10 November, 2019 I 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal, 1441 I Rs 25.00 I Vol X No 131 I 80 Pages I Karachi Edition
Pakistan wins hearts of 140m sikhs g
PM IMrAN INAUgUrAtES kArtArPUr CorrIdor wItH MESSAgE of PEACE, LovE
UrgES INdIAN PM ModI to rESoLvE kASHMIr ISSUE wHICH HAS Now ‘ESCALAtEd INto A HUMANItArIAN CrISIS’
Ex-INdIAN PM MANMoHAN SINgH SAyS HE HoPES INdIA ANd PAkIStAN wILL IMProvE rELAtIoNS
EdItORIAl: KARtARPuR CORRIdOR STORY ON PAGE 08 KARTARPUR
rime minister imran Khan on Saturday inaugurated the historic Kartarpur Corridor for the followers of Guru Nanak, allowing them to visit the revered Sikh Guru’s final resting place without a visa. The 3-kilometre corridor provides visafree access to Sikh pilgrims, allowing them to travel to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, spent the final years of his life. Welcoming the Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur at the start of his address, Prime minister imran said, “First of all, i congratulate the Sikh community on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak and welcome you all.” He also paid tribute to the government team for completing the Kartarpur project in a matter of months. “i salute you all. i had no idea you were so efficient. That means we can do so much more,” he told the government officials. “i am always so happy to see the Sikh community who have come here. God lives in the hearts of all of us. All the messengers who have come and gone only ever brought two messages, that of peace and justice.
“i am happy we could do this for you,” he told the thousands of Sikh pilgrims. “Believe me, i had no idea of the importance this place holds; i found out a year ago that this is the medina for the Sikhs of the world,” he said. Prime minister imran noted that the lessons that can be drawn from Guru Nanak’s teachings are about bringing people together and not to spread hate. “A leader will always bring people together and will not divide them. A leader does not spread hatred and canvasses votes on the basis of religion,” said the prime minister in a veiled reference to india Pm modi. referring to the issue of Kashmir, the prime minister said he had suggested to modi to resolve the issue. “What we are witnessing in Kashmir today, it is not an international issue anymore. it has escalated to a humanitarian crisis.” “Unfortunately things have gotten even worse for the people of Kashmir. The way they [Kashmiris] are being kept like animals. Their rights have been snatched away which the UNSC gave them,” he said. He further said the subcontinent will only progress when the issue of Kashmir is resolved. “And, God willing, that day is not far.”
CONTINUED ON PAGE 02
Indian SC hands over Babri Masjid land to Hindus STORY ON BACK PAGE
Minorities unsafe in India, FO says on Ayodhya verdict STORY ON PAGE 02
NAB dragging feet over removal of Nawaz’s name from ECL: report STORY ON BACK PAGE Notice: Officess of Pakistan s Today will remain closed s on Sunday, November 10, on the account of Eidul Milad-un-Nabbi. Hence, there will be no paper on Monday, November 11.
CMYK Sunday, 10 November, 2019
Minorities unsafe in india, fo says on ayodhya verdict iSLamaBad
AKISTAN on Saturday said the minorities in India were no “longer safe” as it expressed “deep concern” over the Indian Supreme Court’s ruling in the historic Babri Masjid case. Announcing its judgement on a disputed land where Hindu hard-liners demolished the 16th-century Babri mosque in 1992, India’s top court earlier
in the day ruled in favour of the Hindus and said that a temple will be constructed on the Ayodhya land. “The decision has, once again, failed to uphold the demands of justice,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office said, pointing out that the United Nations had recently noted that the Indian Supreme Court’s response to human rights petitions in the context of Indian-occupied Kashmir had been “slow”. “This decision points out that when [the court] acts, it is unable to protect the interests of India’s mi-
norities,” the press release added. It said the court’s unanimous decision, which is likely to have a significant impact on fraught relations between India’s Hindus and Muslims, “has shredded the veneer of so-called secularism of India by making clear that minorities in India are no longer safe; they have to fear for their beliefs and for their places of worship”. The FO expressed concern that “a process of re-writing history is underway in India in order to recast it in the image of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’
in pursuance of the Hindutva ideology”, adding that the trend is also fast affecting India’s major institutions. “The rising tide of extremist ideology in India, based on the belief of Hindu supremacy and exclusion, is a threat to regional peace and stability,” the press release said. It said the Indian government should ensure protection to Muslims, their lives, rights and properties and “avoid being yet again a silent spectator of Muslims becoming the victims of Hindu extremists and zealots”.
Pakistan opens Kartarpur Corridor IOK has become great mass prison, says AJK president with message of peace, love KaraCHi
Continued from page 01
“These two things distinguish us from the animal kingdom,” he said.He continued: “The first thing I did after becoming the prime minister was to tell [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi that poverty is our mutual problem, and the way to deal with it is to open our borders to people and trade.“I met Manmohan Singh during a conference and I remember when he was the PM he had said that ‘the entire South Asia can rise if we solve Kashmir’. And that’s what I told Modi.“If Modi is listening, [he should know that] justice brings peace and injustice spreads confusion.“Let’s rid ourselves of this problem,” he told Modi, referring to the Kashmir dispute. “So we can live like humans. ‘YOU’VE WON HEARTS’: Addressing the ceremony before PM Imran, former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu thanked the Pakistani PM for taking the bold step to build the Kartarpur Corridor “without looking at gains or losses”.“You have won hearts,” he said while addressing the premier. MANMOHAN LEADS SIKH DELEGATION: Sikhs from across the border started arriving in Pakistan on Saturday to make a historic pilgrimage to the shrine of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, which is located in Kartarpur.Prime Minister Imran arrived at the corridor inauguration ceremony using the shuttle service being used by pilgrims. Former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh led the first delegation of Sikh pilgrims as they crossed into Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor. Indian Punjab’s Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was also part of the jatha (caravan).“I hope India and Pakistan relations improve enormously as a result of this beginning,” Manmohan told PTV
President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) Sardar Masood Khan on Saturday condemned the Indian Supreme Court’s decision over the dispute of the Babari mosque.He said Kashmir was burning and Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) became a great mass prison over the planet. Indian Supreme Court’s decision supporting the claim of the Hindu extremists is the Indian government’s attempt to divert the attention of the international community and media from the burning issue of Kashmir. He was addressing the concluding ceremony of the International Workshop on “New Anti-leishmanial Lead from Natural Sources: Concept and Approaches” held at the Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium. Scholars from 20 countries participated in the international workshop jointly organized by Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi (UoK) and the UK-based global Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) network. Prof. Dr. Atta-urRahman, Chairman, Prime Minister’s National Task Force on Science and Technology, Indonesian Consul General in Karachi Totok Pranamat, Director ICCBS Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Prof.
as he walked towards the Pakistan side, terming the occasion a “big moment”.The Indian Punjab chief minister said they were all happy because it had been a desire of Sikhs to visit their religious sites in Pakistan for 70 years. “This is a beginning, I hope it’s going to continue and many more gurdwaras are going to be allowed,” he remarked. MODI THANKS IMRAN: Before seeing off the first group of pilgrims, Indian Prime Minister Modi addressed members of the Sikh community and hailed the opening of the corridor.“I also thank Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for understanding India’s wishes and turning Kartarpur into reality,” Modi said in his speech. He also thanked the labour in both countries for completing the construction in such a short time. The Indian premier said that Baba Guru Nanak was not just a revered figure for Sikhs but for the entire humanity.
Dr. Paul W. Denny of NTD, Brazilian professor Dr. Bartira Rossi Bergmann, and Dr. Sammer Yousuf also spoke on the occasion. Sardar Masood Khan said that the Indian court’s verdict over the Babri mosque site was biased as it went in favour of Hindus. The court on Saturday ordered allotment of alternative land to Muslims for setting up a mosque, he said, adding that this decision based on racial and religious prejudices that would further create flames not only in India but also in this region. By this verdict of the court, the present Indian government has an illicit intention to stimulate the two religions and civilizations towards an unending social war. Coming to Kashmir issue, he said that the unsettled Kashmir dispute would be an unending threat to regional peace. The lockdown and communications blackout in occupied Kashmir has entered its 97th day, he pointed out.The people of the occupied land are in grip of frustration, annoyance and fear, he said. He urged the international community to take concrete steps for providing justice to the oppressed Kashmiri people. Talking about science and higher education, he said that science should not be used for the destruction of humanity; this is the responsibility of the scientists to make this knowledge blessing for the humanity.
CMYK Sunday, 10 November, 2019
SikHS pRAiSe pM iMRAN foR MAkiNg kARtARpuR dReAM coMe tRue ISLAMABAD
UNDREDS of Sikh pilgrims arrived at Pakistan on Saturday from different countries welcomed the historical opening of Kartarpur Corridor and said Prime Minister Imran Khan has won the hearts of Sikh community across the world by opening this corridor and his name will remain imprinted in their hearts forever. “Imran Khan has fulfilled the promise of opening Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh community of India which he made a year ago and won their hearts. It was our long-cherished desire to visit this holy place which the prime minister turned into reality”, Sikh Pilgrims said while talking media. A jubilant Sikh Pilgrim, Sardar Amir Singh said this is a moment of happiness for the nations of Pakistan and India. The Sikh community in India will now be able to visit their holy place in Kartarpur without a passport and visa. “The Indian nation can also get the maximum benefit out of this project”, Sardar Amir Singh said during his visit to Kartapur Corridor. Another Sikh Pilgrim, Baba Ge Gopal Singh said “I express my heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan who has given such a big gift to the Sikh community not only of Pakistan and India but the whole world through opening Kar-
tarpur Corridor on the biggest occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak”. The whole world is appreciating this peace gesture of Pakistani government which would allow Sikh pilgrims from India to undertake a visa-free visit to the sacred shrine of Baba Guru Nanak and perform their religious rituals. Sardar Kalwant Singh said opening of Kartarpur Corridor is a good decision taken by the Pakistani government which has made it easier for our Sikh brothers and sisters to visit their holy places in Pakistan. Now, the Indian government should also facilitate the Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan for visiting their holy places in India by taking some similar steps. Head of Pakistan Sikh Council, Dr. Ramesh Singh said “Today is the happiest day for the whole Sikh community as well as devoted followers of Baba Guru Nanak across the world. Opening of Kartarpur Corridor conveyed a mes-
sage to the world that Pakistan is a peace-loving country.” He appreciated the way different institutions of Pakistan including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony, Evacuee Trust Property Board and others worked hard for the timely completion of this project. He thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa for making excellent security and other arrangements for the Sikh Pilgrims at the opening ceremony of the corridor and said this initiative has won the hearts of Sikh community of the whole world. “This was the Pakistan of Quaidi-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah where the rights and freedom of minorities are ensured”, he said. He said despite false propaganda by Indian media, the banners of Imran Khan and Navjot Singh have been placed in Indian Punjab. The opening of this corridor
is a big achievement and nothing else could be a bigger gift for around 120 million members of the Sikh community across the world and followers of Baba Guru Nanak. Another pilgrim, Balbeer Singh Khushdil said “We are very much thankful to the Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan and his government who has given an opportunity to the Sikh community to visit their holy place on the sacred occasion of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary. We reached the place without any difficulty”. Pakistan will emerge as a peaceloving country as a result of this initiative and it will also help reduce the mistrust between Pakistan and India, he said. Former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh expressed hope that Pak-India relations will improve enormously as a result of this beginning. It’s a big moment for Sikh community”. Harvinder Singh Phoolka, a senior advocate of Delhi High Court and politician said “This place is like Makkah for us. We cannot express our happiness and excitement in words. We got permission to visit our holy place without any requirement which is an excellent initiative by Pakistani government for the Sikh community.” The members of Sikh families from the United Kingdom and Canada said: “We are very much happy over the opening of this corridor and it is a very good peace gesture and we salute to the Prime Minister Imran Khan for this initiative”.
Babri Mosque, Lahore Gurdwara: Legal parallels, diﬀerent outcome ANKARA agencieS
As Indian Supreme Court on Saturday handed over the site of 16th century Babri Mosque to Hindus for the construction of a temple, Sikh community in Pakistan feels that the verdict should have taken a queue from Lahore’s Shahid Ganj Gurdwawa (Sikh place of worship) case. The two cases bear striking resemblance in terms of claims and litigation. They also termed the timing of the verdict “surprising”, as it coincided with the opening of Kartarpur border between India and Pakistan to facilitate Sikh pilgrims to visit their places of worship. “The two sites (Babri Mosque and Shahid Ganj Gurdwara) share a close resemblance in terms of litigation, but not in terms of the outcome,” Sardar Ramesh Singh, the chairman of Pakistan Sikh Council, told Anadolu Agency. Ramesh gave credit to the Muslim community for conserving Shahid Gunj Gurdwara and not converting it into a mosque after the creation of Pakistan. “The land of Babri Mosque has been taken away from Muslim minority in India, whereas the Gurdwara of minority Sikh community still stands at the same site in Muslimmajority Pakistan,” he said. The history of the building known as Shahid Ganj Gurdwara — also called Bhai Taru Singh (a
Sikh religious scholar) Gurdwara — has striking resemblance with the dispute of Babri Mosque, demolished by a frenzied Hindu mob on December 6, 1992 and now its site has been handed over to Hindus for the construction of a temple. Constructed by Kotwal (Chief Police Officer) of Lahore Abdullah Khan, during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653, Shahid Ganj was a mosque till 1799, till Sikh Army under Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured the city defeating Afghans. They converted it into a gurdwara and barred entry of Muslims. In 1849, when British took control of Lahore by defeating Sikh Empire, Muslims pleaded for the return of the mosque and knocked the court. But the court using law of limitations, rejected the plea and questioned the delay of 51 years for claiming the mosque. The London-based Privy Council, the highest court of appeal during British era also rejected Muslim claim on May 2, 1940. “Only a few Sikhs were left in the surroundings of Gurdwara, following a huge Sikh exodus in 1947. If the local community had insisted its conversion into mosque, nobody would have stopped them”, said Ramesh. Sardar Charanjeet Singh, a Sikh community leader in Peshawar said India should learn from Pakistan in terms of protecting places of worship for minorities. “Another Gurdwara was also re-opened in Peshawar five years ago, with the assistance of local
Muslims”, Charanjeet, who also runs a facebook page “Peshawari Singh”, told Anadolu Agency. He was referring to Gurdwara Baba Biba Singh — named after a 17th century Sikh religious scholar. The Gurdawra had been closed following migration of Sikhs from Peshawar to India in 1947. Currently, Peshawar hosts the largest population of Sikhs in Pakistan, who started settling down here from adjoining tribal areas and other parts of the country in 1960s for businesses and jobs. The number of Sikhs in Pakistan is estimated between 30,000-40,000 out of some 200 million population of this South Asian Muslim country. Apart from Peshawar, he said, two other Gurdwaras had recently been re-opened in Mandi Bahauddin and Gujrat districts of Punjab with the help of local Muslims. Both Ramesh and Charanjeet termed timing of the verdict as “surprising” and “unfortunate”, when Sikhs were celebrating 550th anniversary of their founder Baba Guru Nanak and the opening of pilgrim corridor, along Kartarpur border between India and Pakistan. “The judgment had been pending for over a long time. The Supreme Court could have waited a bit more. But it chose to announce the verdict on this occasion, which could have been taken as a point for inter-communal harmony in both countries,” he said.
Stolen pine nuts worth Rs120 million recovered from South Waziristan WANA Staff RepoRt
The local police have recovered 21 stolen sacks of pine nuts from Sanga area of South Waziristan here on Saturday. According to Wana (District Police Officer) Atiq Wazir, a team of police led by Wana Station House Officer (SHO) has been dispatched to Azam Warsak that would bring back the stolen sacks. The perpetrator of the theft has also been arrested by police. Earlier on November 7, over 20 sacks of pine nuts were stolen by unidentified persons in Wana, South Waziristan. According to a local news channel, armed suspects sneaked into the warehouse and held workers and security guards hostage at gunpoint. Apart from 23 packs of pine, the robbers also carried off with cash and mobile phones. Speaking to reporters after the incident, traders claimed that the pine nuts stock was worth at least Rs12.5 million. A First Information Report [FIR] was lodged at the Wana police station in this regard. One of the rarest nuts in the world, pine nuts – locally called chilghoza – are edible seeds of pine trees and are in high demand across the world.
Aviation minister in hot water after terming Nawaz's release a ‘deal’ ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will take up on Monday a petition against Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan for terming the release of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif as a deal between him and government institutions. The petitioner, Advocate Khalid Mehmood Khan, has named the aviation minister and chairman of the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) as respondents. Sarwar, during a talk show on a private television, had said that Nawaz Sharif had been released as a result of a deal with the government. The IHC recently suspended Nawaz Sharif’s sentence for eight weeks after a medical board appointed by the Punjab government declared his condition as “critical and serious.” The petition said that the PTI minister’s remarks gave the impression that the judiciary had played a role in the release from jail of the former prime minister. “Being a citizen of this country, (the) petitioner has a basic right to know about the facts whether such kind of ‘deal’ reached between Nawaz Sharif and the government. If the answer is yes then it is a question mark on the independence of the institutions of this country and if answer is no then why a responsible leader of PTI and federal minister of this country gave such kind of irresponsible statement.” The petition said that the minister’s comment worked “to malign the dignity of this honorable court that accepted the petition and granted bail to Nawaz Sharif for eight weeks hence the statement of respondent No 1 [Ghulam Sarwar Khan] falls in the ambit of contempt of this court.” The petition requested the court to seek an explanation from the minister for making his statement and also ask him to “explain facts of the ‘deal’ between Mr Sharif, government and other institutions.”
