Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pakistan: Illegal post: Court-martialled army officer grabs NAB post

The Express Tribune
After revelations that Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Shujaat Azeem was court-martialled by Pakistan Air Force, a similar case of a high-ranking National Accountability Bureau officer being court-martialled by Pakistan Army has come to light. Sources familiar with the development revealed to The Express Tribune that Husnain Ahmed, currently serving as Director General NAB Punjab was court-martialled by the army during training of Pakistan Military Academy Long Course-69. According to the Army Act, a person who is court-martialled cannot hold any public office or government post. Ahmed and three others were also appointed as directors-general on BPS-21 post in NAB by ex-chief Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari when the caretaker government was in power. After the Supreme Court passed an order suspending appointments and transfers made by the caretaker government, these four newly appointed DGs – DG Human Resources and Finance Altaf Bahawani, DG Operations NAB headquarters Zahir Shah, DG NAB Headquarters Brigadier (retd) Farooq Nasir Awan and Ahmed – are still occupying these positions illegally . Bokhari appointed them despite the fact that the Election Commission of Pakistan, in response to the accountability body’s letter, barred it from making new appointments. But NAB concealed these facts from the apex court as well as the implementation cell of the federal government that was established regarding careful review of all decisions and directives of the caretaker government in compliance of Supreme Court’s orders. The contents of the letter of the Cabinet Division vide No1/2/2013-IMP-II available with The Express Tribune reads, “The Prime Minister has desired that the Cabinet Division may undertake a holistic review of all directives issued/decisions taken during the incumbency of the caretaker government and re-submit them for orders of the Prime Minister whenever appropriate. “It is therefore requested that all directives issued/decisions taken by the caretaker government may please be conveyed to this division for desired action.” Despite receiving this letter, NAB has concealed facts from the Cabinet Division in its reply that no appointments and transfers were made during the interim setup. Sources also revealed that Ahmed is occupying two official residences at the same time in Islamabad and Lahore despite the fact that a public servant is entitled to only one official residence.

PPP delegation meets Imran Khan

Pakistan Peoples Party’s delegation consisting of Raza Rabbani‚ Khurshid Shah‚ Qamar Zaman Kaira and Rehman Malik held a meeting with PTI chief Chairman Imran Khan at his residence. Talikng to media, PPP leader Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said that the meeting with PTI Chairman was positive and constructive. He said people should wait till Friday for final decision regarding fielding a joint candidate for presidential election or boycotting it.

Pakistan: SC decision on presidential poll date attack on federation: Rabbani

The Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) presidential candidate, Raza Rabbani, has said the Supreme Court’s decision to change the schedule of the presidential polls was “an attack on the federation”. PPP leaders remained busy on Thursday as they approached various political parties asking for their support for the party’s presidential candidate. A delegation of the party, headed by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah, held separate meetings with leaders of the PML-Q, the ANP, the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). Talking to reporters after meeting ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan, Rabbani said the SC’s verdict was an attack on the federation as the court had ignored the provincial assemblies. Rabbani told the reporters that he had been meeting leaders of various political parties to chalk out a strategy on whether to go along with the elections or boycott them. He said an impression had been given that the electoral college for the presidential poll was only present in Islamabad while “the fact of the matter is that all four provincial assemblies are included in the electoral college”. Rabbani said the new schedule did not provide enough time for him to carry out a proper campaign, adding that it would be impossible for him to visit all the provincial headquarters and meet the members of parliament. “I am a presidential candidate but I was not served any notice pertaining to hearing the plea seeking a change in the poll date,” he said. Rabbani said the SC, on the petition by the PML-N, gave a one-sided decision without hearing the other parties. “The Supreme Court even gave the schedule of the presidential elections,” he added. Addressing the reporters, Asfandyar said the ANP would support the PPP’s decision if it boycotted the presidential elections. He asked was it the Supreme Court’s constitutional domain to announce the schedule of the presidential elections? “If the answer is yes then there is no need to have an election commission.” Meanwhile, after his meeting with Khurshid Shah, Shujaat told reporters that if the opposition parties failed to reach a consensus on the issue, the PML-Q lawmakers would abstain from voting on July 30. According to a source, the PML-Q leadership urged the opposition leader to set aside their differences and agree on a joint candidate for the presidential elections. When contacted, PML-Q Information Secretary Kamil Ali Agha said his party had decided to support only a joint candidate of the opposition parties. "We want a joint candidate of the opposition parties. We had made such an effort in 2008 election and we want that a joint candidate should be fielded this time as well," he said. Agha confirmed that in case the opposition parties failed to field a joint candidate, his party's lawmakers would not take part in the election.

