Tuesday, June 30, 2009

KESC asks consumers to pay bills or face disconnections

Power consumers, already facing the agony of power failures and over-billing, have been warned to duly pay their current month’s electricity bills by the due date otherwise they would face power disconnection to their homes and businesses.
Chief Executive Officer of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) Naveed Ismail has said that it was a standard practice by the utility organizations to recover current billing amount from their consumers and it was nothing unusual if a power consumer faced disconnection in case he had failed to pay current electricity bills by the due date.
The KESC chief was speaking at a press conference yesterday, which was otherwise called to screen a video clip showing a KESC blurred-face employee taking bribe from a power consumer.
The video clip was screened to inform the newsmen about zero-tolerance policy of the KESC management against corruption pervasive within the cadres of the company. The KESC chief said that a power consumer provided the video clip and the KESC employee involved in the incident was fired from the service.
The head of the KESC said that habitual delay in regular payment of monthly bills would no more be tolerated by the management of the utility.
“The consumers have been taking the KESC as a credit card company as they have been knowingly and habitually delaying the payment of electricity bills as they know after passage of two months or so they have to pay just 10 per cent surcharge, which is lowest when compared with the mark-up rates of other regular credit companies,” said Ismail.
“If I have not been recovering current monthly expenditure of the company, how would I be able to run a utility organisation like the KESC,” he questioned. (NC Report)

KBCA demolishes illegal structures

On the directives of Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) chief controller Manzoor Qadir, a demolition squad took action against some illegal constructions in Liaquatabad Town and razed third floor roof, partition walls and columns at plot No.1, Block 3-D and Plot No 19/20, Block 3-D. It also demolished third floor parts, walls, columns and shuttering at plot No.17/6, Block 3-F. KBCA team also demolished a portion of second floor roof at plot No.6/9, Block 2-K, Nazimabad.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Father exchanges eight-year-old for a second bride

KARACHI: Police have detained a middle aged man alleged to have married his under age daughter in ‘Watta Satta’, along with the Qazi (cleric) who performed the nikah ceremony and the ‘husband’.

Zahida, 8, a minor belonging to a low-income Siraiki family that hails from Liaquat Pur, Punjab and is presently living in Azam Basti within the limits of Mehmoodabad police station (Jamshed Town). Her father, Abdul Rasool, 50, is a mason by profession and wanted to marry Haseena, 19. Haseena is a married woman, the mother of two children and happens to be related to him. Zahida is the eldest among Rasool’s three daughters. Rasool married his daughter to Haseena’s younger brother Dilshad, 17. Her nikah was performed on June 25 by Qari Naqeeb Ali Shah and her rukhsati was supposed to take place on July 1.

The police took action after her mother informed Union Council (UC) 3 Naib Nazim Aurangzaib about the incident. At first, the police detained Zahida’s father and then conducted a raid on a mosque from where they were able to detain Shah. The police also took Dilshad into the custody and is looking for the arrests of witnesses who were present at the nikah till the time this report was filed.

According to Zahida’s mother Perveen, her husband married Zahida in exchange for his marriage to Dilshad’s sister Haseena. The girl’s mother further said that her husband also played a role in breaking Haseena’s marriage and her divorce case is pending in court.

Naqeeb Shah, who is not a registered ‘nikah khawan’ has denied his involved with the case. “I did not see the girl while performing the nikkh. Before the nikah, the witnesses told me that the girl’s age is 16,” Shah said. He confirmed the presence of three witnesses and also the girl’s father at the time when the nikkah was performed.

“They had covered the girl with her ‘dupatta’. I did have a doubt when I saw her hands when she was placing her thumb impression on the nikkah nama but her father assured me that she was old enough,” Shah added.

Zahida says that she had no idea what a nikkah means, adding that she was instructed to say yes. “I was told to say ‘yes’ three times and asked to give my thumb impression,” she said. However, she defended her father and said that he was innocent.

“My father did not know what he was doing and he committed the act after he was made to drink something. At the time of my nikah, my father was not present,” she said.

Meanwhile, Rasool has also denied his involvement in the case and said that he was given a drink laced with some medicine. “I was not present during the nikah ceremony and I have no recollection of it,” he added.

The police have detained all the arrested men under section 9 of Child Marriage Restrain Act (1925) and they would be produced in front of the magistrate today (Monday). Jamshed Town SP Javed Akbar Riaz said that the magistrate has the authority to take any decision in this regard. It is possible that Dilshad’s father would also be detained.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Firecracker factory blast claims four lives

A loud explosion was reported inside an illegal firecracker factory in Gharibabad, within the Sharifabad police limits. Four persons including a woman died, while 20 people, including women and children, were injured. The police seized cartons of firecrackers from the factory. The owner of the ilelgal set up is still at large.

Eyewitnesses and police sources said that an explosion was heard at around 5.00pm from inside a double-storey house. They added that the explosion was so loud that people initially thought of it as an “act of terrorism”.

