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Monday, 16 april, 2018 i rajab-ul-Murajjab 29, 1439 i rs 20.00 i vol viii no 288 i 64 pages i lahore edition

attack on judge’s house keeps govt on its toes g

2 security personnel martyred in Afghan cross-border attack blast in bannu leaves three fC personnel injured STORIES ON PAGE 03




wO separate firing incidents of firing were reported outside the residence of Supreme Court (SC) Justice Ijazul Ahsan’s residence on Sunday, a statement by apex court stated. According to SC’s PrO, Justice Ijazul Ahsan’s residence was targeted twice – first at 4:30am and then 9:00am on Sunday. No casualties were reported in both incidents. According to police officials, the judge’s private security guard, din Mohammad, discovered a 9mm bullet casing inside

the residence at 6am on Sunday after which the police were called in. Police officials said the shell has been sent for forensic analysis, adding that they are also reviewing footage of CCTv cameras in the area. Another bullet was recovered from the garage of the house. following the incident, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar visited the residence of Justice Ahsan and called Punjab Inspector general of Police (IgP) Arif Nawaz khan to probe the incidents. The chief justice is said to be overseeing the situation himself.







two killed, five injured

Christians Continue to be targetted in Quetta ON PAGE 02 shehbaz sharif promises Ch nisar to redress grievances STORY ON PAGE 03

PTI may seek ECP’s intervention over Punjab caretaker CM STORY ON PAGE 02

related stories

un urges pakistan, india to de-escalate loC tensions PM Abbasi, COAS Bajwa arrive in Saudi Arabia to inspect IMCTC exercises people throng ptM rally in bajaur STORIES ON PAGES 03 & 04

in today’s issue


Monday, 16 April, 2018



Staff RepoRt

T least two people were killed and five other injured when gunmen opened fire at Christians coming out of a church following a Sunday service in

Quetta. According to initial reports, the incident occurred when people were leaving after attending the Sunday service at a church in Essa Nagri area of the provincial capital. Quetta DIG Abdur Razzaq Chema

said that unidentified attackers riding a motorbike opened fire on the members of the Christian community and managed to flee the scene soon after the incident. The injured were shifted to the Balochistan Medical Complex (BMC) where at least two people succumbed to their wounds. Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo took notice of the incident and directed that the elements involved in the attack should not be spared at any cost. Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti expressed sorrow over the incident and also assured action against the culprits.

south Punjab needs basic facilities, not metro: Pti LAHORE Staff RepoRt

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) reiterated its demand on Sunday for the provision of basic facilities for the people of southern parts of Punjab, urging the government to prioritise necessary amenities over projects like metro service. A delegation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday met the leadership of South Punjab Front (SPF) who have defected from ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) as part of their demand to have a separate province. After the meeting, leaders of both sides addressed a joint press conference. Talking to media, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that due to lack of interest of the ruling elite, a feeling of deprivation has prevailed in the people of in southern Punjab during the last decade. “South Punjab province will strengthen the federation,” he added. Qureshi asked where the separate secretariat for southern Punjab was as announced by the incumbent government.

nCsW without a chairperson despite court orders ISLAMABAD oBaID aBBaSI

Meanwhile, a case was registered against unidentified attackers and an investigation was started. PROTESTS OVER ATTACK: Following the attack, the community members with the dead bodies staged a protest in the city and blocked roads Barori Road near Golimar Chowk. The protesters said that the government failed to put an end to the attacks on Christians. Earlier this month, four members of a Christian family travelling in a rickshaw were killed in a firing incident on Quetta’s Shah Zaman road a day after the community celebrated Easter on April 1. The Christian family belonged to Punjab and was visiting relatives in Quetta. In December last year, nine people were killed and 30 were injured

in a suicide attack on the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Quetta’s Zarghoon Road. At least two suicide attackers had struck the Bethel Memorial Church while the Sunday service was ongoing. There were 400 worshipers inside the church when the assault started. The church had been more crowded than usual that day as it was close to Christmas. Days after the Christians were targeted in the deadly attack, a grieving but defiant congregation marked Christmas amidst tight security arrangements. Commandos were deployed inside and around the church in the southwestern city of Quetta. Snipers were positioned on top of the church, as survivors spoke of their lost loved ones and called for the congregation to be armed, with a quiet, sombre service.


The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) if no consensus is reached with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to appoint caretaker Punjab chief minister. The PTI has decided to form electoral alliances both at the national and provincial levels for the upcoming polls, with the main focus on countering their opponents — the ruling PML-N party and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The PTI has prepared a separate electoral and political strategy for every province, which mainly fo-

cuses on countering the PPP in Sindh and the PML-N’s electoral alliance in Punjab, with seat adjustment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan with like-minded parties. PTI Chairman Imran Khan has tasked Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other party leaders to contact like-minded parties for seat adjustments. However, the PTI would still prefer to support independents where its own candidates are not viable. It has also been decided to start a mass contact campaign from next month and the party has instructed district leaders to prepare a schedule of public meetings to be addressed by Imran. Meanwhile, the PTI has also decided to take into its folds the dis-

gruntled leaders of PML-N and has asked its leaders to contact such political figures. The party has also decided that the PPP and the PML-N will not be allowed to make any convenient arrangement about the caretaker setup and will soon give its proposals for a caretaker prime minister to the opposition leader. Meanwhile, the PTI has proposed names of former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani and former State Bank governor Dr Ishrat Hussain for the caretaker prime minister. According to sources, a meeting at Bani Gala that was presided over by Imran Khan approved the two names for the caretaker PM. Shah Mahmood Qureshi has been entrusted the responsibility to deliver these names to opposition leader Khurshid Shah and is likely to meet him soon.

The Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) is yet to appoint the chairperson of National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) as it has remained non-functional since February this year after the appointment of former chairperson was setaside by the court, Pakistan Today has learnt. On February 8, Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb of Islamabad High Court (IHC) set-aside the appointment of former NCSW chairperson Khawar Mumtaz, after her appointment was challenged by a women rights activist Farzana Bari, who was one of the candidates for the position. The court while setting aside her appointment, said that the prime minister shall take into consideration the summary of MoHR while carrying out the consultative process in two weeks. The judgment of the court directed that the prime minister shall take into consideration respondent’s summary and the accompanying material in carrying out the consultative process with the leader of the opposition as envisaged in section 4(2) of the NCSW Act. “It is expected that the said direction will be complied with expeditiously and preferably within a period of two weeks from the date of the receipt of the judgment,” said the court order available with Pakistan Today. However, sources close to the development said that despite the ruling by the court, the ministry has yet to take any practical steps, leaving the commission without a head. They said that the chairperson of the commission also holds a position of principal accounting officer, who is bound to prepare an internal budget so that the federal government can approve and grant it. However, due to the non-functioning of the commission, the budget has not been prepared yet which is alarming. On the other hand, the irony is that the ministry did not even remove the picture and portfolio of Khawar Mumtaz from the ministry’s website, which underscores the slackness of the ministry. Ministry of Human Rights Secretary Rabiya Agha, when contacted, claimed that she had forwarded two summaries to the prime minister: one for permanent chairperson and one for acting. She did not remember the date, however. When asked that the court had given two weeks only and two months had elapsed and the commission was still non-functional, she replied that there is a process for the appointment and it takes times. Regarding, the pictures of Mumtaz with her portfolio at the official website of the ministry, despite that fact that she is no longer a chairperson, the official said that the IT department controlled the website which needs to be revamped and ministry is in the process.

Attack on judge’s house keeps govt on its toes COntInuED fROM pAgE 01 Similarly, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif took the notice of the incident and ordered the inspector general to present the report and bring the culprits to the book. The personal secretary to Sharif, who visited the SC judge’s residence to meet him, was refused a meeting by the SC administration. A First Information Report (FIR) about the incident was also filed in Model Town police station against unknown persons under the Anti-Terrorism Act and u/s 324, 506-B, 427 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). A committee was also formed under the chairmanship of DIG Investigation Chaudhry Sultan Ahmad and comprising of SSP Investigation Ghulam Mubashar Maiken, CIA SP Nadeem Abbas and Model Town SP Investigation Shakir Ahmad Shahid. According to the preliminary observations of the Crime Scene Unit (CSU), the first shot that hit the main gate of the house could be a stray bullet which was fired from a distance and was on the final stage of its parabolic trajectory. CONDEMNATIONS: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi “strongly condemned” the incident and directed the authorities concerned at the federal and provincial level to bring the culprits to the task at the earliest.

Moreover, former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Zardari called for a high-level investigation into the incident. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan condemned the attack and said, “Sicilian-mafia-like tactics to pressurise senior judiciary are unacceptable in any democracy.” He also asked Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to resign from his post. The PTI chief further tweeted that PTI “stands firmly behind the judiciary and the rule of and this is one reason behind party’s April 29 Minar-e-Pakistan jalsa”. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Parvez Elahi also condemned the incident. PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik strongly condemned the firing on the residence of the SC judge and demanded an immediate inquiry and a fair investigation into the incident. “It is unfortunate that even residences of our judges are not protected,” he said. He said that such attacks aimed to impact the rule of law and to horrify the judiciary but he believed that such coward tactics would not be successful. The senator said that it was the duty of every citizen of the country to respect and protect the institutions. Pakistan Army on Sunday con-

demned the firing incidents at the residence of the SC judge. A statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, “Firing incidents at the residence of Justice Ijazul Ahsan are condemnable”. “All stakeholders should ensure a secure environment for the effective functioning of the state institutions and continue the efforts to consolidate improving peace and stability,” the statement added. SCBA CAllS Of STRIKE AfTER CJP’S REquEST: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) condemned the firing incidents and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits. “Lawyers of the whole country are standing with the SC judges,” SCBA Secretary Safdar Tarar said in a statement, while LHCBA President Anwarul Haq said the lawyers were soldiers of the SC judges. Condemning the attacks, SCBA President Kaleem Ahmed Khursheed said that such attacks could not weaken the judiciary’s resolve, adding that the lawyers’ fraternity from around the country was standing behind the judiciary. He urged the SC stakeholders to hold an immediate meeting and announce future course of action pertaining the matter. Speaking to Pakistan Today, Barrister Waqqas Mir condemned the attacks said


that the government should investigate the incident and make the findings public. Condemning the incident, Barrister Muhammad Ahmad Pansota told Pakistan Today, “The attacks can be interpreted as an attempt to silence the judiciary. Justice Ijazul Ahsan was on the bench that gave the verdict of the Panama Papers case and this itself says a lot about incident because one must look at the beneficiaries of the attacks to understand the reason behind it.” Advocate Naeem Bukhari also condemned the incident and said that the attackers wanted to send a message to the chief justice. Meanwhile, the legal community announced to wear black armbands in protest on Monday. Nisar on Sunday appealed to all bar councils to call off the strike scheduled for Monday. He also requested the legal fraternity to attend the courts on Monday for sake of dispensation of justice to litigants whose cases were already fixed for hearing on Monday in different courts. He said that litigant parties would come from far flung areas to attend courts, therefore, the strike would not only disturb routine court proceedings but also hurt the expectations of the people. He also extended his thanks and gratitude to all bar councils for their unflinching support to the SC during difficult moments. Lawyers accepted his appeal and called off the strike.

PROMINENT CASES: Justice Ahsan was the part of the five-member bench that heard the high profile Panama Papers case which led to the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He was also part of the three-member bench hearing the 17 petitions against controversial Election Act 2017. The bench ruled that an individual disqualified under Article 62 and 63 cannot hold the chairmanship of a political party, leading to Nawaz Sharif losing the presidency of PML-N. He is also the monitoring judge of the ongoing corruption cases in accountability court, filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB), against Nawaz Sharif, his family and former finance minister Ishaq Dar. Further, Justice Ahsan often spends his weekends in Lahore, where he, along with the chief justice, presides several cases related to public welfare in Supreme Court’s Lahore registry. lAW CAREER: Justice Ahsan completed his LLB from Punjab University Law College and completed his postgraduate from Cornell University. He was elevated to the bench in 2009 and appointed as a judge of Lahore High Court (LHC) in 2011. He has served as the inspecting judge of Gujranwala, Kasur and Lahore Districts. In 2015, he was appointed as LHC chief justice and elevated to the apex court in 2016.

Monday, 16 April, 2018


shehbaz promises nisar to redress grievances LAHORE Staff RepoRt

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday assured senior party leader Chaudhry Nisar of addressal of latter’s grievances, saying that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) needed him to keep on with its pro-development agenda. PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar met on Sunday which was their third meeting in a week. During the meeting, Shehbaz said: “We want this journey to continue and for doing so, it is vital to remove all differences within the party ranks.” In a reported two-hour long meeting, both leaders discussed recent defections of south Punjab party leaders as well as a strategy for the upcoming general elections. Additionally, multiple issues within the party, ways to strengthen the party, and Shehbaz’s recent trip to Karachi and Peshawar also came under discussion. The rift between Nisar, a veteran party leader from Rawalpindi, and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has been brewing since July last year following Nawaz’s disqualification and party’s subsequent “anti-judiciary drive”. PML-N’s new president and his aides, contrary to Nawaz Sharif’s views, are of the opinion that the party should wait for the accountability court’s decision instead of escalating confrontation with the judiciary after the apex court’s verdict. The Rawalpindi-based PML-N leader, Nisar, has been at odds with the party leadership, especially the daughter of the former premier, Maryam Nawaz, and has given multiple statements against her. Recently both leaders had also indulged in spat concerning party tickets.

Votes to be cast on watermarked ballot papers nEWS DESK The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to use watermarked ballot papers in the upcoming general elections, reported a local media outlet on Sunday. According to reports, preparations for the general elections are in full swing with ballot papers to be used for voting to have an exclusive watermark for which the paper which will be purchased from France. The special paper will be provided in June 2018 after which the printing process will start. Sources said that the ECP has paid an advance amount for the purchase, with the printing process costing over Rs610 million. With the total cost of purchasing, the ballot papers will be over Rs1 billion. The printing press corporation will be given Rs150 million while the postal printing will be provided Rs110 million.




T least two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel deployed on the Pak-Afghan border were martyred and five others injured in an attack from across the border, said an InterServices Public Relations (ISPR) statement on Sunday. According to tribal sources in Kurram Agency, the attack happened at Lakka Teega area of Lower Kurram Agency, which connects Kurram and North Waziristan agencies of the tribal belt with Khost province of Afghanistan. The ISPR statement

ISLAMABAD The Foreign Office (FO) on Sunday rejected as baseless the Indian allegation that its high commissioner in Islamabad was prevented from meeting the visiting Sikh pilgrims. Responding to a question regarding the press release issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, FO, in a statement, said that it was deeply regrettable that facts in this matter had been completely distorted and misrepresented. It said that the factual position was that the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) secretary had extended an invitation to the Indian high commissioner to attend the main function of Baisakhi at the Gurdwara Panja Sahib on Saturday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs promptly processed the matter on Friday and granted the travel permission. However, in the run-up to the main function, ETPB authorities no-

blast in bannu leaves three FC personnel injured BANNu: At least three FC personnel were injured on Sunday when a remotecontrolled bomb exploded near their vehicle at a checkpost in Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). According to security sources, the vehicle was targeted near the Mir Ali checkpost. The injured personnel were later shifted to Cantonment Military Hospital (CMH) for treatment. On April 6, police foiled a terror bid in Bannu by disposing of a bomb weighing three kilogrammes. According to the details, the bomb was recovered from the jurisdiction of Mandan police station.

People throng PtM rally in bajaur further said that the officials were reviewing fencing arrangements on the border when the incident occurred. However, the security forces timely responded, the military’s media wing stated. There were no reports regarding losses inflicted to the alleged terrorists. The tribal sources said that alleged attack occurred early Sunday. Soon after the attack, announcements were made through mosques’ loudspeakers in various villages, situated along the PakAfghan border. In response to the announcements, scores of armed tribesmen from Bangash and other tribes started assembling to support the security personnel, they added. In earlier reports, the security forces confirmed injuries to three personnel but later the ISPR informed that two personnel were martyred and three injured. On Friday,

Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal had stated that terrorist groups (based in Afghanistan) regularly undertake cross-border raids on our posts. The spokesman had said further that two Pakistani soldiers lost their lives in cross-border attacks on April 7 and 8, besides injuries to several others. The army is in the process of fencing the porous PakAfghan border in a bid to stem the free-flow of militants. Kabul, meanwhile, has denounced the fence, which threatens to upset the daily lives of communities who have traditionally paid little mind to the border. Afghanistan has refused to recognise the Durand Line — a 2,400-kilometre frontier drawn by the British in 1896 — as it splits the Pashtun ethnic group between the nations.

Indian HC wasn’t prevented from meeting Sikh pilgrims: FO Staff RepoRt


ticed strong resentment among segments of Sikh pilgrims, gathered there from different parts of the world, protesting the release in India of some film on Baba Guru Nanak Devji. The FO statement said that considering an emotionally charged environment and the possibility of any untoward situation, the ETPB authorities contacted the Indian High Commission officials and suggested the cancellation of the visit. The Indian High Commission officials, after due deliberation, agreed to call off the visit in view of the situation. In another rebuttal, FO said that the facts regarding the visits of protocol team on Thursday and Saturday had also been twisted. The statement said that the matter related to the protocol team’s access on the arrival of the pilgrims at Wagha was expeditiously resolved through the intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, the concerned officials of the Indian High

Commission chose not to return, even though they were duly notified that the requisite clearance had been granted. On Saturday, there was no scheduled meeting with pilgrims. On Sunday, the officials of Indian High Commission duly visited Gurdwara Punja Sahib. FO said that it deeply condemned India’s attempt to generate controversy around the visits of Sikh pilgrims and to vitiate the environment of bilateral relations. PAKISTAN uRgES INDIA TO IMPlEMENT 1974 PROTOCOl: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood has urged India to implement the bilateral 1974 Protocol between the two countries on visits to religious shrines. In an interview with daily Tribune India, he said Pakistan had made assiduous efforts to preserve religious sites and facilitate visits of people of all faiths. He regretted that Pakistani pilgrims were not issued visas to participate in the Urs at Ajmer Sharif.

PESHAWAR: Amid resistance and opposition, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) continues to mobilise people for provision of basic rights to Pashtuns, especially those living in tribal areas. In this connection, the PTM organised a rally on Sunday that was attended by hundreds of tribesmen from all over Bajaur Agency. Muhammad Asghar Khan and Ayaz Khan were the main speakers of the rally, who endorsed the demands of PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen. They also highlighted local security and administrative problems and informed that local tribesmen were being forced to work with security personnel without any wages and returns for months and weeks. In this respect, they demanded the government to abolish this forced labour in the tribal belt of Bajaur. Sirajuddin, an active member of PTM from Bajaur Agency told a foreign media outlet that attendance in Sunday meeting was “satisfactory” as it was arranged to mobilise people to attend the Swat rally on April 29. In response to a question, Siraj said that so far there was no organised resistance to the PTM in Bajaur Agency but a propaganda drive was already in progress. “The PTM is being accused of playing in the hands of Afghanistan and India but there is no reality to these claims. All of our demands are in accordance with the constitution.” The PTM had arranged a well-attended gathering in Dera Ismael Khan on Friday, which was attended by thousands of people from Waziristan and Balochistan. Separately, Pakistan Zindabad and Pakistan Tahafuz Movement have been holding rallies and conferences against the PTM while accusing Pashteen of playing into the hands of India and Afghanistan. In addition, office holders and members of different professional groups are also opposed to Manzoor Pashteen-led PTM. Mardan Bar Association in its meeting on Saturday condemned the PTM but has endorsed its demands of abolishing unnecessary security forces check posts, early release and recovery of missing persons. The PTM supporters had started mobilisation in Faisalabad, and a press conference on Sunday but the administration of Faisalabad Press Club (FPC) cancelled the press conference without pointing reason. SHaMIM SHaHID


A senior United Nations (UN) official has urged India and Pakistan to address their ‘outstanding issues’ through peaceful means, reiterating UN secretary general’s concern over the growing tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. UN Political Affairs Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenca made these remarks during his talks with top Pakistani officials during a visit to the

country which ended on April 13, according to a statement issued by UN spokesman’s office. It stated that the UN official held meetings with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Special Secretary Tasnim Aslam in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 12. He also met the representatives of the diplomatic community and members of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT). “Jenca reiterated that the secretary general is concerned about the heightening tensions along the LoC between

India and Pakistan, the statement said, adding, “He echoed the secretary general’s calls for maximum restraint and efforts to de-escalate the situation.” Jenca also underlined in his conversations in Islamabad that Pakistan’s commitment to fostering multilateralism and cooperation was important for peace and stability in the region and beyond. “He welcomed Pakistan and Afghanistan’s decision to increase cooperation through the implementation of Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS),” the


UN statement said. Jenca underscored the importance of this positive momentum for the further advancement of the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, it said. He also commended Pakistan’s generosity in hosting refugees from Afghanistan and other countries. Moreover, he welcomed Pakistan’s contribution to UN peacekeeping as one of leading troop-contributing countries and thanked Pakistan for its close cooperation with UN Country Team. He appreciated Pakistan’s support for the UN reform initiatives launched by the secretary general, the statement added. Pakistan is among the top contributors to the UN peacekeeping operations around the world, with more than 7,000

Pakistanis currently serving as blue helmets. More than 170,000 Pakistanis have served over the past decades. One hundred and forty-seven Pakistani peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of world peace and stability. “During the visit, Jenca also participated at a medal parade of the UN Military Observation Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) where the UN recognised the service of its peacekeepers deployed to the group,” the statement concluded. Over the years, UNMOGIP is only able to operate on the Pakistani side of the LoC, as India refuses to cooperate with the military group, claiming that it has become irrelevant.

04 NEWS PM, COAS arrive in Saudi Arabia on two-day visit Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in Saudi Arabia on a two-day official visit during late Sunday to witness the closing ceremony of the 24-country joint military exercise. PM Abbasi was welcomed in the Saudi city of Dammam by Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, among other notables. A high-level delegation, including Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Federal Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir, has accompanied the prime minister to witness the military exercise. The monthlong exercise Gulf Shield-1 is aimed at strengthening “military and security cooperation and coordination” among the regional countries. It concludes on Monday. The second stage of Joint Gulf Shield military exercise has also started in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with 24 countries to increase its defence cooperation with the leading world nations. Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz has invited representatives of the allies to participate in the "Joint Gulf Shield" military exercise. The United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Turkey are among the other participants of the month-long exercise. The exercise includes units of army, navy, air force and the special forces. NeWS DeSK

Week-long fresh rain spell begins across country ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt

A week-long fresh rain spell began across the country on Sunday, reported Radio Pakistan. The Met Office spokesman said that a shallow westerly wave has entered Pakistan. He said that rain-thundershowers with gusty winds are expected at scattered places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Islamabad, Upper Punjab, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and at isolated places in northeast-Balochistan and southern Punjab during the next six days. The spokesmen said there is also a high risk of landslides in mountainous and sub-mountainous areas of KP, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan during this period.


The tussle between Federal State Minister for Finance Rana Afzal and Punjab Food Authority (PFA) Director General (DG) Noor-ul-Amin Mengal has intensified after Afzal decided to approach the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Mengal. The state minister had filed a privilege motion against Mengal in the National Assembly (NA) two years ago but the committee concerned failed to reach any conclusion in this connection. The federal minister had also filed an application with the Establishment Division secretary stating that Mengal was involved in corruption while posted in Faisalabad but the secretary had not taken

Monday, 16 April, 2018

Governments should come and Go but their respect shouldn’t: saad rafique RAILWAYS MINISTER SAYS AT LEAST A DECADE IS REQUIRED TO OVERHAUL RAILWAYS LAHORE


Staff RepoRt

AILWAyS Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, while addressing the inaugural ceremony of residential apartments for class-III and IV employees of Pakistan Railways (PR) on Sunday, said that governments should come and go with their respect intact. Rafique, while discussing Pakistan Railways’ progress, said that the department’s future is positively bright as they are headed in the right direction and added that more than one decade is required to transform the railways. The minister stressed that the railways should be kept away from politics. Commenting on the upcoming general elections, Saad said we are collectively responsible to ensure timely elections. He further said that elections should be contested on the basis of performance, instead of leveling allegations and using abusive language. He said that using such tactics would

further divide the nation. He also said that elections should be held in a peaceful and transparent atmosphere by shunning the culture of confrontation. The minister said that disqualification of Nawaz Sharif had damaged the reputation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan as nobody benefitted from the entire episode. He also said that respect of vote should be maintained during elections. He further said that our party would not allow Pak-

istan to become a banana republic. Moreover, he condemned the incident where unknown assailants attacked the residence of a judge and said that security forces were probing the incident. He urged all the political parties to ensure that the general elections were held on time, adding that hopefully power would be transferred from one democratic government to another in a smooth manner. The minister further said that it was the responsibility of everybody, including politicians, to respect each other. He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had made every effort to put an end to load shedding in Pakistan by adding more than 10,000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid. The minister said that he was satisfied with his performance while working for PR, adding that the credit of restoring train service in Pakistan went to the officers and workers of railways. Speaking on the occasion, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that he was a witness to the uplift of the railways and paid tribute to the railways minister for his contributions in this connection. Pakistan Railways Chief Executive Officer Javaid Anwar also spoke on the occasion.

Islamabad’s new airport will be operational from Friday ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt

The New Islamabad International Airport will be operational from Friday (April 20), as the Aviation Division informed all departments concerned about the landing of the first flight at 9:00am, according to media reports. The flight PK300 of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) will land at the new airport on Friday morning despite the fact the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi showed reservations during his recent visit to the airport. Last week, Adviser on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan inaugurated Pakistan’s largest and most advanced fuel farm facility, developed jointly by the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and the Attock Petroleum Limited, at the New Is-

lamabad International Airport. The facility’s smooth operation will be ensured by the offloading bays that are equipped with 600 USGPM pumps, a storage capacity of 10,000 tons with three vertical tanks, a 3,600 USGPM product pumping system and highly advanced refueling equipment comprising eight hydrants. PSO is Pakistan’s largest oil marketing company with operations at nine major airports and over 35 years of experience in fuelling the aviation industry. The Attock Petroleum is a progressive oil marketing company and part of Pakistan’s only fully vertically integrated oil group – Attock Oil Group of Companies – with collective experience of over 100 years and expertise in developing state-of-the-art infrastructure for storage, handling and delivery

of quality petroleum products. Winding up discussion on an adjournment motion regarding the decision of the Civil Aviation Authority to operationalise new airport, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed informed the Senate recently that the matter of corruption in the new airport was under investigation and everything would be cleared once it completed. He said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation would help unearth ‘corruption’ and exposed corrupt people in construction of the airport. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that members of the Public Accounts Committee had visited the new airport and appreciated the authorities concerned for high quality work. He said that the project was completed with a total outlay of Rs 105 billion.

Rana Afzal moves NAB against PFA DG any action owing to Mengal’s close association with Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. The tussle between the two started in 2014 when Mengal was Faisalabad’s district coordination officer (DCO). He defamed the minister on mainstream media but later the DCO’s allegations were proved wrong. Documents available with the minister showed that a complaint had been filed with Establishment Division secretary on September 16, 2015. “I have no knowledge about the progress made in this case in the last two and a half years,

even though the matter should have been considered extremely important,” the letter stated. The minister further stated in his complaint that the personal guard of former Faisalabad DCO used to collect large sums of money in the form of kickbacks from patwaris, tehsildars and other officials of the revenue department, as well as from the Town Municipal Administration (TMA). The total monthly collection amounted to millions of rupees while DDO HRM, Iqbal Town administrator and others fully backed the DCO’s driver and guard during their money col-


lection drives. The Faisalabad police Special Branch in its assessment report also confirmed that huge amounts of money cannot be collected from the revenue officials and other departments falling under the control of the district administration without the connivance of Faisalabad DCO. Federal Minister Afzal’s application also stated that the involvement of officials belonging to the district administration in massive corruption and the matter of not booking the SCO’s guard, namely Rana Imran, raised many questions about good governance in Punjab. The application further mentioned

Marriyum condemns firing incident at judge’s residence ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt

State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Sunday strongly condemned the incident of firing at the residence of Supreme Court judge Justice Ijazul Ahsan. In a statement, she said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had directed the authorities concerned, both at federal and provincial levels, to bring the culprits into clutches of law. She said that Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif directed the officials for immediate arrest of the culprits. "Such miscreants should be exposed as early as possible," Marriyum concluded.

4 dead, 25 injured in Hyderabad accident As many as four passengers were killed and another 25 injured in a fatal road accident on Hyderabad bypass in the vicinity of Matli town on Sunday after a tractor trolley and passenger coaster collided with each other, police said. Reportedly, the accident happened due to the undergoing development work at the road which had made the path narrower and rocky, creating a precarious situation for commuters. Those who lost their lives included Mahduri, 30, Nadeem Magsi, 10, Khamoon, 70 and Momal Magsi, 40. The injured persons were shifted to Taluka hospital in Matli, from where 15 persons who suffered major injuries were referred to Hyderabad for further treatment. Hospital officials in Hyderabad said eight of the 15 are said to be in critical condition. Matli police Station House Officer Hakim Ali Jalbani told a private news outlet that both vehicles have been impounded, however, the drivers had managed to flee from the scene. NeWS DeSK that Mengal also blackmailed Rana Afzal by tasking a woman to develop relations with him (Afzal). But the state minister lodged a complaint against the anonymous girl with the Intelligence Bureau (IB). The IB in its report stated that the lady was in continuous contact with the then Faisalabad DCO. She concealed her real identity and changed her name during her meeting with Afzal. It was found that she had maintained continuous contact through messages or calls with the DCO, which showed that she enjoyed a healthy relationship with the DCO. In addition, they were also together in Islamabad on November 3, 2015, and the girl continued to contact the DCO even when she was in a meeting with the minister.

Monday, 16 April, 2018



sattar expresses desire to meet cJp, coas to discuss ‘enGineered politics’ KARACHI

NAB chairman rebukes officials for interfering in probes ISLAMABAD aHMaD aHMaDaNI

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal has taken notice of alleged unlawful interventions by some officers of the bureau in investigations against corrupt individuals and has warned of strict consequences, it was learnt reliably. Taking cognizance of the issue, NAB chairman, in a letter to all director generals of the regions, has categorically declared that strict action will be taken in accordance with law against the officers found asserting influence or pressure in the ongoing inquiry or investigation process. According to the letter, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, senior officers from NAB headquarter and regions were found allegedly involved in influencing the on-going cases, upon which the bureau has directed all the officers to work within the given mandate and to ensure rule of law. “It is to convey that the NAB chairman has taken a serious view of unlawful/illegal interventions of senior NAB officers from NAB HQ (headquarter) and regions in ongoing cases at any stage in any manner. It is also directed that whosoever if found divulging influence/pressure for any reasons/motives will be dealt with strictly in accordance with law,” said the letter. Sources said that some federal and provincial ministers were allegedly using NAB officers to influence the investigation against them. They said that since NAB has tightened the noose around the ruling elite including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, federal and provincial ministers and some influential bureaucrats, the ruling elite is leaving no stone unturned to save their skin from possible arrest or action. The ruling elite is allegedly advising its blueeyed officials in NAB to try to avoid serious action against them. It is worth mentioning that the anti-graft watchdog has started the investigation against 435 Pakistani nationals who have registered and owned offshore companies at Panama and British Virgin Islands (BVI). Currently, NAB is prosecuting 1,138 cases involving about Rs900 billion. Similarly, the bureau has been probing the wealth of Sharif family including ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz and Kulsoom Nawaz. It has also been probing Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister Anusha Rehman, and Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique in Ashiyana Housing Scheme scam.Likewise, NAB has also launched an inquiry against Fawad Hassan Fawad for having no source of income to justify assets of over Rs12 billion.


Staff RepoRt

UTTAHIDA Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar on Saturday said that he wants to have a meeting with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar to discuss what he called ‘engineered politics’ in Karachi, a private news outlet reported. MQM-P’s PIB Colony faction head released a video message and claimed that his party’s lawmakers and parlia-

mentarians are coerced to change their allegiances. “A number of leaders’ loyalties were also forcefully changed in 1992,” he said. Complaining about his party not being allowed to do politics in Karachi, Sattar said he would not come back from the top court and the army headquarters without expressing his grievances. “I want to reveal secrets in front of Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar,” adding, “Now, I have left the ball of Muhajir cause in the CJP and the COAS’ court.” The MQM-P leader said he would meet and inform the COAS that the party is ready to clear the way for whosoever he desired.

Repeating the claims that his party members are being threatened and forced to join Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), Sattar accused that there is a great conspiracy to finish the MQM-P. He denied the prevailing narrative that party leaders are shifting sides due to the divisive dynamics within MQM-P. Adding that mistrust is being planted in members who are loyal to the party for the past 38 years, Sattar said that this policy cannot sustain for long. He claimed Shabbir Qaimkhani had parted ways due to mistrust as well. “Few entities are deliberately creating mistrust,” he alleged without naming anyone in particular. Rejecting the ru-

Fife woman helping to secure better future for Pakistani women Joanna Reid, a former St Andrews resident and pupil of Madras College, is based in Islamabad where she is involved in projects aimed at improving communities, including schemes to secure a better future for Pakistani women and girls, according to A key component of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, taking place in London on April 16 to 20, will be discussing how to improve the future of young people living in the organisation of 53 member states. Reid said, although Pakistan was currently the “second worst place in the world to be a woman”, there are also reasons to be optimistic. “Pakistan has an interesting reputation, but it’s becoming more and more peaceful,” she said. “This year is a very exciting year. We’ve got an election this summer.

“The 2013 election was only the first civilian to civilian transfer of power. Pakistan is 70 years old and this will only be the second civilian to civilian transfer of power. It’s shocking, but it’s a real sign of progress.” However, there are still huge inequalities, with 22 million children not in school and two-thirds of adult women unable to read or write. In addition, 60 million people live under the poverty line and 44% of children are stunted because of poor nutrition. The Department for International Development (DIFD) said that since 2011, 6.8 million children in primary school, including 3.3 million girls, had benefited from its support of education reforms. And 5.2 million children, including 2.4 million girls, had been helped by DFID to complete primary education.

Reid said enabling children to continue their education through secondary school was one of the challenges. She said there was a connection between the education of women and family planning, with women who are given more career opportunities more likely to have fewer children. “The population is growing faster than the economy,” she said. “Family planning and education for girls is such a building block for everything else.” The world’s most famous campaigner for women’s education is Pakistan’s Malala yousafzai, who recently returned to the country after being shot by the Taliban for standing up for the right of girls to go to school. “I think she’s done amazing things for raising the issue of girls’ education, not just in Pakistan but globally,” said Reid. NeWS DeSK

Aizaz says expatriates key to good relations between Pak, US ISLAMABAD app

Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States Aizaz Chaudhry on Sunday stressed that the expatriate community was the key to enhancing mutual goodwill and understanding between Pakistan and the US. He was speaking at convention of Pakistan-American community in which over 400 members of the belonging to different walks of life participated. The convention was held under the theme ‘Connecting the Dots’ and was hosted by the Embassy of Pakistan in the US which brought together accomplished Pakistani American entrepreneurs, academics, artists and public officials to

share their ideas and experiences. Welcoming the participants to the convention, Chaudhry lauded the role of the Pakistani American community in bringing the two countries together by forging strong people-to-people relations. He hoped that young Pakistani Americans would continue to enrich various facets of the American society and life by excelling in their professional fields. The daylong convention was divided into panel discussions and presentations, which were punctuated by cultural and musical performances that showcased the diversity of Pakistan’s rich heritage. The six-panel discussions were focused on youth engagement, the role of women, voices in academia

and think tanks, civic engagement, harmony through art and literature, and entrepreneurship. Each panel comprised of distinguished Pakistani Americans. US State Department’s Martha Patterson said on the occasion that Pakistan and the United States have been partners for over 70 years. She said, “Building on and improving this historic partnership is critical to the two countries”. She also said that two-way trade between the two countries reached $ 6.4 billion in 2017, an all-time high. Officials from the US State Department and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also made a presentation on the ongoing cooperation in various areas between Pakistan and US.

Punjab govt’s 17 companies refuse to submit record to NAB GOVT-OWNED COMPANIES NEGLECT TOP COURT’S ORDER LAHORE Staff RepoRt

17 government-owned companies of Punjab refused to submit the required record in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as part of the Supreme Court’s (SC) order. Punjab government neglected the top court’s directives of filing the

complete record of 56 companies alleged of corruption in the Lahore office of NAB. Media reports suggested that Lahore NAB DG kept waiting for the submission of record till 10 pm, however, the complete record could not be attained. The apex court had ordered the Punjab govt to submit the record within one day, till 9 pm on Sunday. On Saturday, SC had directed the government of Punjab to provide the required record of the 56 companies alleged of corruption to NAB. A two-member Bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard a

suo motu case pertaining to the alleged corruption worth Rs 80 billion in the 56 government-owned companies of Punjab. During the proceedings at the Lahore registry, SC directed all relevant officials of Punjab government to provide required record to the anti-graft body by Sunday. Punjab Advocate General Shakilur Rehman requested the court to give more time, but CJP rejected his plea and directed him to furnish a detailed report regarding the establishment of these companies by the next hearing. “This is not NAB where you do not present record, it is Supreme Court so

you better come up with the record at any cost,”CJP remarked. “Elections are approaching and who will be answerable if the government is gone,” he added. “How many officers were appointed with these companies and what are their salaries?” CJP asked the chief secretary. The Punjab government had constituted 56 companies under the Article42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984 as the Punjab chief minister was inspired by the Turkish model and therefore summoned analysts from the same. Last year, media reports had claimed corruption worth Rs 80 billion in these government-owned companies.

mours about Nishat Zia also joining PSP, Sattar called it ‘propaganda’ with no truth in it. Sattar underscored that the recent developments were taking place just months ahead of the general elections, which is precisely the reason he expressed a desire to meet both the nation’s top judicial and military authorities.

Kamal lashes out at Sattar as another MQM-P leader joins PSP KARACHI Staff RepoRt

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal on Sunday lashed out at Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Farooq Sattar, criticising internal rifts in MQM-P. He was addressing the press conference as another MQM-P leader defected to PSP. MQM-P Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Sumeta Afzal Syed made the announcement at Pakistan House. She was elected to Sindh Assembly on a women reserved ticket. Addressing the media, Kamal said: “PSP is not behind what has been happening in MQM-P,” claimed Kamal, adding that Sattar called minutes before the Senate elections [last month], begging for votes. Kamal vowed that Sattar, almost a year ago, told him that he will ‘bluff’ Muhajirs. He further asked under whose instructions did Sattar contact PSP or attempt to join the party. PSP chief then announced that his party’s doors are forever closed for Sattar. Earlier in the day, MQM-P Chief Farooq Sattar, in a rushed press conference, said he would “rather die than joining PSP or any other party”. He was reacting to the statement regarding jumping ship of several party members into the PSP — formed by former MQM members Mustafa Kamal and Anis Qaimkhani in 2016.

ECC to consider budget proposals today The Economic Coordination Committee will meet today under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and consider the budget proposals for the year 2018-19. Representatives of all four provinces along with representatives of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) will be present at the meeting. The proposals for the development budget for the year 2018-19 would be approved by the committee. The proposed budget would then be sent to the National Economic Council (NEC). According to media reports, 1013 billion have been proposed for the development of the provinces while 52 billion have been proposed for the development of Islamabad, GB, AJK and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). 2.065 billion have been proposed for the Information Technology (IT) sector, 19.058 billion for Interior, 5.035 billion for Housing and works, 14 billion for Finance Division, 14 billion for Defence Production, 33.098 billion for Communications Division, 2.077 billion for Aviation Division, 10 billion for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), 37 billion for Higher Education Commission (HEC), 2 billion for educational projects, 2.072 billion for healthcare projects, 305 billion for ministries and other divisions. NeWS DeSK










340C 210C

Shehbaz SayS govt inCreaSed South punjab’S budget to 42 per Cent LAHORE


uNJAb Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday that his party maintained its stance on establishing the new province of South Punjab, adding that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government took practical steps on the issue of new provinces by tabling resolutions on the subject. Talking to the office bearers of Pakistan Federal union of Journalists and members of its executive council, he said, “The PML-N government increased development budget of South Punjab to 42 per cent which is much higher than the ratio of the population. Transparent elections are not possible without providing a

330C 210C Monday, 16 April, 2018

CM says PML-N took PraCtiCaL stePs for New ProviNCes StAff RePORt


level playing field. Pakistan can be put on the path to development through transparent elections.” Answering a question asked by a journalist, CM Shehbaz asserted that Nawaz Sharif was the PML-N supremo and will retain the title in future. He maintained that there were no differences in the party. “Difference of opinion may exist in a democratic party and it is a positive matter and it improves affairs,” he argued. CM Shehbaz said he was working day and night for development and progress in the country. On his health, he said, “I did not care about my health and ignore warnings of my personal physician. Due to old medical history, I am forced to take medical opinion from uKbased doctors.” Talking about the health facilities in

the province, he said struggles were being made to make state-of-the-art government hospitals, adding that to provide medical facilities in remote areas, a medical unit of 54 motorbikes was established. He asked the media persons to “visit hospitals of Layyah and bhakkar as they seem to be hospitals of Europe,” highlighting, “Filter clinics have been setup for treatment and prevention of hepatitis. For the treatment of kidney and liver, PKLI hospital has been established in Lahore and in this national institution operation of transplantation will also be carried out. Every human effort has been made to serve the public.” On the political rivals, he said Imran Khan had a habit of fabricating stories. The chief minister said a fraud of 70 billion rupees had been averted in the clean drinking water project and the case was sent to the anti-corruption department along with the registration of FIR. “Where was NAb at that time? I feel pain because clean drinking water has not been provided so far to every household in

Punjab. Every corrupt person and looter of the national resources should be taken to the task. The services of PML-N government have become part of the history and our services will be written in the history in golden words,” he stated. He said load-shedding had badly

damaged the national economy and the business activity in Punjab during 2013. “Former premier Nawaz Sharif approved energy projects on my advice despite the opposition of the cabinet. by the grace of Allah Almighty we have been successful in overcoming energy crisis,” he claimed. Shehbaz Sharif added that a fourth energy power plant had been installed in Punjab from its own resources that would start production by this year. Answering a question, the chief minister said two power plants of 300 megawatts each had not become functional in Karachi so far due to the bad intentions of their ruling elite. He reasoned, “I have raised objections in this regard in the meeting of the Council of National Interest but PPP government has not paid any attention to it. With support of Chinese investors, Sahiwal project has been completed before the deadline to overcome load shedding.” Talking about CPEC, he said it was a unique gift. “To overcome the damage caused by sit-in and politics of overthrowing government, efforts are being made day and night to complete development projects. A solar power plant is being installed in Punjab and wind power project in Jhang.” He said power projects of 5000 MW had been set up in Punjab with the investment of billions of rupees, stressing that electricity generated by Punjab would be provided to the whole country. The chief minister said he was very upset to see the situation in Karachi during his yesterday visit.

LAHORE: Women harvest wheat on the outskirts of the city. y Online

Chenab bridge in final stages SIALKOT APP

The work on 1100-meter long bridge over Chenab river near Shehbazpur is in its final stages as 90 per cent of construction has already been completed with an expected inauguration in May. Gujranwala Commissioner Capt (r) Muhammad Asif on Sunday reviewed the pace of construction of the project with other senior officials of the irrigation department at the site near Shehbazpur. Asif made the announcement before media that the bridge would be completed soon. Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Dr Farrukh Naveed, Gujrat Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa, senior officials of the irrigation department and journalists were also present on the occasion. Asif said that the Punjab government had spent Rs 5 billion on the project which would

connect Sialkot and Gujrat districts. After the completion of the project, it would help reduce more than 50 per cent of the distance between Sambrial-Sialkot and Jalalpur Jattan-Gujrat from existing 72 km to only 35 km with the construction of a 19-km-long carpeted road between both, he added. The commissioner said that Shehbazpur bridge over Chenab river would also ensure easy access to the people from Gujrat district and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) areas to Sialkot International Airport as well. He said the course of flood water in Chenab had also been diverted and now the flood water would flow under the Shehbazpur bridge, saying that all flood protection banks, inlets, spillways and dykes had been paved with stone-pitching. The commissioner revealed that Shehbazpur bridge over Chenab and a main carpeted road between Sambrial-Sialkot and Jalalpur JattanGujrat would be opened for traffic in May.

Medicines at public hospitals declared‘substandard’ LAHORE inP

Laboratory tests of medicines being given to patients at government-run hospitals have revealed a high prevalence of spurious drugs. The tests, overseen by the provincial health department, were conducted over a period of six months and revealed that more than 100 medicines were of substandard quality. The medicines were obtained from 107 government hospitals, drug testing lab director Mohammad Shafiq said. The provincial drug unit spokesper-


son said the medicines have been ordered to be removed from the hospitals immediately and the production of specific batches has been halted. Moreover, safety alerts have been issued for 45 of 80 medicines. The medicines include those for treatment of heart problems, hepatitis, body ache, throat, acidity and antibiotics. The tests were undertaken on the provincial government’s orders. Moreover, further tests will be conducted to see at what temperature the medicines were stored at the hospitals.

Monday, 16 April, 2018

family attacked over refusal to hand over daughters as vani RAHIM YAR KHAN StAff RePORt

A family was attacked over their refusal to give their two daughters as vani during a jirga in Rahim Yar Khan on Sunday morning. The jirga put a fine of Rs0.8 million on a man with whom a woman had married out of her own choice. The case was brought by the woman’s family. The man was also ordered to hand over his two sisters as vani. After the family of the man refused to hand over their daughters, they were attacked and their crops were set on fire. Police have conducted raids to arrest suspects after a case was registered against 34 people over crop fires. The police said they will offer protection to the married couple but denied any knowledge of the jirga. The vani tradition often requires females to be handed over to the opposing group in order to settle a dispute. A similar case led a woman named Aasia to commit suicide on March 17 in ubauro, Ghotki. Aasia poisoned herself and her parents after she was coerced to be made vani over her brother’s decision to marry a woman of his choice. The parents are currently hospitalised over the poisoning. A jirga had decided that Aasia must marry a man from her brother’s inlaw’s and enforced a fine of Rs1 million on her brother.

five injured in boiler explosion FAISALABAD

raiwiNd PoLiCe reLuCtaNt to register fir agaiNst LaNd Mafia LAHORE


ihSAn QAdiR

AIWIND police station showed reluctance to register a case against the influential land mafia that has been allegedly trying to occupy the land owned by a Canadian citizen, Pakistan Today learnt on Sunday. According to details, the influential mafia has made attempts to grab the 12-kanal land of Sheikh Daud Ashraf and Waqas Qadeer Dar, a former prosecutor of National Accountability bureau (NAb), near Raiwind bypass on Sundar Road. According to a report filed with Raiwind city police, the land grabbers resorted to indiscriminate firing on April 8 and hurled life threats at an employee of Sheikh Daud, besides abusing him. They repeated the same on April 11 but Sheikh Daud believes that the police were only playing the role of a silent spectator and were even not listening to his cause. Jamil Sarwar, Daud’s manager, moved an application with Raiwind police on April 8 but the police have not registered the first information


As many as five labourers were injured on Sunday when a mill’s boiler exploded in Faisalabad. According to details, the incident took place in united Mills situated on Maqbool Road. The initial reports claimed that a blast occurred when a boiler in the mill exploded. Other media reports claimed that the explosion was caused by a generator’s pipe. All injured labourers received burn injuries. Rescue teams arrived on the site and quickly transferred them to Faisalabad’s Allied Hospital. Police and rescue officials carried out an inspection after the explosion and made sure no one was trapped under debris.

On the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a 20-member team of nurses left for Turkey on Sunday in a bid to take specialisation training courses. Director General of Nursing Ms Kausar Parveen and other staff saw off the delegation. She said that the delegation would stay in Turkey for one


Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested three human traffickers on Sunday during a raid. The FIA spokesman said that on public complaints, an operation was conducted against the human traffickers in the provincial capital. He said that three human traffickers named Shabbir, Ghulam Nabbi and Tahir Muneeb – allegedly involved in sending people abroad through illegal means by accepting a huge sum of money – were arrested during the operation. The passports and other documents were also recovered from the possession of the arrested human traffickers. The accused were interrogated after registration of cases against them at the concerned FIA police station.

was not even present in Pakistan. I have been dragged from pillar to post and remain worried even when I am in Canada. My whole family is worried about the issue,” he said. He added, “I urge the Justice Nisar to take suo motu notice of my case as no one in Pakistan is listening to my voice.” Sheikh Daud also informed that he had moved an application in the court of civil judge Imran Khan and attached all evidence of his property with the application. According to documents and police reports available with Pakistan Today, some 25-armed people from the mafia including Rana Izhar and Rana Safdar resorted to indiscriminate firing on the employee of Sheikh Daud named Jamil Ahmed, and they not only abused him but also went on to damage the luggage and other precious items in the house. They intimidated Jamil Ahmed and other employees while threatening them of dire consequences, it was claimed. “Raiwind police have not registered the FIR of firing against the accused despite several attempts,” Sheikh Daud resented.

20-member nursing team leaves for Turkey

StAff RePORt

fia arrest three human traffickers

report (FIR) of the case till date. Sarwar alleged that Saddar Superintendent of Police (SP) and a local tehsildar were backing the powerful mafia. Meanwhile, the land grabbers namely Rana Izhar, Rana Safdar, Ali Dogar and Mansha Amin Dogar, Nadeem Akhtar, and Nadeem Mughal continue to deploy various tactics to occupy the lands illegally and have even resorted to firing on Sunday. Sheikh Daud said to have filed 35 cases of forgery registered against the accused in various police stations of the city. He has also appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar to take suo motu notice of the issue. Sheikh Daud has also moved an application through Overseas Foundation from Canada so that police take action against the accused Sheikh Daud said he was perturbed over the illegal occupation of his land in Raiwind. “I am permanently settled in Canada and manage my business there. The influential land grabbers have prepared a fake land deed to capture my land. Interestingly, the date they have mentioned on the deed is the one when I

month during which they will get training in pediatric intensive care unit (PICu), ICu, CCu, operation theatres and be taught ward management. The training would be part of their specialisation. After their return, the trained nurses would perform duties in the specialised departments. The nursing DG said by deputing specialised nurses, the patient’s care and ward management services would further improve. The delegation consists of 3

Man kills sister, grandmother over 'domestic dispute' GUJRANWALA AgencieS

A man, resident of Gujranwala’s Qila Dedar Singh, killed his paternal grandmother and sister at their house Sunday morning allegedly over a domestic dispute. Police said that the suspect, identified as Sufyan, opened fire on his two sisters after a heated argument with them. His paternal grandmother intervened to resolve the matter but he killed her as well. The bodies of the deceased and the injured sister were shifted to a nearby hospital for postmortem and medical treatment respectively. The deceased have been identified as basheera bibi and Iqra. Eyewitnesses claimed that the case was of ‘honour killing’. However, new reports have emerged which state that the brother and sisters were involved in a domestic dispute as the brother did not get ‘garam khana (hot food)’. The police arrested the suspect, who had fled after the incident. A case has been registered and further investigation is underway.

PFA seals food points over substandard operations LAHORE inP

Punjab Food Authority (PFA) sealed various factories and sale points on Sunday over either substandard production or sale in various cities of the province. The PFA spokesman said that the authority sealed a pickle factory in Qadirpur area of Multan and seized over 20,000 kilograms of substandard pickle

items, 1,200 kilograms of poor quality and impure spices and rotten fruits that were disposed of later. During an operation in Tollinton Market of the provincial capital, the PFA sealed two poultry centres due to the poor condition of cleanliness and sale of unhealthy chicken. Also, the PFA seized and disposed of 1,300 litres of substandard quality milk at a local milk shop. The authority sealed the shop and disposed of the milk. In Rawalpindi, the PFA sealed two food points over the sale of substandard food items.


nurses from Lahore General Hospital (LGH) and 4 from Services Hospital. Their names are Fouzia Manzoor, Shanomeet, Sobia Haneef, Sehrish Arshid, Saba Kiran, Fahmida Abddul Ghafoor and Kiran Shahzadi. A special function was held in honour of the nurses going abroad at the LGH. LGH Nursing Superintendent Razia bano advised them to concentrate on their training and performance at Turkey as they would be taken as the ambassadors of their country.

LAHORE 07 aari employee commits suicide FAISALABAD: An employee of Ayub Agriculture Research Institution (AARI) in Faisalabad committed suicide due to financial woes on Sunday. Police said the AARI employee Muhammad Ameen was facing problems due to financial crunch. They added that he committed suicide by hanging himself inside his residence near the institute. ANOTHER DEAD IN ROAD MISHAP: Another person Shehbaz, 40, died after an over-speeding passenger van knocked down a motorcycle near the motorway interchange within the jurisdiction of Saiyan Wala police station. The driver responsible for accident fled the scene. Police confirmed that Shehbaz died after being hit by the heavy vehicle on Sunday. both bodies were shifted to Faisalabad’s Allied Hospital for post-mortem. inP

Labourer rescued from 100-feet deep well MULTAN: A labourer who was trapped in a 100-feet deep well in Multan on Sunday was successfully rescued, rescue teams told a local news channel. The labourer, Munawar, had fallen into the well located in budhla Sant, Multan. The local residents of the area wasted no time and informed rescue teams who reached the site and shifted Munawar to Nishtar Hospital after pulling him out. Rescue 1122 District Emergency Officer. Dr Kaleemullah said that Munawar is a resident of Mouza Turpai. He informed that his rescue team had conducted a safe operation to evacuate him from the well and responsibly shifted him to the hospital. StAff RePORt

Five of family injured in roof collapse FAISALABAD: Five members of a family were seriously injured when a roof of a house collapsed here on Sunday. Rescue sources said that dilapidated roof of the house located in Mansoorabad locality of Faisalabad suddenly collapsed. Five members of a family, including husband, wife and their three children, present in the house were buried under the rubble and sustained injuries. The rescue personnel and local people in their joint efforts pulled out the injured from the debris and shifted them to a hospital for treatment. inP


Monday, 16 April, 2018

Allies keep syriA options open As BritAin sAys no strikes plAnned LONDON/DAMASCUS



ESTERN powers have no plans for further missile strikes on Syria but will assess their options if Damascus uses chemical weapons again, Britain’s foreign minister said on Sunday as debate raged over the legality and effectiveness of the raids. US, French and British missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program on Saturday in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack a week ago, and the three countries insisted they were not aimed at toppling President Bashar al-Assad or intervening in a seven-year civil war. The bombings, hailed by US President Donald Trump as a success but denounced by Damascus and its allies as an act of aggression, marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and his ally Russia, whose foreign

minister Sergei Lavrov called them “unacceptable and lawless”. In Damascus, Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad met inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW for about three hours in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian security official. The inspectors were due to try to visit the site of the suspected gas attack. Moscow condemned the Western states for refusing to wait for their findings before attacking. As he left the hotel where the meeting took place, Mekdad declined to comment to reporters waiting outside. British Foreign Secretary (Minister) Boris Johnson defended Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to take part in the attack, saying it was to deter further use of chemical weapons. “This is not about regime change … This is not about trying to turn the tide of the conflict in Syria,” he told the BBC. “There is no proposal on the table at the moment for further attacks because so far thank heavens the Assad regime have

not been so foolish as to launch another chemical weapons attack.” “If and when such a thing were to happen, then clearly with allies we would

study what the options were,” he said, echoing US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who told an emergency Security Council meeting that

Trump told her that if Syria uses poisonous gas again, “The United States is locked and loaded.” Asked if this meant Assad could carry on using barrel bombs and other means in the war provided he did not use chemical weapons, Johnson said that was the “unhappy” consequence. Assad was determined “to butcher his way” to an overwhelming victory and only the Russians could pressure him to come to the negotiating table in Geneva, Johnson said.British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the legal basis used to support the British role was debatable, adding that he would only support action backed by the UN Security Council. “I say to the foreign secretary, I say to the prime minister, where is the legal basis for this?” Corbyn said in an interview with the BBC. The Western countries blame Assad’s government for a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on April 7 that killed up to 75 people. Russia, whose ties with the West have sunk to levels of the Cold War-era, denies any gas attack in Douma and said Britain staged it to whip up anti-Russian hysteria. In Damascus, Assad told a group of visiting Russian lawmakers that the Western missile strikes were an act of aggression, Russian news agencies reported. Syria released video of the wreckage of a bombed-out research lab, but also of Assad arriving at work as usual, with the caption “Morning of resilience” and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Arrest in India rape case as outrage mounts over assaults NEW DELHI Agencies

Afghans register to vote in longdelayed elections amid violence KABUL Agencies

Afghanistan at the weekend began registering voters across the wartorn country as it seeks to ensure that the long-delayed legislative elections in October are seen as credible and fraud-free. Over the next two months authorities hope to register as many as 14 million adults at more than 7,000 polling centres – an ambitious goal in a country where militants control or contest much of the territory. “The main challenge is insecurity, particularly in rural areas,” Abdul Badie Sayad, chairman of the Independent Election Commission, told AFP recently. In addition to the Taliban and Islamic State group terrorising swathes of the population, “local powers, illegal militias and strongmen will try to interfere” in the parliamentary and district council elections, Sayad predicted. A shortage of female staff at polling centres, particularly in conservative rural areas, could also impede participation by women in the polls, which are seen as a test run for next year’s presidential election. “Women won’t be given permission from their families to reach the registration centres, where they may be asked to remove their burqa to show their faces,” Sayad said. In Kabul on Saturday police stood guard at a school being used as a registration centre but only a handful of men showed up. Mohammad Hussein, a 54-year-old shopkeeper, said he wanted to vote for a candidate “able to bring about change in this country”. “I voted in 2010 but I made a mistake — the MP didn’t bring any change. This time I need to vote for someone who works without taking bribes,” Hussein told AFP. The October 20 polls were originally set to be held in 2015 following presidential elections the previous year, but were repeatedly pushed back due to security fears and logistical problems within the fragile unity government. If held, candidates will contest the 249 seats in the National Assembly for five-year terms. The country will also hold regional elections in tandem in hundreds of districts across Afghanistan — some of which are outside Kabul’s control. Over the coming weeks the IEC hopes to register 13 to 14 million people at centres where they will later be required to cast their vote, a move which officials hope will reduce the risk of ballot-box stuffing. A television advertising campaign has been launched to persuade ordinary people that their votes will count — a challenging task after a disputed presidential election in 2014. “We are trying very hard to increase the confidence of the public, to increase the legitimacy of the elections,” Sayad said. Another hurdle to voter registration is the lack of national identification cards, or taskeras, particularly among women. Just over half the population has a taskera and the government hopes to issue another 10 million to enable more people to register to vote, officials have said.

Indian police have made another arrest after the alleged rape of a teenager by a ruling party politician sparked protests across the country, federal investigators said Sunday. The case, along with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl, has brought Indians onto the streets for mass demonstrations not seen since the rape and murder of a Delhi student in 2012. The outrage has put pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is accused of trying to shield its state lawmaker in one case and of defending the accused in the other. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh state which is ruled by the BJP, for allegedly raping the 17year-old last year. Police only brought a case against the powerful politician last week after the young victim attempted to burn herself alive outside the state leader’s residence. “We arrested the second person, a woman named Shashi Singh, in our ongoing investigations of the case on Saturday,” R.K Gaur,

a CBI spokesperson, told AFP on Sunday. Sengar appeared in court the same day and was ordered detained for seven days. The girl’s family – who fought unsuccessfully for nearly a year to get police to register their case – said Singh had taken their daughter to the state legislator on the pretext of a job. Singh then allegedly stood guard at the door while Sengar raped the girl, the family’s initial complaint to police stated. Details of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Jammu and

Kashmir state also made national headlines. The girl was kidnapped, drugged and repeatedly raped over five days — including inside a Hindu temple – before being strangled and beaten with a rock. The killing in the city of Kathua has heightened communal tensions in India’s only Muslim-majority state. Scenes last week of Hindu lawyers trying to stop police from entering court to file charges against the eight accused – all Hindus – sparked nationwide revulsion.

Facebook fuels broad privacy debate by tracking non-users SAN FRANCISCO Agencies

Concern about Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) respect for data privacy is widening to include the information it collects about non-users, after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the world’s largest social network tracks people whether they have accounts or not. Privacy concerns have swamped Facebook since it acknowledged last month that information about millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, a firm that has counted US President Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral campaign among its clients. Zuckerberg said on Wednesday under questioning by US Representative Ben Luján that, for security reasons, Facebook also collects “data of people who have not signed up for Facebook.” Lawmakers and privacy advocates immediately protested the practice, with many saying Facebook needed to develop a way for non-users to find out what the company knows about them. “We’ve got to fix that,” Representative Luján, a Democrat, told Zuckerberg, calling for such disclosure, a move that would have

unclear effects on the company’s ability to target ads. Zuckerberg did not respond. On Friday Facebook said it had no plans to build such a tool. Critics said that Zuckerberg has not said enough about the extent and use of the data. “It’s not clear what Facebook is doing with that information,” said Chris Calabrese, vice president for policy at the Centre for Democracy & Technology, a Washington advocacy group. Facebook gets some data on non-users from people on its network, such as when a user uploads email addresses of friends. Other information comes from “cookies,”

small files stored via a browser and used by Facebook and others to track people on the internet, sometimes to target them with ads. “This kind of data collection is fundamental to how the internet works,” Facebook said in a statement to Reuters. Asked if people could opt out, Facebook added, “There are basic things you can do to limit the use of this information for advertising, like using browser or device settings to delete cookies. This would apply to other services beyond Facebook because, as mentioned, it is standard to how the internet works.” Facebook often installs cookies on nonusers’ browsers if they visit sites with Facebook “like” and “share” buttons, whether or not a person pushes a button. Facebook said it uses browsing data to create analytics reports, including about traffic to a site. The company said it does not use the data to target ads, except those inviting people to join Facebook. Advocates and lawmakers say they are singling out Facebook because of its size, rivalled outside China only by Alphabet Inc’s Google, and because they allege Zuckerberg was not forthcoming about the extent and reasons for the tracking.

Monday, 16 April, 2018

sAudi king denounces 'BlAtAnt interference' By irAn in ArAB AffAirs DHAHRAN



AUDI Arabia’s King Salman slammed Iran’s “blatant interference” in regional affairs as Arab leaders met in the kingdom on Sunday for an annual summit. In his opening speech at the Arab League summit, Salman also criticised the US decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem but avoided any mention of Syria, just 24 hours after Western strikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The meeting comes after a barrage of strikes launched by the United States, Britain and France hit targets they said were linked to chemical weapons development in Syria, which was suspended from the

league seven years ago. But in his opening address Salman focused instead on rivalries with longtime foe Iran — only 160 kilometres (100 miles) across the Gulf from Dharan. “We renew our strong condemnation of Iran’s terrorist acts in the Arab region and reject its blatant interference in the affairs of Arab countries,” the king

said. And despite being a stalwart ally of the United States, he also criticised US President Donald Trump controversial decision to transfer America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “We reiterate our rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem,” said the king, adding that “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestin-

ian territories”. Saudi King Salman opened the Arab League summit by criticising US President Donald Trump’s decision to transfer the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “We reiterate our rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem,” the king said during the speech in Dhahran in eastern Saudi Arabia. “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories,” he added. Qatar, which has confirmed it will attend the summit, also backed the strikes. Its foreign ministry tweeted support for "operations against specific military targets used by the Syrian regime in its chemical attacks". Gulf Arab states have made massive donations to Syria but have not officially offered asylum to Syrians.


Netanyahu warns Iran after Syria strikes JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday over Iran’s presence in Syria after Western strikes in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons and a recent attack attributed to Israel. Netanyahu also called on Western powers to take the same approach toward preventing “terrorist states” from acquiring nuclear weapons, referring to Israel’s main enemy Iran. The premier said he spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday night following the joint strikes by the United States, France and Britain in neighbouring Syria. The narrowly targeted pre-dawn military operation on Saturday took aim at three alleged chemical weapons facilities. Netanyahu had previously expressed his “total support” for the strikes. “The important international message that came from the attack was zero tolerance for the use of non-conventional weapons,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting, describing his discussion with May. “I added that this policy needs to also be expressed in preventing terrorist states and groups from having nuclear abilities.” Agencies

US to impose new Russia sanctions over Syria: Haley Israel to free 200 African migrants awaiting deportation JERUSALEM Agencies

Israel will release about 200 jailed African migrants in the absence of a final deal to deport them and thousands more Eritrean and Sudanese men who entered the country illegally, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday. The government has been trying to finalize an agreement with Uganda to take in the migrants, who came into Israel on foot through the Egyptian border over the past decade. Most of the 200 men set for release were sent to a desert prison in recent months to await deportation to Uganda. But with negotiations continuing over a deal with Uganda, Israel’s Interior Ministry — which has faced court challenges by rights groups over the detentions — issued a statement on Sunday saying it would begin releasing the migrants. The Israeli government says the 37,000 migrants in Israel are job seekers and that it has every right to protect its borders. The migrants and rights groups say they are seeking asylum and are fleeing war and persecution. About 4,000 migrants have left Israel for Rwanda and Uganda since 2013 under a voluntary program, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under pressure from his right-wing voter base to expel thousands more. On Friday Uganda acknowledged for the first time that it was in talks to take in some 500 migrants, though it said it would only accept people who left voluntarily and not by forced deportation.

WASHINGTON: The United States will impose new sanctions on Russia over an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime of President Bashar alAssad, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday. Haley said the sanctions, to be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, would target companies that supplied Damascus with equipment and other material related to chemical weapons. "You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down. Secretary (Steve) Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn´t already," Haley said in an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation." "They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use," she said. The move follows air strikes by US, French

and British forces in retaliation for an alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack on April 7 in Douma, a rebelheld town near Damascus where more than 40 people were killed. US military officials said the airstrikes early Saturday in Syria took out "the heart" of Syria´s residual chemical weapons capability. The strikes sought to avoid contact with Russian forces in the country to support Assad´s regime. But US officials have blamed Russia for failing to rein in its Syrian ally, as the guarantor of a 2013 agreement to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons. That agreement was brokered by Moscow to avert retaliatory US strikes in the wake of a sarin attack in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus on August 21, 2013, that reportedly killed more than 1,400 civilians. Agencies

UK could launch retaliatory cyber attack on Russia if infrastructure targeted LONDON Agencies

Britain would consider launching a cyber attack against Russia in retaliation if Russia targeted British national infrastructure, the Sunday Times reported, citing unnamed security sources. Britain’s relations with Russia are at a historic low, after it blamed Russia for a nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England, prompting mass expulsions of diplomats. Russia has denied involvement, and on Saturday also condemned strikes against Syria by Western powers, which Britain took part in. Cybersecurity has become a focal

Trump assails Comey in tweetstorm, suggests ex-FBI director deserves ‘jail’ WASHINGTON: President Trump sharply attacked James B. Comey in a fusillade of tweets Sunday morning, suggesting that the former FBI director deserves to be imprisoned and serving up several of his favorite theories and unsubstantiated allegations of misdeeds. Trump’s tweets are part of a wider effort by the White House and the Republican National Committee to discredit Comey, who has written a damaging tell-all book, titled “A Higher Loyalty,” to be released Tuesday. A Sunday night interview on ABC News will kick off his national book tour. Comey’s book is a scathing depiction of his interactions with Trump, in which he likens the president to an “unethical” mob boss, and casts his inner circle in largely unflattering terms, saying it was more focused on politics than national security. Agencies

Air China flight diverted after passenger threatens crew with fountain pen point of the strained relations. On Thursday, a British spy chief said that his GCHQ agency would “continue to expose Russia’s unacceptable cyber behaviour”, adding there would be increasing demand for its cyber expertise.

BEIJING: An Air China flight bound for Beijing made an unscheduled landing in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou on Sunday after a passenger threatened a flight attendant with a fountain pen, the country’s civil aviation authority said. In a brief statement on its website, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said a male passenger on Air China Flight 1350, attempted to use the pen to hold the flight attendant “under duress”. Passengers and crew were unharmed, the statement said. Chinese police said preliminary investigations found the 41-year-old passenger, identified only by his last name Xu, had a “history of mental illness”. Agencies

Dalits converting to Buddhism in droves as BJP policies divide India NEW DELHI Agencies

The caste tensions inherent in Indian society have been steadily rising ever since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came into power with Narendra Modi as prime minister. According to The Atlantic, low-caste Hindus, or untouchables, as they are known in India, are converting to Buddhism en masse as the policies and practices of the right-wing government in

New Delhi push them to the fringes of Hindutva society. The American magazine has reported on a recent conversion event which took place in the state of Maharashtra, famously known for the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, where some 500 low-caste Hindus took to an open field in a village and converted to Buddhism. “I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna who are believed to be incarnations of God nor shall I worship them. … I do not and shall not

believe that Lord Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu. … I shall hereafter lead my life according to the principles and teachings of the Buddha,” they were quoted as chanting during the ceremony. The converts were Dalits, and belong to the lowest of Hindu castes in India. The form of Buddhism they had converted to is called Ambedkarite Buddhism, a movement founded more than 50 years ago by a social reformer who wanted radical change in the Hindu caste system.

The message is powerful for the ‘untouchables’ of Indian society and continues to appeal to a large number of people to this day, according to the US-based publication. Dalits constitute almost 20 per cent of the population in India, and a majority of them are not pleased with the Modi government. Recently, hundreds of thousands of Dalits took to the streets across the Hindu-majority country in protest against the discriminatory policies adopted against them by the state.


Monday, 16 April, 2018

Polygamy in Islam

India, Pakistan and elections

Putting the record straight

Gen Bajwa’s message


eSPiTe its fair share of foreign policy failures, the government has been handling the problems with india in the correct manner lately. The political government has long since thrown the ball into india’s court; repeating its desire to ‘negotiate core matters’ at every relevant forum. The army, despite compulsions to respond in kind to repeated LoC and working boundary violations, has also quite rightly stressed the need to negotiate every now and then. Just as General Bajwa did at the PMA passing out the other day. Such posturing matters internationally. increasingly, islamabad is coming across as the party willing to move forward as Delhi clings on to the status quo. That, of course, is no longer a position india can take indefinitely. Already Congress is cutting into BJP’s foreign policy extremism as india’s own elections nears. Parts of the indian press are counting on the government to pull the date from next year to late 2018. ironically, opposition parties now criticising the Pakistan policy are accusing BJP’s extremism of turning india into a “hindu Pakistan”. it might not be quite on the mark but it does put internal pressure on the government, on top of the foreign pressure Pakistan’s tactics are beginning to exert. At stake, of course, is principally the lives of millions of Kashmiris forever held hostage to a conflict rooted in a bygone era and no longer even relevant. Then there are millions more that are kept from the benefits of better Pak-india relations, not to mentions the hundreds of thousands always prepared to fight each other. india’s market and democracy credentials win it vital political points in capitals that matter, yet slowly the opportunity cost of not moving forward will become too high for both countries. it remains to be seen, of course, how the Modi government treats this, especially so close to the election.

HasaN aftaB saeed


he polygamy debate has made yet another comeback, thanks to iqrar Ul hassan who is famous for fittingly titled Sar-e-Aam. Predictably the feminists are up-inarms. Another outraged demographic is that of wives – some are so annoyed that innocent bystanders could be forgiven for believing that it was their own husbands who had been guilty of taking a second wife. This has for a long time been a touchy subject outside the Arab world. The Arabs have always been less sensitive about it, but even for them there’s a time and a place for such things. One of the author’s egyptian friends (who will remain anonymous) recounts the festivities at his wedding ceremony in Alexandria back in 2003. One activity involved quizzing the bridegroom about the contents of the Quran (as is a custom there). After successfully negotiating two or three questions, he was asked this: Mention a verse in the Quran that contains the word ‘two’. Now there are many such places in the Quran, and to an Arab who naturally knows what any given verse means, it ought to have been a cinch. had he not experi-

enced what is known as a brain freeze, that is. One verse kept surfacing in his mind again and again, and for the life of him he couldn’t think of another. The clock was ticking and the pressure mounting; and he had a difficult choice to make: either acknowledge in front of his family, friends, and the in-laws that his knowledge of the Book was not up to the mark; or risk answering the question with a verse that was not quite appropriate for the occasion. he decided that the former was not an option. Throwing caution to the wind, he recited 4:03 (“…marry of the women who seem good to you, two, three or four…”) Quite a few eyebrows were raised that day, but the more important reputation was preserved. for the record, the author’s friend still has just the one (original) wife. The context of 4:03 makes it clear that rather than addressing the issue of polygamy per se, the verse principally deals with the issue of orphans, and the matter of number of wives only comes incidentally. Polygamy was widely being practiced already; and if anything, the Quran restricted it by imposing two conditions: one must be just with all one’s wives (“…if you fear you cannot do justice, then marry one only…”); and the number must not exceed four. The feminists of course don’t like it one bit. The argument from outside islam is simply this: why not give the same allowance to

women as has been given to men? Sounds great, although the author has yet to know a woman who admits to wanting more than one husband at a time. This is not to say of course that such women don’t exist somewhere. There’s another group of objectors (consisting of women and/or feminists) however, that places itself inside islam and therefore tries to prove its point from the Quran. The argument takes the form of special pleading, where verse 4:03 and the first half of verse 4:129 (“You will not be able to deal equally between your wives, however much you wish to do so”) is pressed into service. it is then claimed that since the Quran itself concludes that the necessary condition can’t possibly be fulfilled, therefore there’s no room for polygamy after all. it becomes immediately clear upon consulting the Quran that suppression of the second part of the verse is deliberate, since it undoes the whole argument. it is left to the reader to see what the second part of the verse says. This sort of reasoning has implications far broader than the issue of polygamy, for if the above argument is sound (which it isn’t by any means) then it would mean that the Quran in one place allows something subject to fulfilment of a certain condition, but in a sperate place it states that the condition is impossible to fulfil, therefore contradicting itself.

The Quran famously challenges its sceptic with: “Will they not then ponder on the Quran? if it had been from other than Allah, they would have found therein many inconsistencies.” (4:82). Verse 4:03 is sometimes cited by critics of the Quran by way of an answer to this challenge. it is claimed that there’s inconsistency in the Quran because it tells (within one verse) the Muslim man to marry up to four women at a time, and then to marry only one woman. Those who offer this argument fail (or choose to fail) to see that the one is a qualification, whereas the other is a limitation. There’s no contradiction at all. Of course, the ‘devout’ too are often guilty of exaggeration in this matter. When they claim that it’s somehow noble, or Islamic, to practice polygamy. it would be much more accurate to say that the Quran has not forbidden the practice of polygamy. Claiming anything more in favour of polygamy is not defensible. PS: The above is just to put the record straight. The author’s personal views on polygamy are: Muqaam-e-shauq tere qudsion ke bas ka naheen Unhi ka kaam hai ye, jin ke hausle hain zeyaad Hasan Aftab Saeed is a connoisseur of music, literature, and food (but not drinks). He can be reached at

Thing about Return of the Kashmiri pundits? CM Mufti takes a right step new provinces PM has a point


he defections stung, no doubt, but PML-N has handled the fallout about the province well enough. PM Abbasi made a valid point in Bahawalpur, after inaugurating the 45km National highway-5 – which links Jalalpur Pirwala with Uch Sharif areas of South Punjab and promises to win votes just where the dissenters are agitating. how long, after all, will the matter of new provinces keep springing up around election time and subside just after? it not only upsets the politics, as it has clearly done this time, but also hijacks the election debate, which is an insult to the people. it makes a lot of sense therefore, just like the PM said, that political parties advocating new provinces should make it part of their manifesto and get together to achieve consensus after the election. it is not just south Punjab that has been raising this issue time and again, as the PM rightly noted. it has come up from KP, Sindh and Balochistan as well. Why not, then, make it part of the mainstream political discourse and settle it once and for all, rather than treat everybody to the same circus every time there’s an election? it seems the PML-N finds itself in increasingly difficult waters as the elections approaches. There’s been the sad fate of Nawaz Sharif, the falling out of some of the old guard like Ch Nisar, and then there have been these defections. Yet some issues are more important than mere point scoring and resonate deeply with the people. The matter of provinces is one of them; which is why politicians are able to play with the people every time. Our sincere democrats should work to enable a conducive environment for this debate to be advanced in a democratic, not just votewinning, manner.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

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Umar Aziz

Asher John

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Executive Editor

Deputy Editor

Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965


Border Crossing


Kuldip Nayar

hief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that the Kashmiri pandits should visit their place of origin, meaning thereby the valley. her remark is like splashing salt on the wind. The pandits were forcibly ousted from Kashmir in 1993. Their fault was that they were hindus in the 90 per cent Muslim valley. former state chief minister farooq Abdullah has admitted in a public statement that no Muslim from the valley objected to their ouster. it is, indeed, true. he resigned from the position of chief minister which led to presidential rule in J&K. it was alleged that then governor Jagmohan was primarily responsible for facilitating the exodus of Kashmiri pandits. The day he was appointed as governor, a large number of Kashmiri pundits were forced to leave the valley because of his pro-hindu stance. it was being alleged that security forces searched each and every house in Srinagar when hundreds of militants were found to be in possession of weapons. Most of them were arrested but during the operation, which led to Gawkadal massacre, questions came to be raised on the role of the governor. Jagmohan, who was very close to Sanjay Gandhi, was also instrumental in forcefully destroying many slums in Delhi in the name of beautification. The Kashmiri pandits began to leave the valley in greater numbers in the 1990s during the eruption of militancy, following persecution and threats by radical islamists and militants. in 2010, the government of Jammu and Kashmir noted that 808 pandit families were still living Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9


in the valley and that the financial and other incentives put in place to encourage others to return there had been unsuccessful. According to a Jammu and Kashmir government report, 219 members of the community had been killed in the region between 1989 and 2004 but none thereafter. however, in July 2017, the Supreme Court refused to reopen 215 cases in which over 700 members of the Kashmiri pandit community were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989, citing the passage of time. The appeal now by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is a step in the right direction. During her appeal, following an interaction with Kashmiri pandits in Delhi, she said that “Kashmiri pandits should visit Kashmir (and) their younger generations should see where their roots really lie. We will make all arrangements. Whatever has happened in the past is unfortunate but now we will have to move forward,” she said. in fact, she also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take a leaf out of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s book and initiate a dialogue with Pakistan. “i urge Prime Minister Modi to talk to Pakistan just like Vajpayee ji did. Neither are we nor is Pakistan in a condition to fight a war, both countries know now that if there will be a war, nothing will be spared. Both the nations will just lose everything,” she added. i do agree with her because this is not a hindu-Muslim question and should not be made into one. All political parties need to initiate steps which will enable the pandits to return to the valley. Most of their property is intact. The rest must be taken back from the people who have occupied it forcibly or otherwise. i recall the hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, vehemently denying that it was hinduMuslim question. At that time, the bug of fundamentalism had not bitten Geelani. he may not have changed his views. But he is conspicuous by his silence. he should have re-enunciated his earlier stance: the Kashmiri pandits are part of our culture and should not be mixed with the general hindu-Muslims question. Geelani, in fact, told me that he had wrongly stated earlier that the Kashmiri Pandits’ question would be settled with the overall Kashmir dispute. But home Minister Rajnath Singh has unnecessarily given an opening to those who argue that Kashmir is an unfinished task of partition. They want the state to be divided on religious grounds. Somewhere they will also try

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in Pakistan to reemphasise their contention that the criterion of religion—on the basis of which india was divided—should be extended to Jammu and Kashmir. Then chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayyed, had mooted an idea of having a separate area where the Kashmiri pundits can safely reside. At present, 30,000 of them are reportedly in Kashmir while their total number is around four lacs. As long as Sheikh Abdullah was dominant in the affairs of Kashmir, he did not allow religion to play any role in politics. he would say that he opposed to the state’s integration with Pakistan because Jammu and Kashmir was a secular state. he did not want to join an islamic country because he preferred pluralism to communalism. even during the independence struggle, the Sheikh sided with the Congress instead of the Muslim League which demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims. he paid the price for being critical of New Delhi’s policy of wanting a strong centre. After being detained for 12 years at Kodaikanal in the South, he stayed with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to register that Nehru had realised his mistake of misjudging the Sheikh when he demanded that the centre should only administer three subjects— foreign affairs, defence and communications— as was offered at the time of partition. The Sheikh’s famous statement was that the Kashmiris would not eat the indian wheat if it meant compromising their autonomous status. The Sheikh’s faith in secularism was deep although he wondered whether india would stay pluralist in the long run. Whether the Kashmiris realise it or not, they have highly lost the services of trained people. The pandits have gone to other parts of india and have found jobs because of their high qualifications. They are not likely to go back even if the state offers them equivalent jobs. in fact, Kashmir has lost the cream of youth which is technically well equipped to help the state develop economically. Yet Srinagar should make efforts to get the pandits back because that will give them the secular image which they had enjoyed for decades. Lack of efforts on this front would only alienate the rest of the country where the Kashmiris are gainfully employed. Kuldip Nayar is a veteran Indian journalist, human rights activist and a noted author.



Monday, 16 April, 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

But weren’t you the only engineer in town?

Intimidation tactics? This isn’t Colombia or Sicily

syed Kaswar Gardezi


hROUGhOUT history the judges of the land have faced some sort of intimidation during their careers. Where at one place a mobster would threaten the life of a judge, at another, someone would threaten the kidnapping of his family. The reason is quite simple. With a stroke of his pen, the respective judge makes use of the power vested in him, under law, and seals the fate of any given person who has been brought before him. This power makes the lawbreakers nervous. They simply cannot put up with another man making decisions pertaining to their lives. in most countries a judge has vast discretionary powers which may be exercised at will in accordance with law. for instance, the power to grant bail in Pakistan is a discretionary power. Although certain perimeters have been defined by the superior judiciary for their subordinates, yet it remains to the will of the presiding judge whether to accept the bail plea or dismiss it. Such powers amongst others render a judge quite powerful with the full might of law behind his back. With unprecedented levels of power vested in the judge, a criminal is bound to become anxious. One stroke of pen and an accused may have to spend the rest of his/her life confined to the walls of prison. if a person is innocent then he usually has nothing to worry about, but if a person is well aware of his misdeeds then he might have all the reasons in the world

to fret. historically, mafia bosses, drug peddlers and all other related crime mobsters have been known to use intimidation as a tool against state officials. if an investigating officer wouldn’t cooperate, the mafia boss would send them a message usually through their beloved hitmen. The message itself would either terrify the officer or else render him incapable of proceeding further. Most judges have been known to be on the payroll of these mafia bosses, some by choice and some left with no choice. The infamous drug trafficker Pablo escobar was known to offer money or the bullet to all those he wished to intimidate. Didn’t leave much room for a reasoned decision. You may not desire money from a drug lord but at the same time you wouldn’t desire a bullet in the back of your head either. Although it hasn’t been sufficiently proved but a lot many people believe that escobar sponsored the palace of justice siege by M19 guerrillas in Bogota, Colombia. it is widely believed that the guerrillas in exchange for financial support destroyed all evidence being held against escobar and others inside the palace. Almost half the strength of the bench was killed in the attack. for more personspecific examples we can turn to look at Giovanni falcone, an italian judge stationed in Palermo, Sicily. falcone was a man known for his strict anti-mafia ideology. As a prosecution magistrate Giovanni falcone was involved in prosecuting the Sicilian mafia. he was also part of the Maxi trial, which has been termed as one of the biggest trials against the mafia in history. This trial itself turned out to be the final nail in falcone’s coffin. for his participation in the trial, falcone was assassinated in Sicily on the orders of one of the crime bosses of the mafia, namely, Salvatore Riina. Our country witnessed something similar over the weekend. The nation woke up on

Most judges have been known to be on the payroll of these mafia bosses, some by choice and some left with no choice. The infamous drug trafficker Pablo Escobar was known to offer money or the bullet to all those he wished to intimidate.

Sunday with the news of an attack on Justice ijazul Ahsan’s residence in Lahore. Gunmen fired shots in two separate visits to the judge’s house late on Saturday night and early on Sunday morning. Needless to state that Justice ijaz has for more than a year been part of high-profile cases including the Panama case and is also currently the monitoring judge of the references pending before the accountability court. Safely put, he is a man who makes lot others nervous. his being part of high-profile cases indeed makes him a target. But the question is, these high-profile cases involve active politicians of the country. Would they themselves dare to order such a hit? That remains to be seen. The exact purpose of the hit is yet to be ascertained by the investigating agencies, but it seems as if it is one of those messages we spoke about earlier. A message to the Supreme Court judge reminding him that he along with his family remains within reach. At the very outset, it is quite evident that the attackers only meant to get the message across and not actually harm the judge, for now. Nevertheless, the shots fired give rise to certain more pertinent questions. A security lapse, to begin with. if the judges of the highest court of the land cannot sleep peacefully within the comforts of their homes, then how do we expect magistrates from the lower judiciary to do so? There is an immediate need to re-evaluate the security of judges throughout the country. People may have adopted the tactics of drug lords and mafia mobsters but we as a state need to make it clear that this isn’t Colombia or Sicily, where members of one of the most important organs of the state can be bent at will. even the judges themselves are of much thicker nerve than it is expected. These two shots, whatsoever the purpose, are not going to scare away the judges. On the contrary they will help the adjudicators in strengthening their resolve. This may itself give rise to another angle as to the purpose behind the attack. Anyhow, it would be unprincipled to start pointing fingers for the attack without thorough investigation. however, as a student of law and more importantly as a citizen of this country, i would reiterate that we as a nation stand behind Justice ijazul Ahsan and all those members of the judiciary working hard for a better future of our beloved nation.

The exact purpose of the hit is yet to be ascertained by the investigating agencies, but it seems as if it is one of those messages we spoke about earlier.

Syed Kaswar Gardezi is a lawyer and a columnist. He can be contacted at

COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa made an interesting statement the other day, saying that the army would never allow ‘engineered protests’ to reverse the army’s counterterrorism operations and to trivialise the sacrifices of the nation’s heroes. The statement was a clear allusion to the massive Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement lead by Manzoor Pashteen, who has gained both admiration and infamy for his blunt accusations against the military establishment. General Bajwa was obviously never going to be particularly happy with the rising tide of Pashtun agitation, especially when it has managed to question by name the army and its actions - something which no one else has so openly been able to do with such mass support. But what is strange about General Bajwa’s statement is that it feeds into the typical half-baked claims of “raw and NDS are behind such agitation.” While it is important to note that he did not call out anyone by name, there was still the impression that the defensive nature of Bajwa’s comments was because the army is at a loss for what to do. After all, while Pashteen may have gone just a little overboard with his UN demands, he has made nothing but legitimate and sensible demands such as an end to barriers, Wattan Cards and the removal of landmines. even though the army has made concessions, the fact remains that the current unrest will not end until there is a change in the policy and attitude that makes such actions possible in the first place. This is something that must have Bajwa confused and scratching his head, because the Pashteen phenomenon is organic and seems to be here to stay. AHMAD WAQAS Rawalpindi

Unjust power tariffs OUR power tariffs are very high compared to other countries in general and are the highest in the region adversely affecting the economic growth and making the lives of the citizens more and more miserable by ever increasing electricity tariffs. All kinds of charges besides actual cost of electricity production are being added to the consumers bills including but limited to cover circular debt & interest, nonreceivables, thefts, all sorts of extra technical losses, guaranteed high profits on every investment, payment of installed capacity not consumed, payment of fat salaries to the consultants, management and all the technical & administrative staff down to the bottom. So much so that poor consumers have to pay for the faults, inefficiencies and incompetence of the entire staff running the power system. if the government, NePRA and associates are charging the consumers for each and everything, they ought to pay back their consumers for the power & energy not supplied as during planned & unplanned load shedding, forced shutdown of their plant and equipment breakdown due to operation and maintenance deficiencies. The power authorities are also liable to pay to the consumers for the poor quality of their product (electricity) if it is supplied beyond the allowed standards, which can cause damage to the costly appliances and machinery of their customers. The frequent examples in this respect are fluctuating values of voltages and frequency of the supplied power beyond that allowed in the applicable standards. The concerned authorities are advised to do the needful to safeguard the interests of the affected consumers and ultimately the national economic health before our honourable superior courts take appropriate action. RIAz BHUttA Lahore

Commonwealth gold! i am very happy Pakistan joined the list of gold medal winning nations here at the commonwealth games on Saturday. Our boy defeated the other wrestler, Melvin Bibo of Nigeria to the clinch the first gold medal for his country. it was a powerful performance in the 86kg category of wrestling. in the first round inam dominated the thrilling bout from the outset and kept Bibo under pressure with brilliant technique to bag three early points. in the second round, inam attacking his rival and bagged three more points to win the title. in another big achievement of Pakistan’s Tayyab Raza won a bronze medal by finishing third in the 125kg category here. Raza won two out of four bouts in the event played according to Nordic system, which is like a round robin system. it got 11 classification points with two wins and two defeats to finish third in the completion to win the bronze medal. Wrestler M Bilal helped Pakistan to their medal at the commonwealth games as he defeated england’s George Gramm to take the bronze medal in the 57kg freestyle event. Weightlifter Nooh Dastagir Butt and Taha Talib won bronze for Pakistan at this year games Nooh Dastagir Butt won bronze medal in +105kg weightlifting competition while Taha Talib won a bronze in men’s 62kg weightlifting competition. And poor 7th place finish for Pakistan hockey in commonwealth games after defeated Canada 3-1 butt overall performance of Pakistan in hockey is good all the matches are draw. it is a good message to all Pakistan hockey lovers. And inshaAllah next time Pakistan hockey team win gold medal. OBAIDULLAH JAvAID Karachi


Monday, 16 April, 2018

How will Moscow respond to tHe syria strikes? nAtionAl intereSt NIKOlAs K GvOsDev


OSCOW is calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council about the western strikes on Syria. Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that President’s Trump’s move is both an “act of aggression” and a “destructive influence on the entire system of international relations.” Russia is claiming that the Syrian military was able to use a Soviet-era missile defence system to target and destroy dozens of missiles launched at Syrian air bases. There is also speculation that Moscow will respond with cyberattacks for the attack on Syria. Col Gen Sergei Rudskoi

has stated that Russia may now deliver S300 air defence systems to Syria. But for all the dangers of escalation, so far the entire Syria affair appears to have had a highly choreographed nature to it. After days of public signalling, the moving around of equipment and personnel, and plenty of backchannel communications (a role played with great assiduity by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in constant and close contact with both Washington and Moscow), the United States, Britain and France launched a coordinated but circumscribed attack on specific Syrian. The exercise seems to have been framed in terms of upholding honour—a public transgression was committed by the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, with the apparent backing of Russian president Vladimir Putin—and in response to that transgression, a penalty and penance has been exacted. At the same time, declaring “Mission Accomplished,” —a questionable phrase to use if there ever was one—the president is once more indicating that he has no desire to become more deeply in-

volved in the Syrian conflagration beyond the limited deployments in Eastern Syria assisting in the mop-up operations against the caliphate of the Islamic State. In some ways, Trump is emulating the Netanyahu playbook for Syria: taking decisive but very focused action whenever there is a development in Syria that is viewed as unacceptable—but otherwise refusing to climb the ladder of escalation beyond a single, defined military action. Military action was taken, but it was limited; no Russian assets were targeted, lowering the prospects of a direct clash with Moscow; and the US government has been at pains to repeat that this was a one-off retaliation for the specific usage of chemical weapons, not a precursor to more sustained American involvement. How seriously were the capabilities of the regime damaged? Some destruction of the Syrian regime’s infrastructure to continue to wage war against the opposition occurred, but the strikes do not appear to have been of such magnitude that the Assad government cannot sustain its campaign. If the regime, which is in


“Big noise on the stairs, but nobody comes into the room,” runs an old Chinese saying. This is an apt description of the very limited airstrikes on Syria launched by the US, Britain and France overnight, which came after apocalyptic tweets from President Trump and threats of military retaliation by Russian diplomats. In the event, the fears of a “RussianAmerican clash” and runaway confrontation leading to a “third world war” have turned out to be overblown. They did not look quite so exaggerated earlier in the week when Trump tweeted about US missiles: “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart’.” The Russians hinted that their retaliation might include American targets. Of all the options available, the US-led coalition chose the one involving minimal action and geared not to provoke Russia or Iran. This was a one-off attack on three suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities, one in Damascus and two west of Homs. It was more of a gesture of disapproval than an attempt to damage President Bashar al-Assad’s military machine. Hours after the missiles had struck, his supporters were understandably demonstrating their defiance in the centre of Damascus. Trump, reportedly under pressure from his military chiefs, may have chosen the most cautious option, but in fact there were no good options. Assad has all but won the civil war. Even if it was possible to weaken him, this might present opportunities to Isis and al-Qaeda, which are battered but not entirely out of business. The attacks may or may not deter Assad from using poison gas in the future, but they will not change the balance of power against him. Chemical weapons are only a small part of his arsenal and have played only a minor military role in the war. Out of the half million Syrians who have died in the conflict over the last seven years, just 1,900 are estimated to have been killed by chemical weapons. Yet the military balance of power really has changed in Syria over the last week, although the reason for this has largely passed

Patrick Cockburn is the author of The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.

Russian white elephant. And does Russia agree to let this strike slide, as it did the US action last year, or will it do something to respond further—and risk escalation? Finally, does the strike convey sufficient warning to Iran about America’s ability to hit targets when it desires? Will Tehran conclude from this event that it needs to take US concerns about its behaviour seriously, or will it view this as a “Trump temper tantrum” that does not show the US ability to sustain pressure in the future? By extension, Russia is also assessing what this strike means in terms of what the US is prepared to do to push back against Russian influence in the region. The United States “did something” in response to Assad’s outrages. It may not be enough in terms of what the Syria opposition or some members of the US Congress would like to see, but having acted on his threat, the President does not appear to be inclined to go further, though he did explicitly reserve the option to attack again if he deems Damascus guilty of once more using chemical weapons. For now, the ball is in Moscow’s court—and we will see what its response looks like. Nikolas K Gvosdev is a contributing editor to the National Interest.

Syria: Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time

Big noise: Apocalyptic tweets, limited strikes unnoticed internationally because of the focus on the gas attack in Douma and its consequences. The big development is that Douma, the last armed opposition stronghold in Eastern Ghouta, surrendered to the Syrian armed forces on 8 April. The remaining Jaysh al-Islam fighters have been taken by bus to Turkish-held territory in northern Syria during the course of the week. This is Assad’s greatest victory of the war, surpassing in importance even the recapture of East Aleppo at the end of 2016. The Syrian army began its so-called Rif Dimashq offensive against the towns and villages of Eastern Ghouta on 20 February. For seven years, the survival of this opposition enclave in east Damascus had been a sign that Assad did not control all of his own country. There were rebels within mortar range of the heart of his own capital who regularly bombarded the Old City. In the past there were other such opposition enclaves, but they have fallen one by one. Eastern Ghouta had a population of 400,000 and was partly agricultural so could feed itself to some degree. It was at first blockaded rather than besieged, with supplies coming in through a vast tunnel network and permissive or corrupt government checkpoints. But in the last year the government has closed entry and exit through its checkpoints and has blocked the tunnels. Inhabitants started to suffer from an acute shortage of food, fuel and medical supplies. The scarcity got worse when the government began its offensive in February. Much of the population took refuge in basements where they could only see in the dark by using small torches. Those who lived there complained of the lack of fresh water and food, the stench because of broken sewage pipes and the presence of venomous scorpions. Possibly it was the Syrian government’s frustration at the continued resistance of part of Jaysh alIslam, the Saudi-backed jihadi movement in Douma, that led it to use chlorine gas. It had done so before without provoking an international reaction, but this time authentic-looking video was broadcast around the world showing dying children gasping for breath. The pictures provoked a wave of international fury which culminated in the US-led airstrikes on 14 April. If the Syrian government’s purpose in launching a chemical weapons attack was to force the final surrender of the Douma rebels, then it succeeded. Within hours of it happening, Russian military police moved into Douma to supervise the departure of rebel fighters and to suppress looting by government forces. On 12 April, the Syrian national flag was finally raised over a building in central Douma and the long siege was over.

the progress of eliminating the last remaining rebel strongholds around Damascus, no longer needs to use chlorine-based weaponry as a tool of terror and intimidation to finish the job of retaking control of these areas, then it would appear that the United States and its allies will not intervene further. How successful was the strike vis-à-vis Russian air defence capabilities? As is sometimes rumoured when Israel carries out raids in Syria, such attacks are preceded by earlier consultations with the Kremlin specifying exactly what is going to be hit and why. Presumably, President Emmanuel Macron, in his call to Putin prior to the strikes, was not phoning to talk about the weather. Of course, the optics of the strike are still negative for the Kremlin: either it acquiesced to Western pressure to allow the strike, which looks bad from a public diplomacy perspective, or its vaunted S-400 air defence system is not as good as advertised—meaning that prospective customers around the world, including Turkey and China, may think again about whether they want to spend good money for a



President Donald Trump has received applause from all the wrong places for his latest attack on Syria. The Bashar al-Assad regime is brutal, but the US government should not police arbitrary rules of war or, even worse, get involved in someone else’s civil war. The president is being pushed into adopting Hillary Clinton’s policy. The president began his television address on Syria with sharp criticism of “the evil and despicable attack” allegedly made by the Assad government, and evil and despicable it was. Yet there is less to the use of chemical weapons than the fevered international reaction suggests. What is truly “evil and despicable” is war. The president cited the “horrors of World War I,” especially the estimated one million dead or wounded from gas, after which “civilised nations joined together to ban chemical warfare.” Yet the prohibition really was directed at the living, not the dead. Chemical weapons were not the great killer, accounting for about 3 per cent of military and few civilian casualties: Between nine and eleven million military personnel are thought to have died in the Great War. Another 22 to 24 million were wounded. Those shredded or buried by an artillery barrage, cut down by machine gun or rifle fire, or sent to the ocean’s bottom by a torpedo or depth charge were equally dead. And far more were killed with those “acceptable” weapons than by gas. In fact, contra the president’s claim that “even small amounts [of chemicals] can unleash widespread devastation,” they really are not weapons of mass destruction. A nuclear bomb can destroy a city; a biological attack can infect a population. Chemical weapons are far less effective. In fact, they do far more to generate a special fear among those who survive — ironically including Adolf Hitler, who despite his many crimes never used the weapon that had harmed him. Syria has been a terrible charnel house not because of the widespread use of chemicals, but because any low tech civil war in an urban area is going to be horrid, especially when the combatants include determined brutal authoritarians, violent religious extremists, and ruthless outside forces. Bombs and bullets have killed the vast majority of the half million estimated dead Syrians. Is it that much worse to die from a chemical weapon than a barrel or cluster bomb? Indeed, the latest apparent attack was thought to have killed between 40 and 70 people. Such a toll from a more conventional assault

would have been unremarkable and gone unnoticed. The real tragedy of Syria is that the deaths of scores of people, day after day, no longer is cause for comment. Ironically, Assad’s presumed use of chemicals may have helped end fighting in Douma attack sooner, reducing the otherwise inevitable human toll. Why, having largely triumphed over its enemies, would Damascus use chemical weapons? The insurgent group Jaysh al-Islam refused to follow fighters elsewhere in agreeing to evacuate the besieged city. After air strikes and chemical attacks Jaysh al-Islam came to terms, perhaps under pressure from the local population. That result does not sanctify the use of horrid weapons, but it demonstrates the moral complexity: Would the “international community,” whatever that is, prefer another week or two of conventional attack with far more than 40 to 70 civilian deaths? In fact, Washington policymakers were equally callous when confronted with a similar dilemma. The Reagan administration backed Saddam Hussein after his ruinous attack on Iran. The US provided him with dual use products for chemical weapons and aided his armed forces knowing that he planned to use chemical weapons against Iranian forces. Apparently Americans’ moral outrage dissipated when Iranians were the target. In his TV talk the president challenged Iran and Russia: “What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep.” Yet Moscow and Tehran could ask the same question of Washington’s support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Riyadh was not attacked. Instead, it intervened in a long-running — essentially from when the original two Yemeni states gained independence — internal conflict in order to restore to power an ousted president expected to do Saudi Arabia’s will. Although the Saudis do not use chemical weapons, their air strikes are responsible for the vast majority of the 10,000-plus civilian deaths, exacerbated by a naval blockade, cholera epidemic, collapse of the health care system, widespread destruction of infrastructure, and much more. “What kind of a nation wants to be associated with” this sort of war, Mr President? The latest attack, supposedly directed at three chemical weapons facilities, is a bit tougher than last year’s pin prick missile barrage, but it is no less a PR exercise. AlAssad does not need chemical weapons to win the conflict. If all he loses after using them is some of his chemical weapons in-

frastructure, he hasn’t paid much of a price. The military balance on the ground has not changed. He could fear a tougher attack in the future, but the Trump administration flinched, avoiding hitting facilities or forces which could result in Russian casualties. That consideration won’t change. Even now Moscow and Tehran might increase their aid in attempt to speed alAssad’s conquest of the few areas that remain under insurgent control. The two governments also could work with Turkey against Kurdish forces in the Northeast, where some 2000 Americans are deployed. At least President Trump wants to bring the latter home. He realises that it is not in America’s interest to satisfy the fevered imagination of international social engineers who by occupying a quarter of Syria hope to force Assad’s fall, despite his triumph over most of the insurgents, exclude from Syria Iran, which was allied with Damascus before the civil war, face down Moscow, whose relationship with the Assad dynasty runs back to the Cold War, and convince Ankara, which has spent years warring on Kurdish separatists, to embrace a de facto Kurdish statelet within Syria. These are fantasies in the sky. Unfortunately, the president has allowed those who work for him to effectively set policy and thereby thwart his objectives. He justifies Washington’s continued presence as necessary to finish off the Islamic State, but that is not America’s job. The US joined the conflict to stop ISIS from further metastasising when it was rapidly expanding. Since then the socalled caliphate has lost 98 per cent of its territory, while the Iraqi government has stabilised, the Syrian government has recovered, the Turkish government has stopped helping the wannabe-caliphate on the sly, and the Russian government has jumped in. They, along with the Kurds and other local forces, can handle the remaining two per cent of the Islamic State. In his televised address the president said what most Americans desperately want to hear: “No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the Middle East.” Finally, a president who understands the obvious in the Mideast. But President Trump needs to resist well-connected members of foreign policy establishment, including those who fill his administration, to make that a reality. Which means firmly, finally, and completely leaving Syria — including ISIS and chemical weapons — to others. Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.


Monday, 16 April, 2018




Frustration arises as your most ingenious ideas meet the stone cold reality of unchangeable circumstances today. However, facing insurmountable resistance might not be enough to stop you from trying to.

A communication problem comes back to haunt you today, especially if it escalates into a major disagreement. In fact, this could be such a drawn-out power struggle that you might need to retreat to gather.

Your life takes a definite turn for the better, but not until you first face a problem or two that might take the wind out of your sails. You may not normally be so serious, but you're not likely to be.




Being satisfied with your current circumstances might endow you with a somewhat lazy attitude early in the day. Nevertheless, a little restlessness could be a strong motivational factor by the afternoon..

You may feel as if your life is separated into two opposite parts today. The first piece of the puzzle can be rather serious as you deal with a difficult situation at work. Others might see you as a stick-in-the-mud.

The real world impinges upon your fantasy life today, forcing you to rein in your imagination. However, cerebral Mercury won't leave you alone with your thoughts, making it twice as hard to follow your.




Steer clear of any friends who tell you what to do today because they can end up costing you valuable time and energy if you listen to them and ignore your own common sense. It's not that others are purposely..

Although it seems as if your choices are limited today, you can still make the most of the present moment if you're willing to adjust your expectations as you go along. But you may be in a weird mood because.

There are so many creative ideas you want to pursue these days, it's nearly impossible to contain your exuberance. Unfortunately, you can't follow every road just because it might lead to another rainbow.




Thankfully, you won't have to spend the day playing catchup if you've been doing your job all along like a responsible Capricorn. Instead, you can finish your obligations pretty quickly today and then.

When friends and peers expect you to do something in particular, you often rebel. You prefer doing things your own way in your own time. However, you may not have an opportunity to choose today. You can.

It's time to take your work to the next level, no matter how much you have already accomplished. Unfortunately, you can't just wish your way up the ladder of success. You must be persistent while demonstrating.


ACROSS 1 Car to demo (anag) (9) 8 Japanese wrestling (4) 9 Going for a song (4,5) 10 Ancient Greek coin (4) 13 Interrogate (5) 15 Uproar (6) 16 Chicken (6) 17 Zone (6) 19 written (6) 20 Magnate (5) 21 flank (4) 24 Associate (9) 25 Part of a list (4) 26 Versatile (9) DOwn

woRd sEaRcH

2 The Buckeye State (4) 3 Sworn promise (4) 4 Stick together (6) 5 Lethal (6) 6 Nit-picking (9) 7 Global (9) 11 Previously mentioned (9) 12 Military officer (9) 13 Educate for a future role (5) 14 Neck and neck (5) 18 worthless (2,4) 19 halt (4,2) 22 Bye-bye (2-2) 23 Papal edict — nonsense (4)







white tO PLAY AND MAte iN five MOves 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1









Today’s soluTions

bRIdGE pERcEntaGE play

sUdokU crossword solution sudoku solution

1.Qb2! Nd7 [1...Kh3 2.d4 Qd6 3.Qg2+ Kh4 4.Nf5#] 2.d4 Qd6 3.Qf2+ Kh3 4.Qg2+ Kh4 5.Nf5# * 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.


Monday, 16 April, 2018


MohsIn hAMId wIns AsPen words LITerAry PrIze 2018 for eXIT wesT isLaMaBaD

Match made on Facebook: American woman marries Pakistani man HARIPUR: An American woman and a Pakistani man from Haripur met on Facebook, after which she travelled all the way to Pakistan to marry him. Mary Kathleen met Adeel Awan when he first sent her a friend request on the social media website, Facebook after which the two got connected and started talking. According to reports, Mary, whose Muslim name is now Maryam, travelled all the way to Haripur and converted to Islam after which she married Adeel. The wedding pictures show the bride, dressed in traditional clothes, surrounded by Adeel’s family. Interestingly, this is not the first instance where a foreign woman married a Pakistani man after meeting on Facebook. In January, a Canadian woman Agnetha travelled to Pakistan to tie the knot with Qaiser Abbas, who hails from Jalalpur Bhattian, after the two connected on Facebook. A similar incident occurred in november 2017, when a Chinese woman travelled to Pakistan to be with a man from Layyah she met in 2015. StAff REpoRt

Apple reportedly working on gold iPhone X SAN FRANSISCO: Apple is reportedly working on a gold-colour variant of premium iPhone X as seen in recent photos published by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). “This seems a little too good to be true but the FCC appears to have published photos of a gold iPhone X. Dated from last September and released earlier in April, these photos show an iPhone X unmistakably in an unreleased gold finish,” reports claimed. The prototype iPhone X has rich gold stainless steel frame and a lighter gold glass back that appears to match the gold colour in iPhone 8. “The photo annotations do include reference to an ‘LCD display’ which is a little strange as the iPhone X uses an oLED panel. other than that, it resembles an iPhone X in every way,” the report added. The documents filed with the FCC reportedly suggest the photos were taken as much as several months ahead of the iPhone X unveiling in September, 2017. AGENCIES


StAff REpoRt

oHSIn Hamid is definitely one of the best authors Pakistan has to offer. Hamid’s latest novel Exit West won the author the Aspen Words Literary Prize 2018. The inaugural awards were held in new York on April 10. “Exit West is a novel about migration and how the world is changing — and could change — and how we are all migrants, and how we can find an optimistic future together,” Hamid remarked in his acceptance speech at the ceremony. “I’m really

grateful to be honoured by this prize in particular, which is a prize that looks to books to have an impact on the world.” The author was awarded $35,000 as prize money. The Aspen Words Literary Prize is an annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture. Among its many other nominations, Exit West has been nominated for LA Times Book Prize and was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Earlier this year, Mohsin was also awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his services to the field of literature.

Many benefits of drinking hot water nEWs DEsK Drinking hot water may be a traditional practice in several parts of the world including China and India. However, in Pakistan, people prefer to drink cold water, especially the sweltering heat. However, several global researchers have concluded that consuming hot water will not only help you shed extra belly fat but also keep various health issues at bay. It has further been suggested that the optimum temperature of the hot water should be 120 degrees to avoid damaging the cells and inner skin layers in the mouth. HeRe ARe All tHe beNeFItS OF dRINkINg HOt wAteR HelPS IN weIgHt lOSS: This is surely the most-wanted health benefit for fitness lovers who tirelessly hit the gym and follow a strict diet. Just by drinking a glass of water on an empty stomach can help you get rid of toxins and feel fuller for a longer time, thus preventing unnecessary snacking. CleARS SINUSeS: A chronic ailment like sinus, which gives constant headaches and a stuffy nose can be quite a nuisance. And it has been proven that just a glass of warm water could help alleviate some of the symptoms of a respiratory tract infection. eASIeR ON teetH: Your teeth will also remain healthy for a long time if you practice drinking hot water. However, ensure that the temperature is optimum enough to not damage the gums and enamel.

betteR FOR dIgeStION: Hot water is also the solution for constant constipation and irregular bowel movements. Warm water has a vasodilator effect, which means it widens the blood vessels and stimulates the blood flow towards the intestine, aiding the digestive process. Further, the intake of warm water on an empty stomach speeds up bowel movements. It has a faster hydrating effect, so when it is followed by a meal, the temperature helps emulsify fats, making them more digestible. wASH OUt tOxINS: A glass of hot water raises the core body temperature, stimulating the sweating process which is required to push out toxic elements from our body. In case, you do not like drinking lemon-based preparations, try taking green tea which has similar benefits. PAIN RelIeveR: Replace the intake of painkillers with water, especially for stomach-related pains which are largely caused due to digestive issues. Sometimes, pain caused in other body parts is also a result of dehydration which causes muscle contractions. Replace the glass of cold water with a hot one and body pains will soon be cured. eASeS CONStIPAtION: Constipation has become a major health problem among the youth. This is largely caused due to imbalanced eating habits. However, if you start each day with a drink of warm water, on an empty stomach, you can improve your bowel movements and reduce the likelihood of constipation.

Scientists develop method that could treat hepatitis C Washington AGENCIES

Mass treatment of a population with chronic hepatitis C infection has produced high rates of cure, according to a study. The research, conducted in Punjab, evaluated the feasibility of decentralised care and the provision of free direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) among a population of almost 20,000 individuals. It validated the efficacy and

safety of generic all-oral DAA regimens delivered using a decentralised algorithm-based public health model. “We have shown in our study that it is possible to cure more than 90% of individuals with HCV infection in a highly dispersed population using well-trained teams in government medical colleges and district hospitals, and widely available DAAs,” said lead author Radha Krishan Dhiman. “We believe the Punjab Model could be applied to many different populations with the aim of elimi-

nating HCV.” Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents a major healthcare burden in India, with an estimated 12-18 million people infected. The burden is particularly heavy in the Indian state of Punjab, owing to the high prevalence of risk factors such as unsafe medical practices - including unsafe medical injections, blood transfusions and dental procedures - and intravenous drug use. Similar to other geographical regions in India, genotype 3 predominates in the state of Punjab.

‘Talk to Books’ using Google research AI experience Google Research is giving us a (fun) look at how far natural language processing in artificial intelligence has come. Mountain View’s research division has revealed two or three what it calls Semantic Experiences, which are sites with fascinating exercises that show AIs’ capacity to see how we talk. one of the two encounters is called “Talk to Books,” since, well, you can utilize the site to converse with books to a specific degree. You just compose in a statement or an inquiry, and it will discover entire sentences in books identified with what you wrote. In the declaration post, striking futurist/Google Research Director of Engineering Ray Kurzweil and Product Manager Rachel Bernstein said the framework doesn’t rely upon catchphrase coordinating. They prepared its AI by encouraging it “billion conversation-like pairs of sentences,” so it can figure out how to distinguish what a decent reaction resembles. Converse with Books can enable you to discover titles basic watchword ventures won’t not surface. Google Research’s other new site called Semantris offers word affiliation games, including a Tetris-like break-the-blocks experience. The two games can perceive both inverse and neighboring ideas, even seems like “vroom” for bike or “meow” for cat. The improvement in word vector, an AI-preparing model that empowers calculations to learn connections between words in view of real language use, prompted the headway in regular language handling in the course of recent years. As per Kurzweil and Bernstein, these sites demonstrate how AIs’ “new capabilities can drive applications that weren’t possible before.” They said other potential applications incorporate “classification, semantic similarity, semantic clustering, whitelist applications (choosing the correct reaction from numerous options) and semantic search (of which Talk to Books is a case).” Google has discharged a module on TensorFlow different analysts and designers can utilize, so the tech giant’s work could prompt more AI-controlled applications that can see how we use words superior to anything their more established partners can. NEWS DESK

Emily Blunt honoured for her work with Malala Foundation nEW YoRK AGENCIES

Hollywood actor Emily Blunt was recently cited for her work with the Malala Fund, named after Pakistani activist Malala Yousafazi, in promoting education for girls around the world. She spoke of how education was helping her older daughter, who is only four, thrive. Blunt was applauded at Variety’s annual Power of Women event which took place in new York. She praised the work of the Malala Fund, the nonprofit funded by Malala Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin, in 2013 saying that Malala has “the most compassionate of hearts, but courage and will of steel.” “When the bullets rained down on these girls, the world stopped in their tracks and they listened to Malala, but most importantly, so did millions of girls around the world put in the same position. This courageous, eloquent, and inspiring girl became their light,” Blunt said, referencing the young activist shot by the Taliban for pursuing an education. Blunt urged lawmakers to take action to help young girls denied an education.

“There are over 130 million girls missing out on an education because they have to work or they are married by the age 12 or they lack access to school facilities or have to care for younger siblings,” she said. When given a chance, Blunt said women can move mountains. “If women are given a voice, they use it. When they are handed the purse strings, the communities thrive. When they are given a job, they flourish. They organise better. They galvanise more passionately and they are more likely to encourage peace where peace should be the priority,” she said. Blunt, along with her husband John Krasinski, works to draw attention to and raise money for the Malala Fund. The fund hopes to give girls around the world the ability to have 12 years of education — schooling that is free, safe, and of quality. Speaking to Variety, Malala said, “From the first time we met, I knew Emily would be a great friend to me and to all girls fighting for their education. I am so grateful for her ability to see the faces of millions of girls in her own daughters.” Blunt and Krasinski have so far raised money for the fund by auctioning off a double date to the new York premiere of

their recent film A Quiet Place. In the fall, the couple hopes to visit Colombia or India to see Malala Fund’s work firsthand. Those are new regions for the organisation. Until now, it has focused on supporting educators and educational champions in places where it is difficult for girls to attend school, such as Afghanistan, nigeria, Pakistan, and countries hosting Syrian refugees. Yousafzai also sends reports to Blunt from the field. “When Malala goes back to the communities it’s so exciting because women

are at the front of the crowd,” says the actress. “They’re telling you how they’re organising. They’re telling you what’s happening. As we’re finding out in this climate that we’re living in, when women are given their voice they will use it.” Longtime activist and MeToo founder Tarana Burke — a name unknown to most people until six months ago — however, got the biggest ovation at the event. Burke, who founded the MeToo movement 12 years ago and runs it out of the Brooklyn, new York, offices of Girls

for Gender Equity, said she wanted people to recognise its deeper purpose — working with survivors of sexual assault, and not simply bringing down powerful abusers. “Folks think it’s about naming and shaming, about taking down powerful men. But they’re wrong,” Burke said. She noted that she was “desperate to change the narrative about the MeToo movement before it’s too late.” Another misconception, according to Burke: that the current cultural reckoning is a “moment.” “It is a mistake to think of this as a moment,” she said. “Movements are long, and they are built over time. Movements are made from moments.” Burke added that the past six months have been “like something out of a movie,” and that she had never imagined that one day she would see the country involved in a sustained national dialogue about sexual violence. In order to keep the momentum going, Burke explained, funds are needed. She said former tennis star Billie Jean King — who famously fought for equal pay for women on the tennis tour — had recently pledged to not only give $100,000 herself but to help find nine more people to do that.

Monday, 16 April, 2018



‘The WeeKnd’ brings emoTionAl inTimAcy To coAchellA

Kareena Kapoor trolled for ‘marrying a muslim’


Swara Bhasker defended her Veere Di Wedding co-star Kareena Kapoor Khan when she was trolled for ‘marrying a Muslim’ and for naming her son Taimur. Swara tweeted a photograph of Kareena holding a placard asking for the justice for the eight-year-old girl, who was gangraped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district. In response, a social media user wrote: “She should be ashamed of the fact that despite being a Hindu is married to a Muslim. Has a child with him and named him Taimur, after a brutal Islamic barbarian.” To this, Swara replied: “You should be ashamed you exist. That God gave you a brain which you chose to fill with hate and a mouth you chose to spew filth from. You are a shame on India and Hindus. That sh*ts like you feel emboldened to talk this crap publicly is this government’s legacy.” Swara is known for speaking her mind. Earlier, she called out Sanjay Leela Bhansali for glorifying women sacrifice in his last film Padmaavat. On Sunday morning, she also lashed out to an Indian author who criticised Bollywood celebrities for holding placards which called for banning rape. Author Bhaavna Arora wrote on Twitter, “What’s with these Bollywood celebs writing ‘ban rape’ on placards? As if rape is legal. These dimwits need to get their heads out of their asses.” What’s with these Bollywood celebs writing ‘ban rape’ on placards? As if rape is legal. These dimwits need to get their heads out of their asses. — bhaavna arora (@BhaavnaArora) April 15, 2018. To this Swara replied, “I didn’t see any placards saying ban rape… but then when LAWMAKERS attend pro-rape rallies is it so weird that citizens have to call for rape to be banned? Since our lawmakers seem to have no idea what is legal and illegal… human & inhuman.” She further wrote, “Love how Bollywood celebs get equally criticised for their silence as well as when they speak up. Guess some people just gotta hate. Also Bhaavnaa why don’t u get ur smug head out of the gutter of social media trolling and unequivocally condemn the barbaric acts in Kathua & Unnao?” Swara and Kareena will soon be seen together on the silver screen in the film Veere Di Wedding. Directed by Shashank Ghosh, the film which also stars Sonam Kapoor and Shikha Talsania will release on June 1. newS DeSk



HE Weeknd brought a raw emotional intimacy as he headlined the first night of the Coachella festival, where electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre lit up the California desert sky with lasers and calls to safeguard the environment. Packing 125,000 fashionably – or at least scantily – dressed fans onto the sun-baked site in Indio, Coachella has become the titan of music festivals and a global brand with a who’s who of acts who play back-to-back weekends with identical lineups. Just two weeks after his surprise release of the six-track My Dear Melancholy, which became the shortest work to top the US albums chart in nearly a decade, The Weeknd delivered a well-received set of hits and new material. My Dear Melancholy, – the comma deliberate, as if part of a confessional letter – shows a newfound introspection on the part of the 28-year-old R&B sensation, moving beyond the bravado of some of his early hits. Clasping the microphone before the packed main stage audience, The Weeknd gently cried as he closed his new song Call Out My Name to an unadorned guitar, with some fans watching agape as the lights went down. The song – which begins with We found each other / I helped you out of a broken place – has raised speculation that the Canadian singer is reflecting on his short-lived romance with pop star Selena Gomez, with whom he was spotted cuddling a year ago when they attended Coachella as fans. Fresh from an expansion of the grounds last year, the 2018 edition of Coachella brought in a

new artisan food market and original artwork, including strikingly translucent baroque domes by Italian sculptor Edoardo Tresoldi. As the party entered the evening, few appeared to react to news that Western nations had launched strikes on Syria, with smartphones omnipresent but often patchy in data service. But Jarre injected some political consciousness as he performed after sundown, his lasers beaming deep into the sky over the festival. Playing his frenetic, chase-like track Exit, Jarre saluted his collaborator Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who fled the United States after revealing the scope of government surveillance. Walls of light surrounded Jarre, seemingly trapping him on stage, as Snowden appeared on video, delivering his lecture from the song about the importance of privacy: a message all the more timely amid the furor over Facebook’s harvesting of personal data. Jarre also made an appeal on the environment, saying that Oxygene, the French artist’s 1976 album that quickly became a foundational work of electronic music, amounted to a reflection on climate. “Tonight from the desert of Coachella, let’s have a strong message to every world leader in their right mind — we want them to take care and protect the future of our planet,” Jarre said. Jarre has led some of the largest concerts in history, including a 1997 light show across Moscow, but had played little in the United States until last year. Speaking to AFP before his set, Jarre said he was drawn to Coachella in part through his fascination with deserts and water scarcity. “It’s what I like in life, to try to explain a new thing, and being in a festival like this is a new

Aisha Khan ties the knot

Kangana ranaut reveals why she avoids social media MUMBAI: Bollywood starlet Kangana Ranaut says she is not on social media because she finds it very time-consuming. Kangana expressed her thought on social media when she became part of TV show Vh1 Inside Access, a statement to IANS said. “I am not on social media for many reasons and one of them is that I feel it’s so time to consume. People tell me, open an account because some of them can be brand queries, and they want you on social media; it’s mandatory,” Kangana said. “Sometimes your agents tell you just open an account and don’t post, or let us post. That’s not okay with me, because I have not done anything in my life where I am not involved. I can’t imagine the fact that I am being dishonest on some level that someone else is pretending to be me.” “I am faking that with millions of people and its sort of having a fake relationship,” added the Queen actor. Kangana will next been seen in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi and as well as in Mental Hai Kya alongside Rajkummar Rao. agencieS

thing,” he said. “You can’t compare any festival in the world to Coachella. It’s like a town in the middle of the desert, a town of music.” Jarre said that Coachella chief Paul Tollett had agreed to all of the artist’s requests for coming to the festival, including extending the size of his stage. Surprise guests are a hallmark of Coachella. Grammywinning rapper Kendrick Lamar, who headlined the festival last year, made two appearances on Friday, joining both singer SZA and fellow rapper Vince Staples. Another major figure in rap, Tyler, the Creator, joined Kali Uchis, the Colombian-born singer who put on a well-received set of both English and Spanish pop.

Lahore: Imran Khan enjoys coffee and Fudging Hot Sundae at Urban Kitchen. Staff RepoRt

ISLAMABAD: Celebrity weddings have been dominating our newsfeeds currently and the latest celebrity wedding to take place was none other than former Pakistani actor, Aisha Khan’s. Earlier this week, we saw photographs from Khan’s mayun and mehndi, both of which seemed to be low-key affairs. Those events were followed by a nikkah at Islamabad’s Faisal Masjid and a baraat. Aisha looked breathtaking on both the events and we can’t help but gush over her. Following the nikkah, Aisha changed her name on her social media accounts from Aisha Rao Khan to Aisha Uqbah Malik. From the film industry, we only saw Aisha’s best friends Hamza Ali Abbasi and Gohar Rasheed in attendance. In fact, both of them were even part of the bride’s entry on the mehndi. Meanwhile, Aisha’s co-star and good friend, Humayun Saeed took to Twitter to wish her for her married life. The tweet read, “Sending you lots of prayers, good wishes and love on this special day, Aisha. May your married life be even better than your phenomenally successful acting career and may Allah keep you blessed and happy forever.” Last month, Khan announced her departure from the showbiz industry. This, of course, led to speculations that the actor was tying the knot. Aisha then shut down all rumours by sharing a picture of herself with her fiance, Major Uqbah Hadeed, on Instagram with the caption, “My fiancé and I are overwhelmed with all the love and prayers that have poured in thus far. I had made my announcement to leave my media career as I now prefer to stay away from the limelight. We got engaged last year and have known each other for several years before. We would request privacy from here on and expect everybody to respect our decision of keeping our wedding a small family affair. Please remember us and our families in your prayers!” Staff RepoRt

Bon Jovi, Nina Simone enter Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CLEVELAND agencieS

Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues, Dire Straits, the Cars, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe joined music royalty as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Richie Sambora, the original guitarist for arena-packing rockers Bon Jovi reunited with the band for a rousing set at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland that included hits You Give Love a Bad Name and It’s My Life. R&B-infused progressive rockers the Moody Blues took the stage to perform

Your Wildest Dreams, while New Wave pop songwriters the Cars played Just What I Needed. Soul legend Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the gospel inspiration for early rockers, both of whom were posthumously inducted, and British rockers Dire Straits rounded out the 2018 Hall of Fame class. The shrine to rock culture surveyed some 1,000 historians and music industry players to select the new inductees. Bon Jovi, the hard rockers from New Jersey led by namesake Jon Bon Jovi, came out on top in a survey that drew 6.8 million fans, whose preferences were

taken into account to give an extra vote to five acts. With a string of quickly memorable hits such as Livin’ on a Prayer and Wanted Dead or Alive, Bon Jovi became kings in the 1980s, packing arenas on their exhaustive tours full of pyrotechnics. Simone, who won induction on her first nomination, was widely considered one of the most influential singers of the 20th century who brought the sensibilities of classical music to gospel and jazz. Raised in segregated North Carolina, Simone became a passionate advocate for racial equality, with her bestknown song perhaps the civil


rights anthem To Be Young, Gifted and Black. She died in selfexile in France in 2003. Tharpe, who died in 1973, was chosen for her early influence on rock. With her confident stage presence and distortion on her guitar, Tharpe took gospel music to new audiences in the 1930s and 1940s, helping set the stage for rock ‘n’ roll after World War II. Dire Straits, led by Mark Knopfler, emerged from Britain’s so-called pub rock scene of the 1970s, which emphasized blues roots and no-frills musicianship in an era of angry punks and flamboyant glam bands.

