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Posts Tagged ‘Islamabad’

Pakistan to check thumbprints to weed out fake votes

Islamabad, Dec 2 (IANS) In a bid to tackle fake votes in the upcoming general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will use thumbprint-tracing technology to match those on a ballot paper with the national database.

ECP official Muhammad Afzal Khan said the technology will ensure irregularities are avoided in the polling process, the Dawn reported.
“Objectionable votes will be dispatched to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for verification through thumbprints. The thumbprints on ballot papers will be matched with those on the NADRA database,” Khan said.
Only those voters who possess genuine computerised national identity cards (CNICs) will be allowed to cast votes.
The ECP will also take strict action against rigging.
“The ECP will disqualify those candidates found to be part of a rigged poll and they will also be declared ineligible for the next elections,” he said.
Though no date has been officially announced for the general elections, the current National Assembly will complete its constitutional tenure of five years in March 2013.

Pakistani lawmakers quit over dual nationality

Islamabad, Dec 2 (IANS) Six members of the provincial assembly, including four ministers, of Pakistan’s Sindh province have resigned after they failed to come up with affidavits testifying that they were not citizens of two countries.

Those who resigned Saturday were Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Raza Haroon, Mohammad Ali Shah, Askari Taqwi and Abdul Moid Siddiqui and the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Murad Ali Shah and Sadiq Ali Memon, Geo News reported.
The Dawn said Murad Ali Shah was finance minister, Memon was minister for technical education and mines and minerals, Haroon was IT minister, and Mohammad Ali Shah was sports minister.
The assembly speaker accepted their resignations and sent them to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
However, the assembly members did not make it clear in their resignations whether they were quitting over the dual nationality issue.
The ECP’s deadline for affidavits in the dual nationality case expired Nov 30. As many as 16 lawmakers from the national and provincial assemblies failed to file affidavits.
The media reports, however, did not make it clear which other countries’ passports the lawmakers were said to be holding.

Three Taliban militants held in Lahore

Islamabad, Dec 2 (IANS) A major terror attack was averted in Pakistan’s Lahore metropolis when three Taliban militants were arrested and a massive quantity of explosives seized from them, a media report said.

The three militants, identified as Arshad, Umer Zaib, and Amjad, were arrested Saturday by the Crime Investigation Agency in a raid near Lari Adda area, Geo News reported.
AK-47 rifles, handguns, grenades, explosives, bombmaking paraphernalia and other explosive devices were seized from them, officials said.

Suicide bombers die in Pakistan blast

Islamabad, Dec 2 (IANS) Two suspected suicide bombers were killed when a bomb planted on a motorcycle blew up in Pakistan’s Peshawar city, a media report said.

The explosion occurred in Dir Colony area Saturday, Geo News reported.
Police said a bomb was planted on a motorcycle, and pieces of the destroyed two-wheeler were found near the blast site.
Police said the two men were suspected suicide bombers.

Seven held for killing Pakistani over land row

Islamabad, Dec 2 (IANS) Seven people were arrested in Pakistan’s Sindh province after a man was killed in a clash over a disputed plot of land, a media report said Sunday.

The incident took place between two groups in Matli town in Badin district, Geo News reported.
Police said the clash began over a land dispute which resulted in the death of a man.

12 bodies of Pakistanis recovered from avalanche

Islamabad, Dec 1 (IANS) Pakistan army Saturday discovered 12 bodies of soldiers and civilians buried under the snow in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC) with India, Xinhua reported.

A total of 21 people — 11 soldiers and 10 civilians — went missing at Sharda sector early Thursday after an avalanche hit the area along the Line of Control (LoC) with India.
The army found out three soldiers’ bodies Friday and pulled out a total of 12 bodies Saturday, a statement from the Pakistan army’s Inter-Services Public Relations said.
The search for the other missing people, however, was still underway, it added.
On April 7, a massive avalanche hit a Pakistani army camp in the Siachen Glacier area, the world’s highest battle-ground, where thousands of Pakistani and Indian soldiers perform duties in harsh cold across the LoC that divides Kashmir.

Four killed by US drone in Pakistan

Islamabad, Dec 1 (IANS) At least four people were killed and three injured in Pakistan after a a US drone struck their house in South Waziristan, Geo News reported Saturday.

Sources said four people were killed while three others sustained injuries when the US drone fired missiles targeting a house in Wana area.

Pakistani foreign minister to meet Clinton

Islamabad, Dec 1 (IANS) Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she leads an official delegation to Brussels Dec 3-4, the foreign ministry said Saturday.

Khar and Clinton will hold discussions on bilateral relations, and exchange views on the “way forward to achieve common objectives of peace and stability in the region”, a foreign ministry statement said.
The foreign minister will be accompanied by army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, reported Xinhua.

During her stay in Brussels, Foreign Minister Khar will hold discussions with her Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders on Pakistan-Belgium bilateral relations.

