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thursday, 15 August, 2019 I 13 Zil Hajj, 1440 I Rs 17.00 I Vol X no 45 I 16 Pages I Karachi edition

eye for An eye g

ImRAn wARns IndIA of ‘seRIous consequences’ If AJK Is AttAcKed

Modi has committed a strategic blunder and played his last card over IOK, which will cost him heavily

ISLAMABAD

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staff report

s Pakistan is set to observe Black Day on August 15 [India’s Independence Day] to protest against Indian atrocities against the innocent Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned of stronger response from Pakistan in case of any misadventure by India from across the Line of Control (LoC). He said that wars were no solution to the issues, but in case it was imposed upon Pakistan, it would evoke a stronger response entailing serious consequences. The whole nation and its armed forces are ready to respond to any Indian aggression or miscalculation, he added. The prime minister was addressing a special session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on Wednesday wherein he endorsing the statement of AJK Prime Minister Farooq Haider. He said that the ideology of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) applied through Rashtriya swayamsevak sangh (Rss) would not merely end over IOK rather it could head towards Pakistan. He said that Pakistan had information that India planned to intrude into the AJK but “our armed forces are fully vigilant and battle hardened

to response to any miscalculation in a befitting manner”. PM Imran said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had more dangerous plans in order to divert the world’s attention from the grave situation in IOK. He said that the Pakistan armed forces were battle hardened and had given huge sacrifices in the long war on terror. “The whole nation is ready to face any challenge. We are ready to face all the challenges and will go to the last extent to defend ourselves, and will not bow before any threat,” he added. The prime minister said that in case of any aggression, the Muslims ought to respond with full might as they had no fear from death as manifested in the history in which they had defeated bigger enemies. He said that said that the Indian premier had committed a strategic blunder and played his last card over IOK which would cost him heavily. The Kashmir issue was being internationalised, he said, adding he had raised the issue with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and United states President Donald Trump. The world has now realised the dangers posed by the Rss ideology and the unilateral moves by India in the IOK, he added. He assured the AJK political

leadership and assembly that he took it as his responsibility to fight the case of Kashmir at all the world fora and would continue raising voice across the globe as its ambassador. senate Chairman sadiq sanjrani, National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam swati, Leader of House in the senate shibli Faraz, Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, Kashmir Committee Chairman syed Fakhar Imam, special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and special Assistant on Political Affairs Naeem ul Haq were present in the session. The prime minister said that he had tried to expose the real face of BJP through his tweets. The ideology imposed by its armed wing Rss posed very grave threat to the world and the region, and Modi had been its [Rss] member since his childhood, he added. The Rss ideology, which was inspired from Hitler’s Nazi party, considered Hindu race as supreme to all other minorities, the prime minister said, adding that the Rss was out to take revenge from the Indian Muslims, besides targeting Christians, sikhs and other minorities in India.

Army fully prepared

CONTINUED ON PAGE 03

STORY ON PAGE 03

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gen bajwa says ‘there Can never be a COmprOmIse On KashmIr’

STORY ON PAGE 03 more inside

Russia calls for Indo-Pak talks to resolve Kashmir issue STORY ON BACK PAGE

OIC urges world to take notice of IoK issue


CMYK Thursday, 15 August, 2019

02 NEWS

Govt, opp on same paGe over Kashmir as solidarity messaGes pour in ISLAMABAD

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STAFF REPORT

S the nation observed the 72nd Independence Day on Wednesday, solidarity messages from government and opposition leaders called attention to the plight of people in Kashmir in the face of recent actions by India. A day earlier, Pakistan asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to summon a session on the deteriorating

situation in occupied Kashmir, after India revoked its special status through a rushed presidential decree on August 5. In his message, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal BhuttoZardari said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Kashmiri brothers & sisters in their struggle to exercise their right to self-determination.” National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif said that “[the] current situation in occupied Kashmir required the attention of world leaders and

more importantly, it reminded Pakistani leaders of the true meaning of compassion”. “If not now when?” he asked. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in his Independence Day message, espoused the vision of founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah as he advocated the “right to self-determination” for Kashmiris. In a series of tweets, he said: “We stand united with the people of Kashmir and their right to self-determination.” “Pakistan has again reminded the UNSC of this inalienable right that is

Pakistan missions abroad celebrate Independence Day with national spirit NEWS DESK Pakistan embassies and high commissions around the world celebrated the country’s 73rd Independence Day with traditional enthusiasm and immense fervour on Wednesday. Ambassadors and high commissioners in their respective missions raised the national flags to the tune of the national anthem in ceremonies attended by the mission staff, their families and Pakistani community members. Moreover, messages from President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan were also read out in various ceremonies. An engaging ceremony was organised at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi, attended by a large number of the community members including women and children who sang national songs with national zeal. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE, Ghulam Dastgir hoisted the national flag at the embassy. While underscoring the role of Pakistani community in the UAE, the ambassador appreciated their

contribution in the development of UAE and the role they are playing in supporting the national economy and improving ties between Pakistan and the UAE. He also reiterated that the day is being celebrated with the conviction that it would be a harbinger of political, economic and social stability. Ambassador Asim Iftikhar Ahmad highlighted the efforts being undertaken by the government of Pakistan on various fronts to safeguard and promote the Kashmir cause. He said that a strong Pakistan and a vibrant nation are the best guarantee for effective action on Occupied Kashmir. Apart from the embassy, the Pakistani community also celebrated the Independence Day together with the Kashmir Solidarity Day in various events held in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. The 72nd anniversary of Pakistan was also celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm at the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday with a renewed pledge of full political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris in wake

of the latest Indian move to scrap special status of Occupied Kashmir. Naghmana Hashmi, Pakistan ambassador to China, hoisted the green and white flag while the national anthem was played. The messages of President Alvi and Premier Imran for Independence Day were read out by Deputy Head of Mission Mumtaz Zahra Baloch and Minister (Political) Amir Khan, respectively. To express China’s solidarity with the Kashmiri brethren reeling from latest Indian repression, she said the Independence Day is being celebrated as the Solidarity Day with Kashmiris. The envoy also appreciated the Chinese government’s support to the Kashmir issue, saying that China, during the recent visit of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Beijing, fully supported Pakistan’s stance and proved to be an iron brother and all-weather friend. “We are proud of our friendship with China,” she added. A simple yet dignified flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Embassy of Pakistan in Paris to celebrate

the Independence Day in solidarity with the brave Kashmiris and their just struggle for their right to self-determination. Ambassador Moinul Haque, in his address, said the unilateral and illegal act of India to bring changes to the status of IOK was in contravention of international law, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, bilateral agreements and pledges made by Indian leaders to the Kashmiri people. He further called upon the international community, especially the permanent members of UNSC to take notice of the human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir and play their role for the resolution of the long outstanding issue in accordance with the relevant Council resolutions. In line with the occasion, three Pakistani students were awarded Jinnah scholarships for their outstanding academic achievements. The Jinnah Award was instituted last year by the Embassy of Pakistan in France to acknowledge the academic achievements of Pakistani students in France.

All agreements with India abolished after Modi's Kashmir move: AJK PM MUZAFFARABAD INP

Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider has said that Kashmiris are looking towards Pakistan after India ended special status of Kashmir. Addressing the AJK Legislative Assembly, he said That all agreements with India had abolished after the actions taken by Modi and Line of Control (LoC) had become a ceasefire line now. He said that the next target would be Pakistan if Kashmir cause derailed. He said that Kashmir freedom movement was 500 years old.

He said, over 0.1 million lives have been sacrificed for Kashmir cause.

The AJK PM said that Ghulab Singh massacred people of Kashmir in 1832 and 40, 000 Kashmiris were forced to take refuge in Pakistan. He said, the journey to get freedom would continue. He said all those making propaganda against Pakistan would be ruined. He said Kashmiris long ago decided to live and die for Pakistan. Raja Farooq said that people of Kashmir were facing immense brutalities by the hands of occupied forces. He said, there is no difference in Hitler’s and BJP’s rule, adding that Kashmmiris are being deprived of food and medicine.

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their duty to protect, in a letter delivered to their President calling for an emergency session on Kashmir,” Qureshi added. While talking to media, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said that “without the independence of Kashmir, the independence of Pakistan was incomplete”. “The whole nation is standing in solidarity with Kashmir,” Awan said, adding: “Kashmir could not become a part of

India”. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stalwart Asad Umar hoped that “one day Kashmiris will also see the blessing of independence”. Earlier in the day, President Arif Alvi, while addressing a flag hoisting ceremony at the convention centre in Islamabad, has reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to stand with its Kashmiri brethren in their just right to self-determination. He said: “We are for Kashmiris and they are for us”.

Lodhi presents Qureshi’s letter to UNSC president urging meeting on IOK UNITED NATIONS APP

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi on Wednesday presented a letter from Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to the Security Council president asking for an urgent meeting on the grim situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Ambassador Lodhi presented the letter to UNSC President Joanna Wronecka. The president will now hold consultations with the member states and fix a date for the meeting. Meanwhile, Ambassador Lodhi began meeting the council members again to update them on the situation in occupied Kashmir. In another

development, Poland’s Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, who is also in New York, said he hopes India and Pakistan can work out a “mutually beneficially solution” after New Delhi revoked the special status of occupied Kashmir. Czaputowicz was in New York to address a Security Council briefing Tuesday on ”International humanitarian law – Seventieth anniversary of the Geneva Conventions: upholding humanity in modern conflict.” Later, Czaputowicz addressed reporters at the UN Security Council stakeout where he was asked that Pakistan has demanded the Security Council be briefed on the situation in occupied Kashmir following India’s decision to

scrap its special status and whether Poland supports such a request as the council president. Czaputowicz said he has had a “phone conversation” with India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the last few days. “We expressed concerns over current tensions between India and Pakistan resulting from the proposed changed status of Jammu and Kashmir. “Poland believes that the dispute can only be resolved by peaceful means and here we fully support the reaction of the European Union and statement issued by Federica Mogherini. “We are in favor of a dialogue between Pakistan and India to sort out the differences.”

Country to progress, Kashmir issue to be resolved under PM's leadership: Firdous ISLAMABAD APP

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Wednesday evening expressed confidence that Pakistan would progress and the Kashmir issue would be resolved under the bold and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The prime minister in his address to the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly earlier in the day had given a strong message to the Modi government to stop targeting people in IoK, who were struggling for their legitimate right of self-determination.She was ad-

Indian singer Mika Singh slapped with ban over Karachi wedding concert Indian singer Mika Singh, whose performance at a wedding in Karachi sparked outrage in his native country, has been banned by the AICWA. The film body, in a statement released on Tuesday, said that it had boycotted the singer’s association with the film production houses, music companies, and online music content providers. It further said that it will “make sure” no one in India works with the singer and that anyone who “violates the order” will face “legal consequences.” “When the

dressing the Kashmir Solidarity Day rally here at the D-Chowk, which taken out by the PTI from Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi.Dr Firdous said people of both Kashmir and Pakistan had strong will and spirit, who could not be afraid of use of force by India. The whole nation was standing by the Kashmiris struggling for their just right of freedom from the Indian clutches, she added.The special assistant said the agenda of Indian sub-continent’s partition would remain inconclusive without liberation of the IoK.She said the prime minister would highlight the Kashmir cause at every fora, assuring the people of Kashmir that Pakistan would not disappoint them and never leave them alone. tension between the countries is at the peak, Mika Singh puts money above the nation’s pride,” the film association said. The body has also sought the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s intervention in the matter. Mika performed at a family event of a cousin of former president Pervez Musharraf. The singer, reportedly, charged a staggering $150,000 for the gig. As soon as a video of the event made its way to social media, the netizens started bashing Mika left, right and center. It is worth mentioning that Mika’s performance comes at a time when the relations between India and Pakistan have hit at a new low. India’s decisions to scrap Article 370 of the constitution and bifurcate the occupied territory of Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories have not gone down well with Pakistan. NEWS DESK


CMYK Thursday, 15 August, 2019

army fully prepared to play its part for Kashmir Cause, says Gen Bajwa RAWALPINDI

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STAFF REPORT

HIEF of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday said the Pakistan Army is fully prepared to play its part “in line with its national duty” for Kashmir cause. “Reality of #Kashmir was neither changed by an illegal piece of paper in 1947 nor will any other do it now or in the future. Pakistan has always stood by Kashmiris against India’s hegemonic ambitions, will always do. There can never be a compromise on #Kashmir,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor said quoting the army chief in a series of tweets. Gen Bajwa said that Pakistan “shall stand in the face of tyranny, regardless of the cost. Pakistan Army is fully alive to the sanctity of Jammu & Kashmir

and will remain fully ready to perform its part in line with our national duty for Kashmir cause”, COAS on Independence & Kashmir Solidarity Day.” Pakistan is celebrating its 72nd Independence Day as Kashmir Solidarity Day as part of the government’s deci-

sion to show solidarity with Kashmiris. In their solidarity messages, the government and opposition leaders have lent “unconditional” support to occupied Kashmir. Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) legislative assembly, said that the Indian government’s decision to revoke Article 370 and strip occupied Kashmir of its ‘special status’ was a strategic blunder. The premier observed that “we are facing a dangerous ideology of RSS which was inspired by the Nazi party of Hitler. RSS followers considered themselves superior to other nations in India.” “The RSS ideology hates religious minorities including Muslims and Christians and considers them as a stone in their path. “Ethnic cleansing of Muslims is also included in their agenda,” he warned. On Tuesday, Pakistan asked the

United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to summon a session on the deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir, after India revoked its special status. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote a letter to the UNSC president, asking that the Indian act, which is unconstitutional and against the conventions of the United Nations, should be discussed in a session. During a news conference, Qureshi said he had conveyed to his Indian counterpart, S. Jaishankar, that New Delhi’s stance of revoking Article 370 being an internal matter had been dismissed by Islamabad. “I said this was not right and Pakistan dismisses this stance. Occupied Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute. There are several UNSC resolutions on this and making those as the basis we have decided to once again go to the UNSC,” Qureshi said.

Pakistan stands with Kashmiris, says Alvi ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

President Arif Alvi on Wednesday reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to stand with its Kashmiri brethren in their just right to self-determination. While addressing a flag hoisting ceremony at the Convention Centre in the federal capital, President Alvi, who was the guest of honor, said that “we are for Kashmiris and they are for us”. “Their plight and affliction affect us,” he added. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan were in attendance. President Alvi noted that immediately after the abrogation of the Article 370 of the Indian constitution by the BJP government, Pakistan suspended bilateral trade, downgraded diplomatic relations and decided to take the issue to UN Security Council. He further said the joint resolution of parliament on August 7 condemned the “unilateral and illegal steps” taken by India to change the disputed status of Kashmir. He added that Pakistan does not accept the attempts to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory. Alvi said India has not only violated the UN resolutions on Kashmir but also thrashed the Shimla agreement of 1972. “The Indian act of changing the status

cONTINUED FROM PAgE 01 The RSS thought that the Hindus could have been a greater nation if they were not ruled by the Muslims rulers in India, he said. PM Imran said that the RSS extremist thoughts went on spreading after the horrific incidents like the Babri mosque, and lynching of Muslims and cow eaters. He said that with sending more troops, imposing curfew and expulsion of tourists and Hindu yatrees from IOK, the Modi government had sent waves of fear across the globe. The prime minister said that after the Nazi movement and the disastrous consequences of the World War II, the world had formed the United Nations (UN) to protect the weaker nations against the powerful and stop wars. He said that in case of any misadventure or violation by India, the world community would be responsible for it. After the current situation in IOK, the UN was put on trial as it had to implement its 11 resolutions passed by its Security Council

quo contravenes the Shimla Agreement,” he said. The president asserted that the presence of nine hundred thousand troops has made Kashmir the highest militarized zone. He said the blocking of communication and freedom of expression is a serious violation of human rights of Kashmiris. He said India has also been violating the ceasefire agreements by firing and shelling on civilian populations along Line of Control. He urged India to stop the brutal treatment in Kashmir, grant communication access to Kashmiri people and restore civic and social liberties of the people of the occupied territory. He said Pakistan is a peaceloving country and it wants to resolve

the issue of Kashmir through negotiations and dialogue. However, India should not misunderstand our policy of peace as our weakness. Alvi asserted we do not wish war but we will fully defend ourselves if war is imposed on us. The war will not be limited between the countries, rather its impact will be felt in the whole world. He urged India to be reasonable. The president also asked the nation to fully utilize social media to expose the heinous crimes committed by India against Kashmiris. President demanded human rights arm of the UN and OIC to constitute an inquiry commission to probe the human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. Arif Alvi appealed

youth of the nation to value the country as a blessing and never forget the sacrifices of our great leaders. He urged the youth to devote themselves to the development and reconstruction of the country. He also asked them to be proud of their social values. He paid rich tributes to sacrifices and dedication of armed forces of Pakistan. He said they have never let any damage done to the country by displaying their courage and professionalism. Mashaal Malik, the wife of detained Kashmiri leader Mohammad Yasin Malik, also addressed the event during which she shared a poem she wrote about the freedom struggle of people under Indian occupation in Kashmir.

