Iran again fail against US

An Iranian rocket failed to put a satellite into orbit on Sunday, state television reported, the latest setback for a programme the United States claims helps Tehran advance its ballistic missile programme.

The launch happened at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province, some 230 kilometres southeast of Iran’s capital, Tehran. A Simorgh, or “Phoenix”, rocket couldn’t put the Zafar 1 communications satellite into orbit, however, due to a low speed, Iranian state TV reported.

“Stage-1 and stage-2 motors of the carrier functioned properly and the satellite was successfully detached from its carrier, but at the end of its path it did not reach the required speed for being put in the orbit,” Defence Ministry space programme spokesman Ahmad Hosseini told state TV.

Hosseini still sought to portray the failure as a “remarkable” achievement for its space programme.

NAB challenge Fawad Hassan Fawad’s bail

anti-graft watchdog has decided to file a plea in the Supreme Court and has finalized all important points in this regard.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday granted bail to former principal secretary to Prime Minister, Fawad Hassan Fawad in the assets case. The court ordered Fawad to submit Rs. 10 million surety bond in court for his bail.

Fawad Hassan Fawad was the principal secretary of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Fawad’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz in his arguments before a two-member bench of the high court headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, said that his client was arrested without any justification in assets beyond means reference.

The counsel argued that the NAB had earlier claimed that Fawad Hassan Fawad is owner of a plaza worth five billion rupees, “now it is claiming that the accused person’s family owns assets worth Rs. 1.08 billion”.

In his bail petition to the court Fawad had said, “I have no personal home except the government residence.” “I am imprisoned in jail for last one-and-half year without any crime,” he said.

“My health has deteriorated and medical treatment is not possible in jail,” he pleaded and sought the court order for his release on bail from the assets case.

Earlier, the former principal secretary to Prime Minister was granted bail by the Lahore High Court on February 15 last year along with former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.

shortage of wheat in Pakistan

Sources privy to the development revealed that the committee made to tackle the issue will thoroughly examine the recent wheat crisis and give a formal report on the matter to the prime minister.

The three-member committee under the leadership of Director-General of the Federal Investigative Bureau (DG-FIA) will also include a member from the anti-corruption bureau of Punjab and the Information Branch (IB) each.

The committee has also been tasked to determine those that are responsible for creating the conundrum and suggest possible measures to be taken against those levied with the blame.

The committee will also give its suggestions on stocking of wheat and future plans of handling the produce.

Earlier in the day, In a crackdown against profiteers, the city administration fined at least three flour mills for selling the commodity at Rs76 per kilogram against the official rate of Rs45.

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The Punjab government has launched a province-wide crackdown on wheat hoarders and profiteers to control the wheat flour prices. The provincial government has decided to take strict and indiscriminate action against those involved in creating an artificial shortage of the major food supplement.

Earlier on January 21, Punjab’s Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry had ruled out the impression of any shortage of wheat flour in the province.

another innocent child rape in Nowshera special law must be needed

The newly-constituted prosecution team will assist police and lawyers of the victim girl. The decision was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to discuss the horrible incident of rape and murder of a minor girl in Nowshera.

CM Mahmood Khan has also contacted Speaker KP Assembly and requested to immediately activate Special Committee for Child Protection. CM Khan said the committee will forward its recommendations for the imposition of strict punishments within a month through draft legislation. The committee will also table its suggestion for organising a watch list regarding the criminals involved in child abuse cases.

prime minister IMRAN KHAN speech today

“I’ve always believed that the only way forward is via peace settlements. We want to mend our fences with Iran; we had some border issues with them. And then with India,” said PM Imran Khan.

“I reached out to Narendra Modi, the reaction was very different. Subcontinent hosts the highest number of poor people in the world. And we could talk to reduce poverty and increase trade. I tried to talk but hit a brick wall.”

“Then Pulwama happened, Indian soldiers were killed and I immediately told them to give us immediately actionable evidence and we would take action. Then the Air Force excursion happened; we captured their pilot and returned him safe and sound to show that we are for peace.”

“What happened in Pulwama, we asked for actionable intelligence but the dossier arrived after their jets violated Pakistan’s airspace and bombed our trees.”

“India unilaterally annexed Kashmir, revoked articles in their own constitution and since then it’s gone from bad to worse.”

The prime minister then talked about the continued state of unrest in India with regards to its controversial citizenship amendment act (CAA) which has been seen as a too marginalize the Muslim minority of India.

“What’s happening in India is a disaster for the people of India, for the people of Kashmir, for India which was a secular and multi-cultural society,” said Imran Khan.

“This ideology of Hindutva, The RSS ideology inspired by the Nazis who believed in racial superiority, and who believed in hatred against other religions is destroying the fabric of the Indian nation.”

“If you read history and the rise of Nazi Germany, the parallels are uncanny. From 1930 to 1934, Germany went from a democracy to a fascist country.”

“I feel bad because it’s such a big country with such huge populations of minorities; from Muslims to Christians to Dalits. They are trying to change the demographics of Kashmir which is against the Geneva conventions.”

“The jingoism has sprung up, even more, post-Modi winning the elections again. There are already protests in India, there is bombing across the line of control. Things could get worse and they may do something to distract from that.”

The prime minister urged the global peacemaking body of the United Nations and the President of the United States, Donald Trump along with others in the global community to take note of the region being a nuclear flash point and the need for serious deliberation to resolve matters between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

The prime minister spoke about how his government had undertaken the Billion Tree Tsunami project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, referring to it as “one of the most successful campaigns across the country.”

PM Imran said his provincial government in 2013 had taken the initiative to involve local communities in the campaign to plant more trees.

Pakistan in the 1960s was one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia. Pakistan was industrializing faster than anyone else in the subcontinent, said Imran Khan and I envision it to return to those times, times of economic prosperity.

“My contention is that it’s not a lack of resources that make a country poor; it is corruption because it destroys institutions. For public office holders to make money, institutes have to be destroyed,” said

“Taking out money is one issue, but in the process, the destruction of institutions is what really damaged Pakistan. The money that is taken out leads to inflation and poverty. Your resources are distorted; megaprojects are taken for kickbacks.”

“We are trying to strengthen the state institutions. We have tightened up our laws on money laundering. But at the core, it is the basic direction of the country.”

“We want to focus on skill development, on empowering our youth with skills, encouraging young startups and entrepreneurship. We are encouraging apprenticeships. This is our big resource which will one day lift Pakistan.”

Five PIA planes stuck in Dubai due to rain

Five PIA planes are stuck at the Dubai Airport as heavy rains and accumulation of water have disrupted flight operations there.

Eight PIA flights have been cancelled and eight others delayed as the weather conditions in Dubai have affected flight operations in Pakistan as well.

According to a PIA spokesperson, flights to Dubai including PK-214 from Karachi, PK-212 from Islamabad, PK-222 from Multan, PK-204 from Lahore and one from Faisalabad have been disrupted because the planes are stuck in Dubai.

Rain and fog within the country has also forced the PIA to cancel two flights from Karachi to Lahore and flight PK-341 from Karachi to Faisalabad.

Flight PK-305 from Lahore to Karachi and PK-308 from Karachi to Islamabad have also been delayed.

The spokesperson said the PIA had issued a changed schedule in view of the weather forecast in Dubai.

The cancelled flights include PK 213/214 Karachi-Dubai-Karachi, 235/236 Islamabad-Dubai-Islamabad and 283/284 Peshawar-Dubai-Peshawar.

DG ISPR dismisses Indian army chief’s threat

KARACHI: The Pakistan Army has brushed aside the top Indian military commander’s threat of invading Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) as “routine rhetoric for domestic audiences”.

Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane – who earlier this month threatened to carry out “preemptive strikes” in Pakistan – said on Saturday that the Indian army would take steps to take control of AJK if the Indian government gave such an order.

“[The] statements by [the] Indian COAS to undertake military action across [the] LoC are routine rhetoric for domestic audiences to get out of ongoing internal turmoil,” the chief spokesperson for Pakistan Army said in a Twitter post.

NAB law draws

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has termed three sections of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 “un-Islamic”.