Sources added that a man called Azeem Khan was running the illegal factory for many years. He was currently making a huge consignment for the upcoming Shab-e-Baraat celebration. Following the blast, the house collapsed completely, and damaged adjoining houses as well.

Residents of the area personally started the rescue operation by throwing water and mud on the fire, and also informed rescue departments. The residents added that no heavy machinery (for removing debris) could enter the area due to the small lanes. Fire tenders could not enter either, and fire fighters had to stretch the water pipes to extinguish the resulting blaze.

During the rescue operation, a fire suddenly erupted in a Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) pipeline that had been damaged due to the explosion, but the SSGC emergency team arrived at the location, and shut off the locality’s gas supply. Moreover, due to a short circuit, the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) cut the electricity connection of the area and started removing wires.

The residents alleged that this illegal firecracker warehouse had been operating for many years but no law-enforcer had taken notice. They added that when they protested following the blast, Rangers and police moved them away and cordoned off the area.

The body of a woman was recovered from the debris, and a child was rescued. The dead and injured were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH). Hospital sources said that the 20 injured people, including women and children, were received, along with the body of one woman, identified as 45-year-old Mussarat, wife of Zakir while three bodies were also found from the rubble. The bodies of two men were identified as Saleem alias Munna Bhai, 25 and Abu Bhai, 35, while the body of the third person remained unknown. Most of the injured were badly burned, while a few were injured because their houses collapsed, hospital sources added that from the three men.

Liaquatabad Town Naib Nazim Rehan Siddiqi said that the blast was reported in Union Council (UC)-7. He added that five houses were damaged and 15 others were affected in the blast. Liaquatabad Town Superintendent of Police (SP) Jam Zafarullah Dharejo said during investigation, it was found that the house belonged to Azeem Khan, who lived on the second floor of the factory.

He added that the owner was not present in the factory at the time of the blast, and a case has been registered against him at the Sharifabad Police Station.

Dharejo added that Sharifabad Station House Officer (SHO) Syed Mohsin Raza has been suspended for negligence, and a departmental inquiry has been initiated against him.

Friday, June 26, 2009

NAPA issued notice to vacate Hindu Gymkhana

KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Culture and Tourism Sassui Palejo informed the Sindh Assembly on Thursday that a notice has been issued to the National Academy of Performing Arts’ (NAPA) management, asking them to vacate the premises, rented out by the culture department in 2005.

Replying to a question by Arif Mustafa Jatoi during the question hour, the minister explained that the Hindu Gymkhana, situated opposite the Arts Council, on MR Kiyani Road is a protected building, declared so by the Sindh Cultural Heritage Preservation Act 1994.

In September 2005, according to directives of the then president of Pakistan, Hindu Gymkhana was rented out to Zia Mohiuddin for a period of thirty years for establishment of the NAPA. An agreement was signed by Mohiuddin, on behalf of NAPA and the secretary culture, on behalf of the Sindh government on September 23, 2005 whereby NAPA agreed to pay Rs 50,000 per month.

She said that in 2006, NAPA started construction of a theatre/auditorium within the premises of Hindu Gymkhana. Since the building protected under the Cultural Heritage Act 1994, NAPA was required to obtain an NOC from the Advisory Committee for Cultural Heritage. However, it got the NOC from KBCA for the addition alterations to the building.

NAPA in violation of KBCA’s permission and the terms and conditions of agreement started a new construction.

She said on the advice of the law department and in pursuance of clause-8 of the agreement executed between department and NAPA, on September 13, 2008, a three months notice was given to NAPA regarding the termination of the agreement, dated September 23, 2005.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

PTCL shifts numbers from 7 to 8 digits

As per Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s instructions, the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) would shift its fixed line numbering plan from seven to eight digit series. Initially, migration from seven series to eight digit series would take place in Lahore and Karachi with effect from July 01.

The digit “3” will be added to all existing seven-digit numbers of Karachi and Lahore except the numbers starting from “9”.

Digit “9” will be added in all existing numbers starting from “9”.

An important point to remember is that the numbers are being added to existing numbers and not area codes, with the exemption of army exchanges which would remain the same, according to a press statement issued on Wednesday.

The new series plan will run parallel to the old one for a period of three months from July 01 to September 30.

The period from October 01 to December 30 will be covered by announcements which would be made in order to facilitate subscribers/customers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kamal announces to establish ‘Karachi Development Trust’

Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal has announced to establish “Karachi Development Trust” to carry on the process of development and maintenance of infrastructure in Karachi.
The utilization of the fund collected under this trust would be authorized by a five member board comprised of non controversial and non political personalities.
He also suggested the names of (R) Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, former Governor of State Bank Dr. Ishrat Hussain and famous surgeon Dr. Adeeb Rizvi as possible trustees while he himself submitted the form to donate one thousand rupees each month in the account of the Karachi Development Trust. He said that if all account holders in city donate only Rs.5 in this account than we could collect Rs.45million monthly.
Addressing a huge gathering of thousands of employees of City Government Karachi, its subsidiaries and town administration City Nazim announced the establishment of Karachi Development Trust. He said that Karachi earns 70 percent of national revenue but in reply get only two percent on total income and payment of that petty sum too depends on the better financial condition of the country. In such conditions it is hard to continue the process of reconstruction and development in Karachi which is considered back bone of the national economy.
He said that’s why we have now decided that the citizens of Karachi would now themselves contribute to the development of their city and we henceforth we would not ask for any money from the federal or provincial government and the journey of progress would be continued with our own resources.
Kamal said that everyone who lives in Karachi can denote at least 5 rupees monthly or more in the account of this trust. All this money would be deposited in the account of Karachi Development Trust which would be utilized only under the supervision of five non political, non controversial and well known and respected persons of the city. He said that in the first phase a total of 125,000 employees of city government and its subsidiary organizations would donate Rs.5 monthly as voluntary donation in the account of Karachi Development Trust. However they would be free to choose the amount and there would be no bound on them in this regard.
He said that first of all and before going to public for donation I have come to my own tribe and my own people which are employees of City District Govt Karachi for voluntary donation of Rs.5 or more. This petty amount as drops of water could turn into sea tomorrow which would be used in the construction of roads, bridges and flyovers in Karachi and we could also use this money in the mass transit system and supply of electricity to Karachi.
He said that we have now decided that the wheel of progress and development will not be allowed to halt in any circumstances. (NC Report)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Suspected TTP fundraisers arrested in Karachi

KARACHI: Police arrested five suspects on charges of raising money for the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan on Tuesday.

The five were arrested in the Manghopir area of Karachi, and are suspected of carrying out a spate of robberies and kidnappings to raise funds for the group. —DawnNews

Drug smuggling case - Main accused, wife surrender to police

Main accused in drug smuggling to Saudi Arabia case Sarwat Hussain, a sub travel agent, and his wife Shafia surrendered them to police at the Awami Colony police Station, yesterday.
The police had arrested Faraz, son of Sarwat, in the case of smuggling heroin through fraud and deceit using Pakistani Umrah pilgrims, arrested in Saudi Arabia. Police also claimed recovery of 12 grams of heroin from the house of the arrested accused.
It is pertinent to mention that police had registered the FIR no 232/09 under Section 34 and 420 on complaint of one Ahmed, the father of a woman arrested in Saudi Arabia.
Awami Colony police had conducted raid on June 15 at the flat of Sarwat Hussain at Al Mansoor Towers, but could not arrest the accused. Eight Pakistani Umrah pilgrims were arrested earlier this month for carrying four kilograms of heroin concealed in their sandals. They told the police that the sandals and Ahrams were provided by their travel agent, Sarwat Hussain.
Sub Inspector Awami Colony police station Ghulam Raza Soomro said both accused voluntarily surrendered them, adding the son of suspects has already been arrested by Awami Colony police.
When contacted, SSP Investigation Chaudhary Muhammad Aslam said that Investigation police arrested the accused from Korangi no 4, where had been hiding.

Monday, June 22, 2009

T20 celebrations in Karachi - 2 killed, 25 injured

* 10-year-old boy among those killed by aerial firing
* Some of those wounded in critical condition

KARACHI: Two people were killed and 25 injured amid celebrations that started after the Pakistan cricket team defeated Sri Lanka in the ICC World T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Ten-year-old Subhan and 35-year-old Dhani Buksh were killed by aerial firing in Liaquatabad and Gulistan-e-Jauhar areas.

Eleven of those injured were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, nine to Civil Hospital Karachi and the remaining to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Some of the injured are in critical condition. Karachi erupted in celebration after the national cricket team beat Sri Lanka at Lord’s, with people dancing in the streets late into the night – having watched the match on big screens set up in parks and stadiums across the country. As Pakistan scored the winning run with Shahid Afridi at the crease, people danced with joy, lit firecrackers and celebrated by distributing sweets.

“We are proud of our team, as they gave us a rare moment of joy,” said Suleman Siddiqui, who watched the match at a stadium in Karachi. Former captain Ramiz Raja said the win would help lift the gloom besetting the country.

“This is the greatest moment in Pakistan cricket, greater than 1992 because people (are now) in gloom and previously had nothing to cheer about,” said Ramiz, a member of the 1992 team that beat England in the Melbourne final.

“We lost so many people in blasts recently. The military is fighting a war in Swat, but we forgot all the gloom with this cricket win,” Abdullah Khan told a local television channel after the win.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shoaib Siddiqui urges youth to meet the challenge

By Mohammad Nazakat Ali

The Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs to the Government of Sindh, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, made some thought-provoking observations in his concluding remarks in the seminar organized by his department with the collaboration of the Junior Chamber International Pakistan at Regent Plaza Hotel, Karachi, on June 18.

Shoaib Siddiqui, acclaimed as one of the most enterprising government officers, delivered a typically inspirational speech in which he urged the youngsters to make things happen in the available environment instead of waiting for the situation to become ideal for them.

“You have to stand up and deliver in the prevailing circumstances. You can’t play the waiting game. You have grown up. It’s time for you to deliver now,” he observed.

“There are problems everywhere. You can’t get ideal environment anywhere. So the key to success lies in your ability to come good in every situation. Remember every problem presents an opportunity. Have more faith in your abilities and overcome the obstacles coming your way with true grit,” he advised.

“The government on its part is alive to the situation and we are trying our level best to help out the youth of the province by various means. Upon the directives of our Provincial Minister, Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari, we have declared 2009 as the year of youth,” Shoaib Siddiqui recalled.

“Today’s programme is a step in this direction. The department of Youth Affairs, Government of Sindh, had taken the initiative of holding a round table discussion on issues/challenges of the youth with the collaboration of Jaycees,” he pointed out.

The provincial secretary informed the audience regarding the youth development schemes being processed and initiated during the current year. He further described the various concentrated efforts.

The students from different universities and colleges of the province participated in the discussion. The eminent personalities like, Fatima Soriya Bajya, Raees Gaya, Justice Zahid Qurban Alvi, Dr. Majid Ali, Prof. Sehar Ansari, Mashood Rizvi, Heer Soho and Jalaluddin made deliberation at length during the course of discussion to identify the core issues related to youth.

Speaking on the occasion President of JCI Pakistan, Wasif Iqbal talked about the activities of JCI and discussed the opportunities available in JCI for the youth at their chapters at Karachi, Hyderabad, Kotri and Sukkur.

During the long inter-active session the issues discussed in particular were about non-availability of chance to speak out for core issues/matters pertaining to youth, unemployment, lack of education at all level of society, lack of oriented education at every level, lack of role of educational institutions, lack of career counseling, role of government in organizing youth including sports activities at mass level and to have programs to deal the professionals and post graduates at all level, need of unity at the national level, investment on research work, platform for youth to work for betterment for society, improvement of educational syllabus, lacking of placement of competent people at important places and role of media and NGOs in youth development.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Karachi | City ‘off lights’

The entire city plunged into darkness on Wednesday evening as the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) underwent an acute shortfall of around 750 megawatts, reportedly due to the tripping of the National Transmission Line at Jamshoro. KESC Public Relations Director Sadiq Jaffery blamed WAPDA for the breakdown, saying ‘the tripping occurred as heavy transmission lines fell due to gusty winds. KESC has so far restored up to 30 percent of the system. The remaining will be [restored] by midnight,’ Jaffery added. Power had not been restored to Karachi till the filing of this report. (DT Report)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

9 Pakistanis held in Jeddah for heroin smuggling

* Relatives of 7 arrested claim travel agents planted heroin

KARACHI: The Saudi Arabian police have arrested seven people in Jeddah including three couples, who went there to perform Umra and two travel agents, after recovering heroin from their possession. The families of the arrested have appealed to the Pakistani government to play its role to secure the release of their relatives, claiming that they are innocent and that the recovered heroin was in fact planted by the travel agency. As per details, the three separate couples, residents of different parts of Karachi had left the country on June 1 for performing Umra via a travel agency and were arrested at Jeddah airport as the police there recovered heroin from their possessions. The arrested include Mohammad Arif Chohan, his wife Shumaila Arif, residents of the Korangi area, Mohammad Anis, his wife Rabia Anis and his mother Zehra Mosani, residents of the Azizabad area and the third couple Iftikharul Haq and his wife Qamar-un-Nisa while another couple, who were said to be the travel agents, identified as Zubair Waris and his wife Shamim Bano were also held there. Seeking justice, the families of the arrested persons reached Jamia Banoria, SITE Town where they met with Jamia Banoria Administrator Mufti Mohammad Naeem and appealed to him to approach the government. “The victims’ families met me to ask me to approach the government and the law enforcement agencies, so that their relatives could be released, but now I am feeling uncomfortable as our government and the police high ups are not cooperating with me. I tried to contact the government and police officials on various occasions but they did not respond,” Naeem told Daily Times. “The Pakistani government and the police should play their role as even a little negligence and delay by the government can result in a huge tragedy for the arrested persons and their families.”

Naeem said that, Asad who owned the Al-Huda travel agency located at Saima Trade Tower, II Chundrigar Road and his sales and promotions officers Sarwat Hussain and his wife Shafia Khan are the real culprits who cheated the arrested couples. “We have contacted the government of Saudia Arabia but they said that the arrested people would be punished. The only way the couples can be saved from an unjust punishment is to catch the real culprits,” Naeem added. Raees Ahmed, the father of Shumaila, while talking to Daily Times claimed that travel agent Zubair and his wife have confessed to their crime. “The travel agency said that it provides Ahram and slippers to its clients so that its agents in Jeddah can easily identify them on their arrival,” Ahmed said.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Impact of mobile phones on our youth

By Fraz Ahmed Munis

Globalization has many aspects. It contains important discursive aspects in the form of ideologically charged narratives that put before the public a particular agenda of topics for discussion, question to ask and claims to make.