Eye for an eye over the Kashmir issue and to safeguard the Kashmiri people against Indian aggression and atrocities, he added. He said that some 1.25 billion Muslims were looking towards the UN to ensure Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. The prime minister also referred to the heroic struggle of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who wanted freedom for all the people in the subcontinent, but soon realised the Hindu mindset and launched movement for a separate homeland for the Muslims. He also expressed his displeasure over the use of language by the UP chief minister about Muslim women and others for Kashmiri women. Such language, he said, exposed the sick mindset which lacks civilised manners. Certainly, it was reflective of the RSS ideology, which was responsible for carnage and destruction in India, he added. The premier said that the image of India as

a secular and tolerant society had been tarnished by that ideology. India had rejected its constitution by scraping Article 370, though that provision had no significance for Pakistan, and also went against its supreme court’s verdict. He said that the judges in India had been under constant fear. The Modi government had controlled media, which was stirring war hysteria and involved in Pakistan’s bashing and the opposition parties could not raise their voice in the Indian parliament, he added. The prime minister noted that when ruling elite became haughty or rule of law was eroded in societies like in India, it damaged the civilisations turning states into banana republics. He said that India could not survive under RSS threats as it had marginalised different races and religious minorities giving rise to radicalisation. The prime minister said that now

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even pro-Indian elements were openly endorsing Quaid’s Two-Nation Theory and referred to the admission of Farooq Abdullah. “The RSS genie has unleashed itself and will soon haunt down Sikhs, Dalits and others,” he warned. The prime minister expressed his dismay over Modi’s declaration that the recent unilateral and illegal steps in the IOK would bring prosperity in the disputed valley, and said that such attempts to subjugate the Kashmiris were similar to the moves taken by Hitler against Russia. He said that with imposition of curfew and restriction on movements, besides, sending additional troops, how could the Modi government think of bringing prosperity in the disputed state. He also termed it “a betrayal with Kashmiris”. The Modi government had no regard for the international commitments and Simla Agreement, he added. The prime minister said that now the RSS controlled the whole country. War is no solution to the issues rather it could give

NEWS

03

oiC urges world to take notice of ioK issue The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the complete lockdown in Occupied Kashmir by Indian forces even on the auspicious occasion of Eid. “The reports of curtailment of religious freedoms of Kashmiri Muslims in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and denying Eid congregations and preventing Kashmiri Muslims from observing religious rituals are condemnable,” said OIC in a statement. The statement further read that: “Denial of religious rights constitutes a serious violation of international human rights law and is an affront to Muslims across the world. Therefore, the OIC urges Indian authorities to ensure the protection of the rights of Kashmiri Muslims and the exercise of their religious rights without any hindrance.” The OIC also called upon the international community, including the United Nations and other relevant bodies, to increase efforts for a negotiated settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. NEWS DESK

pakistan summons indian envoy over loC violations ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control at Hot Spring Sector. According to a statement issued by Foreign Office, 38year-old Sarfaraz Ahmad, a resident of village Laychayal, was martyred by Indian firing. Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate these and other incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and Working Boundary. STAFF REPORT

indian peace conference calls for an end to atrocities in ioK ISLAMABAD: A peace conference titled ‘Hindustan-Pakistan Dosti Manch’ was held in Amritsar, India, on account of Pakistan’s 72nd Independence Day, wherein Indian government was urged to end its atrocities in IOK. Folklore Academy and Safma India, in a joint press conference, called on the Indian government to reverse the recent steps taken to change the disputed status of IOK in order to stop repressing the Kashmiri people. It also asked the Indian government to enter negotiations to resolve the longstanding dispute. STAFF REPORT

rise to serious consequences, he added. The premier said that the Government of Pakistan had decided to file a petition with the UN over the IOK situation and would approach every available forum. They would also approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ), he added. He said that in the upcoming UN General Assembly session, the world body would witness a huge public support for the Kashmir issue which it had never experienced in the past. He said that they would repeatedly remind the international community of its responsibility in the IOK through effective diplomatic efforts. The prime minister said that Modi did not realize that the Kashmiris were now a fearless nation after facing Indian atrocities for decades, and after playing his last card, his government had paved the way for freedom of Kashmir. PM Imran also regretted that in the past, he had made efforts for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue with India, but those were not reciprocated in the same spirit.


04 KARACHI

Thursday, 15 August, 2019

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IndIan aggressIon threat to regIonal peace, says sIndh cM KARACHI

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national unity to expose the India aggression to the International community,” he said and added the Indian government has banned media coverage in held Kashmir but even then we have to raise our voice to expose them. He termed the statement [of foreign minister] that ‘we may not be welcomed in United Nations’ as a manifestation of `giving up’ much before contesting the case, but he warned we would never allow you to give up and even if you did our party leadership with the support of nation would contest the case”. He recalled when Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had taken the case of India aggression in the United Nations he was all alone and had no international support but with his statesmanship and political wisdom he gathered international support and pleaded the case vigorously.” Mr Shah said that this was the reason he was

STAFF REPORT

INDH Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Indian aggression and atrocities in held Kashmir is a threat to peace in the region, therefore, the United Nations must summon its session to stop killing of innocent Kashmiri people, including women and children. This he said on Wednesday while talking to media just after paying homage to Father of Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah by laying floral wreath on his grave, offering fateh and recording his impressions in the visitors’ book. He said that killing of innocent people in held Kashmir and denying their rights were sheer violation of UN resolutions. “We have to forge and demonstrate

calling for national unity. Replying to a question he said that the federal government in violation of human rights and Jail manual shifted ailing Faryal Talpur from hospital to Adiyala Jail in late hours. He termed it a dictatorial attitude. To another question, Murad Shah said that despite heavy rains he, his cabinet members, administration and local bodies and civic agencies remained on roads continuously for days, including ofChand raat (Eid Night) to help people. “We managed to drain out water from the roads and low lying areas of Madras Society, Scheme 33, Yousif Goth of District West and Sindhi Muslim Society,” he said. He added that now all the roads were clear. To another question, Mr Shah said that the water accumulated in front of KMC head office was drained out by Sindh gov-

ernment. “We all, including Mayor Karachi worked hard,” he admitted and said he would not do politics and blame game on the civic service in Karachi. Homage to Quaid: Sindh Chief Minister said that he along with his cabinet members has come to visit Mazar-eQuaid to pay respect and homage to father of nation. He was a great statement and true leader who liberated Muslims of sub-continent from the hedge money of Hindus and gave us a separate country. “Now it is our duty to protect this beloved country from our enemies and work hard for its prosperity,” he said. He laid floral wreath on the mazar, offered fateh and recorded his impressions in the visitor’s book. He then went

to courtyard of the Mazar where diplomates of different countries were seated. He met with them and also met with school children who kep singing national songs during the ceremony. Earlier, the chief minister performed flag hoisting ceremony. When chief minister reached the Mazar he was received by his cabinet members, Saeed Ghani, Mukesh Chawla, Murtaza Wahab, Special assistants Waqar Mehdi, Rashid Rabbani, Nawab Wassan, Syed Qasim Naveed, acting Chief Secretary M. Waseem and IG Police Dr Kaleem Imam. On the way back to CM Houe, the chief minister stopped at People Secretariat and met with party workers and had photo selfies with them.

KU holds impressive ceremony on Independence Day KARACHI APP

KARACHI: A view of a street submerged in water after heavy rainfall flooded various parts of the city. INP

FIR lodged against KE over three deaths KARACHI APP

The heirs of three persons died of electrocution after allegedly touching KElectric (KE) pole during recent rains lodged a First Information Report (FIR)

against the K-Electric in Darakhshan Police Station in the presence of Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar, according to a statement issued from Mayor's Office on Wednesday. The complainants have sought action against the persons responsible for negligence under Section

322, 268/34. Talking to the media, Wasim Akhtar said citizens could not be left on the mercy of organisations like the K-Electric. He said FIRs should be lodged for other deaths in the city as well, adding a case would be filed in the Supreme Court in light of these FIRs.

Pakistan is at cross roads facing various challenges for which everyone needs to play his part as a responsible citizen of the motherland. These views were expressed by Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi, Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi on Wednesday, said a statement. He was addressing the audience during an impressive ceremony after hoisting the national flag held in front of the new administration building. The VC KU said the welfare state's dream could only be fulfilled if we follow Quaid-e-Azam's guiding principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline. "We can get the highest rank in the international community by carrying out our duties faithfully," he said. He said it was due to the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and two-nation theory that we were living in a separate country, and our forefathers had sacrificed their lives and properties for this Islamic state. Earlier, the program commenced with recitation from Holy Quran and Naat-eMaqbool (SAW) after which audience observed one-minute silence to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and later national flag was hoisted by KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi in presence of a large number of students, along with Deans of various faculties, directors of institutes and centres, heads of academic departments and teaching and non-teaching staff.

The lawn in front of the new administration building was decorated with national flags as well as Kashmiri flags, balloons of green and white colours to celebrate the auspicious national event in the wake of Independence Day. The KU observed the Independence Day with the promise to work hard to develop stronger and prosperous Pakistan with prayer for the freedom of Kashmir. In another program, arranged by the KU Student Adviser Office, faculty members of Confucsis Institute, KU, specially attended the event and presented Chinese national anthem and Pakistani national song. As many as 200 students, who have represented the KU and won laurels for the university in different co-curricular competitions nationally and internationally, were awarded with the gold medals and certificates by KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi. The KU students presented national songs, speeches and drama on migration and for the first time Kashmir national anthem, written in the mid-1960s by Abu-AlAsar Hafeez Jullundhri, was also presented during the program. A national song composed, written and sung by the students of the Karachi University was also presented on this occasion. Later, Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi and Registrar Professor Dr Saleem Shahzad led the rally from new Administration Block till Azadi Chowk to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir. The Karachi University bus service (points) remains operational to facilitate students and visitors.

Independence Day celebrated with fervour in Hyderabad HYDERABAD APP

The 72nd independence day of Pakistan was celebrated here on Wednesday morning with a national flag hoisting and cake cutting ceremony held at the secretariat of Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA). The Commissioner Hyderabad Muhammad Abbass Baloch, AIG Hyderabad Waliullah Dal, DIG Hyderabad Naeem Ahmed Shaikh, Deputy Commissioner Syed Aijaz Ali Shah and SSP Sarfaraz Nawaz Shaikh raised the flag and cut the cake. The flag of Kashmir also hoisted along with the country's flag as the nation observed a day of solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Kashmir. Speaking on the occasion the Commissioner said Pakistan was a peace loving country where the people belonging to different religious, ethnic and sectarian identities live a life of peace, harmony and freedom.

"On the other hand Indian has exposed its ugly face to the world by unleashing terror on the millions of Muslims who live there speciality the Kashmiri," he said. He said the people of Pakistan stand in solidarity and support with their Kashmiri brothers, adding that Pakistanis would raise their voice in support of Kashmiris on all platforms. The Deputy Commissioner said the human history testified that whenever the political movements were suppressed with an iron hand those movements ended up becoming more stronger. "God willing the Modi government will also face failure," he said, adding that the reign of cruelty and terror would not last longer and the aspirations of Kashmiris would soon be accomplished. Shah noted that most people tended to think that what Pakistan had given to them. "But the country will only make progress by leaps and bounds when the people will begin to think what have they

given to the country," he underlined. Commenting on the recent partial submersion of Hyderabad in the rainwater, the DC said the plastic bags choked most of the drainage network in the city owing to which the drainage exercise

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took longer time. He informed that the provincial government had recently banned the polythene bags, assuring that the ban would be fully implemented in Hyderabad. Shah appealed the people that the

way they kept their houses neat and clean they should replicate the same approach towards their neighbourhoods as well. The AIG Hyderabad Region's police Waliullah Dal observed that freedom was a huge blessing which the people should acknowledge. "Kashmir is a part of Pakistan and would remain so," he emphasized. He noted that the Indian atrocities over the innocent Kashmiri people were not hidden from anyone. "We resolve on this independence day that we will stand in good stead with our Kashmiri brothers in their difficult times," he said. The DIG Hyderabad Naeem Ahmed Shaikh said Pakistan was a nuclear power and that the country's armed forces and other institutions were also strong enough to defend the motherland. The SSP Hyderabad also addressed the ceremony. The students of schools and colleges sang the national anthem and performed tableaus on the occasion.


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

NEWS

05

rethinkinG water and urban deSiGn w MOEEN KHAN

ITH the monsoon season now in full swing, residents of major urban centers in Pakistan will have to see sights they are all too familiar with – choked sewerage, overflowing gutters, blocked traffic and flooded streets. As inconvenient as these problems may be, there is much more at risk than what meets the eye. With rising population, disordered urbanization, lack of environmentally sensitive policy-making, dwindling water resources, and climate change, major cities like Lahore are certain to find themselves in a precarious situation in the future if remedies are not introduced on an urgent basis. Lahore’s single aquifer, for example, provides most of the water used for domestic purposes but the water table is declining by 2.5-3 feet per year due to over abstraction. Much can be done to efficiently manage water resources in urban environments. Systematizing domestic water use, developing a well-planned water management system, introducing environmentally sensitive building technologies, and changing cultural norms dictating water use are important facets of such an approach. This is especially urgent if climate change resilient cities are to be developed in Pakistan. URBAN DESIGN: Consider the manner in which major cities in the country are currently being developed. The two largest cities in the country – Lahore and Karachi, have lost greenery to urban sprawl. Both cities have also become concrete hardscapes that have brought about a new set of problems including, but not limited to, urban runoff and soaring temperatures during summers due to changing microclimate. CONCRETE JUNGLE: Take Lahore and consider how asphalt and concrete infrastructure is being built with little to no attention paid to the environmental impact. During the monsoon (or even the occasional showers) sewerage systems are overwhelmed and valuable rainwater is simply discharged into sewers. This, despite the fact that virtually nothing of the water seeps down into the aquifer because there is very little open soil to absorb the moisture. Bear in mind that groundwater is also the primary source of water for a city of 12 million people, a resource that is being depleted at an alarming rate. There are a number of solutions that have successfully been adopted by cities

around the world. Roads, pavements, parking lots and other similar structures are now being built with pervious concrete and porous concrete. Instead of causing flooding or being discharged into the sewers, such construction materials allow valuable rainwater to seep through to the aquifer. In other words, a simple change in material use and design prevents urban flooding and stores water for future use, all with virtually the same structural integrity. While the initial costs are higher as compared to conventional concrete/ asphalt, the porous variety is significantly more affordable in the long run. With a life expectancy of around 20 years, it has lower installation and lifecycle costs and does not necessarily require investment in stormwater management infrastructure such as stormwater gutters. There are other advantages associated with such a design approach as well. Reduced water on roads during rainfall decreases the likelihood of traffic accidents. Here is an example of how efficient porous asphalt roads are at preventing runoff. Concrete or asphalt infrastructure also absorb more heat during the daytime and emits it during the night. According to studies, hardscapes are among the pri-

mary reasons why microclimate in a city is 3-4 degrees higher than surrounding areas, a phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. However, simple design changes, such as painting the surface in a brighter colour helps to reflect most of the heat absorbed from sunlight, thereby fighting off the heat island effect. The advantages, such an approach offers, are not just limited to water use either. Lower temperatures translate to reduced energy consumption and reduced risk of heat-related illnesses/mortality for the elderly, young and poor. The design thinking extends to residential infrastructure too. Pavements and parking areas in residential areas are also built using conventional concrete. However, environment-friendly designs for such structures are now widely being adopted as well. Not only designs, like a grow-through pavement, are aesthetically pleasing, but they also help absorb rainwater (or even domestic water) and keep temperatures cooler. ROOFTOP DESIGN: With average temperatures rising owing to climate change, urban areas will become dangerously hot, leading to a sharp spike in water and energy consumption. It is of urgent importance to introduce wide-scale strate-

gies to circumvent the impending threat if cities are to cope with such stress. One effective way to do this is to alter the manner in which the roofs are designed. Simply painting the roofs in white colour can reduce air temperatures above the building by a margin of several degrees. Similarly, green roofs – covering the roof with vegetation, are not only pleasing for the senses and reduce stress, but can help to decrease the temperature inside the building, combat urban heat island effect, help in noise reduction, cut back on carbon emissions, improve biodiversity and air quality. Most of the rainwater is retained by the soil instead of being discharged into the sewers or streets, thereby providing an excellent rainwater management strategy. Excess rainwater can also be stored in a water tank for later use. Even vegetated mats and plugs have been designed for rapid deployment of green roofs at a massive scale. There are also financial advantages associated with the design philosophy. Green roofs are estimated to increase the life of a roof by 200% and have the added effect of reducing energy consumption due to lower demand for air conditioning. Another landscaping design similar to green roof is the concept of green wall. Dubbed the ‘Living wall’ – the idea is to

grow vegetation on the walls of a building. The method provides many of the same benefits as green roofs and is highly efficient in reducing building temperature and absorbing water. In cities across the world, community-driven projects have been initiated to allow residents to grow food on roofs as well. Such a technique has the added advantage of providing valuable household income for the poor. Given the threat of climate change, civic bodies around the globe have progressively introduced policies, technological solutions and changes to the manner in which urban centers are developed and organised. Pakistan, a country that is among states most threatened by climate change, has given scant attention to the matter. Of course, the solutions mentioned here are by no means exhaustive nor comprehensive, doing so is beyond the scope of this writing. The aforementioned designs and systems have as much to do with preventing urban flooding as with ensuring that valuable water resources are preserved, that urban temperatures remain under control in a rapidly warming planet, and that a conscious approach regarding urban design is integrated into a cohesive urban development policy as part of Pakistan’s climate change risk management strategy.

Islamabad traffic police issued 31,790 tickets in July alone ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) issued 31,790 fine tickets to road users over four major violations during the last month, a police spokesman said. He said that A special campaign is underway to check violations while various squads headed by Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Farrukh Rasheed are performing duties at main roads of the city and taking action against the violators. A police spokesman said in

July that action was taken against 15,851 motorcyclists for not using helmets, 8,318 motorists for not fastening seat belts while driving, 2045 motorists for using mobile while driving and 5756 motorcyclists without front and rear lights and signals. SSP Farrukh Rasheed said that campaign is underway to ensure disciplinary traffic system in the city and he also appealed the citizens to follow rules. He said that three loudspeakers’ fitted vehicles having an announcement system are imparting road safety tips to citizens at all the important signals

and give them awareness about traffic rules. He said that ITP personnel have been directed to ensure implementation on traffic rules and regulation irrespective of status and demonstrate patience and politeness while issuing traffic violation tickets to the road users. He said that ITP is utilizing all available resources to facilitate the general public. The force issues traffic violation tickets, not as a punitive measure but the purpose is to ensure a safe road environment in the capital and secure the lives of the people.

