Monday, 24 February, 2014 Rabi-us-Sani 22, 1435 Rs 17.00 Vol IV No 238 16 Pages Islamabad Edition
STORY ON PAGE 02
STORY ON PAGE 02
STORY ON PAGE 03
STORY ON PAGE 03
JI urges Nawaz to seek Afghan Taliban’s help in peace talks STORY ON PAGE 03
Saudi Arabia seeks Pakistani arms to overthrow Assad STORY ON PAGE 02
Inside the gaudy palace of Ukraine’s president... STORY ON PAGE 04
China’s foreign minister makes rare visit to Iraq STORY ON PAGE 04
9th PakistanAfghanistan JEC session kicks off in Kabul STORY ON PAGE 05
Monday, 24 February, 2014
Battlefield warming up! PAF JET FIGHTERS KILL 38 TERRORISTS IN TIRAH VALLEY OF KHYBER AGENCY PESHAWAR SHAMIM SHAHID
N the wake of recent terror attacks, the Pakistan Army has launched an unofficial counteroffensive against terrorists in both tribal and settled areas of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets and gunship helicopters are hammering terrorist hideouts since February 20. Scores of dreaded terrorist commanders, both local and foreign, were among those killed in the airstrikes. A security official said that it was just a reaction and the government was yet to go for a formal military action against Taliban terrorists, following failure of its efforts for settling the issue through talks. TIRAH AIRSTRIKES: On Sunday, PAF fighter jets carried out airstrikes on suspected terrorist hideouts killing 38 of them and injuring more than 15 others in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. According to a security official, the fighter jets impounded various hideouts in the valley and reportedly destroyed an improvised explosives device (IEDs) making factory and a huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosives. The official said that security forces with the help of gunship helicopters targeted terrorist hideouts in various areas of Tirah Valley. A large number of local and foreign terrorists are sheltering in scattered areas of the valley, bordering Afghanistan. During a period of three days, it is the army’s third airstrike in the tribal areas and Hangu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The first airstrike was focused on terrorist hideouts in North Waziristan Agency and second offensive aimed at terrorist strongholds in Thall area of Hangu District. On February 20, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave a go-ahead for the airstrikes after consultations with the top military leadership. Khyber Agency is one of the seven semi-autonomous agencies located along with Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The TTP terrorists and other al Qaeda-linked groups, who carry out attacks mainly on mosques,
13 PEOPLE KILLED, 15 OTHERS INJURED IN KOHAT BOMBING churches and other public places, are known to have strongholds in the area. KOHAT BOMBING: On the other hand, as many as 13 people, including a woman, were killed and 15 others injured in a bombing in Kohat on Sunday. Condition of several injured was said to be in danger. Kohat District Police Officer Salim Marwat told Pakistan Today that the bombing occurred at a bus stand on Hangu Road at around 1pm. He said that a 5-kg improvised explosive device (IED) was planted in a fruit carton. The high-intensity bombing killed six people on the spot. Another seven, including a woman, succumbed to their injuries on their way to a hospital. The injured included women and children and doctors termed condition of several injured people in danger. On Saturday, security forces with the help of gunship helicopters targeted terrorist hideouts in Hangu District adjacent to Kohat, killing at least nine terrorists. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain among others condemned the bombing and expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in Kohat. CuRfEW IMPOSEd IN NWA: Moreover, the political administration on Sunday imposed a curfew in most parts of North Waziristan Agency, including Tehsil Mir Ali, Miranshah, Data Khel, Razmak and Dosali for an indefinite period of time. Security forces have also been given shoot-atsight orders against violators. According to sources, security forces are patrolling the streets and security has been heightened on all entry/exit points. Hundreds of people have started leaving the area for safer places following the deadlock between government and the banned terrorist outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. However, the residents were forced to wait until relaxation or lifting of the curfew. Around 700,000 residents of the agency are feared to migrate to safer places if the government decides to launch a military operation against terrorists.
HOW ABOUT WE HAVE A WORD? RUSTAM SHAH SAYS GOVT SHOULD REVERT BACK TO TALKS AFTER RECENT RESPONSE TO TERRORISM
PESHAWAR: Despite recent terrorist attacks by the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), interlocutors from both sides – government and TTP – favoured to tame militancy through talks and demanded to resume peace process. Peace talks between the government and TTP had ended in deadlock on February 17 after the TTP said they executed 23 FC men to avenge alleged killing of militants by security agencies in Peshawar, Karachi and Swabi. After a seven-day deadlock, negotiators from both sides on Sunday demanded to restore peace talks. Rustam Shah Mohmand, a member of government’s committee, said that military operation was not the solution of militancy. “Terrorism will come to an end with dialogue, not army operations,” he said, adding that the recent PAF airstrikes on militants in North Waziristan, Hangu and Khyber Agency were a reaction to TTP’s violent acts in Karachi and Mohmand Agency. “The response to terror attacks was enough and the government should now revert back to talks,” Shah said. Military action was not a solution of the problem and the Taliban should be brought into the mainstream under the constitution. Prof Ibrahim, a member of Taliban nominated committee, said the toothless government committee could not
A tooth for a tooth! SAUDI WHO PUNCHED HIS MOTHER IN THE JAW IS ORDERED TO HAVE THE SAME TOOTH BROKEN IN HIS OWN MOUTH THAT HE DAMAGED IN HERS RIYADH AGENCIES
A Saudi man who admitted knocking a tooth out of his mother’s mouth after punching her has been told he will have the same tooth broken as punishment. The unnamed man was also sentenced to five years in jail and 2,400 lashes to be given out at a rate of 40 every 10 days in a local marketplace. The man, in his 30s, was arrested after his mother contacted the police asking them to rescue her after the attack. While his mother was taken to hospital, police took the son before the courts, according to the Saudi
paper Okaz. The judge, Turki Al Qarni, issued the ruling after a medical report showed the son was mentally stable, and had not taken drugs or drunk alcohol. The ruling is based on a verse from the Koran which reads, “And We ordained therein for them: A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth”. In Arabic countries it is typical for harsher sentences to be handed out for attacks against parents, as the Koran holds them in high regard. According to Gulf News, last year, a judge in the Red Sea city of Jeddah sentenced a man who had beaten his mother and broken her arm to remain in jail until she agreed to let him out.
The man, who admitted during the investigation that he had physically abused his elderly mother, was also sentenced to 200 lashes for his assault. Even when parents are not involved, courts in the Middle east are known to hand out brutal punishments in accordance with the Koran. In December last year a Yemeni man was sentenced to 20 lashes after claiming his new wife was not a virgin in front of her father. Rather than be dishonored the girl submitted to an examination to prove her virginity, and then took her husband to court. Saudi Arabia has faced strong international condemnation over its use of corporal and capital punishment. Public beatings and executions are common place in the autocratic Kingdom. In December a political activist was sentenced to 300 lashes and four years in prison for calling for a constitutional monarchy in the country.
PROF IBRAHIM SAYS TOOTHLESS GOVT COMMITTEE CANNOT TAKE DECISION
take a decision. “Some people are setting stage for military operation in North Waziristan but past experiences say that no military operation yielded a positive result,” the cleric said. “Previous military operations in Waziristan and tribal belt proved unsuccessful and any further action in tribal areas would leave thousands of homeless “and ultimately the flames of terrorism will engulf the entire country,” he recalled. He said the Taliban-proposed committee was not in contact with the terrorists ever since the talks ended in deadlock after Taliban claimed to slit throats of 23 FC soldiers last week.Earlier on February 17, the government committee had demanded the Taliban to announce an unconditional ceasefire. Prof Ibrahim said, “They [government committee members] are not contacting us, perhaps they are powerless.” In fact, neither the government nor its negotiating committee was empowered to meet anyone. “We want to pursue talks but the government committee is refusing,” he added. However, Shah said that peace has not yet failed; it has just ended in deadlock. He said, “We cannot change the constitution on the wish of a small group. The constitution belongs to 180 million people. Any amendment in the constitution can be made by parliament only.” SAJJAD ALI
Saudi Arabia seeks Pakistani arms to overthrow Assad DUBAI AGENCIES
Saudi Arabia is in talks with Pakistan to provide anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets to Syrian rebels to try to tip the balance in the war to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, a Saudi source said Sunday. The United States has long opposed arming the rebels with such weapons, fearing they might end up in the hands of extremists, but Syrian opposition figures say the failure of Geneva peace talks seems to have led Washington to soften its opposition. Pakistan makes its own version of Chinese shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, known as Anza, and anti-tank rockets - both of which Riyadh is trying to get for the rebels, said the source, who is close to Saudi decision-makers, requesting anonymity. The source pointed to a visit to Riyadh earlier this month by Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, who
met Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz. Prince Salman had last week led a large delegation to Pakistan, shortly after Saudi’s chief diplomat Prince Saud alFaisal visited the kingdom’s key ally. Jordan will be providing facilities to store the weapons before they are delivered to rebels within Syria, the same source said, however, no confirmation could be could be obtained from any of the mentioned countires. The head of the Syrian opposition, Ahmad Jarba, had promised during a visit to northern Syria last week that “powerful arms will be arriving soon”. Rebels have long said that anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets would help tip the balance in the battle against Assad’s forces, which enjoy air superiority. The nearly three-year-conflict in Syria has torn the country apart, killing more than 140,000 people, including some 50,000 civilians, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Monday, 24 February, 2014
20 afghan soldiers killed in attack ASADABAD: At least 20 Afghan soldiers were killed on Sunday in an attack by Taliban on a checkpoint in Kunar province, close to Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan; Taliban claimed to have captured seven soldiers as well. “The deadly attack occurred in Ghaziabad district,” provincial governor Shujahul Mulk Jalala said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Following the incident, Afghan President Hamid Karzai postponed a planned visit to Sri Lanka. The violence comes ahead of presidential elections that are due to be held next month. AGENCIES
mQm holds rally in solidarity with army
counsels’ final word over Zardari tomorrow TALIBAN MERE TOOL TO WEAKEN COUNTRY, SAYS MQM CHIEF ALTAF KARACHI STAFF REPORT ISLAMABAD: The final arguments by legal counsels of both the sides regarding acquittal of former president Asif Ali Zardari in five references being reviewed by accountability court will be held tomorrow (Tuesday). The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has submitted its final draft in this regard, in Islamabad’s Accountability Court (AC). In its detailed draft, the NAB has argued against acquittal of the former president, on the grounds that Zardari could not be acquitted without being indicted; hence Zardari’s plea should be declared null and void and his trial should be maintained, to record all possible evidence and witnesses against him. Former president Zardari faces references like polo ground case, ARY (gold) issue, SGS, RS tractors and Co-techna cases in which Zardari will be presented by his legal counsel Farooq H Naek, while the public prosecutor will be Chaudhry Riaz. During the previous hearing, Farooq H Naek had assured to present his replies in reference to the NAB charges, over which the AC’s Judge Muhammad Bashir had adjourned further hearing till February 24. Zardari has been exempted from court appearances over security concerns, however, he did once appear in the court, challenging former chief of army staff and president, general (R) Musharraf’s confidence over the issue. ONLINE
security institutions working in line with govt policy: rashid
UTTAHIDA Quami Movement (MQM) held a rally in Karachi on Sunday to show solidarity with the Pakistan Army, rangers and police who are fighting Taliban militants. MQM chief Altaf Hussain on Sunday said the Taliban were being used to destabilise Pakistan. Addressing a solidarity rally, he added that four years ago his statements about the Taliban were not taken se-
RANGERS, POLICE TERM RALLY A MORALE-BOOSTER riously, but now he has been proven right. The MQM chief added that Pakistan’s peace and security were under threat and measures should be taken to safeguard the stability and security of the nation. He said the supporters of Taliban are hypocrites. He said the supporters of Taliban are not friends of Pakistan. He said the government, army and the people have to be on the same page to fight extremism. He said if we are strong internally we can overcome the external threats. The rally took place at Shahra-eQuaideen, where a huge crowd of men,
women and children had gathered. MQM leaders Faisal Sabzwari, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Haider Abbas Rizvi addressed the rally earlier. “This is not a procession of a misguided few, this is a procession of those who have woken up to the situation,” Sabzwari said. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN)’s Nihal Hashmi also addressed the procession. RANGERS, POLICE LAud MQM’S SOLIdARITY RALLY: Terming it a morale-booster, Sindh Rangers and police threw their weight behind the MQM rally staged to show solidarity with security forces. “We hold this endeavour in high regard as it will go a long, long way in boosting the ‘esprit de corps’ of Pakistan’s
sentinels,” a Rangers spokesman said. Praying for the steadfastness of Pakistan’s security forces in the war on terror, he also saluted the MQM Coordination Committee for organising and the participants for making the rally a huge success. Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Sindh Police also praised the rally. “We express our deepest gratitude to all those who showed up at MQM’s rally to express solidarity with security and law enforcement agencies fighting the scourge of terrorism,” the statement said. The statement also read that the Sindh Police would never flinch back from laying down their lives to defeat terrorism. “It is our solemn pledge that this war will reach its logical end with success, come what may,” a police spokesman added.
PTI decides to back army operation IMRAN KHAN IS LIKELY TO URGE TALIBAN TO ANNOUNCE UNCONDITIONAL CEASEFIRE LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday decided to support possible army operation in North Waziristan Agency. According to a statement, members of the party in a meeting decided to urge the Taliban for an uncondi-
tional ceasefire. According to sources, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, on his return to Pakistan from Britain, would urge the Taliban for a ceasefire. Sources said that the PTI was standing side by side with the Pakistan Army and would support any operation against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency. There has been no statement from Imran Khan ever since he left for London to meet his two sons a few days back. Though there have been rapid developments back home since then. He is expected to return on Monday (today) when the National Assembly as well as the Senate sessions are summoned. However, Shireen Mazari’s only statement was issued on Friday in response to an allegation by Asma Je-
hangir, who said the PTI chief was a Taliban informer. In retaliation, Mazari alleged that Asma worked for certain external forces against Pakistan. “We stand by the military in its fresh drive against Taliban,” said PTI’s Deputy Information Secretary Adnan Randhawa. He said his party was hopeful that the Taliban would soon return to the resumption of dialogue. He said that the PTI stood by its demand that the Taliban should first announce an unconditional ceasefire. Imran Khan has been demanding both the government and the Taliban to announce a ceasefire, but the killing 23 FC personnel by TTP terrorists compelled the party to call for an unconditional cessation of acts by the banned outfit.
JI urges Nawaz to seek Afghan Taliban’s help in peace talks PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Pervez Rashid Sunday said all the security institutions were working in line with the government policy to prevent acts of terrorism. In an interview to a private news channel, the information minister said there was no difference of opinion between the government and the army about how to deal the terrorists. In reply to a question, he said the armed forces have the capability to destroy all safe havens of the militants to protect the lives and property of the people of Pakistan. Pervez Rashid also said that the militants, through their activities, had targeted religious places, educational institutions, business centres and many other places in the past, which cannot be tolerated. INP
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Munawar Hassan on Sunday urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seek Afghan Taliban’s help in peace talks. Addressing a meeting of party workers in Peshawar, the JI chief urged the PM to take initiative and called both Taliban designated and government committees to listen to their concerns and viewpoints. The cleric said Pakistan has a bitter experience of army operations, saying that previous actions have turned many parts of the country into ‘Bangladesh’. The JI leader’s views came hours after military jets pounded suspected terrorist hideouts in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency bordering Afghanistan, killing 20 terrorists in early morning strike. On Saturday, nine terrorists were killed and several others injured in shelling by army gunship helicopters on terrorist hideouts in Hangu District, three days after ‘punitive strikes’ left dozens of terrorists dead in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency. Taliban’s chief negotiator Samiul Haq has appealed to the government and banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to announce a ceasefire.
JI’s Professor Ibrahim, who is also part of the Taliban negotiating team, called for a ceasefire and urged the government to refrain from using force.
The banned terrorist outfit TTP demanded enforcement of sharia in the country as a condition of peace and ceasefire.
Monday, 24 February, 2014
Inside the gaudy palace of Ukraine’s president... KIEV AGENCIES
HE extravagance and outrageous bad taste of the man who fled from the presidency of Ukraine was laid bare when dumbfounded ordinary Ukrainians inspected the residence of the missing president. Viktor Yanyukovitch had evacuated the vast compound in the dark of night but by afternoon it was as thronged as Hampton Court on a bank holiday. Behind a blank perimeter fence at the end of a turn-off from the highway north of the city luxury residences, tennis courts, a golf course, exotic animals and birds, a luxury car collection, and a vast mock galley that appeared to house a restaurant. Activists hoisted Ukrainian flags on the masts of an enormous wooden galleon. Two self defence volunteers put down their baseball clubs to take a leisurely bike ride along the river-side promenade. Some visitors made their way round the holes on the golf course - using Mr Yanukovych’s clubs and balls. Activists who first occupied the compound claimed they had counted helicopters taking off from the compound 44 times in the night. “They took everything - everything except the furniture and the animals in the zoo,” said one, taking in the view of the river from the grandiose marble forecourt behind Yanukovych’s mansion. “All of this for one man. Can you even imagine it? I can’t. Look, can you take my photograph next to that ornamental horse?” When volunteers from the opposition’s highly organised “self defence” units entered the compound 16 miles north of Kiev early on Saturday morning, they found it as deserted. Activist guards were holding back a crowd of journalists and ordinary Ukrainians itching for a look inside the home of the man who has ruled Ukraine
for nearly four years. Saying they were “checking for booby traps” and fretting about looting and vandalism that often follows the overthrow of dictators, self defence force commanders initially refused to admit visitors. “You’ll all get in, I promise. But it is going to be orderly, it is going to be calm, and there is to be no destruction and no looting,” a protest leader told a gathering crowd from the other side of the ornate iron gates. Forty minutes drive north of Kiev, Yanukovych’s residence at Mezhyhirya as long been seen as a symbol of the corruption and greed that protesters say was at the heart of his regime. Once the site of a medieval monastery demolished by the Bolsheviks, Mezhhyhirya has been a government residence since Soviet times. Yanukovych first moved in when he became prime minister under then president Leonid Kuchma in 2002. Although briefly evicted when he was forced from power by the 2005 Orange Revolution, he moved back in when Viktor Yushchenko to bring him back into government a year later. Shortly afterwards the government sold off the property in a murky privatisation
China’s foreign minister makes rare visit to Iraq BAGHDAD: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Baghdad on Sunday for talks on issues ranging from trade to arming Iraq’s hard-pressed security forces, the first such visit in more than a decade. During a joint news conference, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari hailed China as “the biggest trade partner for Iraq, and the biggest investor in the oil and electricity sectors”. Chinese companies PetroChina and CNPC have substantial investments in Iraqi oil production, which accounts for the lion’s share of government revenue. Baghdad is seeking to dramatically ramp up its oil sales to fund reconstruction of its battered infrastructure. Zebari also said Wang’s visit included discussions on arming Iraqi security forces, which are struggling to curb a year-long surge in violence that has killed thousands of people. The situation in Syria, Iraq’s civil war-torn neighbour to the west, and Iran to its east, which is negotiating with world powers, including China on its controversial nuclear programme, were also discussed. It was “the first visit to Baghdad by a high-ranking Chinese official since 2003”, the Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement on its website. It follows a trip by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for talks that also included Syria and weapons purchases. The issue of American weapons deliveries provides an opening in Iraq for other countries to make gains in diplomatic and military ties, a situation Baghdad could also seek to use as leverage with Washington. Iraqi officials have been angered by delays in the delivery of some US weapons over concerns about potential abuses, and has sought to bolster its forces with purchases made from elsewhere. AGENCIES
Bangladeshi convicts escape after attack on prison van DHAKA: Attackers Sunday hurled bombs and opened fire at a prison van in northern Bangladesh, killing a policeman and freeing convicts from a banned Islamic outfit involved in 2005 mass bombings. Of the three convicts who escaped, two were members of the outlawed Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and were awaiting execution while the third was serving a life sentence, police said. The trio were convicted of involvement in a series of bombings across the country in 2005 that killed at least 28 people. The police officer was shot dead after the attackers opened fire and hurled bombs at the prison van in Mymensingh district as the radicals were being taken to court for a hearing in another case, said local police officer Mahbub Hussain. “The officer died on the way to hospital and two other officers were injured,” Hussain said. The JMB set off hundreds of bombs nationwide between August and December 2005, including more than 400 small bombs in one day alone. The then Islamist-allied government launched a crackdown on the banned group and prosecuted more than 1,000 of its members. In 2007 an army-backed government hanged six JMB members, including its founder and leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman and his deputy. APP
deal, and Yanukovych has remained there ever since. Yanukovych’s lavish spending on home improvements since - including building a new road with state funds to link it with the government district of central Kiev - have been held up by critics as one of the most glaring examples of the corruption and greed they say has characterised his presidency. The centre piece, and the nearest thing to a residential home amongst the many buildings dotted around the property, is a large stone and wooden mansion combining classical and gothic elements with the upper floors of a Swiss chalet. Along the banks of the Dnieper, a mile long promenade runs past empty horses paddocks and aviaries housing exotic ornamental birds. All of this was set in a landscaped park so huge that dazed visitors walked for hours without finding a way out - or an end to the extravagant absurdities on offer to gawp at. But incredibly, much of this was shoddily built. Bricks paving a recently built path leading to the shore have come loose, making it easy to trip. Wooden steps in some places have simply been allowed to rot away.
Mexico captures drug kingpin MAZATLAN AGENCIES
Mexico’s most wanted man, drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, was captured on Saturday with help from US intelligence agencies in a major victory for the government in a long, grisly war. Guzman, known as “El Chapo” (Shorty) in Spanish, has long run Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa Cartel and over the past decade he emerged as one of the world’s most powerful organised crime bosses, even making it onto Forbes’ list of billionaires. He was caught in his native north-western state of Sinaloa in an early morning operation without a shot being fired, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said. It is a political triumph for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in late 2012. Pena Nieto confirmed the capture via Twitter earlier on Saturday and congratulated his security forces. The US government also applauded the arrest. Guzman’s cartel has smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana and metham-
phetamines into the United States and fought vicious turf wars with other Mexican gangs. He pioneered the use of sophisticated underground tunnels to smuggle drug shipments across the border and also became a major narcotics exporter to Europe and Asia in recent years. Nearly 80,000 people have been killed in the last seven years with much of the violence in western and northern regions that have long been key smuggling routes. Many of the victims were tortured and beheaded and their bodies dumped in a public place or in mass graves. The violence has ravaged border cities and even beach-resorts such as Acapulco. Guzman, 56, was captured in a predawn raid on a seaside condominium in the northwestern tourist resort and fishing and shrimp-processing centre of Mazatlan, around 135 miles from Guzman’s suspected base in Culiacan. He was then flown to Mexico City. It was the first public glimpse of the elusive kingpin since he escaped from prison in 2001. It was not clear whether Guzman would now face trial in Mexico or be extradited to the United States.
SOUTH SUDAN ARMY REPELS REBELS NEAR BOR JUBA AGENCIES
The South Sudanese army said on Sunday it had repulsed three rebel attacks on its positions near the market town of Bor, which is regarded as a gateway to the capital Juba. Thousands have been killed and more than 800,000 have fled their homes since fighting began in South Sudan two months ago, triggered by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, his former deputy whom he sacked in July. The warring sides in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country after seceding from Sudan in 2011, signed a ceasefire on January 23 but sporadic clashes have continued. Bor, situated 190 km (120 miles) to the north of Juba by road, has changed hands at least three times since December when fighting broke out between SPLA troops loyal to the government and rebel forces. “The SPLA positions were attacked this morning three times in northern Bor, in the Gadiang (area), but the attacks were repulsed. They attacked
at six, seven, and eight this morning,” SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer told a foreign news agency via telephone. Rebel officials were not immediately available for comment. The raids near Bor followed a rebel assault on Tuesday last week on Malakal, capital of the main oil-producing Upper Nile region in the north of the deeply impoverished and chaotic country. Control of Malakal is split between the army and rebels since forces loyal to Machar raided the town and fought government troops. Aguer said that it was just a matter of time before the government retook Malakal from the rebels. A Sudanese petroleum ministry official said that national oil output had fallen to about 170,000 barrels per day even before the rebel strike on Malakal, a dip of around a third since the fighting erupted in December. The fighting in Malakal has jeopardised peace talks in Addis Ababa, already delayed by rebel demands for the release of four remaining detainees and the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from South Sudan. Kiir’s government says Ugandan forces were invited in to help secure key government offices and the Juba airport.
SK plans on cyber-attacking NK nuclear plants SEOUL: According to reports, South Korea is planning to develop cyber-attack tools in a bid to damage North Korean nuclear facilities. The South Korean defence ministry “seeks developing weapons on the model of the software ‘Stuxnet’, which was designed to attack Iran’s nuclear enrichment plants,” the country’s news agency said last week. The plan to cyberattack tools for physically damaging North Korea’s nuclear plants is the second phase of a strategy that commenced in 2010. The official news agency quoted a senior ministry official, saying on the second phase’s establishment, “the cyber-command will carry out comprehensive cyber-warfare missions”. ONLINE
New Saudi virus kills woman, toll reaches 61 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has said a woman has died from a new respiratory virus related to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), bringing the number of deaths to 61 in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak. The Saudi health ministry said the 81-year-old Saudi woman, who was chronically ill, died in a Riyadh hospital on Sunday. The ministry also said that the woman was among 147 people who had been infected with the virus in Saudi Arabia since September 2012. The new virus, related to the SARS, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003, belongs to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold. AGENCIES
Bangkok explosion leaves 2 dead, 22 injured BANGKOK: A child and woman were killed and over 20 injured in the apparent grenade attack in Bangkok, Thailand. The blast comes amid heightened tension following a series of recent attacks on anti-government rallies. In Thailand’s latest round of political turmoil which has continued for more than three months, protesters aim to unseat the caretaker government of premier Yingluck Shinawatra for reasons of alleged corruption. Army soldiers and police stood guard at the scene of a deadly explosion at an anti-government rally on Sunday. AGENCIES
UN adopts Syria aid access resolution UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on access to humanitarian aid in Syria. The resolution demands cross-border aid access and condemns rights abuses by the Syrian government. It also demands that the Syrian government and opposition forces must allow aid convoys to reach civilians across the country. The agreed text does not threaten sanctions - but warns of “further steps” if the sides do not comply. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been asked to report back to the council in 30 days on the implementation of the resolution. According to UN data, there are 9.3 million people in need of help in Syria and over 100,000 have been killed in the civil war. ONLINE
Car bomb kills nine in Syria BEIRUT: At least nine people were killed in a car bomb attack on Sunday near a field hospital in the Syrian town of Atmeh near the border with Turkey, activists said. The hospital is owned by Ghassan Aboud, a Gulfbased businessman who runs Orient Television, which said at least 10 people were killed. It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack. Syria is in the throes of civil war and Atmeh is in territory held by rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. “There were about 50 casualties and they are being transported to Bab al-Hawa (crossing) and to another hospital in Atmeh,” said witness Abdallah Saleh, after the explosion took place, adding that the hospital had also gotten damaged. AGENCIES
Monday, 24 February, 2014
9th Pak-afghan JeC session kicks off in kabul
DAR SAYS PAKISTAN HAS BEEN PLAYING ACTIVE ROLE IN SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF AFGHANISTAN KABUL AGENCIES
HE inaugural session of the 9th Session of Pakistan- Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was held in Kabul on Sunday. The session was co-chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and Afghan Finance Minister Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal. Addressing the session, Dar called for enhancing bilateral trade, extending the trilateral transit trade agreement to Tajikistan for the economic betterment of the people of the region, early completion of ongoing projects funded by Pakistan, visa facilitation for Pakistani businessmen and labour and urgent finalisation of avoidance of double taxation agreement between the two countries. The minister said that Pakistan attached utmost significance to its relations with Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan had been playing an active role in the social and economic development of Afghanistan. In this regard, the government had undertaken a number
Pakistan asks india to release Prisoners: Fo ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Pakistan has asked India to release all of its prisoners who have completed their sentences on humanitarian grounds, state-run media reported on Sunday. The demand was made by Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam after the death of a Pakistani prisoner in an Indian-held Kashmir prison. She expressed concern over the plight of Pakistani prisoners in India and said that they faced torture at the hands of Indian authorities. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir has contacted Indian authorities to get a detailed report about the death of the Pakistani prisoner.
AFGHAN FM PRAISES PAKISTAN’S ROLE AND EFFORTS IN RECONSTRUCTION OF AFGHANISTAN of projects, including the 400- bed Jinnah Hospital in Kabul, 200-bed hospital in Logar, Liaquat Ali Khan Engineering University in Balkh, Rehman Baba School and hostel for 1,500 children in Kabul, Nishtar Kidney Hospital in Jalalabad and a dual carriageway from Torkham to Jalalabad. Besides, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has increased the development fund from $385 million to $500 million as a gesture of goodwill to Afghanistan so as to complete the ongoing developmental projects. In order to encourage and improve bilateral trade and road connectivity, the Government of Pakistan has committed to construct Peshawar-Jalalabad Motorway as well as Peshawar-Jalalabad Railway link which would tremendously benefit the traders of Pakistan, Afghanistan as well as the Central Asian states, Dar added. The minister said that these steps were a manifestation of importance being attached by Pakistan towards the brotherly country. The minister also highlighted the achievements made by the government led by Nawaz Sharif during the last eight months. He said that the government had developed a roadmap to overcome
The government has appointed Hassan Raza as new high commissioner to Malaysia. The Foreign Office has also issued notification in this regard. Earlier, Raza was working as ambassador in Qatar. The new appointment was made after retirement of Nadeem Kayani, who was envoy to Malaysia and the post was vacant for the last two months. Raza will take charge of his office this week starting today (Monday). Raza joined the Pakistan Foreign Service in 1986. After training at the Civil Services Academy and Foreign Service Academy, he joined the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served as desk officer at the United Nations and subsequently as
the security, economic and energy challenges being confronted by Pakistan. He said that Pakistan’s economy on average grew since 2008-2009. He stated that Pakistan had fixed a GDP growth target of 4-5 percent during the next financial year taking it to 6-7 percent in the medium term. He said that Pakistan had embarked upon a major reform programme that aimed at fiscal stabilization, mobilising domestic resources, phasing out subsides, restructuring the power sector and other public sector enterprises and strengthening the social safety nets. Granting of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union was the manifestation of the trust over the socio-economic policies of Pakistan, he added. Afghan Finance Minister Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhailwal underscored the need for enhanced trade and economic relations for the mutual benefits. He also praised Pakistan’s role and efforts in the reconstruction and rebuilding of Afghanistan. After the opening remarks made by the respective ministers, the meeting approved the agenda of the 9th JEC. Thereafter technical experts from both the sides discussed issues threadbare under respective committees. The 9th JEC session will conclude on Monday (today) in Kabul. Later, Dar along with his Afghan counterpart visited Jalalabad and handed over charge of Nangarhar Nishtar Kidney Hospital to the Afghan government. He also inaugurated work on the 75 km dual carriageway from Torkham to Jalalabad.
desk officer for Afghanistan. He also served as assistant legal advisor for international law and treaties. He served with the UN mission in Somalia from 1993 to 1994 as director in various regions of Somalia and in the Office of the UN Special Representative for Somalia. From 1995 to 1998, he served in the embassy of Pakistan in Kyrgyz Republic and again worked in the Central Asia region from 2001 to 2003 as deputy head of mission at the embassy of Pakistan in Kazakhstan. From 2003 to 2005, he served as deputy consul general in Jeddah and alternate representative of Pakistan to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He joined the OIC in 2005 as advisor to the OIC secretary-general on political and legal affairs. He served the OIC for three years and
worked on various issues like reform and restructuring, including the new charter of the organisation. He resumed responsibilities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009 and was director-general of economic cooperation, OIC and Friends of Democratic Pakistan, a group of 21 countries and four international institutions. He served as D-8 commissioner for Pakistan from 2009 until his appointment as Pakistan’s ambassador to Qatar. He is married with two sons. He studied at the Punjab University and Columbia University where he earned degrees in political science, international affairs and law. He specialises in international law and human rights and has regional expertise on South Asia. He also earned regional certificate in Southern Asia from Columbia University.
Senate’s body on defence visits installations of Pak Navy COMMITTEE HEAD SHOWS SATISFACTION OVER PN’S OPERATIONAL PREPAREDNESS AND NATION BUILDING EFFORTS KARACHI STAFF REPORT
A 13-member delegation of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence visited facilities and installations of Pakistan Navy at Karachi and coastal areas on Sunday. The delegation visited Pakistan Navy Dockyard, submarine center and Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. During
the visit, a comprehensive briefing was given to the Committee on the emerging contemporary challenges in the region and Pakistan Navy’s response, measures and infrastructural upgrading of PN. The committee was apprised on the adversary’s massive naval buildup particularly in context to acquisition of nuclear submarines which is a matter of concern not only for Pakistan but also for the regional peace. The Senate committee was also briefed on the indigenization programme of Pakistan Navy. The committee undertook detailed visit of Jinnah Naval Base at Ormarah, considered as future home port of PN fleet, where they were briefed on various developmental projects of the Base which will help achieve early commencement of sustained fleet operations.