16 BUSINESS Pakistan qualifies for GsP eligibility by the usTr’s office ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has qualified for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) eligibility assessment and will continue to receive duty-free treatment for its eligible exports to the important market in the United States. In a statement released on Saturday, Commerce Division Secretary Younus Dagha said the GSP facility will help in further strengthen bilateral trade between the United States and Pakistan. GSP eligibility assessment of countries located in the Asian region, undertaken by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office, has concluded and its results were officially released. earlier, Dagha had visited the United States and held a meeting with Assistant United States Trade Representative in Washington Mark Linscott to discuss various bilateral trade and investment issues. The two sides discussed matters of mutual interest including convening of the next TIFA Council meeting, business opportunities conference, and designation of a facility for Pakistani mango irradiation in the United States. Dagha, while stating that increased cooperation with the US shows a deeper connection between the two countries, expressed hope that the US companies will take advantage of their presence in the Pakistani market and expand their footprint in view of strong performance of Pakistan’s economy, improved security and energy situation, large and growing consumer market, and the country’s strategic location in the region. According to the office of the USTR, Pakistan is the 57th largest destination for export of goods from the United States. Pakistan’s top imports from the United States are machinery, aircraft, cotton, iron and steel and agricultural products including grain. Top exports to the United States were textiles and leather goods. Imports from the United States totalled $1.2 billion in the July to Feb period this fiscal year, while the exports reached the figure of $2.5 billion, as per data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). ONLINE

Monday, 16 April, 2018

PakisTan’s currenT accounT deficiT increased due To cPec: adB ISLAMABAD



he preliminary projection for Pakistan’s current account deficit in FY2019 is 4.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), with somewhat slower growth but mainly due to continued implementation of the ChinaPakistan economic Corridor (CPeC) projects. In its annual report – The Asian Development Outlook 2018, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said that the deficit expanded on larger imports that widened the trade deficit despite a strong revival in exports. Remittances, the traditional off set to the trade deficit, grew by 3.4% in the period, reversing a decline a year earlier, but had only a limited impact on the current account. Net financial inflows increased by about 14% from the year-earlier period. Filling the financing gap required a drawdown of $3.9 billion in foreign exchange reserves to $12.2 billion. exports revived to grow by 12.2% in the first eight months of FY2018. Large increases in food exports (mainly sugar and rice), readymade garments and knitwear, leather manufactures, and chemical and pharmaceutical products accounted for the bulk of the rebound. Despite new regulatory duties, imports grew by 17.3% in the first 8 months of FY2018, slightly faster than in the comparable period of FY2017 to meet sustained domestic demand and the continued large import needs of infrastructure projects re-

flected in double-digit growth in machinery, metals, and vehicles. Imports of the petroleum products were especially large because of higher prices, accounting for a third of the rise in imports. In the remainder of FY2018, the current account deficit should be reined in by the lagged effects of adjust-

ments to regulatory duties, currency depreciation and credit tightening in January, and the favorable external environment for exports. however, with increased seasonal spending on infrastructure projects, the current account deficit will likely edge up a bit equal 4.9% of the gross domestic product.

sdPi conducts pre-budget meetings at all provincial capitals LAHORE: The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has conducted a series of consultative meetings in all provincial capitals to compile pre-budget recommendations. To validate these recommendations and submit them to the Ministry of Finance and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and other relevant provincial departments, the SDPI is hosting a high-level pre-budget Symposium-2018, at the federal capital on Monday, April 16. Renowned economists and officials are scheduled to speak on this occasion. APP

RAWALPINDI: A vendor sells drinks at his pushcart to beat the summer heat. ONLINE

Decline in shipbreaking industry due to violation of labour rights KARACHI PPI

The shipbreaking industry in Gadani, Balochistan has been declining due to labour rights exploitation by the employers, non-implementation on the internationally accepted labour standards, and the criminal negligence of the government and its authorities. Thousands of workers, directly associated with the industry, have been working in inhumane conditions without any safety, and as a result, they are receiving injuries for life and deaths too in accidents at workplace every other day. The overall situation implies that the government has given the employers and the contractors license to kill the workers because, despite so many casualties, none of them has been prosecuted and they continue to run their illegal and criminal operations scot-free. The redressal of this situation lies in implementing the labour stan-

dards in light of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) conventions, South Asian and Turkish shipbreaking industries’ guidelines and the hong Kong International Convention. These views were expressed by speakers at a seminar, titled Issues and Way Foward for Shipbreaking Industry and ILO Guidelines and hong Kong Convention, organized by the National Trade Union Federation at PMA house in Karachi on Saturday. The National Trade Union Federation’s (NTUF) President Rafiq Baloch presided over the seminar as workers belonging to the shipbreaking and re-rolling industries attended it. The speakers said that one and a half year on to the oil tanker tragedy in Gadani, caused on November 1, 2016, in which 29 workers were killed and several were injured yet the employers and government have not learned any lessons. The employers, government and the concerned au-

thorities have turned deaf ear to the worker’s rights, their health and safety due to which deadly accidents have been occurring on a nearly daily basis, and many of them go unreported. Meanwhile, workers have been deprived of their constitutional and legal rights to obtain fair wages and medical covers, among others. Neither the situation seems to be changing for any good. Speaking at the seminar, NTUF deputy general secretary Nasir Mansoor said that the shipbreaking industry earns billions of rupees to the federal and provincial governments, employs thousands of workers directly and indirectly and caters up to 30 per cent the country’s iron needs. Because of the governments’ negligence, the industry is deteriorating the results of which are devastating. Due to a slower pace and hazardous nature of work, a lot of iron is being imported in the country, thus causing heavy loss to the na-

tional exchequer. The downstream industries, especially over 200 rerolling mills, other linked businesses, and over two million people employed there have been going through a crisis under uncertainty about their future. he said that the similar industries across the world had considerably changed after implementing labour rights and their standards under the internationally accepted conventions. he cited the example of shipbreaking industry in Alang, India where their government having directions from the country’s supreme court had started implementing a shipbreaking code and as a result , the accidents and the casualties there have reduced to a considerable extent. Becuase of these, Alang has become the largest shipbreaking industry in the world where 75 thousand workers are directly employed. Once Gadani was leading in the world and there were around 35 thousands workers associated with it.

however, due to the worsening situation, the strength of workers have reduced to 10 thousand and could reduce, even more, causing the industrial wheel to a halt. Ship Breaking Workers Union, Gadani president Bashir Mehmoodani said that it is necessary that the employers, government, labor and other authorities should consider the issues seriously to save the industry from nearly shutting down. Rafiq Baloch President NTUF said that the NTUF for past 10 years is striving to make the working conditions in Gadani shipbreaking industry better and being a stakeholder has prepared a legislative draft for shipbreaking sector with the help of the legal and constitutional expert. The draft is ready to hand over to the Balochistan government, however, it yet has to make any development on it. They demanded that legislation for the shipbreaking industry should be done in the light of the

ILO guidelines; hong Kong International Convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships should be ratified; the tripartite consultative mechanism to make the situation better be initiated in letter and spirit; all legislative works to get the shipbreaking law drafted, passed through the assembly and enacted be done; the real union of workers must be recognized legally and constitutionally and be put into the consultations; access to ambulance, dispensary and safe drinking water should be given to workers in each of the shipbreaking yards and a hospital be built in Gadani; and a labor colony with all basic necessities, education and health facilities and proper communication network be built in Gadani. NTUF Sindh president Gul Rehman, habib Bank Workers Front leader habib Junaidi and Re Rolling Mills General Workers Union general secretary Shah J Rehman also spoke at the seminar.


Monday, 16 April, 2018




he Businessmen Panel’s (BMP) Secretary General (SG), Ahmad Jawad said that multitasking economic steps are needed to save the China-Pakistan economic Corridor (CPeC) from international forces hatching conspiracies against the multi-billion project. In a statement issued here on Sunday, Ahmad Jawad said that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) package would put CPeC at stake because the IMF does not approve of the project in view of the poor health of the economy. he said the economic managers were at their wit’s end on how to bridge the yawning resource gap in the external account and avoid going into default on repayment of the country’s debts. he said Pakistan needed $15-16 billion worth of support but the bilateral credit from a consortium of donors would raise more than half of the amount, i.e., $9 billion. “We will be left with a shortfall of around $78 billion to bridge either through grants and assistance from friendly countries or from the IMF,” he said, adding that the country’s economy was, of course, passing through a difficult period. The SG BMP said that it will be more appropriate that Pakistan should seek financial assistance from China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia to get out of the grave financial crisis it faces to bridge the country’s external account deficit ahead of budgetary proposals for the 201819 fiscal year. he mentioned that New Zealand and Kazakhstan are among other Asia Pacific countries with smaller economies but more reserves than Pakistan”. Jawad said the several key stateowned institutions like Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills, ZTBL, Utility Stores, Wapda (QeSCO, heSCO, SePCO etc) and other institutions are a major burden on Pakistan’s

PrudenT economic sTePs needed To shield cPec from consPiraTors economy. “These loss-making entities are presently bleeding to the tune of Rs400 billion per annum. Therefore, reforming these state owned institutions through a combination of privatisation and restructuring is fundamental,” the PML-N Manifesto 2013 put on record a base to start with. The SG said that despite having the resurgence of loss-making public-sector enterprises a key aspect of its 2013 PMLN manifesto, the performance of the party in power has remained dismal. The PML-N promised to initiate action to turn around the loss-making state enterprises by appointing independent and professional boards who in turn appoint competent CeOs of state enterprises, he added. Jawad said that the gap between what was said and what was done has pushed the country into a deep debt trap, increased income inequality, and an increasing number of question marks hovering over the economic outlook “Professional competence and merit will be the only criteria for appointment of boards and CeOs. The immediate task of the boards and CeOs will be to manage these corporations effectively and to plug the losses, “In this regard a unique example of appointing a Chief executive in TDAP, where the then Premier set aside the appointment criteria and even superannuation age and appoint 70 years old and dual national person in the authority” That’s why country exports, which

stood at $24.5 billion in June 2013, have decreased to $20.42 billion as of June 2017 Similarly, if we look in June 2013, the Public Sector enterprises’ debt and liabilities were Rs495 billion. By June 2017, they had rocketed up to Rs1.107 trillion, according to the SBP’s annual report. There was a net 123 per cent increase in PSes’ losses in just four years. This was primarily because the government did not settle the circular debt and parked huge sums outside the budget. Jawad further told that according to a report from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Pakistan remains near the bottom of the Global hunger Index, standing at 106 among 119 developing countries ranked. If we look into agriculture sector we got to know that our country’s agricultural sector has three major roles in the national economy: provides food to consumers and fibre to the industry, earns foreign exchange, and provides a market for industrial goods/machinery. however, the share of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP) has declined since independence, falling from 53 per cent in 1949-50 to 19.8 per cent in 2016-17. Pakistan’s agricultural performance has been poor in comparison with neighbouring India, which has conditions similar to ours. “We’re lagging behind the Indian Punjab, although the condition of soil, climate, and other factors is almost the same,” he says. “Simi-

larly, we have a large produce of citrus and milk and many multinational companies in the domestic market, but we couldn’t translate these factors into the export of processed or value-added by-products of the farm produce in the last five years. The SG BMP said that during the last five years the Commerce Ministry failed to revive and restructure the Pakistan horticulture Development and export Company (PhDeC) to support horticulture exports, if they did timely today these non-traditional products could support country exports at a comfortable level including we failed to launch a comprehensive food policy in last five year and continuously ignore the climate change process which will hamper our agriculture sector at most in the coming years. Jawad also viewed that the governmentwas supposed to expedite four key structural reforms in taxation, energy, public sector enterprises and the reorientation of the Ministry of Finance and other economy-related ministries well the time before to benefit from emerging regional blocks under OBOR and CPeC. he said that Pakistan has a sea of about 1,050 kilometres along the Makran coast with larger exclusive economic Zone and continental shelf. These maritime spaces offer myriad of prospects for Pakistan to exploit ocean-based living and nonliving resources which can give a good buzz to our economy if the policymakers look in it.

stocks undergo correction as kse-100 ends 1.21 per cent lower In sharp contrast to the previous week, the KSe-100 saw a bearish trend as profit-taking and correction dragged the index to finish 566 points or 1.21 per cent lower at 46,072. Despite the announcement of a tax amnesty scheme last week, the euphoria did not continue, as political opposition rejected the scheme. Additionally, uncertainty over the upcoming federal budget and hearings of key political personalities in the Supreme Court also hurt investors’ sentiments. however, the market was provided with some relief on account of market talk regarding the proposal for reduction and settlement of GIDC, which buoyed positive sentiment in the fertiliser sector. The market took a breather from the eight-day rally as it finished lower on Monday on account of profit-taking. The negative streak continued for the next session, as worries over the increasing trade deficit also aggravated matters. however, things took a turn as interest in oil shares, due to increasing international crude prices, helped the market recover. Unfortunately, the Asian Development Bank’s review on Pakistan’s economy added to investors’ concerns leading the market to decline once again. This trend continued on the last trading day of the week as the Supreme Court announced a ‘lifetime ban on holding of public office’ for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen. Activity remained dull as trading volumes decreased 5 per cent to 247 million shares, while value declined 30 per cent to $80 million in the outgoing week, indicating increased interest in small caps over the week. Sectors such as autos (up 1.7 per cent week-on-week), insurance (up 1.4 per cent), fertilisers (up 0.8 per cent), and oil & gas exploration (up 0.1 per cent) remained the major outperformers during the week. Other heavyweights such as banks (down 2.7 per cent week-on-week), cements (down 3.5 per cent), pharmaceuticals (down 2.6 per cent) and chemicals (down 4.0 per cent) underperformed the index, ultimately dragging overall index down to end in the red zone. Banks witnessed heavy selling pressure over concerns on the implementation of amnesty and its effectiveness in materialisation of foreign inflows. In terms of scrips, positive contribution came from PPL (+60 points), FFC (+49 points) and DAWh (+29pts). Scrips that contributed negatively include hBL (-150 points), LUCK (-84 points), UBL (68 points), BAhL (-59 points) and MCB (-47 points). Interestingly, however, foreign investors continued to build position and remained net buyers during the week amounting to $17.5 million versus net buying of $3.6 million last week. On the other hand, amongst local investors individuals remained net buyers of $11.9 million whereas banks were net sellers of $9 million. Among major highlights of the week were; Pakistan’s external debt grows at fastest pace in four years, Neelum-Jhelum started providing power to the grid, remittances grew to $14.6 billion in nine months and exports increased by 24 per cent yearon-year in March 2018, highest in four years. NEWS DESK

QUETTA: People buy clothes from a roadside stall. ONLINE

urgent policy reforms required to expedite economic development: fPcci LAHORE: The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Sunday called for putting in place urgent policy reforms to ensure speedy economic development and industrial promotion. Addressing a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) consultation session held here at the FPCCI’s regional office, the Federation’s Regional Chairman Chaudhry Arfan Yousaf suggested the government to align industrial policies with other policies of economic growth. he added, “Urgent policy reforms are need of the hour. United Nations Industrial Development Organisation is playing a key role in manufacturing and structural changes for the industrial and economic growth of the country.” Trade and foreign direct investment should be encouraged while considering the fact of manufacturing in a resource-constrained environment, he said and asserted that ease of doing business rating highlighted a few areas of concerns where government should work and business community needed to be facilitated. A UNIDO Mission led by Chief Asia Pacific’s Zhen Wang, visited the FPCCI Regional Office for the formulation of Country Programme Partnership (CPP). The main purpose of the visit was consultation with private sector of Pakistan. The delegation focused various outcome of country’s framework programmes. On this occasion, UNIDO Country Representative Nadia Aftab said that after the process of private sector consultation, a report would be prepared and submitted to the quarters concerned for country programme formulation. While, Zhen Wang termed the FPCCI as an important platform for policy consultation process, adding that UNIDO was committed to taking the private sector on board. APP

agriculture sector records 3.81pc growth in fY18 ISLAMABAD: The agriculture sector of the country is estimated to grow by 3.81 per cent during the fiscal year 2017-18 against the growth of 2.07 per cent in 2016-17 and 0.15 per cent in 2015-16, showing considerable improvements as compared to the last couple of years. Among the agriculture sector, the crops sector witnessed 3.83 per cent growth, with important crops growing by 3.57 per cent and others crops by 3.33 per cent, according to the latest data available for six to eight months and projected for the whole year. During the year 2016-17, the growth of crops was recorded at 0.91 per cent while there was a recorded negative growth of 5.27 per cent in 2015-16, the provisional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates revealed. The Cotton Ginning sector was the top contributor in terms of percentage to help the agriculture sector achieve this growth rate as this sector grew by 8.27 per cent during the period under review. Cotton ginning had witnessed 5.58 per cent growth in 2016-17 and a negative growth of 22.12 per cent in the financial year 2015-16. Similarly, the livestock sector grew by 3.76 per cent in 2017-18 against the growth of 2.99 per cent in 2016-17, and 3.36 per cent in 2015-16. The forestry sector also grew by 7.17 per cent in 2017-18, which had witnessed a negative growth of 2.37 per cent in 2016-17 and positive growth of 14.31 per cent in 2015-16. The fishing sector also witnessed a positive growth of 1.63 per cent in 2017-18 against the growth of 1.23 per cent in 2016-17 and 3.25 per cent in 2015-16, the data revealed. The provisional GDP estimate for the year 2017-18 has been estimated at 5.79 per cent, the data revealed, adding that the industrial and services sectors growth was recorded at 5.80 per cent and 6.43 per cent respectively. APP

Technology necessary to generate greater tax revenues: Miftah Ismail ISLAMABAD APP

Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue, and economic Affairs Miftah Ismail, while talking to a private news channel, has said that modern technology would help bring more people into the tax net. The credit goes to the present government for announcing the tax amnesty scheme, he said. Due to the prudent policies developed and

implemented by the present government, the target has been set to collect Rs4,000 billion through taxes this year. he added that the exports of the country had been increased to 23.9 per cent, which would facilitate in balancing the trade deficit. “We have also set targets to achieve 5.6 per cent growth rate this year,” he added. Commenting on the China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPeC), he said many roads and

infrastructure development projects have been completed under CPeC so far. Miftah said India was spreading negative propaganda against Pakistan to halt economic progress including that of CPeC. For purchasing property, he said that citizens would have to make tax registration. All efforts were being made to expand the tax network and check tax evaders in the country, he added.


Monday, 16 April, 2018

Barca set new La Liga record after 39 games unBeaten Madrid



ARCELONA set a new La Liga record by extending their unbeaten run to 39 games with a 2-1 victory over Valencia on Saturday. Luis Suarez and Samuel Umtiti were both on target as Barca passed the 38 matches Real Sociedad managed without defeat between 1979 and 1980. Dani Parejo gave Valencia brief hope with an 87th-minute penalty. The win at the Camp Nou, which was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested, also eases fears that Tuesday's Champions League collapse against Roma could affect Barcelona's march to the league title. Ernesto Valverde's side are now 14 points clear at the top of the table, before second-placed Atletico Madrid play their game in hand against Levante on Sunday. Valencia stay third, one point ahead of Real Madrid, who are also in action on Sunday, away to Malaga. "The value of these three points is great, they are three points of gold," Valverde said. "The week has been hard and that hard week affects everyone, including the fans. "We have not lost much but the game the other day was important and you have the feeling that we have disappointed people. You want to repay them." There is no doubt Barca's shock defeat in Italy still lingers, and may still, even if the Catalans secure the first part of an expected domestic double by winning the Copa del Rey next weekend. But it should take little away from their faultless form in the league, which means the last time they

tasted defeat outside a cup competition was against Malaga just over 12 months ago. This was already a club record run, now eight games better than the 31 unbeaten Pep Guardiola's brilliant team strung together in the season of 2010-11. It would now seem only the home Clasico against Real Madrid on May 6, and perhaps an awkward trip to Celta Vigo on Tuesday, stand in the way of Barcelona finishing the league campaign as invincibles. "Records are there to be broken," Suarez told beIN Sports. "The public can be angry

about the Champions League, like us, but this is a recognition of the great season we are having in the league, which now seems to have been forgotten." Despite their exertions in Rome, Valverde resisted the temptation to rest key players, with Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho coming in for Ivan Rakitic and Nelson Semedo. Barca showed few signs of lost confidence early on and after 15 minutes they took the lead, Coutinho drifting in from the right and, after spotting Suarez's angled run, poking a superb pass in behind. Suarez took the finish first time and swept the ball inside the near post. Valencia, however, found a foothold and arguably were the better side by the end of the half. Pique, already booked, endured a difficult 45 minutes and as he and Marc-Andre ter Stegen dallied at the back and the latter's skewed pass fell to Carlos Soler. Soler played in Rodrigo Moreno but Ter Stegen made up for his mistake by pushing the shot onto the bar. Barcelona started the second half like they began the first though and five minutes after the restart, they doubled their advantage. Umtiti beat Gabriel Paulista to Coutinho's corner and while his header was parried by Neto, Valencia´s goalkeeper could only push it in off the post. Valencia's belief was dwindling and two acrobatic volleys, from Lionel Messi and then Andres Iniesta, almost added a spectacular third, as the first flew just over and the second was parried by Neto. There was time for a tense finish after substitute Ousmane Dembele brought down Jose Gaya in the area and Parejo's feeble penalty squirmed under the body of Ter Stegen. But Barca's morale-boosting win was never really in doubt.

