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Russian jets intercept 14 spy planes in past week2017/06/24
MOSCOW: Russia's MiG-31 and Su-27 fighters were scrambled in response to 23 flybys, most of them by US planes, the Russian media reported on Friday.
The US RC-135 planes and Global Hawk drones had been involved in ten reconnaissance missions, four were conducted by Norwegian P-3 Orions and three by Swedish Air Force's Gulfstream intelligence planes ...

ICCI for focusing on engg sector to boost exports2017/06/24
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Friday called upon the government to focus on making policies for better development of engineering sector that it has great potential to boost exports capacity of the country and make Pakistan and self-reliant and industrialized economy.
Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, ICCI said that Pakistan was heavily depending on textiles products for exports while the share of textiles in global market was decreasing. He said the engineering goods constituted around 50 percent of the world trade while, Pakistan's engineering goods share in overall global exports was just 0.0151 percent which was quite negligible. It showed that the country was losing huge export potential by ignoring engineering sector of the economy. He said Pakistan could earn billions of dollars of exports by creating an enabling environment for engineering sector.
He said Pakistan's current deficit has surged to almost $9 billion in the first 11 months of 2016-17 from $3.217 billion in the corresponding period of last year showing an increase of around 177 percent. Similarly, Pakistan's trade deficit has gone up to $30 billion during the first 11 months of current fiscal year which showed that our exports were on the decline and imports were on the rise. He said the best way to reverse this unhealthy trend was to focus on engineering sector.
Khalid Iqbal Malik said that better development of engineering industry was the key to social and economic progress. He said the need for developing this strategically important sector was universally recognized as the engineering sector has the potential to create immense employment opportunities, promote auxiliary and ancillary industries, enhance defense capabilities of the country, cause manifold increase in export earnings and provide services to the large scale manufacturing sector besides creating numerous other benefits.
He said all the strong economies have achieved phenomenal progress by developing engineering sector and Pakistan should also pay special attention to this important sector in order to emerge as a strong economy in the comity of nations. - NNI

Pak Jinnah Scholarships for Sri Lankan youth2017/06/24
COLOMBO: The Government of Pakistan through its High Commission in Sri Lanka has awarded scholarships to 170 bright Sri Lankan students of O' & A' levels under prestigious Jinnah Scholarship programme worth SL Rs. 4.225 million.
The scholarships are named after the great statesman and leader of the Sub Continent, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who is the founder of Pakistan.
The award ceremony was held in a local hotel in Colombo. The occasion was graced by Vice Chancellor Buddhist & Pali University Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero as the Chief Guest along with State Minister for National Integration and Reconciliation Hon. A.H.M. Fouzi and President Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association, Mr. Ifthikhar Aziz as Guests of Honour.  Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra, officials of the High Commission and dignitaries from different walks of life attended the ceremony besides a large number of students and their families.
The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Dr. Sarfraz Sipra, in his brief welcome remarks, congratulated the students for their academic achievements and expressed the hope that they would continue to excel in their academic pursuits. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between the two brotherly countries for augmented development of human capital.
Chief Guest, Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero, in his address, stated that he was delighted that he has been invited at the Jinnah Scholarships ceremony for the third consecutive time. He said that it is a matter of great pleasure that these scholarships are awarded to Sri Lankan students without any discrimination on any grounds.  The Thero underscored that Jinnah Scholarship programme has become an important tool for promotion of religious, racial and interfaith harmony among the youth of Sri Lanka. He thanked the Government of Pakistan for this continued endeavour towards encouraging the youth to raise their moral for higher achievements in their lives. Education is the only way to overcome sufferings, he stressed.
Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero recalled his recent visit to Pakistan and said that Pakistani people are peace-loving, hospitable and generous. Pakistan is a real friend of Sri Lanka who always stood with it in conflict situations, natural calamities and every hour of need which the whole Sri Lankan nation acknowledges and admired, he added.
These scholarships are awarded on the basis of a strict criteria involving merit and need for financial assistance. Under the programme, each successful student receives stipend of SL Rs. 25,000 as assistance for one year for following their studies.
The Government of Pakistan has been awarding the Jinnah Scholarships since 2005. During the past 12 years approximately Rs. 50 Million worth of scholarships have been awarded. - NNI