Pakistanis react to suspicious timing of Ayodhya temple verdict The Indian Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday announced its verdict in a decadesold land title dispute between Muslims and Hindus over plans to build a Hindu temple on a site where Hindu hard-liners demolished a 16th-century mosque in 1992. The verdict was issued hours before the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, which allows Indian Sikhs to arrive in Pakistan without a visa for pilgrimage to the shrine of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. Reacting to the decision, several politicians and journalists raised questions on the verdict’s timing, criticising the move which would further dent the already tainted relationship between the two neighbouring countries. Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said that the verdict marked the “end of secular India’s facade”. In a tweet, Mazari said
that India’s top court “[accepted] that desecration of Mosque was [against] the law and [held] forth on control of inner and outer areas etc. the core of judgement is: disputed land to be given to a Board of Trustees to build Ram Mandir. Muslims to be given alternate land!” “So basically Hindutva wins as SC creates a Trust to be handed land to build temple saying mosque cannot be on that site! End of facade of secular India. Indian SC in tune with Hindutva narrative of Modi!,” she added in a follow-up tweet. Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif called the verdict a “travesty of justice”. “Indian SC judgement in land dispute of Babri Masjid represents travesty of justice,” he tweeted. “It is yet another sign of how saffron ideology is eating into the vitals of Indian society and entire secularism project is collapsing brick by brick. In-
dian Muslims are being pushed against the wall.” Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, in a tweet, termed the verdict as “shameful, disgusting, illegal and immoral”. Member of National Assembly (MNA) Asad Umer also took to Twitter, warning that “extremist views […] are now becoming pervasive in the state institutions of India also. As extremist, xenophobic thought takes control of Indian state and society, nuclear India emerges as the biggest threat to global peace.” While speaking to a local news channel, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, also expressed his suspicion’s regarding the timing of the verdict. “Couldn’t it (the verdict) wait for a couple of days? I believe that extreme insensitivity has been shown on a happy occasion and I am greatly saddened,” he said. Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Senator Sherry
Rehman pointed out that while Pakistan was opening the Kartarpur Corridor for Indian Sikhs, the Indian Supreme Court had announced a verdict against the Muslim community. “This is a reflection of a new India that we should understand. There is no pretence that their (India’s) constitution or any institution will provide any protection to Muslims. You have seen how they are treating non-citizens in Assam. On the other hand, Pakistan’s treatment towards its non-citizens is completely opposite where [the state] wants their integration in society,” she opined while speaking on a local news channel. PPP Senator Rehman Malik was also sceptic of the timing of the verdict and said: “PM Modi/RSS once again demonstrated anti-Muslim syndromes and antiSikh sentiments to have the judgement to replace the temple/Mander with Babari
Masjid on the day of the opening of “Kartarpur Sikh holy corridor” today (sic). This is the anti-peace message from PM Modi to Pakistan today.” Similarly, Sindh governor compared Pakistan’s actions versus India’s continuous vile and hate propagating actions. “What a shameful decision by Indian Supreme Court. Pakistan on the other hand is restoring Kartapur while India is destroying historical mosque. @ImranKhanPTI showing gesture towards minorities and @narendramodi proving his loyalties with RSS. Indians must reject this extremism,” he tweeted. Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in a statement issued on Saturday said: “We condemn the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict […] it reflects narrow-mindedness. India has failed in protecting its minorities.” newS DeSk
04 KARACHI 227 new dengue fever cases in Karachi KARACHI PPI
As many as 227 more dengue fever cases were reported across Karachi megacity in last 24-hours, taking the reported cases’ toll to 10,516 since the 1st Jan 2019. Spokesman Prevention and Control Program for Dengue (PCPD) Sindh, while talking to PPI, informed that at least 269 new dengue fever cases surfaced across the Sindh province in a day: 227 cases were detected in Karachi and 42 in other districts. A total 32 people had been died due to dengue fever in Sindh government and private sector health facilities of the city this year so far. In November so far, a total of 1,714 dengue positive cases surfaced throughout the province: 1,540 from Karachi and 174 from other districts. In 2019, a total of 11,268 dengue cases were detected in Sindh province so far: 10,516 in Karachi and 752 in other districts.
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
WEATHER UPDATES SUNDAY
TeMperaTure plungeS To 18°C aS Cold wave gripS CiTy T
EMPERATURE dropped to 18 degrees Celsius on Saturday after a cold spell hit Karachi, as well as other areas of Sindh. The mercury drastically fell by eight degrees to 15 degrees Celsius in the port city on Friday, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD). Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz said the recent drop in temperature in the
city has broken the previous record of average minimum temperature recorded in Karachi in November, which is 16 degrees Celsius. He attributed the sudden fall in temperature to the drop in temperatures in Quetta and Qalat, a system of cold wind entering the country and recent spells of rainfall in northern areas and Islamabad. Sarfaraz said that the cold spell will last over the next few days. According to the Met Office, mini-
mum temperature ever recorded in Karachi, during the month of November, was in 1986, when the temperature dropped to 7.8 degrees Celsius. Maximum temperature in Karachi on Friday was recorded at 29.5 degrees Celsius and humidity levels reduced to 20%. Northwestern winds blew all day long while the visibility was reduced in the morning due to fog. In other Sindh towns and cities,
KARACHI: A woman along with children are busy in preparing of decorated stuffs for selling purpose on the eve of Eid Milad un nabi (PBUH) celebration, at Guro Mandar area in provincial capital. ONLINE
Meeting discusses new ‘security vision’
minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celsius was recorded in Mohenjo Daro, 12 degrees Celsius in Sakrand, 12.5 degrees Celsius in Sukkur, 13 degrees Celsius in Tando Jam and Mithi, 13.7 degrees Celsius in Chor, 14.5 degrees Celsius in Rohri and Dadu, 15 degrees Celsius in Jacobabad, 16.5 degrees Celsius in Thatta, Mirpurkhas and Badin, 17 degrees Celsius in Hyderabad and 18 degrees Celsius in Nawabshah. NEWS DESK
148 out of 580 ambulances out of order in Sindh KARACHI PPI
KARACHI STAFF REPORT
Under the directives of IGP Sindh Dr. Syed Kaleem Imam, DIGP Operations Sindh Maqsood Ahmed and DIGP Admin Asim Ahmed Qaimkhani jointly presided a meeting at Special Security Unit (SSU) Headquarters to discuss effective measures to make the newly established unit, Police Security and Emergency Service Division effective and responsive. DIGP Operations Sindh briefed about mode of working and Security Vision– 2020 that would help to cater the needs of the hour in order to eliminate street crimes completely from the city. He directed for effective and timely response over the complaints / informations received on Madadgar-15. He emphasized on reducing the response time of police to avert any emergency situation as it will help curbing street crimes. DIGP Operations instructed the officers of concerned units to avail their maximum resources in revamping Madadgar-15 according to modern needs. The chair surfaced their concerns over excessive prank/fake calls being received at Madadgar-15 and appealed the citizens to utilize the service only in emergency situations. The DIGP Admin has lauded the efforts of the DIGP Operations in connection with his efforts to establish Police Security and Emergency Service Division which he said would become the landmark police unit across the country.
Sindh’s hospitals face acute shortage of medicines KARACHI PPI
Sindh government-run hospitals have been facing acute shortage of life-saving drugs and disposal surgical items for five months due to negligence of Sindh Health Department. Patients in Sindh’s hospitals, including Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital, Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad, National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and others, are often asked by doctors to purchase medicines from their own pocket. The procurement process of life-saving medicines, surgical and disposable items, X-rays films, chemical and allied items through centralized system of drug procurement is not completed as yet
despite the passage of five months of fiscal year 2019-20, owing to bureaucratic hurdles and commission mafia influence. The health facilities of Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad and other cities are also facing shortage of life-saving drugs and other items. Many crucial medicines for patients, who are suffering from chronic diseases, are also not available in majority of government sector hospitals. The Sindh Health Department had introduced centralised procurement system in 2014-15 to purchase life-saving drugs for all the hospitals in order to control corruption and other irregularities in purchasing medicines. Since then, about 85 per cent medicines for all the public hospitals in Sindh are being procured through a centralised system, while remaining 15 per cent through localpurchase system.
The complicated procurements process has put lives of many poor patients at stake across the Sindh province as supply of medicines to public sector hospitals has not started yet despite passage of almost five months. Presently, almost all major government hospitals of Sindh are facing acute shortage of life-saving drugs and surgical items. An administrative official at JPMC told PPI that a tender for procurement of medicines and surgical items through central procurement system should have been issued in June or July to avoid a crisis-like situation. The Sindh’s hospitals face this sad situation every year due to complicated and lengthy procedure of medicine purchase. He further informed that provision of drugs and surgical items to OPDs and emergencies patients on daily basis had become even more difficult for administration.
As many as 148 ambulances are nonoperational in Sindh province out of total 580, while majority of rescue vehicles are not equipped with life-saving facilities, PPI learned on Saturday. A large number of rescue ambulances has been lying out of order in Shikarpur, Badin, Naushehro Feroze, Jacobabad and Sukkur districts since several years. No attempt is made by the Sindh health department as yet to get them repaired. Many of the operational ambulances also need maintenance and repair on urgent basis to cater any kind of eventuality in future. Only 11 government ambulances are available in two districts of Karachi division including District Malir and District West while four Karachi districts including Central, South, East and Korangi are simply deprived of rescue ambulances facility. However, data of tertiary-care hospitals not is included here. Attendants face immense problems in shifting their seriously ill patients from taluka hospitals to district healthcare facilities and from district hospitals to tertiary-care hospitals due to lack of ambulances. Although funds are available for repair of ambulances but no attempt is made to get repaired these out of order vehicles, said sources. Situation in some teaching hospitals is also not satisfactory in Sindh. At least nine ambulances out of total 14 have been out of order at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi for several months. The hospital administration has failed to get rescue vehicles repaired as yet. Talking to PPI, Executive Director, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Dr Seemin Jamali, said there are 14 ambulances in the JPMC and all of them are operational.
Hearing-impaired persons can now get driving licences in Sindh KARACHI STAFF REPORT
The Sindh Assembly has approved a landmark amendment to the Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965, paving the way for hearing-impaired persons to be granted driving licences. Moving the bill, parliamentary affairs minister, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, said that the government has also decided to waive the licence fee for applicants who may have mild to severe hearing loss. Besides, the driving test for such persons will only be administered by those police officers who are well-versed with sign language. “Applicants with hearing impairment of up to 40 decibels (DB) shall wear hearing aids and in case the hearing loss exceeds 40 DB, the applicants shall use assistive technology devices or means as per the vehicle type,” the
amendment reads. During the debate on the legislation, which was approved unanimously, representatives of differently-abled persons were also present in the visitors’ gallery. Chawla also moved a motion to relax all rules to invite one of the visitors, Mahreen, to the assembly floor. Mahreen, who stood near the speaker’s podium, briefed the hearing-impaired persons about the amendment using sign language. As the law was put to a vote and passed, the hearing-impaired persons put their thumbs in the air to show their appreciation, while the treasury and opposition members welcomed the differently-abled persons and lauded the Sindh government’s efforts to present the law. “On this historic day, we congratulate persons with hearing impairment and the Sindh government for making an extraordinary law,” said health minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho.
Rana Ansar of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) referred to the legislation passed by the assembly and remarked that Sindh has always led the way in making remarkable laws. “We are happy that all parties, irrespective of their political differences, have joined hands and supported this bill,” she said. Firdous Shamim Naqvi, the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, appreciated the Sindh government for making such a law and informed the house that two of his daughters were also differently-abled. “Hearing-impaired persons are entitled to get the driving licence in developed countries. It’s a good omen that we have also pursued it,” he said while suggesting the Sindh government to ensure the provision of basic facilities for disabled persons at government and private buildings in all cities and towns of the province.
PPP lawmakers Shabir Bijarani and Shehla Raza and Heer Sohu, Dr Seema Zia and Shahzad Qureshi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Mangla Sharma of MQM-P and others also spoke in favour of the law. At the time of moving the bill, the opposition leader had moved an amendment, requesting the government to waive the driving licence fee for hearing-impaired persons. The amendment was carried and the bill was passed unanimously. The Sindh Assembly also adopted a resolution to pay tribute to Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism on his 550th birthday. The resolution was moved by Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) MPA Nand Kumar Goklani. In his speech, Kumar read three principles of Guru Nanak – “kirat karo” (to honestly earn with hard work), “Naam Japo (meditation on God and reciting and chanting God’s name) and Vand Chako
(share and consume together). In his speech, he briefed the house about the historical background of the saint, his birthplace and the dispute between Muslims and Sikhs to own the saint on his demise. “We should follow the spiritual teachings of Baba Guru Nanak about love, tolerance and patience in this world which is divided in the name of religion, caste and creed. This is the only way to bring peace in this region as well as the world,” he remarked. PTI MPA Dewan Sachand, supporting the resolution, appreciated the federal government and the prime minister for opening the “Kartarpur Corridor” for Sikh pilgrims to visit the shrine of Guru Nanak in Narowal district, Punjab. Azra Pechuho of PPP and Mangla Sharma of MQM-P also spoke and congratulated the Sikh community on the birthday of their saint.
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
Five killed, six injured in clash over property dispute LAHORE: At least five people were killed and six others injured in an armed clash between two rival groups over a property dispute on Saturday. Police said that Amjad Group had shot and injured a member of the Rafaqat Group a couple of days earlier and the police had called both parties to the Wagah police post to settle the dispute. On the way to the police station, armed men of both groups traded fire in Batapur area. Five people, including Amjad 40, Imran 35, Ijaz 30, Zafar 35, and another was killed in the crossfiring while six others were injured. Police said that 9MM and 30 bore pistols were used in the firing. The bodies and injured were shifted to hospital for medico-legal formalities. The police after registering a case against armed men of both groups have started an investigation. STAFF REPORT
Durable progress during last one year: CM LAHORE: Solid foundation of durable progress has been laid during the last one year and different departments have been made active for providing relief to the masses. This was stated by Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar while talking to Members National Assembly (MNAs) Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan and Muhammad Ameer Sultan who called on him at CM’s Office on Saturday. He said that action is being taken against those who are creating artificial price-hike. The interest of people of the province is for most important for him and they are cannot be left alone on the mercy of mafia which are creating artificial price-hike, he added. Usman Buzdar said that elected representatives should personally monitor the measures taken for providing relief to the masses as we are here only to serve the people. He said that criminal negligence was shown by ignoring the projects of basic needs of the people during the last regimes and national resources were wasted on such projects which were not required at all. He said that we have set a new tradition for utilizing the national resources on human development. He said that the more we invest in human development the more fruitful results it will yield. STAFF REPORT
Lahore couple arrested for blackmail through prostitution LAHORE: A couple who recently filed an FIR over alleged rape was arrested on Friday after it transpired that they were involved in blackmail and extortion through prostitution, according to media reports. The husband and wife – identified as Muhammad Zaroon and Anam Shehzadi respectively – who had lodged an FIR of rape at Nishtar Colony police station were found to have been extorting people for money after luring them through prostitution. Police said that the woman, Anam Shehzadi, would invite people over for alleged sexual activities after which her husband would barge in with weapons. The couple would then blackmail their victim for as much money as they pleased, police reported. STAFF REPORT
PLGA 2019 ShAkeS uP LoCAL Govt LAHORE
HE Punjab Local Government and Community Development (LG&CD) department has imposed the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA) 2019 whereby new local administrators have been appointed, Pakistan Today learnt on Saturday. Similarly, the LG&CD department has also created posts in succeeding local governments which will be occupied by officers and staff of the local government service. Pakistan Today learnt that the previous PLGA2013 has been ineffective as Lahore Commissioner (LC) Asif Bilal Lodhi has also taken his new charge as administrator of the Metropolitan Corporation. According to notification No. SOR (LG) 1-112019, issued by LG&CD on November 7, 2019, “In exercise of powers conferred under Section 121 of the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA), 2019 (Act XIII of 2019) read with Section 306 of the Act ibid, Chief Minister of Punjab is pleased to appoint the following officers as the administrators, with immediate effect, of the succeeding local government(s) mentioned against each, to perform the functions and exercise authority of the local government concerned till the appointment of the new head of the local government(s) by way of elections under the PLGA 2019.” According to the same notification the commissioners of concerned divisions have been appointed as administrators of metropolitan corporations whereas deputy commissioners have been appointed
administrators of municipal corporations or municipal committees at the district headquarters (HQs) (as the case may be). Similarly, assistant commissioners have been appointed administrators of municipal corporations or municipal committees at Tehsil HQs (as the case may be) and tehsil councils of all other tehsils whereas tehsildars have been appointed as administrators of municipal committees in a tehsil (other than Tehsil HQs). However, the assistant director of the local government (ADLG), LG&CD of the tehsil has been appointed as administrator of the tehsil council or district HQ Tehsil. Similarly, according to another notification issued on November 8 by LG&CD, “In suppression of all previous notifications in this regard and upon constitution of succeeding local government under Section 3 (2) read with Section 15 of the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA) 2019 and upon approval by the competent authority under the said Act to fix number and description of officers and servants of local government under Section 294 read with Sections 316 (3) (4) and 320 of the said Act, the following Interim Schedule of Establishment (ISOE) (Part-1) of the succeeding local governments is hereby notified subject to the directions and decision of the Punjab Cabinet taken in its 20th meeting held on 5-11-2019 and recorded at Para 4 5 (d) (e) & (f) read with Decision No 4 of the minutes of the said meeting Part-1 of ISOE shall include the post created in the succeeding local governments to be filled by the officers of the prescribed services and the staff of Local Government Service as prescribed in PLGA 2019 The Interim SOE (Part-1) shall be valid till 31-01-2020.”
Punjab govt decides to set up farmer markets
LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The Punjab government has decided to set up farmer markets at tehsil level and start home delivery system in five big cities to ensure availability of eatables at fixed prices in the province. Presiding over a meeting to review steps to control prices in Lahore, Punjab Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar said that initially home delivery system would be launched in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Multan as a pilot project. He said that Qeemat Punjab App had been developed to monitor prices and effectively address complaints of consumers and facility of online purchase of commodities at fixed rates would now also be provided through this app. He asked the officers to enhance awareness among people to fully benefit from Qeemat Punjab App. The chief secretary said that from
next week farmer markets would start working in 30 fruit and vegetable markets in different districts where farmers would directly sell vegetables, fruits and similar commodities without the involvement of a middle man. He informed that after this, two such farmer markets would be established at Tehsil level in every district. He said that profiteering would not be tolerated in any case and it is the top priority of the government to provide relief to the common man and no compromise can be made on this important matter. He directed that stern action be taken against profiteers, hoarders and those creating artificial dearness. He directed the officers to keep a strict check on wholesalers rather than shopkeepers because it would help stabilize prices. Yousaf Naseem Khokhar said that sale of eatables, especially wheat flour, sugar, ghee and Roti, would be ensured at the prices fixed by the government and for this purpose price magistrates and market committees be made ‘more active’. He directed that administrative officers must oversee the auction process in fruit and vegetable markets in districts, besides keeping a check on demand and supply of commodities, which is a key factor in controlling prices. The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary, administrative secretaries of different departments including Agriculture and Industries, Chairman PITB and officers concerned.
The notification further said that as per ISOE (part -1) for local government a total of 129 officers will work in MCL on posts created in succeeding local governments. Similarly, 38 officers will work in metropolitan corporations where the population exceeds 2 million whereas 29 officers will work in metropolitan corporations where population is less than 2 million. A total of 24 officers will work in municipal corporations where population is more than four lacs and 18 officers will work in municipal corporations where population is less than four lacs. A total of 14 officers will work in Municipal Committees-DHQs where population exceeds 1.5 lacs and 11 officers will work in Municipal Committees-DHQs where populations is less than 1.5 lacs whereas 13 officers will work in Municipal Committees-(THQs and non-THQs) where population exceeds 1.5 lacs and 11 will work in Municipal Committees-(THQs and nonTHQs) where populations is less than 1.5 lacs. Similarly, 11 officers will work in Municipal Committees-(THQs and non-THQs) where population is less than one lac and more than 75,000 whereas eight officers will work in Municipal Committees-(THQs and non-THQs) where population is less than 75,000. Six officers will be employed in town committees where population exceeds 45,000. Four officers will work in town committees where population is less than 45,000 and 10 officers will work in tehsil councils where population exceeds 700,000 whereas nine officers will work in tehsil councils where population is more than four lacs and less than 700,000. A total of seven officers will work in tehsil councils where population is less than four lacs.