Boy electrocuted attempting to catch a kite SIALKOT INP A teenager died of electrocution while trying to loot a strayed kite on Sunday. Police said that the youth, hailing from Hajipura, was trying to hold a stray kite when he mistakenly touched the live wire of the main transmission line. As a result, the boy died on the spot due to electrocution. The family of the victim and dwellers of the area demanded the Punjab chief minister to take notice of unchecked kite-flying which was posing threat to lives of the citizens.
Woman killed, 7 injured in blast near wedding party
Raza appointed new envoy to Malaysia ISLAMABAD
The committee was briefed on the nation building efforts along the Makran coast and PN measures aimed to socioeconomic uplift of Baloch populace along the Makran Coastal belt. During visit of Cadet College Ormarah, the Committee Members were apprised of the facilities being provided by Pakistan Navy to the cadets and College’s planned developments so as to make it a premier training institution on the Makran Coast. During visit of 100-bed hospital PNS Darmaan Jah, the committee was apprised that PN is extending free medical support/facilities to the Baloch population and coastal community in particular. The committee was also apprised of the humanitarian assistance provided to the earthquake victims of Awaran. During the
visit to Gwadar Port, the committee was apprised that, in line with the vision of the naval chief, PN is committed to provide all out support for the development and early activation of Gawadar Port. On the occasion, Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence Chairman Mushahid Hussain showed satisfaction over PN’s operational preparedness and nation building efforts, the committee assured their full support to PN in its future plans and designs for safeguarding the economic interest of Pakistan in Indian Ocean and its impregnable maritime defence. The chairman also showed the committee’s commitment to raise the issue at appropriate forum for facilitating/fulfilling PN materialization of its force goals.
QUETTA STAFF REPORT A landmine-blast killed one woman and injured seven others in Balochistan’s volatile Dera Bugti district on Sunday morning, officials said. A levies official who requested anonymity said that a pick-up carrying seven women and a male for a wedding party hit a landmine in Dera Bugti’s Zain Koh area. “When the vehicle hit the landmine, there was huge blast,” he said, adding that one woman was killed on the spot, and “all six women and a male were seriously injured in the blast. The blast also damaged the vehicle, the official stated, adding that unknown miscreants had planted the land mine on the road side. However, there was no claim of the responsibility of the attack. All injured were shifted to Sui Hospital for medical treatment. Dera Bugti, Balochistan’s resourcerich and the least developed district has been plagued with violence for over a decade.
three killed by miscreants in Mardan MARDAN INP Three persons were killed and two others injured when unknown miscreants attacked a car on the night falling between Saturday and Sunday, officials said. Police said that unidentified gunmen sprayed bullets at a private car in Chattu Chowk area of Mardan. As a result, three persons were killed while two others sustained serious wounds; the dead and injured were taken to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ).
Funeral of newly-wed couple, 6 others held in Burewala BUREWALA INP Funeral prayers of the eight people, including a newly-wed couple, were offered in Burewala amid tears and sobs on Sunday. They were killed in a road accident on Saturday on Chichawatani Road. Their car was crushed by a police bus. The victims were Arshad (bridegroom), his wife, Jamil (bride’s cousin), his wife and three children. The wedding ceremony took place just a day ago and the happy family was going to visit the bride’s house when they faced the incident. Cricketer Muhammad Irfan also attended the funeral.
Jubilation fire claims life KHANEWAL APP A drummer was killed during a jubilation firing at a marriage ceremony in a village near Khanewal on Sunday, official sources said. According to police, the marriage function of a local landlord Imran was in progress when the brother of bridegroom, Rizwan, allegedly shot multiple times in the air in jubilation. As a result, a stray bullet hit the drummer, Saddam, who died on the spot. The body of the victim has been shifted to District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) for autopsy.
FIA ARRESTS NIGERIAN FRAUDULENT ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested a foreigner involved in looting citizens through internet here on Sunday. Deputy Director FIA said that cyber wing of the investigation agency over the complaints launched crackdown in the federal capital during which a Nigerian national was detained. The accused was involved in looting citizens persuading them of participating in lottery. The FIA has acquired two-day physical remand of the accused and started the investigation. INP
ISLAMABAD: A view of sunset seen from behind the bushes in the capital. ONLINE
Home sweet Home CONSTRUCTION OF 500,000 LOW-INCOME GROUP HOUSES START FROM MARCH ISLAMABAD
he government would start construction work of about 500,000 houses for lowincome group people next month. An official of Ministry of housing said "about 500,000 houses would be constructed for low-income people on loan and the government would bear eight percent markup while installments would be equal to a five-marla house rent". he said five pilot projects for providing houses to people had been started in
Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta with the help of public-private partnership. he said that the government was giving top priority to solving the housing problem in the country by ensuring affordable and cost-effective housing units to the ordinary citizens. he said the Prime Minister has assured the ministry of housing for provision of funds for the construction of quality houses equipped with all basic facilities. To another question, he said, 19,000 applications by government employees were pending for the allotment of home in the federal capital. "I assure that the government will observe merit and no
government employees would be allotted accommodation out of turn and if anyone is found guilty,he would be punished," he added. he said the government had decided not to use special quota allocated to the Prime Minister and housing Minister. To a question, he said two percent quota has been allocated each to journalists, media workers and disable persons. he said the government had decided to take strict action against illegal occupants. "Proposal is under consideration to make special force in the ministry of housing for the vacation houses from illegal occupants", he added.
POWER SHORTFALL EASES TO 1,800 MW ISLAMABAD: The power shortfall in the country further eased to 1,800 MW as the total generation on Sunday was recorded as 9,350 MW against the demand of 11,150 MW at 1000 hours. According to daily data released by National Transmission and Dispatch Company Limited (NTDC), the hydel generation stood at 3,580 MW, Thermal 790 MW and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) 4,980 MW. The hydel generation has significantly improved and stood at 3,580 MW as the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) increased water discharge from both water reservoirs Tarbela and Mangla dams. APP
MEET AND GREET Ayaz Sadiq calls on KP governor PESHAWAR: Speaker National Assembly, Ayaz Sadiq Sunday called on Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Engr. Shoukatullah at Governor House and discussed various matters of national and public interests. On the occasion, KP Governor highlighted situation in the province and FATA relating to the steps of government for improving socio-economic conditions of people. They conceded that disturbances from law and order are harmful for the ongoing efforts meant to facilitate people. APP
Monday, 24 February 2014
PRAyER TImINgS 12:21
tHis is not your country Rawalpindi police held 16 Afghan nationals under Foreign Act RAWALPINDI APP
Rawalpindi police during search operation have arrested 16 Afghan nationals under section 14 of Foreign Act while cases have been registered against them. According to Rawalpindi police spokesman, search operations on the special directives of Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi Akhtar Umar hayat Lalika against Afghan nationals residing illegally here, are being conducted in different areas of the city under the supervision of Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Operations. Police have netted 16 Afghan nationals namely Baig Murad, hijrat, Saz Muhammad, Ibrahim Khan, Qiamat Khan, Ghulam Khan, hijrat Khan, hashim Khan, Zabih Khan, Shahid Ullah, Zafar Khan, Gul, Bakhatullah, Izat Khan, Ghazi Jan and Abdul Jabbar during last 24 hours from the areas of Cantt and Saddar Wah police stations. The spokesman informed that a large number of persons were checked by police teams during the search operation on Saturday night.
For a greener environment ISLAMABAD APP
POLICE STRETCH SOME MUSCLE ISLAMABAD PRESS RELEASE
Islamabad police have arrested a total of 753 criminals and recovered stolen items worth 32 million, 15.859 kg Narcotics, 1985 wine bottles and cache of weapon from their possession. According to details, on the special directions of senior police officers Islamabad police during the last 45 days have arrested 753 culprits involved in crime of dacoity, murder, robbery, car theft and recovered stolen items worth 3, 24,000,00 rupees from their possession. Meanwhile, during the same period
753 CRIMINALS NABBED, STOLEN ITEMS WORTH 32 MILLION RECOVERED Islamabad police have arrested 194 criminals and recovered 15.218 kilogram hashish, 641 gram heroine,1985 bottles wine, 4 Kalashnikov, 4 guns ,67 pistols along with 503 bullets from their possession. Islamabad police have nabbed 246 absconders involved in crime of heinous nature during this period in its special crackdown against outlaws. Islamabad police also conducted nine
search operations during this period with a purpose to keep a high vigilance against suspects and secure the city. IGP Islamabad said that Minister for Interior Ch. Nisar Ali Khan has stressed to curb activities of anti-social elements and make the city crime free. he said that complaints at police stations are being addressed on top priority and maximum efforts are being made to facilitate the citizens. he said that Islamabad police is making utmost efforts to ensure protection to the lives of the citizens and it would be made exemplary police force through its service oriented policies and elimination of corruption.
A meeting of the Sub-Committee of the Functional Committee on human Rights headed by its convener Senator, Mushahid hussain Sayed will be held in the Parliament house on Monday. The meeting will discuss climate change and clean and green Islamabad campaign particularly the issue of plastic bags, compliance report by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) regarding removal of stone crushers from MargaIla hills as per order of the Supreme Court and directive of the Senate Sub-Committee on environment, review of working of environment hotline 1334, complaints received and actions taken, future progress on commitment made regarding waste disposal management site. The committee members will be briefed regarding Reducing emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (ReDO), UNsupported projects to curb deforestation in Pakistan and Action Plan of the Islamabad Traffic Police to curb the smoke emission vehicle in the Federal Capital.
Monday, 24 February 2014
RAWALPINDI: Unqualified dental practitioner seen attending a customer oblivious of the danger posed by the tools used in the process which can spread different diseases, at City Saddar Road. ONLINE
BECAUSE WASTE DISPOSAL IS ONE PAIN IN THE NECK WORKSHOP ON ‘STRATEGY AND METHODOLOGIES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF NEAR SURFACE DISPOSAL FACILITIES’ TODAY ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in collaboration with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will organize workshop,here on Monday at National Center of Physics. Workshop on "Strategy and methodologies for the development ofnear surface disposal facilities" will be inaugurated by Director general National Repository, PAEC Manzur Hussain. Chairman Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority Muhammad Anwar Habib will be the chief guest on the occasion,while IAEA experts will also be present on the occasion. APP
EXAM SEASON BEGINS 338 CENTRES SET UP FOR 103,035 MATRIC STUDENTS RAWALPINDI: Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) has set up 338 examination centers for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) annual exams which would start here from March 5. According to RBISE sources, foolproof arrangements are being made for transparent and smooth holding of SSC annual exams 2014. Mobile phones, text books, test papers, calculators and other items which can be helpful for the exams would not be allowed in the examination halls. Any unauthorized person would not be allowed to enter into the premises of the examination centers.The candidates have been issued roll number slips to appear in the exams while total 338 examination centers have been set up in this regard. Out of total examination centers, 129 are for boys and 132 are for girls while 77 combined examination centers have also been set up. Special monitoring teams comprising inspectors and other officers have been formed by the Chairman Board. Special squads for surprise checking of the examination centers have also been made by the authorities. APP
Punjab’s feedback model t
he South China Morning Post has carried an article in which Professor Dan hough Director of the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex, UK said: “To fight corruption, Beijing should look to Pakistan…and that the citizens should be empowered so that they could report bribery, as it was the matter Lahore had.” China indeed has taken steps to fight corruption and there is zero tolerance in higher echelons of Chinese leadership, yet it is an honour for Punjab government that in one particular aspect, it was suggested that it should be emulated. In Punjab, corruption particularly in land transactions had assumed alarming proportions. It was in this backdrop that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif introduced a system; the Citizen Feedback Model, that would enable people to report corrupt transactions. It is a matter of record that over 2.1 million text messages have been dispatched since 2010 and over 8,000 cases of corruption have been reported. Shahbaz Sharif visited Turkey, China and India. Their leaderships and media are all praise for his caliber and vision. even the chief minister of Bihar has praised the good governance of Shahbaz Sharif. Moreover, Transparency International acknowledges that the level of corruption is lowest in Punjab, if compared with other provinces. Anyhow, Punjab government continues to do legislation work to check corruption such as Access to Information bill to achieve the laudable objective of good governance. In December 2013, Provincial legislators passed The Punjab Transparency and Right to Information (RIT) Bill 2013. With a total of 25 clauses, the bill aimed to provide transparency and freedom of information to ensure that citizens have improved access to public information; to make the government more accountable to citizens and to enforce the fundamental right of access to information in all matters of public importance. It is too well known that unequal access to information can reflect and reinforce inequalities in access to other resources and power. This exclusion is often based on gender, age, class, race, etc, which is reflective of inequality. Despite these inequalities and constraints on flow and access to information, people everywhere are increasingly demanding more transparency and claiming their right to know. Article 19A of Pakistan’s Constitution states: “every citizen shall have access to information in all matters of public importance subject to regulation and reasonable limits imposed by law”. In every field of activity, be it business, profession or
vocation; be it a private or public institution, decisions taken on the basis of reliable information are more effective than those of taken in the absence of information. It provides the tool to take correct decisions, and there is maxim that “Information is power”. Government servants or even those at the helm in private organizations have the tendency to keep the information to themselves, because they feel a sense of power. But sometimes withholding information can cause a great loss. In Pakistan, low literacy level, abject poverty and ignorance of citizens have placed society at low spectrum of social awareness on the right to information. Anyhow, only in a society where democracy has taken roots, the people are aware and conscious about their rights, that they can exert pressure on the members of the parliament to pass appropriate laws to acknowledge people’s right to information. In the developing countries, bureaucracy often holds back the information because it feels that releasing information is not in public interest. In Pakistan, secretive style of governance in the past, weakened the state and society. In developed countries, citizens’ access to public records and transparency in processes that affect their lives have a ‘disinfecting’ effect on the administration and the government. People today wish to be informed about the way three pillars of the state conduct them, and how it affects their lives. In the recent past, sugar, cement, flour and stock exchange scams adversely impacted the national exchequer and people’s lives. Investigative reporting helped expose the elements that exploited the people or caused loss to the exchequer. Yet, a lot has to be done to end the corrupt practices, wrongdoings of some parliamentarians and members of the bureaucracy. Chief Minister Punjab and leader of PML(N), Shahbaz Sharif has been visiting Turkey, India, China and other countries, and he has been admired for running the largest province of Pakistan successfully. Shahbaz Sharif, true to his reputation, has undertaken major development works across the big cities of Punjab and this contributed to a significant expansion in the province’s infrastructure. Of course, all of which seems to be a response to the needs of an articulate urban population that votes for his party. During the last two years, the urban youth have also factored into provincial governance and the government tried to engage and mobilise this particular segment of Punjab’s population. establishment of Danish schools, distribution of laptops to students and facilitating cultural activities have made Punjab as an envy for others, and other provinces wish to emulate. having that said, Shahbaz Sharif stands out for his responsiveness and ability to set the parameters of governance right as compared with chief ministers of other provinces.
