The health condition of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Rizvi deteriorated on Saturday after which he was admitted to a hospital in Lahore, media reports claimed. According to details, Rizvi complained of chest pain during his stay at the Kot Lakhpat Jail. In November, Rizvi was arrested after the government ordered law enforcement agencies to begin a countrywide crackdown on the far-right religious outfit, the Ministry of Interior said. The TLP had staged a three-day long protest following the acquittal of Aasia Bibi by the Supreme Court. The religious party, founded in 2015, burst onto the scene after the government carried out Mumtaz Qadri’s death sentence in 2016.
December 15, 2018 18:11 UTC
–PPP co-chairman wants to blackmail PTI government, says ChohanReacting to the PPP rally in which ex-president Asif Ali Zardari termed the PTI government incompetent, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry suggested that the PPP co-chairman should worry about his “last 100 days of politics”. He asked whether Zardari wanted his near and dear ones at the helm of affairs of the national institutions. Fawad said due to his incompetence and corruption, Zardari turned a national party into a local party, comparing the PPP rule with that of former military ruler Ziaul Haq. The minister advised the PPP co-chairman to focus on his ‘last days of his politics’, rather than focusing on the 100-day performance of the PTI government. Talking to the media, he said that Zardari should worry about his own corrupt practices.
December 15, 2018 17:48 UTC
ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Saturday summoned the Iranian ambassador to protest over Thursday’s terrorist attack along the Pak-Iran border in which six Pakistan soldiers were martyred. According to a statement, Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost was called to the Foreign Office where he was conveyed Pakistan’s strong protest over the gruesome incident. He was also urged to ask Tehran to carry out an effective operation against the terrorist group responsible for the attack on its side of the border. “The need for an effective border coordination mechanism to prevent such incidents in future was also underscored,” the FO statement reads. The Iranian envoy expressed the country’s heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyrs and prayed for the early recovery of the injured soldiers.
December 15, 2018 17:37 UTC
“The murderer of innocent children is now a state guest while the victims still await justice,” he said referring to Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesperson of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who is currently in custody of law enforcers. PHC orders govt not to grant clemency to TTP manIn his statement today, the ANP chief said that the APS attackers were not even worthy of being called humans. He maintained that hearts and minds of those who devised the National Action Plan (NAP) did not feel pity for wailing parents of the APS victims. He called for the state to address all reservations of the heirs of the victims and accept their demands. ‘Open Pak-Afghan border after Kartarpur’“Until the policies of good and bad are shunned and maintaining peace becomes the top priority, incidents such as the APS tragedy will keep occurring,” he remarked.
December 15, 2018 17:37 UTC
FO urges Iran to take action against terrorist group behind attackThe Iranian ambassador was summoned by the Foreign Office on Saturday to protest over yesterday’s terrorist attack along the Pak-Iran border in which six Pakistan soldiers were martyred. According to a statement, Iran’s ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost was called on by the foreign ministry to register strong protest over the incident. Six soldiers were martyred and 14 others sustaining serious injuries when 30 terrorists ambushed the Frontier Corps convoy during patrolling on Friday. Six FC personnel martyred as convoy attacked in Kech districtTehran was urged to carry out an effective operation against the terrorist group responsible for the attack on its side of the border. The Iranian envoy expressed the country’s heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyrs and pray for early recovery of the injured soldiers.
December 15, 2018 17:15 UTC
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday chaired a special meeting of the federal cabinet to review the 100 days’ performance of 10 ministries and departments. The cabinet meeting also examined the future plans of the ministries on agenda, a PM Office statement said. The ministries put forward their future plans as well as the implementation strategy. The cabinet decided to hold similar meetings quarterly to review the performance of the ministries. The premier had also decided to hold quarterly performance review meetings to monitor the working of the ministries and divisions.
December 15, 2018 17:14 UTC
A police complaint has been filed against cricketer-turned-politician and Indian Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for keeping a stuffed black partridge, gifted to him by a Pakistani journalist, NDTV reported. According to reports, an animal activist in India, Sandeep Jain, has filed the complaint demanding a probe into how the black partridge was brought from Pakistan and kept in India by Sidhu for so long. Sidhu was gifted the bird by the journalist during his recent visit to the country to attend the launch of Kartarpur Corridor. The minister handed over the gifted bird to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh after reaching India. Sidhu has been engulfed in controversies since his visit to Pakistan for the oath-taking ceremony of his old friend Prime Minister Imran Khan in August 2018.
December 15, 2018 17:03 UTC
WASHINGTON: US interior secretary Ryan Zinke is to leave the White House at the end of the year, says Donald Trump. Mr Trump posted on Twitter: “Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years.”A replacement will be announced next week, he added. His departure comes amid a shake-up of key staff as President Trump heads into his third year in office. A batch of other top officials have left the White House, including a secretary of state, two national security advisers, an attorney general and the head of the US environment agency. The president on Friday named budget director Mick Mulvaney as chief of staff to replace John Kelly.
