Tuesday, 12 February, 2019 I 6 Jamadi-ul-Sani, 1440 I Rs 17.00 I Vol IX No 224 I 16 Pages I Karachi Edition
SC giveS govt four weekS for aCtion againSt former top generalS g
CourT asKs defeNCe MiNisTry why iT has NoT sTarTed CourTMarTiaL ProCeediNgs agaiNsT ex-geNeraLs beg aNd durraNi
gen bajwa lauds gen (r) raheel for Middle east peace efforts
JusTiCe guLzar PoiNTs ouT oMissioN of MQM fouNder’s NaMe froM Case STORY ON PAGE 03
Nandipur case verdict to be announced on February 20 STORY ON BACK PAGE
PTM leaders responsible for murder of Khaisor whistleblower, brother alleges STORY ON PAGE 03 ISLAMABAD
he Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed the Defence Ministry to submit a reply on the implementation of its 2012 verdict in the Asghar Khan case within four weeks. In 1996, Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan had moved the top court alleging that the two senior army officers and then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had doled out Rs140 million among several politicians ahead of the 1990 polls to ensure Benazir Bhutto’s defeat in the polls. In 2012, the court had issued a detailed verdict ordering legal proceedings against former Pakistan Army chief General (r) Mirza Aslam Beg and former director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen (r) Asad Durrani. As a three-member bench headed by
Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the case, the court demanded that a report be submitted. The court also asserted that it will review the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) report as well as the Defence Ministry’s reply to see whether court orders were implemented in the case or not because “it appears that FIA wants to backtrack from the case”. Justice Gulzar inquired why the Defence Ministry had not undertaken action to begin a court-martial of Pakistan Army officers accused in the case even though it had said that it was going to prosecute them. To this, the attorney general replied that the matter will only proceed once an inquiry is completed in the case. If it is a matter of fraud or losses incurred by the national exchequer, a court-martial can be done anytime, he added. During the hearing, Justice Gulzar pointed out that FIA had claimed that it
could not get concrete evidence in the case because banks do not hold 28-year-old records. Justice Ijazul Ahsan interjected that Rs18.4 billion was spent in the Asghar Khan case 28 years ago. Then, Justice Gulzar suggested that perhaps the heads of banks should be summoned. Justice Gulzar added that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder was given money too but his name was omitted from the case as well as the FIA report. At that, the attorney general clarified that MQM founder’s name has been mentioned in the report submitted by FIA. however, he added, he is not in Pakistan and talks are underway with the British government for his extradition and development is expected soon. The hearing was then adjourned for four weeks.
Close to reaching agreement with IMF, says Asad Umar g
CLaiMs PM’s MeeTiNg ‘aNoTher sigN of his iNCoNsisTeNCy’
PPP demands details of negotiations with iMf
STORY ON BACK PAGE
CJP constitutes committee for police reforms STORY ON PAGE 06
Pakistan gives counselor access to 102 Indian prisoners STORY ON BACK PAGE
PepsiCo mulls investing $1bn in Pakistan g
PePsiCo PLaNs To iNvesT iN a PoTaTo uNiT iN MuLTaN aNd The CoMPaNy waNTs PriMe MiNisTer iMraN KhaN To iNauguraTe iT STORY ON PAGE 11
STORIES ON PAGES 02 & 12
PML-N seeks PM’s apology for taking ‘U-turn’ by approaching IMF g
SC hints at govt taking over private schools
Moody’s changes outlook to negative for Pakistan’s banking sector g
PML-N sPoKesPersoN says TerMs of ProPosed agreeMeNT wiTh iMf shouLd be Made PubLiC
rePorT says TighTer doMesTiC MoNeTary CoNdiTioNs fueLed by a wide CurreNT aCCouNT defiCiT aNd Low foreigN exChaNge reserves wiLL iMPaCT eCoNoMiC aCTiviTy STORY ON PAGE 12
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
PPP deMANdS detAIlS of NeGotIAtIoNS wItH IMf ISLAMABAD
HE Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said on Monday that the government should disclose details of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and various other
bodies to the parliament. “’Selected’ prime minister’s meetings with the IMF and loan agreement details should be disclosed to the nation,” PPP leader and former Senate chairman Nayyar Bokhari said. The premier had met with IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Dubai on the sidelines of the World Government
Sindh CM terms IGP's handling of Ranjhani case ‘unprofessional’ KARACHI: Following the arrest of Union Council Nazim Rahim Shah, main accused in the murder of Jeay Sindh Tehreek’s Karachi President Irshad Ranjhani, Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah on Monday penned a letter to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Syed Kaleem Imam regarding the incompetence of the police. According to details that surfaced via a local media outlet, the Sindh CM criticised the Sindh IGP for his “unprofessional handling” of the Irshad Ranjhani case. The letter began with the chief minister saying that he was writing in “utter dismay” with regards to the “unfortunate incident” and added that videos of the incident doing the rounds on social media portrayed an “inhuman and gory picture”. He wrote that main accused Abdul Rahim Shah had “apparently” acted “like the judge, jury and the executioner at the scene and violently flaunted the rule of the gun at the crime scene”. The letter went on to state that while the police had been given the power to exercise “complete autonomy” in its administrative affairs, its efficiency is “suboptimal and leaves a lot of room for further improvement”, adding that this incident was a clear example of this fact. Further, the Sindh CM reminded IGP Kaleem Imam of the provincial government and polices’ role in the province’s security situation. “I must remind you that the police force was entrusted operational independence by the Sindh High Court for the purpose of improvement in the efficiency,” he wrote. Concluding the letter, the Sindh CM ordered IGP Imam to “expedite the investigation as per law/rules in vogue” while adding that “delinquent officials” who “mishandled the entire incident from the beginning” must be held accountable. ACT OF MAIN ACCUSED BARBARIC, NOT SELF-DEFENCE: According to reports, the arrest was made on the directives of Karachi Additional Inspector General Dr Amir Shaikh after the initial findings of the inquiry committee led by District East DIG Amir Farooqi. Shaikh said that even if it was an act of self-defence, it was mandatory to shift him to a hospital instead of barring people from helping the man which was a barbaric act. “There are limits to self-defence. No one has the right to be cruel under the garb of selfdefence,” he added. It was further reported that police are also “contemplating taking action against bystanders of the incident”. Ranjhani, a Jeay Sindh Tehreek (JST) activist, was reportedly killed on February 6 by Rahim Shah at Bhens Colony, who barred people present on the spot from taking the victim to the hospital. stAff rePort
Summit, hosted by the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. The PPP leader said that the PM’s meeting with the IMF is a “depiction of another inconsistency in his words and actions and yet another U-turn”. “Imran Khan’s speech at the World Summit is synonymous to dishonouring the country,” Bokhari said, adding that dropping the
inflation bomb on the common man is an implementation of IMF’s condition. “Pakistanis are playing a key role in the nation’s progress and prosperity.” Earlier on Sunday, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had claimed the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) government has already completely agreed to terms and conditions of the fund, questioning the “drama being staged over it”. In her statement, Marriyum had slammed the government for implementing IMF condition “by using backdoor” while Finance Minister Asad Umar had already confirmed the government’s decision regarding the expected programme.
PML-N seeks PM’s apology for taking ‘U-turn’ by approaching IMF ISLAMABAD stAff rePort
Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan should “at least apologise to the nation” for taking U-turns as he had repeatedly claimed that his government will not seek an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package. She was referring to PM Imran’s earlier statement when he had criticised the PML-N government and said that “it would be better to commit suicide than to beg from IMF”. The PML-N leader said that the opposition does not, however, want the premier to commit suicide for “it is a sin”. She alleged that the “government is incompetent and is trying to put the weight of its incompetence on the people”.
Moreover, she claimed that her party had ended the programme with the IMF in 2015 in order to “lift the burden of inflation from the country” but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government will now bring a “tsunami of inflation” for the people. They should at least be told how the prices for gas, electricity, and necessities will increase due to the bailout package, she demanded. Further, she alleged that the premier did not have confidence in his own team so how is the nation expected to put their faith in his team. She claimed that the government was betraying the nation by concealing the terms of the proposed deal with the IMF. She inquired why the “false government” was hiding the terms. On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan met with IMF chief Christine Lagarde at the World Government Summit
Salahuddin Ayubi, Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir elected chairmen of NA committees ISLAMABAD: Member National Assembly (MNA) Salahuddin Ayubi has been unanimously elected as the chairman of Standing Committee on Narcotics Control. The election was made during the meeting of the Standing Committee on Narcotics Control held in Committee Room No 7, Parliament House, Islamabad on Monday. Member Standing Committee on Narcotics Control Shahida Akhtar Ali proposed the name of MNA Salahuddin Ayubi as the chairman of Standing Committee on Narcotics Control, which was seconded by MNA/Member Muhammad Ameer Sultan. Accordingly, MNA Salahuddin Ayubi was unanimously elected as the chairman. Meanwhile, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence Production, in a meeting held at the
in Dubai on Sunday. The prime minister appreciated the IMF’s support to Pakistan and shared his vision for nation-building. He reiterated the government’s commitment to undertaking structural and governance reforms and for strengthening social protection in the country. The IMF managing director acknowledged the steps taken so far by the Pakistan government for stabilising the economy and said the IMF will remain engaged in supporting Pakistan in sustaining its economic recovery. The two sides agreed to work together on policy priorities and reforms aimed at reducing imbalances and laying the foundations of a job-creating growth path in Pakistan. In this regard, deliberations between Pakistani authorities and IMF staff will continue to finalise an agreement on the contours of a programme.
Parliament House, Islamabad on Monday, unanimously elected MNA Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir as its chairman. The National Assembly Secretariat special secretary welcomed the members and briefed them about the procedure for election of the chairman. MNA/Member Rahat Aman Ullah Bhatti proposed the name of MNA Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir as the chairman while MNA/Member Imran Khattak seconded his candidature. Accordingly, MNA Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir was unanimously elected as the chairman. The National Assembly Secretariat special secretary congratulated the newlyelected chairman on behalf of the speaker, National Assembly Secretariat secretary and assured him full support from the secretariat for the effective and efficient functioning of the committee. Newly-elected Chairman Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir expressed his gratitude to the members for posing confidence in him and assured them to run the business of the committee with consensus. The members while appreciating views of the honourable chairman assured him their fullest support in the process of legislation. INP
Saudi crown prince to stay at PM House aka Islamabad National University The Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman is expected to stay at the Prime Minister’s House during his two-day visit to the country starting from February 16. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan had previously formally initiated the conversion of the Prime Minister’s House into the Islamabad National University. The Saudi crown prince’s security team reached Pakistan on Monday ahead of his scheduled visit to the country. The security team visited various places across the federal capital and reviewed security arrange-
ments, according to reports. “A team of doctors and a delegation of Saudi media persons who will cover Mohammed bin Salman’s tour have also reached Islamabad,” reports further said. In December last year, PM Imran had said that the reason behind establishing a university at the PM House is to send a message to the nation that this government gives priority to education and to reduce the gap between the government and public. He further said that “all the symbols of the colonial mindset will be broken”. NeWs DesK
IHC serves notice to NAB on Nawaz's plea to withdraw bail case ISLAMABAD APP
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought a reply from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s plea seeking to withdraw his bail plea clubbed with his main appeal in Al-Azizia Steel Mills decision. A divisional bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani conducted hearing on Nawaz’s plea. The petitioner had stated in his plea that he had filed another bail plea on medical grounds and wanted to withdraw his previous bail petition. The court served notices to NAB and fixed the case hearing for Tuesday along with the Nawaz’s bail petition on medical grounds.
No idea how money was transferred into my accounts: Kamran Michael MICHAEL LIKELY TO BE PRESENTED BEFORE KARACHI NAB COURT TODAY KARACHI stAff rePort
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team on Monday interrogated former federal minister for ports and shipping Kamran Michael regarding contracts he had approved while heading the ministry. According to reports, the NAB officials interrogated the former minister about a man named Imran Shah who had given a statement against Michael. The ex-minister was questioned about the amount in his accounts which, they NAB alleges to be, beyond his known sources of income. “I’ve no idea how the money was transferred [into my accounts],” Michael was quoted as telling the NAB officials by reports. The bureau is likely to present Michael before the accountability court in Karachi on Tuesday (Feb 12). Meanwhile, the NAB Karachi transferred Senator Michael to Karachi earlier in the day. Michael, who was on a transit remand in the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) plots allotment case, was shifted to Karachi through a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight. An accountability court in Lahore had approved five-day remand of the accused over plea of the accountability watchdog after his arrest. Michael has reportedly been charged with illegally getting three commercial plots on prime locations of KPT Cooperative Housing Society in Mai Kolachi area of Karachi to his accomplices against which he allegedly received a huge bribe. The former minister allegedly abused his authority by influencing the officials to carry out illegal orders to make allotments in 2013. A corruption reference with respect to 16 such plots was already filed by NAB Karachi in which evidence was unearthed against Michael for receiving bribes, reports claimed.
CMYK Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
AHSAN IqBAl SlAMS MuRAd SAeed oveR RS70BN CoRRuPtIoN AlleGAtIoNS
ORMER interior minister and Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal lashed out against Federal Communication Minister Murad Saeed for claiming that Iqbal had received Rs 70 billion in commission in the Multan-Sukkur motorway project. “If I have taken any bribes for any CPEC projects then I pray that God strikes me down” he tweeted. “But if I have not, then I leave my case to God against these people who use difficult times as an opportunity to attack the characters of their opponents,” he said responding to Murad. Talking to journalists a few days ago, Murad Saeed said that Ahsan Iqbal frontman, Javed Sadiq, and the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif are involved in the Rs 70 billion scam. He urged the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to take action against the corrupt immedi-
ately. “This is just the first case in many to come,” Murad Saeed said. “I will give details of the transfer of funds to Larkana, which took place during the Pakistan People’s Party tenure,” he said. “The PML-N finalised major projects for commission through their frontman Sadiq and in the MultanSukkur Motorway project, the national
exchequer suffered a loss of Rs70 billion,” the minister alleged. He further alleged that Ahsan Iqbal and Sadiq, back in 2013, inked the contract to benefit an international firm-China Estate Company. Meanwhile, Ahsan Iqbal also released a video statement, saying such accusations were hurting the prospects of CPEC. “This outburst is a reaction of the government’s incapacity and failure to carry out the CPEC projects. Instead of taking the criticism positively, pulling up their socks and getting to work on the projects, the intolerant and inept PTI government has started attacking the CPEC project itself with their baseless propaganda,” he said FAWAD CH, AHSAN IQBAL TRADE BARBS: Separately, Ahsan Iqbal and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry traded bards on Twitter over the state of Pakistan’s economy. “Unfortunately, aftershocks of the
gen Bajwa lauds gen (r) Raheel for Middle east peace eﬀorts RAWALPINDI stAff rePort
Former Pakistan Army chief General (r) Raheel Sharif, who now heads a 41-nation Saudi-led military coalition, called on Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Monday, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said. According to the army’s media cell, matters related to regional stability and peace were discussed in the meeting. The army chief also lauded the efforts by the Islamic military coalition for enduring peace,
added the ISPR. A delegation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition led by Gen (r) Raheel Sharif arrived in Islamabad late Sunday. This is the maiden visit of the delegates of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition to Pakistan. During their two-day visit, the delegates of the Islamic military coalition will meet the top civil and military leadership. Former army chief General (r) Raheel Sharif is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan. The delegation will also meet Senate chairman and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Reportedly, the focus of the delegates’ meetings with top civil and military leadership will be on the
politically engineered crisis continue to impact our economy adversely,” the PML-N leader wrote while sharing on Twitter the story of Moody’s changing Pakistan banking system outlook to negative. Replying to the former interior minister, Fawad tweeted that the “consequences and curse” left by Iqbal’s party would remain for some time. “Your long stints in power were not without consequences, your curse will remain for some time but we will be out to the mess you guys created.” Moody’s Investors Service has changed its outlook for the banking system in Pakistan (B3 negative) to negative from stable. “Over the next 12-18 months, banks in Pakistan will see their credit profiles challenged by their high exposure to the country’s low-rated sovereign debt and a slowing economy,” Constantinos Kypreos, Moody’s Senior Vice President, said in a report released Monday.
regional situation as well as counter-terrorism measures taken by the coalition. The delegation is also expected to discuss the upcoming visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to Pakistan. According to a media report, the prince’s exercise equipment, furniture and other personal belongings have reached Islamabad, while his security team and Saudi media representatives have also arrived in the capital ahead of his two-day visit. Gen (r) Raheel Sharif was made the chief of the 41-nation Islamic military coalition formed to combat terrorism in 2017. The coalition was initially proposed as a platform for security cooperation among Muslim countries and included provisions for training, equipment and troops, and the involvement of religious scholars for devising a counter-terrorism narrative. Raheel Sharif’s appointment as the commander-in-chief of the Saudiled alliance had sparked a debate over how the move will impact Pakistan’s foreign policy, and whether it was fully sanctioned by the parliament.
lHC RejeCtS NAB'S PleA SeeKING CHANGe of BeNCH foR SHeHBAz SHARIf’S BAIl PetItIoN LAHORE stAff rePort
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday rejected the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) petition seeking a change of bench hearing Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif’s bail petitions. LHC Chief Justice Sardar Mehmood Shamim Khan heard the NAB’s plea and reserved judgment on the admissibility of hearing of the bail plea and ruled that the same bench will hear the petition. In its plea, the accountability watchdog had stated, “A two-judge bench headed by Justice Malik Shehaz is hearing Shehbaz’s petitions and they should be transferred to a bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najfi.” The prosecutor further said that a two-member bench headed by Justice Najfi had already rejected Shehbaz’s bail. “There are already many complaints against the NAB, now it would form the court’s bench according to its will!” the judge remarked. On October 6, NAB had arrested the PML-N president in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme case and he is currently in jail on remand.
