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ANP’s Haroon Bilour killed in a suicide attack during a corner meeting in Yakatoot

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PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber attacked a corner meeting in the Yakatoot area of Peshawar this evening killing twelve including the ANP candidate Barrister Haroon Bilour and injuring 65. 

According to details the suicide bomber was present in the corner meeting and detonated 8kgs Trinitrotoluene near Haroon Bilour (contesting the election from PK-87 on ANP’s ticket) during a display of fireworks. He was taken to Lady Reading Hospital where he was announced dead on arrival. 

Bilour family had confirmed the death of Haroon Bilour in the explosion. Injured, that include Danyal Bilour teenaged son of deceased Haroon Bilour, have been taken to Lady Reading Hospital. 

It is pertinent to mention here that his father Bashir Ahmed Balour (Senior Provincial Minister) too was killed back in 2012 by a Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber during an ANP meeting in Dhaki Nal Bandi Area near Qissa Khawani Bazar of Peshawar. Taliban believe that secular parties like ANP support the ‘War on Terror’.  

Prime Minister Justice (Retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk Tuesday strongly condemned the bomb blast in Peshawar, which caused loss of precious human lives and injuries. 

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sardar Muhammad Raza condemning the attack held: “This shows the weakness of our security institutions and a conspiracy against transparent elections.”

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has strongly condemned the bomb blast at an election rally ANP at Yakatott Area, Peshawar in which senior leader of ANP Barrister Haroon Bilour and others lost their lives. In his statement, the Speaker termed it a barbaric and shameful act of terrorism and expressed heartfelt grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives. He said that the elements involved in such activities were the enemies of the humanity and wanted to sabotage the democratic process in the country. He said that such shameful acts could not deter firm resolve against terrorism. He called upon the authorities for bringing the perpetrators of Peshawar blast to justice. He sympathized with bereaved families and prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the souls of martyred in eternal peace. He also prayed for early recovery of injured.

Caretaker Chief Minister (CM) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dost Muhammad Khan has said that all those elements responsible for suicide attack on Awami National Party (ANP) rally in Peshawar will be brought to justice. He said that a detailed investigation would be carried out to know if there was any security’s lapse. The CM said through such cowardice acts, the resolve of the nation could not be shaken in the fight against terrorism. He expressed these views after an emergency meeting about law and order situation following the blast. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary, IGP KP besides other senior officials of Police and other departments. The CM directed the authorities concerned to examine all aspects of the blast so that perpetrators could be unmasked before the nation. He said holding of a free and transparent election is the prime responsibility of the caretaker government and every possible step will be taken to achieve this objective. Meanwhile, a five-member cabinet delegation of the caretaker government of KP visited the residence of Shaheed Haroon Bilour and expressed condolence with members of the bereaved family.  The caretaker ministers include Zafar Iqbal Bangash, Fazl Elahi, Asadullah  Chamakani and Muhammad Rashid Khan and expressed grief, sorrow over the death of Haroon Bilour. They prayed for the rest of the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss with patience. The Minister also prayed for early recovery of the blast’s injured and directed hospitals administration to provide best medical facilities to the victims.

Others took to the twitter: 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced to observe one-day mourning and postponed its political activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, following the sad demise of Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour and other party workers. In a statement, Central Information Secretary and Spokesman PTI Fawad Chaudhry said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) expressed solidarity with the Bilour family and leadership of ANP. He said that PTI was with Bilour family and ANP at this time of extreme grief. During one-day mourning PTI flags would be flown at half-mast, he said. Fawad Chaudhry prayed Almighty Allah to grant courage to Bilour family and ANP leadership to bear the irreparable loss with fortitude.

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News agencies in Europe to fight fake news

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ALBANIA: News agencies in Europe have joined forces to fight the growing threat posed by fake news.

In a resolution adopted last week in Tirana, these commit to developing effective tools and rules to enable journalists and Internet users to fight misinformation as well as to promote reliable media and educate users to surf in the digital environment.

The news agencies that attended the international conference ‘News Agencies vs. Fake News,’ organized by the ATA news agency on 3- 4 December in Tirana, also agreed to cooperate directly to check the news and discover in due time fake news and improve the transparency of online news, which entails a consistent development of professional journalism.

The purpose of these measures is to mitigate the impact of fake news on communities at the local, national and international level, to highlight the entities that are at the origin of the dissemination of fake news and to strengthen the activity and profile of news agencies as real news providers.

The aim is also to raise public awareness of the danger posed by fake news to our societies and to media professionals regarding the impact of the phenomenon on the entire media environment, to enhance the skills of journalists in identifying and avoiding fake news and to promote real, impartial and accurate news.

The resolution, adopted on the last day of the Tirana conference and published on 10 December, was initiated by 13 news agencies: ATA (Albania), PAP (Poland), CNA (Cyprus), ANA-MPA (Greece) , BTA (Bulgaria), KosovaPress (Kosovo), TASR (Slovakia), ANADOLU (Turkey), AzerTac (Azerbaijan), AGERPRES (Romania), TANJUG (Serbia), HINA (Croatia) and UKRINFORM (Ukraine).

The signatories call on all news agencies, whether state-funded or private, as well as international news agencies, to join this Resolution.

The heads of the news agencies present at the Tirana conference insisted on the need to address the global phenomenon of fake news, underlining that new technologies allow the rapid spread of fake and confusing pieces of news that violate one of the fundamental human liberties, namely the right to information.

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Crime

Cancellation of 30-year lease due to non-utilisation

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KARACHI: Secretary Land Utilisation, Government of Sindh, has instructed the concerned authorities to cancel a 30-year lease that is being misused. 

According to the notification “it has come to the notice of this office that the different allottees that had been granted 30-years lease for agricultural/poultry-cattle-dairy farming purpose and not utilizing the same purpose, but unfortunately conditions of the lease agreements are not fulfilled and land is being wrongly utilized for various purposes. In some cases, allottees are involved in sale/purchase of 30 years lease that is totally illegal and causes lost of billions of rupees to government exchequer by occupying and raising construction over the said land.

“Keeping in view, the concerns above you are requested to cancel all leases of 30 years lease as well as short-term leases which have violated the required terms and conditions of the lease. The deputy commissioners are directed to ensure that the conditions set forth in leases referred above may be followed/implemented in letter and spirit. Failure shall remember to ascertain procedure in law. This matter may be given on TOP PRIORITY and report of which may be sent to this department”. 

 

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Crime

Probe against MDs SNGPL, SSGPL

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ISLAMABAD: A 4–member Fact Finding Committee has been constituted to probe the allegations leveled against MD Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGCL).
According to a notification issued here today, Uzma Adil Khan, chairperson Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has been nominated as chairperson of the committee and members included Qazi Saleem Siddiqui, DG, (PC), Shahid Yousaf DG (Gas) and Imran Ahmed DG (LG). The committee has been directed to submit a report within 72 hours.
The committee has been authorized to get the services of an expert witness to assist in its proceedings. The committee has been constituted in pursuance of presentation to the PM on load management, PLNG supply and demand and off-take of furnace oil. The allegations against MD, SNGPL, and SSGCL included negligence in reporting of facts to the ministry or incompetence to deal with operational issues. Withholding of information from the government and overall systemic governance failure of SNGPL and SSGCL.

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