Pakistan News

ISLAMABAD: Three top Pakistani-American physicians were killed when their private double engine Beech craft Baron crashed Mondaynight at 2240 hours in Palos Hills, a city in the US state of Illinois.

The three were on board when the plane crashed in a Palos Hills neighbourhood soon after it took off from Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

"The three Pakistani-American physicians who died in the air crash were pulmonologist Dr Ali Kanchwala, cardiologist Dr Maria Javed, also wife of Dr Ali Kanchwala and neurosurgeon Dr Taufeequr Rehman — all based in Lawrence, Kansas," Pakistan's Consul General in Chicago Faisal Tirmizi told Dawn.

"They had gone to Chicago for a shopping trip and were returning in the evening when the aircraft crashed," Tirmizi said.

The Pakistani consulate has established the contact with the families and friends of the three deceased to provide necessary assistance.

The consulate also got in touch with Deputy Police Chief of Palos Hills James Boie once the news was received.

According to initial reports, it appeared that Dr Taufeeq who was flying the aircraft deliberately crashed it in an open area in order to protect houses in a heavily populated area.

"It came through the trees and missed all the houses," said Palos Hills Deputy Police Chief James Boie, adding that the plane's occupants were dead when first responders arrived at the scene.

The plane was headed from Chicago Midway International Airport towards Lawrence, Kansas, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Tirmizi said the funeral of Dr Ali Kanchwala and Dr Maria Javed was likely to be held in the US, whereas Dr Taufeequr Rehman’s remains are to be sent to Pakistan for burial.

LOS ANGELES: Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai, the daughters of US President Barack Obama, entertainers and a girl baseball player all made Time's annual list of most influential teenagers, the magazine said on Monday.

Nobel Prize Winner Malala, 17, the Pakistani education activist winner ; First daughters Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13; Grammy-winning New Zealand singer Lorde, 17, were all on the unranked list dominated by 20 females.

Time said it compiled its list of 25 teens — 29, counting accolades shared by siblings and partners — by analysing their social media following, business successes and cultural importance.

The youngest were Sasha Obama and fellow 13-year-old Mo'ne Davis, a pitching sensation who led her Philadelphia boys' baseball team to the Little League World Series and landed a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Tavi Gevinson, the 18-year-old fashion writer and founder of popular online magazine Rookie, was noted as emblematic of the contemporary teen in the Internet age, while transgender activist Jazz Jennings, 14, and Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, 18, also made the list.

The dominant categories were athletes, actors and singers.

Actors taking centre stage were Kiernan Shipka, 14, of “Mad Men,” Rico Rodriguez, 16, of “Modern Family” and “The Equalizer's” Chloe Grace Moretz, 17.

Pop singers Becky G, 17, and Austin Mahone, 18, earned plaudits as did New Zealand pro golfer Lydia Ko, 17, and Afghan National Cycling Team member Salma Kakar, 17.

Teens noted for business success include 15-year-old Erik Finman, founder of the online tutoring site; YouTube fashion star Bethany Mota, 18, and actress-turned-stockpicker Rachel Fox, 18.

Irish trio Ciara Judge, 16, Emer Hickey, 17, and Sophie Healy-Thow, 17, were noted for their discovery of bacteria that deposits nitrogen from the atmosphere into soil.

Los Angeles teen chef Flynn McGarry, 15, joined stars of Twitter's Vine short-form video service, Nash Grier, and singer Shawn Mendes, both 16.

Jaden Smith, 16, son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, was recognized for acting and his Twitter following, while reality TV stars the Jenner sisters Kendall, 18, and Kylie, 17, were noted for their burgeoning Hollywood and merchandising careers.

Also in the spotlight were 19-year-olds Megan Grassell, founded of the Yellowberry clothing company that makes bras for teens, and South African-Australian YouTube star and actor-musician Troye Sivan.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said that his protest movement will complete one month on Saturday and vowed to put up a grand show to express national solidarity, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to participants of his Azadi sit-in at D-Chowk, he vowed to bring more evidence against the government to make his party’s case even stronger. “On Saturday, we will unveil things which should have been brought in the parliament,” he said.

