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Memogate: Ruling reserved on maintainability of plea for repatriation

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:43
LAHORE: 

Justice Muhammad Farrukh Irfan Khan of Lahore High Court on Thursday reserved his verdict on the maintainability of a petition asking the federal government to repatriate former Ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani, the chief accused in the memogate controversy.

Citizen Iftikhar Hussain said Haqqani was guilty of high treason.

He said the envoy had brought the nation’s name into disrepute.

Hussain said that Hussain Haqqani had been permitted to leave the country and settle in the United States despite the findings of a commission that had held him guilty.

The petitioner requested the court to instruct the federal government to repatriate him and serve him justice.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Health education: Doctors’ associations lambast ‘private mafia’ in PMDC

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:43

FAISALABAD: Speakers at a press conference called by the Pakistan Medical Association, the Young Doctors’ Association, the Social Security Doctors’ Association, the Forum of Family Physicians Association, the Medical Teachers’ Association, the Private Hospital Association and the Pakistan Society of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Association on Thursday said that the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) was protecting business interest of a group of private medical colleges.

Khurram Raja, Muhammad Taufail, Abdus Sattar Qureshi, Muhammad Irfan, Altaf Parvaiz, Rae Muhammad Arif, Muhammad Anjum – representatives of these associations – said the PMDC which was responsible for ensuring health of the people of the country by ensuring quality medical education.

They said the PMDC was tasked with enforcing a code of conduct on doctors.

Instead, they said, the PMDC had turned into the “godfather of private medical college mafia.”

They said these private colleges had jeopardised quality of health education in the country. They said the colleges were producing incompetent doctors who had been charged millions of rupees for their education.

They said in 2008, there were 18 medical institutions in the country.

They said the number had risen to 150 in five years.

“There is no merit, no rules and regulations and no training for the doctors produced by these private medical institutions which are only minting money,” they said.

They said the PMDC had been “hijacked” by people like Asim Hussain – the president of Private Medical Universities Association, now a vice president of the PMDC.

“Hussain and some other members are only promoting their business interests,” they said.

They said the PMDC had compromised quality of medical education by allowing specialists of clinical sciences to be employed as faculty in basic medical sciences.

“They have done this citing shortage of faculty in basic medical sciences departments in the country,” they said.

They said the PMDC should not have changed the name of forensic medicine to forensic pathology.

“This points to lack of professional knowledge and understanding of these subjects by decision makers,” he said.

“Renaming a subject to another is not a prerogative of PMDC as both subjects must be studied separately,” they said.

They said if the government failed to take notice of this, lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the country would be affected. They said the private mafia should be stopped from playing with the lives of thousands of people.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Pointless: 100-year-old killed in his sleep

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:43

BAHAWALPUR: A 100-year-old man was killed by unidentified men in Sadiqabad on Thursday.

A police spokesman said Jamaldin Rehmani, a resident of Muhajir Colony, was asleep near the canal when some unidentified men hit him with bricks.

He said the man was critically injured and died without receiving medical aid. He said the body was found by neighbours early in the morning.

The spokesman said neighbours had told him that Rehmani had two sons.

The spokesman said Sadiqabad police had taken custody of the body and shifted it to a morgue for post mortem examination. He said a team had been formed to find his killers.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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APCA protest: ‘Workers will march to the capital if salaries not raised’

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:43
FAISALABAD: 

Scores of employees of the Irrigation Department led by All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) on Thursday staged a protest demonstration, urging the government to give them salary raises.

The protesters, carrying banners and placards, marched from the offices of the Irrigation Department to Faisalabad Press Club where they also staged a sit-in.

The protesters also blocked Press Club Road for traffic.

Addressing the workers, APCA divisional president Syed Akhtar Ali Shaheen said APCA members employees formed the backbone of the civil service. He said they were underpaid and overworked. He said the government should raise salaries of employees keeping in view the inflation rate.

“They should also be provided incentives and allowances,” he said.

He said if the government did not revise pay scales of government employees, enhance their salaries and regularise services of daily wage workers and contractual, work-charge and ad-hoc employees, the APCA would launch a country-wide protest.

He said the APCA would lock out its offices on May 27.

