Pakistan can’t ignore situation at LoC: FO

From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cannot ignore the situation at the Line of Control, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said giving the example of loss of lives during the past few days.  The FO spokesperson was speaking media where he responded to a question pertaining to back door diplomacy keeping in view the tense relations between the neighbouring countries. The FO spokesperson said that Pakistan was also keenly observing the budding nexus between India and Israel, as the two countries edged closer towards a free trade pact, which was likely to include defence cooperation. The foreign office spokesperson welcomed the statements given earlier by Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ambassador Alice Wells.

Wells earlier said that the US sought to move towards a new relationship with Pakistan, based on mutual interest in realising a stable and prosperous region. Dr Faisal said that the US diplomat’s statements are in accordance with the United Nations charter, respecting sovereignty of other countries and not interfering in their personal matters. On January 11, the Pakistan Foreign Office said it was in talks with the United States over matters of mutual interest, including security assistance, but it was too soon to reveal more at this point in time.

Balochistan would be a corruption free province: Elahi

From Our Correspondent

QUETTA: Former Chief Minister Punjab and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi yesterday said that Balochistan would become a corruption free province under the leadership of Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo.

While talking to the media in a press conference at Chief Minister Secretariat here, He said, “We are going to unite all the Muslim leagues at one platform and success of Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo is a great news for the workers of Pakistan Muslim League (Q).

He said, “I am grateful to Jamiat Ulema-e Islam Leader Maulana Fazal ur Rehman, Balochistan

National Party, Awami National Party, Senator Mir Israrullah Zehri and

Provincial Assembly members of PML-N for supporting us in no-confidence motion and electing Abdul Quddus Bizenjo as Chief Minister Balochistan.

Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Senator Kamil Ali Agha, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Provincial Minister for Agriculture Sheikh Jafar Khan, Senator Rubina Irfan, Adviser to CM for Excise and Transport Abdul Karim Nosherwani, Adviser Finance Dr. Ruqaiya Hashmi were also present on the occasion.

Perveaiz Elahi said, “We have good relations with the people and Leaders of all political parties of Balochistan.”

He said that newly elected Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo would do exemplary development in Balochistan in this given short period of time.

On the occasion Chief Minister Balochistan said “We all know about the services of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi for the country.” He said that Balochistan Government will complete its constitutional term despite all challenges.

CM said “Instead of blaming previous government, we will focus on improving law and order situation in the province and try to provide all the basic facilities to the people residing in rural areas.”

Four Pakistani soldiers martyred in Indian firing at LoC

RAWALPINDI: Four soldiers of Pakistan Army were martyred when Indian forces opened unprovoked fire across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir yesterday morning.

According to the army’s media wing, ISPR, the soldiers were working on lines communication maintenance in the Jandrot and Kotli sectors of Azad Jammu and Kashmir when they were attacked with heavy mortar fire.

The firing left all four soldiers dead.  According to the ISPR, the Pakistan Army responded to the attack and killed three Indian soldiers and injured many others.  Moreover yesterday, the Indian army martyred six Kashmiri youth, claiming that they were militants attempting to cross over into Indian held Kashmir.

Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat said, “Pakistan Army has been continuously trying to help terrorists sneak into India along LoC (Line of Control) in J&K. We are using our might to teach them a lesson,” he said. “If we are forced, then we may resort to ‘other action’ by stepping up military offensive”.

The Indian media reported that the army chief was addressing a parade on the occasion of Indian Army Day in New Delhi. India frequently opens unprovoked fire across the LoC, resulting in the martyrdom of civilians and army officials.  On December 25, 2017, three Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred as Indian forces opened fire along the LoC’s Rakhchikri sector.

One other soldier was injured in the unprovoked firing. According to the Foreign Office, India committed 70 ceasefire violations in the first 12 days of the year and 1,900 in 2017.  —Agencies

Imran embarrassed when asked about Karak city problems

From Fawwad Afridi

KARAK: PTI Chairman Imran Khan yesterday faced an embarrassing situation when he failed to answer the volley of questions asked by local journalists about the basic problems being faced by the people of neglected Karak district.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief went complete blank when the newsmen showered queries about lack of basic facilities in the area which his party’s government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had failed to provide.

