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PTI fields lawyers as frontrunners for Feb 8 elections in Karachi

arty, which has been through great deal since May 9, says it has rewarded lawyers for their support

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PTI fields lawyers as frontrunners for Feb 8 elections in Karachi

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has issued party tickets to about a dozen counsels to contest general elections on the National Assembly and Sindh Assembly seats in Karachi.

PTI lawyers will vie for seven NA seats and four provincial assembly seats in the city. Whereas, contests will be held on a total of 22 NA and 47 SA seats in the general elections on February 8 across the megalopolis.

Advocate Zahoor uddin, who is the Insaf Lawyers Forum Karachi president, is contesting from NA-237 (East-III), Shujaat Ali Khan NA-243 (Keamari-II), Khalid Mehmood NA-231 (Malir-III), Advocate Haris Meo NA-233 (Korangi-II), Attaullah Khan NA-245 (West-II), Barrister Fayaz NA-247 (Central-I) and Barrister Uzair Ghauri from NA-249 (Central-III).

Those contesting the provincial assembly seats, include Ashraf Samoo PS-89 (Malir-VI), Barrister Ali Tahir PS-101 (East-V), Advocate Ali Palh PS-103 (East-VII) and Rana Imran PS-123 (Central-II).

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Likewise, the party has fielded lawyers in other provinces as well. The prominent among them are Barrister Gohar Ali Khan (from Buner), Latif Khosa (Lahore), Salman Akram Raja (Lahore), Shoaib Shaheen (Islamabad), and Sher Afzal Marwat (Lakki Marwat).

The party, which has been through a great deal since May 9, says it has rewarded the lawyers for their support and commitment to fighting cases against workers and leaders in the face of testing times. 

However, political analysts also see it as a good strategy to bank on advocates because of unity among their ranks and the backing of lawyers’ bodies. “Lawyers supported and stood by the PTI in its testing times and handled cases of party leaders, including Imran Khan. They truly deserved [party tickets],” PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman said, talking to The News.

“They were rewarded for their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts. Yet workers were fielded on 70-85 per cent of the seats. In my opinion, lawyers should have had an even greater share in the allocation of seats.”

In the wake of the events of May 9, key PTI leaders ditched the Imran Khan-led party. They were picked up or arrested, and later emerged to condemn the May 9 violence and quit the party. Some even quit politics altogether.

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With most PTI leaders either in hiding or behind bars and having ditched the party, lawyers became the face of the party. Barrister Gohar Khan was recently elected as the party chairman in intra-party elections, which were though nullified by the Supreme Court.

“Lawyers enjoy the backing of bar council and bar associations, which have a tradition of safeguarding the fundamental rights of their members. Arresting them or launching legal action against them seems somewhat difficult though the establishment has no such tradition as it treats everyone badly,” said Dr Tauseef Ahmed Khan.

“[Fielding lawyers] is an excellent strategy. I don’t think of any better decision than this.”

An independent candidate, Advocate Johar Abid, was lately picked up from his residence. The Karachi Bar Association observed a complete boycott of legal proceedings at the City Courts against what it described the abduction of its member by people posing as police officials. A day later, Johar Abid returned home.

“Lawyers are the most organised community in civil society and hold significant sway. Some political parties are trying to cash in on them,” opined senior court reporter Asghar Umar. “Lawyers used to be elected to parliament, but since the lawyers’ movement became a symbol of their success, they became a force to be reckoned with as they can get relief for themselves by standing up to any other state institution.”

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But with the rise in their power, he said, polarisation has also increased among their ranks. PTI candidate Zahoor uddin is hopeful that the lawyers would win the elections. “While former PTI parliamentarians quit the party, it was lawyers who stood by it, fighting cases and securing their release. They also held rallies and protests, because of which the party decided to award them tickets,” he said. Advocate Shujaat Khan said he has been visiting his constituency and getting good response from voters. He is also hopeful that the lawyers would win the elections.

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Musadik Malik emphasises adoption of environment-friendly technology for sustainable development

Musadik Malik emphasises adoption of environment-friendly technology for sustainable development

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Musadik Malik emphasises adoption of environment-friendly technology for sustainable development

 Federal Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik underscores the need for embracing environment-friendly technology to ensure sustainable development in Pakistan. 

In a recent address at a ceremony held in Islamabad, Minister Malik highlighted the pressing issue of environmental instability, noting that despite a purported zero carbon footprint, Pakistan was grappling with the adverse effects of climate change. 

He pointed to alarming indicators such as rising global temperatures and increased incidents of extreme weather events, including flash floods in Sindh that have devastated numerous villages, exacerbating food insecurity in the region. 

Acknowledging the dual challenge of environmental and economic instability, Minister Malik stressed the imperative for concerted action to address these issues. 

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He revealed that Pakistan’s total exports stand at $30 billion, with energy exports comprising a significant portion at $20 billion. 

To confront these challenges head-on, Minister Malik announced plans to ramp up petroleum products production, citing its critical role in ensuring energy security and fostering economic growth. 

He outlined various policies aimed at facilitating this increase, including incentivising consortiums for small companies and fostering cooperation with international stakeholders.

Underlining the centrality of energy security to economic development, Minister Malik reiterated the importance of adopting environment-friendly technologies to meet the nation’s energy demands sustainably.

He emphasised the utilisation of national resources as a key strategy in this endeavour.

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Islamabad police register case of armed assault on PTI leader Raoof Hasan

Islamabad police register case of armed assault on PTI leader Raoof Hasan

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Islamabad police register case of armed assault on PTI leader Raoof Hasan

A day after unidentified transgender persons armed with blades wounded PTI leader Raoof Hasan in an attack in Islamabad, police on Wednesday registered a case of the assault. 

The case registered against unidentified transgender persons at the Aabpara police station includes sections related to the charges of attempted murder and death threats. 

According to the first information report (FIR), Raoof Hasan was heading to a parking lot after participating in a TV talk show when he was ambushed by three transgender-like persons. 

The FIR details that these attackers tried to cut his throat with a sharp-edged tool. Hasan suffered a cut in the face when he stepped back in a bid to protect himself, it adds. 

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In the FIR, Raoof Hasan alleged that a similar attack was attempted on him two days back in Islamabad’s Blue Area. 

The PTI information secretary was attacked on Tuesday afternoon by some unidentified transgender persons with a blade in Islamabad’s G-7 area. He suffered a cut in the face.

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JAP urges Punjab governor to return defamation bill unapproved

JAP urges Punjab governor to return defamation bill unapproved

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JAP urges Punjab governor to return defamation bill unapproved

The Judicial Activism Panel has penned a letter to Punjab Governor Sardar Salim Haider Khan, vehemently urging him not to approve the controversial Punjab Defamation Bill 2024 recently passed by the Punjab Assembly. 

The letter, authored by the Judicial Activism Panel, highlighted grave concerns over the Defamation Bill, asserting that its passage by the Punjab Assembly contradicts the principles outlined in Article 19 of the constitution. 

According to the panel, the enforcement of this bill poses a significant threat to the freedom of speech, a fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen. 

The panel argued that the implementation of the Defamation Bill would severely restrict the public’s access to vital information, serving as a formidable obstacle to the citizens’ right to information. 

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They emphasised that the bill, if enacted, would curtail the freedom of speech, thereby violating the fundamental right of the citizens.

Expressing apprehension, the letter said the law could potentially be exploited to serve political interests, further undermining the democratic principles upon which the nation is built.

In their fervent plea to Governor Sardar Salim Haider Khan, the Judicial Activism Panel demanded that he refrain from approving the bill and instead return it to the Punjab Assembly without his endorsement.

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