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Updated: 17 hours 39 min ago

Russian opposition leader Nemtsov shot dead near Kremlin

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 20:39

MOSCOW: Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, a fierce critic of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, was shot dead near the Kremlin in central Moscow late on Friday, just two days before he was supposed to lead a major rally against the war in Ukraine, investigators and police said.

“In central Moscow, a man with documents in the name of Boris Yefimovich Nemtsov was killed,” an interior ministry spokesperson told AFP early Saturday, declining to give further details.

Russia’s Investigative Committee confirmed the  death, saying it had opened a criminal probe.

“According to preliminary information, an unidentified person shot at Boris Nemtsov no fewer than 7-8 times from a car as he was walking along the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge,” investigators said in a statement.

Medics lift the body of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov on Moskvoretsky bridge near St. Basil cathedral in central Moscow. PHOTO: AFP


The committee, which reports directly to Putin, said that “experienced” investigators had been put on the case.

Nemtsov launched his political career as the governor of Nizhny Novgorod region in central Russia and rose to became a vice prime minister in the late 1990s under the presidency of Boris Yeltsin.

After leaving parliament in 2003, he helped establish and led several opposition parties and groups.

Nemtov’s murder comes ahead of a major opposition rally scheduled to take place on March 1.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

World Cup: Australia win toss, elect to bat against New Zealand

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 20:20

AUCKLAND: Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss and decided to bat in the World Cup Pool A game against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday.

New Zealand, who have won all their three games, kept the same side which has featured from the start of the tournament.

Australia, whose second game against Bangladesh was washed out in Brisbane last weekend, brought in fit-again skipper Michael Clarke for George Bailey and fast bowler Pat Cummins for Josh Hazlewood from the line-up which beat England in the opening game two weeks ago.


New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Luke Ronchi (wkt), Ross Taylor

Australia+: Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wkt), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins

Umpires: Marais Erasmus (RSA) and Richard Illingworth (ENG)

Tv umpire: Sundaram Ravi (IND)

Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)

Weather: Mostly sunny and humid; 27 degrees

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Walkout from house: Senators take up cudgels over corridor route

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 19:38

ISLAMABAD: Opposition members staged a walkout from the upper house of parliament on Friday after senators from Khyber-Pakthtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan voiced concern over the alleged route diversion of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Already, some of them have taken up cudgels with the government over the perceived route changes and even threatened to turn the project into “another Kalabagh dam” — alluding to the controversial but perpetually shelved project — if the original route is changed.

At the end of the question and answer session in the first sitting, Senator Zahid Khan of the Awami National Party pointed out that despite strong reservations of the people of Balochistan and K-P, the federal cabinet decided to go ahead with the improvised route of the economic corridor rather than constructing the route as per the original plan from K-P to Balochistan.

“This is an injustice with the other provinces… changing the route blocking any economic and business opportunities that backward areas of these two under-developed provinces would have their way,” he said.

“We have already conveyed our reservations to the government and today we are again walking out,” said the ANP senator who stormed out of the house in protest. He was followed by other senators from opposition parties.

Subsequently, Senate Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari adjourned the house till Monday without bringing the protesting senators back to the house.

Earlier, Senator Haji Ghulam Ali drew attention to the plight of the people of Chitral, many of whom are stranded following the snowfall-triggered blockade of Lowari Top. Heavy snowfall has cut off the entire district from the rest of the country.

Paying homage to Bhagwandas

The Senate earlier paid tribute to former Supreme Court judge Justice Rana Bhagwandas for his outstanding services to the country and its judicial system. The former chief justice died on February 23.

The Senate chairman recalled the valued services of Bhagwandas for strengthening of the country’s judiciary and judicial system.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed added that Bhagwandas has rendered significant efforts for upholding the honour of judiciary. The house also observed one-minute’s silence in honour of the late SC judge.

Earlier, the Senate was informed by Shaikh Aftab Ahmad that 181,743,000 ballot papers were printed for the May 2013 elections.

Some  109,158,600 ballot papers were printed from M/s Printing Corporation of Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi Presses and 72,584,400 from Pakistan Security Printing Corporation (Pvt) Ltd Karachi.

