LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has appreciated New Zealand prime minister for taking special steps for the Muslims living in her country, consoling them and expressing solidarity with them after the terrorist attack on mosques in Christchurch city.
Premier Jacinda Ardern won the hearts of Muslims by exhibiting brotherhood, love and affection for the Muslim community and stressing the need for curbing extremism at international level, he said. “She has set an example of solidarity and unity through her positive attitude,” the CM added.
The NZ premier proved by attending the Juma prayers congregation that terrorism is not associated with any religion, Usman Buzdar said adding that “we pay tribute to the New Zealand government for directly airing the call for Juma prayers on television and radio for expressing solidarity with Muslims.
He said that Jacinda Ardern negated the nefarious designs of the terrorist by keeping him nameless. The international community would have to collectively fight terrorism, he added.
Cabinet reshuffled, Fawad Ch. removed as info minister
ISLAMABAD: Fawad Hussain Chaudhry has been removed from the post of information minister, in a major cabinet reshuffle today.
Portfolios of Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema, Health Minister Amir Mehmood Kayani and Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur have also been changed, said a statement by Prime Minister Office.
The PM Office further said that Firdous Ashiq Awan has been appointed as special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on the information.
Brigadier (r) Ijaz Shah has been appointed as the interior minister, whereas Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has been appointed as Advisor to the Finance Ministry.
The latest reshuffle in the federal cabinet came hours after Finance Minister Asad Umar and Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar’s stepping down.
IHC seeks references record on NAB’s appeals against Zardari’s acquittal
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday sought complete record from the accountability court on appeals of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), challenging acquittal of former president and PPP’s Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari in Ursus tractors and ARY Gold corruption references.
A divisional bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, conducted hearing on NAB appeals against Asif Zardari.
During course of proceeding, the NAB Prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana pleaded before the bench that the trial court ignored evidences in corruption references.
The acquittal plea of the accused persons couldn’t be heard until recording the evidence, he said.
He contended that the bench had sought the verified record of cases from the trial court on April 21, 2016 but it was not produced so far.
Bharwana stated that the trial court had stated in its decision that it would be waste of time to carry the proceeding in theses reference.
He said that trial court was not supposed to hear the acquittal plea without recording the prosecution evidence.
Chief Justice remarked, “Then why the trial court heard the acquittal plea of Asif Zardari.”
NAB prosecutor said that it would be better if the cases record was summoned from the trial court. At this, the bench sought the complete cases record and adjourned the case for indefinite time.
It may be mentioned here that Ursus tractors reference pertained to alleged misappropriation in the purchase of 5,900 Russian and Polish tractors at a cost of Rs150,000 each, for the then Awami Tractor Scheme.
The Ursus tractors purchase deal allegedly caused a loss of Rs268.3 million to ADBP and Rs1.67 billion to the State Bank of Pakistan.
The second reference pertained to alleged grant of licences to ARY Traders for import of gold and silver caused losses to the public exchequer, amounting to approximately Rs 18.2 million.
Govt taking steps to provide clean drinking water: NA speaker
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser Thursday said the government was taking steps on priority to provide clean drinking water to the people.
He was speaking while inaugurating a water filtration plant in the parking area of the Parliament House.
He said Pakistan was facing water shortages and steps would be taken to improve water availability.
The speaker said water was a basic need for our everyday life and clean drinking water was essential for human health.
It was a great service to provide clean drinking water to the people, he added.
He said thousands of people lose their lives every year due to non availability of clean drinking water in different parts of the world.
He expressed the hope that more water filtration plants would be installed in other government buildings.
The filtration plant in the Parliament is set up with the cooperation of Sailani Welfare Trust.