Opposition’s NA walkout, a pressure tactic to seek NRO: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday appeared incensed over frequent walkouts by the opposition parties in the National Assembly (NA) and termed their move ‘a tactic to seek an NRO (a term used by the government for opposition seeking relief from corruption cases).

In a tweet this morning, PM Khan wrote: “In a Parliament that costs taxpayers billions yearly, yet another walkout in NA by the Opposition shows that this is the only function they intend to perform.

These are pressure tactics to seek an NRO & evade accountability for corruption in NAB cases not initiated by PTI.”

The opposition, mainly the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), staged a walkout from the NA yesterday (Jan 14) after leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif completed his speech in which he raised questions over Mohmand Dam bidding contract issued by the government.

When Federal Minister for Water, Faisal Vawda, stood to respond to the criticism of PML-N, the opposition members staged a walkout.

Vawda expressed his resentment on the opposition benches for leaving the House without listening to the government’s version.

The PTI-led government has been accusing the opposition for making several attempts to seek an NRO and a way out to evade accountability over corruption, however, the opposition parties, particularly the Pakistan People’s Party and the PML-N, have rejected the government claim.

Couple of days ago, PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz stated that the government was giving a wrong impression that opposition was looking for an NRO.

‘Let me clarify that we have no desire for NRO,’ he said during a media talk recently.

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed also claimed that Nawaz Sharif was seeking NRO for Maryam Nawaz but former president Zardari was not interested for the same deal for his son Bilawal.

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry also stated couple of times recently that the government was receiving indirect offers from the opposition to accept the NRO deal.

Two terrorists killed in CTD encounter in Faisalabad

Two terrorists killed in CTD encounter in Faisalabad
Two suspected terrorists were killed by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel in Faisalabad on Monday night, a CTD spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, the suspected terrorists were identified as Adeel and Usman and were involved in the kidnapping of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son Ali Haider Gillani, a US citizen, and other serious criminal acts.

The suspects were also accused of killing two policemen in Faisalabad’s D ground, the spokesperson added.

Moreover, suicide jackets, weapons and bombs were recovered from the terrorists.

Family of PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman robbed at gunpoint in Karachi

 Khurram Sher Zaman
A family of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA from Sindh, Khurram Sher Zaman, was robbed an gunpoint in the city on Monday night.

According to the PTI leader, the incident occurred with his family in Clifton area when some armed miscreants snatched valuables at the gunpoint.

He said silence of the Sindh government over rising street crimes and snatching incidents was a criminal negligence.

“It’s not about my family, it’s about every citizen who wants protection while stepping out of their homes,” he added.

He said he was raising voice on the issue for over five years, but in vain.

In a similar incident, some unidentified armed men tried to stop former governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, when he driving back home with his family on the night of Jan 9 in Defence Phase-VI.

However, they didn’t rob him.

Zubair said armed men were riding a white corolla that blocked his way on the road.

Around two to three miscreants were in the car, he added.

He said one of the armed men also pointed a pistol at him.

“Whether they were trying to target me or just threaten me, I have no idea,” he explained.

He said it was possible that the miscreants were looking to rob him.

“I have been quite vocal against terrorism in the past years and was receiving threats for some time,” he stated.


US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to arrive in Pakistan today

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will arrive in the federal capital on a four-day tour today.

Khalilzad will be accompanied by United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells and will meet senior civil and military leaders during his visit.

The US envoy will hold delegation-level talks at the Foreign Office regarding the Afghan peace process and talks with the Taliban and the US Army’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Khalilzad, who met Taliban representatives last month in Abu Dhabi, traveled to Afghanistan as well as China and India as part of the four-nation trip which ends January 21.

According to Khalilzad, “the only solution to the conflict is for all parties to sit together and reach an agreement on the political future of Afghanistan with mutual respect and acceptance.”

His trip comes after President Donald Trump signaled he would bring home half of the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan as he grows increasingly impatient over America´s longest-ever war.

