Thursday, June 30, 2011

FBR achieves Tax collection target, makes history

FBR achieves tax target of Rs 1588 billions, additional secretary revenue Israr Rauf revealed a few minutes ago. FBR made history by achieving revenue collection target for the first time in history. In fact it collected Rs 1592 billions, 4 billions more than the target.Bank will be open till 12 at night today for taxpayers to deposit their tax payable.

New gas load mangement

Loadshedding for the industry will be for two days.
CNG stations will be closed for three days.
Decision to increase gas prices has been postponed.

Pakistan asks US to vacate Shamsi Airbase

The Federal Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar has said that trust deficit between Pakistan and the United States has widened after the Abbottabad operation in wich Osama was killed on 2nd of May, the United States has withheld the payments of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) while Pakistan has asked Americans to vacate Shamsi airbase. In an interaction with media persons here on Wednesday, the Defence Minister said it was not only Pakistan which had not been taken into confidence by the United States before raid at the hideout but Bratian , the key ally has also not been informed.

Services Hospital Lahore first to use IT and use of IT ordered in other hospitals

Secretary Health Punjab Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan has issued directions to administrators of public sector hospitals to ensure optimum use of information technology(IT) for hospital management.
Secretary said this during a visit to the Services Hospital Jail Road Lahore here on Wednesday. He said the computerized hospital management system of Services Hospital Lahore might be adopted as a model.He was informed by the management that the entire system of hospital has been computerized and it could be checked any time which doctor examined the patient and what pills were prescribed.
Medical Superintendent Dr Muhammad Javed informed that all medicine are issued from the pharmacy with the thumb impression of doctor concerned. He informed the secretary that the record of every patient in the hospital had been computerized and all wards including accidental and emergency department had been interlinked with the system.

July 6,2011 is the last date for AIOU admissions for Post Graduate programs

Admissions of Postgraduate Programs for the Semester Autumn, 2011, are continued simultaneously across Pakistan at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU).
According to a press release issued by AIOU on Wednesday, the admissions to Ph.D in Urdu, Islamiat, Iqbaliat, Chemistry and Pakistani languages and Literature with specialization in (Pashto, Balochi, Brahvi, Sindhi, Saraiki and Punjabi) while the admissions to MS, M.Phil are included in Mass Communication, Chemistry, Iqbaliat, Food and Nutrition, Islamiat and Arabic. The admissions to M.Sc are offered in Economics, Pakistan Studies, Gender and Women Studies and Community Health and Nutrition,” the press release revealed. Last date for all aspirants for submission of the admission from is July 6,2011.Admission Fee will not be accepted by Bank Draft or Pay Order.

IDPs registeration in Kurram Agenct begins,Military operation against militants soon

The political authorities have started registration of displaced families IDPS at a relief camp Kurram Agency as people have started leaving .
Coordinator Fata Disaster Management Authority Mujahid Turi said here on Wednesday that 160 displaced families, who left their homes in the central tehsil, had been registered. On the directives of the FDMA, two registration points have been set up to facilitate the IDPs.
He said that main camp had been set up in Durrani, lower Kurram where 47 IDP families had been accommodated. He said that majority of the displaced families had opted to live with their relatives.
The government recently notified 80 square kilometre area in central Kurram as conflict zone where operation against militants,extremists and terrorist Talibans is to be launched soon.Deployment of the troops by the security forces has started.

KESC relaunces VSS scheme for non-core workers

The VSS scheme has been offered again to non-core workers.Such a scheme was earlier rejected when it was launched in December last year.
On the expiry of the date of that offer the Abraj-led management terminated the services of more that 4,000 workers that ignited a severe agitation by workers. The workers said that they were demanding the reversal of the said decision.
The KESC management in a statement issued here said that it designed the scheme keeping in mind the maximum monetary benefits that could be extended to the respective non-core workers, not only considering the market trend, but also considering best practices for such offers.
The KESC said that scheme carried “very attractive benefits” considering the average monthly salaries of non-core workers who were offered this package.
“The KESC is offering this scheme one last time so that those who could not benefit from it last time, can avail themselves of this opportunity,” the management told.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Haleema Bhutto at last got justice,Supreme Court issues orders

Supreme Court of Pakistan has decided the case of Haleema Bhutto from district Ghotki whose land has been grabbed by his husband illegally by labeling a false blame on her of adultery.She was declared "Kari" by the "Panchayat" just in order to grab her land.Karo kari is quite common in Sindh and often used for ulterior motives.SC decided the case in her favor and ordered the police to give her full protection and get her land back to her.She waited for justice spending one and a half years on footpath of Islamabad protesting against the cruelty and injustice meted out to her.However she is apprehensive to go to her home as she does not rightly trust the police as police in Pakistan is corrupt to the utmost.She still needs support of the people , civil society , media and the judiciary.SUPPORT HER AND FOLLOW THE CASE.

100% increase in gas bills from next year,Dr. Asim

100% increase in gas bills from next year, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim said just few minutes ago. For domestic consumers it will be from 10 to 15% and for industrial consumer from 15 to 20%.For fertilizer industry it will be 100%.Gas issue to 4 IIPs is ubder consideration, he added.

Pakistan seems unprepared if there is any flood again

Pakistan seems unprepared for floods this year as well which a U.N. official said could affect up to five million people in a worse-case scenario.
While a repeat of last year's severe deluge is unlikely, even smaller floods could cause millions in damages, set back reconstruction efforts and further unsettle the govt, already wracked by a shaky relationship with the US, a stagnant economy, a deadly Taliban and other militant extremists' insurgency and tense relations with its neighbors.
All along the Indus, dikes and embankments are incomplete, while international donations for preparedness have fallen short. Sindh province one of last year's most hard-hit provinces, is especially vulnerable to new flooding.
A visit by a Reuters correspondent in rural Sindh revealed that most preparations the govt says are complete still need weeks of work -- and the rains have already begun.

Tax Amnesty Scheme,FBR waives fine,penalty and surcharge on payment by June 30

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) here on Tuesday widened the scope of its Tax Amnesty Scheme by waiving off the fine, in addition to penalty and surcharge on payments of principal amount of customs duty before June 30th this year.
FBR has made an amendment in its Tax Amnesty SRO No 646 (I) 2011 issued on June 25, 2011 for this purpose.FBR on June 25,2011 had announced Tax Amnesty Scheme for all taxes (withholding tax, sales tax, federal excise duty and customs duty) and said that exemption from penalty or surcharge would be available to those taxpayers who would be paying principal amount of due taxes between June 25 to June 30, 2011.
SRO 646 (1) 2011 of Customs issued earlier by the FBR, had stated that the FBR will remit whole amount of penalties and surcharge payable against whom an amount of customs duty is outstanding on account of any reason whether audit observation, audit report, demand notice or any adjudication order or who has failed to pay any amount of customs duty claimed, inadmissible refund or drawback of customs duty due to any reason, if the outstanding principal amount of customs duties are paid from June 25 to June 30, 2011.

Govt of Japan to give Rs 36.2m for drinking water in Murree

Govt of Japan will grant Rs 36.2 m to provide safe drinking water in suburbs of Murree, province of Punjab.
The govt of Japan has decided to grant a financial support of $425,998 (Rs about 36.2 million) to the Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS), a non-governmental organisation, to provide safe drinking water for the people in rural areas of Murree, Punjab.
JMAS has already implemented a water supply project in another area of Murree through Japan’s Grant Assistance from 2009 to 2010, and the beneficiaries of that project are satisfied with the improved access to safe drinking water. The agreement for the project was signed on Tuesday, 28th June at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence in Islamabad between Hiroshi OE, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Fumitoshi Takakura, representatives of JMAS.

Federal Minister for Labour and Manpower inaugurates EOBI web application

Minister of State for Labour and Manpower Sheikh Waqas Akram inaugurated the web application of the Employees Old age Benefit Institution (EOBI)in a ceremony at a local hotel in Islamabad on Tuesday.
The web application is to facilitate employers and to manage the EOBI-related business activities and operation performing these tasks online without any hassle sitting in their offices. This will increase the transparency in the EOBI operations too.

In his inaugural speech ,he stated, “We are living in an age of information technology and the world has become a global village.” He rightly claimed that Pakistan has also made good improvement in the IT sector.

Dutch Parliament votes to ban religious slaughter of animals

The Dutch parliament voted on Tuesday to ban ritual/religious slaughter of animals by Muslims and Jews, a move strongly opposed by the country's both minorities, but it has left a loophole that might let religious butchering continue.
The bill by the small Animal Rights Party, the first such group in Europe to win seats in a national parliament, passed the lower house of parliament by 116 votes to 30. It must be approved by the upper house before becoming law.
It stipulates that animals must be stunned before being slaughtered, contrary to the Muslim halal and Jewish kosher laws that require animals to be fully conscious.
"This way of killing causes unnecessary pain to animals. Religious freedom cannot be unlimited," said Marianne Thieme, head of the Animal Rights Party, said before the vote. "For us religious freedom stops where human or animal suffering begins."
In unison the Netherlands' Muslim and Jewish communities , numbering about 1m and 40,000 respectively in a total population of 16m - have condemned the proposed ban as a violation of their religious rights.

Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) another corruption scam in Supreme court

Taking up the matter on a suo motu notice of the corruption in purchase of Land at Bara KAhu Islamabad , a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice(CJ) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Mohammad Sair Ali and Justice Ghulam Rabbani showed inclination to appoint the commission to probe the matter. Housing and Works federal Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, who appeared before the court, sought an order for the recovery of the money involved in the project, saying that the entire scheme would be “frustrated” if the matter was allowed to linger on any more.
The housing ministry had purchased 3,000 kanals from a private firm named Green Tree, in Bhara Kahu (Zone-IV) at the rate of Rs950,000/kanal. But the actual market price of the land was said to be around Rs450,000/kanal.
When the land for the joint venture housing scheme between the FGEHF and Green Tree was purchased in Zone-IV in the year 2009, it has been learnt that no housing was allowed in the area. But later it was allowed by the federal cabinet with ulterior motives.
According to the agreement, the firm initially provided 1,600 kanals on the Simly Dam Road, which was to be extended up to 3,000 kanals. The company was to also arrange for the transfer of clear, title free land from all encumbrances and charges, in favour of the FGEHF.
Mr Faisal, who had also brought instances of corruption in the rental power projects before the court, told the bench that his ministry had engaged Advocate Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb as the legal counsel, saying the PMLQ joined the federal govt “only to provide relief to the people”.
Acknowledging corruption in the housing scheme, the minister stated that he had formed a committee to probe into the allegations and report back to him in 10 days but he added the committee suggested as the case is pending suo motu notice before the Supreme Court(SC), it could not hold inquiry.
Why not, the chief justice observed, saying everything should not come to the apex court. If the dept can take up its responsibility, the court would discharge the proceedings, the chief justice observed.
In a guarded language, the minister alleged that this corruption scam showed glaring example of mismanagement and no transparency in all transactions carried out in this connection. He said Rs1.5billion had already been paid “in advance” by the ministry“ out of Rs3 billion “ to the company to acquire these 3,000 kanals.

The company`s two shareholders are the brother and father of an executive director of the Housing Foundation, the minister said.

“I have the authority to cancel the entire project but this would let the amount to get stuck,” the minister said. He requested the court to issue directives for the amount`s recovery as it did in so many other graft cases. “This leads us to think as if there is a bottomless well of corruption,” Justice Ali observed and asked the minister to suggest some way out.

The minister suggested appointment of a commission headed by a retired SC judge like Justice Chaudhry Ijaz, saying it would be advisable because many senior bureaucrats were involved in the scam.

The court however was of the view that Khawaja Zaheer, who was also the member of the Flood Inquiry Commission, be appointed as head of the proposed commission. The court however decided to issue a final order when the matter is taken up again on June 30.

During the proceedings, the court was also told that the parties involved in the case were ready to negotiate to reach for an “amicable settlement”.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

AJK EC announces re-polling dates in 3 constituencies

AJK Election Commission told the media on Tuesday that the re-polling in the 3 constituencies including LA-37 (Kashmir Valley-II in Lahore) would be held on July 10, in LA-6 (Bhimbher) on July 11 and in constituency LA-17 (Abbaspur Poonch-I) on July 18,2011.
Polling were earlier postponed for these 3 seats on the reports of the returning officers concerned.

Choudry Ahmed Mukhtar federal defense minister speaks ill about army and Pakistan

Choudry Ahmed Mukhtar federal defense minister said while talking to British media that Pakistan has not the ability to wage the war with India continuing it to more than 45 days.He also said that we know where Taliban are, it is not difficult to engage with them. Has he gone mad or something else is wrong with him.

National Bank of Pakistan(NBP) served notice for Rs9bn tax evasion

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued recovery notice of over Rs9 billion to NBP, which was allegedly evaded or concealed after deduction of withholding tax, official sources said on last Friday.“A demand notice for payment of Rs9.4 billion has been sent to NBP for short payment over the years,” a FBR official said on the condition of anonymity. “The demand was created on failure to produce records against interest payment on transactions claimed by the bank.” The official said monitoring of withholding tax deduction was conducted lately.The official also said that NBP was given June 30 to make the payment, after which action would be initiated provided in the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

When contacted, the NBP’s official spokesman confirmed the issuance of notice to the bank and said that the FBR conducted monitoring of withholding tax for 2008, 2009 and 2010. “The FBR served notices which the bank provided reconciliation statements along with evidence to support tax deposit,” the spokesman NBP said.

He said that the bank is in process of settlement of this issue with FBR in accordance with the provisions of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

The monitoring of withholding tax was initiated three months back at Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU), Karachi which identified serious irregularities on the part of the banks as they did not remit the due share to exchequer.

Khawar Khursheed Butt, Member - Inland Revenue, FBR, recently confirmed that around 20 banks had been found involved in these irregularities and revenue authorities estimated around Rs thirty billion would be collected by June 30,2011.

HE also said that Rs22 billion recovery notices had been issued to 8 banks. The member said that banks moved the Sindh High Court(SHC) for stay order against FBR notices. “The honorable court did not grant such bid of banks and suggested appeal at different forum,” he added.

The monitoring of withholding tax is part of revenue generation, especially for the ongoing fiscal year in 2010-11 which the revenue body is facing huge difficulties in meeting the target of Rs1588 billion. “These measures will help the FBR to achieve FY11 revenue target,”.

BOL movie released in Pakistani cinemas,a film much awaited,sets new records

A bold effort Bol movie attacks some social,religious and cultural issues of Pakistani society which needs to be eliminated and there must be efforts for social change for the betterment of society.
Now we can say proudly we are not behind Indian bollywood and actors of India, thumbs up for Shoaib Mansoor.
One spectator commented,awesum! keeep it up PAKISTAN! NATION IS ALONG U!
This efforts of Shoaib is being highly appreciated by the spectators.
This is Atif Aslam's Debut movie and Humaima Malick, has been picked for the big screen for the first time as well.
Is was much-awaited social drama film.
Shoaib presented the society and its evils as it is without any exaggeration or camouflage,the real thinking, jargon and style of the different segments of the society are depicted in true colours.
Those who want to watch BOL for free or download online will have to wait for some time.
‘Bol’ movie released under the banner of Geo Films has established new success records, it has even set a new business record at the box office. It has become the film earning the highest revenue in the first week of release, beating all previous records.
Shah Rukh Khan’s film “My Name Is Khan” had done business of Rs21.658m in a week, whereas ‘Bol’ has done business of Rs22.038m in just 6 days. It is expected that when record of the full week is available, this film will make a gross revenue of Rs25m setting up new record.

Deadliest Talibans split

A Taliban warlord Fazal Saeed Haqani who claims to control hundreds of soldiers said on Monday he had broken with the TTP militia and would form his own anti-American group along the Afghan border.
Fazal Saeed Haqqani described himself as the leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) faction in the tribal district of Kurram, but said he had run out of patience with the network for killing civilians which is not permitted in Islam.
TTP has claimed a series of high-profile attacks in the nearly two months since American troops killed Osama.
He blamed TTP for more than 4,500 deaths mostly civilians in attacks since July 2007 so he had decided to form a new organisation - Tehreek-e-Taliban Islami.
“I repeatedly told the leadership council of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan that they should stop suicide attacks against mosques, markets and other civilian targets,” Saeed told AFP by telephone.
“Islam does not allow killings of innocent civilians in suicide attacks,” he said, likening what TTP does inside Pakistan to “what US troops are doing in Afghanistan” and vowing to continue the fight alone against US.

FBR to introduce gift scheme soon

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is to introduce gift schemes soon under Consumers Lucky Draw scheme in order to promote receipt culture from the upcoming financial year 2011-12.
“The govt is working to document the country’s economy and process of receipt is part of it”, said an official of FBR while talking to a local newspaper.
For this every buyer must take a receipt from the shopkeeper after purchasing a commodity or taking any service,later there would be balloting and buyers would be awarded with gifts under Consumers Lucky Draw scheme.
According to the salient features of the “Consumers Lucky Draw” the govt would allocate budget for the scheme to pay cash prices on monthly or quarterly basis. It will have important role in the documentation of economy by encouraging tax culture where receipts would be demanded from shop, retail outlets, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants etc.

ACIL requests delisting exemption

Al-Abbas Cement Industries Limited (ACIL) has requested the Karachi Stock Exchange to grant it exemption from delisting and placing on the Defaulters Counter due to non-compliance of listing regulations of KSE.
It also demanded the KSE management to give it a further 3 year extension by excising its discretion under Regulation 30 (2).In a notice sent to KSE on Monday, the ACIL said since the acquisition in 2005, the sponsors are pulling in all their efforts in rehabilitation of the ACIL and have injected significant interest free sponsor loans, incurring other huge expenses in order to bringing in management expertise to keep plant moving. The ACIL further said that significant changes have also taken place within company management with many new senior management staff coming in to establish organisation.

TDAP conducts workshop

TDAP will conduct a workshop on possibilities of value addition in meat at TDAP conference room on Wednesday 29th June .
TDAP has prepared for organization of this workshop where Kashif Nauman, Lecturer, meat technology, UVAS will give an introduction on importance of value addition in meat, Younas Qureshi of Red Cow Meat Company will give presentation on value addition and its technicalities. Asif Sahi of Lahore Meat Company will deliver on marketing of value added items of meat while Syed Hassan Raza, Secretary General, Meat Exporters/ Processors Association, Lahore will comment on govt interventions for going into value addition in red meat, the TDAP release added.

Monday, June 27, 2011

MQM leaves govt,Governor Sindh resigns

Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrat-u-Abad who belongs to MQM has sent his resignation to the President for approval on the advice of his leadership.MQM itself has also decided to quit the govts both federal and provincial.
“The MQM leadership reached the conclusion that it is no longer possible for the party to continue functioning as part of the Pakistan People's Party-led coalition governmnet, keeping in view its undemocratic and dictatorial attitude,"Dr. Farooq Sattar said addressing to the media.
MQM early today also filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) against the deferment of June 26 scheduled Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) elections ,which it blames PPP govt for postponement, for the Karachi seats, which is expected to be placed for hearing tomorrow.

Sindh govt to collect sales tax on services from July 1st,2011

The Sindh Assembly unanimously passed the Sindh Sales Tax on Services Bill-2011 into law earlier this month, enabling the govt to collect Sales Tax (ST) on services from July 1 which is likely to bring significant revenue to the govt’s kitty.
Sindh Revenue Board will collect taxes on taxable services including hotels, telecommunication, property buying and selling, courier and airport services.
No new ST on services would be imposed for the time being and the province would collect tax on services at the same 16% rate, sources added.The Sindh Government has fixed the target of Rs25 billion for the next fiscal year to achieve.Under 18th amendment of the constitution provinces got authority to collect sales tax on services.

