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Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 I 9 Ramzan-ul-Mubarak, 1440 I Rs 20.00 I Vol IX No 316 I 16 Pages I Lahore Edition

Imran govt approves fIrst tax amnesty scheme g

hafeez shaikh says ‘basic purpose’ of scheme is to document economy, make ‘dead assets functional’



staff report

he Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on Tuesday finally approved the Asset Declaration Scheme after weeks of scrutiny amid internal opposition in a bid to “document the economy and to bring dead assets into the economy and make them functional”. PM’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul hafeez Shaikh briefed the media on the scheme after a meeting of the federal cabinet. he was accompanied by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi, Minister of State for Revenue hammad Azhar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan. Addressing reporters, Shaikh said people will have the opportunity to become part of the scheme until June 30, 2019. every Pakistani citizen will be able to avail the scheme except for government officials, public office holders and their dependents. he said the “basic purpose” of the scheme was not to generate revenue — as media reports had speculated — but to bring dead assets into the economy and make them functional. “We have tried to make this scheme very


easy to understand and implement,” the adviser said, adding that the scheme has realistic targets with low rates. he said the plan was not to “intimidate” people but to encourage businessmen to participate in the legal economy. According to the scheme, Pakistani citizens can whiten their assets within the country and abroad after paying a certain amount. A rate of four per cent will be charged for whitened money and the cash will have to be brought into Pakistan to be kept in banks, he said, adding a rate of 6pc will be charged in case people wanted to keep their money abroad. In the case of properties, their value will be considered 1.5 times more than the FBR-assigned value. The amnesty scheme also has the facility for citizens to whiten their benami accounts and properties before the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 2017, is enforced. The federal cabinet has given go ahead to the amnesty scheme two days after striking a deal with the Fund amid much criticism by the opposition parties. The finance adviser defended the deal with the IMF, saying the bailout package favours Pakistan. “Those who are opposing the IMF programme are the ones who had already done the same,” he responded to question. he said actions such as reducing the gap

4pc will be charged for whitened money if it’s brought into pakistan; 6pc will be charged in case people want to keep money abroad

between imports and exports, reducing losses of state-owned entities and curtailing expenditure are in favour of the country. In attempt to allay concerns regarding a hike in the power tariff, the adviser said electricity tariff will be increased under the IMF accord; however, it won’t affect people who consume less than 300 units. “Pakistan goes to the IMF again and again because it fails to increase its exports, foreigners remain reluctant to invest in the country and other issues,” the adviser added. ‘PEOPLE DECLARING ASSETS WILL BECOME TAX FILERS’: Answering a question about how this scheme is different from the ones offered in the past, State Minister hammad Azhar said unlike the past amnesty schemes, the one being introduced now makes it mandatory for people declaring assets to become tax filers.

fiqah-e-hanfia lahore sehr: 3:33 aM iftar: 6:53 PM

islaMabad sehr: 3:30 aM iftar: 7:02 PM

karachi sehr: 4:23 aM iftar: 7:10 PM

fiqah-e-jafaria lahore sehr: 3:23 aM iftar: 7:13 PM

islaMabad sehr: 3:20 aM iftar: 7:12 PM

karachi sehr: 4:13 aM iftar: 7:20 PM

Labbaik leaders Khadim Rizvi, Afzal Qadri walk free on bail


Opp leaders criticise govt over amnesty scheme STORY ON PAGE 02


Offshore drilling near Karachi coast completed

NAB urges IHC to cancel Zardari’s bail

saudi arabia says oil giant aramco’s sites targeted STORIES ON BACK PAGE & 12

nab summons bilawal in park lane case on may 17 STORIES ON BACK PAGE & 02 CMYK

CMYK Wednesday, 15 May, 2019





HE Senate Panel on Interior on Tuesday directed the Islamabad inspector general of police (IGP) to start an inquiry over the construction of firing range for US Embassy for which a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the Interior Ministry unlawfully. The meeting was chaired by Senator Rehman Malik in the presence of other senators and senior officials of the Inte-

rior Ministry. The chairman of the committee said that the ministry is not the authoritative body to sign an MoU in this case as the consent of the Cabinet Division is required in such matters. The committee, therefore, ordered the IGP to probe the matter and to find out the ulterior motives behind the agreement. The committee also directed the secretary interior to submit a detailed report on the findings in order to expose the ‘original facts’ before the committee. Malik said that he had also directed the Interior Ministry and Islamabad chief commissioner to investigate the

Maryam condemns detention of Amir Muqam’s son by FIA Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Tuesday said that arrest of Ishtiaq Amir Muqam — son of PML-N leader Amir Muqam — by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), “at the behest of his political rivals, is blatant political victimisation”. The PML-N leader took to Twitter and criticized Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, asking it about the corruption worth billions in Peshawar Metro Bus project. Your day of judgment is also near, she added. Maryam Nawaz said that nothing has been proven against PML-N leadership but, there are bulks of evidence against you, she continued. Earlier, an anti-corruption court granted FIA three-day physical remand of Ishtiaq Ameer Muqam and four other accused over charges of corruption in a road construction contract. Ishtiaq and other accused were sent on remand when they were produced before the court by FIA officials. The accused persons have denied the charges in the court. FIA officials told the court that the accused persons have failed to complete a project in 10 years which was estimated to be constructed within the period of one year. The officials said that national treasury received approximately Rs2 billion loss due to delay in road construction. Earlier in the day, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested Ishtiaq Ameer Muqam over corruption charges. According to the agency, Muqam’s son Ishtiaq among five contractors were arrested by the FIA soon after completion of an inquiry into alleged corruption in the construction of Alpuri Road in KP’s Shangla district. “A case had also been registered pertaining to alleged corruption in the construction of the aforesaid road, with the concerned project director, contractors NHA officials and engineers nominated in it”, sources said. NEWS DESK

matter and to submit a detailed report regarding the matter. “CDA has provided a report regarding allotment of land to the US Embassy and a letter was also written to the Interior Ministry to report on the matter but no such report has been received,” he said. Senator General (r) Abdul Qayyum told the committee that he had taken up the matter in the House in the name of designing and construction of a firing range in Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad. He said that an advertisement floated on the website of the US Embassy for the renovation of a firing

range for $0.1 million and the firms were asked to submit their bids. Malik also said that he had taken up the matter with secretary interior and was informed that the police firing range was located outside the boundary of Diplomatic Enclave established for the training of personnel and the idea was to upgrade it. He said that he was informed that the Interior Ministry signed with MoU by mistake. He clarified that the MoU was null and there was no firing range being built in the US Embassy as per reports of US Embassy and CDA.

Imran govt approves first tax amnesty scheme continued from page 01 He said the scheme was not being offered to generate revenue and contains an option for businesspersons to revise their balance sheets.Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the cabinet meeting during which the scheme was approved. The scheme has been announced two days after the government reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about a $6 billion bailout to implement an “ambitious structural reform agenda” over a period of 39 months. It was reported last month that the timeline of the IMF bailout package had complicated the launch of government’s first tax amnesty scheme. The amnesty scheme was first expected to be approved on April 8. But it could not be approved in two meetings of the federal cabinet last month, before the exit of then finance minister Asad Umar. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had strongly criticised amnesty schemes introduced by previous governments while it was in opposition. Rejecting an amnesty scheme offered by then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in April last year, PTI chief (now PM) Imran Khan had said: “Such schemes are cre-

ated to benefit the corrupt. Only corrupt elements become the ultimate beneficiaries. This is to fool the honest people of the country and encourage corrupt elements to plunder and amass wealth, only to whitewash it later on.” In fact, he had gone to the extent of pledging not only to reverse the scheme but also to investigate those benefiting from it, if he was voted to power. He had warned tax evaders not to take advantage of the scheme and come into the tax net; a claim that was considered to be a setback to the success of the scheme. Following the appointment of Dr Shaikh as Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance last month, the government had said its proposed amnesty scheme would go ahead without any major change despite a change of command and internal opposition. The adviser on finance desired that it should be a people-friendly scheme, helped document the economy and brought more non-filers into the tax net instead of just generating funds. He directed the FBR to fine-tune the scheme to make it simple to understand and easy to implement, an official statement said, adding that the objective of the scheme should be to make the economy more tax-compliant and documented.

Opp leaders criticise govt over amnesty scheme Opposition leaders on Tuesday strongly critcised the government over the amnesty scheme approved by the federal cabinet earlier in the day. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken a U-turn even on tax amnesty. Commenting on the federal cabinet’s approval to the tax amnesty scheme, the PML-N leader claimed that the government took nine months to copy the PML-N‘s tax amnesty scheme, but it lacked the visionary leadership of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his experienced team to implement the scheme successfully. She said that now all the illegal properties and returned goods would be legitimatised. By inflating the ‘Ehsaas Programme’, PM Imran accepted that mortgaging the country to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will increase poverty and the number of poor in the country, she added.Former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that he hopes Imran does not take a U-turn on the amnesty scheme. “In the past, they attacked our amnesty scheme but now it seems fine to them,” he said. He said that the incumbent government is copying the policies of the PML-N government.He also said that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the

NAB summons Bilawal in Park Lane case on May 17 iSLamaBad STAFF REPORT

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on May 17 in the Park Lane case This will be Bilawal’s second appearance before NAB after he was summoned along with his father, former president Asif Ali Zardari on March 20. During that appearance, NAB said that Bilawal and Asif Ali Zardari were questioned by the combined investigation team under the supervision of DG NAB Rawalpindi Irfan Mangi for approximately two hours in three cases. NAB also handed a questionnaire to the two on the three cases and informed them that this should be submitted to the CIT within 10 days. Speaking to party workers after his appearance, Bilawal said that NAB was created for political engineering. “It was our fault and weakness and we did not change this dark [NAB] law during our tenure in government.” “The case for which I was summoned, I became a shareholder of that company when I was younger than one year old. These people are starting my accountability from that age.”

IHC serves notices in plea regarding judicial complex iSLamaBad APP

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday served notices to respondents in a case seeking orders for construction of judicial complex for lower judiciary and clubbed the petition with other identical pleas for hearing together. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that bench and bar would jointly make efforts to address the issue. During course of proceeding, the petitioner’s counsel Saim ul Haq Advocate adopted the stance that federal capital’s population had been exceeded from 1.5 million but there was no proper place for lower judiciary in era of modern technology. He argued that the Article 37 of the Constitution bounded the stated for early provision of justice to public but the state was not fulfilling its responsibilities. He prayed the court to issue directives for construction of modern judicial complex in Islamabad. The bench served notices to Ministry of Law and Justice, chief commissioner ICT and other respondents for May 23.

KP health minister, LRH BoG chairman injured in YDA attack peSHaWar APP

IMF programme was given a political outlook. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader Syed Khursheed Shah said that the government should explain why it is introducing the amnesty scheme and for which class of thieves and robbers this scheme is being introduced now. He also said that the government should have talked about the IMF deal in the House but the premier did not say a word about the deal in front of the parliament. NEWS DESK


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health Dr Hisham Inamullah and Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) Board of Governor (BoG) Chairman Dr Nowsherwan Barki were attacked by young doctors during their visit to LRH to review the facilities being extended to patients. According to the Minister’s PRO, the young doctors first attacked Dr Nowsherwan Barki and when the minister for health tried to handle to situation the angry mob also attacked the minister who was then rescued by his security guard. The minister and Dr Nowsherwan Barki strongly condemned the incident and said that a handful persons were defaming the profession of doctor. The minister said that being a doctor he could not even think to take any step against the young doctors, adding that some doctors were doing politics for their ulterior motives.

CMYK Wednesday, 15 May, 2019





HINA has withheld visas of 90 “Pakistani brides” while launching a probe into 142 cross-border marriages took place in 2018 after reports emerged that Pakistani girls were taken to China for alleged sexual exploitation and organ harvesting. In an interview with UrduNews, Lijian Zhao, deputy chief of mission at Chinese Embassy, hinted at an increase in the number of Pakistani women seeking visas for China. “Last year, about 142 Pakistani women applied for wedding visas after marrying Chinese nationals while this year, so far, 140 Pakistani brides have applied for such visas,” the envoy said. The envoy, however, rejected that Pakistani women were being subjected to forced prostitution and organ sale in China. “Lies are being spread on the in-

ZtBL president's official vehicle runs over motorcyclist, injures another KARACHI: The official vehicle of Zarai Taraqiyati Bank Limited (ZTBL) President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amanullah Gondal killed a motorcyclist while injuring another at Jamshoro bypass the other day. According to details, Gondal was on his way to Sehwan Sharif for some official assignments when his official car, GPA-590, hit a motorcyclist near Jamshoro bypass killing a 55-year-old man and seriously injuring another man, who was shifted to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. According to reports, the car’s driver sped away from the scene after the incident, however he was later arrested by the police. The deceased was identified as Wazeer Marri; however, the identity of the injured is yet to be established.Station House Officer (SHO) Ashfaq Mangi told Pakistan Today that the incident took place on Sunday evening. “The police followed the official vehicle and arrested driver Zafar Gujjar and took the vehicle GPA-590 into custody,” he added. “No case has been registered as yet as the injured is receiving treatment,” he said. However, sources privy to the incident revealed that the police is forcing the deceased’s family to refrain from registering a case against the ZTBL president allegedly due to his official position. AFTAB CHANNA

Cabinet approves Zulfi Bukhari's appointment as PtDC chairman The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved the appointment of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s close aide and Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari as the chairman of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC). The cabinet’s decision was endorsed by the PTDC board, according to a press statement. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has laid emphasis on promoting tourism in Pakistan and has taken multiple steps to facilitate travellers. Last year, the government relaxed the visa policy and announced the offering of online visas to visitors from 175 countries. The government has also taken steps to promote religious tourism. Prime Minister Imran Khan last year laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur crossing that would facilitate Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit holy sites in Pakistan. The premier has stressed on the importance of proper infrastructure to facilitate tourists. NEWS DESK

ternet and the media. They are talking about Pakistani girls being sent to China for forced prostitution or the sale of organs. That is totally fabricated and for sensational purposes, he said. He said that out of 142 marriages, only a few isolated cases of harassment or torture have been reported. All the marriages, however, were legal and registered after due process. The envoy mentioned a complaint by a Pakistani wife, who wrote a letter to a Pakistani minister complaining that she was subjected to torture. After the letter, he said, the Chinese authorities probed the matter but found no evidence of torture. However, the couple decided to go for divorce after which the Chinese government provided the woman a bullet train ticket and air ticket and she was repatriated on May 2. Lijian asked the Pakistani govern-

ment to “review its visa on arrival policy for Chinese businessmen” as some marriage bureaus in Pakistan are “misusing” it. He said the Pakistani authorities should probe the role of those institutions and chambers of commerce and industries which are inviting fake businessmen who are actually coming to Pakistan in search of wives. The envoy said that a mechanism has been devised during a recent visit of a Chinese task force to Pakistan, under which any Pakistani can seek help from Chinese authorities via telephone in connection with the marriages. “The government of China and police will help if there is any problem.” Over the past two weeks, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested scores of Chinese nationals and their suspected local accomplices in connection with its investigation into a transnational gang al-

legedly involved in contracting fake marriages between Chinese men and Pakistani women, who are allegedly forced into prostitution and the illegal organ trade in China. In Lahore, FIA officials raided the hideouts and arrested 21 Chinese nationals and their two Pakistani abettors, believed to be involved in the matter. In Faisalabad, 34 people, including 33 Chinese men, were arrested who were sent on judicial remand. During the investigation, they have confessed that they used to take money for contracting marriages of Pakistani girls. In Islamabad, 20 people were taken into custody by the concerned authorities, while 14 of whom were sent on judicial remand. Six other people are under the custody of the FIA. In Mandi Bahauddin, authorities conducted joint inquiry and detained a woman, hailing from Lahore, a Chinese

man, and their alleged facilitator. Five families had contracted marriages of their girls with Chinese men for ‘bright future’, but their dreams faded away. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Office issued a statement, saying relevant authorities from both the governments are in close contact on this issue. “The government of China had offered all possible cooperation on the issue, which was highly appreciated. Both sides are closely coordinating their efforts.” Dr Faisal said that “a Chinese team visited Pakistan recently and held meetings with our law enforcement officials.” “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan Missions in China are closely monitoring the situation and extending all possible assistance to Pakistani citizens who may have any complaints on the subject,” he added. NEWS DESK

China says it supports Pakistan’s efforts to curb terrorism BeiJing

Zardari blames PtI for terror in Balochistan


Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang on Tuesday declared that China will remain a staunch supporter of Pakistan on counter-terrorism efforts. “We commend and thank the Pakistani security forces for safeguarding peace and stability in Gwadar and the security of Chinese personnel and institutions by taking swift measures to eliminate the terrorists. “We believe the Pakistani government and military are capable of upholding its national security and stability,” he said at a news briefing. He added, “We express our condolences to the Pakistanis who sacrificed their lives in the attack and our sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured. As we know from the Pakistani side, so far there is no Chinese citizen among the casualties. As we noted, Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned this attack, saying that it attempted to sabotage Pakistan’s economy and prosperity. He emphasized that Pakistan will not allow these agendas to succeed.” “As a supporter of Pakistan’s national development, we will continue to back its efforts to achieve economic growth, social development, and people’s wellbeing,” the spokesperson added. Commenting on Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos’s statement on Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, Geng Shuang said, we

respect for the diversity of civilizations is an important precondition for world peace and harmony. Dialogue between civilizations is an essential guarantee for the peaceful co-existence of countries. We believe every country has the right to choose a development path that suits its national conditions. Countries should champion the principles of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations and reject the misguided and wrong belief of “clash of civilizations” or the superiority of one civilization over others. “ The spokesperson hoped that the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, scheduled to take place this week offers a platform to show-

case the charms of Asian civilizations, promote exchange and mutual learning among civilizations and enhance friendship and cooperation between countries. China stands ready to work with the international community, Greece included, to engage in more dialogue and cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, openness, and inclusiveness. It is important that we overcome cultural misunderstanding, clash, and supremacy through exchanges, mutual learning, and coexistence. By so doing, we will be able to find solutions to modern problems in ancient civilizations and shoulder our due responsibilities to advancing world peace and development and building a community with a shared future for mankind.”

