15 april, 2018 i 28 Rajab-ul-Murajjab, 1439 i Rs 25.00 i vol viii no 287 i 104 Pages i Karachi edition
DOOM AND GLOOM g
PReSident tRuMP SayS ‘MiSSion accoMPliShed’ aFteR uS, BRitain and FRance launch eaRly MoRning aiRStRiKeS on SuSPected cheMical WeaPonS FacilitieS in SyRia
as he spoke, explosions rocked syrian capital damascus. trump said he was prepared to “sustain the response until assad’s government stopped its use of chemical weapons”. in the afternoon, us President donald trump hailed the overnight military strike on syria as “perfectly executed”. speaking of assad and his suspected role in last week’s chemical weapons attack, trump said, “these are not the actions of a man. they are crimes of a monster instead.” uK Prime Minister theresa May and French President emmanuel Macron too were confident of the success of the strikes.PM May said: “the uK is ‘confident’ that air strikes carried out by britain, the us and France on suspected
British PM faces tough questions over legality of Syria strikes STORY ON PAGE 06
From ‘chemical attack’ to military strikes STORY ON PAGE 07
yria and its allies, particularly russia, warned of repercussions after the us and allies— britain and France— pounded syria with aerial bombardment early saturday morning in a “flagrant violation of international law”. tensions between the two superpowers— russia and us—had escalated over alleged use of chemical weapons by the syrian regime, which led to the us and russia stepping up their war rhetoric. in the early saturday morning, us President donald trump announced the military action.
cJP calls out Saad Rafique’s ‘bluff’, tells him to behave g
ChieF justiCe nisar teLLs Minister ‘gone are the days When Courts Were disresPeCted’
RuSSia tellS uS to ReFRain FRoM ‘tRanSgReSSing inteRnational SoveReignty’, SayS SyRian aiR deFence SySteMS inteRcePted 71 out oF 103 cRuiSe MiSSileS FiRed By allieS
chemical weapons facilities in syria have been successful.” it was “right and legal” to take action, she added. in addition, the Western allies warned syria that they could launch further missile strikes if chemical weapons were used again. us forces were “locked and loaded” to strike again if syria unleashed another chemical assault, said nikki haley, the us ambassador to the united nations, at an emergency security Council meeting called by russia. Later, russia’s un ambassador Vasily nebenzia hammered away at Western allies for what he termed “aggression” that violated international sovereignty.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 04
army chief offers talks to india
orders audit oF raiLWays, as saad seeKs to CLariFy ‘tea With reLatiVes’
STORY ON PAGE 03
sC gives atC two weeks to conclude Model town massacre trial STORY ON PAGE 03
Will make Karachi city of lights again, claims Shehbaz Sharif g
KAKUL: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa presents ‘Sword of Honour’ to a cadet at the passing out parade of army’s 137th Long Course at Pakistan Military Academy on Saturday. g
Punjab CM says ‘it’s My dreaM to run a Metro bus in KaraChi’ STORY ON PAGE 04
gen bajWa says PaKistan reMains CoMMitted to PeaCe taLKs ‘but onLy on basis oF soVereign equaLity, dignity and honour’
Pakistan successfully test fires Babur cruise missile STORIES ON PAGES 02 & 04
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
New provINCes oNLy Army chief oﬀers dialogue to India through poLItICaL CoNseNsus: pM abbasI GEN BAJWA SAYS PAKISTAN REMAINS COMMITTED TO PEACE TALKS ‘BUT ONLY ON BASIS OF SOVEREIGN EQUALITY, DIGNITY AND HONOUR’ REITERATES SUPPORT TO KASHMIRIS IN THEIR STRUGGLE TO ACHIEVE SELF-DETERMINATION
ABBASI SAYS DEMANDS FOR SEPARATE PROVINCES ALSO COMING FROM KP, SINDH AND BALOCHISTAN SAYS POLITICAL TURNCOATS FROM SOUTH PUNJAB DID NOT RAISE ISSUE OF SEPARATE PROVINCE IN LAST 5 YEARS BAHAWALPUR
RIMe Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Saturday that new provinces should be created only through political consensus as no single party can bring about a constitutional amendment on its own. Addressing a public gathering after inaugurating the 45-kilometre long section of National Highway-5 that links Jalapur Pirwala with Uch Sharif areas of South Punjab, the prime minister said all political parties should incorporate the demand of new provinces in their manifestos and hold a dialogue after the general elections to evolve a consensus on the subject. “The same demand also exists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Sindh and Balochistan. People also talk about the creation of South Punjab, Hazara and South KP provinces. This is a political dialogue. All political parties should join their heads as no single party can decide this matter,” he remarked. He recalled that only PML-N had passed resolutions for the creation of South Punjab and Bahawalpur provinces. ‘DEFECTORS DID NOT RAISE SOUTH PUNJAB ISSUE’: Referring to some parliamentarians of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) who had recently announced their resignations in a press conference while calling for the creation of South Punjab province, PM Abbasi said they had been a part of the PML-N government for the last five years and they should have raised the issue then. Holding press conferences two
months before the elections would not help resolve public issues, he said. “Public representation is not won through press conferences but by public service,” the prime minister remarked. The prime minister, who earlier unveiled the plaque of the project, said the Seraiki people have always been loyal to PML-N and the elected representatives who served them. He hoped that PML-N would stand victorious in the next polls as the party had executed a record number of development projects. He also claimed that the incumbent government’s development drive had surpassed all achievements made by all Pakistani governments during the last 65 years. Further, the prime minister said that the credit of completing all pending projects of its predecessors also went to the PML-N government, be it Lowari Tunnel, Kachi Canal, or NeelumJhelum power project. He told the gathering that the project had cost Rs 5 billion and said that his party had a strong reputation for completing development projects on time. Since its inception, only 20,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity was produced in the country, but the incumbent government executed power projects to inject another 10,400 MW to the national grid, he added. He also drew a comparison between the development works being carried out in Sindh and KP provinces with those being initiated in Punjab. PM Abbasi, who was accompanied by the Minister for education and Professional Training engineer Balighur Rehman and local parliamentarians, also questioned the inaction of the previous governments for failing to expand the network of motorways despite having the right amount of resources. He said the PML-N government was about to complete its term and would prove all the prophecies of the so-called political leaders wrong. He questioned as to why the ChinaPakistan economic Corridor (CPeC)
could not be signed during the tenure of the previous governments and mentioned the construction of 1,700 kilometres long network of motorways from Karachi to Peshawar, which he believed would change the fate of Pakistan. As demanded by the local leadership, the prime minister also announced the construction of motorway interchanges for Bahawalpur and Ahmedpur Sharqia. Regarding the elevation of Ahmedpur Sharqia city’s status to district level, he said the legal hitches and election commission’s decision barred him from fulfilling this demand but hoped that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif would make this dream a reality. The prime minister said that despite all odds, including ongoing legal proceedings against party leaders, the government still did not deviate from its development course. ‘BALLOT SHOULD JUDGE POLITICIANS’: However, in clear reference to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, he said that political decisions should be made at polling stations only, while adding that history would not respect certain verdicts that were wrongfully implemented. Addressing a gathering of PML-N workers and notables of the area, Abbasi said that Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for not getting a salary from his son’s firm but on Friday, he had been disqualified for a lifetime. “We accept this decision too. But keep in mind that history would narrate a different story,” he remarked. The premier said that the PMLN had no hope of justice for the Sharif family from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). “Political decisions are not delivered in the courts,” he said. The prime minister said Nawaz Sharif’s case was the only one in which proceedings were being held on daily basis. Though they respected judiciary, but the justice should not be done but it should be seen as being done, he added..
SAYS PAKISTAN FULLY COMMITTED TO PEACE AND RECONCILIATION EFFORTS IN AFGHANISTAN SAYS PAKISTAN’S ENEMIES HAVE SUBJECTED IT TO A CRUEL, EVIL AND PROTRACTED HYBRID WAR KAKUL APP
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Saturday that the peaceful resolution of disputes between Pakistan and India, including the core issue of Kashmir, can only be achieved through a comprehensive and meaningful dialogue. “A dialogue is the only route to establish peace in the region. Pakistan remains committed to such a dialogue, but only on the basis of sovereign equality, dignity and honour,” he said while addressing the passing out parade of the 137th Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Long Course, 8th Mujahid Course and 56th Integrated Course here at PMA, Kakul. The army chief said that Pakistan was a peace-loving country and it sought a harmonious and peaceful co-existence with all countries, especially its neighbours. “However, this desire for peace must not, in any sense, be construed as a sign of weakness. Our valiant armed forces are fully prepared to respond to all kinds of threats in a befitting manner,” he said. “I also take this opportunity to express our complete political and moral support to the basic right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The peace-loving innocent citizens of occupied Kashmir are being subjected to one of
the worst forms of state terrorism by India,” he said. He further said that it was high time for the world community to wake up and play its role to find a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict. He said Pakistan had also committed to peace and intra-Afghan reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan at all bilateral and multilateral forums. “We sincerely believe that there would be no peace in Pakistan, if there is no peace in Afghanistan. Therefore, we must work in unison with our Afghan brothers to achieve this goal,” he added. “Moreover, we have done our part to cleanse Pakistan of the scourge of terrorism and extremism without any distinction and our efforts have started to bear results. We are committed to continue these efforts, not out of any compulsion, but to make Pakistan a safe, prosperous and progressive country,” he added. ‘NO ROOM FOR EXTREMISM’: Further, General Bajwa said that Pakistan had totally rejected extremism and terrorism. “We also refuse to be pulled asunder by sectarian and ethnic issues,” he said. He said that the diversity of Pakistan was its strength, adding, “The very resilience of Pakistan comes, not just from our military capacity, but from the synergetic mix of people who have come together willingly towards a single purpose.” He also said that Pakistan’s enemies knew
that they could not beat it fair and square and had thus subjected it to a cruel, evil and protracted hybrid war. “They are trying to weaken our resolve by weakening us from within. Had it been any nation other than ours, it would have disintegrated by now. But since we enjoy complete confidence and support of the population, we have defeated every move of these inimical forces and would continue to do so,” he added. Moreover, the army chief reiterated that the Pakistani nation and its armed forces were totally united and focused towards their primary objective of eradication and elimination of terrorism. He said that as a result of past and ongoing operations Pakistan had eliminated almost all organised terrorist groups and infrastructure from its soil. “We are now going after the residual and scattered traces of this menace under the banner of Operation Raddul-Fasaad,” he added. He said that Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad was not merely an operation but it was a concept, a resolve and a commitment of the nation to eradicate terrorism from its soil. “Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is guided by our collective resolve and belief that we would continue our fight until the last terrorist was eliminated from Pakistan. “We would not allow our soil to be used against any other country,” he added.
‘Leaving Pakistan was not by choice, returning was’, says Malala Yousufzai NEWS DESK
14 injured as unprovoked Indian firing continues at LoC RAWALPINDI: At least 14 civilians including women have been injured in the last four days by the unprovoked firing of Indian Border Security Forces (IBSF) along the Line of Control (LoC). According to details, the Indian forces on Saturday targeted the civilian population in villages Sairi, Chitar, Jogpal, Khanpur, Lenthi and Taen along LoC at Khuiratta Sector. Two people including Muhammad Iqbal aged 60, s/o Ghulam Hussain, and Ashraf aged 70, s/o Mir Muhammad, were injured in the latest spate of firing and were shifted to THQ hospital. Pakistan Army troops responded to the unprovoked Indian firing effectively, silencing their guns. STAFF REPORT
“I didn’t leave my country by choice, but I did return by choice”, Malala writes in her blog recounting the emotional journey she made back to Pakistan for the first visit since being shot in 2012 by Taliban militants. Pakistani Nobel laureate, women rights and education activist Malala Yousufzai arrived in Pakistan on a fourday visit on March 28, in Islamabad. During her trip, she met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa and also visited her hometown in Swat Valley. Malala begins her blog reminiscing about the early morning of the fateful day she was shot. She writes, “When I left Swat Valley, Pakistan on 9th October 2012, my eyes were closed. I woke up a week later in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Birmingham, UK — but in my mind I was still at home”. “I remembered that morning. I was in my bedroom, finishing revision of my
Pakistan Studies paper and praying to Allah that I would do well on my exam. I remembered eating breakfast on the floor with my family, leaving my egg unfinished and rushing off to school. After school, my best friend Moniba and I were relieved our exam was over. We giggled as we watched our bus driver Usman Bhaijaan do magic tricks with a pebble. My memories end there. Seconds later, I was attacked”. Malala also narrated the events leading to her standing in her home in Swat Valley once again on March 31. “On March 31, 2018, I stood in my home again — and felt like the past was reversing itself. My family and I packed our bags and flew from UK to Dubai and then Dubai to Islamabad. We took a helicopter from Islamabad to Swat Valley. I saw the beauty of my home from a bird’s eye view — the never-ending mountain range, the greenery, the rivers. I could not stop myself from looking at everything.” More than 500 of Malala and her family’s friends and relatives came to meet them during their whirlwind visit to
their hometown. Cherishing the memories, Malala said she hoped it will “not be another five and half years before I see their faces again.” “Besides our home, we had not seen our friends and family for such a long time. More than 500 of our friends and relatives came to greet us with hugs and prayers. We took so many pictures and I love looking at them now that I’m back in UK. But my greatest hope is that it will not be another five and half years before I see their faces again,” she added. The education activist also hoped that leaders and political leaders in the country make girls’ education their priority. “In just a few years, Malala Fund has invested $6 million in our work for girls’
education in Pakistan, from opening the first secondary school for girls in Shangla to supporting Gulmakai Champions across the country. Malala Fund will continue our work — and I hope our leaders and political parties make girls’ education their priority as well, especially in the coming elections.”
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
CJp CaLLs out saad rafIque’s bLuff, teLLs hIM to behave CHIEF JUSTICE NISAR SAYS ‘GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN COURTS WERE DISRESPECTED’ LAHORE
He Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday ordered the complete audit of Pakistan Railways, as Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar came down hard on Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique over a meeting the latter had held with some people a few days ago, leading to speculation that efforts were being made to influence the judges. The SC gave the directions during the suo motu hearing of alleged Rs60 billion corruption in Pakistan Railways. A twomember bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, had in a previous hearing summoned Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique in the court. On Saturday, Rafique appeared in court and informed the bench that the railway’s revenue is Rs50 billion with a deficit of Rs35 billion. “There are many reasons behind the losses. If you conduct an audit then you will become content with our performance,” he submitted before the bench. The CJP asked the railways minister about the number of train ac-
ORDERS COMPLETE AUDIT OF PAKISTAN RAILWAYS, AS MINISTER SEEKS TO CLARIFY MEETING WITH ‘RELATIVES’
cidents that have taken place during his tenure. In reference to the army train accident in which 17 soldiers were martyred, Rafique said that the cause of the accident was speeding. However, the CJP remarked that the minister had placed all the responsibility of the accident on the driver. RAFIQUE’S SECRET MEETING DRAWS CJP’S IRE: The CJP then reprimanded Rafique over his strong statements against state institutions, adding that the days when courts were disrespected are long gone. “You know what your body language was at the place where you had gone a few days back,” said the CJP to which the minister said “I have relatives there. I had gone there for tea. Taking tea with my relatives is my right.” Rafique told the court he was at the hearing not for a political speech but to show the work Pakistan Railways was doing. However, he was told to stay quiet until given permission, upon which he said he would leave the court if the CJP did not want to hear him. “There is a misunderstanding which I want to clear. I can leave if you don’t want to hear me out,” he said. Responding to this, the CJP remarked, “We are well-
aware of your intentions. If you leave the court then contempt proceedings will be initiated against you.” “If you keep silent it will be better for you. Otherwise everyone will come to know where you had gone. I know you had gone to take what type of tea. I am doing Jihad. No matter how many big faces you may bring, I will hear what is based on merit. Leave aside political talks. Come to the performance of Railway otherwise I will send you contempt of court notice directly,” the CJP said. Taken aback by the judge’s remarks, Rafique said, “You are our chief justice. You should give me a chance to speak. I am son of Khawaja Rafiq Shaheed, I am toeing the line of my father.” The CJP remarked “I respect Khawaja Rafiq Shaheed. We have done Jihad together. I know how much you are toeing the line of your father”. The minister insisted that he was following in his father’s footsteps. “I remained in jail in connection with the movement for restoration of independent judiciary,” Rafique said sheepishly to which the CJP retorted by saying “May be you will have to go to jail again.” The railways minister said that there will be visible improvement in the department in the next 12 years. Over
which, the CJP remarked, “Should the court then allow you to continue your appointment without contesting elections for the next 12 years?” Speaking to media outside the SC Registry, the railways minister said he had always made efforts for the betterment of railways. “I improved the condition of passenger trains and fired no permanent employees,” he said, adding that he is waiting for someone to show up and do better work than him. “Railways is earning Rs50 billion with a loss of Rs35 billion. It was rescued from privatisation but the institution’s improvement will still take 10 to 12 years,” he repeated the statement made before the judges. earlier on April 7, the CJP had taken a suo moto notice of over Rs60 million alleged corruption in Pakistan Railways and summoned Rafique and the secretary concerned. The court directed the railways’ officials to appear before the court with relevant documents and apprise the court regarding the reasons for the losses. The CJP had applauded Indian Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and said that despite being illiterate, he made the railways a profit earning institution in India. “His theory is now taught in Harvard University,” he claimed.
