Dr Imran Farooq murder: London police arrest 2 suspects

 London police commisioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has confirmed that two alleged killers of MQM’s leader Dr Imran Farooq were arrested in Karachi.

The Police Commissioner has been quoted by a London-based newspaper stating that the killers would not be allowed to roam freely on the streets of London.

He also said that London Police is working with Pakistan in Dr Imran Farooq’s murder case.

Imran Farooq, who was a prominent MQM leader, was killed last year on September 16, outside his residence in London.

The two suspects were reportedly arrested from the Karachi Airport at least two months ago but Pakistani police never confirmed their arrest.

The arrest of the suspects has finally been confirmed by the British police today.

In August this year, the MQM had urged the media to refrain from spreading “unfounded speculations” about arrests made in Dr Imran Farooq’s murder case.

A statement issued by MQM’s coordination committee said that news reports on two people being arrested at the Karachi airport were “devoid of truth, baseless and concocted.”

The committee said that the purpose behind these “fabricated and malicious” reports was nothing but to “tarnish the image of the MQM and damage its reputation.”


Dr Farooq, one of the founding members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and its forerunner the All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organisation (APMSO) was born in June 14, 1960.

The veteran MQM leader held several posts in the MQM, serving as its first secretary-general and convener, besides being elected to the National Assembly and the party’s parliamentary leader in 1988 and 1990. He was regarded as one of the party’s main ideologues, responsible for the political education of its supporters. After the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government launched a crackdown on MQM in 1992, Dr Farooq, like other party leaders, went into hiding. Later, he escaped to England in 1999, claiming political asylum there. He got married in 2004. Dr Farooq, 50, is believed to have been attacked on his way home in Green Lane, Edgware.

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Faryal Talpur-owned Indus Air to replace PIA

There is not a single day without any news about Pakistan International Airline, but not for any good reason rather all about its ailing financial health, poor performance, flights delay, emergency landings and etc.

But there are some latest and stunning revelations that the ailing national flag carrier is being pushed to dead-end deliberately just to pave the way for a new private airline reportedly owned by a close relative of the President House’s inhabitant.

Though the state-owned airline’s financial health was not good before the incumbent dispensation, but during the tenure of this government it moved from bad to worst despite the repeated and consistent calls from all the quarter for restructuring and overhauling of the airline to restore its past glory.

As the airline is fast nearing toward collapse, there are startling reports that a private airline reportedly owned by a close relative of holder of top constitutional office of the country is being launched, which will replace the national flag carrier.

Reliable sources in the airline industry told that the national flag carrier was being deliberately pushed toward collapse so that the way could be paved for the new airline.

They claimed the new airline, Indus Air, is owned by Faryal Talpur MNA, sister of President Asif Ali Zardari, They further said that the news of PIA planes’ crash landings, technical faults and flights delays were being propagated purposefully on daily basis and despite repeated call no step had been taken for complete overhaul of the airline so that the PIA could be declared bankrupt and unfeasible entity.

Despite repeated attempts we cold not reached out to Faryal Talpur for her version about the issue.

The Indus Air reportedly owned by Mrs Faryal Talpur is a company registered in Bahamas and will become operative very soon, they sources confided to The News Tribe.

The sources said that the airline will be run by former Managing Director PIA Ijaz Haroon, who was removed as MD PIA after prolong strike and protest by PIA employees and pilots.

The website of the Indus Air says that the airline will be launched soon. According to the site, which displays the routes of the airline through map, the airline will run its flights to almost all domestic stations in Pakistan to which the PIA currently operates flights. The airline will operative flight on almost all domestic routes, besides major international routes.

Interesting, the domestic routes of the airline include those on which no private airline currently runs flight and as per PIA management, these routes are financially unviable such as flight from Peshawar to Chitral and Rawalpindi to Gilgit and Skardu.

According to an earlier news report carried out that, Pakistan International Airline (PIA)Managing Director Nadeem Yousufzai had said that the management of the airline was trying to overcome $130 million losses currently the airline was faced with.

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Imran vows to field 1,000 candidates in next elections







Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he would field 1,000 candidates across the country in the next general elections.

Imran was speaking at a press conference called to announce Dr Allama Iqbal’s grandson Waleed Iqbal’s decision to join the PTI, nine days after Imran held a rousing public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan.