Imran Khan and the KP Information Minister left the press briefing without answering even a single question.

The questions pertained to deteriorated condition of the Karak district hospital, non-provision of clean drinking water in the Karak city, no increase in gas royalty to Karak by the KP government for the last three years, polluted

water supply to the people of Shanwa Gadi Khel village causing cancer disease, running Khushal Khan Khattak (KKK) University from the gas royalty of the district and non-construction of its building, and construction of gravity line from Sarki Lawaghar Dam .

According to a senior correspondent of Karak district, both Imran Khan and minister Shah Farman had no answer to the questions asked by the local media-men.

The civil society members highly praised the journalists of Karak for playing their role in representing the district in true sense before Imran Khan.

PM invites foreign investors to explore economic, trade potential in Pakistan

From Muneer Malik

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi yesteraday said after successful completion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, Pakistan was poised to serve as a hub for enhancing regional trade and connectivity especially for land-locked Afghanistan and the Central Asian states. The prime minister was speaking to a delegation of International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) headed by its President Babar Badat that called on him at the Prime Minister’s Office, a press release said.

He said the CPEC had opened up new vistas of opportunities not only for Pakistan, but for the entire region.

‘Dawn Leaks report will expose Pervaiz’


From Ahmed Chughtai

LAHORE: Former information minister Pervaiz Rasheed said yesterday that if former interior minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leader Chaudhry Nisar is as disciplined as he says then he should leave the party.

Senator Rasheed said the former interior minister passed “misleading statements about the party during testing times”.

The party should make a decision unanimously regarding Nisar, said Rasheed, adding that if his vote is required then he will suggest it.

“Someone wanted my ouster and Nisar wanted to win his approval,” said Rasheed.

Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar said that he doesn’t seem it fit to respond to a man who is ‘barely in the party’.

“A person who hasn’t contested councilor’s election thinks he ranks highly in the party,” said Nisar.

Nisar while lambasting Rasheed said the senator has spent most part of his life in ’another party’.

“If the Dawn leaks report is made public then the deeds of the person passing statements will be in front of everyone” said the former interior minister.

“Nawaz Sharif had to take the decision under duress,” he said. “I know Nawaz was not responsible for my ouster.”

Earlier, then interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had held Rasheed’s ‘doings’ responsible for his ouster.

“What he [Nisar] refers to as my doings are Pakistan’s national interest,” Rasheed had responded.

On October 29, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took back the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage from Pervaiz Rashid, weeks after the military’s top commanders said a ‘false and fabricated’ newspaper report breached national security.

According to a statement from the PM’s office, the premier directed then Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid to step down to enable holding of an independent and detailed inquiry into the episode.

Meanwhile, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has censured fellow party leader, former information minister Pervaiz Rashid yesterday by saying that a politician who did not contest for a councillor’s election is acting as if he is the ‘chief minister of the party’.

The former interior minister said that he does not deem it necessary to respond to ridiculous statements of any lawmaker. Nisar said former premier Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi should order for release of Dawn Leaks report.

He warned that actions of the lawmaker would be clear once the report is made public.

Pervaiz Rashid, then information and broadcasting minister was sacked in October 2016 after an alleged inside story of meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) was fed to an English daily. The story that was carried by the daily claimed of a confrontation between the civil and military leadership relating to operations against terror hideouts. Government as well as Pakistan Army denied the news and termed it baseless.

A committee formed by then interior minister Chaudhry Nisar concluded that the issue be forwarded to All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) for required disciplinary action against the journalist.

The government had branded the story a breach of national security. The journalist had stated that the news was verified by multiple sources and the English daily stood by the published material.

Rashid, then information minister among two government officials were sacked for not shouldering their responsibilities.

Armed struggle, suicide attacks ‘un-Islamic’ in Pakistan, say Ulema

From Muneer Malik

ISLAMABAD: Nearly 2000 Ulema, belonging to different schools of thoughts, have issued decree declaring armed struggle against state of Pakistan and suicide attacks forbidden and ‘un-Islamic’.