Nisar blames foreign mafia in PIA drugs smuggling case2017/06/24
ISLAMABAD: In a recent development of seizure of drugs from within the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) at Heathrow Airport, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has claimed Friday that foreign drug mafia was behind the crime.
He has defended the national airline and ordered the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) DG Major General Mussarat Nawaz Malik to broaden the circle of investigation. The two met in the capital city where the Interior Minister was briefed over the ongoing drugs smuggling case investigation.
He told Nisar that several suspects had already been arrested in the case. The Interior Minister told authorities to speed up the investigation process so that necessary action can be taken against the culprits.
While briefing the media in Rawalpindi on Friday regarding investigation into heroin recovery from different flight, Director General Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Musarrat Nawaz said after one and a half months' investigation, 14 suspects have been arrested most of them are ex-PIA employees and a couple of them are ex-ASF employees of various statures.
He also said in last two months, ANF has screened 750 international flights and conducted dozens of operations.
The DG ANF thanked the government institutions that helped them conduct their operations smoothly. "All the relevant government institutions helped us in our operations including Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and PIA management," he said.
While investigations were still in progress after the first incident to find out culprits involved, the incident at Heathrow Airport happened which tarnished image of National flag carrier. DG ANF Major General 
Musarrat Nawaz Malik took serious notice and directed Field Staff as well as Intelligence setup to focus their efforts towards thorough scanning and sterilization of all major airports besides ensuring scanning of all foreign bound PIA flights. 
During the course of action different airport departments/stakeholders were approached which included PIA, CAA, ASF and other airport service providers. More than 100 staff members of various organizations were interviewed or interrogated and thorough scanning of all available data was evaluated.
As a result of hectic efforts enough leads were found and simultaneous operations were conducted at Rawalpindi, Lahore & Karachi to get hold of the entire ring. Alhamdulillah, in last couple of days ANF made substantial progress and unearthed at least two major drug trafficking rings which were mostly Karachi based.
Akbar Alias Badshash was arrested in Karachi. He is an ex PIA baggage employee and a high ranking person in drug trafficking organization who has been arrested today in morning at 0300 hours. He acted as chief coordinator and his responsibilities included recruitment of individuals at Karachi Airport, handing over drug packages and disbursement of facilitation charges/ commission to the team members.
PIA Cleaner Pervaiz Masih was recruited by Saleem Natiq. Further made his accomplice to PIA Driver Shahid. They both worked for notorious Drug Smuggler Shahida who got arrested in Nepal few years ago, while her rest of the group dissolved. 
In current setting Akbar alias Badshah Khan, instigated Pervaiz Masih for drug trafficking and made him a vital member of Drug Trafficking Organization. Pervaiz Masih then recruited other members in the network to transport drugs inside the airport and plant it in the planes.
Pervaiz Alam. He is a Traffic Supervisor in PIA Karachi. Pervaiz Masih introduced him with Akbar. Pervaiz Alam used to get drugs (Heroin) from Akbar and used to take the packets to a predetermined location inside the airport.
Shujat Hussain and Muhammad Saqib. They are shuttle operators in PIA. Their job was to pick the drug packages dropped by Pervaiz Alam and put the stuff in their lockers/ at safe place and on suitable occasion in coordination with Pervaiz Masih, any one of them with his team would take the drug packets in the plane.
Iqbal Masih, Maqbool Masih and Gopi Darshan. They are PIA employees working as sanitary workers. Any one of them alone or in collaboration with others under oversight of Shujaat / Saqib, they would place the packages in the designated space of the plane.
Imran Baig. He is employed as PIA Maintenance Staff (HTV Operator) on contract basis to wash the aircrafts. He revealed that he used to receive drugs from Saleem Natiq and Pervaiz Masih and transport these from outside to inside the airport.
Waseem Fareedi. He is an employee of PIA Engineering Staff. Another PIA Engineering Staff Syed Ghulam Yazdani (Senior Tech and Vice President Peoples Unity Karachi) used to supply drugs to him. He was also a carrier to move drugs from outside to inside the JIAP.
Syed Ghulam Yazdani. He is Senior Tech and Vice President Peoples Unity Karachi, who used to receive drugs from Akbar (introduced to him by Saleem Natiq) and keep them at his residence located in PIA Model Colony till an opportune moment.
Arrests made at Lahore: Saleem Natiq. He is also a PIA employee who was posted from Karachi to Lahore in Apr 2017 after the 1 st discovery of heroin on 3 Apr. He has been arrested from Lahore.
Arrests made at Rawalpindi. Saleem Khan. He is an ex-employee from PIA lower staff, terminated after drug case. He would obtain essential info regarding schedule of aircrafts arriving and departing from JIAP from Syed Anwar Shah and pass it on to Akbar. He would also render expert opinion on weight and size of the packages according to the cavity where drugs were to be placed. He has been arrested at Rwp on a tip off after having disappeared from Karachi, 2 Kg Heroin recovered from him.
Syed Anwer Shah. He is serving in IT Dept of PIA and had access to complete info about schedule of aircrafts including their stay in maintenance hangers. He also established contact with Akbar occasionally. He has been arrested at Rwp on a tip off along with Saleem Khan, 1 Kg heroin was also recovered from him. - NNI

