• London welcomes you all, says Mayor Sadiq Khan on visit to Karachi


    Geo News. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is currently on a goodwill visit to Pakistan to promote his ‘London is Open’ campaign, visited Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum Friday morning after arriving in Karachi last night.

    Speaking to the media after paying his respects at the Mausoleum, the mayor said he is proud to be visiting Karachi and that he has brought a message from London for everyone.

    “London welcomes you all, for education, business, tourism. London is open,” said Khan, adding that London is home to Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and people of all colours and races.

    The London mayor attended an event at the city’s Habib University later in the day, where he interacted with the students and answered their questions.

    “We should speak with the public on all issues such as health, education and other social matters,” he said, while emphasising the need for the youth to come forward and participate in politics.

    Responding to a question, Khan acknowledged that there has been a rise in acid attacks during the year and said that steps are being taken to counter the situation.

    An exhibition cricket match is set to be played at British Consulate in honour of the mayor’s visit, which will also be attended by Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

    Khan entered Pakistan from India via the Wagah Border Crossing on Wednesday and was received on the Pakistani side of the border by Mayor Lahore Col (retd) Mubashar Javed and senior government officials.

    After entering Pakistan, the London mayor shared on social media that he is the first British politician to make the journey from India to Pakistan via Wagah Border. He is also the first London Mayor to visit Pakistan in over 70 years.

    “Earlier today I crossed the border from India into Pakistan on foot – becoming the first British politician to make this journey in recent history.

    As I visit the vibrant cities of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad this week, I’m looking forward to deepening the bonds between London and Pakistan…..” he posted on Instagram.

    Khan met with Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif and visited the historical Badshahi Mosque.

    He also met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

    Pakistanis welcome in London: Sadiq Khan

    Speaking at an event related to his ‘London is Open’ campaign at Al Hamra Arts Council on Wednesday, Khan said he welcomes the people of Pakistan to his city.

    “Pakistanis are welcome to come to London to study and work. Many successful Londoners who are scientists, teachers, and business owners are Pakistanis.”

    He said that he hopes for good deals, friendships, and partnerships and added that London’s citizens have rejected the process of hatred and divide. “Better trade terms will be formed in coming years between Pakistan and London.”

    “After celebrating 70 years of Pakistan this year, I look forward to the next 70 years to celebrate the friendship between London and Pakistan.”

    Pakistanis welcome in London, says Sadiq Khan

    “The main reason I am here is to spread the message that London is Open for business, friendship, and trade,” he said while speaking to the media in Lahore. “I love Pakistan and am aware of the challenges faced by the country.”

    After the event, Sadiq Khan thanked Lahore mayor for hosting a cultural event on London mayor’s arrival.


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  • US drone will be shot down if violated Pakistan’s airspace, warns Air Chief


    Dunya News. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has on Thursday warned the United States that its drone will be shot down in case of any violation of Pakistan’s airspace.

    Soahil Aman expressed his views while addressing the opening ceremony of AirTech’17 at the Air University, Islamabad. The Air Chief said enemies are conducting terrorist activities in Pakistan through Afghanistan.

    Sohail Aman said we cannot change our neighbors, but Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is fully equipped and completely eligible to protect the borders. He said even Indian military officials admit the professional skills of PAF.

    Sohail Aman said the attack on Kamra Air Base was the most tragic incident in air force’s history. He said PAF suffered huge loss in the occurrence but did not lose hope. The Air Chief told that Sweden asked huge sum for repairing work of the damaged aircrafts which was then completed by PAF itself.

    The Air Chief told that PAF started making weapons itself after America stopped the supply. Pakistan Air Force built JF-17 when the delivery of F-16 jets was suspended, Sohail told. He further added that JF-17 is better than F-16 in four disciplines.

    Sohail Aman informed that PAF is soon going to make 5th-generation fighter planes under “Project Azm” by itself. The air force will be able to sale weapons after fulfilling own needs by 2020, and will launch a new satellite as well, he told.

    The Air Chief Marshal also talked about Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Rad-ul-Fasad, and said they helped in eliminating militants and extremism.


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  • Ahsan for private sector to capitalize business opportunities under CPEC


    The News International. Private sector has to play role of an engine of growth under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), framework attracting foreign investors and seeking joint ventures through multiple opportunities.

    Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said this while addressing as a keynote speaker at Sustainable Development Conference (SDC)-Seventy Years of Development : The Way Forward.

    Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is organizing the conference here from December 5 to 7 with objectives to provide an interactive forum to meet with experts and find relevant ideas and solutions.

    The minister also urged the business community to capitalize on business opportunities under CPEC, adding that infrastructural improvement will encourage greenfield industrial set-ups, with focus on value additive industries that will provide real platform for competitive trade in global economy.

    He said Pakistan of today is different from that of 2013 when economy was badly deteriorated, local industries were almost non-existent and 18-20 hour load-shedding was order of the day.

