Aug 232017
 

The federal government announced a four-day holiday on account of Eidul Azha, falling on September 2, Saturday, via a notification issued by the interior ministry on Wednesday.

All offices will remained closed from September 1 to 4 — Friday to Monday, both days inclusive — according to the notification, DawnNews reported.

The Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee on Tuesday had announced the beginning of the month of Zilhaj from August 24, with Eid falling on September 2.

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Aug 232017
 

The son of PPP MPA Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, who was kidnapped in Karachi earlier this week, was recovered by police on Wednesday during an operation in Karachi's Gadap Town area, Senior Superintendent Police Malir Rao Anwar said.

Five suspected kidnappers were killed during the operation, the SSP said, adding that Baloch's son Hayat had been kidnapped from the same area at gunpoint on Tuesday.

Anwar said the kidnappers had demanded a Rs10 million ransom from the family of Baloch, the special assistant to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah.

According to the MPA's family members, the unknown abductors had first kidnapped all individuals who were travelling in the car with Hayat.

However, they later stopped the car and let everyone go, except for Hayat. The abductors also took the car the boy was travelling in, the SSP said.

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Aug 232017
 
BHC rejects MPA Achakzai's bail application in traffic policeman death case

The Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Wednesday rejected the bail application of Public Accounts Committee Chairman Majeed Khan Achakzai in a case pertaining to the death of a traffic policeman who was allegedly run over by the lawmaker's car.A traffic sergeant, Haji Attaullah, was run over and killed near Quetta's GPO Chowk in June when a vehicle allegedly belonging to the legislator ran him over. The incident had come to light shortly after footage of the legislator's vehicle ramming into the traffic officer began circulating on social media.The lawmaker was taken into police custody after a campaign on social media mounted pressure on the government to arrest him. Earlier, when Achakzai was remanded into policy custody, he confessed to his involvement in the accident and claimed to have agreed to compensate the family members of the slain traffic policeman, police said.A two-judge bench hearing the case today appeared to be divided on the matter of Achakzai's bail application. The Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) MPA was granted bail by Justice Muhammad Hashim Kakar, whereas Chief Justice Balochistan Noor Muhammad Muskanzai rejected his application. The bench then referred the case to Justice Ejaz Swati who was declared a referee judge. Swati subsequently rejected the MPA's application for bail. Achakzai, an elected MPA for Balochistan from the PB-13 Killa Abdullah district, earlier lashed out at "certain elements" who he claimed had declared him a criminal prior to a trial in court. Click for detailed story

Aug 232017
 
'Trump has no understanding of the South Asian region,' Imran says

US President Donald Trump has no understanding of the South Asian region, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday as he strongly criticised Washington's recently-revealed South Asia policy.A day earlier, Trump had announced his long-awaited South Asia policy, calling for greater troop deployment and Indian involvement in Afghanistan. In his speech, the US president had also lambasted Pakistan for offering safe havens to “agents of chaos”.Addressing the press on Wednesday, Imran spoke about various elements of Washington's new policy."Grave allegations have been made against Pakistan," Khan said, referring to accusations made by Trump. Khan said that the allegations signalled that Trump has "no understanding of the South Asian region or the dynamics of the 'war on terror'" as he pointed out the sacrifices Pakistan has made in the fight.The PTI chairman further questioned the role allotted to India in Afghanistan in the policy.He said that while Pakistan has made sacrifices and fought a war "that is not ours," India has been asked to become involved even though it does not share a border with Afghanistan."Pakistan got involved in the [war] even though not a single Pakistani was involved in 9/11. Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan. It was not necessary for [Pakistan] to get involved in this war [as it was] not at fault," Khan said.The PTI chief further questioned why Pakistan was being held responsible for America's policy failures in Afghanistan."Over 150, 000 Nato soldiers were deployed in Afghanistan [by America], billions were spent, thousands of Afghans were [Read More…]

Aug 232017
 

ISLAMABAD: The regulatory body for power producers and distributors has announced a reduction of Rs1.70 per unit in electricity tariffs for July 2017, taking cue from cheaper fuel prices in the international market. Following the tariff cut, electricity bills of consumers for September 2017 will reflect fuel price adjustment charges. Overall, power producers will refund around Rs20 billion to the consumers. However, K-Electric and agricultural consumers as well as domestic consumers that use less than 300 units of electricity per month will not enjoy the relief. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) took the tariff cut decision during the monthly public hearing on Wednesday following a petition filed by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA), which sought a reduction of Rs1.7090 per unit. NEPRA, power ministry fail to agree on amendments to regulations According to Nepra, the fuel cost of electricity delivered to the distribution companies was calculated at Rs4.78 per unit in July against the reference price of Rs6.49 per unit, which suggested that the consumers were entitled to a refund of Rs1.70 per unit. As the power distribution companies had recovered an extra Rs20 billion through electricity bills for July, these would be refunded to the consumers in September bills. Total energy generation in the country from all sources stood at 12,496.63 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in July at a cost of Rs58.65 billion. The post NEPRA cuts power tariff by Rs1.7 per unit appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Aug 232017
 
