Oct 252018

Five Punjab University (PU) students allegedly associated with the Islami Jamiat Taleba (IJT) were suspended on Thursday for beating up a man who was sitting with his wife on campus.

The PU administration also suspended a security guard ─ who was present at the time ─ for his inaction.

Videos of the incident circulating on social media show a large crowd of onlookers gathered outside the PU History Department around the man who is being beaten up by some students, while a woman yells at them to stop.

“What has he done? He is my husband,” she can be heard saying in an attempt to dissuade the perpetrators from beating the man up.

The man, identified as a Awais Rind, had gone to the History Department to pick up his wife when he was beaten by the IJT students, PU Spokesperson Khurram Shahzad said.

PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmed took notice of the incident and ordered PU Registrar Khalid Khan to take strict action against the students involved, Shahzad said.

“No one has permission to take the law into their own hands,” the spokesperson said. He added that the incident was “unbearable” and assured that the administration will “maintain a peaceful atmosphere in the campus”.

He said that five IJT students involved in Rind’s thrashing have been suspended, along with a security guard who stood and watched instead of preventing them from beating the man.

A meeting of university administration officials took place today, after which it is expected that a formal notification will be issued announcing the suspension of the five students and the security guard.

Oct 252018
Policeman martyred in 'targeted' gun attack in Quetta

A policeman was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Quetta’s Nawan Killi area on Thursday morning, police said. Head Constable Muhammad Musa was going to work on his motorcycle and when unidentified attackers opened fire on him and escaped unhurt from the site of the attack, police said. The police officer died on the spot. His body was shifted to Quetta’s Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination. Police and other law enforcement personnel reached the site of the attack and launched an investigation into the incident, which police said appeared to be a targeted killing. Police officers are said to be high-risk targets in Balochistan. Balochistan has been divided into two areas – A and B – based on how their security is organised. Police are responsible for maintaining law and order in Category A areas ─ 10 per cent of the province ─ while Category B is under the control of the Balochistan Levies. However, 90pc of violent crime occurs in Category A areas that are covered by police. The high level of organisation in police ranks is believed to be one of the factors that incite violence against it by terrorist outfits. Around 2001, at the onset of the deterioration in Balochistan’s security situation, Baloch separatists would target police constables in Quetta, mainly because most cops hailed from Punjab. With the passage of time, as the ethnic composition of the police department changed, sectarian and militant outfits began carrying out attacks against cops. In recent years, most targeted [Read More…]

Oct 252018
Targeted by pipe bomb, CNN denounces White House's rhetoric

CNN’s president on Wednesday denounced the White House for its “total and complete lack of understanding” of the consequences of attacks against the media after the cable news network’s New York office and several prominent Democrats were sent pipe bombs. Feelings were raw over a perceived reluctance by the administration to mention that CNN was sent one of the crude devices, which also went to Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and others. A fundraising email attacking CNN sent out as the story unfolded deepened that perception. Trump’s campaign later apologised for the email. “The president, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide. “Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.” CNN has been a frequent target of Trump’s “fake news” barbs, and a “CNN sucks” chant broke out at a Monday campaign rally. Amid that backdrop, some at CNN were angered by an initial tweet by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that condemned “the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton and other public officials,” but omitted any reference to CNN. An hour later she sent another tweet that said the White House’s condemnation “certainly includes threats made to CNN as well as current and former public servants”. The president, who has labeled reporters “enemy of the people,” condemned the threat of political violence at a campaign rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday evening, and called on the media to end [Read More…]

Oct 242018
Quit tobacco

Smoking damages our respiratory and cardiovascular systems. But the fear of contracting diseases hasn’t dissuaded people from smoking and the practice has, in fact, gained currency over time. If some estimates are to be believed, one-third of our country’s population is addicted to smoking. It is distressing to note that children under the age of 18 year have also started smoking these days. This hazardous practice has taken a toll on their mental and physical wellbeing.Awareness campaigns need to be initiated across the country to discourage people, especially the youth, from smoking. In a similar vein, the Ministry of Health should impose a ban on teen smoking. Parents should also inform their children about the adverse impact that smoking can have on their health. The youth are the country’s assets and they should be discouraged from indulging in activities that could harm them.Assad Ali LundDadu

