Pakistan Plays its Trump Card to Deal with Donald Trump


The United States has been informed that if the administration of Donald Trump does not change its new policy of coercion and intimidation towards Islamabad, Pakistan is going to call of the efforts it has been making for the Afghanistan reconciliation process. Diplomatic channels have been used to convey to the US administration that a strategy for a peaceful Afghanistan will only be set by Pakistan in light of its national security policy. The military and civil leadership of the country has expressed serious reservations about the new policy of the US concerning Afghanistan.

Sources have revealed that senior federal authorities have discussed their reservations and consultations have been conducted at the highest levels. They have all concluded that Pakistan will not give in to any demands or pressure from the US. The Trump administration has been informed that 100% results have been achieved by Pakistan in its military operations against terrorists of all color and hue and it will continue doing so until they have eliminated the last terrorist.

According to sources, US Ambassador David Hale has been told that Pakistan’s economy doesn’t need financial assistance from America and Islamabad has never been dependent on Washington for strengthening its defence system. They also stated that Pakistan has begun approaching its allies such as Russia, China and other countries to gather some support against the new US policy that has been unveiled. Beijing has offered Islamabad complete assurance that any possible resolution that the US will make in the UN Security Council will be vetoed by them.

Sources also asserted that Islamabad has come up with its own strategy for dealing with the one outlined by Trump. They stated that the US has been warned by Pakistan of a pullout from the Afghan reconciliation process if Washington doesn’t alter its approach. According to them, Pakistan can only have good relations with the Trump administration if they opt for a balanced policy or else they will have to review their relations on all issues. An important source has disclosed that in light of the reaction from Pakistan, the US administration has begun discussions on their new policy.

In this context, the visit of Foreign Minister Khawja Asif to the US will be vital as he has been given the task of conveying Pakistan’s stance to the Trump administration. Earlier this month, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had invited Asif to Washington. The secretary of state had extended the invitation to Asif during a phone conversation. Asif had reciprocated the gesture and invited Tillerson to visit Pakistan. According to the Foreign Office, the invitation had been accepted by the secretary of state. Sources said that the federal government would decide its policy on Thursday at the meeting of the National Security Committee.   

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Dar Gives NAB a Written Response Instead of Making an Appearance


On Wednesday, a written response was submitted by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) instead of making a physical appearance before the team of investigators. In the letter submitted to NAB, Dar has disclosed the reasons for not making a personal appearance before the graft’s watchdog team for recording his statement and he also provided some documents along with it. It has been confirmed by NAB sources that they have received the response of the finance minister in writing.

Dar has contended in the letter that not only his tax records, but that of his wife had also been examined previously by NAB for the last 22 years i.e. from 1985 to 2007. He said that they had found no evidence of assets other than their declared sources of income and had then ended the inquiry into his finances. The report of this investigation that had been conducted earlier has been submitted to NAB by the finance minister. Apart from that, officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan also made an appearance before the NAB.

These officials provided the investigative team with details about the companies owned by Dar’s two sons, wife and daughter-in-law. The relatives of the finance minister own seven companies in total, which are namely CNG Pakistan, Spenser Pharmacy, HDS Securities, Spencer Distribution, Hajveri Hodarba Management Company, Hajveri Holdings and Gulf Insurance Company. A review petition had been filed with the Supreme Court by Dar on August 21st in which he challenged the Panamagate verdict.

He claimed that the ‘spurious’ JIT report could not be used as a basis for filing a reference against him. He said that the direction of the court was beyond the mandate established through the judgment on April 20th. Therefore, he requested the Supreme Court to recall the order they had issued on July 28th. It was also added by the finance minister that the order of the Supreme Court of nominating a judge to supervise the NAB investigation was also against Articles 175 and 203 of the Constitution, which are concerned with the courts’ jurisdiction.

He also pleaded with the Supreme Court to wait for the final order on the review petition he has filed before continuing NAB proceedings against him. He also questioned why five judges had issued the final verdict when the JIT reports had only been heard by three and the other two had never heard the arguments or the objections of the petitioners.       

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Ex-Indian General Admits Pakistan’s Support in Occupied Kashmir


Jammu and Kashmir has been at the center of the dispute between Pakistan and India since 1947, when the subcontinent succeeded in gaining independence from British colonial rule. New Delhi refers to the Himalayan region as its integral part, but a retired Indian general has admitted that Pakistan has widespread support in the area. Retired Lieutenant General DS Hoda has also conceded that the Kashmir issue, which has bedeviled relations between India and Pakistan, cannot be resolved via military.

He said that Kashmir is a multi-dimensional and internal issue and Pakistan has a lot of support there. During an interview, Hoda said that it was the job of the Indian army to bring the security situation in the region to a level that can be deemed conducive for political activity. Pakistan has been accused by Delhi for causing a long-drawn separatist insurgency in the disputed area and this charge has been vehemently denied by Islamabad. A so-called surgical strike was also discussed by General Hoda, which according to Indian forces, had been carried out last year for neutralizing the militant bases in Azad Kashmir.

The ‘surgical strikes’ had been carried out under General Hoda’s supervision as he had then been the commander of the Indian army’s northern command. He said that they had held detailed consultations and decided that carrying out the strikes would not lead to an all-out war with Pakistan. They had gone over the plans and had decided to take the risk. He added that he couldn’t provide details, but several discussions had been held because such strikes cannot be conducted on a whim and lots of preparations had to be made.

After the surgical strikes were claimed by the Indian army, the opposition Congress party insisted that they hadn’t disclosed it to the public, but similar other actions had been carried out by them in the past. General Hoda agreed with this statement. He said that they had opted for plausible deniability in the past, but this time, the government had announced their actions. When questioned on how India benefitted from this move, he said that it was a way to send a message that we could enter your territory when we want and Pakistan’s refusal to acknowledge them was a moral and psychological win.

