Nawaz says Sindh to get priority if his party elected

photo_1368639380567-1-0-280x220Tando Adam, Sindh, Pakistan Muslin League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday said he understands the sufferings of Sindh and province would get top priority if the people elected his party to power in the coming elections.

Addressing at the flood relief camp near here, he said that he was unable to find ‘government’ in the province. ”If Nawaz Sharif can reach the people of flood hit areas of Sindh then why can’t the sitting government?”

He said that he understands the suffering of the people of Sindh. The and meanwhile children, women and elderly people all have to live in this scorching heat. He said that after the devastating rains, many people are deprived of their livelihood whereas their crops were destroyed which has amplified the problems of the masses. The state of people of Sindh has gone from bad to worse but government is seen nowhere in the entire province.

Nawaz Sharif said that immense support has been provided from Punjab people to their brethren in Sindh in this difficult time. Talking about the relief efforts from Punjab, he said he considers this assistance and help as duty and not merely a nice gesture. He informed the congregation that not only the ration is being distributed in different districts of Sindh but medical teams from Punjab are also engaged in treating people and cattle heads.

He said that if Allah gives him the opportunity to serve people of Sindh he would construct schools and universities and added that all the problems would be addressed in his tenure. He hailed that he would keep visiting the locality till the people are not rehabilitated and houses are not constructed.

The PML-N Chief appealed to the government to look after the people whereas addresses their issues at the highest level. He further said that Rs0.1 million should be given to each flood affected family rather than Rs20000 so that people can reconstruct their houses.

ANP resisted US pressure on Swat peace deal: Asfandyar

LAHORE: Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan says his party has ignored tremendous US pressure to not enter into peace agreement with militants in Swat.

The ANP chief was responding to a question in a wide-ranging interview with the state radio as part of coverage of the upcoming elections. The interview would be broadcast simultaneously by Radio Pakistan and Business Plus TV at 07.05pm on Friday.

Asked that he was known for anti-Americanism and how he became pro-US, Asfandyar Wali said before the Swat peace agreement, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and the then ambassador Anne Patterson pressed him not to go for peace deal at a 50-minute meeting at the Frontier House in Islamabad.

Asfandyar said he never had a meeting with anyone more bitter than the one he had with Richard Boucher. He said he categorically told the American side that we know our traditions and customs very well and we have to go for the peace deal.

The ANP leader said they went ahead with peace agreement with militants in Swat, but it was violated by the other side and the writ of the government was challenged.

In this backdrop, there was no other choice than to go for an operation.

Asfandyar said the operation against extremists and terrorists in Swat and Malakand succeeded as it had political ownership.

The ANP chief, however, made it clear that the army was called in Swat not by the ANP but by the then MMA government in the province.

Asked why the ANP has deviated from traditional anti-establishment and anti-Punjab politics, Asfandyar Wali Khan said they never opposed the state but were critical of the policies of the establishment.

Now, after thirty years down the history, the establishment has reached the same conclusion that we were espousing thirty years back on the issue of terrorism and extremism.

Similarly, he said, they were not against people of Punjab or the province itself but against the policies. He said now that Punjab is fighting for rights of the provinces along with other provinces, there was no cause for difference or criticism.

Article 62,63: LHC orders action against 14 candidates

LAHORE:-The full bench of the Lahore High Court resumed hearing of Article 62,63 implementation case and issued an order to take action against 14 candidates.

The court also has demanded the record from the NAB and the FBR regarding 1319 candidates who had moved appeals in the court.

In this regard, the State Bank, the NAB and FBR have been issued notices for further proceeding.

The court has made it clear in its order that main job of the Election Commission is not limited to the holding of general elections; rather, it has to do a lot of things after elections.

“If anybody wants a medal in this regard, he would be bestowed with special award after elections”, said court order.

On the other hand, the Election Commission is of the view that he is busy in making arrangements for holding of fair elections. Such judgments tend to prove stumbling blocks in its way.

Likewise, the FBR is of the opinion that the data of more than 600 candidates was provided to the Election Commission but returning officers have not conducted scrutiny of candidates fairly and honestly.

The FBR made it clear that the Election Commission is not providing data for scrutiny of remaining candidates.

PTI rules out alliance with PML-Q, JI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has clarified that there is no prospect of an alliance with any political party or group including Jamaat-e-Islami or PML-Q.

Raoof Hasan, Central Vice President, PTI said that the news appearing in this regard in the media were totally unfounded. It appeared to be a case of disinformation by people who were scared in the wake of the mammoth rally that PTI had staged in Lahore on October 30. It also reflected the absolute moral bankruptcy of the people associated with these parties who were spearheading a smear campaign to dent PTI’s credibility, he said in a statement.

Raoof Hasan further contended that PTI, being a popular political party, was gearing up for the forthcoming elections. Being a party that was advocating for bringing change in the system that had denuded the country of its wealth, it could not afford to compromise on its inalienable stand against corruption and abdication of governance.

Raoof Hasan said that instead of wasting their time on such misleading propaganda, the political parties and their functionaries should concentrate on preparing themselves to face the PTI tsunami that was going to wash them away.

