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Saturday, 22 March, 2014
riots in sindH After Killing of two JsQm leAders KARACHI STAFF REPORT
IoTS broke out in various cities of Sindh after two Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) leaders were killed near Bhiria city in Naushehro Feroze district on Friday. JSQM spokesperson Maqsood Qureshi, brother of late JSQM chief Bashir Qureshi, and Salman Wadho, Secretary General of Latif Sangat, the literary wing of JSQM, were the two victims of the targeted killing. After the incident, the assailants set the vehicle on fire and escaped from the scene. The police shifted the burnt bodies to district hospital. The killing of the Sindhi nationalist leaders triggered widespread unrest in many towns and cities of Sindh, with business activity coming to a halt. The in-
cident took place before the “Azadi March” which was to be held by the party on March 23 in Karachi. “Maqsood was pursuing the murder case of his brother. He along with other party activists was going to invite people to participate in the Azadi march, but personnel of intelligence agencies killed them,” senior leader of the party Dr Niaz Kalani told reporters. The media in-charge of JSQM has announced that the party will not postpone the “Azadi March” being convened on March 23 in Karachi, where they would hold funeral prayer of the deceased. “We will not bury the bodies till the march is held,” he said. on the other hand, the Sindh government has announced a judicial enquiry into the matter and termed it a conspiracy against PPP led government. “Some elements don’t want peace in Sindh and are hatching conspiracies. We will now expose them,” Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said. BILAWAL CONDEMNS: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the killings. In a press statement, Bilawal Bhutto
( MALAKAND MISSING PERSONS
GUNMEN TORCH CAR AFTER GUNNING DOWN JSQM SPOKESPERSON, CLOSE AIDE
Army man booked, SC orders report on missing persons within 30 days KP AG SAYS NAIB SUBEDAR AMANULLAH AND OTHERS MOVED 35 INTERNEES FROM MALAKAND INTERNMENT CENTRE AND ARE HIDING THEIR WHEREABOUTS ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad Khawaja, directed relevant authorities to submit a report within 30 days on the Malakand missing persons’ case which concerns the disappearance of 35 people from an internment centre in the region. During Friday’s hearing of the case, Advocate General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Abdul Latif Yousufzai submitted a copy of the FIR registered against Naib Subedar Amanullah in the Supreme Court. The bench was due to rule on the case concerning the unaccounted for persons from the list of 35 missing men on Thursday but it postponed the order for Friday following a disclosure by the KP government that no formal FIR had been registered. The court had then directed the provincial government to ascertain the
situation on the ground and inform the court. Yousufzai told the court that the complaint was moved on behalf of Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and that it held Amanullah and others responsible for removing the 35 internees from the Malakand internment centre and hiding their whereabouts. The bench directed authorities to submit a copy of the charge sheet to the apex court once the investigation was completed. Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt told the court that the one-man commission recently formed by the government in relation to missing persons had begun its work. Responding to which, the bench directed the commission to submit its recommendations as soon as possible to the concerned authorities. Justice (r) Mian Muhammad Ajmal was appointed as a one-man commission to ascertain the whereabouts of the unaccounted for persons from the list of 35 missing men after Justice (r) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan had declined to head it. The commission will determine whether any person was detained or removed illegally and, if so, will identify the people responsible for any illegal detention or removal. It is also required to make recommendations to the government for taking action in the light of its findings.
KP Assembly AdoPts resolution for creAtion of HAzArA Province PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution for creation of Hazara province with majority. The resolution was presented by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member provincial assembly Sardar Idrees. In the resolution, it is stated that a commission should be constituted for the creation of new provinces including Hazara province. Parliamentary leader of Awami National Party Sardar Hussain Babak and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPA Nighat Orakzai opposed the resolution. Babak referred to Hazara division as the crown of KP province, which shall not be allowed to be removed. Orakzai said that KP is a relatively smaller province, which should not be further sub-divided. STAFF REPORT
JACOBABAD: Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz supporters protest against the killing of party leader Maqsood Qureshi on Friday. ONLINE
Zardari said that the inhuman act of burning the bodies of JSQM leader was the most heinous crime, stressing that those who committed it must not go scot-free at
any cost. He asked for a thorough probe into the incident and said that the PPP, being a democratic party, would never allow such incidents under any circum-
stances. Bilawal expressed sympathy to the family of JSQM leader and workers and asked people to remain calm, assuring full support to the bereaved family.
Let army decide course of peace talks with TTP: Maj Amir GOVT INTERLOCUTOR SAYS NAWAZ GOVT ‘SERIOUSLY LOOKING INTO TALIBAN’S PRISONERS’ RELEASE DEMAND’
Direct govt-Taliban talks soon, says Nisar ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said the direct peace talks between the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) would take place soon, as he summoned a meeting of the government and the Taliban negotiating committees on Friday (today). Talking to reporters after a visit to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Headquarters, Nisar said that there had been progress on the issue which had entered a sensitive stage now. Sources said that it was likely that the date and location of the talks would be finalised in today’s meeting. Earlier during his inspection visit, the interior minister ordered an audit of all regional offices of the organisation. Nisar said that 361 ghost employees had been detected in NADRA and the payment of their salaries had been stopped. He added that the services 12 NADRA employees were terminated for issuing illegal Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs). The minister also barred all NADRA employees from making any contact with foreign nationals. STAFF REPORT
MONITORING DESK One of the members of the government’s first committee formed to negotiate peace with the Pakistani Taliban, Major (r) Amir on Friday said that armed forces are the real stakeholders on the matter and their leadership should decide the future course of the dialogue for achieving better results. Speaking in an interview with BBC Urdu, he said that the army should be on the driving seat in the peace process because they are not only “affected but also capable”. Amir said that after the formation of new government committee, the previous one has been dissolved as it was an uphill task to keep it going due to continuous attention of the media on its members. The retired major, who played a vital role
in the initial dialogue process with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has often remained a fair distance with the media. He was reportedly involved in secret negotiations with former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud as well hence became a close aide to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “No matter what you call it……I’ve informed the prime minister that the real say in the matter is that of the armed forces.” The new government negotiators have rightly decided to stay away from the media, said the retired major who appeared displeased with Jamiat Ulemae-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman’s severe criticism aimed at the first government committee. When asked why the ongoing peace efforts are any different from the previous attempts by the state, he replied, “Previously pacts were made with
individuals whereas this time around the agreement will be reached with an outfit.” “Secondly, the ceasefire announcement is unprecedented…. That’s why I consider the current process as superior,” he added. Speaking about opponents of the peace process, Major Amir said on one hand there are militant outfits like Ahrarul Hind and Ansarul Hind and on the other members of the Parliamentary committee were against the talks except Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. Despite Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s statement regarding Taliban’s demand of releasing non-combatants being rejected by the government, Amir claimed that the government was looking into the demand sincerely. Major (r) Amir added that the government has also demanded the release of Dr Ajmal Gilani and Shahbaz Taseer.
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
nAwAz’s growing fondness for imrAn irKs PPP KHURSHID SHAH WANTS PPP TO COME TOUGH ON PML-N GOVT ON CEC APPOINTMENT, NISP
NISAR MAJOR ‘IRRITANT’ IN CORDIALITY BETWEEN GOVT AND OPPOSITION
NISAR MAJOR IRRITANT: Sources say that the PPP leadership viewed Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan as a major "irritant" in cordiality between the PML-N and PPP leaderships. "The prime minister has made a political blunder by visiting Imran Khan's residence and he would have to pay the political price for it as this has established PTI as a major political player despite efforts by PPP to sideline Khan," a source close to opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah said. The source added that Shah had left for Karachi to attend a meeting with former president Zardari, during which the future course of action would be chalked out. "Shah would propose the PPP chairman and co-chairman to approve tit-for-tat policy under which a real tough time will be given to the ruling party," the source said, adding that if PML-N contacted PPP, they might be asked to activate Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to play another reconciliatory role, as he was a “saner element” within PML-N ranks who had a “good understanding of issues”. Under the proposal, the PPP would come tough on the PML-N govern-
AKISTAN Today sources Friday caught the top leadership of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) whinging an attention seeking behaviour, grumbling over the premier’s “unrequited love” for the Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) skipper. Source in PPP told Pakistan Today that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent visit to the residence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan for discussion over Taliban talks had left PPP top brass with “serious burn injuries”. Envious over Nawaz’s preference for Khan, the PPP leaders have reportedly rolled up sleeves to give the government a “tough time” on a host of issues, including the appointment of chief election commissioner (CEC). Sources said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari were concerned and unhappy over the way the PML-N government had given preference to the PTI in matters of national significance and importance.
SENATE BODY RECOMMENDS OPENING OF YOUTUBE ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology, keeping in view the report of its sub-committee, recommended to open Youtube in the country. The meeting, chaired by Senator Idrees Saafi, was held at Parliament House. It was also attended by Senators Abdul Hasseb Khan, Muhammad Zahid Khan, Hari Raam, Sheerala Malik and State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman, the Information Technology secretary, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman, Privatisation Commission director general and the USF chief executive officer. The committee also sought report on details of agreements between Ministry of Law and Privatisation Commission to privatise Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman said that IT had the role of back bone in the development of any country and latest technology would be provided for the development of Pakistan. ONLINE
ment during the upcoming session of the National Assembly scheduled to be held on March 24, while non-cooperation may also be observed when the prime minister sends three nominations to leader of the opposition for appointment of chief election commissioner. "Since the PPP has expressed its goodwill to the government on dialogue with TTP, the prime minister should have also briefed the PPP leaders on the dialogue," the source close to Shah maintained. Shah is also set to give his input in writing to the government on National Internal Security Policy (NISP) and it is likely that Shah might give his detailed input in writing on ‘secret and strategic’ portion of the 100-page draft of NISP.
Shah also allegedly wants to dub Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar a major hurdle in cordial ties between the two parties as Nisar had alleged that the opposition leader commented on the draft without reading the contents of the policy. PML-N DENIES SPECIAL TREATMENT: Talking to Pakistan Today, Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Irfan Siddiqui said that any perception that the PTI was being given undue importance and PPP was being ignored was baseless. "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Imran Khan just because Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, being directly affected by anything happening in and around FATA, is a major stakeholder in the dialogue process
PPP woos MQM with 5 Sindh ministries, two advisory slots KARACHI STAFF REPORT
Former political allies turned foes, the Pakistan People’s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Friday decided to bridge their differences after the PPP agreed to give MQM five ministries and two advisory positions in its Sindh provincial government. A formal announcement to this effect is likely to be made in four days time. Earlier talking to reporters at Karachi airport, PPP leader Rehman Malik had said that talks with leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had been held in a pleasant and agreeable atmosphere and the
nation would receive good news on this end very soon. MQM chief Altaf hussain later in
the evening directed his party leaders not to make any anti-PPP statement, confirming reports that the two parties had reached an understanding on the alliance. Last week, a high-level delegation of theMQM comprising London’s Rabita Committee deputy convener Nadeem Nusrat along with Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad met PPP leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari along with Senator Rehman Malik. In the meeting Zardari had said that for the sake of prosperity and development, the reconciliation process should carry on, and the political relationship between the two parties should be strengthened.
Uncle Sam won’t let Sheikh Rashid use its airspace AML CHIEF ENRAGED OVER PIA FOR BARRING HIM FROM BOARDING TORONTO FLIGHT ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Friday barred Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid from boarding flight PK-718 from Islamabad to Canada. PIA sources said that Sheikh Rashid was offloaded for want of clearance from Canada, while the government sources said that
Canada Transport Security Agency did not issue NOC to Sheikh Rashid and the concerned government organisation was trying to obtain more information pertaining to Sheikh Rashid's clearance. Sheikh Rashid told a private TV channel that his seat was confirmed and his name was not on the Exit Control List
(ECL), yet PIA offloaded him without telling any reason. He said that he was scheduled to lay the foundation stone of Pakistan House on March 23 besides attending several important functions relating to the Republic Day. Sheikh Rashid said that he will raise this issue in the National Assembly session. ‘NOT OUR FAULT’: Responding to Rashid’s reservations, PIA spokesperson said that at the time of check-in at PIA counter, the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), an online sys-
tem of Transportation Security Administration, US Department of Home Land Security, did not give clearance for Rashid for boarding the flight. The spokesperson said that this system clearance is a pre-requisite for all passengers for Toronto-bound flights overflying US airspace and after clearance, the system generates boarding cards. The system check, followed by all airlines, does not give any reason for nonclearance to the airline, the spokesperson added. STAFF REPORT
and it is also directly affected by terrorism. Since PTI is ruling KP, it was necessary to take on board the KP administration. So this visit was geography specific," Siddiqui said. He said it was wrong to assume that the PPP was being ignored in discussions on talks with the Taliban. "Nothing is happening behind the curtains so no political party can claim that anything is being kept secret," he added. "The PPP during its government had introduced a policy of 3Ds which included dialogue, deterrence and development. So they also wanted dialogue with the TTP," said Irfan Siddiqui, adding that the PPP had no reason for opposing the dialogue process now.
zero tolerAnce for crAcKdown AgAinst seminAries: AsHrAfi ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi has warned of zero tolerance for any crackdown against seminaries, under cover of National Security Policy. Addressing Pakistan Solidarity Conference and while talking to media afterwards, he said that the issue had been raised during talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had reassured any reservations of the clerics, that no such action would be taken against seminaries. Ashrafi further stressed that Pakistani seminaries were platforms for global peace and harmony, compared to discriminately propagated terrorism hotbeds. Replying to a question, he stressed on immediate release of non-combatant prisoners by both government and Taliban, in order to encourage confidence building measures. He also lambasted about bad effects on antipolio drive, by such nefarious and unpatriotic persons as Dr Shakeel Afridi, who should refrain from interfering in efforts being made by clerics. Ashrafi also demanded that the CII (Council of Islamic Ideology) should be restructured on modern lines, while he also said that any male failing to fulfill the obligations of first wife, should voluntarily refrain from marrying more. Expressing his deep concerns about increasing violence against women, he stressed on politicians to legislate effectively against the increasing menace, finalising any cases within a month’s time through anti-terrorist courts. “Pakistan should refrain from interfering in internal affairs of foreign countries and should not send its Army to Syria and Bahrain.
Sorry – the password for entry in court MUSHARRAF'S LAWYER RANA AIJAZ APOLOGISES TO SPECIAL COURT FOR INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf's counsel Rana Aijaz on Friday tendered a written apology before the special court bench over his inappropriate behavior during treason case proceedings, gaining court’s
approval to enter the courtroom. The three-member bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali resumed hearing of the case against Musharraf for breaching the Constitution by imposing Emergency in the country on November 3, 2007. During the course of proceedings, Supreme Court Bar Association President Kamran Murtaza submitted a written apology in the court on behalf of Rana Aijaz. Earlier on March 11, Aijaz was banned from entering the courtroom for leveling allegations against Justice Faisal Arab and using inappropriate remarks against
the judges during the case proceedings. The special court had barred Musharraf’s lawyer from entering the court after he had refused to apologise for his behaviour. Later on, the matter was forwarded to Pakistan Bar Council for disciplinary action against Aijaz. During the case proceedings Friday, prosecution team member Tariq Hassan, responding to the arguments of the defence counsel over the appointment of Akram Sheikh as prosecutor, argued that the prosecutor of the case had been appointed lawfully. He denied prejudice on the part of the chief prosecutor against anyone, adding that transparency was being observed in the case
proceedings. He also argued that the court should not entertain the pleas impeding the hearing. JOURNALIST TORTURE CASE: Meanwhile, the special court also summoned deputy inspector general police for torturing a journalist in the court premises. According to details, policemen tortured a journalist Tayyab Baloch from a private TV channel reportedly on the orders of DIG Security Jan Muhammad. On this, journalists boycotted court proceedings of the day and the informed Justice Faisal Arab regarding the incident. Justice Arab directed the special court registrar to investigate the matter.
Press Association of Supreme Court (PAS) also protested outside the court and demanded action against police officials involved in the incident. PAS Mohla President Khudayar Khan condemned the action of police and demanded immediate action in this regard. He said that Baloch had been covering the proceedings of the case for his organisation on a regular basis. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist and National Press Club also condemned the incident and demanded the authorities concerned to take concrete steps to avoid such untoward incidents in future. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till March 26.