However, he said that every situation was different and such actions cannot be carried out all the time. General Hoda also acknowledged that Kashmiri people resented India and its army and this makes it challenging for them to carry out an operation there.        

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Nawaz Wants to See Shehbaz as Next PM


After he was disqualified on Friday by the Supreme Court over allegations of corruptions against his family, Nawaz Sharif stepped down from his position of Prime Minister of Pakistan. He said that he wanted to see his brother Shehbaz Sharif as the next prime minister. While meeting with his confidants, Mr. Sharif said that the final decision of who would be the next prime minister would be decided in a parliamentary meeting of his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), he hoped his younger brother would be selected for the post.

Shehbaz Sharif is currently the chief minister of Punjab and Mr. Sharif said that the party would have to come up with other options for his post in case he was chosen as the next prime minister. Sources said that Shehbaz would run from the same seat his brother has been disqualified from i.e. NA-120, Lahore. Shehbaz would only be able to become prime minister if he is able to win a seat in the National Assembly.

The landmark decision taken by the Supreme Court has prevented Nawaz Sharif from completing his full-term in power for the third time. The five-judge bench of the top court was headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and the verdict was announced unanimously. The PM was disqualified due to his failure for disclosing his salary worth AES 10,000 that he had earned from UAE-based offshore firm, Capital FZE, which was still un-withdrawn.

The office of the Prime Minister said that he had chosen to step down from his post even though he had ‘serious reservations’ regarding the judicial process used for reaching the verdict. It also means that the federal cabinet is now dissolved. Who will be the next prime minister? That’s the question everyone is asking and Nawaz Sharif has shared his wishes.     

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Who Could be the Next Prime Minister?


Pakistan’s Prime Minister was ousted from the office on Friday by the Supreme Court. While he may have lost his position, he is still the head of the largest party in the National Assembly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PLM-N) and this means that he will have the power to nominate his successor. The chosen candidate will be voted by the National Assembly, which is essentially a rubber-stamp affair because PML-N has a strong majority. Maryam Nawaz, Mr. Sharif’s daughter is regarded as his political heir, but she cannot be considered a candidate this time as she doesn’t hold elected office.

It is common to see dark horses emerge in Pakistan’s politics, but the most likely candidates for the position of prime minister are:

Shahbaz Sharif 

There has been considerable speculation within the local media and it is suggested that the party will first bring an interim minister for a couple of weeks and then eventually opt for Shahbaz Sharif, Nawaz’s younger brother, for the position. Currently, the younger Sharif sibling is the chief minister of the powerful Punjab Province, which is the stronghold of the Sharif clan. However, he will have to give up that role and get National Assembly votes before he is chosen as the country’s Prime Minister.

In order for this to happy, a party loyalist will have to give up his seat in the national parliament, which will spark a hasty vote that can be contested on the PML-N ticket by Shahbaz. Even though he is less charismatic, Shahbaz is deemed as more intelligent than his elder brother. Punjab is Pakistan’s most prosperous and populous province and he has controlled it for most of the last decade. He has presided over a number of big ticket projects in infrastructure, including the first metro bus service in the country.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif 

One of the most trusted allies of Mr. Nawaz Sharif is Defense Minister Khawaja and is considered to be the most likely successor. Since 1991, a series of key positions within the party have been held by the former banker. He was elected to the National Assembly since 1993 from his home district of Sialkot, which is a vital manufacturing center in Punjab. He has always been a strong critic of the army and it is believed that his hardline viewpoint against the military has created problems for Sharif.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq 

Another strong candidate who can be considered for the position of prime minister is Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the speaker of the National Assembly. It is said that he has the ear of the Sharif family and he won their trust when he defeated cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, PML-N’s main rival, in the general election in 2013 for a Lahore seat. Two years later, Sadiq lost his seat after allegations of vote rigging, but he narrowly beat a close aide of Imran Khan in a by-election and was thus, re-elected. He began his political career as a supporter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party of Imran Khan, but joined PML-N for contesting the elections in 2002.

Ahsan Iqbal 

Belonging to a political family that has been associated with the PML-N party of Mr. Sharif for a very long time, Ahsan Iqbal is a US-educated lawmaker. He is regarded as a visionary leader as well as the development brains of the party. Currently, he is the head of the federal planning and development ministry and also served as the minister for education and minorities in the past. During Sharif’s second term in the office, he was the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission from 1998 to 1999.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan 

Until recently, interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was considered the prime candidate for the position as he is a stalwart of the PML-N. However, his relationship with Mr. Sharif has apparently hit the rocks. As a matter of fact, some sources have also suggested that Mr. Sharif is worried that Nisar wants to take control of the party from the embattled Prime Minister. This week, there was heavy speculation that Nisar was could resign his seat and this has increased intrigue about the relationship between the two. Unlike other allies of Mr. Sharif, Nisar has close connections to the powerful military and this would serve him well if he makes an independent bid for office.          

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What Happens now After Pakistan’s PM Disqualification?


The Supreme Court has ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from power, bringing about an unceremonious end to his third term in the office ahead of general elections that are scheduled for next year. There has not been a single Pakistani Prime Minister who successfully completed a full five-year term.

The tenure of most of them has been cut short by the Supreme Court or the country’s powerful military. In some cases, they were ousted by their own party, assassinated or forced to resign.

While Mr. Sharif has been disqualified as the country’s prime minister, he still remains the head of the governing political party, The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). This means that he will oversee the nomination of his successor who will then be rubber stamped through a vote in the parliament where Mr. Sharif’s party and his coalition partners have a majority of 209 seats in a 342-seat house.

A candidate will also be fielded by the opposition for the premiership, but their nominee has no chances of getting the number of votes required to be stamped. The vote is probably going to happen within a couple of days or may also happen in a few hours.