The state minister pointed out that no contract had been awarded to any private printing press .

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

In February: Eight children fall prey to measles in Pishin

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 18:37

At least eight children lost their lives to a preventable disease, measles, in February alone in a remote district of Balochistan, raising the fatality count to 21 during the last 14 months.

Chairman Union Council Barshor Pishin district Abdul Wali Kakar confirmed the casualties. However, Director General Health Balochistan Farooq Azam said only six children had died in the beginning of February in Pishin district. “The affected area has been vaccinated after the outbreak of measles,” he told The Express Tribune.

While responding to a question as to why anti-measles campaign has not been launched in Balochistan like other provinces, the director general health said the chief minister has allocated the funds now. “The mass campaign would be launched at the beginning of March to vaccinate around three million children across Balochistan,” he said.

At least 21 children have so far died from measles during the year of 2014-15, he noted.

Abdul Wali Kakar said dozens of children were affected after the outbreak of measles. “There has been no anti-measles campaign for the last two years,” he said, adding “the negligence led to more deaths of innocent children.”

He said seven children had died in Union Council Khilji while one in Union Council Barshor of Pishin district. These two union councils are in remote areas of the province where healthcare facilities are hardly available to the local people, he added.

“There are several villages where children are still suffering from measles,” Abdul Wali said, adding, “vaccines are in short supply in many villages”.

More than 25 children have so far died after contracting the measles during the past 15 months. These fatalities were reported in northern areas, Nasirabad, Lesbela and other districts.

Sources claim that the deaths of children from measles are not being properly reported in the media because media persons are hardly accessible in remote areas while officials tend to cover up such reports.

Polio vaccinators go unpaid in Balochistan

Though the anti-polio vaccinators are risking their lives during the campaign in some parts of Quetta, they are hardly ever paid their wages on time. The vaccinators, for instance, were not paid for the latest four rounds of anti-polio campaigns in Quetta.

Each vaccinator is paid Rs600, a mere five dollars, per day during the anti-polio campaign.

The delay in releasing their wages – Rs350 from the health department and Rs250 from World Health Organisation (WHO), is adding to the woes of vaccinators who are already exposed to a very dangerous environment.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Additional Secretary Health Abdullah Khan said the money has been released by finance department of Balochistan. “The payment would be made soon,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Nap implementation: 40 terrorists killed in Balochistan, says home minister

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 18:33

At least 40 terrorists and criminals have been killed in raids across Balochistan since December 16, 2014, according to the provincial security czar. “Around 2,500 suspects have also been detained during this period,” Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told The Express Tribune.

According to the Home and Tribal Affairs Department, security forces and law-enforcing agencies have conducted 200 search operations in different parts of the province since the government announced the National Action Plan (NAP) which was prompted by the December 16 deadly rampage at the Army Public School in Peshawar.

Responding to a question, Durrani said the dead criminals included religious extremists, armed robbers and absconders, etc. “They were not only Taliban militants, they also included those who were involved in armed robberies, highway hold-ups and other criminal activities.”

The home secretary said PM Nawaz Sharif has also praised the provincial government for effectively implementing
the NAP.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

PML-N committee: Maryam Nawaz to head G-B polls campaign body

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 18:29

GILGIT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has entrusted his daughter to head a powerful committee of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) constituted to supervise election campaign for Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) assembly.

“Maryam Nawaz will head the 16-member committee comprising party’s central leadership,” a PML-N spokesman said on Friday.

The formation of the committee comes days after PML-N appointed Kashmir and G-B Affairs Minister Barjees Tahir governor of G-B, triggering criticism in the region.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved the names on the committee that will visit G-B constituencies where elections have been scheduled for May.

The committee members will take full part in the election campaign which will be formally launched on March 19, said the spokesman.

The members of the committee include Saad Rafiq, Hamza Shahbaz, Marvi Memon, Balighur Rahman, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Abid Sher Ali, Hanif Abbasi, Tahir Iqbal, Sajid Mir, Riaz Pirzada, and Murtaza Javed Abbasi among others.

“The members will visit parts of the G-B as part of election campaign and also submit a report based on public feedback to Nawaz Sharif for making improvements in the G-B governance order,”  said the spokesman.

