Woman found unconscious, dies in hospital – 27 Mar 2023

An old woman died in a local hospital on Sunday, a few hours after she was recovered unconscious in the Kot Lakhpat area. Some passersby spotted the woman lying unconscious on the road. The woman was shifted to a local hospital where she died. The identification of the woman was yet to be made. The body was shifted to the morgue.

Read more

Newborn body found – 27 Mar 2023

The body of a newborn boy was found in the limits of Sherakot police on Sunday. Some unidentified persons threw the body of the newborn boy in a local graveyard and escaped. The body was two to three days old. Police shifted the body to the morgue.

Read more

Man arrested for blackmailing woman – 27 Mar 2023

Federal Investigation Cybercrime Circle Lahore has arrested an accused on the charges of blackmailing a woman. It was learnt that accused Afaq Sarwar shared objectionable photos and videos of the woman on social media in a bid to blackmail her. After the arrest, the videos of the complainant were recovered from the accused’s mobile phone. A case was registered against the accused under relevant cybercrime sections.

Read more

Woman found dead in Dar-ul-Aman – 27 Mar 2023

Body of a 36-year-old woman was recovered from a washroom of Dar-ul-Aman in the Nawankot area here on Sunday. An inmate spotted the body hanging in the bathroom and informed the administration. The woman was identified as ‘S’, wife of Tanveer. She hailed from Rawalakot. She had married against her family’s will. The police suspected that she committed suicide by hanging herself with her Dupatta. The body was shifted to morgue.

Read more

PHC sets aside conviction of man in sister-in-law murder case – 27 Mar 2023

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has set aside the sentence of life awarded to a person by a trial court for killing his sister-in-law and acquitted him on the basis of a compromise.

A bench consisting of Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar and Justice Dr Khurshid Iqbal accepted an appeal filed by the convict, Laig Badshah, a resident of Dir Lower district, and ruled that his conviction by the trial court on July 23, 2022, was set aside.

`Since, a genuine compromise has been taken place between the parties and the offence is also compoundable within the meaning of section 302 PPC, therefore,this criminal appeal is allowed on the basis of compromise,` the bench ruled.

An additional district and sessions judge while convicting the appellant for killing Ms Shazia, the wife of his bother, had sentenced him to life imprisonment with fine of Rs100,000.

The FIR of the occurrence was registered at Khal police station in Dir Lower on March 2, 2021, under section 302 (intentional murder) and 311 (Fasad Fil Arz or mischief on earth) of Pakistan Penal Code. The complainant in the FIR was the deceased woman`s brother Bakht Fareed.

The complainant had told police that his sister was married to Aqal Badshah around nine years ago and she was having a seven-year-old son, Shahid Hussain, from the wedlock. He added that his brother-in-law had been in Saudi Arabia for earning livelihood.

He stated that he had received a telephone call that his sister had fallen ill andexpired.

He said that in the morning, when he reached the residence of his deceased sister, he spotted marks of a string around her neck, which showed that she did not die of natural death rather was strangulated to death. The complainant stated that the motive behind the murder was some domestic issues.

The deceased`s son Shahid Hussain, who was around seven at the time of occurrence, had also testified against his uncle before the trial court. He had stated that he was sleeping but heard some noise due to which he woke up and saw his uncle strangulating his mother by pulling a string around her neck.

He had stated that he started screaming and was taken to her room by her uncle`s wife and was later told that his mother was killed by the appellant.

The bench observed that charge wasframed against the appellant under section 311, which was non-compoundable offence, but no evidence was recorded in supportofthatcharge andthetrialcourt only recorded his conviction under section 302 PPC.

During a previous hearing, the appellant`s counsel Zakir Khan had stated that a compromise had taken place between the parties. He had requested the court for sending the record of the case to the trial court for materialising the compromise.

After the bench received report from the trial court, it was revealed that major legal heir of the deceased woman was her husband Aqal Badshah, who pardoned the appellant in the name of Almighty Allah and also waived of his right of Qisas and Diyat.