A similar incident had occurred in 2012 when the Supreme Court had ousted then-prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, over contempt of court charges because of his refusal to reopen a corruption case against the then-President Asif Ali Zardari. After Gilani’s removal, President Zardari led the negotiations for finding a suitable replacement for the premiership as he was the head of the then-ruling Pakistan’s People Property. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had been chosen after three days. He was also a controversial choice due to corruption allegations, but the National Assembly eventually elected him.

In theory, it is possible for Mr. Sharif and his party to challenge the court’s decision, but it is highly unlikely they will do so. A review petition could be filed by his legal team, but on limited grounds like a mistake in judgment. Yasser Latif Hamdani, a constitutional lawyer said that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter and interpreter of the constitution so if they say this is how something is done, then that’s the way to go.

The possibility of early elections is also unlikely because the constitution states that they can only be called by the president on the prime minister’s advice, which means that Mr. Sharif’s successor has to be selected first.             

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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Disqualified


On Friday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court gave the order of removal of the current Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, from office due to accusations of corruptions. This is a historic ruling, which is going to impact the tumultuous political balance of the country and is also going to deal a major blow to the legacy of the man who defined the past generation of the country’s politics.

Mr. Sharif was serving his third term in the office and his removal comes almost a year before his current term was to end. After this verdict, it is now the job of The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the governing political party, has to select an interim prime minister for replacing Mr. Sharif until mid-2018, when the next general elections will be held.

The verdict was announced by the five-member Supreme Court and puts an end to more than a year of breathless court proceedings, high political drama and an in-depth investigation into the finances of the Sharif clan. The powerful military of the country, which has decided the fate of civilian governments in the past, watched the courtroom drama unfold.

There was speculation that some powerful generals were backing the court decisions, at least tacitly if not overtly. Disclosures made in the Panama Papers last year were the reason why the charges against the Sharif family were brought forward.

The Panama Papers revealed Mr. Sharif’s three children, two sons and a daughter, were the owners of expensive residential property in London through a number of offshore companies. The justices delivered a unanimous verdict on Friday and it was declared that Mr. Sharif couldn’t be called ‘honest’, which meant that he was ‘disqualified’ from being a part of the Parliament. They also ordered that criminal investigations be launched against the members of the Sharif family.

The campaign against Mr. Sharif has been spearheaded by the opposition politician, Imran Khan, since Mr. Sharif took office in 2013. The removal of the prime minister will benefit him the most. Mr. Khan has headed the charge against Mr. Sharif almost obsessively and he rallied a great portion of the public against him through court petitions and street agitation.

The members of the Sharif family had been ordered by the Supreme Court to present a paper trail of the money used for purchases of their properties in London. Investigators discovered that the family was living ‘beyond their means’. Mr. Sharif’s family and their lawyers were unable to provide satisfactory and suitable documentation, even after repeated court exhortations.

A number of documents they provided where declared insufficient or fake.         

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SC Judges Puts Burden of Proof On Prime Minister's Counsel In Panamagate Case


Panamagate case is in the Supreme Court and it's time for the Prime Minister's counsel to resume his arguments to defend his client during the hearing. On Thursday, Mr. Makhdoom Ali Khan began with his arguments before the SC judges where he was questioned about the money trail for PM's London flats. Moreover, he was also asked to justify with evidence that the PM had no inconsistencies in his speech on the floor of National Assembly in 2016.

It is worth mentioning that Justice Asif Saeed Khosa is heading the larger bench for Panamagate case. During the court hearing under the 5-judges larger bench, Makhdoom Ali Khan denied that the PM has any link with the London flats.

The PM's counsel told the honorable judges that Hussain Nawaz who is the eldest son of Mian Mohammed Nawaz Sharif took over the family business of Mian Sharif after his death whereas the PM had no connection with it.

Upon the aforementioned point, Justice Khosa questioned the counsel about how the money trail leads to the London flats if Nawaz Sharif had nothing to do with it. He also said they have received two money trails that are different from each other. The court wants to know how the money went from Jeddah and then moved to London. In addition, Justice Khosa asked the counsel to explain about how the money reached London from Dubai and Qatar after that.

Makhdoom Ali Khan also denied that the Prime Minister had ever served his family factory as a director in Dubai. Upon this denial of Nawaz Sharif serving the company as a director, Justice Khosa inquired the counsel that since there's no documents or evidences have been submitted to the court to deny the allegation, how come they believe that the PM was never a director of his family company.

One of the bench judges admonished the counsel to present documents in the SC to support the claim when Makhdoom Ali Khan told the judges that Sharif family established their Dubai factory with loan money. But Mr. Khan in turn asked the SC to form an inquiry commission that can go to the UAE and inquire about the allegations against his client.

Justice Ijaz-ul Hasan observed that Nawaz Sharif had recognized his family's mills in Dubai during his speech in the National Assembly and had told the MNAs that each record is available. The judge told Makhdoom Ali Khan, the counsel to the Prime Minister that the burden of evidence lies on him now. While Mr. Khan said in his opinion it's petitioner's job to present the necessary documents or proof. Upon which Justice Khosa told him that the PM's counsel needs to satisfy the judges about Sharif family's ownership of mills in Dubai.

Justice Gulzar remarked that the court hasn't yet received the record that the PM had referred to during his speech while Justice Khosa also said that he heard the PM's life is an open book but it seems that some pages are missing.

Makhdoom Ali Khan concluded the arguments for the day by telling the bench that his client has nothing to do with money trail matter and his children are the owners of the business whose record will be submitted by their counsel.

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48 People Killed In Horrifying airplane Crash Near Islamabad


December 7, 2016 turned out to be the most horrifying day of the year for Pakistan as its afternoon saw a scary airplane crash near Islamabad killing 48 people including the famous Islamic preacher Junaid Jamshed and his wife Neha Junaid.

