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Thursday, 15 March, 2018 I Jamadi-ul-aakhir 26, 1439 I rs 20.00 I vol vIII No 256 I 20 Pages I lahore edition

SC refuses to hold Nawaz in contempt, says citizens can comment on verdicts STORY ON PAGE 02

Stephen hawking dies peacefully at 76

9 Martyred, at leaSt 20 injured

blast rocks raiwind g


cM Shehbaz condeMnS attack, SeekS report froM igp

PPP, PTI lock horns for slot of Senate opposition leader STORY ON PAGE 03

rao anwar requests unfreezing of bank accounts in letter to cjp STORY ON PAGE 04

eCP to get fIa, intelligence agencies’ assistance to probe Senate ‘horse-trading’ STORY ON PAGE 02

four alleged militants killed in rangers' lyari operation STORY ON PAGE 05

Security put on high alert acroSS punjab

ttp reportedly claiMS reSponSibility for attack LAHORE




t least nine persons, including five police personnel and four citizens, were martyred and 20 others were injured in a blast near a police post at raiwind on wednesday. two sub-inspectors and three constables are among the martyred while the injured include raiwind aSp and Sho. rescue sources said that the injured were rushed to local hospitals, adding that the blast occurred when policemen present at the posting were changing their shift. a motorcycle was destroyed in the blast, while police and law enforcement rushed to the site and began further investigation. the injured were shifted to the tehsil headquarters hospital (thQ) raiwind where some of them are listed in a critical condition, triggering fears that the death toll might go up. according to rescue officials, a caller who informed them about the incident said it was a cylinder blast. however, the impact and sound of the blast suggest it was a terrorist attack. defunct tehreek-e-taliban pakistan (ttp) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. deputy inspector general (dig) of police operations dr haider ashraf said that the attack was carried out against police personnel. the injured include raiwind assistant superintendent of police (aSp), he said. the dig further said that a motorcycle was probably used by terrorists to target the police camp, adding that the police were deployed in the area to provide security to a congregation being held in raiwand. he added that dozens of vehicles were also damaged in the blast. dig haider ashraf further said that body parts of the suicide bomber

were recovered from the explosion site and sent to the forensic lab for further examination. the senior police official stressed that if the suicide attacker had managed to enter the congregation site, the death toll could have been much higher. the government of punjab has issued a list of the martyred and the injured, who were received at thQ hospital raiwind. CM CoNdeMNS BlaST: punjab chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has strongly condemned the blast and has sought a report from punjab inspector general of police (igp) and directed him to investigate the matter. the cM expressed a deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives, directing the administration that best treatment facilities should be provided to the injured police officials and other people. in another post on twitter, Shehbaz paid tribute to the martyred policemen and said the nation is proud of their sacrifices. HIgH alerT: Meanwhile, punjab igp captain (r) arif nawaz khan has directed to declare a security high alert in the province and has asked lahore ccpo and all rpos and dpos to strengthen security in their respective regions and districts. he also directed to intensify operations of search, sweep, combing

and intelligence, while increasing security for sensitive installations, educational institutes, places of worships and markets. the igp directed all officers to ensure implementation of all security standard operating procedures (Sops) released. he also directed the ccpo to ensure that best medical treatment is provided to the personnel and injured officers. the top officer also directed for further tightening the process of checking and monitoring at the entry and exit routes of the metropolis. he directed that all measures be taken to ensure the safety of the life and property of the masses. laHore’S fIrST BlaST IN 2018: this is the first incident of such nature in lahore this year, however, almost 60 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks in 2017. at least 45 people were injured in an explosion in a fruit truck stationed in a parking lot on band road in august last year. in july 2017, 26 people, including nine policemen, were martyred and 58 others were injured in a suicide hit on ferozepur road. in april, six people including army personnel were killed in a suicide attack on a census team on bedian road. on february 13, over two dozen people including two senior police officers were killed in a suicide blast on Mall road.

UN oBServerS Narrowly eSCaPe INdIaN fIrINg aCroSS loC CJP unimpressed with govt’s efforts in curtailing flow of capital from Pakistan


Punjab makes history by passing Sikh Marriages Bill g

court to indict nbp president, others in dar’s assets case on 20th STORIES ON PAGES 02 & 03

Much-awaited bill to enable Sikh coupleS to regiSter their MarriageS at union council level




Thursday, 15 March, 2018






HE Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday dismissed a contempt plea against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif a day after rejecting a similar petition, stating that citizens had the right to comment on judicial verdicts. Petitioner Sheikh Ahsanuddin, a

member of the Justice and Democratic Party, had filed the petition against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) supreme leader after the apex court dismissed a petition seeking initiation of contempt cases against Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar during the court proceedings on Wednesday remarked that

CJP unimpressed with govt’s effort in curtailing flow of capital from country

the court did not consider the presented evidence contemptuous. “Commenting cleanly on a [court] decision is the right of every citizen,” CJP Nisar remarked. The CJP also said that the accused may have “crossed the line” in some other comments but it did not appear to be during his speeches at the GT Road rally. “We have to take notice of contempt, not you,” the CJP told the petitioner. Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that judicial forgiveness should be exercised by the courts. He added that the court’s limits for forgiveness are broader than those of the petitioner. A contempt petition against Federal Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique was also dismissed during the hearing. Earlier on Tuesday, the court dismissed contempt petitions against Saad Rafique, former prime minister Yousaf

Raza Gilani, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Firdous Ashiq Awan, former Senate chairman Nayyar Bukhari and MNA Muhammad Safdar. The contempt cases against late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Syed Iqbal Haider were also declared ineffective and disposed of. On Tuesday, the chief justice stated that the former premier had used inappropriate words against the JIT and not the court and hence did not qualify for a contempt of court offence. He also added that the case against anti-judiciary statements by Nawaz Sharif will be heard at an appropriate time. Nawaz Sharif announced the antijudiciary drive after the top court gave a clean chit to PTI chief Imran Khan but disqualified general secretary Jahangir Tareen on constitutional petitions filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi.


ECP to ask FIA, agencies to help probe ‘horse-trading’


Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s efforts in curtailing the flow of capital from the country. During the hearing of a suo motu case related to foreign bank accounts held by Pakistanis, the chief justice observed that the government could have enacted an ordinance to stem the flow of capital, saying that nothing is known so far of the Pakistanis named in the Panama and Paradise leaks. A senior Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) official informed the court that an amnesty scheme will be offered to encourage Pakistanis to declare their foreign assets. On February 1, the Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of funds deposited in foreign bank accounts and foreign assets held by Pakistani citizens. Chief Justice Nisar had remarked that many Pakistanis in positions of power hold accounts in foreign banks and have been looting the country’s money and transferring it abroad through illegal channels. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in November last year released a trove of around 13.4 million documents, revealing over 25,000 companies owned by the world’s ultra-rich and influential individuals, including those in Pakistan as well. Former prime minister Shaukat Aziz was found linked with Antarctic Trust an offshore company exposed in Paradise papers leak. The trust was set up by him whose beneficiaries include his wife, children and granddaughter. Aziz had set up the trust in Delaware (USA) before becoming finance minister. Interestingly, the trust was neither declared during his stint as finance minister nor as prime minister.


tar represented their clients whereas State Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb appeared in person. Shahid Gondal, PTI head’s lawyer, told ECP that the party has already formed a committee to investigate horse-trading and will submit a final report after completion of the inquiry. “PTI will ensure complete cooperation with ECP in this regard,” Gondal said while talking to media outside ECP. The hearing was adjourned until April 4, as ECP summoned political party leaders and lawmakers to assist in the case. On March 3, 52 senators were elected to the Upper House with the majority supported by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). VOTE AGAINST PARTY POLICY:  Talking to journalists after attending the ECP hearing, State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that

it was the constitutional obligation of the Election Commission to hold a probe into the matter. She said that the Article 218(3) of the Constitution mandated the ECP to conduct elections that were free, fair and devoid of corrupt practices and the Article 220 conferred wide powers on the ECP to seek assistance from all executive authorities for discharge of its obligations, including law enforcement and intelligence agencies. She said that clause 219(5) of the Election Act also reflected similar obligations of the ECP. Marriyum said that the Senate election was an indirect election and when a political party of a candidate gets votes disproportionate to its representation in the respective electorate (provincial assemblies etc) there is a natural inference to be drawn that members have voted against the party policy due to illegal consideration.


Minister for Interior Affairs Ahsan Iqbal has said that economic development was directly linked with peace in society and police played a crucial role in making Pakistan a safe and strong country. Addressing the National Police Summit and Expo here on Wednesday, he congratulated the Islamabad Police, the Higher Education Commission and the National Police Bureau for arranging this event and said it was the unique conference as police leadership of four provinces, Giglit Baltistan and heads of law enforcement agencies were gathered here. The interior minister said that no de-

velopment was possible without peace in the society and also called for strong relationship between police and academia to tackle the modern day challenges. He paid rich tributes to police martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for maintaining law and order in the country, saying the nation was proud of them. He said that police officials from foreign countries would be invited in the next conference. The role of the Police Department was very much crucial for maintaining peace, ensure protection to the lives and property of citizens and elimination of crime, he added. The minister said that Pakistan has rendered great sacrifices for victory in war against terrorism and whole nation was proud of gallant police person-

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred framing of charges against State Minister for Interior Affairs Tallal Chaudhry for a day over contemptuous remarks against the judiciary. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan is hearing the contempt case against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader. The state minister appeared before the bench for the hearing and requested the court to hear his plea before framing charges. To this, Justice Ejaz remarked that “the defendant can plead his case later as charges will be framed today”. “We don’t want to waste more time,” he said. Chaudhry’s counsel argued that there are precedents of several court verdicts when the bench has shown leniency in such cases. “The matter is not of dishonouring an individual but an institution,” Justice Maqbool Baqar observed. However, the hearing was adjourned for a day after Chaudhry’s counsel informed the bench that he has to attend a funeral. The court provided Chaudhry with a copy of the charge-sheet and will frame the charges on Thursday. On February 24, the minister, while requesting the court to withdraw the case, had stated that scandalising the court or doing anything that tends to bring the court into “hatred, ridicule or contempt” is “not even the last thing on the respondent’s mind”. “Whatever has been said might have been taken into account without relevance to the context due to media reporting,” Chaudhry had written in his initial response. According to a notification issued on February 2, the apex court had initiated contempt proceedings against Chaudhry on account of “derogatory and contemptuous speeches/statements” with regard to the court. STAFF REPORT

SC rejects PTI plea seeking Gulalai’s disqualification


The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday hinted that it might seek help from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and intelligence agencies to probe alleged horse-trading in March 3 elections for 52 Senate seats. The suo motu notice of alleged horse-trading during Senate elections, held on March 3, was heard by a fivemember bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (r) Sardar Raza Khan. During the proceedings, the CEC said, “It is unfortunate that those who sell their vote, and those who buy it are both parliamentarians.” “Buying and selling of votes is a crime,” said CEC, adding that political parties should assist the ECP in this case. The commission has summoned eight parliamentarians for assistance in the case. The ECP also hinted that they might get assistance from the FIA and other intelligence agencies for investigation in this case. The counsels of Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Muttahida Qaumi MovementPakistan (MQM-P) leader Farooq Sat-

SC defers contempt charges against Tallal for a day

nel who embraced martyrdom to root out this menace. He said that there have been several challenges to the law enforcers in this era of modern technology. He said that the police and other law enforcement agencies would have to equip themselves with this modern techniques and also to ensure public cooperation to curb crime. He said that police should take advantage of the research being made in the fields of criminology, technology and sociology and other departments. Ahsan said that violation of law should not be tolerated by police and there should be policy of zero tolerance in this regard. He termed the public cooperation as crucial for successful policing and asked policemen to maintain close coor-


dination with them. “Police needs to develop strong relationship with the community to win their confidence.” He said that a proper mechanism should be made to settle the disputes of petty nature. He said the databank having record of criminals and terrorists would be prepared. The minister also awarded prizes and certificates to students of the Bahria University, Riphah University and Institute of Space Technology for presenting various projects related to the law enforcement activities. Police uniforms, security vehicles, firearms, crime scene aids, pursuit vehicles, motorbikes and other security equipment were also placed at the Expo. Thousands of persons visited there and lauded the skills and efforts of police and other law enforcement agencies in maintaining peace.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday rejected a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict that rejected his reference seeking the disqualification of Member of National Assembly (MNA) Ayesha Gulalai. The threejudge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar upheld the ECP’s decision. Sikandar Bashir Mohmand appeared in the apex court on behalf of PTI. On October 24, a five-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Sardar Muhammad Raza dismissed the reference seeking disqualification of the female lawmaker. “Arguments on either side completed. For detailed reasons to be recorded separately and by a majority of three to two, the reference is hereby answered in the negative,” said the short order written by Sardar Muhammad Raza. Imran Khan had approached the ECP seeking Gulalai’s disqualification for violating the party discipline by not participating in voting for the PTI’s nominated candidate Sheikh Rasheed in the election for the prime minister’s office. The PTI chief stated that the rejection of his reference was an unconstitutional move. Gulalai shot to prominence after she accused the PTI chief of misogyny and sending her inappropriate text messages. She had also alleged that women were not respected in the PTI and that she had quit over differences with the party leadership. STAFF REPORT

FIA asks FO to contact US govt for Haqqani’s return ISLAMABAD: In a bid to ensure the return of former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani, who is also a key player in the ‘Memogate’ scandal, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has written a letter to the Foreign Office (FO) asking it to contact the US Department of State to intervene in this matter. Sources in FIA said that details have been provided to FO about the case against Haqqani in which he was accused of embezzling $7.2 million from a secret fund. The sources further said that the FO wing dealing with the US would review the letter and contact the American officials for further action. ONLINE

Thursday, 15 March, 2018


Court hears Flagship, Al-Azizia references ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Accountability court started hearing Flagship and Al-Azizia references against Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday when he arrived at the Federal Judicial Complex. Judge Mohammad Bashir, who is hearing the corruption case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), has summoned five witnesses who will record their statements. A prosecution witness Noreen Shahzadi recorded her

statement and submitted the documents related to Sharif family’s bank accounts. The prosecution witness Shahzadi presented details of bank accounts held by the Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz. Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Haris raised objection over the documents provided by the witness. Judge Bashir remarked that the bank accounts of Hussain were illegible, directing the witness to submit a better copy of her documents. Later on, Haris cross-examined the witness. NAB assistant director Waqar

most flats at Avenfield House bought through offshore firms LONDON: Majority of flats in the Avenfield House on London’s Park Lane are owned by residents – including the family of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif– who bought their properties through offshore companies incorporated in tax havens, according to an investigation by a local English daily. Four luxury flats in the Avenfield House: 16, 16a, 17 and 17a, are owned by the two offshore companies, Nielsen Enterprises Limited and the Nescoll Limited, linked to the ousted prime minister. Nescoll Limited bought the first flat, 17 in June 1993, followed by the purchase of flats 16 and 16a which were both bought on July 31, 1995. The flat 17a was the last to be bought by the Nawaz Sharif family on 23 July 1996. Another flat 12a is also owned by the Sharif family, but it was not purchased through an offshore company but through the Flagship Investment Limited, a firm registered with Companies House in the United Kingdom with Hasan Nawaz Sharif as one of its directors. Flats 20 and 21 are owned by the Hung Yip Development Limited, which is an offshore company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands while flat 9 and 10 are owned by the Mellen Management Limited, incorporated in Panama. However, according to the investigation by the publication, Avenfield House is not the worst example of property holding through offshore companies as the nearby Edgware Road has around 150 properties bought through companies incorporated in tax havens. AgENcIES

Court to indict nBP chief, others in dar’s case on 20th ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in the federal capital on Wednesday fixed March 20 for framing charges against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Saeed Ahmed and two other accused in a supplementary reference pertaining to the assets case filed against former finance minister Ishaq Dar. The NBP president and the other accused were present in court when Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir resumed the hearing of the reference. The judge adjourned the hearing till March 20 at the request of Saeed Ahmed’s lawyer when it said it will frame charges against the accused named in the supplementary reference. The judge had reserved his verdict a day earlier on a plea of the NBP president seeking his acquittal in the case. The NBP president moved an application in the court under Section 265-D of the Criminal Procedure Code seeking his acquittal for lack of evidence. On Feb 26, the anti-graft watchdog filed a supplementary reference against Ishaq Dar in the assets case with regard to alleged accumulation of assets beyond his known sources of income. Three suspects, including Saeed Ahmed, Mansoor Raza and Naeem Mehmood, were nominated in the reference. The NBP president said he came to know in 2016 that as many as seven accounts were being operated in his name. His signatures were faked to open such accounts, he claimed. A NAB prosecutor argued that millions of rupees were transacted into the foreign currency accounts, which were operated from 1997 to 2006. He expressed surprise how come the NBP president was not aware about these accounts having been opened in his name. STAFF REPORT

Ahmed and private bank employee Sher Khan also appeared before the court as witnesses to record their statements. Talking to media upon arrival, Nawaz stressed that both leaders in Bani Gala and Karachi bowed before Sanjrani. He said a caretaker government could work only within the constitutional limits. In the last two hearings, Nawaz was granted exemption from appearance on medical grounds. On March 8, the court had rejected a plea filed by NAB for inclusion of Panama gate Joint Investigation

Team (JIT) report as a part of the Avenfield case record. The request was made by Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director and Panama JIT head Wajid Zia after he appeared in court to record his statement against the former prime minister and his family during the day’s hearing. NAB had initially filed three interim references – pertaining to Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Hill Metal Establishment and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd and London flats – against the Sharif family in September last year after the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case to disqualify Nawaz as PM. The anti-graft body has also filed supplementary references.




WO major opposition parties in the Senate, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), are in for another battle, this time for the slot of opposition leader in the Senate. Despite the fact that both the parties had recently joined hands for election of Sanjrani and Mandviwala for the slots of Senate chairman and deputy chairman respectively, it seems that the two parties will have another fight for the slot of opposition leader. While the chairman and deputy chairman were elected on Monday, elections for the opposition leader are yet to take place. The opposition leader is chosen by a majority vote of members of the opposition. It seems that PTI is far behind PPP as the former has 20 members in the house while the latter has twelve members. PTI enjoys support of one independent lawmaker from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) which takes their tally to 13. Sources in PPP and PTI told Pakistan Today that PPP has conveyed the PTI leadership of its decision to name Sherry Rehman for the slot. However, the sources said that PTI has informed PPP that since PPP had already slots of opposition leader in the National Assembly (NA), the slot for opposition leader in the Senate was PTI’s right. On the other hand, Senator Azam Swati looks upbeat about the prospects of a consensus candidate for the slot. “We are in contact with the PPP leadership and hopefully a joint candidate is likely to be agreed upon between the

two parties. We strongly believe that the opposition should not stand divided on the issue of opposition leader and hopefully the matter would be settled amicably,” he said. When asked that how many lawmakers the PTI had reached to seek support, Swati said that when PPP had started contacting the opposition members, PTI had already done so. Asked whether his nomination may get a nod from PPP, Swati said that PPP is likely to support his candidature which was a right of PTI as PPP had its hands full with offices in the two houses of the parliament. It merits mention that Swati has been an active lawmaker among the opposition members and tabled 32 private bills during the past two years of his tenure. He has also been a vocal member and takes part in debate on a regular basis. PPP started lobbying for Senator Sherry Rehman on Wednesday after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted her nomination for the slot of opposition leader in the Senate. As the PPP leader has been involved in reviving the party’s image through symbolism, Bilawal expressed hope that Rehman would become the first female opposition leader in the Senate, saying, “PPP is ready to make history again”. Meanwhile, a PPP delegation comprising of Senator Rehman, the newly elected Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla, National Assembly Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah and others visited various members of the upper house of parliament from FATA. The delegation thanked FATA senators for their role in the victory of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and

michael, kareem take oath as ministers ISLAMABAD: Senator Kamran Michael and Senator Hafiz Abdul Kareem took oath as the federal ministers at the President’s House on Wednesday. President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to the new ministers. Both Kamran Michael and Abdul Kareem, from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), were elected as senators in elections of the upper house of the parliament, held on March 3. The federal ministers, senior government officials, and political

Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala and sought their support for Senator Rehman’s election. Khursheed Shah also met Sanjrani to congratulate him on becoming the chairman and the latter requested the former to pray for his success as the post was a huge responsibility for him. Shahrbano Rehman, better known as Sherry Rehman, was born on December 21, 1960, in Karachi. She was educated at Smith College and later at the University of Sussex where she studied Art History and Political Science. Rehman served as an MNA and a minister in the centre for various departments including health, women development and information. She also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to United States in PPP-led government’s recent term. Azam Khan Swati was born in Mansehra. Swati started his career as a practicing lawyer in Karachi but then left for the USA in 1978. In 1997, Swati established PakOil Company and acquired a jobbership for Exxon, Chevron, Mobil, Shell and Diamond Shamrock. Besides fuel distribution and wholesale business, he has handsome investments in real estate in the Beaumont-Golden Triangle area as well as in the bordering state of Louisiana. During his stay in the US, Swati keenly studied the American institutions and functioning of their democratic system. He felt the urge to help his country of origin by transferring the experience he had acquired in the US. He took along a burning desire to see American values of liberty, justice, the right to pursue happiness, civil liberties, rule of law, and due process transplanted in Pakistan.

workers were present at the ceremony. Senator Abdul Kareem was elected as Member of National Assembly (MNA) from NA-172 of Dera Ghazi Khan in 2013 polls. After the election of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in August 2017, he was included in the cabinet. Later, he was appointed as the federal minister for communication for the first time. Michael was elected as the Senate member in 2012 for the first time on one of 10 seats reserved for minorities after the killing of Shahbaz Bhatti. After PML-N’s victory in 2013 elections, he was appointed as the minister for ports and shipping where he served until June 2016. In 2017, he was appointed as the federal minister for statistics by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. STAFF REPORT


