The News – CM Punjab forms committee to curb child abuse

Lahore-Panjab-Pakistan, 13 January 2018. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday formed a committee headed by Law Minister Rana Sanaullah for protection of the children and provision of awareness of sexual misconduct.

According to a notification passed by the Punjab CM, a regime is being set up for the fortification of the children in the wake of the Kasur tragedy, which led a spate of protests nationwide against the kidnapping, sexual abuse and murder of 7-year-old Zainab.

The notification reads that the committee will undergo with minister for schools being the co-convener within the 20-member bench committee under the regulatory desk of the provincial law minister Raja Sanaullah, to prevent the increasing trend of child abuse in the society.

The Punjab chief minister also instigated the committee meetings to be held with daily attempts under clause for children’s support including scrutiny of the police’s procedures and awareness campaigns among parents and children.

The first session of the committee has been summoned tomorrow (Sunday) and it has been directed to submit recommendations to CM Punjab by January 16, wherein the anti-child abuse movement has been expedited to undergo at least throughout the government’s validation.

The committee will also “intelligently use ICT to protect children in streets, parks, schools and in other public places”, “review existing laws and criminal investigation procedures apropos child abduction and child abuse”, and “propose revisions in school curriculum to educate children in dealing with strangers and self-protection.”

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/268062-cm-punjab-forms-committee-to-curb-child-abuse

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The News – Indian media outlet forced to retract report confirming Kulbhusan as spy

New Delhi-India, 6 January 2018. Hours after confirming that Kulbhusan Jadhav is an operative of Indian intelligence, an Indian news site on Saturday retracted the story on the convicted spy who was handed down death sentence by a military tribunal in Pakistan.

“The story on Kulbhushan Jadhav has been retracted. The Quint is rechecking some of the information mentioned in the article” thequint.com said of the report titled “Two Ex-RAW chiefs did not want Kulbhushan Jadhav recruited as spy.

The media outlet drew strong backlash for the story with some of extremist Hindu activists calling for boycott of the Quint.

“Hurt them where it hurts the most. Go after the businesses that advertise with “The Quint”. Boycott events where they’re a sponsor partner. Never share their article links,” said a user.

“Quint takes down story. Truth is stranger than fiction” tweeted Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal with a screenshot of the page that carried the story.

“Update as reported: Journalist Chandan Nandy who filed the story is “missing/gone in hiding”, was last spotted at Khan Market Delhi and since then has been untraceable for family and friends. Freedom of press ?”, he said in another tweet.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/265305-indian-media-outlet-forced-to-take-down-story-confirmingw

The News – Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother, wife to arrive in Pakistan on Monday

Islamabad-Islamabad Capital Territory-Pakistan, 24 December 2017. The family of Indian death row spy Kulbhushan Jadhav will arrive in Pakistan on Monday, December 25, Foreign Office Spokesman said Saturday.

In a twitter message, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said Indian authorities have informed Pakistan that the mother and wife of Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav will arrive in Islamabad by commercial flight on Monday, 25 December and will leave on the same day.

The spokesman went on to say Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad will be the accompanying diplomat.

On December 20, Pakistan issued visas to the mother and wife of Jadhav to meet him.

The visas were issued by Pakistani High Commission in India.

Pakistan had extended meeting offer to Jadhav’s family on humanitarian grounds.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/259812-kulbhushan-jadhavs-mother-wife-to-arrive-in-pakistan-on-monday

The News – Sikh leader condemns Indian propaganda

Lahore-Panjab-Pakistan, 21 December 2017. The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) has strongly condemned the Indian media propaganda that the Sikh community people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are being converted into Islam forcibly.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, PSGPC Pardhan Sardar Tara Singh said the Sikh community was living in Pakistan with total religious freedom and without having faced any problem from their Muslim brethren so far.

He said Indian media was spreading false propaganda about the fate of Sikh community members in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). He said a few people of his community in Kohat had complained to the Kohat commissioner of forcible change of their religion when operation against them was conducted by an assistant commissioner for hording.

Sardar Tara Singh said the KP chief secretary had formed a committee to probe the charges. He said the whole matter had been settled as well so the Indian media should avoid spreading such rumours.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/258720-sikh-leader-condemns-indian-propaganda

The News – Chief Justice rejects criticism, says Supreme Court under no pressure

Islamabad-Islamabad Capital Territory-Pakistan, 16 December 2017. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday said all the judges of the apex court are working independently and every judge has the right to express his openion, a day after the top court gave judgment in a case against Imran Khan and Jahangir Khan Tareen.

