As many as 90,000 polio worker­s partic­ipatin­g in three-day campai­gnISLAMABAD: A three-day anti-polio campaign targeting over 1.32 million in the country kicked off on Monday. Poliovirus detected from sewage in 10 cities during JanuaryAs many as 90,000 polio workers are participating in the nationwide drive, said National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication Coordinator Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar. The coordinator urged parents to administer their children with polio drops. Dr Rana said: “Saving children from life-long paralysis is our collective responsibility, and all parents must not keep their children deprived of the polio drops”. During the campaign, the children will be given two types of vaccines, inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) and oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).

February 19, 2019 03:11 UTC

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leader Abdul Habib Khilji was shot dead by unidentified persons in Karachi on Monday, according to police. Media reports said the assassination occurred near Sakhi Hassan area where unknown armed assailants opened fire at Khilji’s vehicle and killed him. Police said the deceased was also a member of Karachi Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and sought a report from additional inspector general (AIG) of Karachi. He condemned the “new wave of attacks on political workers” in the provincial capital during the recent months.

February 18, 2019 19:14 UTC

A case was registered against cops after a senior labour leader died under mysterious circumstances during custody in Karachi. Speaking to local media, Karachi West SSP Shaukat Khatian said a case has been registered against the raiding police party on a complaint of Jan’s family on charges of negligence. AIG Shaikh on Monday took notice of Jan’s death and ordered an inquiry to ascertain the circumstances and events that led to his death, police officials said. He informed the family that a team led by DIG CIA Arif Hanif has been established to probe the incident. Shaikh added that justice would also be provided in the cases registered against the deceased and his son Aminul Haq.

February 18, 2019 18:56 UTC

Qasim shoots himsel­f, breath­es his last at hospit­alABBOTTABAD: A college student committed suicide after allegedly having an argument with his teacher in Havelian, Abbottabad on Monday. Qasim was a first year student and studied at a private college, according to authorities. Peshawar college student ‘commits suicide’ over low gradesIn September last year, a college student was found dead inside his hostel room in Peshawar. The youth, identified as Zeeshan, was enrolled in Edwardes College. According to the bereaved family, the boy was upset over attaining low grades in his first year exams.

February 18, 2019 18:36 UTC

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who returned to Riyadh after concluding his successful two-day visit to Pakistan Monday, will now be traveling to India on Tuesday night. “India and Saudi Arabia have historically enjoyed close and friendly relations anchored in mutually beneficial partnership and extensive people to people contacts. Saudi-India bilateral trade was $27.48 billion during the year 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia India’s fourth largest trading partner. “About 2.7 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage to over 175,000 Indians every year,” the ministry added.

February 18, 2019 18:11 UTC

WASHINGTON: California will “imminently” challenge President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to obtain funds for a US-Mexico border wall, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Sunday. “Definitely and imminently,” Becerra told ABC’s This Week program when asked whether and when California would sue the Trump administration in federal court. Becerra cited Trump’s own comment on Friday that he “didn’t need to do this” as evidence that the emergency declaration is legally vulnerable. Democrats in Congress have vowed to challenge Trump’s declaration and several Republican lawmakers have said they are not certain whether they would support the president. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told Fox News on Sunday that Trump’s declaration would allow the administration to build “hundreds of miles” of border wall by September 2020.

February 18, 2019 18:00 UTC

Adding to the brilliant performance, honesty and competence of the country’s police, a constable of the Excise and Taxation department has demonstrated that corruption has and always will continue to rule the roost in Pakistan. In a viral video circulating on Facebook, a constable from the Chichawatni Excise and Taxation Department is seen on the passenger seat of a car belonging to a transgender who was en route a function where he was to perform. He threatens the transgender and his designated driver of impounding their vehicle unless they pay him a fine. Soon after the video went viral, a notification regarding the suspension of the corrupt constable was issued; however, according to the notification, his name is Shahbaz and not Shahzad as he states in the video. Although the Excise and Taxation Department issued a notification regarding constable Muhammad Shahbaz’s suspension from duties “on account of grave misconduct”, it goes without saying that he would be restored within weeks if not days and continue to prey on powerless, ordinary citizens.

February 18, 2019 17:33 UTC

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday accepted Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s request to provide immigration to Pakistani Hajj pilgrims in the country. PM Khan had requested Mohammed bin Salman to provide travel and residence facilities to Pakistani hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. Approving the request, the Saudi crown prince announced that Pakistani hajj pilgrims will have their immigration for Saudia Arabia done in the country. No immigration will be required for Pakistani Hajj pilgrims upon arrival at Saudi Arabia. In arrival at Saudi Arabia no immigration,” he wrote.

