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Chinese Model: Pakistan to follow in China’s footsteps 

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:57

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan would determine its future by following Chinese model of achieving economic development through political stability, social harmony and solidarity, right economic policies and built-in process of reforms. Speaking at an event titled “Symbol of immortal friendship – icon of iron brotherhood” hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Development in connection with the 65th anniversary of Pak-China diplomatic relations here, he said China achieved a remarkable economic development in decades by adopting these principles.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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Revolutionary poet remembered : Today’s Pakistan doesn’t represent Jalib, Faiz: Rabbani

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:52

ISLAMABAD: Eminent political personalities, human rights activists, writers and poets paid rich tributes to celebrated poet Habib Jalib, here on Monday.

Paying rich tributes to Jalib, the poet who brought nothing short of a revolution in mass thinking, Senate Chairperson Raza Rabbani said that it was unfortunate that today’s Pakistan was not that of Jalib’s and Faiz’s.

“Today’s Pakistan differentiates between the rich and the poor. It differentiates when it comes to application of the law on the rich and the poor. It has a culture where there are certain people who can afford a wristwatch worth billions or rupees and [on the other hand] a child, that cannot get clean drinking water,” he said.

Rabbani further said that he would not be wrong if he admitted that there were five standards for the implementation of laws on different people of Pakistan.

“This was not Jalib’s idea, this wasn’t Quaid-i-Azam’s idea for Pakistan, but the question is that when Jalib and people like Faiz are not around, will we use their teachings or give in to silence? This is the biggest question that Pakistan’s wise, middle class and civil society should raise,” he added.

They were speaking at a ceremony, organised at the Lok Virsa, here on Monday.

Speakers at the event called for strengthening of democratic institutions and rule of law.

Senator Afrasaib Khattak recalled his times with the celebrated poet in jail.

“When people migrated after independence, people had high expectations for a different system but they were disappointed to see that even though the British left, the system did not change,’ he said.

Habib Jalib deserves immense credit for voicing out the opinions and disappointments of the people of Pakistan in his poetry, he said.

“He synthesised the struggles, inspirations and hopes of the people of Pakistan like no other,” the senator said.

Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo also paid a tribute to Habib Jalib. “Back in the ‘80s if you would read a verse from Habib Jalib’s poetry at an educational institute you could hear everyone joining in because the masses knew his poetry by heart. His books were common and students would own them,” he said.

Habib Jalib’s daughter Tahira Jalib said that it was impossible for her to write or read out something the way her legendary father did.

She read out a poem, which was well received by the audience.

Eminent writer Mujahid Barelvi who has authored two books on Habib Jalib titled “Jalib Jalib” and “Jalib and Ghalib” read out a few verses from different poems of Habib Jalib, and recalled some inspiring stories from his life and incidents that show the brilliance and wisdom of the late poet.

Not only did these stories show his wisdom but also his wit and sarcasm that induced laughter in the hall.

“Habib Jalib’s poetry and words have the power and influence to bring about change in the political scenario of Pakistan,” he said.

The beauty of Mujahid Barelvi’s memoir, for Habib Jalib lied in the fact that it made the audience split into laughter one minute, and end up teary eyed the next.

Lok Virsa Executive Director Fauzia Saeed said that remembering a writer like Habib Jalib needed no particular reason or time.

“One of Lok Virsa’s greatest aims is to help people stay in touch with their traditions, culture, language and history. Our next generation is forgetting our identity and Lok Virsa constantly tries to remind the youth of its roots. We want to gather language, poetry and narratives together,” she said, while thanking the audience for showing up to remember the legendary writer and poet.

On the occasion, a courage award was given to Nasreen Azhar for her efforts to restore human rights in Pakistan. Naeem Mirza of Aurat Foundation presented the award.

The event concluded with a dance performance by Indu Mitha and her group on one of Habib Jalib’s poems written about women struggle.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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Islamabad local government : Frustration mounts as no progress on devolution of powers

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:51

ISLAMABAD: Farman Mughal, union council chairman from I-10/1, Monday visited the office of the Islamabad mayor with a request of renovation of some dilapidated streets in area from where he was elected almost six months ago.

Mughal might have forgotten that the mayor is still as ineffective and helpless as he himself is, primarily, due to the inordinate delay in devolution of powers to the people’s representatives.

Sheikh Ansar Aziz, city’s first mayor, is so desperate to work as per expectations of the elected local bodies’ representatives, and capital’s residents that last week his office wrongly claimed that the government had notified the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) after approving distribution of functions and assets, contrary to the fact it is yet to be done.

Reasons for delay

The local government is fighting at two different fronts to get powers devolved to them as promised to them under the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Local Government Act 2015.

First, the city managers who are delaying the process of devolution in the face of their unlawful desire to retain some revenue generating departments – which are supposed to be devolved to the IMC as per provision of the ICT Local Government Act 2015 – to them.

Second, the federal government’s overall disinterest in resolving pending issues and making the first local government functional.

There exists a deadlock-like situation over devolution of the CDA’s six departments including One Window Directorate, Estate Management, Building Control Section, Rawal Lake Park, F-9 Park, and Zoo and Wildlife Directorate.

“The CDA wants to retain them as these are continuous revenue generation sources,” said an official at the mayor’s office.

He said that during the last meeting of the transition committee, the CDA insisted to not devolve these directorates.

If the CDA devolves One Window Directorate it would lose annual income, it generates through transfer of properties in Islamabad.

Same is the case with Building Control Section that generates revenue by approving layout plans of buildings and imposing fines on building code violators.

The civic agency also claims that F-9 and Rawal Lake parks are part of the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) so these would rest with the CDA.

“Regulation of buildings, collection of money through approval of layout plans and transfer of properties is a mandate, the ICT Local Government Act bestows to the municipal corporation,” the mayor’s office representative said.

“Such illegal desires of the city managers have been delaying the transfer of functions and responsibilities,” the official added.

During the last meeting of the transition committee, it was decided that out of a total of 70 directorates of the CDA some 23 departments, where there is no disagreement between the local government and the civic agency, will be fully devolved to the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation.

Some 20 directorates will be partially devolved to the corporation.

“Minutes of this meeting have been issued with the approval of the Interior Ministry. But, a formal notification of this distribution of functions is still awaited,” the official said, adding the mayor had been assured that notification would be issued before June 2016.

According to the clause 130 (succession) of the ICT Local Government Act 2015, the government was bound to complete the process of distribution of assets, liabilities, rights, functions, etc within six months of the commencement of the act.

The six months time period lapsed on February 5, 2016.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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For public servants: City managers allowed to set up housing units

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:48

ISLAMABAD: The interior minister on Monday approved a proposal of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration for establishing new housing units for low income federal government employees.

While chairing a meeting, also attended by the secretary interior, CDA, ICT Administration and other officials, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also directed the managers to set up a special cell to check land grabbing in the city and address grievances of land owners.

A few days ago, the interior minister imposed a ban on acquisition of land for housing schemes for government employees after people lodged complaints with the ministry against land-grabbing.

The special cell will comprise additional deputy commissioner (revenue) Superintendent of Islamabad Police and officials of the revenue department who will look into the land grabbing issue, an official said.

The interior minister said that “gullible and poor owners of the land in ICT rural areas are hoodwinked by land grabbers on rates far lower than the market rates and this practice must be stopped”.

The minister said that he would fully support all schemes and housing societies aimed at providing residential facility to the low income government employees.

“I have no objection on land acquisition in the city subject to the fact that the buyer and seller of land are mutually agreed and the land is purchased at market rates,” Nisar said

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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Housing society case: Civic agency, others put on notice

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:46

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued notices to the capital’s civic agency and others on a petition seeking cancellation of a no-objection certificate (NOC) issued to a housing society.

The IHC judge Athar Minallah put the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the Civilian Employees Cooperative Housing Society (CECHS) president and a woman, Yasmin Fatima, on notice, while taking up a petition against “illegal” division of a 1,000 square yard plot in phase-I of the Soan Gardens Housing Scheme.

While directing to maintain status quo in the case, the court directed the respondents to submit replies.

Petitioner, Imran Amjad, through his counsel Zaheeruddin Usmani has requested the court to declare the splitting up of the plot illegal, and directing the CDA to cancel the housing society’s NOC, and imposition of an “exemplary penalty” on the respondents.

The court also accepted the petitioner’s request restraining the respondents from carrying out construction on the plot.

