Thursday, April 3, 2014
The 35th death anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto founding father of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will be observed on 4th April. All the arrangements of the event has been completed, PPP supporters from Punjab will reach Larkana by buses and trains. Spokes person of Pakistan Peoples Party told that on the direction of central leadership all ticket holders will bring at least one bus of workers with them. All the convoys from Punjab will reach at Chechawatni Bypass for participating in the ceremony from where Provincial President of Peoples Party will lead all the convoys of Punjab and depart for Larkana. For participating in the death anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto one convoy of Peoples Party Women wing departed under the leadership of Former MPA and Divisional Co-ordinator Women Wing Noor-ul-nisa from Faisalabad by train. The former MPA said that Martyred Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Martyred Benazir Bhutto played a central role in defense, economic and democratic progress of Pakistan.
The revolt by several Khyber Assembly (KP) lawmakers against the KP chief minister (CM) is going to cause irreparable loss to the party. Pakistan Today learnt that this act is likely to create rift in the party’s central body and parliamentary group in the National Assembly. Target of the revolt is CM Pervez Khattak. The PTI leadership is making mind for taking disciplinary action against the dissidents and in this respect KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has been summoned to Lahore. But it seems that dissidents and their “invisible” supporters would go for “discussion”, ultimately making their task easy. On the other hand, scattered but influential opposition in the KP Assembly is likely to multiply Khattak’s woes by filing a requisition for a session. In recent two sessions of the KP Assembly, attendance on the part of PTI lawmakers was very disappointing. On several occasions, the treasury benches survived defeat on resolutions and motions. According to PTI sources, the forward bloc, which the dissidents call “save PTI” was initially formed by 13 lawmakers but now it has 20 members. Whereas around a dozen KP MNAs are also supporting them. Similarly, a number of female MPAs have already assured the dissidents of their support. KP Deputy Speaker Imtiaz Shahid is already part of the revolt whereas Qaiser is playing a “dubious” role. He was present in his chamber when the 13 MPAs held their first meeting. They also enjoyed tea with him before going to announce their decision. Insiders said that Qaiser has already completed consultations with opposition leaders and is making his best to get maximum benefit in this regard. Whatever might be PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s strategy to handle the situation, but the dissidents are very clear. They want the party to “replace the KP CM who is not parliamentary leader of the party but a party choice for the office of leader of the House. They also justify their act by saying, “Neither we have any intention nor in favour of joining or establishing another party. But we are trying to replace, the PTI nominee (Khattak by another PTI man,” a dissident remarked. Pointing out reasons which forced them to take this decision, the dissident PTI MPA said, “We are aware that all MPAs couldn’t be adjusted against ministerial and other official posts, but we deserve polite and friendly attitude from the CM and ministers.” So far they are silent but most of the dissidents are unhappy with giving extraordinary free hand to coalition partners – the Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad (AJI). A number of dissidents became part of the group after the Health Ministry was given to AJI MPA from Swabi. Latest reports reveal that Imran Khan is making mind for action against the dissidents and has summoned Qaiser for consultations. The PTI government since its inception in May 2013 is passing through internal rifts. Meanwhile, sources said KP PTI President Azam Swati and KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser held a meeting with the dissidents in Peshawar. The dissidents showed their anger, saying, “Party manifesto is being ignored in the province.” They also said they were against giving important ministries to coalition partners.
