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Pakistan receives $1b from Saudi Arabia: SBP

F.P. Report

KARACHI: A spokesperson from the State Bank of Bank (SBP) confirmed on Monday that Pakistan had received $1 billion from Saudi Arabia as part of the $3billion pledged by the kingdom to Islamabad as balance of payment support.

The spokesperson added that the remaining $2 billion was expected to arrive in Pakistan in the next few days.

The development came after Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Riyadh where he attended the Future Investment Initiative conference and met with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

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Comprehensive national response needed on hybrid conflicts: COAS

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday said a comprehensive national response was required on hybrid conflicts.

COAS General Bajwa was speaking to 20 participants of the National Security Workshop during an interactive session at the General Headquarters.

During the interaction, COAS Bajwa said we are now confronting hybrid conflicts where the focus is shifting subversion on religions, sectarian, ethnic and social issues, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a press release.

“This needs a national response,” the COAS said about hybrid conflicts emphasising that there was greater responsibility now on ensuring that Pakistanis, especially the youth stay aware and steadfast against the propaganda onslaught being launched through soft offensive.

“It’s our time to rise and progress and we must grasp the opportunity achieved after countless sacrifice,” the press release quoted COAS.

The army chief also said Pakistan had been subjected to various threats, especially during the last two decades, adding that the Pakistani nation and its armed forces had bravely and successfully stood up to these challenges and are on a positive trajectory to defeat it effectively.

The National Security Workshop is an annual event at the National Defence University participated by representatives from all segments of society.

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PM Imran sets the record straight on Trump’s tirade against Pakistan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday tweeted his response to US President’ Trump’s recent statements about Pakistan not doing “a damn thing” for the US.

“Record needs to be put straight on Mr Trump’s tirade against Pakistan,” the prime minister tweeted giving out examples.

1. No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but Pakistan decided to participate in US War on Terror.

2. Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123 billion was lost to the economy. US “aid” was a minuscule $20 billion.

3. Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of people uprooted from their homes. This war drastically impacted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.

4. Pakistan continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications (GLOCs/ALOCs).

Prime Minister Khan in his tweet also called on the US president to name another ally that had given such great sacrifices.

The prime minister also called on the US to stop making Pakistan the scapegoat and “do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 NATO troops plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before.”

In a recent interview, US President Donald Trump alleged that Pakistan does “not do a damn thing” for the United States and accused Islamabad of helping Osama bin Laden hide there.

“You know, living – think of this – living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer,” Trump said, referring to bin Laden and his former compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The compound was demolished shortly after United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group forces killed bin Laden there in a late-night helicopter raid in 2011.

“But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there,” he added. “And we give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year. … [bin Laden] lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year — which we don’t give them anymore, by the way. I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”

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IHC seeks Musharraf’s travel details for return to Pakistan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought travel details for the return of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf to Pakistan.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani summoned the travel details as it heard a petition filed by former military ruler’s counsel, challenging constitution of a commission by a special court hearing the high treason case for recording statement of Musharraf.

During proceedings, the court ordered Musharraf’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar to present travel details, telling him to travel to Dubai and return with the former president.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar asked the lawyer to inform them about the travel record and when the former president would be returning, while Justice Farooq said that the law pertaining to an absconder was clear.

The court assured the lawyer that Musharraf would be provided with complete security.

Barrister Salman Safdar sought more time from the court after which the hearing was adjourned till the third week of December.

On November 13, the IHC had rejected the former president’s plea seeking a stay in proceedings of the high treason case against him.

Musharraf is facing a treason filed by the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government over the imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.

The former army chief was indicted in the case in March 2014 after he appeared before the court and rejected all charges.

On March 18, 2016, the former president left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment after his name was removed from the Exit Control List on the orders of the Supreme Court.

A few months later, the special court had declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his no-show. Later, on orders of the Supreme Court, Musharraf’s passport and identity card were also cancelled since he failed to return to the country despite a last chance.

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Pakistan looks for peace, any misadventure shall be responded befittingly: DG ISPR

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor affirmed on Monday that Pakistan looks for peace yet any misadventure shall be responded befittingly.

Addressing the situation along the Line of Control, the military spokesperson apprised a delegation of journalists from Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Hazara Division about the situation along the LoC and Indian Ceasefire Violations deliberately targeting innocent civilians.

Elaborating further, the DG maintained that “despite restricted liberty of action for response to Indian fire due to the presence of our Kashmiri brethren on both sides of LoC, Indian fire is effectively responded focusing on Indian posts”, adding that the Pakistan Army executes the job professionally and responsibly.

In the meeting, journalists shared their feedback on the security situation and development projects undertaken by the Pakistan Army.

On September 22, responding to Indian army chief’s provocative statement, DG Ghafoor said that Pakistan is a nuclear power and its desire for peace should not be misconstrued as weakness.

The chief military spokesperson added that Pakistan is a peace loving country and has played unparallel role as forces of peace in the region.

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Apex court grants three weeks for concluding Al-Azizia reference against Sharifs

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered to accountability court on Monday to conclude the Al-Azizia reference filed against the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members, after granting three weeks to accountability court.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar headed a two-member bench and it heard the plea filed by Judge Arshad Malik, on Monday.

