HRCP perturbed at court verdict

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) says it is perturbed at the Lahore High Court’s decision to issue non-bailable arrest warrants for journalist Cyril Almeida and direct him to appear before the court at the next hearing, in a case seeking action against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on charges of treason.  In a statement issued on Monday, HRCP termed the court’s decision ‘regrettable’, adding, “Mr Almeida, a widely read and highly respected journalist, is being hounded for nothing more than doing his job – speaking on the record to a political figure and reporting facts. As a law-abiding citizen, Mr Almeida has no reason not to appear before the court as directed. Placing him on the Exit Control List (ECL) and issuing a non-bailable warrant is an excessive measure. “The ease with which Mr Almeida’s interview with the former Prime Minister was perceived as an attempt to allegedly defame state institutions, and the pace at which this has spiralled into charges of treason, only serve to further choke press freedom in Pakistan. Journalism – sensible, rational, independent journalism – is not a crime. It most certainly is not treason. HRCP strongly urges the honourable court to give Mr Almeida the opportunity to appear at the scheduled hearing of his own volition and to have his name removed from the ECL immediately.”–Staff Reporter

Boy’s body recovered from canal

Rescue workers on Monday recovered the body of a teenage boy from the canal near Thokar Niaz Baig. The body was moved to the city morgue.  The deceased was later identified by police as Zawar Khan, a resident of Chaman, Quetta.  Reportedly, the boy accidentally fell into the canal and disappeared in deep waters on Sunday evening. Rescue workers on Sunday night suspended the search operation as they failed to search the body. However, a team of rescue workers once again launched the search operation on Monday morning and recovered the body from the waters after hectic efforts.  It was not clear yet whether the boy died accidentally or he was thrown into the canal by unidentified men. The police were investigating the death. –Staff Reporter

Crackdown on criminals under way: IGP

Punjab Police Inspector General Muhammad Tahir has said that a massive crackdown was under way across the province to hunt down most wanted criminals and terrorists.  The police chief also claimed that the overall law and order situation had improved in the province following the establishment of specialized police units including CTD, SPU, Dolphins, PRU, and Anti Riots Force.  The IGP further said that the front-desks in police stations are working effectively to help victims get justice. He said that training courses for police force had also been upgraded keeping in mind the rules of smart and community policing while police service centers have been established in all districts where facilities like character certificates and tenants registration are being provided under the one-roof.  The IGP stated this while addressing a 59-member delegation of 109th National Management Course at the central police office on Monday. Punjab’s Additional-IG Azhar Hameed Khokhar, Rai Muhammad Tahir, and DIG Babar Bakht Qureshi were also present on this occasion besides others.  On this occasion, DIG Sajjad Hassan Khan Manj briefed the delegation about the police working and the use of modern IT technology. –Staff Reporter

Nurses to donate for dams

Punjab Nursing Director General Kauser Parveen has said that the dams fund is a national campaign and every citizen should participate in it with national zeal. She said that nursing students and community would also participate in the campaign so that water reservoirs could be completed at the earliest. She expressed these views while participating in a function, arranged by the nurses. She said that Chief Justice of Pakistan has taken great initiative by starting a campaign in the country and motivating masses to help build dams. On the appeal of the DG Nursing Punjab, nursing students of Rawalpindi Holy Family Medical College and Hospital collected Rs 25,000 in one day for contributing it to the fund. –APP