The press conference was held at Justice Javed Iqbal’s residence to mark the induction of Waleed into the PTI. Allama Iqbal and his son Justice Javed Iqbal had been a part of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) but Waleed Iqbal joined the PTI, saying that PML has broken into many parts and lost its utility.

Announcing the decision, Waleed said it was the first time that he has joined any political party. Waleed’s mother Justice Nasira Iqbal told Pakistan Today that she hoped Waleed’s decision proves better for him and the entire nation.

“Youth is inclined towards PTI due to its strong message for change. Imran is a hero of the nation, who had brought good name by winning the cricket world cup,” she added. “PML which launched the Pakistan Movement is now divided into many parts.

These parts are working with different names and now youth is fed up all of them. PTI is talking about change and the youth wants to be a stakeholder in this wave of change,” she added. Imran Khan hailed Waleed’s decision and hoped to see new faces joining his party, who were sincere and hardworking.

He said that time would prove Waleed’s decision right, adding that he would field 1,000 candidates in the next general elections, and they would be political heavyweights. Imran said that every person has to disclose all of his assets before joining PTI, adding that Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari would never disclose their assets.

Qureshi finally decides to join PTI:Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has taken a principle decision to join the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), reported on Wednesday. Citing sources, the private TV channel said the former foreign minister would resign from his National Assembly seat before formally joining the PTI. Qureshi will announce his decision during a rally in Kashmore on November 27.

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Gearing up: Imran calls his party bigwigs to discuss alliances, strategy

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has called a crucial party meeting on November 13 to review its anti-government and anti-Nawaz Sharif campaign and to discuss forging alliances with like-minded groups and parties for the next general election.

The party will announce its new strategy during a meeting of the central executive committee (CEC), said PTI central information secretary Umar Cheema.

“It’s time for PTI to make new alliances with pure political parties, to pile up pressure against its opponents,” Cheema said .

His party, he said, will also ask the Election Commission to register 40 million young people who have recently received their computerised national identity cards but whose names have not been registered in the draft electoral list so far.

PTI chief Imran Khan, who has been claiming that scores of key political figures are all set to join him in the coming weeks, said his party plans to field a thousand candidates in the upcoming elections. “All our candidates will disclose their real assets before representing the party,” Imran said in a recent statement.

The party’s CEC will also nominate members to visit southern Punjab for meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Q (like-minded) leaders who have expressed a desire to work with PTI, after its popular Lahore rally. The team will most probably be headed by former governor Punjab Mian Azhar, who is purportedly trying to win over some PML-N legislators, unhappy with their leadership in Punjab.

The committee will also nominate a team to work under PTI Sindh president Naeemul Haq to organise rallies in the province next month.  The party’s 10-point “Sindh Sukkar” (Prosperous Sindh) agenda will also be a part of the CEC meeting.

The party is going to test the waters in the province by taking out a series of rallies, Haq told .

The CEC will also nominate members of parliamentary board which will scrutinise names of politicians who have recently expressed intentions to join the PTI, the party’s general secretary Dr Arif Alvi said. “There is no place in our party for those who have been involved in corruption.”

The committee will adopt a mechanism for awarding tickets to the candidates in the upcoming elections, said Cheema, adding that Allama Iqbal’s grandson Waleed Iqbal joined PTI two days ago.

Imran, who will chair the CEC meeting, will also decide on a possible political venture with Jahangir Tareen’s Clean Party

Tareen, claiming support of over a dozen former ministers, indicated last Sunday that he is ready to form a political venture with the PTI to pile up pressure against the incumbent government.

The Clean Party will also hold a meeting to chalk out its strategy on November 14, said former federal minister Ishaq Khan Khakwani.

“Various dissident politicians across party lines, especially from the PML-Q, have been invited to attend the meeting,” Khakwani.

The formal announcement of party office bearers, members of its CEC and prospective political ventures with other parties are expected to be decided at this meeting, he added.

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Fresh war of words between Wasan and Mirza

A fresh and ferocious war of words has broken out between Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan and his predecessor Zulfikar Mirza, laying bare the internecine warfare in the Pakistan People’s Party.

Normally jovial and rather soft-spoken, Wasan accused Mirza on Wednesday of indulging in extortion and said he had evidence to prove the charge. He also named a couple of people who, according to him, acted as front-men for Mirza.

Wasan alleged that  Mirza was involved in kidnapping for ransom and that the former minister would not escape the law because an inquiry into extortion and encroachment of land in Karachi had already been ordered.

