Pak expels Save the Children foreign staff
Islamabad—The Pakistani government has ordered foreign staff members of Save the Children to leave the country, a spokesman for the international aid group said Thursday. The group has recently come under Pakistani government scrutiny because of reports that it helped facilitate meetings between the US and Dr Shakil Af-ridi, who allegedly helped hunt down Osama bin Laden, a charge which the group has vehemently denied.
PPP, PML-N fail to dump differences
Islamabad—Leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) held talks Thursday on one point agenda of the new accountability law.
The proposed accountability bill is pending for the last three and a half years due to reservations of the PML-N.
During the talks held at Punjab House, both the parties agreed to continue talks on the bill and address reservations of the opposition. The PPP delegation included Federal Ministers Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar and Farooq H. Naek while the PML-N side was represented by leader of the opposition in the Senate Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Mohammad Asif and Senator Pervez Rashid.
Need stressed to follow Quaid’s motto of Unity, Faith and Discipline
Islamabad—Speakers at a round table conference at Aiwan-i-Quaid Thursday marking defence of Pakistan day agreed that the nation needed to follow motto of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah : Unity, Faith and Discipline. They said, Father of the Nation won struggle for Pakistan in the midst of fierce opposition by the British and the Congress party on the basis of his golden motto. The nation is suffering from internal disruption and it can come out of the challenge by following the footprints of the great Quaid.
The speakers were unanimous in their observation that Pakistan can easily meet any external threat but the real danger comes from within as it suffers from religious extremism and militancy.
Zahid Malik for redefining national security
Islamabad—Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Ob-server, has expressed the view that in view of the new strategic realities emerging in the region, Pakistan needs to revisit its de-fence plan.
Zahid Malik, who is also Chairman of Nazriya Pakistan Council, in his inaugural address at the Round Table Conference on ‘Defence of Pakistan — 1965, Today, Tomorrow’ organised by the Council at Aiwan-i-Quaid, said the responsibility of defence should not be left only to the armed forces. ‘All institutions and the people have to come on the back of the Armed Forces,’ he emphasised.
SC freezes info ministry’s secret funds
Quetta—The Supreme Court Quetta registry ordered that the secret account of the information ministry should be frozen, while hearing an application moved by TV anchors Hamid Mir and Absar Alam, on Thursday.
The account has been frozen till September 12 which, is the next date of the hearing of the case.
During the hearing, the applicants told the two-judge bench that the funds of the information ministry were Rs2 billion last year which have now been in-creased to Rs4 billion.
They added that the funds were being used for a “secret agenda” in an incorrect manner by influencing the media. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain re-marked that there was no need for a secret account as the budget of the information ministry should be open.
He further asked the ministry to inform the court of its budget and mandate. The bench maintained that it was compelled to pass an interim order in the case as the ministry, even after being given so much time, has not provided the court with any information.
Degrees of eight MPs declared fake
Lahore—The University of Punjab has sent a final report to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Thursday declaring degrees of eight parliamentarians fake. The university said that it had no reports of eight parliamentarians, including Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid’s (PML-Q) Muhabbat Khan Marri, Seemal Kamran and Amna Ulfat. PML-Nawaz’s Afshaan Farooq, Farah Deeba and Shumaila Rana as well as Awami National Party’s (ANP) Syed Aqil Shah were also included in the list. Naseer Akhtar’s degree was also declared fake.
The HEC had earlier sent 376 degrees to the university for verification. In the final report, the university also declared six other degrees “suspicious” and gave a final warning to the respondents to present their matric and intermediate certificates for verification.
These include National Assembly member Noman Iqbal and Punjab Assembly members Abdul Hanif, Mohammad Nawaz, Neelum Chaudhry and Mohammad Arqaan. According to sources, cases of two fake degrees are still in courts, while Mubashir Iqbal and Mohammad Rizwan have taken back their cases.
US widens detainees waterboarding brute treatment
Cairo— Human Rights Watch said it has uncovered evidence of a wider use of waterboarding in American interrogations of detainees than has been acknowledged by the United States, in a report Thursday that details further brutal treatment at secret CIA-run prisons under the Bush administration-era U.S. program of detention and rendition of terror suspects.
The report also paints a more complete picture of Washington’s close cooperation with the regime of Libya’s former dictator Moammar Gadhafi in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. handed over to Libya the Islamist opponents of Gadhafi that it detained abroad with only thin “diplomatic assurances” that they would not be mistreated, and several of them were subsequently tortured in prison, Human Rights Watch said.
The 154-page report features interviews by the New York-based group with 14 Libyan dissident exiles. They describe systematic abuses while they were held in U.S.-led detention centers in Afghanistan — some as long as two years — or in U.S.-led interrogations in Pakistan, Morocco, Thailand, Sudan and elsewhere before the Americans handed them over to Libya.