    He said that CPEC has enabled Pakistan to overcome critical bottlenecks of energy and transport infrastructure, and the stage is set for Pakistan to enter phase of industrial cooperation.

    The minister said China serves the best example and success story of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that have transformed their economy in a short time span. CPEC, therefore, provides best opportunity for our business community to learn Chinese experience, seek joint ventures with Chinese companies and enable transfer of top-notch technology to the country.

    He said external forces were hatching conspiracies to halt China-Pakistan Economic Corridor but they would never succeed in their sinister designs, adding that CPEC has brought a message of prosperity for entire region.

    The minister said enemies of Pakistan could not digest development in the country so they were targeting its economy, peace and stability to stop its progress.

    Ahsan Iqbal while talking about economic development said Pakistan is on path to progress and would make its way to top 20 economies by year 2030.

    “We have achieved 5.3 per cent highest growth rate in past 10 years while “Suqrat and Buqrat” who sit at televisions promote negativity instead of talking about our achievements,” he said and added this approach needs to be changed.

    He was of the view that growth target of 6.2 plus per cent could have been easily achieved provided peaceful and conducive environment prevailed in the country.

    The minister said that renowned rating agencies like WBC said that if Pakistan continued its growth at its current pace, it would be included in top economies of the world.

    “If we want to secure future of youth we have to promote our growth rate,” he said.

    Ahsan said that so far as many as 7000 MW electricity has been energized, which was 42 per cent of total energy resources developed during the past seventy years.

    He said that when the government assumed power in 2013, there were total 16,000 megawatt electricity in the system, now more than 7000 had been added into it.

    He said that by May 2018, 2500 to 3000 MW more electricity would be added to the national grid, bringing the total generation during the PML (N) tenure to 10,000 megawatt, which is a record.

    “People used to lit candles but we have added 10,000 MW of electricity in the national grid,” he added.



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  • Nawaz moves to tighten grip on party


    The Express Tribune. The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Saturday announced fresh formation of its central working committee (CWC) and central executive committee (CEC) – the two top panels that have a final say in the party’s decision-making.

    The initiative comes as part of Nawaz Sharif’s plans to maintain control of the party. Sharif is also reaching out to public in different parts of the country ahead of the general elections. In line with his strategy to mobilise public support, he addressed a public gathering in Quetta on Saturday.

    The 109-member CWC comprises PML-N office-bearers and members from across Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

    Sources in the PML-N told The Express Tribune that the CWC’s reconstitution was a symbolic exercise since it contained top portfolios that were more or less similar to those in the previous CWC and had much to do with conveying a message across that ‘Mian sahib is calling the shots and he is at the helm as far as the PML-N’s affairs are concerned’, a PML-N office-bearer said, requesting anonymity.

    “It is all about showing his [Sharif’s] political relevance and strength.”

    The PML-N’s CEC is already part of the CWC, he said. “By default, all members of the CWC are also members of the CEC,” the source said, adding the CEC comprised 29 office-bearers and 80 members.

    PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq is the also chairman of the CWC and the CEC while party President Nawaz Sharif is the president of both the bodies.

    Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra is the secretary general while Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal is his deputy. Salahuddin Tirmazi and Abdul Qadir Baloch are assistant secretary generals.

    Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif is president of the party’s Punjab chapter and Raja Ashfaq Sarwar the general secretary.

    Pervez Rashid is the party’s secretary finance and Mushahidullah Khan the secretary information.

    Ameer Muqam is the president while Murtaza Javed Abbasi is the general secretary of the PML-N Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

    Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri is the president and Naseebullah Bazai the general secretary of the party’s chapter in the province.

    Babu Sarfraz Jatoi is the president and Shah Muhammad Shah the general secretary of the Sindh chapter.

    AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider is the president the PML-N AJK chapter and Shah Ghulam Qadir the general secretary.

    Similarly, Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman is the only member in the CWC from the region in his capacity as president of the PML-N GB while there is no general secretary.

    Islamabad chapter also has no general secretary and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry is the PML-N Islamabad chapter president.

    Among others, members of the CWC and CEC include PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Rana Sanaullah, Captain (retd) Safdar and others.




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  • PML-N, PkMAP tied in ideological bond: Nawaz Sharif


    The Express Tribune. Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in Quetta on a day-long visit, reiterated on Saturday that he was being victimised in the name of accountability.

    Addressing a rally of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) on the occasion of the 44th death anniversary of Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai at the famed Ayyub Stadium, Nawaz Sharif said, “I have never compromised when it comes to the law and constitution, nor I will compromise now.”

    “People have rejected the decision against me,” he said and added, “A JIT was formed to probe the allegations against me and the same bench gave several verdicts.”

    Criticising the members of the Supreme Court-sanctioned joint Investigation Team (JIT), Nawaz said, “Diamonds were inducted into the JIT after picking them painstakingly,”

    “When the corruption of even a single penny was not found, how can they disqualify a serving prime minister,” he asked during the address.

