Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 i Jamadi-ul-Aakhir 24, 1439 i rs 17.00 i Vol Viii No 254 i 16 Pages i Karachi Edition
iran’S fM in iSlaMabad
Pakistan to resolve issues of iP gas pipeline project: PM g
abbaSi SayS paKiStan worKing for a peaceful, inter-connected region for SHared progreSS, proSperity
daSHing govt'S HopeS in Senate
Zardari turns tables on nawaZ g
Sadiq Sanjrani, SaleeM Mandviwalla becoMe cHairMan, deputy cHairMan of Senate, reSpectively
Sanjrani bagS 57 voteS againSt Zafarul Haq’S 46; Mandviwalla outrunS KaKar’S 44 by Securing 54 voteS
M iran invites pakistan, china to invest in chabahar port STORIES ON PAGE 02
CJP says SC will ensure free and fair general elections STORY ON PAGE 04
petition seeks who linked army chief with faizabad agreement STORY ON PAGE 02
arred with political tribulations, the pakistan Muslim league-nawaz (pMl-n) faced a major setback on Monday when the pakistan people’s party (ppp) led opposition alliance easily defeated the dominant ruling clique and clinched the top slots of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman. in the polling that started at 4pm, independent Senator Mir Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, who was favoured by independent senators from balochistan, ppp, pakistan tehreek-e-insaf (pti), Muttahida qaumi Movement (MqM-p) and federally administered tribal areas (fata), bagged 57 votes against pMl-n’s raja Zafarul Haq’s 46 votes, who was supported by pMl-n allies — pkMap and national party (np), pMl-functional and awami national party (anp). following the victory of Sanjrani, he was sworn in by presiding officer Sardar yaqoob nasar to hold the election for the deputy chairman in which pMl-n backed usman Khan Kakar was pitched against ppp’s Saleem Mandviwalla. this came as yet another blow to the pMl-n as Mandviwalla too defeated pKMap’s usman Kakar by securing 54 votes against Kakar’s 44 votes. Subsequently, Mandviwalla was sworn in as the deputy chairman of the house by the newly elected chairman. However, in the deputy chairman’s election, the MqM-p refrained from supporting the opposition alliance, citing ppp’s vindictive attitude towards it in the urban Sindh regions. even before the polling, Sanjrani appeared quite confident of his victory as he
was supported by almost all the major parties of the country, which had taken his tally to 51. Moreover, he had also hinted at some votes from the ruling pMl-n. on the other hand, the pMl-n leadership looked visibly perturbed as Senator asif Kirmani kept going from one chair to another, whispering in the ears of various party leaders during the polling. regarding the role of jui-f, the ruling party’s ally, observers said perhaps Sanjrani and Mandviwala got additional votes from the jui-f senators who had claimed to vote for the ruling coalition. the victories of both candidates, however, were celebrated by the opposition bloc, with slogans and cheers in favour of asif Zardari, who is considered to be the mastermind of these victories. after the victory of the ppp-backed nominee, the house echoed with proZardari slogans, ik Zardari sb py bhari which led to a scuffle during the proceedings. the brief scuffle between prime Minister Shahid abbasi's son abdullah abbasi and
pti lawmaker Hamidul Haq ensued on the issue of the sloganeering. However, both were shown out of the house following the altercation. denying the news about the scuffle, information Minister Marriyum aurangzeb said that son of prime Minister Shahid Khaqan abbasi was “not part of the unfortunate incident [scuffle] in the Senate”. in a statement issued late night, the minister said that like others, prime minister's son abdullah along with his family and friends was present in Senate gallery to witness the election process. She added that the pM had apologised to pti’s Hamidul Haq, over the incident.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 03 more on page 03 Govt alleges horse-trading as opposition rejoices Senate win
CJP SAyS TV ANCHor SHAHid MASood To BE PuNiSHEd AS PEr lAw iMaM-e-Kaaba MeetS preSident, pM, coaS
Pakistan urges Muslim world to unite against terrorism
ON PAGE 03
NAB decides to probe HEC chairman’s appointment Sc summons nab prosecutor general over harassment of drap staff STORIES ON PAGES 02 & 04
STORY ON PAGE 04
49 killed after bd plane crashes in Kathmandu CMYK
STORY ON PAGE 02
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
IRAN’S FM MEETS PM IN ISLAMABAD
PakIsTaN To rEsolvE IssuEs oF IP gas PIPElINE ProjECT: PM ABBASI SAYS PAKISTAN WORKING FOR A PEACEFUL, INTER-CONNECTED REGION FOR SHARED PROGRESS, PROSPERITY ISLAMABAD
RIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday expressed his commitment to work to resolve issues in implementation of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, including financing of the pipeline infrastructure and the scope of snap back clause. In a meeting with Iran’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Javad Zarif, who called on him here, he reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to enhance mutually beneficial economic cooperation, including bilateral trade, investments and commercial interaction, with Iran. During the meeting, both the sides discussed efforts for strengthening of bilateral relations and issues related to peace and security in the region. Prime Minister Abbasi said that Pakistan and Iran should work together and make their utmost efforts for enhancing the bilateral trade to $5 billion by 2021. He emphasised the need to deepen connectivity to harness benefits from regional economic integration. He said that Pakistan was working towards realising its vision of a peaceful and inter-connected region for shared progress and prosperity. “We believe that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is vital for economic progress
of the region and Pakistan and Iran as the two neighbouring countries can make important contribution for achieving this objective,” he remarked. He also thanked the Iranian leadership for their steadfast support to the principled struggle of Kashmiris. The Iranian foreign minister appreciated the increasing high-level interaction between the two countries and said that the mutual efforts had resulted into enhanced economic and people-to-people interaction, which should be further strengthened. He also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for strengthening border management to prevent illegal cross border activities. Dr Zarif is visiting Pakistan from March 11-
13 for bilateral consultations with the foreign minister. During this visit, he is also having interaction with the senior civil and military officials. A NEW PARADIGM OF INCLUSIVENESS: Speaking on the 70 years of Pakistan-Iran relations and future prospects here at the Institute of Strategic Studies, the Iranian foreign minister said that Pakistan and his country could work together on forming a new paradigm of inclusiveness by abandoning the concept of ‘blocs’ and joining the concept of ‘networking’ which would include everybody and none would have the power to exclude anybody from peace initiatives in the re-
IraN INvITEs PakIsTaN, ChINa To INvEsT IN ChaBahar PorT DR ZARIF SAYS IRAN WON’T ALLOW ITS SOIL TO BE USED AGAINST PAKISTAN ISLAMABAD: Iran’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Javad Zarif has invited Pakistan and China to invest in the Chabahar port which was strategically situated at the mouth of the Straits of Hormuz. Speaking to journalists, he said that Iran’s relations with India were not aimed against Pakistan in any way. He said that the Iranian leadership would not allow anyone to use its soil against Pakistan. He said that Gwadar and Chabhar ports were complimentary for each other. The two were in the best interest of the region. He said that the development of the Chabhar port was not aimed at encircling Pakistan. “We want to connect Chabhar with CPEC both through land and sea.” Iran was ready to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said and invited Pakistan to join the Chabhar port project. The Iranian minister said that both Pakistan and Iran would need to cooperate to put an end to terrorism in the region. Zarif, who arrived in Pakistan early on Monday morning, received a warm welcome by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Islamabad airport. Addressing the Pak-Iran Business Forum, the Iranian foreign minister said that there had been a 50 per cent increase in trade between Pakistan and Iran since the last year. “Together, we can move towards a free trade agreement,” he said, adding that Pakistan and Iran were the leading industrial countries among Muslim states. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also weighed in on the topic and remarked that the trade activities between Pakistan and Iran had increased in the past two years. “Trade with Iran has increased by one billion dollars,” he said. On the other hand, Dr Zarif said that extremism and terrorism were the offshoots of extreme poverty and the problem could only be tackled through consistent economic growth. STAFF REPORT gion. He said that there was need to change region-based networking. “We need to abandon the outdated paradigm of creating enemy for enemy,” he said. Dr Zarif said that the two countries had bilateral relations since long, which were deep rooted in common faith, history and culture. “Pakistan has always been on our side during our difficult times,” he added. “We will never do anything to harm Pakistan and expect the same from Pakistan,” he said, adding that Iran desired to further strengthen its political, cultural, economic, trade, banking, and people-topeople ties with Pakistan. He said that small theological differences could not di-
NAB decides to investigate HEC chairman’s appointment 49 killed after Bangladesh plane crashes in Nepal KATHMANDU: Forty-nine people were killed when a Bangladeshi plane crashed and burst into flames near Kathmandu airport on Monday, in the worst aviation disaster to hit Nepal in nearly three decades. Officials said there were 71 people on board the USBangla Airlines plane from Dhaka when it crashed just east of the runway and skidded into a nearby football field. Rescuers had to cut apart the mangled and burned wreckage of the upturned aircraft to pull people out, some of whom were buried under the scattered debris. “Forty people died at the spot and nine died at two hospitals in Kathmandu,” police spokesman Manoj Neupane told AFP, adding another 22 were being treated in hospital, some in a critical condition. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but a statement from airport authorities said the plane was “out of control” as it came in to land. An airport source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there may have been confusion between air traffic control and the pilot over which runway the plane was meant to land on. Eyewitnesses said the plane crashed as it made a second approach towards the airport, bursting into flames after coming to a halt in a football pitch next to the runway. “It should have come straight but it went in the other direction,” said airport cleaner Sushil Chaudhary, who saw the crash. “I was worried it would hit another aircraft, but the pilot pulled the plane up. But then it crashed towards the field.” Nepal Army spokesman Gokul Bhandaree said seven of the victims survived the impact but later died of their injuries. Airline spokesman Kamrul Islam told AFP 33 of the passengers were Nepali, 32 were Bangladeshi, one was Chinese and one from the Maldives. Local media reported that many of the Nepali passengers were college students returning home for a holiday. AGENCIES
DR MUKHTAR AHMED IS ABOUT TO COMPLETE HIS TENURE ISLAMABAD HAMID KHAN WAZIR
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) decided on Monday to conduct an inquiry against the alleged illegal appointment of Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, who is about to complete his tenure. The appointment of Dr Mukhtar Ahmed as the HEC chairman opened a floodgate of criticism because the criterion adopted to appoint him to the post was dubious. His appointment had also been challenged in different courts. In a meeting chaired by NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal on Monday, it was decided to carry out complaint verification against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and officers of the Establishment Division in the case of alleged illegal appointment of Dr Mukhtar Ahmed. Higher Education Working Group on Higher Education Reforms welcomed NAB’s decision to investigate alleged illegal appointment of HEC chairman. The working group said that such inquiries would be greatly helpful in discouraging illegal and non-transparent appointments of heads of institutions in the higher education sector. The spokesperson of the working group said that many stakeholders had raised serious concerns over the appointment of HEC chairman by ignoring merit. In this regard, a detailed report was also prepared, he added. The spokesperson said that the working group believed that the effective functioning of the higher education sector was directly linked to the appointment of capable senior academicians through a transparent selection process.
He also demanded the prime minister, who exercises control on the commission’s matters, to ask the current HEC chairman not to perform his official duties till the conclusion of the NAB inquiry. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed was appointed as head of HEC in 2014, which was among some of the few prestigious posts in Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention here that HEC was the only higher education regulatory body with more than Rs 90 billion budget, besides having complete control of monitoring affairs of around 180 public sector universities. According to details obtained by Pakistan Today, the appointment was made in sheer violation of court orders, existing laws and principles of merit and transparency. Sources said that the official summary number 1(1) Minister/PD&R/2014 sent to the then prime minister on February 12, 2014, ignored the eligibility criteria laid down in the HEC Act 2002 and the advertisement published in the newspaper for the job. They alleged that a discriminatory self-formulated criterion was adopted while proposing three names to the prime minister, as the summary was prepared by the ‘Search Committee’ constituted for the selection of HEC chief under the chairmanship of the then Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal. The committee proposed three names
to the prime minister, including that of Dr Mukhtar, Engineer Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar and Professor Najma Najam, for the prestigious slot. The criterion adopted for the appointment of the chairman was in blatant violation of the guiding principles laid down by the Supreme Court (SC) in its famous judgment in the ‘Khawaja Asif versus the Federation of Pakistan’ case. It was said that the apex court had directed all public offices to strictly observe the principle of fair play and select the best suitable candidate for a given post on merit and on the basis of the candidates’ abilities, experience, qualities and a probe record of accomplishment to match the needs of the appointment in question. It was further stated that the candidate for the slot should preferably hold a PhD degree as announced in the newspaper advertisement for inviting applications because he/she would be required to provide leadership in the higher education sector with a large pool of academicians holding PhD degrees. Besides, the candidate should possess a clear vision for the future of higher education in Pakistan, relevant leadership experience in this field and a good understanding of the HEC’s mandate and scope. Moreover, the candidate should preferably be under the age of 65 years. Interestingly, these factors as part of the selection criterion were not mentioned in the advertisement that appeared in newspapers on January 12, 2014. The factors were also not in accordance with the laid down criterion stated clearly in section five of the HEC Act 2002. The HEC law states: “The controlling authority [i.e. the prime minister] shall appoint a person of international eminence and proven ability who has made significant contributions to higher education as a teacher, a researcher, an administrator or as chairperson on such terms and conditions as it may determine.”
vide the two countries as the common challenges being faced by them were greater, which bound them together. Speaking on the occasion, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz highlighted the historical and civilization bonds between Pakistan and Iran and said that the overwhelming majority of the people of both the countries had warm feelings for one another. He said that trade and connectivity with Iran would be further expanded. ISSI Chairman Khalid Mahmood said that Pakistan attached great importance to the bilateral relations with Iran. He said that the two countries were jointly working for peace and prosperity of Afghanistan.
ECP forms body to probe PTI’s funding sources ISLAMABAD: A five-member bench of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday whilst hearing the foreign funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) formed a committee to probe the accounts and funding sources of the party. Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Sardar Raza Khan, heading the five-member bench, gave the directives on the petition filed by disgruntled PTI member Akbar S Babar in November 2014. Announcing its decision which was reserved at the last hearing, the ECP directed the formation of a three-member committee to probe PTI’s accounts and seven-year funding record which the party had submitted before the commission. The committee will be headed by ECP Director General Law Mohammad Irshad and submit its report in one month and will start its work from March 19. Moreover, the ECP ruled that only the petitioner, respondent and their counsels can appear before the committee. Talking to the media after the hearing, petitioner Babar said he hopes the PTI will not seek another stay from the high court against today’s order, adding that the party has been indulging in the practice of getting stays and delays from courts. STAFF REPORT
Who linked army chief with Faizabad agreement? ISLAMABAD: A petition filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday requested that all the finer details of the defence ministry’s report should be revealed to ascertain the identities of those who used Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s name in connection with an agreement struck between the state and Faizabad protestors. The defence ministry’s report had already been submitted to the court in February this year after the Ministry of Defence secretary was asked to identify the culprits spreading such information. Advocate Rana Abdul Qayyum filed the petition through his counsel Inamul Rahiem. The petitioner stated that being a party to the case, he had the right to ask for a copy of the report which was also a “public document”. The petitioner also referred to the oath taken by members of the armed forces that prohibited them from taking part in any political activity. AGENCIES
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
govT allEgEs horsE-TradINg as oPPosITIoN rEjoICEs sENaTE WIN BILAWAL SAYS ‘ZIA’S OPENING NP CHIEF SAYS PPP-LED ALLIANCE’S VICTORY PROVED BATSMAN DEFEATED’ SOME FORCES ‘MORE SUPREME’ THAN PARLIAMENT ISLAMABAD
TARTLED by its failure to clinch the top slots, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) has accused the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led alliance of indulging in horse-trading, with Maryam Nawaz, the former first daughter, termed the opposition senators ‘pawn in the chess game’. However basking in the glory of their victory, opposition leaders, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, CoChairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, congratulated those elected for the Senate’s top slots. Soon after the result, Maryam Nawaz in a tweet called her opponents ‘pawns’. Not deterred by the defeat, she called the supporters of the PPP-led alliance pawns of a chess game and added that they have been defeated in the eyes of the public. Reacting to the results of the polls for the Senate chairman, NP Chairman Mir Hasil Bizenjo said the PPP-led alliance’s victory proved that some forces were “more supreme” than parliament. Despite having a majority in the upper house, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) failed to se-
cure either of the top slots due to alleged political engineering by the PPP co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari. “The parliament has been completely defeated. Those supreme forces have won and have shown that they can make the Parliament a market,” he said while addressing the house adding: “Today I am ashamed to sit here, for it is not the party of Benazir Bhutto or Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that won today.” He said, “Today was the day when parliament’s face was blackened.” He said that he needed to make a speech today, else he wouldn’t be able to do it for the rest of his life. The NP chief also criticised the opposition for terming this a victory of Balochistan. He said that the political parties had turned Balochistan into a market. “After the building has been collapsed, it is being said we have done it for Balochistan. Is this what you’ve done for Balochistan? You did the same with the KP,” he added. Talking to reporters, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the ‘two cousins’ Imran Khan and Asif Zardari shook hands for Senate polls. She further said that the PML-N is the only party which always opposed horse-trading in politics. She also said that the “ugly face of those was exposed today who chanted slogans for change”,
adding that former premier Nawaz was never involved in the process of buying. Minister of State for Interior Talal Chaudhry said that “despite all the tactics, the timely held Senate polls were a good omen for democracy”. He said those who were raising so-called slogans were exposed before the public, and those who had been abusing Zardari in the past were now supporting him. “Both Imran and Zardari have incurred huge losses to the democracy in a bid to show their animosity against Nawaz,” he said and added that Nawaz was the champion of democracy. ‘ZIA’S OPENING BATSMAN DEFEATED’: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari took to Twitter to congratulate the new Senate’s chairman. “Zia’s opening batsman defeated. Balochistan wins. Federalism wins. Congratulations Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani,” Bilawal tweeted. In a separate Twitter statement, PTI chief Imran Khan congratulated Sanjrani and the people of Balochistan, saying that his victory would strengthen the federation. “Congratulations to Baloch Senator Sadiq Sanjirani for becoming Chairman Senate. This will strengthen the federation. We are happy for the people of Balochistan and for the Federation of Pakistan,” Khan tweeted. Similarly, PPP President Asif Ali
Zardari turns tables on Nawaz contInueD froM pAge 01 Earlier in the day,103 senators, excluding former finance minister Ishaq Dar, met at the Parliament House to take oaths and elect the chairman and deputy chairman of the upper house, respectively. The oath was administered by the Presiding Officer Yaqoob Nasar after which the senators were invited to sign the member rolls. Only Ishaq Dar did not take the oath as he is undergoing ‘medical treatment’ in London. His election as a senator is also being contested in the Supreme Court. In last minute wheelings and dealings for the top posts in the upper house which ostensibly dashed all hopes of the PML-N’s victory, eight FATA members had announced their support for Sanjrani, while the MQM-P’s Bahadurabad group said it would not support Saleem Mandviwalla for the post of deputy chair-
man while agreeing to support Sanjrani. The result of the top slots was no different than the Senate polls of March 3, in which the PPP had stolen the PML-N’s thunder by depriving it of at least six seats from Balochistan and gaining two from KP. In February this year, Asif Ali Zardari had claimed that “he can put an end to the PML-N government whenever he wants” and later endorsed this statement by giving the example of Balochistan government, where the dissident faction of the PML-N rebelled against the party and ousted then CM Sanaullah Zehri. The current CM, Quddus Bizenjo, remained at the frontline as Zardari’s manoeuvred the PTI and FATA senators. And now, in the race for top slots of the upper house, Zardari has worked his charm by bringing all the opposition parties together. Prior to the Senate polls, Asif Ali Zardari had claimed that the chairman
will be from the PPP. Speaking to a rally in May 2017, he challenged the PML-N that the PPP will again clinch the Senate chairmanship and it will win the general elections as well. Zardari’s claim had given rise to speculations about the rampant horse-trading during the Senate polls. According to reports making rounds in the mainstream media, billions of rupees have been spent to buy votes for the top Senate seats. SENATE POLLS: On March 3, the ruling PML-N established dominance in the Senate despite PPP’s surprising performance in the 52-seat contest. In the elections held for 52 seats in the Senate, the PML-N and allies took their Senate tally to 46, becoming the largest party in Senate. PML-N won 11 seats from Punjab and two each from Islamabad and KPK. PPP, winning 10 seats from Sindh and 2 from KPK, managed 12 seats. PTI bagged 5 seats from KPK and one from Punjab. Two candidates of the JUI-F, PkMAP and NP each, one candidate from each of the MQM, Jamaat-i-Islami and PML-F, were successful as well. In addition, 12 of the seats went to the independent candidates.
