09 December, 2018 I 30 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1440 I Rs 27.00 I Vol IX No 159 I 84 Pages I Islamabad Edition
Rasheed stiRs contRoveRsy oveR infoRmation poRtfolio g
railways Minister overheard claiMing that pM iMran has oFFered hiM inFo Ministry, retracts reMark aFter Fawad chaudhry’s response
ex-nicl chairman, five others get 7-year jail term in corruption case
Fawad says will step aside For rasheed iF pM thinks he’s better suited to becoMe govt’s spokesMan
STORY ON PAGE 02
Justice Nisar decries govt’s ‘failure’ in improving healthcare conditions
ith only over 100 days in power, cracks are appearing in the ruling Pakistan tehreek-e-insaf (Pti) government as key members of Prime Minister imran Khan’s cabinet have trained their sights on each other’s ministries, it has been observed. A week after reports of an apparent rift between Finance Minister Asad Umar and some party leaders, including Jahangir Khan tareen, over the former’s economic policy came to the fore, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Saturday claimed that he might replace information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. in an ‘off-camera’ talk with an official before a press conference in Lahore, the railways minister claimed that Prime Minister imran Khan of-
fered him the information Ministry, which he hinted he would gladly accept. According to remarks aired by tV channels, the minister claimed he had held four meetings with PM imran on Friday, in which he reportedly asked him to join the information Ministry. “i told him to let Fawad return from London … he’s there on an eight-day picnic,” he took a jibe on the information minister. “i will say i love you, thank you,” said the railways minister when asked what would be his response if PM had offered him Fawad’s post. FAWAD SAYS MORE THAN HAPPY TO LET MINISTERSHIP GO: info Minister Fawad, who is in London, responded to Rasheed’s press conference in a tweet, saying he would be happy to vacate his ministry for Rasheed and serve as an ordinary lawmaker if the premier thinks Rasheed is suited for the job. “i will be more than happy to vacate my po-
sition for Sheikh Rasheed sb and serve as MNA, we all use trust powers bestowed by people of Pakistan and PM decides who is best fit in the role, however, till i am minister i will not bow to blackmailing of advertisement lobby,” he tweeted. Later in the evening, Rasheed appeared on a tV channel and tried to issue a ‘clarification’ about his earlier remarks, saying Fawad was like a younger brother and he would never be a part of ‘conspiracy’ against him. “i have no intention to take over the information Ministry. Even if the premier offers me the portfolio i will politely refuse,” Rasheed said. Along with Rasheed, PM Office also issued a clarification in an attempt at damage control. it said that PM imran has no plans of removing Fawad from the information Ministry.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 03
STORY ON BACK PAGE
info ministry refutes claims of apns, pba g
inForMation secretary shaFqat Jalil says govt coMMitted to ‘Fair distribution oF advertiseMent’ STORY ON PAGE 02
Federal secretaries to give lowdown on ministers’ performance to PM
STORY ON PAGE 03
FM to visit kabul for talks with afghan leadership STORY ON BACK PAGE
ISLAMABAD: People arrive at the President House after it officially opened its gates for the public on Saturday. onLIne
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
Ex-NICL ChAIrMAN, FIvE othErS gEt 7yEAr JAIL tErM IN CorruPtIoN CASE KARACHI
N accountability court on Saturday sentenced the former chairman of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) Ayaz Khan Niazi and five other people to seven years in prison for their involvement in a corruption case. The convicts were also disqualified from hold any public office for 10 years. The other convicts are Amin Qasim Dada, Hur Rihai Gardezi, Amir Hussain, Zahid Hussain and Mohammad Zahoor. The six were involved in embezzling NICL funds to buy 10 acres of land in Karachi’s Korangi area. According to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), all convicts had caused a combined loss of more than Rs400 million to the national treasury. Apart from embezzling NICL funds to buy land in Korangi, Ayaz Niazi is also named in four other corruption
cases that are currently being heard in accountability courts in Lahore. The NICL corruption scandal revolves around the alleged misuse of authority for Niazi’s appointment, hampering the investigation process regarding his appointment, and corruption committed by the accused along with others, including Mohsin Habib Warraich.
Man kills wife, three children over ‘honour’ in Muzaffargarh A man killed his wife and three children over ‘honour’ in Seet Pur area of Muzaffargarh district on Saturday. Police have apprehended the suspect and have registered an FIR against him at Seet Pur police station. SHO Azhar Hameed said 40year-old Afzal killed his wife Azra with a sharp-edged instrument after he suspected that she was having an affair. Afzal confessed his crime during interrogation. The suspect also said he believed that all three of their children were not his own flesh and blood. He claimed that all the children, a son and two daughters all under the age of five, were illegitimate which is why he killed them too. Rescue officials revealed that there were torture marks on the woman’s face while her collarbone was also broken. Police added that bodies of the deceased were shifted to the Rural Health Centre in Seet Pur for an autopsy while further details will be shared afterwards. Muzaffargarh DPO Imran Kishwar reached the spot and gave assurances that strict action will be taken against the culprit. In September, a man killed his wife and twin stepdaughters in Sargodha. Mehreen Bibi had married Shaukat, a resident of Liaqat Colony, two months prior to the incident. Mehreen also had two twin daughters from a previous marriage who were living with the couple. Residents claimed that the daughters were a source of conflict between the couple. Shaukat allegedly used an axe to murder his wife and his stepdaughters. After murdering them, he locked the door of the house from the outside and fled the scene of the crime. News Desk
Fawad Chaudhry’s brother appointed Punjab additional Ag
The story of the over Rs6 billion NICL scam broke in 2009-10 when Mohsin Warraich’s company, Messrs Privilege, purchased 803 kanals from the NICL at Mauza Toor, Lahore, for a sum of Rs1.68b. The company allegedly sold the land without getting the property mutated in its favour. The NICL also sold land measuring 20 kanals near the Lahore Airport Road
to Mohsin Warraich for Rs1.7b. It sold the land at a rate of Rs5.3 million per kanal, although its market value was much higher. Initially the scam was being investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), but was transferred to NAB in 2014 on the directives of the Supreme Court. PARADISE PAPERS: In November last year, Niazi was named in leaked Paradise Papers in connection with four offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands. One of four was a trust named Andalusian Discretionary Trust, while the other three were companies, Andalusian Holdings Limited, Andalusian Enterprises Limited, and Andalusian Establishment Limited. All three companies were established when Niazi was NICL chairman in 2010. In the records of the companies, Niazi’s two brothers, Muhammad Ali Khan Niazi and Hussain Khan Niazi were shown as beneficial owners while Ayaz, his father Abdul Razaq Khan and mother Fauzia Razzaq named as directors.
Info ministry refutes claims of APNS, PBA KARACHI staff RepoRt
Federal Information and Broadcasting Secretary Shafqat Jalil met the officials of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) on Friday and shared his concerns regarding the figures of advertisement dues released by the society and Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA). During a meeting with APNS General Secretary Mr Sarmad Ali, Jalil termed the figures of advertisement dues released by APNS and PBA disputed. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, he said, has been critical of the use of advertisements as a tool to influence media by the previous government. He emphasised that the present government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is committed to a policy of equitable and fair distribution of
government advertisements. The info secretary said that the federal government is clearing the payments of Rs 320 million while another estimated Rs 180 million is being processed for payments. The outstanding dues pertaining to the Punjab government of nearly Rs 150 million will be released shortly, he assured. Jalil informed Mr Sarmad Ali that to find a permanent solution of the issue, a draft of the new advertisement policy has been circulated among stakeholders, including PBA and APNS. “The government is committed to freedom of expression and supports media industry. Any proposal to help media industry in their ease of doing business would be given serious consideration by the federal government,” he assured. Earlier on Friday, the APNS and PBA had rejected Fawad’s statement regarding the clearance of half of the total dues of the media houses and
Shehbaz undergoes medical checkup at Kot Lakhpat Jail LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday underwent a medical checkup at the Kot Lakhpat Jail. According to reports, the medical board carried out blood pressure, sugar and other tests of the former Punjab chief minister; the reports, however, were normal. On November 6, an accountability court had sent Shehbaz to jail on judicial remand after his previous physical remand in
asked the prime minister to advise the concerned ministers to honour their word and to clear the dues. “APNS and PBA take strong exception to the statement of Fawad Chaudhry in which he has claimed that around half of the dues of media industry have been paid to media houses and yet none of that amount has been used to pay salaries of workers,” the press release said. Chaudhry was quoted as saying that half (Rs0.6 billion) of the $9.6 million (Rs1.3bn) have been released to media houses who kept all of the money for themselves instead of paying their journalists. APNS clarified that the dues owed to media by the federal and provincial governments are over Rs8bn and not Rs1.3bn. It said that the government has not even released 10 per cent, “let alone half of the Rs1.3bn fictitious figure given by the information minister”.
the Ashiana Housing scam case ended. Earlier, a National Accountancy Bureau (NAB) team had shifted Shehbaz to Fatima Jinnah Medical University, where he had undergone a medical examination. On November 24, the PML-N president’s blood report had shown signs of cancer recurrence. His medical examination was conducted after he had complained of throat ache. NAB had arrested Shehbaz in the Ashiana scam on October 5 during his appearance before NAB in the Saaf Pani Company scam. oNliNe
PBC seeks Law Minister Farogh Naseem's removal from council Members of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) have reached out to the Supreme Court (SC), seeking the removal of Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem from the council because of his ministerial position. PBC is an apex body of lawyers consisting of 23 members, who are elected from all provincial bar councils as well as the Islamabad Bar Council for five years. Currently, 12 are from Asma Jahangir Lawyers Group and 11 from the Hamid Khan Lawyers Group. Naseem, who was elected as a PBC member from Sindh two years ago and later PBC vice chairman for one year, belongs to the Hamid Khan Lawyers Group. The Asma Jehangir Group, which has a two-vote majority in the PBC House, demanded Naseem’s denotification once before in September but Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan rejected the plea. The group argued that once a lawyer held an office of profit he could not practice as a lawyer and his license should be suspended. There are two previous judgments wherein even the prime minister’s adviser was not allowed to practice law, former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had barred Latif Khosa, when he was the PM’s adviser, from appearing in the Jamshed Dasti case. Likewise, the 17-judge bench of the apex court did not allow senior lawyer Kamal Azfar to argue in the NRO case as he was also the PM’s adviser at the time. A bar act rule states a lawyer cannot hold any other profitable office otherwise his license will be suspended. News Deask
Chinese special forces arrive in Pakistan for joint exercise RAWALPINDI: A special forces contingent of People Liberation Army China arrived in Pakistan on Saturday to participate in the Pak-China joint military exercise ‘Warrior –VI 2018’. According to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), troops of Special Service Group from both armies will participate in the three-week long exercise. Focus of the joint exercise is to share respective experiences in the field of counter-terrorism operations and learn from each other’s experiences, it said. This is sixth joint exercise of the series as part of bilateral military cooperation between both friendly countries. Earlier this month, Joint International Air Drill of Pakistan and China, Shaheen VII, also took place at an operational airbase in Pakistan. According to a Pakistan Air Force spokesperson, the Chinese contingent included pilots and air defence controllers. In September, a senior Chinese general told Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa that military ties between China and Pakistan are the ‘backbone’ of relations between the two countries. staff RepoRt
Indian media asks Modi to learn from PM Khan’s peace gestures ISLAMABAD app
LAHORE: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s brother, Chaudhry Faisal Hussain Farid, on Saturday was appointed as the additional advocate general of Punjab. A notification issued in this regard stated that 18 people have been appointed as Punjab additional advocate general. In the past, Chaudhry Faisal has represented former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf in the treason case filed against him. staff RepoRt
Indian media has requested the Narendra Modi government to respond positively to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer of peace gestures to resolve all the outstanding issues, instead of shying away from the peace initiatives and clinging to its failed policies. In a detailed write up uploaded in the upcoming magazine edition of ‘India Today’, a leading Indian newspaper, a writer called upon the Indian government not to underestimate PM Khan’s capabilities. The writer said as a cricketer, Imran Khan was lauded for his fearlessness. “What made him one of the greatest all-rounders of the game was not just his ability to take big risks but also, as captain of the Pakistan team, pull off impossible victories,” he said, referring to the
1992 World Cup, in which Pakistan team was the underdog, but despite a shoulder injury, Imran came roaring back and led his team to a famous victory, the first and only time that Pakistan lifted the World Cup. “The moral of the story: never underestimate Imran Khan.” He said those who had done so have paid a heavy price. Nawaz Sharif in his third term as prime minister of Pakistan did that as did Asif Ali Zardari when he was president of Pakistan. “Now, the two most important families in Pakistan the Sharifs and the Bhuttos find themselves in the political wilderness facing serious corruption charges,” he added. On the other hand, Imran Khan has been an elected prime minister. When Imran Khan took over as Pakistan’s political captain this August, team Modi had made a similar miscalculation. They assumed the new prime minister would be weighed down by the country’s
dire economic woes and foreign policy issues, he added. The piece of writing recognised that India failed to realize that it has to deal with a new political entity in Pakistan. The writer noted that calling off the talks by India between Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly was not a good attempt. “The reasons India gave for first accepting the talks and then summarily cancelling them, were widely regarded as unconvincing and incoherent,” the writer added. The writer further said Prime Minister Imran Khan also surprised India when Qureshi informed that they would be holding a formal groundbreaking ceremony at the Kartarpur gurudwara on November 28 to build a corridor connecting it to the Indian border facilitating the Indian Sikhs to visit without a visa.
CMYK Sunday, 9 December, 2018
FEdErAL SECrEtArIES to gIvE LowdowN oN MINIStErS’ PErForMANCE to PM ISLAMABAD
LL federal secretaries will on Monday brief Prime Minister Imran Khan on the performance of their respective ministries during the first 100 days of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, Pakistan Today has learnt. Since the PM had set specific targets for all federal ministers, the briefing would not be given by the ministers themselves, sources said and added that according to the agenda of the meeting, only the prime minister would ask questions whereas the ministers would not even be authorised to raise any queries. “Every ministry will be given 10 minutes for the briefing while the federal secretaries have been directed to present a concise and to-the-point presentation,” they said. ‘WINNING HORSES TO STAY’: The members of the federal cabinet with
rasheed stirs controversy over information portfolio ContInueD fRoM pAge 01 Earlier this month, the premier had hinted a reshuffle in the federal cabinet during his first interview after assuming the top office of the country in August. He was interacting with a select group of senior journalists in Islamabad. On performance of federal ministers in the first 100 days, PM Imran said he had received progress reports from the federal cabinet, especially on the cost-cutting measures they had taken. “The government will act on these reports … and it might make some changes in the cabinet,” he remarked. The decision of any changes in the cabinet will be made by the next week, he added. According to sources, all federal secretaries will brief Prime Minister Imran on the performance of their respective ministries during the first 100 days of the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) government in a special meeting to be held on Monday. Since the PM had set specific targets for all federal ministers, the briefing would not be given by the ministers themselves, sources said and added that according to the agenda of the meeting, only the prime minister would ask questions whereas the ministers would not even be authorised to raise any queries. “Every ministry will be given 10 minutes for the briefing while the federal secretaries have been directed to present a concise and to-the-point presentation,” they said.
Fo official, husband suffocate to death in hunza hotel newS DeSK Syeda Fatemi, an assistant director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with her husband died of suffocation after a gas leakage in their hotel room in Hunza on Saturday. The couple was on their honeymoon after they had tied the knot on November 29. Fatemi was from the 42nd common training programme and had been stationed at the Common Diplomacy Section of the Foreign Office. She had just completed a training course from France and originally belonged to Attock. She was also a position holder at the special diplomacy course. Earlier this year, former model and journalist Quratulain Ali Khan had also been found dead at her Karachi apartment owing to suffocation as well.
satisfactory performance will stay while those who put up a bad show might be sent packing by the premier, sources said. “The winning horses are likely to include Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi and State Minister for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi.” Speaking of the expected top per-
formers’ achievements, they said Murad Saeed had taken phenomenal steps during the government’s first 100 days. “Pakistan Post is going towards e-commerce, rebranding, mobile money order and enhanced logistic facilities via a network of 13,000 post offices across the country.” The electronic money order service for speedy transfer of money up to
new initiatives to reform and restructure the ministry, making it a public-service institution. “The minister implemented a new policy about the functioning of International NGOs (INGOs) in the country which had not been done during the past 70 years. A major decision was to ban 18 INGOs that had been violating laws for ulterior motives.” However, according to western diplomats, the expulsion of the INGOs will hurt 11 million aid recipients in the country. Affected NGOs include World Vision, Pathfinder, Plan International, Trocaire and Saferworld. Another group, ActionAid, said it was closing offices and laying off staff after the government told it to halt operations and leave. Aid groups and western diplomats blasted a lack of transparency in the process of expulsion and review of appeals. “It is as appalling as it is inexplicable that the government has decided to deprive 11 million of its own people of much-needed support with no apparent reason,” a Western diplomat said.
Rs50,000 is a major achievement, sources said and added: “Moreover, 110 vehicles of NHA have been retrieved from individuals of other organisations whereas the ministry has also saved Rs3.5 billion of the government.” Sources further said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was likely to be another winner of the 100-day performance contest as the country successfully cemented its friendly ties with traditional and new friends. “Qureshi facilitated PM Khan’s outreach to world leaders through effective engagements with leaders of China, the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Afghanistan.” “He [FM] also delivered a balanced speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), conducted himself well during his meetings with world leaders, raised the Kashmir issue at global forums and presented Pakistan’s view on all issues strongly and wisely,” they said. Speaking of Afridi’s performance, the sources said the minister introduced 44
Five ambassadors appointed by PML-N surrender charge Five foreign ambassadors who were appointed during the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) tenure relinquished their offices on Saturday. According to reports, Pakistan’s high commissioner to Canada Tariq Azeem Khan and Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Khan Husham bin Siddique have left their charge. Pakistan’s ambassadors to Morocco, Cuba and Serbia have also handed over their charges to their second-in-
command at the respective embassies. Earlier on Oct 4, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had announced that the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) government had decided to remove political appointees from key ambassadorial positions across the world. The list included the name of Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Ali Jahangir Siddiqui who is facing charges regarding the role of his company – Azgard Nine Limited – in the alleged manipulation of shares
that resulted in a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer. “Ambassador Ali Siddqui was appointed on political grounds by the outgoing PML-N government therefore it’s best for him to step down from his office himself or the government would be compelled to remove him,” Fawad had said. However, Ali Siddiqui’s name did not feature in the list of ‘political appointees’ who have surrendered their offices on Saturday. News Desk
SC takes suo motu notice of unclean water in Bolan district ISLAMABAD staff RepoRt
The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday took suo motu notice of non-availability of clean drinking water in Balochistan’s Bolan district. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the issue after a video made rounds on social media and a programme aired on a private TV channel showed residents of the area and animals drinking contaminated and unhygienic stagnant water from the same pond. CJP Nisar directed the advocate general, chief secretary, secretary health, secretary public health engineering department and deputy commissioner to appear in court on December 14. In September, the Higher Education Commission decided to propose a taskforce to address water scarcity in the province. This decision was announced by HEC Chairperson Dr Tariq Banuri while chairing a meeting at the Commission’s Secretariat on academia’s role in addressing the water crisis in Balochistan. The meeting further discussed the prevailing water scarcity, challenges and
future opportunities regarding groundwater recharge, water reservoirs, water usage efficiency, clean drinking water and water resource management.