December 15, 2018 16:41 UTC
Indian actor and film-maker Nandita Das on Saturday announced that the Pakistani government has banned her film Manto from releasing in the country. The film ban is being hugely protested as it’s considered a threatening attack on creative and artistic freedom of expression. Nighat Manto, Manto’s daughter7. Nusrat Manto, Manto’s daughter8. Nuzhat Manto, Manto’s daughter9.
December 15, 2018 16:18 UTC
The federal government wants to prevent “hate speech and not to curb free speech”, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Friday night, adding that “social media companies have cooperated with us”. Speaking to a private news channel, Fawad said the Pakistan Electronic Crime Act and the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cyber wing are inactive. He, however, said that “social media companies have cooperated with us, especially with regard to some recent developments.”“It was [the Pakistani government’s] request that led Facebook to block most of the accounts,” the minister said. According to the social media platform’s report for the January-June 2018 period, Islamabad forwarded requests to block 243 accounts. In the preceding period (July-December 2017), 674 accounts were reported to Twitter and requests to block 75 accounts were forwarded.
December 15, 2018 16:18 UTC
LAHORE: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Saturday expressed apprehension on the appointment of Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif as Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman, which he said would lead the country to financial indiscipline and economic chaos all over again. Addressing a press conference at the Pakistan Railways (PR) headquarters, he said that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan was a broad-minded person who had agreed that the opposition may make Shehbaz as PAC chairman, however, Shehbaz was not someone he considered trustworthy. Casting doubt on the credibility of Shehbaz Sharif, he said, “No leader in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was dishonest if its president Shehbaz is honest”. He said that the railways just made procurement and no improvement had been made during the last regime which is Saad Rafique’s fault. The minister said that the positive impacts of the government would be before the people with the passage of time.
December 15, 2018 16:17 UTC
MADRID: Spanish prosecutors filed charges against Colombian singer Shakira on Friday, accusing her of failing to pay 14.5 million euros in tax ($16.3 million) in the country where her Spanish footballer partner plays. The charges were filed in the Catalonia region, where the singer is a regular presence at matches of her partner Gerard Pique’s team, Barcelona. She was accused of failing to pay tax on income earned from 2012-2014, when the prosecutors say she lived there. Representatives of Shakira said in a statement that the singer did not live in Spain until 2015, and has met all of her tax obligations to Spanish authorities. It is the latest case of a high-profile foreigner with links to top level Spanish soccer being accused of avoiding tax while living there.
December 15, 2018 16:07 UTC
Richard Olson says US policy of forcing Islamabad to do more is flawedKARACHI : A former US ambassador has said that there has been a divergence in Pakistan-US relationship since 2015 because of Islamabad’s alleged support for the Afghan Taliban and its nuclear policy. The two countries want to see a political reconciliation between the Afghan Taliban and Kabul government, Richard Olson, who was US envoy to Pakistan from 2012 to 2015, told the Voice of America Urdu Service in a Facebook Live interview. “I think Pakistan needs a ‘do-less policy’ instead of a ‘do-more’ one, when it comes to supporting the Afghan Taliban,” he said. “I think the new government in Islamabad has changed in the sense that it has strategically aligned itself with China,” he added. On a lighter note, the former US ambassador said that he misses eating biryani and wants to travel to the northern areas of Pakistan.
December 15, 2018 16:07 UTC
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Saturday expressed his displeasure over being given the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. While addressing an event at a private university, the IT minister said, “I am a doctor by profession. The MQM-P leader said that his party has undergone a rapid improvement, rejecting the perception of crisis. “It is strange that Karachi’s poverty rate stands at 50% even after the city gives its 70% revenue to the country,” he said. On education reforms, he said there is a need for a regulatory authority for the education sector to address the shortcomings.
December 15, 2018 16:07 UTC
–Inmates Amir Tanba and Mudasir murdered Sarabjit Singh inside Kot Lakhpat jail in 2013LAHORE: A session court in Lahore on Saturday acquitted two accused in the murder case of Indian spy Sarabjit Singh. A convicted Indian spy on death row, Singh was attacked on April 26, 2013 by two inmates Amir Tanba and Mudasir in Kot Lakhpat Jail when he came out for lunch from his special barrack. A district and sessions court in Lahore on Saturday acquitted two suspects accused of killing Indian spy Sarabjit Singh inside Kot Lakhpat jail in April 2013, DawnNewsTV reported. Additional District and Sessions Judge Moin Khokar issued directives to release Amir Tanba and Mudasir Munir from custody after all witnesses retracted their statements. Lahore police had registered a case at Kot Lakhpat police station under Section 324/34 (planned attempted murder in group) under the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of then superintendent Kot Lakhpat jail, Waqar Sumra.
December 15, 2018 15:52 UTC