Pakistan, russia discuss regional security situation ISLAMABAD: A Russian delegation led by Security Council of Russian Federation (SCRF) Deputy Secretary MM Popov, accompanied by SCRF Assistant Secretary AN Venediktov and TP Boykov, called on National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua for an elaborate discussion on Wednesday. Besides focusing on enhancing the scope of bilateral relations and cooperation, matters pertaining to regional security situation came under deliberate discussion. The adviser warmly received and welcomed the guests and thanked them for coming over to Pakistan. “Such visits always prove to be instrumental in enhancing better understanding and further strengthening of bilateral relations,” he said. He, subsequently, gave them a detailed presentation focusing on the global trends of power politics, regional security situation, Pakistan’s role against terrorism and also in maintaining the regional strategic balance. Janjua adequately highlighted connectivity potential of Pakistan and how the whole world could benefit from it. MM Popov reiterated the commitment of his government to enhance cooperation with Pakistan in all possible areas including military, defence, intelligence, security, energy and training. Both the sides expressed satisfaction over the upward trajectory of bilateral relations and expressed a strong resolve to strengthen it further. The Russian delegation also called on Foreign Affairs Secretary Tehmina Janjua at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two sides discussed defence and security relations and expressed satisfaction on the current level of cooperation. The foreign secretary elaborated on Pakistan’s improved security situation in the country and ongoing counter-terrorism efforts. She also expressed satisfaction at the increasing military and technical cooperation between Pakistan and Russia. The talks were marked by convergence of views between the two sides on various global and regional issues of mutual interest. The Russian side expressed deep appreciation and acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution and sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. STAFF REPORT

nAB chief chairs officers’ meeting ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal chaired a meeting at the NAB headquarters to review the operational strategy of the anti-corruption watchdog. The chairman directed the NAB officers to clearly write the purpose of the call-up notices to the accused and witnesses. In case, NAB should clearly write in call-up notice the details of the alleged case against him, including the details of charges against the accused because knowing about the details of the charges and accusations was the right of any accused. He directed the officers to ensure self-respect of the witnesses as well the accused and to record their statement on the given time. The visiting witnesses should be provided complete security in the NAB office, he added. He also directed the officers that the diary of each case be written on daily basis. He said that the combined investigation would ensure that the case would be concluded in the light of the collected evidence, the statement of the accused, and the witness as per law. STAFF REPORT


At least three senators belonging to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) did not vote for the candidates for Senate top slots announced by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), an inquiry into the defeat revealed on Wednesday. According to reports, JUI-F Senator from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Mirza Afridi didn’t vote

for the PML-N’s candidates for Senate chairman and deputy chairman. Out of the seven votes that the PML-N coalition fell short of, two senators who didn’t vote for the candidates still remain unidentified. Reports said that only Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri from the JUI-F voted for the ruling party candidates. Former PML-N president Nawaz Sharif and JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman met on Wednesday after the former’s appearance before the accountability court. The former prime minister conveyed his reservations over the Senate debacle to his longtime ally. Fazl assured Nawaz Sharif that he will hold an inquiry into the matter. PML-N Senator Kulsoom Parveen, who hails from Balochistan, also admitted to voting for


rival candidate Sadiq Sanjrani. The ruling PML-N lost the race to appoint their favoured candidates to the top Senate slots as Sadiq Sanjrani, an opposition-backed candidate from Balochistan, was appointed Senate chairman on Monday. Sanjrani secured 57 votes out of possible 103 votes and was administered the oath by presiding officer Sardar Yaqub Khan. Sanjrani, an independent, had been backed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P). According to reports, Sanjrani also had the support of independent senators elected from the FATA. PML-N candidate Raja Zafarul Haq, who was backed by the National Party (NP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party

(PkMAP), PML-Functional and the Awami National Party, received 46 votes. Talking to media at the accountability court, Nawaz Sharif rejected the notion of managing the next elections in 2018 likewise the Senate elections recently from some quarters, saying the world has progressed and now the situation was not the same as in the past. To a query from a journalist regarding managing of elections through the interim government, he said that the interim government could not do anything which is above the law. He asked as to what was the reason that those from PPP, Bani Gala and Karachi all bowed down before Sanjrani of Balochistan. “The masses should know what happened that the three of them reached at the same point like GPS,” he said.


Thursday, 15 March, 2018





HIEF Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday revealed that he has received a new letter from absconding police officer Rao Anwar which requests the apex court to unfreeze his bank accounts. The Supreme Court (SC) was hearing the case regarding the extrajudicial killing of 27-year-old Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud in Karachi who was falsely accused of terrorism and killed during a fake encounter conducted by Rao Anwar and his team. A three-member bench of the apex court noted that it was yet to be confirmed if the letter was indeed from the

suspended SSP Malir. The letter was, however, made part of the record. “I do not know whether the letter is real or fake,” the CJP said about the letter, which is now the second message received directly by Justice Nisar allegedly written by the absconding police official. “The letter has been kept in a file.” In his first letter, sent last month, the officer had claimed that he was innocent and that he was not present at the site of the encounter when Mehsud was killed. The officer had also requested for a free and fair joint investigation team to look into the controversy. The court in response had asked Anwar to appear before the bench; however, on his failure to do so, the SC had issued a show-cause notice to the police officer for committing contempt of court by not surrendering before it despite being given a fair chance. The law enforcement agencies were also ordered by the court to locate his whereabouts and arrest him. “Isn’t Rao Anwar being protected by political powers,” Justice Nisar inquired during the court proceedings on Wednesday, to which Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh AD Khowaja said that he, as a responsible officer, could

Imran says no personal enmity with Nawaz, Zardari

‘They can throw a shoe at me, I’m standing here’ JEHLUM STAFF REPORT

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said that he has no personal enmity with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, adding that his fight is against corruption. “I didn’t have any personal enmity with Nawaz or Zardari. Both of them take looted money abroad. Our fight is against thieves,” he said in an address to a gathering of PTI workers. Continuing with his criticism of the former prime minister, Imran said Nawaz Sharif thinks he can deceive the masses once again by electing his brother Shehbaz Sharif as PML-N president. “Shehbaz Sharif, it is your turn now,” he said. The PTI chief vowed to defeat ‘thieves’, saying his party will emerge victorious in the upcoming general elections. A scuffle broke out at the gathering later, barely a day after a similar fight broke in the party’s workers convention in Gujrat. Addressing another gathering in the city, Imran said the upcoming election would change the fate of the country. Mocking the ruling PML-N, he said that the party’s leaders were afraid to address the public since shoe-hurling incidents in their rallies. “Someone else is throwing shoes at PML-N and the party is taking it out on PTI,” he added. “We are not afraid [of shoes being hurled at us]. If there is anyone from PML-N here, they can throw a shoe at me, I’m standing here,” said Imran, standing atop a car.

not confirm that. Justice Umar Ata Bandial noted that it was evident that someone was providing protection to all of the accused named in the case. On the other hand, Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mehmood informed the court that all suspected individuals have switched off their mobile phones. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has said that it is providing technical assistance to Sindh police while the Military Intelligence (MI) claims that it has limited technical means to trace the suspects but it is still aiding the civilian law enforcement agencies, added Mehmood.

In response to the chief justice’s query about the cooperation of intelligence agencies with the police, IGP Khowaja responded in affirmative. “Both the MI and ISI are cooperating with the Sindh police,” Khowaja informed the apex court, adding that the case’s challan had been submitted and the First Information Report (FIR) had been cancelled. Faisal Siddiqui, representing Naqeeb’s father, asserted that the authority of the state was being questioned as only 10 of the 24 accused have been arrested while IG Khowaja claimed 12 arrests have been made so far. “Questions are being raised on the state’s authority,” Siddiqui said, to which Justice Nisar responded by saying that the question on the state’s authority is very important. Khowaja, on the other hand, stressed that the police was making efforts to arrest the absconding suspects. Justice Nisar then ordered the Sindh police chief to give the court an in-camera briefing on the CCTV footage of Anwar on the next hearing. Director General (DG) Airports Security Force (ASF) Major General Ali Abbas Haider was also summoned at the next hearing. The case was then adjourned until March 16.


International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano on Wednesday said that Pakistan had nuclear reactors with the most advanced safety features. He visited the K-2 and K-3 nuclear power plants and addressed the one-day seminar on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, organised by the Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) and the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) to highlight the importance of nuclear energy in Pakistan’s economic development.

Yukiya Amano said that Pakistan had a long history of cooperation with the IAEA, starting with the inception of the agency itself in 1957. Pakistan’s cooperation with the agency had been reciprocal, wherein the international agency had also greatly benefitted from Pakistan’s nuclear expertise and its human resources. He further said that Pakistan had been a beneficiary of IAEA assistance and its government was fully committed to enhance its collaboration with the agency in diverse fields, ranging from nuclear power development to that of human health, agriculture and livestock. He said that Pakistan had conceptualised and developed an intensive programme for peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which offered great opportunities. Pakistan was fully committed to IAEA’s objectives, he added. “I

am very impressed to see that Pakistan has taken all possible nuclear safety and security measures,” he said and added that the reactors had advanced safety features. He also appreciated that Pakistan’s enhancement of crop yield in the field of agriculture. IAEA DG mentioned that Pakistan and IAEA had a mutually beneficial and wide ranging cooperation. Foreign Ministry Security Division Director General Dr Zafar Ali said that Pakistan was all set to be a full member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and to contribute towards achieving sustainable development goals worldwide. Pakistan had offered to share its experience and expertise with other countries in the area of peaceful uses of nuclear technology, nuclear safety and security, non- proliferation and export controls.

HRw urges Pakistan to drop cases against PtM leaders ISLAMABAD: The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Pakistan to drop cases against representatives of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) and urged the country to end its longstanding discriminatory laws and practices against Pashtuns. On Tuesday, the PTM representatives were booked by police in a case pertaining to criticising the army and intelligence agencies. Manzoor Pashteen, Mohsin Dawri and Ali Wazir of PTM have been nominated in an FIR which was registered at Qila Saifullah police station under the directives of the SHO. Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) MPA Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogazai was also nominated in the FIR along with Awami National Party’s (ANP) District President Hidayatullah Kakar and Khan Zaman. The text of the FIR stated that Manzoor Pashteen had criticised the army and intelligence agencies. The FIR stated that in the speeches that were made during the March 10 rally at Qila Saifullah, suspects attempted to incite Pashtuns against the state. “Pakistani officials should recognise the country’s diversity as a strength and not a weakness. All persons are equal before the law,” the HRW said. “Critically, the government needs to end its longstanding discriminatory laws and practices against Pashtuns and act to end hostile attitudes toward them. This process could start by dropping the criminal cases against Manzoor Pashteen and other protest leaders wrongfully charged, fully investigating and fairly prosecuting those responsible for Naqeebullah Mehsud’s death, and letting Pashtun voices be heard.” Pashteen’s alleged crime is to demand equal citizenship for Pashtuns, the second largest ethnic group in Pakistan, who have been protesting for the past two months, calling for an end to discrimination and ethnic stereotyping. The protests were sparked by the alleged extrajudicial killing by police of Naqeebullah Mehsud, 27, in Karachi in early January. The peaceful demonstrations have now spread across the country. For instance, last week, a group of Pashtun students held a sit-in outside the office of the vicechancellor of the Punjab University Lahore, protesting discrimination by the university administration. “Many Pakistani Pashtuns live in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the embattled area bordering Afghanistan that in recent years has endured attacks by the Taliban armed group, government military offensives, and US drone strikes. FATA is still governed by colonial-era regulations that allow “collective punishment” for entire communities, including property destruction, and largely denies people access to courts to enforce their rights. In 2016, when about a million displaced residents returned home following 2014 military operations against the Taliban, they had to produce special identification cards not required of other Pakistanis. STAFF REPORT

UN observers narrowly escape Indian firing across LoC NEWS DESK A team of the United Nations Military Observers Mission for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), comprising of three members, got a first-hand experience of Indian atrocities along the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday, after Indian forces shot and critically injured two locals who were informing them about ceasefire violations in the area, officials said. Abbaspur police official Qazi Arslan, while talking to an English daily newspaper, said that the attack occurred when the UN observers reached Abbaspur sector in Poonch district at noon.

He said the UN team had reached the area in two official white vehicles that also carried the symbolic blue UN flags. “The UN team was gathering information from locals in Polas village about Indian ceasefire violations when Indian troops started firing from across the volatile border located one kilometre away from where the observers were present,” Arslan said. In the aftermath of the incident, two locals, identified as Sardar Saghir and Muhammad Azam Qureshi, were left critically injured. The former belonged to Polas while the latter was from Taroti village. Arslan said that the UN observers were lucky to have escaped the incident


unscathed, adding that the team immediately left for Abbaspur to inquire about the condition of the critically injured men who were brought to the medical facility by the locals. The news spread like wild-fire in Abbaspur, after which locals came out on the streets and protested against the barbaric Indian act. A local activist Saqib Mushtaq said, “This incident supports our claims that India has been committing ceasefire violations and is actively targeting civilians on our side of the border.” Meanwhile, as protestors condemned the UN team for “abandoning the injured” who needed immediate medical attention, police official Ar-

slan said that the UN observers themselves were shocked over the incident because they had passed a ‘hotline message’ to the Indian border command to notify them beforehand of their visit to the LoC. He said the injured men were shifted to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan Hospital in Rawalkot. “Later, the UN team went to Poonch district headquarters to record their statements in connection with the Indian firing incident,” he added. On the other hand, Pakistan Army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), had yet to issue any statement in connection with the incident.

Thursday, 15 March, 2018

JMIo bIll INtRoduced IN Na foR INfoRMatIoN excHaNge ISLAMABAD



INISTER for Defence Khurram Dastgir introduced the Joint Maritime Information Organisation (JMIO) Bill 2018 in the National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday. The JMIO would act as a nerve centre for collecting, fusing, and disseminating information related to maritime domain to all stakeholders. Since the concept involved a number of stakeholders and agencies, which had peculiar command structures and organisations, therefore, a bill passed by the parliament was considered imperative to achieving seamless integration of all organisations. The maritime security had assumed significant importance in the contemporary global environment. Major threats emanating at sea include piracy, transnational criminal activities, illegal fishing, smuggling, human and drug trafficking, gun running, etc. Such threats could assume asymmetric proportions for the state.

Early detection and timely warning to various agencies responsible for maritime security would enable coordinated, immediate, and effective response to emerging situations. Majority of the maritime states had already restructured their maritime security organisations under a similar concept. Pakistan Navy conceived Joint Maritime Information Organisation (JMIO) concept in 2012 to establish a formal mechanism for effective exchange of maritime related information between all stakeholders. Consequently, a Joint Maritime Information Coordination Centre (JMICC) was established under the auspices of Pakistan Navy at PNS Qasim in Karachi on February 7, 2013. AIr chIef pAyS fAreweLL cALL on Defence MInISter: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman paid a farewell call on Defence Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan here on Wednesday. The defence minister lauded the meritorious services of the air chief during his tenure as head of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). He also appreciated

Punjab emergency service to launch Rescue scout Programme LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The Punjab Emergency Service (PES Rescue 1122) is going to launch a “Rescue Scout Program” in schools for education on child safety and lifesaving skills. In this regard, the PES on Wednesday organised a consultative workshop “Child Safety through Education” at the Emergency Services Academy, Thokar Niaz Baig. The program has been standardised in consultation with Citizens Mobility & Development Foundation, representatives from public and private universities, the Schools Education Department, Dolphin Police, TEVTA, Punjab Energy Efficiency Conservation Agency, Quaid-e-Azam Academy for Educational Development, Child Protection & Welfare Bureau, Aitchison College, Pakistan Girl Guides Association Club Punjab, Boys Scouts Association Punjab, Pink Ribbon, Akhuwat Foundation, Beaconhouse School System, School of Contemporary and Islamic Learning, Oxford University Press, and University of the Punjab. Speaking the occasion, PES Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer said the main objective of the programme was to utilise the skills of middle school children to apprise their parents and families in this context and raise them as responsible citizens of a safer Pakistan. He highlighted that road safety was, unfortunately, a critical problem and added that road traffic crashes were the leading cause of deaths and disabilities amongst youngsters. He said it was also causing a huge socioeconomic burden on the society. The DG appreciated the entire team of the School Safety Wing for organising the workshop and thanked the participants for giving their valuable input to refine the modules of school safety.

Pakistan elected in three oIc subsidiary organs

PakIstaN asks INdIa to eNsuRe safety of PakIstaNI offIcIals ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir on Wednesday strongly condemned harassment and intimidation of Delhi-based Pakistani diplomats and their families. In a statement, he said security of the diplomats and their families was the responsibility of the Indian government and demanded that concrete steps should be taken to ensure safety and security of Pakistani officials and their families. The minister regretted that such incidents are taking place despite raising of the issue repeatedly with the Indian ministry of external affairs. On Tuesday, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and lodged a strong protest at the maltreatment being meted out to the officials and families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. According to the Foreign Office, the staff of Pakistan High Commission and their families continue to face intense harassment, intimidation and outright violence from the Indian state agencies. The Foreign Office said that these incidents have escalated exponentially in the last few days. STAFF REPORT

Aman’s role in strengthening the air defences of the country and increasing the operational capabilities of the air force by putting it on modern lines. Talking to the air chief, the defence minister said the government was taking

all necessary steps to improve the capabilities of the armed forces so that they could tackle all the challenges being faced by the country, and to ensure the foolproof defence of Pakistan’s international boundaries.

Balochistan advocate general resigns, to participate in SCBA polls QUETTA PPI

Balochistan Advocate General (AG) Amanullah Kanrani has announced his resignation in order to participate in the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) elections as its president. He made this announcement at a press conference here on Wednesday. Kanrani said that he was appointed as AG in September 2016 by then Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri. He said that since then he discharged his duty but during this period there were major issues. The biggest of them was the August 8, 2016, incident in which 60 lawyers were martyred and 80 were injured. After this incident

being the AG, he did whatever was possible to contact the relatives of martyred and injured lawyers. A three-member bench of Supreme Court headed by Asif Saeed Khosa appreciated Kanrani’s services and also directed lawyers to establish contact with him. Kanrani said that a matter of 3197 acres of land in Gwadar, on which some people had claimed ownership had also emerged. That case was won and the land was handed over to the government. He said that Balochistan gets presidentship of the SCBA after every five years. Kanrani had also resigned from office in 2013 with the intention to participate in the elections but could not secure success. Now

Balochistan will get the PCBA’s presidentship in October 2018. The AG has sent his resignation to Balochistan’s governor and also held a meeting with him. He is hopeful of his resignation being accepted. Answering a question, Amanullah Kanrani said that he has to contact lawyers from all over the country and needs maximum time for this purpose. Therefore, he has resigned from the office. Answering another question, he said that the lawyers’ community had fully supported him in the previous elections but he was not successful due to non-availability of votes in Islamabad. This time he hopes of seeking the cooperation of all friends.

Four ‘militants’ killed in Rangers' Lyari action KARACHI STAFF REPORT

At least five alleged militants were killed in the Lyari operation conducted by Sindh Rangers after an attack with a grenade and automatic weapons was directed at the law enforcement agencies’ vehicle, martyring one Rangers personnel and leaving four others injured on late Tuesday night. According to details, the security forces conducted an operation in Ali Mohammad Mohalla of the Lyari after being attacked a day earlier. An exchange of fire between the alleged militants and Rangers occurred dur-

ing the raids. In an exchange of fire, one Rangers personnel was martyred while four were injured who were shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi. One terrorist was killed in retaliatory fire. One hand grenade, three homemade bombs, one 9-mm pistol and magazines were recovered from the slain terrorist. On the other hand, the relatives of the killed terrorist claimed that he was mentally challenged and had nothing to do with criminal activities. However, police and Rangers officials have denied the family's claim, saying the deceased suspect was a militant. The Rangers' spokesperson denied the

family's claim that the militant, Chakar Ali, was mentally challenged, saying the force considered him a terrorist. Moreover, City SSP Sheeraz Nazeer told a private news outlet that Ali was a drug addict, not mentally challenged. Chakar Ali was associated with gangsters and his brother Shahzad is also wanted by the police in many cases, added the senior officer. Moreover, the terrorists who were hiding in the area opened fire on the security personnel. In retaliation, four more militants were killed. Four Kalashnikovs were also recovered from their possession. All those killed belonged to Ghaffar Zikri group.



sc acquits death row prisoner convicted in wife’s murder ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The Supreme Court (SC) has acquitted a death row prisoner, nine years after he was convicted of killing his wife. Farhat Abbas Shah allegedly set his wife, Salma Bibi, on fire on June 6, 2009, near GT Road. Critically injured Salma Bibi gave a statement before the police in which she accused her husband of setting her aflame. She died shortly after recording her statement. Police arrested Shah and booked him in the murder case registered at Gujar Khan Police Station, District Rawalpindi. A trial court awarded him death sentence which was subsequently upheld by the Lahore High Court (LHC) in 2011. He then filed a petition in Supreme Court seeking acquittal. A threemember bench of the top court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Dost Muhammad Khan, heard the case. The top court, in its verdict, observed that there were no witnesses to the incident and the only evidence against Shah was the statement by the deceased. The bench also noted that the medico-legal certificate revealed that word ‘somebody’ attributed to Salma Bibi was subsequently changed into ‘husband’. “The specific word was recorded by Dr Farhat Javeed who had also put deceased under that change,” the bench remarked.

Nab summons ex-kP official in Imran’s helicopter case PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday summoned former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) administration secretary Hassan Muhammad Yousufzai to appear for questioning in connection with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s use of the provincial government’s helicopters. According to sources in NAB, Yousufzai was serving as the secretary of administration when Imran had allegedly used the government helicopters for personal trips. The Civil Aviation Authority and the Administration Department had previously submitted their records to the bureau. On February 3, Imran had said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had clarified that there was never any personal or private use of government helicopters by him. According to a statement by the provincial government, since 2013, the PTI-led government has not used these helicopters for any purpose other than the official business. It added that Imran has never used any of the official helicopters for his private or personal use, so the question of hiring the helicopter at commercial rates does not arise. It also said that a government helicopter is never given for private use, adding that Imran Khan accompanied the ministersadvisers of KP on their official tours on 39 occasions in last four and a half years. Furthermore, KP helicopters are maintained and operated by Askari Aviation, against fixed monthly charges, irrespective of the usage. In cases of usage, fuel charges are paid by the provincial government to the Askari Aviation as billed by the same. It also said that the trips mentioned in a section of the media were all official visits.