Journalist Nusrat Javeed survives road accident Renowned news analyst Nusrat Javeed said he survived an accident on Friday night, initially accusing Prime Minister Imran Khan of “trying to get him killed” before retracting the statement. On his official Twitter account, Javeed tweeted: “It is 1:16 and the Prime Minister of Pakistan has tried to get me killed. I am still alive.” The talk show host, later in conversation with Naya Daur, said that he was driving to his home from G-8, Islamabad, when suddenly shots were fired at his car near the G-8 Imam Bargah. “Both the tires on the left side of my car were burst and completely damaged. Then six men in plain clothes came and inspected me… The plan was to kill me”, he said. “They must have thought that I’d be intoxicated and die in the accident but since I was sober, they left me alone,” Javeed added. The senior TV anchor confirmed that he had reached home safely but said he hadn’t filed a report with the police. “Which police do I report to? This Imran Khan’s police?” he asked, adding that he had ‘absolutely no’ intentions to report this incident to the police. Surprisingly, Javeed retracted his allegations against the premier and apologise for his “post-accident trauma and paranoia”. He tweeted, “After thorough probe, the Islamabad police found that my tyre hit a stone, got burst and the car skidded and thus the rest of damage.” A number of journalists and politicians condemned the incident and demand a transparent probe into the claims. News Desk
Bahria Town employees end protest after negotiation KARACHI staff RepoRt
The employees and contractors of Bahria Town, who had blocked the Super Highway while protesting against non-payment of salaries on Saturday, ended their demonstration after six hours of negotiations with the police and provincial authorities. The protesters had blocked the Super Highway between Karachi and Hyderabad over non-payment of dues. Traffic was blocked on both sides of the highway for several hours. The protesters had also blocked the link road to the National Highway from Kathore, Gadap. Bahria
Town residents, contractors, builders and employees were all part of the protests who appealed to the chief justice and prime minister to resolve their issue. The private housing society’s employees and contractors had also taken out a rally in Tauheed Commercial area of Defence. Families of overseas Pakistanis and investors were part of the rally. FINANCIAL CRISIS: Bahria Town, a privately owned real estate development company which operates across the country, is facing a severe financial crisis after the Supreme Court’s verdict regarding sale and purchase of property in Bahria Town Karachi. In May this year, the apex court had
barred Bahria Town from selling or allotting land in the Bahria Town Karachi project, as it struck down the shady allotment of land to the company by the Sindh government through the Malir Development Authority (MDA). In a 21 verdict, the bench hearing the case also directed anti-graft watchdog NAB to file references against those responsible for legal violations. Since then, the protesters claimed that 5,000 workers were not paid salaries and overtime compensation. Estate agents and investors of the housing scheme have staged multiple protests against the development. Some investors, who have paid in-
stalments over the previous five years, questioned the fate of their life savings and urged the government to protect their investment. It is feared that over 45,000 employees of the Bahria Town may face delays in their salaries. Contractors are also not getting paid and various contracts worth millions of rupees have been cancelled. According to rough estimates, the investment in Bahria Town projects is almost $20 billion. All restoration and development work came to a halt due to the crisis. Since the top court’s verdict, there has been no progress in all development projects of the housing scheme.
AIR QUALITY INDEX
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Sunday, 9 December, 2018
ConstruCtion of regional blood Centre faCes delay ISLAMABAD
HAmid KHAn WAziR
uTHORITIES have failed to construct a state-of-the-art regional blood centre in the federal capital which, sources say, faces further delay mainly due to the previous Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) government’s ‘indifference’ towards the health sector. Well-placed sources told Pakistan Today that the Islamabad Regional Blood Centre was to be constructed under the Safe Blood Transfusion Programme (SBTP) here at Park Road in Chak Shahzad which was scheduled to be completed by June this year. However, the authorities concerned failed to complete the project in the given one-year time despite
the issuance of foreign fund. They said that the centre was being constructed with the support of KfW – a German government-owned development bank – with the project amounting to Rs175 million that would regulate blood banks in the capital, besides ensuring the supply of quality blood to patients. The previous government paid little attention to the health sector and announced mega health-related projects, including the constructions of four state-of-the-art hospitals in the federal capital but not a single hospital was constructed during the last five years, sources added. LOW BLOOD DONATIONS: Despite a 70pc population of those under 29 years, the practice of voluntarily blood donations is very low in Pakistan which is be evident from the fact that only 10 per cent blood
comes from voluntary donors, while 90 per cent of the collection comes from unsafe families’ replacement donations. According to WHO statistics, about 112.5 million blood donations are collected globally of which half are in highincome countries, as 57 countries collect 100 per cent of their blood supply from voluntary, unpaid blood donors. The WHO recommended that all blood donations must be screened for evidence of infection prior to the release of the blood and its components for clinical or manufacturing use. Screening of all blood donations should be mandatory for HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis. No country can cater to the needs of the patients without a system based on voluntary-unpaid blood donations, particularly regular voluntary donations.
It is pertinent to mention here that the foundation stone of the Islamabad Regional Blood Centre building was laid down by then state minister for capital administration and development division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Choudhry back in May 5, 2017. A senior official said that the centre would be a procurement and distribution body that would ensure quality systems to regulate all activities such as mobilisation and retention of voluntary blood donors, maintenance of donor database, collection of blood donations and processing, screening, testing, component preparation and storage of the prepared components. The official said that the health sector remained unattended in the previous government which was widely divided
among the recently-dissolved CADD ministry, health ministry and interior ministry due to which no attention had been given for the improvement of the sector. He said that soon after coming into power, the government dissolved CADD and brought all health-related departments under health ministry. When this scribe contacted Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Spokesperson Sajid Shah, he said that the previous government was responsible for the delay of the completion of the project. Shah, however, said that the building would be completed within five to six months since all impediments in the way of its construction work have been removed and everything has now been streamlined.
People enjoy visit to President House
A large number of people from the twin cities on Saturday visited lush green and spacious lawns of the highly-secured building of President House. Talking to PTV News, people appreciated the de-
cision the of Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) government for opening the gates of all VVIP buildings, including the President House, for general public. The President House will remain open from 0900 hours to 1600 hours and families can enjoy a day off in the area open for public
that was once only approachable to the mighty and powerful heads. A visitor said, in the past, doors of a few buildings like Aiwan-e-Sadr were opened for the powerful and elites, but now a common man can also visit these VVIP and highly-secured houses only by showing the identity cards. He said that he was living in federal capital for last 20 year, but he could never get a chance to visit Aiwane-Sadr, adding, his dream came true after this publicfriendly decision of the incumbent government. The Governor Houses at Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar have already been opened up for general public.
Serena hosts Raabta dialogue on opportunities and challenges ISLAMABAD PRESS RELEASE
Serena Hotels hosted an evening of dialogue and discussion, under Raabta, a Public Diplomacy Initiative, on ‘The Dynamic Global Economy, Fostering the Pakistan Advantage'. The panel of experts, moderated by Sidra Iqbal, included Zohair Khaliq, Member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on IT and Communications, Melinda Good, Manager Operations at World Bank Pakistan, Sarim Sheikh, President and CEO of GE Pakistan, and Hasaan Khawar, international development and public policy professional. Melinda Good said, “We’ve been looking at two trajectories for the country between now and its hundredth birthday, which is 29 years from now. One is the business as usual which has the country growing at about 5% as it has done historically and the population growing at 2.4%, a rate which is the highest in the region. That
means more people are dividing the pie. The other trajectory is the optimistic one, where on its hundredth birthday, growth has accelerated, the difficult reforms have been done, and you’ve been able to invest in health and education, more women have joined the work force and these will moderate the population and Pakistan is in the upper middle income status. So what we need to talk about are the key reforms that need to be made which I think are looking at competitiveness and improving the investment climate, increasing the fiscal space, inclusiveness and human capital investment.” Zohair Khaliq said,
“There is going to be a huge demographic shift from the traditional economies of the West to the more emerging economies. According to an HSBC report, Pakistan is going to be one of the five fastest growing economies of the world; Of course, this depends on a lot of things and we can’t do business as usual. I think the government should focus on four things. We have to all start paying taxes, the tax to GDP ratio is shocking. Our population growth rate is unsustainable. We are desperately short of energy and will be in the future – the immediate answer is solar energy. Finally, everything we do should be underpinned by technology”.
WORLD VIEW 05
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
Is thIs the begInnIng Of the end fOr trump? SENTENCING MEMOS REVEAL DAMNING EVIDENCE ABOUT COLLUSION AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATIONS New York Times Barry Berke, Noah BookBiNder aNd NormaN eiseN
n Friday, federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the special counsel, Robert Mueller, delivered a potentially devastating one-two punch against President Trump. Coming late in the day, they made for bracing end-of-the-week reading. Calling on the court to impose a sentence of substantial imprisonment against Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney, prosecutors in the Southern District of new York stated that Mr Trump, the Trump Organisation and the campaign were all directly involved in an illegal scheme to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with Mr Trump. Prosecutors wrote that payments made by Mr Cohen and other actions were taken “with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election” and pursued “in coordination with and at the direction of Individual 1” — that is, Mr Trump. The Trump Organisation’s reimbursements to Mr Cohen for payments were fraudulently disguised as legal fees — and, according to the memo, were approved by senior executives at the organisation. The new York prosecutors also disclosed that they are investigating additional unspecified matters involving Mr Cohen and, presumably, the Trump Organisation. In light of these disclosures, the likelihood that the company and the Trump campaign face charges is now high. Although President Trump may avoid a similar fate because the Justice Department is unlikely to indict a sitting president, he could be named as an unindicted co-conspirator, as was President Richard nixon, or charged if he leaves office before the statute of limitations runs out (most likely in 2022). In crediting Mr Cohen with providing “substantial and significant efforts” to assist the investigation, Mr Mueller’s separate sentencing memo details new evidence of collusion with Russia, including a previously unreported phone conversation in november 2015 between Mr Cohen and an unnamed Russian who claimed to be a “trusted person” in Moscow. The Russian explained to Mr Cohen how the Russian government could provide the Trump campaign with “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level,” and offered to set up a meeting between Mr Trump, then a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia. This newly disclosed conversation directly speaks to the question of collusion — the outreach was explicitly political and was focused on how each side would gain from a potential partnership. Mr Mueller also notes that Mr Cohen provided
his team with additional information relevant to the “core” of the special counsel investigation. The special counsel focuses on Mr Cohen’s contacts with people connected to the White House in 2017 and 2018, possibly further implicating the president and others in his orbit in conspiracy to obstruct justice or to suborn perjury. Mr Mueller specifically mentions that Mr Cohen provided invaluable insight into the “preparing and circulating” of his testimony to Congress — and if others, including the president, knew about the false testimony or encouraged it in any way, they would be at substantial legal risk. Mr Trump’s legal woes do not end there. The special counsel also advanced the president’s potential exposure under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for activities relating to a potential Trump Tower Moscow. Mr Mueller noted that the Moscow project was a lucrative business opportunity that actively sought Russian government approval, and that the unnamed Russian told Mr Cohen that there was “no bigger warranty in any project than the consent” of Mr Putin. If recent reports that Mr Cohen floated the idea of giving Mr Putin a $50 million luxury apartment in a future Trump Tower Moscow prove true, both the president and his company could face substantial jeopardy. In a second blow to the president, on Friday prosecutors also disclosed a list of false statements that Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, allegedly made to federal investigators in breach of the cooperation agreement he entered into following his conviction for financial fraud and subsequent guilty plea to criminal conspiracy. Some of the lies that the special counsel spells out in the redacted memorandum appear to implicate the president and those close to him in possible collusion and obstruction crimes. notably, Mr Manafort is accused of lying to the special counsel regarding his contacts with the Trump administration. We don’t know the content of those contacts, but considering public statements about potential pardons, it is not hard to imagine they could implicate the president and others in a conspiracy to obstruct justice or witness tampering if, for example, they suggested a potential pardon if Mr Manafort protected the president. Contrary to the president’s claim that all of this “totally clears” him, the danger to Mr Trump, his business and his campaign has compounded significantly. For all these reasons, the president is unlikely to have a restful, tweet-free weekend — or a calm 2019, for that matter. Mr Berke is a lawyer specialising in white-collar criminal defence. Mr Bookbinder is a former federal corruption prosecutor. Mr Eisen is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Why Qatar left OPEC QATAR CHOSE TO LEAVE OPEC AT A TIME WHEN THE FUTURE OF THE CARTEL IS UNDER QUESTION
al Jazeera steveN Wright
Qatar’s decision to end its nearly 60-year-old membership in OPEC caught many observers by surprise earlier this week. Explaining the motivation behind the decision, Saad Sherida alKaabi, Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs and president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, said that Qatar’s exit from OPEC “is not political, it was purely a business decision for Qatar’s future strategy towards the energy sector.” Given that the decision was taken in the context of the ongoing Saudi-led blockade on Qatar, many commentators interpreted it as a political act and a rebuke of an organisation increasingly seen as a tool of Saudi power projection.
This assessment is too simplistic and does not reflect Qatar’s long-term economic strategy. What defines the country’s energy sector is not its oil production, but its capacity and global presence in the natural gas sector. Qatar’s exit from OPEC should be seen through the lens of its long-term economic vision and its divergence from the oil cartel’s business trajectory. Qatar began to strategically cultivate its natural gas sector in 1987 at a time when many in the industry hardly saw any potential in gas. This decision paid dividends many times over: Qatar today has emerged as the world largest exporter of LnG, GTL (Gas-to-Liquids) and helium. The revenue from the natural gas sector has propelled its economy and has given it special importance globally. Despite its position of leadership on the global LnG market, Qatar is aware that the gas sector is evolving quickly. In fact, a new era in the natural gas sector is on the horizon as three countries are
set to emerge as big players who could challenge Qatar’s leadership position: Australia, the United States, and Russia. All three are investing aggressively in LnG infrastructure and production. Yet Qatar is seeing this development from a positive perspective: as an opportunity to grow the LnG market rather than as a threat to its position. It is with this idea in mind that Qatar decided in September this year to increase its LnG output (currently at 77 million tonnes per year) to 110 million by 2024, despite a parallel growth in global LnG output. Qatar recognises that it is cleaner fuels like LnG that have a brighter future than oil, given the global trend to moving towards cleaner fuels. There is much more uncertainty about the growth in demand for oil than there is for natural gas. Thus, Qatar is not only determined to maintain its leadership position in the LnG sector but also to ensure that the global mar-
The ‘gilet jaunes’ are uniting France in a rage against Macron’s regime MACRON’S RELENTLESS WAR ON THE POOR, TRADE UNIONS, MIGRANTS, MUSLIMS AND THE WELFARE STATE HAVE SHOWN THE REAL FACE OF THE BANKER-TURNED-PRESIDENT middle easT eYe malia Bouattia
The walls of historical landmarks across Paris are emblazoned with the slogan: “The people demand the fall of the regime.” In recent weeks, thousands of people wearing yellow vests have taken to the streets in cities across France. Initially, the demonstrations erupted over rising fuel prices; now, the movement has grown into a mass anti-government protest, reminding President Emmanuel Macron that the people will hold his leadership to account. An estimated 300,000 people took to the streets on 17 november when this all began. It has been described as the biggest uprising in the country since the 2005 riots that rocked the nation for weeks after two teenage boys - Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore - were fatally electrocuted while being chased by police. On Wednesday, the French government abandoned planned fuel tax hikes, a week after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe ruling this out in a televised address to the nation. The yellow-vest movement is reflecting badly on the president, who is facing calls for his resignation from protesters and political opponents. What has taken pundits by surprise, however, is the apparent coalition of all those involved. It is seen as a leaderless wave of protests, but various groups have joined and rallied diverse communities to bring their collective power onto the streets. In the lead-up to the third Saturday of demonstrations, the trade union CGT, along with campaign groups such as the Justice for Adama collective against police brutality and Banlieues Respect, a federation of associations from the marginalised suburbs, sent a rallying cry across social media. Communities of colour, migrants and Muslims were initially hesitant to publicly join the protests, given that supporters included the far-right Rassemblement national and figures such as Marine Le Pen and Frank Buhler. However, as the movement gained ground, the demands strongly resembled those of working-class neighbourhoods in the banlieues: combatting mass unemployment, reducing living costs and providing decent housing for all. nevertheless, Macron seems set on dividing those involved, stressing the difference between peaceful protesters and those accused of violence. On Saturday, as state forces urged him to call a national state of emergency, he stressed that: “Those guilty of this violence don’t want change, they don’t want improvements; they want chaos. They betray the causes that they pretend to serve and which they manipulate.” It is ironic that he has condemned violence, while riot police have been firing tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon at protesters. Hundreds of people have also been arrested - yet most mainstream media coverage has focused on the burning cars, or
ket for LnG grows. The only way it could do that is by cooperating with other LnG producers through targeted investments to encourage long-term growth in demand for natural gas. Such cooperation could also yield access to new markets through swap agreements. This strategy is very much based on a free-trade approach, something that sits uneasily with membership in a cartel such as OPEC. In the context of its LnG strategy, Doha saw its membership in OPEC as a legacy of a bygone era, when it did not have a natural gas industry to rely on. In the early 1960s when Qatar joined, oil was the one resource that moved the world, its politics and economy. In the heydays of OPEC, a single decision by its members could plunge the global economy into a recession - as happened in 1973, when an oil embargo was imposed in reaction to US support for Israel in its war with Egypt. Today, OPEC is but a shadow of its old self. In May 2017, when OPEC decided to extend its output cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day to March 2018, the price of oil slumped by 4 per cent. Despite its declining sway on the global oil market, OPEC has served as a useful forum for states to engage in dialogue and cooperate on areas of mutual interest.
the bins and benches that have been ripped out. Little is being said about Macron’s actions in the lead-up to this uprising, which is about much more than his attempts to reduce global warming. The suggestion that it is all about the cost of petrol, which protesters wish to continue frivolously using for a lesser price, is deeply problematic and untrue. Those truly destroying this earth look and act a lot like Macron, wearing expensive suits, shaking hands with others in power, and making deals to enrich themselves at the cost of the masses. Indeed, more than 70 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by 100 companies, chief among them ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron. Any serious attempt to tackle climate change must take aim at the rich and the powerful who are destroying the planet, while investing in new, sustainable infrastructure to allow the rest of us to live, commute, and work in as ecologically friendly a manner as possible. It would be false and dangerous to label these protests as hostile towards combating climate change. The yellow vests have pointed out the gaping holes in France’s climate-change agenda. Macron’s government is too busy letting the real destroyers of our planet off the hook, while reprimanding the poor. His political base, big business, is allowed to continue as before, while the rest of society is made to pay dearly for problems not of their making. It wasn’t that long ago that Macron was elected, selling his vision of a non-partisan, “radical centrist”, unified France. Since then, his relentless war on the poor, trade unions, migrants, Muslims and the welfare state have shown the real face of the banker-turned-president. The explosion of anger and frustration across French society captures this reality in a striking way. Scenes of railway workers - on strike against government attacks on their working conditions - being greeted by chanting crowds of yellow-vest protesters was a perfect symbol of this new, militant unity. When Macron returned from the G20 summit in Argentina on Sunday, he went straight to the Arc de Triomphe to see the damage caused. Graffiti all over the monument read: “We’ve chopped off heads for less than this” and “Topple the bourgeoisie.” To paraphrase a line from Hubert Kounde in the famous film La Haine, which deals with post-riot life in the Paris ghettos in the 1990s: “It’s a story about a society on its way down. And as it falls, it keeps telling itself: ‘So far so good … So far so good … So far so good.’” But - as Hubert also tells us it’s not how you fall that matters. It’s how you land. Malia Bouattia is an activist, the former president of the National Union of Students, co-founder of the Students not Suspects/Educators not Informants Network and presenter/panellist on British Muslim TV’s Women Like Us.