According to PML-N, various observers and media representatives will also be invited to accompany the members in their visit to G-B to ensure transparency in the upcoming polls.

President of G-B chapter of PML-N, Hafeezur Rahman, said foreign media would be invited to oversee the elections as PML-N was in no mood to give a chance to opponents to raise fingers over the polls.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Senate election : Lone PML-N candidate withdraws

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 18:26

KARACHI: The lone candidate of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PNL-N) for Senate election in Sindh, Zafar Ali Shah, withdrew his nomination forms in support of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) nominee Imamuddin Shaukeen. According to the provincial election commission, Mohammad Bux Khaskheli of PML-F, the covering candidate for Shaukeen, has also withdrawn his form. “Only two out of 28 candidates have withdrawn their nominations forms today. This process will continue till Saturday,” the provincial election commissioner SM Tariq Qadri said. Talking to the media, Zafar Ali Shah said he surrendered his candidature in support of PML-F candidate. “PML-N and PML-F are joint opposition in Sindh Assembly, therefore they want to contest the senate election jointly against PPP,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Loc violation: Indian firing injures girl in Nakyal sector

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 18:24

Even as the date of its foreign secretary’s visit to Islamabad approaches, Indian troops continued to violate the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC), injuring a girl on Friday evening. 

Pakistan Army retaliated in kind, forcing the enemy to remain silent in the area.

According to local residents, Indian forces opened fire on the civilian population in Nakyal sector’s Kenthigal Dabsi village on the LoC, some 180 kilometres from Muzaffarabad.

A 16-year-old girl Rabia Noor was hit in the neck by a bullet coming from the other side of the LoC, local sources said.  The injured girl was shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Kotli for the treatment, where doctors stated that her condition was critical, they said.

Officials of the district administration in  Kotli have also confirmed the Indian army’s firing at the civilian population on the LoC. The firing has created panic among the local people.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2015.


Categories: Pakistan & World News

Cleanliness drive: Karachi needs new master plan, Sharjeel Memon

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 18:20

Sindh Minister for Information and Local Government Sharjeel Inam Memon said on Friday that Karachi requires a new master plan for its roads.

“Most of the roads today are encroached upon by shopkeepers’ wares, pushcarts and other structures. Resultantly, people can only use 20 per cent of the road,” he said while issuing strict instructions to metropolitan commissioner about the removal of encroachments from all the arteries.

No cleanliness drive can succeed without people owning the city, he said. At least people should come out on the streets to clean up their localities. The campaign would continue until the whole province is cleaned of waste, encroachments and terrorism, the minister said.

“I must admit in front of the media that we cannot achieve the desired goals neither do we claim 100% cleanliness. However, I believe that with sincerity and good intention, by God’s grace, we will give it our best shot,” he said on the fifth day of ‘Clean, Green and Peaceful Sindh’ drive, after removing wall-chalking in Orangi Town and around FTC flyover on Shahrae Faisal.

MQM MPA Saifuddin Khalid, MNA Mehboob Alam, Managing Director Karachi Water & Sewerage Board Qutubuddin Sheikh, Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali Shah, Administrator West Sajjad Ahmad Memon, Municipal Commissioner Ashfaq Mallah and other officers were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation in coordination with district municipal corporations removed a total of over 16, 000 tonnes of garbage from different areas of the city and dispatched it to the landfill sites during the last five days.

The municipal authority also performed fumigation with the help of 30 spray vehicles in the city, whereas colouring of trees, electric poles and pavements was also done in different areas of the city along with removal of wall-chalking and banners.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Prize scheme: Gifts bonanza continues on ‘Josh Cricket World Cup Inaami Scheme’

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 18:17

The downpour of gifts on ‘Josh Cricket World Cup Inaami Scheme’ continues with cooperation of Express Media, McDonald’s Pakistan, and Fast Food Marketing.

Shahid Siddiqui of Karachi won a microwave oven and Mohammad Umar of Quetta got a juicer-blender machine on giving the correct answers about Afghanistan-Scotland match.

Express Media Group’s Associate Director Marketing in Karachi Kamran Ahmed and Express News bureau chief in Quetta Razaur Rahman presented the gifts to the overjoyed winners.

