PPP calls on CJP to take notice of party leadership’s ‘media trial’

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.
The PPP has called on Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice of what it calls a “media trial” of the party’s top leadership, allegedly at the behest of investigators probing a money laundering case.

PPP-Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and several of their business associates are currently being probed as part of a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions — which were initially found to have totalled Rs35 billion — conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL.

While forming a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the ‘fake’ accounts case, the Supreme Court had barred the probe team and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from issuing press releases or providing information about the investigation to the media.

“Honourable SC in its order … had clearly directed that to ensure transparent and effective inquiry, no member of the JIT or FIA will divulge any information to the media,” said a statement issued by Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, the spokesperson for PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

“Sadly what we are seeing is that in clear violation of SC orders, sources ‘within JIT’ are openly being quoted on various talk shows and media outlets, to speculate on the ongoing inquiry,” the statement claimed.

The PPP lawmaker said that the alleged speculation is being done with a “mala fide agenda” to malign the party’s top leadership and to “create confusion in the minds of the general public”.

“This raises a lot of questions on the credibility of the investigators, the conduct of the investigation and [it] seems that the outcome is already pre-determined,” Khokhar said.

He expressed the hope that Justice Nisar would take appropriate action regarding their complaint.

Zardari, his siblings and their business associates face allegations that they illegally channelled funds through the said fake accounts to launder them in connivance with the CEOs of major banks.

Peshawar girl students thrash harassers at busy market

In the video footage, a woman can be seen furiously slapping and roughing up the two men.
In an act of bravado, two girl students thrashed two young men catcalling at them at a busy market of Peshawar forcing them to flee.

In an undated video clip that went viral on social media on Friday, the two girl students wearing hijab could be seen angrily slapping across the faces of two young men as a crowd gathers at the scene.

Surprisingly, none of the onlookers in the crowd came forward to help the girls. The owner of a shop in the market told media, the men had been teasing and catcalling the girls for the past few days.

“Today, when the men tried to intercept the women, they reacted angrily, snatched the keys of the motorcycle they were riding and started slapping them right in the middle of the market,” he added.

As onlookers gathered at the scene of the brawl, the men denied they eve teased or catcalled at the women, further angering the girls. While the crowd looked on, one woman grabbed one harasser and hit him repeatedly.

However, he managed to break himself free and ran away, shows the video clip. The woman chased him until he disappeared at a street corner. The other man, in the meantime, received sound drubbing before the crowd intervened.

Last year, two teenaged girls beat up a man after he groped one of them on Tariq Road, an upscale shopping district of Karachi, when they were shopping.

PMLN leaders react to PTI govt’s performance

PMLN leaders react to PTI govt's performance
Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbsi on Friday said that the policies of his party should be implemented if the PTI government was serious in resolving issues facing the country.

Addressing a press conference along with other PML-N leaders in Islamabad on Friday, he said that the prime minister didn’t say a single word about tax evaders, adding that those who don’t pay taxes have weaken the system.

Criticising the government, Abbasi said that they regret PM Imran couldn’t even hire a peon in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), adding that he should decide if the anti-graft watchdog was under his control or not.

“The value of rupee has depreciated to the lowest level in history,” the former premier said and added the reforms introduced by former minister Miftah Ismail are the only way to stop money laundering and theft.

Taking a jibe at PM Imran’s speech, Abbasi asked the government reveal the country where US$11 billion are and bring the money back to Pakistan.

The PML-N leader said that the government has not revealed any plan on how it would construct five million houses.

Speaking on the occasion, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan couldn’t even get to know which departments come under federation and which come under provincial government.

PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said that the prime minister had said that he will end corruption within 90 days. “Despite passing of 100 days, the premier hasn’t learnt the rules of business,” he added.

Earlier, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that nation should not be disappointed and should search on ‘Google’ the next 100-day plan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

PML-N reacted over the 100-day performance of the PTI government after they held a ceremony on November 29, regarding completion of their first 100 days in government.

