National articles

Chinese firm fined for Pak N-exports

Chinese firm fined for Pak N-exports

WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday fined the Chinese subsidiary of a US firm nearly $4 million for exporting coatings to a Pakistan nuclear site.
PPG Paints Trading in Shanghai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PPG Industries, agreed to pay $3.75 million over the exports – from which it had earned just $32,319 – the US Justice Department said.
The fines “represent one of the largest monetary penalties for export violations in the history of the US Department of Commerce’s

19th Amend Bill sails through NA

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the 19th Amendment Bill with an overwhelming majority.PML-Q parliamentarian Kashmala Tariq was the only one who voted against the bill.
Of the 342 members, 258 voted in the bill’s favour, one vote was cast against the bill, while the remaining 84 MNAs did not turn up. Now, if the Senate passes the bill with a two-thirds majority, it will become part of the constitution.
The bill consists of seven clauses and primarily


FSC declares Protection of Women Act un-Islamic

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) on Wednesday declared amendments incorporated in the Hudood Ordinance by the previous regime through Protection of Women Act (PWA) 2006 un-Islamic and unconstitutional and directed the federal government to take necessary steps to amend the impugned laws in conformity with the holy Quran and the Sunnah.
Announcing its verdict reserved on November 23, a three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan, Justice Afzaal

Govt holds back fuel and power tariff hike

ISLAMABAD: The government has put on hold the increase due in power tariff and petroleum prices as it has received intelligence reports suggesting that the increase might spark countrywide protests.
A source told Pakistan Today that the intelligence agencies had told the government that further increase in power and petroleum prices would lead to protests, which could worsen the law and order situation across the country.
“The increase in tariff has been put on hold for the

US boots on ground will end alliance, Pakistan warns

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday warned the United States that it would stop cooperating in the war against terrorism if the US-led NATO troops carried out cross border raids in the Tribal Areas.
US military officials told The New York Times that the commanders in Afghanistan had drawn up plans to attack Taliban and Al Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistani tribal regions.
According to this report, the US military reportedly pressed for permission to open a second front against

Army plane crashes near Quetta

QUETTA – A training plane of Army Aviation crashed near Muslim Bagh area of district Qila Saifullah near Quetta, killing pilot and co-pilot, a private TV channel reported on Wednesday.
The plane was flying from Zhob to Quetta, when it crashed in mountains in Nasai area of the Muslim Bagh, killing pilot and co-pilot on the spot. According to initial reports, the mishap occurred owing to some technical fault.
The district police officer said that the local people, who

US wants Pakistan, India dialogue on Kashmir

WASHINGTON – The United States has stressed that Pakistan and India to have a significant dialogue on Kashmir and resolve the decade-old issue, where continuing violence this year further strained relations between the two neighbours.
“The issue of Kashmir has come up on a regular basis in our discussions with Pakistan and with India, and our answer to officials of both countries is generally the same, that ultimately, it’s Pakistan and India that to have a significant dialogue

19th constitutional amendment passed

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly on Wednesday passed 19th amendment bill with 258 votes in favour and one in against. Comprising of seven clauses, the bill mainly deals with appointment of the judges, addition of four-member senior judges of the judicial commission and addition of the Islamabad High Court in the list of higher judiciary.
When the bill was presented in the National Assembly for consideration, Parliamentary Committee Chairman Raza Rabbani moved a motion in the

Ex-police officials arrested in Benazir murder case

RAWALPINDI – Former Central Police Officer of Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and former Superintendent of Police Khurram Shahzad have been arrested from the courtroom after the court denied their bails in Benazir Bhutto murder case, a private TV channel reported on Wednesday.
Both the former police officials were present in the court. Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) No-III judge Rana Nisar Ahmed on December 19, 2010 had extended date of interim bail of former CPO and former SP allegedly

Shahzain Bugti arrested in Quetta

QUETTA – Shahzain Bugti, provincial president of the Jamhoori Watan Party, and the grandson of former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Akbar Bugti, arrested along with his 17 bodyguards by the Frontier Constabulary, private TV channels reported on Wednesday.
The convoy was stopped at the Buleli check post before being detained by the FC personnel. The paramilitary force has recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition and would return the licensed weapons if found any, an

India, Russia sign deals for jets, nuclear cooperation

NEW DELHI: Russia and India on Tuesday agreed on a series of defence and nuclear deals potentially worth billions of dollars and pledged to deepen cooperation on counter-terrorism and regional security.
The agreements surrounded talks in New Delhi between visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, during which both sides set a target of doubling bilateral trade to 20 billion dollars by 2015. They also signed a contract envisaging the joint

Education Ministry refuses to be sent to the provinces

ISLAMABAD: The government’s plan to devolve 5 ministries to the provinces is likely to come undone as the Federal Education Ministry and the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education opposed the devolution under the 18th constitutional amendment in unison at a meeting of the of the committee on Tuesday, chaired by Member of the National Assembly Abid Sher Ali.
The chairman of the education committee directed the Education Ministry to submit a detailed proposal to it in

Swati claims BISP is a scam too

ISLAMABAD: Former federal minister for science and technology Azam Khan Swati on Tuesday called the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) “bogus”, saying it was greatly harming the country.
Talking to reporters, the sacked minister said the government’s decision to cut the budget for higher education by Rs 30 billion to facilitate the BISP might benefit only “some” people.
He said countries did not move forward on basis of charity, but through advancements in science and

Commission on missing people to take report to SC by 31st

ISLAMABAD: The judicial commission formed on the Supreme Court’s orders for the recovery of thousands of missing persons from across the country will submit a comprehensive report with the SC and the Interior Ministry by December 31.
Sources told Pakistan Today on Tuesday that the commission earlier had to submit its report on August 28. However, it could not do so for unknown reasons. The judicial commission was formed in March 2010 with Justice (r) Kamal Mansoor Alam, a former

US pushing for more ground raids in Pakistan: NYT

WASHINGTON: Frustrated US military commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for a series of Special Operations ground raids in Pakistan, the New York Times reported.
The raids would likely need approval from President Barack Obama himself, and the wary administration fears political backlash in Pakistan. But the commanders see much to gain, particularly in terms of intelligence from captured militant leaders. “We’ve never been as close as we are now to getting the go-ahead to go

Zardari, Gilani discuss MQM and ‘Plan B’

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday gave final touches to a reconciliation strategy with the Pakistan People’s Party’s major coalition partner – the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) – as well as a contingency plan in case the MQM decided to part ways with the government in the near future.
An informed source told Pakistan Today that during the crucial meeting held at the Presidency, the two leaders agreed that in case of any

No plan to topple Balochistan govt, Fazl tells Raisani

ISLAMABAD: In what seems to be a pre-emptive attempt to block the possible alliance of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) for overthrowing the Balochistan government, a threatened and perturbed Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani on Tuesday rushed to meet JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman.
Fazl, however, assured Raisani that he had no such plans and did not want to form a coalition with the PML-Q in Balochistan. “Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain