Wednesday, 18 april, 2018 i shaban 1, 1439 i rs 19.00 i vol viii no 290 i 16 pages i islamabad edition
SharifS free to Speak, SC SayS g
related stories on page 02
nawaz slams ‘uncivilised restrictions’ on media, individuals
toP CoUrt SayS newSPaPerS ‘wrongly rePorted’ tHat a ban HaS been ImPoSed on aIrIng of SPeeCHeS by dePoSed Pm and HIS daUgHter
Maryam’s counsel concludes Wajid Zia’s cross-examination
Pakistan rejects Indian allegations of ‘inciting’ Sikh pilgrims on Khalistan issue fo SayS IndIan attemPtS to dIStort trUtH and obfUSCate faCtS UnetHICal and regrettable
india files reply in icJ in Kulbhushan Jadhav case STORIES ON PAGES 02 & 04
Maid torture case
IHC sentences judge, wife to one year in prison g
UPHoldS lHC order, SayS It doeS not vIolate fUndamental rIgHtS of any PerSon Under artICle 19 STORY ON PAGE 03
nawaz, Maryam leave for uK today to meet ailing Kulsoom
CoUrt grantS baIl to aCCUSed for one weeK to fIle aPPeal In SC STORY ON PAGE 03
university professors unite for free speech after alarMing events
STORY ON PAGE 04
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
NAwAz SLAMS ‘UNCiviLiSEd rEStriCtioNS’ oN MEdiA, iNdividUALS ISLAMABAD
EPOSED prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that every individual had the right to dissent, as he called for an end to muzzling the media and individuals. “Such verdicts are only delivered in Pakistan,” he said while talking to journalists outside the accountability court. He went on to add that he had time and again stressed the importance of respecting the constitution, law and people’s mandate. “I kept on speaking about the rights of 220 million people,” he said, adding that how can one deprive them of their rights. The ousted premier said Pakistan belonged to everyone equally and every citizen had the same rights. Everyone has the right to dissent, no one’s voice can be muzzled, he said, calling for a clear definition
Nawaz, Maryam leave for UK today to meet ailing Kulsoom Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz is going to the United Kingdom on Wednesday (today) to meet ailing Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing cancer treatment in a London hospital. Kulsoom is not feeling well as her health deteriorated following intensive chemotherapy sessions. Both Nawaz Sharif and Maryam may request the accountability court for exemption from the hearing on Friday. But the PML-N leaders would be back by Monday to attend another hearing. In case the exemption is not granted, they would return by Friday to attend the hearing. Few weeks back, the National Accountability Court (NAB) approached the federal government to put the name of the former prime minister on ECL following his pending trial ordered by the Supreme Court in the Panama case. On Tuesday, Maryam in a tweet said that her mother was hospitalised again and has asked wellwishers to pray for her health. News Desk
Nawaz seeks meeting with Chaudhry brothers, claims Elahi LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Parvaiz Elahi on Tuesday said that former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-Q) leader Nawaz Sharif was seeking to meet him and PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. Talking to the media, Elahi said that a person representing Sharif had come to him to arrange a meeting between him and the former premier but he did not take it seriously. He said that his party had created a platform and had invited other parties to come on-board. He also said that in 2011, PML-Q had raised its voice for a South Punjab province. He also said that he had always worked for the development of South Punjab and used to visit the region every week during his tenure as the Punjab chief minister. Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) provincial lawmaker Javed Nasim left PTI and joined PML-Q. The announcement came after the KP lawmaker, who had been at odds with PTI for several years, reached Shujaat’s residence from Peshawar along with his supporters. Shujaat and former Punjab chief minister Elahi greeted Nasim and his entourage outside their residence. The provincial lawmaker said that he had noticed that PML-Q was sincere with the country and announced that he would contest the upcoming elections from PMLQ. Nasim was elected to the provincial assembly from PK-3, Peshawar in the 2013 general elections. sTAFF RePORT
of the term “anti-judiciary”.“Uncivilised restrictions cannot be placed in the country,” he said. The three-time prime minister said the world has changed and so should we. “Old mistakes should not be repeated.” “Elected governments made historic decisions, including the atomic tests, which were conducted by the civilian government,” said Nawaz. Nawaz said he does not regret moving on. “We moved on but did not compromise. The other side should have moved on as well,” he asserted, while terming the sit-ins carried out in the country against his government ‘unfortunate’. He questioned the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry into the widening of Raiwind road, leading to Nawaz’s residence, and quipped that a probe should also be launched into the motorways and nuclear tests as they were completed during the PML-N tenure as well. Talking about the government’s plan to merge the Federally Administered Tribal
Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Nawaz said the tribesmen should get their rights. ‘THOSE WHO LEFT US WERE NEVER OURS’: Referring to recent waves of defections within the party, the PML-N supremo said those who left us were never ours. In addition, Maryam Nawaz said the PML-N has a dedicated vote bank which is not seasonal. The LHC had temporarily barred TV channels from airing alleged “anti-judiciary speeches” uttered by Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and 14 other senior party leaders. A three-judge full bench, headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and comprising Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir, had taken up a set of 27 miscellaneous petitions against “anti-judiciary speeches” delivered by PML-N leaders. The bench had further directed the
PEMRA to decide the complaints pending with it regarding the alleged contemptuous speeches within 15 days as well. SANCTITY OF VOTE NECESSARY FOR PROSPERITY: Separately Nawaz Sharif stressed the need for respecting the ‘sanctity of vote’ as it was linked to security, prosperity and development of the country. Addressing a ‘sanctity of vote’ seminar in Islamabad, the ousted PM said that only the people had right to entrust a person with the leadership of the country, adding that the history of Pakistan wasn’t very pleasing. “Democracy is the name of the rule of masses,” he added. Nawaz underscored that a campaign for the restoration of vote’s sanctity had to be run as it was linked to the country’s security, prosperity and development. The youth will have to become vanguards in this campaign, he added. The former premier also announced not to give party tickets to politicians
DePoSeD Pm SayS ‘we have moveD on, other SIDe ShoulD move on aS well’ SayS camPaIgn for the reStoratIon of vote’S SanctIty neceSSary for SecurIty, ProSPerIty switching loyalties for the forthcoming elections. “We have been given a chance in the form of elections after a few months and those who have been disloyal to the party or voters will not be given tickets,” he said. Nawaz further stated that he does not face any charges pertaining to corruption or receiving kick-backs. Moreover, he welcomed the statement by the chief justice on the timely conduct of free and fair elections in the country. “The chief justice of Pakistan has announced elections will be held on time at any cost. He has also expressed resolve for free and fair elections, which holds bright prospects,” Nawaz said.
Pakistan rejects Indian allegations of ‘inciting’ Sikh pilgrims on Khalistan issue ISLAMABAD sTAFF RePORT
The Foreign Office (FO) has categorically rejected Indian allegations that Pakistan is attempting to ‘incite’ Sikh pilgrims on the issue of Khalistan while they are attending Baisakhi in Pakistan. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that “by spreading such falsehoods, India has chosen to deliberately stoke further controversy around the visit of Sikh pilgrims, currently attending the Baisakhi and Khalsa Janamdin ceremonies in Pakistan”. The spokesperson pointed out the Sikh community has been protesting against the Indian govern-
ment for screening a controversial movie in India, which hurt their religious sentiments. These protests had started in India and other parts of the world before the Sikh Yatrees arrived in Pakistan, he added. “In view of the charged situation and the explicit refusal of the Sikh Yatrees to meet Indian officials, the Indian high commissioner cancelled his visit on April 14, 2018,” the spokesperson said and added that “Indian attempts to distort the truth and obfuscate facts are unethical and regrettable.” “We remain committed to continuing such cooperation, which is in line with our religious ethos, traditions of hospitality, and provisions of the 1974 Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines,” the spokesperson maintained. “No amount of Indian
propaganda could succeed in turning this right into a wrong.” Dr Faisal further urged the government of India to respect international and inter-state norms, respect all religions, especially minorities, and refrain from indulging in pointless provocation which only vitiates an already charged environment to the detriment of all. He also said that Pakistan welcomes and facilitates Hindu and Sikh pilgrims from all over the world, including India. “As always, Pakistani authorities have made arrangements to extend maximum facilitation to the visiting Sikh Yatrees,” he said. He further said that the “members of the Sikh community appreciate the assistance and cooperation extended to them during their visits to sacred places in Pakistan.”
Maryam’s counsel concludes Wajid Zia’s cross-examination ISLAMABAD sTAFF RePORT
Maryam Nawaz's counsel Amjad Pervaiz on Tuesday concluded the crossexamination of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s ‘star witness’ Wajid Zia, as the accountability court resumed the hearing of the Avenfield reference against the deposed premier and his family. Several Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) leaders, including Pervez Rashid, Mushahidullah Khan and Mahmood Khan Achakzai, were also present on the occasion. Zia told the court about the various correspondence of the JIT with regards to the London flats. Nawaz and Maryam skipped the last two hearings of the case as they were unable to leave Lahore due to weather conditions. During the hearing, the prosecution's request to submit as evidence three MLAs produced by Zia, was dismissed. Moreover, NAB filed another request in court on Tuesday to submit the JIT's correspondence with the British government. The court issued notices to the defence and sought replies. Later, the hearing of the Avenfield case was adjourned until April 20 whereas Zia was summoned to record his statement in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference on April 23. Last Wednesday, Shrif’s counsel Khawaja Harris concluded Zia's cross-examination in the Avenfield case after ten days. After Harris concluded his cross-examination, Maryam's counsel began his cross-examination of Zia. On the 15th cross-examination hearing of Zia, head of Joint
Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe the allegations against the Sharif family, Amjad Pervaiz had pointed to flaws in the team’s report. A reply through the BVI was received on June 16, 2016 requested for confirmation and related certification of three documents in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) record. The first was confirmation that BVI FIA director Errol George, penned a June 12 letter raising questions on both Nescol Ltd and Nelson Ltd to a Mossack Fonseca representative alongside copies of the aforementioned letter. The second was confirmation of George receiving a reply from the Panamanian law firm on the query raised by the former. The third was a reply of the MLA request dated May 31 that remains pending. Three MLAs were submitted on respective dates, May 20, May 31 and June 23, 2017. The first MLA by the JIT was addressed to BVI FIA. The second one, dated May 31, 2017 was addressed to Attorney General Office of BVI FIA. The June 23, 2017 MLA submitted to AG BVI mentioned that the previous MLA dated May 31 was declined through response dated June 16, 2017. In this MLA, early attestation of correspondence between Mossack Fonseca and BVI FIA was sought. Amjad Pervaiz reminded twice Zia that, “You are under oath”. Pervaiz suggested to Zia that May 31 MLA was declined by AG BVI FIA, to which Zia replied that its incorrect to say the MLA dated May 31 was declined by the AG BVI FIA. He also voluntarily explained
that the first letter of the MLA request dated May 20 are also of the same reference number. “Is it correct that the said MLA was declined by the Attorney General (AG) office of BVI?” Amjad Pervaiz questioned. “It is incorrect to say that the MLA was declined, the first letter of request on May 20 was in reference to the request of May 31,” Zia answered. He further added that the FIA responded on 16 June and referred to the said letter without reference to specific dates or content. Parvez then questioned whether the JIT had made the June 16 correspondence part of the JIT, to which Zia replied in the negative. “There is no mention of said email in the JIT report,” he replied. “It is correct that the MLA sent on May 20 was not addressed to the AG office of BVI,” he added. In the June 23rd MLA, it was mentioned that the request dated May 31 was declined. Zia admitted in court that it was a mistake. However, he quickly added, “it is incorrect to suggest that I have concocted this story of mistakes today to cover up the false statement made above.”
SC summons former senator Abidi over contemptuous comments The apex court on Tuesday took a suo moto notice of the alleged anti-judiciary comments made by the former senator Faisal Raza Abidi during a programme on Channel 5, a private TV channel reported. A three-member Supreme Court (SC) led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar will hear the case on Wednesday (tomorrow). The top court also issued a summon notice to Abidi in this regard. Meanwhile, The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) fined Channel 5 with Rs1 million and also banned its programme, in which the allegedly contemptuous comments were made,“News @ 8” for three months. The regulatory has also asked Channel 5 to run an apology during prime time transmission on April 19, 2017. PEMRA had issued a show cause notice to Channel 5 on April 13 asking it to submit a reply and appear before it within three days-time, a statement issued said. Following channel’s explanation, the regulatory authority imposed a three-month ban on the programme and further informed the channel administration that in case of any further violation their license may be canceled. News Desk
PML-N workers booked for antijudiciary protest ISLAMABAD: Workers and a lawmaker of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have been booked for staging a protest outside the Supreme Court (SC) last week against the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The police registered a case on April 15 against PMLN supporters, mostly women, for protesting and chanting slogans against the apex court verdict on the Constitution Avenue on April 13. Tehseen Fawad, PML-N member of Punjab assembly from Rawalpindi, has been named in the FIR along with three local party leaders and 20-25 unnamed protesters. According to the police, protesters chanted slogans against Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar in the parking area of the SC and also briefly blocked the road, but they dispersed when an assistant commissioner told them to do so. AGeNCIes
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
SharifS free to Speak, SC SayS UPholds lhC order, says it does not violate fUndaMental rights of any Person Under artiCle 19 ISLAMABAD
HE Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday said that the Lahore High Court (LHC) has not imposed a ban on the airing of speeches of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz but only on anti-judiciary rhetoric. A SC bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, while wrapping up a suo motu notice, strongly admonished media outlets for misrepresenting the facts of a LHC order from a day earlier in which the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had been asked to enforce a ban on the broadcast of anti-judiciary speeches on television under Article 19 of the Constitution. Earlier in the day, after taking suo motu notice of the LHC's order to examine whether it suppressed the right to free speech, the SC had summoned a record of
complaints filed with PEMRA against speeches made by PML-N leaders. The court had also summoned the attorney general (AG) of Pakistan as well as the advocate generals of all four provinces and the LHC's registrar over the matter. AG Ashtar Ausaf had subsequently appeared before the bench and presented the LHC's order to it. "I want to read out the LHC's decision in court," he began. "Congratulations. You may be the first person to have actually read the decision," Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed retorted wryly. "Everyone has an opinion on what the speech says," the chief justice observed. "It has been reported that the Lahore High Court has banned [Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif's] speeches," he continued. "Where in the verdict does it say that speeches [from the two leaders] have been banned?" the chief justice asked the AG. "Where is the PEMRA chairman?" he
asked, before reprimanding the regulator's chief for showing up late. "Read the order [in his presence]," he directed the AG. "The high court has ordered PEMRA to stop speeches against the judges and judiciary from being aired," the AG read out. "Read Articles 19 and 68 of the Constitution," the chief justice said. "The court has only ordered PEMRA to act under the two articles." "What has PEMRA done under Article 19 of the Constitution," he asked. Article 19 of the 1973 Constitution, while allowing all citizens freedom of speech, also says that the freedom is "subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, or incitement to an offence". "Why didn't PEMRA take action [on anti-judiciary speeches]?" the chief justice asked the PEMRA chairman, who could only manage an unsatisfactory excuse in response. "We issued notices to channels," he replied. "If notices are all that you have to
gomal University mum as Pashteen ‘banned’ from alma mater LAHORE/PESHAWAR SHAMIM SHAHID/ABDULLAH NIAZI
The leader of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), Manzoor Pashteen, has reportedly been barred from entering the premises of his former university, the Gomal University in Dera Ismail (DI) Khan. “On the directives of the worthy vice chancellor, both the campuses (New and City Gomal University), are out of bounds for Manzoor Mehsood, ex-student of the university, with immediate effect,” read the notification which is circulating on the social media. The news has not been confirmed by the university itself, however, the representatives of Gomal University have refused to comment despite multiple attempts by Pakistan Today. It is worth mentioning that a few days ago (April 15), a visit by ‘state func-
tionaries’ to Gomal University was reported, in which the faculty and administration at Gomal University were questioned about the content of their courses. The faculty and administration were also reportedly given a warning to not teach subjects that would “encourage critical thinking amongst the students”. It is being speculated that the supposed barring of Manzoor Pashteen from campus might have to do with this visit, and maybe the result of coercion or pressure. While the reason behind the ban on Manzoor Pashteen’s entry cannot be described, copies of the notification were also issued to high ranking civil, military and police authorities both in Peshawar and DI Khan. The PTM stalwarts have confirmed imposition of the ban, but haven’t reacted to it so far. Meanwhile, under the auspices of Pakistan Zindabad, a rally was held at Timergara, headquarters of Lower Dir
on Tuesday, where the speakers criticised Manzoor and his organisation. Some of the speakers at the rally also accused Manzoor and his organisation of being “sponsored by enemies of the country like India and Afghanistan”. It is pertinent to note that from the last several days, protest rallies and statements of the tribal elders against the PTM, its leaders and demands are in progress. The PTM, an organisation advocating for the rights of those who have been affected by the war against terror, has been staging protests in different parts of the country against the enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. The PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen, within the past few days, has had come under severe criticism for speaking against the alleged mistreatment of the Pashtun community at the hands of the security forces.
MAID TORTURE CASE
IHC sentences judge, wife for one year; grants bail jUdge to file aPPeal in sC in one-week tiMe ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday sentenced Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen Zafar to one-year in jail for torturing their child maid Tayyaba. ADSJ Khan and Maheen Zafar were given prison time — as well as a fine of Rs50,000 each — for their involvement in keeping the then 10-yearold Tayyaba in wrongful confinement, burning her hand over a missing broom, beating her with a ladle, detaining her in a storeroom, and threatening her of “dire consequences”. IHC Justice Aamer Farooq announced the verdict in the Tayyaba torture case after over a year-long period of proceedings. The order stated that the evidence in the case reflected that the accused deliberately demonstrated negligence in the matter of minor girl. The prosecution had proved its case without any ambiguity against the nominated accused under section 328-A PPC. It further added that Raja Khurram and his wife Maheen Zafar were completely responsible for taking care of the minor girl. The media had no bearing on trial process, the order
added. The court, however, acquitted the accused in an allegation regarding disappearance of the victim girl. Meanwhile, the same IHC bench approved the bail of Raja Khurram and Maheen Zafar for one-week on an application filed by the accused who took the stance in their plea that they wanted to file an appeal with the SC against the decision of the trial court. The petitioner’s counsel Rizwan Abbasi and Sohail Warraich appeared before the bench and took the stance that the bail could be granted to the accused if the imprisonment period would be less than one year and it was also the basic right of their clients. After hearing the arguments, the court granted one-week bail to the both the accused against surety bonds worth Rs 50,000. The judgement, which was reserved on March 27, was read out in the presence of the accused during Tuesday’s proceedings. In total, the statements of 19 witnesses were recorded in the case, wherein 11 were from civil servants and eight from private witnesses, including Tayyaba’s parents. The case of 10-year-old Tayyaba, a domestic worker at the home of former additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali and his wife Maheen, first came to light after photos of
the child depicting alleged torture by her employers began circulating on social media. Tayyaba was rescued from their residence with visible wounds on Dec 28, 2016, and an FIR (First Information Report) was filed against her employers a day later. An inquiry report by the police had found that the judge’s wife was responsible for torturing the child maid, and Khurram of indirect criminal negligence. Later, on January 3, 2017, Tayyaba’s parents reached a compromise and forgave the accused. However, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took a suo motu notice of the compromise agreement and ordered the IHC to conduct a trial of the case. The Supreme Court in a hearing on Jan 11 then observed that the role of a lawyer, Raja Zahoor Hassan, was of key interest with regards to an ‘illegitimate compromise’ reached between the suspects and the child’s family. CJP Nisar had insisted there was no doubt that a criminal act had been committed in the case and directed police to investigate the preparation of the compromise deed as well as matters related to internal trafficking of child labourers. After the police in their report had focused only on the child’s abuse and the possible involvement of the suspects, the SC expressed displeasure with the investigation of the case and referred it back to the IHC for further deliberation.
issue, what is the point?" the chief justice retorted. "Do you have no other powers? What action have you taken under them?" he asked. "You've had complaints pending since 2017. What action have you taken on them as the regulator?" Justice Ijazul Ahsan added. "Does somebody need to tell PEMRA to do its job?" Justice Saeed quipped, addressing the PEMRA chairman. "The order issued was something else, and it was reported as something else. Somebody purposefully ran fake news," he observed. "This was done in a coordinated manner. Can the Federal Investigation Agency be asked to investigate the matter?" he asked "What action has PEMRA taken on fake news? The news was twisted, what did PEMRA do?" the chief justice asked the PEMRA chairman. "Who will investigate this matter? Who manufactured this story and forwarded it to the media? It would still have been believable had one channel misreported it. I can't believe that court reporters could have filed this story," he continued. "Who had the real story twisted?" "And how is it that Nawaz Sharif's counsel is representing PEMRA in
this case?" he said, turning to Advocate Salman Akram Raja. "We will issue a notice to you and suspend your licence. How can you represent PEMRA in this case? Isn't this a clear conflict of interest?" he asked. To this, Raja clarified that he had been representing PEMRA for quite some time. "You also represent the PML-N and you also appear on TV to comment [on various cases]," the chief justice responded. "I apologise and will withdraw my power of attorney," Raja responded. "I only represented PEMRA because I have been representing them in the past. The court subsequently wrapped up the suo motu notice, noting that the LHC's order did not seem to violate fundamental rights and would therefore be upheld. "The impression was given that the court had ordered Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif to be taken off air," it observed. "It was implied that the freedom of speech had been curtailed, when the court had only issued an order under Article 19 of the Constitution." "This is disrespect of the courts," the chief justice noted. ED NOTE: It was erroneously reported that the LHC had banned ‘anti-judiciary’ speeches by Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N leaders in a news item on April 16. The error is regretted.
Pak keen to expand cooperation with China in fields of film, media: Marriyum ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Minister of State for Information Broadcasting, National History & Literary Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb on Tuesday said that Pakistan was keen to expand cooperation with China in the field of film, media, culture and heritage. Speaking during a meeting with H E Yao Jing, Ambassador of China to Pakistan, she said that Pakistan cherished its unique ties with all weather and time tested friend as both countries carried a legacy of cooperation, the foundation of which was laid by their ancestors. She said that sustainability
of economic cooperation entailed mutual understanding of each other’s culture, values and heritage and Pakistan with its diverse culture, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic society offered myriad opportunities for collaboration in the field of culture and tourism. “Pakistan would like to convert CPEC into a cultural corridor marked by frequent exchange of artiest, film, TV dramas and serials, arts and crafts,” the minister said. She said that the executive program of cultural agreement signed between the governments of Pakistan and China would provide various incentives for innovation and ingenuity, particularly in the arena of cultural exchanges and collaboration.
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
Professors unite for free speech after alarming events Professors concerned about cancellation of events at Habib university and luMs; disMissal of Politically active Professor at Pu; and questioning of goMal university official by ‘state functionaries’ LAHORE ABDULLAH NIAZI
A grand collective of nearly 200 university professors has come together from all over Pakistan to protest what they are calling increased repression of academic freedom on University Campuses in Pakistan. Faculty members from several universities, including the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Punjab University, COMSATS, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, Forman Christian College, Lahore School of Economics (LSE), Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Manage-
PHC admits appeals against acquittals in Mashal murder case PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday admitted appeals filed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government and Mashal’s family against the anti-terrorism court’s (ATC) verdict in Mashal murder case that had acquitted 26 out of 57 accused. A twojudge bench, comprising Justice Qalandar Ali Khan and Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim, directed all 26 acquitted persons to appear before the Mardan ATC in order to ensure that they will not leave the country and will attend the hearings of the case held at the provincial high court. During the hearing of the appeals, Prosecutor Muhammad Ayaz Khan argued that the ATC didn’t give any solid reasons for the acquittals. All of these accused had gathered at the campus with a common objective and a preplanned conspiracy to kill Mashal Khan, he went to add. Referring to the video footage of the incident, the prosecutor said that it made no sense to absolve these individuals when there was strong evidence to convict them. Additional Advocate General Mian Arshad Jan told the court that there were “no grounds to show them leniency” as “they gathered in the form of mob with a common object, hence they deserve harsh and equal punishment according to the law.”
Kulbhushan Jadhav case: india files reply in icJ
ment Sciences (BUITEMS) Quetta, Quaid e Azam University Islamabad, Habib University, University of Sindh and Agha Khan University have all collectively written an open letter pertaining to recent events in different universities of the country which allegedly curtail free thinking in academic spaces. The letter was also signed by a number of important Pakistani professors who are part of the faculty at foreign universities, including Cambridge University, University of Chicago, University of Toronto, NYU, University of Edinburgh, and others. “As faculty members and teachers, we are extremely concerned about the events
that have taken place over the last few days at universities across Pakistan, which signal a closure of intellectual space within the country. Between April 12 and 13, four separate but related instances of repression took place on university campuses in different parts of the country,” read the letter which was posted on social media and undersigned by 195 Pakistani professors from all across the world. The four events that the letter referred to included cancelled events at Habib University and LUMS, the firing of a politically active professor in Punjab University and the questioning of Gomal University official by ‘state functionaries.’ “In the first instance, an event entitled ‘Ethnic Rights, New Social Movements, and the State of the Federation in Pakistan,’ which was supposed to be held at Habib University on April 13 was forcibly cancelled only an hour before the
event was due to be held after a visit from state functionaries,” read the letter. In a similar happening, a studentorganised event meant to commemorate the first death anniversary of the slain Mashal Khan, also on April 13, was cancelled on the same day it was to be held. The university cited “administrative concerns” and there was no discussion about rescheduling the event. This had led to serious backlash from the student body. The third event is the much publicised firing of Ammar Ali Jan from the Punjab University, where he was labelled a ‘troublemaker’ for his social and political activism and his candid interactions with his students. The fourth incident that was being referred to was when ‘state functionaries’ visited the faculty and administration at Gomal University in DI Khan, and questioned them about the content of their
PAC ReCommends bAn on nTs, oRdeRs InquIRy coMMittee orders fia to bring ex-coMsats vc bacK along witH looted Money ISLAMABAD
HE Public Account Committee on Tuesday recommended the government to immediately impose a ban on the National Testing Service, alleging corruption and malpractice in the department. The committee made it clear that they would not allow handing over the future of the young generation in the hand of a mafia. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah here. A review meeting was also held regarding the objections on the audit report 2016-17 of the Higher Education Commission (HEC). It was also disclosed in the meeting that COMSAT’s former vice-chancellor Haroon Rasheed has fake degree despite he (the former VC) had been served the country’s prestigious institute. The committee ordered the FIA director to bring him back in the country along with all looted money. Besides Khursheed Shah, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Javed Akhlas, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Sardar Ghulam Mustafa Shah,
Shahida Akhtar Ali, Nazir Sultan and Azam Swati were in attendance. Shah informed the meeting that the NTS officials had offered him to get his choice students pass from the test with good numbers but he refused, showing his determination to completely eliminate corruption from the department. On a question, the Science and Technology secretary informed the meeting that the NTS officials were not ready to audit financial expenditures of the department. Upon which, the committee directed the authority concerned to confiscate all the record of the NTS and initiate departmental inquiry in order to secure the future generation from corruption mafia. It is pertinent to mention here that the NTS Department was responsible of conducting tests for the public sector institutions and departments, but its former head himself was allegedly involved in the corrupt practices. The officials also briefed the meeting that some corrupt people were still holding positions in the department and there were chances that many of them having fake degrees. Mahmood Achakzai said that all four provinces have separate NTS authorities. The
PAC chairman asked the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to itself arrange NTS tests. In fact, the test conducting responsibility should be given to the relevant universities, he remarked. The PAC directed the FIA director general to bring the former NTS chairman back to the country with all looted money. Azam Swati said that he had dismissed Haroom Rasheed from his post of chairmanship at the COMSAT University in Abbottabad while he was minister for his alleged involvement in immoral activities. Unfortunately, he said he was later appointed as NTS head. It was also discussed in the meeting that the Federal Urdu University had allegedly released Rs 370 million to its employees as house allowance. The committee ordered probe into the matter. It was disclosed in the meeting that the varsity administration has allegedly involved in corruption on the name of new plots. It was added in the meeting that the COMSAT Lahore administration has also charged Rs500 million from students for issuance of degree and about which a high-level inquiry has been ordered. The committee directed to initiate investigation into the case of 36 students who have been fled abroad on the name of scholarships. These students have cost 140 million to the national exchequer.
asif was never a full-time employee, uae firm tells court
India on Tuesday filed its reply in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in accordance with the order of the court. The ICJ had earlier set April 17 for India to file a second memorial in the case of convicted Indian spy Jadhav, while Pakistan will have to submit a countermemorial by July 17. The ICJ on May 18 last year halted the execution of Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a military court on April 10 after being convicted on charges of terrorism and espionage. Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel was apprehended on March 3, 2016, after he illegally crossed into Pakistan via Iran border.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif was never a full time employee of International Mechanical and Electrical Company (IMECO), a company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the firm stated in a letter sent to the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The letter sent by IMECO Managing Director Elias Solloum stated that Asif had served as “legal advisor, private law” for the company and the agreement [Iqama] executed with him was a standard document approved by the UAE government. “However, the terms stated in the agreement [Iqama] were not the understanding between the parties,” he said. “The relationship has been cordial,
with mutual consent and there was no requirement for him to be present in UAE for any period of time and we have been seeking his advice, when required, telephonically and during his planned visit to UAE,” Solloum stated in the letter dated April 12. The letter read that the agreement was renewed in accordance with the UAE law and Asif became the company’s management consultant. It added that Asif was paid a mutually agreed upon fee for his services. “Asif was never a full time employee of the company and was not required to stay in UAE as mentioned in the agreement,” the letter stated, adding, “There is total flexibility in the UAE after execution of the standard document to agree to any terms with employees and consultants of the company and the
UAE government does not interfere in this respect.” The company official stated, “A representative of the company is willing to appear before any court in Pakistan to confirm the above facts.” Asif’s counsel Rashdeen Nawaz submitted the additional documents before the IHC, pointing out that the court had allowed the submission of additional documents till April 16. On April 10, a larger bench of the IHC had reserved judgment on a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Usman Dar, seeking Asif’s disqualification under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. The petitioner, who contested against Asif during 2013 general elections in NA-110 from PTI’s platform, argued that he should be disqualified as he hid the fact of holding an Iqama in his nomination papers.
courses. The faculty and administration were also reportedly given a warning not to teach subjects that would encourage critical thinking among the students. While it was not mentioned in the letter, there are reports that the Gomal University has banned the entry of its former alumnus and PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen. “All four events are part of a wider trend that stifles critical thinking and discussion on university campuses,” read the letter undersigned by the 195 university professors. “The future of our country rests on how well we train our students as thinkers and analysts. It is for these reasons that the events of recent days are so troubling,” it went on to add. “We urge the relevant authorities to take action against those responsible and to ensure that our universities remain free from outside interference in the future” it demanded.
FIRs against Rizvi, others to be quashed ISLAMABAD: In order to implement the controversial agreement, pertaining to the Faizabad sit-in case, between Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and the federal government, the Islamabad police will quash all First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against Khadim Hussain Rizvi and others, Pakistan Today has learnt. A day earlier, the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) shelved the cases against the TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and others, after prosecution informed the court that the police would start a fresh investigation to dig facts that were “actually true”. The prosecution requested the court to halt the proceedings until the final report was submitted. Wellplaced sources in the administration confirmed that a settlement was made between the TLP and government during a meeting that was held in Lahore. The TLP chief threatened to besiege Islamabad, following which it was decided that the agreement would be implemented. They said that two key officials including Islamabad Chief Commissioner Aftab Akbar Durrani and Deputy Commissioner Capt (r) Mushtaq Ahmad also rushed to attend the meeting in Lahore. OBAID ABBASI
President promulgates bill extending supreme court, PHc jurisdiction to fata President Mamnoon Hussain on Tuesday approved the bill extending the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court to the Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a spokesman for the presidency confirmed. The president signed the 'Supreme Court and High Court (Extension of Jurisdiction to Fata) Bill 2017' on the recommendation of the prime minister. The extension of the superior courts' jurisdiction was one of several demands of the people of FATA, who seek to be treated at par with the rest of the country. The bill, part of the supplementary agenda of the Upper House of Parliament's session on April 13, was opposed by the government's allies who walked out of the session in protest. Later, the Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz managed to pass the bill. NEWS DESK
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Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
‘A CASE OF SOUR GRAPES’
PTI mINoRITIES PRESIdENT lEAvES wITH A wHImPER SAJID ISHAQ SANDHU CLAIMS PARTY’S LEADERSHIP IS INDIFFERENT TO MINORITY ISSUES; CHRISTIAN MPA CALLS FORMER LEADER’S DEPARTURE ‘GOOD RIDDANCE’ PTI SPOKESMAN REFUSES TO COMMENT ON ‘ATTENTION SEEKING GIMMICKS’ ISLAMABAD
SHAH NAWAZ MOHAL
HE central president of the Minorities Wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Sajid Ishaq Sandhu on Tuesday announced that he was leaving the party due to the “indifference of the senior leadership towards religious minorities in the country”, however senior leaders of the party have laughed away the excuse, calling it “a case of sour grapes”. Addressing a press conference at a local hotel, Sandhu, who was elected as central president for PTI Minorities Wing in 2013 and was also a member of the PTI Central Executive Committee, said that he was “utterly disappointed by the approach and mindset of the senior leadership of PTI towards religious minorities in Pakistan”. He alleged that the PTI has completely failed to safeguard the rights of the minorities in general and Christians in specific. He claimed that he had “advised” PTI Chairman Imran Khan on several occasions to take a firm stand for providing
equal opportunities to minorities “but it is disappointing to see that PTI has miserably failed to even protect the rights of the minorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where it has its government”. Sandhu, who has remained largely missing from the PTI’s political scene ever since he was denied a ticket for the National Assembly in the 2013 general elections due to his ‘controversial activities’, claimed that “PTI has a parachute culture where people with money and influence jump in during times of elections and supersede all diehards who have been struggling all along.” He was perhaps alluding to the recent defection of Hindu MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankani to the PTI, which has clearly shrunk the ground under Sandhu’s feet. It also merits a mention here that Sandhu himself joined PTI on May 12, 2012, months ahead of the 2013 general elections. Announcing his future political strategy, Sandhu said that he had decided not to join any political party as he had lost his interest in the ‘selection system’ for minority lawmakers. He also criticised the role of non-Muslim parliamentarians, saying they were only enjoying their
perks and had no concern for the minority communities. However, sources close to Sandhu confided to Pakistan Today that he was trying to woo Senator Kamran Michael of the ruling PML-N for joining the party for the last two years but “the senator is in no mood to facilitate him because of his reputation”. “We want election, not selection of minority representation. My Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL) will nominate Christian and other minority candidates against all political parties wherever Christians and other non-Muslims are in majority,” said Sandhu, while demanding that other parties should also award tickets to non-Muslims where they are in substantial number. He also demanded an increase in the seats of non-Muslims Pakistanis in national and provincial assemblies. ‘GOOD RIDDANCE’: When contacted, PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhary flatly refused to know anyone named Sajid Ishaq. “Who is this Sajid Ishaq. I don't know any. Has he left party?”. “I am not going to comment on each and every nuisance and attention
grabbing gimmicks,” said Chaudhry, as he put down the phone. However, Shunila Ruth, a Christian Member of the Punjab Assembly from the PTI, told Pakistan Today that Sandhu’s departure did not matter “as he was already out of the picture for a very long time”. “I would call it good riddance since every party needs good workers, not opportunists. Individuals like Sandhu want to reap the benefits without moving even a finger. He could not get a ticket in the 2013 general elections due to his own dubious activities and since then he has stayed away from the party’s activities,” she said, adding that it was highly likely “a case of sour grapes” for Sandhu as he knew that he doesn’t stand a chance in the upcoming general elections as well. “Whether I get a ticket or not, I am with PTI. Come what may,” said Ruth,
NEF adopts Master Ayub’s Park School, signs MoU FOUNDATION WILL PROVIDE FREE OF COST BOOKS TO STUDENTS, MONTHLY HONORARIUM TO TEACHER ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Muhammad Balighur Rehman has said that training is very important alongside imparting education to students. He was addressing on the occasion of MoU signing between the National Education Foundation (NEF) and Master Muhammad Ayub Park School F6/3 at the Committee Room of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training on Tuesday. The minister lauded Master Muhammad Ayub for imparting free education to needy and poor students.
US envoy hosts Peshawar University’s IR students PESHAWAR APP
American Ambassador David Hale hosted a group of International Relations students from the University of Peshawar for a lively discussion on the US-Pakistan relationship and the role of diplomacy in promoting peace. The ambassador talked about his own study of international relations and its influence on his career. “Diplomacy provides solutions to the most complex of challenges,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s next generation of leaders can help bring peace and stability to the region. This meeting with the ambassador was part of a half-day programme. American officers briefed the students on the embassy’s work and explained study and exchange programmes available in the United States for Pakistani students. They also had lunch with American diplomats and viewed some of the Pakistani artwork on display at the embassy. “What a wonderful place to work!” said one of the students. “This was a unique opportunity for my students to speak with an ambassador and gain a deeper understanding of Pakistan’s relationship with the United States,” said Dr Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi, chairman of the University of Peshawar’s Department of International Relations. “The chance to share perspectives with American diplomats shows the strong educational cooperation we have with the US,” he added.
Later on, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the National Education Foundation and Master Muhammad Ayub Park School. The National Education Foundation adopted the Park School under its School Adoption Programme. NEF provided Master Muhammad Ayub Park School teachers chairs (5), black board with stand (5), plastic mats for students (10), water cooler medium size (5), rough register (200), English note book 4 lines (200), Urdu note book (200), Mathematics note book (200), exam sheet English, Urdu and Maths (25 packets). NEF will also provide free of cost books to students of Master Muhammad Ayub School besides teacher honorarium Rs 5,000 per month. Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani and Joint Education Adviser Muhammad Rafique Tahir were also present on the occasion. The minister said that children were assets and it was very important to inculcate a positive thinking in them. He emphasised upon the character-building of
youth and said that the young people should adopt positive attitude so that they could differentiate between right and wrong. He said that the government took steps for the promotion of quality education and increased funding for education sector.
Road widening between Murree, Kohala at stake MURREE INP
The provincial authorities have put the long awaited reconstruction project of the Murree-Kohala Road at stake as they stopped the designated construction company from broadening as per work order. Earlier, the authorities have approved widening of the 48km Murree-Kohala Road by 36 feet. Officials said that the Habib Construction Company, which was assigned to renovate 23km portion
from Lower Topa to Dewal, has been stopped to widen the road following directives of the Punjab Communication and Works Department. The Islamabad-Murree-Kashmir Highway connecting Islamabad and Punjab with Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) caters to heavy traffic of tourists, locals and people commuting between Punjab and the Kashmiri state. The road has not been repaired for about 28 years. The designated construction was assigned widening of the road by 36 feet including shoulder as per ap-
proval besides, dismantling as well carpeting. According to the work plan, the construction company was also assigned to eliminate blind sharp bends, which was causing daily accidents, they said. The authorities have deferred widening plan of the Murree-Kohala Road due to general elections. The owners of the land alongside the road had approached higher authorities and raised their concerns in this context. The owners threatened to launch massive protest if their demands not met. It is worth mentioning here that Murree-Kohala Road was built in the colonial period to link Srinagar and Rawalpindi. It was named Defence Road after the armed conflict over Kashmir after partition. When contacted, Murree Executive Engineer Saad Sadiq said so far only Rs100 million had been transferred to his department out of the total allocated Rs1.08 billion and the department had paid Rs100 million to the company. The construction company has already carried out work worth more than the amount it has received. He said that it was expected that more funds would be transferred to the department so that the work would be restarted. Sadiq said that when the road was first constructed some 30 years ago it was 18 to 20ft wide.
who has now emerged as the strongest contender from the Christian community for the National Assembly from Punjab. A local English paper, Express Tribune, had reported on April 12, 2013, that intelligence agencies had launched inquiries into the phenomenal increase in Sandhu’s wealth in the last 10 years. In the uncontested report, the paper had claimed that Sandhu was allegedly involved in massive financial irregularities in the funds of his two NGOs. “It is also being suspected that the NGOs are linked with foreign governments and are involved in dubious activities in Pakistan on their behalf,” the report claimed, adding that detailed inquiries into the matter will unmask the “rags to riches” tale of the father and son duo who have been using religion to further their own interests.
NAB approves reference against ex-FECHS official RAWALPINDI: The National Accountability Bureau on Tuesday approved reference against Aamir Riasat, a former general secretary of the Federation of Employees Cooperative Housing Society (FECHS). Riasat being the general secretary with malafide intentions produced a map in the Capital Development Authority (CDA) wherein four plots measuring four kanals were shown to be a public park that were already allotted in 2004 being residential plots and the payments of those plots have already been received in the society’s accounts. Thereby through concealment of facts, he got approved the layout plan of the society from the civic agency. In another case, the NAB authorised an investigation into two cases of Postal Services Department of the Gilgit Baltistan namely investigation against postmaster Hajitullah Baig and another investigation against postmaster Shahid Ali. ONLINE
‘Far-flung areas being connected through roads’
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch has said that far-flung areas of Balochistan are being connected through road networks under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. In an interview with the Radio Pakistan, he said that Dalbadin to Mashkail road would also be constructed and connected with Panjgur under the CPEC project. He pointed out that the federal government has approved Rs 200 million for earthquake-affected people of Mashkail. The minister said that the objective of this corridor was to benefit maximum number of population, which in turn will change social complexion of the people around this corridor. He said that the industrial zones were also being established along the CPEC route for the well-being of Balochistan’s people. APP
06 FOREIGN NEWS
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
rape-killing of seven-year-old heighTens indian ouTrage NEW DELHI
delhi rape vicTim reporTs parenTs for 'seTTling' case
HE body of a seven-year-old girl who had been raped and strangled was found in India Tuesday, compounding outrage over a series of horrific sexual attacks on women or girls. Nationwide protests have been held in the past week over the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Jammu and Kashmir state. In the latest case, the child´s body was found on a building site early Tuesday, hours after she went missing from a wedding in the Etah district of Uttar Pradesh state. Police said a neighbour who was putting up tents for the wedding had been detained on suspicion of luring the girl to the secluded building. Etah superintendent of police Akhilesh Chaurasia told AFP the man fled but was arrested within hours. "We have charged him with the rape and murder of the child. We are awaiting the post-mortem reports but prima facie it looks she was strangled to death," Chaurasia said.
