Pak finance minister relieved of duties

Wednesday 29th November 2017 05:42 EST

Islamabad: Dar has been relieved of his three roles, including his portfolio in the finance ministry and has been informed of the decision. Abbasi has discussed the issue with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He would remain a federal minister and a leave of absence of three months has been granted to Dar. Dar, who is undergoing medical treatment in London for a heart condition, has been issued with an arrest warrant after he missed multiple court appearances on charges that he had amassed wealth beyond his known sources of income. An accountability court in Islamabad had earlier declared the minister a proclaimed offender, rejecting his plea for exemption from appearance.

Pak SC slams govt for its failure to save temple pond

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court has criticised the government for failing to protect the sacred pond in the historic Katas Raj temple complex in Chakwal district of Punjab and ordered to fill it with water. The water in the pond is receding as the underground aquifer feeding it is under stress due to industrial activity. “The pond should be filled in a week even if water has to be carried in water-skins to fill it,” Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said in an order directed to the government and the Chakwal district administration. The issue was taken up by the court on the basis of media reports that the pond was drying up because cement factories nearby were drawing large amount of water through a number of borewells.

HC summons Sharif, Maryam for misusing official protocol

Lahore: The Lahore High Court has summoned ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz for allegedly misusing official protocol. The court reportedly took a decision to summon Sharif and his daughter during the hearing of plea seeking to retract official protocol from the former prime minister and his family. The petition was filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Andleeb Abbas. Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain, daughter Maryam, son-in-law Capt (retd) Mohammad Safdar and finance minister Ishaq Dar were facing multiple corruption references in the accountability court.

Bangladesh HC upholds death for 139 BDR soldiers

Dhaka: The Bangladesh High Court has upheld the death sentence of 139 soldiers and the life imprisonment of 146 convicted soldiers of the then Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) over the killing of 74 people, including 57 Army officers, during the 2009 mutiny. The carnage took place between February 25 and 26 that year. The BDR jawans had been accused of masterminding the mutiny plots, torturing and killing their officers, looting their belongings or keeping their family members captive during the rebellion. They had also killed eight civilians, eight fellow BDR soldiers who apparently were opposed to the revolt and an army soldier apart from the 57 military officers.

Lanka PM warns UNP MPs against criticizing President

Colombo: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister and the leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe has warned his party's parliamentarians against criticizing President Maithripala Sirisena. He had given these instructions when he met the UNP parliamentary group at Parliamentary complex. According to media reports, the Premier has asked the UNP Parliamentary Group to refrain from criticizing the President and refrain from making any statement in public which would harm the consensus of the unity government. The Premier has focused on recent statements made to media by some UNP parliamentarians regarding the President's commission inquiring bond issue while the Prime Minister was away on an official visit to India.

Lanka arrests over 500 army deserters

Colombo: Sri Lanka law enforcement authorities have arrested 556 Army personnel who are Absent Without Leave after a month-long General Amnesty declared by the Ministry of Defence expired on 23 November. The authorities arrested 555 army officers including 23 female officers and one Cadet Officer. During the amnesty period declared from 23rd October to 22nd November 2017, a total of 11,232 Army deserters, including 15 Officers, 9 Officer Cadets and 11,208 other rank personnel had reported to their respective Regimental Centers seeking legal discharge, the ministry said. Originally the General Amnesty period was scheduled to end on the 15th (November) but was extended till the 22nd (November) in response to numerous requests made to the Army. With the end of amnesty, law enforcement authorities began operations to apprehend absconding deserters.

Lanka arrests 22 trying to go to Australia by boat

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police say they've arrested 22 people who were attempting to illegally migrate to Australia by boat. According to police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara, the suspects were arrested following a tip at the coastal town of Puttalam. Sri Lankan and Australian authorities are cooperating with each other to combat human smuggling. No Sri Lankan asylum seekers have reached Australia by boat since 2013. But Sri Lankans, Iranians and Afghans are the largest national groups among more than 2,000 asylum seekers living on the Pacific island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Australia pays those countries to house them, but refuses to resettle any of them.

305 killed in Egypt mosque attack

Cairo: Militants killed more than 305 people at a mosque in North Sinai last week, detonating a bomb and gunning down worshippers in the deadliest such attack of Egypt’s modern history, state media and witnesses said. No group claimed responsibility, but since 2013 Egyptian security forces have battled a stubborn Islamic State terror group affiliate in the mainly desert region, and militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers. The attack took place inside the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El Arish, the main city in North Sinai. Worshippers were finishing Friday prayers at the mosque when a bomb exploded, witnesses said. Around 40 gunmen set up positions outside the mosque with jeeps and opened fire from different directions as people tried to escape.

