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Shafqat Hussain

Islamabad — The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday deferred the execution of death row convict Shafqat Hussain for one day.

Justice Athar Minallah today took up a petition against Federation investigation Agency’s inquiry into its Shafqat’s age. The petition was filed by a rights organization – Justice Project Pakistan (JPP).

During the hearing, Shafqat’s counsel Dr. Tariq Hassan Advocate said that FIA was not the competent authority to determine his client’s age and it was the prerogative of a judicial commission.

Issuing interim order on the petition, IHC ordered to halt his execution for one day and ordered the lawyers of both parties to complete their arguments.

Justice Athar Minallah inquired the government lawyer that who had issued the directives to hold inquiry to determine Shafqat’s age.

The lawyer informed the court that it was conducted on interior ministry’s directives.

Justice Athar Minallah said that following Supreme Court’s order in 2003, the investigation of Shafqat’s age by FIA was illegal.

Shafqat was convicted for kidnapping and killing a seven-year-old boy for ransom in 2004 and sentenced to death by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) late the same year.

It is the third time that Shafqat’s execution has been delayed.

He was first scheduled to be executed on January 14 this year, however, the government put it on hold amid protests by civil society activists, who contended that Shafqat was a juvenile when he committed the crime, and ordered FIA to conduct inquiry into his age.

He was later scheduled to be sent to gallows on March 19 but it was postponed for three days and then for 30 days after civil society members staged a protest against his execution outside presidency.

On April 24, after FIA inquiry concluded that Shafqat was 23-year-old when he committed the crime, the court re-issued death warrant for him, according to which he was scheduled to be hanged on May 6 at 5:30 am.

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votes

Lahore – An Election Tribunal here on Monday declared polls in NA-125 null and void and ordered re-election in Lahore Cantt constituency.

The tribunal tribunal has also ordered re-polling in PP-155 constituency.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Khawaja Saad Rafique had emerged victorious from the NA-125 in May 2013 general elections after bagging 123,416 votes while Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaf’s (PTI) Hamid Khan Advocate had secured 84,495 votes to finish as runner-up.

Hamid Khan had challenged Rafique’s victory in election tribunal, seeking inspection of polling record.

Announcing the reserved decision of the case today, the tribunal declared Rafique disqualified as member of National Assembly, which means he no longer holds office of railways minister.

Tribunal judge said that massive irregularities were found in NA-125 during inspection and directed Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold a re-election in the constituency within 60 days.

In December last year, a report submitted by NADRA to election tribunal had revealed that 280 of 1254 votes polled in five of 265 polling stations were found out to be ‘bogus’ during recounting.

The 125-page report also stated that in a polling station, 12 people polled votes twice and in another polling booth a person casted six votes. It also revealed that CNIC numbers mentioned on a number of counterfoils were also unauthentic.

Rafique’s lawyers, meanwhile, have expressed dissatisfaction over tribunal decision and said that they are considering to challenge it in Supreme Court.

On the other hand, the same tribunal has also ordered re-election in PP-155.

PML-N’s Mian Naseer had been declared winner in the Punjab Assembly constituency in 2013 polls while PTI’s Hafiz Farhat Abbas was runners-up.

Abbas had challenged the election result in the tribunal, accusing his PML-N rival rigging the polls.

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Zulfiqar Mirza

Badin/Karachi – Badin police on Sunday lodged three FIRs against estranged Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader Zulfiqar Mirza and former Sindh home minister and his supporters under Anti-Terrorism Act after they allegedly attacked a police station.

According to media reports, police have arrested three persons nominated in the FIR.

All it began on Sunday after police tried to arrest Naeem Ahmed Mughal, one of Mirza’s close aides. However, his supporters intercepted police and foiled their bid to arrest him.

Mughal, a trader leader, had led a political rally in Mirza’s support on Thursday after which police had re-opened an old car theft case against him.

Accompanied by his supporters, Mirza stormed Model Police Station Badin and asked DSP Ghulam Qadir Samon to lodge case against SSP Badin Khaild Mustafa Korai for ‘illegally’ detaining his supporters.

Upon DSP refusal to register FIR, Zulfiqar reportedly damaged furniture in the police station and broke police officer’s mobile phone.

Mirza and his supporters also reportedly forcibly closed the shops of traders who had lodged FIR against Nadeem. They later staged sit-in at Qazia Bridge and blocked the road.

Addressing his supporters on the occasion, Mirza said that he has begun fight against Asif Ali Zardari and his corrupt party because of which Sindh government is lodging false cases against him and arresting his supporters.

