National articles

12 of Qaim’s advisers sacked

12 of Qaim’s advisers sacked

KARACHI – The Sindh government on Monday discharged from their services 12 of the 17 advisers to Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah. Adviser on Information and Archives Sharmila Farooqi and Adviser on Tourism Imtiaz Sheikh and Shah’s close aide Muhammad Siddique alias Abu Bhai were also among those dismissed.
The others included Jehangir Dilawar Khilji, Dinshaw Ankel Saria, Ghulam Qadir Malkani, Babar Leghari, Muhammad Kamran Behan, Mufti Ferozdin Hazarvi, Sardar Aamir Khan Bhutto,

Court will decide Davis’ fate, Zardari tells US

ISLAMABAD – President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday told a US Congressional delegation that the courts would decide the fate of Raymond Davis, the US national detained for killing two Pakistanis in Lahore, as the visiting American lawmakers pressed for his release.
A six-member delegation of US Congress called on President Zardari and demanded the release of Davis, reiterating the American stance on the issue that what the American national did was in self defence. However, the

Accountability laws being rolled into one

ISLAMABAD – The government and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) agreed on Monday to dovetail all the accountability laws for various cadres into one consolidated law for across-the-board accountability. The PPP ministerial team led by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan held talks on the accountability mechanism with the PML-N team led by Senator Ishaq Dar.
PML-N MNAs Zahid Hamid and Anusha Rehman were also at the meeting. Briefing the media after the meeting,

Egypt: mass protests today

CAIRO – Egypt’s all-powerful army on Monday said the people’s demands were legitimate and vowed not to fire on them as protesters, who are demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, prepared a general strike and million-strong marches. In what is seen as a sop, a new cabinet line-up was announced in which widely hated interior minister Habib al-Adly and the previous finance and culture ministers were axed.
But protesters massed in downtown Cairo vowed they would only be

Together we can, say Shahbaz, Khosa

LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Governor Latif Khosa on Monday agreed to run the affairs of the province with mutual consultation and cooperation, deciding not to bring up the past in their future dealings. The two leaders reached the decision during a one-on-one meeting held at Governor’s House.
The meeting was scheduled at 9am but it started about half hour late, and the agenda was not made public. Addressing a joint press conference after their meeting,

Amendments to FCR awaiting approval for 2 years

ISLAMABAD – The amendments proposed to a century-old Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) by the cabinet committee under the then law minister Farooq H Naek in 2009 are still awaiting President Asif Ali Zardari’s approval.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani constituted a cabinet committee in 2008 under the chairmanship of the then law minister Farooq H Naek to propose amendments to the FCR. The committee submitted its report to the PM Secretariat and the Presidency in August 2009 a

No progress on drafting Minorities Protection Bill

ISLAMABAD – Despite its tall claims, the Minority Affairs Ministry failed to accomplish the projects it announced for the welfare of minorities. A ministry official, who requested anonymity, told the Pakistan Today on Sunday that the ministry had announced to draft the ‘Minorities Protection Bill’ to protect the minorities and legislate on Hindu, Sikh and Baha’i Marriage Act but so far no progress was made on the matter.
“The ministry’s plan to launch an awareness campaign on

Shahzain Bugti’s house-arrest continues

QUETTA – House-arrest of provincial president of Jamhoori Watan Party Shahzain Bugti continued for the third consecutive day on Sunday to prevent him from initiating his long march. Heavy contingent of police was deployed at the residence of Shahzain Bugti on Friday to block the long march towards Dera Bugti.
Home Department Government of Balochistan had restricted the movement of Shahzain Bugti and his brother Gohram Bugti under 5 MPO for ninety days. Shahzain and his brother

Two NATO containers set ablaze in Khuzdar

QUETTA – Two NATO supplies containers were set on fire in Khuzdar district on Sunday. According to police three containers were returning Karachi after unloading NATO supplies in Kandahar when some armed attackers opened indiscriminate fire at Wadh area of Khuzdar district, some 360 KM south of Quetta on RCD Highway.
The driver of the first container attempted to speed away but the vehicle turned turtle. However the rest of two containers were halted. The attackers disembarked

1,700 illegal promotions in Sindh police still not retracted

KARACHI – Over 1700 police personnel and officers were illegally promoted during the last 15 years in violation of all rules and regulations. Sources said that a severe divide exists within the Sindh police because these illegal promotions have allowed some officers to monopolize the institution.
On the other hand, many officers despite serving 25 years in the police are working as junior officers under the officer appointed in the last decade. Many officers and personnel got

11 Pakistanis join a cellular network every minute

ISLAMABAD – In every minute 11 Pakistanis join a cellular community, more than 430,000 SMS are sent and 160,000 calls made. Even though the cellular industry pays the highest tax, it contributes 3 percent to the country’s GDP with revenue of Rs 357.7 billion in the year 2009-10 compared to Rs 333 billion in the previous year.
According to official sources, incomes of 6 out of every 1,000 Pakistanis are dependent on the telecom industry. Half of Pakistanis including women have

PIEDMC departing CEO bids farewell to CM

LAHORE – Punjab Industrial Estate Development and Management Company outgoing Chief Executive Officer Gen (r) Tariq Javed had a farewell meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif. The chief minister lauded the outgoing CEO’s performance and in recognition of his work presented him with a momento from the provincial government.
Tariq Javed resigned from his post on medical reasons in November 2010. During his one year at the CEO office, in addition to optimizing

Photo exhibit

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) hosted a photography exhibition by the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), bringing together photographs from across Pakistan taken in flood-affected areas by the its own aid workers. The exhibition will be displayed in Islamabad for a week after which the collection will travel to Lahore, Karachi and Geneva.
The collection of some 30 photographs was chosen from a pool of over 200 pictures by organisers, Stacey Winston

CAA delays construction of airstrip at Thar coalfields

KARACHI – The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is arbitrarily delaying starting construction of an airstrip in Islamkot, Tharparkar district, aimed at facilitating foreign investors to reach Thar coalfields by air. Despite the fact that the Sindh government had released Rs 315 million to the CAA last year, the authority has not spent even a single paisa for the airstrip’s construction.
The provincial government had approved the location of the airstrip with a total cost of Rs

Karachi Circular Railway set to become broken dream

KARACHI – The $1.58 billion Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project might be cancelled as the government is not taking any interest in solving various related issues for the past one year, sources have claimed. One such issue that needs to be handled immediately is the re-lending of funds by the Japanese government.
The government of Japan would invest $1.58 billion for reviving the KCR to mitigate the traffic problems in the city. These funds would be directly provided to the

Altaf demands more provinces to ‘strengthen country’

KARACHI – Demanding that there should be more provinces in Pakistan, MQM chief Altaf Hussain on Sunday said the creation of new provinces will strengthen the country instead of weakening it.
“The Hazara and Seraiki people are demanding new provinces. A referendum needs to be held on the issue,” he said via telephone from London while addressing the largely attended ‘Jalsa-e-Qaumi Yakjehti’ (national solidarity public meeting). He also demanded the government should reduce its

Punjab seeks Centre’s help to arrest US Consulate driver

LAHORE – The Punjab government has dispatched an official letter to the federal government to play its role for the immediate custody of the US Consulate driver and car which ran over and killed Ubaidur Rehman in a bid to help Raymond Davis, Pakistan Today learnt on Sunday.
According to sources, the letter sought federal government’s help to unearth mystery behind the movement and the killing spree of Davis and his accomplices, who managed to escape from the scene. The letter