    “Such are the decisions,” he continued, “which create chaos and divide,” in the country.

    “Those who gave verdicts about ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ (honest and righteous) are the same people who took oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO),” he complained.

    The former prime minister said that the people of Pakistan would not allow the success of the minus-one formula.

    Turning the direction of his guns towards Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, he said, “The condition of Peshawar has become worse than it used to be because a new Pakistan is being made there.”

    “A cricketer calls the metro bus system ‘jangla bus’. If I get a chance, I will make a metro bus in Quetta too”, said Nawaz.

    Look at Balochistan now, he said, “Today, it has motorways and roads, which were not here four years ago.”

    “Balochistan will be the hub of Pakistan. Our aim is to connect it with the world through Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Punjab.”

    The former premier said, “The ruling PML-N and PkMAP are tied in an ideological bond,” and assured Chief of the PkMAP Mehmood Khan Achakzai of his support at every step.

    Nawaz Sharif is in Balochistan, along with Pervaiz Rashid and Senator Dr Asif Karmani of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

    Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Mehmood Khan Achakzai along with several PML-N workers received Nawaz Sharif at the Quetta airport.

    Mehmood Khan Achakzai had previously, on several occasions, reiterated his party’s unconditional support to the former prime minister, saying no one would be allowed to derail democracy in the country in the name of accountability.

    According to him, targeting a person (Nawaz Sharif) and his family in the name of Panama leaks have no justification and it is a conspiracy against democracy and democratic institutions.




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  • President for national counter-terror narrative under Prophet’s teachings


    BR. President Mamnoon Hussain Saturday called upon the intelligentsia of the country to join their heads to build a national counter-terrorism narrative as extremism was a cancer to imperil the national development and stability.

    Addressing the annual International Seerat Conference held by Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in connection with Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH), the president said the national narrative against terrorism was inevitable to fight the terrorism with unanimity of thought.

    The event was attended by the cabinet members, parliamentarians, diplomats, religious scholars, students and people from different walks of life.

    The president was accompanied by Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, State Minister Pir Aminul Hasnaat and Grand Mufti of Kyrgyzstan Maksatbek Azhy Toktomushev.

    Started by the spell-binding recitation of Quranic verses by renowned Qari Sadaqat Ali and Naat by Noor Ahmed Jarral, the theme of the conference was the ‘Guiding Principles or the national leadership in the light of the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)’.

    He said as the whole nation was celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) on Friday, the terrorists killed the innocent people in Pashawar and questioned as how a person threatening others’ lives and properties could claim to the follower of the Holy Prophet Muahmmad (PBUH). The president strongly condemned the incident and sympathized with the bereaved families.

    He said the whole nation was determined to eliminate the terrorism from the country and called for national unity to achieve the success.

    The president, who earlier distributed prizes among the winning authors of the books on Holy Prophet (PBUH)’s life and teachings and anthology of Naats in both local and foreign languages, congratulated the ministry for holding the event which brought together the religious scholars from various countries to deliberate and present papers on the important subject.

    President Mamnoon said it was a day to re-think and reiterate the resolve to act upon the eternal teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) wholeheartedly.

    He welcome the religious scholars from Pakistan and abroad participating in the conference and congratulated the prize winning authors and poets.

    He said the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was the only personality whose every aspect of life was fully preserved for our guidance in all walks of life.

    Therefore, he said it was necessary that every Muslim, particularly those responsible for looking after the affairs of the people, should constantly study the Holy Quran and Sunnah for guidance to face the challenges of the time.

    He said as the books encompassing the Seerat-un-Nabi (PBUH) provided the standards for a leadership which also comprised the acute observation of the situation, impartial analysis and perceiving the matters correctly.

    President Mamnoon said the world today was entangled in complex problems of various nature, the reasons of which could be found in the approach to life, psychology and historical background of different societies.

    He said these were the factors due to which various regions of this world had conflicts and harbor hostility at one or the other level. Our region could not remain uninfluenced from this restlessness, the effects of which can be seen beyond our boundaries as well as within our frontiers, he added.

    In such a situation, the president viewed that the mature nations and their leadership determine their way forward by sincerely evaluating the challenges from educational, cultural, societal, political and economic aspects.

    He said with the Holy Prophet (PBUH) uprooted many meaningless rituals from society and people were brought together under a system which was according to the true spirit of the religion which strengthened the tradition of goodwill. Acquiring education was made compulsory for every man and woman, collective justice was promoted and discouragement of concentration of wealth resulted in such a wave of prosperity in the tribal society which could still be envied.

    The president said these were the revolutionary measures through which the old oppressive system was replaced with a new fair and equitable system. This should be the standard of leadership by adopting which the world can enjoy peace, progress and prosperity even in this age, he advised.

    He said it was our foremost responsibility to follow the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and harbor the virtues of love and goodwill for the people by setting aside personal gains, objectives and interests.