For example, despite the hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is being played out through asymmetric warfare across the Middle East region, the two countries have engaged cooperatively with each other through OPEC. In this sense, maintaining membership presents certain advantages. But the value of OPEC to some of its members - particularly the smaller producers like Qatar (whose oil output is just 2 per cent of that of the organisation) - has been progressively waning for some time; they increasingly feel they have very limited influence over decision-making. OPEC remains essentially a Saudi-led cartel whose global relevance is in significant decline after the socalled “shale revolution”. The boom in production of shale oil through fracking allowed the US to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. As Riyadh’s ability to manipulate the market through OPEC has weakened, the future of the organisation and the effectiveness of its decisions necessitates Russian support. For example, when US President Trump pressed Saudi Arabia to increase oil output and bring down the price of oil ahead of the US midterms, the Saudi leadership had to seek Russia’s cooperation to do so.
At the same time, both Russia and Saudi Arabia are the subjects of intense scrutiny at the US Congress by both Democrats and Republicans. Apart from criticism over their human rights records and foreign policy decisions, there are also ongoing discussions about an anti-OPEC bill. The US Congress already tried once to pass such legislation during the administration of President George W Bush. Although the no Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (nOPEC) was never enacted, there are now reports that the Department of Justice is reviewing similar anti-trust legislation. It is unclear what Trump’s position is on this but it is possible that he would endorse such a bill if it could help his re-election. The passing of nOPEC would certainly drive down oil prices and make him a more popular president; it would also allow him to take action on Saudi Arabia and Russia to appease his Congressional critics, especially the Republicans. In this sense, Qatar’s exit from OPEC makes sense not only from a business perspective but also from a strategic one. Steven Wright is Associate Professor at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar.
06 NEWS Five ‘terrorists’ held with suicide jackets, grenades and arms BAHAWALPUR: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Saturday foiled a major terror bid by arresting five terrorists and recovering suicide jackets, hand grenades as well as arms from their possession. CTD spokesperson said that the department conducted an operation in Bahawalpur city on an intelligence tip-off regarding presence of terrorists. “During the operation, five terrorists were apprehended with suicide jackets, hand grenades and other weapons.” All the arms and explosives were confiscated, the spokesperson said. The held terrorists were shifted to an undisclosed location for further investigation. INP
Bill prohibiting gender disclosure to be tabled to end sex-selective abortion LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has announced that a bill prohibiting the disclosure of gender during the pregnancy would be tabled soon to end the trend of sex-selective abortion. She revealed this while addressing a seminar on “Ending Gender-Based Violence” held under the ambit of the Punjab Government in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN). “This saddens me that some people get to know about the sex of the baby during pregnancy and abort the child if it were not a boy,” she regretted. “Remember that the Prophet (PBUH) condemned this stigma. Islam provides equal rights to woman, let’s implement Islamic teachings in letter and in spirit”, she said. She added that Prime Minister Imran Khan openly accredits his mother for his success, a proof of which is the establishment of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital. The provincial health minister reiterated that no society can move forward without empowering women. “Violence against a woman disturb the whole family and society in the larger context,” she said. She regretted that this vulnerability was not exclusive to women from developing countries and appreciated UNWOMEN for joining hands with Punjab government to end violence against women. “Pakistan stands at number 6 in the list of countries where gender-based violence is a common practice.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
AJK president AsKs world to Act AgAinst Hr violAtions in iHK ISLAMABAD
RESIDENT Azad Jammu Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan Saturday urged the international community to intervene and play their role in redressing the severe human rights violations and Indian atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) which are intensifying day by day. He was addressing the inaugural session of International Conference on “UN Report on Human Rights Violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir: Demographic Changes and Societal Implications” held here at a local hotel. Sardar Masood Khan appreciated the first-ever UN report on Kashmir which highlighted the issues of severe human rights violations, denied access to justice, fastening culture of impunity, excessive use of force, arbitrary detention, violation of health and education rights, use of rape as instrument of war to terrorize the people etc. However, he said, merely reports and words are not enough to stop the increasing atrocities in the Occupied Kashmir but it is a high time for United Nations Secretary General and UN Se-
curity Council to play their role through appointing a special envoy on Kashmir and forming Human Rights Council on Kashmir issue. This report is the outcome of remote monitoring of the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, he said, adding this is a significant step but still is a tip of iceberg as it has not been able to depict the full horror Kashmiri people have to pass through each and every
day. “This report is just a beginning and now it is ours and human rights activist’s responsibility to turn it into a life evolving document by highlighting it at all the forums,” he observed. Sardar Masood Khan urged the UN to appoint a special envoy on Kashmir and establish a Human Rights Council. He said the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir are symbol of peace, se-
Lahore Parking Company ex-chief sent to jail on judicial remand LAHORE
curity and stability in the region and they welcome the process of dialogue followed the principle of equity. He said around 400 people are killed in occupied Kashmir in the year 2018 and most of them were youth. Hundreds of Kashmiri people have lost their eyes due to the use of pallet guns by the Indian forces which need attention of international community. Speaking on the occasion, Director General, Pakistan House, Rana Athar Javed appreciated the first-ever UN report on Human Rights violations in Held Kashmir and said this report is a significant step toward highlighting the Kashmir cause. Now it is the duty of human rights activists to defend this report and highlight its flaws. He said Pakistan House is an international think tank based in Copenhagen and it strives to create new materials regarding human rights violations and its mandate includes seeking protection of youth in occupied Kashmir. Earlier, the key note speakers of the session, Author and Former Conflict Advisor UN, Ms. Janne Teller and President, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights, Dr. Nazir Gilani also spoke about features of the UN report.
LHC tribunal issues detailed verdict in PM poll case LAHORE
An accountability court on Saturday sent Lahore Parking Company’s (LPC) former chief Hafiz Nauman to jail on judicial remand in connection with a scam. Earlier, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials produced Hafiz Nauman before Accountability Court Judge Syed Najamul Hassan on expiry of physical remand term. NAB prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua submitted that investigations had been completed from the accused and his custody was no longer required. He pleaded with the court to send the accused to jail on a judicial remand. The court sent Hafiz Nauman to jail on judicial remand till December 20, with a direction to produce him again on expiry of the term. According to NAB, the accused misused his authority
and illegally awarded parking sites contracts. National exchequer had to face loss of millions of rupees due to financial irregularities in the company. On
November 28, Hafiz Nauman was arrested from Lahore High Court (LHC) premises after a division bench dismissed his pre-arrest bail petition.
An election tribunal on Saturday issued the detailed order on an election petition challenging the victory of Prime Minister Imran Khan from the Mianwali constituency. Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Shahid Waheed issued the 29page judgement which stated that the petitioner had failed to prove the allegations levelled against the premier. “The petitioner did not provide a copy of the election plea to all candidates and provided a wrong affidavit with the petition,” the judgement read. Justice Waheed noted, “There can be no interference in the victory of the appointed candidate on the basis of baseless allegations, therefore, the election petition against Imran Khan is not in accordance with law and is thus rejected.”
Ruinous Tomb of Ali Mardan awaits authorities' attention LAHORE SHAHAB OMER
The Tomb of Ali Mardan, located on the Grand Trunk (GT) Road, is in shambles and its condition is worsening with every passing day while the authorities concerned bat no eye, Pakistan Today has learnt. According to sources, the Punjab Archaeology Department, which had declared it as a “protected site”, is paying no heed to the preservation of the monument that is also suffering owing to the negligence of Pakistan Railways. “Railways department now owns the piece of land the tomb is situated on,” they said and added that the historic site was only opened to the public for a little time every Thursday. “The embellishments of Ali Mardan Khan’s tomb are also fading away with the passage of time,” sources said, adding that although it is one of the most important monuments on the GT Road, its antiquity is under threat. “As the tomb is within the territory of Pakistan Railways, the authorities have built a kilometer long passageway from the street to the tomb in an effort to prevent visitors from trespassing on the rail yard grounds. The chambers having intricate pietra dura works have been hidden behind recklessly erected walls whereas the fresco paintings on the walls and ceilings of the structure have been ruined by railways workers, who use the site as a resting spot.” The lush green gardens, they further said, which once surrounded the structure were under the Pak-
istan Railways as well, but no efforts had ever been made to maintain them. “The graves of Ali Mardan and his mother are also in a dilapidated condition whereas the entire area is covered in waist-high shrubs and wild plantation.” According to a tourist guide, Muhammad Javed, the tomb was built in the 1650s and reflected the dec-
orative features of the 16th and 17th-century Mughalera structures. “The Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan was a beautiful burial structure and once it was surrounded by a lush garden like many other Mughal-era tombs. Unfortunately, now the lush green gardens are being used as an industrial rail yard.” “The tomb is a huge brick construction with a
high dome and kiosks on angular points. It was originally an outstanding construction as the dome was finished with white marble housing a floral design of black marble. On the sides, the structure had beautiful Timurid aiwans,” Javed said. He added that the graves were built on a three-foot-high red sandstone platform beneath a larger dome decorated with inlaid precious stones and fresco patterns. Speaking of the life and works of Ali Mardan, he said, “Other than being one of the key officials of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Mardan was also known as a distinguished engineer who supervised the construction of numerous buildings.” “The water supply system of Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir was also planned by him and his lasting contribution was the construction of a canal from Ravi to the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore,” he told this scribe. “Mardan died in 1657 while on his way to Kashmir. His body was carried back to Lahore and buried in the magnificent tomb that he had built for his mother.” Commenting on the monument’s derelict condition, Archaeology Deputy Director Malik Maqsood said that they will be taking up its conservation within the ongoing month. “We will be carrying out the monument’s structural strengthening while the lime plasters, fresco, terrace, mosaic tiles, lawns, walkways and the fountains will be fully restored.” The tender of the restoration work will also be released in December, he added. “The department will conserve the tomb to the fullest of its capabilities and make it a stateof-the-art monument for the tourists,” Maqsood said.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
Punjab CM expresses resolve to end ‘30 years of status quo’ LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Saturday expressed his resolve to end “30 years of status quo” in the province and carrying out record legislation for the welfare of the people. “It is not a simple task, but we have started making efforts and things are improving. For the first time in history, savings worth billions have been made,” he said during an informal interaction with media persons at his office. The chief minister said that serving the masses was his only agenda and the government would present the report of its first 100 day’s performance to the people. “We will also apprise them of our plans for the next five years,” he said. “The issue of clean drinking water will be resolved at the earliest, especially in remote areas, and the people will soon witness real change.” The chief minister added that his government would burn the midnight oil to ensure progress and welfare of the people of Punjab and informed the journalists of the projects that the incumbent government has launched for the betterment of the people. Spokesperson to the chief minister, Dr Shahbaz Gill, and others concerned were also present on the occasion.
Man throws boiling water at wife A man in Muzaffargarh was arrested for throwing boiling water on his wife’s face because she is childless. According to District Police Officer (DPO) Imean Kishwar, Fauzia was admitted to Nishat Hospital in Multan with burns after Nazeer Hussain scalded her. It has been reported that he also hit her before throwing the boiling water. NEWS dESK
‘corruption mAJor Hurdle in economic prosperity’
RESIDENT Dr Arif Alvi has said corruption in Pakistan hurts the economy as well as business. Corrupted economies remained unable to function properly because corruption prevented free functioning of natural laws of the economy. “Although it has wide spread implications on our lives, the economy bears the main brunt and in turn sabotages prosperity of the nation,” the President said in a message on the International Anti-Corruption Day being commemorated on December 9 since the ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption on October 31, 2003 to raise public awareness against financial crimes. The President noted that the corruption in a nation’s political and economic operations caused its entire society to suffer. “Each year billions of rupees of the public money are lost because of corruption in the form of embezzlements, bribes and misappropriation of funds which directly affect the ability of the Government to provide even proper basic services to the public and denies them their fundamental rights,” he added. He noted that the sheer scale of the challenge called for combined efforts to confront this challenge head on. “The Government is commit-
around the globe about harmful effects of corruption, he added. “No country is free from this menace; it poses threat to the very fabric of all societies,” he added. The National Accountability Bureau being the apex anti-corruption agency of Pakistan had been mandated to keep this menace in check as well as to create awareness among the public at large about corruption. The publication of a special supplement on the day was a testament to highlight the efforts undertaken by the Bureau, the President said, adding it also underscored the importance of eradicating this curse from the homeland, which was one of the top priorities of the present government.
ted to eradicating this cancer. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) alone cannot win this fight,” he added. The President called upon and urged all segments of society to stand together in bringing about the change in their behaviors and contribute toward efforts in putting an end to corruption to support economic growth in order to bring prosperity. He said the corruption was now taken as one of the world’s greatest challenges. It was major hindrance against development and prosperity and corrosive for the very fabric of society and economic prosperity. This day served as reminder not only to the people of Pakistan, but also to the citizens of all the nations
Construction of blood centre faces further delay ISLAMABAD HAMId KHAN WAzIR
Authorities have failed to construct a state-of-the-art regional blood centre in the federal capital which, sources say, faces further delay mainly due to the previous Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) government’s ‘indifference’ towards the health sector. Well-placed sources told Pakistan Today that the Islamabad Regional Blood Centre was to be constructed under the Safe Blood Transfusion Programme (SBTP) here at Park Road in Chak Shahzad which was scheduled to be completed by June this year. However, the authorities concerned failed to complete the project in the given one-year time despite the issuance of foreign fund. They said that the centre was being constructed with the support of KfW – a German governmentowned development bank – with the project amounting to Rs175 million that would regulate blood banks in the capital, besides ensuring the supply of quality blood to patients. The previous government paid little
HEALTH MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON SAYS BLOOD CENTRE BUILDING TO BE COMPLETED WITHIN NEXT SIX MONTHS attention to the health sector and announced mega health-related projects, including the constructions of four state-of-the-art hospitals in the federal capital but not a single hospital was constructed during the last five years, sources added. LOW BLOOD DONATIONS: Despite a 70pc population of those under 29 years, the practice of voluntarily blood donations is very low in Pakistan which is be evident from the fact that only 10 per cent blood comes from voluntary donors, while 90 per cent of the collection comes from unsafe families’ replacement donations. According to WHO statistics, about 112.5 million blood donations are collected globally of which half are in high-income countries, as 57 countries collect 100 per cent of their blood supply from voluntary, unpaid blood donors.
The WHO recommended that all blood donations must be screened for evidence of infection prior to the release of the blood and its components for clinical or manufacturing use. Screening of all blood donations should be mandatory for HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis. No country can cater to the needs of the patients without a system based on voluntary-unpaid blood donations, particularly regular voluntary donations. It is pertinent to mention here that the foundation stone of the Islamabad Regional Blood Centre building was laid down by then state minister for capital administration and development division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Choudhry back in May 5, 2017. A senior official said that the centre would be a procurement and distribution body that would ensure quality systems to regulate all activities such as
mobilisation and retention of voluntary blood donors, maintenance of donor database, collection of blood donations and processing, screening, testing, component preparation and storage of the prepared components. The official said that the health sector remained unattended in the previous government which was widely divided among the recently-dissolved CADD ministry, health ministry and interior ministry due to which no attention had been given for the improvement of the sector. He said that soon after coming into power, the government dissolved CADD and brought all health-related departments under health ministry. When this scribe contacted Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Spokesperson Sajid Shah, he said that the previous government was responsible for the delay of the completion of the project. Shah, however, said that the building would be completed within five to six months since all impediments in the way of its construction work have been removed and everything has now been streamlined.
People enjoy visit to President House ISLAMABAD APP
A large number of people from the twin cities on Saturday visited lush green and spacious lawns of the highly-secured building of President House. Talking to PTV News, people appreciated the decision the of Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for opening the gates of all VVIP buildings, including the President House, for general public. The President House will remain open from 0900 hours to 1600 hours and families can enjoy a day off in the area open for public that was once only approachable to the mighty and powerful heads. A visitor said, in the past, doors of a few buildings like Aiwan-e-Sadr were opened for the powerful and elites, but now a common man can also visit these VVIP and highly-secured houses only by showing the identity cards. He said that he was living in federal capital for last 20 year, but he could never get a chance to visit Aiwan-e-Sadr, adding, his dream came true after this public-friendly decision of the incumbent government.