According to the text of the decree available with The News, some 1829 religious scholars have unanimously agreed saying, “Armed struggle against state for enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan is Haram (un-Islamic)”

The Ulema have also declared, with consensus, suicide attacks in Pakistan un-Islamic. “Those carrying out suicide attacks in Pakistan and their abettors are rebels as per the Islamic teachings. The state of Pakistan has the right to strictly deal with such elements according to Sharia.”

“Only Islamic government has the right declare the Jihad, which allows armed struggle,” it says and adds “imposing your ideology on others on the basis of power is equivalent to spreading violence.”

Foes of Islam and Pakistan are getting benefit of violence and terrorism in Pakistan, the Ulema say in the decree.

The decree will be presented  at a ceremony which will be held at the Presidency on Tuesday. It will be under the title Peghaam-e-Pakistan.

CM AQ Bizenjo calls on Akhtar Mengal, Tariq Magsi

By Kaleem Kakar

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo visited the residence of Balochistan National Party President Sardar Akhtar Mengal here yesterday. He was accompanied by MPA Jan Muhammad Jamali.

MPA Hamal Kalmati and other leaders of BNP were also present on the occasion.

Balochistan chief minister thanked Akhtar Mengal for his support for him.

The two discussed political situation of the country and the province.

Bizenjo said for the promotion of positive political atmosphere, a policy of consultation and consent would be framed, adding that it was his desire that all political forces should play their role for improving law and order and resolving problems of the province. He said he would extend all possible cooperation in this regard.

Bizenjo said provincial assembly would complete its constitutional tenure, and, during this short span, he and his cabinet, with the cooperation of other political parties, would mobilise their abilities for provincial development and sustainable peace.

Akhtar Mengal congratulated him on his election as chief minister and assured his cooperation.

Later, the chief minister visited the residence of MPA Tariq Magsi and thanked him for his support. They also talked political matters.

“It’s Tea Whitener Not Milk”


CJP ordered all manufacturers

By Rana Azeem

KARACHI: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar yesterday ordered the makers of tea whiteners to inscribe ‘It’s not milk’ on the packets of tea whiteners within four weeks.

Hearing a case pertaining to substandard packaged milk at its Karachi registry, the apex court full bench, headed by the CJP, and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, came down hard on health secretary and asked him whether there was any drug inspector in the province or not.

During the hearing, the court’s Nazir submitted his report regarding the injections being given to buffalos to increase milk quantity. The report said that such injections were being sold in the market, adding that 39 packets of the same were confiscated from one medical store.

The court ordered that drug inspectors should be assigned to conduct raids in the market for recovering such injections and ascertaining the stock available at retailers and distributors.

Besides, the court also directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate crackdown on the milk-increasing injections being sold in the market.

The CJP remarked that milk and tea whitener were two separate things, adding that some companies manufacture tea whiteners only while others sell milk in packs. “Tea whitener is not milk at all,” said the top judge of the country.

The court directed the makers of tea whiteners to clearly inscribe ‘It’s not milk’ on the packets and make it advertised in newspapers and television.

The makers of tea whiteners maintained that the tea whitener was made of the milk on which the CJP once again said it was not milk.

“We are allowing you four-week time so as to save you from loss. The court’s directives should be complied with within stipulated time,” the judges ruled.

Earlier on Saturday, the court directed authorities to conduct lab tests of all packaged milk brands being sold in Sindh from Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR). The court ordered that the samples of all brands be collected and the same should be examined from the PCSIR. It sought the report on the quality of the milk within 15 days.

PTI caused 22-month delay in Orange Line project: CM Punjab

By Ahmed Chughtai

LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif remarked that political opponent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf caused a 22-month delay in the Orange Line Metro Train project.

Sharif was speaking to the media during a visit to the construction site of Orange Line Metro Train project on early yesterday morning.

He also remarked that the work on the project should be expedited and labourers must work around the clock.

CM Punjab arrived at the construction site in a coaster without any protocol and visited different sites for the project in his 2-hour long visit.

He also reviewed the civil, mechanical and electrical aspects of the project, alongside visiting the underground parts of the project.

Later, he held a meeting on the project’s progress, which was also attended by Chinese officials.

He was briefed on the progress of the project and was assured by the officials of the swift and timely completion of the project.

Shehbaz expressed his satisfaction at the work and said he was happy to see the progress during his visit today to the project site.