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LHC to hear treason case against Khadim Rizvi on November 12

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Saturday has accepted the plea for hearing seeking the initiation of treason proceedings against Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and the chief of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

According to local media report, LHC accepted the application, filed by Advocate Syed Mohammad on behalf of Shabeerullah, on Friday over charges of issuing anti-state statements and inciting people to violence by the duo.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi also set the case for hearing on November 12.

In his application, the petitioner cited the statements of both the leaders in the aftermath of Aisa Bibi case, pleading the court to hold them accountable.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan staged protests across the length and breadth of Pakistan after the apex court acquitted Asia Bibi, a blasphemy suspect on grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its case.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman also staged protests against the acquittal of Asia Bibi and disparaged the order of three-member bench in this regard.

Asia Bibi was alleged of blasphemy in 2009 and her death sentence was upheld by the Lahore High Court as well, however, the top court nullified the sentence and set her free following which she was released from Multan prison.

The federal government had also issued directives to arrest the individuals involved in violence following which hundreds of agitators were nabbed through footages and pictures.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also instructed Punjab government to prepare a compensation package for those who lost their valuables during the protests that ended after the government signed an agreement with TLP leaders.

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Indian occupied forces martyrs two Kashmiri youth in Pulwama

Monitoring Desk

SRINAGAR: Two more Kashmiri youth were martyred by Indian soldiers in their fresh act of state terrorism in Pulwama district of Indian occupied Kashmir on Saturday.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the occupied Indian forces continued its atrocities on the innocent Kashmiris and killed two more youth identified as Liaquat Ahmed Wani and Wajid-ul-Islam during a cordon and search operation in Tikken area of the district. The operation continued till last reports came in.

Meanwhile, the occupation authorities have suspended Internet services in the district.

The troops had killed one youth in Dar Ganai Gund area of Tral town in the same district, yesterday.

On the other hand, dead body of a middle-aged man, Ali Muhammad Wani, was recovered from an orchard in Chandusa area of Baramulla district.

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Nine killed, 35 missing in California wildfire   

RADISE: At least nine persons were killed and 35 others were after wildfires burned out of control on Friday across California, in a mountain town and forcing residents to flee the upscale beach community of Malibu in the face of a monster fire storm.

According to California Department of Forestry and Fire protection data, all the nine victims were found in and around the Northern California town of Paradise, where more than 6,700 homes and businesses were burned down by the Camp Fire.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a Friday evening press conference that the remains of five of the victims were discovered in or near burned out cars, three outside residences and one inside a home, Honea said.

Another 35 people had been reported missing and three firefighters had been injured.

The flames descended on Paradise so quickly that many people were forced to abandon their cars and run for their lives down the sole road through the mountain town.

A school bus was among several abandoned vehicles left blackened by flames on one road.

The Camp Fire, which broke out on Thursday at the edge of the Plumas National Forest northeast of Sacramento, has since blackened more than 90,000 acres and was only 5 percent contained as of nightfall on Friday.

A total of 6,453 homes had been destroyed in Paradise and elsewhere, Honea said, along with 260 commercial buildings. The Tubbs Fire, which destroyed 5,636 structures in Napa and Sonoma counties in October 2017, is listed by Cal Fire as the most destructive in state history.

In Malibu, some 500 miles (800 km) to the south, flames driven by hot Santa Ana winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) raced down hillsides and through canyons toward multi-million dollar homes.

Thousands of residents packed the Pacific Coast Highway to head south or took refuge on beaches, along with their horses and other pets.

Among those force to flee the Woolsey Fire, which had charred some 35,000 acres (14,164 hectares) as of Friday afternoon, were celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian, who said on Twitter flames had damaged the home she shares in nearby Calabasas with Kanye West.

“Fire is now burning out of control and heading into populated areas of Malibu,” the city said in a statement online. “All residents must evacuate immediately.”

Malibu and Calabasas, west of Los Angeles, are home to hundreds of celebrities and entertainment executives attracted by ocean views, rolling hills and large, secluded estates.

The blaze, which spewed massive plumes of thick black smoke, also threatened parts of the nearby town of Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people earlier this week in a shooting rampage at a college bar, stunning the bucolic Southern California community with a reputation for safety.

The Woolsey Fire broke out on Thursday and quickly jumped the 101 Freeway in several places. On Friday, it climbed over the Santa Monica Mountains toward Malibu.

Authorities were forced to shut down the 101, a major north-south artery, as well as the Pacific Coast Highway. Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said a “significant number” of homes had been destroyed by the flames but that an accurate count could not yet be made.

Elsewhere, the Hill Fire in Ventura County’s Santa Rosa Valley had charred about 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) as of Friday evening, according to Cal Fire.

