National articles

IMF tranche hinges on government’s strategy for circular debt, PSEs’ reform

IMF tranche hinges on government’s strategy for circular debt, PSEs’ reform

ISLAMABAD – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sought a clear plan of action from the government by Friday (today) to end the circular debt issue and reform the bleeding public sector enterprises within the current financial year in order to revive the suspended standby arrangement facility. An official source said the success of the talks hinged on the action plan that the government presented to the fund staff on Thursday and would be finalised today. During the talks, IMF

NADRA report questions 2008 poll credibility

ISLAMABAD – The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) raised questions on Thursday about the authenticity of the 2008 general elections, claiming in a report that more than 56 percent of the registered votes in Sindh turned out to be “bogus”, followed by Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The explosive report that NADRA sent to the Election Commission (EC) revealed that of the 19,755,994 voters (11,055,405 male and 8,700,589 female) in Sindh registered in the 2007 electoral

Pakistan trying not to let Davis issue strain ties with US: FO

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said it was working with the US to ensure that the diplomatic row with Washington over suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis, arrested in January for killing two Pakistanis in Lahore, did not impact bilateral relations.
In response to a volley of questions on the Davis’ issue at her weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua said, “The matter of Davis is sub-judice and it will be a little early for me to say anything in

SC questions SBP’s failure to apprehend wilful defaulters

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to examine why it could not exercise its own jurisdiction to take action against the borrowers who illegally settled their debt without complying with the provisions of Circular BPD-29 and demanded a report by the next date of hearing. A two-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Ghulam Rabbani was hearing a suo motu case about the waiver of loans worth Rs 256 billion by

India training Tamil Tigers: Sri Lanka

COLOMBO – Remnants of Sri Lanka’s defeated Tamil rebels are undergoing military training in India in a bid to revive their separatist campaign at home, the island’s prime minister said Thursday. DM. Jayaratne said an unknown number of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters were based at secret camps in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. “We have intelligence reports of three clandestine training centres operated by the LTTE in Tamil Nadu,” the prime minister said in a

Pasha gets another year in office

ISLAMABAD – Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha has secured a year’s extension in his service, as President Asif Ali Zardari signed Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s proposal on the matter on Thursday. Sources said the president had signed Gilani’s summary wherein he recommended a year’s extension in Pasha’s service. Chief of Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had extended Pasha’s service for a year until March 18, 2011.
Under the

Moonis gets interim bail in NICL case

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court on Thursday granted interim bail to PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi in the National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) case till March 17 against a surety bond of Rs 10 million and two personal sureties of the same amount.
However, the court expressed annoyance over Moonis Elahi’s statements which were made against the courts. The bench headed by Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan granted bail on a plea moved by

PAF No 5 Squadron re-equipped with F-16s

ISLAMABAD – The re-equipment ceremony of No 5 Squadron of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was held at PAF Base, Shahbaz (Jacobabad) on Thursday. No 5 Squadron, one of the oldest squadrons of the PAF, which was previously equipped with Mirage aircraft has now been re-equipped with the newly inducted state-of-the-art F-16 C/D Block 52+ aircraft. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was the chief guest on the occasion. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman also

Devolution of five ministries by March 15

ISLAMABAD – The Implementation Commission for the 18th Amendment set a deadline on Thursday to transfer five more ministries to the provinces in the second phase of the devolution process and decided that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) would not be transferred to the provinces. The commission, which met here with Mian Raza Rabbani in the chair, set March 15 as the deadline to transfer the ministries of education, culture, tourism, livestock and special people to the provinces.

PPP strike call

CONTINUED from page 1 – The unidentified armed men were reportedly roaming in and around business and shopping centres and ordering the closure of shops. The worst incidents of terror took place along the MA Jinnah Road, city’s centre of economic activities, where some unidentified persons threatened traders with loss to life and property if they did not obey their order. In some of the areas, armed men took out rallies and made announcement of strike in the city for Friday (today).

Circular debt, PSEs’ reforms

CONTINUED from page 1 – Similarly, the IMF sought a timeframe for inducting professional management in DISCOs and GENCOs. They also expressed reservations that the benchmarks agreed with the fund in September 2008 for the reform of PSEs had not been implemented. The government was continuously borrowing from the commercial banks to keep afloat the non productive PSEs, which had created a non conducive environment for private investments. The government team briefed the IMF officials

NY court sentences Pakistani to life for killing wife

NEW YORK – A Pakistan-born executive of an Islamic television station, who was convicted of beheading his wife, was given life imprisonment of 25 years on Wednesday.
Muzzammil Hassan was sentenced in upstate New York by Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk following a jury verdict of second degree murder handed down on February 7, The Buffalo News reported on Thursday.
Hassan was co-founder of Bridges TV, established to promote Islamic values, with his wife, Aasiya. Hassan,

Pakistan, US urge tolerance

WASHINGTON – Pakistani and US leaders pleaded Wednesday for religious tolerance at a memorial service in Washington for Shahbaz Bhatti. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, said he decided to hold a service for Bhatti at the embassy as there was an “unconscionable silence” by many Pakistanis who in their hearts are respectful of other faiths. “When Shahbaz Bhatti was murdered and we remain silent, some of us have died with him,” Haqqani told the service attended by US

SHC annuls Sindh CM’s summary for land allotment to peasant women

KARACHI -The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday declared the chief minister’s summary to allot forest land to peasant women as illegal and affirmed the forest land is a national asset. A division bench, comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Imam Bux Baloch, passed the verdict, allowing Indus Development Organisation (IDO)’s constitutional petition that sought declaration of CM’s order as invalid. IDO head Zain Dawood Potha moved the petition through his counsel Qazi Ali Ather

Pakistani charged with illegal nuclear exports

WASHINGTON – A Pakistani national has been arrested and charged with a scheme to illegally export nuclear-related materials to Pakistan from the United States (US), the US Justice Department said on Wednesday. Nadeem Akhtar, 45, who lives in the a Washington suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland, was indicted for conspiring with others to illegally export restricted goods and technology to a Pakistani nuclear power plant and a Pakistani research commission. With an unidentified

Two schools bombed in Khyber Agency

KHYBER AGENCY Terrorists destroyed two government schools and one bridge with explosives on Thursday morning. According to media reports, terrorists planted explosives inside the government girls and boys primary schools in Zakakhael and blew up both buildings. In another incident, the militants blasted apart a bridge in the Atta Kheal area, said the reports.

Amn Committee like MQM’s KKF: Mirza

KARACHI – The People’s Amn Committee is a welfare organization, similar to Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation, Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Al-Khidmat, or even the Edhi Foundation, argued Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza on Thursday during a media interaction after the Sindh Assembly session.
“The Amn Committee is becoming popular among the masses, which means that they are doing something good,” Mirza said, adding that the MQM’s allegations against the