NACTA LAUNCHES CHOKAS
Govt to monitor criminals, extremists in cyber space INTERIOR MINISTER SAYS TERRORISM SCREENING SYSTEM TO BE ESTABLISHED TO PROTECT CPEC ROUTE ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Minister for Interior Affairs Ahsan Iqbal on Monday directed senior officials concerned that extremist and criminal elements should be strictly monitored in cyberspace and on social media. He said this while presided over a meeting about internal security, which was attended by top police officials from the provinces, National Police Bureau directorgeneral, Frontier Corps commandant and other high ranking officials. He said that Pakistan needed enduring peace and stability to make sustainable economic and social progress. Earlier, the minister inaugurated the new building of the NACTA headquarters here and visited different sections of the building and addressed the officers. Ahsan Iqbal said that the projects of the safe city would be extended to other cities. He said that the police and the CounterTerrorism Departments should start internship programme, adding that a large number of youths wanted to work in the federal departments.
Zardari congratulated Sanjrani and Mandviwala for being elected as the Senate chairman and deputy chairman, respectively. He said that the elections for the Senate chairman from Balochistan were a “continuation of Aghaz-e-Huqooq Balochistan”. He also congratulated the senators who voted for opposition candidates. “The PPP believes in democracy and democratic process,” said Zardari in a statement. PPP Secretary General Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said that the PML-N ministers showed that the PML-N was a “bad loser”. Congratulating the newlyelected Senate chairman and deputy chairman, he said that Zardari had strengthened federation by getting elected the Senate chairman from Balochistan, while on the other hand, he said, Nawaz Sharif had always “conspired against democracy”. “Nawaz will always be a byproduct of dictator Ziaul Haq,” he stated. Congratulating Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandiwalla and Sanjrani on their election, Jamaat-e-Islam (JI) chief Sirajul Haq said the Senate polls were a step towards promoting democracy because people feared the election would not take place at all. Senators, including Senate chairmanship candidate Raja Zafarul Haq, Mian Raza Rabbani, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar and others also congratulated the new chairman and urged all political parties to work jointly for the supremacy of the parliament.
He said that a department of student counselling should be set up in universities. He said that the security cameras should be installed at entry and exit points of the motorway. He said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route would be provided complete security and terrorism screening system would be established. “We should have a partnership and should take benefit of international security institutions,” he said. “We have to work for the stability of the country and the region.” The interior minister also launched an application - Chokas – of NACTA against the spread of hate. Through the application, complaints of public will be received and important information will be shared with NACTA. While congratulating for the launch of the application, Ahsan said that by using the application, people would inform about hate speech and help control extremism and terrorism. He said that officers should timely take action on the complaints of the people so that utility of the application could be maintained. He said that the application would help protect Pakistan.
CjP says Masood to be punished as per law ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday observed that TV anchorperson Shahid Masood, who made startling claims about the Zainab rape and murder case, will be punished as per the law. In his programme on a private TV channel, Masood claimed that main accused in Zainab case, Imran Ali, maintained over 37 bank accounts, mostly foreign currency denominated, with transactions in dollars, euros and pounds sterling. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar made the remarks during the hearing of suo moto notice of the anchorperson s claims. As the hearing resumed, the top court dismissed the response of Shahid Masood and remarked that time for apologising is over. The anchor should have realised his responsibility, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked. The chief justice also observed that the court will decide whether this case falls under the jurisdiction of Anti-Terrorism Act or not. The chief justice then asked the attorney general for how long PEMRA can ban a channel for such violation. The hearing was adjourned for a week, as the court ordered the attorney general to submit his response on next hearing. STAFF REPORT
sC decides to indict hashmi over his speeches ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday decided to indict Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nehal Hashmi for his most recent inflammatory speech that he made after completing his one-month sentence for contempt of court on March 26. After his release from the Adiala Jail, Hashmi had declared himself a victim of revenge while complaining that his appeal against the verdict in the contempt of court case was not heard even after his sentence had ended. This is the height of oppression, he had said. Who are you holding accountable? And who are you anyway? I stand by what I said [earlier], he had said. Taking up its second contempt notice against Hashmi on Monday, a three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, dismissed his response as unsatisfactory and decided to indict him. Talking to the media after the hearing, Hashmi claimed that he never uttered any words against the judges and judiciary. That clip showed the language of inmates, he said. He also asserted that it is his legal and constitutional right that the apology he tenders before the court is accepted. STAFF REPORT
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
ZAINAB MURDER CASE
LHC summons record on convict’s appeal LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has summoned the record of the trial court on the appeal of Imran Ali against his conviction in rape and murder case of sevenyear-old Zainab of Kasur. Hearing the appeal on Monday, a division bench comprising Justice Shahram Sarwar Chaudhry and Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan summoned the case record on Tuesday. In the appeal, submitted to the LHC by the jail administration, the convict Imran Ali pleaded that he had confessed to his crime and saved the precious time of the trial court. He said that the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) rushed the proceedings and failed to adhere to legal formalities. In his jail-appeal, the convict further added that in developed countries the courts treated criminals with leniency if they made a confession but the trial court did not show leniency in his case. The condemned prisoner urged the court to set aside his death penalty and also commute other sentences. STAFF REPORT
SC issues notice to Dar over Senate nomination ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday issued a notice to former finance minister Ishaq Dar over a plea pertaining to approval of his nomination papers for Senate elections. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case during which the CJP remarked that Dar had not challenged the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) decision of declaring him absconder. He directed the former minister to appear in court next week and appointed Babar Sattar as a judicial assistant. On Friday, two petitions challenging the election of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – former finance minister Ishaq Dar and Hafiz Abdul Kareem – on Senate seats were filed in the SC. The petition, filed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Mian Nawazish Ali Peerzada, requests the apex court to declare the senators-elect ineligible to be a member of the parliament. Challenging the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) verdict, the petitioner requested the top court to suspend the court’s order. STAFF REPORT
Court reserves ruling in Dar graft reference ISLAMABAD: An accountability court hearing the illegal assets reference against former finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Monday reserved its ruling on the plea of the others accused against their indictment. On March 5, Judge Mohammad Bashir, who is presiding over the case, had ordered the indictment of National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi today. All the three have been accused in the supplementary reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Dar. Two of three had filed a petition with the court last week against their planned indictment. The accountability court had issued a notice to NAB to submit its response to the plea. The NAB prosecutor opposed the plea saying that the defence was just using it a delaying tactic. The court reserved its order over the plea against indictment after hearing arguments from the suspects’ counsel Qazi Misbah. STAFF REPORT
IMAM-E-KAABA CALLS ON PRESIDENT, PM
PakiStan urgeS MuSLiM worLD to unite againSt terroriSM PRESIDENT EMPHASISES NEED TO COUNTER ISLAMOPHOBIA
SHEIKH SALEH AGREES WITH SUGGESTIONS FOR MUSLIM UNITY
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had convergence of views on international and regional issues and both fully cooperated with each other on international forums. He highlighted that every year Saudi government makes excellent arrangements for Hajj and Umrah. He said that Pakistan fully supported the Saudi government’s Vision 2030 which would create stability in the region and strengthen the country’s economy. He further said that Islamophobia had emerged in the world during the last few years and there was a need to counter it. “I am pleased that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are working together to eliminate these misperceptions against Islam,” he said. He said that an effective system should be developed through mutual consultation for the restoration of the people affected from unrest in Muslim world. The president pointed out that unrest was promoted in different part of the Islamic world and the
RESIDENT Mamnoon Hussain on Monday proposed a system for the rehabilitation and support of the people suffering from unrest and instability in different parts of the Muslim world and said that the whole Muslim Ummah, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia should work actively to eradicate the menace. He said this while talking to Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Saleh bin Muhammad al-Talib who alongwith a delegation called on him at the President House in Islamabad. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Minister for Communication Dr Hafiz Abdul Karim, Senator Sajid Mir and Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Bin Almalky were also present on the occasion. The president emphasised that
Muslims should learn a lesson from it and should work united to eradicate it. He stressed that the curriculum of religious educational institutions should be improved in accordance with the requirement of modern era so that the coming generations could meet the challenges of the modern world. He emphasised the need to include science and technology subjects in the curriculum. The president said that Pakistan wanted Saudi Arabia to be so strong that no power could cast a bad eye on it. Imam-e-Kaaba also met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and discussed the issues concerning the Muslim world along with bilateral ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Imam-e-Kaaba called upon National Assembly Speaker
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in Parliament House and admired Pakistan’s role for maintaining peace in the region and its commitment to eradicate the menace of terrorism and extremism from the country and beyond. Imam-e-Kaaba called upon Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed matters of mutual interest. Speaking on the occasion, Imam-eKaaba said that Pakistan had a significant place in the Muslim world and it was playing its vital role for peace and stability in the region. The COAS said that relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were based on mutual trust and brotherhood. Both would continue to play part for peace, prosperity and betterment of the Muslim Ummah, he added.
CJP says SC will ensure free, fair general election JUSTICE NISAR SAYS WILL SWAP BUREAUCRACIES BEFORE POLLS TO ENSURE TRANSPARENCY ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said that the Supreme Court (SC) will ensure free and fair elections by shifting all the bureaucracy from one province to another before the elections. He also commented on the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government’s expenditure on advertisements, saying that they have spent Rs 1.63 billion on media advertise-
ments in the last five years besides spending Rs 20.4 million in the last three months. “Rs 1.64 billion were given between 1st January and 28th February,” said the KP information secretary in response. He was further asked if an oath could be taken that the advertisement did not promote the KP government in any sense adding, “Imran Khan appears in an ad which says ‘people’s dreams have been fulfilled.” “Action will be taken if any misstatement is seen and the KP government will be personally responsible for any misstatement,” stated the CJP. He added that the court has multiple sources of information therefore it has requested details of every ad published in both the print and electronic media during the past year. The court then ordered the KP information secretary to take an oath to testify that pictures of the
PTI chairman and KP Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak were not published anywhere. The CJP said that no political campaigns will be accepted and if the government wishes to make an advertisement then they should spend their personal funds. “Use your personal funds if you want to promote yourself. We have to decide about the ones from whom the money is to be recovered,” he said. “Our print and electronic media people have not received salaries for the past three months,” he noted and added that, “Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had promised to deposit Rs 5.5 million.” Speaking about the advertisements in Sindh, he said that: “Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto and the Sindh CM’s picture should not appear in ads. Benazir is a martyr and she is respectable to us.” Recommendations have been sought from the respondents on Tuesday.
COUNTERFEIT DRUGS CASE
SC summons senior NAB official over staff harassment of DRAP ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday summoned the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) prosecutor general in connection with the counterfeit drugs case. The CJP was hearing a complaint lodged by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) with the Supreme Court’s (SC) Human Rights Cell (HRC) against Everest Pharmaceuticals for manufacturing fake drugs. The complaint states that the company’s owner Chaudhry Usman used his connections to harass the DRAP staff. The three-member bench was informed that NAB had withdrawn the notice
against DRAP and the proceedings against the accused had been closed. The bureau’s additional prosecutor general apprised the apex court that the notice to DRAP’s chief executive officer was issued before the court’s order. “The notice was issued through a misunderstanding,” said the NAB additional prosecutor general, to which the CJP responded that it was equivalent to undermining the authority of the court. “Any such actions will not be tolerated in the future. Please inform the NAB chairman of my displeasure and annoyance on this incident,” said Chief Justice Nisar and ordered the bureau to submit a complete record of its proceedings against DRAP to the SC. In addition, the bench directed
NAB’s additional prosecutor general to probe into the case and also into NAB officer Amir Marth’s assets. “Anyone who takes any action against DRAP without the SC’s permission will not be pardoned,” he stated. He directed the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) director general to submit a report on the harassment of DRAP officers within 15 days and then submit a complaint against Bahawalpur Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Riffat Mukhtar and others who were accomplices in the harassment. CJP Nisar concluded by remarking that [corrupt officials] conspire against anyone trying to perform their duties honestly and adjourned the hearing until March 13.
NAB AUTHORISES INQUIRIES AGAINST OFFICIALS KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi division on Monday decided to initiate several inquiries at a regional board meeting held at NAB office under the chairmanship of NAB Karachi Director General Mohammad Altaf Bawany. The board meeting was attended by directors of the investigation wings, additional director complaint verification cell (CVC) and the relevant investigating teams handling different cases. According to a statement, an inquiry was authorised against Haji Gul Muhammad Brohi and other land-grabbers of Jamshoro district on the allegations of illegally occupying government land at different sites in Karachi and Hyderabad. An inquiry was also authorised against retired official Jalaluddin-Hesbani Baloch who had allegedly accumulated assets beyond known sources of income in his capacity as Matiari district Irrigation Department XEN. The accused had allegedly caused a loss to the state exchequer amounting to Rs 160 million. Another inquiry was authorised against officers and officials of Sindh Sports and Youth Affairs Department on the allegation of misappropriation in the development budget and giving illegal contracts in various schemes in violation of rules. He allegedly awarded contracts worth Rs 417 million to blue-eyed contractors, the statement added. ONLINE
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Karachi to be transformed with world banK's $86m assistance KARACHI
INDH Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Monday said that the government is working to transform Karachi into a more liveable, green and resilient metropolitan city by formulating and following a well thought out Karachi Transformation Strategy (KTS) with an objective to improve the socio-economic infrastructure and services delivery in water supply, sanitation, transportation, urban spaces, and institutional strengthening and transformation. This he said while addressing the launching ceremony of “Educational and Cultural Zone-Saddar area under World Bank (WB) assisted Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement Project” in Karachi. The program was attended by Provincial Ministers Nasir Shah, Sardar Shah and Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, WB Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan, Planning and Development (P&D) Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput and other. He said that the World Bank has engaged itself in KTS to support Sindh government’s vision and has carried out a comprehensive Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD) programme. The KCD is an
unprecedented endeavor to collect comprehensive data on the city’s economy, livability, and key urban infrastructure it can provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the Karachi Metropolitan Region and estimates investment levels needed to bridge the infrastructure gap and improve the metropolitan region’s economic potential. In light of the depth and scale of the city’s challenges in term of policy reforms, institutional governance, and infrastructure needs, the provincial government and the WB have agreed upon to launch a dual-track approach. Under the ﬁrst track, the WB is supporting a `quick wins’ operation under
rangers set up free medical camps in villages near Khairpur KHAIRPUR Staff RePoRt
Sindh Rangers on Monday established free medical camps in villages near the Khairpur district. The main objective of the camps was to extend basic and essential medical facilities to the people of far-flung areas of the interior Sindh, a spokesperson of the Rangers told. At this occasion, the present doctors and paramedical staff conducted free medical check-ups of the poor patients, including women and children. Almost a thousand people attended these camps. It was reported that the Rangers also provided free medicines to them.
three injured in separate gun attacks KARACHI
Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project (KNIP) focusing on `fast, low cost & high impact’ interventions to respond to emergent city needs. From this start, the engagement would be a transition to the deeper institutional reforms and major investment needs to be identiﬁed under the KCD. These reforms would focus on priority areas such as building a competitive business environment, improving city governance and municipal service delivery, and increasing access to water supply and sanitation for implementation of major KTS initiatives to transform the city KNIP to improve the safety, accessibility, and attractiveness of public spaces in Karachi, such as streets, parks, city squares and pedestrian areas. It also aims at ensuring equal access to all including Women, youth and the poor. The project once completed will also make it easier for the public and investors to access services such as construction work and business registrations. The cost of the project is $98 million in which the World Bank share is $86 million while the provincial government would share the remaining $12 million. The project involves Public Spaces and Mobility Improvements in selected three targeted neighborhoods. They include Saddar Downtown Area Revitalization, Malir area road and pub-
lic spaces enhancement, Korangi neighborhood mobility improvements. The subprojects include upgrading of roads and streets, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossings within existing rights-of-way (ROW), upgrading existing open spaces, installing shade features, removing barriers for visitors, reorganizing trafﬁc patterns, closing certain street segments (temporarily or permanently), installing signs, street furniture, lighting, bus stop shelters, organizing parking, installing safety barriers to reduce vehicular encroachment on sidewalks and enhance safety and rehabilitating infrastructure. The second level will include underground car parking facility with public space such as food centers at Shara-e-Kamal Attaturk. The underground car parking of 10000 Square meters each to accommodate 400 Cars and 600 bikes to be developed on international standards. Other projects in the second phase would include the development in Arts Council, Malir area road reconstruction and efforts for a better mobility in the Korangi area. The chief minister launched the project with WB Director Patchamuthu Illangovan and provincial ministers on the visit to under construction work started on Kamal Attaturk Road, in front of Karachi Museum.
