Presence of democratic person at presidency proved: Riaz

LAHORE: Pakistan People Party (PPP) Punjab’s Parliamentary Leader Raja Riaz said on Monday that restoration of deposed judges had proved the presence of a democratic person at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Speaking to newsmen here, he said that any dictator could not make such decisions.

He said that PPP wanted to reinstate all deposed judges, but could not do so over fears of collision among institutions. Riaz said that restoration of judiciary would strengthen the democracy.

Some elements who want to derail the democracy have failed in their motives, he said.

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Badar asks Aitizaz not to violate Party policy

LAHORE: Secretary General of Pakistan Peoples Party Jahangir Badar said no Party worker would be allowed to violate party policy and asked Aitizaz Ahsan not to violate party policy.

Badar while talking to Geo News said disciplinary action is being taken against Aitizaz Ahsan because it is the matter of party’s survival. Aitizaz is a learned person and reason for issuance of notice has been given in the notice.

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Yousuf calls on sports minister

LAHORE: Test cricketer Mohammad Yousuf has called upon Federal Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani here and discussed his comeback in the team with him.

Talking to media after the meeting, Sports minister said he is trying to resolve the issue with mutual consent but it is not possible to give specific deadline for Yousuf’s comeback in the team.

Mohammad Yousuf said the law of International Cricket Council (ICC) was announced after his joining of Indian Cricket League (ICL) and he is still willing to play for Pakistan.

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Rain proves boon for wheat, other crops

LAHORE: Light but widespread rain in Punjab and upper regions will bear a God-sent salutary effect on wheat and other Rabi crops when water in the rivers and canals was scarcer than ever.

Punjab Agriculture Department’s senior officials said, “It was the right time for rain to occur for Rabi crops” adding that, “Providence filled the gap as irrigation water availability was very poor.” They said that the staple food crop, wheat, has been benefited in particular.

Meanwhile, the Regional Met Office has forecast that another system of clouds is on its way after a gap of nearly 24 hours. During the gap it will remain dry and cold in the three provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. But NWFP and northern areas are likely to get rain and snowfall. According to report collected by various Met stations, light rain was reported from Faisalabad, Islamabad, Jhelum, Kamra, Mandi Bahauddin, Mianwali, Multan, Sahiwal, Sialkot, D G Khan, Kohat and Mangla.

Other cities, towns and stations received comparatively more rain. They include Lahore (13 mm), Muzaffarabad (9 mm), Balakot (16 mm), Chitral (13 mm), Dir (27 mm), Darosh (17 mm), Mirkhani (15 mm), Pattan (10 mm). Sindh and Balochistan however remained dry, the Met office said.

As the pall of clouds drifted during the night, minimum temperatures fell further down. In the Punjab capital the minimum temperature fell to 12 degrees. “After many years the month of February has been that cold”, remarked a person sun bathing in the bright sunlight. Temperatures in northern areas remain in the range of minus one to plus two degrees Celsius.

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Report on Mumbai attacks on Monday: PM

LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Friday said he will receive the report on investigation into the Mumbai attacks on Monday and its findings will be made public thereafter.

The findings of the report will be shared with India and the world community, the PM told reporters at the airport after arriving here from Islamabad.

He said the facts will not be kept concealed.

Regarding Kashmir standoff, the Premier said Pakistan is not silent on the issue and wants it to be resolved in accordance with the “wishes” of the Kashmiri people.

He said it is Nawaz Sharif’s own view that he is being declared ineligible under a conspiracy. The government cannot interfere in judicial matters, he added.

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Three RAW agents held in Lahore

LAHORE: Lahore Police said that it has arrested three alleged terrorists in Lahore.

Announcing their arrests at a news conference here on Thursday, Capital City Police Officer Pervez Rathore said that the alleged terrorists were working for Indian spy agency RAW.

The CCPO told that the three agents used to provide photographs of important places to the RAW, while some important buildings were on their target.

He added that the arrested agents had visited India also.

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Five blasts in Lahore, no loss of life reported

LAHORE: Five blasts occurred in Lahore on Friday, however, no casualties were reported.

The fifth blast occurred at Mazang Chungee near Tamaseel Theatre here today.

Rescue teams sent to the blast site immediately.

The blast damaged a gas pipeline, causing the gas to leak in the area.

According to an eye-witness, a man was seen running away after throwing a hand grenade at the site of the blast.

Earlier, four blasts occurred in quick succession near Al-falah theatre on Mall Road in Lahore on Friday, however, no loss of life was reported.

Two persons were arrested from the blasts site.

According to the bomb disposal squad, the blasts could have been caused by RDX or C-3 which only caused minor damage to buildings. However, CCPO Lahore said that the initial investigation indicates that the blasts were carried out by fire-crackers.

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif directed the Home Secretary to submit report regarding the blasts in 24 hours.

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Shoaib Akhtar gets back central contract

LAHORE: Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar won back his central contract as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced their latest central contracts on Tuesday.

Shoaib was not awarded a central contract last year, instead earning a retainership from the PCB but he is now among 26 players awarded annual contracts and will receive Rs250,000 per month plus match fees.

He has been named in the top ‘A’ category with captain Shoaib Malik, vice-captain Misbahul Haq, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt and Danish Kaneria.

The “Rawalpindi Express” was slapped with a five-year ban — later reduced and then suspended — after he lashed out at officials for failing to give him a contract last January.

He played just three Twenty20s, in a tri-series in Canada, and also turned out for Surrey, but despite being in the squad to face the West Indies in Abu Dhabi he was again ruled out through injury.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Saleem Altaf said seniority was the main criterion in deciding the contracts.

“The central contracts were devised by coach Intikhab Alam, manager Yawar Saeed and chief selector Abdul Qadir and the main criteria was seniority of the players,” Saleem Altaf told reporters.

Shoaib Akhtar missed out on a central contract last year following Pakistan’s Test and one-day series defeats in India in 2007, when he was often absent through illness and injury.

Shoaib Akhtar also showed interest in acting in Bollywood movies, irritating cricket authorities.

Angered by his exclusion, Akhtar publicly criticised the PCB and was handed the ban before its reduction on appeal.

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Severe earthquake jolts felt in Lahore

LAHORE: Severe earthquake jolts, like other cities in the country, were also witnessed Monday at 4.13 A.M. morning in the provincial capital city here, which was recorded on the Richter scale at 5.7.

People in panic came out of their houses and started reciting Kalma-e-Taiba. The citizens said that the government should set up such organization, which could provide correct information in case of natural calamity.

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