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Nawaz Sharif shifted to PIC for medical checkup

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was shifted to Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) for his medical check up on Tuesday.

According to local news channel report, a three-member medical board comprises doctors from PIC examined the PML-N supremo.

Earlier, his daughter, Maryam Nawaz said that she had been informed that Nawaz Sharif is unwell.

Maryam Nawaz added that the family still hasn’t received reports given by the medical boards. She said a request in this regard has also been forwarded to the Home Department after pleading with the jail authorities.

I have been told that MNS is unwell and is being taken to PIC tomorrow but myself or the family have no knowledge of it. We still haven’t received the reports given by the medical boards. After pleading with the jail authorities, we have also written to the Home department.

It is pertinent to mention here that an accountability court on December 24 had found the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader guilty in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference and sentenced him to seven years jail. He is in Kot Lakhpat Jail Lahore since then.

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Sahiwal incident: JIT to submit report to CM Buzdar today

F.P. Report

LAHORE: A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will present its report of Sahiwal killings to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar today (Tuesday).

CM Buzdar said to media outside the Punjab Assembly on Monday, that the JIT had been given 72 hours to complete the probe and the deadline will end at 5pm on Tuesday.

He shared that a meeting had also been called to discuss the report and that action will be taken in light of the JIT’s findings.

Earlier on Saturday, four people – including three members of a family – were killed in an alleged encounter in Sahiwal. CTD personnel said they had killed a local commander of militant organisation Daesh and three others in the operation. Eyewitnesses, however, disputed the claim and said the people in the car did not fire at officials, nor were any explosives recovered from the vehicle.

The dead included a man, his wife and their teenage daughter, as well as the driver of the car who, according to the CTD, was involved in terrorist acts.

The CTD has, however, changed its statement on the incident multiple times.

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PM Imran discusses bilateral relations with Qatari leadership

F.P. Report

DOHA: Prime Minister Imran Khan met his Qatari counterpart Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani on Monday and discussed the matters of bilateral relations.

According to reports, both the leaders had discussed bilateral relations and increase in economic cooperation between the two countries. The Qatari premier also hosted a dinner in the honor PM Imran and his delegation.

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Adviser to PM Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Chairman BOI Haroon Sharif, Chairperson Task Force on Energy Nadeem Babar, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Ambassador of Pakistan to Qatar Syed Ahsan Raza Shah were also present during the meeting.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday reached Doha on a two-day official visit to Qatar to enhance bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest between the two countries.

Besides, the delegation is also expected to discuss an increasing cooperation between Qatar and Pakistan in different fields, in addition to other regional and global issues including talks with Afghan Taliban in Islamabad.

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Punjab govt to fulfill all requirements of bereaved family: CM Buzdar

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Monday vowed to fulfill all the requirements of the bereaved family of Sahiwal incident.

Chairing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) parliamentary party meeting, CM Buzdar condemned Sahiwal incident and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family. The meeting also offered Fateha for the deceased.

The chief minister said that the provincial government would bear all the educational expenses of the children. He said that it was their responsibility to provide justice to the bereaved family.

CM Buzdar said the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Sahiwal incident would submit its report on January 22.

Earlier in the day, CM Buzdar had said,”people should wait till 5 pm tomorrow because the JIT was scheduled to submit its report within 72 hours.”

Buzdar relayed that he reached Sahiwal as soon as he heard about the incident, adding that formation of a JIT was announced in order to ascertain the facts connected to the aforementioned incident.

“Further investigations will take place in light of the JIT report findings,” the Punjab chief minister had stated. Towards the end of the talk, Buzdar concluded that he had announced Rs20 million for the family of the deceased persons, adding that no one can be hanged to death without prior and proper investigation.

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Kartarpur corridor: Pakistan invites Indian delegation to finalise agreement

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has invited an Indian delegation to Islamabad to finalise the Kartarpur agreement, two months after Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor, which connects two Sikh holy sites — Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan and Dera Baba Nanak in India.

The draft agreement between the two governments has been shared with New Delhi through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, the Foreign Office said in a statement on Monday.

Pakistan’s friendly gesture is meant to facilitate the Indian Sikh community to visit the sacred place where Baba Guru Nanak, their spiritual leader, lived for 18 years until his death in 1539.

“This was in line with Islamic principles that advocate respect for all religions and Pakistan’s policy of promoting inter-faith harmony and religious tolerance and also in line with Quaid’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood,” the Foreign Office said.

Islamabad, the statement added, has appointed Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal as its focal person and requested New Delhi to do the same.

The groundbreaking ceremony last year was attended by Indian cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and army chief General Qamar Bajwa, among others.