Shahwilayat Public School organises 'Springanza2018' festival
The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday restrained the government from deporting former employees of Pak-Turk International School, ruling that they can live in the country but only as refugees. A division bench was hearing a joint petition of as many as eight former employees of the school who had approached the SHC against any possible deportation from Pakistan. The petitioners stated that Ministry of Interior is trying to deport them back to Turkey on pressure from the government. They cited that previously too, the court had restrained the federal authorities from deporting the Turkish nationals who were teaching in the school. The petitioners said that despite the clear directives of the court, the concerned authority is still trying to deport them to Turkey but they want to live in Pakistan. They added that they are being harassed and pressurized to leave Pakistan.
three persons arrested for wall chalking in favour of mQm-london
KARACHI Staff RePoRt
A fun-filled activity by the name of ‘Springanza’ was organised by Shahwilayat Public School Campus I in Federal B area of Karachi here on Monday. The activity aimed at inculcating the importance of fruits and vegetables in our everyday life through team work and cooperation. Students welcomed spring by creating different 3D Models using fruits and vegetables. The event featured decorative flowers and plants at every corner of the school. This also witnessed the belated celebrations of the International Women’s Day which is celebrated on March 8 of every year. In that regard, a cooking compe-
shc restrains turkish teachers’ deportation
tition was organised by Bake Parlor foods at the school in which a large number of parents participated in Bake parlor Super Chef Competi-
tion Springanza was celebrated to admire the beauty and colourfulness of nature, the school administration maintained.
Liaquatabad police claimed to have arrested three persons accused of wall chalking in favour of MQM-London (MQM-L) here of Monday. According to a police source, the Liaquatabad police team arrested three accused over their alleged involvement in wall chalking in favour of the MQM-L. The police have registered a case against those in custody and started further investigation. In January 2018, Sindh Rangers had arrested four suspected criminals, including an activist of a political party, in different targeted raids in the metropolis. According to the Rangers’ spokesman, a team carried out a raid in Gulberg area and arrested an MQM-London activist, Khuram alias Zafar.
Three people were shot and injured in separate armed attacks reported in different parts of Karachi here on Monday. According to rescue sources, a 22-year-old youth, Ahsan Raza, son of Sher Ahmed, a resident of Nazimabad was shot and injured by unknown men in North Karachi’s Sector-5D. Separately, a 28-year-old man was shot and injured by robbers during robbery incident in Surjani town area. Meanwhile, unidentified armed men riding a motorbike opened fire at a 26-year-old Wesal Khan in Monghopir area.
Sindh Games' trials to be completed this week KARACHI PPI
The trials ahead of 17th Sindh Games are scheduled to be completed by the end of this week, according to provincial games organisers told on Monday. Different sports associations of Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkana, Benazirabad and Sukkur divisions have already completed their respective trials for the games, scheduled to be held at 15 different
venues in Karachi from March 28 to 31. At Karachi division, bodybuilding trials will be held on March 13 at Sindh Sports Board Complex in Nazimabad under the supervision of Saeed Jamil and Kiran Khan. Judo trials for both men and women teams will also be held at the same venue on March 14 under the supervision of Sindh Sports Director Shahzad Pervaiz. Women softball team trials will be held at Karachi Institute Ground in Saddar on March 13
while men’s chess team trials will also be held on March 14 at Sindh Sports Board Complex in Nazimabad under the supervision of Director Sports Sindh Shahzad Pervaiz. Meanwhile, Shahzad Pervaiz on Monday annulled hockey trials for men and women’s team to be conducted on March 12. Now, the hockey trials will be held on March 14 and 15 at Olympian Islahuddin Hockey Academy under the supervision of Islahuddin Siddique and Irum Bukhari.
First ever Children’s Literature Festival starts in Turbat TURBAT Staff RePoRt
A three-day Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) organised by Idara-e-Taleem-oAagahi (ITA) at the Balochistan Residential College (BRC) Turbat was inaugurated here on Monday by Commander Southern Command’s wife Mrs Asim Bajwa. A large number of children, from Turbat, Panjgur and other remote areas like Pasni participated in the festival. Former minister Zubaida Jalal played a vital role in the oganising the festival while the wife of Frontier Core (South) director general’s wife and other women also at-
tended the festival. CLF Founder and ITA Trustee Baela Jamil expressed her happiness and said, “It is very encouraging to see that the children of Turbat and other areas are aware and want access to better education facilities. Organising a successful festival at Turbat is like a dream come true.” At the festival, several awareness sessions were conducted for the children in different halls of BRC. The session halls were given names from local tradition as Meri Qila, Haji Jalal Khan Rind, Mehar Garh, Gul Khan Naseer, Princess of Hope, Atha Shadh, Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi, Shahi Tump, Mullah Fazul, Mir Chakar Khan and Gidaan.
In the session ‘Today’s Readers, Tomorrow’s Leaders’, Rumana Hussain, Zubaida Jalal and Raheela Baqai informed the enthusiastic students about the importance of reading and how it not only expands one’s vision but opens up the heart and mind. The session was moderated by Khursheed Hyder. Raheela Baqai informed the keen participants that there is more than just writing and publishing a book. Bookmaking too can be considered an art and she explained the various stages that go into the making of a book. Another star attraction at the festival was Atif Badar who had the children’s attention in an interactive talk the various stages of theatre productions.
Eminent journalist and author Zubeida Mustafa spoke at the session ‘Sunno, Dekho aur Bolo’. The session was interactive as children asked the author questions. A special session regarding formal education in Madrassahs was organised by the Balochistan Rural Support Program (BRSP). The panelists included Zubaida Jalal and BRSP CEO Nadir Gul Barrech. The session focused on the need for formal education in Madrassahs to help the counter extremism narrative. One of the attractions at the CLF Turbat was the unique 3D images and sand art in which the images seem realistic. Creations by Zubair Mukhtar, Bahar Ali
Gauhar and Hussain Zeb from Pasni were on display on the BRC grounds. Excited children were seen at the stalls with the photography exhibition, the making of traditional Baloch music instruments and local embroideries. The chief guest at the closing ceremony was Chief of Army Staff’s wife Begum Qamar Bajwa. She was welcomed by Zubaida Jalal and Baela Raza Jamil. She stressed on the importance of education and appreciated the organizers for arranging such a wonderful festival for the children of the Makran belt. She visited the activity stalls and distributed prizes among winning students.
06 FOREIGN NEWS
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
MyanMar forCes ereCt seCurity struCtures atop Burned rohingya land: aMnesty RAKHINE
YANMAR is building security installations on top of razed Rohingya villages, Amnesty International said on Monday, casting doubt on the country's plans to repatriate hundreds of thousands of refugees. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh since Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on insurgents six months ago that the United States and United Nations (UN) have called ethnic cleansing. Myanmar rejects that accusation, saying it was responding to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in late August. But critics accuse the military of using the insurgent attacks to launch disproportionate, scorched-earth “clearance operations” as a pretext to push out the loathed minority. The new Amnesty report, “Remaking Rakhine State,” uses satellite imagery and interviews to point to a rapid increase in military infrastructure and other construction since the start of the year that researchers say amounts to a “land grab”. “The new evidence and the rebuilding that Amnesty has documented in
our latest research shows that the Myanmar authorities are building over the top of the very places the Rohingya need to return to,” Tirana Hassan, Amnesty's crisis response director, told AFP ahead of the report's release on Monday. “In some instances there has been the destruction of existing homes.” Though admitting the images only paint a partial picture, the rights group says structures for security forces, helipads and even roads have been built in and around torched Rohingya properties. Satellite imagery of one village called Kan Kya on the outskirts of Rakhine's Maungdaw town taken two months after the August attacks shows a settlement scarred by fire. But by early March buildings could be seen on the revamped land. Amnesty believes they are part of a new base for security forces. Similar building activity was also detected in Inn Din village, where Myanmar has admitted that its security forces took part in the killings of 10 Rohingya residents in September. Rakhine state has been largely sealed off from rights groups, the media and UN investigators. Myanmar and Bangladesh were supposed to start repatriating Rohingya refugees in late January but many are reluctant to return to a place without
slovak interior minister quits after journalist's murder BRATISLAVA
Monsoon floods and landslides threaten 100,000 rohingya refugees in Bangladesh COX’S BAZAR: The Rohingya refugees who live in shacks clinging to these steep, denuded hills in southern Bangladesh pray that the sandbags fortifying the slopes will survive the upcoming monsoon. “They make it safer, but they won’t hold if the rain is really heavy,” said Mohammed Hares, 18. Cracks have already formed in the packed mud on which his shack is built. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since last August to escape a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar. Most now live in flimsy, bambooand-plastic structures perched on what were once forested hills. Bangladesh is lashed by typhoons, and the Rohingya camps are clustered in a part of the country that records the highest rainfall. Computer modeling by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) shows that more than 100,000 refugees will be threatened by landslides and floods in the coming monsoon. The rains typically begin in April and peak in July, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. In Kutupalong-Balukhali, the biggest of the makeshift camps, up to a third of the land could be flooded, leaving more than 85,000 refugees homeless, according to the UNHCR. Another 23,000 refugees live on slopes at risk of landslide. The UNHCR, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and World Food Programme are using bulldozers to level 123 acres in northern Kutupalong-Balukhali camp in an effort to make the area safer, said UNHCR spokeswoman Caroline Gluck. AGENCIES
guarantees of basic rights and safety. The report also highlights concerns that abandoned Rohingya land will be set aside for ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and other non-Muslim groups in the area, and that alterations to the landscape will erase evidence of alleged
atrocities by the military. Myanmar officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Myanmar has denied claims it is covering up evidence, saying it is improving the standard of living in one of the poorest states in the country.
Bangladesh's ex-PM Khalida Zia gets bail; party to consider poll boycott DHAKA
Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Robert Kalinak announced his resignation Monday following tensions sparked by the murder of an investigative journalist probing links between the government and the mafia. "I think to fulfil my mandate I have to do everything to preserve stability in Slovakia," Kalinak told reporters. "For this reason I have decided to resign as deputy prime minister and interior minister." Last month´s murder of Jan Kuciak and his fiancee prompted huge protests against the government of Prime Minister Robert Fico, with tens of thousands of Slovaks turning out for rallies in Bratislava on Friday. Following the protests, Fico´s Smer-SD party, to which Kalinak also belongs, came under fire from small coalition partner Most-Hid, which threatened to quit if the minister stayed. The bodies of Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova, both 27, were found on February 25 at their home near Bratislava. The couple, who were to have married in May, had both been shot dead.
A Bangladeshi court granted bail on Monday to former prime minister Khaleda Zia, who was jailed last month for five years for graft, raising a chance her party might take part in a December general election. Zia is a two-term prime minister whose bitter rivalry with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has defined Bangladeshi politics for years. Their feud hangs over the run-up to a December election with Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) vowing to boycott the polls in a protest against what it has said was Zia’s unfair jailing on trumped up charges. “The high court granted her bail for four months,” Moudud Ahmed, a lawyer in the case and also a senior leader of Zia’s party, told reporters after the court ruling. The decision to release Zia on bail could open the door to her party’s participation in the general election, party secretary-general
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told Reuters. “We can not say just now. Let our chief come out and then we will sit with her and we’ll discuss it,” Alamgir said. “We are always in favour of elections, but there must be a congenial atmosphere.” It was not immediately clear when Zia would be released from detention. Earlier on Monday, Alamgir said an election without Zia would be
“meaningless”. He also said that unless the judgment against her was overturned, she would not be able to contest the election even if she got bail. Under Bangladesh electoral rules, anyone jailed for more than two years cannot contest an election for five years. The BNP boycotted the last polls, in 2014, in a protest against Hasina’s scrapping of the practice of having a caretaker government oversee elections.
rise of violent Buddhist rhetoric in asia defies stereotypes HONG KONG AGENCIES
Buddhism may be touted in the West as an inherently peaceful philosophy, but a surge in violent rhetoric from small but increasingly influential groups of hardline monks in parts of Asia is upending the religion’s tolerant image. Buddhist mobs in Sri Lanka last week led anti-Muslim riots that left at least three dead and more than 200 Muslim-owned establishments in ruins, just the latest bout of communal violence there stoked by Buddhist nationalists. In Myanmar, ultra-nationalist monks led by firebrand preacher Wirathu have poured vitriol on the country’s small Muslim population, cheering a military crackdown forcing nearly 700,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh. And in neighbouring Thailand, a prominent monk found himself in hot water for calling on followers to burn down mosques. What has prompted this surge in aggressive rhetoric from followers of a faith that is so often equated, rightly or wrongly, with non-violence? For many in the West, schooled in Buddhism via the beatniks, Hollywood, meditation classes, tropical holidays and inspirational Dalai Lama quotes, the visceral response of these monks can be a shock. But Michael Jerryson, an expert on religion at Youngstown State University who has just completed a book exploring Buddhism and violence, says throughout history some Buddhists – like any faith – have used religion to justify violence.
BBC appeals to un over ‘collective punishment’ of its journalists by iran LONDON AGENCIES
British broadcaster the BBC said on Monday it was appealing to the United Nations to protect its journalists in Iran after it said persecution and harassment by the Iranian authorities escalated in 2017. “The BBC is taking the unprecedented step of appealing to the United Nations because our own attempts to persuade the Iranian authorities to end their harassment have been completely ignored,” BBC Director General Tony Hall said in a statement. “In fact, during the past nine years, the collective punishment of BBC Persian Service journalists and their families has worsened.” Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson said in December he had raised “the official harassment of journalists working for BBC Persian and their families inside Iran” with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif when he visited Tehran. The broadcaster said journalists in London working on BBC Persian, part of the BBC World Service, and their families in Iran had been targeted since the satellite TV station launched in 2009. The harassment escalated last year when Iranian authorities alleged the service’s work was a crime against Iran’s national security and froze the assets of more than 152 current and former BBC Persian staff, it said.
Against Putin, seven candidates and one glaring absence MOSCOW AGENCIES
Seven candidates are lined up to run against Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sunday’s election, but his primary political opponent will not be on the ballot. Facing competitors such as a former reality TV star and a director of a fruit farm, Putin is all but guaranteed to win the vote and extend his Kremlin stint to 2024 with a fourth term in office. Alexei Navalny, a charismatic anticorruption blogger turned opposition politician who has organised several large anti-Kremlin protests, has been barred from running. Russia’s electoral commission rejected his candidacy application because of a criminal conviction which Navalny says is politically motivated. The 41-year-old is widely regarded as Putin’s principal opponent and has a loyal support base. Navalny has called for the vote to be
boycotted in protest against his ban. Nicknamed the “strawberry king,” 57-year-old Pavel Grudinin is the Russian Communist Party’s surprise candidate. Director of a former state fruit farm which he turned into a profitable business, Grudinin is Putin’s most popular competitor. Polls show seven percent of Russians are ready to put him in the Kremlin. He has been vilified in the proKremlin press for his alleged wealth and foreign bank accounts. He has also denounced “constant pressure” from the authorities. While openly criticising some of the government’s policies, Grudinin stops short of personally attacking Putin. Ksenia Sobchak surprised Russians in October by declaring herself a candidate in the vote with the slogans “against them all,” and “none of the above.” A former reality TV star, Sobchak took part in Russia’s anti-Putin protests in 2011-2012 before becoming a presenter
on the independent TV Dozhd channel. The 36-year-old has made no secret of her close ties to Putin, who worked with her father Anatoly Sobchak when he was mayor of Saint Petersburg in the 1990s. This has led many to suggest her campaign is a bid to give the polls a veneer of competition and split the opposition vote. Sobchak insists her bid is genuine. Vladimir Zhirinovsky is a Russian presidential election regular. The March vote will be the 71-year-old’s sixth presidential race. The leader of the ultra-conservative LDPR party is known for his fiery antiAmerican, anti-liberal and anti-communist speeches. He is considered by many observers to be the Kremlin’s token opponent and is often described as a clown in Russian political circles. Though marginalised in recent years, Zhirinovsky continues to deliver nationalistic rants in parliament and regularly appears on Russian television talk shows.
Around five percent of Russians are forecast to vote for him. Veteran liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky is running for the Russian presidency for the third time. Yavlinsky gained less than 10 per cent of the vote in the 1996 and 2000 elections.
He refused to run in the 2004 election, accusing Putin of rigging the vote. He was ejected from the 2012 presidential race at the last minute — a move he said was politically motivated after he came out in support of anti-Putin protesters.
