Senate strongly condemns dismissal of govt on Oct 12, 1999
ISLAMABAD: Members of the Senate on Monday strongly condemned the dismissal of the elected government this day (October 12) in 1999.
Speaking on a motion regarding existing political situation in the country, moved by Muhammad Usman Kakar, they said the country suffered immensely in different fields during the dictatorial regime.
The members emphasized that all institutions should work within the parameters set by the law and the constitution. They also called for formulation of a national agenda that takes care of concerns of all federating units so that the country moves at on the path of progress and prosperity.
Some of the members expressed concern over excessive election expenditure and demanded more powers for the Election Commission. Those who spoke on the motion included Saeed Ghani, Azam Swati, Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel, Ch. Tanvir Khan, Salahuddin Tirmizi, Shahi Syed, Nihal Hashmi and Mushahidullah Khan.
Minister of State for Religious Affairs Pir Aminul Hasnat told the House that in all ninety seven Pakistanis lost their lives in the Mina tragedy. Two injured are presently in the hospital and thirty pilgrims still missing.
He said the foreign office is in contact with Saudi government for sending to the Holy Land of family members and heirs of those who have martyred in Mina tragedy.
He said a special flight would be sent to the Saudi Arabia as soon as a green signal is received from Saudi Arabia. He said the government has already announced assistance of five hundred thousand rupees for heirs of each martyrs and two hundred thousand each for injured.
The Chairman asked the Minister for Religious Affairs to brief the House on Mina incident on Tuesday.
Responding to a motion moved by Sehar Kamran, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Aftab Ahmed Sheikh said National Counter-terrorism Authority will be activated on war footing in view of prevailing security situation in the country. - PPI
Ayaz Sadiq retakes NA-122 seat, secures 74,525 votes: ECP
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday declared Ayaz Sadiq and Shoaib Siddiqui, winners of NA-122 and PP-147 in by-elections.
According to an unofficial result of NA-122, Pakistan Muslim League (N)’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq retained his constituency by gaining 74,525 votes while Aleem Khan got 72,082.
Tehrik-e-Insaf, candidate Shoaib Siddiqui won PP-147 seat from Lahore and secured 31,964 votes whereas Mohsin Latif came second by securing 28,402 votes.
PPP candidate, Barrister Mian Amir Hassan, secured only 819 votes in NA-122.
It is pertinent to mention here that 16 candidates participated in the by-election of NA-122 and 11 candidates contested the election of PP-147. - APP
We were not prepared for PML-N rigging tactics again: Imran
ISLAMABAD: In his first comment after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Aleem Khan lost the contest for the coveted NA-122 seat, party chairman Imran Khan has said that his party will counter the “rigging tactics by PML-N” that they “were not prepared for again.”
In a series of tweets posted Monday, Imran termed the outcome of by-elections a “moral victory for PTI” saying that this election would strengthen the PTI as it had challenged the PML-N with its government power.
The PTI chief went on to say that his party will “learn from our mistakes”.
In a separate tweet, Imran said his party is investigating the number of “PTI votes thrown out of NA-122 at the last minute”, adding that they will approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after the probe.
While no major complaints of rule violations or rigging had been received, the commission said it had gotten around 35 smaller complaints in NA-122.
The PTI chief also congratulated Aleem Khan for “his hard work and persistence against two PML-N governmental machineries.”
On Monday evening, PTI’s candidate for NA-122, Aleem Khan, and leader Chaudhry Sarwar addressed a press conference, during which they said that the results of the by-election were acceptable to the PTI.
However, Sarwar went on to say that the PML-N had violated campaign regulations, with provincial ministers and other personalities involved in the pre-poll campaign process, despite ECP’s orders against such activities.
Sarwar said his party had received several complaints of irregularities during polling, adding that if any substantive evidence of rigging comes up, the PTI will lodge protests.
Meanwhile, Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed has said that Imran Khan should quit ‘the politics of lies’ as the victory of PML-N in by-election of NA-122 proved the transparency of 2013 general election.
Talking to media personnel in Islamabad, Rasheed said that “making election results controversial is tantamount to maligning democratic institutions of Pakistan.”
He said Imran Khan’s demands to ensure transparency in the by-election were met, but even then the PML-N and PTI bagged the same number of votes as they did in 2013 general elections
Rasheed said Imran had been repeating for the past two and a half years that Ayaz Sadiq had stolen the seat through 50,000 fake votes.
According to Imran Khan’s calculations, he said, Ayaz Sadiq should have received 20,000 votes in the by-election.
As per unofficial results, Sadiq secured 76,204 votes and his rival Aleem Khan 72,043 in NA-122.
PTI’s Ashraf Khan Sohna managed only 7,000 votes in Okara and lost his deposit while the PML-N candidate bagged 41,000, the minister said.
KP journalists embracing martyrdom in incidents of terrorism to be paid Rs1m
PESHAWAR: The KP Assembly with Presiding Officer Shaukat Ali Yusafzai in the chair here Monday passed a bill to provide Rs one million to the journalists who faced martyrdom in the line of duty during terrorism incidents in the province.
