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Blasphemy case: Accused cleric sent on 14-day judicial remand

ISLAMABAD: The cleric, Khalid Judoon Chishti accused by a witness of adding pages from the Quran to ashes seized from 14-year-old Rimsha to implicate her, was sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand by the judicial magistrate hearing the case, Express News reported on Sunday.

The judicial magistrate had earlier, while hearing the blasphemy case pertaining to Rimsha, reserved his verdict on giving police judicial remand of cleric Khalid Judoon, stating he would do so after gathering all details.

Police presented Jadoon in court today and submitted a plea for obtaining judicial remand but the lawyer present in court stated a separate FIR be registered for this as it was a separate case.

Khalid Judoon, the cleric who claimed having “saved” the girl by handing her over to police, was accused by a witness of adding pages from the Quran into ashes seized from Rimsha.

Meanwhile the court of Additional Session Judge Muhammad Azam Khan on Saturday adjourned the hearing of the case till Monday after Rimsha’s parents requested the court to allow them to change her lawyer.

Balochistan killings: Death toll rises to 8, strike observed

QUETTA: Another victim who was admitted in hospital in the aftermath of a firing incident that killed seven Hazaras succumbed to his injuries, taking the death toll to eight, Express News reported Sunday.

A shutter-down strike is being observed in Quetta against the targeted sectarian killings carried out in different parts of Balochistan.

The strike was called by Hazara Democratic Party, chief of the Hazara tribe Sardar Saadat and Azadari Council. Different political and trade unions also backed the strike.

Special security arrangements have been done in order to avert any untoward incident.

On Saturday, seven members of the Hazara community were killed in two apparently coordinated drive-by shooting incidents on the outskirts of the provincial capital.

Gunmen riding on motorcycles had fired a volley of gunshots at a bus stop in the Hazar Ganji neighbourhood near a vegetable market, while in a separate incident, two intending pilgrims from the Hazara community were killed, while they were waiting at the bus stop to catch a bus for the Pak-Iran border town of Taftan.

Ensure peace in Karachi at any cost: Zardari

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari said that peace in Karachi should be ensured at any cost, while presiding over a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) core committee meeting on Sunday.

The meeting, held at Bilawal House, Karachi, was attended by Federal Minister Farooq H Naek, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Minister for Power and Water Chaudhry Mukhtar Ahmed, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor Petroleum Ministry Dr Asim Hussain and some other provincial ministers.

Karachi, in the recent past, has seen several incidents of violence, especially those pertaining to sectarianism. A few political workers have also been targeted in such incidents.

According to AFP, ethnic, sectarian and politically linked violence has killed at least 740 people so far this year in the city of Karachi.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday had claimed that militants in large numbers have sneaked into the city and are trying to make it a “safe haven”.

During the meeting, Zardari also ordered that in Sindh, the local government system should be finalised and presented in the assembly for approval within two months.

Ties with coalition parties

Municipal affairs, law and order situation and ties with coalition partners were discussed during the meeting. According to sources, the president advised PPP leaders against giving out statements against all coalition parties, including the MQM.

He also ordered the formation of a three-member committee for talks with Pakistan Muslim League – Functional, National Peoples Party and Awami National Party.

The president said that the reconciliation process with political parties will continue.

Elections won’t be held soon, predicts Pir Pagara

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) chief Pir Pagara predicted on Sunday that he does not see general elections being held soon in the country. He was speaking to the media with former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in Lahore.

“The ground reality is such that the elections will not be held soon, but it is everyone’s right to prepare for the elections,” he predicted.

When asked whether he would form a new alliance with Gilani, Pir Pagara, without giving a direct answer, said that he is trying to bring back all those friends he had in 1985 during the local elections in former dictator Ziaul Haq’s era.

Gilani, commenting on the elections, said that when he was the prime minister and Pir Pagara’s father was the PML-F chief, the PPP had won all elections unopposed because the party did not clash with the PML-F. “We will fight the elections together in the future as well,” Gilani hoped.

The former premier added that whenever the PPP contested elections, it fought against all odds. “We want free, fair and transparent elections. This is in our interest… I want to assure the people that free, fair and transparent elections will be held in the country.”

CJ should take notice of Shia killings: Imran Khan

SKARDU: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan asked Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry to take suo motu notice of Shia killings in Balochistan and Gilgit, while addressing a joint press conference with prominent Shia leader Sheikh Jaffery and the leader of Sunnat Wal Jamaat Maulana Khalil.

Terming the Babusar killings which left 21 innocent people dead as a terrible tragedy, Khan said that the government had completely failed in controlling the law and order situation in the country.

He questioned as to why the chief justice was taking suo motu notices of relatively trivial matters but not taking action against sectarian killings. Adding that it was good that the chief justice had taken notice of the incumbent government’s failures but it also needed to give special consideration to the issue of brutal Shia killings.

Khan, on his visit to Skardu, visited leaders of different sects to promote sectarian harmony in the country. He promised that the PTI will continue raising its voice against terrorist organisations that were trying to create a conflict through sectarian killings.

Over 300 Shias have been killed in the ongoing sectarian strife across the country this year alone. Recently, during an inter-faith conference, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s chief Altaf Hussain had warned that sectarianism might break the country into pieces.

Bhoja Air’s not a ‘judicial’ commission: PML-N

Opposition Leader in National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar commenting on the formation of a commission to probe Bhoja aircraft crash, mentioned the body wasn’t a ‘judicial’ commission adding only chief justices could form a judicial commission.

Addressing a media conference here, Chaudhry Nisar asked details about the Bhoja Air plane accident to be made public.

“The govt neither accepts the assembly nor the Supreme Court,” he said.

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