    Such an approach would lead to improvement and society to ultimately reach the destination of prosperity by rising out of the abyss of ignorance, poverty and destitution.

    He said it was imperative for the leader to comprehend the world and society with open heart and mind and leave no stone unturned for development and prosperity of society keeping in view the contemporary situation.

    President Mamnoon said it was his leadership’s responsibility to promote healthy trends in the light of highest principles of morality by uprooting the negative tendencies from society.

    Earlier, the religious affairs minister presented a souvenir to the president.

    In his address, Minister Sardar Yousuf highlighted the achievements of his ministry for promotion of Islamic teachings and interfaith harmony in the society including the establishment of recycling plant for soiled Quranic pages, countrywide conferences on interfaith harmony, cell to prohibit the spread of blasphemous content on internet, and setting up of Ulema council on religious harmony.

    He said the ministry also gave the legal cover to the moon sighting committee, introduced uniformed timings for prayers in Islamabad, ensured transparent and efficient Hajj operation besides regularly updating the ministry’s web and social media pages to inform the public on the issues of their interests. Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017



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  • Xi calls on world political parties to build community with shared future for mankind


    Xinhua News. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said the CPC is willing to work with other political parties around the world to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and create a better world.

    Xi made the remarks while delivering a keynote speech on Friday at the opening ceremony of CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting in Beijing.


    Xi said the initiative of building a community with a shared future for mankind is being transformed from a concept into action.

    “I’m delighted to see that the friendly cooperation between China and other countries is increasingly expanding and the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind is gaining support and endorsement from an increasing number of people,” Xi said.

    The concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind was put forth by Xi in 2013.

    The Belt and Road Initiative is the practice of the concept, Xi said, adding the initiative has become a huge cooperation platform for countries concerned to realize their common development.

    Proposed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa via land and maritime routes.

    In his speech, Xi said building a community with a shared future for mankind is in essence to connect the prospects and destinies of every nation and country closely together, share weal and woe, and turn planet Earth into a harmonious family.

    He said efforts shall be made to build a safe world free of fear, adding a country cannot gain its security at the cost of others’. Threats facing other countries may be challenges to ourselves.

    “Facing increasingly complicated and integrated threats, we shall not fight alone, nor shall we worship military force,” he said, adding all countries should pursue a new concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

    All countries should create fair, just and shared security to jointly eliminate the root cause of war and rescue people from pains brought about by war, he said.

    In the meantime, countries should also strive to eliminate poverty and promote common prosperity, Xi said, citing challenges such as the North-South development gap, poverty, hunger and digital gap.

    The old-school winner-takes-all mentality and beggar-thy-neighbor approach would not only block the doors of others, but also barricade one’s own path. “They would erode a country’s own roots for growth, and impair the future of whole humanity,” he said.

    The world should push for an economic globalization that is more open and inclusive, more balanced, more equitable and beneficial to all, to bring prosperity to all countries and create comfortable lives for children worldwide, he noted.

    Xi went on to emphasize the significance of an open and inclusive world, urging the world to break cultural barriers and let all kinds of civilizations exist and grow in harmony.

    Stressing the building of a clean and beautiful world with picturesque scenery, Xi called for efforts to ensure coexistence between man and nature, cherish the environment as we cherish our own lives, respect and protect nature, and safeguard the irreplaceable planet Earth.


    Xi proposed to develop a new model of party-to-party relations, in which political parties seek common grounds while shelving differences, respect and learn from one another.

    Political parties of different countries should work together for an international network of cooperation and exchange in various forms and at multiple levels, he said.

    With an open vision and broad mind, the CPC is willing to carry out dialogues, exchanges and cooperation with peoples and political parties of other countries, he noted.

    In the next five years, the CPC would like to invite 15,000 members of foreign political parties to China for exchanges, Xi said.

    Xi also suggested that the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting be institutionalized and developed into a high-level political dialogue platform of broad representation and international influence.

    The CPC has kept regular contacts with more than 400 political parties and organizations in about 160 countries and regions.


    Xi said the CPC would neither import foreign models of development nor export the Chinese model.

    “We will not ask other countries to copy the Chinese practice,” he added.

    He reiterated that the CPC strives for both the well-being of the Chinese people and human progress.

    Therefore, besides taking care of China’s internal matters, the CPC will create opportunities for the world through China’s development, said Xi.

    The CPC, as the biggest political party in the world, will also explore the law of social development for humanity and share it with other countries, according to Xi.

    He said that the CPC will, as always, contribute to world peace.

    Noting that one of the founding missions of the CPC, established in 1921, was to end the plight of the country which had suffered long period of war and to ensure the people’s survival, Xi stressed that the CPC “knows deeply the value of peace and holds firm resolve in maintaining peace.”

    To date, China has dispatched over 36,000 peacekeeping personnel and the country is acting as a major peacekeeping force and contributor of funds for UN peacekeeping missions.

    There are currently more than 2,500 Chinese peacekeepers on UN missions in eight locations, safeguarding local peace and tranquility, despite difficulties and dangers.

