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13 October, 2019 I 13 Safar-ul-Muzaffar, 1441 I Rs 17.00 I Vol X No 103 I 20 Pages I Karachi Edition

‘LegaL reforms’: govt aLL set to bypass parLiament again g

Reforms bearing fruits: finance adviser

PtI goveRNMeNt to tAbLe dRAFtS oF PReSIdeNtIAL oRdINANceS IN MoNdAy’S cAbINet MeetINg


ARtIcLe 89 StIPuLAteS thAt oNLy IN excePtIoNAL cIRcuMStANceS cAN the FedeRAL goveRNMeNt LegISLAte thRough oRdINANceS


IHC to hear Nawaz’s plea against Al-Azizia conviction on Oct 29 STORY ON PAGE 02

PML-N to share Nawaz’s message with Fazl before Azadi March programme STORY ON PAGE 02

250 dead as dengue cases touch 50,000 STORY ON PAGE 03

Iran says ready for talks with Saudi, with or without mediation STORY ON BACK PAGE




he Pakistan tehreek-e-Insaf (PtI) government has decided to introduce legal reforms through presidential ordinances and Prime Minister Imran Khan has given his nod to table the draft of these ordinances before the federal cabinet on Monday for approval, it has been learnt. According to sources, some ordinances will be tabled in the upcoming federal cabinet meeting to initiate legal reforms in the country and these ordinances are drafted by the Ministry of Law and Justice. the meeting is likely to grant its approval to the proposed ordinances for initiation of law reform, informed sources told Pakistan today. “on finding difficulty to get an approval from parliament over the proposed law reforms, the government has decided to initiate the reforms through presidential ordinances,” said the sources, adding that the opposition has been creating hindrances in the passage of bringing these reforms so the government decided to adopt the uninterrupted procedure. Sources also said that the federal government, in order to initiate legal reforms, had earlier constituted a task force under the chairmanship of Minister of Law and Justice dr Farogh Naseem to propose laws with the primary objective to alleviate the hardships of people of Pakistan. to secure and promote the rights of people in particular women, the task force has recommended new laws for


the protection of women property rights, setting up of legal aid mechanism for the poor and vulnerable and a mechanism for issuance of succession certificates by National database and Registration Authority (NAdRA). Similarly, they said that to introduce the law reforms, the law regulating the court dress and mode of address may be repealed to allow the superior courts to decide the appropriate dress code and the manner in which the advocates must conduct themselves in the court of law will be table during the course of next cabinet meeting. the agenda of federal cabinet meeting, which is scheduled to be held on oct 14, confirms that the Law and Justice division will seek cabinet’s approval on the ordinances for initiation of law reforms. the Ministry of Law and Justice, in its summary for the cabinet, has sought approval of the ordinances for initiation of law reforms. According to the summary of the Law and Justice Ministry, ordinances named as “the letters of administration and succession certificates ordinance,

2019, the enforcement of women’s property rights ordinance, 2019, the benami transaction (prohibition) (amendment) ordinance, 2019, the superior courts (court dress and mode of dress) order (repeal) ordinance, 2019, the National Accountability (Amendment) ordinance, 2019, the legal aid and justice authority ordinance, 2019” are prepared as the legislative process will take substantial time. In order to expose benami transactions and to deal with individuals arrested under the National Accountability ordinance, 1999, the Law and Justice also prepared two bills named as ‘the benami transaction (Prohibition) (Amendment) bill, 2019 and the National Accountability (Amendment) bill, 2019” which will be presented before the cabinet for approval. “Keeping in view the urgency involved in this case, the aforesaid ordinances are proposed to be promulgated immediately,” said a summary of the Law and Justice Ministry. “Minister for Law and Justice has approved and authorized the submission of this summary.” It is pertinent to mention here that draft bills namely the letters of administrations and succession certificates bill, 2019, the enforcement of women’s property rights bill, 2019, the legal aid and justice authority act, 2019, and the superior courts (court dress and mode of address) order (repeal) bill, 2019 were prepared and introduced in the National Assembly, and the same were pending in the Standing committee on Law and Justice.


CMYK Sunday, 13 October, 2019


PML-N to share Nawaz’s Message with FazL beFore FiNaLisiNg azadi March PrograMMe LAHoRe

Staff report


HE Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) on Saturday announced that the party will share contents of the letter written by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman before finalising the programme for the latter’s anti-government ‘Azadi March’. Addressing reporters after a meeting of the PMLN leadership chaired by Shehbaz Sharif, senior PMLN leader Ahsan Iqbal said that Shehbaz had during the meeting read out contents of the letter written to him by party supremo Nawaz. He said in the letter, Nawaz had detailed a “complete roadmap” for the PML-N and expressed the desire that the party take the JUI-F chief into confidence in this regard. “For this purpose, a senior delegation of the party will immediately take Nawaz Sharif’s letter to Maulana Fazl so that we can give a final shape to the programme of Azadi March,” Iqbal said. He said Nawaz had agreed with the objectives of the so-called Azadi March and stressed the “important” role to be played by the PML-N in the face of a “sinking economy” for which he held the government responsible. “Our Kashmiri brothers are becoming the targets of bullets of the Indian Army and our prime minister is heading to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” the PML-N leader said, criticising the Imran Khan-led government’s efforts to highlight the plight of the people of occupied Kashmir. He said Nawaz had directed the party to “initiate

a comprehensive movement so that we can get rid of this government”. The instructions given for that movement by the former premier were corroborated by the party leadership during today’s meeting, Iqbal added. He rejected the impression that there are any differences among the party leadership. “There is no division of any sort in the PML-N,” he iterated, adding that the entire party had confidence in Nawaz Sharif’s leadership. On Friday, Incarcerated former PM Nawaz Sharif threw his weight behind the JUI-F’s ‘Azadi March’, saying that he “fully supports” it. “Our viewpoint is the same as Maulana’s [Fazlur Rehman’s] viewpoint, ” said Nawaz while speaking to reporters at a Lahore accountability court. He was accompanied by his sonin-law Capt (r) Mohammad Safdar. A day earlier, Capt Safdar had disclosed that the party supremo’s message to the workers was “they must participate” in Fazl’s

protest. “Those who love the country will join the march,” he had quoted Nawaz as saying. Nawaz recalled that Rehman had called for resignations and protest after the 2018 general elections, in which the PTI came to power. “We had convinced him not to take that course but I feel [now] that his argument was solid.” “Not paying heed to Maulana’s call for the march would be a mistake,” he added. Nawaz said that he has already written a letter to his brother Shehbaz Sharif in this regard, detailing the future course of action of the party, and expressed hope that the PML-N president would brief the media on it. Earlier on Thursday, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif skipped “an all-important meeting” with the former prime minister in jail, fuelling speculation the two brothers had developed differences over the issue of joining the JUI-F’s march on Oct 31. Shehbaz did not go to Kot Lakhpat jail to meet his elder brother despite the party’s announcement that the former would present suggestions of its senior leaders to the latter regarding joining the JUI-F protest. The former Punjab chief minister was to announce Nawaz’s decision on the matter after the meeting. A backache was cited as the reason for Shehbaz’s failure to meet his elder brother. Sources believe that since Shehbaz is not in favour of joining the march, he “postponed” his meeting with Nawaz as he wanted to present “strong arguments” against the proposal to his brother later. However, a television channel quoted Shehbaz on Thursday night as saying he could have different views on some issues but his elder brother’s decision was final and the party would follow it.


Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Saturday condemned the unprovoked shelling by Indian forces in different sectors, including Neelum valley, and the consequential loss of human life and property. In a statement, he said that India’s cowardly acts will not demoralise the people of Azad Kashmir and he called upon the international community to take notice of Indian terrorism and war crimes against the civilian population residing along the Line of Control (LoC). Regretting the martyrdom of a child and injuries to nine other citi-

zens in Indian shelling in Changan, Doodhnial and Sharda areas of Neelum valley since yesterday, he expressed sympathy with the bereaved families. The AJK president added that the Indian Army was using cluster munition from across the LoC, which was a war crime under the cluster ammunition convention, and India itself is a signatory to it. “Under a well thought out strategy, India is escalating tension at the LoC to divert the world’s attention from the situation of occupied Kashmir.” “India is openly committing terrorism in both parts of the Kashmir region, and India will have to a heavy price,” he added. He added that the people of Azad Kashmir are with the forces of Pak-

contInUeD FRoM pAge 01 However, the cabinet directed the law minister to examine and recommend the best course for the enactment of the above draft laws relating to matters of public interest. Accordingly, the law minister examined the issue proposed that the legislative process will take substantial time so the bills may be promulgated as ordinances. LEGISLATION THROUGH ORDINANCES: Article 89 of the constitution defines in detail the process of legislation through ordinances. It stipulates that only in exceptional circumstances can the federal government exercise such an authority. The clause further lays out those special cases. The president, it adds, may promulgate an ordinance when the Senate or the National Assembly is not in session, and only if the president is “satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action.” Now, while an ordinance is deemed to have the same force and effect as an act of Parliament, it stands expired at the end of 120 days of its promulgation. In April 2010, the 18th amendment to the constitution barred the government from re-promulgation of the same ordinance. Earlier, no such bar existed. The ruling party had the power to push through an ordinance, after its expiry, and for as many times as it deemed fit. An ordinance, once promulgated for 120 days, can only be extended once more by the parliament, through a resolution, that can originate and be passed in either national assembly or the Senate.

IHC to hear Nawaz’s plea against Al-Azizia conviction on Oct 29

India creating war-like situation at LoC, says AJK president MUZAFFARABAD

Legal reforms...

istan and they are ready to give a befitting response to any adventurism by India. “The whole Pakistani nation and the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir are united and unanimous against India and in support of the liberation movement of people of occupied territory,” he added. The AJK president further said that India will never be able to compel the people of Kashmir to give up their freedom because the moral of the Kashmiri people is higher than the Himalayas. “The incumbent Indian rulers must keep in mind that once Nazi Germany was also in power, but a time came that it had to become answerable for each and every act of repression,” he added.

ISLAMABAD Staff report

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday fixed October 29 for the hearing of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea against his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference. The registrar’s office also issued the same date – October 29 – for the hearing of National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal for an extension of the former prime minister’s sentence.

The appeals will be heard by an IHC bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani. Regarding the judge Arshad Malik video scandal, the court has issued a notice to NAB – on Nawaz’s request – to submit a written response within two weeks. Earlier this month, Nawaz Sharif challenged the Supreme Court’s decision in the case regarding a secretly filmed video of former accountability court judge Arshad Malik, who convicted

the Pakistan Mulsim League – Nawaz (PML-N) supremo in the Al-Azizia corruption reference. In August, a threejudge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa disposed of a set of identical petitions in the video case and ruled that the clip could only become evidence if its authenticity was established. The SC also laid down strict standards for the admissibility of video and audio evidence before the court of law.

Qureshi and Tareen BISP approves provision of emergency mend relations relief to LoC residents ISLAMABAD Staff report

The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has approved the provision of emergency relief to the residents of villages along the Line of Control (LoC). The decision was taken in a meeting of the BISP Board which was held in Islamabad with Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme, Dr Sania Nishtar in the chair. Dr Sania Nishtar briefed the Board meeting on the governance and transparency improvement measures introduced in the programme. The BISP Board also approved a plan to extend the Conditional Cash Transfer programme for education to another 50 districts around the coun-

try to bring out of school children to the education system. In line with the Ehsaas framework, the BISP also approved to increase the stipend

amount for girls from 750 rupees to 1,000 rupees to create a further incentive for the parents to send their daughters to school.


At least some of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s problems seem to have been allayed after his party’s central leaders — Jahangir Khan Tareen and Shah Mahmood Qureshi — announced that they have reconciled their differences. Talking to reporters, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that he has no grudges against Jahangir Tareen and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and had normalised relations with the two before leaving for Hajj. Qureshi said, “Imran Khan needs sincere friends. I buried whatever issues I had with Jahangir Tareen and Governor Sarwar before leaving for Hajj.” “I also have no grudges against Salman Naeem (a candidate who defeated him in an independent capacity and later joined the PTI),” he added. Tareen confirmed Qureshi’s claim in a separate media talk on Saturday. The former PTI secretary general said that Qureshi had spoken to him before leaving for Hajj and that both men had sorted their differences. “We are united under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran and will make joint efforts to achieve his vision for a prosperous Pakistan,” he said. NewS DeSk

CMYK Sunday, 13 October, 2019


250 dead as deNgue cases touch 50,000 ISLAMABAD


Staff report

HE number of Dengue patients across the country crossed 50,000 on Saturday as health officials struggled to handle with the deadly epidemic on a mass scale. According to health department report, at least 250 people have already died of dengue in different parts of the country over the past few weeks. The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are the worst-hit areas. Health officials estimate that at least 25,000 people in the twin cities have tested positive for the dengue virus recently. In the two big hospitals of Islamabad alone, some 8,000 dengue cases have been iden-

tified. Health department has confirmed at least 35 deaths from the dengue virus in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. On Friday, another death was reported from the Morgah area of the Rawalpindi city. Reports suggest that at least 750 dengue patients are currently undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the twin cities, where the health staff taking care of them numbers only 35. At least 150 law enforcement officials have also fallen victim to the dengue virus. Authorities are not revealing the correct figures out of fear of a backlash by the general public. Meanwhile, Thousands more people reportedly tested positive for dengue in Punjab. The officials from the provincial health department of Punjab detailed

that the tally mounts to 5650 for dengue patients this year including 140 new cases were reported in Rawalpindi, 24 in Lahore so far. The health department had elaborated that the surveillance teams had checked more than 274,320 places in rural parts and overall 76,580 urban places to detect dengue larvae. The teams had registered around 124 cases over finding the presence of dengue larvae besides arresting 37 people, the department had said. As many as 167 fresh cases of dengue fever have been reported during the last 24 hours in Karachi. Last week, two people died of dengue in Karachi, taking the death toll of people dying from the deadly disease to 14 in the metropolis.

According to the Dengue Surveillance Cell the number of patients infected with dengue fever in Karachi has crossed 1500 this month. In 10 days of this October 1517 people were infected with dengue virus, the cell said in its report. Overall 4,563 people were infected with the dengue virus in current year in the metropolis. According to the report, 16 patients of dengue fever died in Sindh, as the overall 4858 patients have been reported so far across the province this year. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the provincial government was taking preventive measures including separate wards in all government hospitals for dengue patients.

Fazl says does not accept PTI govt’s right to rule RAWALpInDI Staff report

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Saturday that they do not accept the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s right to rule the country from the day one of its formation. Addressing reporters, the JUI-F chief said the “military has decided to remain impartial” and political issues will be resolved politically. He said the PTI government has not yet contacted them for negotiations. Fazl said the entire nation is united to send the “unjust and ineligible government” home. He said the masses are determined to participate in the JUI-F’s ‘Azadi March’. The JUI-F chief said they will express solidarity with the Kashmiri people marking October 27 as a ‘Black Day’, followed by the beginning of their march towards Islamabad. He reiterated that the march will enter the federal capital on October 31. Fazl thanked political parties and people from all walks of life for extending their support. He said

there was rarely an instance, when there was such unity against the government on national level. “We are coming while remaining within the ambit of the constitution and law, and not confronting any institution,” the JUI-F chief told reporters. He also urged the government to demonstrate maturity. “We do not want a confrontation with anyone. However, if [the government] resorted to violence, then we would also use our ability to exact revenge,” Fazl said. “Our peaceful sentiments should not be taken as a weakness. No one has the right to impose himself on the nation by stealing votes.” He said the incumbent government will have to “resign” in any case. The JUI-F lamented that the country’s economy has been destroyed, while inflation has made lives of the people miserable. “1.5 million people were forced out of employment by giving hope to the youth of 15 million jobs,” he said. Fazl also backed traders protesting recent tax reforms in the country. He said their “justified demands” are not being met by the government.

FazL’s Presser Not aired by tV chaNNeLs The Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has reportedly instructed TV channels not to give coverage to press conferences of Jamiat Ulemae-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who’s all set to march on Islamabad on Oct 31.The order seemed to come into effect from Saturday, as the press conference of JUI-F chief, held in Rawalpindi, was largely kept off-air by TV channels.Sources say the blanket ban on media coverage is similar to the one imposed on the leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), especially its vice president Maryam Nawaz.Earlier this year, the authorities had forcefully taken off an interview of Maryam Nawaz soon after it was broadcasted weeks after it had taken three TV channels off-air for broadcasting a presser by the PML-N VP.According Reporters Without Borders (RSF), such actions by the authorities were an act of “brazen censorship”.It has slammed the local authorities, describing the ban “indicative of disturbing dictatorial tendencies” as pressure mounts on journalists in Pakistan. NewS DeSk

Cabinet to discuss important issues on Monday Govt to offer public-private partnership to foreign investors: Firdous LAHORE: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Saturday the government had decided not to sell national assets but offer public-private partnership to foreign investors. Talking to a group of senior columnists here at the Governor’s House, she said the government would preserve the national assets and generate revenue through public-private partnership, adding that investors would invest, pay and earn as per the international practices. “International practices will be followed in the bidding process for the public-private partnership to the investors”, she assured, adding the government was in the process of inviting international bidders. The SAPM said under the two-pronged policy, tourism would be promoted for revenue generation, besides offering national assets for public-private partnership. She said the previous regimes had badly failed to promote the soft image of the country, only one face of the country smeared with terrorism was depicted by the foreign media in the past. She said, tourism was being promoted to show moderate and enlightened face of Pakistan to the world. Dr Firdous said, tourism policy would shortly be announced in collaboration with other provinces, adding the tourist would bring new foreign investment. Briefing the columnists on the economy, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the government was faced with bankruptcy when it assumed power as the PML-N government had left foreign reserves for mere two weeks due to its poor economic policies. app


The federal cabinet is set to meet on Monday to discuss important issues and to devise a plan to deal with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) ‘Azadi March’. Sources informed Pakistan Today that Interior Minister Brigadier (r) Ijaz Shah and Secretary Interior Maj (r) Azam Suleman Khan will brief the cabinet on their plan to deal with the protesters. The cabinet will then discuss an action plan to deal with the sit-in. Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to brief ministers about his visit to China and talks held with the Chinese leadership in the wake of President Xi Jinping’s visit to India. The prime minister will also in-

form the cabinet of the rapprochement being carried out by Pakistan between Saudi Arabia and Iran amid rising tension between the two Islamic countries. According to sources, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms and Minister of Religous Affairs and Interfaith Harmony will give a presentation on databank and properties of the Evacuee Trust Properties Board (ETPB). Minsters will also discuss decisions taken by the cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee held on October 2. A review of the Cabinet Committee’s decision to dispose of legislative cases is also on the agenda. Posting and transfer of managing director of National Fertilizer Marketing Ltd would also be discussed. The


cabinet would discuss the appointment of Securities and Exchange Policy Board members. The approval of Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority Employees Service Regulations 2019 is also on the agenda, sources said. Nomination of Members of the Board of Authority under the Islamabad Healthcare Regulation Act, the Real estate (Regulation and Development) Ordinance 2019 will also be tabled. In addition to that, the cabinet is expected to review the wheat situation in the country, action plan on manufacturing and smuggling of illegal tobacco products, presentation on CDA Islamabad restructuring, presentation on Master Plan Islamabad and implementation of public interest initiatives.