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
TURKEY CLAMPS DOWN ON TWITTER blocked by the courts after complaints were made by citizens that it was breaching privacy. It said Twitter had ignored previous requests to remove content. “Because there was no other choice, access to Twitter was blocked in line with court decisions to avoid the possible future victimization of citizens,” it said. San Francisco-based Twitter said it was looking into the matter but had not issued a formal statement. The company did publish a tweet addressed to Turkish users instructing them on how to continue tweeting via SMS text message. “Twitter, mwitter!,” Erdogan told thousands of supporters at a rally late on Thursday, in a phrase translating roughly as “Twitter, schmitter!”. “We will wipe out all of these,” said Erdogan, who has cast the corruption scandal as part of a smear campaign by his political enemies. “The international community can say this, can say that. I don’t care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is,” he said in a characteristically unyielding tone. Twitter users in Turkey began reporting widespread outages overnight. Some users trying to open the Twitter.com website were taken to a statement apparently from another regulator
ERDOGAN SAYS HE DOES NOT CARE WHAT INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SAYS ABOUT TWITTER BAN ANKARA AGENCIES
URKEY’S courts blocked access to Twitter late on Thursday, just days before elections as Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, battles a corruption scandal that has seen social media platforms awash with alleged evidence of government wrongdoing. The ban came hours after a defiant Erdogan, on the campaign trail ahead of key March 30 local elections, vowed to “wipe out” Twitter and said he did not care what the international community had to say about it. Erdogan’s ruling AK Party has already tightened Internet controls, handed government more influence over the courts, and reassigned thousands of police and hundreds of prosecutors and judges as it fights a corruption scandal he has cast as a plot by political enemies to oust him. Telecoms watchdog BTK said that the social media platform had been
15 sentenced in saudi Arabia for supporting terrorism RIYADH: A criminal court in Saudi Arabia sentenced 15 persons for terms ranging from 11 months to 16 years in prison for supporting terrorism and terror organisations and propagating “takfiri” (hardline) ideology. Of the defendants who were sentenced Thursday, 14 are Saudis and a Jordanian, the Arab News reported Friday citing official statement. There were a total of 30 defendants and 15 of them were sentenced Thursday. The defendants were also charged with possessing documents related to making bombs and explosives. The accused had also facilitated the travel of young Saudis to fight in crisis-hit countries. One of the defendants was handed 16 years and fined 30,000 Saudi riyals (about $8000). The court also sentenced 13 men Wednesday up to 14 years in prison for security offences, including material support to wanted Islamist militants, aiding terrorism and helping young men go to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan to fight. The strict steps from the country’s government came after the growing role of Saudi militants in Syria. They were convicted of owning material that glorified Al Qaeda, money laundering and of involvement in weapons training in militant camps. AGENCIES
(TIB) citing four court orders as the basis for the ban. “We are resembling the Arab countries. Turkey’s future is not bright. We cannot even talk to people on the street about this issue. This is not good for the country”, said Istanbul resident Doga Satir. Another resident of Istanbul, Fahir Karabel, said that the public would always find a way to voice their opinions. “Congratulations to him. What else can I say? He cannot prevent this by blocking a website. No matter how hard he tries, people will always find their ways, they will always find an open door”, he said. Aylin Vural, a resident of Istanbul, said despite the ban, nothing would change, “I am a twitter user for a very long time. It is now blocked because people were sharing their opinions there. He thinks we cannot criticize him if he shuts down twitter but our struggle will continue. Nothing will change despite the ban,” she said. The corruption investigation became public on Dec. 17 when police detained the sons of three cabinet ministers and businessmen close to Erdogan. The three ministers resigned a week later, while others were removed in a cabinet reshuffle.
At an extraordinary session on Wednesday (March 19), the Parliament Speaker blocked opposition pleas to have a prosecutor’s report with allegations against the former ministers read out. A document purporting to be that report appeared on Twitter last week. It included alleged transcripts of wiretapped phone conversations, pictures from physical surveillance and pictures of official documents accusing the former ministers and two of their sons of involvement with an Iranian businessman in a bribery and smuggling racket. Turkish Internet users were quick to come up with ways to circumvent the block. The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey quickly moved among the top trending globally. The disruption sparked a virtual uproar, with many comparing Turkey to Iran and North Korea, where social media platforms are tightly controlled. Erdogan said two weeks ago that Turkey could also ban Facebook and YouTube, which he says have been abused by his enemies after a stream of audio recordings purportedly revealing corruption in his inner circle emerged online. But a senior official said on Friday (March 21) there were no immediate plans to do so.
US says UNHRC not right forum to discuss drones SPOKESPERSON SAYS PAKISTAN’S DRAFT FOCUSES NARROWLY ON SINGLE WEAPONS DELIVERY SYSTEM WASHINGTON SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Defending its decision to stay away from discussion on a Pakistan-sponsored draft resolution on drone operations at the UN Human Rights Council, the United States has asserted that that the Geneva-based Council was not the right forum to discuss remotely controlled weapons delivery system. “It is incorrect that we are unwilling to deal with important counterterrorism issues at the HRC and with its mandate holders,”
spokesperson Jen Psaki said when questioned about the US decision to boycott the third round of discussion on draft of the Pakistani resolution. “We have met with the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on CT at senior levels when he traveled to Washington, and since joining the council we have regularly participated in negotiations on resolutions dealing with the need to protect human rights while countering terrorism,” she added. Pakistan is seeking to push a resolution through the United Nations Human Rights Council that would mean greater scrutiny of whether US drone strikes violate international human rights law. The Pakistani draft resolution reportedly asks states to "ensure transparency" in record-keeping on drone strikes and to "conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indi-
cations of any violations to human rights caused by their use." At the State Department, the spokesperson claimed the draft focuses narrowly on a single weapons delivery system. “But this particular resolution deals solely with the use of remotely piloted aircraft. We don’t – we just don’t see the Human Rights Council as the right forum for discussing narrowly focused – for discussion narrowly focused on a single weapons delivery system.” “That has not been a traditional focus area for the HRC, in part for reasons of expertise. We do not see how refinements to the text can address this core concern. We know others may have different perspectives, and we, of course, respect their right to do so.” The spokesperson was asked a series of questions about the impact of drone operations on human rights.
Europe adds 12 names to Russia sanctions, plans broader move BRUSSELS: European leaders added 12 people to a list of those subject to travel bans and asset freezes for their part in Russia's seizure of Crimea on Thursday and begin preparations for economic sanctions if Russia expands its footprint in Ukraine. French President Francois Hollande declined to give details of the names added to the list, which was agreed among the EU's 28 leaders after six hours of talks, but said it included Russians and Crimeans and raised the total number of people subject to EU sanctions to 33. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said preparations would also be made for possible trade and economic measures against Russia if it moves beyond Crimea into southern and eastern Ukraine, and confirmed
that the EU was calling off an EU-Russia summit scheduled for June, severing political ties. "We are ready to start stage three if there is further escalation with a view to Ukraine, those are economic sanctions and we asked the European Commission today to do preparatory work for possible economic sanctions," she said. The steps were in line with what was expected from the EU but fell short of the United States, which added 20 people and businesses to its sanctions list on Thursday, including a bank and oligarchs close to Putin. One of the major difficulties the EU faces in matching the U.S. response is maintaining unity, since EU sanctions must be agreed unanimously among all member states. AGENCIES
Pm to Attend tHird nucleAr security summit ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will lead the Pakistani delegation to the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) being held in The Hague (Netherlands) on March 2425. The premier would be accompanied by Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington in April 2010. The second summit was held in Seoul in March 2012. The third NSS will be attended by leaders from 53 countries and the United Nations, European Union, International Atomic Energy Agency and Interpol. Like the first two summits, Nuclear Security Summit 2014 aims to promote nuclear security through voluntary national actions and international cooperation. The prime minister will address the gathering of world leaders on March 24. He will be one of the keynote speakers at a meeting on the future of the NSS process on March 25. APP
cng to be AvAilAble 24/7 in PunJAb: APcngA ISLAMABAD: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) would be available seven days a week at all the filling stations in Punjab for a specific period, while it would continue uninterrupted on Sundays. This was stated by Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, chairman Supreme Council All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Friday. A decision had also been reached to reduce duration of gas load shedding in Sindh, he said, adding that APCNGA and government had agreed in principle over all the issues and the petroleum minister would soon announce the details. APCNGA representatives will have a meeting with Managing Director Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) in Lahore on Monday to finalise the new schedule, he said in a press statement. Ghiyas Paracha said the decisions were made after a long process of consultation with Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. APP
ogdcl sAys bidding wAs trAnsPArent ISLAMABAD: Apropos to a news item published in a section of press on 20th March, 2014 under caption “OGDCL SELLS LPG AGAINST COURT ORDERS” In this regard it may please be noted that the entire process has been completed strictly in accordance with the terms of the tender and no departure whatsoever has been made. The primary objective of resorting to a competitive process was to ensure sale of LPG lots of Five (5) metric tons each at the best possible commercial terms governed by market considerations in a transparent manner. Some LPG marketing companies however challenged the bidding round on the issue of signature bonus before the Honorable High Courts at Lahore and Peshawar. The Courts allowed OGDCL to proceed with the bidding process without creating third party rights. Consequently, bids received were processed and the highest offer in terms of signature bonus was declared. Subsequently as per terms of the tender all remaining bidders without exception were twice approached to match the highest bid however none of them matched the same. PRESS RELEASE
Australia says suspected plane debris may have sunk AIRCRAFT AND SHIPS RENEW SEARCH IN ANDAMAN SEA BETWEEN INDIA AND THAILAND PERTH AGENCIES
The international team hunting Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the remote southern Indian ocean failed to turn up anything on Friday, and Australia's deputy prime minister said the suspected debris may have sunk. Aircraft and ships have also renewed
a search in the Andaman Sea between India and Thailand, going over areas that have already been exhaustively swept to find some clue to unlock one of the biggest mysteries in modern aviation. The Boeing 777 went missing almost two weeks ago off the Malaysian coast with 239 people aboard. There has been no confirmed sign of wreckage but two objects seen floating deep south in the Indian ocean were considered a credible lead and set off a huge hunt on Thursday. Australian authorities said the first aircraft to sweep treacherous seas on Friday about 2,500 km (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth was on its way back to base without spotting the objects picked out by satellite
images five days ago. "Something that was floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating," Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss told reporters in Perth. "It may have slipped to the bottom." But the search was continuing and Australian, New Zealand and U.S. aircraft would be joined by Chinese and Japanese planes over the weekend. "It's about the most inaccessible spot that you can imagine on the face of the Earth, but if there is anything down there, we will find it," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Papua New Guinea, where he is on a visit. "Now it could just be a container that's
fallen off a ship. We just don't know, but we owe it to the families and the friends and the loved ones to do everything we can to try to resolve what is as yet an extraordinary riddle." India said it was sending two aircraft, a Poseidon P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft and a C-130 Hercules transporter, to join the hunt in the southern Indian ocean. It is also sending another P-8I and four warships to search in the Andaman Sea, where the plane was last seen on military radar on March 8. In New Delhi, officials said the search in areas around the Andaman island chain was not at the request of Malaysian authorities coordinating the global search for the
airliner. "All the navies of the world have SAR regions," said Capt. D.K. Sharma, an Indian navy spokesman, referring to search and rescue regions. "So we're doing it at our own behest." Investigators suspect Flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing shortly after midnight on March 8, was deliberately diverted thousands of miles from its scheduled path. They say they are focusing on hijacking or sabotage but have not ruled out technical problems. The search for the plane also continues in other regions, including a wide arc sweeping northward from Laos to Kazakhstan.
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
PrePare case agaiNst shakil afridi, Political ageNt told
CHAMAN: Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam Nazriyati supporters take out a rally on Trunk Road against law and order and load shedding in the region. INP
No PakistaNi killed iN talibaN kabul hotel attack, says embassy SPOKESPERSON SAYS ONLY ONE PAKISTANI INJURED IN SERENA ATTACK, EFFORTS BEING MADE TO TRANSPORT HIM TO COUNTRY
Afghan policemen stand guard near the security perimeter setup around Serena Hotel in Kabul.
he Pakistani embassy in Afghanistan said on Friday that no Pakistani has been killed in the Taliban attack on the Kabul’s Serene hotel. Afghan Interior Ministry spokesperson Siddiq Siddiqi had earlier said that one Pakistani was among the four foreigners who were killed in the Taliban attack late Thursday. “Not a single Pakistani has been killed,” Akhtar Munir, spokesperson for the Pakistan embassy in Kabul said. “Only one person by the name of Syed Muhammad Ahmed Sharjeel Zaidi is critically injured and he is in a coma,” Munir said. Zaidi, 44, general manager of a multinational company in Lahore, had flown into Kabul on Thursday on company business. he was scheduled to return to Pakistan on Friday. he has received two bullet wounds at the head, the embassy spokesperson said. Pakistani officials and Zaidi’s employer are making efforts to arrange an air ambulance to bring him to the country. Taliban gunmen killed nine people in an attack on a luxury hotel used by United Nations’ staff in Kabul on Thursday, before being shot dead in a shootout with Afghan security forces, police and government officials said. The assault on the heavily fortified Serena hotel was the latest in a string of bold attacks by the insurgents seeking to spoil a presidential election on April 5, which would mark the first time in Afghanistan’s history that one elected government hands power to another.
PESHAWAR: Frontier Crimes Regulation Commissioner Munir Azam has called upon the political agent of Khyber Agency to bring forward evidence against Dr Shakil Afridi and prepare a case of his involvement in anti-state activities in collaboration with foreign intelligence agencies. In his detailed verdict, Akram urged the political agent to consult “with the concerned intelligence agencies and prepare a case against the appellant, both under federal and provincial laws, for further proceedings in the competent court of law.” Earlier, the assistant political agent Bara gave a 33-year jail term to Dr Afridi, former agency surgeon, and imposed a fine of Rs0.32 million against him for his suspected links with militant outfits. But that order was set aside by previous FCR commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Anis on August 29, 2013, as he ordered the political agent to hold a fresh trial. On March 15, FCR Commissioner Munir Azam reduced the sentence by 10 years and also reduced the fine by Rs0.1 million — with the removal of Article 123-A of Pakistan Penal Code. The detailed order of the FCR commissioner explains how a retrial cannot be conducted by citing references from the law. In criminal adjudication, there are rare precedents of retrial even if an erroneous judgment is passed by the trial court, it added. The order further reads that in this specific case, the defence counsels failed to give substantive grounds for setting aside the lower court’s decision. In fact, the defence counsels have not raised even a single point for the acquittal of the accused or reduction in sentence due to wrong application of law and facts, besides, the evidentiary value of intelligence reports and other witnesses were also not questioned. Dr Afridi was arrested for helping foreign agencies track down Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011. However, charges were not framed against the accused in this case and instead he was sentenced in the case of supporting militant organisations in Khyber Agency. Dr Afridi’s counsels have told media that they are going to challenge this order in the Fata Tribunal. STAFF REPORT
seNior bureaucrat dr amjad shahid afridi feared kidNaPPed
Four Taliban fighters snuck into the hotel early on the evening of March 20 and hid for three hours before storming into the restaurant and opening fire on people inside, according to interior ministry spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi. They then battled Afghan special forces for more than an hour inside the hotel before being overwhelmed, as terrified guests hid in rooms or fled to bunkers inside. “I never heard an explosion or anything like that. Only firearms and possible rocket-propelled grenades,” one senior UN official said in a text message from his room as hid with the lights turned off. Nationals from Canada, India, and New Zealand were killed in the attack, the interior ministry said. All United Nations staff were accounted for, a UN agency official told Reuters on condition of anonymity as they were unauthorised to speak to the media. At the time of the attack, some 18
UN staff were inside the hotel, where many of them stay, and is frequented by prominent Afghan politicians and visiting foreign officials. Police are investigating how the gunmen got into the Serena. The hotel has dozens of armed guards patrolling its perimeter, and anyone entering is checked with metal detectors and body searched for weapons. Claiming responsibility Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and said the gunmen had targeted both Afghan foreign guests celebrating the eve of the Afghan new year on Friday. “Suicide bombers have entered the Serena hotel, heavy battle is underway, enemies suffered heavy casualties,” the Taliban spokesperson said in a text message. Mujahid said that the attack was launched after receiving credible intelligence about presence of important foreigners, Afghan officials and members
LeJ CHIEF MALIK ISHAQ FREED ON BAIL
of the parliament. Giving details of the brazen attack on the heavily-guarded hotel, the Taliban spokesperson said the attack was launched at around 9 pm yesterday by four suicide bombers – Siddiqullah Maaz, Zahoorullah, hafiz Agha Muhammad hydari and Abdullah. “They were equipped with latest arms and hand grenades, and succeeded to cross all security barriers with a huge explosion entering the hotel.” Mujahid said in a Pashto-language statement received by The express Tribune that the Taliban men carried out the attack using special war tactics, on the basis of useful information and with a well-organized plan. “They identified important personalities, separated them before targeting them. The attackers also fought with Afghan security personnel,” the Taliban spokesperson stated. he claimed that a total of 22 people were killed and 13 others injured during the attack by the Taliban.
