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LHC orders ECP to hold elections in 90 days in province

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LHC orders ECP to hold elections in 90 days in province

Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections in the province in 90 days.

The LHC Justice Jawad Hassan pronpunced the reserved verdict on plea filed by seeking orders for the Punjab governor to immediately announce a date for an election in the province. 

On Jan 27, the PTI had approached the LHC, seeking it order the Punjab governor to immediately announce a date of an election in the province since the assembly had been dissolved. The ECP had recommended the elections be held between April 9 and 17.

The petition, filed through PTI General Secretary Asad Umar, stated that more than 10 days had passed since the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly the Punjab governor and the ECP to submit their replies to the court by Feb 10.

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At the outset of the hearing, the governor’s lawyer maintained that Mr Rehman was not liable to give a date for elections when an interim cabinet has been formed. He pleaded the court to return the pleas as inadmissible with a fine on the petitioner.

IGP Punjab Usman Anwar and chief secretary also attended the hearing and assured that they would implement the decision of the court.

PTI lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar said President Arif Alvi could give a date for election as the IGP and chief secretary had assured of performing their duties. He said the president could announce the date through a notification.

A day earlier, the governor also submitted his response in an identical petition filed by a citizen Munir Ahmed, stating: “It is emphatically denied that the answering respondent No 1 was in any manner obligated to appoint the date of elections when he has never dissolved the Assembly while acting on the so-called advice of the Chief Minister”.

He also rejected an impression that his move is creating any hurdles in the way of ECP to discharge its duties, calling the allegations “fallacious”.

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During Thursday’s hearing, Mr Chaudhry pleaded the court to decide the case tomorrow (Friday) as further delay would affect the 90-day period enshrined in the Constitution for holding the elections.

The ECP lawyer told the court the electoral body was facing various impediments in holding the elections, including funds. The federal government’s lawyer, however, requested the judge to form a larger bench to hear the case.

The PTI lawyer said the government and the ECP were not serious in holding elections timely. Asad Umar warned that a Constitutional crisis would emerge if a date for elections was not announced within three days.

On Jan 14, the Punjab Assembly was dissolved without a nod from the Punjab governor. As per the law, the assembly stands dissolved within 48 hours of advice made by the chief minister whether the summary is not approved by the governor.

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4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

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4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale struck various parts of Punjab including Lahore on Monday 

People came out of their homes in panic and started reciting verses from the Holy Quran. No loss of life and property was reported in any part of Punjab. 

According to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre, Islamabad, the epicentre of the earthquake was located five kilometres south of Sheikhupura at the depth of 45 kilometres.

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Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

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Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

Pakistan Army has shot down a spy quadcopter of Indian Army on the Line of Control (LoC).

According to a statement issued by the Public Relations Department of the Pakistan Army (ISPR), on Monday, an Indian Air Force quadcopter spying on Pakistan was shot down.

The ISPR said that the army has found the downed quadcopter inside Pakistani territory.

It may be recalled that it is the fifth anniversary of Operation Swift Retort today. On February 27, 2019, the Pakistan Air Force shot down Indian fighter planes that violated Pakistani airspace. 

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PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

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PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

 An accountability court indicted the PTI founder and his wife Bushra Bibi in the ill-famous 190 million pound case – also previously known as Al-Qadir Trust case – as the judge, Nasir Javed Rana, held hearing at the Adiala jail.

All the cases involving the former PTI chairman are being heard at the jail premises – where he is imprisoned – because of the security threats, for which Bushra Bibi was shifted from her Bani Gala residence where she is serving her sentences in two cases – Toshakhana and illegal/un-Islamic marriage.

Meanwhile, her husband has so far been convicted in three cases – cipher, Toshakhana and illegal/un-Islamic marriage.

During the proceedings, the two accused pleaded not guilty, as the judge adjourned proceedings till March 6 while also summoning five witnesses to record their statements on next hearing.

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However, the accountability court accepted two pleas filed by the PTI founder, requesting permission for an appointment with his dentist and general physician.

Previously, the indictment had been postponed on several occasions due to the absence of Mohammad Bashir – the accountability court judge who is set to retire on March 14 and has applied for leave preparatory to retirement (LPR).

However, the law ministry last week appointed District and Sessions Judge Rana as an Accountability Court No 1 Islamabad judge to replace Bashir who went on leave on deputation for a period of three years. 

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