PTM leaders responsible for murder of Progress on Metal craft Khaisor whistleblower, brother alleges artisans Village RePoRt oN KhaIsoR INcIdeNt accUses MaNzooR PashteeN, aLI WazIR aNd MohsIN daWaR oF taRgeted attacK oN MaLIK MatoRKay Brother of Malik Matorkay has held top leaders of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) responsible for his sibling’s murder on Sunday in Khaisor village of North Waziristan Agency. Matorkay was the maternal uncle of Shariatullah — a man who abducted a Marri Petroleum Company Ltd employee — and had given the statement that security person-
nel had not harassed Shariatullah’s family as was being portrayed by the PTM, claiming that he was present at the time of the raid. According to a report on the Khaisor incident which was compiled by North Waziristan deputy commissioner, PTM leaders Manzoor Pashteen, Mohsin Dawar, Ali Wazir and three others have been accused of murdering Matorkay. Tehsil-
dar Mir Ali had submitted his report to the deputy commissioner. The assistant commissioner has also attached a statement of Parkhay Khan, the brother of slain tribesman, with the report. Parkhay said that a video of Hayat Khan’s misstatement went viral on social media two to three weeks ago. He said that his brother had rejected the recorded statement of Hayat Khan on the Khaisor incident. He said that the PTM along with a jirga in Dera Ismail Khan tried to bulldoze their houses but failed to do so; however, they threatened Matorkay of serious consequences. Parkhay further stated that two armed assailants riding a motorcycle opened fire at him in Lakki Marwat on February 9 but he survived the assassination attempt after which his brother was killed in a targeted attack on February 10. FUNERAL PRAYERS OFFERED: Funeral prayers of Malik Matorkay, who was martyred on Sunday at his house, were offered at Bichi, North Wazirstan district on Monday.No PTM figures or political leadership of PTM attended the funeral. On the other hand, MNA Mohsin Dawar has condemned the killing of Matorkay. “Another condemnable act which once again questions the large scale military presence in Waziris-
tan. The timing of the killings make it more suspicious. The matter needs to be investigated,” he tweeted. KHAISOR INCIDENT: Matorkay was the uncle of Hayat Khan – the 13-year-old boy who was reportedly persuaded by PTM activist Noorul Islam Dawar to give a video message against security forces for adopting unfair means in their search for his elder brother Shariatullah. In an interview with foreign media, Jalat Khan, father of Shariatullah, confirmed that his son was a terrorist. Shariatullah is said to have abducted and burnt four MPCL employees and a Frontier Corps soldier on October 23, 2018. Another employee, Zahid Mehmood, was taken a hostage and kept by Shariatullah at his house in Khaisor with the help of his father Jalat and brother Irfan. When security forces went to rescue Mehmood, Shariatullah managed to escape into the mountains with the abductee. Hayat was persuaded to give a video statement against the security forces, sources said. However, Matorkay denied any such incident, saying he was with security forces when they searched the house of his sister. Hayat’s mother and Matorkay’s sister inked an affidavit stating no such thing happened. NeWs DesK
‘unsatisfactory’, says monitor LAHORE sHAHAB oMer
Punjab Directorate General Monitoring and Evaluation (DGM&E) has placed its observations regarding the project “Establishment of Metal Craft Artisans Village” on Sheikhupura Road, according to which, the project’s physical progress is lesser than the financial progress and hiring of human resource is not satisfactory either. Sources told Pakistan Today that the project had started in September 2015 whereas it was to be completed by June 2018 that was later revised and extended to June 2020. The project was launched with an aim to save the heritage and development of handicrafts complexes and villages while also focusing on the promotion of the metal craft industry. “The project was also aimed at capacity building of artisans through training, workshops and recognition of the cultural significance of metal crafts besides enhancing the image of artisans and providing employment opportunities to 250 craft artisans as well as soft term credit facility,” they said. However, according to a monitoring report issued by DGM&E on February 8, the physical progress of the project is lesser than the financial progress. “The project quality plans, checklists and approved methodologies are not available at the site and there is no site laboratory or lab equipment,” the report stated, adding that quality control tests were not performed either. “The hiring of human resource was not satisfactory and only 50% of hiring was completed. The objectives of the project remain partially achieved because most of them would be substantially achieved upon the completion of building and subsequent workshops at the site to attract
clusters and industry players in an effective way.” The report further revealed that most activities of the project were underway at Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) Office (mainly development of crafts) because of the non-completion of civil work on the site. “None of the training of artisans has yet been held there either. Furniture and fixtures were not procured yet while it was expected by December 2018. Lease agreement for artisans and application form for artisans were vetted legally but yet to be finalised by PSIC steering committee to initiate loaning facility and allocation of workshops’ space to 34 artisans.” DGM&E in its recommendations stressed enhancing the machinery, manpower and material at the site. “Fast-tracking or buffering techniques should be adapted in order to complete the project. The hiring of human resource should be completed to manage operations effectively. There should be the completion of all procurements to manage the daily operations.” “One post of marketing assistant director should be introduced in PC-I as the project rationale is to bring awareness of the dying art to local industry/institutes and involves extensive promotions/exhibitions both nationally and globally. As the craft industry mainly targets a niche market, a documentary of such crafts should be made and correlated with this project’s objectives to invite the interest of the target market and prospective buyers.” The report further recommended that institutional arrangements may be increased to promote research and development in the field as per the latest trends of crafts worldwide. “It will help this project to make new innovations in the craft industry and bring new concepts from the world in this field as well accordingly.”
04 KARACHI PrAyer TImINgs FAJR SUNRISE
ASR MAGHRIB ISHA
PmA, ydA threat oPd boycott from feb 13 HYDERABAD: The Sindh chapter Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and Young Doctors Association (YDA) have given the Sindh government one more day to notify promotions, salary enhancement and regularisation of contractual doctors. At a press conference held at the Hyderabad Press Club here Monday, PMA’s General Secretary Dr Pir Manzoor Ali said that the doctors at government hospitals across the province would boycott Outpatient Departments (OPDs) and the wards from February 13, adding that only emergency wards would remain unaffected by the protest. “The boycott would continue until the provincial government doesn’t issue notification for the promotions and salary increase,” he underlined. According to him, the PMA would not hold another round of negotiations with the Sindh government because following the January 30 talks with the provincial health secretary, the government had sought three days to fulfil their demands but they did not do as they had said. “Today 12 days have passed since that assurance but no step has been taken,” he regretted. Earlier on January 30, Ali had told that their demands had been accepted and that the provincial government would now increase the salaries of doctors to equal what their counterparts were drawing in Punjab. He had also apprised that the government had agreed to promote 2,000 to 2,500 doctors in the upper grades in BS-18 to BS20. “Sindh government will be responsible for any inconvenience or problem caused to the patients during the boycott,” he warned. Ali said the PMA also demanded an end to widespread corruption in the Sindh health department. He was accompanied by the office bearers of PMA and YDA. APP
AIR QUALITY INDEX
DATA BY PAQI
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
‘SIGn CHArter of demoCrACy If you wAnt PAC CHAIrmAnSHIP’ KARACHI sTAFF rePOrT
InDH Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would have to sign a Charter of Democracy (CoD) in order for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to get the chairmanship of the provincial Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Addressing a session of the Sindh Assembly, he said that he had discussed the matter with Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim naqvi but no agreement could be reached. “The reason is that the leader of the opposition in Sindh demands things which are undemocratic,” he said. The provincial chief executive said that the assembly members had the right to the chairmanship of committees and the provincial government could offer the
chairmanship of some committees to the opposition but it could not change the composition. He, however, said that the provincial government led by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would not give the chairmanship of the provincial PAC to PTI because they had not signed the charter of democracy. CM Murad then offered PM Khan to sign the Charter of Democracy. “Come and publicly sign it and say I recognise the Charter of Democracy signed by Benazir Bhutto, and take the PAC,” he said. He added that before asking for such things, the premier should first sign the document and say that he believes in it. He said that Pakistan Muslim League-nawaz (PML-n) and his party had signed the Charter of Democracy in 2008 whereas Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) had not signed it which is why the government was not bound to give them the chairmanship of the provincial PAC.
SHC directs federal govt to allow family’s meeting with Uzair Baloch
A bench of Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed the federal government to allow the family of Uzair Baloch to meet him. The bench, comprising of Jus-
tice Aftab Ahmed Gorar told the government to allow the family to meet Baloch for at least half to one-hour period. The court was hearing a petition filed by Uzair Baloch’s mother Razia Begum in the SHC seeking production orders for her son. The deputy attorney general said in the hearing that the family members of the accused should submit an application at the attorney general’s office to obtain permission for the meeting. The court adjourned the hearing till February 27, instructing the petitioner to file a new petition for the trial. In the previous hearing, the government had submitted a re-
sponse over the production orders for Uzair Baloch. The federal government in its statement said that Uzair Baloch was facing a case in military court and SHC did not have the jurisdiction to issue the order. Baloch’s mother’s lawyer had pleaded the court to allow Baloch to meet his mother and family members on humanitarian grounds. In April 2017, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted that Uzair Baloch was arrested under Pakistan Army Act as he was facing allegations of providing national secrets to foreign intelligence agencies.
SHC seeks reply from AIG Aftab Pathan in alleged harassment case KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed the Additional Inspector General (AIG) Aftab Pathan not to harass Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Assistant Manager Javed Pechuho. The top provincial court also sought a reply from respondents during the next hearing. The court was hearing a plea filed by Javed Pechuho against AIG Aftab Pathan for keeping him in confinement without any reason and allegedly harassing him. Barrister Zohaib Sarki, the counsel of the petitioner, argued that AIG Pathan along with the police force kept his client under confinement for many hours. He told the court that police entered Pechuho’s house, threatened him and then detained him without reason. Later, Javed Pechuho was released by the police. PPI
WORLD VIEW 05
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
Why are Middle eastern econoMies struggling to diversify? DIVERSIFICATION OF MIDDLE EASTERN ECONOMIES IS MORE POLITICAL THAN AN ECONOMIC CHALLENGE
HY have Middle East’s oil-rich economies failed to diversify despite their tall promises and grandiose plans? The answer lies not in the absence of good technical plans or weak implementation, but in political incentives. If many other countries have been successfully able to diversify their economies it was not merely a result of good policies but the right political incentives of those who were in the driving seat. An enabling political framework has been a common denominator in all successful diversification experiments. Botswana’s experience underscores the role of stable political coalitions and favourable initial and external conditions. At its independence, Botswana inherited multiple constituencies representing divergent economic interests. This was complemented with the presence of political competition and stable coalitions. A third important factor was a favourable external environment. Botswana’s membership in the South African Customs Union served as a positive inducement for sensible macroeconomic reform. Together, all these factors played a part in protecting the interests of non-resource sectors. The Malaysian experience reinforces the same message. At Malaysia’s independence, the Chinese community represented a powerful de facto economic force by virtue of their control of the Malaysian private sector. Their continued presence counter-balanced any tendencies for the natural resource sectors to grow at the expense of the private sector. In the political domain, the consociational agreement between the ethnic Malay and Chinese communities fostered a system of power sharing that protected the economic interests of Chinese businessmen. Bad macroeconomic policy - especially an overvalued exchange rate - was politically unacceptable to Chinese interests. It was both bad policy and bad politics. If domestic political economy was helpful,
so was the country’s insertion into the regional trade circuit, which created positive regional spillovers that supported private sector development. Clearly, each case is different and must be analysed on its own merit. But politics provides a common thread across these accounts. And, this is where Arab economies are especially challenged. Saving a few cases, most countries in the region did not inherit strong and diverse economic constituencies that could have gained political voice after independence, and counterbalanced the dominance of the oil economy. An unfavourable external environment, resulting in negative spillovers from regional conflict and instability, served as another impediment to diversification. The Middle East thus lacked all three factors that facilitated economic diversification in other countries: strong political coalitions, diverse economic constituencies and positive neighbourhood effects. With this adverse legacy, is there any real hope for diversification? In this regard, I have the following three points to make: Successful diversification requires a new political settlement that allows elites to concede greater space to the private sector; diversification is unlikely to succeed without a regional vision that fosters complementarities among Arab economies and creates a shared economic space to deal with emergent economic challenges common to all states; sustained economic change in the Middle East requires a wider set of concessions that go beyond domestic and regional political elites. It also requires a candid and constructive geopolitical discourse that reconsiders the trade-off between a narrow, short-term, vision of geostrategic stability and long-run development. Let me briefly explain these in turn. Given the primacy of the political, the debate on diversification must begin with a discussion of elite incentives and political concessions. If a closure of the economy benefits rent-seeking elites, what will persuade them to concede greater economic space? What concessions are needed from the ruling elite and what will persuade them to surrender their control of the economy and the associated rents? Perhaps, they need to be compensated for the loss of rents from a levelling of the economic field. After all, new growth strategies in emerging markets are built on a happy (even if fragile) coexistence of economics and politics. The Chinese example serves to illustrate how economic reform can be aligned with the interests of political elites. The Chinese political experience is decidedly
Links beyond boundaries TO INSIST THAT THE ARYANS WERE A DISTINCT PEOPLE IS TO IMPOSE PRESENT-DAY BORDERS ON THE REMOTE PAST
Hindu Romila ThapaR
Problems with the definition of ‘Aryan’ continue even though the term was first used a couple of centuries ago, writes eminent historian Romila Thapar in the foreword to Which of us are Aryans: Rethinking the concept of our origins. In the book, Professor Thapar and other scholars and experts critically examine the Aryan question by analysing history, genetics, early Vedic compositions, archaeology and linguistics, and challenge various myths and theories doing the rounds. Professor Thapar examines the definition of ‘Aryan’, its earliest use in Vedic and Iranian compositions, and the change it underwent. An excerpt: In any discussion of the ‘Aryan’ a good place to begin with would be to set out the space and time of the subject. In
terms of space we tend to think only of the geography of the Indian subcontinent and the boundaries of pre-Partition India as they existed for British India. The focus is then narrowed down to north-western India. But the geographical area of the archaeological and linguistic evidence is far more extensive. The links therefore are way beyond just the boundaries of northwest British India and involve some familiarity with more distant cultures. In terms of archaeology, the more extensive earlier reach was that of the Harappa Culture or the Indus Civilisation. From Shortughai in the Pamirs, evidence of Harappan settlements extends all the way south to the Indus plain and further to the Arabian Sea, westwards into Baluchistan and Makran and touching the IndoIranian borderlands, and eastwards into Punjab and Haryana. More recently finds have been located in Oman in the Arabian peninsula, particularly in the vicinity of copper mines. The Harappans were known to have had trading relations with the Gulf and Mesopotamia. People of the ancient
based on centralised authoritarian control. But the system allows a balancing of competing interests. It co-exists with considerable regional decentralisation where local leaders derive strength from patronage - just as in any other developing country - but are equally strongly incentivised to ensure economic growth in their localities. Economic growth yields clear political dividends for local elites. And bureaucrats face strong performance incentives. As a result, growth of the economy has become an integral component of the political objective function. Beyond the oft-cited example of China, Africa’s recent success stories confirm the importance of elite incentives. Consider Ethiopia’s recent economic transformation, which has placed it in the list of the 10 fastest growing economies of the world. Central to this growth experience has been the role of public investment in infrastructure and public enterprises, and the changing political orientation of state elites. The ruling political party managed to set up its own enterprises supported by specialised endowments geared towards promoting investment in underdeveloped regions. Although this model of party capitalism poses serious questions about market competition, it goes to show that elites can favour an expansion of the economic pie when they are among its lead beneficiaries. This is, after all, a key point of North, Wallis and Weingast’s treatise on Violence and Social Orders. Change often begins with small outcomes and processes that are compatible with elite incentives. But, what begin as privileges for insiders can ultimately become universal rights for everyone else. In short, the idea is not to search for the ideal growth experience that will uniquely fit all Arab contexts. Rather, it is to emphasize that whichever growth strategy the Middle East embarks upon should consider and accommodate political incentives. And, elites have rarely surrendered their economic control unless it became essential for their survival. The so-called “Arab Spring” was a recent tapping on the doors of power. Unfortunately, rather than resulting in any genuine economic concession, what we have instead seen, is business as usual. The only concessions that came through were financial concessions in the guise of cheap loans, salary hikes and free bonuses. But such temporary appeasement without changing the underlying rules of the game is unlikely to work for too long. And, the rules remain rigged in the favour businessmen in and around the royal circle. In North Africa, crony capitalism is rearing
its head again, and insider deals continue to thrive across much of the region. In this backdrop, economic diversification will be difficult, if not impossible, to realise without a new political settlement that caters for a future beyond oil and conflict. At the very minimum, the region needs a new discourse on economic reform that mobilises public support for two or three fundamental concessions that elites must surrender for long-term economic revival. Let me turn to the second idea. The argument, in brief, is that national diversification plans that disregard regional linkages in development are doomed to fail. It is important to recognize that, in the Middle Eastern case, the questions of national and regional development are closely interwoven. While national initiatives can kick-start economic revival, it will be difficult to sustain without regional market access. Few countries have effectively diversified without expanded markets and deeper trade reforms that regional trade liberalisation affords. Turkey’s recent economic success is built on a strategic cultivation of regional trade linkages. In Asia and Latin America, regional market connections offer an additional avenue for industrialisation through entry into global supply chains, which tend to conglomerate spatially. Arab countries are clearly disadvantaged in this regard. A larger coordinated effort is needed at the regional level to foster trade complementarities, establish regional public infrastructure, and relax trade barriers. Given the history of repeated failures at regional economic cooperation and the adverse security climate, this seems like a pipe dream. No matter how impractical, it will be difficult to sidestep the regional question in any new vision for Arab development. In political economy terms, the rationale for this is even stronger, since it is only through a regionally integrated merchant class that a stable constituency for economic and political reform will emerge. If the broader economic challenges faced by the Arab states are common, they also deserve a common response. Even if a cooperative solution does not serve the narrow factional interests of political elites, the Arab civil society must lend its weight behind the regional project. This brings me to the role of geopolitics, the final element of my argument. In a region that has historically remained a hotbed of conflict and violence, it is difficult to conceive economic diversification in isolation from geopolitics. The powerful negative externalities emanating from regional instability have scaled back even the modest
past did not confine themselves to one place. They travelled, migrated, traded and communicated across vast distances. This would probably have been too vast an area to host a single, unified culture. We have to consider the possibility of a multiplicity of cultures and societies, some fairly isolated and others in close contact but possibly functioning under a recognised and similar sociopolitical rubric. COVERING EXTENSIVE AREAS: Varieties of Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian speakers can only be given an approximate geographical location which is not as firm as that of archaeological cultures. The geographical area of all these languages is extensive but not all are referred to in the same text and they vary with the text. The wider geography of Proto-Indo-European takes a different direction from that of the Harappa Culture. Northern Syria and Anatolia are the locations possibly linked to Proto-Indo-Aryan, north-eastern Iran is the location for Old Iranian linked to the Avesta, and the speakers of Indo-Aryan as known from the Rig Veda are restricted to the Indo-Iranian borderlands and Punjab up to the Doab, which is geographically a small area. The history of the Indo-Aryan language has been extended backwards in time to the ancestral language of Indo-European and this brings in adjoining parts of Central Asia. The presence of Indo-Aryan in the Ganga plain is attested to in the postRig Vedic period. Thus although the focus is often only on the Punjab we should not forget that there was also a large area of West Asia
and Central Asia that had a bearing on this history, even if the Indo-Aryan of the Rig Veda was not spoken in such a vast geographical area. The need for familiarity with the archaeology and linguistic history of other areas further complicates the problem. The geographical overlap between the Harappan sites and the place names associated with Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian is a limited area covering virtually only the Indo-Iranian borderlands and the Punjab. The thrust of the Harappan locations is southwards with maritime links westwards along the Persian Gulf, whereas the Indo-Aryan speakers show up overland and move south-eastwards to the Ganga plain. The chronology of the two is also different. The time bracket covers many centuries. There are some dates well established among historians and archaeologists. The Harappan urban cultures, referred to as the Mature Harappan, date from about 2600 to about 1700 BCE, after urbanism slowly peters out. The Rig Veda is generally dated to the period after the decline of urbanism and would therefore date from about 1500 BCE or a couple of centuries later. The subsequent Vedas — the Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda — relating also to the Ganga plain are dated to the early first millennium BCE. PLACING THE VEDAS: However there are those who differ and would like to date the Rig Veda to 3000 BCE or even earlier and identify its culture with the Harappan cities. They maintain that the Aryans are indigenous and there was
gains achieved on the economic front. Prior to the recent upsurge in violence, countries in the Levant had begun to witness falling trade costs and growing regional trade. These limited gains have been washed off by regional violence. Foreign military interventions in the guise of regime change have eroded state capacity, demolished public infrastructure and ripped apart the very social fabric of Arab societies. The region has been set back by decades. If conflict retards development a genuine economic renaissance in the Arab world will also have geopolitical repercussions. Foreign powers have a deep economic, political and military footprint in the region. An economically independent Middle East can challenge the established patterns of external hegemony and undermine the prolonged legacy of divide and rule. In this milieu, structural economic change also requires a geopolitical concession from regional and global powers that have high stakes and influence in the Middle East. As the recent refugee crisis has shown, the spillovers from regional conflict are difficult to contain within Arab borders. This is an opportune moment to talk about concessions. A peaceful and prosperous social order is now of direct interest for the global community, especially Europe. Foreign powers face a deep trade-off between narrow short-term strategic interests and long-term development. The human and economic cost of this policy trade-off is rising by the day. Yet an effective global response has been noticeably lacking. Since the start of the Arab Spring, economic development has been conspicuous by its absence in western policy discourse. There has been no grand vision for regional development on the part of multilateral institutions or Western governments. Initiatives such as Deauville Partnership and the Arab Partnership Fund were minuscule efforts both in size and significance, and simply substituted talk for action. On the other hand, we have seen a major escalation in the sales of military hardware to Arab states. Rather than using their “convening authority” to organize regional funding for a major development initiative, Western powers have instead sold billions of dollars in worth of arms to the GCC states since 2011. In closing, economic diversification in the Middle East - far from being purely a technocratic affair - carries deep power implications, involving all three inter-locking spheres in the domestic, regional and geopolitical domains. By producing a greater number and variety of products, diversification not only increases the complexity of economic exchange but also risks generating independent constituencies whose political economy effects are neither neutral for domestic power structure nor for the prevailing geopolitical order. This calls for a more holistic understanding of the challenge of diversification. The writer is Globe fellow in the economies of Muslim Societies at the University of Oxford. therefore not even a migration of any kind, let alone any invasion as was thought in the nineteenth century. To maintain this position it is even said that the Rig Veda is prior to the Harappa Culture or that the authors of the Harappa Culture were Rigvedic Aryans. These views have become a matter of rather extensive controversy to say the least. This latter chronology, apart from not being able to muster firm evidence, creates huge problems for the historian. The discrepancy between Harappan urbanism and Rigvedic agro-pastoralism negates equivalence. Such an early chronology for the Rig Veda would, for example, create a gap of at least 1,500 years between the Rig Veda and the other Vedas and therefore break what is known to be the continuity between the four Vedas. Taking it back to the third millennium BCE creates major problems of parallels and correlations with archaeological evidence. It leads to a long chronological hiatus between the first and the later three Vedas — the Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda — as the dating of these to the first millennium BC remains firm. The insistence that the Aryans were a distinct people and that they were indigenous to the territory of British India is to impose present-day boundaries on the remote past, which makes the statement anachronistic. Concepts such as ‘indigenous’ and ‘alien’ have to be precisely defined, which they are not in this case, and the definition has to conform to the time context for when it is being used.