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Sahiwal ‘shootout’ stirs heated debate in National Assembly

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Sahiwal tragic incident, in which four people were killed in a Punjab police alleged encounter, stirred a heated debate in the lower house of parliament on Monday with the opposition hitting out at the government over its ‘failure to rein in’ law enforcement agencies.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said that the opposition would not rest till the truth behind the Sahiwal police ‘encounter’ comes out.

Four people – including two women – were killed in a shady encounter involving Punjab’s counter-terrorism police on a highway in the Qadirabad area of Sahiwal district on Saturday.
The leader of the opposition while speaking on the floor of the National Assembly said the opposition would not hold sit-ins, however, the government must give answers to the people over the incident.

Khawaja Asif, another PML-N senior leader, slammed provincial law enforcement agencies over their alleged criminal negligence and inhumane behaviour in the Sahiwal incident.

“Those who should eliminate terrorism have themselves become terrorists,” Asif added.

He also criticised the PTI government and accused it of having double standards. “The government of Punjab has become a party in the [Sahiwal ‘encounter’] matter.”

The former foreign minster called for the government to form a parliamentary committee to probe into the incident.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari hit back at the opposition, saying the previous governments had enabled the law enforcement agencies to carry out such fake encounters. “They [opposition parties] don’t want to play a constructive role in how to bring to an end such incidents.”

She said the opposition only wants to use the tragedy to further its own political agenda.

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PM Imran’s Qatar visit to further expand bilateral relations: FM Qureshi

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Qatar would further expand relations between Pakistan and Qatar.

“There’s an enormous potential in amplifying Pak-Qatar relations,” Mehmood Qureshi said while talking to media before leaving for a two-day visit to Qatar along PM Imran Khan.

He said a large number of Pakistanis were employed in Qatar and the prime minister will discuss the issue of exporting more Pakistani skilled and unskilled workforce to Qatar for getting employment in different sectors including IT.

The foreign minister said there was a need of manpower for holding 2022 FIFA World Cup in the oil-rich country. “Qatar needs workers for new constructions and other activities,” he said.

He said bilateral trade between both the countries had boosted in the last six years. Pakistan fulfilled its need for liquified natural gas from Qatar, he added.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said talks would be held for availing more facilities from Qatar on better terms and conditions.

Talking about the Middle Eastern country’s role in bringing Taliban to peace talks, he said Pakistan appreciated Qatar’s role in Afghanistan reconciliation process. “We will cogitate over possibilities of making the region more stabilised and pacific,” he said.

FM Qureshi said role of Pakistan for reconciliation and to remove misunderstanding in the Islamic world could also be discussed.

Premier Khan has embarked on a two-day visit to Qatar from Monday on the invitation of Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al Thani.

During the visit, the PM will call on Amir of Qatar and hold meeting with his Qatari counterpart to discuss issues of mutual interest.

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13 dead in truck-bus collision in Hub

F.P. Report

HUB: At least 13 people lost their loves when a bus had a head-on collision with truck in Balochistan’s Hub city on Monday.

According to details, the accident occurred near Bella cross where the bus caught fire soon after smashing into the truck.

At least 16 people sustained severe wounds among whom four are in critical condition.

Deputy Commissioner of Lasbela, Shabbir Mengal told that fire erupted in the bus has been extinguished.

The bus carrying 29 passengers was on its way to Panjgur from Karachi.

Sources say that the bus caught fire due to Iranian diesel in secret compartments.

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Pak Naval Chief visits Bahrain

F.P. Report

MANAMA: Chief of Pakistan Navy Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi paid an official visit to Bahrain on Monday, the spokesperson of Pak Navy reported.

The Pakistan Naval Chief was received by the head of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force at their headquarters. The homage was also presented in a traditional way to Admiral Abbasi.

The Navy’s spokesperson informed that the commanders of Bahrain National Guard and Bahrain Coast Guard also called on the chief of Pakistan Navy and discussed the professional matters, alongside deliberating upon the maritime issues of mutual interest.

During his visit, the Naval Chief highlighted the role and determination of Pakistan in its war against terror while specifically shedding light on the steps taken by the Navy for the regional maritime security patrol.

Admiral Abbasi also briefed the commander of Royal Bahrain Naval Force regarding the multilateral naval exercise – Amn’19 – taking place in Karachi in February 2019.

The commander of Royal Bahrain Naval Force also commended the services of the Pakistan Navy in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

The visit of the Naval chief will strengthen the bilateral ties between the maritime forces of either countries, the Naval spokesperson added.

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PM Imran to leave for Qatar today

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will reach Qatar on a two-day visit today (Monday).

PM Imran Khan is visiting the country on the invitation of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al Thani.

During his visit, PM Imran will meet the Emir of Qatar and his Qatari counterpart, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani. Issues of mutual interest will be discussed during the meetings, according to Qatari ambassador Saqr Bin Mubarak Al Mansouri.

The prime minister will also discuss the issue of exporting Pakistani manpower to Qatar.