National articles

PAC meeting – ‘DHA City’ status, Defence sec feigns ignorance

PAC meeting – ‘DHA City’ status, Defence sec feigns ignorance

ISLAMABAD – Secretary Defence Lt General (retd) Syed Athar Ali Khan on Thursday failed to tell the status of DHA City Lahore to the Public Accounts Committee.
During PAC meeting, when Riaz Fitana asked the secretary defence to clear the position of DHA City Lahore, secretary defence said, “Either DHA City Lahore is the part of Defence Housing Authority or it is a private entity and if it has been launched by a private company then why is the name ‘DHA’ being used?”

36 days on – JUI-F, MQM ministers’ resignations still not accepted

ISLAMABAD – The government continues to sit on the resignations of the JUI-F and the MQM ministers despite the fact that they had stepped down a month ago, expecting that its two estranged allies might rejoin the federal cabinet.
The resignations seem to have gone lost somewhere on the road between the Presidency and the Prime Minister’s House. The PM House says that the resignations have been sent to the Presidency while the presidential spokesman denies receiving them.

Cash-strapped govt doles out Rs 330m to FATA MNAs

ISLAMABAD – The numbers-weak and cash-strapped PPP government on Thursday doled out Rs 330 million in “development funds” to 11 independent MNAs from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani approved the provision of Rs 30 million for each MNA representing FATA for “identification of public welfare projects”. Talking to a delegation of FATA MNAs and Senators led by Haji Munir Khan Orakzai, Gilani asked the FATA legislators to work out the

Cabinet Committee finalises recommendations to restructure PSM

ISLAMABAD – The Cabinet Committee on Restructuring (CCOR) on Thursday finalised recommendations for the restructuring of the Board of Directors for the loss making Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways and National Transmission and Distribution Companies.
The recommendations of CCoR will be submitted for consideration of the federal cabinet before their final approval. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the CCOR meeting, which was attended by ministers for power,

NDFC-NBP merger – CJ urged to take notice of ‘plundered’ Rs 120 billion

ISLAMABAD – Chairman NDFC Employees Welfare Action Committee Imtiaz Ali Khuhro has made an appeal to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take cognizance of ‘worst-ever plunder of the national exchequer’ to the tune of Rs120 billions in the name of merging NDFC in the national Bank of Pakistan.
Addressing a news conference here at the Supreme Court on Thursday, he said the merging of the NDFC in NBP was meant to facilitate the loan-defaulters in connivance

‘Hang Musharraf for high treason’

ISLAMABAD – Dr Abdul Basit, counsel for two PCO judges of the Lahore High Court, pleaded in the Supreme court on Thursday for proceedings against former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf for high treason and that he be hanged for “his unconstitutional acts of November 3, 2007”, which led to the ouster of over 60 judges of the superior courts.
A bench of Justices Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Jawwad S. Khawaja, Khilji Arif Hussain and Tariq Parvez, was hearing a contempt of

Wajid new Islamabad IG

ISLAMABAD – The presidential camp prevailed over the prime minister’s camp as Islamabad Inspector General of Police Syed Kalim Imam was replaced with Wajid Durrani on Thursday. Durrani was serving as Karachi additional IG, but was now appointed Islamabad IG for his proximity with President Zardari. Sources told Pakistan Today that PM Gilani had been resisting for quite some time but finally submitted to the pressure. and agreed to change the top cop.

Mirza may be made federal minister

ISLAMABAD – Speculations are rife in the federal capital that to appease the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the government is likely to pull Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza out of the province and elevate him as a federal minister.
A federal government source told Pakistan Today that while the MQM leaders publicly claimed that their party had no reservation against Mirza, who is a close confidante of President Asif Ali Zardari, it had conveyed to the government that the

IHC rejects pleas seeking stop to Qadri’s trial

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday rejected two pleas seeking end of the trial of the assassin of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, and a quashment of the FIR registered against him under Section 302 for killing Taseer.
The petitioner, Malik Zafar Awan advocate, in two separate petitions, pleaded before Justice Muhammad Anwar Kasi, that Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code applied to those who committed unjustified murder.

50 killed in Iraq bombings

KARBALA – At least 50 people died in a spate of explosions across Iraq on Thursday, including 45 in twin suicide car bombs that rocked the holy city of Karbala, the third major attack in as many days. The attacks mostly targeted pilgrims marking the Shias mourning day of Arbaeen, and were the latest in a series of bombings that have shattered a relative calm in Iraq following the formation of a new government last month.
In Karbala, home to the shrines to two revered Shia imams,

Wrong men convicted of Daniel Pearl murder

WASHINGTON – The wrong men were convicted of murdering US reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan in 2002, and US officials stood in the way of the real murderers being brought to justice for the grisly crime, a report released Thursday says.
British-Pakistani Omar Sheikh and three other men who were convicted of killing Pearl were not even present when the Wall Street Journal reporter was murdered, says the Pearl Project report, which was led by

Shaikh briefs Likeminded

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded leadership was briefed and their help sought on country’s present economic challenges by Federal Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Thursday. The PML-Likeminded leaders, including Senators Salim Saifullah, Haroon Akhtar and Kashmala Tariq met Hafeez Shaikh at the Ministry of Finance on the latter’s invitation. They assured Hafeez of their full cooperation.

Opp in PA grills Rana

LAHORE – Punjab Law minister Rana Sana Ullah faced the toughest day in the house since Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) took over the charge of the present legislative assembly.
Opposition members made harsh comments about the Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah, reminding him that “we know what he was and what he used to say about PML-N leaders,” adding that they even had evidence to support this claim.
They did not let Sanaullah speak

PC looking to launch $ 3 billion convertible petroleum bonds

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatisation was informed on Thursday that the government could generate $3 billion through the launch of convertible bonds for the three state owned oil and gas entities of OGDCL, PPL and PSO.
The Minister for Privatization Waqar Ahmad Khan informed this while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatisation, chaired by Khawaja Sohail Mansoor here on Thursday.
The minister said that the

PPP finalises Masud Kausar’s name for KP governorship

PESHAWAR – Though PPP high command has finalised the name of Barrister Masud Kausar for the office of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor, but Awami National Party leadership is in favour of a non-controversial figure for the slot.
Pakistan Today learnt through highly reliable sources the PPP leadership had decided with consensus to post Barrister Masud Kausar as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor. Besides Barrister Masud Kausar, MPA from Lakki Marwat Anwar Saif Ullah Khan was also amongst the

Latif Khosa links KBD to provinces’ consensus

LAHORE – Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa has said that all dams, including Kalabagh, must be built, but after removing the reservations of all the provinces.
He was talking to media people during his first interaction with PPP beat reporters at the Governor’s House on Thursday. He said the country was in dire need of new big water reservoirs but these should not be constructed at the cost of the national unity, but with the consensus of the provinces.
The governor,

RAF chief visits Air headquarters

ISLAMABAD – United Kingdom’s Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Stephen Dalton along with a delegation visited Air Headquarters Islamabad on Thursday.
On his arrival at Air Headquarters, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman received the distinguished guest, said a PAF statement. A Pakistan Air Force contingent presented the Guard of Honour to the guest. After reviewing the Guard of Honour, the Royal Air Force chief was introduced to Principal Staff