POLICE FAIL TO CHECK KITE-FLYING RAWALPINDI: The administration and police have failed to implement the ban imposed on kite-flying and metallic strings as the ban is openly being violated in Rawalpindi city and cantonment areas. The residents of the city have expressed concern over kite flying and use of metallic strings, banned by the city administration saying that the violation is a question mark on the performance of the authorities concerned. Despite a ban on kite flying, the local police have failed to stop it as the violation is being witnessed in several areas of the town. The areas of the city, where kite flying going unchecked, included Peoples Colony, Tench Bhatta, Dhoke Seydan, Kiani Road, Dhoke Chaudharian, Adyala Road, Bakra Mandi, Masrial and many other areas. Several areas of the city were noticed where the activity was openly done specially on Friday and Sunday. The citizens have demanded strict compliance of the kite flying ban to prevent road accidents and loss of precious human lives. People have demanded the police to ensure a complete ban on sale of kite and flying along with the sale of fireworks. APP
20 LAWBREAKERS INCLUDING THREE KITESELLERS ARRESTED RAWALPINDI: Rawalpindi Police have arrested 20 lawbreakers including three kite sellers from different localities. According to police spokesman, the district police recovered 220 grams charras, 120 grams heroin, 25 bottles of liquor and five pistol 30 bore with 40 rounds from the possession of the accused. Waris Khan police netted Numan for having five liter wine while Noshad was rounded up for possessing five liquor bottles. Mohsin was nabbed with two bottles of liquor. Civil Line police apprehended Imran and recovered 15 liquor bottles. Other accused were sent behind the bars on recovery of illegal weapons, drugs and liquor. Meanwhile, City police, RA Bazar police and Race Course police arrested three kitesellers identified as Siddique, Zahoor and Aman and recovered 320 kites and 37 rolls of kite flying string from them. APP
Waiting for 8th NFC Award
Monday, 24 February, 2014
In cahoots with the enemy Those supposedly defending our lives
How will the PML-N government handle it?
he government faces the challenging task of formulating a new NFC Award by the middle of this year. The last Award was the result of a landmark consensus and was announced after a gap of 19 years of bickering. The consensus on the 7th NFC Award included major adjustments in vertical as well as horizontal distributions between the centre and the provinces and between provinces themselves. The PPP government considered it a great achievement. The Award particularly received a warm response from smaller provinces and the nationalist parties. Would the Award under the PML-N government also meet with universal approval? There are signs of a centre versus provinces tussle restarting over the distribution of resources. The federal government has assured IMF that it would strike a deal with the provinces to balance revenue and expenditure responsibilities. The provinces on the other hand are putting up new demands for increasing the divisible pool and for hike in the weightage for lack of infrastructure and compensation for violence. The KP provincial finance minister has warned that any attempt by the federal government to minimise provincial resources or asking it to finance federal expenditures would be resisted. After the 7th Award, both the federal government and provinces needed to observe strict financial discipline which they have failed to do. extra-large governments during 2008-13 necessitated by exigencies of alliances led to wastage of resources. The government spent recklessly over the years, a tendency that continues to persist under the PML-N government also. Rising debt servicing and defence and security related expenditures have further reduced financial space for the federation. Despite being cash-strapped the PML-N government is pursuing Nawaz Sharif’s pet mega projects which cannot be implemented without foreign investment and external debt. It has also launched ambitious youth schemes. It has shown increasing appetite for foreign credit and loans borrowing Rs611 billion just in 40 days from the State Bank of Pakistan, against Rs507 billion for the full year 2012-13. There is a need on the part of federation to reduce its expenses, cut losses, revise its fancy projects and bring down defence expenses by cultivating friendly relations with neighbours and through an effective diplomacy. The last NFC Award authorised the provinces to raise taxes from agriculture, property and services. It granted 57.5pc of most revenues to the provinces. expectations that the provincial governments would use the resources efficiently to improve the living standards of their people were not fulfilled. The provincial governments meanwhile continue to depend heavily on receivables from the divisible pool. Political exigencies stop them from raising provincial taxes. With attitudes of the sort it would be difficult to balance the competing demands being made by the federation and the provinces.
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: 051-2287273 Fax: 051-2818125 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: email@example.com
he last, desperate hope – the forlorn, remaining illusion that the elected government leaders and the army generals will ultimately defend the people and the country seems to have been shattered by recent events. The head of our national government, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, calls upon not the country's law enforcement agencies and the national army, but the very perpetrators, the Taliban enemy to bring to justice the criminals and murderers for bombings, killing, targeting of our citizens in cold blood. In other words, he is asking the enemy to bypass the country's own legal and judicial system and to punish the terrorists through the enemy's own parallel justice system. The prime minister further comes to the aid of the Taliban enemy by belittling the daily mass murders of our civilians and policemen as mere ‘incident’ that would hamper the ‘sacred talks’. I guess these massacres of our people would have been fine if they were not to affect the talks. Our chief of the national army, through its spokesman says that the
army will defend and retaliate only if this enemy attacks its soldiers and installations, but will not do likewise if the enemy targets, bombs, or kill and maims our unarmed citizens. In any other country these gentlemen would have been tried for treason for dereliction of their sworn, sacred duty of upholding the country's constitution and laws, for failure to protect the lives and property of the citizens, for failure to defend the territory of the country against declared enemies and for their complicity with the enemy. In any other country, the government leaders and its army generals would have put their lives at stake, in the forefront, to fight and crush its blood thirsty enemy. Not a Normal couNtry But ours is not any other normal country. It’s a country where its rulers cower in fear of the enemy, where helpless, innocent people are left at the mercy of the enemy to be slaughtered as sacrificial lambs. It’s a country where its leaders and generals in the face of an ongoing genocide of its people escape in luxury to faraway countries to ‘cement ties’. It's a country where death rules and evil stalks the land unchallenged. There's no universal law or divine principle that prevents people of a country from protecting themselves and defend their lives. Right to life is the most inalienable, the most basic of human rights. During the last decade or so, numerous appeals, thousands of columns must have been written to ask the powers that be to fulfill their fundamental duty and defend the lives, families and property of the people. But all to no avail. A state's assertion of its sovereignty comes with its most important responsibility: the responsibility of protecting
its citizens from invasion and mass murders. That is why a state is bestowed upon the sole and exclusive authority to wield the power of coercion. But if the state is unable or unwilling to perform its fundamental duty of protecting the people or defending its territorial integrity then its monopolized power of coercion is seriously questioned, lacking in justification. Radical situations require radical steps. To cut to the chase, if the state cannot or will not fight the enemy and to defend the people for any reason, then the people must be allowed to exercise their most fundamental right – the right of self-defense. And in this people's epic battle for survival the state must help, not hinder, the citizens of the country and facilitate their defense by providing them with small arms and training etc. As far as strategic weapons, nuclear assets, missiles, jet planes are concerned, even though all armaments are paid for by and belong to the people, the state can continue to secure the custody of these weapons. Thousands and thousands of our people continue to get shot at, or murdered or maimed or blown up into pieces in their homes, mosques, hospitals, streets, schools, bazaars, trains, buses etc. All these atrocities are being inflicted on the unarmed civilians by a few thousand thugs and natural born
killers with unkempt beards and without a shred of human decency or morality in their body. I am absolutely certain that our fellow citizens are strong enough and motivated enough to take on these bullies and cowards hiding behind women and children. Remember that not too long ago an alien force of only a few hundred was able to kick the Talibans out from their seat of power and from their country. The televised images of these 'brave' Talibans running scared like headless chicken, begging for forgiveness is still fresh in our memory. So it all boils down to a really stark and straightforward choice: either the state establishment or the citizens of Pakistan must face and wipe out these evil serial killers or to watch the inexorable evisceration of the state and the progressive genocide and enslavement of our fellow citizens. An offensive war is our only option as the enemy with its numerous agents and cohorts have infiltrated every corner of our land. Up and until now our supposed protectors and defenders have, for whatever reasons, incredibly refused to confront and annihilate these Taliban/Jihadi perverted, blood- thirsty fascists. If this fatal inaction continues to be the case, then the least the government and the army can do is to hand over the guns to the citizens. And just get out of their way!
An offensive war is our only option as the enemy with its numerous agents and cohorts have infiltrated every corner of our land.
Reminiscing a peace trip India and Pakistan: Who has missed the bus?
IFTeeN years ago in February 1999, Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister, took a bus to Lahore to normalise relations with Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif was Pakistan's Prime Minister. They jointly issued the Lahore Declaration which adumbrated several steps to overcome the differences that had yawned the distance between the two countries. I was one of those who rode the bus. It was an exhilarating experience, pregnant with optimism. At least, I felt that the journey of a few kilometres from Attari to Wagah border would not be a long travel to bring New Delhi and Islamabad nearer. Unfortunately, this did not happen not because the prime ministers of the two countries differed but because the military in Pakistan was against the rapprochement. It was apparent when the three service chiefs of Pakistan refused to salute the Indian prime minister. General Pervez Musharraf, then the army chief, had different ideas. his subsequent coup to oust the elected
prime minister bared his ambitions. The bus journey was a courageous step by Vajpaee because his Bharatiya Janata Party was anti-Pakistan and pursued hindu nationalism as its sole agenda. Vajpayee went to the extent of having a timeframe within which the Kashmir problem was to be solved. he had probably in mind what a chastened Zuflikar Ali Bhutto, then prime minister of Pakistan, had told me in a recorded interview after the liberation of Bangladesh. Bhutto said: "We can make the ceasefire line a line of peace and let people come and go between the two Kashmirs. After all, why should they suffer? Let there be some free movement between them. Then one thing can lead to another. After all, simultaneously we hope that there will be exchanges of visits, of officials and non-officials." Bhutto denied having said the "line of peace" when New Delhi took it up with him officially. I wish that the Lahore Declaration to normalise trade and travel could be implemented even now. What the two prime ministers achieved may seem very little in concrete terms, particularly when Pakistan weighed everything on the scales of Kashmir. even there Vajpayee said, at least three times during his visit, that the problem of Jammu and Kashmir had yet to be settled and that the two sides would continue to have talks until they resolved it. In other words, Vajpayee conceded that it was a dispute. The fact that he did not mention that Kashmir was an integral part of India during his visit was something which the Pakistanis should have noticed. Coming back to the bus journey, I was one of the 22 "eminent" people travelling to Pakistan on a mission to retrieve soiled relations. Punjab Chief
Minister Prakash Singh Badal joined us at the Amritsar airport. he hugged me and said: “Your efforts are bearing fruit.” Indeed, he was referring to our efforts to lighting candles at the Wagah border since 1996 -- to send a message of friendship to the other side. Badal disappeared in the crowd of tall, turbaned Sikhs awaiting Vajpayee's arrival. But some of us moved towards the bus, standing lonely near the tarmac. Flags of India and Pakistan were painted on its body. Thank God, there was no slogan, which would have spoilt the bluish colour that stood out in the afternoon sunlight. Dancing and singing men and women in colourful costumes provided an ideal backdrop. Policemen looked out of place, even though they were not many. As soon as Vajpayee sat in the front seat, the bus began its journey to Lahore. A ticket collector first gave me a ticket and then tore half of it, which I retain as a souvenir. Another attendant offered cold drinks. The TV and mobile telephones were there -- all part of service as it would be at the time of regular trips. Right up to the border, a distance of 35 kilometres, people were lined up on both sides. Children waving yellow flags and bands playing loud tunes reflected the enthusiasm that the meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan had generated. The mood in the bus was relaxed. But very few exchanged words with one another. A feeling of expectancy hung in the air. Some nervousness was visible and it got heightened with every kilometre-stone going past. how will the visit go was the thought writ large on everyone's face. Still they were conscious of the history they were making. "It was a bold step," I remarked when I sat next to the prime minister
briefly. he only smiled. I persisted with my questions. "What made you respond to Nawaz Sharif's off-the-cuff remark to take a ride on the bus? What about your party, the BJP?" he said: "I thought, let me do something to be remembered. After all, the prime ministership does not last long." And then he mentioned the killing of hindus at Rajori. he was disturbed. "Certain elements always do it to sabotage the talks." I wanted to talk to him further but there was a long queue. There was the usual guard of honour, a large contingent of policemen on the other side. The guard of honour is a beaten path, covered again and again even after 66 years after the British rule. The mood of abandon on the Indian side changed into somberness. Pakistan Rangers stood rows upon rows, to attention. There was silence and the air was heavy. Nawaz Sharif's smiling face broke the monotony. Some of his colleagues, dressed in achkan, too were a relief. "Khush aamdeed" (welcome) to Pakistan," were the first words Nawaz Sharif spoke before he embraced Vajpayee. Pakistan ministers also lined up to shake hands with Vajpayee. People had lined up both sides of the road leading to Lahore. There were women without veil and many friendly hands waved towards us. I wish that their expectations had been met. When the two Prime Ministers met I also thought that the impasse between the two countries would be over. But it did not happen. There were too many vested interests and unseen elements coming in the way. No doubt, they have really missed the bus. Kuldip Nayar is a veteran Indian journalist, human rights activist and a noted author.
WORLD VIEW 09
Monday, 24 February, 2014
Mr Kerry’s futile syria initiative
THE TRIAL OF PERVEZ MUSHARRAF
Washington Post Now that the “Geneva 2” conference on Syria has collapsed, Secretary of State John F. Kerry is trying to distance himself from the wreckage of an initiative that he made the focus of the Obama administration’s Syria policy for nine critical months. Last Sunday, after the talks between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and a Western-backed opposition coalition ended in impasse without a renewal date, Mr. Kerry issued a statement blaming “the Assad regime’s obstruction” for the failure. In a news conference the next day he faulted Russia for “enabling Assad to double down” on the battlefield “rather than come to the negotiating table in good faith.” Mr. Kerry’s analysis is correct, so far as it goes. The Assad regime made no pretense of taking seriously the nominal purpose of the Geneva talks, which was to agree on a cease-fire, the opening of corridors for humanitarian aid and a transitional government acceptable to both the government and the opposition. Nor did Russia pressure its ally to go along with that agenda. Instead, both tried to turn the talks into a forum for discussing how to combat “terrorists” in Syria — a label that Damascus and Moscow apply not just to al-Qaeda but to all armed groups that oppose the regime. That still leaves the question of why Mr. Kerry spent months insisting that Mr. Assad and his Russian backers would go along with a negotiated settlement — and therefore that pursuing Geneva 2, as opposed to more robust measures to stop the mounting bloodshed, was the best U.S. policy. Prior to launching the Geneva 2 effort last May, Mr. Kerry had been a proponent of “changing the calculations” of the Assad regime by providing more military support to the opposition. Following a visit to Moscow and a meeting with Vladimir Putin, however, Mr. Kerry abruptly changed his tune. At a May 7 news conference he heaped praise on Mr. Putin for a discussion that “contributed significantly to our ability to map a road ahead.” He declared that Russia and the United States “are going to cooperate in trying to implement” a plan under which “the government of Syria and the opposition have to put together, by mutual consent, the parties that will then become the transitional government.” “Our understanding” of the plan, Mr. Kerry said of himself and Mr. Putin, “is very similar.” The first question on that first of many occasions when Mr. Kerry touted the Geneva 2 formula was telling. Asked a reporter: “What makes you think that President Assad would be willing to take part in a negotiated political solution if, as the United States has repeatedly said, he must leave power?” The obvious answer: Mr. Assad wouldn’t. But for nine months Mr. Kerry stubbornly insisted that just that scenario would unfold. As late as Jan. 16, when even U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi was trying to focus Geneva 2 on the more modest goal of providing humanitarian aid to one neighborhood in one city, Mr. Kerry reiterated that the conference’s “sole purpose” would be to create a transitional government. Mr. Kerry’s calculus was that even if Mr. Assad were not willing to step aside for such a government, he would be pressured into it by Mr. Putin. But there was never any good reason to believe the Russian ruler — who employed scorched-earth tactics similar to those of Mr. Assad to subdue an uprising in the Russian republic of Chechnya — would support the U.S. goal. On the contrary, Mr. Putin stepped up weapons deliveries to the regime, blocked efforts at the United Nations to open humanitarian corridors to civilian areas under siege by regime forces and echoed the propaganda that Syria’s main problem was “terrorism.” Not for the first time, Mr. Kerry and the Obama administration badly misjudged the Russian leader. Throughout the last nine months, Mr. Kerry claimed that his transparently futile initiative was worthy because, as he put it in Moscow, “the alternative is . . . even more violence . . . the alternative is that Syria heads closer to an abyss, if not over the abyss, and into chaos.” Yet that is exactly what happened in the following nine months. Chemical weapons and barrel bombs were dropped on civilians, al-Qaeda strengthened its hold on parts of eastern Syria, and many thousands died — all while the United States eschewed steps to stop the carnage on the grounds that the Geneva 2 talks offered, as Mr. Kerry put it, “the best opportunity for the opposition to achieve the goals of the Syrian people.” In that assessment, Mr. Kerry was profoundly wrong. Now he says that “the international community must use this recess in the Geneva talks to determine how best . . . to find a political solution.” But more appeals to the world will not end Syria’s nightmare or the growing threat it poses to vital U.S. interests. That can be addressed only by a new U.S. policy, one that aims at directly weakening the Assad regime’s ability to wage war and that strengthens the moderate forces opposing it and al-Qaeda. It won’t happen in Geneva.