Pakistan ranks 154th on children’s rights index Pakistan ranked 154th on a survey mapping the extent to which countries adhere to improving children’s rights and their capability to do the same. The KidsRights Index ranks all countries that are a party to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), says the website. The index “provides crucial insights into what is being done and where countries need to do better to fully implement the CRC”. It covers five domains with a total of 20 indicators. THe fIve DoMAInS ARe: 1. Right to Life 2. Right to Health

3. Right to Education 4. Right to Protection 5. Enabling Environment for Child Rights Pakistan scored 0, 574 in life, 0, 511 in health, 0, 405 in education, 0, 567 in protection and 0, 643 in child rights environment. The overall score was 0, 492. The value of missing indicators was one. Meanwhile, the survey revealed that Britain and New Zealand are failing on children’s rights, scoring lower than wartorn Syria and North Korea relative to their wealth in rankings. “Appalling” discrimination against migrant children and a lack


of legal protection for poorer youths in New Zealand and the United Kingdom put them near the bottom of the annual survey by Dutch NGO KidsRights. “It’s a shame that countries like the United Kingdom and New Zealand are really at the lowest ranks of this index,” Marc Dulleart, founder and chairman of KidsRights, told AFP. Britain ranked 170 and New Zealand 169 in a survey of 181 countries. Iceland was top followed by Portugal, Switzerland, Finland and Germany. Afghanistan was worst, followed by Sierra Leone, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for unrest in the restive Balochistan province, saying instead of ensuring security to people, the government was busy in doing “politics of revenge”. According to a report in a local media outlet, the former president said the current government was pursuing an agenda of political revenge as he condemned multiple terror incidents in Balochistan over the last week. He expressed solidarity with the families of the victims who were martyred in two recent terrorist attacks in the province. “Terrorism in Balochistan is disturbing. The killing of innocent people is a barbaric act,” the former president stressed. Terror has reared its ugly head in Balochistan once again. There have been at least five attacks, including the attack on Pearl Continental, in May this year. On Monday, at least four policemen were martyred when a blast ripped through a market in Quetta’s Satellite Town. At least five people, including a navy man, were killed when Baloch militants attacked the five-star hotel in Gwadar. NEWS DESK

President, Firdous discuss matters related to media ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Tuesday called on President Dr Arif Alvi and discussed matters related to the media and its significant role in addressing national and social issues. She said she was entrusted by the president with the responsibility to resolve the problems being faced by the media. Later, talking to official media, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said overall challenges of society and resolution of issues of downtrodden segments were also discussed during the meeting. She said the president had a vision about the progress and prosperity of the country and they also discussed image building of Pakistan.The special assistant said transfer of powers at the grassroots level were also discussed during the meeting. She said the social media had a great role in countering challenges of the society and it was government’s mission to empower the media and link it with the interests of the country.Digitalization of media and equip it with latest technology were also discussed during the meeting, she said. APP


Wednesday, 15 May, 2019


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SumSam laudS political conSenSuS over ex-tribal diStrictS bill LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari on Tuesday lauded show of unity in the passage of the 26th Constitutional Amendment, which increased the number of National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s seats for the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). “Political parties’ consensus on the 26th Constitutional Amendment is a welcome [development],” he said in a statement, adding the PTI government fulfilled another promise it had made to the people of the country. The minister slammed the opposition Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s (PML-N) “double standards” over creation of South Punjab province, saying it adopted one stance inside the assembly while another outside it. He said southern Punjab’s funds were embezzled over the past 10 years by the previous set ups. Sumsam said the PTI-led government is meeting its campaign promises, hoping that the dream of prosperity across the country would come true. It is noteworthy that the National Assembly had on Monday unanimously approved the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, allowing an increase in the number of National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s seats for the former FATA. Subsequently, taking the floor of the house, Prime Minister Imran Khan, who attended the session, lauded political parties over reaching consensus over the amendment. STAFFREPORT LAHORE: Activists of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) are coming out of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday after the court granted bail to TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and former TLP patron-in-chief Pir Afzal Qadri in a case lodged against them for launching a violent protest against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi. ONLINE

people voted pti into power for holding corrupt accountable: buzdar LAHORE INP


uNjAB Chief Minister usman Buzdar on Tuesday said that people of Pakistan voted Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf for accountability of corrupt elements.“We will respect the mandate of the people”, Buzdar said while expressing his views with the various delegations, who called on him at his office in Lahore. He said the economic situation of

the country would have been different if governments in the past were transparent.The CM said the present government promotes trend transparency on every level.He said that public money was wasted on the name of so-called projects.On March 31, usman Buzdar had said that the elements involved in corruption were the real enemies of Pakistan and the nation. According to a statement released from his office, Punjab’s chief execu-

tive had said that menace of corruption was a major obstacle in the progress of the country.He had said that they were working by day and night with the determination of absolute elimination of corruption under the vibrant leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The chief minister said that the current government was promoting the trend of transparency in public affairs and added that zero-tolerance policy against corruption was yielding positive results.

Shah Rukn-e-Alam mausoleum damaged by water seepage MULTAN APP

The world's famous centuries old monument, the mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam, has been reported damaged at its main entrance and needed immediate attention of the quarters concerned for necessary

repairs and conservation, officials said on Tuesday. The historical building that was declared the best conserved monument and had won Agha Khan Award few decades ago, is surviving at Qasim Fort, located on a mound, the highest place in the city of saints. The Archaeology Department Mul-

tan has sent a report to highups stating that a watercooler placed on the north of the 'Deorhi' (entrance) of the monument could be the reason behind the damage. The water-cooler was removed lately. Water is drained out through a covered drain; however, it was cleaned about 15 to 16 years back by

the Department of Archaeology. The monument has been under the administrative control of the Auqaf Department which did not provide annual maintenance funds to the Archaeology Department, an official said. There are vertical cracks on outer and inner side of the entrance gate. Boundary wall on the southern and western side of the monument has also been damaged. The western portion of the'Deorhi' has bulged out and surrounding area floor subsided. The damaged part of the structure may have its joints loosened and any delay in its repair and conservation may expand the extent of damage to the rest of the structure and pose risk to lives.The report proposed joint visit by senior officials of the Auqaf and Archaeology departments to the monument to take a decision about its repair. When contacted, Zonal Administrator Auqaf Multan Ziaul Mustafa told APP that the matter was in his knowledge and a contractor had been asked to clean the drain immediately to end chances of further water seepage into the structure. Moreover, he added that the Auqaf Department has already sent a proposal to the Punjab government for expansion of the mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam from its main entrance gate to the ablution point outside the monument.The Rs 15 million proposal included expansion of monument till the ablution point, flooring similar to its courtyard, drainage system, reconstruction of ablution place and toilet block, and installation of circular razor wire on top of the boundary wall for security, an Auqaf Sub-Engineer Azam Ali said, adding that it would be taken up in the fiscal year 2019-20, subject to approval.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

NEWS Ask me about Samosa, Pakora prices, not IMF: Asad Umar Former finance minister Asad Umar on Tuesday reportedly refused to comment on the financial bailout package reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the deteriorating economic situation of the country. According to details, when Asad Umar was questioned about the IMF programme, he simply said, “What does it have to do with me now?” “Ask me about the prices of Samosa and Pakora,” he said. Asad Umar said that he is no more a part of the government, he is only a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member. “So whatever is happening now, ask about it from relevant advisers and ministers,” he added. Pakistan and the IMF reached an agreement on Sunday under which the Fund would provide $6 billion Extended Fund Facility over the period of three years. Asad Umar had played an important role in negotiating the deal when he was the finance minister. However, on April 18, Umar announced to quit his portfolio of finance minister after he was told by Prime Minister Imran Khan to step aside due to ‘poor performance’. The former finance minister was on Monday appointed as the chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue. NEWS DESK

SC orders early disposal of Ali Zafar sexual harassment case The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the early disposal of the Ali Zafar sexual harassment case and stated that no unnecessary adjournments will be granted. The two-member SC bench said that the high court’s order passed earlier in April will be followed while adding that lawyers for both singers were to cross-examine the witnesses on the same day. The bench further noted that the affidavits of the witnesses should be filed within seven days and an advance copy should be sent to the respondent for preparation. The witnesses will then be produced on the same day and the cross-examination will commence. In April 2018, Shafi had taken to Twitter to publicly accuse Zafar of physically harassing her on “more than one occasion”. “This happened to me despite the fact I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind!” her statement had read. Zafar, on the other hand, “categorically” denied the allegations and threatened to take legal action against the actress. “I intend to take this through the courts of law, and to address this professionally and seriously rather than to lodge any accusations here,” the singer had said on Twitter. NEWS DESK

Shahid afridi Slammed for SexiSt remarkS in autobiography


ORMER Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi batted away accusations of misogyny this week as critics lashed out at the cricket star’s admission that he refuses to let his daughters play outdoor sports. The remarks were just the latest controversy stemming from Afridi’s tell-all autobiography — ‘Game Changer’ — released in Pakistan and India last week. “It’s for social and religious reasons that I’ve made this decision regarding my daughters not competing in public sporting activities and their mother agrees with me,” wrote Afridi. “The feminists can say what they want; as a conservative Pakistani father, I’ve made my decision,” he added. In the book, the cricketer also unleashed withering criticism against old teammates — including erstwhile World Cup captain and current Prime Minister Imran Khan — and admitted to being slightly older than previously reported, drawing accusations he was not the youngest player to set the record for scoring 100 runs in an international. However, his comments about his four daughters — who are aged between 10 and 20 years old — may have proven to be the most galling to the public with social media users labeling the all-rounder a “misogynist” and “hypocrite”. “Afridi is no better than a typical

middle-aged average Pakistani guy, who wouldn’t mind hanging out with someone else’s daughters but would balk if his own did the same,” tweeted Salman Siddiq. “His daughters, his decisions? Really?? So the girls’ voices and choices don’t matter? Not even when they’re adults? Because #FatherHasSpoken,” added Asha Bedar on Twitter. Pakistani author Bina Shah also roasted Afridi, telling the BBC his decision was an example of “Pakistani macho culture that says I am the father, I can say what my daughters are going to do and not do, and there is not

a thing that you can do to stop me.” Others pointed to the examples set by other athletes on the issue, including Egyptian football star at Liverpool Mohamed Salah who has advocated for the equal treatment of women in the Islamic world. Salah made headlines over the weekend after a viral video showed him proudly celebrating as his four-year-old daughter scored a goal ahead of Liverpool’s last game of the season at Anfield. But back in Pakistan, Afridi pushed back at the criticism. “I don’t judge anyone or meddle in people’s life,” Afridi tweeted on Sunday.

ATC adjourns Imran Farooq murder case hearing till May 24 ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of a case pertaining to the murder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran Farooq till May 24 at the defense counsel’s request and also allowed for submission of more documents in defense of an accused Khalid Shamim. ATC Judge Shahrukh Arjumand resumed the hearing whereas the counsel for Khalid Shamim requested the court for more time for submission of additional documents in defense of his client which the court accepted and ordered to enlist the defense counsel documents along the case property. The court also directed the defense counsel for completion of arguments on the documents submitted before the court in the next date of hearing. During the previous hearing, the court had recorded the statement of two accused Khalid Shamim and Mohsin under Section 342 CrPC. Both of the accused denied their

statement earlier recorded before a magistrate where they have confessed their crime. The accused submitted their statement that the statement earlier recorded before a magistrate was under coercion and undue influence. Three accused Khalid Shamim, Syed Mohsin Ali and Moazzam Ali had been indicted in the case, while four others were declared proclaimed offenders.

Two of the suspects, Khalid Shamim and Syed Mohsin Ali, had earlier recorded their confessional statements before a magistrate, alleging that the slain Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader was killed because he was a “potent threat to the leadership of MQM”. Imran Farooq was murdered outside his house in London on September 16, 2010. The court adjourned the hearing till May 24.

Govt must clarify the terms of IMF deal: Sherry Rehman ISLAMABAD INP

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Parliamentary Leader in Senate Sherry Rehman on Tuesday strongly criticised the government over the deal it has signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package of $6 billion. In a statement, she raised several questions regarding the government’s deal with the international lender. She said, “Since the government has prorogued both houses of parliament, what we know of the deal, we know through the media. The government must immediately clarify the terms of the deal before the parliament and the people of Pakistan.” “The IMF’s official statement says that current arrangements would be rebalanced with the provinces, what does this mean? This is highly questionable

because the National Finance Commission (NFC) is a constitutional matter. Why are possible alterations to a resource allocation formula, which is pro-

tected by the constitution through an act parliament, being discussed with the IMF?” she asked. The PPP senator stated that Pakistan

Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said that it would prefer committing suicide over striking a deal with the IMF but ever since it assumed power, all they did was take huge multi-lateral loans like the $9.2 billion loan. “The total in nine months, which has come to Rs3,653 billion, is even more mind-boggling! Everyone is aware that this government has done the worst kind of borrowing in the history of this country and stacked it on against its future,” she added. “Tabdeeli sarkar has turned out to be Ghulami sarkar. It has knelt down before the IMF as no other government has ever done. Instead of relief for Ramzan, it has brought the 22nd IMF programme in the harshest of terms and price hikes like none of the previous governments has done so far. We now wait for the dollar rate to spike up and see the terrible downstream hardship it inflicts on the people.


Abbasi lashes out at govt for arresting Muqam’s son Former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday lashed out at the government for arresting Ishtiaq Ameer Muqam, the son of party’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) President Amir Muqam, over corruption allegations in Alpuri Road project. Abbasi said this while speaking at a press conference, flanked by other party leaders, including Ahsan Iqbal. He said that Ishtiaq had been arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after it had registered a case against him a day earlier for corruption in Alpuri Road in KP’s Shangla district. He also said that the agency tried to involve Muqam into the case as well. “If this is not political victimisation, then what is it,” he asked. The former premier also said that the government is trying to cover up its own failures by politically victimising its opponents. Abbasi also asked why the National Highway Authority (NHA) had not lodged a complaint in the past four years if there was any financial wrongdoing. He added that just because there was an error in construction, it does not necessarily mean there was any corruption. On Monday, FIA’s Anti-Corruption Wing arrested Ishtiaq son over alleged corruption in a road construction project. NEWS DESK

Opp requisitions NA session to discuss terrorism, IMF deal The opposition parties on Tuesday submitted a request to Speaker Asad Qasier to requisition a National Assembly session as early as possible. The request signed by 96 lawmakers was submitted by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders Khurram Dastagir and Murtaza Javed Abbasi. The opposition in its request states that the NA session should discuss the rising wave of terrorist activities, the IMF-Pakistan loan agreement and the alarming rate of inflation. TERRORISM: Four policemen were martyred and 11 injured in a blast near a police van in Quetta on May 15. On May 11, terrorists stormed a five-star hotel in Gwadar. Five people were martyred including a Pakistan Navy soldier. In Lahore on May 8, 12 people including five policemen lost their lives when a suicide bomber targeting an Elite Force police van outside Data Darbar. NEWS DESK

IHC reserves judgement in Ghotki sisters' security case ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday reserved its judgement on a petition regarding provision of security to the Ghotki sisters who recently converted to Islam from Hinduism. Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the minority’s rights were protected under constitution like other citizens. During course of proceeding, commission’s member IA Rehman pleaded before the bench that minorities were insecure in Sindh province. He added that it was their desire to visit Ghotki to hear the views of the minority Hindu community but they could not do this. Addressing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Ramesh Kumar, the chief justice said the lawmaker could raise the matter before the parliament. Dr Ramesh requested the bench to issue directives to parliament in light of the commission’s report constituted to view the matter of Ghotki girls. The court observed that it could not pass any directions to the parliament. However, the bench reserved its decision regarding the matter. It may be mentioned here that earlier, the bench had declared that the two girls had married willfully and converted to Islam by choice. STAFF REPORT

