Nov 302017
 
Anti-judiciary tweets: notices to Pemra, Maryam

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued notices to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and Maryam Nawaz, daughter of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, on a petition seeking contempt proceedings against the latter for uttering ‘outrageous’ remarks against judges of the Supreme Court. Amina Malik of the Civil Society Network had filed the petition in reference to recent tweets of Ms Maryam allegedly against the judiciary. Petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique told the court that Maryam and her father had been using contemptuous language since the commencement of trial in accountability court as directed by the Supreme Court in Panama case. He said Maryam had been trying to defame the institution of judiciary, which amounted to clear contempt of court. He said it was the duty of Pemra to stop airing of contemptuous statements given by Maryam but the authority miserably failed to do so acted partisan. Advocate Siddique argued that the judiciary had jurisdiction over all issues of judicial nature and exclusive authority to decide whether an issue of political or non-political submitted for its decision. He argued that there shall not be any inappropriate or unwarranted interference in judicial process, nor judicial decisions or observations passed by the courts could be subjected to criticism and maneuvering on the media as Maryam had been doing. The lawyer asked the court to issue a notice to the respondent under contempt of court charges and also punish her under the law. Justice Shahid Karim issued notices to the respondents [Read More…]

Nov 302017
 
Nishtar Park massacre case of 2006 may take several more years to conclude

KARACHI: Despite the passage of over 11 years, the trial of the Nishtar Park bombing case is still pending and may take a few more years as around 50 of the over 200 prosecution witnesses have so far been examined, it emerged on Thursday.More than 50 people, including several religious leaders, were killed and over 100 others were wounded in the massive bombing that ripped through a congregation of Eid Miladun Nabi (PBUH) at Nishtar Park in April 2006.Sultan Mahmood alias Saifullah, Mufti Zakir Hussain Siddiqui, Mohammad Amin, alias Khalid Shaheen, and Rehmatullah, said to be associated with the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, were held for their alleged involvement in the act of terrorism. Top Sunni Tehreek leaders Abbas Qadri and Iftikhar Bhatti and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal leader Hafiz Taqi were among the dead Although the accused were arrested in 2007, the case, one of the major acts of terrorism in which the Sunni Tehreek lost its top leadership, is still fixed for evidence of prosecution witnesses before an antiterrorism court.The inordinate delay in the disposal of the case is an obvious violation of the law, as Section 19 (7) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 says that on taking cognizance of a case the court shall proceed with the trial daily and shall decide it within seven days. And, in case of delay, an application may be made to the administrative judge of the high court concerned for its expeditious disposal. The Nishtar Park blast case is currently pending before ATC-VII. Initially, the [Read More…]

Nov 302017
 
Trump considering replacing Tillerson with CIA chief, says NYT

WASHINGTON: Senior administration officials confirmed on Thursday that the White House was considering a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo, the US media reported.Reports of the expected change, first revealed by The New York Times on Thursday morning, got a boost when President Donald Trump ignored an opportunity to clarify the situation.Asked before a Thursday morning meeting with the crown prince of Bahrain, whether he wants Mr Tillerson to remain as secretary of state, Mr Trump told reporters, that he was still “here, Rex is here.”The New York Times reported that Mr Tillerson would be shown the door because his “relationship with President Trump has been strained” and The Washington Post reported that Mr Pompeo would replace him because he was “one of the most personally loyal and politically savvy members” of the Trump security team. Other media outlets noted that reports of Mr Tillerson’s disagreement with President Trump have been circulating since July 20, when NBC News reported that the secretary stunned other members of the Trump team by calling his boss “a moron” at a Pentagon meeting.The reports claimed that the White House has been working on the replacement plan since then and White House chief of staff John F. Kelly was given the task of finding a suitable person to replace Mr Tillerson. The proposal to bring up the CIA chief came from Mr Kelly’s office and “has broad support within Mr Trump’s inner circle,” the reports added.The Washington Post, [Read More…]

