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performance: DPO bound to present report 

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:41

SWABI: Every district police officer is bound to present a six-month performance report to the district council. This was said by Swabi DPO Javed Iqbal. He was speaking during a meeting with local government representatives on Wednesday.

Iqbal added the district nazim could ask the IGP to conduct an enquiry into a case.

“In the new police ordinance, the district nazim, naib nazim and district public safety commission has the power to assess the performance of the police and report it to high officers,” he said. “The police are always ready to serve the public and they need their cooperation in establishing peace in the district.”

On the occasion, the local government members lauded the efforts of the police force for maintaining peace and security in the district and also gave approval to appoint 500 recruits.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.


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Anti-state diatribe: Govt to file reference against Altaf  

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:37

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid on Wednesday said the government will send a reference to British authorities against Altaf Hussain for inciting people to violence and attacking media houses in Karachi. “The state is playing its role. We will send a reference to British government against Altaf Hussain whose address provoked people to violate the law and attack private property,” he said speaking in a PTV programme. He said the government was taking required steps to deal with the situation and was also in contact with the British government. The Minister said that when in the past we had complained against Altaf Hussain, the British government replied that there was freedom of expression in their country. “But, this time we expect that they will seriously consider our concerns,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Search operation: Five militants killed in Balochistan

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:34

QUETTA: Five militants were killed in combing operation in the Chattar area of Nasirabad district of Balochistan on Wednesday.

According to officials, security forces started the search operation in Chattar, a border area between Nasirabad and Bugti tribal area against the presence of militants. “Five militants were killed in the combing operation,” security sources said and added that the operation is still going on.

In another search operation conducted in Saryab Road area on Wednesday, two suspects were arrested. They were identified as Ahsanullah and Abdul Kabeer.

Meanwhile, an IED blast took place in Awaran district on Wednesday, injuring eleven people.

According to sources, the blast hit the New Bus Stop area of Awaran district injuring eleven people, while the condition of five is said to be critical

Security forces and police rushed to the site and shifted the injured to the hospital. Investigations are being carried out to find the culprits. However, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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UN convention: E-governance key to check corruption: NAB chief

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:31

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry has said that e-governance is an important step to check corruption to digitise connection between public officials and communities, leading to accountable and inclusive decision making.

An Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based Monitoring and Evaluation System (MES) in NAB has been introduced to automate all functions of operations division, he said while addressing the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on Prevention of Corruption at Vienna, Austria, according to a message received the other day.

He said now complaint verification, inquiry, investigation and filing of reference have been automated as software has in-built Executive Dash Board (EDB) functions which reflect day-to-day work right up to field level.

These efforts have been duly acknowledged by international community and Pakistan’s Global Ranking in ICT over the years have improved as per world economic forum report published in year 2015 which was in 2013 at 105th position, in 2014 at 111th position and in 2015 at 97th position, he said at the international convention.

The NAB chairman told the UN forum that corruption not only undermines development of any country but also deprives people of their due rights and considering these facts, NAB was established as Pakistan’s apex anti-corruption institution with responsibility of elimination of corruption through a holistic approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement.

Qamar Zaman said the government has introduced IT to bring transparency and minimise the chances of corruption and corrupt practices in government departments’ employment and procurement.

The chairman of NAB said the bureau was essentially a complaint driven organisation which was established to eradicate corruption and chalked out a comprehensive operational methodology for proceeding of cases, inquiry and investigation.

NAB’s investigation officers strictly follow Code of Conduct and Zero Tolerance Policy on basis of evidence as per law. He told the UIN forum that NAB has recovered Rs277.909 billion since its inception and received 3,21,318 complaints which were all disposed of according to law.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Delicate issue: SC rejects Kalabagh dam review plea

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:29

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court declared on Wednesday that the review petition seeking the apex court to instruct the executive for building the Kalabagh dam was not maintainable.

The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, had reserved judgment on July 18 over a petition filed by the Engineers Study Forum under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution.

AK Dogar, representing the Forum, had argued that the construction of Kalabagh dam was a matter of public importance and the petition pertained to fundamental rights. Dogar said the court could advise parliament in this regard in view of its public importance.

Pakistan, he feared, would be facing a severe water crisis in the next 10 years if Kalabagh dam was not constructed. He requested the SC to grant adequate opportunity for hearing.

However, Justice Gulzar Ahmad, a co-author of the four-page judgment, observed that the review jurisdiction did not allow re-hearing of cases already decided more so when the court “has given conscious and deliberate decision on the point of law … while disposing of the constitution petition before it”.