A teenage rape victim in Delhi took her parents to the police for allegedly taking bribe from the accused to compel her to change her statement in court. The girl approached the police with INR500,000 she believed her parents had accepted from the accused as advance payment, Hindustan Times reported. MN Tiwari, deputy commissioner of police (outer) said the victim’s parents have been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act and for criminal intimidation, threatening someone to give false evidence and criminal conspiracy. “We arrested the girl’s mother. Her father is on the run. We are also looking for the people who were facilitating this crime,” Tiwari added. Fourth suspect in gang rape case arrested The teenager went missing on August 30 last year, following which a kidnapping case was registered. She returned home a week later claiming two men, including a local property dealer had abducted her. She recalled that she was taken to multiple places here she was repeatedly gang raped before being let off. The police registered a case of gang-rape against her complaint and arrested the two men, who were recently let go on bail. “Some people known to the accused had approached her parents and offered INR2 million to get the girl change her statement in court. Recently, they had given INR500,000 cash as advance payment. The girl was aware of it,” said an investigator. AGENCIES
The authorities and police face mounting pressure over a series of sexual assaults, including the Jammu and Kashmir case.
That killing was in January but outrage has mounted as details of the rape emerged. Police say she was drugged and raped for days at a Hindu temple
before being beaten to death Eight men, all Hindus, have been arrested for the crime. Police said the accused targeted the girl because they wanted to drive her nomadic Muslim tribe out of the Hindudominated region. Two Jammu and Kashmir state ministers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) resigned after they attended rallies organised to defend the accused. Some activists have accused the party of siding with Hindu groups demanding the release of the arrested men. The BJP government has also faced criticism after one of its legislators in Uttar Pradesh state was arrested last week for the alleged rape of a 17year-old woman. The woman´s father died in police custody as he agitated for the authorities to take up the case. A 2014 UN report said one in three rape victims in India was a minor. Nearly 11,000 cases of child rape were reported in India in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau´s latest figures.
False alarm sets oﬀ Syrian air defences, says pro-Assad commander saudi arabia says open to sending troops to syria under wider coalition RIYADH AGENCIES
Saudi Arabia would send troops to Syria under the US-led coalition if a decision was taken to widen it, Foreign Minister Adel alJubeir said on Tuesday. “We are in discussion with the US and have been since the beginning of the Syrian crisis about sending forces into Syria,” Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh with UN SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres. He added that Riyadh had previously proposed this idea to former US President Barack Obama. Saudi forceS Shoot down another houthi miSSile: A ballistic missile, allegedly shot by Houthi rebels from Yemen towards Saudi Arabia, was shot down Monday night by the country's border forces, Arab media said. According to Al-Arabiya, the Houthi missile was geared to blow up in Najran, a border city in the Kingdom's southwest. "Houthis in Yemen fired a total of 119 ballistic missiles targeting Saudi Arabia so far, warning of a 'painful' military response if the militants mounted any new attacks," the publication said quoting Colonel Turki alMaliki, an Arab coalition spokesman.
A false alarm led to Syrian air defence missiles being fired overnight and there was no fresh attack on Syria, a commander in the regional military alliance that backs the Syrian government told Reuters. Syrian state TV reported overnight that anti-aircraft defences had shot down missiles fired at an air base in the Homs area, and a media unit run by the Lebanese group Hezbollah said missiles had also targeted an air base near Damascus. The commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity, attributed the malfunction to “a joint electronic attack” by Israel and the United States targeting the Syrian radar system. The issue had been dealt with by Russian experts, the commander said. Syrian anti-aircraft defences shot down missiles fired at the Syrian air base of Shayrat in Homs province late on Monday and another base northeast of the capital, Damascus, Syria’s state television and proIranian Hezbollah media said. State television showed pictures of a missile that was shot in the air above the air base only days after a US, British and French attack on Syrian targets in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on the city of Douma on the outskirts of Damas-
cus. State television did not mention three missiles that were fired at Dumair military airport, northeast of Damascus, that pro-Iranian Hezbollah’s media service reported were intercepted by Syrian air defences. Over 100 missiles fired at Syria, ‘significant number’ intercepted: Moscow Opposition sources say Dumair airport is a major air base used in a large-scale military campaign waged by the Syrian army with Russian firepower that regained eastern Ghouta, a militant enclave on the outskirts of Damascus. A Pentagon spokesperson said there was no US military activity in that area at this time. Asked about the missile attack, an Israeli military spokesperson said: “We don’t com-
ment on such reports.” chemical probe to begin in Syria after weStern StrikeS: Israel has struck Syrian army locations many times in the course of the conflict, hitting convoys and bases of Iranianbacked militias that fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al- Assad’s forces. Israel has long said Iran was expanding its influence in a belt of territory that stretches from the Iraqi border to the Lebanese border, where Israel says Iran supplies Hezbollah with arms. Hezbollah and other Iranianbacked militias have a large military presence in Syria and are well entrenched in central and eastern areas near the Iraqi border.
Turkey To exTend sTaTe of emergency for sevenTh Time ANKARA AGENCIES
Turkey’s top security body on Tuesday recommended extending the state of emergency imposed since a failed July 2016 coup for a seventh time, despite mounting calls from Ankara’s partners to lift it. The state of emergency was introduced five days after the July 15 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but critics say it has been used to crack down on his opponents and stifle the media. The National Security Council (MGK), after a meeting chaired by Erdogan, said in a statement it had agreed to recommend the emergency should be extended for three more months. The latest extension was due to come to an end on Thursday. The next step is for parliament to approve the extension but this is viewed as a formality. The attempted coup was blamed by Turkey on a former Erdogan ally, the USbased Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen and his Hizmet (“Service”) movement. Although Gulen denies the claims, Turkish authorities have used emergency powers to arrest over 50,000 people accused of links to his group as well as Kurdish militants. Meanwhile, more than 140,000 public sector employees have also been sacked or suspended, including judges, police officers and teachers. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Monday organized rallies across Turkey to protest against the emergency, including a demonstration in Istanbul and Ankara. The party listed the impact of the state of emergency on freedom of expression and the economy, especially the Turkish lira which has lost over five percent of its value against the US dollar in the past month. The emergency has come under fierce criticism in the West as well, including by Council of Europe chief Thorbjorn Jagland during his visit to Ankara in February. In its latest report on Turkey’s accession bid to join the European Union, the European Commission said Tuesday that “Turkey should lift the state of emergency without delay.” “The broad scale and collective nature, and the disproportionality of measures… such as widespread dismissals, arrests, and detentions, continue to raise serious concerns,” it said.
Thousands to protest against Modi during Commonwealth summit in London LONDON AGENCIES
A large-scale protest has been planned by British Sikhs and Kashmiris against the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Britain for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOG) in London on April 16-20, to condemn Modi’s affiliation with violent Hindu nationalism and rising attacks on minorities, vulnerable and women in India. Heads of 53 Commonwealth nations, including Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will attend the Summit in London and Windsor. Modi’s itinerary includes a day of bilateral meetings with British PM Theresa May and a rare audience with Queen Elizabeth. In London, thousands of protestors — Kashmiris and Indian origin Sikhs, Christians and Dalits — are expected to reach Parliament Square for a
noisy protest against Modi on April 18 when he will hold bilateral meetings and also address a diaspora event at Central Hall Westminster. Sikh organisations such as Dal Khalsa, Sikhs for Justice and Sikh Federation (UK) have said that it was expecting turnout from across the UK but several other Sikh groups working for Khalistan have also invited their supporters to protest against the Indian premier. Anti-imperialism South Asia Solidarity Group has also arranged a protest. Supporters of Hindutva BJP and RSS have said that a counter-demonstration in support of Modi will be held at the same venue. South Asia Centre for Peace has called for protest at the Parliament Square to highlight the plight of women in Indian occupied Kashmir. Turnout of Kashmiris is expected to be huge at the protest. Azad Kashmir PM Raja Farooq Haider, Pakistan Peoples
Party leader in AJK Assembly Chaudhary Yaseen, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Rasheed Turabi, several British parliamentarians including Naz Shah MP, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Khalid Mahmood, Shabna Mahmood, Afzal Khan and others are expected to attend the protest. Addressing a news conference in London, Farooq Haider said that genocide of Kashmiris under Modi government has increased. The Azad Kashmir prime minister said that he had reached London especially to show solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Kashmir by confronting Modi on atrocities against Kashmiris under his watch. The issue of illegal Indians in UK — numbered at tens of thousands by Home Office — will dominate the meeting agenda between PM Modi and May as the British government has linked the return of illegal Indians to any improvement in visa conditions for Indians.
The Sikh Federation (UK) claimed Sikhs would “turn out in thousands” to protest outside the Queen Elizabeth II Centre against Modi, who it described would be the “primary focus” of the demonstration. The release of British national Jagtar Singh Johal arrested in Punjab for targeted killings would be a major
issue in the protest. The Sikh Federation has written to May urging her to question Modi on issues of “extreme Hindutva agenda”, “growth of Hindu radicalisation across the globe” and “treatment meted out to religious minorities and Dalits in India” during their meeting on April 18.
FOREIGN NEWS 07
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
chemical experTs on probing mission inTo syria in limbo BEIRUT
N international inspection mission to Syria looked in question Tuesday after Western powers which accused Damascus of using chemical weapons warned that evidence had likely been removed. The United States, France and Britain conducted an unprecedented missile attack Saturday on the Syrian regime that Paris described as a matter of honor but admitted had solved nothing. The punitive strikes were launched before a factfinding team was able to enter Douma, where the alleged April 7 chemical attack happened, and begin its field work. Western diplomats charged Monday during an emergency meeting at the watchdog’s The Hague headquarters that the regime and its Russian ally were blocking the team. Russia denied the claims, saying parts of Douma still needed to be de-mined and said the Organization for the Prohibition
The Syrian army began preparatory shelling for an assault on the last area outside its control near Damascus on Tuesday, a commander in the pro-government alliance said, building on its recent capture of the major suburb of eastern Ghouta. Recovering the Yarmouk camp and neighboring areas located south of the city would give President Bashar alAssad complete control over Syria’s capital, further consolidating his grip on power. Yarmouk, Syria’s biggest camp for Palestinian refugees since the mid-20th century, has been under the control of Daesh fighters for several years. Although the vast majority of residents have fled, the United Nations says thousands remain. Assad has benefited from Russian air power since 2015 to regain large swathes of Syria, putting him in his strongest position since the early months of the sevenyear-old war. The war has killed more than 500,000 people and has drawn in regional and global powers. The United States, Britain and France launched their first coordinated strikes against
of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors would enter on Wednesday. Yet France and the United States appeared to question the purpose of such a mission, warning that any incriminating evidence had likely been removed by now. “It is highly likely that evidence and essential elements disappear from the site, which is completely controlled by the Russian and Syrian armies,” the French foreign ministry said. The US ambassador to the OPCW, Ken Ward, had claimed Monday that the Russians had already visited the site and “may have tampered with it”. In an impassioned defense to the European Parliament on Tuesday, France’s President Emmanuel Macron admitted that Saturday’s strikes had been a more political than military decision. “Three countries have intervened, and let me be quite frank, quite honest – this is for the honor of the international community,” he said in the French city of Strasbourg. “These strikes don’t necessarily resolve anything but I think they were important,” Macron added.