Hepatitis B and C is not transmitted through mothers’ feeding.

Pakistan Medical Research Council Executive Director Huma Qureshi said, “Although the diseases Hepatitis B and C is lethal but it is a misconception that it transmits from an intercourse with the spouse or by feeding the child.”
She was of the view that hepatitis B could be minimized or eliminated from the country within 5 years if its vaccination was ensured at the time of birth. Earlier, while speaking at a seminar on Infection Control and its Prevention organised at JPMC, she said twelve million Pakistanis are suffering from hepatitis B and C in the country with prevalence rate of the disease at 2.5% in hepatitis B and 5% in hepatitis C.

Baluchistan govt refused to allow the burial of talay bugti in dera Bugti

Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Talal Akbar Khan Bugti has strongly criticised the provincial govt for not allowing them to bury the dead body of Talay Bugti(grandson of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti) in Dera Bugti.
Addressing a press conference here at Bugti House on Sunday, JWP leader said, “We wanted to bury Talay – who was killed in a firing incident in Karachi –in Bera Bugti but the provincial government is not allowing us to move the body to his hometown dera Bugti.”
He lamented that the governor of Baluchistan called him to come here at Bugti House for offering condolence over the death of Talay Bugti but they did not allow to take the body of Talay Bugti to Dera Bugti then with which face the governor and other ministers would come to Bugti House to offer condolences. “Those who want to express condolence they should go to Bugti Bolak in Karachi” Talal said.

Use of mineral water is increasing rapidly in Pakistan

Growth of 15% as compared to last year has been witnessed in Pakistan in the use of mineral water which now stand around 1.1 billion litres per year since contaminated water persistently coming out of governmental run water pipelines.
The demand of mineral water, supplied in plastic bottle, has been found increasing in recent years as earlier urban middle class of the society wanted to avoid water-born diseases. But now the use of bottle water has become status symbol also in society and most of people especially ladies usually carry plastic mineral water bottles with them while going to shopping or somewhere else outside. The trend of carrying mineral bottles is not only healthy improvement in lifestyle but also it keeps people away from doctors.
This proves also healthy for the traders and active businessmen because, after foreseeing the market demand, they have started mineral water business within last4 years as just 5 years back the mineral water market was hardly 25% of the current level of 1.1 billion litres per year.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) election 2011 results

AJK poll results: Pakistan People’s Party AJK appeared to have gained simple majority in the AJK Legislative Assembly as unofficial results of the polling 37 constituencies for which elections were held on Sunday(out of total 41) poured in at late night but a private TV channel reported that the PPP leadership had decided to invite the Muslim Conference to form a broad-based government.

According to the channel, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani contacted AJK Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, the chief of the Muslim Conference.

Unofficial results showed that of the 37 constituencies in the AJK territory, the PPP had either won or was leading by a sizeable margin in 20, followed by the Muslim Conference MC which had clinched victory in 5 and the PML-N which emerged victorious in 9 constituencies.The independents pocketed 3 seats.
The major upset was the defeat of Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, head of Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party, who lost his contesting seat considered to be part of his inheritance and a stronghold of JKPP.Jamaat-I-Islami AJK Amir Abdur Rashid Turrable also lost.
PPP central leader and in-charge of the AJK elections campaign Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry won the elections from his home constituency, Mirpur, with overwhelming majority and so did the another PPP most favorite Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob defeated Sardar Khalid Ibrahim.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

MQM blames govt of rigging in AJK elections

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain claimed in his telephonic address to MQM general workers’ meeting that the government had returned through betrayal the support his party had extended to it in its time of trial and asked the party workers to go to courts against the way in which the elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir were held.
He said despite facing severe criticism for continuing to stick to power, his party had to make a difficult choice of keeping its support on for the government.MQM Chief requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Choudry to take suo motto notice of the ‘mock elections’ by invoking the law and Constitution.
He said the attempts to eliminate MQM through state coercion would never be successful.“The Kashmiri people have been robbed of their democratic right of vote through plunder and the entire exercise of elections in Azad Kashmir have not just been sunk into a swamp of doubt but also made totally unacceptable,” he maintained.
He said: “We were urged to contest for one seat and leave the other for People’ Party.”
He termed the AJK elections as unlawful and unconstitutional, saying the polls had been rigged through state power. “Today’s democratic govt has proved itself to be worse than dictatorship by keeping MQM away from the polls and burying the democratic norms,” he added.

DCO Lahore sends17 cases against medical stores to drug court

District Coordinating Officer Lahore Ahad Cheema on Thursday gave approval of sending challans against seventeen medical stores to Drug Court for selling spurious, expired and unregistered pills.
Chairing the meeting of District Quality Control Board at his office, the DCO also ordered to issue warning letters to one medical store while two owners were summoned in the next meeting to clear their position.
The cases against twenty stores were presented before the board and the Chairman after detailed discussion with the members issued necessary orders.
He also directed the district health department to continue crack down against quacks and spurious medicines.

New industrial estate by SDA(KPK)

Sarhad Development Authority (SDA) has planned a new industrial estate on thousand acres of land near Rashakai Interchange on Motorway. Chairman Sarhad Development Authority (SDA) Akbar Khan told this while talking to APP here on Saturday.
He said that the new industrial estate was a mega project that was more like Sundar Industrial Estate of Punjab. Khyber Pakhtukhwa would emerge as hub of business activities after elimination of terrorism from the region as it was gateway to Central Asian Republics (CARs)and Pakhtunkhwa had good economic prospects in the future .
He said that industrial sector was affected due to a number of reasons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the major causes were militancy and power crises in the region.
Once these issues were resolved the economic indicators would start improving in the province and the sick industrial units would also be revived, he opined. He said that a scheme has been approved in ADP 2011-12 to set up industrial unit in Manshera district and the construction work would start by the end of the current year. Moreover, he added that Hattar industrial estate extension project has also been approved in the present ADP and the construction work on the project would start very soon.

Tax system to be modified and simplified

“From next year, there will be only two taxes, sales tax and income tax. This is our aim. This will reduce corruption in FBR and remove overlapping of taxes”,Federal Finance minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said on Saturday .
He also said tax system will be further simplified to reduce corruption in the country.He said the govt will go after those who are enjoying luxurious life, but not paying taxes and not fulfilling their national obligations. “We will tax agriculture inputs, eliminate zero rating regime to remove exemptions. We have identified 0.7 million such addresses, who live luxurious life, visit abroad twice a year and do not have tax numbers and filing their income tax returns,” he added.

Grand son of Nawab Akbar Bughti, Taleh Bugti killed in Karachi

At least six people have been killed including grandson of late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and 9 other injured, some of them critically, in a firing incident in Karachi, police and witnesses said on Sunday.According to police the firing incident occurred at a private gathering in a bungalow located in Defence Khayaban-e-Rahat area in Karachi. As a result 4 people were killed on the spot while ten others got injured. They were shifted to a private hospital where Taleh Bugti, the grand son of late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti of Jamhoori Watan Party(JWP) succumbed to his injuries .
SP Clifton Tariq Dharejo said that several people have been held from the Bunglow.The exchange of fire between the security guards after some arguments on conflicting points emerged during a dance party led to the killing.Police has arrested some suspects who might have killed Taleh Saleem Bughti.

Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly polls today

About 2.9 million voters will elect their representative MLAs in 38 of the 41 constituencies of Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly today.

The polling in 3 constituencies for Kashmiri refugees in Pakistan has been postponed because of security concerns and in the wake of allegations about registration of bogus voters.

The MQM has boycotted of the elections in protest against the postponement of polls in two constituencies currently represented by its workers.

The Election Commission (EC)withdrew late on Saturday night a notification issued earlier directing presiding officers to issue ballot papers to only those voters who could produce their original CNIC and proof of being a permanent resident of the constituency.

Restoration three-year honours degree by Karachi University(KU)

Karachi University Academic Council has decided to restore the three-year BSc, BA, BCom (honours) and two-year MA, MSc and MCom programs with effect from the academic year 2012.

However, the four-year BS (bachelor of studies) program of 8 semesters which the KU introduced in 2007 on the directives of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) would be retained as well and, as such, this program and the BSc, BA and BCom (Hons) programs of 6 semesters would run concurrently and the students would have the option to choose any of them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Person accused in Shahbaz Bhatti case acquitted

An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi acquitted the accused arrested in former federal minister Shahbaz Bhatti assassination case.

Judge Pervez Ali Shah of the special court in Rawalpindi heard the case of the killing of minorities minister. During the proceedings he asked the police to provide details of the investigation into Shahbaz Bhatti's murder.

The police had detained the accused Hafiz Nazar and presented him before the court. Police had also managed to get physical remand for him seeking that it was necessary to ask questions about assassins .

According to the police, one of the witnesses in the case Tahir Naveed Bhatti had made a statement which led to the arrest of the accused.

During the hearing, Police told the court that after five days of questioning no developments were made and requested for further eight-day physical remand for the accused.

The court however granted acquittal to the accused.

