National articles

Ambassador said Saudis see Zardari as pro-Shia: cables

Ambassador said Saudis see Zardari as pro-Shia: cables

ISLAMABAD: One of the diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks revealed that Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Umar Khan Alisherzai thinks that the relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were strained after President Asif Zardari’s elections.
The Saudi perception was that Zardari was pro-Iranian and pro-Shia, which made Saudi Arabia apprehensive about working with him. “When asked about the Saudi-Pak relationship, Alisherzai admitted that it had been strained since

Patterson asked US to ignore reports of army’s rights abuses

WASHINGTON: The US government was advised to keep reports of human rights violations by the Pakistan Army under wraps by US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson, who also suggested that the focus should be on assistance to Islamabad which was a close ally on the war against terrorism.
This was disclosed by the WikiLeaks website, which released a secret US cable from the American Embassy in Islamabad that was signed off by Patterson.
“A growing body of evidence is lending

Militants kill FC constable, 3 militants killed in retaliation

QUETTA: A Frontier Corps Balochistan constable was killed in a militants attack and five others including a major got injured in Khuzdar district on Friday, however three attackers were also killed in the retaliation of FC personnel.
Frontier Corps spokesman Murtaza Baig confirmed the incident, saying that a FC convoy was going to Khuzdar from Soorab at midnight when some miscreants fired at it that wounded 6 FC personnel, including a major.
In the return fire of the FC men

UN atomic watchdog approves nuclear fuel bank

VIENNA: The UN atomic watchdog on Friday voted to set up a nuclear fuel bank, under its auspices, to allow countries access to nuclear energy without risking the spread of atomic weapons.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-member governing board approved a United States-sponsored proposal for a $150-million fuel bank, with 28 countries in favour. No country voted against the resolution, but six developing countries – Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa, Tunisia and

One million displaced need aid in Sindh: UN

SEHWAN: The UN chief of humanitarian affairs said on Friday that more than one million displaced people still need emergency aid in southern Pakistan, around four months after catastrophic floods.
Sindh was one of the worst-affected areas and large swaths of the territory are still submerged in flood waters. “Initially more than seven million people were affected by the floods in Sindh and still one million of them need emergency response,” Valerie Amos, the United Nations

ANP for grand jirga to counter terror

QUETTA: The Awami National Party (ANP) has suggested convening grand jirga of Pashtoon tribes for evolving a future course of action to block terrorism.
The suggestion came from ANP leaders, Balochistan Chief Organizer Arbab Abdul Zahir Kashi and Dr Inayatullah Kasi when they were attending the condolence reference of first death anniversary of ANP leader Azizullah Mama Advocate at Quetta Press Club on Friday.
They said that Pashtoons were being assassinated in Afghanistan,

No let-up in contamination of canals, admits minister

LAHORE: PPP backed Punjab senior minister Raja Riaz has admitted that the drainage of sewer water into the irrigation canals and that the department is helpless in this regard. He said there is need of strict policy to improve the irrigation system.
The minister said this while responding to a question during the question-hour session of the Punjab Assembly on Friday. The opposition members gave a very tough time to the senior minister for having no answers to their queries they

JCP likely to nominate two SC, 32 HC judges today

ISLAMABAD: In its third meeting today (Saturday), the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) will likely nominate two judges for the Supreme Court and 32 judges for the country’s high courts (HCs), including the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court.
The meeting will discuss nominations for two judges of the Supreme Court – replacements for Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed and Justice Rahmat Hussain Jafferi, who retired on May 5 and November 20, respectively.
The meeting is

Nawaz has no intention to join this assembly: Sidqiq-ul-Farooq

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Spokesman Sadiq ul farooq on Friday said that the PML-N chief was not interested in premiership in the sitting National Assembly, adding that they would demand fresh general elections.
Talking to reporters outside Punjab Assembly, he said that there was no restriction on Nawaz Sharif to take part in politics and he was actively participating despite negative propaganda. He said PML-N head was least interested in joining the current

Shirani takes charge as 13th CII chairman

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl senator from Balochistan, Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani took charge as the 13th chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Friday.
The government had notified him as the new chairman on November 16. The government took five months to appoint the new CII chairman, as the six-year tenure of the former chairman Dr Muhammad Khalid Masud expired on June 14.
The present council consists of eleven members – Muhammad Sadeeq Hazarvi

Appointments to EC – Fehmida seeks formation of body

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly speaker has asked all political parties to send in nominations for the formation of a parliamentary committee which would appoint the chief election commissioner (CEC) as well as members of the Election Commission.
Sources in the Parliament House informed Pakistan Today that NA Speaker Fehmida Mirza on November 25 wrote a letter to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Opposition Leader in the Lower House Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and other leaders

PCCR okays SC recommendations on judges’ appointment

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PCCR) on Friday unanimously approved all recommendations given by the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the appointment of judges.
The committee’s recommendations will now be presented in the upcoming session of the National Assembly. The parliamentary committee for judges’ appointment will have eight members – four each from the National Assembly and the Senate.
The four members from the Senate will continue to

SC asks NEPRA to explain position in RPP scam

ISLAMABAD: Taking suo motu notice of a multi-million dollar scam in the rental power plants (RPPs) project, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry on Friday issued notice to the NEPRA chairman to appear and refute with documentary proof the corruption allegations.
The CJP also issued notices to the proprietors and owners of the Central Power Generation Co Ltd through NEPRA to appear and submit a reply. Notices were also served on WAPDA and PEPCO.
The CJP, however,

SC summons Kazmi and Swati for Dec 6 in Haj scam case

ISLAMABAD: Taking suo motu notice of the alleged irregularities in haj arrangements, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday issued notices to the ministers of Religious Affairs and Science and Technology, the attorney general of Pakistan, Religious Affairs secretary, FIA Director General, NAB Chairman and others to appear before a special bench on December 6 and explain the allegations.
Through notices, both Hamid Saeed Kazmi and Azam Swati have

Awan’s plan to manage NAB fizzles out

ISLAMABAD: Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan’s maneuvers to mange the accountability courts through amendment in the NAB Ordinance, and acquire the NAB chairman’s powers to transfer cases from one court to another, have failed, as the government decided to withdraw the controversial law after the Supreme Court objected to the procedure adopted in the exercise.
Attorney General Anwarul Haq had told the apex court on Thursday that the government had decided to

Cleric put price on Aasia’s head

PESHAWAR: A hardline cleric on Friday offered a reward of 6,000 dollars to anyone who killed Aasia Bibi, a Christian mother sentenced to death for insulting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Maulana Yousuf Qureshi, the cleric, issued the call at a rally against moves to pardon the woman. Aasia was sentenced on November 8 to death by hanging, under blasphemy laws that human rights activists say encourage extremism.
The government attempted to pardon her after an international

Kashmala’s bid to dislodge Fauzia set to fail

ISLAMABAD: PML-Q likeminded group leader Kashmala Tariq’s bid to dislodge chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance Fauzia Wahab of the PPP is likely to end in a disappointment, as most of the committee members are unwilling to support Kashmala.
It has become a routine that whenever the committee meets, Kashmala is seen coming with an agenda to attack Fauzia. She has been successful in winning the support of PML-N members – Khwaja Asif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi – but