India not an effective partner to bring peace in the region: Zakaria

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ISLAMABAD: A country like India that is involved in state-sponsored terrorism cannot be an effective partner in bringing peace to the region, said Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in his weekly briefing on Friday.

He was speaking in reference to US President Donald Trump’s speech on the Afghan war, in which he directed India to provide more assistance and development to Afghanistan.

While expressing Pakistan’s reservations regarding the US’ acknowledgement of ‘India’s important contributions to Afghan stability’, the spokesperson said that the extremists have found their way into India’s governing bodies.

“The extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other such organisations are already influencing the Indian judiciary’s decisions at this time, while the Indian army is lending its support to the RSS as well,” Zakaria said. He added that there are unresolved issues on a wide range of matters that India has with various countries, which is why it cannot…

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Political instability following Panama verdict cost country $14bn: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said that a loss of $14 billion was witnessed by the country in the aftermath of the Panama verdict, while reiterating respect for the verdict.

Iqbal expressed these views, while talking to media after visiting the ‘Sasta Bazar’, where a huge fire took place on August 23, destroying various shops.

Criticising political opponents, he said that fanning political instability and doing politics for the sake of it will inevitably result in hindering economic development in the country.

He emphasised that the country needs to unite and move forward beyond “dead issues” like DawnLeaks, inquiry of which has been completed with the consensus of civil and military leadership, he added.

More women shelters in Balochistan urged

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution asking the provincial government to set up Darul Aman to provide shelter to women who were victims of domestic violence in the six divisional headquarters.

The resolution was moved by Yasmin Lehri of the National Party in the session presided over by Speaker Raheela Hameed Khan Durrani.

The resolution was passed when only 14 of the 65 members were present in the house, while quorum requires at least 17 members.

None of the members from the opposition and treasury benches pointed out that the quorum was not sufficient to pass a resolution and the assembly proceedings continued despite the shortfall.

Addressing the house, Ms Lehri said that Darul Aman facility was not available in Sibi and other districts of Balochistan for victims of domestic violence who were forced to leave their homes.

“The Darul Aman facility is available only in Quetta, and women facing domestic violence in far flung districts of Balochistan have no option but to continue being tortured,” she said, adding that the situation of the Darul Aman in the provincial capital was not ideal as well as it lacked basic facilities, including health and education.

Provincial ministers Dr Hamid Khan Achakzai, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal and MPA of National Party Dr Shama Ishaq supported the resolution, suggesting that special fund should be allocated for the purpose in the next budget.

The assembly also passed another resolution moved by Shahida Rauf of Jamiat Ulema-i- Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), urging the National Highway Authority (NHA) to take practical steps to prevent fatal traffic accidents along the National Highway in Balochistan with the cooperation of the provincial transport department.

“Check and balance system should be introduced in Balochistan for avoiding such fatal incidents in future,” Ms Rauf suggested in her resolution, adding that there was no check on underage drivers and possession of driving licence across the province.

Other members of the assembly also expressed their concern over increase in traffic incidents on the highway and how driving licenses were issued by the authorities concerned without taking test.

Two shot dead for ‘honour’ in Kohat

KOHAT: A man killed his wife and her alleged paramour in Cheechana Ghunda area here in the name of honour, police said on Friday.

Officials of Riaz Muhammad Shaheed police station said the accused found his wife and her alleged lover in his house and shot them dead.

The police shifted the bodies to women and children hospital and after autopsy handed them over to relatives.

Police registered a double murder case against the accused and started making raids for his arrest. The police termed the case as honour killing.

Meanwhile, the police raided a factory making homemade liquor and arrested the owner on Friday.

The police had information that a liquor factory was operating in Tappi area and was supplying it across the district. They carried out a raid and seized 200 litres of homemade liquor with hundreds of empty plastic and glass bottles.

A large quantity of labels of foreign made liquor was also seized.

Accused Jumma Khan said he brought alcohol from Darra Adamkhel and then mixed it with some chemicals purchased from Punjab.

Cane growers send SOS to govt

HYDERABAD: A joint delegation of sugarcane growers’ association met Sindh Agriculture Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal to discuss issues faced by the sector amidst reports that mill owners are not willing to start crushing even by December due to surplus stocks.

The delegation comprised Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB) Vice President Mahmood Nawaz Shah, Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) General Secretary Nabi Bux Sathio and Sindh Abadgar Ittehad (SAI) President Nawab Zubair Talpur along with others.

The representatives claimed that Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) had unilaterally announced that due to the presence of surplus sugar stocks, millers would not be in a position to start crushing by December this year and would only pay a price of Rs120 per 40kg to farmers.

The growers said that as far as sugar exports are concerned, they had already urged the federal government for rebate so that millers could deplete stocks.

However, there is no point in linking sugarcane crushing season’s commencement with exports, they stressed.

Meanwhile, SCA general secretary in a letter addressed to Sindh governor on Friday sought intervention of the federal government to save Sindh’s growers from incurring losses.

He urged governor to look into the matter as it is beyond the authority of Sindh government to allow exports or offer subsidy to millers.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Sathio said that when growers were demanding a ban on the movement of sugarcane last season, no one paid heed to it.

“We knew millers were procuring more and more sugarcane from Punjab to produce maximum quantity of sweetener and earn windfall profits as sugar price last year hovered around Rs70 per kg (ex-mill rate) and now it has perhaps slumped,” he said.

“We were told that 1.3 million tonnes of sugar out of some 3m tonnes of countrywide surplus stock is available in Sindh. By December, only 5m tonnes can be consumed so there will still be a surplus of 8m tonnes,” he explained.

“Growers are expected to raise a voice in favour of sugar millers so that the federal government would allow sugar exports with rebate,” said Mr Shah, SAB’s vice president.

“But how can the farmers support them (millers) unless there is a commitment given to them that crushing will start on time this season,” Mr Shah questioned.

He conceded that timely sugar exports could have led to earnings of $600m.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Talpur said the Sindh governor must intervene in the present situation and take up the matter with the federal government.

“If sugar millers remain adamant that they will be paying Rs120/40kg, it will be a financial crisis for farmers,” he said. He reminded that last year, over Rs200 per 40kg was paid to sugarcane growers.