“Mirza used to receive Rs6 million as extortion money alone in Karachi’s Ghas Mandi,” Wasan alleged at a press conference at the Wasan House in Khairpur.

On his part, Mirza claimed that  Wasan had become quite resourceful in his capacity as home minister, adding that he could not understand why Wasan had so far not been able to arrest him for the crimes he was supposed to have committed.

“If I used to get Rs6 million then Wasan certainly must be receiving Rs12 million.”

He said he would launch a campaign against corrupt ministers, ensuring that they did not reach assemblies again.

On Monday,  Mirza had alleged that “Agha Siraj Durrani, Manzoor Wasan, Pir Mazharul Haq and Zahid Bhurgary” were all corrupt.

And while Mirza once described Wasan as an “uneducated fool”, the latter said he had could defeat the former in elections in his home constituency of Badin.

Siraj Durrani said he and Mirza had been friends for 40 years, but he (Mirza) should not try to become Saifur Rehman (chairman of the Ehtesab Bureau in the last PML-N government). He said if  Mirza had any proof or allegations he should go to court to prove these.

He added that  Mirza should contest election against any PPP worker and then he would find out where he stood.

Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said,  Mirza was not active in the PPP from 1983 to 1988.

Mirza and his wife were given party tickets and he was made home minister because of his friendship with President Zardari, he added.

Speaking at a press conference at Circuit House on Wednesday, he alleged that  Mirza had set up sugar mills through corruption.

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 Pakistan drew their test match agaisnt Sri Lanka in Sharjah to win the three match test series 1-0 after Pakistani batsmen finishing the last day on 87 for four.

Needing 255 to win after Sri Lanka had declared for 181 for six, Pakistan did get off to the flying start that would have enabled them to assail the target. Mohammad Hafeez was sent back to the pavilion after a direct hit Lahiru Thirimanne found him short of the crease.

That signalled a change in the approach of Pakistani batsmen with Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali shutting up shop, trying to get Pakistan safely through the match without any further incidents.

However Sri Lankan bowlers Herath who got Ali and subsequent batsman Younus Khan, getting them leg-before-wicket and caught at mid-on respectively.

Umar along with in-coming batsman and captain, Misbahul Haq closed up for the next 15 overs. However, Pakistan gave themselves cause to worry when the seemingly stoic Umar played a short delivery from Suraj Randiv straight to Kumar Sangakkara at point.

Pakistan though manage to see the rest of the day out without further loss, closing the innings at 87 for four and winning the three match series.

Earlier Sri Lanka had set Pakistan a target of 255 runs to win the third and final Test after they declared their second innings at 181-6 on the fifth and final day at Sharjah stadium here on Monday.

No play was possible in the pre-lunch session due to rain. Sri Lanka batted for 3.2 overs after resuming the day at 164-5.

Pakistan were needed to get the target in 61 overs.

Pakistan lead the three-Test series 1-0 on account of winning the second Test by nine wickets in Dubai. The first Test in Abu Dhabi ended in a draw.

Rain delays Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test

The start of the fifth day’s play in the third and final test in Sharjah between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was delayed due to rain on Monday.

Sri Lanka, who are trailing Pakistan 1-0 in the three-test series, were 164 for five wickets in their second innings for an overall lead of 237 runs at the close of the fourth day.

Pakistan, who won the second match of the series by nine wickets, are playing “home” tests in the Gulf region due to security concerns in their own country.

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Presidential order on LG system: Status quo until talks with MQM complete

In what appears to be an attempt to avoid another round of intra-coalition acrimony, President Asif Ali Zardari has asked the leadership of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in Sindh not to make any decisions on the local government system in the province without getting the consent of the party’s coalition partners.

In particular, the president has asked the PPP’s provincial leadership not to present any bill in the Sindh Assembly before the consultation process within the coalition had been completed. The president’s directive appeared to be aimed at retaining the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s support for the ruling coalition.

The MQM had left the government earlier this year on account of its differences with the PPP over the system of government to be adopted at the local level in Sindh. The MQM favours a system run by elected officials whereas the PPP favours one dominated by federally-appointed civil servants. The rift between the PPP and the MQM had led to a sharpening of tensions in Sindh, particularly in Karachi, which saw at least 400 people killed in a summer of violence. Since then, however, the two parties have reconciled. The MQM went so far as to hold a rally in its political stronghold of Karachi in order to protest the strong language used by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif (of the PPP’s rival Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz) against the president.