Man gets jail term over secret second marriage RAWALPINDI: A man was sentenced to three months imprisonment and fined Rs 30,000 by a civil court on Saturday in a second marriage case. According to details, the convicted man’s wife Sajida Bibi had filed a petition in district civil court under Section 6 of Muslim family law, claiming that her husband Liaqat Khan had contracted a second marriage without her permission. However, Liaqat’s lawyer presented a divorce deed and other documents in the court as evidence and two witnesses who testified about his divorce before the judge. According to the divorce deed, Liaqat had divorced Sajida on June 1, 2017, and got married again on July 9, 2017, but Sajida rejected the divorce claim and said that Liaqat had fabricated the document. Upon this, the judge sent Liaqat to jail for three months. v
11 outlaws held in Islamabad ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Capital Police (ICT) Saturday arrested 11 outlaws from various localities of the city and recovered heroin, hashish, wine, snatched cash, mobile and weapons from their possession, a police spokesman said. Following the directions of SSP (Operations) Waqar Uddin Syed all officials of Islamabad police had accelerated their efforts to curb activities of anti-social elements and drug pushers.According to details, Secretariat police arrested accused Saeed Ullah and recovered 205 gram heroin from him. Aabpara police arrested accused Safit Ullah and recovered one 9mm pistol along with ammunition from him. Bhara Kahu police arrested accused Amin and recovered 370 gram hashish while police team also arrested accused Chand Massaih and recovered 50 liter of wine from him. APP
Govt to address key issues of business community: PM aide ISLAMABAD INP
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan has said that the business community of federal capital is playing important role in the development of the local economy and steps will be taken to address their CDA-related issues. He stated this while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) led by Senior Vice President of the Chamber Rafat Farid, which called on him here on Saturday.
The delegation comprised Vice President ICCI Iftikhar Anwar Sethi, Tariq Sadiq, Khalid Iqbal Malik, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, Zafar Bakhtawari, Sheikh Atif Ikram, Ch Waheed ud Din and others. Speaking to the occasion, Ali Nawaz Awan said that trade change issue was important for business community and CDA would make this process easier so that businessmen could change trade as per current needs of business. He said the process of lease renewals of commercial plots would also be made easy to facilitate traders and
industrialists. He said that CDA Master Plan was being revisited to improve it in conformity with current needs. He said the performance of CDA would be improved through automation and one window facility would be further improved to provide better services to the business community and citizens. He assured that all highlighted issues of business community would be addressed to facilitate them. Speaking at the occasion, SVP ICCI Rafat Farid, VP Iftikhar Anwar Sethi and other members of delegation highlighted the various issues of busi-
ness community that needed urgent attention of CDA for redress. They said that CDA had assured to update building byelaws to meet the current needs of businesses and the civic body should expedite that process. They said that CDA should revise annual ground rent of industrial plots to make it affordable. They said that the lease renewal process of CDA was quite complicated which needed streamlining along with revision of its rates. The delegation members said that CDA had agreed in principal to allow construction of additional storey in
markets, but was charging very high rates due to which it was not feasible and emphasized that CDA should reduce charges for additional storey. They said one window facility of CDA should be further improved to provide better services. They further said that there was no more space in existing industrial areas of Islamabad for setting up new industries and urged that CDA in cooperation with ICCI should work for establishing a new industrial estate in Islamabad to promote industrialization. They said trade license fee should also be reduced.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
Pakistan’s foreign relations And an over-confident but ill-prepared PM
Confusion worst confounded Tail wagging the dog
eSPIte receiving hours long briefings at the GHQ and ISI headquarters besides attending several lengthy tutorials by none other than the COAS himself Imran Khan faltered during the interview by Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth. When asked to spell out precisely what he meant by proper relationship with the US, he gave the example of Pakistan’s relationship with China. “Our relationship with China is not one-dimensional. It’s a trade relationship between the two countries.” Imran Khan forgets that the real basis of Pakistan-China relationship is a unique and mutually beneficial strategic partnership of which trade unfortunately remains an insignificant factor: a paltry export of $1.744bn from Pakistan compared to $11.458bn of import from China in fY 2017-18, creating a trade gap of $9.7bn in China’s favour. During the same period United States imported $3.86bn from Pakistan as against $2.076bn export - leaving a surplus of $1.78bn for Pakistan. It is equally preposterous to claim that by seeking Pakistan’s help to bring the taliban to the negotiating table the US has embraced Imran Khan’s policy of resolving the Afghan issue through talks. the PM needs to be reminded of efforts for a resolution through talks that started in 2010 during Obama’s first tenure. In June 2013 a US delegation arrived at taliban’s Qatar office for talks, with President Obama calling it ‘an important first step toward reconciliation’. the move failed because of opposition from President Karzai. In July 2015 the first round of Afghanistan-taliban talks was brokered by Pakistan at Murree, attended by officials from the US and China as observers. Being an outstanding cricketer does not necessarily provide one the capacity to resolve complicated international issues. Khan is keen to cultivate friendly relations between India and Pakistan but has apparently done little homework about disputes between the two countries. He says he has asked his government to find out the status of the Mumbai case. Khan is confident of bringing Pakistan and the US closer. He says he knows the Western mind and how to deal with the US. He is also keen to resolve the Afghan conundrum after receiving a letter from trump. One wishes him Godspeed albeit with some trepidation.
Botched Test series Simply unable to get the end game right
fter an abysmal outing in the first test against New Zealand where Pakistan lost by a mere four runs the men in green equalised the series by completely destroying the Kiwi’s with a spectacular innings and 16 runs win in the second test. Yasir Shah obliterated New Zealand’s batting order twice with 8 plus 6 wickets while bowling behind a comfortable first innings total of 418 courtesy Haris Sohail and Babar Azam who got a ton a piece. Naturally the decider was going to be a high-pressure game and buckle under that pressure we did. there was nothing exceptional about how New Zealand went about setting us a relatively achievable target of 280 in a minimum of 80 overs on day 5 but it was excruciating to watch Pakistan, true to form, botch up the endgame in such spectacular fashion. It is an accepted fact that for Pakistan chasing down even a reasonable total in any form of the game can go either way. even worse this is an infuriating seventh time that Pakistan has managed to lose all 10 wickets on the fifth day of a test since 2016. this collapse was not dissimilar to previous ones – opening batsmen throw away their wickets, middle order comes under pressure resulting in soft dismissals with the tailenders left to pick up the pieces. Had they put up a fight to build up a better lead during their first innings perhaps the target would have been lower and more manageable. Inconsistency remains a hallmark of our cricket. A deeper problem is selection. PSL has produced some exceptional talent like Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and fakhar Zaman to name a few. these players were instrumental in winning the Champions trophy 2017. Yet we are nowhere close to the output India and Australia produce through their club cricket. With a new PCB chairman handpicked by one of the finest cricketers the country has produced now serving as PM; there is hope yet. However so far it is just more of the same.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965
rIMe minister Imran Khan is a lucky guy. the kind of support he enjoys from various state institutions, his predecessors could only dream of. He has everything going for him. Despite the tail wind, in the end analysis if he fails to deliver it is entirely going to be his own fault. Unfortunately in the first few months of helter skelter governance, there is more emphasis on optics rather than substance. Admittedly for a political government, optics is equally important. However, the tail should not be wagging the dog. the vision that was expected from the PtI government is hitherto lacking. Perhaps a perception of sorts, albeit not entirely positive, has emerged in the first 100 days. A scorched earth policy towards the opposition has become the hallmark of Khan’s government. His spokespersons use the harshest of language bordering on insult to malign the opposition. to expect wonders from any government in such a short period is unrealistic. But a boorish attitude is no substitute for delivery. the problem that afflicts the government is its consistent failure to stick to its message. Whether it is the economy, foreign and security policy or day-to-day governance the muchneeded clarity is lacking. take the case of foreign policy. It has been the consistent policy of the past governments and the security establishment that the US should be engaging the taliban to find a negotiated settlement of the Afghan imbroglio. However the prime minister, re-inventing the wheel, believes that president trump through his recent letter to him has finally come around to his point of view to talk to the taliban. On the one side it is claimed that unlike the past the present government engages Washington strictly on the basis of equality. Khan’s recent statement that Pakistan won’t be a hired gun of the US anymore is welcome. But on the other we
seem to be overly excited over a modicum of an offer of an olive branch from the US president. On the economic front - not entirely the prime minister’s making - there is confusion worst confounded. the second devaluation followed by hiking the discount rate by 150 basis points during the past week sent jitters to the markets further destabilising an already battered economy. the real damage was done when the Khan glibly claimed that he was not in the loop about the impending devaluation and only came to know about it through news channels. the finance minister exacerbated the situation by claiming that the central bank did it on its own without informing the government. those in the know of things termed it as highly unlikely that the government was left in the dark about the impending devaluation. If it was a planned devaluation to meet IMf conditionalities it was done in a most crude and haphazard fashion. rumours about Asad Umar’s replacement have contributed to the uncertainty. Interestingly it is not the opposition that is baying for the finance minister’s blood; some of his own colleagues want him out. Consequently, Umar’s position as finance minister has become quite untenable. He has lost the confidence of his own colleagues as well as the perception game. Half-baked ideas of the Khan have not helped matters either. His desi murghi and eggs theory has become the butt of all kinds of jokes on social media. But his spokespersons insist upon defending this dubious concept to no ends. Similarly, the prime minister’s sudden brain wave to demolish the boundary walls of the historic governor house in Lahore evoked a strong reaction amongst the ubiquitous civil society. Ultimately the Lahore high court had to come to the rescue by issuing a restraining order against demolishing the wall. On the political front as well, the situation is quite dismal. the opposition simply not on board, no legislation has been moved in the parliament. Instead of taking steps to rectify the situation, the prime minister has threatened to rule through presidential ordinances. Naturally this has evoked a very strong reaction from the opposition benches. PPP senator Sherry rehman has even alleged that Khan wants to replace the parliamentary form of government with a presidential system. this is a bit far-fetched. even if the PtI has a penchant for a presidential system, it is simply not doable under the present political dispensation. In fact, harking back to the dictatorial era by legislating through presidential ordinances is re-
ally not an option for the government post the eighteenth amendment in the constitution. the opposition can simply undo such ordinances through resolutions passed in the Senate where it enjoys an overwhelming majority. the only viable option for the PtI government both at the Centre and in the Punjab is to work with the opposition. But right now Khan is too busy branding the opposition as thugs and thieves, claiming their real place instead of the parliament should be in jail. the sooner he realises the drawbacks of this highly flawed strategy the better for him. Notwithstanding his vendetta against the former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif the government has hitherto failed to nab him. Despite over two months of intense interrogation NAB (National Accountability Bureau) has been unable to file a reference against the younger Sharif. Now being put under judicial remand, the former chief minister’s lawyers are likely to move for his bail on health grounds. the Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor referring to the prime minister’s recent interview in which he had claimed that the military supported the PtI’s manifesto, has rightly pointed out that the armed forces did not favour any single party, particular government or province. However, it would have been much better if such a clarification had emanated from the prime minister’s office. Nonetheless there is no gainsaying that the exemplary relations that Khan presently enjoys with the military establishment are unprecedented. He should make the most of it by getting things done instead of going around in circles. the DG ISPr (Inter Services Public relations) has appealed to the media to paint Pakistan positively for at least the next six months. Why for six months only? the inference is quite clear: the ‘fourth pillar’ is not doing its job properly. Barring making exceptions in the name of the pervasive national interest it is the job of the media to give all sides of the picture. Ironically it is the PtI itself that through its various faux pas is contributing to the negativity. the media is only reporting and analysing it to the best of its ability. Once accompanying the late general Zia-ulHaq while on a visit to Singapore, the military strongman told me that the media should emulate the example of Singaporean newspapers. Invoking the New York Times slogan, “All is news that is fit to print” he pontificated that this is what Pakistani newspapers should be doing. Of course, he meant that negative news should be kept out of the media. And who would decide what is fit to print? In his view, certainly not the editor! Arif Nizami is Editor, Pakistan today. He can be contacted at email@example.com
A lesson for Trump How not to ask for Pakistan’s cooperation
rIMe Minister Imran Khan in a recent interview to the Washington Post said that “I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun — given money to fight someone else’s war.” Khan was answering a question related to Pakistan’s deeply troubled relationship with the United States. furthermore, he accused Washington of pushing away Pakistan with its inconsistent and flawed policies towards Pakistan which were only focused on making security gains at Pakistan’s expense. Khan’s response underlines his deep resentment against Washington’s policy of exploiting Pakistan’s influence in the region for their own gains while Islamabad continues to pay with blood with costs that have had grave implications for the country’s economy. If one is to dissect Khan’s disapproval of Pakistan and the US’s bilateral relationship in which the former considers Pakistan’s treatment as unfair, one should also explore the growing discomfort of Pakistan’s civilian and military Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9
leadership with this relationship. As Khan said during his interview that we prefer to have a good working relationship with the US and we prefer a relationship which is not one dimensional. for decades, Pakistan and the US’s bilateral relationship has been defined by both countries respective security needs and interests. However, Pakistan on its part, has, for decades pushed to open the bilateral relationship beyond security calculus which has not been fully encouraged or welcomed by Washington. for the US, Pakistan’s entire utility has primarily remained concerned with having, by and large, a security-focused relationship with the country. While Pakistan has worked closely with the US to tackle growing militant challenges in the region, Pakistan is the only country in this relationship that has paid the actual price of taking on extremist forces operating along the Durand Line. for decades, there has been an understanding in Islamabad that Washington is an unreliable ally. this has been one lesson in Pakistan which has remained an irrefutable truth: the moment Washington realises that its own security goals are fulfilled, it shuts down its commitments with Islamabad. the withdrawal during the late 90s from Afghanistan without resolving the mess which Washington had created while fighting against the Soviet Union, not only became a reason for the US to come back to the same country to fight its
Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545
longest war in history but also became a reason which brought back the US’s interest in Pakistan. Moreover, what has also damaged US’s influence and credibility in Pakistan’s policy-making circles is the former’s swipe on Pakistan’s security apparatus’s willingness to work with Washington to at least keep afloat a military to military relationship between the two countries. President trump’s decision to cut Pakistan’s security assistance which Islamabad has claimed for offering space, logistical support and cooperation to assist the US in the region and to shut down military training programmes with Pakistan only cement the assertion that Washington is an unreliable ally. While we are not there yet, one needs to float this question: would the US be interested in having any relationship with Pakistan if the former has completely exited from Afghanistan? If with a deep engagement in Afghanistan, Washington claims that Pakistan has not done anything for the US, what will they be saying when they have left the region in terms of Pakistan’s security utility? these are some considerations which Pakistan’s policy-making circles should have on their minds. Now, with this situation in place, while Pakistan wants peace and stability in Afghanistan as Islamabad stands to gain most from reconciliation next door, the country is not going to help the US achieve its withdrawal from Afghanistan if it
harms Pakistan’s national interests. If the US believes that Pakistan is going to undermine its own security and national interests because they do not align with Washington’s interests in the region, the former needs to reorient its policy towards Islamabad. Moreover, while a letter from President trump, asking Pakistan for help in Afghanistan may be a good gesture, it doesn’t do anything in terms of rearranging Pakistan’s own understanding and assessment of the situation in Afghanistan and what the military, which remains on the front lines for decades concerning the situation in Afghanistan, needs to do in order to keep Pakistan’s interests at the epicentre. Pakistan’s civilian and the military leadership appear to have developed consensus concerning Washington relationship with Islamabad: while Pakistan would like to have a good working relationship with the US, the latter should not expect cooperation when it’s not even ready to recognise Pakistan’s efforts. Washington’s inconsistent policy towards Pakistan has only left space for confusion, mistrust, and suspicion which is not encouraging when it comes to asking Islamabad for assistance in Afghanistan while blaming the country at the same time. Washington may be frustrated with its position in Afghanistan but that’s not a position Pakistan has created. Umair Jamal is a graduate of the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University. He is a research fellow with the Centre for Governance and Policy. He regularly writes for various media outlets. He can be contacted on Twitter: @UJAmaLs.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
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Where is the booklet?
