National articles

Devolution-hit ministers likely to be offered ‘honorable exit’

Devolution-hit ministers likely to be offered ‘honorable exit’

ISLAMABAD: The devolution of five federal ministries – Local Government, Zakat and Ushr, Youth Affairs, Population Welfare and Special Initiatives – to the provinces has left the bereaved ministers in utter desperation, as most of them see no imminent chance for a re-induction into the federal cabinet.
Of the five ministers, Firdous Ashiq Awan is lucky to have clinched another important ministry, Women Development, which is not included in the list of the ministries being

ECP refers three fake-degree cases to police

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday referred three cases of lawmakers holding fake degrees to the police for registration of criminal cases against the parliamentarians.
However, the lawmakers whose cases have been sent to police are all from opposition parties – Shaukat Aziz Bhatti and Zahoor Hussain Khosa of the PML-Q and Farah Deeba of the PML-N.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) had in July declared 56 lawmakers’ degrees either fake or

SC says FIA report on Haj corruption

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday warned Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Waseem Ahmed for adopting a lenient approach while probing into alleged corruption and mishandling of Haj affairs, calling his conduct “disappointing”.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry expressed surprise over the DG’s decision to entrust the investigations to a grade 16 officer. “This is a high profile case involving prestige of the country, but an FIA inspector has been

ECNEC approves Rs 600 billion for 33 projects

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved on Thursday 33 projects costing Rs 600 billion for the development of transport, irrigation, food and agriculture, education, health, energy, information technology and cities’ development.
Chairing the ECNEC meeting, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh emphasized the need for improving the monitoring and evaluation of projects to ensure transparency and best utilization of national resources. He asked the

Missing prisoners are in ISI, MI’s custody, SC told

ISLAMABAD: The country’s top intelligence agencies on Thursday conceded before the Supreme Court that 11 missing inmates of the Adiala Jail were in their custody and being tried under the Army Act.
When a three-member SC bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, resumed hearing the case of the 11 missing prisoners, Raja Muhammad Irshad, counsel for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and

All incomes should be taxed: PM

ON BOARD PM’S SPECIAL AIRCRAFT: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Thursday he believed all incomes should be taxed without any exception and those who publicly opposed imposition of taxes were playing to the galleries despite agreeing that the tax net had to be expanded.
Talking to reporters on board his special aircraft while returning home from his four-day visit to Turkey, the prime minister said, “There has to be a tax-paying culture … no one should be exempted … I

Corrupt should be put to death, says

LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice (CJ) Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry in his maiden speech on Thursday said that there must be a death sentence for all corrupt people whether government officials or others in order to make society corruption-free.
He made these remarks while addressing a ceremony in connection with the International Anti-Corruption Day at the Alhamra Arts Council organised by the National Accountability Bureau. “The roots of corruption are very deep in our

Political parties, police, parliament are most corrupt: TI report

ISLAMABAD: The country’s political parties, police, and parliament have emerged as the top three most corrupt institutions, with the judiciary showing improvement in curbing the menace of corruption, said the 2010 Global Corruption Barometer, a worldwide public opinion survey on corruption released on the International Anti-Corruption Day (Thursday) by Transparency International
The report said that 77 percent of the people believed that corruption in the country had increased

Envoys do nothing, but always look busy

FAISALABAD: Jamil Fakhri, one of the legends of Pakistan, a great PTV artiste of the past and recipient of various awards, including Pride of Performance, made head lines this week when all the newspapers and TV channels carried his heart-wrenching appeal seeking the government’s help to trace his missing son, Ayaz Fakhri, who disappeared in America some 22 months back.
Our frontline political figures were first to shed crocodile tears over the plight of the family to gain cheap

Three students killed in road

GUJRANWALA: Three students were killed when their motorcycle collided with a van coming from Sheikhupura. Reportedly, Asad, Saif and Salman were on their way back from school on a motorcycle when it collided with a wagon and died instantly.
Four passengers were also injured in the collision and were hospitalised. Human trafficker arrested: Gujrawnala FIA circle has succeeded in arresting a human trafficker, Raja Sajjad, and his accomplice Mian Gulfam from Sambrial.

Vehicles without fog lights banned from motorway

FAISALABAD: Motorway police has banned the entry of all those public transport vehicles that travel without fog lights on motorway, to avoid accidents.
Motorway Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nisar Ahmed Saroya has directed the motorway police M3 section between Lahore and Faisalabad to challan the vehicles that violate the fog light rules.
M3 Section has already launched a crack down against the violators and 100 public transport vehicles including passenger coaches,

‘PPP not making alliance for LB polls’

CHICHAWATNI: PPP MNA Zahid Iqbal has said that PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had announced that 2011 would be the year of local government elections, adding the party would participate in these elections without allying with any party.
Zahid said that he was available for the people of his constituency and they could access him for any problem. He was talking to media men at Central Anjuman-e-Tajran Chief Patron Abdul Salam’s house here during a party meeting.

Roadworks move at a snail’s pace

DASKA: The slow pace of construction and dualisation of 46 km long Daska-Sialkot-Gujranwala road and unchecked reckless driving by the public transport vehicles on this road has resulted into road accidents.
Owing to the Daska traffic police’s failure to control the traffic flow and the never ending construction of the said road, as many as 20 people died in the last two weeks. According to police officials, over 96 people died in road accidents and 267 were seriously injured

Okara police vow for peaceful Moharram

OKARA: District Police Officer (DPO) Azeem Arshad Gujjar and SP Investigations have deployed police jawans for 608 majlises during Muharram.
The officers armed with modern equipments, it has been reported, are trained to provide for 502 majlises for male and 106 for females, the district police officer said.
He called upon the religious scholars to maintain peaceful content in their sermons. The Vigilance Squad of the District Peace Committee, comprising of 16 members, along

Shady rental power deal – SC makes PPR return advance with interest

ISLAMABAD: The Walters Power International and its Pakistani associate Pakistan Power Resources (PPR) headed by Iqbal Z Ahmed, promised the Supreme Court on Wednesday they would repay in full the mobilization advance along with interest to the government’s Central Power Generation Company Ltd, which is said to give electricity production contracts and regulate them.
Both the companies were directed by the SC to repay the advance after detection of fraud by National Electric

Students, police turn PA courtyard into battlefield

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly courtyard turned into a battlefield on Wednesday when students from various government educational institutions trespassed four security barricades in an attempt to enter assembly premises and even tried pulling down the main door of the Punjab Assembly.
The students, led by the Joint Action Committee of Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA), were protesting against the privatisation of public schools and colleges outside the Punjab

15 killed in Kohat suicide attack

PESHAWAR: Amidst continued high alert in violence-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, another suicide attack killed 15 and injured 25 in Kohat on Wednesday.
The bomber blew himself up close to a warehouse owned by an anti-Taliban militia leader and a bus stop in Tirah Bazaar.
Police said the bomber blew himself up at the door of a bus carrying passengers to the nearby Orakzai Agency. Kohat Commissioner Khalid Khan Omarzai confirmed to Pakistan Today that 15 people were killed