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HEADLINES

20-April-2017

Supreme Court rejecting PTI's plea to disqualify Prime Minister has ordered constitution of a JIT to probe Panama Papers case.

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 today.

The first cricket Test between Pakistan and the West Indies begins at Kingston tomorrow.

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SC

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 judgement in the case in Islamabad this 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 today. 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.     

SC-II

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 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.       

REACTION

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.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said today'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.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad this evening, Minister of State for Information  Marriyum Aurangzeb said today's judgment on Panama Papers clearly shows that Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is righteous and morally upright.

She said Imran Khan politicized and exploited this issue to abuse people, institutions, family and personality of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

SENATE

The Senate was informed today 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 be gradually reduced in the country.

He said power plants currently running on furnace oil are being shifted to gas and coal. 

The House will now meet tomorrow morning at ten.

NA

The National Assembly was informed today 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 House will now meet tomorrow morning at 10:30

KILLING

Two Police personel were killed when some unknown persons opend fire at Rahim Bazar in D I Khan this evening.   

MAMNOON

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 today 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.

FO

Pakistan says people of Occupied Kashmir have demonstrated their will by oughtrightly rejecting sham elections in the held territory.      

In his weekly news briefing in Islamabad today, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said 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 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.   

KASHMIR

In Occupied Kashmir, students continued their protests for the sixth consecutive day today 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.

KOREA

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.

TEST

The first cricket test of three-match series between Pakistan and West Indies begins at Kingston tomorrow.

Match will begin at 8.00 p.m. Pakistan Standard time.

WEATHER

Mainly hot and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country during the next twelve hours.

However, dust-thunderstorm with gusty winds is expected at isolated places  including Malakand Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Bannu, D.I. Khan, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Faisalabad and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions, Islamabad, FATA, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Very hot weather is expected in central and southern Punjab, Sindh and southern Balochistan during this period.


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