Shahid Siddiqui and Mohammad Umar thanked Express Publications and McDonald’s Pakistan for the gifts. They said that Express Media Group is promoting sports in the society which is a healthy trend that other institutions should follow.

It is pertinent to note that under the ‘Josh World Cup ka aur Inaam Express, McDonald’s kay’ scheme, numerous gifts can be won by answering three simple questions via SMS before the start of matches. Winners are selected through a lucky-draw. Gifts include motorcycles, refrigerators, freezers, microwave ovens, LCD TV, air-conditioners and many other items.

Results of the lucky-draw are published each day in The Express Tribune, Daily Express and Sindh Express.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Broken roads

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:25

KARACHI: I would like to draw the attention of the authorities concerned towards the deplorable state of roads in Karachi. The road from Jinnah Hospital leading towards the Kala Pul is in a deplorable condition. It has broken patches at various places and is often filled up with water that has leaked from sewage pipes.

Ambulances often face hurdles because of poor road conditions while on the way to the hospital, which puts the patients’ lives at risk.

The battered road causes severe traffic jams and inconvenience to commuters daily. I would request the elected representatives to look into this matter and take appropriate measures immediately.

Syeda Unzela Mushtaque

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th,  2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Pakistan-China economic corridor

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:23

ISLAMABAD: The government has planned to establish an economic corridor from China to Gwadar. This is certainly a great decision and will surely have far-reaching effects on our economy. Pakistan and China are old friends and are important countries in the world arena.

The economic corridor, however, has been surrounded by controversy of late. Some elements are trying to change its route to make it pass predominantly through parts of central Punjab, instead of through D I Khan. This will add to the already prevailing resentment in the country. It is indeed an alarming situation. Ours is a society where love and bonds of friendship and love for fellow countrymen are decreasing by the day. We should not allow others to create conflicts in our rank and file. Our leaders should forge unity on this crucial issue.

Syed Muzammil Hussain

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th,  2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

In the dark: PTI MPAs to protest against power outages

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:23

PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa MPAs from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have warned the federal government that they would start protesting if it failed to end prolonged power outages in the province. A resolution to this affect would also be presented before the K-P Assembly, they said.

PTI’s Peshawar District President Yaseen Khalil, MPA Arif Yousuf and Mehmood Khan along with party workers held a news conference at Peshawar Press Club after protesting against the federal government on Monday.

“The government should ensure Federal Water and Power Minister Abid Sher Ali does not interfere with the affairs of the province,” Khalil said.  “Wapda officials were asked to conduct maximum load-shedding in Peshawar and K-P,” he alleged.

The MPAs said they would present a resolution against such power outages during the ongoing session of the K-P Assembly. “There should be equal load-shedding throughout the country. It is the people of K-P who voted for PTI that are being made to suffer the most,” said Khalil. He added up to eighteen hours of power outages had badly affected businesses and routine life. The MPAs also criticised Wapda officials, saying  no efforts were made to resolve the problem despite repeated assurances.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

De-politicising the police force

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:22

SHIKARPUR: Generally, it is seen in Sindh that honest police officers appointed to the posts of SSP, ASP, DSP and SHO, who play a vital role in improving the law and order situation in their respective areas, performing their bounden duty with full commitment, dedication, zeal and zest, are transferred from the areas they have been posted because they do not work according to the wishes of the local politicians and landlords. In reaction to these transfers, the general public protests and stages rallies but the government still does not cancel the transfer orders.

On the contrary, police officers who listen to and work on directions of ministers, politicians, and waderas, instead of performing their professional duties honestly, are posted in the place of officers of integrity. The transfers and postings of police officers made on political grounds have resulted in a rise in crimes, such as kidnappings, robberies, thefts and motorcycle hijackings in Sindh, especially in the districts of Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Larkana, and Khairpur in the northern part of the province.

The police forces of the US, Canada, Japan, Britain and other European countries are totally independent in conducting their operational matters and investigations without any interference from politicians or bureaucrats. However, the situation is quite different in Pakistan. Our various police forces have been victims of political and bureaucratic interference from ministers, parliamentarians, local politicians and landlords. The result is poor performance of the police in handling the security situation, the state of law and order, in terms of crime prevention and detection, and in the delivery of quality policing services to the people.