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019


trumP’s big-stick diPlomacy is having a very bad week VaniTY Fair


eriC luTz

hE news that Kim Jong Un launched two “short-range missiles” on Thursday, the latest weapons test for North Korea after a period of diplomatic quiescence, is surely disappointing for Donald Trump, who has built his entire foreign policy around the belief that he can bully, befriend, and then bend the world’s dictators to his will. In the past weeks, however, the president’s cult-of-personality approach to international affairs appears to be faltering—not just on the Korean Peninsula, where tensions are once again rising, but also in South America and the Middle East. In Venezuela, the Trump administration’s efforts to force out authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro appears to have backfired, both for the Venezuelan opposition, which launched an anemic, failed coup last week, and for Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton. Trump previously recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela, and took Bolton’s ad-

vice to ramp up pressure on Maduro to leave the country. Now, however, Trump is reportedly fuming that Bolton is trying to get “into a war” that he doesn’t want to fight. (So much for Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatening a “military option.”) Maduro, far from fleeing the country, has responded by detaining political enemies who tried to depose him, solidifying his power, and exposing Trump and Bolton as paper tigers. The blustery, peace-through-strength approach has hit similar stumbling blocks in Iran, where Bolton is also at the wheel. In recent days the administration has ramped up tensions with Tehran, sending a strike carrier to the region in response to what it called “troubling and escalatory” threats from Iran. “The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” Bolton said Sunday in an unusual statement, warning that the U.S. would respond to any provocation with “unrelenting force.” But the “troubling” intelligence the administration used to justify its saber-rattling was exaggerated by Bolton and other foreign-policy hawks in Trump’s orbit, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday. “It’s not that the administration is mischaracterizing the intelligence,” one U.S. official told the publication, “so much as overreacting to it.” Meanwhile, Iran’s moderates are power as the country’s hardliners grow frustrated with Trump’s insistence on economic sanctions. Amid growing tensions with the U.S., Iranian President hassan Rouhani announced Wednesday that

Pragmatic decision to Put ayodhya off Economic TimEs The Supreme Court’s decision to extend till mid-August the time given to the Ayodhya mediation team to find an amicable, out-of-court solution is pragmatic and welcome. It keeps the Ram temple in Ayodhya from figuring in the remaining two phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The choice of August 15 as the deadline for the mediation panel to submit its report has an element of drama, building up an expectation that the report would somehow be appropriate for the anniversary of Independence. The team would do well to submit its report well before that deadline, so as to avoid investing its suggestion with any greater significance than it deserves on its own merits. We have been of the opinion that the Supreme Court should stick to the legal remit on the Ayodhya dispute. The legal


Tehran would no longer adhere to parts of the Iran nuclear deal, the landmark 2015 accord brokered by Barack Obama, which Trump withdrew from last year. While Bolton beats the war drum in Iran and Venezuela, the administration is flailing to salvage talks in North Korea, once Trump’s favorite foreign-policy success story. (“There is no longer a Nuclear Threat” from Pyongyang,” Trump proudly declared after their summit last June.) When he and Kim met again this year to hash out a more concrete denuclearization plan, however, negotiations broke down before the two sides could even agree on first steps. It didn’t help that Trump repeatedly acknowledged publicly that his threats to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea were all just a ploy. The weapons tests Kim had seemingly put on hold? They started up again last month, with North Korea once more attempting to set the terms of negotiations. Trump has expressed confidence that a deal will eventually materialize thanks to his “very good” personal relationship with the dictator. But of course, this belies the fact that foreign policy is an unavoidable weak spot for the president. Trump took office without any previous political or military experience beyond vague tough talk about how he “knows more” than the generals. But Trump’s playbook—threaten total annihilation and then quickly cut a deal—has limited effectiveness once rivals catch wise. And, as Trump is struggling to learn, authoritarian government’s tend to have a high threshold for political and economic pain. Kim, Maduro, and Ali Khamenei know they’ll likely still be in power once Trump is gone.

question before it is one of land title. Resolving the title dispute might not, however, resolve the big questions centred on faith. Resolving those calls for the will to reach accommodation and compromise, which lies beyond court fiat and has to be summoned by the parties concerned from a desire to put the past behind them and move on to a better future. The legal provision for mediation comes under Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code. While directing parties to a dispute to reach a settlement, the court must have in mind a possible solution. If the disputants find the mediation team’s solution unacceptable, the court could find itself caught in a partisan wrangle between faiths. That would be unfortunate. Further, followers of the faiths in contention at Ayodhya, as well as the disputants in direct contest, could also move court, if they find themselves aggrieved by the solution proffered by the mediation team. If the mediation team fails to come up with a solution that is acceptable to the disputants, the court should reserve the right to not hear the case and ask the parties to reach a settlement on their own. The court is not a dump for knotty problems that politicians create and then fail to resolve. It should prioritise its reputation for impartiality vis-à-vis faiths.

nEw York TimEs Hossein Mousavian and abdulaziz sager

We write as citizens and foreign policy veterans of two countries that most Americans presume are locked in mortal combat: Iran and Saudi Arabia. In fact, after decades of proxy conflict and frozen ties between our countries, we believe now is the time to explore a new foundation for a lasting peace in our region. Neither of us is a starry-eyed idealist. We are both hardened realists with distrust for one another, and that mistrust is shared at the top levels of our respective governments. At the same time, we have seen the destructive consequences of crises in which our countries side with one or another government or movement involved in a competition for power — for example in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain or Iraq. While we each blame the other side for this pattern, we agree that the net result has been costly, has eroded the confidence of the people our governments serve, and has wasted incalculable resources and countless lives that should have been used to build a new Middle East, rather than tear it down. The time for dialogue is now, because the situations in the historic conflict zones are ripe for diplomacy. First, in Iraq, both Iran and Saudi Arabia have embraced a new government in Baghdad led by a prime minister and a president who are pragmatic and have good ties to both of our countries. This is an important opening we must seize. Second, the war in Syria has reached a point near an ending, with less violence and the defeat of the Islamic State there. Both of our countries believe Syria’s territorial integrity must be maintained. We call for respect of the principle of noninterference in Syria’s internal affairs, and respect for the Syrian people’s

right to determine their own fate. In Yemen, we disagree about the root causes of the conflict, but we agree that it has ushered in a humanitarian disaster. Both of our countries should support the process being led by the United Nations to end the conflict in the coming months. Lebanon is now led by a new government and we agree that it is up to the people of Lebanon to sort out their affairs on their own. Finally, in Bahrain, we both support the country’s sovereignty, integrity, democratic aspirations, and stability based on the will of its people. The bottom line is that these five conflict zones, long sources of contests and misery, appear to be settling into a relatively stable status quo from which we can begin to restore a lasting peace in our region. Although we each accuse the other side of being the source of instability in the region, we know through our own difficult dialogue over many months that the conditions exist for direct and continuous discussions with open channels between our capitals and our citizens. We do not need to agree on everything before agreeing on some things and taking the first, most difficult, steps of dialogue. Our citizens should be first and foremost in our minds, and the world’s. Iran and Saudi Arabia have a combined population of 115 million, nearly a third of whom are under the age of 25. The future is upon us, and our youth will be interconnected whether we like it or not. Sustainable peace and security require good bilateral relations and regional cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh. Iran and Saudi Arabia have significant differences, but they share common interests in many critical issues, such as energy security, nuclear nonproliferation, and Middle East stability. We hope that instead of widening the gulf between our two countries, our leaders will build on the common ground between our nations, which represent the two main pillars of the Muslim world. Abdulaziz Sager is the chairman and founder of the Gulf Research Center, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Hossein Mousavian is a specialist in Middle East security and nuclear policy at Princeton University and a former spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiating team.


Five years ago, I wrote that Narendra Modi could be India’s Shinzo Abe. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The chief minister of Gujarat state had just been chosen by his party to become the next prime minister if it won the popular vote. Writing for Reuters then, I predicted he could lift the country’s drooping economy, just as Abe had been attempting to do in Japan. To get an idea of how badly Modi has undershot expectations, look at India’s largest maker of consumer staples. hindustan Unilever Ltd. recently reported March quarter revenue growth of 7%, the weakest in 18 months. But it was what CEO Sanjiv Mehta said that unnerved investors. Consumer essentials are “recession-resistant but not recessionproof,” Mehta said. “At the end of the day, it depends on money in the hands of consumers.” Recession? In what Team Modi professes to be the world’s fastest-growing major economy? From carmakers to toothpaste sellers, Indian firms have

had a lousy start to 2019. It’s a performance that belies the economy’s official GDP growth rate of 7%, not to mention its advance to 77th place in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking, from an abysmal 142nd four years ago. In Japan, Abe has presided over what’s possibly the longest economic expansion in its post-World War II history despite the burden of an aging population. The signature piece of his reforms has been unprecedented monetary stimulus to end the country’s deflationary mindset. For a long time it looked like Modi would catch up with his counterpart, who had a head start of about 18 months after taking office in December 2012. India’s leader certainly had successes. They included a $48 billion reduction in the crippling debt of power distribution companies (so they could be healthy again and pay producers on time). In May 2016, Modi’s government gave India its first modern bankruptcy law, and in August that year, parliament voted in favor of a national sales tax, promising freedom from a bewildering array of state levies. As late as October 2016 there was nothing to distinguish between the 30% gains (in U.S. dollar terms) delivered by benchmark stock indexes in Japan and India since Abe took office.

But the following month, Modi did something bizarre. he made 86% of the country’s cash illegal. Abe never got around to dropping cash from helicopters to get citizens to spend. Modi succeeded in doing the exact opposite: he froze the purchasing power of an unsuspecting population for several months. Most people fail to realize that the loss of output India suffered in that two-and-a-half-year-old episode wasn’t temporary. The shadow is visible in hindustan Unilever’s latest results. Demonetization forced Indians to pull cash from informal business financing and real-estate speculation and, along with what they had in hand, put it in bank accounts or mutual funds. Property transactions, typically greased by cash that’s not declared to tax authorities, stalled. Even when the supply of new currency became normal, demand didn’t revive. More people chose to spend on consumer goods (like a new motorcycle) instead, as Kotak Securities Ltd. notes, encouraged by nonbank lenders that had no difficulty raising debt from cash-stuffed mutual funds. This consumption edifice is now crumbling. For one thing, the financing that supported it has keeled over. For another, the spending was erected on incomes that weren’t growing as fast as reflected in du-

bious GDP data. Rural demand has been hurt by slumping prices of agricultural commodities. Families cutting back on biscuits and toothpaste? This isn’t how Modi’s five years were supposed to end. In terms of stock-market returns, he’s still leading Abe. That may be because investors are underestimating the consumption slowdown and the dislocation in finance, which I termed India’s miniLehman moment last September. hindustan Unilever may not mean “recession” in the formal sense of two quarters of economic contraction, but its top executives are unlikely to be using the word carelessly. Modi inherited an economy that had been mismanaged for five years and proceeded to repair it, only to throw it into chaos in the second half of his term. A poorly designed national sales tax has hurt government revenue; crony capitalists have made a mockery of the new bankruptcy law; and the debt overhang for power-distribution companies has become just as grim as before. Modi didn’t become India’s Abe, but he did preside over half a Japanese-style lost decade. Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services.

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

puTin meeTs pompeo as us seeks 'a way forward' in Ties MOSCOW



USSIAN President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday meets US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the highestlevel talks between the rival powers in nearly a year as they see if they can make headway on a raft of disagreements from Venezuela to Iran to arms control. Pompeo will visit Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi less than two weeks after US President Donald Trump voiced optimism about improving relations with Moscow during a more than one-hour telephone conversation with the Russian leader. The new diplomatic push followed the long-awaited report in the United States by investigator Robert Mueller which found that Russia interfered in the 2016 election but that the Trump campaign did not collude with Moscow, partially lifting a cloud that had hung over the mogul-turned-president for two years. Putin is expected to receive Pompeo Tuesday evening after the US secretary of state holds talks with Moscow’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov. “My meetings in Russia will highlight a number of important topics,” Pompeo tweeted on Tuesday. “On some issues, we may agree, on others we may disagree, but when it’s in our national interests, it is our responsibility to find a way forward.” Pompeo is the highest-ranking US official to see Putin since July when Trump met him in Helsinki and stunned the US political class by appearing to accept the Russian leader’s statement at face value that he did not meddle in the US election. Despite Trump’s conciliatory attitude toward Putin, Washington and Moscow are at loggerheads

on an array of urgent strategic questions, including the Venezuelan crisis, Iran, the Syrian civil war and the conflict in Ukraine. HYPERSONIC WEAPONS: Hours before he meets Pompeo, Putin is expected to visit a top military flight test centre and inspect new weaponry on Tuesday. At a meeting Monday evening, Putin stressed that Russia was developing hypersonic weapons and tasked his top brass with also developing defences against such weapons. “We understand full well that leading countries of the world will sooner or later get such weapons,” Putin said. “This means that we should get hold of defences against such types of weapons before” Western countries put such weapons into combat service. Both the United States and Russia hope to make some progress on arms control, with Moscow seeking a five-year extension of the New START treaty, which caps the number of nuclear warheads well below Cold War limits and is set to expire in 2021. The Trump administration earlier this year pulled out of another key arms control agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, with NATO allies saying a Russian missile system was in violation. Moscow has denied the claims. Last year Putin revealed a new generation of “invincible” nuclear weapons and warned of a new arms race if America pulled out of weapons treaties. The Venezuela crisis is expected to be another key point of contention. The United States has been trying for more than three months to topple Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a leftist firebrand whose re-election was widely criticised for irregularities, and Pompeo has repeatedly blamed Russia for giving him a

Trump says it would be 'big mistake' for Iran to try anything against US

lifeline. Trump has, however, contradicted Pompeo, saying the Russian president assured him that Moscow is not involved in Venezuela. REGIME SLAYS DISSIDENTS: The US president’s enthusiasm for courting Putin has little support in Washington, even within his own administration, which has kept up a campaign of pressure including sanctions on Russia over alleged election meddling and Moscow’s support for armed separatists in Ukraine. Pompeo, despite his close relationship with Trump, left little doubt on where he stood in remarks Saturday in California. Addressing the conservative Claremont Institute, Pompeo said that US policymakers in recent decades had “drifted from realism” and chastised them for believing that “enfolding the likes of China and Russia into a socalled rules-based international order would hasten their domestic evolution towards democracy.” “But we can see now 30 years on, after the end of the Cold War, that the Putin regime slays dissidents in cold blood and invades its neighbours,” Pompeo said. Pompeo cancelled a stop in Moscow scheduled for Monday to meet with European foreign ministers in Brussels, who have been uncomfortable with the hawkish direction of the United States, especially on Iran. The United States has pulled out of a nuclear deal backed by the Europeans, Russia and China and instead has slapped sweeping sanctions on Iran in an all-out effort to curb Tehran’s regional clout. The United States has recently ramped up the pressure by deploying to the region an aircraft carrier strike group and nuclearcapable bombers, warning vaguely of imminent threats from Iran, which UN inspectors say is complying with the 2015 accord.


UK unemployment rate hits 45-year low LONDON: British unemployment has fallen to a 45-year low, official data showed Tuesday, with the economy holding up despite prolonged Brexit uncertainty. The unemployment rate eased to 3.8 percent in the three months to March -- the lowest level since the final quarter of 1974, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. That compared with a 44-year low of 3.9 percent in the quarter to February. "The UK labour market has been remarkably resilient in the face of Brexit-related uncertainty," Hargreaves Lansdown senior economist Ben Brettell said in reaction to the latest data. "These are really strong numbers given the headwinds the economy is currently facing." The ONS added that the UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1 percent, which was the joint-highest figure on record. However the strong jobs figures were not necessarily translating into higher productivity, analysts noted. "There are valid concerns that UK firms are hoarding labour instead of much-needed capital expenditure," said Brettell. "Why would you invest large sums in new plant or machinery in such uncertain times, when you could hire an extra worker and get broadly the same result?" The ONS added that growth in average weekly earnings, including bonuses, slowed to 3.2 percent in the three months to March. And they increased by only 1.3 percent when adjusted for inflation, down from 1.6 percent in the three months to February. "This is unwelcome news for hopes that the consumer can keep spending at a robust rate over the summer and help the economy weather prolonged Brexit uncertainties and a challenging global economic environment," said EY ITEM Club economist Howard Archer. AGENCIES

record number of attacks on gays in france: report PARIS AGENCIES


US President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would “suffer greatly” if it targeted US interests after Washington deployed an aircraft carrier and more jet fighters at a time of rising tensions with Tehran. “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly.” Trump’s comments came after the United Arab Emirates reported four commercial vessels had been sabotaged on

Sunday near Fujairah emirate just outside the Strait of Hormuz. Iran sought to distance itself from the incident. Washington withdrew last year from a 2015 pact between Iran and global powers aimed at reining in Tehran’s nuclear plans. Since then, the United States has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran, saying it wanted to reduce its oil exports to zero. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a trip to Moscow on Monday and instead stopped in Brussels to share information on “escalating” threats from Iran with European allies and NATO officials, the US special representative for Iran said.

