PTI to submit resignations in Sindh assembly on Monday
KARACHI: Acting on the directions of Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) members of Sindh Assembly will submit their resignations from their seats till Monday.
Talking to PPI, the party's Sindh chapter spokesman Dawa Khan said that the PTI Sindh assembly members had arrived in the city from Islamabad in order to submit their resignations in the provincial assembly. "We will submit our resignations by Saturday or Monday in Sindh assembly," he said. - PPI
Imran says he wants to talk but govt cannot ensure justice
ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan says he was willing to talk the government but added that how could he and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) expect a government that has come to power after rigging the elections to ensure that justice is done.
In an interview to the BBC, Imran called for the formation of a caretaker government - composed of non-political people - which can implement electoral reforms and call fresh elections.
The PTI chairman said the Supreme Court could order the formation of the caretaker government in response to a question as to whether the army was going to implement these changes.
We do not accept an investigative commission which has members of the government in its ranks, Imran said.
He said Nawaz Sharif did not want to resign because he was worried about his businesses in the country and was afraid of getting exposed.
Govt, PTI return to negotiating table
PTI discovers ‘legal way’ to get PM’s resignation
ISLAMABAD: For the second time since it mobilised thousands of supporters for anti-government protests in Islamabad, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Friday prepared to resume talks with the government, a day after it called off talks with Nawaz's emissaries.
Following a meeting of the PTI's core committee on Friday, senior leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad that his party was now ready to engage in negotiations with the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) led government.
Qureshi said that the government had already started removing containers in Islamabad, while an FIR has also been registered against culprits who earlier attacked his Multan residence. He said that he will soon contact Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar to further play his part in facilitating the talks with the government.
The developments Friday came shortly after PTI lawmakers submitted their resignations from the National Assembly.
NNI adds: the Core Committee of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has discovered a 'legal way' to get Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation during its meeting in Islamabad.
PTI core committee was apprised by legal experts about findings of 'scope of PM's resignation in accordance to Pakistani Constitution'. The meeting was chaired by PTI chairperson Imran Khan on the roof top of his special container being used in Islamabad protest while top leadership of the political party and legal experts.
Legal experts suggested PTI's elite board to demand 'temporary resignation of Prime Minister until vote rigging probe ends. The experts said that Nawaz Sharif will be restored to the post if vote rigging allegations proved wrong.
Justice (Retd.) Wajihuddin and Hamid Khan were also invited in the significant meeting before holding expected dialogue with the government.
PTI lawmakers tender NA resignations
PTI resignations to be evaluated on Monday, says Speaker NA
Polls within 60 days if any MNA resigns, says ECP
ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq Friday said resignations of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNAs, handed over by PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi to the NA Secretary, would be evaluated on Monday.
Talking to a private television channel, the Speaker said presently he was in Lahore, therefore Shah Memhmood had been advised to hand over the resignations to the Secretary after sealing them in envelops.
"I myself will open the sealed envelops on Monday and start the necessary procedure," he said.
However, the Speaker said, he asked the PTI Vice Chairman to review the decision with regard to resignations and play constitutional role in the National Assembly.
He said Shah Mehmood Qureshi or PTI MNAs could get their resignations back prior to opening of the sealed envelops or initiating the formal procedure at any time.
Commenting on the procedure, he said, the resignations were forwarded to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after complete verification and following due process, which de-notify their seats and issue by-election schedule on vacated seats.
Earlier, lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) submitted their resignations from the National Assembly on Friday, as the party continues to lead a sit-in in the capital against Nawaz Sharif's government.
PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Arif Alvi and Shireen Mazari submitted the resignations of all 34 MNAs to the NA speaker's office, including that of Chairman Imran Khan.
The resignations come as the PTI has been engaged in protests and sit-ins against the Nawaz government over alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections.
The party had earlier decided to resign from all assemblies except the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, a province where it forms the government.
"We had already given our resignations to our chairman, and now we have also completed the formal procedure of submitting them to the National Assembly speaker," said PTI leader Murad Saeed shortly after the resignations had been submitted.
The PTI, still young in comparison, had managed to gather enough seats to become the third largest party in the National Assembly in the 2013 polls.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced that by-elections will be held within 60 days if any parliamentarian resigns from his/her seat.