Afghan statement on Peshawar market issue misleading: FO ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Saturday rejected comments made by the Afghan foreign ministry which it said "cast aspersions on the judicial process in Pakistan"."We reject insinuations contained in the statement issued by the Afghan Foreign Ministry regarding a market in Peshawar. It is deeply regrettable that a distorted and misleading account of the issue and related events has been presented," said a statement issued by the Foreign Office spokesperson.The remarks refer to a decision taken by Afghanistan a day earlier to indefinitely close its consulate in Peshawar in protest of the Afghan flag being taken down in a disputed area known as Afghan Market.The decision came after the Afghan foreign ministry in a statement decried the carrying out of a "night operation for the purpose of demolishing and evacuating the shopkeepers in the Afghan Market in Peshawar"."For a brief period of time they had surrounded and besieged the Market and with absolute disrespect lowered the Afghan Flag and the Afghan Market billboard," the Afghan foreign ministry had claimed in its statement.Afghan Consul General Muhammad Has¬him Niazi, in a subsequent press conference, had termed the removal of the flag from the disputed property a violation of diplomatic norms. He had called upon Islamabad to "suspend the court's verdict" and solve the issue through diplomatic channels.He said the land mafia was behind the dispute and its motive was to sow discord between the two countries.The Foreign Office in its response today pointed out that the issue "was between a private citizen and a purported bank from Afghanistan" and that the court's verdict on the case in question had been decided in the citizen's favour in 1998. The recent enforcement action by the local administration occurred after legal remedies were exhausted by the Afghan party to this legal dispute. We reject any comments casting aspersions on the judicial process in Pakistan," read the statement. The Foreign Office also regretted the closure of the consulate and hoped that the decision would be reviewed. "We hope that a private legal case would not be allowed to adversely affect the relations between the two brotherly countries," it concluded the statement by saying. Staff report

PPP to hold rally in Karachi on October 18, Bilawal says KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday announced that the party will hold a rally here in the port city on October 18. The PPP chairman was addressing a rally held in Larkana during which he lambasted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government. He said that the puppet government should be sent home due to its many failures, including the deteriorating job market which had suffered massively in the past year. He further said that a selected government does not come into power on the basis of votes cast by people and went on to ask the participants of the rally if they would support him in the campaign against the government. “PPP will not let the centre take over Karachi, the capital of Sindh,” Bilawal said. Staff report

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THEy’RE perpetually waiting for the other shoe to drop. Ever since the rumours of the cabinet reshuffle started, all cabinet members have been constantly watching over their backs. Even the staff of some of the ministers (as per these ministers) aren’t taking them seriously for the same reason. One such minister is development czar Khusro Bakhtiar who might see a fate worse than merely losing his portfolio (to Asad Umar, as per rumours) but actually ending up behind bars, given the spirited NAB investigation him. Another former heavy hitter Aleem Khan wants in on the provincial cabinet. He also feels that he was almost forgotten by the party while he was behind bars. In a development that has surprised many, the Punjab CM, widely believed to be an automaton at the beck and call of the PM, actually refused the Kaptaan when he asked him to induct Aleem Khan in the Punjab cabinet. Given the doormat that Buzdar is widely believed to be, this just might have been a scripted pantomime for Aleem Khan to see. * * * * * * * * * THERE is a trend amongst the strand of the upper political class to take newborn babies to Chaudhry Shujaat for him to say the ‘azaan’ in the infant’s ear. Interesting, given how Shehbaz Sharif was also preferred for this duty by some in the past. The Gujarat grandee’s stock is rising. Apparently, the chief specially called him when he was critically ill in Germany. The Kaptaan didn’t, of course. Do we detect some jealousy there? * * * * * * * * * Clarification: in the last White Lies column, we erroneously referred to a particular businessman as a former ICI man, which was not the case. The error is regretted.


Sunday, 13 October, 2019


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Child dead, three injured in Kashmore wall collapse KASHMORE Staff RepoRt

A child died while three members of same family were injured when wall of a house collapsed here on Saturday. According to details, dilapidated wall of a house suddenly came down in Mohallah Gul Sher of tehsil Kandhkot of district Kashmore resultantly four family members were buried under the debris. A child died in the incident while three people were critically injured. The local people on self-help basis pulled out the body and injured from the rubble and shifted them to hospital.

Construction work on pediatric surgery unit halted KARACHI: A view of rain water accumulated in a fountain which may breed dengue larvae. online


CM suggests ColleCtion of garbage froM hoMes through ContraCtors KARACHI


Staff RepoRt

InDh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed local government department to seek proposal from DMCs for undertaking door-to-door garbage collection through local contractors. he issued these directives on Saturday while presiding over a 6 meeting to review progress of month-long garbage lifting drive. he said that the actual issue was door-to-door collection of garbage and throwing it into Kundis. he said that as DMCs are responsible for cleanliness work, therefore door-to-door collection of garbage may assigned to them with the direc-

tives to outsource it to contractors. The chief minister directed Secretary Local Government Roshan Shaikh and Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani to sit with all the chairmen DMCs along with concerned deputy commissioners and discuss the proposal and work out recommendations and submit a report or approval. DMC chairmen told the chief minister that majority of the refuse vehicles/garbage collecting machinery need repair. The CM directed Secretary Finance to arrange funds and release them. he also directed Secretary Local Government to send him a summary for repair of vehicles of the DMCs and District Council Karachi. On the request of the DMCs, the

chief minister allowed them to appoint sweeping staff on daily wages basis. In the meeting it was pointed out that a slaughter house spreading over 50-acre was lying idle in Malir. Chief Minister directed Secretary Local Government Roshan Shaikh to discuss the matter with Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar and make the slaughter house functional. It was pointed out that some raids constructed recently have been dug up to lay utility cables or for other purpose. Murad warned that he will take strict action against the concerned officers who have failed to get such road reconstructed. The chief minister was told that all the six districts have lifted 283,319 tons of garbage from Sept 21 to Oct

11, 2019. The drive would continue till Oct 21 and then the cleanliness work has to be made sustainable. The deputy commissioners in the report duly approved by the concerned DMCs chairmen said that almost 80 to 90 percent backlog of the garbge has been lifted and the reaming backlog would be cleared by the Oct 21, 2019. The chief minister said that he has received a number of complaints that at Malir-15 Bridge gutters were over flowing and the road has developed wide craters. The MD KWSB told the chief minister that the KDA was working there and with completion of their work they would replace old gutter lines with new one and then road would be constructed.

Police fail to make breakthrough in Clifton double murder case THERE WAS NO DOMESTIC STAFF WORKING AT THE HOUSE KARACHI Staff RepoRt

Investigators who are probing the Clifton double murder that took place on Wednesday seem to be at a loss for words as mystery continues to shroud the case. According to the details, the bodies of 65-yearold doctor Fasih Usmani and his 22-year-old son Kamran Usmani were discovered in the bedrooms of their house located in Clifton’s Block IV area when the deceased doctor’s wife Mrs Afia returned home after a morning walk. It is pertinent to mention here that the area where the crime took place is considered to be highly secure. So far, at least five people have been taken into

custody for interrogation. On Friday, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Investigation Tariq Dharijo and his team had visited the house to collect evidence and speak to Dr Usmani’s widow. In her statement to the police, Mrs Afia said that she had left for morning walk alone at 06:00 am. and found the bodies of her husband and son when she returned at around 8:10 am. At 8.40 am, she called the police to inform them of the incident. Speaking to the media, police said that they were trying to ascertain how the murderer entered the room which was locked from inside as there was also no hint of a struggle which the attackers could have faced while breaking the locks. The slain were apparently asleep when they were attacked. Furthermore, nothing was missing from the house. The police said Faseeh Usmani had a heated exchange with a family that was staying at the upper floor of their house some time ago; however, investigators believe the incident seemed unlikely to be a

motive for a double murder. They were also looking into the unpaid rent of a shop owned by the deceased at Tauhid Commercial Street. In total, the shopkeeper owed Rs1.2 million in rent to the family but had paid a portion of the amount, therefore, the possibility of his involvement in a serious crime like a double murder was also ruled out. The family had sacked their housemaid since they used to visit the United States and was running the household without a watchman or a maid since then. Interestingly, the body of the younger victim was found naked but Mrs Afia told police that her son was habitual of sleeping undressed, saying that there was nothing unusual about it. Police were also clueless in finding out why Kamran Usmani was stabbed 14 times with a sharpedged weapon while his father Fasih Usmani received only four stab wounds.

The construction work of separate 300bedded Pediatric Surgery Unit at national Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (nICVD) has been halted since September 2018 due to shortage of funds, it emerged on Saturday. The project was started in 2017 with the cost of Rs2.7 billion and it was supposed to complete in 2020. however, work on project was stopped in September 2018 by the Sindh Government due to financial constraints. The employees who are working in this project have also been deprived of their salaries for several months. The plan to build state-of the art pediatric surgery unit for children suffering from cardiovascular diseases in Karachi has been delayed for indefinite time period. As per plan, pediatric surgery unit would be equipped with operational theaters, paeds emergency, cath-lab and other advance cardiac care facilities to deal babies born with heart defects and also called congenital heart defect (ChD). The cost of project has also increased due to hike in prices of construction material. More than 60,000 infants with a hole in their heart are born each year in Pakistan and about half of these young patients will have a critical ChD and require surgery to survive. Chief Operating Officer, national Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (nICVD), Azra Maqsood, while talking to PPI, informed that 300-bedded Pediatric Surgery Unit is a Sindh government project and work on project will resume soon.

14 Karachi jail officials sent to jail NEwS DESK An anti-terrorism court on Saturday sentenced 14 employees of Karachi Central Jail to six to 14 years in prison for negligence in the 2017 prison break. The convicts include Assistant Superintendent Ghulam Murtaza, Abdul Rehman Shaikh, Fahim Anwar, Salik Ayaz, and Rafiq Channa. They were all out on bail. The police arrested them from court premises and have shifted them to jail. Two prisoners associated with banned terror outfit Laskar-eJhanghvi – Shaikh Muhammad Mumtaz and Muhammad Ahmed, managed to escape at the ATC’s Judicial Complex on June 13, 2017. Both terrorists were arrested by the CTD police in 2013 and were under-trial when they broke out of jail.

Arrest warrants issued for Siraj Durrani’s family, others KARACHI Staff RepoRt

An accountability court on Saturday issued non-bailable warrants for 12 fugitives, including members of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani's family, in a reference against the speaker and others suspected of amassing assets worth over Rs1.61 billion through unlawful means. Durrani, a senior leader of the PPP, was arrested by the national Accountability Bureau (nAB) from an Islamabad

hotel on February 20 this year for an investigation concerning an assets beyond means case. nAB is examining Durrani's movable and immovable assets, 352 allegedly illegal appointments he made, and his alleged embezzlement of public funds in the construction of the MPA hostel and the new Sindh Assembly building, as well as the appointment of project directors for these schemes. During proceedings, the court asked the investigating officer what steps had been taken against the fugitives and

whether they had been served notices, to which the IO responded in the affirmative. The court also ordered that the CnIC cards of all fugitives be blocked and their arrest warrants issued. Durrani's wife, naheed Durrani, his son, Agha Shahbaz Durrani and four daughters are among the 12 suspects for whom arrest warrants were issued. Additionally, the court directed the investigating officer to take action against the fugitives and present a report.The proceedings were adjourned till Oct 22.

Sunday, 13 October, 2019

NatioNal MediciNe Policy to be aNNouNced Next MoNth ISLAMABAD



PECIAL Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Saturday announced that long-awaited National Medicine Policy will be announced by end of next month. Dr Zafar Mirza, while addressing a seminar in Rawalpindi, predicted that the pharmaceutical sector will witness revolutionary changes in the near future. The special assistant detailed that an outline on the constitution of the country’s medicine policy had been prepared in a high-meeting which was attended by the representatives of pharmaceutical companies and other stakeholders from all four provinces. Earlier in May, Dr Zafar Mirza had said that the government has decided to present a new national med-

ex-comrade wants no mercy for MQM chief LAHORE STAFF REPORT Former leaders and close aides of Muttahida Qaumi Movement founder interpret the Londonbased politician’s indictment as a vindication of their stance against the self-exiled leader. Anees Qaimkhani, who is now a senior leader of the Pak Sarzameen Party, has called for making an example of the MQM founder for speaking against Pakistan. Speaking at a press conference at the Lahore Press Club he said: “The action against MQM founder in London was a victory of our narrative”. Qaimkhani said, “We have spoken against a party which had been occupying Karachi for 30 years.” Speaking about the governance in Punjab, he said the government has done nothing to curb dengue and change thana culture. The PSP leader demanded that government take solid steps to stop child abuse cases like the one in Chunian from happening, and overcome inflation. Answering a question regarding JUI-F Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s protest, he said “we are not in favour of the Azadi March.”

icines policy to regulate the pharmaceutical industry and controlling the prices of the drug. The minister had said that the new policy is being made in consultation

with all stakeholders to ensure availability of life-saving drugs and keeping prices of all drugs in reach of a layman, a state news agency reported on May 16. He said that the new medicines pol-


icy will also cover the aspect of rules and regulations to streamline the production of medicines and maintaining its quality as per international standard. Dr Mirza said that under this policy, the government will also get inputs from the stakeholders for announcing more incentives for the pharma industry in order to convince those producing standard medicines in the market. He said that the new policy will also manage the issues related to the sale of medicines without prescription of medical practitioners and open sale of unauthorized medicines to customers. He also revealed plans that the government decided to make Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) a model regulatory authority with the introduction of new reforms in order to facilitate the people and addressing the issues of quality and pricing of drugs.

India creating war-like situation at LoC, says AJK president MUZAFFARABAD

zens in Indian shelling in Changan, Doodhnial and Sharda areas of Neelum valley since yesterday, he expressed sympathy with the bereaved families. The AJK president added that the Indian Army was using cluster munition from across the LoC, which was a war crime under the cluster ammunition convention, and India itself is a signatory to it. “Under a well thought out strategy, India is escalating tension at the LoC to divert the world’s attention from the situation of occupied Kashmir.” “India is openly committing terrorism in both parts of the Kashmir region, and India will have to a heavy price,” he added. He added that the people of Azad Kashmir are


Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Saturday condemned the unprovoked shelling by Indian forces in different sectors, including Neelum valley, and the consequential loss of human life and property. In a statement, he said that India’s cowardly acts will not demoralise the people of Azad Kashmir and he called upon the international community to take notice of Indian terrorism and war crimes against the civilian population residing along the Line of Control (LoC). Regretting the martyrdom of a child and injuries to nine other citi-

with the forces of Pakistan and they are ready to give a befitting response to any adventurism by India. “The whole Pakistani nation and the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir are united and unanimous against India and in support of the liberation movement of people of occupied territory,” he added. The AJK president further said that India will never be able to compel the people of Kashmir to give up their freedom because the moral of the Kashmiri people is higher than the Himalayas. “The incumbent Indian rulers must keep in mind that once Nazi Germany was also in power, but a time came that it had to become answerable for each and every act of repression,” he added.


Civil society concerned over slow-paced progress in quake-hit Mirpur MIRPUR APP

The recent quake-hit Mirpur population is much concerned over the extremely lowpaced process of rehabilitation and resettlement of the life to the pre-September 24 devastating catastrophe regime that had left hundreds of thousands of people shelterless besides the loss of billions of rupees to their residential and commercial properties in the city and much-affected areas in its outskirts. The civil society here has wondered that despite September 24 deadly earthquake of moderate magnitude measuring 5.08 at the Richter scale shaken the the city and adjoining areas of Kharee Shareef leaving thousands of houses useless and the frequent aftershocks seemed no solid policy and plan conceived by the AJK government’s high authorities. Expressing grave concern over such ugly state of affairs, President Mirpur-AJK Chamber of Commerce and Industry Javed Iqbal categorically said that Mirpur seemed becoming the target of the traditional regional prejudice vis-à-vis the course of the rehabilitation of the area on political grounds. In an interview to APP here on Saturday, Javed, holding the office of the AJKCCI President for four times so far, alleged that the delaying tactics in launching of the immediate due reconstruction and rehabilitation process in the quake-stricken town so far have emerged as the cause of grave concern among the local population in general and the victims of the calamity in particular. He suggested the AJK government to immediately move for ensuring the timely beginning of the reconstruction and resettlement process. Javed Iqbal emphasized the need for ensuring the vibrant role and use of latest means of the international donor agencies and the institutions in the quake-hit Mirpur and ink and implement the integrated plan for early revival of life there. Commenting on the tragic postquake prevailing situation in the affected zone, renowned social worker cum analyst Waheed Iqbal said that it was enjoined upon the AJK government to ascertain the causes of the deadly earthquake soon after the catastrophe hit major parts of Mirpur and adjoining belt.

Passing out parade held at Kakul RAWALPINDI STAFF REPORT

Passed out cadets were of 140th PMA Long Course, 31st Technical Graduate Course, 59th Integrated Course and 38th Graduate Course. Cadets from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Bahrain and Sri Lanka were also among the passed out courses. Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan was the chief guest. Chief of Air Staff reviewed the parade and gave awards to distinguished cadets. The coveted Sword of Honour was awarded to Battalion Senior Under Officer Usman Shahid. The President’s Gold Medal to Com-

pany Senior Under Officer Qasim Ayub, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Overseas Gold Medal awarded to Under Officer Al Bazour from Palestine. While addressing the passing out parade, Chief of Air Staff congratulated the passing out cadets and their parents for successful completion of training and commission into service. CAS said that Pakistan Armed Forces take pride in their sacrifices against war on terror and bringing peace and normalcy in the country. He said that our battle hardened Armed Forces are capable and ever ready to meet internal and external challenges. Our valiant Armed Forces are

fully ready to respond befittingly in case of any misadventure. CAS advised passing out cadets to remember that they have to come up to expectations of the nation by attaining the

highest standards of professional excellence and personal conduct. Earlier upon arrival chief guest was received by Maj Gen Akhtar Nawaz Satti, Commandant PMA.