Pakistan navy submarine HANGOR’s heroic action In the 1971 war Kashif Qasim
NS/M HANGOr, a french Daphne class submarine, was commissioned in france on 01 December 1969, followed by two others of same class. By 1971 four PN submarines (one fleet and three daphne) had arrived in Pakistan. the political situation in east Pakistan continued to deteriorate during that year. things were heating up in east Pakistan and war clouds were visible over the horizon. In view of the increasing chances of war, the submarines undertook a few patrols to gather intelligence and pick up vital operational information for war time operations. the longest patrol was over 30 days by HANGOr. the patrols helped the crew to build confidence and to test their stamina and equipment under real wartime conditions. On the night of 21/22 Nov 1971 when Indian army crossed the international border in east Pakistan, HANGOr sailed with full wartime load of torpedoes and was off Bombay by 26 Nov. A serious defect in sea water circulating system developed which required docking the submarine to effect repairs. the crew thought it to be shameful to return to Karachi so soon. therefore, with consultation and support of officers and crew, the commanding officer decided to take risk. He at night kept the submarine at surface using deception tactics and with faith in God, managed to rectify the defect within 36 hours. He even managed to deceive an enemy warship which closed in on the submarine. It would have been a sitting duck if the ship had opened fire; such is the luck which favours the brave who take risk. After rectifying the defect, HANGOr was returning to its station when on the night of 2/3 Dec 1971 Indian fleet (eight ships) left Bombay and passed over the submarine, deployed in shallow waters. the targets were right in the periscope sights for a kill. But, as hostilities had not yet opened, the commanding officer and his crew watched the prey move out of their grasp. It was an excellent opportunity for submarine to attack but in absence of NHQ orders to ‘shoot’ one could not act on his own. It must have been frustrating to see lucrative targets moving through the area and in range. Code word giving permission to attack Indian war ships was received on 4 December and the submarine started to look for targets. On 6th Dec, NHQ shifted the area of HANGOr and by 8th Dec submarine stationed herself in the middle of new area. It was operating with bathy conditions extremely favourable for ships to detect submarines. Similarly, sea was flat calm and any use of periscope, even for short duration, would be immediately picked up by enemy radars and was sure suicide for the submarine. So, the submarine was extra vigilant on its acoustic sensors.
for “HANGOr” the period of patience waiting reached a climax on the evening of 9th Dec. for the first time since the on-set of war, the enemy ships came in effective weapon range when she identified two enemy frigates some distance off “Diu Head”. HANGOr assumed a state of full combat alert, with all aboard eager to join the battle. the commander had no illusions about the risks involved in engaging “hunter-killer” frigates, especially equipped for anti-submarine warfare. In spite of the risks involved, he chose to close the enemy, determined to inscribe the name “HANGOr” in the annals of Pakistan’s history. the commanding officer closed the two targets at shallow depth with caution, prudence and exercising all professionalism to avoid detection. Patience is probably the greatest virtue in submarine warfare. A high measure of it is required to lay in wait and to choose the right moment for attack. the key personnel devoted their undivided attention at their respective action stations to various tasks involved in getting a perfect “fix”. Only a few necessary words were being uttered, as each member of the crew knew exactly what was expected of him. Seconds ticked away marked by eager activity, as all sonar information was fed into the fire Control System. “HANGOr” was ready and at 1957 hours on 9th of December 1971 the sharp command “shoot” rang out and the first torpedo sped away. the torpedo homed in on the target, passed under and did not explode. At 2014 hours “shoot” was again ordered for the launch of the second torpedo. the sonar operator concentrated on his headset with full attention. He tracked the torpedo with cool determination till it found its mark. As he listened, the headset was virtually ripped off by the deafening roar of a mighty explosion. the pressure wave rocked “HANGOr” and the detonation was heard clearly by all onboard, who themselves immediately reacted with a resounding shout of “Allah-o-Akbar”. the torpedo exploded under the magazine of INS KHUKrI and the huge explosion broke the ship in two and she sank in less than two minutes causing heavy casualties. KHUKrI was the ship of Squadron Commander, Captain
Mahendra Nath Mulla who went down with the ship. there was, however, little time for rejoicing as the other frigate, having located “HANGOr” started a counter attack and all minds turned to the task of meeting the threat. the enemy was approaching at speed, and was ready to commence firing anti-submarine mortars. reacting instantly, “HANGOr” fired her third torpedo at 2024 hours “down the throat”. the ship on hearing the torpedo reversed course, increased speed to out run the torpedo. the enemy manoeuvre was, however, unsuccessful. the torpedo hit her at long distance causing severe damage. Indians lost about 250 men in this action including Squadron Commander Captain MN Mulla. Having achieved her spectacular success, “HANGOr” started evasive manoeuvres as the enemy was certainly going to react with the entire available ASW resources. for the next three days, Indian warships combed the vicinity of the scene of action and HANGOr was subjected to extensive depth charge attacks. Someone in the crew kept the count and according to him it came to be 156 attacks during this period. An extensive air search combined with surface ships was conducted but with intelligent evasive action, the submarine managed to evade these attacks and arrived in Karachi safely after the cease fire. Despite these potential hazards the morale onboard “HANGOr” never wilted. As a member of the crew put it, “the crew always felt that death would not matter so long as they succeeded in destroying the enemy”. the ship’s crew was justifiably satisfied with their achievement under difficult conditions. they had supreme faith in their officers and men remained confident that they would succeed in out-witting the enemy. for their act of courage and devotion to duty, the officers and men of PNS/M HANGOr were decorated with four Sitara-e-Juraat, six tamgha-e-Juraat and 14 Imtiazi Asnad. this is the highest number of operational gallantry awards given to a single unit of Pakistan navy.
Having achieved her spectacular success, “HANGOR” started evasive manoeuvres as the enemy was certainly going to react with the entire available ASW resources
Captain Kashif Qasim PN is an Operations Branch officer, presently serving in Pakistan Navy.
PtI’S federal Government has completed first 100- days in power. the federal Government held a function in Islamabad on November 29 to mark the occasion and Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke about his 100 days agenda, performance and achievements thus putting his government working before the people large. to mark the occasion, perhaps the establishment Division published a 65 pages booklet containing all information as to what PtI had promised prior to coming into power and what it had achieved so far in 100 days and what are its future plans in this regard. the booklet, printed on glossy paper, was distributed among all the guests and also the print and electronic media present people. It was also put on the website afterwards. Pertinent question one may ask here as how many people across the country have access to the websites and do all of the have the facility of printers also in their offices or homes to download all 65 pages? the booklet in question even after more than a week is not available to the media people as well as freelance journalists and columnists who want to read it and write on its different aspects highlighting the performance and achievements of the federal government through their columns and articles. It is painfully pointed out that the booklet is not available even in the Islamabad and Lahore offices of the Press Information Department (PID) so far as none has been provided to them by the establishment Division. As a matter of fact, the booklet should have been got printed on less costly paper by the establishment Division and extensively distributed all over the country through PID network ensuring that every journalist, columnist and media men and women get a copy, study it and pass on the authentic and officially provided information across the country to the people at large. But sadly enough, this has not happened like this and this scribe like many others are wondering who is responsible for keeping the people in dark in this regard, please. thanks. M A H SHEIKH Lahore
Trump: war of words ASIDe from his boutades about foreign leaders, US president does not spare even his own countrymen, be it a secretary of state (SOS). trump said, ‘He (tillerson) was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell’. earlier tillerson said in his interview “He (trump) acts on his instincts, in some respects it looks like impulsiveness…But… it’s not his intent to act on impulse. I think he really is trying to act on his instincts”. He added, ‘It’s challenging for me coming from the disciplined, highly process-oriented exxonMobil Corporation…to go to work for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things. “I think part of it (differences) was obviously we are starkly different in our styles. We did not have a common value system’. earlier when media noted a slur in trump’s speech, trump underwent a psychological test to flaunt his mental health. D J MALIK Islamabad
Great step by NADRA NAtIONAL Database registration Authority (NADrA) is established a great policy for making the CNIC. It has finished some un-necessary conditions for making a CNIC. Such as for the making the wife’s CNIC just her husband’s fingerprints are needed, it is not necessary to show the marriage certificate. for date of birth it is not necessary to show the computerised birth certificate as well as it is not needed to advertise in newspaper for changing the name in CNIC, just buy one 20 rupees affidavit for changing the CNIC. Also, it has abolished the attention of 17 grade officer now those can sign for a new CNIC who are having computerised CNIC. MOHAMMAD JAAN QADIr Bolan, Turbat
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It’S a bit of a fast, a day at the PM’s secretariat. there’s no food. earlier on in the whole austerity business, there were at least some biscuits. Now, just your plain old tea. the senior staff has now taken to brining in their own food. the worst part: they can’t even blame the man at the top; he leads by example and has his meals back at home. * * * * * * * * * A scuffle between the information and railways ministers. Caught unawares by a still-on microphone, the latter let slip that the premiere wants him to take the information czar’s job. this led to some passive-aggressive tweets by fawad Chaudhry. And one downright petty-aggressive one, which he later deleted. Sheikh rasheed, on the other hand, has apologised and said he ‘couldn’t even think of replacing’ fawad Chaudhry. Which is a lie, of course. the man is well capable of thinking he could even replace the prime minister, what to speak of small fries like fawad Chaudhry. After all, he has been very loyal to those who actually call the shots in the country.
10 FOREIGN NEWS
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
US SanctionS on iran are 'economic terroriSm': roUhani TEHRAN
RAN’S President Hassan Rouhani said US sanctions were “economic terrorism”, as he sought to foster a united front from visiting regional officials on Saturday. Washington has reimposed an oil embargo and other damaging sanctions on Iran since pulling out in May from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers. “America’s unjust and illegal sanctions against the honourable nation of Iran have targeted our nation in a clear instance of terrorism,” Rouhani said in a televised speech. He was speaking at a conference on terrorism and regional cooperation attended by parliament speakers from Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey. “We are facing an all-out assault which is not only threaten-
ing our independence and identity but also is bent on breaking our longstanding ties,” he added. Rouhani drew parallels with the sanctions and other pressure faced by the countries attending the conference. “When they put pressure on China’s trade, we are all harmed… By punishing Turkey, we are all punished.
Any time they threaten Russia, we too consider our security to be endangered,” he said. “When they impose sanctions on Iran, they deprive all of us of the benefits of international trade, energy security and sustainable development. And in fact, they impose sanctions on everyone. “We are here to say that
we don’t intend to tolerate such insolence.” Rouhani also warned Europe — which has strongly objected to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal — that much is at stake in its efforts to bypass US sanctions and maintain trade with Iran. “They should know that by sanctioning Iran, they would harm our ability to fight drugs and terrorism,” Rouhani said, referring to Iran’s efforts to combat smuggling, particularly from Afghanistan. The European Union is working on a payment system, known as the “special purpose vehicle”, to keep money flowing into Iran, but has struggled to find a host since many countries fear repercussions from the Trump administration. The conference in Tehran was the second regional meeting on terrorism — the first was held last December in Islamabad.
Myanmar activists jailed over anti-war protests, says lawyer YANGON Agencies
A court in Myanmar’s restive Kachin state has jailed three activists for defaming the military, their lawyer said on Saturday, as campaigners slammed the “chilling warning” the verdict sends critical voices in the country. Lum Zawng, Nang Pu and Zau Jet had helped organise an anti-war demonstration in April in the state capital Myitkyina to highlight the plight of thousands displaced by fighting between the military and ethnic Kachin insurgents. The youth leaders were sentenced on Friday to six months in prison and fined about $320 each. Kachin is in the grip of one of the world’s longest-running civil wars, as rebels have clashed with the powerful military for six decades over autonomy, ethnic identity, drugs, jade and other natural resources in the northeast. Fighting surged dramatically this year, forcing thousands to flee to camps in remote parts of the state with inadequate access to aid. In late April, amid public anger over the fresh violence, the three youth leaders organised a peaceful protest demanding help for the people taking refuge in camps. It also sparked protests in Yangon and Mandalay in a rare show of solidarity. The defence told the court that the leaders had “no intention” of defaming the Tatmadaw, as the military is called in Myanmar, and were more concerned with the fate of the displaced people, lawyer Doi Bu told AFP. “But the court viewed them as harming
the Tatmadaw,” she said, adding that they plan to appeal on Monday. The European Union said it “deeply regrets” the court’s decision and called for the sentences to be reviewed. Three other activists protested the verdict by marching in front of the court, prompting police to charge them for “protesting without permission”. They were bailed and will face trial at a later date. “These jail sentences reflect a pattern of continued attacks” against civil society speaking out against the military, said Amnesty International’s Tirana Hassan. “It sends a chilling warning to (anyone)
who wants to tell the truth about the Myanmar military’s brutality in Kachin and northern Shan states.” Rights groups estimate more than 106,000 people languish in displacement camps across conflict-torn Kachin and Shan states. Ethnic Kachin are mainly Christians in a nation that is overwhelmingly Buddhist. While international focus has been on the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine state, an army unit accused of atrocities against the Muslim minority group has been redeployed to Kachin, which experts say is an ominous sign for civilians.
Malaysian Muslims stage rally to uphold Malay privileges KUALA LAMPUR: Tens of thousands of Malaysian Muslims rallied on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur against any attempt to strip the ethnic Malay majority of its privileges, in the first massive street gathering since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s alliance won a historic vote in May. The rally, backed by the country’s two largest opposition Malay parties, was initially aimed at protesting a government plan to ratify a U.N. treaty against racial discrimination that critics allege will end Malay privileges under a decades-old affirmative action policy. The plan was eventually abandoned, but organizers decided to proceed with what they called a “thanksgiving” rally. Mahathir said the government allowed the rally as part of democracy, but warned against any chaos. The rally was held under tight police security, but ended peacefully after rain started to fall. Former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been charged with multiple counts of corruption, was among opposition lawmakers at the rally. Police said there were at least 55,000 people on the streets. Many wore white T-shirts and headbands with the words “Reject ICERD,” referring to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Rally-goers gathered at three locations before marching to a nearby historic square, chanting “Long live the Malays” and “Crush ICERD.” “Yes, we did not ratify the ICERD, but we are still here to say that we are still against it,” said shopkeeper Rosli Ikhsan. “Even if the government has said they won’t endorse it, we are still protesting with all our might from all of Malaysia.” Mahathir’s new government won a stunning victory in a May 9 general election amid anger over a massive corruption scandal involving Najib and his government, but many Malays still support Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organization, and the Malaysian Islamic Party, which controls two of the country’s 13 states. Some analysts say Najib and his party were using the rally to shift attention away from corruption charges against Najib, his wife, his party’s president and former government officials. “For me, ICERD is bad,” university student Nurul Qamariah said at the rally. “It’s bad because it will erode the position of Malays. This is a country for Malays. We want Malays to be superiors, but why do these people want to make Malays the same level as Chinese and Indians?” Racial clashes have been rare in multiracial Malaysia since deadly race riots in 1969. A year later, Malaysia instituted a preferential program that gives Malays privileges in jobs, education, contracts and housing to help narrow a wealth gap with the minority Chinese. Ethnic Malays account for nearly two-thirds of the country’s 32 million people, with large Chinese and Indian minorities. Saturday’s rally came less than two weeks after more than 80 people were arrested in a riot at an Indian temple in a suburb outside Kuala Lumpur. The government was quick to stress that the violence was due to a land dispute and was not a racial riot.
At least six, mostly teenagers, killed in Italy nightclub stampede ROME: At least six people, most of them teenagers, were crushed to death in the early hours of Saturday in a stampede at a nightclub where a concert was being held, officials said. Fire brigades said the stampede took place in the Lanterna Azzurra nightclub in the town of Corinaldo, near Ancona, on the Adriatic coast. One of dead was a mother of a teenager. About 50 other people were injured, about a dozen seriously. The cause of the stampede was not immediately clear but first reports on Italian media said the teenagers were trying to escape from the nightclub after someone had set off a can of pepper spray. Agencies
China launches rover for first far side of the moon landing BEIJING Agencies
The Chang’e-4 lunar probe mission — named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology — launched on a Long March 3B rocket from the southwestern Xichang launch centre at 2:23 am (1823 GMT), according to the official Xinhua news agency. The blast-off marked the start of a long journey to the far side of the moon for the Chang´e-4 mission, expected to land around the New Year to carry out experiments and survey the untrodden terrain. “Chang´e-4 is humanity´s first probe to land on and explore the far side of the moon,” said the mission´s chief commander He Rongwei of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the main state-owned space contractor. “This mission is also the most meaningful deep space exploration research
project in the world in 2018,” He said, according to state-run Global Times. Unlike the near side of the moon that is “tidally locked” and always faces the earth, and offers many flat areas to touch down on, the far side is mountainous and rugged. It was not until 1959 that the Soviet Union captured the first images of the heavily cratered surface, uncloaking some of the mystery of the moon´s “dark side”. No lander or rover has ever touched the surface there, positioning China as the first nation to explore the area. “China over the past 10 or 20 years has been systematically ticking off the various firsts that America and the Soviet Union did in the 1960s and 1970s in space exploration,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the HarvardSmithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “This is one of the first times they´ve
done something that no one else has done before.” It is no easy technological feat — China has been preparing for this moment for years.
A major challenge for such a mission is communicating with the robotic lander: as the far side of the moon always points away from earth, there is no direct “line
of sight” for signals. As a solution, China in May blasted the Queqiao (“Magpie Bridge”) satellite into the moon´s orbit, positioning it so that it can relay data and commands between the lander and earth. Adding to the difficulties, Chang´e-4 is being sent to the Aitken Basin in the lunar south pole region — known for its craggy and complex terrain — state media has said. The probe is carrying six experiments from China and four from abroad. They include low-frequency radio astronomical studies — aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the far side — as well as mineral and radiation tests, Xinhua cited the China National Space Administration as saying. The experiments also involve planting potato and other seeds, according to Chinese media reports.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
china to increase its iMPorts froM Pakistan: officials BEIJING
hInA is confident that its imports from Pakistan will show a reasonable increase in the coming year, following the outcome of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to Beijing. The PM’s visit was highly productive in terms of enhancing mutual exchanges in the business sector, officials said on Saturday, adding that the two sides agreed to find new avenues of bilateral cooperation in the economic sector so as to overcome the existing trade deficit in their bilateral trade. They hoped that in the year 2019 there will be more interaction between the business communities of the two countries so that Pakistan’s trade to China could increase. The officials said it was encouraging to note that Pakistan and China had agreed to trade in their local currencies to reduce dependence on the US dollar and to increase their business activities. The currency swap arrangement (CSA) between the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and People’s Bank of China (PBOC) had already
been extended for a period of 3 years, they informed, adding that this step would significantly help Pakistani traders sell their products in the Chinese market. Customs data shows that China’s overall trade has continued to grow through the first 11 months of the year and looks set to continue on its upward trajectory. It is hoped China’s economic rise will benefit the regional countries, including Pakistan. The latest figures from China’s Ministry of Commerce show that the country’s total imports and exports between January and the middle of november this year surpassed the total volume of trade recorded in 2017. The ministry spokesperson said that the country’s expected growth in foreign trade next year has strong underpin-
nings despite some external challenges. “As the country continues to push forward with supply-side structural reform, the structure of China’s exports and imports will be further optimised, while the growth potential of imports will be boosted. Although external uncertainties such as protectionism and unilateralism will add challenges to trade growth next year, the trend towards economic globalisation remains unchanged, and demand from major markets continues to expand,” said spokesman Gao Feng. “The trade data reveals that the diversification of the country’s trade market has accelerated, and so fluctuations in certain markets will have a limited impact on the country’s broad growth in trade. And China’s import demand
continues to increase. next year, the country’s foreign trade growth will have a strong underpinning, and will step up to high-quality growth.” The latest report from the International Monetary Fund predicts that the global trade in goods and services will tail off in 2019, but is still expected to grow by 4 per cent. Gao Feng said that next year China will further intensify its efforts to implement policies designed to ease foreign investment restrictions and improve the business environment. “We will keep a close eye on the foreign trade situation. As for the uncertainty and unstable factors in international affairs, and the difficulties that domestic enterprises may face, we will keep streamlining administration, delegating powers, and optimizing services. To further facilitate trade and business, we’ll reduce the cost of imports and exports, develop new formats of trade, and further diversify the markets,” said Gao Feng. By the end of March 2019, China will lift all barriers to foreign investments not included on the negative list, and launch special investigations to ensure that foreign investors are treated fairly in China’s domestic market.