PTA for local language content on internet

addressing a conference on “Local Language Content Stimulus”Chairman Pakistan telecommunication authority (PTA) Dr Mohammed Yaseen said that Pakistan has emerged as one of the leading markets in telecommunications especially in the voice segment. However, the key towards further development of the sector remains with the availability of local content and applications on the internet. There is a huge potential for local content and applications for education, health, governance and banking he added.
The Chairman also emphasized on need for development of local language social networking platforms, search engines and entertainment platforms on the basis of popular internet usage trends in Pakistan.He also said that population of internet users is increasing day by day.There stands no reason for not encouraging and promoting local language content. We have some very good examples of China, Japan and Korea with respect to availability of local language content and applications on the global horizon,internet

Samsung launches new smart TV in Pakistan

Samsung has officially launched of its latest Samsung Smart TV series in Pakistan.
Samsung’s Smart TV was introduced in the world in March 2011 and since has sold over 2 million units globally.
This great success has encouraged Samsung to introduce their latest TV series in Pakistan as well.
“Samsung Smart TV delivers the most optimized smart experience, while being faithful to TV’s original features such as picture quality and design. Offering both product convenience and enriched content is the secret behind the success of our Smart TV,” said Mr. Hee Chang Yee, MD Samsung Electronics Pakistan. “We expect that along with D7000 and D8000, our further expanded models will drive up our Smart TV sales in the second half of this year.”
The Smart TV D-series features Samsungs ONE design concept providing consumers a virtually frameless TV viewing experience. It also features an 800Hz CMR (Clear Motion Rate) and improved LED backlight scanning which offers true-to-life 2D, 3D and HD images with outstanding clarity. It is equipped with an ultra clear panel, 3D HyperReal Engine, built-in Wi-Fi, a personal video recorder, has a built-in HD tuner with one tuner picture-in-picture, it comes with Samsungs Allshare™(Powered by DLNA) for wireless connectivity of other devices to the Smart TV. The TV, which is Skype™ ready, has Samsung’s Smart Hub “Search All” feature that helps consumers search for their favorite content across the web and other devices connected to the Smart TV and is also enabled with Samsung’s One-Foot connection technology for a hassle-free network setup to wirelessly tether other Samsung devices to the Smart TV series.
These TV Units are available in sizes ranging from 22 inches to 60 inches.
With Smart TV, users can enjoy smart tips, smart search, social networking, web browser, and Samsung Apps all via the Smart Hub—a customized user interface

Saliva reveals your age

US researchers said on Thursday they can use saliva samples to predict a person’s age, a discovery that could help CSI investigators track down suspects,criminals and also to open the door to personalized medicine.

Using this process called methylation, a chemical modification of one of the 4 building blocks that compose human DNA, scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), were able to determine a person’s age to within 5 years.

“With just a saliva sample, we can accurately predict a person’s age without knowing anything else about them,” told Dr. Eric Vilain, the director of the Center for Society and Genetics at UCLA.

Friday, June 24, 2011

NADRA asks all Pakistani citizens to get their expired CNICs renewed immediately

National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has asked all citizens of Pakistan to get their expired computerized national identity cards (CNICs) renewed immediately to avoid any inconvenience in legal, financial and other matters where a valid CNIC is compulsory, a statement issued by NADRA Punjab Lahore Region General Manager(GM) Col (r) M Iqbal said on Thursday.

Col (r) Iqbal said that More than nine million computerized NICs had expired till date. “Renewal has become necessary to avoid any inconvenience,” he asserted. “The expired cards are automatically blocked by the system and cannot be used for any transactions relating to the purchase, sale or transfer of property, opening or operation of bank accounts, foreign travel and many other activities that require identification of an individual, require possession of a valid CNIC,” he said and added, “Moreover, machine readable passport could not be got or processed due to expired computerized CNICs.”

He also said after expiry of the CNICs, the cardholders would not be able to avail any facility that required irrevocable proof of his identification.

He further added that NADRA had instructed all its centers and staff across the region to facilitate applicants visiting the NADRA offices for renewal, while NADRA would accommodate applications even ninety days before the expiry date of such cards.

He made it clear that no documentary proof, except original CNIC with expiry date, was required from the applicant who would apply for renewal of the card. No attestation is required for renewal cases.

He said that an applicant was issued CNIC with his/her latest information and extended expiry date. “If an applicant gets his/her CNIC renewed at an age of 56, his/her CNIC will be declared valid for the life time.

President promulgates FATA/PATA regulations to fight anti-Pakistan terrorist elements

President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, on the advise of the PM Gillani and approval by the federal govt, has promulgated the Regulations “Action in Aid of Civil Powers - 2011” for FATA and PATA to carry out operation in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KPK) against terrorists who have imposed a war on the state of Pakistan, it is officially stated here on Thursday. An official of the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRAN) said that Pakistan has been facing a severe challenge from terrorists and extremists on its north western borders where hundreds of civilians and law enforcement agencies’ personnels have embraced 'shahadat'. These militants are bent upon the destruction of our schools, hospitals and mosques and they employ all means to erode the writ of the government. With a view to meet the challenges of such an extraordinary situation, these regulations have been enacted to counter these groups. The official said that regulations will provide a legal framework for the armed forces that have been called upon by the federal government to conduct operations in KP against the terrorists who are waging war against the state, attacking its infrastructure by raising unlawful private armies and trying to assert unlawful control over the territories of the state. The regulations permit incapacitating of the terrorists by interning them only during the duration of the ‘Action in Aid of Civil Power’ operation and thereafter they shall be handed over by the security forces to the concerned law enforcement agency for bringing them to justice, he added.

Sui North fails to stop gas theft

Gas worth Rs2.27 billion from SNGPL systen was stolen in the current fiscal year 2010-11 during July to April, Geo News reported on Thursday.

According to documents obtained by Geo News, the industrial consumers topped the list with the theft of Rs1.3 b worth of gas while commercial consumers stole gas worth Rs580 m.

The CNG stations stole gas valuing Rs500 m while the domestic consumers gobbled up gas worth Rs100 m.

Petition filed in Supreme court against NCHD abolishment

Employees working in National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) have filed a constitutional petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan challenging the winding up of the Commission.
In this petition filed under Article 184(3) for enforcement of fundamental rights, it has been stated that NCHD is a nationwide network of 101 human develop support units across the country which is involved in providing social services to the underdeveloped and very remote areas of the state through its more than 16,000 employees and if the Commission is wound up all the good work will come to an abrupt end and more than 16,000 families will be left unemployed, not to speak of the 7000 schools and around 500,000 students who have no access to education or health will have to abandon education and become vulnerable for exploitation.
It has been submitted by Barrister Syed Ali Zafar that the Commission was fulfilling the basic and core obligations of the govt by providing education and health services to the Pakistani citizens. It is stated in the petition that in today’s age of human rights there is a positive duty upon the state, which includes the federal and provincial govts, to fulfil their minimum core obligations and provide access to education and health.

Cell phone gives clues to bin Laden’s Pakistan links

A mobile phone collected among other items after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a compound in Pakistan contained contacts to Harakatul Mujahedeen, The New York Times reported on Thursday, citing senior US officials briefed on these findings.

The cell phone indicated that Bin Laden used Harkat as part of his support network inside Pakistan, the newspaper said, citing the officials and other sources it did not identify.

The phone belonged to bin Laden’s courier, who was also killed along with the al Qaeda leader in the May 2 raid by US special forces on bin Laden’s compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad, the Times said.

“We cannot confirm this account,” a US official in Washington said when asked about the report.

The US kept Islamabad in the dark about the raid by Navy SEALs until after it was completed.

In tracing calls on the cell phone, US analysts determined that Harakat commanders had called Pakistani intelligence officials, the newspaper reported, citing senior American officials.

The officials added the contacts were not necessarily about bin Laden and his protection and that there was no “smoking gun” showing that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had protected bin Laden, the newspaper said.

The newspaper quoted one of the officials as saying the mobile phone analysis was a “serious lead” in the hunt for answers about how bin Laden managed to evade notice by Pakistan’s ISI or military for years in the town, only 150km from the capital.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WASA installs filtration plant to overcome water shortage in Rawalpindi

Rawalpindi Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Deputy Managing Director Raja Shoukat Mehmood said the agency has installed the latest and expensive water filtration and treatment plant at Rawal Dam to meet water shortage in the garrison city.

Talking to media at his office on Wednesday, he told that WASA was utilizing all its available resources to provide secure and hygenic water to the residents of Pindi. ‘WASA has already withdrawn the increase in water and sanitation bills on the directives of Punjab CM Mian Shahbaz Sharif and local MNAs and MPAs,’ he said.

99 scholarships awarded under HEC-USAID programme

Ninety nine stipends have been approved in total under `HEC-USAID Merit and Needs based Program' for the academic year 2010-11.

HEC Executive Director Dr Sonail Naqvi chairing a meeting of Scholarship Management Committee on Wednesday said that HEC in partnership with the US started the ‘Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Programme’ to provide assistance to talented but needy students who are unable to pursue their higher education due to financial problems and constraints. The said scholarships are available since 2004 in the field of Business Administration and Agriculture at 11 participating universities/institutions.

The selected students are from rural, remote and underprivileged areas across Pakistan and studying at KPK Agriculture University, Peshawar; Balochistn University of Information Technology Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta; Sindh Agriculture University (SAU), Tandojam. The offered scholarships will cover tuition fee, transportation, books, lodging and incidental expences.

Balochistan govt plans to set up Copper refinery at Reko Diq gold and copper mine

Balochistan Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd Gaillo has revealed that the provincial government has decided to set up copper refinery and processing plant with initial investment of Rs 8.5 billion .
Addressing a post-budget press conference on Tuesday FM told that the Reko Diq project was the world biggest resource and the provincial government had decided to set up copper refinery there and a processing plant to obtain maximum revenue for the province thus Rs8.5billion had been earmarked in the current Balochistan Budget for 2011-12 for the purpose.

Plan to fence and mine Pak Afghan border by Pakistani authorities

Pak govt is seriously thinking to ‘fence and mine’ some important parts of the Pak-Afghan border area,as incursions and intrusions by militant extremists from the Afghan side into Bajaur, Upper Dir and Mohmand tribal regions has increased many times.

This plan has been there for quite some time and specific details were also worked out by the security forces, but it was put on hold due to opposition from Afghan govt. However, very recent incursions from across the Durand Line have made the security establishment to consider reviving the project.