    He pledged that no matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.

    Also, the CPC will continue working for common development around the world and contributing to exchanges and mutual learning among the civilizations of the world, Xi said.


    After the opening ceremony, the first plenary session of the meeting was held, in which foreign delegates spoke highly of Xi’s speech and expressed their willingness to work with the CPC to build a better world.

    Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and member of the CPC Central Committee Secretariat, attended the opening ceremony and the first plenary session.

    Earlier the same day, representatives of attendees paid a visit to the Party School of the CPC Central Committee and visited an exhibition on China’s achievements over the past five years.

    Guests from Africa and Central Asia also had seminars with the CPC on the role of parties in building a community of shared future and promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, respectively.

    Both events were held under the framework of the high-level dialogue, which has attracted over 600 representatives of nearly 300 political parties and organizations from more than 120 countries.



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  • At SCO meeting, PM Abbasi calls for keeping politics out of regional trade


    DAWN. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Friday that politics should be kept out of regional economic development and connectivity projects.

    He was addressing the 16th meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government (CHG) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Sochi, Russia, where he had arrived on Thursday.

    “The world is going through a profound transformation marked by an eastward shift of global development potential,” PM Abbasi said during his address. “Coinciding with this change, the SCO is creating a new imprint on the global international order.”

    Highlighting Pakistan’s role in regional development, PM Abbasi said, “Pakistan is pursuing projects such as the Casa-1000 and the Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline project to promote regional energy connectivity.”

    He added that Pakistan would also like to see the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) linked with the six major economic zones of the SCO

    Delivering a warning to those “trying to hinder the world’s progress by standing in the way of various development projects for regional political gain,” the prime minister said: “We would caution against the politicisation of economic development and connectivity projects. Such myopic acts will only hold back our collective progress.”

    “Pakistan is fully cognisant of the threats posed by terrorism, separatism and extremism to the regional and global economic development,” he stressed while reminding the forum about Pakistan’s ongoing struggle against ideological extremism.

    Recounting Pakistan’s losses in the fight against extremist ideologies, he added: “We have lost thousands of lives, including 6,500 military and law enforcement personnel, to terrorism. Our economy has suffered losses of over $120 billion, but this has only served to strengthen our resolve to fight terrorism. We are vigilant and will not allow any form of militancy on our soil.”

    PM Abbasi further said that the SCO charter on long-term neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation is a guiding principle that can “help promote our shared vision of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and respect for cultural diversity and the pursuit of common development.”

    “The SCO should continue to contribute to building a just and rational world order based on UN charter principles of respect for international law and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs,” he said.

    PM Abbasi stressed upon the need for the members of the SCO to cooperate on improving the regional infrastructure and enhancing communication by building roads, air, maritime and IT networks.

    He also pointed out the need for SCO members to develop multilateral trading systems, harmonise laws and regulations on trade facilitation and support the SCO inter-bank association in further enhancing economic trade and investment cooperation.

    The PM concluded by saying: “In the coming decades, the SCO will emerge as an important global, geopolitical and geo-economic force.”

    Upon his arrival in Russia at the airport, the prime minister had been warmly received by Deputy Governor of Krasnodar Region, Vasiliv Shvetz, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Russia Qazi M. Khalilullah, and other officials.

    Prime Minister Abbasi is participating in the SCO meeting on the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Today was the last day of the meeting.

    This is the first SCO heads of government meeting in which Pakistan participated after assumption of full membership in June this year.


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  • Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) being celebrated with religious fervour today


    Geo News. Eid Milad-un-Nabi — the birthday of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) — is being observed across the country with traditional religious zeal on Friday (today).

    The day started with 31- and 21-gun salute in the federal and provincial capitals, respectively, following a night full of celebration, Mehfil-e-Naat, conferences, and fireworks.

    State and religious organisations, Milad committees, and individuals have planned a large number of activities, comprising processions, seminars, conferences, and discussion programmes to mark the annual event.

    The sacred day begins with offering of special prayers in mosques for upholding and flourishing of Islam and religious teachings, unity, solidarity, progress, and welfare of the Muslim ummah.

    Numerous Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) processions will be taken out across the country and Mehfil-e-Milad will be held to celebrate the occasion.

    All streets and roads, as well as bazaars, shopping centres, and government and private buildings, have been beautifully decorated and illuminated with lights, colours, and banners bearing the writings about the celebration of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) across the country.

    Gates have been erected at all major roads and streets in all small and major towns of the country in connection with Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) celebrations.

    Private and public buildings have been illuminated with mesmerizing green and white lights on this occasion to express festivity.

    Many vendors have set up colourful stalls with a unique collection of badges, stickers, flags, and banners inscribed with religious slogans to pay respect and reverence to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) across the country.

    Federal and provincial governments have already prepared contingency security plans with coordination of other law enforcement agencies to guard the processions and other events to be held on the day.