Nation celebrates 142nd birth anniversary of Allama Iqbal LAHORE: Nation on Saturday celebrated the 142nd birth anniversary of the national poet Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal with traditional zeal and fervor. Various literary, educational, political, social and cultural organizations have arranged special programmes to pay homage to the national poet and highlighted different aspects of his life and teachings. A graceful change of guard ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal, a poet of the East and philosopher. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Navy took charge of the guard duties. Station Commander of Pakistan Navy, Commodore Naimatullah Khan, who was the chief guest of the ceremony, laid floral wreath at the Mazar and offered fateha. He also noted down his impressions on the visitors’ book. Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot on November 9, 1877. He is also recognised as national poet, and known as Muffakir-e-Pakistan (thinker of Pakistan), Shair-eMashriq (poet of the east) and Hakeemul Ummat (doctor of the Muslim ummah) and is credited with sparking the pan-Islamic thought among Muslims of the subcontinent. He passed his MA in philosophy from Government College Lahore after which he went to London to study law. He also did his PhD in philosophy from Germany’s Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Among his 12,000 verses of poetry, about 7,000 verses are in Persian. Iqbal with his revolutionary poetry gave rebirth to the Muslims of the subcontinent. STAFF REPORT
Court rejects Sanaullah’s bail plea in drug case
Iqbal paved way for forward-thinking among Muslims: moot LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The Annual Iqbal Conference marking the 142nd birth anniversary of the national poet was held here on Saturday. The conference was arranged by Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex and the Markazi Majlis-e-Iqbal and was presided over by the chairman of the Aiwan e Iqbal Complex, senior journalist and anchorperson Arif Nizami. Federal Minister for Education, National History and Literary Heritage Shafqat Mahmood and Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar were chief guests at the occasion. While speaking at the conference, Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood said, “We owe our freedom to Allama Iqbal as he envisioned a free country for Muslims of South Asia.” He said that minorities were suffering in India while Pakistan was experiencing a period of communal harmony. The federal minister said that Iqbal paved the way for forward-thinking among Muslims of the subcontinent. Shafqat Mahmood further said that the federal government is work-
ing towards developing a uniform curriculum for all students in the country. “We will not allow the current education system to sow social divisions among the people. We will devise a singular educational system for both government and private schools as well as madrassas; this I believe is in line with Iqbal’s thinking,” the federal minister said. Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University, Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar said that Iqbal was a revolutionary thinker who was way ahead of his times. “Iqbal knew several different languages such as Persian, Urdu,
Arabic, and English among other; he was established in India’s literary and political circles during his day and his philosophy revolved around the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the tenets of Islam,” Dr Niaz said, adding that Iqbal’s “teachings served as a role model for us.” Dr Niaz further said that it was unfortunate that national institutions such as the railway and PIA had gone bankrupt. He said that a singular educational system for all people regardless of class and stature would serve the country well and help eradicate social inequality, adding this
would “transform the country into the vision of Allama Iqbal.” Veteran journalist Orya Maqbool Jan said that Iqbal had produced the two-nation theory which was rejected by the “Nagpur scholars of his times who” were not willing to concede a separate state for the Muslims of India. He said that Iqbal strongly held on to his beliefs in the face of growing opposition. He said that while Iqbal espoused the two-nation theory, Indian nationalists who opposed him carried the mantle of secularism; “But after 70 years, India’s faux secularism has been exposed and the country has come to openly endorse the virulent Hindutva ideology,” he said. Chairman of the Awain-e-Iqbal Complex, Arif Nizami said that Iqbal’s philosophy was built upon his devotion to Allah and his love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He said that Iqbal reinvigorated the spirit of Islam among Muslims which allowed them to fight for their rights. Renowned scholar Ahmed Javed said that negating Iqbal’s message and ideology is tantamount to antinational and anti-religious sentiment.
LAHORE: An anti-narcotics court on Saturday rejected the bail plea of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah in drugs smuggling case. He filed a fresh bail plea on November 6, citing footage submitted by the Lahore Safe City Authority that contradicted the prosecution’s argument. But the court said that in order to file a new bail petition, he should have new grounds. He had already made the objection that the Lahore Safe City footage contradicted the prosecution’s argument. Both respondents, Sanaullah and the ANF, had been issued notices for Saturday. After they completed their arguments, the court reserved its verdict and then rejected his plea. Sanaullah’s lawyer said that his client is ready to surrender his passport. Put his name on the ECL but give him bail, he asked the court. On July 1, Sanaullah was arrested by the ANF after the discovery of a large stash of contraband in his vehicle from near the Sukheke area in Punjab. Sanaullah, a member of the National Assembly (MNA) and president of the PML-N’s Punjab wing and was arrested while travelling with his guards to a meeting from Faisalabad to Lahore. A case was being filed in accordance with the Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997, after a large stash of contraband was recovered from his vehicle. STAFF REPORT
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
06 WORLD VIEW
AyodhyA verdict is silent on why MusliMs Must prove exclusive possession of site – but not hindus THE COURT HAS DEPRIVED MUSLIMS OF THE DISPUTED PLOT BECAUSE THEY COULDN’T SHOW EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION BEFORE 1857
N page 215 of the AyodhyaBabri Masjid verdict, delivered by a five-judge bench on Saturday, the Supreme Court makes a crucial statement of logic: “It is true that in matters of faith and belief, the absence of evidence may not be evidence of absence.” But in its final findings, the court contradicted this same logic. The crux of the judgement that India has awaited since 1949 is that Muslims failed to show unimpeded possession of the disputed site in Ayodhya between 1528, when the mosque was supposedly built by Mughal emperor Babur, and 1857, when, after a clash between Muslims and Hindus, a railing was erected between the inner and outer courtyards at the disputed site. The inner courtyard is where the mosque demolished by Hindutva mobs in 1992 stood. The outer courtyard has several Hindu shrines. While the judgment strains to point out that the matter was not decided on faith, it places the onus on Muslims alone to prove exclusive possession of the site.
There is no similar expectation from the Hindu side. This leaves the impression that the Hindu belief in the site being the birthplace of Ram somehow took precedence over the Muslim claim. POSSESSION OF THE SITE: The judgement spends considerable space analysing two crucial aspects of the legal dispute that began in 1885, when the mahant of the Nirmohi Akhara, an organisation of Hindu ascetics, moved the courts to establish his right to worship at the assumed Ram Janmasthan. First is the report of the Archaeological Survey of India produced on the directions of the Allahabad High Court in 2003. The second is a set of literary and official documents, including the accounts of European travelers and British gazetteers, relating to the disputed site since the 18th century. From the ASI report, the court concedes that a structure existed beneath the mosque. It said that a reasonable inference could be drawn on the basis of the standard of proof that governs civil trials that the underlying structure that provided the foundations of the mosque together with its architectural features and recoveries “are suggestive of a Hindu religious origin comparable to temple excavations in the region and pertaining to the era”. It, however, chose to contexualise this report and state that the ASI did not conclude that a temple had been demol-
ished to build the 16th century mosque. It also pointed to the date of the temple as 12th century, citing the long gap between the date of the temple and the construction of the mosque in 1528. Having done so, the court said the ASI findings could not be the basis of awarding title in a land dispute, disregarding a crucial point that there was no concrete link between the destruction of the ancient temple and the construction of the mosque. The court said: “A finding of title cannot be based in law on the archaeological findings which have been arrived at by ASI. Between the twelfth century to which the underlying structure is dated and the construction of the mosque in the sixteenth century, there is an intervening period of four centuries. No evidence has been placed on the record in relation to the course of human history between the twelfth and sixteen centuries. No evidence is available in a case of this antiquity on (i) the cause of destruction of the underlying structure; and (ii) whether the pre-existing structure was demolished for the construction of the mosque. Title to the land must be decided on settled legal principles and applying evidentiary standards which govern a civil trial.” Second, it refers to copious records of literary and official nature to show that Hindus have always worshiped at the disputed site on which the mosque
stood. This, the court says, was unimpeded in nature, though it qualifies that these records should be handled with circumspection. Since neither the Hindu nor the Muslim side were able to show direct and concrete evidence to establish title, the court moves to the question of possession, which is decided on the basis of patterns of worship. The contradiction in the court’s findings on this subject is stark. It chose to decide the entire dispute on one factor: that the Muslims were unable to show evidence of exclusive possession of the site between 1528 and 1857, because there is evidence for Hindu worship in outer courtyard. It said: “Hindu worship at Ramchabutra, Sita Rasoi and at other religious places including the setting up of a Bhandar clearly indicated their open, exclusive and unimpeded possession of the outer courtyard. The Muslims have not been in possession of the outer courtyard. Despite the construction of the wall in 1858 by the British and the setting up of the Ramchabutra in close-proximity of the inner dome, Hindus continued to assert their right to pray inside the threedomed structure.” To break this down into simpler language, the scenario that emerged is this: Hindus had total control of the outer courtyard from which Muslims were excluded. But there was continuing dispute over the inner courtyard where the threedomed mosque stood. Hindus through centuries tried to access this land and offer worship. This means they were try-
ing to wrest it from the Muslims. While the court concedes that since 1857, Muslims had been offering prayers at the mosque and did not abandon it until 1949 when idols of Ram Lalla were placed illegally under the dome of the mosque, this made no difference to their claim. In fact, for some years after the railing was built in 1857, they might have actually had exclusive possession, borne out by the fact that the Hindus worshiped the sanctum from the outer yard. However, the Muslims’ failure was that they were not able to show exclusive possession of the inner courtyard before 1857, a burden that is not placed on the Hindu side as the court itself concedes that the Hindus’ exclusive possession was confined only to the outer courtyard. This is an illogical leap. A Mughal emperor built a mosque in 1528. His descendants ruled the region in which the mosque stood for more than three centuries. The mosque structure existed all through this rule. But the court concluded that the Muslims could not show exclusive possession as the record of their worship produced begins from 1857. All this when the court says on page 770 that the acts of the parties subsequent to the annexation of Oudh in 1856 form the basis of the legal rights of the parties in the present suits – not events that occurred before that. The larger question is why the Muslims alone should face the burden of showing exclusive possession of the site prior to 1857 and not the Hindus. The court does not answer this.
Monica Lewinsky says #MeToo movement changed her views on relationship with Clinton
High-minded secular rhetoric doesn’t blunt majoritarian edge of ruling
MS LEWINSKY SAID SHE NOW ‘100 PER CENT’ BELIEVES HER RELATIONSHIP WITH MR CLINTON CONSTITUTED AN ABUSE OF POWER, NOT ONLY AT THE TIME BUT IN THE AFTERMATH
WHAT IS OUR SUPREME COURT SAYING? THAT DESECRATION AND VANDALISM MUST BE REWARDED BECAUSE INDIA IS A SECULAR COUNTRY? OR AM I GETTING IT WRONG? I AM UNABLE TO FIGURE OUT THE LOGIC AND THE JURISPRUDENCE THAT LINKS THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT AND ITS CONCLUSIONS Times of india
sydney morning Herald MichAel koziol
Anti-bullying campaigner Monica Lewinsky says the #MeToo movement and society's changing understanding of consent have changed the way she sees her relationship with then US president Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Speaking in Sydney on Saturday night, Ms Lewinsky said for 20 years she had "clung so steadfastly to this notion that [it] was a real, consensual relationship ... and I never allowed myself to explore anything different". But the #MeToo movement, in which women the world over have shared stories of inappropriate, unwanted and unlawful sexual conduct by powerful men, had changed society's understanding of consent, she said. "As we started to have public conversations that were different about consent, as we started to recognise abuse of power in different ways, these structures started to crumble around powerful men who have been able to engage in [bad] behaviours and be lauded and celebrated," she said. "As we started to dismantle that, I started to look at my own situation and just start to ask questions differently." Ms Lewinsky said she now "100 per cent" believes her relationship with Mr Clinton constituted an abuse of power, not only at the time but in the aftermath."There is no doubt for me on many levels," she said. "[But] consent is really complicated. I can blanket say it was not sexual assault. I was not coerced to do anything. I didn't feel like if I didn't do something I would lose my job. "But I also think that there's a nuanced place where we're starting to look at consent in a way of trying to understand and say, 'Well, with the power differential, with the age difference, given a number of different factors, is consent rendered moot?' "I started unpacking all this last year ... I do think we're asking those questions now and I don't think we've finished with the answers yet." Ms Lewinsky, 46, said the amount of change brought about by #MeToo in a short time was "extraordinary" but it was not yet clear where social standards and expectations would settle. "There has been enough momentum and energy
A few days ago, on November 4, the Indian Supreme Court passed an unusual order. Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose were hearing the criminal appeal No 1638 of 2019 (Surekha Nitin Kapse against the State of Maharashtra — the specifics of the case are unknown). The justices said: “On perusal of the judgment we find it is unintelligible and we could not decipher what has been decided by the High Court. We accordingly set aside the order and remit the matter to the High Court. We request the High Court to pass an order which we can understand.” Let us turn to the Babri mosque judgment. Offering all the qualifications that are expected from plebeians (“I have full faith in the judiciary!” “I have highest respect for the law” etc) I would like to ask the same of the bench that passed an order that to me appears unintelligible and undecipherable. It may be too much however to request the judges to set the thing aside. But perhaps if we go through it together perhaps we might find the sense in it. Ready? Here goes. Before delivering their judgment, the judges first sent down homilies. In their words: “For a case replete with references to archaeological foundations, we must remember that it is the law which provides the edifice upon which our multicultural society rests… At the heart of the Constitution is a commitment to equality upheld and enforced by the rule of law. Under our Constitution, citizens of all faiths, beliefs and creeds seeking divine provenance are both subject to the law and equal before the law. The Constitution does not make a distinction between the faith and belief of one religion and another. All forms of belief, worship and prayer are equal.” That is clear. Next, the judges said that “the dispute is over immovable property. The court does not decide title on the basis of faith or belief but on the basis of evidence.” The court said that “between 22/23 December 1949, the mosque was desecrated by the installation of Hindu idols. The ouster of the Muslims on that occasion was not through any lawful authority but through an act which was calculated to deprive them of their place of worship.” That is also clear. Next, they say that “during the pendency of the suits, the entire structure of the
and force that the pendulum has moved," she said. "It's still swinging. Some feel it may have swung too far. It will probably eventually find its place, but wherever it stops, it will be different from where it was before. And I feel grateful to be alive at that time to see something like that happen." Speaking about public shaming in the modern era, Ms Lewinsky said humiliation had become a "commodity" for publishers, particularly through online clicks. "If you take a step back and you start to look at some of the ways that people make money from things that happen in society, we start to see that humiliation has become a commodity and an industry. It has become valued in a way that it hadn't been many years before," she said. "It's a sort of catch 22. It becomes more sadly delicious - in a bad way - for us as a society because we're able to see other people's flaws, and we're constantly comparing our insides to other people's outsides. "The ability to see that people that we might have on a pedestal are flawed just like we are somehow makes us feel better."
mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship. The Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago.” Again all this is pretty straightforward. Then the court says that “dividing the land will not subserve the interest of either of the parties or secure a lasting sense of peace and tranquillity.” Also that “allotment of land to the Muslims is necessary because though the Muslims were dispossessed upon the desecration of the mosque on 22/23 December 1949 which was ultimately destroyed on 6 December 1992. There was no abandonment of the mosque by the Muslims.” More homilies follow: “This Court in the exercise of its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution must ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied. Justice would not prevail if the Court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims who have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law. The Constitution postulates the equality of all faiths. Tolerance and mutual co-existence nourish the secular commitment of our nation and its people.” etc etc. And with all this in mind, the court then concludes that “on a balance of probabilities, the evidence in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on a better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims.” Here I am lost. And my bafflement continues as I read further into the text. What is our Supreme Court saying? That desecration and vandalism must be rewarded because India is a secular country? Or am I getting it wrong? I am unable to figure out the logic and the jurisprudence that links the findings of the court and its conclusions. India’s Supreme Court has taken the ultimatum made by LK Advani and other Hindutva leaders to Muslims 30 years ago — accept land elsewhere and get your mosque out of here else we will break it down — and legitimised it. But they have done so with kinder words. The high-minded secular rhetoric of the judgement is dislocated from the majoritarian edge in its ruling. Homily alone has been given to the Muslim of India in exchange for justice. That is how it appears. Reading it in any other way does not make any sense to me.
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
FOREIGN NEWS 07
Thousands gather for ‘martyrs’ vigil amid Hong Kong protests
3 dead, dozens injured as australia wildfires raze homes SYDNEY
HONG KONG AGENCIES
Hong Kong protesters held a vigil for “martyrs” on Saturday and many demanded “revenge” after a student died in hospital this week following a high fall, fuelling anger among prodemocracy demonstrators who first took to the streets in June. Thousands of people gathered in Tamar Park next to central government offices in the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, after they had secured rare permission from the police to hold the evening rally. The protesters sang hymns and carried flowers, while many shouted “revenge,” a call heard increasingly often at rallies and given added impetus since a student died in hospital on Friday after falling from multi-storey park during a protest. “Tonight we are not only here to mourn for him but to show the government, the Chinese Communist Party and the world that the things that have happened in the last six months have not been forgotten,” said
Tom, 26, a government worker who asked that only his first name be used. Chow Tsz-lok, 22, a student at Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology (UST), fell on Monday as protesters were being dispersed by police. Rallies have often erupted into clashes between police and protesters, creating the worst political crisis in the territory for decades, although Saturday’s vigil that drew students, older people and a few children was quiet in the early evening. Police said they had fired one round of live ammunition on Friday as a warning to what they described as “a large group of rioters armed with offensive weapons” who threw bricks at officers trying to clear street barricades in the Kowloon area. “The lives of the officers were under serious threat,” police said in the statement, released on Saturday. Students and young people have been at the forefront of the hundreds of thousands who have taken to the streets to seek greater democracy, among other demands, and rally against perceived Chinese meddling
in the Asian financial hub. China denies interfering in Hong Kong and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble. Under China’s “one country, two systems” formula, Hong Kong has retained freedoms from the colonial era not enjoyed on the mainland, including an independent judiciary and the right to protest. Protesters have called for a general strike on Monday and for people to block public transport, although when such calls have been made in the past they have come to nothing. The death of the student is likely to fuel anger against the police, who protesters accuse of using excessive force. Since June, protesters have thrown petrol bombs and vandalized banks, stores and metro stations. Police have fired rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and, in some cases, live rounds. Last weekend, anti-government protesters crowded a shopping mall in running clashes with police that saw a man slash people with a knife and bite off part of the ear of a politician.