Khyal Mohammad - Munga da Khyber Zalmi

PPP to make decision on contesting presidential election today
The Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) candidate for the presidential election, Raza Rabbani said Thursday that the party would make a decision regarding contesting the polls later today (Thursday). Rabbani during a news conference held on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court decision on holding the election on July 30 would affect campaigning. During the same news conference PPP leader, Aitzaz Ahsan said the party would evaluate its options regarding contesting the presidential election. “We will make a final decision after consulting with other political parties.” Meanwhile, Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan said that his party would support whatever decision was taken by the PPP. The ANP had earlier announced that it would be supporting Rabbani in the presidential election. “You cannot find a better candidate that Raza Rabbani,” Wali told reporters following his meeting with the PPP presidential candidate.

Watchdog critical of State Department contracting in Afghanistan

By Jamie Crawford
A U.S. government watchdog found "serious deficiencies" in how the State Department awarded a contract job in Afghanistan, according to a letter from the organization to Secretary of State John Kerry released Thursday. In the letter dated Monday, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, John Sopko, raised a number of concerns on the oversight practices of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the State Department and how they awarded a contract for the training of Afghan justice workers. Sopko said the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the nongovernmental organization awarded the contract, is "ill-prepared to manage and account for how U.S.-taxpayer funds will be spent," while also criticizing the State Department's role in awarding the contract. The United States has maintained that programs such as training and rule-of-law programs are central to ending the international presence in the country and allowing Afghans to take control of their own security. Those programs involve "millions of dollars" of U.S. taxpayer money the letter said. "The State Department - for some inexplicable reason - gave IDLO $50 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars, then gave away any oversight of this foreign entity," Sopko said in a written statement to CNN about the report. "The irony here is that State violated its own written policy and gave them a huge check to teach the Afghans about the 'rule of law.' As the saying goes, you can't make this up. We're going to get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable." Sopko said his office - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR - was disturbed to learn the agreement for IDLO to take over the contract contained "even fewer oversight requirements" than the agreement for the previous contractor. The letter also cited testimony by a State Department official to SIGAR auditors that IDLO is unable to validate its own spending since it lacks proper international financial certifications. "It seems ill-considered for INL to have awarded almost $50 million to an organization that may not have the ability to account for the use of those funds," Sopko wrote, "under an agreement in which INL failed to require proper provisions for oversight." In a harshly worded section of the letter, Sopko referred to INL's assertion that it does not "have authority to compel IDLO to produce information" in the awarding of the contract as "disingenuous." INL, the letter says, could have made the awarding of the contract contingent on a certain level of oversight. "This omission is particularly disturbing given that INL chose IDLO as the sole project implementer." The lack of insight on the part of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs led Sopko's office to request information from the International Development Law Organization about its financial situation and relationships, of which Sopko said IDLO "has refused to fully comply with." "IDLO's failure to comply with these requests raises serious concerns regarding its commitment to transparency and willingness to acknowledge the authority of the U.S. government to oversee how U.S. taxpayer funds are spent," Sopko wrote. Subpoenas may also be issued to IDLO to "compel the production of any and all records IDLO possesses related to its operations in Afghanistan," the letter said. Sopko recommended the State Department address the "deficiencies" in the agreement with IDLO, as well as the review of similar contracts and grants related to Afghan reconstruction to ensure they included proper oversight mechanisms. The letter comes at a time when contracting fraud and waste in Afghanistan is receiving heightened attention in Washington. On Wednesday, SIGAR released two separate reports highlighting problems with contractors in Afghanistan. In one instance, SIGAR found a company contracted by the U.S. military in Afghanistan to build a school "freely substituted building materials without U.S. approval using a concrete ceiling that raises safety concerns due to the school's location in an earthquake zone." A second audit found the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development lack the same authority the Pentagon has to terminate contracts with an entity later found to be affiliated with insurgent groups in Afghanistan or those deemed to be an enemy of the United States. Earlier this month it was revealed that a new $34 million U.S. military compound built in Afghanistan - paid for by U.S. tax dollars - likely never would be used.