97.5pc fail to clear this year's CSS written exams Family’s fifth daughter aces While the government is making efforts for uplifting the country’s education system, the Central Superior Services (CSS) competitive exam’s written part was cleared by a mere 2.56 per cent of the students who took the exam. According to the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), a total of 23,403 candidates had applied for the CSS competitive examination 2019. Of them, 14,521 appeared for the written part of the exam; however, only 372 were able to obtain passing marks. The FPSC notified that the candidates who had passed the written exam would be intimated the schedule of the medical examination, the psychological assessment and the viva voce (oral exam) on dates that would be notified soon. In comparison, 567 (4.77 per cent) of the 11,887 candidates who appeared for the exam last year had passed. The number of candidates who had cleared the written exam was 569 but two of

them were unable to clear the viva voce. Of those who had cleared the CSS exam, 281 were recommended by the commission for appointment to BS17 posts in the federal government. In 2017, 312 (3.32 per cent) of the 9,391 candidates who appeared for the exam had managed to clear it. Of them, 261 were recommended for appointment to government posts. The exam this year was held for recruitment to BS-17 posts in various government services including the Commerce and Trade Group, Foreign Service of Pakistan, Information Group, Inland Revenue Service, Military Lands & Cantonments Group, Office Management Group, Pakistan Administrative Service, Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service, Pakistan Customs Service, Police Service of Pakistan, Postal Group and the Railways (Commercial and Transportation) Group. To revamp the civil service in the

country, the government has decided that candidates would first undergo a screening test before being permitted to take the CSS exam. The screening test was proposed by the FPSC earlier this year. In a report, the commission suggested that a screening test was necessary to filter out non-serious candidates, improve the quality of competition, ensure objectivity in paper assessment, and speed up the process of exam to reduce the timeframe and reduce the financial cost. The commission noted that the number of applicants for the exam was continuously rising, resulting in delays in the examination process, difficulty in maintaining objectivity in assessing the answer papers and portraying a highly imbalanced ratio of passing candidates. “The civil service that once carried prestige, respect and social status amongst the university graduates and the society as a whole has lost that image,” the report read. NEWS DESK


CSS exam, sets unique record Zoha Malik Sher has been reveling in success lately after clearing the extremely technical Central Superior Service (CSS) exam. Carrying the family tradition forward, Malik is the fifth sister to have set the unique record in her family. According to Federal Public Service Commission, Malik is the youngest daughter (fifth in line) to have claimed the distinct feat. She secured the coveted 139th spot, amongst a total of 372 candidates who were successful in clearing the exam this year, out of 521 who attempted it. Zoha’s elder sisters

are already serving in prominent positions in the government. These include Laila, who passed the CSS exam back in 2008 and is currently serving as Deputy Commissioner at the Board of Revenue in Karachi, and Shireen who took the examination in 2010 and was appointed as director of the National Highway Authority shortly after. In 2017, Malik’s other two sisters Sassi and Marvi too sat for the exam, and much to everyone’s surprise aced it remarkably. They have been working as Chief Compliance Officer at the Lahore

Cantonment Board and Assistant Commissioner in Abbottabad, respectively. Meanwhile, Malik herself intends to serve the country after getting appointed at an administrative role after clearing her interview as well. In one of her earlier interviews, she shared, “The birth of a girl is often frowned upon in our society and that is the same which happened to me. The news of my birth was broken to my father like it was some sort of catastrophe that had struck the family because everyone in my extended relatives were expecting the birth of a son.” NEWS DESK

Sunday, 13 October, 2019



Business mirror


rene e ofreneo

SIA has arrived. According to McKinsey Global Institute, the 21st century is truly Asia’s century. Asia is now the dominant economic force of the world, eclipsing Europe and North America, the global powers in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Financial Times of London more or less agrees with the analysis of McKinsey Global Institute. In its March 26, 2019 issue, FT reporters Valentina Romei and John Reed noted that Asia’s output in the 1950s was less than 20 per cent of the world’s total; in 2000, Asia’s share reached about 1/3 of the world’s; and today, to around 40 per cent. Asia’s rise was due to the fast growth of a number of Asian countries. After the United States, the three biggest economies today are Asian: China, India and Japan. And not to be forgotten, there are the original Asian tigers: Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong (now integrated with China), all of which continue to post high growth rates. The high growth performance of these four tigers has been replicated by Malaysia and Thailand. And in recent years, the world is witness to the phenomenal economic surge in other Asian countries – Indonesia (now poised to become the world’s

7th biggest), Philippines (GDP now bigger than that of Netherlands), Vietnam (which has overtaken 17 countries in just a decade or so), Bangladesh (now rated by ADB as the fastest-growing Asian country and which has overtaken 13 countries), and Myanmar (whose ranking has rapidly increased by over 20 times). The rest of Asia, especially Cambodia and Nepal, have also been posting high growth rates. Tantalising indeed. However, the big question is: Is Asia’s growth surge sustainable? Will the 21st century be truly Asia’s century? The answers to the above will be defined by the policies that governments in the region shall adopt, individually and collectively, in addressing four worrying developments or threats to growth sustainability. They can paralyse, if not debilitate, future growth. First, the unresolved geo-political and geo-economic divisions in the region. Asia is not a united continent. It is composed of diverse countries with diverse historical and cultural background. There are boundary and land disputes which can erupt into shooting wars, e.g., India-Pakistan-Kashmir territorial disputes, China-India border dispute, sea-grabbing disputes between China and its Southeast Asian neighbours, North-South Korea political standoff, water disputes involving the five Mekong River countries Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam), and so on. In addition, there are religious and ethnic differences (think of the Rohingya problem involving Myanmar and Bangladesh).

On the economic front, there are also uncertainties. The USChina trade war is leading to a reconfiguration of the so-called global value chains (GVCs) that have transformed Asia as the world’s industrial workshop. A number of GVC investors in China have transferred operations in Vietnam, while the GVCs involving the United States, Japan, South Korea and China have been disrupted and are affecting the production and marketing of a number of electronic products. Japan and South Korea are also at loggerheads at each other, Recently, Japan imposed tighter controls on chemicals that South Korea imports to produce semiconductors. The latter happen to be the top exports of South Korea. The reason used: national security concerns. Japan also withdrew South Korea from the list of trusted trade partners under its so-called “white list”. South Korea immediately retaliated by also de-listing Japan in its own list of trusted trade partners. It also withdrew from a military-cum-intelligence sharing agreement with Japan. In the decades of the 1990s and 2000s, Asia was projected to be on the road to economic integration. This process was seen to be the natural outcome of the endless unilateral, bilateral and regional trade liberalisation measures being embraced by the different Asian countries. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimated in 2004 that Asia had given birth to over a hundred bilateral and re-


BloomBerg Prinesha naidoo

Africa could be home to 90% of the world’s poor by 2030 as governments across the continent have little fiscal space to invest in poverty-reduction programmes and economic growth remains sluggish, the World Bank said. That’s up from 55% in 2015 and it will happen unless drastic action is taken, the lender said in its biannual Africa Pulse report released Wednesday, in which it also cut growth forecasts for the region’s key economies. The rate of poverty reduction in Africa “slowed substantially” after the collapse in commodity prices that started in 2014, resulting in negative gross domestic product growth on a per capita basis, according to the report. “As countries in other regions continue to make progress in poverty reduction, forecasts suggest that poverty will soon become a predominantly African phenomenon.” While the poverty rate in sub-Saharan Africa, defined as the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 per day, fell between 1990 and 2015, rapid

population growth resulted in the number of poor people on the continent increasing to more than 416 million from 278 million over the same period, according to World Bank data. The lender said pro-poor growth policies are required to accelerate poverty reduction and that fiscal tightening limits governments’ ability to spend on social sectors. “Given the limited scope for redistribution and transfers to raise the incomes of the poor in most African countries, the focus should be squarely on raising their labour productivity, that is, what it will take to increase their earnings in self-employment or wage employment,” according to the report. Government debt increased to 55% of GDP in 2018, from 36% in 2013 due to a lack of fiscal consolidation after countries tried to counter the effects of the global financial crisis by boosting spending, the World Bank said. About 46% of African countries were in debt distress or considered at high risk in 2018 compared with 22% five years earlier. “For many countries it’s not a good idea to borrow non-concessionally because of the risk of the debt distress that they already have,” World Bank Vice President Akihiko Nishio said in an interview Oct 2 in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan. “They should instead focus on concessional credits and grants.” The lender lowered its economic growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa to 2.6%, down from its April projection of 2.8%. With assistance by Katarina Hoije.

gional free trade agreements (FTAs) and proposals. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) dubbed these agreements and proposals as an “FTA noodle bowl”. This bowl is now leaking towards different directions. For a while, the ASEAN, with its own regional FTAs (in goods, services, etc) was seen as central in the overall economic integration of Asia. ASEAN has its vision of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), whose full realisation in 2015 was extended to 2025. The AEC, in turn, was supposed to metamorphose into an East Asian Community (EAC) composed of the ten (10) ASEAN countries and the three Northeast Asian countries: China, Japan and South Korea. Then in 2012, China pushed for the formal formation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). The idea is to form the world’s largest FTA involving the EAC countries plus the three other “ASEAN dialogue partners”: Australia, New Zealand and India. But despite sustained RCEP talks from 2012 to 2018, the giant FTA remains unsigned. India, fearful of possible backlash from its farmers and manufacturers, has expressed some reservations, citing its widening trade deficits with China. On the other hand, the United States, obviously feeling isolated from the RCEP project, launched in 2016 the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. This rivals the RCEP in size and coverage. It includes four ASEAN countries (Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and

Vietnam), three other Asian countries (Australia, Japan and New Zealand), and five countries from the Americas (Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru and the United States). The TPP also had a very ambitious goal: transform the area covered by TPP into an EU-type arrangement characterised by deeper trade and investment liberalisation commitments, tighter rules on the protection of intellectual property rights and dispute settlement, observance of labour standards and so on. However, the TPP project was subverted by no less than its originator, the United States. On Day One of his Presidency, in 2017, Donald Trump withdrew from the TPP talks. The obvious explanation: Trump’s America First policy. According to Trump’s supporters, the US has been losing jobs and running deficits under the North American FTA (with Canada and Mexico) and its trade relations with China, Europe and Japan. So the United States did not only withdraw from TPP, it also launched a controversial and high-profile “US-China trade war”. Trump has also been pressing Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan to balance trade relations. And yet, despite the US withdrawal, the TPP project has been kept alive by Japan and the ten other countries. The TPP-11 countries formally approved it December 2018. But there were major changes. Gone were some of the restrictive provisions or clauses such as the automatic patent extension, which is the object of intense lobbying by big pharmaceutical companies. The TPP’s name has

also been expanded – “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership” or CPTPP, for short. Amidst all the foregoing and often confusing FTA and economic partnership initiatives, China came up with its “One Road, One Belt” Initiative in 2013. The initiative immediately caught the imagination not only of leaders of Asia but also of other countries around the globe. The One-Road-One-Belt name was also quickly reduced to a shorter monicker: “Belt and Road Initiative” or BRI. The BRI is a grand development programme aimed at promoting development partnership between China and its trade partners along the imaginary Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road involving initially around 70 countries. However, the programme has attracted twice this number of interested partner governments, now numbering over 150 — from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The BRI has its detractors. The China-bashers claim that the BRI puts partner countries in a “debt trap” situation. On the whole, it is difficult to predict the growth trajectory for Asia given the highly uneven development among countries. There are also territorial, religious and ethnic conflicts which naturally affect the economy of concerned countries. The US-China trade war has affected the region and has spawned other trade wars in the region. The idea of having one integrated Asian economy is being subverted by the ambitions of great powers within and outside the region. They sponsor programmes that compete with one another, which explain the highly confusing picture of trade relations across the region amidst the endless media hypes on surging Asia and Asia’s century.


international institute of strategic studies Mahsa rouhi

The dangerous diplomatic and military dance between Iran and the United States shows no signs of ending. As recently as two weeks ago, when world leaders met at the UN General Assembly, there had been hopes for talks between the two countries. French President Emmanuel Macron put forward a reported four-point deal to break the current impasse. Under his proposal, Iran would agree to comply with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and remain open to future nuclear negotiations and perhaps even some discussion of Iran’s regional activities, while the US would agree to sanctions relief, including on critical oil exports. Both sides agreed to the terms, but the plan fell through because Washington refused to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s requirement that sanctions be lifted ahead of any meeting. There are, of course, broader reasons for the current diplomatic frustration. Rouhani needs sanctions relief and a clear framework

for negotiation up front to provide him with the political capital required to sell new talks to Iran’s religious leadership and other hardliners in the country. The US wants reasonable assurances of a deal that President Donald Trump can claim is superior to the JCPOA. In this light, middle ground seems elusive. Tehran is hoping for a series of lowerlevel, mediation-style talks among technical and diplomatic officials to form a road map using the specific, previously-agreed-upon milestones for negotiations between seniorlevel officials from the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US, plus Germany) with Trump at the table. This was how the JCPOA was negotiated. But Trump is keen to burnish his reputation as a dealmaker, and thus to be front and centre during all talks and claim credit for any progress. This is the approach he has employed with North Korea – Trump himself kicks off negotiations with senior officials and engages in the high-profile ceremonial aspects of the event, with substantive technical and diplomatic negotiations to follow. In the long term, both Washington and Tehran want to resolve tensions and avoid a war, but their conflicting negotiating strategies are frustrating that objective. The stalemate is likely to persist unless one side takes a gamble. TAKING A GAMBLE Iranian leaders are well aware of the domestic political pressures Trump is facing. And, as the 2020 US election draws closer, Iranian leaders are calculating that Trump will be more likely to fold first as pressure mounts on him to conclude a deal with Iran that he can cast as superior to the JCPOA. Yet Tehran is also aware of the risks of engaging with the US. Given that the United States has withdrawn from not only the JCPOA but several other major international agreements, Iranian leaders understandably doubt the

credibility and trustworthiness of the US to deliver sanctions relief after an initial meeting. Rouhani has survived domestic turmoil thus far despite US disavowal of the JCPOA and the severity of re-imposed sanctions. But if Tehran were to engage with Washington and the talks were to fail, it would be difficult for the president to recover politically. With the onset of another set of sanctions announced on 20 September, it’s clear that if the current dynamics continue, Iran’s economic deprivation and its people’s suffering will only increase. Iran’s strategy of flexing its muscles in the region is also not sustainable in the long run. With each provocation, the risk of a potentially escalatory confrontation with the United States increases substantially. Furthermore, while Iranian provocations do signal its ability to inflict damage, they could prompt additional US sanctions, and Iran’s capacity to absorb economic pain is shrinking. A meeting between Trump and Rouhani, in the context of the P5+1, could conceivably move forward without any major concessions or breakthroughs if the US were willing to issue some waivers on oil sanctions limited to the duration of the talks. The waivers would function as a confidence-building measure, and enable each side to buy time in an increasingly unstable and untenable situation. Even a slight improvement in US–Iran relations might produce a modest uptick in Iran’s economic performance by encouraging domestic and possibly some international investment. Although a summit or meeting probably would not yield any substantive outcomes, it might at least break the ice, generate a modicum of goodwill, and lead to more fruitful negotiations in the near future. Mahsa Rouhi is a Research Fellow, NonProliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme.

Sunday, 13 October, 2019


after mIxed messages, Us pIles pressUre on tUrkey WASHINGTON



ACING a backlash for appearing to greenlight Turkey’s assault against Kurdish forces in Syria, President Donald Trump on Friday dialed up pressure on America’s Nato ally by threatening crippling sanctions. The United States was moving to quash accusations of mixed messages and policy reversals over Turkey’s offensive into northeastern Syria, which began after Trump ordered US troops to pull back from the border. Turkey is targeting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a key US ally in the five-year battle to crush the militant Islamic State group. The SDF lost 11,000 fighters in the US-led campaign. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump had authorised — but not yet activated — “very significant new sanctions” to dissuade Turkey from further offensive military action. Defense Secretary Mark Esper weighed in forcefully, saying Turkey risked destabilising the region and accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of taking “impulsive action”. Esper “strongly encouraged” Turkey

to halt the offensive, warning of “serious consequences,” adding that he and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley had spoken directly to their Turkish counterparts. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have united to back sanctions on Turkey if it launches a full assault on the SDF. The series of US statements contrasted sharply with wayward signals sent by Washington since Trump said last Sunday that he expected Turkish troops to begin attacking. Erdogan wants to create a buffer zone between the border and territory controlled by Syrian Kurdish forces, who have links with Turkey’s own Kurdish rebels. The US president initially voiced understanding of Turkey’s wish to launch the offensive before later warning that the operation should be “humane” and offering to mediate. He had come under heavy criticism, even among usually steadfast Republicans, over what many saw as the blatant betrayal of a faithful US ally. But the choreographed US diplomatic effort to compel Turkey to minimise its offensive may have little impact on the ground. Erdogan on Friday swiftly dismissed Esper’s call for Turkey to stop the offensive. “Now there are threats coming from

left and right, telling us to stop this,” Erdogan said. “We will not step back.” Turkish forces pressed ahead on Friday, battling to seize towns on the third day of the operation that has forced 100,000 civilians to flee. “I have yet no indication that they are willing to stop,” Esper admitted.

Turkey has launched mostly air and artillery attacks on the SDF and had only used “limited” ground forces, according to US military chiefs. The Turkish action has not yet breached any “red lines” set by Trump, though details of the criteria remain unclear. “We don’t want them killing a lot of

people […] if we have to use sanctions we will,” Trump said on Friday, giving no further details. A few hours later, the Pentagon confirmed that US troops near the northern Syrian border came under artillery fire from Turkish positions. No US personnel were hurt, but Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Brook DeWalt warned Ankara against “actions that could result in immediate defensive action”. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that the civilian death toll was 17 on the Syrian side, while 17 have also been killed in Turkey. According to the Observatory, 54 fighters from the SDF have also been killed while Turkey has reported the deaths of four soldiers. “Every concern I had about President Trump’s Syria decision is coming true in spades,” said Lindsey Graham, a loyal Republican senator and a leading voice on US foreign policy. The offensive, the third such Turkish operation since the start of the war in Syria, has been met with fierce international condemnation. But Trump has portrayed his decision to pull back troops as part of his election pledge to end US involvement in “ridiculous endless wars”.