SC gives ATC two weeks to conclude Model Town massacre trial COURT DIRECTS INCLUSION OF JUSTICE NAJAFI’S REPORT IN TRIAL PROCEEDINGS WHICH WILL NOW BE HELD ON DAILY BASIS CJP ASKS PROSECUTOR IF THERE IS ANY ORDER REGARDING SUMMONING OF NAWAZ SHARIF AND OTHER POLITICAL FIGURES IN ATC LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday directed an antiterrorism court (ATC) of Lahore to hear the pending cases related to the Model Town killings on a daily basis and conclude the trial of the accused within two
weeks. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar ordered ATC Judge Aijaz Awan to hear the pending cases related to the Model Town incident on a daily basis and cancelled all of the ATC judge’s leaves. The Punjab prosecutor general presented the record of both the cases and the prosecution to the court at the inception of hearing. The CJP inquired from the prosecutor general, “Is there any order regarding the summoning of Nawaz Sharif and other political figures in ATC?” The prosecutor general replied that the summon notices had not been issued due to lack of any evidence against them. The trial has been pending before the ATC against police and civil administration officials. A private complaint filed by Idara Minhajul Quran, a sister organisation of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), is also pending adjudication before the trial court. The CJP had on April 8, taken notice of the delay in the provision of justice to the victims of the 2014 Model Town incident and had directed the Punjab government to come up with a report, explaining the reasons behind the delay in dispensation of justice to the people affected by the incident. He took notice of the matter on the request of the daughter of a woman killed in the incident,
who complained that she still awaited justice despite the passage of four years. JUSTICE NAJAFI REPORT WILL BE PART OF COURT RECORD: The two-member bench of the apex court hearing the case in Lahore registry on Saturday further directed the trial court to make Justice Ali Baqar Najafi’s report of a judicial probe into the incident part of the trial proceedings.The judges directed the Lahore High Court (LHC) to dispose of petitions with regard to the Model Town incident within two weeks. Delineating the chronology of events, Justice Najafi had reported that then Punjab Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah seems to have already decided on June 16, 2014 that the PAT chief would not be allowed any opportunity to hold a long march from Rawalpindi to Lahore, as the latter planned to do on June 23, 2014. This single-minded determination of the minister to thwart Qadri’s political objectives ended up influencing the police’s heavy-handed strategy in dealing with the situation, which resulted in the needless loss of lives the very next day, Justice Najafi argued in the report. The commission maintained that it arrived at the conclusion after “putting all facts and circumstances in juxtapositions”.
who conspired against me, Maryam asks after wajid Zia’s confession LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and daughter of the former prime minister, Maryam Nawaz on Saturday said that after the confession from Wajid Zia, the star witness against them in Avenfield Apartments Case, it should now be revealed as to who conspired against her and why. In a message posted on Twitter, she said,” Now that the JIT head himself admits the truth, I want to know who conspired against me and why.” Maryam Nawaz was responding to the statement of the former Panama JIT head Wajid Zia, who is being cross-examined at the accountability court for past 12 hearings, in which he admitted on Friday that no evidence pointing to Maryam Nawaz’s involvement in the incorporation of Nielson and Nescol offshore companies was available. In the last hearing of the accountability court on April 13, defence counsel for Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (r) Safdar, Amjad Pervaiz, began the 12 cross-examination session of the JIT head, inquiring about the owner of Avenfield properties before it came under the possession of Nielson and Nescol. Zia replied that the team had not investigated prior ownership before its transfer to the two companies. Pervaiz then questioned Zia over a letter exchanged between Supreme Court (SC) Advocate Salman Akram Raja and Lawrence Radley pertaining to Avenfield apartments – in which Radley had confirmed that he acted on behalf of the purchasers of the property in or around 1993 to 1996. He further recalled that the apartments were purchased through two British Virgin Islands (BVI) companies – Nielson and Nescol – and the instructions to purchase the properties were not dictated by any member of the Sharif family. When asked if Radley was associated with any investigation, Zia stated that the JIT had decided to not associate him.
SC asked to look into NAB’s ‘weak’ supplementary reference in Ishaq Dar’s case ISLAMABAD SHAH NAWAZ MOHAL
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has failed to include the names of most relevant persons and filed a comparatively weak add-on reference in the assets beyond income case against former federal minister Ishaq Dar, Pakistan Today has learnt. In an application filed by National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Saeed Ahmad in the Supreme Court (SC), it was said that the NAB had included the names of individuals, including him, in the case simply because of their relationship with main accused Ishaq Dar and for the reason that their identities were stolen to open fake bank accounts. It said that the bureau was probing these persons on the basis of surmises and conjectures only, whereas persons who had a direct connection and business interests with Ishaq Dar, including Javed Kiyani, Kashif Masood Qazi, Sheikh Saeed and Musa Ghani, were excluded
from the investigation despite the fact that the SC had directed to include these individuals in the proceedings as their bank account were used with their consent for the transfer of ill-gotten money, it said. The application is filed to challenge Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) verdict that rejected a petition of Saeed Ahmad against a supplementary corruption reference moved by NAB. NAB’s Special Prosecutor Imran Shafiq contended that since the nominated coaccused have a long association with Ishaq Dar, and because they were working along with him in Hajveri Modaraba Management (Pvt) Ltd Company and the bank accounts were opened in their name, they might have assisted and abetted Dar in mounting illegal assets. In support of their allegations against NBP President Saeed Ahmed, accused Imran Shafiq said that he was one of the directors along with absconding accused Ishaq Dar in Hajveri Modaraba Management (Pvt) Ltd Company and has a long association with him. It was
further alleged that seven bank accounts were opened in the name of Saeed Ahmed in the years 1997, 1998 and 1999. These accounts were respectively closed in 1999, 2000 and 2002. It was also claimed that an amount of Rs483 million and $4 million was transferred through these bank accounts to the advantage of Ishaq Dar and his dependents. Conversely, Saeed Ahmed was of view that the investigator ignored the fact that as per the record available with the Securities and exchange Commission of Pakistan (SeCP), he was appointed as director in the Hajveri Modaraba Management (Pvt) Ltd Company on July 10, 1991, and resigned from the directorship on September 12, 1991. The SeCP record further tells that he was re-appointed as director in place of Masood Akhtar on February 2, 1992, and served till June 5, 1995. Over his retirement from the directorship, he transferred his 90,000 shares to Hajveri Holdings. It is pertinent to mention that the fake accounts were
opened in 1997 and 1998, at least two years after Saeed Ahmad’s retirement when he was living abroad and was having no say or influence in the company as its director. Also, the NAB’s allegations were in contradiction to its own forensic report that said that the signatures of the applicants do not tally and forged signatures were used to open these bank accounts. The forensic examination of bank account opening documents was conducted by NAB Deputy Director Muhammad Naseem and submitted to NAB HQ on December 29, 2017. The offence was, therefore, made by the person who forged the documents and used fake signatures, and the person whose identity was stolen should not be included among the accused. The NAB prosecutor pointed out that these bank accounts were operated by a number of employees of Hajveri Modaraba Management (Pvt) Ltd Company, including the co-accused Mansoor Rizvi and Naeem Mehmood. He also admitted that these bank accounts were never operated by Saeed Ahmad.
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
DOOM AND GLOOM CoNtINueD fRoM PAge 01
UN Secretary General António Guterres said he hoped to send international inspectors to the missile attack targets in Syria. The UNSC failed to adopt a Russiandrafted resolution on Saturday to condemn “the aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic by the US and its allies in violation of international law and the UN Charter.” Only Russia, China and Bolivia voted in favour of the draft resolution. Eight countries voted against the draft, while four abstained. ‘STRIKES ARE BARBARIC, BRUTAL’: Syria’s government denounced the strikes on its military installations as a “brutal, barbaric aggression” that violated international law. “The Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the brutal AmericanBritish-French aggression against Syria, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law,” the foreign ministry said. State news agency SANA also reported the attack, but said it was “doomed to fail”. Western powers blamed President Bashar al-Assad, but Syria and its ally Russia categorically denied the claims and accused the West of “fabricating” the incident to justify military action. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was set to begin its investigation inside the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma on Saturday, just hours after the strikes. The ministry said it was an “attempt to block the exposure of their lies and fabrications”. “The timing of the aggression coincides with the arrival of the OPCW mission to Syria to investigate the alleged chemical attack in Douma, and mainly aims at hindering the mission’s work and preempting its results,” it said in comments carried by state news agency SANA. It said the United States, Britain and France launched around 110 missiles on Syria, but air defences shot most of them down. The Russian military also said that Syrian air defence systems intercepted 71 out
of 103 cruise missiles that were launched. However, the Pentagon said a barrage of more than 40 Syrian surface-to-air missiles had “no material effect” on the allied attack, which McKenzie said struck their targets. None of the more sophisticated air defenses that Moscow has positioned in Syria were employed, he said. The general also denied assertions from Russian officials that some incoming missiles were intercepted by the Soviet-made antimissile batteries used by Syrian forces. At least six loud explosions were heard in Damascus in the early hours of Saturday and smoke was seen rising over the Syrian capital, a Reuters witness said. A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes. Barzah is the location of a major Syrian scientific research centre. RUSSIA WARNS OF REPERCUSSIONS: The strikes didn’t go well with the Syria’s allies, with Russia and Iran warning of repercussions. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned this an “act of aggression” and said Russia would convene an emergency session of the UN Security Council over the attack. In a statement released by the Kremlin, the Russian president denied evidence of a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma and said the strike would “have a destructive effect on the entire system of international relations”. It did not appear late on Saturday morning that the attack would trigger a military response from Russia, as Moscow reported that the missiles had steered clear of Russian military bases in the country. However, the remarks capped an angry response from across the Russian establishment to the strikes. Russia’s ambassador to the US warned of “consequences”, while a high-ranking Russian politician compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. “First the ‘Arab Spring’ tested the Syrian people, then Islamic State, now ‘smart’ American rockets. The capital of a sovereign government, trying for years to survive under terrorist aggression, has been
attacked, said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova. “You have to be quite abnormal to attack Syria’s capital just at the moment when it had a chance for a peaceful future,” she added. Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov warned that such actions will have dire consequences. Trump “can be called Adolf Hitler No 2 of our time because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union” he said in reference to the early morning invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany in 1941. ‘MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE’: Meanwhile, Iran has also reacted sharply to the attacks. “Undoubtedly, the United States and its allies, which took military action against Syria despite the absence of any proven evidence … will assume the responsibility for the regional and trans-regional consequences of this adventurism,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state media. “The United States and its allies have no proof and, without even waiting for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to take a position, have carried out this military attack,” said the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that “Today’s dawn attack on Syria is a crime. I clearly declare that the presidents of the United States and France and the British prime minister are criminals.” “The Syrian people will certainly answer these attacks and the people of the world should condemn this aggression,” said Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan. The combined US, British and French assault appeared to be more intense than the strike Trump ordered almost exactly a year ago against a Syrian airbase in retaliation for an earlier chemical weapons attack that Washington attributed to Assad. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said twice as many weapons were used in the strikes on Saturday compared to last April’s strike.
Pakistan successfully test fires Babur cruise missile RAWALPINDI STAFF REPORT
Pakistan on Saturday conducted a successful test of an enhanced range version of the indigenously developed Babur cruise missile, Babur Weapon System-1 (B) incorporated with advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy, at a range of 700 kilometres (km). According to details, it is a low flying, terrain hugging missile, which also carries
certain stealth features and is capable of carrying various types of warheads. The Babur Weapon System-1 (B) is equipped with state-of-the-art navigational technologies of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and all-time Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC), which enables it to engage various types of targets with pinpoint accuracy even in the absence of GPS navigation, thus making it an important force multiplier for Pakistan’s strategic deterrence. The missile launching was witnessed
by Strategic Plans Division (SPD) director general and other senior officers, NESCOM chairman, senior officers from strategic forces, scientists and engineers of strategic organisations. The president and prime minister conveyed their appreciations to scientists and engineers on the successful conduct of the missile test. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and services chiefs also congratulated the scientists and engineers of NESCOM and NDC for the successful test.
Will make Karachi city of lights again, claims Shehbaz Sharif PUNJAB CM SAYS ‘IT’S MY DREAM TO RUN A METRO BUS IN KARACHI’ KARACHI STAFF REPORT
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday claimed that he will “return lights to the city of lights”, as he made his first visit to Karachi after being elected as the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) following the disqualification of his elder brother, Nawaz Sharif. Shehbaz met with the party’s local leadership and other delegations at the Sindh’s Governor’s House. Addressing the meetings, Shehbaz said the PML-N will “always be the biggest political party of Pakistan”, claiming that the PML-N is the party of the people. “Authorities and workers must keep unity intact among themselves and overcome personal grievances to work together. Regardless of the conspiracies being hatched by our political opponents, we should ensure that our strength and unity remain unaffected,” Shehbaz said. The PML-N president also said that the metropolis had deteriorated due to corruption. “If money was not looted, then the situation of the city and the province would have been different. It is my dream to eradicate corruption from Sindh and Karachi and bring development,” he said.
Abbasi likely to invite political parties for talks over caretaker prime minister ISLAMABAD INP
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is expected to convene a meeting of parliamentary parties, including the opposition, to discuss candidates for caretaker premier. The caretaker PM is constitutionally appointed following the consensus between the leader of the house in National Assembly (prime minister) and leader of the opposition in NA. According to sources, the ruling party is willing to take other political forces on board, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), to finalise a candidate for caretaker premiership. Informal discussions with the Pakistan Muslim Le ague-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leaders suggest that the party’s leadership has decided to engage political parties and seek their respective nom-
inations for the caretaker premier as part of the political bargain. According to sources, the PML-N has focused its efforts to negotiate with the ruling parties in those provinces where it wants to get its nominations considered for chief minister. Similarly, the leader of the house and leader of the opposition choose caretaker CMs in the respective provinces. “There is mixed arrangement at the provinces, we need to accommodate parliamentary forces at the centre in order to be accommodated in the provinces,” a well-placed source in PML-N said. He said that the discussions on caretaker arrangements in the provinces have not yet taken place, adding that the initial focus on discussions between the government and opposition would be a caretaker PM with the selection of caretaker
CMs to follow suit. The formal process for choosing caretaker PM started on Wednesday following a meeting between PM Abbasi and Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah in which the names of potential candidates were discussed. The names of former chief justices of Pakistan, including Nasirul Mulk, Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Jawwad S Khawaja and Mian Shakirullah Jan were discussed during Abbasi-Shah meeting, sources privy to the matter said. Apart from these names, the two sides also discussed other names including that of former governors of State Bank Dr Shamshad Akhtar and Dr Ishrat Hussain, former caretaker PM Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and ex-Supreme Court judge Nasir Aslam Zahid, according to reliable sources. A source in PML-N who enjoys a close
association with PM Abbasi said that the premier stressed upon reaching consensus during his meeting with Shah on choosing a candidate as caretaker PM, and added that the political parties should not leave space for ‘other institutions’ to intervene. In case the leader of the house and leader of the opposition in NA fail to agree on caretaker PM, the matter would constitutionally land before the NA speaker who would form an eightmember parliamentary committee comprising MNAs and senators from ruling and opposition parties to pick a candidate as the caretaker PM. The Election Commission of Pakistan would appoint a candidate as caretaker PM the way it did in 2013 when the ECP appointed Mir Hazar Khan Khoso after the government and opposition failed to agree on a candidate.
The Punjab CM also said that the beauty of the city had been ruined by garbage, adding that is his dream to run a metro bus in Karachi. Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair called Shehbaz a “ray of hope” for the people of Sindh. Referring to him as a symbol of development, he said the people of Sindh and Karachi want him to work for them the way he has worked for Punjab. He also told Shehbaz that he has changed Punjab through hard work and vision and that he has done an extraordinary job for the development of health, education and other sectors. The CM was welcomed by a number of party workers at the Karachi airport earlier on Saturday and was driven to the Governor’s House amid tight security. All the roads leading to the Governor House were festooned with banners and streamers featuring Shehbaz’s pictures. On March 13, Shehbaz was elected as the PML-N chief, replacing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who remained the party chief until the Supreme Court (SC) declared him ineligible to head his party. On Feb 21, a three-member bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar gave the verdict on a number of petitions challenging the controversial amendment to the Election Act 20117, which allowed Sharif to head his party. The court declared that all decisions taken by Nawaz as PML-N president since July 28 stood null and void after the judgment.
PML-N lawmakers Nasir Musazai, Bilal Virk join PTI ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
In yet another blow to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), lawmakers Nasir Musazai and Bilal Virk on Saturday joined Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after quitting the party. PML-N KP leader Musazai and Virk made the announcement after meeting the PTI chairman at his residence in Bani Gala. Welcoming the lawmakers to the party, Imran said, “We will not allow anyone to blackmail institutions or run away from accountability.” “The chief justice of Pakistan and his fellow judges deserve praise for holding the powerful mafia accountable,” he added. The PTI chief also expressed solidarity with state institutions and the judiciary.
WEATHER UPDATES SUNDAY
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
PML-N has history of eNMity with siNdh: CM Murad SEHWAN
INDH Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has had a long history of enmity with Sindh as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, right from taking over the office to his ouster, never stayed in Sindh to solve the problems of people of province. He stated this while addressing 11th death anniversary of his father and former Sindh chief minister Abdullah Shah which wa sobserved here in his native village, Wahur Murad Ali Shah of Taluka in Sehwan. Those who attended the death anniversary include former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, Provincial Ministers Nisar Khuhro, Manzoor Wassan, Sohail Anwar Siyal, Jam Khan Shoro, Nasir Shah, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Taimore Talpur, Saeed Ghani, MPAs Murad Ali Shah, Dr Bahadur
Dahri and others. The chief minister alleged that PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif had never given importance to Sindh and its people in resolving their problems. “It was only lip service he used to make, otherwise his contribution to resolving the problems of people of Sindh is zero,” he said and added during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure, worst load-shedding had started in Sindh. He further accused PML-N government of not giving the due share to the people of Sindh in National Finance Commission (NFC), and not releasing funds that were committed under National Action Plan (NAP) and rather deducted from the funds of Sindh. Talking about Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to Karachi, he said Punjab chief minister is like a seasonal frog that has come out here because general elections are approaching. “After disqualification of his brother, he has taken over as the president of his party and has realized that Sindh is an important province where a large number of voters are living,” he said and added but “your visit
would bear no fruit because people of Sindh know you very-well that your visit and your promise are like bubble of hot water”. The CM said that people of Sindh were, are and would always be supportive of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) because “it is the PPP which right from its founder Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Quaid Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and from Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to Asif Ali Zardari who have served the people of Sindh without any discrimination”. It was Shaheed Z.A Bhutto who gave identification to the people Pakistan all over the world, sent manpower abroad, particularly to the Middle East and Europe and gave strong constitution of 1973 He made the defence of this country much strong by launching nuclear programme, he reminded. He added that it was Shaheed Benazir Bhutto who launched missile programme, empowered women, launched energy programmes but her successors plunged the country into darkness. Talking about PPP President Asif Zardari, the chief minister said he gave
18thamendment and a first-ever multicriterion NFC award. “Now, it is the turn of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who would make the country stronger in terms of its economy, defence and federating units,” he claimed. Paying rich tribute to his father Abdullah Shah, he said that he was a loving and caring father who gave good education to his children. He used to pick me, my brother and sisters from school himself, and a chief minister, his services would always be remembered, he concluded.
Sindh Assembly again adopts controversial universities bill KARACHI ppI
shehbaz visits Quaid's mausoleum during Karachi visit KARACHI Staff RepoRt
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the mausoleum of Quaid-eAzam during his visit to Karachi here on Saturday. He laid a wreath and offered Fateha. He also penned down his expression in the visitors’ books. Talking to representatives of media outside the mausoleum, he said he is visiting Karachi for the first time after being elected as the president of PML-N and he has come here to pay glowing tributes to Quaid-e-Azam. He said he has held meetings with delegations of lawyers, business people and office-bearers and workers of the party. He said we got an independent state due to great sacrifices of Muslims and the freedom movement led by Quaid-e-Azam. He advised the nation to struggle to make Pakistan a welfare state. We should promise that we will leave no stone unturned to make Pakistan great and great country, and work jointly for the progress and prosperity in Pakistan, he concluded.