    Special checking of the route in Islamabad would be completed before the procession starts and bomb disposal squad would clear the route on the day.

    More than 2,000 police personnel — including 300 traffic policemen — are performing security duties on the occasion in the federal capital, while special teams of Rangers, crime investigation department (CID), and the special branch police are assisting in the smooth performance of their duties.

    The main procession in Islamabad will be taken out at Sector G-7 (Sitara Market) and culminate near the shrine of Hazrat Sakhi Mehmud at Aabpara Market.

    The areas will be completely cordoned off via a heavy deployment of law enforcement personnel.

    Strict monitoring of the main procession — through Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras installed recently — is part of the security plan. Parking vehicles on the route of the procession will be prohibited.

    No one would be allowed to stand on the rooftops of the commercial and residential buildings situated along the route of the main procession while armed police personnel would be deployed on the rooftops of the buildings.

    Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) celebrations begin in Karachi

    Police patrolling has also been enhanced in many areas.

    The faithful would be checked with metal detectors and walk-through gates would be installed at the entry points of the processions.

    The route of the main procession would be sealed completely and streets on the route would also be barricaded.

    In Rawalpindi, as many as 3,500 policemen have been deployed in Rawalpindi district to ensure security for the processions of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH).

    The main procession route, DAV College Chowk, Fowara Chowk, Raja Bazaar, Bansaa Wala Chowk, and Buni Chowk would be barricaded.

    All the traffic would be diverted on other routes.

    Murree Road diversions would be at Rialto Chowk, Liaquat Bagh, Committee Chowk underpass, Naz Cinema Chowk, Rawal Road Turn, Double Road, Gungmandi near City police station, and at other main chowks.

    PM’s message on Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH)

    Congratulating the nation on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH), Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urged the need for following the path of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to create an environment of love, peace and harmony in the country.

    “Our survival and our worldly and religious successes depend on completely following Uswa-e-Hasna,” the Prime Minister said in his message on the occasion of 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal, 1439. “Today we have to pledge that, by completely following Uswa-e-Hasna, we will create among ourselves the qualities of unity, mutual harmony, tolerance, and sense of responsibility, which are helpful in taking our country and nation forward on the path of development.”

    “The best way to celebrate this blessed day is an affirmation from ourselves to prove before the world with our character, way of talking and acts that we are the Ummah of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).”

    The Prime Minister said the last prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) came in this world as “Rehmat-ul-Aalameen” not only for Muslims but for the whole of mankind and the universe.

    “By virtue of this, the day of 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal is the greatest day not only in the Islamic history but also for the whole universe and humanity,” he added.

    Bilawal Bhutto Zardari felicitates nation

    Bilawal Bhutto Zardari — the chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — facilitated the nation on the auspicious occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) on Thursday.

    He said he was dismayed that the celebrations this year are marred by the way some people resorted to violence weeks ahead of the holy day.

    “The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) preached and practised tolerance, humility and understanding, not violence. He would have never approved violence even in his name.”

    PML-N President Nawaz Sharif’s message

    Nawaz Sharif — the former prime minister and president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) said that youth should be introduced to the real teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

    The nation should take lessons from Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) life and promulgate brotherhood, Nawaz said.

    “We should protect the rights of minorities and discourage those who want to divide the nation,” the PML-N president said, adding that those spreading discord should be discouraged.

    Imran Khan greets Muslims

    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman late Thursday tweeted greetings on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH).

    Greetings to Muslims everywhere on Eid-i-Milad-un-Nabi Sal lalla hu elyhy wasullam PBUH

    CM Sindh shares felicitations

    Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah congratulated the entire human race on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH).

    “Congratulations to the entire human race on the birth of a Holy Prophet (PBUH) – who rid the world of an era of barbarity and ignorance,” Shah said in a video message.

    He further said that adopting the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) teachings could save humanity from being destroyed.

    CM Punjab shares felicitations

    Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif warmly congratulated the Muslim Ummah on the birthday of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

    In his message on Eid Milad-un-Nabi, he said that Allah Almighty sent the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as a benefaction for all the worlds and his life has been termed as a true manifestation of the Holy Quran, having complete guidance and the right way for the Muslims. The pious character and teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) cover the whole span of life of every human being.

    The Holy Prophet (PBUH) gave an exemplary socio-economic order to the world in a short period of time due to his immaculate way of life.

    He taught the golden principles of peace, harmony, brotherhood, respect for the humanity, forgiveness and justice. The way of life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is a beacon of light for the whole humanity. The evils of cruelty, excess, injustice and lawlessness can be eliminated by following his golden teachings and Pakistan can become a haven of peace and tranquillity by getting rid of all its present-day challenges.

    The CM said that birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the biggest event in human history. He said that Holy Prophet (PBUH) is a glowing example of the whole world due to his high moral character and immaculate way of life. The revered birthday of Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the best opportunity for the ummah to follow the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah in the real sense.