Mobilink Torchbearers and Pakistan Navy dispatch food packages for more than 8,000 Tharparker drought victims. PR
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has granted bail to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) chief Malik Ishaq. According to details, the LHC approved bail plea of Malik Ishaq and directed him to deposit two security bonds of Rs 200,000 each. Malik Ishaq was arrested for making provocative speeches against Shias. Earlier on February 7, the United States (US) had designated Malik Ishaq, the chief of proscribed terrorist group LeJ, in its list of most wanted international terrorists. “The Department of State had designated Ishaq as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224,” mentioned a statement issued by the US State Department. STAFF REPORT
PESHAWAR: Senior bureaucrat Dr Amjad Shahid Afridi was feared to have been kidnapped after his car was found abandoned at the Chach interchange on the motorway on Thursday. Police said Dr Afridi was staying at the Shahi Mehman Khana, a government-run guest house in Peshawar, following his transfer from Islamabad to the provincial capital. Sadiq Afridi, a cousin of Dr Afridi, said that the bureaucrat who was until recently based in Islamabad had been reposted to Peshawar, adding that he feared that Dr Afridi may have been kidnapped. The number plate of Dr Afridi’s car was also missing when his vehicle was found at the Chach interchange that lies between the Swabi and Burhan interchanges on the motorway. Moreover, officials at the Sharqi police station said they had registered a First Information Report (FIR) in relation to Dr Afridi’s disappearance after being approached by the bureaucrat’s family members. His latest assignment in Peshawar had not yet been finalised. Among others, Dr Afridi has held the positions of KP’s secretary education and provincial secretary for information technology. STAFF REPORT
aNother afghaN doctor kidNaPPed iN Peshawar PESHAWAR: In a second kidnapping incident this week, an Afghan doctor was abducted from Phase IV Hayatabad by four armed men. Just two days prior, an Afghan paediatrician disappeared from Board Bazaar – except an FIR was not lodged in the latter case because police wrote it off as a ‘disappearance.’ Like other wealthy individuals, Afghan doctors and traders are believed to be prime targets for kidnappers and extortionists. Local police said that the latest victim, Haji Daud Jan, had locked himself in his car after armed men intercepted him. The gunmen, however, broke the car window before hauling the doctor into their own vehicle. Police said Jan’s car was later found abandoned by the roadside in Phase IV, Hayatabad. STAFF REPORT
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
Lawmakers protest against district administrations LAHORE: Lawmakers in Punjab Assembly (PA) on Friday lodged a protest against irresponsible attitude of administrations of various districts of the province. Besides opposition, members from treasury benches showing anguish during the session said that the officers of respective districts administrations were not bothering the legislators when they visited them. A number of adjournment motions were moved, most of which were pended till next week. A treasury member Mohammed Rafiq protested over giving floor for five minutes only to suggest proposals for next provincial budget. He sought more time for debate but the speaker declined his request. A treasury member Sheikh Allaud Din raised objection on provision of answers by the departments concerned about his questions regarding shifting of fruit and vegetable market and non-payment to sugarcane growers from the owners of sugar mills. Najma Begum, a treasury legislator highlighted travelling hardship of lady teachers of southern Punjab. She proposed some better travelling facilities to them. sTaFF rePOrT
LAHORE: A girl joy-riding on The Mall. nni
CM says everything is alright in Cholistan
Pervaiz for legislation on torture
Announces hefty development package for provision of clean drinking water, construction of roads and development of livestock sector in Cholistan, laments irresponsible reporting by media regarding drought and deaths in the area
Information minister says Taliban have accepted responsibility to search militants involved in acts of terrorism
CHOLISTAN: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressing the people of Banjot during his visit. inP
uNJAB Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has announced development package of Rs 2.37 billion for provision of clean drinking water, construction of roads and development of livestock sector in Cholistan. Addressing various gatherings Friday, the chief minister also announced new scheme for allotment of land to landless cultivators of the area. He said that situation was normal in Cholistan and neither any death had occurred nor the area was facing drought. He said that migration during wheat harvesting season was a routine activity in Cholistan. Provincial ministers Iqbal Channar, Tanvir Aslam, Chief Secretary Naveed Akram, public representatives, Saood Majeed, Khalid Jujja and secretaries of concerned departments accompanied the chief minister. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that he sent various teams from Lahore to review the situation in Cholistan and they not only visited the entire area but also provided immediate help to the needy. He said that negligence on the part of some departments has been detected of which immediate notice has been taken. He said that under the development package
announced for Cholistan, de-silting of 1,100 water ponds will be undertaken at a cost of Rs 600 million. He said that an 80-kilometer long road will be constructed from Kudewala with a sum of Rs 240 million. Similarly, Rs 300 million will be spent on the construction of road from Tailwala to Mithray. The Chief Minister also announced Rs 180 million for the extension project of 30-km long pipeline from Rasool Sar to Bajnot via Marri, Rs 150 million for 25-km long pipeline from Derawar to Kundiwala Toba, Rs 180 million for 30-km long water pipeline from Dhori to Bhanuwala and Rs 8 million for pipeline from Mauj Garh to Chapanwala. He also announced funds of Rs 70 million for reconstruction of the existing 230-km long roads in Cholistan, Rs.20.5 million for veterinary medicines and free of cost vaccination of livestock of Cholistanis for three months and supply of 250 cusec canal water for irrigation in Cholistan. The chief minister also announced that a new and highly transparent allotment scheme will be started for allotment of land to landless cultivators in Cholistan. Shahbaz Sharif directed concerned provincial secretaries to visit the area twice a week while chief secretary will pay visit to Cholsitan after every ten days. When the chief minister enquired from the people about the factual position in
Cholistan, they informed that no death has occurred due to unfavourable conditions, however there is a need for supply of more water to the area. The chief minister lamented irresponsible reporting by some circles of media about Cholistan and said that media provides guidance to him and he takes serious notice of its reports but some quarters twisted the facts and presented old and irrelevant pictures and thereby violated the journalistic code of conduct. He said that after reviewing the situation, it has been revealed that there is neither any emergency in Cholistan nor the area is facing drought. Moreover, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has lamented irresponsible reporting by some circles of media about Cholistan during his visit and said that some quarters of electronic media twisted the facts which hit the media’s credibility. The chief minister regretted that irrelevant photographs and old videos of the skeleton of animals have been aired in some news bulletins and contrary to the journalistic principles, the file name was also not written on it. Shahbaz said that he was thankful to media which highlighted the real problems of Cholistan. He said that we should avoid to create a situation like “Sher Aya—Sher Aya”. CM TAKES NOTICE OF WOMAN’S SELF-IMMOLATION: Separately, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of a woman setting herself on fire outside the CM House on Friday reportedly over a family dispute. The woman was taken to Jinnah Hospital in Lahore for medical treatment and Shahbaz ordered that the best medical assistance should be provided to her. According to doctors, 30 to 40 percent of her body had burnt. The woman was a resident of Shafiqabad and has four children including three daughters and a son. It was reported that the husband of the woman was unemployed. The chief minister has also asked for a report on the incident. Reportedly, the brothers of the victim’s husband used to torture her husband and did not give them their rightful share of family property. Further, the police allegedly did not help them in the matter and instead took sides with the brothers.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Friday said that the democratic government was committed to the protection of human dignity through legislation on torture. He was addressing the inaugural session of the three-day Regional Conference on Torture, held under the auspices of Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD) at a local hotel. The minister said the Constitution of Pakistan ensured freedom from torture and all kinds of inhuman treatment, adding that Pakistan had ratified all international conventions on human rights. He said police torture was a reality, and the police used it to extract confessional statements from the detainees. Making torture a criminal offence would help check the menace, he added. He said that all possible administrative measures would be taken to implement the measures against torture. Pervaiz Rashid said he was fully aware of the sensitivity of the problem as a political worker. He said he himself and scores of political workers had to face worst torture under the dictatorial regimes. He stressed the need to create public awareness on the issues of rising torture and ill treatment, adding that the government would take a lead from the recommendations of the conference on torture. Earlier, eminent human rights activist Hina Jilani, Prof Ijaz Khattak and DCHD country head spoke on the various aspects of the menace. The conference was being attended
by delegates from India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Tajikstan. It would discuss the situation in other regional countries as well. TALIBAN ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY: Separately, the information minister told the media that Taliban had accepted the responsibility to search the militants who were involved in recent acts of terrorism in the country. He said that the government wanted peace in the country without bloodshed and this goal will be achieved by the government. He said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was the focal person and it would be appropriate to let him concentrate on this important task. He said so far the negotiation committees have not decided on the venue of negotiations. However he said everyone should hope for good results from the dialogue process. About the grant of $ 1.5 billion to Pakistan by the friends of Pakistan, the information minister said it was not for the first time that a friendly country has helped Pakistan. He said in the past as well Pakistan received similar help. However, he said it would be better not to politicize it or take in a way that hurt the sentiments of our friends abroad. Pervaiz Rashid said that the government has made it known that the process of appointment of heads of national institutions would be completed in 30 days. He said judiciary is completely free and independent in the country but pointed out that courts are part of the country and all the institutions work collectively for the good of the country.
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
SANAULLAH FOR RATTLING SWISS BANKS FOR LOOTED MONEY LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday said that looted wealth of the nation should be brought back from Swiss banks. Talking to media persons outside Punjab Assembly, he said that the PMLN’s government wanted to bring the looted wealth of the nation from Swiss banks but the courts had to decide in this regard. The Punjab law minister said that the people have rejected corrupt persons in general elections of May 11, 2013 because “Ali Baba and his forty thieves” looted the country with both hands for five years. sTaFF rePOrT
PUNJAB JAILS’ STAFFS RECEIVING EXTORTION: REPORT LAHORE: Jails’ staffs in Punjab have been receiving around Rs 3.2 million as extortion money for providing mobile phone facility to inmates and for turning a blind eye to security arrangements, as only five detention facilities have mobile phone jammers installed. An official report prepared by intelligence agencies disclosed that the 32 jails in the province were overcrowded with over 22,000 prisoners. The report also revealed names and phone numbers of the inmates using mobile phone in the jails. OnLine
NOTHING WRONG WITH NESPAK MD APPOINTMENT: IHC LAHORE: Justice Noor-ul-Huq Qureshi of Islamabad High Court (IHC) has dismissed the writ petition of former NESPAK MD Asad I Khan who challenged the decision of NESPAK Board of Directors about the appointment of new NESPAK MD Amjad A Khan. IHC has upheld the decision of the BoD of NESPAK for the appointment of NESPAK MD with effect from August 15, 2013. sTaFF rePOrT
LAHORE: Brick kiln workers carrying water on the International Water Day. OnLine
Mela Charaghan on 29th LAHORE: A three-day urs celebrations of Hazrat Shah Hussain popularly known as Madhu Lal Hussain will start on March 29. Provincial Minister for Auqaf and Religious Affairs Ata Manika will inaugurate the celebrations after laying traditional 'chadar' on the grave of the Sufi saint. The Auqaf Department has allocated Rs 500,000 for free meal to be distributed among devotees during the urs. Mehfil-e-Samaa and Mehfil-e-Naat will be held in which noted qawwals and naat khawans will participate. Religious and spiritual meetings will also be held and clerics will throw light on poetry and teachings of Hazrat Madhu Lal Hussain. The city district government has also made foolproof security arrangements in this regard. sTaFF rePOrT
Protect forests, protect yourself LAHORE sTaFF rePOrT
Forests and trees sustain and protect us, providing clean air and water, safeguarding biodiversity and acting as a buffer against climate change, therefore there is a need to protect forests, highlighted a seminar on Public Private Partnership in Promotion of Forestry in Pakistan. Punjab Forests Secretary Javed Akbar Bhatti was the chief guest while the seminar was presided over by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Vice President Kashif Anwar. Forests Deputy Secretary Shahid Rashid also spoke in the seminar jointly organised by LCCI, government of Punjab, Greengrowth and British Council on Friday.
Record funds being provided for health, education: minister LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Excise, Taxation and Finance Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman has said record funds are being provided to health and education sectors to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Addressing the delegation of an NGO, he said the government was encouraging NGOs as well as educational institutions for organising awareness events against fatal diseases. He said major focus of the govt was on protecting the health of people through strengthening of primary healthcare and disease preventive programmes. The minister said that for imparting modern education to the students Rs 244 billion are being spent on education sector during the current fiscal year which is 26 percent of the total budget of the province. sTaFF rePOrT
The Forests secretary said forests were equally important for the economic safety of the country as round wood production, wood processing and the pulp and paper industries account for nearly 1 percent of global gross domestic product. Forested catchments supply three quarters of freshwater, which is essential for agriculture, industry, energy supply and domestic use. Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar said that unfortunately it was one of the most-neglected areas of the present times but it was a matter of satisfaction that public and private sectors were making joint efforts to protect forests and plant trees. He said considering the available facts and figures, the potential for new investment in forestry was very much significant.