He said the workers would march to the capital on June 3 if their demands was not accepted.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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Juvenile delinquency: ‘Most children charged with property crime’

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:43
LAHORE: 

A report on the status of children in Punjab’s prisons launched on Thursday said the youngest person tried in the province had been an eight-year-old who was accused of murder.

The report was launched at Lahore press club by the child’s rights unit of the AGHS, a law firm.

Rights activist Hina Jillani said the report was meant to present a comprehensive picture of the condition of children in the prisons.

She said trends in the report highlighted the treatment of children in the criminal justice process and status of juvenile justice system in Pakistan.

She said in 2014, there were 2,606 children on trial in the Punjab.

She said the number of children in prisons was 2,057. She said the number had increased from 1,662 in 2013.

Jillani said in 2014 showed in 2014, most children had been charged with offences related to property – just as in 2013 and 2012.

She said the second most common charge was offence against the human body (32.47 per cent). She said sexual offences accounted for 21.44 per cent of the charges against children in Punjab’s prisons.

She said 9 per cent had been imprisoned for drug-related offences.

The report says that majority of the children had been charged with more than one offence. Jillani said the youngest under-trial child was eight years old and had been held at Faisalabad Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail.

The report noted that there were 51 children under the age of 12 years.

Jillani said the CRU had sent out 82 urgent relief requests to jail authorities and sessions judges but never got a response.

She said there were only two jails in the Punjab which had been designated as borstal institutions – one in Faisalabad and the other in Bahawalpur.

She said in 2014, there were 51 admissions in Faisalabad and 12 in Bahawalpur prisons. She said 22 out of these had been sentenced to prison terms of 25 years or more.

The report said that youngest convicted children were three 14-year-olds being held in Faisalabad.

Jillani said the CRU had surveyed selected prisons to study the education programmes in prisons.

She said the biggest issue was that none of these institutions were equipped or trained for modern education programmes.

She said, “We found that most prisons have arranged some religious classes that include teaching children how to pray and recite the Quran. However, they have not been successful in providing a modern education programme that will help them once they are released,” she said.

She said the CRU had been told by prison authorities that they had contacted the Education Department but never received any assistance.

Jillani said these children should be dealt with more sensitivity.

“These children are not criminals. They are most often sent to jails by force rather than choice,” she said. The report noted that the number of children facing charges of status offences had overall declined.

The report adds that status offence of illegal entrance into Pakistan continued to affect numerous young Afghan children.

“These children are held under trial for months on despite their inevitable deportation,” the report said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Standing strong: FESCO workers’ strike continues

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:42

FAISALABAD: Scores of employees of Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) on Thursday protested against proposed privatisation of the company and boycotted work for the fourth day.

They gathered in front of the FESCO headquarters on Canal Road where they staged a sit-in.

They chanted slogans against the government and urged the prime minister to reverse plans to sell the company.

Addressing the workers, All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union regional secretary Chaudhary Sarfraz Ahmad Hundal said FESCO workers would not allow unilateral privatisation of the company.

Hundal said thousands of workers would be affected by privatisation. “They have a right to be heard and their concerns should be addressed,” he said. He said protests against privatisation would continue till the government rolled back its plans to sell the company.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Execution: Murder convict hanged

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:42
FAISALABAD: 

A murder convict on death row was hanged at Faisalabad Central Jail early on Thursday.

The jail superintendent told The Express Tribune that Shaukat Masih had killed Maqbool Masih on August 19, 2000 near Saddar police station.

He said the man had been convicted and sentenced to death by an additional sessions judge.

He said his appeals had been rejected by the high court, the Supreme Court and the president.

He said his death warrants had been issued last week. He said the execution date had been set for May 21. He said a final meeting with his relatives was arranged on Wednesday. The jail SP said Masih had been hanged at 5am. He said his body was handed over to his family for burial.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Abid Kareem’s execution was deferred when the Lahore High Court issued a stay order. Kareem had been convicted of killing Yasin on May 15, 1998 after an altercation in Tarkhani area.

His execution date had been set for May 21 and he met his relatives on Wednesday. Later on Wednesday evening, the LHC issued a stay order on his execution.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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LHC moved: ‘Convert Governor’s House into educational institute’

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:42
LAHORE: 

Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh of Lahore High Court on Thursday sought further arguments on a petition seeking conversion of the Governor’s House, measuring 35 acres, into an educational institution.

