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Army to render duties according to ECP code of conducts: COAS

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday said the armed forces will perform their responsibilities according to the code of conducts of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) during elections on July 25.

Media wing of armed forces, Inter Services Public Relations in a statement said the army chief visited Election Support Center, Rawalpindi, where he was given briefing on coordination with the election commission.

General Bajwa directed to provide all-out assistance for the upcoming elections according to election rules.

“Peaceful and secure environment should be ensured to let masses use their democratic right freely,” he said.

During the visit, he was given detailed briefing about plan for provision of assistance to ECP for free, fair and transparent conduct of General Elections 18.

Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said that Pakistan army shall assist the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) strictly for peaceful and transparent general elections 2018 within the bounds of given mandate and as per the ECP code of conduct.

He said that working in synchronisation with other elements of security apparatus, all efforts be put in to ensure secure and safe environment enabling the people of Pakistan to freely exercise their democratic right.

Earlier today, a representative of the General Headquarters (GHQ), Director General ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor notified the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that armed forces were merely working on the directions of the ECP to improve the situation of security during polls.

The GHQ representative reiterated before the Senate body that army had no direct role in the conduct of upcoming elections.

Addressing the committee’s meeting, the army’s representative further said that troops were liable to follow the code of conduct of the election commission on the polling day.

Recounting that armed forces had always lent support to civil institutions of the country, the GHQ representative elucidated that there were no obstructions in the communication process with the electoral body.

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NAB approves inquiries against Mayor Karachi, former Sindh speaker

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday approved inquiries against incumbent mayor Karachi, Waseem Akhter, and former Speaker Sindh Assembly, Agha Siraj Khan Durrani.

Waseem Akhter, who was elected as mayor while he was in prison in connection with several terrorism related cases and is currently being out on bail, is accused of corruption in Rs36billion funds whereas Durrani is accused of making assets beyond resources and income.

Regional Board Meeting was held at NAB Karachi under the Chairmanship of Director General NAB Karachi Mr. Mohammad Altaf Bawany, According to a handout issued here on Thursday. “The Board was attended by Directors of Investigation Wings and respective Investigating Teams of concerned cases,” it reads.

Consequent upon completion of Complaint Verification process on complaint against Agha Siraj Durrani former Speaker Sindh Assembly, case was deliberated upon by the Regional Board which recommended for authorization of three separate inquiries against him, according to NAB spokesman.

One inquiry pertains to allegations of accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income by former Speaker; second allegation pertains to illegal appointments of 352 appointees; while third allegation pertains to embezzlement of funds for the construction of MPA Hostel and construction of new Sindh Assembly building, including appointment of Project Directors for the said projects. The recommendation was made to the competent authority on the basis of exhaustive verification of complaints.

On completion of Complaint Verification Process on a complaint, recommendation was made to the competent authority for authorizing formal inquiry against Waseem Akhter Mayor Karachi and officers and officials of KMC.

The allegations prima facia verified pertain to budgeted amount of Rs. 36 billion and subsequent releases to KMC during years 2015 to 2018 against which allegedly work in Karachi was not carried out worth that amount.

On conclusion of Complaint Verification process on a complaint, recommendation was made to competent authority for authorization of formal inquiry against iftikhar Qaimkhani, DG Sindh Building Control Authority (CBCA) on the allegations of accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income. The preliminary probe was conducted on the basis of a pointation in one of the raids conducted recently.

An inquiry was authorized against management and owners of M/s Pride Builders & Developers which is one of the allied companies of Rufi Builders and Developers. Inquiry was authorized on the allegations of cheating public at large for booking of more than 1600 residential and commercial plots valuing more than Rs. 5400 million (approx.) in the names of several allottees.

However, the building license and NOC was cancelled by Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), despite that, prima facia, they continued to develop and book the plots. The inquiry was authorized on the basis of complaints lodged by several such allottees who have been cheated.

An inquiry was authorized against Managing Director and other officers of Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE) Karachi on the allegations of embezzlement of various funds and revenues of SITE.

Another inquiry was authorized against Managing Director and other officers of Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE) Karachi on the allegations of illegal allotments of plots of SITE particularly on Super Highway.