ILdFIReS razing Australia’s droughtstricken east coast have left three people dead and several missing, more than 30 injured and over 150 homes destroyed, officials said on Saturday. Around 1,500 firefighters were battling more than 70 fires across Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, with the most intense in the northeast, where flames were fanned by strong winds, Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said. A woman who was found unconscious and with serious burns on Friday near Glen Innes died in a hospital, he said. Her daughter-in-law Chrystal Harwood identified the victim as 69-year-old grandmother Vivian Chaplain, who was alone in her house in the small community of Wytaliba when it was engulfed in flames. “I was the last one to speak to her. She was in an absolute panic. She said: ‘We’re on fire. There’s fire everywhere. I need the boys here now’,” Harwood told Nine Network television of their final phone call. “Before I even got to tell her to just get out, she’d hung up on me. I couldn’t get back through to her. I tried so many times,” Harwood said. “She was amazing. She was such a strong, loving woman.” On Friday, Harwood made a desperate plea on social media for someone to come to Chaplain’s rescue. “Viv is alone can someone help, anyone please […] boys are on the way down if they can get through,” Har-
wood posted. “The RFS can’t get to her they are trying [… ] the road down is a tunnel of fire.” Firefighters found another body on Saturday in a burned car near Glen Innes, a victim of the same fire, officials said. The local man’s name has not been released. A third body was found on Saturday afternoon in a burned building at Johns River, north of Taree, a police statement said. That victim died in a fire hundreds of kilometers from Glen Innes. Another seven people have been reported missing in the vicinity of the Glen Innes fire, Fitzsimmons said. “We are expecting that number (of missing people) to climb today,” he said. “There are really grave concerns that there could be more losses or indeed more fatalities.” More than 30 people including firefighters received medical treatment for burns and one patient had cardiac arrest, he said. At least 150 homes had been destroyed since Friday, and damage assessment teams had yet to reach some devastated areas, a Rural Fire Service statement said. Residents could not yet return because of the dangers of fire, smoke and loose asbestos in the rubble, the statement said. Hundreds of people evacuated their homes along a 500-kilometer swath of the eastern seaboard from the Queensland state border south to Forster. Forster is a town 300 kilometers north of Sydney, Australia’s largest city. Many spent the night in evacuation centers, while some slept in cars. In Queensland, around 50 wildfires were raging on Saturday. At least one house was lost, a firefighter suffered a broken leg and 6,000 residents were evacuated from three communities in the state’s southeast, police
said. Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned Australia to expect more bad news from the fire zones. His warning came before the third victim was confirmed. “The devastating and horrific fires that we have seen particularly in New South Wales but also in Queensland have been absolutely chilling,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney. The Insurance Council of Australia declared the wildfire crisis a “catastrophe”, meaning insurance claims will be given priority. In Taree, more than 300 people evacuated overnight to a social club, including Club Taree’s chief executive, Morgan Stewart. “It was pretty scary,” Stewart said. “We’re hearing lots of stories of lost houses, lost property, goods and effects, animals, land. It’s going to be horrific, I think.” Peter Lean spent the night on the roof of his house in the town of Wallabi Point, extinguishing burning embers carried on strong winds. “I’ve never seen the sky so red since 2000,” Lean said. “We’ve got winds blowing, they’re circling, it’s like a cyclone.” The fire danger reached unprecedented levels in New South Wales on Friday, when 17 fires were burning at the most extreme danger rating known as the emergency Warning Level. “I can only recall a figure of less than 10 that we (previously) got to, which was an extraordinary event in years past,” Fitzsimmons said. Between two and five fires were burning at the highest danger rating during Saturday. The annual Australian fire season, which peaks during the Southern Hemisphere summer, has started early after an unusually warm and dry winter.
Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers arrested as tensions soar VICTORIA AGENCIES
Hong Kong police said on Saturday they have arrested three pro-democracy lawmakers over a brawl in parliament, deepening the city’s crisis a day after the death of a student sent tensions soaring. The international finance hub has been upended by five months of huge and increasingly violent pro-democracy protests but Beijing has refused to give in to most of the movement’s demands. With the city bracing for a 24th consecutive weekend of rallies, police brought charges against three key pro-democracy lawmakers while four other lawmakers said they had been ordered to attend a police station later on Saturday to be booked. They face up to a year in jail if convicted. The charges relate to chaotic scenes that broke out within a legislative committee in May as pro-democracy lawmakers tried to stop a controversial bill being discussed that would allow extraditions to authoritarian mainland China. At the time, city leader Carrie Lam was fast-tracking the bill through the legislature, a move that went on to ignite recordbreaking street protests in which millions marched. “The protests that have been going on for five months are yet to finish but the government is already launching massive arrests of pro-democracy legislators in collaboration with the police,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. One of the lawmakers said he would refuse to turn himself in. “If you are accusing
me of violating laws in the Legislative Council, come here and arrest me. I will be right here waiting,” Lam Cheuk-ting told reporters at a joint press conference. Hong Kong’s legislature is quasi-democratic, with half the seats popularly elected and the rest chosen by largely pro-Beijing committees, ensuring the chamber remains stacked with government loyalists. Opposition to the government comes in the form of a small band of prodemocracy lawmakers who win their seats in local elections. The lack of fully free elections — and especially the fact that the city’s leader is appointed by a pro-Beijing committee — has fuelled years of protests that have culminated in the latest unrest. The tinderbox atmosphere intensified on Friday after 22-year-old student Alex Chow died from a fall during recent clashes with police. Although the precise chain of events leading to his fall is unclear and disputed, protesters have made alleged police brutality one of their movement’s rallying cries and have seized on the death. Thousands attended candlelight vigils on Friday evening while police fought cat and mouse battles with flashmob protesters who blocked roads, burned barricades and vandalised subway station entrances in multiple neighbourhoods. In one incident, an officer fired a live warning shot as his unit faced off with protesters throwing projectiles. The city is holding district council elections on 24 November with the pro-Beijing camp bracing for heavy defeats.
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
Kartarpur Corridor Amidst headwinds of intolerance
WO important events took place on Saturday. the first was the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, thus allowing indian Sikhs for the first time in 72 years to visit one of their holiest shrines in Pakistan through a visa-free corridor. the other was the indian Supreme Court’s verdict handing over the Babri Mosque premises to the hindu community for construction of a temple, while directing the indian government to allot the Muslims land for a mosque in Ayodhya. the first event will be remembered as a landmark in the promotion of interfaith harmony and a step towards regional peace. While the judgment by indian SC would be used by indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as yet another feather in his hindutva cap, and many will wait to see its impact on intercommunal relations in india with a feeling of trepidation. While Pakistan had of late developed an unprecedented eagerness for opening the Kartarpur corridor, the BJP government was initially less than enthusiastic about it. however, it soon owned the project due to domestic compulsions while posing that the idea had originally come from its side. the core teachings of Baba Nanak Dev, like universal brotherhood, equality and sharing have relevance for the contemporary world, particularly South Asia. these teachings are an antidote to the fast spreading wave of intolerance for those having a different colour or belonging to a different race, religion or sect. Pakistan, being a multi-religious country, badly needs interfaith harmony which is necessary to create the sense of being one nation. While opening the corridor is a step in the right direction, much more needs to be done to create a tolerant and inclusive society as visualised by the Founding Father. Despite condemnations by numerous countries the BJP government continues to violate basic human rights in the indian Occupied Kashmir while it persists in targeting religious minorities, dissenting politicians, intellectuals and media houses all over the country. Pakistan has shown its commitment to regional peace by opening the corridor. india needs to reciprocate by lifting multifarious curbs on basic human rights in Kashmir and agree to hold talks with Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues.
Accountability, NAB-style Questionable techniques leading to bad results
he National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has never enjoyed a good reputation. Constituted by Pervez Musharraf, it was widely perceived to be a tool for keeping politicians in check through fear of prosecution. in the current setup’s hands, the accountability watchdog has become more controversial than ever before. Whatever impartiality that could have been associated with the institution has gone out of the window with a highly disproportionate number of inquiries, investigations and arrests being targeted towards the opposition, not the government. the treatment of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen under NAB arrest while being ‘investigated’ has been harsh to say the least with multiple complaints of being high-handed and in some cases resembling borderline mental torture. While opposition politicians are left to the mercy of accountability courts, businessmen being allegedly harassed by NAB sought some solace in the COAS and PM, asking for some relief. that relief has come in the form of a committee comprising of senior NAB officials and senior business leaders. A day after its formation NAB opened up an investigation against one of the businessmen in the same committee. either one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing or there is a difference in opinion over how the bureau should operate. even the Pti led government has started to complain about how NAB is getting in the way of service delivery. the PM recently promised to the bureaucracy- virtually in pen down mode out of fear of being nabbed- that he would clip NAB’s wings, restricting it from arresting civil servants under the garb of “misuse of authority”. Similarly, Razzaq Dawood reportedly complained in a cabinet meeting that he is unable to convince professionals from the private sector to fill high-level positions at state-owned enterprises due to fears that once they retire, NAB would come after them. it is true that past governments have left the NAB law unchanged as they also used it to go after their political opponents. What is different now is that there is, for the first time, some consensus on the fact that NAB has to be reined in to make government and parliament function normally. But unless these amendments come through discussion, in parliament, with opposition lawmakers through the passing of a law rather than an ordinance, the exercise will be rendered useless.
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Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
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And badly needed confidence-building measures
FteR abject failure of the Pti’s (Pakistan tehreek-e-insaf) negotiating committee headed by defence minister Pervez Khattak to break the impasse created as a result of JUi-F’s (Jamiat Ulema-e-islam Fazl group) protracted dharna at islamabad, Chaudhry Pervez elahi has stepped in to negotiate an honourable exit for the Maulana. But the JUi-F chief is not willing to relent unless he has the scalp of the prime minister. the speaker Punjab Assembly and his cousin Chaudhry Shujaat have an excellent personal rapport with the Maulana. Recently the JUi-F supremo had no hesitation calling upon the duo to inquire about the PML-Q chief’s health at his Lahore residence. Khan is yet to offer this common courtesy to an important political ally. Such gestures are considered important in our political milieu. But these niceties simply elude the Pti chief. Pervez elahi after his several meetings with the Maulana and his secretary general ghafoor haidri is optimistic that a solution to the present deadlock will soon be found. the prime minister has also urged his party men not to worry too much as the sit-in issue will be resolved through negotiations. Of course, resignation of the prime minister is off the table so far as the Pti is concerned. this is the maximalist position of the opposition’s Rahbar committee. But short of that there are other areas where agreement should be sought. there should be confidence-building measures (CBMs) with the government taking some unilateral steps. For starters personal attacks on Maulana and other opposition stalwarts should be avoided at all costs. this however is easier said than done. Khan’s ‘chor chor’ (crooks and thieves) ad nuaseam narrative against the opposition has lost its efficacy. Law of diminishing returns has quite obviously set in. there are enough ‘chors’ in the ruling alliance to deprive the prime minister of any moral high ground on this count. the only difference is that they are enjoying fruits of power while most ‘chors’ in the opposition are in the slammer. it takes two to tango. the opposition also
has to lower its decibels while attacking the opposition. Nonetheless the ruling party has more to lose in a vitiated political atmosphere. there was room for some optimism when the prime minister the other day instructed his parliamentary party to fully participate in the upcoming National Assembly session. he also vowed to take apart in the proceedings himself. But it proved too good to be true. At the very start of the session on thursday the government bulldozed eleven ordinances within half an hour without any discussion. the partisan deputy speaker Qasim Suri suspended the question hour in favour of a 25-point order of the day. the opposition now wants the deputy speakers’ scalp. he is already under cloud with his seat restored by the apex court after he was disqualified by the eCP (election commission of Pakistan) on charges of massive rigging. Similarly, the same day, the Upper house witnessed ugly scenes with some hot-blooded firebrand Pti stalwarts making personal attacks on PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. the government has reportedly agreed to form a judicial commission to probe alleged rigging in the 2018 elections. Similarly, it has been decided to revive the dormant parliamentary committee on electoral reforms. in order not to have any truck with the opposition Khan has avoided consulting leader of the opposition Shehbaz Sharif for key constitutional appointments. A case in point is appointment of two eCP members. the islamabad high Court declaring these appointments null and void has already ordered the government to follow proper procedure by taking the matter to the parliament. Similarly, the same course will have to be adopted for appointment of the CeC (Chief election Commissioner) in place of the incumbent Sardar Raza Khan who retires in couple of weeks. So, while the opposition is baying for fresh elections the election commission is not really functional, soon to be without its head. An independent and empowered eCP is axiomatic for holding fair and free elections. interestingly no party wants to have elections under the supervision of the military apart from it performing normal maintenance of law and order functions. this is a far cry from the days when the Army was seen as the sole guarantor of fair and free elections. As the spokesman of the military has correctly pointed out that the Army is only at the beck and call of the elected government even during elections. this is how it should be. But a perception has developed that, as a prelude to 2018 elections there was massive pre-election manipulation. A concerted effort was made to force, through intimidation and
arm-twisting, the so-called electables to join the future King’s party- the Pti. Unfortunately, perceptions not corrected in real time become an unpalatable reality. this is exactly what has happened in this case as well. Another bone of contention between the government and the opposition is the pervasive role of NAB (National Accountability Bureau) in muddying the waters. Despite protestations to the contrary it is seen more as an instrument of settling political scores and victimisation rather than across the board accountability, pure and simple. efforts to make it merely (opposition) politicians specific and not to touch businessmen and bureaucrats have miserably failed. Resultantly the economy is at a standstill and the bureaucracy is on a virtual pen down strike. the army chief and the prime minister a few weeks back had invited captains of business and industry to hear their grievances. Predictably their major grouse was constant meddling of the NAB itself. As the immediate result of these meetings, it was decided to form a committee comprising mostly of presidents of different chambers of commerce, captains of industry and a banker. the proposed committee was to be headed by deputy chairman of NAB to oversee cases pertaining to businessmen. But the very next day the committee was notified one of the prominent members heading a big business group; NAB launched an inquiry against him. it is obvious that NAB has overcomplicated the so-called accountability process to the extent that unless this body is drastically reformed nothing will move on the political front. Nor the economy can be fully revived in this kind of scare scenario. Maulana has demanded withdrawal of the reference- largely perceived as politically motivated- against an independent and fearless apex court judge Qazi Faez isa in the Supreme Judicial Council. the sooner the government relents on this count the better. Now it has become amply clear that gravely ill PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif is all set to go abroad for badly needed medical treatment. the younger Sharif has already applied for removal of his brother’s name from the eCL (exit control list) enabling him to travel abroad. the prime minister quite contrary to his past stance has shown the much-needed grace to fast track his nemesis’s departure. this is welcome. But if the government is really sincere in engaging the opposition, this and other CBMs are need of the hour. Arif Nizami is Editor, Pakistan today. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Dharna: Grabbing at straws Do rulers care?
ight days since its inception the most recent dharna in islamabad has undoubtedly been yet another drain on an already exhausted, mismanaged economy and a huge inconvenience; but then that’s what dharnas do, and yet politicians– who claim to care for the country and its people organise them. the dharna in 2014 was no different. it too led to massive economic losses and disruption, roads were blocked, and routine was interrupted. in fact, the current sample has an edge over that one in that this time around– as yet– there has been no violence. Whereas in 2014 Al-Jazeera had reported that the protesters had used cars to break through the boundaries of the National Assembly and were occupying its grounds. then the inevitable tear gas and rubber bullets were used, and batons were wielded. it is Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9
said that three people died as a result, and hundreds were injured. Yet the Pti leadership claims to be outraged. Fawad Chaudhry, currently the Minister for Science and technology, in his media conference had things to say about the dharna and about Maulana Fazlur Rehman. he accused Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s dharna of disrupting normal economic activities and schools. Mind you, schools had been closed down in 2014 too when the Pti organised its protest/dharna, because thousands of police had been housed in them. the Minister also had a personal swipe at Maulana sahib, saying that disruptions of schools probably didn’t matter to Fazlur Rehman since the Maulana’s own kids, now grown, never went to school anyway. Not sure where he got that from, but it is unlikely that the children of a man who did his Masters from Al-Azhar grew up uneducated. Still, Maulana sahib should count his blessings for having escaped a slap, literally, unlike a news anchor who was assaulted by Mr. Chaudhry sometime in the not too distant past. Without being in any way an admirer of Maulana sahib, in fact very, very far from it, you have to admit the participants of this dharna have had a different style, almost as if
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they were enjoying themselves. here is where we find the common man of Pakistan, impoverished, desperate, a fervent believer in an irrational variety of religion; these men grab at straws, at anything that might alleviate their desperate plight. While the powers that be indulge in verbal attacks, they have organised games, prayed, talked and laughed on the pavements and roads, in the rain, in the open and in tents. You suspect– and you’d probably be right– that this event has been a mode of relaxation for them, a desperate satire on glastonbury. When else could your average farm worker, fruit seller, shopkeeper find time to spend a few days in the company of thousands of others like himself, when else could he take such a long-time off work? As for amenities, who has amenities anyway in the segment of society represented by these men? in the side lanes in bazaars can be seen lines of horrifically impoverished homes, shoulder to shoulder in noisome lanes thanks to open, blocked, overflowing sewers. Does anyone care, even their elected councillors? this is not where many of these men live though. that would be something even less attractive. Nothing is being done about such environments. No one in government, in short, gives a hang about them or a thought to his or her actual job. No one ever has.
