Friday, August 2, 2013
http://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/Consultations with political parties on new local government system are in process and new draft will be prepared with consensus. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and Senior Education and Literacy Minister, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said on Wednesday while talking to journalists after attending the inauguration ceremony of videoconference room at Dawood University. “It will be a new LG system of 2013,” he said, adding that the new LG system will be presented before Sindh Assembly for approval after developing consensus. The minister said that the new LG system will be prepared in light of ground realities. The positive points of both, 1979 LG system and SLGO, 2001 will be included in the new system, he added. He said that the new system will be acceptable to people of the province. Responding to a question about a possible alliance with the MQM, he said that the government has kept its doors open for the MQM as it does not believe in solo flight. He denied the emergence of a forward block in the PPP, and said that these are just rumours. To a question about resignation of Fakhruddin G Ebrahim he said that he should have resigned earlier when the apex court had changed schedule of the Presidential Election. “Now Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry should also tender his resignation for the same mistake”, he added. To another question he said that the Education Department has temporarily restored DDO powers of ADEOs of the department.
U.S. employers added 162,000 jobs in July, a modest increase and the fewest since March. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to a 4½-year low of 7.4 percent, a hopeful sign. Unemployment declined from 7.6 percent in June because more Americans found jobs, and others stopped looking and were no longer counted as unemployed. Still, Friday's report from the Labor Department pointed to a less-than-robust job market. It suggested that the economy's subpar growth and modest consumer spending are making many businesses cautious about hiring. The government said employers added a combined 26,000 fewer jobs in May and June than it previously estimated. Americans worked fewer hours in July, and their average pay dipped. And many of the jobs employers added last month were for lower-paying work at stores, bars and restaurants. For the year, job growth has remained steady. The economy has added an average 200,000 jobs a month since January, though the pace has slowed in the past three months to 175,000. Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, called the employment report "slightly negative," in part because job growth for May and June was revised down. Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West, said it showed "a mixed labor market picture of continued improvement but at a still frustratingly slow pace." The reaction from investors was slightly downbeat. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 17 points in early-afternoon trading, and broader stock indexes also declined. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.62 percent from 2.71 percent. The Federal Reserve will review the July employment data in deciding whether to slow its $85 billion a month in bond purchases in September, as many economists have predicted it will do. Weaker hiring could make the Fed hold off on any pullback in its bond buying, which has helped keep long-term borrowing costs down. Beth Ann Bovino, senior economist at Standard & Poor's, said she thinks Friday's report will make the Fed delay a slowdown in bond buying. "September seems very unlikely now," she says. "I'm wondering if December is still in the cards." Still, it's possible that the lower unemployment rate, along with the hiring gains over the past year, could convince the Fed that the job market is strengthening consistently. "While July itself was a bit disappointing, the Fed will be looking at the cumulative improvement," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. "On that score, the unemployment rate has fallen from 8.1 percent last August to 7.4 percent this July, which is a significant improvement." The decline in unemployment to 7.4 percent was derived from a survey of households, which found that 227,000 more people said they were employed last month. And 37,000 people stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The job gain for the month was calculated from a separate survey of employers. More than half of July's job gain came from lower-paying industries, extending a trend that is limiting Americans' incomes and possibly slowing consumer spending. Retailers, for example, added nearly 47,000 jobs — the biggest gain for any industry last month. Restaurants and bars added 38,400. Low-paying industries have accounted for 61 percent of jobs added this year, even though they represent only 39 percent of U.S. jobs overall, according to Labor Department numbers analyzed by Moody's Analytics. Mid-paying industries have accounted for fewer than 22 percent of the jobs added. Some job gains were made in higher-paying fields last month. Financial services, which includes banking, real estate and insurance, added 15,000. Information technology added 4,300, accounting 2,500. And manufacturing added 6,000 jobs, though that figure was offset by an equivalent loss in construction. One growing source of better-paying jobs is local governments. They've now added jobs for five straight