Petitioner Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafree stated that the court had earlier directed 10 respondents to appear personally or through counsel. However, he said, they had not complied with the order.

“The area allocated to the Governor’s House is useless and unjustified. The government is spending millions of rupees on maintaining the residence at a time when hundreds of thousands of children are unable to get education due to poverty,” he said. He requested the LHC to order the federal government to set up an educational institution at the Governor’s House. Earlier, the deputy attorney general had said that the status of the Governor’s House could not be changed due to its historical significance. He had requested the court to reject the petition.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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Contested ownership: LHC judge claims ownership of contested Model Town property

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:42

LAHORE: A Lahore High Court judge has moved an application seeking membership of the Model Town Cooperative Housing Society after claiming to be the owner in possession of a contested two-kanal property in the society, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Justice Abdul Sami Khan of LHC has filed the application through Advocate Chaudhry Majid Hussain on April 23 before the MTCHS secretary. He moved the application on the basis of him being the “owner” of two kanals, which constitutes a part of 78-C, an eight-kanal property in the society. Judge Khan claims ownership of the two kanals and has repeatedly requested that his name be included in the membership roster.

Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar told The Express Tribune that the legal heirs of Shahzadi Badshah Begum, including him, were the rightful owners of the land and had its possession. Rejecting judge Khan’s claim, Akbar’s counsel Ahmed Awais said a member of the land mafia had “sold” the two-kanals to judge Khan and provided him forged documents. Awais said the judge had been claiming ownership of the land after being duped by the charlatan.

Advocate Hussain said documentary evidence corroborated his client’s claim. He said “documentary possession” of the property rested with judge Khan. Hussain said the Lahore settlement commissioner had rejected the claim of Begum’s legal heirs. He said none of them had challenged the decision in any court.  Hussain said this meant that they did not own the land. He said his client had purchased the land from the owner of the property a few months ago who had its possession at the time of the transaction. Responding to a query pertaining to why there was no record of his client’s possession of the property with the society, Hussain said moving the application was intended to address the anomaly.

Faizuddin, a member of the MTCHS Enrolment Committee, told The Express Tribune that those present on the property were its rightful owners. He refused to elaborate any further.

A visit of the site revealed that there was no construction on the two-kanal property. Nevertheless, there was a marquee accommodating a tea stall, restaurant and barber shop on the site. 60-year-old Muhammad Rasheed, the barber, said the businesses had been set up with the consent of the employees of late Mirza Khairuddin, the father of Akbar. He said he had been acquainted with the area for decades. Rasheed said Khairuddin’s family had been the owners of the property since then.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan of LHC had issued a notice on May 5 to the MTCHS on Akbar’s application. Akbar had asked the court to direct the society to desist from registering judge Khan as a member.

He accused him of making the “purchase” based on forged documents and trying to influence the society into enlisting him as a member. LHC had earlier granted status-quo on March 30 following a petition by Akbar.

Akbar had told the court that the society had declined judge Khan’s membership request. He said the judge had filed another application on this account to pressure the society.

Akbar said his family had been the rightful owners of the two kanals in question ever since Begum had been allotted the property by the Settlement Department in 1959.

He said it would be erroneous to say that judge Khan had the land’s possession.  Akbar said the property had been divided among Begum’s legal heirs following her demise.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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Rights concerns: Military courts must not try children, says HRCP

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 18:42
LAHORE: 

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on Thursday expressed concern on the possibility of juveniles’ trial in the newly-constituted military courts after the passage of the 21st Amendment.

In letters sent to the prime minister and the interior minister on Thursday, the HRCP and the Geneva-based ICJ said: “The constitutional amendment and the corresponding amendments to the Army Act, 1952, give military courts jurisdiction to try all persons, including civilians, alleged to have committed certain offences related to terrorism. The amendments provide that the government may transfer a case related to the enumerated offences under the Army Act from any court (which prima facie includes juvenile courts) to a military tribunal for trial. The amended law also stipulates that in case of inconsistency with other laws, provisions of the Army Act would prevail. The amendments do not expressly exclude juveniles from their ambit.”

The HRCP and the ICJ said that these provisions had created the possibility that the requirement under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO), 2002, whereby juvenile courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to try individuals below 18 years of age, could be overridden in certain terrorism-related cases.