According to the media reports, Pakistan International Airline's plane PK 661 took off from Chitral whereas its destination was Islamabad where it had to land by 4:40pm on Wednesday. When it reached near Hawalian, pilot's call to air traffic controller revealed the plane was facing some technical problem and it was going out of his control. Soon after the frightening call from the pilot, the airplane went missing from the radar. The unfortunate flight hit one of the mountains in Hawalian district before going down to the ground. It was crashed completely and wreckage of the airplane had caught the fire with a horrible roar of explosion.

The people on board included 31 men, 9 women and 2 infants. According to sources, three foreigners who are told to be one Chinese, one Korean and one Australian, were also traveling to Islamabad from the city of Chitral on the same flight.

Mohammed Azam Saigol, the Chairman PIA later on Wednesday confirmed the death of all 48 people on the plane that crashed in the North mountainous area of Pakistan same day afternoon. The airplane's chairman told the media persons in a press conference that after five hours of the plane crash in the province of KPK, it has been confirmed there's no survivor of the accident.

He said the crashed plane was given regular maintenance and it had no problems before taking off from the city. Moreover, this ATR-42 aircraft was certified with "A-check" that it had cleared two months back in October 2016.

He said he doesn't think of any human or technical errors are involved behind this crash but there was obviously a reason for it happened. Therefore, there would be a proper and thorough investigation of the accident.

On the other hand, Pakistan Army has sealed the site of the accident. Almost 500 soldiers took part in the rescue efforts and recovered all 48 dead bodies that were badly burnt from the crashed plane. These bodies first were shifted to Abbottabad Medical Complex, and today they were taken to Islamabad through an army helicopter. Since all bodies were badly burnt, it's impossible to identify them. However, five of them have been identified and rest will be gone through process of DNA test to get identification.

The passengers also included Junaid Jamshed who departed from Chitral with his wife and was on board the airplane that came down near Islamabad. Jamshed attained the peak of popularity across the country as a lead singer of his band Vital Signs in the period of 80s. Besides group songs, he also had many successful solo albums on his music career. However, Junaid Jamshed gave up the life of limelight in 2001 after getting inspiration from Maulana Tariq Jamil. He devoted his life to spread Islam and even was on a “Tablig” preaching mission when he died while coming from Chitral yesterday.

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Pakistan Begins Efforts To Establish Ties With Trump’s Administration


Pakistan has begun its efforts to establish ties with the new US President and his administration. In this regard, a vanguard team has reached Washington DC on Sunday where it is supposed to meet various important officials from Donald Trump's administration team.

According to some media reports, Pakistan also plans to send the PM Mohammed Nawaz Sharifz to attend the inaugural ceremony of newly elected U.S President Donald Trump that is scheduled to take place on January 20, 2017, and this agenda is one of the purposes behind the efforts being taken by its management.

On the other hand, the Pakistan Embassy has clearly said that Foreign Affairs team under the supervision of Tariq Fatemi, who is serving as the Special Assistant of the said department, is visiting the United States as one of the several plans of Pakistani government for the early days of new US President, and it is still too early to get the topic of the PM's visit on its plate.

In the meantime, Tariq Fatemi has begun his official engagements in U.S capital on Monday, December 5, 2016, and is scheduled to go to New York next week to meet different members of Trump transition team. For the moment, he will have meetings with some members of new Congress of the United States in Washington. These members also include those who were elected in November 2016 as well as some officials of current Barack Obama's administration.

Trump's team has two officials who are already familiar with Pakistani management and completely understand Pakistan's importance in the fight against terrorism. One of those is James Mattis who is nominated for Secretary of Defence and Mr. Michael Flynn who has been chosen to work as National Security Advisor of the country. Among those Mr. Flynn who has also served the country as an army general gave extremely positive comments on Pakistan’s role in the war against terrorism when he came to attend a qawali function at the Pakistan Embassy in September 2016.

According to diplomatic observers in the US Capital, Pakistani officials may find both the situations during their visit to New York and Washington as they can find some enthusiastic listeners and can also experience some questioning.

It is worth mentioning that the White House earlier had described its relations with Pakistan a "complicated one" during a news briefing last week. It told the journalists the details how President Obama had once expressed his desire to visit Pakistan but he had to prevent himself from doing so because of the complications in the joint relations between Pakistan and the United States.

The official policy by Trump's administration also has highlighted the complications that can continue to spoil relationship between the two countries. In addition, the policy document also verifies that the relations are necessary as well as difficult, and it also expresses the desire of strengthening the historic relationships that have stayed under the burden of international dispute.

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Khanani's Director Passes Away After Falling from a Building


Javed Khanani, the director of famous international money Changer Company "Khanani and Kalia" passed away on December 4, 2016 after he reportedly fell from an under-construction building in the capital of Sindh.

The mysterious death of KKI director in Karachi has raised several questions. Apparently, his death was a result of falling from "Saima Towers", an under-construction building located in Karachi's Mohammed Ali Society. The "accidental death" then was reported at Bahadurabad police station for further investigation into the bits and bytes of the case.

The news media reports Javed Khanani fell from eighth floor of the building where he was on his routine visit. While Mr. Mushtaq Maher, the additional IG, Karachi said, he was also seen entangling in electric wires before he hit the ground.

Meanwhile, the other partners of KKI who were busy in their daily tasks in a nearby office, rushed to the spot upon hearing the shocking news of Javed Khanani's fall from the building. The director was immediately taken to nearby hospice but he died on the way to the medical care.

According to the Police Chief, the relatives of the deceased also reached at the hospice after being informed about the loss and immediately took his dead body with them to home. They even didn't let police complete its legal process or go into any medico-legal actions.

However, the Police have requested his family to cooperate with them to complete necessary medico-legal formalities so that they can work for establishing the actual cause behind this sudden death. The family, on other hand, is continuously denying the request made by the police and has claimed that Javed Khanani has committed suicide.

