PTI Govt enforces Essential Services Act to prevent protest by doctors in hospitals
PESHAWAR: The PTI led KP Government Monday enforced Essential Services Act 1958 at all the government teaching hospitals across the province to prevent protests by the doctors against the implementation of KP Medical Teaching Institute Reforms Act, 2015.
The move came as a surprise for many in the province as the PTI strongly opposed the enforcement of the same act in PIA by the federal government few days back.
Addressing a hurriedly called press conference here at Press Club, Provincial Health Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai said that essential services act was imposed in the light of court directives. After vacation of the stay by the court, no justification left with the doctors to continue with their strikes, he added.
According to essential services act all the doctors and paramedical staff were bound to perform their duties and also bars the unions from such steps that disrupt services to patients.
After enforcement of the essential services act, the associations and unions in the hospitals became redundant he said adding the employees failing to comply with the laws passed by the KP Assembly should resign and sit in home, as there was no shortage of manpower to fill the vacant posts. We have made all the teaching hospital autonomous and made board of government for it.
The KP senior minister for Health Sharam Khan Tarkai had warned the protesting doctors that if anyone violates the rules of law the government will take extreme steps. He clarified that we do not want to pressurize anyone but wanted to apprise the people of the province what is happening the health sector. He recalled that MTI Act 2015 was debated thoroughly in the provincial legislature and passed unanimously by it.
He said that the KP government wanted to bring reforms in this vital social sector but a handful of elements for their personal interest were opposing this act. He told the media men that we believe in resolution of problems through table talks that’s why we did not tear gas or lathi charge the protesting doctors and paramedical staff.
Government is fully determined to implement Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Teaching Institute Reforms Act, 2015, which was delayed to enforce due to litigation and protest by the doctors. We cannot be pressured by strikes and protest, said the KP Minister for Health, Shahram Khan Tarakai.
Sharam Khan said the poor patients had ultimately suffered due to unlawful strike of some doctors at the teaching hospitals against MTI Act 2015. He said the Essential Service Act is necessitated to implement under the present circumstances in the health sector. - APP
Mehtab Abbasi steps down as KP governor
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan on Monday tendered resignation citing health issues as the reason for quitting the office.
Addressing a press conference here, he said it was his personal decision and he was leaving the Governor House with confidence that he had done the job assigned to him during his 22-month stay in office.
Sardar Mehtab said he had informed the Prime Minister before joining the office that he would not be able to continue for long time as it was a tough and challenging job. He might not do justice to the job as his health was not good, he added.
Apart from health, his personnel and social life had also been affected due to this office, he added.
To a question, Sardar Mehtab said he remained in active politics for over 30 years and would certainly ponder over rejoining the politics in future.
He said he took full responsibility for all the individual and collective decisions taken during his tenure as governor.
Replying to antoher question, he said he would shift to his ancestral house in Abbotabad as he had no house or plot in Peshawar.
The outgoing governor gave a detailed resume of his achievements while remaining in the office since April 2014 and said that while he took over the office, the Fata region was very sensitive viz-a-viz law and order, militancy and displacement of huge number of tribal people in parts of Fata.
He added that the administrative structure in fata was shattered and the peoples' confidence has lowered over the state machinery. He accepted the responsibility on the directives of the Prime Minister and made a pledge to restore the civil structure and giving a fool proof system to the tribal areas to remove their backwardness.
Sending back Temporary Displaced People (TDPs) was also a challenging job which he has done to the satisfaction of the tribal people, he said, adding after Zarb-e-Azb operation, Khyber-2 operation was launched in Bara.
After successful launching of the military operation, the development process began in Fata including repatriation of North Waziritan and Khyber Agency to their homelands.
He also acknowledged the support of the provincial government and the Punjab government that made him enable to fulfill his responsibilities in a smooth manner.
Before assuming his office, the Fata uplift programme was lopsided which he put on the right direction by conducting credible household data survey and income indicators assessment. He said that even the foreign donors and agencies had appreciated our resolve in putting the things on the right track.
Sardar Mehtab also mentioned about the reforms commission made in Fata for bringing administrative reforms and future road map. The commission, he said presented report to the government which has made public for open discussion for the first time to obtain the maximum possible points from the civil society. He said with pride that political ownership was given to the war on terror which yielded very good results.
The governor said that the vaccume in the uplift process was filled effectively besides opening trade routes in Kurram Agency, Torkham and Angoor Ada in South Waziristan agency.
He said that border management was also given due attention during his tenure to stop the infiltration of the anti-statement elements into the country.
For the first time youth activities were improved in the entire tribal region and the all the vacant posts were advertised and filled on merit base without any political influence.
He said that 1850 posts in education section in Fata were filled through National Testing Service (NTS) whereas 20,000 tribal youth were imparted technical education through a project costing Rs. 1.5 billion.
