National articles

CAA spends Rs 439,129 on protection of airports

CAA spends Rs 439,129 on protection of airports

ISLAMABAD – Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has spent a total amount of Rs. 439,129 million on the protection of its airports in the country during the last three years.
According to official sources in the Defence Ministry, Rs 3,793 million was incurred by CAA on repair and maintenance-fences, Rs 32,630 million on rental and hiring charges security guards, Rs 121,514 million on salaries of vigilance officer and staff and Rs 281,192 million on capital expenditure including

900 Pak students studying in Saudi Arabia to be hired as ‘Khuddam’

ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Religious Affairs will hire 900 Pakistani students studying in Saudi Arabia as Khuddam-ul-Hujjaj for this year’s pilgrimage.
Under the Hajj policy-2011, the number of local Khuddam has been increased from 250 to 900 whom’s services will be hired at 100 Riyals per day, official sources told APP .
“For the welfare services, Medical Hajj Mission has been increased from 260 to 540, while 230 Khuddam will be drawn from Armed Forces, Civil Armed Forces

Pakistani Consul General visits Dr Aafia in Texas

ISLAMABAD – On the instructions of Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani, Pakistani consul general in Houston Aqil Nadeem visited detained Pakistani scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui in Carswell detention facility in Texas.
In a two-hour meeting, Dr Aafia Siddiqui informed the consul general that she was medically fine and was pleased to speak by phone to her mother and children in Karachi on Thursday.
A Private TV Channel quoted a Pakistani embassy official as

Gas pipeline blown up in Dera Bugti

DERA BUGTI – Unidentified attackers blew up a gas supplying junction pipeline in Pir Koh area of district Dera Bugti on Saturday.
Levies officials confirmed that the 24-inch diameter gas pipeline at the Pir Koh Gas Field was blown up by attackers using a remote controlled device. The explosion has affected the functioning process of gas wells and gas supply has been suspended.
Heavy contingent of Levies Force along with the security forces reached the place and cordoned off

No troops cut in Kashmir: Indian Army

SRINAGAR – Ruling out reduction of troops in Kashmir, Indian Army Friday said the terror infrastructure was still intact on the other side of the Line of Control where militants were waiting to infiltrate into the Valley.
“The situation cannot be normal as the militant infrastructure and intent across the border is alive as also their over ground network in the Valley. In this scenario, we cannot reduce the army presence,” General Officer Commanding of 15 Corps Lt Gen S A Hasnain

Afghan-Taliban dialogue – Peacemakers head for crucial talks

ISLAMABAD – In a major development in the Afghan peace process, Pakistan’s top political and military leadership will hold an important meeting with President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan leaders in Kabul today (Saturday) to pave the way for a conclusive dialogue between the Karzai government and the Taliban, with Islamabad also playing the central role of facilitator.
In an unprecedented move, Pakistan’s top political and military leadership will be present in Kabul today with

PML-Q likely to join PPP’s coalition

ISLAMABAD – The power-sharing talks between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) have entered the final phase and the latter may join the coalition government by taking portfolios in the federal cabinet in the second phase of cabinet formation in a few weeks, a government source told Pakistan Today on Friday.
The source said that the PPP had offered 6 to 8 ministries to the PML-Q for the second phase of cabinet formation, which was likely

US, UK, France say Libya’s future with Gaddafi ‘unthinkable’

TRIPOLI – The leaders of Britain, France and the United States (US) said a Libyan future including Moammer Gaddafi was “unthinkable”, as Russia charged Friday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was exceeding its UN mandate in the restive Arab nation.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama penned a joint article dismissing a Libyan future with Gaddafi as “unthinkable” and saying his staying on would

Stakeholders agree to share 25% of gas shortage

ISLAMABAD – A meeting, called to sort out differences on gas load management, unanimously decided to share 25 percent of gas shortage until June 30. However, the final plan would be fine-tuned on April 20.
The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) authorities informed the meeting that the company was supplying 1.85 billion cubic feet of gas per day (bcfd) to its consumers and was facing a shortfall of 400mcfd. The meeting was chaired by Minister for Water and Power Naveed

WSJ recommends 9/11-like ultimatum to Pakistan

LAHORE – Observing that the CIA did not trust the ISI because it had demonstrated repeatedly that it was “not trustworthy,” a top American daily said on Friday that Pakistan needed to be a given an ultimatum along the same lines as it was immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“In the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration famously sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to Islamabad to explain that the US was going to act forcefully to protect itself, and that Pakistan had to

After Babar – Chandio becomes new law minister

ISLAMABAD – President Asif Ali Zardari, on advice from Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, on Friday appointed Senator Maula Bukhsh Chandio law minister after Dr Babar Awan vacated the seat on April 13.
Despite his appointment Chandio may not attend the Judicial Commission’s meeting at 10am today (Saturday) as the oath-taking ceremony is unlikely to be held before the start of JC meeting. Talking to Pakistan Today, president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said on Gilani’s advice,

SC delays hearing of 18th Amend cases in favour of NRO plea

ISLAMABAD – Giving priority to the government’s review petition against the NRO verdict, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry delayed the hearings of petitions against the 18th Amendment, originally scheduled to be held on April 18, till the third week of May subject to availability of the bench.
The CJP said in a brief order that the hearings had been adjourned because of the hearing of the review plea against the NRO verdict scheduled to be

Kurd blames CJP for extra-judicial murders in Balochistan

QUETTA – Former Supreme Court Bar Association president and senior lawyer Ali Ahmad Kurd on Friday stated that there would have been no extra-judicial murders in Balochistan had Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry taken suo motu notice of the murder of former Balochistan governor Nawab Akbar Bugti, a prominent Baloch leader.
Addressing a reception in honour of newsmen at the Balochistan High Court Bar room, Kurd said that being vice-president of the Pakistan Bar Council in

ZAB case can’t be revisited: experts

ISLAMABAD – Prominent lawyers on Friday said the presidential reference filed in the Supreme Court seeking revisit of history was a vague assertion, which did not constitute a question of law.
SM Zafar said the president would have to file a new reference if he wanted to get an opinion on the already decided case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto by the Supreme Court. While talking to Pakistan Today, he said the presidential reference involved advisory jurisdiction of the SC and was a very

Davis’ removal from ECL – LHC issues notice to central, provincial govt

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday again issued notice to the federal and Punjab governments for April 26 on a petition challenging removal of US national Raymond Davis’ name from the Exit Control List (ECL) without obtaining consent of the LHC.
Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey filed the petition requesting the court to seek explanation from former federal law minister Senator Dr Babar Awan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Additional District and Sessions Judge

Assassins expelled workers of MQM: Malik

ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that target killers detained in Karachi were expelled from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) several years ago and had no links with the party anymore.
Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House on Friday, Malik said the elements involved in target killings in Karachi would be taken to task soon, adding that action was underway against target killers and extortionists. He said several target killers had been arrested,

Govt demands disciplinary action against Azfar

ISLAMABAD – The government filed an application in the Pakistan Bar Council’s (PBC) Disciplinary Committee on Friday requesting it to initiate proceedings against senior lawyer Kamal Azfar for professional misconduct, as he appeared in the Supreme Court (SC) on behalf of the government in a review petition against the SC’s verdict on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
The application said that Latif Khosa had replaced Kamal Azfar in the NRO review petition on October 6