HeRe is an Urdu proverb often used to greet Pakistanis who display an elastic relationship with time: “You have arrived late,” it says, roughly translated, “but it is good that you arrived.” The three judges presiding over the trial of General Pervez Musharraf may have had that saying in mind on Tuesday, when, after months of delay, Musharraf finally appeared before them. Pakistan’s former military ruler has been charged with treason for his decision, in November, 2007, to suspend the constitution and impose a state of emergency—a desperate, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to hold on to power. The panel of judges, which was named last November, had already met twenty-two times without the General’s participation. Many previous appointments had been frustrated at the last minute. On both Christmas eve and New Year’s Day, Musharraf’s appearances were cancelled after the suspicious discovery of explosives near his Mediterranean-style villa on the outskirts of Islamabad. The explosives were somehow both amateurishly rigged and expertly unearthed. Six weeks ago, when he did manage to leave his home for another court hearing, Musharraf suddenly fell ill on the way; his car was swiftly diverted to a military hospital, where he has remained since. The nature of his illness is still disputed. Musharraf’s lawyers argued that their client was in need of immediate medical attention abroad, an excuse long favored by Pakistani politicians eager to evade prosecution. But other medical experts said that, at seventy, Musharraf was merely suffering the gentle depredations of age. Details from a leaked medical report said that he was beset by nine different ailments, including hypertension, a clogged artery, a rickety knee, and some trouble with his spine. The withering response to these reports provides some sense of Musharraf’s badly diminished stature in Pakistan: one well-known journalist, Murtaza Solangi, seized on the last detail with a stinging proclamation of disbelief. “How can you have spinal issues,” he tweeted, “when you don’t have a spine to begin with?” Musharraf’s lawyers have not taken kindly to the widespread suggestions that their client was afraid to face the court. At an earlier hearing, a journalist asked one lawyer, “Where is your commando?”—a reference to Musharraf’s service, forty years ago, in an elite special-forces unit. The lawyer, Ahmed Raza Kasuri, responded with characteristic pugilism, angrily calling the reporter a “paid” Indian agent. Musharraf’s lawyers have become well practiced in the tactics of diversion and delay. On Tuesday, their client strode into court, wearing a black jacket and looking well rested, the worst of his illness apparently behind him. Twenty minutes later, Musharraf left the courtroom without receiving the indictment that had been expected: his lawyers pleaded that the court first had to rule on whether a case against a former Army chief could be heard in a civilian rather than a military court. The judges, who have earned a reputation for studied caution, suggested that the trial reconvene on Friday, when Musharraf is expected to be read the charges against him. Among local reporters, who have covered every dramatic postponement in the case, the staggered court proceedings were likened to an interminable Turkish soap opera. After leaving the court, the former Army chief slipped back into one of the seventeen vehicles in his heavily-guarded cavalcade and drove, past more than one thousand policemen lining the road, back to the military hospital. Musharraf faces serious threats to his life from an array of dangerous militants, and he deserves adequate protection. But the ostentatious display of force also suggests that his powerful successors in the Army have taken him under their protection. According to many military analysts, they are deeply uncomfortable with one of their longest-serving chiefs being put on trial—raising the prospect of a possible
clash between Pakistan’s generals and its elected civilian leaders if Musharraf is ultimately convicted. Musharraf’s greatest misfortune is that Nawaz Sharif, the man he ousted when he seized power in a military coup in October, 1999, has returned to government. Last year, Sharif was elected Prime Minister for an unprecedented third time, still bearing the scars of his ignominious exit fourteen years before. Soon after taking office, last June, Sharif appeared in Parliament to announce that the government would try Musharraf for “high treason”—defined as any attempt to subvert or suspend the constitution. After Musharraf deposed him, Sharif was hurled into a cell in a sixteenth-century fort along with some of his closest political lieutenants, and later dispatched into exile, where he remained for seven years. Critics argue that Sharif is motivated solely by revenge and that, given the circumstances, Musharraf cannot possibly obtain a fair trial. But Musharraf’s detractors are not only in the parliament: the judiciary is similarly ill-disposed toward the former military ruler. In 2007, Musharraf triggered his own downfall by sacking the sitting chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry. When the country’s lawyers united behind a massive movement to restore the judge to the bench, Musharraf’s public support plummeted. A few months later, fearing that Chaudhry would retaliate by challenging his hold on power through the courts, Musharraf—acting as Army chief—suspended the constitution, sacked Chaudhry again, and put sixty other judges under house arrest. This declaration of emergency, on November 3rd, 2007, is what Musharraf is now being tried for. “It was a unique kind of constitutional subversion,” said Salman Akram Raja, a leading lawyer and constitutional expert. “A coup against his own government.” That evening, clutches of policemen cradling rusty rifles toured Islamabad in trucks, scooping up troublesome lawyers and politicians. The lively private television news channels that had also turned against Musharraf went blank. There were no tanks on the street, but the Islamabad police dropped barriers athwart government buildings. In a blunt display of symbolism, Constitution Avenue was blocked. Musharraf appears to have few regrets. In the final week of 2013, days before he was due to appear in court, the pensioned dictator invited sympathetic interviewers to question him on television. “everything I did was for the country, for Pakistan,” Musharraf said in one interview, slipping into his favored bullet-point style. “I was at the helm of affairs,” he boomed, raising a clenched fist. “The state of the country is one way, the constitution is the other. What should I have done? Should I have run?” In the interview, Musharraf displayed few signs of the incipient illness that would prevent him from appearing in court a month later. His only visible symptom was an inflamed sense of self-importance. “First thing, number one: I’m no ordinary citizen,” he said, rather modestly. “This is something to be understood. From where did God raise me? From a middle-class home, he made me Army chief, chairman, Prime Minister, President.” Musharraf seems to be propelled by the belief that he is still his country’s savior: there is no other explanation for his decision to return to Pakistan last year from his comfortable exile in London, despite the best advice of his erstwhile allies in both government and the Army. When he arrived in Karachi, Musharraf told a modest-sized welcoming crowd that he had come to “save Pakistan.” The world, however, had moved on. At the elections, his party won just a single seat. The supporters who had once crowded around him at the height of his popularity fled to rival parties. The Pakistani Army had long urged Musharraf not to return. The former Army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who stepped down last November, believed that his predecessor’s plunge back into politics would invite legal troubles and damage the Army’s image. In this, he was correct: the Army is now trying to fend off a crisis it never wanted in the first place. However much it has since distanced itself from Musharraf’s ruinous legacy,
it nevertheless cannot abide one of its own former chiefs being convicted for treason. According to Pakistan’s constitution, anyone found guilty of suspending the constitution is, by definition, a traitor. The army finds this language inflammatory, and particularly galling when applied to the former chief of an institution that has long seen itself as the ultimate guardian of Pakistan’s security. Furthermore, the new Army chief, General Raheel Sharif (no relation to the Prime Minister), has a longstanding family connection to Musharraf. His brother, the war hero Major Shabbir Sharif, was a close friend of the man now on trial. To honor that bond, one senior politician told me, General Sharif ordered the Army to take Musharraf under its protection. To complicate matters further, the army remains uneasy with the government’s decision to pursue negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban, particularly at a moment when the militants are killing Pakistani troops. Last month, when twenty soldiers were killed in the frontier town of Bannu, General Sharif responded with immense force. For a moment, it looked as if Pakistan was about to mount a sweeping offensive against the Taliban. But the government used the threat of further force to lure the militants to the negotiating table. The Taliban have been quick to exploit the new space yielded to them. Their chosen interlocutors have spent much of the past fortnight diverting attention away from the question of terrorism and toward the far more urgent matter of whether Pakistan has a truly “Islamic” form of government. Meanwhile, the bombings have continued: in Peshawar, cinemas and pro-government tribal elders have been attacked. In Karachi, eleven policemen were killed. Three different media organizations were either attacked by bombs or threatened with them. And on Sunday night, the Taliban beheaded twenty-three soldiers in their custody. This last act of savagery frayed the military’s patience with what it has long seen as a dangerous inclination to indulge the Taliban. Just after midnight on Thursday, fighter jets bombed targets in North Waziristan, a tribal area along the Afghan border notorious for its concentration of militants, while gunship helicopters strafed their allies in the nearby Khyber agency. The new fighting, which signals the end of talks with the Taliban, and perhaps a wider military offensive, diminishes the odds of Musharraf’s trial continuing. As one retired general told me, soldiers cannot be expected to die for the country while their former chief is on trial for treason. “If the offensive against the Taliban starts,” he said, “the Army will be pulled in two different directions. It will be fighting on one front and facing a media trial of their former chief on the other. That will make the situation very tense.” Many observers feel that Pakistan faces too many other problems right now—terrorism, a crushing energy crisis, a torpid economy—to devote its attention to punishing an already-chastened Musharraf. Members of Prime Minister Sharif’s government say that he doesn’t want to prolong Musharraf’s ordeal. He merely wants a conviction for the record: something that helps him to even the score, and that will stand as a warning to any future generals tempted to promote themselves into power. If Musharraf is convicted, Sharif may opt to issue a swift pardon, clearing a route for Musharraf from his maze of legal miseries straight to Islamabad’s international airport. either way, it seems, Musharraf will soon leave Pakistan once again and return to his life as a discarded strongman in exile. As his failed attempt to restore himself to glory in Pakistan nears its undignfied end, it is hard to avoid thinking of Gabriel García Márquez’s fictional account of the last days of Simón Bolívar—a once-admired general who had been fêted around the world but spent his last days yearning for exile in europe. “Let’s go, as fast as we can,” the forlorn protagonist tells his companion on the first page of “The General in His Labyrinth.” “Nobody loves us here.” Omar Waraich is a foreign correspondent covering Pakistan.
10 BUSINESS 63pc work completes on Neelum-Jhelum project ISLAMABAD: Around 63 percent work has already been completed on the ongoing 969 MW Neelum- Jhelum Hydropower Project and all out efforts are being made to complete it before its schedule time, 2016, as directed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Official sources told APP that work on the project was in full swing and upon completion Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project would contribute 5.15 billion units of cheap electricity to the national grid. The annual benefits accruing from the project have been estimated at Rs 45 billion, they added. Neelum Jhelum Hydroelectric Project (NJHEP) is located in the vicinity Muzaffarabad. It envisages the diversion of Neelum river water through a tunnel outfalling into Jhelum River. The intake Neelum Jhelum is at Nauseri, 41 km east of Muzaffarabad, and has installed capacity of 969 MW. The sources said it was an important project for generation of low-cost power and the government was exploring all possible avenues to solve the energy crisis under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif. The government is also focusing on optimum development of renewable sources of energy particularly hydel, coal, wind, solar and biomass. They said the government was not only launching new projects in the hydropower sector but also taking steps to expedite the construction work on the ongoing projects. The sources said that WAPDA was working on a three-pronged strategy to harness the hydropower potential in the country under the directions of the federal government. They said the country possessed an identified potential of more than 60,000 MW of hydropower generation, adding the phased induction of this potential would even out the energy mix, lower power tariff and provide relief to the common man. He said the government wanted to start Diamer Basha Dam and Dasu Hydropower Project simultaneously and together with Bunji Hydropower Project, these projects would add a total of 15,000 MW of cheap and environmentfriendly electricity to the national grid. APP
Monday, 24 February, 2014
Russia wants more trade with Pakistan B KARACHI
ILATERAL trade between Russia and Pakistan should be much more than the present $500 million as it does not reflect the potential of economic relations between the two countries. Russian Federation Consul General Oleg N Avdeev said this at a dinner hosted in his honour by Chairman Pakistan Russia Business Council of FPCCI Muhammad Farooq Afzal. The Russian envoy said he would avail this opportunity to speak on bilateral relations, particularly trade and economy. Avdeev said trade between Russia and Pakistan was increasing at a slow pace. He said the potential was great, but had not been tapped in full. Various efforts were underway to improve the situation but the progress was not impressive. He said he had high hopes that the bilateral commission on trade and economy relations which was to meet later this year would strive to improve matters but stressed
HE world runs on energy - the change from animal to wind power has changed the face of the earth forever. Life as we know it today is impossible without the use of energy. From transport to communication, from agriculture to medicine, from cradle to grave, modern man is totally dependent on energy to provide the goods and services he needs. As a result, energy resources are now more important than ever before. Fossil fuels, which have been instrumental in taking mankind from an agrarian society to a modern technological and information-based society of the 21st century, are depleting. This has brought into light the need for newer energy sources. The world is conscious of the need to find new and renewable sources of energy, but finding the right solution is not easyeverything comes at a price. With the present state of scientific development, almost every source of alternate energy has one or more negatives that balance out the positives. Nuclear technology has a high yield of energy. It does not pollute the environment and does not contribute to global warming. However, it has the potential for unimaginable disaster. There have been many nuclear accidents in the past, such as the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant accident and the Chernobyl disaster. The problem, once a nuclear disaster takes place, is to pre-
dynamic leadership and valuable advices would play a role in the promotion of bilateral trade between both countries. He said the business community in Pakistan and Russia appreciated the endeavors made by the Pakistan Russia Business Council of FPCCI to establish politico-economic ties and perceives it as the vista of fresh opportunities to augment bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Russia. Afzal said Pak-Russia Business Council of FPCCI in collaboration with Ecom-
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and MCR Pvt Ltd Franchise of international food chain of Pizza Hut, Burger King and TGIF for the territory of Pakistan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to impart vocational training to the BISP beneficiaries and to provide trained labour work force to the food industry. The signing ceremony between the BISP and MCR was held here in MCR Head Office. BISP Chairman Enver Baig and Aqeel Hasan, CEO MCR Pvt Ltd, signed the MOU. During the ceremony, the BISP chairman said this historic signing of MoU would enable the beneficiaries of BISP to earn a modest living through their job placement in one of the biggest food chains in the country. He said the vision of prime minister of Pakistan was to empower youth and BISP was taking the lead in fulfilling this mission by increasing the employment opportunities for poorest of the poor youth of Pakistan.
vent the fallout from contaminating other areas. Although the International Atomic Energy Agency has come up with resolutions on nuclear safety, there is always the threat of a disaster. Furthermore, the installation cost of power plants is high, and many developing countries cannot afford to use this type of technology. Wind turbines can be used to provide energy to remote areas that are not connected to the national electricity grid. The turbines are powered by wind, which is a free, renewable resource. Furthermore, wind energy does not contribute to pollution or global warming. Despite these advantages, it is still not in use in many areas. This is because it has many disadvantages associated with it as well. The installation cost of wind turbines is very high. Many turbines are needed to provide enough energy for a small town. So, these ‘wind farms’ are not aesthetically pleasing. Wind turbines are also very noisy. In fact, each turbine is as noisy as a large car travelling at over 50mph. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, wind power is unreliable because wind speeds are not constant. When wind speeds are high, there is a higher output. When wind speeds are low, the output is very low. At some times, there is no output at all. Hydro-electric power is advantageous in that after installation, the running cost is quite low. For this power to be harnessed, dams are built which are useful for flood control. They also create reservoirs, which are tourist attractions. Unfortunately, dams require certain topographical conditions to
merce Gateway Pakistan Ltd, Karachi, and OJSC “Exposition Hall ‘Elektrifikatsiya, Moscow is organising the 1st Russian Expo 2014 - Karachi, scheduled on June11-12, 2014 in Karachi He said the Russian Expo -2014 will be a onestop shop for heavy and light industry products from processing technology and ingredients to finished products. Hence, the event will be a wonderful opportunity for Russian firms to present various industrial products and technology to potential Pakistani buyers which includes Iron and steel, Chemicals, Energy and Power, Oil and Gas, Wood pulp and paper, Electrical and power equipments, Aviation, Railway, Transport, Shipyard, & road Building Technology, Cooperation in IT industry/technology and Agro-based industry. "In 2015, we will organise a single country exhibition of Pakistan in Russia," he said.