Despite strong protest by the opposition parties, the Sindh Assembly on Saturday again adopted the Sindh Universities and Institutes Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, with few amendments. According to the Bill, all powers to control the public sector universities have been delegated to Sindh chief minister. Setting aside all objections raised by Sindh Governor Muham-
mad Zubair and proposals forwarded by the opposition parties, the provincial assembly again adopted the bill to regulate 24 universities of the province. The opposition members tore copies of the bill and walked out of the house in protest against the passage of the bill. The leader of the Opposition in provincial assembly Khawaja Izhar said the bill is against the very essence of democracy. While rejecting all objections of the opposition parties at the floor of
KARACHI Former Sindh Excise Minister and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P)’s Bahadurabad group member Shabbir Ahmed Qaimkhani joined Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) on Saturday. Qaimkhani formally announced his decision in a press conference with PSP leader Mustafa Kamal at Pakistan House earlier today. The former excise and taxation
minister for Sindh is the first MQMPakistan Bahadurabad faction leader to join the PSP. He belongs to Mirpur Khas district. Earlier on April 11, MQM-P Member National Assembly (MNA) Raza Anwar shifted loyalties to Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). The internal conflicts continue to haunt MQM-P as seven more parliamentarians have left the party in last 10 days. Reportedly several more leaders are in contact with PSP leadership. As per the sources, PSP has benefited greatly after the emergence of two factions-
KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday observed that Karachi would become a jungle of concrete if the construction of the six-storey buildings is allowed in every area. The apex court bench comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali was hearing an application seeking an interpretation of its earlier order that allowed the construction of maximum sixstorey buildings. Earlier, the apex court on the plea of Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) had lifted the ban on construction of high-rise buildings. The court explained that its earlier directives that allowed two-storey buildings were for specific areas, ruling that the ban on more than two-storey buildings is still in place in most parts of the city. ppI
Police raids in Karachi lead to arrests of 21 suspects KARACHI: As many as 21 suspects were arrested after raids conducted by law enforcement agencies in various parts of Karachi early on Saturday. Korangi and Landhi were the sites from which 9 suspects were arrested after Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L) member Raesuddin alias Mama shared intelligence on their whereabouts. Raes was arrested on March 27 from the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport and was sought by the police in connection with extortion and several murders. The former sector-in-charge of MQM-L in Korangi is also the primary suspect in the Chakra Goth attack that killed three police personnel and injured 27. In addition, seven suspects have been arrested due to allegations of land grabbing in Surjani Town, though one suspect, Maulana Abdul Raheem, succeeded in escaping. Three suspects were arrested from Iqbal Town and two from Darakhshan. Weapons and assorted items were recovered from their possession. Staff RepoRt
the house, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said, “We do not want interference in the affairs of the universities. Instead, we want to improve the situation.” The MQM leader Khawaja Izhar alleged that the government is taking the powers in its hands to provide the guidelines to the universities. Please avoid doing this, he appealed to the government. He further stated, “Leave these matters at the disposal of the academic council.”
three killed, one injured in separate gun attacks
PIB and Bahadurabad-in MQM-P. “Mustafa Kamal’s party has received greater popularity after splits in MQM-P than it has in the past two years,” the sources said. The top leaders of Rabita Committee are also reportedly in contact with PSP and party may grab opposition seats in Sindh Assembly due to these talks.
KARACHI: Three people were killed and one other injured in separate gun attacks in different parts of the city in here on Saturday. According to the rescue sources, a 50-year-old unknown man was shot dead by unknown men near Nursery bus stop on Shahrah-eFaisal. The body was shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities. Separately, two unidentified armed men opened fire on a 40-year-old man at his home in Rozi Goth of Surrjani town. As a result, he suffered severe bullet injuries and died on the spot. The body was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for an autopsy. In the third incident, two unknown armed robbers tried to loot a 32-year-old man, Asher Erfan, in North Karachi’s cycle market but he offered them resistance. As a result, they opened fire and left him dead. The body was shifted to ASH for an autopsy. A 20-year-old youth, Walid was shot and injured by unknown armed men in Mawach Goth. Staff RepoRt
MQM-P's Shabbir Ahmed Qaimkhani joins PSP Staff RepoRt
Karachi would become concrete jungle if high-rise building allowed: sC
Limited funding continues to affect functioning of ASH KARACHI ppI
The number of visiting patients and the rate of their admission at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), the third largest public sector hospital of the megacity, have decline due to Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) financial crisis. Media sources reported that a number of OPD patients and admitted patients have drastically dropped in this major hospital owing to lack of resources. The hospital’s financial and administrative affairs are largely being run on the limited KMC funding and philanthropic donations. The shortage of staff and drugs, unavailability of advanced diagnostic facilities, suspension of food, non-operational wards, insufficient supply of water, out of order equipment and other problems have already badly affected the smooth functioning of this major hospital. Reportedly, the posts of resident med-
ical officers and consultants, staff nurses, sweepers, security guards, technicians, paramedical staff and others administrative seats are lying vacant. The shortage of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and administrative staff has badly affected the performance of the healthcare. Many diagnostic machines including the MRI machine, ventilators, incubators and other equipment are currently out of order while the administration is unable to get them repaired due to shortage of funds. “There is acute shortage of medicines and medical staff in this healthcare facility, while hospital administration is not even unable to maintain sanitation condition and security of the hospital in three shifts due to shortage janitorial staff,” sources informed. ASH with more than 900 beds did not receive even 10 per cent of its budgetary allocation resulting in all the units of the hospital, including intensive care, coronary and emergency units, face acute
shortage of life-saving medicines and other essential items. Some departments of the hospital including Radiology, Cardiology, Urology, Plastic Surgery, Burns, and Neurosurgery are on the verge of closure due to shortage of specialist doctors and consultants. The junior doctors are running these departments due to unavailability of qualified doctors. The patients are facing hardship due to the dearth of specialist doctors in hospital, but KMC administration and health department Sindh authorities concerned have so far not been able to provide qualified doctors to institution to improve patient care. The financial crisis has seriously affected almost every service of the healthcare facility, which once provided not only costly medicines free but also food to its indoor patients. Currently, 40 per cent of the diagnostic machines at the facility are out of order.
ASH Medical Superintendent Dr Muhammad Anwer said that the hospital administration is facing multiple challenges to run the affair of health facility smoothly and effectively.
He said special funds are needed to provide medicines, hire new staff, repair out of order equipment, make functional wards and purchase new machines to improve patient care.
06 FOREIGN NEWS
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
British PM faces questions over legality of strikes on syria LONDON
guterres lauds Winnie Mandela as towering figure against apartheid UNITED NATIONS: uN Secretary-general Antonio guterres lauded Winnie MadikizelaMandela as a towering figure in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. “‘Mama Winnie,’ as she was affectionately known, was a towering figure in the struggle against apartheid. She was an international symbol of resistance who left an indelible mark on the history of the 20th century,” guterres told a memorial service for Madikizela-Mandela at uN headquarters in New York. Winnie, a former wife of late Nelson Mandela, died on April 2 in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the age of 81. She was known as Winnie Mandela in apartheid years and modified her name after a divorce from Nelson Mandela in 1996. Nelson Mandela died in 2013. “Faced with the most heinous of racist and discriminatory regimes, she helped lead the way in showing what it takes to overcome such tyranny: strength, defiance and courage,” he said. “She endured surveillance, harassment, torture and imprisonment, including in solitary confinement, making huge personal sacrifices,” guterres said, in reference to her 17 months in prison, 13 of them in solitary confinement. “Yet, through her resistance, she inspired countless others and helped keep hope alive through the darkest periods of the struggle.” In her later years Madikizela-Mandela encountered accusations of corruption, extreme physical brutality, kidnapping, even murder. “None of us would condone all actions across a complex and complicated life, but Winnie Mandela’s dedication was evident in her early activism and her work researching infant mortality in the Alexandra township,” the uN chief said. AGENCIES
four killed in blast near gaza border GAZA CITY: Four Palestinians were killed in an explosion near the gaza-Israel border on Saturday, the health ministry in gaza said, in circumstances that were unclear. the hamas-controlled ministry said the explosion east of Rafah in southern gaza was caused by an Israeli strike, but an army spokesperson said they no knowledge of any such strike. Fears of fresh violence ahead of new gaza protest. Israel normally acknowledges strikes inside gaza. AGENCIES
lthough the British government on Saturday defended its decision to join the uS-led military strikes on Syria without consulting Parliament first, British opinion leaders immediately questioned about the Whitehall’s legal justification of such a military action. Shortly after the military strikes were launched, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said uK foreign policy should be set by Parliament and not Donald trump after the uS, uK and France bombed targets in Syria. Sturgeon said the suspected use of chemical weapons was “sickening”, but warned that the latest action risked “dangerous escalation.” Meanwhile, Britain’s main opposition labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the uS-led military strikes on Syria jointly staged by three leading Western countries as a “legally questionable action,” saying that the British government should “not taking instructions from Washington.” Earlier Saturday, British Prime Minister theresa May said that she has authorised the uK armed forces to conduct “coordinated and targeted strikes” in response to alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma earlier this month. Speaking in Downing Street, May said the military strikes should be a “warning to Russia” before holding the Syrian government accountable for the chemical attack. however, May is facing questions over the legality of committing uK forces to any uS-led attack on Syria. the opposition leader questioned the prime minister’s statement that the Syria attack is “right and legal.”
“theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald trump,” Corbyn said. “Bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace. this legally questionable action risks escalating further.” “Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm’s way,” Corbyn said. “the government should do whatever possible to push Russia and the united States to agree to an independent uN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account,” he added. For his part, the leader of the uK Independence Party (uKIP), gerard Batten, opposed the British military action in Syria. he warned that intervention would lead to a proxy war with Russia which would be “not only dangerous to Britain, but the entire world.” the joint attack by the united States, Britain, and France, which began at 3:55 a.m. local time (0055 gMt), launched some 110 missiles targeting Syrian military sites in the Syrian capital Damascus and elsewhere, Syria’s state news agency SANA said, citing the military. “there is no proof that the Assad regime is responsible for the chemical attack on civilians,” Batten said, referring to the Syrian government headed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Questions were also raised to May at her press conference at 10 Downing Street, which came just hours after the launch of the joint military attack, as to why her government did not first ask for the approval from the British Parliament and the authorisation by the uN Security Council. Correspondents from the British and world press
AU mulls gradual reduction of troops in Somalia MOGADISHU AGENCIES
the African union Mission in Somalia (AMISoM) has kicked off plans for gradual reduction of troops in the horn of Africa nation. Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Au Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia Simon Mulongo on Saturday urged AMISoM military commanders to implement the transition plan in line with the uN Security Council resolution on gradual reduction of troops serving in Somalia. Mulongo said the transition process would require doubling of efforts to further degrade and defeat the al-Shabab to a level that it cannot pose serious threat to the Somali national security forces. “Everything we are doing now should be geared towards transition. the way you plan in your sectors, the way you plan in your units and other formations should be geared towards transition,” he said, according to a statement issued by the Au mission. Mulongo made the remarks during a sector commanders’ conference to discuss issues
related to the transition and transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali national security forces as mandated by the uN Security Council late 2017. the Au mission is expected to gradually reduce the number of its troops in Somalia and reconstitute its forward operating bases with the cooperation of the Somali national security forces to ensure national security is not compromised during the transition period. Mulongo reiterated that AMISoM is focused on implementing the transition plan and urged troops to readjust their strategies in the fight against al-Shabab insurgents. “how do we empower the local forces; how do we empower the local people so that they take over responsibility,” he said. the Au official said the first phase of the transition plan would last four years and success would be measured against the ability of the country to conduct peaceful and secure one-person-one-vote elections in 2020, which, he noted, would be a major milestone if successful the Au mission will draw down by 1,000 in october. “that is a milestone, which we know. there must be therefore, reconfig-
uring of AMISoM in such a way that it must be able to defend itself with fewer troops because 1,000 drew down last year,” haji Ssebirumbi, the AMISoM Senior Political Affairs officer, said. however, experts have said AMISoM’s exit is pegged on the ability of the Somali National Security Forces, particularly the Somalia National Army
US huge bomb fails to curb IS activities in Afghanistan KABUL AGENCIES
Exactly one year ago, the uS military deployed the so-called Mother of All Bombs (MoABs), the biggest nonnuclear bomb, on the stronghold of militants affiliated with the hardliner Islamic State (IS) outfit in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province with the objective to eliminate the group and curb its operations in the already insurgency-hit Afghanistan. Contrary to expectations, the passage of time has proved that the operations of the radical group have drastically increased instead of dropping down. It was April 13, 2017 that certain media outlets reported the explosive news of use of the biggest nonnuclear bomb by uS military against IS hideouts in Mohmandara mountains of Achin district, which reportedly killed 36 insurgents and injuring scores others. the bomb had raised the
also asked the prime minister to explain what role can the Parliament play in making a decision to attack another sovereign country. under the uN Charter, the united Nations has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Meanwhile, Former Royal Artillery officer general Sir Richard Barrons, writing a commentary carried by the times newspaper, warned the strikes may come at a cost. “We should not be surprised if we detect major intrusions into uS, uK and French cyberspace and social media,” Barrons said. “these risks are a feature of modern confrontation.” “there is also the question as to how this use of force will be linked and subordinated to strategies for bringing the fighting in Syria to a rapid end and for resetting relations between the West and Russia,” he said in the commentary. Professor Iain Begg, Research Fellow at the European Institute and Co-Director of the Dahrendorf Forum at the london School of Economics and Political Science (lSE), told Xinhua: “A volley of bombs may help the uS and its allies feel they have reacted in a timely and proportionate manner to the undoubted horror of the use by the Syrian regime of chemical weapons, but the inevitable worry will be that they have not thought through what happens next.”
rays of hope among Afghans including the Afghan security forces that the using 10-tons non-nuclear bomb against IS in Afghanistan gives the message of dismantling the radical group in the already war-torn country. A spokesman for Afghan Defense Ministry Mohammad Radmanesh, in talks with local media on the first anniversary of the attack
April 13 asserted that the Afghan security forces are stationed in the former bases of IS and preventing the militants to enter Afghanistan. however, the militants, according to Afghans, have expanded their grip in the neighboring Khogiani, Pachiragam and Chaparhar districts and a year later surfaced in the neighboring Kunar, Nuristan province as well
as in northern Jawzjan province. the fanatic group has also conducted series of deadly suicide attacks in Kabul, killing scores of people mostly civilians over the past one year. Afghans believe that the Islamic State group’s fighters have shifted to Afghanistan after their defeats in Iraq and Syria. Such failures of curbing the IS activities in Afghanistan has raised questions over uS-led coalition’s seriousness in the so-called war on terror. Media outlets, quoting the Afghan Defense Ministry and the NAto-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, reported the strength of IS militants stands between 1,500 to 2,000 in the country. Afghan former president hamid Karzai has also described the hardliner IS group as a danger to the region and said the group has emerged in Afghanistan during the full-scale military presence of uS and NAtoled forces in the country.
(SNA) to ably take over the security of the country. Some Western countries including the united States have expressed concern that Somalia’s security forces will not be ready by then. AMISoM is comprised of troops drawn from Burundi, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya who are deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia.
egypt’s court upholds life sentence against Brotherhood chief CAIRO: An Egyptian court upheld on Saturday the life sentence against Mohamed Badie, head of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, over violence charges, official news agency MENA reported. the Court of Cassation, Egypt’s top court that gives final verdicts, upheld the verdicts of life and rigorous imprisonment against Badie and 17 other Brotherhood members for their involvement in the armed sit-in and attempted murder. life sentence in Egypt is 25 years in prison. the defendants are accused of scheming a terrorist plot that aimed at vandalizing vital government facilities and places of worship, said the judge. they are also charged with directing the Brotherhood members to defy the government and to spread chaos in the country, the report added. Most Brotherhood leaders, including ousted former President Mohamed Morsi and Badie, are currently in custody. Many of them received appealable death sentences and life imprisonments over various charges varying from inciting violence and murder to espionage and jailbreak. Morsi himself is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence on charges of inciting clashes between his supporters and opponents outside a presidential palace in Cairo in late 2012 that left 10 people killed. AGENCIES
FOREIGN NEWS 07
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
un chief asks for action to prevent genocide UNITED NATIONS: uN Secretary-general Antonio guterres asked for action to prevent genocide as well as racism and xenophobia. “Preventing genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international law is a shared responsibility. It is a core duty of the united Nations,” guterres told an event to mark the international day of reflection on the 1994 Rwanda genocide. “But warnings are effective only if followed by action,” he said. he was deeply concerned about the rise of racism, hate speech and xenophobia around the world. “these base manifestations of human cruelty provide the breeding ground for far more evil acts. today, people are being killed, displaced and abused in many parts of the world.” In Myanmar, Rohingya Muslims have been killed, tortured, raped, burnt alive and humiliated, solely because of who they are. In Syria, continued escalation in hostilities, after seven years of conflict, has led to unimaginable violence and suffering. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, violence has forced 4.5 million people to flee their homes in the past year alone, said the uN chief. this year marks the 70th anniversary of the universal Declaration of human Rights and of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of genocide. Yet some 45 uN member states have still to join the genocide convention, he lamented. “Ratifying it is a matter of moral obligation. today, I call on all member states that have not yet done so to become parties to the genocide convention by Dec. 9 this year, when we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of its adoption.” he called on all states to back their commitments with action. “to save people at risk, we must go beyond words. We must nurture the courage to care, and the resolve to act. only by meeting these challenges can we honour the victims and survivors of genocide and ensure that what happened in Rwanda 24 years ago is never repeated — anywhere, ever again.” April 7 was designated by the uN general Assembly in 2003 as the international day of reflection on the Rwanda genocide to commemorate the 1994 atrocities committed by members of the hutu majority government. An estimated 500,000 to 1 million Rwandans were brutally murdered during 100 days from April 7 to mid-July, the overwhelming majority of the victims being tutsis. As this year’s April 7 was a Saturday, the world body held a commemoration event this Friday at the general Assembly hall. AGENCIES
Erdogan expects peaceful resolution on US-Russia conflict ISTANBUL: turkish President Recep tayyip Erdogan on Saturday described the uS-led bombing of Syrian sites as “appropriate,” expecting the uS-Russian conflict to be solved peacefully. “We spent the night sleepless and followed the operation,” Erdogan said at a rally in Istanbul. “We find the operation appropriate.” he said it would be wrong to expect the previous attacks by the Syrian regime to remain unanswered. “It is not all about the chemicals, more people were slaughtered previously by conventional weapons,” he stressed, calling on world countries to put the future of all kinds of weapons on the table for discussions in detail. “Instead of transferring a massive amount of resources to arms projects, let’s use this wealth for the benefit of humanity,” said the president. he also noted that he spoke to British Prime Minister theresa May earlier in the day over the operation against Syria and that he voiced hope for the conflict between Russia and the uS to be settled in a peaceful way. the uS, Britain and France hit Syrian military facilities with a wave of joint airstrikes early Saturday in response to an alleged chemical attack blamed on the Syrian military, sparking an outcry from Syria, Russia and Iran. turkey has been working with Russia and Iran through the so-called Astana process to achieve peace in Syria, but it has rejected direct dialogue with Damascus until now. AGENCIES
Why did india Wake uP so late to a child raPe and Murder?
bright looking eight-year old girl belonging to a Muslim nomadic tribe in Indian-administered Kashmir goes missing in the new year. on 17 January, her battered body is recovered from a forest in Kathua district. through February, police arrest eight men, including a retired government official, four policemen and a juvenile, in connection with the gang rape and murder of the girl. there are protests in the summer capital, Srinagar, demanding a special probe into the incident. the crime exposed the fault lines between the hindu-majority Jammu and the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley in a sharply divided state. the incident is covered promptly and prominently by the local media in the Muslim-dominated valley. So why does this story from Kathua make it to national news networks only in mid-April? Why does it evoke delayed outrage and anger? Why does this happen only after hindu right-wing groups protest the arrest of the accused, who also belong to a hindu community? Why are the eventual protests in Delhi - including a midnight march by chief opposition leader Rahul gandhi - milder than the ones after a similarly brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi in 2012? the responses tell us something about modern India. the media in Delhi, many believe, exerts a disproportionate and undeserved influence over shaping the “national narrative”. And large sections of this media have been partisan and selective when it comes to reporting on Kashmir, one of the world’s most heavily militarised re-
gions. India and Pakistan have fought two wars and a limited conflict over Kashmir and there’s been an armed revolt in the region against Indian rule since 1989. “the biggest problem in Kashmir is the way the place has been covered in the mainland Indian media,” wrote senior journalist and editor of the Print, Shekhar gupta, in 2015. “the problem has always been very closely linked to national security and military security.” So, often, the truth (about Kashmir), he wrote, “was considered against national security”. In this instance, one could possibly cite “religious honour” as another reason for why most national media avoided reporting on the crime. the support shown to the accused by hindu right wing-groups - and two ministers from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - has shocked many. Prime Minister Narendra Modi only broke his silence on Friday evening with a series of tweets, saying “no culprit will be spared... our daughters will definitely get justice”. A journalist who has been cov-
ering the incident in Kathua since January says that he had been telling his colleagues who work for Delhi-based news networks to report on the crime and its aftermath. “When some of the reporters approached their offices in Delhi to tell them about the incident, the feeling was that the inauguration of a garden of tulips in the valley was a better story than the rape and murder of a girl,” Sameer Yasir, an independent Srinagar-based journalist, told me. According to Mr Yasir, most of their bosses prevaricated, saying they didn’t have enough people on the ground in Jammu, and that it was not “such a big story”. only one English news network has been consistently covering the story. “I believe that media is almost tired of reporting violence in India. Rapes, lynching, torture is being reported all the time. It’s almost like you have to run a torture report, like the weather report,” says Shiv Visvanathan, a Delhi-based social scientist. It is possibly all about what Dr Visvanathan calls the “breakdown
of moral imagination” in India. Writing in the Indian Express newspaper, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a leading public intellectual, agreed, saying the Kashmir rape and murder proves “without exaggeration, that India’s moral compass has been completely obliterated, carpetbombed out of existence by the very custodians of law, morality and virtue who give daily sermons on national pride”. In a deeply divided society, collective action is always difficult. outrage happens - as in this case - when graphic details of the torture inflicted on the girl stir the conscience of many. this is what happened in this case. Many say the equally horrific 2012 Delhi gang-rape provoked huge protests in the capital because the victim was like “one of us” who was attacked on the way home with her male friend after watching a hollywood film at a cineplex. on the other hand, the girl in Kathua was a veritable vagabond, a member of a poor nomadic community, languishing bottom-most in India’s unforgiving and cruel caste hierarchy. “Everyone is complicit - we the people, media, politicians. there’s no concept of human rights anymore. there are hindu rights and Muslim rights. our loyalties are now to religion, caste, groups and clubs,” says Dr Visvanathan. In this environment, say many, instant outrage and “whataboutery” are the two extreme emotions that violence like this provokes. the outrage waxes and wanes quickly - Dr Visvanathan calls it the “Rip Van Winkle nature” of outrage and indignation. “our reactions veer from silence to indifference to hysteria. then we go back to sleep and wake up again to react to the latest incident of outrage”. – CourtESy BBC
Egypt to extend state of emergency for 3 months: oﬃcial gazette CAIRO AGENCIES
Egypt is to extend its nationwide state of emergency for three months from April, the official gazette said early on Saturday. Egypt first imposed the current state of emergency in April 2017 after two church bombings killed at least 45 people. It was extended in July and again in october then January. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree on Saturday to extend a curfew already in place in a new declaration. the latest extension was to allow security forces to “take (measures) neces-
sary to confront the dangers and funding of terrorism and safeguard security in all parts of the country,” the official gazette said. Egypt faces an Islamic State insurgency in the remote North Sinai region that has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen in recent years and has expanded to include attacks on civilians. other Islamists operating in the western desert bordering libya have also attacked security forces. Egypt also extended a curfew on parts of North Sinai that included areas of the border town of Rafah near gaza from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and around El-Arish from 1.am. to 5 a.m., the official gazette said.
Syria: From ‘chemical attack’ to military strikes SANAA AGENCIES
An alleged Syrian chemical attack on one-time rebel-held Douma has prompted outraged Western powers to order retaliatory strikes and Russia to warn against a dangerous escalation of tensions. HERE IS A RECAp Of EvENTS: ‘Toxic gas’ on April 7, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and Syria’s White helmets jointly say more than 40 people have died in a “poisonous chlorine gas” in Douma, the last opposition-held town in Eastern ghouta near the capital. Blaming the government, they say there are “more than 500 cases” of people with “symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent”. the Syrian observatory for human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, does not confirm a chemical attack. however, it reports at least 70 cases of respiratory difficulties among civilians after regime air strikes, saying 11 people had died. the regime and its key ally Russia deny any chemical attack. ‘Big price to pay’ the following day, uS President Donald trump tweets a warning aimed at Syr-
ian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies that there will be a “big price to pay” after a “mindless ChEMICAl attack”. he hits out at Russia and Iran for backing “Animal Assad”. Moscow warns Washington against carrying out a “military intervention on fabricated pretexts” which “could have the most dire consequences”. Military alert on April 9, uS ambassador at the uN, Nikki haley, says Washington is determined to “see the monster who dropped chemical weapons on the Syrian people is
held to account”. the uSS Donald Cook — a guided-missile destroyer — leaves Cyprus, moving within easy striking range of Syria. on April 10, the Syrian army puts its airports and military bases on alert, the observatory reports. the global chemical weapons watchdog, the organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, announces a fact-finding mission to Douma. At the uN, Russia vetoes a uS-drafted Security Council resolution that would have set up an investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria.
Missiles ‘coming’ on April 11, trump tells Moscow to be prepared for a retaliatory missile strike. “get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart!” he says on twitter. But White house says later that no final decisions on a response have been made although “all options are on the table”. the Russian defence ministry dismisses footage of attack victims as “yet another fake”, and a staged “provocation” to justify Western intervention. Ghouta retaken on April 12, Russia announces that remaining fighters in Douma had given up their heavy weapons, meaning the whole of ghouta was all-but under pro-regime control. “of course, the chemical attack is what pushed us to agree” to a withdrawal from Douma, a top rebel official tells AFP. President Emmanuel Macron says France has “proof” that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons and would respond “at a time of our choosing”. Russia’s uN ambassador says uS-led strikes could lead to a confrontation between the world’s two preeminent nuclear powers. “the immediate priority is to avert the danger of war,” says Vassily Nebenzia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Macron on April 13 to warn against any “dangerous actions” with “unpredictable consequences”, the Kremlin says. ‘Staged by London’ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei lavrov says Moscow has “irrefutable” evidence the alleged chemical attack was staged as part of a “Russophobic campaign” led by the secret services of a foreign power. the Russian military points the finger at london. At a meeting of the Security Council, uN chief Antonio guterres says the spiralling tensions could lead to a “full-blown military escalation” and urges the body to “act responsibly”. Fact-finding experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog say they will start work on the ground in Douma on April 14. US, france and UK strike bases, chemical research centres in Syria President Donald trump announces on April 13 that the united States, France and Britain have launched military strikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for a suspected chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again. trump says the uS is prepared to exert sustained pressure on Assad.
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
Politics of alliances
Attacks on Syria Need to keep Cold War within manageable limits
Debasing democracy in the name of democracy
he Us, France and Britain have launched missile attacks inside syria to destroy the country’s supposed chemical weapons capabilities. Ambivalence is being maintained in statements like the one by Pentagon chief Gen (retd) James Mattis, which indicates that ‘this is a one-time shot, for now’. This gives a new turn to President Trump’s earlier remarks that the campaign against the regime of Bashar al-Assad could be “sustained.” With NATo coming out in support of the attacks along with canada, one does not know if Trump would exercise restraint. surrounded by hardliners, John Bolton being the latest addition, it is tough to say whether wisdom would prevail in Washington or not. The death of more than 40 people, many of them children, in Douma was a great tragedy. There is a need to determine who was responsible for the act. Living in the post truth era one hears all types of weird claims about the possible perpetrator of the horror. The Us points the finger at Assad’s regime. This looks improbable, as the syrian government had succeeded in winning back most of the rebel/terrorist-controlled towns. Douma, one of the last few enclaves, too was about to fall. how could the syrian government then resort to a chemical attack knowing well that a strong world reaction was bound to follow? After the revelation that claims of the saddam regime being in possession of WMDs—which was used to justify the attack on Iraq—turned out to be completely false many would take the Us claim about syria’s involvement with a pinch of salt. The best option was to allow the oPcW team of experts to conduct a probe. That the Us launched an attack before the team could begin the exercise raises serious questions. It is a coincidence that PM Abbasi and coAs Bajwa are proceeding to saudi Arabia at a time when the Muslim world is divided over the Us-led attack with saudi Arabia and Bahrain openly supporting it, Iran and Iraq denouncing it and Jordan calling for a political solution in syria. Pakistan needs to advise its Arab friends to avoid becoming a part of the Us war, which can turn the Middle east into a powder keg.
Shehbaz Sharif’s national outreach Adopting a new approach with a new role
hILe the red carpet was out for shehbaz sharif’s first visit to Karachi as the new PML-N party president courtesy the governor of the city there is a growing instability below the surface of the ruling party. After the supreme court’s decision to bar for life any person disqualified under Article 62 (1) (f) from holding public office there remains no doubt that Nawaz sharif’s political career is over. That leaves shehbaz sharif who is rarely out of his comfort zone as Punjab cM – a job he has made his own – with the responsibility to steer his brother’s party out of some very choppy waters and quick. That not only entails gearing up for the upcoming general elections but also retaining the electable candidates still with the party at a time when those looking from the outside in are weighing their options while waiting for an opportune moment to jump ship. The recent resignations of Baluchistan and south Punjab MNA’s and MPA’s indicate it is now time for damage control. so now a severely delayed effort is afoot to gather support and regain the lost confidence of party workers in provinces other than home ground Punjab. First stop was KP a week back where apart from making the obligatory comparison to Lahore and a promise to execute similar development there a disgruntled PTI MNA joined the N-league. In Karachi yesterday the agenda was the same – boosting the morale of workers who had been pretty much left to their own devices for the better part of the PML-N’s four years in power and possibly to gain an MNA or two after meeting dissident groups from opposition parties. shehbaz sharif now has to approach his new role from the perspective of the federation rather than having a Punjab-only outlook on matters. There is little evidence to suggest that he can effectively navigate through the minefield that is the federal government and internal party politics. It has to be all hands on deck from here on out if the party aims to secure another term – an outcome that is become increasingly unlikely.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
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LecTIoNs due to be announced in less than two months, mahazes (fronts) and alliances of different hues and colours are being formed or reactivated. some of them are political, others religious or sectarian and some regional. even the coAs (chief of Army staff) General Qamar Javed Bajwa speaking to “notables” at an investiture ceremony in Peshawar the other day declared that engineered protests to reverse the gains of counter terrorism operations will not be tolerated. he was referring to the freshly minted PTM (Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement). The so-called movement was originally formed to get justice for the slain young man Naqeebullah Meshud at the hands of the controversial but politically well-connected suspended cop Rao Anwar. But while the coAs was busy addressing the notables extolling sacrifices of the “real heroes” of Pakistan another kind of protest had literally shut down most of the Punjab. The (TLP) Tehreek-e-Labbaik had managed to cut off the provincial capital Lahore with almost military precision from the rest of the country. The GT (Grand Trunk) road, the Lahore Islamabad Motorway and Multan Lahore Motorway were shutdown with such alacrity that thousands of commuters were stuck in the middle of nowhere unable to proceed or complete their journeys. The shutdown was only called off once the Punjab government capitulated to the zealots’ demands. As per the new agreement reached between the TLP and the Punjab government, every mosque in the province will be permitted to use four loudspeakers instead of one. Ironically the Punjab government as part of the National Action Plan (NAP) through the Punjab sound system Regulation Act in 2015 had restricted the use of loudspeakers to only one in a mosque prescribing punishment for violation the
law. Now it has suddenly dawned upon the provincial government that numbers do not matter if the perpetrator is bent upon misusing the gadget. What the government has agreed to under duress had already been acceded to during the Faizabad sit-in earlier in the year. Under the previous law the sound system was only meant for imparting of azan, Arabic khutba (sermon) delivered on Fridays or eid prayers. Besides, the announcement of deaths or lost and found was also allowed. Now under the amended law the TLP stalwarts and its rank and file led by its chief Khadim hussain Rizvi will be able to spew hatred and their narrow-minded agenda unabatedly. This abject surrender by the state at the hands of mob violence has much wider implications. While the Army chief was extolling how terrorism has been successfully banished from the country thanks to the efforts of our soldiers and citizenry, at the same time the Punjab government was busy appeasing the extremists to save its own skin. Now it seems that like the good and the bad Taliban there are two kinds of extremists as well: the good and the bad? our civilian and the military leadership should take a fresh look at these contradictory policy stands. We must get rid of all strands of extremism rather than cherry picking. It is this one step forward and two steps backwards approach that has perennially plagued our counter terrorism and anti-extremism strategies. The army chief has quite categorically dispelled the impression that the intelligence sleuths were facilitating the Faizabad sit-in. In fact he made the startling admission while talking to media persons recently that had the military not used its influence at the time it would have been the end of the civilian rule. Quite so! That the religious extremists claim to draw some tailwinds from hidden hands within the ubiquitous establishment is a dangerous portent. on the eve of the general elections this does not auger well for the growth of a pluralistic society and unfettered strengthening of democratic institutions. The TLP also plans to contest the general elections; if cleared by the ecP (election commission of Pakistan) they have every right to do so but certainly not by shutting off Pakistan through violence and by employing undemocratic tactics. Another entity that has suddenly cropped up is the Junoobi sooba Mahaz (alliance for a soth-
Malala A hero or zero
Waqas a Khan “One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.”