Did India ignore warnings in free meals scheme?

A forensic report confirmed that the free school lunch that killed 23 Indian children was contaminated with a pesticide. But a UN report indicates that New Delhi had been urged to ban the toxic chemical as early as 2009. It was meant to be an ordinary school day for the pupils in the Indian village of Gandaman. The Dharmashati primary school located in the district of Saran in the eastern state of Bihar had opened just a few years ago with an enrolment of 89 children. But the events surrounding a free lunch served on Tuesday, July 16th, would end in tragedy and rock trust in one of the world's largest school feeding programs. Within minutes of eating a meal of rice and potato curry in their one-room school, a total of 48 children fell ill, vomiting and convulsing with stomach cramps. They were rushed to Patna, the state capital, where they were hospitalized in critical condition. For 23 children aged between four and 12 help came too late. They all died of food poisoning.A forensic report later revealed that oil used to cook the school lunch contained monocrotophos, a highly toxic concentrated form of an agricultural insecticide widely used and easily available in India, but banned in many other counties, according to a UN report. Many of the victims were buried on a playing field adjacent to the primary school that served the free school lunch - the only meal of the day for a number of the poor youngsters.
The Mid-Day Meal Scheme
The lunch was part of India's Mid-Day Meal Scheme, a school feeding program reaching out to about 120 million children in more than 1.2 million schools across the vast country, according to government data. The program is designed to enhance school enrolment, encourage attendance and improve nutritional levels in a country where nearly half of its children under the age of five are chronically malnourished, according to the government's own estimates.The scheme has had a long history in India. In 1925, a mid-day meal program was introduced for disadvantaged children in Madras Municipal Corporation. By 1990-91 the number of states implementing the program with their own resources on a universal or a large scale had increased to twelve states, according to the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development. Today, it has been adopted by most Indian states after a landmark direction by the Indian Supreme Court in 2001.
'The magnet that draws kids to school'
So far, the program seems to have been successful in tackling the issues of classroom hunger and attendance. Om Vir Singh, headmaster of a public school in the town of Vrindavan in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, told DW that: "the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is the only magnet that draws kids to school. Not all of them get nutritious food at home. That is how we have managed to keep kids in classrooms." Suraj, a sixth grader, who has been having these meals for two years, says the free lunch is sometimes the only meal he has all day. "My father is a daily wage laborer and we can't afford another big meal. I enjoy coming to school," he said. Complaints over food quality However, while the scheme seems to have contributed to an increase in attendance, it still has many shortcomings. According to a performance evaluation report issued by India's Planning Commission in 2010, the scheme had already drawn several complaints over food quality. "There have been instances where due to long supply chain, food grain supplied got adulterated and pilfered," the study stated, raising the question of whether state authorities ignored the warnings that ultimately led to the mass poisoning. As with most large social programs in India, the success rate of the free meals scheme differs from state-to-state. For Bihar, the evaluation report states that "a lack of proper planning and absence of proper coordination resulted in erratic supply of funds and food grain."WHO asked to ban toxin Schools generally do not receive quota of food grain in a planned manner on a monthly basis. As a result, some schools are "overstocked resulting in breeding of insects," the reports states. The study also found that more than 70 percent of the children in the sampled schools in Bihar had complained about the poor quality of the food. But most importantly, the Indian government had been asked by the World Health Organization (WHO) to ban the use of monocrotophos as early as 2009, due to the fact that the nerve poison had been "frequently associated with both accidental and intentional fatal pesticide poisonings," a WHO study revealed. The paper says that, although the WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recommends puncturing and crushing the containers to prevent their reuse for any purpose, "the reality is different." Because of their sturdiness and look, the report adds, many pesticide containers are "often later used to store objects, food grains and water, and sometimes even medicines."
School principal arrested
The Bihar state government has alleged a political conspiracy behind the incident to malign the government. Indian police recently arrested the headmistress of the primary school while on her way to court to surrender. The woman, who had been missing for more than a week, is said to have been charged with murder, poisoning and criminal conspiracy, But Indian economist Kamal Nayan Kabra believes the recent tragedy was the result of a combination of several factors. "When there is such a long distance between the beneficiaries and the providers, there is a lack of control. When the character of the administration is so ineffective and doesn't respond to the needs and aspirations of the people, then such things are slated to happen," Kabra told DW. The expert is of the opinion that what the country needs is an implementation of checks and balances in order to ensure that good quality material is delivered to the schools.The Indian government reacted to the incident by announcing it would set up an inquiry into the quality of food given to school pupils. The new committee is set to look into various aspects of the program, such as "the quality of food that is supplied, the effectiveness of the supply chain and hygiene of the place where it is cooked." However, it remains unclear how successful the reforms can be in a scheme that is hampered by weak implementation and poor quality control.