The whole world is accepting and adopting the ways towards the advancement of technology. The youth is playing a vital role in this rapid pace. The strong and mighty cultures are toppling the frail ones.

Unfortunately the countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have strong cultural values, norms and customs that are easily fettered by the western cultural onslaught. Our youth is concentrating on some bad choices.

In this global village, firstly our youth was allured to divert their attention towards the internet. They have changed a lot by the usage of internet. A few of them have inclined for knowledge, information, awareness and exposure but the majority of them appear to have misused the internet.

To some extent, people were done up and vexed with internet but due to the ensconsment of cellular technology all gaps have been bridged for the destruction of youth.

The telecommunication companies in our country have been inclined towards introducing new and attractive packages for youth like Mobilink (ladies first, happy hours), Warid (zem series), Ufone (public demand, prepay life panch ka pandra, u circle) Telenor (talkshawk Aone, djuice) and Zong’s life package.

The question arises why these companies are introducing these packages without the social mobilization to check the mindset of the youth. Are they trying to facilitate the common man or only youth? I think except on very urgent occasions ordinarily no one would like to talk after midnight.

All necessary and normal interactions can be dealt with during daytime but the companies offer the packages that start after end of family or business communication. My feeling is that these packages are more likely to spoil and ravage our youth than to do anything else.

In our youth segment the majority is student community that is spell bounded by these packages. They are losing the essence of their profession/studies. They are derailing and deviating themselves. They are getting away from their goals, destinies and motives. Their minds are becoming stagnant and static. Creativity and innovation is blocked by the consistent telephonic conversations spread over the whole of night.

They are losing their interest towards the interactions and sociality. Alienation is increasing within small community or groups of people. In one room four roommates are strangers to one another. They never try to tie up the relation because they don’t have a pinch of time.

By talking whole night with opposite sex, they are getting psychologically weak and pressured. There are many other physical distortions also arising due to spending the precious time which is needed compulsory rest, relaxation, relief and mental health.

Due to spending whole nights the absenteeism is skyrocketing in every profession. They are going far and far away from the hold of families. They tell lies and have false communication with their parents.

They are betraying the decisions, trust and expectations of their parents. They are traveling towards the lone parent family system in which one is not accountable to anyone and he is the only decision maker. Such kind of behavior is leading towards the social fragmentation and terrible decline of moral values in which respect is core one.

They are crossing the restraints and limitations, very essential for the well integrated society. Due to the bogus projection of the companies their effectiveness and determination is diminishing if we put a furtive glimpse on the chart of protests and rallies conducted against the negative policies, the ratio of youth’ contribution is at minor level and seems vanished because they have engrossed in making affairs and spending their potential and energy to locate the suitable packages.

Their mental approach is revolving around sexual satisfaction. Other emotions and sentiments are pushed oblivion, there are forgetting that there are so many matters that need their kind attention.

They have obsessed devoid of manners and healthy attitude to other requisites and needs. It is obliterating the mental capacity and concentration of the youth like plague.

There is a critical and pathetic state prevailing over the sky of our nation. The whole nation is passing through the chaos, disturbance and mental incapacitation. We are not realizing that what is worth of our youth? That’s why we ourselves are paving the way for our youth towards the devastation and shoving them into fire.

The mobile companies have every right to work out innovative packages offering greater value of money to their customers. But they should not making profits by compromising on the interests of the young generation.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sea is rough in June, bathing be avoided: Chhipa

KARACHI: The Sea is very rough in the month of June and those who visit the beaches should avoid bathing.
This was pointed out by prominent social worker Ramzan Chhipa here yesterday.
A statement said that at a meeting, the Chhipa Sea Unit briefed that the sea is very rough in the month of June and the tide is between three and 3.5 meters high.
Therefore, there are chances of drowning of those who bathe in the sea during this period, it was further stated.
Ramzan asked the volunteers of the Chhipa Ambulance and divers to keep a vigilant eye and prevent people from bathing in the sea. He said that saving the human lives is the priority mission of the Chhipa Welfare.
Ramzan Chhipa also appealed to the people visiting the beaches for recreation to avoid bathing.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Karachi tense over Mufti Naeemi’s killing

KARACHI: Following the assassination of renowned cleric Dr Mufti Sarfraz Naeemi in a suicide attack at the Jamia Naeemia in Lahore on Friday, the situation in Karachi turned nasty as unidentified men started firing in various parts of the city. Despite the ban on pillion riding, the Karachi police being on high alert, snap checking and enhanced police patrolling, police officials were unable to control the situation as unidentified men wreaked havoc in the city, injuring many innocent people.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Grenade attack at police check post at Dalmia: DIG East

KARACHI: A police check post has been attacked with a hand grenade at Dalmia on Friday, DIG East said here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Qadir Magsi joins party’s rally at Fawwarah Chawk

KARACH: Dr. Qadir Magsi, who is the Chairman of Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STP) and General Secretary of Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (PONAM), arrived at Fawwarah Chawk and join the rally of his party.