Pakistan has been elected as a member of governing boards of three subsidiary organs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The three organs are Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT), Islamic University of Technology (IUT), and Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA). The honour came during the 41st session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs (ICECS) held in Jeddah.

The National Assembly was informed on Wednesday that the country’s firstever water policy will be announced on March 22. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet at Prime Minister’s Office where the cabinet accorded approval for the presentation of draft water policy before the Council of Common Interests (CCI). The planning commis-

sion deputy chairman briefed the cabinet in detail about the issues relating to water management in the country and the firstever draft water policy of the country. Briefing the meeting about main features of the national policy framework, he said that the policy aims at the introduction of integrated water management for addressing water-related challenges. The policy addresses issues relating to enhancing water storage capacity, conservation, research and development, capacity building of existing administrative departments, allocation of

financial resources and establishment of the institutional set-up at provincial levels. Minister for Water Resources Javed Ali Shah told the House during the question-hour session on Wednesday that it is for the first time in the country’s history that a water policy has been formulated covering all aspects, including water conservation and storage. He said that a steering committee will oversee the implementation of water policy. Javed Ali Shah said the groundbreaking of Munda Dam will be performed in Mohmand Agency next month. It will help generate 800 megawatts of electricity besides irrigating 16,700 acres of land. He said funds are available for this project and efforts will be made to complete it at the earliest.

Minister of State for Maritime Affairs Jaffar Iqbal told the House that Gwadar port is in the development phase and it will become a profitable entity in the next two to three years. He said that modern machinery has been placed at the port to load and offload the goods from containers. Responding to a call attention notice, Minister for Water Resources Javed Ali Shah said that water was being distributed among the provinces in accordance with Water Accord of 1991. He said the share of Sindh was 19 thousand cusecs but it was given over nineteen thousand and one hundred cusecs. He categorically made it clear that the government has no desire to shift the water share of one province to the other.



Thursday, 15 March, 2018


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N a historic and landmark development, the marriages of Sikh community on Wednesday got a legal status as the Punjab Assembly unanimously passed the much awaited ‘Punjab Anand Karaj Bill’ during its ongoing 34th session. The bill would enable Sikh couples to register their marriages at the Union Council (UC) level. As per the details, the only Sikh Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Punjab Ramesh Singh Arora moved the bill that was passed unanimously as not a single lawmaker in the house both from the treasury and opposition benches opposed it. Arora received a huge applause soon after the passage of the bill and lawmakers from both the opposition and treasury benches congratulated him over his efforts for the said bill. “It is the first of its kind legislation in the entire world and today the august house of the Punjab Assembly has made a history by taking a lead in this regard,” Arora said while also paying gratitude to Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Khalil Tahir Sandhu as according to Arora it was impossible to draft the bill without the support of these ministers. He said the Punjab government had proved that it was a prominority government and took care of the minorities’ due rights as enshrined in the constitution.

Arora also said that he was receiving hundreds of phone calls from countries including United Kingdom, United States and Canada, and they all were expressing gratitude for passing the landmark bill that would also help them as they would easily get the registration certificates of their marriages from Pakistan and the document would be very beneficial for them “So far, the bill help over 12,000 Sikhs living in Punjab, but soon it would also be passed by the National Assembly and its spectrum would be spread for around 25,000 Sikhs living countrywide,” he said while also criticising India, which he said, could not pass such a legislation despite the fact that it claimed to be the largest secular state in the world. “The marriages of Sikh couples in India get registered under the Hindu Marriage Act,” he added. Rarity could be seen in the house on Wednesday as leader of opposition Mian Mehmoodur Rashid of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) himself congratulated Arora while also acknowledging his efforts for the Sikh community. Minority MPA from opposition benches Shunila Ruth also congratulated Arora and said that it could be even better if the government itself had moved the

bill instead of making it a Private Member Bill that Arora moved in his personal capacity despite the fact that he sat on the treasury benches. It is worth mentioning here that the ‘Punjab Anand Karaj Bill’ is the first Private Member Bill that the Punjab Assembly has passed during its current tenure. SALIENT FEATURES OF THE BILL: The salient features of the bill include the registration Sikh couples’ marriages, commonly known as Anand Karaj, at the UC level. Marriages that took place even before the passage of the bill would also get a legal status after getting registered at the UC level. As per the report of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and Minority Affairs of the Punjab Assembly, the main objective of the bill was to codify the law in order to regulate marriages and their dissolution as well among the Sikh community. The bill has defined Anand Karaj as a lawful union of a Sikh male and a Sikh female solemnised under the act and conducted in accordance with the practices of the Sikh religion. Minimum age of 18 years has also been set for the couples to get married. According to a copy of the bill available with Pakistan Today, the bridegroom and the bride shall fill the

Anand Karaj form and present it within thirty days of marriage to the Anand Karaj Registrar for registration of the marriage and a copy would also be sent to the chairman of the UC. The bill further states that the government should grant licenses to individuals professing Sikh religion to be called Anand Karaj Registrar, authorising them to grant Anand Karaj certificates. The bill has elaborated the ways for the dissolution of marriage as well. Any party wishing to dissolve the marriage would have to submit a written notice to the UC chairman describing his or her consent. The chairman would then constitute an arbitration council within thirty days and the dissolution certificate would be issued by the chairman in case the council fails to make reconciliation between the couple even after the lapse of 90 days since the written notice was received by the UC chairman. The ‘Punjab Anand Karaj Bill’ was first introduced in the house on October 24, 2017, during the assembly’s 32nd session. The Standing Committee on Human Rights and Minority Affairs considered the bill in its meetings held on Dec 13, 2017, Feb 20, 2018, and March 7, 2018, before presenting it in the house. The meetings were attended by Ramesh Singh Arora himself who also heads the said committee while treasury MPAs from minorities, including Kanji Ram, Zulfiqar Ghori and Shahzad Munshi and Shunila Ruth from opposition benches also participated in the meetings to give their input on the bill. Human Rights and Minority Affairs Department Secretary Asim Iqbal and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department Deputy Director Mohsin Bukhari also attended the meetings. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Today on Tuesday had published a news story stating that the bill would unanimously be passed on Wednesday.

Undertrial murder suspect escapes from Bahawalpur hospital STAFF REPORT


LAHORE A report containing details of the departmental inquiries carried out from July 2016 to January 2018 on Wednesday was presented at a meeting of the Punjab AntiCorruption Establishment (ACE). The meeting chaired by the ACE Lahore Director General (DG) Brigadier (r) Muzaffar Ali Ranjha, was told that a recovered amount of Rs2 billion was added to the national exchequer while another Rs3 billion was to be added soon. It was also revealed during the meeting that within the said duration of two years, a total number of 33,821 complaints were received and 33,198 of the complaints were addressed and settled. 16,840 inquiries were initiated while 16,499 were brought to their logical conclusions.










PA passes resolution seeking ban on ‘DJ nights’ in educational institutions LAHORE: A private member resolution demanding a permanent ban on DJ, dance parties and musical nights in all educational institutions across the province was passed by the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday The resolution presented by Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Sheikh Ijaz Ahmed of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was unanimously passed against “DJ Nights” in education institutes. “It is a conspiracy to promote the western culture that is spoiling our students in educational institutions and is also against our own culture and the ideology of Pakistan,” he said in his resolution. Demanding a ban on such activities, the resolution added that the youth should be rescued from immorality over which the education authorities were silent. STAFF REPORT

Another ‘wicket falls’ as Pml-n’s raza nasrullah joins PtI LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) former member provincial assembly (MPA) Raza Nasrullah Ghuman on Wednesday announced joining rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after a meeting with PTI chief Imran Khan. A number of Ghuman’s supporters also joined the party, the PTI said on its social media. It is worth mentioning that including Ghuman, the ruling PML-N has lost four members to the PTI within the past 20 days. Last week, PML-N Member National Assembly (MNA) Raza Hayat Hiraj joined the PTI and before him, Dr Nisar Jatt from Faisalabad met the PTI chairman on March 2 and announced joining the party. The PTI chairman on the occasions had appreciated the new joinings and said that it would be proved in the near future that the lawmakers made the right decision by detaching themselves from “a mafia”. STAFF REPORT

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) CEO Qazi Azmat and Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Secretary Omar Hamid Khan sign an MoU to implement poverty graduation strategy across Pakistan under the National Poverty Graduation Programme (NPGP). BISP Chairperson Marvi Memon was also present at the occasion.

CHINIOT: Over a dozen passengers were injured when a bus collided with tractor trolley and overturned near Chiniot, media reports said on Wednesday. Two among the 20 reported injured are said to be in critical condition. The passenger bus travelling from Muzaffargarh to Sialkot had flipped over after a collision with tractor trolley. Rescue teams were informed immediately. All those injured were admitted to the nearby hospital. Rescue officials confirmed that the two persons injured in the accident were in serious condition. The passengers were mostly wedding-goers who were returning from Muzaffargarh to Sialkot. STAFF REPORT

'Recovered amount of Rs2 bln added to treasury' RANA HAIDER

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over a dozen injured after bus collides with tractor trolley

BAHAWALPUR An undertrial murder suspect, who was under medical treatment at Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital, escaped from the premises of the hospital on Wednesday. According to media reports, the suspect, identified as Muzaffar Dil, was imprisoned at Central Jail of Bahawalpur and was brought to the hospital for treatment on March 3. Four police officials, deployed on the security of the suspect, were arrested and an investigation was launched against them. The police officials said that suspect belonged to District Lodhran. On June 15, 2017, two suspected militants from banned organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) escaped from jail in Karachi. Sheikh Muhammad alias Firon and Ahmed Khan alias Manako, both undertrial prisoners, managed to escape from the judicial complex of the jail during a hearing, the officials said.


Moreover, 4,175 cases were registered out of which 3,527 were closed after completion of investigations. 1,919 challans were also submitted besides 2,869 arrests, at least 509 raids being carried out and the direct recovery of 126.24 million rupees. Imperative decisions regarding the recovery of cash in cases pertaining to monetary values, deadlines of the cases and visits to the circles of the regional directors as well as the tehsil (sub-district) offices, were also made during the meeting. Additional director general, all regional directors and officers from the headquarters also participated in the meeting. Speaking at the occasion, ACE Lahore DG Brigadier (r) Muzaffar Ali Ranjha said that the anti-corruption department was an independent authority working without any pressure. “This is why the department has suc-

cessfully cracked major corruption scandals of the Punjab Power Development Company, Punjab Saaf Pani Company, Punjab Land Development Company and Punjab Constabulary Multan,” he said and added that a lot of work was still needed to be done in order to maintain the good name of the department. He told that seven kanals of land had been acquired for the construction of the anti-corruption regional office in Rawalpindi whereas a beautiful office building of the department had already been established in Sargodha. “The reason behind the establishment of these offices is to offer the best working environment to the officers,” he said. The ACE Lahore DG said that the department’s modern computerised system was not only praised by former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Anwar Jamali, but it was also declared Asia’s best case man-

agement system by the representatives of the World Bank. He also directed the regional directors to wrap up all monetary value cases of the year 2015 by April 31, and those of 2016 by June 2018. He ordered the regional directors to ensure recovery of the embezzled money so that it could be added to the national exchequer. During a presentation, anti-corruption spokesperson Sadia Ijaz shared the facts and figures of all cases that had surfaced within the years 2008 and 2017. It was revealed in the presentation that 607 cases against the Government and Community Development, 249 against Communication & Works, and the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department respectively, 195 cases against the Irrigation Department, 165 against the Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department, 127 against the Revenue Department and 125

cases against the School Education Department were registered. Similarly, 82 cases against the Forestry and Wildlife Department, 61 cases against the Home Department, 59 against the Agriculture Department, 58 against the Service and General Administration Department, 55 against the Higher Education Department, 33 cases against the Cooperative Department, and another 230 cases against several departments including the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department, Human Rights and Minorities Affairs, and the Planning and Development Department, to name a few, were also registered. It was told that all the said cases were registered against officers of BS-17 to 22 over alleged corruption. Following the presentation, ACE Lahore DG Ranjha appreciated the efforts of the anti-corruption department’s officers for their exceptional performance and directed them to ensure that no applicant suffered due to any sorts of delay in serving justice.


Thursday, 15 March, 2018

hrcP says Ihc ruling on declaration of faith cause for serious concern

‘Pml-n to contInue mIssIon of PublIc servIce, ProsPerIty’

LAHORE: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday said that the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) recent ruling requiring a declaration of faith was a cause for serious concern. “The HRCP is appalled by the recent IHC ruling that makes a declaration of faith mandatory for government and semi-government job applicants, as well as for the armed forces, judiciary and the civil services,” said the commission and added that the ruling had serious repercussions for all religious minorities. “Requiring a faith declaration for computerised national identity cards, passports, birth certificates and entry into the voters’ lists will further choke the capacity of the minorities to exercise their fundamental rights. These requirements will only enable and deepen institutional discrimination against minority communities,” said the HRCP. HRCP, which has long documented institutionalised discrimination by the state as well as the violent attacks by extremists against religious minorities, observed that it was the state’s responsibility to protect all citizens regardless of their ethnic, religious and regional identities. The commission said that the court’s ruling could lead to an increase in instances of aggression and violence against the Ahmadiyya community in particular. “The consequences of this ruling could be deadly for members of the Ahmadiyya community, given their already precarious personal safety situation in the country,” the HRCP added. “Forums for justice such as the honourable IHC should play their due role in safeguarding the fundamental rights of the most vulnerable sections of the society. It is therefore unfortunate that Pakistan’s religious minorities feel more unsafe since after the ruling by the honourable court,” said the commission. The HRCP also called on the federal government to seek the reversal of the IHC ruling through an appeal at the earliest. STAFF REPORT

UNJAB Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) would not withdraw from the mission of public service and prosperity of the country. “The Zardari-Niazi alliance is the result of fear of development in Punjab. One has made Karachi, which was once the city of lights, a filth depot while the other has ruined the beauty of the historic city of Peshawar,” said Shehbaz. Speaking at a meeting with Member National Assembly (MNA) Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, the chief minister said that the people were longing for development and prosperity instead of destructions and devastations. “The fear of the PML-N’s development agenda has forced the

Death sentence awarded to woman for killing aspiring model: report

Punjab Assembly passes eight government bills

LAHORE: An additional district and sessions judge on Tuesday sentenced to death a woman for killing an aspiring model, Abeera, through poisoning when the deceased had refused to help kill convict’s former husband, according to a report by a private media outlet. Additional District and Sessions Judge Ayesha Rasheed announced the verdict in the presence of convict Azma Rao, alias Tooba, and also imposed a fine of Rs500,000 on her. However, the judge acquitted two other suspects — Farooq Rehman and Hakeem Zeeshan — of the charges giving them the benefit of the doubt. The prosecution stated that Tooba wanted to kill her former husband, Babar Javed Butt, with the help of Abeera. It said the deceased first agreed to join the murder plot but later stepped back, which made Tooba angry. Tooba considered her former husband responsible for the death of their two-month-old daughter. Abeera had met Tooba to seek her help in pursuing a career in fashion modelling. The convict had poisoned Abeera to death in 2014. MONITORINg REPORT




promoters of politics of falsehood to unite. Niazi Sahib has disappointed the youth by colluding with the biggest malady of the country,” he said and added the hapless people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh were facing huge problems. “The elements doing the politics of negativity and mendacity can never be the leaders of the nation,” he maintained. CM Shehbaz also said that the energy crisis and terrorism were eliminated due to the sincere efforts of the PML-N government, and the people of Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi-Islamabad were enjoying the latest and most comfortable transport facilities.


After falling prey to the collapse of quorum for over two weeks, the treasury on Wednesday managed to pass as many as 8 government bills during the ongoing 34th session of the Punjab Assembly. The bills had remained pending for the past two weeks as the treasury was struggling to meet the required strength for quorum – 93 members of provincial assembly (MPAs) in the house of 371. But the government remained successful on Wednesday while putting down the opposition’s attempts to point out quorum three times. According to the details, the session started with a delay of more than one and a half hour from its scheduled time of 10 am with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan in the chair and questions of the lawmakers related to the Public Prosecution and Home departments were taken during the Question-Hour. The Punjab Anand Karaj Bill 2017 was also passed during the proceedings of the private members and two private members’ resolutions were also adopted by the house unanimously. The bills passed by the government were; The Bahawalpur Development Authority (Repeal) Bill 2018, The Limitation (Punjab Amendment) Bill 2018, The University of Narowal Bill 2018, The University of Sialkot Bill 2018, The Punjab Tianjin University of Technology Lahore Bill 2017, The Punjab Hepatitis Bill 2017, The Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Bahawalpur Bill 2018 and The Code of Civil Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill 2018. Moreover, a private member resolution moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Nausheen Hamid was also passed unanimously. Dr Nausheen in the resolution demanded concrete steps through effective legislation to curtail the acts of brutality against the students especially the disabled in all educational institutions of the province. Earlier, an MPA backed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Chaudhry Yasir Zafar Sindhu who got elected in the byelections of PP-30 Kot Momin (Sargodha) held on March 4, took the oath of his office. The session was later adjourned for Thursday morning after the completion of the agenda.

malaysian sikh group visits gurdwara sacha sauda LAHORE: A 22-member group of Sikh yatrees from Malaysia visited Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Farooqabad here on Wednesday. According to official sources, the yatrees after performing their religious rituals at Gurdwara Sacha Sauda returned to Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib where they meant to practice their religious services as well. The Sikhs had come to Nankana Sahib from Panja Sahib on Tuesday night, where they stayed for one night. On Thursday, they will visit Gurdwara Dera Sahib and also visit their religious sacred places. The group of will return to their homeland on March 16 after completing their religious trip to Pakistan. It may be mentioned that the 22-member group led by Sardar Gurumit Singh Hari Singh had arrived here for a five-day visit to Pakistan through Wahga Border on March 12 and it had left for Panja Sahib just after their arrival here. The government has made foolproof security arrangements including. APP

“If Allah grants us another opportunity, world-class transport will be introduced in other small and big cities as well,” said the chief minister and expressed satisfaction over the provision of subsidised fertilizers, cheap electricity and interest-free loans to the farmers. Shehbaz said that he was desirous of developing other cities including southern Punjab like Lahore. He pointed out that more development funds had been provided to southern Punjab as compared to its population, and added that credit for the record number of development schemes in the region went to the PML-N government. He said that even more innovative schemes would be introduced to bridge the economic divide between the “haves and have-nots at the grassroots level”. He said the government would further promote development schemes related to the health and education sectors because the provision of best facilities to the masses was the PML-N’s aim. MNA Ghulam Bibi Bharwana and other participants of the meeting congratulated the chief minister on becoming the PML-N president and hoped that the party would continue the mission of public service with renewed vigor under the leadership of Shehbaz Sharif.

‘Imran responsible for shoe-throwing culture’ LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has on Wednesday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was “responsible for the prevailing shoethrowing culture”. Speaking to media persons, he said that “senseless criticism” of the opponents in their speeches was enraging workers and subsequently leading to shoe-hurling incidents. He warned that if the practice was not stopped, no one would be spared in the near future. He particularly named Sheikh Rashid as the one “who would top the list of shoereceivers”. He further said that Khan was responsible for intolerance in the society and said that both the PTI chief and Asif Ali Zardari were the “new faces of establishment”. Commenting on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) worker Mirza Ramzan Baig’s arrest after he tried to hurl a shoe at Imran Khan, the minister said that his confessional statement was nothing but a result of all the pressure. He warned that if things continue like this, everyone including media persons could become a victim. On Sunday, PML-N founder Nawaz Sharif was attacked with a shoe at Lahore’s Jamia Naeemia. Later that day, an attempt to attack Imran Khan with a shoe was also made and the accused was arrested. However, in another incident, the PTI chief was targeted once again, but the shoe hit PTI leader Aleem Khan instead. STAFF REPORT


Thursday, 15 March, 2018




ERMAN lawmakers voted on Wednesday to re-elect Angela Merkel as chancellor for a fourth, and likely final, term that may prove her most challenging yet as she takes charge of a fragile coalition with her personal standing diminished. Lawmakers voted by 364 to 315, with nine abstentions, in favour of reelecting Merkel, a humbling start as the coalition of her conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) has 399 votes in the Bundestag lower house of parliament. “I accept the vote,” a beaming Merkel, 63, told lawmakers before being sworn in by Bundestag President Wolfgang Schaeuble. In office since 2005, she has dominated Germany’s political landscape and steered the European Union through economic crisis. But her authority was dented by her decision in 2015 to commit Germany to an open-door policy on refugees, resulting in an influx of more than one million people that laid bare deep divisions within the EU over migration. While also being locked in a trade stand-off with the US, Merkel must now juggle

competing domestic demands from within her coalition. Her conservative CDU/CSU alliance only turned to the SPD to prolong the ‘grand coalition’ that has governed Germany since 2013 out of desperation, after talks on a three-way alliance with two smaller parties collapsed last November. “It will not be an easy coalition, we have some difficult tasks ahead,” said Volker Kauder, parliamentary leader of the conservative bloc. Ministers, younger and more di-

Bulgaria picks Russia to overhaul aging MiG-29 jets

verse than the last cabinet, take up their posts almost six months after last September’s national election in which both coalition partners lost support to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). “I have the feeling that nothing good is going to be done for the country in this legislature period,” said Alice Weidel, the AfD’s leader in parliament. “It will probably be Angela Merkel’s last term and at some point it will be enough.” Abroad she faces the trade tensions with Washington, pressure from France to reform Europe, and

from Britain to stand up to Russia. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was high time for a new government to go to work. “It is good that the time of uncertainty is over,” he said at a ceremony with Merkel’s cabinet ministers. Merkel’s spokesman said she would head to France on Friday to discuss bilateral, European and international topics with President Emmanuel Macron. On Tuesday, Merkel’s spokesman said she spoke by phone with British Prime Minister Theresa May and condemned a nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian spy in England for which May held Moscow responsible. Despite that, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Merkel on her re-election in a telegram and emphasized the importance of further developing bilateral ties, the Kremlin said. At home, the pressure is on both sides of the coalition to deliver for their rank and file. Their deal includes a clause that envisages a review of the government’s progress after two years, giving each the opportunity to pull out then if it is not working for them. Fault lines have emerged in the new government even before its first cabinet meeting, with tensions evident over the sequencing and extent of reforms.

