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LHC reserves verdict on petitions seeking Punjab election date

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The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday reserved a verdict on the petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others over delay in announcement of date for elections in Punjab.

LHC Justice Jawad Hassan reserved the ruling after hearing arguments from the PTI, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman and federal government. The court would announce the verdict later today (Friday).

During 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.

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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”.

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.

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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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Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers’ exemption for Hajj and Umrah

Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers’ exemption for Hajj and Umrah

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Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers' exemption for Hajj and Umrah

Senator Faisal Vawda has said the exemptions to the non-filers for Hajj and Umrah package should be reexamined.

Speaking at the Senate Committee on Finance meeting on budget, he questioned why non-filers were given exemption for Hajj and Umrah.

He said the media employees’ salaries were cut down during the Covid pandemic which should be returned to them immediately.

However, the committee chairman asked the senator to suggest the meeting what can be done in this regard?

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A meeting should be held with the Ministry of Information to make housing schemes and give incentives to the media workers to mitigate their hardships, Vawda suggested.

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COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

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COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to the strategic partnership with China and pledged full support for the successful implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

He expressed the resolve during a meeting with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), who called on him at General Headquarters on Friday.

During the meeting, both discussed matters of mutual interest, including regional peace and stability, and reviewed progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Mr. Liu Jianchao highlighted that he is visiting Pakistan as a follow up of the successful meetings between the leadership of the two countries in China.

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Also Read: All parties on same page for execution of CPEC project: Deputy PM Ishaq Dar

He emphasised the significance of the longstanding brotherly relations between the two nations and expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved on CPEC, reiterating China’s commitment to its timely completion.

The visiting dignitary also commended Pakistan’s efforts in maintaining regional peace and stability, acknowledging the support of the Pakistan Armed Forces in providing security to Chinese nationals and projects in Pakistan.

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All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

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All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared that there is a national consensus on CPEC in Pakistan.

Addressing the Pakistan-China joint consultative session, Maulana remarked that China always unconditionally supported Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, and Pakistan similarly supported China on the Taiwan issue. He stressed the need to complete suspended projects with China and enhance further cooperation, asserting that China’s protocol should remain intact.

Yusuf Raza Gilani

Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani, while addressing the meeting, highlighted that CPEC is a crucial project for economic development and that the fellowship between Pakistan and China is higher than the Himalayas. He described CPEC as the backbone of the Pakistani economy and a warrantor of a better future and development for both countries.

Ayaz Sadiq

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Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistan and China are supporters of peace and prosperity in the region. He believed that the CPEC project significantly contributed to social and economic development. Sadiq noted that CPEC would be strengthened by promoting relations between the political parties of Pakistan and China and that the BRI project further reinforced the ties between the two states. He mentioned that the CPEC project faced disinformation in the past. He said that despite it the project remains a catalyst for poverty reduction, economic growth, and trade promotion.

More to read: Pakistan, China agree to explore opportunities under CPEC

Ahsan Iqbal

Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, speaking at the China-Pakistan Consultative Mechanism meeting, highlighted the unique friendly relations between Pakistan and China. He reiterated the national consensus on CPEC and assured that the Pakistani nation would never forget China’s support. Ahsan Iqbal stressed the importance of working together to secure the future and that the exchange of delegations would foster harmony between politicians from both sides. He highlighted that the political parties’ sitting together demonstrates a united political leadership. He thanked the Chinese leadership for their cooperation during Pakistan’s challenging times and mentioned that two-sided relations and cooperation were discussed during the Prime Minister’s visit to China.

Hina Rabbani Khar

Pakistan People’s Party leader and former minister Hina Rabbani Khar affirmed that all political parties are united in support of CPEC and underscored the significant role of Pakistan and China in the global scheme. She praised China’s progress in science and technology and noted that the People’s Party leadership laid the foundation for Pakistan-China relations. She mentioned that these relations were continued by Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari, and Bilawal Bhutto. Khar welcomed the representation of all political parties in the joint session. 

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