Category Archives: PAKISTN

Pakistan Hindu Council invited to celebrate Holi Festival jointly for Interfaith Harmony,

54f6d7c535b98Islamabad: Patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani has invited all peace loving citizens to celebrate the Holi festival, which is also known as the spring festival, the festival of colors or the festival of love. Talking to the media outside Parliament House on Wednesday, Dr. Ramesh, while demanding public holiday on the Holi festival, emphasized the need to promote interfaith harmony across the country, adding that the ancient Hindu religious festival was no longer limited to Hindu community but also being celebrated widely, in many parts of South Asia, as well as other parts of the world. He was of the view that the celebration of Holi was reminder of the symbolic great victory of good over evil.

“The purpose behind the initiative by Pakistan Hindu Council to invite other Pakistani people for the joint celebration of Holi festival is to promote the common basis of ‘Love of God and Love of the Neighbour, Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour’ among all religions,” he further said.

Answering a question related to the Civil Awards being announced every year on the Pakistan Day (March 23), he regretted that many patriot Hindu citizens with outstanding positive contributions for Pakistan were in dire need of Government attention and in this regard, he named some of them as: Jogandra Nath Mandal, first Law and Labour Minister, S.P. Singha, first speaker of Punjab Assembly, Sir Ganga Ram, renowned Humanitarian, Hari Chand Rai, father of Modern Karachi, Justice Rana Bhagwan Das, and Comerade Sobho Gian Chandani.

On the occasion, Dr. Ramesh Vankwani also urged to raise voice for not including even a single chapter to acknowledge the positive contributions of non-Muslim Pakistanis in educational text books.

The Holi festival is being celebrated on Thursday (March 5, 2015).


Two pilots die as PAF plane crashes

 pak-f7-770x470ISLAMABAD – A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Mirage aircraft crashed in south of Dera Ismail Khan during a routine operational training mission, says a press note issued here by the PAF.
Pilot and the co-pilot were killed in the incident which took place on Wednesday afternoon in Miran, some 80 kilometers away from DI Khan. According to the PAF spokesperson, the martyred included Air Commodore Shafqat Mushtaq and Flight Lieutenant Sohaib Rasheed.
A PAF spokesperson said that search operation was underway on the site. A board of inquiry has been ordered by the Air Headquarters to determine cause of the accident. Police officials said that the aircraft, which was on a training flight, might have crashed due to lightening and rain in the area.
368232-bhojaaircrashreuters-1335068330-126-640x480Army and PAF rescue teams had surrounded the crash site and were searching for bodies of the pilots.
The district police officer (DPO) said that plane parts had been found near the crash site.
The DPO further said that the area had been experiencing heavy downpour, which could be a likely reason behind the crash.
The sources in Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed the incident, saying the crashed plane was Mirage-5 of the PAF.
The Pakistan Air Force has a fleet of Chinese aircraft including F-7PGs and A-5s, plus US-built F-16s and French Mirages. It recently acquired JF-17 Thunder jets, manufactured jointly by China and Pakistan.


Nawaz, Saudi King vow to boost ties

RIYADH – Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Wednesday emphasised the importance of Pakistan-Saudi relations and vowed to strengthen them further in various fields.
11050121_1007443399284084_8805332389416903517_nThe two leaders held extensive talks covering bilateral relations, and regional and international issues here at the King’s Palace in the Saudi capital.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who arrived here earlier in the afternoon on an official visit, was accorded a warm reception, with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud personally greeting him at the King Khalid International Airport. According to diplomatic sources, this is for the first time that Saudi king himself received any Pakistani head of state at the airport.
The king was accompanied by Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, the Second Crown Prince and Second Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad bin Naif, Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, and a number of royal princes, cabinet ministers as well as high military and civil officials.
During the talks, the prime minister expressed the confidence that during the reign of King Salman bin Abdulaziz relations between the two countries would touch new heights.
1509312_1007443545950736_4367300776342027024_nKing Salman said that Saudi Arabia attached great importance to its relations with Pakistan and would like to see them further strengthened. He said Saudi Arabia would like Pakistan to prosper and develop.  The prime minister said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were tied in bonds of shared faith and enjoyed excellent relations since the independence of Pakistan.
Being the custodian of the two holy mosques the Saudi king had a special place in the heart of each Pakistani, he said.
The prime minister said that Pakistan would like to further strengthen ties with its brotherly Islamic country in all fields, particularly trade, investment, energy, infrastructure development and several others.  King Salman said that Saudi Arabia would be happy to strengthen its relations with Pakistan in all fields of possible cooperation. He particularly mentioned the need for increased interaction between the business communities of the two countries.
The prime minister thanked the Saudi leadership for providing valuable assistance to Pakistan in the time of need. Saudi Arabia had a special place among Muslim Ummah, he added.11006398_1007443519284072_2665988137616825764_n
Both the leaders also discussed matters relating to the region, security and defence. Both the heads of states agreed that terrorism and extremism were common enemies and the two countries would continue to cooperate with each other in the field of security and defence. The prime minister also took the Saudi king into confidence on war against terrorism.
The prime minister extended an invitation to King Salman to visit Pakistan which he accepted.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on the special invitation of the Saudi king.
This is the prime minister’s first visit to the Kingdom since King Salman bin Abdulaziz assumed the throne. This also is his first official visit to Saudi Arabia since assuming office in June 2013.11014819_1007443265950764_2367151672065283361_n