U.S. Award For Afghan Justice 'Deficient'
Federal inspectors say a U.S. government award to an organization that promotes the rule of law in Afghanistan does not appear to contain basic oversight provisions from the State Department. In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on July 24, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said there were "serious deficiencies" in the award to the Rome-based International Development Law Organization. The award, meant to benefit the Afghanistan Justice Training Transition Program, is expected to cost U.S. taxpayers about $50 million. Special Inspector General John Sopko said lack of oversight requirements could indicate that the U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs is scaling back on its oversight of a program that is considered central to U.S. efforts to promote the rule of law in Afghanistan. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. State Department.

Pakistan: Democratic Delusions

By Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.
The contrast between political rhetoric and everyday reality is often stark, even in democracies, where politicians are free to speak the truth about the ills facing their societies. But the discontinuity seems greatest in the Islamic world, where religious dogmas and delusions thrive, and nowhere greater than in Pakistan. Just consider President Asif Ali Zardari's address to a joint session of parliament last month, following national elections that returned Nawaz Sharif to power as prime minister. After noting his role as the nation's first elected civilian to oversee a "democratic" transfer of power, Zardari praised the establishment of democratic government in Pakistan. He extolled the "grace and glory of democracy" that had taken root in his country. He announced the "success of a prolonged struggle" toward democracy, insisting that "a dream has come true; a promise has been redeemed." He claimed that parliament had "purged the Constitution of undemocratic articles." He explained that voter participation in the parliamentary elections "shows that the ethos of our people is democratic." Thanks to the sacrifice of the nation's political leaders, he said, "democracy has arrived." The great, historic test of democracies, however, is not their capacity to hold elections. It is whether they deliver justice to the least powerful members of their societies, especially their ethnic, racial, and religious minorities. Put another way, democracies differ from tyrannies by their ability to make peace with modern pluralism. And by this test, Pakistan -- a self-declared Muslim state devoted to upholding Sunni Islam -- represents a loathsome retreat into sectarian terror. "This is not an economic battle any longer, this is a battle of ideologies," Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council told a Washington, DC gathering last week. "Pakistan is what I would call a failing society." That dark assessment was echoed at a panel discussion, hosted by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), about the growing threat of religiously motivated violence against Muslim and non-Muslim minorities. The panel included Rahat Husain, legal affairs director of the Universal Muslim Association of America, which advocates for Shi'a Muslims; Peter Bhatti, chairman of International Christian Voice; Qasim Rashid, spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA; and Jay Kansara, associate director of the Hindu American Foundation. USCIRF's report, "Pakistan: A History of Violence," documents 18 months of publicly-reported attacks against religious communities. The findings make the bloodletting in Iraq and Afghanistan almost seem like child's play. Over the course of the study, there were 203 separate acts of sectarian violence, injuring more than 1,800 people and claiming the lives over 700 men, women, and children. The largest number of attacks was against Shi'a Muslims, followed by Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. The methods include suicide bombs, bombs in markets and mosques, drive-by shootings, attacks on religious sites, torture, beheadings, and mob violence. The victims, overwhelmingly civilians, included:
An opthamologist and his son, shot and killed. A doctor gunned down in his clinic. Four shopkeepers fatally shot while at work. A 14-year-old girl killed at a religious meeting. A 12-year-old girl gang-raped and murdered. An 11-year-old boy, burned, tortured, mutilated and murdered. A 44-year-old school teacher fatally shot on his way home. A 43-year-old school teacher tortured to death while in police custody. A prayer leader killed in a mosque. A disabled man burned alive by a mob.
