Pakistan should cooperate with India in Mumbai attacks investigation: US
WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday urged Pakistan to cooperate with India to investigate the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Asked what America is doing about “the actors, the masterminds” of the attacks “freely roaming around in Pakistan,” US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said, “Well, we continue to urge the Pakistani Government to cooperate with the Indian authorities to fully investigate these attacks. It was a terrible tragedy; you’re absolutely right. We want to see justice done and we continue to urge Pakistani cooperation.”
The US State Department spokesperson went on to say, “Well, that’s an ongoing conversation that we have with the Pakistani authorities,” when asked why the US didn’t urge Pakistanis to take care of the late Taliban leader.
“They need to address all groups operating on their soil – Taliban groups that are operating on their soil and their territory. We’ve urged them to do so in the past. We continue to urge them to do so and have worked with them on addressing the very real threat on their own soil,” Toner added.
Statement from the US State Department comes a day after Pakistan confirmed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s death in a US drone strike.
Asked whether Taliban will engage in Afghan peace talks after the US killed their leader, Toner said, “First and foremost, our action against Mansour was predicated on the fact that we believed he was going to carry out lethal attacks on US servicemen and women in the field as well as against Afghan forces. That was – that was the clear and pressing, imminent threat that we were addressing by removing him from the battlefield. But we also hope that it sent a clear signal to the Taliban that really peace and reconciliation is their only option.”
In March, Pakistan asked the Indian government to send all 24 witnesses of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack to Islamabad, to appear before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in the federal capital.
“The Foreign Office has written to the Indian government asking it to send all 24 witnesses to Pakistan for recording statements in the trial court in the Mumbai attack case,” India’s news wire service, Press Trust of India (PTI), quoted chief prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar as saying on Sunday.
The prosecution chief said the ATC has already completed recording the statements of all Pakistani witnesses in the case.
“Now the ball is in India’s court. The Indian government should send all Indian witnesses of the Mumbai case to Pakistan to record their statements so that the trial could further move ahead,” Azhar, who is also a special prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), said. - Agencies
Govt rejects opposition’s ToRs on Panama Leaks, meeting ends in deadlock
ISLAMABAD: The government has rejected all the fifteen ToRs presented by joint opposition in the parliamentary committee’s meeting on Friday.
According to the statement issued by government, opposition has been asked to present new ToRs.
The government and opposition have reached a deadlock in the matter of drafting the proposed terms of reference (ToRs) for an inquiry into Panama Papers leaks.
Earlier in a press briefing, leader of opposition in Senate and Pakistan People’s Party leader Aitzaz Ahsan announced that we have reached a deadlock during the discussions.
He said that no investigation can take place until the joint opposition’s ToRs are considered.
He added that the joint opposition had not withdrawn Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s name from the ToRs. “We have included the names of Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz in our ToRs.”
“Today’s talks did not move forward “even an inch”. The government had refused to accept any of the proposed TORs by the joint opposition,” said PTI’s leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
He said that the opposition is firm on its core questions and would not step back from any of its proposed TORs at any cost.
He added that the opposition had offered the government to add any clauses or points that they wished to the list of TORs but they will not back down from their own proposed issues that need to be investigated.
“The government rejected our 15 points. If they reject our proposal we will consider the four-point preamble null and void too,” Shah Mehmood Qureshi concluded.
Four suspected Afghan terrorists killed in Mohmand
PESHAWAR: Four suspected Afghan terrorists were killed in a clash with security forces on Friday in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The clash occurred in Mohmand Agency’s Khwezai tehsil, which borders Afghanistan.
“Terrorists attacked a security check post in Khozai area of Mohmand Agency, which borders Afghanistan,” said a security official.
The security official added all four terrorists were killed in retaliatory action by security forces.
Mohmand is one of Pakistan’s seven tribal agencies near the Afghan border where the military has been battling Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants for over a decade.