Nasim Zehra spoke to many participants of this dharna when it had just started. it seemed the reason most of them were there was that life had become too expensive for them, and they just wanted someone to do something about it, please. they weren’t wrong. the protestors in such rallies know little about systems and means of establishing and changing governments. that is for those who lead them to explain, instead of which those who lead them capitalise on that ignorance and take them along down routes such as dharnas, using the sheer number of followers as a clout. Nothing will be achieved at the end, not for these participants anyway. governments might remain or they might fall, these men will go back to the same homes and live in the same conditions they always did. A good education will still be beyond their means, as also a full stomach, while a decent home will remain the stuff of dreams. “this march will enter the corridors of power and sweep away the trash,” said the JUi(F) chief during one of his addresses to the participants of the protest. Well, at least the man recognises himself. Rabia Ahmed is a freelance columnist. Read more by her at http://rabia-ahmed.blogspot.com/
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
COMMENT 09 Editor’s mail
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Will Imran Khan fulfil his promise? JAMiAt Uelma-e-islam-Fazl (JUi-F) announced its ‘Azadi march’ on islamabad, despite the request of other opposition parties to postponed the march Fazlur Rahman, leader of the JUi-F decided to march solo on OCt 27. On the other hand, government has started taking steps to stop this anti-government march a control centre has been established to monitor the March. Authorities have started placing containers around the red zone and bridge connecting KPK with Punjab. Moreover section 144 will be imposed in islamabad’s Red Zone and police would be deployed to stop anyone entering the area. interior Minister ijaz Shah said that no one will be allowed to take law in hand and government would take help from Pakistan Army. he said to call in the military would be the last option, “but i hope situation won’t deteriorate to that level.’’ JUi-F Senator Abdul ghafoor haideri said it was the democratic right of the opposition to hold a peaceful protest. Prime Minister imran Khan during his first speech in parliament as the prime minister said that his government would facilitate anti-government protests and even provide protesters with containers to stage sit-ins in islamabad’s D-Chowk. But the action taken by the government so far doesn’t seem to fulfil that promise. MuHAMMAd HASSAN AMIN Islamabad
Revive student unions
Jemima’s cousin, ‘Wiki’ Unmasking a cesspool of bigotry and hatred
Candid Corner Raoof hasaN “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This makes the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” – Thomas Jefferson
hAt people have been witnessing in islamabad over the last week-plus is nothing but a horrid manifestation of the very worst of bigotry and hatred. the rabid language used, the preposterous demands made, the insults and abuse hurled at political opponents, the extent of hate oozing out of every statement made in public view, the attempts at creating sectarian and ethnic divides, the incitement targeting religious minorities particularly the Ahmadis, dubbing the Prime Minister a Jew and a blasphemer who is not worthy of the position that he holds, this and so much else is symptomatic of a sick and degenerate mindset that refuses to consider the existence of another point of view. it is as if only they are the learned ones, and only they have the right to dictate what needs to be done. exaggerating, distorting, fabricating and lying are their favourite tools to advance their myopic agenda. Nothing could be more ridiculous than watching a cleric of the JUi(F), one Kifayat Ullah, claiming on prime-time television that ‘Wiki’ (ostensibly of the WikiLeaks fame) is actually a person and a cousin of Prime Minister Khan’s ex Jemima goldsmith, and that the release of ‘WikiLeaks’ was one big conspiracy hatched by them against his party and its followers. When the anchor tried to convince him that ‘Wiki’ was no person and it was just a term referring to some papers which had been made public, he remained adamant that he knew better and ‘Wiki’ was
actually a person, and a cousin of Jemima. instead of feeling embarrassed and ashamed of his patent ignorance, he continued reiterating his ‘discovery’ about ‘Wiki’, the person, on other programmes that he appeared in. in one such encounter, he said that the anchor should wait to learn that he had been right all along. Such are the people who have arrived in islamabad with their bands of illiterate, unenlightened, baton-wielding followers, dripping with juices of obscurantism and regression, to intimidate an elected Prime Minister to resign, thus paving the way for anarchy and mayhem. in order to delineate the dynamics further, let’s first try to decipher what this bigot and his followers stand for. historically, they are the people who have systematically spread the culture of fear, violence and lawlessness in the country. Among other heinous acts they are guilty of, they have led the charge against the appointment of women as heads of state and government and as judges, opposed efforts to curb honour killings and domestic violence, fought against abrogating or amending the blasphemy law, led violent protests against Asia Bibi’s acquittal, opposed amending a law which declares female victims of rape criminals on grounds of confessing to extramarital sex, unleashing venomous and, at times, fatal propaganda against Ahmadis and other religious minorities, having been complicit in forced conversions, claiming that assassinated Punjab governor Salmaan taseer had invited his righteous murder for his efforts to annul the blasphemy law, impregnating impressionable minds with germs of radicalisation, calling Osama Bin Laden a true freedom fighter and funding terrorist bodies and infesting them with people who were tutored in seminaries controlled by their party. Now, my issue is whether they are the kind of people a democratically-elected government should be talking to in an effort to strike a rapprochement? that would not only be a perversion of justice, it would also be tantamount to further cultivating a scourge that actually should be scuttled. We have seen this drama getting more gruesome over the past week and there is no indication that we are nearing the end. With every meeting that takes place between the delegations of the government and the opposition, there is an inflexible reiteration by the latter of the decision to continue the sitin till all their demands are met. As a matter of fact, there are unmitigated threats hurled that they would expand the protest to other cities and bring the country to a standstill. in the process of conducting negotiations with this fanatical fabrication, the government is not only compromising its democratic credentials, it is also lending legitimacy to the JUi((F) and its position. the rationale forwarded by the government side is that they don’t want any violence and are trying to have the matter sorted out peacefully. Agreed that every effort should be made to avert the
prospect of violence, but that should not be at the cost of the writ of the state as also subjecting the residents of the city to prolonged mental and physical torture. Let’s not forget that there is no stricture in islam that sanctions a clergy. in fact, anyone coming between the creator and his creation is guilty of committing ‘shirk’. in this power game, at stake for the bigotin-chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, is the demise of his political, religious and economic power base and relevance. it is for the first time during his long career that he was defeated not in one, but both the constituencies that he contested from to get elected to the National Assembly. he has not been able to stomach the shame, more so when confronting his religious progeny from the seminaries that he controls, and which the government is now trying to regulate. this sit-in has no ideological motives. if at all, it is rooted in extremist political, religious and economic objectives. Such exploitation has brought the country to the brink of disaster. At the least, the wings of these vile perpetrators must be clipped. But, more importantly, the government should expound and implement the principles of an enlightened and egalitarian Pakistan that would banish all acts and articles of discrimination and eliminate the space for such charlatans to exploit the people. For that, there is more, much more to be done. We have to go back to the beginning and start implementing the Quaid-e-Azam’s vision that he spelt out on 11 August 1947 for the new-born state in his address to the Constituent Assembly. he wanted all people to be equal citizens of Pakistan who would be free to follow a faith of their choosing: “You are free. You are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques, or to any other place of worship in the state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed– that has nothing to do with the business of the state”. Now is the time to be firm about what kind of Pakistan we want to make. Now is the time to act. the bigot and his cronies should not be provided an escape route. Such a decision will come back to haunt the state. he is a serpent. he must be culled as also others of his ilk. Simultaneously, work should be expedited on the regulation and ultimate takeover of the seminaries by the government. they should be transformed into becoming places of learning rather than indoctrination and destruction of the youth of the country. As long as ‘Wiki’ remains a person, who is Jemima’s cousin, we’ll continue to be frozen in a cesspool of bigotry and hatred, leaving little hope for Pakistan. Raoof Hasan is a political and security strategist, and heads the Regional Peace Institute – an Islamabad-based think tank. He can be reached at: email@example.com; Twitter: @RaoofHasan
StUDeNt politics has an important role on the societal progress. it is no secret that Pakistan’s mainstream political parties are dominated by feudalistic class and consequently reinforce feudalistic dominance more vigorously. Resultantly, it deprives lower-middle and middle-class from politics. Student unions were banned during Zia regime. Zia’s unilateral and consecutive ban has not yet been revoked up to this time despite several attempts made by political parties. As a result, universities produce apolitical individuals who lacks leadership and political skills. Pakistan has so far witnessed extreme political upheavals owing to absence of student unions at university level. Once should not forget that right to association is a constitutional right. Student union is a legitimate forum which prepares students towards raising their voice for their collective interests and to grapple with the perennial problems. As it stands, there is chronic dearth of dynamic leadership in Pakistan for course of action in the future and this vacuum can only be filled with students and would be-political leaders. incumbent government reportedly stresses on youth development. So, it is earnestly hoped that Pti-government will revoke the ban for the benefit of tomorrow’s leaders. M SHAHJAHAN MEMoN Islamabad
Kashmir solidarity it seems that tensions between Pakistan and india may keep on escalating until the Kashmir issue is resolved. the dispute has come under international light and is being discussed and struggling to resolve the problem and reduce tensions between Pakistan and india. No one can deny the fact that india is taking no any steps to bring peace in the region. As india on August 5 unilaterally decided to revoke Article 370 of its constitution which granted special autonomy to occupied Kashmir. Undoubtedly, Pakistan has been struggling to make the region peaceful, but due to the lack of support the region has yet not been peaceful. As newly on tuesday Combined Opposition leaders from the capital announced that they would observe October 27 as black day in protest against the ongoing repression in indiaheld Kashmir. Actually, the decision was taken at a multi-party conference held to discuss matters related to Kashmir Solidarity Day and the upcoming Azadi March. the conference decided that a protest demonstration would be staged outside the National Press Club on Oct 27 against the india attempts to jeopardise regional peace and stability, and express solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiris. IMRAN RASHEEd Kech
Exam transparency SiNDh public service commission has announced Combined Competitive examinations (CCe) 2018 final results just a few weeks ago. SPSC just published detailed marks certificates of unsuccessful and not allocated candidates. however, the DMCs of successful candidates are not made public. this has created a great uncertainty among candidates. in spite of this, the apex court in CCe 2013 case judgement had directed commission, the marks of written tests should be publicly displayed. Disclosure should be made of the marks obtained against the candidates’ roll numbers. while, FPSC and all the other provincial commissions publish DMCs of failed, not- allocated and allotted candidates along with merit numbers in competitive exams. thus, it is requested to the authorities concerns, publish DMCs of those succeed in the exam. So that score margin could be calculated for further preparation and the level of uncertainty among candidates be relieved. ZAKIR HuSSAIN dadu
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
10 FOREIGN NEWS
IRaqI PM coNcedes ‘MIstakes Made’ as PRotesteRs Pushed Back IN BaGhdad BAGHDAD
RAQI Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Saturday that political parties had “made mistakes” in their running of the country, promising electoral reform and other measures as he sought to bring an end to months of protests. “Political forces and parties are important institutions in any democratic system, and they have made great sacrifices, but they have also made many mistakes,” Abdul Mahdi said in a statement. He made his remarks as security forces were trying to push protesters back from several major bridges in Baghdad that had been occupied for days. At least 34 people were injured as security forces launched tear gas and stun grenades to try to disperse protesters still grouped near the bridges. On Friday, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s senior Shi’ite Muslim cleric,
urged the country’s ruling elite to seek a peaceful way out of the crisis in which at least 280 people have died. The prime minister appeared to strike a more conciliatory tone toward protesters, who have demanded that he step down, saying that protests are a legitimate engine of political change. At the same time he urged demonstrators
Germany celebrates 30th anniversary of Berlin Wall's fall BERLIN AGENCIES
Germany on Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that separated East and West Germany, with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier thanking Eastern European neighbours for enabling a peaceful revolution. The toppling of the wall, which had divided the Communistruled East and the capitalist West in Berlin for nearly three decades and became a potent symbol of the Cold War, was followed a year later by the reunification of Germany in 1990. “Together with our friends, we remember with deep gratitude the events 30 years ago,” Steinmeier said during a ceremony at the Bernauer Strasse Berlin Wall Memorial, which was also attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel and heads of state from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. “Without the courage and the will to freedom of the Poles and Hungarians, the Czechs and Slovaks, the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe and Germany’s reunification would not have been possible,” Steinmeier said. During the ceremony, Steinmeier and the presidents of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic placed roses in a small gap in the remains of the wall at the memorial. In August 1989, Hungarian border guards for the first time allowed people from East Germany to cross freely into Austria, paving the way for the fall of the Berlin Wall three months later and with it the end of the Iron Curtain.
not to interrupt “normal life” in the country that has been hit economically by weeks of unrest. Tens of thousands of people have protested across the country since Oct 1. with security forces using lethal force to try to quell the unrest. Demonstrators are demanding an overhaul of the political system and criticizing corruption in
the ruling class that has dominated the country since the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. “The protests have helped and will help pressure political groups, the government … to reform and accept change. However, continuing protests must allow for a return to normal life, which will lead to legitimate demands being met,” Abdul Mahdi said. The protests began in Baghdad and quickly spread to the country’s southern provinces. Security forces continue to use live fire against demonstrators, in addition to tear gas canisters and stun grenades fired directly at protesters. Abdul Mahdi also promised a ban on possession of weapons by non-state groups that have been accused of shooting demonstrators and investigations into protester deaths, The prime minister, who announced a spate of reforms during the first wave of protests last month, added that new electoral reforms would be announced in the “coming few days”. He did not elaborate.
Trump launches black outreach effort for 2020 ATLANTA AGENCIES
During the 2016 campaign, candidate Donald Trump stood in front of largely white crowds and asked black voters to consider, “What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump offered that same message as he launched a black voters coalition in Atlanta, Georgia. While Trump’s campaign had said his message would focus on his record and gains for black Americans under his watch, Trump instead spent most of his time demonizing Democrats and appearing to try to pit minority voters against immigrants. “The Democrats have let you down,” Trump told the crowd of several hundred supporters, including several who wore red “BLACK LIVES MAGA” hats. “They’ve dismissed you. They’ve hurt you. They’ve sabotaged you for far too long.” Trump spoke at the launch of a new “Black Voices for Trump” outreach initiative dedicated to “recruiting and activating Black Americans in support of President Trump,” according to the campaign. Trump predicted he would win reelection in 2020 with “a groundswell of support from hardworking African American patriots.” Such prediction have been met with scepticism from critics, however, given Trump’s consistently dismal approval rating with black voters. Trump has spent much of the last four years engaged in racially charged attacks, going after minority members of Congress, claiming “no human being” would want to live in “rodent-infested,” majorityminority Baltimore and insisting there were “very fine people on both sides” of the deadly Charlottesville protest against white supremacists.Shortly after landing in Georgia on Friday, Trump retweeted a call from one black supporter for submissions for a ”#MAGACHALLENGE” competition featuring Trump-friendly rap songs. Trump said he would be announcing the winners and inviting them to the White House to meet with him and perform. “I think black Americans are not the audience for these outreach efforts,” said Theodore Johnson, a senior
Woman accuses Roman Polanski of violently raping her when she was 18 PARIS: A French woman in her early 60s claims she was violently raped at age 18 by Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski, a fugitive from the U.S. for more than four decades since pleading guilty to a sex offense with a minor, a French newspaper reported Friday. Le Parisien said the woman, Valentine Monnier, alleges she was raped in 1975 at Polanski’s chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, when she was 18. The paper quoted Polanski’s lawyer, Herve Temime, as saying that the 86-year-old Polanski “firmly contests” the allegation. The attorney could not be immediately reached by The Associated Press. Temime “deplored” in his response to the newspaper that the claim is being made public shortly before Polanski’s latest film, J’Accuse (An Officer and a Spy) is being released in France. Monnier told Le Parisien that it was the film that triggered her decision to go public, saying that “rape is a time bomb.” AP does not normally disclose the identities of purported rape victims, but Monnier gave her consent to be identified by Le Parisien after contacting the paper in midSeptember. AGENCIES
No coalition troops hurt in rocket attack at Iraq base fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice who is an expert in race and politics. While Trump might be able to maintain the low level of black support he received in 2016, or perhaps expand it by 1 or 2 points, Johnson sees little evidence the president can change many minds. “I think this is not going to move the needle at all,” he said. Before launching the new effort, Trump met with supporters at a fundraiser that was expected to raise about $3.5 million for a joint committee benefiting the Republican National Committee, the Trump campaign and the campaign of Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga. Nearby, a small group of protesters chanted, “Lock him up!” Scores of protesters also gathered outside the convention centre where Trump was speaking, chanting, “Impeach and remove.” Carl Dix, of the group Refuse Fascism, said he thought the launch was aimed at trying to send a message to Trump’s white supporters that he’s “not a racist. ‘I’ve got black friends.’” In 2016, 6% of black voters supported Trump, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of people who participated in its polls and were confirmed to have voted. There is no indication his support is growing. Polling shows that African Americans continue to be overwhelmingly negative in their assessments of the president’s performance, with his approval hovering around 1 in 10 over the course of his presidency, according to Gallup.
MOSUL: A barrage of Katyusha rockets targeted an Iraqi airbase that houses American troops south of the city of Mosul on Friday, officials said. No members of the US-led coalition were injured. The rocket fire appears to have originated in Mosul and struck the Iraqi army base in Qayyara, about 60 kilometres (38 miles) south of Mosul, where coalition forces are helping the Iraqis battle remnants of the Islamic State group, Iraqi security officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press did so on condition of anonymity under regulations. There was no immediate claim of responsibility nor was it clear if any of the rockets struck the base. Iraqi officials did not immediately say whether there were any casualties, though a coalition spokeswoman later said no coalition troops had been injured. “Coalition forces are in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to defeat ISIS remnants,” US Marine Corps Capt Marisa Roberts said, using a popular acronym for the Islamic State group. “We will not be deterred by these attacks and maintain the right to defend ourselves.” AGENCIES
Lebanon's grand mufti calls for protesters' demands to be met BEIRUT AGENCIES
Lebanon’s grand mufti, the top cleric for Sunni Muslims, called on Saturday for the formation of a new emergency government of technical experts and for those in power to meet protesters’ demands. The country is in political and economic turmoil after three weeks of nationwide protests that prompted Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign last week. “The time has come to meet the people’s demands and the national free will that transcends sects, political parties, and regions,” Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian said in a televised address on the occasion of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.
“The time has come and is opportune, after this national wake-up call, for the reform process to begin and for those in power to form an emergency government made up of competent people, without delay,” Derian said. It is time “to immediately proceed with carrying out the reform package prepared by Prime Minister Hariri to solve the country’s problems”, he added. Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, Lebanon’s top Christian religious authority, has also called for a change in government to include qualified technocrats. Before he stepped down, Hariri agreed a package of reforms with partners in the coalition government aimed at easing an economic crisis that sparked
the unprecedented protests against the sectarian ruling elite. The plans included a 50% reduction in the salaries of current and former officials and $3.3 billion in contributions from banks to achieve a “near zero deficit” for the 2020 But Lebanese politicians have yet to make progress towards agreeing a new government to replace one that was toppled. The country’s power-sharing system is based on 18 recognized religious sects and dates back to French colonial rule. It allocates posts for each of the country’s communities, forming forming the basis of its major political parties and creating a delicate balance between Christians, Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims and other groups.
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
Moody's cuts India's outlook to negative BENGALURU AGENCIES
Moody’s Investors Service cut India’s ratings outlook to “negative” from “stable”, citing increasing risks that Asia’s third largest economy will grow at a slower pace than in the past. The cut in outlook partly reflected government and policy ineffectiveness in addressing economic weakness, which has led to an increase in debt burden, Moody's said. The ratings agency also cut its outlook for 21 Indian companies, including State Bank of India, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Infosys Ltd and NTPC Ltd to “negative” from “stable”. However, Moody’s retained the country’s foreign and local currency ratings at ‘Baa2’. India’s economy grew 5pc yearon-year between April and June, its weakest pace since 2013, which had prompted a slew of interest rate cuts by the central bank and forcing the government to cut corporate taxes sharply. Moody’s now expects a government deficit of 3.7pc of GDP in the fiscal year ending in March 2020, compared with a government target of 3.3pc. “The depth and duration of India’s growth slowdown, prolonged financial stress among rural households, weak job creation, and, more recently, a credit crunch among non-bank financial institutions have increased the probability of a more entrenched slowdown,” Moody’s said. The ratings agency said it does not expect the credit crunch among nonbank financial institutions to be resolved quickly. In response, the finance ministry said the economy’s fundamentals remained “quite robust”. “India continues to be among the fastest growing major economies in the world, India’s relative standing remains unaffected,” the ministry said in a statement. However, Indian bourses inched lower on Friday, with the broader Nifty 50 index closing down 0.86pc. The rupee weakened to 71.25 against the dollar versus Thursday's close of 70.965. Overall weak demand in the economy continued to weigh on corporate growth. Government data earlier this week showed the pace of fuel demand were set to fall to its lowest in at least six years. The domestic auto sector is also in the middle of one of its worst slowdowns ever, while overall jobless rates rose to 8.5pc in October, the highest since August 2016.