Six killed aS boundary wall collapSeS in GilGit KARACHI: Pakistan Navy cadets march during the guard ceremony held at Quaid’s Mausoleum on occasion of Pakistan’s 72nd Independence Day. ONLINE

GILGIT: Six people died and 13 suffered injuries late on Tuesday night after a boundary wall collapsed in GilgitBaltistan. The incident occurred when the Independence Day celebrations were underway. “Six are confirmed dead, while three others are in critical condition,” a hospital source said. According to witnesses, people had climbed a boundary wall to watch the Independence Day celebrations when it collapsed due to the weight of the people. “I saw people, including women and children, buried under the debris,” a witness said. The rescue operation was launched immediately after the incident and the injured were shifted to a nearby hospital. STAFF REPORT


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

06 WORLD VIEW

NEw York timEs

e

SAmeer YASir And JeffreY GettlemAn

ver since Indian Occupied Kashmir’s autonomy was suddenly revoked last week, raja Mohi-ud-din, an editor at one of the few Kashmiri newspapers still operating, has been starting his days extremely early. At 2 a.m., he jumps on his motorcycle with a hard drive in his pocket and zooms down Srinagar’s back alleys, the roar of the bike’s engine echoing against the tight brick walls. He weaves around coils of barbed wire, past stones lying in the road from recent protests, past all the dark houses, eyes peeled for Indian soldiers. His workers cannot get to the printing press — they live deep in neighborhoods totally cut off. There is no way to electronically transmit data to the printer — the Indian government has shut down mobile, internet and landline connections. So Mr. Mohi-ud-din hand-carries the next day’s news to the presses and operates the hulking machines himself, something he has never had to do before. At 5 a.m. he emerges, sometimes with a make-do edition that is sometimes just one sheet of paper (two sides). But he says a crowd always awaits him, the bearer of practically the only journalism available. “People are desperate to see a newspaper,” he said. “The other day I sold 500 copies in five minutes.” Indian Occupied Kashmir’s journalists are striving to rise to the occasion and simply hold on in the face of one of the most severe clampdowns this predominantly Muslim war-torn region has faced. On Monday, a week into the lockdown, Indian security forces sealed off main roads, deployed surveillance helicopters, cleared side streets and turned children away from parks. It was eid al-Adha, one of the holiest days on the Muslim calendar, and most major mosques were ordered shut. Families that usually rejoice with friends found themselves alone and depressed inside their homes. Protests continued to erupt, and residents said packs of young men attacked security officers, hurling stones. At a news conference in New Delhi, Indian officials tried to paint a different picture, asserting that most of Indian Occupied Kashmir was returning to normal. They continued to deny that any shots had been fired by security forces during last week’s protests even though a widely viewed BBC video shows thousands of demonstrators running through the streets of Srinagar on Friday as automatic gunfire erupts. When questioned about the video, a senior Indian official grew irritated. “What the government of India has said is what the government of India has said,” said the official,

With pens, pAper And motorcycles, journAlists chronicle KAshmir crAcKdoWn MR AIYAR ASKED, ‘’HOW BETRAYED MUST THEY BE FEELING NOW THAT ‘FREEDOM’ IS BEING THRUST DOWN THEIR THROAT, LIKE CASTOR OIL TO A RECALCITRANT CHILD, BY THE LARGEST DEPLOYMENT EVER OF ARMED MIGHT INSIDE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE COUNTRY?” who spoke to members of the foreign news media under the condition of anonymity. “I’m not asking you whether your stories are true.” Human rights activists and many Indian intellectuals say the government is playing a dangerous game in Indian Occupied Kashmir. For years, the disputed territory between India and Pakistan has been racked by rebellion and war. Last week India’s government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cast Indian Occupied Kashmir into more turmoil by abruptly canceling the limited autonomy it has held since the 1940s. That decision raised tensions with Pakistan instantly. It is perhaps the most politically seismic event in Indian Occupied Kashmir in decades, downgrading a longstanding relationship Indian Occupied Kashmir had with India as the only Muslim-majority, semiautonomous state within a vastly majority Hindu nation. The Indian government knew that in Indian Occupied Kashmir this move would be explosively unpopular. Days before the announcement, the Indian military bused in thousands of extra troops. With hours to go, Indian security forces shut down the internet, mobile phone services and landlines, rendering the Kashmir valley, home to about eight million people, incommunicado. Television news channels, which were allowed to broadcast news of the canceled autonomy, were later taken off the air. Now, out of the 50 or so well-known Kashmiri newspapers, only about half a dozen are still publishing. They put out thin paper editions, a maximum of eight pages, that are quickly bought and then passed hand to hand for the rest of the day. The reporters have no access to the news wires or social media. They cannot fact check anything online or make phone calls. They do their work the oldfashioned way, with notebooks and pens. each morning, they move out in packs of six or eight on motorcycles into Srinagar’s neighborhoods to chase down the news face to face, whether a street protest, a gas shortage or the arrest of a politician. In the past week, hundreds of people have been detained. Many journalists end up sleeping on the newsroom floor. Often, because of checkpoints, it is impossible to get home. They are used to danger — over the years several Kashmiri journalists have been killed and many arrested. But the information blackout is new. “We don’t know what’s happening out there,”

A poem for KAshmir Eurasia FuturE AdAm GArrie

Before old age we revert to form Like the hollow man before the storm Piling sticks before the door Knowing that the earth’s wrath is more than lore. And so it is with nations of men Trying to carve out a place in hell When all the wood has turned to flame Like dancers before some pagan cave. For the mother who long wept for her son That was sent by fire to an early death There is nothing to be lost yet much to be won As sorrow lines her every breath. Politicians scurry like rats on scraps of meat Vainglory in a world replete, When the conquered become the damned They turn their swords on their fellow man. Annexing through bullet and blade. Is this the glory that was made By a new empire built on “democracy” Where everything including misery is fair and free? Kashmir bleeds – her sons collapse

Under the swarm of the bullets’ attack But an ancient spirit cannot be pierced By cowardly men who believe they’re fierce. Which flag do the sons hoist atop martyr’s graves Beneath the undertow of the cavalcade? Is it the flag of annexation Or that stained by the sinews of frustration? No proclamation by the pen Can change reality bursting forth For the world is but a struggle of men Each one thinking God shall endorse. Azad is nothing to contain Nor can political tracts explain The feeling of one who is chained Yet in that state cannot remain. Leaders have come and gone for centuries But that which cannot be expunged Are the stars that frame eternity And cannot fall by sword nor gun. Ksahmir bleeds for those who fall And yet a martyr stills stands tall When dying for his sacred land That the liberal knave could never apprehend.

said Faisel Yaseen, a political editor at the rising Kashmir newspaper, which puts out about 1,000 copies a day. “We are living in a dark room where access to accurate information comes from a hole, which is very small.” The Indian authorities have called the communications restrictions necessary to prevent civil disorder, but have also said that they plan no action against the few newspapers still printing. Still, the editor of the Kashmir Times, one of the oldest papers in Kashmir, has filed a challenge at India’s Supreme Court, asserting that the restrictions violate free speech and therefore are unconstitutional. It is unclear how long Indian Occupied Kashmir’s journalists can hold on, since printing a newspaper requires paper and ink. Mr. Mohi-ud-din, the editor who rides to the printing press in the wee hours of the morning, said he was not so worried. “In Indian Occupied Kashmir, we’re used to this,” he said. “I’ve stocked up for a month.” “But,” he allowed with a slight frown, “it’s never been this bad.” Anger is growing, residents say. Journalists are surrounded by violent clashes, even when not seeking them. On Friday afternoon, Sameer Bhat, a newspaper designer, was preparing to report to work. Be careful, his mother said: Stone throwers are fighting the police, just up the road. As Mr. Bhat stepped outside, he said, shotgun blasts rang out. Security officers in Indian Occupied Kashmir use shotguns to control crowds; hundreds of young Kashmiris have been blinded by shotgun pellets. Mr. Bhat tried to cover his eyes. He was hit in the face and stumbled down. The next day, soon after he was discharged from the hospital, he showed up in the newsroom with two black eyes. “I had a newspaper to design,” he said. Kashmiris have been frightened, angered and confused by the turn of events. They feel sealed off. They want news. every morning, vivek Wazir, a hotel manager, eagerly awaits his copy of Greater Kashmir. “These two pages are my only window to the world,” he said. Many Kashmiris resent living under Indian rule, and since the 1990s insurgents have been fighting for

independence. Mr. Modi said the new arrangement, which turns Indian Occupied Kashmir into a federal territory and annuls special protections Indian Occupied Kashmir once enjoyed, would increase outside investment, improve governance and bring peace. Many Indians have accepted this reasoning. They see Indian Occupied Kashmir as an integral part of India, and in the past week, Mr. Modi’s popularity has soared. One famous actor just compared him and Amit Shah, India’s powerful home minister, to Lord Krishna and Arjun, two heroes in an ancient Hindu epic. But intellectuals and some opposition politicians have been speaking out. They see the move as a huge setback for democracy and a blow to the country’s commitment, outlined in the first lines of India’s Constitution, to be secular. Mani Shankar Aiyar, a former minister, wrote in a pointed column on Monday that revoking Indian Occupied Kashmir’s autonomy would bring “simmering communalism, rising political tensions, unending hit-and-run terrorism, asymmetric armed struggle, and guerrilla insurrection.” This is especially tragic, he said, because Kashmiris had proven to be patriots, resisting “the siren call of Pakistan.” For years Pakistan, a majority Muslim country, has tried to turn Kashmiris against India. But, Mr. Aiyar asked, “How betrayed must they be feeling now that ‘freedom’ is being thrust down their throat, like castor oil to a recalcitrant child, by the largest deployment ever of armed might inside an integral part of the country?” Sameer Yasir reported from Srinagar, and Jeffrey Gettleman from New Delhi. Hari Kumar and Kai Schultz contributed reporting from New Delhi.

Why America has an ineffective Department of State

NatioNal iNtErEst PAul r PillAr

earlier this year the Trump administration, while stoking an atmosphere of crisis with Iran, withdrew “nonemergency” personnel from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq. It is unclear what specific development, if any, triggered this move. Insofar as the administration was contemplating a military attack on Iran and given the certainty that in response to any such attack Iran would strike back at U.S. interests, it may have been prudent to evacuate Americans from the neighboring state of Iraq. But skepticism is appropriate regarding this White House’s interpretation of security hazards in that part of the world. During violent disturbances last September in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, some mortar rounds striking in the neighborhood of the U.S. consulate were enough for National Security Advisor John Bolton to tell the Pentagon to draw up plans to attack Iran. The consulate was unharmed—the shells fell harmlessly in a vacant lot. It was the Iranian consulate in Basra that was set afire during the same disturbances. Now it appears that the drawdown of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Iraq has in effect become permanent. To the extent the original evacuation was an adjunct to the administration’s saber-rattling against Iran, this latest

development is not surprising. To return the evacuated diplomats back to Baghdad would mess up the messaging. It would be taken as a sign that tensions had eased even though the administration’s preferred theme continues to be “maximum pressure” against Iran, saberrattling and all. This situation is one more example of how the administration’s Iran policy has pushed it into an unproductive cul-de-sac. extending the evacuation means wasting the talents of hastily relocated U.S. diplomats. It means wasting much of that big embassy compound that the United States constructed after its war of choice in Iraq. Most obviously, it means some U.S. business in Iraq will either not get done or not be done as well as it otherwise would have been. Amid a fluid political and economic situation in an important Arab state, there is still much business for the U.S. government to do. If one listens to the Trump administration itself, then part of that business is to counter Iranian influence in Iraq. Operating an embassy with reduced staff is not an effective way to do that. This situation is yet another of the many consequences of launching the war in 2003 with little thought to what would come after Saddam Hussein, beyond impossibly rosy expectations that we would have had a peaceful and liberal democratic Zurich-on-the-Tigris long before now. Much of what rocks Iraq today are the aftershocks of that U.S. invasion. These include—among many other things inside and outside Iraq—those disturbances in Basra, the rise and fall of the Islamic State, and the increased opportunities for Iranian influence. The perpetuation of the diplomatic drawdown in Iraq comes alongside news that the Trump administration, as part of its anti-Iran messaging, is dispatching more troops to Saudi Arabia. These two developments together il-

lustrate a persistent fallacy that is evident in, but by no means limited to, the Trump administration, which is that engagement in a region such as the Middle east is to be equated with a U.S. military presence or U.S. military operations. Too often in discussion back in Washington the alternative to military involvement is considered to be isolationism. In fact, the most effective alternative is more often a vigorous upholding of U.S. interests using all the instruments of statecraft, with diplomacy being first and foremost among them. To quote a whimsical Marine Corps twist on an old Fedex advertising slogan, when something absolutely, positively has to be destroyed overnight, military force is the way to do it. But when U.S. interests involve constructing things and not just destroying them, other instruments of statecraft are likely to be more useful. Skillful, vigorous diplomacy is especially useful—indeed, essential—in upholding U.S. interests amid fluid, multidimensional political conflicts such as persist in Iraq today. The Trump administration’s attitude involving military force was illustrated on Independence Day, when President Donald Trump’s idea of celebrating America’s strength was to park a couple of tanks next to the Lincoln Memorial. The administration’s degradation of diplomacy has appeared in multiple ways, including vacancies at the State Department, setting new records for nominating grievously unqualified people for important ambassadorial posts, and the disavowing of agreements carefully negotiated under previous administrations. The empty positions at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad that are a byproduct of the administration’s anti-Iran campaign are not simply making the U.S. government’s business in Iraq more difficult. They also are emblematic of a larger problem.


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

FOREIGN NEWS 07

'Collaborators' are undermining britain's brexit bet, says Pm Johnson LONDON

P

AGENCIES

RIME Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday some British lawmakers hoping to block Brexit were engaged in “terrible” collaboration with the European Union by undermining London’s negotiating hand and so making no deal more likely. Hours after senior lawmakers said they would seek to prevent any attempt to ignore parliament over Brexit, Johnson used a question-and-answer session on Facebook to attack them. “There is a terrible kind of collaboration as it were going on between those who think they can block Brexit in parliament and our European friends,” Johnson, who has been hailed by the U.S. president as “Britain’s Trump”, said on Facebook. “We need our European friends to compromise and the more they think that there’s a chance that Brexit can be blocked in parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position,” Johnson said. Johnson’s use of the word “collaborator” has historical echoes for Britons given the use of that epithet for people who cooperated with Nazi Germany during World War Two. “Shameful language of fascism and

authoritarianism from liar Johnson + unelected advisors - plain and simple. European neighbours are our friends not ‘enemy’ to ‘collaborate’ with,” Labour lawmaker Stephen Doughty said on Twitter. Johnson’s comments followed remarks by former finance minister Philip Hammond that parliament will block a no-deal Brexit if unelected people behind Johnson try to wrench Britain out on Oct. 31 without agreement. The United Kingdom is heading towards a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Johnson has vowed to leave the bloc in 78 days time without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate a Brexit divorce. After more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement which includes an Irish border insurance policy that Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, agreed in November. Hammond, who served as May’s finance minister for three years, said unelected people in Johnson’s Downing Street office were setting London on an “inevitable” course towards a no-deal Brexit by demanding the Irish backstop be dropped. “The people behind this know that that means that there will be no deal,” Hammond told the BBC. “Parliament is

clearly opposed to a no-deal exit, and the prime minister must respect that.” LAWMAKERS’ RESOLVE: The former minister’s first public intervention since resigning indicates the determination of a group of influential lawmakers to thwart Johnson if he goes for a no-deal Brexit. Hammond said he was confident parliament, where a majority oppose a no-deal Brexit, would find a way to block that outcome. It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use the 800year-old heart of British democracy to prevent a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 -

likely to be the United Kingdom’s most consequential move since World War Two. Opponents of no deal say it would be a disaster for what was once one of the West’s most stable democracies. A disorderly divorce, they say, would hurt global growth, send shockwaves through financial markets and weaken London’s claim to be the world’s preeminent financial centre. Brexit supporters say there may be short-term disruption from a no-deal exit but that the economy will thrive if cut free from what they cast as a doomed experi-

ment in integration that has led to Europe falling behind China and the United States. Heading towards one of the biggest constitutional crises in at least a century, Britain’s elite are quarrelling over how, when and even if the result of the shock 2016 referendum will be implemented. Part of the problem is that Britain’s constitution, once touted as a global model, is uncodified and vague. It relies on precedent, but there is little for Brexit. The House of Commons speaker John Bercow told an audience in Scotland that lawmakers could prevent a no-deal Brexit and that he would fight any attempt to prorogue, or suspend, parliament “with every bone in my body”. Johnson, who replaced May after she failed three times to get her Brexit deal through parliament, has refused to rule out proroguing the House of Commons and Brexit supporters have vociferously encouraged him to do so if necessary. Johnson’s top advisor, Dominic Cummings, has reportedly said he could delay calling a general election until after Oct. 31, even if he lost a no confidence motion, allowing for a no-deal Brexit while parliament is dissolved. Clearly with him in mind, Hammond said there were people “who are pulling the strings in Downing Street, those who are setting the strategy.” Cummings declined to comment to Reuters.