Two more Afghan ‘spies’ arrested by CTD KP
PESHAWAR: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday claimed to have arrested two spies during a search operation in Peshawar.
The CTD said the spies were Afghan citizens living in Pakistan with fake National Identity Cards. An initial investigation revealed both ‘spies’ had allegedly been working for a foreign intelligence agency.
An investigation is ongoing, the CTD said, adding that as progress is made, more sensitive information is expected. The revelation comes a day after six Afghan spies were arrested in Balochistan. - Statesman
Pakistani accused of making $425,000 by manipulating US stock
WASHINGTON: A federal court in Manhattan issued an order on Tuesday to freeze the assets of a Pakistani man after the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint that he had allegedly manipulated a technology stock and had made $425,000 in profits.
Nauman A Aly is accused of violating anti-fraud provisions of the US federal securities laws after a false regulatory filing was traced to his computer in Pakistan, according to the SEC website.
“We allege that Aly tried to fool the markets from a computer in Pakistan to make an easy profit, but we made sure he didn’t cash in. Market manipulation doesn’t pay, no matter the method or how distant the perpetrator,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division.
The court order ensures that Aly cannot withdraw from his US-based account the $425,000 in options trading profits made in less than 30 minutes last month after the false filing. The filing stated that Aly and six Chinese investors had collectively acquired 5.1 per cent of Silicon Valley-based Integrated Device Technology (IDT). According to the SEC’s complaint, his false statements caused the company’s stock to spike more than 25 per cent within minutes.
According to the SEC’s complaint, this is how Aly carried out the fraud:
On April 12 at 11:50 am Eastern Time, Aly purchased 1,850 call options in IDT in his US brokerage account for $18,500.
At 12:08 pm, Aly filed a form known as a Schedule 13D on the SEC’s EDGAR system and falsely stated that his group of investors had a 5.1 per cent beneficial ownership of IDT and had sent a letter to the board of directors offering to acquire all of the company’s shares for a price that represented a 65 per cent premium.
The market reacted quickly to the filing, and IDT’s stock price increased by more than 25 per cent in less than 10 minutes.
At 12:18 pm, Aly sold all of the options for the illicit $425,000 profit. He then filed another Schedule 13D stating that his group of investors no longer owned more than 5 per cent of IDT after his options sales.
Aly used the same IP address for the options trades that he used to make the false filings. Aly’s group of investors never actually owned 5.1 per cent of IDT and never contacted IDT to buy all of its shares.
The US SEC is currently investigating the case further. - Agencies
Chabahar not a rival to Gwadar, Iranian envoy tells Pakistan
Iran offers Pakistan to join Chabahar port deal
ISLAMABAD: Addressing tensions surrounding Chabahar, Mehdi Honerdoost, the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan, said the Chabahar port agreement between Iran, India and Afghanistan is ‘not finished’ and ‘not limited to these three countries’.
Speaking on Pakistan-Iran relations at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad (ISSI), the envoy revealed that the offer to cooperate had first been extended to Pakistan and then China, implying neither had expressed interest.
Ahmed Saffee, a research fellow at the ISSI, quoted the Iranian envoy as saying that the deal is still on the table for both Pakistan and China, assuring that ‘Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar’.
The ambassador added that both are sister ports, and Chabahar port authorities would extend cooperation to Gwadar.
“The deal is not finished. We are waiting for new members. Pakistan, our brotherly neighbours and China, a great partner of the Iranians and a good friend of Pakistan, are both welcome,” said the envoy.
“India was a good friend during the sanctions, the only country to import oil from us during sanctions.”
‘Ready for rapprochement’
“We are ready for any rapprochement between regional countries which directly impact the interests of the people of our countries. Trade and business is business, and politics is politics. We should separate them.”
Honerdoost reiterated that trade and business is a key element to bringing peace to the region, and that Iran has friendly trade relations with its neighbours and regional powers, including Turkey, China and Russia.