hese are the words of a brave, courageous, strong and charismatic young lady named Malala Yousafzai who is the youngest Nobel Prize winner and the pride of Pakistan. Malala, a 19-year-old girl, has inspired the world with her ideology and struggle for education. As a well-known personality, everyone knows what she faced even at a very young age. As a child, she raised her voice against Taliban’s cruelty and for the right to education. Because of this courage, she was shot in the face by Taliban and went through much pain but she survived and never left her mission. her courage and consistency forced the world to notice her voice and give way to her mission. But unfortunately, even after such efforts, she has become the target of condemnation by her own people and she is continuously receiving negative and intense criticism from her own homeland. This debate of Malala being our hero or a culprit is not new. It has been going on since she was acknowledged by the world because of
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her ideology. The whole world is praising her for her compassion and bravery but we, her own people, her country mates, are consistently trying to discourage her and try to prove her as the part of Western or Jewish Agenda or as not eligible for having the Noble Prize. The haters do not understand that it is Allah’s will to give respect to whomever he wants to. she is blessed with a kind heart, an intelligent mind and a brave personality and she is trying to utilise her abilities for people’s betterment either her fellow citizens or for the people of other parts of this world. Many people say that she was not hit by bullets of Taliban and that was all a scripted pre-plan event for getting the world’s attention and sympathy which is totally illogical. When she was shot, she was treated by a lot of different teams of doctors not only from Pakistan but also from england and eventually escorted there. she got attention of a huge amount of print and electronic media from all over the world. how can it be possible that such a big issue could be a drama on the world’s stage? This has all been proven wrong a long time ago but some people still want to be blind and not accept the facts. Then they also raise the issue that as a child how she could be so sensible that she maintained such a presence on international forums through her diaries. As mentioned earlier, she has been an intelligent and sensitive girl since her childhood who felt things with much sensitivity. Moreover, these people
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ern Punjab province). It has for its patron the octogenarian politician from the Dera Ghazi Khan Mir Balkh sher Mazari. But the real forces behind this so-called alliance are turncoat PML-N deserters led by Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar. each time before elections these tumundars, sardars and jagirdars join hands, in the name of improving the lot of the dispossessed of southern Punjab. The not so hidden agenda is to further their own vested interests. Predictably post elections they join hands with whoever is the winner giving them the best deal. The fact that there are as many as 46 seats from the south of Punjab makes it an attractive proposition for them. That is why southern politicians including the PPP’s late Taj Muhammad Langah, late sardar Farooq Ahmed Leghari in their times, and more recently Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood have floated the idea of a southern, saraiki or Bahawalpur sooba (province). soon after the elections the din for a southern province dies down and these migratory birds find a comfortable golden nest in the arms of the ruling party of the day. hence it is no coincidence that the young Makhdoom during the Musharraf era was serving him as minister of state for foreign affairs. In the outgoing National Assembly he is the chairman of the foreign relations committee. Those coalescing under the banner of the Junoobi sooba Mahaz will probably run as independents, eventually to sell their souls to the highest bidder. This is an even more attractive proposition in the coming elections as it is being predicted that no party will be able to gain an absolute majority. In such an outcome independents under different banners will have a field day. The trial run of such a strategy for recent senate elections was a huge success. Why not try the same recipe for the general elections? It is obvious that debasing democracy in the name of democracy is going to be the norm in the elections as well as post elections — depending on the results. The powers that be, including the civilian, military and the judiciary should ponder over this contrived phenomenon. Dark clouds are looming over the political horizon, having implications much beyond the minus sharif formula. But those with a jaundiced vision refuse to read the small print. Arif Nizami is Editor, Pakistan Today. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
do not know her father. he was a well-reputed teacher and an ideological person of his area. he has much love and respect for his country, Pakistan. he is a patriotic person who always thinks and feels for Pakistan with sincerity and compassion. he brought her up in a focused way with strong morals which gives a positive way to her sensitivity and intelligence. he helped his daughter to be an honest, wise, strong, just and fair-minded person. so her diaries and her initial thoughts are the reflection of her father’s efforts which he did to give this world a better person like Malala. even after being shot at the age of 12 and leaving her homeland, she did not lose hope and courage. she started her mission and struggle after recovering physically and mentally from that trauma. she once again raised her voice against the injustice and still continues her mission of education for every child. she again started writing about all her ideologies and let people know how a single voice can bring change in this world as she herself said, “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” she has always shown love for her country yet she has been accused of spreading negativity about her country and Pakistan army because of some of the misunderstood parts of her book, I Am Malala. This is not true either. Although she has tried to show the true face of some individuals in her book because of some of her personal bad experiences, she has never spoken against the institution of the Pakistani Army. she loves her army as much as any patriotic Pakistani does. she only questions the political character of army which cannot be justified in any way and a sensible person will always endorse this
point of view of hers. The most important thing which people need to understand that she did not become a hero after being shot by Taliban and her personality was not highlighted merely because of that incident; she was our hero way before that incident. she became a hero and role model when she raised her voice for the right of education against the Taliban. she represents girls’ empowerment and the courage of the people of Pakistan. When swat became the land of terror and people were forced to leave it to save their lives, being a girl of just 10/11 years old, she ignored that fear and danger that she was facing at that time and focused on the struggle to get the right of education for her and her fellow girls. she was acknowledged by the world even at that time for spreading a positive and courageous message in the world. she has achieved the Nobel Prize because of that courage. she is invited to speak on different forums because of that strong voice which is spreading all over the world and now she has the Malala Fund which is working for the education of many people all over the world. Last but not the least; she is the bright face of Pakistan. she is representing the positive image, bravery and courage of this nation who as a little girl even was not afraid of any kind of terrorism and raised her voice in the loudest manner. she deserves respect and love of her fellow citizens so that the world can know that Pakistani nation respects its heroes. Waqas A Khan is a PhD scholar and a Fellow of International Centre for Journalists in Washington, DC, USA. He can be reached on Twitter at: @wakhanlive, and on his website: www.khanwaqas.com
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
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Superior courts jurisdiction IT is quite good and appreciable to note that upper house of the parliament, the senate, has okayed the bill seeking extension of jurisdiction of the supreme court of Pakistan and the Peshawar high court to the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the bill already been passed by the National Assembly and will become an act of the parliament after its formal assent by the President. According to the reports in the newspapers, the bill quite expectedly opposed by the senators of the Jamiat-eIslam (Fazl) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. Both these parties are allies of the ruling party and their opposition have blocked the way for smooth sailing of the move initially started early last year by the federal government on the basis of recommendations of sartaj Aziz FATA Reforms committee for merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) in accordance with aspirations of the tribal people. Both the parties, despite being allies of the ruling party are opposing mainstreaming of the tribal people for their petty vested political interests which cannot be commended in any manner. The incumbent federal government ,which completes its five years constitutional term on May 31, 2018 and will accordingly be stepping down and the handing over the reigns to the caretaker setup, should in all fairness complete the good work it had started in January 2017 and go through the procedure of the merger of the FATA with KPK now that the bill for extending jurisdiction of the superior courts has been passed by both the houses of the parliament and the president’s formal assent will make it an act of the parliament. The federal government should not succumb to unnecessary and uncalled for opposition from its allies and do whatever is the demand of the supreme national interests and bring the tribal people into the mainstream at the earliest possible, please. Thanks. ASIM MUNIR Rawalpindi
A scientist’s God Faith versus observable reality
must start this essay by being very unscientific. That is, that I take Quran as the ultimate truth and the one truth that is able to explain everything. And we have sent down on you a book (o Muhammad) that explains everything (Al-Quran). It is being unscientific to accept Quran as the word of one true God because science only believes in what is the observable reality through the sense-perception while the faith is in the unseen or one that is unobserved through the organs of sense-perception. A scientist always wants himself to experience and “observe” the process of divine revelation through angels before he may accept the truth. And each among them wants a clear book in his hands. (Al-Quran) While for Abu-Bakr science or sense-perception was not his guiding principle. he believed in Quran even before it was fully revealed: very unscientific! he never ventured to critically evaluate Quran as being the ultimate truth: once he proclaimed his faith, he was never in doubt. so Abu-Bakr may critically evaluate what the truth is and may ponder over (Thus does Allah make clear to you his verses that you may think things out. -Al-Quran) it but shall never want a scientific proof for his belief. If I, for instance, start by critically evaluating “if Quran is the ultimate truth or not”, and I die while evaluating that, then I shall die not in the state of faith but rather in a state of doubt. I would rather not take that chance, and even if it is to the discomfort of the “science-only atheist” I may proceed. A very interesting scientific personality in Quran is Pharaoh. Regardless of the many Pharaohs in history books, there is only one Pharaoh who has been focused in Quran. This Pharaoh was encountered by Moses and was told about the Ul-
timate Reality of the existence of one God. Pharaoh at one point went very scientific and asked his minister, haman, to build for him a tall building so he may look into the sky to observe for himself the existence or non-existence of a God. Pharaoh would have done the same thing if he had the opportunity to look through the hubble telescope. I believe Quran is warning here of a scientific mind that is blind to the eternal reality while only depending on the observable reality. This scientist got a major setback at the end of his career. Quran informs us that at the time of his death, while Pharaoh could see that he was trapped inside water waves, he got connected to the reality of life and death and proclaimed his faith. But Quran goes on to reveal that his faith was no good when he was about to breathe his last because now the veils had been removed from his eyes, and faith according to the Quran is in the unseen only (Yuminoona bilghaibThey have faith in the unseen-Al Quran). At this point Quran asks Pharaoh with great contempt “Now Pharaoh! While you denied earlier”. According to Quran, that is the fate of science-only approach to the quest for God. Likewise, we know from Quran that those on the Day of Judgment who would want to go back to earth, after observing their ultimate fate, shall also be denied this as after observing the truth of hereafter, faith in the unseen would not be possible. While there were some who wanted the revelation to come directly to them to acknowledge the truth, and some like Pharaoh who wanted to go on a scientific quest to find God, there were some others who wanted to see the general laws of accepted science overturned to believe in the world of unseen. To accept the existence of an unobservable and hence unscientific reality of God, such a people asked for equally unscientific feats to be performed in front of their eyes so that they could have some sign through sense-perception validating a messenger’s claims.
A scientist always wants himself to experience and “observe” the process of divine revelation through angels before he may accept the truth.
That takes us to the people of hazrat saleh who asked saleh to show the “miracle of the camel”. According to Quran, saleh’s scientific people who depended on observation were shown the miracle they asked for. Yet, “observing” this miracle through sense-perception didn’t bring faith to those scientists and resultantly they ended up qualifying for Allah’s wrath. hence, according to Quran, scientific observation alone cannot serve as a tool to attain faith. Quran has one word for all knowledge: Ilm, and does not divide the Ilm into secular and religious knowledge. hence, Quran accepts all knowledge as pertaining to one Reality and originating from one God. Quran’s acceptance of observable and scientific knowledge is also very plain and clear. Quran informs us that hazrat Ibrahim asked God if He could “show” to him how He brought the dead back to life. There is a very revealing question that followed in Quran when Allah asked Ibrahim that if Ibrahim wanted “to see” or “to observe”, did his quest for knowledge was in a state where he had lost faith in Allah’s message that Allah could bring the dead back to life. Ibrahim answered by saying that he definitely had the faith but yet wanted to observe for his heart to further grasp the truth. That is how faith works: it is independent of observation and precedes the quest for knowledge. Allah’s question and Ibrahim’s answer is a lesson for all those who have been left in doubt because of dazzling science and discovery of modern times and want to base their faith on observable scientific reality only. hence, unlike philosophy, Quran confirms that there is truth in the observable universe but if you initiate your quest for knowledge in a state of doubt regarding the acceptance of Allah as the source of all creation then you end up compromising your faith. Ibrahim was shown from the observable reality that dead could be brought back to life. Ibrahim’s starting point was the same as Abu-Bakr’s starting point, and similar to how this essay started: with the acceptance of the truth before asking for proof using the scientific method of observation. Also, from that starting point of having faith in one true God, and the infallibility of Quran, a faithful must try, like Ibrahim, to explore the signs in the heavens and the earth. But a “science-only” atheist must excuse us as we are a people of faith.
While there were some who wanted the revelation to come directly to them to acknowledge the truth, and some like Pharaoh who wanted to go on a scientific quest to find God.
Saad Awan is an English teacher with a master’s in English literature providing training in English proficiency to students for graduate institutes.
NS disqualified for life eveR since Quaid’s death, this country has witnessed a deliberate attempt by vested interests to distance Pakistan from Father of Nation’s vision of a modern democratic welfare state to a theocracy or quasi dictatorship, instead of a country ruled by men with ethics and morality, reflective of faith of its majority as laid down in Medina Welfare state concept. Pakistan today suffers, because over the years, public office holders, both paid and elected, are devoid of basic ethics and morality. Discretionary powers of public office holders are confined to limits placed by laws and constitution. Perjury by an elected or paid public office holder, who has sworn an oath to uphold constitution, is an unpardonable crime. Distorting facts and misleading public in parliament is unacceptable. The graveyards of world are proof if any is necessary that individuals are dispensable. In a democracy as compared to monarchy, tenure of PM/President etc is limited to prevent complacency and arrogance to set in. The limit of two tenures in a democratic system has evolved through process of political evolution. When individuals try to mould democratic system in accordance to their whims and desires, history tells us that their removal from office is distasteful. The office of PM, President, cM, Ministers etc and important paid civil or uniformed public office holders are full time, ie 24/7 basis, and those holding such offices cannot be allowed to hold any other office, with or without salary, nor pledge oath of allegiance to another country, nor should he/she have any conflicts of interest rendering them susceptible to pressure or commercial interests. The discretionary powers of PM and all public office holders etc are subjects to laws and judicial review. MALIK TARIq ALI Lahore
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The tables have turned. The despondency that had beset the PTI in the aftermath of the Lodhran defeat has now shifted to the League. even though the disqualification for life was somewhat expected, it seems to have affected the former prime minister a lot. The party inner circles have also been down of late in the aftermath of the decision. Though the younger sharif is going to be the party’s man for the top slot, it is now certain that Nawaz is going to pass on the mantle to daughter Maryam in the longer run. Meanwhile, disqualification is staring other party bigwigs in the face as well. Though as opposed to Nawaz, not all of them have a son or daughter who could take to politics naturally. * * * * * * * * * The IPL has started. As befitting the largest sporting event of the second largest sport on the face of the planet, the public response is huge. Gigantic audience both in the stadiums and the airwaves. even though our own, burgeoning cricket league was impressive, it can’t obviously compare to the other event. Unless foreign players can come to the country, that is never going to happen. But the situation could at least be mitigated. For instance, the large number of empty stadium seats in the Dubai matches looked really bad. Perhaps, some better ticket management (read cheaper tickets) could have resulted in a large, pulsating crowd. Who cares about the money if the optics are good?
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
Centre to impose taxes on GilGit Baltistan yet aGain ISLAMABAD
CpeC is most significant pillar of oBor: ahsan iqbal BEIJING: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the most important pillar of the Belt and Road Initiative and due to commitment and sincerity from both Pakistan and China the vision of CPEC is fast translating into reality, said Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal. During a meeting with National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe, he said work on CPEC projects had seen positive progress over the past five years in Pakistan. Pakistan has achieved 5.8 per cent GDP growth rate, which is highest in the last 12 years and growing. “We have almost overcome the energy crisis, which was daunting our economy,” said Iqbal. The minister said the operationalisation of energy projects in Sahiwal and Port Qasim is a testament to the high speed with which CPEC projects have been completed. Iqbal apprised the NDRC official about other CPEC projects including in the fields of infrastructure, energy, Gwadar and Special Economic Zones. He emphasised fast completion of Gwadar projects, particularly five million gallons per day water desalination plant and early approval of Khuzdar-Basima and D I Khan-Zhob-Quetta highway projects. He proposed that the Joint Working Groups of CPEC in energy, infrastructure, planning, and agriculture should meet next month to fast-track approval of the projects. In the wake of the emerging fourth industrial revolution, the minister called for cooperation in the field of digital economy and proposed to establish a new Joint Working Group for it. The Chinese side appreciated the idea and agreed in principle. It was decided that cooperation in agriculture sector would be expanded in the light of Long-Term Plan to boost the agricultural productivity of Pakistan. He also underscored the need for greater procurement from the local market, wherever competitive goods and services were available in Pakistan, the vice chairman agreed with the proposal. Also speaking on the occasion, Ning said that he was extremely pleased to meet Iqbal in Beijing. He appreciated the minister’s contribution towards making CPEC successful and expressed hope that as an experienced counterpart in CPEC, Iqbal will be a big help for him. APP
HOUGH the imposed taxes in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) was withdrawn by the federal government after a prolonged protest and long marches across GB a few months ago, the centre is yet again imposing taxes in the region but this time to be collected through Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). GB council had moved a summary early this month for convening the session of council to discuss the issue of taxation in GB suggesting to invite the finance secretary and FBR chairman to finalise imposition of taxes in the area. According to the summary, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, GB council has suggested the chairman of the council, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, to convene the 12th session of the Gilgit Baltistan Council to discuss the one-point agenda of the Gilgit Baltistan Council Income Tax Amendment Act, 2018. The FBR chairman and finance secretary may be requested to attend the above meeting as special invitees. Interestingly, the government has decided to abolish GB council along
with the Kashmir Council, the 12th session will be the final meeting of the council in which it will delegate powers to the finance ministry and FBR to collect the taxes in GB, insiders told Pakistan Today. “The GB Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman and the regional government has specially requested the prime minister to finalise the decision regarding the tax at GB Council’s forum before shelving it as the ruling party will be in a difficult position in case the same is imposed by it on the direction of the centre,” they claimed. Though the council has six elected representatives from GB but with the majority of selected members from the centre, the upper house represents the federal government. Through the summary the prime minister has been informed that the people of GB had been protesting against the Gilgit Baltistan Council Income Tax (Adaptation) Act, 2012 since its inception, however, several failed efforts had been made previously to console them and bring about improvements in the said legislation. The protests in GB became intense in December 2017 and people from all the ten districts gathered at Gilgit and started a sit-in along with a complete
shutter down strike. Meanwhile, the GB government engaged and negotiated with the protestors by a Parliamentary Committee of GB Legislative Assembly. Their recommendations were forwarded by the GB chief minister on 28-12-2017 to Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan (KA&GB) with a request to constitute a working group from the council to examine the said recommendations. After the minister’s approval, the ministry constituted a working group under the chairmanship of MNA and GB Council Member Malik Ibrar Ahmad. The summary says in a meeting held on January 3, 2018 under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister and GB Council Chairman Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, it was decided that instead of bringing a new taxation act, the existing Gilgit Baltistan Council Income Tax (Adaptation) Act, 2012 shall be amended by incorporating the desired changes in consultation with all the stakeholders. It was further decided that the amendments in the income tax adaptation act, will be submitted to the council subsequently. A summary was moved to PM’s office along with the endorsement of the GB council (through circulation) to restrain the Department of Inland Revenue Gilgit Baltistan and all withholding
agents of GB from collection of taxes under the Adaptation Act, 2012. However, after a series of lengthy meetings between the parliamentary committee and working group of the GB Council, 50 per cent rebates were agreed upon for contractors, associations of persons and companies as on the analogy of salaried person subject to the condition that its members and directors shall be Gilgit Baltistan domiciled holders. However, the officials of GB Council opposed the complete deletion of the withholding tax sections (both cash and non-cash). The submission of GB Council is that either the limit of cash withdrawal be enhanced from Rs50,000 to Rs100,000 or rate of withholding on cash and noncash he reduced to the minimum. According to the summary, the matter of withholding tax (both cash and non-cash) is under consideration with FBR and the finance division as these withholding sections were introduced through Finance Act, 2015 by the Government of Pakistan, to document the economy of the Country and to avoid money laundering activities. “Therefore, it is proposed that we may convene a 12th session of the GB Council to discuss the one-point agenda of the Income Tax,” it said. According to sources, the PM’s secretariat is likely to convene the session of the council in next couple of weeks. It may recall here that the taxes are widely being opposed and rejected by the people of GB until they are granted the constitutional rights at par with all of the other provinces of the country.
RAWALPINDI: Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal and Tunisia’s Ambassador Adel Elarbi visit stalls during International Rawal Expo 2018, organised by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) at Ayub Park. ONLINE
PMRC to provide banks long-term fixed rate housing finance KARACHI KAZIM ALAM
Newly established Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC) will provide banks with long-term funding at fixed rates to promote housing finance. Speaking at the shareholders’ agreement signing ceremony on Saturday, PMRC CEO N Kokularupan said that the availability of long-term funds would mitigate credit and maturity mismatch risks for banks. PMRC is being set up along the lines of mortgage refinancing companies in the developed world. Its objective will be to ‘buy’ home loans extended by housing and commercial banks and then sell them onwards to long-term investors. This means banks will be able to originate a home loan, sell it quickly to PMRC and extend more home loans using the freed-up liquidity.
PMRC will issue bonds to raise funds for purchasing home loans from banks. “This will provide high-quality papers with a slight yield pickup (compared to PIBs) to pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds and even banks with large surplus of funds,” Kokularupan said.
Pakistan has a housing deficit of 10 million units. More than 400,000 units are added to the overall deficit every year, according to conservative estimates. One reason for the housing backlog is the lack of availability and affordability of housing finance, the PMRC CEO noted.
