Text Bulletin 2000 hrs
Supreme Court rejecting PTI's plea to disqualify Prime Minister has ordered constitution of a JIT to probe Panama Papers case.
PML-N leaders have said opponents trying to sabotage people's mandate through unconstitutional means have failed in their designs.
Pakistan has signed a forty-year agreement with China for operation of Gwadar Port.
The National Assembly has been informed that TAPI gas pipeline will be completed by 2020.
Pakistan says it wants meaningful engagement with India to address all outstanding issues, including Kashmir.
In Occupied Kashmir, students continued protest against use of brute force by Indian troops for the sixth consecutive day on Thursday.
North Korea has warned the United States of a super-mighty preemptive strike in case of any aggression.
The first cricket Test between Pakistan and the West Indies begins at Kingston on Friday.
The Supreme Court has rejected PTI's plea to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Panama Papers case and directed constitution of a Joint Investigation Team to probe the matter.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, the head of the five-member Bench of the apex court, announced the judgment in the case in Islamabad on Thursday afternoon.
The court ordered formation of a Joint Investigation Team comprising members from Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan, ISI and Military Intelligence.
The heads of these departments and institutions will recommend the names of their nominees for the JIT within seven days from on Thursday. These will be placed before the judges in chambers for nomination and approval.
The JIT shall investigate the case, collect evidence, if any against respondents. The respondents are required to appear and associate themselves with the JIT as and when required.
It may also examine the relevant evidence and material, if any, already available with the FIA and NAB.
The team will submit its periodical reports every two weeks before a new bench of the court to be constituted in this regard.
It shall complete the investigation and submit its final report before the said bench within sixty days from the date of its constitution.
The bench will ensure implementation of on Thursday's judgment.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said on Thursday's judgment is a majority verdict of three to two judges.
The verdict comprises 549 pages and includes dissenting notes of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmad. The judgment has been written by Justice Aijaz Afzal.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa appreciated all parties to the case for displaying patience during hearing of the case.
PML-N leaders have described the Supreme Court's decision in Panama Papers case a victory of the people of Pakistan and the constitution of the country.
Talking to newsmen outside the Supreme Court, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that court's decision has vindicated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's stance of establishing a joint investigation commission to probe the matter.
He said the apex court on Thursday exclusively established that the evidences presented before the court were insufficient.
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Thursday's verdict is a historic victory of the party.
He said the attempt to disqualify the elected prime minister faced failure as the opponents tried to sabotage the people's mandate through unconstitutional means.
Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said the court order will be fully implemented.
The Minister said under the table leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the journey to development and prosperity will continue.
Minister for Religious Affairs said Court's decision is in the best interest of Pakistan, the people, and democracy.
Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said the Court's decision has defeated the politics of agitation and allegations.
She said the Prime Minister has set a precedent by presenting himself and his family before the court for accountability.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said PTI will have to answer the people of Pakistan for its attempts to halt development process.
Talking to Radio Pakistan, the Minister of State said the judgment of the court is in line with the stance adopted by PML (N).
Spokesman of the Prime Minister Musadik Malik expressed satisfaction over pronouncement of the verdict and said the opposition should have no objection to formation of the JIT.
Lawyers and legal fraternity have termed on Thursday's verdict historic that will lead to upholding the rules of law and constitution in the country.
Counsel for Prime Minister's sons Salman Akram Raja said the majority decision is the real decision of the court.
He said the court has decided to go for investigations, which was our plea from the very beginning.
He said dissenting notes are no more than personal opinions.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has congratulated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over Supreme Court's decision in Panama Papers Case.
In a message, he said that our political opponents hatched conspiracy but they faced defeat on Thursday.
He said the PML-N will again win the people's confidence in 2018 and fulfill its agenda of progress and prosperity of the country.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri has said the decision of the Supreme Court has proved that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is an honest man and believes on implementation of constitution and law.
Talking to parliamentarians at Chief Minister House in Quetta on Thursday he said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz will again emerge victorious in the next general elections.