The law and order situation is getting more and more aggravated as a result. The police force, being the principal law enforcing agency, has to be de-politicised and strengthened to restore and maintain durable peace in Sindh.

Shaikh Abdul Rasheed

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th,  2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Remembering Justice Rana Bhagwandas

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:22

HYDERABAD: It is heartbreaking to bid farewell to Rana Bhagwandas, an eminent jurist, who died of cardiac arrest in Karachi at the age of 73. This legendary man achieved many milestones in his lifetime, became the first Hindu and the second non-Muslim to serve as chief of the highest court in Pakistan, albeit in acting capacity, and also worked as the chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission.

Just a couple of months ago, I encountered this legendary man and found him to be an affable dignitary with a serene and calm exterior. His smiling face is still preserved in my mind. He discussed with me the hopes he harboured for our nation. He hoped that the nation would change for the better and come on the path of progress. There is no doubt that he was an optimist. I extend all my condolences and sympathy to his family and hope they all have the strength to go through this difficult time.

Nasiruddin Soomro

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th,  2015.

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Categories: Pakistan & World News

Inconclusive rendezvous: High-level huddle over senate polls yields no results

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:06

As horse-trading continued to remain a major concern ahead of Senate elections, a high-level huddle between the opposition and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government remained inconclusive.

A meeting attended by K-P Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak was held late Sunday night. Participants hoped to reach a consensus and ensure candidates were elected unopposed to the Upper House. However, conflicting demands meant the political leaders were unable to reach an agreement.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz parliamentary leader Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha told The Express Tribune the governor had requested political leaders to convene for this meeting. He claimed the meeting was productive and the parties remained open to discussion.

However, Nalotha added Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl sought two days’ time to consult their party chief. The PML-N leader said another meeting was likely on Tuesday (today). Nalotha denied that the chief minister had rejected the opposition’s demand for an additional seat. “Khattak said the opposition’s share amounts to five Senate seats, while the PTI was taking seven as it had to accommodate its two allied parties,” he said.

The PML-N parliamentary leader said they were ready to accommodate the Upper House aspirants of Pakistan Peoples Party and Awami National Party. Some reports suggested PPP wanted two seats in the Senate with its five MPAs and this led to a deadlock as other parties with greater numbers in the assembly made similar demands.

However, PPP parliamentary leader Syed Mohammad Ali Shah denied his party made any such demand. He said they have nominated candidates for four senate berths, adding ANP, JUI-F and other parties have done the same.

He said that there was no immediate agreement, but both the opposition and the government agreed to continue talks.

Apart from the chief minister and governor, the meeting was also attended by opposition leader Maulana Lutfur Rehman, K-P PPP President Khanzada Khan, ANP General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Jaffar Shah, Qaumi Watan Party parliamentary leader Sikandar Sherpao, Naltoha and Local Government Minister Inayatullah Khan.

FATA Candidates

Like the rest of the country, the upcoming Senate elections have awoken the Upper House aspirations of politicians in Khyber Agency.

Rumours are also afloat that a Senate seat was being sold for a staggering Rs400 million, while MNAs from the agency have started focusing their attention on development schemes.

A new coalition called the Khyber Political Alliance has emerged in the agency with the aim of mobilising political parties. One of the strongest candidates for a Senate seat is Al-Haj Taj Mohammad Afridi, the brother of incumbent MNA from the agency, Haji Shah Jee Gul Afridi.

Fata has four allotted seats in the senate for which 43 candidates have submitted nomination papers. Of the total, 36 were accepted. Besides Taj, Momin Khan—brother of MNA Nasir Khan—Al-Haj Syed Nawab Afridi and Al-Haj Nazir Afridi are also in the running. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

DDLJ to keep rolling on popular demand

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:04

MUMBAI: Bollywood film that was ending its record-breaking 1,009-week run at a Mumbai cinema will keep on rolling after a public outcry for its continued screening.