months and have helped offset job cuts by state and federal governments. The result is that governments overall are much less of a drag on hiring than they were earlier in the economic recovery. All told, they've shed 39,000 jobs in the 12 months that ended in July. That's down from a loss of 137,000 in the 12 months that ended in July 2012. Many of the jobs that employers added in July are only part time. The number of Americans who said they were working part time but would prefer full-time work stands at 8.2 million — the highest since last fall. Part-time jobs account for 65 percent of the jobs added in July and 77 percent of those added this year. The percentage of Americans either working or actively looking for work dipped in July to 63.4 percent. This is called the "labor force participation rate." The participation rate has been generally declining since peaking at 67.3 percent in 2000. That's partly the result of baby boomers retiring and leaving the workforce. Job gains are being slowed by the economy's tepid growth. It grew at an annual rate of just 1.7 percent in the April-June quarter, the government said this week. That was an improvement over the previous two quarters, but it's still far too weak to rapidly lower unemployment. Recent data suggest that the economy could strengthen in the second half of the year. A survey Thursday showed, for example, that factories increased production and received a surge of orders in July, propelling the fastest expansion in more than two years. The survey, by the Institute for Supply Management, also showed that the housing recovery is spurring more output by lumber companies, furniture makers and appliance manufacturers. Businesses have ordered more industrial machinery and other equipment for four straight months. Europe's troubled economies are showing signs of recovery, potentially a lift to U.S. exports. U.S. automakers are reporting their best sales since the recession, a sign that Americans are confident enough in their finances to make large purchases. Car sales rose 14 percent in July from 12 months earlier to 1.3 million. Healthy sales have encouraged more hiring by Ford Motor Co. The company said last week that it will hire 800 salaried professionals this year, mostly in areas like information technology, product development and quality control.
By David Rohde Amid violent clashes in Egypt, White House officials argued this week that the United States can't cut off its $1.3 billion a year in assistance to Egypt. To do so would cause Washington to lose "influence" with the country's generals. Vital American security interests are at stake, they said, and keeping the torrent of American aid flowing gives Washington leverage. If that argument sounds familiar, it is. For the last decade, the United States has used the same logic in Pakistan. The U.S. has given $11 billion in military aid to the Pakistani military in the name of maintaining American "influence" in Islamabad. From new equipment to reimbursements for Pakistani military operations, the money flowed year after year, despite complaints from American officials that the Pakistanis were misusing funds and inflating bills.
In Bahrain, all it takes is clicking on the wrong link to end up in jail. A new report prepared by Bahrain Watch, an activist organization critical of the ruling monarchy, details how the Bahraini government creates fake Twitter accounts to reveal the identity of anonymous anti-regime tweeps -- and then prosecutes them on the basis of "secret evidence." Here's how it works. Dozens of shell accounts -- many designed to impersonate top figures within the Bahraini opposition -- have tweeted links to anonymous Twitter users who comment on Bahrain. The links include spyware that reveals the user's IP address, which the government can use to identify the name and street address of the person behind the account. From there, it's simple police work: The government can raid the house and build a case against those living there, usually on charges of "insulting the king." In total, Bahrain Watch found that more than 120 accounts were targeted by the government in this way. With the government having crushed large street demonstrations in the capital, the online debate has become the new front line of the revolt. In May, five men were sentenced to a year in prison for violating Article 214 of Bahrain's penal code, which prohibits "offending the emir [king] of the country, the national flag or emblem." During the trial of one of those men, Ammar Makki Mohammed al-Aali, an official for the Bahraini police's Cyber Crime Unit said that his IP address was obtained through "a private way I cannot reveal." But the government's tactics are not only repressive -- they're inexact. A Twitter user other than the one being targeted may click on a publicly available link, or the targeted user may click on the link -- but do so while using a connection not registered in their name, directing the government to someone else's IP address. Take the case of Mahdi al-Basri, a lawyer who was sentenced to a year in prison in May for operating the anti-regime account @karrana14. However, one of the account's operators said Basri was not involved -- the account operator had merely clicked on a "suspicious link" while using Basri's Internet account. The monarchy in Manama makes a show of being different from the other "Arab Spring" regimes -- but by using tools that are both authoritarian and catch civilians up in a broad dragnet, its tactics look pretty familiar.