PML-N leader and former Sindh governor Mohammad Zubair also has criticized the performance of PTI government that failed to give satisfactory results and now has announced to give another plan.

Mohammad Zubair added that PM Imran Khan failed to present any achievement of government.

On the other hand, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also strongly criticized the government and termed the first 100 days of PTI government u-turn.

PPP chairman spokesperson said that PM Khan’s address on the occasion of completion of 100 days was not an effective speech as he had nothing to inform the nation.

The spokesperson further said that the extraordinary increase in the prices of electricity, gas and gasoline has worried people.

“Political intervention in police and bureaucracy has exposed the claimants of change,” he added.

Former Opposition Leader in National Assembly (NA) Khurshid Shah said that the premier was feeling proud over asking for loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Previously, on November 29, during the ceremony regarding completion of PTI first 100 days in government at the Convention Centre, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that he said that the government tried to benefit common people from their policies during 100 days but Corruption has ruined the country’s institutions.

The premier had said that the PTI government strengthened the FIA to curb money laundering.

PTI government was trying to introduce uniform curriculum across the county, Khan had said and added we have made plan on how to bring children back to school.

Syed Ali Gilani terms Imran Khan’s statement as realistic

Syed Ali Gilani
In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani, has said that Kashmir is the bone of contention between Pakistan and India since the creation of the two countries in 1947.

Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar termed as realistic the Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan’s assertion that Kashmir is the main dispute between Pakistan and India. “Kashmir is in fact the bone of contention between two nuclear neighbors. It is the undoubtedly historic fact that the sore in the shape of Kashmir continues to bleed right from the birth of both sovereign countries,” he said.

The APHC Chairman said the statement of India’s Ministry of External Affairs that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India is a brazen lie. He said that India had been arrogantly parroting this lie for the last 71 years, but it had not changed the contours and dimensions of this long pending dispute. “There are ample proofs and concrete indications that prove beyond doubt that this piece of land (Jammu and Kashmir) is a disputed territory,” he maintained.

Syed Ali Gilani said that the death and destruction on both sides due to their armed collision, unrealistic race of weaponry especially by India, huge and fatty defense budget and the 71-year-long and bloody struggle of Kashmiris were visible to everybody. He deplored that once again hand of friendship extended by Pakistan has been turned down by the egoistic rulers in New Delhi, which speaks of their euphoric and arrogant attitude of power and might.

The octogenarian leader said that accusing its neghibours of violation of international laws was not only hypocratic but funny as well because India despite being a signatory to these laws had itself crushed them under military might and had emerged as an Asian monster trying to engulf its small and weak neighbours and forcibly occupying Jammu and Kashmir. “Indian rulers always parrot these said lines of integral and inalienable part, because they know from the inner core of their heart that we should continue to repeat the claim of what actually is not ours, otherwise they never say these words about rest of their states,” he pointed out.

The APHC Chairman said that the statements of Indian leaders regarding Jammu and Kashmir would make no difference because the people of Jammu and Kashmir were pursuing their right to self-determination and would continue it till the Kashmir dispute was resolved as per their aspirations.

Nation should not worry about hike in Dollar: PM Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday his government was taking steps to ensure that a shortage of dollars would not exist in the future.

Addressing a ceremony to announce the launch of a car manufacturing plant by JW Forland, the prime minister spoke on the dollar reaching an all-time high of Rs142 in the interbank.

The prime minister said he had been receiving calls since morning about the hike in the dollar price. “I want to tell everyone not to worry about the dollar hike. There is an adjustment taking place. We are taking steps which will ensure that there won’t be a shortage of dollars in Pakistan.”

The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan’s biggest problem was the current account deficit which stood at almost $18.5 billion. “The government is tasked with overcoming the deficit. When there is pressure on the dollar, the exchange rate increases.”

Prime Minister Khan stressed there was a need for a change in mindset, emphasising that his government had made investment easier. “Investment creates jobs and brings dollars in the country.”