President Zardari appears keen to return the favour. Sources said that the president went so far as to say that the actual text of any bill to be presented in must be cleared with the coalition partners before being presented in the assembly.

However, the president’s request may be difficult to accommodate. Under the previous compromise between the two parties, administrators had been appointed in districts across Sindh in preparation for local elections under the 2001 system (favoured by MQM). However, that ordinance had only been issued for 90 days, which lapsed on November 4, with the result that nobody seems to know what system of government Sindh is following.

Sindh government is keen to settle the issue as soon as possible after Eid holidays and may end up temporarily reinstating the 1979 system (favoured by the PPP) until a compromise with the MQM is reached. The MQM, however, has said in no uncertain terms that the 1979 system is not acceptable to it, even for an interim period.

As a result of the MQM’s ultimatum, and the president’s intervention, the PPP in Sindh has not yet issued any orders on the system of local government. The president has asked the Sindh government to continue with the half-way house interim administrators system until an agreement is reached.

Sources said that the talks between the MQM and the PPP – the fourth such round of negotiations – will begin on November 11 (Friday), after Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah returns from Hajj.

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The rally was over a week ago but the dividends have only started to materialise. With manifestly popular support under its belt, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has set out to reap the political windfall from its October 30 gathering.

A PTI delegation will visit southern Punjab after Eid and hold talks with serving national and provincial assembly members and seasoned politicians regarding their induction into the party, PTI Punjab chapter President Ahsan Rashid told.

Rashid, who will lead the delegation, said he would finalise talks with MNAs from various political parties. Among those who have expressed their desire to join forces with the party, or are willing to hold talks, are PML-Q MNA Raza Hayat Hiraj, five times MNA from Bahawalpur Makhdoom Ahmad Alam Anwar and PML-Q MPA Ata Muhammad Maneka. Rashid said he would meet all three in his upcoming trip to the region and finalise negotiations.

He added that he has a hectic schedule and would be negotiating with PML legislators as well, but refused to disclose their identities.

Maneka and the unification bloc

While neither Maneka nor Hiraj responded to this correspondent’s calls, sources say Maneka’s case is sketchy.

A close friend of former governor Mian Azhar, who recently joined the PTI, Maneka was a senior leader of PML-Q’s dissident faction, the Unification Bloc, in the Punjab Assembly and openly supported the PML-N government in the province. Differences, however, developed between Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Maneka over granting development funds for his constituency, sources say.

But if the PML-N gives him guaranteed tickets, a National Assembly seat for himself and a provincial assembly seat for his son, he might review his decision of joining the PTI, sources add.

Alliance with Tareen’s ‘Clean Party’

The PTI is not the only new kid on the bloc. PML-Functional MNAJahangir Tareen’s “clean party,” announced six months ago, is also stepping up on the political front, albeit with much less fanfare than Imran Khan’s PTI.

Sources say Tareen contacted Imran on Sunday and assured his ‘full support’ to make room for both parties in the upcoming general elections.

“We will go for a joint political venture with PTI,” senior leader Ishaq Khakwani .

Stressing that clean party leaders will not “join” the PTI, Khakwani said the two parties could forge an alliance due to similarities in their objectives.

While there was no concrete decision on a formal alliance, PTI’s Information Secretary Umer Cheema said his party “welcomes all clean politicians, including Jahangir Tareen.” PTI’s spokesperson also confirmed Tareen’s links with the PTI and said he hoped to meet him during his visit to the region.

Some political analysts, however, dismiss Tareen’s initiative and say he’s an industrialist, not a politician.

An analyst from Bahawalpur said that Tareen is “the only member of his party.” Alleging that Tareen has “always won the seat with the support of his brother-in-law PML-F MPA Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood,” the analyst said he could “only join the PTI.”

PML-N senior leadership, however, has good relations with Mehmood, and he is likely to contest his next election on their ticket, well-placed sources told .

Meanwhile, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while talking he ruled out joining Tareen’s party but said he has not yet decided between the PTI and the PML-N. PML-Q MPA Sardar Mohsin Khan Leghari also said he was not joining Tareen’s party.

On the other hand, PML-Q’s like-minded faction, headed by Hamid Nasir Chattha and Khursheed Kasuri has expressed desire to form an alliance with the PTI.

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People want to know who killed BB: Mirza

Former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza has described as wishful thinking the provincial government’s move to introduce a new local bodies system after Eid.