The petitioner said that he was a member of the CECHS since 1989 and lived on a plot measuring 1,000 square yards in Soan Garden, but the CECHS illegally divided the plot into four plots measuring 250 sq yards each.

He said that Fatima had started construction on one of the divided plots.

Usmani said that the CECHS’s master plan showed that all plots in the locality were 1,000 square yards and construction on the divided plots was in violation of the CDA rules and the master plan.

The CDA’s Building Control Regulations 2005 states that “only one bifurcation or sub-division of plots will be allowed in respect of plots measuring 1,000 sq yards and the divided portion should not be less than 500 sq yards.”

It adds that the sub-division will, however, be allowed on the condition that only one living unit will be permitted to be constructed on each portion.

Usmani, however, said that the respondents have divided the area into four plots, while adversely affecting the rights of the petitioner.

Because of the act, he added, his plot will lose its value and look.

Usmani said that the CECHS was legally bound to implement the rules and the respondents were asked to refrain from their “illegal acts” but they refused to do so.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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Ghazi murder case : Musharraf challenges case against him

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:45

ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf has challenged the Ghazi Abdur Rasheed murder case against him saying the armed forces were called in by the civilian authorities to carry out the Lal Masjid operation in 2007, during which Rasheed was killed.

On September 2, 2013, the Aabpara police registered a murder case against Musharraf on the directions of the Islamabad High Court. The former president was arrested on October 10 at Chak Shehzad farmhouse and was granted bail by a sessions judge on November 4, 2013.

On February 20, Islamabad Additional District and Sessions Judge (West) Pervaizul Qadir Memon issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Musharraf.

The trial court initiated the process to declare the former president a proclaimed offender in the case after he failed to appear before the court by issuing a proclamation on May 21, 2016. The court had summoned Musharraf on June 25 along with his two guarantors, Capt (retd) Nazir Ahmed and Jan Mohammad. The guarantors had submitted surety bonds of Rs100,000 each when Musharraf was granted bail in November 2013.

However, Musharraf’s counsel Akhtar Shah filed an application in the same court on Monday challenging the murder case against his client.

Musharraf’s counsel maintained that the army was called out by the civilian authorities and acted in aid of civil power under Section 245 of the Constitution.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Shah said that the high-ups of Islamabad district administration and the Islamabad Police had written letters to the army. “They called in the army and handed over the area to them,” said Shah.

Shah has also maintained in the petition that as per Section 132 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, no criminal case could be filed against any official of the armed forces when they were acting in aid of the civil power.

Musharraf’s counsel has requested the court to review and cancel the murder case against his client.

Shah has made the federation, the interior ministry, the Islamabad Police, the Islamabad deputy commissioner, the Islamabad chief commissioner and Ghazi’s son Haroonur Rasheed Ghazi — who is the plaintiff in the murder case against Musharraf — as respondents.

Shah said the court had admitted his petition and issued notices to the respondents for June 25.

Shah has also requested the court to declare the non-bailable warrants issued for Musharraf. He has also requested the court to first decide the petition before proceeding any further in the murder case.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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Robbed: Two looted at gunpoint 

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:41

ISLAMABAD: Two men were looted at gunpoint within the Koral police limits on Monday. Manzar Mushtaq lodged a complaint with the local police that two armed motorcyclists intercepted him and his friend, Adeel Khan, on Tarlai-Lehtrar Road, and snatched cash and two mobile phones.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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Police raids: 11 outlaws held, weapons seized  

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:40

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Police claimed to have arrested 11 outlaws and recovered hashish, wine and weapons from their possession.

He said that, the Bani Gala police arrested Nasir and recovered a 30-bore pistol along with ammunition from him.

The same police also arrested Inam and recovered fake currency worth Rs1,000 from him.

The Secretariat police arrested Rab Nawaz and recovered 170 grams of hashish from him.

The Karachi Company police arrested three suspected bootleggers, Adeel Amir, Adnan and Akash Sani and recovered 10 litres of wine from their possession.

The Koral police arrested Ali for decanting gas in cylinders illegally.

The Lohi Bher police recovered a 9mm pistol from Jamshed Mushtaq. The women police arrested Sonia Bibi on theft charges.