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
CJP CoNstitutes Committee for PoliCe reforms ISLAMABAD
ITH a view to address the deficiencies in the current criminal justice system in the country especially in the context of police laws, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khan Khosa on Monday constituted a police reforms committee with the mandate to examine the relevant laws and to suggest recommendations. It is pertinent to mention that during its meeting on January 7, 2019, a committee had principally decided that the police reforms may be prioritised for implementation and in this context, the complaint redressal mechanism and police investigation may be taken up first. While chairing a meeting of the committee, Chief Justice Khosa, who is also chairman of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP), underscored the dire need for training of the investigation officers and prosecutors. The chief justice said such programmes should be carried out in the judicial academies across the country in order to improve their professional standards. While pointing out gray area in investigations, the CJP emphasised upon probing agencies to chalk out such mechanism of investigation that not only the culprits of the offence are pointed out but they be convicted under the relevant provisions of law by providing the truthful evidence and the apprehension of false evidence be totally eliminated.
During the meeting, agenda items for discussion included implementation of public complaints redressal mechanism; measures to improve quality of investigation; and criminal justice reforms. The meeting was attended by Amjad Javed Saleemi, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr Naeem Khan, KP IGP, S K Imam, Sindh IGP, Mohsin A Butt, Balochistan IGP, Amir Zulifiqar Khan, Islamabad IGP, Salahauddin Khan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) IGP, Sana Ullah Abbasi, Gilgit-Baltistan IGP, and former police chiefs Tariq Khosa, Shoukat Javed, Tariq Parvez, Dr Shoaib Suddle, Syed Masud Shah, and Afzal Ali Shigri who gave presentations to the committee. Welcoming the participants of the meeting, LJCP Secretary Dr Muhammad Raheem Awan gave a brief background of the working of police reforms committee and agenda of the meeting. Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa expressed in his opening remarks that despite launching of the police reforms committee report, the key stakeholders of the criminal justice system and the general public are not still aware of the contents of the same. The CJP issued directives to LJCP secretary to convene a meeting of the relevant stakeholders of the criminal justice system for a comprehensive briefing about the contents and purposes of the report. PRESENTATIONS BY POLICE CHIEFS: During the meeting of the committee, the Punjab IGP informed that the complaints redressal mechanism has
already been operationalised after the direction of the steering committee on police reforms dated 29 October 2018. “The complaints are being received through email, post, by hand, through dedicated phone numbers and other means of communication for convenience and to facilitate the general public for speedy and expeditious redressal of grievances, being faced by them,” he added. The Punjab IGP informed that around 163 complaints are being received per day to the fulltime designated police officers. He further stated that a total of 11,436 complaints were received for the period from December 1, 2018, to February 8, 2019, and 7,382 complaints have been disposed of while 4,054 are under process. The Sindh IGP informed that 21,218 complaints were pending on December 31, 2018, and the number of complaints received in January 2019 was 2,324. He further stated that the total pendency was 23,542. He further informed that as many as 17,313 complaints were disposed of in January 2019 and the pendency as on February 1, 2019, was recorded as 6,229. The KP IGP informed that during January 2019, a total number of 1,573 complaints were received, adding that as many as 1,037 complaints have been disposed of till January 31, 2019, while 536 are pending. Likewise, the Balochistan IGP said that so far, a total of 117 complaints have been received saying from which as many as 72 have been disposed of whereas 45 complaints are under process. The Islamabad IGP
CHIEF JUSTICE KHOSA DISCUSSES DEFICIENCIES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WITH ALL POLICE CHIEFS KEY STAKEHOLDERS, GENERAL PUBLIC UNAWARE OF REPORT ON POLICE REFORMS, SAYS CJP informed that for the period November 1, 2018, till date a total of 3,845 complaints have been received whereas as many as 3,283 complaints have been redressed while 250 are in process. The Gilgit-Baltistan IGP informed that only 15 complaints have been received and 10 have been resolved while five are pending. After these presentations, the committee deliberated that such complaints redressal mechanism will provide speedy and expeditious redressal to the complaints of the general public at their own doorstep and would also decrease the burden/backlog of the courts of law in the shape of 22-A and 22-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, and writ petitions of similar nature. The LJCP secretary stated that the secretariat of the LJCP can engage with the federal and provincial judicial academies in arranging modules/courses for improvement of the professional standards of the investigation. The committee resolved that in its next meeting measures to improve the quality of investigation will be deliberated upon.
SHC refuses to revoke death sentence of accused in Safoora Goth massacre KARACHI PPI
‘Govt has no intention of removing Asad Qaiser from NA speakership’ ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeemul Haque on Monday said that the government has no intention of removing Asad Qaiser from National Assembly (NA) speakership. Talking to a private TV channel, he said that Asad Qaiser is a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member and a veteran politician. He does his job within the ambit of law, he added. Talking about the proceedings of the House, he said that the government would decide about the matters related to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and production orders if Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) assures that it would not chant slogans in the House and would not hamper the legislation process. “The government wants the proceedings of NA and PAC to be in accordance with the rules and procedures. Our talks with opposition parties are underway but PML-N’s intentions do not seem to be good,” he said. “During the tenure of the PML-N, every wrong thing was done but our members of the House were not allowed to speak,” he said. ONLINE
Zardari blames govt’s ‘ill planning’ for looming economic crisis JAMSHORO: Former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has alleged that the country is heading towards an economic crisis owing to the “ill planning of the incumbent government”. Speaking to activists during his visit to Shah Baig village near Moro Town on Monday, Zardari said that only the PPP was capable to run the country in a good way and save it from the looming crises. “The poor are the soul of PPP and people always had cast their votes in PPP’s favour,” he said and added that despite the hardships of the present and the “hurdles being erected” in its way, the party would continue to serve the people. “It is the PPP’s manifesto to serve the public and relieve the poor of their miseries,” Zardari said further. He added that PPP was a public party that had always provided the masses with employment opportunities in its tenure. Earlier, the former president also offered condolences to local PPP leader Shah Baig Sabki on the death of the latter’s father. He was accompanied by party leaders, including Zia Hussain Lanjar and Mumtaz Chandio. STAFF REPORT
The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday refused to revoke the death sentence of five accused in Safoora Goth massacre and said that it will consider the matter after the Supreme Court’s decision is announced. A two-member bench, headed by Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar and comprising Justice Amjad Ali Sahito, heard the appeals seeking to revoke death sentence awarded to Saad Aziz, Tahir Minhas, Azhar Ishrat, Hafiz Nasir and Asad-u-Rehman by a military court in Safoora bus carnage. As the hearing went underway, the applicants’ counsel, Hashmat Ali Habib, told the court that despite the multiple notices, the respondents did not submit their replies. “Lahore High Court (LHC) and Supreme Court’s verdicts against the sentence awarded by military court are on the record,” he said. The bench remarked that “those decisions were made in 2017 but what is the progress now?” The counsel pleaded that the death sentence of the accused be dismissed and an appeal has already been under proceeding in the apex court, to which the bench said that it would consider doing so after the SC’s decision is announced. “Who will be responsible if the accused are executed during that time,”
the counsel said, to which the court issued a notice to respondents till March 11. According to the prosecutor, “A military court awarded death sentence to the convicts on May 12, 2015, in Safoora Goth carnage and other cases of terrorism. The death sentence was later ratified by the then chief of army staff, General Raheel Shareef.” At least 45 people were killed when terrorists targeted a bus carrying 60 members of the Ismaili community on May 12, 2015. The convicts, in their appeals, maintained that the military court had awarded death sentence to the accused on different allegations and the families were not provided with the details of cases. The court was requested to stop the execution of the death penalty and to allow the meeting of the families with the convicts. The Sindh prosecutor general, in his arguments, maintained that the military court had awarded sentence in a serious offence, and appeal against the military court’s decision could be filed only in the Supreme Court.
Govt’s Kamyab Jawan Programme to create one million jobs The federal government has planned to develop a Kamyab Jawan Programme in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, Radio Pakistan reported. The Kamyab Jawan Programme is part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme. The programme is meant to create one million job opportunities through Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector which would economically empower youth. An official of Youth Affairs Department said that in this program Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) will find the top most business ventures in the local and international market. He said maximum will be provided to support for improving technical and vocational training to youth. NEWS DESK
CPEC long-term vision for development, connectivity, says Chinese envoy ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing has emphasized the need to further expand people to people contacts between Pakistan and China. Addressing a function in connection with Chinese New Year celebrations here on Monday, he said China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a long-term vision for development, prosperity and connectivity. He expressed confidence that CPEC will explore new dimensions of cooperation and ties. Yao Jing said we believe that Pak-China friendship is getting stronger over the years. The Chinese Ambassador said Pakistani students will be granted more scholarships and internships in China. PPI
Police arrest woman for ‘stealing’ Shaukat Khanum Hospital charity box A woman was arrested on Monday for allegedly stealing charity donation box from the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Lahore. According to reports, the police said Rabiya was arrested for ‘stealing’ charity boxes from Jinnah and Ganga Ram hospitals while her male accomplice managed to escape. During the initial interrogation she confessed to her crime, the police added. Earlier on September 6, last year a video emerged of shopkeepers thrashing two women for allegedly shoplifting in a market in Lahore. The footage began making the rounds on social media, in which the women went to a clothes shop in a market near Jallo Mor. The women allegedly tried to steal a bundle of cloth from one of the shops. NEWS DESK
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia enjoying all-weather friendship: Qadri ISLAMABAD APP
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri Monday said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were enjoying all-weather friendship and Saudi Crown Prince’s visit would eventually augment the bilateral relations. Addressing Pak-Saudi friendship tributespaying conference, he said Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia will be visiting Pakistan after a long time and it would help further cement economic and academic relations with Saudi Arabia. He said both countries were at one page on major issues including Kashmir, Palestine and Middle East. The minister thanked management of conference for organizing such moot.
He said Saudi Arabia has always helped Pakistan in odd times. Pakistanis, working in Saudia, have also played vital role in progress of the country, he added. He said sanctity of Harmain Sharaifain was integral part of the faith of every Pakistani Muslim. Over 2,00,000 Pakistanis perform hajj every year, while 2.5 million Pakistanis perform Umrah every year, he added. Earlier, Ulema and leaders of different political parties eulogized Saudi Arabia for helping the country. Saudi Arabia always helped Pakistan irrespective of government, they added. Saudi Arabia did extend support sans any condition, they said. The speakers urged Ulema to imbibe true love of Harmain Sharafian among new gener-
ation. Saudi Arabia has always played proactive role to steer the country from out of economic crisis, they added. They urged Ulema and politicians to forge unity for strengthening bilateral relations. Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology Dr Qibla Ayaz said the representatives of different political parties have unanimously paid tributes to Saudi Arabia for helping Pakistan and vowed to protect and ensure sanctity of Harmain Sharafain. General Secretary Dafa-e-Pakistan Council Maulana Fazur Rehman Khalil said Pakistan Saudi Arabia had spiritual bond and relations. Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were enjoying cordial relations.
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
mAritime ChAlleNGes Pose threAt to reGioN: DefeNCe miNister KhAttAK
EDERAL Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak has said that the current maritime threats and emerging geo-strategic situation is posing new challenges and risks to the stakeholders in the Region. The situation will provide constructive dialogue and develop a collective mechanism, this he said while addressing as a chief guest at the concluding session of the 3-day International Maritime conference here on Monday. The conference was organised by the National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) under the auspices of Pakistan Navy as part of Multinational Maritime Exercise AMAN-19. The theme of the moot was “Global Geopolitics in Transition: Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region”. The defence minister said that the conference has provided a platform to the scholars as well as practitioners to deliberate on the contemporary maritime challenges and share understanding of the dynamics in the maritime domain. He expressed confidence that the conference deliberations and its valuable recommendations will provide insight to maritime stakeholders for effective policymaking. He also thanked all the guests, panelists and dignitaries and congratulated NIMA for the successful conduct of the conference. In the context of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the defence minister added that among the recent maritime development in our region, CPEC is rightfully considered a Game Changer, not only for Pakistan but also for the economic well-being and prosperity of the entire region. With the progress of CPEC and Gwadar port,
NAB reopens appeal against Zardari’s acquittal in illegal assets case
maritime activities would increase manifold, especially in the Western Indian Ocean. The responsibilities of Pakistan Navy would also increase for maintaining a secure maritime environment for smooth flow of sea trade, he added. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi was also present on the occasion. Earlier, Vice Admiral (r) Syed Khawar Ali Shah, Director General National Institute of Maritime Affairs addressing on the occasion integrated the conference presentations. He thanked the chief guest for sparing time and gracing the occasion with his presence. Heads of various panelists also presented the recommen-
dations of their respective panels. International Maritime Conference (IMC), held from Feb. 09-11 in tandem with sixth International Maritime Exercise AMAN 2019, brought together eminent speakers and delegates from across the globe for in-depth discussions and deliberations on changing dynamics of geopolitics and analyse the impact of these changes on IORs economic exploitation and maritime security canvas. The conference was attended by a large number of dignitaries from across the globe, tri-services officers, academia, foreign & local media representatives and researchers from local and international think-tanks.