“Sections 14-D, 15-A and 26 of the NAO are not in accordance with the Shariah law,” Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said while addressing a news conference after the conclusion of a two-day moot of the council here on Thursday.

The response comes following President Dr Arif Alvi’s promulgation of the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 towards the end of December to limit the sweeping powers of the national accountability watchdog to act against any individual accused of financial corruption at will.

Section 14 of the law pertains to presumption against accused accepting illegal gratification, Section 15 relates to disqualification to contest elections (or to hold public office) and Section 26 refers to the tender of pardon.

“Provisions like becoming an approver and striking plea bargains in the corruption cases are against the Shariah law,” Dr Ayaz said. “Disgracing the accused through handcuffing and letting their videos go on air is not allowed in Islam.”

He said with the recent amendments, the NAB law would become further discriminatory.

“NAB law is not compatible with Islamic laws on crime and punishment,” said Dr Ayaz, adding that the council would review the amendments to the law.

He added that under the 1973 Constitution, no law could be enacted against the spirit of Shariah law.

Under the amended ordinance, the NAB chairman would submit a report on complaints against the bureau to the federal government. Earlier, the NAB chief used to submit such a report to the president.

It says inquiries and investigations shall stand transferred to the respective authorities or departments which administer the relevant laws of taxation, levies or imposts in question.

Trials shall stand transferred from the relevant accountability courts to the criminal courts which deal with offences under the respective laws pertaining to taxation, levies, or imposts in question.

With regard to procedural lapses in any government project or scheme, it says no action under the ordinance shall be taken against any holder of public office unless it is shown that the holder of public office has materially benefitted by gaining any asset or monetary benefit which is disproportionate to his known sources of income, or where such material benefit cannot be reasonably accounted for, and there is evidence to corroborate the acquiring of such material benefit.

Importantly, it reads, no action under the ordinance shall be taken against any holder of public office in any matter pertaining to the rendition of any advice, opinion or report, unless it is shown that the holder of public office has materially benefitted by gaining any asset or monetary benefit which is disproportionate to his known sources of income, or where such material benefit cannot be reasonably accounted for.

Surprisingly, the ordinance states that the valuation of immovable properties, for the purposes of assessing as to whether a holder of public office has assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, shall be reckoned either according to the applicable rate prescribed by the district collector or the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), whichever is higher. “No evidence contrary to the latter shall be admissible,” it adds.

It also states that an act done in good faith and in discharge of duties and performance of official function shall not, unless there is corroborative evidence of accumulation of any monetary benefit or asset which is disproportionate to the know sources of income or which can’t be reasonably accounted for.

The ordinance makes it mandatory for NAB to obtain approval of a scrutiny committee, comprising NAB chairman, cabinet secretary, SECP chairman, FBR chief, and a law ministry representative, before acting against any government official.

It further states that NAB would not seize property of government officials without the orders of the court. If the national graft buster cannot complete an investigation against a suspect within three months, the accused would be entitled to bail, it added.

The proposed amendment text suggested that NAB should now only be able to proceed in corruption cases worth Rs500 million or more. Earlier, the minimum limit was Rs50 million.

The NAB jurisdiction over matters relating to tax, stock exchange and IPOs has been curtailed. The FBR, SECP and building control authorities would be the sole authorities mandated to act on all such matters.

Under the ordinance, NAB officials have been barred from giving statements to the media on an inquiry or investigation before the filing of formal reference.

Zainab Alert bill

The National Assembly on Friday passed the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill 2019 proposing to making it mandatory for police officers to take action in a child abuse case within two hours of it being reported.

The bill, which was moved by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, states that action would be taken against any officer who failed to respond in a child abuse case within two hours.

The decision comes on the second death anniversary of seven-year-old Zainab Ansari who was raped and later killed in Kasur.

Zainab went missing and her body was found on a pile of garbage. The brutal rape and murder had triggered angry countrywide protests. Zainab’s murderer was hanged in Kot Lakhpat jail the same year.

It also proposed to increase the imprisonment period in child abuse cases to a minimum 10 years to a maximum 14 years.

A helpline (1099) will also be made to specifically report such cases.

The lower house of Parliament passed five other bills during the session which was later adjourned till Monday.