With outstanding housing loans of only Rs80 billion, their share in the country’s GDP is around 0.5 per cent, unlike India where it stands at 10 per cent. With the establishment of PMRC, home buyers will have easy access to long-term housing loans at a reasonable cost, Kokularupan said. Speaking to Pakistan Today, a spokesperson for PMRC said there are a total of 10 shareholders in the company. The Ministry of Finance, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and House Building Finance Company (HBFC) collectively own 49 per cent shares in the company. The government has put in Rs1.2 billion while NBP and HBFC have contributed Rs600 million and Rs1.2 million, respectively. The rest of the seven shareholders belong to the private sector, with Habib Bank contributing Rs500 million, United Bank Rs500 million, Askari Bank Rs300 mil-
lion, Bank Alfalah Rs300 million, Allied Bank Rs200 million, Bank Al Habib Rs50 million and Summit Bank Rs1.2 million. In addition, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has shown an intention to provide up to 15 per cent of equity or $7.5 million, whichever is lower, he said. Separately, the World Bank has extended a credit line of $140 million at an unspecified but lower than the market interest rate, the spokesperson added. Donor’s idea? Speaking to Pakistan Today, former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Nadeem ul Haque, said PMRC is a donorfunded project, which is doomed to fail. “I rejected this proposal in 2012 when it came to my desk at the Planning Commission. The IFC is trying to promote mortgage refinance companies all over the world.
It’s not suitable for us,” Haque said. He said the government has created another white elephant, which will require bailouts from taxpayers’ money after every few years. He added that involving the government-backed institutions in the mortgage business helps banks transfer their risks and pave the way for bailouts. He compared PMRC with Fannie Mae, which enjoyed a similar mandate of providing financing for mortgage lenders in the United States. He noted that Fannie Mae played a key role in the 2008 global crisis that began when home loan borrowers started defaulting on their payments. “The SBP should stop experimenting in the housing market. It’s not its mandate. It should leave housing development to the Planning Commission and focus on ensuring stability in the realm of monetary and exchange rate policies,” he said.
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
AKISTANIS are allegedly being deprived of low priced Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as the present government continues importing LNG from Qatar under a G2G (Government to Government) agreement, sources revealed. Raising serious concerns over reduced supply of Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) to power sector, Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) Managing Director (MD) Adnan Gilani, in a letter to Director General (Gas) and the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) has proved wrong the tall claims of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi about the price of Qatari LNG to the country. According to MD, people of Pakistan are being burdened with the expensive price of LNG and fixed capacity charges of the underutilisation of the second LNG terminal. He said that the first LNG terminal is being utilised at full capacity while the second LNG terminal is faced with underutilisation. He said that this is despite the fact that the first LNG terminal is receiving supplies under a G2G agreement and said agreement allows better flexibility with regard to the delivery schedule and quantities than the supplies being delivered to the second LNG terminal which is currently being supplied through term agreements (such agreements containing less flexibility than those alluded to above).
expensive Qatari lnG CausinG additional Burden on masses “Not only is such a treatment unfair, the people of Pakistan are being deprived of the lower priced LNG that is imported by PLL, while further loading the RLNG price with the fixed capacity charges of the under-utilised terminal,” said PLL MD. Well-informed sources told that Pakistan has been importing LNG at an expensive price under the G2G agreement from Qatar if compared with the LNG price offered by private cargo companies for the supply of LNG to the country. They said national exchequer is estimated to face a heavy burden of Rs1 billion annually due to expensive LNG, while this burden will further increase if brent crude oil price goes further up. Though PLL has inked agreements with international firms for the supply of LNG to the country, however, cargoes of cheaper LNG are being canceled due to technical faults erupted in 3600MW RLNG based power plants of Punjab. Millions of rupees worth of monthly burden is being passed on to the masses allegedly because of import of LNG from Qatar at a higher price, penalties of cargo cancellation due to reduced supply of RLNG to 3600MW
RLNG-run power plants, and capacity charges of underutilisation of the second LNG terminal said sources. It is relevant to mention that Punjab’s 3600MW RLNG- run power plants have so far failed to produce required electricity and due to which billions of rupees worth of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal and import projects are about to fail. Ironically, Punjab’s $2 billion and Rs60 crore worth RLNG-run power plants of Bhikki, Haveli Bhadur Shah and Baloki so far could not generate electricity as per their installed capacity apparently due to technical reasons. And, the Energy Ministry has advised Pakistan LNG Limited to reschedule already ordered cargoes, in accordance with the reduced demand of RLNG despite the fact that once LNG supplies are arranged, all such cargoes become firm take or pay supplies. Though PPL has arranged the import of LNG in line with the confirmation and commitments from Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), however, SNGPL has failed to honour its commitments in the form of its off-take of LNG. To some extent due to this, Pakistan LNG
Limited is faced with heavy penalties as it has to cancel more than one dozen cargoes of LNG which were to be consumed in these three RLNG-run power plants. “The scheduled imports have been disrupted because of reduced off-take of RLNG by SNGPL. As a result, penalties, demurrages and LDs are being triggered,” said document available with Pakistan Today. Taking cognizance of the issue, Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) Managing Director (MD) Adnan Gilani in a letter to Director General (Gas) and Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), has categorically stated that “PLL is expressly stated that SNGPL and the governing ministry will be responsible for all costs associated therewith.” He further said that the recent developments have the potential to derail this well-thought –out and essential policy initiative as it opens the way for deficiencies in energy/gas as early as this summer.” Sources further said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi is seriously worried over the failure of 3600MW power plants of Punjab province as they have failed to produce the electricity as per their full capacity. More, billion ru-
FIA fails to obtain record from Customs Intelligence in mobile phones embezzlement case ISLAMABAD SHAHZAD PARACHA
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has failed to obtain the record from Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation in a case pertaining to embezzlement of mobile phones, sources revealed. Documents available with Pakistan Today indicate that the FIA has written a number of letters in the last four months to Customs Intelligence as well as high ups sitting in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) headquarter to obtain the record pertaining to 1,763 confiscated mobile phones allegedly sold to CSD. The Director Customs Intelligence and Investigation Lahore on January 6, requested to provide record pertaining to 1,763 confiscated mobile phones allegedly sold to CSD. In addition to this, the department had sought the last 10 year record of similar transactions. The letter further indicates that the Direc-
tor Intelligence and Investigation Customs FBR Lahore on January 19 informed that as per FBR letter on March 19, 2015, field formations had been restrained from providing information directly to FIA and Customs chief management Islamabad was nominated as focal person to provide the record. The Customs chief management was requested on January 22 and subsequently on January 30 and another letter was written to provide the requisite record. The letter indicates that in response the secretary, dated February 9, the DG Intelligence and Investigation requested the FBR to provide the relevant information and assistance to FIA. The enquiry officer Assistant Director Muhammad Aman Ullah Khan, also visited the office of DG and assured that the requisite record will be provided before February 15. However, the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation Additional Director Dr M Mumtaz Ali Raza Ch on March 22 instructed,
FBR Special Prosecutor Amna Parveen to hand over the requisite record to FIA after obtaining necessary permission from the Special Judge (Customs and Taxation), Lahore. Sources told that aforesaid inquiry is one such type. However, a number of incidents happened but everyone is patronising each other. The Lahore Office of Customs Intelligence is not providing the record on the instruction of DG Customs Intelligence, the sources further informed. Moreover, the sources further said that if the FIA succeeds in obtaining the record than the DG can face difficulty in this case. Officials on the condition of anonymity told that the investigative agency in its last letter instructed to provide record till April 12, but the high ups of Customs intelligence despite the repeated intimations are not giving any response in this regard. “We will act against the officials as per law”, the officials added. Despite repeated attempts, FBR chairman could not be reached for comments.
pees worth LNG projects including import and terminal are also at stake apparently because of the failure of the $2 billion and 60 crore worth RLNG-run power plants which were installed under the leadership of favourite bureaucrats of chief minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. They said PLL inked agreements with international firms to meet the gas demand of 540 million cubic feet per day gas (Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas) of these three power plants. They further said that the delay in the full power generation from these plants is costing heavily to the national exchequer while the total loss due to this delay is greater than the loss appeared in much-touted Nandipur Power Plant and NAB (National Accountability Bureau) may take notice of this heavy financial loss to the exchequer. It is worth mentioning here that the second LNG terminal at Port Qasim was constructed/installed to meet the gas demands of these RLNG-run power plants and agreements were signed with international firms for the import of three LNG cargoes on monthly basis. However, Punjab’s RLNG-run power plants became operational during March to July 2017 with half simple cycle production capacity. These power plants were expected to start full production in December 2017 as per agreement. And, due to the failure of these three power plants in producing electricity at full capacity, LNG terminal of Pakistan Gas Port is being underutilised (40 per cent) and is causing $150,000 penalty on a daily basis.
LAHORE: Kashif Afandi spoke at a seminar orgnaised by TIE Lahore at a local hotel here on Saturday. PR
LAHORE: The Knowledge Scholars Network Chairman Hassan Suhaib Murad spoke at the Knowledge School Convention 2018. PR
Pakistan to get faster, reliable internet by end of 2019 BuSIneSS DeSK Pakistan internet backhaul is expected to receive a significant boost with the addition of an upcoming submarine cable called PEACE cable with landing routes in Karachi and Gwadar. This submarine cable which is expected to be active by end of 2019 will have over 60 Tb capacity and is expected to stretch to Africa and Europe. It is named PEACE (Pakistan East Africa
Cable Express) and is a joint venture between Huawei Technologies and Global Marine Systems Limited, Huawei Marine Networks. In its first phase, PEACE will comprise a 6,200km network connecting Pakistan (in Gwadar and Karachi), Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. It will eventually span 13,000km, reaching South Africa and Egypt. According to sources, Pakistan’s leading cellular provider Jazz and internet service provider (ISP) Cybernet have been shortlisted as the intended landing parties
for the PEACE cable in Pakistan. Recently a high-level conference organised by PCCW Global, PEACE and Huawei Marine held in Dubai was attended by all the leading international anding parties, which was said to be a major success. This system, designed by Chinese company Tropic Science, depends on 200G dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology – used to increase bandwidth on fibre networks by transmitting multiple signals at once, at different wavelengths but on the same fibre. The system was designed to deliver a capacity of up to 60Tbps. Currently, Pakistan is served by six submarine cables and has suffered frequent internet outages which have left services crippled across the country in the recent past. In July and August 2017, the severing of two leading submarine cables which form the backbone of Pakistan’s internet bandwidth led to a major slowdown of services across the country. With the PEACE cable expected to come online by end of 2019, the country’s internet connectivity and backup will receive a major boost, leading to less frequent outages and disruption of services. Not only will the addition of PEACE cable overhaul the country’s internet infrastructure, but the reliability of services and will also reduce dependence on other submarine cables in case of their severance.
SC extends restraining orders against merger of Summit, Sindh banks KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday extended its restraining order regarding the merger of Sindh Bank and Summit Bank until further orders and put off the court hearing to May 5. The apex court bench comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was hearing the suo moto case against the merger at its Karachi registry. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jamil Ahmed appeared before the court, informing that the SBP had no objection to the merger of the two banks. He submitted that the State Bank was monitoring the proposed merger of the banks in accordance with the rules and regulation. Justice Arab remarked that Summit Bank had incurred losses and asked if its merger would have any adverse effect on Sindh Bank. On the court’s query, the Sindh Bank director informed the judges that the employees of Summit Bank would be paid salaries by the Sindh Bank for one year, after which they can seek new contracts. He said that the merger would not have any negative effects on Sindh Bank as the banks branches and foreign exchange would increase in the wake of the merger. The representative of the Summit Bank informed the judges that the proceedings of the merger of the two banks is still in its initial stage. The court directed the respondents to file a report regarding the proceeding of the merger of the banks and put off the matter to May 5. Justice Arab remarked that the Chief Justice of Pakistan, who had taken suo moto action against the merger, would decide the case, himself. The proposed merger faced a setback, after Supreme Court’s suo moto intervention over alleged financial irregularities. STAFF REPORT
12 WORLD VIEW
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
DROPPING HYPOCRISY BOMBS ON SYRIA US OFFICIALS SAY THAT THE SYRIA REGIME IS A BRUTAL DICTATORSHIP AND, THEREFORE, NEEDS TO BE REMOVED FROM POWER. REALLY? WHAT ABOUT EGYPT’S MILITARY DICTATORSHIP? IT’S EVERY BIT AS BRUTAL AS THE SYRIAN DICTATORSHIP, PERHAPS MORE. YET, WHAT IS THE ATTITUDE OF US OFFICIALS TOWARD THAT DICTATORSHIP? THEY LOVE IT.
Future oF Freedom Foundation Jacob G HornberGer
h at e v e r bombs Donald trump decides to use against Syria, one thing is for certain: the U.S. government has already dropped enough hypocrisy bombs on that country to last a lifetime. trump, Congress, and the U.S. national-security establishment (e.g., the Pentagon and the CIa) are shedding big crocodile tears over the plight of the Syrian people, especially those who recently died or suffered from a purported gas attack supposedly committed by the Syrian government against Syrian revolutionaries. the truth is that U.S. officials couldn’t give a hoot for people in Syria. how do we know this? Lots of reasons. For one thing, keep in mind that it was the U.S. government that encouraged the Syrian people to violently revolt against their dictatorial regime. Did U.S. officials do that because they wanted the Syrian people to live in a free and prosperous society? Of course not. a violent domestic revolution against a foreign dictator is one of the methods by which the U.S. government achieves regime change in countries that have independent dictatorial regimes — that is, ones that are independent of U.S. government control. the fact that the Syrian dictatorship is aligned with russia, rather than
the United States, has inevitably made it a target of a U.S. regimechange operation. regime change has been a core mission of the U.S. government ever since the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II. the goal is to remove recalcitrant (i.e., independent) foreign dictators from power and replace them with pro-U.S. dictators. In that way, the U.S. government can wield control over everyone in the world by exercising power through their domestically installed dictators. the U.S. government uses different ways to achieve regime change. One way is through assassination, which is really nothing more than legalized murder. that’s the method that the CIaMafia partnership employed against Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro for decades, notwithstanding the fact that Cuban never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. a second method is a military invasion. that was the method the Pentagon wanted to use against Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was also the method it used to effect regime change in countries like Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and afghanistan. a third method is an internal military coup, one in which the domestic military ousts its ruler from power, takes control, and then takes its marching orders from U.S. officials. that’s what happened in Chile in 1973, where U.S. officials had set into motion a process whereby Chile’s democratically elected president was ousted from power and replaced by a brutal military dictator. the
same occurred in Guatemala in 1954. and Iran in 1953. and, more recently, in egypt. a fourth method is by encouraging the local populace to revolt and install a pro-U.S. dictator into power. that’s what sanctions and embargoes are all about. U.S. officials inflict maximum economic harm on the citizenry in the hope that they will revolt and replace their dictatorial regime with a pro-U.S. regime. that was the goal of the sanctions against Iraq, which killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. It’s the same with sanctions against Iran and russia. and the economic embargo against Cuba. With the revolution method of regime change, U.S. officials know that large numbers of people are going to die. that’s what happens when people violently revolt against any government. every government, including the U.S. government, uses maximum violence to suppress violent revolts. U.S. officials point out that Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-assad, has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. So did abraham Lincoln, who killed hundreds of thousands of his people, and not for revolting but simply for seceding. In a U.S.-instigated revolution, the revolutionaries are just pawns. Sure, crocodile tears are shed for them when they are being killed but all that’s just for appearance sake. When it comes to regime change, the sacrifice of pawns is considered necessary and “worth it.” U.S. officials say that the Syria regime is a brutal dictatorship and, therefore, needs to be removed from power. really? What about egypt’s military dictatorship? It’s every bit as brutal as the Syrian dictatorship, perhaps more.
Yet, what is the attitude of U.S. officials toward that dictatorship? they love it. they continue to fortify it with massive amounts of guns, tanks, and weaponry to use against its own people. they train it. they partner with it. they help it to maintain its tyrannical hold on power. It was no different with the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. U.S. officials loved that one too. that’s why they were so committed to installing it into power. Sure, Pinochet and his goons kidnapped, raped, incarcerated, tortured, abused, or killed tens of thousands of innocent people. But so what? What mattered was that Pinochet was our dictator. he did what U.S. officials told him to do. In return, U.S. officials let him do whatever he wanted to his own people. It was the same with the 1953 coup in Iran, which was the U.S. national-security establishment’s first regime-change operation. CIa officials ousted the democratically elected prime minister of the country, Mohammad Mossadegh, and replaced him with the brutal Shah. the CIa then proceeded to train the Shah’s forces in the arts of torture and oppression, ensuring that the Iranian people would suffer under one of the most brutal dictatorships in history for the next 26 years. In 1979, the Iranian people couldn’t take the tyranny any more. In a violent revolution, they ousted their U.S.-installed tyrant from power. Unfortunately, they were unable to restore the democratic system that the U.S. government had destroyed 26 years before and instead ended up with another dictatorship, this one an independent, anti-U.S. theocratic dictatorship.
