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Consultative meetings under way at Punjab House

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is holding meeting with various party leaders, government officials and allies at Punjab House.

After arriving back at the Punjab House from the accountability court hearing, the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) president held meetings with Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmud Khan Achakzai.

Others that are involved in the consultations include National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, PML-N Chairman Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, Federal Railways Minister Saad Rafique, State Interior Minister Talal Chaudhry, State Power Minister Abid Sher Ali and Senator Jafar Iqbal, among other leaders.

The consultations include talks on the new delimitation bill, that will pave the way for the general elections next year, the ongoing political and legal situation in the country, as well as Nawaz’s plans to launch a ‘mass mobilisation campaign’.

Sources said Nawaz will address a public gathering in Abbottabad on November 19, which will be the first of a series of rallies.

However, Nawaz requested today, and was granted, an exemption from appearance request from the accountability court as he has to travel to London to spend time with his ailing wife.

The former premier was disqualified as prime minister on July 28 this year by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.

He is facing three corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau in the accountability court.

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Imran, Gandapur’s links with Taliban common knowledge: Gulalai

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Estranged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Ayesha Gulalai on Wednesday said that it is common knowledge that party chief Imran Khan and Ali Amin Gandapur have links with the Taliban.

“Everyone knows Niazi and Gandapur have links with the Taliban. This is why journalists, DC and others are afraid of them,” she claimed in a press conference.

Gulalai hurled multiple accusations on PTI MNA Gandapur, saying he has links with and patronises drug users.

“Everyone knew what was detained from his car,” she said in a reference to the incident where alcohol was recovered from his car in 2016.

Gulalai also criticised Imran for “not saying a word” on the DI Khan incident in which a girl was forced to strip and was paraded naked in public by perpetrators allegedly supported by Gandapur.

“Imran talks about justice, he comments about everything under the sun but hasn’t said a word about the incident,” she said.

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Qavi becomes prisoners’ rights activist, jail reformer

F.P. Report

MULTAN: Mufti Abdul Qavi has become a prisoners rights activists and jail reformer after getting released from jail in the murder case model girl Qandeel Baloch.

Qavi has seemed to suddenly developed an immense sympathy for prisoners to champion their rights and to get their problems resolved.

Addressing a press conference here after his release on bail granted by session and district court here yesterday Qavi, who is a suspect in Qandeel Baloch case, announced to make a five-point agenda for the welfare of prisoners. Claiming his innocence in the said murder case said that a futile attempt is being made to push the case to some other direction. Saying that he slept peacefully during his incarceration in jail Qavi said that police has failed to submit the complete challan in the court 17 months after Qandeel’s murder.

If I do not even have Rs 10 million how could I offer it to anyone, Qavi said. The calls from Saudi Arabia are being linked to suspect Aslam Shaheen (late Qandeel’s brother) but I trust courts and the truth will win ultimately, he added. Replying to a question Qavi said that the progeny of those who gobbled massive donations in the name of protecting Khatam-e-Nubuwat have chosen to remain silent over the amendments made in the Khatam-e-Nubuwat law.

Mufti Qavi was arrested on October 19, after turning down his interim bail and he remained in jail since then . Mufti Qavi was kept in jail on judicial remand and than in jail after his arrest A day earlier, Qavi’s bail hearing had been delayed due to the non-availability of a judge.

Qandeel had been murdered last year, allegedly by her brother Mohammad Waseem, who said he killed her in the name of ‘honour’. On October 18, accused Mufti Qavi was arrested after various raids conducted by police in Multan and Muzaffargarh.

Mufti Qavi, who is one of the accused nominated in Qandeel murder case, had appeared before the court but had left it before hearing what the court has decided over his bail application. Mufti Abdul Qavi was nominated in Qandeel Baloch murder case as an abettor on August 12 this year.

According to police sources Mufti Abdul Qavi was nominated as abettor on the plea of Qandeel’s father Azeem Iqbal under Section 10 of Pakistan Penal Code. On Oct 30, Muhammad Azeem’s ? the slain celebrity’s father ? had told the court that his daughter had been killed on Qavi’s behest. on Tuesday, District and Sessions Judge Ameer Khan granted bail to the cleric after a hearing of the case.