February 18, 2019 17:30 UTC

The KSE-100 index opened upwards, but the momentum could not be sustained and it dropped nearly 500 points in intra-day trading. Some recovery was witnessed before the day’s close, but it was not enough to push the index into the green zone. “Going forward, we expect the market to remain negative on geo-political concerns.”Overall, trading volumes increased to 98.8 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 93 million. K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 6.3 million shares, losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs6.43. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 5.44 million shares, losing Rs0.63 to close at Rs26.03 and Fauji Foods with 5.42 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs33.60.

February 18, 2019 17:03 UTC

According to the complaint registered with local police by the victim’s father, his daughter had gone to her religious teacher’s house to learn the Holy Quran. Her teacher’s brother, who has been identified as Akhtar Hussain, also gives lessons to students. The young girl said that the culprit tried to rape her but stopped soon after she raised hue and cry. When the victim’s mother went to the suspect’s house after learning about the incident, other women from the area gathered there as well. They claimed that the suspect had already assaulted their sons and daughters as well, but they had previously kept mum about it.

February 18, 2019 17:03 UTC

The tie-up with the Shiv Sena, a partner in the governing coalition led by the BJP, is a boost to Modi as he seeks alliances ahead of the general election, which is due to be held by May. The Shiv Sena had said last year it would contest the election on its own. In Maharashtra state, the Shiv Sena and the BJP would contest 23 and 25 seats respectively, state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also a member of the BJP, told a news conference in Mumbai, the state capital and the country’s financial capital, where the Shiv Sena is headquartered. — Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) February 18, 2019The Shiv Sena enjoys considerable political clout across Maharashtra. “We have entered into the alliance to keep the opposition parties out,” Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said.

February 18, 2019 16:32 UTC

Air force pilots go on trial after they fled Domini­can Republ­ic follow­ing specta­cular drugs bust on a privat­e jetAIX-EN-PROVENCE: Two former French air force pilots went on trial in France on Monday six years after they fled the Dominican Republic following a spectacular drugs bust on a private jet in the Caribbean nation. In what has become known as the “Air Cocaine” case, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos are accused along with seven other defendants of trying to smuggle 680 kilogrammes (1,500 pounds) of the drug out of the country. Huge Australia-bound cocaine haul seized by French navyThey, along with two passengers, were found guilty in absentia and sentenced to 20 years in jail for drug-trafficking in the Dominican Republic in 2015. All of them deny they knew that the cocaine was on board the flight. Only one suspect, Ali Bouchareb, is in detention in the case while the other eight were granted bail pending the trial.

February 18, 2019 16:07 UTC

Local people also provid­e food, accomm­odatio­n and cash to strand­ed Kashmi­risISLAMABAD: At least 6,000 Kashmiri Muslims have taken refuge in several mosques of Indian occupied Jammu district fearing attacks by Hindu mobs in the wake of suicide attack in Pulwama district in which 44 paramilitary forces were killed. According to Kashmir Media Service, Abdul Majid, a member of Makkah Masjid Committee, Bathindi, said: “Around 2,500 to 3,000 people are putting up here. Another resident of occupied Kashmir, Zahid Salam Wani, said: “I am from Budgam district and pursue my studies in Kolkata. Due to the prevailing situation, I came to Jammu by train and plan to go to Srinagar tomorrow. According to Salman Salaria, a local resident, “We have made all arrangements here, from food to bedding.”The locals provided gas cylinders, ration as well as cash.

February 18, 2019 15:56 UTC

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Monday announced that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had ordered the immediate release of over 2,000 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi jails, hours after Prince Mohammad promised to deliver “whatever we can do” for Pakistanis living in the Kingdom. Crown Prince Mohammad had continued: “We cannot say no to Pakistan … whatever we can do, we will deliver that.”In a tweet, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced: “As a sequel to the premier’s request, HRH Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi jails.”As a sequel to Prime Minister of Pakistan request, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of KSA Mohammad Bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of 2107 Pakistani prisoners Saudi Jails. #CrownPrinceinPakisatan #KSAPakistanNewEra — Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) February 18, 2019Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also noted that the crown prince had “graciously agreed” to free the Pakistani prisoners “with immediate effect”. HRH Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman has graciously agreed to free 2107 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia with immediate effect. This was Prince Mohammad’s first state visit since becoming crown prince.

February 18, 2019 15:11 UTC

KARACHI: Despite unpredictable weather conditions in Karachi, the nine-day special vaccination campaign to protect children against polio began in 10 different towns on Monday. During the campaign that is being managed by the Emergency Operation Centre for Polio (EOCP), around 1,529,487 under the age of five years would be administrated Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). Another estimated number of 1,483,602 children, aged between four to five years were to be injected with the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) so as to be provided with additional protection, supplementing the immunity they previously received through repeated oral polio vaccination. Meanwhile, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar A Shalwani, in a special appeal, urged concerned parents to ensure that their children were not deprived of the essentially needed vaccines. The commissioner said that proper vaccination of cattle with equal attention towards proper hygiene and relevant care of pens and surrounding localities must be ensured to protect the population in general against the tick-borne disease.

February 18, 2019 14:48 UTC