In Los Angeles, another, smaller fire in Griffith Park forced the Los Angeles Zoo to evacuate a number of show birds and some small primates on Friday as flames came within less than 2 miles (3 km) of the facility, zoo officials said in a statement. (Reuters)

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Ashiana housing scheme: Court extends Shehbaz Sharif’s physical remand by 14-day

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Accountability Court in Lahore on Saturday has granted 14-day physical remand of Opposition leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Ashiana Housing Scheme case.

According to reports, accountability court announced the verdict which was reserved on a petition filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) which sought to extend the remand by 15-days.

Now Shebaz Sharif would be presented on November 24th as per the court orders.

Shehbaz Sharif turned up before the court in Ashiana Housing scheme case after his transit remand expired following which the NAB presented the former CM Punjab before the court to seek extension in remand.

During the hearing, the NAB official alleged that Shehbaz Sharif threatened him adding that the ongoing case was fully substantiated with evidence.

On the other hand, Amjad Pervaiz, the counsel for Shehbaz Sharif, argued that NAB summoned Shehbaz Sharif for the first time in June 2018 and whenever his client was summoned, he complied with the directives.

‘NAB failed to present credible evidence in Ashiana Iqbal housing scheme,’ Amjad Pervaiz argued adding that the Director General of NAB had become a party to the case against Shehbaz Sharif.

During the hearing, there was a verbal duel between Shehbaz Sharif and NAB official as well with Shehbaz Sharif inquiring the official as to why he was staring at him.

Meanwhile as the proceedings continued, NAB also registered the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif in the Ramazan Sugar Mills case.

Strict security arrangements have been put in place with troops of Rangers, Anti-riot force and police deployed in the vicinity of accountability court tucked near civil secretariat.

The younger Sharif was taken to Lahore from Islamabad early Saturday. Hamza Shehbaz and scores of PML-N loyalists also assembled in the vicinity of the court.

The politician was residing in Islamabad on production orders issued by National Assembly Speaker, Asad Qaiser.

In his speech made on the floor of the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif refuted allegations of corruptions and declared that there was an unholy alliance between ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

On Oct 5, the NAB arrested Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) president and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly in the Rs14 billion Ashiayna-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.

He was detained by the NAB at the accountability body’s Lahore office following a hearing in Punjab Saaf Pani Company.

The arrest of former Punjab chief minister followed shocking revelations of ex-principal secretary to PM, Fawad Hasan Fawad, who has become an approver in the cases against Shehbaz Sharif.

Petitions have been filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking the bail of Shehbaz Sharif.

 

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MQM-P expels former leader Farooq Sattar for violating party rules

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has decided to expel the senior politician, Farooq Sattar from the party for violating the party rules.

According to local media reports, the Rabitta Committee of MQM-P meeting was held and it was decided to cut all ties with former leader Farooq Sattar and directed all party workers not have any form of contact with him.

The meeting was held in Bahadurabad on Friday night where MQM-P also cancelled Farooq Sattar’s basic party membership.

Sources said Farooq Sattar was expelled due to violation of rules.

 

 

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Questionnaire provided to Nawaz to record his statement on Monday

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Accountability Court Friday provided a questionnaire to accused Nawaz Sharif’s counsel for recording statement in Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference on November 12.

The questionnaire comprising 50 questions and further questions would be added in it during statement recording under section 342 of NAB Ordinance, the court said.

Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik conducted hearing on former prime minister’s plea seeking provision of questionnaire before recording his statement.

Accused Nawaz Sharif didn’t appear before the court and sought one day exemption from hearing which was accepted.

As the hearing began, National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi opposed the defense plea and contended that the questionnaire shouldn’t be shared with accused before recording his statement in accordance with law.

He argued that the accused would come with preparation and consultations of his legal team if the questionnaire was handed over to him.

However, the court ordered to provide questionnaire to the accused’s counsel and summoned Nawaz Sharif on Monday to record his statement.

 

 

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Pakistan beat New Zealand in second ODI to level series 1-1

ABU DHABI (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan beat New Zealand by six wickets in the second day-night international in Abu Dhabi, levelling the three-match series 1-1 on Friday.

Paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi took a career best 4-38 to keep New Zealand down to 209-9 in their 50 overs before Fakhar Zaman (88) and Babar Azam (46) helped Pakistan reach the target in 40.3 overs.

Afridi led the charge, picking up four wickets as he disintegrated the Kiwis’ middle-order. Hassan Ali picked up two wickets for 59 runs.

Ross Taylor top-scored with a 120-ball 86 and Henry Nicholls made 33 off 63 balls and together added 75 for the fifth wicket to lift their team from 73-4.