EU to limit visas if countries refuse to take back migrants BRUSSELS AGENCIES

The European Union moved on Wednesday to speed up the return of unauthorized migrants, announcing plans to punish countries that refuse to take back their nationals by restricting visas for their diplomats. While the number of people entering Europe in search of better lives has dropped dramatically over the past year, EU countries only send back around half of migrants denied visas, often because the migrants have lost or destroyed their ID documents and it's difficult to establish their nationality. Fake ID is also often used. France, for example, is angered that Mali routinely refuses to take back people that Paris insists are from there. Formalizing a threat already made to some African countries by EU member states, the EU's executive Commission announced that it has "a new mechanism to trigger stricter conditions for processing visas when a partner country does not cooperate sufficiently." The aim is to target decision-makers by dragging out the application time for diplomatic visas, hiking costs or cutting short their stays. At the same time, the Commission said it plans to make tourism visas more attractive. It would allow for earlier applications, electronic visas, and strictly limited stays of one week in one EU country. But the price of visas — already beyond the means of most Africans — would rise from 60 to 80 euros ($74 to $99), leaving many heading to Europe in search of better lives with little incentive to apply. "With these changes, we will keep Europe's door open for bone fide travelers but closed for those who pose security risks," said EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Lanka accuses Facebook over hate speech COLOMBO AGENCIES


Bulgaria has chosen Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK MiG) to overhaul and maintain its 15 aging, Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets until 2022, Defence Ministry documents show. The Black Sea state is a member of the European Union and NATO but deemed RSK MiG the only supplier able to provide reliable support for its MiG 29s, which date to when Sofia was part of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact alliance in the 1980s. Bulgaria therefore did not invite other bidders for the deal. Sofia has said it needs to keep its Soviet-era aircraft operational after plans to buy eight new fighter jets from a fellow NATO state hit a procedural snag. The process is expected to start almost from scratch later this year. The Defence Ministry planned to sign a four-year, 81.3-millionlev ($51.45 million) deal with RSK MiG in December but put it off following an appeal by Ukrainian arms exporter Ukrinmash.

The Sri Lankan government has accused Facebook of failing to control rampant hate speech that it says contributed to anti-Muslim riots last week that left three people dead and the country under a state of emergency. As mobs of hardline Buddhists rioted and lit fires in towns in the central district of Kandy, Facebook, WhatsApp and several other platforms were blocked across the Indian Ocean island. Minister for Telecommunications Harin Fernando said the government had taken the unprecedented step in response to fears that widely circulated videos claiming to show mosques and Buddhist temples being torched would ignite further violence. “This whole country could have been burning in hours,” he said. “Hate speech is not being controlled by these organisations

and it has become a critical issue globally.” Besides Fernando, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and communications officials will meet a Facebook team on Thursday (today) that has flown to Colombo. The Sri Lankans will de-

mand a new, faster system for taking down posts flagged as a national security risk by agencies in the country. “Facebook is not reacting as fast as we have wanted it to react,” Fernando said. In the past, it has taken various number

of days to review flagged posts or even to take down the pages. On Tuesday, he highlighted a tweet from a user who claimed to have reported a Facebook post in the Sinhala language that read, “Kill all Muslims, don’t even let an infant of the dogs escape.” The user claimed he received a reply six days later, saying the post did not contravene a specific Facebook community standard. Extremist leader Amith Weerasinghe, who was arrested last week in Kandy after being accused of helping to instigate the violence, had amassed nearly 150,000 followers on his Facebook page before it was taken down last week. Posts by other extremists that remain online include calls for Buddhist rioters to hit them [Muslims] as hard “as you can,” while another, by an activist who was arrested last November for targeting Rohingya refugees, promises groups will be going from town to town to safeguard the future of the unborn Sinhala race.


British Prime Minister Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday, blaming Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and sharply escalating the dispute between the two countries. Her statement to the parliament came after Moscow rejected a British deadline for Russia to explain itself over this month’s nerve-agent attack on former spy Sergei V Skripal, and his daughter. The two countries have engaged in a worsening clash in recent days, with Britain widening an investigation into the incident and courting friends and allies to in-

crease pressure on Russia, while Moscow has threatened to retaliate over any punitive action. “This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom,” Prime Minister May said in an address to the House of Commons. “It must therefore be met with a full and robust response.” She said she had agreed with Britain’s National Security Council to suspend all high-level contacts between her country and Russia, and to expel 23 Russian diplomats, who were given one week to leave. She described it as the biggest expulsion in more than 30 years. The prime minister also said that the government had agreed on new powers to crack down on the activities of foreign intelligence agents in Britain, that there was no place for “serious criminals and corrupt elites” in the country, and that an invitation for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia to visit had been withdrawn. She added that no British ministers or royals would attend the World Cup in Russia this summer, that Britain would increase checks on private flights, cus-

toms and freight, and that it would freeze Russian state assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nations or residents. “They have treated the use of a military-grade nerve agent in Europe with sarcasm, contempt and defiance,” May

said of Russia. “Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events. They have provided no credible explanation.” Experts have described a number of tougher measures Britain could also take, like investigating and seizing the ill-gotten wealth of Russians who have invested and settled in the country, changing laws that made it possible to hide the true ownership of assets, and calling on the international community to tighten economic restrictions on Russia. Britain’s broadcast regulator has hinted that it could revoke the license of RT, the Kremlin-controlled English-language news channel. Since Monday, when Prime Minister May said that “it is highly likely that Russia was responsible” for the nerve-agent attack on Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England, this month, President Vladimir Putin’s government has made a series of statements denying any involvement and threatening dire consequences for Britain if it acts against Russia. On Wednesday, the Russian foreign minister said that Britain was acting out

political drama rather than investigating the matter seriously. Russia could not have had any motives for the attack, he said, but those who would like to continue a Russophobic campaign in absolutely all areas of human activities could have had such motives. Moscow has demanded that it be part of a joint investigation into the attack on the Skripals, along with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and that Britain turn over a sample of the nerve agent. Mrs. May identified the chemical as a Novichok, a class of extremely deadly nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. Britain was sending samples of the toxin to the chemical weapons organization for verification, according to a western diplomat who was briefed on the matter, and spoke on condition of anonymity. The country has tried to marshal support from international organisations, an effort potentially complicated by Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, disputes within NATO, and the reluctance of President Trump to denounce President Putin.


Thursday, 15 March, 2018



india’s sc rejects pleas to intervene in Ayodhya dispute

Divorces Elaine Mason.


The couple's first son, Robert, is born.


Marries his nurse, Elaine Mason.


Marries his first wife, Jane Wilde, a modern languages student he met at Cambridge.


Made a Companion of Honor by Queen Elizabeth II.

July 14, 1965


Publishes "A Brief History of Time," a book on cosmology aimed at the general public that becomes an instant best-seller.

Diagnosed with the degenerative nerve disorder ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, at the age of 21. He is given two years to live.


Admitted to a hospital in Geneva with pneumonia. He survives after an operation, but loses what remained of his speech. The next year he begins communicating through the electronic voice synthesizer that gave him his trademark robotic "voice."

Begins graduate research in cosmology at Cambridge University.


Becomes Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, a prestigious position once held by Isaac Newton. Hawking holds the post until 2009. Jane gives birth to a third child, Timothy

Receives scholarship to attend University College, Oxford, from which he graduates with a degree in Natural Science.



Attends St. Albans School.


Elected as a fellow of the Royal Society at age 32, one of the youngest people to receive the honor


Jan 8, 1942 1974

Born in Oxford, England, the eldest of four children born to Frank Hawking, a biologist, and Isobel Hawking, a medical research secretary.



R Stephen Hawking, an awardwinning physicist and influential author, died early Wednesday morning, a family spokesman said. He was 76. Hawking, whose books included "A Brief History of Time" and "The Universe in a Nutshell," was diagnosed in 1962 with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly called ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. The family did not disclose the cause of death, but said he died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England. "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” the family said in a statement. “His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him forever." Dr Hawking leaves behind his daughter, Lucy, and two sons, Robert and Tim. They thanked his fans who have been by Professor Hawking's side – and supported him – throughout his life. Dr Hawking

was considered one of the leading voices in science because of his extensive research and work related to understanding the universe. “I never expected to reach 75, so I feel very fortunate to be able to reflect on my legacy,” Hawking said in a BBC interview last year. He made several major discoveries throughout his career, and once said that his greatest achievement was his discovery that black holes are not entirely black. “I think my greatest achievement will be my discovery that black holes are not entirely black,” he said, adding how that discovery would be critical to understanding how paradoxes between quantum mechanics and general relativity can be resolved. In a 2010 interview with ABC, Hawking was asked about the best fatherly advice he'd given. LIFE IS EMPTY WITHOUT WORK: “Here are the most important pieces of advice that I've passed on to my children,” he said. “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away,” he said. Here’s timeline of Stephen Hawking’s life



Jane gives birth to a daughter, Lucy.

Hawking’s life is celebrated in the Oscarwinning biopic "The Theory of Everything," based on the memoir "Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen," by Jane Hawking.


Gina Haspel played role in brutal torture techniques





The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected all interim pleas seeking to intervene as parties in the sensitive Babri Masjid-Ram Temple land dispute case. A special bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Najeeb accepted the contention that only original parties to the dispute be allowed to advance arguments in the case and the intervention applications of unrelated persons as parties be rejected. The apex court also rejected the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking intervention in the ongoing matter. However, the court ordered revival of Swamy’s disposed of writ petition in which he had sought enforcement of his fundamental right to worship at the Ram Temple on the disputed site in Ayodhya. “I had filed a writ petition saying that I have a fundamental right to worship and this is a superior right than property right,” Swamy said. The special bench is seized of a total of 14 appeals filed against the high court judgment delivered in four civil suits. In 2010, a three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, in a 2:1 majority ruling, had ordered that the land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

Just over a year after the Sept 11 attacks, the CIA dispatched Gina Haspel, the veteran clandestine officer, to oversee a secret prison in Thailand. Shortly after, agency contractors in the frantic hunt for the conspirators waterboarded a Qaeda suspect three times and subjected him to brutal interrogation techniques. Haspel’s time running the prison, code-named Cat’s Eye, began her deep involvement in the agency’s counterterrorism operations and showed her willingness to take part in the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, which shaped her career. She was a rising star until that dark chapter in CIA history began to emerge publicly. But under President Donald Trump, her fortunes changed, and on Tuesday, he announced that he intended to name her director of the CIA. With his elevation of Haspel, now the agency’s deputy director, Trump displayed a willingness to ignore the widespread denunciations of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, confinements in boxes and other interrogation techniques that were used by the CIA more than a decade ago. Her nomination is certain to reignite the wrenching debate over their use and the resulting psychological damage for

TRUMP DISPLAYS WILLINGNESS TO IGNORE WIDESPREAD DENUNCIATIONS OF WORST INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES THAT WERE USED BY CIA MORE THAN A DECADE AGO terrorism suspects. Though lawmakers, human rights activists and others eventually condemned the interrogation methods as torture, the program had defenders. Among them was Trump, who vowed during his campaign to bring back waterboarding and once said that torture works, though he later backed off that declaration. Haspel, 61, would become the first woman to run CIA if she is confirmed by the Senate. “She is an outstanding person who also I have gotten to know very well,” Trump said on Tuesday in brief comments to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. During her Senate confirmation, Haspel will be forced to answer unsettling questions about waterboarding and her interactions with detainees. She will probably have to answer whether she would agree to reinstate waterboarding as the president has suggested and whether she believes that torture is an effective way to extract information from terrorism suspects. “I don’t envy her trying to get through confirmation,” said Robert Eatinger, the former top lawyer in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Centre.


“It’s going to be the first chance for senators to have someone intimately involved in the program in front of them to answer questions. I think they’ll take full advantage of that opportunity.” Senators who were deeply critical of the interrogation program could stand in Haspel’s way. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the former chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, oversaw its investigation into the program. The resulting 2014 report found that the program was deeply flawed and those involved portrayed it as more effective than it was, misleading policymakers. The extent of Haspel’s role in the program is not known; only the report’s executive summary was released, and it obscured the identities of agency operatives. Feinstein has remained silent on whether she would block Haspel’s nomination but told reporters that the two women had worked together since Haspel ascended to the CIA’s No 2 post in February 2017. “Since my concerns were raised over the torture situation, I have met with her extensively, talked with her,” Feinstein said. “She has been, I believe,

a good deputy director. She seems to have the confidence of the agency, which is good.” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who was held prisoner during the Vietnam War and tortured for five and a half years, demanded that Haspel publicly explain her role in the interrogation program. “The torture of detainees in US custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history,” he wrote on Twitter. “The Senate must do its job in scrutinizing the record & involvement of Gina Haspel in this disgraceful program.” Haspel was also embroiled in another dark episode in the CIA’s interrogation program.


Thursday, 15 March, 2018

Constitution of Pakistan

The need for realism on all sides

Is a major overhaul needed?

Can Shehbaz Sharif thread the needle?


NLy a realistation of the ground realities can enable the PML-N to live to fight another day. the party must have realised by now that as far as the cases against Nawaz sharif are concerned the former PM is fighting a losing battle. Further that security establishment has made it amply clear that it is committed to stand by the courts and support their verdicts. What some in the PML-N’s leadership fail to realise is that while the party’s vote bank might have remained mostly intact, its followers have neither the training nor, for that matter, the appetite for erecting barricades like the Paris Communards to fight out the police. What is more the PML-N government is supposed not only to abide by the courts’ ruling but also suppress any agitation against it. After being elected party chief, shehbaz sharif faces two challenges. on the one hand he is required to keep the party united and lead it to victory in the forthcoming elections while on the other hand persuade and rein in the hot headed elements among the PML-N’s younger leadership. In case the party is able to form the government after the elections, it can try to amend the law to make Nawaz sharif PM again. In case it drops its characteristic hubris it might win over some in the opposition as hoped by the Punjab law minister who maintains this can be done by adding only two words ‘one-term’ or ‘one-time’ to the disqualification clause in Article 63. A headlong confrontation with the judiciary could however prove to be the PML-N’s undoing the offstage players are widely seen to have blatantly interfered in the senate elections. A recourse to intervention in the general elections also needs to be strictly avoided as attempts to thwart the will of the people would be widely resented. to ensure peace and stability in the country the people have to be provided the opportunity to freely choose their representatives. Meanwhile the courts should be seen to be dispensing justice without partiality.

The ‘Rexit’ effect Implications for Pakistan


LReADy Rex tillerson’s twitter sendoff, in typical trump style, and elevation of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to secretary of state has halted the slide in Brent crude, put the Iran nuclear deal in grave danger, buoyed the saudi stock in the Middle east’s market of influence and, in all likelihood, thrown all caution to the wind as regards trump’s position on North Korea. yet this moves also carries very serious implications for Pakistan that the international, and for that matter local, press has yet to turn to in detail. He’s been advocating, quite vociferously, trump’s hard line on Pakistan since even before the president’s famous Jan1 tweet. And with him now heading the state department – taking his place on the table alongside National security Advisor Lt Gen HR McMaster and Defence secretary Jim Mattis — all of trump’s core foreign policy and security advisors champion the same anti-Pakistan, pro-India AfPak strategy that tillerson, apparently, was too soft on. that means, other things remaining constant, we should expect not just the screws to tighten further on Us aid, but also much harsher diplomacy on the matter of the alleged safe havens. Islamabad, needless to say, is seriously ill-equipped to meet this mounting diplomatic challenge. the foreign ministry has only recently been granted a full-time minister, and the government’s attempt to place an inexperienced political appointee as ambassador in Washington shows how little it appreciates the sensitivity of the moment. the days when Islamabad could simply bury its head in the sand till yet another Afghanistan/Us related diplomatic storm blew over are fast coming to an end. And, surprisingly, not much in the government’s posture betrays a realisation of the inevitable. Unless proactive steps are taken immediately, Pakistan will have only itself to blame for further isolation fast headed its way.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Umar Aziz

Asher John

Joint Editor

Executive Editor

Deputy Editor

Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965


saRah ahmed “In truth, laws are always useful to those with possessions and harmful to those who have nothing; from which it follows that the social state is advantageous to men only when all possess something and none has too much.” ― Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract


AMoUs French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote that laws were to protect and promote the general will of the people whilst restricting harmful freedom for those with selfish desires. However, in the case of Pakistan, the legislation and execution seems overwhelmingly dominated by self-serving motives of the rulers to secure and prolong their rules. on August 14th, 1947, Pakistan was carved out on the map of the world for the Muslims of India to live in peace and harmony, according to the principles of Islam; free to pursue all spiritual and worldly endeavors in a homeland of their own. today in 2018, I look back at history of the last 45 years, trying to evaluate whether the famous 1973 Constitution provided the guidance for governance and progress or not. By what I see is that we need to change course at the earliest as we are going down politically, economically, socially and morally. should this constitution be given a major overhaul or should we start afresh? Is the present constitution serving the people of Pakistan or is it a tool for governing elite selectively apply rules to consolidate their hold on the power corridors and illiterate masses through a closed loop system of governance imposed by 1973 constitution, where we as public have one shot at elections, and are told to keep our ears, mouth and eyes shut for five years? Let us not forget that in last 45 years since 1973, Pakistan People Party has ruled federal government for four terms, Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (incl. IJI) for four terms (including Zia’s period) and PML-Q one term (under Musharraf). they all took oath to uphold the same constitution and yet not one government delivered what was stated in Article 37 and 38 that is the nutshell of what people would get from the successive governments. there have been no roadmaps, no progress evaluation and no accountability. the governance system has failed to meet any goals, in fact every successive government has sunk the nation financially, making Pakistan amongst the most corrupt nations. Imagine there is no watchdog or institute to judge governance. What we have seen in 45 years is that every successive gov-

ernment not only lacked governance capabilities but interfered in the normal functioning of government to achieve their personal financial targets through misuse of offices. so much so that till today, there is no system to manage national calamities like floods, earthquakes, healthcare or terrorist emergencies, even though we almost have them as annual events. the same political forces always call upon one institution, the army, for help, and yet malign it continuously otherwise. the constitution is totally silent on what to do when political standoffs develop to create emergency situations. the only option given is voteof-no-confidence, but the reality is that it is more applicable for an in-house change of the party leading prime minister or chief minister who already have a majority in the first place. the 1973 constitution replaced earlier governance documents, with the intent of creating a roadmap on national political independence, economic progress, social uplift and technology expansion in a framework of a socialised society where the government will be responsible for every citizen, very clearly stated in Paragraph 37 & 38 of constitution that says: (a) Promote educational and economic interests of backward classes or areas; (b) Remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within minimum possible period; (c) Make technical and professional education available and higher education equally accessible to all on the basis of merit; (d) ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice; (e) Make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work, ensuring children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex, and for maternity benefits for women in employment. (f) enable the people of different areas, through education, training, agricultural and industrial development and other methods, to participate fully in all forms of national activities, including employment in the service of Pakistan; Article 38, the core of the constitution, for developing a socialised state says: “the state shall provide basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief, for all such citizens, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race, as are permanently or temporarily unable to earn their livelihood on account of infirmity, sickness or unemployment.” But unfortunately, none of this has occurred. As Nelson Mandela terms it, “education is the most powerful weapon which one can use to change the world.” Let’s talk about the non-existent educational reforms. Article 25(A) under the 18th amendment of the constitution, inserted in 2010, reads: “Right to education: the state shall provide free and com-

Going glocal — Pidarshahi ka jinaza A narrative needs to be created Remshay ahmad


ost expected that on 8th March, Pakistan’s metropoleis would be besieged by angry mobs of women, but this never happened. It was International Women’s Day, and Aurat March was gaining numbers — in solidarity of which were some brave Pakistani men too “Pidarshahi ka jinaza”, funeral of patriarchy, was a prominent theme running through on 8th March’s Aurat March, marking solidarity with International Women’s Day. this was convened in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, and women from all over Pakistan shared in the sentiments of the movement. the plan was simple; to claim a day for themselves so that women could empower themselves, share in their experiences, and above all, to celebrate in their womanhood. We’ve all heard for far too long that this ‘is a man’s world’, rarely ever do we read anything that brings in women. We all celebrate the miracle of life; give little credit to the point of origination for such a miracle. Here ‘Aurat March’ signified the use of local terms to interpret a rather different side of the same reality – the marginalisation of women. In international relations we read about Glocalistaion; a move in which globalised phenomenon are practiced in terms of their local narratives; this is where Pakistani women won! our brand of Women’s International Day aka Aurat March has been our greatest win in our quest for building a narrative around an internationally accredited phenomenon. However, we’ve still got long ways to go from here! In Pakistan, ‘women taking to streets’ has a seriously negative connotation to it, however, Aurat March served its purpose for being the space that the women had reclaimed for themselves. they were furious with the society and Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9


glad to be a part of a glocal movement against patriarchy. they were women, and with gajras around their wrists, rouge on their cheeks, and their chants louder than most sermons; they had etched their place in a society’s narrative that was fading in favour of an unequal society. Women came from villages, outside Karachi’s Frere Hall even nuns were present – it was a spectacle that could be felt through and through. Inclusivity was the thing that mattered the most – the crowds of women was a testament that women can no longer be reduced to a mere stat; their plight against patriarchy and an unacceptable society had to be heard. the need for building women-friendly narratives has never been felt more strongly than now. Much like our own brand of women empowerment, we have our own brand of problems. From “Khud Khana Garam Karlo” to “Jab tak Bhook Aur Nang Rahaygi, Jang Rahe gi Jang Rahe gi” a broad spectrum of problems faced mainly by women were brought to focus. Both depict very different realities that co-exist in our society. the plight of the former is labelled as elite feminism, whereas the sacrifices of the latter are applauded – but one thing remains the same for both categories, we do nothing for our women. In a country that’s been created on the basis of an ideological strife, where the transition of democracy has been led by activism against dictatorial regimes, we’ve done very little to lend support to our women; and even less for those who stand to rectify these problems. We always appreciate a woman who takes ownership of a household and is dutiful towards setting the path right for her family; but we don’t celebrate the Asma Jahangirs who do the same for our society. We want our women to be fierce, for as long as they’re docile; we want them to be educated and hard working as long as they don’t step out of the house, we want them to be opinionated as long as they don’t express these openly – by doing this

Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545




pulsory education to all children of the age of 516 years in such manner as may be determined by law.” this is an important undertaking by the state since education, in contemporary times, is considered an important tool for enhancing one’s chances for socioeconomic development. However, we see no improvement in education anywhere as there is no implementation. Another major implication of the 18th Amendment for education was that the curriculum, syllabus, planning, policy, centers of excellence and standards of education will fall under the purview of the provinces. Basically, the provinces do not have the capacity or the financial resources to cope with the huge challenge in front of them. It has been argued that the contents of the curricula should remain with the federation since the provinces could take liberties, which may result in putting the unity and ideology of the country at risk. the question that raise here is how standards would be maintained across the provinces and how quality would be assured. the curriculum needs to be updated at the federal level. there needs to be one system of education for all provinces so that they can compete with each other – this being one of the many things that need to be done. Also, the constitution does not allow anyone to head a political party if he/she doesn’t fulfil article (62) and (63) of the constitution which says he is sadiq and Ameen. our ex-PM Nawaz sharif conveniently passed an amendment in an act of the constitution, taking his lawmakers on board and became president of his party, the PML-N. eventually, the supreme Court of Pakistan intervened and disqualified him. Ideally, the constitution shouldn’t allow this sort of act, which is done for anyone’s self interests. Law should facilitate the co-existence of freely living individuals, but Pakistan’s law usually attempts to sap the freedom and diminish any accountability of the rulers. President Ayub Khan through the 1962 constitution, Prime Minister ZA Bhutto through the 1973 constitution and the first six amendments, President Zia ul Haq through the 8th amendment, President Musharraf through the 17th amendment and Prime minister Nawaz sharif through the 13th amendment of the 1973 constitution attempted to increase their powers and lessen the accountability checks on them. In my opinion, there is no overhaul of the constitution needed but it must be ensured that it is implemented in its true letter and spirit. the supreme Court should act as a watchdog to prevent the constitution from being misused by our politicians for their self-interests. “..the constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.” –Daniel Webster Sarah Ahmed is an MBA and entrepreneur. She is currently a central executive committee member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. She can be reached at

we’ve tried to box up a huge part of our society. As a journalist I appreciate avenues of expression, in whatever form they may be. Why is it that as a nation we’re so accustomed to putting things, narratives and people into different boxes? Why can’t we just accept that in this country we have both, the marginalised and the affluent women – both of whom are suffering from different variants of the same problem, patriarchy. Accepting this is our first step towards proposing solutions and being a more if not equal, than a humane society, one where ‘Pidarshahi’ no longer exists. At Aurat March, the women came together in a beautiful celebration of their womanhood. they were furious and frustrated; and after protesting, laid patriarchy to rest. What ensued then was a mighty celebration in which women from all walks of life took part. on this day they were united for the same cause and in their numbers was an unfamiliar comfort and strength – the elite feminists and the regulars had become one! While the ‘elite feminists’ have been labelled as the flag bearers of hypocrisy for so long, the fact is that their experiences with harassment, in any form, and limited opportunities available to them, remains. While most women face a million problems from heading out of their homes, to being alone with strangers in elevators and working in a male-dominated work environment; there are many more issues for which no room for expression has been created. the same problems exist throughout the world, in countries like Pakistan these are exacerbated because there’s no dialogue – concerns aren’t even recognised as legitimate for them to be translated into narratives. We’ve read too much, talked more, but proclaimed a little too less for the rights of women, especially in Pakistan. our country has seen one of the greatest, and most fierce women, who have shaped our history. But there are still long ways to go from here; and the only way we can do anything for our women is accept that a narrative for this needs to be created. Remshay Ahmed is a political realist by profession and a pessimist by choice. She can be reached at



Thursday, 15 March, 2018

Editor’s mail

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

Dangers of public transport tRAFFIC congestion in Karachi is increasing exponentially due to the construction of roads and bridges. the reckless driving and violation of law by public bus drivers is creating more traffic problems. Instead of dropping off and picking up their passengers from bus stops, these drivers stop in the middle of the roads causing traffic problems and even risk of accidents. this not only creating traffic problems but is also dangerous for the passengers who get on and off the bus in a chaotic manner due to absence of a platform and shortage of time. RAvIA RASooL Karachi

Troubleshooting needed

The slow dissolution of political parties Wake up call

abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi


IRst the positives. It is a good thing that Baluchistan got its first chairman of senate. It has a symbolic value for the strengthening of the federation and to counter the narrative by some international sponsors that Baluchistan wants separation. the successful conclusion of senate elections is a step forward towards general elections. Completion of tenure by the second elected civilian government is another positive. the continuation of political institutions will enable the gradual introduction of reforms and help create a balance of power between state institutions. PtI needed some sort of win to boost their party morale after a surprise loss in NA-154 Lodhran by-election. PPP wanted to demonstrate that they can tackle PML-N with a helping hand. PML-N will further promote the narrative that there is a conspiracy to throw them out of power corridors and appeal to masses to help them thwart it. Now coming to the negatives that need our attention. election of an independent as senate chairman is a major dent in the relevance of political parties as bargaining platforms. For last many years I have written repeatedly that control of political parties by civilian dictators suit undemocratic stakeholders as they can be maneuvered. election of an independent as senate chairman was not possible until civilian dictators Asif Ali Zardari and Imran Khan were fully on board to deliver the required number of votes. there are many wrongfully blaming the establishment for engaging in political engineering. they will always try to engage in politics in almost every country but they can’t do it unless politicians themselves are will-

ing to work with them. supporters of Asif Ali Zardari and Imran Khan are distributing sweets and celebrating the defeat of PML-N in the senate chairman election. But it is a win of civilian dictators and loss of political parties. the senate chairman election is a win for Imran Khan and Asif Ali Zardari but a loss for PtI and PPP. A large number of PPP members wanted Raza Rabbani to become PPP candidate for chairman senate but Asif Ali Zardari put his foot down. similarly, in PtI, the majority of senators were hesitant to join hands with PPP especially since they were projected as a corrupt party by Imran Khan himself. Imran Khan was telling the nation every day that Mr Zardari is as corrupt as Nawaz sharif and there is no way there can be an alliance with them. Personally, I don’t think any party is corrupt as a whole but may have corrupt elements in it. I am a supporter of collaboration between political parties. I was constantly in touch with PPP team and suggested to them to support either Raza Rabbani or our proposed Hasil Bazenjo. I also proposed to them that if they suggest a name of a candidate from Baluchistan that is from a political party we will consider it but supporting an independent will cost them in the long term. But then a glue was found to bind PtI/PPP together to make an independent win. some are suggesting it is the same glue that formed IJI and many other alliances in the past. Both PtI and PPP contributed in sending a message that they can sell the party to independent which is detrimental to the democratic institutions. the Charter of Democracy signed by PML-N and PPP produced the 18th amendment which has clauses that give extraordinary powers to party heads. the senate elections have formally ended Charter of Democracy and we are heading towards more polarised politics in the foreseeable future. this gulf between parties is further widened by refusing to appreciate the point of view of the other and use of derogatory language towards each other. the incident of throwing ink and a shoe is a symbolic manifestation of intolerance. In such environment how can alliances be formed and compro-

PML-N is blaming PPP and PTI becoming instruments to undermine democracy but they forget that most damage to institutions is done by Nawaz Sharif himself

mised reached which is a necessary component of the political process? the independent winning chairman senate, as well as a civilian dictatorship in parties, will have an impact in 2018 general elections. there is an expectation that a large number of independent candidates, especially in rural baradari controlled areas, will be encouraged to contest elections. this trend was evident in local government elections as well when a substantial number of independent candidates won. this will fragment the next parliament and open doors for manipulation by undemocratic stakeholders further increasing their influence and undermining parliament. this interference in legislation, political process and governance will be detrimental to national progress. to discourage this trend was one of the main reasons I did not support the election of an independent to a highprofile position of senate chairman. PML-N is blaming PPP and PtI becoming instruments to undermine democracy but they forget that most damage to institutions is done by Nawaz sharif himself. the indifference towards parliament and due process has damaged governance, created conflict among institutions, and undermined the accountability of the executive during his tenure. their family control of a large party is also one of the key reasons parliamentarians are willing to sell their votes if it sells their self-interest. It is yet to be seen how masses will react to the horse-trading committed by political parties in senate elections. Asif Ali Zardari has shown that he can buy MPAs but it is not clear whether he can convince voters to give a mandate to PPP at the ballot boxes. Imran Khan by joining hands with PPP has conceded that he can’t defeat PMLN without an alliance. Chatter on social media suggests that masses are disappointed with politicians but still want democratic process to continue. they support pressure on politicians by the judiciary and special interest civic groups to improve governance, convert political parties into institutions, and force state institutions should work together. the ink and shoe attacks on politicians were condemned by all which signifies they still have expectations from them. the win by an independent is a wake-up call for political parties to put their acts together if they want to stay relevant to the process.

Supporters of Asif Ali Zardari and Imran Khan are distributing sweets and celebrating the defeat of PML-N in the Senate chairman election. But it is a win of civilian dictators and loss of political parties

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi is former President of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, uSA, and member of PTI Central Tarbiyati Council as Incharge of Curriculum Development. he has also authored the book: Islamic social Contract.

tHe syrian crisis and the riots in sri Lanka are just the two sides of the conflicts the world is facing now. Bad factors like starvation, terror/rebel attacks and disharmony have added to the list of the bigger issues facing the countries from across the world. As for the crisis in syria, the media outlets from every corner of the world including the Western and eastern countries have highlighted the issue and also brought out many sad facts on the ground. Recently, I saw people and volunteers standing on the streets, putting up big banners on the syrian crisis in my native town of tuticorin in tamil Nadu. such protests are common in my native areas like tuticorin, tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. I simply salute them all from the heart for their great effort. Regarding the reality in sri Lanka, the people are fine and dandy as far as one can understand the semblance prevailing there. true, the tamil issue in sri Lanka had long been the bone of contention for both India and sri Lanka. Now that the people in sri Lanka from all walks of life like the tamils and the sinhalese are almost living a healthy life, the household activities and entertainment are back in focus. In fact I often hook to a renowned tamil FM station being broadcast live from sri Lanka. the Middle east apart, the Asian countries are in the grip of major challenges. For instance, the people had reacted emotionally to the heartless murder of Zainab Ansari in Pakistan. the Pakistani english newspapers had highlighted this unfortunate incident emotionally and professionally. Bizarre as it may seem, the time has come for the UN to make out strong strategies to look through the global conflicts. the UN has the great track record left behind by the prominent figures like Kofi Annan. Finally, the Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and sri Lanka should maintain their bonhomie among themselves. they should prepare for any crisis in a cooperative and supportive manner. P SEnThIL SARvAnA DuRAI Mumbai

After all a water policy It is good to note that after more than 70 years, Pakistan is going to have its first-ever water policy after all, draft of which will be presented before the Council of Common Interests (CCI) shortly. the federal cabinet in its meeting under chairmanship of Prime Minister shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad the other day approved presentation of draft of water policy before CCI after Planning Commission Deputy Chairman sartaj Aziz had briefed it in detail about the issues relating to water management . According to the reports in the newspapers, the firstever water policy aims at the introduction of integrated water management for addressing water related challenges such as enhancing water storage capacity, conservation, research and development , capacity building of existing administrative departments, allocation of financial resources and establishment of the institutional set up at provincial levels. the federal cabinet also accorded its approval to amendments in the Rules of Business 1973 for inclusion of Hajj and Umrah Directorate in schedule-111 as an attached department of Religious Affairs Ministry and of National Language Promotion Department and National Library of Pakistan as attached departments of National History and Literary Heritage Division , for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pakistan Academy of Letters and Nepal Academy of Letters with areas of cooperation including mutual exchanges ,collaboration in the translation of works of prominent literary figures, holding of joint exhibitions and conferences . the federal cabinet also approved in principle a proposal regarding introduction of special pay scales for soliciting services of professionals in the public sector organizations among some other items. Going through the agenda carefully, one do realizes that many of these items should have been put into action years ago. But still better late than never late, please. thanks. ASIM MunIR Rawalpindi


Thursday, 15 March, 2018

England should withdraw from thE world Cup

dAily MAil


stephen Glover

HERESA May’s statement that it is ‘highly likely’ the Russian State was responsible for the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter will not have come as a surprise to most British people. Nonetheless, the Prime Minister’s official confirmation throws a new, and darker, light on the shocking events nine days ago in Salisbury, when a deadly nerve agent was used by assassins, almost certainly Russian, in a public place. In commendably robust terms, Mrs May disclosed that the nerve agent was of ‘military grade’ which could have been produced only by the Russian State. Either it was deliberately used by Moscow, or the Russians somehow lost control of

the nerve agent and it was employed by someone else. The latter suggestion, frankly, seems improbable. In any event, we can be practically certain the Russian Ambassador will not come back with what the Prime Minister described as ‘a credible response’ by her deadline. After all, the Kremlin has loudly — and unconvincingly — proclaimed its innocence, while absurdly accusing the British Government of being confrontational. Moscow won’t change its tune now. It follows that the Government will have to consider a number of retaliatory measures, which could include tougher sanctions and freezing the assets of Russian oligarchs in London who give succour to President Vladimir Putin. But there is another measure I believe should be adopted. It is controversial and will be unpopular in many quarters at home. But I think it is unavoidable. It is that the Government should try to persuade the Football Association to withdraw England from the World Cup, due to start in Russia on June 14. I’m glad Prince William has already indicated that he won’t be going to watch any of England’s matches. But his absence — and the mooted refusal of officials to go to Russia — will not of themselves constitute an adequate protest. Everybody must stay away. Such extreme retaliation is justified by the outrageous act that

took place in Salisbury. It didn’t only put the lives of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in grave danger — from which they have not yet recovered, and may never do so. It also threatened the life of a brave policeman, Sergeant Nick Bailey, who is still in a serious condition. And it presents enough of a threat to 500 people, who may have been exposed to the nerve gas, for the authorities to deliver a somewhat belated warning. No, what happened in Salisbury was ‘reckless’ and ‘brazen’, as the Prime Minister rightly said. To try to kill two people in broad daylight on British soil, and to imperil an untold number of our citizens — well, this is an act of such barbarity that it must be punished. I realise that withdrawing England from the World Cup would create enormous disappointment for our footballers and many fans, though some at home may be secretly relieved that they don’t have to watch the almost inevitable humiliation of England’s national team. We have already heard the old canard that politics should be kept out of sport, which is supposedly all about building bridges. But there are, I am afraid, considerations far more important than sport. It is surely unimaginable that our footballers should travel to Russia as though nothing had happened. They can’t simply blot out events in Salisbury and accept Putin’s hospitality.

He used the 2014 Winter Olympics, held in Russia, as a massive propaganda exercise, and undoubtedly intends to do the same with the World Cup. How could the English national team allow themselves to be associated with such preposterous antics? And just imagine — highly unlikely, I concede, but theoretically possible — that England astonished everyone and somehow went on to win the World Cup. In that eventuality, the captain of the England team would be obliged the shake the hand of the monster who appears to be ultimately responsible for attempted murder on British soil, not to mention myriad human rights abuses in Syria and other acts of state-sponsored terrorism. Nor should we forget that an official report eventually pointed the finger of blame at Putin for the fatal poisoning in London in 2006 of the former spy Alexander Litvinenko, a British citizen who had defected from the Russians. Some will argue that to pull out of the World Cup would be a meaningless gesture. I don’t agree. We would, at the very least, be firmly on the moral high ground. Other national teams might even join us in boycotting the competition, which football’s corrupt international ruling body, Fifa, cynically awarded to Russia. With a lot of diplomatic effort, it is conceivable that a coalition of

decent countries appalled by Putin’s gangsterism could be assembled. It is not as though what happened in Salisbury came out of the blue. Putin’s Russia has invaded the Ukraine, and his planes are pulverising Syrian children even now. His sins are almost endless. Many European countries are rightly wary of this malign and increasingly dangerous man. If any of them joined us in a boycott, they would do so not out of solidarity so much as self-interest. The time for appeasing Putin is past. It’s true that successive British governments have indulged the Russians in recent years, welcoming dodgy oligarchs with links to Vladimir Putin to our shores. Some may say that in view of all this, it is hard to ask footballers and fans to make a sacrifice. My

Tillerson was disastrous for US. Mike Pompeo may be worse

GuArdiAn Michael h Fuchs

Rex Tillerson will go down as one of the worst secretaries of state in US history. And yet, with his departure and replacement by CIA director Mike Pompeo, things could get a whole lot worse for US national security. Donald Trump made clear his disdain for diplomacy from day one of his presidency, and that he views foreign policy as an endeavor for the military, not the state department. He proposed enormous increases in the military budget while attempting to slash the state department budget by roughly a third. Trump appointed generals to be secretary of defense, national security advisor (twice) and White House chief of staff, while appointing as secretary of state someone with no diplomatic experience. If Trump’s contempt for diplomacy somehow wasn’t clear, he did his best to actively

undermine his secretary of state, criticizing him in public on a number of occasions. In the fall of 2017, as Tillerson attempted to open a diplomatic process with North Korea, Trump tweeted to the world, “I told Rex Tillerson … he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.” When a Middle East dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar broke out in 2017, as Tillerson scrambled to calm the situation and mediate, Trump undercut him by publicly siding with Saudi Arabia. So it should come as no surprise that Tillerson would find out he was fired when his boss tweeted the news to the world. Despite this poor treatment, it is hard to shed a tear for Tillerson. He has been a good soldier in enabling a military-first foreign policy, in which the state department is relegated to an afterthought. He has worked aggressively to gut the state department, not filling key positions, and implementing freezes on hiring, all of which have contributed to a hostile environment and low morale. The nation’s most senior diplomats have resigned over the last year, leading to a wave of exits of career diplomats at all levels that has depleted the ranks of the nation’s diplomatic corps. It will take years to rebuild the state department in the wake of the damage inflicted by Trump and Tillerson. On leading America’s diplomacy with the world and running the state department, Tillerson has been an utter disaster – but his policy views were about as moderate as they come inside the Trump administration. He has been one of the administration’s strongest voices for diplomacy with North

Korea. He was reportedly an advocate of remaining in the Paris climate change agreement. And he supposedly tried to keep the US in the Iran nuclear deal. If and when Pompeo replaces him, we should be deeply concerned – both because of Pompeo’s more hawkish views, and where they might take America on the critical foreign policy decisions coming down the pike. The fate of the Iran deal is once again hanging in the balance, and with it potentially more conflict in the Middle East. Trump has set a 12 May deadline for getting European allies on board with changes to the Iran deal, and has reportedly said that he will exit the deal if those changes aren’t made. While Tillerson advocated remaining in the deal, Pompeo has been a vocal critic of the 2015 agreement. If the US unilaterally withdraws from the deal, there’s no telling where tensions with Iran – which is already fighting proxy wars in Syria and Yemen – could go. This development doesn’t bode well for diplomacy with North Korea, either. As Trump prepares for a possible summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Tillerson’s exit could signal a much harder line on talks. Whereas Tillerson has been a proponent of diplomacy with North Korea, Pompeo’s public language on North Korea has been more aggressive, and he has openly hinted at regime change. A negotiation with North Korea is one of the most difficult diplomatic endeavors one can imagine – and Pompeo, like Tillerson, has no diplomatic experience. And then there’s Russia. Tillerson has

Torture girl to become CIA director Moon of AlAbAMA According to the anti-Russian propagandists, Tillerson got the job because Trump loves Russia and Tillerson was in good standing with Putin. The same people now claim that Tillerson was fired from his job because Trump loves Russia and Tillerson was not in good standing with Putin. Neither is correct. The plan to oust Tillerson and elevate Pompeo to State has been rumored and written about for several months. The plan was "developed by John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff". It had nothing to do with Russia. Tillerson never got traction as Secretary of State. Congress disliked him for cutting down some State Department programs. Trump overruled him publicly several times. There is some contradiction in the statements coming from the White House and the State Department. According to the Washington Post: Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled top diplomat cut short

his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington. Last Friday Tillerson suddenly fell ill while traveling in Africa and canceled several scheduled events. But a statement by Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein contradicts the Friday claim: "The Secretary had every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security. [...] The Secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason.” Tillerson knew he was fired but did not tell his staff? With Tillerson leaving, Secretary of Defense Mattis is losing an ally in the cabinet: [I]t starts with me having breakfast every week with Secretary of State Tillerson. And we talk two, three times a day, sometimes. We settle all of our issues between him and me, and then we walk together into the White House meetings. That way, State and Defense are together. Mattis sometimes calming influence over Trump on military issues will now become less effective. CIA head Pompeo, the new Secretary of State, is a neo-

hardly been tough on Russia, prioritizing attempts at cooperation over pushing back against clearly destabilizing actions by Russia, including its interference in the 2016 election. While Pompeo held critical views of Russia during his time in Congress and has admitted that Russia interfered in the election, it’s unclear for which policies Pompeo will advocate. To those ends, there are reasons for concern: at Trump’s request, Pompeo met with a conspiracy theorist peddling the falsehood that the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s emails in 2016 was an inside job, not Russian hacking. He also falsely claimed that the CIA concluded that Russian meddling did not affect the election’s outcome. As war rages in Syria and Ukraine, and Russia continues interfering in US politics, Pompeo will be a key player in leading US policy on all. At the end of the day, the president directs foreign policy, and no change in personnel will alter the unique chaos of Trump’s foreign policy. But if past is prologue, Pompeo appears much more willing than Tillerson to toe Trump’s line – a very dangerous prospect. This development may prove that no matter how bad things look, in Donald Trump’s administration, they can always get worse. Michael H Fuchs is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a former deputy assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs.