At least four Acting US homeland security chief dead in NYC McAleenan resigns: Trump shooting: police WASHINGTON AGENCIES


US migrant policy sends thousands of children, including babies, back to Mexico TIJUANA AGENCIES

Since January, the U.S. government has ordered 16,000 migrants under 18, including nearly 500 infants, to wait with their families in Mexico for U.S. immigration court hearings, a Reuters analysis of government data found. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, babies and toddlers are living in high-crime cities – often in crowded shelters and tents or on the streets – for the weeks or months it takes to get a U.S. asylum hearing. The risk of violence and illness runs high and is of particular concern for families with young children or those with chronic health conditions, according to interviews with health professionals, migrants, aid workers and advocates. The children, whose numbers have not been previously reported, are among tens of thousands of migrants returned to Mexico under a Trump administration policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Most are from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador. According to the Department of Homeland Security, decisions about whether a person is placed in MPP are made by border agents on a case-by-case basis and include consultation with medical professionals. Unaccompanied minors should not be sent back to Mexico, according to the program guidelines, but children can be sent back with their parents. Trump administration officials have said they are doing everything possible to discourage

migrant families from making dangerous journeys to the United States, often in the hands of human smugglers, which they say needlessly put children at risk. NUMBERS GROWING AS FLU SEASON LOOMS: About one third of the nearly 50,000 migrants in the MPP program as of Oct. 3 were children under 18, according to the latest data available from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which oversees U.S. immigration courts. Of those, Reuters found around 4,300 under 5 years old and 481 under one year. Blanca Aguilar, a 27-year-old mother from Guatemala, is living in a makeshift encampment of around 40 small tents cramped together in the back rooms of a church outside Tijuana, across the border from San Diego. Children can be heard coughing and crying throughout the night, she and other mothers told Reuters during a recent visit. When one gets sick, they all do, Aguilar said. Her twoyear-old son Adrian has had a recurrent cough with wheezing, as well as bouts of diarrhea, since they arrived in August. “He’s been sick a lot,” she said, adding that she suspects he may be developing asthma. Another mother at the same shelter, 34-year-old Marla Suniga from Honduras, said her 1-year-old daughter Montserrat recently had a convulsion due to a high fever and had to be taken to a hospital. “She couldn’t breathe,” she said. Suniga said she fled violence in her home country but plans to return there because she fears for her daughter’s life in Tijuana.

At least four people died and three were wounded in a shooting at a social club in New York eary Saturday, police said. No one has been arrested over the shooting, which took place in Brooklyn, and the motive and exact circumstances are not known, a New York police official told AFP. The local affiliate of ABC News described the place where the shooting took place as an after-hours club. Four men were pronounced dead at the scene, while two other men and a woman suffered non life threatening injuries, the police official said. Earlier reports had said as many as five people were wounded.

Jane Fonda arrested for peacefully protesting climate change WASHINGTON

US President Donald Trump announced late on Friday that acting US homeland security chief Kevin McAleenan has resigned, becoming the latest in a long list of top officials to leave the administration. “Kevin McAleenan has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down,” Trump said in a tweet. “Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector. Congratulations Kevin, on a job well done!” McAleenan served in the role for six months, replacing Kirstjen Nielsen, who sat at the helm of the powerful agency for 1.5 years. Trump said he would announce a new acting homeland security secretary next week, and that there were “many wonderful candidates”. During McAleenan’s brief tenure, the Trump administration stepped up efforts to discourage an exodus of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador by asking Mexico to impede their transit and requiring them to apply for asylum in the first country they enter — meaning either Guatemala or Mexico. Cracking down on illegal immigration is a major goal on Trump’s agenda, and efforts have been paying off. US border agents arrested or stopped nearly one million undocumented migrants at the southern border with Mexico in the last twelve months, the most in more than a decade, according to statistics released this week. Migrants arrested at the border fell to just over 52,000 in September, the final month of

the 2019 fiscal year, down from more than 144,000 in May and the lowest monthly figure in one year. McAleenan’s exit came after he told The Washington Post that he did not feel in control of his department, as news reports said he was discouraged by his standing in the Trump administration. “What I don’t have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time,” McAleenan told the paper. “That’s uncomfortable, as the accountable, senior figure.” On Friday he tweeted a thank you to Trump and highlighted his department’s accomplishments. “With (Trump’s) support, over the last 6 months, we have made tremendous progress mitigating the border security and humanitarian crisis we faced this year, by reducing unlawful crossings, partnering with governments in the region to counter human smugglers and address the causes of migration, and deploy additional border security resources,” McAleenan said. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called McAleenan’s exit an “ouster” and said Trump must urgently appoint a permanent replacement. “Today’s ouster of the Acting Secretary further highlights that President Trump continues to decimate the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security. This will only add to the chaos for a Department where there are chronically too many leadership vacancies and positions held by unconfirmed, ‘acting’ officials,” he said. Thompson said Trump “has forced the Department to stray from its core counterterrorism mission to be almost singularly focused on his xenophobic and cruel immigration agenda.”


Jane Fonda was arrested at the US Capitol on Friday while peacefully protesting climate change. The actress and activist was handcuffed on the east side steps and escorted into a police vehicle. Video of the arrest circulated online. Fonda was one of 16 people arrested for unlawfully protesting and was charged with “crowding, obstructing or incommoding.” She was released hours later. On Thursday, the actress vowed to join Friday protests at the Capitol “inspired and emboldened by the incredible movement our youth have created.” Ira Arlook, of the group Fire Drill Fridays, confirmed that Fonda was arrested at the inaugural demonstration Friday. Before her arrest, Fonda in a speech called climate change “a collective crisis that demands collective action now.”

PM Johnson will ask MPs to back any Brexit deal secured from EU: The Times LONDON AGENCIES

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will ask parliament to back any Brexit deal that he secures from the European Union within 24 hours of the European summit next week, the Times reported on Saturday. Johnson will introduce a motion on Saturday for a vote asking lawmakers to back any agreement he secures from EU at the Oct. 1718 summit, along with the terms of the Benn act, which mandates him to seek an extension if a deal is not reached, the newspaper said here The European Union agreed on Friday to enter intense talks with Britain to try to break the deadlock over Brexit, lifting financial markets with a sign that a deal could be done before the Oct. 31 deadline.

Sunday, 13 October, 2019


‘To be or not to be’

Change of heart in the Prime Minister? Free hand to JUI-F

The Sharifs’ conundrum


T is surprising the way the government’s attitude towards Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Azadi March has suddenly undergone a change. Earlier the PTI administration was unwilling to hold any talks with the JUI-F leader, maintaining that it was for him to approach the government in case he wanted to seek the redressal of any of his grievances. The government was unwilling to allow the march, as shown by the KP Chief Minster’s determination not to let any JUI-F rally pass through his province. It was held that the JUI-F chief was stoking instability and chaos in the country, and asserted with finality that the Maulana will not enter Islamabad. It appears that the Prime Minster is having second thoughts about the protest. He has advised party leaders to approach the JUI-F chief for talks to resolve the differences. The marchers would now be free to protest inside Islamabad as long as they do not violate the law. The abrupt change in attitude towards the Azadi March has raised eyebrows and attempts are being made to find the real motive behind it. Has the PTI leadership regained confidence after the initial panic attack and has decided to confront the protesters? Are the guardians of the ruling party trying to gauge the level of the opposition’s political appeal? or have they prevailed upon the government to allow the protests in order to show the ruling party that it cannot remain in power for long in the face of a determined opposition without their support? The way Nawaz Sharif was taken into custody by NAB while still in jail indicates that there is no end to the government’s vindictiveness. This is also shown by the arrest warrants of the family members of the Sindh Assembly Speaker, issued without their having been sentenced by a court of law. Unless there is a change of heart in the government expressing itself in treating the opposition as competitors rather than enemies, there would no let-up to attempts to overthrow the government through street power even if the Azadi March fails to achieve this aim.

The adjustment phase And its effect on industries


HILE the economy goes through an adjustment period where the currency has been brought closer to its real market value and interest rates have been hiked, the toll that it has and will continue to take on all sectors of business is becoming increasingly apparent. The auto sector has suffered a severe blow with car sales plummeting by 39.4 per cent to 31,107 units compared to 51,221 units in the same period last year. Truck sales, that are considered a measure of trade and business growth (new or growing businesses purchase them for transportation etc) also took a major hit with sales dropping from 1,738 to 874 on a year-on-year basis. Although a majority of automobiles are assembled here by the top three players, key components, like the engine and transmission, are still imported. The Pakistani rupee depreciating roughly 27 percent since August 2018 to date has therefore taken a toll on their sales as car prices have been raised to unaffordable levels. Increase in the Federal Excise Duties on cars has further added to this. on the consumer side, disposable incomes have shrunk as inflation has skyrocketed, forcing people to save, let alone splurge on new cars. This is part of the adjustment phase and like the car industry others are facing the same pressures on their top line as sales reduce and bottom line as costs increase. As deep recession sets in, the slowdown worsens and Pakistan being a net importer of products; the trade deficit has been somewhat arrested, shrinking by 35 percent in the first quarter of FY 20 due to a reduction in imports. Businessmen with access to the various power centres will get whatever concessions they are able to successfully lobby for, while the smaller enterprises will have to bear the brunt as they neither have much retained earnings to weather the storm nor can they reduce their already razor-thin profit margins. This adjustment period will hence result in factory closures and joblessness in the short-to-medium term. The real danger however is some unexpected global economic shock like a major oil price hike for example; Pakistan’s economy is much too fragile to absorb any such event. It would almost certainly result in a catastrophic chain of events crippling the economy.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Umar Aziz

Asher John

Joint Editor

Executive Editor

Deputy Editor

Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965


aRif Nizami


o be or not to be?”, the opening phrase uttered by Prince Hamlet sums up PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) president Shahbaz Sharif’s predicament. In William Shakespeare’s seminal play by the same name, Hamlet contemplates death and suicide, bemoaning the pain and unfairness of life, but acknowledging that the alternative might be worse. our present day prince Sharif is faced with a somewhat similar conundrum. His heart is not in Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s dharna, march, or whatever the cleric prefers calling it. The PML-N president unlike his elder brother and mentor Nawaz Sharif is simply not cut out for confrontational politics. But the incarcerated Nawaz Sharif still rules the roost and calls the shots. Shahbaz Sharif might be nominally lording over the party but veto power still rests with his brother. Now Sharif has put it in writing as well as while speaking to the media outside an accountability court on Friday-where he was presented by NAB (National Accountability Bureau)-that his party fully supported the Maulana’s Azadi march. Shahbaz citing backache conveniently absented himself from “an all-important” meeting a day earlier with his elder brother where a formal announcement on the matter was expected. Surprisingly, the elder Sharif’s son in law, Captain (Rtd) Safdar turned up at the party meeting and announced on behalf of his father-in-law that the PML-N would participate in the planned march. But the PML-N supremo later disclosed that he had already instructed his brother to announce the decision to the media. Apparently Shahbaz on Wednesday in the party meeting had quite eloquently put forth his point of view opposing the march. He is of the view that the march, even if it took place without any tail winds from the ubiquitous establishment, is bound to fail. What will we do the day after, was the question he posed to the participants. Sharif has reportedly remarked that despite his reservations about the march he cannot even for a minute contemplate defying his elder brother. He would rather quit politics than taking such a course, he added. This is the crux of the matter. It is Nawaz Sharif who commands the rump of support in the party. Shahbaz Sharif draws his support from him. Doing politics without him will be commit-

ting political suicide. But on the other hand the PML-N president feels that confronting the deep state at a time when Khan has their full backing will be a herculean blunder. Conversely the PML-N patron in chief sitting in jail thinks otherwise. After all what has he got to lose? Like the Maulana he wouldn’t be too unhappy if the democratic project collapses as a result of possible chaos created in the country and popular discontent manifests itself on the streets. The PML-N as its name suggests is Nawaz Sharif not his younger brother. The Zia era establishment midwifed the party to serve as a bulwark against the PPP. In the nineties, Sharif through his right wing virulently anti -PPP narrative and his younger sibling though sheer hard work and tenacity successfully eroded the PPP’s support base in Punjab. But since then the three-time former prime minister has become a born-again anti-establishment politician of sorts. He is for civilian control over all institutions including the powerful Army. But critics contend in reality, this is his obsession for personal dominance as prime minister. Ironically over the years a lot of his party men have also adopted politics of defiance and resistance. But not Shahbaz Sharif; he remains a pro-establishment politician. In 2017 when the Supreme Court removed Sharif from office, it was Shahbaz and his friend Nisar Ali Khan who cautioned him not to adopt a confrontationist posture against the military leadership. They advised him to quietly drive from the federal capital via the motorway to his Raiwind abode in Lahore. But the ousted prime minster supported by some of his hard-line advisors decided to take the GT (grand trunk) route in the form of rallies. Sharif travelled to Lahore amidst speeches asking the loaded question: mujhey kyoon nikala? (Why was I ousted)? Later when the former prime minister leaving his ailing wife landed from London in Lahore on the eve of the 2018 general elections, Shahbaz Sharif failed to turn up at the airport being ostensibly delayed owing to the traffic caused by rallies to receive Sharif. Most allege that the no-show was deliberate. Despite Shahbaz’s dovish line on the march, after NAB ‘re-arresting’ Nawaz Sharif in a fresh case, there is no option for him but to go along with the party’s supremo to fully participate in the march. Taking Sharif’s physical remand when he is already serving a jail sentence in Kot Lakhpat Jail clearly smacks of vendetta. The timing stinks. It seems like a patent attempt by the government to keep Sharif away from even having any

indirect consultations with his party-men Shahbaz Sharif included. Interestingly, as stated by his lawyer, the JIT (joint investigation team) had already investigated him in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case in which he claimed that his client is not even a shareholder. Sharif in his statement alleged that the fresh case against him was politically motivated and that NAB was ‘Sharif and opposition specific’ created by former dictator Pervez Musharraf for this very purpose. It seems now that the PML-N pushed to the wall has no option but to fully participate in the march. And Shahbaz Sharif despite his reservations and poor health will have to go long if he wants to remain politically relevant. The PPP till now has adopted an ambivalent attitude towards the Maulana and his march. The party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari despite fully supporting the march is loath to actually participate in it. NAB’ sword of Damocles is hanging over Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah’s head. Hence the PPP owing to vindictive politics of the PTI government might also be forced to join the Maulana’s bandwagon. The ANP (Awami National Party) has also announced to chip in. Now there is a distinct possibility that thanks to PTI’s myopic policies, effectively a grand opposition might be in the offing. In the meanwhile Khan apart from the threat of more state suppression against the opposition is using exogenous methods to deal with the Maulana. The Saudi ambassador after meeting the JUI-F chief has rushed to Riyadh. The prime minister is also due to visit Saudi Arabia soon. PM Khan has also instructed his aides to keep channels of communication open with JUIF, suggesting that he really is quite nervous about the Maulana’s impending ‘million march’ or perhaps he has been made to engage with the latter. Either way it is a departure from his otherwise aggressive uninterrupted agenda to put pressure on the rest of the opposition through cases and arrests. But the Maulana is bent upon on executing his putsch to Islamabad. Khan, thanks to his flawed and vindictive policies, is unwittingly providing him the enabling environment. For the JUI-F chief, stepping back is no longer an option. Quoting again from Shakespeare, in his play Macbeth (an excellent study on how power corrupts) Macbeth soliloquies: “I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.” This is the dilemma being faced by the Maulana and increasingly so the opposition. Perhaps it equally applies to Khan? Arif Nizami is Editor, Pakistan Today. He can be contacted at

Who suffers for politicians’ inequities? What will the Maulana’s march achieve?

Rabia ahmed


HAT exactly is an ‘Azadi March’, which Maulana F plans to organize on 31 october at D-Chowk in Islamabad? Until today the march was meant to be held on the 27th, but it has been rescheduled, leaving the 27th free to express solidarity with occupied Kashmir with other parties. Finding himself forced to change the dates, the Maulana has justified it by saying it gives more time for people to arrive at the venue. The Maulana’s expressed purpose for the Azadi march is to express his disapproval against the present government and turf it out, for which he has cited Articles 16 and 17, segments of the Constitution that deal with Freedom of Assembly and Association respectively. It is an almost amusing example of the way words and ideas are used by politicians to their benefit. Quoting the Constitution of course is supposed to give legitimacy to the march. The common man does not Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9


understand such things, but knows that the ‘manshoor’ is something important. So, Constitution quoted. The maulana per se in all his regalia is of course meant to appeal to the public. A man of God, regardless of the fact that he had connections with the Taliban who are grossly unIslamic. He is also a man who says he would like to impose Sharia law, and retain the monstrous blasphemy law in Pakistan, but of course those are further examples of catchwords in this country. According to right-wing thought both the Taliban and the blasphemy law are supposed to be sanctioned by Islam. As for the Sharia law, God only knows what that is, since no two individuals are likely to agree on the others’ version. What’s more, since right-wing alliances preclude liberal support, the Maulana has also allied himself with various secular parties–0 ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’, such debauched words in the public arena. What is the Maulana’s march supposed to achieve? He would like to oust the present government. Why? Because he says the elections that brought in the PTI were rigged. Really the exercise is because the Maulana has been trying very hard for a long time to become the PM himself. What will the march achieve? Well, what did the previous such march achieve? In 2014 the PTI organized another Azadi march, also called the

Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545


Tsunami March. Its demands then were much the same as the Maulana’s demands now, to get rid of the sitting government, which the PTI accused of rigging the elections. The rally started in Lahore and went on to Gujranwala, Kharian, and arrived two days later at Zero Point in Islamabad. Protesters were also stationed outside the Supreme court of the country, and it was said that judges were trapped inside. Meantime Imran Khan took up his position outside Parliament Building and said he would wait for Nawaz Sharif’s resignation there, and then go on to the PM’s house. In short, ‘kick him out, and bring me in.’ on that march, several people were injured, and in the protests in the capital city itself more than 500 people were injured. The Chief of Army Staff was called in to mediate, although this was a civilian political crisis, not war. How constitutional was that? And this is what happened in Islamabad alone. Protests also took place in other cities. All these politicians claim to support democracy, although no democracy supports the forcible removal by violent means of a sitting government. Schools were closed in 2014, as were government offices, and the police was accommodated in the schools. According to one estimate the country lost around Rs 800 million as a result of the disruption caused by



those marches. According to another the losses were much more than that at about Rs 610 billion. What was our annual expenditure the previous fiscal year– about Rs 475 billion? Points that appear to have bypassed our leaders is that people are injured when such protests occur and sometimes lives are lost. The economy is badly hit when businesses do not open and much more often are unable to open. No country can afford such losses. Pakistan– you wonder if they know it– is a poor country and cannot afford such things. The way towards success is to pull the nation together, not to create dissension. The way to get a sitting government out is to fight it in an election. All such ‘Azadi’ marches are likely to shake off in the long run is democracy, and democracy, however fragile it may be, is important. If an election is seen as rigged, it is the election commission that should be examined, and its shortcomings addressed. The Constitution does guarantee right of assembly. It is up to the leaders themselves therefore to show some maturity and consideration for the people they wish to lead. Sadly, they, none of them, appear to possess either maturity or consideration. At the end of such rallies, it is those who conducted it who should be slapped with the bill. And what’s more, they ought to be made to pay. Why should the poor people suffer for their politicians’ inequities?