The workers of his party are currently staging a sit-in protest in front of the Governor House against the arrival of Internally Displaced Persons

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rangers fully alert: DG Rangers

KARACHI: Director General of Rangers Major General Liaquat Ali said Tuesday that the Rangers are fully alert and the secret network is fully functional.

He warned the miscreants against disrupting the peace of the city, adding the Rangers are fully capable to cope with any task the City Government gives them.

Prime Minister to Chair Meeting on law And Order: Karachi

KARACHI: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will chair a meeting today to review the law and order situation in Karachi after incessant incidents of target killing in the metropolis.

The prime minister yesterday took stern notice of the killings in Karachi.

The meeting today, will discuss over the steps to prevent the incidents of target killing. Chief Minister of Sindh and provincial officials will present their reports to Gilani about the law and order.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Nasreen opens Sri Lankan stalls at ‘My Karachi’ exhibition

KARACHI: City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil said yesterday that Karachi is attracting foreign investment due to effective measures taken by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK).
Inaugurating Sri Lanka’s stalls at My Karachi Oasis of Harmony exhibition at the Expo Center, she said that to get more foreign investment, she would continue raising voice against negative elements. Investment in industrial sector in Karachi will boost trading activities, she added.
Sri Lankan Consul General V.S. Sidath Kumar, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Anjum Nisar, Chairman Pak-Sri Lanka Business Forum Majid Aziz and the Secretary General Farukh Mazhar and Director General Trader Development Authority Pakistan Bashir Ahmed also spoke.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bomb Blast In DHA Karachi, MNA Yapoob Bazanjo Injured

KARACHI: MNA Balochistan National Party (Awami) from Balochistan Yaqoob Bazanjo was injured among his four family members and two servants as an explosion occurred in his residence in phase 6 of Defense Housing Authority on Friday.
Edhi and other rescue teams reached the bungalow and shifted the injured to Agha Khan Hospital.

Police have arrived on the scene and cordoned off the area.

According to SSP Ashfaq Aalam, the bomb was apparently packed in a parcel delivered to residence of the MNA.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Income Tax Bar shows serious concern against SRO 392(1)2009

The Income - Tax Bar Association has taken a serious note to the amendments made in Income Tax Rules 2002 vide SRO No. 392(1)/2009 dated 19th May 2009, even though the Bar and other Stakeholders had objected to the amendments.


The following needs to be added, as an explanation, after the formula, in Rule 13[3][a], inter alia, inserted in the Income Tax Rules, 2002, through SRO 392 of 19-05-2009, so as to eliminated misinterpretation.

“Gross Receipts” means the “FOB price” and “Ex-Factory Price”, respectively, of the goods exported and sold in Pakistan.

RULE 186

Amendments have been made to incorporate certain changes for arrest of defaulting tax payers. It is expected that these powers will create harassment and an atmosphere of mistrust between the tax payers and the assessors. The Bar is of the opinion that FBR should frame rules whereby the authority to invoke proceedings for arrest etc., should only be with the Director General of the Region and the DG should carefully study each case, individually before invoking these provisions.

RULE 213

A new rule has been incorporated in the law whereby, all NGO’s paying salaries over 50% of the total receipts of the NGO, will be refused to be registered as a trust entitled for exemption / tax rebate.

It was requested to the FBR that this condition will be very harsh for those NGO’s which are running schools and hospitals, where the salary paid is the heaviest expenditure of the institution. The enactment will not only debar the exemption status of a NGO, but will negate the government policy towards expending the educational and health facilities being provided in Pakistan.

RULE 228

There was a general consensus amongst the members, that this change is regressive and will lead to abuse and misuse by the tax officials as discretionary powers have been given to them. Rule 207 A to Income Tax Rules 1982 (repealed) was introduced to curb and eliminate the misuse of discretionary authority of the property valuation that was available with tax officials.

Alternately, it was suggested to the FBR that the rates notified in the District Officer (Revenue) by the Provincial Government both for plots and constructed immoveable properties be appropriately rationalized / modified and increased.

This suggestion was given to encourage fair play.

The Bar has taken a very serious view of this amendment and is of the opinion that this change will only enhance the level of corruption and will nullify the scheme of self assessment as envisaged by the policy of the government, which is planning to reduce the powers of the assessing authorities and encourage fair play.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

KBCA Chief highlights Authority's one year performance

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, has approved the establishment of KBCA police station and a special court with full powers to take action against violators of Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) and the notification in this regard was awaited from the provincial home department.

This was disclosed by Arch Manzoor Qadir, Chief Controller of Buildings, KBCA, in a media chat at his chamber in the Civic Centre on June 3.

“The individual violators have stretched to groups who over a period of time have developed into a powerful mafia and stern actions are required to overcome the mafia, he pointed out.

The KBCA, he said, remains determined to vigorously enforce relevant laws which need police assistance and which is not available to required extent from police department and, therefore, KBCA need an exclusive police station and KBCA special court for prosecution of violators besides magisterial powers to KBCA officials.