During the hearing, Qavi’s lawyer argued before the court that his client was investigated only after a ‘mysterious’ call from Saudi Arabia asked the prosecution to do so. “It is a wonder why Qavi is being investigated when Qandeel’s brother Waseem has already confessed to the crime,” he said.

Model and actress Qandeel Baloch ? born Fouzia Azeem ? was found strangled to death in her house in Multan’s Karimabad area on July 16, 2016. Her father claimed that she was killed by her younger brother, Waseem, in ‘the name of honour’.

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PPP, PML-N, PTI cases should all be treated the same: Bilawal

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has on Wednesday said that the cases of PPP, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) should not be treated differently.

Talking to media in Lahore, Bilawal said that accountability system for all the political parties should be the same. He said that the cases of different parties were being treated differently right now.

Talking about a meeting between PML-N president Nawaz Sharif and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal said that Nawaz Sharif had been a part of every conspiracy against democracy during the last 30 years. There was no chance of a meeting with him now, he said.

Bilawal said that PML-N made the census controversial. People, from FATA to Karachi, were objecting to the census.

However, we haven’t changed our stance on the census, he said. Bilawal added that PPP was ready to accept the census results in order to avoid a constitutional crisis but PML-N had taken no steps at all to address the concerns.

The PPP chairman advised Jamiat Ulema Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazl ur-Rehman to avoid going too far in Nawaz’s defence. “Maulana sahib has his own party, he should worry about that. Nawaz Sharif has his own problems”, he said.

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Jati Umrah declared as CM camp office

LAHORE (Online): Punjab Cheif Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday approved a summary, declaring Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Jati Umra residence as, ‘CM Punjab camp office’.

Earlier, 180-H Model Town was declared as CM camp office in 2011. But the residence’s status was denotified after a written complaint by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf NA-120 candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid accusing Maryam Nawaz Sharif and federal ministers of using the CM camp office for election campaigning.

In a notification issued by the CM office and signed by Special Secretary to Chief Minister Punjab Syed Waseem Raza Jaffery, it said that the “The Competent Authority has desired that 180-H. Model Town Lahore may please be de-notified as ‘Chief Minister’s Camp Office’, with immediate effect.

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Imran, Gandapur’s have links with Taliban: Gulalai

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Disgruntled MNA of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ayesha Gulalai has said that everyone knows that Imran Khan and provincial minister Ali Amin Gandapur have links with the Taliban group.

Gulalai said this while addressing to press conference at Islamabad on Wednesday. She added that the journalists, Deputy Commissioner and other relevant authorities are afraid of raising voice against them as both the Niazi and Gandapur have strong links with the Taliban and they are using it as threat against the others.

Gulalai added that what was recovered from Gandapur car on the name of honey, she said in a reference when alcohol was recovered from his car in 2016.

Gulalai lashed out Imran Khan for keeping silence over ever the D.I Khan incident when a group of people forced a 16 years old girl to strip and was paraded naked in public and Gandapur was alleged to support the criminals of the incident.

He (Imran) always talks about justice but for a surprise he didn’t say any word on this cruel incident which shows the mentality and seriousness of the PTI chief, she claimed.

 

 

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PML-N will continue to raise voice against the injustice: Marriyum Aurangzeb

F.P. Report

LAHORE: State Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurnagzeb has said that we will continue to raise voice over the injustice as no evidence was found against Nawaz Sharif and he was disqualified on Iqama.

She said this on Wednesday while talking to media persons. Marriyum said that despite that no evidence was found in any case against the former prime minister still he was disqualified by the court on the basis of Iqama which is injustice and all the experts and students of law are shock over the decision.

We will continue to raise this issue as it was injustice towards the elected prime minister of Pakistan and on the other hand the political rivals were treating in different manners, so it is our right to question the double standard of the supreme court, she added.

 

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‘CPEC to make Pakistan hub of regional connectivity’

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Committee on Defence and Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed Tuesday said Pakistan would become hub of regional connectivity as CPEC would put it on a centre stage due to new energy infrastructure and trade routes.

He was addressing an international conference on “Regional Dynamics and Strategic Concerns in South Asia” organised by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF).

He said there was a shift in global economic power from the west to the east as China had emerged as an economic giant and now was not a regional power but a global power.

“The 21st century was an Asian century and now China fueled 30 percent of the global economic growth,” he added.

