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New approach to dissolve assemblies emerges: Rabbani

F.P. Report

QUETTA: Chairman Senate, Raza Rabbani has said that a new procedure or practice was introduced to destabilize and dissolve the assemblies.

This he said while addressing to a seminar organized by Baz Muhammad Kakar here in Quetta to observe the day when Balochistan Bar Association President Bilal Kasi was shot dead.

Rabbani said that previously 58(2)(b) was the main tool of dictator to dissolve the parliament and after the removal of the section from the constitution now the hidden forces trying to dissolve the assemblies with different tactics which was being used nowadays.

He said that parliament was the weakest institution in today’s Pakistan, adding that everyone launched onslaught on parliament whenever he wished. Rabbani said that he did not want a clash of institutions, adding that the country could not afford a clash in the present scenario.

Rabbani further said that Parliament, Executive and Judiciary must work together while remaining within the limits of their jurisdiction. He said that misuse of institutional powers and interference in one another’s work had de-shaped the 1973 Constitution.


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China blames India of ‘concocting’ excuses over LoC violations

BEIJING: China accused India on Wednesday of ‘concocting’ excuses over the illegal entry of the South Asian nation’s military into Chinese territory on their disputed border, adding that China had shown great restraint.

The stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the neighbours, who share a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) frontier, large parts of which are disputed. Early in June, according to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region and obstructed work on a road on the plateau.

The two sides’ troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions. India has said it warned China the road construction would have serious security implications.

In a statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said the Indian military was still in Chinese territory, and that China had acted with a great deal of restraint, demanding that India withdraw its forces. “But the Indian side not only has not taken any actual steps to correct its mistake, it has concocted all sorts of reasons that don’t have a leg to stand on, to make up excuses for the Indian military’s illegal crossing of the border.”

The ministry reiterated that the border had been agreed in 1890 by the governments of China and Britain, India’s colonial ruler until 1947, and later with the Indian government. India’s actions are not only a serious encroachment on Chinese territory, but a challenge to regional peace and stability and normal international order, it added. Indian officials say about 300 soldiers from either side are facing each other about 150 metres (yards) apart on the plateau.

They have told a foreign agency that both sides’ diplomats have quietly engaged to try to ensure the standoff does not escalate and that India’s ambassador to Beijing is leading the effort to find a way for both sides to back down from confrontation without losing face.

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New federal cabinet will take oath today

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The new Federal will be taking oath today (Wednesday) and the ceremony will be held at President House Islamabad later during the day.

Former ministers Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Ishaq Dar will not be part of the interim federal cabinet. Most of the other members of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cabinet are expected to retain their portfolios.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday took oath as the new prime minister of the country at the President House Islamabad. Abbasi took the oath of his office at a solemn ceremony, which had armed forces chiefs, governors, members of the parliament, and prominent political and social figures in presence.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to Abbasi. He swept the election with a majority vote, securing 221 of 339 votes.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Naveed Qamar secured 47 votes, whereas Sheikh Rashid bagged 33. Jamaat-e-Islami’s Sahibzada Tariqullah managed to secure only four votes.



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Pulwama killing: Indian occupied Kashmir shuts down in protest

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Indian occupied Kashmir has been completely shut down on Wednesday in a protest against the killing of Kashmiri youth by Indian forces in Pulwama area last day.

The education institutions have been closed until further notice and government suspended the Internet Service in the area with the aim to stop the voice of Kashmir as they were demanding independence from the occupied Indian government.

Indian force martyred two youth last day after destroying a building with a chemical weapon and similarly another youth was martyred while he was protesting against the said killing, Kashmir Media said. Several protest were carried out in Pulwama district against the killing and most parts the residents clashed with the troops in the area

The resistance leadership has appealed to the people to offer funeral prayers of the martyred youths and demanded from the Indian government to stop its atrocities in Kashmir and realize it no peace can be achieved in the region unless and until the issue is resolved.

The resistance leadership has appealed to the people to offer funeral prayers for the three martyred youth. In a notice issued by the leadership, the leadership has also urged India to shun its rigid approach towards the Kashmir issue and realize that no peace can ever be achieved in this region unless and until this issue is satisfactorily resolved.