The PTI chairman criticised the federal ministers for claiming a trillion rupees loss due to his and Dr Tahirul Qadri’s sit-ins in the federal capital. He demanded an explanation into the allegation.

Brushing aside allegations of paying electricity bills and not following his own civil disobedience movement, Khan termed it false propaganda. He urged the masses not to pay power bills.

Despite paying IPPs billions of rupees, why circular debt of the power sector has increased, he questioned.

The PTI chief reiterated his stance that holding peaceful protests were his party’s lawful right, adding that it was a battle between oppressors and oppressed.

Khan urged the nation not to waste this opportunity and join him at the protest sit-in.

Earlier, speaking to media representatives after conclusion of the 14th round of talks with the government, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that dialogue has entered into a ‘sensitive phase’ and refused to discuss it any further.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is also a member of the government negotiating team, affirmed Qureshi’s statement and expressed hope for an early conclusion of successful talks.

Like PTI, government’s dialogue with Dr Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) also continued as both sides met at the residence of PPP Senator Rehman Malik.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said that the FIR of Model Town incident has been registered according to PAT’s wishes and expressed hope for a transparent probe into the tragic incident.

PAT leader Rahiq Abbasi, however, ruled out a transparent and unbiased investigation into the killing with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif still in power.

Khan and Qadri have been protesting in front of the parliament to force resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections won by his PML-N party and CM Shahbaz Sharif over the Model Town incident.

Several rounds of talks have failed to resolve the over three-week-long crisis as protesters want nothing less than Sharif's ouster and fresh polls.

The government has ruled out prime minister's resignation and proposed a judicial commission to probe into the alleged rigging while Sharif has shown willingness to resign if the charges against him are proved.

The cricketer-turned-politician has moved his makeshift stage, set-up on a shipping container mounted on a truck, from in front of the Secretariat buildings to the D-Chowk facing the Parliament.

The anti-government cleric is also camping close to Khan's camp. His supporters have vacated the parking lot of the Parliament and are now sitting near the Constitution Avenue.

KARACHI: Pakistan’s exports of cement to South Africa may face serious problems as the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa has accepted an application in which it is alleged that Portland Cement imported from Pakistan is being dumped on the South African Customs Union (SACU) market.

The application was lodged by Afrisam (South Africa) (Proprietary), Lafarge Industries South Africa (Proprietary) Limited, NPC Cimpor (RF) (Proprietary) Limited and PPC Limited (the applicant) pleaded that Portland Cement, classifiable under tariff subheading 2523.29 arriving from Pakistan, was causing material injury to the SACU industry concerned.

The applicant submitted sufficient evidence and established a prima facie to enable the Commission to arrive at a reasonable conclusion that an investigation should be initiated on the basis of dumping, material injury and/or threat of material injury and casualty.

The period of investigation for purposes of determining the dumping in the country of origin will be from Jan 1, 2013 to Dec 31, 2013 while the period for determining material injury and/or threat of material injury will be from Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2013.

The allegation is based on a comparison between the normal value in Pakistan and the export price from Pakistan. The domestic selling price for Pakistan was determined based on a report by Genesis Analytics, titled “Pakistan cement price data for January 2013 to December 2013”. The export price for Pakistan was determined based on the official South African Revenue Service (SARS) import statistics. The dumping margin for Pakistan was determined to be 48 per cent.

On this basis, the Commission found that there was a prima facie proof of dumping, a threat of material injury and causal link.

Cement industry sources said that South Africa is the biggest market in terms of sea route where some 1.5 to 1.6 million tonnes of cement from Pakistan is exported, fetching around $125 million per annum. Some nine to 10 leading cement manufacturers were exporting cement to South Africa.

