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At least 11 injured in Nushki hand grenade attack

F.P. Report

QUETTA: At least eleven people were injured when two unidentified persons riding on motorcycle lobbed a hand grenade in Nushki on Tuesday.

Police officials confirmed that 11 people were injured in a hand grenade at a shop situated on Masjid Road and adding that the condition of the injured was stable.

Earlier on Saturday, at least six people including three Chinese engineers were wounded in a suicide attack on a bus in Dalbandin area of Chagai district. The bus carrying the engineers was being escorted by Frontier Corps (FC) personnel to Dalbanin Airport from Saindaik mines when the bomber tried to ram a vehicle laden with explosives into the bus.

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Overseas Pakistanis will exercise their right of vote via IVTFin by-polls: ECP

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has said that overseas Pakistanis will be able to exercise their right of in the by-polls through the internet.

The ECP issued its Internet Voting Task Force (IVTF) report on overseas Pakistanis’ voting rights on Monday.

According to ECP statement the voting rights to overseas Pakistanis, which would not affect results of by-elections.

The ECP said the decision on the use of i-voting would be made after several tests and pilot projects would be initiated in a limited area instead of an entire constituency.

It said the IVTF was formed on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, adding that the task force comprises officials of NADRA and the ECP’s Law and IT Wings.

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PTI govt to put country on right track: Shah Mehmood

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Senior leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the PTI government will put country on the right track and will end the corruption and water crisis.

Qureshi said this while talking to media persons. He said that the first phase of the formation of federal government had been completed on Monday after the elected members took oath.

He said that the opposition was an integral part of the parliament and the democratic system and adding that the PTI would take all the opposition parties on board on matters of national importance.

Qureshi added that PTI was committed to uphold dignity of the parliament as all the national issues would be discussed at that forum.

To a question about the formation of government in Punjab, he said consultations were underway and a meeting of the PTI and its allied parties in the province was scheduled to be held in Lahore on Wednesday where all matters would be discussed.

 

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Pakistan celebrates Independence Day with traditional zeal

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The nation is celebrating Independence Day today with traditional enthusiasm and with the spirit of Pakistan Movement to make the country a true Islamic welfare state on Tuesday (today).

The day started with 31-gun salute in Islamabad and 21-gun salute in the provincial capital of provinces. Prayers were offered for security and progress of Pakistan and well being of the people.

National flag were hoisted at all important public and private buildings across the country.

The main feature of the celebrations would be a national flag hoisting ceremony at Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad. President Mamnoon Hussain would be the chief guest on the occasion.

President Mamnoon Hussain and caretaker Prime Minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk will unfurl the national flag and the participants would sing the national anthem together. The President will also address the ceremony on the auspicious occasion.

Similar flag hoisting ceremonies would also be held at provincial, divisional and district headquarters level throughout the country.

Public and private buildings as well as streets, bazars and markets have been profusely illuminated.

National flags, buntings, portraits of founding fathers, posters and banners are also seen everywhere as part of the celebration of Independence Day.

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Extremism, terrorism ailing whole country, says Bilawal

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Extremism and terrorism are two major diseases ailing the whole country and its society. Both these diseases have to be completely routed out to put Pakistan on a real path to peace, progress and prosperity. As a nation, we have to protect and promote our core values, which are being eroded by the elements chaos and darkness to shatter the mission of the founding fathers.

This was stated by Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday in his message on the occasion of Independence Day of Pakistan. The PPP chairman reiterated that vision of Quaid-e-Azam was pursued by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who struggled during their whole life for an egalitarian and democratic Pakistan eventually laying down their lives for their principles and ideals.

He also extended greetings to the fellow Pakistanis on the Independence Day and urged the nation to gear up for regaining Pakistan, our founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had dreamt of. He further said that only a democratic order and constitutionalism could strengthen the nation and parliamentary supremacy shall be respected as people’s voice. The PPP chairman said that his Party was struggling for an egalitarian Pakistan to be a role-model Muslim democratic nation on the world map and a source of inspiration for Muslims around the globe.

Bilawal pledged that the PPP was bound by the commitment of its past leadership for working towards the interest of downtrodden people and bring equal opportunities for all the segments of society so that fruits of independence should not remain limited to few corridors.

 

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PTI nominates Qasim Suri for NA Deputy Speaker post

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday nominated Qasmi Suri for the post of National Assembly deputy speaker. Qasim Suri won from NA-265 constituency in Quetta on the PTI’s ticket securing 25,973 votes.

Speaking to reporters outside Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence, Suri thanked the PTI chairman for nominating him. “Imran is determined to removing the deprivation of the people of Balochistan. We will bring the province into the national mainstream.”

Suri emphasised that Imran Khan and the PTI team was focused on resolving Balochistan’s issues.

Earlier, Asad Qaiser who is the party’s nominee for National Assembly speaker submitted his nomination papers to the National Assembly secretary Tahir Hussain.

Elections for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly will be held on August 15.

According to the schedule issued by NA Secretariat, the nomination papers for Speaker and Deputy Speaker can be submitted in the office of Secretary National Assembly by Tuesday noon.