Heavily armed militants have crossed into Pakistan’s border more than 4 times in less than 25 days and clashed with Pakistan’s border forces.

In a recent attack by militants in Mohmand Agency this month, the Pakistan Air Force(PAF) had to be called in to recapture a post.

The clash led to the death of twentyfive militants while several Frontier Corps personnels were injured.The military is concerned over the increasing infiltration across the border.

Need for setting up office of Police Ombudsman

People belonging to different segments of society participating in a discussion on police reforms on Wednesday called for appointing a police ombudsman to redress public grievances against the police, besides constituting safety and police complaint commissions at provincial level.

They voiced their concern over the existing trust deficit between the police and citizens at a healthy discussion held under the aegis of Shehri — Citizens for a Better Environment, a non-governmental organisation(NGO), lawyers, students, rights activists, representatives of civil society and media persons had a consensus that public pressure should be built up for police reforms, which were immensely needed in the country’s current security situation.

Other issues highlighted at the program included police training, human rights sensitization in the deptt, police behaviour with public, targeted killings, rape cases, and traffic police inefficiency in managing the city’s ever-increasing vehicular population.

Shehri’s project director Gulmina Bilal Ahmad, whose task is to develop the human rights sensitization within the institution of police, said each year her organisation invited the nomination of 30 police personnels from all the 4 federating units of the country and had trained 395 police officials till date.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

UN says 5 million Pakistanis are at risk from floods this year 2011

About 5 million people in Pakistan are at risk from floods this year, partly due to poor reconstruction and the inadequate rehabilitation of survivors who are still reeling from last year’s heavy flooding, the UN said on Wednesday. Monsoon floods started roaring through Pakistan in late July last year 2010, leaving one-fifth of the country — an area the size of Italy — underwater, disrupting the lives of more than eighteen million people. The govt and aid organisations were criticised for being too slow to respond while the army, seen as a far more efficient institution, took the lead in relief operations. As Pakistan braces itself again for its annual monsoon season, which runs from late June to early September, the UN says authorities and the aid community have learnt lessons and are better prepared,even for the worst case scenario. But in general the government is still not cautious and prepared for any huge disaster as far as top political elite is concerned.

DG NPF ordered to take action against culprits involved in Rs 6 billion land scam

The Supreme Court of Pakistan(SC) on Tuesday ordered director general National Police Foundation to take stern action against persons including M/s Land Linkers of Pakistan Muslim League-N legislator Anjum Aqeel Khan, allegedly involved in NPF Rs 6 billion land scam case.

The court also ordered Zaffar Qureshi to submit list of all officers who got more than 10 plots in the housing National Police Housing society.

A 3 member bench of the Court comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim is hearing the suo moto case regarding the irregularities in the housing society of NPF.

During the hearing Qureshi informed the bench that a lot of corruption,embezzlement,fraud and illegal transfer of properties had been committed in this case and people had suffered for no reason.

He told the court that some of the higher officers got more than ten plots commercial plots. He further said director housing allotted fifteen plots in his name only.

He assured the court that he would register the cases and will recover Rs 6 bn from all the culprits involved.

Marvi Memon has resigned from membership of National Assembly and PMLQ

Marvi memon has just resigned from membership of National Assembly and PML-Q on the decision of her party leadership to support PPP and budget recently presented by PPL led government.She had strongly protested earlier against her party to join PPL as a coalition partner.She protested against the policies of the govt that has caused high inflation and increase in poverty in the country.

4 IPPs withdraw final notices on payment of Rs 5billion

Four independent power producers (IPPs) decided on Tuesday to withdraw their final notices of sovereign guarantees after they were paid Rs5 billion and assured that the remaining dues will be cleared before June 30.
An agreement to that effect was reached after negotiations between Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar and a delegation of IPPs, led by Mian Mohammad Mansha and Yousaf H. Shirazi.
The IPPs — Nishat Power and Nishat Chunian of Mian Mansha, Atlas Power of Yousaf Shirazi and Liberty Tech — with a combined capacity of 880 MW had earlier issued the final notice on 15th June to seek encashment of sovereign guarantees and to stop production because of non-payment of thier outstanding dues by Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco).
According to sources, the IPPs initially took a strong position not to withdraw the notices till the clearance of full payment, but agreed to oblige on upfront payment of Rs5 bn and commitment for the release of another amount of Rs3.25 bn by 30th June .
The IPPs were said that their claim of about Rs10 billion also involved about Rs2 billion still-to-become-overdue bills under contractual obligations.
The sources told that the crisis had been averted after PM Yousuf Raza Gilani approved last week a power ministry’s summary seeking payment of Rs11 billion for the IPPs. The remaining amount of Rs2.75 billion will be paid to some other distressed IPPs.
An official is of the opinion that the notices had automatically become ‘infructuous’ after the partial payment of dues. But an IPP representative differed with and claimed that that was not the case, adding further that the IPPs would have to write formal letters to banks informing them about their decision not to go ahead with encashment.
Otherwise, he added, the banks were bound under the law to pay the quoted amount on behalf of the government on June 23. He told that withdrawal letters would reach the banks on Wednesday.
The power ministry earlier wrote a letter to the prime minister and requested him to personally intervene for releasing Rs11 billion urgently to contain the crisis and avoid international embarrassment. Till May 15, the government owed about Rs122 billion to all IPPs.
Due to sovereign commitment, the govt is bound to make payments to IPPs if their power purchaser, Pepco/Wapda, fails to clear dues. The failure to make payments by the govt after a 30 day notice is technically considered as ‘sovereign default’ which leads to negative ramifications for the country’s credit ratings and interest costs.

Pak Army brigadier held for colluding with extremists,militant group

Pakistan army has confirmed on Tuesday that one of its brigadiers posted at the General Headquarters was under detention on suspicion of links with an extremist group.
Brig Ali Khan, who was serving as director for rules and regulations at the army headquarters, was held by the military’s Special Investigation Branch on May 6, four days after Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert American raid in Abbottabad, for suspected ties with Hizbut Tehrir (HT) — a group that has been calling for a rebellion against pro-US leaders.
He is the senior-most army officer yet to be arrested for extremist links. Before his GHQ posting, Brig Khan served as a commander in Azad Jummu and Kashmir.
The officer had received training in the USA and was set to retire soon was earlier dropped for promotion because of his extremist leanings and sympathies.
A defence source claimed that a lieutenant-colonel who worked under Brig Khan had also been detained but another official told the colonel’s arrest was not directly linked to Brig Khan’s case.
The confirmation by ISPR of the brigadier’s detention has come at a time when, in the aftermath of the Osama's killing, some elements in the armed forces are being accused of being in collusion with extremists and militants.
For now, Inter-Services Public Relations officials is ruling out his involvement with Taliban or Al Qaeda so far.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ENI to start spadework on 400MW project soon

ENI would soon begin spadework on the construction of a 400MW power generation project in Pakistan ,this was told by Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Saleem Mandviwalla.

During the meeting with Paolo Scaroni, Chief Executive of ENI at International Economic Forum in St Petersburg, he offered ENI to work on the opportunities of offshore exploration in Pakistan.

He told that Pakistan could be benefited by the expertise of ENI to use optimally the sizable gas fields in Pakistan for power production.

CEO Paolo Scaroni hinted upon working in the new fields of gas for power generation on BOT basis.

Bank of Punjab(BoP)to give Rs250million to Punjab Education Foundation(PEF)

BoP has allocated an amount of Rs 250m for the distribution of soft loans among the eligible schools partnered with PEF under Foundation Assisted Schools (FAS) and New School Program (NSP).
For this purpose, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between The Bank of Punjab and Punjab Education Foundation at BoP Tower,Gulberg on Monday. Besides BoP President Naeemuddin Khan and PEF Chairman Raja M. Anwar who signed the MOU on behalf of their respective organizations
According to the MoU,BoP will provide soft loans to partner schools of Punjab Education Foundation in order to improve their infrastructure and to ensure quality of education. Maximum amount of loan will be up to monthly installment of schools with cap of Rs 0.5 million without any processing fee and will be available to about 2 thousand FAS and NSP partner schools of PEF.

Taliban forces 9 years old young girl to wear suicide jacket.

An nine-year-old Pakistani girl was kidnapped by Taliban militants who forced her to wear a suicide jacket to attack Army personnels, police said on Monday.
Police brought the girl, identified as Sohana Javaid, before a news conference broadcast on Pakistani television channels.
The girl told how she was kidnapped in her hometown of Peshawar by two women and a man who pulled up in a car.
“They put a handkerchief on my mouth and I fell unconscious. They took me to some place. They gave me some biscuits to eat and I again fell unconscious,” Sohana said in a video, according to a voice over translation on the tape.
She was forced to wear a suicide vest, she was transported to a security check post in a small town in the Lower Dir district in the northwest to blow her jacket near security forces personnels.
“I moved towards the check post but I started shouting and was taken into custody,” said Sohana.

More than 80 percent Population of North and South Waziristan Suffer from psychological disorders

More than 80% people of South and North Waziristan agencies of tribal areas have been affected with mental disorders while 60% residents of Peshawar are about to become psychological patients if these problems are notsolved immediately.A survey conducted by an NGO, Horizon reveals this alarming situation.

Conducted under the supervision of renowned psychologist Dr Khalid Mufti, the survey brought forward that seven to nine per cent children became victims of phobia owing to consistent telecast of terrorism related scenes by TV channels.

Very high inflation, energy crisis, lawlessness and untidiness had also made many people mentally retarded, it revealed.

It will be very difficult to save future of our youth if the existing situation remained unchanged, he said. He requested the TV channels to avoid telecasting footages of terrorism related incidents in order to to improve mental health of people and children exposed to phobia and other disorders.