“In the circumstances, it is important that the government clarifies and ensures that in implementing the law, individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged crime may not be tried in military courts. A trial before such a court would violate Pakistan’s obligations under international law,” they said.

The HRCP and the ICJ said that juveniles were entitled to all internationally recognised fair-trial guarantees that applied to adults, as well as special care and additional protection under international standards, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Pakistan ratified in 2010 and Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Pakistan ratified in 1990, as well as the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules).

“Far from ensuring special care and additional protection for juveniles, proceedings before the military courts fell short of national and international standards requiring fair trials: judges are part of the executive branch of the state and continue to be subjected to military command; judges are not legally trained or specially trained on protecting the rights of the child and the principles related to juvenile justice; the right to appeal to civilian courts is not available; the right to a public hearing is not guaranteed; and a duly reasoned, written judgment, including the essential findings, evidence and legal reasoning, is denied. In addition, the procedures of military courts, the selection of cases to be referred to them, the location and timing of trial, and alleged offences are kept secret,” they said.

“It should also be noted that the Committee on the Rights of the Child has taken the position that only civilian courts are able to take into account the requirements of the proper administration of justice in the case of juveniles,” the letter said.

“The HRCP and the ICJ urge you to clarify the government’s policy on referral of juveniles to military courts for trial, ensure that in its implementation of the amended law, no case of an individual who is under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged crime is referred or transferred to military courts for trial,” they said.

“Doing so will help ensure that Pakistan complies with its obligations under Pakistani law and international standards to ensure and that juveniles suspected of infringing the penal law are only tried by special juvenile courts in proceedings that meet international standards for the fair administration of juvenile justice,” the HRCP and the ICJ concluded in the letters.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.

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‘Arrested Safoora attack mastermind confesses to Sabeen Mahmud’s murder’

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 06:09

A man arrested for the devastating attack on the bus carrying members of the Ismaili community in Karachi claimed on Wednesday that he killed T2F director Sabeen Mahmud, sources privy to the development told Express News.

Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead the director of the popular arts center, T2F, shortly after she had hosted a seminar on the troubled region of Balochistan at her cafe.

Read: T2F director Sabeen Mahmud shot dead

On Tuesday, security agencies  arrested the four masterminds behind the Safoora attack claimed the lives of 45 people. This was disclosed by Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah at a press conference in Nawabshah.

Read: Safoora bus attack: Masterminds arrested, claims CM

“I should have shared this important news in Karachi that the four people who planned, conspired and prepared the attackers have been arrested,” said Shah, while speaking to the media after attending the convocation of the Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences (PUMHS). The chief minister claimed that the arrested suspects have confessed to their involvement. He did not disclose their identities.

The post ‘Arrested Safoora attack mastermind confesses to Sabeen Mahmud’s murder’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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The 72-year-old Bollywood megastar is pumping extra iron in the gym

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 06:04

MUMBAI: B-Town megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who seems quite fit and agile at 72, is pumping some extra iron in the gym these days. He says it has nothing to do with “medical” needs, but for his desire of a “refined body” which would assist him in one of his “future film projects”.

“The work out goes well. The difference shall hopefully be noticeable in another three months. That is one hellava’ long time to wait for body development…,” Big B wrote on his blog.

“Many seek reason or query me about this sudden gym routine and why it should be wrote about today… well… all these days! The reason is not as complicated as many would have me imagine. They imagine that something is wrong and is now under medical treatment. No wrong!” wrote Amitabh.

“Nothing medical at all. It’s just that I wish to have some semblance of a refined body and one that shall be of some assistance to me during one of my future film projects,” he added.

The actor, who was last seen in filmmaker Shoojit Sircar’s Piku, presumed curious minds will ask him “what the next film production is”, and “I shall be happy to state that it is still a question mark! So there!!!”

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

7 healthy foods you’re eating wrong

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 05:33

KARACHI: You might be eating plenty of healthy foods and thinking that you’re doing your body good, but are you really reaping all the benefits of the foods you’ve incorporated in your diet?