Franco-Irish girl's family mourn 'unbearable' loss, as autopsy conducted KUALA LUMPUR AGENCIES

a$aP rocky convicted of assault, gets suspended sentence STOCKHOLM AGENCIES

A Stockholm court on Wednesday convicted US rapper A$AP Rocky of assault and handed him a suspended sentence over a street brawl in June, a case that outraged fans and sparked a diplomatic spat with US President Donald Trump. The 30year-old rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, and two members of his entourage were found guilty of assaulting a 19-year-old in a fight in central Stockholm on June 30. The three, who were in the Swedish capital for a concert, “assaulted the victim by hitting and kicking him as he lay on the ground. The artist has also thrown the victim to the ground and stepped on his arm,” the court wrote in its verdict, rejecting the defence’s argument of self-defence. The three were “not in a situation where they were entitled to self-defence”, the court said. Mayers was not present in Stockholm for the verdict. Prosecutor Daniel Suneson had called for a six-month prison sentence for Mayers and two of his crew, while the defence argued they should be acquitted. Considered a “flight risk”, Mayers was held in custody for a month while the case was investigated and throughout his trial. But he was released after the close of proceedings on August 2, pending the verdict, and immediately returned to the United States. Fans, fellow artists and even Trump had called for his release — with the US president’s intervention drawing complaints from Swedish politicians. US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert C. O’Brien to attend the trial, who told reporters: “The president felt they shouldn’t have been detained, they were stalked.” An online petition also called #JusticeForRocky garnered more than 640,000 signatures and supporters were urged to boycott Swedish brands such as Ikea. At his first performance on Sunday following his release, in Anaheim in California, the rapper thanked fans and called the experience in Sweden “scary” and “humbling”. “I need y’all to keep praying for me,” he told the crowd, saying he hoped he would not have to return to serve a jail sentence.

Malaysian authorities Wednesday conducted a post-mortem examination on the body of a Franco-Irish teen found in the jungle after she disappeared from a resort, as her family mourned the “unbearable” loss. The unclothed body of Nora Quoirin, 15, was discovered Tuesday in a ravine in dense rainforest after a 10-day hunt involving hundreds of people, helicopters and sniffer dogs. She went missing from the Dusun Resort, not far from Kuala Lumpur, on August 4, a day after checking in for a holiday with her London-based family. Her family believed the teen, who had learning difficulties, had been abducted but police classified her disappearance as a missing person case. Her body was airlifted by helicopter out of the ravine — about 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) from the resort — after which it was transported to hos-

pital and identified by her relatives. Medics began conducting a postmortem examination on the body Wednesday morning, as a media scrum gathered at the hospital in Seremban town, which was guarded by armed officers. The autopsy took longer than expected and was set to finish in the evening, with police say-

ing the doctors had asked for extra time. Her relatives said the schoolgirl was “at the heart of our family”, in a statement released by The Lucie Blackman Trust, a UK charity that supports relatives of British people missing overseas. “She is the truest, most precious girl and we love her infinitely. The

cruelty of her being taken away is unbearable. Our hearts are broken. “We will always love our Nora.” After meeting the girl’s parents, family lawyer Sankara N. Nair said they hoped “the authorities will investigate the death of their loving daughter thoroughly and explore all angles that caused her death”. The body was found unclothed but authorities have not said if there were any signs of injury. Police are not ruling out criminal elements in the case, have questioned witnesses and are investigating witness accounts of a truck heard early on the morning the girl disappeared. A group of volunteers who were part of the search and rescue team found the body after being tipped off by a member of the public. It was discovered in the official search zone, in an area that the team had previously covered. On Monday, the family had offered a 50,000 ringgit ($11,900) reward, donated by a Belfast business, for information that could lead to her return.

Fossil fuels? Plastic? Trump says more is better WASHINGTON AGENCIES

President Donald Trump has seen the future and it is oil. And plastic. Where most environmental scientists and most US allies fear that overuse of fossil fuels is driving the planet into crisis, the US president spies only opportunity. In a speech on Tuesday to hundreds of workers building a new Shell petrochemical factory near Pittsburgh, Trump did not bother paying even lip service to environmental concerns. He just wanted to make clear that America is winning. “We’re the number one energy producer and I’m so proud of that,” he said. Already, the United States has won “independence” from the former Middle Eastern guardians of the oil spigots, Trump said. Next up? “Dominance.” Trump said that his priority on entering office had been to halt “the war on energy.” Ending “the far left’s energy nightmare” is at the core of his presidency, he said. The crowd, comprised mostly of men in highvisibility safety vests and work boots, cheered.

FANTASTIC PLASTIC: The Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex will make manufacturinggrade plastic out of liquid natural gas extracted through fracking from the Marcellus Shale deposit. The facility, a huge web of pipes and half-constructed buildings, is a symbol of Trump’s aggressive pro-fossil fuel agenda — and a powerful statement to his working-class voters that he meant business when he promised to restore the US manufacturing base. Pennsylvania is a particularly important target: the state will be one of the vital pieces in the 2020 presidential election puzzle and Trump is struggling. But plastic? The material, once cele-

brated as a near-miraculous byproduct of hydrocarbons, is increasingly seen as a scourge, clogging up rivers, circulating forever in the seas, invading the food chain, and showing up everywhere from the deepest ocean to the seemingly pristine Arctic. All that, Trump says, is someone else’s fault. “It’s not our plastic. It’s plastics that’s floating over in the ocean,” Trump told reporters on the way to the Shell plant. “Plastics are fine, but you have to know what to do with them. But other countries are not taking care of their plastic use and they haven’t for a long time.” Trump’s focus on old-school heavy manufacturing and fossil fuel energy production goes far beyond just visiting the occasional new factory. He has sought to rewrite strict environmental protection rules that he referred to on Tuesday as “horror stories.” Trump gleefully told the crowd that his Environmental Protection Agency chief, Andrew Wheeler, “knows how to break it up.” Breaking it up means the Trump administration’s dismantling of regulations put in place by his predecessor Barack Obama, including the Clean Power Plan, which sought reduced greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

08 COMMENT

Pacifist Jinnah vs. pugnacious Nehru, Patel

‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ Need to internationalise the issue

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ndiA has crossed the red line by annexing occupied Kashmir in violation of its commitments to the Un and the Security council’s resolutions. Fearing a mass uprising against the illegal act, it has locked down the Valley which has remained under curfew for the last ten days. The decision by the Pakistan government to observe independence day as “Kashmir Solidarity day’ is a message to the Kashmiris that Pakistan stands by them and will continue to extend moral and diplomatic support to their struggle. The gesture by Pakistan is also meant to convey to india that Pakistan rejects the forced annexation as an illegal and immoral act. Pakistan has sought an emergency meeting of the Security council. Here the purpose should be to explain the highly negative implications of the indian act for regional peace and security. Pakistan’s ambassador to the USA has given an interview to The New York Times and got an article published in The Washington Post highlighting india’s arrogant indifference to the region’s peace and stability. There is a need on the part of the country’s ambassadors in important countries to similarly engage with the mainstream media to highlight the Kashmir issue. The PM’s latest phone calls elicited a positive response from iranian President Hasan rouhani while indonesian President Joko Widodo agreed that there was a need to resolve the issue peacefully and within the framework of international law. one has yet to see Prime Minister imran Khan getting a positive response from the Western countries. Pakistan has to try harder to keep the issue of Kashmir alive at the international level. As wars have failed to resolve the Kashmir issue, there is a need now to take recourse to non-military means to achieve the purpose. What must be underscored is that only an economically strong Pakistan can continue to extend meaningful support to the Kashmiris while continuing to remain an attraction for them. Pakistan needs to take the hard measures required to improve its economy so that it can divert more funds to education, manpower training and health to generate confidence in investors, help the wheels of industry run faster, create jobs and bring prosperity to the country.

Election Commission heading for paralysis CEC’s term’s end might precipitate crisis

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HE chief Election commissioner’s term is expiring this deceember. normally, this should be so routine that a successor should already have been agreed on. After all, the smooth functioning of the Election commission of Pakistan (EcP) is a basic pillar of the state and the constitutional dispensation, and in some respects, its head is one of the most important persons in the country. And the date of his retirement was known at the time of his appointment, so there has been ample time for the process of carrying out his appointment. The danger of his post not being filled has arisen because the two members of the commission who retired in January have not been replaced. This failure has not been because of laziness, but because of a deadlock in the 12-member bipartisan committee tasked with EcP appointments, which last met a month ago. The deadlock caries over from the refusal of the Prime Minister to consult with the Leader of the opposition in person, and his attempt to do so by letter instead. The committee’s failure to evolve a consensus resulted in a vote, which was tied. The constitution has no further procedure, and the idea floating around, that the matter be referred to the Supreme court, is merely to drag it into what is essentially a political matter, and one in which past experience shows, it will be accused of partisanship. it is virtually impossible to exaggerate the importance of the EcP. it will conduct as many by-elections as are needed until the next general election, which is due in 2023, as well as that general election itself, and the 2021 Senate elections. Also, because ours is a parliamentary system, it has to be always ready for a general election. not only must all parties have confidence in the people making it up, but it must exist. The EcP cannot be allowed to lapse because members are not appointed, in turn because two adults refuse to talk to each other. it is high time advisers tell those whose egos are causing this crisis, to behave like adults and carry out the necessary consultations.

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The protector general of minorities amjed jaaved

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HE 1916 Lucknow Pact was acknowledged as a pillar of Hindu-Muslim friendship. However, Motilal nehru, at the behest of the fanatic Hindus, shattered the spirit of peaceful coexistence by formulating his nehru report (1928). His son Jawaharlal, outwardly liberal, regarded the creation of Pakistan as a blunder. His rancour against Pakistan reached a crescendo in his remark ‘i shall not have that carbuncle on my back’. Jaswant Singh, in his book, Jinnah: India, Partition, and Independence reveals that Jinnah shelved the idea of independent Pakistan by putting his signature to the cabinet Mission’s recommendations. This Mission envisaged keeping india undivided for ten years. The constituent assemblies were to consider the question of division after 10 years. When congress refused to accept the recommendations of the cabinet Mission, the British government decided to divide india. despite the lapse of over 70 years, india still has to reconcile with Pakistan as a reality. When Jinnah left india on 7 August 1947, Vallabhai Patel said, ‘The poison had been removed from the body of india’. But the Quaid said, ‘The past has been buried and let us start afresh as two independent sovereign States’. nehru’s followers continued their anti-Pakistan efforts in the postPartition period. A few words about the Quaid’s vision are in order. doubtless, the Quaid visualised Pakistan to be a democracy, not a theocracy. in a broadcast addressed to the people of the USA (February 1948), he said, ‘in any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests [mullahs] with a divine mission. We have many nonMuslims, Hindus, christians, and Parsees– but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizen and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan’ When an over-ebullient admirer addressed him as `Maulana Jinnah’, he snubbed him. Jinnah retorted, ‘i am not a Maulana, just plain Mr. Jinnah’. About minorities, the Quaid often reminded Muslim zealots ‘our own history and our and our Prophet(PBUH) have given the clearest proof that non-Muslims have been treated not only justly and fairly but generously. He added, ‘i am going

to constitute myself the Protector-general of the Hindu minority in Pakistan’. Till his last breath, the Quaid remained an ardent supporter of rights of minorities as equal citizens of Pakistan. our official dignitaries shun rituals and customs of minorities. But, the Quaid participated in christmas celebrations in december 1947 as a guest of the christian community. He declared: ‘i am going to constitute myself the Protector general of Hindu minority in Pakistan’. one member of his post-Partition cabinet was a Hindu. A Jewish scholar, Mohammad Asad, who embraced islam, held important positions in the post-Partition period in Pakistan. The following extracts from the Quaid’s speeches and statements as governor general of Pakistan epitomise his vision: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques, or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan…you may belong to any religion, caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State…We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed or another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of the one State”. The Quaid visualised that `in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State”. A. K. Brohi, in his The Fundamental Law of Pakistan, argues that Pakistan is an islamic state, but not a theocracy. Jinnah’s address to the constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, also, epitomises his vision. He hoped india and Pakistan would live in peace after Partition. in his Will and Testament He bequeathed a part of his fortune to educational institutions in Aligarh, Bombay and delhi. He never changed his will as he hoped to visit india again. Lord ismay, chief of Staff to the Viceroy, recorded an interview with the Quaid. Excerpt: ‘Mr. Jinnah said with the greatest earnestness that once Partition has been decided upon, everyone would know exactly all troubles would cease, and they would live happily ever after where they were’. Ayesha Jalal, in her paper Why Jinnah Mat-

ters, recalls `Just before his own death, Jinnah proposed a joint defence with india as the cold War started to shape the world and the two power blocs began to form. Jinnah was still thinking as a South Asian nationalist. … Had Jinnah’s vision prevailed– and found an echo in india, we would have seen a very different South Asia. ..there would have been no crippling defence expenditures. There would have been no reason to join one or other camp of the cold War. There would have been open borders, free trade and regular visiting between the two countries…. a more humane sub-continent might have emerged … in 1971, when Pakistan was broken in two, its critics jubilantly cried, `Jinnah’s Pakistan is dead’. They were wrong. Jinnah’s Pakistan will be alive as long as …’. He wanted Pakistan to be a welfare state, not a plutocracy. in his speech at the 30th session of the Muslim League during the freedom struggle, he said, “it will be a people’s government. i should like to give a warning to the landlords and capitalists who have flourished at our expense by a system which is so vicious, which is so wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to reason with them. The exploitation of the masses has gone into their blood. They’ve forgotten the lesson of islam. greed and selfishness have made these people subordinate to the interests of others in order to fatten themselves…if they’re wise they’ll have to adjust themselves to the new modern conditions of life. if they don’t, god help them; we shall not help them.” Stanley Wolpert paid tributes to the Quaid in following words, “Few individual significantly alter the course of history. Few still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone could be credited with creating a nation State. Muhammad All Jinnah did all three”. Pakistan overcame insurmountable problems of influx of 1947 refugees, skimpy finances and myriad other problems to emerge as a viable entity. We welcomed refugees, while india is all set to drive out 4.7 million refugees from its eastern state of Assam. Fanatic Hindus in indian national congress thought that Pakistan would, at best, be a stillborn baby. But, Pakistan was able to survive all hurdles. it proved its viability despite severe politico-economic jolts.. Amjed Jaaved is a freelance journalist, has served in the Pakistan government for 39 years and holds degrees in economics, business administration, and law. He can be reached at amjedjaaved@gmail.com.

Institutes on rise; performance in decline Rameez a mahesaR

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ccording to the statistics of universities’ list issued by Edarabia, the Middle East’s number one guide, there are 188 HEc-recognized educational institutions in Pakistan. Public, private, military, and vocational universities establish the system of higher education in Pakistan. According to a report released by ProPakistan – an independent news publisher and already a leader in telecom and technology –in 2017-18, there were 186 universities, with 56,900 teachers, with a total enrolment of 1.6 million in the country. This enrolment was 7.7 percent higher than in previous years. The growth in enrolment, thus, is estimated to decline by 0.2 percent in 2018-19. The report furthermore guesses the upcoming increase in the enrollment as well as recruitment of teachers in the educational institutions in the country but again the question of performance needs to be answered. it goes by reporting, the number of institutions is expected to upsurge by 1.6 percent in 2018-19, leading to a proliferation of 4.8 percent in cumulative enrolment. Moreover, the aggregate number of students during 2017-18 was 1.8 million in comparison with 1.7 million during the last year displaying a rise of 1.6 percent. This figure is projected to escalate by 2.9 percent to 1.8 million during the year 2018-19. it shows the focus on quantity rather than quality should be the priority. institutes, enrollment, recruitment are focused to be developed but performance is not paid attention. A report quotes; the performance of the higher education sector of Pakistan has declined despite a significant upturn in funding to the Higher Education commission (HEc) in the last four years. The report was developed last year by Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA), islamabad chapter and Working group on Higher Education reforms Pakistan along with eight other organizations. The report furthermore adds Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9

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that the HEc has become an authority rather than being a facilitative body. The report ends with the suggestions as; subject to the record, the concerns raised from academia, faculty, vice chancellors and the stout substantiations along with other stakeholders, there is a dire need to probe into irregularities practiced during previous years. The culprits must be brought to justice and the nAB must conduct the investigation as well. The world is briskly moving ahead in education sector but Pakistan is lagging behind in the field. The words which the World Economic Forum (WEF) had used in its report are also rubbing salt on wounds. WEF’s global Human capital report published in 2017 had placed Pakistan as one of the worst countries in terms of education and skills development. The system of higher education in Pakistan is far off than that of those developed. higher education in Pakistan is not at the same level as international standards. it also does send out a paucity of qualified graduates who can rejuvenate the higher education institutions. There must be a dead-on balance between teaching and research, since research is an indispensable element for faculty development and teaching improvement in the bargain. inopportunely, a great deal of universities in Pakistan, place emphasis only on high teaching loads and teaching leading to large class sizes, leaving no room for quality research. The question, to that end, is of quality education. The quality education is nowhere but can be thought of. in terms of quality, the higher education in Pakistan is nowhere among the global higher education systems. The quality of higher education is subject to numerous aspects, for instance, infrastructure, teachers, satisfactory setting for teaching and learning, research opportunities, curriculum, monitoring systems and effective feedback. The multitudinous problems– including the population explosion, paucity of resources, dearth of qualified manpower, wreckage of resources, inefficient managerial-cum-educational management systems, overcrowded classrooms,

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scant student services, insufficient material resources, poor implementation of policies and programs, non-accountability of institutions, inefficiency in teaching, poor research and lack of research opportunities– are plaguing the educational system of Pakistan. it is sorry thing to note that, institutions have not only been increased but also the student enrolments at colleges as well as universities have registered briskly a high rate of growth. The demands of higher education, consequently, have increased with extraordinary rapidity. it vexes one to note that, notwithstanding quality consolidation and control, these pitfalls will not stop growing exponentially for a long time to come. Most of the public and private sector universities in Pakistan have boards of governors comprising public figures, government nominees, appointees, donors, alumni and so forth. it is very infrequent to find a member on the board being appointed because they have made an exceptional academic contribution and have also the knowledge of how universities need to perform. The number of private sector universities in Pakistan has increased in the last two decades. Yet the performance is questionable. now, in the end, the question is; can Pakistan progress? The retort is; it cannot attain the goal of development until its higher education system is qualitatively sturdy enough in that the poor quality is generating the lack of innovative and creative ideas, low performance of specialized individuals and low employability of graduates. The whole thing, therefore, is that there is a dire need to fetch quality in the higher education system and to enlarge the adaptive capacity so that it is more responsive to the changing world and meets the diversified needs of the economy— both domestic and international. For this determination, divergence of the higher education system in Pakistan must be pursued as a goal. This can be attained by having an apposite amalgam of the formal and non-formal institutions – private cum public. Rameez A Mahesar can be contacted at rameezalimahesar@gmail.com

Email: editorial@pakistantoday.com.pk


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

COMMENT 09 Editor’s mail

Send your letters to: Letters to editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.