Mirza said the cases won’t make him afraid and he will not bow down.

The situation turned further tense after PPP leaders Taj Muhammad Mallah and Imtiaz Ahmed Memon led rally of workers and traders against the forceful closure of shops by Mirza’s loyalists.

The PPP workers resorted to aerial shooting and staged a two-hour sit-in outside Badin Police Station.

The protesters also desecrated the posters of Zulfiqar Mirza, his wife Fahmeeda Mirza and son Husnain Mirza in two different areas.

Later two more cases were lodged against Mirza and his supporters on Mallah’s complaint under the sections of violence, damage of public property and forceful closure of shops.

Late night SSP Malir Rao Anwar was replaced with Mustafa Korai as SSP Badin.

SSP Badin and SSP Thatha have been given the task to arrest Mirza and a heavy large contingent of the Sindh Police’s reserve force has been summoned from adjacent districts including Matyari, Jamshoroo, Hyderabad and Tandu Mohammad Khan in view of perilous situation in Badin.

Credible sources said action for Mirza’s arrest could be launched anytime on Monday.

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Karachi — An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi on Saturday issued fresh death warrant for ex-Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker Saulat Mirza, according to which he’ll be executed at 4:00 am on May 12 in Mach Jail.

Mirza was sentenced to death by an ATC in 1999 after being found guilty of killing then Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) Managing Director Shahid Hamid along with his guard and driver near Karachi’s Defence area in 1997.

Mirza’s previous scheduled execution on March 19 was deferred a few hours before after he claimed in a video confession that he killed Shahid Hamid on MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s directives.

In the confessional statement, he had also leveled several other serious allegations on Altaf Hussain and other party leaders.

Later, a Joint Investigation Team constituted by Sindh Home Department on federal government’s directives had also grilled Mirza regarding his claims.

On March 24, ATC had reissued black warrants tor Mirza and ordered the jail authorities to send him to the gallows on April 1. However, President Mamoon Hussain had further delayed his execution for 30 days on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s request.

Last week, ATC had returned an application filed by superintendent of the Mach jail seeking re-issuance of Mirza’s death warrants with objection.

After removing the objection, the jail authorities had refiled the application, on which ATC today issued death warrant for the condemned prisoner for a third time.

 

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Islamabad — Issuing a new advice to TV channels in the wake of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s recent criticism on security institutions, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Friday barred them from broadcasting hateful speeches against national security and integrity.

According to reports, PEMRA, in an advice issued to TV channels under section 27 of the PEMRA Amendment Act 2007, has stated that the broadcasting of any spiteful material against judiciary, Pakistan Army or any other security institutions is strictly prohibited.

The federal government, in a letter written to Acting Chairman PEMRA Pervez Rathore, had expressed deep concern over the live telecast of MQM chief’s derogatory remarks against security institutions by some media channels and sought stern action against them.

In the letter, written by federal Information Secretary Mohammad Azam on the directives of Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid, the government had also asked not to allow live broadcast of hateful speeches by political leaders.

The regulatory body, subsequently, issued showcase notices to 14 news channels late on Friday night.

PEMRA spokesperson, in a statement issued to media, said that the channels have been directed to only broadcast a live address after making sure that the national security institutions would not be targeted and demeaned in it.

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Malala yousafzai

Swat —An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Swat on Thursday awarded life imprisonments to ten militants involved in attack on teenage education activist Malala Yosuafzai.

The accused Adnan, Zafar Iqbal, Hazrat Bilal, Izhar, Salman, Irfan, Ikram, Shaukat Ali, Zafar Ali, and Israr Rehman were sentenced to 25 years in prison by ATC Judge Mohammad Amin Kondi in Mingora.

Malala was shot in head by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) gunmen in October 2012 in her hometown of Swat Valley in October 2012 for in response to her campaigning for girls’ education. Two of her friends Kainat Riaz and Shaiza Ramzan were also injured in the attack.

The FIR of attack was registered in Saidu Sharif Police Station.

The assailants were arrested along with the weapons they used in the attack during various raids in Fizagat, Ningolai and Nawakaley areas of Swat.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesperson Major Asim Saleem Bajwa, while announcing the arrest of 10 men in September last year, had said that they carried out attack on the directives of TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah.

Last year, Malala had jointly won Nobel Peace Prize with India’s Kailash Satyarthi, becoming the youngest-ever Nobel laureate.

 

 

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General Raheel Sharif

Karachi – Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has said that the targeted operation in Karachi is being carried out ‘across the board’ without any discrimination which will continue till its logical ending.