The French leader was also set to strip Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of a prestigious award he was granted by former president Jacques Chirac in 2001. “The Elysee confirms that a disciplinary procedure for withdrawing the Legion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor) is under way,” Macron’s office said. The war of words continued to spiral between the Russian-backed Syria regime
and the West but a military escalation looked to have been averted despite both sides trading threats after the strikes. Yet, a report on state news agency SANA that Syrian air defenses had shot down missiles over Homs province overnight raised fears that further action had indeed been taken. It branded the incident an “aggression” but did not name a specific country. Big explosions were heard overnight
germany can mediaTe wiTh moscow over syria, says foreign minisTer BERLIN: Germany has a special intermediary role allowing it to keep open the window for dialogue with Russia on the Syrian crisis, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday. At a Berlin news conference alongside Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Maas also said the stalled Syrian peace process would be discussed at the weekend’s Toronto summit of G-7 foreign ministers. “We have to use this moment to get the political process going again,” he said of the meeting, where Russia will not be present. “We also need Russia for this dialogue,” he added, suggesting Germany’s traditionally closer relationship with Russia could help facilitate this. AGENCIES
Assad prepares to assault last rebel enclave near Damascus
Assad’s government on Saturday in retaliation for what they say was a poison gas attack on April 7 that killed scores of residents in Douma, the last town in the eastern Ghouta to fall. The Western missiles destroyed three targets that had been evacuated in
advance, but did nothing to alter the wider course of the war, leaving Assad’s Russian-backed forces still on the offensive with the goal of recapturing the entire country. Damascus and Moscow have both denied using poison gas and have
broadcast statements from hospital workers in Douma - which medical aid groups operating in rebel areas have dismissed as propaganda - saying that no chemical attack took place. A team of international chemical weapons inspectors that arrived in Damascus on Friday has still not visited Douma to gather evidence, though Russia said it would do so on Wednesday. Syrian state media reported that missiles had again targeted an airbase overnight, but a commander in the regional military alliance backing the government later told Reuters it was a false alarm. The commander, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the new offensive would target Daesh and Nusra Front militants in Yarmouk camp and al-Hajar al-Aswad district. Rebels in the adjoining Beit Sahm area would withdraw on buses through an agreement with the government, the commander said.
South Koreans may visit North again ahead of first summit in decade
us supreme court restricts deportations of immigrant felons WASHINGTON AGENCIES
The US Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an immigration statute requiring the deportation of non-citizens who commit felonies is unlawfully vague in a decision that could limit the Trump administration’s ability to step up the removal of immigrants with criminal records. The court, in a 5-4 ruling in which President Donald Trump’s conservative appointee Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s four liberal justices, sided with convicted California burglar James Garcia Dimaya, a legal immigrant from the Philippines. The court upheld a 2015 lower court ruling that the Immigration and Nationality Act provision requiring Dimaya’s deportation created uncertainty over which crimes may be considered violent, risking arbitrary enforcement in violation of the US Constitution. The ruling helps clarify the criminal acts for which legal immigrants may be expelled at a time of intense focus on immigration issues in the United States as Trump seeks to increase deportations of immigrants who have committed crimes. Liberal Justice Elena Kagan wrote the court’s ruling, delivering a setback to the Trump administration, which had defended the law at issue. “Vague laws invite arbitrary power,” Gorsuch wrote in a concurring opinion, adding that the American colonies in the 18th century cited vague English law like the crime of treason as among the reasons for the American revolution.
pakistani man sentenced to death over rape, murder of nephew in abu dhabi
South Korean security officials may visit North Korea ahead of the first summit since 2007 if more highlevel talks are necessary, a Seoul official said on Tuesday, with the South hoping the North will reaffirm its commitment to denuclearize. After meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang in March, South Korea's national security adviser and spy chief said Kim was committed to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and had expressed a willingness to meet US President Donald Trump. The April 27 meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim is scheduled for the border village of Panmunjom. "Even though our special envoys confirmed his denuclearization will, it is entirely different if the two leaders confirm it directly among themselves and put that into text," Moon's chief of staff, Im Jong seok, told reporters. "We expect the summit will confirm the denu-
near Shayrat air base, southeast of Homs city, and near Damascus where two other air bases are located, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Later Tuesday, however, SANA retracted the report, stressing there had been “no external attack” on Syria. “Last night, a false alarm that Syrian air space had been penetrated triggered the blowing of air defense sirens and the firing of several missiles,” a military source told the agency. Both the US and Israel appeared to deny involvement in the overnight incident, which would have been the third time that Homs province was bombed in just over a week. After Saturday’s strikes, which destroyed mostly empty buildings, the trio of Western powers trying to reassert influence on the seven-year-old war has appeared to favor diplomatic action. A series of meetings was scheduled in a bid to relaunch talks aimed at ending a war that has left more than 350,000 people dead and displaced more than half of the Syrian population.
NEWS DESK clearization will (of North Korea)". Reclusive North Korea is pursuing nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. It defends the programs as a necessary deterrent against a possible US invasion, prompting bellicose rhetoric from both sides. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea but denies any invasion plans. But tensions have eased in recent months, coinciding with North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics held in the South in February.
Seoul and Pyongyang are discussing the wording of a possible joint statement to be released at the summit, Im said. He added it will likely focus on issues of denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula, and an improvement in relations not only between the two Koreas but also with other countries including the United States. Any joint statement is not expected to include economic cooperation with the North, Im said. North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
An appeals court in Abu Dhabi has upheld death sentence given to a Pakistani man who raped and killed his 11-year old nephew in the Arab country. Mohsen Bilal, the 34-year-old accused who was termed ‘wild beast’ by the public prosecution, was earlier awarded death sentence by the Abu Dhabi criminal court of first instance, The Gulf News reported. He has also been ordered to pay Dh200,000 (approximately 6.3 million Pakistani rupees) as blood money to the victim’s family.
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
The Court lands itself in a minefield
And the original sin
ITH cronies appointed to important departments like nAB, SECP, IB, and FIA nawaz Sharif was confident that no probe into Panama case could implicate him in the scam. He wrote to the SC for enquiry and was comfortable with the formation of the JIT. The SC should have known that any judgment in this politically charged case would either be unacceptable to Sharif or the opposition, particularly Imran Khan. Instead of telling the parties to resolve the case in the national Assembly, the court decided to take it up. The court thus entered a minefield where blasts are bound to occur whether one goes ahead or decides to retreat. The SC complains of the PML-n using women as a human shield, calling it unmanly. But this is how politics is conducted. Few would dispute that former Senator nehal Hashmi foul-mouthed the SC. Some of the younger lot of the PML-n leaders too have used expressions that denigrated the courts. But even if the court punishes a score of them, this will fail to put the fear of law in the hearts of the shortsighted but emotionally charged thousands of party’s loyalists from undertaking recourse to similar or worse language. A learned member of the LHC bench made observations on Monday that are likely to be challenged by the nonpartisan lawyers, civil society activists and media persons. He maintained that it would make sense for an expert or lawyer to comment on decisions by judiciary but not everyone can be allowed to do the same. It did not suit the PML-n government politically to make Pemra either independent or an assertive body. But unfortunately it doesn’t equally suit other circles that matter. The removal of minister of state for information from the body which is to choose next Pemra chief would neither make the new appointee more independent nor more authoritative. During the last few months judiciary has come too much in the limelight through several interventions. A judicialisation of politics would benefit none. It is better to leave politics to politicians.
Punjab government caves in before violent extremists
HE ruling family’s draining ongoing corruption cases and the government’s understandable sensitivity to looming national elections have made all well-directed administrative work well nigh impossible, and the ‘reluctant’ prime minister’s feeble response to issues big and small has largely lain within the realm of indecision and dilatory, evasive tactics. now the Punjab Khadim-e-Aala, who in normal times presented the very picture of restless energy, firmness and command, has also gotten into the spinelessness act, with an apparently humiliating and opportunistic capitulation to the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, and other party leaders, who had been declared proclaimed offenders by an antiterrorist court (ATC) for acts of violence instigated and committed during their three-week sit-in at the capital’s Faizabad interchange during november 2017. The belated deal ending the original Faizabad protest, arbitrated by the army, became a non-starter as some conditions, especially the release of rioting TLP workers arrested under stringent anti-terrorism laws, could not be fulfilled, at which the party leadership cried foul and started a ‘sequel’ sit-in at Lahore’s busy Data Darbar chowk, also a major inter-city artery, causing traffic snarls and general inconvenience, while daily making threatening pronouncements of country wide sit-ins in future. Their main demands were, making public the related Raja Zafarul Haq Report, release of all arrested party workers, payment of compensation to heirs of those killed, government to foot the bill for damage to property, punishment for those using force against protestors, and implementation of Faizabad accord in toto. Finding itself between a rock and a hard place, and with no ‘outside help’ forthcoming on this occasion, the Punjab government gave in to the TLP leadership after 11 days of the Lahore sit-in, reportedly accepting all its six (and counting) demands. The rest was easy, with the prosecution submitting an application in the ATC for halting proceedings pending a fresh investigation and final report, and the case now stands duly adjourned for an indefinite period. The state’s writ was brazenly challenged, but rather than follow the letter of the law, political and personal exigencies unfortunately led to the government’s tame surrender, a miscalculation that may return to haunt it.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965
Is hunger in Pakistan a factor of agriculture? Who is responsible? K K shAhid
OR a country that has the eighth highest farm output in the world, Pakistan ranks shamefully low on the Global Hunger Index: 106 (out of 119 developing countries), six places lower than neighbouring India, and lower than a majority of African countries (including two places lower than Ethiopia, eight places lower than Mozambique, and nine places lower than Tanzania). Alarming? The blame lies not only with the government and the state machinery, but also with the media, that doesn’t highlight the news as much as it should be, and, above all, with ourselves. Much like 2016, when Pakistan was placed at 107 out of 118 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index with a score of 33.4, last year, too, the country recorded an abysmal score of 32.6, which leaves it a slim 2.4 points margin away from the “alarming” zone. The current statistics imply that nearly one-fifth of the country’s population is malnourished, similar to the situation in 2016, when 22 percent of the country’s population was deemedundernourished by the authors of the Global Hunger Index report last year. To the credit of governments over the years, they did bring the score down from 42.7 in 1992. However, little of the credit belongs to the past two governments who have together lowered the country’s score a total of 2.5 points from 35.1 in 2008. Where then, it can be justifiably be asked, did the Rs50 billion in funds go that were allotted to the Prime Minister’s Global Sustainable Development Goals which included such targets as eradicating malnutrition, child mortality, and stunting? Let us first get this matter out of the way: the question is not one of money. Chile, a country with a lower GDP than Pakistan ($247 billion vs $283 billion) is in the top most echelon
of the Global Hunger Index table with a score of less than five, and is the only country in the world that has retained that position since the year 2000. And to think the country imports $78 billion worth of food-related products from the northern Hemisphere during the latter’s winter season (though it still ranks in the top 10 of the world’s food exporters). On the other hand is Pakistan: the third highest global producer and exporter of chickpea; fourth highest of rice, and mango; fifth highest of milk, sugarcane, and date palm; sixth highest of apricot and citrus; and seventh highest of wheat and onion. notice the number of everyday staples on the list, like rice, wheat, sugarcane, chickpeas, and milk – produce that most cuisines in the world require to function, including Pakistan’s own. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), Pakistan produces enough food to feed its entire population, and yet, six out of 10 Pakistanis are food insecure. This despite the fact that agriculture contributes to a fifth of the country’s GDP. The report further suggests that half of the women and children under the age of five in the country are malnourished, and have been so for a fairly long time. no, the question is not one of money, but of patriarchy and gender bias. Mubashra Munawar writes for Medicalopedia in 2011: “Women are still on the periphery
of social, economic and political developments and key processes towards participation and decision making. Forget about all these matters, luminosity should be brought to elemental issues. What are they? Food, shelter, clothing? If yes, then why are Pakistani women being deprived of the basic necessity of life that is… food? It is considered in our region especially among the people of low socio-economic level that women can survive easily after eating scanty food and no harm will occur to them. Even during gestational period they are given a reduced amount of food and as a result of that; 2010 report on maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Pakistan was 260 and it should be noted here that in rural Pakistan, maternal mortality is nearly twice than that in urban areas. Though there are other causes of this sad demise but most accusing trait is malnutrition.” So when the Pakistani government collaborates with the United nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation as a part of the “Country Programming Framework 2018-2021” to form an agriculture policy with the goal of “zero hunger” in mind, do they expect their “policies” to work in a society that still, in the twenty-first century, expects women and children to eat the men’s leftovers on the dinner table? no. They are looking for the solutions to hunger in the wrong place.