The Tarnol police arrested two proclaimed offenders, Arshad and Ismail.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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 Summer respite : Capital residents welcome rain    

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:40

ISLAMABAD: Rain in most parts of the country including Islamabad and Murree on Monday turned the weather pleasant. The residents of the federal capital breathed a sigh of relief from the heat wave, after the rain. According to the meteorological department, most parts of the Punjab, including Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad received rainfall.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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Water filtration plants inaugurated

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:38

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Takashi Kurai inaugurated a project for installation of six water filtration plants in Okara district on Monday. The project was implemented by the Ameer Begum Welfare Trust. The Government of Japan had given the NGO $82,282 for the project.  Members of the NGO and community members from the vicinity who are benefiting from the facilities attended the ceremony.

A press release issued in this regard said that the people of Depalpur tehsil did not have access to safe drinking water, especially during the oppressive summer.  Several people in the area had suffered from water-borne diseases and heat stroke. The press release said the project would provide 6,755 households (approximately 50,500 individuals) safe drinking water in six villages of Depalpur tehsil.

Kurai stressed the need to improve access to safe drinking water, particularly in rural areas of the country. He said the project would contribute to the improvement of basic conditions of life, alleviation of poverty and, to the sustainable growth of the economy.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.

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International Audit Group: Pakistan seeks membership 

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 17:13

ISLAMABAD:  

Auditor General of Pakistan Rana Assad Amin has praised the Accountability State Authority of Egypt for considering Pakistan’s request for membership of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institution (INTOSAI). According to a statement, INTOSAI is a working group on the fight against corruption and money laundering and Pakistan has formally requested to become a member of the organisation. Egypt’s Accountability State Authority as chair of the working group has informed authorities that Pakistan would be invited to the next working group meeting where the country’s membership request would be presented.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Week-On-Week: SPI falls 0.10%

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 17:12

ISLAMABAD: The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the week ended May 12 registered a fall of 0.10% for the combined income group from 214.31 points in the previous week to 214.09 in the week under review. Compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined income group rose 1.61%. The SPI for the lowest income group fell 0.09% compared to the previous week. The SPI for the group stood at 204.39 points against 204.58 in the previous week, according to provisional figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. During the week, average prices of 14 items rose in a selected basket of goods, prices of nine items fell and rates of remaining 30 goods recorded no change.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Currency: Rupee strengthens against dollar

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 17:11

KARACHI: The rupee strengthened against the dollar at 104.3/104.5 in the inter-bank market on Friday compared to Thursday’s close of 104.4/104.6. The currency market has fluctuated regularly in recent weeks with hefty rises and falls on some occasions. In the long run, however, the rupee has stood firm after experiencing extensive volatility, when it weakened from around Rs98 to a dollar to above Rs103 in the wake of political impasse over alleged election rigging. Earlier, the rupee remained glued to the Rs98 level for months, recovering from the historic low of Rs110. It came under pressure following heavy debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other creditors, which ate into the central bank’s foreign currency reserves. In 2013-14, the reserves, however, swelled more than 50%, thanks to IMF and other assistance and growing remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Busted: Suspected drug peddler arrested  

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 17:11

WAH SADDAR: Wah Saddar police on Friday arrested a suspected drug peddler and seized hashish from his possession. The police, on a tip-off, arrested Shahzad along with 1.1kg of hashish at a checkpoint. A case has been registered against him.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Abduction : Man allegedly kidnapped

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 17:11

RAWALPINDI: A 22-year-old man was allegedly kidnapped in the Naseerabad area of Rawalpindi on Friday. Naseem Khan*, a resident of Mardan, lodged a complaint that his son, Mudassir, went to a nearby market and did not return. He suspected that he might have been kidnapped by Irfan* and Muslim*. Investigation is under way in the case.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Break In: Four booked for looting family 

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 17:11

ISLAMABAD: Four men were booked for beating up and looting a family in the Aabpara area of Islamabad on Friday. Arshad Masih, a resident of Sector G-7, lodged a complaint with Aabpara police that Safdar, Yaqoob, Naseer and Shaukat beat up his brother, mother-in-law and sister-in-law at their house over a monetary issue and also looted cash and mobile phones from them. Police have registered a case against the suspects and launched investigation.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Military, security forces cite safety concerns for border closure

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 16:43

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan’s objection to fencing the Pak-Afghan border in Torkham had forced Pakistan to close it for four consecutive days. However, on Friday evening, the Afghan ambassador met with Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and agreed to resume cross-border traffic.