ECO’s RPC meeting opens in Tehran
PIZZA HUT TO TRAIN BISP BENEFICIARIES
IN SEARCH OF ENERGY SOLUTIONS NAusHERwAN AHmEd AAmIR
the need for private enterprise to play its role in promoting and increasing bilateral trade. He asked Pakistani businessmen to establish contacts with their counterparts in Russia. Avdeev said he fully supported the idea of a single country exhibition for Russia and pledged all assistance in this respect. He said he fully backed the FPCCI suggestion to send a Pakistani businessmen delegation to Russia. He told Pakistani entrepreneurs that he would always welcome their advice on how to enhance Pakistan Russia trade, as it was only through joint efforts that the Pakistan Russia trade relationship would prosper. Chairman Pakistan Russia Business Council of FPDCCI Muhammad Farooq Afzal in his address welcomed the Russian Consul General to Karachi and thanked him for his views. He said both Pakistan and Russia needed to take sincere and concentrated efforts as the bilateral trade and investment between the two countries remained below potential. He added the Pakistani business community sincerely hopes that Avdeev’s
On the occasion, Aqeel Hasan, CEO, said that MCR was the largest group in food industry and they were operating international brands – Pizza Hut, Burger King and TGIF throughout Pakistan. He said that they were committed to provide job placement to their qualified BISP beneficiaries. He said the BISP was doing tremendous job in poverty reduction through job placement and they were proud to become a partner with BISP. The main objective of the MoU is poverty reduction through job placement of successful trainees of BISP’s Vocational and Training Programme and provision of trained labor work force to the food industry and minimization of the shortage of skilled work force. Skills development on job training (OJT) would be provided to the beneficiaries by MCR and their placement in job market will be ensured by them.
be built. They are useful only when built on strong, impermeable rocks high up in deep, narrow valleys. Also, although there is no pollution or global warming caused by hydro-electric power, there is an ecological loss. The seasonal migration of fish is affected by dams. For a country like Pakistan, there are economic implications as well. There is less water in water channels downstream and this means that agricultural activities are adversely affected. Tidal energy is also non-polluting and does not contribute to global warming. It is beneficial because unlike most of the other sources of energy, tides are reliable. Also, since the turbines used for power generation are submerged underwater, it does not cause visual pollution. However, it can only be used in certain areas with the favorable conditions. Ironically, the turbines can be damaged by very strong tides. Marine life is also disturbed. Altogether, the usage of the sea for other economic activities is limited due to the installation of turbines. Geothermal energy is renewable and reliable. Once the setup is complete, energy can be provided at all times at a very cheap rate. However, installation and maintenance of the water pipes and turbines is costly. Furthermore, water has to be pumped down below the Earth’s surface continuously for a continuing supply of energy. Geothermal energy can cause an ecological loss as the temperature of the soil, and the close environment increases. Solar power is the promise of the future because of its many benefits. It is not region specific- it can be harnessed anywhere in the world. Solar panels are quite efficient and solar power is practically free after the
installation of the panels. In addition to this, this technology is non-polluting. However, solar power cannot be provided at night, or on cloudy days. As of now, it is capital intensive and prohibitively expensive. The latest source of alternative energy is biofuels. Biofuels are a clean source of energy. They do not contribute to global warming. They are biodegradable, and so do not cause environmental pollution. Furthermore, they can be used as fuel for vehicles. Brazil has been using gasohol, as mixture of alcohol and gasoline, quite successfully. Unfortunately, all is not well with this solution either. To make more biofuels, more trees have to cut down. This results in climate change. Another adverse effect is that with millions of tons of edible
The 24th Regional Planning Council meeting (RPC) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) kicked off on Sunday with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi in the chair. ECO Secretary-General Shamil Aleskerov and the ECO members will attend the four-day event. ECO comprises 10 member states including Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The council meeting will consider previous decisions and devise further steps to promote linkages and trade between the member countries.
corn and edible oil ending up in biofuel, the price of food (corn and cooking oil) has become more than twice as much as it was only a few years ago. The bulk of the burden of higher food prices is being felt by the poor and down-trodden of this world, who were already suffering under the yolk of poverty. So it can be seen that the problem of finding a clean, safe, renewable and economical alternate fuel is of prime importance. In the words of Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, “To truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.”
Monday, 24 February, 2014
If you're not active today, you may wonder what you can do to change that. Make sure that you've got multiple options in case anything falls through, and you should be right where you want to be.
This is not a good time to take risks. In fact, you should probably play it as safe as you can, or you may find that you start to drift backwards financially or in other ways. Let others take the heat!
You have got to move today -- in one way or another. Take action at work, ask out that hottie or plan for a big change in your life. Your energy is better spent acting than thinking.
Focus on your own needs today -- things are getting harder, but you can nurture your own talents so that things start to get a lot better quickly. Your friends and family can wait for one more day.
You could have fun doing almost anything today -- so make sure that you're staying focused. The drudge work you've been putting off could be made into a game or a group activity.
Your inner being is pushing you to do something new and untested, but you know perfectly well that it won't work out -- and why, for that matter. Wait for another opportunity.
You are exploring more than just your immediate surroundings. You're checking out the psychic landscape and drifting far and wide over this world -and any other that seems appealing. Enjoy the view!
Something seems risky -- because it is! Your personal energy is better spent on things that are safe and cozy, like home chores or snuggling with your sweetie. Get back in the fast lane tomorrow!
Try not to get too wrapped up in ego issues, but it's hard to miss the waves of admiration coming your way today. At work, at school or in the neighborhood, people are taking notice of your best features.
Your idealistic side is making itself known in a dramatic fashion today, so make sure that you're pushing for what's right. You may not come out ahead, but the moral high ground has a great view.
You've got friends who can do almost anything -- so don't be afraid to tap into your network! It's a really good day for polishing up your resume or your profile, and asking for recommendations.
Exercise your authority early today, so you don't have to deal with conflict or chaos later on. Things should start to ease up pretty soon, but if you're not at least a little uncomfortable, you're taking a risk.
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.
blunder brink chaste chocolate clean croak delicious dill expert faith finale glove great hatch hedges hotel latch league marathon mists miter mower
neat object plate premium rebound rent rust scheme scope segment shell siren start streak tart tiger time title toots
pick yoUr finesse
chess White tO PLAY AND MAte iN five MOveS 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
1.rxe8+ bxe8 2.f5 Qg5 3.bxg7+ Qxg7 4.f6 Qf8 5.bxc6 *
dOwn 1 relax (informal) (5,3) 2 nebula (anag) (6) 3 wrongful — discriminatory (6) 4 hit hard (on the head?) (4) 6 identify — know (9) 7 hopeless endeavour (4,5) 12 deplete of all resources through excessive demands (5,3) 14 stew of meat and sliced potatoes (6) 15 slave to a habit (6) 17 prophetic sign (4)
5 balding (4,2,3) 8 calf meat (4) 9 flight data recorder (5,3) 10 prairie wolf (6) 11 reduction in the cost (6) 13 informer (6) 15 ruthless cutter of costs (informal) (6) 16 divers (8) 18 elan (4) 19 thick, sweet spread (5,4)
Monday, 24 February, 2014
HOOKAH IS NOT HARMLESS, EXPERTS SAY
mOkING hookah can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. "The cooled and sweetened flavor of hookah tobacco makes it more enticing to kids and they falsely believe it's less harmful," Tracey E. Barnett from the University of Florida in Gainesville told a foreign news agency. Barnett has studied the recent rise in teen hookah smoking. She was not involved in the new review, published in Respiratory medicine. "One-time use can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or other diseases, including but not limited to tuberculosis, herpes, respiratory illnesses including the flu, and long-term use can lead to heart disease and many cancers," Barnett said. Smoking with a hookah, or "shisha," device has become increasingly common in Europe and the Western Hemisphere in recent years. The practice rose to prominence on the Indian subcontinent among Hindus in the 15th Century and subsequently spread through the Ottoman Empire. According to one estimate, about 100 million people worldwide smoke hookah each day. Though the water-pipe device with its series of tubes and mouthpieces looks nothing like a cigarette, it is almost always used to smoke tobacco, and as such carries many of the dangers inherent in cigarette smoking. "While water is a filter, it does not filter out any of the toxins," Barnett said. The new review brings together the results of several studies on addiction, lung damage and health dangers associated with hookah smoking. According to the World Health Organization, one hookah session typically
lasts 20 to 80 minutes and a hookah user may inhale as much smoke during one session as a cigarette smoker would from smoking 100 or more cigarettes. The review authors, led by Dr. Ruben Blachman-Braun of Universidad Anahuac in Huixquilucan, mexico, cite another study which found nicotine levels in the urine of daily hookah smokers were equivalent to levels in people smoking 10 cigarettes per day, more than enough to spark addiction. In the existing scientific literature, hookah has been linked with health problems including chronic bronchitis, lung
NEW ONLINE TOOL TRACKS TREE LOSS IN 'NEAR REAL TIME'
A new global monitoring system has been launched that promises "near real time" information on deforestation around the world. Global Forest Watch (GFW) is backed by Google and over 40 business and campaigning groups. It uses information from hundreds of millions of satellite images as well as data from people on the ground. Businesses have welcomed the new database as it could help them prove that their products are sustainable. Despite greater awareness around of the world of the impacts of deforestation, the scale of forest loss since 2000 has been significant - Data from Google and the University of Maryland says the world lost 230 million hectares of trees between 2000 and 2012. Forest campaigners say this is the equivalent of 50 football fields of trees being cut down, every minute of every day over the past 12 years. One of the big problems in dealing with tree loss has been a lack of accurate information. Over the same time period as all these trees were lost, around 800,000 sq km of new forest was planted. To tackle the dearth of reliable and up to date information, the US based World Resources Institute (WRI) has lead the development of GFW, using half a billion high resolution images from Nasa's Landsat programme. The system utilises the cloud computing power of the Google Earth Engine, the Google Maps Engine and new algorithms developed by the University of Maryland. While high resolution images of global tree loss and gain are updated annually, data on tropical forests at a resolution of 500 metres is updated monthly. "Global Forest Watch is a near-real time monitoring platform that will fundamentally change the way people and businesses manage forests," said Dr Andrew Steer from WRI. "From now on, the bad guys cannot hide and the good guys will be recognized for their stewardship." The GFW technology will allow campaigners and local communities to upload information, pictures and videos from vulnerable forest areas around the world. The technology is said to be easy to use and will incorporate information showing protected areas, logging, mining and palm oil concessions and daily forest fire alerts from Nasa. The tool will be aimed at politicians and decision makers but also at indigenous groups. BBC
cancer, oral cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and pregnancy complications similar to those seen with cigarette smoking. It has also been tied to the hepatitis C virus and herpes from sharing mouthpieces. In one 2013 study in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, researchers treated cells from the lining of human lungs with tobacco and non-tobacco smoke from a water pipe smoking machine. They found that smoke from a hookah pipe slows down and stunts lung production regardless of whether the smoke came from a tobacco or tobacco-free product. People don't generally seem to under-
stand just how dangerous hookah smoking can be, said Adrienne J. Heinz. She studies alcohol and drug use patterns at the Stanford University School of medicine in California and was not involved in the new review. "In casual conversations with friends and patients - folks often appreciate that smoking anything comes with risks," Heinz said. "However, hookah is certainly viewed as more benign, and when you share general facts about toxin exposure in one hookah session, it often shocks and surprises them." Results of an online survey of more than 5,000 college students, also published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research in 2013, indicated that more than 10 percent of college students had recently smoked hookah, which was the most widely used of non-cigarette tobacco products. A similar study using online questionnaires of college students found 13 percent of them tried hookah for the first time in one seven-month period, and those who had less apprehension about the dangers were more likely to try it. It's easy to see why people might be surprised at the dangers of hookah, since there haven't been public health campaigns to raise awareness of hookah risks the way there have been campaigns about cigarette smoking, Heinz said. "There is also the misconception that because hookah sessions tend to be less frequent than smoking a cigarette, and because hookah is smoked through a water chamber, that the practice is safer," she said. Hookah is deemed more socially acceptable than other forms of smoking, Barnett said. But people should not think of hookah as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, she said. news desk
DUTCH SCIENTISTS FLAP TO THE FUTURE WITH 'INSECT' DRONE Dutch scientists have developed the world's smallest autonomous flapping drone, a dragonfly-like beast with 3-D vision that could revolutionise our experience of everything from pop concerts to farming. "This is the DelFly Explorer, the world's smallest drone with flapping wings that's able to fly around by itself and avoid obstacles," its proud developer Guido de Croon of the Delft Technical University told a foreign news agency. Weighing just 20 grammes (less than an ounce), around the same as four sheets of printer paper, the robot dragonfly could be used in situations where much heavier quadcopters with spinning blades would be hazardous, such as flying over the audience to film a concert or sport event. The Explorer looks like a large dragonfly or grasshopper as it flitters about the room, using two tiny low-resolution video cameras -- reproducing the 3-D vision of human eyes -- and an on-board computer to take in its surroundings and avoid
crashing into things. And like an insect, the drone which has a wingspan of 28 centimetres (11 inches), would feel at home flying around plants. "It can for instance also be used to fly around and detect ripe fruit in greenhouses," De Croon said, with an eye on the Netherlands' vast indoor fruit-growing business. "Or imagine, for the first time there could be an autonomous flying fairy in a theme park," he said. While smaller "flapping" drones exist, such as the RoboBee developed by students at Harvard University in the United States, they are tethered for power, control and processing, and thus far from autonomous. The Explorer has its own small lithium polymer battery that allows it to fly for around nine minutes, while it "sees" with its onboard processor and a specially-developed algorithm to make instant decisions. news desk
FaShion crime JUDGE HALTS TRIAL AFTER BLASTING DEFENCE LAWYER FOR NOT WEARING A TIE
A judge halted a trial because he accused a defence lawyer of a "lack of decency and respect" for not wearing a TIE. The hearing for an assault case at a court in Chubut, southern Argentina, was halted because of a crime of fashion. Judge Daniel Arguiano scolded one of the lawyers for the defendant because he had no tie. The furious judge was unhappy by the "lack of decency and respect" shown to the court by the wardrobe malfunction. The criminal trial began after a two hour delay so the lawyer could get properly dressed. OnLIne
MAN’S BEST FRIEND HACHIKO’S BOLIVIAN COUNTERPART MOURNS DEATH OF HUMAN COMPANION FOR FIVE YEARS
Huachito is an extremely faithful Bolivian dog, named after his famous Japanese counterpart, Hachiko. Just like Hachiko, who stunned the world with his loyalty to his dead owner, Huachito is mourning the death of his beloved human friend. Huachito, ‘Huachi’, or simply ‘Hachi’ to some, is of an unknown breed. This remarkable dog has surprised the residents of Pope Paul Avenue, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where he comes daily and waits for his master to return. Unfortunately, the dog’s owner passed away five years ago in a tragic accident. According to Roman Lujan Bilbao, a local butcher, “It should be about five years since the owner died in a motorcycle accident. The dog has come and stood here ever since.” The locals have taken to feeding and caring for the dog while it waits patiently. The story goes that in happier times, ‘Huachito’ would follow a young man riding a bike around the Avenue every day. The bike was hit by a taxi one morning, and its rider died on the way to the hospital. Ever since, Huachito has been roaming the streets, expecting to find his friend again. Sometimes, he is unable to contain his disappointment and lets out miserable howls. Every time a bike passes by, he barks frantically, thinking that it might be his master. news desk
Monday, 24 February, 2014
Sultan Rahi’s wax statue to grace Madame Tussauds LAHORE NEWS DESK
Ever watched a film and felt this person deserves a waxwork at Madame Tussauds? Well, that is exactly how I felt for the late legendary actor Sultan Rain, a Pakistani legend. The idea came to a fan while he was watching Maula Jat in London and a particular scene where Sultan Rahi visits Madame Tussauds. While there, he surprises his co-star, Aasia, with his waxwork. But that is not the reason why the fan wishes to see a waxwork of him - oh no. Sultan Rahi made an immense contribution to Pakistani cinema and his work speaks volumes. He is reportedly
I WILL NEVER GET BACK TO STUDIES: ALIA BHATT
NEWS DESK Actor Alia Bhatt entered Bollywood right after school in 2012, with Karan Johar’s Student of the Year. But the fact that she couldn’t attend college doesn’t bother Alia. “I never regret that I haven’t gone to college to study,” she says, adding, “I have no plans to get back to studies and I am 100 per cent sure about it.” She says she’d rather learn something she wants to, than studying for a degree. “I am very happy with my life and my career in Bollywood. I believe that I’d in-
stead focus on learning acting and filmmaking, instead of studying for a degree,” says Alia, daughter of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and actor Soni Razdan. The 20-year-old is now focusing on work and says there is no time for anything else, even relationships. “I am just too busy with my career to think about love or being in a relationship. Having said that, I’m not opposed to the idea of being in love,” says Alia, who was recently romantically linked to actor Arjun Kapoor. Both Arjun and Alia star in the upcoming film, 2 States, based on Chetan Bhagat’s 2009 novel by the same name. The young actor also doesn’t get bothered by petty controversies. For instance, when on filmmaker Karan Johar’s TV chat show Koffee With Karan, the guests were asked to choose a better actor between Parineeti Chopra and Alia, most of them picked Parineeti. But Alia takes it in her stride. “Some people took Parineeti’s name, while some took mine. I think it is childish to think I will feel bad about this whole thing,” says Alia.
