PML leader Kabir Wasti thrashed

PML leader Kabir Wasti thrashed

ISLAMABAD – Unidentified men on Friday thrashed Pakistan Muslim League (PML)-Likeminded Senior Vice-President Syed Kabir Ali Wasti, his brother Saeed Wasti and the driver near Faizabad Bridge. According to details, Wasti and his brother Saeed were on their way to Rawalpindi from Islamabad when they were intercepted by a black Parado, bearing green number plate.
“Four to five persons came out of the vehicle and started beating Kabir Wasti while his brother and the driver tried to

Qureshi stopped from attending Munich conference

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was supposed to leave for Germany on Friday to attend the “Munich Security Conference” on Afghanistan, was stopped from the significant visit by President Asif Ali Zardari due to the expedited dissolution of the federal cabinet, following an announcement in this regard by the ruling party, the Pakistan People’s Party.
Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani were to represent Pakistan at the security talk

Government looking at ‘other options’ to bridge fiscal deficit

ISLAMABAD – Following a refusal by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revive the suspended $11.3 billion standby arrangement until economic reforms are implemented, the government has started looking at other options to meet its rising fiscal deficit.
An official source said that at present, the government was in a stable position, as exports were expected to increase to $22 billion and remittances of $10 billion were estimated during the current financial year. “With these

Davis has diplomatic passport, not visa: Malik

ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday that Raymond Davis, a US national accused of killing two Pakistani youths in Lahore a few days ago, had a diplomatic passport but he travelled to Pakistan on a non-diplomatic visa. Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, he said the Interior Ministry issued Davis a visa on the recommendation by the Foreign Office after due clearance by the security agencies.
“I again repeat, I never said that Davis travelled to

Nawaz, Shahbaz take up Centre’s response

LAHORE – The Sharifs met at Raiwind on Friday to take up their concerns over the non-responsive attitude of the federal government in reply to a letter the Punjab government wrote seeking details on Raymond Davis.
The letter had also sought the Centre’s influence over the US embassy to allow the custody of the car and driver of the US Consulate Lahore that ran over a motorcyclist in the Lahore incident. The Sharif Brothers also discussed the PPP’s 19-point agenda. They also

Gilani gets the right to wield his axe on cabinet

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Friday finally gave Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani a go-ahead to dissolve his cabinet when he considered it appropriate and form a new team of ministers in accordance with Article 92 of the constitution which provided that the size of the cabinet should not exceed eleven percent of the total strength of the parliament.
Although this constitutional provision will be applicable after the next

Zardari, Gilani discuss cabinet with political leaders

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE – In a significant political move, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani telephoned heads of all major political parties, including PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, and took them into confidence on the right-sizing of the federal cabinet. The cabinet downsizing was on top of the PML-N’s demands. President Zardari talked to Nawaz after the PPP CEC on Friday gave a go-ahead to the prime minister’s decision to restructure his cabinet.

Spot-fixing scandal – UK indicts Salman, Asif and Amir

LONDON – British prosecutors charged former Pakistani cricket captain Salman Butt and opening bowlers Muhammad Asif and Mohammad Amir on Friday with taking bribes to fix incidents in the fourth cricket test against England at Lord’s last year.
The trio is accused of arranging incidents, such as bowling no-balls at pre-agreed times, during the match. Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said the trio, along with a fourth man, 35-year-old sports agent Mazhar Majeed of Croydon,

FIA issues arrest orders for Moonis

LAHORE – The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday included the name of Moonis Elahi, son of former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi, in the watch list and alerted immigration staff of all airports to arrest Moonis on his arrival.
Moonis Elahi is allegedly involved in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) land scam. Sources in the FIA confirmed that Moonis was expected to reach Pakistan on Friday from the UK through flight number EY-241 of Etihad Airlines.

Punjab’s affairs are worsening: Riaz

LAHORE – In response to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s 10-point agenda, Punjab Senior Minister Raja Riaz while presenting a 19-point version has asked Nawaz Sharif to look into the Punjab government affairs as the governance issues are worsening despite the full support of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
Raja Riaz, also the PPP’s parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly, made the demand through a letter, a copy of which he also provided to the media representatives,

Raymond Davis issue causes uproar during FO briefing

ISLAMABAD – The contentious issue of Raymond Davis, a US citizen currently detained in Lahore for killing two Pakistanis, caused uproar in the Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday when spokesman Abdul Basit declined to answer queries on the vital matter leading to a walkout by the reporters and an abrupt end to the ministry’s weekly briefing.
Reporters anxious to dig out information and know the exact stance of the Foreign Ministry on the status of Davis, who is dubbed as diplomat by

Senators warn of Egypt-like ‘revolution’ in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Senators on Thursday warned the government of Egypt-like ‘revolution’ in the country if it failed to mitigate the sufferings of the poor and overcome the energy crisis as there was no hope visible.
Speaking on an adjournment motion on unscheduled load shedding, excessive billing and hiked power tariff in the Upper House of parliament, they said despite repeated warnings, it was not likely that the government would take remedial measures. Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi

No food insecurity in near future, says Gondal

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Mohammad Gondal on Thursday said the country’s food production and supply chain was intact and the availability of ample food stocks meant that there were no chances of food insecurity in the country in the near future.
Addressing a press conference, the minister called “baseless” the news report that warned of food insecurity in the near future, saying the country was self sufficient in all staple foods. He said the production

Baloch senators walk out of upper house

ISLAMABAD – The senators belonging to Balochistan province on Thursday walked out from Senate proceedings against the suspension of funds for under-construction road projects in their areas. JUI-F senator form Sindh, Khalid Soomro, also joined his protesting colleagues from Balochistan, to record his protest against the suspension of funds in Sindh.
Dr Ismail Buledi said that without any justification, the National Highway Authority had halted various under-construction roads

Article 209 not applicable if NAB chairman’s appointment notice cancelled: SC

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court (SC), after hearing petitions against the appointment of Justice (r) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah as NAB chairman, has said that if notification of the chairman’s appointment is cancelled, Article 209 (judicial misconduct) would not be applicable.
A four-member bench, comprising of Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillanai, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed and Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, noted that consultation process, provided in section 6 of

‘PR’s loss amounted to Rs 54b in the last 3 years’

ISLAMABAD – The minister of state for railways, Afzal Sandhu Wednesday informed the house that the Pakistan Railways had suffered a loss amounting to Rs 54213.653 million in the last three and half years.
“The PR suffered loss of Rs 5326.162 million in 2007-08, Rs 18609.121 million in 2008-09, Rs 20152.619 million in 2009-10 while the loss in the first half of the current fiscal year has reached to Rs 10125.751 million,” the minister further informed the house during the Question

CM opens Danish School in Hasilpur

LAHORE – Punjab chief minister said that the nation will have to stand on its own feet if it wanted to live with dignity in the international community, as no nation could prosper on aid and alms. He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of Danish School in Hasilpur on Thursday.
Ambassadors of different countries, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Senior Advisor Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Education Minister of Sindh Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, provincial ministers, members of assemblies,