 

During the hearing, CJP Nisar remarked that “After this, more time will not be given to conclude the Al-Azizia reference trial”.

The Supreme Court in the Panamagate verdict had directed the accountability court to open references against former premier Nawaz Sharif and his family with special instructions to wrap up the references within six months.

The National Accountability Bureau had filed the references before the court in September 2017. When the SC-instructed six-month deadline expired in March 2018, a two-month extension was granted.

Moreover, the top court had added another month to the deadline last month on the request of the accountability court thus setting June 9th as the final deadline.

The ‘final’ extension had bound the NAB court to wind up the references by November 17th, however, the judge sought more time.

As many as three references have been filed against the former premier in line with the directives of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case verdict – a decision that ousted Nawaz Sharif from the PM House in July last year.

The accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir had sentenced elder Sharif to ten years in the Avenfield reference. However, the conviction was suspended by a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court.

NAB has moved supreme court against the decision of the Islamabad High Court which would hear the case on December 12.

Besides Sharif, Maryam Nawaz was sentenced to 7 years and Captain Safdar was sentenced to one year in prison in the Avenfield reference which pertains to the pricey flats of the former ruling family.

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New Zealand defeat Pakistan by four runs in first Test match

Monitoring Desk

ABU DHABI: Pakistan faced a humiliating defeat in the first Test match against New Zealand by four runs on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan team were in a good position as the green shirts were just 46 runs away from winning the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Monday despite a clatter of early wickets and the loss of middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq in the last over before lunch.

Pakistan, set 176 to win the match, were 130 for four at the break with Azhar Ali unbeaten on 40 after an innings-reviving stand of 82 with Shafiq in the first session.

Later all the team fell short of four runs from the target.

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Katas Raj case: SC orders DG Khan cement factory to deposit Rs 100 million in Dam Fund

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the DG Khan Cement Company Limited to deposit Rs100 million into the apex court Dam Fund after wrapping up the Katas Raj case,  on Monday.

According to details, Rs80m has been charged as a cost for water used by the factory in production while remaining Rs20m is a penalty imposed by the court for misleading it in the case.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the suo motu case at Lahore Registry after media highlighted that the historic pond at Katas Raj temples in Chakwal, a revered site for Hindus, is said to have depleted due to operations in the vicinity of several cement factories that have sucked out the underground water.

During the hearing, the court was informed that underground water level had severely reduced due to drill bores by the cement factories in the area, causing problems for local people as well.

The top court, subsequently, barred the cement factories from extracting groundwater.

A special committee, formed by the court to visit the DG Cement factory and evaluate his water storage, submitted its report to the court today.

The top judge remarked that the company misled the court by stating that it has stored rainwater for utilisation. The chief justice said that the company was actually using groundwater.

According to a Hindu legend, Lord Shiva cried on the death of his wife Sati and his tear formed Katas Raj pond. Temples of Shiva, Ram and Hanuman were built around this pond.

Temples built at least more than a century ago are connected to one another by walkways. The name of the temple complex, located near Kallar Kahar, is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘kataksha’ which means ‘tearful eyes’ and every spring and autumn, Hindu pilgrims from Pakistan and India visit the pond to bathe and ‘wash off their sins’.

The area around the Temples, the second-most sacred worship place for Hindus, is full of minerals like limestone, gypsum, coal and salt.

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Anti-encroachment drive continues in Arambagh, Lighthouse areas of Karachi

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The anti-encroachment drive have been expanded Arambagh, lighthouse area of Karachi after clearing out illegal constructions from the historic Empress Market, on Monday.

According to reports, the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) personnel warned the shopkeepers via loudspeakers the previous day that all the illegal construction on the lighthouse nullah will be demolished and now on Monday the owners of shops located around Arambagh and Lighthouse started moving out their goods.

The shopkeepers expected to be affected during the anti-encroachment drive claimed that the Lighthouse market dates back to 1952 and was not built illegally. They further said that they pay the rent to KMC via bank deposit every six months.

The shopkeepers demanded that they be provided alternate locations to set up their shops.

During the past two weeks, around 2,500 shops in and around Empress Market were razed in the operation against land encroachments, which was launched on the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

In keeping with the Supreme Court’s directives, KMC prepared a report on the anti-encroachment operation in Karachi’s Saddar and surrounding areas which was conducted from November 5 to 15. According to the report,

2,500 illegal shops were razed during the anti-encroachment operation. Six RCC basement and a two-storey building were also demolished to “restore Empress Market”.

Affected shopkeepers have protested the anti-encroachment operation and also faced off with KMC officials, demanding that they be compensated with alternate land to set up their shops.

 

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JIT probe was biased against Sharif family, says Nawaz

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Former prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif has requested the accountability court to reject the statements recorded by Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) as it was totally biased.

This he said while recording his statement in Al-Azizia reference on Monday in the accountability court headed by judge Justice Mohammad Arshad, the former PM continued to record his statement in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.

Nawaz Sharif said that a joint petition has already been submitted in the Supreme Court (SC) and adding that JIT is not more than an investigation agency and that its probe was biased and without proof.

He added that the amount transferred to the bank account from abroad was not concealed.