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Air Marshal Mujaid Anwar takes over command as new PAF chief

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, the new Chief of Air Staff on Monday took over command of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) at a ceremony held here at the Air Headquarters.

During the ceremony, the outgoing Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman formally handed over the PAF’s Sword of Command to Air Marshal Khan.

Last week on Friday, Government of Pakistan on Friday announced that Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan will be the new chief of air staff of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Air Marshal Khan was first commissioned in the GD (P) Branch in December 1983. He is currently performing duty as Director General Air Force Strategic Command at Air Headquarters and as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Support).

During his service at the PAF Academy Asghar Khan, Khan was conferred with the coveted Sword of Honour, Best Pilot Trophy and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gold Medal for showing excellent performance.

Hailing his services, Khan has been awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz and the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz.

The Air Marshal Khan has flown various training and fighter aircraft including the F-16, F-6, FT-5, T-37, and MFI-17.

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Naqeebullah killing case: Rao Anwar’s facilitator to be held accountable remarks CJP

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has said that those who are facilitating the absconder SSP Rao Anwar in hiding will also be held accountable.

CJP Saqib Nisar said this while hearing a suo motu case regarding the extrajudicial killing of a South Waziristan youth, Naqeebullah on Monday.

The court also questioned the Governor State Bank of Pakistan who was present in court, regarding the freezing of bank accounts of the absconding officer.

The SBP governor said two of the suspended police officer’s bank accounts have been seized. The official further said that salary was transferring to Anwar’s account but it was not being withdrawn.

Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khawaja is expected to submit a progress report today over the arrest of ex-SSP.

At the last hearing of the case in Karachi on March 16, the Sindh police chief had informed the chief justice that more time was required to trace the suspect.

It is to mention here that the apex court has so far received two letters from Anwar — first requesting a free and fair joint investigation team and the second asking court to unfreeze his bank accounts. The veracity of the letters is yet to be ascertained.

Mehsud, a 27-year-old native of Waziristan, was among three others who were allegedly killed in a fake encounter by the then-Malir SSP in Karachi on January 13. After the matter surfaced, Anwar and most members of his encounter team have since gone into hiding.


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Bilawal blames Nawaz for masses issues

M. Bilal Baseer Abbasi

MURREE: Chairman Pakistan People Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed a mammoth rally of party workers in Kottli Sattian here on Sunday, as the PPP staged power show in the premier’s constituency, Kotlli Sattian an its adjoining areas Murree and Kahuta .

Bilawal Bhutto, while addressing to workers in the premier constituency add questioned on ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s slogan of ‘respecting the vote’.

He said Nawaz, who was disqualified as premier and head of the PML-N by the Apex Court of Pakistan in separate cases, has been raising the slogan of respecting the vote.

He said, Nawaz Sharif thinks that democracy linked to him only, but, actually he was the opening batsman of General Ziaul Haq.

In an apparent jibe at Maryam Nawaz, Bilawal said: “look now, we have stopped you”.

‘They are wind-up toys that bowed in unison,’ Nawaz hits back at opposition.

Referring to Nawaz’s recent tirade against the opposition parties, Bilawal said the PML-N leader, and not the PPP leader, is the biggest wound up toy, whose key is broken at the present.

The PPP chief also questioned the democratic credentials of Nawaz, reminding him of his role in various incidents, including anti-PPP moves in the past such as supporting former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s ouster by the Supreme Court.

Talking about Nawaz’s post-disqualification slogan of ‘respect the vote’, he said Nawaz Sharif, who failed to respect Parliament during his tenure as prime minister now seeks respect for the vote.

Bilawal also criticised the federal government’s plans to privatise state-run Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel Mills.

While addressing to a gathering in Kotli Sattian, the PPP chairman recalled the relationship of the tehsil with the PPP.

Turning his guns towards the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Bilawal criticised the provincial government of KP plan to build a rapid bus in Peshawar after criticising similar projects by the Punjab government.

Bilawal, referring to the PTI chairman said Imran has introduced the terms ‘good corrupt’ and ‘bad corrupt’ in our politics, said  referring to the PTI chairman.

He claimed all of the PTI’s promises of ‘change’, its election slogan five years ago, could not materialise and turned out to be hollow promises. Senior party leaders, including former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, former Senate chairman Nayyar Hussain Bukhary and former MNA Mehreen Raja, are also on stage. They also addressed workers before Bilawal took the podium.