The ECP, in a statement, said that by-election is a constitutional and lawful process and the institution has to follow it. The statement further said that the ECP is responsible for conducting free and fair elections in the country. "90 days are required for the polls if assemblies are dissolved," the ECP further stated.
Senate resolution affirms supremacy of Constitution
Privilege Motion moved against Qadri in Senate
ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday adopted a resolution affirming the supremacy of the Constitution and the Parliament.
The resolution said that the demand for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation and dissolution of the Parliament was unconstitutional.
The resolution also called for continuance of the country's current democratic system. The resolution was tabled by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Saeed Ghani.
Earlier, a debate began on a motion moved by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar.
"The Parliament is under siege by two violent mobs and they are using derogatory language against the Parliament and the parliamentarians," Babar remarked as he opened the debate in the house.
"Tomorrow militant groups can also come and storm Islamabad and demand control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal," Babar said.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Mushahidullah Khan in a reference to Imran Khan said the bowler was now 63-year-old and could not drive anyone out.
In Thursday's session of the National Assembly a resolution had been unanimously approved demanding supremacy of the constitution and law.
Qadri to determine govt seriousness after dialogue sessions
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief, Dr Tahiul Qadir Friday said everything would be made clear when dialogue is held with the government.
Speaking to a private television channel, Dr Qadri said the government's seriousness would be determined after one or two sessions of dialogue.
The PAT chief reiterated that they had not refused to hold dialogue and would not do so. He added that more members of the opposition committee had shown up for dialogue in comparison to members of the government committee.
Dr Tahirul Qadri further said the PAT did not just want the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but a change in the system. - NNI
Lunch at Sharif’s: Zardari to head to Raiwind today
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has initiated contact with former president and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Ali Zardari.
The premier called Zardari and invited the PPP co-chairman for a lunch on Saturday which the former president accepted.
Senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) and the PPP will accompany their party heads at the lunch where they are expected to discuss the prevailing political crisis in the country.
The meeting will take place in Raiwind for which Zardari will depart from Karachi today.
The two leaders will meet at a time when the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) have been holding sit-ins and protests in Islamabad for the eighth consecutive day.
Meetings were ongoing at Bilawal House where Zardari had arrived late Thursday and news of the lunch came after the PPP co-chairman met with Opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah.
Earlier on Thursday, Shah had said that he was willing to support PTI's six demands, including the resignation of the prime minister, but in a reverse order.
Shah had said that PPP would support Imran's demand for Nawaz's resignation if it was adequately proven at a proper forum that the 2013 elections were rigged.
Otherwise, the PPP leader had said, he and leaders of other parliamentary parties would strongly resist PTI's call for removal of the PML-N government.
The PTI leadership has been insisting that the resignation of the prime minister was its top demand. Its other demands include re-election after dissolution of assemblies, electoral reforms, formation of an impartial caretaker set-up with consensus, resignation of all members of the Election Commission of Pakistan and putting all those found guilty of rigging on trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.
Nawaz directs completion of Lowari Tunnel in three years
Says nation to honour sacrifices of NWA tribesmen in war against terror
PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday deplored the delay in long awaited Lowari Tunnel project and directed National Highway Authority (NHA) to complete the project in three years.
Presiding over a high level meeting at Governor House to review the pace of work on Lowari Tunnel, he assured the provision of funds for early completion of the project.
Expressing concern over delay, he said non-completion of the project in nine years was highly deplorable, adding the undue delay has also escalated the cost of project.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed relevant authorities to review the project and immediately initiate the construction work and complete it by October 2017.
He said it was very unfortunate that lack of attention on development projects resulted in huge financial loss to national exchequer.
It was informed during the meeting that 100 per cent work has been completed on 1.9 kilometres of the tunnel while 50 per cent work has been carried out on rest of the 8.5 kilometres, said a press release issued by Press Information Department Peshawar.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister during a briefing on Zar-e-Azab operation and relief activities for the affected tribal people, expressed his satisfaction.
He said the government stood by the Armed Forces and patriot tribal people who had rendered sacrifices for betterment and prosperity of the country.