Sarmaya-e-Pakistan to have professional board of directors Seven directorS will be choSen from the private Sector with pm being head of the board ISLAMABAD SHAHZAD PARACHA The government has decided to appoint a professional board of directors in Sarmaya-e-Pakistan Limited (SPL) in order to improve the efficiency of public sector enterprises (PSEs), it has been learnt. According to sources, the government has started the process of registering SPL in the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), adding that the process of appointment of BoD would also commence soon. The government would hire seven board directors from the private sector with the prime minister being the head of the SPL board along with three federal ministries, sources said.
It is pertinent to mention that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had claimed to have studied in detail the model of Singapore and Malaysia with regard to revamping the loss-making companies. Subsequently, the cabinet had given the approval of establishing SPL. Sources said that the government would transfer the management control and professional oversight of PSEs to SPL. They claimed that the incumbent management, as well as board members of PSEs, have so far failed to revamp the loss-making organisations. It was noted that most of the PSE heads of departments were from the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) group. Although they were good ad-
ministrators, they lacked the understanding of economy and issues pertaining to energy and petroleum which is why the situation at the PSEs has been deteriorating rapidly. Sources said that the losses of PSEs have been increasing with each passing day, as the government was injecting around Rs400 billion per annum to run these organisations. They further said that the government would transfer the shares of existing PSEs to SPL whereas nomination of the board of all the PSEs whose shares are transferred to SPL shall be recommended by the SPL BoD for the approval of the government. Sources said that the government would put the losses of 193 state entities, including insurances, distribution companies, state-owned banks and gas companies, under the SPL. The losses incurred by these companies accumulated to billions and the government would be left with no other option but to privatise them in case these companies don’t increase their revenues.
Mindshare Pakistan wins gold at ‘agency of the year’ awards BUSINESS DESK The South Asia ‘Agency of the Year’ awards were held recently in Mumbai to recognize the best individual and agency talent across South Asia. The award recognized top achievers across the creative, media and activations industry spectrum. Representing the Pakistani contingent, Mindshare Pakistan received the top award, as the Gold Award winner of the Pakistani Media Agency of the Year. Innovative processes initiated and strong yearly results pushed Mindshare above its rivals as a deserving winner of the category. Mindshare Pakistan, a subsidiary of Group M Pakistan, and owned by the Global WPP network, formally announced its operations in Pakistan back in 1999. With an elaborate and wide array of global and local clients, Mindshare is the biggest Media Agency of Pakistan. The agency had more to celebrate later in the night, as Mindshare South Asia won the Gold in the South Asia Agency of the Year award, capping a successful year for the regional and local agencies. Among the individual awards, the South Asia Young Achiever Award featured two aspiring female Pakistanis claiming the category as Gold and Silver award winners. Sanober Ali Shah (Gold) and Wardia Ather (Silver), just in their mid-20s, were stepping up to positions of leadership at Mindshare Pakistan, and became instrumental in executing key media campaigns and leading process reformations through the year, contributing the to the agency’s successes during that time. “We at Mindshare are committed to pushing boundaries. We strive for the unachievable, and that is what sets us apart from our competition. Our teams are interweaved in a closely-knit network, which paves way for collaboration. That is where our best work comes from. Most importantly it is our Clients and Partners that enabled us, trusted us and vouched for us. We share this win with them equally.”
With PM now involved, will K-Electric deal finally materialise? LAHORE MOHAMMAD FAROOQ
K-Electric’s divestment to Shanghai Electric Power (SEP), which has remained stalled and been in limbo for a while, has rekindled hopes of a conclusion after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with a delegation of SEP on Friday. In October 2016, Abraaj Capital sold its majority 66.4pc stake in K-Electric to SEP for $1.77 billion. however, the consummation of the transaction remained stalled for various reasons. The government’s stake stands at 24.36pc in K-Electric, foreign shareholders hold 3.09pc, public 2.69pc, mutual funds 1.67pc, public sector companies 0.13pc, financial institutions 1.48pc and others 0.18pc. On Friday, a delegation led by Chairman Shanghai Electric Power (SEP) Wang Yundan met with Prime Minister Imran Khan in his office. Wang apprised the PM about Shanghai Electric Power and exhibited great interest of the company to invest in Pakistan’s power sector. The premier appreciated the SEP’s decision with regard to its investment in the country’s power sector, saying that the government was committed to providing full assistance and an enabling environment to the investors so that they take advantage of huge investment opportunities
in Pakistan. Abraaj Capital founder and owner of K-Electric Arif naqvi was also present on the occasion. On Friday, the news of SEP’s delegation meeting with the PM led to the capital market expecting that the sale might finally go through. It led to a surge in selling and buying of K-Electric shares and it ended Friday as the market volume leader with 13.90 million shares (+6.76pc). however, this spark of enthusiasm must be a relief for K-Electrics’ majority shareholder Abraaj which has been extremely eager to close the deal with SEP. On Thursday, SEP and K-Electric also held a meeting with the Privatisation Commission (PC) and a no objection certificate (nOC) is required for the sale of the power utility to the Chinese entity. Abraaj, once amongst the leading Middle East north Africa (MEnA) region private equity firm filed for provisional liquidation in June this year after investors accused it of misusing its funds. At its peak, it oversaw $14 billion in emerging market investments. Since February, the company’s owner Arif naqvi has remained in the spotlight and seen Abraaj dissolve into the abyss after a wave of accusations tarnished his and the company’s reputation. The media probing into Abraaj’s and naqvi affairs has continued unabated as Wall Street Journal accused him of
‘heavy embezzlement.’ however, naqvi denied media reports that he was involved in corruption surrounding the sale of the embattled private equity fund stake in K-Electric and any misuse or appropriation of Abraaj funds. The financial troubles of naqvi have intensified due to non-closure of KElectric’s sale to SEP and resulted in Abraaj’s cash position to erode. The proceeds envisaged from the consummation of this transaction could likely resolve Abraaj’s liquidity issues and help pay off its creditors. In end-november, Reuters reported that naqvi had approached limited partners and creditors in a desperate bid to get their backing for supporting a plan to restructure the debt of Abraaj holdings and some of its older funds to avoid liquidation. For the deal to be concluded, KElectric requires an issuance of national Security Certificate from the government represented through the Privatisation Commission in accordance with the original sale-purchase agreement (SPA) signed on november 14, 2005. Disputes and hindrances in the sale of K-Electric Various factors have been at play that stalled the K-Electric deal including disputes with Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) regarding payments owed to the state-owned company for gas supply and other wranglings with national Despatch
and Transmission Company (nTDC) and CPPC. On October 2nd, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet established a committee under the chairmanship of Adviser to the PM on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment Abdul Razzaq Dawood to look into the issues of K-Electric in a holistic manner and submit viable recommendations for their solution to the ECC for consideration by 25th October 2018. It held four meetings on October 11th, 16th, 26th and november 28th, 2018, respectively, wherein, it was discussed that, finalization of TORs for settlement of outstanding receivables and payables by the KE in relation to GoP entities i.e. SSGC, nTDC/CPPA and KWSB, Karachi by the Power Division, Petroleum Division with the support of Finance Division. K-Electric receivables stood at Rs65 billion owed by several public departments and companies and payables of around Rs50 billion were owed to the government in different heads, its management told the Senate Standing Committee on Power last month. Moreover, during the committee hearing last month it was proposed that a debt swap be carried out to clear-off pending dues on all sides. The bureaucracy opposed the suggestion, although the committee members
seemed receptive to the idea. The Secretary Power Irfan Elahi told KE owes dues to the national Despatch and Transmission Company (nTDC), CPPC and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), which are linked to the federal government. Mr Elahi added, “On the other hand there are some subsidy amounts that the Ministry of Finance has to clear. There are pending bills of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) but why should the federal government clear such bills.” Responding to a query on how a crisis-like situation could be avoided, Mr Elahi stated the best solution was to reach a bilateral agreement between KE and government entities. The power secretary said they recommend a bilateral agreement be agreed between KE and SSGC for settling books and similarly with each entity. “But I suggest that is possible only if the Senate Committee takes the initiative and directs the finance ministry to hold a joint meeting of KE, Power Division, and the Petroleum Division to resolve the issue. This matter cannot remain on stay order forever,” said Mr Elahi. As earlier reported by Profit, officials said the delay in KE-SEP deal was affecting the overall confidence of foreign investors in the country and early conclusion of the deal could boost the confidence of investors.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
sin taX on tobacco industry to helP encourage illicit trade ‘taxation on ‘Sin productS’ will eventually reduce production volume, govt’S revenue’ KARACHI
hE federal government is planning to impose a 'sin tax' on tobacco industries before the announcement of the next budget, and if the government successfully imposes it, the problems for multinational cigarettes companies working in Pakistan would enhance manifold, it was learnt on Saturday. Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his public address on the completion of 100 days in government, said, “Only two tobacco companies, with a market share of around 60pc, contribute 98pc to the total tobacco tax collection, whereas all other tobacco companies, operating locally, contribute only 2pc to the national exchequer despite having a market share of about 40pc.” Industry sources informed this scribe that two multinational (foreign) companies, with a market share of 67pc,
contributed Rs89 billion (98pc) in excise duties and taxes during the fiscal year 2017-18. On the contrary, they added, the locally-registered companies were paying only 2pc in taxes despite having 33pc of the market share, as they were "selling their product almost 50pc below the retail price" printed on the pack. “Cigarettes are already subject to 'sin tax' in the form of excise duties, and any further taxation would be a case of duplication that would result in a repetitive increase in the tax on cigarettes,” sources said. “If the tax is only imposed on 'sin products', then the production volume would decrease, the government's revenue would reduce, while illicit trade of cigarettes in the country would rise. It is advisable that funding for universal health care comes from the overall state budget, as tobacco tax already significantly contributed to the state revenue.” Sources said that the increasing level of illicit cigarette trade would un-
dermine the government’s effort to increase revenue collection and to reduce cigarette consumption to meet health objectives. They said the legal cigarette industry was still adjusting to the new excise tariff, which has already experienced a 56pc increase in the past five months. “This is way above the inflation rate of 6pc and economic growth rate of 5.8pc. If the product price goes out of hands, it is likely that consumers would again move to illicit cigarette trade,” they added. Citing Malaysia as an example, they said that due to an excessive tax hike of 52.9pc in 2015, Malaysia was facing a massive illicit tobacco problem with the illicit trade volume standing at around 55pc of the total market. The tobacco industry in Pakistan faces a critical challenge with the wide presence of non-tax paid cigarettes, which reached a record high market share of over 41pc during the fiscal year 2016-17. The primary source of these non-tax paid cigarettes is locally-manufactured tax-evaded cigarettes, which are being sold at a price gap of almost 170pc versus the tax-paid legal cigarettes in 2016-17.
Given the growth of illicit cigarettes incidence to over 40pc, the third tier for cigarette excise was introduced as a policy measure in the fiscal year 2017-18. It was aimed at reducing the price gap which subsequently resulted in lowering the market share of illicit cigarettes to 33pc. In addition to evading taxes, local manufacturers were seen blatantly violating market regulations through advertisements, discounts/cashback/giveaways to consumers. Locally-manufactured cigarettes, despite adhering to printing regulations such as health warnings and a minimum price on packs, were being sold at street prices even below the minimum tax payable on a pack. During the fiscal budget of May 2018 and subsequent supplementary budget in September 2018, the excise duty was increased by almost 56pc, thus once again widening the price gap between legal and tax-evaded cigarettes. With low disposable income, the consumers of legal cigarettes would be unable to absorb multiple taxes and would shift their consumption to cheap illicit cigarettes, making the task of enforcement against these illicit operators increasingly difficult.
‘railways earned record rs453m in first week of dec’ Sh raSheed SayS the department Saved 650,000-litre fuel deSpite Starting 20 new trainS in three monthS LAHORE APP
Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said on Saturday that his department has earned a record income of Rs453.40 million during the first week of December. Addressing a press conference, he said that the railways had earned Rs261.20 million in the first week of December 2017. “The department had saved 650,000-litre fuel despite starting 20 new trains during the last three months,” he claimed. The minister thanked the people for expressing their trust in his department and said that all tickets till Dec 21 from Lahore to Karachi had been sold out. The minister said Rehman Baba Express train between Peshawar and Karachi, via Rawalpindi, Wazirabad and Faisalabad, would be launched on De-
cember 23, adding that the train would complete its run in 26 hours. he said two container trains would soon be introduced and preparations in this regard were underway. The minister said it had been decided to open pharmacies and small tuck shops at prominent railway stations across the country. he said the railways wanted to lease 1,000 sites for establishment of petrol pumps and it was awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court, which was expected on Dec 24. “All seven locomotive sheds are being
computerised in order to improve the performance of the locomotive sheds,” he added. The minister further said that an information technology (IT) group is being established at the railway division level on the direction of the prime minister. “A rescue railcar between Lahore and Rawalpindi could conditionally be operated in case of expected motorway blockage due to fog during the winter season,” he said. To a question about an increase in the fare, he said that the department was charging Rs1,350 from
Peshawar to Karachi which was equal to the road fare between Lahore and Rawalpindi. he said after successfully introducing 10 new trains, rakes of all trains would be improved, adding that decision on the MainLine-1 (ML-1) would be finalised before Dec 31 and that the ministry had planned to upgrade ML-II and ML-III within few years. he said that tenders were being published regarding the reduction of a curve between Gojar Khan and Jhelum on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis. “The distance between Lahore and Rawalpindi would reduce from 59 kilometres to 19 kilometres (one hour),” he added. he said that private parties were interested in freight trains and an approval had been granted in this regard. To a question, he said the current regime was focusing on planning while in the past, the focus remained on purchasing. he urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to upgrade the scale of labours in the railways. To another question about the locomotives purchased during the previous government, he said that condition of those locomotives was not good even though the same had been purchased on higher prices. “We would not purchase any locomotive and operate the railways by repairing the old engines,” he clarified.
amid economic fears and rumours, PsX plunges over 1,900 points THIS WAS THE LARGEST WEEKLY FALL IN LAST 67 WEEKS
KARACHI STAFF REPORT
The capital market recorded a drop of more than 1,900 points, largest weekly fall in last 67 weeks, owing to more than expected rise in benchmark interest, fear of devaluation, rumours of cabinet shuffle and falling foreign exchange reserves, hinting thick clouds hovering on the country’s economy. The outgoing week was an unsatisfactory one for the benchmark index as developments like interest rate hike and rupee devaluation along with lack of triggers kept the benchmark index under selling pressure, said an analyst from Topline Securities. The index declined by 4.8pc or 1,934 points, closing at 38,562 level. Market activity remained dull during the week with average traded value declining by 18pc to $53 million despite 7pc higher average daily traded volumes, reflecting concentration of activity in penny stocks. The oil sector remained under pressure during the week, chipping away 279 points from the index. The sector was only second to commercial banks, which, despite the 150bps interest rate hike, fell victim to the negative sentiments of the market as the sector ate away 343 points. The cement stocks were down 5.6pc during the outgoing week due to 14pc decline in dispatches in november 2018, where local offtake remained particularly dismal. nevertheless, after a depressed outlook for the most part of the week, the cement stocks recovered on Friday owing to news regarding beginning of construction work on Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams from Jun-19 and Mar-19, respectively. Foreigners selling for the week stood at $2.5 million versus $51 million in the previous week. This was their 31st week of consecutive selling. In the coming week, Prime Minister Imran Khan would be visiting Karachi to address macroeconomic concerns and take businessmen into confidence. Albeit expect the market to be ranged bound next week, said an analyst from Arif habib, adding that attractive valuations could revive investor’s interest.
Pakistan’s remittances growth to remain flat at 6.2pc in 2018 LAHORE MOHAMMAD FAROOQ
A report released by the World Bank on Saturday projected Pakistan’s remittances growth to remain moderate at 6.2pc due to significant reductions in inflows from Saudi Arabia. The country was ranked 7th amongst the top ten recipients of remittances globally in 2018, receiving $20.9 billion and with India ranked at 1st with $79.5 billion. In South Asia, Pakistan was ranked 2nd behind India. According to WB, employment opportunities contracted in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries contracted in 2017 and 2018, mostly in Saudi Arabia because of nationalization policies, as highlighted by lower deployments in Pakistan (-26pc during January– August 2018 and 41pc in 2017). It added that South Asia had the lowest average remittance costs in any world region at 5.4pc in the 3rd quarter of 2018. however, the Washington-based lender indicated this was a touch higher than the 5.2pc costs recorded in the previous quarter and a reversal of the steady declines seen since the second quarter of
2017. The report said in Pakistan, the number of workers registered for overseas employment dropped by 41pc (0.83 million in 2016 to 0.5 million in 2017). Pakistan’s remittances as a percentage of GDP was 6.9pc in 2018, ranked at 3rd behind nepal at 30.1pc and two positions above India at 2.8pc. The remittances to South Asia are forecast to grow by 13.5pc to $132 billion in 201, a healthier rise than the 5.7pc recorded in 2017. The upsurge is fueled by stronger economic in advanced economies, especially the United States and the rise in oil prices having a positive impact on outflows from some GCC countries, such as the United Arab Emirates which reported a 13pc growth outflows for the first half of 2018. Remittances to South Asia are projected to slow down to 4.3pc in 2019 because of the moderation of growth in high-income countries and slower migration to GCC countries. WB projects that officially recorded remittances to developing countries would grow by 10.8pc to $258 billion in 2018. Global remittances which include inflows to high-income countries are es-
timated to rise by 10.3pc to $689 billion, said WB. Remittance inflows to South Asia registered a growth of 13.5pc, Europe and Central 20pc, Sub-Saharan Africa 9.8pc, Latin America and the Caribbean 9.3pc, East Asia and the Pacific 6.6pc, Middle East and north Africa 9.1pc respectively. Moreover, the WB stated that this growth was fueled by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from GCC countries and the Russian Federation. And as global growth is forecast to moderate, future remittances to low and middle-income countries are projected to rise modestly by 4pc to touch $549 billion in 2019. For 2019, WB stated global remittances are forecast to increase 3.7pc to $715 billion in 2019. The report highlighted that the global average cost of sending $200 remains high at 6.9pc in the third quarter of 2018. “Reducing remittance costs to 3pc by 2030 is a global target under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10.7. Increasing the volume of remittances is also a global goal under the proposals for rais-
ing financing for the SDGs,” said WB. WB’s Senior Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice Michal Rutkowski stated, “The future growth of remittances is vulnerable to lower oil prices, restrictive migration policies, and an overall moderation of economic growth. Remittances have a direct impact on alleviating poverty for many households, and the World Bank is well positioned to work with countries to facilitate remittance flows.”