conservative with a racist anti-Muslim attitude and a special hate for Iran which he compared to ISIS. That he will now become Secretary of State is a bad sign for the nuclear agreement with Iran. The Europeans especially should take note of that and should stop to look for a compromise with Trump on the issue. The deal is now dead. There is no chance that a compromise will happen. The new CIA director Gina Haspel is well known for actively directing and participating in the torture of prisoners at 'black sites': Beyond all that, she played a vital role in the destruction of interrogation videotapes that showed the torture of detainees both at the black site she ran and other secret agency locations. The concealment of those interrogation tapes, which violated multiple court orders as well as the demands of the 9/11 commission and the advice of White House lawyers, was condemned as “obstruction” by commission chairs Lee Hamilton and Thomas Keane. Haspel would have been in jail if former President Barack Obama had not decided against prosecuting the CIA torture crimes. Both, Pompeo and Haspel, will need to be confirmed by Congress. Both will receive a significant number of 'yes'-votes from the Democratic side of the aisle.

reply is, it doesn’t follow that because our politicians have shown such pusillanimity in the past, we should do so in the future. However great the sense of regret and disappointment, withdrawing from the World Cup pales into insignificance when set alongside the seriousness of State-sponsored attempted murder, and the risks posed to hundreds of ordinary people in an English cathedral city. I concede it will be hard for Mrs May to convince the Football Association not to go to Moscow. But I hope the Prime Minister tries, and the Football Association listens. Vladimir Putin has crossed a line. The time for feeble measures is past. In the lives of great nations there are, after all, more important things than football.

mEEt mikE pompEo HAAretz Mike Pompeo, Donald Trumps soon-to-be Secretary of State is a hard-line Republican who shares the president-elects pugnacious worldview and, like Trump, spent years as a businessman before becoming a politician. Pompeo, served three terms in the U.S. Congress from conservative Kansas, was a member of the House intelligence committee and has served as the director of the CIA since. During the 2016 presidential election Pompeo was an outspoken critic of former President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, Hillary Clinton's handling of the Benghazi attack and has said former National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is a traitor who deserves a death sentence. During an appearance on CSPAN last February, Pompeo said Snowden should receive the death penalty for his actions. He should be brought back from Russia and given due process and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence, Pompeo said. As recently as last November, mere days after Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 elections, Pompeo declared on Twitter, with regards to the Iran nuclear deal, "I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism." As a lawmaker Pompeo supported restoring the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone metadata, a contentious terrorfighting tool Congress eliminated after Snowmen’s revelations. It’s unclear if Pompeo’s views on using harsh interrogation techniques completely mirror those of Trump, who says: We should go tougher than waterboarding, which simulates drowning.


Thursday, 15 March, 2018




Even the best-laid plans may fall apart while trickster Mercury retrogrades through your 11th House of Community over the next three weeks. It's no fun to discover that you made two social commitments.

Career objectives are overdue for reconsideration but you don't have to make a final decision today. Mercury's threeweek retrograde in your 10th House of Public Responsibility kicks off a serious reevaluation.

Your political opinions might be up for debate, but rather than defending your ideas, try keeping an open mind instead. It's not that you should blindly adopt a point of view different from yours. Just.




You could feel misunderstood after taking a risk and baring your soul to a trusted friend or companion. Faulty assumptions might increase the gulf even further if you try to talk it out. Mercury turns..

Interpersonal dynamics are bent out of shape today as messenger Mercury turns retrograde in your 7th House of Significant Others. Unfortunately, using the silent treatment isn't a very effective way to.

If you recently made resolutions to improve your lifestyle, you might realize that you're on the verge of slipping or, perhaps, you have already missed your target. Mercury's retrograde turn in your 6th.




A romantic relationship may run into troubled waters now that mischievous Mercury is retrograding through your 5th House of Love. Something you said recently can come back to haunt you. But rather than.

It might not matter how many times you go over the details on a project at home; Mercury's retrograde through your 4th House of Domestic Conditions may still reveal more loose ends. However, there's no.

You're easily distracted by someone's ingenious idea, whether or not it has practical merit. Unfortunately, you might commit resources to a job that ends up being a waste of your time. Mental Mercury turns.








You bring more to the table than you realize, but it might require some time before others acknowledge your value while Mercury retrogrades through your 2nd House of SelfEsteem. Fortunately, you don't.

It is the best of times and the worst of times as clever Mercury turns retrograde in community-minded Aquarius. Communication takes center stage as you engage with others who can help you achieve success.

Although you normally take your dreams to heart, Mercury's current retrograde in your 12th House of Spiritual Mysteries warps the information you receive from the imaginal realms. Ironically, your instincts.


ACROSS 1 Lincolnshire town — tea party venue? (6) 4 Engraved (6) 9 Pitman (7) 10 Manhandled (5) 11 City in northeast Italy (5) 12 disentangle (7) 13 Law-making assembly (11) 18 Reprimands (7) 20 Cook's garment (5) 22 Vagrant (5) 23 Thick scarf (7) 24 Scythe (anag) (6)

woRd sEaRcH

DOwn 1 Muscle(s) (6) 2 firm (5) 3 Japanese art of paper folding (7) 5 Become narrower (5) 6 Nevertheless (7) 7 Easy task (6) 8 difficult (11) 14 hug (7) 15 weepy (7) 16 Polar region (6) 17 Trapped (6) 19 Conked out (5) 21 Chill out (5)



black TO PlaY aND MaTE IN fOur MOVEs 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1









Today’s soluTions

bRIdGE HavInG HER way

sUdokU crossword solution sudoku solution

1...be7 2.Rdh1 Rh8 3.Qxg5 bxg5+ 4.f4 bxh4 * 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.


Thursday, 15 March, 2018


Global warmiNG could Place sPecies iN amaZoN at risk NEW YORK



LoBAL warming could place 25 to 50 percent of species in the Amazon, Madagascar and other biodiverse areas at risk of localised extinction within decades, a report said Wednesday. The lower projection is based on a mercury rise of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels — the warming ceiling the world’s nations agreed on in 2015. The highest is for out-ofcontrol warming of 4.5 C. “Global biodiversity will suffer terribly over the next century unless we do everything we can,” said conservation group WWF, which commissioned the analysis published in science journal Climatic Change. “We must keep average global temperatures down to the absolute minimum.” The report focused on 33 so-called “Priority Places” which host some of the world’s richest and most unusual terrestrial species, including iconic, endangered, or endemic plants and animals. They include southern Chile, the eastern Himalayas, South Africa’s unique Fynbos ecoregion, Borneo, Sumatra, the Namibian desert, West Africa, southwest Australia, coastal east Africa, and southern Africa’s Miombo


Woodlands, home to African wild dogs. The team looked at the impact of climate change on nearly 80,000 terrestrial plant, mammal, bird, amphibian, and reptile species. At warming of 4.5 C, based on a “business-as-usual” scenario of no emissions cuts, the Amazon could risk the local extinction of 69 percent of its plant species. The Miombo Woodlands risks losing 90 percent of its amphibians, 86 percent of birds, and 80 percent of mammals, ac-

cording to the report. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries made voluntary pledges to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal, oil and natural gas. ‘New Normal’: But even if those pledges are met, scientists predict warming over 3 C, a recipe for disastrous climate change-triggered sea level rises, superstorms, floods, and droughts. Warming of 3.2 C would place about 37 percent of species in

Priority Places at risk of local extinction, said a WWF statement. “Even with the emissions cuts pledged under the Paris Agreement, temperatures that were extreme in the past are set to be the new normal in all Priority Places,” it added — in some as early as 2030. Limiting warming to 2 C would enable many species to continue inhabiting the areas they currently occupy, according to the report. And if animals can move freely — not constrained by roads, fences, or human settlements — the proportion of species at extinction risk at warming of 2 C drops from 25 to 20 percent. The report comes ahead of a major meeting of the IPBES inter-governmental panel in Medellin, Colombia, where scientists and governments will release five assessments of the state of biodiversity. Extinction is not simply about the disappearance of species, said the WWF, “but about profound changes to ecosystems that provide vital services to hundreds of millions of people.” Job- and revenue-generating tourism would suffer greatly if species disappear, and as-yet-undiscovered medicines from plants forever lost. “Put simply, we have to stop burning fossil fuels,” said the WWF.

‘Right to try’ experimental drugs seeks traction in US WASHINGTON AGENCIES

Faced with certain death, what do patients have to lose by trying experimental drugs that have not been approved for the market? It could be a child with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. A young woman ravaged by colon cancer. or a grandfather trapped in the slow decline of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Drugs that are already on the market — if they exist — no longer work for them. They want to take part in a clinical trial but can’t, either because they are too sick, too young, too old or too far away. It is this desperate population that lawmakers — both Democrat and Republican in 38 of the 50 US states — have been trying to help by adopting “right to try” laws for experimental treatments that may be given outside of clinical trials. The cause is so popular that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have put all their weight behind it. The Senate has passed a measure on establishing a national “right to try” law, but the House of Representatives voted Tuesday not to move forward with its own version. Republican leaders in the lower chamber said they would try again — and see the measure passed. Doctors

and groups representing patients with rare diseases, however, say a law would create false hope and would change nothing in reality. Today, doctors can already ask pharmaceutical companies to give them an experimental drug for compassionate use, as long as it has passed the initial safety steps in clinical trials that show it is not toxic or lifethreatening. It’s unclear how many drug companies comply, but the US Food and Drug Administration approves such requests in 99 percent of cases, usually in a matter of days. Every year, about a thousand patients take advantage of this “expanded access” program offered by the FDA. “People have been helped, yes, but

it is unusual,” Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at New York University’s School of Medicine, told AFP. “Most drugs fail in research,” he said. Pharma hesitaNt: The proposed law would not actually create a “right,” since drug companies and research labs would remain the only ones to decide whether or not to share their treatments. The difference is that the FDA would no longer have authority to approve or deny, but would simply be notified, particularly in case of serious adverse events. “Pence, Trump talk about the right to try, but we already have the right to try,” said Caplan. “What they’re creating is a right to beg, but we already have that. People do ask companies all the time.” The National organisation for Rare Disorders (NoRD) said they are opposed because “the legislation still creates an unnecessary, less-safe alternative pathway that will not increase access to investigational therapies for our patients,” said Paul Melmeyer, NoRD director of federal policy. Not to mention the fact that “a drug can make you die more miserably and can certainly make you die quicker,” added Caplan. opponents and backers of the idea do agree on one thing — not enough is being done by companies that are in a position to help.

Pilot-less flying taxis being tested in New Zealand WELLINGTON AGENCIES

Pilot-less flying taxis are being tested in New Zealand as part of a project backed by Google co-founder Larry Page that supporters say will revolutionise personal transport. New Zealand regulators late Tuesday approved plans for Zephyr Airworks, a subsidiary of Page’s company Kitty Hawk, to develop and test the futuristic air taxis. Known as Cora, the electric aircraft has a dozen small lift rotors on its wings, making it capable of vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter. But developers say it is much quieter, meaning it could transport passengers in urban areas using rooftops and car parks as landing pads. “We are offering a pollution free, an emissionfree vehicle that flies dependably, we think this is the logical next step in the evolution of transportation,” Zephyr chief executive Fred Reid said. The Cora prototype being tested in New Zealand’s South Island uses three onboard computers to calculate its flight path and is capable of carrying two passengers. The computers operate independently as a safety measure and the aircraft can deploy a parachute if anything goes wrong. The aircraft, previously known as Zee.Aero, has a range of 100 kilometres (62 miles), reaching speeds of 150 kmh and an altitude of up to 900 metres (3,000 feet). The Cora project envisages they will become so common that “air travel will be woven into our daily lives”. Zephyr said using them would be a simple experience for passengers. “You wouldn’t have to know anything about flying a plane. Cora could fly for you,” it said in a promotional video. “And it would be all-electric, helping to build a sustainable world.” Page’s company is also developing a prototype personal aircraft called the Kitty Hawk Flyer and unveiled an early model in the United States last year. However, it looked more like a recreational plaything than a flying car, suitable only for flying above water and seating the pilot in an open top cabin exposed to the elements. Cora appears far more robust and is designed more like a traditional aircraft, featuring an 11-metre (36-foot) wingspan, tail and a closed canopy for passengers. The aircraft will not be offered for sale, instead, the public must book trips like they would with an airline or taxi service. Zephyr said it would operate in a similar fashion to a car ride-share — with Uber, the bestknown example — and is reportedly working on an app so customers could hail the air taxis on their mobile phones. It said Cora took eight years to design but then developers needed a suitable environment to safely test the new technology. They settled on New Zealand because of its uncongested airspace and rigorous regulatory environment, with Reid saying local officials had embraced the idea. “We had no idea what to expect,” he said. “They could have laughed us out of the room. We were pitching something that sounded like science fiction.”

The ballerina who rescued 100,000 children with hip-hop LIMA AGENCIES

Vania Masías vividly remembers the first time she saw acrobats somersaulting at a traffic light on a visit to her home city in 2004. She was at the peak of an illustrious career as a ballet dancer in Europe – but before long, she would leave it all behind it to nurture the raw talent she found in the streets of the Peruvian capital. At the time, Masías was the principal dancer with Ballet Ireland and considering an offer from Cirque du Soleil. But she was so inspired by the abilities of the teenage acrobats she encountered in Lima she set up a pilot project to teach them to dance – not ballet, but hip-hop. Masías – who comes from a privileged background – says that rather than pass on a handful of change, she felt compelled to reach across Lima’s gaping class divide and give the young acrobats an opportunity. “I had to find a way to reduce that social gap between us,” she said. “Dance connected me with myself so I thought it was the perfect tool to connect us and to start breaking paradigms.” It began on the self-taught gymnasts’ home turf in Ventanilla, a tough neigh-

bourhood near the city’s port. Masías arranged to meet them on the shanty’s sand dunes where they practised their flips. The response was overwhelming. “I thought I was going to meet with three kids,” she said. “When I arrived, there were more than a hundred kids. At that point I said, there’s a lot of hunger here.” In 2005 Masías formed the D1 Cultural Association: part dance school, part non-profit organisation seeking to create

young leaders and promote positive social change through the arts. D1’s social arm, which is 85% self-sufficient thanks to the school’s private classes, works with 7,000 children and young people in the capital and has schools in the Peruvian cities of Ica and Trujillo. More than 100,000 children have passed through the programme over the years, says Masías. Among them is Eddy Revilla, who at 13 became his family’s breadwinner som-

ersaulting at traffics lights in downtown Lima. “I was earning 300 soles a week [£66/$92] and here in Peru – that’s money! I could help my family and they started to thank me,” says Revilla, now 25. But after blacking out in mid-air doing a somersault, Revilla auditioned for D1, and is now a member of the group’s professional dance company. “When we started nobody thought that you could make a living from dance.

Now it’s an amazing opportunity for young people,” says Revilla, who also teaches hip-hop to paying students at D1’s dance studio. Tiara Tagle, 19, is the dance company’s youngest member. With no previous formal training she has learnt street jazz, modern, classical and folk dance styles and now teaches breakdancing as part of D1’s social programme in schools and poorer neighbourhoods across the sprawling city.

Thursday, 15 March, 2018


Lawsuit says MiLey Cyrus stoLe sonG, seeks $300 MiLLion




ILEY Cyrus was sued for $300 million on Tuesday by a Jamaican songwriter who said the pop singer’s 2013 smash “We Can’t Stop” closely resembles a song he recorded 25 years earlier, and that she is infringing his copyright.

Michael May, who performs as Flourgon, said his 1988 song “We Run Things” has been “a favourite for lovers of reggae music worldwide” since reaching No. 1 in his home country, and that about 50 percent of “We Can’t Stop” comes from him. He accused Cyrus and her label RCA Records, owned by Sony Corp, of misappropriating his material, including the phrase “We run things.

Arjun, Dutt all set for film on third Battle of Panipat

Things no run we,” which she sings as “We run things. Things don’t run we.” Representatives for Cyrus, 25, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Sony did not immediately respond to a similar request. May said he sought to protect his work last year with the US Copyright Office, and in November won “formal copyright protection” for all musical arrangements in “We Run Things.” He said Cyrus’ song “owes the basis of its chart-topping popularity to and its highly-lucrative success to plaintiff May’s protected, unique, creative and original content.” The Kingston, Jamaica resident is also seeking a halt to further sales and performances of “We Can’t Stop,” according to his complaint filed with the US District Court in Manhattan. While the complaint did not specify damages, May’s lawyers in a press statement described it as a $300 million case. “We Can’t Stop,” from Cyrus’ album “Bangerz,” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 2013. It was kept from the top by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” itself the subject of a high-profile copyright case over its resemblance to a 1977 Marvin Gaye song.




Indian filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker, who has always been fascinated by historical dramas, is set to make a movie on Panipat, which will tell the story of what led to the third Battle of Panipat. He has cast Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Kriti Sanon for the ambitious project, for which Gowariker has joined hands with Rohit Shelatkar’s Vision World. “I have shared screen space with Sanjay in ‘Naam’, which

was a memorable co-acting experience and now it will be great to direct such a versatile and immensely talented actor as him,” Gowariker said in a statement. “What impresses me most about Arjun, apart from his fine performances – is his dynamism. He has played double roles twice, and he has portrayed an action hero as well as a lover boy,” he said. “I needed someone really beautiful as well as a good performer, and Kriti is both. The eclectic combination of these three is a first for me, and I look forward to this exciting journey with them,” he said.


Heavy costumes take toll Aamir Khan makes debut on Instagram on 53rd birthday on Amitabh's health JODHPUR




A team of doctors flew in to check on megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is in pain due to the heavy costumes for the shoot of Thugs of Hindostan, an upcoming Indian film. In an early morning blog post, Amitabh, 75, revealed doctors would be coming in to “fiddle around” with his body and set him up again. His wife Jaya Bachchan told the media at the Parliament House in Delhi: “Amitji is fine. He has pain in the back and neck… The costumes are very heavy, so there’s some pain. Otherwise he is fine.” Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje extended her best wishes for his quick recovery. Raje, who is on a Kanchipuram and Andhra Pradesh tour, asked officials of the Jodhpur administration to ensure that Amitabh gets timely medical aid and care, read a statement from her office. Amitabh has been shooting in the picturesque Mehrangarh Fort for Thugs of Hindostan, which also features Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Katrina Kaif, and will release during Diwali 2018.

India’s superstar Aamir Khan has a special gift for his fans on the occasion of his 53rd birthday. The Dangal star, who currently enjoys a massive social media following through Facebook and Twitter, joined the Instagram family, according to local media outlets. Expanding his digital imprints through the photosharing platform, Mr Perfectionist is looking to extend this via Instagram for his fans not only in India, but abroad too in markets like China, Turkey, Taiwan, and Russia, read a statement. He will keep fans abreast about his life and projects through the portal. Even without a single post, Aamir, within a few hours, managed to rake in over 237k followers on the photo-sharing app. The Mr Perfectionist of Bollywood has over 23 million followers on Twitter whereas his Facebook page is liked by 15 million people. Aamir will have a working birthday this year, he told a leading daily in an interview. But the superstar wishes to spend it with hi mother, if his director allows. “My birthday plan is always to try and spend time with my mother. This year, as I’m away from home, I’ve requested my

Zayn, Gigi announce split in loving messages LOS ANGELES AGENCIES

Celebrity couple Zayn Malik and supermodel Gigi Hadid on Tuesday announced they had split up after two years of dating, with both posting statements of mutual love and respect. Malik, a former member of British boy band One Direction, and Hadid, a model for Victoria’s Secret, Fendi and Tommy Hilfiger, gave no reason for the split. Malik, 25, said in a Twitter statement that he and Hadid “had an incredibly meaningful, loving and fun relationship” and that he had huge admiration for her “as a woman and a friend.” Hadid, 22, said in her own Twitter posting that breakup statements “often seem impersonal.” She wished Malik the best for the future, saying “I’m forever grateful for the love, time and life lessons that Z and I shared.” The two started dating in late 2015 and became one of the most sought-after celebrity couples after they appeared together in Malik’s romantic “Pillowtalk” music video in January 2016. They went public with their relationship by appearing together at the Met Gala in May 2016 and were photographed together on the August 2017 cover of Vogue magazine.

The senior actor has been shooting at odd hours and staying up late for shoots. “It’s been rough. But whenever did any be achieved without it. There is struggle and disappointment and pain and sweat and tears. Then the expectation of all working out. Sometimes it does, most of the times not. That not is the catalyst. “When they say not, it is the right impetus to say and deliver that it has been successful and achieved,” he wrote on the blog. The cine icon had revealed last year that he had been nursing a “stiff neck and shoulder pain” as a result of past injuries from stunts he did in the 1970s and 1980s.

director, Victor (Vijay Krishna Acharya), to relieve me for a day. If that happens, I’ll travel to Mumbai to be with my mother. But if it’s not possible then she will come to Jodhpur. She’s the person because of whom I’m in this world, so I want to spend this day with her,” he said. Aamir, who is currently in Jodhpur shooting for his upcoming film Thugs of Hindostan, has a career that spans over three decades. Son of producer Tahir Hussain and Zeenat, this multi faceted actor, who has donned the hat of a director and producer several times, has given innumerable hits.