Courts and holy cows Military continues to test judiciary’s patience
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
Trouble in the Kingdom Is Saudi Arabia primed for revolution?
t has been a cat and mouse game involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes. the case of 35 missing persons taken into custody by the army authorities in September 2011 from an internment centre in Malakand has tested the patience of the SC and the tenacity of the army. the former has ordered the army again and again to produce the 35 before the court while the later remained in a state of denial regarding their custody. the only movement in 35 hearings spread over six months took place on Friday when it was confirmed that an Fir had finally been registered against one of the officers nominated, a Lance naik, for taking away the 35 missing persons from an internment center. A three member bench presided over by CJ iftikhar Choudhary had tried during several hearings to determine the whereabouts of the missing persons. Finally the bench exerted pressure on the Defence Secretary till the latter proceeded on medical leave. the court then called the Defence Minister. this led nawaz Sharif to hand over the portfolio so far held by himself to Kh Asif. the 35 were still not produced. Later the ministry of defence conceded that two of the detainees had died. the Attorney general said he had advised the Defence Minister to ascertain the identities of Major Zulfikar and naib Subedar Amanullah who had allegedly taken the custody of these missing persons after which their whereabouts were not known. Finally on December 10 the apex court delivered its verdict that held army personnel responsible for taking away 35 persons from the detention centre. Despite the verdict only 12 missing persons were produced before the court but no action was taken against those held responsible for their disappearance. in January the court took serious notice of non-compliance of its orders and warned of initiating contempt proceedings against the government for what it called not paying heed to its directives. two months passed till the court gave the Federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments 24 hours to act on its previous orders, warning that it would issue notices to the Prime Minster and the governor and Chief Minister of KP if its orders are not complied with. this led Attorney general to assure the Supreme Court on Wednesday that an Fir would be filed against military officers involved. things however took a new turn when the court was told the next day by Advocate general KP that a formal Fir was yet to be filed in the province. the superior judiciary has been lenient towards the military personnel the ample judicial restraint in their case has given confidence to military controlled security agencies to continue with the practice of detaining citizens on grounds of mere suspicion. the question being frequently asked is how long will courts treat those in uniform as more equal than ordinary citizens.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad Joint Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
riting in The Washington Post on February 27, 2011, rachel Bronson asked: “Could the next Mideast uprising happen in Saudi Arabia?” Her answer was: “the notion of a revolution in the Saudi kingdom seems unthinkable.” However, on September 30 the next year, the senior foreign policy fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy Bruce riedel concluded that the “revolution in Saudi Arabia is no longer unthinkable.” to preempt such a possibility, the kingdom in March 2011, in a “military” move to curb the tide of the Arab popular uprisings which raged across the Arab world from sweeping to its doorsteps, the kingdom sent troops to Bahrain to quell similar popular protests. that rapid reactive Saudi military move into Bahrain heralded a series of reactions that analysts describe as an ongoing Saudi-led counterrevolution. in his quest to contain any fallout from the “Arab Spring,” Saudi King Abdullah Ben Abdel-Aziz selectively proposed inviting the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco to join the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the gulf, known as the gulf Cooperation Council (gCC), leading the Economist on May 19, 2011 to joke that the organization should be renamed the “gulf Counter-revolutionary Club.” For sure including iraq and Yemen would be a much better addition if better security was the goal. Ahead of US President Barak Obama’s official visit to the kingdom by the end of this March, Saudi Arabia was looking “forward to China as an international magnate with a great political and economic weight to play a prominent role in achieving peace and security in the region,” according to Defense Minister and Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who was in Beijing from March 13 to 16 “to enhance cooperation with China to protect peace, security and stability in the region.” He was quoted by a statement from the Saudi Press Agency. Prince Salman was in Japan from 18-21 last February, hopefully to deepen bilateral cooperation “in various fields.” On February 26, india and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to strengthen co-operation in military training, logistics supplies and exchange of defense-related information. On last January 23, indonesia and Saudi Arabia signed a defense cooperation agreement, the first of its kind. While a strong Saudi-Pakistan defense partnership has existed for long, it has been upgraded recently. Princes Salman and Foreign Minister Saud alFaisal arrived in Pakistan on February 15. Pakistani army chief general raheel Sharif was in Saudi Arabia earlier. Director of South Asia Studies Project at the Middle East Media research institute, Washington DC, tufail Ahmad, wrote on this March 11 that “the upswing in the relationship marks a qualitative change,” hinting that the kingdom could be seeking Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities to “counter a nuclear-capable iran” despite islamabad’s denial, which “is not reliable.” the kingdom is moving “to transform itself as a regional military power,” Sharif wrote. On this March 14, the Financial times reported that Saudi Arabia has
given $1.5 billion (Dh5.5 billion) to Pakistan. in February a senior Pakistani intelligence official told the Financial Times that Saudi Arabia was seeking “a large number of [Pakistani] troops to support its campaign along the Yemeni border and for internal security.” the official confirmed that Pakistan’s agreement, during Prince Salman’s visit, to support the establishment of a “transitional governing body” in Syria was an important aspect of the deal. On this March 5, the kingdom led two other members of the six-member gCC, namely the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar, risking the survival of the gCC. Hunting two French and Lebanese birds with one shot, the kingdom early last January pledged a $3 billion royal grant, estimated to be two-time the entire military budget of Lebanon, to buy French weapons for the Lebanese Army. the Saudi multi-billion dollar support to the change of guards in Egypt early last July and the kingdom’s subscription to Egypt’s make or break campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) inside and outside the country following the ouster of the MB’s former president Mohammed Morsi reveal a much more important Saudi strategic and security unsigned accord with Egypt’s new rulers. On the outset of the so-called “Arab Spring,” the kingdom also bailed out Bahrain and the Sultanate of Omen with more multi-billion petrodollars to buy the loyalty of their population. More multi-billion petrodollars were squandered inside the country to bribe the population against joining the sweeping popular Arab protests. While the United States will continue to “guarantee israel’s qualitative military edge” over all the twenty two Arab nations plus iran, iran is developing its own defense industries to defend itself against both the US and israel, rendering the Saudi arms procurement efforts obsolete. Had all of those squandered billions of petrodollars spent more wisely they could have created a revolution of development in the region. Not assured by US assurances Ahead of Obama’s visit, the Saudi message is self-evident. they are looking, on their own, for alternative security guarantees, or at least additional ones. they don’t trust their decades – long American security umbrella anymore. the US sellout of close allies like the former presidents of tunisia, Egypt and Yemen shed doubt on any “assurances’ Washington would be trying to convey during Obama’s upcoming visit. President Obama is scheduled to be in riyadh by the end of this March to assure Saudi Arabia of what his Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns on last February 19 told the Center for Strategic and international Studies that the United States takes Saudi security concerns “seriously,” “US-Saudi partnership is as important today as it ever was” and that the “Security cooperation is at the heart of our agenda” with the gCC, reminding his audience that his country still keeps about 35,000 members of the US military at 12 bases in and around the Arabian gulf. Obviously, the Saudis are not assured, neither internally, regionally or at the international level because as Burns said on the same occasion: “We don’t always see eye to eye” and it is natural that gulf states would “question our reliability as partners” given US ef-
forts to achieve energy independence and US warnings that traditional power structures, such as the gulf monarchies, are “unsustainable.” What Prince Al Faisal described as “frankness” is still missing: His brother, prince turki al-Faisal, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last December, blasted the Obama administration for keeping his country in the dark on its secret talks with iran: “How can you build trust when you keep secrets from what are supposed to be your closest allies?” “the Saudis have good reason to feel besieged and fearful,” immanuel Wallerstein, director emeritus of the Fernand Braudel Center at Binghamton University and senior researcher at Yale University and Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris, was quoted as saying by AlJazeera America on this March 1. Senior associate of Carnegie’s Middle East program Frederic Wehry on this March 10 wrote that, “there is a growing sense in gulf capitals … led by Saudi Arabia” that “the United States is a power in retreat that is ignoring the interests of its steadfast partners, if not blithely betraying them.” What Burns described as “tactical differences” with Saudi Arabia and its gCC co-members, the Saudis are acting on the premise that those differences are much more strategic than “tactical” and accordingly are overstretching their search for alternative security guarantees worldwide because they seem to disagree with Burns that “our gulf partners know that no country or collection of countries can do for the gulf states what the United States has done and continues to do.” Pressured between two ‘Crescents’ three threatening developments have led to Saudi distrust in US security assurances. the first was the selling out of a US ally like the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the second was the Qatari, turkish and US coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood regionally and the third was the assumption to power of the MB in Egypt. the first development set the precedent of selling out of a long regional US ally against the fervent public advice of the kingdom. Mubarak’s ouster set the red lights on in riyadh of a possible similar scenario in Saudi Arabia. the second development put the kingdom on alert against the emerging MB, turkey, Qatar and the US axis that would have encircled Saudi Arabia had the kingdom allowed this axis to hand the power over to the Brotherhood in Syria in the north and in Egypt in the west. the MB is influential in Jordan, the kingdom’s northern neighbor, and in Yemen, its southern neighbor. the Hamas’ affiliation to the MB in the Palestinian gaza Strip would complete what a Saudi analyst called the “Brotherhood crescent” in the north, west and south, to squeeze the kingdom between the rock of this “Brotherhood crescent” and the hard place of the islamic republic of iran in the east. the third development surrendered the western strategic backyard of the kingdom to the MB, which has become untrustworthy politically in view of its membership in the emerging US-led ““Brotherhood crescent” after decades of sponsoring the MB leaders who found in the kingdom a safe haven from their suppression in Syria and Egypt and using them against the pan-Arab regimes in both countries and against
Qatar takes a middle ground between the Saudi and Omani positions vis-à-vis Iran. On this March 17, the Qatar-Iran joint political committee convened in Tehran.
the pan-Arab and communist political movements. the Saudi answer so far has been reactive more than proactive. “it is difficult to avoid the impression that Saudi policy is more re-active than pro-active,” Sir tom Phillips – British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia 2010-12 and an Associate Fellow at the Chatham House Middle East and north Africa Programme – wrote on last February 12. Proactive shorter path overdue Following the lead of the United States and Europe who have come to deal with the fait accompli that iran as a pivotal regional power is there to stay for the foreseeable future, a more Saudi proactive regional policy that would engage iran and Syria would be a much shorter and cheaper route to internal security as well as to regional stability, instead of reacting to their alliance by engaging in a lost and costly battle for a “regime change” in both countries. Or much better, the kingdom could follow the lead of the Sultanate of Oman, which risked to break away from the gCC should they go along with the Saudi proposal late in 2011 for transforming their “council” into an anti-iran military “union.” regardless of what regime rules in tehran and since the time of the Shah, Oman has been dealing with iran as a strategic partner and promoting an iranian-gCC regional partnership.Qatar takes a middle ground between the Saudi and Omani positions vis-à-vis iran. On this March 17, the Qatar-iran joint political committee convened in tehran. Feeling isolated, besieged and threatened by being left in the cold as a result of what it perceives as a withdrawing US security umbrella, the kingdom’s new experience of trying to cope on its own is indulging the country in counterproductive external policies in the turmoil of the aftermath of the shock waves of the Arab popular uprisings, which have raged across the Arab world since 2011, but its tide has stopped at the Damascus gate of the iranian – Syrian alliance, which is backed internationally by the emerging russian and Chinese world powers. At the end of the day, the kingdom’s recent historical experience indicates that the Saudi dynasty lived its most safe and secure era during the Saudi-Egyptian-Syrian trilateral understanding, which was developed as a regional axis of stability, as the backbone of the Arab League regional system and was reinforced by the trilateral coordination in the 1973 Arab – israeli war. the revival of the Saudi coordination with Egypt in the post-Morsi presidency was a crucial first step that would lead nowhere unless it is completed by an overdue Saudi political Uturn on Syria that would revive the old trilateral axis to defend Arabs against israel. A partnership with iran would be a surplus; otherwise the revival of the trilateral coordination would at least serve as a better Saudi defense against iran as well. However such a Saudi U-turn would require of course a strategic decision that would renege on the kingdom’s US-inspired and ill-advised policy of dealing with Syria and iran as “the enemy,” while dealing with israel, which still occupies Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese territories, as a possible “peace partner” and a co-member of an anti-iran and Syria “front of moderates,” which the successive US administrations have been promoting. it would first require as well a change of foreign policy decision-makers in riyadh, but such a change will continue to be wishful thinking until a man of an historic stature holds the wheel at the driving seat at the helm of the Saudi hierarchy. Until that happens, it might be too late. Meanwhile, it is increasingly becoming a possibility that the “revolution in Saudi Arabia is no longer unthinkable.” Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian email@example.com.
WORLD VIEW 09
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
Obama mending fences in Riyadh
He Saudi-American bilateral relationship has been seriously strained in the past three years by tensions underlying the Arab Awakening, and President Barack Obama has serious fence-mending ahead of him when he meets with King Abdullah in Riyadh in March. The relationship is not broken and both sides still need each other. Barack Obama’s first trip as President to an Arab capital was in 2009 when he visited Riyadh before going to Cairo to deliver his now famous speech on American relations with the Islamic world. It was an indicator of how critical and important Obama deems the Saudi role in the region from Morocco to Indonesia. The US President has appreciated the Kingdom not just as a key energy source (one in four barrels of oil on the market comes from Saudi Arabia), but it is also home to Islam’s two holiest cities and thus has enormous soft power in the Muslim world. But the Arab spring severely damaged America’s ties to the royal family, which was shocked to its core when Obama urged President Hosni Mubarak to leave office. For the House of Saud this was a betrayal of a key ally. Thus, the Saudis were very quick to welcome the military coup in egypt this past summer which they saw as restoring order in Cairo and strengthening their own position at home by removing a dangerous example of revolutionary change in the Arab world. The return to autocratic rule in Cairo reduced the danger of upheaval in other Arab states. Abdullah recognised the coup leaders, especially General Sisi, hours after they took power and Riyadh rapidly put together a multibillion aid programme for egypt and enlisted Kuwait and the United Arab emirates to help fund it. The aid comes with no rider that egypt restore democratic rule; to the contrary, it is in-
tended to undermine American efforts to use US aid to help foster reform and democracy. When the Arab spring spread to Bahrain, and America urged reform there as well, the Saudis sent troops across the King Fahd Causeway to back the minority Sunni ruling family. Almost three years later, Saudi troops continue to back up the Sunni minority regime in Manama and King Abdullah has spoken openly about a closer union between the Kingdom and Bahrain. The Saudis have become increasingly irritated by American criticism of the Bahraini government’s poor human rights record. More anger witH waSHington Riyadh is especially disappointed in American policy toward Syria where they want Washington to take robust steps to oust the Assad regime and replace it with a proSaudi Sunni government. The Saudis are arming the opposition much more aggressively than Washington and want Obama to be more vigorous in fighting Assad. At the same time, Riyadh is anxious that Washington is prepared to appease Assad’s backer Iran and conclude a deal with Tehran on its nuclear programme. Senior Saudi officials like intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan have been increasingly outspoken in criticising American policy, and the Saudis refused to take up a seat on the United Nations Security Council this January because they argued the US was not doing enough on Syria or the Palestinian issue. Saudi officials made it clear that this unusual decision was intended to signal anger with Washington. Despite these public tensions, in private robust cooperation continues on counter terrorism and other issues. The Americans and Saudis cooperate closely against al-Qaeda, especially in Yemen. CIA Director John Brennan enjoys very close and productive relations with the Saudi counter terrorist chief and Interior Minister, Prince Muhammad bin Nayif. Saudi intelligence was critical in foiling the last two plots by al-Qaeda to smuggle explosives onto aircraft flying in the United States. This year, the Kingdom has also tried to take steps to prevent Saudi citizens from travelling to Syria to join al-Qaeda jihadists there. The burden of bucking up weak autocratic regimes and other allies is becoming more costly for Riyadh. Saudi officials say the Kingdom spent more than $25 billion subsidising its allies in Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere in 2012, and expect that burden to rise to over $30 billion in 2014 with the addition of the egyptian account. Almost all of this aid is budgetary support so there is virtually no economic development return. The cost of supporting the counter revolution in the Arab and Islamic worlds adds greatly to the challenges facing the House of Saud in the years ahead.