Assaults in France on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people hit a new record in 2018, “a dark year” for the LGBT community, French group SOS Homophobie reported Tuesday. The nonprofit association registered 231 physical attacks, up from the previous annual record of 188 anti-LGBT assaults back in 2013 linked to same-sex marriage legislation. “2018 was a dark year for LGBT people,” said SOS Homophobie co-presidents Véronique Godet and Joël Deumier in the yearly report. The number of assaults jumped 66 per cent over 2017, with a spike towards the end of the year when a case a day was being reported to the group. SOS Homophobie’s helpline, website and legal services collected 1,905 statements from witnesses of abuse of the gay community, 15 per cent more than the previous year. The breakdown of cases, which could involve multiple categories, showed 62 per cent involved rejection, 51 per cent insults, 38 per cent discrimination and 20 per cent harassment. Threats and defamation made up 17 per cent each with physical assault on 13 per cent. Some 66 per cent of witnesses were men, who were “more inclined to talk about it and turn to SOS Homophobie to denounce what they suffered”.

Poland cancels Israeli visit over WWII property restitution row WARSAW: Poland on Monday said it had cancelled a visit by Israeli officials over their intention to raise the issue of the restitution of Jewish properties seized during the Holocaust, a matter Warsaw insists is closed. “Poland decided to cancel the visit of Israeli officials after the Israeli side made last-minute changes in the composition of the delegation suggesting that the talks would primarily focus on the issues related to property restitution,” the foreign ministry said in a statement posted to its website. It said a delegation headed by Avi Cohen-Scali, the director general of the Israeli Ministry for Social Equality, had been due in Warsaw on 13 May. Several thousand nationalists rallied in the Polish capital on Saturday against a US law on the restitution of Jewish properties seized during the Holocaust, an issue which has surfaced ahead of parliamentary elections later this year. Poland’s governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party as well as the centrist and liberal opposition have downplayed the law signed by US President Donald Trump in May 2018, insisting that it will have no impact on Poland. The US Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act — known as the 447 law — requires the US State Department to report to Congress on the progress of countries including Poland on the restitution of Jewish assets seized during World War II and its aftermath. Pre-war Poland was a Jewish heartland, with a centuries-old community numbering some 3.2 million, or around 10 per cent of the country’s population at the time. Anti-Semitic concerns regarding Poland have recently resurfaced. Last year, Warsaw passed a law that made it illegal to accuse the Polish nation or state of complicity in Nazi German war crimes.

On visit to New Zealand mosque, UN chief vows to combat growing hate speech CHRISTCHURCH AGENCIES

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres aims to draw up a global plan to fight a rising tide of hate speech, he said on Tuesday, during a visit to a New Zealand mosque where dozens of worshippers were killed in a mass shooting in March. Guterres visited the Al Noor Mosque in the southern city of Christchurch, where a gunman killed

more than 40 people on March 15 in one of the attacks on two mosques that killed a total of 51 people. An Australian man, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder over the attacks. “Hate speech is spreading and public discourse is being coarsened,” Guterres said in a speech outside the mosque. “Social media is being exploited as a platform for bigotry. We must all

show solidarity in response to this dangerous upsurge in hatred.” Guterres has asked the United Nations’ special adviser for the prevention of genocide to form a team to develop a global plan of action against hate speech, he added. The UN chief ’s visit to the island nation came as its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern prepared to co-host a meeting in France for global support to combat online expression of violence.

Guterres usually makes a “visit of solidarity” to a Muslim nation during the annual holy month of Ramazan, which began on May 5, but decided to visit New Zealand in light of the shootings, he added. After his three-day New Zealand visit, Guterres will meet Pacific leaders in Fiji to discuss climate change on Wednesday and visit the low-lying island nations of Vanuatu and Tuvalu, which are among the first to feel the impact of global warming.


Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

Hollow promise or firm commitment?

Passing the 26th Amendment A day of happy surprises

Will the dissolution stick this time?


n Monday the national Assembly unanimously passed the 26th Amendment Bill in an atmosphere marked by bonhomie. the Prime Minister addressed a peaceful House and lauded the national Assembly for its display of unity. the House was full and the Bill was passed by 288 votes to none. the Amendment has a historic importance for the people of the erstwhile FAtA, which has been amalgamated into KP. It enhances the current allocation of the general seats made on the basis of provisional results of the population census 2017. In the national Assembly the region’s representation has been doubled from six to 12 while in the KP Assembly it has been enhanced from 16 to 24. this will send a good message to the region while strengthening the system as more representation would not only enhance not only its say but also the region’s stake in the system. Problems still remain. the current allocation of the general seats was made on the basis of provisional results of a census that did not include internally-displaced population. the representation of the region will therefore have to be enhanced after the next census. In April a special Senate committee held a meeting with PtM leadership. the committee promised to serve as a bridge to address the group’s grievances thorough a consultative process. the subsequent delay made PtM leader Manzur Pashteen express dismay. A more realistic Mohsin Dawar, who was the moving spirit behind the Amendment, has thanked the country’s political leadership and said this will kindle hope among the masses of ex-FAtA. He recognized however that there is still a long way to go to win equality for the people of the region but remains hopeful. the national Assembly has proved it can bring dissidents into the mainstream by removing their genuine grievances through legislation. Parliament is in fact is the right forum to deal with complex social issues. In parliamentary committees dissidents can argue on equal level without anyone resorting to threats. In the national Assembly they can stage protests and still be brought back by the treasury benches. recourse to threats or actual use of force against non-violent dissidents who abide by the constitution can force them to resort to extra-parliamentary means. repression turns dissidents into separatists, as has been amply shown in Balochistan.

Uneasy business Over-zealous official institutions rock the fiscal boat


combination of the country’s emaciated economy, which now exhibits the craziest macroeconomic statistics, its lethal prolonged financial uncertainty, unprofitable internal political squabbling, and regional instability and war-mongering, have frightened away not only foreign investors, but also compelled local industry to sit on the fence and watch developments from the sidelines. economists may differ on the various steps and conditions needed to reverse this unhealthy economic stupor, but on one vital point they are all agreed, that there must be ease of doing business and commercial people must be given a patient, fair hearing by investigative agencies like FBr and nAB, or the courts, before taking any extreme action likely to cause financial setback or tarnish their name and image in the public eye. unfortunately, some controversial activity, including FBr officials’ alleged surprise raids on various markets and ‘interrogation’ of traders at their places of business, and nAB’s apparent haste in instigating highprofile inquiries against captains of commerce, have sent the opposite message of fearfulness among the already nervous business community. the stalled engine of economic growth cannot be reinvigorated under the shadow of such ‘old-fashioned’ threats and obsolete pressure tactics. the peripheral problems faced by Pakistan’s cellular industry, despite reaping fabulous rewards, present an apt example. Its clientele has grown by leaps and bounds in the last two decades and now comprises over 151 million subscribers. But, first the country’s war on terror had direct legal and pecuniary implications for the industry because of the previously unregulated system of mobile phone SIMS, and later the apex court too weighed in with its suspension of the not inconsiderable taxes deducted by cellular companies, including their service and maintenance charges. Lately, nAB too has issued a call-up to senior management of an old-established cellular company, operating in Pakistan since 2001, in connection with an inquiry against officials of the regulatory Pakistan telecommunication Authority for alleged illegal award of 4G/Long term evolution to the said company. the latter has challenged nAB’s call-up notice in the Islamabad High court citing mala fide intentions and harassment, but whatever the outcome, there will be much unwelcome mudslinging and adverse publicity. With such a rigid official mindset, the fiscal future offers the dreariest of prospects.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Umar Aziz

Asher John

Joint Editor

Executive Editor

Deputy Editor

Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965


uMer Gilani


eW people in the urban intelligentsia have noticed the massive rollback of devolution which has resulted from the passage of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019. the Act has dissolved all the local governments operating in the villages, towns and cities of the Punjab, even though they had completed only half of their five-year legal tenure. About 58,000 elected local government councilors have been sent packing, while their powers stand transferred to a few dozen hand-picked bureaucrats known as “Administrators”. this coup against local governments has drawn surprisingly little media scrutiny. If institutional development really mattered in our public discourse, this would have been the hottest controversy of the day. While dissolving existing local governments, the 2019 Act also provides the blueprint of a new system of local governance. But legally astute readers will notice that nowhere in the 107-pages-long Act do we find a date for the setting up of the promised, new, rosy system. A statement by the election commission of Pakistan reported in the press on May 9 suggests that a new elected regime is unlikely to take shape for at least one more year. In the meanwhile, however, the authority which the government in Lahore had so reluctantly and belatedly devolved to local governments in 2017 has been reclaimed. In 2019, Punjab is once again back in the age of centralized, bureaucratic rule. the roll-back of devolution by provinces is nothing new. My review of Punjab’s legal history suggests that this is the 10th time since 1972 that a new local government framework has been brought in and the old one scrapped. But for one new variable in the equation, this vicious cycle is likely to continue. that new variable is Article 140A of the constitution– a hitherto largely untested constitutional guarantee which gives us some reason to hope that, this time around, the toppled local governments might be restored. Article 140A, first inserted in the constitution in 2001, states: “Each Province shall, by law, establish a local government system and de-

volve political, administrative and financial re- 140A, local governments have become an indesponsibility and authority to the elected repre- pendent tier of the federation. Going by this sentatives of the local governments.” In 2010, the precedent, the dissolution of local governments framers of the 18th Amendment not only retained in mid-tenure is bound to be declared unconstithis provision but further reinforced it by adding tutional. Just as the constitution does not allow another clause: “Elections to the local govern- Parliament to topple the Provincial Governments shall be held by the Election Commission ments, it doesn’t allow the Punjab Assembly to of Pakistan.” In the context of the present con- de-seat local governments in mid-tenure - at troversy, there are four aspects of Article 140A least, not after 140A. It is true that the High court’s judgment which are worth highlighting. First, it uses the term “local governments”, was overturned on appeal. But, contrary to popnot “local bodies” which was in vogue in earlier ular perception, the Supreme court’s judgment legislation. clearly, this points towards a legisla- in the case has not given carte blanche to tive intent to elevate the status of local govern- provincial assemblies in their dealings with ments and bring them at part with the two other local governments. the judgment reported as LDA v. Tiwana (2015 ScMr governments mentioned in 1739) clarifies that after the the constitution – Federal insertion of Article 140A, a Government and Provincial province does not “retain Governments. The future of the same wide legislative Secondly, Article 140A and executive authority that uses the term “devolve”, not local governments in did before its insertion.” “delegate”. While delegaPakistan now depends on it(para 35) the court left the tion implies a continuing door wide open for striking principal-agent relationship, whether the courts will down future provincial legdevolution implies no such act to secure the tenure islation on the touchstone of thing. Devolution refers to 140A (para 56). an irreversible transfer of of local governments or Article While it mentions a few rights. the term has been things which provinces can used in at least two other arlet the vicious cycle of still do– “enlarge or diminticles of the constitution – dissolutions continue ish the authority of Local Article 63 and 274 - and Government” and “extend everywhere it has same or curtail municipal boundmeaning: it can’t be rearies.” (para 56)– nowhere versed. third, now that the constitution commands did it condone total dissolution. In the tiwana case, the Supreme court as(not simply permits) the provinces to “establish” local governments, how can they get away with sured the people of Pakistan that the promise doing the very opposite: dissolving local govern- of devolution enshrined in Article 140A will ments and reclaiming powers already devolved? not be allowed to become a “hollow constituLast but not the least, by taking away the re- tional promise.”(para 35). emboldened by that sponsibility for local government elections from promise, many of those 58,000 toppled elected the provinces and vesting it in the ecP, Article representatives have started knocking at the 140A clearly shows a legislative intent to reduce door of the constitutional courts. As the day pass, more will join this fraught battle between provincial leverage over local governments. these revolutionary aspects of Article 140A local governments and Pakistan’s largest, most were first flagged by a three-member bench of authoritarian province. the future of local govthe Lahore High court headed by Justice Man- ernments in Pakistan now depends on whether soor Ali Shah. In a case reported as Tiwana v. the courts will act to secure the tenure of local LDA (PLD 2015 Lahore 522), the court adopted governments or let the vicious cycle of dissothe argument that after the insertion of Article lutions continue.

Women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution Peace is likelier if women are part of the process Mehreen Shoukat


ecurrent and emerging armed conflicts, expanded terrorist and extremist networks, increased targeting of civilians, and record levels of mass displacement have harmed global security in the 21st century. Standard peacemaking methods have proved ineffective at addressing these trends: nearly half of the conflict resolution agreements forged during the 1990s failed within five years. With 90 percent of civil wars in the 2000s occurring in countries that had already experienced civil war during the previous 30 years, new thinking on peace and security is needed. A growing body of research suggests that standard peace and security processes routinely overlook a critical strategy that could reduce conflict and advance stability, such as inclusion of women. Many evidences indicate that women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution advances security interests. Despite growing international recognition of women’s role in security, the representation of women in peace and security processes has lagged. Between 1992 and 2011, women represented less than four percent of signatories to peace agreements and nine percent of negotiators. Given the rising number of security threats and growing evidence that women’s participation in peace and security processes improves stability, women’s inclusion merits a higher place on the uS foreign policy agenda. While the uS. government has advanced a comprehensive policy framework to promote the role of women in security under successive republican and Democratic administrations, women can improve the efficacy of conflict prevention and early warning strategies. Women’s central roles in many families and communities afford them a unique perspective to recognise unusual patterns of behaviour and signs of impending conflict, such as arms mobilisation

Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9


and weapons caching. In Kosovo, for example, curity, a tool recommended by the un Security women were the first in their communities to voice council to enable countries to advance national concerns when young men were amassing efforts to increase women’s participation in seweapons, heading into the local hills, and training. curity processes and improve women’s protecAlthough Kosovar women reported signs of im- tion from threats of violence. the uS government has taken significant pending conflict well before violence broke out, no adequate reporting systems were in place to steps to advance the role of women in peace and security processes. At the united nations, the capture and make use of their insights. Women’s participation in formal peace uSA led the adoption of critical Security council processes also contributes to the achievement resolutions aimed at combating sexual violence in conflict. During the and longevity of peace agreeGeorge W. Bush Administraments. A qualitative review tion, the uS government of 40 peace and constitutionchampioned Security coundrafting negotiations since International cil resolution 1820, which 1990 found that parties were declared that rape and other significantly more likely to peace negotiations forms of sexual violence in agree to talks and subsecontinue to proceed conflict can constitute war quently reach an agreement crimes, crimes against huwhen women’s groups exerwithout the consistent manity, or acts of genocide. cised strong influence on the under President Barack negotiation process, as cominclusion of women in Obama, the uSA led efforts pared to when they had little positions of influence, to enact Security council or no influence. In recent 1888, which esyears, as the evidence of including in Afghanistan, resolution tablished a special represenwomen’s contributions to Iraq, and Syria tative to the un peacemaking and peacekeepSecretary-General on sexual ing has grown, women’s role violence in armed conflict to in conflict resolution and sepromote greater attention to curity has received greater international attention. In 2000, the united na- this issue. the development of a strong policy tions adopted Security council resolution 1325 framework on women, peace, and security at under the leadership of namibia and with strong both the international and national levels has not support from Bangladesh and other Security significantly improved women’s participation in council members. this was the first of eight res- conflict prevention and resolution. By 2015, olutions to date through which the united na- which marked the 15th anniversary of un Secutions formally recognised the importance of rity council resolution 1325, only one woman, women’s participation in conflict resolution and coronel Ferrer, had ever served as a chief negothe post conflict reconciliation processes and tiator for a peace agreement, and only one committed to promoting their involvement. As woman, Mary robinson, had ever served as a of 2016, over 60 countries– from developing na- un chief mediator. International peace negotiations like Afghanistan and Kenya to high-income tions continue to proceed without the consistent countries like Japan and the uK–have developed inclusion of women in positions of influence, innational Action Plans on Women, Peace, and Se- cluding in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545






Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

Editor’s mail

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

The PM must lead from the front AS everybody knows that Pakistan is passing through a very fragile condition of national integration since the separatist factions have erupted in Baluchistan and KPK. the DG ISPr and the cOAS have also acknowledged that a hybrid war has been imposed on the country by enemies. And that these averse factions have been enticed by our enemies so that they could make the situation more gloomy. A wave of terrorism has clouded the country again as five terrorist attacks have occurred in the country in mere a month. the security forces of the country are doing their best to combat militancy but the laypersons of the country have become a part of that hybrid war. Whenever a mishap happens to the country, people begin to malign Pashtuns and Baluchis on social media and account them all as traitors. this act fuel that hybrid war, I guess, because majority of these two affected provinces is patriotic and loyal to the country. Fake news is also part of hybrid warfare, this should must understand our people who spread fake news against Pakistanis and stir more hate up in the aftermath of any terrorist activity. the PM himself must address the nation on this issue. the people who take part in proliferation of fake news must be informed that they are actually doing business of our enemies. Moreover, the disgruntled people should be engaged through political dialogues not by means of military actions because military advancement against these averse factions will infuriate them even more and eventually the enemies will succeed as they want all this to happen. ALi HASSAn Mandi Bahauddin

PIA operating profit

Glaring anomalies and injustices Instead of throwing out the whole system, judicial reforms can be made