The romantic comedy Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which translates as “The Brave-Hearted Will Take The Bride”, first began showing at Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir cinema on October 20, 1995 when its star Shah Rukh Khan was still a relative unknown.

The movie went on to become one of the best-loved of all Bollywood blockbusters, but following celebrations marking the 1,000-week landmark, it was decided to halt the show’s unprecedented run after a reported drop-off in audiences.

The news of the last screening however prompted a flood of requests to keep it going, said production house Yash Raj Films in a statement over the weekend.

A still from the movie.

The announcement “resulted in a spontaneous and an overwhelming outcry from the cinema-going audience, as well as dedicated fans of the movie, expressing their shock and disappointment”.

Due to the surge of requests received by the cinema’s management, “it has been mutually decided to continue the screening in the same 11:30am morning show,” the statement said.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Highway security: Buses asked to enter G-B before midday

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 13:00

GILGIT: Passenger buses travelling between Rawalpindi and Gilgit-Baltistan on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) have been asked to enter G-B before midday. This was decided at a meeting held on Monday by G-B Home Secretary Sibtain Ahmed at his office. The decision has been taken in view of threats to passengers commuting on KKH, a strategic route that connects G-B with China and the rest of Pakistan. “Buses reaching Basari check post after 12pm will not be allowed to enter the territory,” said Ahmed. Ahmed directed the DCs to strictly implement the orders which, he said, were taken in the greater interest of people travelling on the highway. He added the decision for buses to enter the territory during the day was prompted by the advice of the administration of Hazara which also advises day-time travel.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2015.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

How young girl’s quest to become a model led to her death

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:45

LAHORE: Police on Monday solved the 40-day old murder of a female student who had traveled from Sialkot to Lahore to become a model.

Areeba, 20, had shifted to Lahore from Sialkot to study at a private university. Initially, she lived with her maternal uncle but later she moved to a girl’s hostel on Wehdat Road.

According to the police, the young girl wanted to become a model and her passion led her to make-up artist Tooba.

On January 12, Tooba had invited Areeba to her house for dinner. At the dinner, Tooba’s accomplice Aslam allegedly tried to rape Areeba. When the aspiring model resisted, she was killed and her body was stuffed in a bag. Her body was then dumped outside a bus stand on Bund road on the morning of January 13.

Police said that CCTV cameras recorded Areeba’s body being dumped at the bus stand and the video helped them trace the alleged murderers.

Officials claimed that Aslam, a rickshaw driver, admitted during questioning that, with permission from Tooba, he had allegedly attempted to rape Areeba. Upon resistance, they killed the aspiring model.

Wehdat Colony police had initially lodged an FIR for kidnapping against unknown people but later, Sherakot police booked Tooba and Aslam under Section 302.

Categories: Pakistan & World News

Never be late again: Japan makes clocks which will keep time for 16 billion years

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:04

TOKYO: Japanese researchers have built a pair of clocks which claim are so accurate that they will lose only a second every 16 billion years — longer than the Earth has been around.

“Cryogenic optical lattice clocks” are not pretty — they look more like giant stripped-down desktop computers than ordinary wall clocks — but they are so precise that current technology cannot even measure them.

The research team led by Hidetoshi Katori, a professor at the University of Tokyo, believes it has taken the technology way beyond the atomic clocks that are currently used to define the “second”.

The new clock uses special lasers to trap strontium atoms in tiny grid-like structures, according to the team, which published the study this month in the journal Nature Photonics.

It then measures the frequency of the vibration of the atoms, using them like “the atomic pendulum,” according to the study.

The system is so delicate that it must operate in a cold environment, around -180  Celsius (-292 Fahrenheit), to reduce the impact of the surrounding electromagnetic waves and to maintain the machine’s accuracy, the team said.

Researchers connected the two clocks for a month, and estimated that it would take some 16 billion years for them to develop a one-second gap.

That is significantly more accurate than the caesium atom clock, used to define “one second”, which can develop a one second error every 30 million years, they said.

The technology could be applied to satellite-based global positioning systems and communications networks, while also serving as a foundation for various precision technologies, the team said in a statement.

“Through improved precision, we hold high hopes for accelerated discussions on redefinition of the ‘second’,” the statement said.

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