U.S. officials have never forgiven the Iranian people for doing that to their U.S.-installed dictator. that’s what all the anti-Iran animosity is all about. that’s what the sanctions against Iran are all about — squeezing the Iranian populace economically so that they will oust their dictatorship in a violent revolution and replace it with another brutal pro-U.S. dictatorship, like that of the Shah. Indeed, it was what the U.S. partnership with Saddam hussein, the brutal dictator of Iraq, was all about. U.S. officials partnered with Saddam (who they were later turn on and call a “new hitler”) in Iraq’s war of aggression against Iran. Oh, and I’ll bet you’ll never guess what the U.S. furnished Saddam to use against Iranians! Gas! Yes, the same type of gas that the Syrians are accused of employing against Syrian rebels. While we are on the subject of hypocrisy and chemical warfare, It’s probably worth remembering that the U.S. government employed napalm and agent Orange as part of its unconstitutional war against North vietnam, a country that never attacked the United States. Why are some chemicals considered better than others? aren’t victims just as dead? Indeed, let’s not forget that the U.S. used nuclear bombs to target the entire populations of two Japanese cities in World War II. and that trump has threatened to carpet-bomb North Korea with nuclear bombs. Is there really any difference in principle between chemical weapons and nuclear bombs? We also shouldn’t forget the germ warfare that U.S. officials employed against the North Korean populace during the Korean War. Isn’t germ warfare as
bad as chemical warfare? U.S. officials condemn russia for coming to the assistance of the Syrian dictatorship, forgetting two things in the process: One, the U.S. government comes to the assistance of its dictatorships (e.g., egypt and Saudi arabia, especially with the latter’s vicious war in Yemen). two, the U.S. government, operating through the CIa, also partnered with the assad regime in the rendition and torture of Canadian citizen Mahar arar. americans are still not permitted to know the details of how that secretive rendition-torture partnership came into existence but one thing is for certain: russia is not the only regime that has partnered with the Syrian dictatorship. even if the Syrian regime did initiate that gas attack — and that is still far from being established – why is that that the business of the U.S. government? Indeed, why is Syria’s civil war, a war that U.S. officials helped to instigate, any business of the U.S. government? Why is ISIS the business of the U.S. government? Why are Iraq, Libya, and Yemen? Who appointed the U.S. government, including the Pentagon and the CIa, as the world’s policeman, interloper, invader, shooter, meddler, intervener, assassin, and bomber? Finally, the fact that trump intends to initiate war against Syria in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, which expressly requires a congressional declaration of war — and that Congress will undoubtedly do nothing about it — is perhaps the biggest hypocrisy bomb of all. Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Striking Syria: The true face of humanitarian imperialism rt Sreeram cHaulia
Coordinated military strikes by the US, France and the UK against Syrian government installations as punishment for President assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons have deepened the quagmire instead of deterring war crimes. US President Donald trump’s claims that the Western attacks represent “righteous power against barbarism and brutality” of the assad regime, and that he is prepared to “sustain this response” until assad stops gassing his own people, shroud the strategic and geopolitical calculations driving the Western agenda in the long-drawn-out Syrian war. the garb of morality cloaks the reality that Washington and its allies have lost the ground war in Syria and are seeking to maintain their relevance as stakeholders by invoking humanitarian pretexts. Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, the US and its regional partners such as Saudi arabia, Israel, Qatar and turkey have financed and armed a variety of anti-assad rebel groups that are now marginalized due to a tenacious counter-insurgency pushback by the Syrian state and its two principal external backers— russia and Iran. Much to the chagrin of strategists in Washington, riyadh and tel aviv, jihadist as well as relatively secular Sunni insurgent movements like al-Nusra Front, Jaysh-alIslam, ahrar-al-Sham and the Free Syrian army (FSa) have been routed. Some of these terrorists are as obnoxious and vi-
ATROCITIES COMMITTED BY WESTERN ALLIES ARE SHOVED UNDER THE CARPET WHILE THOSE ATTRIBUTED TO THEIR ANTAGONISTS ARE PAINTED AS UNCONSCIONABLE CRIMES WHICH MUST BE PREVENTED THROUGH WESTERN MILITARY INTERVENTION cious as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), but they got branded as ‘moderate’ by the US and its allies because they served as Western proxies against Shiite Iran. repeated charges of chemical weapons usage by assad and accompanying shocking video footage and photographs emanate from these Western proxies, which believe that they can avoid being totally vanquished if US-led offensives keep the Syrian state weak and uncertain about its future. although previous investigations by United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have blamed both the assad regime and its jihadist foes for abominable usage of weapons of mass destruction, the drumbeat from Western intelligence and news media is against the Syrian government as the sole and main culprit. Such a cynical and selective humanitarianism is the product of realpolitik, wherein atrocities committed by Western allies are shoved under the carpet while those attributed to their antagonists are painted as unconscionable crimes which must be prevented through Western military intervention. When a politician like trump opportunistically cites human rights concerns as his motivation to launch missile attacks, it must be taken with a grain of salt. the US president has displayed a remarkable comfort level with several violent regimes and
has praised their actions if they enable american vested interests. his foreign policy ideology is the antithesis of ‘liberal’ and he does not care two hoots for saving the lives of non-americans. What trump does care about, or at least his hawkish advisers in the security establishment do, is the US’ prestige as a hegemon whose credibility rests on periodic shows of military superiority. In Syria and Iraq, although the stated goal of the american military presence is to root out IS and other terrorists, Washington’s ultimate objective is to hunker down and establish a permanent presence in the pivotal Levant region. the desire to stay put is rationalized by military planners in the US as a necessary measure to ‘stabilize’ Syria and Iraq, which is a code for preventing what they fear is an Iranian-russian takeover of control of the Levant. the dissimulation ploy of american strategic elites is to say that their troops must remain to clean up the remnants of IS and keep the area safe from a resurgence of jihadism. But what they want is a fait accompli on the ground to guarantee Israel and Saudi arabia against Iranian and russian expansion. the recent plea from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to trump not to hastily exit the US military from Syria uncovers the true motivation. Chemical attack accusations amid the fog of a war full of impunity help to burnish
this pre-decided plan that the US and its allies should not ‘abandon’ Syria. as a populist and contrarian politician who lacks a grand strategic vision, trump has a contradictory instinct to pull out the 2,000-odd american forces from Syria. hence his preference for one-off demonstrations of US military might without sinking into a morass through a broader campaign to overthrow assad. Yet, conveniently-timed chemical attacks whose occurrence and authorship are murky are tipping his hand into acquiescing in a longer-term american military presence in Syria. Sadly, sporadic and dubiously justified US and allied airstrikes on selected Syrian targets have not and will not reduce the suffering of the Syrian people. trump’s resort to the airstrike option whenever there is a hue and cry about chemical attacks reveals how limited his leverage is in dictating a final settlement and overall end to the war. Despite his macho threat to russia to “get
ready” to face “nice, new and smart” missiles, President Putin remains the entrenched kingmaker in Syria. and as long as he is in the driver’s seat, the US’ ‘humanitarian’ bombing raids will continue under one ruse or another. the ‘sustained’ reaction to chemical attacks that trump is warning of will be implemented until the US can alter the balance of power in Syria, if not fully in its favor, then at least partially. the frenzied narrative surrounding chemical warfare is thus an illustration of a frustrated america desperately attempting to retain some skin in the game. this is the supreme tragedy of Syria, where Western humanitarian imperialism is a smokescreen for ruthless power play. Dr. Sreeram Chaulia is Professor and Dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs in Sonipat, India. His latest book is ‘Modi Doctrine: The Foreign Policy of India’s Prime Minister’.
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
Bao: Pixar's First short Film By a Woman D
ISNEY Pixar released the short trailer and first glimpse of its much-awaited short film ‘Bao‘, made by ChineseCanadian director Domee Shi, the animation giant’s first female director of an animated short, BBC News reported. The story is simple and sweet: an aging and lonely Chinese mother, suffering from an empty nest syndrome, receives an unexpected second chance at motherhood when her homemade dumpling comes to life. The veteran storyboard artist describes her culinary fable as a “magical, modern-day fairy tale, kind of like a Chinese Gingerbread Man story”. “It explores the ups and downs of the parentchild relationship through the colourful, rich and tasty lens of the Chinese immigrant community in Canada,” Pixar said in an official statement. “Mom excitedly welcomes this new bundle of joy into her life. But Dumpling starts growing up fast and she must come to the bittersweet revelation that nothing stays cute and small forever.” Shi’s mother, a Chinese-Canadian immigrant, also served as a “cultural consultant” on the film. Her dumpling-making skills were put to superb use, ensuring that the movie’s animated dumplingmaking scenes were as accurate as possible. Pixar short films generate the same buzz as their feature-length offerings and they are pored over in great detail, sometimes proving controversial. Lava, the short that was screened before the
Farah Khan recalls the only time SRK didn’t turn up for a shoot
blockbuster Inside Out, told the tale of a male and female volcano somewhere in the Pacific that fall in love. Many viewers spoke out dismissing the storyline, but its gender representation and even its geological integrity came under fire. Its latest feature animation Coco was also closely examined after years of cartoon stereotypes of Mexicans and Mexican culture. The question of representation of Asian talent in the entertainment industry has also been a major concern for many. Hollywood has been accused of
failing to offer roles to Asian or Asian American actors, even when the part is an Asian character, the so-called “whitewashing” of Hollywood. The first glimpse of the trailer on social media generated an overwhelming expression of joy mainly because this was made by an Asian woman, the first to direct for Pixar. “Very excited for this short because it’s coming from Pixar’s first female Asian director. I can tell that it will be very emotional. Can’t wait,” said a fan wrote. “Two of my favourite things, baos and babies,” wrote another.
Oscar-winning director Forman dies at 86 pRAguE
News Desk: Two decades after choreographing the dance sequences for Jiya Jale in the film Dil Se, Farah Khan revealed why the song features a solo Preity Zinta in several of the shots. In an interview to Mid-Day, Farah said Shah Rukh Khan makes irregular appearances in the song because he didn’t show up for the shoot. Farah said that she had jokingly told Khan that she was going to have him emerge from a waterfall wearing nothing but a white dhoti. Shah Rukh took her seriously and on the day of the shoot said that he was lost. “Of course, I was joking with him; but that’s the first time in 25 years that he didn’t land up for a shoot. He said he lost his way and there were no Google maps then. And we were in a forest in Kerala,” she said. She continued.
Milos Forman, the Czech-born movie director who found fame in Hollywood with the Oscarwinning classics One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, has died at the age of 86, Czech news agency CTK reported on Saturday. Forman died on Friday in the United States after a short illness, his wife, Martina, told CTK. “His departure was calm and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends,” she said. Forman was born in the Czech town of Caslav on February 18, 1932, but moved
to the United States after the
Communist crackdown on the “Prague Spring” uprising in 1968. He became a US citizen in the 1970s. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in which a psychiatric institution becomes a microcosm of the contemporary world, and “Amadeus,” the life of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart through the eyes of his rival Antonio Salieri, earned 13 Oscars between them, including those for best director to Forman. His other notable work included the rock musical Hair in 1979, Ragtime in 1981 and The People vs Larry Flint in 1996, which was nominated for an Academy Award that year.
Car accident hospitalises Will Ferrell LOs ANGeLes: Actor Will Ferrell was hospitalised after a car accident that left two others injured, according to his representatives. “While travelling back to Los Angeles after hosting a voter registration event in San Diego, a car carrying Ferrell and three of his colleagues was struck on the freeway by another vehicle,” read a statement from Ferrell’s representatives from United Talent Agency (UTA). Ferrell and another passenger were “unhurt” and were released from an Orange County hospital, according to UTA. “Ferrell’s longtime driver, Mark Thompson, and another passenger, identified as Carolina Barlow, remain hospitalised in stable condition,” the statement said. “Ferrell is staying close by as his friends are being treated, and has expressed his deep gratitude to the first responders who were immediately at the scene and to the hospital team that took such great care of them,” the statement added. Ferrell, 50, was a passenger in an SUV that overturned during a two-car accident late Thursday in Orange County, according to an accident report from the California Highway Patrol. Ferrell’s vehicle was struck when another car veered into its lane. The SUV then struck the center divider median and subsequently overturned. agencieS
Kanye West writing a book on philosophy LOs ANGeLes: Rapper Kanye West is writing a book on philosophy titled Break the Simulation. The rapper opened up about the project in an interview with his interior designer Axel Vervoordt. “I have got this new concept that I’ve been digging into. I’m writing a philosophy book right now called ‘Break the Simulation’. And I’ve got this philosophy, or let’s say it’s just a concept because sometimes philosophy sounds too heavy-handed,” the Hollywood Reporter quoted West as saying. He added: “I’ve got a concept about photographs, and I’m on the fence about photographs, about human beings being obsessed with photographs because it takes you out of the now and transports you into the past or transports you into the future. It can be used to document, but a lot of times it overtakes (people). “People dwell too much in the memories. People always want to hear the history of something, which is important, but I think it there’s too much of an importance put on history. One of the things that I thought was interesting was how far people go in the past when you’re working on clothing. There are people who will go and reference something from the 1920s or reference something from the 1940s, especially dealing with sportswear.”
A treat for the taste buds and a delight to the eyes
LAHORE Saman Shafiq & ayeSha BiBi
Over the past couple of months, I passed by the Urban Kitchen several times and was quite curious to see how it was shaping up. The exterior looked funky and upbeat and I made up my mind to check it out when the eatery opened. After much to and fro, my colleague and co-author of this review finally made it to this new spot in Lahore. As we entered the restaurant, we were met with a trendy and buoyant atmosphere. Thankfully, the main foyer/waiting area had no tables; they were either located on the side or upstairs where the main part of the restaurant was. A wall right in front was full of black and white pictures from the history of Pakistan, including a photo of Wasim Akram and Imran Khan, a photo of Ava Gardener from when she visited Pakistan
and an old advertisement of a cooking oil company. As we waited to be seated, the photographs provided us with a quick trip down the memory lane. The ambience of the cafe was upbeat. The interior gave New York's Brooklyn feel with the yellow and black exterior, rock music in the background, neon lights and a mural on one of the walls. The cafe's quirky atmosphere set the tone of our moods and we felt fresh despite a long day at work. Urban Kitchen's menu is unlike other restaurants. It is short and limited; yet it has a variety of cuisines to offer: from Pakistani to Italian to Thai and southeastern, there is something to everyone's taste. Honestly speaking, the appetizers menu was enough to get us drooling and
upon the owner's recommendation, we finally placed our orders. First up we had the Montreal Poutine and unusual mixture of chips, gravy and cheese. Along with that we had Picante Poppers. Out of the two, my personal favourite was the poppers. The chicken, the cheese and the sauce were cooked to perfection and I was on a literal roll popping one after another. But these poppers are not for the faint-hearted since their spice level is pretty high, in fact it's almost exhilarating. For the main course, we ordered The Big Cheesy, Hakka Fried Prawns and Oishii Katsu Curry. Both the prawns and curry had a southeastern undertone to them. The prawns were delectable. They were crispy on the outside and extremely
soft on the inside which made them an absolute treat. The Big Cheesy was a typical beef burger with cheese, sauces and onion rings. However, what put this aside from the rest was the patty, which despite being big in size was cooked perfectly to the core and was full of flavour down to the last bite. After eating, two appetizers and three main courses between two people, both my colleague and I were in a literal food coma. However, the dessert still remained and just as we were recovering from our out of the world experience, the desserts appeared before us: a Nutella Bread Pudding and Fudging Hot Brownie. The desserts made for a sweet ending to the meal plummeting us further into a whirlwind of ecstasy. Pakistan Today got a chance to speak to the man behind the eatery, Faisal Khan. Coming from a family of bankers and himself a graduate in the field of business management, Khan said that he fell in love with food while studying in the United States. However, he emphasised that he was a cook and not a chef, since he has had no formal training, just years of experience of eating and feeding others. “While studying in the US, I started experimenting with food and the idea of opening up my own restaurant was born,” he stated at length. “Urban Kitchen is a passion project and a place aims to be different, chic and relaxing to those who
come here.” He elaborated that he came from a family of bankers and in fact worked in a bank for a while, but left that after a while to join his father's business. However, he still found what he was looking for and eventually turned to this restaurant and turned his brainchild into reality. Khan told us that each dish on the menu has been designed by him and he personally trained all of the chefs. Talking about Urban Kitchen, which is located just a little off Mini Market, Faisal commented that opening the eatery in the heart of the city i.e. Gulberg was a conscious choice because it is a place which caters to the Lahoris’ need of being seen and of dressing up, along with providing them good food. “Even though there are locations in Lahore which are being touted as food streets, I always wanted to open my first branch in Gulberg," he said signing off. Our picks from the menu: Picante Poppers, Hakka Fried Prawns, Hot Fudge Sundae.
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
Defending your ideas against someone with a different agenda than yours can turn into more of a debacle than you want. You just want to hold your ground, but could end up angering someone in the process.
Your hopes for the future are fueled by idealistic fantasies today. Unfortunately, your reality doesn't necessarily support your inspirational dreams. Your work is cut out for you now because you must.
Your greatest challenge today may involve choosing which tasks to complete and which ones to postpone for a later date. It isn't that you made too many promises; instead, it's others who are asking more.
You might have made a commitment that's weighing heavily on your mind now, and there appears to be little you can do to prevent someone's disappointment. Don't waste energy doubting yourself as you contemplate.
Staying in touch with your inner spirit takes extra concentration when you're feeling stressed. Fortunately, you have a deep reservoir of determination and resolve. However, others seem to thwart your.
You're stuck between two uncontrollable forces without an apparent way out today as clever Mercury locks horns with unpredictable Uranus and unrelenting Pluto. Unfortunately, the more you struggle.
Someone's hidden motives come to light now, adding to the stress between you and others. Your coworkers might not like what they learn today, but the awkward energy should begin to shift once the truth.
You are usually up for a good challenge when you know that you're doing the right thing. But now as communicator Mercury aggravates your key planet Pluto, make sure that you're not being played as a pawn.
You might secretly believe you're fighting for a losing cause today, but holding firm to your fading optimism may still be the best thing you can do. If you begin questioning your long-term goals now.
You are feeling extremely passionate about your life now and are eager to work hard just to keep all the balls up in the air. However, this isn't the best time to start a new venture, since loose ends.
Your nerves are on edge today, making it nearly impossible to complete what you start because you can't concentrate. Your current impatience prompts you to talk before your thoughts are fully developed.
Uncertainty rises from the hidden depths of your subconscious and your initial impulse may be to clamp down on your fantasies and become uncharacteristically rigid now. Unfortunately, your inflexibility.
ACROSS 1 Combined walking aid and seat (8,5) 8 Splash guard on a wheel (7) 9 Unembellished (5) 10 Oh dear, that was careless! (4) 11 Ceaselessly in motion (8) 13 Tried out (6) 14 Inconsequential facts (6) 17 Intense happiness (8) 19 Tight cluster (of people) (4) 21 Serenity (5) 22 Liverpool's John Lennon, for example (7) 24 Red sauce (6,7)
DOwn 1 Mathematical problem (3) 2 Tragic king of Thebes (with a complex) (7) 3 Ring â€” tax (4) 4 Sister's son (6) 5 Account intended to evoke sympathy (3,5) 6 Topic (to be addressed) (5) 7 how to get a motorcycle going (4-5) 10 At the scene (2,3,4) 12 Evocative (8) 15 Post-impressionist painter, committed suicide 1890 (3,4) 16 Seize control of by force (6) 18 Sacred song (5)
HaGaR tHE HoRRIblE
cHEss AffECT AVENUE BASIN BRIdE BRINk ChARGE CLEAN dARkNESS dETER dOUGh fLAME fLIGhT hEART hUMPS INSPIRATION INTENSE kILT MEdIA MICE
MILLS MUSCLE NEON NEVER PROPOSE PROUd QUICk RAMBLE SCREEN SCROLL SLEET STARk SUIT TANS TRAILS TUNE VINyL wILdfIRE wILL
white tO PLAY AND MAte iN seveN MOves 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
bRIdGE tRoUblE In nola
sUdokU crossword solution sudoku solution
1.Nxd4 cxd4 2.Qxb7+ Rxb7 3.Rxe8! kxe8 4.Bxc6+ Rd7 5.ke2 ke7 6.Bxd7 kxd7 7.kd3 and white wins the pawn ending. * chess solution
How to play fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the squares contains all the digits. The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once.