FOREIGN NEWS 07
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
north Korea seen ‘Cautious’ in announCing stanCe oVer upCoMing suMMits: seoul SEOUL
ORTH Korea’s silence on its upcoming summits with the United States and South Korea is likely due to caution over organising its stance regarding the meetings, South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said on Monday. “We have not seen nor received an official response from the North Korean regime regarding the North Korea-US summit,” said Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman for the ministry, in a regular press conference. “I feel they’re approaching this matter with caution and they need time to organise their stance.” North Korean media noted a visit by
Knife attacker shot outside iranian ambassador's residence in Vienna
a senior delegation from South Korea last week but no coverage has been seen of Kim Jong Un’s invitation to meet US President Donald Trump or South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. The South Korean officials who carried Kim’s invitation to Washington are visiting China and Japan this week to update state heads on the talks. South Korea’s National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong who led the delegation will head to Russia on Tuesday after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, the Blue House said. Trump agreed to meet with Kim Jong Un by the end of May and the two Koreas will hold a summit by end-April. A location has not been decided for the North Korea-US summit while Kim Jong
huMan rights Must Be part of any talKs with north Korea, says un inVestigator GENEVA: Any progress in the nuclear and security dialogue with North Korea at upcoming summits must be accompanied by discussions on human rights violations, including political prison camps, the UN investigator on the isolated country said on Monday. US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by the end of May to discuss the future of nuclear weapons program. The two Koreas will hold a summit by the end of April, at the “truce village” of Panmunjom on their border. “Today, we witness what appears to be a potential for rapid progress on the political and security front, with communication channels steadily building up between the two Koreas as well as the United States of America, and historical summits plans for the future,” Tomas Ojea Quintana, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), told the world body’s Human Rights Council. Referring to “this critical moment”, he added: “Let me urge the DPRK to consolidate this rapprochement with a parallel opening to human rights review. My main message today is that any advancement on the security dialogue should be accompanied by a parallel expansion on the human rights dialogue.” The delegation of North Korea, which does not recognise Ojea Quintana’s mandate, did not attend the debate in Geneva. It denies accusations of committing widespread rights abuses against its people. Theodore Allegra, US Chargé d’Affaires to the United Nations in Geneva, denounced extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests, sexual violence and forced labour in DPRK. “Many of these abuses are committed in political prison camps where an estimated 80,000 to 120,000 individuals are detained, including children and family members of the accused,” Allegra told the Geneva forum. AGENCIES
Un and Moon will meet at the truce village of Panmunjom straddling the border between the two Koreas. North and South Korea agreed to hold working talks to hammer out the details of the inter-Korean summit, but the two Koreas have not officially spoken since the South Korean delegation returned from the North last week, Baik said. The North’s official news agency has been lauding efforts between the North and South to thaw relations, but state media has continued to warn the United States and Japan against war-mongering. Rhetoric in the North’s state media has been tame, however, compared to previous threats last year that went as far as saying Pyongyang would fire missiles to the vicinity of the US territory of Guam if provoked.
Taliban take district centre in the Afghan province of Farah
afghanistan has one Million feMale drug addiCts: health offiCials
Heightened security measures have been ordered at embassies and other diplomatic buildings in Vienna after a soldier stationed outside the residence of the Iranian ambassador to Austria shot dead a man who tried to stab him, police said on Monday. The 26-year-old assailant’s motive for the attack, which took place around 11:30 pm, was unclear and video footage would be reviewed, a police spokesman said. “The attacker stabbed the soldier repeatedly. He was only saved by a stab-proof vest,” the spokesman said, adding that the two men ended up grappling on the ground. “The soldier defended himself well and was then able to reach for his service weapon and fire shots,” he added. The incident is reported four days after four people were seriously wounded in two knife attacks in a district Vienna, but a motive or any connection between the assaults was unclear, a police spokesman said. The stabbings - the first of which occurred in Vienna’s Second District, which includes the famous Prater park as well as the Praterstern transport hub. “A man attacked a family - a father, a mother and their 17-year-old daughter - with a knife. The three people were seriously injured and their lives are in danger,” the spokesman said, adding later that they were Austrian citizens.
Taliban fighters have captured a district centre in Afghanistan’s western province of Farah bordering Iran, where they have battled government security forces fiercely in recent months, officials said on Monday. Naser Mehri, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said a large group of fighters had captured the centre of Anar Dara district on Sunday night after hours of fighting, though police and intelligence service forces were still holding out in their headquarters. The Taliban released pictures that appeared to show fighters in the town, where skirmishes were taking place on Monday. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said 15 policemen had been killed and several military vehicles seized, along with a large quantity of ammunition. The announcement came days after local officials said the Taliban had inflicted heavy losses on Afghan special forces in another district of Farah, a poor and isolated region where the government has long struggled to impose control. The pressure on Farah has grown as US air strikes and Afghan army operations have inflicted heavy casualties on Taliban fighters in neigh-
Public health ministry officials have raised concerns about the alarmingly high number of female drug addicts in Afghanistan, TOLO News reported. According to officials in Kabul, at least one million women and 100,000 children are drug addicts in the war-torn country. Last year, officials stated that three million people were addicts, but the new figure, of one million female addicts, could mean the total number is much higher than initially thought. Shahpor Yusuf, head of the anti-drug department at the public health ministry, at an event to mark International Women’s Day, said the number of child addicts was also extremely high – at 100,000. The children, officials said, were all below the age of 10. Sunday’s ceremony was held at a drug rehabilitation center in Kabul. “There are between 900,000 and million women and around 100,000 children who have turned to drugs,” Yusuf said. A number of women at the ceremony said they turned to drugs as their husbands were addicts. “I took on drug as my husband was using at home,” Naznin, a woman said. “Bringing us here (for treatment) will have not results. When we leave here, again we will turn to drug as long as there are smugglers (and dealers). They should be stopped. It is the reality,” Marwa Musavi, another woman said.
india forest fires kill 9 hikers, injure 18 others
NEW DELHI AGENCIES
Nine trekkers died and 18 others were left with serious burns as wildfires swept through a popular hiking spot in India´s Tamil Nadu state, officials said Monday. The group was hiking through Theni district, a hilly region in southern India thickly forested and dotted with tea plantations when they were forced to flee a fast-approaching fire. They apparently became separated while trying to find a safe way to escape the oncoming blaze. "It seems that the victims deviated from the regular trail. This is a popular trekking spot," Theni district official S. Kandasamy told AFP. "Nine people lost their lives and 27 others were rescued." Of those rescued, 18 were injured, Kandasamy said. Some of the victims were taken to hospital with serious burns over most of their bodies, the Press Trust of India reported. Kandasamy said the fire is still burning uncontrollably in the region bordering Kerala state some 540 kilometres (335 miles) from the Tamil Nadu capital Chennai. The cause of the blaze is being investigated, he added. Helicopters from the Indian army have been enlisted to help douse the flames, PTI reported.
Tens of thousands of farmers from India’s western state of Maharashtra reached the state capital of Mumbai on Monday to protest what they called a lack of government support despite severe distress within the sector that employs the majority of the country’s workforce. The protestors walked 180 kilometres from Nashik to Mumbai over the course of a few days and plan to stage a sit-in protest outside the state legislative assembly building, where the annual budget session is underway. The farmers are demanding waivers on agricultural loans in the aftermath of unseasonal rains that destroyed crops as also more support from the government, fair prices for crops and the transfer of forest lands to tribals, who have been tilling them for decades. Road traffic was largely unaffected in the city as farmers reached south Mumbai on Sunday around midnight but police are on alert in case of possible traffic disruption later in the day. This is the second major local protest by farmers in less than a year and has put pressure on the state gov-
bouring Helmand province, the main opium region in Afghanistan and a heartland of the insurgency. Afghan and US commanders have been relatively upbeat about the course of the war since US President Donald Trump announced a new and more robust military strategy last year, with more air strikes and greater support for Afghan forces. But the fighting in Farah underlines the continuing strength of the movement, which controls or contests almost half the country and has so far rejected peace overtures from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. In January, the Farah provincial governor resigned, blaming political interference and corruption. Residents of Farah city have complained bitterly about security in the province, where some police units are alleged to col-
lude with Taliban fighters, selling them weapons and ammunition. Although they have failed so far to take any major provincial cities, the insurgents have several times seized district centres, even if they have often been driven off soon after by government reinforcements. With the approach of milder spring weather, security officials have said they expect to see fighting surge across the country as the Taliban, fighting to drive out international forces and reimpose their version of strict Islamic law, step up the pressure. The US military’s latest estimates from December show the Afghan government controls or has influence over 56 percent of districts, with insurgents controlling or contesting the rest.
Thousands of Indian farmers march to Mumbai seeking government support
ernment headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been facing farmers’ ire in various states. Modi, who had promised to double farmers’ income over five years, re-
mains a popular leader nearly four years into his term. But unrest has flared in states ruled by his party, catching regional leaders flat-footed. “The state government has started discussions with us. We will not end
our protest until they give us written assurances about fulfilling our demands,” said Ajit Nawale, State General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, the organiser of the march. The farmers wearing red caps and waving red communist party flags chanted slogans demanding higher food grain and milk prices in south Mumbai, where many big Indian companies and the central bank are headquartered. Maharashtra, India’s most prosperous state, had announced a farm loan waiver of 340 billion rupees ($5.23 billion) in June 2017, but the protest leaders said it failed to benefit all needy farmers. The state has so far transferred 138 billion rupees to the accounts of 3.6 million farmers, state’s Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said last week. All major opposition parties and the Shiv Sena, a coalition partner in the state government, are supporting the protesting farmers.
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
The triumph of black mirrors
PPP and PTI snatch victory from the jaws of defeat With the help of the magic wand
Living in the reign of attention devouring virtual platforms
OR PML-n everything was hunky dory with the party and its three coalition partners having 46 solid votes. All that they needed was seven extra votes to win the two top Senate slots. The PPP needed 33 extra votes and the PTI 41 to achieve the goal while both were not on speaking terms. What was impossible happened when Abdul Quddus Bizenjo made Imran Khan to agree to support the panel named by him. Another miracle was to persuade Zardari to withdraw his party’s nominee in favour of Sadiq Sanjrani, and agree to the Deputy Chairman’s office instead. Another surprise came when MQM announced support for Sanjrani despite rivalries with the PPP and PTI. FATA Senators who generally move into action only when offered a substantial material incentive or when under pressure from the establishment supported the PTI-PPP panel. A single surprise can be attributed to chance. But if there are a number of surprises steadily pushing development in a particular direction, there is something more to it than meets the eye. The PML-n had smelled a rat when suddenly its government was overthrown by its own MPAs in Balochistan. The successive events look like moves of a well thought out game. The defeat of the PML-n in the Senate elections comes after a series of successes in by-polls in Punjab. Unless there are more serious interventions in the electoral process in days to come, this alone is not likely to have any significant impact on the electoral fortunes of the party. The PML-n should be the last one to make an issue out of what happened to it because it has itself been a part of similar games against the PPP in the past. What comes as a surprise is that the PPP leadership has agreed to play the role that it had long accused the PML-n of, and for right reasons. It remains to be seen if this is a one-time act of revenge or a long-term party policy under PPP-P President Asif Zardari.
Pendulum-like relationship Close Pak-Iran ties hostage to extraneous factors
HE Iranian foreign minister, a shrewd diplomat who engineered the Iran nuclear deal with the West against overwhelming odds, is on a three-day official visit to Pakistan in an effort to enhance pitifully low trade volume, sort out bilateral problems and hold talks on terrorism and other regional matters. Heading a high-level 30-member delegation, he is expected to meet civilian and military bigwigs, address an influential think tank and economic forum, and finally with his large entourage of business persons, visit the country’s economic hub, Karachi. Unfortunately, despite much bonhomie, especially at people level, past experience shows that the Pak-Iran political relations, otherwise expected to be brotherly and good neighbourly, are in fact intricate and complex, for various reasons. The recent upsurge in leadership contacts has helped to eschew direct confrontation, and hopefully the present visit would prove in the nature of a breakthrough, as both countries face nearly identical internal and external threats. Relations with India and Saudi Arabia are perceived to be the main bone of contention between the two. Pakistan’s close ties with the Kingdom are looked upon with suspicion by Tehran, although it is not in the former’s own interest to be involved in a shooting war based on a personalised, sectarian misadventure, while Pakistan looks askance at Iran’s deepening ties with existential threat India, and recent leasing of Chabahar to the Indians, though it is being assured that the port would not be used against Pakistan. The threat of increased US sanctions on Iran, the latter’s difficulties with European Union over its missile programme, Pakistan’s anemic economy, the FATF sword hanging over its head, make close economic liaison, especially in trade, of the utmost importance for both. Pakistan’s commercial banks should vigorously take the lead in promoting commerce, and government prudently settle the long-delayed Pakistan end of the Iran gas pipeline, a big hurdle in ties and trust. Bilateral annual trade target of Rs.5 billion from the current Rs1.2 billion should now be a top priority. Applying the rigid, Maoist formula of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’, can only bring twin grief in the Pak-Iran case.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965
Shah nawaz Mohal
OU and I and everybody around are defined, in one way or the other, by the possessions we own. The homes we live in, the cars we drive, the watches we wrap around our wrists, the clothes that hide our imperfections, the wallets we flaunt and the phones that connect us with the world and its inhabitants. Our possessions pigeonhole us, whether we like it or not, in categories and classes. The elite, the middle classes and the great unwashed owe their existence to abundance or absence of possessions. There is, however, something that everybody has in equal amount but in limited supply i.e., attention span. Let us start counting all the sights and sounds that vie to grab our attention. There are WhatsApp messages, facebook notifications, twitter updates, snapchat statuses, Instagram posts, ubiquitous billboards, and unsolicited advertisements that beg for our attention, squander it once they have it and make us crave for more. We, dearest sirs and ma’ams, are not the alpha predators we believe ourselves to be. We are, in all honesty, the clueless prey in the claws of attention devouring creatures. All these machinations have gained complete control over us. We hear, see, and enjoy the boisterous bits on our black screens and then laugh out loudly, press like and share it with the world. Once we are done, the wait for the next hilarity continues and since there is no dearth of such stuff we keep on consuming it while craving for more. Be it gaffes, fails, lewd comedy clips, ravings of some random, frustrated guy crack us
Shahid Sattar and hira tanveer
n the contemporary world the only constant is “change”. The world is transforming, consumer preferences are changing; ranging from food, living, traveling to clothing. Simple textiles and clothing have evolved into fashion brands, everyone is now on the bandwagon of environmental concerns. Textile consumer preferences are shifting from cotton-based apparel to synthetic manmade apparel. World market consumption of manmade/synthetic fibers against natural fibers has shifted to a ratio of 70:30 with synthetic fibers having the lions share while a decade back it was 30:70. Polyester is the most dominant man-made fiber across the globe, its demand surpassed demand of cotton in 2002 and it has continued to grow ever since at a significantly faster rate than all other fiber types. Manmade fibers are cheaper, environment friendly and more durable, their quality does not deteriorate with washing. Technological advances in synthetic fibers offer textiles that are softer, hang better and even have better moisture absorbency than cotton. Demand for man-made fibers such as polyester staple, viscose and tencel is increasing as a substitute for cotton amid changes in global fashion trend. While the policy situation remains the opposite in Pakistan, Pakistan’s exports are still primarily cotton based. Pakistan’s major export destination of textiles and apparel is US and Europe. United States imports of synthetic apparel overtook cotton-based imports from 36 per cent in 2006 to 54 per cent in 2016. Pakistan’s share in US’s total textile and apparel imports in 2016 has declined to a mere three per cent owing to its narrow export basket which is basically natural fiber built. This means that if Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9
open. All it takes to have our attention is to have something that instantaneously gratifies us. The omnipresent black mirrors — our TVs, our phones, our computer screens — have made us believe that every calamity that befalls on someone else is an opportunity to giggle at as it didn’t choose us to be its victim. Our glee, it seems, lies in all catastrophes that spare us. Our black mirrors, dear folks, have become our pacifiers. Sans them life seems nothing but an endless aeon of boredom. The monotony of existence and the angst due to this can be best endured, so we believe, when we are either laughing our lungs out, shopping our wits out or dining our appetites out. Ironically, our journey towards progress has led us to a place where even the basic facts about everything under the sun are disputed, stats are unreliable and twisted and truth is exiled to a land from where no soul returns? Since we humans are in habit of naming things we call our time the ‘Post-Truth’ age. Meaning thereby that the truth is dead, gone and buried. Let the one who can yell the loudest and have the charisma to turn people into blind followers be the leader of men. The truth about our nature is: no matter how much we love to think of ourselves as rational, logical beings our motivations and preferences are always rooted in primal emotions of fear, hatred, and love. We rationalise our choices, we sublimate our urges, we channelise our animal instincts, and we repress our utmost desires and passions. We perennially crave for an outlet. The caveman found it on walls, the kings and feudal lords found
it in waging wars and patronising the artists and poets, the industrialists found it in his mad pursuit of power, prestige and money. now, the countless online podiums bestow upon us an outlet to vent out our frustrations and have catharsis. Also, the human quest for control and utter supremacy over ‘other’ is no longer undertaken by medal-laden old generals trained in the craft of warfare. The mighty armies have been relegated to the fringes where they plan, execute and command their armies against motley gangs of insurgents, rebels and belligerents in godforsaken tracts of land. A man armed with a laptop, an Internet connection and a sinister mindset can wreak more havoc than a militant armed to the teeth. On an aside, the rise of social media has added nothing new, at least substantially, to the way of the world. Primarily, it was a tool to facilitate communication and connect the world. And like every tool it had the potential of becoming a weapon. Of late, dearest sirs and ma’ams, our black mirrors haunt us with deluge of choice, entice us with novelty, ridicule better angels of our nature, threaten us with impending doom, skew facts to please our likeness, perpetuate beloved myths, and darken our souls one click, one frame, one meme at a time. The triumph of black mirrors is complete, dearest sirs and ma’ams. And there are no challengers in sight. May we all find peace in our servitude.