The PPP leader has been holding several rallies and addressing workers and supporters across the country as part of the party’s recently-launched membership campaign.


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NAB summons Dar to submit proofs against FM’s Khawaja

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau has summoned Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Usman Dar on Tuesday morning to submit evidences of money laundering complaint submitted by him against the foreign minister Khawaja Asif.

In a letter sent to NAB, Dar claimed that Asif had accepted that he was also an Iqama (UAE work permit) holder and had remained involved in money laundering.

“Khawaja Asif has also been accused of concealing his offshore assets from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),” the complainant said. He claimed that the minister was getting a monthly salary of Rs1.6 million from an Abu Dhabi-based firm.

The complaint contained details of Asif’s offshore firm and business and alleged that millions of rupees were being deposited in his foreign bank account.

Asif was also accused of using foreign bank account of his wife to receive heavy amounts. He had not declared his and his wife’s foreign bank accounts to the ECP, Dar claimed.

In response, the NAB authorities on Sunday wrote a letter to Usman Dar which stated that they had analysed the complaint regarding Khwaja Asif’s alleged money laundering and corruption and demanded of the complainant to submit evidence and documentary proofs if available, against the accused in NAB Rawalpindi office on Tuesday morning.


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Pakistan eliminated sanctuaries of all terrorist groups: Gen. Asif


F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor has said that Pakistan has eliminated sanctuaries of all terrorists groups including the Haqqani Network from its soil through a well-thought-out military campaign.

“But all this has come with a huge price.

Besides cost in blood of over 75,000 Pakistanis, there has been loss of more than $123 billion to the national exchequer,” he said in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.

On the possibility of peace between India and Pakistan, he said he believed that all issues between the two nuclear-armed countries, including the core issue of Kashmir, need to be resolved to normalize the bilateral relationship.

The DG ISPR talked about Pakistan’s success in the war against terrorism, Pakistan-India relations and the possibility of peace between the two countries. He also discussed Pakistan’s relations with the UAE and the $54-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which will link Pakistan’s Gwadar Port with China.

To a question as what measures has been taken to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan, he said the country has fought a successful war against terrorism — a war which entered Pakistan through the 2,611-km scantily manned Pak-Afghan border when US-led coalition forces started military operations in Afghanistan against AQ [Al Qaida]. Whereas there are no more organised sanctuaries, for elimination of remaining disorganised scanty residual presence of militants, Operation Raddul Fasaad, a largely intelligence-based operation is in progress, he said.

Effects of operation have visibly reduced the level of violence throughout Pakistan. This residual presence also takes advantage of 2.7 millions Afghan refugees inside Pakistan by morphing into peaceful refugees. There is a need to undertake their respectable repatriation to their country, he added.

Major General Asif Ghafoor said presently there are over 200,000 Pakistani troops deployed in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along Pak-Afghan border. “This deployment is to continue despite successes inside Pakistan as threat continues to reside inside Afghanistan not due to lack of will but lack of capacity of the Afghan forces.”

To safeguard own success, he said Pakistan has started to fence entire 2,611-km length of Pak-Afghan border and construction of new forts and posts along the border to deny free cross-border movement of terrorists.

Besides kinetic operations, Pakistan has undertaken major socio-economic development projects in cleared areas. This is aimed at carrying forward relative stability to enduring peace, he added.

To another question he said Pakistan contingent to Saudi Arabia is part of the ongoing Pak-Saudi bilateral security cooperation since 1982. “It is neither part of Islamic Force nor it shall be deployed outside KSA borders. The role of Pakistani troops is training and advice. Pakistan has similar bilateral security arrangements with other GCC and regional countries,” he said.

Replying to a question as what measures are being taken after the US suspended aid to Pakistan, he said the main US concern is alleged inaction against Haqqani Network. Pakistan has operated against terrorists of all hue and colour including the Haqqani Network.


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Nawaz terms Khan, Zardari two sides of same coin

F.P. Report

SANGLA HILL: Former premier and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) qaid Nawaz Sharif on Sunday accused both Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman of deceiving the nation.

Addressing a public rally here at Sangla Hill, Sharif said his party had delivered on the promises it made to the public. While keeping verbal onslaught up, Sharif termed Zardari and Khan two sides of the same coin and revealed that PTI voted for PPP’s candidate Saleem Mandviwalla in Senate polls.

