National articles

Davis case judge goes on leave

Davis case judge goes on leave

LAHORE – District and Sessions Judge Yousaf Ojla, who conducted the hearing of the double murder trial of Raymond Davis, went on a leave on Thursday. According to a local TV channel, Judge Ojla did not appear in the court on Thursday.
Initially, he asked for a day’s leave, however, according said he might extend the leave for to an indefinite period. The apparent reason for his leave at such a time is said to be mere coincidence, but the real motive is yet to be ascertained.

AJK police claim on overseas Pakistanis proves false

LONDON – Inspector General of Azad Kashmir police Dr Tariq Kokhar’s claims of special cells for the grievances of overseas Pakistani’s have proved short lived as Kashmiri community in the United Kingdom sees no improvement in the situation, they face in their home country.
Tariq Kokhar, during his visit to UK last week, addressed various gatherings of overseas Pakistanis across the country and assured them solving the problems they faced at the hands of the corrupt police and

SIC gives countrywide strike call for today

LAHORE – Sunni Ittehad Council has announced countrywide strike on Friday (today) to condemn the release of American national Raymond Davis. Traders’ wings and businessmen associations have been asked to observe a peaceful strike by closing markets, bazaars and trade centres. Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Haji Fazal Karim said the Centre and the Punjab government were responsible for Davis release.

Punjab govt tables 6 bills in PA amid strong Opp criticism

LAHORE – The Treasury faced harsh criticism from the opposition on Thursday over Raymond Davis’ release and the doctors’ strike, but managed to proceed with official business by tabling 6 bills in the house.
Opposition parties in the Punjab Assembly blamed the Punjab government for “ensuring the safe release of Raymond Davis” and asked why Law Minister Rana Sanaullah visited Kot Lakhpat Jail before Davis left the prison. Assembly proceedings began an hour late at 11am under the

NEPRA raises tariff for GENCOs by Rs 0.75 to Rs 2 per kwh

ISLAMABAD – The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has jacked up power tariff by between Rs 0.75 and Rs 2 per kilowatt hours (kWh) for three generation companies (GENCOs) due to the rise in furnace oil prices with effect from March 15.
According to the notifications issued by NEPRA, the tariff for various units of the Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL), Jamshoro Power Generation Company Limited (JPGCL) and Central Power Generation Company Limited

Gilani tells secretary to educate youth in IT

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told Information Technology Secretary Saeed Ahmed Khan in a high-level meeting at PM House on Thursday to immediately develop a project to educate students throughout the country in information technology, with particular focus on the flood-affected and underdeveloped areas.
Gilani said the project would bring in employment opportunities for the youth and help alleviate poverty in the country. He told the secretary to work out

Four varsities functioning without HEC NOC

ISLAMABAD – Four universities of public and private sectors are operating in the country without acquiring no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Higher Education Commission (HEC), which is mandatory for a university to award degrees.
According to an official source, the universities of private sector which have not acquired NOCs include Leads University Lahore, Ali Institute of Education Lahore and COMMECS Institute of Business and Emerging Sciences Karachi. Shaheed Benazir

Men hired by Musharraf still working despite retirement

ISLAMABAD – Despite Supreme Court orders barring contractual employment of retired officers in government departments, 10 officials who were appointed on a contractual basis after retirement in the Planning Commission of Pakistan (PCP) under the government of former president Pervez Musharraf are still employed, some at senior positions.
A senior official said on condition of anonymity that six of the officers in question were working at senior positions as advisers and

Libya warns over air, sea traffic as UN action looms

BENGHAZI – Libya on Thursday warned it could target all Mediterranean air and sea traffic in the case of foreign military intervention, as world powers edged towards tough measures aimed at shutting down Moamer Gaddafi’s military machine.
“Any military operation against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean to danger,” the official Jana news agency quoted Libya’s defence ministry spokesman as saying. “And any civilian or military moving traffic will

Royal Palm cost Rs 290m to Railways, SC told

ISLAMABAD – Supreme Court was informed on Thursday that leasing of Railways land to Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, Lahore caused a huge loss of Rs 290 million.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Ghulam Rabbani was hearing a joint petition against irregularities involving over Rs 25 billion in leasing of Railways land at Lahore to a Malaysian consortium associated by two Pakistani’s Lahore based companies- Husnain Construction

Raymond Davis’ release: doubts and questions

ISLAMABAD – The swift release of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractor Raymond Davis has not only fuelled anger across the country but also left behind many doubts and questions regarding the settlement of the double-murder case, which had been a headache for the Pakistan government for 50 days. Legal experts and Islamic scholars say that the murder charges against Davis were dropped under the diyat (“blood money”) law without issuing certification of successors

Army on board in recent political manoeuvring

NEWSANALYSIS – The top brass of the army is taking keen interest and seems to be fully in the loop, if not behind, the recent political manoeuvres being made on the political chessboard. Highly-placed sources disclosed that both the Chaudhrys, Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi, held a meeting with senior army official soon after their much-publicised meeting with President Zardari. Though the Chaudhrys denied any such meeting, their camp, which has come alive after recent developments,

Jazba Foundation assisting businesswomen

LAHORE – In connection with the third segment of the Jazba Foundation Women Entrepreneurship Programme, a ceremony was held at Royal Palm Golf and Country Club to honour and support 40 courageous and talented ladies. Eleven of these ladies wanted to set up computer academies, twelve sought training as beauticians and would set up beauty parlors, four opted for embroidery work and thirteen went for tailoring business.
In the presence of generous donors like Seth Abid, Mussarat

Militant to serve 120 years in jail

MINGAWARA – Notorious militant, Noorani Gul, was awarded 120 years of rigorous life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 million by an Anti Terrorism Court on Wednesday. Gul, son of Ameer Abbass from Matta, was charged for slaughtering of an employee of education department namely Mohammad Iqbal son of Abdul Sadiq in 2009. He was apprehended during military action. staff report

Hamesh’s friend booked for Rs 56m fraud

HAFIZABAD – Civil Judge Iftikhar-un-Nabi has rejected the bail application of Karam Dad Bhatti in a case of fraud worth Rs 53.9 million and sent him to jail on judicial remand. Meanwhile, the Jalalpur Bhattian police have registered another case against Karam Dad Bhatti, a close friend of former Bank of Punjab president Hamesh Khan and former BoP Jalalpur Bhattian branch manager Asghar Ali on the charges of stealing 750 sacks of rice worth Rs 56.2 million.
Reportedly, the Bank of

EU project to increase life of farm products

FAISALABAD – The European Union has announced to finance a project titled ‘Trade-Related Technical Assistance’ (TRTA) aimed at boosting Pakistan’s economy by increasing the life of farm products. It was stated by international expert, Dr Mike Dillon, at his recent meeting with University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan and Institute of Horticultural Sciences head Prof Dr Amman Ullah.
Dr Mike Dillon has been appointed as a coordinator by United

Drug addict kills father

GUJRANWALA – An addicted youth killed his 55-year-old father in the area if Samanabad for preventing him from using drugs. Deceased Muhammad Ilyas, a cobbler by profession, got his son Ghulam Muhammad admitted in a rehabilitation centre. Ghulam Muhammad managed to escape the rehabilitation centre and axed his father to death.
YOUTH STABBED TO DEATH: A youth was stabbed to death by some unknown assailants at village Jalal Balugan on Thursday. Reportedly, 18-year-old Attique Rehman