Addressing his supporters at Nasim Nagar Chowk on Sunday, he said: “We will not accept another system or drama after Eidul Azha if the government is planning something to this effect.”

He said he was pursing a one-point agenda of crushing the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and saving Sindh and he was ready to offer any sacrifice for the province`s honour.

Dr Mirza said people wanted to know who had killed former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and who had been responsible for her security. He accused PPP`s ministers and parliamentarians of bargaining over the blood of Ms Bhutto.

“The People`s Party was able to form the government because of her sacrifice and Qaim Ali Shah became Chief Minister, Manzoor Wasan and Agha Siraj Durrani, who grows by inches every day, also owe their posts to her.”

Mr Mirza even did not spare provincial Minister Pir Mazharul Haq, a relative of his. “Pir Mazhar used to get `chanda` from Benazir Bhutto while he was in self-exile and also got a job for his wife.” He said: “They should at least speak the truth now.”

Dr Mirza said that all those who were bargaining over the blood of Benazir should be condemned.

He also criticised the MQM. “My dearest friend (Asif Zardari), times have changed and you still appease Altaf Hussain more than myself. Yes my political father, I am more than a madman if it comes to saving the honour of my friends and colleagues.”

He said that of about 350,000 arms licences issued by his ministry, 50,000 had been given to Minister Zahid Bhurgari. “But he perhaps sold these licences. I took licences even after I quit the ministry and I will even get a bomb if the need arises,” he said.

He said he could sacrifice 10,000 people for the sake of Sindh`s honour. He made it clear he spoke against the MQM and not against the Urdu-speaking people.

“Urdu-speaking people are educated and most civilised but they are more oppressed than any other community in the country because they have been made hostage by the MQM,” he said.

“They have taught us so many things and we admit it because they are followers of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Liaquat Ali Khan,” he said.

Dr Mirza said that when he talked about emancipation of people, they included the Urdu-speaking community.

He said it was time to save people`s honour and follow the path of `Hussainiyat`, while those siding with the MQM were siding with `Yazeedi` forces.

“The MQM is a snake that needs to be crushed,” he said.

Activists of the PPP and People`s Youth Organisation held a demonstration against Dr Mirza outside the press club when he was addressing a news conference there.

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Nation celebrate Eidul Azha

 Eidul Azha is being celebrated across the country with religious zeal and fervour. After Eid prayers, the faithful are sacrificing camels, cows, goats, rams and sheep to revive the Sunnah of Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim (AS).

The process will continue on three days of the Eid festivities. People prayed to Allah Almighty in mosques and Eidgahs for the solidarity, prosperity and integrity of Pakistan and the liberation of all occupied Muslim territories, including held Jammu and Kashmir.

Scholars from different schools of thought delivered special sermons to highlight the significance of the day and the purpose of the sacrifice rendered by Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) centuries ago.

In federal capital, the biggest Eid congregation was held at Shah Faisal Mosque. A large number of people have gone to their hometowns from main cities to mark the day with their beloved ones.

In Karachi, the biggest congregation was held at Nishter Park and in Lahore, the mass congregation held at the historic Badshahi Mosque where more than 100,000 people offered Eid prayer.

The city district governments have finalised comprehensive cleanliness plans for Eid-ul-Azha to get rid of entrails and offal of animals.

Special instructions have been given to the staff of Solid Waste Management to continue patrolling roads and streets to lift the waste and keep the atmosphere clean.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani emphasised the spirit of sacrifice on the occasion of Eidul Azha and urged that religious tolerance be practiced.

The president called upon people to adopt values of sacrifice, brotherhood, kindness and charity to create a tolerant society.  We should wage a jihad (struggle) against poverty, deprivation and unemployment,” he added.

President Zardari emphasised that nations pass through “difficult times” and the country now faces the task of rehabilitation of flood-affected people, protection from contagious diseases, and eliminating terrorism. “To overcome these challenges, we need values of sacrifice, brotherhood, fraternity, kindness, tolerance, peace, charity and love more than ever,” he stressed.

He urged the Muslims to do away with regional prejudices and religious intolerance.

Prime Minister Gilani urged people to keep in mind, during their Eid celebrations, the problems of those who had been affected by floods and terrorism. The prime minister said the philosophy of this Eid was to understand the importance of sacrifice and look after the welfare of society.

“On this auspicious occasion, we should not forget the families affected by terrorism and countrymen affected by floods in Sindh and we have to share our happiness with them by helping them out in their hour of need,” he added.

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