Unleash the power of those beautiful books

Forgettable candidates and irritating format US democrat presidential debates

Washington Watch

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dR james j zogby

’VE just returned from detroit, Michigan, where i attended the second set of democratic Party presidential primary debates. For many reasons, the debates were a frustrating experience. in the first place, there were simply too many candidates– many of whom, frankly speaking, didn’t belong cluttering up the stage. And then there was the way these debates were run– more for TV ratings and entertainment, than for serious discussion and enlightenment. in 1984, i was in new Hampshire with reverend Jesse Jackson for one of that year’s democratic presidential primary debates. it was a thoughtful discussion with a professional moderator. At one point, though, i recall looking at the eight candidates on stage and thinking to myself, “Jesse is dominating this debate. He may not win, but he’ll always be remembered. A few years from now, how many of these other guys will we even be able to recall were in this race?” Sure enough, three years later, i made a practice of asking folks how many of the 1984 candidates they could name. After recalling Jackson, Senator gary Hart, and then Walter Mondale, the eventual nominee, most got stuck. The others, though quite accomplished (four were senators and one was a governor), had been largely forgotten. i simply couldn’t understand why most of them were running in 1984. They were nice enough, smart enough, and each of them had realized some degree of success– but they did not and could not stand out as memorable. While i suppose that they each saw themselves in a larger light, complete with fantasies of sitting in the oval office, they were largely gray, rather dull individuals, lacking bold ideas or compelling personalities that would distinguish them from a host of other politicians. Why they thought they could rise above the pack and become president was puzzling then and remains so today. i say this because i had much the same experience this week in detroit, Michigan. Twenty of the 25 declared candidates met the standards that had been established to participate in the debates. And, as in 1984, they were largely individuals of some distinction. There were seven Senators, seven others who had served or are currently Members of congress or governors, three mayors, a former vice-president, and a former cabinet secretary. And yet, as i watched them debate, the 1984 questions came back to me, “Why are they doing this?” and “Will anyone even remember that they ran

The exchanges that followed became testy three years from now?” As i watched the debates unfold, it became (i guess that was viewed as “good for ratings”) painfully clear that several simply lacked the and also produced some of the evening’s more stature to compete. Why, then, were they there? memorable lines. Warren shot back at the TV What did they hope to accomplish? And how guy “These are republican talking points!” and could they be so lacking in self-awareness that she asked one of her opponents why he was they would subject themselves to the embar- running as democrat if he couldn’t support “big ideas” that helped people. Sanders, for his part, rassment of being so outclassed on stage? Because there were so many who are run- after being badgered by an opponent who conning, each of the two debate nights featured 10 tinued to interrupt him challenging what was incandidates on stage. And each night’s debates cluded in the Medicare For All bill, shouted lasted an exhausting two and one-half hours. back that of course he knew what was in there Especially upsetting was how the debates were because, “i wrote the damn bill!” He also quesrun– more as a made for television spectacle, tioned why we could give billions of dollars in designed to boost ratings (and therefore adver- tax breaks to the richest Americans, without any tising revenues) than as a serious effort to help protest, yet balk at spending more to ensure that voters decide who would be best to lead the na- health care be guaranteed as a right, instead of as a privilege. tion for the next four years. if the intent had been to deflate Sanders and A few weeks back, we got an inkling of how the sponsoring network would be operat- Warren, it didn’t work. They fended off chaling the debate when they devoted a full hour to lenges and emerged not only unscathed, but the a lottery-style drawing to determine which 10 evening’s dominant personalities. The second “debate night” was different. would go on which night. it was bizarre, with The TV moderators coneach draw shown live, sitinued to use Sanders’ and multaneously, on three Warren’s progressive cameras– each from a difagenda as foils, baiting the ferent angle. The draws This is not the way it 10 on stage to challenge were preceded by the muthem, even though they sical equivalent of a drumshould be. We should be weren’t there to explain roll, followed by able to elect the person what was actually in their commentary about “what The rest of the this draw means.” The atwho will lead us (and much proposals. evening was a pretty mosphere created was more that of a TV game of the world) into the future messy affair, as the candidates attacked each other, show. based on their policies, with the two current onThis continued in the days leading up to “debate their ability to effectively stage leaders, Biden and Harris, bearing the brunt night” – with endless comorganize, and their life’s of the attacks. Biden mentary from pundits looked defensive and, at sounding a lot like sports work, not on their times, flustered. Although analysts “gaming the match-ups”, as if we were showmanship or their one- Harris was crowned as the “star” of the first debate getting set for a profesup-man-ship in a reality for her gimmicky chalsional boxing match. “Will lenge to Biden’s opposiSenators Warren and TV-style game show tion to federally mandated Sanders go after each busing to end school segother?” “Will Vice Presiregation, but when chaldent Biden be ready to delenged in this debate for fend himself against her record as a prosecutor, she didn’t fare as another attack from Senator Harris?” debate night featured more of the same, well. in fact, the star of the night was Senator complete with an hour and a half “pre-game cory Booker whose winsome personality and show” that featured rousing warm-up speeches– calm demeanor kept him largely above the fray. So, there you have it. After two nights in “Are you ready, democrats?”– and an actual “warm-up guy” who came onto the stage, i kid which millions of dollars were spent (and milyou not, with this, “You are a great looking au- lions in advertising revenues were earned), dience, really!”– followed by instructions as to what we got were a few memorable lines, a few lasting impressions, a few battered candidates, when to applaud and when not to. There was a time (like back in 1984), when a few who weathered attacks, and a lot of heat the debates were driven by the candidates. now with very little light. This is not the way it should be. We should too much attention and control has been given to the TV personalities. it is they, not the candi- be able to elect the person who will lead us (and dates, who drive the process, with their obvious much of the world) into the future based on biases on display and their intention to stir the their policies, their ability to effectively organize, and their life’s work, not on their showmanpot in order to make for a good show. This was clear from the beginning as one of ship or their one-up-man-ship in a reality the TV hosts saw it as his job to debunk Senator TV-style game show. And, as was the case in 1984, i believe that Sanders’ and Warren’s proposed Medicare For All legislation. After trying, himself, to set the even a year from now most voters will have troutrap by repeatedly asking Warren whether she ble remembering who else, other than a few nowould raise taxes for the middle class to pay for table stars, were on that debate stage in detroit. her proposal, he shifted gears, prodding some Dr James J zogby is President, Arab of the other less known candidates to challenge American Institute. both Warren and Sanders.

Toni Morrison died in new York city at the age of 88. The nobel literature laureate had authored almost 11 novels apart from children’s books. Way back in 1993, Morrison had become the first African-American woman to win the nobel Literature Prize. Most American English newspapers have been singing the praises of Morrison. For example, The New York Times has called her a towering novelist in its coverage. Her writing prowess had been widely accepted and applauded at the world stage. The fact that her novels like Beloved hugely exposed the facets of the African-American slavery, and the omnipresent reach and the impact created by her writing and speech skills are far more inspiring. Speaking of all these interesting stories, i as an English content writer and as an English trainer have just got inspired to no end. The interesting fact is that there have been interesting and beautiful English newspapers, magazines and books aplenty around the world. A voracious reader and a “book lover”, i have been buying a lot of English newspapers and books in various places. All i do/want in the morning is to go to the newspaper stalls wherever i am. This having been the effect of my humble study of culture and passion for languages. i sincerely convey my condolences on the demise of Toni Morrison. The international media houses should pitch for such great authors to literally fill up the world with beautiful books and newspapers that are replete with inspiring stories and words. P SeNTHIL SARAvAN DuRAI Mumbai

Hindutva: An ultraextremist ideology ExTrEMiST to the core and immensely intolerant to the people of other identities, Hindutva is an ultra-extremist ideology whose radical leitmotif is to wipe out the Muslims in particular and non-Hindus of india in general. Establishing a uni-national identity—Hinduism—in india is its main agenda. Stripping Muslims of indian citizenship, lynching them, rapes, murders, mass murders, and genociding Kashmiri people are all its unmasked tactics to steer clear its way towards its sinister objectives. Brainwashed by this rabid ideology, its adherents—like Modi—have become brutal beasts in india who have been preying on innocent lives there unhindered. The so-called indian secularism and world’s largest democracy have now dwarfed before it. Modi’s recent expansionist, unilateral move about Kashmir has laid bare its ugly face, and now that day is not far away when this ideology will boomerang and meet its nemesis soon in a befitting manner. RIAz AHMeD SooMRo Shikarpur

China’s position on Kashmir EVEn before indian minister for foreign affairs air-dashed to china, india’s jaundiced news channels and print media blared that chinese foreign minister has, in a tweet, called up Pakistan to multilateralise the Kashmir issue, ‘india’s internal matter’. The media claims the USA and russia have already shunned Pakistan. Pak media however say china supports even recourse to the Security council. india’s draconian scrapping of Article 370 and converting disputed Ladakh into an indian-Union territory impinges even china. Bilateralism did not help solve the Kashmir tangle for 70 years. Why not approach Un instead of fighting another war on Kashmir? is the Un not a forum for peaceful resolution of disputes? SMAN JAAveD MALIk Rawalpindi

The govt must perform THE incumbent government must come out of its utopian world to reality. The government must realise that it is made up of humans and hence it has weaknesses. They are likely to make mistakes and there is no harm in accepting and correcting those. The illusion that “we are beyond mistakes and errors” is what destroyed previous governments. it is further reinforced by blind followers who tend to support and defend every right or wrong decision of their leader for personal satisfaction or petty gains. According to Burke, government is a contrivance of human wisdom with the primary duty to provide basic amenities of life as well as to protect life and property of citizens. in a democratic system everyone is equal and ought to be respected without any discrimination. Victimisation and bullying opponents while in power is not democratic, but hallmark of tyranny. Moreover, whatever the system of government, money matters. When people are poor and start getting marginalised by the policies of government, they don’t care about loud speeches and tall claims. They want to see results. i think enough time has passed for the present government to now come out of the election mode and start performing. Just keeping making promises they can’t keep and blaming everything under the world on their opponents is not going to take them far. They have to realise that the loud speeches by lawmakers and senators to revive economy do not make much of a difference. Unless they work hard and put forth a solid plan followed by strong effort, nothing is going to change and they will disappear in history like their predecessors. RAJA SHAFAATuLLAH Islamabad


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

10 FOREIGN NEWS

southern yemeni seParatists tell saudi arabia to ‘eviCt islah or lose the war’ LONDON

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AGENCIES

EMEN’S southern separatists vowed on Wednesday to keep control over Aden, warning the only way out of the impasse that has fractured a Saudi-led military alliance was for Islamists and northerners to be removed from positions of power in the south. The separatists, supported by coalition member the United Arab Emirates, effectively took over Aden, the temporary seat of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, over the weekend by seizing government military bases. The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim alliance intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that ousted President AbdRabbu Mansour Hadi from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014. His government relocated to Aden. Southern fighters are a major component in the coalition’s battle against the Houthis. But the war has revived old strains between north and south Yemen formerly separate countries that united into a single state in 1990 under thenPresident Ali Abdullah Saleh. The crisis has exposed a rift between Saudi Arabia and the UAE as Abu Dhabi places national interests over their strategic alliance, distancing itself from Yemen

Japan braces for powerful storm at peak holiday period TOKYO AGENCIES

and leaving Riyadh to deal with a messy war in the fractious Arabian Peninsula nation. Abu Dhabi has echoed Riyadh’s call for dialogue among Aden’s warring parties but stopped short of asking the southern forces that it funds and arms to cede control. “Giving up control of Aden is not on the table at the moment,” Saleh Alnoud, British-based spokesman for the Southern Transitional Council (STC), told Reuters in an interview. “We are there to remain - but to remain for a positive reason: to maintain stability,” Alnoud said. He said that to end the stand-off, all elements of the Islamist Islah party - a backbone of Hadi’s government that the UAE sees as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood - should be ousted from posts of influence along with any northern politicians. The STC accuses Islah of being complicit in a deadly Houthi missile strike on southern forces earlier this month, a charge the party rejects. The coalition has promised military action against the separatists if they do not vacate government sites. “Islah has been at the heart of this,” Alnoud said. “That would be a very good start if Islah was removed from the whole of the south and allow southerners to govern themselves,” he said. “We consider the government was infiltrated or controlled

by the Islah.” One possible way out, Alnoud said, would be to hand over responsibility for security of barracks to the STC’s Security Belt or Aden Police. The Yemen war has been in military stalemate for years and Saudi Arabia and the UAE have come under pressure from Western allies, including those that supply them with arms, to end a conflict that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. The UAE in June scaled down its presence in Yemen, leaving behind thousands of southern forces it has built and

trained. A Yemeni official told Reuters the separatist takeover was approved by the UAE and aimed at removing Islah forces, which Saudi Arabia tolerates despite UAE concerns because the party props up Hadi’s government. The UAE foreign ministry and the government media office did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment. “Abu Dhabi now seems to be reconsidering the wisdom of Saudi foreign policy under MBS (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman), which has produced few tangible victories of note,” the

Syrian government closes in on town that was bombed with sarin BEIRUT AGENCIES

Japan was bracing Wednesday for a severe tropical storm expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds during the peak holiday period, with dozens of flights and bullet train services cancelled. The storm, named Krosa, is expected to churn slowly over western parts of the country, potentially affecting millions of people returning to major cities from their hometowns after the traditional “Obon” summer holidays. Japan Airlines scrapped 62 domestic flights to and from airports in southern Japan for Wednesday. “All the flights from and to Miyazaki and Tanegashima airports have been cancelled and partially for Amami airport,” a spokesman told AFP. All Nippon Airways meanwhile cancelled 34 flights for Miyazaki airport. Both airlines said they would decide later how many flights they will cancel for Thursday, when the storm is forecast to make landfall.

Syrian government forces on Wednesday closed in on a rebel-held town in Idlib that was bombed with sarin in 2017, sources on both sides said, building on their Russianbacked gains since the collapse of a ceasefire this month. The advance toward Khan Sheikhoun threatens to encircle the last remaining pocket of rebel-held territory in neighboring Hama province, including the towns of Morek, Kafr Zeita and Latamneh. Russian-backed Syrian government forces seized new positions from rebels to the west of the town of Khan Sheihkoun, rebel sources and state media said. A rebel commander said the town, in opposition hands since 2014, was in “great danger”. Government forces were now 4 km (2.5 miles) from Khan

Sheikhoun, Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said. The sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun in 2017 killed dozens of people and prompted President Donald Trump to order a missile strike against the Syrian air base from where the United States said the attack had been launched. An investigation conducted by the United Nations and the Organisa-

tion for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the Syrian government was responsible for releasing sarin on the town on April 4, 2017. Damascus denies using such weapons. The northwestern Idlib region is part of the last major stronghold of the opposition to President Bashar alAssad. The rebels that control it include the powerful jihadist group Tahrir al-Sham and Turkey-backed factions.

New York-based Soufan Center said in a briefing on Wednesday. A MESSAGE FOR MBS?: While the UAE can exit Yemen while maintaining influence through southern forces, Saudi Arabia cannot walk away without neutralizing the armed Houthi movement on its borders. “Now that the Saudis are left alone...I don’t think they know how to get out,” said a Gulf source familiar with Yemen policy. “The Saudis must accept that five years of Hadi government is a failure.” Alnoud said southerners would no longer accept being sidelined. “The Saudis need to make a decision: do they want to win the war against the Houthis? If they do, then they need to recognize us - STC - to govern and manage the south even in the transition period,” he said. Riyadh called for an emergency summit over Aden without setting a date. Hadi’s vice foreign minister, Mohammed al-Hadhrami, told Reuters on Monday they would not attend unless the UAE stops backing separatist fighters following the “coup”. Alnoud had a message for Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia’s de factor ruler. “I would say to MBS: if you really want to win the war, the southerners have been credible partners, have shown they can engage constructively... but in return they need to keep the south clean from these corrupt Islah-affiliated officials.”

‘abhinandan's jet downed because Pakistan had jammed communication’ NEWS DESK: Indian Wing Commander Abinandan Varthaman, whose aircraft was shot down on February 27 during a dogfight with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets and he was captured subsequently, could not hear instructions asking him to turn back because his communications system was jammed by Pakistan, the India media claimed on Wednesday. “If his MiG 21 Bison had been equipped with anti-jamming technology, Varthaman may have turned around when instructed to,” the report claimed, adding: “That would have prevented him from being shot down and taken captive by Pakistan.” However, the reports said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) did not respond to queries. Responding to the IAF violation of Pakistan airspace on February 26, PAF hit back by sending fighters to hit Indian targets the following day.