Here’s a list of seven foods compiled from Men’s Health, Times and Pop Sugar to help you acquire the biggest benefits from the following foods:

1. Strawberries

PHOTO: 7-THEMES

Wrong: Slicing them

Right: Eating them whole

These bright red berries are meant to be eaten whole. If you’re slicing and cutting them up before chowing them down, then you’re not getting all the nutrients this fruit has to offer. According to a Brazilian study, whole strawberries contain eight to 12 per cent more vitamin C than their cut counterpart. That’s because Vitamin C is sensitive to light and oxygen and when you cut a strawberry this compound begins to break down. Try storing this fruit in the fridge and eat it whole the next time you need a berry fix.

2. Vegetables

PHOTO: PINSTOPIN

Wrong: Frying/ boiling them

Right: Steaming

While we are used to the desi style of cooking vegetables; frying them (loaded with oil, might I add), and boiling them. A study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign proves that this method of cooking does not leave behind any nutrients. For example, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and arugula contain cancer-fighting nutrients which are destroyed if these vegetables are cooked through any other method other than steaming. This is because steaming isn’t intense enough and retains the compound.

3. Peanut butter

PHOTO: FEATHEREDANGELS

Wrong: Processed, factory-made jars

Right: Home-made

It’s easy to grab a jar of peanut butter from the grocery store and think you’re being healthy. But have you ever wondered how healthy it actually is?

Natural peanut butter made at home with a food processor packs all the necessary nutrients. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that consuming one ounce of nuts or peanut butter (about two tablespoons) at least five days a week can lower the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30 per cent.

Processed peanut butter contains hydrogenated oils, trans-fat, high salt content for increased shelf life which cancels out all the health benefits that natural peanut butter contains. Ditch the unhealthy jar next time.

4. Flax seeds

PHOTO: IMGSOUP

Wrong: Eating them whole

Right: Grinding them up

Sprinkling them on top of your salad will not give you the benefits inside these seeds. Inside these little pods are heart-healthy omega-3s, lignans (containing cancer-protecting properties) and a high content of fiber. Your body will not breakdown the whole flaxseed thus not providing you with its best nutrients. The ideal way to add them to your diet? Grind them in a mixer and add to your food.

5. Garlic

PHOTO: DOBIES.CO.UK

Wrong: Tossing it in food right after chopping

Right: Letting it sit for 10 minutes before adding to food

To really tap into the cancer-fighting properties present in garlic you should let it sit for about 10 minutes before tossing it in your food. Reason being that the enzyme allicin works better when exposed to the open air and allows the compound to get fully activated.

6. Tomatoes

PHOTO: TELEGRAPH.CO.UK

Wrong: Eating them raw

Right: Heating them

While most vegetables should be eaten raw, these should be heated before being consumed They contain a nutrient called lycopene which has anti-cancer properties but the only way your body can absorb the benefit of this nutrient is if you heat it. Cornell researchers found that tomatoes’ antioxidant content increases when they’re heated to roughly 190 degrees Fahrenheit. For a high nutritional boost, try heating them with olive oil.

 

7. Whole Grains and beans

PHOTO: FARMFLAVOR

Wrong: Cooking directly

Right: Soaking overnight

These healthy foods contain an antioxidant called phytates, the problem with this compound is that it binds to vitamins and minerals and prevents your body from absorbing them. To release the phytate, soak whole grains and beans overnight, an added benefit of soaking means less work for your digestive tract. However you needn’t soak semi-refined or unhulled types like pearled barley or instant oats.

The post 7 healthy foods you’re eating wrong appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Indian mother defies tradition, and law, as she advertises for groom for her son

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 05:10

In India, homosexuality is illegal. It is also frowned upon in most of the country. But that didn’t stop a mother from placing a matrimonial ad requesting a groom for her son in an Indian newspaper.

The advertisement, which was published in Tuesday’s edition of Indian tabloid Mid-Day newspaper, is the first ever homosexual advertisement to appear in any Indian newspaper.

PHOTO: ICE MAIDEN/FACEBOOK

The son in question is 36-year-old gay rights activist Harish Iyer, who told The Guardian how proud he was of his mother. “I’m proud of her. It was her idea. My mum was like: ‘You don’t have a boyfriend, you’re not so young.’ She was concerned for her ageing son like any Indian mum would be, irrespective of whether he is homosexual or heterosexual,”

Harish further informed The Guardian that three other newspapers had refused to carry the advertisement on the grounds that it was illegal.

