National articles

EAD fails to secure Rs 53 billion foreign grant

EAD fails to secure Rs 53 billion foreign grant

ISLAMABAD: Federal audit authorities have held the Economic Affairs Division (EAD), which deals with foreign loans and grants, responsible for losing out on a major grant of over Rs 53 billion during fiscal year 2008-09.
According to the 2009-10 audit report of the EAD, the failure of the division to finalise the disbursement procedure cost the country grants of over Rs 53 billion.
The report says per Rules of Business 1973, the EAD is assigned the responsibility to

NATO leaders endorse Afghan exit strategy

LISBON: NATO leaders endorsed on Saturday a plan to start handing Afghan forces command of the war next year with the aim of ceding full control by 2014.
“We have launched the process by which the Afghan people will once again become masters in their own house,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference following a summit of Allied leaders.
Afghan forces will start taking the lead in security operations next year starting in some districts and

Six more F-16s arrive to bolster air power

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday received six new F-16 aircraft from the United States, taking the number of such fighters with Pakistan Air Force to 12.
According to Pakistan Air Force spokesman, the new F-16 jets landed at the Shahbaz Air Base in Jacobabad and would be inducted to the Pakistan Air Force soon.
Pakistan had signed a contract with the US government in 2005-06 for the acquisition of 18, F-16 C/D Block 52 aircrafts. Under this arrangement, the Pakistan Air Force

Balochistan shuts to mourn Balach Marri

QUETTA: A complete shutter-down strike was observed in Baloch-dominated districts of Balochistan, as well as the provincial capital Quetta on Saturday to mark the third death anniversary of Baloch nationalist Nawabzada Balach Marri.
Marri, son of veteran Baloch leader Nawab Khair Baksh Marri and a former member of the Balochistan Assembly, was killed in a military operation on November 20, 2007, in a town on the Pak-Afghan border.
The Anjuman-e-Ittehad-e-Marri gave the

Blasphemy convict seeks mercy from Zardari

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer on Saturday termed death sentence for Asiya Noreen a ‘disgraceful episode’ and an ’embarrassment to Pakistan’.
Asiya Noreen, a 45-year-old mother of five, has been in prison since last year after some Muslim women, and fellow farm workers, accused her of blasphemy because of an altercation.
She was beaten by a mob of men, after being accused of blaspheming Islam, and later had an FIR filed against her by a local cleric who had been

10 NATO tankers torched in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: At least 10 NATO supply tankers were burnt to bare iron when unidentified militants attacked them in the wee hours of Saturday on the Ring Road in Peshawar.
A 2.5 kilogramme bomb was also discovered from the site, which was later defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad, reports said. According to details, the armed suspects launched the attack on Arbab Jamil workshop on the Ring Road, where a number of NATO supply tankers were parked.
Police said the attackers were at

Pakistan border areas epicentre of terrorism, says Mullen

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s border areas along Afghanistan are the “epicentre of terrorism” in the world, but the Pakistan Army continues to be “India-centric”, a top US military official said on Saturday.
“Resident in that border area, mostly in Pakistan, although not entirely, I call it the epicentre of terrorism in the world,” Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in response to a question at the John F Kennedy Jr Forum at Harvard University in Boston.

Pakistan won’t allow drones in Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Saturday it would not allow the US to conduct drone attacks against suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Balochistan.
“No request from the US has been received for drone attacks in Balochistan, but if such a request is made, we will never allow them (Americans) to carry out these strikes,” Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit told Pakistan Today on Saturday.
A report published in the Washington Post on Friday said that the “US is seeking to

Kashmir tops govt’s agenda: FM

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednesday said the government would continue to extend moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris and highlight the issue.
While talking to media people after offering Eid prayer at Shah Rukn-e-Alam Mosque, he ruled out the impression that the issue was dropped from the UN agenda. The Kashmir problem was still on the United Nations’ agenda, he said, adding it was a wrong impression.
Qureshi hailed the government policies,

Eid-ul-Azha celebrated with fervour in interior Sindh

LARKANA: Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated in all parts of Larkana, Kamber-Shahdadkot, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Kandhkot-Kashmore districts on Wednesday with traditional religious festivity, enthusiasm and fervour. Eid prayers were offered at Larkana, Warah, Ratodero, Sijawal Junejo, Qubo Saeed Khan, Dokri, Bakrani, Nasirabad, Naudero, Shikarpur, Garhi Yaseen, Ratodero, Kamber, Shahdadkot, Jacobabad, Thull, Kandhkot and Kashmore at more than 660 mosques, imam bargahs, open places, parks,

PPP isolated on GST, judges’ appointment

ISLAMABAD: As serious differences have developed in the four-party ruling coalition over the reformed general sales tax (GST) and the parliamentary committee on appointment of judges, it is for the first time in three years that the PPP appears to have lost the confidence of all its allies and stands alone to face belligerent opposition parties.
Although the PPP has so far been successful in keeping the coalition of strange bedfellows intact, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM),

Drone missiles kill three militants in North Waziristan

PESHAWAR: At least three militants were killed and one injured when a vehicle was hit by two missiles fired by US drones in North Waziristan on Friday.
A vehicle carrying suspected militants near Machikhel village in Mirali area was hit by two missiles, killing the three men and injuring the fourth.
“Two missiles were fired on a vehicle.
So far three militants are confirmed killed in this attack,” a senior security official said.
The identity of killed could not

Pakistan and Russia sign MoU on energy cooperation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the Russian Federation on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding cooperation in oil and gas exploration, construction of trans-national gas pipelines and technology transfer.
According to an official announcement, the MoU was signed by Minister for Petroleum Naveed Qamar and Russian Minister for Energy SI Shmatko in Moscow on Friday.
The MOU lays down mechanism and desire for the two countries to cooperate in oil and gas

Zardari reaches out to Nawaz

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Fresh efforts silently spearheaded by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to solicit the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) support are likely to again bring President Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif close on important national issues.
On Wednesday, the first day of Eidul Azha, President Zardari made a three-minute telephone call to Nawaz to greet the PML-N chief and offer condolence over the demise of his uncle, Mian Miraj.
A source told

Governments flying high in times of crippling austerity

LAHORE: The federal and provincial governments are all praise for their respective austerity measures at a time when the civil apparatus at both ends is devoting enormous resources for the maintenance of its substantially large VIP fleet of 24 aircraft.
Data made available with Pakistan Today revealed that the federal and provincial governments operate 24 luxury aircrafts ranging from Airbus A310 to Cessna Citation for VIP movement. The data showed that the government bought the

Canadian law keeps Musharraf from beating up protesters

TORONTO: After a bunch of people raised slogans against him the other day, former president Pervez Musharraf said he would have asked his party workers to ‘beat up’ the demonstrators had he not been afraid of Canada’s law. Musharraf made these comments while addressing a convention of his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), in Toronto.
According to media reports, he claimed that Osama bin Laden had provided the funds that allowed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief

ANP, MQM reject PPP parliamentary nominations on judges’ appointment

ISLAMABAD: Already isolated by its allies on the issue of the reformed General Tax (GST), the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Tuesday ignited yet another controversy by nominating four treasury members for the parliamentary committee to appoint judges of the superior judiciary without consulting the Awami National Party (ANP), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
A statement issued by the President’s House said the names of four