Much like 2016, when Pakistan was placed at 107 out of 118 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index with a score of 33.4, last year, too, the country recorded an abysmal score of 32.6, which leaves it a slim 2.4 points margin away from the “alarming” zone
K K Shahid is a member of staff.
Think before you act New, and right, strategy needed Ashiq hussAin BhAt
n alarming situation has developed in Kashmir. Day in and day out youth get killed in encounters and new ones join militant ranks to take on India, the country that has the 2nd largest army in the world in addition to various paramilitary wings. Kashmiri youth take on armed forces thinking that they could defeat India with an AK-47 rifle fortified with “iman” (Islamic faith) oblivious to the fact that “iman” does not win wars. Only strategy and technology do. Technology is on India’s side. State forces use armoured vehicles, machine guns, rocket launchers, mortars, helicopters, drones and above all tracking devices. Mobile phones carried by militants betray their location. AK47 rifles may be good for posing for a picture to be displayed on Facebook and thereby getting identified. But they are no match to weapons possessed by armed forces. One thing, however, goes in favour of militants to the irritation of men in uniform, and that is the civilian intervention at encounter sights. Forces punish such civilians by killing and maiming some of them. Yet, as a matter of strategy, they desist from taking extreme action against civilians despite their contempt for them and their capability to decimate them en mass. They know in that case Pakistan, the other party to Kashmir dispute, may succeed in persuading the international community to intervene. India’s policy of exercising comparative restraint (comparative to what Pakistan itself did in East Bengal; Myanmar did to Rohingyas; Isreal is doing to Palestinians; Syria is doing to own people; Saudi Arabia is doing to Yemenis) and its projection of militancy in Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9
Kashmir as international terrorism, have led to failure of Pakistan to internationalise the issue. Rather than exploring ways and means to enlist the support of the international community and of the Indian public, the new-age militants, as also the old guards (read Hurriyat Conference leadership) prefer to indulge in religious rhetoric (the latter, less for love of religion, more for political ambition) thereby dealing a deadly blow to original Kashmir cause. Coupled with the label of terrorism, the rhetoric of Islamic emirate/caliphate has made the Indian citizenry and the international community allergic to the happenings in Kashmir. They see Iraq and Afghanistan being re-enacted here. Therefore, it is time to shun the rhetoric of religion and to save religion from the pernicious effects of politics. Politics was the root cause of emergence of sects in the early Muslim community. Politics could be compared to cow dung and religion to milk. no amount of milk can purify dung whereas a pinch of dung is sufficient to render unclean a barrelful of milk. Mixing religion and politics will only deepen division among Muslims because no two sects see eye to eye on any issue. Civil war and mayhem would be the only result if it ever came to the appointment of caliph for a simple reason that there is no laid down procedure in Islam for appointing one. All the four caliphs of
Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545
Islam were appointed in different ways depending on the particular situation at the time. Seeking establishment of Caliphate in the modern world is like chasing a mirage in the desert. So before taking to militancy in a hurry, Kashmiris had better ponder on some questions first. Where does the AK-47 come from? Who pays for it and why? Does Pakistan seek resolution of historical Kashmir issue (if so, well and good)? Or, does it seek revenge on India for the 1971 defeat? There are other points to remember: Where was JeM group between 2004 and 2014? Why is election participation projected in Kashmir as something irreligious when LeT group’s political umbrella, the Jammatud-Dawa, seeks to participate in elections in Pakistan under the name of Mili Muslim League (boycott of elections ensures a walk over to “mainstream” political parties to the corridors of power, the power they use to strengthen India’s position in Kashmir)? How is it that a takfiri group, ISIS and/or its “Kashmiri” affiliates, as the latest reports suggest, succeeded in capturing space in Kashmir? If the reports are correct, then what is on their agenda? It cannot be the resolution of the historical Kashmir dispute. There is no love lost between them and the other militant groupings. Time to rethink!
Coupled with the label of terrorism, the rhetoric of Islamic emirate/caliphate has made the Indian citizenry and the international community allergic to the happenings in Kashmir
Ashiq Hussain Bhat is a Srinagar based journalist
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively
APCC sets targets
The farce of accountability Never fail to protest!
MAliK MuhAMMAd AshrAf
n any society, accountability of public figures and functionaries and justice are regarded as indispensable pillars to erect an edifice of a just and progressive state. Their absence hinders peace, harmony and socio-economic development besides unleashing fissiparous tendencies that tend to shatter national cohesion and sometimes even lead to the break-up of the states. History is replete with examples of states disintegrating due to lack of justice and accountability. Regrettably in the land of the pure we love to call Pakistan there is no system of across the board accountability and whatever steps were taken by the military dictators who justified their putsch for accountability as well as the so-called representative regimes, smacked of political vendetta and witch-hunt. The farce of accountability has been repeatedly enacted by those who were themselves more corrupt than the one’s whom they wanted to hold accountable. The result is that the corruption not only snow-balled in the higher echelons of the government machinery but it also has percolated to the lowest rung of the society. It is a total rot. Our law enforcement agencies, anti-corruption apparatus, judiciary and government departments which are supposed to ensure rule of law, justice, checking corruption and promoting well being of the masses, are themselves afflicted with corruption to the core. Corruption is generally defined as misuse of entrusted power or authority by the elected politicians or appointed civil servants for private gains. It usually entails embezzlement of funds, nepo-
tism, kickbacks, bribery as well as deliberate attempts to perpetuate a system with inbuilt avenues of corruption, graft and entitlement. Corruption has many forms but the major cause of concern are the systemic corruption and political corruption which germinate other forms of corruption that eat into the social and economic fiber of a country besides generating social tensions and hampering its economic progress. In countries with written constitutions delineating the domain of responsibilities and obligations of the state and constitutional institutions, meddling by one institution into the affairs of the other institution not only is tantamount to breach of the constitution but also corruption for misusing its authority. What is happening in the country at the moment in the name of accountability, with the judiciary virtually taking over the functions of the executive and even trying to overlord the parliament is a serious breach of the constitution and the misuse of powers. The fact is that the judiciary in Pakistan is also not free of corruption. Ask the common man who has to endure the agony of litigation fuelled and sustained by rampant corruption among those who are entrusted with the power to adjudicate. The CJ therefore should have focused on his own domain to ensure that the people get quick and inexpensive justice. Where there is justice there can be no corruption. Fixing the judiciary itself would have been a great service to this nation. People acting as self-styled saviours and on a divine mission must ensure self-accountability before they venture on to lay their hands on others. The CJ and the judges of the apex court are bound by the constitution and the code of conduct for them issued by the Supreme Judicial Council. They should not
Fixing corruption in the echelons of the government and among the public functionaries and improving the system of governance is the responsibility of the executive and the parliament which act on behalf the people.
consider themselves beyond accountability for their actions and if they do they are better advised to heed a quote from Thomas Paine an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States: “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be entrusted by anybody.” Similarly another wise man and philosopher from China, Confucius, said: “To be wealthy and honoured in an unjust society is a disgrace” The top priority of the judiciary is and should be dispensation of quick and cheaper justice in conformity with the law and the constitution. Fixing corruption in the echelons of the government and among the public functionaries and improving the system of governance is the responsibility of the executive and the parliament which act on behalf the people. Reforms and elimination of corruption cannot be ensured through indiscreet and unconstitutional actions by those who are not supposed to have any concern with them. It is an evolutionary process and the onus lies on the political parties who rule the country on the basis of people’s franchise. There accountability is supposed to be carried out by the people through ballot. That is the right way to run the state affairs in a democratic dispensation. Any deviation from it can have disastrous consequences and this hapless nation continues to suffer from the consequences of the unconstitutional indiscretions by the state institutions. Unfortunately some of the politicians have invariably acted as accomplices of those who have taken this nation for a ride, for their own vested interests at the cost of the people. The dilemma is that the people of Pakistan who are the real sovereigns after God as per our constitution have been taking it lying down. This cycle and unholy alliance between the politicians wearing white masks on their black faces and those who have defied the constitution and vision of the founding father can only be broken by the people through resistance and protest. A Romanian-born Jew, American writer, political activist nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice but there must never be time when we fail to protest.”