Oct 242018
Pedestrians first

An overhead bypass needs to be constructed on the Kashmir Highway near Islamabad Grid Station and Allama Iqbal Open University as a large number of people have to cross road on a regular basis on their way to office and school. The endless flow of vehicles has added to the woes of pedestrians. There has also been a spike in the number of accidents that have also taken place along the road. An overhead bypass will help solve these problemsThe concerned quarters are requested to construct the overhead b pass like to facilitate pedestrians. A temporary solution would be to take steps to ensure the smooth flow of traffic along the highway.RafiuddinIslamabad

Oct 242018
Such a long journey

Dilapidated roads have created difficulties for people who travel to Turbat from adjoining areas. This has posed problems in emergency situations when people need to be shifted to hospitals in Turbat from adjoining towns and villages. It often takes long to take patients to hospitals in the city. As a result, a large number of people have died en route to the hospital because they aren’t provided medical attention on an urgent basis. The dismal condition of roads has also been the cause of many accidents.The residents of Dasht, Mand, Tump and Buleda have been particularly inconvenienced. In most situations, students are also finding it difficult to get to their educational institutions in Turbat city. This has directly impacted their studies. Despite these challenges, little or no effort has been made to repair these roads. At this critical juncture, steps need to be taken to fix the road links between Turbat and other parts of the province. The journey to Mand, which is situated 115 kilometres away from Turbat, takes three hours and 25 minutes. Efforts should be made to ensure that people are facilitated through reliable road links. The chief minister of Balochistan must ensure that action is taken in this regard.Kamran FazalTurbat

Oct 242018
Streets without lights

The online complaint system of the Capital Development Authority hasn’t been operating properly for the last few months. Although a series of complaints that have been registered about the defect in the system, they haven’t been heeded.I had requested the authority to install streetlights on 14th and 18th streets of Shahzad Town, Islamabad on June 18, 2018. My request was assigned the following ticket number: 111, 698. It has now been over four months and no action has been taken to install a streetlight. The authorities concerned are, therefore, requested to kindly look into the matter and expedite the process.M Sharafat Ali ZiaIslamabad

Oct 242018
Engines of prosperity

Corruption has seeped into the core of our society and plagued every government institution in this country. It is the primary reason why millions of people have found themselves battling poverty and deprivation.The PTI-led government needs to revamp the institutional structures and devise strategies to provide incentives for investment and trade. There is a pressing need to create a pluralistic and just society. The engines of propensity can only be set in motion if our leadership and bureaucracy aren’t driven by the desire to amass personal wealth and instead focus on serving the people.Hashim AbroIslamabad

Oct 242018
Rohingya genocide still taking place in Myanmar: UN investigator

Genocide is still taking place against Rohingya Muslims remaining in Myanmar and the government is increasingly demonstrating it has no interest in establishing a fully functioning democracy, UN investigators said on Wednesday. Marzuki Darusman, chair of the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said thousands of Rohingya are still fleeing to Bangladesh, and the estimated 250,000 to 400,000 who have remained following last year’s brutal military campaign in the Buddhist-majority country “continue to suffer the most severe” restrictions and repression. “It is an ongoing genocide that is taking place at the moment,” he told a news conference on Wednesday. Yanghee Lee, the UN special investigator on human rights in Myanmar, said she and many others in the international community hoped the situation under Aung San Suu Kyi “would be vastly different from the past but it is really not that much different from the past.” She added later that she thinks Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former political prisoner who now leads Myanmar’s civilian government, “is in total denial” about accusations that the military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar raped, murdered and tortured Rohingya and burned their villages, sending about 700,000 fleeing to Bangladesh since August last year. “The government is increasingly demonstrating that it has no interest and capacity in establishing a fully functioning democracy where all its people equally enjoy all their rights and freedoms,” Lee said. “It is not upholding justice and rule of law” which Suu Kyi “repeatedly says is the standard to which all in [Read More…]