Ex-Indian CM lauds PM Imran, criticises Indian govt over renaming cities NEWS DESK
sC moved for removing shehbaz from PAC chairmanship ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has been moved for immediate suspension of National Assembly (NA) membership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and to remove him from the chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The petitioner Shahid Orakzai prayed the court to ask the NA speaker that under what article of the constitution or law for the time being in force or for that matter the rule of business did he approach the prime minister outside the Majlis-eShoora (Parliament) and Shehbaz was assigned the office of chairman of the PAC unopposed. The petition said that the constitution does not entitle the speaker NA to make special consultations with the premier. The petitioner asked to court to ask the NA speaker how the public money is being spent in millions on Shehbaz’s travelling, security and medical treatment. “There is no limit to generosity in Punjab province and the prisoners are being meted out princely treatment,” the petition stated. The petition said that Accountability Court (AC) Lahore offered to arrange air ambulance for the appearance of Shehbaz in a pending reference, therefore, it should be asked whether any room for chartering air ambulance exists in the Ehtesab Ordinance. Citing an English proverb “Like father, like son”, the petitioner slammed Hamza Shehbaz too besides his father Shehbaz Sharif. “Hamza Shehbaz practically functioned as the provincial chief minister for eight years and now both father and son are holding the office of the opposition leader in NA and Punjab Assembly,” the petition stated. ONLINE
Pakistan supports negotiated political solution for Afghan peace, says fm ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said that Pakistan has always supported a negotiated political solution instead of the use of power to bring peace in Afghanistan. Chairing a meeting of Advisory Council for Foreign Affairs on Monday, he said that Pakistan is fulfilling collective responsibility efficiently to bring peace in Afghanistan with the cooperation of regional and international partners. He said now the entire world support our stance regarding peace in Afghanistan. The Advisory Council also stressed to enhance relations with Pakistani immigrants by the promotion of tourism, trade, investment, legal assistance and education sectors. PPI
Former Indian Jammu and Kashmir chief minister (CM) Mehbooba Mufti has lauded Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for his decision to name the Baloki forest reserve after Guru Nanak while slamming the Indian government for its regressive attitude. Comparing the Pakistani government to the one in India, Mehbooba said that it was disappointing that the Indian government was only interested in changing the names of monuments and old cities bearing Muslim names while the Pakistani premier had proved to be progressive. Taking to Twitter, she said, “How times change. Centre’s top priority is seemingly renaming historic cities & building Ram Mandir. On the other hand, heartening to see that Pak PM has initiated steps to name Baloki forest reserve after Guru Nanak ji & create a university under his name.”
Further, speaking to the Indian media on Monday, the former Indian CM once again drew comparisons between the two neighbouring countries and their recent actions. “Monuments and old cities with Muslim names are being given Hindu names. There’s a race to build the temple. Muslims are killed in the name of cow vigilantism, instead of taking action, the central government puts them in jails under NSA like in MP. Politics is being done in name of Hindutva,” she said. “In Pakistan, they formed an Act to save temples and want to name a forest reserve and a university after Guru Nanak ji. If you compare, you’ll feel that there is some kind of exchange between our nation formed on the foundation of secularism and Pakistan formed on basis of religion,” she added. It is pertinent to mention here that Indian cities of Allahabad and Faizabad were renamed Prayagraj and Ayodhya, respectively.
The appeal challenging the acquittal of former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Cochairman Asif Ali Zardari in a case pertaining to acquisition of assets through illegal means has been reopened by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi. The reference against the former president is concrete and further evidence has been found against him, NAB said. The anti-graft body has also appealed that the acquittal of the PPP co-chairman should be abolished and strict action should be taken against him. Justice Qasim Khan accepted NAB’s plea and fixed March 6 for hearing it. The high court has also sought the record from the accountability court. In 2017, a Rawalpindi accountability court had acquitted Zardari in several references involving the alleged possession of assets beyond known sources of his income. NEWS DESK
Pti lambastes Zardari for pursuing ‘foreign agenda’ ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Information Secretary Umar Cheema on Monday lambasted former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari for pursuing a “foreign agenda”. “Zardari and his comrades are following the agenda of foreign powers,” he said. “We cannot accept serious politics from Zardari’s PPP.” Referring to the PPP as a party “full of thieves”, Cheema said the PPP co-chairman is surrounded by thugs. “The prime minister’s address reflects the true and clean intentions of the incumbent Pakistani leaders.” Last week, Zardari had filed a new petition in the Supreme Court, seeking an early fake bank accounts case hearing. The petition submitted by Zardari’s legal counsel Latif Khosa, prayed the apex court to fix the case hearing on Feb 12. On Jan 8, Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur had filed a review petition in the apex court against its decision in the fake bank accounts case. On Jan 7, the SC, in light of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report, had ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct a thorough inquiry into the case and wrap it up within two months. STAFF REPORT
Raza Bashir Tarar takes charge as Pakistan’s HC to Canada
ISLAMABAD: Raza Bashir Tarar has assumed the responsibilities of new High Commissioner of Pakistan to Canada. He joined Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1987 and held various diplomatic assignments in Pakistan Missions abroad: Manila (1991-1994), Brussels (1999-2002), Tokyo (2003-2004) and New York (UN) (2008-2013). He also served as high commissioner of Pakistan to Kenya from August 2015 to February 2019. While in New York, he served as Pakistan’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) and deputy representative to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). He held different assignments in Islamabad. As director general (disarmament) from 2013 to 2015, he led Pakistan’s delegations to various international conferences as well as bilateral disarmament dialogues. STAFF REPORT
Kashmiris observe 35th death anniversary of Maqbool Bhat MUZAFFARABAD APP
The Kashmiri across the both sides of Line of Control and living different parts of the world observed the 35th death anniversary of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat with great respect and honor and held protest rallies and processions to draw attention of the UN and international community towards the fake and unilateral judicial trail of Indian Supreme court. It is worth mentioning here that in 1984 a renowned Kashmiri free-
dom fighter leader Shaheed Maqbool Bhat was hanged to death in Tihar jail in New Delhi as he was charged for suspected involvement of the assassination of Indian consulate officer in London. The Kashmiri political, social and religious leadership across the LOC and overseas Kashmiri organized public demonstrations and protest rallies against the judicial murder of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat by Indian authorities and called upon the UNSC to force India for handing over the body of slain leader. The processions and protest
demonstrations were also taken out in twin capitals of disputed state in Srinagar and Muzaffarabad besides, the other districts and Tehsil Headquarters of the disputed state. The speakers in AJK capital Muzaffarabad demanded the UN and world community to take the serious cognizance of extra judicial killings of Kashmiri people through fake encounters and destruction of their properties besides, the blasting of houses of the citizens in suspicion of militants. The speakers also called upon the international human rights in-
cluding UN human rights commission, Amnesty International and Asia Watch to send their fact finding teams to Indian occupied Kashmir in order to investigate the gross human rights abuses in the held valley. The speakers also demanded the UN to play its role in resolving the Kashmir dispute once for all and seek the amicable settlement of the issue by the implementations of its resolutions while putting pressure on India to stop killing of innocent Kashmiris and honor its promise which it has made with Kashmiri people.
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
The agreement with IMF PTI’s hush-hush deal
HAT the opposition had been claiming about the PTI having already reached a secret deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has turned out to be true. Finance Minister Asad Umar told a gathering the deal was brokered at a meeting between the IMF head Christine Lagarde and Prime Minister Imran Khan in Dubai on Sunday. Umar also claimed that IMF did not demand a rise in gas and power charges as was being speculated. But it is difficult to believe the finance minister when a deal with the Fund has been brokered in total secrecy, something unheard of before. During the last four months when the government was implementing key IMF demands it was pretending that no understanding had yet been reached with the Fund. The PTI administration devalued national currency, hiked power-cum-gas charges, announced a mini budget with a new set of tax reforms and increased the interest rate. It was a totally opaque and highly questionable way of brokering a deal with an international body that is bound to affect the entire population of the country. The idea of a government conducting deals of the sort in a cagey way simply scares one. What role was played by the US in the deal and what the government agreed to as quid pro quo also remain a secret. There is an urgent need to present the full details of the agreement before Parliament for debate and discussion. This is what the PTI too had been demanding in the past despite the details of the deals were generally made public before these were signed. The government was desperately looking for a bailout to address the mounting balance of payments crisis. Many would like to know what the government has given in return for the facility. After meeting Imran Khan the IMF chief called for “decisive policies and a strong package of economic reforms.” It is the right of the public to be told whether their interests have not been compromised and what awaits them in months and years to follow.
Hollow, unprofitable bluster Mutual recrimination between government and opposition
He ongoing verbal duels within (and without) the floor of the national Assembly between the ruling PTI and combined PML-n-PPP, leading to personal attacks, scenes of mayhem, and walkouts by the aggrieved (or not) party, have unfortunately become a deplorable constant of our political culture. Since the government and opposition are both essential wheels of an efficient parliamentary system, prolonged gridlock between them renders the whole machine immobile, reducing the legislative function into a farce. The unquestioned supremacy of the party leader in our context, and his power to make or break careers, breeds a dubious servility and misplaced sycophancy even among senior sub-leaders, making it easier to manipulate them into toeing a harmful political line, simply to serve personal ends. But while these wasteful, irritating shenanigans may sound reassuring, they are in the end mere empty tirades, as the PTI is running a precariously poised coalition, Shahbaz Sharif, chairman of the parliamentary financial watchdog, Public Accounts Committee, faces a nAB indictment on February 18, while many of the leading protagonists on all sides of the political divide are either mired in daunting corruption cases or harbour embarrassing skeletons in their closets. Political and personal interests merge and drive party leaders towards an endless confrontation. naeemul Haque, a founder member of the PTI and special assistant to PM Imran Khan on political affairs, is probably his closest counsellor, keeper of his thoughts. On Saturday, all these concerns were reflected in his statement on the thorny issue that is stuck in the PTI gullet, namely, the anomaly of Shahbaz Sharif being head of PAC while simultaneously undergoing investigation in nAB custody, and using the powerful platform not only to fend off accusations of conflict of interest and avoiding nAB court hearings, but also bashing the PTI government and party leadership. The special assistant, against House regulations, even threatened that Shahbaz Sharif’s production orders for attending future sessions would depend on his signing a code of conduct to behave in a constructive, amicable manner. Responsible national leaders need to take a vacation from their egos, get urgent legislative work done, and provide the common man with some breathing space. After all, they are all skating on thin ice.
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Of Ishq and other demons Why we love and how it changes us in myriad ways
Shah Nawaz Mohal
shq comforts and ruins. Affection, on the other hand, ends sooner or later. Infatuations never last. Attraction pulls us near to shred us apart. These are experiences we humans thrive on. Billions of pages penned down by countless poets and writers fail to present the ecstasy and ruin of this human, alas all too human, sensation. For the pragmatic ones it is an amalgamation of biochemical processes went awry, for the emotional ones love is the reason, rational, even a prerequisite to live on this blighted, diseased planet of ours. Love, Ishq in Urdu, has as many names, guises, and meanings as people who have experienced it on multiple planks. From our first crushes to our life long partners, we seek comfort in other beings, other hearts, other bodies. Whether it is out of loneliness or in search of companionship, love provides us to see the best of the best and worst of the worst in ourselves. It takes us to the peaks of ecstasy at one moment the very next we brave gloomy valleys of sorrow. Ishq introduces nu-
ance and shades in lives accustomed to boredom ceptance sans query. Love is having your cake and routine. While we wither when we lose in and eating it too. Ishq is savoring the sweet haplove, our sadness is never without meaning or piness of beloved you’ll never experience in life. lesson. The way we grow in Ishq differs. Ishq, if Love protects itself by placing barbed wires and unfulfilled, makes us either devil or demigod at rules. Ishq sets your beloved free to become what they are. times both. Alas, I have ‘fallen’ in love many times. How we fall in love is immaterial. With Almighty, in all his wisdom, has spared me whom we fall in love is irrelevant. Why we feel love is a matter on which jury is out. The only the perils and pleasures of Ishq. When I sit alone thing we know for a fact is that we ‘fall’ in Ishq, amidst my thoughts, in my silent hours, I ask mylike we fall in a pit or when we lose our balance self a seemingly simple question: Have I ever while climbing up stairs. The Fall of Satan was been to the land beyond good and evil? Have I been in Ishq? Will I ever exresult of disobedience, our perience the ecstacy called fall is out of our urge to hold love? Dear reader, the anonto people we feel like slipswer I always get is a reping from our hands. Hands, Whether it is out of sounding no. I always return dear reader, are those beautimy usual self, the scared ful things you hold your loneliness or in search to of unknown, scarred by beloved with. The lines on their palms are not mere of companionship, love known self. I have read about Ishq, I criss-crossing lines — they provides us to see the mistook my infatuations for suggest destinies about to unit. I keep on returning to myveil, their smile is more than best of the best and self, over and over again. I contorted movement of musworst of the worst in am Sisyphus whose ordeal cles, the moments with them never ended, same quest, difcome to an end yet they feel ourselves ferent destinations, followed like an eternity. Ishq takes us by my return to same old to the land where Rumi self. Frustrated, anxious, and promised to meet his bewildered by my arduous, beloved, a place beyond monotony journey I waited for comfort, solace good and evil. And, dear reader, there is no return, no re- and someone to share my silence with. Weary of demption, no escape and no exit from the place words, tired of racing thoughts, and sick to the core. I waited for a saviour. that is beyond good and evil. And I found her. I’ve found her in a most unPupils of a wise sage once asked him what was the difference between muhabbat and Ishq. expected place, dear folks. I found my messiah The sage said that you can return to your previ- in a very dear friend. It is neither love ous self every time you are in muhabbat. Once nor Ishq, folks. It is being with someone whose you’ve experienced Ishq, your previous self be- silence is as loud as her voice. Another chapter begins, dearest sirs and comes a blurred memory, a foreign land where you’ve never been, a corpse you cremated and ma’ams. then buried the ashes. Shah Nawaz Mohal is a law graduate and Love wants possession, Ishq cherishes the life and happiness of beloved and those who sur- journalist based in Islamabad. He can be round them. Love has do’s and don’ts. Ishq is ac- reached at email@example.com.
the newspapers only for the weather and miss the fact that the country this incident took place in is the one where most of a family was shot dead on the road by anti-terrorism personnel. Also, that the city the incident took place in is one with a high incidence of car theft, homicide and kidnapping for ransom. no doubt the lady was supposed to leave her car and kneel beside the phant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or injured cat on a road where cows, donkeys, huox, whatever may be the value thereof, or any mans and vehicles alike wander around in such a way that to avoid one it is other animal of the value of often necessary to hit anfifty rupees or upwards, shall other. And while she knelt be punished with imprisonbeside the cat someone ment of either description for A local court took up would have swiped her car, a term which may extend to the case. A case has or/and her bag, very possibly five years, or with both.” her or worse, or obSince the cat could easily been registered against shot tained a nice fat sum after have been worth much more than fifty rupees if it was a the woman. She has not kidnapping her. Undoubtedly, kindness pet – it is unknown if it was been arrested as yet, to animals is a considerable a pet or a stray — the previrtue, but kindness and jusscribed penalty could apply and it is not known if tice to humans takes preceto the person who injured it, she has been fined dence. When the latter since it is hard to establish exists, the first generally whether the accused meant to follows. ‘commit mischief’ or was It appears to be the fashmerely driving without misRabia ahMed ion to take up a cause at random ignoring all chievous intent. One supposes the court had to take up the other factors that contribute to it. It was in this n Karachi, a car driver – a woman — was case since the busy witness insisted on pushing vein that the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the one recently charged with killing a cat in a it. He probably felt frustrated with the endless mercifully now retired, took up the cause of proroad accident. It seems that the woman’s parade of dead animals with which the roads in viding water for the nation. That reference may car hit the cat in Defence Housing Author- Pakistan are littered and this hapless lady was the appear to be a departure from the subject at ity. A witness to the incident who hap- only one he managed to nab as is generally the hand, but it is not because the retired CJP too ignored factors contributing to the water shortage pened to be a lawyer, asked the woman to have case with women. Or he had nothing else to do. the cat’s wounds treated but You wish there was and concentrated on the image boosting project. the woman refused, upon some other mechanism to Just as the lawyer appears to have taken up which the lawyer reported settle such matters rather cudgels in favour of animal rights. Wow. Kind the matter to the police. The already burdened man and all that. A news item appearing burdening Such cases are not simply silly or irritating, police refused to lodge an courts with them, but there FIR. They also gave their does not appear to be such a they are maddening. How can a cat, accidentally a year ago says that opinion of the matter, that mechanism. The striking as- killed, even enter the judicial horizon when the there are 1.87 million the lawyer was as culpable pect of this was the argu- persons who falsely accused Asia bibi remain at since he too had not treated ment rather surprisingly put large, for example? cases pending in A news item appearing a year ago says that the cat’s wounds. forward by the police – of Pakistani courts. It says the lawyer being equally cul- there are 1.87 million cases pending in Pakistani A local court took up the case. A case has been pable. He was not legally re- courts. It says that the superior judiciary is inunthat the superior registered against the sponsible since he did not dated with political petitions which consume woman. She has not been judiciary is inundated kill the cat in the first place, much of its attention at the cost of other cases. The legal fraternity in Pakistan needs to arrested as yet, and it is not from the humane point with political petitions but known if she has been fined. of view the lawyer certainly grow up. Considerably. And while it is doing that Section 429 of the Penal shows up as a hypocrite. But it might clear some of the backlog it is faced Code under which the case he gets away without a stain with, starting with the cases that involve humans. has been registered on his character. Rabia Ahmed is a freelance columnist. Read says “Whoever commits mischief by killing, poiInstead, his action elicited quite an approvsoning, maiming or rendering useless, any ele- ing response, probably from persons who read more by her at http://rabia-ahmed.blogspot.com/
The legal fraternity in Pakistan needs to grow up
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Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
COMMENT 09 Editor’s mail
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The IMF bail-out?