Regardless, the closure has added to the miseries of thousands of people on both sides of the Durand Line.

Pakistan had officially confirmed closure of the border earlier and the foreign ministry spokesperson said the government decided to implement control measures at Torkham for proper management.

“There were differences between the two sides on the implementation of measures to manage and regulate the border,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said at a weekly briefing on Thursday. “That is the reason it was temporarily closed.” Defending the decision, Zakaria said illegal crossings and other associated issues were major challenges for both countries.

Officials rejected Kabul’s objection to the fencing, saying they had the right to either cordon off the border or build posts inside their territory to curb illegal cross-border movement. The phenomenon has long been a source of tension between the uneasy neighbours.

Afghan officials always blamed Pakistan for “loose border control,” which, according to Kabul, allows militants to enter their territory.

The US and its Nato allies had similar reservations in the past but favoured a tough border monitoring system.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had introduced border coordination centres at Torkham and Chaman as part of a tripartite effort in 2014.

However, Pakistan and Afghanistan have not struck any deal on bilateral coordination centres. Both sides had reached an understanding in December 2014 to reactivate them, but no agreement has been finalised. Pakistani officials say they are ready to reactivate the centres but it requires Afghanistan’s consent.

When Pakistan and Afghan militaries had reached an understanding on the reopening of the border coordination centres, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said it would enable better cooperation and coordination among troops on both sides. He believed it would enhance the surveillance of militant movements across the border.

Pakistani officials in Kabul have said it was important to “secure and strengthen” the porous border to stop the movement of terrorists.

“[It has come to our notice that] between 18,000 to 25,000 people from Afghanistan cross the Torkham border everyday and a majority do not have travel documents,” Akhtar Munir, embassy spokesperson from Kabul, told The Express Tribune on Friday. “Our embassy and consulates issue only 1,500 to 2,000 visas. So we want to streamline the border to stop the entry of terrorists into both sides.” Officials in Islamabad say they have floated several proposals to the Afghan government to agree to some sort of mechanism.

“We had strengthened security along the porous border with Afghanistan to stop the movement of the militants since 9/11,” one of the officials said. “We had deployed army and established nearly 1,000 check posts, but the Afghan side has between 70 to 100 check posts. These are also far away from the border, giving space to terrorists.”

Independent Pakistani analysts have disagreed with Islamabad’s decision to close the border on the people of both sides.

Former ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand said it was difficult to stop those who want to carry out terrorist acts even if the border was closed. Mohmand recalled the agreement between the British government and Afghanistan which states people living within five miles on both sides will not be asked for any document and can cross over to the other side without restrictions.

“This right has been recognised in the agreement. Why should we punish the people for the failure of our institutions?” Mohmand said.

Although Pakistan may have a point when taking measures to strengthen border controls, it was perhaps not wise to shut the border on people, especially patients and traders.

Anayat Safi, a journalist in Kunar, said the border closure had caused immense hardships for Pukthuns as they live on both sides.

“Afghans are facing a lot of problems,” he said. “Many patients who were supposed to cross the border for treatment in Peshawar have been to Jalalabad Hospital and are in bad shape.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Conference: AIOU formulating national distance-learning policy

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 16:35

ISLAMABAD: Open Distance Learning (ODL) could address the problems of illiteracy and providing education to all, academic experts agreed on Friday at an international conference.

The two-day conference, jointly organised by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), aims to adopt a national policy on ODL to meet future needs, overcome illiteracy, and provide everyone with access to quality education.

Several national and foreign educationists are participating in the conference.

They will work on formulating draft-policy outlines and institutional bench-marks required for functioning ODL-based educational institutions in the country.

Recognising AIOU as a leading distance-learning institute, HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said the varsity, with 1.3 million students across the country, could play a pivotal role in making the system more effective.

Dr Shahid Siddqui, vice-chancellor of AIOU, said ODL could cope with future educational challenges through smart use of technology.

He hoped that the participants of the seminar would address issues of quality, accreditation, and academic rankings of universities offering ODL programmes.