http://www.usatoday.com/The U.S. Agency for International Development withheld information from Congress showing the Afghan government's apparent inability to prevent its ministries from doing business with people tied to terrorism, according to a letter from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and documents obtained by USA TODAY. The letter, from SIGAR's general counsel asserts that USAID "covered up information" showing some Afghan ministries can't account for cash or what they own. The audits show the Afghan government has failed to monitor the "potential risk of contracting with suppliers/beneficiaries having links with terrorist organizations," "USAID kept this information from Congress and the American people," said John Sopko, the inspector general. "As a former federal prosecutor and congressional investigator, to me it begs the questions: What were they trying to hide, and why?" Matt Herrick, a spokesman for USAID, rejected that assertion Wednesday, saying the agency had provided members of Congress and their staffs full access to its documents upon request. SIGAR's claim relates to documents that have been made available to Congress, Herrick said. The agency hasn't hidden anything, he said. "Congress and U.S. government auditors have access to USAID documents in unredacted form, either in their offices or at USAID, and we reject the claim that we have improperly withheld information," Herrick said. Congress may take up the issue Thursday when Sopko and an official from USAID are scheduled to appear before a panel of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. USAID has spent nearly $15 billion in taxpayer funds to help build infrastructure in Afghanistan. "USAID must be accountable to the American people for how they are spending taxpayer dollars in Afghanistan," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs the committee's panel on national security, told USA TODAY in a statement. "They have the responsibility to cooperate with Congress and SIGAR in an open and transparent manner as we continue to pipe billions of taxpayer dollars into a country with an alarming track record of waste, fraud and abuse." The lack of controls to prevent Afghan ministries from contracting with people connected to terrorist organizations pops up throughout a series of audits on the agencies obtained by USA TODAY through a Freedom of Information Act request. A KPMG audit of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development says, "A mechanism has not been developed for screening of beneficiaries for their possible links with terrorist organizations before signing contracts or providing funds to the suppliers." A copy of USAID's version of the same document shows that mentions of links to terrorism are blacked out. "Withholding information that highlights concerns about U.S. taxpayer dollars being funneled to terrorists is reprehensible and circumvents our system of checks and balances," said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, a non-partisan watchdog group. "USAID should come clean to the military and SIGAR to ensure that lives are not at risk, mission priorities are attainable, and wasteful spending isn't rampant." Information USAID has blacked out in documents released publicly includes names and other data that identify Afghans who could be at risk of retaliation, Herrick said. SIGAR, in its letter, acknowledges the need to limit dissemination of such information. "It is a common practice to redact information from the general public about individuals who could come into harm's way if their names were released or vulnerabilities that could be exploited by unscrupulous actors if exposed," Herrick said. Preventing aid money from leaking into the hands of insurgents and terrorist organizations has been a problem for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. In 2012, the U.S. government determined that a contractor working on a courthouse there had been involved with networks that provided parts for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Sopko has been a persistent critic of U.S. spending in Afghanistan, issuing regular reports about poor oversight of building projects. Wednesday, his office found fault with an $11 million prison built there after the inspector general's review showed design defects and the facility's placement in "in the second-highest earthquake zone in Afghanistan."
A provincial council candidate and nine of his supporters were killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan two days after they were kidnapped, said Sakhidad Haidari, deputy police chief of northern Sar-e-Pul province. The 10 were kidnapped Sunday and shot dead Tuesday night, Haidari told CNN on Wednesday. The bodies of four of those killed, including the Sar-e-Pul election candidate, Hussain Nazari, have been returned to police, he said. The other six remain in the hands of the Taliban. The Taliban have not commented on the incident, which comes ahead of presidential and provincial elections to be held Saturday. In a separate incident Wednesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance gate to the Interior Ministry in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, killing six Afghan police officers, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
The bomber, who was seeking to enter the ministry, triggered his explosive vest when he was identified by police, Sediqqi said. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for that attack.Taliban vow to disrupt vote The violence is the latest to rock Afghanistan in the run-up to the April 5 vote. There are 11 candidates in the presidential race, with the three main contenders thought to be Abdullah Abdullah, who also ran in the 2009 election, Ashraf Ghani and Zalmai Rassoul. Outgoing President Hamid Karzai cannot run again because of term limits. The Taliban have vowed to disrupt the elections and punish anyone involved in them. But NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking Wednesday in Belgium, said that the latest briefings from NATO commanders show that despite the Taliban's threats, overall violence across Afghanistan "is lower now than at any time during the last two years." Rasmussen praised the work of Afghan security forces, which have taken over many responsibilities from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, saying they had "demonstrated commitment, courage and professionalism" during preparations for the elections. "As expected, we have seen a series of attacks including on Kabul today -- an attack which I strongly condemn -- but I welcome that the Afghan people have resisted these intimidation attempts," he said. He said the country was now looking forward to "historic elections" that would shape its future. "My message to the women and men of Afghanistan is clear: Go to polls, exercise your democratic rights. Only you have the right to decide your country's future," he said. Rasmussen said any alleged electoral violations must be investigated swiftly to ensure the elections are credible to all Afghans. He added that Afghan citizens are registering to vote in "quite high" numbers, despite the Taliban's efforts to disrupt proceedings. Insurgent attacks On Saturday, Taliban insurgents attacked Afghanistan's election commission headquarters in Kabul, staff and a government official said. The five assailants were killed, and two people were injured. A day earlier, five militants set off a car bomb at a guesthouse used by foreigners and then held people as hostages until police killed one of the militants and the other four blew themselves up. A girl was killed in the attack. On Tuesday, militants stormed an election commission office in Kabul, leading to a five-hour gun battle with Afghan security services. Five people were killed -- two police officers, two election commission workers and a provincial council candidate. The Taliban claimed responsibility for all three of those attacks.