Ayaz Sadiq said that candidates can withdraw their nomination papers before the elections.

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CJP suggests Panama-like JIT to probe fake bank accounts case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar suggested a joint investigation team like the one formed for Panama Papers should be constituted to probe the case of alleged fake bank accounts.

During Monday’s hearing, the head of Omni Group, Anwar Najeed failed to appear in court. The counsel for Omni Group, Shahid Hamid requested the apex court to grant three more days to respond to the orders.

However, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar rejected the request.

He remarked that a contempt of court notice should be issued to the owners as they failed to appear in court despite orders.

The chief justice also asked the reason for the absence of Omni Group owners, saying Federal Investigation Agency froze their bank accounts and confiscated their property, therefore, court should do the same.

During the hearing, the DG FIA informed the court that officials had found 15 more accounts of A-One International, from which Rs6 billion had been transacted.

He said that an account was opened in the name of a person, who worked as a graphics designer with a private TV channel, and Rs800 million were transacted from this account. Another fake account was opened in the name of a Lahore woman, from which Rs1.5 billion were remitted.

The official said that he could say that for sure that bribe money was deposited in these accounts.

Hamid said that there was no mention of bribery or corruption in the JIT report and all finances of Omni Group were legal, which was also audited.

He regretted that false allegations are levelled without investigations, for the sake of getting headlines made.

At this, Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal told the DG FIA that they could not accuse anyone without investigations.

The chief justice said that they could order formation of a Panama case-like JIT after listening to the the counsels of both sides.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing until August 15.

Earlier, while hearing a suo motu case on fictitious transaction, the chief justice warned no one would be spared if they were found guilty of money laundering. The case pertained to transactions worth billions conducted through several mainstream banks via ‘benami’ accounts.

Former president Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur are among the accused in the case.

Talpur’s counsel Farooq H Naik told the court that a lot of people were being defamed by being named in the probe by the FIA, and asked the bench to stop the publicity surrounding the case.

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MNAs elect take oath during inaugural session for third consecutive democratic government

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The newly-elected members of National Assembly (MNA) took oath in the first session of the 15th National Assembly on Monday.

It was the historic day for the Pakistan’s democracy in the country as the swearing-in marked the third consecutive democratic transfer of power in the country.

Outgoing NA speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq administered oath to the newly-elected members. This was followed by signing of the ‘Roll of Members’.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, who is set to become the country’s next prime minister, also took the oath.

Other leaders of prominent political parties including PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Zardari, and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif were also in attendance. Bilawal, who has been elected to the National Assembly for the first time, shook hands with Imran Khan as the MNA-elects took their seats.

The first sessions of the new Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Balochistan assemblies are also being convened today. The Punjab Assembly session, on the other hand, is slated for August 15 after the Independence Day.

Elections for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly will be held on August 15.

President Mamnoon Hussain approved the NA’s first session for August 13 on the request of caretaker prime minister Justice (retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk.

The Prime Minister-elect’s oath-taking ceremony is slated for August 18, at the President House.

Once the allotment of general seats was finalized, those reserved for women and minorities were also allocated to the political parties.

Leading the race with the most number of MNA-elects is the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) with 158 seats (125 general, 28 women and five minorities).

However, candidates elected to more than one seat are required to vacate all except one, which would reduce the tally for the Imran Khan-led PTI, leaving them to rely on support from Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s seven members, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s five, Balochistan Awami Party’s five, and Balochistan National Party-Mengal’s four members.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is in second place with a total of 82 seats, after winning 64 general seats, two minority seats and 16 women seats.

The Pakistan Peoples Party is at a distant third with a total of 53 seats, with 42 general seats, two seats reserved for minorities, and nine reserved for women.

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Chinese General, COAS discuss regional security: ISPR

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Commander of Chinese People’s Armed Police General Wang Ning met with Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters on Monday, said the Inter-Services Public Relations statement.

During the meeting the two discussed matters related to regional security and professional interest.

The ISPR said that General Wang also acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan Army’s contributions to peace and stability in the region.

The visiting dignitary also ‘discussed proposals to increase bilateral cooperation in fields of counter terrorism, security training and sharing of experience,’ said the press statement.

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Imran Khan to get security, not protocol: Fawad Chaudhry

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan will be allotted full security but there will be no additional protocol, his spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said on Monday.

“A committee will be set up by the incoming PTI government to seek recommendations for cutting the government’s expenses,” Chaudhry told media persons.

Imran Khan has already ordered austerity measures, he said, adding that the prime minister-to be won’t get the protocol.

He noted that Prime Minister House had 350 employees.

Earlier, he said that PTI has finalised decisions on all matters of the government including cabinet.

Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament ahead of the inaugural session of the 15th National Assembly, Chaudhry said: “We have requested the opposition to [start] a new tradition and work with the government.”

“The nation has banked its hopes on Imran Khan, and we have also put our trust in him,” Chaudhry remarked, as he admitted that it was “slightly daunting” to see so many hopes of a better future for the country linked to the party.

PTI vice president Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters the party will do its best to deliver on the public’s expectations.

“We will work day and night to resolve the country’s problems,” he vowed.