Alibaba hires more banks on up to $15bn listing HONG KONG AGENCIES
Alibaba has extended its investment banking syndicate as it works towards a $10 billion to $15 billion listing in Hong Kong at the end of the month, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The online Chinese retail giant has appointed Citigroup, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to work on the deal, as was first reported on Saturday by Bloomberg. The deal is being led by China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and Credit Suisse, with the company due to face a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listing committee hearing this coming Thursday, Nov. 14. Alibaba, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley representatives declined to comment on the appointments. A Citigroup spokesman also declined to comment. Reuters revealed on Friday that the Alibaba listing process will begin the week of Nov 25.
GAs coMpAnIes seek up to 31pc tArIff hIke ISLAMABAD
WO state-owned gas utilities – Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited – have asked the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to jack up gas prices by up to 31pc for the fiscal year 2019-2020, Pakistan Today has learnt. At present, the average prescribed price of SNGPL is Rs624.93 per Million British Thermal Unit (MMBTU) while the same for SSGC is Rs735.48 per MMBTU. However, SNGPL has proposed OGRA to set the average prescribed gas price at Rs818.95 per MMBTU while SSGC has
proposed to fix the same at Rs799 per MMBTU. According to the documents, SNGPL has asked the OGRA to increase its gas price by 31pc (Rs115.54 per MMBTU) while SSGC has sought 8.5pc (Rs62.52 per MMBTU) hike in its gas price. Besides proposing the increase in gas price, SNGPL also asked OGRA to approve Rs78.46 per MMBTU on account of previous year's shortfall, taking the overall hike to Rs194.01 per MMBTU in its gas price. Meanwhile, OGRA has decided to hold a public hearing on 19th November in Lahore to take a decision regarding gas price of SNGPL while the regulatory authority would also hold public a public hearing on 20th November in Karachi to take a decision on the
gas price of SSGC. "OGRA invites all interested/affected persons, including gas consumers and the general public, to furnish their comments, suggestions and intervention requests. All correspondence in this connection may be addressed to Registrar, OGRA and should contain the names and addresses of applicants," said OGRA's public hearing notice. It is pertinent to mention that SNGPL had filed a petition before the OGRA on 15th Oct 2019 under Section 8(2) of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Ordinance, 2002 read with Rule 4(3) of Natural gas Tariff Rules, 2002 for review of its estimated revenue requirements/prescribed prices for FY20.
LSE holds int’l conference on CPEC BUSINESS DESK Lahore School of Economics (LSE) on Saturday hosted its first International Conference on "Language Policy in International Agreements: The Asian Experience with special focus on CPEC". A collation of three groundbreaking studies were presented at the conference with the fundamental objective to explore the implications of CPEC International Agreement on the language practices of stakeholders as there is no formal mutual language policy for CPEC between China and Pakistan; hence a high uncertainty exists about the roles of English, Urdu and local languages with the avant-garde of CPEC and Mandarin. LSE Pro-Rector Dr Azam Chaudhry, in his welcome remarks, extended a warm welcome to the esteemed audience, including eminent scholars, policymakers, academicians, students and other dignitaries. Dr Chaudhry stated that one of the key problems in Pakistan especially when it comes to CPEC is lack of language policy framework. In the first session, Principal Researcher Dr Sabiha Mansoor presented a research study with the fundamental objective to explore the implications of industries and multinational companies that are operating in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the umbrella of CPEC, on the language practices of both Chinese and Pakistani employers/employees in M-3 City Faisalabad. Hence, data was gathered from seven firms – Chinese and Pakistani - located in M-3 City Faisalabad. The main findings revealed that although a democratic language policy was being implemented in SEZs and upward mobility was perceived by the lower management as a major motivator towards learning a new language, yet,
they weren’t cognizant of the significance of CPEC in future and hence regarded Mandarin as secondary to English. In the second session, Principal Researcher Dr Fareeha Zafar highlighted via her research study how CPEC infrastructure development has impacted the class structure of Pakistan through formal and informal language practices. Within broader socio-cultural dynamics, the study focused on education, language and class issues. The two districts of Bahawalpur and Sahiwal formed the research area and the findings of this research study revealed that local languages were used in informal whereas Urdu, Mandarin and English were used in formal settings. However, contrary to the findings of the first study, Mandarin was considered as a significant language by those who belonged to lower socio-economic
status and particularly those who had a degree in technical education possibly because of the nature of jobs available at power plants. In addition to this TEVTAs further reinforced this idea. Therefore, findings reveal that Mandarin was seen as a contributing factor towards reducing inequalities among different social classes. In the third session, Principal Investigator Shanzay Kamran presented the last study which examined the attitudes and motivations of policy planners, teachers and students towards Mandarin. The main findings highlighted that all stakeholders were keen to learn Mandarin because they perceived the growing influence of Chinese job market in the region particularly in Pakistan. The fundamental finding of all the three studies highlighted that there was no female labour force participation. Women were highly marginalized.
Is e-commerce dying in Pakistan? TAIMOOR HASSAN E-commerce in Pakistan is burgeoning and it is burgeoning at breakneck speed. In sheer numbers, e-commerce sales swelled 93.7pc in 2018, reaching Rs40.1 billion, compared to Rs20.7 billion in 2017. This growth is supported by improved internet accessibility with 159 million cellular subscribers, 66 million 3G/4G subscribers and 68 million broadband subscribers as of March 2019. These numbers give an encouraging picture. And encouraging it is, except that if you look at the state of e-commerce businesses, or let’s just use the buzzword here: e-commerce ‘startups’ in Pakistan, the picture is rather bleak. A recent study done by online price comparison platform PriceOye, titled ‘2019 NPS Study for Local E-commerce‘ validated that the customers have some serious reservations when shopping online in Pakistan. The research used the widely acclaimed Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a parameter to understand the ecommerce landscape of Pakistan. NPS is an index that measures the likelihood of customers recommending a
brand to others, helping gauge the overall perception of a company’s products or services. Customers are surveyed on one question: they are asked to rate the likelihood of recommending a company or a brand to someone they know on an 11point scale (0 being the lowest to 10 being the highest). Based on the score, respondents are then classified into three categories: detractors, passives and promoters. Detractors (who give a score between 0-6) are not particularly thrilled by the company’s products and are likely to damage a company’s reputation by spreading negative word of mouth. Passives (who give a score of 7 or 8) rather have a neutral disposition towards a company who would not give a negative recommendation, but are also unlikely to recommend the company to someone they know. Promoters (who give score of 9 or 10) are the treasure for businesses as they are not only repeat buyers, they are also enthusiastic about telling others about how great the company or a brand is. The NPS is calculated is score on a scale of -100 to 100, obtained by subtracting the percentage of customers who are
detractors from the percentage of customers who are promoters. PriceOye’s NPS survey of market was done for brands like Daraz, Goto, Mega and HumMart to understand customers’ perception about online businesses. Besides quantitative analysis, questions were also asked as to ‘why’ a particular score was given by a customer for qualitative analysis. “We noticed that there is a huge gap in how customers perceive different ecommerce services and what companies assume that the customers feel about them. Our data showed us that people did not prefer online shopping. So we did this research to dive deep into why they don’t and what are their concerns regarding ecommerce services,” says Adnan Shaffi, co-founder and CEO at PriceOye. The findings of the study were surprising. Daraz, which is the e-commerce market leader in Pakistan, had an overall NPS score of -27. This means that the detractors outnumbered the promoters among those who were surveyed. Among detractors, product quality remained the primary apprehension, besides complaints of receiving wrong orders. Mean-
while, delivery time remained the main source of joy among the promoters of Daraz. For comparison, Daraz’s e-commerce counterparts in India, Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm had NPS scores of 97, 95 and 75 respectively, according to a 2016 study. Online marketplace Goto had an NPS score of -6.7, better than Daraz but still in the negative. For detractors of Goto, price accuracy was the main concern while promoters cherished the product quality of the products sold on Goto. Mega.pk scored in the positive with an NPS score of 10 and HumMart.com received an NPS score of 14. Both Shophive and ishopping.pk received a positive NPS score with Shophive getting an NPS of 16 and ishopping.pk receiving an NPS score of 20. For a better understanding of how online marketplace fares in Pakistan, PriceOye did a survey of seven industries represented in online marketplaces and the NPS scores were calculated for all seven of these verticals. Online shoe shopping received an NPS score of -30. Shoe shopping is an up
and coming trend in Pakistan but at the present, those who shopped online for shoes are detractors mostly who are unlikely to recommend shopping for shoes online in Pakistan. Ride-hailing industry received an NPS score of -27 with detractors outnumbering promoters. Safety and professionalism of the drivers remained the main concern of detractors in this category. Food delivery industry also had a high number of detractors compared to promoters. With an overall NPS score of -10, detractors mainly complained about delivery times and issues in reimbursement. The ‘classifieds’ industry, which has among itself the likes of Zameen.com and Pakwheels.com, received and NPS score of -9. The online fashion industry received an NPS score of 45 while online makeups selling received and NPS of 60 mainly on account of good quality. Meanwhile, the online ticketing industry received an NPS of 47 for being reliable and trustworthy, though its detractors complained about lack of channels to make payments and lack of proper channels for reimbursements in case of cancellations.
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
12 buSINeSS CORPORATE CORNER
fBr GrAnts t&t lIcence 'wIthout due dIlIGence' ISLAMABAD
LAHORE: AirLink Communication Limited launched its first ever, one of a kind flagship store in Xinhua Mall. Founded in 2011, Airlink Communication is the official partners of Samsung, Huawei, Tecno, Itel Mobile and is distributing complete iPhone range across Pakistan. prESS rElEASE
KARACHI: A team of volunteers from Hutchison Ports Pakistan and Hutchison Port KICT conduct a tree plantation activity at the Institute of Business Administration. prESS r E l E A S E
kse-100 accumulates 1,600 points in week
NTI-tobacco activists have alleged that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), while granting a licence for the establishment and operation of the entire Track & Trace system for tobacco products, has “ignored technical assessments” and has “granted the licence to the lowest financial bidder”. Earlier, the FBR had invited an Invitation for Licence (IFL) for the implementation of an ITbased solution to ensure electronic monitoring of tobacco products. The decision was taken to prevent the leakage of revenue, underreporting of production and sales of tobacco products etc. FBR had granted a licence to National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) at price of Rs731 per 1,000 stamps for a period of five years to establish, maintain and operate the entire T&T system of the tobacco sector. Malik Imran, a representative of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, while talking to Pakistan Today, alleged that the award of the said licence by FBR lacked transparency. "The FBR had amended the rules to facilitate
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing has said that his government was going to establish 19 factories in Gwadar to create job opportunities for the youth of Balochistan, a private media outlet reported. “China seeks to contribute to the overall development of Balochistan’s mining, agriculture, fisheries and water sectors. The Chinese consulate is easing the visa procedure for the businessman community,” Yao Jing said while talking to journalists in Quetta. He said that 200 students from Pakistan had received scholarships
Bullish sentiments ruled the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) during the outgoing trading week, lifting the KSE100 Index by 1,600 points to 35,978.16 on Friday (Nov 8) as compared to 3,477.61 points last week. Throughout the week under review, there was not even a single trading day that had allowed bearish trends to slash the pace of bullish growth. Cumulatively, the index went up by over 4.65pc during the week under review. The weeklong performance showed that the index grew by 899.85 (2.62pc) points on Monday; 80.85 (0.23pc) on Tuesday; 295.02 (0.83pc) points on Wednesday; 105.19 (0.30pc) points on Thursday and 219.64 (0.61pc) points on Friday. During the outgoing week, it was observed that the traders virtually rejected the 'marches' or 'sit-ins' of opposition parties, led by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam. Among other developments, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission successfully concluded its review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) on Friday. The IMF confirmed that Pakistan met all the criteria set for the first quarter by "good margins"; hence a staff-level agreement was reached on the first review under EFF. Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) eased in October stood at 11pc compared to the same month of the previous fiscal year. Moreover, the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $15,517.9 million as of Nov 1, 2019.
a particular company," he alleged, adding that the board compromised the technical capabilities for T&T licence by choosing the lowest financial bidder with no past experience in establishing such systems. He revealed that INEXTO, a cloud-based global tracking system and brand protection solution, is partners with NRTC and also has business links with an international tobacco company (prominent in Pakistan). He said that this international company had acquired the T&T services of INEXTO for its own surveillance. “NRTC won the bid because of its association with INEXTO, which is the front company of the tobacco industry and receives funding from the said international company,” Malik Imran said. “FBR should make public the technical assessment (weighted average) of
‘China to setup 19 factories in Gwadar’ BUSINESS DESK
FBR HAD CHOSEN NRTC TO ESTABLISH, MAINTAIN AND OPERATE THE ENTIRE TRACK & TRACE SYSTEM OF TOBACCO SECTOR
the participants.” Meanwhile, sources in the FBR informed that 13 bidders participated in the bidding process to get the licence for the T&T system, adding that all participants consisted of joint ventures. They said that eight participants were found technically qualified in the evaluation process and that the entire bidding process was transparent and a right step towards increasing the tax net. According to sources, the FBR is in a process to document the economy as per the IMF instructions. “The revenue board intends to increase the tax revenue approximately by Rs20 billion to Rs30 billion annually with the implementation of the T&T system for tobacco products,” they added. Upon contact, an FBR spokesman maintained that technical evaluations were conducted by the FBR technical evaluation committee to assess the participants of the bid. He admitted that Reliance Solutions Private Limited obtained highest marks in technical evaluation while the licence winner (NRTC) stood second. "NRTC may not have the experience but it a partner of INEXTO, which has vast experience in establishing, maintaining and operating the track and trace system in the tobacco sector.”
in China. He denied speculations regarding the Chinese government’s lack of interest in development projects in Balochistan. “CPEC would change the economic fortune of not only Balochistan but also Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries and all projects would go through Pakistan,” he said. The Chinese envoy said that the provincial fisheries, agriculture, mineral and livestock sectors had room for development, which could end poverty in Balochistan. “Chinese companies are working to strengthen the provincial ir rigation sector while 50 vocational
centres are being established for enhancing skills of the young generation of the province,” he said. “China will invest in the expansion of the Zhob-DI Khan highway considered vital for CPEC,” he added. On Tuesday, during the meeting of 9th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Islamabad, both sides had expressed satisfaction over the ongoing and planned projects under CPEC. The 9th JCC had discussed the proposals forwarded by six Joint Working Groups of the two countries, which included industrial cooperation, transfer of technology
and cooperation in agricultural, mineral, oil and gas and steel sectors. The major development in the 9th JCC was related to the muchawaited mega railway project, ML-I, which according to the planning minister would see practical development within the next 3 to 6 months. “We will be able to perform the groundbreaking of the mega project in next 6 months as processes related to financing are being finalised with China,” the minister had said while addressing a press conference along with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing after the conclusion of 9th JCC.
RAWALPINDI: A worker roasts chickpeas and corn at his workplace as demand for dry fruits increases. oNlINE
NASA unveils its first electric airplane NASA, most prominent for its many Florida-launched exploits into space, showcased an early version of its first allelectric experimental aircraft, the X-57 “Maxwell,” at its lesser-known aeronautics lab in the California desert. Adapted from an Italian-made Tecnam P2006T twin-engine propeller plane, the X-57 has been under development since 2015 and remains at least a year away from its first test flight in the skies over Edward Air Force Base. But after attaching the two largest of 14 electric motors that will ultimately propel the plane - powered by specially designed lithium ion batteries - NASA
deemed the Maxwell ready for its first public preview. NASA also showed off a newly built simulator that allows engineers, and pilots, to get the feel of what it will be like to manoeuvre the finished version of the X-57 in flight, even as the plane remains under development. The Maxwell is the latest in a proud line of experimental aircraft the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has developed over many decades for many purposes, including the bulletshaped Bell X-1 that first broke the sound barrier and the X-15 rocket plane flown by Neil Armstrong before he joined the
Apollo moon team. The Maxwell will be the agency’s first crewed X-plane to be developed in two decades. While private companies have been developing all-electric planes and hovercraft for years, NASA’s X-57 venture is aimed at designing and proving technology according to standards that commercial manufacturers can adapt for government certification. Those will include standards for airworthiness and safety, as well as for energy efficiency and noise, Brent Cobleigh, a project manager for NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Ed-
wards, about 100 miles (160 km) north of Los Angeles. “We’re focussing on things that can help the whole industry, not just one company,” he told Reuters in an interview at the research centre. “Our target right now is to fly this airplane in late 2020.” The final modification, or Mod IV, of the aircraft will feature narrower, lighterweight wings fitted with a total of 14 electric engines - six smaller “lift” props along the leading edge of each wing, plus two larger “cruise” props at the tip of each wing. The lift propellers will be activated for take-off and landings, but retract dur-
ing the flight’s cruise phase. Because electric motor systems are more compact with fewer moving parts than internal-combustion engines, they are simpler to maintain and weigh much less, requiring less energy to fly, Cobleigh explained. They also are quieter that conventional engines. One challenge is improving battery technology to store more energy to extend the plane’s range, with faster re-charging. Due to current battery limitations, the Maxwell’s design is envisioned for use in short-haul flights as an air-taxi or commuter plane for a small number of passengers. AGENCIES
CMYK Sunday, 10 November, 2019
Khan Shehram euSufzye
The writer is a traveller and communications professional in the development sector.