The Guardian also interviewed Sachin Kalbag, executive editor of the Mumbai daily Mid-Day, who said that there was no reason to not publish the ad, “Normally if there is a problem with an ad, then the department will come to me. It raised no eyebrows at all. We are pro-equal rights and have been running vociferous campaigns against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

The Indian Supreme Court had de-criminalised homosexuality in 2009, but later reversed its decision and declared it illegal in 2013.

A magazine dedicated to the homosexual community, Gay Star News, reported that at last count Harish’s mother had received three positive responses to her advertisement.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

OBL raid: Brig Usman’s family strongly denies claims he was CIA’s ‘walk-in’ informant

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 05:05

The family of a UK-based former senior officer of the Pakistan Army has strongly denied claims that he sold the secret location of terrorist Osama Bin Laden to the CIA.

Speculation about the identity of an unnamed informant has been rife following the publication of an article by Pulitzer Prize-winning US journalist Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books earlier this month.

Osama Bin Laden. PHOTO: AP

Read: Four years on – ‘Bin Laden hideout will likely be turned into playground’

It was alleged that retired Brigadier Usman Khalid, a British citizen who died a year ago from cancer, was  the informant whose tip-off led to the assassination of the world’s most wanted man in 2011.

The brigadier’s family, however, has denied the allegations and is infuriated that he was publicly identified as the source of the leak.

The White House and CIA have always maintained that their own intelligence agents pieced together the information that led to the Navy Seals raid.

Seymour Hersh, on the other hand, maintains that Bin Laden was being held prisoner by Inter Services Intelligence in Abbottabad.

He claimed that an unnamed senior officer in the Pakistan Army had been the “walk-in” who provided details of the secret hideout in exchange for a substantial amount of a $25 million bounty.

According to Hersh’s account, the Pakistani informant was supposed to also have been awarded with US citizenship.

COURTESY: THE TELEGRAPH

However, the brigadier’s family believes he has been wrongly implicated because of his outspoken views on Pakistani politics.

Khalid claimed political asylum in the UK after resigning from a 25 year career in the army in protest of the execution in 1970 of former prime minister and Pakistan Peoples Party founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He died last year of cancer at the age of 79.

“It simply doesn’t make sense. At the time that this was supposed to have happened, he was suffering from cancer and in and out of hospital,” his son, Abid Khalid said speaking exclusively to The Telegraph.

“My father had not visited the US since 1976 and had lived in the UK since 1979 so there was no question of him of his family getting American citizenship,” Abid continued. “He had no contact with the CIA and knew nothing about Osama Bin Laden, other than what he read in the newspapers, just like everyone else.”

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team receive an update on the 2011 mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

“He was politically very vocal, so he was an easy target.”

The brigadier’s family also denied claims that their father was involved in persuading Pakistani Dr Shakil Ahmed to set up a fake polio vaccination drive as part of CIA’s plan to acquire DNA evidence of Bin Laden’s presence in Abottabad.

“My father was an honourable and patriotic man,” said Abid Khalid. “He was also a caring, family man and would be horrified to be linked to the fake polio vaccination programme.

“He would have been devastated to have been linked to anything which would put the lives of innocent people, especially children at risk, especially in the country he loved.”

Critics have accused Hersh of allowing himself to be used to vent conspiracy theories. Questioning the quality of his reporting, people say Hesh relied too much on one US intelligence source, who appears to have known little about the inner workings of the operation to find Bin Laden,

Seymour Hersh. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

The White House has described his claims that Pakistan co-operated with the US to kill the former al Qaeda leader as “inaccurate and baseless”.

On Sunday it was reported that Germany’s foreign intelligence agency helped the CIA track down bin Laden.

Read: German spy agency ‘helped US find Bin Laden’: report

The BND spy service – the German equivalent of MI6 – was said to have provided a tip-off that he was hiding in Pakistan, with the knowledge of Pakistani security services.

Hersh declined to comment on the comments by Brigadier Khalid’s family.

This article originally appeared on The Telegraph

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Prostitute pleads guilty after killing Google executive with heroin

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 05:04

SAN FRANSISCO: A prostitute who injected a Google executive with a lethal dose of heroin aboard his yacht off the coast of California faces a six-year jail term after pleading guilty on Tuesday.

Alix Tichelman, 27, was originally charged with manslaughter, prostitution, destroying evidence and transporting a controlled substance for her role in the overdose of 51-year-old Forrest Hayes in November 2013.

