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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan yesterday wrote to Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Q and All Pakistan Muslim League to refrain from issuing adverts in the media prior to the issuance of poll schedule. A source said that under Article 218 (3) of the Constitution, the commission has to ensure free and fair elections without any corrupt practices. “Such Adverts prior to the issuance of election schedule are unjustified and discourage smaller parties that can’t afford such promotion,” the source said.
Pakistan, Egypt sign deals
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Egypt signed five memorandums of understanding, an official source said yesterday. They are in the fields of money orders and international postal services; merchant shipping; between the Board of Investment of Pakistan and General Authority of Free Zones and Investment of Egypt; between Middle East News Agency and Associated Press of Pakistan; the 3rd Executive Programme for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Pakistan and Egypt for 2013-2015; and between Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority of Pakistan and Special Fund for Development of Egypt.
Ashraf spends more than actual budget
ISLAMABAD: The PPP-government, led by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, has been on a development spending spree till the fag end of its term. More precisely, it spent about Rs47bn ($479.59m) under discretionary People?s Works Programme, that works out, on this count, to about 174 per cent of budgeted amount of Rs27bn ($275.510m).
Exceeding budget allocation by such a wide margin is not only extraordinary but also a clear manifestation of the tendency to influence voters at public expense even though the Election Commission of Pakistan had defined this practice as pre-poll rigging.
Daniel Pearl’s family hails Pakistani arrest
NEW YORK: The family of slain US journalist Daniel Pearl welcomed Monday the arrest in Pakistan of a former leader of a banned militant outfit allegedly involved in his 2002 murder.
Qari Abdul Hayee, popularly known as Asadullah and from Karachi’s eastern Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighborhood, was detained in a raid on his hideout on Sunday, according to a spokesman for Pakistan’s Rangers paramilitary force.
Ruth and Judea Pearl, who live in the Los Angeles area, hailed the news, in a statement issued through the New York-based Daniel Pearl Foundation.
“We are gratified with this latest arrest and hope that justice will be served in a timely manner on all those who were involved in the abduction and murder of our son, Danny,” they said.
Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi on January 23, 2002, while researching a story about Islamist militants.
A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate in the city nearly a month later.
Afghan president spokesman says NATO war ‘aimless, unwise’
KABUL, March 19, 2013 (AFP) -
Afghanistan’s presidential spokesman on Tuesday described the NATO-led military operation in the country as “aimless and unwise”, in the latest government broadside against the coalition.
Aimal Faizi, spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, hit out after NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen rejected Karzai’s recent allegations that the United States was working in collusion with Taliban militants.
“The people of Afghanistan ask NATO to define the purpose and aim of the so-called war on terror... (They) consider this war as aimless and unwise to continue,” Faizi said in a statement.
The verbal onslaught on NATO is set to worsen relations between Afghanistan and the international military coalition which has been fighting for 11 years against Islamist militants who are trying to overthrow Karzai’s government.
In recent weeks Karzai has been staking out increasingly nationalist ground as he prepares for his final year in office before presidential elections due to be held in April 2014.
Next year will also see the withdrawal of all NATO combat troops from Afghanistan, leaving poorly-trained and inexperienced local security forces to take on the insurgents alone.