The PML-N leader said Zardari and Imran were doing traditional politics and could not serve the country.

Sharif apprised attendants that he was ousted from premiership over receiving salary from the son and that corruption of not even a single penny was proved against him. Sharif claimed that nation has rejected the verdict (Panama Papers case’s verdict on 28th of July, 2016) of his ouster. He said the people of Sangla Hill had also rejected his disqualification by turning out in such a large numbers to attend the rally. “I was not ousted for committing any corruption but for not receiving salary from his son’s UAE-based company,” he added.

Maryam Nawaz, daughter of the former premier, assailing an alleged undeclared alliance between PPP and PML-N during election for Senate chairman and deputy chairman, said they both forged an alliance out of fear of the growing popularity of her party. She asked the crowd to chant slogan Imran-Zardai Bhai Bhai (Imran, Zardari are brothers). While obliquely lambasting the judiciary, Maryam inquired that why no one was taking notice of contempt of nation.

Referring to the upcoming general elections, Maryam said as the time to make decision was drawing near, the faces of conspirators had been unveiled. “Vipers hidden in democracy’s bosom have come out,” she said, adding that they had made it easy for the people to make decision while exercising their right to franchise.

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Karachi’s rulers are not based in the city: Imran

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Karachi suffers because the party elected to the assemblies to represent the city is not based here and just uses the city to mint money, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.

The PTI chief was speaking to the media at Karachi Press Club on Sunday. He arrived today on a two-day visit to oversee PTI’s membership campaign in the city. Imran plans to contest the upcoming general elections from Karachi. Imran said Karachi’s biggest problem is that its local government system is powerless. “The second problem is that money that should be spent on Karachities is being sent to Dubai,” he said. The party that comes into power in Karachi does not have its base in the city. “First, their base is not Karachi and then their interest is also not in Karachi,” he said. “They just use Karachi to mint money. As for the party that Karachi’s, its leader ran the affairs from London for a long time and the result is before you.”

He said that a directly elected mayor like the ones installed in London or New York is the need of the hour to address Karachi’s issues. The mayor should have his team of experts to address civic issues such as water and sewerage.

The PTI chief said the police system of Karachi needs to be fixed. “Karachi’s police system doesn’t deliver, which is why Rangers are here,” he said, adding that all the provinces should emulate the model of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s police. According to Imran, K-P’s police are depoliticised, which is why Nawaz Sharif and Asfandyar Wali Khan can now deliver speeches without any threat in the province. “I want to provide an alternative plan to Karachi and Sindh for change,” he said. “The problem here is that those who win from Sindh do not have an interest in Karachi.”

He said that Karachiites should vote his party into power. A journalist said that Karachi would be “orphaned” if Imran is elected from the city and decides to boycott the assembly like he has mostly done.

“The assembly will be formed after PTI will be in power,” said Imran. “The PM will be held for questioning like they do in Britain.”

How can PTI bring about a revolution in Sindh when it has the same feudal lords by its side who have supported military dictators Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf? “Anyone can join us,” said Imran. “Once they join the party, they are bound to follow the leadership’s manifesto and abide by the party discipline. The problem arises when you have to form alliance. We can’t stop them from corruption if they are not following our party discipline.”


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Nine injured in Indian shelling across LoC in Nakyal sector

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Assistant Commissioner, Waleed Anwar has said at least nine people including two minor girls were injured in heavy shelling by Indian troops in Nakyal sector of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

AC Waleed Anwar Indian forces started mortar shelling at early Sunday morning around about 7am and they targeted the civilian populations in almost all villages along the Line of Control (LoC).

The local news outlet reported that a shell hit the roof of the house of one Haji Aslam in Palani village in a result three of his daughters were injured and they were identified as as Musarrat, 22, Nargis, 25, and Samra, 15.

AC Anwar added that similarly, in the same sector, 11-year-old Aleeba Majeed and 35-year-old Muhammad Zahoor Mughal were injured in Jair Merg and Dharoti Naari villages respectively.

He added that at least three people were reported injured in Balakot. They were identified as 18-year-old Abdul Aziz, Abdul Ghani, 52, and his spouse Farzand Begum, 42.

He said six of the victims had been shifted to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Kotli owing to their critical wounds.