The Saudi king also hosted a lunch in honour of the prime minister, which was attended by a large number of ministers, members of the royal family and local dignitaries.  Earlier, upon arrival at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, the prime minister was given a red carpet reception.
A smartly turned out contingent presented the guard of honour and national anthems of both the countries were played.
During his visit, the Prime Minister Sharif will also perform Umra and visit the Roza of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), in addition to meeting members of the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia.
Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Manzoorul Haq also accompanied the prime minister.

SC orders LG polls in Punjab, Sindh in Sept

ISLAMABAD – After an intense, marathon hearing, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday night ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold local government (LG) elections in Punjab and Sindh in September.
sc-orders-lg-polls-in-punjab-sindh-in-sept-1425512467-5107The court earlier set aside the schedule proposed by the ECP for LG polls in three provinces, cantonment areas and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
The ECP had proposed May 16 for LG polls in Cantonment Areas, June 7 for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, February 20, 2016 for Punjab and March 20, 2016 for Sindh.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and comprising Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Justice Maqbool Baqir, said that polling dates in Punjab and Sindh should be cut back by four months.
“These (proposed) schedules are not satisfactory and delay of LG polls is not justified,” said the bench in an order passed late at night (at 9:30pm). Every day of delay is disempowering the people of Pakistan, Justice Khawaja observed.
The ECP then agreed to reduce timeframe and the court finally ordered LG polls in the first week of September in Sindh and Punjab.
Earlier, in the afternoon, the bench directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary and the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) to submit LG polls schedule before 8pm. The bench reassembled at 8pm and the hearing continued until 9: 30pm.
During the proceeding in the day, the court said that yesterday (Tuesday) they could issue contempt notice to the prime minister, but showed restraint. It said they were least concerned whether two or ten PMs go home, as already one PM had been sent home for non-compliance of the court orders.
Justice Jawwad told the AGP and the ECP secretary, “Let’s put an end to the mockery with the people as they consider they are not treated as citizens of Pakistan because the constitution does not protect their rights.”
The secretary said the electoral rolls have to be updated and for that they need time. Justice Jawwad said he was not going to contest for a union council seat but his interest was the supremacy of the constitution.
ECP Acting Secretary Sher Afgan told the court that Nadra has developed a system and only the data of voters has to be transferred to the ECP. The attorney general said that the electoral rolls are of 2013, which needed to be updated.
The secretary said that for making administrative arrangements, stationary and printing of forms, at least 35 days are required. He said 300 display centres have been established in the Khyber Pakhtukhwa (KP) and from day after tomorrow the people would visit the display centres for verification of their votes.
Justice Jawwad questioned why the ECP has not started these arrangements earlier, adding the electoral rolls have to be updated annually. He said now the voters’ entry could be made online and after the new system the electoral rolls would be updated automatically. “You (ECP) have to be on your toes every moment as the ECP officials are highly paid.”
The judge said that the ECP’s only job is to hold election. The election commission is not constituted only for one year. “It’s not good that the court is perceived as tyrant.” The ECP secretary said that there were two parallel laws of 1924 and 2002 in operation for the local bodies’ elections in Cantonments. “We say give us laws and rules and we will conduct the elections.”
The AGP argued that there was no need of Ordinance for the LG polls in Cantonment areas, while in October 2014 the government had issued ordinance for electoral rolls and delimitation of constituencies.
Justice Sarmad said the Supreme Court 2013 judgment empowers the ECP to carry out its functions. If there was no law or amendment in the law even then the election commission was bound to hold elections. The AGP said the 18th Amendment has also empowered the ECP.
Justice Sarmad said the law of 1924 is so clear. The secretary requested to the bench to pass an order that the ECP could interpret the law as it would make the job of the Commission easier. Justice Baqir said it seemed there was some kind of blockade in your mind, please clear it. “We are trying to strengthen the hands of the ECP.” Justice Sarmad said that the ECP has constitutional mandate and it is the creation of constitution.
At 2:30pm the court asked the attorney general and the ECP secretary to submit the election schedules of local bodies’ elections in Cantonments, KP, Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) at 8pm.
The court decided to continue the hearing of the case today (Thursday).
Agencies add: The Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Butt submitted before the court that local government elections in all the cantonments of the country will be held on May 16, 2015.
ECP Secretary Syed Sher Afgan earlier submitted a schedule of holding LG polls before the apex court in which it was suggested that polls will be held in three stages — with the third stage ending on March 26, 2015.