The KP Journalists Welfare Endowment Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was moved by Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani in the assembly.
It stated that the journalist embracing martyrdom in acts of terrorism will be paid Rs one million.
The passage of the bill also allows payment of Rs20,000 to the family members of deserving journalist in case of his death or to the deserving journalist in case of death of any of his family member, funeral charges.
Similarly, Rs 20,000 will be paid for medical treatment of the deserving journalist or his family members, the bill stated.
The journalist who became permanently disabled due to any reason will be paid Rs. 200,000 while a deserving journalist, once compensated or assisted will not be entitled to claim for any other compensation under any other law for the time being in force, the bill concluded.
The house also passed a resolution against double fine by the Provincial Transport Authority (PTA) on delay payment of route permit and renewal of permit in the province.
The resolution moved by Saleh Muhammad stated that the police imposed fine of Rs 5000 on the late payment of route permit and imposed fine of Rs 520 on the renewal of permit which is great injustice.
He called for abolition of the same.
The motion was put to vote by the chair that was given a nod. - APP
Gilgit ATC sentences Altaf to 81 years in prison
GILGIT: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday sentenced Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain to 81 years in prison, while issuing its verdict on a treason and incitement to violence case filed against the MQM supremo.
Fifteen cases were registered against the MQM chief in various police stations of Gilgit-Baltistan on charges of treason, incitement to violence and speeches against the state and armed forces.
Earlier on September 21, the court had reserved its verdict on the case.
ATC Judge Raja Shahbaz Khan sentenced Altaf Hussain to 81 years imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs2.4 million. The court also ordered relevant authorities to confiscate the properties of the MQM chief and open the same for auction.
Earlier on September 1, the same court had declared Altaf Hussain absconder for not appearing despite being summoned through a legal notice.
The court had warned that if Altaf Hussain failed to appear in the court on the next hearing of the case, the court would issue verdict against him.
MQM chief in his July 12 speech had accused Rangers chief and his subordinates for violating army code of conduct during the Karachi operation.
The Lahore High Court has already imposed a ban on media coverage of Altaf and airing of his images and speeches across all electronic and print media in a similar case.
MQM lawmakers tendered their resignations from both the houses of parliament and Sindh Assembly en masse on August 12 citing reservations over the Rangers-led operation in Karachi.
Later on October 9, MQM leader Farooq Sattar, while signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had expressed hope that the ban on MQM’s welfare and political activities and speeches of Altaf Hussain would be addressed by the government as per law. - Statesman
Shiv Sena activists attack Kasuri’s book launch organiser
MUMBAI: At least 10 to 15 Shiv Sena activists attacked Sudheendra Kulkarni, organiser of former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch, hours before event, NDTV reported.
“When I got out of home, a group of Shiv Sainiks - some 10, 15 of them - stopped my car. When I came out, they smeared my entire body with black oil paint, shouted slogans and said ‘we had ordered you to cancel the programme, you didn’t listen to us, this is what we’ll do’. They abused me,” he said.
The organiser of the programme said he had earlier told Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray that the programme will not be cancelled. “We respect your right to protest peacefully, you should respect our right to hold the programme ... We are not doing anything unlawful,” he told NDTV.
Kulkarni said the government has assured security for Kasuri and the programme.
“We are profusely thankful to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra who has taken a very disciplined and firm stand against these kinds of threats,” he said.
He added, “We are going to go ahead with the programme, we are not going to be deterred by these things.”
Kulkarni and Kasuri held a joint press conference following the incident, NDTV reported. The organiser welcomed the former minister, thanking him for accepting the invitation.
Kasuri said he was unhappy about the attack on Kulkarni. Recognising the right of people to protest, he said as long as the protest was peaceful, it was justified but that what happened to Kulkarni was beyond that.
Kasuri reached Mumbai on Sunday for the last leg of his book release tour. His book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’ will be launched at Mumbai’s Hall of Culture, Nehru Centre.
“My Indian sponsors say we should not chicken [out] before any threat by the Shiv Sena,” Kasuri said.
“There are some 20 security men guarding me. I’m leaving it all to Allah.”
Ayaz Sadiq hints at return to NA Speaker’s seat
LAHORE: A day after winning by-elections in NA-122 Lahore, Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq hinted at his likely return to the seat of the National Assembly Speaker.
Sadiq was de-seated by an election tribunal in august after it nullified his election from NA-122 in the 2013 general elections and ordered a re-election in the constituency. But Sadiq defeated Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Aleem Khan by a close margin in the by-election on Sunday, receiving 74,525 votes as compared to 72,082 votes received by the PTI candidate.
Although neither Sadiq nor party officials have yet confirmed his return to the Lower House of Parliament as its Speaker, the PML-N leader hinted Monday that he may be National Assembly chairing proceedings in the future as well.
“I think I am fortunate that the people of NA-122 and PML-N workers supported me and helped me in succeeding from the NA-122 seat. This means that, not only will I have to fulfill my responsibilities as (National Assembly) Speaker, but also some extra responsibilities here (in this constituency),” he said while speaking to Geo News.