Sunday, 15 April, 2018
Shakib, WilliamSon StaR in SunRiSeRS' Win koLkata
UNRISERS Hyderabad panicked in a chase again, but nowhere near as much as they had on Friday. Captain Kane Williamson's half-century, and his 59-run stand with Shakib Al Hasan sealed yet another win that was set up by their bowlers, who had managed to keep Kolkata Knight Riders to 138 for 8 in 20 overs to lay the foundation for a five-wicket win. It was Sunrisers' first away match of the season and the win puts them firmly on top of the points table. Knight Riders had a sluggish start to the game after they were put in and apart from Lynn's 49 that stretched across a brief rain interval, they barely had a foot in the game. That was until they realised their threepronged spin attack was virtually impossible to score of. For much of Sunrisers' chase, Knight Riders were calling the shots; but with every over of spin bowled, the WilliamsonShakib alliance grew more confident
and a calculated acceleration against pace at the right time put to rest the prospect of collapse-and-recovery style win. KnIGht rIDers tIe theMseLVes UP WIth theIr tactIcs: Knight Riders made all the team changes that were demanded of them - Vinay Kumar was left out along with Rinku Singh, and the teenage duo of Shubman Gill and Shivam SUNRISERS Mavi came in for them. HYDERABAD 139 FOR 5 As it turned (WILLIAMSON 50, SHAKIB 27, out, Uthappa's NARINE 2-17) BEAT KOLKATA plan to get his eye in from a Manish KNIGHT RIDERS 138 FOR 8 (LYNN to familiar batPandey's right at BHUVNESHWAR 29, KARTHIK 49, ting position point; the former didn't work out. 3-26, SHAKIB 2-21, STANLAKE Knight Riders Chris Lynn and batsman took the 2-21) BY FIVE WICKETS Nitish Rana first of two worldbrought the momenclass catches with a tum with their secondlunge to his right and a grab wicket stand of 39, before a on the second attempt as he fell red-hot Billy Stanlake cramped Rana towards the floor. on the cut - his most productive shot It was at this point that Knight of the evening - and had him lift one Riders made the mysterious punt of
Roy clinches thrilling win on Daredevils debut sending Narine at No. 4. Perhaps the decision was informed by the fact that they were going at less than seven per over, but it was a strange one nonetheless - Narine had only batted at No. 4 once before this innings. In the Pakistan Super League. If quick runs were the requirement, they didn't come. When Narine well for 9, he had consumed 10 balls and hit only one boundary. It had caused a telling change in the batting order.
Guardiola fears City title collapse despite 13-point lead MancheSter Agencies
Manager Pep Guardiola has made the extraordinary suggestion that runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City could suffer a stunning collapse -- even though they could be confirmed as champions this weekend if results go their way. City are 13 points clear at the top with six matches to play and could finish the weekend with their third title in seven seasons. They will take the Premier League crown if they beat Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday and secondplaced Manchester United lose against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, although Albion increasingly look condemned to relegation. However, Guardiola's side are seeking to recover from three dispiriting defeats in a row, having gone out of the Champions League after losing home and away against Liverpool in the quarter-finals, and sandwiched in between they missed the opportunity to clinch the title when United pulled off a 3-2 win last weekend. City were two up in the Manchester derby before Paul Pogba inspired a United comeback, scoring twice in the second half. Guardiola is concerned about the psychological effect of those three losses on his players as they look to secure the trophy, and warned they could still falter.
"Of course it can happen, I assure you," said Guardiola. Guardiola cited two examples of
high-profile sporting collapses when examining his own team's prospects -â€“ Real Madrid's miserable finish to
the 2003-04 La Liga season, and Golden State Warriors' failure to win the NBA finals in 2016. The Warriors lost 4-3 to the Cleveland Cavaliers despite leading 3-1 with three matches to play, while Madrid managed to finish fourth in La Liga 14 years ago, having held an eight-point lead at the top with 12 matches to play. "Real Madrid, years ago, lost five games in a row and didn't win the league. So of course it can happen, no doubts about that," Guardiola said. - Collapse City dropped just two points in their first 22 league matches this season until that unbeaten sequence was finally ended by a 4-3 defeat at Liverpool on January 14. Despite the disappointment of losing to United, City have still only dropped 12 points all season.
City trio, Salah, Kane nominated for Player of the Year Manchester: Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva lead a six-strong cast that also includes the prolific Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane for the 2017-18 Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award. Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is the other nominee. Despite blowing the chance to seal the Premier League title in a thrilling 3-2 derby defeat to Manchester United last weekend, City still boast a 13-point lead at the top of the table heading into Saturday's match against Tottenham. De Bruyne is expected to be City's leading candidate having contributed a league-high 15 assists and seven goals from midfield as Pep Guardiola's have marched towards the title. However, the Belgian may be beaten to the award by Salah's free-scoring form. The Egyptian has scored 39 times in all competitions, including in each leg as Liverpool dumped City out of the Champions League quarter-finals 5-1 on aggregate. Salah leads the way in the race for the Premier League golden boot with 29 goals to Kane's 25. Sane and Kane are also on the shortlist for the Young Player of the Year award alongside City goalkeeper Ederson and forward Raheem Sterling, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford and left-back Ryan Sessegnon, who has starred in Fulham's push for promotion from the Championship. Agencies
SportS DeSk On paper, this was a DELHI clash between one of the DAREDEVILS 195 tournament's FOR 3 (ROY 91*, PANT powerhouses and an 47, KRUNAL PANDYA 2-21) unfancied BEAT MUMBAI INDIANS 194 team. In reality, FOR 7 (SURYAKUMAR YADAV it was a scrap between two 53, LEWIS 48, CHRISTIAN teams looking to 2-35) BY SEVEN get a move on, having suffered WICKETS defeat in each of their first two games. By the end of it, all of Mumbai's batting might could not bail them out, as a 389-run slugfest ended with Daredevils sealing a 195-run chase off the last ball. It was yet another chapter in Mumbai's dubious history of being slow starters. But regardless of their general tendency to recover well from such starts, three defeats in three games now leave Mumbai's players with next to no allowances for further slip-ups. That they find themselves in this position was as much to their own undoing as the belligerence of Daredevils batsmen. Having launched a stunning onslaught that gave them 84 runs in the Powerplay, Mumbai lost five wickets for 21 runs to end up with 194 that was below-par on a belter of a Wankhede pitch. Once the choke had been applied, Daredevils never looked behind. Jason Roy, on debut for the franchise, pillaged an unbeaten 91, matched stroke for stroke by Rishabh Pant (47 off 25), to clinch a seven-wicket win. Crash! Bang! Wallop! Having lost the toss, Rohit Sharma was hardly fussed about being made to bat, and you could almost instantly see why. This was everything a batsman could have asked for: placid surface, quick outfield, and short boundaries. To supplement that, Mumbai ran into a Delhi team in quite the giving mood. Daredevils' bowlers were so inept that you probably faulted Mumbai for being more severe. Mumbai's openers were the perfect match for each other. Where Suryakumar Yadav was slick and innovative - a very late uppercut off Boult and a late glide to a wide yorker from Mohammed Shami standing out Evin Lewis used brute force to murder Daredevils' horrific lengths. Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-arm spinner, was horribly astray and too afraid to flight it up, while Shami and Daniel Christian walked into hostile welcomes as well. By the end of the Powerplay, where the cheapest over cost 10 runs, Mumbai had racked up - and moved well past - their fastest IPL fifty, as well as their best Powerplay score.
Giroud double keeps Chelsea in Champions League hunt LonDon Agencies
Chelsea's kept their slim hopes of playing Champions League football next season alive as Olivier Giroud came off the bench to inspire an eight-minute turnaround from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Southampton on Saturday. Defeat is another body blow to Saints' chances of avoiding relegation as they remain rooted in the bottom three when for so long they seemed set for a first home win in the Premier League since November. Dusan Tadic and debutant Jan Bednarek put the hosts in command, but Giroud's first league goals for Chelsea either side of Eden Hazard's equaliser cut the gap on Liverpool and Tottenham in the fight for a top-four finish to seven points. The two sides will meet again in the
FA Cup semi-finals next weekend, and Southampton will do well to raise themselves for cup glory with their place in the Premier League next season looking ever more precarious. It was a former Chelsea player who got Saints off to a perfect start as Ryan Bertrand burst past Cesar Azpilicueta down Southampton's left before squaring for Tadic to apply a simple finish. Only a fine save low to his right from Thibaut Courtois denied Saints a second through James Ward-Prowse as Chelsea struggled to create anything of note before the break. And their frustration overspilled as tempers flared when Marcos Alonso was lucky to escape unpunished for raking his studs down Shane Long's calf. Long nearly doubled Southampton's lead early in the second period when he turned Andres Christensen and Gary
Cahill before his mishit effort almost looped over Courtois, who scrambled to turn the ball behind. Courtois was left exposed by his defence moments later when WardProwse's free-kick found Bednarek completely unmarked at the back post to half-volley expertly across the goal and into the far corner. Conte swiftly responded by hauling off the disappointing Alvaro Morata and Davide Zappacosta for Pedro Rodriguez and Giroud. The French international striker has largely struggled to make an impact since his deadline day move from Arsenal in January. But Giroud showed what he is capable of with a brave near post header from Alonso's pinpoint cross to get Chelsea back in the game with his first league goal for the club and spark an incredible fight-
back 20 minutes from time. Five minutes later Hazard levelled by smashing home Willian's cross from close range.
And with Southampton reeling, Giroud completed Chelsea's comeback when he pounced on a loose ball inside the area to drive into the bottom corner.
SPORTS Sunday, 15 April, 2018
CW 2018: Pakistani WrEstlEr inam Butt Bags gold mEdal
England's speed demons give Bolt second thoughts Gold coast Agencies
English sprinters finally found their mojo as the Commonwealth Games track and field events came to a head on Saturday, forcing Jamaican legend Usain Bolt to ponder coming out of retirement. Neeraj Chopra, a farmer's son from a village outside of Delhi, captured a historic javelin gold for India, while veteran Levern Spencer won the women's high jump to give Saint Lucia its first Commonwealth title in any sport. England's speed demons finished on a high note after a disappointing Games blighted by misfortune, rocketing to a golden double in the 4x100 metres relays. Zharnel Hughes, stripped of gold in the 200m earlier this week, helped the men's quartet bring the baton round in 38.13 seconds, ahead of South Africa and Jamaica. Bolt, who retired last year after almost a decade of dominance, tweeted about returning to the sport after watching the English snatch Jamaica's Commonwealth title. "Did I retire too soon? Hmmm," the eight-time Olympic champion posted to his 5.1 million followers. "Watching the relay just now made me ask myself a few questions." Informed of Bolt's message, English anchor leg Harry Aikines-Aryeetey shot back: "They need him to beat us now! Last time in Glasgow we gave the baton ahead of him and they can't handle us without him." South Africa, including 100m champion Akani Simbine and runner-up Henricho Bruintjies, took silver in 38.24 with Yohan Blake anchoring Jamaica to bronze in 38.35. "I was always playing catch-up on that last leg," said Blake, who could only finish third behind the South Africans in the 100m earlier in the week. "Jamaica was dominating for a while but we're going through a transition period." - Close shave - Lorraine Ugen then brought England's women home first in the 4x100m relay, despite having double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson breathing down her neck, to win in 42.46. Jamaica hit back to win the women's 4x400m relay, before Botswana raced away to win the men's 4x400m, celebrating by dropping to perform group push-ups as a small pocket of flagwaving fans went wild. England's relay wins came as some consolation after a miserable run of luck with injuries and disqualifications, giving them a total of five athletics gold medals -- two behind Jamaica -- with only Sunday's marathons to come. Hosts Australia top the table with 10 combined golds for able-bodied and para sports. Hughes apologised again for his DQ in the 200m on Thursday when he caught Trinidad and Tobago's Jereem Richards in the face as they dipped for the line. "What happened, happened," shrugged the 22-year-old. "Sorry about it, I've moved on from it. At the end of the day I'm a champion, I hold my head up high." World champion Hellen Obiri romped to victory in the women's 5,000m, while Elijah Motonei Manangoi followed his world title by winning the men's 1,500m. Chopra, a 20-year-old with Bollywood looks, won the javelin with a throw of 86.47 metres to become only the third Indian man to win Games gold in track and field. "I've been totally relaxed," he said. "Most of the time a people put too much pressure on themselves. I tried to be natural because I was completely confident in how I've prepared myself." Saint Lucia's Spencer gave a scream of delight after winning the women's high jump to give the tiny Caribbean island a historic gold.
RESTLER Mohammad Inam Butt has once again kept Pakistan’s flag high by winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games Wrestling competition on Saturday. 29-year-old Inam, also a gold medalist of Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, completely outclassed his opponent Melvin Bibo of Nigeria in the final of 86kg weight category. The Pakistani wrestler didn’t allow the opponent to earn a single point and won the contest 60 in just two rounds. He had earlier defeated Jayden Lawrence in the first bout before overpowering India’s Somveer in the quarterfinal and Alexander Moore in the semifinal on his way to the Gold medal. Following his win, Inam was critical of the government, claiming he had not been provided with any funds for training. “I had demanded Rs1 million from the government to prepare for this event but did not receive anything. Along with the Pakistan Wrestling Federation, I spent my own money and was able to win the first Gold medal for the country.” Inam appealed to the government to concentrate on sports so Pakistan can prosper in this field. This is Pakistan’s first gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and overall fifth medal. Two other wrestlers Mohammad Bilal and Tayyab Raza won the Bronze while weightlifters Talha Talib and Nooh Butt also received Bronze medals in their respective categories. PSB PROMISES REWARD: The Pakistan Sports Board has assured that all the medal winners of Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will receive their due share of cash reward from the PSB as per the decided sports policy.
Pakistani athletes won five medals, including a Gold and four Bronze medals in the event. "PSB will pay to all the medal winners as per the cash award policy approved by the government," said Azam Dar, a senior official of Pakistan Sports Board. According to policy, the Gold medalist – wrestler Mohammad Inam Butt – will receive 5
million rupees, while four Bronze medalists – wrestlers Tayyab Raza and Mohammad Bilal along with weightlifters Nooh Butt and Talha Talib – will receive one million each. Meanwhile, in a separate message PSB president Riaz Pirzada and DG Aamer Ali Ahmed have congratulated Inam Butt on winning the Gold medal in Commonwealth Games wrestling event.
Zidane slams criticism of Real's last-gasp Juve win Madrid Agencies
Zinedine Zidane believes the negative reaction to Real Madrid's lastgasp win over Juventus has been "disgraceful, upsetting and deceptive", and borne out of jealousy towards the European champions. Real sneaked into the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday after English referee Michael Oliver awarded the 12-times champions a controversial penalty in added-on time. Cristiano Ronaldo held his nerve to send his side through 4-3 on aggregate after Juve had staged a remarkable comeback, levelling the tie by leading 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Gianluigi Buffon launched a scathing attack on Oliver after the match while sections of the Italian and Spanish press were also criticial of Real's victory. Corriere dello Sport, a daily sports newspaper in Rome, led with the headline 'Che Furto', meaning 'What A Theft', while Sport, the Barcelona daily, carried 'El Robo
Del Siglo' on its front page, 'The Theft Of The Century'. Zidane, however, maintains his team fully deserved to go through. "When people talk about it being a robbery I get angry - it is clear what we are doing annoys a lot of people," Zidane said on Saturday. "There are people that are antiReal Madrid, but nobody is going to change that. Nobody can change the history of this club, what it has achieved. "We are the best club in the world and when you're the best club in the world, there is a certain degree
Russian World Cup stadium finally gets its grass Moscow Agencies
Russia's perpetually late World Cup stadium in Samara had some good news to report exactly two months before kickoff: it is finally getting its grass. Twelve gleaming white lorries filled with rolls of the precious pitch arrived Saturday in the Volga River city from Germany. Photographs proudly tweeted by the regional administration also showed nine construction crane-type objects identified as "artificial suns" stationed outside the stadium. They will be suspended a few feet above the pitch once the grass is rolled out and start shining as much light as pos-
of jealousy." Zidane added: "To be honest I think it is disgraceful, upsetting and deceptive. Anyone who says it was a robbery, I really don't agree." Buffon was sent off for dissent on the pitch and then vented his anger off it too, by saying Oliver lacked personality and should have watched the game at home with his wife. It could mark a dramatic end to Buffon's Champions League career, given the 40-year-old is expected to retire at the end of the season. "Those were his words," Zidane
sible so that everything sticks in place. "The nine 'artificial suns' will warm up the grass so that it gets accustomed to Samara's soil as quickly as possible," the administration said. How long that takes will go a long way in deciding whether Russia has a big mess on its hands when the games begin on June 14. Russia is sparing no expense as it prepares to host the international football extravaganza at the height of a new spike in diplomatic hostilities with the West. More than $13 billion (10.5 billion euros) are officially going into stadium construction and refurbishments for the 11 host cities. Each is getting a new or refurbished airport and repaved roads. Hotels are being built in places few foreign visitors ever venture. The first World Cup to reach the former Soviet Union is meant to show off
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said. "He was stressed, his feelings were heated. You have to respect his point of view but I think we deserved to qualify for the semi-finals." Real will now face German champions Bayern Munich in the semis, in a repeat of last year's quarter-final, which Los Blancos won 63 on aggregate. "I think they are an even better team this season than last," Zidane said. "No team will have the upper hand, maybe us playing the return leg at home, but I would say the tie is evenly balanced, 50-50." Before then, Real turn their attention to Sunday's trip to Malaga in La Liga, where they sit fourth in the table, 15 points adrift of leaders Barcelona. Sergio Ramos is likely to return, having been suspended in midweek, but Zidane is expected to rest other key players for the match. "Malaga are bottom and maybe they dont deserve to be," Zidane said. "I have seen some of their games, it's surprising they are bottom of the table, but our aim is to go there and win."
Russia's might at every turn. But details, like the absence of grass at one of the arenas, threaten to scuttle those plans. Samara has been plagued by problems since construction began four years ago. Developers had to abandon plans to build a glass dome that looked like a flying saucer because it simply cost too much. The time it took to come up with a more budget-friendly alternative delayed development by nearly six months. The government filed a lawsuit -- one of four against stadium builders across Russia -- over the delay. The plan for the fancy German grass was drafted in the halcyon days when time was not an issue. The green stuff was meant to arrive before the Russian winter and take root during spring.