen have so far been killed and numerous more wounded in the operation.

Meanwhile, local residents feared that the operation would force them to leave their houses in this biting cold.

 

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Two rockets fired at diplomatic missions in Kabul

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Two missiles landed in sensitive areas of the high-security capital on Monday night, officials said on Tuesday. However, the rocket strike caused no casualties.

One rocket fell on the road near the Canadian Embassy while another hit the Indian Embassy. The Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi confirmed the strike.

The embassy building was damaged by the rocket, which did not cause injuries, the ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by Indian media outlets.

“A rocket landed in the premises of our embassy in Kabul a while ago causing minor damage to a structure at rear side of the compound,” Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Meanwhile, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj also verified the incident. “The rocket has clipped the top of the three-storey police barracks. All Indians and staff are safe.”

The attack happened at around 8:10pm. (local time). One of the rockets struck street 14 of the Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic quarter, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish tweeted.

 

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Kandahar records 7th polio case this year

Monitoring Desk

KANDAHAR CITY: A 17-month-old boy has been tested positive for poliovirus in southern Kandahar province, taking the number of polio cases so far this solar year to 14 nationwide.

The provincial Public Health Department director told a press conference in Kandahar City, the provincial capital, that the new polio case — the 7 th in Kandahar this year — surfaced in Spin Boldak border district, setting alarms bells ringing for the department.

So far 14 polio cases have been recorded country-wide and the new case in Spin Boldak district that borders foreign takes the number of such cases to seven in Kandahar.

Previously five cases have been registered in Shawalikot district, one in Spin Boldak and one in Kandahar city, the provincial capital.

Two others have been recorded in Nawzad and Nahar districts of Helmand and one in Zabul province, three in Nangarhar and one in Kunduz provinces.

Kandahar public health director Dr. Abdul Qayum Pukhla said about 1,000 children crossed the Spin Boldak border crossing and refugee families settlement in districts was another reason for the virus.

He also cited environmental problems another serious contributor to the virus spread.

He said heavily populated and impoverished areas, sub-standard bathrooms, lack of clean drinking water, bad children’s malnutrition and polluted environment were problems paving ground for the polio virus to survive.

The public health official said Taliban’s opposition to anti-polio vaccination in a number of districts was a major reason behind the increasing polio cases.

He added the Taliban were not allowing vaccination campaigns in Shah Walikot, Nesh, Ghorak, Khakrez and Mianshin districts.

However, such problems in other districts had been resolved and a six-day campaign was underway to eradicate and prevent polio virus, he added.

Syed Kamal Shah, UNICEF’s public relations head for Kandahar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that insecurity and not implementing vaccination drives properly were behind the increasing polio case in Shah Walikot.

Anti-polio vaccination was not implemented in such areas since the beginning of the ongoing year, leaving children prone to the crippling disease.

UNICEF would take measures against polio virus and bring about reforms in the vaccination program.

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‘No formal talks held with Taliban’

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Secretary of the High Peace Council, Muhammad Akram Khpalwak has said the peace body had not held any formal talks with the Taliban so far.

The High Peace Council leadership discussed various issues regarding peace and activities of the peace body in a meeting with youths in Kabul on Tuesday.

Some countries and elements did not want the success of peace process in Afghanistan, he said. He said the interference of foreign, drug peddlers and terrorist organizations were among these elements.

He said that foreign had created various hurdles against the peace process, including drug mafias and international terrorist organizations in Afghanistan.

He said the peace council had not received any response from Taliban so far.

“No formal response about peace has been received from Taliban so far. Any formal delegations have not held any formal peace talks,” he added. He said they wanted to hold negotiations with trusted and powerful Taliban leaders.

Hoping that 2018 would prove to be the year of peace and stability for Afghanistan, he said they were waiting for Taliban to give a positive response to the demand of pro-peace clerics, youths and women. The Taliban had not given any positive response to the call of peace of the Afghan nation, he said. He, however, added that various movements had been launched on the regional level for the restoration of peace to Afghanistan.

The delegations of international community and United Nations Security Council also supported the Afghan peace process during a recent visit to Kabul, he added.

Khpalwak said they had not set any conditions for talks with the Taliban, adding that they were ready to hold negotiations wherever they (Taliban) wanted.

The High Peace Council welcomed the efforts all the civil societies, political parties and figures for the restoration of peace.

On the occasion, head of High Peace Council M. Karim Khalili briefed the participants about the efficiency of the peace body. He said efforts had been launched throughout the country over the past six months for the restoration of peace.

Informal links had been held with the Taliban, he said. The High Peace Council with the coordination of the Afghan government was trying to pave the way for formal talks. The High Peace Council had formed a new and clear strategy for peace, he maintained.

 

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Hashimi takes oath as new member of election panel

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Syed Hafizullah Hashimi was sworn in as a new Independent Election Commission (IEC) member by Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on Tuesday morning.

Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Abdullah, Attorney General Mohammad Hamid Faridi, Supreme Court member Mohammad Zaman Sangari also attended the oath-taking ceremony.

In a statement from the Presidential Palace, Ghani wished the new IEC member in his job and stressed the need for the implementation of the law. “Your commitment is to the nation and this commitment should be honoured.”

Earlier, the selection committee had proposed the names of Hashimi, Abdul Qadir Zazai and Awal Rahman Rodwal to the president. Ghani eventually chose Hashimi for the job.

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Barmak admits involvement of police in certain illegal activities

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Minister of Interior of Afghanistan Wais Ahmad Barmak admits that a number of the national police officers are involved in certain illegal activities.

Barmak made the remarks during a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday and this is the first time a top Afghan official admits the involvement of the police officers in the illegal activities.

The Minister of Interior said he is aware of the issue and the people are well justified for complaining regarding the police officers for their involvement in illegal acts.

According to Barmak, the investigations conducted by the ministry shows that the police officers in some cases have committed crime instead of acting to prevent the criminal activities.

He said the leadership of the ministry has plans on hand to resolve issue and the intelligence directorate has been instructed to start operations to clean the police ranks from the corrupt individuals.

Barmak further added that necessary steps will be taken against those misusing their authorities and the ministry will also work to identify and arrest those having links with the militant groups.

This comes as a senior ministry official was arrested by the personnel of the Anti-Corruption Justice Center on charges of embezzlement involving around 100 million Afghanis.