Malik MuhaMMad aShraf


uBLIc administration is of pivotal importance as far as delivery of necessary goods and services to the citizens are concerned. It is imperative that the public administration carries out its responsibility with utmost efficiency at all levels without any discrimination. Woodrow Wilson in his famous book on administration said “It is the object of administrative study to discover, first, what government can properly and successfully do, and, secondly, how it can do these proper things with the utmost possible efficiency and at the least possible cost either of money or of energy.” efficiency of the administration depends on a number of factors. However the most important element in making the public administration responsive, efficient and corruption free is the justice-based career progression of the staff and the officers. unfortunately this aspect has never been taken care of by successive government in Pakistan with the result that the government administrative machinery presents an unbelievable spectacle of glaring anomalies and injustices among the people of the same cadre charged with identical responsibilities. My motivation for writing this piece stems from a report in the media regarding career prospects of Assistant Private Secretaries working in the ministries and their attached departments. According to the report the assistant private secretaries working in the ministries and their attached departments are in the Basic Pay Scale 16. the ones in the ministries, because of the greater number of vacancies, get promoted to Grade 17 after five years and within the next 12 years get two more promotions to reach Grade 19, whereas their counterparts working in the attached departments, due to non-availability of the same career prospects, remain in the same scale for 15-20 years, causing lot of frustration and heartburning among them. that is a flabbergasting reality which vitiates against

the PtI government has formed a task the principle of fairness and equal opportunity. unfortunately the journalists and opinion mak- force for bringing service reforms headed by Dr ers who write for the news papers are so en- Ishrat Hussain, and according to some reports grossed in contributing on political issues that in the media it is being suggested to abolish the they really do not care for such matters although cSS cadre and form different clusters and to rethey have a significant effect on governance. cruit officers for different cadres having educaSuch anomalies and injustices within the serv- tional backgrounds commensurate with the ice structures not only breed frustration among service for which they will be recruited. It the affected persons but also encourage corrup- means that the present system of common traintion and inefficiency, a bane for good gover- ing of officers belonging to different services will be abolished. If that is the case it will be a nance. In the bureaucratic set-up, the role of the sub- big mistake. change for good is welcome but change for ordinate staff, particularly the private secretaries, is very significant in ensuring coordination with the worse is not desirable. there is no need for other departments, ministries and even matters forming different clusters. Probably those who requiring liaison with the general public. Since are suggesting formation of different clusters posts of private secretaries are non-cadre posts, and specialised training to the officers thus rethey can be lumped together and made inter- cruited have not studied properly the existing changeable between the ministries and the con- system for recruitment to the occupational cerned departments, and promotions done on the groups of cSS. true, people get allocated to the basis of the combined seniority with a view to cSS occupational groups for which they do not have compatible educaensure equal opportunity for tional backgrounds, but that all of them as well as fulfillis not a valid ground to deing demands of justice and molish the whole structure. fair play. the PtI governThe biggest advantage the officers, after their ment which boasts of providtraining at the ing good governance to the of the common training common civil Services Academy, go people first of all needs to set to their allocated departits own house in order by of officers of different ments where they also unmaking sure that all such inoccupational groups of dergo a specialized training justices and anomalies the job that they have to within the administrative CSS at the Civil Services for perform during the progresstructure of the government Academy is that they sion of their career. During are removed, particularly career they also unamong the cadres of the subdevelop friendships and their dergo capacity building ordinate staff. Apart from the anomacquaintances with each courses to keep themselves abreast with the new trends alies and discrepancies other which help in and demands of their proamong the lower cadres that amply nullithere are also glaring injuspromoting coordination fession. fies the argument for the tices even among the offiformation of different cluscers of the occupational among different ters. the biggest advantage groups of the central Supedepartments of the of the common training of rior services. the officers of of different occupathe former DMG, now the government when they officers tional groups of cSS at the Pakistan Administrative are posted in them civil Services Academy is Service (PAS), have a quota that they develop friendof 65 percent in the Gradeships and acquaintances 22 posts of the federal govwith each other which help ernment and the remaining 35 percent are distributed among other occupa- in promoting coordination among different detional groups. the result is that most of the fed- partments of the government when they are eral secretaries come from PAS. that is a posted in them. It also helps in improving effimindboggling injustice and anomaly. In the in- ciency. therefore, instead of dismantling the enterest of justice and fair play, the posts of Grade tire structure, necessary reforms within the 22 should be equally divided within all the oc- existing system are required, particularly with cupational groups. this situation is also a cause regard to equal career prospects for the cSS ofof rivalries within the cSS cadres, particularly ficers and providing state-of-the-art facilities at the PAS and other groups. the latter, due to the institutions of specialized training in line their greater number and occupation of impor- with changes necessitated by the technological tant decision-making posts, are continuously advancements. engaged in protecting their vested interests and Malik Muhammad Ashraf is an academic. working against the interests of other groups, He can be contacted at: particularly their career prospects.

PIA new management headed by AVM Arshad Malik deserves praise for restoring some semblance of administrative discipline in national airline, which has been plagued by fake degree holders and ghost employees. the decision to shift administrative head office to federal capital will undoubtedly help restore administrative and financial discipline in this airline which has been subjected to political interference and has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, ever since time rafique Saigol and nur Khan left. With almost 80% of total traffic originating from northern hubs, ever-since opening of airspace by former Soviet union, the burden of positioning flights has become prohibitive. It is not just employee administrative discipline which must be restored but also discipline within corporate executive corridors, without which PIA revenues will not increase, nor optimum fleet utilisation achieved. Passenger complaints about unserviceable IFI should be a priority. PIA must plug leakages in procurement and leasing of aircraft. Almost 50% of PIA total international sales are in hard currency and therefore any reliable revenue comparison can only be made in Dollar terms. Massive devaluation over past few years, which ranges to almost 40%, does not reflect actual increase if comparison is in Pakistani currency. PIA’s ceO has recently claimed that loss making national airline has achieved revenue exceeding operating cost in quarter ended 31 March 2019. However, what is intriguing is that these quarterly reports which are mandatory to be made public as per SecP laws have not been published and made available on airline official website since 2017. It is requested of ceO of PIA, which is a statutory corporation, to make public details of quarterly reports on the basis of which airline has achieved break even. MALik TAriq Lahore

Examinations in Ramadan I am pursuing my studies in mass communication at the Awaaz Institute of Management and Sciences (AIMS), Karachi. Me and my fellow students have concerns regarding the examination being held in ramadan. As we all are aware and we are sure that you can understand this better than us that ramadan is the month of blessing and ibadah. Allah had given us a one month of blessing and a chance to repent our not so good deeds. Due to exams during ramadan, we can’t give much attention towards offering prayers and ibadah. We all feel exhausted that we have to sit for at least 5 to 6 hours in front of our books and laptop hence can’t dedicate much time for ibadah I, on behalf of our fellow classmates, request to the management of our institute and all other institutions to rethink about the issue seriously and give us some time to attain all benefits from this month of blessings. It is not within the domain of students to dictate the examination date, hence we request your esteemed position as editor of this newspaper to kindly published my letter. SyED AFFAn AHMED karachi

Costly and needless It is an undeniable fact that every union council of city Shikarpur issues birth, death and marriage certificates respectively. However, concerned officials of union councils takes costly fees on every certificate i.e rs. 500. there are numbers of complaints that the union council officials are charging very costly fee for issuance of computerised certificates. I am requesting to the higher / concerned authorities kindly visit each village or ward on fixed dates and get all births, deaths and marriage registered. the ucs and Mcs shall publicise its plan of visiting each village and beforehand so that people should know that a facility would be available at their doorstep. ZAMir AHMED MEMon Shikarpur


Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

Trump To meeT Xi afTer China slaps us wiTh new Tariffs WASHINGTON/BEIJING



S President Donald Trump said on Monday he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month and that he expected their discussions would be “very fruitful,” as the trade war between the world’s two largest economies intensified. Earlier, China announced it would impose higher tariffs on a range of US goods including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas, a move that followed Washington’s decision last week to hike its own levies on $200 billion in Chinese imports. Trump had warned Beijing not to retaliate. The US president said he would meet Xi at a G20 summit in Japan in late June. “We’re dealing with them. We have a

very good relationship,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “Maybe something will happen. We’re going to be meeting, as you know, at the G20 in Japan and that’ll be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting.” Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda, added that he had not yet decided whether to go ahead with tariffs on roughly another $325 billion in goods from China. For its part, China said on Monday it plans to set import tariffs ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent on 5,140 US products on a revised $60 billion target list. It said the tariffs will take effect on June 1. “China’s adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to US unilateralism and protectionism,” its finance ministry said. “China hopes the US will get back to the right track of bilateral trade and

economic consultations and meet with China halfway.” The prospect that the

United States and China were spiraling into a no-holds-barred dispute that could

derail the global economy has rattled investors and led to a sharp selloff on equities markets in the past week. Global equities tumbled again on Monday, with major Wall Street stock indexes down more than 2%. China’s yuan currency fell to its lowest level since December and oil futures slumped. STEADY DRUMBEAT:Trump has accused China of reneging on commitments it made during months of trade negotiations, which Beijing has denied. China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers. That dealt a major setback to the talks. In the middle of the negotiations last week, Trump hiked tariffs on Chinese goods to 25% from 10%. The move affected 5,700 categories of Chinese products including internet modems, routers, and similar devices. Beijing said on Monday it would “never surrender” to external pressure, and its state media kept up a steady drumbeat of strongly-worded commentary, reiterating that the door to talks was always open, but vowing that China would defend its national interests and dignity.

Mystery shrouds 'sabotage' of oil tankers in tense Gulf DUBAI AGENCIES

WhatsApp urges update after ‘serious’ security breach SILICON VALLEY AGENCIES

WhatsApp on Tuesday encouraged its users to upgrade the app to plug a security breach that allowed sophisticated attackers to sneak spyware into phones, in the latest trouble for its parent Facebook.The vulnerability — first reported by the Financial Times, and fixed in the latest WhatsApp update — allowed hackers to insert malicious software on phones by calling the target using the app, which is used by 1.5 billion people around the world. “WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices,” a spokesperson said in a statement to AFP. The FT cited a spyware dealer as saying the tool was developed by a shadowy Israel-based firm called the NSO Group, which has been accused of helping governments from the Middle East to Mexico snoop on activists and journalists. And security researchers said the malicious code bore similarities to other tech developed by the firm, according to The New York Times. The latest exploit — which impacts Android devices and Apple’s iPhones, among others — was discovered earlier this month and WhatsApp scrambled to fix it, rolling out an update in less than 10 days. The firm did not comment on the number of users affected or who targeted them, and said it had reported the matter to US authorities. It also informed authorities in Ireland about the “serious security vulnerability”, according to a statement by the country’s Data Protection Commission (DPC). “The DPC is actively engaging with WhatsApp Ireland to determine if and to what extent any WhatsApp EU user data has been affected,” it said. It echoed WhatsApp in encouraging users to update the app, as “the possibility remains that EU users were affected”. The breach is the latest in a series of issues troubling WhatsApp’s parent Facebook, which has faced intense criticism for allowing its users’ data to be harvested by research companies and over its slow response to Russia using the platform as a means to spread disinformation during the 2016 US election campaign. HIGHLY INVASIVE SOFTWARE: The WhatsApp spyware is sophisticated and “would be available to only advanced and highly motivated actors”, the company said, adding that a “select number of users were targeted”. “This attack has all the hallmarks of a private company that works with a number of governments around the world” according to initial investigations, it added, but did not name the firm. WhatsApp has briefed human rights organizations on the matter but did not identify them. The Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto, said in a tweet it believed an attacker tried to target a human rights lawyer as recently as Sunday using this flaw but was blocked by WhatsApp. The NSO Group came to prominence in 2016 when researchers accused it of helping spy on an activist in the United Arab Emirates. Its best-known product is Pegasus, a highly invasive tool that can reportedly switch on a target’s phone camera and microphone, and access data on it. The firm said Tuesday that it only licenses its software to governments for “fighting crime and terror”. The NSO Group “does not operate the system, and after a rigorous licensing and vetting process, intelligence and law enforcement determine how to use the technology to support their public safety missions”, it said in a statement to AFP.

Investigators sought Tuesday to shed light on a series of mysterious attacks on ships off the coast of the UAE, as President Donald Trump warned Iran against doing anything to harm US interests. Washington and its Gulf allies stopped short of blaming Tehran for what the UAE and Saudi Arabia called the “sabotage” of four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, on Sunday. But Trump vowed that Tehran would “suffer greatly” were it to “do anything” to threaten US interests. “If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake,” Trump warned at the White House. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly.” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hit back, saying the Islamic republic was “too great to be intimidated by anyone”. “God willing we will pass this difficult period with glory and our heads held high, and defeat the enemy,” Rouhani said at a late night meeting with clerics.

The attacks came after the United States deployed B-52 bombers and an assault ship to bolster an aircraft carrier in the region. The dispatch of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group, the amphibious assault vessel, a Patriot missile battery and the bombers has triggered fears of a possible military confrontation. “In an environment of rising regional tensions, limited Iranian operations against the UAE and Saudi Arabia might be designed to dissuade Abu Dhabi and Riyadh and signal that war with Iran will not be limited to Iranian soil,” said Alex Vatanka, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute. DELIBERATE SABOTAGE: A UAE government official said the Saudi oil tankers AlMarzoqah and Amjad were attacked off the emirate of Fujairah along with the Norwegian tanker Andrea Victory and an Emirati ship, the A. Michel. No casualties were reported and none of the vessels sank. Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional arch-rival, condemned “acts of sabotage” and a “criminal act”. The UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said the Emirates will

probe the “deliberate sabotage”. “The investigation will be conducted in a professional manner, the facts will be made clear, and we have our own readings and conclusions,” he tweeted. Saudi Arabia said its two tankers suffered “significant damage” but there was no oil spill. The attacks raised many questions, including the nature of the sabotage. The Andrea Victory’s managers, Thome Group, said the ship had a hole in its hull “after being struck by an unknown object on the waterline”. Asked whether the United States believed Iran played a role in the attacks, Brian Hook, the US special envoy for Iran, declined to comment, saying only that US authorities would be assisting the investigation at the request of the UAE. Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan proposed a revamped military plan at a meeting with senior national security aides, The New York Times reported. The plan would see up to 120,000 US troops deployed to the Middle East were Iran to attack American forces or speed up nuclear weapons development, the newspaper said.

Britain, NZ failing on children's rights: global survey LONDON AGENCIES

Row as France remembers troops slain in hostage raid PARIS AGENCIES

France paid its emotional final respects Tuesday to two commandos killed during a raid to rescue four hostages in the Sahel region of Africa last week that has sparked a row over the risks taken by the freed tourists. French special forces Cedric de Pierrepont, 33, and Alain Bertoncello, 28, who died in the operation in Burkina Faso, were honoured at a ceremony at the Invalides military complex in Paris led by President Emmanuel Macron. Crowds joined soldiers, firefighters and veterans in lining the bridge leading up to the imposing 17th-century building as the motorcade carrying their coffins made its solemn procession through a sun-lit Paris.

“France is a country that does not abandon its children, no matter the circumstances,” a visibly emotional Macron said in his speech during a 45-minute ceremony attended by tearful family members and masked fellow special forces. We’re here today, before these coffins draped in the colours of the country, to honour the suffering of your families,” Macron continued. “We’re here to affirm, with all the force this anger and sadness gives us, that we will never retreat from the fights for which you committed yourself and gave your lives.” The raid last week freed French hostages Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas, who were seized on May 1 while on a safari trip in a nature park in Benin close to the border with Burkina Faso.

Britain and New Zealand are failing on children’s rights, scoring lower than war-torn Syria and North Korea relative to their wealth in rankings released Tuesday by a children’s group. “Appalling” discrimination against migrant children and a lack of legal protection for poorer youths in New Zealand and the UK put them near the bottom of the annual survey by Dutch NGO KidsRights. “It’s a shame that countries like the United Kingdom and New Zealand are really at the lowest ranks of this index,” Marc Dulleart, founder and chairman of KidsRights, told AFP. Britain ranked 170 and New Zealand 169 in a survey of 181 countries. Iceland was top followed by Portugal, Switzerland, Finland and Germany. Afghanistan was worst, followed by Sierra Leone, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic. The annual KidsRights rankings, compiled with the Erasmus School of Economics in Rotterdam, use UN data to measure how countries measure up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. “Of course the situation in the UK is far better than in Afghanistan or Syria, but it’s relative to their position,” Dulleart said.

