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Relative of Gill’s driver remanded to police, wife sent to jail

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ISLAMABAD:

A district and sessions court in Islamabad granted on Thursday the Islamabad police’s request for physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill’s driver’s brother-in-law, while sending the driver’s wife to jail.

The court announced its judgment shortly after reserving it after hearing the accused’s counsel’s arguments.

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Following the court announcing its judgment, the counsel for the wife filed a post-arrest bail petition, on which the court later issued notices. Judicial Magistrate Salman Badar has summoned the police and prosecutor tomorrow, asking for the wife to kept in jail tonight.

Earlier this week, Gill was arrested on charges of sedition and inciting the public against state institutions.

Read Court grants police two-day physical remand of Shahbaz Gill

Following Gill’s arrest, the ICT police raided his driver’s home and maintained that the driver’s family had protested in a government car.

During court proceedings today, the accused’s counsel Faisal Chaudhry said that the incident took place at 9pm last night and claimed there was “video evidence proving that the police entered [the driver’s house] without a warrant”.

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The lawyer also claimed that the police had vandalized the accused’s home and also beaten them.

“We were to file a petition for habeas corpus today but the police released the news to the media,” said the advocate as he argued that “considering the role the woman played in the case posits her to be discharged” since “all but one provision in the suit are bailable offenses”.

During the proceedings, the accused’s 10-month old daughter began crying and was prevented from meeting her mother upon which Civil Judge Salman Badr ordered the girl to be brought to her in the courtroom.

When the judge asked the woman if she wanted to say something, she stated that “the police broke the door and entered [the house], we only came to know [of the incident] when the police had reached our bedroom. Our privacy was not even considered”.

“More than 20 police officers entered the bedroom and tortured us,” added Nauman.

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“The police entered without a warrant and violated the sanctity of the home,” argued the lawyer.

Advocate Chaudhry was snubbed by the judge for “mentioning Shahbaz Gill’s arrest in another case” and directed to “restrict the arguments to the present case”.

Raid on Gill’s driver’s house ‘legal’

Earlier today the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police stated that the raid conducted on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill’s driver’s house was ‘legal’.

In a tweet, the Islamabad police stated that they were collecting “all evidence” related to the case.

“Wherever legal action is required, the police will do its job,” they said, adding that the scope of this particular case could be extended to other provinces beyond Islamabad.

According to the police, legal action will be taken against those who were found to be “concealing evidence or erasing evidence”.

Advising people to not pay attention to fake news, they claimed that action will also be taken against those spreading “false news and incitement” among the people.

“Islamabad Capital Police will ensure the enforcement of the law,” it maintained.

Gill’s arrest

The federal government confirmed on Tuesday that it had arrested PTI leader Shahbaz Gill for sedition and inciting the public against state institutions.

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Addressing a press conference following the arrest, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah along with Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that Gill was arrested by the Islamabad Police after lodging an FIR.

He said a “conspiratorial role” of a private TV channel has also come to the fore, adding that Shahbaz Gill, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry and the channel’s administration played the role on the instruction of Imran Khan.

The minister furthered that negative propaganda was spread against the martyrs of the army helicopter crash on social media.

Read more Imran sees conspiracy to pit PTI against army

“An attempt was made to incite mutiny and sedition in the Pakistan Army ranks and files. This whole conspiracy is being investigated and the conspiratorial characters are being determined,” he added.

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PTI distances itself

Despite earlier chagrin over the “abduction” of Gill, the PTI appeared to be distancing itself from Shahbaz Gill’s remarks made on the private TV channel.

Talking to Javed Chaudhry on Express News, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said on Wednesday that Gill’s narrative was “not the party’s stance” and added that “every person has their own opinion”.

He, however, still insisted that “Shahbaz Gill should be forgiven after withdrawing his statement”.



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Punjab

Dept turns blind eye to rare birds poaching

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LAHORE:

The hunting of rare species of falcons and quails peaked in the province, due to the negligence of the Punjab wildlife authorities. A large number of falcons and quails were hunted in different districts of the province during the last month.

Punjab wildlife officials said over 100 hunters were arrested and fined over hunting rare birds during the past week. Hunting rare wild birds reached a peak in Punjab due to the inattention of Secretary Forests and Wildlife and Director General Punjab Wildlife. Allegedly, people are secretly hunting rare species of falcons and quails in many areas, sometimes with the connivance of wildlife staff.

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Around 123 hunters were arrested and fined millions of rupees for hunting falcons, wild quails and wild pigeons during the last week, but the number of sport hunters is growing. Most hunting of rare species took place in Salt Range, Sargodha, Rajanpur, Bahawalnagar, Bhakkar, Pakpattan, Okara and Muzaffargarh. According to sources, hunters are slapped with small fines, but fines alone cannot address the rapidly declining numbers of wild birds.

