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If Bhutto, Nawaz can be arrested, why can’t Altaf: PML-N : report in Daily Times,Mar 26, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif questioned on Wednesday why Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain couldn’t be arrested if former prime ministers Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had been in the past, a private Tvchannel reported. The defence minister’s statement comes days after MQM’s convicted target killer Saulat Mirza clauimed in a televised video that he killed the former MD of KESC on the MQM chief’s orders. “If Bhutto could be arrested and there could be a decision against him, which is still questionable; if Nawaz Sharif can stay in jail for 14 months…why can’t others?” said Khwaja Asif in response to a question on whether the MQM chief could be arrested after registration of a terrorism case against him in Karachi. The defence minister said that no one is above the law when it comes to the national security. Talking about PTI chief, Asif said Imran Khan wanted to become the prime minister of Pakistan and the failure has given him a psychologi....... Read more

March 26, 2015   No Comments

MQM chief offers a democratic fight to PTI chief

LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to come to Karachi and fight in a democratic manner.

Hussain was responding to Khan’s earlier statement in which the PTI chief claimed that next he will go to Karachi and stage a rally to defeat Altaf.

The MQM chief went on to say that MQM is a public party that represents millions of people, adding that the party cannot be finished with dirty tactics and poisonous propaganda against it.

He further said conspiracies are being hatched to corner MQM against a wall.

Altaf also said that there is zero tolerance for any criminals in MQM and that he is against terrorism and disagrees with violence.http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-179299-MQM-chief-offers-a-democratic-fight-to-PTI-chief
Khan claims to have broken Nawaz-Zardari partnership; challenges MQM
Lahore- PTI chief Imran Khan believes to have broken the....... Read more

March 26, 2015   No Comments

Reviving the spirit of March 23: By Talat Masood in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2015.

The writer is a retired lieutenant general of the Pakistan Army and a former federal secretary.
It was heartening to witness the March 23 parade after a lapse of seven years. The parade was highly impressive and a sterling demonstration of the professional competence and combat readiness of our gallant armed forces. The march past, aerobatics, parachute jumps and the display of conventional and strategic hardware inspired national confidence in these trying times. More significantly, it demonstrated the resolve of the armed forces and conveyed a strong message to the terrorists that the armed forces would not be deterred and to the world that the nation is fully prepared to defend its integrity against any external aggression.

While we rightly cheered and clapped at the display of military hardware and pageantry, it is also time for us to critically reflect on what the idea of Pakistan was and where the state and people stand today. After 68 years of the founding of Pakist....... Read more

March 25, 2015   No Comments

The criminalisation of politics: By Rasul Bakhsh Rais in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2015.

The writer is a professor of political science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences
It is not news that criminals of all shades are involved in crimes ranging from extortion to murder and seek cover of political parties and powerful individuals, and create their own parallel organisations. Criminality in any society is as natural as the negative human instincts that manifest in many harmful ways. Yet, the inclusion of criminals into politics is another matter, a serious one that can bring into power individuals connected with crimes against men, women and society. If and when that happens, it could take a society generations to recover from the effects of such groups. Many nations, states and societies suffer from this curse; Pakistan is not alone.

Pakistani politics has been criminalised for a very long time, for many decades now, and it is not any one party, any one part of the country or any single political or military regime that can be singled out on this ....... Read more

March 25, 2015   No Comments

Battling the militants : Editorial in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2015.

The war that is being fought between the Pakistan Army and the forces allied to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is relentless and ferocious. As winter fades from the mountains of Waziristan there is a report that in a single battle more than 80 militants have been killed and 100 injured in Khyber Agency. The army followed up on air strikes close to the Afghan border in Tirah Valley, the scene of much fighting already. The figures are difficult to verify as there is no independent reporting coming out of the conflict zone. A consequence of that is that rumours — always as ready to fly as bombs and bullets in warfare — abound.

The rumour that Mullah Fazlullah had been seriously injured or possibly killed first surfaced on March 21 and has since been denied by the TTP. Taliban groups rarely admit the loss of key leaders immediately, and will often deny a loss in the absence of independent evidence — so Mullah Fazlullah may yet be alive. The army has so far not confirmed ....... Read more

March 25, 2015   No Comments

Operation Khyber-II: Editorial in TheNation, March 25th, 2015.