“We moved a summary to the Chief Minister in this regard, having explained that the attainment of our objectives would just remain a dream if we were not provided with the desired facilities", Manzoor Qadir said adding that "we proposed actions in the interest of the security of public investment well as for good governance".

The CCOB said approval of the summary indicates the realization of the fact that the KBCA must be empowered both in legal and physical terms in order to enforce the building laws that are grossly violated by mafia.

By approving the summary, the provincial government has agreed to confer all the powers of a special magistrate on three senior officers (BPS 19) or above of the KBCA who could perform their duties to check unauthorized construction in accordance with approved plan and ensure the enforcement of the court orders of ejection of illegal occupants from the premises constructed illegally.

He informed that provincial government has allowed the establishment of a KBCA Police Station on the patterns of the CDGK and the KESC with all powers exercisable by a Station House Officer under the provisions of the code of Criminal Procedure in respect of offences of the Sindh Building Control Ordinance and other applicable laws.

Similarly approval has also been accorded for the establishment of a KBCA Court for trial of offences or prosecution cases under Section 19 of the Sindh Building Control Ordinance.

It will also have the powers of civil courts to decide the disputes between the purchasers and builders/developers. The special court is proposed to function under the supervision of a District Judge.

The CCOB pointed out that 90 violations of Building bylaws were being committed in justthree Towns of Saddar, Lyari and Liaquatabad and all 32 concerned officials were suspended on the order of Sindh Minister for Local Government for ignoring the violations.

He said these officials have now been restored but not given any posting until all the illegal buildings are demolished which they allowed to be constructed under their very nose and alternatively they will have to go home.

He informed that out of 100 buildings identified as having been constructed illegally, 90 were located in the Towns of Saddar, Lyari and Liaquatabad.

He said illegal construction activities started because of lacking police support to the under-strength KBCA.

In this regard he particularly cited example of two coolies who were thrown on ground from 7th floor of a building in Saddar Town being constructed illegally when they went their for demolition action.

He pointed out that in Lyari Town 17 buildings were demolished but these were reconstructed and KBCA took the matter to High Court and also registered a FIR against the police as they were directed by high Court not to allow a demolished structure to reappear.

He said that out of 100 buildings identified 28 were demolished in Lyari and 11 out of 12 in Saddar Town besides 17 in Liqauatabad Town.

He said while situation has been controlled in Liaquatabad Town, vilations are still being reported from Saddar and Lyari Towns and the situation will come under control there and elsewhere in the city when KBCA Police Station and Special Courts will start functioning.

The CCOB informed that KBCA plan for city skyline has been approved with demarcation of two high density zones - at I.I. Chundrigar road to Mai Kolachi and around Shaheed-e-Millat Road encompassing Shahrah-e-Faisal, Kashmir Road and Shahrah-e-Quaideen.

He said buildings to be constructed in these zones will have their own power generation, water supply and sewerage treatment facilities and their construction will not over-burden existing utilities.

Anyone wishing to undertake a project in high density zone will have to work either in joint venture with City or Provincial Government or bring foreign investment. He said they would be allowed 1:12 ratio whereby minimum 40 floors can be constructed with no upper limit.

He said that it has been suggested that instead of each project to have its own power plant, water treatment and sewerage treatment plants, these facilities would be created for entire area for which Federal Government has been approached for assistance in the form of seed money.

He said the idea was developed by a team of 11 renowned architects led by Yawar Abbas Gilani.

Replying a question, Manzoor Qadir said that the KBCA provided funds of Rs 1.18 billion to the City District Government in one year.

Karachi Region win 12th Sindh Games

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The 12th edition of the Sindh Games concluded with a colourful ceremony at the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Sports Complex in Larkana on May 31 with the Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah declaring the Games closed.

He paid rich tributes to the Provincial Sports Minister, Dr Syed Mohammad Ali Shah, to have dared holding the Games in the month of May, that’s generally considered hot from the sports point of view.

“We have known that the outdoor sports events in our country are staged in the season of winter or spring. But Dr Shah deserves credit to have given us the concept that the Games could also be held successfully in summer. The success of the 12th Sindh Games proved the point that every season is suited to sports if the events are managed professionally,” he observed.

The Chief Minister, while congratulating Karachi Region for clinching the trophy once more, urged the athletes of the other four regions to continue working hard for improving their performance in the future events.

He presented the winners trophy to Dr Frahan Essa Abdullah, chef de mission of the Karachi Region who was then carried on shoulders by the elated members of the victorious contingent.
Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced that the next edition of the Sindh Games will be staged in Karachi. He announced a grant of Rupees five million for the sports department for holding the 12th Sindh Games in a splendid manner.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shah observed that his mission was to spread the flame of sports in every nook and corner of the province and he needed the support of the provincial government in fulfilling his ambition.

“I was advised by certain quarters to postpone the 12th Sindh Games or move it to any other venue in view of the weather conditions here. But it was my commitment to the people of Larkana to hold the Games here and we were able to organize it successfully despite all odds being stacked against us,” he said.