Mian Nawaz Sharif vowed that the government would utilize all available resources to facilitate the displaced people of North Waziristan.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Federal Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Planning Ehsan Iqbal, Minister for Communications Abdul Hakim Baloch and Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amjad Ali were also present during the meeting. - APP
Next 48 hours will be crucial, says interior minister
ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said that the next 48 hours will be critical in the political events that are unfolding.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, Nisar appealed to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and said that laying siege to state institutions is not the democratic approach to protest.
“This is not the way to move forward in a democratic manner,” said Nisar.
“I say to the PTI and PAT that your freedom ends where my nose starts,” said the interior minister.
“Your freedom to protest does not entail the infringement on the daily lives of other people,” he said.
“Organisers of the march have a duty to ensure protests are conducted in peaceful manner, Nisar said.
“Where the PTI and TUQ requested to stage their protest we had accepted, said Nisar.
He stated that security agencies were not weak and it’s not the case that marchers could not have been prevented from entering the Red Zone.
“The government has taken a very responsible and retrained approach to the protests,” said the interior minister.
“Give me one example of protestors being baton charged, or of one protestor being taken into custody by security forces,” he said.
The interior minister said that as per a Lahore High Court ruling the marchers’ demands were unconstitutional, but the marchers had every right to protest.
Nothing contrary to law and order shall be permitted,” he said.
Nisar said that containers had been put up for security reasons and that they will not be removed.
He said that marchers were under threat of terrorist attacks as per intelligence being received.
“We have received intelligence of the protestors possibly being targeted," he said.
Nisar said that, “Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri should vow that they will take responsibility, God forbid, for any terrorist attack on protestors”.
He also spoke out against rumors being spread that the government using dubious measure to break up the protests.
“Conspiracy theories that we have put something in the drinking water are simply false… if it was true then the song and dance routines would not have been able to take place all night,” said Nisar.
He appealed to Imran Khan not to believe or spread such rumors as he is a national leader.
“There is not going to be any measure taken to stop people’s access to food and water,” he said.
“Imran Khan please tell me a direction in which you want to go… using coarse language is not the proper thing to do.
“Majority of your demands we are willing to accept," Nisar said.
He stated that businesses, traders and others in the business community have all voiced their opposition to the march.
“We have no issue regarding constitutional demands and legal demands by the protestors…only though dialogue and democratic process can this situation be resolved," said the interior minister.
Zardari, Fazl discuss political situation
KARACHI: Former President and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari has made a telephonic contact with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur-Rehman to discuss the political scenario of the country.
Both politicians have held discussions over unstable political situation of the country following strong protests against the federal government.
Zardari and Fazl unanimously agreed to resolve all issues under the Constitution.
PPP co-chairman had arrived Pakistan from Dubai on emergency call by party leaders due to the serious political situation developed in the country.
He was briefed by the Opposition Leader to National Assembly Khursheed Shah and former Interior Minister Rehman Malik regarding the developments. - INP
Zardari tasks Shah to help defuse deadlock
KARACHI: PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has given a task to the opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah to help defuse political deadlock.
The meeting of the PPP central executive committee took place here with the former president Zardari in the chair.
The meeting also decided to engage former Punjab governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood in the dialogue process to get the prevailing political stalemate settled.
The PPP leaders agreed that they would back the government in both the houses of the parliament and they would not support any undemocratic move against the government.
The PPP co-chairman also summoned a meeting of the party's Punjab chapter today. - INP
JUI-F organises country-wide ‘Jamoriat Bachao’ rallies
ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam (F) Friday organized Jamoriat Bachao (Save Democracy) rallies across the country against the sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).
Spokesman JUI-F Jan Achakzai told APP that 'Jamoriat Bachao' rallies was organized on the call of JUI-F Central Ameer Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
He said that thousands of JUI-F workers participated in the rallies organized in various cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh.
He said that the protest rallies were also organized on Tehsil and District level.
He said that after Friday's congregational prayers, the workers of JUI-F protested the illegal demand of PTI and PAT.
"Imran Khan and Dr. Qadri's protest march and their demands are illegal," he added.