Despite, the family isn't cooperating with the police, it has arrested a few labors from the site of under-construction building site and seeking for any eye witness or CCTV camera evidence to help their investigation complete. Furthermore, the police is said to be investing the case with keep various angles in mind.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fahad Ahmed, the SP Police, Gulshan told the media that the police has launched investigation for ascertaining the exact cause of death of the director. He said they were investigating the case from three angles.

According to the police officer, Javed Khanani was one of the investors for the under-construction building known as “Saima Tower”. Apparently his death is a result of falling from the multistory under-construction building but it is ascertain to say whether it's a suicide, accident or some other story.

Khanani & Kalia international money changer is a famous name for everyone having interest in finance matters of the country. Its director also became highlight in media news when he along with his partner Munaf Kalia was taken into custody by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in November 2008. The business partners were arrested in a dramatic raid upon a complaint filed that revealed that one of their beaches in Gujranwala discovered a similar money transfer system and KKI was operating it to transfer money out of Pakistan via illegal channels.

He was again arrested for fresh hundi/halwa case last year in January. However, he was successful to get release from FIA custody on the bail and terminate the case against him and his company. Besides Javed Khanani, his brother Altaf was also found responsible in a money laundering case in the United States where an American court sentenced him a 20-year life behind the bar and ordered him to pay $250,000 as fine. It is worth mentioning that Javed Khanani's brother was taken into the police custody by Drug Enforcement Administration in the United States in September 2016.

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Saad Rafique Says Pakistan Cannot Afford Bullet Trains


Khawaja Saad Rafique on Tuesday said though it was one of the promises made with people by the ruling party during their pre-election campaign, the fact is Pakistan cannot afford having bullet trains. The Railway Minister was giving an articulate speech on the floor of the National Assembly.

He revealed the Chinese laughed at their questions about bullet train for Pakistan. The country cannot have a real bullet train as it would not find any market there for its existence. Instead, the government should consider introducing a kind of bullet train that can run with a 160-kmph speed under CPEC.

The railway minister admitted that Pakistan Muslim League (N) had been criticized for not working on the project though it was apparent that Pakistan lacks enough money to make an actual bullet train. Even though, if it has, there is no such an adequate range of upper and middle class travelers who would purchase its tickets.

Saad Rafique put forward a detailed analysis and a comprehensive overview of Pakistan Railways to the members of National Assembly, and said he has been trying to do as much as possible for cleaning up the department from mess and turning it into a profitable body.

Mr. Rafique also mentioned three provinces of the country are not ready to hand over the land of railway to the Pakistan Railways which is a great hindrance for the department to make more income. According to the Railway Minister, these three provinces include Baluchistan, Punjab and Sindh that have refused to turn over the land of railway.

In addition to the matter of railway lands, Mr. Rafique said the biggest issue his department is facing with railway land all over Pakistan is that provincial governments own them whereas those are under Pakistan Railways' possession. And despite the ruling made by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for turning over these lands, the provinces are refusing to do so.

According to Mr. Rafique, he has pleaded all Chief Ministers of the provinces of Pakistan in the three-and-a-half years time. But expect Khyber Pakhtunkhwa no other provinces have handed the department a single marla of land. It's worth mentioning that the government of KPK has turned over 90pc of railway lands to Pakistan Railways upon the request of the department minister.

He said that the department cannot commercially use lands whose titles don’t belong to it. He also clarified that his department wouldn't touch lands occupied by traditional residents or slum dwellers as they cannot displace those people, they have no other option to live in. He vowed to take strict action against people who are using railway lands for business purposes.  Moreover, he also claimed to have retrieved land expanding over 1,017 acres from encroachments during his service.

The articulate speech of Mr. Rafique apparently covered almost each aspect of his department in detail, though he was suppose to address to the important matter of "non utilization of Railway lands in Pakistan".

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Inzamam-Ul-Haq Says Pakistani Batsmen Played With Defensive Approach


The Chief selector Pakistan Cricket Board Inzamam-ul-Haq has opened up about his views over losing first test match against New Zealand in Christchurch last week saying that Pakistani players particularly batsmen should have performed by carrying a positive approach rather than playing in defensive mode in the second innings of first test match. He said our team blocked everything that hasn't really paid off for all of them.

The former caption for Pakistan team said though the bowlers were successful in bringing the team back into contention with their bowling in first innings, the batsmen showed a negative approach in their game and put all players in a shaky position. The beginning of second innings itself was disappointing as the opening batsmen Azhar Ali in the collaboration of Sami Aslam made only 38 runs in 21 over that turned out to be extremely defensive game from both the cricketers. Everyone was disappointed to see Sami making 7 runs on a 57 balls and Azhar made 31 runs against 173 balls which is just terrible.

Talking to the media in National Stadium, Karachi, Inzamam-ul-Haq said when openers play more than 170 balls but still don't score good enough, it is obvious they are giving the pressure to rest of the players of the team.

He insisted he was saying this as a former cricketer because he had faced similar situations many times during his career. According to Inzamam, the only way to come out of these situations successfully is to play positively; and he thinks the batsmen needlessly consumed lots of dot balls and put an unnecessary shell around them.

However, the chief selector is still hopeful for Pakistan team to come back in the form and said they would perform better as the tour further progresses. According to Inzamam, our team did well on their England's tour and has the spirit of making a great comeback.

According to the former test match caption, Pakistan possesses a better track record than other Asian teams outside the continental and has even left Sri Lanka and India behind in this regard. Furthermore, the history of Asian teams also shows that Pakistan has been the most excellent team in Asia as it has named many victories in outside of continental tours.