We, dearest sirs and ma’ams, are not the alpha predators we believe ourselves to be. We are, in all honesty, the clueless prey in the claws of attention devouring creatures.
Shah Nawaz Mohal is a law graduate and member of staff, Islamabad Bureau.
Pakistan losing the growing synthetic textiles market we do not keep up with the new world preferences, our international market share will keep on shrinking. One reason for reliance on cotton-based products in Pakistan is that apart from polyester, nothing gets made in Pakistan. We virtually import all synthetic fibers including nylon, viscose, etc. Further, when raw materials such as Polyester Staple Fiber (PSF) are imported for the production of synthetic Man-made fiber (MMF) yarn locally, providing raw material to our spinning industry and helping diversifying our textile exports, the import duty reaches up to 20 per cent comprising of 7 per cent import duty and 2.9-11.5 per cent anti-dumping duty. However, when MMF yarn is imported directly it faces a lower import duty of 5 per cent (under SAFTA) to 10 per cent under Chapter 55 for MMF yarns import resulting in a dichotomy. Resultantly imported Polyester Staple Fiber (input to our spinning mills) becomes more expensive than international prices. The aforementioned anomaly in regulatory duties is making domestic MMF yarn production uncompetitive even in their own domestic market. This has led to shutdown of 36 per cent of domestic MMF yarns production capacity in the last one years alone. Amidst the ongoing crisis, foreign exchange spent on import of Man-made Fiber (MMF) yarns from Indonesia, China, Thailand and India is around Rs12-16 billion. In Pakistan, the domestic production of Polyester Viscose blended yarns is approximately 165,000 tons/annum. 50,000+ tons quantity of PSF yarns per annum is imported which is equivalent to almost 15-20
Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545
domestic mills production in the business of 100pc polyester, polyester/viscose blended, viscose/polyester yarns and other synthetic fiber blended spun yarns out of a total 45-50 mills. These mills provide employment to 100,000 persons. Importers of synthetic blended yarn not only put local industries out of competition but also fully exploit them to sell product at the cheap rate equivalent to India. On the other side, the value-added export sector imports cheap Man Made Fiber (MMF) yarns under Import Policy Order 2012-15 (SRO 193(1)/2013) which allows import of MMF yarns consisting of Pure Polyester, Polyester Viscose and others with 5pc import duty on yarn imported from India. Export sector uses this imported yarn, adds some value to this yarn and then export the product claiming full duty drawbacks which is patently unjust. What is hurting the local synthetic fiber manufacturing industry most is the lack of level-playing field with higher tariff barriers on import of raw materials and a minimal duty on import of MMF yarns leading to widespread dumping of MMF yarn and fabrics into the country. By imposing 20pc regulatory duty on $100 million imports of MMF yarn, local jobs of 100,000 persons working in our own spinning industry can be saved with additional revenue of around Rs2 billion in FBR’s kitty. The MMF industry, which is backed by sufficient raw materials and huge global demand, can give a boost to the textiles, and it is high time that the government and the industry realises this to capture a bigger share in the growing market for synthetic textiles.
Manmade and synthetic textile products being high technology products can attract additional Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan since the world has moved away from cotton-based textiles. India, Vietnam and Bangladesh have gone way ahead of us in terms of growth, they could do so following uniform tax structure and attracting FDI in manmade/synthetic textiles. With growing world population and mounting requirement for food grains, land available for cultivating natural fibers will diminish with time. This will in turn will lead to reduced supply of natural fibers like cotton coupled with increased price due to short supply. High price and short supply will further propel people to use more man-made synthetic fiber based apparel. In Pakistan cotton cultivated area has already reduced 16.7pc over a year from 2015-16 to 2016-17, substituted by sugar cane and maize. Furthermore, a growing population will need more land to grow more food crops. Synthetic fibers are here to stay and their demand will only increase over the time. Synthetic fibers will find varied usages because of their property to be designed and verified in manufacturing specific to their desired use. Pakistan is clearly missing the shift from cotton to manmade fiber apparel. Pakistan needs to re-examine its position and flawed policies to become conversant in manufacturing MMF based fabrics in order to maintain if not improve share in world textile trade. Shahid Sattar is a former member of Planning Commission and Hira Tanveer is a policy analyst.
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively
From Asia to New York GREAT things such as statues, monuments and sculptures are the results of the precious stones – being sculpted and carved by the experts like sculptors. But unfortunately, the news of the statues and busts of prominent figures being vandalised/sabotaged by the miscreants in certain parts of India just brought out a sad story. We the people in today’s fast-paced lifestyle are always in need of something precious or historic to get inspired and motivated in our activities/fields. In fact, the statues or sculptures are the best possible ways of remembering the great figures who are no more now and whose contributions to the society are numerous and praiseworthy. Furthermore, the monuments are something that will help us “go back in time” and will help us understand the interesting things about our history and geography. The Asian countries, let us recall, such as India, nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand and Sri Lanka had brought forth many great sculptors even as it goes without saying that these Asian nations are the big hubs of many beautiful monuments and great sculptures that reflect the great historical background besides carrying information about the past and the present. Interestingly, I for my part had visited and seen many monuments and sculptures at museums and temples during my schooldays in my native areas of Tuticorin, Tiruchendur, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari in Tamil nadu, India. Above all, the Statue of Liberty in new York is being admired by all in the world as one of the greatest sculptures. On top of that is the inspiration we are getting from such prehistoric creatures. no rules allow the bad elements to vandalise the historical pieces like statues or monuments. Such mindless vandalism will create tension across the region. And these bad things should be curbed and nipped in the bud through the execution of the law and order. P SENTHIL SarvaNa Mumbai
Lip service to gender equality in Pakistan The paramount challenge of the new century
YaSMeen aftab ali
HE Charter of United nations in 1945 was the first international agreement which affirmed the principle of equality between both genders. The status of women was affirmed and strengthened through bilateral agreements, internationally agreed upon goals that strengthen the position of women around the world. It was in 1909 that the first national Women Day was observed in US on the 28th of February. It was dedicated to the 1908 garment workers strike in new York aimed to raise a voice against the working conditions there by the Socialist Party of America. In Pakistan as well, this day is celebrated with great fanfare. In February 2018, the United nations released a report on gender equality. The report was for Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 with Pakistan being one of the four countries focused. The women forming part of the survey were usually married under the age of 18. They were hardly, if at all, educated and were non-working hands. The women of marginalised ethic groups are even worse off. According to this report the ethnically marginalised group is the Pashtuns, Sindhi and Saraiki. Clean cooking fuel is a luxury for twothird of women taken for sampling and one third has no facilities for sanitation. The rural and urban divide has the greatest degree of disparity in education. 98.8pc in rural areas and 29.3pc in urban areas are uneducated. In urban areas as per Higher Education Commission data, the ratio of men entering colleges and universities is much higher than that of women. Out of twenty students, 11 are male.
The difference between accesses to healthcare too is high. According to the report females around 15 have no decision-making powers in their own health concerns. The ratio of this goes as high as 48.1pc in women and girls. Women are given lesser food than men. This disparity of lesser food input in women is 11pc higher than men of their background. Wages of women are lower as opposed to those of their male counterparts. Pakistan’s meeting targets under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being held back because of health, social development and education at poor levels. Pakistan had incorporated 169 targets under the national Health Vision 2016–2025. Sadly, fewer girls are getting vaccinated for a full course as compared to male children. Startlingly a dW report reveals the following: “Even women who are elected in Pakistan are hindered by the 18th Amendment, which stipulates that they cannot work or vote without the instructions of the party leaders, and if they fail to comply, they shall be expelled from the assemblies.” (03.11.2016) Violence against women in Pakistan is another ugly chapter. ‘There is 21.5 per cent increase in violence against women in 2017 as 8,882 cases were registered in comparison to 2016’. Punjab Government’s Commission on Status on Women Gender Parity Report 2018 said that. (Pakistan gender News) For every one case registered there are hundreds that go unregistered. In KP and FATA women are targeted by discriminatory practices followed by informal legal systems, in name of religious extremism and under other umbrellas. “Laws, many remnants of General Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamisation in the 1970s and 1980s, continue to deny women their constitutional right to gender equality and fuel religious intolerance and violence against them. Their access to justice and security will remain elusive so long as legal and administrative barriers to political and eco-
In urban areas as per Higher Education Commission data, the ratio of men entering colleges and universities is much higher than that of women. Out of twenty students, 11 are male.
nomic empowerment remain, particularly the Hudood Ordinances (1979), FATA’s Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) (1901) and the nizam-e-Adl (2009) in KPK’s Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA).” (report CrSS 7 November 2017) It is a matter of shame that in 2017 Pakistan was ranked the second worst nation globally in terms of gender equality. The biggest challenge is to change the mindset of people may that be men or women. This needs not just education but awareness of role women can play in upbringing their children but also being a contributing member towards the income of the household. The entire value matrix needs to change. Education alone is not a guarantee of changing attitudes towards female empowerment. In a patriarchal society like Pakistan it is extremely important to involve men to ensure gender equality. In September 2017, ministry of human rights and CARE International in Pakistan produced a documentary as to how to engage men in gender equality. Asia Peace Film Festival held a special screening and panel discussion in Islamabad. The documentary shows both men and women not only as individuals but also as partners. Such initiatives are direly needed at rural community levels too. Martin armstrong, writing for Pakistan and gulf Economist says, “Based on current trends, the global gender gap will not be closed for another 100 years. These predictions are of course fluid. In fact, this year’s figure is even an increase on 2016 – in the last report, the time needed was forecast at 83 years. When looking at particular aspects of the gap, the biggest factor in the current disparity becomes clear. According to the World Economic Forum it will take 217 years to close the economic gender gap. On the more positive side, the educational gap looks set to be almost completely diminished within 15 years.” (The global gender gap report 2017) End note: “In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the twentieth century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world.” (Nicholas d Kristof, Half the Sky: Turning oppression Into opportunity for Women Worldwide)
In KP and FATA women are targeted by discriminatory practices followed by informal legal systems, in name of religious extremism and under other umbrellas.
Yasmeen aftab ali is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘a Comparative analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: email@example.com and tweets at @yasmeen_9
Of horses and their trading THE fuss created by allegations of rigging of 2013 polls and dust raised by it has not settled up till now and a new evil of horse trading in senate election creeps in. Leaders of all political parties, as usual, blame each other for indulgence into this dirty business. The Election Commission (EC) took notice and called all those who speak about this large-scale trade, to its office with proof on 14/3/18. Though the quickness of the EC to make probe into the matter is appreciable, yet to seek proof seems to be like asking innocence to prove its existence. The scribe is amazed, how and what proof could be produced by a third person when a dirty deed was done between two people in darkness (both criminals). neither the purchaser of vote, nor the seller can confess their guilt. If they had strong scruples, this ugly act would not have occurred. The verbal proof without corroboration by an eye witness and documents, probably, are not acceptable, and criminals can go scot free. One would like to mention here what an American poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau said about proof “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk”. It is now for EC to probe deeply into the matter, penetrate into heart of things to find out truth, solve the issue, punish culprits and burry deep into ground this evil, which raises its head after every election. raJa SHaFaaTuLLaH Islamabad
Metro needs reforms nO doubt Metro provide the best commute to the residents of twin cities but that doesn’t mean to negotiate on the standards/moral values or giving agony to the commuters. Traveling for Saddar till secretariat give away the look of torture cell where the commuters have to bear the ultimate suffering till their destination. The commuters are forcefully pushed inside the bus, leaving no space to breathe in. The torture level is amped up for the ladies and the elderly people who has to travel while standing in the bus. They are not only subjected to the torture but also to the sexual exploitation and harassment, which is not only an embarrassment but also shameful to the authorities, who are unable to provide a comfortable, safe and secure services to them. I request Punjab CM for the endowment of new buses/ separate buses for the ladies and elderly people relieving them for standing in the logjams protecting them from the disgustful exploitation. This will not only boost up their confident but will also help them in reinstating their lost self-esteem. MuHaMMad TaHIr SoHaIL Nizampur, Nowshera
Child labour bill CHILD labour is a complex and long-lasting issue in Pakistan which is piling up on its public. Recently, on Thursday child labour bill was passed in parliament house to reduce the number of child labourers and solve the problem, but several such bills have been passed and no possible response could be seen due to the lack of interest in members of committee who only know passing bills. Child labour is a serious and a fast spreading issue which is making decent children its victim but our politicians are taking it lightly which is ruining thousands of lives. It is my plea to the concerned authorities and as well to our politicians that take possible steps for eradicating this problem from Pakistan. CHErag CJ goodi
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Govt Plans CollECtion of Rs17b fRoM ConsuMERs on aCCount of Gas loss ISLAMABAD
ditional collection from the consumers was taken on the advice of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi. They added the decision to increase the UfG ratio will also benefit the influential shareholders of both gas utilities, while the collection of Rs2 billion during the current year from the shareholders of SSGCL and SNGPL will not be made due to stay order of SSGCL. The shareholders of two gas companies have already received billions of rupees under the head profit, alleged sources. It is relevant to mention that the ‘OGRA scandal’ appeared during 2012 in the tenure of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) led government in the centre, in which Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) increased the ratio of gas losses and theft by 2 per cent. Meanwhile OGRA’s former chairman Tauqeer Sadiq and Member (Finance) Mir Kamal Marri and Member (Gas) Mansoor Muzaffar have been under trial in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference over increasing the UfG ratio by 2 per cent. According to a summary drafted for ECC, gas companies are facing a severe financial crisis due to the low collection from the gas consumers under the head UfG despite an increase in gas losses and theft. Moreover, SSGCL has faced serious loss as Sindh High Court ended a stay order prior to which SSGCL was collecting additional charges from its consumers under head UfG during 2012-13. Furthermore, Rs2 billion had been collected from the shareholders due to court decision while Rs3 billion is still to be collected from them. According to documents, Petroleum Division is of the view that the very pur-
AKISTAN Muslim LeagueNawaz government is all set to approve the collection of above Rs17 billion from the gas consumers on account of gas losses and theft (UfG) and Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet is likely to grant its nod very soon, it was learnt. Documents available with Pakistan Today disclose that Petroleum Division has drafted a summary which would be presented to the ECC of the federal cabinet for approval. And, if ECC grants its approval to charge the gas consumers on account of gas losses and theft, unaccounted for Gas-UfG, then collection ratio of both gas utilities - SNGPL and SSGCL will go up as gas consumers of Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) will have to pay UfG of 7.6 per cent instead of 5 per cent. It is also learnt from the documents that PML-N government has decided to collect Rs17.58 billion from gas consumers on account of gas losses of last five years and with this decision of the government, SNGPL will obtain a financial benefit worth Rs11.25 billion while SSGCL will get Rs6.53 billion. Sources informed that though the incumbent government of PML-N will grant its approval to collect more than Rs17 billion from the consumers, however, implementation will be done by the acting government during the month of July apparently to avoid possible criticism over the decision of the PML-N government. They alleged that the decision of ad-
Mini industrial estates to be set up
pose of the UfG study is not only to provide realistic UfG benchmark linked with efficiency but it also has to address the past adjustments, provisional determination of UfG disallowances. OGRA had set the UfG benchmarks and allowances from financial years 2012-13 till 2016-17 provisionally since no independent expert opinion was available as required by law. Accordingly, the Division proposes that OGRA may finalise the provisional benchmarks set from FYs 2012-13 to 2016-17 in line with the recommendations of the UfG study, the benchmark set at 7.6 per cent, fixed benchmark of 5 per cent UfG plus 2.6 per cent for local conditions, so as to ensure that the gas companies continue to remain financially viable and sustainable. The sources further alleged that influential shareholders of both gas companies belonging from Sindh and Punjab provinces have raised the issue before former premier Nawaz Sharif and after which PM Abbasi tasked financial advisor Miftah Ismail to solve the issue of shareholders. They said PM Abbasi advised OGRA to resolve the matter but OGRA declined apparently due to expected NAB action.
However, it was decided to conduct a study on UfG prior to its determination. They also said that this was the middle ground under which collection of billions of rupees from gas consumers was planned. However, petroleum division has sought ECC approval on the basis of a study conducted by a private company on the order of OGRA during the last year, they added. It is worth mentioning that the ECC of the cabinet is likely to grant its approval during the next week and after the approval, the federal government will forward policy guidelines to OGRA so that the two gas companies and their shareholders could benefit from Rs17.58 billion, while gas consumers will bear the burden of expansive gas. As per government plan, implementation of ECC decision will be applicable from July 1, 2018, and acting government will be responsible for making sure the implementation of this decision. The two public sector gas utility companies i-e M/s SNGPL and SSGC under licence granted by OGRA for section 6 and 7 of OGRA Ordinance 2002 and the licence condition No.5 empowers OGRA to determine tariff or total annual revenue
SsangYong Motors keen to introduce premium SUVs in Pakistan
The Punjab government is actively considering establishing mini industrial estates in remote and less-developed areas of the province. The aim of the proposed programme is to promote small-scale agrobased and other industries in the province and the work is likely to be carried out in next fiscal year. Official sources told APP here on Monday, the step was being taken for the promotion of small-scale industries aimed at generating a large number of employment opportunities for unwaged skilled and semi-skilled persons in Punjab. Under the proposed plan, special attention will be paid on the establishment of agrobased industries in remote and neglected areas. The proposed plan will not only generate employment opportunities for the skilled and semi-skilled workers but also supportive to discourage the rapid rural migration towards the cities of Punjab. The proposed programme will also serve its dual role in broadening the strong industrial base and ensure the development process in far-off and neglected areas of Punjab.
CPEC to ensure prosperity in Pakistan: Punjab governor LAHORE APP
KARACHI STAFF REPORT
Within weeks of launching Daehan SHEHZORE, the senior management of SsangYong Motor Company (SYMC), a well-known premier SUV manufacturer from South Korea visited Pakistan to deliberate and finalise plans with the top man-
agement of Daehan Dewan Motor Company (DDMC) for introducing SsangYong’s premier sports utility vehicles (SUVs) early next year. The SsangYong team also visited Dewan Farooque Motors Limited (DFML) auto assembly plant located at Sujawal Sindh. The keen interest from SYMC in Pakistan shows that the Automotive
Development Policy (ADP 2016-21) has been successful in attracting healthy investment from some of the leading international automobile manufacturers. Moreover, having DDMC (DFML) as a business partner who has recently been awarded brownfield status from the government will enable SYMC to establish its foothold in Pakistan.