Tribe before party in Pakistan rural campaign

SHAHBAZ KHEL – Pakistan’s two main parties may be tearing strips off each other in election campaign adverts, but in one district of the country’s northwest they are united in brotherly harmony.

In Lakki Marwat district, next to the Taliban-infested badlands bordering Afghanistan, the Saifullah family are tribal leaders and wealthy industrialists who have been in politics for four generations.

The vast majority of the 330,000 registered voters are members of the Marwat tribe and locals know the Saifullah brothers as their clan elders, not for their party affiliations.

Salim Saifullah Khan is running for the national assembly for the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), favourites to win the May 11 poll, while his brother Anwar is contesting two provincial seats for the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

They share a campaign base, the family house in Ghazni Khel village, they appear on campaign posters together and the slogan “Saifullah brothers” is daubed on countless walls in the district.

In this deeply traditional land of dry earth and ragged, rocky hillsides, what counts in politics is not party or policies but service and tribal kinship, and the Saifullahs are tied to the people by ancient bonds of blood and loyalty.

For Abdul Hamid Khan, an elderly voter in the village of Shahbaz Khel, PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari of the PPP are unimportant.

“We don’t know Nawaz, we don’t know Zardari, we only know our khans,” he told AFP.

The family has a hugely successful group of companies and has ploughed some of its wealth back in to improving the district. A cement plant the family helped set up is the biggest single employer, providing jobs to 2,000 people.

“We are Marwat, they are our princes and we are their nation,” said Mehmood Khan Haji, another voter.

But Salim, a former cabinet minister, has a tough fight on his hands as he seeks to take over his eldest brother Humayun’s seat as he is retiring.

He is running against the cleric Fazl-ur-Rehman, national leader of the religious JUI-F party, whose conservative message plays well in the deeply pious area, where women are rarely seen in public.

“We’ve worked here for the last 80 years, my grandfather first got elected in 1936 and we have been working ever since,” Salim told AFP.

“I hope my constituents, who we have served for the last so many years, look at our services and look at his (Rehman’s) services which are negligible and hopefully will vote for me.”

Rural voters expect personal attention from their khans and Salim is pounding the trail for up to 15 hours every day to get his message across.

In Shahbaz Khel, a crucial battleground with a vote bank of around 4,500 where Salim admits he is neck and neck with Rehman, the 65-year-old is received by around 100 villagers — all men.

An elder appointed as spokesman welcomes Salim and pledges the village’s loyalty, but says the Saifullahs should do more for the people, give them more time and listen more to their grievances.

The family say the relationship with the people has changed since earlier generations. Voters’ loyalty is no longer unquestioning and they expect more from the family.

For the Saifullahs as for other wealthy dynasties that dominate rural Pakistan, hearing personal petitions is vital to maintaining political support.

“Every morning there are hundreds of people who would like to meet us — they want jobs, they want transfers, other issues that they have, health issues, they want drinking water schemes for their area,” explained Salim.

After reminding the people of Shahbaz Khel of his family’s service and warning them of the dangers of electing an outsider like Rehman, Salim spends several hours patiently hearing the often fervent pleas of dozens of villagers.

Employment is a big concern in an area with a young and rapidly growing population and a common request is for work at the Lucky Cement plant which the Saifullahs helped found in the 1990s.

Saifullah Khan Mahsud, executive director of the FATA Research Centre think tank, said there was no question the family had helped the area, but he warned their western education and liberal lifestyle could work against them.

He said the fight between Salim and Rehman was too close to call but the brothers would probably win at least one of the seats they are contesting.

Salim’s goal before he retires is to see through a new dam on the Kurram river, which would generate 85 MW of electricity.

More importantly in an area of dusty soil, thin crops and little drinking water, the dam would help irrigate more than 200,000 acres of farmland.

“My one wish is Kurram Tangi. When I have done that I can say to people: ‘You have voted me and I have delivered’.”

ANP not to run away from polls: Afrasiab

Provincial Chief of Awami National Party ANP Afrasiab Khattak has said that party chief Asfandyar Wali has written letter to Election Commission of Pakistan demanding security for candidates.

Talking to media here on Monday, he said enemies were trying to stop us from taking part in elections while the silence of ECP and other parties was questionable.

He further said that security from party candidates was withdrawn without serving any notice which has triggered serious questions about the transparency of upcoming polls.

He said no matter what the conditions might come, ANP would not run away from polls.

Govt takes measure to maintain peace during polls: minister

Shahbaz-sharif-pmln1-200x140KARACHI – Caretaker interior minister Malik Habib has said that the government has traced elements out to create disturbance during polls.

He said this while presiding over a key meeting to consider security issues regarding upcoming general elections in Sindh.

The meeting was attended, among others, by DG Rangers, Chief Secretary and IG Sindh.

Malik Habib said the caretaker government was fully aware of the situation in Sindh and Balochistan, and has chalked out an effective strategy to counter any untoward situation during the upcoming elections.