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019


CORPORATE CORNER BankIslami, EFU Life join hands for BancaTakaful business


KARACHI: BankIslami Pakistan Limited and EFU Life Assurance Limited have entered into a strategic alliance for distribution of EFU Life – Hemayah Takaful products. The signing ceremony was held at BankIslami Head Office Karachi and the agreement was signed by BankIslami President & CEO Syed Amir Ali and EFU Life MD & CEO Taher G Sachak. Speaking on the occasion, Syed Amir Ali said, “On this prestigious occasion, two of the leading organizations in their respective sectors have entered into a partnership. This strategic alliance will certainly help in providing better services to our customers. With this alliance, we are inking a new chapter in the success story of BankIslami’s BancaTakaful products.” PR

OGDCL discovers gas, condensate in Sindh ISLAMABAD: The Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has discovered gas and condensate oil from its exploratory-cum-appraisal well ‘Mangrio–1’ in Nim Block, District Tando Muhammad Khan, Sindh. OGDCL has 95pc share in the block and is the operator with 5pc shareholding of Government Holding Private Limited (GHPL). The structure of Mangrio–1 well was delineated, drilled and tested using OGDCL’s in house expertise. The well was drilled down to the depth of 2,676 meters. The well has tested 10.44 MMSCFD gas, 120 BPD condensate through choke size 32/64” at wellhead flowing pressure of 2085Psi from Lower Gru BSand. The discovery of Mangrio–1 is the result of aggressive exploration strategy adopted by the company. It has opened a new avenue and would add to the hydrocarbon reserves base of the OGDCL and of the country. PR

MRI aims to boost Pakistan’s mango exports MULTAN STAFF REPORT

The Mango Research Institute (MRI) in Multan is leading several initiatives aimed at helping mango growers increase the yield and improve the quality of their produce to make it export worthy. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of mangoes in the world but its overall share in the global export market is a mere 3.1 per cent. MRI Entomologist Abid Hameed Khan said that the 377km cluster from Rahim Yar Khan to Khanewal is the largest in the world for mango production but unfortunately, only 5.1 per cent mangoes produced there are exported. When asked about the reason for this, he said that mangoes produced in Pakistan hardly meet international standards. He said that with funding from Nestle Pakistan, the research institute has started two projects which can enable farmers to improve their produce while saving water. “The drip irrigation system we are introducing can irrigate one acre of land within seven to eight minutes by providing 2 litres of water to each plant,” he said, adding that this method saves 95 per cent more water as compared to flood irrigation. In order to bridge the gap between supply and demand, he said, the research institute has also developed five nursery tunnels where plants of commercially attractive verities of mangoes are grown in plastic pots in half the time compared to the standard procedures. “We aim to provide these to farmers at subsidized rates so that they can take advantage of modern technology,” he added. Abid also said that most mango growers are unaware of the complications of plant diseases and for this purpose the research institute has started an awareness campaign aimed at informing the farmers and landlords about the technicalities of plant diseases.


HE fertiliser industry has requested the government to immediately pay the pending subsidy claim worth Rs20.67 billion in the upcoming fiscal year. The Fertiliser Manufacturers of Pakistan Advisory Council (FMPAC), in its budget proposals for the fiscal year 2019-20, has requested the government to immediately settle all pending subsidy claims through budget allocation. The pending subsidy claim of the industry for FY17 and FY18 amounts to Rs20.67 billion. FMPAC has also asked the government to reduce general sales tax on all industrial inputs, including feed and fuel gas, for the fiscal year 2019-20. In addition, the government has also been urged to reduce GST up to zero per cent for all industrial inputs. The council requested the government to reduce GST on import of LNG and supply of RLNG to zero per cent from the existing 12pc, while GST on Phosphoric Acid should also be reduced to zero per cent. Furthermore, GST on rock phosphate should

FMPAC URGES GOVT TO IMMEDIATELY SETTLE ALL PENDING SUBSIDY CLAIMS IN UPCOMING BUDGET be reduced to zero per cent, while GST on local rock, being charged at 17pc, should also be zero per cent. "Sulphur, being a regular input raw material for SSP manufacturing, shall also be included in this low input GST structure. Moreover, GST on power and stream used for fertiliser manufacturing shall also be reduced to zero per cent," the council stated. "Settlement of outstanding tax refunds of fertilizer industry shall be expedited to redress its cash flow challenges." The council also suggested the government to place the fertiliser sector in the list of top priority industries, adding that the exporters should be encouraged to play an important role in developing Pakistan into an agricultural economy while fertilizer imports should be placed under normal tax regime in line with the fertilizer pol-

icy 2001. FMPAC said additional sales tax on the import of DAP and other fertilisers should be abolished in order to improve the availability of phosphatic fertiliser in the country. "Duty structure and sales tax with regard to fertiliser micronutrients shall be revised and aligned with the rates for other fertiliser imports," it added. Gas compression infrastructure expenses need to be adjusted to determine notified gas price for Mari gas based and other fertiliser plants. Gas compression equipment and machinery should be fully exempted from import taxes and duties to rectify the inequity in the laws and to support the sustainability of the fertiliser industry. The industry requested the government to establish a special fertiliser cell in the relevant tax offices. Further, the expeditions refund system, as available to the export sector and 5 zero-rated sectors, should also be provided to the fertiliser sector. The government has also been asked to implement a strive mechanism, which allows an automatic claim of input tax invoices. "The verification process should be streamlined and reduced accordingly."

Pakistani delegation departs for China to attend FATF meeting BUSINESS DESK Pakistani delegation under Finance Secretary Younus Dagha left for China on Tuesday to attend a session of the Financial Action Task Force, a private media outlet reported. In June last year, the Paris-based organisation formally included Pakistan on its "grey list" of countries with inadequate controls over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing. Pakistan has implemented 26 measures out of 29 for FATF. During the meeting, Pakistan will apprise the FATF officials about measures taken to stop financial aid to terrorists. FATF ObjecTives The action plan given to Pakistan to address its 'strategic deficiencies' includes the following measures: 1. Adequately demonstrating its proper understanding of the TF risks posed by the terrorist groups above, and conducting supervision on a risk-sensitive basis. 2. Demonstrating that remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of AML/CFT violations, and that these actions have an effect on AML/CFT compliance by financial institutions. 3. Demonstrating that competent authorities are cooperating and taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services (MVTS). 4. Demonstrating that authorities are identifying cash couriers and enforcing controls on illicit movement of currency and understanding the risk of cash couriers being used for TF. 5. Improving inter-agency coordination including between provincial and federal authorities on combating TF risks. 6. Demonstrating that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the

widest range of TF activity and that TF investigations and prosecutions target designated persons and entities, and persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities. 7. Demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions and enhancing the capacity and support for prosecutors and the judiciary; and 8. Demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those

acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services; 9. Demonstrating enforcement against TFS violations including administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases. 10. Demonstrating that facilities and services owned or controlled by designated person are deprived of their resources and the usage of the resources.

China, UAE and Singapore among top exporters to Pakistan ISLAMABAD APP

China remained the top source of import for Pakistan during the first eight months of the current fiscal year (FY19), followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore. The total imports from China during July-February 2018-19 were recorded at $6.63 billion, as compared to $7.32 billion recorded during July-February 2017-18, showing a decrease of 9.46pc, according to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). This was followed by UAE, as Pakistan imported goods worth

$6.26 billion from the Emirates as compared to the imports of $5.79 billion recorded during the first eight months of FY18, depicting an increase of 8.15pc. Singapore was the third in the list as Pakistan imported products worth $2.39 billion from the country as against the imports of $3.04 billion in eight months of the last fiscal, a decline of 21.23pc. Among other countries, Pakistani imports from Saudi Arabia stood at $1.97 billion as against $1.99 billion last year, while imports from Qatar were recorded at $1.44 billion as against $876.047 million last year.

The imports from United State of America (USA) were recorded at $1.37 billion as against the import of $1.21 billion last year, whereas the imports from India were recorded at $1.14 billion as against $1.09 billion last fiscal. During the period under review, the imports from Japan were recorded at $1.04 billion as against $1.20 billion last year, whereas the imports from Kuwait stood at $803.520 million as against $755.639 million. Pakistan's imports from Indonesia were recorded at $745.866 million against $707.741 million, whereas the imports from Thailand

stood at $709.899 million against $693.396 million. Similarly, the imports from Malaysia during the period under review were recorded at $693.456 million against $622.333 million, while the imports from Switzerland stood at $669.977 million against $644.687. Pakistan's imports from Germany were recorded at $727.122 million during the first eight months of the current fiscal year as compared to $721.341 million during the corresponding period of last fiscal, whereas the imports from Italy stood at $398.777 million against $380.080 million last year.

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019


PSX ends flat despite early gains KARACHI STAFF REPORT


The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) started the trading session on Tuesday on a positive note but failed to hold its ground and ended the day flat. Indices that opened positive soon took a U-turn and continued to move in the negative trajectory thereon. According to Bloomberg, foreign investors bought $6.9 million shares on Monday; the second biggest single-day purchase this year. News of Pakistan retaining its upgraded status in Morgan and Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Emerging Market Index remained unsuccessful in creating optimism in the market. Meanwhile, the Federal Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has approved the tax amnesty scheme. Asian markets continued a global sell-off on Tuesday following hefty losses on Wall Street as China announced it will raise tariffs on $60 billion of US goods beginning June 1, further escalating the trade war between two of the world’s supreme economies.Gathering 166.89 points, the KSE-100 index benchmark touched its intraday high of 34,067.27 in the initial hours. The index then rebounded to reach its day’s low of 33,691.66, down by 208.72 points. It finally settled 15.29 points lower at 33,885.09. The KMI 30 index gained 69.81 points to end at 52,837.79, while the KSE All Share index fell short by 31.43 points, settling at 15,839.29. The overall market volumes declined from 121.21 million in the preceding session to 105.71 million. K-Electric Limited (KEL 1.51pc), Unity Foods Limited (UNITY -8.84pc) and Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCF -4.98pc) were the top picks of the day. The scripts had traded 7.09 million shares, 7.09 million shares and 5.37 million shares respectively. The oil and gas exploration sector (+1.96pc), food and personal care products sector (+1.77pc) and modaraba sector (+1.67pc) remained the top gainers on Tuesday, whereas sugar and allied industries sector (10.53pc), textile weaving sector (-6.37pc) and vanaspati and allied industries sector (-6.00pc) ended as losers.

FFSHORE drilling near Karachi coast on Indus G-Block (Kekra-1) has finally been completed after four months of hard work. The drilling was done through a joint venture (JV) of four companies. Sources in the Petroleum Division informed Pakistan Today that the JV completed the offshore drilling on Kekra-1 well some 280 kilometres away from Karachi. The planned depth of 5,470 kilometres was achieved at a cost of Rs14 billion while the drill stem test (DST) was being conducted to determine the actual reserves of oil and gas, they added. "DST would be completed in the next three days and a report regarding the total quantity of oil and gas reserves would be prepared within a week," sources informed. They said an availability of around nine trillion cubic feet of gas with a large quantity of oil was initially estimated in the Kekra-1 well. A group of multinational companies, including ENI, Exxon Mobil, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), in a joint venture, had started offshore drilling on 11th January 2019. The drilling was expected to be completed in March 2019 as per initial estimation. ENI ensured the completion of offshore

FBR chief says harassment of taxpayers won’t be allowed

Chinese delegation visits BOI, discusses progress on Rashakai SEZ


Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi said on Tuesday that there would be no raid or harassment of the taxpayers, as it shakes the confidence of the business community. Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Engr Daru Khan Achakzai, along with vice presidents Abdul Waheed Sheikh, Ijaz Khan Abbasi, Qurban Ali and Shireen Arshad Khan, had visited the office of Shabbar Zaidi to congratulate him on assuming the charge as FBR chairman. During the meeting, the FPCCI president discussed various measures and proposals aimed at enhancing the number of taxpayers and increasing their confidence level. Achakzai highlighted that the misuse of powers by the tax authorities is creating a trust deficit between the business community and the tax department. Zaidi on the occasion said, "The taxpayers will be given due respect and no active taxpayer will be exposed and publicized as non-active or non-filer in case of any delay in payment of tax or on any account." He reaffirmed that no bank account would be frozen without prior intimation and notice to the bank account holder, adding that FBR would devise a stringent mechanism in this regard. Achakzai invited the FBR chairman to visit FPCCI Headquarter in Karachi and capital office in Islamabad to discuss the chamber's budget proposals and to share his vision in revamping the tax system. The FBR chairman agreed to visit the FPCCI soon in order to get feedback and first-hand information from the members and apprise them of the FBR's stance.




isLAMAbAD: A delegation of China Road and Bridge Cooperation (CRBC), led by Director Shi Xiaobo, visited Board of Investment (BOI) to discuss the timelines in making the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) operational. The meeting was chaired by BOI Chairman Haroon Sharif and attended by the BOI secretary, executive director general and other team members. During the meeting, the BOI chairman explained that the Rashakai SEZ has a strategic significance as it is closer to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. He added that BOI is strengthening its capacity by having specific desks and teams to deal with investors from different countries, as well as by working on im-

drilling despite critical situations faced during the drilling process. Sources informed this scribe that due to the critical situations faced in the Kekra-1 well, the drilling team had to spend an additional $100 million in order to procure surplus steel and cement etc., as it had to drill the Kekra-1 well in another direction. "This was a challenging task because the time to complete the drilling process was very limited, as the sea waves usually become unfriendly by the end of May," sources said. "The stability of a drilling ship by the end of May would have been next to impossible." Sources said that the determination of the actual quantity of the total reserves would be made during the next ten days. "After getting samples from the said offshore site, the process of testing

and analyzing would be commenced." A senior official at the Petroleum Division said that necessary infrastructure in the sea would be deployed for oil and gas exploration if the price of total reservoir quantity was more than $10 billion. If the reservoir quantity was in line with the estimates, Pakistan's import bill could be decreased by $6 billion annually, the official added. It is pertinent to mention that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has so far not granted clearance to the drilling ships, helicopters and other necessary equipment of ENI. The customs authorities have advised ENI to deposit around Rs1.6 billion as customs duty. However, the federal cabinet was likely to grant customs duty exemption to ENI and other exploration and production companies who would work on offshore sites in the future.

portant assignments, including SEZs. An incentive package for the Rashakai SEZ was also discussed during the meeting. The BOI chairman emphasized the need to have regular monthly meetings so as to fast track the progress on Rashakhai SEZ. Discussing the importance of Rashakai SEZ, the CRBC director termed the economic zone a role model project for other planned SEZs. He said that the establishment of Rashakai economic zone would result in industrial development, which would subsequently create employment opportunities and generate economic activity. He said combined efforts of all stakeholders would be crucial for the success of the project. STAFF REPORT

Huawei is not controlled by China, executive says LONDON: Huawei is a private company that is not controlled by the Chinese government and would refuse to hand over information to Beijing although no such request has been made, the firm’s Vice President of Western Europe said on Tuesday. The United States has told allies not to use Huawei’s technology to build new 5G telecommunications networks because of concerns it could be a vehicle for Chinese spying, an accusation the firm has denied. “There is no obligation on Huwaei’s part to cooperate with the government in the way in which the Americans are indicating,” Tim Watkins told BBC radio. “There is no mandate in (China’s national intelligence) law that we have to hand over customer data or intelligence that we do not wish to hand over or we think should be sensitive.” Watkins added that the code used in their products was safe and secure. AGENCIES

LHC summons FBR officials to explain hike in POL prices LAHORE INP

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday took up a petition challenging the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products. Justice Shahid Jameel heard the petition filed by a resident against the recent hike in POL prices. The court issuing interim order on the plea ordered the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials to appear before the court on May 24 along with the record. The applicant has stated in his petition that while prices of petroleum products have decreased in the global market, the federal government increased fuel prices. The government has already been charging tax on petroleum products, which is taking a heavy toll on consumers, he added. Earlier on May 3rd, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had approved an increase in the prices of petroleum products by Rs9 per litre for the month of May. The price of petrol stands at Rs108 per litre after the increase. The meeting had also approved the proposed increase in diesel price by Rs4.89 per litre, light diesel by Rs6.40 and kerosene by Rs7.46.

Pakistan retains upgraded status in MSCI Emerging Market Index BUSINESS DESK Pakistan has retained its May 2017's upgraded status in Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Emerging Market Index as it successfully averted a likely downgrading to Frontier Market Index. All three Pakistani large and mid-cap stocks i-e Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDC), MCB Bank (MCB) and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) continued to remain part of the MSCI Global Standard Indexes, according to the Geneva-based firm’s May 2019 SemiAnnual Index Review results that were announced in early hours on Tuesday.