On a very hot day in Kabul, Wajma grabs a bag and starts to collect trash near the American University of Afghanistan. Nobody seems to take care of her or her friends, Suwaspari and Rayeesa. At 11 years old, she is one of the numerous children in Kabul who work on the streets. No one has ever noticed how innocent and beautiful she is, just as beautiful as the children who dress well, eat delicious food and live in luxury houses. The innocence and beauty of her are covered by the dark spots that the sun’s hot rays have marked on her face. In cold weather her skin is chapped, leaving dry spots on her face, hands and feet. Wajma is one of many street children suffering in order to help her family survive. Wajma lives in a small place in Darulaman Street in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her life is typical of the street children in the city. She goes to a government school from 6am until 9am in the hope that one day she will be able to change the life she and her family are living. How can someone be capable of learning when their life is so full of hardship? “She is not even able to write and read simple words,” her teacher says. After school she continues the day with Suwaspari and Rayeesa, searching for trash at “Deh Dana” and “Ala’od din square”. She begs outside the American University of Afghanistan to help her mother to feed the younger children in the family. Wajma says, “I really love seeing all the big cars and well-dressed people outside the university. I like to hang out here. It motivates me to change my life one day”. Wajma’s two brothers, Wakil and Basir, work on the streets too by finding passengers for the city cabs. They get 5 Afs from each car when it is full. They work in all weathers to earn 70-100 Afs a day to support their family. Wajma still can get to school but her brothers cannot. Probably they are never asked why they need to work on the streets when they could help shape the future of their country by studying. Wajma’s father is a traditional man and used to work in a brick kiln. Since he has got the excuse of asthma, he prefers to depend on the little cash his children earn from working on the streets. He does not spend time with his children but loves his pet bird. He sold his elder daughter seven years ago at the age of nine; for a little money, she went to another family to be their housekeeper. Selling a daughter is very common in Afghanistan. Wajma’s mother shared her story of a life full of sorrows but was too frightened of her husband to say it in a recording. Wajma’s mother is an Afghan woman living with the pain of losing her older daughter and having to see her children making a living on the streets. She has eight children: five daughters and three sons. For many years, Afghan women have been oppressed by tradition. They have been treated like machines for producing children rather than as life partners or human beings. Illiteracy in Afghanistan is common; that is one reason why so many children are born without their parents thinking of the financial implications. Wajma’s family lives in a house where the windows are covered with plastic to provide some shelter from the cold. Her mother says, “When it’s terribly cold in winter, most of the nights we spend sitting all together under an old blanket, because we can’t lie down and sleep on the freezing ground”. In winter, Wajma is not able to collect enough flammable material for their oven (which is called “Deg Dan” in the Dari Language) and for heating. Wajma says, “There is disgusting mud, the ground is sodden and very cold during the winter so I can’t find the things I need”. Most of us go winter shopping and buy warm clothes without thinking. No one realizes that children like Wajma don’t have the basics of clothing and shelter to save them from the cold. According to Mike Thomson’s BBC report, “some 37,000 children live on the streets of the Kabul”. Most of the children have lost their parents in the war. Widows have no other choice but to let their children go on the streets and earn some money to survive. These children are also the only resource for fathers who are disabled and lost their legs in the war. Since it is so common to see children on the streets, some people use their children this way when they are capable of work themselves and could send the children to school. Afghanistan is facing the enormous challenge of poverty. More than a decade has passed since the collapse of the Taliban government. Much money is being spent on military developments and the establishment of larger businesses. Meanwhile, innumerable children in the Afghan capital are helping their struggling families to survive. Wajma and the other street children have their dreams. They believe there will be change in their lives, one day.CNN PRODUCER NOTE: Student Islamuddin Noor kept seeing young children collecting trash outside American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, so he started to get to know them and decided to share their story. He spent two weeks documenting the lives of 11-year-old Wajma, her family and her two friends, Rayeesa and Suwaspari, in April and May 2013. “[Wajma’s] life is typical of the street children in the city. She goes to a government school from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. in the hope that one day she will be able to change the life she and her family are living. How can someone be capable of learning when their life is so full of hardship?” Noor said. Wajma’s family has seen much hardship. Her father used to work in a brick kiln, but he left the job when his asthma made the work too difficult. The family depends on the income that Wajma and her brothers make on the streets. Wajma picks up trash, and her brothers, Wakil, 12, and Basir, 7, fetch cabs for people. Wajma’s older sister was sold as a housekeeper at age 9, Noor said. As for why Noor, 24, wanted to tell the story of these young trash collectors, he said, “I hope to achieve help for Wajma, Rayeesa, Suwaspari and their family so that they can go to school and don't need to pick up trash and or being sold like happening to daughters in this country.”