A former director of wildlife department said during September and October, falcons and other migratory birds arrive in Pakistan. He added that falcons are rare and precious birds and their price is determined by the breed, size and health. A female falcon costs more than a male and the price of varies between Rs10,000 and Rs10 million.

He further disclosed that staff only catch the hunter as a formality and fine them a small amount. Falcon hunters have a strong network, which includes poachers, dealers, smugglers and people from the department itself. On the other hand, the officials said that action is being taken across the province against those who hunt wild birds, on the instructions of the secretary of forests and wildlife. If any employee of the department is involved in illegal hunting, action will be taken against them. According to the authorities, poachers can be fined and punished as per the Wildlife Act.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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Punjab

CCPO Dogar’s position hangs in the balance

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LAHORE:

The government of Punjab, other than a verbal affirmation, has not taken a formal decision regarding the retention of Additional IG (AIG) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, a grade 21 officer, in his position as the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO).

Earlier this week, the federal government transferred Dogar from the post and asked him to report to the Establishment Division. According to reports, the federal government, led by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), was frustrated with him over the registration of a case under anti-terrorism charges against two of its leaders, Javed Latif and Maryam Aurangzeb.

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Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar made the claim before the media.

As Dogar’s transfer orders were reported through the media, Hashim Dogar asked the AIG to continue serving as CCPO pending further orders. Chief Minister Punjab Pervaiz Elahi termed the orders unlawful and refused to comply by them.

The next day, the CM held a meeting with senior officers of Punjab and ordered them to remain at their positions, pending permission from the Government of Punjab.

The CM, in an exclusive meeting with Dogar, reportedly assured him that they will not let him be transferred and had also praised him and his services.

However, to retain his position, the provincial government reportedly had not taken any formal action so far, nor had it sent in writing to the Establishment or Services and General Administration Department Punjab anything in regards to Dogar’s position.

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As per the departmental regulations, being a PSP officer ie a federal government employee, Dogar was mandated to report to the Establishment Division within a week. If he failed to do this, he may be issued a show-cause notice explaining his actions. Failure to respond could lead to a suspension.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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Punjab

Schools heads to pay for poor results

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LAHORE:

The Punjab School Education Department has decided to take action against the heads of schools showing poor performance in the recently announced matriculation results.

The department has reportedly given the last warning to the headmasters and headmistresses to submit their schools’ results. The chief executive officers (CEO) of all district education authorities have also been instructed to submit the data pertaining to the results.

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According to school education department officials, thousands of students across Punjab showed poor performance in the annual results and the school heads and district education authority CEOs responsible would face action under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (PEEDA) Act.

On the other hand, CEOs appear to be hesitant to submit the data of performance of schools in their districts to the department.

An official said there was a shortage of around 100,000 schoolteachers in the province, which was the main cause of the poor results.

The officials of the education department said while speaking to The Express Tribune that about 30% of schools in Punjab had shown poor results in the matriculation examinations. They said the department wanted to compile the performance data of the school heads of each district.

“An instruction was sent to the education authority CEOs of all districts of Punjab to submit their data to the department. However, the CEOs ignored the department’s instruction.

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Now the department has issued a last warning to the CEOs concerned in all districts to submit the performance data so that action may be initiated against all headmasters, headmistresses and CEOs whose results are unsatisfactory,” said a senior official of the school education department.

“The department will take strict action against all school heads whose students’ success rate was less than 10%. The action will be taken under the PEEDA Act,” he added. The official said personal hearings would be held to ascertain the reasons of the poor results.

“We asked the CEOs two weeks ago to send us the names of all headmasters whose schools’ result is poor, but they appear to be protecting the educationists who may face action as they did not send us the names,” he said.

A headmaster, Muhammd Farooq, alleged that the provincial government and school education department were trying to cover up their own poor performance by taking action against teachers.

“There is a shortage of around 100,000 schoolteachers in Punjab but we have to continue the academic activities. A large number of schools in the province do not have science teachers. This is affecting the performance of students from poor families as there is a trend of private tuition in most districts and the students are left at the mercy of private academies to pass their exams. But there are thousands of students whose families cannot afford private coaching,” he said.

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He said the teachers could not do much amid the circumstances where staff shortage and in adequate infrastructure, including labs and school buildings are directly affecting the annual examination results. Farooq said the government should resolve these issues before taking action against the headmasters.

Punjab Teachers Union secretary general Rana Liaqat Ali said it was very difficult to show good results amid a shortage of 100,000 teachers.

The school headmasters and the whole teaching community is struggling hard to give a bright future to the students but our genuine issues should be addressed.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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