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that all arrangements have been finalized to observe 35th death anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at Garhi Khuda Bux on Friday April 4, 2014. Speaking at a meeting with PPP leaders and office bearers at Sukkur circuit house here on Wednesday, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who is also provincial president of PPP Sindh , said that Quran Khawani will be held at 10 a.m. and “Dua” will be offered at 1.pm. The local leadership will attend the ceremony and highlight the achievements of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who strived for democracy in the country and sacrificed his life for the people of Pakistan. The CM said the PPP workers, hailing to different districts of Sindh, are reaching at Garhi Khuda Bux by buses and trains to pay homage to founding chairman of the Party. He further said that an organizational set-up would be constituted in every constituency of the province to strengthen the party.
Eleven months in power, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is already in trouble. The number of PTI dissident members in the provincial assembly has now risen to 20 — with more coming to join the flock — and there is a good number of party parliamentarians in the National Assembly who also have issues with KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. It is said that while the PTI’s dissident provincial lawmakers have issues with the party’s central leadership over recent inductions in the cabinet, those from the National Assembly lambaste Khattak for his attitude towards them. The dissident provincial lawmakers wouldn’t speak to Khattak and wanted to directly speak to PTI supremo Imran Khan to find out, in the words of one key dissident member, who makes decisions in the party. And the dissident federal legislators — now believed to be 14 in number — have already spoken to Khan. They don’t want to have anything to do with the chief minister. Their patience with the chief minister has run out, a party lawmaker in the National Assembly confided. They may also form a forward bloc and the party chairman knows it, the lawmaker said. There were troubles within the party right from the word go, when the first batch of ministers took the oath in June last year. There were loud grumblings amongst the unhappy lot, a large number of ministerial hopefuls. Khattak moved quickly to induct an unprecedented number of advisers, special assistants and parliamentary secretaries and chairmen of district development advisory committees to stamp out dissent. Soon enough, the ridiculously large number of parliamentary committees posed another challenge. The government could not find enough members available with it to lead the many standing committees. So some of the parliamentary secretaries had to be shunted out to make room for chairmen of the standing committees. But this did not solve the problem. Things began to heat up again as speculation of a reshuffle in the cabinet started doing the rounds, apparently citing performance as the key factor. But while the replacement of the minister for health did generate some controversy, it was the induction of new ministers that caused a furore amongst those waiting on the sidelines, hoping to find a berth in the cabinet. If the speculation was not enough, coming soon on the heels of a tug-of-war between the chief minister and Khan-backed chief secretary in KP were also rumours that Khattak is unhappy with direct interference from influential party figures in Islamabad. There was speculation, never convincingly laid to rest, that the chief minister had formed his own group of loyalists within the party to forestall any attempt at dislodging him. Media reports to the effect were never contradicted. Understandably, the party is new to power politics and most of its members, save a few, with ambitions and expectations are new to assemblies. There have already been questions about discipline, its enforcement and the way the party is run. Party leaders do not remember when their central executive council last met. Key policy decisions are taken in the core committee, whose number has increased from 15 to 37. How did this happen, no one has a clue. While the core committee is supposed to be elected by secret ballot, it has expanded by leaps and bounds without the party’s constitutional sanction. But when it comes to nominations, they are done by the party chief Khan who, according to a senior party leader, was mandated by the last central executive council meeting to make nominations when and where necessary, pending next party elections. The leader did not remember the meeting’s date. As for those nominated to the KP cabinet, party leaders insist, the matter