National articles

Rs 825 million mega scam brewing in Interior Ministry

Rs 825 million mega scam brewing in Interior Ministry

ISLAMABAD – A mega scam in the federal Interior Ministry involving embezzlement of Rs 825 million is in the making, as officials have not provided auditors with the details of the money credited into the government’s account. Documents available with Pakistan Today reveal that the Interior Ministry had issued 88,838 arms licenses in 15 months from March 28, 2008 to June 30, 2009.
The estimated fee collected by the Interior Ministry for these arms licenses was Rs 515.51 million

Pakistan, India agree to carry dialogue forward

THIMPHU – The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan on Sunday affirmed the need to carry the dialogue process between the two countries forward. In a meeting in Bhutan, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and his Indian counterpart, Nirupama Rao also agreed on the need for a constructive bilateral dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues.
According to a press release, the meeting was held in “pursuance of the mandate given by the prime ministers of India and Pakistan,

Davis issue should be handled maturely, says PM

LAHORE – The issue of Raymond Davis is “very sensitive and should be resolved maturely”, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Sunday. He said everybody should be careful about the matter as it was sub judice.
“Foreign countries are approaching Pakistan in this regard through diplomatic and congressional channels to resolve the issue, but we have advised them to contact the country’s court,” he said. He said the re-sizing of the federal cabinet would take place in line with

Dozens of ‘dubious diplomats’ roaming the country

ISLAMABAD – The ongoing investigation into the killing of two Pakistanis by American Raymond Davis has led to a startling disclosure that there is no consolidated list of dozens of other such “dubious diplomatic characters” currently in Pakistan on various assignments.
Pakistan Today has reliably learnt that neither the Foreign Office nor the Interior Ministry has any record of foreigners coming to Pakistan on diplomatic passport on visit or business visas. US authorities have

Six foreign-funded militant groups operating in Balochistan

ISLAMABAD – Six militant organisations sponsored – funded and armed by foreign forces – are operating and involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan. According to a report prepared by the law enforcement agencies in Balochistan, the Balochistan Liberation Army, Balochistan Republican Army, Balochistan Liberation Front and Lashkar-e-Balochistan were led by Harbiar Marri (London), Barahamdagh Bugti (Afghanistan), Dr Allah Nazar (Khuzdar) and Javed Mengal (London), respectively.

More rain, snow, likely today

ISLAMABAD – More rain and snowfall is expected in the hills over the next 24 hours, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) forecasted on Sunday. An official of the Met Office told APP that the western disturbance ,affecting central and upper parts of the country, will persist for next 24-48 hours which will cause rain/snowfall over the hills at isolated places in upper Punjab, North-Balochistan, and at a number of places in Kyhyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir on

Govt to axe officials with dual nationality

PESHAWAR – A decision has been made to fire government employees of Grade-15 to 22 who have dual nationality, including four from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Ministry of Defence directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary, IG and Home Secretary as well as officials from FIA, NADRA and other organisations to obtain affidavits from those who have dual nationality and details of their unofficial foreign visits.

Hekmatyar’s party condemns suicide attacks

KABUL – Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami Party on Sunday condemned suicide attacks, with Hekmatyar’s deputy Qutbuddin Helal calling them prohibited and cruel. “Killing civilians is a brutal act and the party sees any kind of attacks that cause civilian deaths against Islamic practices and law,” Helal told an Afghan news channel.
“Killing civilians is prohibited. We cannot call it an Islamic act. Suicide attacks in public and civilian locations are not acceptable in Islam at

36 peasants released from landlord’s illegal detention

MIRPURKHAS – Thirty-six peasants including women and children were released from illegal custody of a landlord by Pithoro police on Sunday. Pithoro Police Station Station House Officer (SHO) Ghulam Haider Kaniyo reported that a police raid was carried at the agricultural land of Zamindar Shareef Shahani late at night on a Sindh High Court Circuit bench (Hyderabad) order.
He said that all released peasants were now secure and in police custody. He said the released peasants would

Landmine explosion in Dera Bugti kills FC man

QUETTA – An official from the Frontier Corps was killed in a landmine explosion in Dera Bugti and a vehicle of Uchh gas field escaped a bomb attack in Jaffarabad district on Sunday. According to report FC personnel Sibtain Shah was on his way home within the jurisdiction of Pir Koh when he suddenly stepped on a landmine.
He sustained critical wounds in the blast and was shifted to the PPL hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. In another incident, a vehicle carrying

Man kills infant daughter in Okara

OKARA – A man allegedly killed his newborn daughter here the other day. The tragic incident took place in the Chokhak Police jurisdiction. Police said the infant, Komal, died when her father dashed her to the ground in a fit of rage. Tasleem Bibi, the mother of the infant, said her husband Muhammad Sharif was not happy over the birth of the baby girl Komal.
Tasleem said she was breast-feeding Komal when her husband came home with three related women Khurshid Bibi, Maqsood Bibi

Gunmen shoot Hindu trader dead

QUETTA – A Hindu trader was kidnapped and killed by armed men on Sunday. According to police, Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Multani Muhalla was going to his shop when unidentified armed men intercepted him on Patel Road, held him up at gunpoint and then killed him when he tried to escape.
Police reached to the scene and shifted the body to Civil Hospital Quetta for autopsy. Hospital sources said the bullets were fired at his head which killed him instantly. Balochistan Minister for

No cabinet downsizing in Balochistan: Raisani

QUETTA – Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani Sunday said the coalition government was working smoothly, adding that no suggestion was under consideration about downsizing of the provincial cabinet.
Talking to Online, Raisani noted that there had always been a coalition government in Balochistan as no political party ever gained majority in the assembly to form the government without support of others.
The chief minister said all parliamentary leaders

Centre consults KP government for two weekly offs

PESHAWAR – Owing to the severe financial crisis in the country, the federal government has contacted the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for two holidays in a week. The suggestion was presented by the Ministry of Finance after which the Cabinet Division and the ministry contacted the provincial Home Ministry and also sent letters to the chief secretary.
It was mentioned in the letter that in order to control the financial crisis and fiscal deficit, all the provincial governments

‘Egypt meeting inconclusive’

CAIRO/WASHINGTON – Egyptian opposition groups said on Sunday a meeting with Vice-President Omar Suleiman was positive but had done nothing specific to meet their demands for a complete political overhaul in Egypt.
Abdel Monem Aboul Fotouh, a senior member of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood which joined the talks despite the fact it is officially banned, said the government statement represented “good intentions but does not include any solid changes.” “We need President Mubarak

World Social Forum starts as turmoil strikes Arab world

DAKAR – Some 10,000 people marched through Dakar on Sunday at the start of the annual World Social Forum, an annual leftist gathering taking place as anti-government protests sweep the Arab world. The 11th edition of the forum, an alternative to the elite World Economic Forum held in the posh Swiss ski resort of Davos last week, brings together anti-globalisation activists opposed to capitalism.
This year participants are focusing on the popular revolt spreading across northern

‘Deal signed to supply Iranian fuel to Afghans’

TEHRAN – Iran said on Sunday it had reached an agreement with Afghanistan to supply Iranian fuel to the war-torn country and started supplying the products to its neighbour’s private sector. Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi said, “Afghanistan’s private sector buys all its needed products from Iran,” the oil ministry news service Shana reported.
“Oil products were already transited to Afghanistan and we hope from now on this country makes all its (fuel) purchases from Iran as there