n a warm winter afternoon in nankana Sahib, local businessman Amarjeet Singh can’t help an embarrassed smile when recounting what had happened earlier that day at the Gurdwara Janam Asthan, one of the Sikh religion’s holiest sites and the birthplace of the religion’s founder. A preacher had come all the way from England and gave a sermon in chaste Punjabi. The local congregation, specially the women, were having a tough time following the sermon. The reason wasn’t merely that the original language was inaccessible to the congregation’s modern, colloquial Punjabi. A sermon in the latter would have been only slightly better. It was just that they weren’t too used to a sermon in a language other than theirs: Pashto. One can sense a diminutive yet charming cultural amalgamation in certain localities within the town with the settling of around 250 Pashtun Sikh families in the city. The pulse on the street pounds to the sound of the occasional Pashto music being played in a mobile shop of the Bazaar leading to Gurdwara Janam Asthan. Here you find shops with a substantial number of merchants, who though dressed in shalwar kameez, adorn intricately wound and colourful turbans, professing the Sikh religion— maintaining a true Amritdhari lifestyle. Pashto may still not be the language spoken on the streets but inside the Gurdwara, Pashto seems to be the language of choice. Every Sikh within the premises of the Gurdwara speaks the language; even the sermons that follow the morning and evening prayers are delivered in Pashto. For them, the language and the cultural aspect associated with it is embedded in their way of thinking, living and being. To live as Pashtuns near their holiest site allows them to live their law, this according to them holds them in balance. * * * * * * * * * “We were unaware of the horrors of partition. not until the day we arrived in Hassan Abdal, three years after the creation of Pakistan. Back in the day, the long and arduous journey was made on foot, mules and bus. The rigour of such travel in those times can well be imagined, with roads being mere cart tracks and even those were non-existent in many places. Modes of transport were slow and primitive and distances to be travelled were enormous, running through mountains and across rivers. It took us four days to reach Gurdwara Panja Sahib and it was there that we realised that our brethren-in-faith have left for India,” an elderly Sardar Rajan Singh vividly recalls. not spurred by any kind of identity politics the Sikh community living in the tribal areas and adjoining parts of Afghanistan never left their homes and areas during the division of British India. Unlike the mass exodus of Sikh and Hindu families in Punjab, the events that led to the partition could hardly undo the intricate intertwining of culture and tradition for the Sikh communities living in these areas. “We never experienced those moment of madness, that phase, that state of mind which turned the interconnectedness of entire lifetimes into feelings of enmity. We were part of a social structure where social equality propped up a social universe of egalitarian individualism, recognising no overarching authority. The law was simple, if you had a gun, I too had a gun,” said Sardar Rajan Singh while reminiscing the days gone by in a dimly lit Baithak of a rented house right across Gurdwara Janam Asthan, in nankana Sahib, with other Pashtun Sikhs – a distinct identity they’ve carved out for themselves. Every Friday, the Pashtun Sikh community residing in nankana Sahib takes a day off from work and convenes in baithaks across the city to relax and have discussions. The practice of a Friday Holiday, as a day of Sabbath, is mostly observed in the Pashtun belt of the country and is also steadfastly observed by the Pashtun Sikh
Two identities, twice the pride: The Pashtun Sikhs of Nankana Sahib as decades of prayers from millions of devout Sikhs finally come to fruition with the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, aBC looks at one of the most fascinating Sikh communities in Pakistan living in one of their holiest cities
community of nankana sahib. Every visitor to the Baithak is welcomed with an earthy exchange of Pashto greeting after which he settles down with the rest of the people sitting cross legged on the floor for a cup of green tea. The room is abuzz with chatter on topics related to business, politics and everyday life with the occasional joke making everyone break into a boisterous laughter. “Does the idea of returning to your ancestral places ever cross your mind?” my question caught everyone’s attention as if I had reawakened a long-buried ghost from the past. “We are in our ancestral place, aren’t we?” Sardar Amarjeet Singh, the second generation of Internally Displaced Pashtun Sikh, answered with a reassuring smile. “Our religious life finds its deepest roots here in nankana Sahib, the birth place of Baba Guru nanak. This Gurdwara Janam Asthan is where our religion started, so to be honest we are home. We have got a new lease on life here and have started over from the beginning under the shadow of our holiest place, we call it relocation.” “So, does this mean that you’ve severed all ties with the people and the region where you lived before?” I inquired. “no, not at all. People relocate to live a better life but that doesn’t mean that you break away from the culture and tradition that you once lived. The thing is that our migration within Pakistan has always been associated with the victimisation of minorities at the hands of the Muslims, which I agree holds some semblance of truth but is not entirely that. We’ve lived alongside our Pashtun brothers since we first settled in the tribal region and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 1872, just like Sardar Rajan Singh said, we became part of their social fabric, we fostered friendships, setup businesses and even were given the right participate in the decision-making process. We lived as neighbours alongside our Pashtun brothers and according to Pashtunwali, a Pashtun is responsible for the well-being of his neighbour, he is his protector and representative. This then begs the question that how can the same people who gave us our identity turn their backs on us?” Sardar Amarjeet Singh went on to explain that they were not forced to leave their homes because they overstayed their welcome but the situation in the tribal areas aggravated for everyone alike during that time and everyone fled to different parts of the country. Drawing similarities with the Pashtun migration to various part of the country, Amarjeet Singh was of the
opinion that like every other person, who fled the area, and had the means to start afresh, the Pashtun Sikhs also settled down in new places. “We still have businesses in Peshawar and Khyber agency and visit our places on a regular basis. Our friends still invite us to their weddings and on other occasions and we travel to our villages to be part of those events,” Amarjeet added. “There was only one way of living in the Pashtun society,” Sardar Rajan Singh commented. “It was called unity, the unity of place and the unity of thought. no one was looked down upon because of his faith or how he appeared. My family was among the first families which migrated to nankana Sahib and Hassan Abdal in 1972. Those were the days when the tribal areas along with the rest of the country were quite a peaceful place. The Pashtun Sikh migration within Pakistan has a pattern. In 1972, we migrated purely for religious reasons, to live close to our religious place and look after them. Similarly in 2002 some Sikh families relocated to Peshawar, Hassan Abdal and nankana Sahib. In 2010, we left our ancestral villages just like everyone did when the government decided to launch a military operation in the region to uproot the menace of militancy. Many Pashtun Sikh families from Malakand and Swat have also migrated to India during the 1980’s and early 90’s.” “But has the urge to regain ancestral roots ever taken over or have your friends ever asked you to come back?” I asked cautiously so that I don’t draw their collective ire to the question. “Yes, always,” Rajan Singh answered with a sense of belonging in his tone. “A couple of years back I visited Parachinar, the people over there urged us to come back and even showed us their homes that they were willing to give us on our return. They still wish we had never left.” For the visitors to the Gurdwara, a Sikh speaking Pashto is a sight of bewilderment. For years people of the Punjab has thought of the Sikh culture, in essence, as the epitome of the Punjabi culture preserving and maintaining spirit of “Punjabiyat” both in its intellectual and physical aspects through historical traditions and linguistic dimensions. Similarly, another complicated representation of Sikhs that is prevalent is of a conflicted, confused person representing a comic village idiot. Amarjeet Singh thinks that many might argue that their ties with Pashto language will grow increasingly attenuated over time but what they don’t understand is the fact that the Pashtun Sikhs can’t afford to lose their identity.
“The argument is how we see ourselves and how others want to see us.” * * * * * * * * * Like any other migrant community, the Pashtun Sikhs have also brought with them their own cultural patterns, value orientations, goals, and patterns of behaviour. All of them are quite keen in preserving their unique identity and no occasion, whether it is a wedding or a funeral is complete without the traditional customs being followed. Particularly for a wedding, they prefer to call musicians and performers from Peshawar and the tribal areas. “We can’t celebrate to the Punjabi dhol and songs, we never did. The Pashto music resounds with our cultural and traditional values and we make special arrangements for the visiting musicians to our weddings,” said Sardar Gurpreet Singh from Orakzai agency. Though as Sikhs all of them share a common history but it is during their weddings that one can identify their association with the tribal agency they belong to. For instance, Sikhs from the Orakzai Agency will prefer musicians and performers from the Orakzai agency to perform on their weddings, similarly the ones hailing from Khyber agency will celebrate to the tunes of Afridi dhol and songs. The songs resonate with them and takes them back to a time when they roamed the rugged mountains of the tribal areas, it’s their way of keeping those memories fresh. They believe that music is the child of prayer and it holds the power to both elevate a mortal to higher spiritual goals and keeps them grounded to their roots. This heightened aspect of identity has also made its way into the cultural fabric of the city with the locals having started to pick Pashto language words, sound and intonation patterns. From play grounds to the market places, a Pashtun Sikh is often welcomed with a few words from the Pashto Language. “We are Pashtuns, our forefathers and our next generations all will remain wedded to Pashtunwali. Even our relatives who’ve migrated to Delhi take pride in being called Pashtun Sikhs, and many others who’ve kept Pashto alive in faraway lands. It’s a matter of pride for them when they tell others where they’ve come from. The Pashtun aura has a mystical charm to it,” said a beaming Sardar Rajan Singh. Like other Pashtuns displaced from their homes and ancestral places, the Pashtun Sikhs have been successful in keeping the basic foundation and ethos of their cultural and tradition intact. Detached from their source of origins they cherish and live every moment that connects them to their region. For these Sikhs the love for their land cannot diminish because of their current geographical location. Their stories are connected to their past, and their past is what gives them their identity. Through their songs and prose, they’ve connected their story to their ancestral places, with every object in the landscape and their faith. Whereas, the lands where their presence once gave the region an air of a tolerant, pluralist society, longs for the sons of soil to return. g
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
Pooran, Chase give West indies first odi series Win sinCe 2014 launch later. The risk with that approach is it puts immense pressure in the lower order to score quickly from the outset. On EST Indies overcame a challenging surfaces, like the one at the spirited Afghanistan fight Ekana Stadium where Afghanistan played fuelled by Najibullah Zad- four spinners and West Indies two, it beran's half-century to win comes a bigger challenge. Fortunately, their first ODI series since West Indies found a savior in Pooran, August 2014. The key architects of their who negotiated Rashid Khan's threat with win in the second ODI were Nicholas great caution, before taking apart the Pooran and Roston Chase - the former bowlers in the death, putting a high value leading an excellent lower-order rally to on risk-free shots initially before seamlessly bringing out the big hits, make 56 while the offspinning allthe last 10 overs producing rounder nicked out 86 runs to lift West InAfghanistan's top order in a WeSt dies to 247 for 9. superb spell of 3 for 30 to IndIeS 247 for 9 In the chase, put the brakes, eventuAfghanistan stutally resulting in a 47(PoorAn 67, LeWIS 54, tered, recovered run win. nAveen-uL-HAq 3-60) beAt and played rash Afghanistan shots, like the one AfGHAnIStAn 200 would rue a number Hazratullah Zazai of opportunities, not (nAjIbuLLAH 56, rAHmAt 33, did to hole out at least of all the doubleCottreLL 3-24, CHASe 3-30, long-on and Asstrike following a ghar Afghan, the sixth-wicket stand of 68 HAyden WALSH 3-36) experienced former between Najibullah and by 47 runS captain, heaving one to Mohammad Nabi. Then deep midwicket when the Sheldon Cottrell had Najibullah need of the hour was consolidanicking behind for 56 while attempting a slash to turn the scales. Needing 70 tion. Rahmat Shah looked in control, and off 66 at that stage, legspinner Hayden overcame a short-ball barrage from Jason Walsh had Nabi lbw next ball to extin- Holder to keep the runs chugging along. guish any hopes of an Afghanistan rear- While he wasn't quite as comfortable guard. Walsh, who was only introduced while pulling or hooking, his cuts and in the 29th over, seemingly because punches square of the wicket were a viAfghanistan had two set left-handers, fin- sual treat, but his dismissal against the run ished with 3 for 36, including the final of play threatened to blow the lid off. Sent wicket to seal victory when Sharafuddin back after a terrible mix-up with Alikhil, Ashraf holed out to Shimron Hetmyer at he was inches short of the crease when Pollard swooped in from mid-on to fire a deep midwicket. The match was a throwback in a throw to Alzarri Joseph, who removed the sense to the '90s. West Indies went in with bails at the non-striker's end. Alikhil and Najibullah hung in there, a slow and steady approach, looking to
the escalating asking rate that went past six not a bother, and with the knowledge that Nabi was still to come, kept picking the ones and twos, looking to take the game deep. Najibullah's half-century was an innings of two contrasts - watchful early on until he decided he had to take on the train of spin, by reverse sweeping his way, sometimes even against the turn, to boundaries. He reached his half-century by drilling Jason Holder through extra cover, and swatted him over long-on in the same over to give West Indies a brief flut-
ter until the 38th over, before he fell. As comprehensive as the win seemed in the end, it wouldn't tell you the entire story. West Indies struggled with the bat, strangulated by a succession of fast darts and fizzy turn. They played out as many as 143 dots till the 36th over, before deciding the only way out was to attack. It could've well cost them if not for Pooran's rescue act. Early on, Shai Hope and Ewin Lewis decided to take it slow and set a launch pad by accumulating 98 in 24.4 overs for the first wicket. Naveen-ul-Haq, the only
seamer in the XI, struggled for lengths and was smacked for four boundaries by Hope in his first two overs, until Rashid Khan turned to spin. A pulsating start soon turned into a solid one, before the innings failed to move out of second gear. From time-to-time, Lewis produced the odd boundary. He sits on his left leg and looks to stay back, and when the spinners erred, it helped him take full toll by either pulling or sweeping. Hope, meanwhile, got bogged down. After motoring to 18 off 18, he managed all off 13 off his next 33 deliveries against Afghanistan's spinners. However, he was to contend with more spin, which brought more caution, which eventually had him when Rashid snuck past his bat with a ripping googly to trap him lbw. Lewis was out in the next over, leaving Chase and Hetmyer with a steep task. Hetmyer played an uncharacteristic knock, shelving the slogs and the temptation to look for release shots when things didn't go his way, but that was only until he got to 34. After lofting Nabi inside-out over long-off for six, he flat-batted the next ball straight to long-on to once again waste another opportunity. That it came off the last ball of Nabi's spell made it that much more unacceptable from West Indies' point of view. Pollard walked in needing to stay alive till the death overs, but he was foxed by left-arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf, reaching out to lob a simple return catch. On many other nights, it could've led to a proper meltdown and the difference between victory and defeat. Fortunately, West Indies had Pooran's lower order rally to thank for lifting them to a total that proved just beyond Afghanistan's reach.
Nic Maddinson withdraws from Australia A team for mental-health reasons perTh Agencies
Spinners likely to make the diďŹ€erence in Nagpur series decider nagpur Agencies
Short-term results, or long-term planning? Teams have to constantly manage the tussle between those two objectives while they build up towards a major tournament. During their T20I series against South Africa in September, India made it clear they were looking ahead to the T20 World Cup first and foremost, when they chose to bat first and, as their captain Virat Kohli put it, "push ourselves out of our comfort zone", in Bengaluru, one of the country's great chasing venues. The experiment seemed like a throwback to the mid-2000s, when India, under Rahul Dravid, kept opting to bowl first in ODIs in order to improve as a chasing side But, after India lost in Bengaluru, and began the series against Bangladesh with another defeat while batting first - being sent in, more accurately - they went back to their comfort zone in Rajkot, where they won the toss, chased, and won convincingly. You can't fault India for that decision, but it was a clear example of the tension between short- and long-term objectives. Now, in the series decider in Nagpur, which way will India go if they win the toss? The decision may not cause too much soul-searching, given that the VCA Stadium
is one of the rare bat-first venues in India. It has one of the largest outfields in the country, and the pitch usually brings spinners into play. Teams batting first have won eight of 11 previous games here, including the most recent one, in January 2017, when Jasprit Bumrah bowled an outstanding 20th over to help India defend 144 against England. Bangladesh began the series by beating India in a T20I for the very first time, and they know they have every chance of going one better and winning the series. If there's a bit of grip in the surface, they have the spinners to exploit it, as well as a canny exponent of cutters in Mustafizur Rahman. Their batting is suited to a slower surface too, but they'll need to learn a few lessons from Rajkot, where they failed to build on a bright start and ended up in their captain Mahmudullah's estimation 25-30 runs short of a challenging total. PITCH AND CONDITIONS: Russell Domingo, Bangladesh's coach, was in charge of South Africa when he last came to Nagpur, for a Test match in 2015 on a square turner. "The last time I was in Nagpur, the game finished in two days," he said on the eve of this match. "It looks better this time. I think Nagpur historically has lower scores than Rajkot. There the average score was 185, while here it is 155. I think the spinners will have a bigger role than it had in Rajkot."
Nic Maddinson has withdrawn from the Australia A team to face Pakistan a three-day tour match in Perth for mental-health reasons. Maddinson, 27, has become the second player in recent weeks to step down from an Australian representative team due to mental-health issues after Glenn Maxwell stepped away from the T20 international squad during the series against Sri Lanka. Western Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft will replace Maddinson in the Australia A team for the day-night game at Perth Stadium. Australia A coach Graeme Hick said the squad was fully supportive of Maddinson's decision to withdraw. "Nic has made the right decision and we are all behind him," Hick was quoted in a statement. "It is braver to speak up than to suffer in silence and I applaud Nic for having the courage to put his health first. "While saddened to see Nic stand down, we welcome Cam Bancroft to the Australia A XI. Cam is obviously no stranger to quality international bowling and the Perth Stadium wicket. We have no doubt he will fit well into the team." Hick later spoke in Perth about the players' welfare, and the kind of pressure and expectations they face
these days. "It is a concern in terms of the individuals involved, it's not a situation they wish to be in," Hick said at a press conference. "There's a lot of pressure in the cricket environment at the moment. We wish them well, to us at CA, the players' welfare and them getting better and doing what they need to get better is the first concern. I was only told late last night about Nic, haven't spoken to him personally yet, so hopefully we get him back soon. Hick indicated that while it was a positive sign for the game that players felt comfortable being more open about how they were feeling, there would be plenty of pressure in the air come the first ball of the tour game on Monday. "There's a hell of a lot done. The states and CA have people involved in the set-ups to deal with whatever issues [come up]," he said. "I think what's great now is the fact that it's not taboo, people are coming out and speaking about it a lot sooner than they used to, rather than staying quiet until it's too late so to speak. "The fact people are speaking about it more openly is certainly helping the issue. I feel a bit for the batters that are here, because there's potentially a Test match around the corner for them, so there's added pressure there, but that's all part and parcel of the pressure you have to
deal with if you're going to play professional sport, so it is an opportunity for Cameron as much as it is for anyone else." Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia's head of national teams, said Maddinson would be given all the support he needed to return to full health. "The wellbeing of our players is always our primary concern," Oliver said. "We are proud that our players are comfortable to speak honestly and openly about how they are feeling. "We will provide Nic with all the support and care we can and wish him a full and speedy recovery. We also ask that Nic's privacy be respected at this time." Mental health is becoming a far more prevalent issue in Australian cricket than before. Moises Henriques was the first to go public with his battle. Australia women's player Nicole Bolton has also opened up about her issues over the past 12 months. Maddinson's Victoria and Australia A team-mate Will Pucovski also needed time out of the game last summer. Alex Kountouris, CA's sports science and sports medicine manager, said in a statement that CA is committed to better understanding mental health and supporting those who were encountering issues in this area.
Graeme Smith could be South Africa's first director of cricket Cape Town Agencies
Graeme Smith, South Africa's former captain, is in the running to be South Africa's first full-time director of
cricket, a position created in the aftermath of the World Cup. Smith confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that he was interviewed for the position this week. He is among at least two others in line for the job.
Suspended interim director of cricket, Corrie van Zyl, and former national selector Hussein Manack were also interviewed. The position is expected to be filled in the next two weeks.
