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Kabul promises probe into Pak official's murder2017/11/08

KABUL: Afghanistan strongly Tuesday condemned the killing of a diplomatic official serving at the Consulate General of Pakistan in Jalalabad City who was shot and martyred by two unknown assailants on Monday.
Expressing deep sorrow over the incident, Afghanistan conveyed its condolences and sympathies to the bereaved family and the government of Pakistan assuring them of taking serious and decisive measures with respect to identifying and bringing the perpetrators to justice, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said. 
Kabul also emphasized that regarding the protection and safeguarding of diplomatic officials and places, the Afghan security forces would leave no stone unturned as the security forces in Afghanistan have given many sacrifices for ensuring security and peace in the past. - NNI

PTI contests results of NA-120 by-election2017/11/08

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday challenged the results of NA-120 by-election in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
PTI candidate Dr Yasmeen Rashid, who lost the crucial by-election in Lahore to Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, filed a petition in the ECP calling for a probe into what she said massive irregularities in the by-election ...

Court reserves decision on plea to club 3 references2017/11/08
ISLAMABAD: An Accountability Court (AC) of Islamabad Tuesday reserved its judgment in a plea of Sharif family seeking to club three references against them for hearing together and was likely to announce the decision on Wednesday.
Former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (Retd) Muhammad Safdar appeared before the accountability court together amid foolproof security arrangements in place by the law enforcement agencies.
A number of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N)'s leaders and activists were also present on the occasion and chanting slogans in favor of their leadership.
AC Judge Muhammad Bashir took up the Nawaz Sharif's plea for hearing seeking to club three references related to Avenfield property, Flagship Investment and Azizia Steel Mills for hearing together in light of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judgment to re-hear the case.
As the hearing began, the counsel for the Sharif family Khawaja Harris contented before the court that the charges levelled against the Sharifs are common in all three references. The references are related to different assets but all three name the same persons as accused.
Harris said nine and 13 witnesses have been named in the Flagship Investment Ltd reference and Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference, respectively. Six witnesses are common in both references and three are common with those of Avenfield flats reference.
He argued that the same witnesses have to appear in different references separately if three references were not clubbed. He said a single trail should be conducted against his clients.
Harris contended that the three cases should be clubbed and heard together as they were similar in nature, saying that the defense and the prosecution of the three references were also the same.
After Khawaja Harris completed his arguments, Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (Retd) Muhammad Safdar left the courtroom with permission of court.
Later, opposing the defense counsel's arguments, National Accountability Bureau (NAB)'s prosecutor Waqas Malik said that although the primary accused in all references is same but references were separated due to different crimes and transactions.
He said each nominated person had an individual role in each asset and Al Azizia Steel Mills reference.
The prosecutor argued that the witnesses are common in three references but they have to provide different documents for the case record. He said as Hassan and Hussain Nawaz had not joined the court proceeding, the three cases couldn't be clubbed for together hearing.
After hearing the arguments from both sides, the court reserved its judgments, which would likely to be announced on Wednesday.
It may be mentioned here that a two member bench of IHC had ordered the accountability court to re-hear the case in accordance of section 17-D and suspended its decision for separating the three references.
The AC was hearing three references against Sharif family members filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8, in compliance of Supreme Court July 28, judgment in Panama papers case.
The court had indicted Nawaz Sharif in two references and his daughter Maryam and Safdar in one reference.
Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday held meeting with leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and coalition parties after appearance in accountability court over his plea seeking merger of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references.
During the meeting, key issues including country's political situation, new delimitations and constitutional amendments were discussed. The participants also talked on the party matters and campaign regarding enhancing links with the general masses.
On the occasion, Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi briefed Nawaz Sharif over government affairs.
Federal Minister Mir Hasil Bazenjo and former Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik also met Nawaz Sharif and inquired about his wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who recently won NA-120 seat in by-elections that fell vacant after Supreme Court (SC) disqualified Sharif in Panama Leaks case.
Meanwhile, ex-PM also met State Ministers Junaid Anwar, Arshad Lughari and Senator Saud Majeed and talked on different matters.
Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday has left for Murree from Islamabad after appearance in accountability court, hearing his petition to merge National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references.
In a statement, Nawaz Sharif said that he will not run away from the so-called accountability and will face all cases filed against him.
He said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) respects law and constitution because of which, we are appearing before the courts, adding that we are confident as we haven't done anything wrong. The former PM further thanked party members for supporting him at every point. - NNI

Indian hegemony in region unacceptable: Tehmina2017/11/08
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua Tuesday said that there are no safe havens of terrorist groups in Pakistan and the country has cleansed its soil of terrorists.
Tehmina Janjua was briefing the Senate's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on the situation emerging in the aftermath of the America's Afghan policy and recent top-level meetings between Pakistan and the US leadership.
The Foreign Secretary said terrorist safe havens are in Afghanistan where over forty five percent area of the country is without any governance.
She told the Senate that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the militant Islamic State were perpetuating terrorist activities against Pakistan.
She said Pakistan was making concerted efforts to secure its frontiers with Afghanistan. "Pakistan had told America to provide useful information about the presence of militants, it will take action."
The Foreign Secretary said that the United States has been apprised of the fact that Indian intelligence agency RAW is using Afghan soil for terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Enhanced Indian role in the region was unacceptable, she added.
The Foreign Secretary said Pakistan is taking effective measures for border management with Afghanistan.
She said the United States is ready to mediate between Pakistan and India over Kashmir issue.
Referring to Army Chief's recent visit to Afghanistan, Tehmina Janjua said it was a significant visit and the meetings with Afghan civilian leadership remained positive.
She rejected the concerns of the US on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Ms Janjua said the Pakistan's leadership raised the issue of Kashmir during meetings with the US authorities. "They are ready to mediate between Pakistan and India for resolution of the Kashmir issue."
Briefing the committee about Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's recent visit to Afghan capital Kabul, she said it was an important trip during which key meetings with Afghan civilian and military leadership took place.
Both countries are in agreement over several issues, including border management, enhancing trade and setting up five working groups.
About anti Pakistan posters in London, she briefed the Senate Committee that the posters have been removed after Pakistan's protest. - NNI

Prof Shahida wins Unesco's Prize for Microbiology2017/11/08

Yaser Ilyas

PARIS: Professor Shahida Hasnain of Pakistan has won the 2017 edition of the UNESCO Carlos J. Finlay Prize in recognition of her contributions in the field of Microbiology.
Cuban Minister Ms ...

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