CPEC will open new avenues of investment: Gov. Achakzai

From Our Correspondent

QUETTA: Governor Balochistan Mohammad Khan Achakzai yesterday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will provide new avenues of investment in the entire region and its most benefit will be to Balochistan and its people. He said, “This great project will improve infrastructure of the province especially transport and communication system. These developments will not only promote general prosperity in the province but will also eliminate unemployment.”

He expressed these views while talking to French journalists and research delegation, who called on him at the Governor House here. The delegation was led by Jacques Follorou.

The Governor said that there are pleasant relations between Pakistan and France, and France is proficient of cooperating with us in various fields.

He said that bilateral cooperation in fields of knowledge and culture can make positive impact on the people of the two countries.

The Governor Balochistan informed the French delegation about the geographical importance of Balochistan and the bright potential of resources and minerals found naturally in the province.

He said, “Balochistan is a vast and populous province of Pakistan, the government and security forces are taking all possible steps for maintenance of peace and eradication of terrorism from the province.”

He said, “Terrorism is no more a local problem, it is a global issue now, therefore International community should appreciate efforts made by Pakistan in counter terrorism and should support us.” He expressed the hope that elimination of terrorism will once again promote tolerance, brotherhood and lasting peace in the world.

Kasuri’s claim attributed to CJP incorrect: SC spokesman

From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: A spokesman for the Supreme Court of Pakistan (CJP) has refuted claim by a senior lawyer that the suspect in brutal Kasur rape-murder case has been apprehended.

In a statement issued to media, the spokesman said that lawyer Ahmad Raza Kasuri’s statement was out of context.

The chief justice only spoke of reports on social media suggesting arrest of the culprit, the spokesman explained.

Senior advocate Ahmad Raza Kasuri earlier claimed that the suspect responsible for the rape and murder of Zainab in Kasur case has been arrested.

The Punjab government had also denied the claims.

Seven-year-old Zainab, a resident of Road Kot area of Kasur, had gone missing on January 4 when she ventured out of the house. Her body was found in a garbage pile near Kashmir Chowk five days later, leading to national outrage.

The senior lawyer said the chief justice of Pakistan informed him of the arrest when he went to meet him [chief justice] to appreciate his taking a suo motu notice of the case.

“The chief justice gave me the good news that the culprit has been caught,” he told media.

Kasuri also claimed that the man seen in the CCTV video holding Zainab’s hand is her relative.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced a Rs10 million reward for whoever identifies the culprit behind the heinous crime.

Chairing an important meeting over the Kasur tragedy on Thursday, Shehbaz also announced Rs3 million each for the families of the two protesters killed in firing by the police.

The chief minister ordered that the charge-sheet for the case should be presented in court within 24 hours.

MMA being revived to organise religious parties: Siraj-ul-Haq

From Our Correspondent

LAHORE: Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Senator Sirjaul Haq has said that the real objective of revival of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) is to organize the religious parties.

He said it would also pave the way for implementation of Nizam-e-Musatafa in the country and obstruct the plans of those who talk of secularism and liberalism in Pakistan.

He was addressing the Ittehad-e-Ummah Ulema Convention at Alhamra Hall, here yesterday.

Sirajul Haq said US President Donald Trump was challenging the Muslims and they would have to face the challenge through unity.

He said that the elements causing a split in the religious forces in the country had weakened the nation, only to serve their personal ends and it was high time that Ulema.

The JI chief said that the nation at present needed a courageous and honest leadership, and only Ulema could provide that leadership. He said that for the last 70 years, there had been the rule of oppression in the country and the common man was facing numerous problems. The people, who had been ruling the country until now, had not fulfilled any of their promises made with the people, he claimed. Ulema from different schools of thought attended the convention, which was addressed by Maulana Abdul Malik, Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha, Abdul Ghaffar Aziz and others.

2 Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli forces

GAZA: Two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead in clashes with Israel’s military yesterday, Palestinian officials said, amid tensions over US President Donald Trump’s recent Jerusalem declaration and a deadly gun attack.