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At least 30 killed in explosion inside Afghan mosque

F.P. Report

HERAT: At least 30 people have been killed in an explosion at a minority Shia mosque in the Afghan province of Herat, according to a hospital official.

Dr Mohammed Rafique Shehrzad told Associated Press news agency that 30 bodies were brought to the main hospital in Herat city, the capital of the western province, on Tuesday night, soon after the blast.

Police and government officials said that at least ten people were injured in the explosion.

“There has been an explosion at the gate of Jawadia Mosque in Herat city, possibly caused by a car bomb. Ten wounded have so far been reported,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP news agency.

No one immediately took responsibility for the attack.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi sworn in as Prime Minister

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Newly elected Leader of the House in National Assembly Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has taken oath as interim Prime Minister in an oath taking ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr Tuesday.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath. Politicians, parliamentarians, services chiefs, and diplomats attended the oath taking ceremony of the newly elected Prime Minister. Among others, who attended the ceremony include Governors of the four provinces, Chief Ministers of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.

Earlier, he was elected Leader of the House in the National Assembly with a thumping majority. In the elections held at Parliament House in Islamabad on Tuesday evening, he secured 221 votes. His rivals Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians secured 47 votes, candidate of PTI and PML (Q) Sheikh Rashid Ahmad 33 votes, and Sahabzada Tariqullah of Jammat-e-Islami bagged 4 votes.

The result was announced by Speaker National Assembly following completion of the voting process in a specially convened session of the house. He declared that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi have been elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan. Awami National Party and BNP-Mengal abstained from the voting. Before start of the process, the Speaker read out the procedure set out for the purpose.

Earlier, MQM withdrew from the contest in favour Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while Syed Khurshid Shah of PPP Parliamentarians withdrew his nomination papers in favour of his party colleague Syed Naveed Qamar. The galleries were filled to capacity with visitors including those belonging to the constituency of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, the Chief Ministers of Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan, Senators and members of the diplomatic community witnessed proceedings of the House.

Addressing the house after his election as Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said strengthening of economy and agriculture, promotion of tax culture and investment and integrated security would be his priorities. The Prime Minister-elect said it would be his effort to work hard and deliver whatever time was available to him.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said there would be no load-shedding after November this year and pointed out that ten thousand megawatt of additional electricity is being added to the national grid. He said in line with vision of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan would be made a role model in Asia vis-a-vis motorways.

“I am with Nawaz Sharif for 30 years, he never asked me to indulge in corruption. Nawaz Sharif’s fault is that he made Pakistan a nuclear power,” he said.

The Prime Minister-elect said it is his personal opinion that all automatic weapons should be cancelled for the sake of security and law and order in the country. He also proposed the need for national curricula and a mechanism of national testing mechanism.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the country has a constitution and all institutions and citizens should uphold its supremacy. He urged parliamentarians to work unitedly to restore dignity and honour of the Parliament.



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Political parties cannot be disqualified over a fake certificate, SC tells PML-N lawyer

ISLAMABAD (NNI): During the hearing of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) foreign funding case on Tuesday, the chief justice of Pakistan said that there is no law that states that a political party can be disqualified on the basis of a fake certificate.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, was hearing a petition submitted by PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi seeking the disqualification of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen for the non-disclosure of assets, ownership of offshore companies, and for PTI being a foreign-aided party.

Chief Justice Nisar added that neither the Representation of People Act, nor the Political Parties Act mentions that a party must be disqualified for submitting a fake certificate. He was responding to arguments made by Abbasi’s lawyer, Akram Sheikh.

Sheikh accused PTI of receiving funds exceeding one million dollars from PTI USA, which is against USA’s Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). However, the chief justice maintained that American law is not applicable in Pakistan.

Sheikh argued that since the PTI has not disclosed the name of its donors, the party must be disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. “An MNA can be disqualified even for failing to declare his (or her) assets,” said Sheikh, bringing up the recent disqualification of Nawaz Sharif.

“It’s written in the law that a person will be disqualified for not declaring his assets,” remarked Chief Justice Nisar, adding that the judges would not comment any further on the Panamagate verdict.

Sheikh’s claim that PTI received “billions of dollars” as foreign forbidden funds prompted the judges to ask how anyone could determine which funds are illegal.