was decided between Khan and Khattak and the influential figures in Islamabad had nothing to do with it. Khattak on his part has told those agitating against the latest induction that the decisions to the effect were taken at the top by Khan himself. And this is why, say the dissidents, they want to meet the chairman to clear the air. Surprisingly, however, with so much happening with the PTI in KP, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz — which can cause an upset and bring down Khan’s government — is watching silently, refusing to be drawn into the conflict. Given the number of PTI-led coalition members and the emergence of the dissident group, Khan’s government in KP is precariously placed. Even without the dissident group, the PML-N, had it really wanted to, could have easily manoeuvred a coup by weaning away the Swabi group, whose leader Shahram Tarakai has, not surprisingly, been made a senior minister and given a key portfolio of health in the latest reshuffle. The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, together with Sherpao’s Qaumi Watan Party and a bunch of other parties in the KP Assembly, is ever keen and ready to pull the rug from under the PTI feet. But the PML-N, at least for now, is not willing to take the bait. KP is not an easy province to govern, given the state of security in the violence-hit region, but there is more to it. The PML-N would like to see the PTI government die its own slow death in five years — like its two immediate predecessors — rather than become a pain in the neck in its citadel of Lahore.
The PPP has called upon the Punjab government to take action against what it called ‘150 sleeper cells’ of the outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) in the province. Fawad Chaudhry, the media adviser of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, told Dawn on Tuesday that the party had taken serious notice of a threatening letter sent by the LJ to Bilawal Bhutto. Ali Sufian who claimed to be a LJ spokesperson said in the letter that his group would kill the PPP chairman for his hostile stance against militants. Fawad Chaudhry said: “The LJ was involved in the attack on Bilawal Bhutto’s security guards in Karachi and we believe that members of this group were hiding in Punjab.” He accused the provincial government of being reluctant to take action against the LJ. He said the presence of ‘150 sleeper cells’ of LJ had been disclosed by the interior ministry. Because of the threats Bilawal Bhutto has deferred his visit to Lahore for an indefinite period. But his media adviser hopes the PPP chairman will soon plan a visit to Punjab. Fawad Chaudhry said the PPP could not rely on the Punjab government’s security plan for Bilawal Bhutto during his visit to Lahore. On the other hand, the Punjab government’s special committee headed by the inspector general of police is investigating the issue of threats to Bilawal Bhutto. IGP office’s spokesperson Nabila Ghazanfar told Dawn that the Punjab police were investigating the matter as directed by the government. According to a senior police officer, it was being treated as a serious matter. But, PPP Punjab’s information secretary Raja Amer accused the Punjab government of having close links with the LJ and, therefore, not interested in acting against the banned group. He accused Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah of working as the mouthpiece of the LJ. PPP Punjab’s president Manzoor Wattoo said his party would constitute its own committee to closely monitor the Punjab government’s investigation. He said Bilawal Bhutto might address party workers in Punjab through video link.
An explosion took place near Faizabad flyover shortly after General (retd) Pervez Musharraf passed through the same route to get shifted from AFIC to his farmhouse in Chak Shehzad. According to police, Musharraf's convoy was the apparently target of the explosion. However, the former military ruler has been shifted safely to Chak Shehzad farmhouse, they said. The police further said the bomb was planted in the drainage pipe at a distance of 300 meters away from Faizabad flyover in which half kilogram of explosive material was used. The blast left one foot deep crater at the site of incident, the police added. Musharraf has been shifted from AFIC to Chak Shahzad after three months. He was taken to hospital on January 02 as he suffered a “heart problem” when he was on his way to appear before the special court hearing treason case against him.
U.S. President Obama said he was ''heartbroken'' that another shooting occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation as fluid.
The Fort Hood Commanding officer said the shooter is dead from self-inflicted wounds and that three others were killed