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Collective efforts stressed to frustrate terrorists’ designs

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Collective efforts are needed to frustrate the designs of terrorists, who wanted to tear apart the fabric of entire society, Grand Mufti of Egypt Dr Shawki Ibrahim Abdel Karim Allam said Thursday.

Addressing an International Conference titled “Promotion of Religious Tolerance in Light of the Teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” he urged Ulema, intellectuals, educationists and civil society to play their role for elimination of destructive concepts of terrorism and extremism.

He stressed the need to check the promotion of terrorism on social media, saying we should disseminate the message of Islam through our character, education. He asked the world to make decisive action against terrorists.

Every Muslim should play his role in portraying a true picture of Islam as fake Islamic organizations, created by enemies to give bad name to Islam, have been involved in the mass massacre of people in the name of religion. We should have to take measures to completely eliminate terrorism and extremism, he said.

Egypt has sacrificed its brave sons in the war against terrorism, which will be remembered for long time and would be written in the golden words.

He said National decree of Pakistan namely, ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ would be translated into Arabic language and distributed among various segments of society in Egypt for their benefit. He said Islam teaches promoting peace, tolerance and harmony among each other.

The killings of innocent people is not allowed in any religion. Islam encourages cooperation in good deeds. On the occasion, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said the Seerat of last Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) teaches tolerance, harmony and peaceful coexistence.

The inking of Hudaibiya treaty by Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) was a great example of Prophet’s tolerance and compassion. In an Islamic country minorities enjoy equal rights and religious freedom. No non-Muslim could be compelled to change his religion.

Highlighting Religious Ministry’s efforts of promoting religious harmony, he said National Ulema and Mashaikh Council, National Commission for Minorities have been constituted to promote religious harmony besides National Seerat Conferences are being held annually for spreading the peace message of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

He said Pakistan’s National Decree Paigham-e-Pakistan has been endorsed by Egypt and Imam Kaaba. The need is to spread the message of peace among all for ensuring peace in the world.

He said head of Al-Azhar University (Egypt) will be invited to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Ami-ul-Hasnat Shah said enemies were trying to promote hatred among various sects of Islam. Implementing National Decree or narrative Paigham-e-Pakistan with letter and spirit would make the country peaceful.

Dr Yasin Zaraf said society was facing multiple challenges. More concerted efforts are needed for promoting religious harmony.

Allama Arif Wahidi said suicide bomb blasts are haram and only state is authorized to announce Jihad. Kashmiris were struggling to win right to self determination and we shall raise voice against Indian atrocities. Hanif Jalandhri said Islam preaches self-respect and tolerance. Non-Muslims were enjoying equal rights in Pakistan. Ulema are united against the menace of terrorism and extremism.

Dr Atta-ur-Rehman said state terrorism should also be condemned besides criticizing individual terrorism. Kashmiris and Palestanians are being subjected to the worst state terrorism.

Pandit Channa Lal said non Muslims are enjoying complete religious freedom in Pakistan. He urged for removing hate material from curriculam.

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Islamabad asks Kabul ‘Do More’: FO says

Tariq Ullah Wardag

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday said there are no organized terrorist groups across the country and called upon Afghanistan “do more” to eliminate terrorists’ sanctuaries in Afghanistan.

During the weekly media briefing here, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Faisal said Pakistan has repeatedly asked the US government to share intelligence for definite action against terrorists on our soil and Pakistan will take due action against them.

He said National Security Advisor Nasir Janjua’s visit to Afghanistan took place on the invitation of his Afghan counterpart. “Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also invited the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Afghanistan which is being considered at the moment”, he added.

Replying to a question He said on his visit to the US, Prime Minster met with US Vice President Mike Pence and discussed the bilateral relations, the regional situation and Afghanistan as a part of the regular interactions between the two countries.

“These conversations are important to build trust and cooperation and to strengthen bilateral relations, he added.

Regarding the recent elections in China and Russia, the spokesperson said Pakistan enjoys cordial mutual relationships with both the countries and their visionary leaderships. “Leadership of Pakistan looks forward to working closely with both the leaders to further strengthen cooperation in all fields of mutual interest”, he added.

Replying to another question he said Pakistan and Russia are enjoying active collaboration in the sphere of military relations and it is hoped that both the countries will play their due roles in the regional peace and stability.

He informed that Indian occupation forces martyred five more Kashmiris in Pulwama, Srinagar and Kupwara areas.

He said India is trying to politicize the issue of human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). “India has always tried to escalate the tension between Pakistan and India on diplomatic front by giving irresponsible statements to divert world’s attention from the atrocities being carried out by its forces in IoK”, he added.

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Sherry Rehman becomes first female opposition leader in Senate

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Sherry Rehman has on Thursday been formally elected as first woman Leader of Opposition in the Senate.

A notification in this regard has been issued Thursday. Rehman was nominated by her party on March-14 for the aforementioned post. She secured 34 votes.

Rehman’s appointment is being termed as major setback to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as Azam Swati was nominated by the party for opposition leader in Senate.