Similarly, points not raised at the time of hearing of the constitution petition “cannot be allowed to be raised in the review proceeding”, says the order.

Similarly, the court maintained that the court was not bound to give indefinite hearing to the counsel appearing for a party before it nor the counsel could claim such a privilege.

“It is the function of Court to regulate hearing of the matters fixed before it and at the same time to ensure that it has given adequate time to the counsel for hearing in a given case. What is the adequate time for hearing of a given case, it is not for the counsel appearing for a party before the Court to decide rather it is more a function of the Court.”

It also noted that the court at the time of handing over its judgment was fully conscious of its implications and had in mind all the issues which were raised by AK Dogar. “The review petition accordingly is not maintainable, (and) is dismissed.”

On January 9, 2015, a bench headed by former chief justice Nasirul Mulk, dismissed identical petitions for the construction of Kalabagh dam, observing that it was responsibility of the government to convene a meeting of Council of Common Interests to resolve the issue.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.


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UNODC report: Pakistan risks becoming drugs-consuming country

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:26

KARACHI: The UN has warned that unless Pakistan takes steps to curb transit of drugs through its territory, it risks turning into a narcotics consuming country.

“Slowly and surely, they [drug traffickers] are building a market for illicit drugs here,” said Cesar Guedes, the Pakistan representative of UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), while unveiling the annual UN World Drug Report in Karachi.

“Russia was once a transit country for drugs, but after many years it became a net consuming country,” he said, as he pointed out that Brazil too had gone from being a transit country to become a consuming country over a period of 20-25 years replacing the US as the top cocaine consumer. “Pakistan is not at that stage yet, but more needs to be done [to prevent that],” he said as he went on to hint that drug traffickers target emerging economies with large youth base for their products.

Guedes pointed out that there are two major drug hubs in the world: Latin America for cocaine and Afghanistan for opiates. With Afghanistan producing 70 per cent of the world’s illicit drugs, around 42-43 per cent of this is trafficked through Pakistan.

“Karachi is the largest transit hub of drugs,” he said while explaining UNODC Pakistan chapter’s decision to launch the report in the metropolis instead of the federal capital. “We need to allocate greater resources, team up, provide greater technical resources to curb drug trade,” the UNODC official said.

He later told The Express Tribune that UNODC’s role in the country has gone through ups and downs and has evolved over the past 30 years as per the requirement, shifting from tackling poppy cultivation to currently providing technical assistance in detecting, intercepting and forensics of trafficked drugs.

Ajaz Ali Khan, Secretary of Narcotics Control Ministry, said the government had seized around 342 tonnes of illicit narcotics worth $2.5 billion in 2015. It coincided with a dramatic increase in cooperation with UNODC. He agreed with Guedes that Karachi suffers the most in the drug war and requires special treatment. “We need to focus on demand reduction,” Khan said as he outlined his strategy for curbing the drug trade included controlling drug demand and supply simultaneously to curb it.

He pointed out that the government is pursuing a three-pronged counter-drug strategy that focuses on curbing supply of drugs, demand of drugs and international cooperation. “If your [drug trafficking] preventive efforts are good, they [drug traffickers] divert [to other pliable routes].”

Revealing that while the role of provinces in tackling drug trafficking has increased since the 18th constitutional amendment, Khan said the federal government was still working with the provinces on countering drug trafficking. “It is the need of the hour for the provinces to do more for drug demand reduction.”

Global drug usage

Globally, of the 247 million drug users, cannabis was the most widely consumed narcotic with 182.5 million users.

The report showed that opioids and cannabis are the most prevalent form of drugs in Pakistan. It also showed that cocaine and amphetamines were also consumed to a lesser extent. It also showed that drug production in Pakistan stood at nine tonnes of opium with poppy being cultivated over 372 hectares in 2015. This was up from five tonnes with poppy being cultivated over 217 hectares in 2014. At the same time, Pakistan reported having destroyed poppy over 605 and 1,010 hectares in 2015 and 2014 respectively.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Contradictory reaction: PPP speaks with two voices on minus-Altaf MQM

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:23

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party, which holds key opposition positions in both houses of parliament, is not speaking with one voice on the future of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in parliamentary politics, especially after its chief Altaf Hussain’s stinging diatribe against the state of Pakistan and its institutions.

“In the current scenario, minus-one formula is the only option for the MQM,” Khursheed Shah, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, told journalists at his chamber on Wednesday. Apparently, the MQM broke off from its all-powerful London office on Tuesday when Dr Farooq Sattar told a news conference that “now the party will be operated from Pakistan.”