Mandela’s family to attend Oscars for U2 performance
‘Frozen’ named best animated feature at 2014 Annie Awards
Angelina Jolie is the highest-paid movie female actor in Hollywood. She is said to have earned $33 million in 2013. The Oscar winner was the top-earning female actor, according to figures in a report compiled by the Women’s Media Center, reports eonline.com. Among the actors, Robert Downey Jr. has
Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux spark split rumours
‘Friends’ star Jennifer Aniston and her fiance Justin Theroux have sparked split rumours as the couple are reportedly dealing with a rough patch in their relationship. The split rumours began to swirl when Theroux did not attent the actress’ 45th birthday on February 11 in LA, which she celebrated with close friends while ‘The Charlies Angels’ star attended a party at the Deth Killers store in New York city. “Justin asked Jen to come to New York City but she declined, citing the cold weather. She wanted to be in sunny Southern California with her friends,” a source said. “It’s absolutely indicative of the status of Jen and Justin’s relationship. There is absolutely no wedding talk or planning going on,” the source added. The couple reportedly have not been seen together since Christmas. “The fact that Jen didn’t go to New York for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral and to comfort Justin is another sign that their relationship is in trouble,” the source said. “Her camp said Jen couldn’t go because of ongoing talks for her to be in an upcoming independent movie. Jen’s agent was brokering the deal, she wasn’t required to stay in Los Angeles,” the source added. NEWS DESK
Dhawan to pay tribute to MJ
ELSon Mandela’s daughters will be attending the Academy Awards to see U2 perform the oscar-nominated song ‘ordinary Love’ from ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’, a movie based on their father’s autobiography. His daughters, Zindzi and Zenani, said in a statement that the invitation to the oscars is especially meaningful to them because of how much their father loved watching movies, Deadline.com reported. The duo added that ‘ordinary Love’ was inspired by the beautiful letters their father and mother, Winnie Mandela, exchanged while he was imprisoned at Robben Island. AGENCIES
NEWS DESK Disney`s `Frozen` won five trophies including the coveted best animated feature at the 41st annual Annie Awards. The family-oriented musical comedy voiced by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel won over `Despicable Me 2`, `Ernest & Celestine`, `Monsters University`, `The Croods`, `The Wind Rises`, and `A Letter to Momo`. Apart from this, `Frozen` helmers Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee received a recognition for their excellent direction in the animated series. The movie was also honoured for having an engaging music by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Christophe Beck.
MEET HOLLYWOOD’S TOP EARNERS NEWS DESK
mentioned in Guinness World Records; acted in over 700 Punjabi films: won over 100 film awards, and gave hits like Maula Jat, Sher Khan, Chan Veryam, and lots more. Earlier this year, the fan contacted Madame Tussauds to notify them, that a Sultan Rahi waxwork would be a great addition and very popular among its South Asian visitors. He was later informed that, they received thousands of various requests from people each year and they would consider his request towards the end of the year when they plan for the 2015 waxworks. They have, as a result, added Sultan Rahi’s ICI in their ‘figure request list’ which is a great news for the Pakistani legend. Well, fingers crossed, if all goes well, a waxwork of Sultan Rahi could be coming to Madame Tussauds.
topped the list with an earning of $75 million — making more than twice as much as his female counterpart did. Jennifer Lawrence was second highest earning female actress, followed by Kristen Stewart ($21.5 million), Jennifer Aniston ($20 million) and Emma Stone ($16 million). Among the male actors, Robert Downey Jr. has topped the list with an earning of $75 million.
Following him is Channing Tatum with $60 million, while Hugh Jackman was next with $55 million, and they are followed by Mark Wahlberg with $51 million. Then there is Dwayne Johnson, ahead of Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington and Liam Neeson, who rounded off the top 10 names among the men.
Josh Gad, who voiced olaf the hilarious snowman was awarded the Voice Acting prize in animated feature. `The Croods` bagged three awards for its Animated Effects, Character Animation, and Character Design, while `Monster University` was honoured with two awards for Storyboarding and Editorial. Among the non-animated works which bagged an award was `Pacific Rim` and `The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey`. While the former won Animated Effects in a Live Action Production award, the later was lauded for its Character Animation. The 41st Annie Awards took place on February 1.
Michael Jackson is one star who everyone is a fan of. Well, one such avid fan of MJ is none other than our young heartthrob Varun Dhawan. What we recently hear is that Varun Dhawan is a very big fan of MJ and in his forthcoming film ‘Main Tera Hero’ has paid tribute to him in his style. Buzz is that the actor made a special request to Bosco-Ceasar the choreographers of the song to add few signature steps of MJ. Confirming the news, a source close to the team said, ‘Varun really admires Michael Jackson and he requested to add few famous steps like the Moonwalk, pelvic thrust in all the 4 songs of the film. In fact even Bosco-Ceasar agreed instantly as they too are big fans of MJ and wanted to pay him a tribute in their style.’ Well, we are sure that it would definitely be a treat to watch Varun Dhawan perform MJ’s signature steps in ‘Main Tera Hero’. NEWS DESK
14 SPORTS VIJAY ZOL HANDED ONE-MATCH BAN
Monday, 24 February, 2014
AustrAliA move into semis despite poorAn 143 Dubai
SPORTS DESK Vijay Zol, the India Under-19s captain, has received a one-match ban after being found guilty of using offensive language during the quarter-final against England Under19s in Dubai. Aamir Gani, the offspinner, was also found guilty of using obscene language and was reprimanded. Both players pleaded guilty of the charge laid by the onfield umpires. The incident involving Zol happened in the 30th over of the England innings, when he caught England top-scorer Ben Duckett at midwicket. Gani was reported by the on-field umpires after the bowler picked up the wicket of Ed Barnard in the 26th over. Both incidents were caught on camera. India, the defending champions, lost the tightlycontested match by three wickets. Zol will miss India's play-off match against Sri Lanka on February 24.
FROOME SEALS TOUR OF OMAN TITLE
T 70 for 8, Australia Under-19s looked like wrapping up West Indies Under-19s for a sub-100 total, until they ran into Nicolas Pooran, who played the innings of the tournament to lift his team to 208. The fightback went in vain as Australia coasted to victory by five wickets and set up a semifinal clash with South Africa on Wednesday. The alarming trend of top-order collapses continued at the Dubai International Stadium and on Monday it was West Indies' turn to suffer. Pooran, however, showed it was possible to bat 50 overs even after losing eight for nothing. The unsung hero was his partner Jerome Jones, who pitched a tent at the other end and ensured Pooran got as much strike as possible. Pooran's 143 constituted a staggering 69% of West Indies' runs. His stand of 136 with Jones was a record for the ninthwicket partnership in U-19 ODIs, and Jones contributed just 20. Of the 23 boundaries in West Indies' innings, Pooran hit 20, evidence of the control he had. He began by flicking Greg Walker to fine leg before clearing the in-
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the final stage of the Tour of Oman in a bunch sprint as Chris Froome claimed the stage race for the second year running. Christopher Juul Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo), Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) and Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare) were the chief protagonists in the main break of the day and had a 1:30 lead over the peloton after 94km. However they were reeled in with one kilometre of the race remaining. Greipel held off Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) and Sam Bennett (NetApp-Endura) to take the bunch sprint to win his third stage of the six stage race. Froome had assumed the GC lead by claiming Saturday's mountainous stage and had a trouble free run to finish safely in the bunch.
field on both sides of the wicket against the seamers. Pooran started farming the strike once Jones joined him at 70 for 8 but he showed enough trust in his partner's batting ability. Pooran turned down several singles and was successful in taking a single off the fourth ball on many occasions, letting Jones play the last two. The 50 stand took only 47 balls and Pooran faced 39 of those. His driving and
placement through the off side was crisp and the shot that stood out was his straight six off Walker, not just for the distance covered but also for the follow-through. Thomas Andrews was treated harshly, Pooran slogged him over deep midwicket and hit three sixes in the penultimate over. Pooran deftly flicked Ben Ashkenazi to fine leg to move to 95 and two runs later their stand swelled to 83, breaking
Dill, Markram take SA into semis AGENCIES
Australia Under-19s 209 for 5 (Morgan 55, Short 52) beat West Indies Under-19s 208 (Pooran 143, Walker 344) by five wickets
A four-wicket haul from the mediumpacer Justin Dill, and an an unbeaten century from the captain Aiden Markram powered South Africa Under-19s into the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup after they thumped Afghanistan Under19s by nine wickets in Sharjah. Afghanistan, batting first, began slowly as Kagiso Rabada removed the opener Mohammad Mujtaba for a duck in the third over, but Usman Ghani and
Ihsanullah counterattacked with a quick 46-run stand. Ghani blasted five fours and two sixes in his 30-ball 36, while Ihsanullah was more patient at the other end, taking 60 deliveries for his 30. However, wickets at regular intervals from Dill and Yaseen Valli stalled Afghanistan's slow progress. The Afghanistan captain Nasir Jamal topscored with 61, but none of the batsmen lasted long enough at the other end to build any substantial partnerships. Dill eventually finished with four scalps to take his tally in the tournament to 10, the
South Africa Under-19s 198 for 1 (Markram 105*, Christoffels 56*) beat Afghanistan Under-19s 197 (Nasir Jamal 61, Dill 4-40)
StAGE rESUlt 1 Andre Greipel (Ger) lotto-Belisol 3:25:41 2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr 3 Sam Bennett (Irl) NetApp-Endura 4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 5 Michael Morkov (Den) tinkoff-Saxo General Classification 1 Chris Froome (GBr) Sky 22:02:26 2 tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC 0:00:26 3 rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:00:31 4 Joaquim rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 0:00:48 5 robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin 0:00:57
joint second-highest, while Rabada and Valli shared four dismissals between them to restrict Afghanistan to 197. South Africa lost Clyde Fortuin for a run-a-ball 32 during the chase, but suffered no other casualty as Markram and Kirwin Christoffels combined for an unbroken second-wicket stand which yielded 158 runs. Markram finished on 105 not out, his second consecutive ton, while Christoffels remained unbeaten on 56 to collect his second half-century of the tournament. Markram said his second hundred was a sign that he was peaking at the right time for the team. The captain also expressed his satisfaction with the 'clinical' execution of plans against Afghanistan. "We played clinical cricket today," Markram said. "It was really good to see the guys executing the game plans that we discussed and making every opportunity count. The bowlers really set us up nicely and made it easier for the batsmen to come in and do what needed to be done. "On a personal note, I'm very happy to have scored another 100. There were times at the start of the tournament when I was a little frustrated with myself, but I'm glad that I'm peaking at the right time for the team." South Africa will now play Australia Under-19s in the second semi-final in Dubai on Wednesday, a match with interesting context given their clash in the last Under-19 World Cup. In 2012, the teams clashed in the semi-final and Australia marched into the final with a four-wicket win. According to Markram, avenging that loss would be an important goal for the team. "There's a bit of history there," he said. "We'll definitely be looking to avenge the last World Cup squad, but more than anything we want to win this for South Africa. Our country deserves an ICC trophy."
Pybus wants more matches for WI domestic cricketers SPORTS DESK Richard Pybus has said his responsibility as WICB's new director of cricket is to ensure the domestic cricketers in the region get a greater volume of matches to develop skills that prepare them for the rigours of international cricket. Speaking ahead of the new season of Regional Four Day Tournament, West Indies' first-class competition, Pybus said he also wanted the teams in the region to develop professional set-ups. "We need enough volume of games," Pybus said. "The Nagico Super50 was very exciting, but in reality, we need more games to give players more opportunities to put the numbers together in terms of volume of runs and volume of wickets taken, so
they can put pressure on the incumbents in the West Indies set-up and put the selectors under pressure. That is a huge priority for us. "We want to have professional set-ups like there are overseas in county cricket, state cricket and franchise cricket. We want to have professional setups where we have full-time staff who are supporting full-time players and that is the ultimate goal." Pybus, who has coached Pakistan and Bangladesh apart from a host of domestic teams around the world, added that there was enough depth of talent in the region and part of his plan was to professionalise the set-up to make sure the players are properly managed. He said such measures were important if West Indies were to compete with other international teams in the coming years.
"That is not going to make us the best side in the World," Pybus said. "If we were running a race it will be like us catching up to the top sides in the World. That is a key priority for us - to actually get to the starting line, so we can run an equal race. "We want to have a clear avenue for players who are playing first-class cricket to go on to play international cricket," he said. "First-class cricket is not the finishing school for international cricket. Our players need to be learning and growing their game so by the time they get to the international set-up, they will be up to the fitness standard, the skill-sets and the understanding of what is being a professional player." The Regional Four Day Tournament kicks off on February 28.
the record for the ninth wicket in U-19 one-dayers. He brought up his century with a flicked boundary to fine leg and had all but ensured that West Indies batted out 50 overs. Australia's fielding standards subsided as the partnership grew, with several fumbles and a run-out opportunity missed. Pooran had dug out a yorker and Jones charged out for the single but was sent back. The throw was too high. Pooran lost his middle stump in the final over and he walked back to warm gestures of appreciation from the Australians who each shook his hand. West Indies may not have managed a par score, but it was a fighting one, which also looked unlikely given how they had begun. Australia bowled five seamers in the first 25 overs and induced several mistakes. They stuck to fuller lengths but it was the extra pace and hint of movement that the batsmen found tough to negotiate. Billy Stanlake bowled one of the best deliveries of the tournament - a fast, inswinging yorker - to uproot Shimron Hetmeyer's middle stump. The left-hand opener barely had time to get his bat down to dig it out and the quality of the delivery was enough to dent the psyche of the rest.
GIGNAC SECURES LATE WIN FOR MARSEILLE
SPORTS DESK Andre-Pierre Gignac's late goal secured Marseille a valuable 1-0 win over Lorient at the Stade Velodrome. Lorient had the better of the first half with former Arsenal man Jeremie Aliadiere passing up one presentable opportunity before the hosts took control of the tie. Mathieu Valbuena went close twice as the pressure built before Gignac passed up two chances to give his side the lead. However, Gignac was not be denied a third time when he struck in the 82nd minute to secure all three points. Henri Saivet grabbed the late winner for Bordeaux against Evian in a 2-1 win at Stade Chaban-Delmas. Julien Faubert had given the hosts a 52 minute lead but Kevin Berigaud levelled things up with 73 gone with a poachers finish. However, Saivet’s 82nd minute strike ensured all three points for the home side. rESUltS Marseille 1 – 0 lorient Bastia 0 – 2 Saint Etienne Bordeaux 2 – 1 Evian Guingamp 1 – 0 Nice Montpellier 2 – 0 Ajaccio Valenciennes 2 – 2 Sochaux
Monday, 24 February, 2014
DUBAI CHAMPION venus clAims first title since 2012
ENUS Williams thrashed Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-3 6-0 in the final of the Dubai Championship on Saturday as the experienced American claimed her first singles title since 2012. The seven-times grand slam winner made light work of Cornet who stunned Venus's sister Serena on Friday to deny the siblings their first final meeting in
five years. "I think the difference between me and Serena was I put a few more balls in the court," said Venus who has struggled for form since being diagnosed with a fatiguecausing disease in 2011. "Winning all those grand slam titles, playing deep and getting to the final so many times, it takes a lot of nerve, mental prowess, so I'd like to think I'm on that path," she told reporters. Williams, 33, has made a mixed start
PAKISTAN UNDER-19 HAVE AN EDGE OVER ENGLAND UNDER-19 S PERvEz QaiSER The first semi final of the 10th Under-19 World Cup will be played between Pakistan and England at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday (February 25). Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 121 runs in the quarter final to enter the semi final while England defeated defending champions India by three wickets to qualify for the last four. This will be the 31st one day international between the two teams at Junior level and fifth match in Under -19 World Cup. Pakistan have won 19, lost nine and abandoned two in 30 previous matches played against England. They won one and lost three in four matches played against England in Under-19 World Cup. England defeated Pakistan by 56 runs in the first meeting in World Cup at Merbein on March 7, 1988. They also beat Pakistan by 18 runs at Centurion Park on January 19,1998. Pakistan's only victory against England in Under-19 World Cup came at Lincoln on January 25,2002. Pakistan have won this Group C match by six wickets. England defeated Pakistan by five runs in the last meetings at Fatullah Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium, Dhaka on February 27,2004. Pakistan defeated England by 97 runs when two teams met last time in one dayers in the final of the Tri-Nation tournament at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on December 22,20013. Sent in to bat, Pakistan made 247 for seven in 50 overs. Imam-ul-Haq and Kamran Ghulam scored 51 runs each. For England, seamer Jack Winslade took three wickets for 58 runs. England's chase never really got going. Opener Jonathan Tattersall made 32, but wickets kept falling at the other end. They were 95 for 8 in the 30th over before wicketkeeper Joe Clarke put on 55 with Luke Wood to take them to 150. Their last two wickets fell at that score, both to left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar. PAKIStAN-ENGlAND IN UNDEr-19 CrICKEt: Played Pak won Eng won N/r In Australia 1 - 1 In Bangladesh 1 - 1 In England 14 9 3 2 In New Zealand 1 1 - In Pakistan 6 4 2 In South Africa 1 - 1 In Sri lanka 2 1 1 In Emirates 4 4 - total 30 19 9 2 In World Cup 4 1 3 hIGhESt INNINGS tOtAlS: Pakistan: 369-7 in 50 overs at leicester 13-08-2013 England: 313-7 in 50 overs at leicester 22-08-2007 lOWESt INNINGS tOtAlS: Pakistan: 70 in 24.1 overs at Merbein 07-03-1988 England: 126 in 46.3 overs at Merbein 07-03-1988 hIGhESt INDIVIDUAl SCOrES: Pakistan: 120 Imam-ul-haq at Sleaford 06-08-2013 England: 149* Billy Godleman at leicester 22-08-2007 BESt BOWlING PErFOrMANCES: Pakistan: 5-42 riaz Afridi at Fatullah 27-02-2004 England: 6-51 rory hamilton-Brown at Northampton 20-08-2007
PUNJAB STRONGEST WOMEN POWERLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIP: Moghees Ahmed Farooqi and Aqeel butt giving trophy to Sadia Khalil who won the gold medal. StAFF PhOtO
to 2014, suffering a first-round exit at the Australian Open and more disappointment in Doha last week. She did not drop a set in Dubai, though, and beat five higher-ranked opponents including former world number ones Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki. "When things got tough I definitely got going this week. If I was down break point, when push came to shove I was pushing and shoving," added Williams who will climb from 44th in the world
back into the top 30 for the first time since May 2013. "I'm not looking to do anything I did in the past because I already did that. I'm looking to improve and be a better, smarter Venus." The American started slowly against Cornet, who hugged the baseline just as she did against Serena to take the first break of serve and go 2-1 up after Williams made successive errors, the first a loose volley at the net and the second a long forehand. The setback stirred Williams and she broke back immediately with a ferocious return before surging into a 5-2 lead by breaking again. Cornet, 24, showed her despair as she wilted under a barrage of brutal groundstrokes from her opponent. "The first set was very important. That's why I was a bit emotional because I wanted to do better," said the Frenchwoman. "She was playing more aggressive. She was pushing me out of the court very far from the baseline and I didn't play as deep as yesterday, didn't serve as well." Cornet saved two set points when serving at 2-5 only for Williams to comfortably serve it out, dragging the world number 26 out wide with a fierce backhand that she could only scuff into the ground. A double fault and a wild forehand on successive points gave the American another break at the start of the second set and she broke twice more for a 5-0 lead. Cornet saved one match point with a backhand volley lob before a long forehand gave Williams a 45th career title and a third Dubai crown.