China urges global community to support Pakistan's anti-terror efforts2017/06/23
BEIJING: Terming Pakistan as important country in South Asia, China Thursday asked the international community to acknowledge and support the counter-terrorism efforts made by Pakistan on the basis of respecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Pakistan is on the forefront of the global fight against terrorism. It has been firmly opposing the terrorism and it has made important sacrifices and contributions to fighting terrorism and maintaining regional security and stability, Chinese Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson Gen Shuang said during his regular press briefing in Beijing.
When his attention was drawn about a media report regarding the US Administration considerations of beginning a policy review of relations towards Pakistan - mainly because of current security situation in Afghanistan, he said, "We have noted the relevant reports."
Pakistan is an important country in South Asia. Peace stability and economic development in Pakistan serves the interest of regional countries and people, he added.
Responding to a question about the Chinese foreign minister's proposed visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said, both Pakistan and Afghanistan are China's neighbors and China has friendly relations with the two countries as well as close high levels exchanges.
"If we have any information regarding the visit, we will release it in due course of time," he added.
The spokesperson remarked that China sincerely hopes that Pakistan and Afghanistan can enhance their communication so as to deepen mutual trust and improve relations.
"They should also work together to improve and ensure regional peace and stability and China would like to play a constructive role towards that end," he added.
While brushing aside a question that China has offered Pakistan to build a dam in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and integrate it with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said the CPEC is a new cooperation framework for the two countries to achieve a long term development.
He said this corridor will not only promote common and bilateral development of the two countries but also contribute the development and prosperity of the region.
"We know that there are some concerns about this corridor but we keep stressing that this economic corridor is just an economic initiative for cooperation and it targets no third country and does not connect with any sovereign disputes," he added.
Geng Shuang hoped that the disputes between India and Pakistan will be resolved properly through consultations and negotiations.
Regarding a question about update two Chinese nationals kidnapped in Pakistan, he said the Chinese government attaches high importance to this case, adding, "We are still coordinating with the Pakistani side to verify the situation."
On the appointment of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, he said, China has extended its congratulations to the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia. 
"We believe that stability and development of Saudi Arabia serves common interests of regional countries and the international community," he added.
He said that China and Saudi Arabia are comprehensive strategic partners and Chinese side stands ready to work with Saudi Arabia to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and promote the greater development of China-Saudi Arabia relations. - NNI

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