National articles

NAB allows probe against PML-N MNA for Rs 6b fraud

NAB allows probe against PML-N MNA for Rs 6b fraud

ISLAMABAD – The executive board meeting of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday approved complaint verification against PML-N MNA Anjum Aqeel for his alleged involvement in a fraud of Rs 6 billion in the non-transfer of land to National Police Foundation (NPF).
The meeting also approved filing of 11 references against corrupt officials while six complaints were also approved for verification. A source told Pakistan Today that there was enough material against the

Pakistani troop killed in fire exchange with Afghan forces

PESHAWAR – The security forces on Wednesday said its one soldier was killed and 3 others sustained wounds when the Afghan National Army fired some 10 mortars on a security check post at Ghulam Khan over the Pak-Afghan border some 25 kms from Miranshah in North Waziristan.
No confirmation of the report could be received from Inter-Services Public Relations till the filing of this news report. Afghan authorities were holding Pakistani forces responsible for what they said an

Davis’ issue takes centre stage in PPP moot

ISLAMABAD – The issue of Raymond Davis, our mole said, worried President Asif Zardari the most and he visibly looked flustered while chairing the meeting of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s core committee on Tuesday night as he shared with his close aides the enormity of external and internal pressure he was faced with after the Lahore incident.
“It is a difficult situation,” the president was quoted as saying while referring to the arrest of the American citizen who had

3m illegal immigrants, other than Afghans, living in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Senate was told on Wednesday that around three million illegal immigrants, excluding Afghans nationals, were living in Pakistan. “Among these three million, 50,000 are African people and 35,000 out of them are living in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi while the remaining are living in other cities of the country,” State Minister for Interior Affairs Tasnim Ahamd Qureshi told the Upper House.
The state minister also said four cases were registered in 2008, two in

Political activities in FATA await president’s nod

ISLAMABAD – Having announced the lifting of ban on political activities in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the Independence Day in 2009, President Asif Ali Zardari is yet to sign a presidential order to give effect to his announcement. “Today I am announcing the permission of political activities in the Fata to bring them into the main political stream,” he had said.
Talking to Pakistan Today Akhanzada Chattan demanded of the president to issue presidential

Parliamentary committee rejects appointment of four judges

ISLAMABAD – Accepting Judicial Commission of Pakistan’s proposed one year extension of 20 additional judges of the Lahore High Court, the parliamentary committee on judges’ appointment on Wednesday rejected extension of four additional judges of the High Court.
The committee which met here with Senator Nayyar Hussain Bukhari in the chair rejected JCP’s proposal for granting one year extension to four additional judges of the LHC including Justice Mazhar Ali, Justice Yawar Ali,

‘Equation of civil-military relations requires patience’

ISLAMABAD – Eminent political and defence analysts and intellectuals on Wednesday said establishing a constitutional equation of Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan required patience, maturity and continuation of democracy.
A discussion on “Civil Military Relation in Germany, Lessons for Pakistan”, was organised by PILDAT, a Pakistani think-tank that focuses on political and public policy research and legislative strengthening. The panelists who participated in the discussion

MQM presents 9-point agenda

ISLAMABAD – The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Wednesday presented a 9-point agenda for economic reforms in the country with taxation of agricultural income at the top. Addressing a press conference, senior party leader Dr Farooq Sattar said the purpose of the agenda was to bring reforms in taxation system, adding that it particularly demanded the government impose agriculture tax.
Sattar claimed that by applying this agenda, the government could get additional resources of Rs

PPP won’t destabilise Punjab govt: Zardari

ISLAMABAD – President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday refused a proposal by a party MPA to allow the party leadership to sit on the opposition benches and try to topple the government of PML-N in Punjab with the help of the PML-Q legislators, saying the PPP would not weaken the PML-N government.
“Ruling Punjab is a right of the PML-N and it was me who had asked Nawaz Sharif soon after the 2008 elections to use his right to form a government in Punjab. Now we should not weaken the

Nisar demands govt furnish list of visas issued beyond limit

ISLAMABAD – Opposition Leader Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday demanded the government present a list of visas issued to embassies beyond their sanctioned strength to the Senate and National Assembly standing committees on interior and foreign affairs.
“The federal government is responsible for the Lahore incident, as it turned a blind eye to the activities of such foreigners who move freely across the country carrying unlicenced arms,” he said while speaking on a point of order. He

NA body directs SSGC not to renew JJVL agreement

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum on Wednesday directed the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) not to renew the contract its LPG extraction contract with the Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) despite the Sindh High Court’s Tuesday orders that allowed SSGC to do so.
The committee said the contract should not be renewed without a fresh bidding process; however, it permitted gas supplies during the interim period. Committee chairman Shaikh

Sherry to withdraw blasphemy bill

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD – Former Information and Broadcasting minister Sherry Rehman has decided to withdraw her bill from the parliament that proposed amendments to the blasphemy laws. “Keeping in view the policy of my party, I’ve decided to withdraw the blasphemy amendment bill,” she told reporters.
“My purpose of introducing the amendment in the blasphemy laws was to discourage the misuse of the law”. Certain quarters threatened Sherry with dire consequences in case she refused to

FIA asks UK govt to seize Moonis, Mohsin’s accounts

LAHORE – The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday requested the British government to seize the bank accounts of Moonis Elahi and Mohsin Habib Warraich, both involved in the Rs 2.5 billion National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam.
The FIA also requested the UK government to extradite Warraich. According to FIA sources, Moonis’ name was included by the FIA investigators in Abdul Maalik’s statement. Maalik was Moonis’ manager. Sources said Moonis’ bank account

PML-N won’t give up 10-point agenda

ISLAMABAD – The PML-N on Wednesday said it would try to persuade the PPP government to implement the 10-point agenda until the last minute of the 45-day timeline.
Briefing reporters after a lengthy session that lasted more than four hours, the heads of the two teams, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and PML-N’s Senator Ishaq Dar said the meeting comprehensively reviewed progress on the 10-point agenda, but another meeting would take place on February 8 to discuss the sub

Peshawar car bomb kills 10

PESHAWAR – At least 10 people, including two children and two women, were killed and another 32 were injured when a car bomb exploded at Badhabher area of Peshawar on Wednesday. Police said an explosives-laden vehicle had been parked near a bazaar on Teleband Road.
They said the target was the Badhabher police station, but the driver abandoned the vehicle near the bazaar after failing to reach the police station due to the crowded marketplace. The explosion destroyed another

Malik hints at immunity for Davis

ISLAMABAD – The government on Wednesday dropped a tacit hint that Raymond Davis, accused of killing two Pakistani youths in Lahore, would be given diplomatic immunity when Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the killer was issued a diplomatic visa after requisite security clearance and Pakistan could not violate “certain protocols”.
“Raymond Davis holds a diplomatic passport … he travelled to Pakistan on a diplomatic visa given after clearance by the security agencies of the

Mubarak’s supporters battle Cairo protesters

CAIRO – Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak, throwing petrol bombs, wielding sticks and charging on horses and camels, fiercely attacked demonstrators in Cairo on Wednesday after the army told protesters to clear the streets. Anti-Mubarak protesters hurled stones back and said the attackers were police in plain clothes, a charge the Interior Ministry denied.
The Egyptian government rejected international calls for the leader to end his 30-year-rule now. This apparent rebuff