Furthermore, Diyat amount in the shape of a land had been transferred and mutated as well in the name of the minor son of the deceased woman.

Read more

Rape case against prayer leader – 27 Mar 2023

GUJRAT: Police have booked a prayer leader for raping a youth after drugging him in the Khalidabad locality of Shaheen Chowk police precincts.

Hailing from Sohaal village near Kotla, the complainant told police that he was a Hafiz of holy Quraan. He said the Khalidabad mosque prayerleaderapproached him by phone a few days prior to Ramzan andasked him (the complainant) to lead the Taraweeh prayers in his mosque.

When he visited him, the accused told the youth since the mosque committee members were not available, he should stay there for a night.

He said the prayer leader served him drugged meal and raped him at night.Police have registered a case against the suspect under section 377 of Pakistan Penal Code and started investigation.

Read more

Five booked for kidnapping girl – 27 Mar 2023

OKARA: Five persons were booked on charge of kidnapping a young woman from village Loomari of tehsil Depalpur on Sunday.

As per the first information report (FIR) registered on complaint of Jahangir, he was at his home with his wife Mumtaz and daughter Sonia (22) when the gate of the house was knocked at night four days back. The armed suspects, namely Abdur Rehman, Shahid, his wife Robina Kasur,Pervaiz and Sajid, forcibly entered his house and took the family hostage at gunpoint. The suspects collected Rs350,000, kidnapped Sonia, bundled her into a car and escaped.

The Chorasta Mian Khan police registered a case against the suspects.

WHEAT: The district food department set the target of procuring 180,000 metric tonne of wheat in two tehsils of the district and established 12 procurement centres in Depalpur and three in tehsil Renala Khurd.

District Food Controller Umair Sagheer stated this in a meetingchaired by Deputy Commissioner Dr Muhammad Zeeshan Hanif.

He said the steps had been taken to achieve the wheat procurement target according to the instructions of the Punjab government and all the centres would be provided with the facilities for farmers and growers.

The DC said check posts had been established at all the entry and exit points of the district to avoid unlawful transportation of wheat from the district. He claimed that the administration would take action under the law against hoarders or profiteers.

Read more

Doctor found dead in her hostel room – 27 Mar 2023

LAHORE: A young doctor of the Lady Willingdon Hospital Lahore was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her hostel room here on Sunday.

The deceased gynecologist, Dr Naseem Ijaz (29), hailed from Gilgit Baltistan. Her family refused to initiate legal proceedings related to her death.

A doctor, seeking anonymity, said the hospital management broke open Dr Naseem’s hostel room door after they found no response from inside despite repeated knocks.

He said on entering the room, the officials found Dr Naseem lying unconscious. She was shifted to the hospital’s emergency ward where the duty doctor declared her ‘already dead’.

He said it would be premature to say anything about the actual cause of her death before the postmortem examination of the body.

Quoting some initial reports, he said the hospital administration had been informed by Dr Nasreen’s sister that she was not taking her (sister’s) call on her mobile phone despite repeated attempts. Her sister also contacted Dr Naseem’s colleagues at the hospital and informed them about the matter.

The Young Doctors Association secretary Dr Salman Kazmi said as the family of the deceased doctor had refused to initiate legal proceeding, the police should hand over them the body without the postmortem examination.

He said, quoting some YDA members from the Lady Willingdon Hospital as saying, that Dr Naseem was upset after the hospital administration refused to entertain her request for sick leaves. However, the administration denied the allegations, saying she had been granted leaves for a few days following her application.

Dr Kazmi said that he had suggested to the King Edward Medical University authorities to investigate into the matter at the institute level by constituting a committee of senior doctors to resolve the mystery behind the death of the doctor. — Staff Reporter

Read more

Income inequality and poverty in Pakistan – 27 Mar 2023

Income distribution in Pakistan is more uneven in terms of the way it is distributed among the country’s citizens

In the article today, I will write about how I read Pakistan’s more than 75-year history covering economic, social and political developments. I will deploy some theoretical advances to speculate the directions in which the country seems to be headed in the near term. The focus will be on the widening income gap between the very rich and the very poor. Data collected and published by the UN show income distribution in Pakistan to be more uneven in terms of the way it is distributed among the country’s citizens. The UN uses two measures for estimating income inequality: the ratio of incomes of the lowest and the richest segments of the population and estimates of what is called the Gini coefficient.