On the other hand, cricket experts believe that new comers and youngsters should be given the chance to show their skills. Moreover, there are some top performers in first class cricket which have been overlooked while selecting the team for international matches. These players include Asif Zakir Usman Salahuddin Asif Zakir, and Akbar ur Rehman who have consistently showed excellent performance. It is also notable that the PCB has given Babar a chance to play with the team even though he has been giving an average performance in his overall matches. However, the 45-year-old said that the management thinks Babar can play well at number 3 in test matches after his exploit performance in One-Day therefore he is backing. Inzamam says he thinks Babar is future of Pakistani cricket and that's why the PCB is investing in him.

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United States Says It's Better To Work With Pakistan To Fight Against Terrorism


The State Department of the United States has said that in their view it is a better option to work with Pakistan to fight against terrorism in the vicinity of South Asia. While it also made it very clear that declaring Pakistan a sponsor state of terrorism is not a wise idea.

The aforementioned statement was released following the move in the United States Congress that said America should declare Pakistan a sponsor country of terrorism as there are several statements for its alleged connections with several militant groups.

However, there are some reports swirling in the US media that suggest another story and according to that, the newly elected president Trump and his administration have the proposal of backing the congressional move under consideration.

The matter was brought in highlights at the news briefing last week at the State Department where John Kirby told the media that Barack Obama and his administration always preferred to work with Pakistan to fight against terrorism because it continues to believe this was the right way to beat terror. Not to mention, Obama administration is competing its final tenure at the White House next year in January and has been friendly with Pakistan.

According to Kirby, US routinely discusses with its Pakistani counterparts about the importance of continued focus as well as energy on the counterterrorism efforts and the terrorism threat. Moreover, its discussions with the country always give emphasis to the necessity of combating the long-term terrorist who continued to engage in terrorism activities. Mr. Kirby added United States focuses on the aforementioned matter along with focusing the fact that it wants to see Pakistan's efforts for expending on it, and that’s not going to change.

John Kirby was asked if Obama and administration were going to support congressional move and will be part of the signature campaign that is recently initiated by American-Indians across the United States.  Mr. Kirby also refused to talk further about it saying he wasn't going to get into a discussion on this question.

According to the official from US State Department, though he wouldn't guess how the Trump administration is going to deal with the issue once he in the White House, he believes that the long-term focus of the United States on the importance of two-way regional and successful counterterrorism operations with Pakistan wouldn't have any changes.

He said there's a need of South Asian countries to gather their resources to combat terrorism. The US is keenly interested to see each country in the South Asia expending a notable deal of energy along with efforts and strong leadership to fight against terrorism as it believes this menace wouldn't change either.

Upon a question about Trump's election campaign statements and their possible affect on the policies, Mr. Kirby said he just cannot speculate about the upcoming time and so he wouldn’t like to do that.

Donald Trump had given various statements during his pre-election campaign that though were different in form but all weren't negative and didn't necessarily hint at an antagonistic change in the US policy towards Pakistan in his administration.

Another statement of newly elected president suggested his interest in playing the role of a “mediator" between the Pakistan and India as he said he'd do that if it's necessary. He meant If US could get both the countries along; he would be honored to do it as it'd be a great achievement. He said if both the countries wanted him to be the arbitrator, he'd love to be that. He had expressed his views about India and Pakistan in an interview with the Hindustan Times.

Another statement from Trump says Pakistan is a very important country for the United States as it has nuclear weapons. Talking to Fox News earlier this year, Trump said he would favor to keep about 10,000 American arms in Afghanistan as it is located in the neighborhood of Pakistan which owns nuclear power.

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Pakistan Asks Turkish Teachers and Other Staff To Leave the Country


The Pakistan Interior Ministry has asked Turkish teachers to go back to their homeland by November 20, 2016. These teachers are working in different Pak-Turk schools and colleges across the country and are 200 in the quantity. It is important to mention here that the decision of expelling Turkish teachers has been made when the Turkish President Tayyip Erodogn is scheduled to visit Pakistan in the following week.

However, the educational network management has expressed its anxiety over the abrupt decision of expelling Turkish teachers and other stuff. It assured the pupils of the Pak-Turk schools and colleges and their parents that the management is standing against any proposal to “ingress of some other organizations into the general staff of the aforementioned educational network.

According to the representatives of the Interior Ministry, the visas for Pak-Turk schools' staff have been called off and they have been informed through official letters on Sunday that they are left with one week time to leave the country. The representatives also told the media that the decision of deporting the Turkish foreigners was made on the foreign affairs ministry's advice.

The educational network consists of 108 teachers and other staff whereas the total number of Turkish foreigners living in the country on the behalf of educational chain is 400 including their family members. These 108 Turkish employees were serving in different schools and colleges running under Pak-Turk educational network.

Pakistan foreign ministry department in a meeting with Mevlut Çavusoglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister three months back in August, had promised for looking into the matter of the chain as Ankara was wanted the cancellation of its suspected association with Fethullah Gulen who is a cleric based on United States.

Mr. Çavusoglu during his visit to Pakistan had revealed that it wasn't a secret anymore that the organization run by Gulen has several institutions in Pakistan as well as in numerous other states of the world. He expressed his state of confidence over Pakistani officials to take necessary action. He said he is sure that Pakistan would look into necessary measures over the matter as they both the counties have to be very careful with such organizations, and the risks and security threats associated with their existence inside either of the countries.

The Pak-Turk educational chain of   schools and colleges came into existence in 1995 and was founded by an international NGO with a Turkish registration. At first, all the funds needed for the network's educational institutions were made by Turkey, and several modern campuses were established under the system. However, for last more than fifteen years, the network has been getting its own money in the country. Moreover, it offers free education and boarding facilities to 35 percent of the pupils and also award foreign scholarships to deserving students.

Furthermore, there are 28 educational institutions including schools and colleges that are located in Karachi, Khairpur, Jamshoro in Sindh province. In addition to Sindh Province, it is also functioning in Quetta, Lahore, Multan and federal province city of Pakistan. These institutions have an approx of 11,000 students whereas the grades taught are from of pre-primary to ‘A’ Level.