She will meet European Union’s High Representative Catherine Ashton, Secretary General NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
The delegation will also interact with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

3 soldiers killed, many missing in Pakistan avalanche

Islamabad, Nov 30 (IANS) At least three soldiers were killed Friday and many others, including both troops and civilians, went missing as an avalanche hit Pakistan-controlled Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC) with India, reported Xinhua.

A Xinhua source in northern Pakistan said the avalanche occurred at about 3 a.m. local time Friday near Tehjiann Sector along the LoC.
The bodies of the three soldiers killed in the avalanche have already been recovered and airlifted to their hometown, said the army source.
The missing people are still unaccounted for, it added.
On April 7, a massive avalanche hit a Pakistani army camp in the Siachen Glacier area, the world’s highest battle-ground, where thousands of Pakistani and Indian soldiers perform duties in harsh cold across the LoC that divides Kashmir.

Pakistan, Afghanistan agree on release of more Taliban leaders

Islamabad, Nov 30 (IANS) Weeks after Pakistan freed 13 Afghan Taliban detainees to push peace process, Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed Friday on the release of more Taliban prisoners, facilitating contacts and urging the Taliban to renounce ties to Al Qaeda.

A joint statement issued at the conclusion of a day-long visit of Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul to Pakistan said the two sides emphasized the importance of an intra-Afghan inclusive dialogue and consequent political settlement for durable peace in Afghanistan, reported Xinhua citing local media.
Pakistan reaffirmed that it fully supports and stands by the Afghan nation as they determine their own future, the joint statement said.
The two sides emphasized the need to enhance cooperation in the fields of security, development, transit, trade, economic and investment linkages, infrastructure and energy connectivity and people to people contacts, it added. They reaffirmed their commitment to jointly overcome the common challenges of terrorism and extremism.
The two sides discussed the issue of cross border incursions and shelling and agreed to have an institutionalized mechanism to address this issue. In this regard, they also agreed to have closer coordination between the two countries.
Both sides agreed to operationalize a Joint Commission to address the prisoners issue as announced during the visit of President Hamid Karzai to Islamabad in June 2011.
While expressing satisfaction with the current volume of annual bilateral trade, the two countries agreed to take facilitative steps to further enhance bilateral trade and achieve the target of $5 billion dollars annual trade by 2015.
Recognizing the need of jointly pursuing trade and transit agreements with Central Asian states, the two sides decided that as the first step, a trilateral transit and trade agreement will be negotiated with Tajikistan, which would be extended to other countries as appropriate and mutually determined.
The two sides would also enter into a bilateral Visa Abolition Agreement for holders of diplomatic passports to facilitate visa free travel for the diplomats of the two countries.
Realizing that a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) will further deepen the bilateral relations between the two countries, both sides decided to initiate negotiations for the signing of an SPA. Pakistan also shared a draft of the SPA with the Afghan delegation.
The Afghan foreign minister called on Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and discussed with him issues of mutual interests, the PM’s office said.
The prime minister said that both Afghanistan and Pakistan have a common challenge in terrorism and drug menace.”Therefore, both countries need to work closely to confront these challenges,” he said.

Pakistan, Afghanistan to hold religious talks

Islamabad, Nov 30 (IANS) Pakistan and Afghanistan will hold a conference of religious scholars in Kabul in January to seek their help in the Afghan peace process, officials said after Friday’s ministerial talks here.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar assured her Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rassoul that her country will continue to play the role of a facilitator in the peace process.
“Pakistan will pursue the track which the Afghans choose for itself,” Xinhua quoted Khar as saying at a joint press conference.
Khar said both the countries face common challenges of terrorism and narcotics, and collective efforts were required to deal with the challenges.
Referring to the bilateral trade currently at $2.5 billion, Khar hoped the extension of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement to Tajikistan and then to other central Asian countries will help exploit the strategic position of Afghanistan in enhancing regional trade.
Rassoul said his country will never allow its soil to be used against Pakistan, while Kabul will do everything possible to avoid the damage coming from the Pakistan side.
He said shelling into Pakistan from Afghan side has reduced significantly recently and both the countries need to work together to sort out the issues.

Pakistani thrown from four-storey building by police

Islamabad, Nov 30 (IANS) A Pakistani man from Rawalpindi has alleged that police tortured him after suspecting him to be a drug dealer and threw him from a four-storey building.

Qasim Khan, a resident of Iqbal Town area, told the News International that he was tortured by police from Sadiqabad over a meagre amount of Rs.3,000, and after breaking his arms the policemem threw him from the building.
Police refuted the allegation, saying that the suspect was a drug-dealer. When a police team raided his hideout, the man jumped from the building in a bid to escape.
He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition, but survived.
The man said he had a monetary dispute with a man named Mushtaq, who asked him to come to his house to settle the issue. When he reached there, two police officials took him to their “private cell” in the building and tortured him.

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