Isolated and cornered
BY: Syed BashirThe High Court’s order cancelling the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami has left the party with not many options. Specially if the Supreme Court turns down its appeal against the High Court order. The Jamaat will also have to get an immediate stay order to stop the Election Commission from implementing the High Court verdict — or else the Jamaat stands effectively debarred from contesting all elections including the one coming up for the parliament later this year or early next. At its hour of peril, the Jamaat actually finds itself totally isolated — bereft of friends and left to face its usual foes. Pakistan, to maintain whose unity the Jamaat fought and earned its share of notoriety by perpetrating horrible atrocities against its own people, has washed its hands off the Islamist party. Its foreign office has said: “Jamaat and what happens to it in Bangladesh is the internal matter of Bangladesh”. That in a way is a subtle admission of the atrocities that were committed in 1971 Liberation War, which the current Pakistani government is unwilling to get stained with. So leaving Jamaat to its fate works for Mian Nawaz Sharif perfectly. He is himself uncomfortable with the Pakistan army which brought down his government in 1999 and would not like to get entangled with 1971 war crimes because that is bad publicity for Pakistan, when it seeks to project itself as a key ally of the West in the war against terror. Sharif may still not consider putting out a public apology to Bangladesh for the horrendous atrocities of 1971 because that may upset the army once again which he cannot afford. But why stand up for Jamaat! Not the least because it is hardly popular in Bangladesh and never stands a chance of coming to power on its own. Why add to Pakistan’s own unpopularity, which is expectedly profound in Bangladesh by standing up for Jamaat! Sharif is smart enough to see through that. Now to Jamaat’s domestic allies. BNP and its top leaders may cry foul of Bangladesh’s justice system as being undermined by the ruling Awami League — whipping that up serves its campaign against the ruling alliance. But the BNP has no great reason to come out in support of Jamaat and defend its case for registration.Since Bangladesh returned to democracy from military rule in 1991, the BNP has needed the Jamaat to win elections because of the decisive vote bank the Jamaat enjoyed. But the Jamaat’s controversial wartime baggage has been becoming a huge liability for the BNP as it jockeys for power in a country which has upturned ruling governments every term since 1991. What happens if the Jamaat fails to contest if its registration is not restored? Will a Jamaat voter vote Awami League! Perhaps never. The Jamaat voter, like all hardline Islamists in Bangladesh, will have no choice but to vote for BNP in an electoral contest. So the BNP is not expected to make much noise on the Jamaat losing its registration except for the general critique of the ‘justice system under a government using it’ — that would expectedly be one of the many issues the BNP would raise in its litany of complaints against the ruling party. But much like having to support ‘on principle’ the war crimes trial (though calling it a farce to undermine the government), the BNP is not expected to go to town in a big way on the Jamaat losing its registration. In private, many BNP leaders, specially the freedom fighters in their ranks, are happy this has happened. The BNP is now free to fight the Awami League on its own terms, without having to carry a controversial ally who has failed to find a place in the heart of the nation. Quite literally. What about other Islamist groups who would normally be seen as blood brothers of Jamaat! Many of them including the Hifazat-e-Islam would love to see what has happened, because it frees the limited political space for hardline Islamist politics that Jamaat represented. With the Jamaat out of the scene, if that happens, the space for hardline political Islam is left vacant for others to jump in and capitalise on. In fact, some of these groups like the Hifazat may actually cash in on the Jamaat’s desire to keep that brand of politics alive in Bangladesh for obvious reasons by getting access to its considerable financial resources – at least until these groups have been able to carve out a space for themselves. In fact, the war crimes trials have exposed Jamaat to the new generation, Bangladesh’s GenNext. The media coverage of the trials have brought to this generation the sordid history of one of the most brutal repression campaign that gave birth to Bangladesh. A hard earned freedom any proud Bangladeshi will like to defend with every drop of his blood. Jamaat’s role in that war — being on the wrong side of history — will never enable it to find a place, as they say, in the heart of the nation. Even those who want to pursue hardline Islamist politics would like to do so without the 1971 baggage of Jamaat. That includes the younger generation of Jamaat leaders who want a party — perhaps a new one — which does not carry the foul odour of 1971 war crimes with them. And for the Awami League and its allies, the de-registration of Jamaat gives them a chance to whip up secular nationalist passions that had subsided after the Shahbagh platform was forcibly packed off by the government. Because revival of these passions seems to be the only way to beat the anti-incumbency trends that became evident in the five recent city corporation polls. So Jamaat now finds itself on the floor, alone and friendless. Will that force the party to go underground and become a terror group, as many in the US and other western intelligence have long feared? That’s a question only time can answer.