He said that apprarently PTI wanted to use resignation drive as a tactic to hide its failure in KPK to build a "Naya Pakistan".
He said that JUI-F will support those parties which work for the supremacy of the Constitution. - APP
PM’s resignation subject to judicial commission’s report: JI
LAHORE: After Pakistan People's Party, Jamaat-e-Islaami (JI) has also recommended Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation if rigging was proved in the judicial commission's report.
JI general secretary Liaquat Baloch said that the PM should resign if he was found guilty of rigging, and announce new elections. He added that this current political deadlock is due to the high value of the demands by those protesting against the government.
This solution was reached after a consensus with the other parties on the punishment of perpetrator once it was proven by the judicial commission report.
According to JI, opposition and other parties have no objection to the reformation of the Election Commission.
Baloch said that a First Information Report (FIR) should be registered against those responsible for the Model Town tragedy after the court's decision. - INP
NA adopts resolution for protection of journalists
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Friday passed a resolution condemning the attack on journalists during coverage of the sit-ins being staged by PTI and PAT in Islamabad's Red Zone area.
The resolution tabled by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai called for protection of journalists and action against those engaged in violence against journalists.
During the session the PkMAP chief said that there was a limit to the spread of chaos and disharmony.
Addressing the House he asked till when will we have to tolerate the uncivil language being used in the protests.
He added that we are being forced to take action on our own.
The NA session was adjourned until Monday.
No threat of Parliament being dissolved: NA speaker
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said on Friday that there is threat of dissolution to the National Assembly from any quarter.
"The National Assembly now can only be dissolved if the prime minister advises the president, except this there is no other option", Sadiq told Dawn.com in an exclusive interview.
When asked about resignations of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers, the speaker said they would not be accepted in such haste.
"I will first write separate letters to each PTI MNA in order to verify whether they are willing to resign or not,” the Speaker said
He further disclosed that phone calls to each MNA would follow after letters to invite them for signing a pro forma after which resignations declared would be approved.
"Process would take time which could be two weeks from next working day," he said.
The Speaker said, “PTI MNAs came after Friday prayers when the secretary of the secretariat and myself were not present.
“But despite this I spoke to Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the phone and told him to leave the resignations with the NA secretary who was told to reach my office urgently,” he said.
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said he was upset when PAT workers blocked the entrance of Parliament and that a senior military officer posted on security later ordered PAT workers to move aside, otherwise they would face action.
He confirmed that the NA session has been extended and that he did not receive any prorogation orders from the president, which was a clear message that the session should continue.
Sadiq said the resolution adopted by the House recently is a clear message of confidence in democracy and the supremacy of Parliament.
Militant attack from Afghanistan kills FC soldier in Balochistan
Constabulary kills 12 alleged terrorists in Turbat
QUETTA: A paramilitary soldier was killed in an exchange of fire with militants who entered Pakistani territory from Afghanistan on Friday, the military said.
The incident happened in the Muslim Bagh sector of Balochistan, near the Afghan border.
"Around 70 to 80 armed men tried to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan near Muslim Bagh in Qila Saifullah. Frontier Corps (FC) personnel, primarily responsible for guarding border, tried to stop them when they opened fire," spokesperson of FC Balochistan Khan Wasay said.
During the exchange of fire, an FC personnel, Naik Mohabat Khan, sustained serious bullet wounds and later reportedly succumbed to his injuries.
"The clashes between security forces and smugglers often take place near the bordering area," spokesperson further said, adding that the exchange of fire is still underway.
Militants from Afghanistan routinely intrude into Pakistani territory near the border in the northwest and attack military check posts and their opponents, souring diplomatic ties between Islamabad and Kabul.
Meanwhile, the para-military Frontier Corps (FC) has claimed to foil a major terrorism bid as 12 alleged terrorists were killed in ongoing battle in Turbat city of Balochistan province.
FC spokesperson, Khan Wasey has said that the security forces have taken rapid retaliation against the terrorists in Turbat who have planned to start large-scale target killing in various cities of the province.
'More terrorists have been surrounded and exchange of heavy firing is still continued,' spokesperson added. - Agencies
Indian forces open unprovoked firing at Charwa sector
SIALKOT: Indian security forces again opened unprovoked firing at Charwa sector in Sialkot early Friday morning.
