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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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Nawaz left Pakistan with govt permission, it wasn’t a jailbreak: Solangi

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Nawaz left Pakistan with govt permission, it wasn't a jailbreak: Solangi

 Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had flown abroad after getting permission from the court and the government, not due to jailbreak, said Murtaza Solangi – the caretaker information minister – who added that he would be treated according to law and constitution on his return to Pakistan.

The minister remarked some people were confused on the issue of elections and spreading confusion a business for some others. The caretaker government had no confusion on the issue of elections, he added

Solangi, who visited the Karachi Press Club, told media persons on Saturday that Nawaz was a three-time prime minister and he had no knowledge of which court the PML-n supremo would move after his return.

Replying to various questions on the subject, the caretaker information minister said he didn’t want to speculate as it was Nawaz who would have to answer such queries.

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As the minister faced a flurry of questions about the elections, he again made it clear that the caretaker setup would give equal opportunities to all the registered political parties for taking part in the electoral process.

Solangi reiterated that the caretaker government would fulfil its constitutional responsibilities and provide all the available resources to the Election Commission for conducting the exercise.

When asked about the rupee appreciation and the fuel prices, Solangi said the incumbent setup had no role in pricing mechanism which was linked to the rates in global markets.

However, he added, that there were enough chances of reduction in petroleum products’ rates due to the gains made by the local currency. People would get some benefit of reduction in the value of the dollar, Solangi said.

The minister noted that power theft burdened other consumers and recovering the amount from them through their monthly system was unjustified – a mechanism which, he said, should be changed.

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Solangi said the interim setup was aiming at stabilising the national economy while ensuring that Pakistan didn’t slide towards default and political temperature was cooled down. Legislation wasn’t their prerogative but would do everything reduce the current problems, he added.

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CTD arrests terrorist of banned outfit in Jamshoro IBO

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CTD arrests terrorist of banned outfit in Jamshoro IBO

A team of Hyderabad Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on Friday arrested one alleged terrorist associated with a banned outfit during an operation in Jamshoro, Dunya News reported.

According to a CTD spokesperson, a CTD team conducted an Intelligence-based-operation (IBO) in Jamshoro and arrested a terrorist belonging to banned organisation.

He also informed that the arrested terrorist was involved in providing funds to terrorist organization.

The spokesperson further informed that a 30-bore pistol, funding receipts and other evidence have been recovered from the arrested terrorist. He said that further investigation is ongoing.

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Mother, son killed in road accident near Sheikhupura

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Mother, son killed in road accident near Sheikhupura

 A woman and her son were killed and two other children were wounded when the motorcycle they were riding on was hit by a dumper near Sheikhupura on Friday night,

According to details, the accident occurred in Farooqabad area near Sheikhupura where a rashly driven dumper hit a motorcycle, killing a woman and her son on the spot and injuring two other children.

Police and rescue teams reached the spot and shifted the dead and injured to hospital.

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