Playing god: Japan temple puts faith in robot priest KYOTO AGENCIES

A 400-year-old temple in Japan is attempting to hot-wire interest in Buddhism with a robotic priest it believes will change the face of the religion — despite critics comparing the android to “Frankenstein’s monster.” The android Kannon, based on the Buddhist deity of mercy, preaches sermons at Kodaiji temple in Kyoto, and its human colleagues predict that with artificial intelligence it could one day acquire unlimited wisdom. “This robot will never die, it will just keep updating itself and evolving,” priest Tensho Goto told AFP. “That’s the beauty of a robot. It can store knowledge forever and limitlessly. “With AI we hope it will grow in wisdom to help people overcome even the most difficult troubles. It’s changing Buddhism,” added Goto. The adult-sized robot began service earlier this year and is able to move its torso, arms and head.

But only its hands, face and shoulders are covered in silicone to replicate human skin. Clasping its hands together in prayer and speaking in soothing tones, the rest of the droid’s mechanical parts are clearly visible. Wiring and blinking lights fill the cranial cavity of its opentop head and snake around its genderneutral, aluminium body. A tiny video camera installed in the left eye completes an eerie, cyborg-like frame seemingly lifted straight out of a dystopian Hollywood sci-fi thriller. Developed at a cost of almost $1m in a joint project between the Zen temple and renowned robotics professor Hiroshi Ishiguro at Osaka University, the humanoid — called Mindar — teaches about compassion and of the dangers of desire, anger and ego. “You cling to a sense of selfish ego,” it warns worshippers. “Worldly desires are nothing other than a mind lost at sea.” NO FUDDY-DUDDY PREIST: With religion’s influence on daily life flat-lining in Japan, Goto hopes Kodaiji’s robot priest will be able to reach younger gen-

erations in a way traditional monks can’t. “Young people probably think a temple is a place for funerals or weddings,” he said, trying to explain the disconnect with religion. “It might be difficult to relate to fuddy-duddy priests like me, but hopefully the robot is a fun way to bridge that gap. We want people to see the robot

and think about the essence of Buddhism.” FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER: Kodaiji temple has also faced criticism — mostly from foreigners — for tampering with the sanctity of religion. “Westerners have been the most upset by the robot,” said Goto, noting largely

positive feedback from Japanese visitors. “It could be the influence of the Bible, but Westerners have compared it to Frankenstein’s monster,” he added. “Japanese people don’t possess any prejudices against robots. We were brought up on comics where robots are our friends. Westerners think differently.” Goto denies accusations that Kodaiji, recently visited by French President Emmanuel Macron, is guilty of sacrilege. “Obviously a machine doesn’t have a soul,” he said. “But Buddhist faith isn’t about believing in God. It’s about following Buddha’s path, so it doesn’t matter whether it is represented by a machine, a scrap of iron or a tree.” The temple insists the deity of mercy is able to transform itself at will and that an android is merely the latest incarnation. “Artificial intelligence has developed to such an extent we thought it logical for the Buddha to transform into a robot,” said Goto. “We hope it will touch people’s hearts and minds.”


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

business 11

China’S eCOnOMy ShOwS new SignS Of weakneSS with SOft data BEIJING

Oil prices fall on weak global economic data LONDON AGenCieS

Oil prices fell on Wednesday on weak global economic data and a rise in US crude inventories, almost erasing the previous session’s strong gains which followed the United States’ move to delay tariffs on some Chinese products. Brent crude LCOc1 was down $1.81, or 3pc, at $59.49 a barrel at 1323 GMT, after rising 4.7pc on Tuesday, the biggest percentage gain in a day since December. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down $1.80, or 3.1pc, at $55.30 a barrel, having risen 4pc the previous session, the most in just over a month. China reported a raft of unexpectedly weak data for July, including a surprise drop in industrial output growth to a more than 17-year low, underlining widening economic cracks as the trade war with the United States intensifies. “Oil is giving up most of Tuesday’s gain as it was reminded of economic realities with China’s industrial output falling to a 17-year low,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, global oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London. “Yesterday and today’s price action goes to show just how focused and twitchy the oil market is on current and future economic conditions these days and far less so on supply-side developments.” The global slowdown amplified by tariff conflicts and uncertainty over Brexit is also pressuring European economies. A slump in exports sent Germany’s economy into reverse in the second quarter, data showed. The euro zone’s GDP barely grew in the second quarter of 2019. The US Treasury bond yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007, in a sign of investor concern that the world’s biggest economy could be heading for recession. Profit taking after Tuesday’s gains also weighed on crude prices on Wednesday, analysts said. “We do expect Brent to continue recovering to $65 per barrel in the coming months,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said. “Oil demand in China and the United States is unlikely to weaken noticeably as a result of the trade conflict, though if this were to happen Saudi Arabia would further reduce its output.” Benchmark crude prices surged on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump backed off his Sept 1 deadline for 10pc tariffs on some products, affecting about half of the $300 billion target list of Chinese goods. Data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed US crude stocks unexpectedly rose last week. Crude inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels to 443 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.8 million barrels, the API said.

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HINA's economy showed further signs of strain in July with output at its factories falling to its lowest level in 17 years, while investment and retail sales also slowed, official data showed Wednesday. The figures are the latest to highlight how the world's second-largest economy is being battered by an escalating trade war with the United States and weak global demand. Industrial output increased 4.8pc on-year in July, down from 6.3pc in June and marking the weakest pace since 2002. It was also well below the 6.0pc forecast by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. "Given the complicated and grave external environment and the mounting downward pressure on the economy at home, the foundation for sustainable and healthy growth of the economy still needs to be consolidated," said Liu Aihua, a spokeswoman for the National Bureau of Statistics, which released the data. The data also suggested China's billionstrong army of consumers were showing signs of increasing thriftiness. Retail sales -- which have long been a bright spot for the economy -- rose 7.6pc last month, sharply down from 9.8pc in June. 'ECONOMIC CONDITIONS WORSENED': Liu attributed the weaker July numbers to a reversal in car sales as consumers snapped up cutrate autos in June ahead of new emissions standards -- and claimed retail sales were normal after factoring out the impact. But Julian Evans-Pritchard, an analyst at

‘GIVEN THE GRAVE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT AND MOUNTING DOWNWARD PRESSURE ON ECONOMY AT HOME, THE FOUNDATION FOR SUSTAINABLE AND HEALTHY GROWTH STILL NEEDS TO BE CONSOLIDATED’ Capital Economics, said the reversal only partly explained the slowdown. The new figures highlight the battle Beijing has in trying to navigate the country's economy from exports and credit-fuelled investment to one driven by domestic consumption. The unemployment rate notched upwards to 5.3pc in July from 5.1pc in June. Fixed-asset investment was up 5.7pc in January-July, slowing from 5.8pc in JanuaryJune. Spending on highways, high-speed trains and airports rose 3.8pc, down from years of near 20pc increases. "Economic conditions worsened across the board last month," said Evans-Pritchard. Growth of China's electricity generation sector slowed to 0.6pc on-year in July, down from 2.8pc growth in June, Lu Ting of Nomura bank said. "The previous period with close to zero power production was mid-2014 to mid-2016 when the Chinese economy significantly slowed," Lu told AFP. "It's not a good sign." 'WAKE-UP CALL': China's gross domestic

product growth slowed to 6.2pc in the second quarter of the year -- the weakest pace in almost three decades. The economic malaise makes it more difficult for President Xi Jinping to fight back forcefully against Washington, which is using tariffs as leverage to try to force Beijing into opening up its markets. Chinese exporters and US retailers did get a boost Tuesday as President Donald Trump's administration announced it was delaying tariffs on key consumer electronic goods imported from China, which had been slated for a 10pc duty on September 1. News that top US and Chinese trade officials spoke by telephone early Tuesday offered further signs of a possible letup in the trade war that had been escalating in recent weeks. "It doesn't really change the outlook on the trade tensions," said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics, noting "a US-China trade deal remains unlikely any time soon." "Meanwhile, rising tariffs and high uncertainty will take their toll on China's exports and investment," Kuijs said in a note. China's central bank last week allowed the yuan currency to fall below seven to the dollar for the first time in more than a decade, helping make 'Made in China' products cheaper around the world. But markets have been waiting for more stimulus from Beijing and further monetary easing to boost the flagging economy. Surveying the latest data, Stephen Innes, managing partner at VM Markets said: "If this isn't a wake-up call to the (People's Bank of China), I'm not sure what is."

US aviation regulator bans select MacBook Pro laptops from flights US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned certain models of Apple Inc’s MacBook Pro laptops on flights, after the company recalled select units which had batteries posing fire risks. “The FAA is aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops,” the agency’s spokesman said in an emailed statement on Monday, adding that the agency has “alerted airlines about the recall.” Apple said in June it would recall a limited number of 15-inch MacBook Pro units as their batteries were susceptible to overheating. The units were sold between September 2015 and February 2017. Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment. AGenCieS

LAHORE: People purchase national flags, shirts and other independence day-related accessories from a roadside vendor near Urdu Bazaar. online

Tencent Q2 earnings beat estimates on gaming growth SHANGHAI AGenCieS

Chinese internet giant Tencent said on Wednesday its net profit jumped 35pc in the second quarter, as the company continued to wriggle out of Beijing's crackdown on online gaming and build mobile game growth. Shenzhen-based Tencent said net profit was 24.1 billion yuan ($3.5 billion) in the three months ending June 30, beating an average estimate from Bloomberg analysts of 21.1 billion yuan. Total revenues were up 21pc at 88.8 billion yuan, primarily driven by mobile game growth, commercial payment services, and digital content businesses. Tencent's smartphone games rev-

enues climbed 26 percent in the three months. But Tencent was hammered by a Chinese government crackdown on gaming which launched last year and led to a months-long license approval freeze. The tech giant maintained revenue growth from the likes of popular game "Honour of Kings", and began charging users for newer title "Peacekeeper Elite" -- a toned-downed version of its nowdropped hit game "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" -- clocking up more than 50 million daily active users since its launch in May. Tencent said it has dropped the original title entirely and the new version, which won government approval, was developed in conjunction with China's air force.

Although it was showing signs of recovery, the gaming crackdown shaved around $250 billion off Tencent's stock market value by the end of last year and battered profits towards the end of 2018. "We expect gaming revenue to re-accelerate starting from the second quarter onward," David Dai, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Bernstein told Bloomberg News. Shares in the Hong Kong-listed company rose 1.80pc Wednesday ahead of the update. With China's economy slowing down, major tech giants such as Tencent and Alibaba are increasingly looking overseas for growth, often competing with each other in key areas like cloud computing and FinTech. The company's FinTech business rev-

enues soared 37pc compared to the second quarter in 2018, to reach 22.9 billion yuan as payment methods in China become increasingly digital. Tencent's social networks revenues grew by 23pc as China's largest social media platform WeChat's monthly active user base of more than one billion continued to climb. Facing fierce competition from short video operator ByteDance, Tencent has lined up new investment in China's Quora-like online Q&A platform Zhihu. It also announced a fiveyear partnership extension with professional sports league the National Basketball Association (NBA), which is extremely popular in China. But its media advertising revenues

were down 7 percent due to "unexpected delays to airing certain top-tier drama series and the absence of the FIFA World Cup this year." "Amid the evolving macro-economic and competitive challenges, we continue to invest in enhancing our platforms, services and technologies, for better supporting our users and enterprise customers," said Ma Huateng, the company's Chairman and CEO. Tencent and Alibaba, China's two largest companies, have lost a combined $140 billion in market value since the escalation of the trade war in May, according to Bloomberg News. Alibaba and Baidu are expected to release their results on Thursday and next Monday, respectively.


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

12 business

thai airlines' losses widen on weak tourism, strong baht BANGKOK AGenCieS

Bangkok Airways and smaller Thai carriers have reported surging second-quarter losses as they reeled from a decline in Chinese tourists and a strengthening baht currency. They follow on the heels of national carrier Thai Airways’, which reported last week that its losses more than doubled in the second quarter. Bangkok Airways said late on Tuesday that its second-quarter loss amounted to 698 million baht, against an 82 million baht loss for the same period a year earlier. The airline’s president, Puttipong PrasarttongOsoth, said on Wednesday that the carrier’s revenue dropped 4.2pc due to slow growth in international tourist arrivals and the strengthening of the Thai baht, adding that in the second half of the year the carrier aims to increase online ticket sales via e-commerce platforms like Shopee. Tourist arrivals in Thailand in June rose just 0.89pc from a year earlier, with visitors from China, Thailand’s biggest source of tourists, declining 7.1pc. State-run Thai Airways reported last Friday a 6.8 billion baht ($221 million) loss for April-June, against 3.1 billion baht in the second quarter of last year, blaming slow growth in tourism and intense price competition. However, Thai Airways said that the government’s decision to waive visa fees until October could attract more visitors during the low season. The airline aims to increase revenue through digital marketing and sales via its app, the airline’s president, Sumeth Damrongchaitham, said on Tuesday. The carrier said it would finance its planned procurement of 38 new planes to increase capacity by using internal cash flow, loans or issuing new shares. Low-cost carrier, Nok Air Pcl reported a 796 million baht second-quarter loss due to a fleet reduction and a decrease in Chinese tourists, it said. Rival no-frills airline Asia Aviation Pcl, which owns Thai AirAsia, booked on Friday a 879 million baht loss for the quarter due to fewer Chinese tourists and a strong baht, which tempered demand from foreign tourists. Asia Aviation said Thai AirAsia will launch flights to Cambodia and expects a recovery of Chinese tourists in the second half of 2019. The baht is Asia's best performing currency, gaining around 5.5pc against the dollar this year, helped by Thailand's $17 billion current account surplus.

LAHORE: A worker makes a pile of animal hides at his workplace. online

Shrinking gerMan eCOnOMy 'On edge Of reCeSSiOn' aS exPOrtS StUtter BERLIN

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LUMPING exports sent Germany’s economy into reverse in the second quarter, with prospects of an early recovery slim as its manufacturers' struggle at the sharp end of a global slowdown amplified by tariff conflicts and the fallout from Brexit. Overall output fell 0.1pc quarter-on-quarter, data showed on Wednesday. With pressure growing on a thus far reluctant government to provide more fiscal stimulus, the economy minister said action was needed to prevent a second consecutive quarter of contraction that would tip the country into recession. The global slowdown, reinforced by Chinese industrial output expanding at its lowest rates in 17 years in July, has broadly impacted the eurozone, where corresponding data showed secondquarter growth halved to 0.2pc. But Germany’s traditionally export-reliant economy - Europe’s largest - has been particularly vulnerable, amid signs that the boost it has received from a sustained period of surging domestic demand is waning. “Today’s GDP report definitely marks the end of a golden decade for the German economy,” said ING analyst Carsten Brzeski. “Trade conflicts, global uncertainty and the struggling automotive sector have finally brought (it)... down on its knee.” On a calendar-adjusted basis, annual growth slowed to 0.4pc from 0.9pc in the first quarter, the Federal Statistics Office data showed, and for 2019 overall Berlin expects growth to drop to

just 0.5% from last year’s 1.5pc. The economy ministry called the outlook subdued, noting that Britain’s scheduled exit from the EU on October 31 looked likely to be a disorderly one, while Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Wednesday’s data was a wake-up call. “We are in a phase of economic weakness but not yet in recession. We can avoid that if we take the right measures,” Altmaier told massmarket daily Bild. His ministry said impetus was unlikely to come from the industrial sector, whose BDI association in an unusual move -joined a growing chorus of voices urging the government to kick-start growth by ditching its balanced budget rule and finance more public investments through new debt. A government spokeswoman said Berlin did not currently see “any need for further measures to stabilise the economy,” which was still expected to grow slightly this year. Despite Wednesday’s headline quarterly figure matching expectations, markets also took fright, with the yield on Germany’s benchmark 10-year government bond hitting a record low of -0.624pc. “The bottom line is that the German economy is teetering on the edge of recession,” Andrew Kenningham from Capital Economics said, noting that exporters were facing an even bigger potential hit if a no-deal Brexit materialised. DOMESTIC SAFETY NET? The statistics office said that net trade slowed second-quarter economic activity as exports recorded a stronger quarter-on-quarter decrease than imports. Construction was also a drag, after the sector pushed up overall growth in the first three months due to an unusually mild winter. In a conclusion echoed by the economy min-

istry and Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, the office said domestic demand remained robust. That has become an important growth driver for Germany in recent years as consumers benefit from record-high employment, inflation-busting pay hikes and low borrowing costs. But UniCredit analyst Andreas Rees suggested the positive impact of those factors was limited. “For a year now, the German economy has been only crawling forward,” Rees said, with the many uncertainties facing exporters presaging more pain over the rest of the year. ING’s Brzeski said a national debate about easing fiscal policy to provide stimulus - a focus for international criticism of the government’s economic management since the peak of the financial crisis - would get more heated. In a guest article in Wednesday’s edition of business daily Handelsblatt, BDI association managing director Joachim Lang said the balanced budget that the government has stuck to rigidly since 2014 “should be called into question in an economically fragile situation”. A government official told Reuters last week that Berlin was considering issuing new debt to finance a costly climate protection package. On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel poured cold water on the calls for more fiscal stimulus, and on Wednesday the government spokeswoman said this position had not changed. “The fiscal policy of the German government is already expansive,” the spokeswoman added. Merkel had noted the already agreed removal of the Soli income tax surcharge for most employees from 2021, a relief worth some 11 billion euros per year that is likely to support domestic demand and with it overall growth.

signs of hope in trade war as us delays new tariffs on Chinese electronics BEIJING AGenCieS

