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Mayor Karachi indicted in red zone protest case

KARACHI (PPI): A district court on Saturday indicted Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leaders; Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar, Khawaja Izahrul Hasan, Mehfooz Yar Khan, Saathi Ishaq in a red zone protest case.

The MQM leaders protested outside chief minister house on water shortage in the metropolis last year.

The court also declared 12 party members ‘proclaimed offender’, including party leader Dr Farooq Sattar, and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

Judicial Magistrate (South) has summoned witnesses of the case in the next hearing.

MQM held a four-hour protest sit-in outside CM House in June 2016. The party ended their protest after receiving assurances from the concerned authorities to address their demands and grievances.

Representatives of the Sindh government including Special Adviser to the CM Waqar Mehdi, PPP leader Nasir Hussain Shah and the MD Water Board were sent to negotiate with MQM leaders led by Khawaja Izharul Hassan and Dr Farooq Sattar.

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Students spend a day with Pakistan Army

RAWALPINDI (APP): A group of 400 students and faculty members from various Universities, Schools and Colleges of Rawalpindi spent a day with Pakistan Army on Saturday.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) wing of the Pakistan Army, the programme was specifically organized by Rawalpindi Corps to enlighten students about the functioning of Pakistan Army, its organization and defence capabilities.

The visitors laid wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada monument Chaklala.

Later the visiting students and faulty members were given a demonstration of combat worthiness of the troops through combat riding, unarmed combat and helicopter repelling. The students were shown various military equipment and given an experience of small arms firing.

The students applauded the state of morale, commitment and professional competence of Pakistan Army and expressed their gratitude for being provided with an opportunity to interact with Army troops, the statement concluded.

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Police arrest key suspect in MQM-P Hyderabad leader’s murder

F.P. Report

HYDERABAD: Police arrested a main suspected killer on Friday in the murder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader last month in Hyderabad.

As per details, MQM-P leader Dr Noshad was targeted in Hyderabad and shot dead on 25 October this year.

Police told private news channel that the arrested was identified as Shahid Abbasi alias Shahid Dancer and he was arrested from Hali Road as was traced and identified in the CCTV footage of the incident.

The attackers were on motorcycle and they shot Dr Noshad vehicle within the limits of Gulshan Halinagar Police Station. The deceased was a local member of the MQM-Pakistan.



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Turbat killings: FIA arrested three human traffickers from Punjab

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested three human traffickers from Sialkot and Gujranwala on the information of families killed in Turbat incident.

As per details, the FIA team took action against the human traffickers that were involved in the Turbat incident and arrested three suspected persons identified as Tanveer from Sambrial town in Sialkot on the identification of families of Zafar and Ghafoor, who were killed in the incident.

Similarly, two more agents, Zafar Iqbal and Haider, were arrested after identification by the heirs of the Ghulam Rabbani and Zulfiqar.

As many as 15 bullet-ridden bodies were recovered a day earlier from Buleda area of Kech district in Turbat. The men were deceived by human traffickers that they will be taken to Europe through Iran.

Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif condemned the Turbat incident and called it barbaric and announced Rs1 million for each affected family.


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Two brothers injured in firing incident near Hassan Square Karachi

F.P. Report

KARACHI: At least two were persons were injured when dacoits opened fire on them in a attempt of robbery near Hasan Square area of Karachi in the wee hours of Friday.

Eyewitnesses told private news channel that, the car faced an accident before the firing incident occurred and the passengers also opened fire on the dacoits while resisting the robbery.

The injured were brothers and they were identified as Ismail and Sohail and they were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

Police are further investigating the actual cause of firing, whether it was personal animosity or resistance to a robbery attempt.