Moreover, Rs.1 billion were invested in small business schemes that were interest free for the tribal youth. He said that he visited every tribal agency 6 to 8 times and conducted the tribal jirgas in the agencies head office instead of meeting them in the governor house as the former procedure.
The outgoing governor informed that Fata University would be established soon as the vice chancellor for the same post has been inducted and the classes would begin in September this year.
Regarding polio eradication, he said that in 2012 higher number of polio cases were reported in FATA and it was a big challenge for him to overcome this crises which he said was brought down to 189 in 2014 and 13 in 2015.
He said that there was a drastic drop in polio registered cases in Fata in last year due to well-coordinated efforts of the Fata secretariat under his patronage.
In his concluding remark he said that when he assumed his office he landed in a marshy land and today he can say with pride that I converted the Fata into a stable land. - APP
After days of suspension
PIA flights take off as operations partially resume
PIA head offices in Islamabad, Karachi reopen; 225 PIA employees across country
served show-cause notices under ESA; Missing employees return home
KARACHI: The Joint Action Committee of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) partially restored flight operations as protest against the proposed privatization of the airlines continued Monday.
Talking to media, JAC head Sohail Baloch said that some 275 Umrah pilgrims are stranded at the airport and it is decided unanimously to resume flight operation for the pilgrims while keeping in view the problems being faced by them.
He said that PIA staffers would resume their duties for departure of the pilgrims while other relevant employees would also get back to work for issuing clearance to the aircraft.
Cabin crew has also been direct to return to their work, Baloch said.
The JAC chief vowed to continue their protest till their demands are met.
Meanwhile, the flight operation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is fast returning to normalcy with the return of employees from strike.
According to PIA spokesperson Daniyal Gillani, eighteen flights of national flag carrier have reached their destinations since the resumption of flight operation.
Two PIA flights PK-740 and PK-7334 carrying Umrah pilgrims reached Islamabad from Jeddah this morning.
The spokesperson said that the employees of PIA's head office Karachi have called off the strike and resumed their duties. Employees of PIA in Islamabad have also called off the strike and resumed their duties.
After resumption of PIA flights operation, first flight from Jeddah, PK-732 has arrived in Karachi while another Jeddah bound flight PK-7355 departed from Islamabad on Monday.
In Islamabad office of PIA, routine work has resumed and all employees are performing their duties.
Meanwhile, four missing employees of PIA returned home. They had gone missing during Tuesday's demonstration in Karachi.
PIA flight operations partially resumed at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport on Monday, where flight PK 732 arrived at 1:50pm - nearly 12 hours later, however, than its scheduled arrival time - carrying pilgrims from Jeddah.
After remaining suspended for six days because of the employees’ strike, PIA flight operations partially resumed on Sunday when the airline’s two Boeing aircraft brought home 725 pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia.
Two more planes took off from Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport for Jeddah on Sunday night to bring back the remaining pilgrims. Another flight (PK-211) left for Dubai in the evening.
The Society of Aircraft Engineers of Pakistan said: “The PIA management is forcing the engineers to release the aircraft without accomplishment of the prerequisites which are mandatory as per ICAO and PCAA regulations. The safety of passengers and the aircraft itself is being jeopardised. Inspections and components’ replacement issues are being waived off by PCAA Pakistan under pressure by the government officials,” PIA employees get warning letter,.
The letter says the law envisages serious penalties, including dismissal from service and imprisonment for a maximum period of one year along with a fine, for the protesting employees. The Act has been imposed for six months.
The employees were advised in the letter to refrain from indulging in any activity tantamount to an offence under the Act, failing which they might become liable for prosecution in court, besides facing disciplinary action under the corporation’s rules.
'Missing' employees return
Early Monday morning, four missing members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of PIA employees were released by unidentified individuals in various parts of Karachi.
The four employees - JAC leader and People's Unity (PU) President Hidayatullah Khan, PU Vice President Zameer Chandio, Saifullah and Mansoor Dhalwan - went missing last Wednesday.
225 PIA employees served show-cause notices
At least 225 employees of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) have been served show-cause notices in action under Essential Service Act.
Tight security has been maintained at different airports across the country.
Sources said that Air Traffic Department’s Rahat, Sajjad Ahmed and Shad Muhammad, Arif from cargo services, Kifait of reservation department, engineering wing’s Kifaitullah, Safa Badshah from finance department and Information Technology (IT) department’s Shafeeq have been served the notices.
However, the employees have refused to accept the notices and announced to approach court in the matter.
On the other hand, dozens of passengers are stranded Monday as flight operations are suspended on seventh day .
Several locals who had come to cancel their tickets protested outside the booking office upon refusal. - Agencies
LHC dismisses plea against implementation of ESA in PIA
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed a petition challenging implementation of Essential Service Act 1952 (ESA) in Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
Justice Shahid Waheed was hearing the petition filed by the workers confederation.