He said the seminar would provide a mechanism for collaborative partnerships among relevant institutions and would help prepare a long-term strategic plan to expand educational network.

Commonwealth of Learning (COL) President Prof Asha S Kanwar spoke about ODL in international terms, saying that COL member countries could collaborate in education to learn from each other.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Day of Determination: Joint struggle for democracy, freedom of expression stressed

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 16:33

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentarians and journalists on Friday expressed their resolve to continue the struggle for strengthening democracy, social justice, harmony and freedom of the expression.

“We are committed to protecting the democracy and will strengthen the democratic institutions, rights of the common people including journalist, labourers, peasants, women and students,” Senate Chairman Rana Rabbani said while addressing an event at the National Press Club here on Friday. He asked them to get united to protect the democratic system.

The event, “Youm-e-Azm” (day of determination) was organised by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the NPC to recall the sacrifices of journalists for democracy and freedom of expression.

Four journalists — Nasir Zaidi, Iqbal Jaffri and Khawar Naeem Hashmi — were flogged during the military dictator Ziaul Haq’s era for protesting against the ban on free speech and expression.

“Strong democratic institutions will ensure the continuation of democracy, safeguard the political and constitutional rights of the people as well strengthen the federation,” Rabbani said.

He said ironically there is no rule of law; double standards were followed in implementing laws according to the social, political and economic status of the people.

He added that the common people including labourers were deprived of their fundamental rights of social justice and dignity.

Rabbani said that Gen Musharraf abrogated the constitution, involved the country in the imperialist war and damaged country’s interest but he has been exempted from facing the court of law and allowed to go abroad.

The outspoken Senate chairman acknowledged the journalists struggle against the dictatorial regimes and urged them to get united to protect the freedom of expression as well as fight for the basic constitutional rights of the people.

He urged journalists, politicians and people from all walks of life to get united and struggle for the stability of the democratic system.

“We must give priority to people’s interest not an individual’s or particular institution”, he said.

National Party President Senator Hasil Bizenjo called for sensitizing youth about the spirit of democracy and political right of the common men.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that individual interest is supreme and societies are evolving through the role of the individual, adding that democracy is the only solution for the development and prosperity of the country.

Former Senator Afrasiab Khattak said that “also stressed on strengthening democratic institutions.

NPC president Shakeel Anjum, secretary general Imran Yaqoob Dhillon, journalist and anchorperson Hamid Mir, and other also paid tributes to the journalists for rendering unmatched sacrifices for democracy.

Zaidi and Iqbal Jaffri shared their experiences and stressed the need for unity of journalists, working people, labourers and students to fight undemocratic, extremist forces.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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Impersonation: PID official among five booked

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 16:32

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Police have booked five persons including a Press Information Department (PID) official for allegedly kidnapping and depriving a man of Rs50,000 while impersonating policemen.

Manzoor Ahmed told the police that PID official Adeel Chaddhar and four unidentified persons entered his house in Ghauri Town on April 25, blindfolded him and took him to an unknown location. He said that the suspected kidnappers released him after he paid Rs50,000. The incident took place on April 25, but the Koral police only registered an FIR on May 11 after the complainant moved a court.

Koral Police Station Assistant-sub Inspector Shakeel Ahmed, who is investigating the case, told The Express Tribune that Chaddhar, who is the prime suspect, is a driver at PID. Ahmed said he went to PID to get information about the suspect, but learnt that Chaddhar had been absent from work for the last few days. “Only after investigating the suspects would we be able to determine whether or not the allegations are true,” he said.

Fake property dealer, shopkeeper arrested for robberies

Meanwhile, the police also arrested a fake property dealer and a shopkeeper for allegedly looting several houses in Sector G-11.

The police recovered 12 stolen laptops, six TVs, eight mobile phones, four watches, three computers, two CD players and Rs50,000 in cash from the suspects.

The police said the suspects, identified as Muhammad Shahid and Iqbal, have confessed to committing robberies at several houses in Sector G-11. Six separate cases have been registered against them.

ASI Muhammad Iqbal, the investigation officer for the case, said Shahid would case houses while posing as a property dealer and Iqbal ran a shop in Sector G-12 where the suspects sold the stolen items.

The police have also obtained physical remand of the suspects.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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