National articles

Suicide bomber kills 35 at Russia’s biggest airport

Suicide bomber kills 35 at Russia’s biggest airport

MOSCOW – A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and injured more than 130 on Monday at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, Russia’s biggest. President Dmitry Medvedev vowed to track down and punish those behind the attack, which analysts said appeared to fit a pattern of bombings by militants fighting to create an independent “emirate” in Russia’s north Caucasus region.
“The explosion was right near me, I was not hit but I felt the shock wave – people were falling,” said Yekaterina

‘Moonis Elahi bagged Rs 220m of NICL money’

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court was informed on Monday that an accused who embezzled Rs 5 billion in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam had told investigators that he had given Rs 220 million to Moonis Elahi, son of former Punjab chief minister Pervez Elahi, from the plundered money.
A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday was hearing a suo motu case against alleged corruption of

SUITES FOR MPs – PM throws ball in parliament’s court

ISLAMABAD – Partially accepting the PML-N’s concerns on the parliament lodges’ extension project, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani referred the plan to House and the Library Committee of the National Assembly, saying that the government would accept whatever decision the committee took.
In response to the opposition leader’s point of order on the project, the prime minister informed the House that it was initiated in 2008. “The CDWP with Assef Ahmed Ali as Planning Commission

Make sure parliament is on top, opposition tells government

ISLAMABAD – Expressing reservations over the way the country was being governed and parliament being run, the opposition on Monday asked the government to ensure the supremacy of parliament so that other institutions could stay out of the driving seat.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and PML-Q unanimously demanded the government to make parliament meaningful. Faisal Saleh Hayat said Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in his recent statement had levelled charges of bribery on

Altaf urges Army to ‘support revolution’

KARACHI – Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Monday asked the army and the judiciary to support “the oppressed people’s revolution” and urged those “who repeatedly imposed martial law in the past” to come forward and bring an end to the growing crime in Punjab.
“The oppressed people’s revolution is the fate of Pakistan. I am sure that the army and the judiciary will extend their support to this revolution against landlords and capitalists. If there is a need to

Federation softening towards Balochistan: Raisani

QUETTA – The Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani has said that the approval of 32 development schemes, shelved years ago, worth Rs 28 billion for Balochistan clearly indicates the change in the attitude of the federal government and signified success for the people of Balochistan.
Raisani said this while talking to reporters on Monday at Quetta airport upon his arrival from Islamabad after chairing the meeting of Central Development Working Party (CDWP). The

LHC adjourns hearing on BoGs

LAHORE – Advocate General Punjab Khawaja Haris on Monday told Lahore High Court that Punjab government is fulfilling its commitment and accordingly neither any student has been expelled from any college nor fee has been increased. He pointed out that teachers are not fulfilling their part of the commitment and they are still using students for holding violent protests and demonstrations on the roads on the issue of Board of Governors (BOGs) for vested interests.
On this the

Health secretary summoned for bogus medical colleges petition

LAHORE – Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court on Monday issued notices for Feb 25 to secretary health and other respondents on a petition challenging opening of four medical colleges in the province. Advocate Noshab A Khan filed the petition stating that the government of Punjab inaugurated four medical colleges without fulfilling basic requirements.
He said it should have approved recognition of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) for validation of

Party chief seems more powerful than PM: LHC CJ

LAHORE – Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry on Monday observed that after passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, a political party chief seems to be more powerful than the prime minister.
He was hearing petitions challenging political activities of President Asif Ali Zardari while serving as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman. Other judges on the bench included Justice Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul

MPAs grill unprepared social welfare minister

LAHORE – Members of the provincial assembly (MPA) on Monday lambasted Punjab Minorities, Social Welfare and Women Development Minister Kamran Michael who miserably failed to answer questions of lawmakers during the Punjab Assembly (PA) session. Michael, replying to queries of MPAs during the question hour, repeatedly got confused and members expressed their dissatisfaction over poor answers submitted by the department.
Observing confusion of the minister, PA Speaker Rana Iqbal

MPAs condemn police torture of journalist’s son

LAHORE – Members of the provincial assembly (MPA) on Monday condemned police torture of a journalist’s son and demanded prompt action over the issue while journalists protesting against the incident staged a walkout from the Punjab Assembly (PA) Press Gallery.
MPAs criticised police for torturing journalists, doctors, teachers and students and termed manhandling of Hassan Iftikhar, son of noted journalist Iftikhar Ahmed, at the Lahore airport as condemnable. They said that the

GCU dance gets cold shoulder in PA

LAHORE – Punjab Education and law ministers disregarded the dance at Government College University in the provincial assembly despite attention sought by a lawmaker from treasury benches.
Neither did the ministers concerned nor the Speaker give importance to the incident of using GCU, one of the most respected and widely-acclaimed institutions of the country, for a dance by stage dancer, Deedar at the Bonfire Night held at the varsity on the last Wednesday last.
During the

PPMA perturbed by Health Ministry devolution

ISLAMABAD – Expressing concern over the devolution of the health ministry, the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has said that the decision would prove to be disastrous for an industry which registered a growth of 37 percent in exports during 2010.
The apprehension of pharmaceutical manufacturers regarding the devolution was highlighted at the ‘Devolution of health sector and its impact on the pharma industry’ seminar, organised by the Association of Health

Supreme Court asked to prevent military interventions

ISLAMABAD – Dr Abdul Basit, counsel for two dysfunctional judges of the Lahore High Court – Justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi and Justice Hasnat Ahmed Khan – facing contempt charges for taking oath in violation of Supreme Court orders, asked the Supreme Court on Monday to take steps to prevent military interventions in future. A four-member bench of Justices Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Jawwad S Khawaja, Khilji Arif Hussain and Tariq Parvez was hearing contempt of court cases against the

Russia seeks Pakistan’s help against terror

ISLAMABAD – Russia on Monday sought Pakistan’s help in tracking down anti-Moscow militants from the Central Asian states, who have taken refuge in the country’s Tribal Areas.
The Foreign Ministry officials from Pakistan and Russia held crucial talks on ways to increase cooperation in counter-terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation during the sixth meeting of the Pakistan-Russia Consultative Group on Strategic Stability.
The Pakistan delegation was headed by Additional

Shahbaz down with seasonal flu

LAHORE – Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif is sick for the past few days and has been unable to attend to all his official assignments and duties, an official at Chief Minister Secretariat told Pakistan Today.
“He is attending office daily, holding meetings and receiving delegations. But considering his ailing condition, he has slashed 50 percent his official workload and is not going outside,” the source added.
According to another senior official, CM was staying

Saima’s body ‘showed signs of torture’

LAHORE – Police investigating a controversial alleged honour killing in Bahawalpur say it was not a case of suicide as claimed by the dead woman’s family.
The case hit the headlines because of a statement by PM Yousuf Raza Gilani that the woman was electrocuted following a decision by a local village council. Police say it was not “a simple suicide” as the postmortem examination showed signs of torture on her body. They say that the woman ran away from her village about six