On completion of inquiry, recommendation was made to the competent authority for authorization of investigation against Pir Fareed Jan Sarhandi SSP on the allegations of illegal recruitment of 378 constables. The inquiry was initiated on the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

DG NAB Mr. Mohammad Altaf Bawany, at the end of Board Meeting, appreciated the performance of Complaint Verification Cell particularly for efforts of officers in unearthing major offences prima facie established.

He issued instructions to the Directors heading the investigation wings for expediting the investigative work purely on merit, without any discriminating and as per the guidelines of Chairman NAB Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal.

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India failed to respond to quires of Pakistan regarding Kulbushan: FO

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal has stated that Pakistan has submitted its rejoinder with the International Court of Justice in response to the Indian statement regarding Kulbushan Yadav case.

He said the rejoinder carries details as to what Kulbushan Yadav was doing in Pakistan. The spokesperson said that Pakistan’s case is very strong as Kulbushan Yadav was arrested on the country’s soil and the Indian side has failed to respond to the queries of Pakistan.

Pakistan has urged India to act as a responsible state and refrain from interference in the internal matters of the country, he added.

Spokesperson has stated this while responding the queries of media persons here on Thursday. He said that case of Kulbushan Yadav exposes the Indian terrorism and espionage against Pakistan.

Expressing concerns over deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir, the spokesperson pointed out that the UN report on human rights situation in the held valley and its endorsement by the UN secretary general is a success of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

He said that Indian armed forces had martyred as many as 23 Kashmiris during past week and it also imposed ban on media coverage in Indian Occupied Karachi (IOK).

Responding to a question he said that the buildup of conventional and unconventional weapons by India is undermining strategic stability. He, however, said Pakistan is fully prepared and ready to protect its border against any threat.

Responding a question regarding blasphemous cartoons competition in the Netherlands, the spokesperson said Pakistan has taken steps to lodge the protest at all levels.

He said that foreign minister has also written a letter to the Secretary General OIC asking for collective action of Muslim countries to register protest with the Dutch authorities.

He said Pakistan has already conveyed its condemnation to the Netherlands and the European Union on this deliberate attempt to vilify Islam.

Responding to a question about Afghanistan, Dr Muhammad Faisal said that the military led approach has failed in Afghanistan. It has only added to the sufferings of Afghan people. He said flexibility by all sides will help kick start peace process in the war torn country.

Answering another question, spokesman made it clear that Pakistan is not frightened regarding the recently terrorists attacks in the country. “The democratic process would continue in the country and next general election would be held on time’ he added. He said that Pakistan strongly condemned any form of terrorism and war against this evil would continue’ he added.

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ECP issues notices to three more politicians over use of foul language

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: After Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday issued notices to three more politicians over alleged use of foul language in their speeches.

The ECP sent notices to former chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak, ex-speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman for using indecent language during their election campaigns.

The ECP has asked the three politicians to either appear personally, or through their counsels, before it on July 21 and present an explanation in this regard.

According to the ECP, the notices were taken on the basis of media reports suggesting the use of foul language by these figures.

Meanwhile, the ECP also asked PTI leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi to submit his reply over an inflammatory speech by Friday (tomorrow).

Earlier, the election commission had summoned PTI chief Imran Khan over his alleged use of indecent language against rival political parties and candidates during electioneering.

Imran’s counsel Babar Awan appeared before the ECP today, taking the stance that the word ‘donkey’ was an ordinary term.

Awan informed the ECP that the party chief was busy campaigning in Lahore and thus could not appear before it.

The ECP, in a suo motu notice, had directed the PTI chief or his counsel to appear before its four-member bench on Thursday.

Imran, at a political gathering in Narowal, had said that any PML-N worker with a clear conscience would not go to the airport to receive Nawaz Sharif.

“And whoever will go to receive him will be a donkey (fool),” he had said.

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Mastung suicide bomber identified, claims IG Balochistan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohsin Butt informed that the suicide bomber who killed more than 150 people including a Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) in Mastung last week has been identified.

IG Mohsin Butt revealed that during a briefing at the Senate’s Standing Committee chaired by Senator Rehman Malik on Thursday.

He claimed that bomber was identified as Hafiz Nawaz, a resident of Abbottabad and he was part of banned Lashkhar-e-Jhangvi, a group affiliated with the Islamic State, also known as Daesh.

The IS had claimed responsibility for the attack, one of the deadliest in Pakistan’s history.

Nawabzada Siraj Durrani, a younger brother of former chief minister Nawaz Aslam Raisani, also lost his life in the attack.

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PHC directs NAB to investigate irregularities in Peshawar BRT project

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday has directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate the irregularities in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

According to details, Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth and Justice Mussarat Hilali heard the announced the verdict in the much awaited case.

The PHC directed the bureau to probe why the BRT project was not completed on time and why its costs increased.

The deadline for completion of the BRT project has been delayed several times. The first deadline was April 20, which was extended by a month to May 20. The then-project director had told media that the civil work would be completed by June 20, which was also missed.

The cost of the project, at the same time, has purportedly hiked from Rs49 billion to Rs64 billion.

Earlier this month, NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa asked the Peshawar Development Authority to submit record of the mega project, after NAB Chairman Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal ordered an inquiry into alleged corruption and delay in completion of the BRT project.

 

 

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PPP always works for strengthening institutions: Bilawal

F.P. Report

CHINIOT: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that his party always works for strengthening the institutions.

Bilawal said this while addressing to a press conference at Chiniot on Thursday. He said that PPP will only make alliance to those parties who are agreeing with the party manifesto and reject any alliance with those who are only shouting for people rights.

Bilawal added that a weak democracy is better than a powerful dictatorship.

Responding to comments by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a former PPP member, Bilawal said Qureshi was present when the Charter of Democracy was signed and knows well that its aim was to strengthen democracy.

He asked Qureshi what his present party stands for other than making a mockery of the political system.

PPP chief repeated his invitation to those parties interested in altering the charter’s principles according to the present times to join him.

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Apex Court allows Sheikh Waqas Akram to contest general election

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday has dismissed petitions challenging Sheikh Waqas Akram candidacy from NA-115 Jhang constituency.

According to details, One Muhammad Imran voter of the constituency challenged the Sheikh Waqas candidacy. However, the election tribunal and then the Lahore High Court had both ruled in Akram’s favor following which the petitioner had approached the Supreme Court.

During today’s hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed that Akram’s nomination papers do not contain any false declarations.

The court then dismissed Imran’s petition and upheld the Lahore High Court’s decision on the matter.

In the 2018 general election, Akram, chief of banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and former senator Syeda Sughra Imam are contesting as independent candidates whereas Ghulam Bibi Bharwana will contest the polls on a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ticket.

 

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Army representatives denies any link with upcoming polls

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: General Headquarters, representative has assured the senate committee that Pakistan Army has no link and involvement in the General elections 2018.

This he said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Thursday regarding the army’s connection with the elections. He said that army personnel were only provided on the ECP request to ensure the law and order situation in the country, and doing duties as per the ECP directions.

The meeting headed by Rehman Malik was also attended by Nacta coordinator, Inspector Generals of all four provinces, home secretaries, federal interior secretary, defense secretary and secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The meeting also offered Fateha for the martyrs of Peshawar and Mastung blast at the beginning of the session.

Rehman Malik while condemning the attacks said that the nation is saddened over the martyrdom of Haroon Bilour and Siraj Raisani.

“Unfortunately, the election campaign has not remained peaceful. Some enemy states are trying to destabilize Pakistan,” he maintained.

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Imran Khan assures ECP of not using abusive language against political rivals

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan has assured the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of not using abusive language against political rivals during election campaigns.

Imran Khan did not appear before the ECP on Thursday and his lawyer Babar Awan represented him and he appeared before four-member commission headed by Sindh’s Abdul Ghafoor Somro and it conducted hearing on the notice.

The commission inquired about PTI chief’s inappropriate remarks about a particular party.

During the hearing, ECP said others with similar behavior will also be issued notices. When big leaders use such kind of language, a bad image is transferred to the world.

Imran’s counsel Babar Awan said that words like ‘Taliban Khan’ and ‘Yahoodi’ are being used for Imran Khan and adding that donkey is an

ECP while barring Khan from using offensive language adjourned the hearing of the notice until after elections. The notice was taken in light of media reports, according to which, Imran referred to those welcoming Nawaz Sharif as “donkeys”.