a diSHarMoniouS alliance, but no divorce The Arab Awakening has demonstrated clearly that Washington and Riyadh do not share common values, but they do still share some common interests. Neither has a viable alternative partner to secure those interests like fighting al-Qaeda and containing Iran. It is likely to be an increasingly disharmonious alliance, but not a divorce. Obama will try to persuade Abdullah to support two of his key initiatives – the nuclear talks with Iran and the peace negotiations with Israel, and the Palestinians. The Saudis are very worried that the P5+1 talks with Tehran will produce a weak deal that allows Iran to be on the verge of nuclear weapons status while lifting most of the sanctions. Riyadh has made it clear that it will seek its own nuclear deterrent if Iran gets the bomb, almost certainly from Pakistan. obaMa’S cHallengeS
The President must assure the Saudis that he will not make a bad deal and the deal he wants to reach will ensure Iran is not just a short step away from the bomb. Obama must also assure the King that the United States has no intention of ignoring Iranian behaviour in supporting Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and dangerous Iranian subversion in Bahrain and Yemen. Since the US is committed to thwarting Iranian aggression, the two should be able to agree on a shared strategic consensus on this issue. On the peace process with Israel and the Palestinians, Obama’s goal is to convince Abdullah that he and Secretary of State John Kerry are really serious about achieving a breakthrough this year. The Saudis in general and the King in particular want Washington to press Israel to accept a two state solution based on the 1967 lines with a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem. Their concern on this issue is not that Obama and Kerry are not try-
ing enough now but whether they will be willing to put pressure on Israel to accept a deal when the talks get to decision time. The Saudis were deeply disappointed in the first Obama term when he spoke tough about an Israeli settlements freeze as a condition for negotiations, but backed away when Israel balked. Abdullah is the principal author of the Arab League’s peace initiative that promised Arab recognition of Israel within secure borders in return for a just and fair peace with the Palestinians. The King is passionate about the Palestinian cause and deeply disappointed that America has done too little to press Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Stability in SoutH aSia A third issue will probably get attention mostly behind the scenes. The two leaders will need to address how to help ensure stability in South Asia when American and other NATO forces leave Afghanistan at the end of this year. Riyadh has enormous influence in Pakistan and hosted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his years in exile. Washington has little influence in Islamabad and needs Saudi help. The American-Saudi relationship dates back to 1945 when the modern kingdom’s founder Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud met with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on an American warship, the USS Quincy, in the Suez Canal at the end of World War II. The two agreed on a basic formula for the partnership, American security help to Saudi Arabia in return for Saudi management of a reliable and affordable energy supply to the world. The partnership has had its highs and lows. Probably the peak was the joint covert programme to back the mujahedin in Afghanistan with Pakistan to defeat the Soviet Union in the 1980s. That partnership won the final and decisive battle of the Cold War. Probably the nadir was King Feisal’s decision to shut off oil exports to the US in 1973 over American support for Israel. Some American pundits suggested seizing the oil fields of the Kingdom in retaliation. Cooler heads prevailed. Today’s difficulties are not as serious as the 1973 low point, but they do need attention and care. Obama will need to convince his hosts that he is serious about keeping the relationship healthy, curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, above all else, securing a breakthrough in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Bruce Riedel is senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, part of Brookings’ new Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Riedel also serves as a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Riedel joined Brookings following a 30-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Behind Israeli strikes on Syria, a simmering battle with Hezbollah Christian sCienCe Monitor Nicholas BlaNford
A spate of attacks against Israeli military targets in the Golan Heights has raised fears that Hezbollah is opening a new conflict with Israel after a hiatus of nearly eight years. Israel's retaliatory air strikes on Syrian military targets Tuesday night indicates that it holds the Syrian regime responsible for the suspected actions of Hezbollah, its military ally. Hezbollah has sent thousands of its fighters to Syria to help President Bashar al-Assad and are together presently clawing back a strategic belt of territory north of Damascus. Given that it is both fighting in Syria and attempting to contain a backlash in Lebanon, where suicide bombers have targeted Shiite areas in recent months, Hezbollah has no interest in a serious flare-up with Israel. And Israel has been clear that it does not want an open conflict with the Shiite militant group. Therefore, the Golan Heights – seized from Syria in 1967 and annexed by Israel in 1981 – is a conveniently ambiguous area from which Hezbollah can launch anonymous attacks, leaving Israel
uncertain of the perpetrator. SuSpecting HezbollaH The latest of the unclaimed attacks occurred Tuesday, when a roadside bomb packed with antipersonnel steel balls exploded beside several Israeli soldiers just south of Majdal Shams at the security fence marking Israel’s eastern perimeter in the Golan. Four soldiers were wounded in the blast, one of them seriously. In response, Israeli jets attacked several Syrian military bases around Quneitra, eight miles south, overnight. The Israeli military said the targeted sites included a Syrian military headquarters, artillery batteries and training base “which enabled and aided in the carrying out of [Tuesday’s] terror attacks.” Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s defense minister said Israel held the Assad regime responsible for the attack and warned that “if it continues to collaborate with terrorists striving to hurt Israel then we will keep on exacting a heavy price from it and make it regret its actions." The Syrian military said that one soldier was killed and seven wounded in the Israeli air strikes and condemned the attack. "Repeating such hostile acts (airstrikes) would endanger the se-
curity and stability of the region and make it open to all possibilities," a Syrian military statement said. The Israeli security fence winds through steep hills south of Majdal Shams, allowing militants to approach without being detected. Israel suspects Hezbollah because it has years of experience using improvised explosive devices against Israeli troops in south Lebanon. And, while anti-Assad rebel forces are present in much of the Golan Heights, this area is controlled by the Syrian Army, a battlefield ally of Hezbollah. “I can’t tell you for sure, but let’s say I’m going to be really surprised if it’s going to be somebody else other than Hezbollah,” said Brig. Gen. Amnon Sofrin, a former director of Israel’s Mossad Intelligence Directorate, in comments made to a group of reporters in Jerusalem. Mutual deterrence falterS If Hezbollah were responsible for bombing and other recent attacks against the Israeli military, it marks a departure from the dormancy of the past eight years. For 2000 to 2006, after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, Hezbollah staged periodic attacks
against Israeli forces in the Shebaa Farms, an Israeli-occupied mountainside along the border. In July 2006, Lebanese militants fought the Israeli army to a standstill during a month of fighting in south Lebanon. Since then, the Shiite group has been careful to avoid overt military action in the Shebaa Farms or elsewhere along the border. The threat of a more destructive war than 2006 has served as deterrence not only to Hezbollah, but also to Israel. However, Feb. 24 may have broken that period of mutual deterrence. That night, Israeli jets struck a Hezbollah target near the village of Janta on Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria. The target of the attack, the first by Israel on Lebanese territory since 2006, reportedly was a consignment of advanced anti-aircraft missiles. In the past year Israel has staged at least six attacks against Syrian military sites, reportedly hitting air defense systems as well as long-range rockets and anti-ship missiles that could have been destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah admitted that one of its facilities had been targeted and vowed to “choose the appropriate time, place and method of response.”
Four days later, two Grad rockets fired from inside Syria landed near an Israeli military outpost on Mount Hermon. On March 5, Israeli troops spotted and opened fire at three men attempting to plant a roadside bomb beside the Israeli security fence in the Golan Heights. The Israeli military said the three men were “affiliated with Hezbollah” and that the planned bomb ambush was thwarted. The most significant incident occurred March 13, when two roadside bombs exploded against an Israeli military patrol deep inside the Shebaa Farms. There were no casualties in the attack, but it was the first in the Shebaa Farms since the 2006 war and only the second deep penetration roadside bomb ambush in the area since 2000. Hezbollah has not formally commented on any of the attacks or attempted ambushes in the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms. avoiding all-out war There have been several incidents of small arms fire and mortar rounds falling on the Israeli-occupied Golan in the past two years, usually interpreted by the Israelis as unintentional spillover from clashes between the Syrian Army and rebel forces. However, there was only one
previous roadside bomb attack against Israeli troops in December near the location of Tuesday’s bombing. Like the more recent attacks in the Golan, there was no claim of responsibility, but the December bombing came three days after the assassination of Hassan Laqqis, a top Hezbollah commander, in Beirut, suggesting that it too was carried out by the Shiite organization. The difficulty for Israel is how to retaliate without sparking a a fresh conflict with Hezbollah. “We don’t have any intention of escalating the situation with Hezbollah and go into another war right now,” says Brig. Gen. Sofrin. “Therefore, if Israel chooses to react, it’s going to be something very specific, very limited, accompanied with the right message, ‘Ok, we’ve had enough in this round’.” The question now is whether Tuesday’s roadside bomb ambush, if carried out by Hezbollah, is considered by the group sufficient retaliation for last month’s air strike on Janta or whether more attacks will follow. Staff writer Christa Case Bryant contributed reporting from Jerusalem.
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
(OPERATIONAL CRISIS AT FEDERAL AGENCIES)
'CoMPounD EffECt' May DEPRivE PaK of iMo'S WhitE LiSt BoaRds of KPT and PQa yeT To have full QuoRuM, only one of 12 sanCTIoned PosTs aT dGPs and MMd fIlled KARACHI
AKISTAN, which relies on its 1100 kilometres vast coastline to cater the country's 90 percent seaborne trade, is likely to see itself in hot waters at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sooner than later, warned the shipping experts. The PML-N-ruled country, though seeing its troubled economic indicators coming back on track one after another, has its ports and shipping sector completely neglected by the sitting rulers whose apparent lack of interest and alleged politicisation of bureaucracy has brought the revenue-generating industry to the brink of a total collapse. Almost all of the ministry of ports and shipping-controlled federal agencies, prominently Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), Directorate General Ports and Shipping (DGPS) and Marine Mercantile Department (MMD), are facing a serious operational crisis the "compound effect" of which, if not addressed, the experts believe, would render Pakistan eliminated from the IMO's "White List". With KPT and PQA having been worked for months with their boards of directors dissolved, the all-important DGPS and MMD are being run single-handedly by a nautical surveyor, Captain Qasim Saeed, for over a couple of months past. Of the total 12 sanctioned posts at the two departments, according to official sources, 11 are vacant. The lone official appears to be officiating in place of a chief nautical surveyor, a principal officer, a deputy chief nautical surveyor, two nautical surveyors, a chief examiner and ship surveyor and five engineers and ship surveyors at the DGPS and MMD. The technical staff on the above vacant posts are responsible for conducting flag and port state inspections, overseeing shipbuilding, surveying thousands of crafts and fishing boats operating in Pakistani waters and most of all examining and certification of local seafarers under standards of training, certification and watch-keeping of Seafarers 1978 (STCW), Merchant Shipping Ordinance 2001 and other IMO conventions. This was strict compliance with such IMO standards that put Pakistan on the Organisation's 71member "White List". The official sources,
however, said in the absence of technical staff at DGPS and MMD the country was falling short of fulfilling the above requirements. For the last three months at least, they said, the MMD has been issuing Port Clearance (PC) to hundreds of vessels calling at local ports with the stroke of a pen without physically inspecting sea-worthiness of the ships. "On average 15 to 20 ships call at local ports daily," said a shipping agent. "A PC issued by MMD makes Pakistan solely responsible for any damage caused to the ship concerned before it reaches the next port of call," a former official of MMD told Pakistan Today. A former DG ports said PNSC was saving at least $45 million per year for dollar-hungry Pakistan on account of shipping freight by transporting $16 billion worth of imported non-edible oil. "It is obligatory on the government of Pakistan to fulfil its (IMO) obligations otherwise the Pakistan flagged vessels and seafarers may suffer at foreign ports," warned a KPT board member. He said the IMO did not allow substandard ships and seafarers as it undermines its policy of "safer shipping and cleaner oceans". Pakistani seafarers may lose their jobs in the international market, the expert added. According to MMD figures, there are 25,000 registered merchant mariners or seafarers who would be adversely affected by any such mishap. Moreover, at least 44 Class IV engineering examination candidates are still said to be awaiting orals owing to the chief examiner's contract expiry on Jan 19 (2014) at the MMD. "No examiner is available for the first time in the history of CoC (Certificate of Competencies) examination since its inception," lamented a source. Why the vacant posts were not filled on time? The official sources at MMD said a "huge gap" between the government salary structure and the wages aboard international shipping lines was a major reason for the failure of Federal Public Service Commission to appoint competent officials on the vacant posts. However, a former PQA board member claimed that like its predecessors the present PML-N government too wanted to install its own blue-eyed boys at all the key posts in the ministry of ports and shipping, previously governed by Senator Babar Ghauri of MQM for two consecutive terms during Musharraf era. "Every government wants to fill such seats through its own people that is something is fact this government does not have," claimed he. When approached, Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Kamran Michael said the matter was finalised. "We have had the prime minister's approval for the names to be appointed," the federal minister said. "We are doing the refilling," he told Pakistan Today at a recent dinner he recently hosted for journalists at Port House.
KSE-100 falls 383 points, rupee strengthens KARACHI STAFF REPORT
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) closed lower on Friday with the benchmark 100share index of the Karachi Stock Exchange falling 1.41 per cent, or 383.03 points to 26,765.49. Market plunged by 384 points amid heavy institutional selling in index heavy weight Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd(OGDCL), Pakisan Petroleum Ltd (PPL). While investors also trimmed their positions in other sectors like banking, cements and textile, said dealer Samar Iqbal at Topline Securities. Pakistan Petroleum Ltd fell 2.82 per cent to 223.75 rupees while Nishat Mills Ltd was down 1.63 per cent to 122.75 rupees. The rupee ended higher at 97.85/97.90 against the dollar compared to Thursday's close of 98.08/98.15. Overnight rates in the money market fell to 8.25 per cent from Thursday's close of 9.50 per cent.
ECC approves 2-month salaries to PSM employees ISLAMABAD INP
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet which met on Friday under the chairmanship of the federal minister for Finance, Senator Ishaq Dar, approved the payment of salaries for the months of December 2013 and January 2014 to the Pakistan Steel Mills employees. The ECC was informed that the impact on public exchequer for payment of two months salaries will be Rs 960 million. The finance minister also directed the Privatization Commission to bring proposal for restructuring Pakistan Steel Mills in the next ECC meeting. The ECC constituted a five-member committee headed by finance secretary plus secretaries of the ministries of food security, industries and production, water and power and petroleum and natural resources to determine the factors which are hindering production of fertilizers up to the full capacity of the local industry. The committee will present its report in the next ECC meeting that whether the government should undertake import of fertilizer or the demand could be met from local industries for Kharif Season (AprilSeptember 2014). The ECC was informed that keeping in view the demand and local production there is a need to import 0.1705 million tons of fertilizer by TCP. In addition to above Planning Commission had recommended that 0.2 million tons of urea fertilizer may be required for maintaining strategic reserves.
Major Gainers COMPANY Bata (Pak) Pak Tobacco Jubile life Ins.XdXB hinopak Motor P.s.o.
OPEN 2750.00 1034.00 242.15 411.05 420.15
HIGH 2850.00 1049.05 252.47 440.00 429.99
LOW 2750.00 1020.00 242.10 407.06 419.00
CLOSE CHANGE 2850.00 68.53 1045.20 46.10 251.24 10.79 438.20 9.72 428.69 8.51
TURNOVER 520 33,800 14,800 15,100 2,936,800
8990.00 1016.51 830.50 1250.00 571.09
8801.00 1016.51 780.60 1235.00 525.00
8801.00 1070.00 780.73 1235.71 525.00
-239.00 0.00 -40.95 -19.29 -18.90
40 20 4,000 740 2,500
17.48 11.32 46.09 30.35 23.85
17.22 11.01 44.23 29.58 22.65
17.43 11.13 44.94 29.90 23.44
0.29 0.01 -0.21 -0.05 0.16
15,249,500 9,958,000 9,390,600 8,927,000 7,743,500
Major Losers nestle Pak. Indus dyeing sanoﬁ-aventis siemens Pakistan Philip Morris Pak.