US retailers and global financial markets got an early Christmas present Tuesday as President Donald Trump’s administration announced it is delaying tariffs on key consumer electronic goods imported from China. And news that top US and Chinese trade officials spoke by telephone early Tuesday offered further signs of a possible letup in the trade war that had been escalating in recent weeks. Trump said that conversation was “very productive,” and said he agreed to delay imposing tariffs on some goods to protect consumers going into the holiday shopping season — even while continuing to insist that Americans are not paying for the tariffs. After two days of declines, global stock markets surged higher, especially electronics manufacturers like Apple, amid relief over the view there might be an agreement that would forestall the feared hit to a world economy already showing signs of strain. The latest round of tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods, due to take effect on September 1, meant all Chinese imports into the United States would

be subject to additional duties. Trump’s August 1 tariff announcement prompted immediate outcry from retailers as they prepare for the holiday shopping season. But the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) said Tuesday it is delaying until December 15 imposition of new 10 percent tariffs on Chinese-made cell phones, laptops, computer monitors, video game consoles and some toys, footwear and clothing. “We’re doing this for Christmas season just in case some of the tariffs would

have an impact on US customers but so far they have had really none,” Trump told reporters Tuesday in New Jersey. An odd assortment of goods will benefit from the reprieve, including baby furniture, diapers and men’s suits, as well as frozen fish, cigar holders, sugar beets, pesticides, bedding and school supplies. In addition, USTR said “certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent.” About 25 product lines that will be

exempted from any new tariffs include car seats, shipping containers and cranes for ports. Also Bibles and other religious literature. “We are certainly relieved that a lot of the items won’t see an impact for this holiday season,” said Rebecca Mond of The Toy Association. But “We would like to see the threat of tariffs completely removed,” she told AFP. The National Retail Federation also cheered the decision, but warned that uncertainty continues, and tariffs “will result in higher costs for American families and slow the US economy.” The business group urged Trump to join forces with allies to deal with China’s “unfair trade practices.” But Trump has repeatedly said he prefers unilateral action, and again Tuesday threatened to withdraw from the World Trade Organization. “We know that they have been screwing us for years and it’s not going to happen again,” he said. TALKS BY PHONE: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He early Tuesday and has another call planned in two weeks, a USTR official told AFP. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also par-

ticipated in the call, officials said. US and Chinese negotiators met in Shanghai in late July for the first time since talks collapsed in May, and the sides were due to hold another round of meetings in Washington in September. However, relations soured further in the past two weeks and Trump on Friday indicated that the next round of talks might not happen, saying Washington was “not ready to make a deal.” Trump accused Beijing of continuing to renege on its commitment to buy US agricultural goods. “They said they are going to buy farm products. So far they have disappointed me,” Trump said. “They haven’t been truthful or let’s say they certainly delayed the decision.” Trump has continued to publicly pursue hardline tactics against China, repeatedly excoriating Beijing for backing out of conditions he says were agreed, and manipulating its currency to gain a trade advantage over American firms. The United States is demanding that China make changes to reduce the US trade deficit. It wants Beijing to open China’s economy to more foreign products and foreign companies, reduce subsidies and stop the theft of American technology.


PAREY HUT LOVE WAS CONCEIVED SEVEN YEARS BACK Asim Raza is among ace Pakistani film, television and TV commercial director and producer, who believes that success lies in working with perfection and enthusiasm. Studied architecture from reputable institutions in Pakistan and abroad, Asim started his career in the same field and worked with renowned architectural firms of country. The story teller at heart, Asim could not resist him venturing into production and direction and from mid 90s has extensively worked in all visual mediums from TV commercials to music videos, long plays and feature films. Asim has directed commercials of big multinational brands from Coca Cola, Unilever to Mobilink, and beautifully picturized videos of musicians like Junoon, Junaid Jamshed, Najam Sheraz, Abrar ul Haq and Hadiqa Kiyani. In late 90s Asim established his own production company and worked a lot for music industry of the country from producing the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s last concert in 1997 to 2nd Lux Style Awards in 2003. In 2004, Asim won the Lux Style Award for Best Music Video Director for "Mahi Ve" . In between he continued to keep inducting himself in various film making workshops from institutions like New York Film Academy. In 2013, Asim wore the hat of a film director in a telefilm Behadd, for Hum TV, starring Fawad Khan, Nadia Jamil and Sajjal Ali. Finally in 2016, Asim won his ultimate dream of directing a feature film with ‘Ho Man Jahan’ featuring ace star Mahira Khan along with Sheheryar Munawar And Adeel Hussain. His upcoming film Parey Hut Love is releasing on Eid-Ul-Azha, featuring Maya Ali and Sheheryar Munawar as lead. Along with them, he is also introducing many new actors and is very optimistic about their future as new stars of industry. Here is a chat with this one the most talented personalities of our entertainment industry.

KauKab Jahan How the idea of Parey Hut Love came into being? The idea came to me much before my first release Ho Man Jahan. I started working on this film almost seven years ago. I feel myself very lucky to be associated and have good relations with Imran Aslam (the writer of Parey Hut Love) and for the time he gave to my film. He came up with the idea of Parey Hut Love at that time and promised me to work on it for my film. Unfortunately things happened and Imran became so busy in his other responsibilities and our story took a halt in middle. In between I thought to do something else and started with a small project Ho Man Jahan, a smaller plot and simple story with least cast. After that, when I planned to start my new project I was adamant that it was time to complete Parey Hut Love. So here is the outcome of our hard work and development of last seven years, a gist of which you have seen in the trailer and songs which have been released so far. You have a very big cast in PHL. How you manage them in a feature film time. Parey hut love is two hours and 15 minutes long. Yes, the story of PHL is

grand and cast is huge, so every actor has got time according to their characters. Interestingly, for me the key people are the audience, who would take some out to come and watch my film. I have made this film for them. So yes, audience are the most important people in whole process. Cast is there to entertain them.

We have divided the time among characters keeping in mind the story line remained intact. I didn’t give the screen time because of this and that actor. What about your lead cast Sheheryar Munawar and Maya Ali? They are awesome actors. Obviously, the story revolves around them so they

will get the more of it but I have tried to extract colour from every other actor in the film. There are six songs in PHL, so how have you managed them in two hours and 15 minutes? Parey Hut Love revolves around many wedding festivities and our wedding functions are incomplete without music and dance. I assure you that not a single song is included as filler but every number has its proper and appropriate placement and relevance in the film. Moreover, we have not only shown our traditional weddings but also of the other communities living in Pakistan, like the film have a Parsi wedding function as well. Does Mahira Khan have just a powerful dance number or also acted in Parey Hut Love? Mahira Khan has an important cameo in the film besides this dance number. Her role is a twist in the film and gives a different perspective to the story. What about Fawad Khan’s role? Fawad Khan also has a cameo in the film. He always comes to my film as

tabarruk (blessings), which is very important to me. I have a belief that he is a lucky charm for my films. You know other directors have a complain that Asim Raza always takes all the big stars from the industry and no one is left for them to work with. As you said earlier that I took a long gap for my second film, so in between why don’t other directors cast them. And actually, this accusation is not true. In my first film Ho Man Jahan, Sheheryar Munawar and Adeel Hussain were both new comers and only Mahira was a big star. In Parey Hut Love too, Maya is just one film old while Zara Noor signed my film first before Chhalawa. I am proud that Zara is my search and I am sure she has a long way to go in industry. There is a lot of other new comers in the film as well. So, it is not true that I always cast stars but the s case is opposite as I always try that if I am casting two big established stars, then I should also introduce three new comers with them. I am thankful to God that if they become stars after doing my film. It is a great blessing for me.

What was trending this eid! check out what our favourite designers and fashion influencers have to say. Hope you stayed comfortable and enjoyed this meaty Eid.

Zuriador Zuria Dor is redefining contemporary fashion; where design, technology, techniques, ethics, sustainability go hand in hand. The collection looks towards the concept of amalgamating the femininity and structure in terms of silhouettes and design elements. It consists of hand painted flora alongside embellishments with sequins and crystals. The silhouettes of the entire collection are simple, sleek yet modern.

By Rohama Riaz

erum Khan The long shirts are coming back. It’s all about the really simple details that anyone can pull off! 2019 = Black & Golds Taking their twist on one of this year’s hot trends, the black and golds are making a comeback (it never really went away) this year. Summer trend alert: Time to stick to the capris, ladies Pair them with a long or short kurti, this summer trend is a winner in all ways.

hsY This Eid, vibrant colors will be the way to to go for women; pure fabrics and long duputtas. For men, pastel shade kurtas, especially light grey would be the perfect pick. But my favorite is the classic white that always looks the best.

mohsin naveed ranjha

ania FaWad I love playing with colors. My favorite color trending right now is butter yellow. I’m also really feeling the neon trend. It can be tricky to wear neon though, so pair your neon pieces with neutrals to avoid looking OTT.

I love the revival of the old school style. The revival of the shalwar and ghararas feels like a breath of fresh air. I have always been a fan of the 70s-80s silhouettes which are very glamorous but also extremely forgiving and suitable for all body types.The trend i am tired of is overdoing pastels. There’s nothing better than a nice pastel outfit but the appeal that bright dark colors provide is unmatchable. Hopefully the revival of color will bring a very rich change in the forecasted trends.

CMYK

Fahad hussaYn Eid is all about festivity. For me, Eid is bright colours and lots of bling. In addition to classic silhouettes, this Eid is also all about trendy cuts and to each their own. Style is executed best with one’s own personal touch.


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

14 SPORTS

Federer, djokovic advance as serena pulls out in cincinnati CINCINNATI

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OGER Federer and Novak Djokovic overwhelmed opponents at the WTA-ATP Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday, where Serena Williams withdrew because of back trouble. Williams had hoped to rebound from the back spasms that forced her out of the WTA final in Toronto on Sunday, where she lasted only four games before retiring. But the 23-time Grand Slam champion said her back was “still not right” casting a further shadow on her chances at the US Open starting in Flushing Meadows on August 26. For Djokovic and Federer, back in action for the first time since the Serb’s victory over the Swiss in the Wimbledon final, it was a smooth start to their US Open build-up. Federer, seeded third, remained unruffled by a one-hour rain interruption at 2-2 in the second set, eventually defeating Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 63, 6-4 to reach the third round at the event he has won seven times. “I’m very happy, even if it was a bit tricky with the rain delay,” Federer said. “I’m happy to be back on court. “This is the start of a long, long hardcourt swing. It’s good to begin with a

win. “I didn’t know that much about my opponent — he’s new to the tour — but at the end you have to concentrate on your own game.” Defending champion Djokovic double faulted three times as he dropped serve in the opening game against Sam Querrey but quickly put things right and pulled away for a 7-5, 6-1 victory over the American. “I ended the match well even if the start was nervy,” said Djokovic, who would break Querrey twice to take the first set then roll to victory. “Sam was feeling comfortable on the court at the start and dictating. It was tough facing his big serve,” Djokovic said. He added that he was “hoping for a better performance in the next round,” when he’ll take on Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno Busta — who withstood 32 aces from John Isner and a match point before beating the American 6-4, 67 (1/7), 7-6 (8/6). Williams, meanwhile, was left just trying to get healthy after pulling out of her scheduled first-round match against qualifier Zarina Diyas. “I came to Mason (Ohio) on Sunday and have tried everything to be ready to play tonight, and was still hopeful after my practice this morning,” Williams said in a statement released by tournament of-

Judgement day for Real Madrid as Zidane’s second coming begins

MADRID AGENCIES

Zinedine Zidane returned to save Real Madrid and the time has come for results. In a packed-out press conference under the Santiago Bernabeu in March, the club’s president Florentino Perez delivered the grandest of re-introductions. “We need to start working on a glorious new era,” said Perez. “That is why we welcome back Zinedine Zidane.” Some might have expected a bounce but nobody blamed the coach when performances continued to drag and the gap behind Barcelona, rather than narrowing, widened. Zidane took over a team with nothing to play for and a squad he knew was in need of reform. He knew because he had left it nine months earlier, just before it was broken. There was no quick fix. In his 11 games at the end of last season, Madrid won five, the only promise of progress the words Zidane kept repeating. “Things will change, for sure,” he said. Zidane denied it but they were seen as trials, every line-up scanned for clues

as to who would survive the summer. Yet in some ways, none of it mattered and the results, not to mention attendances at the Santiago Bernabeu, said as much. “The best thing for us is that it’s over,” said Zidane, after the season ended in defeat. And now it begins again, the season, and Zidane’s second era as coach. Many wondered why he came back, risking everything after the perfection of three Champions League titles out of three. The assumption was he returned to a stronger hand, able to make demands the club were ready to meet and with the backing to rebuild in the way he had always wanted. He might have been encouraged too, when Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy, Luka Jovic, Rodrygo and Eden Hazard all signed for a total close to 300 million euros. Hazard was the headline act, a throw-back to a previous era that Zidane knew well, when the world’s most glamorous players seemed to walk through the doors every year. “I’m not a galactico, not yet, but I hope I will be one day,” said Hazard when he joined.

ficials. “But unfortunately my back is still not right.” It’s another injury blow for the 37year-old American, who was hampered by knee trouble earlier this season and remains in search of her first title since the 2017 Australian Open. In early action, Stan Wawrinka won a first-round battle as he eliminated 2017 Cincinnati champion Grigor Dimitrov 57, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). Under leaden skies after an overnight thunderstorm, Dimitrov broke in the 12th game of the first set to take the lead. The 33-year-old Swiss fought back with the only break in the second set. Wawrinka then raced into a 5-1 lead in the final set but wasted two match points in the eighth game and was broken twice while serving for victory. Wawrinka had to hold off his Bulgarian opponent in the final-set tiebreaker before squeezing through in more than two and a half hours with his 10th ace. Venus Williams kept the family flag flying, the 39-year-old American putting her decades of experience to good use in a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4) victory over defending champion Kiki Bertens. “Before the match I felt quite good. Stepping on court, I’d say first few games was pretty bad,” Bertens said. “I didn’t start the match in a loose way. I knew that I had to defend the title.”

after itF okays pakistan’s security plan, indian tennis captain seeks ‘guarantee’

War-hardened Afghans discover a new sport: rugby

NEW DELHI AGENCIES

Indian tennis Captain Mahesh Bhupathi on Wednesday demanded a “safety guarantee” before they travel to Islamabad for their next month’s Davis Cup tie against Pakistan. The unusual demand comes days after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) responded to another Indian request for the second round of security assessment by a green signal to the safety plan in place. In reaction to New Delhi’s unilateral action to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution and strip occupied Kashmir of its special status, Pakistan last week asked Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria to leave, suspended bilateral trade and all public transport links with India. Bhupathi said security was his main concern for the team. “We just want guarantees on safety,” he told Reuters by email. The All India Tennis Association (AITA) said on Wednesday they had written to the sport’s governing body once again asking them to shift the tie to a neutral venue or to postpone it for a couple of months until tensions simmer down. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has already responded to a previous AITA request, saying they were satisfied with the current safety plan in place in Islamabad. “The recent developments have resulted in an atmosphere which is not conducive for a happy friendly tie between the two teams which have immense respect for each other,” AITA General Secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee wrote to the ITF in an email seen by Reuters. “Whether or not there is a security threat in Islamabad, the moods of the two nations are deeply affected and there is an undercurrent of tension which is perhaps not being taken into account by the Security Agency of ITF in their assessment.” The India association have also asked the ITF to share the security reports from its assessment of the situation in Islamabad and to set up a call between their respective security consultants.

KABUL AGENCIES

Thirty or so teenagers kick up dust as they sprint around a field in Kabul, focused intensely as they chase an oval ball in the sweltering heat. The players are sweating profusely but that has not dampened their enthusiasm for their new-found sport: rugby. Essentially unheard of before the arrival of international forces, the sport has slowly begun to pick up steam in Afghanistan, where football, cricket and body-building are better known. "I love the tackles and passes of rugby," said 16-year-old Lutfullah Kazemi, a high-school student who previously had been a football fan. He was drawn to the game largely because of its novelty, but stuck with it and now dreams of an international career. In a country that has been at war for four decades, tough-guy sports including body building and taekwondo already have found a loyal following. And thanks to the efforts over several years by die-hard fans, awareness around rugby is growing. Stephen Brooking, a Briton who advises the Afghan Rugby Federation, is convinced Afghans have the characteristics to shine at the sport, notably physical conditioning. For the moment, the focus is on seven-a-side rugby, known as rugby sevens, as it is the best way to build skills and is easier to understand than 15 a side. "They have the skills, they have the fitness, they have the strength," Brook-

ing told AFP. "You get some very big strong Afghans and I think they would be also good at fifteens. Eventually, I am sure Afghanistan will produce a strong 15-aside rugby team." But conditions are less than ideal. Chunks of synthetic grass have been torn from the Kabul pitch, making tackling dangerous. Only touch rugby, which is less physical, is allowed. Otherwise the players risk injury, explained Abdul Habib, the trainer of this team called "Qahramanan" -- meaning "champions" in Dari, the main Afghan language. Still, the sport is growing. Today, 18 teams have been formed in schools and universities around Kabul and six more in provinces outside the capital, said Aref Wardak, the rugby federation's spokesman. Three youth and adult championships are supposed to be created within months, and a women's team has even been started in Kabul with the hope of others coming soon. 'WHERE'S THE GOAL?': Afghanistan is not yet a member of the World Rugby governing body, but has received support from the Asian federation, which helps it train referees and coaches. The national sevens side, made up of Afghan expatriates, participated in the Asian Games in Indonesia last year, narrowly missing out on the quarter finals. To build a future for rugby, the federation is focusing on youth, starting in the schools.