And the list goes on. It is true that "private citizens" and militant groups officially banned by the government committed most of these atrocities. But the real atrocity is that Pakistan sustains what USCIRF calls a "climate of impunity" for this violence. Perpetrators are rarely apprehended or prosecuted. The overall response of the Pakistani government, according to USCIRF, has been "grossly inadequate." The problem is not just a failure of political will, but rather a deep conflict between the doctrines of political Islam and the tenets of liberal democracy. A government that uses blasphemy laws to criminalize speech deemed "offensive" to Sunni Islam does not have a democratic ethos. A law enforcement regime that refuses to ensure the security of an entire community because of theological differences -- the Shi'a Muslims, who have endured scores of lethal attacks as police looked the other way -- does not have a democratic ethos. A constitution that politically disenfranchises people because of religion -- the Ahmadis, who cannot vote without publicly renouncing their faith -- does not have a democratic ethos. A state education system that vilifies people because of their beliefs -- the Hindus, portrayed in textbooks as extremists and "the enemy of Islam" -- does not have a democratic ethos. No, the ethos that appears to be overwhelming the state of Pakistan is not inspired by democratic ideals. It is, instead, nurtured by the visions and hatreds and paranoia of a perverted faith. This is the cultural crisis of Pakistan. It was on tragic display earlier this month, when Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager campaigning for girls' education, visited the United Nations in New York. The 16-year-old Yousafzai barely survived an assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban last October, when she was shot in the face at point-blank range. As she told an appreciative audience in New York: "Extremists are afraid of books and pens." Back home in Pakistan, however, Taliban leaders lashed out at her in an open letter to the Pakistani people, calling her efforts "satanic" and part of a larger Western plot to enslave the world. The extremists seem to be winning the argument. "Many people hate Malala," Zubair Torwali, a newspaper columnists from the Swat Valley, told The New York Times. "Anything here in Pakistan related to the West or America becomes a thing of conspiracy. The Taliban's ideology is flourishing in Pakistan. It is victorious." This ideology of exclusion and hate may not be triumphant in Pakistan, but it does seem to be gaining ground. A turning point came with the assassinations in 2011 of two prominent government leaders critical of the nation's blasphemy laws and systematic repression of minorities. One was Salmaan Taseer, a Muslim, and governor of Punjab, and another was Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian, and the federal minister for Minorities Affairs. Their deaths were openly applauded by leading politicians and clerics. The great tragedy of this lurch toward extremism is that it alienates large segments of the population from Pakistani society -- individuals and groups that could help to moderate and reform its political culture. The founding fathers of Pakistan "had a broad vision of inclusion" and recognized that "Christians have played an important role" in the history of the country, said Peter Bhatti, brother of Shahbaz Bhatti, who has taken up his brother's cause. Despite the spike in violence against Christians, he said, "we will remain loyal citizens of Pakistan." What religious minorities in Pakistan appear to share, in fact, is a commitment to a democratic state worthy of the name: a nation that ensures equal justice under the law for all its citizens, regardless of race, gender, or creed. This is what constitutes a democratic ethos, in law and in custom. Political philosopher John Locke, in his Letter Concerning Toleraton (1689), explained the core moral obligation of a just state in this way: "It is the duty of the civil magistrate, by the impartial execution of equal laws, to secure unto all the people in general, and to every one of his subjects in particular, the just possession of these things to this life." Pakistan's political leadership gives lip service to this principle, as if prompted by a guilty conscience. "Let everyone be judged by the same yardstick," President Zardari told the parliament. But until Pakistan takes significant steps toward this goal -- in its politics as well as its broader culture -- its descent into a violent, sectarian quagmire is assured.
Joseph Loconte, PhD, is an associate professor of history at the King's College in New York City and the author of Gospel of Liberty: John Locke and the Struggle for Religious Freedom (Lexington Books, forthcoming).

