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  • PTI leader Rai Hassan Nawaz disqualified for life
    on July 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    ISLAMABAD:  The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday disqualified for life PTI leader Rai Hassan Nawaz under Article 62 of the Constitution.The judgment was announced by a division bench of the apex court headed by Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh.Justice Shiekh remarked that the top court had already declared that Hassan Nawaz was not "Sadiq and Ameen".He said Article 62 of the constitution is clearly applicable to Rai Hassan Nawaz."We become exhausted writing judgments, but lawyers do not bother to read them," he lamented. […]

  • Donkey is common expression used even by school teachers, Imran's lawyer tells ECP
    on July 19, 2018 at 11:53 am

    ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan's lawyer Babar Awan on Thursday assured the Election Commission of Pakistan of submitting a written statement on behalf of PTI chairman that he will not use such a language that could spread  hatred. The counsel appeared before a four-member bench of the electoral body which issued a notice to Imran Khan on Wednesday for using foul language against his opponents in election rallies.The lawyer told the commission that Mr Khan was unable to show up because he was was busy  campaigning ahead of general election.At the onset of hearing, ECP's Sindh member Abdul Ghaffar Soomori said Imran Khan used extremely inappropriate language which his lawyer must have heard.Awan responded in affirmative and then ran footage of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz  leader Ayaz Sadiq using objectionable language against PTI leader.While defending his party chairman, Babar Awan said donkey was an common expression  which  school teachers also  use for their students.The ECP panel, however, told him that there was a difference between a teacher and the politician.The  ECP more notice against the politicians using inappropriate language would also be issued. […]

  • Pakistan election: the main players
    on July 19, 2018 at 11:11 am

    ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan election on July 25 comes after a brief but acrimonious campaign, complicated by a string of attacks -- including the second deadliest bombing in Pakistan´s history -- which have prompted security fears.The election represents only the second democratic transition in the  and is considered a vital step for Pakistan, with its fragile institutions and turbulent past.The main players in the polls include leaders of the three main parties.Nawaz SharifSharif, dubbed the Lion of Punjab, was thrice prime minister but has never completed a term, his latest ending when he was ousted by the Supreme Court last year and banned from politics for life over corruption.The saga reached its peak earlier this month, when he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison. Sharif spectacularly returned to Pakistan from London a week later and was arrested.  Analysts say he has returned to fight for his political life, as his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party stumbles in the campaign.Imran KhanA former World Cup cricket hero turned politician, Khan has become the main opposition leader in recent years and makes no secret of his ambition to become prime minister.Known mainly in the West as a talented sportsman and infamous playboy, he presents a significantly more conservative and devout face to Muslim Pakistan.His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, founded in 1996, has governed northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province but long had to settle for a handful of seats nationally. The fall of Sharif and the PML-N´s floundering campaign represents his best chance yet at the leadership, even if an outright majority remains uncertain.Critics consider him unfit for office. Some call him "Taliban Khan" and attack his repeated calls for talks with violent insurgent groups.Shahbaz SharifNawaz´s younger and less charismatic brother, Shahbaz became president of the PML-N after his elder sibling was ousted, and is theoretically leading the party into the vote. He occupies a key position in politics, having spent more than 10 years as chief minister of Punjab province, which represents over half the country´s population of 207 million.Shahbaz, also an influential businessman, is reputedly less stubborn  than Nawaz or his anointed political heir, daughter Maryam, who has also been jailed for corruption. There has long been speculation that the two brothers have clashed over their political differences, but they have never corroborated the claims. Bilawal Bhutto ZardariHis mother Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a Muslim country, was assassinated in 2007. His grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, also a prime minister of Pakistan, was hanged in 1979. At 29, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has little experience and the chance of election victory for his family´s Pakistan Peoples Party is deemed almost nil -- though he could become kingmaker by joining forces with the PML-N or PTI, if either fail to win an outright majority.The task would be difficult for the scion of a family who once dominated Pakistani politics but whose party is now in decline, even challenged in their stronghold in Sindh province.His father, Asif Ali Zardari, nicknamed "Mr 10 percent" because of numerous accusations of corruption, has previously been president of Pakistan. There is speculation he could seek the post again -- or demand other concessions -- in any coalition deal. […]

  • No truth in 'threat alerts' circulating on social media: ISPR
    on July 19, 2018 at 10:50 am

    RAWALPINDI: The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of the army, on Thursday denied having issued any threat alerts.According to Geo News, the ISPR said false threat are beng circulated on the social media to spread fear though propaganda.The ISPR asked the citizens to keep an eye on such false phone calls and propaganda and visit  its website to confirm the reports . […]

  • PTI worker injured as 'PPP activist' opens fire at election office in Karachi
    on July 19, 2018 at 9:54 am

    KARACHI: A worker of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf injured when an gunman  opened  fire at party's election office on Thursday.The incident took place in Quaidabad area of the city. According to Geo News, the gunman managed to flee after attacking the PTI office.Identified as Rehmat Ali, the political activist was shifted to a nearby hospital where he was being treated.Quoting police, the TV channel said the gunman was identified as a Pakistan People's Party (PPP) worker Anwar Ali.PTI candidate Zara Khan  has also accused  the PPP worker of attacking her office.The police said they have seized an SMG and two magazine from the site of the incident.Inspector General Sindh Police Javed Saleemi has  taken notice of the incident and sought a report. &nbs […]

  • Pakistan's five biggest post-election challenges
    on July 19, 2018 at 9:32 am

    ISLAMABAD: The next government in Pakistan will face myriad challenges from unsustainable population growth to simmering extremism.No matter who is voted into office on July 25, the new rulers will have to make hard choices, and quickly.Here's a rundown of the biggest hurdles Pakistan is facing. ExtremismSecurity has dramatically improved across Pakistan following a military crackdown in recent years.However analysts have long warned that Pakistan is not getting to the root causes of extremism, and that the militants can still carry out spectacular attacks -- an ability they demonstrate periodically.That includes during this campaign, with a string of bombings at political events killing 175 people, including the second deadliest militant attack in Pakistan´s history -- an Islamic State-claimed blast in Balochistan on July 13 which killed 149 people. Analysts have warned that insurgents may be regrouping and seeking to reassert themselves after years of setbacks. EconomyPakistan's next government faces growing fears of a balance of payments crisis, with speculation mounting it will have to seek its second IMF bailout in five years.The central bank is burning through foreign reserves and devaluing the rupee, including another five-percent dive this week, in a bid to bridge a widening trade deficit. Pakistan, which has long relied heavily on imports, increased its procurement of materials to help build a string of Chinese-backed infrastructure projects after inking a multi-billion dollar investment package with Beijing  leading to fears over how Islamabad will pay for it.The economy has also been stung by higher oil prices.Meanwhile, meagre exports such as textiles have taken a hit from cheaper Chinese-produced goods, while foreign remittances have also slowed.The winners of the election will have "limited time" to act, Fitch ratings agency warned earlier this month. Population growthConservative Pakistan, with its limited family planning, has one of the highest birth rates in Asia at around three children per woman, according to the World Bank and government figures.That has led to a fivefold increase of the population since 1960, now touching 207 million, draft results from last year´s census show.The boom is negating hard-won economic and social progress in the developing country, experts have warned.To add to the problem, discussing contraception in public is taboo in Pakistan.Analysts say unless more is done to slow growth, the country´s natural resources -- particularly drinking water -- will not be enough to support the population. Water shortagesPakistan is on the verge of an ecological disaster if authorities do not urgently address looming water shortages, experts say.Official estimates show that by 2025 the country will be facing an "absolute scarcity" of water, with less than 500 cubic metres available per person -- just one third of the water available in parched Somalia, according to the UN.Pakistan has massive Himalayan glaciers, rivers, monsoon rains and floods -- but just three major water storage basins, compared with more than a thousand in South Africa or Canada. As such, surplus water is quickly lost. Political initiative will be essential to building infrastructure to reverse the course of the impending crisis. There is also little in the way of education on water conservation. […]

  • ECP issues notice to Imran Khan over ‘abusive’ language
    on July 18, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s electoral body has issued a notice to PTI chairman Imran Khan for using "abusive and derogatory language" in his speeches during the ongoing election campaign. The Election Commission of Pakistan has directed Khan to appear in person or send his lawyer to explain his position on Thursday. A four-member bench of the Election Commission will conduct the hearing tomorrow, it said. The notice, it added, has been taken on the basis of media reports about the use of inappropriate and unethical language by Khan against his political opponents. Last week, the electoral body also put a ban on abusive TV advertisements deemed offensive.&nbs […]

  • South Punjab is PML-N's stronghold, says Shehbaz Sharif
    on July 18, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    RAJANPUR: PML-N President and former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called on the masses to defeat candidates contesting the elections on election symbols of 'bat, jeep and arrow.'“South Punjab is a stronghold of the PML-N and I am sure masses will reject bat, jeep and arrow and vote for 'lion' symbol in the party,” Sharif told a rally in Rajanpur district of south Punjab.Shehbaz criticized Imran Khan saying that when dengue virus attacked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief went to Nathia Gali.“Imran Khan has turned Peshawar into ruins,” he said, questioning whether such a person can become the country’s prime minister. Khan kept on telling lies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for five years; he neither built any hospitals nor colleges. “Nawaz Sharif had to sleep on the floor in prison and wasn't even allowed to meet his mother." […]

  • Imran Khan vows to make tourism a top priority
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    NATHIA GALI: PTI chairman Imran Khan that his party would make tourism a top priority after coming into power. Addressing a gathering of supporters in the mountain resort town of Nathia Gali, Khan said that this area was better than Switzerland in term of scenic beauty. “Those who say industries will be set up at Nathia Gali are telling lies. Industries are set up in big cities, not hilly towns,” he said. He said that tourism would be promoted using educational sector. Khan said that after coming into power, his party will develop four new tourist resorts every year."Do not be fooled by false promises of other parties because they will never develop Northern areas. PTI is the only party that has delivered according to its promises in KPK," he said.“Shehbaz Sharif will have to go to Adiala Jail as well — similar to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Safdar,” he said.Imran alleged that the PML-N leader has registered ‘32 fake cases against him’."Not getting positive news regarding the upcoming elections," said the PTI supremo, adding that people should get out of their homes to vote on July 25.He further said that the condition of Galyat has immensely changed over time.Accusing Caretaker Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of being biased against his party, he hoped that the caretaker prime minister would maintain his neutrality till the elections. “Unfortunately I will have to say that Caretaker Chief Minister Dost Muhammad is siding with Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Akram Durrani. But I hope that he will mend his ways,” he said. […]

  • PML-N, PTI are product of dictators: Bilawal Bhutto
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    MANDI BAHAUDDIN: PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has accused rival PPP and PML-N of being the product of dictators.“PPP is an ideological party which doesn’t believe in politics of abuses and calling names,” Bilawal Bhutto told a gathering of supporters in Mandi Bahauddin on Wednesday.Bhutto called on political parties to end the culture of hurling abuses in politics.He pledged that PPP, if came into power, would extend the Benazir Bhutto Income Support to the whole of Pakistan.“PPP has always introduced pro-farmer policies. We will also build shelters for the homeless people,” he said. “Farmers will be allowed to insure their crops under Kisan Card,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s prosperity was directly linked with the wellbeing of farmers.“We will open food stores at union council level and those will be run by women,” he said. […]