8990.00 1016.51 830.00 1250.00 571.00
Volume Leaders fauji Cement Xd lafarge Pak. adamjee Ins. Maple leaf Cement sui north Gas
17.29 11.11 45.43 29.99 23.60
Interbank Rates usd GBP JPy euRo
PKR 98.0412 PKR 161.8269 PKR 0.9592 PKR 135.2479
Forex uK Pound sterling euro us dollar australian dollar Canadian dollar China yuan Japanese yen saudi Riyal u.a.e dirham
165 138 100.2 90.5 88.75 15.75 0.97 26.7 27.35
165.25 138.25 100.45 90.75 89 15.9 1.1 26.95 27.6
IMC reduces car prices up to Rs 75,000 KARACHI: Indus Motor Company Limited (IMC), the manufacturer and distributor of Toyota range of passenger cars and commercial vehicles, announced a substantial reduction in prices of their products by up to 75,000 rupees. Following the recent strengthening of Rupee against the US Dollar, IMC has taken the initiative of passing on the benefit of strengthening rupee to the customers. Recently, the Pak Rupee has strengthened in value due to government’s efforts in wake of ministry of finance’s commitment to stabilise the rupee. Ali Asghar Jamali, the IMC Chief Operating Officer, hailed government’s efforts in this respect and said: “We appreciate the government of Pakistan’s move to stabilise the rupee in such challenging times. The ministry of finance pledged to stabilise the rupee and have delivered their promise. We are very grateful to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for delivering on his promise. As an organisation committed to delighting customers, we are immediately passing on the accrued benefits to our customers. Earlier this year, we reduced the prices of our Corolla Xli Standard by around 89,000 rupees and now, we have yet again, taken an industry first initiative of reducing the prices by up to 75,000, he said. He further stated that the IMC had always put the interest of consumers at the forefront and they aimed to provide quality products at the most affordable prices in Pakistan. “Our localization efforts are directed towards making cars more affordable for the domestic customers”. The subject price reduction comes at a time when costs of doing business are rapidly increasing due to energy crisis and law and order situation that drives up security costs and risks. “The full benefits of the strengthening rupee have yet to set in for the industry, however, due to our customer first code, we are immediately passing on the benefits to the consumers”, he added. The prices for Xli/Gli variants have been reduced by 50,000 rupees and prices of Altis variants have seen a reduction of Rs 75,000. Similarly, the prices of Hilux range of pickups have been reduced by 10,000 to 30,000 rupees. STAFF REPORT
CORPORATE CORNER Shell Pakistan launches new petrol station
testament of our commitment to serve customers across the length and breadth of the country. Our long legacy in Pakistan enables us to proactively anticipate and deliver energy needs and priorities on Pakistan’s roadways.” PRESS RELEASE
firdous textiles to open firdous Concept Store in hyderabad ISLAMABAD: In line with its commitment to meet the fuel and energy needs of a growing and changing population, Shell Pakistan has recently inaugurated a new petrol site here on Lahtrar Road, which is expected to serve thousands of commuters who use this major artery every day that connects Azad Jammu & Kashmir with Islamabad and the rest of the nation. “By expanding our network in the country, we want to ensure that Pakistani customers have access to Shell’s quality products in a variety of locations, particularly where commuter and commercial traffic is growing,” said István Kapitány, Shell’s Executive Vice President designate for the global Retail business at the site. On this occasion, Managing Director for Shell Pakistan Omar Sheikh said, “this inauguration is yet another
HYDERABAD: One of the leading fashion and lifestyle brands, Firdous Cloth Mills announce the opening of their latest Firdous Concept Store in
Hyderabad. The new store opening at AutoBahn road is poised to bring to the fore the products entrenched in the design sensibility Firdous has been known for and ensuring that people across Pakistan have access to the finest goods with uncompromising quality, style, and comfort. The opening of the new store features a fashion presentation by 7 female and 2 male models. The hair and make-up for the launch is by renowned
make-up artist Akif Ilyas and the launch is being organized by Take-II PR. Firdous Concept Stores are a nationwide chain of stores, started back in 2011 to improve access to Firdous Cloth Mills products to customers across Pakistan. The stores carry both the brand’s womenswear, menswear ready-to-wear lines F-WOMAN and F-MAN, accessories and their Home Textiles brand called F-HOME. PRESS RELEASE
Samsung now mass producing industry’s most advanced 4 GB DDR3 KARACHI: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in memory technology, today announced that it is mass producing the most advanced DDR3 memory, based on a new 20 nanometer process technology, for use in a wide range of computing applications. Samsung has pushed the envelope of DRAM scaling, while utilizing currently available immersion ArF lithography, in its roll-out of the industry’s most advanced 20-nanometer (nm) 4-gigabit (Gb) DDR3 DRAM. With DRAM memory, where each cell consists of a capacitor and a transistor linked to one another, scaling is more difficult than with NAND Flash memory in which a cell only needs a transistor. To continue scaling for more advanced DRAM, Samsung refined its design and manufacturing technologies and came up with a modified double patterning and atomic layer deposition. PRESS RELEASE
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
HaGaR tHE HoRRIblE
You are feeling an urgent need for downtime -- so make sure that you can get away by yourself for a while! It's easier than you think to deal with these feelings, but you need to take them seriously first.
You need to deal with some intense new emotional state -- which could be negative or positive. In either case, it's got quite an impact on your life, so make sure that you're on top of it.
You are feeling drawn toward service today -- which could mean volunteering, exploring spirituality or even diving into a new career. Make sure that you're being true to yourself as you move forward.
You should double-check everything you want to deal with today -- and especially if it involves signing any legal agreements! Your great energy ensures that you catch every little flaw.
You have to look at things more carefully today -- the surface reality is sure to lead you astray. Once you see what needs to happen, you should be able to correct your course with ease.
Your emotional side is driving you today -- and possibly driving you crazy! If you just sit back and let it call the shots, you are more likely to enjoy the ride, so don't resist unless disaster looms.
You need to deal with work or a job search today -- your energy is a bit diffuse, but you can focus on one project without too much trouble. Expect a bit of a slowdown as the day wears on.
You feel healed today -- though possibly from an injury you didn't even realize you had incurred! Your energy is amazing, and you should feel free to explore your new possibilities.
You need to deal with some psychic disruption going on pretty deep inside you -- but don't fear! You should be able to get to the bottom of it and learn some new tricks in the bargain.
You have to take some time for yourself today -otherwise, you may spin in circles without coming to an understanding of what's going on inside you. A moment's introspection is all you need.
You're feeling somewhat disconnected from society -- and that doesn't sit right with you. Make sure that you're doing something useful and getting others to do the same, if possible.
Your senses are a little dimmer and fuzzier than usual -- but it's not a bad sign! It actually means that your energy is turning within for a bit, so meditate or do what it takes to gain insight.
How to play fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the squares contains all the digits. the object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once.
mesa paper people player praise pregnant prices proud rebate ropes second secretary storm surprise toast trial unite weird
cHEss white tO PLAY AND MAte iN three MOVeS 8
7 6 5 4 3 2
1.Nf7+ Rxf7 2.Ne5 bd6 [2...rff8 3.rxc7] 3.Rxc7 wins *
1 parasol (8) 2 imaginary particles blinding someone to reality (8) 4 one's last vehicle? (6) 5 french caribbean island (10) 6 little bloodsucker (4) 7 danger (4) 10 winter vehicle with caterpillar tracks (10) 12 forbidden (8) 13 early morning deliverer (5,3) 16 poise (6) 18 minor shock or interruption (4) 19 as well (4)
agent ahead appearance arcade awesome brick choke climb color dose effect eras famous gather glory hale horde laundry
1 band of cloth (4) 3 instrument measuring electrical resistance (8) 8 straight â€” cool! (4) 9 military building(s) (8) 11 devoted to pleasure (10) 14 is down (anag) (6) 15 the flicks (6) 17 bath popper? (4,6) 20 sweet for suckers? (8) 21 cheque end (4) 22 adages (8) 23 resentful feeling (4)
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
Now drones are being used to expose bank details, passwords, wi-fi
eWS that hovering drones can now steal passwords from unsuspecting phones will do little to ease fears that the widespread use of unmanned aircraft could infringe upon our privacy. Hackers in the US have managed to ‘steal’ information, including Amazon passwords, bank details and even people’s home addresses using an aircraft. While it might sound like the crime of the century, the exercise was an experiment to show it is possible to use drones to tap into a smartphone’s Wi-Fi settings and access valuable information. The drone, known as Snoopy, seeks out smartphones that have Wi-Fi turned on. It then makes use of built-in technology which can see what networks the phones have accessed in the past. In theory, almost any drone could be adapted to do this.
Phones ‘noisily’ reach out to networks, according to the experts. Snoopy looks for this activity and when hovering nearby it emits a signal masquerading as another network. The phone ‘trusts’ that it is accessing a trusted Wi-Fi network but instead connects to the quadcopter’s network. Snoopy can then intercept everything a smartphone sends and receives and allows skilled hackers to see passwords, bank details and the phone’s location. The test was conducted in London and the group will share their findings at the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference in Singapore next week, CNN reported. The drone, known as Snoopy, seeks out smartphones that have Wi-Fi turned on. It then makes use of built-in technology which can see what networks the phones have accessed in the past. AGENCIES
A pop-up restaurant that delivers hot sandwiches using parachutes In Australia, Jaffles are toasted sandwiches that the locals eat. A pop-up restaurant has combined this food with parachutes, or “Jafflechutes”, using a creative method of delivery to get food to customers. As the name suggests, the restaurant delivers orders by sending these hot sandwiches down seven stories in a parachute. Customers pay for a sandwich using PayPal, and wait for their jafflechute at a designated spot, which is marked with an “X”. The sandwich floats down and customers have a lot of fun catching it. Founders David McDonald and Adam Grant came up with this method to deliver food to many people in big cities, and had to consider creative methods as they were located on the seventh floor. They are trying to come up with alternate modes of payment to serve more customers, and are open to suggestions on Twitter. AGENCIES
Teachers told not to use red ink to mark homework because it’s a negative colour A school has told teachers not to use red ink to mark homework, because it is a “negative colour”. Teachers have been told to use green ink instead, and to urge students to respond in purple. The rule is being brought in at Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance, Cornwall. “Students make more progress if it is a dialogue and the new system is designed to help that,” Headteacher Sara Davey said. “A lot of primary schools are already using a similar system amazingly well and I think it was felt that red ink was a very negative colour.” But Prof Michael Reiss, from the University of London’s Institute of Education, said: “If schools start using green ink to criticise students’ work, green may become the new red.” NEWSDESK
Google unveils ‘Android Wear’ interface for smartwatches Google has unveiled ‘Android Wear’, an interface for smartwatches and other wearable devices. The operating system will utilize Google Now, a virtual assistant software that works using voice command. It will focus on notifications and prioritize information according to the user’s context to minimize interaction for a more seamless experience. For example, you can view weather reports, travel and meeting times on your way to work in the morning. It can also track “real-time speed, distance and time information”, making it ideal for fitness fanatics. Google is working with Android phonemakers like HTC, LG, Samsung, Motorola and Asus on hardware, as well as fashion labels like Fossil. Motorola has already introduced its Moto 360 smartwatch featuring ‘Android Wear’, which you can see in the videos below. More details are expected to be announced at Google I/O from 25 to 26 June. With ‘Android Wear’, the internet giant’s move into wearable technology could influence how people view watches as smart devices instead of merely time-keeping instruments. AGENCIES
Scariest mouth in the world belongs to turtle
Here’s one species of turtle you don’t want to kiss. Believe me, the Leatherback Sea Turtle might look adorable and harmless, but lurking behind its cute face is a set of killer teeth, making its mouth one of the scariest in the world. Hundreds of these jagged stalactite-like teeth called ‘papillae’ line the turtle’s mouth and esophagus, all the way down to the gut. You just have to see it to believe it. The Leatherback is the third largest living reptile in the world, and also the largest turtle. It’s actually a pretty docile creature, with a diet mainly consisting of jellyfish. In fact, the only reason it gets so huge is because it eats an astonishingly large number of the slow-moving jellies. Some-
times, the leatherback can consume about 73 percent of its own body weight in a single day, which is about 16,000 calories and three to seven times more than it needs to survive. So why does this jelly-eating machine need a set of killer teeth, you ask? Well, the teeth give it an evolutionary advantage. The sharp, pointy, backward-facing papillae actually prevent the slippery jelly from escaping by floating back out of the mouth. This means that the leatherback is able to eat all kinds of jellies – right from the smallest swarms to the most massive ones like the Lion’s Mane Jelly. This turtle species also has an unusually long esophagus that extends way past its
DNA left at crime scenes could be used to build up picture of offender’s face DNA left at a crime scene could be used in the future to build up a picture of an offender’s face, it was revealed tonight. A first step towards genetic mugshots has been taken by researchers in the US who link specific DNA markers with face shape. To identify the genes, they focused on known mutations that cause deformations of the face and head. Normal versions of these genes were found to influence individual features. For instance, one gene affected the lips, another the shape and configuration of bones around the eyes, and a third the appearance of the mid-face and skull. In total, 20 genes had “significant effects” on facial appearance. Lead scientist Professor Mark Shriver, from Pennsylvania State University, said: “We use DNA to match to an individual or identify an individual, but you can get so much more from DNA. “Currently we can’t go from DNA to a face, or from a
face to DNA, but it should be possible.” The implications are far reaching, raising the possibility of creating a data bank of facial types based on genetic markers. DNA from a crime scene could then be used to produce a rough image of the face of an offender or victim. Such genetic mugshots may be more reliable than computer-generated “e-fits” based on witnesses’ recollections. Other uses of the technique might include proving the identity of fathers in paternity cases, or visualising our remote ancestors from fossil DNA. The scientists wrote in the online journal Public Library of Science Genetics: “Such predictive modelling could be forensically useful; for example, DNA left at crime scenes could be tested and faces predicted in order to help to narrow the pool of potential suspects. “Further, our methods could be used to predict the facial features of descendants, deceased ancestors, and even extinct human species. In addit i o n , t h e s e methods c o u l d prove to be useful diagnostic tools.” AG E N C I E S
stomach and all the way to the rear. When a baby leatherback first makes an appearance in the world, it is just a tiny hatchling about 3-inches long. But thanks to all the waterrich jellies it consumes in its lifetime, it can grow to an average of four to six ft. long. Now, if you’re thinking that the humungous turtle does nothing but eat and laze around all day, you’re wrong. The leatherback turtle is a migratory species, travelling over 10,000 miles a year. It needs all the energy it can get to cover such large distances. And since jellyfish aren’t exactly energy-boosting foods, the leatherback’s best bet is to stuff its face with as many jellies as it can manage in one go. AGENCIES
Chinese contestants stand on one leg for hours to win BMW
Wu Deqi is the proud owner of a brand new swanky BMW. Nothing special so far, I know, but that’s because you don’t yet know how he got it. Instead of money, he had to pay for it with a lot of pain. In a promotional contest held in the Shapingba District of Southwest China, Wu stood on one leg with one hand touching the coveted car alongside 20 other participants. After a grueling 7 hours and 26 minutes, Wu was the last man standing – automatically winning possession of the 300,000 yuan BMW X1. Of course, Wu’s feat is nowhere near the Guinness World Record for standing on one leg. That distinction belongs to Suresh Joachim, who balanced himself on one foot for a whopping 76 hours and 40 min-
utes. But you have to hand it to Wu for his extraordinary effort. I mean, I couldn’t do it for over 5 minutes even if they offered me two BMWs. The actual event began on 1 March and attracted hundreds of participants. About 140 people entered into three elimination rounds, and 20 shortlisted candidates made it to the final competition on Sunday. This last round was the toughest; some of the contestants actually dropped to the ground in agony. The competition began at 9:30 am and by 1:30 pm, the going got really tough. That’s when the organizers asked participants to stand on tip of their support foot. Flour was spread under each person’s foot to make sure they didn’t cheat and rest their heels. AGENCIES
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
PAkiSTAn feelS like home, SAyS mikA SinGh I
momo won’T foRGeT To STeeR cleAR of filmS Pakistani famous TV artist and Bulbulay fame MOMO, Hina Dilpazeer said that she will never work in movies. She said, "Pakistani television industry gave me so much fame and respect that I wil never think about any other thing." "People who are seeing dream that I will work in movies, I want to tell them that their dream will always remain a dream, I don't want to work in movies. Many rumors are in air about my work in movies. But I just want to tell all that these are just rumors", she added. Hina Dilpazeer also said, "People said that they caste me in their movie or in that role but I don't know why they are spreading such fake news, they should confirm before spreading any news". "We are living in a honored society, we should know that there is a purpose behind everything. It can be good or bad. I am busy in shooting of two new dramas nowadays", she added. AGENCIES
DAniel RADcliffe wAnTS To woRk in muSicAl film
I would love to do a big film musical. I think when they're done right, they're incredibly exciting and fun and cool. ‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe says he wants to expand his experience as an actor by starring in a big screen musical. The 24-year-old actor, who has previously led the cast of Broadway musical ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’, wants to take his singing talents to the movie theatre, reported Entertainment Weekly. “I would love to do a big film musical. I think when they’re done right, they’re incredibly exciting and fun and cool,” Radcliffe said. The actor said he is tempted to do such musical films which have unique plots. ”Everyone thinks of the ones that come to mind immediately, like Grease and things like that, but what was that slightly bizarre but wonderful John Turturro film? ’Romance & Cigarettes’. It’s a bizarre musical, and I love weird, interesting, different stuff like that”, he said. AGENCIES
The woRlD’S fiRST film bASeD on SkATinG 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' a completely fake film: Naseeruddin Shah Bhaag Milkha Bhaag picks seven awards at 59th Idea Filmfare Awards 20...John Abraham's '1911' is like 'Lagaan' meeting 'Chak De! India' Rekha, Hema Malini spotted together Rituparna is like Shah Rukh Khan in the female version of Chak De! In... You may remember Sanjeev Kumar romancing Hema Malini skating together singing Hawaa Ke Saath Saath, but no one internationally has made a film based on the sport of skating till Amole Gupte, whose upcoming film Hawaa Hawaai, which will do just that. If you are wondering why no one thought of it earlier, it might just be that a writer-director before may not have had a son like Partho, who from the age of four, dreamt of skating and decided to not just learn the sport, but dragged his parents along as they needed to tie him up. So by default, Amole landed up getting inducted into the sport and decided to write a script in 2008 which after 22 drafts, has finally got made as Hawaa Hawaai. It stars Saqib Saleem who plays Partho's coach and young Partho who will live his dream of skating through the medium of the film. Talking about skating, Amole said, "Skating is an expensive sport as a pair of inland skates could cost more than a bike. But I saw the grit of the sport and wanted to make a film on it as it will be a first on celluloid internationally and skating is Formula One. Either you are on four wheels in a Ferrari or you are the Ferrari." While there aren't too many sports-based films made in India, the ones that were made, prove to be both inspirational as well as profitable. We look at some of our favourites... Popular Hindi films based on sports Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) Based on the life of the Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh, it shows the making of a legend. Chak De! India (2007) A film centred around hockey, this uplifting film saw a tainted coach leading the women's team to World Cup victory. NEWS DESK
NDIAN singer Mika Singh said that Pakistan feels like home and commented on the similarity of cultural values between India and Pakistan on his third visit to Pakistan. Mika Singh certainly enjoys his visits to Pakistan. The current one is his second within the span of four months. Pakistan last saw him perform at the majestic Mohatta Palace in November. Many artists are wary of visiting Karachi but Mika clarified that he enjoyed his concert at Mohatta Palace and didn’t feel insecure in any way. He also revealed that quite a few Pakistani artists stay at his place whenever they visit India. The period of strained relationship with India, after the Mumbai Attacks, seems to have ended as in the recent past a number of Indian artists like Om Puri, Divya Dutta and Raza Murad have toured Pakistan.