Khamenei is ‘new Hitler’, says Saudi crown prince

Riyadh: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has denounced Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the “new Hitler of the Middle East”, as tensions simmer between the regional rivals. Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran have traded a bitter war of words after a missile fired from Yemen was intercepted near Riyadh airport on November 4. The missile was claimed by Yemen’s Tehran-backed Houthi rebels. Iran’s “supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” Prince Mohammed said. “We learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.”

Unrepentant Mladic sentenced to life for Bosnia atrocities

THE HAGUE: An unrepentant Ratko Mladic, the bullish Bosnian Serb general whose forces rained shells and snipers' bullets on Sarajevo and carried out the worst massacre in Europe since World War II, was convicted of genocide and other crimes and sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Defiant to the last, Mladic was ejected from a courtroom at the United Nations' Yugoslav war crimes tribunal after yelling at judges: "Everything you said is pure lies. Shame on you!" He was dispatched to a neighbouring room to watch on a TV screen as Presiding Judge Alphons Orie pronounced him guilty of 10 counts that also included war crimes and crimes against humanity. Human-rights organizations hailed the convictions as proof that even top military brass long considered untouchable cannot evade justice forever.

Chinese officials directed to read Xi’s new book

Beijing: Millions of officials across China have been asked to study President Xi Jinping’s new book on governance which contains his speeches, ideological thoughts and instructions, according to a notice issued by the ruling Communist party. The second volume of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” was published earlier this month. The notice also asked party organisations at all levels to study the first and second volumes so as to understand and better implement the new thought.

Man kills serpent with bare hands

Jakarta: An Indonesian man who used his bare hands to kill a snake that was discovered slithering on a busy commuter train has become an internet hero. The train made an emergency stop after the reptile was spotted lurking on a baggage rack in a carriage. Video footage, which quickly went viral, showed the bespectacled man casually snatch the snake’s tail and then smash its head on the floor in a violent whipping motion.

Indian man jailed for robbery in Singapore

Singapore: An Indian man has been jailed for over four years and 20 weeks for robbing an Indian jeweller of cash and valuables worth 43,000 Singapore dollars. Yelchur Sreenivas, 51, was robbed by Srinath Bari Ramdeo Bari and two accomplices as he was returning home on May 25 last year. Bari, Venkatachalapathy Raman and Hassan used a wooden pole to repeatedly hit Sreenivas and robbed him of cash and valuables, the report said. Bari also pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to report for a urine test for drug checks and was given six months on each charge.

US strike in Somalia kills over 100 Shabaab fighters

Mogadishu: US forces conducted an air strike against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab group in Somalia, killing more than 100 jihadists, military officials said. The operation took place some urred 200 km northwest of the capital Mogadishu. The US military has in recent months upped the tempo of its operations in Somalia, conducting a growing number of drone strikes against Shabaab and other jihadists. On November 13, the Pentagon said US forces had killed 40 Shabaab and Islamic State fighters in a series of Somalia strikes over several days.

Chinese man tries to feed notes to tiger, loses fingers

Beijing: Feeding banknotes to a caged circus tiger proved costly for an elderly man in China as the big cat bit off two of his fingers. The tiger was part of a circus being staged at Jingziguan in Henan province. Bai, 65, approached a caged lion and the tiger, trying to feed them banknotes. A video posted online showed that the lion picked up the money and started chewing, but the tiger bit his right hand and would not let it go. Circus staff rushed to his rescue, hitting the tiger with iron bars until it let go of his hand. His middle finger had been entirely bitten off and he lost half of his ring finger.

Tiger escapes from circus, roams Paris streets

Paris: A 200kg tiger escaped from the circus in Paris and roamed the streets of the French capital before it was shot and killed by its owner. The big cat was on the loose about a mile from the Eiffel Tower for “some time”, but the creature did not hurt anyone. Local media reported that it managed to wander into a train station, forcing staff into and emergency evacuation. Tram’s were also suspended in the area, as witnesses said they saw police going down the tracks. A member of staff from the Bormann Moreno circus “neutralised” the animal with a shotgun and police took to Twitter to inform people that “all danger was over”. It was unclear how the creature escaped from the circus.

Tears shed as ambulance crew grants woman’s last wish

Canberra: An Australian ambulance crew carrying a dying woman to hospital took a detour to grant her final wish - to visit the beach one last time. “Tears were shed and the patient felt very happy,” the ambulance service posted on its Facebook page with a photo showing a stretcher facing the ocean.

Firefighters help rescue dog from tortoise tunnel

Phoenix: A dog wouldn’t come out after chasing a cat into a tunnel dug by a giant tortoise in the back yard of a Phoenix home in the US, so home owner Toby Passmore called for help. Firefighters responded with people and shovels and, with the help of a city backhoe, began unearthing the 6-foot-deep tunnel dug by Passmore’s tortoise.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter