National articles

Durrani warns of ‘long march’ over land scam

Durrani warns of ‘long march’ over land scam

ISLAMABAD – Chief of Muttahida Mahaz Bahawalpur (MMB) and former information minister Senator Mohammad Ali Durrani Saturday warned the Punjab government of a long march if the ‘loot sale’ of Bahawalpur state lands is not stopped.
Addressing a press conference, Senator Durrani warned those who had acquired the state lands to vacate the lands or be ready to face public wrath. “Those who have bought these lands as front men of the influential will be tagged as ‘traitors’ of the

Pakistan needs allies’ patience and help as it battles extremism

LAHORE – In a report published by the Washington Post on Saturday, President Asif Ali Zardari wrote that just days before her assassination, his wife, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, wrote presciently of the war within Islam and the potential for a clash between Islam and the West, “There is an internal tension within Muslim society. The failure to resolve that tension peacefully and rationally threatens to degenerate into a collision course of values spilling into a clash between Islam and

Malik discusses law and order with Altaf

ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Rehman Malik phoned Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain on Saturday and discussed various issues with him including law and order situation in Pakistan. Both of them discussed the political situation in the country and agreed that stringent security measures were required for the protection of life and property of the citizens, said a press release.
Rehman Malik told Altaf Hussain that terrorists wanted to destabilise the country

APML seeks judicial inquiry into Lal Masjid operation

LAHORE – The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) urges the federal government to hold a free and independent judicial inquiry into the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa operations, APML Vice-President Major General (r) Rashid Qureshi said on Saturday. He was speaking at a press conference at the Lahore Press Club. The former presidential spokesman said that former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf’s government did not harm civilians and took every decision in the national interest.

Key ally leaves Manmohan govt

NEW DELHI – A key regional party from south India said Saturday it had withdrawn from the ruling national coalition, dealing a new blow to the embattled government but still leaving it with a sturdy majority. The Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) said it had been unable to come to an agreement with the Congress party for elections in the state of Tamil Nadu, leading it to withdraw from the embattled federal coalition and offer issue-based support.
The move is the latest challenge

Smith wary of England backlash

CHENNAI South African captain Graeme Smith said he expected to face a fired-up England following their humiliation by Ireland, when the Test rivals met in a World Cup match on Sunday. Andrew Strauss’s team were victims of one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history when Ireland, inspired by Kevin O’Brien’s record-breaking 50-ball century, chased down a 328-run winning target in Bangalore on Wednesday. It was a victory that threw the race for quarter-final places from Group B wide

Punjab govt to explore new horizons of livestock industry

FAISALABAD – Punjab government is going to set-up a milk and meat safety agency to explore new horizons of business opportunities in dairy and livestock industry. Livestock and Dairy Development Provincial Secretary Jahanzeb Khan said this while addressing the participants of the concluding session of a three-day international conference titled “Technological and scientific aspects of dairy products with special reference to French Cheeses.”
He was the chief guest at the seminar

‘Kitchen Garden Project will cheapen vegetable prices’

HAFIZABAD – The Kitchen Garden Project is Punjab government’s revolutionary step to increase vegetables’ production as well as provision of cheap vegetables to the consumers. Punjab Kitchen Garden Project Director Asghar Khan said this while addressing a seminar held at Hafizabad.
He said the objective of introducing this project was not only to create a new trend of growing vegetables at domestic level but also to provide cheap vegetables to the people of the province. At least

City govt told to remove encroachments

GUJRANWALA – District Coordination Officer (DCO) Barrister Nabil Ahmad Awan has directed the city district government officers to remove encroachments to the facilitation of commuters and timely completion of development projects.
Presiding over a meeting at committee room, the DCO directed the Gujranwala Development Authority Director General to remove all encroachments from the College Road, Noshera Road and Gurunanikpura.
Six SHOs transferred in Gujranwala: Station House

Freed criminals revert to criminal activities

SIALKOT – As many as 150 notorious criminals, freed by the local courts on bails in Sialkot, have re-indulged themselves into the criminal activities. Sialkot District Police Officer (DPO) Bilal Sadique Kamiyana said this while talking to the journalists.
He added that the Sialkot police had arrested the said 150 notorious criminals in last two months, in more than 450 cases. He said these accused were sent to the Sialkot district jail on separate judicial remands according to

TMA will retrieve state land: DCO

MURIDKE – Sheikhupura District Coordination Officer (DCO) Ibrar Ahmed Mirza has said the encroachers in the city will find it difficult to run their illegal activities in the coming days as the tehsil municipal administration (TMA) has launched a campaign to retrieve the government’s land and clear the city of encroachments.
During his visit to Muridke, the DCO also expressed his unhappiness over the performance of the TMA’s sanitary staff and the local administration after

Rescue 1122 saved 948 lives in February

SAHIWAL – Sahiwal Rescue 1122 responded to 827 emergency calls last month and saved 948 precious lives including 335 involved in traffic accidents and 13 in fire accidents.
District Emergency Officer Dr Zafar Shah said that emergency service received 23,149 calls out of which only 827 were related to any emergency. An average rescue time was 6.89 minutes during which 332 people were provided with instant first aid while 616 were shifted to hospitals.

MPs ask Malik to step down, he says no

ISLAMABAD – All political parties, including the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), demanded on Friday that Interior Minister Rehman Malik resign for not providing adequate security to slain Minorities Affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti.
Malik, however, refused to resign and accept responsibility, saying that no such precedence existed as hundreds of people were killed in a number of terrorist attacks in Punjab but no one had resigned. It was not only the opposition parties that

Judges’ extensions – SC overturns parliamentary body’s decision

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court overturned on Friday a Parliamentary Committee decision rejecting a yearlong extension to six additional judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) and Sindh High Court (SHC) and told the government to issue a notification granting the extension in line with the recommendations of the Judicial Commission in February.
A four-member bench comprising Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice

10 killed and 38 hurt in Nowshera mosque blast

PESHAWAR – A bomb attack on a packed mosque adjoining Akhun Panjoo Baba’s shrine in Nowshera district’s Akbarpura town, killed 10 people and injured 38 as it ripped through Friday prayers. Hundreds of people were coming out of the mosque or waiting for a charity meal (langar) when the bomb, planted inside the building, went off.
Witnesses described scenes of panic, the mosque’s windows and doors blown out by the strength of the explosion and blood sprayed on the building walls.

India willing to discuss Kashmir with open mind: Singh

JAMMU – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday he was approaching new peace talks with Pakistan with an “open mind”, saying all disputes, including the long-running feud over Indian-held Kashmir, would be discussed.
New Delhi and Islamabad announced on February 10 that they would resume full peace talks which were suspended more than two years ago. “We wish to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries through friendly dialogue and constructive and

Bhatti laid to rest as thousands mourn his killing

KHUSHPUR/ISLAMABAD – Shouting ‘death for killers’, thousands of people on Friday buried the country’s only Christian government minister who was killed for seeking a review of the country’s blasphemy laws. Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, an outspoken campaigner against the blasphemy law, died in a hail of bullets as he left his mother’s home in the capital Islamabad on Wednesday.
Wailing women in his ancestral mainly Christian village Khushpur, 290km south of Islamabad in Faisalabad, beat