During his visit to Corps Headquarters in Karachi on Wednesday, Army Chief said that the targeted operation is bringing relief in Karachi in terms of target killings and extortion and such incidents have significantly reduced.

According to a statement issued by Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) spokesperson Major Asim Saleem Bajwa, General Raheel said that restoration peace in Karachi is a top priority for the revival of economic activity and providing relief to the people of metropolis.

Army Chief’s visit came days after human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud was killed by unknown gunmen in Defence area.

Yesterday a Dr. Washeedur Rehman, an assistant professor of Karachi University, was also shot dead by the anonymous assailants in FB area.

COAS said that the recent incidents of target killing are being carried out under a certain pattern which is needed to be checked.

Army Chief directed the intelligence agencies and Rangers paramilitary forces to trace out the perpetrators of target killings, apprehend and unveil them.

He said that the Pakistan Army will continue to work with government and public to eliminate all mafias from Karachi.

Earlier, Crops Commander Naveed Mukhtar and Sindh Rangers’ Director Major General Bilal Akbar briefed General Raheel about operational preparedness, targeted operation in Karachi and overall security situation in the metropolis upon his arrival to in the headquarters.

The Army Chief expressed satisfaction over intelligence input and progress made in the Karachi operation so far.

He also commended the role of law enforcement agencies for ensuring peaceful by-election in NA-246 constituency last week.

COAS said that besides target killers and miscreants, their abettors and facilitators will be also arrested.

He also asked the Intelligence agencies to review their strategy while keeping in view recent wave of target killings in Karachi.

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Pistol

Karachi — An assistant professor the University of Karachi was gunned down by anonymous armed assailants in Karachi’s Federal B area on Wednesday.

According to police, six motorcycle riding assailants opened fire on Dr. Syed Wahidur Rehman’s Suzuki Cultus near Block 16 of FB area from both sides today afternoon.

Resultantly, 42-year-old Rehman received bullet wounds on face, head and chest and was killed on the spot while the assailants managed to flee.

He was an assistant professor in department of mass communication at University of Karachi.

Police reached the site following and incident and launched investigation.

Police said that they are looking Rehman’s murder from various angles, including its probably linking with the assassination of Professor Dr. Shakil Auj, who was a close associate of him.

Shakil Auj, the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area in September last year.

The educational activities at Karachi University were suspended following Rehman’s murder.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned professor’s broad daylight killing and sought a report of the incident from Sindh government.

Former president Asif Ali Zardar, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain and other political leaders have also condemned the killing.

Meanwhile, police has prepared initial investigation report of Rehman’s murder, according to the assailants fired ten bullets on his vehicle through 9mm pistol before fleeing.

Police said that bullet shells have been sent to forensic lab for tests.

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General Raheel Sharif

Rawalpindi– Chief of army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has said that peace and stability is returning to the country in the aftermath of military operations – Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber I.

Addressing military officers and soldiers during his visit to Bahawalpur on Tuesday, General Raheel said that Pakistan Army cannot divert focus from targeting terrorists in Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and breaking their networks in other parts of country.

According to Director General Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), COAS met officers and soldiers on the occasion and paid tribute to their professionalism, undeterred courage and sacrifices in war against terrorism.

General Raheel said that Pakistan Army will continue operations in the tribal region until a single terrorist is spare.

“Peaceful environment in and around the country is the army’s top priority,” he said.

COAS said that there is no challenge with couldn’t be countered. He said that young is generation an asset of the country and it will have to be encouraged to move forward.

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Talal Bugti

Quttea – Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) Nawabzada Talal Akber Bugti chief passed away on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was of 63.

According to his family sources, Talal’s health detonated last night and was shifted Combined Military Hospital (CMH), where he breathed his last.

He was also suffering from kidney ailment and had visited Islamabad last week for medical checkup.

Talal, son of slain Balcoh nationalist leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, is survived by three sons – Shah Zain Bugti, Gohram Bugti and Mir Chakar Bugti.

His body has been shifted to Bugti House in Quetta for final rites.

Born in Dera Bugti March 17 in 1952, Talal was fourth among siblings. He received his early education from Dera Bugti, Quetta and Acheson Collage in Lahore and graduation degree from University of Punjab.

Because of having a political background, Talal was active in politics from his student life.

After taking control of JWP following his father’s death, Talal became one of the most influential political figures of Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed grief over his death.

In a message, PM Nawaz, who is currently in London, lauded Talal’s services for the development of Balcoshistan and extended condolence to his family.