Heavy fighting continues in the Tirah area of Khyber Agency as the armed forces clash with militants affiliated with the terrorist Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) group. The ongoing Operation Khyber-II is aimed at clear militant strongholds in the agency, especially the Tirah Valley where militants led by Mangal Bagh have enjoyed control for several years. The LI recently entered into a formal alliance with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). In November last year, militants in Tirah Valley publicly beheaded a man accusing him of spying for security forces, which just goes on to show how necessary it is for the state to regain control of the territory.
ISPR has claimed that so far 80 militants have been killed while seven soldiers, including Major Gulfam, also lost their lives. However, certain reports suggest that the number of deceased soldiers could be higher. COAS General Raheel Sharif visited the injured troops and praised them for their sacrifices. Such gestures by the milita....... Read more

March 25, 2015   No Comments

Parties back govt-PTI accord on poll inquiry

KHAWAR GHUMMAN in Dawn March 25th , 2015
ISLAMABAD: All political parties represented in parliament, except the beleaguered Muttahida Qaumi Movement, have supported an agreement between the government and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on the setting up of a judicial commission to investigate allegations of rigging in the last general elections.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had a brief sitting on Tuesday with the heads of parliamentary parties at the Parliament House, where they were informed about the contours of the agreement.

“The matter of forming a judicial commission was deliberated upon in detail and it was decided to go ahead with the formation of the commission,” the media wing of the Prime Minister Office said in a statement issued after the meeting.

However, the statement also reflected a note of dissent from the MQM leadership. “Some parties raised constitutional and legal reservations but decided to support the government on this matter in the int....... Read more

March 25, 2015   No Comments

PTI’s chief furious as internal party differences made public

KHAWAR GHUMMAN in Dawn March 25th , 2015
ISLAMABAD: Differen­ces within the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) that had been simmering for some time now became public on Tuesday.

Pulled to pieces by the media over the cracks within its ranks, PTI Chairman Imran Khan issued a ‘gag order’ warning all party leaders — regardless of their position within the party — against providing information to the media about what he called “PTI’s internal issues”.

In a curtly-worded press statement, Mr Khan said: “The party will not tolerate any internal matter or document being discussed or released to the media by anyone, no matter how senior a position he/she holds.”

The party election tribunal, led by a former judge, Justice Wajihuddin Ahmad, which had earlier sent a report raising serious questions over the fairness of the PTI’s intra-party elections, is said to be unhappy with the role of Secretary General Jahangir Tareen. Justice Ahmad reportedly issu....... Read more

March 25, 2015   No Comments

MQM opposes judicial commission to probe poll rigging

ISLAMABAD: All political parties of the country except the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Tuesday expressed their support to the recently agreed-upon formation of a judicial commission to probe the 2013 General Election.

Speaking to media representatives after attending a meeting of all Parliamentary parties chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here, MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar said that the agreement signed between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was in contradiction with the Constitution.

He said the agreement was in contradiction with Articles 225 and 189 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Sattar said that all political parties were bound to abide by the Constitution, adding that MQM was the only party that has opposed the judicial commission. He said their cooperation was sought during the meeting.

The MQM leader said there were qualms present in the draft of the agreement and the PTI leadership shoul....... Read more

March 25, 2015   No Comments

Ministries run crime racket: Nisar

Report in The Nation, March 25th, 2015
ISLAMABAD – Officials in several government ministries ran a crime racket that helped to free 15 prisoners convicted of murder and drug offences, interior minister said Tuesday.
The minister’s statement is a rare official acknowledgement of the corruption in the government and dysfunctional criminal justice system.
“Drug money is involved in this racket. I have given ten days for this inquiry and it will be made public,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a news conference.
“Those responsible for this will not sit in the ministry. Their place is jail.”
The minister said he had launched an investigation last year after receiving a note from a British minister expressing concern that a prisoner had been freed.
All those freed had been convicted abroad and returned to Pakistan. Four men were found guilty of drug offences and murders in Britain and returned under a prisoner exchange progr....... Read more

March 25, 2015   No Comments