National articles

Building trust with Pakistan, Afghanistan a long-term effort: US

Building trust with Pakistan, Afghanistan a long-term effort: US

WASHINGTON: The US has said that building a partnership of trust with Pakistan and Afghanistan required a long-term commitment, as top American officials acknowledged Pakistani efforts in the fight against terrorism operating in the region.
In a joint appearance on an American TV channel, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates noted that Pakistan was working to root out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, as they pledged long-term US engagement with the

Former haj DG arrested

LAHORE: Former haj director general (DG) Rao Shakeel Ahmad was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Punjab in Lahore on Saturday. Earlier, a first information report was registered against Shakeel in the FIA headquarters in Islamabad. Shakeel was arrested on a request by the Interior Ministry. He is accused of embezzling Rs 1 billion on renting apartments for pilgrims’ residence at high rates. The former haj DG was suspended a few days ago.
Meanwhile, Trading

NA sports body chief resigns

ISLAMABAD: Criticising the federal government for making parliamentary committees redundant, chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports, Iqbal Muhammad Ali, resigned from the chairmanship of the body on Saturday.
Ali said he had submitted the resignation to the National Assembly Secretariat. Following reports of the involvement of some Pakistani players in match-fixing and subsequent agnominal defeats, the body had recommended the removal of Ijaz Butt,

Meera down with dengue

LAHORE: Famous lollywood actress Meera again made the headlines on Saturday after being reportedly diagnosed with dengue fever and receiving treatment at the National Defence Hospital, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Meera’s mother Shafqat Bibi said that the actor’s condition was improving.

Missing Afghan ambassador released

PESHAWAR: Afghan Ambassador-Designate to Pakistan Abdul Khaliq Farahi, who was abducted in Peshawar city on September 22, 2008, was recovered on Saturday.
Confirming Farahi’s recovery, his relatives and Afghan diplomats said, “Taliban militants handed over Haji Abdul Khaliq Farahi to his close relatives in Khost, bordering Waziristan, on Saturday.” To relatives said Farahi was on way home to Kabul.
However, no details of the deal enabling Farahi’s release after a period of

NA body likely to throw out GST bill

ISLAMABAD: The reformed general sales tax (GST) is not likely to get through the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance in its present form with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) only having five members of the 17-member committee.
The committee five members from the PML-N, three from the PML-Q and one each from the MQM, the ANP, the JUI-F and FATA. The PML-N, PML-Q and MQM have already announced that they would block the passage of this bill. The ANP and the JUI-F have

Landlord sets labourer on fire for stealing cotton

KARACHI: A farmer was hospitalised with severe burn injuries after he was allegedly set on fire by a landlord and his aides in Kot Ghulam Mohammad taluka of Mirpurkhas district on Saturday.
Thirty-year-old Roopchand Bheel, a resident of Mithi taluka in Tharparkar district had travelled to Kot Ghulam Mohammad to find work. According to Mirpurkhas Action Committee chairman and human rights activist Kanji Rano Bheel, a landlord named Mir Abdul Rehman Talpur in Rabo village, Deh 308,

JCP nominates Justice Ijaz Chaudhry as LHC CJ

ISLAMABAD: An in-camera meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Saturday nominated Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry as Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice after the retirement of incumbent Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif on December 8.
The nomination of Justice Chaudhry, who is the most senior judge of the LHC, will be sent to the Parliamentary Committee, which will send it to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who will then forward it to President Asif Ali

Suu Kyi free after 7 yrs

YANGON: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi walked free on Saturday after seven years as a prisoner in her own home, calling on a sea of jubilant supporters to unite in the face of repression.
Waving and smiling, the Nobel Peace Prize winner appeared outside the crumbling lakeside mansion where she had been locked up by the military rulers, to huge cheers and clapping from the waiting crowds. “We must work together in unison,” she told thousands of waiting people,

Bhotani says locals will resist land allotment to Arabs

QUETTA: Balochistan Assembly Speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhotani said that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was influencing the Balochistan government in the allotment of land along the coastal highway to Arabs and warned that Balochis would resist if they were deprived of their land.
Addressing a press conference at the Quetta Press Club, Bhotani said that the previous government had allotted 70,000 acres along the coastal highway of Balochistan to a federal institution, which

Law Ministry handed out Rs 220m to Bars

ISLAMABAD: The Law Ministry disbursed over Rs 220 million during 2009-10 among various bar associations across the country, the Senate was told on Friday.
The said figures are much higher than the previous amount of over Rs 90 million meted out during 2008-9. In a written reply to a question raised by JUI-F Senator Hafiz Rashid Ahmed, Law Minister Babar Awan told the Upper House that the ministry was provided Rs 80 million as supplementary grants during 2008-09, whereas it had a

Rs 12b tree-plantation drive on the cards

ISLAMABAD: The government has approved a tree plantation campaign, in collaboration with the private sector, which will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 12 billion, Labour and Manpower Minister Syed Khursheed Shah said on Friday.
Replying to supplementary questions raised by parliamentarians during the Question Hour in the National Assembly, the minister said that in the past, forests were ruthlessly cut down for development projects. However, the government was taking

Search begins for two CID attack suspects

KARACHI: Investigators, looking into the attack on the head office of the Crime Investigation Department in Karachi, said on Friday that they are looking for two men – identified by eyewitnesses – believed to be involved in the terrorist act, and also released their sketches.
“Eyewitnesses confirmed that they saw the two men approach the CID building from the railway lines, located behind the office,” an investigator said. The men escaped minutes before the explosion,” a police

GST seeks sweeping powers against tax evaders

ISLAMABAD: Seeking sweeping powers for tax authorities against the tax evaders and approval of 10 percent surcharge on income tax, the government tabled the General Sales Tax Act 2010 in parliament on Friday.
Amidst the rumpus by the opposition in the House, Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh moved the bill, saying the federal government was in an immediate need of additional local resources to relieve pressure on the budget caused by extraordinary

Samjhota train victims’ heirs not compensated yet

MIRPURKHAS: The survivors of the Samjhota Express incident are still deprived of the compensation of one million rupees announced by the Indian government and Rs 0.5 million by the federal government despite the lapse of four years.
Talking to Pakistan Today, a resident of Kharpara, Mirpurkhas, Muhammad Shakeel and his younger brother Muhammad Nadeem said they were coming back from India to Pakistan on late night of 18th February 2007 that suddenly a bomb blast killed more than

Zardari House under security blanket following Taliban threats

ISLAMABAD: Following the gruesome bomb blast at the CID building in Karachi on Thursday, security has been further tightened around Zardari House, located in the heart of metropolis in sector F-8/3 following Taliban warnings of attacking the premises.
Well-placed sources said the entire street had been declared a “Red Zone” and no one would be allowed to enter the premises without methodical checking. It was also learnt that following the Taliban threats, all kinds of political

PML-N says GST will be disastrous for economy

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Secretary Information MNA Ahsan Iqbal has said that Reformed General Sales Tax (GST) will be a disaster for the national economy.
He told Pakistan Today on Friday that GST imposition would entail another wave of price hike and the PML-N would never allowed the enforcement of this tax. He said the government was trying to achieve a revenue boost by imposing a repressive tax but it was mistaken because such an objective could not be achieved in