After Deepika, Ranveer is finalised for ‘Shuddhi’
'GAme of ThRoneS' coulD be heADinG foR biG ScReen
NEWS DESK AGENCIES Karan Johar's magnum opus Shuddhi hit a roadblock after the original casting of Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor fell apart when Hrithik opted out in February, thus delaying the project. "I cannot let a vision like Shuddhi stagnate any further," he said in a statement. The film may roll soon with Ranveer ping into Hrithik's shoes. A source close to the development said that as soon as the actor returns from Delhi, where he is shooting for Shaad Ali's next, he will meet Karan Johar and director Karan Malhotra for a final round of talks before he signs on the dotted line. Last week, the trio had a long meeting wherein Ranveer gave his consent to play the male
lead. His Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela heroine Deepika Padukone has been finalised as the female lead. Her name was being tossed around even when Kareena Kapoor Khan was the official pick. Many names, including that of Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan were doing the rounds, to replace Hrithik. But the source tells us, "Karan has zeroed down on Ranveer." So, how will Ranveer juggle Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani and Karan's Shuddhi? After all both are big budget projects with demanding roles. "That won't be a problem as Bhansali's film will not take off before March 2015," added the insider. Karan Johar and Ranveer Singh chose not to comment.
George R.R. Martin is considering adapting his book series 'Game of Thrones', which is already a hit as television series on HBO, for the big screen. During an interview, the author mentioned the possibility of the movie, saying that it all depends on how long the main series runs. The books get bigger and bigger and it might need a feature to tie things up, something with a budget, like 100 million dollars for two hours, he added. The idea of 'Game of Thrones' movie will serve as breather for fans who were disheartened after writers David Benioff and Dan Weiss said the TV series' might end in seven seasons.
AAMIR KHAN IS MALIGNING MEN BY TELLING LIES NEWS DESK Aamir Khan is getting rave reviews for the second edition of his telly show Satyameva Jayate. But, the actor is now being criticised by the Save India Family Foundation, an institution, which fights for the rights of men. Says the Centra India President of SIFF, Rajesh Vakharia, : "The title of Aamir Khan's program Satyameva Jayate has to be changed to Ardha-Satyameva Jayate (Half Truths only Triumph) as it is all about manipulation and fake tears. For example, the episode on domestic violence last season never mentioned anything about any domestic violence that men may face, leaving the audience with a perception that only women face domestic violence and men can never be victims of domestic violence by women. Not only that, the statistics of domestic violence against women in Satyameva Jayate were false as he
went on to tweak the data here and there. For example, National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - III, whose data Aamir Khan quoted, was funded by US embassy (or USAID) and it
deliberately limited the survey to only women in the age group of 15 to 49. This survey conveniently excluded elderly men, women, children and most importantly men.
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
NetherlaNds stuN rivals to qualify BANGLADESH
etherlands pulled off one of the best chases in twenty20 cricket, chasing 190 in 13.5 overs to break the hearts of their opponents Ireland and Group B rivals Zimbabwe, who were watching with bated breath, to progress to the super 10 of the World t20. netherlands needed to achieve the formidable target in 14.2 overs to vault from no. 3 to no. 1 in the group on net run-rate, which meant they had to bat in high gear throughout. stephan Myburgh gave netherlands belief that they could pull it off with an electric fifty; tom Cooper proved the team had the back-up after Myburgh departed, and the final flourish was delivered by Wesley Barresi, who ensured qualification with a massive six over midwicket with three balls left. after Cooper blazed six sixes in his 45, he pulled a short one from tim Murtagh to Kevin O'Brien at deep square leg, giving Ireland a lifeline when they desperately needed one. netherlands were anyway coasting towards the target, needing 29 off 52 balls but merely attaining it wasn't going to bring a smile to their faces. What mattered was if they could attain it in the next 18 balls. Only three more runs were scored when that Murtagh over ended, piling on the anxiety for netherlands. the first three balls in the next over were uneventful for netherlands but it all changed when Barresi edged O'Brien to the third-man boundary. two balls later, Ben Cooper siphoned off six more from the runs required with a blow over deep midwicket. Ireland needed to keep them under control for the next eight deliveries but Murtagh and Ireland hadn't yet seen all of the carnage. Barresi made room and smashed the second ball of the over over the sightscreen, making the equation a more manageable seven off six balls. he then clobbered a four over extra cover, bringing it down to less than a run a ball for the first time. a length ball was then biffed over deep midwicket and netherlands had pulled off the improbable, leading to wild celebrations, having jumped from third place to first in the group. netherlands signaled their intent from the first ball of the chase, when the captain Peter Borren went on his knee and swept to the fine-leg boundary. the real carnage began in the second over when Myburgh took on the offspinner andy McBrine with four sixes, in an over that wnt for a soul-destroying 25. Myburgh targeted the on side, sending the first miles over long-on and the next three over deep midwicket, each longer and higher
Scoreboard IreLaNd innings WTS Porterfield* b Jamil 47 7 Pr Stirling c borren b van der Gugten ec Joyce run out (†barresi) 28 ad Poynter c van beek b Jamil 57 KJ o'brien not out 42 exTraS: (lb 6, w 2) 8 189 ToTaL: (4 wickets; 20 overs) (9.45 runs per over) dId NoT baT: Gc Wilson†, Sr Thompson, ar cusack, ar Mcbrine, TJ Murtagh, GH dockrell FaLL oF WIcKeTS: 1-28 (Stirling, 3.2 ov), 2-69 (Porterfield, 9.1 ov), 3-88 (Joyce, 12.3 ov), 4-189 (Poynter, 19.6 ov) boWLING: Mr Swart 4-0-39-0, T van der Gugten 3-0-32-1, Maa Jamil 4-0-26-2, Mudassar bukhari 3-0-26-0, TLW cooper 1-0-8-0, PW borren 2-0-19-0, PM Seelaar 2-0-15-0, LV van beek 1-0-18-0 NeTHerLaNdS INNINGS PW borren* c dockrell b o'brien 31 SJ Myburgh c Joyce b dockrell 63 W barresi† not out 40 LV van beek c Porterfield b o'brien 1 TLW cooper c o'brien b Murtagh 45 bN cooper not out 9 exTraS: (lb 4) 4 ToTaL: (4 wickets; 13.5 overs) 193 (13.95 runs per over) dId NoT baT: Mr Swart, Mudassar bukhari, T van der Gugten, PM Seelaar, Maa Jamil FaLL oF WIcKeTS: 1-91 (borren, 5.6 ov), 2-98 (Myburgh, 6.3 ov), 3-100 (van beek, 7.2 ov), 4-161 (TLW cooper, 11.2 ov) boWLING: Pr Stirling 2-0-24-0, ar Mcbrine 1-0-24-0, TJ Murtagh 3.50-47-1, ar cusack 1-0-22-0, KJ o'brien 3-0-29-2, GH dockrell 3-0-43-1
than the other. If McBrine needed a shoulder to cry on, he could have picked any one of the five other bowlers who had the misfortune of bowling to netherlands' determined batsmen. alex Cusack was the next to be on the receiving end of Myburgh's blows with three consecutive sixes, bringing up the fifty in just 3.1 overs. the manic opening stand between Borren and Myburgh came to an end when George dockrell took a stunning catch running backwards, sending back Borren. netherlands' 91 at the end of six overs was the world record for the highest Powerplay score. It wasn't the only record they broke though. Myburgh's fifty off 17 balls equaled the second-fastest in t20s, but he fell not too long after that, when he pulled dockrell straight to deep midwicket. In the following over, Ireland got another breakthrough thanks to another impressive running-backwards catch under pressure by the captain William Porterfield, sending back logan van Beek. the edge was suddenly with the Irish but the relief was only temporary. Ironically, just moments after those two brilliant bits of catching, ed Joyce put down a sitter in the deep. a powerful reverse sweep
from tom Cooper went straight to deep cover and Joyce fluffed it running forward.that drop didn't just burn a hole in their pockets - it set their pants on fire. two balls later, tom Cooper hit the helpless bowler dockrell over deep midwicket and in his following over, suffered further humiliation, giving away the third hat-trick of sixes in the innings. tom Cooper, who was controversially rushed to the squad from australia shortly before the first match, showed why he's considered their best batsman. he launched four sixes in the over, mostly over the on side. dockrell tossed it up but it didn't induce the false shot as tom Cooper middled them all. after that over, the equation came down to 33 needed off 20 to qualify and the Zimbabweans, who had kept their qualification hopes alive with a hurried victory against Uae, would have begun to twitch on their seats. had netherlands taken longer than 14.2 overs, the Zimbabweans' effort would have been worth it. the pressure began to tell on the fielders when the cover fielder made a schoolboy error, conceding a boundary. Murtagh finally had some success when he bowled a short one on seeing tom Cooper advance and got him to pull to deep square leg. there were no boundaries scored off the next seven balls, but when Barresi edged O'Brien to third man, netherlands were feeling good again and there was no looking back. By the end of the game, netherlands had hit 19 sixes in the innings, a world record - the combined 30 sixes in the game was another record. all the Ireland bowlers were made to look like helpless schoolboys whose lunch money was snatched by bullies. they might have felt that the match and qualification was rightfully theirs when they posted 189. Porterfield led the early assault with a 32-ball 47, skipping down the track and chipping the ball over the infield. netherlands had used as many as seven bowlers in the first ten overs as Porterfield and Joyce set the platform for a big score. the fireworks came from andrew Poynter and O'Brien as Ireland hit 118 from the last ten overs. Poynter was dropped by Michael swart early in the innings but he went on to compile his own hat-trick of sixes, off swart, on his way to a fifty off just 27 balls. O'Brien cleared the ropes with ease, with lofted drives down the ground. at the end of the innings, Poynter was asked if 189 was enough and he replied, "I'll tell you after the game." On paper, Ireland were the favourites to qualify. Only few would have expected the first innings to be reduced to a side-show.
Poa to fiNalise CommoNwealth Games CoNtiNGeNt
LAHORE: Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan has said that Pakistan contingent for the upcoming Commonwealth Games will be finalised in a couple of days. The POA will ask the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to organise training camps for players in order to field a strong squad, said the POA president. Talking to reporters after awarding prizes to weightlifters at the end of the two-day National Weightlifting Championship here on Thursday, Arif stated that he had no differences the government saying that such impression is created by some people having vested interests to misguide the government. The POA would write a letter to the PSB to organise training camps for the players in connection with the Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in July-August this year in Glasgow, Arif added. Nonetheless, it is instructive to note that the PSB does not recognise Arif-led POA and instead backs Akram Sahi-led POA which is, however, not eligible to send any team/player to any sports for being unaffiliated with the IOC. “If the government does not take steps in connection with holding of training camps for Commonwealth Games, the POA and its respective federations will hold camps on their own by using their limited resources,” claimed the POA chief. To a question that the rival body chief had said that he was ready to resign as POA president, if his presence is detrimental to sports in the country, Arif said he would leave it to media to decide whether or not the sports is being damaged. To yet another question, the POA chief said though as per the IOC list, Munawar Baseer-led Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) was the genuine body from Pakistan and affiliated with the international body, it had invited rival POA president to inaugurate the national cycling championships, which was in violation of rules. The POA will inform the International Cycling Federation and the IOC in this regard, he said, adding that Munwar’s body had itself decided that it did not want to remain affiliated with the IOC-recognised POA. Arif further said that Pakistan weightlifters might win medals at international level provided they are given training on modern lines. He said the POA would support Wapda’s Mohammad Shahzad to represent the country in the Commonwealth Games and other sports events for his recent endeavours to break 14-year-old national record in the 56kg category. aGeNcIeS
Saturday, 22 March, 2014
williams shruGs off slow start to wiN miami oPeNer
Orld number one serena Williams overcame a wobbly start to open the defence of her sony Open crown with a spirited 76(9-7) 6-2 win over Kazakhstan's Yaroslava shvedova on thursday. Fourth seeded russian Maria sharapova, who lost to Williams in last year's final, turned in a steady opening effort
after a shock third round exit at Indian Wells last week, brushing past Japan'sKurumi nara 6-3 6-4. a six-time winner on the Miami hardcourts, Williams' second round meeting with the 59th-ranked shvedova was expected to be little more than a tuneup for the 17-time grand slam winner but for a brief moment the match delivered some unexpected suspense. "she was doing a little bit of everything," Williams told reporters. "she was hitting hard; she was
hitting soft; she was doing a little bit of everything. "I was making a little more errors than what I should have been making, what I should've made, and that kind of threw me for a loop, as well. "she was up a break (in the first set) and I started just really trying to fight to make the shots. "and then when she was serving for the first set I really just tried to be more serena like." the contest began with Williams seizing control 3-1 but shvedova had a sparse centre court crowd buzzing
after breaking the american twice on the way to a 5-3 lead. But with shvedova serving for the match, Williams showed why she is the sport's dominant player breaking her opponent and forcing the opening set to a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, shvedova, who had never taken a set off Williams in three previous meetings, surged ahead 6-3 but then crumbled under the mounting pressure, double-faulting before the defending champion blasted a pair of aces past her. Williams then clinched the set in emphatic fashion, a crushing forehand followed by an equally forceful fist-pump. after trading breaks to open the second set, shvedova would hold serve before a focused Williams moved in for the kill, sweeping the next five games to secure passage to the next round. "It's definitely going to help, knowing that I was able to pull that through after being down pretty drastically," said Williams, will next face Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia who advanced to the third round with a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3) upset of 27th seed Klara Zakopalova of the Czech republic. Fifth seeded German angelique Kerber, twice a finalist this season, narrowly avoided an early exit and needed a third set tie-break to tame China's Peng shuai 6-3 1-6 7-6 (7-5). eighth seeded Czech Petra Kvitova advanced with a straight-forward 6-3 6-4 win over argentinePaula Ormaechea. Italy's sara errani, the ninth seed, eased past austrian Patricia Mayr-achleitner 6-1 6-4. serbia's ana Ivanovic, seeded 12th, raced into the third round with a 6-1 6-1 demolition of american lauren davis while Italy's Flavia Pennetta, riding the momentum from her BnP Parisbas Open win at Indian Wells on sunday, moved on with a 6-3 6-3 win over Belarusian Olga Govortsova. Former Us Open champion sam stosur of australia, the 16th seed, was an easy 6-3-6-2 winner over netherlands' Kiki Bertens.