There were speculations in the market that Pakistan would have faced downgrading to Frontier Market Index, or MSCI may initiate consultation for the possible downgrade in the review, as the three stocks had fallen short of the set criteria of meeting minimum free-float market capitalisation and/or minimum total market capitalisation. The continuous sale at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), especially in the three stocks, for quite a long time, has reduced their market capitalisation from the required one. “Buffer Rule most likely saved the day for Pakistan whose weight in MSCI

Emerging Market Index is now estimated at 0.03pc, down 7-8 basis points since its inclusion in June 2017,” Topline Securities CEO Muhammad Sohail said told a private media outlet. Foreign investors having an estimated $1.5 trillion funds in hand track the MSCI Emerging Market indexes to decide whether to invest or divest in the constituencies listed at stock markets around the globe. However, MSCI Inc – a leading provider of research-based indexes and analytics globally – has deleted three Pakistani stocks from MSCI Global Small Cap Index; Fauji Cement (FFC), Fauji

Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited (FBL) and International Steels (ISL). The changes will take place at the close of May 28, 2019, it announced. “The outflow resulting from deletion of FFC, FFBL and ISL are expected to be negligible,” Arif Habib Limited Deputy Head of Research Tahir Abbas said in the post MSCI review result comment. Pakistan was reclassified into MSCI Emerging Market Index from Frontier Market Index in May 2017 after a gap of nine years. Earlier, the country was downgraded into Frontier Market Index in 2008 following Pakistan Stock Exchange (previously known as Karachi

Stock Exchange) virtually suspending trading for quite a long period to avoid the then potential harsh selling. After the three deletions, there are only 19 Pakistani constituencies left in MSCI Global Small Cap Indexes including Bank Alfalah, DG Khan Cement, Engro Corporation, Engro Fertilizer, Fauji Fertilizer Company, Hub Power Company, Indus Motor, Kot Addu Power Company Limited, Lucky Cement, Millat Tractors, National Bank of Pakistan, Nishat Mills, Packages Ltd, Pakistan Oilfields Limited, Pakistan State Oil, Sui Northern Gas, Thal Ltd, The Searle and United Bank Limited.

Five healTh beNeFiTS oF daTeS aNd a cocoNuT daTe SNacK recipe Satisfy your sugar cravings with nutrient-rich dates that help boost energy, while managing blood sugar levels

A azeeKa daNiel

Gulali KhaN

KiraN KhaN

Maleeha Jawaid

The eid exhibiTioN oF MariuM d rizwaN KARACHI: Designer Marium .D.Rizwan did an exhibition for her eid collection at her studio in Karachi…the pr was managed by takellpr…


Maria MadNi

Nida JaToi

TehMiNa Khaled

Noor Sehar aNd MariyaM

ll evidence points to the fact that to improve health, you must avoid sugary foods. Studies show that eating refined sugar causes energy depletion, also known as the dreaded “sugar crash” when empty calories use our body’s vitamins and minerals to turn it into fuel. Think of it like a credit card for your body. Instead of using your resources for building health, refined sugar uses your resources and creates a deficit! The good news is that nature provides us with incredible nutrition in very sweet packages. One of my favourites is dates as they are an easy portable snack that pairs fabulously with nuts. Dates provide the nutrients you need, while satisfying your sweet tooth. Here are five reasons to eat more dates: 1. Dates are a source of antioxidants. All dates, fresh or dried, contain different types of antioxidants. Fresh dates contain anthocyanidins and carotenoids, while dried dates contain polyphenols – just like green tea. Experiments in food chemistry show that Khalas (aka Madina) dates are highest in antioxidants when compared to other date varieties. 2. Dates can be good for blood sugar balance. Diabetes researchers have shown that dates have a low glycemic impact. This means that eating dates alone, or with a meal, may help people with type-2 diabetes

manage their blood sugar and blood fat levels. Six to eight Tamer dates can be eaten in one sitting without dramatic shifts in blood sugar. 3. Dates can help reduce blood pressure. A standard serving of five or six dates provides about 80 milligrams of magnesium, an essential mineral that helps dilate blood vessels. Research shows that supplementing with 370 milligrams of magnesium can reduce blood pressure. However, taking such a large dose all at once often causes diarrhea. Dates are a delicious way to increase your magnesium intake more gently. 4. Dates contain a brain booster. Each little date contains over two milligrams of choline, a B vitamin that’s a component in acetylcholine, the memory neurotransmitter. Higher choline intake is associated with better memory and learning, making it a key nutrient for children and older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s. 5. Dates help maintain bone mass. Research shows that bone loss in post-menopausal women with osteopenia can be reduced by increasing intake of potassium. One dried date provides nearly 140 milligrams of this valuable nutrient. Scientists believe that high potassium intake protects bone mass by reducing the amount of calcium excreted through the kidneys.

will Smith Sings ‘prince ali’ in New Doris Day, "Que Será, Será" singer and star Short film based on india's 9-year‘aladdin’ clip That has Fans buzzing of Hollywood's Golden Age, has died at 97 old skateboarding champion Kamali Moorthy shortlisted for oscars 2020 “Prince Ali” is one of the most iconic musical numbers from Doris Day, the Academy Award-winning singer of "Que Será,

the original 1992 Disney classic Aladdin. Will Smith, 50, taking over the role of the Genie from the late Robin Williams, sings the song in this all-new video from the live-action remake. The Genie makes a grand entrance for his performance in front of Princess Jasmine and The Sultan. The Genie sings as he introduces Prince Ali, who is actually just Aladdin. The performance is quite the spectacle. The costumes are so vibrant and the Genie definitely takes center stage. Once the video of the new version of “Prince Ali” was released, fans started sounding off on Twitter. “Ok finally decided to watch the Prince Ali clip. Honestly, I knew that it wasn’t going to be as over the top as the original was. I can see why they were going for a more grounded version and frankly it’s not as bad as most people are making it out to be,” one fan wrote. However, some fans weren’t so on board with the new rendition. “They released the live action Prince Ali from Aladdin. I had low expectations but I didn’t expect to get all teary eyed and spend it missing Robin Williams so much.

Será" and a Golden Age of Hollywood movie icon, died on Monday at 97 from complications of pneumonia, according to her foundation. Day had an enormously popular entertainment career, and is one of the top ranked female box-office stars of all time. She also hosted the CBS sitcom "The Doris Day Show" from 1968-1973. Day was an accomplished singer, winning a Grammy lifetime Achievement Award and a legend Award from the Society of Singers. She recorded dozens of albums and saw numerous singles reach Top-10 status, most notably her breakout 1947 hit "Sentimental Journey." Her gift for song translated onto the big screen, as she performed Academy Award-winning songs "Secret love" in 1953 and "Que Será, Será" in 1956. During her acting career, Day worked with some of the biggest stars and most well-known directors of the mid-century period, commonly known as the Golden Age of Hollywood.


A short film titled 'Kamali' based on India's 9-year-old skateboarding sensation Kamali Moorthy and her mother has been shortlisted for the 2020 Academy Awards. The film revolves around Kamali's single mother Suganth and picturizes her struggles of bringing up her daughter. The 9-year-old star caught the eye of the world with her impressive skateboarding skills. The film is directed by New Zealand filmmaker Sasha Rainbow. The 24minute short film has also won the Best Documentary at the Atlanta Film Festival held in April. Kamali came into limelight after renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk shared a picture of her skateboarding in a frock without wearing any shoes. The young girl hails from Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu and aspires to become a skateboarding champion.

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019


Imam-ul-Haq's 151 steeRs PakIstan to commanDIng 358-9


SportS DESk

HE main reason for Pakistan surpassing expectations and posting 360 in the previous ODI was said to Fakhar Zaman finally firing after an extended barren run. That analysis was dismantled in true Pakistan fashion in Bristol after the visitors racked up the runs again and setting England 359 to win. And it all happened after Fakhar had been dismissed inside the first over, reverting to recent form and nicking the fourth ball he faced off Chris Woakes into the slips for a simple catch. Pakistan's commanding total owed thanks mainly to Fakhar's more consistent (but less explosive) opening partner

Imam-ul-Haq, whose splendid innings of 151 formed the backbone of the innings. Having lost Fakhar and, shortly after, Babar Azam to a brilliant spell of opening bowling from Woakes, Imam consolidated with the maturity of a seasoned professional with Haris Sohail at the other end, crucially ensuring Pakistan maintained a healthy run rate on a small ground and an excellent surface for batting. England may bemoan an opportunity missed with the pressure firmly on Pakistan following the two early blows, but that would overlook the assuredness with which Haris batted alongside Imam to dig Pakistan out of that hole. He was off from the moment he dispatched Woakes for two fours in the following over, and sent Wil-

ley - who conceded 86 in his full quota out of the attack with consecutive boundaries to kick off the tenth. With Imam at the other end deftly turning over the strike with his wrists allowing him to find consistent singles, Haris seemed to be batting Pakistan back into the ascendancy, while at the same time making a watertight case for his inclusion in the World Cup squad. A moment of carelessness may yet cost him, though. With the partnership standing at 68 and Haris having raced to 41, he cantered through for a single that was best run hard. Tom Curran sprinted the length of the pitch and sidefooted the ball, which cannoned into the stumps, replays showing Haris making no effort to stretch his bat into the crease. It cost him

InnIngs break PakIstan 358 for 9 (Imam 151, asIf 52, Woakes 4-67) v england his wicket at a crucial time, and allowed England a toehold back into the match. Sarfaraz Ahmed promoted himself up to No. 5, but wasn't able to find the impeccable timing Haris had displayed. Imam, however, had found another gear, preventing the innings from stalling through the middle overs. Stokes, whose effectiveness in this period of the innings has diminished in the past 18 months, was subject of the most consistent aggression from Pakistan, and four overs that conceded 34 later, he was taken out of the attack. His replacement, Liam Plunkett, provided the breakthrough off just his second delivery, the Pakistan captain beaten all ends up by a slower delivery that

he skied to deep fine leg. Asif Ali came in at six and immediately put the spotlight on the selectors' decision to leave him out of the preliminary squad again. Moeen Ali was lofted into the sightscreen to get him going, and from there onwards, Asif got stuck in. Pakistan's run rate picked up in a partnership that amassed 125 runs in 90 balls, with Asif posting a career-best 52 off 43, his second half-century in as many games. It was a time England were guilty of not hitting their lengths as effectively as they had in the death overs in Southampton, and Imam and Asif were in touch too good to miss out.

Watson 'gave blood' for Chennai during IPl final NEW DELHI Agencies

Bloodstains on the leg of Shane Watson's trousers during the IPL final as he scored a blistering 80 for Chennai Super Kings were revealed Tuesday to be from a cut that needed six stitches when he finished. The 37-year-old Australian batsman was on the losing side in the end, but teammate Harbhajan Singh hailed Watson's courage in continuing to play despite suffering a gashed knee while diving for a catch. "Respect brother what a LEGEND @srwatson33 given sweat, blood and everything for the team.. INSPIRING," Singh wrote on Instagram. The Indian off-spinner posted a picture of Watson with blood-stained yellow trousers while batting in the

Twenty20 final against the Mumbai Indians, and said the opener needed six stitches after the valiant innings. "Can you guys see the blood on his knee.. He got 6 stitches after the game," Harbhajan wrote. "Got injured while diving but continue to bat without telling anyone," the bowler added. Watson smashed 80 off 59 deliveries only to see his team lose by one run. Watson was run out going for an unlikely second in the final over, and Mumbai paceman Lasith Malinga denied Chennai the two runs needed off the last ball to win the game and a record fourth title. Watson's return to the IPL next season remains uncertain. He has already bid farewell to Australia's Big Bash T20 tournament, and Chennai captain M.S. Dhoni indicated he would make changes to the batting lineup for next year.

Roma's 'beating heart' De Rossi moving on after 18 years Rome: Captain Daniele De Rossi will bring the curtain down on his 18-year career with Roma at the end of the season, the Serie A side announced on Tuesday. The 35-yearold former World Cup winning midfielder will play his final game at home against Parma on May 26, but will not be retiring from professional football. "(De Rossi) plans to pursue a new adventure away from Rome," the club said in a statement. "It will be the end of an era." The game could be a crucial one for Roma's Champions League ambitions next season as last year's European semi-finalists are sixth in Serie A just one point off fourth place with two games to play. De Rossi has spent his entire senior career with his hometown team coming through the club's academy system. "For 18 years, Daniele has been the beating heart of AS Roma's team," said club president Jim Pallotta said. "We will all shed tears when he pulls on the Giallorossi shirt for the last time against Parma but we respect his desire to prolong his playing career - even if, at almost 36, it will be away from Rome. "On behalf of everyone at Roma, I’d like to thank Daniele for his incredible dedication to this club and ensure him that our doors will remain open for him to return to the club in a new role whenever he wants.” Rossi made 615 appearances and scored 63 goals for Roma in all competitions winning the Coppa Italia in 2007 and 2008, and the Supercoppa in 2007. He took over the captain's armband from club legend Francesco Totti – the one player ahead of him for Roma appearances – in 2017. He is also the fourth-most capped player for the Italian national team with 117 appearances. The 2006 World Cup winner retired after Italy failed to qualify for last year's World Cup, missing the tournament for the first time in 60 years. De Rossi will hold a press conference at the club’s training centre at Trigoria later on Tuesday. Agencies

LaHorE Agencies

Fighting out of Lahore, Pakistan, Irfan Ahmed, 23, will be making his professional Mixed Martial Arts debut at Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series in Singapore on June 20th for a chance to win a $100,000 contract with ONE Championship. ONE Warrior Series is a show hosted by former world Champion Rich Franklin as he travels Asia and Australia looking for upcoming talent in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Irfan will be the only Pakistani on the card in a show which has seen three Pakistani’s formerly make their debut, including women’s MMA pioneer Anita Karim, who achieved a victory on Feb 28th at ONE Warrior Series 4. Irfan will be facing Nepali National Kickboxing Champion Sandeep Gurung in the strawweight division. Sandeep Gurung is a veteran of ONE Warrior Series where he took on Akihiro Fujisawa who later went on to win the coveted $100,000 contract. Meanwhile, Irfan is undefeated in national events and has represented Pak-

istan in the Amateur World Championships in Bahrain. Furthermore, Irfan is not only an athlete but the captain of “Team Shaheen”, a team founded by Bashir Ahmad, known as the “Godfather of Pakistani MMA”. Shaheen Academy, where the team is based, is a non-profit facility with a focus on developing youth by sponsoring education and providing after-school tuition alongside martial arts training. About the fight and chance to fight, Irfan had the following to say, “I am thankful to ONE Warrior Series, especially to Rich Franklin and Bashir Ahmad, for this opportunity and InshaAllah, I will not disappoint my country.” In additional Irfan praised his teammates from Shaheen Academy and Rogue Fitness Lahore. The athlete further added that all this would not be possible without his sponsors, coaches, and teammates who are taking care of him as athletes and he will not disappoint his team. “I respect my opponent and I have seen his last fight,” Irfan said about Sandeep. “I am going to Knock him out in the very first round. It’s my first professional fight on international stage and I am super excited for this,”


Buttler ‘demoralising’ top order team mates, says amused Roy LoNDoN: Jos Buttler is an exceptional talent and his blistering knocks are nearly demoralising England’s top order batsmen who score at a more conventional run-a-ball rate, team mate Jason Roy has said. Buttler blasted a 50-ball century, his eighth in onedayer, in Saturday’s second ODI against Pakistan, prompting former England captain Nasser Hussain to rank the 28-year-old among the all-time greats in this format. “He’s as good as it gets to be honest,” Roy told Sky Sports. “It’s not a shock, in fact it’s getting a bit kind of routine for him to come out and play those sort of innings. “He’s almost demoralising the guys at the top of the order that are going at a run a ball and he comes in and just blitzes it.” Buttler made 110 not out at two-runs-a-ball rate and England will expect their middle order lynchpin to keep firing as they chase their maiden 50-overs World Cup title. “He’s an extreme talent and works hard for it and deserves everything he gets,” said Roy, who scored 87 against Pakistan on his return from injury. “I’m 100 per cent fit. I spent six or seven weeks with my hamstring injury, fixing my torn hamstring. Then my back was quite a big issue but it was resolved by the great medical staff we have here.” Agencies

mma fighter Irfan ahmed to make his one Warrior series debut on June 20


Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

family affair aS Serena, VenuS Set uP rome rematch roMe



ERENA Williams will take on sister Venus in the second round of the Italian Open more than two decades after they last met on the red clay of Rome after both advanced in different styles on Monday. Four-time Rome winner Serena, 37, returned after two months out injured easing through 6-4, 6-2 against Swedish qualifier Rebecca Petersen. But 38-year-old Venus, whose only Rome title came back in 1999, needed over three hours to battle past Belgian Elise Mertens 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4).

Serena has not played since a hard-fought threeset win also over Petersen in the second round at the Miami Open in March before withdrawing with a knee injury. The 23-time Grand Slam winner — now ranked 11th — also withdrew from Indian Wells in March complaining of illness. Watched by her husband Alexis Ohanian, Williams sealed victory on her second match point against her 64th-ranked opponent after 76 minutes on court. “I felt good, I wasn’t sure how it was going to feel,” said Williams. “It’s been a while, I haven’t played a ton of matches this year, not by choice, just by force. “I really, really, actually desperately wanted to be on the tour and to be playing, but it hasn’t been able to work out. “It felt good to finally be back out. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up.” Despite her lack of practice, tenth-seeded Williams was never threatened by Peterson, despite 22 unforced errors by the American in the first set. “I haven’t been able to train or practice a lot, I was out much longer than I expected,” she explained. “I did everything I could to stay fit and keep my cardio up. “I love the clay season and wanted to do everything to be a part of it and I’m here. “I’ve just been on this diet basically. It’s been

awful. When you’re sedentary, it becomes hard to manage your body. So it’s just basically you have to eat grass. “It was a nightmare. But it worked and it paid off. I feel like I’m taking it one day at a time.” FIERCE SIBLING RIVALRY: In the meantime, she has been enjoying sharing her favourite sites in Rome with her daughter Olimpia who turns two in September. “It’s really fun because I took her to the Colosseum, then I took her to the (Trevi) fountain,” she said. “It was really cool to share my favourite city with her, some of my favourite things to see. Obviously, the pasta and the food.” “It’s okay,” she said of all the tourists. “I just smile and take pictures. I don’t mind so much.” It will be another family affair on the courts of the Foro Italico, when she plays Venus, with the sisters last meeting in 1998, 21 years ago. “That’s crazy,” laughed Serena. “I mean, it was like the semi-finals or the finals. No, the quarter-finals? I vaguely remember that. “We play each other a lot. It seems like every tournament nowadays we meet early. Yeah, it is what it is. We’ll see. “She has a tough first round,” she predicted. Venus, meanwhile, came out on top of a tight contest that went all the way to a third-set tie-break

despite letting the Belgian back in by missing six match points on her serve. She missed a further two match points as Mertens battled to level the set at 66, before finally taking the match in the tie-break and setting up a 31st clash with her sibling. “We’re just as fierce, Venus is just as fierce. We both really want to get some match play. We’ll both do the best that we can,” warned Serena, who leads 18–12, the most recent at last year’s US Open. Venus said she remembered “pretty much zero” about their last meeting in Rome which she won all those years ago. “I know that’s she’s going to play well and compete really well, that’s a given,” added the 7-time Grand Slam singles winner.