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PTI To Boycott Joint Parliament Session On November 17


Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) announced last week it would boycott the joint parliament session on November 17, 2016 when the visiting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogon is due to address the parliamentarians. According to the latest move in the political party, the decision has called anger among the members of PTI and most of its parliamentarians are unhappy with it.

Many senators and MNAs from Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf are also complaining they weren't taken into confidence over the matter by any of the senior leaders of the party. Expressing their anger, they said a "media strategy committee" took such a big decision that was formed for formulating the response from the party members in wake of Panama leaks case hearings, and for responding to ministers' statements on matter.

With the decision of boycotting the session being held on Thursday, the PTI has blown the questions on the power of its committee for taking’s decisions with no need of consulting party's members. The party has been campaigning “the power of democracy” but it doesn’t seem to have with PTI’s members.

The PTI had its media strategy committee's meeting on Saturday in which they decided not to attend the joint parliament sitting because it would be lead by a “controversial prime minister” who has been found with corruption charges.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the vice chairman, PTI clarified that their party considers Turkey as brother Muslim country and a sincere friend of Pakistan and they have a great respect for Tayyip Erodogn. However, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has a clear perspective on the Panama Papers offshore companies scam lawsuit. It’s worth mentioning that the Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Anwar Zaheer Jamali is leading the lawsuit against several MNAs and ministers including the Prime Minister and his children Mariam Safdar and Hussain Nawaz.

It also appears as some MNAs were unaware of Party's decision as an Member National Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa revealed he learned this from today morning's newspaper that his party would boycott parliament on November 17. The MNA also expressed his anger complaining about the top PTI's leaders, who according to him, didn't bother to seek parliamentarians' opinion over the matter.

PTI sources also reveal that the leadership didn't even consult Nauman Wazir, party's parliamentary leader in Senate on the issue and announced that PTI's senators would also not attend the joint session.

To another MNS, it is strange to accept that PTI knows how easy it is to communicate through modern technology like Twitter and WhatsApp but it still didn't bother to seek their opinion using these tools and just announced the decision.

He also said he can't find any logics behind continuing the boycott of parliament after its one of the demands has already been accepted where it said that Nawaz Sharif should present himself for accountability. And since the party cancelled its protest after the hearings of the Panama case in the Supreme Court were started, then it must stop continuing the boycott of National Assembly as after that there's no logic of doing it any longer.

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Terrorists Storms Police Academy in Quetta


Terrorists attacked a police academy in Quetta late Monday, slaughtering more than 60 and injuring at least 116, the provincial government of Baluchistan said.

Three terrorists were weirdly successful to enter the police training college located in Baluchistan's capital city at 11p.m, according to officials. After entering the college premises, they first started firing which hit a sentry who was on his duty to guard the outskirts and then moved toward the dormitories of the college to target the cadets who were present there in hundreds.

Sarfaraz Bugti, the Home Minister to Baluchistan told the media that though it was a sudden attack; and security intelligence as well as other relevant organizations had no prior information about the attack, security officials reached the venue to spark a major security operation against the attackers.  In addition to police commandos, the paramilitary forces also took part in the operation and were successful in grabbing the terrorists who are said to be three in the quantity.

The footages of the forces jumping out of military trucks and getting into the colleges were aired on all television channels of Pakistan. The scene from the venue also spotted several ambulances that were lined up at the main gate of the academy.

Bugti said the attackers in all probability came with a solid plan to kill many cadets as more than 700 police cadets stay inside the premises but security’s forces timely operation stopped them from dropping more blood, adding his aim to stand bravely against terror, Bugti said they would keep on to bravely fight the battle on terror.

Dead bodies of cadets and police officials were transferred to Civil Hospital, Quetta whereas 116 were injured who were also brought to the emergency unit of the hospice. The majority of injured people are police cadets while four of them are in critical medical situation, a health official in Quetta told the media.  According to government officials, there is a possibility of more casualties following the attack on the academy.

The Frontier Corps paramilitary force of the province initially did not know about the actual quantity of terrorists inside. They intercepted their communications and came to know they were three and all were suicide bombers.  Maj. Gen. Sher Afgun said two attackers blew up their explosive jackets when security forces were trying to enter the dormitories while the third-one was shot dead.

According to the provincial home minister, the operation continued for hours to protect the college and was finally completed by a final evaluation done after sunrise today.

There is no claimer has come to claim the responsibility of the attack till this moment of time, but Maj. Gen. Afgun told the media that the terrorists were associated with the sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and were receiving instructions from some people in Afghanistan. It’s a fatal Islamist militant group that has close links to Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It is said that Afghanistan has been a shelter for militant groups belonging to Pakistan or other countries which is an apparent source of tension between both the nations. 

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IMF MD Lauds Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif On Better Economic Conditions in Pakistan


International Monetary Fund says that Pakistan has come out economic crisis and it's certainly a financially maintained state now. Christine Lagarade, who has been heading the IMF for last couple of years had an official meeting with PM Mohammed Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister House, Islamabad on October 24, 2016 in which she lauded the government for better economic situation in the country. An official statement from the Prime Minister House was released following the meeting that also detailed important bits of the meeting.

This is the first ever time in last ten years when the most senior member of world's largest financial organization has visited Pakistan. According to the statement released by the PM office, Lagarade lauded Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and his government for successfully completing  the targets set by the IMF programme as well as for gaining  macroeconomic stability in a two-year of his government.

The IMF MD reached Pakistan yesterday on a two-day visit on the invitation of country's financial institutions. It is worth mentioning that she is visiting Pakistan almost 2 months after IMF ensured to clear $102 to Pakistan which is a final installment of payments being paid by the international lender under a three-year programme of $6.4 billion.

The statement further quoted Lagarade who said that it’s really an amazing turn in the journey of Nawaz Sharifz to have achieved a strong and improved financial position in such a short time of two years. She further said the IMF programme after its completion has positive reflection on Pakistan and its economy.