According to Saffee, the envoy called for cooperation between Pakistani and Iranian universities to increase people-to-people contact, especially between the youth, a major demographic in both countries.
“Iran has undergone the burden of sanctions and international isolation. After the P5+1 deal, Iran is invigorated.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday signed a three-way transit agreement on Iran’s southern port of Chabahar.
India said it will invest up to $500 million in a deal to develop a strategic port in Iran and both countries planned a number of projects they say are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The development of the port at Chabahar expands a trade route for the land-locked countries of central Asia that bypasses Pakistan, and represents a missed opportunity for Pakistan as post-sanctions Iran opens up.
The deal and plans were announced during a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first such trip in more than a decade.
IHC issues notice to Ayyan Ali in plea to determine her source of income
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday issued notice to super modal Ayyan Ali in a plea moved by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) seeking permission to determine sources of income of Ali in connection with her involvement in the currency smuggling case.
A single-judge bench of Justice Athar Minallah issued notices after hearing the arguments presented by Zahoor Ahmad Mughal, counsel for the petitioner.
The board has filed the petition against Ayyan seeking court’s permission to investigate the financial source of Ayyan’s US$506800 given the circumstances that she was not a tax payer.
Petitioner has challenged a judgment of Special Judge (Customs, Taxation and Anti Smuggling) dated March 30, 2016 declining their request to investigate the matter. FBR has said that money recovered from Ayyan was tainted unless proven otherwise.
In the petition, the FBR said that Ayyan has allegedly committed an offence of smuggling which is a predicate offence under the Anti Money Laundering Act 2010.
Her assertion that the transaction of sale and purchase of property was made in US dollars within Pakistan, he added, was very strange.
Moreover, it said, there was a reason to believe that the foreign currency was actually proceeds of crime as true source of seized currency was yet to be determined.
The petition read that Ayyan was a frequent international traveller (81 times) as evident from her travelling history and being a frequent traveller, she should have been fully aware of the prohibitions and restrictions for taking out such a huge quantity of foreign currency without legal authority.
While raising questions of law, the board said, whether law provides blanket immunity as to source of financing and whether in the light of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010, the accused bears the evidential burden to establish legal source of financing. - APP
Death fell from the sky and the world was changed: Obama at Hiroshima
HIROSHIMA, Japan: Barack Obama paid moving tribute to victims of the first atomic bomb Friday, offering a comforting embrace to a tearful man who survived the devastating attack on Hiroshima. In a ceremony loaded with symbolism, the first sitting US president to visit the city clasped hands with one survivor and hugged another after speaking about the day that marked one of the most terrifying chapters of World War II.
“71 years ago, death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” Obama said of a bomb that “demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself”.
“Why did we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead,” he said.
As crows called through the hush of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Obama offered a floral wreath at the cenotaph, pausing in momentary contemplation with his eyes closed and his head lowered. - AFP
Nisar sets six-month deadline to re-verify all CNICs
Fake ID card holders to get seven years in prison
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali on Friday vowed he will not back down from his decision to re-verify the identity cards of all Pakistanis, and reiterated that he will ensure the mammoth task is completed in the next six months.
Responding to criticism that surfaced after he announced the move earlier this week, Nisar recalled how he went ahead with his SIM registration drive despite the obstacles.
“They said it was an impossible task and will cost a lot. But what is more important than the security of Pakistan?”
The minister said he had approved procedural and organisational changes in the National Database and Regulatory Authority (Nadra), which will ensure the process is completed efficiently. “To that end I have reduced the number of DGs in Nadra from 26 to 10.”
Nisar said the government will give two months to individuals with fake or illegal CNICs to come forward. “No action will be taken against those who voluntarily come forward,” he said.
But after passage of this time, criminal action will be taken against those possessing fake identity cards.
The minister went on to say that Nadra officials who have issued fake NICs will also be given two months to voluntarily report their actions. “I guarantee no action will be taken against those who come forward on their own.”