Sunday, 13 October, 2019

COMMENT 09 Editor’s mail

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail: Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively

Changing weather in twins cities SINCE last week the weather has become colder in Islamabad/Rawalpindi, which results in an increase in the number of patients with flu in hospitals. People haven’t started wearing warm clothes yet but the early mornings are cold enough to wear them, parents often don’t wear their school going kids cold cloths and they are waiting for their school van in an open-air at early morning become ill. We as parents need to act fast with the changing weather of twins cities. MuHAMMAD HASSAN AMIN Islamabad

India’s terror links

When a leadership loses its moral compass The nation is stripped of honour and direction

Candid Corner Raoof hasaN “The foundation of leadership is your own moral compass. I think the best quality leaders know where their moral compass is. They get it out when they are making decisions. It’s their guide. But not only do they have to have a moral compass and take it out of their pocket, it has to have a true north.” – Les Wexner


oLUMES have been compiled on the centrality of an ethical code as integral to sustenance of the life cycle. Arguably, much may have gone wrong, but it must be conceded that the nations and states which have made quantum progress in the recent or distant past have all had an ethical base as pivot to work by. Since we decided early on that an enlightened, progressive and egalitarian Pakistan was not an objective of its creation, we started demolishing its foundational pillars, replacing them with a culture of crime and corruption which we have since developed to near perfection. The sordid effort continues to find ever new ways and mechanisms to denude the state of its assets and the marginalised of even their right to breathe. This is a contagious malaise that we live by. It brooks no space for truthfulness, justice and merit. Instead, it promotes a culture of deceit and deception in our undertakings. Along the way, we bludgeon many a life, many a soulful call, many a dream, many a future, without even a hint of remorse or consternation. Perversity is the other key constituent of this attitude. We deliberately distort a given reality to construct an alibi and engineer a false narrative. We don’t shy of using any instrument for doing this, be it religion, history, culture, traditions or innumerable scars of shame. All these are used as combustible ingredients to raise the fire of fabrication and falsehood. Let the heavens be

burnt as long as our wicked objectives are achieved. In doing so, we overlook the fact that a whole nation is being infected with a false construct that they shall adopt as their own and feel no regret in using it to their advantage whenever they may have an opportunity. They’ll be inclined to choosing the easy and the fraudulent way rather than the straight and honourable path that promises success with dignity. Such are the wobbly edifices that we have raised over seven decades of our existence. In spite of a history replete with disgraceful setbacks, we have refused to correct our path. Instead, we have continued pursuing the course of adding to the piling stocks of shame that we have accumulated, be it so in the personal domain, or as part of building a national character. Lying, cheating, looting, plundering, distorting, casting aspersions, whispering innuendos, or fabricating vile conspiracies– all these are key constituents of the misleading narratives which are promoted with remorseless frequency. There are no shades of repentance that this can bring harm to innocent people. It makes for a perfect playing ground to derive vicarious pleasure by some sick minds. It is not so much an issue with the ordinary people as it is with those who lead them in multiple domains which are all infested with a peculiar mindset that lives by abnegating the moral compass and forging pathways that relentlessly multiply a cancerous growth. There is no escaping its pungent bite. Selling religion as merchandise is a common practice, and being judgemental is a key constituent of this malady. Branding some as non-Muslim and others as heretics is a most favourite pastime. This is exclusively meant to perpetuate specific interest-related cults which don’t serve the cause of religion. In fact, these gruesome practices only take people away from their faith. over time, these followers, too, become active carriers of a lethal virus. That is how the disease spreads its poisonous tentacles to infect a whole society. Mixing religion with politics has been a core cause of conflict and regression which has now spread through multiple echelons and layers of the society. This has denuded people of their right-thinking mind as they go by the self-righteous diktat proclaimed by leaders of their respective creeds. Yardsticks are enacted making the followers of a certain religion more equal than the practitioners of other beliefs who are discriminated against in every walk of life. Even their upward mobility is restricted. This inequality and inequity run deep in the national psyche which is perpetrated with unbelievable zeal and vindictiveness. Consequently, instead of giving everyone a compatible chance to become a vibrant tool in the progress of the

state, some are left out licking their wounds of being the less equal. And there are those who are constantly and vigorously engaged in pontificating, forever justifying these degenerate practices. In certain instances, the pressures grow beyond the human constraints. The consequent options for the outcasts are stark: either convert, or be prepared for some dastardly treatment, including rape and murder. We have gone far on this path and people are not even looking back. They have become so used to living by these regressive standards that they have forgotten the true ethos of the state that Pakistan was to become. It is a whole new world that they inhabit– not the real one, but one which is imagined and which they have imbibed from countless selfsanctifying sermons they have been hounded with. Tutored by these myopic leaders, the people manifest a state of suspended animation between the real and the unreal. They have been exposed to grave distortions. Instead of having learnt from the true knowledge of their peers, they have been fed with deadly and poisonous potions which only promote false narratives meant to serve individual agendas and fancies. This is a damning reality whereby everyone has a right to say what each of them may wish to, without a care to abide by the yardsticks of truth and fairness. The instruments that the state designed and integrated as manipulating tools have become bleeding wounds. These are mortal inflictions which cannot be cured by administering disprins. These are cancerous growths which require comprehensive surgical procedures. But, who has the grit, the character and the courage to first acknowledge that we made mistakes, and then get on with the arduous task of curing the lesions and lacerations? What we require are leaders with a moral compass and a firm conviction to abide by it. A non-conforming leadership can only breed characterless and soulless generations, bereft of honour and direction. That’s exactly what we have ended up with. The palpable reality is that we are sinking into a deepening morass of conflicts and contradictions which shall take us farther from the truth. This is a harrowing prospect for us to see – unless, we may have our eyes closed! In the inimitable words of Kahlil Gibran, such a nation can only be pitied: “Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, Whose philosopher is a juggler, And whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.” Raoof Hasan is a political analyst and the Executive Director of the Regional Peace Institute. He can be reached at:; Twitter: @RaoofHasan

INDIA mocked at Pakistan’s prime minister’s admission in General Assembly that Pakistan trained Afghan ‘mujahideen’ (fighters) that the Soviets dubbed ‘terrorists’. India, too, trained Afghan Northern-Alliance shi-ite fighters. India’s ambassador Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar, with consent of then foreign minister Jaswant Singh, ‘coordinated military and medical assistance that India was secretly giving to Massoud and his forces in Afghanistan (Hindu dated September 1, 2019). The support involved ‘helicopters, ordnance, mortars, small armaments, refurbished Kalashnikovs seized in Kashmir, combat and winter clothes, packaged food, medicines, and funds’. These supplied were ‘delivered circuitously with the help of other countries’ (Aeini and Farkhor air-bases in Tajikistan) or ‘through his [Masssoud’s] brother in London, Wali Massoud’. India now calls Kashmiri freedom fighters ‘terrorists’. To refresh India’s memory, it called insurgents in erstwhile East Pakistan ‘mukti bahini’, ‘freedom fighters’. Unlike Kashmir, East Pakistan was not a disputed state. It was an integral part of Pakistan. But, India harboured, nurtured, trained and armed Bengali ‘freedom fighters’ on Indian soil. RAW’s cover officers including RK Yadav, and B. Raman (The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lane) make no bones about India’s involvement in Bangladesh’s insurgency. They admitted that India’s then prime minister Indira Gandhi, parliament, RAW and armed forces acted in tandem to dismember Pakistan. Raman reminds ‘Indian parliament passed resolution on March 31, 1971 to support insurgency. Indira Gandhi had then confided with Kao that in case Mujib was prevented to rule Pakistan, she would liberate East Pakistan from the clutches of Military junta. Let India not forget that Kashmir is a disputed state as per UN resolutions and the Simla accord (pacta sunt servanda, treaties are binding). India has withdrawn special status and usurped hereditary rights. A state that flouts international treaties is called a ‘rogue state’ (Noam Chomsky’s Rogue States). Doubtless India qualifies as a rogue state and should be classified as such by the UN. AMJED JAAvED Rawalpindi

Apathy towards Kashmir EIGHTY lack Muslims in Kashmir have been virtually imprisoned in their homes for over sixty days. But, neither the shia and sunni leaders, nor Muslim MPs and human rights-champions tried to visit them. Sitaram Yechury, a socialist leader wanted to visit the Valley to see his party colleague Yousuf Tarigami of CPI-M. Upon government’s refusal, he obtained Supreme Court’s permission to do so. Let Pakistanis know that 18 crore Muslims in India, stratified into ajlaf, ashraf and arzal classes akin to Hindu varna caste-system, have no real leader, only sordid muckrakers. The self-styled shia and sunni leaders largely supported abrogation of special status (Article 370) and hereditary rights (Article 35-A) for petty gains. They include Arshad Madani, Barrister Asaduddin owaisi (All India Majlise-Ittahdul Muslimeen), Moulana Mehmood Madani, general secretary of Deoband’s Jamiat-ulema-e-Hind (council of Indian Muslim theologians), and his uncle Arshad Madani, the president of the same council, Ahmad Bukhari (Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid), Azam Khan Advocate (Samajwadi Party) and Kalbe Jawad, the biggest shia- Muslim leader . Twenty-five per cent to 30% of the Kashmiri population of eight million is shia. The Muslim ‘leaders’ preferred to ally with Modi as the government had threatened to scrutinise the flow of funds from Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Iran into their proxy accounts. The religious luminaries also fear inquiry into land grabbed by them and illegal sale of Waqf properties. It is eerie that secularist champions of human rights also are mum about Kashmiris plight. They include Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Saeed Naqvi, Arif Mohammad Khan. AJ MALIK Rawalpindi

Climate change CLIMATE change is the core global issue now-a-days, we are at the decisive moment to cope with this issue. The impact of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Pakistan is also being affected by climate change. Although Pakistan makes a tiny contribution to GHG emission but it is among the most vulnerable countries affected by climate change. The climate change threat to Pakistan are; considerable increase in the frequency, intensity of extreme weather events, coupled with erratic monsoon rains causing frequent, intense floods and droughts. The global climate index report, 2018 states that more than 10,000 people have died in Pakistan during the past 20 years out of approximately 140 extreme weather events that also incurred losses of almost $4bn. The Government should form a comprehensive plan or commission to oversee such a core issue and its solutions. They need to act-now, least it is too late. uSAMA JAMIL Bahawalpur

Sunday, 13 October, 2019


Iran decrIes 'cowardly attack' on oIl tanker DUBAI



N Iranian government spokesman on Saturday described as a “cowardly attack” an incident that Iranian media have called the apparent targeting by missiles of an Iranian-owned oil tanker, and said Iran would respond after the facts had been studied. The tanker Sabiti was hit in Red Sea waters off Saudi Arabia on Friday, Iranian media have reported, an incident that could stoke friction in a region rattled by attacks on tankers and oil installations since May. “Iran is avoiding haste, carefully examining what has happened and probing facts,” government spokesman Ali Rabei was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA. Separately, a senior security official said video evidence had provided leads about the incident, adding that the Sabiti was hit by two missiles, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.

“A special committee has been set up to investigate the attack on Sabiti… with two missiles and its report will soon be submitted to the authorities for decision,” said Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s top security body, according to Fars. “Piracy and mischief on international waterways aimed at making commercial shipping insecure will not go unanswered,” he said. Rabei was quoted by IRNA as saying “an appropriate response will be given to the designers of this cowardly attack, but we will wait until all aspects of the plot are clarified”. Saudi Arabia said it received a distress message from the damaged tanker but the vessel kept moving and switched off its transponder before it could provide assistance, the state news agency SPA reported on Saturday. Leakage of cargo from the tanker has been stopped as it heads for the Gulf, the semi-official news agency Mehr reported. “The tanker is heading for Persian Gulf waters and we hope it will enter Iranian waters safely,” it

quoted an unnamed official as saying. Nasrollah Sardashti, head of National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) that owns the damaged tanker, said the crew were safe and the vessel would reach Iranian waters within 10 days, the Oil Ministry’s news agency SHANA reported. There was no claim of responsibility for the reported incident and it has yet to be independently confirmed. It was the latest involving oil tankers in the Red Sea and Gulf region, and may ratchet up tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, long-time regional adversaries fighting a proxy war in Yemen, which lies at the southern end of the Red Sea. The United States, embroiled in a dispute with Iran over its nuclear plans, has blamed Iran for attacks on tankers in the Gulf in May and June as well as for strikes on Saudi oil sites in September. Tehran has denied having a role in any of them. The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which operates in the region, said it was aware of the reports but had no

further information. The Iranian reports on Friday offered sometimes diverging accounts. State-run television, citing the national oil company, said the tanker was hit by missiles while denying a report they came from Saudi Arabia. Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the ship was hit twice, without saying what struck it. State television broadcast images from the Sabiti’s deck saying they were taken after the attack but showing no visible damage. The ship’s hull was not in view. Oil prices rose on the news of the incident and industry sources said it could drive up already high shipping costs.

Political risk consultancy Eurasia Group said it did not have firm evidence about who may have been behind the incident. “The proximity of the tanker at the time of the attack to Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah port might imply that the missiles could possibly have been launched from the kingdom. “Another plausible theory is that it was an Israeli sabotage operation…The purpose would be to disrupt Iranian tanker activity in the Red Sea corridor as it heads toward the Suez Canal. A third possibility would be that the attack was conducted by a terrorist group,” Eurasia said in a statement.

From Minnesota to Michigan, Trump aims to turn scandal into reelection fuel WASHINGTON D.C. AGENCIES

As impeachment pressure mounted on Donald Trump, the president left Washington for the second day in a row Friday to rally hardcore supporters in a bid to turn the scandal into fuel for his 2020 reelection. Framing himself as the victim of a plot between “corrupt Democrat politicians” and the “fake news media,” Trump galvanized supporters at a rally in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In provocative comments to an enthused base Trump insisted his Democratic rivals — who are leading the investigation against him in the House — were “pursuing an illegal, unconstitutional, bullshit impeachment.” Polls show growing public support for the probe into Trump’s request for Ukraine to push a corruption case against one of his main Democratic opponents in the 2020 election, Joe Biden. He is only the fourth US president to face an impeachment probe but after an initially stumbling response the Republican has hit on a strategy of trying to transform the threat into a boost. Trump attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with particular gusto, telling the crowd her support for the impeachment investigation was evidence of disdain for the United States: “I used to think she loved the country. She

hates the country,” he said. Turning his attention to next year’s election, Trump said he was convinced he would win in 2020, no matter what. “Looks like Bernie lost his chance, huh?” Trump said, in apparent reference to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic contender who suffered a recent heart attack. Trump’s Louisiana rally comes after he barnstormed a gathering in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Thursday, vowing a “backlash” against Democrats. “They want to erase your vote like it never existed, they want to erase your voice and they want to erase your future, but they will fail because in America, the people rule again.” And in 2020 this will “produce a backlash at the ballot box the likes of which they have never ever seen before.” Back in Washington, former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was fired by Trump, testified before three House committees on Friday, despite White House attempts to stop witnesses from appearing before congressional investigators. She told legislators that she was forced from her job as a result of “false claims,” according to The New York Times. There was possibly worrying news for Trump as troubles mounted for his colorful, but controversial personal attorney Rudy Giuliani — a cen-

tral figure in the administration’s murky contacts with Ukraine. Congressional investigators see Giuliani as Trump’s point man in a campaign to extract dirt on Biden from the Ukrainians. On Wednesday, two of the lawyer’s clients were arrested in a campaign finance violation case involving foreign money. Asked Friday if Giuliani continued to be his lawyer, Trump gave a less than convincing answer. “I don’t know,” he said. “He’s a very good attorney and he has been my attorney.” Trump’s previous personal attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years prison in 2018. Democrats who have accused Trump of abusing his office throughout his first term believe they have finally cornered the president with the impeachment probe. Trump was shown in the rough transcript of a phone call summary issued by the White House to have pressed new Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to open a corruption probe of Biden and his son. The president has pushed back, refusing to allow anyone in his administration to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. Public support for impeachment, though, is increasing. A poll from Fox News — a channel favored by US conservatives — shows 51 percent back his removal from office.

Two dead as 'unprecedented' Typhoon Hagibis slams into Japan TOKYO AGENCIES

Powerful Typhoon Hagibis slammed into Japan on Saturday, killing at least two people and prompting authorities to issue their highest level of disaster warning over “unprecedented” downpours that caused flooding and landslides. Around 7.3 million people were placed under non-compulsory evacuation orders and more than 30 people were injured, four seriously. Even before making landfall, Hagibis caused enormous disruption, forcing the cancellation of two Rugby World Cup matches, delaying the Japanese Grand Prix and grounding all flights in the Tokyo region. It crashed into Japan’s main Honshu island just before 7:00pm (1000 GMT), barrelling into Izu, a peninsula southwest of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorologi-

cal Agency (JMA) said, packing gusts of wind up to 216 kilometres per hour (134 miles per hour) around an hour. The storm claimed its first victim hours before arriving on the coast, when strong winds from its outer bands flipped a car in Chiba east of Tokyo and killed the driver. But it was Hagibis’ torrential rain that prompted the JMA to issue its highest-level emergency warning for parts of Tokyo and the surrounding areas, warning of disaster. “Unprecedented heavy rain has been seen in cities, towns and villages for which the emergency warning was issued,” JMA forecaster Yasushi Kajiwara told reporters. “The possibility is extremely high that disasters such as landslides and floods have already occurred. It is important to take action that can help save your lives.”

At least two landslides were already confirmed, with a man in his sixties killed in one in Gunma north of Tokyo. By early evening, tens of thousands were in shelters and receiving emergency rations and blankets, though a 5.7-magnitude quake that rattled the Tokyo area did little to calm nerves. Among the evacuees were people whose homes were damaged by a powerful typhoon that hit the region last month. “I evacuated because my roof was ripped off by the other typhoon and rain came in. I’m so worried about my house,” a 93-year-old man told national broadcaster NHK as he sheltered at a centre in Tateyama in Chiba east of Tokyo. In Yokohama, outside of Tokyo, others hunkered down in their homes despite the storm.