According to AC Waleed Anwar, the shelling is still ongoing.

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FC personnel martyred, another injured in Mohmand Agency

F.P. Report

GHALLANAI: Soldier of Frontier Corps was martyred and another was injured after gunmen attacked the security check post in Mohmand Agency on later Saturday night.

Political Administration of Mohmand Agency told local private channel that the militants attacked the check post around 3am after few hours when polio workers were attacked in which two were killed and five others polio workers were abducted.

However, three of five in the polio team were released the same night, while two others were missing.

The three polio workers were released following a search operation in the area.

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US urges Pak to ‘do more’ against Taliban

Islamabad, Kabul reiterate commitment to peace, stability

Our Correspondent

WASHINGTON: US Vice President Mike Pence told Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that Pakistan “must do more” against the Taliban and other militants, the White House said on Saturday.

Vice President Mike Pence met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of Pakistan on Friday, March 16, to discuss the Administration’s South Asia strategy.

“Vice President Pence reiterated President Donald Trump’s request that the Government of Pakistan must do more to address the continued presence of the Taliban, Haqqani Network, and other terrorist groups operating in their country,” the White House said in a statement on the Friday call.

“Pakistan could and should work closer with the United States,” Pence said.

The Vice President stated that US efforts to eliminate terrorist groups who threaten US security and the stability of the region will continue and noted that Pakistan could and should work closer with the United States.

On Sunday, Pakistan and Afghanistan have reiterated their commitment to peace and stability of each other and agreed to work in a cooperative framework for a brighter future and expressed resolve to work together and enhance cooperation to improve bilateral relations.

“It’s time to build bridges. We have a shared history and shared future. That is what our ancestors left for us and we have to leave for our children. We should work for our shared interests in all fields including political, economic and security. We must protect our relationship and advance it further,” said Haneef Atmar National Security Adviser (NSA) Afghanistan.

The commitment was made during the visit of National Security Adviser Lt.General (R) Nasser Khan Janjua during his visit to Afghanistan on Saturday on a special invitation from National Security Adviser (NSA) Afghanistan Haneef Atmar.

His visit was acknowledged by Afghanistan as a great gesture of Pakistan, particularly after the peace offer made by President Ashraf Ghani, said a news release.

During his visit, the NSA had elaborate and successful meetings with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, his counterpart Haneef Atmar, Minister of Defense and NDS Chief.

Meetings were held in a very congenial, warm and cordial environment.

President Ashraf Ghani associated strong hopes with Pakistan and said, “We have made a sincere and serious offer of peace and together we have to make the best of it by rising beyond past. Let’s not remain prisoners of past and lets secure our future with the aim, not to win the war but to end it for which Pakistan should help”.

He also expressed strong support for regional connectivity with Central Asian Republics (CARS) to reap the benefits of ideal geo-strategic locations of Afghanistan and Pakistan. ” Without each other, we are not complete,” he added.

He desired for a roadmap to be prepared for a comprehensive engagement with Pakistan to carry the relationship further with a leap of faith. Availing the opportunity, he also handed over the letter of invitation to NSA for the Prime Minister of Pakistan and expected him to visit as soon as possible.

The NSA thanked the President for extending an invitation to Prime Minister of Pakistan and also acknowledged the warmth, displayed for him and Pakistan and appreciated the peace offer made by the President.

He termed the peace offer as a light on the other side of the tunnel in a war which had become rather perpetual. Seeking the closure of conflict instead of winning it is a righteous approach, he added.

He expressed deep sympathies with people of Afghanistan who have seen nothing but war since last 40 years. He also expressed complete support for the peace offer which was long awaited.

“Use of force only injures people; wars are however, virtually won politically” he added. Assuring of Pakistan’s full support for the vision of peace, he, however, highlighted that isolated, blamed and coerced Pakistan is of lesser use to Afghanistan.

“The world has started to look at and undermine Pakistan through the prism of Afghanistan which is not correct. We need to commit to each other and invest in bilateral relationship and Afghanistan needs to stand with Pakistan and both need to win peace together. Our peace is mutual, let’s seek it together” he said.

The same sentiments were acknowledged and reciprocated by the Afghan Government.

They also agreed to seize this moment collectively and to improve bilateral relations in pursuit of the common objectives.



llars in aid over the last 15 years”.