Full trailer of The Crimes of Grindelwald released LOS ANGELES AGENCIES

The second of the Fantastic Beasts movie spinoffs from author J.K. Rowling includes scenes set in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, directly connecting the story to the best-selling Harry Potter books and films, a first movie trailer on Tuesday showed. The trailer for Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — to be released in November — also gave fans a first glimpse of actor Jude Law as a dapper, bearded, young version of Hogwarts’ venerable headmaster Albus Dumbledore, and featured parts of the famous Harry Potter music score. The Harry Potter spinoff, which will eventually include five movies, is set some 70 years before Harry Potter went to the British boarding school and learned to become a wizard. The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer was the first to show Hogwarts as part of the Fantastic Beasts story, which centres around Newt Scamander, a “magizoologist” with a suitcase full of strange creatures. “omg Hogwarts!! Dumbledore!! The Harry Potter Theme!! the chills!! the tears!! the memories!! sooooo hyped!!,” wrote one fan, Hunter, on YouTube after watching the trailer. “Omg… I was dying… Like Hogwarts is magical… I can’t even express to you how happy I am that we’re going to be seeing that beautiful

castle again,” commented Dhanya Binoy, another excited fan. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — the first movie that was written by Rowling — made $814 million at the global box offices after it was re-

leased in November 2016. Rowling has said she thinks of the younger Dumbledore as a gay man who fell in love with Gellert Grindelwald, who later turned out to be evil and violent.


Thursday, 15 March, 2018

UPGRAdAtIon oF $8.2bn ML1 RAILwAy PRojEct to stARt wItHIn tHREE MontHs ISLAMABAD



HOUGH the government had shown commitment to start work on one of the most important components of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) rehabilitation and up-gradation of railway Main-Line 1 (ML1) from Karachi to Peshawar by March, it has claimed that the process will be initiated within the next three months. Briefing the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms, on Wednesday, the officials of the planning ministry claimed that the paper work of the Pakistan Railway project ML-1

has been completed. Practically, the execution of work on the multi-billion dollar project will be started within the next three months. The meeting of the committee was held under the chairmanship of MNA Abdul Majeed Khan Khanankhail. According to officials, the feasibility study of the project has already been finalised while the framework agreement with China has also been signed. The project was of great importance and the two countries had declared it as a strategic project of CPEC which would help improve connectivity between the two countries. The project will be completed during the next five years. According to officials, China has

fully agreed to finance this project as per the framework agreement signed between the two countries. China will provide the loan for the project on reasonable conditions and interests. Officials from Pakistan Railways claim that the project will be presented at the Central Development Working Party meeting on March 19. Meanwhile official sources in ministry of planning told this scribe that according to the agreement, the project’s total estimated cost was $8.2 billion. They said that with the upgradation of ML-1, the train’s speed would increase from less than 100 kilometres per hour to 140 kilometres per hour while the train capacity would be increased from the current 32 to 171 trains per day.

Pakistan Railways had planned to upgrade and overhaul the infrastructure of ML-1 under CPEC framework, including bridges, track, signalling, tunnels, buildings, telecommunication systems, and track maintenance system. The committee, later directed the ministry of planning, and railways to speed up the process of implementation on the mega project. Discussing another agenda of the meeting, officials informed the committee that China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) has completed the feasibility study for the construction of 1000 meter long new terminal with 5 additional berths. The Chinese Company installed a sanitation plant with a capacity of two lac gallons in Gwadar.

ADB to provide $140 million for KP roads improvement project ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Govt not in favour of counter-productive taxation: Haroon ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue, Federal Minister Senator Haroon Akhtar Khan has said the government is willing to review and adjust high taxation rates in case they are found to be stymieing the growth of any sector or industry. “The government is not in favour of counter-productive taxation as our prime objective is to promote growth and help businesses flourish and contribute more revenue to the national exchequer,” he said while talking to a delegation of the American Business Council of Pakistan which met him at his office. The minister told the delegation that the government valued the contribution made by multinationals to growth of revenue and economy and the downward revision of corporate tax rates from the previous 35 to the current 30 per cent was indicative of the government’s desire to further facilitate the corporate sector. “We are reviewing proposals and recommendations to further facilitate this sector in the upcoming budget which would be pro-investment and pro-businessman in nature,” he added. Earlier, President of the American Business Council of Pakistan Kamran Nishat, said the investment environment had considerably improved in Pakistan as indicated by recent perception surveys, indicating marked improvement in law and order and ease of doing business. He also shared with the minister a set of proposals and recommendations for further boosting economic and revenue growth.

Economic Affairs Division and Asian Development Bank (ADB) here on Wednesday signed a loan agreement for the provision of $140 million for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Roads Improvement Project. Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority (PKHA) intends to rehabilitate a part of its provincial highway network under this project to improve the performance of its roads and achieve a higher service level in the province. With the rehabilitation of these roads, the overall maintenance cost will reduce significantly. Due to the proposed interventions, this 214 kms network of roads will only require periodic maintenance after 5-6 years and resultantly the maintenance burden on PKHA will be reduced in the forthcoming years. The rehabilitation of these candidate roads, in accordance with the proposed program, will not only enhance their capacities but will also result in improved serv-

LAHORE In a notification sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Engro Polymer and Chemical Limited (EPCL) notified the bourse regarding financing structure of its expansion plan of PVC by 100,000 tonnes and debottlenecking by 50,000 tonnes, with a total estimated Capex (capital expenditure) of the project estimated at Rs7.6 billion, out of which Rs5.4 billion would be raised through right shares where share price of the proposed issue will not exceed Rs30 per share. The notification read, “The aggregate amount of proposed right


Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, Stefano Pontecorvo called on Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail here on Wednesday and discussed with him issues of mutual interests. Stefano Pontecorvo apprised the advisor regarding various bilateral cooperation initiatives underway between the two countries. He said that the exchange of delegations in the recent months had helped in identifying several areas of cooperation between the two sides. He said that Italian investors were being informed of the investment potential in various sectors and they had expressed keenness to take advantage of these opportunities. Miftah Ismail appreciated the dedicated efforts of the Italian envoy for promoting Pak-Italy economic cooperation. He said that the steady economic growth was creating greater economic opportunities for investors in both countries. The Advisor to PM on Finance said that the improved security and greater economic opportunities had led to a renewed interest from international investors. He said all possible facilitation would be offered to potential Italian businessmen under Pakistan’s liberal investment regime.

IMF resident rep calls on Rana Afzal ice delivery. The loan agreement was signed by Economic Affairs Division Additional Secretary (Incharge) Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani and ADB Country Director Xiaohong Yang.

The project agreement was signed by Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Communication and Works Department secretary and Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority managing director.

Engro to invest Rs7.6bn in a new PVC plant ELEAZAR BHATTI

Efforts to promote Pak-Italy economic cooperation

issue will be utilised to fund the addition of a new PVC plant of 100,000 MT and VCM plant debottlenecking of 50,000 MT per annum. The estimated overall CAPEX of the said project is approximately Rs7.6 billion, which is intended to be partially funded through the issuance of right shares of approx. Rs5.4 billion.” According to the notification the new shares will not exceed a proposed price of Rs30 per share. The notification apprised that the purpose of issuance of shares is to enable sponsors and investors of EPCL to obtain approval to invest in the potential right issue and provide an undertaking to the company to

subscribe to its entitlement in accordance with the provisions of the Companies (Issue of Capital) Rules 1996, which would in turn approve and announce the actual right issue of shares. Furthermore, the board resolved that it shall approve and announce the actual right issue at a future date in accordance with the applicable laws. After the notification, EPCL’s share price increased 0.40 per cent, or Rs0.12, to Rs30.12 with a volume of 8.72 million shares traded at the PSX. Meanwhile, KSE 100 settled at 43407.72 points, down 210.36 points here on Wednesday.


Newly appointed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative to Pakistan, Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez called on the Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal here on Wednesday. The minister welcomed the IMF representative and wished her a successful tenure in the country. He had an exchange of views with her on the current macroeconomic situation in the country and said all efforts were underway to keep up the momentum of economic growth. Maria Sanchez lauded the efforts of the government for improving the security situation in the country which has given a boost to economic activities and enhanced confidence in the business community. She also appreciated the government’s endeavours to increase exports and subsequently bring down the trade deficit. During the meeting the IMF representative also discussed the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank scheduled in April. She thanked the minister for the warm welcome and expressed the desire to work in close cooperation with the government during her term.

Core textile earnings improve by nine per cent during first half of 2017-18 KARACHI ARSHAD HUSSAIn

Pakistan’s overall textile exports showed a positive trend in first six months of the current fiscal year (up 8 per cent in dollar terms, 9 per cent in rupee terms). Pakistan’s value-added textile sector posted an earnings decline of 15 per cent Year on Year during the first half of 2017-18. “The decline in earnings is primarily due to lower dividend income on investments. Having said that, core textile profitability improved by 25 per cent,” said Sadiq Samin, an analyst at Sherman Securities, thanking the textile friendly policies introduced by the government over the last one year. Interestingly, rupee sales of 19 listed

textile composite firms improved by 12 per cent to Rs167 billion. The analyst believes that the rupee sales is mainly driven by better volumetric sales and Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) or rebate benefits on various export categories announced by the government over the last year. Initially, in textile policy 2014-19, government had approved DLTL at the rate of 1 per cent, 2 per cent and 4 per cent on processed fabrics, made-ups and garments, respectively. Only exporters with 10 per cent increase in exports were eligible for this benefit. However, in the last year, in order to boost exports, the government increased the DLTL rate effectively from the second half of 2016-17 to 5 per cent, 6 per cent,

and 7 per cent on processed fabrics, made-ups and garments, respectively. Subsequently, for 2017-18, the government also allowed 50 per cent of the rate of drawback to be provided to exporters without a condition of increments. While the remaining 50 per cent of the rate of drawback was to be provided if exporters achieved 10 per cent growth in 2017-18. Interestingly, revenue growth during the first half 2017-18 excludes the impact of Pak rupee devaluation against US dollar and Euro which may be visible during the remainder of this fiscal year. Lower dividends on investment dragged the overall profitability of the textile composite units by 15 per cent YoY to Rs7.7 billion during the first half

2017-18. During July to December 201617, other income was recorded at Rs8.7 billion, while in the same period of 201718, other income was recorded at Rs7.7 billion. This decline is primarily due to lower dividends from subsidiary companies of a few textile firms. On the flip side, core textile earnings of these firms grew by an impressive 25 per cent to Rs2 billion during July to December 2017-18. Within the textile composite units, where majority of firms showed recovery in textile earnings, listed composite denim units (Azgard Nine and Artistic Denim Mills) posted strong recoveries. During July-Dec 2017-18, the combined revenue of both the denim firms posted a stunning growth of 28 per cent YoY to Rs11.6 billion. This is much higher

than the overall textile composite textile firms, thanks to a higher demand for Pakistan denim for both weaving (Bangladesh) and garments (US and Europe). Therefore, where volumetric growth lifted overall revenues, DLTL benefits also supported revenue growth. Denim exports represent only 15 per cent of the value added textile exports of Pakistan, according to analyst estimates. Though it is relatively small in size but over the last few years, denim exports have significantly improved compared to overall textile exports. Interestingly, combined profitability of the two firms significantly improved from a loss of Rs82 million in January to June 2016-17 to profit of Rs252 million during January to June 2017-18.


Thursday, 15 March, 2018

Corporate Corner Zong 4G hits more than 6 million 4G subscribers ISLAMABAD: With more than 6 million active subscribers, Zong 4G has successfully reached a new milestone. Through unrelenting focus on customer needs, Zong 4G has continued to build its network and services to address the needs of customers, hence creating a unique blend between affordability and seamless connectivity. The latest statistics indicate that the 4G supremacy of Zong 4G is the foremost preference of the customers who are experiencing the best 4G services in more than 400 cities nationwide. The state of art technology of the country’s largest 4G data network enables it to be at the forefront of Pakistan’s digital revolution. The strategic focus of the company adheres to adding further investments in Pakistan and therefore, enriching the 4G ecosystem of Pakistan through the technological prowess of the parent organisation, China Mobile Communication Corporation. Thus, indicating the long term commitment for the prosperity of people of Pakistan. All these initiatives and achievements, in essence, reflect perseverance on customer centricity, which is at the core of Zong 4G. PRESS RELEASE

jazzcash, Fwo move towards digitised toll fee payments ISLAMABAD: Further expanding itself in the domain of digital payments, JazzCash has entered into an agreement with Frontier Works Organization (FWO), whereby it will be digitizing the M-Tag recharge. Users can now pay their toll fees on the motorway through JazzCash. Currently more than a hundred thousand people travel daily on M2 and those using the M-Tag facility have to wait in long queues for cash deposits. As a result of this partnership, customers will not only be able to top up their M-Tag accounts through FWO’s mobile app ‘Smart Motorways’ and the official website, but also through their JazzCash mobile accounts and through the extensive JazzCash retailer network nationwide. Moreover, a JazzCash Payment gateway will also be implemented on the official app and the website. Speaking on the occasion, Jazz Mobile Financial Services Chief MFS and Digital Officer Aniqa Afzal Sandhu,“Digital payment is the simplest, safest, and most convenient way to make regular or recurring payments; hence the reason being that it’s used for transactions like toll tax and utility bills. As a leading digital company, our customer’s financial needs take top priority and we continue to strive hard in providing them with the best services.” The partnership will be pilot tested at the M2 (Islamabad to Lahore) motorway and will soon be available for travelers using the M1 and M3. PRESS RELEASE





AKISTAN’S State Minister for Finance Rana Afzal Khan said the government may raise the “same” amount of funds from global debt markets as it did at a $2.5 billion sale in November. A final decision has not been taken yet and the government is studying all options, Khan said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in the capital, Islamabad, on Tuesday. Pakistan aims to issue bonds or Islamic-compliant sukuk before elections in July as it looks to boost dwindling foreign-exchange reserves and continues to invest in infrastructure projects, Khan said last month in Karachi.

Market daily: KsE 100 sheds 210.36 points LAHORE

Rana Afzal Khan assures businessmen inclusion of their suggestions for budget

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan has said that the proposals submitted by the business community would be given appropriate consideration in the next budget. He was talking to a delegation of Peshawar Small Chambers, led by Dilawar Ihtisham calling him here on Wednesday. The delegation requested the minister that a simple return form may be developed for small traders. The delegation proposed that withholding tax on bank withdrawals should be applicable from Rs500,000. They also emphasised simplification in audit procedures. These steps, the delegation opined would greatly benefit small traders and provide them due encouragement to expand their businesses. OnLInE


The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) failed to maintain a positive streak as profit-taking witnessed in the banking and cement sector took its toll on the index. Both sectors cumulatively eroded 140 points from the index points. Consequently, the market closed at 43,408 index level, losing 210 points. According to an international media report the State Minister for Finance Rana Afzal Khan has said the country may raise funds from global debt markets worth up to $2.50 billion. The government issued the same amount of debt in November 2017. The government is yet to take a final decision but dwindling foreign-exchange reserves continue to haunt the economy. The KMI 30 index slashed 0.62 per cent or 455.82 points to end the day at 73,882.80 while the KSE All Share Index managed to stand its ground. The broader market index witnessed the rise of 30 per cent in traded volume, however, value remained flat. The advance to decline ratio remained at 1.12 as 184 stocks closed in the green zone and 164 in red zone. Top 5 stocks including PAKT (+3.2 per cent), PPL (+0.8 per cent), EFUG (+4.1 per cent), DAWH (+0.8 per cent) and INDU (+1.4 per cent) added 55 points to the index gain, whereas stocks including HBL (-2.7 per cent), LUCK (-1.6 per cent), ENGRO (1.2 per cent), HUBC (-1.4 per cent) & OGDC (-0.9 per cent) , withheld 172 points from the index.

Pakistan last issued dollar debt four months ago to shore up its deteriorating finances. The country has been hit by political instability in the past year and its economy is showing increasing signs of vulnerability. Pakistan’s current account and trade deficits have widened as exports lag regional peers, while foreign-exchange reserves have dropped 27 per cent to $12.3 billion in the past year. “It will help cool off immediate pressure, more than a billion dollars a month is being depleted in reserves,’’ said Karachi-based brokerage Arif Habib Ltd Chief Executive Officer Shahid Ali Habib. “It would have been better to raise a larger amount last time.” The World Bank estimated in October that $17 billion of external financing -- or 5

per cent to 6 per cent of gross domestic product -- is needed in the current financial year through June for Pakistan to bridge its debt payments and current account deficit. Some analysts also believe the nation may need another International Monetary Fund bailout, which would be its 13th since 1988. The IMF said last week said Pakistan faces continual “erosion” and its widening external and fiscal imbalances mean that “risks to Pakistan’s medium-term capacity to repay the fund have increased” since completion of a three-year $6.6 billion bailout program that ended in September 2016. Pakistan’s current-account deficit could reach 4.8 per cent of GDP in the year ending June, according to the IMF. Pakistan’s de-facto Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, said in an interview last week that Islamabad is not considering going back to the IMF, but is considering issuing Chinese currency bonds. The ruling party, whose leaders face multiple legal and corruption charges, will be loath to go back to the IMF so soon after the last program ended as it would indicate economic mismanagement.

SECP, FBR launch one-window facility for company, NTN registration ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

As part of Doing Business Reforms agenda, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have launched a onewindow facility for company and national tax number (NTN) registration. SECP Chairman Zafar Abdullah, and Member (IT) FBR Khawaja Adnan Zahir jointly inaugurated the system during the launch ceremony held on Wednesday at the SECP’s head office which was attended by senior officials of SECP, FBR, Board of Investment (BOI) and Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL). Zafar Abdullah congratulated the teams of SECP, FBR and PRAL on putting in exhaustive efforts to develop the system. The SECP has undertaken a host of reform measures, which have resulted in a robust corporate growth in the country, leading to the formalisation of the business sector and documentation of economy, he added. Khawaja Adnan Zahir said that the FBR was pleased to collaborate with SECP to provide a conducive environment for doing business in Pakistan. This is the first instance of government-to-government technical integration at the process level, he added. “The creation of a cross-institution single process of registration of a company is the first step, and the efforts should be

continued to include more organisations. A lot more can be achieved if the government works in such close coordination.” BOI Executive Director General Fareena Mazhar lauded the efforts of the SECP and FBR and stressed that these reforms would not only help local entrepreneurs but would also serve as an attraction for foreign investors. A video recording based on live company and NTN registration process, which was recorded at the SECP’s company registration office, was also shown to the participants. The one window facility is based on back-end integration between SECP and FBR systems. Through this facility, the entrepreneur will login to the SECP online portal eServices, get the company registered with the SECP, and receive the NTN automatically at the company’s email address. The facility has been launched to simplify procedures for business registration, to eliminate the hassle of visiting various government agencies and to ensure an expeditious service delivery by integrating the registration procedures of SECP and FBR. This facility shall have favourable implications for the promotion of investments to attract investors from within and outside the country, and contribute to documentation of the economy. It is also likely to achieve higher ranking in the World Bank’s starting-a-business and the composite doing business indicators.

Leghari says govt ready to submit National Electric Policy to CCI in April ISLAMABAD InP

Water and Power Minister Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari on Wednesday said the government is set to submit National Electric Policy next month in Council of Common Interests to get its approval. The policy, finalised in collaboration with provinces would help determine demand, supply and future sources of power generation, he said this while addressing a Lighting Pakistan Conference on Solar Off-Grid Opportunities here. “The policy will play a major role in reducing tariff, which will be based on international competitive bidding,” Awais Leghari said. He added supplying

electricity to off-grid areas is one of the priority areas on which work is already in progress. The minister said there has been improvement in electric transmission system but emphasised to improving a distribution system for which efforts are being made to achieve better results. He said the government has been working to reduce load-shedding for ongrid population, adding that “We are trying to eliminate load-shedding in those areas where feeders are losses and we are hoping in current year power supply would improve as compared to last year. Awais Leghari said, “We can save Rs150 billion annually in case tube wells in Balochistan are shifted to solar energy.

18 spoRTs

Thursday, 15 March, 2018

RogeRS CAlled up to AddReSS BAttIng ISSueS brisbanE



USTRALIA's global reputation for flakiness with the bat in difficult conditions will be in Chris Rogers' sights after he was formally appointed as the man to mentor the nation's future generations of top-order players as the new high-performance coach at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. Rogers, who replaces Matthew Elliott after the fellow former left-hander quit for family reasons, became synonymous with thinking his way through challenging circumstances as a batsman, with vast experience of conditions in England and Australia in particular. The 17-year drought since an Australian side last won the Ashes in the UK looms large among the nuts he and others will be trying to crack in future years. Following his retirement from Test cricket in 2015, Rogers played one more season of county cricket as captain of Somerset, before staying on with the club as a batting coach last year. He has also worked as an assistant coach for Australia A, the Cricket Australia XI and the Australian Under-19s team at the World Cup

earlier this year in New Zealand. "We're excited to have Chris on board and know he will be an outstanding addition to our coaching team," the team performance manager Pat Howard said. "Chris brings thoughtfulness, persistence and passion to the role and combines this with a strong intellect. He has a wealth of cricket experience that will be invaluable to the players he will be working with. "He enjoyed a successful career at both international and first-class level,

CoA asks BCCI anti-corruption unit to investigate allegations against Shami

succeeding in Australia and overseas. From a coaching perspective, Chris has already been involved in roles with Cricket Australia's pathways program including as assistant coach at the recent Under 19 Cricket World Cup - and in the English County system. "We're looking forward to having Chris work with Australia's next generation and watching him develop as a coach. We are confident he can have a big impact in moulding our rising stars into

future international cricketers." Back in November 2016, after Australia's fifth consecutive Test loss, against South Africa in Hobart, Howard had identified Rogers as a key voice in the process of rehabilitating Australian batting, particularly with a view towards dealing with the moving ball. "It needs more focus. That's simple," Howard said. "Chris was fantastic. You go back to what he and David Warner did at the Oval [in 2015], I think it was 14 runs off 10 overs, they read the situation really well. "That patience and adaptability to read the situation there. I've really been impressed by Chris' insights and comments, and I was before. He's got a good insight into the game ... we've talked to him about coming and talking to people around that, both technically and mentally, and about a year ago, he worked with our Under-19s. It's a fair comment and something to drive some of our thinking." In also working as a commentator for ABC Radio, Rogers has offered his insights freely. "I think good sides always find a way to fight when they're in trouble, and the Australian side at the moment, when they lose a few wickets, it's just a collapse," Rogers told ABC's Offsiders at the time of the Hobart defeat.

"All 10 wickets have fallen. We've seen it now two Tests in a row, I think for 86 in the first Test, and now 85 in this Test, and you don't see that [often]. "So, there's something fundamentally wrong, I think, with the side. They're obviously lacking confidence. There's no doubt the talent's there, but they just can't find a way to fight, and that's really disconcerting. Speaking to particularly a few of the older guys, past players, there's a bit of a thought that maybe we should push to return to how the Sheffield Shield used to be - just pick the best sides, the best players, and see who wins. We have this system now where we're trying to identify players and push them through. "But we've been doing that for a fair while now, and it doesn't seem to be working. The performances haven't really been there to justify it. I think it's about now finding that winning culture. We've perhaps lost that, and whether we need to find that at the level below, maybe that's the way to go." While Australia have improved substantially in terms of eradicating batting collapses since 2016, there is still a tendency to lose wickets in a hurry when placed under the sort of pressure created by Kagiso Rabada in Port Elizabeth. The middle-order batsman Shaun Marsh conceded this was indeed a problem to address, both for the remainder of this series and into the future. "We've come a long way. We just need to keep working hard," Marsh said. "I think we're all playing well. As a batting group, we just need to make sure that once we get in, we really lock ourselves in and get the hundreds we haven't got in the first two Test matches. We've got a few days now to reflect and work hard, and make sure we're out there and doing the job for the team."

'There's a place for emotion on the field' - Anderson on Rabada

MuMbai Agencies

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) supervising the BCCI has asked the board's anti-corruption unit to investigate if Mohammed Shami collected money sent to him by a UK national through a Pakistani woman in Dubai. Shami's wife Hasin Jahan had alleged that Shami made that claim when she confronted him and accused him of committing adultery. Jahan released an alleged recording of that telephonic conversation, and the CoA has taken note of it. Kolkata Police is currently looking into various criminal charges filed by Jahan against India fast bowler Shami and his family, including attempt to murder. Shami has rejected all the accusations and has pleaded with his wife to sort the issues out in private. A day after Jahan first made the allegations, the BCCI withheld Shami's annual contract, choosing to wait for the police probe. Kolkata Police has been in touch with the BCCI, asking the board about Shami's travel schedule after India's recent tour of South Africa, and whether he extended his stay in Dubai, as alleged by his wife, while the rest of the team returned home. The CoA or the BCCI has not made any comment on the issue. However, the recording released by Jahan has led to the CoA calling for an internal probe. In the alleged audio tape, the person claimed to be Jahan is heard asking the person claimed to be Shami why he met someone referred to as Alisba in Dubai. Shami allegedly tells Jahan that he had to collect money from Alisba, money sent by a certain Mohammed Bhai from the UK. In a letter addressed to the head of the BCCI ACSU Neeraj Kumar, which ESPNcricinfo has accessed, the CoA has asked the board to submit a report "preferably" within a week. "The Committee of Administrators is concerned only with such portion of the said audio recording in which the person who it is claimed is Md. Shami is heard saying another person by the name of 'Mohammad Bhai' had sent money to Md. Shami through a Pakistani lady by the name of 'Alisba'," the letter said. The CoA has asked the board to investigate whether Mohammed Bhai and Alisba exist, if any money was sent to Shami, and, if it was indeed sent, why. "Please investigate the above assertions/allegations under the BCCI AntiCorruption Code and submit a report to the Committee of Administrators with your findings as to whether there is any basis to proceed further in terms thereof. The investigation should cover (i) the identity and antecedents of "Mohammad Bhai" and "Alisba"; (ii) whether any money was in fact sent by the said Mohammad Bhai through the said Alisba to Md. Shami; and (iii) if yes, the purpose for which the said money was received by Md. Shami." The CoA has asked the ACSU to restrict the investigation to what might fall under the BCCI's anti-corruption code.

Port ElizabEth Agencies

James Anderson says he recognises the difficulties that Kagiso Rabada is having in controlling his on-field aggression, in the wake of his shoulder-barge on Steven Smith during the Port Elizabeth Test that led to a two-Test ban. The ICC has announced that Rabada is appealing his ban, which was automatically triggered by his accumulation of eight ICC demerit points in the space of 24 months, for offences including an audible obscenity directed at Ben Stokes during last summer's Lord's Test, and "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" with Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella during an ODI in Cape Town. But Anderson, whom Rabada recently replaced as the ICC's No.1ranked Test bowler, following his


11-wicket haul against Australia, has sympathy for his fellow paceman. "There's definitely got to be a place for emotion," Anderson said. "I've certainly been there and done it, the thing is you have to control it the best you can. Sometimes it is hard, especially in the heat of the moment in a big series, if you get an important wicket." Anderson is himself no saint out in the middle. During the Ashes, he was singled out by Australia's captain Steven Smith as "one of the biggest sledgers in the game", and he was at it again today during England's warm-up match in Hamilton, when the umpires had to step in after he offered a few choice words to Kyle Jamieson during his century. However, unlike Rabada, Anderson has not yet been sanctioned by the ICC for his on-field behaviour, and he believes that there is a line that players

should not cross, even if it can be hard to spot in the heat of the action. "Of course, there's a line, bowlers do know what that line is but at times it's such a strange feeling," he said. "I've watched myself back and watched me take a wicket and seen how I've celebrated and think 'what am I doing?' It's literally one of those things, the build-up of emotion where you are trying so hard to get a wicket and win a game and this emotion just comes out as a big release. "It can feel like an out-of-body experience at times. I'm not excusing behaving badly on the field, I'm just saying I can understand what does happen to bowlers when they show that emotion. You see it with fielders, they can sometimes celebrate over the top but we are aware there's a line, but you just hope as you can keep the emotion the check to stay the right side of the line."

Thursday, 15 March, 2018

SAntneR fACeS long peRIod out due to knee SuRgeRy




EW Zealand allrounder Mitchell Santner faces up to nine months on the sidelines after the right knee problem he has carried for part of this season worsened to require surgery. It means he will miss the Test series against England, the IPL with Chennai Super Kings and his county stint with Derbyshire. However, New Zealand were able to bring back wicketkeeper BJ Watling for the England series after a hip injury kept him out of the Tests against West Indies in December. Todd Astle, the legspinner, is the one frontline spinner included in a 12-man squad while Ross Taylor is also expected to be fit after the thigh injury which kept him out of the deciding ODI in Christchurch following his unbeaten 181 to level the series in Dunedin. Santner produced career-best form with the bat in the one-day series but has been troubled by his knee issue for much of the season. He was forced to sit out the record-breaking T20 against Australia at Eden Park in February and scans

showed a bone defect. At times during the one-day series, especially on practice days, he has looked in discomfort but managed to play all five games - although he bowled just two overs in Wellington - and scored 216 runs including two half-centuries at No. 6, twice bettering his previous high scores. Santner had been included for the two-day pink-ball match against England in Hamilton starting on Wednesday before the seriousness of the injury became clear. "On a personal level everyone feels for Mitchell. He's a popular guy in the changing room and he's well respected for the work he puts in for the side," coach Mike Hesson said. "Mitchell is a key player in all three formats for us, so we'll certainly miss him in the upcoming series. It's important though that he gets this fixed and we have him back for what is a big next 18 months for us." In the short term, Santner's absence will mean rejgging New Zealand's middle order. Against West Indies earlier this season he was batting at No. 6 although Watling's return after a hip problem offers the option of him filling that position. Colin de Grandhomme could then follow at No. 7, where he scored 185 runs in three innings in the West Indies series, including a maiden century off

71 balls. Also, though Santner's Test record with the ball of 34 wickets at 37.05 does not leap out, his economy rate of 2.79 has offered Kane Williamson important control. Astle's inclusion ahead of Ish Sodhi, who impressed during the one-day series, highlights the loss of Santner's batting and the impact on New Zealand's balance. Astle, who has played two Tests in four years, is a far better batsman than Sodhi and could slot in at No. 8 followed by the three frontline quicks - Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner - although there remains the outside chance New Zealand could go paceheavy for the pink-ball Test at Eden Park and include Matt Henry. Watling's return had been telegraphed by coach Mike Hesson earlier in the week when he said he was showing no signs of pain having regained the gloves for Northern Districts in the Plunket Shield. He was ruled out of the West Indies series due to a hip complaint that, while not stopping him batting, made wicketkeeping very painful. His replacement, Tom Blundell, made a century on debut in Wellington but Watling is a highly-valued member of the squad and averages 38.05 from 52 Tests. "BJ is a proven performer at Test level for us and brings a lot to the group both on and off the field," selector Gavin Larsen said. "We've monitored BJ's progress over the past few months and it's great to see him back with the gloves for Northern Districts. Tom Blundell did a great job in BJ's absence and we'll keep working with him going forward." The rest of the squad is as expected with Jeet Ravel opening alongside Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls taking the No. 5 spot. Taylor had initially been penciled in for the second two-day game against England at Seddon Park, but after the oneday series Hesson said he would not be risked ahead of the Test series. The players not involved in the New Zealand XIs over the next four days in Hamilton will join a training camp in Mount Maunganui ahead of the day-night Test at Eden Park which starts on March 22. New Zealand squad Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.

Rohit and sundar carry India into final sPorts DEsk India 176 for 3 (Rohit 89, Raina 47) beat Bangladesh 159 for 6 (Mushfiqur 72, Sundar 3-22) by 17 runs Powered for the first time in the tournament by Rohit Sharma's runs, India bided their time, kept wickets in hand, and blasted 79 off six overs towards the end to make 176 for 3 a score that proved 17 runs beyond Bangladesh, despite another fifty from Mushfiqur Rahim. Batting in partnership with Rohit, Suresh Raina also contributed a vital 47 off 30 balls, their second-wicket association running for 102 runs. On the slowest pitch of the tournament so far, India's bowlers mounted a proficient defence; Washington Sundar dismissed the Bangladesh openers in-

side the Powerplay, Yuzvendra Chapel delivered another probing spell, and the seamers largely proved difficult to put away, their full array of cutters, knuckle balls and slower ones on display. This being India's third win, they are now in Sunday's final. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will play a virtual semi-final on Friday, having won only one game apiece so far. The pace of the India innings adhered roughly to Rohit's own rate of scoring. At the end of the Powerplay, both he and the team had made a smart start without quite being explosive; he was on 26 off 23, and the total was at 49 for no loss. He coasted through the middle overs completing his 13th T20I fifty off the 42nd delivery he faced, and then came the explosion.

In the six overs between 14th and 19th, India scored almost 14 per over, and Rohit reaped 37 off 15 balls. He took an especial liking to the bowling of Abu Hider, whose final over disappeared for 21 runs. Even Mustafizur Rahman was not spared. Perhaps the most memorable shot of the innings was Rohit's slog sweep off him in the 17th over, which sent the ball high over the square leg boundary. Having arrived with the score at 70 for 1 in the 10th over, Raina had been tested with the shorter delivery again, but having survived that period, it had been he who kicked India's innings into overdrive. He thumped Mehedi Hasan over cow corner in the 14th over, before clubbing him down the ground for four

next ball. There was one top edge for four off Rubel Hossain, but otherwise Raina's advance was clinical and calculated. He favored the leg side as usual. He was caught off the first ball of Rubel's excellent final over, attempting a third six, again over deep midwicket. Earlier Shikhar Dhawan had made 35 off 27 balls. Bangladesh may have been full of confidence following the chase of 215, but they never really had the measure of this target. They needed a bright start like they had had on Saturday, but got the opposite. Liton Das was stumped off Sundar in the second over, after the bowler fired the ball short and wide, having seen the batsman coming. Soumya Sarkar was bowled in Sundar's next over, as he heaved unfruitfully at a straighter delivery.

Kohli wary of his heavy workload demands MuMbai Agencies

India captain Virat Kohli has welcomed the short break from cricket that he is on currently, saying it has helped him recover from a "few niggles". Kohli opted out of the ongoing Nidahas Trophy, the T20 triangular series also featuring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with Rohit Sharma captaining the Indian team instead. "Physically, I had a few niggles, I am just getting over those," Kohli said at a promotional event in Mumbai. "The workload has started to disagree with me a little bit. I have to be very careful about how I go forward with my body, my mind, my cricket. Times like these are

very, very important. I am totally enjoying it; I do not even have an inch of me missing out on anything because my body really needed this." Kohli was rested for the tri-series on the back of an almost two-month-long South African tour, where he played every match barring one T20I. The Indian contingent for the Nidahas Trophy excluded several notable limited-overs regulars, including Kohli, MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav, with MSK Prasad, the chairman of selectors, explaining that the selection committee was mindful of their workload and upcoming schedule. This is not the first time that Kohli has raised concerns about workload

management. He had been pretty vociferous about it during the home Test series against Sri Lanka last year. "Definitely, I do need a rest. Why not? When I think of the time when my body needs to be rested, I'll ask for it. I am not a robot, you can slice my skin and check, I bleed," he had said then. He was subsequently rested for the limitedovers leg of the tour. India's players have a long season ahead of them. After the tri-series in Sri Lanka, they will be engaged in the IPL through April and May, then host Afghanistan for a one-off Test in June, before heading England for three T20Is, three ODIs and five Tests starting in July and running through to September.


spoRTs 19

todAy’S MAtCheS Peshawar Zalmi vs Karachi Kings Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United

4:30 PM 9:00 PM

Zaman's blitz steers lQ to 17-run victory against gladiators sharJah Agencies

Lahore Qalandars continued their late resurgence in the PSL, notching up their third successive win after downing Quetta Gladiators by 17 runs. They had opener Fakhar Zaman to thank primarily for their two points. He put on a show of fabulous powerhitting to clout 94 off 50 balls - the highest individual score this season - and lead his side to 186. Lahore haven't made any changes to their team since picking up their first win, and their openers Fakhar and Anton Devcich gave them a solid start again. However, when Devcich, Agha Salman and Brendon McCullum - the captain who was controversially given out off a no-ball - fell in quick succession, Fakhar held the innings together, brilliantly supported by a 27-ball 42 from wicketkeeper-batsman Gulraiz Sadaf. A cameo in the end from Sunil Narine (20*) ensured Lahore finished with a flourish. Earlier, Quetta Gladiators had won the toss and elected to field.


SPORTS Thursday, 15 March, 2018

Blundell and Jamieson give england the runaround e HAMIlton Agencies

NGLAND began four days of Test preparation in Hamilton on Wednesday with the first two days played with the pink ball under lights. The matches aren't first-class, England bowled first by agreement and teams can continue batting a whole day even if bowled out, so the games are essentially glorified middle practice. It all started well for England, reducing the New Zealand XI to 30 for 5, but a chastening afternoon and evening followed as Tom Blundell and Kyle Jamieson added 163 and both scored centuries. Here are a few things that caught the eye. Stokes-watch has not finished with his comeback in the one-day series. He will sit out the first two-day game with a back problem but it is being played down as nothing serious; England are hopeful he will play over the second two days, he pushed himself hard during the ODIs and

may be feeling the effects. However, it is likely his workload in the Tests will need to be managed or he could be considered as a specialist batsman. In that case it would again leave England needing to find a way to balance the side. At the very least, Stokes won't have had any middle

time with the pink ball. James Vince, who could be vulnerable if Stokes plays as a batsman, had seven overs on the opening day here, but if he's needed for that many in a Test, things haven't gone well. New Zealand's Test openers, Jeet Raval and Tom Latham, walked out to

open the XI's innings - a chance for Raval to have an early sight of the pink ball and for Latham to adjust from one-day cricket. It didn't work out for either of them first time around. James Anderson, quickly back into the groove, pushed one across Latham to find the outside edge and then Raval had a lazy waft at Stuart Broad's first ball to give Ben Foakes another catches. With Henry Nicholls chipping to midwicket and Colin de Grandhomme edging Mark Wood behind, it wasn't a great day for New Zealand's Test squad. There was time late in the day for Raval to fall a second time, edging a good delivery from Broad. Not the ideal preparation. Broad is on 399 Test wickets has been working hard between series on trying to regain the outswinger. He had to wait a little while for his first bowl of the tour, though, as Wood was given the new ball ahead of him. If Stokes and Chris Woakes (rested here with a hamstring niggle) are fit, it's hard to see how Wood would fit into the Test side, so it was an interesting

Gayle, Yuvraj worth the money 'even if they win two-three games' – Sehwag

MUMBAI Agencies

Not many people would consider INR 2 crores (USD 308,000 approx) for two days' good work a worthwhile investment but in T20 franchise cricket, that apparently is "a bargain." One of the more bizarre sights at the IPL auction was a man with 10,000 runs going unsold until he came up for the draw a third time. It seemed like a sign that the Chris Gayle brand had taken a hit. Similarly, Yuvraj Singh was dealt a pay cut of INR 5 crores (USD 772,000 approx) from his 2017 contract. There were indications that both players - aged 38 and 36 respectively - were on the wane but Kings XI Punjab will be happy if they can win them even a handful of games in the new season which begins on April 7. The team's director Virender Sehwag gave his resounding support to both Gayle and Yuvraj on Tuesday, saying "It is great that they have come to us at their base price (INR 2 crore for both). It is surely a bargain. Who knows if there were more bidders, they could have gone as high as USD 1 million. They are big names and match winners, even if they win two-three games for us, we would get the return on

investment." Gayle is currently with the West Indies, assisting their efforts to qualify for the World Cup. Last Tuesday, he struck his 23rd ODI century, a boundary-laden effort against UAE. And in December last year, he pummeled 146 not out off 69 balls in the final of the Bangladesh Premier League and proclaimed himself as the best batsman in history. Yuvraj has not played international cricket since June 2017, but he is eager to perform not only this season of the IPL but a couple more. He also has a deep connect with Kings XI, first being a Punjabi boy himself and second a former captain of the franchise. He now adds to a strong core of local talent. "Last few years, our Indian players were not that good, except Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel," Sehwag said. "That was one gap. If you want to win the IPL, you have to have good Indian players. We have four to five of them this time. We were also struggling with Indian batting line-up, which could hold the innings together. Guys like [KL] Rahul, [Karun] Nair and Manoj Tiwary can hold the middle order. Then, we have explosive openers in Gayle and [Aaron] Finch, and down the order, we have David Miller. Hopefully, they will do well against spinners,"

NZ hold on for narrow win courtesy Kasperek's three-for Mount Maunganui: Spinner Leigh Kasperek's three-wicket haul - including the late scalps of Kyshona Knight and Kycia Knight in the space of three balls in the 19th over - proved vital as New Zealand prevailed over West Indies by eight runs in the first game of the five-match women's T20I series. Kasperek had earlier also accounted for top-scorer Hayley Matthews, out stumped after teeing off for 53 off 31. Kasperek's wickets ensured captain Stafanie Taylor was neutralised, left stranded on 51. Taylor built on the platform that was set by Matthews, who dominated an opening stand of 42 with Merissa Aguilleira, to which the latter contributed just 5. However, Matthews' dismissal triggered a slide, as 60 for 1 became 97 for 4, until Kyshona partnered Taylor for a 56run stand that took West Indies closer. With 22 required off two overs, Taylor struck Kasperek for six at the start of the 19th. But the bowler recovered to concede just three runs off the remaining five deliveries while picking up two wickets. Akeira Peters used up four deliveries in the final over, by Sophie Devine, before Taylor got strike; by then the equation of 10 off 2 proved too tough even for the well-set batsman. "We're really lucky Sophie bowled the over really well, and I guess having the non-established batter on strike helped us too," Katey Martin, the Player of the Match for her half-century and two stumpings, said. "It was pleasing to get across today." Earlier, New Zealand's top order set them up for a tall score with three solid contributions. Captain Suzie Bates carried over her brutal form from the ODIs and struck 49, before Martin (54) and Amy Satterthwaite (36) consolidated with a 52-run third-wicket stand. Agencies Published by Arif Nizami at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore. Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965. Email:


decision from Joe Root. Wood's first spell ended with 3-2-1-0 and then Broad struck with his first delivery. Tom Blundell made a century on Test debut against West Indies but, two matches later, is out of the team with BJ Watling having recovered from his hip problem to regain his place. That is an unsurprising decision - Watling averages 38.05 in Tests - but Blundell ensured that the pressure will be on Watling to perform. Having come in at 15 for 4, he became increasingly aggressive during the afternoon - his second fifty took just 49 balls - to reach three figures from 149 deliveries. It won't have hurt that New Zealand coach Mike Hesson was at the ground by this time. When he had 131, he felt he had enough and retired to give someone else a chance. This opposition is stronger than what England faced during their warm-ups in Australia, although the manufactured match situation is unsatisfactory. It wouldn't have mattered if New Zealand had been skittled, they would have all come in for another bat. At least, though, this was genuine resistance. The recovery, again, raised the question of what this attack can do when the Kookaburra passes about 25 overs. There was some fill-in bowling used at times, but England went 45 overs between actually taking a wicket themselves, and Moeen Ali was treated with some disdain, conceding over four an over. The fact that that period involved a No. 8 without a first-class fifty will raise a few concerns.

E paper pdf 15th march (lhr)  
E paper pdf 15th march (lhr)