Sunday, 13 October, 2019

BUSINESS 11 No deadlock between traders and FBR, says Shabbar Zaidi There is no deadlock between the traders and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) over the fixed tax issue, said FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday. “We have held more than 40 meetings with different groups of traders and all our discussions have been very positive,” he claimed. “The government is steadfast in its belief that fixed tax should be imposed on small traders.” He said even the traders agree to the fixed tax policy but they want the tax to be determined by turnover. “We listened to their concerns and we are engaging in a dialogue over ways to determine the turnover,” he added. Another tax reform that is being debated between the two parties is the CNIC condition. The government wants the traders to provide a copy of a purchaser’s CNIC for the sale and purchase of goods worth more than Rs50,000. “I think that it is no longer an issue. We have all agreed to it,” he remarked. Naeem Mir, a representative of the traders, said that they don’t have any problem showing their CNIC at the time of purchase. “We are scared of the consequences of this step,” he told a private media outlet. “This will give the government all the data about our sales and we can be easily blackmailed into paying a bribe to certain people. We will be stuck in the documentation and it will just lead to more corruption. We don’t mind the condition, we just want an assurity that our data will not be misused.” BUSINESS DESK

China agrees to tackle India’s trade deficit MAMALLAPURAM: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed at a summit on Saturday to set up a high-level group to tackle India’s galloping trade deficit with the world’s second-biggest economy, a top Indian diplomat said. Xi and Modi held nearly six hours of talks in an Indian seaside town in their second annual summit designed to break through decades of distrust over border disputes, trade rows and China’s close military ties with Pakistan. Relations were ruffled further in August when India revoked the special status of the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, angering both Pakistan, which claims the region, and its all-weather ally China. But the question of Kashmir was not discussed during Saturday’s summit and instead issues of trade and investment were taken up, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said. China, embroiled in a bruising trade war with the United States, was quite appreciative of the imbalance in its own trade with India and willing to address it, Gokhale told reporters. “There was a good conversation on trade, an issue of concern; President Xi said China is ready to take sincere action in this regard and discuss in a concrete way how to reduce the deficit,” he said. Bilateral trade between China and India reached $95.54 billion in 2018, with the trade deficit at $53 billion in China’s favour, the biggest India has with any country. “One of the understandings the two leaders reached was that a new mechanism will be established to discuss trade, investment and services,” Gokhale said. The high-level group will be led by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua. Indian generic drugmakers have long sought greater market access to China, as have India’s IT services. Xi said both were welcome. China, for its part, has been urging India to take an independent decision on telecom equipment maker Huawei’s bid for India’s proposed 3G network and not be swayed by US pressure. The United States has asked its allies not to use Huawei equipment, which it says China could exploit for espionage. Beijing denies this accusation. In his opening remarks, Xi said he had a free and frank discussion with Modi and would pursue proposals the two leaders discussed to improve bilateral ties. “Yesterday and today we have engaged in candid discussions and as friends,” Xi said. “I look forward to further discussions, I may follow up on proposals discussed yesterday.” Xi did not elaborate. AGENCIES




S new Chinese companies are making investments in Pakistan’s tiles and ceramics sector, the local industry has voiced its concerns over facilities being provided to the new entrants, saying that the absence of a level playing field would harm the existing industry. “The provision of a level playing field to all tiles’ manufacturers will increase competitiveness, create job opportunities and bring investments from new and existing players alike,” said Shabbir Tiles CEO Masood Jaffery while talking to a group of journalists in Islamabad on Saturday. He said that tax rebates and incentives being given to new manufacturers are disturbing the balance in the local industry, as existing manufacturers, who have invested in financial and human capital over decades, are already under pressure due to the drastic increase in manufacturing cost and decline in sales. “Our main raw material, clay, covers only around 25-35pc of the total costs whereas the major components are labour, energy and transportation, costs of which have increased significantly over the last few years owing to the devaluation of Pakistani Rupee against the US Dollar,” he added. The country is faced with a dif-

ficult economic situation and many industries are holding back their investment plans and even laying off their employees, he lamented, urging the government to find sectors that can contribute to gear up GDP, boost exports and help the government address unemployment challenges. “Pakistan has all the resources required to build a resilient tile manufacturing industry.” He said only ‘Make in Pakistan’ approach can counter economic challenges, create jobs and save foreign exchange to uplift the economy. The government should incentivise not only the local tiles manufacturers but other local industries so as to ensure import substitution and export enhancement, he added.

Talking about Shabbir Tiles, he said that with international accreditation for quality, Shabbir Tiles has an enormous export potential that needs to be exploited but challenges like unfair imports and rising energy and manufacturing costs amid low ITPs are hurting the industry. He said in recent years, the company invested approximately Rs2 billion on the plant and machinery and on the human resource development to upgrade the quality of the ceramic and porcelain tiles. He appealed the government to support the local tile industry and give the same benefits to existing manufacturers that are being given to new investors. “This will not only add value to the national

economy through employment generation and transfer of technology but also save precious foreign exchange wasted on the import of finished products,” he added. According to him, Pakistan used to have a strong ceramic and porcelain tiles industry but the growth of regional powers in the sector have overshadowed the local industry, forcing it to fight for survival. The major market share has been grabbed by tiles being imported or smuggled in the country from China, Iran and the UAE, he added. “Instead of controlling underinvoicing and smuggling being done through the Afghan Transit Trade, the government has burdened the local industry with high gas rates and increased freight charges,” Masood maintained. He said the National Highways Authority (NHA) has recently imposed new restrictions on axle load at highways and motorways, hampering the transportation of clay from Mianwali and Mansehra areas. “NHA has reduced the axle load to half. This means that the number of trucks required for transportation should be doubled.” There are around four tile makers in the country and they have also lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Industries that a level playing field is needed for all tiles manufacturers to maintain justified competitiveness, he concluded.

Technical teams formed to address development-related hiccups ECONOMIC AFFAIRS DIVISION, PLANNING COMMISSION AND WORLD BANK ASKED TO CHALK OUT A ROADMAP TO SIMPLIFY THE EXISTING PROCESSES RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO NEWS DESK The government’s economic team has entrusted the technical teams from the Economic Affairs Division, Planning Commission and the World Bank to chalk out a roadmap that could simplify the existing processes related to the development portfolio. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in Islamabad, Radio Pakistan re-

ported. The meeting was given a joint presentation by the Economic Affairs Division and the World Bank on different options to simplify the structure of existing approval processes of the development portfolio. It was decided that the technical teams will work towards shortening the project conception timeframe while also ensuring the presence of required funds, availability of project staff and timely procurements. The initiative will bring implementation prepared-

ness to a new level, besides incorporating capacity at implementation level to conceive and prepare project pipeline in line with the annual and medium-term government frameworks, upfront preparation of safeguards and procurement documents, and appointment of relevant staff. The government intends to digitise the entire planning process so as to expedite the decision-making processes, which would lead to the timely implementation of projects. It was decided that technical

teams of the World Bank, Planning Commission and Economic Affairs Division would chalk out a road map, besides identifying specific areas of interventions, and report back to the forum in three to four weeks. The meeting was attended by Economic Affairs Minister Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Planning, Development and Reform Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Adviser to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain and senior officials of the State Bank of Pakistan.

Facebook’s Libra currency abandoned by major financial companies Facebook Inc’s ambitious efforts to establish a global digital currency called Libra has suffered severe setbacks, as major payment companies including Mastercard and Visa Inc quit the group behind the project. The two companies announced they would leave the association Friday afternoon, as did EBay Inc, Stripe Inc. and Latin American payments company Mercado Pago. They join PayPal Holdings Inc which exited the group a week ago, as global regulators continue to air concerns about the project. The latest exodus leaves the Libra Association without any remaining major payments companies as members, meaning it can no longer count on a global player to help consumers turn their currency into Libra and facilitate transactions. The remaining association

members, including Lyft and Vodafone, consist mainly of venture capital, telecommunications, blockchain and technology companies, as well as nonprofit groups. “Visa has decided not to join the Libra Association at this time,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to evaluate and our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.” Facebook’s head of the project, former PayPal executive David Marcus, cautioned on Twitter against “reading the fate of Libra into this update,” although he acknowledged “it’s not great news in the short term.” Libra will press ahead with plans to formally charter the association in three days despite the setbacks, Dante

Disparte, its head of policy and communication, said in a statement. “We are focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association of some of the world’s leading enterprises, social impact organizations and other stakeholders,” he said. “Although the makeup of the Association members may grow

and change over time, the design principle of Libra’s governance and technology, along with the open nature of this project ensures the Libra payment network will remain resilient.” Facebook announced plans to launch the digital currency in June 2020 in partnership with other Libra Association members. Almost immedi-

ately afterwards, the project faced relentless scrutiny from global regulators, who said it raised a host of serious questions that the group had yet to answer. France and Germany last month pledged to block Libra from operating in Europe and backed the development of a public cryptocurrency instead. And US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested the project could not advance before addressing serious privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability concerns that must be addressed. The rapid succession of exits by major financial companies Friday afternoon suggested that scrutiny was taking its toll. Three days earlier, a pair of senior Democratic senators wrote to Visa, Mastercard and Stripe, telling

them to be wary of “a project that will foreseeably fuel the growth in global criminal activity.” “If you take this on, you can expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators not only on Librarelated payment activities, but on all activities,” Senator Sherrod Brown and fellow Democratic Senator Brian Schatz wrote in the letters. Brown said in a statement after the announcements on Friday that the companies had been “wise to avoid legitimizing Facebook’s private, global currency.” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to discuss the project when he testifies before the US House Financial Services Committee on Oct 23 US Representative Maxine Waters, who chairs the panel, has repeatedly called on Facebook to shelve the project. AGENCIES

Sunday, 13 October, 2019


mINISTeR vowS To eNd RAIlwAyS’ deFICIT IN ThRee yeARS China, pakistan agree to expedite work on CpeC’s western route Pakistan and China have decided to expedite development work on the western route of the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a private media outlet reported on Saturday. The decision was made during a meeting between Communications Minister Murad Saeed and a high-level delegation of the CPEC’s joint working group in Islamabad. The joint working group on the occasion also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) amid at improving Pakistan’s transport infrastructure. The group decided to construct 1,270km-long roads on the western route under the second phase of CPEC. The roads will be constructed from Gilgit to Chitral, Dera Ismail Khan to Zhob, and Peshawar to Dera Ismail Khan. Swat Expressway Phase 2 and Karakoram Highway will also be constructed/upgraded under CPEC’s second phase. The Chinese delegation praised the performance of the Ministry of Communications and welcomed the hospitality of the Pakistani government during its visit. The Chinese transport minister said that the CPEC project will share its benefits with the next generations of both countries. He stressed the need for timely completion of the mega economic project. Murad Saeed on the occasion lauded the hard work, passion and professionalism of the Chinese engineers working on the project. He said that the federal government has prioritised to remove all hurdles in the completion of CPEC, adding that the project will create opportunities for employment, infrastructure development and businesses in the country. Saeed also briefed the Chinese delegation regarding the establishment of the CPEC Authority. The minister thanked the Chinese government for its support to the Pakistani stance over the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said that China is a role model for economic development and poverty alleviation. BUSINESS DESK

Nepal eyes railway deal with China during Xi visit KATHMANDU: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Nepal on Saturday on a state visit for talks with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and both sides are expected to sign a deal expanding a railway link between the Himalayan nation and Tibet, officials said. Xi, the first Chinese president to visit Nepal in 22 years, arrived from India, where he held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Nepal, a natural buffer between India and China, has been trying to lessen its dependence on New Delhi. President Bidya Devi Bhandari greeted Xi on arrival at the airport ringed by hills. Thousands of people stood along the flower festooned route to welcome the Chinese leader as he drove from the airport to the hotel. The Chinese leader will meet Oli on Sunday and the two leaders are expected to witness their officials sign a slew of deals, including the planned extension of the rail link from remote, mountainous Tibet to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, officials said. The link will be part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Xi’s signature project that Nepal joined in 2017. AGENCIES




AILWAYS Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said on Saturday that the railways’ deficit would be ended completely

within three years instead of the supposed target of five years. Addressing the media at the Railways’ Headquarters, he said that PR had earned more than Rs10 billion last year, which was a record. “PR earned an additional Rs500,000 during the first three months of the current fiscal year (FY20) compared with the same period last year,” he maintained. The minister expressed satisfaction over the signing of an agreement with China for the uplift of Main Line-1 (ML-1), saying that the project was a distant dream which was now becoming a reality. He said that more than 100,000 vacancies would be generated

through the ML-1 project and the PR would recruit employees from the previous 1.2 million applications so no new advertisement would be published. “PR is attaching four economy coaches with Jinnah Express Train on public demand and the fare of these coaches will be halved,” he announced. The minister said that turntables for locomotives had been installed at Premnagar Dry Port and Sahiwal, as the locomotives had to come to Lahore for turning their side which consumed several hours. He said that Nankana Sahib Express Train for Nankana Sahib Railway Station was being introduced to facilitate the Sikh community.

“Railways has successfully established a computerised command and control centre at the headquarters where officers could be able to monitor the movement of trains.” He said the ML-2 project, in which a standard gauge railway track would be laid, was also under consideration. The speed of the train would be 250 kilometres per hour on the ML-2, whereas the same on the ML-1 track would be 160km per hour. “As per the agreement with China, work on the ML-1 project will start next year,” he added. He thanked Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa for discussing ML-1 in his talks with the Chinese president.

LAHORE: Labourers repair Do Moria Bridge, one of the busiest passageways in the provincial capital. ONLINE

Govt urged to realise country’s tourism potential ISLAMABAD APP

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Engr Daroo Khan Achakzai said on Saturday that Pakistan could cope with the ongoing economic crisis by focusing on tourism, which has a huge potential and is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. He expressed these views while congratulating Discover Pakistan CEO Dr Kaiser Rafique for launching the first-ever tourism channel in Pakistan during a meeting in which United Business Group (UBG) Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik was also present, according to a statement issued by the chamber. Paying rich tributes to those who were working for the promotion of the tourism sector, the FPCCI president said that a little help from differ-

ent government departments could do miracles for the revival of tourism in Pakistan. “The tourism industry of Pakistan has the potential to turn the country into a hub of economic activity as the total contribution of the industry in the global economy is more than $7.58 trillion,” he added. He said the travel and tourism industry contributed just 2.7pc in Gross Domestic Production of Pakistan, adding that the chamber had already forwarded its proposals for the promotion of tourism sector to Prime Minister Imran Khan “who is also ambitious to transform Pakistan into tourism country”. Iftikhar Ali Malik said on the occasion that Pakistan needs to market itself as a tourism destination as it is endowed with beautiful landscapes and other attractions. He said Pakistan should learn a great deal from the initiatives taken by Muslim countries like

Malaysia, UAE, Dubai and other countries in terms of social, cultural and economic policies. He stressed the need to formulate a marketing and branding strategy for the tourism sector so that the soft image of Pakistan could be highlighted. Malik also appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts regarding the provision of an E-Visa facility to 175 countries and visa on arrival to 50 countries. “But we must also improve the travel and tourism infrastructure which was also pointed out by the World Economic Forum in September 2019.” Discover Pakistan CEO Dr Kaiser Rafique emphasised need to create awareness among the business community and investors about the huge potential of the tourism sector. “Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange in several countries like Switzerland and Sri Lanka. We must develop this sector to attract local and foreign tourists,” he added.

Global risk ‘confluence,’ as tariffs, Brexit, weaker forecasts collide WASHINGTON AGENCIES

Higher tariffs. Slower growth. The countdown to Brexit. Halloween is still two weeks off but a witching hour for the global economy could be near as new forecasts and new risks collide in the coming days. “You have a confluence of risk at the moment,” and the days ahead are especially crucial, said Simon French, chief economist with Panmure Gordon. The immediate concern: A new 25pc tariff imposed by the United States on some European food and beverage im-

ports due to take effect on Friday. Though a planned Oct 15 increase in tariffs on Chinese imports was avoided by progress in US-China trade negotiations, the higher European levies are still a $7.5 billion blow to those who like Italian cheese or Scottish whiskey. US economic growth is resting gingerly on healthy consumer spending, and economists have begun to worry that at some point the Trump administration’s escalating schedule of import duties will drive up retail prices enough to curb demand and slow growth.Globally, it may already be happening as the fallout from the US-China trade war gets felt more broadly.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank hold their annual meetings in Washington in the coming week, and it is expected the organizations will again mark down their estimates for growth in worldwide gross domestic product. National data is certainly pointing that way, with Germany possibly approaching recession and US factory output slowing. The IMF last summer trimmed its 2019 forecast by 0.1 percentage point, to 3.2pc, the slowest since the crisis era a decade ago. New data on eurozone and US industrial production, economic sentiment in Germany, and US retail sales are among

the major data releases in the coming week that could shed light on whether any broader weakness is taking hold. IMF and World Bank officials have cited the US-China trade dispute as the major drag that caused the global economy to switch from an era of synchronized growth to one of high and rising tariffs, slowing trade volume, and “deglobalization.” US and China negotiators on Friday agreed to the first phase of a trade deal, and Wednesday could mark proof of further progress. The Treasury Department is due to release its latest currency report. Though the document is often de-

layed, if it is released on time and a spirit of reconciliation is afoot, US officials may drop or water down the designation of China as a currency manipulator. Then there is Brexit, an event perhaps aptly due to come to a head on Halloween itself, which is the deadline for Britain to exit the European Union whether costumed in a compromise deal or not. EU leaders meet on Thursday and Friday to discuss the situation. Unless the UK Parliament approves a deal, or continues to reject a “no-deal” departure, the country on Saturday must seek EU approval for another 3-month extension to continue debate.