By all measures, Pakistan performs poorly compared to other South Asian nations. For it, the ratio of the average income of the poorest 10% of the population to the richest 10% is 6.5. In other words, the average income for the richest is more than 16 times the average for the poorest. The ratio is 7.5% for Bangladesh, 8.6% for India and 11.1% for Sri Lanka. The ratio of the average incomes of the poorest 20% of the population to the richest 20% is 4.8% for Pakistan and Bangladesh, 5.5% for India and 6.8% for Sri Lanka. Gini coefficient — a measure frequently used to indicate the extent of inequality — is the worst for Pakistan: 29.6 as against 32.4 for Bangladesh, 35.7 for India and 38 for the world as a whole.

Why has Pakistan fallen so far behind the rest of South Asia? The question has a long answer but the one that is the most obvious is the absence of public policy aimed at improving income distribution. This is the case in particular in more recent times. In the earlier periods of Pakistan’s almost 76-year long history, those responsible for making public policy twice made it their business to improve the lot off the poorer segments of the population. First, Field Marsha Ayub Khan who governed the country for 11 years, for 1958 to 1969, and then Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was in power for almost six years, from 1971 to 1977, the state got engaged with some diligence in improving the lives of the poor. Ayub Khan’s focus was on the rural poor while Bhutto took steps to help the poor in urban areas.

Called the high yielding varieties, or HYVs, new wheat plants were imported from Mexico while the Philippines was the source of high yielding rice during the Ayub period. The military president got directly involved in bringing the HYV technology to Pakistan. He invited the agricultural scientist, Norman Borlaug, to visit Pakistan. The scientist went around the country and met thousands of wheat growers and told them how to introduce the high yielding wheat into their farms. He was awarded the Nobel Peace for the work he did in Pakistan.

The Ayub Khan government used the multi-tiered system of local governance to introduce HYV’s into the country. It had come to be called the system of Basic Democracies, or BDs, which had directly elected ‘Union Councilors’ at the base. These representatives of the people had access to counterpart funds generated from the sale of wheat given as aid to Pakistan by the US. Washington was appealed to provide help when there were serious declines in the output of the two food grain crops and the Pakistani government feared that the country might be visited by a famine. Pakistan then was divided into two provinces: East and West Pakistan. Each launched Rural Works Program financed by the sale of wheat and rice received from America. The result of these efforts was what in history is called ‘Pakistan’s green revolution’.

The second time the government got involved in closing the income gap between the very rich and the very poor was when Bhutto led his newly formed Pakistan People’s Party, the PPP, to power. Bhutto focused on the urban poor and took several initiatives to improve the lives of urban workers. These workers were encouraged to form unions which negotiated better working conditions. Not convinced that private owners of industries and commercial and financial enterprises would go on to adopt the measures introduced by his government, the prime minister went on to nationalise large privately owned companies. In the second phase of nationalisation, the Bhutto administration brought small wheat and rice mills under government control. Pakistani economic historians have yet to determine whether the measures adopted by Bhutto helped the poor and narrowed the income gap. In my own work on the Bhutto period that appeared in the form of a book published in 1980 by London’s Macmillan under the title, Pakistan Under Bhutto, I argued that Bhutto’s two nationalisations erased the momentum that Ayub Khan had introduced in the economy. In several books written by American scholars in the 1970s, Pakistan was presented as the model of economic and social development other developing countries would do well to follow. Today, Pakistan is considered a failing state.