Talking to Radio Pakistan correspondent Sophia Siddiqui, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman said the court has vindicated the stance of PML-N.
She expressed the hope that now the opposition parties will accept the decision of JIT.
Parliamentary Secretary for Capital Administration and Development Division Maiza Hammed told Radio Pakistan that the decision of the case is success of the Prime Minister.
Talking to Radio Pakistan Lahore Correspondent Imran Hassan, PML-N leader Siddiqul Farooq said the Supreme Court has rejected the PTI's plea to disqualify Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif .
Punjab Minister for Local Government Muhammad Mansha Ullah said it is an important decision for completion of the ongoing development projects across the country.
Punjab Minister for Special Education Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique has termed the decision as a victory for the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Talking to Radio Pakistan Quetta correspondent Aftab Sherazi, Balochistan Minister for Services Mohammad Khan Shahwani said the Supreme Court verdict is based on law and constitution.
Balochistan Assembly member Husan Bano Rakhshani said the verdict has proved that the the judiciary is independent in the country.
MPA Yasmeen Lehri said the Supreme Court has protected democracy.
Shazia Lango said the verdict has proved supremacy of the law.
The PML-N workers and people will observe Day of Gratitude on Friday on the verdict of Panama Papers case.
A spokesman of PML-N said special prayers will be offered in Friday prayers for development, progress and prosperity of the country.
PML-N workers took out a peaceful rally in front of the Supreme Court on Thursday.
They raised slogans in favour of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
They also appreciated the decision of the Court.
Pakistan Muslim League (N) also took out a rally in Peshawar on Thursday evening expressing satisfaction over the verdict of Supreme Court about Panama Papers.
Addressing the rally, the speakers said the verdict has confirmed the stand of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif that he and his family members are not involved in any sort of corruption.
PPP Cochairman Asif Ali Zardari says 'immature politics' of Imran Khan has strengthened the politics of PML-N.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday, he said it was political blunder of Imran Khan to move the Supreme Court independently on Panama Papers case.
Asif Zardari said PPP will shape its future strategy after closely observing the developments taking place.
He said PPP has been striving for supremacy of the democracy and the parliament and will continue its struggle for this purpose.
PTI Chief has hailed the Supreme Court decision in Panama Papers case and congratulated the nation on the historic judgment.
Talking to newsmen, he asked PTI workers to celebrate their success.
Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Siraj-ul-Haq termed the Supreme Court's decision as historic.
Talking to media, he said after on Thursday's judgment, the case has progressed and not stopped. He said Jamaat-e-Islami will continue its struggle for elimination of corruption from the country.
Radio Pakistan will broadcast in its National Hook-up at 2030 hours on Thursday a programme regarding "Supreme Court's decision on Panama Papers Case."
President Mamnoon Hussain says contribution by every section of the society is inevitable for optimum utilization of the country's resources.
He was addressing a ceremony organized in Islamabad on Thursday to unveil a book compiled by Benazir Income Support Programme.
The President said the book will help understand the struggle and hard work that Pakistani women are putting forth in the development stream of the country.
Earlier in her key note address, Chairperson BISP Mari Memon said the book is part of BISP`s 'Ehsaas' campaign to raise awareness about the hardships and sufferings of the Pakistani women in every part of the country.
The Senate was informed on Thursday that Pakistan has signed a forty year agreement with China for operation of Gwadar Port.
This was stated by Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo during the question hour.
Under the agreement, China will carry out all development work at the Port.
Responding to a calling attention notice, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan is carrying out an intensive campaign to effectively highlight the Kashmir dispute at the international level.
To a calling attention notice, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali told the House that load-shedding will gradually reduce in the country.
He said power plants currently running on furnace oil are being shifted to gas and coal.
The House will now meet on Friday morning at ten.
The National Assembly was informed on Thursday that work on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline has begun and is likely to be completed by 2020.
During question hour, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the construction of pipeline will also create job opportunities in backward areas along its route.
