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MQM in disarray; EDITORIAL in Dawn, October 21st, 2016

OVER the past few days, an invective-filled exchange has been taking place in Karachi that has brought into the open the internal turmoil convulsing the MQM, while also involving those political factions that have broken away from it.Many of the things being said about the party and its Byzantine, often bloody, internal workings were once discussed in hushed tones; now these stinging allegations are being repeated on national television.The latest in a series of episodes was sparked on Monday when former Karachi city mayor and current head of the Pak Sarzameen Party Mustafa Kamal unleashed a barrage of allegations against Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad.The tough-talking PSP chief accused the governor of indulging in ‘massive corruption’ and providing ‘oxygen’ to Altaf Hussain.The normally mild-mannered governor has responded in kind, levelling similar charges against Mr Kamal.
The latest salvo came on Thursday, when the PSP leader called for a probe against the allegations ....... Read more

October 22, 2016   No Comments

Those men in and around the BNP: by Syed Badrul Ahsan in bdnews24.com

The writer is a bdnews24.com columnist.
It was a bizarre scene by any measure. On a local Bengali television channel in London a few days ago, a United Kingdom-based activist of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party made it known that the late General Ziaur Rahman was a ‘statesman’ acknowledged by the entire world. He had a sheaf of papers with him, trying to prove that the doors to multi-party democracy were ‘opened’ by Zia in the years in which he lorded it over Bangladesh. And, of course, Zia for this diehard BNP man, as also for others of his kind, remains a ‘shaheed’, a martyr, though no one among the late dictator’s fans has ever explained in what religious war or battle he came by his ‘martyrdom’. No one in the BNP remembers, conveniently, the hundreds upon hundreds of men in the armed forces General Zia pushed into martyrdom in his five years in power.

The problem is typical of BNP loyalists. That man, at the end of the television programme, made anoth....... Read more

October 22, 2016   No Comments

IHC dismisses plea to elevate Gen Raheel as field marshal: by Shahid Rao in The Nation, October 22, 2016

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court yesterday turned down a writ petition seeking directions for the federal government to elevate Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to the rank of field marshal.

Mr Justice Aamer Farooq of the Islamabad High Court announced the verdict which he had reserved earlier in this matter.

In its verdict, the court observed there was no post of field marshal in the Constitution of Pakistan. Moreover, a court cannot direct legislature to form a new law.

The petition was moved by Rawalpindi-based lawyer Sardar Adnan Saleem Khan Mazari advocate, praying to the court to direct the federal government to elevate General Raheel as field marshall in recognition of his services for safeguarding the frontiers of Pakistan in accordance with the National Action Plan (NAP) and successful operation Zarb-e-Azb in an effective and efficient manner against terrorism and extremism.

The petitioner moved the court through his counsel, Raja Saim-ul-....... Read more

October 22, 2016   No Comments

Govt to name new army chief in a week’ : report in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2016.

ISLAMABAD: The government has not yet finalised the name of the new army chief. However, it is likely to make the apppointment in a week or so, revealed the State Minister for Capital Administration Tariq Fazl Chaudhry on Friday.


“The government has not yet decided [as to who will be the new army chief] but is likely to announce his name in week or ten days’ time,” said Chaudhry said in response to a question asked during a news conference which he addressed together with PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz. Army chief General Raheel Sharif is set to retire in November this year and has announced not to seek an extension in his tenure.


The PML-N leaders criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, who, they claimed, spoke against Pakistan Army in connection with the ongoing military operation in tribal areas during his foreign trips.


They also alleged that Imran Khan received funds from the United States and ....... Read more

October 22, 2016   No Comments

Governor Ebad’s disclosures have everyone talking By Hafeez Tunio in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2016.

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad broke his long silence with some shocking revelations on Wednesday. The disclosure, mainly about his erstwhile party, was like a bombshell that instantly became the main talking-point on prime-time television talk-shows.

“A huge weapons haul recovered earlier this month from a house in Azizabad was bought by the Karachi Tanzeemi Committee to fight against Pakistan’s army and rangers,” Ebad said while speaking to journalists at the Ojha campus of Dow University. The Karachi Tanzeemi Committee looks after organisational operations of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in the metropolis.

Ebad was referring to a massive amount of arms and ammunition police recovered on Oct 5 from an abandoned house near Nine-Zero, the headquarters of MQM, the party he belonged to. The weapons cache was hidden in a huge cavity dug in the house for the purpose.