He spoke on ease of doing business for investors, which in turn would attract more investors. According to the prime minister, there was a need for technological transfer, which he said was among the areas of focus during his trip to China.

“For the first time, we have asked China for a technology transfer. When there is technology transfer, the country prospers.”

The prime minister further said that Pakistan had transformed into an import economy where manufacturing had diminished. “Where there were once factories, real estate projects now exist.”

Prime Minister Khan said for the first time in Pakistan’s history a complete car manufacturing plant was being set up and this would create 5,000 jobs which would increase to 35,000 in the future.

Speaking on the issue of money laundering, Prime Minister Khan said the government was taking steps to bring back looted money. “There is $10 billion of money laundering annually in Pakistan.” 

Law and order situation improved in Balochistan: IGP Mohsin Hassan

IGP Mohsin Hassan
Inspector General Police Balochistan Mohsin Hassan Butt has said that law and order situation has considerably been improved in the province.

He was addressing passing out parade of 88th batch of newly recruits at Police Training Centre in Quetta on Friday.

The IG added that police and other law enforcement agencies are confronting against terrorism in province and the police force is on the forefront in the war on terror.

PPP celebrates 51st Foundation Day today

PPP celebrates 51st Foundation Day
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is all set to celebrate 51st Foundation Day today (Friday) with vigour and commitment to the ideology for which the leadership and workers sacrificed their lives.

The main function of the 51st Foundation Day of PPP will be held in Sukkur in which delegates from all the provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan will participate.

A public meeting in connection with the 51st Foundation Day of PPP will be held at Z.A Bhutto Sports Complex Sukkur at 3:00pm. PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other party leaders will address the gathering.

All arrangements for the public meeting have been finalized. A stage has been set up to accommodate PPP leaders. The venue has been decorated with posters and party flags while thousands of chairs have been placed for the workers.

Strict security arrangements have been made for the public meeting. Heavy contingents of police have been deployed on all roads around Z.A Bhutto Sports Complex for security of PPP leaders and workers.

ECC approves to gift 40,000 metric tons wheat to Afghanistan

ECC approves to gift 40,000 metric tons wheat to Afghanistan
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Friday accorded approval for gifting 40,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan.

According to details, Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar presided over an emergency meeting of ECC that was held in Islamabad today (Friday). The ECC agreed to gift the wheat worth Rs1.73 billion to Afghanistan.

According to sources, the meeting also reviewed problems being faced by the sugar mills owners and has decided to negotiate with the sugar industry owners.

The meeting also reviewed the issue of delay in payment by the mills owners to the sugarcane growers.

The ECC also approved the release of funds to Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) for the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

Following ECC’s decision, $82.6 million will be released for the 320,000 BISP card holders.

“Pain of Kashmiris is felt by Pakistan” Fawad Chaudhry

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday advised the Indian government to accept that the Kashmir issue has no military solution.

Chaudhry was addressing a seminar of the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group in Islamabad.

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi just announced that [his government] will give a package of billions of rupees to [Indian Occupied] Kashmir,” Chaudhry said. “But independence cannot be bought with money. Independence is a sentiment felt in the heart, a narrative of the heart.”

The information minister said that India’s allegation that Pakistan was instigating unrest in Kashmir had no foundation and the Indian government had only adopted this stance because it was unable to crush the struggle for freedom in the region. He urged Indian authorities to realise that “armies cannot conquer the narrative of the heart”.

Chaudhry said that Pakistan’s stance on Occupied Kashmir was not inspired by the “beauty of Kashmir”.

“We don’t view the Kashmir issue from a territorial point of view. We look at it from a humanitarian angle,” he said, adding that the “pain of Kashmiris is felt by Pakistan”.

The information minister further said that pro-Pakistan sentiment in Kashmir was very high and political parties which contested elections in the territory realised this.

“[Kashmiri leader] Umar Farooq told me that political parties contesting elections in Kashmir knew that if they adopted an anti-Pakistan narrative, their voter base would alienate them,” he said.