PML-N excluded from PM crew for Mohali

PML-N excluded from PM crew for Mohali

LAHORE – The PML-N is not part of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s crew going to India to watch the Cricket World Cup semi final to be played between India and Pakistan in Mohali today (Wednesday).
PML-N ministers declined to confirm whether the prime minister invited them to come with him as high-profile spectators on the invitation of the Indian government. Sources in the PML-N told Pakistan Today on Tuesday that senior party leader Abdul Qadir Baloch would go to Mohali but

NEPRA reduces tariff for DISCOs

ISLAMABAD – The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Tuesday reduced power tariff for distribution companies (DISCOs) by 0.9 paisa per unit under the fuel adjustment price for the month of February.
The hearing for fuel adjustment was held under NEPRA chairman Khalid Saeed on an application moved by the Central Power Purchasing Agency. However, the regulator was informed that the government still had to pass the reduction in tariff of Rs 1.08 per unit for

Six more arrested in attack on Lankan team

LAHORE – Lahore Police claimed to have arrested six terrorists including the mastermind of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), involved in the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore and seized sophisticated weapons, ammunition and a suicide jacket from their custody.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), Lahore Aslam Tareen flanked by Deputy Inspector General Investigation Ali Amir Malik, Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Investigation Abdul Razzaq Cheema and

PM announces half day today

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE – Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has announced a half working day for Wednesday so that the people can watch the semi-final between Pakistan and India in Mohali.
According to an announcement, all the government offices will be closed at 12 noon to enable cricket lovers to watch the match on TV at their homes. Similarly, a spokesman of the Punjab government said all public sector educational institutions will be closed at 12 noon while government offices would

Nation must stop welcoming dictators: PM

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday urged the nation not to prop up the “unfortunate tradition” of disqualifying politicians to pave the way for dictatorship.
“We have come through votes and will go by votes … leadership is not film stars who could be changed whenever someone wishes a change… No other way is acceptable than elections,” Gilani said in his address to a seminar titled “Quaid-e-Azam’s vision for democracy”, which was attended by academicians,

Pakistan has ‘hands full’ with militants: NATO

NEW YORK – Pakistan is so busy fighting its own Islamist militants that it can do little more to help NATO forces battling in neighbouring Afghanistan, NATO’s top civilian there said on Monday.
Mark Sedwill, senior civilian representative for the Western military alliance in Afghanistan, said Pakistani attitudes were hardening toward guerrilla groups that had previously been supported by the state. “In the past, they had relations with various groups,” he told the Asia Society

3 militants attempting escape killed in Matta

MINGAWARA – Three militants were killed in clashes with the security forces at Gawaleri area of Matta Tehsil in early hours of Tuesday. The officials informed that three militants, who were earlier arrested, were taken to determine the dumping site of arms and weapons in an unpopulated area near to village Gawaleri when they made an attempt to escape.
However, the officials foiled their attempt to do so. All three militants, identified as as Sajid Ali son of Mohammad Zada and Ata

Successive govts failed to curb violence against children: SPARC

ISLAMABAD – Because of successive governments’ failure in introducing any national policy on child protection coupled with ineffective laws safeguarding children’s interests, violence against children in Pakistan has increased manifold with 5,120 reported cases during last year alone.
During a one-day orientation workshop here on Tuesday experts stressed the need to approve pending child protection laws and enforce implementation of the existing ones.
The workshop was

Rabbani loses temper over opposition to HEC devolution

ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Inter- Provincial Coordination and Chairman of Implementation Commission on 18th Amendment, Mian Raza Rabbani on Monday lost his temper while defending devolution of Higher Education Commission (HEC) to provinces. During the question-hour session in Senate, he threw his notes on the table, while responding to questions raised by senators including Azam Swati, Dr Khalid
Mahmood Soomro, Wasim Sajjad,Javid Ali Shah, Haji Adil and former education

Davis’ lawyer flees Pakistan amid life threats

LAHORE – Raymond Davis’ lawyer Syed Zahid Hussain Bokhari has moved to the US amid life threats after his client’s release, while his daughter and Punjab Assembly legislator from PPP, Azma Bokhari, is constantly being harassed.
PPP deputy parliamentary leader Shaukat Basra told reporters on Tuesday that Azma and her family was receiving life threats constantly, due to which her father Zahid Bokhari had left the country. Basra said Azma was receiving threats from unidentified

Senate passes amendments to election laws

ISLAMABAD – The Senate passed on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill to amend election laws to ensure security of the database of electoral rolls and make exhibition of CNIC mandatory for casting votes.
After the amendment in ‘Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2011’, which will come into force at once, a new section 30A (after Section 30, Act XXI of 1974) would be inserted into the constitution whereby any employee of the Election Commission of Pakistan, if found guilty of breaching

Court asks who got Davis’ name off ECL

LAHORE – Justice Ch Iftikhar Hussain of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought replies from federal and provincial governments on a petition praying to seek an explanation from Federal Law Minister Babar Awan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, AD&SJ Muhammad
Yousaf Aujla and others as to why they facilitated the release of Raymond Davis on emergency basis ignoring LHC orders that had put his name on the Exit Control List (ECL). The petitioner, Barrister Jaffree, had prayed

LHC seeks trial court record of Raymond case

LAHORE – Lahore High Court judge Justice Ch Iftikhar Hussain on Tuesday sought complete record of trial court which acquitted CIA contractor Raymond Davis in double murder case after the legal heirs of deceased Fizan and Faheem had pardoned him by accepting blood-money (Diyat) from accused.
The court passed this order on a writ petition filed by Advocate Rana Ilamud Din challenging payment of Diyat money as, according to him, trial court left a lot of lacunas and acted in haste

FATA Health Directorate gets Rs 24m equipment

PESHAWAR – To revive health facilities in the tribal region, FATA Development Programme – Livelihood Development (FDP-LD) on Tuesday handed over medical equipment worth Rs 24 million to the FATA Health Services Directorate.
The handover of 86 items of equipment included medical, surgical and diagnostic equipment that will be shared among six health facilities in FATA. The aim of the handover is to rehabilitate health services and improve community health services. The total value

Now Umra scam! – Operators, PIA team up to fleece pilgrims

LAHORE – After the much-publicised Haj scam, it should not be a surprise for anyone if one day you hear about an Umra scandal. The reason is simple. The travel agents with connivance of the national flag carrier are all set to fleece innocent pilgrims.
Aviation industry experts estimate that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)’s partnership with some blue-eyed travel agents will cost around Rs 1.6 billion to the general public. A survey conducted by Pakistan Today reveals that

Pakistan assures support to Bahrain

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tuesday assured full support to Bahrain in the efforts to restore peace in the troubled country which was facing public uprising against the government policies.
The assurance was conveyed to Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa who held separate meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar.
During a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari,

13 soldiers killed in Khyber friendly fire

PESHAWAR – Friendly fire killed the 13 Pakistani soldiers whose deaths were initially blamed on Islamist militants in the Taliban-infested tribal belt on the Afghan border, a commander said Tuesday.
Security officials at first had said that 14 soldiers were killed during fighting on Monday in the Shindhand area of Khyber Agency. But northwest military commander Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik told reporters on Tuesday that 13 soldiers died due to mortar fire called in by the