Rehman, who was elated after achieving the milestone—stated that she would consult Aitzaz Ahsan for guidance whereas she was all praise for Federally Administrated Tribal Areas’ (FATA) senators over lending their support to her cause.

Meanwhile, Senate Deputy Chairman Salim Mandviwalla felicitated Rehman.

Rehman had served as editor of Herald for nearly decade. She was elected to national assembly in 2002 and 2008 respectively and had also served as federal minister for information and broadcasting.

Rehman was appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador to US in 2011. She was elected to upper house of the parliament in 2015.

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Maryam’s sharp tongue pushing PML-N into narrow alley: Nisar

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Disgruntled PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that Maryam Nawaz’s sharp tongue was pushing the party into a narrow alley.

The veteran politician, who has been associated with the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) for over three decades, was reacting to an earlier statement by the party supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam.

“I have been forced to give a response to the terms used and poetry recited by Mian Nawaz Sharif yesterday and his daughter’s statement,” Nisar said in a statement released on Thursday evening, adding that he had exercised a lot of patience and tolerance in the situations and circumstances that had arisen in the past year.

“Mian sb man can do no favours for mankind, only God can.”

“If you [Nawaz] granted favours to people, many people must have also done the same to you,” he said. “You should be aware of that and be grateful for it.”

“I have tried not to give any reaction that may harm the party,” he said.

Discussing a change in his political direction, Nisar said that he had parted ways with national politics to a large extent, to limit himself to his constituency’s politics.

“But I am sad to say that I have been targetted in various ways in the past eight to ten months from a certain direction.”

“When nothing else chalked out, some favoured journalists were given preplanned questions, the answers to which were apparent insults directed at me,” wrote Nisar.

“The evident pawn of [these attacks] was a person who neither has an ideological nor political relationship with the party,” he said. “But a puppet never dances on its own.”

The former interior minister said he still respects the [Sharif] family to this day. However, he quoted a verse from a poem, the gist of which is that a person who can listen may also speak but respect may be the only thing restraining them from doing so.

Nisar’s words, however, were accompanied by a warning.

“I have imposed a restriction on myself only for today’s statement,” he wrote. “If puppets and pawns continue to level allegations against me, I reserve the right to issue a detailed clarification.”

The falling out

Rumours of a rift between Nisar and Nawaz have been rife after the former took an opposing stance on the party’s political strategy following the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict that ousted Nawaz from holding public office although the two leaders have refrained from discussing the changing dynamics of their relationship with the media until recently.

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Rao Anwar remanded into 30-day police custody

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: An Anti terrorism Court in Karachi remanded on Monday former Senior Superintendent of Police Rao Anwar into 30-day physical police remand in Naqeeb Ullah Mehusd murder case.

Rao Anwar along with his around 24 of his subordinates has been booked for allegedly abducting Naseemullah – commonly known as Naqeebullah Mehsud for ransom and killing him along with three others over non-payment of ransom in a staged encounter on Jan 13 in a Shah Latif Town locality.

The notorious police official and his team had also farmed Naqeeb and three other deceased Mohammad Sabir, Nazar Jan and Mohammad Ishaq in explosives and illicit weapons cases after killing them and dubbed them as militants.

The former SSP was taken into custody from Supreme Court when he finally turned upon before court on after remaining into hiding for around two months.

The investigating officer SSP Abid Qaimkhani produced the suspect before ATC-II amid strict security arrangements after the trial court dismissed an application of IO to give sometime for his production before high court and directed for production of the suspect.

Subsequently, police the police brought Rao Anwar before the ATC in an armored personnel carrier (APC) and IO sought the custody of former SSP for 30 days to interrogate him on the ground that his production before the court would be a security risk.

The court handed the suspect over police on physical remand till April 21 and directed the IO to produce him again along with a progress report at the next hearing. The reporters were not allowed to witness the court proceedings. Earlier, the trial court had also issued warrant for the arrest of Rao Anwar.

DSP Qamar Shaikh, sub-inspector Mohammad Yasin, assistant-sub-inspectors Supurd Hussain and Allahyar, head constables Khizar Hayat and Mohammad Iqbal and constables Arshad Ali, Shafiq Ahmed, Abdul Ali and Ghulam Nazak were already in jail custody in the case while the then Shah Latif Town SHO Amanullah Marwat, former SHO of the SITE Superhighway police station Annar Khan, then SHO Soharb Goth Shoaib Shaikh, alias Shoaib Shooter and 11 other police officials are still at large.

The Supreme Court had also taken notice of the killing after the incident sparked outrage on social media and protests by political, religious and rights organisations while the provincial police officer had also constituted a three-member inquiry committee that found Rao Anwar and his associates involved in the case and said that prima facie the encounter in question was fake.

Subsequently, a case against Rao Anwar and his associates was registered under sections 302 (punishment for premeditated murder), 365 (kidnapping with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 on a complaint of the deceased’s father, Mohammad Khan, at the Sachal police station. Later, Sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender), 202 (intentional omission to give information of offence by person bound to inform) 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) and 365-A (kidnapping to extort property, etc.) of PPC were also incorporated in the case.