Age of Empires IV is coming to PC and the trailer looks amazing

It’s been over two decades since the first edition of Age of Empires, developed by now-defunct Ensemble Studios, was released. Now, it seems that Microsoft is ready to bring the magic of Age of Empires back to life. Microsoft Studios has announced that Age of Empires IV is in development and will be released on PC. To recreate the magic of 90’s hit real-time strategy game, Microsoft has partnered with Canada’s Relic Entertainment, which has developed a number of well-known strategy game including Company of Heroes and Homeworld. “We can’t wait to tap into our strengths as a studio to fuse historical context with deep strategic gameplay, and to bring this franchise back to the forefront of gaming and into the hands of its beloved community,” said Relic in a blog post. AGE OF EMPIRES IV! #AgeOfEmpiresIV is officially in the works! Keep a eye out for more info https://t.co/Ss44bXcHcO https://t.co/sqBlIAcAZV — AgeOfEmpires (@AgeOfEmpires) August 21, 2017 “We look forward to sharing with you more details in the months to come. For now, just know we are beyond excited to be working on the next entry into the legendary franchise,” the statement added. “In our first full adventure, exploration, discover and conquest will stand the test of time,” you can hear the narrator in trailer as saying. Right now there’s not much information available about release of the game or where Age of Empires IV will fit into this history, besides a trailer filled with concept art of historical battles [Read More…]

Aug 232017
 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has called for a special parliamentary session to discuss US President Donald Trump’s remarks that Pakistan was “harbouring agents of chaos, violence, and terror”. “We need to come together and send a message to the US that it can’t pin the blame for its own failures on Pakistan,” the PTI chief told reporters on Wednesday. “The government, the military and the nation are all united against the US’ allegations,” he added. Khan pointed out that both the PM and the foreign minister had not responded to Trump’s statement. Politicians react to Trump’s remarks against Pakistan over Afghan policy “The PM should send a strong message to the US,” he added. Khan said the US had completely ignored the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistan Army in the war against terrorism and appeared to be appeasing India. “Pakistan has made far more sacrifices than what the Americans have given it in financial assistance,” he remarked. “Instead of giving Pakistan credit for its efforts, the US is applauding India.” The PTI chief said terrorism in Pakistan originated across the border in Afghanistan. “It’s not Pakistan fault that the US can’t control what’s going on in Afghanistan,” he maintained.   The post Imran calls for special parliamentary session on Trump’s remarks appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Aug 232017
 
PSX shrugs off recent routs, gains 928 points as bulls take over

Volumes were led by: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) experienced a strong upswing on Wednesday, with the KSE-100 Index surging 928 points, or 2.21 per cent, to close at 42,911 points, breaking a four-day bearish streak. The index had gained over 550 points in just the first half hour of trading as investors jumped at the opportunity to take positions at lower prices. The buying trend continued over the day, with the index touching a high of 42,950 points towards day's close. The day's low of 41,927 points was left in the dust very early in the session. KSE-100 volumes touched 82 million shares, worth Rs7.5 billion. The cement sector dominated the session with 21.6m shares traded. Engineering and technology scrips followed with 19.1m and 18.2m shares traded respectively. "Market opened positive and quickly edged up in early trade as index names fetched interest from local institutions on attractive valuations and relative calm on political front. All major sectors, including the lagging cements, bounced back, while mid- and small-cap plays also closed higher, albeit on relatively less volumes, on retail buying," an analysis report from Elixir Securities said. Stocks of 387 companies were traded in total, with 200 advancing, 74 declining and 13 remained unchanged. "We expect further recovery in the following sessions and recommend investors to book profits on any possible selling opportunity," a JS Research note read. Volumes were led by: TRG Pak Ltd: 14.3m shares traded [+3.83pc]Azgard Nine: 12.7m shares traded [+6.52pc]Aisha Steel Mill: 8.8m shares traded [Read More…]

Aug 232017
 
Director of KP's first home for street children resigns, cites corruption as the reason

Zamong Kor: false starts and 'vanity' allegations Major (retired) Harris Khan Khattak, the director of Zamong Kor — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's "model" home for street children — resigned from his post on Wednesday while levelling allegations of corruption against the home’s board of directors (BoD).Khattak alleged that the chairman of Zamong Kor’s BoD, Imtiaz Gillani, used the school funds to buy a car worth Rs2 million, adding that other members of the board were also involved in embezzlement of the organisation's funds.According to Khattak, he has also informed the KP chief minister of the situation.Gillani, on the other hand, dismissed the allegations while talking to Dawn and said that all of the organisation’s decisions were taken according to a set procedure. “The car was bought through the board’s approval as well,” he said, adding that Khattak was “not taking enough interest in the organisation’s affairs”.Zamong Kor: false starts and 'vanity' allegations Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's had launched the first-ever institute for street children in the province in November 2015.At the launch, Khan had praised Reham Khan — his ex-wife and former ambassador for street children in the province — for highlighting the problems of local street children.At the time of the launch, the KP government had said that the home would accommodate 1,000 street children and provide them with education, health, recreation, sports, boarding, food, career, psychological counselings and other necessary facilities.An additional 100 kanals of land had to be acquired by the government to build a sports grounds, an auditorium and [Read More…]

Aug 232017
 
PM Abbasi arrives in Saudi Arabia on his first official visit abroad

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reached Saudi Arabia on Wednesday on his first official visit abroad since assuming office, DawnNews reported.On his day long visit, the prime minister is expected to meet Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Al-Saud, read a statement issued by the PM House. No meeting has been scheduled with King Salman as he is currently "out of the Kingdom on a private visit", read the statement.According to the PM House, Abbasi will discuss "emerging regional and global geostrategic situation and matters of mutual interest" in his meeting with Prince Salman. The premier, accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, was received by the governor of Makkah upon his arrival in the kingdom. DawnNews reported that Abbasi will raise the issue of US President Donald Trump's recent remarks, that Pakistan provides "safe havens to terrorists", during his meetings with Saudi dignitaries. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always shared a friendly relationship based on mutual respect, read the PM House statement. Click for detailed story

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