Mushahid remarked that CPEC would put Pakistan on the centre stage of a greater South Asia which included China, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian states whose economies would be fueled by new energy transporting pipelines and ports.

He said Pakistan had been in the eye of a storm since 1979 when Russia intervened in Afghanistan and Iran went through a revolution.

He noted that Pakistan had been hosting the largest refugee population – 3.5 million people – from Afghanistan for the longest period. People of Pakistan were warmhearted and welcomed these refugees and looked after them for decades, he added.

Mushahid said people of Pakistan had fought a long war against terrorism and sacrificed 70,000 human lives including those of women, children.

Pakistanis were a resilient nation and now the country was a robust democracy with functioning institutions, he added. He said India had failed to suppress the indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiris despite having a presence of 700,000 troops in the disputed territory.

Admiral Dr Jayanath Colombage, former chief of Sri Lankan Navy and Director Pathfinder Foundation, Sri Lanka, in his paper assessed socio-political trends in South Asia.

Dr Boris Volkhonsky, Associate Professor, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University,

Russia talked about Pakistan and India’s SCO membership and its impact on their future relations.

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Farhat calls for nationwide debate on death penalty

F.P. Report

Islamabad: PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar has called for a wide ranging national debate involving all strata of society including political parties, lawyers, religious scholars, intellectuals, media persons and academia on awarding death penalty in a broken justice system and the laws heavily tilted in favor of the rich and the powerful.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Trial and Terror’ organized by the Justice Project of Pakistan in a local hotel in Islamabad to launch its report he said that terrorists refused to be deterred by death penalty, the rich and powerful manipulated Qisas law to get away with murder and only the poor were hanged.

Three years since the lifting of moratorium on executions it is time to make an assessment of the net result of the application of Anti terror laws, the military courts, the Regulation in Aid of Civil Power and Guantanamo Bay type prisons for fighting terrorism, he said. Nearly five hundred have been executed during the last three years, over 80 percent of them were ordinary criminals and not jet black terrorists as promised at the time of military courts.

He said that in a security driven state welfare and rights of the people mattered little. Our rush to carry out executions is a reaffirmation of the truth that a state that does not care about peoples’ lives is least concerned about how they died.

He said that recently two brothers were acquitted of murder by the Supreme Court after nearly fifteen years on death row but only after they had already been executed and no one in the criminal justice chain knowing about it.

He asked scholars how they rationalized such gross miscarriage of justice with the insistence that moratorium on executions was against religion.

He said that according to scholars Islam called for death penalty in only two offences but today twenty seven offences in Pakistan carried death penalty. There is no reason why we should not revisit the offences that carry death penalty, he said.

He said the implementation of Action on Aid of civil Administration Regulation 2011 was another worrisome area. The Regulation was given back dated effect from 2008 to enable the security agencies to conduct open trial of those in their custody for years in PATA (provincially administered areas) of KPK.

However, today, no one knows how many internment centres have been set up for keeping them, how many inmates in these centres, what are charges, how many have died while in the centres and whether and how many are being tried for what crimes and in which courts.

These internment centres have become like little Guantamano Bay prisons, black hole for the inmates and no go areas even for the judiciary and the parliament, he said.

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Pakistan committed to UN peacekeeping: Minister

F.P. Report

Islamabad: Minister for Defence Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan arrived in Canada on a 3-day visit to represent Pakistan at the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Meeting that began today in Vancouver, says a press release received here today from Canada.

“Pakistan has in the past and will continue in the future to play an important role in supporting United Nations’ global effort to bring long-term stability to war-affected regions of the world.

We are pioneers in creating a program in Peace and Conflict Studies at Nat-ional University of Science & Technology (NUST),” said Minister Khan.

Minister for Defence will speak on Pakistan’s “Smart Pledges” to UN Peacekeeping operations, and will separately enunciate Pakistan’s views and suggestions on “Early Warning and Deployment”, one of the principal themes of the meeting.

Khurram Dastgir Khan will also hold bilateral meetings with Pakistan’s international partners on the sidelines of the Ministerial meeting.Pakistan is one of the leading troop contributing countries to UN Peacekeeping missions, with over 6000 uniformed personnel deployed currently in 10 different missions of the United Nations.

Since 1960, Pakistan has sent over 180,000 troops to 45 UN missions in 28 different countries since 1960.