Cilic eyeing world number one ranking Monte Carlo Agencies

Croatia’s Marin Cilic said on Sunday he has his sights set on the top of the world rankings after his recent rise to number three. Defending champion Rafael Nadal has to win the Monte Carlo Masters this week to retain the world number one spot ahead of Roger Federer. But with Federer once again skipping the claycourt season, former US Open winner Cilic believes becoming the world’s best player is a realistic goal after an excellent start to the year. “I think it (No. 1 ranking) is (within reach), it’s where I’m aiming at, it’s my ultimate goal,” said Cilic. “I’m working for that every single day, week, month... It’s easier when I have that distant thing in front of me that keeps my motivation high.” With injuries plaguing Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray this season, Cilic sees an opportunity, especially after reaching two of the last three Grand Slam finals. A blister hampered his chances against a redhot Federer in the Wimbledon final last year, but he came up just short with a five-set loss to the Swiss great at January’s Australian Open. “At home in my bedroom I still have a small interview that I made when I was 13 years old and the headline was ‘one day I hope to be in Wimbledon’,” Cilic said. “When you get to that stage you obviously change your targets and things change. “I have achieved a lot in my career, but to be number one I wouldn’t put it as a dream, I would put it as something that I’m dedicated

to doing. It’s part of my job and part of my process to get there.” Cilic is seeded second in Monte Carlo as he looks to build on a promising claycourt campaign last year that saw him reach quarter-finals in Monaco, Rome and at the French Open. He said that entering Monte Carlo as the second seed means that his expectations are higher than in previous years. “(Being) seeded two straight away sets up a differ-

ent look at the tournament, different expectations as well,” Cilic added. “Now I’m in a position when I come into any tournament feeling like I can go deep, and also with my game at the moment that’s the feel on the court as well.” As second seed, Cilic cannot play Nadal or former world number one Djokovic until the final this week, and will take on either Fernando Verdasco or Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in his opening match.

Johnson seeks atP us cLay crown rePeat against sandgren Houston Agencies

Defending champion Steve Johnson outlasted fellow American Taylor Fritz 7-5 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 on Saturday to reach the ATP US Clay Court Championships final. The US sixth seed will play for his third ATP title and second in a row on Houston clay against American eighth seed Tennys Sandgren, who made a stunning run to the Australian Open quarter-finals in January. Eighth-seeded Sandgren, ranked five spots behind Johnson at 56th, advanced to his first ATP final by downing Croatia's 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4). Johnson, whose ATP titles came in 2016 at Nottingham and Houston last year, broke Fritz to claim the first set in 50 minutes but dropped four of the last five points in the tiebreaker to force a third set, which Johnson dominated to book his first match against Sandgren. Fritz had beaten Johnson en route to his only ATP final in 2016 at Memphis. Sandgren broke Karlovic to level at 4-4 in the opening set, denied the Croatian on a break chance in the ninth game and then dominated the tie-breaker, scoring five of the last six points. Sandgren broke for a 2-1 edge in the second set but Karlovic broke back to level at 3-3, setting up the final tiebreak. Sandgren took his lone point off Karlovic's serve for a 5-3 lead, then held twice on his next serves for the 97-minute triumph. With a victory, 88th-ranked Karlovic would have become the oldest ATP finalist since Ken Rosewall won the 1977 Hong Kong title at age 43. Karlovic settled for being the oldest ATP semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1993 at San Francisco.

Nadal ready for ATP Tour return in Monte Carlo title defence Monte Carlo Agencies

Rafael Nadal said on Sunday that he is fit and ready to defend his Monte Carlo Masters title and the number-one ranking this week, as he returns to the ATP Tour after injury. The 31-year-old made his comeback from a hip injury with two wins in Spain's Davis Cup quarter-final victory over Germany last weekend, having not played previously since January's Australian Open. Nadal was forced to retire from his last-eight clash with Marin Cilic in Melbourne, but recently usurped Roger Federer at the top of the world rankings after his great rival's early exit in Miami. "I feel that I'm playing well. I had some good days of practice here, playing some good sets," Nadal said ahead of the start of the claycourt season. "That helps me. I love this event. I always feel comfortable here. "I'm enjoying being here in Monte Carlo in an event that always brings me to the best feelings possible. "It's hopefully going to be my first event of the year that I can finish. And I'm

excited about that." The 16-time Grand Slam champion is bidding for an incredi-

ble 11th title in Monaco and his third in a row but knows that anything less than that


would see him lose the number-one spot to the absent Federer. Nadal had been due to return at Acapulco in February but was forced to withdraw before his opening match and admitted that it was tough to miss the American hardcourt season. "I knew when I was going to be ready. The problem is that it takes time," the Spaniard added. "Australia was a tough moment, of course, being in that quarter-final, winning the match and having that problem, having a good chance. "But I took the right time to have the right rest. I did all the things that the doctors told me. Then I felt great practising in Acapulco, playing very well, but then just the day before... I felt it again. So that's the real thing. "For me mentally the second one was even harder than what happened in Australia, even if Australia was a Grand Slam and was an opportunity lost. "The second one was frustrating because I did all the things the right way." If Nadal is to extend his record tally of Monte Carlo crowns, he will have to do it the hard way after being handed a

difficult draw. Former world number one Novak Djokovic, who has twice beaten him in the final in the principality, is a potential quarter-final opponent. Ahead of a possible string of physically demanding claycourt matches, Nadal admitted another injury setback is always a possibility. "Well it happened twice so you never know," he said. "Being honest, I am not practising thinking about if that comes back or not. "I had injuries in my life, as you know, more than what I expected, but the good thing is that when I came back I was not afraid about what was going on." The 36-year-old Federer ruled himself out of the whole of the claycourt season, after skipping the same period last year and going on to win Wimbledon. Djokovic is playing for the first time since splitting from coach Andre Agassi and gets his campaign underway against fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic on Monday. The two-time Monte Carlo champion has struggled for form and fitness this year, losing both of his opening matches in Indian Wells and Miami.


Monday, 16 April, 2018

sanJu samson outguns rcB’s Batting might r match. He then forced Ben Stokes to drag a wide delivery on to the stumps and became the leading wicket-taker for RCB with 73 wickets. Chahal finished with 2 for 22 in four overs, including 12 dots, when four of his team-mates conceded more than 11 runs an over. samson's Royal finish: At 15 overs, Royals were 129 for 3. The acceleration that followed was like a volcano blowing its lid. The next five overs read: 13, 15, 16, 17, and 27. Samson's innings wasn't about wild slogging. Instead, it was about sublime timing. He lined up the length

balls from Woakes, Umesh Yadav, and Kulwant Khejroliya, and struck five sixes in the 'V'. The one that stood out was a lofted drive off an offcutter from Woakes in the 19th over. In all, Samson laced 10 sixes and two fours. Kohli, de Kock join run spree Local boy K Gowtham struck in the first over of the chase to dismiss McCullum for 4 but Kohli combined with de Kock to shave 64 runs off the target in the first six overs. Kohli had set the tone with three fours in four balls off Dhawal Kulkarni. He then greeted Stokes into the attack with a brace of fours: a rasping pull and a sliced drive. De Kock, meanwhile, contributed 26 in a 77-run stand that came at 10.50 runs an over. ButtleR's BlundeRs: De Kock had been dropped on 23 by Jos Buttler behind the stumps but he added only three runs before sending a half-tracker from Short to deep square leg. The England wicketkeeper then reprieved AB de Villiers on 2 and 3 when he missed a stumping and run out respectively. RCB lose steam: Those blunders did not cost Royals much. When Kohli pulled a half-tracker from Shreyas Gopal to deep square leg, RCB needed 117 off 58 balls. Two overs later, de Villiers holed out off a similar ball. Game over for RCB. The late blows from Mandeep Singh and Washington Sundar only reduced the margin of defeat.

is an opportunity, and we were to finish on top, it would mean even more because it's an even tougher season than before." Hamilton said he "struggled" with his car in Shanghai. "Rather than blame it on strategy or anything else, I was uncomfortable in the car this weekend." Said Bottas:

"It's very close between Red Bull, Ferrari and us, so we need to make sure we keep developing our car." "Nearly winning both last weekend and this weekend is the worst feeling -- but it makes both me and the entire team even hungrier. Thankfully there are a lot more races to go."

BenGaluru Agencies

AJASTHAN Royals 217 for 4 (Samson 92, Rahane 36, Chahal 2-22) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 198 for 6 (Kohli 57, Mandeep 47*, Gopal 2-22) by 19 runs Sanju Samson's breath-taking 92 not out off 45 balls formed the centerpiece of Rajasthan Royals' 217 for 4, a score that proved too much for Royal Challengers Bangalore's formidable batting order even though Virat Kohli smashed his fastest IPL fifty. Notably, it was also the first time a team had successfully defended a total in 10 full games this season. Royals had done it once previously as well, in a rain-shortened game against Delhi Daredevils. On a familiar hit-through-the line Chinnaswamy pitch, Royals pillaged 88 runs in the last five overs of their innings - the joint second highest in the IPL. Samson's contributed 58 to that tally. Kohli then matched Samson's range in the chase, but a rapidly rising asking-rate caused Kohli, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, and AB de Villiers to hole out in the deep. Rahane explodes at the top: There were questions over Ajinkya Rahane's role as an opener for Royals, and he answered them in emphatic fashion, hammering 36 off 20 balls at 180 - his second best

strike-rate in the Powerplay in the IPL. That the ball came on to the bat nicely in Bengaluru made life easier for Rahane. He regularly manufactured swinging room outside leg and swatted the ball over the leg side. All told, he scored 33 of his 36 runs on the leg side. the slowdown: After Royals sprinted to 52 for the loss of Rahane in the Powerplay, Yuzvendra Chahal set them back by bowling legbreaks wide of off stump. The legspinner got one to drift away from D'Arcy Short and found the toe end in his second over, the seventh of the

Shanghai 'disaster' clouds title hopes: Hamilton sHanGHai Agencies

Lewis Hamilton declared his Chinese Grand Prix a "disaster" on Sunday and said Mercedes would find it tough to repeat their F1 championship victory unless they can sort out issues with a car he feels uncomfortable in. Hamilton finished only fifth in the Chinese Grand Prix -- a race he has dominated -- though he was bumped up to fourth due to a 10-second penalty assessed on Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull won, ahead of Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in second. Hamilton has yet to win a race this season and is nine points behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the Formula One driver's standings.

"Saturday and Sunday felt like a disaster from my side," he said. "It is clear from this weekend we are not the quickest. We have lost performance since Melbourne and maybe even more so this weekend." "We are the second or third-fastest team at the moment, so we have some improving to do, but that's not impossible." Germany's Vettel and Ferrari put champions Mercedes on the defensive with a season-opening victory in Australia, followed last weekend by a close win in Bahrain. The result in Shanghai could mean more questions asked of Mercedes, even though they maintain a one-point advantage in the constructors' standings. "Who knows what the season holds? If it continues the way it is, it's going to be very tough to win," Hamilton said. "But if there

Manchester City crowned champions after United defeat

shahzad fined, asked to reLocate to afghanistan PesHaWar Agencies

Two weeks after his Man-of-the-Match performance in the final of the World Cup Qualifier, Afghanistan's Mohammad Shahzad has been asked by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) to reside permanently in Afghanistan or risk having his contract terminated. Shahzad currently resides in Peshawar, Pakistan. He has also been fined AFN 300,000 (USD 4000 approx.) for participating in a local tournament in Peshawar without permission. The ACB this week chalked out a strict policy and gave a one-month ultimatum to players who live abroad to return to Afghanistan. Peshawar, a northern city in Pakistan, is close to the Afghanistan border. "They [contracted players] are not allowed to travel to any country without permission," ACB chairman, Atif Mashal, told ESPNCricinfo. "Those players who are living on foreign land are given a month to move back to Afghanistan with their families, otherwise the cricket board will terminate their contracts. Afghanistan Cricket Board has made a strict rule about player discipline and given them a one-month notice to adhere firmly with the policy. All players and employees should be based in Afghanistan and they are not allowed to play in any foreign country without ACB's approval." Shahzad, 30, had spent his early years in a refugee camp in Peshawar, but his parents are originally from Nangrahar, Afghanistan. He, along with various team-mates, grew up near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and he was married in Peshawar and spends most of his time in Pakistan. There is a significant number of Afghans, once refugees, who now reside in Pakistan, mainly in Peshawar, registered in the country as temporary residents. Shahzad was found to be breach of the ACB's code of conduct by playing in the local Peshawar tournament. "He played in a club-level tournament without NOC which is against the ACB code of conduct," Mashal said. Shahzad had missed out on national duty through much of 2017 due to an ICC suspension over a positive drug test. He became eligible to play again on January 17 this year, returning for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

ManCHester Agencies

Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions on Sunday as Manchester United crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion. City had moved within touching distance of the title with a 3-1 win at Tottenham on Saturday. They clinched the silverware 24 hours later thanks to Albion forward Jay Rodriguez's 73rd minute header at Old Trafford. United had denied City the chance to wrap up the title last weekend when they came from two goals down to beat their bitter rivals 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium. But Jose Mourinho's men still ended up handing the trophy to City with a lacklustre display against bottom of the table Albion, who had won only three times in the league this season before this weekend. City are 16 points clear of second placed United, who can only take a maximum of 15 points from their remaining five games. Winning the title with five matches to go makes City the joint earliest champions in the Premier League era -- matching the achievement of the 200001 Manchester United team. City boss


Pep Guardiola had planned a day of golf with his son Marius on Sunday, so the Spaniard might have learned of his first Premier League while on the course. Speaking after the win over Tottenham, Guardiola admitted winning the title in England would be one of the greatest achievements of his glittering career. He won three league titles with Barcelona and twice lifted the Champions League trophy during his Camp Nou reign. The 47-year-old also took the Ger-

man title three times with Bayern Munich, but he believes the unique strength in depth and physical demands of the Premier League makes this triumph among his very best. He also conceded it was sweet to triumph in a country where some critics claimed his purist principles couldn't flourish. Guardiola and his players will have the chance to celebrate properly next Sunday when they host Swansea in their next fixture.

SPORTS Monday, 16 April, 2018



Commonwealth Games 2018 come to end PAKISTAN FINISHES WITH 1 GOLD, 4 BRONZES





RIOR to the start of the IPL, Kings XI Punjab captain R Ashwin promised unpredictability. One of those unpredictable decisions was bringing in Chris Gayle against a team he has struggled against. That move paid rich dividends immediately: Gayle hammered a 33-ball 63, Kings XI blazed a 75-run Powerplay and a total of 197 proved four runs beyond Chennai Super Kings in their third final-over finish this season. A steady approach early in Super Kings’ chase left them with 67 runs to get off the last four overs. But that strategy also meant they conserved resources for later, including MS Dhoni himself. Full and wide doesn’T work: Gayle’s hitting arc is in the arc between long-on and square leg. So, Super Kings’ tactics were clear: hang the ball wider to force Gayle to drag the ball into that arc. Gayle’s strong shoulders, though, opens up areas on the off side. Super Kings’ bowlers stuck to their plans and Gayle his. He bludgeoned three sixes and four fours through long-off and cover, scoring 39 of his 63 in that area and only venturing into leg-side heaves if the bowlers with their original plans. an eFFicienT middle: In T20s, with one batsman in terrific hitting form, other batsmen tend to bat cautiously, biding their time to keep wickets. In recent T20s, though, teams maximise their score by attacking bowlers from both ends. KL Rahul hit seven fours in a 22-

KINGS XI PUNJAB 197 FOR 7 (GAYLE 63, RAHUL 37) BEAT CHENNAI SUPER KINGS 193 FOR 5 (DHONI 79, RAYUDU 49) BY FOUR RUNS ball 37. Mayank Agarwal scored 30 off 19 balls, and Yuvraj Singh struck 20 off 13 balls. Effectively, those three batsmen combined to score 87 off 54 balls, which equates to close to 10 runs an over over nine overs. Combined with Gayle’s innings, those three cameos

ensured that even with a sub-par finish, Kings XI had an above-par total. Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, M Vijay, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh,

Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, R Ashwin (capt), Andrew Tye, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

PCB announces 16-member squad for England, Ireland series LAHORE Agencies

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq announced the sixteen-member squad for Pakistan's tour of England and Ireland here on Sunday. Nine batsmen have been included in the squad to counter the difficult playing position in England. Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Sami Aslam have been included in the squad as opening batsmen. Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Usman Salahuddin have been added as middle order batsmen.

Faheem Ashraf finds his place as an all-rounder in the squad while Shadab Khan has been included as a spinner. The squad is expected to depart at the end of this month. Pakistan will begin their tour with a four-day warm-up match against county side Kent before taking on Ireland in a one-off test match on May 11: the first-ever played by the Irish. The PakisTan squad: Sarfaraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Inam-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Abbas, Saad Ali, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Rahat Ali.

The colourful closing ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games was held on Sunday with host country, Australia, being on the top of the table with 198 medals including 80 gold medals, 59 silver and as many bronze medals while Pakistan finished at 24th with one gold and four bronze medals. England got second position with 45 gold medal, 45 silver medals and 46 bronze medals with an aggregated total of 136 medals, followed India with 66 medals including 26 gold, 20 silver and as many bronze medals while Canada got fourth position with 82 medals including 15 gold, 40 silver and 27 bronze medals. The Games provided sensational competitions that reflect the true spirit of the 6,600 athletes from 71 countries and territories of the world in 18 different disciplines. The people around the world just witnessed fabulous competitions and spectacular achievements across eighteen different sports. They have seen athletes strive to exceed expectations and, in giving their best performances, they have made their home countries proud. The XXI Commonwealth Games has, once again, been a great celebration of the Commonwealth touching 1.5 billion populations. It has not only been a festival of sport, but also shared cultures and arts of the participating athletes from 71 different countries and territories. In both, the Gold Coast and the people of Australia have been wonderful hosts and have generated a fantastic atmosphere from the start of the Queen’s Baton Relay to this, the closing c ceremony. Then England will host the XXII Commonwealth Games in 2022 and the flag of the Commonwealth Games was also handed over to them during this stunning extravaganza with millions of people enjoyed the enthusiasms showed by the athletes from around the world including Pakistan. The Gold Coast provided opportunities to the athletes, officials, volunteers, spectators and the media have shared in the triumphs and challenges alongside the athletes across 275 events. The Gold Coast also broken new ground with Women’s Rugby Sevens, Beach Volleyball and Para Triathlon medals awarded for the first time, as part of the largest integrated sports program in Commonwealth Games history. The calibre of athletes has been unparalleled, showcasing world record holders, sporting greats, and breakthrough performances from young athletes. While the Games is coming to a close, the future of sport in theCommonwealth is very bright indeed. In fact, in 2018, the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Sport are more relevant than ever before. The success of Games relies heavily upon its 15000 volunteers. The action, drama, sportsmanship and excitement that has defined the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games continued right up until the last second. The final day of GC2018 started with the Marathon, ended with the Rugby Sevens and included gold medal moments in Netball, Basketball, Squash, Table Tennis and Badminton.

How good is Fawad Alam really? LAHORE ABDULLAH niAZi

“Why not Fawad Alam? Something is seriously wrong with Inzamam-ul-Haq. Fawad Alam's case should now be taken in by the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar.” Those were the sentiments expressed by a reader on the Facebook page of Pakistan Today underneath a news item about the selection of a 16-man squad which had excluded Fawad Alam. The sentiment is, of course, widespread. The name Fawad Alam draws instant indignation from the famously fickle fans of Pakistan. Even Pakistan Today’s satirical publication The Dependent, perhaps inspired by the angry commenter, couldn’t help but take a swipe at yet another snub, writing a piece titled “Courts summon Inzamam-ul-Haq to ask ‘Faadi ko kyun nahi khilatay?’” But how good

is Fawad Alam, exactly? What makes fans so riled up as to cry havoc every time he is given the cold shoulder by selectors? And if he is all that, then what good is it doing to the current chief selector or those before him to exclude him from a team riddled with injuries? Thoroughly devoid of natural talent with an ugly sort of batting technique, Fawad Alam really isn’t the sort of player that ticks. He shifts balance badly and scrunches his face up unpleasantly when exerting force. Unattractive stroke play combined with a small stature and an inability to hit anything big makes him a surprising crowd favourite. Yet with a first-class average of 55.37, and List-A average of 49, nobody can deny he is Pakistan’s most prolific domestic cricketer. But maybe he just isn’t cut out of the mold that is required for the international format? Of course, his international numbers also indicate that he is a correct fit for the squad. He

has an average of over 40 in tests, admittedly due to a single inning of 168 on debut, but he has only played three tests, and those too way back in 2009, long before he matured into the sensible player he has now become. Back in 2015, he showed his steel in a tour game against England XI, and his ODI figures fare even better. With an average of 40.25, players with numbers much worse than him are mainstays in the Pakistan set-up. Admittedly, his strike rate is on the lower side at 74. The only explanation one can think of for his exclusion is that there is no clear role for him in the current set up under Sarfraz Ahmed. What he does very well is oft done better by the likes of say, Harris Sohail. But then there is nothing for a room in the test team right now. With an opener out and the team still trying to rebalance after the dual exist of Misbah and Younis, why doesn’t Fawad Alam get his chance ahead of the three debutants? For a man

quietly biding his time without any complaint continuing the drudgery of firstclass cricket, is it any wonder that there is so much outcry? Meanwhile, loudmouths like Umar Akmal have been given chance

Published by Arif Nizami at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore. Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965. Email:


after chance to no avail and continue to hark on about their wasted talent. The only reason one can think of is his lack of style and charisma. And if that is indeed the criteria, then it really is a bad one.

E paper pdf 16 april (lhr)  
E paper pdf 16 april (lhr)