Eight bodies retrieved from landslide-trapped van on Karakoram Highway

 Karakoram Highway
The bodies of eight labourers were retrieved from inside a van that got buried Monday night under the rubble from a sudden landslide near the Khushi point on the Karakoram Highway, authorities confirmed.

Rescue workers “have successfully recovered the bodies of eight people from inside the van”, the station house officer (SHO) present at the site said.

With the rescue work underway, police said the information they received, the number of people inside the van all of whom were labourers was between 8 and 12.

The Karakoram Highway was subsequently closed off for traffic.

Police further said heavy machinery had been summoned to retrieve the trapped labourers safely.

NAB chairman should appear before National Assembly: Zardari

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari
Former president and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman should appear before the National Assembly to answer questions.

Speaking in the National Assembly, he said that his party will continue work for strengthening of democracy and supremacy of the parliament.

The PPP co-chairman said that the members of parliament have a key role to strengthen this august institution.

He suggested that if there is a case against any parliamentarian, it should be taken first at the level of National Assembly and then moved to the relevant investigation agency.

Zardari said he was hearing of plans among various parties to call on the NAB chairman, purportedly to discuss the bureau s anti-corruption drive. “Why will you go to the NAB chairman?” he asked the MNAs present, before declaring: “The NAB chairman should appear in person before the parliament.”

Imran Khan will be brought to his knees very soon: Hamza

Imran Khan will be brought to his knees very soon: Hamza
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz hit out at the PTI-led government, saying Prime Minister Imran Khan would be forced to apologise to his voters over the dismal performance.

“The day is not far when he [PM Imran] will be compelled to go atop a container once again and say he has failed the people of Pakistan owing to his government’s policies,” he said while talking to reporters in Lahore on Monday.

Hamza, son of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, went on to say that the people of Pakistan have had to bear the brunt of the economic failures of the government with prices of basic necessities sky rocketing.

The government has no clue how to fix the the economy, he added. “The public can’t be given any relief by the government busy in criticising the previous governments”

Talking about his name on the no-fly list, the PML-N leader said: “I had no idea my name was being added to the Exit Control List (ECL), but it does not matter as I was on the same list for the last 10 years during the Musharraf’s dictatorial reign.”

BAP’s Manzoor Ahmad wins Senate seat in by-election

BAP's Manzoor Ahmad wins Senate seat in by-election
Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate Manzoor Ahmad Kakar bagged victory in the by-election on a Senate seat from Balochistan.

According to unofficial results, BAP’s Manzoor Ahmad Kakar obtained 38 votes while the candidate of the joint opposition BNP-Mengal’s Ghulam Nabi Marri received only 23 votes.

The seat in the upper house of the parliament fell vacant after the demise of Senator of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) and chief of Musakhel tribe Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel.

Azam Khan Musakhel was elected senator in 2015.

Government constitutes committee to propose reforms in Maritime sector

Government constitutes committee to propose reforms in Maritime sector
Government has constituted an inter ministerial committee to propose reforms in Maritime sector.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Monday. The meeting discussed potential of the maritime and other related matters.

The committee will comprise senior representatives from the ministries concerned and Naval Headquarters. Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, Minister for Defense Production Zubaida Jalal, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbassi and other senior officers were present at the meeting.

Maryam thanks Allah after SC decision in Avenfield reference

Maryam thanks Allah after SC decision in Avenfield reference
The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau(NAB) challenging the Islamabad High Court decision to grant bail to Sharif family in the Avenfield reference.

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court heard the NAB’s plea. Upon the verdict in favour, the daughter of the former prime minister Maryam Nawaz thanked the Allah Almighty.

She said, she is forever grateful to Allah Almighty and the Sharif family will soon pass through these tested times.

In a tweet, Maryam said that she is thankful to Allah for the verdict.

 I am thankful to Allah Almighty for today’s decision. The fact is that not for a moment was I concerned about myself. Insha’Allah true relief& happiness would be when my father comes back home. I have faith in Allah and His infinite Mercy. Thank you all for your prayers &support.