He also emphasized the need for creating jobs and recreational activities to improve lives of people in troubled areas, Dr Mufti said that owing to economic disparity, torture and domestic disputes, people of the affected areas were inclining to use of narcotics and other destructive and illegal drugs and unfair means.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Faults at Sui and Zamzama gas fields overcomed, gas restored

Managing Director Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) , Arif Hameed told the media that Sui and Zamzama gas fields’ faults have been removed and gas supply to all the powerhouses and fertilizer sector has been restored last night.
SNGPL MD also told that this morning 390 million cubic feet of gas supply was temporarily suspended due to some faults at Sui and Zamzama gas fields, which was removed.
Arif Hameed further said that all the industries were now receiving gas supply according to the schedule and the perception of halting supply unnecessary was not correct, while with the restoration of gas supply, the electricity shortfall in few hours would be reduced by 1000MW.

The Citizens Foundation TCF is educating the poor people of coastal areas of Sindh

The districts Thatta and Badin of Sindh province have a very low literate people especially women in Pakitan but a high poverty ratio.

Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had been working on different issues but unfortunately no one took the responsibility for providing quality education except The Citizens Foundation (TCF) in an efficient way to improve the literacy rate in these areas.

TCF is an NGO that provides quality education to kids in backward and underdeveloped areas of the country on a charity basis. The NGO has built 20 schools in Thatta and Badin districts to provide quality education to the poor and deprived people of the lower Sindh area.

Ghani Gases Ltd(GGL) gross profit margins improve sharply

Ghani Gases Ltd (GGL),a subsidiary of Ghani Glass Ltd(GHGL) experienced revenue growth with gross margin mounting to 31.5% in 9MFY11 from 1.4% in the corresponding period of last year.
Calcium Carbide, the jewel in the crown, which management expects to yield 25-30% of the total revenue in coming years.It has set up a boosting system to improve its operating efficiency and better utilization of plant facilities which can be evident by ratio of cost of sales to net sales which decreased to 68.5 %.

Pakistan can produce very cheap electricity from Thar coal reserves,Dr. Samar Mubarak Mand says

The renowned scientist of Pakistan atomic energy commission Dr Samar Mumbarkmand on Saturday said the country had the third biggest coal reserves in the world which could be utilized for producing cheap electricity.
He also said that scientists were working on the Thar-Coal project to meet the growing demand of the electricity in the country. The estimated cost of the current project is 115 million dollars, he said.
This Thar-Coal project will yield 100 Mega Watt (MW) electricity, he added.
He said that 40% electricity in the world is generated through coal.
Dr.Samar Mumbarakmand said besides producing of cheaper electricity, hundred million barrel diesel and gas could be produced through Thar-coal which would be sufficient for thirty years time.
Thar-coal field has enough reserves for 500 years, he added.

Losses suffered by Pakistan due to war on terror reaches to $67.93bn

Pakistan economy has suffered direct and indirect losses of upto 67.93 billion dollars due its role as a frontline state in war on terror since 2001.Terrorism, militancy and extremism is currently the biggest issue faced by Pakistan economy.
According to Pakistan Economic Survey 2010-11, the events that happened after 9/11 in Afghanistan worsened the security environment in the country.
The war on terror has spread widely especially since 2006 into settled areas of the country that has so far taken lives of over 35,000 citizens and 3,500 security personnels.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Expression of interest (EoI) invited for secondary public offering of PPL shares

The Privatisation Commission (PC) is inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) from lead managers/book runner(s), for the secondary public offering of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) approximately 2.5percent (21,105,688) shares through domestic stock exchange(s). While govt of Pakistan (GoP) presently holds 70.56percent shares of PPL.
PPL is a big public company in oil and gas exploration sector, contributing almost 25 percent of the country’s total natural gas supplies besides producing crude oil, natural gas liquid and liquefied petroleum gas LPG. Its proven recoverable reserves are 2.87 Tcf of natural gas, 14.8 bbl of oil/NGL and 316,000 tonnes of LPG. PPL is listed on all 3 stock exchanges in Pakistan.
Lead manager/book runner(s) who has recognised equity sales and distribution capabilities and demonstrable track record of successfully managing and executing similar transactions will manage the said transaction.

RAC FBR thinks deeply about CGT over immovable property

Revenue Advisory Council (RAC) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has begun contemplating for imposing Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the sale of immoveable properties to increase revenue potential of the real estate sector in the country, official sources informed.
The federal govt has already decided to continue exploring new avenues for the generation of domestic resources for the country, and RAC meetings are to continue in the next fiscal year despite announcement of the federal budget 2011-12.
Legal wing of the FBR brought it to the notice of members of the RAC that passage of the 18th Amendment did not impose any restriction on the imposition of CGT on the sale of immoveable property.
After the fact was brought to its notice RAC was given this task to examine the rate of CGT on the sale of newly purchased immoveable property and the rate of tax on the sale of immoveable properties purchased few decades ago.

The sources also informed that real issue in the imposition of CGT is the real valuation of such properties, as sellers and buyers of immoveable properties conceal actual present value and complete sale deeds on value some 3 times lesser than the present day value of immoveable properties in all big cities.

University of Karachi (KU)announces M.Ed Annual Exam results

The University of Karachi on Saturday announced the result of M.Ed (Evening Programme) First year Annual Exam 2010.
According to statistics, 68 candidates appeared in the examination and the pass percentage remained at 72.06 %.
The University also notified the M.Ed (Evening Programme) second year Annual Exam 2010.
In all, 60 candidates appeared while the pass percentage was 66.67%.

PTCL to provide Data Centre service,signs agreement with 1link

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited will provide Data Centre services, MPLS connectivity for 30+ participant banks and long-haul connectivity.
PTCL turned another milestone by the entry of 1LINK (Guarantee) Limited in its corporate customer’s portfolio.
1LINK (Guarantee) Limited is a consortium of major banks that owns and operates the largest representative shared financial services network of Pakistan.It has steadily increased the strength and services of 1LINK (Guarantee) Limited. 1LINK (Guarantee) Limited has become a widely acknowledged brand with an increasing number of member banks.It is serving as a catalyst for the development of e-Banking in the country.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited, the largest telecommunication service provider in the country is pleased to provide this prestigious institution a bouquet of its services.
These services offer secure,reliable and integrated end to end connectivity solutions to cater 1LINK’s requirements. PTCL also aspires to equip 1LINK with its state of the art services.

Islamabad police hire sniffer dogs for security check

The capital city police have hired sniffer dogs and deployed them on the city’s main 5 entry points to foil bids to smuggle explosives into the capital.

These dogs have been hired from a private centre run by a retired officer of Pakistan Army in Murree hills. The hired dogs include a German Shepherd, Golden Labrador, and a Rottweiler.

Police have requested the city’s administration and the federal interior ministry to arrange sniffer dogs to counter terrorism which struck the city after a gap of over a year. At least two people were killed and five others injured as a suicide bomber struck outside a private bank in the capital on 13th June – only a day after 3 people were injured in an explosion near Bhara Kahu area.

Police told that efforts were in progress to get at least seventy two sniffer dogs to assist the policemen deployed at every check point in and around the city to counter terrorist attacks.

Apart from deploying the 5 dogs, police also hire dogs for “temporary deployment” in various parts of Islamabad.

New regulator for drugs(medicine) business in Pakistan

The federal govt has formulated a draft proposal to set up a new authority to regulate registration and sale of drugs.

The Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan (DRAP) will operate on the same lines of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the USA – looking after the regulation of food and drug industry in US.

Currently the pharmaceutical industry in the country is regulated by a department working under the administrative control and jurisdiction of the federal health ministry.

According to an official, who did not want to be disclosed, currently the authority of registering drugs rest with the federal director general health. “Licensing of drugs comes under the additional secretary of the ministry while the secretary looks after the pricing.

It is expected that DRAP would be a powerful institution like other regulators of the federal government of Pakistan and will play its role to curb the menace of fake and substandard drugs and food items.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Conspiracy Revealed against Pakistan Armed Forces

Does Sindh rangers' personnels killed an innocent young boy in Karachi or a criminal who carried a weapon, tried not to obey the orders and also tried to snatch the gun?

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) high-ups pay huge fees for lawyers to avoid Rs 2bn scam

The Supreme Court was informed Friday that the high-ups of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) gave millions of rupees to prominent lawyers, who appeared before the apex court in misuse and embezzlement of Rs 2 billions bank’s staff welfare fund.

Hashmat Habib, the counsel for office-bearers of Bank’s workers union argued before a three-member bench, headed by CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that the govt departments could not pay legal fee more than Rs 0.1 million to any lawyer without the prior approval of Ministry of Law and Justice. The learned lawyer said his petition had been pending in the apex court against charging of millions of rupees as fee by senior lawyers including Sharifuddin Peerzada in Pakistan Steel Mills corruption case. He requested the court to take up his case because these departments pay lawyers fees from public exchequer not from their own pockets.

At this, Hafeez Peerzada,the counsel for NBP exchanged harsh words with him. Mr Peerzada rejecting the allegation said he had never taken huge fees. He said he had voluntarily appeared in many case even without getting fee.

During the course of proceedings, the court expressed its annoyance over the FIA for not registering the cases against the alleged NBP officials who had misused the employees’ welfare fund. The court directed the FIA to proceed against the accused persons and submit report by June 23,2011.

Pak Army supports commission on journalist Saleem Shahzad killing

ISPR, on Friday, stated concern on unfounded and baseless insinuation’s being voiced in a section of print and electronic media against Pakistan Army particularly ISI in regard to murder of a journalist Saleem Shahzad. It was told that such negative accusations were also labelled against ISI in some previous cases but investigations proved them wrong. The spokesperson of ISPR strongly backed formation of a commission to investigate the murder of Saleem Shahzad. The case must be investigated thoroughly and facts made known to the public, the spokesperson said.

