National articles

Pak-US Strategic Dialogue a ‘futile exercise’: Mushahid

Pak-US Strategic Dialogue a ‘futile exercise’: Mushahid

Expressing disappointment over the latest round of the Pak-US Strategic Dialogue, former federal minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Secretary General Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Sunday termed it “nothing but a futile exercise”.
Mushahid was addressing reporters in Peshawar, where he had travelled to attend the Tribal Workers Convention arranged by his party. Beside Mushahid, the convention was also addressed by PML-Q Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)

Qazi slams Taliban for blowing up music shops

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supported the Awami National Party (ANP) in renaming the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), said former Jamaat Islami leader Qazi Hussain Ahmed.
Addressing a gathering on Sunday, he said only ANP wanted to rename NWFP as Khyber Pukhtunkhawa (KP) and both the PPP and the PML-N supported this party. He said that the ANP was also involved in terrorism in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s era in Khyber

Government likely to move SC for early hearing

The government is likely to move an application in the Supreme Court for an early hearing of other controversial and challenged clauses of the 18th Amendment, so that parliament could re-amend it along with Article 175A in one go, Pakistan Today learnt on Sunday.
“If the constitutional reforms committee reaches a consensus on 175A under the light of the SC decision and brings it in the form of 19th Amendment in parliament for passage, the committee may have to go

UN, donors hold back flood aid commitments

The United Nations and major donor countries have not yet provided the committed amount of money to Pakistan to support flood relief and rehabilitation in the country, leaving millions of affected people in distress, sources told Pakistan Today on Sunday.
The major donor countries had committed 1.87 billion dollars in assistance, while the UN had raised about $500 million for Pakistan. But so far, neither the UN nor the donors have provided any significant amount to

PM calls on journalists to improve Pakistan’s image

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Sunday called on foreign-based Pakistani journalists to play their due role in removing all misconceptions about the country on the international front.
He was talking to a six-member Pakistan Journalists Association delegation from the UK, headed by Tahir Chaudhry, at his residence. A representative of a charity organisation called the Muslim Hands was also present on the occasion.
The prime minister said that Pakistan had

British secretary arrives to discuss EU terror plot

British Home Secretary Theresa May arrived in Pakistan on Sunday on a three-day visit to share vital information about the “Europe terror plot”, allegedly planned in North Waziristan.
She will share the intelligence information with Pakistani authorities and urge them to take stronger action against the Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the Tribal Areas.
May arrived in Lahore on the first leg of her visit, and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer received her upon her

More high-level Taliban keen to talk: Holbrooke

High-level Taliban leaders are showing interest in talks with the United States-backed government in Kabul in increasing numbers, as pressure mounts from an intensifying NATO military campaign, a US special envoy said on Sunday.
But Richard Holbrooke, the administration’s envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, cautioned that the feelers so far add up to “contacts and discussions” rather than peace negotiations to end a war now in its tenth year.
“What we’ve got

62 dengue cases show up in Lahore over last 24 hours

As many as 62 new cases of dengue fever have been reported in Lahore while a man has been diagnosed with the virus in Okara during the last 24 hours, a spokesman for the Punjab Health Department said on Sunday.
According to details, 15 cases of dengue fever were reported at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, four at the Institute of Public Health, one at the Post Graduate Medical Institute, 18 at the City District Government dispensary, and the same number of patients were

Senators spin money out of flood relief

Indifferent to the suffering of flood-hit people across the country, some ruling parties’ senators have been busy smuggling luxurious items into the country under the guise of relief goods for the affected people.
An official of the Customs told Pakistan Today that he had witnessed luxury goods worth Rs 2.3 billion get cleared by the authorities under the pretext of flood relief aid, in a single day of duty.
There was no record or a check and balnce on other

Police arrest 8 involved in assassinations

Eight people have been arrested for their suspected involvement in targeted killings in Karachi, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) said on Sunday.
The arrested men were Rizwan Mehmood, Muhammad Umer, Babar Mumtaz, Bilal Zafar, Haneef, Asad, Ishtiaq and Riaz. Of these, Rizwan Mehmood alias Chamber is a political activist and police recovered a Kalashnikov rifle and magazines full of rounds from his possession.
Rizwan has admitted to being affiliated with

6 killed as Karachi boils over again

Six people were killed and 13 injured on Sunday in various incidents across Karachi. One man, Arshad alias Cheeta (45), was killed when two unidentified assailants open fire on him at Bijli Ground, on Jahangir Road in Jamshaid Quarter police precincts.
According to North Nazimabad police, unidentified armed assailants opened fire on Ayub in front of his house. Police said it was an incident of personnel enmity. In another incident, Abdullah (30) was gunned down by

Now Pakistan too can ask US to ‘do more’: FM

The Pak-US strategic dialogue has been upgraded and is based on equality, which allows both sides to demand “do more” to minimise the trust deficit, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday.
“This time, it was a two-way communication unlike the past, which could be marked as a success and a change in the pattern of thinking of the US President Barack Obama’s administration,” he told a press conference at the State Guest House.
“During the talks, we

Liaison committees to be set up in FATA

The government wants to establish more Civil-Military Liaison Committees in all parts of Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) to ensure development activities.
Officials in the FATA Secretariat told Pakistan Today that they had successfully implemented the plan as pilot projects in two FATA agencies, which were giving positive results.
“This is not only a check on the development work but also a support to those tribal people who are fighting the militants

Commercial use of residential units goes unchecked

In spite of increasing security threats the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration is unable to take action against several house owners who are using their houses for commercial purposes. This act is not only a blatant violation of building by-laws, but also creates serious security problems.
“The illegal use of residential houses not only increasing house shortage but also creates security problems, as most of

Ex-soldier eyes historical graveyard

Heavy machinery and bulldozers were seen flattening a 30-year old graveyard in Natha Khan Goth on Saturday, allegedly in a repeated attempt at encroachment by a retired army brigadier.
Consequently, portions of the city’s major sewage drain, locally known as Chakora nalah, which carries sewage from Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Pahlwan Goth, Bhittaiabad and many localities of Malir to the main Korangi nalah, were filled by rubble from the graveyard.
After the incident, a

Bar and bench part and parcel of justice: CJ

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary on Saturday said the bar and bench were part and parcel in the administration of justice in the country.
Talking to members of the Supreme Court Bar after inaugurating the Iftikhar Hall in the Supreme Court building, the chief justice highlighted the value of the bar room, saying it was an institution itself where lawyers shared their views and found opportunities to learn more about their profession.

‘Unification bloc’ urges CM to oust PPP from cabinet

The unification bloc in the Punjab Assembly has been mounting pressure on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to oust the PPP from the provincial cabinet.
A source in the unification bloc – which consists of MPAs of the PML-Q – told Pakistan Today that the group was urging the PML-N to show the door to the PPP at the earliest, as a further delay could spoil relations between the PML-N and the unification bloc.
He said a majority of MPAs affiliated with the