But after two months, those found guilty will be punished with at least seven years in prison. “I have already formulated a legal team, which will file criminal cases against officers guilty of illegally issuing NICs.”
The minister had first made the announcement to re-verify all CNICs after the disclosure that Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour ostensibly held a fraudulently issued Pakistani identity card.
The minister said the fraudulent issuance of a CNIC to the terrorist leader sent the world the message that the Pakistani identity can be used by anyone, noting that this was against the country’s “strategic, security and national interests”.
“Let’s not send the message ... that the Pakistani ID is easily available to anyone who is willing to pay for it. Being a responsible state, we will ensure that the usage of CNIC by any alien is completely eliminated after this exercise,” he remarked.
Pak should know ‘path to peace is a two-way street’, Modi says
WASHINGTON: India-Pakistan ties can “truly scale great heights” if Pakistan removes the “self-imposed” obstacle of terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as he asked Islamabad to play its part by putting a complete stop to any kind of support to terrorism - “whether state or non-state”.
“In my view, our ties can truly scale great heights once Pakistan removes the self-imposed obstacle of terrorism in the path of our relationship.
“We are ready to take the first step, but the path to peace is a two-way street,” Modi told the Wall Street Journal, in comments posted on its website on Friday.
He said he has always maintained that instead of fighting with each other, India and Pakistan should together fight against poverty.
“Naturally we expect Pakistan to play its part,” he said.
“But, there can be no compromise on terrorism. It can only be stopped if all support to terrorism, whether state or non-state, is completely stopped.
“Pakistan’s failure to take effective action in punishing the perpetrators of terror attacks limits the forward progress in our ties,” said the Prime Minister.
Modi said his government’s proactive agenda for a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood began from the very first day of his government.
“I have said that the future that I wish for India is the future that I dream for my neighbours. My visit to Lahore was a clear projection of this belief,” he said.
Ruling out a change in India’s decades-old policy of non-alignment, Modi said that despite the border dispute, there have been no clashes with China, pointing out the “new way” in today’s “interdependent world” unlike the last century.
“There is no reason to change India’s non-alignment policy that is a legacy and has been in place. But this is true that today, unlike before, India is not standing in a corner. It is the world’s largest democracy and fastest growing economy.
“We are acutely conscious of our responsibilities both in the region and internationally,” he said.
Modi’s significant comment on India’s Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which many now also prefer to call as strategic autonomy, came in response to a question on China’s assertiveness.
“The US is very keen on India, the rising power that India is, to be part of, if not an alliance, then at least a grouping that can stand up to some extent to China. Where do you see India taking a position on the global stage?” he was asked.
“We don’t have any fighting with China today. We have a boundary dispute, but there is no tension or clashes. People-to-people contacts have increased. Trade has increased. Chinese investment in India has gone up. India’s investment in China has grown,” Modi said.
“Despite the border dispute, there haven’t been any clashes. Not one bullet has been fired in 30 years,” he said.
“So the general impression that exists, that’s not the reality,” Modi said on India’s ties with China.
Modi appeared to be appreciative of China’s Maritime Silk Road initiative.
“We feel that the world needs to hear more from China on this initiative, especially its intent and objective,” he said.
With a 7,500 kilometre-long coastline, India has a natural and immediate interest in the developments in the Indo-Pacific region, he said, adding that India has excellent relationships with the littoral states of the Indian Ocean.
“India is a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region. We, therefore, watch very carefully any developments that have implications for peace and stability in this region,” he noted.
Talking about India’s ties with the US, Modi said many of the values between the two countries match.
“Our friendship has endured, be it a Republican government or a Democratic. It is true that Obama and I have a special friendship, a special wavelength,” he said ahead of his travel to the US next month - his fourth visit to the country after becoming the Prime Minister.
“Beyond our bilateral relationship, whether it is global warming or terrorism, we have similar thoughts, so we work together.
“But India doesn’t make its policies in reference to a third country. Nor should it,” Modi said.