However some political commentators call it a ruse to deflect the outrage triggered by Altaf’s vitriolic speech and subsequent attacks on media houses by his supporters. “The situation will become clear in a week or so, we should wait until then,” Shah told journalists.

The opposition leader said that apart from immense pressure from the security establishment, a crescendoing demand from politicians also contributed to Sattar’s decision to publicly disown the London office of his party. “The party [MQM] is registered in Sattar’s name; therefore, there should be no problem in him running the party from Pakistan.”

In the same breath, however, he warned that the London-based MQM leadership would not surrender all powers to Sattar and his colleagues in Karachi.

Referring to the MQM’s Rabita Committee in London, Shah claimed that Altaf was surrounded by people who were under the influence of the Indian lobby. Some workers of the party also support this lobby, he added. Shah brushed aside the claim that Altaf made anti-Pakistan statements in a fit of anger or under some mental pressure or illness. “India’s involvement [in fuelling unrest in Pakistan] cannot be ruled out if seen in the context of a recent statement of fugitive Baloch separatist Brahamdagh Bugti.”

Shah said the interior ministry should have lodged a strong protest with the British government over the anti-Pakistan diatribe of Altaf, who is a British citizen. “The interior ministry should not go soft on this crucial issue,” he added.

When asked if he would support Altaf’s trial for treason, the opposition leader said Article 6 of the Constitution, which relates to high treason, has been abused umpteen times in Pakistan. A former military dictator, Gen (retd) Ziaul-Haq hanged prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who had introduced Article 6. “The incumbent government had decided to try another military dictator, Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, for treason, but then let him slip out of the country.”

While Shah claimed minus-one formula was the only option available to the MQM, his senior party colleague took the opposite line. “In [Pakistani] politics, minus-one formula has never worked,” said Aitzaz Ahsan, the opposition leader in the Senate. “I don’t think Altaf could be removed so easily and so early,” he added. ”Politics [political careers] do not end overnight.”

Ahsan said the MQM chief had made a blunder by delivering the seditious speech, but it would be too early to claim that Sattar holding the party’s reins meant end of Altaf.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Crime: Traffic warden shot, injured

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:18

RAWALPINDI: Three unidentified men here on Wednesday shot and injured a traffic warden after the traffic officer tried to stop their motorcycle.

Traffic Warden Asif Ali was performing his duties at Dhoke Dalal Chowk. When he tried to stop three men travelling on a motorcycle, one of the biker opened fire on him.

A bullet hit Ali on his left leg. Wajid Satti, spokesperson for the City Traffic police, said that the warden was shifted to the Holy Family Hospital where he was in stable condition.

He said that Chief Traffic Officer Sardar Ghias Gul visited the injured warden and assured him that the attackers would soon be arrested. Ratta Amral Police had registered a criminal case against the unidentified attackers.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Speeding: Man injured in hit-and-run

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:17

ISLAMABAD: A man was injured in a hit-and-run in Jhangi Syedan on Wednesday. Shahzad lodged a complaint with the Noon police that a speeding vehicle (LES-7922), driven by unidentified man, hit his brother while he was crossing a road in Jhangi Syedan and fled. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was under treatment.

The police have registered a case against the driver.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Eidul Azha Preparations: IMC auctions off cattle market

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 21:17

ISLAMABAD: The Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) of the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) has auctioned the cattle market at I-12/1 for Rs23.5 million. The concerned departments will ensure proper sanitation and provision of basic facilities at the cattle market, an official said. He said civic agency would also arrange ambulance service for the market to meet any untoward incident. The auction was made to Malik and Co for 13 days, and the contractor had paid 25 per cent of the bid on the first day as per criteria, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Remembering Mairaj Muhammad Khan: ‘A symbol working class’ struggle’

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:35

A symbol of working class and free from all kinds of profiteering intentions, National Students Federation’s late leader Mairaj Muhammad Khan’s struggle for democracy in Pakistan will always be remembered. Speakers expressed these views at a condolence reference organised by the National Trade Union Federation in remembrance of Khan at Pakistan Medical Association House on Wednesday. A large number of labourers and political activists attended the event Speakers praised Khan for investing all his energies in opposing the tyrant forces in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Next two days Karachi braces for light rain

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:34

KARACHI: The residents of the city will see light rain and drizzle till Friday, Met office director Abdul Rashid told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.

