National Assembly green-lights Fata-KP merger by passing ‘historic’ bill

The National Assembly on Thursday passed a constitutional amendment seeking the much-awaited merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) with a 229-1 vote in favour. Lawmakers from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chose to walk out from the assembly ahead of the vote. Dawar Kundi from the PTI was the sole dissenting vote in the final count. A session of the Senate has been called on Friday (tomorrow) to review the bill and give assent. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas represent…

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Number of registered voters in 2018 up 23pc from last general elections

Peshawar Na 4 Elections result

4 The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday published the final electoral rolls ahead of General Elections 2018. According to the rolls, 105.96 million voters will be able to cast their vote in the upcoming elections. Of these, 59.22m are male and 46.73m are females, with the gender gap between male and female rising to around 12.5m. According to the figures, 55.9 per cent of the registered voters in Pakistan are males while only 44.1pc are females. The numbers are approximately 23 per cent higher than the figures for…

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NAB launches probe against Bahria Town megaprojects in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi

NAB

In accordance with the orders of the apex court, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched a formal probe against Bahria Town Karachi, Bahria Town Lahore and Bahria Town Rawalpindi, according to a press release issued by the watchdog on Monday. NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal has directed the relevant directors general to complete their investigation within three months, in line with the court’s directions. On May 4, the Supreme Court, in three hard-hitting verdicts against the real estate empire, had declared the procurement of land by Bahria Town for its housing projects…

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Family, friends mourn Pakistani exchange student killed in Santa Fe school shooting

Sabika Sheikh

Sabika Sheikh, a 17-year-old Pakistani scholar participating in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme in the US, was one of the 10 people killed when a teenage classmate armed with a shotgun and a revolver opened fire in the Santa Fe High School in Texas yesterday. “We found out about the shooting from a local TV channel and tried, but failed to contact Sabika and her friends,” said Sabika’s father Abdul Aziz, while adding that they then contacted the YES programme coordinator, who confirmed the news of their daughter’s death,…

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3 children among 4 civilians killed by Indian firing across Working Boundary: ISPR

Four people, including three children, were killed while 10 were injured in unprovoked ceasefire violations across the Working Boundary (WB) by India on Friday, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release said. According to the army’s media wing, the Punjab Rangers are responding to Indian fire and targeting Indian posts which initiated fire in the Sialkot sector as intermittent fire continues. The Foreign Office said that the violations took place in Pukhlian, Cahprar, Harpal, Charwah and Shakargarh sectors and identified the deceased as a woman, Kalsoom, and her three children…

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PTI files petition in IHC against committee examining foreign funding case

Imran Khan in Peshawar ring Road Jalsa

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday petitioned the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to declare as null and void the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) March 12 decision ordering the formation of a committee to scrutinise the minutiae of the PTI’s sources of funding. Dissident founder member of the PTI and the petitioner in the case, Akbar S. Babar, had filed the case before the ECP in 2014 after he developed differences with Imran Khan over internal corruption and abuse of laws governing political funding. The petitioner had alleged…

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‘Indian media misrepresented Nawaz’s statement, we should not become a part of it,’ says PM Abbasi

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, during a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, said that Nawaz Sharif’s statements about the Mumbai attacks in an interview to Dawn were being misrepresented by Indian media — and people in Pakistan should not become party to the propaganda. The press conference was held shortly after the conclusion of a National Security Council (NSC) session, which was convened to discuss “recent misleading media statement” regarding the Mumbai attacks. According to DawnNewsTV, PM Abbasi dispelled the impression that Nawaz had said that the Mumbai attacks had been planned in…

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At least five dead as over 20 tourists swept away in Neelum Valley bridge collapse

Neelum Valley Bridge Collapsed

NEELUM: At least 20 tourists were swept away when a bridge collapsed in Neelum Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, according to the police. Police officials said around 25 tourists stopped to take pictures on the bridge, located in Nala Jagran area of the region, when it collapsed as it could not withstand the pressure. An operation is under way to rescue the tourists, with authorities having recovered five bodies and rescued at least six people up till now. Personnel of the Pakistan Army are also assisting in the…