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Senate body proposed holistic legislation for prisoners rehabilitation

F.P. Report
Islamabad: The Senate Committee on Human Rights on Thursday, called for a holistic legislation for rehabilitation of Pakistani internees in Guantanamo Bay like prisons and tasked the National Commission on Human Rights and Law and Foreign Affairs ministries to prepare draft legislation.
The call came during discussion on payment of compensation to Pakistani nationals recently released from the Bagram prison in Afghanistan. The representatives of Foreign and other Ministries contended that there was no law to address the issue.
The meeting presided over by Chairperson Nasreen Jalil was attended by Senators Nisar Muhammad Khan, Sitara Ayaz,Sehar Kamran, Samina Abid, Jehanzeb Jamaldini and Farhatullah Babar besides Chairman of NCHR, officials of the Law division, ministry of Human rights, Foreign Affairs and others.
Pleading for compensation and rehabilitation of the prisoners in Bagram prison Senator Farhatullah Babar said that there were many more similarly ill fated prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who were handed over during Musharraf days without due process and about whom nothing is known.
He quoted from General Musharraf biography that his government had captured 689 militants and handed over 369 to the CIA without trial for bounties totaling millions of dollars. Intriguingly this confession was deleted from the Urdu translation of “In the Line of Fire” he said.
Fifteen years down the line we ought to know who were these unfortunate 369 people, what was their crime, where were they taken, whether any trial was conducted and where are they now, he said. We owe it to all those innocent who were wrongly incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay or in Bagram or in other such centres he said.
He said that providing justice to them called for holistic legislation. The Parliament will be failing in its duty if did not raise voice for rule of law, due process and compensation to these unfortunate people, he said.
Talking to the media Senator Farhatullah Babar said that after the promulgation with back dated effect from 2008 of the Action in Aid of Civil Power Regulation 2011, several dozen internment centres were set up in different parts of the country.
The Regulation was given back dated effect to encourage the law enforcing agencies bring into the open those caught during fight against militancy in Swat and Malakand to stand open trial. However, these internment centres had overtime turned into Pakistani Guantanamo Bay prisons and virtual black holes from which no information was forthcoming, he said.
The Committee also discussed the issue of how to prevent misuse of the blasphemy law. Members were of the view that while no change in the law was contemplated, it was necessary to devise ways and means to prevent its misuse.
It decided to make a brief on the recommendations made by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Council of Islamic Ideology and the recent IHC judgment in a blasphemy case and seek the views of all provincial government and stake holders on it within a specified time frame.
The Committee was informed that the Council of Islamic Ideology has also proposed in its report 2000-01 and 2003-04 that the offender who registers a false case under 295 (C ) should be given the same punishment as provided to the offender of blasphemy. In its report in 1997-98 the Council also recommended that the complainant who lodges a complaint under 295 ( C) be required to produce two witnesses in support of his accusation. Ministry of religious Affairs has also said that while substantive amendment is not permissible procedural amendments be made to prevent misuse of the law.
The Chairman NCHR proposed that no officer below the rank of a Superintendent of Police shall investigate the offence under section 295 C of PPC.
The amendment in the National Commission on the Status of Women Act 2012 passed by the National Assembly was however not passed by the Committee which sought more time to deliberate on the issue.
Senator Farhatullah Babar said that an legislation to force the government to appoint a new Chairperson after the incumbent had ceased to perform her functions was of no use as Article 254 of the Constitution clearly stated that if anything required to be done in specific time was not done during that time shall not be invalid for the reason only that it was not done within that period.
He proposed to adopt the model of Wafaqi Mohtasib which provides for the incumbent Mohtasib to continue till the appointment of a new one. the Committee however deferred the issue.

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31parliamentarians yet to submit assets’ statements: ECP

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday said that 31 parliamentarians have still failed to submit their statements of assets and liabilities with the Commission.

An official of ECP said that till submission of statements of assets and liabilities, their membership will remain suspended.

He said that the suspended parliamentarians included two members National Assembly, eight members Punjab Assembly, 19 members Sindh Assembly and two members Balochistan Assembly.

He said that all members of Upper House of the Parliament and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly have submitted their assets statements with the ECP.

He said that the Commission has restored the membership of those senators, members National Assembly and members of four provincial assemblies, who have submitted their yearly statements of assets and liabilities of their own, spouses and dependents.

He said that earlier the ECP had ceased the membership of these parliamentarians for not submitting their yearly statements of assets and liabilities of their own, spouses and dependents.

He said that presently there were total 1,174 parliamentarians included 104 Senators, 342 members National Assembly, 371 members Punjab Assembly, 168 members Sindh Assembly, 124 members KPK Assembly and 65 members Balochistan Assembly.

He said that still eight seats were lying vacant in Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies.