This is the first time that Ebad, who has been serving as Sindh governor for almost 14 ....... Read more

October 20, 2016   No Comments

PPP slams Panamagate probe delay, PTI plans for ‘lockdown’ AMIR WASIM in Dawn October 20th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party launched a two-pronged attack on Wednesday, accusing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of accentuating the crisis by refusing to probe the Panama Papers leaks scandal and condemning Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf of indulging in a ‘criminal act’ by threatening to lock down the country’s capital.

Speaking at a news conference, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah was at pains to send across the signal that in the latest tussle the PPP was neither with the government nor with Mr Khan’s street protest.

“Everyone has a political right to hold protests, rallies or sit-ins, but sealing a city or an area is not a political right. It is a criminal activity as it causes hardship to the citizens,” he said.

“Sealing Islamabad is like sealing Pakistan. This is not protest, but a criminal act,” the PPP leader said, adding: “I don’t know who has advised Imran Khan to ....... Read more

October 20, 2016   No Comments

Govt, PTI fire warning shots at each other: Report in The Nation, Oct 20, 2016

MULTAN/Lahore – The November 2 is weeks away, but the political heat is already alarmingly high with government expressing its determination to keep the capital open and running, and PTI warning against efforts to stop their march through underhand tactics.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan yesterday said the rulers would be responsible for any clash if Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers, who were determined to go to the capital, were barred from reaching there.

“I am telling the police and administration clearly that any crackdown or arrests will be unconstitutional. We were not prepared at the time of the 2014 sit-in, but now we’re fully prepared and will remove all obstacles,” he warned the government while addressing lawyers at the High Court Bar Hall in Multan. Later, he also addressed a workers’ convention.

Imran said he and his party stood by the lawyers during the movement for the restoration of the judiciary and now it was their turn to reciprocate. “N....... Read more

October 20, 2016   No Comments

Panamagate: Nawaz, aides pore over defence strategy: By Sardar Sikander in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2016.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday discussed with his close aides legal options the federal government can exercise in its defence at judicial and constitutional forums against allegations levelled in light of Panama leaks.

Notes were exchanged between the prime minister and his legal aides, including Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf, Law Minister Zahid Hamid and former AGP Salman Aslam Butt in deliberations that were kept low-key apparently in a bid to avoid media attention.

Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office told The Express Tribune that the top government officials with a legal background briefed Sharif about the government’s preparations regarding the Panama leaks case the Supreme Court will take up today (Thursday).

Although the top court has so far not issued notices to the government, officials have started preparations beforehand to defend the government. The court is taking up five petitions, including that of Pakistan Teh....... Read more

October 20, 2016   No Comments

Govt set to arrest Imran, key PTI leaders before Islamabad lockdown: report in The News, October 20, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has started working on a plan to thwart PTI chief Imran Khan’s attempt to ‘lockdown’ Islamabad on November 2, according to sources.

Sources claimed that a list of senior PTI leaders and party workers was being prepared. These key party leaders and workers would be taken into custody and arrested before November 2, when Imran Khan plans to stop the government from functioning.

Sources disclosed that it was likely that several key leaders of the PTI as well as party chairman Imran Khan would be placed under house arrest, in order to thwart their efforts to mobilize a huge crowd against the government.

Imran Khan has threatened the government that if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not present himself for accountability or resign as the Chief Executive of the country, then PTI would initiate an ‘Islamabad lockdown’, which would aim to block the city and dissuade the government from functioning.

The....... Read more

October 20, 2016   No Comments

PML-N rigs its own polls!: by Mian Abrar in Pakistan Today, Oct 18, 2016

Islamabad: Violating the party’s own constitution as well as all norms of democracy, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) intraparty elections on Tuesday proved to be a farce.

PML-N’s party Constitution provides for the party to hold elections for all offices after expiry of four years term “from the date of previous elections”. However, the ruling party violated clauses of its own Constitution, a copy of which is available on the party’s website.

Article 120(b) of PML-N’s Constitution reads, “The party will hold election after expiry of four-year term from the date of previous elections at Central/Provincial/Local levels through secret ballot.”

This article has been violated on two counts. First, the party held its elections after a lapse of more than five years and three months from the date of its previous elections.

The previous elections of the PML-N were held on July 27, 2011 and current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Nawaz Sharif, wa....... Read more

October 20, 2016   No Comments