Sunday, 13 October, 2019

‘Shiq Number 6’


thE tubE

ovelists, playwrights, filmmakers all rely on a principle called suspension of disbelief. that’s the line that they must stay above during the telling of their stories. When watching Game of thrones, none of the millions of international viewers would have ever remarked how dragons never existed. none from those watching star trek would have hit up the physics books to check the plausibility of travelling through ‘hyperspace’ to traverse great distances. no, they are so invested in the very human conflicts of the characters that the dragons, the lasers, the bells and whistles are merely set dressing. even if a fan were to tell you that they enjoy a particular franchise only for the cool explosions and shiny cars, the explosions seem

cooler than they might be because they are invested in the characters. the suspension of disbelief also comes in handy when it comes to continuity errors or lapses in production value. none but the audio-visual nerds noticed how one of the Game of thrones sets had a starbucks coffee mug on a table. the viewers’ attention is somewhere else. something is out of focus? no problem. Camera shakes when it isn’t supposed to be a shaky camera sequence? no problem. the consumer’s investment papers over that. that can pose a problem when it comes of fake news. in particular, the weaponisation of fake news. You see those political parties, for instance, who put bits of fake news out into the internet realise that the immediate consumers of said content are going to be their supporters. they will suspend disbelief from the get go. then, they will keep sharing it till its increased repetition online will be taken as true even by those not as taken with the ideology of the party. During the panama hearings, a video, allegedly crafted by the social

Dania EhtEsham ZahiD

The writer is an internationally certified NLP Life Coach, who has been coaching top executives in the Middle East to founders in Silicon Valley. Based out of Dubai, she can be reached at


elationships contribute in many ways to who we are and how we see ourselves. they may bring us the greatest joys or be our hardest battles. some relationships tend to go way overboard and hang on the line of toxicity. a toxic relationship almost always involves abuse. a lot has been said and written on physical abuse in a relationship. Domestic violence was recently again at the forefront of news when a famous celebrity was exposed for physically abusing his wife. however, rarely do we acknowledge other kinds of abuse, as they; unlike physical abuse don’t leave marks-at least not any for the naked eye to see. these days the hum tv drama serial “Khaas” has made a lot of waves. a lot of women feel they can relate to it. the writer has highlighted a form of psychological abuse, which goes unnoticed even by the victim. the story of a newly married couple unfolds how the husband keeps degrading and belittling his wife. he makes fun of her appearance, her cooking and everything she does isn’t good enough; making her feel as a lesser being. all this while he seeks for approval and attention from others, putting up a goody two shoes act in front of everyone else. he showers her with expensive gifts but doesn’t give her what she actually needs: love and respect. the character of the husband “ammar” in the drama suffers from what psychologists call “narcissism”. such people believe that the world revolves around them and it results in a mild or extreme case of narcissistic personality disorder. narcissists can be very magnetic and charming. they are very good at creating a fantastical, flattering self-image. it’s a disorder observed not just in men but also in women. the following are some symptoms of this disorder: ● Grand sense of self-importance. ● living in a fantasy world that supports their illusions of grandeur.

media affiliates of the pti, had a white female newscaster breaking the news of the saudi arabian government finally deciding to investigate the sharifs’ accounts in their country. it was widely shared on social media by the pti’s supporters, prefaced with the likes of “this is huge!” and “even the saudis? lMao!” the news, obviously was fake. But it was very clear that it was fake. For starters, the voice was not syncing with the newscaster’s lips. second, it was clearly the tinny voice that one finds in the basic text-to-voice software packages. But disbelief was suspended completely and the video was even shared by individuals who should have clearly known better. the suspension of disbelief simply papered over the gaps. this was the case in the two recent, viral ‘leaked’ memos, one from the DC islamabad’s office and the other, internal memo of the JUi-F. the former pointed out the concerns of the citizens against the spread of homosexuality during the upcoming dharna of the Jamiat and the steps that the district administration

would take against it. Whereas, the second memo instructed the participants to engage in homosexual acts only after approval of their respective ‘amir’. Whoever fashioned these ‘memos’ certainly capitalised on the stereotypes against madrassa students, yes, but more on the negative feelings held against the maulana. Both the fake memos were quickly refuted by the DC office and the JUi-F. But whoever crafted the two seems to have put some thought into them. the spellings were all correct and the DC one used officialese whereas the JUi-F one used the sort of chaste yet effective Urdu that has come to symbolise the Jamiat (and the Jamaat.) this verisimilitude immediately made people dispense with any doubts. Which was ridiculous, because there was obviously no way either the DC or the JUi-F office holders had written it, given the content of the memos. next, can we see Maulana Fazl-urRehman being referred to as Diesel in

Peekaboo, i see you! ● ● ● ●

need for constant praise and admiration. sense of entitlement. exploit others without guilt or shame. Frequently demean, intimidate, bully, or belittle others. how might one develop this disorder has a lot to do with insensitive parenting, excessive criticism, abuse, trauma or high expectations. apart from these reasons, in a male dominated society and a love for the male child, it’s no surprise; this is, in various degrees, very common in our society. We raise our sons with a sense of entitlement. For them everything is allowed and accepted and we tend to over indulge them- as is the case with “ammar’. Keeping the drama “Khaas” in mind, what could saba have done to deal with her husband? leaving of course is an option but not all people can just pack up and walk away. also “saba” never realised what was going on and she was unable to communicate her problems. once a narcissistic person has been identified and if you realise you’ve been living with one, so now what? how does one go on to dealing with such a person? First step would be to recognise the red flags. how the cycle of narcissistic abuse goes. narcissists feel threatened whenever they meet someone who appears to have something they lack—especially those who are confident and popular. they’re also threatened by people who don’t become subservient to them or who challenge them in any way. their defence mechanism switches on to the contempt mode. the only way to do away with the threat is to put such people down. they may do it in a patronising manner or dismissive way as if to demonstrate how little the other person means to them. or they may go on attacking with insults, name-calling, bullying, and threats to force the other person back into line. a common form of abuse which narcissists use is called “Gas lighting”. this is used to control the other person. the manipulation happens gradually and over time the victim morphs into someone entirely different. the most confident human being can become a shell of a person without being aware of it in the process. the victim’s individual reality diminishes and becomes that of the abuser. How to catcH Gas liGHtinG: ● Blatant lying: they tell obvious lies. You know that they are lying. the issue is how can they lie with such ease. they setup an abusive pattern. You start to question everything and become uncertain of the simplest matters. this self-doubt is exactly what they want in you. ● Denial: You know they said what they said. however, they completely deny ever

saying it. they may push the point and ask you to ‘prove it,’ knowing that you only have your memory of the conversation that they are denying happened. it starts to make you question your memory and your reality. ● Using what you love against you: people who gaslight, use what is closest to you against you. if you love your job, they will find issues with it. if you have children, they may force you to believe you should never have had them or aren’t good enough for them. this abusive manipulation tactic causes the victim to question the foundation of them as well as what they hold close. ● love and flattery: a common technique of a person who gaslights is to tear you down and then build you back up with show of love and flattery, only to tear you down again. Whether you realise it or not, you are becoming used to being torn down. however, the praise may lead you to think that the abuser isn’t all that bad. ● Projecting: Whatever the gaslighter is feeling deep down inside; they project it on the victim. if the gaslighter is a liar and a cheater, they are now accusing you of being a liar and a cheater. or if they are insecure about something they will accuse you of being insecure. You constantly feel like you need to defend yourself for things you haven’t done. interestingly, they know you are already questioning your sanity. therefore, when they call you crazy, you believe it. What’s more, the gaslighter may also tell other people that you’re crazy. this way if you were ever to approach them for help with your abuser, they wouldn’t believe you. You’re too “crazy” to be taken seriously. “ammar” successfully sketched saba as the “villain” in his life. having identified the cycle of abuse, means it can be broken. Realising the problem is most of the time half the solution. the other half would include overcoming and detangling one’s self from the abuse suffered and making sure it’s not repeated and the victim doesn’t fall back into the cycle of abuse again. a few stePs tHat can Be taken to maintain ones sanity anD a HealtHy relationsHiP are: ● set healthy boundaries: healthy relationships are based on mutual respect and caring. But narcissists aren’t capable of reciprocating in their relationships. it’s not that they are just not willing; they truly aren’t able to reciprocate. they don’t see you. they don’t hear you. they don’t take into account the fact that you are someone who exists outside of their own needs as well. as a result, narcissists regularly violate the boundaries of

a JUi-F memo and we would be expected to believe in it because the ‘i’s were dotted and the ‘t’s crossed? the answer, of course, is yes, we will. if we were opposed to the JUi-F, we will believe it. the heavy lifting in this suspension of disbelief will be done not by the craftsmanship of the designers of the fake news, but our own biases. ********* in this era of ‘deepfakes’, expect this problem to get far worse than we can ever imagine at the moment. videos of political leaders, say, openly blaspheming, will be crafted in a matter of minutes on a smartphone. and, if a deft audio-visual designer uses a professional computer to the same effect, the resulting video would seem completely real to even the most discerning of viewers. specially if they hate those leaders. g

others. interestingly, they do so with an absolute sense of entitlement. ● make a plan: it’s not easy to take back control. Carefully consider your goals and the potential obstacles. What are the most important changes you hope to achieve? is there anything you’ve tried in the past with the narcissist that worked? anything that hasn’t? What is the balance of power between you and how will that impact your plan? how will you enforce your new boundaries? answering these questions will help you evaluate your options and develop a realistic plan. ● consider a gentle approach: You will have to tread softly. try to deliver your message calmly, respectfully, and as gently as possible. Your focus should be on how their behaviour makes you feel. if they respond with anger and defensiveness, try to remain calm. Walk away if it starts getting ugly. You can always revisit the topic. ● Be prepared for changes: a narcissist will feel threatened and upset by the changes being made in the relationship, since they are used to calling the shots. in an attempt to maintain the status quo, they may step up their demands in other aspects of the relationship, distance themselves to punish you, or attempt to manipulate or charm you into giving up the new boundaries. You need to stand firm. ● Don’t believe the narcissist’s version of ‘you’: Don’t let their shame and blame game undermine your self-esteem. Refuse to accept undeserved responsibility, blame, or criticism. that negativity is the narcissist’s to keep. ● Don’t argue with a narcissist: no matter how rational or how sound your argument is, the narcissist is unlikely to hear you. and arguing about the point may escalate the situation in an unpleasant way. Don’t waste your breath. simply tell the narcissist you disagree with their assessment and move on. ● know yourself: the best defence against the insults and projections of the narcissist is a strong sense of self. When you know your own strengths and weaknesses, it’s easier to reject any unfair criticisms levelled against you. ● Build your tribe: to avoid buying into the narcissist’s distortions, it’s important to spend time with people who know you as you really are and validate your thoughts and feelings. ● keep busy: pursue meaningful activities that make use of your talents and abilities. start a hobby, sign up for volunteer work or some job. the last three points are pretty much valid for any situation that life throws at you. these are key elements in leading a content and meaningful life. always remember you’re in charge and although circumstances and events may change you but don’t let them define who you are. Keep your power in your hands. swallow the bitterness and savour the sweetness! life never is complete unless you experience it all. g

Sunday, 13 October, 2019


NexT geNeraTioN SMellS fear afTer federer, djokovic exiT ShaNghai Shanghai



EFEATS for Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic mean that the winner of the Shanghai Masters will be aged 23 or under -- more proof that the next generation of men's tennis stars is closing in. With Rafael Nadal absent from the tournament with a wrist injury, none of the vaunted "Big Three" will win the title on Sunday. Nobody should be writing the triumvirate off: the 32-year-old Djokovic is number one and the player poised to take top spot off him in the coming weeks is the 33-year-old Nadal. The 38-year-old Federer is third in the world, while Nadal and Djokovic divvied up all four Grand Slams between them this year. But in making the last four in Shanghai, Stefanos Tsitsipas, 21, Alexander Zverev, 22, and the 23-year-olds Matteo Berrettini and Daniil Medvedev made a piece of history. For the first time in 20 years at a Masters 1000 event, all four semi-finalists are 23 and under, according to Shanghai Masters organisers. "They're knocking on the door big

time," Federer said after the 20-time Grand Slam champion was handed a penalty point in a three-set quarter-final loss to Zverev on Friday. Earlier in the week, before his title assault turned sour, the Swiss said that he had noticed "big improvements" in the performances of the next generation. "Not like there were none beforehand, but now they are playing with the big boys and really able to challenge us,

beat us," he said. "Having good rivalries also within each other, which I think is important for them to improve as players." The Greek Tsitsipas dumped out reigning champion Djokovic, who until that point had looked imperious in Shanghai and did not drop a set in winning the Tokyo title last week. Tsitsipas has now defeated Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in 2019. In an interview with AFP last month in Zhuhai,

southern China, the world number seven gave an insight into the mindset which propelled him to those victories. Tsitsipas drew accusations of arrogance after saying that he was not prepared simply to tread water and wait for Federer and the others to play themselves into retirement. "I don't think it's right to wait because you kind of surrender when you wait," he said. The young Greek made similar comments after turfing the Serb Djokovic out of the quarter-finals in three sets. "I think be more aggressive because once you get aggressive and they see that you're really going for it, I might even say they get scared," he said. If that was a bold claim, Tsitsipas also said: "I honestly feel like they are more threatened than I am." Zverev has long been mentioned as the "next big thing", and even though he has endured a poor season by his standards, the German feels that a generational shift is imminent. Asked if someone else other than Federer, Nadal or Djokovic can finally win a Grand Slam next year, he said: "I think so, to be honest. "(Or) maybe in the following year, but in the next two years, I think 100 percent."

Imbalanced England fail to match lofty expectations London Agencies

England suffered a first qualifying defeat in ten years as the Czech Republic served them a timely reminder of improvements the Three Lions must make if they are to contend at Euro 2020. Victory in Prague on Friday would have secured qualification for a tournament where England will enjoy home advantage for most of their games with London one of 12 host cities.

A 2-1 defeat is far from terminal for their chances of qualifying. Gareth Southgate's men have three more opportunities to get the job done and could do so as early as Monday with victory in Bulgaria if Kosovo also fail to beat Montenegro. However, much more than mere qualification is expected of Southgate and a talented young crop of players, who have raised hopes they can end England's long wait to win a major tournament by reaching the semi-finals of

the World Cup and Nations League over the past two years. Both those semi-finals ended in defeat to Croatia and the Netherlands in similar circumstances and, worryingly for Southgate, England made the same mistakes against far more meagre opposition in a Czech team ranked 44th in the world. In all three matches England took an early lead, but slowly lost control of the game in midfield before defensive failings resulted in 2-1 defeats. Even a hitherto perfect start to qualifying as England scored 19 goals in winning their first four games in Group A has masked defensive problems. Kosovo became the first side to score three times away in England in a qualifier for 12 years last month as the hosts edged an eight-goal thriller 5-3. "It's clear we've got to improve without the ball," admitted Southgate. Yet, the solution is not a simple one. England appear to have much more strength in depth than when reaching the last four of the World Cup 15 months ago. But there is an imbalance in the abundance of attacking talent available to Southgate and a paucity of defensive options. Danny Rose, Michael Keane and Harry Maguire were named in the

back four despite poor starts to the season at club level with Tottenham, Everton and Manchester United respectively. "There are players who are not playing well for their clubs, but that is the situation we are in at the moment, certainly in a couple of positions," admitted Southgate. Injury to John Stones and Joe Gomez falling down the pecking order at Liverpool has dried up options at centre-back. But Southgate's decision not to start Leicester's Ben Chilwell and an in-form Champions League winner in Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in the full-back positions was baffling. "I always have to accept responsibility," added Southgate. "We tried something to make ourselves more solid without the ball. That didn't happen." Chilwell and Alexander-Arnold are expected to return in Bulgaria, but Southgate must also find the right balance in midfield. The introduction of Mason Mount into an advanced midfield role left Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice outnumbered and overrun behind the Chelsea playmaker. Saturday's back pages of the English newspapers were littered with the same headline: "Reality Czech".

Medvedev reaches sixth final in a row with Tsitsipas win in Shanghai Shanghai Agencies

Daniil Medvedev reached a staggering sixth final in a row as he defeated fellow rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Shanghai Masters on Saturday. The US Open finalist from Russia plays Alexander Zverev of Germany or Italy's Matteo Berrettini in Sunday's decider as the next generation takes centre stage in China. The 23-year-old Medvedev, who has lifted three titles in a breakthrough 2019, beat Greece's Tsitsipas 7-6 (7/5), 75. Medvedev has now seen off the 21-year-old -- who defeated world number one Novak Djokovic on Friday -in all five of their matches. "It's something I could never have dreamed of," the world number four said of his sixth final on the trot. "I want to keep the momentum going and hopefully make it to seven or eight." The history was with Medvedev but there was nothing in it as he and Tsitsipas entered the first-set tie break after 43 minutes of high-quality tennis. Seventh-ranked Tsitsipas blinked first, gifting set point when he shanked a forehand and then doing the same moments later to put the Russian a set up. Medvedev broke the Greek -- who repeatedly tried to gee up the crowd -- in the third game of the second set. The Russian served for the match at 5-4, only for Tsitsipas to dig in and break for 5-5, before Medvedev did likewise. Tsitsipas smacked the ball out the court in a rage, before Medvedev sealed the semi-final win in the 12th game of the second set. "Same vibes, same thing all over again," said Tsitsipas of yet another defeat to the Russian. "I don't mean to be rude at all, but it's just boring. "It's so boring that I hate myself for putting myself into that kind of situation where I have to play in his own terms and not in my terms."

‘Super-human’ Kipchoge busts mythical two-hour marathon barrier Veinna Agencies

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge on Saturday made history, busting the mythical twohour barrier for the marathon in the "best moment" of his life on a specially prepared course in a huge Vienna park. With a time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first ever to run a marathon in under two hours in the Prater park with the course readied to make it as even as possible. "I'm the happiest man today. The message that no human is limited is now in everybody's mind," an elated Kipchoge told reporters after the run, adding he expected more athletes to reach his feat in the future. "From the first kilometres I was really comfortable. I have been training for it for the last four and a half months, and above all I have been putting in my heart and in my mind that I'll run an under two-hour marathon." The 34year-old already holds the men's world record for the distance with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec, which he set in the flat Berlin marathon on September 16, 2018. But accompanied by a posse of 41 pacemakers, who took turns to support him, and a car in front of them setting the

pace, Kipchoge bested his mark, making good on a failed attempt two years ago in Monza, Italy. Maintaining a very regular pace at around 2:50 minutes per kilometre, he passed the finish line gesturing and smiling, describing his approach to the finish as "the best moment of my life". The founder of the main sponsors, Ineos, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, took a personal interest in the challenge and himself competes in Ironman triathlons. "That last kilometre where he actually accelerated was super human," Ratcliffe said. Kipchoge had been 11 seconds in advance at mid-race as fans lining the course, many waving Kenyan flags, loudly cheered him on. Kipchoge's coach, Patrick Sang, said the Kenyan had "inspired all of us that we can stretch our limits in our lives". "Records are meant to be broken, so down the line someone will try again, but history has been made. It's unbelievable," Sang added. Kipchoge told reporters earlier this week that his attempt in the Austrian capital was about "making history in this world, like the first man to go to the moon". Because of the way the run was set up and paced the International Association of Athletics Federations will not validate the time as a world record. The running surface had

been partly retarred and readied with other features such as a banked corner that could save time and avoid injury. Pacemakers took turns to support him throughout the 42.195-kilometre (26.219-miles) race. They included 1,500-metre Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz and former world champion Bernard Lagat. The course included a 4.3 kilometrelong straight alley, which the Kenyan ran up and down several times amid dry but


foggy weather. Throngs of fans cheered on Kipchoge whenever he passed by. William Magachi, 33, from Nairobi, was one of many Kenyans watching. "It's amazing. He is a super human being, the positivity, what he has been able to achieve. "It's a record breaking moment. It never happened and may never happen again in my lifetime... I'm a lucky man." Another fan, Markus Parzer, 32 and from Vienna said: "It's absolutely amaz-

ing. I'm a runner as well, a hobby runner. Just running his pace for a few hundred metres, I can't do it longer. "This really shows the magnitude of what he achieved today... It's really history made here in Vienna." His number one fan, his mother Janet Rotich, was watching from her home in a village close to Babsabet in Kenya. "I am happy today because he has won...I thank him so much for this, for me, for Kenya and the world," she said. Kipchoge already tried in May 2017 to break the two-hour barrier, running on the Monza National Autodrome racing circuit in Italy, failing narrowly in 2hr 00min 25sec. But this time he said before the race that he was mentally stronger and more confident. The course had been prepared so that it should take Kipchoge just about 4.5 seconds more than on a computer-simulated completely flat and straight path, according to analysis by sports experts at Vienna University. In total, he only had to descend 26 metres in altitude and climb 12 metres, the experts said. The world marathon record has, for the past 16 years, been contested uniquely between athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia. The two nations are also fierce rivals for distance medals on the track.