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Maulana Abdul Aziz not allowed to lead Friday prayers

ISLAMABAD: The capital administration held five rounds of discussions with deposed cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz and did not allow him to lead Friday prayers and deliver the weekly sermon in the mosque. The last round of talks between the administration and the cleric started on Friday morning and concluded less than an hour before the prayers. Scores of women clad in black burqas with some of them carrying sticks gazed down at the streets from the windows and rooftops of the new Jamia Hafsa in G-7/3-4 as…

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Interim charge sheets filed against Rao Anwar, others

Rao Anwaar

KARACHI: Police submitted on Friday interim charge sheets against former Malir SSP Rao Anwar and others before the administrative judge of antiterrorism courts in a case of foisting weapons and explosives upon Naqeebullah Mehsud and three other victims. Rao Anwar and then DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh along with their 10 absconding subordinates have been booked in the second case for foisting pistols and hand grenades upon Naqeeb and three others after killing them in a staged shoot-out on Jan 13 in Shah Latif Town. Investigating Officer SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed…

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In tit-for-tat move, Pakistan imposes travel restrictions on US diplomats

Pak US

In what appears to be a tit-for-tat move, the Foreign Ministry on Friday imposed reciprocal travel restrictions on American diplomats in the country as similar restrictions on the movement of Pakistani diplomats in the United States (US) comes into effect today. A ministry notification issued to the US Embassy in Islamabad yesterday stated that the reciprocal measures would come into effect immediately after US restrictions are implemented. The measures include travel restrictions, as well as treating US diplomatic cargo at Pakistani airports and ports in accordance with Vienna Convention’s Article…

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Pakistani-origin Italian woman Sana was strangled to death: autopsy report

Sana Khan

Pakistani-origin Italian citizen Sana Cheema ─ whose death in Gujrat, was reported by Italian media as an alleged honour killing ─ was found to have been strangled to death, according to an autopsy report obtained by Dawn on Wednesday. The autopsy was conducted by Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Teaching Hospital’s Dr Komal Ishaq after the Punjab Forensic Science Agency sent Sana’s forensic report to the hospital. The forensic report stated that the victim’s voice box was swollen and the right cornua of her hyoid bone (in the neck) had been dislocated. The forensic…

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Attack on interior minister: Shooter ‘showed affiliation’ with Tehreek-i-Labbaik, DC Narowal says

Ahsan Iqbal injured

A suspect who was arrested for the assassination attempt on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday evening has a declared affiliation with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik, it emerged late last night. In a preliminary report sent to the Punjab chief secretary hours after the attack, the Narowal deputy commissioner reported that the suspect had identified himself as Abid Hussain, son of Mohammad Hussain, a resident of Verum village, Tehsil Shakargarh of Narowal district. “He further showed his affiliation with Tahrik-e-Labbaik [sic],” the DC’s letter read. A copy of the letter sent to the chief…

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Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal injured in assassination attempt during Narowal corner meeting

Ahsan Iqbal in Quetta | Sardar Yousaf in Quetta

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was shot at and injured during a corner meeting in Narowal’s Kanjrur tehsil on Sunday, in what Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif described as an “assassination attempt”. CM Punjab said that he had spoken to the interior minister who “is in high spirits”. “Those who indulged in this heinous act will be brought to justice. PML-N will not be browbeaten into submission,” he said in a Twitter message. Police said Iqbal sustained a bullet wound in his right shoulder. According to DawnNewsTV, Iqbal was initially shifted to…

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ECP chides PM for saying ‘aliens’ will hold 2018 polls

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: A day after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the upcoming general elections would be conducted by ‘aliens’, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday dismissed the insinuation terming it against the spirit of the Constitution and ECP mandate. ECP spokesman Altaf Khan said at a press briefing that the commission was fully prepared to hold the elections in line with its mandate under Article 218 of the Constitution. Under the Constitution and the Elections Act 2017, the ECP was fully independent in discharge of its legal and constitutional…

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