The lawyer’s argument that the PTI chairman’s charity projects were also funded by foreign sources was dismissed by the judges, who said “the law does not forbid receiving foreign funds for charity purposes.”

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow (Wednesday).


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Justice Khosa never talked to Imran Khan in private capacity, clarifies SC

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday clarified that SC Judge Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa has never met or talked to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in any private capacity throughout his life and has no personal acquaintance with him.

The statement has come after the PTI Chief in a recent interview with a television channel stated that he had been requested by Justice Khosa to file a petition before the SC in connection with the Panama Papers scandal. “The twist given to some of the words used in the interview is, therefore, malicious and unfortunate,” the SC said.

The allegation is absolutely unfounded and completely untrue. The interview itself refers to some observations made in the Courtroom during a judicial proceeding. The fact of the matter is that on November 1, 2016 many Constitution Petitions pertaining to the said scandal were fixed for hearing before a Larger Bench of the Supreme Court headed by the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Khosa was also a part of that five-member Bench.

When the hearing of the matter came to a close on that day Justice Khosa addressed the learned counsel for the parties and observed in open Court to the effect that now that the Court sitting at the apex of the dispute resolution mechanisms in the country had taken cognizance of the matter the parties would be well advised to “hold their horses” and to reconsider their positions regarding the call for lockdown of Islamabad planned for the next day which was likely to cause extreme hardship to the citizens at large.

It appears that those observations were accorded due deference and the lockdown of Islamabad was called off. All the major television channels in the country had reported the said observations on the same day and all the major newspapers had reported those observations on the following day, i.e. November 2, 2016 and this is a matter of record and hundreds of people, including scores of politicians, journalists and media persons, attending the Court on that day may confirm that factual position.

The relevant Constitution Petitions had been filed before the SC by different petitioners many months prior to November 1, 2016.

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Hafiz Saeed’s house arrest extended

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Punjab government has extended the house arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) Chief, Hafiz Saeed and his four aides for two more months.

He was detained on January 30 this year along with four of his party leaders in Lahore for their alleged involvement in activities prejudicial to peace and security. They were placed under house arrest for three months. Afterwards, their house arrest was extended for another 90 days, and now expired on July 27 last month.

On Monday, the Punjab Interior Ministry decided to further extend the detention of Hafiz Saeed and his aides for another two months keeping view ‘chaos’ and unrest in the country, dubbing his release as ‘threat to peace and tranquility’. The notification was signed by Punjab Additional Chief Secretary (Home) retired Major Azam Suleman.

“Keeping in view the expected release of the said activist and other leaders of the said organisation, workers of the organisation have planned to spread chaos in the country. They have planned to make demonstrations under the leadership of said activist. He will be portrayed as hero and his acts will be glorified,” said the notification.

“Hafiz Saeed is likely to glorify his activities for the JuD and continuation of his activities are likely to create unrest in public,” it further added. The other top JuD leaders detained along with Hafiz Saeed are Ubaid, Abdul Rehman Abid, Zafar Iqbal and Qazi Kashif Niazi of Multan.

India accuses Hafiz Saeed of masterminding 2008 Mumbai attacks through Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which he founded in the 1990s. The U.S. had offered $10 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed. Pakistan has denied any state involvement and Saeed has said repeatedly he was not responsible.

The government of Pakistan has placed JuD and Falah-e-Insaaniat Foundation (FIF), a charity organisation affiliated with the JuD, on watch list for six months under Section (1) 11EEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 in January. The names of Hafiz Saeed and several other JuD leaders were also placed on the Exit Control List.


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Indian forces martyred 33 Kashmiris in July

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: At least 33 Kashmiris have been martyred and 565 persons were injured by Indian forces during the month of July in the Indian occupied Kashmir, according to Kashmir Media Service.

The media report further revealed that more than three out of 33 martyred were killed in a fake encounter, widowed three women and orphaned six children due to these atrocities.

The report disclosed that 565 people were critically injured when pellets and tear gas shells were used on even the peaceful demonstrations in the occupied territory.

Indian troops arrested a total of 450 people, including Hurriyat leaders, activists and youth during the month. It has also been revealed by the outlet that at least 24 women were sexually assaulted and 77 houses were destroyed in the month of July alone.