MULTAN: Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (PONM) has rejected the Gwadar mega-projects, declaring them a conspiracy to convert the Balochs into a minority and has demanded the government formulate a new constitution to strengthen the federation.

PONM appealed to all religious and political parties to join hands with it to end the role of the military in politics and prevent the military from repeated interference into democratic affairs, said Seraiki National Party chief and PONM’s Central Information Secretary Abdul Majeed Kanjoo, while talking to journalists after his arrival from Quetta at the end of a two-week long visit to Sindh and Balochistan.

He strongly criticised the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) for supporting the present government on the 17th Amendment in the National Assembly. He claimed that the religious alliance received votes in the name of Islam, but then instead of making efforts for the enforcement of an Islamic system, they had empowered General Pervez Musharraf.

He said that the government had funds for the construction of five highways in Gwadar, but it was still reluctant to allocate money for the repair of the Quetta to Karachi road. He said that the rulers had a plan to convert the local population into a minority by settling people from across the country in Gwadar. Mr Kanjoo demanded a new constitution according to the 1940 Lahore resolution. He said that despite an 80 percent population split over 90 percent area, small nationalities in Pakistan were deprived of their rights. staff report

KBP calls for end to ban on wheat movement

MULTAN: Kissan Board of Pakistan (KBP) has demanded the government immediately lift the ban on wheat transportation and take stern action against the policy makers, bureaucrats and advisors responsible the failure to achieve even 50 percent of the procurement targets. KBP Secretary General Mirza Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal said in a joint press conference at the Multan press club on Wednesday that farmers were facing hardships.

He said that the industrialists were given loans on a five percent mark up while farmers were overburdened with a mark up of 11 percent to 13 percent. The KBP demanded the government immediately lift the ban on wheat, abolish taxes on inputs, keep the mark up on agricultural loans at 5 percent and increase the loan allocation to farmers to Rs 200 billion. They demanded the government declare phutti prices at Rs 1,500 per 40kg, the use of tube wells be charged at a flat rate, the diesel price for farmers be fixed at Rs 16 per litre, farmers be given representation in the board of governors of the agricultural research, water management and other wings. staff report

Police arrest gang of robbers in Gujranwala

GUJRANWALA: Model Town police arrested a gang of robbers led by a man using the alias of Yasir Arafat on Thursday. In a press conference on Friday, City Circle Deputy Superintendent of Police Younas Bhatti said the leader of the gang was also a member of a banned organisation. He confessed to 25 robberies, Mr Bhatti said. Yasir Arafat had organised a gang in Gujranwala, Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad and other districts, said Mr Bhatti. “ He used a fake name to confuse the police, but at last he was found in Lahore Camp Jail,” he said. Mr Arafat has been in jail for the last eight months under the name of M Amjad of Landhi, Karachi.

He confessed his other aliases and the names and addresses of his accomplices. Model Town police has arrested Sarfaraz, Baba Qaisar, Ijaz, Waheed, Fiaz Ahmed, Iqbal, Farhan Fiaz and M Atif. Mr Bhatti said that during the investigation, Mr Arafat said he participated in the Kashmir and Afghanistan jihads. He then robbed a house near Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Lahore. Since then he has committed many other robberies. Mr Arafat has claimed that was injured in an encounter with the police. He left Karachi and settled in Okara for some time because the police announced a reward of Rs 200,000 for him in Karachi. He also said he prayed five times a day and believed that missing a prayer was worse than stealing. Mr Arafat’s real name is still not known. staff report

Police confiscate hoarded wheat sacks

GUJRANWALA: The Health Department’s special raiding party confiscated 8,170 hoarded wheat sacks from three different locations in the Gakhar area on Thursday. Magistrate Dr Safdar Hussain supervised the raiding party and confiscated the sacks. The team registered a case against the wheat hoarders in the Ghakhar Mandi police station. The police confiscated 970 wheat sacks from Saif Ullah Samra, 5,000 sacks from Shafqat Cheema of Dhab Cheema and 2,200 sacks from Malik Cheema of Dhab Cheema. The team previously confiscated 1,500 sacks on May 19.