http://www.tolonews.com/At a press conference held in Islamabad on Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed that the US and some other countries have already made commitments to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 for fighting militancy and to provide assistance, training, advice and equipments to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In-spite of strong criticism over drone attacks by the Pakistanis, Kerry emphasised on intensifying such attacks in order to eliminate the insurgents from Pakistan's tribal belts. Meanwhile, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's National Security and Foreign Affairs Advisor assured that Pakistan will assist in paving the way for negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. At a joint press briefing with the Pakistani National Security Advisor, Mr. Kerry stressed that the US and some other countries will have military presence in Afghanistan post-2014. He emphasised on the fact that Afghanistan at this juncture cannot be left alone. "The US is drawing down not withdrawing, there is a distinction. The President will announce the number of forces that he will commit for the US. Other countries have already committed certain number of forces, who will remain in Afghanistan for two purposes: Firstly, counter terrorism and secondly, to train equip and advise the armed forces of Afghanistan," said Mr. Kerry. While Pakistani officials strongly criticised the US drone attacks, Mr. Kerry justified the act by saying that such attacks have been very effective in eliminating the insurgents and refused to promise that US drone attacks inside Pakistan would stop and rejected the impression that the strikes were a violation of the country's sovereignty. "I know there are issues of sovereignty that are raised. I would simply remind all of our friends that somebody like al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri is violating the sovereignty of this country. And, they attack people in mosques, (they) blow up people in villages, in market places, they are violating the sovereignty of the country," added Mr. Kerry. Meanwhile, Pakistani foreign affairs and national security advisor Sartaj Aziz has assured that Pakistan will pave the way for talks between the Taliban and Afghan government. Mr. Aziz said that Pakistan will support an Afghan-led peace process. Although, the Taliban is not ready to join the negotiations, Mr. Aziz stressed that efforts are underway and will continue until success is achieved. Mr. Kerry mentioned that trilateral efforts are underway to check the movements of the insurgents from Pakistan and suggested the need for further expansion of such cooperation between Islamabad and Washington.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan reiterated his demand for detailed investigation and voters’ verification in the four constituencies in May 11 elections, and said that why he should apologize for contempt when he has not even committed it. Imran Khan was speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court building after the hearing of contempt of court case against him. He said that he stood by each and every word he said. He told that by “shameful” he meant that the returning officers did not fulfill their responsibility to conduct fair elections. He said that it was the first time he came to know that using the word “shameful” was abusive. Imran Khan repeated that he has not done anything wrong and that his criticism was confined to the conduct of returning officers, and said that he had said nothing that calls for punishment. Imran Khan said that PTI sacrificed the most for the restoration of sacked judges and that he can never imagine using disrespectful words against the higher judiciary. He said the independent judiciary has done some incredible work and he always respected the judiciary and rule of law. It is pertinent to mention here that the SC rejected Imran Khan’s rejoinder submitted in the contempt of court case and ordered yet again to submit his detailed statement by August 28. The court had given Imran Khan time till 11:30 am today to submit his second and revised reply today but rejected it once again, terming it “disappointing”. The court had termed his earlier response as “insufficient”. According to his revised response submitted in the court today, Imran Khan’s July 26 statement was not against the chief justice or the Supreme Court but he meant to criticize the role of the returning officers and district returning officers during 2013 elections. The court did not approve his second response as well and instructed his counsel Hamid Khan to submit a third and more heartfelt written response by August. 28. The court, then, adjourned the hearing till then.Contempt case: SC orders Imran Khan to resubmit reply till Aug 28
The Supreme Court deemed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan’s verbal and written reply both as “insufficient” during the hearing of the contempt of court case, Express News reported on Friday. The bench was headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprised of Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Azmat Saaed. Imran’s lawyer arrived from the US last night, therefore a brief verbal response was delivered. The court expressed dissatisfaction over the verbal reply and adjourned the hearing till 11:30am (today) for a better, written response. Imran and his lawyer were in court before the allotted time with the written two-paragraph reply. In his reply he stated that he did not use the word “shameful” for the judiciary, rather for the presiding officer in the election process. “Can such words be used for the judiciary?” asked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had earlier asked during the hearing. CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry added that since Imran is a leader and public figure, such words and statements are not expected from him. Lawyer Hamid Khan said Imran had complaints regarding the Election Commission of Pakistan however Imran holds no disrespect for the court or the judiciary. Imran stated that he and the party strongly support the judiciary and had worked hard during the movement for restoration of the judiciary. “The restoration of the judiciary had been on my agenda. I had also spent eight days in jail for that”, said Imran in court. The court deemed the replies as inadequate and allotted Imran’s lawyer, Hamid Khan three weeks time to submit a detailed written response. Imran Khan had vowed on Thursday that he would stand by his stance, even if it meant he is sentenced and disqualified from being elected into the assemblies. The PTI chief asked if a citizen of Pakistan had the right to seek justice from the Supreme Court over the alleged rigging during the May 11, 2013 elections. “If this is contempt, then I do not think they know the meaning of contempt.”