Hamdard Shura recommends various incentives for a better Pakistan KARACHI STAFF REPORT
Speakers at the meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter urged the government to increase the budget of education and health and give incentives to manufacturing companies in order to reduce bill of imports and make Pakistan a manufacturing nation, the incoming national budget of 2018 – 19. The meeting was held here on Sunday themed, ‘National budget 2018 – 19, foreign loans and self-reliance’, presided over by Justice (retd) Haziqul Khairi at a local club. Hamdard Foundation Pakistan President Sadia Rashid was also present at the meeting. Speaking on the occasion Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance (SAMEA) President Zafar Iqbal said that small and medium enterprises were the backbone
requirement of gas companies comprising of (i) cost of gas (ii) transmission and distribution costs (iii) 17.5 per cent return (before financial charges and tax) for SNGPL and 17 per cent return (before financial charges and tax) for SSCGL, respectively on the value of average net fixed assets in operation for each financial year. The above tariff determination methodology with respect to fixed returns of both gas companies is in accordance with the covenants stipulated in the loan agreements executed by M/s SNGPL with World Bank in 1990 and M/s SSGCL with ADB in 1992 respectively. The said methodology is in place when the erstwhile Ministry of Petroleum and NR used to determine the revenue requirements of both the gas companies prior to establishments of OGRA under OGRA Ordinance. In order to enable the newly established OGRA to introduce new tariff regimes, it was decided in 2002 to continue the tariff determination methodology/regime prevalent at the time. OGRA by the end of year 20017 carried out public consultation session across various cities of the country with respect to new tariff regime and third-party access rules. Since the finalisation of new tariff regime will likely to take some time, therefore. It is understood that the existing tariff regime, cost plus return on assets formula, will continue to prevail until new tariff regime is formally introduced or notified. Unaccounted for Gas (UfG) is a phenomenon of gas loss which is contingent upon the occurrence of various technical factors when gas flows from fields to end consumers. It is calculated as the difference between metered gas volume injected into the transmission and distribution network (point of dispatch and delivery) and the metered gas delivered to the end consumers (consumers meter station) during a financial year. Adjustments on account of self-consumption in the operations of gas utilities are also made. This is normally expressed as the percentage by dividing this difference with gas available for sale.
of a country and engine of its economy, involving 80 per cent labour force and having a share of 40 per cent of GDP. So it was advisable to give special incentives to this sector for the overall development of the nation, he added. “SAMEs should be exempted from the collateral condition of Rs3 million and the range of loan be extended up to Rs10 million; annually income of Rs1.2 million be exempted from taxation, rates of sales tax be fixed at 5 per cent
and withholding tax be charged on cash withdrawal of Rs100,000; discreet powers of tax officials be abolished and austerity measures on national level be taken forthwith”, he suggested. Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Pakistan Managing Director and CEO Usama Qureshi said that items being imported in the country should be made locally in order to reduce huge import bill – a heavy burden on national exchequer. Those manufacturers that
could produce the same items should be encouraged and supported by the government to make Pakistan a manufacturing nation, he added. “New energy sources should be explored and developed locally to curb the import bill and right people be deployed on right places in government departments to boost the level of governance”, Qureshi concluded. Justice (retd) Haziqul Khairi, Prof Muhammad Rafi, Justice (retd) Pervez Zia, Major General (retd) Sikandar Hayat, Engineer Anwarul Haq Siddiqui, Brigadier (retd) Dr Syed Iqbal Ahmed, Commodore (retd) Saeed Anwar Malik, Ibn Hasan Rizvi, Engineer Syed Pervez Sadiq, Brig (retd) Riazul Haq, Usman Damohi, Anwar Aziz Jakartawalla, Shamim Kazmi, Reema Siddiqui and Prof Dr Akhlaq Ahmed also spoke at the event.
Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana said on Monday that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would prove to be a game changer and ensure prosperity in Pakistan. The governor expressed these views while speaking at the launching ceremony of Annual Report on Economic condition: Review and Analysis-2017 prepared by Shahid Javed Barki Institute of Public Policy Institute (SJBIPPI) and Net Sol, at a local hotel. Former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, State Bank of Pakistan's former governor Dr Ishrat Hussain, former foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan, Shahid Najam, Ali Touqeer Sheikh and other renowned personalities also spoke on the occasion. The governor also appreciated the SJBIPPI Chairman Shahid Javed Barki and his team for their endeavours of preparing the best report that encompassed all facets of the CPEC and its benefits for Pakistan. He added that CPEC project would take the country to new heights of economic development after fully functioning of Gwadar Port, as it would not only increase Pakistan's revenues and exports but also enhance its foreign exchange reserves. Rafique Rajwana added that with the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) along sides the CPEC route, the world's investors and major companies had now started making investments in Pakistan. This trend would ensure the establishment of new industries, which would subsequently help create vast employment opportunities for the educated youth of Pakistan, besides stabilising the country's economy, he cited. The Punjab governor said that China, under the One Belt-One Road initiative, was playing an eminent role in the region, asserting that Pakistan and all other regional countries must become part of this great project and take optimum benefits of this golden opportunity. In his opening speech, Shahid Javed Barki said that CPEC was the central topic of the Institute's annual report that elaborated all aspects of this project.
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Pakistan aRMs ExPoRt PlunGE by 36PC ovER last EiGht yEaRs: REPoRt INDIA'S ARMS IMPORTS FROM US SURGED 557 PER CENT BETWEEN 2008-12 AND 2013-2017 LAHORE
report released by Stockholm International Research Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed Pakistani arms imports dropped 36 percent between 2008-2012 and 2013-17. According to SIPRI’s press release on its website, Pakistan accounted for 2.7 percent of global arms imports during 2013-17. Arm imports from USA during the above-mentioned period slumped by 76 percent compared to 2008-2013. Pakistan remained the largest recipient of Chinese arms imports during 2013-17, SIPRI revealed. Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme said “The tensions between India, on the one side, and Pakistan and China, on the other,
are fuelling India’s growing demand for major weapons, which it remains unable to produce itself,’ said. ‘China, by contrast, is becoming increasingly capable of producing its own weapons and continues to strengthen its relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar through arms supplies.” And Pakistan’s arch nemesis India was the largest importer of arms during 2013-17, accounting for 12 percent of global arm imports. Russian arm imports to India rose by 62 percent during 2013-17 but US arm imports surged 557 percent from 2008-2012 and 20132017. Indian arm imports clocked a 24 percent rise between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017, reported SIPRI. Global arm imports into the Middle East have doubled in the last decade, said SIPRI. Arm imports by nations in the Middle East surged 103 percent between 2008-12 and 2013-17, accounting for 32 percent of global arm imports
during 2013-17. During 2013-17, Saudi Arabia remained the world’s second largest arms importers, with imports surging 225 percent compared with 2008-12. On the export front, US consolidated its lead by constituting for 34 percent of total arm exports globally. SIPRI stated “US arms exports in 2013–17 were 58 per cent higher than those of Russia—the second largest arms exporter in that period. The USA supplied major arms to 98 states in 2013–17. Exports to states in the Middle East accounted for 49 per cent of total US arms exports in that period.” Over 98 countries were recipients of major arm exports from the USA during 2013-17. Arm exports from the US to Middle Eastern countries constituted 49 percent of its total arm export in 201317. Russian arm exports exhibited a decline of 7.1 percent during 2008-12 and 2013-17, followed by France whose arms exports rose by 27 percent during the above-mentioned periods and was the largest arms exporter globally during 2013-17. Germany’s arm exports, which re-
mained the world’s fourth largest exporter of arms during 2013-17, witnessed declines of 14 percent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. However, its arms exports to the Middle East ratcheted up 109 percent during the above-mentioned period. China was ranked fifth in terms of global arm exports during 2013-17. Its arm exports exhibited a rise of 38 percent during 2008-12 and 2013-17. Chinese arm exports to Bangladesh and Algeria exhibited major increases during the aforementioned period. Israel arm exports went up by 55 percent, South Korea’s 55 percent and Turkey surged 145 percent during 2008-12 and 2013-17. Overall arm imports by countries in Africa fell by 22 percent between 200812 and 2013-17. During 2013-17, China accounted for arms imports by Myanmar, followed by Russia 15 percent. European countries arm imports declined by 22 percent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. SIPRI said deliveries of advanced combat aircraft from the US would fuel import volumes in the coming few years.
Car sales increase 15pc in February KARACHI STAFF REPORT
investment summit, Expo 2018 to be held in islamabad LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Pakistan’s largest saving and investment show “Capital Investment Summit and Expo 2018” is to be held at the Pak-China Friendship Centre Islamabad from March 13-15, 2108. The 3-day event will be a forum for government and business leaders to discuss current key investment challenges, as well as suggest a roadmap to achieve potential economic growth. The event is supported by the Board of Investment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Overseas Pakistan and Overseas Pakistanis Foundation. Pakistan’s potential future economic growth, taxation, regulations and future of capital of capital market in Pakistan will be discussed in consultative sessions on the day of the event. Planning Commission of Pakistan Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz, Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, State Minister for IT and Telecom Anusha Rahman, Pakistan Stock Exchange Managing Director Richard Morin, and CEOs of leading capital investment companies will be speaking at the event.
The sale of locally assembled cars and LCVs increased by 15 per cent year on year basis for the month of February 2018 selling 22,654 units in the month, according to data released by Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association (PAMA). The increase in sales by 2,968 units in February 2018 as compared to February 2017 is largely attributed to increasing Pakistan Suzuki vehicles sales – mainly Mehran and Wagon-R, which were sold 1000 units and 447 units more respectively this year in February as compared to last year. Taurus Securities Limited report cited a change in import procedures of imported used cars, which has recently been reverted back, to have played a part in higher sales of less than 1,000CC segment, as consumers continue to shift to Pak Suzuki (PSMC). Meanwhile, Honda (HCAR) also received a good response for its new BR-V selling 601 units more on year on year (YoY) basis. Although, PSMC and HCAR volumes showed strong growth of 25 per cent YoY and 20 per cent YoY respectively yet Toyota (INDU) volumes depicted a fall of 8 per cent YoY. Further, growth was also witnessed in LCV off-take, as they increased by 41 per cent YoY to 3,627 units against 2,567 units in February last year. Another 33 per cent YoY
(+223 units YoY) increase in Hilux off-take and the introduction of BRV in the current period (+601 units YoY). Tractor sales continue to perform well registering 6,454 units for the month, up by 14 per cent YoY against 5,647 units in the same period last year. Main support to this segment was offered from AGTL, which increased its sales volume by 40 per cent YoY. This jump has been attributed to the implementation of reduced GST rates (5 per cent from previous 10 per cent). Furthermore, motorcycles and three-wheelers also witnessed a fair increase of 11 per cent YoY, although falling by 14 per cent MoM. Taurus Securities has forecasted that the volumes for the auto industry will improve in the coming months on the back introduction of new
CKD and CBU models (BR-V, Cultus, Mega Carry, Hybrid Camry etc). There will also be new engine options (Fortuner and Hilux) while recent facelifts in Corolla are also said to increase car sales. Meanwhile, availability of cheap auto financing (interest rates still very low even after the recent 25bps increase), an agriculture-friendly budget, growing construction activities and heightened trade volumes on account of development under CPEC are also expected to play a positive role in increasing auto sales. Furthermore, in the longer run, the introduction of new players in the industry namely Kia, Hyundai, Renault, Ssangyong and Volkswagen etc, current players launching new models and facelifts would also contribute towards growth in volumes of all auto segments in days to come.
value of e-banking transactions registers quarterly growth of 28pc KARACHI STAFF REPORT
Digital banking channels processed 186.7 million transactions worth Rs11.7 trillion in Oct-December 2017, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday. The number and value of the transactions processed in the second quarter of 201718 were up by 8.6 per cent and 28 per cent from the preceding quarter, respectively. Major channels of digital banking, also known as e-banking, include real-time online branches (RTOBs), auto teller machines (ATMs), point-of-sale (POS) machines, mobile phone banking, internet banking, call centres/interactive voice response (IVR) banking and e-commerce. RTOBs processed 41.7 million transactions amounting to Rs9.8 trillion. Out of these transactions, online cash deposit transactions had the highest share of 47 per cent, with a value share of 19.6 per cent. In contrast, the share of realtime online intra-banks fund transfers was 32.3 per cent in volume and 73.2 per cent in value. Online cash withdrawals contributed 21 per cent and 7.2 per cent share in volume and value of transactions, respectively. The total number of ATMs installed by 32 banks in the country was 13,409 at the end of December, up from 12,963 from three months ago, which shows a quarterly growth of 3.4 per cent. Out of these ATMs, 10,933 or 81.5 per cent are installed at bank branches. These ATMs processed 115.3 million transactions worth Rs1.35 trillion in the quarter. Cash withdrawals contributed to the majority of ATM transactions in terms of both volume (95 per cent) and value (87 per cent). The rest of the transactions pertained to intra- and inter-bank fund transfers, utility bill payments, cash/instrument deposit transactions, et cetera.The average size of a single ATM transaction was Rs11, 729. Mobile phone/app-based banking is being offered by 18 commercial and microfinance banks to a total of 2.7 million registered users. The segment processed five million transactions amounting to Rs91.7 billion during the quarter under review. The overall volume of call centres/IVR banking has reduced due to a rapid increase in internet and mobile phone banking. During the quarter under review, about 77,000 transactions amounting to Rs2.4 million were processed by call centres/IVR banking, SBP data revealed. As many as 117.6 million transactions of Rs40.3 trillion were carried out using paper-based instruments i.e. over-thecounter cash deposits, cheques, pay orders, demand drafts, et cetera. These transactions showed a quarterly decline of one per cent in the volume of transactions. However, they showed an increase of 7.9 per cent in the value of transactions over the previous quarter. The average value of paper-based transaction has increased 7.7 per cent, which shows that people prefer e-banking channels for small transactions.
Market Daily: Cements, E&Ps push KSE 100 by 400 points LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) had a lazy start to the week with narrow volumes. With lawmakers playing the number game as they elect the new Chairman of the Senate, investors sat back to watch. In the absence of any trigger to excite, a number of shares traded were low. Led by a rally in Cement and E&P Sectors, KSE-100 index was up 400 points or 0.93 per cent during the first day of the week. Cement sector remained in the spotlight as manufacturers once again raised cement prices by Rs10 per bag. Consequently, the sector added 110 points to the index gain. E&P sector further fueled index with a contribution of 80 points, as crude oil prices were up (+$2/bbl) due to reduced U.S. drilling activity. Rebar manufacturers gained momentum in Monday’s session as ASTL and
MUGHAL gained 1.6-2 per cent owing to rise in local rebar prices by ~3k per tonne (~3.5 per cent). The broader market index witnessed fall of 22 per cent and 26 per cent in traded volumes and value, respectively. The KMI 30 index rallied 1.61 per cent during the session before it concluded 1.39 per cent over its last close. The KSE All Share Index added 190.52 points to its bag with 189 advancers to 139 decliners. The market volume narrowed down to 109.73 million with Lotte Chemical Pakistan Limited (LOTCHEM +3.44 per cent) as a leader with 13.66 million. Unity Foods Limited (UNITY -1.79 per cent) followed with 9.59 million shares exchanged along with Nimir Resins Limited (NRSL +12.48 per cent), volume 7.60 million. Top 5 stocks including OGDC (+2.1 per cent), LUCK (+2.6 per cent), UBL (+1.7 per cent), DGKC (+4.3 per cent) &
POL (+2 per cent) added 178 points to the index gain, whereas stocks including MCB (-1 per cent), NESTLE (-0.4 per cent), MUREB (-1.1 per cent), GHGL (1.3 per cent) & JSCL (-1.6 per cent), withheld 26 points from the index. The Chemical sector was the top gainer which added 2.60 per cent to its market capitalisation. The largest constituent by market cap, Colgate – Palmolive (Pakistan) Limited (COLG +5.00 per cent) hit its upper circuit breaker and helped the sector appreciate. Large-cap sectors, commercial banks and the oil and gas exploration sector also ended with a gain, 0.47 per cent and 1.36 per cent respectively. Summit Bank Limited (SMBL) announced its financial results for 2017, where bank reported a loss of Rs0.5 per share as against a loss of Rs1 per share, down by 50 per cent YoY. The decline in the loss could be attributed to reversal against NPLs of Rs178 million against
provisioning of Rs2 billion last year. Avenceon notified exchange regarding its CSIA membership that will help the company in promoting and position itself ahead of its competitors. In a second notice, the company informed exchange regarding its new projects amounting to
Rs371 million from Attock Petroleum, Hascol Terminal Limited and Shell Pakistan Limited. Global stocks rose Monday despite US-Chinese trade tension following Wall Street gains on unexpectedly strong US employment data.