Read: Twitter-Google deal puts tweets in search results

She pleaded guilty on Tuesday to administering a controlled substance and involuntary manslaughter, according to local media reports. Tichelman is to get credit for time she has already spent in custody pending trial.

As the case worked its way through court, her attorney argued that the two were taking drugs together consensually and that his client had no intent whatsoever of harming Hayes.

She was arrested on July 4 of last year by Santa Cruz police, who identified her as the woman in a surveillance video on the yacht where Hayes was found dead of an overdose some eight months earlier.

Forest Timothy Hayes. PHOTO: TIM STEWART NEWS AGENCY

The city of Santa Cruz is a beach community in Northern California, about 40 miles from Google’s headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View.

The video shows Hayes suffering “medical complications” and passing out after being injected by Tichelman — and then shows her leaving the scene, instead of administering first aid or calling for an ambulance, police said.

Tichelman stepped over Hayes at one point to finish a glass of wine, according to investigators, who added that she lowered window blinds to hide the man from view.

His body was found the next morning. Hayes was described in a local obituary as a family man with five children.

Tichelman was arrested after being lured to an upscale hotel by investigators under the pretense of meeting a rich man willing to pay for sex, according to court documents.

Tichelman used a website called “Seeking Arrangement” to connect with men and boasted of having more than 200 clients, investigators said.

Hayes reportedly met Tichelman through the website, which promises that a “sugar daddy” can use it to find “sugar babies” for “upfront and honest arrangements with someone who will cater to your needs.”

An obituary in the local newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, said Hayes had worked at Silicon Valley tech firms Sun Microsystems and Apple before taking a position at Google.

Following the Hayes case, police re-opened an investigation into the death of Tichelman’s then-boyfriend Dean Riopelle, who died last September in his home near Atlanta.

Riopelle, 53, died of a heroin overdose, in what was recorded as an accident.

The post Prostitute pleads guilty after killing Google executive with heroin appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

SC says ‘sect’ introduced in Constitution by ‘military dictator’

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 04:27

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isah argued on Wednesday that the word ‘sect’ was not included in the original 1973 Constitution but was added later by a military dictator, referring to Ziaul Haq.

Presenting his arguments before a 17-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk hearing the 18th and 21st constitutional amendment case, Isah said that Article 227 states all existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Read: SC ponders over whether Pakistan can be declared a secular state

“The explanation states that in the application of this clause to the personal law of any Muslim sect, the expression ‘Quran and Sunnah’ means the Quran and Sunnah as interpreted by that particular sect,” Isah said.

He maintained that this explanation was added in 1985 and if the government wants to abolish sectarianism, it will have to go back to the original Constitution.

Agreeing with the observation, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said that this explanation regarding the term ‘sect’ was mentioned by military dictator, referring to Ziaul Haq.

Read: 1973 Constitution an uneasy marriage between socialism and Islam, govt tells SC

Another judge, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, while referring to Article 2-A of the Constitution remarked that if they accept the features, which are given by the Objective Resolution, then it may lead to the destruction of the other provisions of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, counsel for the federal government, Khalid Anwar told the bench that the 1973 Constitution is a political document and the lawyers have only drafted it, therefore, they cannot get supremacy over the over the politicians who founded the country.

Read: Constitution’s basic structure must be protected: Supreme Court

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan questioned how the Parliament could suspend the people’s fundamental rights, which are guaranteed by the Constitution. The counsel said that the basic structure it is permanent and fixed.

The post SC says ‘sect’ introduced in Constitution by ‘military dictator’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Baa from ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ is no more

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 03:53

In her role as the matriarch Baa in the long-winding Indian serial Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Sudha Shivpuri never seemed to grow any older.

Despite her grandchildren having their own grandchildren in the serial, Baa seemed to be the one character who would always remain there despite the passage of generations. Unfortunately, reality cannot mirror a TV serial, and Sudha breathed her last on Wednesday morning.

According to the Hindustan Times, Sudha had been keeping unwell since 2013. The actor had suffered a stroke on Dec 2, 2013, due to which she had stayed at the hospital for almost six months. The stroke had severely affected her motor skills, which had affected her acting career.