YouTube cannot be reopened unless a mechanism is adopted to permanently block blasphemous material on the website, the Ministry of Information Technology informed the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday. A Peshawar High Court division bench comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Malik Manzoor was hearing a petition filed by Mina Muhibbulah Kakakhel challenging the ban on the video-sharing website. YouTube was blocked in September 2012 by former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf after the trailer of a blasphemous film, titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’, sparked outrage and violence among Muslims across the world. The ban remained in effect after Google refused Islamabad’s request to take down the video. Later, Advocate Kakakhel challenged the ban and argued before the PHC that students have been facing immense problems while searching for academic content and requested the court to direct authorities to filter all blasphemous material and reopen the site. During the case hearing, the bench was informed the ministry has been devising methods to stop such material from being uploaded to YouTube as it “hurts the public’s sentiments resulting in countrywide protests”. The bench, however, was informed that unless a solution was found, the ministry will not unblock YouTube. Deputy Attorney General Iqbal Mohmand told the court that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and information technology ministry have submitted written replies, while the interior ministry was yet to respond. The court then asked the petitioner to file a rejoinder to the PTA and IT ministry’s replies and adjourned the case hearing. Earlier, the court had maintained that if PTA lacked experts, there was no reason why experts from other countries could not be asked to block blasphemous material before it is made accessible to the general public.
The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of contempt of court notice against Imran Khan till 11:30 AM today. The bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaundy, Justice Jawad S Khuwaja and Justice Azmat Saaed was hearing the case. During the course of proceedings, Imran Khan s Attorney Hamid Khan says that his client has not tried to malign the court. He believes in the supremacy and independence of the court, he added. Earlier, Hamid Khan said that he would verbally present the case for initially, and would submit the written reply afterwards. A short statement of the PTI leader Imran Khan has been presented in the court. The Chief Justice has said that as institution, none is above the judiciary. Justice Jawad S Khwaja observed the mutual respect must be taken care of. The CJP said that court has overseen the issue of thumb impressions in the four constituencies. Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has arrived in Supreme Court (SC) for contempt of court hearing against him. The PTI chief was being accompanied by senior party leaders including Javed Hashmi. Talking to media before leaving for SC, Imran Khan reiterated that May 11 elections were the most rigged elections in the history of Pakistan, adding that he will not apoligise for any of his comments. Khan said he was only seeking justice as a citizen of Pakistan, adding that he has the right to seek justice from the Supreme Court over the alleged rigging during the May 11, 2013 elections. Asked that if the court convicted him of contempt of court and sentenced him, would he accept the sentence or term it a conspiracy to disqualify him, Imran said he was ready for the punishment and would maintain his stance till the end. The SC issued him notice to appear before it on August 2 and explain as to why contempt of court proceedings may not be initiated against him. Khan had criticized the role of the top court and the Election Commission of Pakistan in the conduct of the recently held general election, which saw Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N emerging as the single largest party in the National Assembly. Sources in the PTI said that Imran Khan spent a busy day on Thursday with his legal advisors for consultation over the imminent proceedings in the court. Khan, who appeared defiant ahead of the hearing, said that he would not extend apology over his stance and would stand firm as he was struggling for the democracy in Pakistan.