What needs to be done to address the visible income gap in the country? When I visit Pakistan, I am struck by how well the rich live and how much suffering there is for the people at the lower end of the income distribution scale. That said, Pakistan does not have the kind of poverty, crowding and filth that one can’t help notice on visits to India. A recent well-received book by a French economist examined the data running over several decades and covering several countries and reached the conclusion that the return on capital is higher than the rate of growth of the economy. He suggests that the state must intervene to tax the owners of capital and make transfers to the poorer segments of the population through programmes of income transfers as well as government efforts to bring better education and health care to common people.

Adopting these findings to Pakistan would mean the government’s deep involvement in taxing the rich and raising resources for the public sector to help those whose incomes are low. Pakistan is one of the countries where both the rates of personal and government savings are extremely low. Tax to GDP ratio must be increased for the government to spend on programmes of social welfare. It is only by making these kinds of efforts that Pakistan will succeed in narrowing the income gap between the very rich and the very poor.

Read more

Unfulfilled obligations : Transgender community endeavours to perform Umrah and Hajj – 27 Mar 2023

Many still do not possess X category CNIC and passport

While in most countries, the transgender community is being openly integrated into all realms of socio-political life, the one in Pakistan still struggles to perform fundamental religious obligations.

Despite the introduction of the Transgender Act of 2018, which attempted to integrate transgender persons into the society, a majority in the provincial capital is still unable to undertake religious pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia since obtaining an X category CNIC has turned out to be a heavily complicated affair, given the societal barriers and social stigma that non-binary citizens are faced with in the country’s overall ethos.

While a group of transgender persons did perform Umrah recently, a vast majority consider the prospect of travelling abroad for religious pilgrimage, utopian to say the least.

“How can we perform Hajj or Umrah when a majority of us cannot even obtain an X category CNIC, given the social stigma surrounding non-binary gender identities in our country,” informed Zanaya Chaudhry, a trans rights activist.

Such trans phobia which prevents transgender persons from obtaining X category CNIC and performing their religious duties, usually originates from the families of non-binary people, who refuse to accept the identification of an intersex or transgender child as anything other than male or female.

One such case is of Jannat Ali, a renowned trans woman from Lahore, associated with the performing arts, who resents experiencing the ostracization that transgender members of a family are subjected to. “If a child musters up the courage to reveal their true gender identity to their parents, either they convince him or her of falsely identifying as male or female or they simply banish the child from their house,” lamented Jannat.

Since a majority of the transgender persons have been abandoned by their families and are residing in communal arrangements with the guru as their household head, many activists have suggested allowing the guru to be officially registered as the father, thereby allowing trans persons with broken kinship ties to be issued an X category CNIC so that they may perform the religious pilgrimages.

However, the barriers that prevent transgender persons from fulfilling their religious obligations are not limited to their families. According to various members of the transgender community, traveling to the gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is extremely challenging for transgender persons, who anticipate either being declined a visa or being deported.

As Zanaya Chaudhry, a trans rights activist, who revealed her true gender identify on her passport, shared, “I was declined a UAE visa because my passport identifies me as a trans woman.”

Privy to such discriminatory treatment by visa issuing bodies, many trans persons have started registering themselves as male or female in order to sail through immigration. This, however, rarely helps much since many trans persons report deportation when airport security discovers their false gender identity on their passports.

Furthermore, many activists claim that one reason behind the discriminatory attitude towards Pakistan’s transgender community is their lack of representation in the census which is the direct by-product of very few coming out and revealing their true gender identity for registration by NADRA.

Where the trans rights activists continue their struggle for garnering greater representation and social accessibility for their fellows, various sources holding Islamic credentials, criticize the Transgender Act of 2018 for violating Islamic principles since it allows citizens to determine their own gender, and can lead to the normalization of homosexuality, which is prohibited by the Sharia.

“While we support welfare efforts aimed at improving the living condition of the transgender community, we reject the Transgender Act of 2018, which is un-Islamic and must be amended in accordance with Islamic injunctions,” said Qibla Ayaz, Chairman of the Islamic Ideological Council.

Read more