Pakistan must beat top sides to regain confidence: Waqar

NAPIER: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Wednesday targeted big-hitting South Africa, saying his team must beat a strong outfit to prove they belong at the World Cup.

54f75a656ff41Pakistan expectedly made short work of the United Arab Emirates in their Pool ‘B’ game with an emphatic 129-run win to increase their tally to four points in as many games.

They now play South Africa in Auckland on Saturday in a crunch match in which their qualification for the quarter-finals will largely depend.

Waqar said the two wins after two losses — the first win was against Zimbabwe on Sunday — gave the team much-needed confidence.

“Look it [win] definitely changed the body language of the players because a win always make you feel comfortable and confident, but I still feel that we need to win against a bigger team like South Africa to tell the world that we are around,” said Waqar.

Waqar agreed Pakistan were not looking as commanding as South Africa who have posted back-to-back 400-plus totals in their last two wins.

“Maybe you might be thinking that we are not playing well but we are missing two of our key players,” said Waqar of suspended duo of Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez.

Hafeez also injured his calf before the World Cup and returned home to be replaced by Nasir Jamshed.

“The tournament will get tougher and tougher and we should be ready for that,” added Waqar.

“Of course we can, we have done it in the past, it’s not asking too much and we have beaten South Africa in South Africa,” said Waqar of Pakistan’s 2-1 one-day series win over the Proteas in late 2013.

Waqar, under whom Pakistan finished as semi-finalists at the 2011 World Cup, said his team was capable of picking up steam. “I think the crucial game will be against South Africa not only for qualifying but also for a morale booster. We need to beat a top team to get our confidence back.”

Waqar said the two wins over Zimbabwe and the UAE had restored belief. “Of course I am relieved, there is no doubt about that but the tournament is still open and we are keen to do well and this win will give us a boost and positive thinking for the next games.”

Waqar agreed Pakistan should have won by at least 150 runs against the UAE but paceman Mohammad Irfan’s injury affected the progress.

“We should have won by more runs but not having Irfan affected us. We wanted to improve the net run-rate which is also very important but they also batted well,” said Waqar.

Meanwhile, Waqar has urged the ICC and other cricketing countries to return to playing matches in the strife-torn nation.

Pakistan have not played a series at home since February 2009 when the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked in Lahore.

“Pakistan need teams to come to Pakistan,” the former fast bowler said.

“That’s what the ICC and world cricket can do to help us out by restarting cricket back in Pakistan. It is a huge loss that cricket is not being played in Pakistan and of course you can see the symptoms. That’s the help we can ask for from the cricketing world.”—AFP

Irfan injury not serious

NAPIER: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis erased doubts over the fitness of spearhead Mohammad Irfan who was injured during the World Cup win over the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

“I don’t think it’s a major concern,” said Waqar after the match. “He has an issue with his gluteus and it’s an old problem.

“Irfan will be fine in the next couple of days and will play against South Africa [on Saturday].”