Sudha with ‘bahu’ Smriti Irani PHOTO: IBN

Shivpuri made her film debut with Basu Chatterjee’s Swami in 1977. She also worked in several movies including Insaaf Ka Tarazu, Hamari Bahu Alka, Burning Train, Vidhaata and Maya Memsaab.

In 1993, Sudha took a break from film acting and moved towards TV serials like Aa Bail Mujhe Maar, Rajni, Missing, Rishtey, Sarhadein and Bandhan. Her role of Baa in Ekta Kapoor’s Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi which started in 2000, however remains her most memorable role.

Fans and colleagues fondly remembered her as they bade her farewell on Twitter.

Rest in eternal peace Sudha Shivpuri maam.You and Om Shivpuri sir were teacher's&guides of great proportion.am blessed to be your student.

— Alok Nath (@aloknath) May 20, 2015

#SudhaShivpuri popularly known as Baa in Kyun Ki passed away. She was the coolest Saas of the TV serials till date. #RIPBaa

— Deepika Kaul (@kauldeepika) May 20, 2015

You will always be remembered as Baa… May you rest in Peace. Jai Shree Krishna #SudhaShivpuri

— Mittal (@MittalPatel30) May 20, 2015

One of my favorites, lovable and adorable personality Sudha shivpuri aka "Baa" in tv series "kyonki passed away, May her soul rest in peace

— Pratik Gandhi (@pratikg80) May 20, 2015

You were my favorite old actress Baa you may rest in peace# Sudha shivpuri

— deepasrivastava (@deepasrivasta) May 20, 2015

The post Baa from ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ is no more appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

FIA to arrest PML-N MNA’s wife over involvement in vaccine wastage scandal

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 03:04

Federal Investigation Agency decided on Wednesday to arrest the wife of PML-N MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar and Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) Deputy Programme Manager Dr Saveeta Vankwani for alleged involvement in a vaccine scandal, Express News reported.

The move came as an inquiry was launched in to the loss of pentavalent vaccines worth $3.9 million. The medication had been donated by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) eight months ago.

Read: Vaccine wastage: Low-ranking officials made scapegoats

Questions were raised over the continued absence of Dr Vankwani as initial findings suggested lack of supervision and monitoring was responsible for the loss of the pentavalent vaccines.

As the inquiry began, Dr Vankwani was absent although she directly oversees the monitoring of the storeroom. An inquiry committee probing the loss concluded that necessary action will be suggested if she is found guilty.

Read: Spoilt vaccines: Probe body recommends removal of three EPI officials

However, in April the inquiry committee recommended that one senior and two junior staffers of the EPI be removed from their position for negligence.

It found EPI Operations Deputy Director Dr Najamullah Baig, storekeeper Rizwan Bashir and store engineer Altaf Hussain guilty and recommended that they be removed from their posts.
Bashir and Hussain were suspended  immediately after the incident was reported.

Read: Upshot of wastage incident: USAID to help revamp vaccine storage system

The pentavalent vaccine protects children against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, meningitis and pneumonia.

The post FIA to arrest PML-N MNA’s wife over involvement in vaccine wastage scandal appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

PIA steward jailed for five years over smuggling fake passports in underwear

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 02:59

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) steward has been jailed for five years for trying to smuggle fake passports by hiding them in a pair of specially adapted underpants.

Shaukat Ali Cheema, 59, was arrested at Birmingham airport in March after 26 passports and 37 passport biodata pages were discovered in his briefs.

Read: PIA, a case of stale bread

Further, border force staff also found 13 driving licenses which he had concealed in his pockets and compartments sewn into the pants.

After he was sentenced, the National Crime Agency said that he worked with the national carrier for 40 years.

Shaukat Ali Cheema. PHOTO: THE TELGRAPH

“The passports and driving licences that Cheema attempted to smuggle in his pants were intended for people across Europe and beyond,” said Dawn Cartwright of the NCA’s border policing command.

Read: High-end – PIA on the cusp of fashion makeover

“Fake documents are a serious concern for law enforcement. Those driving licences could have ended up in the hands of people who weren’t qualified, or safe, to drive. And more generally, fake and fraudulently obtained documents help criminals to avoid law enforcement detection and carry on in their criminality.”

Cheema pleaded guilty to processing false identity documents with improper intention.

It has been speculated that the documents were intended for use in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Pakistan.

This article originally appeared on the Guardian

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Categories: Pakistan & World News