To a question, he said all new gas connections are provided strictly on turn basis through computer generated lists.
Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said Pakistan is transitioning from low growth to higher growth phase by addressing the supply side bottlenecks in energy and infrastructure sectors.
The Minister said Pakistan's exports to EU have increased from 4.52 billion Euros in 2013 to 6.28 billion euros last year.
The Commerce Minister said import of Liquefied Natural Gas increased by 144 percent this year, which will help overcome gas shortage in the country and meet the requirements of industry, especially fertilizers and power generations.
The House will now meet on Friday morning at 10:30.
Counting of votes is underway for the By-election held on Thursday at Sindh assembly’s constituency PS- 81 in Sanghar district.
There are reports that during the polling, one person was killed and two other injured in firing incident between two rival parties.
It may be recalled that the seat fell vacant after Jam Madad Ali of Pakistan Muslim League Functional resigned and joined Pakistan people’s party.
Another eight suspects involved in lynching of Mashaal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, were arrested on Thursday.
According to police sources, the number of arrests in the case has risen to thirty-two.
Meanwhile, a rally was taken out in Swabi on Thursday condemning the murder of Mashaal Khan.
The protestors demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of this inhuman act.
In Karachi, Pakistan Coast Guards have arrested ninety-eight suspects, including one Afghan and one Iranian national.
In a statement, Pakistan Coast Guards said the arrested people were trying to cross Pakistan-Iran border without legal documents.
Pakistan says people of Occupied Kashmir have demonstrated their will by oughtrightly rejecting sham elections in the held territory.
Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in his weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday that brute force against innocent Kashmiris, who refused to participate in sham elections, reflected suppression of the human urge for freedom.
He expressed Pakistan's concern over statement last week by Indian Home Minister that the Indian Government will control the situation within a year and that New Delhi will do whatever it could for the purpose.
The spokesperson pointed out that this statement has been followed by operation against educational institutions. Dozens of colleges have been attacked injuring thousands of students both boys and girls.
The spokesperson said Pakistan wants meaningful, result-oriented, sustained and constructive engagements with India to address all issues particularly the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.
Replying to a question about RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav, the spokesperson said he was tried in a transparent manner on charges of espionage, sabotage, subversion and terrorist activities in Pakistan.
To another question, he said disappearance of retired Colonel Habib Zahir of Pakistan Army from Nepal is a classic case of entrapment.
He reiterated that there is no organized presence of Daesh in Pakistan.
In Occupied Kashmir, students continued their protests for the sixth consecutive day on Thursday against the use of brute force by Indian troops on the youth.
The students marched in Kangan, Pattan and Bandipore areas and staged sit-ins against the Indian forces’ raids on Pulwama College and the subsequent brutalities unleashed by forces against the students.
Many students were injured when troops fired pellets and teargas shells in Ajas, Hariganiwan, Chattergul and Goshbug areas.
Meanwhile, the joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik in a statement in Srinagar called for peaceful protests, on Friday, after Friday prayers to express solidarity with the students.
The resistance leaders said that an undeclared martial law was imposed as the occupied territory has virtually been handed over to the armed forces’ personnel.
The leaders criticized the puppet administration for invading the educational institutions and assaulting students terming it as manifestation of naked state-terrorism.
The Kashmir High Court Bar Association in a statement termed the Indian Attorney General’s statement in which he defended the troops for tying a youth to a jeep, as unjustified.
North Korea has warned the United States of a super-mighty preemptive strike in case of any aggression.
The warning has been sounded in remarks by the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North’s ruling Workers’ Party. The move came after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States is looking at ways to bring pressure to bear on North Korea over its nuclear programme.
Iran has criticized US accusations that it was seeking a nuclear weapon to threaten the region and the world.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a tweet on Thursday said the worn-out US accusations cannot mask its admission of Iran's compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal.
Earlier, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson had accused Iran of alarming ongoing provocations aimed at destabilizing the Middle East and undermining America's interests in the region.