The application was brought on “Portland Cement” whether in “bulk” or “bagged cement”, and although the applicant provided injury information for the subject product, being “Portland Cement,” it requested the commission to focus the analysis of injury on “bagged cement” due to the following reasons:

Portland cement originating from Pakistan is imported in bag form only. There are no bulk cement imports from Pakistan.

This is because, it would be prohibitively expensive to import the product in any form other than in bagged form.

The bagged cement market comprises the major portion of the combined bag and bulk cement market (comprising the SACU industry). Bulk cement is used in large construction projects and sold to concrete product manufacturers, ready mix producers and blenders while bagged cement is mainly used in small construction projects. Bagged customers are mainly retailers which sell to customers for small projects.

It is, therefore, in the bagged cement market where Pakistani imports compete with the domestic industry and where the domestic industry is suffering material injury as clearly demonstrated in the injury information furnished.

RIYADH: A Pakistani national was beheaded by sword in the south west of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for the murder of an Afghan, the interior ministry said.

Mohammed Ayub Ajab Khan was convicted of having killed Khair Mohammed Saz by striking him with several blows from a metallic object, according to a ministry statement carried by official SPA news agency.

The execution raises to 34 the number of executions announced in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has large communities of people from Asian countries, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International on Monday denounced in a statement what it called a “disturbing surge” in the use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.

“The Saudi Arabian authorities must halt all executions,” it said after two sets of brothers were beheaded on Monday after being convicted of drug smuggling.

The rights group said Monday's beheadings brought the number of state killings in Saudi Arabia in the past two weeks to 17 -- a rate of more than one execution per day.

“The recent increase in executions in Saudi Arabia is a deeply disturbing deterioration. The authorities must act immediately to halt this cruel practice,” Amnesty's Said Boumedouha said.

Last year, there were 78 executions in Saudi Arabia and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced a “sharp increase in the use of capital punishment”.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under the kingdom's version of Islamic sharia law.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has termed Indian accusations coming from the neighbouring country’s highest political levels as most unfortunate.

"It would be in the larger interest of regional peace that instead of engaging in a blame game, the two countries focus on resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue and work together to promote friendly and cooperative relations,” Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said in a statement.

Referring to news reports on accusations attributed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modiover Pakistan engaging in a proxy war, the spokeswoman recalled that Pakistan had consistently condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

The spokeswoman said such was the case especially since Pakistan’s leadership wishes to establish good, neighbourly relations with India.

"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India in May was in this spirit and generated a fresh momentum in the bilateral relationship,” she recalled.

Aslam pointed out that having lost the lives of 55,000 of its citizens as a result of terrorism, Pakistan was the biggest victim of the scourge.

"The entire world has time and again acknowledged the unprecedented sacrifices rendered by our valiant armed forces with over 5,000 soldiers having embraced Shahadat,” she remarked.

Responding to any form of threat from the eastern borders, the spokeswoman warned that Pakistan’s armed forces were ready to defend the country’s borders and thwart any threat of aggression.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday night paid tribute to soldiers who have laid down their lives for Pakistan and in particular those who have died in Operation Zarb-i-Azb.

During his speech at Parliament House, Sharif urged the people of Pakistan to come forward and secure the country's future for the sake of freedom.

The prime minister said that Pakistan was determined to defeat terrorism.

"Pakistan's future is only safeguarded in democracy and the Constitution," he said.

He condemned any attempt to derail the democratic process in the country.

"We have all the resources to face the challenges that this country must tackle," Nawaz Sharif said.

When speaking of foreign affairs, the prime minister said that Pakistan was a peaceful country and wants good relations with all the nations of the world.

"We want a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir dispute," he said.

When speaking about Afghanistan, the prime minister said that Pakistan wants lasting peace in the neighboring country.

He spoke about the Israeli assault on Gaza and condemned it in the strongest terms.

Earlier PM Sharif arrived arrived at Parliament House where he is delivering a speech to commemorate Independence Day.

Among the people attending the parade include Chief Of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif along with Members of the Cabinet, and the elected assemblies.

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