First patients enroll in US stem cell trials on blindness

The first clinical trials that examine the use of stem cells to treat two forms of blindness are ready to begin now that patients have been enrolled, a US company announced on Thursday.

A total of twentyfour patients have entered two separate trials at an eye institute in California, said representatives from the Massachusetts-based Advanced Cell Technology.

ACT was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration several months ago to begin clinical trials of human embryonic stem cells to treat a form of juvenile blindness known as Stargardt’s disease and dry age-related macular degeneration disease.

Now that patients have been enrolled, the trials will begin “in the very near future,” the company told.

The trials aim to check the safety of the treatment before moving on to see whether the therapy can help stop vision loss.

Dry age-related macular degeneration is the most common form of irreversible vision loss in people over age 55.

There is currently no cure for the disease, which affects around 10-15 million Americans and another 10 million people in Europe, the company said.

Stargardt’s disease causes blindness by destroying the pigmented layer of retina, called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). After that follows degradation of photoreceptors, which are cells in retina that detect light.

Patients often experience blur vision, difficulty seeing in low light and ultimately most lose their ability to see altogether. This disease can be inherited by a child when two parents carry the gene that causes it.

Treatment process being tested by ACT worked in animals by creating an abundance of new RPE cells, which are the first cells to die off in Stargardt’s and other forms of macular degeneration.

Tests on rats have shown 100 % improvement in visual performance and “near-normal function” was also achieved in mice, both without negative side effects, ACT has said.

Embryonic stem cell research has been a controversial subject ever since the first such stem cells were isolated more than 12 years ago.

Scientists say the cells offer great promise in treating Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and several other diseases especially genetically transmitted ones.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Peshawar waits for modern scanner to be installed to help avert terror incidents

KPK govt allocated of Rs 18.4 billion for law and order in the 2011-12 budget but the much-awaited explosive detectors have still not been provided to the terrorism and militancy-plagued Khyber Pakhtunkhwa though the Chinese government has already provided it through soft loan of $ 2.96 million in July 2009.
Though these modern gadgets have already been installed in Islamabad and in Swat too during military operation of 2009 but it is not known yet that why these scanners have not been installed at important entry points of Peshawar especially the routes from Darra Adam Khail and Khyber Agency.
As terror attacks are common in the provincial capital, comprehensive security measures are the need of the hour as the residents of Peshawar are no more ready to see their nears and dears in this blood bath frequently.
To tackle the menace of terrorism, both the provincial and Federal govts should take preventive measures and identify the roots through which the high quality explosives are being supplied to the heart of the provincial capital city.

Pakistan’s first ATM skimmer(hacker) brought before court

Senior Civil Judge(Islamabad)Mahmood Haroon Thursday rejected the bail plea of local university students who prepared a skimmer to illegally get data from ATM cards and deprived cardholders of millions of rupees bringing the credit card fraud into the country. Meanwhile the court ordered Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to submit a complete challan within a month.

A FIR vide 01/2011 dated 20-01-11 was registered against Mr.Zaheer Ahmed, Nasir Abbas, Amir Shahzad, Muhammad Javed and Mustaqeem under section 36 and 37 of Electronic Transaction Ordinance (ETO) 2002 with FIA crime circle, Rawalpindi. The complaint was lodged by Syed Mustafa Ali Raza, Fraud Management Unit- North, Islamabad.

FIA conducted an inquiry (No, RE-11/11) and found Zaheer Ahmed, a resident of Chatha Bakhtawar, along with Nasir Abbas, Amir Shahzad, Muhammad Javed and Mustaqeem Ahmed embroiled in unauthorized access to the credit cards data. It was further revealed that when 14 Bank Al-Falah Credit Cardholders made a genuine transaction at Tri Star Petroleum (PSO) in 1-10 Markaz, Islamabad, the accused Zaheer Ahmed along with others fraudulently accessed the information systems of Bank / Visa International / Master Cards data and subsequently made fraudulent transactions on the same card accounts by using the counterfeit credit cards incurring Bank Al-Falah a loss of over Rs one million.

According to FIA Zaheer is a university student of electronics engineering and locally prepared skimmer to extract data from ATM cards. This credit card crime known as skimming in foreign countries is almost unprecedented in Pakistan.

The defence lawyer Thursday said that his clients were brilliant students and got embroiled in the crime due to their unemployment. He said they acknowledge their mistake and are willing to cooperate with FIA. He argued the maximum punishment prescribed for the offence in the law is 7-year imprisonment and normally bail is granted in the cases having less than 10-year imprisonment, therefore, the accused was entitled to be released on bail in the case which required further inquiry.

FIA investigations revealed that Zaheer had two skimmers, one to extract information from a card with a magnetic strip, classically a credit card, when it is used in a legitimate financial transaction. Once collected on the device, the skimmer can be used to make a clone or copy of the card, which can be used for illegal fraudulent purposes, or the collected information can be utilized for online and over the phone transactions which do not require a physical credit card but only the information on the card.

Fertilizer sector facing 25% gas shortage

The fertilizer companies are currently facing gas shortage of around 200mmcfd against an average daily demand of 800 million cubic feet of gas.
According to a data, the fertilizer sector consumes 15% of country’s whole natural gas while the existing gas shortage of 25 % or 200mmcfd may not end in near future, however, it will be reduced to 15 percent in next two years after additional gas of 400-450mmcfd addition to the system.
However, in short-term the situation would remain crucial with 35 pct gas shortage in Sui network (unless government allocates additional gas from other sectors) while plants on Mari network would face 15 percent gas shortage.
Experts said that in this scenario the local manufacturers including fertilizer plants of Engro and Fatima, will continue to raise urea prices to avoid production losses.
Figures reveal that Pakistan’s gas distribution network is segmented into three companies namely SNGPL, SSGC and Mari Gas with market share of 46 percent, 29 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
In addition, there are few E&P companies which directly supply gas to power sector with a market share of 10 percent. Over the last 3-years (FY09-FY11), total gas supply from Sui-network (SNGPL & SSGC) remained stagnant around 2,600mmcfd while gas supplies from Mari have increased by an average 3 percent to 504mmcfd.
Interestingly, Mari is the biggest supplier of gas to fertilizers with a lion share of 70 percent followed by SNGPL (19 percent) and SSGC (11 percent). During ongoing FY11, average gas supply from Sui network to fertilizer stood at an average 177mmcfd (down 11 percent). This is estimated to be 35 percent lower than actual demand of more than 300mmcfd in Sui network. This is inclusive of additional demand from Engro’s new 1.3m tons urea plant having long term contract with SNGPL. In case govt restores full gas to Engro’s new plant (at the expense of other sectors), gas shortage may reduce to 20 %.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Rules , guarantee equal to 100percent amount of taxes

Pakistan to get insurance guarantee equal to 100perect amount of taxes from Afghan importers.They will give insurance guarantee equivalent to 100percent the amount of duties applicable on goods imported for Afghanistan through Pakistan’s land route. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) here on Wednesday notified in this regard.

Custom security in the form of insurance guarantee from an insurance company of good repute shall cover all import levies, including but not limited to customs duty, regulatory duty, sales tax, additional sales tax, federal excise duty, income tax etc, and any other import levy chargeable on goods so carried, the rules revealed.

Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Rules have also made it mandatory for Afghan transporters to furnish bank guarantee equivalent to 25 % of the duties and taxes on Afghan trucks entering into Pakistan territory for carrying goods to Afghanistan.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) bars APML from contesting elections

On Wednesday The first meeting of senior officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan after its reconstitution in the light of 18th Amendment was held here .
Senior Election Commission officers including the secretary, the chief election commissioner and the four newly-appointed members attended the meeting that discussed different issues. The applications of fourteen political parties for registration were also accepted during the meeting. The parties include Tehreek-e-Sooba Hazara, Pakisatn Ittehad Yaqeen Tanzeem Party, Justice and Development Party Pakistan, Young Blood Christian League, Pakistan Muslim League ‘H’ Haqiqi, Pakisatn Dharti Maan Party, Awami Justice Party, Pakistan Patriotic Movement, Sindh Taraqi Passand Party (STP), Allah-o-Akbar Tahreek, Peoples Democratic League, Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan, Tahreek Bahali-e-Sooba Bahawalpur Pakistan and Pakistan Basic Rights Movement.
The ECP resolved that since the matter of by-polls is pending before the Supreme Court and the attorney general has already made a statement that status of these by-elections could be validated through an amendment in the constitution, therefore, the ECP may await the final decision by the apex court.
The Election Commission of Pakistan barred the party of former president Pervez Musharraf - All Pakistan Muslim League(APML) - to participate in the elections. The ECP raised some objections over the name and electoral symbol of Pervez Musharraf’s party.
Commenting on legal status of the recent by-election, the commission urged the govt to get it validated from the parliament.

Pakistan Army arrests several people spying for CIA

The Pakistan Army said that several people have been arrested across the country for spying for CIA and investigation in this regard is under way. However, the Army denied Wednesday that one of its majors was among the arrested who New York Times say were arrested helping US before the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The New York Times, which first reported the arrests of five Pakistani informants, said an army major was detained who copied licence plates of cars visiting the Al-Qaeda chief’s compound in Pakistan in the weeks before the raid. But ISPR spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas denied an army major was arrested, saying the report was ‘false and totally baseless’.
“No Pakistani soldier is under arrest, but we are interrogating several people whom we suspect of having been working for American intelligence services,” Inter Services Public Relations spokesman Brigadier Azmat Abbas told the BBC.
He said that among those arrested were people ‘captured during a raid at a house located close to the Bin Laden compound’. “We suspect them of having been working for CIA,” he added. “Others being interrogated include people who used to visit the compound.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

75% aid to Pakistan by US to be withheld

The House Appropriations Committee approved a US defence bill on Tuesday proposing withholding of 75 % of the $1.1 billion aid to Pakistan for the next fiscal year until the Obama administration reports to Congress on how it would spend the said amount.It also gave additional power to Congress to review US assistance to Pakistan. This would ensure that Pakistan cooperates with the US in the war against terror, as stipulated in the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill.