He said India and the US have enjoyed a warm relationship, regardless of whether America has a Republican or Democratic administration. - PTI
KP sanctions Rs15.4m Shuhada package to family of slain Dr. Yaqoob
PESHAWAR: To recognize the services of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Coordinator of district Swabi, Dr. Yaqoob Khan who was killed in a terrorist attack on November 30, 2015, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Friday sanctioned 15.4million rupees to the deceased’s family under shuhada package.
According to a notification issued by Finance Department, a total of 9.9 million rupees were sanctioned as cash compensation to affected family members of Dr. Yaqoob Khan.
While Rs. 5.50 million were sanctioned as cash payment in lieu of plot of land. Thus the total amount of 15.4 million (1 crore and 54 lakh) rupees has been sanctioned to the family under Shuhada package.
It is pertinent to mention here that Dr. Yaqoob Khan was gunned down while on his way to office when unknown motorcyclists shot at his car near Swabi’s Zaida Bypass area on November 30, 2015. - APP
KP promotes officials
PESHAWAR: Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the recommendations of the Provincial Selection Board has promoted Muhammad Younis Javed, PCS SG General Manager (Planning) FATA Development Authority (FDA) From BS-20 to BS-21 on regular basis with immediate effect, said an official release here Friday.
The Government also promoted Attaur Rehman, Amir Afaq, Muhammad Anwar Khan, Muhammad Nadir Khan Rana, Imad Ali, Shahid Suhail Khan, Masood Younas, Adeel Shah and Saqib Raza Aslam BPS- 18 to BS-19 of Provincial Management Service (PMS) on regular basis. On the recommendations of the Provincial Selection Board, the KP Government promoted three officers of PCS (Executive Group) on regular basis with immediate effect. They included Ikramullah, Additional Commissioner Mardan BS-19 to BS-20, Basir Khan, Deputy Secretary Home & TAs Department BS-18 to BS-19 and Azan Jan Khalil, Additional Commissioner Peshawar BS-18 to BS-19.
On the recommendations of the Provincial Selection Board the KP Government also promoted Superintendents BS-17 and Private Secretary, Personal Assistant BS-16 to the post of Provincial Management Service PMS BS-17, on regular basis.
The government appointed two Tehsildars namely Jehanzeb and Jamal Ahmad BS-16 to the post of Provincial Management Service PMS BS-17, on acting charge basis with immediate effect.
Tehsildars Arshad Khan, Arshad Jamil, Asad Mehmood Lodhi, Tariq Hussain, Noor Muhammad, Aziz Ullah, Akram Shah, Naz Amin, Akbar Iftikhar Ahmad, Noman Ali Shah and Anwarul Haq have been promoted from BS-16 to the post of Provincial Management Service PMS BS-17 on regular basis. - APP
PA demands same day Eid in KP
House asks Obama to apologise for drone attack
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on Friday, demanding a ban on unofficial moon sighting committees in the province.
The resolution was tabled by PPP MPA Fakhr-e-Alam.
It called for celebrating Eid with the rest of Pakistan in line with the announcement of Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.
The resolution called for taking steps to ensure that non-government moon sighting committees adhere to the Cenral Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.
It said that these committees create a major divide among people during Ramadan and Eid.
Many in the province celebrate the annual Muslim festival as per the announcement of Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai of Masjid Qasim Ali Khan.
The House adopted a resolution against a US drone strike in Balochistan that hit a car last week.
The resolution was tabled by a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmaker Fakhre Alam Wazir and unanimously passed by the house.
The resolution termed the US drone strike an attack on Pakistan’s integrity and called on President Barrack Obama to tender an apology.
It also asked the federal government to lodge strong protest at diplomatic level. A US drone attack killed Mullah Mansour, chief of Afghan Taliban in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan last Saturday.
Islamabad has lodged a protest with the United States and termed the drone strike an attack on country’s sovereignty.
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