According to official data released by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), overseas Pakistani workers remitted $7.419 billion in the first four months (July to October) of the financial year 2018-19 (FY19), as compared to $6.44 billion received during the same period last year. During October 2018, the inflow of worker’s remittances amounted to $2.0 billion, which is 37.7 per cent higher than September 2018 and 20.9pc higher than October 2017.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
he idea behind having a more intimate presser with the prime minister is to give more time to each questioner. That, obviously, means fewer journalists. Fewer journalists, obviously, translates into the resentment of those not making it to the exclusive list. And, of course, a scrutiny of those that did. That was bound to happen. Critics of the recent panel interview of Prime Minister Imran Khan pointed at the lack of ideological diversity therein. There were next to no critics of the present dispensation. The most independent was hamid Mir, whose line, of late, doesn’t inspire quite the same sense of independence as it used to. Though, if one were to start thinking about it, how many of those decidedly critical of the government are on air in the first place? Some have already been sacked, while others are serving their notice periods. And some anchors are on their way to be told by their respective saiths to dial things down. As The Dependent, the satirical supplement of this newspaper, quipped about the interview: Impartial PM to hold follow-up interview with critical journalists as soon as they find employment, asylum. This made one of the first points discussed in the interview very interesting. The programme was moderated, in an admirably non-overbearing manner, by the panellist from
PTV. The fellow appreciated how there was now no censorship anymore on the state television channel. Kamran Shahid, a PTV veteran (calling it his alma mater), chimed in with approval. No censorship, yes, bravo. The sheer chutzpah of this statement! Rather than there being no censorship on PTV, there is now unprecedented censorship of private television channels. On some of the second-tier ones, even the tickers come pre-
approved from those who must not be named. Coming back to the interview: though one can’t say there were absolutely no follow up questions, they still weren’t the tough fare that they could have been. It always seemed it would spill over into puff questions this second or the next. On a question about his repeated intention to not give an ‘NRO’ to the opposition, he was told by one of the panellists that the opposition
hadn’t demanded one. Another quipped that maybe they hadn’t demanded an NRO from him, but from “others.” everyone laughed, and Imran Khan, the cute, simple man that he can be, responded to the question by promptly talking about the powers that have allegedly put him in government. We’re on the same page, he said; they are behind us. It’s good that he knows his place. And the media, theirs. g
Aleph Review steps up its game
ublIShINg is always the greatest obstacle that faces any writer. The where, why, when, how, who of what is going to happen with a piece of writing, any form of it, is something that haunts most writers. Any writing is a creative process, but even an art form such as the written word suffers from a type of bureaucracy that is the world of publishing. That said, the world of publishing is not necessarily walls of text and overworked copy editors that many might imagine. It is in itself an essential cog, important in the direction that works take as well determining their aesthetic and structural success. In Pakistan, there are many urdu publishers. There have always been an abundance of literary journals in urdu literature in Pakistan. Short story writers, poets, artists, satirists have always faced a wide array of problems, but never a shortage of places to try and get published. For english writers writing in Pakistan, however, there has been little to no avenue to have their work published. All the english literature coming out of South Asia for some time has been dominated by writers from across the border. The formation of a post-post-colonial narrative has renewed the west’s interest in the orient, resulting in a concentration of world class publishers in India. Indian-english literature has thus held a unique position in the evolution and accessibility of the english language
as it moves to accommodate modern times and the rapid globalisation of communication technology. however, the scarcity of local publishing houses has meant that Pakistani writers have been unable to add their voice to the steadily rising hum emanating from South Asia. Things are changing however; publishers in India are hungry for quality writing from Pakistan after seeing the vast critical and commercial success of Pakistani works that managed to break the many barriers stopping local writers from having an international audience. And although the quality and depth of the general product may still often frustrate many of us, it is hard to deny that there is a broad-ish public
awareness of the rising trend of Pakistani authors writing in english. With the realisation of this awareness has come the second edition of the Aleph Review, a literary anthology that brings together a cross section of Pakistani english literature, bringing into a codex works from established and upcoming writers and poets. With sections on poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and even translation, the review has stepped up its game from last year. The inaugural edition of the review had been dedicated by publisher and editor-in-chief Mehwish Ameen to the late great Pakistani writer and poet Taufiq Rafat, long known as the ‘father of the Pakistani idiom.’
The dedication to Rafat was appropriate. Pakistan has had great poets and writers, but none so great in the english language as Rafat. but with this second issue, the review has picked up its game. For instance, art has taken up a significant role in the anthology. A significant example is that the anthology’s cover is a painting by Rukhe Neelofur. According to the artist and the editorial board, the cover painting reflects the different themes explored on the inside of the anthology, especially that of otherisation and exploring ‘the other.’ Other than the cover, the Aleph Review is a significant aesthetic success. Things like quality of paper and the printing may seem trivial, but the beauty in books is important. People are often so obsessed with ideas that the beauty of an object goes unnoticed. There is little compromise on any of this with Aleph. On a literary note, once again the most impressive section of the review was the poetry – the heart and soul of the review, as it should be with any literary anthology, especially one in english. With veteran poets such as Waqas Khawaja and Ahmed Rashid making appearances, there were also new forms of poetry from emerging poets. Yusra Amjad with her couple of poems made powerful points important in the times we live in, and Mina Malik-hussain also delivered verses that were raw but profound. The short fiction section was dominated by interesting pieces that included Amer hussain’s ‘hermitage’ as well as Annie Zaidi’s science fiction work titled
‘Wandering Womb.’ What was truly interesting was the works titled ‘Magical Realism’ in the short fiction section. While there were no gems waiting in here, publisher Mehwish Amin’s dedicated story titled ‘The Cremation’ was one of the shining features of the entire review. The non-fiction and translation sections were short and precise. First time introductions, this was a more conceptual idea framed in the same aesthetic of the rest of the review. What shone through from the nonfiction section was the writing done by Salman Rashid, the travel writer extraordinaire whose crisp writing takes its readers deep into whatever place he is writing about. There being a place for translation was even more interesting, but there is demand for the translation of urdu into english. Prominent was translation work done by writer bilal Tanweer as well as the lyrical translation of the urdu ‘Choohay ka achar’ into ‘Mouse pickle’ by Musharraf Ali Farooqi. When the first edition of the Aleph review had come under review last year, one of the fears had been that this would not be sustainable. That it was a one-time thing or that despite what they may want, the team would not manage to pull through with a follow up. That said, the fears proved to be unfounded. Team Aleph is clearly dedicated, and there is more in store for us yet. It has only been two years, but with such dedication and talent working in tandem, the Aleph Review seems to be here not just to stay, but also to set standards and hopefully encourage the creation of a tradition. g
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
SALAh hAt-trICk SEndS LIvErpooL top oF prEmIEr LEAguE LONDON
IVERPOOL delivered a clear sign they intend to push Manchester City all the way in the Premier League with an emphatic 40 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday that was capped by a hat-trick from Mohamed Salah. This victory, the Reds' fifth consecutive league win, secured with the additional help of a Steve Cook owngoal, extended Jurgen Klopp's side’s unbeaten start to the league season. It also moved them one point ahead of City at the top of the table, hours before Pep Guardiola's side take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Salah's contribution was central to Liverpool's success -- the Egyptian has struggled to match his outstanding levels of last season but with 10 league goals to his name, he is now hitting his stride. He may have benefited from a close offside decision for the 25thminute opener that gave Liverpool a half-time lead, but the finishes for his two second-half goals were outstanding. Overall, Liverpool manager Klopp could be satisfied with the manner in which his side eased their way to victory ahead of the midweek Champions League meeting with Napoli. Liverpool had demonstrated re-
silience to win on Wednesday against a physical Burnley side whose approach drew an angry reaction from Klopp. Joe Gomez was a casualty of the trip to Turf Moor, suffering a broken leg in a challenge with Clarets defender Ben Mee, and with a testing week ahead Klopp named Trent Alexander-Arnold among the substitutes and named James Milner at right-back. Bournemouth's hopes of halting Liverpool’s progress suffered a blow when Callum Wilson, the England international who has scored eight league goals this season, was ruled out with a hamstring injury. The home side certainly felt Wilson's absence during the periods of the game when they pushed Liver-
'Sloppy, careless', says Spalletti as Inter's Serie A title hopes fade
pool onto the back foot. LIVERPOOL CRUISE: But defensive errors, combined with a dubious offside decision for the opening goal, meant they had little chance to impose themselves on a Liverpool side that never had to find top gear to secure three points. The opening period suggested Klopp's side would again have to work hard for victory. Salah and Roberto Firmino took time to make an impact, with the Egyptian spurning the first real chance of the game when he sliced wide from close range. And had David Brooks shown more composure when he was sent clear on Liverpool's goal in the 24th minute, the early momentum would have been in favour of the home side.
As it was, Liverpool responded immediately, taking control with some help from the assistant referee. Salah and Firmino combined well 25 metres out, before the Brazilian fired in a shot at keeper Asmir Begovic. The Bosnia international should have done better than parry the ball into the middle of the penalty area, allowing Salah to react first and fire high into the net from close range. Eddie Howe's players pointed out that Salah had been in an offside position but their complaints were dismissed, although TV replays suggested they had a case. From that point in the game, Liverpool tightened their grip, particularly after the restart. It helped the Reds' cause that Salah was gifted the chance to add a second three minutes after the restart when Steve Cook lost the ball near the halfway line. Firmino released the Egyptian, who ran 40 metres before placing the ball beyond Begovic. A bad afternoon for Cook got worse when he diverted the ball past Begovic and into his own goal as he attempted to cut out a left-wing cross from Andy Robertson. And Salah produced the best goal of the game to wrap up the victory in the 77th minute after collecting Adam Lallana's through ball. The forward outpaced Cook and rounded Begovic twice to complete his treble.
PSG 'vehemently deny' plan to sell Mbappe, Neymar PARIS
Eighteen launches Corporate Futsal League 2019 ISLAMABAD PRESS RELEASE
Eighteen – an Egypt-based real estate group – partnered with Saif Group of Pakistan, & KBD builders and developers has stepped up its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities through its project ‘Mission Football FY19’. As part of its CSR initiative, Eighteen is resolute to promote football in Pakistan, with its core mission to boost the passion of the game amongst the progressive youth of the country, who possess tremendous love for the sport and religiously follow their superstars when in action. This is the CEO’s vision to generate the passion of football in this part of the world, Mr Tarek Hamdy, CEO Eighteen, believes in the great potentials of the youth in Pakistan. The talented youth of this country possesses immense potential and Eighteen serves as a bridge for them to live their dream to the maximum, by providing them a concrete platform where these young players can demonstrate their skills and get the exposure which might just lead these young players to represent Pakistan at national level. Corporate Futsal League is the initiative envisioned by the Mr Ali Ghaffar, CCO Eighteen. It will be played with various teams throughout next year. The matches will be played between the teams from the corporate, commercial, national and multinational organizations, brands, media, banks, government institutions and diplomatic circles. A warm up match is scheduled on Saturday morning December 08, 2018. The match will be played between Team Eighteen and Huawei. Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. The exciting match between two corporates will be played at the Total Futsal Pitch at Chak Shahzad, Islamabad. Eighteen, is ten minutes away from the new Islamabad International Airport and is the ideal development for local and overseas Pakistanis who enjoy luxury living and state of the art amenities. Eighteen will be the benchmark for all future real estate projects in Pakistan.
Coach Luciano Spalletti blasted Inter Milan’s “sloppy and careless” performance as the fallen Serie A giants hopes of capturing this year’s title faded with a 1-0 loss to Juventus on Friday. Chinese-owned Inter, who finished fourth last season, had looked a serious rival to reigning seven-time champions Juventus with summer signings such as Radja Nainggolan, Matteo Politano, Sime Vrsjalko and Keita Balde. But despite their spending spree Spalletti’s side proved to be no match for Juventus, even with Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo not as omnipresent as usual on the night for the Turin giants. Inter sit third, but are now 14 points behind Juventus, and risk losing ground on second-placed Napoli, who are three points ahead of Spalletti’s side, and play lowly Frosinone Saturday. City rivals AC Milan, just behind in fourth, could also close the gap when they host Torino. Mario Mandzukic’s diving header after 66 minutes was enough to settle the Derby d’Italia with Inter’s Roberto Gagliardini missing a golden chance after 30 minutes to help Inter to their first win in Turin since November 2012. “We managed the game in the right way for long spells, but we’re still too careless at times and sloppy,” said Spalletti. “It would have made a world of difference had we taken the lead, but we misplaced too many passes, we made too many banal and cheap errors.
French champions Paris SaintGermain have quashed reports the club could be forced to sell either Kylian Mbappe or Neymar in a bid to circumvent eventual Financial Fair Play (FFP) sanctions. Qatar-owned PSG are one of a number of clubs under scrutiny from UEFA’s FFP regulations after splashing a combined total of more than 400 million euros in 2017 for Brazil star Neymar and World Cup winner Mbappe. Rival clubs and even the president of Spain’s La Liga championship, Javier Tebas, bemoan the lack of sanctions for PSG, who according to recent leaked documents have violated the strict financial regulations put in place by European football’s ruling body. UEFA still have their eye on PSG and their finances and daily sports newspaper L’Equipe claimed late on Friday that any future sanctions could see the club sell one of their most coveted stars.
WBC sanctions direct rematch between Wilder and Fury LOS ANGELES AGENCIES
But PSG were quick to shoot down the report. “In an article published on their website on Friday night, L’Equipe dared to say that ‘PSG is ready to lose Kylian Mbappe or Neymar Jr to avoid (FFP) sanctions’,” said a statement issued by the club. PSG “vehemently denies these totally false and ridiculous allegations, which serve only to recreate a climate of tension between the club and this media outlet.” The front page of L’Equipe on Saturday carried pictures of both Mbappe, the 19-year-old who struck in a 4-2 World Cup final win over Croatia last sum-
mer, and Brazil star Neymar while page two claimed the club are “ready to lose a star”. UEFA’s FFP rules mean clubs are forbidden from spending more money than they generate. UEFA’s auditors opened an investigation into PSG in September 2017 following the purchase of Neymar from Barcelona and Mbappe from Monaco earlier that summer. The case was shelved in June 2018, before being reopened in September 2018. PSG reacted by appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), claiming it has met UEFA’s FFP demands.
The World Boxing Council has given its approval for a “direct rematch” between its heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder of the United States and Britain’s Tyson Fury, who fought to a draw in Los Angeles last weekend. “Wilder and Fury gave boxing one of the best fights in the heavyweight division in a long time, which has created tremendous popular demand for the fans to see a rematch,” the WBC said in a statement on Friday. Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) knocked Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) down twice, including a brutal right-left combination in the 12th that initially looked like it would end the fight. Fury, who somehow willed himself to his feet and held on to send the fight to the judges, had earlier controlled much of the bout behind his long jab, precise footwork and slippery defence. One judge scored the fight 115-111 to Wilder, another 114-112 to Fury and the third had it 113-113. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said the duo were a credit to boxing. “I wish to once again congratulate Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury for their great battle inside the ring and for the exemplary sportsmanship after the bout,” he said.
Rebooted Libertadores final a treat for Madrid soured by regret MADRID AGENCIES
Six thousand miles away and 15 days later than planned, the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate will be concluded. There have been refusals, complaints and threats to go to court, but the players of Boca and River, Argentina’s two greatest football rivals, landed in Madrid and all indications are the second leg will be played. Both teams trained on Thursday, Boca at the Spanish national team’s base at Las Rozas and River at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas, with the players appearing in good spirits, laughing and joking, jumping on each other’s backs. There was even a smattering of fans
waiting outside, some holding flags or notebooks open for autographs, even if it was a world away from the rocking Bom-
bonera, packed out for an open training session before the original fixture was due last month.
That game had to be postponed, three times, after River fans injured Boca players during an attack on their team’s bus. It could have been cancelled, or awarded to Boca, but CONMEBOL, the South American football federation, chose to relocate to Spain. A final at the Santiago Bernabeu should be something to savour, particularly when it is the Copa Libertadores at stake on Sunday, the most prestigious prize in South American club football. Instead, as players finished training and spoke to journalists, the sense of regret became clear. “It is a weird final,” said Carlos Tevez, once of Manchester United and Manchester City, and now a striker for Boca. “To play a match between Boca and River in Madrid, it’s
weird.” River goalkeeper Franco Armani said: “We would have liked to play the game at home, on our pitch, in front of our fans, who deserve it, but the decision is made. We have to make the best of it.” ‘LOST IMPORTANCE’: CONMEBOL pointed to Madrid as a “neutral” host city, with the largest Argentinian community outside Argentina, and a long and successful tradition of football. It will host the Champions League final in June too. For many, however, this was the most important match in Argentina’s history and its removal a national embarrassment. After all, the Copa Libertadores was named after those that secured independence from countries like Spain in the early nineteenth century.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
SArFrAz SEES poSSIBILIty oF gIvIng up tESt CAptAInCy ABU DHABI AGENCIES
F Lyon snares kohli but India in control in Adelaide ADELAIDE AGENCIES
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli thwarted Australia in a diligent partnership to push India to a position of strength and a 166-run lead at the close of day three of the first test on Saturday. Brought together before tea with India vulnerable at 76 for two, the pair stood firm through the best part of a session before spinner Nathan Lyon snared Kohli for 34 to end their 71-run stand at Adelaide Oval. Pujara, who rescued India’s first innings with a sparkling 123, survived to stumps on 40 not out, with number five Ajinkya Rahane on one run under a cloudy sky. Lyon was denied Pujara’s wicket twice by the Decision Review System, so his Kohli breakthrough was a relief after a long afternoon’s toil. Deceiving the Indian talisman with flight and dip, he caught Kohli’s inside edge and the nick popped up to Aaron Finch at short leg. Dismissed for three in India’s first innings 250, Kohli was fuming to have his second knock cut short but soaked up 104 balls to frustrate the home crowd, sections of which had jeered him as he strode out to the crease. He also managed to join an elite club of Indians who have notched 1,000 test runs in Australia, with only Sachin Tendulkar (1,809), VVS Laxman (1,236), Rahul Dravid (1,166) and Virender Sehwag (1,031) ahead of him. Having conceded a 15-run lead after being dismissed for 235 before lunch, the home side will be desperate for early wickets on day four to have hope of containing the tourists. Jasprit Bumrah, who took 3-47 to finish with India’s best bowling figures, looked forward to the spin of Ravichandran Ashwin coming into play on a fifth day wicket. “In the fourth innings he will obviously play a crucial role,” said the paceman of Ashwin, who took three first innings wickets and was a constant handful. “We saw Nathan Lyon using the rough to his advantage so I think (Ashwin) knows what he has to do.” With only 250 to defend, India’s bowlers could take great pride in restricting Australia to 235. With lusty tail-end cameos by Mitchell Starc (15) and Nathan Lyon (24 not out), Australia looked set to race past India’s total after resuming on 191 for seven in the rain-delayed morning. But Mohammed Shami swung the momentum back to India and was on a hat-trick after claiming the final two wickets of batsman Travis Head (72) and number 11 Josh Hazlewood (0). India’s openers put on a 63-run opening stand to press the advantage before Australia fought back to remove them both. Hazlewood had Lokesh Rahul caught behind for 44 after fellow seamer Starc snared Murali Vijay in the slips for 18, both batsmen again falling to loose shots after soft dismissals in the first innings. Kohli and Pujara then steered India to safety and a platform to set up a rare test victory Down Under and an early lead in the four-test series. “It’s just a really big hour in the morning to change that momentum and to get us going,” said Head. “If we can get the wickets in the morning and then put them under pressure with the new ball, anything’s gettable.”