According to sources in Chenab Rangers, the Indian forces fired mortar shell at the border.
Reports say the Indian forces all of a sudden opened unprovoked and unwarranted firing and shelling, targeting the rangers check post. Meantime, mortar shells were also fired in the border areas that triggered panic among the local residents.
However, no loss of life was reported in the incident.
Meantime, the Chenab Rangers gave a timely and appropriate rejoinder that quelled Indian guns completely. - INP
Lahore judge’s order for FIR against Sharifs challenged
LAHORE: Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed has challenged the ruling of a Lahore court which ordered the registration of a murder case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, several other PML-N leaders and some police officials over the June 17 Model Town incident.
Rasheed challenged the ruling in the Lahore High Court in his personal capacity which the court has admitted for hearing.
The petition will be heard by Justice Mehmood Maqbool Bajwa of the LHC.
The petition contends that the ruling of the sessions judge that ordered the registration of cases was not based on the reality of situation, adding that the order be suspended.
Eleven supporters of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were killed and scores were wounded in the June 17 Model Town incident.
Protesters should remember history as 1969 movement disintegrated country: SC
ISLAMABAD: Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja of Supreme Court on Friday remarked that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) should remember the history as the country was disintegrated in year 1971 after two years of 1969 crisis.
The five-member larger bench, comprising Chief Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Asif Saeed Khan
Khosa, heard the identical petitions, filed by presidents of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and High Court Bar Association, Multan Bench.
The petitions sought the apex court's direction that no authority or state functionaries take any extra-constitutional steps in the prevailing political situation.
During Friday's hearing, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri submitted his reply through counsel Ali Zaffar.
The PAT respondent stated that the court should not conduct the hearing as it was a political matter.
The court expressed dissatisfaction over PAT reply and directed to submit concise reply till Monday (August 25).
Ali Zaffar stated that the masses had taken to the streets for the sake of justice. No body had been stopped to come to the Shahrah-e-Dastoor, he added.
Justice Jawwad Kawaja remarked that Constitution Avenue had been blocked and people were in trouble due to the sit-ins.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that it was not a matter of Constitution Avenue blockade but a matter of violation of basic human fundamentals. He said that citizens rights were being violated because of these protests which the court would not allow at any cost.
Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that demonstration was right of the protestors but they should choose another proper place for protests and blocked roads should be opened.
Azhar Bukhari, counsel for a petitioner said that batons carrying mob of PAT had occupied the Constitution Avenue and PAT workers had placed tents outside Parliament House and were threatening the employees of the Parliament House and the apex court.
He said that these protestors had controlled the security of the area and posing serious threat.
Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali remarked that he has to walk one kilometre along with another judge, due to these protestors.
He also observed that not only demonstrators had rights, the citizens had also their constitutional fundamental rights.
The apex court also rejected the plea filed against Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri's sit-in protests outside the Parliament.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan's counsel Hamid Khan also submitted the response in the Supreme Court on behalf of Imran Khan pertaining to the ongoing case of extra constitutional steps against him.
He submitted that Imran Khan didn't support any unconstitutional or extra-constitutional steps to derail democracy in the country.
He, however, maintained that he fully respected the supremacy of Constitution and rule of law.
In his reply, Imran Khan pointed out it was the right of every citizen to protest according to the Constitution. He further argued in his written response to the apex court that PTI's protests were
He assured that PTI workers will remain peaceful and will not violate the laws.
He also stated that none of the PTI activists would try to enter any buildings in the Red Zone area of the Federal Capital which houses the Constitution Avenue and foreign missions.
Imran Khan's counsel stated that the sit-in by his party in front of the Parliament House was lawful and was in accordance with Articles 4, 9, 15, 16 and 17 of the Constitution.
President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Kamran Murtaza informed the court that Bar Associations of Islamabad, Karachi, Multan and other cities had filed petitions in the courts.
Later, the case hearing was adjourned till August 25.
It may be mentioned that Chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan, who have been leading protestors in Islamabad since August 14, were served notices by the apex court on Wednesday to appear before the court and explain their anti-government stance and protests. - APP
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