Amir Abu Musaid, 16, was shot in the chest near the border fence east of Al-Bureij camp in central Gaza, the health ministry in the strip announced, following protests against Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The Israeli army said dozens of Palestinians were involved in “riots” along the border, throwing stones and burning tyres. The statement said two other Palestinians were injured in the clashes.

It said it shot at three who “put our forces in danger”.

Later another teenager was shot in the head in clashes near the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. Family members identified him as Ali Omar Qino, 16. Israel’s army has not yet commented on the second incident.

It occurred as Israeli forces continue to search the area around Nablus after Israeli rabbi Raziel Shevah was shot dead near the city on Tuesday by unknown assailants.

Sixteen Palestinians and an Israeli have been killed since Trump’s December 6 decision, which angered Palestinians who see Jerusalem as their capital.

Fourteen of the Palestinians were killed in clashes, while two were killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza in response to rocket fire.

It was unclear whether the gun attack on the Israeli or Thursday’s shooting death of the Palestinian near Nablus were related to Trump’s declaration. —AFP

Protest demonstration against killing of girl Zainab Amin

QUETTA: Pakistan International Human Rights Organization, Child Rights Movement and civil society staged a protest demonstration against killing of minor girl Zainab Amin after sexual assault in Kasur in front of Press Club here yesterday. Protestors carried placards and pictures of girl Zainab inscribed with slogans against her brutal murder. Protestors chanted slogans against Government of Punjab. They demanded immediate arrest of killer. Addressing on the occasion Sana Durrani, Fatima Zia and others said that this is not first incident of criminal assault in Pakistan with girls.  —PPI

Opposition not to join new government in Balochistan

From Kaleem Kakar

QUETTA:  Opposition political parties in Balochistan have made it clear that they will not be a part of the new government set-up after Nawab Sanaullah Zehri’s resignation as chief minister of the province.

“We will not be part of [the] future government”, Leader of the Opposition in the Balochistan Assembly Maulana Wasey told a crowded press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The opposition, however, promised votes in support of the PML-N dissidents’ proposed candidate. “The opposition will support any new candidate for the chief minister Balochistan named by the disgruntled PML-N legislators”, Wasey said.

Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, PML-Q MPA and former deputy speaker Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, and PML-N dissidents Jan Mohammad Jamali and Sardar Saleh Bhootani were also present on the occasion.

“We played our democratic role and will continue to do so in the future,” Mengal said. BNP, which has two legislators in the Balochistan Assembly, had previously supported the no-confidence motion against Zehri.

With the opposition out of the process, the disgruntled group within the PML-N is set to nominate a new leader of the house. The dissident group within the PML-N includes Sarfraz Bugti, whose resignation/ouster from the home minister’s office had worsened the political crisis in the province.

PML-N sources said Jamali, Bhootani and Bizenjo were all strong candidates for the top slot in the province as like-minded legislators of the party met today to nominate the new Balochistan chief minister.

Zehri, who had taken over the highest government office in the province from ally National Party’s Dr Abdul Malik in December 2015, resigned on Tuesday hours before a scheduled vote of no-confidence after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s last ditch efforts to save his government failed.

PPP not to resign from assemblies: Khursheed Shah

From Our Correspondent

FAISALABAD: Opposition Leader in National Assembly and senior leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah on Tuesday said the PPP would not resign from assemblies.

Addressing the oath taking ceremony of newly elected office bearers of Faisalabad Electronic Media Reporters Association here, he said that general elections as well as senate elections would be held on-time.

He said that PPP believed in democracy and democratic norms. “We had signed Charter of Democracy with the PML-N and we are also standing now for its implementation,” he added.   Khursheed Shah said, “We have worked with the PML-N only for the protection of democracy in the country and in this connection we have also borne taunt of ‘Friendly Opposition’,” he added.

He said that Pakistan was passing through a critical stage, therefore, the politicians should go forward after deep consideration on all sides of the issue. “PPP is also against the politics of abusive and rude language,” he added.