The temperature will remain between 32 and 34 degrees Celsius in the city, he elaborated. Meanwhile, heavy downpour is expected to hit lower areas of Sindh, including Mirpurkhas, Thatta and Badin, he stated, adding that the new system had suddenly developed from the Eastern end in Rajasthan, India and travelled towards Sindh in Pakistan. Due to this spell, various areas in Sindh, such as Mithi and Chorr, witnessed rainfall on Tuesday. There were also reports of light rain in various areas of the city.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Two ‘fake’ Taliban held for extortion

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:34

KARACHI: Gulshan-e-Iqbal police claimed to have arrested two suspects allegedly involved in extortion activities, according to a press statement issued by Gulshan division SP Dr Fahad.

The suspects, identified as, Abdul Rasheed and Waqar Islam, were residents of Surjani Town and New Karachi, respectively. Rasheed and Islam used to make extortion calls and associated themselves as Taliban members, said Fahad.

The police was able to arrest them with the coordination of Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) after the police received a complaint by a citizen, Waqaruddin, who received an extortion call by the suspects. The suspects had demanded Rs500,000 from Waqaruddin. The suspects had also been involved in collecting extortion money from traders. A case against them has been registered and further investigation is under way.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Corruption in police recruitments: NAB given one month to complete probe

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:30

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) gave on Thursday the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) 30 days to complete yet another inquiry into corruption relating to recruitments in the Sindh police against former IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali and other senior police officers.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim and comprising Justices Mushir Alam and Khilji Arif Hussain, directed NAB’s prosecutor-general Waqas Dar to submit a compliance report within the stipulated time.

The bench, expressing its displeasure over the slow pace of inquiry against Jamali and other police officers after a court-appointed fact-finding committee had unearthed the unfair distribution of investigation funds, had ordered NAB to finalise the corruption reference against Jamali and the other officers within 10 days.

On Thursday, Dar informed the court about the inquiry against the former IG and others into illegal appointments in Sindh Reserve Police (SRP) and requested for time to secure the important documents required to push forward the probe. Approving his request, the bench directed Dar to complete the probe within 30 days and submit a compliance report for the perusal of the court.

On Wednesday, advocate-general Zamir Ghumro had informed the court that the Sindh government had forwarded the names of eight senior police officials to the secretary establishment.

The court had earlier directed to take action against them according to the law in view of their misconduct.

Ghumro had also produced a copy of the letter addressed to the secretary establishment by the Sindh Services and General Administration Department, naming Jamali, then training DIG Sahab Mazhar Bhalli, then SRP ADIG Aitezaz Ahmed Goraya, then finance AIG Fida Hussain Shah, then West SSP Captain (retd) Ghulam Azfar Mahesar, then District Matiari SP Amjad Ahmed Shaikh, District Kashmore SP Umar Tufail and then District Tharparkar SP Khalid Mustafa Korai. The apex court’s fact-finding committee had held that recruitment of 437 personnel, including 19 junior clerks in the SRP, Hyderabad, was illegal.

Inquiry criteria questioned

Meanwhile, the same bench also directed Dar to submit in court the standard operating procedures (SOPs) relating to the scope of NAB’s investigation of graft scams, including the volume of money involved.

NAB had appealed to the court against the decision of an accountability court that had denied NAB investigators the custody of a suspect allegedly involved in corruption worth Rs400,000.

Justice Muslim observed that NAB had been turned into the anti-corruption department responsible for handling cases involving corruption on a minor scale. “Why is NAB not taking action against the big fish,” questioned Justice Muslim.

Dar tried to justify that the bureau was also investigating big cases. However, the apex court took exception to such an operating scope of the bureau.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Justice served: Man gets life sentence for double murder

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:27

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) sentenced on Wednesday a man to life imprisonment after convicting him in a double murder case, while his accomplice was acquitted for want of evidence.

The ATC-X judge found Saleem Devda guilty of killing Umair Hasan and Mansoor Ali in a firing incident at a juice shop within the limits of Mobina Town police station in August, 2011.

According to the prosecution, Devda, in collusion with Azmat Khattak and Yar Muhammad, had gunned down the two men over non-payment of extortion money.

Yar remained absconding during the trial. The court examined evidences against the two arrested and concluded that the offence was proved on the part of Devda, while Khattak was found not guilty.

The judge also imposed a fine of Rs50,000 and in case of default the convict will undergo six-month-long additional imprisonment.