On the question of citizens And their inalienable rights with an iron fist. Taking the example of A and taken away, something that can be alienated the PTM movement, one needs to ask the ques- through coercion, narrative or belief system, tion that when a population deviates from the then are they really inalienable? Can a civil state narrative, attacks on the state directly or movement really be ethical just because we believe that something is inne day, somewhere in April of 1989, tries to build a narrative of alienable? Or is it just a A was sitting with his friends in one their own, are they really threat to the power structure of the few private restaurants that he people who are within the that the state maintains? In had in his country when talk about a state or are they stateless? One needs to ask all cases, what logically aprevolution stirred up. He went to a Why is it that the idea of the question that pears to be the case is that in protest in front of the Forbidden City. The square being a citizen is taken for sense, such rights are was full of people similar to A. They all were granted by the people who why is it that the rights all alienated from the people, educated, some from within the country and start a movement that may some from outside, but they were all considered or may not turn into civil that A wanted, that are through the power of the state, who are rendered intellectuals. They demanded their political disobedience? One also agreed upon by the stateless by their actions. emancipation. The state also took action, disre- needs to ask the question These actions of indigarded their demands and crushed all the people that is it not that the idea of world, were not given to vidual and actors, who in residing in the square. A died there, dreaming of citizen is only guaranteed by him by the state? this Hobbesian world are the state and through the emancipation while finding it in his death. continuously negotiating A was a person who loved going to his uni- state? And when the idea, with the omnipotent state, versity in Beijing, where he spent his time with narrative and order of the are what matters. And his people, talking about how democracy can state are challenged, are not bring about a change to their lives and also how these challengers rendered stateless? Perhaps, whenever these actors are mobilised (in politihis ideas are different from the ones who still there is a distinction that one needs to draw, be- cal and social movement) they always pose a tween people who are living in the state and the threat to the existence of the state altogether. It support the communist party. One needs to ask the question that why is it people who are living within a country and are is only logical for the state to either prevail or that the rights that A wanted, that are agreed stateless and whether or not these stateless peo- be lost in its demise. Although some might argue that these movements only bring about an upon by the world, were not given to him by the ple are protected by the inalienable rights. To that one even needs to question the exis- evolution in state, but when the writ and power state? Why is it that when the social movements tence of the inalienable of the state is challenged, and when these moveare formed, whether that be rights. Hannah Arendt, a po- ments prevail, is it not in essence a death of one on the idea of political freelitical thinker, draws a dis- state and rebirth of another? So whenever any dom or inalienable right, the tinction between the rights movement in the name of democracy claims state resists to provide them These actions of of ‘Men’ and rights of the ethical ground for the sake of the people will alwith their demands? And, people, and she argues that it ways be the ultimate death of the existing state. what happens when the exindividual and actors, is the latter that is tangibly In short, when agents, using their agency, start isting order of the state is who in this Hobbesian manifested in our world, a movement against the state, it is this agency questioned by the people in the former finds its ex- of the unknown that threatens to throw the state their moment of defiance? world are continuously while istence in the realm of what into an abyss of non-existence, and people like In the Pakistani political is ‘ought to be’. And, it is A are not the victim of state oppression, on the sphere, a death similar to negotiating with the only through the state that other hand an outcome of the preservation of that of A started a social omnipotent state, are these rights are manifested the existence of the current state. Then the only movement that demand for and if powerful, the state can question that one is left to ask is what matters the rights given theoretically what matters take away these inalienable more, the agent or the stagnant state? in the bill of rights in Pakrights whenever it wills. So istan. But interestingly, this Ahsan Cheema is a Lahore-based teacher. in short, if something is movement is being dealt
We approached the IMF to avoid carrying out bitter homedeveloped structural-adjustment reforms. It is difficult to burden our population, sans basic needs, with more taxes and higher tariffs. S. Akbar Zaid, mirrors `The IMF and Structural Adjustment programmes in Pakistan’ in chapter 17 (page 483) of his book Issues in Pakistan’s Economy: A Political Economy Perspective, 1999/2005/2015. Pakistan had to cancel 2008/9 US$ 11.3 billion-loan programme as the conditions were too harsh. The conditions included 30 per cent reduction in defence budget over four years, agricultural tax of seven per cent on wheat production and 3.5 per cent on other crops, increasing general sales tax by Rs. 50 billion in 2009, and implementing value-added tax from July 1, 2010, downsizing government and semi-government departments from 350,000 to 120,000. Further, IMF demands control on monitoring revenue collection and introducing tax changes in tax system. Obviously, lowering defence outlay amounts to lowering guard against India, toujours at daggers drawn.. If utility tariffs are increased, masses would suffer. If sales tax is increased and agricultural incomes mopped, agro-lords industrial robber barons (perched in assemblies) would be unhappy. IMF demand to pry gamut of Chinese loans is problematic. James K. Boyce and Madakene O’Donnell (eds.), in their book Peace and the Public Purse.2008 p, 251) advocate writing off `odious’ debts. .Let IMF write off some debt burden as politically-motivated (post-SeATaO – CenTO) and `odious’ SAMANMALIk Rawalpindi
New provinces? In the recent past, it has been the talk of the town to carve out new provinces, be on the bases of ethno, lingual or administrative demands as to harmonize the administration and to promote symmetrical social and economical development in the long-neglected areas that are marginalized and being bereft from fundamental basic rights including allocated funds and resources. It has been oft-repeated cry to craft Southern Province in Punjab on Seraiki speaking belt, restoration of Bahawalpur State, Hazara Province from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Jinnahpur—- a separate province for Urdu speaking Karachi based community from the province of Sindh. To create the new provinces on ethno-lingual basis is not only daunting task but more importantly, it sensitive that can shake the bases of the federation by its domino effect as later any community may demand their province on the same parameters of the ethno-lingual aspect. For this, administrative option, to create new provinces seems feasible, viable and practical one. 2017 census, conducted by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics revealed that only Punjab accounts 52 per cent of the whole population of Pakistan. even if, the population of the remaining three provinces combines, they only make up 48 per cent. To redress effectively the grievances of the 12 crore people of Punjab, more significantly the woes of the Southern Punjab, it is an ideal time to at least create Southern Punjab that has no opposition such opposition from the masses and backing in parliament for two-third majority from PPP-P, PML-n, PML-Q and in office PTI-led government. With such massive support from all parties, PTI government can easily fulfill its manifesto-claimed promise of creating Southern Punjab but might take new u-turn from backtracking from its promise as in fear to lose Lahore to PML-n. Well, this will time tell, whether PTI live up to his words or not but the new province will equalize the power-sharing formula among the provinces with also no political dominance of Punjab. By area wise, Turkey is smaller country than Pakistan but it has 81 provinces for the governance. Our half-brother Afghanistan is also smaller than Pakistan but has 34 provinces, Taiwan being tiny island has 22 divisions to run day to day affairs effectively. To cap this all, in the best interest of all, the Southern Province Punjab (Seraiki Province) must not be made another Kalabagh issue. The province can also serve as the pilot project as to set the course of the other provinces in time to come. AAMIR kHAN WAGAN Larkana
Brutal murder eARLIeR this week, Jeay Sindh Tahreek’s (JST) president Irshad Ranjhani has been allegedly and mercilessly killed by UC chairman Raheem Shah on the road in Karachi. Reportedly, he was shot twice by UC chairman. One can also clearly see from viral videos on social media that Raheem Shah is stopping everyone from rushing him to hospital. Ultimately, he couldn’t bear severe wounds and died. This brutal and horrifying killing of Irshad Ranjhani by UC chairman is undoubtedly extrajudicial and unlawful. no constitution permits killing of person in such inhumane manner without any reason. According to Islam also, an alleged murder of one person is the murder of entire humanity. But unfortunately, in the Islamic country human beings are killed on roads blatantly and brutally. Thus, it is requested to government and concerned departments that they must take strict notice of this heinous killing. Criminal justice system must probe investigation and put the culprit behind the bars and punish him accordingly to do justice with the blood of young Sindhi activist Irshad Ranjhani. ASSAd ALI LuNd dadu
10 foreign newS
Tuesday, 12 february, 2019
TalkS collapSe oN Border deal aS US GoVT ShUTdowN loomS WASHINGTON
ALKS on border security funding collapsed after Democratic and Republican lawmakers clashed over immigrant detention policy as they worked to avert another US government shutdown, a Republican senator said on Sunday. “The talks are stalled right now,” Republican Senator Richard Shelby told Fox News Sunday. He said the impasse was over Democrats’ desire to cap the number of beds in detention facilities for people who enter the country illegally. Efforts to resolve the dispute over border security funding extended into the weekend as a special congressional negotiating panel aimed to reach a deal by Monday, lawmakers and aides said. Democratic Senator Jon Tester played down any breakdown in talks. “It is a negotiation. Negotiations seldom go smoothly all the way through,” he told the Fox program. Tester, one of 17 negotiators, said he was hopeful a
deal could be reached. But Shelby put the chances of reaching a deal by Monday at 50-50. No further talks were scheduled, a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The lawmakers hoped to have an agreement by Monday to allow time for the legislation to pass the US House of Representatives and Senate and get signed by President Donald Trump by Friday when funding for the
Venezuela's Guaido warns military on blocked aid CARACAS AGENCIES
Opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognised by some 50 countries as Venezuela's interim president, warned the military Sunday that blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country is a "crime against humanity." The warning comes as international aid has taken centre stage in a test of wills between Guaido and President Nicolas Maduro in which Venezuela's armed forces are seen as the pivotal player. Medicine and food sent by the United States has been blocked for three days on the border in Cucuta, Colombia after Venezuelan soldiers closed a bridge linking the two countries. On the Venezuelan side of the border, dozens of doctors protested Sunday demanding the aid be allowed in -- including surgeon Jose Luis Mateus de la Riva, who accused Maduro of sinking Venezuelan medicine back to the "medieval era." "There are people responsible for this and the regime should know it," Guaido said after attending Sunday mass with his wife and 20-month-old baby. "This a crime against humanity, men of the armed forces."
Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies expires. Trump agreed on January 25 to end a 35-day partial US government shutdown without getting the $5.7 billion he had demanded from Congress for a wall along the border with Mexico, handing a political victory to Democrats. Instead, a three-week spending deal was reached with congressional leaders to give lawmakers time to re-
solve their disagreements about how to address security along the border. DESPERATELY NEEDED: Democrats proposed lowering the cap on detention beds to 35,520 from the current 40,520 in return for giving Republicans some of the money they want for physical barriers, the source familiar with negotiations said. But Democrats would create a limit within that cap of 16,500 beds at detention facilities for undocumented immigrants apprehended in the interior of the country. The remainder would be at border detention centres. By having the interior cap, ICE agents would be forced to focus on arresting and deporting serious criminals, not law-abiding immigrants, a House Democratic aide said on Sunday. Republicans baulked at the Democrats’ sub-cap offer, the source said. Trump weighed in Sunday, saying the Democratic proposal would protect felons. “They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!” Trump said on Twitter.
Food aid in a warehouse on the frontlines of the Yemen war is at risk of rotting, the United Nations said on Monday, leaving millions of Yemenis without access to lifesaving sustenance. The Red Sea Mills silos, located in the western port city of Hodeida, are believed to contain enough grain to feed several million people for a month. But the granary has remained off-limits to aid organisations for months. "The World Food Programme (WFP) grain stored in the mills — enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month —has been inaccessible for over five months and is at risk of rotting," read a joint statement by the UN aid chief and special envoy for Yemen. "We emphasise that ensuring access to the mills is a shared responsibility among the parties to the conflict in Yemen." Hodeida, and its food silos, have been in the hands of Yemen's Houthi rebels since 2014, when the insurgents staged a takeover of large swathes of Yemeni territories. The coup prompted the military intervention of Saudi Arabia and its allies the following year on behalf of the embattled government, triggering what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. More than 10 million Yemenis stand at the brink of starvation.
Saudis don't know where Khashoggi's body is: oﬃcial RIYADH AGENCIES
Riyadh does not know the location of dissident Jamal Khashoggi’s body, despite having detained the Saudi team that murdered him, a high-ranking foreign affairs official in the kingdom said in an interview broadcast Sunday. The dissident journalist was dismembered after his murder October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but his remains have yet to be found. Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, said the murder was carried out by Saudi officials “acting outside their scope of authority” and that 11 people have been charged with the crime. But asked where Khashoggi’s body is, he told CBS’s Face the Nation, “We don’t know.” Jubeir said the public prosecutor responsible for the case had sought evidence from Turkey but had received no response.
Questioned why those in custody couldn´t tell them where the body was, Jubeir responded: “We are still investigating.” “We have now a number of possibilities and we’re asking them what they did with the body, and I think this investigation is ongoing, and I would expect that eventually, we will find the truth,” he said. Jubeir was interviewed Friday, the same day President Donald Trump ignored a congressional deadline for reporting on who assassinated Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who had been openly critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The CIA has concluded the Saudi operation was likely directed by the powerful crown prince, but the White House has sidestepped that finding amid strenuous denials by Riyadh, a key US ally. On Friday, The New York Times said the CIA had intercepted communications of the crown prince telling a top aide in 2017 that he would go after
Pompeo says US 'not covering up' Khashoggi murder WASHINGTON: United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday denied Washington was "covering up" the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and promised further action. "America is not covering up for a murder," Pompeo told reporters in Budapest when asked about criticism by a senior Democrat. The remarks came after US President Donald Trump missed a deadline set by Congress to reply by Friday on whether Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of the Washington Post contributor. Pompeo said that Trump's administration was "working diligently" on its investigation. "The president has been very clear — couldn't be more clear — as we get additional information, we will continue to hold all of those responsible accountable," he said. Khashoggi, who lived in the US, was strangled to death and dismembered in October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to take care of paperwork for his marriage, according to officials. Trump said nothing on the congressional deadline, while congressional aides said that Pompeo had sent them a letter in which he outlined actions over the killing. AGENCIES Khashoggi “with a bullet” if the jour- Jubeir said. nalist did not return to Saudi Arabia. “The crown prince, we know, did “I’m not going to comment on re- not order this. This was not a governports based on anonymous sources,” ment-sanctioned operation.”
Iranians rally to support Islamic Revolution on 40th anniversary TEHRAN AGENCIES
Millions of Iranians from all backgrounds have taken to the streets around the country to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution at a time of intensified US-led pressure. Today marks the climax of the Ten-Day Dawn commemorating the period between February 1, 1979 when Imam Khomeini returned from exile and the anniversary of the Revolution that ended 2,500 years of monarchical rule in Iran. Every year on this day, the nation turns out in droves to highlight support for the Revolution which replaced the US-backed regime with an Islamic Republic. Demonstrators in many cities braved the cold weather on Monday as they descended on main crossroads to renew their allegiance to the country's
Yemen food aid at risk of rotting: UN
Islamic principles at a time of rising economic and political pressure. Last year, the United States unilaterally abandoned an international nuclear pact with Iran and reimposed its toughest sanctions ever, in a move which is viewed as a regime change attempt against the Islamic Republic.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton had said the outcome of the country's policy review should be to determine that Iran's Revolution would not last until its 40th birthday. "And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!” he had told a convention of the terrorist MKO group
in Paris in 2017. Hundreds of thousands of people headed to the iconic Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran amid chants of "Death to America," where President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech to the nation. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei is expected to make an "important" address in the coming days, media reports said on Sunday. He is set to publish "a detailed statement explaining the 'second step' of the progress of the Islamic Revolution," the website of the Leader said. Ayatollah Khamenei said on Friday the Iranian nation will keep chanting "Death to America" as long as the United States remains evil. “The US is the embodiment of evil, but still complains why you chant ‘Death to America’,” the Leader said, referring to President Donald Trump's remarks last week.
Bulgaria examines possible link between Skripal, Sofia poisonings SOFIA AGENCIES
Bulgaria is investigating a possible link between a nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in England in 2018 and the poisoning of an arms dealer in Sofia in 2015. Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said on Monday that Sergei Fedotov, a suspect in the attempted killing of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, visited Bulgaria three times in 2015 and was there in April when local arms dealer Emilian Gebrev was poisoned. Last October, Russian news website Fontanka named Fedotov, who it said worked for the country’s GRU military intelligence service, as the third suspect in the Skripal case.Tsatsarov said prosecutors had compiled “significant” data on Fedotov’s trips to Bulgaria and have reopened an investigation into Gebrev’s poisoning.“We are establishing all moments while he was on Bulgarian territory, the hotels, the vehicles he used, contacts with Bulgarian citizens,” Tsatsarov said. Former double agent Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury, southern England, in March 2018.