    He also said that the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) teaches us to find peaceful solutions to problems through dialogues. He said that this blissful advent is a ray of hope for the stale humanity.

    “We are grateful to Allah Almighty that He has blessed us to be among the followers of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is the biggest obligation of reverence towards Holy Prophet (PBUH) that we should solve all our political, parochial and sectarian differences in the light of his reconciliatory strategy. We should offer special prayers for the development and prosperity of the country; its’ peace, harmony and stability on the blissful occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi,” he said.

    We should also make a commitment to struggle with the passion of faith to follow the principles of hard work, honesty and trust. Today, we should also reiterate this commitment that we shall make every effort to live in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

    The CM prayed for forgiveness from Allah Almighty and thanked Him for the benefactor of whole humanity, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). PAKISTAN TODAY



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  • Pakistan for all sans sectarian, linguistic or race identity, says COAS


    The News International. Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday said that Pakistan belonged to all Pakistanis without any religious, provincial, tribal, linguistic, ethnic, sectarian or any other identity.

    The army chief expressed these views while meeting Ulema from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Peshawar. The COAS lauded their support in the fight against terrorism and acknowledged the contributions for peace.

    The Ulema condemned terrorism and pledged continued support to the efforts by security forces for bringing about peace and stability. On this occasion, General Bajwa said that Pakistan belonged to all Pakistanis without any religious, provincial, tribal, linguistic, ethnic, sectarian or any other identity. The corps commander Peshawar was also present.

    Earlier, the COAS visited the Pak-Afghan border in the Bajaur Agency. The army chief was briefed on the ongoing efforts to check terrorist infiltration routes from across the border, progress on fencing, construction of new forts/ posts along the border and development of new tracks to facilitate the local public.

    Interacting with the troops, General Qamar Javed Bajwa appreciated their high morale and effective border security, which resulted in preventing cross border attack attempts by terrorists.



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  • Govt asked to satisfy court on ‘role of armed forces as an arbitrator’ in agreement with protesters


    DAWN. The Islamabad High Court on Monday lashed out at the government as well as the army for the role assigned to the military “as the mediator” in the agreement to end the sit-in at Islamabad’s Faizabad Interchange.

    The army chief instead of following the orders of the chief executive became a mediator, pointed out Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui as a hearing into the Faizabad protest was underway at the high court on Monday.

    “Who is the army to adopt a mediator’s role?” inquired the judge. “Where does the law assign this role to a major general?”

    After the weeks-long protest that virtually paralysed the capital, the government and protesters reached an agreement late Sunday night, in which the former conceded to the latter’s demands.

    The document of the agreement — submitted before the court — bears the signatures of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza, Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, two other protest leaders and Maj Gen Faiz Hameed, who facilitated the agreement.

    “We are thankful to him [Gen Bajwa] for saving the nation from a big catastrophe,” the agreement document concludes, crediting the army chief and his representative team for their “special efforts”.

    Court’s objections

    In its written order, the court notes a “number of serious objections on the terms of agreement”.

    “Most alarming is that Maj Gen Faiz Hameed put signature as [the] one through whom [the] agreement was arrived at,” the order says. “It is also very strange that the efforts of Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff, have been acknowledged in the words: this entire agreement was reached through the efforts of the army chief and his representative team.”

    The order notes that the role assumed by the army chief is “besides the Constitution and the law of the land”.

    “Armed Forces being part of executive of the country cannot travel beyond its mandate bestowed upon it by the organic law of the country.”

    On the matter of the abusive language used by the protesters against the judiciary, the order says that “the Federal government and the arbitrator did not bother to persuade the leadership of TLY to even tender an apology in this regard.”

    “This court has serious reservations on the terms of the agreement and mannerism in which it arrived; however, the federal government has to satisfy the court about the constitutional role of Armed forces and an acknowledgement by the federal government/Executive of the country regarding role of armed forces as an arbitrator,” the order reads, calling for the attorney general to assist the court on this point.

    The court has also directed the chief commissioner to submit a report regarding the Islamabad operation and “reasons for its failure”.

    Further, Joint Director General of the Intelligence Bureau Anwar Ali has also been asked to submit a report detailing how the protesters gained acces to guns, tear gas shells and masks.

    “He shall also submit a report showing reasons of failure of operation and aid provided to protesters, when ICT Police almost cleared Faizabad Interchange.”

    “It is made clear that [the] question raised by this court shall not be used as an excuse to dislodge/disburse the protesters of sit-in as order to clear Faizabad Interchange is still in field.”

    The order adds that if the protesters continue their sit-in, the government and the administration are “required to persuade them to shift to the sit-in at Parade Ground.”

    Army’s response to operation

    Security forces had launched an operation against protesters camped out at the Faizabad Interchange on Saturday after the high court had ordered the clearance of the bridge that connects the federal capital with Rawalpindi. The same day, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had advised Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to “handle the Islamabad dharna peacefully”.