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

SPORTS 15

strauss tells england to be patient in pursuit oF smith wicket LONDON

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NDREW Strauss believes patience if the key as England look to find a way to dismiss star Australia batsman Steve Smith in the ongoing Ashes series. Smith returned to Test cricket following a 12-month ban for his role in a balltampering scandal with innings of 144 and 142 as Australia beat England by 251 runs in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston last week. Smith has scored five centuries in his past six Ashes Tests, averaging 139. But former England captain Strauss, speaking to reporters at Lord's on Wednesday as rain washed out the first session of the second Test, insisted England were not up against a superhuman in Smith. "If you look in that first innings, he played and missed a lot early on...I don't think it's a case of reinventing the wheel," he said. "You know, a good ball to other people is a good ball to him, but maybe just a little bit wider. "He played brilliantly, fantastically well. But he's going to nick one at some point. "Bowlers have to be prepared to be patient." James Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, broke down with a calf injury after bowling just four overs at

Edgbaston and the Lancashire paceman won't now play in the second Test. "I honestly believe James Anderson going off after four overs cost us the game and there's no blame apportioned to anyone because these things happen, but we had them 120 for 8, we had a 90-run lead (on first innings) and then we were without your best bowler. "Over the course of the game that counts more and more." England are set give a Test debut at Lord's to World Cup-winning fast bowler Jofra Archer and Strauss had high hopes for the Sussex quick. "He's got pace, he's accurate, he's got good variety," said Strauss, an Asheswinning captain in 2009 and 2010/11, "I think he's going to be a fantastic England bowler and have a long career, but he's potentially making his debut so we can't expect him to be the answer to all our prayers." Strauss was speaking ahead of the inaugural Ruth Strauss day at Lord's, with the 'home of cricket' set to turn red in honour of the foundation that bears her name, which was set up after she died from a rare form of lung cancer in December. Thursday's event echoes the annual 'pink Test' in Sydney, where the third day at the SCG sees the ground turn pink for the McGrath Foundation, established by Australia great Glenn McGrath following

his wife Jane's death from breast cancer. "I sat down and did a piece with him (McGrath) last week, I really enjoyed speaking to him about his

experiences...I'm sure there's things we can do together in the future," Strauss said. "On a personal level it's going to be an emotional day for me and the kids.

"But it's great to be here and sample it and get a feeling of how much support there is for the foundation and people who want to pay testament to Ruth."

Cricket great Dravid cleared of conflict of interest Rain washes out opening session of second Ashes Test NEW DELHI AGENCIES

India’s cricket board has cleared batting great Rahul Dravid of conflict of interest charges after he was made head of the national cricket academy while working for a company that owns an Indian Premier League team. The complaint against Dravid followed similar allegations against record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar and former India captain Sourav Ganguly as authorities attempt to root out corruption in India’s powerful cricket establishment. Last month Dravid was named as director of the National Cricket Academy, a breeding ground for young talent, while remaining as a vice-president of India Cements, which owns IPL franchise the Chennai Super Kings. But Board of Control for Cricket in India administrators ruled out any conflict of interest involving Dravid, who has taken leave from the cement company, after a meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday. “There is no conflict on Rahul’s case,” BCCI administrator Ravi Thogde told reporters. “He has got a notice and we have cleared his appointment. We had seen no conflict, but if the Ombudsman finds any conflict, we will give our response to the Ombudsman stating why we found no conflict.” The case against Dravid was brought by Sanjeev Gupta, a state association member of the BCCI. The Indian board is being run by a Supreme Court-appointed panel tasked with clearing out corruption from the world’s wealthiest cricket body after a series of scandals. Ganguly, who is president of the Cricket Association of Bengal and mentor of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals, had hit out over the ac-

LONDON AGENCIES

cusation against Dravid, saying “God help Indian Cricket”. “New fashion in Indian cricket …..conflict of interest,” Ganguly wrote on Twitter. The case against Ganguly is still pending, as is one against former India batsman VVS Laxman who mentors the IPL’s Sunrisers Hyderabad and has stepped down from the BCCI panel currently selecting India’s next coach. He also works as a commentator. Tendulkar, an ambassador for the IPL’s Mumbai Indians, was cleared of any conflict of interest after he stepped down from the BCCI panel. Accusations of corruption and match-fixing tarnished the IPL — the board’s lucrative Twenty20 competition and opened a pandora’s box of other irregularities in the game’s finances.

Rain prevented play before lunch on the first day of the second Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord’s on Wednesday. When the match should have been getting underway at 11:00 am (1000 GMT), the square and pitch remained fully covered. Further rain then meant hopes of any play in the first session soon disappeared, with the prospect of the players taking the field at all on Wednesday increasingly slim. Ashes-holders Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 after their 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston last week. It is 18 years since Australia last won an Ashes series in England. In 17 of the last 19 Ashes campaigns, the team that has led 1-0 has won the series.

The exceptions were in 1997 when Australia lost at Edgbaston, but won the six-match series 3-2 and 2005 when England lost at Lord’s but won the five-Test series 2-1. England were set to give a debut to fast bowler Jofra Archer after James Anderson, their alltime leading wicket-taker, was ruled out with a calf injury that meant he bowled just four overs at Edgbaston. Neither England nor Australia have yet named their teams. They are not required to do so until the toss takes place.

India's next coach: Moody, Simmons, Hesson in shortlist of six with Shastri MUMBAI AGENCIES

The next head coach of the senior India men's team is expected to be chosen on Friday from a shortlist of six: the incumbent, Ravi Shastri, as well as Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons, Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh. The BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee, headed by Kapil Dev, will convene in Mumbai to conduct the interviews before making their decision. Hesson will be present in Mumbai for the interview, along with Rajput and Robin, team manager and fielding coach during India's 2007 World T20 win, while Moody and Simmons are likely to join the committee members over video conference. Besides Kapil, the CAC comprises Anshuman Gaekwad, the former India opener and coach, and Shantha Rangaswamy, the former India women's team captain. Confirming the updates, a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India, "These six will give

presentation for head coach before CAC. It has been learnt that these six have been short-listed for interview with the CAC." While the names of Moody, who has rich coaching pedigree in international cricket [Sri Lanka] as well as in the franchise circuit [Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, for example], and Hesson, formerly head coach with New Zealand and Kings XI, have been doing the rounds, Simmons is seen as a late entrant. The former West Indies opener was until June the head coach of Afghanistan. In the past, he has also had stints with West Indies, with whom he won the World T20 title in 2016, and, most notably, Ireland. Hesson, meanwhile, served as head coach of New Zealand for six years, the highlights being their memorable run to the 2015 World Cup final and a home Test series win over England in 2018. He has also been linked with the Bangladesh men's team, who are without a coach since letting go of Steve Rhodes after the World Cup.

There have been suggestions from the BCCI that Shastri is most likely to continue, something that has the backing of India captain Virat Kohli, who publicly expressed his support for Shastri at a press conference before flying out for the tour of the USA and the Caribbean late last month. "With Ravi bhai, all of us have a great

camaraderie, everyone in the team shares mutual respect [with him]. And we have done really well together as a group," Kohli had said at the time. "Yeah, we will definitely be very happy if he is continuing as a coach, but as I said it is upon the CAC to seek my advice or opinion if they want. Right now, I haven't been contacted at all. And I don't know what is going to

happen with the process." Shastri and the rest of his support staff - Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), B Arun (bowling coach) and R Sridhar (fielding coach) - are automatic entrants into the process. All of them are on an extended 45-day contract that will come to an end following the two-Test series in the Caribbean. While Arun has been favoured, like Shastri, to retain his job, Sridhar could be up against Jonty Rhodes for the fielding coach's position. Meanwhile, Bangar's position as batting coach will be challenged by the candidatures of Pravin Amre, Vikram Rathour and J Arun Kumar.All three have been associated with coaching at the domestic and IPL level. Amre is presently batting consultant of the USA national team and Delhi Capitals, while Rathour, who served as member of the selection committee until 2016, and Arun are with Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry respectively.The support staff is likely to be picked by MSK Prasad, the men's selection committee chairman.


Thursday, 15 August, 2019

NEWS

kashmIr curfew Intact governor says Kashmir curfew to be eased after thursday SRINAGAR

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eSTRICTIONS on freedom of movement in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir will be eased after India’s Independence Day on Thursday, the state governor has said, although phone lines and the internet will remain cut off. Satya Pal Malik told Times of India that communications will stay blocked as India’s government relaxes its clampdown since it stripped the region of its autonomy in early August. “We don’t want to give that instrument to the enemy until things settle down,” Malik told the paper in an interview. “In a week or 10 days, everything

will be alright and we will gradually open lines of communication,” he said. Fearing unrest, India snapped telecommunications and imposed a curfew in the part of Kashmir it controls on August 4, a day before its surprise presidential decree to strip the Muslim-majority region of its special status. Tens of thousands of troop reinforcements have been deployed to the main city of Srinagar and other towns and villages, turning the picturesque city into a deserted warren of barbed wire and barricades. The lockdown has not completely prevented protests, however. According to residents around 8,000 people took part in a demonstration after Friday prayers, with security forces firing tear gas and pellet-firing shotguns to break up the rally. On Tuesday the Indian government confirmed for the first time that clashes took place, blaming them on “miscreants” and saying its forces reacted with “restraint”. MOSQUE SHUT: For the Muslim festival of eid on Monday the Himalayan re-

gion’s biggest mosque, the Jama Masjid, was ordered shut and people were only allowed to pray in smaller local mosques so that no big crowds could gather, witnesses said. Footage filmed by AFP on Monday showed hundreds of people protesting in the Soura area of Srinagar, shouting slogans such as “We want freedom” and “India go back”. Three helicopters continuously hovered over the area as protesters jeered and shook fists at the aircraft. “What India has done is unacceptable to us. Our struggle will continue even if India keeps Kashmir locked down for months. Only solution is that India has to accept what Kashmiris want,” one protester told AFP. Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan following independence from Britain in 1947, and has been the spark for two wars between the two nuclear-armed arch-rivals. An armed rebellion against Indian rule — supported by Pakistan, New Delhi says — has raged since 1989,

claiming tens of thousands of lives, mostly civilians. India marks Independence Day, marking the end of British rule in 1947, on Thursday, a day after Pakistan.

Russia calls for Indo-Pak talks to resolve Kashmir issue ISLAMABAD APP

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday held a telephonic conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to brief him about the current situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Qureshi briefed Sergey Lavrov on the illegal and unilateral steps taken by the Indian government to change the disputed status of IOK and its demographic structure, a Foreign Office (FO) statement said. He added that the Indian steps were against the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Kashmir issue and international law. The foreign minister underlined that Indian actions entailed grave risks for peace and security, and

highlighted the severe hardships faced by the people of IOK in the face of unprecedented lock down.

Qureshi apprised Lavrov on the deteriorating situation of safety and security of the population in the

IOK, which had been under curfew for the last 10 days. He also shared concerns about the intensified repression by Indian security forces and the possibility of a false flag operation, which would further endanger peace and security in the region. He underscored to his Russian counterpart that Pakistan had already requested the UNSC president to convene a meeting to discuss the illegal actions of India in IOK. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that Russia was closely observing the situation and underlined the importance of resolution of all outstanding issues through dialogue and peaceful means. The two leaders agreed to continue to work together for peace and stability in the region.

a reporter finds fear and chaos inside locked-down occupied Kashmir under the simmering crisis, ordinary Kashmiris are caught in tumult and waiting to see what happens NEW DELHI AGENCIES

My car moved within a column of Indian army vehicles and a cloud of dust. On a normal day, it would have been a smooth journey from the airport in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, to my family home in the northern town of Baramulla. But life is very different in the Kashmir Valley these days. The part that India controls is now under an unprecedented security crackdown to prevent an uprising after the central government in New Delhi unexpectedly stripped the region’s special constitutional status ─ the last vestige of real autonomy for the predominantly Muslim region that is claimed by both India and Pakistan. Hundreds of Indian soldiers, armed with automatic rifles, patrol the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, a 56-kilometer-long road that connects the region’s main city with its northern towns. Civilian traffic is sporadic. Shops are shuttered. Indian army trucks gather speed along the road. And spools of concertina wire block the streets that branch off the highway, forcing residents to remain indoors.The Indian-occupied part of Kashmir is under lockdown. I first returned to Kashmir last week on a reporting trip when India parliament revoked the region’s special status. My second trip was more personal. I was going home to see my relatives

after not having talked to them for days amid a shutdown of phone and internet service. The trip from Srinagar airport to Baramulla was filled with fear and a strange sense of homecoming. There was hardly any traffic on the highway. every 10-15 minutes, Indian soldiers stopped vehicles and frisked travelers. Most of the roads I crossed were strewn with debris — a sign of the population’s anger. The streets were almost deserted and the mood among the people somber. Under the simmering crisis, ordinary Kashmiris were caught in tumult and waiting to see what happens. “We will fight India,” said Firdous Ahmad Naqash, 19, on a road that leads to Sopore, a northern town where anti-India feelings run deep. Muzaffar Teli, a 56-year-old man sitting next to him, echoed his words. “Him and me, we will together fight India now,” he said. Kashmiris fear the move to put their region under greater control from New Delhi will change its demographics and cultural identity. India said its decision would free the troubled region "from separatism". Conversations with residents, many of whom spoke anonymously for fear of being arrested by Indian authorities, often ended with a deep sigh or a burst of anger. “It’s all black and white now. It’s them [India] versus us,” said Masarat Jan, her daughter clinging to her tightly as they maneuvered around concertina wire. “She is an asthma patient,” Jan said, referring to her daughter. “How will we get her the medicine she needs if these restrictions continue?” At home, things weren’t good. My mother, who is diabetic, was running out of insulin and clinics were out of stock. A doctor promised that he will try to get some from Srinagar if he could get to the city. My family told me an elderly neighbor had died, but he had been buried

quickly and no mourners were allowed to attend his funeral. They have stopped watching the news, what little there is. They said Indian news channels were pushing the central government’s narrative by only showing images from places that were relatively calm. I didn’t want to watch the news either. As fear, anger and ambiguity about what’s next dominate life in Kashmir, most people are anxious to get out of their homes and talk to their loved ones. Security lockdowns and information blackouts are nothing new in occupied Kashmir, where mass uprisings against Indian rule in 2008, 2010 and 2016 led to the deaths of more than 300 people in clashes. This month, however, marked the first time that landline phones were cut. On eidul Azha, the biggest Islamic festival, Indian forces patrolled the streets but there was no traffic. People weren’t allowed to congregate to offer their prayers and the day passed quietly. But a cloud of anger hovered throughout. Kashmir is once again at a fragile moment, where the slightest spark can ignite unrest. When they are not busy talking about “haalat” — or “the situation” — residents are exchanging the names of locations on the cusp of a bigger uprising. Amid the tension, some dark humor emerged. One man joked about the uselessness of his cellphone, saying it was only good for throwing it at a bored soldier in the street. Authorities in Baramulla carried out a spree of arrests, including political activists, former protesters and some stone-throwers. But they also arrested intellectuals and lawyers, according to several families I spoke to who described midnight raids. Because of the communication embargo, my calls from Delhi seeking comment from authorities didn’t go through.

On Wednesday Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who on Sunday likened India’s government to Nazi Germany, was due to make a speech in the legislative assembly in Pakistani Kashmir.

IndIa sets up fake pakIstanI checkpost In Iok to stage false flag operatIon New Delhi wants to conduct a false flag operation near the Line of Control (LoC) in Occupied Kashmir with a view to malign Pakistan, according to reports. The reports stated that Indian troops plan to stage a fake operation and the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government would project it as military action against Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary (WB). New Delhi’s plan comes in the wake of heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours after New Delhi stripped Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) of its special status and clamped an information blockade on the valley . The Modi government’s Kashmir move has been condemned by the international community as well as voices inside India. The United Nations has called for the government in New Delhi to roll back the constitutional amendment under which Article 370 was repealed. The world community has also urged for restraint from both sides as India continues to ramp up its attempts to muzzle the voice of Kashmiris. NEWS DESK

IndIa detaIns kashmIrI polItIcIan at aIrport A well-known bureaucrat-turned-politician from Indianadministered Kashmir has been arrested in Delhi and sent back to the region, reports say. Shah Faesal was one of the few Kashmiri politicians who was not detained ahead of India’s controversial decision to revoke the region’s special status. He was arrested at Delhi airport on Wednesday morning. Speaking to the BBC’s Hardtalk programme on Tuesday, Mr Faesal said he was apprehensive about being detained. “I’m ashamed of myself that I’m free at a time when the entire leadership of Kashmir is in jail,” he said. Mr Faesal said that by revoking special status for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “murdered the constitution in broad daylight”. However, the Indian government says it has acted in accordance with the constitution and all protocols have been followed. The PTI news agency quoted officials as saying that he had been arrested at the international airport in Delhi as he was trying to board a flight to Turkey. There is no clarity on where he has been taken in Indian-administered Kashmir but some local media have said he has been placed under house arrest. The BBC has not been able to independently verify this. Mr Faesal made headlines when he topped India’s notoriously difficult civil services examination in 2009, becoming the first Kashmiri to do so. He resigned from his government post in January to launch his own political party – the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement. Hundreds of people have already been detained in the region after the government revoked Article 370 – as the constitutional provision guaranteeing special status was known – on 5 August. They include politicians, activists, academics and business leaders. The region has been in lockdown for more than a week now, with mobile, landline and internet networks cut off and curfew-like restrictions that ban people from assembling in crowds. However, officials said on Wednesday that these restrictions had now been eased in the Hindu-majority Jammu region. Despite the lockdown there have been protests against the revocation of Article 370, including one on Friday in Srinagar in the Muslim-majority valley. It involved thousands of people coming out after midday prayers to demonstrate against the move. India’s government says the removal of special status will allow Kashmiris to benefit from greater economic opportunities and development. It has also defended its move by saying that Article 370 fuelled terrorism and separatism in Indianadministered Kashmir, which has been the site of an insurgency for three decades. AGENCIES

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