National articles

Increase in POL prices challenged in IHC

Increase in POL prices challenged in IHC

ISLAMABAD – The recent petroleum price increase has been challenged in Islamabad High Court (IHC). The President of Human Rights Association of Pakistan, M Kokab Iqbal on Thursday filed a writ petition against the recent increase in petroleum and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) prices. The petitioner contended that the government’s decision regarding increase in POL prices was against the article 9 of the constitution.
He said that instead of controlling corruption the government

Police mark 3/3 attack anniversary

Lahore – Mujahid Squad Police on Thursday held a Quran Khawani in the memory of Mujahid Squad and Elite Force martyrs who embraced martyrdom while encountering terrorists attacking Sri Lankan cricket team on March 03, 2009. Superintendent of Police (SP) Mobiles Muntazir Mehdi and dozens of officials from Mujahid Squad and Elite Force were present on this occasion.
Participants recited Quran and prayed for the martyrs including head constable Faisal Rasheed and constables

Detailed budget review stressed

ISLAMABAD – A workshop organised for parliamentarians stressed a detailed review of the budget and stated that there was a need to improve their knowledge about the budget making process.
The workshop organised by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) was chaired by Member National Assembly (MNA) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Khurram Dastagir Khan, Nadeem Afzal Gondal, Waqas Akram, Tahira Aurangzeb, Noor Alam Khan, Begum

Faisalabad mourns Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination

FAISALABAD – Grief, anger and gloom gripped the city after the assassination of Federal Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti in Islamabad who was born in a remote village of Faisalabad and was the only member of Gilani’s cabinet from Faisalabad region. A large number of Christians scattered all over the Faisalabad division are heart broken at the brutal murder of their leader.
The incident has sent waves of fear and a deep sense of insecurity among the minorities who are already

Citizens protest hike in petroleum prices protested

SAHIWAL – The activists of political and religious parties as well as civil society members took out a rally against the increase in petroleum products. Speaking on this occasion, the leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, Tehrik-e-Insaf, Muslim League-N and different religious parties said that the increase in the petroleum prices would raise the rates of all the household items in the market while the poor would be forced to commit suicide. They demanded government withdraw the decision and

Rally held to condemn Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder

SIALKOT- Hundreds of Christians on Thursday afternoon took out a peaceful rally to condemn the assassination of Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti. The rally which was at the city’s congested Allama Iqbal Chowk was led by Bishop Samuel Masih. A large number of people from all walks of life, including political workers, civil society members and the activists of various NGOs and human rights bodies, participated in the rally.
The protesters were holding banners and

700,000 saplings will be planted in Hafizabad

HAFIZABAD – At least 700,000 saplings will be planted in Hafizabad during the spring tree-plantation campaign. Hafizabad Forest District Officer Rana Zahid Ali said this while inaugurating the tree-plantation ceremony held at District Complex Hafizabad. He said that 500,000 saplings would be planted in the private sector and the remaining 200,000 in the public sector departments.
MAN SHOT AT, INJURED: At least six dacoits shot at a man and injured him for resisting a robbery in

19 arrested for gambling on cricket matches

FAISALABAD – Raza Abad police arrested two separate groups of cricket lovers after a tip off that they were gambling on cricket World Cup matches. Reportedly, a total of 19 arrests were made and thousands of rupees recovered that had been put on stake at the cricket match between India and England.
Raza Abad Station House Officer (SHO) Shahid Sarwar Alvi raided two separate places in Raza Abad and arrested Adnan, Bilal, Shahbaz, Sajjad, Ghulam Muhammad, Irfan, Kashif, Shahbaz,

Minorities minister assassinated

ISLAMABAD – Minorities Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated on Wednesday by unidentified gunmen in Sector I-8/3 as he was leaving his mother’s house to attend a cabinet meeting.
Eyewitnesses said that the minister was leaving his mother’s house when the gunmen stopped his official car at 10:50am, riddled him with Kalashnikov bullets and fled the scene, leaving behind pamphlets claiming that the minister was killed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab and al Qaeda because

Cabinet joins heads to revise counter-terrorism strategy

ISLAMABAD – The federal cabinet on Wednesday held a five-hour exclusive session to deliberate upon the country’s worsening law and order situation that led to the assassination of two high-profile personalities in the federal capital within a span of two months.
Condemning the assassination of Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the cabinet members gave their input on how to cope with the terrorists’ strategy of targeting high profile individuals. The ministers also vowed to

SC wants foreign investment, but subject to local laws

ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court neither wanted to block any foreign investment nor was it against it in any way, however, it wanted foreign investment to be subject to local laws.
A three-member bench comprising the CJ, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali and Justice Ghulam Rabbani was hearing a case against the leasing of Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Balochistan – worth over $260 billion – against the

PML-N having trouble reshaping Punjab cabinet

ISLAMABAD – The PML-N government in Punjab is having trouble in reshaping the provincial cabinet after ousting PPP ministers as every other MPA from the Unification Bloc is aspiring to get the ministerial berth.
The allegations of serious malpractice on Dr Tahir Ali Javed, reported by several private TV channels on Tuesday night, have also landed the PML-N in a fix as to whether to induct Javed in the provincial cabinet or not. A source in the PML-N told Pakistan Today that

Govt hoping for $800m from Etisalat

ISLAMABAD – The lingering issue of transfer of properties to the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has been amicably resolved and the government is hopeful to receive the remaining amount of $800 million from Etisalat within the next few weeks.
An official source at the Ministry of Finance said the Sindh government had finally transferred the remaining properties in PTCL’s name while Punjab had already transferred the properties in the name of the company. “The

Raja Riaz replaces Zaheer as Opp leader

LAHORE – PPP Punjab senior leader Raja Riaz was named the leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday after PML-Q’s Chaudhry Zaheeruddin resigned from the post, saying his party always respected other parties’ mandate.
Early in the day, outgoing opposition leader Chaudhry Zaheer submitted his resignation with the PA speaker. Soon after that, Raja Riaz and several other PPP-backed MPAs called on Speaker Rana Iqbal and submitted two applications. The PPP’s two

Pakistan moves to address neighbours’ concerns over EU trade concessions

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has written letters to India and other countries addressing their concerns over a 900 million Euro unilateral trade concessions announced by the European Union in October last year after the devastating floods, which would again come under discussion at the Council for Trade in Goods of the World Trade Organisation in Geneva on March 21.
Commerce Secretary Zafar Mehmood told a meeting of the Senate body on commerce that the letter written by Commerce Minister

US assault ships clear Suez, enter Mediterranean

WASHINGTON – Two US amphibious assault ships have reached the Mediterranean Sea, a US official said on Wednesday, as Washington intensifies pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to end his four-decade rule.
The USS Ponce and the USS Kearsarge, assault ships that typically carry Marines, cleared the Suez Canal from the Red Sea and entered the Mediterranean, the official said on condition of anonymity. The US also has an aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, in the Red Sea but

Supply of commercial, NATO cargo to Afghanistan halts

KARACHI – The transportation of commercial and strategic cargo to Afghanistan under the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade (PATT) has come to a complete halt, Pakistan Today learnt Wednesday.
According to well-placed sources, the suspension came after the National Logistic Cell (NLC) and the Customs authorities stopped clearing the Afghanistan-bound commercial and strategic cargo in view of the ongoing probe into the alleged disappearance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)