By-Polls Pilots On Strike Salman Taseer Case Other News
Pilots On Strike
Salman Taseer Case
As by- polls in two constituencies of Lahore are approaching, political temperature is rising. A strong contest is expected between the ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf. Leaders from both the parties have been campaigning for their candidates in NA- 122 and PP-147 for the past few weeks. PTI leader Imran Khan has been accusing the ruling party for corruption in various projects and mismanagement of resources. He demanded an audit of Nandipur Power project, saying the actual cost of Rs 22 billion has now risen to Rs 84 billion. He also demanded an independent audit into the Neelum Jhelum project, saying the government did not allocate the required funds for the project which delayed it and subsequently, increasing its cost.
Meanwhile leaders from ruling party have also launched a campaign against Imran Khan. Talking about elections in NA- 122, Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that history of NA-122 was against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, as its chairman has thrice lost election from this constituency prior to 2013 general polls. The by- polls in two constituencies of Lahore are scheduled to be held on Sunday, October 11th.
This week a strike by Pakistan Airline Pilot Association (PALPA) over differences with the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) lead to cancellation of hundreds of domestic and international flights, resulting in loss of millions of rupees. The clash arose when Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revoked licenses of two pilots over violation of rules and regulations. The act prompted PALPA to announce non-cooperation with the administration. Negotiations had taken place between the PIA administration and PALPA but that ended with no agreement. PIA claimed that the pilots’ association was blackmailing the management to agree to unjust promotions and unjustified benefits. The issue was finally resolved temporarily when government jumped in to mediate talks. A Senate Standing Committee on Aviation convinced PALPA to end the strike as it is causing heavy damage to the national carrier. After a promise by senate standing committee, PALPA president Amir Hashmi announced to suspend the strike for two days. The committee has also ruled that all stakeholders, including officials of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), meet in two days’ time to resolve the crisis.
In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has upheld the death sentence of Mumtaz Qardi, killer of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer in 2011. Mumtaz Qadri, a personal body guard of Governor shot him dead in Islamabad over governor’s remarks on controversial blasphemy law. Qadri had moved Supreme Court against the death sentence. During proceedings of the case, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa heading a three- member bench said remarked that criticism of the blasphemy law did not amount to blasphemy. The ruling by Supreme Court was widely lauded by civil society and human rights activists across the country. The original death sentence was awarded by an anti-terrorism court, and upheld by the Islamabad High Court. The Islamabad High Court, however, had struck down the charge of terrorism. In the days leading up to this decision, a number of protestors affiliated with Pakistani Sunni Tehreek were arrested outside the Supreme Court for chanting pro-Qadri slogans and violating discipline.
If anyone is found guilty, the blasphemy guarantees a sentence for death. The law has been often used to targets minorities in particular. This decision comes at a time when many lawyers are afraid to represent the accused, and judges are reluctant to hear blasphemy cases, citing concerns for their personal safety.
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