Sunday, December 18, 2011

President Zardari expected to return tonight: sources

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari is due to arrive in Karachi in tonight. The Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar also hinted on the early arrival of Zardari.
According to the sources the arrival arrangements for President Zardari are in its final stages. He is expected to arrive in Karachi where he will stay at his residence Bilawal House.
There have been tight security arrangements made for his route from Shahrah-e-Faisal to Bilawal House. Sources also said the president has been declared healthy by a team of doctors in Dubai.
The Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also expected in Karachi before the arrival of the president.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kayani, Pasha submit memogate replies in SC

ISLAMABAD: Cheif of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, DG ISI Shuja Pasha and other respondent on Thursday submitted their replies to the Supreme Court in the memogate case, DawnNews reported.
Speaking to media representatives, Attorney General for Pakistan Molvi Anwarul Haq said that the replies were submitted through his office.
Haq said there were no changes made to the replies of the COAS and DG ISI.
Replies have also been received from the cabinet, law, defence, interior and foreign secretaries.
Earlier the Supreme Court had also received replies from Mansoor Ijaz and Husain Haqqani.
On December 1, a larger bench of the apex Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had directed the ten respondents that they might submit their replies on the issue till December 15.
The replies from the government functionaries were submitted through the AG office late in the evening.
A larger bench is set to resume hearing of the issue on December 19.
PML-N leader Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and others through their separate pleas had moved the apex court for hearing the case.

Parliament to decide on Pak-US ties: FM Khar

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday said Pakistan had two written agreements with the United States and Nato, DawnNews reported.
Speaking to media representatives after a meeting of the National Security Committee, Khar said the parliament would decide on Pakistan’s relations with the US.
Recommendations given during the envoys’ conference have been sent to the parliamentary committee, Khar said, adding that the committee had also been provided details of the two agreements.
Khar said future relations with the US would be “clear, not confusing”.
The ‘war against terrorism’ cannot be won alone, Khar said, adding that Pakistan could also contact other states regarding resumption of aid.

Zardari response in memo case will not be submitted today: AG

ISLAMABAD: Attorney General, Maulvi Anwarul Haq on Thursday said that the Army chief and DG ISI are to submit their statements by today. However, President Zardari will not file his reply today, DawnNews reported.
According to the AG, the 15-day deadline given to party members to respond to the memogate case will end tomorrow.
Earlier this morning, three legal experts from the Army Head Quarters delivered the Army chief’s reply and are still in attendance at the Attorney General’s office with the proposed documents.

No compromise on Pakistan’s sovereignty: Gilani

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday emphatically stated that there will be no compromise on Pakistan’s sovereignty and its territorial frontiers will be defended at all costs.
In a policy statement in National Assembly on the situation arising out of Nato attack in Mohmand agency, he said in the past Pakistan extended every cooperation to the members of the international community in the counter terrorism domain.
He however, pointed out that our cooperation has certain well defined red-lines including sovereign equality and mutual respect. No unilateral action inside Pakistan and no transgression of its territorial frontiers would be allowed, he added.
He said as a responsible state, Pakistan will continue to uphold and promote the cause of regional peace and stability.
However, in doing so we shall ensure that our legitimate interests are not only recognised but fully accommodated.
The prime minster emphasised that these fundamental points of principle need to be understood by our international partners.
He reiterated that Pakistan as a peace loving country remains committed to regional peace and stability particularly in Afghanistan.
As a country which suffered from terrorism, elimination of terrorism and militancy remains high priority for the people and government of Pakistan.
He said Pakistan in all earnest extended hand of friendship to the people and government of Afghanistan.
The prime minster expressed satisfaction that the entire nation was united to uphold Pakistan’s national dignity and honour and to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
He said the government was awaiting recommendations from the Parliamentary committee on national security and the future course of action would be decided by the parliament.

Foreign ministry criticises ‘wrong’ US aid freeze

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday angrily criticised US moves to freeze $700 million in aid, the latest sign of the fraying alliance that has been in deep crisis since Nato fire killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
“We believe that the move in the US Congress is not based on facts and takes narrow vision of overall situation hence wrong conclusions are unavoidable,” foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters.
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the legislation, which the Senate is expected to vote on as early as Thursday.
The bill would freeze the aid, pending assurances that Islamabad has taken steps to thwart militants who use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against US-led forces in Afghanistan.
“If this legislation becomes law, we’ll work with the government of Pakistan on how we can fulfill the requirements. But, this requires us to maintain a strategic perspective,” US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
Pakistan shut down the vital US supply line into neighbouring Afghanistan and ordered US personnel to leave the Shamsi air base, reportedly used as a hub by CIA drones, after attacks killed 24 soldiers on November 26.
Pakistan says it is reviewing terms of engagements with the United States and Nato, but parliament has so far stopped short of announcing any specific measures pending a joint session for which no date has been called.
A parliamentary committee is considering a proposal to scrap tax exemptions on Nato goods shipped to Pakistan and trucked to the Afghan border.
The powerful military, anyway, is considered the final arbiter of policy.
It has bolstered its air defence systems on the Afghan border, where officials say 160,000 troops are deployed.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta visited American troops in Afghanistan close to the Pakistani border on Wednesday, calling on Islamabad to secure its side of the border, by cracking down on Taliban havens on its territory.
“I think the real question has to be what has been done on the Afghan side of the border,” Abdul Basit told reporters.
“Pakistan cannot be held responsible for weaknesses and loopholes on the other side of the border,” he added.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Imran invites minorities to join ‘peoples tsunami’

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan addresses a public gathering. – File Photo

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Wednesday held out an assurance that his party will not make any law depriving the marginalised religious minorities if comes into power.
He made this assurance while addressing the convention of minorities organised by PTI’s Punjab chapter in Green Town, Lahore.
Earlier, the party chief extended Christmas greetings to hundreds of participants, mostly belonging to the Christians community. Representatives of Hindu and Sikh communities were also present.
Referring to the examples of justice done by the Khulafa-i-Rashideen, Khan vowed to establish a justice-based society, wherein the rights of the Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities would be fully safeguarded.
He claimed that PTI’s December 25 rally in Karachi would turn Pakistan into such a state, where everyone would feel proud for being a Pakistani.
He viewed that the prosperity comes with peace. The PTI chief invited the religious minorities to join people’s tsunami that would bring a revolution in the country.
“The tsunami of people, especially youths, will wash away all the old political parties, old faces and crocodiles,” said Khan.
Representatives of religious minorities assured all out support to Imran Khan and emphasised that the potentials of the minorities should be fully utilised for development and prosperity of the country.