Martino admits errors after Barca surrender La Liga lead
SPORTS DESK Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino admitted resting key players was a mistake after the champions crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Real Sociedad on Saturday that allowed Real Madrid to pull three points clear at the top. Martino left playmakers Xavi and Cesc Fabregas out of his starting lineup for the match against fifthplaced Sociedad in San Sebastian and deployed defensive midfielders Sergio Busquets and Alex Song in the centre. The decision backfired badly as Barca were unable to exert their customary control and the Basque
club's pacy forwards Antoine Griezmann and Carlos Vela sliced open the visitors' defence time and again on the counter-attack. Fabregas replaced Song on the hour when Barca were already 3-1 down and Martino brought on forward Alexis Sanchez for full back Martin Montoya with around 20 minutes left but Sociedad were comfortably able to protect their lead and could have had a fourth when Vela hit the woodwork late on. It was Barca's third defeat of the La Liga campaign and brought them firmly back down to earth after Tuesday's impressive 2-0 win at Manchester City in their Champions League last 16, first leg. It also puts their bid for a fifth domestic league title in six years in serious jeopardy with Real, who thumped promoted Elche 3-0 at the Bernabeu, looking in ominous form and unbeaten in 26 matches. Real have 63 points with 13 matches left, with Barca on 60. Atletico Madrid, who host Real next weekend, have played one game fewer and can draw level with their city rivals with a win at Osasuna later on Sunday. "Sociedad played well and I misread the game," Martino, who was sent from the bench at halftime after clashing with a member of the Sociedad coaching staff, told a news conference.
RAHBAR CUP FINAL ON 26TH
LAHORE: The final match of 2nd Rahbar Cup T20 Club Cricket will be played on February 26 between National Gymkhana and Golden Star Cricket Club at the LCCA ground. This had been announced in the meeting of Rahbar Cup Tournament Committee on Sunday which was held under the Chairmanship of Tournament Committee Chairman Majid Zaman and committee President Wasif Zaman, Secretary Shahbaz Ali and members Abdul Haye and Mr, Abid Hussain also attended the meeting. In the meeting, Secretary Shahbaz Ali presented complete report about tournament. He also gave a detailed briefing about the arrangements of the final match. KOOKABURRA TO AWARD ONE YEAR CONTRACT: International sports company Kookaburra announced one year contract with young player who performs well in the 2nd Rahber Cup T20 Club Cricket Tournament which is going on under the management of Golden Star Cricket Club. This was announced by Khuram Aman who is the representatives of Kookaburra in Pakistan and managing director of global sports. PrESS rElEASE
GRAY DETERMINED TO SET UP DERBY TIE SPORTS DESK Stuart Gray has challenged his Sheffield Wednesday players to "carve a slice of history" on Monday night. The Owls face Charlton in their rearranged FA Cup fifth-round tie at Hillsborough with the prospect of a blockbusting Steel City derby against Sheffield United awaiting in the quarter-finals. Gray, who made five changes to his side for Saturday's comfortable 2-0 win at Huddersfield in preparation for Monday's clash, wants Wednesday's fans to roar them to victory and set up another classic allSheffield showdown. "The incentive is a Sheffield derby," said the Owls boss. "I thought the fans were magnificent on Saturday and it's quite a sight when Sheffield Wednesday score a goal away from home.
ROONEY DESERVES DEAL: EVRA SPORTS DESK Patrice Evra hailed Wayne Rooney's wonderful goal in victory over Crystal Palace and claimed the Manchester United forward is deserving of his bumper new contact at Old Trafford. Rooney signed a ÂŁ300,000-aweek deal on Friday and, with all eyes on him at Selhurst Park, he struck a superb sealing goal in a 2-0 victory after Robin van Persie had opened the scoring from the penalty spot. It was the England international's first goal since Boxing Day as he celebrated his new contract in style, with Evra revealing he is pleased to have Rooney tied down. "He deserved to have a big contract," Evra said. "I'm so happy for him because he is working hard, and it is a good sign for the future of Manchester United, for the fans and for everyone. "I'm really pleased with 'Wazza' because he deserves it. What a great finish it was, my cross was not easy to take, but it was a great volley." United moved ahead of Everton into sixth place in the Premier League with the hard-fought win with Evra glad to end a recent poor run. "It was job done," he said. "It was really important, we have had some bad results and we could not
afford another defeat. I think we saw a strong Manchester United, confident to play with the ball, and I'm really pleased for all the lads." Following on from a goalless draw at Arsenal 10 days earlier, the shut-out at Selhurst Park was the first time United have kept two successive Premier League clean sheets under David Moyes. With the experienced duo Nemanja Vidic, who will leave Old Trafford in the summer, and Rio Ferdinand back at the heart of the defence, Evra believes they clean sheets can continue. "We had a lot of experience, and when Rio came on at Arsenal, I thought he was fantastic," he added. "You could see with Rio and Vidic in good form that we can be solid and get more clean sheets. "Don't forget Chris Smalling can play there, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans can get back from injury. We have good centre-backs and that is important for the team." The defeat for Palace was only the second time they have lost at home since Tony Pulis replaced Ian Holloway in November. A good run of results has seen the Eagles move out of the relegation zone, although Pulis' side are only two points clear of the bottom three. Midfielder Mile Jedinak was left
despondent by the defeat with Palace having been on the front foot before Marouane Chamakh felled Evra inside the area on 62 minutes. "We had them under a little bit of pressure before that first goal so we'll take a lot of positives from that," he said. "We've just got to keep building. The word 'disappointment' comes to mind, but it was encouraging onetheless. "It was a defeat, but we let them off the hook a bit. We gave them a
penalty through a challenge which was probably a rash decision at the time. Those things can happen in football." Palace travel to Swansea next Sunday as they look to move further clear of the drop-zone and Jedinak is keen to move on from the United defeat. "Our next game is on Sunday against Swansea away so we've got to regroup, regather, put this out of our system and keep building," he added.
SPORTS Monday, 24 February, 2014
SerieS levelled i AFTER STEYN’S MAGIC Scoreboard 423 SoUTH aFrIca 1ST INNINGS aUSTraLIa 1st INNINGS 246 SoUTH aFrIca 2Nd INNINGS HM amla not out 127 34 Q de Kock c clarke b Lyon 18 JP duminy not out 8 eXTraS: (b 2, lb 6) 270 ToTaL: (5 wickets dec; 64 overs; 298 mins) dId NoT baT: Wd Parnell, Vd Philander, dW Steyn, M Morkel FaLL oF WIcKeTS” 1-20 (Smith, 4.1 ov), 2-42 (elgar, 11.6 ov), 3112 (du Plessis, 25.5 ov), 4-167 (de Villiers, 36.6 ov), 5-231 (de Kock, 56.6 ov) boWLING: MG Johnson 15-1-51-2, rJ Harris 13-1-74-0, NM Lyon 17-2-48-1, PM Siddle 19-2-89-2 aUSTraLIa 2Nd INNINGS cJL rogers run out (sub [aN Petersen]) 107 da Warner lbw b duminy 66 aJ doolan c Smith b Morkel 5 0 Se Marsh lbw b Philander MJ clarke c du Plessis b Steyn 1 0 SPd Smith lbw b Steyn 1 bJ Haddin† b Steyn MG Johnson lbw b Philander 6 6 rJ Harris lbw b Steyn 3 PM Siddle not out NM Lyon lbw b elgar 0 eXTraS: (b 2, lb 17, w 2) 21 216 ToTaL: (all out; 73.4 overs; 337 mins) FaLL oF WIcKeTS: 1-126 (Warner, 29.2 ov), 2-152 (doolan, 42.6 ov), 3-153 (Marsh, 43.6 ov), 4-156 (clarke, 48.4 ov), 5-156 (Smith, 48.5 ov), 6-166 (Haddin, 52.6 ov), 7-197 (Johnson, 59.1 ov), 8-209 (Harris, 68.6 ov), 9-214 (rogers, 72.1 ov), 10-216 (Lyon, 73.4 ov) boWLING: dW Steyn 20-5-55-4, Vd Philander 17-3-39-2, M Morkel 15-6-46-1, JP duminy 14-3-33-1, d elgar 7.4-0-24-1 MaTcH deTaILS ToSS: South africa, who chose to bat SerIeS: 3-match series level 1-1 TeST debUT: Q de Kock (South africa) PLayer oF THe MaTcH: JP duminy (South africa) UMPIreS: HdPK dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and rK Illingworth (england) TV UMPIre: aleem dar (Pakistan) MaTcH reFeree: rS Mahanama (Sri Lanka) reSerVe UMPIre: aT Holdstock
PORT ElizabETh aGeNcIeS
T doesn't matter how accurate the South Africa Meteorological Department is. Dale Steyn's spell-binding afternoon burst of reverse swing inspired the home side to a 231-run victory in the dying moments of the fourth day to level the series. South Africa ripped out nine wickets in the evening session while Australia lost 10 for 90 in total after an opening stand of 126 between Chris Rogers and David Warner. With a poor forecast for the final day, Graeme Smith, who declared 40 minutes before lunch, was desperate to wrap up the win and not leave anything resting on the vagaries of the climate. He claimed the extra half an hour, which began with Australia seven down, and Steyn claimed his fourth when he trapped Ryan Harris with an iffy lbw. Rogers, who had compiled a magnificent fourth Test hundred, was run out by the substitute fielder Alviro Petersen at mid-off to end a 237-ball stay then, when Smith was told the light was too poor for his quick bowlers, Dean Elgar trapped Nathan Lyon lbw although subsequent replays showed he had found a thin edge but Australia had no reviews left. Given the way South Africa had been hammered in Centurion, the issues they faced over the balance of their side, the lack of a main spinner, the loss of one of their frontline bowlers and a pitch that did its best to defy fast bowling it will have to go down as one of their finest victories. Australia had also started their pursuit of 448 with a rollicking partnership between Rogers and Warner that, if not quite making thoughts of a world-record chase realistic, left a South Africa victory push a distant prospect. South Africa's opening began to be forged shortly before tea when JP Duminy ended the first-wicket stand by removing Warner. Duminy had earlier given Warner a life on 36 - the latest reprieve for him in this series - when he could not hold a return catch diving to his left as he collided with Rogers at the non-striker's end. However, he and Elgar, with his left-arm spin, were causing difficulties for both openers out of the footmarks and Duminy then beat Warner on the back foot with one that straightened just enough to clip leg stump. Without Warner's impetus - which had included four boundaries in four balls off Morne Morkel in a stirring riposte to being peppered with short deliveries - South Africa were able to choke Australia's scoring. And then they started to get the ball to reverse. Steyn, after an indifferent spell with the new ball, had given a hint of what he may be able to produce with a period round the wicket to the openers; for new batsmen the ball reversing is a much tougher prospect. Alex Doolan became stuck, uncertain against spin before tea and pace afterwards. He was worked over by Morkel and Vernon Philander, twice providing edges that fell short of the wicketkeeper (which went to the TV umpire) and first slip, before pushing hard enough that a nick carried to Smith. Shaun Marsh's first ball from Philander was full and straight, the batsman getting his front pad too far across, as he completed a pair to contrast sharply with his comeback hundred last week. Then came Steyn.
RYAN HINDS CLEARED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES SPORTS DESK Barbados and West Indies allrounder Ryan Hinds has been cleared of sexual assault charges, a statement by the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) said. Chief Magistrate Pamela Beckles dismissed the charges against Hinds after the complainant in the matter informed the court that she would not be presenting evidence. Hinds was not present at the hearing. "The dropping of these charges is an immense weight off my shoulders," Hinds said. He had maintained his innocence from the outset, after an incident involving a 28-year-old woman in February 2012. "There were days when I thought there was no end in sight for this matter but they (my family and lawyer) kept me grounded and focused throughout. I am now very keen to try and regain a place in the Barbados national team." WIPA president Wavell Hinds said both the West Indies Cricket Board and the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) had been notified of the result of the hearing. "WIPA wishes Ryan every success as he seeks to rebuild his firstclass and international careers," Wavell Hinds said. "He has demonstrated before that he has the ability to bounce back from adversity, and we have no doubt that he will do so again." Published by Arif Nizami at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
MiSbah confident deSpite tough coMpetition LAHORE: Misbah-ul-Haq has said that Pakistan's blend of experienced players and newcomers has had success and the team remains confident of successfully defending their Asia Cup title. Pakistan, who beat Bangladesh in the 2012 final, come to the tournament on the back of series wins over Sri Lanka and South Africa. "The [Pakistan] team is in good shape," Misbah said. "Cricket is a confidence game and we have been playing well in the last three-four months. We have to do our basics right to have a good chance." Misbah and Mohammad Hafeez have led Pakistan with the bat in the last 12 months, scoring in excess of thousand runs, and Ahmed Shehzad has not been far behind. Misbah was also confident that the relatively inexperienced group that includes Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Talha, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali will give the team balance. "Ahmed Shehzad has been part of our team for quite a while, he has been doing well," Misbah said. "He has improved. Sharjeel Khan had an average series, but he gave glimpses of being a good player, he can time the ball well. We are looking forward to see him develop into a good player. "[Sohaib] Maqsood played well in South Africa and against Sri Lanka. With experienced players, few youngsters like Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti, they are putting some good scores. I am happy that it is a good, balanced unit. Youngsters are always contributing with the senior players." Misbah said the competition in the Asia Cup was going to be tough, as all the teams understood the conditions. He also said Afghanistan, the first-timers in the tournament, were not to be taken lightly. "All teams have ability to win against any side," he said. "It will be good competition. Last Asia Cup was witness of that. Bangladesh beat two big teams, they came close to us. You can expect any team can win against any team. "Afghanistan are a new, exciting team. They can do anything on a given day. They are not experienced, but they give their 100%. They have players that can really challenge other teams." With the 2015 World Cup less than a year away, this is Pakistan's opportunity to groom their team. "I think it is good for the team that there is a chance to improve as a group. Somewhere there is a knockout stage in these tournaments, so the competition level is there. You prepare yourself as a team so I think this is good preparation before the 2015 World Cup. These tournaments have their own importance." aGeNcIeS