The case was registered under sections 302 (murder), 386 (extortion) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Revolutionising learning: Online education portal launched

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:24

KARACHI: To promote the importance of soft skills that include innovation, creativity and extra-curricular activities and to put an end to the tuition system, an online education portal, ‘Akadimis’, built by UK-based education consulting firm Imperial Consulting Inc was launched on Wednesday.

“The portal will help promote soft skills and enhance the education system and curriculum,” said Imperial Consulting Inc director Neha Syed.

The portal has been designed for ‘K-12’ schools that caters to students from Kindergarten to class 12. It will revolutionise the traditional teaching and learning experience through a three-step model, ‘learn, practice and test’. The portal has been launched in collaboration with All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA), Sindh.

Schools will contact the firm and share their curriculum, while the firm will prepare lectures, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and videos in accordance with the submitted curriculum, after which teachers can upload the lectures on the portal.

“Students can learn and prepare for the topic that they have confusions in through various videos and lectures,” claimed Syed. The ‘learn’ section has material to study and understand the topic, while the ‘practice’ section has worksheets and problem sets to evaluate a student’s learning-level, stated Syed, adding that a student can appear in a real-time online test through the ‘test’ section after which the score card will be shared with the student and his or her teacher.

Through this model, schools will be able to digitise educational content at the click of a button, informed Syed.

The portal is trying to flip the classroom system, where time is used for more effective learning, she said. “Parents, who pay huge amounts in tuition fees, will save money,” she claimed

‘Akadimis’ experts also train teachers and students on creating educational content based on their curriculum, giving schools the opportunity to inculcate skills, such as creativity, innovation, and leadership, among students and teachers. This system allows students to discuss any topic with fellow students and teachers, replacing the tuition culture, said Syed.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Torturing minors: Suspect remanded into police custody

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:16

SUKKUR: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) granted on Wednesday seven-day police remand of an accused allegedly involved in torturing two minor boys in Naudero a few days ago.

The suspect, Mohammad Ali Ansari, was produced in ATC Larkana on Wednesday which, after hearing the case, approved his seven day police remand. Ansari runs a shop in Gharibabad Mohallah at Eidgah road, Naudero, besides selling pigeons.

According to reports based on a leaked video, the accused caught hold of two minor boys — six-year-old Insaf, son of Mumtaz Ali Mirbahar, and eight-year-old Khalid Hussain, son of Mohammad Hussain Mirbahar — after they were caught stealing pigeons from his shop. The accused tied both the boys with rope and reportedly tortured them.

The Larkana DIG took notice of the incident after the video was aired on social media and ordered the police to arrest the suspect and register case against him under sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

On Tuesday the Naudero police registered an FIR against the accused and arrested him. Human rights assistant takes notice

Special assistant to the chief minister for human rights, Rehana Laghari, has taken notice of the incident and directed the Larkana SSP to submit a detailed report.

In a telephonic conversation with SSP Larkana on Wednesday, Laghari said it was a grave violation of human rights that could not be tolerated and directed the officer to ensure exemplary punishment for the offender so such incidents can be avoided in the future, informed a press release.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.



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District Council goes to PPP

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:12

KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won the elections of District Council, Karachi, which comprises of 38 sub-urban union councils (UC) of Malir and West districts.

According to the results, PPP candidates Salman Abdullah Murad Baloch and Rafique Jat bagged 35 votes and became chairman and vice-chairman of the District Council. Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Jan-e-Alam Jamote and Latif Rind who were contesting the election as chairman and vice-chairman could only bag 21 votes.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which has four votes, supported the PPP while the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and a joint alliance of locals who had won around nine seats extended their support to the Jamot family of Ibrahim Hyderi, who joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.  The district council’s electoral college comprises 57 votes (38 elected and 19 members on reserved seats). The election on Chohar UC is yet to be held as a seat was vacated by Jam Abdul Kareem Jokhio who was contesting the polls in two union committees and later surrendered one of his seats given the election rules.

During the election, which was held in Razzaqabad, strict security measures were taken with the deployment of police and Rangers to prevent any untoward incident.

The UCs falling in the District Council were previously attached with the then Karachi Municipal Corporation, till the District Council, Karachi came into being as separate unit of  local bodies in the tenure of  General Ayub Khan. The sub-urban areas of Malir, Gadap and Keamari were given the representation in this Council to resolve their own civic issues.