During the hearing, the petitioner's counsel argued that the Constitution guaranteed right of agitation and no citizen could be deprived of that right.
The court, however, dismissed the petition observing that the petitioner had not attached a copy of notification for implementation of the act in the PIA.
The court also observed that the petitioner-organisation was not registered with the authorities concerned. - APP
Two die in Bannu blast
BANNU: An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion near a shop claimed two lives in Zundi Akbar Khan area on the outskirts of Bannu on Monday morning.
According to police, the IED exploded as a bicycle mechanic identified as Din Muhammad and his friend, Shamsur Rehman opened the shop in Zundi Akbar Khan area about 110 miles south of Peshawar. Both the men died on the spot.
Police collected evidence from the scene and launched a search operation in the area.
The bodies were shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Bannu for medico-legal formalities. - APP
Political point-scoring on PIA issue unfortunate: PM
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif on Monday termed as unfortunate what he called the political point-scoring on the issue of Pakistan International Airline (PIA).
Chairing a high-level meeting to review the situation arising out of the strike of PIA employees against its proposed privatization, the Premier called for everyone to give precedence to the interest of the country.
He paid tributes to those who played their role towards resumption of operations of domestic and international flights.
The PM said the government will investigate as to what led the PIA strike to take the shape of a full-blown crisis.
The meeting also had an exchange of views as to what measures be adopted to pull PIA out of the deficit. Besides, the meeting reviewed matters in connection with the proposed launch of another airline.
Pakistan offers ideal business
opportunity for telecom sector: Nawaz
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday said owing to incentives-based transparent policies of the government, the confidence of international business community to invest in Pakistan had been restored. Talking to Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom Jean Yves Charlier here at the Prime Minister House, he said the government's transparent policies had revolutionised the telecom sector and successful launch of 3G and 4G in the recent past was a testimony to that. "We are encouraging the telecom companies to expand their outreach to far-flung areas of the country so that majority of the masses benefit from the technology," he added. - Agencies
President nominates appellate tribunals to hear election pleas
ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain Monday approved the nomination of an Appellate Tribunal to hear the appeals against the decisions of Returning Officers rejecting or accepting the nomination papers for bye-election in PS-76 Dadu-III constituency.
According to a President House statement, the Tribunal would comprise two Sindh High Court judges including Justice Abdul Maalik Gaddi and Justice Abdul Ghani Soomro.
Approving the Election Commission's summary, the President also approved PM's advice for establishing an Appellate Tribunal to dispose of appeals against the decisions of the Returning Officers accepting or rejecting the nomination papers for bye-election in PS-23 Naushero Feroze-V constituency. - APP
PM directs foolproof security for media houses
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned the firing incident at the office of City 42 channel in Lahore.
He has directed to trace the culprits and ensure foolproof security at media houses. - PPI
Imran Farooq murder case
Remands of Khalid Shamim, Mohsin extended till Feb 10
ISLAMABAD: Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has extended judicial remands of Mohsin Ali and Khalid Shamim until February 10 in Dr Imran Farooq murder case.
The court objected to interim challan filed by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for the fourth time in Dr Imran Farooq murder case.
Copy of the case, confessional statements and criminal record of the culprits were attached along the challan. The file compiled by the agency declared Mohsin Ali the prime culprit while Kashif Kamran was termed accomplice in the murder.
Report bearing details of investigations from the culprits was also made part of the file presented before Judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi.
Sources said that the challan includes statements of three travel agents who provided visas to Mohsin Ali and Kashif. The challan terms MQM chief Altaf Hussain, Muhammad Anwar and Iftikhar Hussain proclaimed offenders.
Details of bank accounts were included in the interim challan. However, the court stated an objection on the challan and returned it.
Sources privy to the investigation team said that challan would be filed today after clearing court’s objection. On the other hand, court has extended judicial remands of Khalid Shamim, Mohsin Ali and Moazzam Ali until February 10.
Earlier on January 29, ATC denied acquittal plea of culprit Moazzam Ali. The culprit was sent to jail on judicial remand by the court. Meanwhile the Federal Investigation Agency prepared for a visit to Britain and Sri Lanka to collect evidences.
According to the details, FIA officials during the hearing of the case under Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi, stated that Ali had revealed during interrogation that he was in contact by phone with other central suspects of the case.
MQM’s Dr Imran Farooq was stabbed to death in London in September 2010. - NNI
Tremors felt in Chitral
CHITRAL: Tremors measuring 4.6 on International Richter Scale were felt in Chitral and its surrounding areas on Monday morning. According to Met office, the epicenter of the quake was in Afghanistan's mountainous region of Hindukash at a depth of 200 kilometers. - APP