Referring to country's economic growing up and inflation down, Lagarade said the IMF has noted Pakistan has gradually growing economy situations while inflation is continuously declining in Pakistan. The IMF MD also appreciated the strengthened social safety nets of Pakistan. She said the country has a better tax policy and administration reforms.

Talking to The News, Lagarade focused on some major priorities for the country. She said the government of Pakistan has to work for better economic resilience higher growth, quality of growth and principle in the global system. The international lender has officially endorsed the economic recovery of Pakistan as well as urged the government to keep going with its important structural reforms in order to consolidate these achievements.

The IMF MD said Pakistan has gradually improved its economical conditions and its recovery has progressively fortified; and its short-range vulnerabilities have further moved away on the back of better macroeconomic strength and development on structural reforms. However, the organization maintains that Pakistani government should give it a priority to make efforts to complete reforms in the area of energy. 

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Younis Khan Looks Forward For Resumption Of India and Pakistan Cricket Series


Younis Khan says he wants India and Pakistan to resume playing with each other because both countries' teams are the giants of 5-day matches. He is of the opinion that India and Pakistan should put to one side their stressed relations when it comes to resume sports activities between the two neighbors.

Younis Khan was talking to media in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. He said it's his wish to play a Test-Match in Pakistan against India as well as all against top international cricket teams. He said both neighbor countries are two giant of cricket among which one is at number-one while another on number-two. Therefore, they should forget whatever the recent situation is between the two countries and should play cricket because Indians and Pakistani want to see them playing together for once again.

The legendary cricketer has played test matches with Indian team at their home ground in 2007.He thinks whenever Pakistani team play in India, a huge crowd does come to watch the matches with perfect interest and it gets good promotions in the area as well. So, it must be played and played frequently. It was the last test match played between Pakistan and India 9 years ago in 2007. The further cricket ties were called off in the wake of Mumbai blasts in 2008 and India as usual accused Pakistani militants of the attacks.

In the period of December 2012-January 2013, Pakistani team had a tour to India for short series but it didn't work to perk up full cricket ties that also included test matches. And despite several calls for continuation of series from Pakistan, the Indian cricket board has repeatedly snubbed it in the wake of current landscape of both countries' relations.

On the other hand, the PCB wants India to peruse its vow of organizing six series that were slated to take place between the period of 2015 to 2023 as per the Memorandum of Understanding that was mutually agreed and signed two years back in 2014 but was subject to clearance from Indian government. According to the MoU, both countries were due to host series in last two years in their home grounds but the latest scenario suggests the immediate cricket between the arc rivals has no immediate future which according to many cricketers including Younis Khan, think is terrible.

At the moment, Pakistan and India seem to be coming very close to war after the condition between two countries became worst following the terrorist attacks in Indian military in Occupied Kashmir for which Indian government blamed Jaish Mohammed (militants based in Pakistan).

The 38-year-old batsman is back to Pakistani team to participate in the second Test match which will be played against West Indies from October 21, 2016. Younis missed the first Test in Dubai due to his illness as he was hospitalized for the treatment of dengue fever.

Younis Khan stands at number one position among Pakistani batsmen with 9,456 runs score in test matches and experts are hoping he will get to 10,000 runs in coming series. However, Younis says he never goes after the records and believes in performance only. 

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Jalil Abbas Jilani Says Pakistani-American Should Participate In US Presidential Election


Jalil Abbas Jilani has reportedly urged Pakistani-Americans to actively take part in upcoming elections in the United States to choose a new president of the country. Pakistan’s Ambassador to USA says Pakistani-Americans play a vital role in the society of United States and they should actively take part in the presidential elections being held in coming months. Their participation in upcoming elections can help them use community’s influence in their favor.

He said CPAC has its own platform that allows it to take tangible actions for the real outcome. Jilani was talking to media persons at the annual Convention of Pakistani-Americans community. Taking place at Pakistan Embassy in Washington, the convention was attended by a large number of Pakistanis who live in different states of America. The agenda of this year's convention was to discuss the latest landscape of Pakistani and United States relations and possible financial opportunities that Pakistan can offer to its citizens living out of the country. The participants at the event also discussed on how it is important for the community to participate in accord to avail mutual benefits.

The Ambassador referred to the upcoming elections in the USA and insisted the community of Pakistani -American has a very important role to play in the upcoming political juncture of the country.  Most of them can use the leverage of community in their favor by being united and organized and it can be done regardless of what numbers Pakistani-Americans have in the entire electoral calculus.

Jilani said there can be various important steps for Pakistani community and one of these is to mobilizing political support from within the group of people, writing letters and emailing messages to their political representatives and stay connected with them. He urged the community to use their communication to highlight true perspective of Pakistan in the United States.

Referring to the recent challenges, Jilani urged the community for encouraging their youngsters to look for government jobs which according to him may appear less appealing in term of monetary perspective at first, but would secure their rights in a long way by a clout that can't be achieved with financial means alone.

Jilani said he was disappointed on the latest scene of Pakistan and India relations. He said it's really unfortunate to realize that India has been taken Pakistan's peace initiatives as a sign of its weakness. As Pakistani citizen and the Ambassador of the country, Jilani again emphasized that Pakistan seeks peace but it won't be frightened. He said it must be clear to everyone that Pakistani wants peace along with honor and complete dignity.

Talking about several terrorist attacks that frightened the environment of different states of America, the Pakistan’s ambassador said these attacks caused to bring the community in highlight, and need to be observed seriously. According to Jilani, the community itself needs to devise a common strategy to look after its interests in such terrible situations in future.

Jilani also expressed his views about democratic system in Pakistan and says the country is going into the fourth year of democratic government and all political parties within the country are dedicated to peruse the democracy in future as well. 

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