National articles

EU will assist Pakistani security agencies

EU will assist Pakistani security agencies

ISLAMABAD: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the programme ‘Civilian Capacity Building for Law-Enforcement in Pakistan’ aimed at assisting Pakistan for capacity building of its law enforcement agencies and to enhance the capability of the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) was signed between the European Union (EU) and Pakistan on Wednesday.
According to MoU, EU would provide technical assistance to build the capacity of provincial police forces in Khyber

Commission submits Tori Bund breach report to Sindh CM

KARACHI: The judicial commission, which was constituted by the Sindh government to investigate the Tori Bund breach that flooded many areas of the province during the recent disaster, submitted its report to the government on Wednesday.
The senior member of the commission, Justice (r) Zahid Qurban Alvi, handed over the sealed report to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at the Chief Minister’s House. The other member of the commission, Justice (r) Ghulam Nabi Soomro, also

‘Blasphemy law doesn’t apply to non-Muslims’

ISLAMABAD: A petition with a contention that blasphemy law, and the subsequent capital punishment under it, does not apply to non-Muslims and women is likely to be filed in the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) tomorrow (Friday).
The petition drafted by Dr Muhammad Aslam Khaki, senior Supreme Court lawyer and noted teacher of Islamic Jurisprudence and Jurisconsult to the FSC, states that according to Muslim jurists, capital punishment for blasphemy could not be accorded to non-Muslims

US adds Pakistan’s charity to terror list

WASHINGTON: The US on Wednesday added Pakistan’s Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, a charity associated with a banned militant group, to its official list of blacklisted terror organizations.
The US State Department said that the Falah-e-Insaniyat (FeF) had been dubbed an “alias” of the militant Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is already on the State Department’s list of “designated foreign terrorist organizations”.
Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s coordinator for

Pakistan must address our concerns over cross-border terror: India

NEW DELHI: Demanding redressal of its concerns over cross-border terrorism in an “effective and transparent” manner, India on Wednesday said it was necessary for a “comprehensive, serious and sustained” dialogue between India and Pakistan.
It also expressed willingness to look at existing bilateral visa agreement that was signed in 1974 to facilitate travel by bonafide businessmen from both the countries amid complaints by a Pakistani industry body that tough visa norms in India

Saudi Arabia pays SR 6.665 million to compensate Pakistani pilgrims

LAHORE: Saudi Minister for Hajj Fawad Salam Al-Farsi on Wednesday handed over a cheque worth Saudi Riyal (SR) 6.665 million to Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Allama Hamid Saeed Kazmi in Jeddah to compensate pilgrims who failed to receive accommodation during Haj this year.
In a telephonic conversation, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Hajj Mission, Makkah Mukarram, stated that the money would be distributed among 26,660 pilgrims who could not get accommodation in a tent city of

Strict UK visa policy global, not Pakistan-specific: UK HC

ISLAMABAD: The restriction on migration from non-European states to United Kingdom was global and not Pakistan-specific, UK High Commissioner Adam Thomson said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“The UK’s coalition government seeks to tighten migration taking place from all non-European Union states,” he said. Steps were recently taken by the UK government to reduce the number of people migrating for work or residence to create more job opportunities for British citizens,

Shahbaz, Malik call on army chief to discuss security

ISLAMABAD: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday called on Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani to discuss the country’s security, with emphasis on counter-terrorism efforts by the military and provincial law enforcement agencies.
“Shahbaz called on the army chief and whenever he meets General Kayani the discussion is only on the security situation,” Senator Pervez Rashid told Pakistan Today. A security official said the army chief discussed matters pertaining to the law

Punjab Police is an unbridled horse, AG tells Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: Punjab Advocate General Khawaja Haris Ahmad on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that police was neither in the control of provincial government nor did it act on its advice.
He appeared before a three-member SC bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, which was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to a clashes taken place between police and lawyers at Aiwan-e-Adl on Oct 1.
The court

Govt needs to put its house in order: Hafeez

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday said the government also needed to put its own house in order by reducing non-development expenditures and cutting the size of the federal cabinet to win the people’s support on the Reformed General Sales Tax.
At a background briefing on the reformed GST, organised by the Information Ministry for newspaper editors and TV anchorpersons, the finance minister was asked whether he was in favour of cutting the size of the cabinet,

SC declines stay on leasing Reko Diq gold mines to foreign companies

ISLAMABAD: A three-member Supreme Court bench on Wednesday declined to grant
a stay order on leasing of the Reko Diq gold mines in Balochistan, worth over $260 billion, to foreign exploration companies.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday was hearing a petition against leasing out Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Balochistan to foreign companies by the federal

Blasphemy convict’s family goes into hiding after death threats

ISLAMABAD: The family of Asiya Noreen, the first woman in Pakistan to be sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, has gone into hiding because of death threats, they said on Wednesday.
Politicians and conservative clerics are at loggerheads on whether President Asif Ali Zardari should pardon Asiya, a mother of five. Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti told reporters that Asiya’s family had been forced to flee their home but declined to say where they were staying

Parliamentary body confirms Justice Chaudhry’s nomination as new LHC CJ

ISLAMABAD: Endorsing the Judicial Commission’s recommendation, the eight-member parliamentary committee on judges’ appointment on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of Justice Ejaz Chaudhry as new chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The committee also elected PPP’s Senator Nayyar Hussain Bokhari as the chairman of the parliamentary committee. Talking to reporters after the meeting, committee member Sabir Baloch said Bokhari had been unanimously elected on permanent

13 Opp senators refuse Zardari’s dinner with GST on the menu

ISLAMABAD: The opposition in the Upper House of parliament on Wednesday stood divided on attending a dinner hosted by President Asif Ali Zardari as 21 Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) legislators attended the banquet while 13 senators of the PML-Nawaz, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and minor parties from Balochistan boycotted the dinner, terming it a ploy to win support for the General Sales Tax (GST).
Those who boycotted the dinner included seven senators from the PML-N, three from

Missing prisoners not in agencies’ custody – Spy masters say they can’t be taken to court

ISLAMABAD: Attorney General Anwarul Haq on Wednesday submitted a reply in the Supreme Court Registrar’s Office on behalf of chiefs of intelligence agencies, who said they or the agencies they were heading could not be made respondents in constitutional petitions.
The heads of the intelligence agencies also said in the reply that the 11 prisoners who went missing from Adiala Jail were not in their custody, adding that petitions filed by legal heirs of the missing prisoners or

Hiraj ‘used Shujaat’s name to get ERRA top post’

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leadership is in a state of shock over the appointment of the party’s MNA Hamid Yar Hiraj as Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) chairman after Hiraj allegedly told Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani that Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain supported his appointment as the ERRA head.
A source close to the PML-Q president told Pakistan Today that Shujaat was neither consulted nor informed. “It came to us as a

MQM endorses GST in committee, JUI-F opposes in Senate

ISLAMABAD: The government’s coalition partners, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F, on Wednesday took a U-turn on their respective stances on the reformed General Sales Tax (GST) bill, with the former endorsing the decisions of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and the latter opposing the bill in the Senate.
In the Senate body on finance’s Wednesday meeting, MQM’s Senator Ahmed Ali, who is the chairman of the committee, said that the proceedings on