Big question in Pakistan’s political remains what will happen to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) if its Chairman Imran Khan is convicted in contempt of court case. Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued him a contempt notice on remarks he made in a series of press conferences in last week. He particularly lashed out at Supreme Court and election Commission of Pakistan after presidential elections on 30th July. Supreme Court came under severe criticism by opposition politicians after it passed an order to change the date of presidential elections without hearing presidential candidates. Pakistan People’s Party boycotted the polls and PTI announced to participate “Under Protest”. Imran Khan has been summoned by apex court on August 2, 2013 on Friday. Although news about possible conviction created stir on social media but PTI camp seems calm and composed. Legal think tank of PTI is of view that Chairman has not conducted any contempt because his criticism was constructive in nature and was directed to the role of returning officers during general elections 2013. “Imran Khan has criticized the role of Returning Officers who were not performing the judicial duties while holding the May 11 elections” Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad said. He was party candidate in presidential elections as well. PTI senior leaders said that Imran Khan will not have any ego problem facing Supreme Court judges and will try to convince them about his point of view. Judges normally accept apologies in contempt cases but there are also instances of conviction in similar cases. There are mixed views about contempt notice served upon him by Apex Court. Some are of the view that Imran Khan was continuously criticizing judiciary and was leveling charges of rigging against him. Others say that Khan is right in his concerns over massive rigging in elections. It is expected that common sense will prevail and Imran Khan will adopt a decent behavior when appearing before judges and will not try to level charges of partiality and bias. It is further expected that he will not raise any objection of composition of the bench as well. However, question still remains the same. What will happen if PTI Chairman Imran Khan is convicted in contempt of court case? Legal experts say he may face five years disqualification from parliament membership and party’s chairmanship. Although unlikely, but such a decision will serve a fatal blow to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf which has rose to prominence after seventeen years of struggle and became the second largest party of the country based on number of votes obtained during general elections. PTI has 36 members in National Assembly with representation in three provincial assemblies as well. However, despite the presence of seasoned politicians like Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi, and Jahangir Tarin no leader is poised enough to take responsibilities of Imran Khan. Disqualification of Imran Khan will mean that PTI will find itself difficult to stay united as most of his lawmakers are very new in power corridors. They may have tendency to leave apart ideological politics and join traditional politics. If Imran Khan is disqualified, PTI will find itself in same position as it was in 1996. - See more at: http://pakistantribune.com.pk/3567/if-imran-khan-is-disqualified.html#sthash.jhYK3C8v.dpuf
http://ahmadiyyatimes.blogspot.com/Ahmedis in Fatehpur, Gujrat district, have been banished from their own place of worship in Ramazan and fear that they will be deprived of the property by the local government and clerics.
http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/On 4th anniversary of Muslim mob attack on Gojra Christian Town when more than 60 homes were destroyed and 8 Christian children, women and an elder were burnt alive , the killers are walking free in streets of Gojra City mocking justice and victims in Pakistan. In a press note, The Central Secretariat of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC issued statement of PCC Chief Dr. Nazir S Bhatti expressing grave concerns said that it seems that Christian in Pakistan will never be ensured justice. On August 1, 2009, Muslim mob attacked Christian Town in Gojra City setting on fire more than 60 homes of Christians and burning alive 8 children, women and elder in presence of police on accusation of blasphemy incident occurred in nearby village Korian where dozens of homes of Christians were destroyed when torn pages of Holy Quran were found in front of home of one Christian on July 30, 2009. The FIR was registered burning alive Christian against unknown persons while another secret FIR was lodged in which 129 Christians and 200 Muslims were nominated to pose Muslim mob attack as communal riots. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz was ruling Punjab and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif assured Christian that justice will be ensured and culprits will be punished. But later, the Police Officer who kept blind eye and not ordered police to protect Christian life and property from attack of Muslim mob was promoted and posted in Lahore by CM Mian Shahbaz Sharif to provide free hand to PML (N) Muslim voters to ransack Christian town. The police forced Christians of Christian Town Gojra to enter in compromise with culprits on threats of arrest under secret FIR of riots and life threats to those Christians who were witness in burning alive 8 Christians. Nazir Bhatti said that last week another couple is arrested in Gojra City on sending blasphemous SMS when Christians in Pakistan were organizing programs to mark 4th anniversary of Gojra carnage which have spread anger among millions of Christians. PCC Chief demanded release of report of Judicial Commission constituted after Muslim mob attack and to punish culprits involved in attack on Christian Town and burning alive 8 Christians.