Unauthorised Madressahs in Islamabad

The federal capital Islamabad has a total of 153 Madressahs (seminaries) but all of them are `unauthorised` and have been built without approval of the government, it has been learnt.

“There are 153 madressahs in Islamabad and they all are unauthorised as no permission was got for their construction from the civic body CDA,” said Capital Development Authority director general (planning) Sarwar Sindu.

The official said each mosque in the city had a madressah despite the fact that there was no provision for building a seminary in any mosque.

Under the fresh survey jointly conducted by the CDA and local administration/police; 56 mosques and the 153 seminaries have been found `unauthorised`. But the government seems helpless in taking action against them, said sources in the local administration.

“The survey was conducted on the directives of Interior Ministry to ascertain the number of unauthorised Muslim worship places and seminaries,” said Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Amer Ali Ahmed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

4 new medical colleges in Punjab soon

Provincial Minister for Labour Haji Ehsaan-ud-Din Qureshi has said that 4 new medical colleges would be opened up in the province in health sector whereas two medical colleges each at Lahore and Faisalabad would be launched by the labour department. He told that the govt in order to provide specialised treatment/diagnostic facilities near to the workplace of labourers, has established satellite clinics under the Labour Department.
He said that government was implementing a comprehensive programme for providing modern educational as well as state-of-the-art healthcare facilities to the labourers and workers’ children. He said that Daanish School programme of the Punjab Chief Minister will not only help in this direction but will also open up new avenues of progress and development. He said that setting up of computer labs in thousands of schools, establishment of centers of excellence, provision of missing facilities in 10 thousand schools besides a number of steps have been taken for this purpose.
He also told that all government schools would be given the status of English medium schools in 2011 while Punjab government is also lunching a vigorous campaign for primary enrolment this year.

Monday, June 13, 2011

13 new blood banks soon in Pakistan

In order to meet the country’s blood needs, 13 centralised blood banks will be established in Karachi, interior of Sindh and other parts of the country. Govt of Germany will support this project with the cost of 15 million euro. This was stated by the Head of the National Blood Transfusion Services Pakistan Dr. Hassan Abbas Zaheer, while addressing to the participants of a media workshop on “Safe Blood” held at the Husaini Blood Bank head office.

Indo-Pak relaxed visa regime likely from September

India and Pakistan are likely to have a relaxed visa regime for journalists, businessmen and senior citizens of both the countries from September 2011.
The two countries are almost agreed for amendments in the existing visa agreement at the Joint Working Group meetings for finalisation of a pact at the next Home Secretary-level talks expected to be held in September.

India has proposed relaxed norms for issuance of visas to journalists, businessmen, senior citizens and patients travelling for medical treatment. “Under the proposal, these visas will not be city specific and visa holders will be allowed to travel across the country,: an indian official said. India has proposed that anyone travelling to India with a valid visa who wants to travel again within a span of two years should be exempted from the time-consuming security background checks process which is done from here.

Low conviction rate of the terrorists,military seems disturbed

Pakistan military hi-ups have expressed serious concern over what they call dismally low rate of terrorists’ conviction by courts throughout the country and have asked the government to see if some necessary changes could be made in the laws.

At a recent meeting between top civilian and military bosses, the sources said, the issue of increasing number of terrorists securing easy acquittals from courts, mainly in the absence of adequate evidence, came up and it was decided to have a complete review of the law of evidence.

It has been decided to review all laws relating to handling of terrorists, in particular the law of evidence should be carefully studied and loopholes be identified for amendment or where there was a need for addition or a new law, the matter must be decided on a priority basis by the ministry of law.

The military, the sources said, was particularly worried about the terrorists who had been arrested since the launch of army operations in Malakand division and FATA, but eventually acquitted by courts due to bad prosecution by the police.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

44% population of Pakistan is deprived of clean drinking water

In Pakistan an estimated 44 per cent of the population is without access to safe and clean drinking water while in rural areas 90 per cent of the population lacks such access.

As one indication of the severity of the problem, it is estimated that about .2 million children in Pakistan die every year of diarrheal diseases alone, according to a report of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR).

Pakistan was a water rich country just a few decades ago; however, a recent World Bank Report mentioned that Pakistan is now among the seventeen countries that are currently facing water shortage.

Major source of drinking water in the country is groundwater, so water availability is the second most serious issue.

This becomes even more problematic as estimated level of water available may decline considerably in the foreseeable future.

PTCL enhances VSAT Skylink services

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has enhanced an exciting VSAT ‘Skylink’ satellite communication service for its corporate customers. PTCL has offered SKYLINK,a very small aperture terminal satellite communication service for domestic and international communication aplications. This features leased line SCPC services for domestic and international connectivity, (TDMA/DVB-S2) Enterprise applications. Skylink services are based on advanced satellite technology providing dedicated point-to-point and point-to-multipoint connectivity, high-quality satellite solutions for bandwidth requirements starting from 64kbps or lower to 2mbps or higher.

Acumen Funds a good way to serve the poor

Acumen Fund invests patient capital to identify, strengthen and scale business models that effectively serve the poor and champions this approach as an effective complement to traditional aid. Acumen Fund currently manages more than $60 million in investments in South Asia and East Africa, all focused on delivering affordable healthcare, water, housing and energy to the poor in Pakistan, India and Kenya. Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund told that this is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems that are causes of global poverty. She also founded Duterimbere, a micro-finance institution in Rwanda. She started her career in international banking with Chase Manhattan Bank.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia demands 20,000 skilled labour

Pakistan Investors Forum in KSA has demanded 20,000 skilled labour force from NAVTEC.
A five-member delegation of Pakistan Investors Forum in KSA led by Minister of Trade of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Hajab Gul called on the Chairman NAVTEC Muhammad Mumtaz Akhtar Kahloon on Saturday in his office and discussed about provision of skilled labour.
GM of the Saudi Arabia’s internationally renowned construction company Bin Laden Sajjad Anwar demanded 10,000 carpenters and 10,000 masons to NAVTEC during the meeting.
Moreover, CEO of Bin Laden Group Muhammad Yousaf Ibrahim demanded 100 pre-casting workers for his company and another 100 skilled workers for his five-star hotel in Jeddah. Skilled labour has also been demanded for Fibre Optics and Medium Voltage.
Chairman of NAVTEC Muhammad Mumtaz Akhtar Kahloon, while welcoming the delegation in his office called on the delegation members to pursue Pakistan Executive Forum and Pakistan Engineering Forum in KSA for placing maximum demand for Pakistani skilled labour of different sectors. He assured the delegation that NAVTEC would get prepared skilled manpower from Pakistan’s vocational and technical institutions according to their required standardised curricula and demand.
Export of more than 20,000 skilled labour force to the kingdom would be a model project for the NAVTEC. “After this successful project, Pakistan would export skilled manpower to other Gulf, European, North/South American and African countries according to their required standardised certification and curricula,” he added.

Sindh Governor hands over shop keys to Boulton Market shopkeepers

Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad on Saturday handed over keys of newly constructed shops to the shopkeepers of Boulton market whose shops and markets were set on fire by angry protesters after blast in an Ashura rally 18 months back.
“Government today fulfilled its promise made to the bisinessmen of Boulton market,” he said at a ceremony held at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
The Governer told it was with the help of the coalition partners in Sindh govt, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani that we completed a gigantic task to compensate the shopkeepers and reconstruct the markets destroyed in arson attack by mob. “The gigantic task to rebuild the markets, though still underway, was carried out with funding of Rs 3.5 billion contributed by PM, the president and Sindh govt,” he said.

Sindh govt has decided to establish consumer courts

The Sindh govt has decided to establish consumer courts in the financial year 2011-12,apart from providing justice to the consumers it will also generate 17,000 jobs.The govt has allocated Rs2.5 billion for the Benazir Bhutto Youth Development Programme and Rs200 million for support of landless peasants in the province.

This was announced by Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at a post-budget press conference in a local hotel on Saturday.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hackers access Citi bank card data

Computer hackers breached the Citi bank’s network and accessed data on thousands of bank card holders.
Citigroup said about one percent of its card customers were affected by this breach, which a report in the Financial Times said had been discovered in May during routine monitoring.
The names of customers, account numbers and contact information, including email addresses, were viewed by the hackers, the bank told.
However, the bank said that other information such as birth dates, social security numbers, card expiration dates and card security codes (CVV) were not compromised.
“We are contacting customers whose information was impacted. Citi has implemented enhanced procedures to prevent a recurrence of this type of event,” Sean Kevelighan, a US-based spokesperson said.
Citigroup joins a growing list of companies that have suffered such cyber attacks.
Data storage firm EMC Ltd offered to replace millions of electronic keys after hackers used data from its RSA security division to break into the network of arms supplier and information technology provider Lockheed Martin.
Electronics giant Sony has reported several attacks, including one in which hackers accessed the personal information on seventy seven million PlayStation Network and Qriocity accounts. Sony was then criticised for the delay in telling account holders that their information had been stolen by hackers.

Biometric border control installed at Pak-Afghan border by Afghan Govt

Afghan govt has installed biometric border control system at the passage to Spin Boldak from Chaman.

This hi-tech system at the main entrance of the passage has been installed along the Bab-e-Dosti and would collect data from thousands of persons and vehicles’ entering Afghanistan from Chaman through scanning.Afghan officials told that the new system would help in curbing militancy.

Five years ago the Pakistan govt had installed the biometric system at the Chaman border. Then it was opposed by Afghan govt and the bordering tribes who attacked and stoned Bab-e-Dosti which resulted in the closure of the border for several days. This forced the Pak govt to make the system dysfunctional and it remains so till date.