    The day-long operation had culminated with the government seeking the military’s assistance to disperse the participants who had put up fierce resistance to the security personnel’s action.

    However, the army had said in its response to the government’s call for assistance that while it was “fully ready” to take action, a “few points need deliberation”. Subsequently, no troops were deployed in the city.

    ‘You’ve embarrassed the police, administration’

    During the hearing, Justice Siddiqui said soldiers who are inclined towards politics should turn in their weapons, asking if the protests would have continued as they did if the army’s headquarters had been located near the Faizabad Interchange.

    “Where is their Radd-ul-Fasaad now? Did they not see any Fasaad (anarchy) in this protest?” Justice Siddiqui asked, referring to a military operation that was launched in February.

    The judge remarked that this was proof of the ‘military’s involvement’.

    He told Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal that the administration has the right to call in the army to control an emergency situation and that the military is bound to comply.

    The minister told the court that during the protests and the operation in Islamabad, the country’s internal security was at risk. “Security officials were being attacked everyday. Motorways, railways and cities were being closed.”

    “There was a conspiracy to show that a nuclear-state was failing. The agreement was reached with the protesters to bring the country out of those circumstances,” said Iqbal, referring to the ‘successful negotiations’ with leaders of the demonstration late Sunday night.

    The judge asked why the agreement did not carry the signatures of the chief commissioner and the IG.

    “Iqbal sahab, you have embarrassed the police and the administration,” Justice Siddiqui said. “You [the institutions] are destroying the state in your bid to make each other look bad.”

    “What role did the Rangers fulfill?” he asked. “You are supporting the impression that the army is the cure for all illnesses.”

    This is not just an issue of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the judge said, referring to the religious leader spearheading the TLY sit-in.

    The IHC judge, while declaring his love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH), said that these remarks could cost him his life or add him to the list of missing persons’.

    The judge tasked Barrister Zafarullah with filing a report on the incident. “He will tell us in 10 days what happened, where and when,” the judge said.

    Using Zahid Hamid as a ‘scapegoat’

    Speaking on Law Minister Zahid Hamid’s resignation ─ the main demand put forward by the protesters ─ the judge accused the government of using him as a scapegoat to protect PML-N leader Anusha Rehman, state minister for IT and Telecommunication. Rehman was also named in the Khatme-Naboowat controversy. “In order to protect one person, the minister is being sacrificed.”

    The IHC is conducting hearings on two applications that were filed by residents about the disturbances caused by the protracted sit-in.

    “The petitioner has asked for a lot of things in the application,” the judge observed, “This will only be made apparent when the project is over and the [protesters] have left.”

    “Where did the protesters get tear gas and gas masks from?” the judge asked, ordering the Intelligence Bureau to submit a report in this regard before the court.

    The hearing was adjourned until next Monday.

    Iqbal summoned

    Earlier, the high court had expressed its displeasure when the interior minister had failed to appear for the hearing. The minister had been ordered to appear before the court within 15 minutes before the hearing was adjourned for a break.

    Ahsan Iqbal arrived at the court soon after. Inspector General Khalid Khattak, Chief Commissioner Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta and Deputy Commissioner Captain (retired) Mushtaq were present in court.

    The high court has also summoned Director General Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan and secretary commander of the Inter-Services Intelligence.

    In a previous hearing of the case, which was held before the Islamabad Police with the help of the Fontier Constabulary personnel launched their operation against the protesters, the high court had issued a show-cause notice for contempt of court to Iqbal over his failure to take steps ordered by the court to end the sit-in

    Situation in capital

    The Faizabad protests had paralysed life in the twin cities for three weeks before an operation of security forces was finally launched on Saturday in keeping with the court’s orders.

    The operation had continued all day on Saturday. Tensions had remained high in the federal capital on Sunday when the Rangers were handed over charge of the operation.

    After negotiations late Sunday night, the government’s gave in to the protesters’ demand for the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid, among other conditions. Subsequently, the TLY chief on Monday ordered his followers to end sit-ins across the country.



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  • Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar to appear in accountability court today


    Dunya News. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar will again appear before accountability court in National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) references today (Tuesday).

    According to the sources, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz will travel from Lahore to Islamabad on Tuesday morning to appear in the court.

    Nawaz Sharif is nominated suspect in references regarding Avenfield properties, Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment, while Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (r) Safdar are nominated in reference regarding Avenfield properties alone.

    Accountability court on Monday had adjourned the hearing of Al-Aziza reference against ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif till Tuesday due to Faizabad sit-in.

    According to sources, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor‘s witness Malik Tayyab will record his statement in Al-Aziza reference. On the other hand two prosecution witnesses, Mukhtar and Umar Daraz, will record their statements in Avenfield properties and Flagship Investment.

    Accountability court judge Muhammad will also hear Maryam Nawaz plea seeking to change exemption dates from December 5 to January 5, 2018 and Nawaz Sharif’s plea seeking exemption from appearance for one week.


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