Dr Shah believed that the interior regions of the province deserved greater attention as they lacked the infrastructure facilities that didn’t allow their athletes to progress beyond a certain level.

The Provincial Minister for Local Government, Agha Siraj Durrani, who himself holds a black belt in karate, was highly appreciative of the efforts of Dr Shah and his team for having braved the hot weather and organized the Sindh Games so successfully in Larkana.

Ahmed Ali Rajput, Secretary, Sindh Olympic Association (SOA), in his speech, highlighted the various challenges that had to be met in holding the Games.

The welcome address was delivered by Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Sindh, in which he acknowledged the support of the concerned quarters in accomplishing the task of holding the Sindh Games.

“According to the directives of the government we are working tirelessly to develop sports culture in the province. It’s our desire to engage the youth in healthy activities with sports being on top in the list of our priorities,” Shoaib Siddiqui said.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

'KESC increasing generation capacity'

KARACHI: The KESC will increase generation capacity by 150MW in June, and a further 180MW in September this year, the utility's CEO has told top government officials.

Briefing Sindh Governor Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan and various MQM leaders at the Governor's House on Saturday, KESC CEO Naveed Ismail also claimed that the utility's 'dependable capacity' had increased by 131MW, and that a 50MW rental power project had been commissioned in March 2009.

He said that adding all of the increases together, a total of 481MW of additional power would be available soon.

In addition, he claimed that the 560MW planned power plant at Bin Qasim would also considerably increase generation capacity. He said that in this respect a $56 million down payment had been made to a Chinese company, and the project was being fast-tracked.

Federal Adviser on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain agreed in the meeting promised that the KESC would be provided more relief in making payments to the Pakistan State Oil for the purchase of furnace oil. The power utility will accordingly be allowed to clear the PSO dues in three months instead of one month.

Sindh Governor Dr IshratUl Ebad Khan, who presided over the meeting, expressed hope that the special committee would successfully address the financial and investment issues related to the power utility and advised its management to devise an emergency summer plan for the city.

Besides KESC CEO Naveed Ismail and Federal Adviser on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain, the meeting was attended by federal ministers Dr Farooq Sattar and Babar Ghori, Sindh Health Minister Dr Saghir Ahmad, City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal and MQM members of the national and provincial assemblies.

Mr Ismail also talked about the investment plans and assured them that in the light of the concerns showed by the elected representatives the utility would make all-out efforts to improve the power supply position.

A committee comprising MQM legislatures and KESC officials was constituted in order to address the issues of power outages, inflated bills and fast meters

Monday, June 1, 2009

Poster competition organised by Foundation for a Drug Free World in Karachi

KARACHI: Foundation for a Drug Free World organized citation ceremony for the first international poster competition in a local hotel. More than 400 institutions from all over Pakistan participated in it. Prizes and certificates were distributed among the winners by Pakistan Coordinator, Munir Moosa Sewani. Name of the winners are Deedar Karim from Aga khan social welfare board for frontier, Sunita, Fouzia Khan from Educare Academy, Hameed Dadali from City School, Kanwar Karim from Qamar-r-Bani Hashim School.

The team members include Sabeen Akhtar Hussain, Saleema Moosa Sewani and Hamida Ashiq Ali. Pakistan Coordinator Munir Moosa and Media cum Marketing Manager Sabeen Akhtar Hussain expresses views that Media is the most powerful tool to eradicate drug from Pakistan.(PR)

IDPs inflame ethnic strife in Karachi

* Pashtun influx is provoking resentment among Muhajirs and Sindhis

The refugee influx has inflamed ethnic rivalries in Karachi, the Wall Street Journal warns.

Dozens of people, it says have died in clashes in recent weeks between the rapidly growing Pashtun population and Karachi’s majority community. Armed factions backing the two are locked in a bloody contest to control the city of 18 million people.

This strife adds a new dimension to the security crisis that threatens the survival of the Zardari government.

The Urdu-speaking Muhajirs, are themselves refugees having fled India following the Subcontinent’s partition in 1947. Hundreds of thousands of Pashtun war refugees have joined established communities of earlier economic migrants.

Despite their occasional street battles, the two groups are formal allies in Zardari’s coalition government.

The MQM bills its conflict with the ANP as part of an overdue offensive against the Taliban. “The Taliban in Karachi are clean-shaven, wearing a shirt and pants, and holding an ANP flag,” says the MQM mayor. MQM leaders have called for screening the refugees for Taliban sympathisers.

The Pashtun influx also is provoking resentment among ethnic Sindhis. This week, Sindhi nationalist parties staged protest strikes in Karachi, shutting down parts of the city as they called for a ban on new refugees.

Karachi’s Pashtun leaders laugh off the accusations of Taliban sympathies. Muhammad Amin Khattak, ANP’s provincial secretary-general, notes that he hasn’t been to a mosque for months. “The people who are coming into Karachi, they are the ones who are suffering [at the hand of] the Taliban.”