Responding to a query about Baluchistan’s situation, he said, “PPP has no member in Baluchistan Assembly. So we cannot do anything to get rid of this political turmoil.”

He also congratulated the newly elected office bearers of Electronic Media Reporters Association and said that the media should play its dynamic role for bringing qualitative change in the country.

Mayor Quetta cancels lease of Atiq and Haroon plazas

From Our Correspondent

QUETTA: NAB Balochistan notice saved national kitty of billions of Rupees loss. Senior officials of Metropolitan Corporation considering land allotment agreement as illegal cancelled lease of costly State land and Mayor Quetta issued orders of cancelling of land agreement with Atiq and Haroon plazas.

DG NAB Balochistan Irfan Ahmad Mangi taking notice of allotment of costly land at throw away price had ordered for seizing of land of Haroon and Atiq Plazas. Quetta Metropolitan Corporation realizing seriousness of the matter of allotment of disputed land issued orders for its cancellation. Matter of allotment of land at throw away prize was being investigation. In coming days there is possibility of more land cases to come in public. Those found involved in this corruption would be dealt with strictly according to law.

National Accountability Bureau was very active under the leadership of Chairman Justice (R) Javaid iqbal. Due to regular actions against corrupt elements people have pinned hopes that actions against corruption elements would continue indiscriminately in days to come.

Brigade level exercise held at Jalalpur Jattan: ISPR

ISLAMABAD: A brigade level exercise held at Jalal Pur Jattan for troops ex Jhelum formation, according to Inter Services Public Relations yesterday.  The exercise was aimed to enhance coordination between various components of the formation during the war, the statement read.

Moreover, Commander Rawalpindi Corps visited the exercising troops to see the conduct phase. The commander hailed operational preparedness and professional competence displayed by the participating troops.

On December 20, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Bahawalpur to observe winter collective training exercises of the mechanised formation based in the area.

The army chief appreciated the high standards of training and professional skills displayed by the Army formation. During the visit, he said that while the Army is committed to the war on terror, no complacency can be shown regarding preparations for responding to a conventional threat, added ISPR.  —Agencies

CJP takes suo-motu notice over rape, killing of innocent Zainab, Punjab govt constitutes JIT

ARMY CHIEF DIRECTS FOR CIVIL ADMINISTRATION’S SUPPORT TO CATCH ZAINAB’S RAPIST

From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Mian Saqib Nisar has taken suo-motu notice over vicious killing of innocent minor girl Zainab, who was raped and killed in Qasur yesterday, and summoned report from IG Punjab within 24 hours.

According to the release issued by the Supreme Court, CJP has taken the notice of Zainab’s raped and murder after the media report and ordered Inspector General Punjab to submit report in next 24 hour in this connection.

An eight years old girl was brutally raped and murdered in Qasur. According to the details, the miner girl, Zainab was kidnapped four days ago from Road Kot, Qasur written (Kasur). She was strangled to death after being rapped. The police have recovered her body from a garbage heap on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, the government of Punjab has constituted Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the innocent child Zainab’s dreadful killing.

Following the orders of the Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif JIT has been formed and directed to submit report within 24 hours. The committee headed by AIG Abu Bakar Khuda Bukhsh and comprised of police officials and officials of intelligence agencies.

Meanwhile, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has directed military authorities yesterday to extend immediate support to the civil administration to catch rapist of late baby girl Zainab.

According to reports, a seven-year-old minor girl was raped and murdered in Kasur; the incident reported after her decaying body was found in a heap of trash.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG), Major General Asif Ghafoor reported that the Army Chief has directed for all-out support to the civil institutions concerned to catch the culprit and bring him to justice. “COAS directs [for] immediate all out support to civil administration to arrest the criminals and bringing them to exemplary justice,” ISPR DG tweeted.

Punjab chief minister (CM) Shehbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and summoned a report from DPO while asserting that he personally is overseeing the case.

Earlier in the day, enraged locals clashed with police as father of the murdered minor complained that police did not help the family find the missing child until her body was found by relatives.