Nov 302017
 
Al-Qaida Leader’s New Message Shows Increased Discord With Jihadists in Syria

WASHINGTON The al-Qaida terror organization has released a new audio message from its elusive leader in which he slams the Syrian Jihadi group Liberation of the Levant Organization, or more commonly known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), for going after senior jihadists loyal to al-Qaida in Syria.In the 35-minute undated audio video So Let Us Fight Them With Solid Foundations, Ayman al-Zawahiri denounced HTS’s decision to break off formal ties with al-Qaida last year and betray its oath of allegiance as the offshoot of the terror organization in Syria. VOA could not independently verify the video’s authenticity.Why did this love disappear among us and was replaced by roughness, conflict, cruelty of the heart, conspiracy to evade the oaths of allegiance, and the insubordination of the brothers and working to drive them out, curb them, and put them under captivity? al-Zawahiri said, addressing HTS leaders in the message, which was published by al-Qaida’s media propaganda al-Sahab Foundation on Tuesday.HTS, originally called al-Nusra Front, rebranded itself last year and later merged with several smaller rebel factions into a new alliance.A report by the Institute for the Study of War last week claimed that the group has exploited the international community’s focus on annihilating the Islamic State to significantly increase its influence in southern Syria, consolidating control over most of the northwestern province of Idlib.Al-Zawahiri said he did not approve the HTS departure from al-Qaida. He described as a fatal mistake offers by the HTS leaders to keep their loyalty to him secret [Read More…]

Nov 302017
 
Militant Attack on Pakistan University Kills 9

ISLAMABAD A group of heavily armed suicide assailants stormed a government agriculture research center and adjoining university hostel in northwestern Pakistan Friday, killing at least 9 people and wounding more than 35 others.Pakistani police and counterterrorism units swiftly surrounded the complex in Peshawar and began a rescue operation. The gunfight with terrorists lasted several hours and killed three militants.Provincial police chief Salahuddin Mahsud later told reporters investigators were trying to determine whether a fourth body retrieved from the site was also that of a militant. He said police and members of anti-terrorism squad were among the wounded.Many of the victims of Friday’s attack were students and those being treated in city hospitals received bullet injuries, doctors said.The police chief said authorities have retrieved small arms and ammunition, 20 hand grenades and three unexploded suicide vests from the site of the encounter.Security forces engaged the attackers within minutes of the assault began, preventing them from exploding the suicide vests, Mahsud said. “Otherwise, the death toll would have been in hundreds,” he added.The outlawed Pakistani Taliban took credit for ordering the deadly assault. The anti-state group said they targeted a facility linked to the Pakistani spy agency, ISI, and killed a number of its officers, claims officials rejected as propaganda.A Pakistan military spokesman told reporters the attackers were in contact with their leadership in Afghanistan during the siege.Major-General Asif Ghafoor added that fugitive members and leaders of the Pakistani Taliban are using Afghan soil for attacks against his country. He said that [Read More…]

Nov 302017
 
Mattis to Pressure Pakistan ‘One More Time’ on Militant Groups

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis is expected to pressure Pakistan to end its alleged ties to militant groups when he visits the country as part of a four-nation tour that began Friday.Terrorism also will be a main focus of the U.S. defense secretary’s stop in Egypt, which last week suffered what officials called the deadliest terror attack in the country’s modern history.Mattis’ trip, which will also include stops in Kuwait and Jordan, comes as the U.S. military shifts its focus in the Middle East, after having largely driven out the Islamic State militant group from its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria.Another major priority is Afghanistan, where U.S. generals acknowledge the NATO coalition remains in a stalemate with Taliban insurgents after 16 years of war.Thousands more U.S. troops are headed to Afghanistan, along with an increase in U.S. airpower, as part of a new White House strategy announced in August.The plan also involves enlisting the help of neighboring Pakistan, which the United States has long accused of providing safe haven to the Afghan Taliban.‘One more time’Pakistan denies sheltering the militants, and the issue has served as a major irritant to bilateral ties.In October, Mattis said the United States would try “one more time” to work with Islamabad before taking “whatever steps are necessary” to address its alleged support for the militants.U.S. officials have said Pakistan has not changed its behavior since President Donald Trump in August called out Pakistan for continuing to “harbor criminals and terrorists.”In response, the Trump administration is [Read More…]

Nov 302017
 
Quaid?s bust reaches Lincoln?s Inn

LONDON: The Quaid-i-Azam’s bust has reached its final destination, the Lincoln’s Inn. A select group of prominent Pakistanis was present on Thursday when the bust was installed at the Lincoln’s Inn… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] Click for detailed story

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