Speaking at a ceremony, the chief justice dispelled the notion that the Supreme Court was under pressure and was taking dictation, saying “we make all the decisions in accordance with law”.

“This judiciary is under no pressure”, said he, adding that even those who don’t bother to read verdicts start passing remarks.

He said he was not aware the judgment in Hudaibiya Papers Mills case was due to be announced the same day court was scheduled to give its decision on disqualification case of Imran Khan and Jahangir Khan Tareen.

“Institution of Judiciary is your elder, you should not doubt its integrity. this elder neither has become part of any plan nor will it become so.

“Judges make decision with complete honesty and integrity”, he said adding that the court should not be subjected to abuse and criticism over its judgements .

“Forget that judiciary is under pressure. Where is this plan and pressure coming coming from, he asked.

“I can swear that there is no pressure on judiciary, all the decisions here are made according to conscience”, the Chief Justice of Pakistan said.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/256908-chief-justice-rejects-criticism-o

The News – Sindh Government to facilitate disabled persons in various sectors

Nimra Afzal

Karachi-Sindh-Pakistan, 9 December 2017. Sindh Minister for Transport and Information, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah assured that people with disabilities would be facilitated in transport, education and health sectors.

Speaking at a seminar in connection with ‘International Day for Disabled Persons’, he said the government has decided to take strict action against Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) for not implementing his directions issued for effective access to the disabled persons.

Nasir Hussain said his party chairman Bilawal Bhutto has issued special directives for provision of jobs to special persons, not only in the government but also in private sector besides providing them all necessary facilities.

A think-tank, belonging to Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation (NARF), gathered at the seminar to present various demands for the disabled persons.

The panel at the seminar urged the governments, persons with disabilities and the concerned organizations, academic institutions and the private sector to work as a ‘team’ to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Professor Muhammad Wasay, President NARF, told the audience that the disability rate in rural areas was 65% while in urban areas of the country, 34% suffer from disabilities. The 58 percent men while 42 percent women suffer from some kind of disability. The victims in Punjab are 56% and in Sindh are 28%.

As per Dr Wasay’s statistics, only 14% of the disabled persons are part of workforce, where only 10% have access to rehabilitation and 17% have access to social and educational support. He mentioned the ratio for disabilities including physical disability (35%), multiple (8%), blind (8%), mentally challenged (7%), deaf (7%), psychiatric (6%) and others (30%).

The number of disabled persons in Pakistan is growing at an alarming rate of 2.65 percent annually as the estimated 5.30 million population of the country was suffering with disability, as mentioned by Dr. Wasay, children being the prime victims.

‘Provision of appropriate and effective access’

Where 43% of the national population of the total disabled comprise solely of children, as compared to 10% of global percentage (2.18 million); statistics tell that 1.4 million children are of school age but no access to education”, Professor Muhammad Wasay lamented.

Dr Madiha Latif, neuro-psychologist, Erum Zehra, occupational therapist, General Secretary NARF, Dr Abdul Malik and Syed Ibn-e-Hasan, senior vice president of NBP also spoke at the seminar.

The panel demanded a full concession in admission fee and relief up to 75% in tuition fee in government educational institutes must be ensured.

The panel stipulated demand for Special Computerized National Identity Card by NADRA, whereas 50% concession on total charges of tickets to the disabled persons in Airlines, Railway, public and private transport companies, endowment of free treatment in all federal, provincial, district, tehsil, social security hospitals, dispensaries, as well as 60% discount in private hospitals were also suggested.

They also demanded that necessary changes in the existing buildings for the effective access to the disabled persons in public offices housed in such public and private buildings must be made, including access of wheelchair in all available public transport which currently is zero.

The seminar demanded to ensure the implementation of special quota in Federal and Provincial Public Commission.

‘Global statistics tell 20% of the world’s poor are disabled’

Globally at least 10% of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with a disability. Twenty percent of the world’s poor are disabled. The percentage of children with disabilities not attending school is extremely variable and is between 65 – 85% in some African countries.

Mortality for children with disabilities may be as high as 80% in countries where under-five mortality as a whole has decreased to below 20%. In many low-income and middle -income countries, only 5-15% of disabled people who require assistive devices and technology have access to them, experts shared.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/254161-sindh-govt-to-facilitate-disabled-persons-in-various-sectors

The News – Man acquitted of murder of Sikh woman

Lahore-Panjab-Pakistan, 9 December 2017. Additional District and Sessions Judge Irfan Basra Friday acquitted a person namely Hafiz Shahzad of murder charges of a Canadian national Sikh woman, Rajvinder Kaur Gill.

