National articles

‘Prince Saud feared Benazir would be assassinated’

‘Prince Saud feared Benazir would be assassinated’

ISLAMABAD: A WikiLeaks report has claimed that Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, commenting on the assassination of former Pakistan People’s Party chairperson Benazir Bhutto, had observed that he had been afraid of just “such an outcome” ever since she had decided to return to Pakistan.
The WikiLeaks quoted the prince the prince as cautioning in a meeting held at the US Foreign Ministry on January 2, 2008, that the “US must not be seen publicly to be

Zardari, Abdullah equally suspicious of each other

ISLAMABAD: WikiLeaks reveals that the Pakistani and Saudi rulers equally suspected and distrusted each other with President Asif Zardari accusing Saudi Arabia of funding religious parties saying that “mosques and madrassas have become a ‘cottage industry’ in Pakistan” as King Abdullah was quoted as saying that Zardari was “the greatest obstacle in Pakistan’s progress”.
A diplomatic cable sent by former US ambassador Anne W Patterson to Washington on January 28, 2008, reveals that

Musharraf hinted Osama and Zawahri were in Bajaur: Leaks

ISLAMABAD: WikiLeakes claims that former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf had told US Senator John McCain and Representative Richard Renzi that he had no direct evidence but thought Al Qaeda leaders Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri were hiding in Bajaur Agency.
The US diplomatic cable sent by Charge d’Affair’s Peter Bodde on April 10, 2007, quoted Musharraf as saying that the landscape in the videos of Bin Laden and Zawahiri looked similar to Bajaur and the area

Peshawar court sends married pupil back to school

PESHAWAR: A court on Thursday ordered a married pupil back to school, saying that tying the knot was no grounds for expulsion despite teachers’ fears of gossip.
Ghairat Khan, a seventh grader with a beard, was thrown out of an elite English-language school in Peshawar seven months ago because teachers believed marital relations were inappropriate playground talk.
“The court reinstated Ghairat Khan and he will rejoin school tomorrow. The board of directors at the school has

NUML closed for three days for security fears

ISLAMABAD: The National University of Modern Languages (NUML)’s management on Thursday decided to close the varsity for three days after getting threats of an attack.
A large contingent of police, led by Industrial Area Station House Officer (SHO) Rana Akram, cordoned off the university and reviewed security arrangements. The security supervisor of the university, Mazhar Hussain, confirmed that the Interior Ministry had warned the university of a possible suicide attack,

PM summons DCC today to discuss security, WikiLeaks

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday summoned an important meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) to discuss matters related to internal and external security today (Friday) at 11am. The meeting was summoned following a phone call from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to President Asif Ali Zardari.
A source told Pakistan Today that the DCC had been summoned to review the on-going war against terrorism and take a decision on launching a

‘Pervaiz Elahi lacked charisma’

ISLAMABAD: PML-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi lacks personal charisma of other major political leaders, but his political instincts and organisational skills more than compensate for the deficiency, former US ambassador Anne W Patterson was quoted by WikiLeaks as saying.
“The Pakistan Muslim League has unofficially selected former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi as its candidate for prime ministership following 2008 national election. Elahi lacks the personal charisma of other major

Kayani, Zardari not on same page on India

ISLAMABAD: WikiLeaks revealed two different approaches in Pakistan suspecting each other over resumption of talks with India with President Asif Ali Zardari believing that it took a lot to change the mindset in the military establishment and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani thinking that the president was an obstacle in the way to start back channel diplomacy.
One cable written by former US ambassador Anne W Patterson after a meeting between US national security Adviser

Skepticism oozes as Pakistan reels from WikiLeaks

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari told former US ambassador Anne W Patterson that former Tehrik-e-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was not behind Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, saying Baitullah was “just a pawn” in the process.
In one of the classified US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, Patterson wrote about her meeting with Zardari on January 25, 2008, sating that at one stage in the meeting, Zardari dismissed US belief that Baitullah was behind BB’s

India blocks Musharraf’s visit

NEW DELHI: India has denied a visa to former president Pervez Musharraf on grounds he was responsible for a conflict that nearly erupted into war between the neighbours, media reports said on Wednesday.
The former president was invited to India by private organisations to attend seminars and meet the media. An Indian Home Ministry official told AFP that Musharraf’s visa application had been denied, without elaborating on the reason.
The official also said that the External

Yes, Asfandyar was offered presidency, says ANP

PESHAWAR: Presidency was offered to Awami National Party (ANP)’s leader Asfandyar Wali by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Kayani in 2008, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said while confirming the claim made by Wikileaks reports.
“Yes, Asfandyar Wali Khan had received the offer and he had informed his party colleagues,” Hussain said in response to a question at the concluding ceremony of a 3-day photo exhibition at the Cultural Center of Islamic Republic

PML-N pro-US, Nawaz told Patterson

ISLAMABAD: PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and senior leader Nisar Ali Khan repeatedly told former US ambassador Anne Patterson that the party was pro-American.
In a cable released by WikiLeaks that sent on February 1, 2008, Patterson writes, “Nawaz recounted his decision to override his chief of army staff and deploy Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia in support of the US coalition in the first Gulf War.”
Meanwhile, Nisar noted that the PPP and its leaders were organising street

Zardari revealed Sharif-Jihadi nexus to Patterson: Wikileaks

ISLAMABAD: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) already knew about the United Nation sanctions after the Mumbai attacks through Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who had advised them to withdraw their money from banks, President Asif Ali Zardari had revealed to former US ambassador Anne W Patterson, Wikileaks reports have alleged.
Sharif had “tipped off” the banned outfit LeT to help them evade UN sanctions, Zardari allegedly told Patterson, adding that earlier he had done the same for the

Zardari feared being assassinated

ISLAMABAD: Aware that he might be assassinated, President Asif Ali Zardari had told former US ambassador Anne W Patterson that he had made provision in case he was assassinated saying that his sister, Faryal Talpur, would be named president after him.
Wikileaks memos revealed that Zardari had told the US envoy that he had requested the United Arab Emirates government to take his family in the event of his death. While far from perfect, the diplomatic documents stated that Zardari

Pentagon called Kayani prior to leaks

WASHINGTON: Of all the military leaders in the world, only one merited a personal phone call from the head of the US joint chiefs of staff prior to the extensive leak of diplomatic cables. That one person is none other than Pakistan’s own General Ashfaq Kayani.
At the time the US secretary of state was frantically calling various world leaders especially Germany, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, France and Afghanistan and her staff contacted officials in Australia, Britain, Canada,

President approves Justice Ijaz’s nomination as LHC CJ

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday approved the nomination of Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry as chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
According to President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar, the parliamentary committee formed under the 18th Amendment unanimously confirmed Justice Ijaz’s name for appointment as LHC chief justice. He will assume his responsibilities on retirement of Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, the incumbent LHC chief justice, on December 8.

CPNE standing committee elects Jamil Athar president

LAHORE: A 35-member standing committee of the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) has elected Jamil Athar, editor of daily Tijarat, president. Ilyas Shakir, editor Qaumi Akhbar, was elected secretary general, while, Qazi Asad Abid was elected senior vice-president for the year 2010-11.
The annual general meeting, presided by acting president of the council, Shaheen Qureshi, also elected Javaid Maher Shamsi joint secretary and Mushtaq Ahmed Qureshi secretary finance.