12 WORLD VIEW
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Saudi crown prince comeS to waShington al-MonItor
AUDI Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman is buoyed by his successful visits to Cairo and London as he comes to Washington. Riyadh is sticking to its hard-line foreign policy and expects complete support from the Trump administration. But unstated are Saudi concerns about the scandals and chaos surrounding the administration and their potential consequences. The crown prince is eager to
secure international support for his tough line toward Iran and Qatar and his 3-year-old war in Yemen. The Saudis have broken ties with both Tehran and Doha since King Salman bin AbdulAziz Al Saud ascended the throne. Prince Mohammed has hinted that the Saudis want regime change in both. Mohammed stars in a Saudi video that shows him leading a victorious Saudi army into Tehran; the video has gone viral in the region. Saudi forces enforce the land blockade of Qatar and Riyadh makes no secret it wants a change in the emirate. But the prince just sacked the top commanders of the Saudi military. The joint chiefs of staff were fired this month with no warning. Mohammed, who is the mastermind of the Yemeni war, was frustrated that despite an enormous defense budget, the Saudi armed forces' performance in Yemen has been unimpressive at best. Despite occasional local successes, the war is an expensive quagmire
with no end in sight. The Saudi army has barely crossed the border. Houthi rebel missiles continue to be fired at Saudi targets despite intense airstrikes. The Saudis seem determined to continue trying for a military solution and Mohammed says his new generals will be “believers,” presumably in him. In Cairo, the Egyptians supported Mohammed's regional agenda completely and finalized the legal process for the turnover of two islands in the Straits of Tiran to Saudi control. The territory transfer is deeply unpopular in Egypt but it is the price for Saudi financial support. The Egyptians support the Yemeni war but have ruled out sending troops to fight there. Egyptians know from bitter experience the folly of trying to conquer Yemen’s Zaydi tribes. In London, the war in Yemen and UK support for it is opposed by the Labor opposition and much of the public. The prince has been
accused of deliberately starving the Yemeni people and engaging in war crimes. But the highlight of the prince’s visit was the announcement of a preliminary agreement for the purchase of 48 Typhoon jet fighters for the Royal Saudi Air Force. If completed, it will be the largest arms deal since Mohammed became defense minister by far. The Saudi media, controlled by the country's royal court, trumpeted the prince as the victor in the “battle of London” over the British critics. The Saudi relationship with the Trump team is closer than with any president since George H.W. Bush and the liberation of Kuwait. Since last year's May summit, Washington has praised the elevation of Mohammed to heir apparent and endorsed his Vision 2030 plan to modernize the kingdom. The decision to let women drive in the kingdom rightly enjoys wide support. Other policies are much more controversial. His anti-corruption
drive in November was endorsed by US President Donald Trump but castigated in the Western media as a clumsy shakedown with little legitimacy. The whole affair is likely to produce more unseemly revelations. Human rights activists have noted that executions have doubled in the kingdom since Mohammed became crown prince. The long-promised opening of ARAMCO to foreign investment, the centerpiece of Vision 2030, is now put off to 2019. As Al-Monitor has reported, opposition to US support for the war in Yemen is strengthening in the Senate. The Democrats who were reluctant to criticize the US posture when Barack Obama was in office are much less constrained now and more attentive to the humanitarian disaster the war has created. The Saudis have successfully blocked most media coverage of the war but even the White House has cautioned Riyadh to ease the blockade. Behind the formal meetings
and official statements, the Saudis will try quietly to evaluate the future of the Trump team. The removal of Jared Kushner’s top-secret clearance and the mounting legal jeopardy surrounding his future imperil the prince’s most valued interlocutor. The money trail to Kushner is under investigation. Trashing Obama, a Saudi favorite pastime, is not a smart long-term approach to a democracy. The Saudi strategy toward America is built fundamentally on the Trump family connection, expensive lobbyists and Iran bashing. The prince has little experience with the complexities of America’s politics, which are more complicated than ever in the Trump era. All the more reason to take stock. Bruce Riedel is a columnist for AlMonitor's Gulf Pulse. He is the director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution. His latest book is "Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States Since FDR."
This year, India will Next door Nepal: In the surpass the UK economy name of national interest
IndEpEndEnt hamish mcrae
Let’s look long-term for a change. This year will in all probability see two seismic shifts in the global economic league table. China will pass the Eurozone to become the world’s second-largest currency area. And India will pass the UK and France to become the world’s fifth largest economy. I was aware of the second possibility, and the Centre for Business and Economic Research published a report in December predicting that this would happen. But I had not spotted the first until a Bloomberg story pointed this out earlier this week. It reported: “China’s gross domestic product is forecast to reach about $13.2 trillion in 2018, beating the $12.8 trillion combined total of the 19 countries that use the euro.” There is still some way to go before China passes the EU, but with the UK leaving the union that will happen sometime in the middle 2020s. Does it matter that the developed world, or rather the present developed world for there is a new developed world being created alongside it, should be losing ground? In one sense no, because we are reverting to a power balance that has existed for most of the past 2,000 or more years, when China and India have been much larger economies than Europe and America. Europe and then the US only leapt ahead because of the Industrial Revolution, and – though this is more contentious – because western policies towards China and India may have slowed the transfer of western technology. That debate is for the economic historians to ponder. What is beyond dispute is that China’s gradual adoption of a market economy and western technology since 1978 has propelled its recent growth, and that
the more recent reforms in India have enabled it to surpass China in economic growth. As a result it is very hard to see China not passing the US in economic size sometime around 2030, and India passing Japan to become number three about a decade later. So by 2050 the world economy will be back to the sort of balance that it was in around 1820, before the Industrial Revolution really got going. The order will be China, the US, India, Japan, and Germany – with the UK after that. But if we simply have to accept this, there are ways that the West can help shape the world economy in a positive way. For a start, the US can be pretty confident that it will remain the single most important cultural, technical and intellectual power for another generation at least. China will be the only challenger, for neither Europe nor Japan can match it. The UK has the only universities that can give the US a run for its money. In military terms, it will remain number one: the only country able to project power across the world. Second, the institutions that the US helped create after the Second World War – the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation and so on – have been the base on which the world has seen the greatest burst of prosperity and the fastest narrowing of global income differentials that the world has ever known. We are all aware of the faults of those bodies, but we should also be aware of their overall success. The question is how to pass over more of the stewardship of these institutions to the emerging economies. How, for example, can
the Group of 20, which has replaced the Group of Seven as the main coordinating body for economic issues, become less unwieldy? (The G20 includes the main emerging economies, whereas the G7 are just the developed countries.) Third, there is one absolutely crucial relationship: that between the US and China. There are others of course, notably between India the rest of the subcontinent, and China, that matter too. We all should worry about the Middle East, and I think also should worry about Russia coping with its declining power (and population) by trying to destabilise Europe – also a region in long-term relative decline, though not as fast as Russia. But the one that must not go wrong is the pivot between China and the US. Some see this in terms of the US handing over the baton of responsibility to China, but realistically that will not happen. They have to share it – to somehow carry it together. These are huge issues. They are issues that make the little matter of the UK’s future relationship with Europe seem a sideshow. The only message I take from this is that it is in the self-interest of both the UK and Europe to have an amicable debate rather than an ill-tempered one. As for the message from China passing the eurozone, and India passing the UK, we should I suggest respect and acknowledge what is happening. To come back to earth, next time you see one of the new hybrid London taxis note that they are made by the subsidiary of a Chinese company, Geely. And when you see a Jaguar or Land-Rover, remember their revival has been under its Indian owner, Tata.
PAK PM’S KATHMANDU VISIT INDICATES AN ASSERTIVE TURN IN NEPAL’S FOREIGN POLICY
IndIan ExprEss Yubaraj Ghimire
Over the years, Nepal’s internal politics, the making of the constitution and the peace process, have been dictated by the international community, mainly India, the European Union, the US and the United Nations. But after the formation of a new government led by K P Oli, and his assertion that Nepal will not accept meddling by outsiders, key external forces appear to be in a withdrawal mood, at least for now. However, the transition is unlikely to be smooth, or quick. Last month, around 30 philanthropists from the UK, US and other western countries assembled in Nepal to explore how best they could spend a part of their wealth for the good of Nepal. A major western donor with substantial interests in Nepal lobbied with the crowd to fund the fight against “modern slavery” that indirectly meant supporting “liberation” or “secessionist” movements in parts of Nepal, including the Tarai. The group decided not to get into political issues, and work for children, women and oppressed groups trapped in “slavery”. Prime Minister Oli, who directly supervises many departments including state intelligence and the social welfare council, which issues permits to NGOs to operate in Nepal, has made it clear that any NGO or donor found to be indulging in local politics or working against Nepal’s national interests will be expelled. The intent of the new government was conveyed to the philanthropists’ group by Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, former foreign affairs minister
and leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-UML. Armed with all the powers and a majority in Parliament, Oli could confront the external forces — as PM he took on India during the five-month long economic blockade in 2015. “There will be zero tolerance towards corruption and external meddling,” Oli instructed his ministers. Donors too are suspected to be promoting corruption. Less than a month after taking office, Oli conveyed the message to the international community in not-so-subtle terms that Nepal will pursue an independent foreign policy. The peace process as well as investigations in the human rights violation cases by the state and the Maoists during the decade-long conflict are incomplete, but Oli may chose to make these an internal affair and outside the gaze of international actors. Maoists, a key ally in the coalition government, are keen to have general amnesty granted in such cases, which is possible only if these are handled exclusively by national agencies. Oli has repeatedly indicated that he plans to strike a balance between the two immediate neighbours, India and China. Indian ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri visited him with a cake and a bouquet on February 23, his birthday, and March 1, the day of Holi, a courtesy not shown to him during his previous term in office. Last week, Oli hosted Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with full state honours, and both sides agreed to “convince” India that the SAARC summit be held in Islamabad. Abbasi’s visit, the first by any head of the state after Oli became PM, was part of “Pakistan’s pro-active diplomacy” and its desire to extend trade, commerce and defence relations with Nepal. In an interview with four Nepali
journalists, Abbasi expressed hope that the belt and road initiative of China, to which Nepal and Pakistan are signatories, will enhance connectivity and advantage in the neighbourhood and beyond. The visit by the prime minister of Pakistan, a strategic ally of China, may naturally raise suspicion in Delhi, which has long perceived Oli to be favorable towards China. Incidentally, these developments including Abbasi’s visit, took place a week after the central government issued a circular to central and state authorities to disassociate with functions planned to mark 60 years of the 14th Dalai Lama living in exile in India. It was rightly interpreted in New Delhi that the “Thank You India” event would invite a hostile response from Beijing. However, these developments are seen in a positive light in Kathmandu. “We host about 20,000 Tibetan refugees and with the confrontation between China and India likely to diminish, we can see both competing and cooperating on Nepal-related issues in a positive way,” said a senior government authority, adding that “we need to stop being dictated on political matters by either side”. That’s easier said than done. The visit of Pakistan PM and Kathmandu’s growing proximity to China notwithstanding, the international community, which has made substantial investment in Nepal, is unlikely to let go of its influence so easily. Beijing has so far kept a distance from Nepal’s internal politics — the peace process, making of the constitution etc — by claiming to be pursuing a “politics of non-interference” in the country’s internal affairs. The unfolding scenario in the country, where fingers are being pointed at non-Chinese external actors, should gladden Beijing.
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Fame is not important For Deepika paDukone
Actress Deepika Padukone, who won the Entertainer of the Year honour at the Hello Hall of Fame Awards, says fame is not that important to her. Attending the awards event in a stylish white ensemble, Deepika told media persons: “I won’t say fame is all that important for me, but I would def-
initely like to say that the kind of industry I am working in and the kind of work that I am doing, so money and fame are a part of what I do, and I can’t ignore it. “I don’t think you can ignore the fame and the attention. It is the byproduct of the work that I do. I love my work. In the last 10 years, the work that I have done…I got so much to learn and I have enjoyed my work. And in fu-
Oscar-winning director initiates scholarship for aspiring Mexican filmmakers MEXICO CITY AGENCIES
Oscar-winning writer-director Guillermo del Toro has launched a scholarship for aspiring Mexican filmmakers. After his romance-fantasy film The Shape of Water took home four Academy Awards last Sunday, including Best Picture and Director, the filmmaker has returned to his native city for the week-long Guadalajara International Film Festival, where he is imparting a series of free master classes to thousands of fans. Following the first class on Saturday, the festival inaugurated a state-of-the-art cinema named after del Toro. The organisers announced the creation of the Jenkins-Del Toro International Film Scholarship, a $60,000 annual award for an aspiring Mexican filmmaker to study abroad at a prestigious film institute, reports
hollywoodreporter.com. “If we change a life, if we change a history, we change a generation,” said del Toro, whose genre filmmaking has inspired a new generation of talent in Mexico. Del Toro and fellow countrymen Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman) regularly produce films of up-and-coming Mexican filmmakers. “The first push is very important,” said del Toro, who will oversee a jury that awards the scholarship at the Guadalajara film fest each year. Del Toro also announced that his ‘At Home with Monsters’ exhibit will hit museums in Guadalajara and Mexico City next year. The exhibit features 500 drawings, paintings and concept pieces from del Toro’s works, including life-size sculptures of monster figures.
ture, I hope that I keep on enjoying the work that I do.” She also spoke about her Piku costar Irrfan Khan, who has been diagnosed with a rare illness and has been missing from action for the past couple of weeks. She is to feature with him in a Vishal Bhardwaj movie. “I think we should always pray for people and their good health. If his (Irrfan’s) health is not best at this point, I think it is important for all of us to pray, not just for him, but for everyone. “I always say a small little prayer for myself and for everyone around. Yes, I think the last couple of weeks have been emotionally challenging, but yes, I think we all should say a little prayer,” she said, adding that she had had some of her most special experiences as an actor with Irrfan. “I think like he has requested that there are times when people need to be left alone for some time and figure their lives out… We should respect the space they have requested for and hope for the best.” Deepika herself suffered aggravated pain in the neck. But she said she is well and there is nothing to worry about. “All is good on the health front. I got so many wishes from fraternity and media. Things are back to normal and I will be starting my physiotherapy soon. There is nothing to worry about.”
'daas dev' composer supports atif aslam's decision to not promote his song NEW DELHI AGENCIES
Amid calls for a ban on Pakistani artists from working in the Indian film industry, composer Vipin Patwa, who has worked with the Pakistani singers such as Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, says music has become global and talent is beyond nationality. Last year, Patwa had to fight to keep Rahat’s song Rog Jaane in the film Laali Ki Shadi Mein Laddoo Deewana. A year later, he is back with a collection of songs, some of which have been sung by Pakistani singers Aslam and Javed Bashir. As to what makes him look for talent in Pakistan instead of India, Patwa replied, “We are living in 2018 and music has become global. Moreover, talent is beyond nationality. And let’s not forget that be it music, story or casting of a film, all decisions are taken collectively by a number of people and not a single person.” In February, politician Babul Supriyo had asked for a ban on Pakistani
artists working in Bollywood. He had also objected to the inclusion of Khan’s voice in Welcome To New York. Back in 2016, due to cross-border IndiaPakistan tension, some Indian political outfits imposed a ban on Pakistanis. A few Pakistani theatres also pulled down Indian movies from their big screens. The ban came after the September 18, 2016 terror attack that killed almost 20 Indian soldiers in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir. Does Patwa think it was a good decision to get Aslam and Bashir on board, especially after the producer of the film Daas Dev said that Aslam had refused to promote the song Sehmi Hai Dhadkan? The composer stated, “Aslam was taken on board because his voice matched the character of the song. The decision was taken way before the controversy started. It’s a coincidence that this controversy has started at the time of my music launch. Which artist wouldn’t want to promote his work? If Aslam has taken this decision, there must be some reason behind it.”
The second edition of Women International Film Festival takes place in Islamabad ShOrT IndEpEndEnT FIlMS rEcEIvEd FrOM FIlMMakErS arOund ThE WOrld WErE ScrEEnEd ISLAMABAD StAff REpoRt
Women International Film Festival (WIFF) – an event of remarkable global prestige, was held here at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) with the support of the European Union (EU). The aim of WIFF was to promote amateur filmmakers and female filmmakers in particular by building and uniting the next wave of talent by connecting the film community. WIFF also aimed to give male and female filmmakers the opportunity to use film as a tool to advocate gender equality, shed light on gender rights, as well as, telling powerful stories of the successes and struggles of both genders. The first day of the event was dedicated to Parwaaz – a capacity building film lab for amateur filmmakers centered on ‘The Art of Cin-
ematic Storytelling’. Participants of the film lab underwent a selection process, were shortlisted based on merit and prior experience, and were also a part of an all-day interactive film lab. The lab trainers were Gabrielle Kelly – an Irish filmmaker and global expert on media labs, and Emily Macinnes – a Scottish documentary filmmaker and photographer. The grand screening was held on the second day of the event for which 13 shortlisted film entries received from around the world, centering on the themes of women and child rights, inspiring women, and gender equality were showcased. The last theme was open to both male and female filmmakers. Women from around the world including Tajikistan, India, the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), and Egypt besides, many from Pakistan had submitted films that were screened at the event attended by students, policymakers, diplomats, public figures, politicians, journalists, and human rights activists. The event also featured live performances, discussion panels, and a Q&A session. A small reception followed a prize distribution ceremony at the end. The EU Ambassador Jean-Francois Cau-
tain said: “The European Union is a proud supporter of the Women International Film Festival, as it encourages a dialogue of self-empowerment, creativity, and safe spaces for women. After attending the first edition of the festival last year, it felt natural for the EU to support one of the very few examples of such a festival around the world.” The jurors for WIFF this year included multi award-winning filmmaker and writer Ruth Beni, independent filmmakers and director Hammad Khan, filmmaker Samar Minallah Khan, filmmaker, producer and human rights attorney Paula Kweskin Weiss, and Azad Films founder Jamshed Mahmood Raza. WIFF 2018 featured two discussion panels: Self-Empowerment through Film and Creating Safer Spaces for Women in Politics through Film – featuring Senator Sherry Rehman, Nasim Zehra and Tazeen Bari. This panel was moderated by Rukhsana Naz – a women rights activist. “This year we’re screening evocative and artful films that really demonstrate the power of cinema not only effecting change but telling stories and engaging an audience on an emotional and cerebral level,” said WIFF founder and curator Madeeha Raza.