RONALDO WILL BE HARD TO STOP IN CLASICO: MASCHERANO Pellegrini rubbishes Aguero to Barcelona reports MANcHEStEr aGeNcIeS
the argentina international has been linked with a move to Camp nou, but his Manchester City manager has dismissed the rumours and says the 25-year-old is staying at the etihad. Manuel Pellegrini has dismissed reports that sergio aguero could leave Manchester City for Barcelona in the summer. despite an injury-hit season restricting him to just 17 Premier league starts, aguero has still struck 15 goals, fuelling rumours of a move to the Catalan outfit. With speculation mounting ahead of the summer transfer window, Pellegrini moved to quell talk of a Barcelona bid for the 25-year-old, and insists that aguero is happy at the etihad stadium. "[My response] is exactly the same as what I respond to all the other links during the whole year," Pellegrini told reporters. "You cannot talk every week about players that are coming here and the players going out. aguero is a Manchester City player, he is very happy here and the club is very happy with him." Pellegrini also confirmed that aguero is set to miss the Manchester derby on March 25, stating: "at the end of next week he will start training with the rest of the squad." Manchester City were recently knocked out of the Champions league round-of-16 by Barcelona, withPellegrini receiving a two--game touchline suspension by Uefa for criticising referee Jonas eriksson following his side's 2-0 first-leg defeat to Barca.
the 29-year-old defender has warned his Blaugrana team-mates that the Portuguese can score from out of nowhere, but has stressed lionel Messi is the best player he has ever seen. Javier Mascherano has acknowledged that Barcelona face a tough task to stop Cristiano ronaldo in sunday's liga game against real Madrid. the Portugal international has been in stunning form in 2013-14, scoring 41 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions, and Mascherano has warned his team-mates that they cannot afford to give the prolific attacker any space. "Cristiano is an extraordinary player who has won the Ballon d'Or for that exact reason. he can score a goal from out of nowhere," the versatile Blaugrana defender told Goal. "he has a lot of quality and a tough job awaits when we face him. It will be hard to stop him and I hope that he will not be at his best on sunday. "We will try to keep him on a tight leash and not give him any space, but he's the kind of player who can still hurt you even if you mark him tight. "In the end, players like him are among the best in the world. With ronaldo, his goals are often the result of his ability rather than of defensive mistakes." nevertheless, Mascherano has insisted that Barcelona possess an even bigger threat in lionel Messi. "leo just keeps improving his own records," the 29year-old said of his fellow argentine. "We are talking about a player who has marked an era. "he will continue to score goals in the years to come as he is still young. "It's hard to find words to describe leo. every positive word seems to have been used already to praise him.
"Is he better than [diego] Maradona? It's all subjective because everybody looks at things differently. "I think that leo has shown a lot of things. I don't like to compare them as they played in different eras. all I can say is that leo is the best player I have seen in my life." the versatile defender then went on to discuss this weekend's Clasico and made it clear that Barca prefer to do their talking on the pitch rather than make bold claims in the build-up to the game. "You don't say that you're superior," the former liverpool midfielder argued.
"You have to show these things on the pitch. We have to go out there and win in order to show who's best. "Madrid currently top the table and it's up to us to give our best. We must realise that it's a final for us and need a great day. "there are no guarantees going into this game. We have lacked a certain consistency in 2014 that we did have in previous years." Barcelona beat Madrid 2-1 at Camp nou earlier this season but go into this weekend's fixture at the santiago Bernabeu third in la liga, four points behind the table-topping Blancos.
SPORTS 15 LIKE MURRAY, DJOKOVIC TO GO IT ALONE IN MIAMI
Andy Murray will not be the only top seed at the Sony Open without a trusted coach by his side as Novak Djokovic said on Thursday that Boris Becker will miss Miami to undergo double hip surgery. "He has surgery of both hips today and tomorrow, so that's unfortunate. He couldn't come, he was supposed to come here," Djokovic said during a pre-tournament news conference. "Basically in the finals of Indian Wells he called us and said that he had an emergency and he has to operate both hips." While Becker recovers, world number two Djokovic arrives in Miami fresh off a confidenceboosting win over Roger Federer in Sunday's final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. It was the first win of the season for the Serb, who joined forces with the German tennis great last December after losing grand slam finals in 2013 to Spain's Rafa Nadal (U.S. Open) and Briton Murray (Wimbledon). "I knew I'm playing well," said Djokovic, who will take on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in a secondround clash after receiving a first-round bye. "I had an incredible end of 2013, so I did have confidence but I started a little bit doubting myself on the court. "I was struggling a little bit with my, I would say, consistency and the concentration." Djokovic expects Becker to be back with his team in Monte Carlo next month and otherwise expects no other disruptions to their schedule. While Djokovic and Becker will continue their relationship, defending champion Murray will go it alone in Miami, announcing this week that he had split with Ivan Lendl. Murray, the world number six, offered few clues on Thursday as to why he and Lendl ended their successful partnership but reiterated that it had been a mutual decision. "Well, to be honest, I was not surprised," said Djokovic, when asked for his thoughts on the breakup. "But, again, I didn't know what to expect. "They worked for two years, and obviously it brought both of them, especially Andy, a lot of success on the court. "He won Olympic Games, won a few grand slams. I think it was a very good decision from inside to be working with Ivan. "Now they split. I mean, they obviously had a good reason for that. I'm not the one who should judge." aGeNcIeS
WAPDA CROWNED WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONS WAPDA were crowned champions when they ended at the summit with six gold medals in the 60th National Weightlifting Championship at the Punjab University Old Campus on Thursday. WAPDA ended at the top with 96 points. Higher Education Commission (HEC), who won one gold through Mustaqeem Butt, were the runners-up with 59 points. Punjab, for whom Mohammad Tahir won gold in the 77 kg, wrapped up their journey at the third spot with 57 points. Railways ended fourth with 52 points. Results: 85kg: Habib Asghar (WAPDA, gold), Ali Shan (HEC, silver), Asim (Punjab, bronze), 94kg: Usman Rathore (WAPDA, gold), Anas Javed (Punjab, silver), Sibtain (Railways, bronze), 105kg: Haroon Shoukat (WAPDA, gold), Sajid Rasool (Railways, silver), Tahir Butt (WAPDA, bronze), Above 105kg: Mustaqeem Butt (HEC, gold), Abdullah Butt (HEC, silver), Saqib (Railways, bronze). STaFF rePorT
SPORTS Saturday, 22 March, 2014
INDIA CRUISE PAST ANXIOUS PAKISTAN
Ou don't often know what to expect in big India-Pakistan matches, but Pakistan are on to a disturbing trend of predictability of late. They work themselves up into a frenzy, try too many things, make too many mistakes, and India coolly stand in a corner doing little things right and stroll their way to a win. In the previous World T20 match between these two sides, Pakistan batted in a similarly nervous manner, got bowled out for 128, and lost despite a
valiant attempt with the ball. Here they managed two runs more, succumbing to their own poor running and some clever spin bowling by India - in their 12 overs, the three specialists went for 63 and took three wickets - before putting up a fight with the ball, which was too little and too short. Even in the lead-up, MS Dhoni spoke about how he was pleased a lot of acrimony had gone out of India-Pakistan matches, Mohammad Hafeez on the other hand sounded combative when asked about the lack of wins against India in World Cups. India were clear in their heads: they played three spinners, and didn't want to take a
chance with the dew, so they put Pakistan in. Pakistan were a bundle of nerves. Ahmed Shehzad ran out Kamran Akmal, who looked in good touch with his two early boundaries, before almost running himself out. With no loose balls on offer, Hafeez and Shehzad got more and more anxious before throwing their wickets away to Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra in the eighth and the ninth overs. It is a minor surprise that Mishra was only in his second Twenty20 international, but he bowled like a grizzled veteran for the most part. The delivery to get Shehzad was a beauty: for the batsman on the edge, he
slowed a legbreak down, got some drift and dip, and drew as comprehensive a stumping as any you will see. From 47 for 3 in the ninth over, umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik - the latter has feasted on Indian bowling in the past - tried a revival with a 50-run stand in seven overs, but the knowledge that a strong India batting lineup would need a total in excess of 150 to be challenged meant the percentages were always low. India again offered nothing loose, and Malik fell when trying to go inside-out off Mishra's bowling. He was beaten in the flight, the ball turned, and took a thick outside edge for long-off to catch.
ScoreboArD pAKiStAn innings (20 overs maximum) Kamran Akmal† run out (Kumar) 8 22 Ahmed Shehzad st †Dhoni b Mishra 15 Mohammad hafeez* c Kumar b Jadeja 33 umar Akmal c raina b Mohammed Shami Shoaib Malik c raina b Mishra 18 8 Shahid Afridi c raina b Kumar 21 Sohaib Maqsood run out (Jadeja/†Dhoni) bilawal bhatti not out 0 5 extrAS: (lb 2, w 3) 130 totAl: (7 wickets; 20 overs) DiD not bAt: umar gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan fAll of WicKetS: 1-9 (Kamran Akmal, 1.5 ov), 2-44 (Mohammad hafeez, 7.3 ov), 3-47 (Ahmed Shehzad, 8.2 ov), 4-97 (Shoaib Malik, 15.2 ov), 5-103 (umar Akmal, 17.2 ov), 6114 (Shahid Afridi, 18.5 ov), 7-130 (Sohaib Maqsood, 19.6 ov) boWling: r Ashwin 4-0-23-0, b Kumar 3-0-21-1, Mohammed Shami 4-0-31-1, A Mishra 4-1-22-2, rA Jadeja 4-0-18-1, Yuvraj Singh 1-0-13-0 inDiA inningS 24 rg Sharma b Saeed Ajmal 30 S Dhawan c Saeed Ajmal b umar gul V Kohli not out 36 1 Yuvraj Singh b bilawal bhatti 35 SK raina not out extrAS: (w 5) 5 totAl: (3 wickets; 18.3 overs) 131 DiD not bAt: MS Dhoni*†, r Ashwin, rA Jadeja, A Mishra, b Kumar, Mohammed Shami fAll of WicKetS: 1-54 (Dhawan, 7.6 ov), 2-64 (Sharma, 9.3 ov), 3-65 (Yuvraj Singh, 10.1 ov) boWling: Mohammad hafeez 3-0-14-0, Junaid Khan 3-0-230, Saeed Ajmal 4-0-18-1, umar gul 3.3-0-35-1, Shahid Afridi 3-0-24-0, bilawal bhatti 2-0-17-1
What would have please India was that even in the last three overs - with the spinners' quotas exhausted - India conceded just 28 runs. The pitch was not the easiest to bat on, with good bounce and turn on offer, which would have actually left Pakistan a little more annoyed with their effort. About 15 more runs and their bowlers would have put India under serious pressure, especially with Shikhar Dhawan struggling at the top. Somehow, though, Dhawan scored 30 of possibly his most ungainly runs before falling. Rohit Sharma, who looked much better than Dhawan, managed 24 at a marginally better strike rate. Be that as it may, the two had given India a start, and despite a wobble in the middle Virat Kohli - in the company of Suresh Raina - did what he can do even in his sleep. The only disturbing aspect of India's evening came through in this wobble: Yuvraj Singh had dropped a catch, conceded 13 in one over, and capped it off with a poor shot to be bowled for 1. That left India needing 66 in the remaining 9.5 overs, a situation that needs some panic from batsmen for some interest to be manufactured. No panic was forthcoming from Kohli, and once Shahid Afridi dropped Suresh Raina on 7 it was a cruise for India. The key aspect of the finish provided by Kohli and Raina was how coolly they played Saeed Ajmal. Ajmal's analysis is worth a look: he was hit for three fours that Dhawan was not in control of, but still went for 18 runs and took one wicket in his four overs. However, the two India batsmen didn't show any desperation against him, and reached home with nine balls to go.
BATTLE OF THE PERENNIAL BRIDESMAIDS Chittagong AgencieS
South Africa have not won a knock-out match at an ICC event in 16 years, since they lifted the Champions Trophy in 1998. Sri Lanka have reached three tournament finals in the last four years, two in World T20s, and lost all of them. The pair of perennial bridesmaids are lining up to see if one of them catch the bouquet this time. Sri Lanka are among the favourites to do it. They have a good all-round squad and some of this format's headline players. This is also the last tournament for their two longest-serving batsmen. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene will retire from Twenty20 internationals at the tournament and there will be no better way than to send them off with a trophy. For a change, South Africa are not among the picks to win. Middling form in limited-overs cricket despite being the topranked Test team in the world, and embarrassing exists at the 2012 World T20, in which they lost all three Super Eight matches and the Champions Trophy, where they were bundled out in the semi-final by England, has seen them lose ground. But South Africans remain hopeful that on day their fortunes at major tournaments will change. Both had two warm-up games, Sri Lanka lost one to West Indies and beat India. South Africa stuttered but recovered to beat Bangladesh A and rolled Pakistan. Not much can be read into that. A clearer
idea of how these teams stack up will be known after their first game. South Africa have the recent edge over Sri Lanka having won a series against them, Sri Lanka have the major tournament edge having beaten them at the 2012 event but at the end of the day it will boil down to which bridesmaid can reach up higher, beyond what they thought they could, to try and hold on this time. When South Africa beat Sri Lanka in T20 series in their own backyard last August JP Duminy was the leading run-scorer. He amassed 132 runs in the three matches and scored two half-centuries. Duminy's promise with the bat is well-known and he is starting to fulfill it as expected but he has since developed another aspect of his game as well. Although referred to as nothing more than a part-time bowler, Duminy made a reputation for being a partnership breaker with the ball. With scalps in the warm-ups, he has proved he can be a threat in these conditions as well and his all-round ability will be what South Africa banks on in this tournament. With Duminy making headlines as only a secondary spinner, it's hardly a surprise that Sri Lanka's tweakers will be the players to keep an eye on. The talk leading up to this tournament has been mostly about turn, especially where a side like South Africa is concerned. Despite having astute players of spin like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers in their side, South Africa are perceived to struggle in the subcontinent and their ODI series defeat to Sri Lanka last year did not help
that. The opening match may well be decided on who wins the battle between Sri Lanka's spinners and South Africa's batsmen. South Africa are sweating over the fitness of their captain Faf du Plessis and their pace spearhead, Dale Steyn, both of whom are carrying hamstring injuries. They will have fitness tests on the morning of the game but it seems unlikely du Plessis will play. He batted in the nets the day before the match but running was a problem. If he misses out, AB de Villiers will lead in his absence and Farhaan Behardien will bat up the order. Steyn has been bowling in practice but South Africa may not to risk him if he is not 100%. That will leave their attack with two leftarmers in Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell (or Beuran Hendricks as an outside chance), one specialist spinner in Imran Tahir and Duminy as an additional option. Sri Lanka will likely to stick to a familiar XI which will see Kusal Perera open with Tillakaratne Dilshan and a four-seam, two frontline spin attack. The only uncertainty is whether they will opt for Ajantha Mendis or Rangana Herath. Both bowled in Sri Lanka's defence of 153 against India and while Mendis took a wicket, Herath was more economical. Before South Africa left Dhaka on Thursday, one of the first things Russell Domingo said they would be aware of was that conditions in Chittagong would be different so adapting would be key. He was right. A grassy track, which promises to be quicker than initially thought, greeted the teams which could mean less of a spin fac-
tor first up. There is also expected to less chance of dew because the match is being played in the afternoon. Clear skies are forecast with temperatures between 26 and 30 degrees. South Africa and Sri Lanka have only played four T20 matches against each other, all in Sri Lanka. The first was at the World T20 in 2012. That fixture was reduced to seven overs a side and South Africa won by 32 runs. South Africa also won two of the other three matches. Jayawardene is second on the all-time list of T20 run-scorers and Sangakkara is
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South AfricA: (probAble) 1 hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 faf du plessis/farhaan behardien, 4 Ab de Villiers, 5 Jp Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Wayne parnell/Dale Steyn 9 Morne Morkel, 10 lonwabo tsotsobe, 11 imran tahir Sri lAnKA: (probAble) 1 Kusal perera, 2 tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 5 Dinesh chandimal (capt), 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 thisara perera, 8 nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachitra Senanayake, 10 lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis/rangana herath
fourth. It's unlikely either will catch Brendon McCullum before they retire. Jayawardene is 624 runs behind and Sangakkara 648 runs off the pace.