National articles

PA discusses irrigation in minister’s absence

PA discusses irrigation in minister’s absence

With no apparent end to the drama, the Punjab Assembly (PA) proceedings on Friday perhaps set a new precedent by holding the general discussion on irrigation in the absence of the minister concerned and the parliamentary secretary as well, which resulted in the treasury’s failure to give its policy statement to open the discussion.
However, the speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal allowed the leader of the opposition instead to speak over the general discussion on irrigation.

SC summons NEPRA chief, WAPDA officials in RPPs case

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) chairman, former and incumbent officials of WAPDA and shareholders of Genco Power, involved in the contract deal for rental power plants (RPP), to appear in court on October 26.
The court allowed them to either appear in person or through their representatives, with the assurance that they would appear in court whenever it asked them to.
A three-member Supreme Court

Mend your ways, Zardari warns Gabol

PPP Co-chairman President Asif Ali Zardari has given a “final warning” to Minister of State for Ports and Shipping Nabeel Gabol for making statements against the party policy.
“Mend your habit of violating party policies or be ready to face the music. If you don’t behave, I will make an example out of you. I will de-seat you and in your place, your servant will be given the party ticket from Layari and he will replace you in parliament,” a source quoted the angry

Man arrested for selling 15-day old son

Shalimar Police on Friday arrested a man who sold his 15-day-old son for Rs 31,000 “owing to financial problems”, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Jameel, the father-in-law of the accused Shabbir, said that his daughter Abida gave birth to a boy, who was named Tauseef, a month ago. He said that Shabbir was unemployed for a long time and on the day of the incident he took his son somewhere and returned home without him. He later told Abida that he had sold Tauseef for Rs

Pakistan in the dark over Kabul peace effort: Gilani

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had agreed to share his peace plan with Pakistan, however, no information has been shared with Islamabad so far.
“Once the information is provided, a decision will be taken on how Pakistan can cooperate,” Gilani told office-bearers of the Diplomatic Correspondent Association of Pakistan (CAP) at Prime Minister’s House.
“The Afghan leadership has yet to share its new initiative of

US to train 1,000 Pakistani women, provide $2b military aid

The US will train 10,000 Pakistani women in various fields and provide $2 billion in foreign military assistance to Pakistan.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureishi held a joint press conference after the end of a third round of US-Pakistan strategic talks on Friday. The announcement of military assistance, which will be delivered over five years from 2012 to 2016, came at the opening of the talks.
Clinton said

Four killed in mosque bombing

At least four people were killed and another 22 injured in a bomb explosion in a mosque in Pishtakhara village in the outskirts of Peshawar on Friday. The explosion occurred soon after the Friday prayers at the mosque, Capital City Police Officer Liaqat Ali Khan told reporters.
Police officials said unidentified terrorists placed an explosives-packed piece of cloth near the shoe rack along the mosque’s boundary wall. Soon after the explosion, senior police officials

No aid for ‘errant’ Army units

The US will suspend military assistance for some Pakistan Army units that allegedly killed unarmed prisoners and civilians, a US defense official said on Friday.
The move was in accordance with US law, which bars providing weapons and training to any foreign military suspected of serious human rights abuses, the official told AFP.
“There are allegations out there. We are concerned about them,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The US

Police reluctant for fear of backlash

The government’s search operation in Karachi – which is in its final stages of planning – has already hit snags as several police officers have expressed their unwillingness to take part in it, citing security concerns for themselves and their families.
The government wants to crack down on criminals responsible for about 1,334 targeted killings this year alone. “But the operation may be delayed because many police officers have refused to participate as they’re

‘Covert’ operation in Karachi

The government has launched a covert operation against assassins in Karachi and another 3,000 policemen will be recruited for the city to maintain peace in the country’s financial hub, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday.
“We will restore peace in Karachi and other parts of the country. Strict action will be taken against those challenging the writ of the state,” he said during a joint press conference with Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Ali Mirza. Malik said

List of companies whose loans were written off by banks

Following is the list of the companies, which had got their loans written off. The State Bank of Pakistan had submitted this list of top 50 public and private companies in the Supreme Court. The list also includes the names of the owners and directors of the companies.
Loans write offs under Banking Companies Ordinance-29 (BPD) among top 50 write offs of Banking Sector: Mercury Garments Industries (Badr-uz-Zaman, Javed Sultan, Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Razi, Muhammad

PPP-media row – PA members trade blame

The scuffle between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) continued on Thursday in the provincial assembly over the issue of the PPP’s tug of war with a media group with the members levelling allegations at each other.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah categorically announced in the House that the PPP should answer to the allegations levelled against it, adding that no individual could claim himself as the ‘champion of

Constitutional committee may not reach consensus it once had

Owing to the political polarisation and worsening law and order in the country, Special Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Reforms is unlikely to reach the consensus it had at the time of the passage of the 18th Amendment.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the 18th Amendment, the committee is again required to review the article 175-A in the Amendment and another amendment will again have to be passed by the parliament by two-third majority to

‘Vested interests’ depriving the poor of low-cost hepatitis treatment

Bureaucratic red-tapism motivated by “vested interests” is creating hindrances in the clinical trial of locally manufactured interferon – a cure for deadly hepatitis – causing losses of millions of rupees to the national exchequer and depriving the poor of cheap treatment, Pakistan Today learnt on Thursday.
A group of researchers working at the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), Centre of Applied Molecular Biology and the Allama Iqbal Medical College

Afghanistan, the Predator society

The Pak-US Strategic Dialogue is taking place only because everyone, including Uncle Sam, knows that the US interest in Pakistan is mainly because of its own major problems in Afghanistan.
Pakistan is central to any solution in the long-suffering country, the US recognises that Pakistan’s stability and well-being is vital for peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.
Gen David Petraeus’ predecessor, Gen Stanley McChrystal, recognised that all ethnicities, particularly the

Lawyers laud SC verdict, urge MPs to implement it

Hailing Supreme Court’s interim order on the 18th Amendment, the top jurists of the country have demanded of the parliament to incorporate SC’s recommendations on Article 175-A which deals with the appointment of superior court judges.
They said that it was now imminent to bring another (19th) Amendment and get it passed from the parliament to implement SC’s interim order; otherwise after the passage of three-months – till the next hearing on 18th Amendment case,

26 articles not touched in SC verdict

In its verdict on multiple petitions challenging the passage of the 18th Amendment by parliament, the 17-member Supreme Court bench only referred to Article 175A back to parliament for review, while the remaining 26 articles were not touched upon by the apex court.
Following are the articles, which were not pondered upon, with a view that a final decision would come after parliament reviewed Article 175A under Supreme Court’s guidelines.
Amendment in Article