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
Govt urGed to address confusions reGardinG Pakistan Banao certificates ISLAMABAD
KARACHI: Turkish Consul General Tolga Ucak, Dawlance CEO Salih Arslantas and Marketing Head Hasan Jameel visited the Dawlance Pavilion at Dawn Lifestyle Exhibition, where Dawlance also launched its new BLDC Motor Washing Machine that runs on sloar and battery power. PRESS RElEASE
Avari Hotels Vice President Grant Raubenheimer along with Executive Chef Naim, Chinese Chef Yu and Public Relations Manager Madiha Owais celebratee the Chinese New Year at Avari Towers’ authentic Chinese restaurant Dynasty. PRESS RElEASE
LTHOUGH the government expects over $1 billion foreign investment through the recently announced ‘Pakistan Banao Certificates’ scheme, confusion persists as to how the overseas Pakistanis would be encouraged to buy these certificates. A renowned economist, on the condition of anonymity, said the profit margin of the certificate “is not what the government claims”, adding that it is not clear whether the entire process of the certificate is exempted from taxes or not. “In case the tax on profit and other banking charges are not exempted, the actual profit margin would be around 4pc instead of the governmentannounced 6.75pc,” said the economist. “Although the investors, as per the programme, will be exempted from withholding tax as well as from the compulsory deduction of Zakat, they could be charged with tax on profit, as an exemption of this tax was not mentioned in the scheme.” He said it would be difficult to encourage the Pakistani diaspora to invest in the scheme, as foreign banks are offering them a similar profit margin of 4pc. An official at the Ministry of Finance, however, claimed that the tax on profit in such certificates is usually exempted. “In case the said
‘GOVT SHOULD HAVE ORGANISED ROAD SHOWS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES BEFORE LAUNCHING THE CERTIFICATES’ tax is included, it will be difficult to attract investors,” he admitted. Meanwhile, Finance Division spokesman Dr Khaqan Najeeb clarified that the Pakistan Banao Certificates are exempted from the tax on profit along with WHT and Zakat. According to sources, another confusion that persisted with regard to PBC was about the transfer fee/charges. They said clarity was needed whether the government will bear the transaction charges or the investors. Besides, sources said, investors are also confused about whether the foreign currency account holders in Pakistan can make the investment or they need to send dollar from abroad only. The web portal specially designed for the scheme also lacks the required information, they added. “We are targeting oversees Pakistanis who are already sending remittances. The government should have instead targeted Pakistani businessmen who have businesses and accounts abroad,” the sources said. “It seems that the certificate has
Energy sector reforms imperative for economic growth: Sarwar JS Group hosted a talk by former US Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman Adm (r) William A Owens. The session was held with a diversified group of individuals from various segments of society including the corporate and business sectors, former military officers and key stakeholders from the public service domain. PRESS RElEASE
arif Habib hosts karachi kings sendoff ceremony KARACHI: Arif Habib Group hosted a reception in the honour of Karachi Kings' players on Sunday before the team left for Dubai to play the season 4 of Pakistan Super League. The ceremony was attended by Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda, Information Technology Minister Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, and Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani among other dignitaries. Arif Habib Group Chairman Arif Habib wished success to the team, saying that Karachi Kings would definitely win because it has got strong players and millions of Karachiites are praying for its success. He said that cricket is a thrilling sport which is loved by the entire nation. He expressed optimism that the team would perform well and in a competitive manner. PR
rLnG regassification from engro terminal reduces to 220mmcfd KARACHI: Owing to non-berthing of Pakistan State Oil cargo on Monday, RLNG regassification from T1 Engro Terminal has now been reduced to 220MMCFD. Total RLNG available is 600MMCFD at this time. The weather condition at port may become more severe on Tuesday and resultantly berthing of PLL upcoming cargo may get into difficulty. This may reduce RLNG availability to only 400MMCFD in. Under the circumstances, the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline has shut down GPPS with immediate effect along with fertilizer, CNG and non-zerorated industry so that domestic consumers would face minimum problems. As soon as system improves gas, supply shall be restored. PR
ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan stressed on Monday that energy was an essential driver to accelerate GDP growth and to achieve economic sustainability. "Pakistan is energy deficient and requires affordable and dependable energy supplies to support its economic growth. The mission of this government is to promote investment in the energy sector so as to ensure a sustainable supply of oil and gas, which would subsequently help develop the country’s economy," he stated while addressing the International Conference on Pakistan Petroleum. The minister said that the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, was striving hard to attract investment through good governance. He lamented that despite being blessed with several gas discoveries since the country's independence, there was a gap between supply and demand. "Pakistan imports nearly 80pc of energy from international markets. On the one hand, we are struggling to keep up with an increasing energy import bill which has adversely affected our trade deficit," he remarked. "We are faced with a huge challenge with regard to arranging cost-efficient fuel mix to meet our annual energy needs, which are growing at over 8pc per annum." The minister noted that oil
and gas, including LNG, were the major components of the country’s energy mix as they constitute over 75pc of primary energy supplies. This government, being cognizant of the energy needs, has constituted an Energy Task Force, which would soon provide a comprehensive road map to help address the energy-related issues, he added. "Oil is a well-established sector in Pakistan and is critical to meet the needs of many sectors. Many local and foreign major business groups are expanding their presence and setting up modern refineries and retail chains," he noted. Ghulam Sarwar Khan forecasted growth in the oil and transportation trade after the successful execution of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. “In the oil sector, Pakistan today does not have a deep conversion refinery,” the minister deplored, adding that five local refineries, which were basically hydro-skimming, produce only 12 million tonnes per annum of petroleum products against the current demand of over 25 million tonnes. "Pakistan needs to be selfsufficient in refined oil products. This government has decided to completely phase out the use of furnace oil in the thermal power plants. The existing oil refineries in Pakistan will have to reconfigure themselves to reduce the production of furnace oil," he asserted Ghulam Sarwar Khan was upbeat about cooperation be-
skMcH holds 6th ‘festival of Life’
dulux embraces ‘spiced honey’ as colour for 2019
LAHORE: The 6th Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre (SKMCH) ‘Festival of Life’ was held at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital grounds in Lahore, in collaboration with ‘The Friends of Shaukat Khanum’ and leading fashion and entertainment fraternity. A large number of people from different walks of life participated in this colorful event. It was an all-day carnival for families, full of family fun, fashion, festivities and compassion across all age groups, for a great cause. A number of celebrities including Shaan Shahid, Faisal Rehman and Muniba Mazari to name a few, were present to show their support to the noble cause. As per previous iterations of the Festival, the event included an exciting fashion lounge by celebrated designers. PR
Spiced Honey has been unveiled by AkzoNobel’s Dulux brand as the ‘Colour of the Year for 2019’, following expert research into global trends, insights and consumer behaviours. Taking inspiration from honey itself, colour of the year has a warm amber tone. It is versatile and contemporary, perfectly capturing this year’s theme, “let the light in”. The colour complements a wide variety of life and interior styles and expresses the new sense of optimism felt throughout our global trend research. “Our colors begin their journey at the Global Aesthetic Center, which has been responsible for trend analysis, color research, color design and art direction at AkzoNobel for over 25 years,” explained Heleen van Gent, Creative Director of AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetic Center. PR
tween Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE in the petroleum sector, including Pakistan's first deep conversion oil refinery. "We are working towards better oil and gas exploration in Pakistan and new blocks will be offered very soon in this regard. Pakistan provides a level playing field to all exploration and production companies. I also encourage state-owned E&P companies to participate in the bidding rounds in order to compete with other companies," he stated. Prices offered to E&P companies for gas discoveries by Pakistan were among the best in the region, the minister claimed. “Pakistan has a large offshore basin which largely remains unexplored. The Indus offshore is the second largest submarine fan system in the world and analogous to the prolific oil and gas producing Niger, Mahakam, Nile deltas and Krishna Godavari Basin. It is heartening that presently ExxonMobil, Eni, OGDCL and PPL are working on Kekra I,” he added. The government welcomes local and foreign investors to expand their operations in Pakistan and initiate new projects, he said. "Pakistan, with its growing educated middle-class and a young population, has tremendous growth potential and we are dedicated to meeting the energy needs of our expanding economy with best management of existing energy projects," he concluded.
been launched in a hurry. The banking sector and representatives of business organizations were not consulted before introducing the certificates,” they claimed. Commenting on the matter, leading economist Dr Ashfaq Hassan said before formally launching the scheme, the government should have organized road shows in countries where large number of Pakistanis reside, adding that he had suggested the government to introduce the certificate scheme for non-residents Pakistanis. “The confusions regarding the certificates, if any, could have cleared through the road shows.” According to sources, the government, by introducing such certificates, is trying to “divert people’s attention from major reforms it announced before the election”. They said the government is yet to introduce visible reforms in Federal Board of Revenue and energy sector while the speed of reforms in public sector enterprises are also very slow. As per the scheme, PBC is a sovereign US Dollar denominated retail level instrument for overseas Pakistanis. The PBC is the first sovereign retail instrument being offered by the government that allows overseas Pakistanis to contribute in their country’s development and earn handsome returns. The PBCs are available for 3 years and 5 years maturity with profit rates of 6.25pc and 6.75pc per annum respectively payable semiannually.
Govt likely to change licence criteria for oil marketing companies ISLAMABAD SHAHZAD PARACHA
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet is likely to approve a new criterion for issuance of petroleum products marketing licence. The ECC meeting would be held tomorrow (Tuesday) under the chair of Finance Minister Asad Umar. The meeting will deliberate upon five agenda items, including the new criteria for issuance of marketing licence on POL products. The other agenda items included the government’s vision and support for Pakistan International Airline, approval of necessary amendment/exemption required for the Gwadar Port and free zones, Machike Tarujabba oil pipeline project, and the plans of National Food Security and Research Division with regard to improving the cotton crop during Kharif 2019. Documents available with this scribe revealed that the Petroleum Division had proposed a new criterion for issuance of POL marketing licences as the existing marketing plan “only covered the urban areas”. The newly-proposed marketing plan envisaged that the prospective company shall be obligated to set up a minimum 10pc of its expected retail population to serve remote and far-flung areas in accordance with specific regulations in the matter to be declared by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority. Similarly, the infrastructure development plan should be based on province-wise regional demand with details of installations at different locations and capacities corresponding to the business strategy. As per the proposal, the new company must construct minimum storage of 20,000 metric tonnes each of HSD/MS or storage equivalent to 20 days of annual average sales of the first year, whichever is higher, prior to the beginning of sales in the country. Likewise, it has also been proposed that the company dependent on import sources shall create adequate storage terminal facilities at ports.
PepsiCo mulls investing $1bn in Pakistan ISLAMABAD: PepsiCo is planning to invest $1 billion in Pakistan, said company’s Vice President Krista Pilot said Monday. Talking to Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary in Dubai, she said her company was interested in investing $1 billion in Pakistan’s food sector. PepsiCo plans to invest in a potato unit in Multan and the company wants Prime Minister Imran Khan to inaugurate it, she revealed. Fawad Chaudhry on the occasion thanked Pilot, saying that investments by the PepsiCo and British Airways would encourage other companies to invest in Pakistan. “It shows they trust the country,” he remarked. He said the fruits of PM Khan’s vision, policies and reforms agenda would soon become visible, adding that job opportunities would increase with foreign investment in the country. PPI
12 BUSINESS MARKET DAILY
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
cLose to reacHinG aGreeMent witH iMf, says asad uMar PESHAWAR
PsX fails to sustain gains, plummets 560 points KARACHI: Failing to sustain gains that were accumulated in the morning, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) ended day in red. Indices which opened positive soon took a Uturn and continued to bleed all day long. Foreign investors closed the last four trading sessions as net buyers with a net inflow of $12.17 million. As per news reports, Finance Minister Asad Umar, while addressing the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Peshawar, said that the government has come closer to reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Moreover, he stated that Pakistan is also focusing on boosting trade with Iran and Afghanistan besides working on a Strategic Economic Draft to strengthen economic ties with Turkey. He added that the state is trying to simplify current tax procedure in order to widen the tax net and that the government is in talks to bring PayPal to Pakistan. With a positive start, KSE 100 benchmark index touched its intraday high (up by 188.91 points) of 41,076.26 soon after the commencement of the session. The index then rebounded to reach its day’s low of 40,218.37 (down by 668.98 points) before finally settling lower by 560.82 points at 40,326.53. The KMI 30 index lost 1,040.35 to end at 67,385.40, while KSE All Share index depreciated by 353.55 points, closing at 29,299.25. The overall market volumes were recorded at 134.41 million (down by 21pc) with K-Electric Limited (KEL -2.19pc) leading the volume chart. The script had 15.50 million shares exchanging hands. KEL was followed by Pak Elektron Limited (PAEL -4.03pc) and Azgard Nine Limited (ANL +2.84pc) with 7.85 million and 5.51 million shares swapping hands respectively. On the economic front, Moody’s Rating Agency has changed its position for banking system from stable to negative. As per the published report, the operating conditions of the banks will be difficult as real GDP growth rate is expected to slow down to 4.3pc. Following the news, the commercial banking sector lost 1.82pc from its total market capitalization. Habib Bank Limited (HBL) was down by -2.46pc while MCB Bank Limited (MCB) declined by -1.60pc. Bank AlFalah Limited (BAFL -2.54pc), United Bank Limited (UBL -2.14pc) and Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited (SCBPL 3.47pc) all ended negative. STAFF REPORT
Banks' deposits grow 8.79pc in January ISLAMABAD: The bank deposits of scheduled banks have surged by 8.79pc, as it increased from Rs12,002,239 million in January 2018 to Rs13,057,570 million in the same month of the year 2019. According to the data issued by the State Bank of Pakistan on Monday, the deposits of scheduled banks on a month-on-month basis decreased by 2.21pc, as the deposits in December 2018 were recorded at Rs13,353,916 million in December 2018. Total investment by the scheduled banks however decreased by 31.60pc to Rs5,223,417 million in January 2019 as compared to the investment of Rs7,637,035 million recorded in January 2018. Meanwhile, total advances of scheduled banks increased by 19.59pc to Rs7,840,684 million in January 2019 against the total advances of Rs6,556,145 million recorded during the same month of last year. APP
INANCE Minister Asad Umar on Monday said that the country is close to reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to secure a financial assistance package. The minister made the comments while addressing the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Peshawar. The comments come a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan met with IMF chief Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai. Umar explained that Pakistan and IMF had convergent views regarding the implementation of structural reforms and that an agreement was imminent. “The deal will be [good for Pakistan] but it is the responsibility of the business and trading community to put Pakistan on the path towards progress,” said the finance minister, while adding that PM Imran had informed Lagarde that the country wishes to sign an agreement. He said that Pakistan is also attempting to improve trade relations with neighbouring countries such as Iran and Afghanistan but added that trade ties with India could also improve if the Kashmir
issue is resolved. The finance minister also said that country was also developing Strategic Economic Draft to improve trade relations with Turkey. Christine Lagarde on Sunday said it was ready to support Pakistan but reiterated decisive policies and a strong package of economic reforms need to be undertaken to restore the resilience of its economy. She gave these remarks on the sidelines of her meeting with the Prime Minister Imran Khan at the World Governm e n t Summit in Dubai on Sunday. T h e prime minister appreciated the IMF’s support to Pakistan and shared his vision for nation-building. He reiterated the government’s commitment to undertaking structural and governance reforms, and strengthening social protection in the country. The IMF managing director acknowledged the steps taken so far by the Pakistan government for stabilising the economy and said the
IMF will remain engaged in supporting Pakistan in sustaining its economic recovery. ‘CONSTRUCTIVE MEETING’: While talking about her meeting with the PM, Lagarde said, “I had a good and constructive meeting with PM Imran, during which we discussed recent economic developments and prospects for Pakistan in the context of ongoing discussions toward an IMF-supported program.” She added, “I reiterated that the IMF s t a n d s ready to support Pakistan. I also h i g h lighted that decisive policies and a strong package of economic reforms would enable Pakistan to restore the resilience of its economy and lay the foundations for stronger and more inclusive growth.” “As emphasised in the new government’s policy agenda, protecting the poor and strengthening governance are key priorities to improve people’s living standards
1,317 new companies registered in January ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan in January registered 1,317 new companies. As compared to the corresponding month of last financial year, it represents a growth of 9pc, raising the number of registered companies to over 95,000. The massive increase is the result of the SECP’s various reforms measures, i.e. introduction of simplified combined process for name reservation and incorporation, one window facility for company incorporation and National Tax Number generation, reduction of fee, assistance of incorporation by facilitation wings of CROs etc. Around 73pc companies were registered as private limited companies, while around 24pc were registered as single-member companies. Three per cent were registered as public unlisted, non-profit associations, foreign companies and limited liability partnership (LLP). The trading sector took the lead with the incorporation of 214 companies, services with 185, construction with 180, IT with 128, tourism with
74, food and beverages with 43, education, marketing and advertising, and real estate development with 42 each, transport with 40, corporate agricultural farming with 37, engineering with 30, communication and pharmaceutical with 24 each, textile with 19, mining and quarrying with 18, broadcasting and telecasting, and fuel and energy with 16 each, chemicals, cosmetics and toiletries with 13 each, cables and electric goods, lodging, and power generation with 12 each, healthcare with 11, while 70 companies were registered in other sectors. Foreign investment has been reported in 61 new companies. These companies have foreign investors from China, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, the UK, and the US. The highest numbers of companies, i.e. 477, were registered in Islamabad, followed by 346 and 274 registered in Lahore and Karachi respectively. The CROs in Peshawar, Multan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Faisalabad, Quetta, and Sukkur registered, 82, 56, 39, 25, 14 and 4 companies respectively.
in a sustainable manner,” said Ms Lagarde. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary earlier said the meeting “will give us a chance to understand the IMF views and we will be able to give our version to the IMF chief.” He said the problem is not the IMF deal but the conditions attached to the deal. “We want a fair deal that can actually help Pakistan in the short term, without affecting our long-term economic goals,” Fawad said. “Pakistan wants an agreed bailout package with the world financial body, which would be the country’s second IMF bailout since 2013, and it will be a last economic package from IMF.” In a speech at the summit on Sunday, Imran said the government faced a massive fiscal deficit when it took office last year and was making efforts to cut it, though international investors were already showing confidence. On Saturday, it was reported the government had decided to take up to $6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from the next fiscal year. Sources told that the government’s economic team and the international lending organisation has reached an agreement in their recent communication. “IMF has agreed to give the loan on Pakistan’s conditions,” they claimed.
'Govt's economy-related decisions yielding positive results' ISLAMABAD PPI
Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood said on Monday that the government’s decisions with regard to economic turnaround have started positive results. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, he said the ban on the import of furnace oil and non-essential food items has benefitted the economy, adding that the country’s exports have registered an increase of 4pc in the last seven months in US Dollar terms, which translates into a 30pc increase in terms of Pakistan Rupee. The advisor said that the result of currency devaluation would be visible soon in the exports trajectory. He expressed confidence that exports would increase and imports would further decrease this year. He also informed media that the cement exports registered an increase of 50pc, mainly to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Speaking on the occasion, Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha said improvements have been noted in the balance of trade in the month of January. He said the need of furnace oil has reduced due to the increasing use of renewable technologies in the energy mix, adding that exports in the first seven months of the current fiscal year were recorded at $13.259 billion, whereas the imports remained $32.54 billion as compared to $34.26 billion recorded during the corresponding period last year. He further informed that trade deficit has reduced from $21.3 billion to $19.2 billion. “The imports squeezing policy is paying dividends. Its results will be far more encouraging in the next five months,” he asserted. Responding to a question, the advisor rejected the reports that the International Monetary Fund chief, during his talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Dubai, had set the condition of raising power and gas tariffs in order to get the bailout package.