For Pakistan, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf replaced fast bowler Junaid Khan, who is suffering from an infection in his right foot toe. Junaid has also been ruled out of the third ODI against New Zealand on Sunday.

Ashraf failed to take any wickets, conceding 26 runs in his seven overs.

The Kiwis were unchanged from the first ODI, in which they defeated Pakistan by 47 runs on Wednesday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Pakistan appeared to be in a stronger position on Friday despite the fact that the Kiwis have an upper hand with a 5-1 winning ratio against the Green Shirts. The two sides have faced each other six times in Abu Dhabi.

Trent Boult’s devastating bowling on Wednesday exposed Pakistan’s top order as he became the third New Zealand bowler to claim an ODI hat-trick.

The 29-year-old dismissed Fakhar Zaman (one), Babar Azam (nought) and Mohammad Hafeez (nought) in the third over. While skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim and Shoaib Malik tried to lift the innings with half-centuries, they could not fix the damage from the first 20 overs of the innings.

The third and final match is in Dubai on Sunday.

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Nefarious designs of forces acting against FATA’s merger to be foiled: PM

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the masses to foil the nefarious designs of the forces acting against the merger of now-defunct Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The Prime Minister stated this on Friday while presiding over a meeting to review progress of administrative and other affairs relating to merged areas.

During the meeting, officials while briefing Premier Imran Khan regarding these affairs informed that several departments, previously under the FATA Secretariat, had been handed over to the KP government, including education, zakat and ushr, social welfare and population welfare.

The transfer of other departments from the secretariat was also under way, they informed.

A special committee had been constituted for 10-year development planning of merged areas, the officials briefed the PM, which will be headed by KP chief minister.

They further said that consultation was ongoing with the federation for allocation of 3 per cent of National Finance Commission (NFC) award for these areas.

The Prime Minister was also briefed on progress of judicial and other affairs in merged areas.

Addressing the attendees, PM Imran Khan said the merger was the tribal areas were merged with the province to bring a visible change in the lives of the residents of those areas.

“A few forces are acting against FATA’s merger and misleading the masses for the sake of their ulterior motives,” he said. “Together we have to foil their designs.”

Imran Khan directed that the reforms process should be such that it makes the people of these areas realize that the merger was meant for their betterment.

“The administrative and other reforms should not cause difficulties for the people,” he told officials at the meeting.

The prime minister said the merged areas lag far behind other areas of the country in terms of development. “Everyone will have to come together and struggle for bringing these areas at par with rest of the country.”

He also said the federal government will play its role in getting merged areas their share in the NFC award.

The premier further urged for posting officer with bearing good reputation in these areas.

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SC fixes DG NAB Lahore’s fake degree case for Nov 12

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of reports regarding alleged fake degree of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore director general Saleem Shahzad, the Supreme Court on Friday fixed hearing of the case for Monday, November 12.

The apex court has constituted a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, to hear the case.

The top court will also hear a case regarding new hiring in the national corruption watchdog on Monday. Notices have already been dispatched to all parties in this regard.

The decision was taken after the chief of NAB’s Lahore chapter appeared on multiple TV talk shows in the past two days and allegedly shared details of various sub-judice cases. The matter pertaining to his fake university degree also surfaced during one of these shows.

Earlier in the day, the opposition parties tabled a privilege motion in the National Assembly Secretariat and called attention to the “media trial” by Shahzad.

Speaking on behalf of the opposition, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi shamed the NAB’s Lahore DG for “violating the very conduct of his organisation”.

The former prime minster also alleged that the DG NAB holds a fake degree, which requires prompt verification from the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

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Opposition submits privilege motion against NAB Lahore DG

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties on Friday submitted a privilege motion in the National Assembly Secretariat and called attention to the “media trial” by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore Director General Saleem Shahzad.

Shahzad appeared on several media channels during the last two days and the opposition also accused him of revealing confidential information.

Speaking on behalf of the opposition, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi shamed the NAB’s Lahore DG for “violating the very conduct of his organisation”.

The former prime minister lashed out at Shahzad for appearing on television and badmouthing members from the opposition, adding that the “DG has clearly lied”.

Elaborating further, Abbasi said, “PML-N seems to be the only target. We’re all for accountability provided the government maintains the same standards for all parties”.

Abbasi also alleged that DG NAB holds a fake degree, which requires prompt verification from the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Abbasi maintained that allegations have been levelled against Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif and lamented that PML-N’s Saad Rafique is also being framed in the Paragon Company Case.

However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the privilege motion was against the Constitution and alleged it was an attempt by the opposition to influence the ongoing investigation.