Home hope Fognini sweeps aside Tsonga to advance in Rome roMe Agencies

Herrera confident Solskjaer can restore United's lustre London Agencies

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer possesses the qualities necessary to restore Manchester United as a genuine title contender, according to departing midfielder Anders Herrera. The 29-year-old Spanish international -who has been linked to a move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain -- believes the common decency of Solskjaer will be rewarded with better performances on the pitch. Solskjaer's star faded almost as soon as he was given the job full-time after a terrific spell as caretaker manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December. The former United striker guided them to 14 wins in 17 games but the end of the season has been nothing short of a disaster as they lost eight of their last 12 -- ending up 32 points off city rivals and champions Manchester City -- and missed out on Champions League football next term. "He is one of the best people I have ever met in football," said Herrera, quitting United after the club declined to offer him a new contract when he demanded increased wages of £300,000 ($388,000) a week. "Everyone loves him in the dressing room. Everyone wants to fight for him. "When you have the players behind you and wanting to fight for you, part of the job is done. "I believe in karma and if you are a good person, if you are honest and sincere with the players and the fans, sooner or later it will work. "I think Ole is the right person because he has qualities and knowledge but also, he is a great man and a great person." THE RIGHT PERSON IS AT THE

WHEEL: Herrera, who is likely to be followed out the door by a slew of players in the close season, added Solskjaer and his coaching staff needed the fans to be patient as the turnaround will take time. Solskjaer showed there was a harder edge to him when he cancelled an end-ofseason review with the players because he was so angry at the limp display in the 2-0 home defeat by relegated Cardiff in their final match of the season. "I really believe in Ole. I really believe in Michael (Carrick), Kieran (McKenna), Mick Phelan, in Demps (Mark Dempsey), but I think there is a tough job ahead," said Herrera. "They (the coaches) need time because this is not going to be from the first day. The club will need time, confidence and support. "I am sure they will give it but the only thing I ask for them is time because this is not easy. "(But) the right person is at the wheel. He's the right person." Aside from Herrera veteran defender Antonio Valencia is also leaving on a free transfer, whilst several others including Juan Mata, inconsistent French World Cup winner Paul Pogba and even Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku are thought to be on the way out. According to Tuesday's Daily Mirror Solskjaer is keen to bring in fresh blood in the shape of Senegalese international central defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Serie A side Napoli and Ivory Coast striker Nicolas Pepe from Ligue 1 outfit Lille. Koulibaly, the Mirror claims, would cost even more than the £75 million Liverpool paid Southampton for Dutch central defender Virgil van Dijk whilst Pepe would not be cheap either, the paper citing a figure of £45 million.

Italian Fabio Fognini said he was hoping to do "something big" at home as he beat France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 64 to advance to the second round of the Italian Open in Rome on Monday. Tenth seed Fognini, who became the first Italian to triumph at Monte Carlo in 51 years last month, reached the quarter-finals in Rome last year before falling to champion Rafael Nadal in three sets. "I'm happy, of course, happy because especially for me here, it's always tough to play," said the 31-year-old, who came through on the red clay of the Foro Italico in 83 minutes. "To play a first round against Jo was really tough match, because of course he was injured. He had surgery on the knee. "At the same time I knew that it could be really dangerous," Fognini said. Tsonga, now ranked 92nd, missed much of 2018 after knee surgery. The Frenchman, had won four of the pair's five meetings, but was broken in each set, with Fognini saving five of the six break points. Fognini will next play either Moldovan Radu Albot, who beat him at Indian Wells, or French qualifier Benoit Paire. The Italian could break into the top ten for the first time depending on his performance in Rome. "I came in here with my best ranking... it's not too far from the Top 10. "The way I am playing, I feel confident," Fognini said. "I know that if I play like that, I can do something big. But at the same time I know that it's difficult, every day is different, every match is differ-

ent. Every match, it's really complicated." French 15th seed Gael Monfils crashed out in straight sets to Spaniard Alberto Ramos 6-3, 6-1. Monfils had his knee bandaged during the second set before being swept aside by 88th-ranked Ramos. "There's no explication. Today I just had a bad match. I wasn't in it, I didn't have energy," said Monfils. Canadian Denis Shapovalov beat Spaniard Pablo Carreño-Busta 6-3, 76 (7/5) to advance to the second round. Shapovalov, 20, will next play world number one and Madrid Open champion Novak Djokovic. Defending Rome champion Nadal will have to wait to learn his secondround opponent with the match between Richard Gasquet and fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy called off because of rain on Monday night at

one set all 1-6, 6-4. Nadal will be targeting a ninth title at the Italian Open before defending his Grand Slam crown at Roland Garros later this month. Spain's formerly invincible king of clay - who in most years would have at least clay title to hand upon arrival at Roland Garros - will have a last chance in Rome to pick up a trophy "Sometimes winning a title or not doesn't make a big difference," insisted 11-time French Open winner. "I didn't win a title. At the same time, it's true that when I was playing, I was close to winning it. "I didn't play good enough to win, but I didn't play very bad. I am there. "I have been in four semi-finals in a row, since Indian Wells. But that's it. That's tennis: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."

Sarbaz Khan becomeS firSt PaKiStani to climb mt lhotSe, world’S 4th higheSt PeaK Monitoring report Sarbaz Khan became the first Pakistan climber on Tuesday to scale Mount Lhotse, world’s fourth highest peak, in Nepal. According to a news report by Hunza based newspaper, hailing from Aliabad, Hunza, the young climber reached the 8,516-metre high summit at 9:47 am on May 14. He achieved this goal along with a 12-member team of climbers. Sarbaz Khan has also climbed K2 (8,611m) and Nanga Parbat (8,126m) without using extra oxygen, the newspaper further reported.

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019


Labbaik Leaders khadim rizvi, nab urges iHC to cancel afzaL Qadri waLk free on baiL Zardari’s bail LHC reLeaSeS firebrand CLeriCS againSt SUrety bondS of rS5m eaCH, dayS after aaSia bibi reaCHeS Canada for aSyLUm

aCCoUntabiLity watCHdog SayS it HaS ‘ConCrete evidenCe’ to SUbStantiate mega CorrUPtion CHargeS againSt former PreSident and PPP CHief





HE Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday granted bail to Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and former TLP patron-in-chief Pir Afzal Qadri in a case registered against them for launching a violent protest against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi from blasphemy charge, days after the Christian woman reached Canada to start a new life there as a political refugee. The two firebrand religious leaders have been granted bail against surety bonds worth Rs5 million each. Qadri, who had been booked under sedition and terrorism charges, had resigned from the TLP on May 1, citing health issues and, on the court’s earlier directions, issued a public apology for his remarks. The two-member bench, comprising Justice Qasim Ali Khan and Justice Asjad Javed Gharal, granted the bail to both till July 15. At the last hearing, the court had rejected an apology submitted by Qadri over incendiary remarks made by him during a protest against the Supreme Court’s acquittal of Aasia Bibi. The lawyers from both sides had completed their arguments before the two-member bench. Rizvi and Qadri were taken into “protective custody” by the state during a crackdown in November 2018 after

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to dismiss a bail petition of former president Asif Ali Zardari in the mega money laundering and fake bank accounts case by terming it “non-maintainable”. The bureau submitted an 11-page reply to the PPP co-chairman’s bail plea, stating that he is being investigated over his alleged involvement in different cases, including the fake accounts case. “Twenty-two inquiries and four references are being probed against Asif Ali Zardari at present,” it said and added there is concrete evidence to substantiate


the TLP announced it would observe martyrs’ day on Nov 25, 2018. The arrests followed weeks after the TLP led three-day protests across the country against Aasia Bibi’s acquittal. Civil Lines police had registered an FIR under sections 290/291/353/427/186/188 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and section 6 of the Sound System Punjab Ordinance 2015 against Rizvi and other leaders of the TLP for protests after Aasia Bibi was acquitted by the Supreme Court in October last year. Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 was later added to the FIR. LABBAIK: The religious party, founded in 2015, burst onto the scene after the government carried out Mumtaz Qadri’s death sentence in 2016. In November 2017, TLP followers blocked Islamabad’s main road protesting against the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz-led government’s alleged attempt to amend the “finality of Prophethood” constitutional clause. Agitators clashed with LEAs forcing

US has not imposed any visa restrictions on Pakistan: Qureshi ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday rejected reports of United States imposing visa restrictions and said the US has not imposed any visa restrictions on Pakistan. Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Qureshi said, “The US has not imposed any restrictions. The US embassy has released a press release in this regard.” He further said the US has detained illegal Pakistanis that they want to send back. “United States is going to deport over 70 illegal Pakistanis. Pakistan has asked the United

States to fulfill legal requirements about the Pakistanis being deported.” “These Pakistanis will return to the country via a special charter plane tomorrow,” the foreign minister said. Qureshi continued, “The US has banned visit visa for three officials due to some reasons. These include joint secretary, additional secretary interior and DG passport. This is restriction is not on Pakistan and the clarification for this has been given by both the sides.” “The foreign ministry will only issue that many visas that the US does,” Qureshi said. “If the US issues visas for five years, then Pakistan will issue it for five years as well.”

the army to step in to curb the violence. After the Faizabad sit-in, the TLP staged a three-day long protest following the acquittal of Aasia Bibi by the Supreme Court. During the protest, the demonstrators termed the chief justice “liable to be killed” and called for a rebellion against the army chief “because he is a non-Muslim”. The protest defused after the PTI government and TLP brokered a deal. This makes it twice the federation capitulating to Rizvi’s demands, giving him prominence in the religious sphere. Subsequently, the top court had to take a suo motu of the protests and directed the federal and provincial governments to submit a report in this regard. Moreover, the TLP also managed to translate its religious rhetoric into votes as it bagged at least 4 per cent of the total votes in the last general elections. The party’s count was only 300,000 votes less than its heavyweight rival Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an old five-party alliance.

its charges against the former president. NAB, therefore, contended that Zardari does not deserve any relief in the shape of bails and demanded that his bail be cancelled. The PPP co-chairman, his sister Faryal Talpur and other accused in the fake bank accounts case had approached the IHC seeking interim bail after a banking court in Karachi transferred the matter to Islamabad on a NAB request. Lately, the IHC approved the interim bail of Zardari who approached it after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned him in connection with illegal award of water supply contracts of the Sindh government to private firms. An IHC bench granted bail to Zardari until May 15 against a surety of Rs500,000. Zardari through his lawyer stated before the court that he is being subjected to political victimisation, adding he has been issued another callup notice by the bureau. He pleaded with the court to grant him bail until the conclusion of trial against him in the case and direct NAB to provide details of all the cases being probed by it against him.

Iran foreign minister in India for talks after US sanctions

Three Punjabi labourers gunned down in Balochistan NASIRABAD: At least three labourers belonging to Punjab province were killed and another was wounded after unidentified men attacked them in Nasirabad district of Balochistan on Tuesday. According to details, the assailants sprayed bullets on the labourers engaged in routine work in Dera Murad Jamali, killing three on the spot and injuring others critically. The bodies and injured were shifted to hospital for medico-legal formalities. Police have registered a case and started an investigation. Suspected separatist elements in Balochistan often target non-native labourers working on development projects in the province. On May 4, at least six Punjabi labourers were killed and one injured in an incident of firing in Kharan. According to Levies, unknown miscreants on motorcycles targetted labourers in the Laijay area of Kharan. Last year, four labourers from Sindh working on a road project were gunned down in the same area. In April 2015, 20 labourers were killed while working for a private construction company in Gokdan, about 15 kilometres from Turbat city in Balochistan. STAFF REPORT

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will hold talks with his counterpart in the Indian capital on Tuesday after New Delhi stopped purchases of Iranian oil this month in the wake of renewed US sanctions. India was Iran’s top oil client after China, but halted imports after Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran and later withdrew waivers to eight nations, including India, which had allowed them to import some Iranian oil. “India is one of our most important partners, economic, political and regional,” Zarif told Reuters‘ partner ANI on Monday ahead of talks with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. “We have regular consultations with India on various issues and I’m here to have consultations with my counterpart on most recent developments in the region as well as our

bilateral relations,” he added. Washington wants to block Iran’s oil exports after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 accord between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme. “Unfortunately the United States has been escalating the situation unnecessarily. We do not seek escalation but we have always defended ourselves,” Zarif said. The sanctions have more than halved Iran’s oil exports to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) or less, from a peak of 2.8 million bpd last year. Exports could drop to as low as 500,000 bpd from May, an Iranian official told Reuters this month. Iran is insisting on exporting at least 1.5 million bpd of oil as a condition for staying in an international nuclear deal, sources with knowledge of Iran-EU talks said on Monday. AGENCIES

Saudi Arabia say oil giant escalating Sri Lankan anti-muslim riots claim first life Aramco's sites targeted COLOMBO AGENCIES

Saudi Arabia says oil infrastructure sites belonging to the country’s state-run oil company Aramco have been targeted and that at least one of the attacks was carried out by drone strikes. The announcement came shortly after Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed an assault on the kingdom. The state Saudi Press Agency quoted Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih as saying that between 6-6.30am on Tuesday, a petroleum pumping station supplying an east-west pipeline between the Eastern Province and to the Yanbu Port on the Red Sea was targeted by drones.

He said a fire broke out at a station along the pipeline and was subsequently put out. Aramco has temporarily stopped pumping petroleum through the pipeline until inspection of the damage is complete. The kingdom’s state security body also said two oil infrastructure sites in the greater region of Riyadh, its landlocked capital, were targeted at the same time. The statement described it as a “limited targeting” of petroleum stations in areas alDudami and Afif in Riyadh region. AGENCIES

Sri Lanka announced Tuesday a curfew for a second straight night after a man was killed by sword-wielding rioters in an escalating anti-Muslim backlash following the Easter terror attacks. Violence broke out late Monday, three weeks after Islamist extremist bombings killed 258 people, with rampaging mobs carrying out arson attacks and 2,000 people vandalising a mosque, witnesses said. Police announced another nationwide curfew for a second night to try and stop the violence, beginning at 9:00 pm (15:30 GMT). The curfew had been in place all day in North-Western Province (NWP), where police said a 45-year-old Muslim man was slaughtered in his carpentry shop late Monday by a crowd carrying swords. Fauzul Ameen was buried Tuesday at a Muslim cemetery in Nattandiya under tight security.

Heavily armed troops and police backed by armoured personnel carriers guarded a service attended by around 100 people. Police said Tuesday that 13 people had been arrested including Amith Weerasinghe, a man from Sri Lanka’s majority Buddhist Sinhalese community on bail for his role in similar riots in March last year. Elsewhere in NWP, north of Colombo, attackers outnumbering police and security forces set fire to Muslimowned shops, vandalised homes and smashed windows, furniture and fittings inside several mosques. In the adjoining Gampaha district, men on motorbikes led arson attacks in the town of Minuwangoda, 45 kilometres (30 miles) north of Colombo, local residents told AFP. “They were from out of town,” an owner of an electronic goods store told AFP by telephone. “After they started smashing Muslim shops and throwing petrol bombs, the locals joined in.”

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POLICE DID NOTHING: He said police and security forces appeared to be overwhelmed and that by the time troops fired in the air to disperse the mobs it was too late. A pasta factory owned by a Muslim businessman burned to the ground after unidentified attackers threw burning tyres inside. “Police and security forces also did not do anything to put out the fire,” the owner of Diamond Pasta, Ashraf Jifthy, told AFP by telephone. “Three of my Muslim workers were injured while trying to escape from the burning factory.” In the NWP, attackers have systematically targeted mosques for two days, local clerics told AFP. In the town of Kinyama, two mosques were smashed as outnumbered armed police and troops stood by. “About 2,000 people surrounded our mosque and smashed everything inside, even the bathroom fittings,” cleric M.I.M. Siddeeque told AFP by telephone from the curfew-bound town of Bingiriya.

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