Moody’s changes outlook to negative for Pakistan’s banking sector LAHORE MOHAMMAD FAROOQ
Moody’s investors’ service on Monday changed its outlook for Pakistan’s banking system down (B3 negative) to negative from stable. According to the report, the banks’ operating conditions will be difficult due to slow down in Pakistan’s real GDP growth to 4.3% in the current financial year 2018-19, down from 5.8% in FY18. Moody’s said tighter domestic monetary conditions fueled by a wide current account deficit and low foreign exchange reserves will impact economic activity. Since December 2017, the rupee has depreciated 30% against the greenback and interest rates have risen by 450 basis points (bps) since January last year and inflation is increasing, said Moody’s. All these factors will impact business
and consumer confidence and the private sectors’ debt repayment capacities. “High exposure to government securities (34% of assets) links banks’ credit profile to that of the sovereign, whose credit profile is increasingly challenged as also evident by the negative outlook on its B3 rating,” said the report. Moody’s stated the declining trend in problem loans (8% of gross loans as of September 2018) will stall, as challenging operating conditions and structural impediments hinder banks’ ability to resolve legacy non-performing loans (NPLs). The rating agency said regulatory capital i.e. tier 1 at 13.2% as of September 2018 will remain stable, but as per its evaluations indicate towards modest capital buffers. As per the report, higher profit retention, hybrid Tier 1 capital issuances and other capital optimization measures
will offset credit growth and so assist Tier 1 ratios. It added that profits will slightly rise but will remain below historical levels. And profitability will be fueled by higher interest margins due to hike in interest rates and increasing government yields, 10-12% credit growth and lower one-off costs, which will recoup for increasing provisioning requirements and ongoing pressures at banks’ operations abroad, said the report. Moreover, stable customer deposits and high liquidity will remain key strengths and customers deposits constitute of approximately 71% of total assets and it projected these to grow 10% in 2019, providing ample low-cost funding to banks. Moody’s said cash and bank placements constitute for about 15% of total assets, whilst another 34% is invested in
government securities offering sound liquidity. “Expanding the low-cost deposit base remains a key area of focus for banks (low-cost current accounts accounted for ~40% of customer deposits as of September 2018). Encouraging higher savings and enhancing the deposit base (to 55% of GDP from around 35pc currently) is also a key goal for the authorities. Pakistani banks’ reliance on market funding has increased in recent years, a negative development. This was primarily in the form of interbank and SBP repo facilities, used for “carry trades” (i.e. buying government bonds funded by shortterm borrowings). Since the spreads on such transactions have narrowed, banks’ exposure to market funding has declined,” said the report. In a comment to Profit, Head of Arif
Habib Limited (AHL) Research Samiullah Tariq said, “The major reason for the downgrade is the weakness in the macroeconomic indicators coupled with high exposure to sovereign credit.” He added, “I think with the improvement in the macroeconomy, the operating environment for banks will improve significantly.” Moody’s Senior Vice President Constantinos Kypreos said, “Over the next 12-18 months, banks in Pakistan will see their credit profiles challenged by their high exposure to the country’s low-rated sovereign debt and a slowing economy.” He added, “On a more positive note, the banks will continue to benefit from stable customer deposits and high liquidity.” The rating agency said it rates the largest banks in Pakistan by assets and together they constitute for around 50% of the banking sector deposits.
Grammy’s bests and worsts The trendsetters of the year are here, its Grammy season and all the celebrities are trying their utmost to out do one another with awe inspiring outfits. So lets dive in and check out who was wearing what at one of the most prestigious events of 2019.
THE RED CARPET’S WORST DRESSED
Miley Cyrus going the simplistic route; pairing an over-sized black tuxedo jacket and flared pants with her good looks.
Failing to make an impact is so unlike Kylie Jenner, however this Halter Balmain Jumpsuit seemed to have precisely that effect.
Camilla Cabello donning a dazzling pink high collared Armani Prive gown. Looking gorgeous and chic.
Michelle Obama was seen wearing a silver sequined power suit, and although eye-catching, its lack of uniqueness made it less memorable than some of the other outfits we saw.
Nina Dobrev’s beige Dior Dress felt quite lackluster in nature even though her gorgeousness made up for it.
Here we have Lady Gaga dressed up in a glamorous disco Celine ensemble, her platinum blonde locks completing the look.
Dua Lipa looking elegant in a silver body-hugging gown, topping the look off with Bvlgari jewels that help accent her beauty.
Cardi B’s Vintage Mugler Couture Outfit looking out of place at the Grammys as it failed to mesh with the the overall theme.
Bebe Rexha making a fashion statement in her Red Cinderella Monsoori gown.
Even Katy Perry’s beauty couldn’t help pull off this look, her strapless pink Balmain gown seemed more like a miss than a hit.
THE RED CARPET’S BEST DRESSED
RABAB HASHIM AND JUNAID KHAN PAIR-UP FOR KAM ZARF AND WE LOVE THIS NEW ON-SCREEN COUPLE!
o our television screens are mostly flooded with typical Saas-Bahu spats but there is this riveting story that we found a little different rather interesting. Yes, we are talking about the latest drama Kamzarf that stars Junaid Khan and Rabab Hashim in lead roles, two seasoned actors on television industry these days, the couple who is making headlines by their appearance in Kam Zarf. The story revolves around four siblings who lose their parents in an accident, only to be raised by their eldest sister (played by Nadia Khan). Conse-
quently how the controlling nature of elder sister affects the other siblings is how the story will progress. Kam Zarf is produced by Fahad Hassan Zia under the banner of Master Mind Productions and directed by Zeeshan Ahmed, penned by Seema Munaf. Junaid Khan – singer turned actor not only known for his singing but is also famed for his commendable acting in serials like “Mujhai Roothne Na Deena’’, “Yahan Pyar Nahi Hai’’, “Kadoorat”, “Firaaq”, Sun Yara, Khasara, Ishq Tamasha and we are seeing him in more eminent
roles these days, his popularity is leading the ratings charts from his drama Kam Zarf, especially amongst female viewers. Rabab Hashim got swift fame because of her passion for acting. Her recent dramas are “Mohabbat Khwab safar” and “Tumhare Hain” are amongst the top rated dramas. She is one established actress who has done different kinds of role. Though it’s been a while that Rabab and Junaid are doing TV, it’s their versatility that is their plus point. In Kamzarf, Junaid is playing a character of a caring and emotional guy, a typ-
ical middle class family oriented guy. However he stands out as a caring, romantic yet a strong and an opinionated man whilst Rubab is playing character of a self-sufficient yet caring girl who belongs to an under privileged background but gets married to a narrow-minded husband. Both of them are compelling us to watch this drama through their amazing acting skills. They are holding a wonderful on-screen chemistry as well. As much as Rabab’s cute looks and girl-next-door kind of personality are appealing in the drama, we dislike the fact
that Juanid’s character has difficulty saying No to people. Juanid is already stealing the chart in terms of ratings. Rabab is no more left behind to supersede. Both the actors are playing their parts to perfection as we get to see a different side of both of them in this drama. We must say that both the actors are diversified and gives a fresh feel whenever they come together on screen. We wish Junaid Khan and Rabab Hshim all the best and hope that this drama will continue to live up to our expectations! By Hina GHaffar
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
Unwanted records pUt sarri in chelsea's familiar firing line LONDON
HELSEA are making a nasty habit of breaking records for the wrong reasons under Maurizio Sarri, with time running out for the Italian to avoid becoming the latest coaching casualty at Stamford Bridge. A 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City on Sunday was Chelsea's heaviest defeat since 1991. Just 11 days previously, an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Bournemouth had set the bar at a new low in the Roman Abramovich era. The Russian billionaire, who bought the club in 2003, is not renowned for his patience with managers once the rot sets in and just eight months into a three-year contract, Sarri could soon find himself on the Chelsea scrapheap. Even winning league titles was not enough to save Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho or Antonio Conte from Abramovich's firing line and the gulf between Chelsea and City on Sunday showed just how far Sarri's side are from the Premier League's best right now. The scale of the defeat also dropped Chelsea below Arsenal down to sixth on goals scored. However, while the title may be gone, there is still plenty to play for in the remaining months of the season, so do
Chelsea stick by keeping faith with the 'Sarri-ball' project or twist hoping for the bounce of a new face in charge? Despite a run of six defeats in 14 league games, an excellent start to Sarri's reign means Chelsea are just one point behind a surging Manchester United -who have shown the impact a new manager can make -- in the battle for a topfour finish. They also face United in the fifth round of the FA Cup next Monday, have the onerous task of taking on City again in the League Cup final on February 24 and face Malmo in the last 32 when the
Europa League returns this week. Unfortunately for Sarri's job prospects, the reaction, or lack thereof, to his public lambasting of his side's soft mentality and motivation after a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal last month has been telling. All four goals conceded at Bournemouth came in a second-half collapse, while City hit four inside the first 25 minutes at the Etihad. Yet, Sarri has also done little to stem the tide, steadfastly refusing to change his approach to the game. His first signing Jorginho could have
been on the other side of Sunday's demolition had he not turned down the champions to follow his former Napoli boss to Stamford Bridge. It took 19 games for Sarri to suffer his first defeat, but since Spurs pressed Jorginho high up the field and exposed his lack of pace defensively in late November 3-1 win at Wembley, the blueprint to beat the Blues has been obvious. As Sarri demands more aggression, persisting with Jorginho at the base of the midfield means his most tenacious player, N'Golo Kante, is out of position. "Kante is wasted anywhere other than as arguably the world's finest holding midfielder," wrote the BBC's Phil McNulty. However, in Sarri's defence, the repeated churn of managers at Chelsea points to a bigger problem than just the manager's tactics. Abramovich's interest has waned somewhat amid reports he is looking to sell the club, while the position of technical director has never been filled since the departure of Michael Emenalo in 2017. "There are issues behind the scenes, a disconnect between first team and the fabulous academy, a lack of direction with no technical director and an owner looking to sell," wrote Henry Winter in The Times. "There is no continuity of philosophy, no manager given time to build for the long term, meaning the accumulation of an imbalanced squad."
man United not a laughing stock any more, says Jones LONDON AGENCIES
Manchester United were a “laughing stock” at the start of the season but deserve to be taken seriously now after Saturday’s win over Fulham lifted them into the Premier League’s top four, defender Phil Jones has said. Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had brought a “positivity” to the club after Jose Mourinho’s departure and while United were not the finished article they were moving in the right direction, he added. “It was tough for everyone involved, we might have been a bit of a laughing stock at the start of the season, but certainly not now,” Jones told reporters after United’s 3-0 win. “We’ve proven that in the last 10 or 12 games. Everyone’s got to take us seriously now.” United were 11 points off the top four when Solskjaer took charge in December and, having won eight of their last nine Premier League games, they moved back into the Champions League spots for the first time since the opening weekend. The club are undefeated since Solskjaer’s appointment, winning 10 of 11 games in all competitions, and Jones attributed the run to the different approach under the Norwegian. “(There’s) just a positivity about the place to grind results out when we’re not playing well, to play forward, to play with intent and purpose,” said Jones, who extended his contract until 2023 last week.
Chelsea rout just another three Middlesex sign Afghan teen Rahman for T20 Blast points, says City's Sterling LONDON
Afghan spin-bowling teenage sensation Mujeeb Ur Rahman will play for English county Middlesex in their T20 campaign next season, the club announced on Monday. The 17-year-old -- who has taken 54 international wickets in all formats since making his debut aged 16 -- will hope to make the same impact his compatriot Rashid Khan did at Sussex last year. Khan took 17 wickets at an average of 14.35 to play a major role in Sussex reaching the knockout stages for the first time since 2015 -- although he was unable to play in the latter rounds due to international duty. Rahman has enjoyed a successful Big Bash campaign with Brisbane Heat, picking up 12 wickets and returning best figures of three for 16. "Middlesex Cricket is today delighted to announce the signing of Mujeeb Ur Rahman for this season's Blast campaign," the county said in a statement. "The 17-year-old spinner becomes head coach Stuart Law's first signing of the summer and will be available for the entire Blast campaign.
Manchester City’s 6-0 demolition of Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday proved the champions are back to their best and put the pressure on title rivals Liverpool, but forward Raheem Sterling said it was just another three points in the bank. City moved top of the standings, though Liverpool have played a game less, after Pep Guardiola’s side tore Chelsea apart at the Etihad Stadium. Sterling opened the scoring in the fourth minute against Chelsea, who had handed City their first league defeat of the season in the reverse fixture in December. “It was just a win and another three points. The most important thing is to get three points,” Sterling told City’s website. “It was a terrific performance from the team, the manager set us up and got us ready for the game.” Sergio Aguero scored his third hat-trick of the season to equal Alan Shearer’s record of 11 in the Premier League, and Sterling said he was a player City should “cherish”.
ajax’s de Jong doubtful for real madrid game AMSTERDAM AGENCIES
Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Frenkie de Jong is a doubt for Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Real Madrid after exacerbating an adductor injury. The 21-year-old, who is heading to Barcelona in an 86-million euro ($97.2 million) deal at the end of the season, was forced off the pitch 10 minutes from time as Ajax lost to Heracles Almelo in the Dutch league on Saturday. He had been struggling before the game with injury but was passed fit to play. Ajax also have concerns over the fitness of Nicolas Tagliafico, who completed Saturday’s match but has been battling with a knee complaint, local media reported. The return leg is in Madrid on March 5.
"He will join up with the Middlesex squad in early July to prepare for the tournament ahead." Law said Rahman, who played for Hampshire in the competition last year, would add a unique style to the bowling attack. "It is with great pleasure to say that Mujeeb has agreed to play for Middlesex in the Blast," said Law. "His unique style of spin has proven to be difficult to play against and his record is outstanding in this format."
“Sergio is a player we depend on,” Sterling said of the Argentine, who moved to the top of the league’s goal scoring charts with 17. “You saw with his first strike putting the ball in the top corner, you have to cherish players like that.” Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri did not shake hands with Guardiola after the match, walking straight down the tunnel instead, but both managers sought to play down the incident.
Int’l skiers take to the slopes in Pakistan NALTAR AGENCIES
Skiers descend in long, rhythmic swoops down pristine white slopes in northern Pakistan, braking in a spray of snow as soldiers carrying semi-automatic weapons watch impassively. Dozens of athletes took part at a rare international competition in the South Asian country, which boasts some of the world's highest mountains but remains off-piste for most winter sports enthusiasts after years of conflict and a lack of infrastructure. Nestled in the Karakoram mountain range, the Naltar Ski Resort has been at the heart of Pakistan's efforts to draw winter sport tourists since the first international competition was held there in 2015. "Pakistan has a lot of things to learn but with every year it´s getting better," said Ukrainian skier Anastasiia Gorbunova, who admitted she used to think it was a "pretty dangerous country".
"Now I know it's a cliche because as I saw, people are sweet, they are nice, they try to make you feel like you´re at home and I appreciate that." Security has dramatically improved
across Pakistan following a crackdown on militant groups in recent years. Authorities recently re-opened another resort in the nearby Swat Valley that had been closed for years by insur-
gent activity, while other ski facilities are being developed elsewhere in the country. Laura Moore, a representative of the International Ski Federation with the Azerbaijan team, said Pakistan boasted unrivalled ski conditions. But she added that lengthy road travel and the regular grounding of flights during inclement weather made access to ski fields a tricky prospect -"off-piste and maybe with a helicopter". "I think it's definitely more for the adventurer," Moore said at Sunday's competition. Pakistan is home to several peaks higher than 8,000 metres including K2, the second-tallest mountain in the world. Skiers at the Naltar event were hosted by the Pakistan Air Force, who own the ski resort and facilitated their transport from the capital Islamabad. "Not all countries have mountains like this," Berkin Usta, a Turkish skier who won the men´s Grand Slalom event. "It's really good."