RESH after a second home-series defeat in two seasons, and with a daunting series in South Africa to come, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has admitted that results could eventually force his hand. Defeat to New Zealand on the final day in Abu Dhabi consigned Sarfraz to a fourth loss in seven home Tests, a stark contrast to the seven years that preceded his ascension. Asked whether there could come a time in South Africa when he reconsiders the Test captaincy, Sarfraz said, “When things like this happen, you do start to think about it. “But let’s see what happens. The tour of South Africa is a tough one and if you start thinking like this before it then it is not helpful for anyone. If I make mistakes, or it is because of me that the team is losing then I will definitely think about it, and if there is someone better than me to do the Test captaincy, then he should.” In the background, Mohsin Khan, the head of Pakistan’s cricket committee, has argued publicly that Sarfraz should relinquish the Test captaincy. He has been given no guarantees by the board to stay on as leader, other than on a series-by-series basis. And Pakistan have retained Mohammad Rizwan in the Test squad for South Africa, a wicketkeeping understudy who has recently started getting selected once again, and is also in a rich vein of form with the bat. As far as facing the music goes, Sarfraz will not be alone. The pressure will be as high on his fellow seniors Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. Both scored centuries in this Test, but crucially both were out cheaply on the final day. And both had failed to take Pakistan home in their chase of 176
in the first Test in Abu Dhabi. Neither is under pressure of the axe, but a poor series in South Africa could tip that equation. “They are both senior players, you can’t drop them,” Sarfraz said. “They scored hundreds and took us out of trouble. That time we needed their hundreds. In the second innings, Azhar was out to a good ball, they did not commit mistakes. But if the batsman is in good form then he has to carry that in both the innings. “We have that example of Kane Williamson who carried his team’s batting throughout the series. Our batsmen have scored runs, but not consistently. If they played a good and big innings then they did not score big in the next.” Neither was Sarfraz going to shift the blame onto the coaching staff. Mickey Arthur has been
coach during all six of Pakistan’s final-day blowouts since 2016. Grant Flower has been the batting coach since 2014, and the failures of Azhar and Shafiq to progress over the last year, as well as the nature of these collapses, is bound to bring scrutiny on their roles. “The head coach has his job, the batting coach has his, but it’s the responsibility of the players as well,” Sarfraz said. “Mentally, we have to be strong as a batting unit. The batting pair who play the new ball has to set the momentum because it’s not easy to bat on the fifth day. “Before the series I had said that it’s the responsibility of the batsmen. The batting coach does his job. He tells them the basic faults and helps them improve their technique. But if the batsman is in form then he has to carry that form.”
Langer rebuffs Tendulkar criticism of defensive batting
Coach Justin Langer Saturday rebuffed criticism from Sachin Tendulkar that Australia’s batting was too defensive, and complained that if his team celebrated like Virat Kohli they would be seen as “the worst blokes in the world”. Australia ended day two of the opening Test against India in Adelaide on Friday 191-7, with only Travis Head offering some serious resistence. Superstar Tendulkar tweeted that “the defensive mindset by
the Australian batsmen at home is something I’ve not seen before in my experience”. Langer told his players not to let the sledge get under their skin, and said it was a different era when Tendulkar played against Australia, who then boosted a far more experienced line-up. “The teams that Sachin would have played against started with Allan Border and David Boon, and Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh, and Ricky Ponting,” he told Fox Sports. “Guys that had great Test match experience and they knew their game, were comfort-
able in their own skin and they knew what to expect. “Whereas we’ve got a team at the moment who are very inexperienced in Test match cricket, particularly our batting side.” He added that his team was “fighting their backsides off”. “We have to be patient with them. You can’t give these guys 30 or 50 matches of Test match experience. They have to earn it.” In the wake of a scathing review into the ball-tampering this year, which slammed the team for its win-at-all-costs culture, Australia is also conscious that it needs to tone its infamous abrasive attitude. Langer conceded their behaviour was under scrutiny in Adelaide, where combative and vocal Indian skipper Virat Kohli has enthusiastically celebrated Australian wickets. He said there was a fine line between celebration and going over the top and if his team acted like Kohli in the current environment “we’d be the worst blokes in the world”.
Coach Mickey Arthur wants players to toughen up for tests ABU DHABI AGENCIES
Disgruntled coach Mickey Arthur demanded his players toughen up and seize key moments in Test matches after sloppy batting handed New Zealand an away series win over Pakistan for the first time in 49 years. New Zealand pulled off a come-from-behind 123-run victory in the third and final Test in Abu Dhabi on Friday to end their long wait for a 2-1 series win. Pakistan had dismissed the Kiwis for 153 in the first innings of the first Test in Abu Dhabi only to lose by a narrow four-run margin. Pakistan bounced back by winning the
second Test in Dubai by an innings and four runs but again failed to build a sizeable lead in the first innings of the third Test, a fact Arthur believes cost them the series. “We missed opportunities and despite winning most of the sessions in the two losses we could not grab the moments to force a win,” Pakistan coach Arthur told AFP. “It was our series to win but we ended up as the losing side and that´s highly disappointing.” Arthur said Pakistan not gaining big leads in the first and third Tests was crucial. “We have to have a look at our batting on the last day and that is tough in the UAE,” said Arthur. Pakistan lost all ten wickets on the final
Stokes, hales fined but free to play for England LONDON: Cricketers Ben Stokes and Alex Hales were fined on Friday for their involvement in a nightclub altercation but were cleared to play for England after match bans were either suspended or declared served. All-rounder Stokes and batsman Hales had appeared before a two-day disciplinary hearing after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) charged the pair with bringing the game into disrepute following the September 2017 incident in Bristol. Stokes was handed an eight-match ban by the disciplinary panel, which accepted that he had already missed that number of games and therefore remained eligible for immediate selection. The player, who was cleared of affray at Bristol crown court last August, was also fined a total of 30,000 pounds ($38,193.00) with half to be paid to charity. Hales, who faced no criminal charges, was given a six-match ban from England white ball (one day) matches, of which two had been missed already and the rest were suspended for 12 months — leaving him also available for selection. He was fined a total of 17,500 pounds, with 10,000 of that sum also suspended. AGENCIES
day in both the defeats. They have now lost all ten wickets on the final day six times since Arthur joined in May 2016. Apart from the three occasions in Abu Dhabi — against Sri Lanka last year and twice against New Zealand in this series — they also collapsed at Birmingham, Hamilton and Melbourne — all in 2016. Arthur said he backs his players, especially under-fire senior batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. “The quality is there as they are the best players in Pakistan who are working very very hard and I back them to the hilt,” said Arthur. “But we need to be tougher in the crucial moments and that comes to us grabbing moments and being tough and we could not do this in this series which is disappointing.” He added: “I will defend Asad and Azhar to the hilt. Asad is a wonderful player.
Sunday, 9 December, 2018
FRench PolIce aRReST oveR 1,000 To ScuTTle PRoTeSTS POLICE DETAIN HUNDREDS AS ‘YELLOW VESTS’ JOLT BRUSSELS
Was offered Rs20m to leave the field open for India, says Farhan Mehboob Pakistani squash player Farhan Mehboob claimed on Saturday that he had been offered Rs20 million to leave the field open for India during the 2014 Asian Squash Team Championship. During a conversation with journalists following the CNS International Squash Championship, held recently in Karachi, Mehboob said he was approached by the Indian officials who pretended to be match-fixers. The squash player claimed that he had refused the offer, adding he told the officials that he “would not sell [his] country even if [he is] offered a billion rupees”. The squash player said he had immediately informed his coach, manager, and officials of the Pakistan Squash Federation about the incident. Pakistan had clinched the 2014 Asian Squash Team Championship title by defeating Malaysia with Mehboob as the star player of the Pakistani team. India came third in that tournament. NEWS DESK
Sindh withdraws ban on PTM’s Manzoor Pashteen The Sindh government on Saturday withdrew notification barring Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) Chairman Manzoor Pashteen from entering the province after it attracted flak on social media over the decision. In a notification issued by the Home Department on Friday, the government had banned Pashteen’s entry in Sindh for three months on the pretext of “law and order”. “Pashteen provokes the public through inflammable and hate speeches against the state and law enforcement agencies (LEAs), posing great ‘threat’ to the peace within the area of District Malir Karachi,” the notification read. On Saturday evening, the government reportedly agreed to suspend the notification as confirmed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former senator Farhatullah Babar. An official notification in this regard was issued later at night. “CM Sindh has ordered withdrawal of expulsion order of Manzoor Pashteen. Thank you Chairman BBZ, CM Murad. It is not victory of one and defeat of other. It is triumph of sanity over insanity. All have shown maturity. Am confident that PTM also looks at it like this,” he tweeted. Manzoor, who has been Karachi for the past few days for his party meetings, was told to leave the city immediately after the meeting. However, the provincial govt had to withdraw the notification before that. The government’s decision to bar Pashteen came a couple days after army’s warning to the PTM, wherein its spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor had threatened the Pashtun human rights movement, that emerged following the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud and later morphed into a countrywide movement for Pashtuns rights, of consequences if they crossed “red lines”. Warning the leadership of the Pashtun movement, Ghafoor said that the state won’t shy away from the use of force if “lines” are crossed. Later, Gen Ghafoor was criticised by the PTM leadership and civil society alike for his statement. NEWS DESK
RENCH police put on a massive show of force on Saturday to prevent another demonstration by the gilets jaunes from spiralling into violence at the end of what could prove a defining week for Emmanuel Macron’s presidency. Nearly 1,000 arrests were made across the country, with the majority in Paris, during the fourth straight weekend of protests by the gilets jaunes, or yellow vests, a movement which began in response to fuel tax increases but has quickly swollen into a campaign against Macron. More than 31,000 people came out to block roads throughout France, according to government figures, with more than 8,000 in Paris. On the first weekend of protest, more than 280,000 people had been on the streets. Some 89,000 police and gendarmes, equipped with water cannons and armoured vehicles, were deployed across the country to prevent a repeat of last weekend’s demonstrations, which erupted into the worst riot in the capital for 50 years, with 100 cars and several buildings burnt. Paris looked like a ghost town on Saturday, with museums, department stores and the metro closed as riot police braced to meet “yellow vest” protesters in the capital and other French cities in a fourth weekend of confrontation over living costs. As of Friday, the French retail federation said the cost of the
protests to its members was €1bn. The Arc de Triomphe was ringed by police after it was the scene of pitched battle the weekend before. Many shops were boarded up to avoid looting and street furniture and construction site materials have been removed to prevent them from being used as projectiles. “I hope they don’t make it as far as here,” said Anthony, a fruit stall vendor in the residential left bank, who declined to give his surname. He said 11 other open-air food markets across the city had been closed. CHALLENGE TO MACRON: Protesters, using social media, have billed the weekend as “Act IV” in a dramatic challenge to Macron and his policies. The protests, named after the high-visibility safety jackets French motorists have to keep in their cars, erupted in November over the squeeze on household budgets caused by fuel taxes. Demonstrations have since swelled into a broad, sometimes violent rebellion against Macron, a challenge made more difficult to handle since the movement has no formal leader. Authorities say the protests have been hijacked by far-right and anarchist elements bent on violence and stirring up social unrest in a direct affront to Macron and the security forces. “We have prepared a robust response,” Interior Minister Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told online news site Brut on Saturday. He called on peaceful protesters not to get mixed up with “hooligans”. “The troublemakers can only be effective
BRUSSELS: Belgian police detained more than 400 people on Saturday after “yellow vest” protesters inspired by riots in France threw rocks and firecrackers and damaged shops and cars as they tried to reach official buildings in Brussels. In the second violence of its kind in the capital in eight days, a crowd which police estimated at around 1,000 faced riot squads who used water cannon and tear gas to keep people away from the European Union headquarters and the nearby Belgian government quarter. Calm was restored after about five hours. The movement in Belgium, inspired by the “gilets jaunes”, or yellow vest, protests in neighboring France over the past month, has given voice to complaints about the cost of living and demanded the removal of Belgium’s center-right coalition government, six months before a national election is due in May. French police said more than 30,000 people demonstrated there and more than 30 people were injured in a second successive Saturday of violence in Paris. Belgian protesters wearing the fluorescent yellow vests carried by all motorists for emergencies also briefly blocked a motorway near Belgium’s border with France. AGENCIES when they disguise themselves as yellow vests. Violence is never a good way to get what you want. Now is the time for discussion,” he said. Macron, whose popularity is at a low ebb according to polls, has been forced into making the first major U-turn of his presidency by abandoning a fuel tax. Despite the climbdown, the “yellow vests” continue to demand more concessions from the government, including lower taxes, a higher minimum wage, lower energy costs, better retirement benefits and even Macron’s resignation. One of them, Eric Drouet, a truck driver, called on protesters to storm into the Elysee presidential palace. An Elysee official has said intelligence suggested that some protesters would come to the capital “to vandalize and to kill”. Macron, who has not spoken in public since he condemned last Saturday’s disturbances while at the G20 summit in Argentina, will address the nation early next week, his office said.
FM Qureshi to visit Kabul for peace talks on Dec 15 MULTAN STAFF REPORT
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said he will visit Kabul on December 15 and hold talks with the Afghan leadership on political reconciliation and durable peace in the wake of the United States’ (US) request seeking Pakistan’s cooperation for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Addressing a ceremony in Multan, Qureshi said it was the robustness of Pakistan’s foreign policy that the US requested for assistance in Afghan issue. He said Pakistan was committed to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned
peace process. The minister was of the view that Pakistan’s foreign policy was moving on a positive trajectory based on national interest and self-reliance. Earlier this week, PM Imran Khan, in a meeting with TV anchors and reporters in the federal capital, informed that he received a letter from the US President Donald Trump in which he asked Pakistan to play its role in Afghan peace talks which are aimed at catalysing an end to the 17-year invasion of Afghanistan by US troops. The prime minister said Trump had sought Pakistan’s assistance in bringing the Taliban leadership to the negotiating table. “We will try to make the Afghan Taliban engage in dialogue
with the US,” the prime minister replied when asked about the way forward following Trump’s letter. On Tuesday, Qureshi had reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for the Afghan peace process in his meeting with US Special Envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad — the United States special envoy tasked with finding a negotiated end to Afghanistan’s 17-year old war. “Pakistan will continue to cooperate with sincerity for a political settlement in Afghanistan. Long-lasting peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s best interest,” Qureshi had tweeted after his meeting with the visiting US special envoy. On Thursday, Prime Minister
Imran Khan, in an interview with The Washington Post, expressed his desire to have “a proper relationship with the US” akin to Islamabad’s ties with China rather than the one “where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun”. Meanwhile, Qureshi said the prime minister has expressed satisfaction over the performance of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the first hundred days of the PTI government. He said the government raised the issue of blasphemous caricatures at the United Nations and also with the Dutch government in a strong voice. “The controversial cartoon contest was cancelled in the Netherlands due to our vociferous efforts,” he stated.
Justice Nisar decries govt’s ‘failure’ in improving healthcare conditions RAWALPINDI STAFF REPORT
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday stressed the need to improve healthcare infrastructure in state-run hospitals. Addressing the concluding ceremony of Pakistan Stroke and Carotid Intervention Course (PSCIC) at Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC), the top judge said that during his visit, he observed that three patients were laying on one bed in a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa public hospital. “This depicts a complete failure of the government as it is
the state’s responsibility to ensure best and basic healthcare facilities to the masses.” The CJP lamented that one of the health sector’s biggest issues was that only the rich could afford medical treatment and proper care while poor were being left to die. “I have tried to play my part in urging the lawmakers to make laws for improvement of health sector and availability of facilities to all those who need medical care after I saw the condition of hospitals during my visits,” he said and reiterated that it is the responsibility of the state to pay attention to the ailing in the society, however, the poor are deprived of their
legal right to receive good treatment. “There is no basic equipment at the hospitals; ventilators are faulty and those in working condition are reserved for those with influence.” The top judge went on to add “they would even remove ventilator being used by a poor patient for use by a wealthy one”. Justice Nisar lamented scarce funds for the health sector, saying even those are not spent appropriately. “Medical education has gained a lot of significance, but we are still producing unqualified doctors,” he said. “A painful life is not a life and unfortunately, there is no facility for children’s
liver transplant in the country. We have given the guideline for the treatment available in the hospitals.” He said that the judges of the Supreme Court (SC) and he himself is contributing to improving the healthcare facilities to deserving people and appreciated the role of doctors whose effort for the ailing humanity, he said, are commendable. Speaking to the doctors present at the ceremony, he said that the department of medicine is not a minor area, it also requires an attitude to serve humans. Later, he also distributed shields among renowned foreign and local doctors who had attended the workshop.
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