Sunday, 13 October, 2019


We WaNT To play our parT iN briNgiNg crickeT back To pakiSTaN: irelaNd ceo dubLin



ARREN Deutrom, the chief executive of Cricket Ireland, has reiterated his interest in Ireland touring Pakistan after being in Lahore for the recent T20Is against Sri Lanka and being left impressed with the way the series went off. "First of all, we have been treated fabulously well," Deutrom said in the PCB's podcast. "The courtesy, the generosity, the hospitality, the warmth, the love of cricket is plainly obvious for anyone to see. Cricket Ireland is now a Test nation and we certainly feel it is important that we play our part in being a mature and grown-up member of the cricket family. "We want to play our part in assisting getting international cricket back in Pakistan." There is no free window - at least for the next eight months - to fit in a series, but Ireland are expecting to be invited to Pakistan within a year's time. Tom Harrison, the England and

Wales Cricket Board chief executive, was also in Pakistan during the T20I series against Sri Lanka in Lahore. Both he and Deutrom were given a walkthrough of the security arrangements made for cricket teams during international matches in the country. "To be honest, and just at a very human level, until you see it yourself, you come with a set of conceptions or preconceptions," Deutrom said, "And I think this visit, which was generously made at the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board, would begin to change

those perceptions." Sri Lanka were given presidentiallevel security over the course of the entire series, which began on September 25. When it ended, on October 9, their interim coach Rumesh Ratnayake said, "The doubt [over touring Pakistan] has been taken out now." Deutrom echoed similar sentiments. "What we saw in Islamabad and Lahore is the extraordinary lengths to which the cricket authorities, the security authorities, the government and police, everyone has been working

incredibly closely together to building that confidence," he said. "It begins to build a sense of 'okay, well, what are the reasons now to say why wouldn't we come if we have all these sensitive comforts provided to us'? So, it is the beginning, I believe, of a conversation. "We have a board meeting at the end of this month and would like to convey to the board what we have seen and the remarkable steps that have been taken to instil that level of confidence in other cricket boards around the world. We will do what we have always done, engage with our governments and insurers, and talk to our players. We will speak with the other boards that have been here in the past, obviously Sri Lanka Cricket, and then, we need to wait for an invitation. "When we receive an invitation, we will go through the motions and will take it extremely seriously. There is no date set. However, it wouldn't surprise me if that date or if that invitation was received by the end of the year for a tour taking place, perhaps next year, maybe the year after, I don't know. I think that's something we should take extremely seriously."

Andy Flower leaves ECB after 12 years in England set-up London Agencies

Andy Flower has left the ECB after 12 years at the organisation. Flower, who led England to their first men's ICC tournament win in 2010 and their first away Ashes win since 1986-87 later in that year, was first employed as Peter Moores' assistant coach in 2007. He became head coach in 2009, and after stepping down following the disastrous 2013-14 Ashes campaign, took up a role as 'technical director of elite cricket', giving him responsibility for the England Lions team. An ECB statement said that Flower had left "to pursue other opportunities", and he said that he would still be based in England. Flower described his time at the ECB as "a real privilege", and picked out

the World T20 win in 2010, the away Ashes win, and victory in the 2012-13 series in India as three highlights. Flower also gave his backing to new England coach Chris Silverwood. "I'm really happy for Chris that he's getting the chance to lead England and I think he's going to do a great job," he said. "I also want to wish Mo Bobat, the new performance director, all the best in his new role." Flower hinted that he was more likely to return to the game with a coaching role at a T20 franchise than in the international game. "I haven't had a sustained break for quite a long time," he said. "I will still be based in England and I will continue to watch English cricket very keenly - it has a very bright future." Flower's departure com-

pletes a major overhaul in the ECB's structure since the start of the year. Andrew Strauss stepped down from the team director role due to family reasons, and has become head of the cricket committee, while Ashley Giles has moved into his old role. Trevor Bayliss vacated the head coach role, which was filled by Silverwood, while David Parsons left his performance director role to be replaced by Bobat. Mark Ramprakash left his position as a batting coach, and reports have suggested that Kevin Shine (fast-bowling coach) and Peter Such (spin coach) are expected to leave their roles. Silverwood's backroom staff has yet to be announced, though it is expected that continuity, rather than upheaval, will be the order of the day.

Former chief selector for the Pakistan cricket team Syed Inzamam-ul-Haq and current head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq Khan Niazi chat at a local event. Zubair MehfooZ

Warner makes peace with ashes struggles after Shield ton Perth Agencies

David Warner put his bat away and banished a horror Ashes from his mind when he returned to Australia, convinced there wasn't much more he could have done to overcome the stranglehold the England attack - and chiefly Stuart Broad - had over him from start to finish. The five Tests brought him just 95 runs, the lowest tally for an opener to bat 10 times in a series, with 61 of them coming in a single innings at Headingley. Broad was his nemesis, removing him seven times with one of the most one-sided batsmen-bowler contests since in Test cricket. Warner exchanged notes with Broad after the series had finished and was full of respect for what he had been able to do against him, but secure in his mind that his game did not need a complete overhaul ahead of the Australia season - to such an extent that he only had his first net three days before New South Wales' opening Sheffield Shield match where he scored an excellent century at the Gabba. "Me and Harry [Marcus Harris] spoke about it. What can you do? If it's in your first 10 balls and you get a good one, you can't do anything," Warner said. "I spoke to Broady about the one he bowled me at Lord's and he said to me it's probably one of the best balls he's ever bowled, up the slope and nipping back in, it's very difficult to do that repeatedly. I look back at that and just forget about it." Broad's success against Warner came after the extensive work he had done on bowling round the wicket to left-handers, a tactic that has become a go-to for Broad over the last couple of years with impressive results. The Queensland quicks used that angle extensively - it appears he will see plenty of it in the future - and there were some moments of unease, especially against the tall Cameron Gannon. "It was pleasing to hear Broady, the way he spoke about how he was trying to get me out," Warner said. "You can't generally play for the one that nips back because he's actually just trying to bowl scramble seam and hoping one comes back.

India take 326-run lead despite Maharaj and Philander’s resistance SOUTH AFRICA 275 (MAHARAJ 72, DU PLESSIS 64, PHILANDER 44*, ASHWIN 4-69), YADAV 3-37) TRAIL INDIA 601 FOR 5 DEC (KOHLI 254*, AGARWAL 108, JADEJA 91, RAHANE 59, PUJARA 58, RABADA 3-93) BY 326 RUNS Pune Agencies

Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander, the lead spinner and senior seamer of the South African squad, were picked to do a job with the ball. But the pair frustrated India in the opposite discipline with a ninth-wicket partnership of 109 runs, South Africa's third-highest in the series, and may have staved off an innings defeat. Virat Kohli will able to sleep on whether he wants to put South Africa in again, 326 runs behind but he will have plenty to consider. His bowlers were in the field for 105.4 overs and South Africa's lower-order showed they are capable of making India work for their wickets. Kohli may also be wary of batting last on a surface that is taking more

turn, even if there is only an outside chance that India will need to chase a target. Either way, they sit in prime position to seal the series in the remaining two days and have asserted their dominance over a South African side whose quality remains in question. South Africa's top-order were beaten at their own game as India's seamers reduced them to 53 for 5. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami maintained a slightly fuller length and bowled to attacking fields, whereas South Africa's bowlers had erred on the side of too short and too wide, and the difference brought wickets. Nightwatchman Anrich Nortje was dismissed in the third over, caught at fourth slip and Theunis de Bruyn, who looked confident on the front foot for much of his 30 runs, ended up stuck in his crease, uncertain whether to move forward or back

to Yadav delivery and was caught behind. That brought South Africa's most accomplished pair, captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock together. They posted 75 runs, with du Plessis increasingly authoritative on the cover drive, but the resistance was broken when de Kock was bowled by an R Ashwin delivery that also tested his footwork. South Africa scored 100 runs in the morning session but the loss of three wickets and all but one of their top six batsmen saw them staring down the barrel of being asked to follow-on for the first time since 2008. It seemed certain that they would be asked to bat again as Kohli saved his quicks and kept his spinners on for 38 overs, but South Africa's tail had other ideas. Philander, who was coming off a pair in the first Test, faced 22 balls before he scored his first run, an indication that he was settling in for a long stay. With du Plessis having brought up his second halfcentury of the series and looking comfortable on the sweep as well, South Africa showed some fight but Ashwin made a timely breakthrough when he found du Plessis' outside edge with a delivery that went straight on. At 162 for 8, South


Africa's resistance seemed up but Maharaj and Philander stonewalled so well against a ball that was softening that they forced Kohli to bring back his seamers. Maharaj's effort was particularly impressive because he did it nursing an injury. He went down while fielding on the first day and was taken for scans on his right shoulder. They proved inconclusive so he returned for a second set of scans on Saturday and was cleared to bat, and make jaws drop. The team management certainly sat back and marveled as he scored a career-best 72 off only 132 balls.

It is, however, still unclear if Maharaj can bowl as the Test match drags on. The only chance of the entire partnership came when Maharaj, on 44, offered a return catch to Ashwin but the offspinner could not hold on his follow-through. Maharaj went on to a maiden Test fifty and his partnership with Philander leapfrogged the 91 runs put on by Dane Piedt and Senuran Muthusamy for the ninth-wicket in Visakhapatnam. They also faced the second-highest number of balls by any ninth or 10th wicket pair in India - 259.

Sunday, 13 October, 2019





DVISER on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Saturday said the difficult decisions taken by the government have started bearing positive results on the economic front. Addressing a news conference along with Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi here about the economic situation of the country, he said the government has overcome the fiscal and trade deficits. He said the trade deficit witnessed a decrease of 35 per cent and fiscal deficit 36 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Hafeez Sheikh said the current account deficit has been reduced to the record level. “For this, we struck agreements with the friendly countries as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.” He said Pakistan’s exchange rate and foreign reserves were standing at strong levels with sixteen per cent surge in revenues. He said that “0.8million additional people have come to the tax net”. The adviser said the government has not made any borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan over the last three months with the aim to control the inflation. He said the government didn’t take supplementary grants as there was a check on the expenditures. Sheikh said the non-tax revenue contributed Rs406bn in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. He said this was 140 per cent more than the last corresponding period, adding this was a big achievement. He expressed the confidence that the government would be able to raise Rs1600bn through non-tax revenue this fiscal year. Sheikh said the confidence of foreign investors was also increasing in Pakistan. He said there had been an additional 340m net portfolio investment. The adviser pointed out that the ex-

At least five injured in grenade attack in Kashmir's Srinagar amid India clampdown SRINAGAR AGENCIES

At least five people were injured in a grenade attack in India-controlled Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar on Saturday, police said, the second such attack since India stripped the Himalayan region of its special status. “Terrorists lobbed a grenade at HSH Street Srinagar,” Kashmir police said on Twitter. “All (injured) are stated to be stable. Area under cordon,” it said, adding that a search operation was underway. The attack took place in central Srinagar’s Hari Singh High street, and the victims are being treated at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, a police official and a staff member at the hospital said. They declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak publicly. Most shops at the attack site were shuttered Saturday as people have resisted opening them to protest against India’s move in August to scrap the special status the Jammu and Kashmir state had under the Indian constitution. There is anger and discontent among many in Kashmir over that decision. At the time, India blocked phone and internet across the region and sent in thousands of additional troops, imposing curfew-like restrictions to dampen discontent. India has said its move was essential to integrate Kashmir fully into India and spur development in the Muslim-majority region, which is also claimed by India’s arch rival Pakistan.

ports remained stagnant over the last five years. However, the exports were now increasing as a result of the support given to the industries in the form of subsidy on gas, electricity, and loans. The adviser said that the government also focused on overseas employment of Pakistanis to increase remittances. He said over 0.2m went abroad last year for employment while the number surged to over Rs0.3m this year. The adviser said that international financial institutions, including the IMF and the World Bank, were giving positive statements about Pakistan’s economy. Sheikh said the present government significantly cut its expenditures. Answering a question, the adviser said the government would unveil a comprehensive policy regarding Small and Medium Enterprises within two weeks. He said the policy will contain proposals of financing SMEs, incentives, ease of doing business and speedy approvals. Responding to a question, the adviser said the government agencies were

working in the union to ensure that Pakistan comes out of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list at the earliest. He said it was in Pakistan’s own interest to check money laundering. He said steps were being taken in various directions for the purpose, and so far over 20 of the total 27 points have been implemented. Sheikh said public welfare was the cornerstone of every economic policy of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. He said the government did not increase petroleum products for three months as the rupee was stabilised. Responding to a question, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi said dialogue with the trader community was progressing positively and there was no deadlock. To another question, the FBR chairman said that Pakistan also discussed with UAE authorities abuse of the use of Iqama by Pakistanis. He said the UAE government has agreed to provide details of Pakistanis’ properties there.

Iran says ready for talks with Saudi, with or without mediation TEHRAN AGENCIES

Iran is prepared to hold talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia, with or without the help of a mediator, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, ahead of a visit by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Asked about reports that Prime Minister Imran, due to arrive in Iran at the weekend, may try to mediate between Tehran and Riyadh, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: “I am not aware of any mediation,” according to state broadcaster IRIB. “Iran has announced that, with or without a mediator, it is always ready to hold talk with its neighbours, including Saudi Arabia, to get rid of any misunderstandings,” Mousavi added. Iran’s foreign minister signalled this week that his country would be willing to discuss regional issues with Saudi Arabia, but that Riyadh had to stop “killing people”. Saudi Arabia, which is locked in several proxy wars in the region with Iran, has blamed Tehran for attacks on Saudi oil plants on Septem-

ber 14, a charge Iran denies. The kingdom has said it prefers a political solution to a military one. IMRAN’S IRAN VISIT: Khan will embark on an official visit to Iran and Saudi Arabia as part of Islamabad’s efforts to defuse increasing tensions in the Middle East, diplomatic sources said Friday. He will on Saturday leave Islamabad for Tehran, where he is scheduled to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday. The prime minister will later in the day travel to Riyadh for meetings with the Saudi leadership. During Khan’s last visit to Riyadh, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had asked him to help defuse tensions with Iran, media reported. The announcement of the Pakistani prime minister’s visit comes after The New York Times quoted officials of Iraq and Pakistan as saying that the Saudi crown prince had asked the leaders of those two countries in recent weeks to speak with their Iranian counterparts about deescalation. In his interview with TRT, Zarif emphasized that Saudi Arabia needs to start good relations with its neighbors if it wants to be secure.

Xi, Modi see common challenge on 'terror' DELHI AGENCIES

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Indian host Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged at an informal summit to cooperate against “radicalisation”, after the Asian giants with historically prickly ties had exchanged sharp words over Kashmir. The seaside meeting aimed at mending relations after India irked China by its splitting of Jammu and Kashmir state into two in August. The decision will also make the area’s Ladakh region — part of which is claimed by Beijing — a separate Indian administrative territory.

India in turn has been enraged by China’s diplomatic backing for Pakistan, which controls a much larger part of the disputed Muslimmajority Kashmir region. But at their talks on Friday, the leaders acknowledged a common challenge, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said. “Both leaders said that these were large countries and that radicalisation was a matter of concern to both, and that both would work together to see that radicalisation and terrorism did not affect the fabric of our multicultural, multiethnic, multi-religious societies”, Gokhale told reporters.

Turkey intensifies Syria campaign as IS strikes Kurds ISTANBUL/BEIRUT AGENCIES

Turkey intensified its air and artillery strikes in northeast Syria on Friday in an offensive against Kurdish militia that has raised the prospect of a humanitarian disaster and questions about U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy in the region. The Kurds, who recaptured swathes of northeastern Syria from Islamic State with the backing of the United States, say the Turkish assault could allow the jihadist group to reemerge as some of its followers were escaping from prisons. In its first big attack since the assault began on Tuesday, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly car bomb in Qamishli, the largest city in the Kurdish-held area, even as the city came under heavy Turkish shelling. Five Islamic State fighters fled a jail there, and foreign women from the group being held in a camp torched tents and attacked guards with sticks and stones, the Kurds said. Turkey opened its offensive after Trump spoke by phone on Sunday with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and withdrew U.S. troops who had been fighting alongside Kurdish forces. On Friday, U.S. military officials denied accusations by lawmakers and policy analysts that the Trump administration had abandoned U.S. allies to a Turkish military onslaught. Turkey says its aim is to defeat the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as an enemy for

Turkey denies targeting US troops AKCAKALE: Turkey on Saturday denied targeting a US base in northern Syria after the Pentagon said its troops had come under artillery fire. “There was no shot fired whatsoever on the US observation post,” Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement to state news agency Anadolu. He said Turkey had returned fire on Friday after Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) shelled a Turkish border police station from hills located one kilometre (1,100 yards) away from the US observation post in Syria. The Pentagon said an explosion occurred “within a few hundred meters” of a US position near the Syrian town of Kobani, and warned that the US was prepared to meet aggression with “immediate defensive action”. Akar said: “All necessary precautions were taken so as not to damage the US post.” He said the Turkish forces had stopped firing “as a precaution” after the Americans contacted them. “Anyway, the necessary coordinations are being conducted between our command centers and the Americans,” Akar added. US troops pulled back from positions along the Turkey-Syria border last week ahead of a Turkish operation against Kurdish militants in Syria. The YPG was a close ally of the US in its fight against the militant Islamic State group but is seen by Ankara as a “terrorist” off-shoot of Kurdish insurgents in Turkey. AGENCIES its links to insurgents in Turkey. “Nobody green-lighted this operation by Turkey, just the opposite. We pushed back very hard at all levels for the Turks not to commence this operation,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told a news briefing, responding to criticism that Trump had given Turkey a tacit “green light” for its attack. An explosion occurred near a U.S. military outpost in northern Syria on Friday, but no personnel were reported hurt and the source of the blast near Kobane

was unclear, a U.S. official said. The Pentagon stressed the need for Turkey to avoid doing anything to endanger U.S. forces inside Syria, who numbered about 1,000 before the incursion. “The Turkish military is fully aware - down to explicit grid coordinate detail - of the locations of U.S. forces,” said U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Turkish Defense Ministry said it had taken all measures to ensure that no U.S. base was damaged while it re-

sponded to harassment fire that originated near a U.S. base in Syria.“There was no firing on the U.S. observation post,” it said. The firing was halted when the U.S. military alerted Turkish forces, the ministry said. ‘WILL NOT STOP’: Erdogan dismissed criticism of the assault and said it “will not stop ... no matter what anyone says.”U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump had made the right decision to move U.S. soldiers out of harm’s way. “Now our mission, the State Department mission, is to do everything we can using economic power, diplomatic power – all the tools available to us – to ensure that Turkey doesn’t do what Erdogan has said that they just may do,” Pompeo said in an interview with WKRN TV in Nashville, Tennessee. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump had authorized the drafting of “very significant” new sanctions against Turkey, a NATO ally. Washington was not activating the curbs now but would do so if necessary, Mnuchin said. Sanctions have been demanded by Republican congressional critics of Trump’s policy but it was unclear how effective they might be when Ankara had already committed troops to the incursion. “Turkey is fighting with terrorist organizations that create a threat to its national security,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement in response to the sanctions threat. “No one should doubt that we will retaliate ... to any step that will be taken against this.”

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