National articles

The reign at a glance

The reign at a glance

October 1981: Mubarak succeeds the assassinated leader Anwar Sadat, who had made him vice president. He is approved as president in a referendum; the regime subsequently holds regular elections, but not until 2005 are rival candidates allowed challenging him.
May 1989: Egypt readmitted to the Arab League.
June 1995: Mubarak escapes an assassination attempt in Addis Ababa.
November 1997: Jamaa Islamiya kills 68, including 58 foreign tourists in Luxor.

Bahrain’s king hands out cash to prevent protests

MANAMA: Bahrain’s king decided on Friday to give 1,000 dinars ($2,650) to each Bahraini family, the latest step that the Sunni rulers have taken to appease the majority Shia public before protests planned next week.
“To praise the tenth anniversary of the National Action Charter and in recognition of the people of Bahrain…. His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa … will provide the amount of one thousand dinars for each family of Bahrain after adopting necessary legal

Egyptians Celebrate

CAIRO: Stolid determination gave way to waves of elation on Friday as hundreds of thousands of protesters drove Hosni Mubarak from power after rapping at the doors of his tottering 30-year regime. Hundreds of thousands of worshippers had thronged Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the 18-day revolt, where they called on the army to assist with Mubarak’s overthrow a day after he vowed to stay on until September.
“The greatest revolution of the world is unfolding here. The

Worldwide reaction – It’s a pivotal moment for entire Middle East: US

WASHINGTON/LONDON: Here is some reaction from around the world on Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.
UNITED STATES: US Vice-President Joe Biden said the change of power in Egypt was a ‘pivotal’ moment in history for that country and the Middle East. The transition in Egypt must be one of irreversible change, he said.
RUSSIA: Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed hope for stability in Egypt and said, “We hope that the latest events will help the restoration of stability and ensuring

Government seeks 4 days to implement PML-N’s agenda

ISLAMABAD: The government has asked the PML-N to give it four days to come up with an implementation plan on the party’s 10-point agenda. The eighth round of the parleys between the PPP ministerial team, led by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and the PML-N committee led by Senator Ishaq Dar was held on Friday. The government’s team included newly-appointed ministers, Raza Rabbani, Naveed Qamar and Babar Awan. Two members of the government team – Raja Pervez Ashraf and Hina

Senator John Kerry steps in to save Davis

ISLAMABAD: US Senator John Kerry and the US House of Representatives’ Speaker John Boehner have stepped in to secure the release of American national Raymond Davis, currently detained in Lahore for killing two Pakistanis, as the diplomatic row between Islamabad and Washington intensified on Friday after the Lahore Police declared the incident a “cold-blooded murder”, not an act of self-defence.
The US authorities increased pressure on the Pakistani government to provide

PIA crisis ends with MD’s resignation

KARACHI: The ongoing impasse between the PIA administration and employees finally came to an end after four days of violent protests, with the national flag carrier’s Managing Director (MD) Aijaz Haroon’s resignation on Friday.
With the announcement that the MD had resigned, there were scenes of jubilation at the Karachi airport as PIA employees, who were brutally baton-charged and beaten up by the law enforcement agencies earlier in the day, celebrated their success. The Defence

Davis killed youths in cold blood: police chief

LAHORE: Lahore Police chief Aslam Tareen said on Friday Raymond Davis did not act in self defence and killed the two Pakistani youths in cold blood. Addressing a press conference at his office, Tareen said Davis carried out an intentional and cold-blooded murder, adding that the investigation was carried out on merit, which led the police to the conclusion that Davis was guilty as charged. The CCPO said police had submitted a provisional challan, requesting the court to take action

New cabinet takes oath – Old wine in new bottles

ISLAMABAD: With some heavyweights being dropped, 21 federal ministers and one minister of state were sworn in on Friday to complete the first phase of the “lean and mean” federal cabinet, as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani kept the charge of eight ministries with him and picked four new faces for his new team.
President Asif Zardari administered the oath to the new cabinet. Those who had been dropped did not attend the oath-taking ceremony. Shah Mahmood Qureshi was on his way

Mubarak, Egypt!

CAIRO: A furious wave of protest finally swept Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak from power on Friday after 30 years of one-man rule, sparking jubilation on the streets and sending a warning to autocrats across the Arab world and beyond.
Mubarak, the second Arab leader to be overthrown by a popular uprising in a month, handed power to the army after 18 days of relentless rallies against poverty, corruption and repression caused support from the armed forces to evaporate. Vice

Re-employed officers resignation an ‘eye-wash’

LAHORE – Resignation of seven officers which were “re-employed” by the Punjab government is a mere “eye-wash”, as scores of such officers are still working in various government departments across Punjab, Pakistan Today has learnt. Seven important officials considered “dear” to the Punjab government resigned on Wednesday before hearing of the case at the Supreme Court on Thursday, as Punjab government spokesman Senator Pervaiz Rashid termed the resignations “in pursuance of the court

Sindh govt refuses weapon permits to private educational institutes

KARACHI – The Sindh government has refused to issue weapons licences to private schools in the metropolis. After the twin blasts at the Islamic University in Islamabad, the Sindh home secretary had agreed with management representatives of private schools that the institutions would be allowed to keep licensed arms for ensuring safety of students and staff and take strict security measures on their own.
However, the plan of the Sindh Home Department was recently dropped due to

‘Hepatitis-free’ Sindh gets another three years, Rs 5b

KARACHI – After much lobbying and swaying opinions through the media, officials of the Sindh Health Department on Thursday managed to get the provincial government to extend the Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme for another three years – a project that will cost Rs 5 billion.
The last three-year term, worth Rs.2.70 billion, was set to expire soon, and the Health Department had recently started hepatitis screening of different areas to prove the efficiency of the

Rumours about king’s health triggered spike in oil price

RABAT – Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz is alive and in “excellent shape”, its foreign minister said on Thursday after rumours about the king’s health triggered a spike in the price of oil. Abdullah, around 87, has been resting in Morocco since January following a two-month stay in the US where he underwent surgery twice after a blood clot complicated a slipped disc, state media have said.
“I’d like to reassure you about the health of the king. He is in excellent

Timeline of terror in Mardan

PESHAWAR – Mardan, considered a sensitive and important military centre, has been under terrorist attacks for the last several years. The Punjab Regiment Centre (PRC), commonly used for training recruits, was the latest target of militants.
Another sub-training camp of PRC at Dargai Malakand had also been a target in 2006. On September 3, 2010, a suicide attack in Mardan killed at least one person. On June 5, 2009, a roadside bomb ripped through a security force convoy, killing

Lahore Airport staff stops stowaway

LAHORE – Airport officials foiled a young boy’s attempt to flee in the landing gear of a Boeing 777 aircraft parked at the Allama Iqbal International Airport late on Thursday. PIA authorities caught Muhammad Rizwan, 18, and handed him over to the Airport Security Force (ASF) for further action.
Rizwan was wearing a black shawl to mask him in the dark but was tracked down by the authorities. Sources have also revealed that during the initial inquiry, he said he tried to stowaway

Govt seeks Rs 600b budgetary tailoring

ISLAMABAD – The government has sought support from parliamentary political parties for implementing its Rs 600 billion budgetary measures to bring down the budget deficit from over eight percent of the GDP to around the targeted 4.7 percent in the ongoing year.
Talks between the government and the PML-N team were not held on Thursday, as the government sought more time to finalise its recommendations. However, a source in the PML-N said the talks were deferred as two ministers