This Council was abolished in the tenure of General Pervez Musharraf following the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, 2001. The areas which came in the domain of this council were divided in various towns including Malir, Gadap and Keamari.  The old status of the District Council, Karachi was again revived soon after the PPP came into power and was given legal cover under the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Hand in hand: New mayor seeks Rangers’ help

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:07

KARACHI: Talking to the media after being elected mayor of Karachi and a day after being charge-sheeted in the May 12 riots case, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) incarcerated leader congratulated people of the city for reposing their confidence with the MQM during an “unprecedented difficult phase.”

“I also congratulate the chief minister [Murad Ali Shah] who is the custodian of the third-tier of the government,” said the MQM leader, adding that he hoped Shah will give more powers to the elected representatives.

The progress of the country and the province corresponds to the progress of Karachi, said the newly-elected mayor, adding that to move forward all political parties needed to work together.

“I am not the mayor of the MQM. I am the mayor of this city. This is the philosophy with which I will work,” claimed Akhtar.

“I will go to the Jamaat-e-Islmai, Awami National Party and Pakistan Peoples Party to take them onboard in my mission. If we continue to fight the city will not progress,” he said further. Talking about the city’s security situation, Akhtar requested the Rangers DG Major-General Bilal Akbar to work together, saying the MQM respects the soldiers’ sacrifices in maintaining law and order. “I need guidance from Rangers DG and Sindh IG. We want to eliminate those bent upon tarnishing the peace of this city.”

With regards to the ongoing controversy about his party, Akhtar said the MQM wanted to follow the guidelines given by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. “We can never talk against the sovereignty of this country,” he explained.

Regarding the cases he is implicated in at present, the mayor-elect said they all are politically motivated cases. “I am political prisoner,” he said. He denied the charges leveled against him for his involvement in the May 12, 2007 riots and questioned why the cases were not even touched upon for the past nine years. He dared the authorities to try former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf over the riots.

Concluding his speech, he called on the chief minister to make some rules which allow him to run the mayor’s office from inside the prison and get in touch with the public to solve their issues. Akhtar was brought from the central jail to the City Council in an armoured vehicle to cast his vote and was taken back the same way.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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PPP sweeps most of Upper Sindh

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 20:02

SUKKUR: The process of local government elections was completed on Wednesday, with the polls of chairmen, vice-chairmen, mayors and deputy mayors being held throughout Upper Sindh. In some districts, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won unopposed, while elections were held for the others. The PPP won all the seats except those of Mirpur Mathelo chairman and vice-chairman.

The PPP won Sukkur district unopposed, with Arsalan Shaikh elected mayor of the Sukkur Municipal Corporation and Tariq Chohan as deputy mayor. Similarly, Aslam Shaikh and Shahzaib Shah were elected chairman and vice-chairman of District Council Sukkur unopposed.

In Shikarpur, Agha Maseehuddin Durrani was elected the unopposed chairman of the district council while Ameer Ali Kamario was elected the unopposed vice-chairman. For the Shikarpur Municipal Committee, Babar alias Sunni Sanjrani was elected unopposed as chairman while Khalid Hussain Shaikh was elected vice-chairman.

In Kashmore-Kandhkot district, Mir Mehboob Ali Bijarani was elected as the chairman of the district council unopposed and Naveed Khan Golo as the vice-chairman. Mir Rashid Khan Sundrani and Mir Iftikhar Shuriani were elected as chairman and vice-chairman of the corresponding municipal committee.

In Ghotki, Haji Khan Mahar won the election of chairman district council, with Safdar Chachar as the vice-chairman. For the Ghotki Municipal Committee, PPP’s Asghar Shah and Nadir Shah won the seats of chairman and vice-chairman respectively but the slots of chairman and vice-chairman of the Mirpur Mathelo Municipal Committee were won by Shahbaz Khan Lund and Mohammad Khalid Mughal of Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F).

In Larkana, Khan Sangro was elected as the chairman of the district council and Abdul Hayee Shah Rashdi was elected as the vice-chairman. Similarly, for municipal corporation Larkana, Aslam Shaikh was elected mayor while Anwar Ali Lohar was elected deputy mayor.

In Khairpur, Sheheryar Wassan was elected chairman of the district council and Kashif Bhanbhan as the vice-chairman. For the Khairpur Municipal Committee, Syed Amjad Shah was elected chairman and Yar Mohammad Phulpoto as vice-chairman.

In Jacobabad, the PPP had won all the seats unopposed so Mohammad Pannah Odho was elected chairman of the district council and Mohammad Ismail Khoso as vice-chairman.

For the municipal committee, Ghulam Abbas was elected chairman while Asif Ali Mugheri as the vice-chairman.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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