Egyptian filmmakers break taboos of conservative society CAIRO AGENCIES
Filmmakers in Egypt are defying a largely conservative society with television series and movies that deal with modern relationships between men and women and the empowerment of the young. In its heyday between the 1950s and the 1970s, Egypt had one of the largest and most dynamic movie industries in the world. The golden age of Egyptian cinema starred fiery, determined women and love scenes that rivalled those of Western movies at the time. “Things started to change in the 1980s” as social freedoms regressed and society grew more puritanical, leading Arab film critic Tarek El Shenawi told AFP. Under the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood group and Arab Gulf countries, conservatism expanded steadily
in Egyptian society during the time. Braving criticism from conservatives, young directors are now becoming more daring in their work. Such productions often stir controversy, but they still attract millions of viewers online. In the film Balash Tebosni (Kiss Me Not), young director Ahmed Amer makes fun of the taboo on passionate kisses in contemporary Egyptian cinema. “Comedy makes the people a bit more open to the theme,” Amer told AFP. In the “adults only” movie, Amer tries to shoot a kissing scene but the actress refuses to comply, stressing that she wants to become a more devout Muslim. The “film within a film” satirises the dogged resistance of his starlet in what has become an increasingly puritanical society. Yasmin Raeis, who plays the actress, said she remembers how such scenes used to be “totally normal” in Egyptian movies
she watched as a child. “Then as I got older, suddenly people
started saying that this shouldn’t happen” in movies anymore, she said.
Raeis said she could not understand the taboo on kissing when audiences stream to watch thrillers and action movies packed with scenes of violence. “That’s what’s strange. We should be condemning violence, not romance,” she said. The idea for Balash Tebosni originated in a short film which Amer had tried but failed to complete in real life because the leading actress was disgusted by the idea of an onscreen kiss. Family comedies have also become a hit. Watched by millions on YouTube, Sabaa Gar (Seventh Neighbour), a series which airs on the private CBC Entertainment channel, has faced a storm of accusations that it corrupts Egypt’s youth. A single woman living alone and seeing men out of wedlock, or another who smokes in secret, Sabaa Gar shows the young demanding control over their own lives.
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
It may seem as if you've been coloring within the lines for too long, but now you remember what it's like to be your creative self. Today's showy Leo Full Moon highlights your 5th House of Fun and Games,
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Hiding your needs is a futile endeavor today, for they -- along with your idealistic dreams -- are creating observable ripples on the surface. This Full Moon in your sign increases the magnitude of your.
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Avoid overstated dramatic gestures today, for it's more important to be in touch with your own feelings than to put on a show for someone else. Anything can happen now, but stress could quickly grow out.
The difference between what you want and what you must do is greater than normal and you may believe that you've lost your way. The Leo Full Moon illuminates your 10th House of Public Responsibility, heightening.
Those closest to you are amused and amazed at what comes forth from your mind today. You could be on a roll and believe there's no limit to what you can do while the lively Leo Full Moon brightens your.
HaGaR tHE HoRRIblE
You may be less certain than usual about your destination, yet, oddly enough, you could be more confident about getting there. Additionally, you are easily confused by other people's outrageous ideas now.
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Make use of the vibrant Leo Full Moon's presence in your 6th House of Daily Routine to improve your overall wellbeing, especially if you recently experienced a health concern. Even if you are at the top.
How to play fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the squares contains all the digits. The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once.
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1 Wrong (5) 2 Rotating shaft (7) 3 Pitcher (4) 4 Easily persuaded (8) 5 Storage container for tea (5) 6 Strait (anag) (6) 11 hat maker (8) 12 Place of worship (6) 13 foolishly sentimental (7) 15 Move furtively (5) 17 International cricket matches (5) 18 Tinned meat made largely from pork (4)
cHEss AddITIONAL AdVISE ANNIVERSA Ry ANyMORE BEfORE BIRTh CANCEL CANON ChARGE dATES dEAd dIffERENT dRIVER ExPECTATION fEdERAL fLAVOR
ACROSS 1 Be impertinent (6,4) 7 Payout on shares (8) 8 highlander's dagger (4) 9 Whisky mixer (4) 10 Look after children (4-3) 12 Maximum level for borrowing (6,5) 14 Speedily (7) 16 Only — fair (4) 19 Unit of land area (4) 20 from kathmandu? (8) 21 flats (10)) DOwn
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Federer Takes Care oF Business, djokoviC Crashes ouT iNDiaN WEllS
ORLD number one Roger Federer finished off Federico Delbonis in a rain-disrupted match on Sunday to reach the third round at Indian Wells as five-time champion Novak Djokovic was toppled. Federer returned to stadium court on Sunday afternoon and needed an hour to finish off his second-round victory 6-3, 7-6 (8/6). “It's been a long time since I have been interrupted at night and have to come back the next day,” Federer said. His title defence got off to a soggy start on Saturday night when play was suspended because of rain showers with Federer up a set and tied 2-2 in the second. The clouds rolled in just before the start of their match on Saturday and after a short delay to start the first set they managed to play until the skies blackened and the heavy rains came in the second. After another 90-minute delay organisers suspended play for the night. Federer is making his 17th appearance in the California desert and is assured of remaining world number one if he makes it to the semi-finals. He extended his 2018 win streak to 13 matches and has only dropped three sets from 34 played this year. Federer hit five aces and won 74 per cent of his first serve points in the match which took a total of one hour and 41 minutes over the two days. Federer started quickly hammering a backhand winner to take the lone break of the first set and he would deny a pair of break chances when serving for the opener at 5-3. In the tiebreaker, Federer took a 5-2 lead but Delbonis battled back to win a long rally and tie it 5-5. Federer won the final three points to take the match by forcing Delbonis to dump all three of those shots into the net. Federer will face 25th-seed Filip Krajinovic in the third round. Federer and 10th seed Djokovic both came into the tournament seeking to become the first six-time winner of the event. But Djokovic fell at the first hurdle with a shock loss to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel. Daniel sent an out-of-sorts Djokovic tumbling with a hard-fought 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-1 victory. It was another snag in the return for the world
We cannot expect batting plans from Walsh: BCB president
Today MaTCh Multan Sultans vs Islamabad United
Punjab govt to provide best facilities for PSL matches: sports minister lahorE APP
number 13 Djokovic who admitted he lacked composure while playing in just his second event of 2018 and first since having surgery. “For me, it felt like the first match I ever played on the tour. Very weird,” Djokovic said. “I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything." Djokovic scrambled to win the second set on Sunday but the rust from the layoff was evident as he made 62 unforced errors compared to 29 for Daniel. Djokovic had four aces but served poorly overall making four double faults and winning just 65pc of his first-serve points.
Federer said he understands well how even a champion like Djokovic could be struggling to find his game so soon after having surgery. “To me, it's not that surprising,” Federer said. “When you go away from the game for over a two-month period it starts feeling a little bit that way." Daniel, who is ranked 109th in the world, advanced to the third round where he will face Gael Monfils of France who outlasted American John Isner 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3), 7-5. In other men's matches, David Ferrer of Spain defeated Tennys Sandgren of the US 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).
Nasir Shah says foolproof security arrangements made for PSL final KaraChi
Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah has said that foolproof security arrangements have been made for the PSL final. Talking to media in Karachi he said that the PSL final international matches will be played in Karachi whereas, for the final match a bus shuttle service will be arranged. He added that the law and
BCB president Nazmul Hassan has credited his advice to the players for turning Bangladesh's form around in the Nidahas Trophy. He has also said interim coach Courtney Walsh cannot be relied upon to come up with batting plans for the team, and that the senior players would have to do this themselves. Unusually for a board president, Hassan has frequently involved himself in day-today matters of the team since 2015. His meetings with players have become commonplace, as have his interactions with the media to inform them about these meetings. After a heavy defeat to India in their opening match, Bangladesh chased down 215 to beat Sri Lanka on Saturday. "I sat with Mushfiqur [Rahim], Tamim [Iqbal] and [Mahmudullah] Riyad after the India game," Hassan said. "There was a lot of emotion in the meeting. Our batting against India was unacceptable. I told them that you didn't play cricketing shots; you only tried to swing at deliveries outside off-stump. The new boys may have done it but not Tamim, Mushfiq and Riyad. They gave away 57 (68) dot balls. "Who will bring them out of this? I am a non-technical person. They have to do this job. They have Walsh who is the interim coach but we can't expect batting plans from him. We spoke a lot about this; there were a lot of emotions. I said there's no point being emotional. Let's stick to the basics. What happened to our body language? Winning and losing isn't a big deal but we have to show that we want to win in every delivery." Walsh, who became Bangladesh's bowling coach in September 2016, recently took over as the team's interim coach. Bangladesh are yet to fill the head coach's role on a full-time basis following the exit of Chandika Hathurusingha in November 2017. Walsh played 132 Tests for West Indies, finishing as their leading wicket-taker with 519 scalps, but also earning a reputation for being one of cricket's most hapless No. 11s.
order situation in Karachi is much better than before and that citizens should abide by the laws. He observed that citizens
might face difficulties due to security but hoped that Karachiites will extend their full cooperation.
Punjab Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada on Monday said that the Punjab government will provide top-level security and make the best administrative arrangements for the upcoming two Pakistan Super League (PSL) knock-out stage matches at Gaddafi Stadium. This was stated by the minister while chairing a highlevel meeting here at National Hockey Stadium on Monday. Lahore Mayor Col (R) Mubashar Javed, Lahore DC Sumair Ahmed Syed, Lahore Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Rai Ijaz and top officials from Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), Lahore Development Authority (LDA), health and food departments attended the meeting. Addressing the meeting, Jahangir Khanzada said it will be a great honour for Lahore to host several international stars during the two important matches of PSL. "We will make these matches even more memorable through top-level security and administrative arrangements," he said. "Several ambulances, rescue bikers will also be in action to tackle any emergency on this occasion. Moreover, Wapda authorities have also been asked to provide uninterrupted power supply during PSL matches," he elaborated. "All the departments including WASA, LDA and transport have been advised to take all necessary measures to provide best facilities to guest teams and cricket enthusiasts as well." The minister asked the officials concerned to make best arrangements to make the atmosphere and surroundings clean and tidy. "It's great opportunity for us to show the world that Pakistanis are a disciplined nation and Pakistan is a clean country."
Dinesh Chandimal handed two-match over-rate ban Columbo Agencies
An over-rate ban will force Dinesh Chandimal to miss Sri Lanka's last two round-robin matches in the Nidahas Trophy. Match referee Chris Broad imposed a two-match suspension on Sri Lanka's captain, and fined the team's players 60% of their match fee, after ruling that the side fell four overs short of their target during their match against Bangladesh on Saturday. The allrounder Thisara Perera will captain Sri Lanka in Chandimal's absence. Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah, meanwhile, has been fined 20% of his match fee, and the rest of the team 10%, after the side was ruled to have fallen one over short of the time target. According to the ICC's code of conduct, a team falling short by up to and including two overs is said to have committed a "minor over rate offence",
and a "serious over rate offence" if it is short by more than two overs. The team's captain receives two suspension points for a serious over rate offence, which equates to a ban from one Test, two ODIs or two T20Is, whichever
comes first. Chandimal pleaded not guilty to the offence, and Broad announced his verdict after a hearing on Sunday afternoon, involving the match officials and Sri Lanka's team management. If
Sri Lanka commit another serious over-rate offence in a T20I within 12 months of this offence with Chandimal as captain, he will receive between two and eight suspension points for committing a second offence.
SPORTS Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Winter marathon enters final stretch
england cricketers dispersed in various directions from Christchurch on Sunday. A few flew back home, a group headed for Dubai and the PSL and for some this tour goes on. Those who are also in the Test squad made the short 90minute hop north to hamilton, the base for preparations over the next week as white ball is replaced by pink and red. The nine Test-only players arrived in hamilton a couple of days ago and have so far been shaking off jetlag in a variety of ways, including a spot of 10-pin bowling and a trip to Raglan beach about 45km away. Preparations for the two-Test series, which includes the first day-night Test in New Zealand at eden Park, will go up a level on Monday ahead of four days of warm-up action against New Zealand XIs at Seddon Park starting Wednesday. Those matches will be split into two days with the pink ball using day-night conditions followed by two days with the red ball. Two New Zealand XI squads have been named, featuring those who specialise in the red-ball (such as opener Jeet Ravel), those looking to adjust after three months of white-ball cricket (henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner) and a collection of players hoping to push the selectors (Seth Rance, George Worker, Doug Bracewell). Given the nature of most warm-up matches these
days, it could very quickly turn into a merry-go-round of players for both sides. New Zealand are unlikely to spring many surprises in their Test squad - they won the two Tests against West Indies, which feel like a lifetime ago at the start of the season, convincingly and have a tried and tested balance at home. For england, coming off the back of the 4-0 Ashes defeat, there are significantly more issues to tackle. Given the two-Test series is a 50-50 split between the new and traditional it could yet require two different approaches. “We’d have liked to have gone better in the Ashes but we will try to take whatever positives we can out of that series and try to put them right in this series,” Chris Woakes said. “We are going into a pink-ball Test which we all haven’t played that much of. It’s not a step into the unknown but things are happening that you don’t expect. It’s only two matches - do you go all out and attack and try to win the first game and make sure you can’t lose the series, or play it as it comes?” Ben Stokes’ return opens up a few options they could take after the problems they faced in Australia. he is a high-class batsman and very fine fourth quick. Not unexpectedly, england’s balance was off in the Ashes, a problem exacerbated by the struggles of fellow allrounders Woakes and Moeen Ali. If they had both played at the top of their games it’s just possible england could have competed:
instead Moeen averaged 19.88 with the bat and 115 with the ball, Woakes 16.28 and 49.50. Woakes did not complete the series, ruled out by injury in Sydney, but though linking performance in one format to another is fraught with danger, he has since had a stellar time in one-day cricket, capped with the Man of the Series award in New Zealand. Moeen, meanwhile, has bowled nicely although the batting has been less convincing. “The most adventurous route for the Test side to take would be to use Stokes at No. 5. The batsman to make way under this scenario would be Vince.” “I feel I am bowling pretty well, and that will help me swap formats,” Woakes said. “As a modern player you should be used to jumping formats, there shouldn’t be too many excuses. Generally, it’s pretty similar for a bowler, as a batsman you might have to put a few shots away, but as a bowler I am in good rhythm and hopefully the transition is smooth.” It is likely that both Woakes and Moeen will feature in the Test series, meaning england will return to the allrounder-heavy option. But could Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss take the chance to mix things up? england have had a horrid run away from home since the South Africa tour in 2015-16: nine defeats, two draws and just one win. england’s Test cricket, especially overseas, needs a shot in the arm. The most adventurous route to take would be to use Stokes at No. 5, although that could be seen as a step too far on his return to the format. It is a position Bayliss has previously said he could see Stokes taking up, perhaps bowling a little less as a result. The batsman to make way under this scenario would be James Vince, who survived the axe after an unconvincing Ashes where for every cover drive there was an outside edge not far away.
Rabada’s 11-foR helps souTh afRica level seRies SOUTH AFRICA 382 (DE VILLIERS 126*, ELGAR 57, AMLA 56, CUMMINS 3-79) AND 102 FOR 4 BEAT AUSTRALIA 243 (WARNER 63, RABADA 5-96, NGIDI 3-51) AND 239 (KHAWAJA 75, RABADA 6-54) BY 6 WICKETS Port ElizabEth
he hardest job on day four in Port elizabeth was not chasing 101 for victory. Through the majesty of AB de Villiers, South Africa did that with ease and levelled the series 1-1. No, the most difficult task was assigned to whoever chose the Man of the Match. Would it be de Villiers, whose unbeaten 126 in the first innings was not only a game-changer but one of the most impressive knocks in recent history, and whose run-a-ball 28 in the second innings helped seal the win? Or would it be Kagiso Rabada, whose 11-wicket haul was irresistible to watch and completely blunted Australia’s batting? Certainly, it was Rabada who lit up the morning session at St George’s Park. South Africa began the day clearly in the stronger position, but Australia were 41 runs ahead and still had five wickets in hand. If they let Australia’s lower order off the hook, South Africa could have been faced with a tricky chase of 200-plus. The key seemed to be Mitchell Marsh, the last member of Australia’s top six, who was unbeaten on 39 at the start
of play. Rabada didn’t even let Marsh survive an over. he nipped one back in to Marsh, at speed, to find the gap and rattle his stumps. Rabada followed by having Pat Cummins caught by Theunis de Bruyn at gully for 5, and he added Mitchell Starc, who was caught behind for 1. Rabada finished with match figures of 11 for 150, and he became just the third South African to achieve a ten-wicket Test haul on at least four occasions. For perspective, the others are Dale Steyn, whose five ten-wicket hauls have come in 86 Tests, and Makhaya Ntini, whose 101-Test career brought four tenfors. Rabada has four in just his 28th Test. he is still only 22 years old. This is a young man who could be absolutely anything. Perhaps a caveat is needed to the earlier statement. There was one other task on day four that might have been even harder than determining the Man of the Match. This job fell to match referee Jeff Crowe, who had to decide whether Rabada would be suspended for the remainder of the series for his shoulder bump with Steven Smith during Australia’s first innings. In isolation, the incident would not be worthy of a ban, but Rabada’s bank
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of demerit points changes that. After a hearing on day three, Crowe chose to defer his verdict for 24 hours. Australia’s innings finished with Nathan Lyon being caught behind off Lungi Ngidi for 5 and Josh hazlewood caught at deep midwicket off Keshav Maharaj for 17. Tim Paine remained unbeaten on 28 in Australia’s 239, and their lead of 100 was never likely to be truly competitive. One of the major concerns for Australia as they head to the third Test in Cape Town is that not a single Australian batsman has scored a century so far in this series. South Africa, by comparison, have had hundreds in each Test - from Aiden Markram in Durban and de Villiers in Port elizabeth. Australia had the chance to snap up Markram for 7 in this chase, but his edge off hazlewood was put down at first slip by Mitchell Marsh, hardly a promising start for a team needing a miracle to avoid defeat. Wickets did fall, but not enough. Dean elgar was caught and bowled by Lyon off a leading edge for 5, in a near carbon-copy of his dismissal in the first innings in Durban, and Markram was caught at second slip by Smith off hazlewood for 21, but all that did was bring de Villiers to the crease.