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
BArTy produCeS 'BeST ever' TennIS To level FrAnCe Fed Cup FInAl Melbourne
SHLEIGH Barty played the "best match of her life" to crush Caroline Garcia 60, 6-0 and haul Australia back into contention at the Fed Cup final Saturday after France's Kristina Mladenovic whipped Ajla Tomljanovic. The world number one, fresh from winning the WTA Finals in China, came on court in Perth under pressure after the nervous Tomljanovic was thrashed 6-1, 6-1. But in searing 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) heat she kept her cool to embarrass a stunned Garcia in a rare double bagel, with the Frenchwoman having no answers to the Barty armoury in front of 13,000 fans. It left the tie evenly poised at 11 ahead of Sunday's reverse singles and a doubles clash if needed, with Australia targeting an eighth title and first in 45 years, while France are seeking a third, their first since 2003. "This is remarkable, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect match. I think that's the best tennis match I've ever played in my life," said Barty. "I felt like I served really well, made a lot of returns. Most importantly I played the big points well. I really wanted to assert myself and I was able to do that really well today."
The French Open champion, capping a breakthrough season, was imperious, firing down pinpoint first serves and effortlessly pushing Garcia around the court, forcing errors. She set the tone by breaking Garcia's first service game and there was no way back for a player who was once ranked fourth in the world but has slipped to 45. Barty wrapped up the first set in 29 minutes and there was no let up as she sent down 11 forehand and four backhand winners. "I was a little bit stressed today, but not too stressed, and I don't think that was why I didn't play well," said Garcia.
"Today she just played a very good match from the first point to the last one." The ease of Barty's 56-minute win was a huge relief for Australian captain Alicia Molik, whose gamble to play Tomljanovic in singles ahead of veteran Samantha Stosur spectacularly backfired. Tomljanovic is scheduled to play again on Sunday, against Garcia, but given her performance Molik may change her mind and revert to Stosur -- Australia's most successful ever singles player, spanning 16 years of Fed Cup action. France captain Julien Benneteau faces a similar dilemma with Garcia.
His other options are Alize Cornet, Fiona Ferro or Pauline Parmentier. Currently Barty and Stosur are down to play Mladenovic and Garcia in what could be a doubles decider. World number 40 Mladenovic gave her country a 1-0 lead by destroying Tomljanovic in 71 minutes. "I think she played good but I just came out there and basically wanted to win," said Mladenovic after clinching her 22nd career Fed Cup win. "I really did almost the perfect match, I was really in the zone. I love these sort of matches, the bigger the pressure, the more special the event." Tomljanovic failed to hit a single winner in the opening set. She was broken in the first game and Mladenovic quickly turned the screws, racing to a 3-0 lead before a double-fault on break-point in game four allowed Tomljanovic a rare glimmer of hope. But it didn't last long with Mladenovic's powerful forehand proving too hot to handle. She kept the momentum going in the second set as Tomljanovic wilted under the pressure, galloping to a 50 lead before the Australian finally won a game only for Mladenovic to comfortably serve out the match. "I gave my all and it didn't really go as planned," said a dejected Tomljanovic, admitting the occasion overwhelmed her.
Wenger contradicts Bayern's claim they turned him down Munich Agencies
Mohammad Asif clinches IBSF World Championship in Turkey SportS DeSk Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif on Saturday clinched the IBSF World Snooker Championship title in Antalya, Turkey after defeating Philippines' Jafrey Roda 8-5 in the final. The victory means that Asif is now a two-time champion at the event, having won the competition in 2012 as well.
Arsene Wenger has contradicted a claim by Bayern Munich that they turned him down for the vacant head coach's job and accused the defending German champions of a lack of discretion. Bayern need a new coach after Niko Kovac was sacked last Sunday with former Germany assistant Hansi Flick appointed interim boss for Wednesday's win over Olympiakos and Saturday's home league game against Dortmund. On Thursday, Bayern put out a statement claiming Wenger had called club chairman KarlHeinz Rummenigge to express interest in replacing Kovac, but
said the former Arsenal boss had been turned down. However, Wenger, 70, rejected those version of events and criticised Bayern for leaking "rumours from everywhere". "My name came out of nowhere," said Wenger in an in-
terview with beIN Sports on Friday. "On Wednesday, Rummenigge called me, I called back out of courtesy. "We talked for four or five minutes, maximum, and he reported that they signed Flick (as interim coach) for the next two games.
Klopp rules out move for France superstar Mbappe pariS Agencies
French star Kylian Mbappe is out of Liverpool's price range, the Premier League leaders manager and longtime admirer Jurgen Klopp says. The 20-year-old Paris Saint Germain striker -- who was instrumental in France's lifting of the 2018 World Cup -- has been linked with Real Madrid. This gathered momentum earlier in the week when Real's coach Zinedine Zidane remarked that Mbappe had always said it was his dream to play for the Spanish side. Klopp, speaking ahead of Sunday's clash with second-placed Manchester City, had been keen to sign Mbappe in 2017 and met with the player and his entourage. However, he opted to join PSG for £158 million ($202 million). PSG are seeking to extend his present contract and if they were reluctantly to allow him to leave are believed to want more than the record fee of £198 million they paid Barcelona for Neymar in 2017. "Buying this calibre of player is difficult," Klopp was cited in Saturday's The Times as saying. "I don't see any club at the moment who can buy Kylian Mbappé from PSG. "I don't see any club. That is how it is. And we are involved in these clubs who cannot do it. Easy as that. "OK, from a sporting point of view, there are not a lot of reasons to not sign him. "What a player he is. It is about the money of course. No chance. Absolutely, no chance. Sorry for killing that story." Klopp, whose side have a six point lead over champions City heading into their match at Anfield, said the minimalist level of activity from him in the transfer market in the close season was down to the money being asked for their targets. The Champions League holders signed teenagers Harvey Elliott and Sepp van den Berg whilst bringing in goalkeeper Adrian on a free transfer. "The players we thought about to make this team better were really expensive and we could not spend the money," said the 52-yearold German. "That is how it is. "To see a player better than him, or with potential to be better or play exactly the same as him is really difficult. "That is what it was. That was the situation. "It was not that we were not ready, but we did not want to make five or six changes. Not at all. "This team is at a wonderful age, there is still space for improvement, completely fine." Klopp, though, said it is easier than when he first arrived in 2015 to attract top level players to Liverpool. Last year they secured Brazil goalkeeper Alisson and Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk for £65 million and £75 million respectively from AS Roma and Southampton. "I don't think we have to compare with Man City," said Klopp. "I have no idea which kind of player wants to go to Man City, but good players obviously did it in the last couple of years, there is no doubt about that. "There are reasons, good reasons why players want to join us, that is clear. "I don't think we struggle with convincing players."
Figo, Kaka remind PFF of bitter realities during World Soccer Stars' exhibition tour SportS DeSk Former Portugal captain Luis Figo and Brazil’s World Cup winning footballer Ricardo Kaka, both of whom are currently in Pakistan for an exhibition tour, gave the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) a much needed on reality check while speaking to a local new channel on Saturday. While Figo suggested that the PFF work on and invest in the grass root level to improve the standard of the sport in Pakistan, Kaka added that one-off tours by global stars like himself would create a temporary buzz but won’t create a sustainable football culture where the Beautiful Game could grow. Spain’s Carles Puyol and France’s Nicolas Anelka were also present on the occasion. Ahead of their twin city tour of Karachi and Lahore, the Portuguese legend deemed the development of football "a deep subject". “We can talk a lot about how to develop football,” he said when asked about his suggestions to improve football standards in Pakistan.
“First of all, you have to start the education [of football] in schools because in Portugal it’s a culture to play football in schools and streets,” he explained. Figo, capped 127 times for Portugal, said that it is also important for clubs and the federation to work at the grassroots level to improve the standard of football. The Pakistan national team, he said, can only be improved when you have done work at the base. “You have to work with clubs at the grassroot level; you can’t build a house from the roof down. It is very important to have good coaches at that level along with good competition,” Figo said. Further, the former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder said that in order for football in Pakistan to thrive, more football academies as well as a cultural shift would be needed. “We are here to promote football in Pakistan but I do not think that these things will help until you have a sustainable base,” Kaka told Geo News. “We can come here, do coaching and conduct two to three-day workshops but sustainability comes from academies where you de-
velop young players.” “In Brazil, football is part of the culture. The first thing we gift to a kid is a football. Here probably it is the cricket ball. You have to understand that.” Kaka said that there must be footballing talent in a country the size of Pakistan but stressed that the nurturing of the talent is of the utmost importance.
“There are a lot of people here so surely there will be talent but it all depends on how you develop and invested in these people,” he said. Figo also said that league models are only of secondary importance, reiterating that good coaches and a good level of competition matter far more. “League model depends on country
and conditions, be it a national league or franchise league, but it is important to have good facilities and good competition and good coaches to help the game. "That is not important,” he replied when asked if franchise-based leagues can be more helpful in Pakistan than a national football league. “You have to train, you have to improve and then you compete to be better and with that, you give the conditions to national teams to chose teams at different age groups,” he said. While cricket remains the undisputed king in Pakistan, Figo has seen enough to say that football can change that. “Cricket is the number one sport in Pakistan, but I think there’s a big love for football as well and I think it is a place where football can grow and be the biggest sport," he said. The former midfielder said that he was happy to be back in Pakistan for the second time after an initial visit to promote the event. “I am looking forward to playing here and spending good time with Pakistani people,” he said.
Sunday, 10 November, 2019
NEWS US congratulates Pakistan, India on Kartarpur initiative The United States has welcomed the opening of Kartarpur Corridor – a new border crossing between India and Pakistan inaugurated on Saturday by Prime Minister Imran Khan.The initiative was taken by the Pakistan government to facilitate the Indian followers of Baba Guru Nanak, allowing them to visit the revered Sikh Guru’s final resting place without a visa. The 3-kilometre corridor provides visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims, allowing them to travel to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, spent the final years of his life. “We see this as a positive example of neighbours working together for mutual benefit,” Morgan Ortagus, spokesperson for the State Department, said in a video message on social media. “The newly-opened corridor is a step towards promoting greater religious freedom. It allows Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, an important Sikh House of worship just inside the Pakistan border,” she said. Ortagus said the impressive project will transform a remote, three-acre site across a sensitive international boundary. “Congratulations to India and Pakistan on this initiative, and our best wishes to the pilgrims making the crossing for the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak’s birth,” she said.. News Desk
India stops Sidhu from entering Pakistan through Wagah The Indian government on Saturday stopped Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu from entering Pakistan through Wagah border despite having a five-day visa. Sidhu then entered Pakistan from Kartarpur. The Indian government on Thursday had finally allowed cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu to attend the inauguration of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Corridor after the latter wrote his third letter to the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday requesting permission to visit Pakistan. Pakistan has already issued a visa to Sidhu after Prime Minister Imran Khan invited him to attend the historic opening of the corridor, which has been built for Indian Sikh pilgrims travelling to the holy Gurdwara Darbar Sahib temple from a visa-free border crossing. Indian media, quoting official sources, reported on Thursday evening that Sidhu had been given political clearance by the government to take part in the Kartarpur Corridor inauguration ceremony on the Pakistani side. News Desk
President, PM urge nation to follow Iqbal’s message of self-esteem ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan have said that it is high time to revert to the message of Allama Muhammad Iqbal to find solution to the ills corroding the society and hindering the progress and prosperity. In their separate messages on 142nd birth anniversary of great philosopher and thinker, Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, they said it is an occasion to recall and pledge for the nation to follow his message of selfawareness and self-esteem. They said that Muslims of the Sub-continent would always remain indebted to the great visionary leader for his invaluable services. They said Allama Iqbal infused a new spirit among the Muslims of the sub-continent, changed their thought process and provided them with a solid ideological foundation to strive for regaining their lost identity. The great leader had also envisioned the idea of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent and made remarkable contributions towards understanding the true message of Islam. APP
INdIAN SC hANdS ovEr BABrI MASjId LANd To hINduS COURT SAYS TEMPLE WILL BE CONSTRUCTED ON AYODHYA LAND, ASKS GOVT TO PROVIDE 5-ACRE ALTERNATIVE LAND TO MUSLIMS TO BUILD MOSQUE NEW DELHI
HE Supreme Court of India on Saturday, while announcing its verdict on a disputed land where Hindu hardliners demolished a 16th century mosque in 1992, ruled in favour of the Hindus and said that a temple will be constructed on the Ayodhya land. The court noted that the demolition of 460-year-old Babri Mosque in 1992 was a violation of law and ordered that five-acre alternative land in a suitable, prominent place be provided to Muslims for a mosque. The land for the mosque will be acquired by the government, the court ruled in a historic judgement aimed at ending a bitter and decades-old legal and sectarian battle. The court’s unanimous decision is likely to have a significant impact on fraught relations between India’s Hindus and Muslims, who constitute 14 per cent of its 1.3 billion people. The Sunni Muslim group involved in the case said it would likely file a review petition, which could trigger another protracted legal battle. “This is not justice,” the group’s lawyer, Zafaryab Jilani, was quoted as saying by Reuters. According to The Hindu, the top court ordered the government to formulate a scheme within three months under the Ayodhya Act 1993 and set up a trust. Till the trust is formed, the ownership of the site will rest with the Centre. The Shia petition was dismissed. “There is adequate material in ASI report to conclude the following: Babri Masjid not constructed on vacant land. There was a structure
underlying the disputed structure. The underlying structure was not an Islamic structure,” said the Supreme Court. “But the ASI report does not say if the structure was demolished for the mosque. It has left unanswered this critical point: whether temple was demolished for mosque.” “This court must accept faith and accept belief of worshippers,” India’s Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s was quoted as saying. “Court should preserve balance.” The verdict is a huge victory for Hindu nationalists under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had promised to build the temple in 2014 elections that brought him to power. “The halls of justice have amicably concluded a matter going on for decades. Every side, every point of view was given adequate time and opportunity to express differing points of view,” said Modi following the ruling. “This verdict will further increase people’s faith in judicial processes.” In the 1980s, as Hindu nationalism and the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) began to strengthen, pressure grew for the mosque to be knocked down and replaced by a glorious Hindu temple. In 1992, a Hindu mob estimated to number 200,000 did just that, reducing the mosque to rubble. This unleashed some of the worst religious riots since India’s bloody partition at the end of British colonial rule in 1947, leaving around 2,000 people dead, mainly Muslims. Hindu hardliners said they wanted to build a new temple to Hindu god Ram on the site, which they revere as his birthplace. They said the mosque was built after a temple dedicated to the Hindu god was destroyed by Muslim invaders. After the demolition of the mosque, Hindus and Muslims took the issue to a lower court, which in 2010 ruled that the disputed land should be divided into three parts — two for Hindus and one for Muslims. That was challenged in the Supreme Court by the two communities represented by Hindu Maha Sabha, the Sunni Waqf
Board, and the Nirmohi Akhara. The five judges started daily proceedings in August after mediation failed to find a compromise. Modi in a series of tweets appealed for peace ahead of the verdict. He had earlier cautioned his council of ministers from making unnecessary statements on the issue that could stoke public sentiments. Appeals for peace also came from Hindu and Muslim organisations and various political leaders. India’s Home Ministry has asked all states to be on alert. The security outside the residences of the five judges on the constitution bench was beefed up in Delhi, said India Today. Chief Justice Gogoi’s security was upgraded to Z-plus. At least 40,000 police personnel have been deployed in Mumbai, according to Scroll.in, while drones and CCTVs will be used to monitor the situation. “We are prepared to tackle any eventuality,” DCP Pranay Ashok was quoted as saying. “We are also monitoring online activities through our social media wing. We will block objectionable posts and content as need be to ensure that no rumours are spread.” Authorities increased the security in Ayodhya, 550 kilometers east of New Delhi, and deployed more than 5,000 paramilitary forces to prevent any attacks by Hindu activists on Muslims, who comprise 6% of the town’s more than 55,500 people. Earlier, authorities banned the assembly of more than four people at one place in and around Ayodhya, a town in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh government ordered all the schools and colleges to remain closed until Monday.
NAB dragging feet over removal of Nawaz’s name from ECL: report
Azadi marchers hold‘Seerat-un-Nabi’Conference Participants of the Azadi March participants are attending ‘Seerat-un-Nabi’ Conference in sector H-9 of the federal, it was reported on Saturday. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) Chief Maulana Fazl and other ulema are present at the occasion. The event is being commemorated in the honour of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), whose birthday is celebrated every year on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal. Thousands of protesters have converged on Pakistan’s federal capital, under the banner of ‘Azadi’ March, seeking to de-seat Prime Minister Imran Khan. The ongoing sit-in is headed by opposition leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is the chief of his own faction of the JUI-F. The caravan, which set off from Sindh on October 27, reached Islamabad on October 31. During the week long sit-in, opposition leaders delivered fiery speeches against the ruling PTI government, giving the prime minister a 48-hour ultimatum to resign. News Desk
SUNNI MUSLIM GROUP SAYS IT WOULD LIKELY FILE REVIEW PETITION AGAINST HISTORIC SC VERDICT
KARTARPUR: Sikh pilgrims attend birth celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak at Kartarpur gurdwara. AGeNCIes
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is hesitant to take off former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL), Geo News claimed in a report on Saturday. According to the report, instead of taking Nawaz’s name off the ECL, NAB has sent a written reply to the Interior Ministry seeking his medical reports issued by the government-formed board and Sharif Medical City. It added that both the government and NAB are not willing to take the responsibility of taking Nawaz’s name off the no-fly list. The medical board formed by the government had suggested allowing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to seek medical treatment abroad. The report stated that while NAB has opted for delay tactics, the government is also refraining from using its authority to take Nawaz’s name off the list even though the Interior Ministry has taken off several names from ECL without taking NAB into confidence. PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had filed a request on Friday, urging the government to take Nawaz’s name off the ECL. On Friday, PM’s Special Assistant Naeemul Haque said that the government had seen Nawaz’s reports. He said that the former prime minister was ill and the decision has been taken in light of it. News Desk
Rasheed claims Zardari will soon be out of jail LAHORE stAff RePoRt
Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad on Saturday claimed that former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari will soon enter a plea bargain in the next three to four months which will end all cases against him. The minister said this while
addressing a press conference at the Railways headquarters here. Commenting on the government’s decision to remove former premier Nawaz Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL), Rasheed said that the decision was taken on medical grounds. He also prayed for Nawaz Sharif’s early recovery. The former premier is on bail and cases against him are not finished, he clarified and said that
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz will not be going abroad with her father as her passport is with the court. The minister said, “Cases against Zardari, PPP leader Khursheed Shah, PML-N leaders Hamza and Suleman Shehbaz are very important.” He claimed that their cases will be resolved through plea bargains. While commenting on JUI-F’s Azadi March
sit-in, the minister stated that putting up a sit-in is more problematic than going to jail. He added that those parties who wanted to cash in on JUI-F’s sit-in have done so. Sheikh Rasheed said that DNA tests of the deceased of the Tezgam tragedy have been completed. He said that 19 officers, including police personal, of railway have been suspended following the incident.
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