When asked explicitly if he would be made the NA Speaker again, Sadiq said that it was up to the party and its leadership to decide.
There is no personal (wish) of mine that the Speakership should only be for me. There are better MNAs than me – people who are more educated, hardworking, better in every aspect than me. “I have just achieved what I could as an ordinary MNA,” he said, saying that he would respect the party’s decision. Sadiq claimed that he had achieved victory not just against PTI candidate Aleem Khan but also against the party’s chairman Imran Khan.
“With the campaign that Imran Khan led for 7-8 days, it was pretty evident that he was a candidate.” - Statesman
KP Govt bans black polythene bags
PESHAWAR: A high level meeting with Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in the chair Monday decided to impose complete ban on the use, sale and manufacturing of the hazardous black polythene shopping bags.
Expressing his resolve to get rid of the menace of hazardous shopping bags the Chief Minister said that no compromise will be made to ban the use as well as manufacturing of the shopping bags which had been declared dangerous for human health and the sanitation system.
The government would not even hesitate to take difficult decisions to stop the manufacturing, sale and use of such bags. The meeting directed the authorities concerned to take necessary measures including the desirable legislation to effectively deal with menace of unsafe and harmful shopping bags.
During the meeting report of the special committee, constituted by the Chief Minister last month under chairmanship of MPA Shaukat Ali Yusafzai, was presented which highlighted all aspects of the shopping bags’ issue and suggested measures to address the problem.
In the first phase complete ban will be imposed on manufacturing, sale and use of the black shopping bags however three months time will be given to the traders, retailers as well as the factory owners for disposal of existing stocks of black polythene bags and the hazardous raw material used in making of such bags.
It was also decided to register manufacturers, traders and retailers of plastic shopping bags with concerned local councils in a bid to regulate this business and proper regulations regarding manufacturing and marketing of safe plastic shopping bags will be formulated and the EPA will be strengthened to check the plastic bags and other food packing materials.
Referring to anticipated difficulties in implementation of ban on plastic bags, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said that despite all difficulties the provincial government was fully committed to solve the problem and every decision taken on this issue will be implemented in latter and spirit.
The Chief Minister on this occasion also issued directives for accelerating the pace of work on the projects being executed for development and beautification of the provincial capital city.
He appointed Shaukat Yousafzai as focal person for these projects and asked the authorities concerned to expedite the pace of work over construction of service road along the ring road, widening of the University road, reconstruction of general bus stand and provision of civic facilities on the land retrieved by anti encroachment operation in interior city of Peshawar. – APP
Talks possible if Pakistan stops aiding terrorists: Abdullah
KABUL: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, commenting on the Pakistani prime minister’s remarks about the revival of Afghan peace talks, said on Monday the government in Kabul would welcome such move if Islamabad stopped supporting terrorist groups.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told a press conference that his administration remained willing to help revive the Afghan peace process, namely negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban.
Abdullah said the Afghan government welcomed Sharif’s remarks, but Pakistan should stop supporting the militants blamed for attacks inside Afghanistan. It would be an effective step toward stability in Afghanistan.
Addressing a meeting of the Council of Ministers, the CEO claimed the Taliban could not conduct huge operations or spectacular attacks in Afghanistan if they were not supported from abroad.
“Afghanistan has a clear stance on the peace process: If Pakistan wants to demonstrate its honesty about this reconciliation process, it should renounce support to militants,” Abdullah argued.
The first round of face-to-face peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban was held in Murree, a tourist resort near Islamabad. America and China attended as observers.
The second round of negotiations was scheduled to be held in China or Pakistan on July 30, but it was suspended after the announcement of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death. - Pajhwok
PM to take up issue of stalled Indo-Pak talks with Obama: Sartaj Aziz
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz on Monday said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would discuss the stalled dialogue between Pakistan and India with United States President Barack Obama during their upcoming meeting on October 22 at the White House.
“A number of other issues would also be discussed between the US President and PM Nawaz Sharif,” Sartaj Aziz said while speaking to media.
The adviser said that Indian state institutions, including the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), are involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Sartaj added that there would be no compromise on Pakistan’s foreign policy, adding that rising tensions between Pakistan and India are “hazardous to world peace.”
He went on to say that the dossier alleging Indian involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan, which was given to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last month, would also be shared with other friendly countries.
The adviser, however, rejected Indian allegations about Pakistan’s support to non-state actors operating in India.
Sartaj Aziz also told media that the visa duration of those who travel to India via Samjhota Express will be extended, adding that the Indian High Commission has been instructed to make necessary changes in this regard.
These comments came after the Delhi-bound Samjhota Express, carrying both Indian and Pakistani passengers, was recently called back from the Wagah border to the Lahore Railway Station after Indian authorities cautioned their Pakistani counterparts of disruptive farmers protests in Indian Punjab province.
Aziz reminded media personnel that the world knows that Pakistan’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Speaking about the resumption of talks between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government, Aziz said that while it depends upon the Afghan leadership, Pakistan is ready to facilitate this process.