EDITORIAL : Daily Times
A PRESIDENT has been elected, but the fallout from the controversial electoral process continues. The chief election commissioner, Fakhruddin Ebrahim, has resigned and, while he has not said so directly, it has been reported that Mr Ebrahim was unhappy with the Supreme Court amending the presidential election schedule and the lack of support he received from the other ECP members. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has summoned the PTI chief Imran Khan today to explain why he should not face contempt charges for comments critical of the judiciary made in the run-up to the presidential election. All in all, it is an extraordinary surge of controversy after the event — and has the potential to tarnish the reputations and democratic credentials of all involved. Mr Ebrahim’s resignation in particular seems driven more by frustration and emotion than calm rationalisation. As the CEC who presided over an election that is largely seen as credible and acceptable but not entirely free and fair, Mr Ebrahim was uniquely positioned to push the project of electoral transparency forward, especially since he was only a year into the job. From electoral rolls to vetting of candidates’ papers to enforcing campaign rules to ensuring a transparent polling-day process and much, much more, there is a lot that remains to be done. Mr Ebrahim may have chafed under the constraints of his office — previous CECs, before the last parliament’s constitutional amendments, wielded much power, whereas now the CEC has just one of the five votes in the ECP — but to give up so early into his job, even if a general and a presidential election are now under his belt, surely does not send the right signal. Yet, when seemingly clear-cut constitutional prerogatives are taken over by another institution, resignation may be the only honourable thing to do. But rather than try and wade out of controversy, the court has waded deeper in with the summons to Imran Khan. The PTI supremo’s words were uttered in public and made a clear distinction between undermining the integrity of the judicial pillar of the state and criticising specific actions or judgements handed down by the judiciary in recent electoral matters. The right to criticise a judicial pronouncement is very much a part of the democratic order. In fact, it is also part of the judicial order of things: after all, the recently forgotten practice here of dissenting opinions by judges has through near-universal legal history helped developed the law as it stands today. Too many battles and too much controversy is unhealthy for any institution.
PPP Secretary-General Sardar Latif Khosa has said his party is ready to provide legal aid to PTI chairman Imran Khan in the contempt case. “Issuance of contempt notice to Imran Khan is tantamount to silencing parliamentarians. To criticise court decisions is the right of every public representative,” Mr Khosa said at a press conference here on Thursday. He said the PPP supported a resolution of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, demanding presidential reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Justice Jawad S. Khwaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed for their alleged violation of the Constitution in their judgment on the election of the president. He said even a civil judge did not give a verdict without hearing both parties to a case. The former governor said the 18-month extension to the CJP could not be granted as an amendment was required in the constitution for the purpose. He said Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim should now tell the people of the country who had pressured the Election Commission of Pakistan to ensure the victory of the PML-N. He said other members on the ECP should also resign. Mr Khosa criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for “gifting” important posts like that of president of the country and Punjab governor to his favourites. “Mr Sharif is trying to impose dictatorship on the people but his dream of becoming Amirul Momineen will not materialise,” he said.Tehrik-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has refused to tender an apology in the contempt of court case, DawnNews reported. “I am ready to go to the jail but I will not apologise,” khan said. Khan has said that he will not back down from his stance till his last breath and will not apologise even if he is declared ‘ineligible’ and sent to jail. He said that the Supreme Court made a big mistake by taking notice of ‘contempt of court’. “If the need arises, I will take up Aitzaz Ahsan’s offer,” he commented. He further said that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had become controversial after the Arsalan Ifitikhar case. The Supreme Court, in the notice issued to the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief, has said that Khan apparently had tried to incite hatred against the apex court in one of his interactions with the media. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, will hear the case on Friday.
Chief of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Imran Khan Thursday said that he will not back down from his words regarding ECP’s and SC’s role in rigging the May 11 general elections. Talking to media, he announced to appear in person before the Supreme Court (SC) today (Friday) after being summoned for remarks against the court. A three-member bench of SC judges headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would will hear Contempt of Court notice against him today. He blatantly refused to apologize for what he had said earlier even if he had to go to jail or was barred from contesting future elections. “I am fighting for democracy in Pakistan and will continue to fight for democracy”, he resolved. The PTI chief said that SC had made a blunder as it sent notice to him, adding he was disappointed at the court’s decision. Imran Khan had criticized the role of the judiciary and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) while addressing a press conference on July 26. Khan will be accompanied by his lawyer Hamid Khan and senior party leaders.