Thereafter, police had also another case against Rao Anwar and others for foisting illicit weapons and explosives upon Naqeeb and three other deceased, and destroying and tampering with evidence in order to save themselves from legal consequences.

The FIR was lodged under Sections 26 of Sindh Arms Act, 2013 and Sections 3/4 of Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and Section 7 ATA at Shah Latif Town police station.

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Avenfield reference: Court rejects Nawaz, Maryam’s exemption pleas

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Accountability court on Thursday has rejected exemption from hearing pleas of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in National Accountability Bureau‘s (NAB) Avenfield reference.

During the hearing headed by Justice Mohammad Bashir, Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar appeared in the court.

The defence lawyer had submitted new medical certificate of Kulsoom Nawaz along with his clients’ pleas seeking exemption for seven days from March 26.

The appeal stated that Ali Aimal will appear in place of Nawaz while Jahangir Jadoon will be Maryam’s representative.

The medical report revealed that cancer has been found on the left side of Kulsoom Nawaz’s neck after which the doctors have suggested to go for radiotherapy. The doctors have stated that they want to meet Nawaz Sharif to consult regarding his wife’s health.

Subsequently, the court turned down the plea and ordered to attend the hearings.

Talking to media, Nawaz Sharif said that suggestions to put names on Exit Control List (ECL) are being given despite serving the country. I don’t have any concern with any state institution, he added.

He said that the purpose of filing supplementary reference against him is still unrevealed.

The former PM further asked why there was a need to change Balochistan assembly, adding that the nation has not accepted the verdict of his disqualification.

Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz said that they sought exemption from the court hearing to meet ailing Kulsoom Nawaz in London.

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COAS discusses defence, security ties with Oman’s Defence Minister

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is on an official visit to Oman, met Minister for Defence of Oman Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib Al-Busaidi.

Matters of mutual interest including defence and security cooperation were discussed during the meeting.

Oman’s Defence Minister acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in fight against terrorism and regional peace and stability.

Chief of Sultan’s Armed Forces General Ahmed bin Harith bin Nasseer Al- Nabhani was also present during the meeting.

Later, the Army Chief also met Chief of Royal Oman Air Force.

Earlier, on his arrival at Oman, a reception was hosted by the Chief of Staff Sultan’s Armed Forces General Nabhani.

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Imran Khan terms Sharif’s performance worst than Zardari

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has on Thursday tagged performance of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PMLN) government ‘worst than Zardari’.

While addressing a presser here in Islamabad today, Khan claimed that everything had plummeted to new low after end of Musharraf’s era.

“Nawaz-led federal government borrowed loans worth Rs10000 billion in four years. Consumers will pay an additional Rs9 on every liter of petrol from now onwards”, deplored Khan while adding, “Owing to ineligibility of government and rampant corruption, the burden [of revenue] was shifted on masses. The biggest reason behind plummeting exports is high power tariff”.

He lamented that imports had soared to $54 billion while citing concerns over depleting forex reserves.

“The numbers of tax filers stood at 2.1 million ten years ago. At present, it is roughly 1.25 million”, asserted Khan.

Khan also took a jibe at former Finance Minister and held him accountable for the current situation of country’s economy.

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CJP rebukes LDA DG over construction of road near Dar’s home in Lahore

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar shows displeasure and admonished Director General Lahore Development Authority (LDA), Zahid Akhtar Zaman on Thursday over uprooting of a park to build a road near the house of former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

CJP Saqib Nisar said this while heading a three member bench after taking a suo motu notice of the road a day before. CJP Saqib Nisar questioned Zahid Akhtar Zaman over the authority which allowed LDA to build the road over the park area.

DG Zaman informed the court that Ishaq Dar had requested to construct the road outside his house wider for parking.

CJP then asked if the former finance minister had written an official request to the authority, however the DG replied that Dar had directed me to construct the road over the phone.

The CJP then ordered DG Zaman to detail how the park was built in a written statement and submit it to the court. “Bring all the records as well as your oath”, the CJP ordered.

Earlier on Wednesday, Chief Justice Nisar had taken the suo motu notice of a portion of a park being uprooted to build a road leading to Ishaq Dar’s residence and notices were issued to LDA DG, Lahore’s deputy commissioner and the Punjab government.

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Naqeebullah case: Rao Anwar to be presented in court today

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The suspended police officer Rao Anwar, who was arrested from outside Supreme Court on Thursday in the extra judicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud will be presented in the court today.

Naqeebullah Mehsud, who was reportedly killed in a fake encounter in January in Karachi on the orders of Rao Anwar, the family of Mehsud demands a strong punishment for the accused, Rao Anwar.

Counsel for elders of Mehsud tribe, Pir Rehman Mehsud, said the chief justice of Pakistan has played a pivotal role in Naqeebullah’s murder case and pave way for the justice in this regard.

He added they were satisfied with the way the court was taking the case forward and expected the accused to be dealt with an iron fist when he appears in the court.

After being arrested from outside the Supreme Court a day earlier, the suspended SSP was brought to Karachi.

Sindh Additional IG Aftab Pathan also accompanied the arrested official who arrived from Islamabad through a private airline’s flight (NL-126) on Wednesday.