PPP mulls quitting the race over ‘biased’ decision by SC

The Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) is considering quitting the presidential race over the decision of the Supreme Court to reschedule the presidential election on a petition of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. “This decision has caused prejudice against the contesting candidates who were not heard in this case,” PPPP’s presidential candidate Senator Raza Rabbani stated at a press conference. He was flanked by PPPP leaders Amin Fahim, Aitzaz Ahsan and opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah. Protesting strongly on the court’s decision, opposition leader in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan said that it has compelled the party to think whether to contest the presidential election or not. “Supreme Court speedily imparts justice whenever PML-N applies for it,” Aitzaz remarked. Raza Rabbani noted that the order of the court has badly impacted his election campaign, as only two days are not enough to visit all the provincial capitals to carry out the election campaign. “I am a middle class person and have no jet plane to undertake the election campaign contrary to ruling party’s candidate who might use prime minister’s plane for campaigning,” Rabbani said. He objected to the court’s decision and said it had only heard the PML-N and rescheduled the presidential election from August 6 to July 30 without sending a notice to the contesting candidates to hear them in this particular case. tanveer ahmed

PPP evaluating decision to contest presidential election: Aitzaz Ahsan

PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan said Wednesday that his party was evaluating if they should contest the presidential election following the Supreme Court decision to hold polls on July 30. Addressing a news conference alongside PPP leaders including the party’s presidential candidate Raza Rabbani, Ahsan added that PPP had also lost the May 11 general elections due to a conspiracy. Ahsan echoed Rabbani’s statement that the presidential campaign had been affected due to a change in schedule.

PPP to consult PTI, others over election boycott today

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership on Wednesday night deferred its decision to boycott the presidential election for today (Thursday) and decided that consultation process would be expanded to all opposition parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. A source said the consultative meeting of the PPP was held at the residence of Opposition Leader Syed Khurshid Shah and was attended by top PPP leaders, including Aitzaz Ahsan. The source said the PPP had made up its mind for boycotting the election but it wanted to convince the PTI, who had fielded Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed for the slot. The source added that the consultation would also be made with PML-Q chief Shujaat, Jamat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawar Hassan, Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Sherpao and others. A consultative committee comprising Aitzaz Ahsan, Khurshid Shah and Rehman Malik has been formed to reach out to other political parties. “Those leaders who are available in capital would be approached by the PPP leaders personally while those out of city or country would be consulted through phone,” the source added. He said PPP Co-chairman President Asif Zardari was also contacted by phone during the meeting who advised the party leadership not to make a hasty decision and rather take all opposition parties along, including the MQM, PTI and others. The source said Khurshid Shah had been tasked with completing consultation by Thursday evening and the party and its allies would have a follow-up meeting in the evening to take a final decision. The source said Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan had proposed that all opposition parties who were affected due to certain decisions of the superior judiciary should be united on one platform so that a pressure wave could be created against the top judges. The source said that the meeting rejected a proposal to file a review petition with the Supreme Court against the court verdict over holding election on July 30, with Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan saying there was no hope of justice for the PPP from the bench. Following the meeting, Shah told reporters that the PPP leaders would visit Imran Khan for consultation, who was likely to arrive in the capital today. He said the consultation process was on with opposition parties and any decision would be taken with consensus. Shah added that the court had given no time to the opposition for campaigning in four provincial capitals, adding that contact had been made with Aftab Sherpao and Asfandyar Wali Khan. He alleged that there was a secret understanding between the election commission and PML-N for presidential election.

Senior Frontier Reserve Police official injured in Peshawar attack

Unknown gunmen on motorbikes Thursday ambushed the Deputy Commandant (DC) of Frontier Reserve Police (FRP) Gul Wali in Peshawar's Gulbahar area, injuring him and killing his bodyguard and driver. “The deputy commander of Frontier Reserve Police Gul Wali Khan was going to his office from home when four people on two motorbikes lay in wait on both sides of the road,” police official Imran Shahid said. “They opened fire on his vehicle. His bodyguard and his driver have been killed,” Shahid told AFP. Wali was shifted to Lady Reading Hospital in an injured state where doctors declared him out of danger, according to DawnNews sources. Meanwhile, security forces reached the site of incident and investigations went underway to apprehend those responsible for the attack. Peshawar is the gateway to Pakistan's troubled northwestern tribal region where troops have for years been locked in deadly battles with insurgents. There was no immediate claim of responsibility after today’s attack, but outlawed militant organisation Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan has frequently targeted police and security forces with bomb and gun attacks during the five-year insurgency.