National articles

Senate body fails to reach consensus over Election Laws Bill

Senate body fails to reach consensus over Election Laws Bill

ISLAMABAD -The Senate Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights and Parliamentary Affairs could not reach a consensus over the Election Laws Amendment Bill 2011. The bill was introduced by Senator Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari on behalf of the law minister to the committee that met here under the chairmanship of Senator Kazim Khan.
Senator Jehangir Badar, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Senator Raza Rabbani and officials of the law ministry attended the meeting. Senator Raza

CDA mints Rs 1.7m while Sabzi Mandi stinks

ISLAMABAD – The local Sabzi Mandi remains littered with rotten fruit and vegetable though the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has claimed to spend Rs 1.7 million a month to keep it clean. “CDA contractors, in connivance with some officials concerned, have only minted money out of leaving the garbage in the mandi,” said a source requesting anonymity.
The source said encroachments were an added source of inconvenience to customers. The CDA, he said, had also failed to improve


US sanctions Iranian, Turkish firms for missile aid

WASHINGTON – The US Treasury on Tuesday blacklisted six individuals and five business entities in Iran and Turkey for providing materials and support to Iran’s ballistic missile development efforts.
The sanctions target a procurement network that has facilitated more than $7 million in transactions for Aerospace Industries Organisation, which oversees all of Iran’s missile industries, the Treasury said in a statement. The actions ban US entities from transactions with the

NICL scam – FIA not allowed to search AKD’s house?

KARACHI – The high-ups of the authorities concerned are continuously interfering in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) probing the National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) scam as some bitter facts have come to light. Recently, the FIA joint interrogation team was not permitted to search the house of an important personality of the business community as he is an in-law of Amin Qasim Dada, the main culprit of NICL scam.
“The FIA wanted a search warrant for the house of

Caretakers signed Reko Diq deal: SC

ISLAMABAD – While hearing the Reko Diq lease case on Tuesday, Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday observed that the deal was signed under a caretaker government and appeared to have been finalised in a day.
A four-member SC bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday was hearing petitions challenging award of Reko Diq lease contract to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) – a Canadian consortium of

Privatisation commission to have 20 members now

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed the Privatisation Commission (Amendment) Bill 2009, while another bill to amend the Rules of Procedure and Business was referred to the committee concerned.
NA Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi expressed displeasure over the absence of Law Minister Babar Awan, due to which most of the business on the private members’ day could not be adopted. PML-Q’s Dr Attiya Inayatullah said it was the fifth consecutive private

Court defers Qadri indictment

RAWALPINDI – A court on Tuesday deferred the indictment of Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the police commando who confessed to killing Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, his lawyer said on Tuesday. Qadri said he shot dead Punjab governor Salman Taseer outside a cafe after lunch in Islamabad on January 4 because he objected to Taseer’s calls to reform the blasphemy law, which carries the death penalty.
Raja Shuja Rehman, one of Qadri’s lawyers, said that the indictment could not take

US media report on N-programme deplorable: FO

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Tuesday deplored a US media report that dubbed its nuclear programme as a major challenge to the Obama administration’s policy. Commenting on David E Sanger and Eric Schmitt’s article titled ‘Pakistani Nuclear Arms Pose Challenge to US Policy’ published by New York Times on Monday, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said unnecessary alarming reporting about Pakistan’s nuclear programme continued to surface occasionally.

Govt under no pressure to release Davis: PM

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday dispelled the impression that the government was under pressure to release the US citizen involved in the killing of three men in Lahore.
“The rule of law is supreme and no one is above the law. The matter is sub judice, and we will respect the law of the land,” he told Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raeesani and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information

Police set to charge Davis with double murder

LAHORE – After thoroughly examining circumstantial evidences and necessary details, the Lahore Police has reached the conclusion that Raymond Davis did not act in self defence and would therefore be charged with double murder. A senior police official investigating the case said on condition of anonymity that circumstantial evidences, witnesses and autopsy report did not support the statement by Davis, making the investigators believe that Davis had not killed the two youths, Faizan

PM parries Saad’s questions on Davis

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday avoided comments over the allegations levelled by PML-N MNA Khwaja Saad Rafique that the federal government was having two faces over the issue of US citizen Raymond Davis – one for the US administration and the other for the people of Pakistan.
As soon as the prime minister joined the National Assembly proceedings, Khwaja Saad Rafique, on a point of order, sought the attention of the prime minister and asked him why the

Govt says food insecurity scenario reports baseless

ISLAMABAD – The government on Tuesday termed as baseless news reports that warned food insecurity scenario in future, saying that there sufficient stocks of grains including wheat and rice in the country. A spokesman for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture said Pakistan has sufficient stocks of grains including wheat and rice and speculations regarding Food Insecurity in Pakistan are completely baseless.
During last fiscal year 2009-10 Pakistan had a wheat production of 23.3

Devolution body to review curriculum issue

ISLAMABAD – Education Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali on Tuesday said that implementation committee had assured the education ministry that it would review its decision to keep the curriculum issue with the federal government. While talking to journalists after the annual sports day of Islamabad college for Girls F-6/2, he said the ministry had raised the issue of curriculum with Raza Rabbani led Constitutional Reforms Committee for several times and it had assured them to review the

SC seeks comprehensive report from Railways on Rs 40b scam

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Railways chairman to submit a comprehensive reply over the non-transparent procedure for the procurement of 75 locomotives and the subsequent tender for another 150 locomotives by the Railways Ministry, causing Rs 40 billion losses to the national exchequer.
A four-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman, also sought the record of

NAECHS scam – sacking of 2 officers recommended

ISLAMABAD – The special parliamentary committee probing National Assembly Employees Cooperative Housing Society (NAECHS) scam has recommended termination of two top officials of the National Assembly Secretariat from service for their involvement in NAECHS scam.
These sacked officers, Deputy Secretary Tariq Ayub Khakwani and Joint Secretary Shahid Jilani, were already under suspension, Pakistan Today learnt reliably.
The special committee gave these recommendations in its

NGO providing medical aid in flood-hit areas

LAHORE – The Merlin is an international medical aid organsation, known for delivering emergency medical aid and reviving health services. With an experience of aid work in the 2005 earthquake-hit areas, Merlin also is providing the much needed medical assistance to people in the areas ravaged by the last July’s floods.
A press statement issued here on Tuesday said Merlin has been implementing essential health services to over two million people in Kashmir, Balochistan, the

Pakistan ready to evacuate its nationals from Cairo

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Tuesday reiterated that its nationals in Egypt would be evacuated if the situation deteriorated further there and that the arrangements were all set in this regard.
“Pakistan’s embassy in Cairo is closely monitoring the situation evolving in Egypt. If required, and on the information of our embassy, an aircraft would be dispatched to evacuate the Pakistani nationals,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said here Tuesday.
He said the Pakistan embassy