The court has acquitted the accused after prosecution failed to prove charges levelled against him. It is pertinent to mention here that the main accused in this murder case namely Shahid Ghazanfar alias Karishna Roy is still at large.

On January 2, 2013, Sarwar Road police had registered an FIR on the complaint of Sikandar Singh Gill, father of the victim girl. The complainant stated that his daughter Rajvinder Kaur reached Lahore Airport from Canada on August 25, 2012. He said when she reached Lahore, she had Canadian passport bearing number 354321045161686, cash, a laptop, gold ornaments and other things of personal use with her.

He added that she was in contact with Shahid Ghazanfar alias Karishna Roy and Shahzad but so far they could not find her neither she called her family telephonically after reaching Pakistan. Sarwar Road police arrested Shahzad and produced him before the Cantonment judicial magistrate.

Later, police claimed that Hafiz Shahzad had confessed to his crime, kidnapping and murdering the woman on the behest of Shahid Ghazanfar alias Karishna Roy. As per police, Shahid had invited Rajvinder Kaur to Pakistan for a diamond auction in Lahore.

Shahid and Gill had known each other for a long time and he had told her that he would pay her back the money he owed her when she came to Lahore. Shahid and Shahzad received Gill at the airport and drove her to Sheikhupura on motorway.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/254068-man-acquitted-of-murder-of-sikh-woman

The News – First Sikh army officer gets married

Rawalpindi-Panjab-Pakistan, 4 December 2017. Pakistan Army’s first Sikh officer Major Hercharn Singh on Sunday tied the Knot at Gurdwara PunjaSahib, Hasan Abdal, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa in his message extended best wishes for matrimonial life of newlywed couple, the statement added.

A number of serving and retired officers of Pakistan Army attended the wedding ceremony Major Harcharn Singh.

According to Arm’s media wing, ISPR, Major Harcharn Singh was commissioned in Pakistan Army in 2007.

Pakistan Army remains a symbol of national integration and respects rights of religious minorities in Pakistan, the ISPR statement added.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/251807-first-sikh-army-officer-gets-married

The News – Zahid Hamid resigns over Faizabad fiasco

Islamabad-Islamabad Capital Territory-Pakistan, 27 November 2017. Zahid Hamid has resigned as Federal Law Minister in face of countrywide protests and sit–in by religious parties over the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat clause fiasco.

According to reports, Zahid Hamid has tendered his resignation and is waiting for its approval by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

As per details, The development has come in hours after Zahid Hamid’s meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday.

Zahid Hamid said that he has resigned for the sake of bringing the ongoing crisis to an end that flared up after a crackdown against the protesters at Faizabad Interchange on Saturday morning.

“In order to restore peace, I have made up my mind to step down.”He added.

He denied any direct involvement in controversial amendment in Khatam-e-Nabuwwat clause, which was later restored to its original form.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/249472-federal-law-minister-zahid-hamid-resigns

The News – Nawaz criticizes judges in Abbottabad rally

Abbottabad (Urdu ایبٹ آباد)-Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan, 19 November 2017. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday took an exception to judges who he said took oaths of allegiance to dictators but failed to deliver justice in his case.

“Those who are talking about minus one formula don’t know Nawaz Sharif is the name of an ideology” said he while addressing a rally in Abbottabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Today I have brought my review appeal (against disqualification) here. Pakistani nation will decide on my review petition,” he said.

“Pakistan has once again been destabilized,” the former prime minister said and asked the participants of the rally whether they would support him in restoring sanctity of vote. The crowd responded in affirmative.

The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz leader arrived in Murree from where he travelled to Abbottabad.

TV channels aired photo of the former prime minister shaking hands with Pashtoon Khawa Milli Awami Party leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai whom the former met at the Islamabad’s Benazir International Airport.

During their brief encounter, both the leaders discussed current political situation of the country.

The rally is being held at the College Ground where organizers have placed 10000 chairs and huge panaflaxes carrying images of the former prime minister.

Earlier in the day, Muslim League Nawaz leaders Pervaiz Rashid and Asif Kirmani visited the venue to review the preparations for the rally.

Speaking to media, Rashid said Imran Khan was calling for early election because he was scared of PMLN.

PMLN’s provincial leaders Sardar Mehtab Abbasi and Amir Maqam also visited the College Ground in the morning.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/246206-nawaz-to-address-rally-in-abbottabad