Sultan Rahi murder case District and Sessions Judge Riazul Hassan Alvi summoned the Sadar Police Station House Officer (SHO) to court with the complete challan of the famous actor Sultan Rahi’s murder case on May 30. The SHO was called because Judge Alvi found that the witness statements were not attached to the challan. staff report

Cyprus permanent secretary meets foreign secretary

ISLAMABAD: Soterios Zackeos, the permanent secretary of the Republic of Cyprus, called on Riaz Hussein Khokhar, the foreign secretary, and delivered letters from the president and the foreign minister of Cyprus to President General Pervez Musharraf and Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, the foreign minister, on Friday. During the talks, Mr Zackeos gave a briefing on the latest situation in the Cyprus dispute and a detailed account of the “no vote” by a large majority of Greek Cypriots in the recent referendum.

He assured that they would continue to support the efforts of Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, to reunify the island in a bi-zonal and bi-communal federal arrangement for the whole of Cyprus. Mr Khokhar felicitated Mr Zackeos on Cyprus’s admission to the European Union and reiterated Pakistan’s position on the Cypriot issue saying that a historic opportunity to resolve the Cypriot issue had been missed. Pakistan wished to see the early settlement of the dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people from both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities, he said. Mr Zackeos will later call on the secretaries of the ministries of industries, information technology and the acting commerce secretary before returning home today (Saturday). staff report

4 killed as two groups clash in Sargodha

SARGODHA: Four people including two women were killed and four others were injured in an armed clash between two groups on Friday. Those killed were identified as Parveen Murad, Muhammad Iqbal, Fauzia and Majid.

The injured include Nasrin, Hajran and Muhammad Munir. Police made several arrests after the incident. nni

Police get remand of LJ activist

KARACHI: An Anti-terrorism Court remanded alleged terrorist, Kamran, alias Atif, into the custody of the Central Intelligence Department (CID) till May 27 in three different cases and directed the police to arrange his medical treatment. He is believed to be a leader of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The investigation officer submitted a request for the physical remand of the accused. The opinion of the doctor, attached with the remand papers, also stated that the accused sustained gun shot injuries in a reported encounter, so he could not be produced before court.

The accused is stated to be the mastermind behind the conspiracy to kill General Pervez Musharraf in April 2002, the US consulate bomb blast case and several other cases. He carries head money worth Rs 3 million, announced by the Home Department of Sindh. He was arrested in an encounter with the CID police on Wednesday. The first case, registered by the Police Station Taimuria, stated the accused was booked under Sections 353, 324, 302, 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act.

Complainant Inspector Usman Asghar of the CID stated in the FIR that the police, on a tip-off, raided a place in Buffer Zone, North Karachi. During the shootout, a passerby, Sarwar Bibi, was killed, the accused sustained injuries, and his accomplice fled. The police seized a kalashnikov and eight hand grenades from the accused. At the same police station an FIR was registered under Section 4/5 of the Explosives Act and 13-D Arms Ordinance. The third FIR, registered under Section 4/5 of the Explosives Act and 13-E of the Arms Ordinance, pertained to the recovery of bombs and explosives including a videocassette bomb, telephone bomb, rocket-propelled grenades and a suitcase filled with inflammatory literature. app

PML-N leader detained for three months

SAHIWAL: The Punjab home secretary has issued a three-month detention order for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) District President Malik Nadeem Kamran. He was ordered to be sent to Attock Jail. The order, dated May 12, was issued under the Maintenance of Public Order-3.
WAPDA cuts electricity supply to MC in Sahiwal: Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Mepco ordered the payment of bills and disconnected the electricity supply to the Municipal Corporation (MC) for two hours on Friday.

It said the electricity supply to the waterworks and sewerage departments would be disconnected daily if the outstanding bills were not paid. The MC needs to pay Rs 8.9 million in bills, said Mepco on Friday. The connections of the district nazim, highways’ executive engineer, building engineers and the police department would be severed if the bills were not paid on time. Meanwhile, the supply to a local Montgomery Biscuits Factory was disconnected for non-payment of an outstanding amount worth Rs 1.5 million. Other industrial units, including an ice factory, were also on the list for disconnections, Mepco said.

Source: Daily Times