He said that this was a mandatory requirement under Section 42A of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 and Section 25A of the Senate (Election) Act, 1975, that those parliamentarians who fail to submit yearly statements of assets and liabilities, would be suspended from respective seats of Senate or National or Provincial assemblies.

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Bus library cultivates love of learning among students: Tariq

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: To mark International Education Week, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over two mobile libraries to the Capital Administration and Development Division (CA&DD) at a ceremony in a local school today. After the transfer agreement was signed, USAID’s Office Director for Education Dr. Christopher Steel formally presented the bus keys to Minister of State for CA&DD Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry.

“With these mobile libraries, we can make sure that good books are reaching children who want to read and helping them become good readers,” said Dr. Steel.  “I am happy that through today’s commitment, we are continuing this tradition of supporting Pakistan in its efforts to promote education, strengthen its education system and develop a national culture of reading.”

The mobile libraries will increase the availability of reading materials for children in Islamabad and surrounding areas. For the past two years, the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project has operated the mobile libraries, visiting 338 schools and reaching nearly 65,000 children in Islamabad and Sindh. After each visit, the libraries leave behind a set of books so that children can continue to read. So far the mobile libraries have distributed 53,479 books during school visits.

The Pakistan Reading Project supports Pakistan’s provincial and regional Departments of Education in helping improve children’s reading skills.

Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry said bus library project funded by USAID has helped not only cultivate love of learning among the students but also created healthy environment in schools.

Minister said this colorful bus has visited 338 school and reached 65,000 children in Islamabad and Sindh.

The USAID funded Pakistan Reading Project being implemented by IRC is helping improve reading skills of children across Pakistan.

The mobile bus library is another step towards promoting a reading culture in Pakistan, he remarked.

Minister thanked the U.S. Government for their continued support to raising standards in Pakistani education.

Dr Christopher Steel, Director Education USAID (Pakistan) said, The Pakistan Reading Project, implemented by the International Rescue Committee, is running a mobile bus library programme in Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) from the last two years and brought reading materials directly to communities and help re-establish reading habits.

Trained librarians onboard each bus will conduct story-telling sessions in each community they visit.

They will also issue books for schoolchildren to take home to read. He added.

He said, after each visit, the libraries leave behind the set of book so that children can continue to read, So far, these mobile libraries have distributed 53,479 books during these visits.

Chief of Party for USAID, Pakistan Reading Project (PRP) Naeem Sohail Butt and DG Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Hasnat Qureshi, signed the transfer agreement of mobile bus library programme.

In the ceremony Dr Christopher Steel, Director Education USAID (Pakistan) handed over the key of bus to Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry.

Principal Islamabad Model School F 7/1 Shabnum Afreen thanked Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Dr Christopher Steel, Director Education USAID (Pakistan),DG Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Hasnat Qureshi and Chief of Party for USAID, Pakistan Reading Project (PRP) Naeem Sohail Butt.

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Early elections can be held in country: Babar Awan

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Babar Awan Thursday claimed snap elections could certainly be held in the country and challenged opponents to hold a dialogue with him on it.

Speaking to media outside the Supreme Court, Awan maintained that elections should be held early and said the constitution also has room for it.

Awan’s statement reflected his party’s stance that the incumbent government has failed to deliver and the country should go for early elections.

“The parliament has been rendered meaningless and timely elections are a need of the hour,” he said.

The PTI leader said everyone knows how many people came out to welcome Nawaz Sharif; no one is supporting his corruption.

Commenting on Balochistan incidents, he lamented the prime minister does not have time to comment on it. “Someone else’s orders are being obeyed in the name of another person,” he added.

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Bilawal Bhutto terms PPP as second name of tolerance in Pakistan

KARACHI (NNI): Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that intolerance was breeding violence and stressed that tolerance should be promoted for a better society.

In his message on the occasion of International Day for Tolerance observed on Thursday under the aegis of the United Nation, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that PPP was in fact a second name of tolerance and patience in Pakistan.

He said his Party faced violence, injustices, hangings, lashes and the worst media trial in the history but its leadership and workers always remained harbingers of tolerance.

The PPP Chairman pledged that promoting and encouraging tolerance will remain part of the Party mission and asked other political parties to follow the footsteps of PPP and play their role in creating a tolerant and harmonious society in the country.