Imran Khan suffers head injuries after falling off lifter

photo_1367952647960-9-0-280x220LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan suffered injuries to the front and back of his head after falling off the lifter that was carrying him up the stage from where he was to address an election rally in Lahore, TV footage showed.

Watch exclusive clip of Imran Khan falling from stage in Lahore

photo_1367952647960-9-0The 61-year old cricket star-turned-politician fell from the lifter along with his security guards from 14-15 ft height apparently after they lost balance as the lifter soared to the top of the stage.

The TV footage also showed Imran Khan being carried by his associates in a semi-conscious state to a vehicle which then drove off to Shaukat Khanum Hospital for medical aid.

PTI leader Asad Umer talking to Geo News said Imran Khan’s condition is stable and that he is in a conscious state. He said doctors were stitching wounds to the front and back of Imran Khan’s head.

He, however, added that the situation will become clear in the next 30 minutes or so.

When asked if Imran Khan will come back to address the rally, Asad Umer said ‘being a brave man as Khan sahib is, he may want to do so but we will not allow him at least for tonight’.

In his message to the PTI workers, Asad Umer asked them to pray for their leader but added at the same time that there was nothing to worry about.

According to Geo News correspondent, a CT Scan of Imran Khan will be done at Shaukat Khanum Hospital and further treatment will be carried out according to the findings of the test.

Imran Khan has been energetically carrying out his election campaign in the run-up to the upcoming general election scheduled for May 11, holding several rallies every single day across Pakistan’s major cities and towns.

Update

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan is conscious and very much out of danger, said Dr Shafiq who provided initial medical treatment to him.

The 61-year old cricket star-turned-politician fell from the lifter along with his security guards from 14-15 ft height apparently after they lost balance as the lifter soared to the top of the stage.

“Khan received injuries on his head and back but they were only skin deep,” Dr Shafiq said, adding ‘we have given him pain killers’.

The doctor said that Imran Khan suffered a 6-inch long wound and received stitches. There is no skull fracture and his movement is fine. According hospital administration Imran Khan received 11 stitches – 5 to the front and 6 to the back of head.

Imran Khan was also complaining of back ache, the doctor said, adding he will be fine.

He said Imran Khan has been shifted to Shaukhat Khanum Hospital where his MRI test will be conducted.

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan is conscious and very much out of danger, said Dr Shafiq who provided initial medical treatment to him.

The 61-year old cricket star-turned-politician fell from the lifter along with his security guards from 14-15 ft height apparently after they lost balance as the lifter soared to the top of the stage.

“Khan received injuries on his head and back but they were only skin deep,” Dr Shafiq said, adding ‘we have given him pain killers’.

The doctor said that Imran Khan suffered a 6-inch long wound and received stitches. There is no skull fracture and his movement is fine. According hospital administration Imran Khan received 11 stitches – 5 to the front and 6 to the back of head.

Imran Khan was also complaining of back ache, the doctor said, adding he will be fine.

He said Imran Khan has been shifted to Shaukhat Khanum Hospital where his MRI test will be conducted.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Asad Umer has in a twitter message said that the CT Scan results show that Imran Khan has suffered a minor fracture (on his head) and that he will be fine.

The tweet read: “CT scan results show only a minor fracture. IK will be fine inshallah though he is in a lot of pain.”

Imran Khan has been energetically carrying out his election campaign in the run-up to the upcoming general election scheduled for May 11, holding several rallies every single day across Pakistan’s major cities and towns.

Akhtar Mengal announces to take part in elections

KARACHI: Balochistan National Party (BNP-M) chief Akhtar Mengal said on Wednesday if the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) did not remove the reservations of the Baloch nationalists, it would be difficult to hold fair, free and transparent elections in the province.

Addressing a press conference on the occasion of former MNA Nasir Ali Shah joining the BNP, he said that the rulers have filled their ears with iron over the issue of Balochistan.

He announced that his party would actively take part in the forthcoming general elections.

Mengal said that a wall of hate has been erected among several communities in Balochistan which have to be dismantled with responsibility.

Mengal said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan took a few good decisions regarding the Balochistan issue. He said that national level parties showed sympathy with the Baloch, but the issue was yet to be resolved.

He said that he had informed the Supreme Court of Pakistan about his reservations regarding the general election through letters. The election would be of no use if his reservations were not addressed, he added.

Mengal said that he had sought applications from candidates aspiring to contest elections He said that there was only a one-point agenda in the meeting and the situation of Balochistan province in upcoming days was also reviewed. Mengal further said that he is a political person and he has no enmity with anyone.

Punjab education institutions to remain close from May 8-13

punjab-education-200x140LAHORE – All public and private education institutions across Punjab and Sindh provinces will remain closed for from May 8 to 13 while in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan from May 9 to 12 due to upcoming general elections in the country.

In two separate notifications issued on Monday, the provincial governments announced that government schools and colleges will be closed on Wednesday and reopen on Monday in Punjab and Sindh.

According to separate notifications issued in Peshawar and Quetta, the provincial governments announced that government education institutes would remain closed on Thursday to Sunday.

The historic general elections of Pakistan are going to be held on May 11 for which polling stations have be set up in government schools, with teachers performing duties as polling staff.