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
pakistan women clinch maiden odi series win against windies s SPORTS DESK
IDRA Ameen’s half-century and three-wicket hauls from Diana Baig and Nashra Sandhu helped Pakistan secure a fourwicket win in the final one-day international of the ICC Women’s Championship series against the Windies in Dubai on Monday, 11 February. Pakistan once again proved that their batting performance in the first ODI – they were bowled out for 70 – was an aberration as they chased down the Windies target of 160 in 47.2 overs. Victory meant they rose to No.4 in the IWC table, pushing the Windies and England down a place to No.5 and 6 respectively. When the Windies opted to bat, this wasn’t how they envisaged the day progressing. Kycia Knight was bowled for nought by Baig, the medium pacer, in the very first over of the day. Deandra Dottin
and Stafanie Taylor, their captain, then steadied things, putting on a 34-run stand. It was a promising partnership, but it ended in unfortunate circumstances as Dottin was run out for a 20-ball 28. However, Taylor continued to have fine support in Shemaine Campbelle, and the two steadily kept things ticking along, putting on an important 52 in 12 overs. But everything changed when Campbelle was stumped off Sandhu for a 43ball 26. Chedean Nation (3), Natasha McLean (2) and Chinelle Henry (6) were all sent back in quick succession before Baig had the big one when she prompted Taylor to chip one back for a 95-ball 52. From 87/2, the Windies had collapsed to 131/7. Afy Fletcher mustered everything she had to boost the total, scoring a 39-ball 21*, but with little support from the tail, the Windies were bundled out for 159 in 47.3 overs. Given how Pakistan had fared while chasing in that first ODI, there might still
have been some pressure on them. But their top order allayed concerns early on, and despite the Windies best efforts late
in the game to pile the pressure, the hosts did enough for victory. Ameen and Nahida Khan added a
Mark Wood’s five wickets send Windies reeling SAINT LUCIA AGENCIES
Mark Wood answered West Indian pace with fearsome heat of his own as the fast bowler claimed his first five-wicket innings haul in Tests and put England in control on the second day of the third and final Test in St Lucia on Sunday. Playing his first match of the series, Wood tore through the heart of the home side’s batting to finish with five for 41 as the West Indies, replying to England´s first innings total of 277, crashed from 57 without loss in midafternoon to 154 all out an hour before the close of play. A day which saw 16 wickets tumble ended with the tourists’ opening pair of Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings safely navigating ten overs to be 19 without loss at stumps, an overall lead of 142 going into day three as they seek the consolation of victory following heavy defeats in the first two matches. Wood´s raw speed unsettled the West Indies middle-order batsmen after Moeen Ali ended another half-century opening partnership by accounting for stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite and partner John Campbell off consecutive deliveries. Ali supported Wood’s hostility at the other end with subtle variations to finish with figures of four for 36. However, it was the introduction of Wood,
who came on as the fourth bowler in the England armoury, which had the greatest impact on an eventful day. He dismissed Shai Hope and Roston Chase off successive deliveries, both taken at gully, in his opening over and added the scalp of Shimron Hetmyer, caught at the second attempt by England captain Joe Root at first slip, off the final delivery of the afternoon session. Darren Bravo perished shortly after the resumption to another Root slip catch and the delighted fast bowler returned after some resistance from Shane Dowrich (38) to polish
off the innings and complete the five-wicket haul when he yorked last man Shannon Gabriel. HARD TIMES WITH INJURY: “It feels fantastic. All the hard times I´ve had with injury, and the self-doubt, today I feel like in England,” said Wood. “I feel great with this new run-up. When you get a wicket in your first over the adrenaline starts pumping.” At the start of the day England´s batsmen collapsed to the West Indian fast bowlers yet again, this time operating effectively with the second new ball, as the visitors lost six wickets for 45 runs to be dismissed just before lunch. Wicketless on the first day when an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 124 between Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes lifted the tourists to 231 for four, Kemar Roach stole the spotlight in scything through the middle and lower order to finish with figures of four for 48. He now has 17 wickets in series. It was Gabriel though who made the first strike of the morning by bowling Jos Buttler on his overnight score of 67 with just one run added to the total. That was the trigger for the slide and a reinvigorated Roach quickly got involved by dismissing Stokes for the innings top score of 79 when the attacking left-hander miscued an attempted pull and wicketkeeper Dowrich sprinted 30 metres to backward square-leg in clinging on to a superb diving catch.
composed 32 for the opening wicket. And even after Nahida’s fall – Shakera Selman sent her back for a 22-ball 15 – Javeria Khan sealed up one end to support Ameen. The two added another 44 for the second wicket, and though the Windies managed two quick wickets, scalping both Javeria (24 off 49) and Bismah Maroof (5), Ameen once again found support from Nida Dar (26 off 51). Their 46-run stand for the fourth wicket took Pakistan to within 32 runs of victory, with Ameen bringing up her third ODI half-century en route. However, both players were then dismissed in quick succession, giving rise to concern that Pakistan might once again fumble the chase, despite having come so far. But it was all too little too late for the Windies. Kainat Imtiaz and Sana Mir added 24* runs for the seventh wicket and Pakistan ended with 163/6 on the board.
let india approach us: pcB md SPORTS DESK Wasim Khan, the PCB’s new managing director, believes there is very little chance of bilateral cricket ties resuming between India and Pakistan in the near future but also thinks it might be time for a new strategy to get the two teams together. Wasim, who was previously chief executive at the Leicestershire County Cricket Club, spoke to reporters in Lahore for the first time since taking up his new role earlier this week, ESPNcricinfo reported. “It’s a massive challenge,” he said. “And I don’t think we’re going to see any solutions anytime soon. I think elections are going on in India, so nothing is going to happen in the near future. But, we are trying and [PCB chairman] Ehsan [Mani] is trying hard to get them to the table and get things moving.” “We keep on asking them to play us but let’s create a situation where they ask us to play. I think we need to do that. It’s sad that we are not playing against them but life continues. We need to move forward and carry on. We can’t wait forever to play India. Our focus is to develop Pakistan cricket and get our team and players a lot of success at the international level.” Since 2009, the PCB has been pushing the BCCI for more matches between the two countries. It began during the Zaka Ashraf regime and reached its end during Najam Sethi’s when the ICC rejected the case he filed against the BCCI for dishonouring an agreement to play seven bilateral series between 2014 and 2023. Mani stood by Wasim’s views on India-Pakistan cricket. “Until it’s not done (elections in India) there is no point in engaging them at this stage because we have to start over with new people in the BCCI,” Mani said. “But our relations with the Indian board are very good and we have mutual respect but we won’t be imploring them to play us. If we can take Pakistan cricket to a level where we are among the top three teams in the world, they will come on their own to play with us. “I get a lot of messages from Indian journalists and public about their wish to play against Pakistan. Unfortunately, politics sneaks in which I don’t believe sports should ever be mixed up with. But it happens in our environment, especially in India it happens a lot.”
Pakistan players climb in latest ICC T20 rankings SPORTS DESKS
psl tickets for pakistan matches to start from rs500 SPORTS DESK After much anticipation, tickets for Pakistan-leg of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) are scheduled to go on sale online this week, starting from as low as Rs500. According to media reports, tickets for Pakistan matches are priced in between Rs500 and Rs12,000 for the fourth edition of the celebrated league. Albeit, tickets for the final fixture, scheduled to be held in Karachi’s national stadium on March 17, are expected to be costlier. In the Pakistan-leg of the tournament, Lahore will host Lahore Qalandars against Islamabad United on March 9, Lahore Qalandars vs the Sixth Team on March 10 and Eliminator 1 (3 v 4) on March 12 at Gaddafi stadium. All three matches will be played under floodlights. Meanwhile, Karachi will host a total of five matched including the final.
India spinner Kuldeep Yadav has moved up one place to take a careerbest second position in the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after grabbing two for 26 in the final match against New Zealand which his side lost by four runs to go 2-1 down in the series. The 24-year-old left-arm wristspinner accounted for well-set openers Tim Seifert and Colin Munro in the only match he played during the series and reaped immediate dividends. He is now only behind Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the table. Spinners Imad Wasim of Pakistan (up five places to fourth position) and Mitchell Santner of New Zealand (up four places to 10th) have also moved up in the latest rankings update that includes two other series which saw South Africa beat Pakistan and Nepal beat the United Arab Emirates by identical 2-1 margins. Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya was another spinner to move up as he advanced 39 places to a career-best 58th while India openers Rohit Sharma (up three places to seventh) and Shikhar Dhawan (up one place to 11th) have
made progress with some useful knocks. For New Zealand, Kane Williamson (up one place to 12th), Ross Taylor (up seven places to 51st) and Tim Seifert (up 87 places to a career-best 83rd) among batsmen and Tim Southee (up seven places to 30th) among bowlers are some notable gainers. For South Africa, left-arm fast
bowler Beuran Hendricks’s eight wickets against Pakistan have helped him re-enter the rankings at a career-best 81st position while his compatriot Chris Morris has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 21st position after finishing with six wickets. Andile Phehlukwayo has also advanced 15 places to a career-best 23rd position with five wickets.
Among their batsmen, Faf du Plessis (up from 20th to 17th) and Reeza Hendricks (up from 73rdto 42nd) have been the main gainers. Pakistan’s Babar Azam continues at the top of the batsmen’s list after scoring 151 runs in the series while Hussain Talat has gained 19 places to reach 56th position after aggregating 98 runs. Shaheen Afridi has moved up 28 places to a career-best 48th position among bowlers. The UAE’s Shaiman Anwar has risen to 15th among batsmen with a gain of two slots while Mohammad Naveed has gained three places to reach 12th position among bowlers. Nepal’s Paras Khadka has gained five places to reach 90th position while Basant Regmi (up four places) and Sompal Kami (up 22 places) are in joint 70th position among bowlers. In the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, South Africa have overtaken Australia and England to third place while Nepal have overtaken the UAE marginally to be in 14th position even as they come on to the table within a week of similarly crossing the threshold of eight matches and gaining entry onto the ODI table.
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019
Nandipur case verdict to be announced on Feb 20 ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday reserved its judgement on the Nandipur Power Project corruption reference till February 20. During the hearing, former adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on parliamentary affairs, Babar Awan completed arguments for his acquittal in the reference while the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor also presented his stance. Earlier, the accountability court had directed Babar Awan and former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to submit bail bonds worth Rs 0.2m each. Soon after the reference was filed, Babar Awan had resigned from the post of PM’s adviser and said that he had resigned to prove that the allegations against him were baseless. The project remained a victim of delays since its inception. In 2012, a one-man commission comprising Justice (r) Rehmat Hussain Jafri had revealed in a report that due to the delays in the project, the national exchequer had suffered a loss of Rs27 billion. The project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on December 27, 2007, at a cost of $329 million. On January 28, 2008, the contract was signed between the Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and the Dong Feng Electric Corporation (DEC), China and two consortiums – COFACE for 68.967 million euros and SINOSURE for $150.151 million – were set up for financing the project. The Water and Power Ministry had sought legal opinion on the project from the Law Ministry in accordance with the schedule of the agreement in July 2009, but the accused repeatedly refused to do so. Furthermore, the Ministry of Water and Power also failed to take concrete steps to resolve the issue, and the matter remained pending. According to details shared by the NAB, after Awan was replaced as the law minister, a legal opinion was issued in November 2011 – after over two years. This inordinate and malafide delay caused a loss of Rs27 billion to the national exchequer. During the course of the investigation, it was established that the accused committed the offence(s) of corruption and corrupt practice, as defined in u/s 9 (a) (vi) and (xii) read with Sr.5 of Schedule Offences of NAO, 1999. STAFF REPORT
LHC grants Hamza two more weeks to be with ailing newborn LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday granted a 14-day extension to Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz Sharif for his stay in London. In a petition filed on Monday, Hamza had sought an extension to attend to his new-born daughter, who has been diagnosed with a serious cardiac issue and, according to doctors, must undergo life-saving surgery. The petition was filed by Hamza’s lawyer Azam Nazeer Tarar. Hamza Shehbaz arrived in London on February 3 after the LHC gave the Punjab Assembly opposition leader one-time permission to leave the country. He had initially been granted permission for a period of 10-days and his name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL). Hamza, who left for London earlier this month, is facing an investigation by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case and for holding assets beyond his declared sources of income. STAFF REPORT
SC HINtS at govt takINg over PrIvate SCHooLS ISLAMABAD
HE Supreme Court (SC) on Monday proposed that the government should either take control of private educational institutes or close such schools. A three-member bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Faisal Arbab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan was hearing a case regarding the use of contemptuous language in a letter addressed to the top judge by the administrations of two private schools in Islamabad. The letter stated that the SC’s decision ordered a 20 per cent decrease in the fee charged by the private schools across the country whose fees are in excess of Rs5,000. The court subsequently ordered a 20 per cent reduction in the fees of all private schools and directed them to return the fees they had charged for summer vacations. “How did you have the audacity to term the court’s decision regarding hike in school fee “a draconian
3-JUDGE BENCH LASHES OUT AT MANAGEMENTS OF TWO PRIVATE SCHOOLS OVER USE OF CONTEMPTUOUS LANGUAGE IN LETTER ADDRESSED TO CJP judgement,” remarked Justice Ahsan, adding that “the language in the letter was contemptuous”. “What kind of things do you write? We should close your schools and can even nationalise them. We can ask the government to handle the administrative affairs of your schools,” observed Justice Gulzar. The private school’s counsel clarified that the administration did not intend to disrespect the court and said, “In fact, the fee had been decreased while implementing on the order.” “You can submit a written apology and we will take a look. We will get an audit done to check whether you have black or white money,” Justice Gulzar responded. “Schools are not a money-making industry.” Justice Gulzar criticised the private schools for “lack of remorse” and remarked that “education had
been made a business commodity”. “Parents are asked where they will be travelling for holidays – how is that the concern of the school administration? Private schools have poisoned homes,” he further said. “We are aware of the kind of comments that were passed after the court’s order. Why don’t we deal with private schools and order the government to take charge of them. Schools are neither an industry nor a money-making sector,” Justice Gulzar added. Seeking replies from the administration of the private schools, the apex court adjourned the hearing for two weeks. Earlier, the top court issued a detailed written verdict elaborating its earlier orders when it had directed private schools charging more than Rs5,000 per month to cut down their fee by 20 per cent. The court had clarified in its verdict that the orders
issued on December 13 last year were applicable to all private schools that charged a fee above the limit and there were no exceptions. Schools that charge less than that amount are exempt from those orders. However, the order has barred schools from withdrawing or reducing awards, scholarships and incentives that had already been awarded to students. Further, any school that writes insulting letters to the parents in relation to the top court’s verdict shall be served a notice. On January 11, then-Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had directed the Law and Justice Commission to appraise it of the reaction of private schools to its earlier directives that any fee in excess of Rs5,000 must be reduced by 20%. The court again directed the owners of private schools to ensure a reduction in fee or face consequences.
Saad Al-Hariri regrets seeking pardon for Sharif family: Fawad
NEWS DESK Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has claimed that Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad El-Din Rafik AlHariri regretted his previous move of “seeking pardon for Sharif family as his big mistake” while conversing with Prime Minister Imran Khan. A day after PM Imran held a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Hariri in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the sidelines of World Government Summit, Fawad took to Twitter and said, “Prime Minister [Imran Khan] was telling Saad Al-Hariri that speculations of NRO for Nawaz Sharif are again making rounds in Pakistan.” “At this, Saad Al-Hariri, who played a key role in seeking NRO for Nawaz Sharif from [former military dictator] Pervez Musharraf, told Imran Khan that seeking pardon for the Sharif family was his big mistake,” he added. The minister went on to say, “Hariri also in-
formed Imran Khan that Nawaz Sharif did not fulfill a single commitment and he was feeling ashamed of it.” On September 8, 2007, during a press conference, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, and Lebanese politician Saad Al-Hariri urged Nawaz Sharif not to return to Pakistan complying with the agreement. The presser was made after a joint meeting of the duo with former president Gen Pervez Musharraf. Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Awadh Al-Asseri was also present during the meeting. Hariri said he had played a key role in securing Nawaz’s release from jail in 2000 in exchange for his exile in Saudi Arabia as a guest of the Saudi Royal Family. He expressed the hope that Nawaz would honour his commitment and stay out of the country. The Saudi intelligence chief was also inquired about the decision by Supreme Court that allowed Nawaz to return to his country; however, he replied: ‘We fully respect the Supreme Court and law of every land but you still have an agreement’. Prince Muqrin and Hariri waived a copy of the agreement which according to them bound the former prime minister and his brother to avoid coming to Pakistan unless their 10-year exile period was over. Nawaz had earlier confirmed his agreement to remain in exile.
Pakistan gives counselor access to 102 Indian prisoners ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday decided to grant counselor access to 102 Indian prisoners. There are currently 537 Indian inmates in Pakistani jails. According to reports, 100 of the Indian prisoners, who would be provided counselor access at the end of this month, are in Karachi jails while two others are in a Rawalpindi jail. The sources expressed the hope that India would also give 347 Pakistani prisoners counselor access. They said the measures would be beneficial for building trust between both the countries. “Giving counselor access to Indian inmates will be Pakistan’s another step towards peaceful neighbourhood,” they maintained. Two Pakistani nationals who were imprisoned in India crossed over to their home country through the Wagah-Attari border crossing after they were released by Indian authorities in December last year. Indian border authorities had handed over the two men, Abdullah Shah and Muhammad Imran Warsi, to Pakistan Rangers officials at the border, sources in the paramilitary force said. Shah, who hails from Swat’s Mingora city, was taken into custody by Indian officials from Attari in 2017 while Warsi, of Karachi, spent 10 years in Bhopal jail on charges of “forgery and spying” after travelling to India in 2004. Warsi had gone to India to meet his Kolkata-based relatives when he was arrested by Indian police. INP
‘Intra-Afghan dialogue’: Khalilzad to embark on six-nation tour, including Pakistan WASHINGTON AGENCIES
A senior US diplomat is set to lead a large delegation on a six-nation tour, including Afghanistan, to boost that country’s peace process and bring “all Afghan parties together in an intra-Afghan dialogue,” the State Department said Sunday. The statement said Zalmay Khalilzad, a former ambassador to Afghanistan who has undertaken extensive recent talks with the Taliban, would head an inter-agency delegation from February 10 to 28. It was unclear whether the group had already left at the time of the statement. The itinerary will take the US delegation to Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the statement said, adding that Khalilzad would “consult with the Afghan government throughout
the trip.” The emphasis on bringing “all Afghan parties together” appeared crucial. US-Taliban peace talks have not included the Afghan government, which the Taliban considers US-backed puppets, and Khalilzad said recently that intra-Afghan negotiations were essential. The US envoy has in recent months met several times with Taliban officials in Qatar, where the group’s leaders have an office in the capital Doha. Khalilzad said Friday that he hoped to see a peace deal in place before Afghanistan´s July presidential elections. President Donald Trump has been pushing to end US involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are still deployed. But Khalilzad emphasised that any troop withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground. He has held a series of meetings with the Pakistani leadership as part of Wash-
ington’s renewed push to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table. The latest push for peace came after President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking Pakistan’s help for the negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict. In the letter, the United States had sought PM Imran’s full support to advance the Afghan peace process. The correspondence came after Trump accused Pakistan of “doing nothing” despite receiving “billions of dollars” in aid. Afghanistan has suffered nearly constant conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was followed by civil war, the Taliban regime, and a US invasion following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. ACTING PENTAGON CHIEF ARRIVES IN AFGHANISTAN: Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrived in Afghanistan on a surprise visit Monday
as the United States seeks to support the Kabul government while negotiating peace with the Taliban. Shanahan will meet President Ashraf Ghani, whose government was not part of major talks between US and Taliban officials last month that negotiators hope could bring a break-
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through in the grinding 17-year conflict. He reinforced US support for the Kabul government before touching down in the Afghan capital. “It’s important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan,” Shanahan told reporters on the flight. “The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like in the future. It’s not about the US, it’s about Afghanistan.” Shanahan will meet General Scott Miller, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, during his visit. “I have not been directed to step down our forces in Afghanistan,” Shanahan said. “I think the presence we want in Afghanistan is what assures our homeland defence and supports regional stability.” The US is expected to resume talks with Taliban officials in Doha, where the insurgents have their political office, on February 25.