In countries with written constitutions delineating the domain of responsibilities and obligations of the state and constitutional institutions, meddling by one institution into the affairs of the other institution not only is tantamount to breach of the constitution but also corruption for misusing its authority
Malik Muhammad Ashraf is an academic. He can be contacted at: email@example.com.
BY fixing the targets for possible achievement during the next financial year2018-19 at the level of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC), the incumbent federal government has moved a step further I the direction of presentation of its 6th budget on April 27 prior to its stepping down on May 31 on completion of its constitutional five years tenure. According to the reports in the newspapers, the target for economic growth during the next financial year has been set at 6.2 per cent after decades high figures of 5.8 per cent during current fiscal year and the size of Pakistan’s economy is expected to go bit higher to the level of Rs 38.312 trillion as compared to Rs 24.306 during the outgoing financial year. The APCC after taking into account the performance during outgoing fiscal, has fixed exports target at somewhat challenging figure of 27.3 billion dollars for 2018-19 as against Rs 24.5 billion dollars for 2017-18 while imports are also likely to go up to as high as 56.5 billion dollars in the next fiscal year indicating that the trade deficit in the process will further widen to 29.2 billion dollars. The APCC took into account the current account deficit, inflation etc against Gross Domestic Product(GDP) and has also fixed targets for various sectors of national economy and accordingly, growth target for agriculture has been proposed sat 3.8 per cent, industry sector 7.6 per cent, and services sector 6.5 per cent for financial year 2018-19. Furthermore, manufacturing sector is estimated to grow at 7.8 per cent and large scale manufacturing by 8.1 per cent. One sincerely hopes that these targets for various sectors for financial year 2018-19 have been fixed more or less in a realistic manner after taking into account the performance of national economy in these sectors during current fiscal of 2017-18 for which only facts and figures for first nine months i.e. July 2017 to March 2018 are available to the official quarters concerned, please. Thanks. MUHAMMAD MURTAZA ZEESHAN Lahore
New companies IT is good to note that business activities are flourishing in the country owing to facilities and pro-business conductive environment and more and more new companies are being launched and getting themselves registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the regulatory authority. According to the latest figures available from SECP, as many as 1125 new companies were registered during month of March 2018 after which the number of registered companies in the country has quite appreciably risen to 84783. As compared to figures of the corresponding period of last year, this represents a growth of 36 per cent. The massive increase in the number of new companies has quite rightly been attributed to be the result of various reformative measures introduced by SECP such as introduction of simplified combined process for name reservation and incorporation, reduction of new companies registration fee, the assistance of incorporation by facilitation wings among other measures. Out of the new companies registered during the period under report, about 79 per cent have been registered as private limited companies while about 19 per cent companies have been enlisted as single member companies, two per cent of the newly registered companies were have been registered as public unlisted, association, not for profit and foreign companies. All this surely and certainly augurs well for accelerating commercial and business activities in the country which will be making positive contribution to the economic growth in due course of time, please. Thanks. ASMAAR BILAL Lahore
Firing incident InCIDEnT of firing at the residence of Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the apex court in Model Town Lahore on Saturday night and Sunday morning is deplorable, regrettable as well as condemnable and raises many security questions. As the tv channels highlighted different aspects of the incident, there was only one policemen on guard duty at the residence of a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, security cameras around the learned judge’s residence were non-functional or switched off and Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, whose residence is also in Model Town, remained ignorant, as usual like he was when the police had raided Minhaj-ul-Quran Secretariat in Model Town Extension couple of years back and firing continued for quite some time. Furthermore, what Model Town Society security staff itself and Police took action after firing on Saturday night, it is also pertinent to mention that gates of all entry and exit gates inside and outside all Model Town blocks except two main entry/exit roads are locked after 10 pm. As per tv channels reports, political leaders have strongly condemned the firing incident, reiterated their unstinted support to the judiciary and hinted at this firing incident aimed at harassment of the judiciary which will not be allowed and tolerated at all. M A H SHEIKH Lahore
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
TOTal naTIOnal DevelOPMenT OuTlay TO be Over rs2,000 bn: ahsan Iqbal Govt fixes 6.2pc GDp Growth tarGet for 2018-19 ISLAMABAD
HE total national development outlay for the next financial year will be over Rs2000 billion. The government, keeping in view the growth in GDP of 5.8 per cent, the highest rate in the last 13 years, has fixed 6.2 per cent as the growth target for 2018-19. This was said by Minister of Planning Development and Reforms, after the day-long meeting of Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC), held here on Monday. He said as the Ministry of Finance has proposed Rs750 billion worth federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), APCC has proposed National Economic Council (NEC) to at least approve Rs1000 billion worth PSDP as a huge cut in development budget will create problems. According to the minister, the target
of inflation during the fiscal year 201819 has also been fixed at 6 per cent, while the target of total investment against GDP has been set at 17.2 per cent. Agricultural development target will be 3.8 per cent, industrial development target is to be 7.6 per cent. The growth in the services sector is targeted to be 6.5 per cent. A growth target of 3.8 per cent has been fixed for the livestock sector. The government has also fixed target of exports at $27.30 billion for the next financial year ending June 2019, while imports in the same year have been projected at $56.50 billion. The trade deficit is forecast to be $29.20 billion. The current account deficit is projected to be $12.50 billion which will be 3.8 per cent of GDP. The government has allocated R 61.50 billion for Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan for the next budget. During the meeting of APCC, Ahsan Iqbal, unlike the budget proposed by Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, has allocated Rs45 billion against Rs35 billion proposed by HEC, saying that the country needed more funds to promote education and research activities. He said that
Textile Division proposes to extend Prime Minister Package for 2018-19 ISLAMABAD SHEHZAD PARACHA
The Textile Division has proposed to extend the Prime Minister's Rs180 billion package to the next fiscal year 2018-19. Sources revealed that the Textile Division, in its budget proposals 2018-19 recommended extending of PM package to another year. The government had announced the package in the first month of 2017. The package has been divided into two parts. The first one was from January 16, 2017 to 30 June 2017, and the second one was from 1 July 2017 to end of the current fiscal year. Most of the portions in the export package were related to the textile sector. Sources told that the government has so far paid around Rs20 billion against the claims of Rs41 billion in both phases. The government will soon pay Rs13 billion under the phase 1 of PM export package, sources added. The Textile Ministry recommended to reduce the tariff rationalisation surcharge to 50 per cent, moreover, RMLG prices may be brought to Rs700/mmbtu from Rs1000/mmbtu. Presently, the tariff rationalisation surcharge is Rs3.10/KwH and it will cost Rs26 billion per year. If the government reduces the RMLG prices than it would approximately cost Rs18.5 billion per year. The ministry further proposed to pay immediately the sales tax liability and custom duty drawback refunds of Rs35.5 billion and Rs7.5 billion respectability.
OICCI demands reduction in cooperate tax to 25pc
the government has increased the budget for education by over 132 per cent during the past four years. However, as per the working paper of APCC, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, the APCC was proposed to consider a developmental portfolio of Rs1,763 billion for the fiscal year 2018-19 for the federal PSDP and provincial ADPs which is Rs350 billion less than the current PSDP. For the current fiscal year 2017-18, the NEC had approved the national development outlay at Rs2,113 billion with Rs1,001 billion for Federal PSDP and Rs1,112 provincial ADP. However, the developmental portfolio this year is reduced to Rs1763 billion which includes Rs750 Federal PSDP and Rs1013 Provincial ADPs. According to the papers, the federal PSDP includes Rs607 billion-rupee component and Rs 143 billion FEC while provincial ADPs is Rs1013 billion which will include Rs 865-billion-rupee component and Rs148 billion FEC. Finance Division, under Medium Term Budgetary Framework, conveyed the Indicative Budget Ceiling (IBC) for development budget for 2018/19 at Rs 645 billion for development pro-
grammes of Ministries / Executing Agencies. Since the indicated amount was not sufficient to meet the requirement of funds especially for CPEC projects, some of them were awarded Engineering Procurements Contract (EPC) mode and are at an advanced stage of completion. Unlike the proposed cut in development budget allocation by finance division, the planning ministry had received the total demand of Rs 1900 billion from line Ministries/Divisions for ongoing and new schemes for PSDP 2018/19. Through consultative meetings with Ministries/Divisions, the total demand was rationalized at Rs. 1500 billion. However, the Ministry of Planning requested the Finance Division to enhance the size of development budget to at least at Rs 1,300 billion so that all the sectors of the economy may flourish equally and follow the trajectory of balanced growth. It may be recalled that after the APCC’s approval, the NEC is the final authority to approve the macroeconomic framework. The NEC is headed by the country’s prime minister and the provincial chief ministers are its members.
Bankers meet Miftah Ismail, share budget proposals for banking sector ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
A delegation of Pakistan Bankers Association had a meeting with the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Miftah Ismail here on Tuesday. Minister of State for Finance, Rana Mohammad Afzal and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue, Haroon Akhtar were present on the occasion. The delegation shared with the adviser on finance, their budget proposals concerning the banking sector. Adviser Miftah Ismail said that the banking was a vibrant sector and a key contributor to the development of the economy. It had been playing an important role in promoting the cause of financial inclusion besides providing financing to the business
community, industrial sector and for different commercial activities. The government would fully encourage and facilitate the banks to keep playing this important role and also bring up new attractive packages and products for the customers. Adviser Finance assured that the government would accord due consideration to the proposals put forth by the visiting delegation in the context of upcoming budget and accommodate them to the extent possible. Representatives from SBP, NBP, MCB, Bank Albarka, Askari Bank, Faysal Bank, UBL, ABL, HBL, Bank Alhabib, Bank Alfalah, Soneri Bank, Meezan Bank and PBA attended the meeting where senior officials of the Finance Division and FBR were also present.
Cabinet approves budget strategy paper for FY 2018-19, 2020-21 ISLAMABAD APP
The federal cabinet Tuesday approved the Budget Strategy Paper for financial years 2018-19 to 2020-21 after holding discussions at length and providing useful suggestions for incorporation in the upcoming budget proposals. The cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi here at the PM’s Office, said a press release. During the meeting, the prime minister observed that sustainable income and revenue streams
would benefit the country instead of obtaining loans. The paper was discussed at length by the Cabinet and several Cabinet members provided useful suggestions for the upcoming budget proposals. Authorities from the Finance Division presented the Budget Strategy Paper and briefed about the macroeconomic indicators of the current FY 2017-18. The secretary finance briefed that the Budget Strategy for FY 2018-19 to 2020-21 was based on four broad targets, including a sustained growth momentum, ensuring fiscal
consolidation, managing the balance of payments, and ensuring debt sustainability. It was informed that the recently announced Economic Reforms Package including lowering tax rates, widening the tax base, real estate reforms, local amnesty, and tightening of foreign exchange would help increase revenues and reduce the deficit. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has called for boosting national revenue collection to avoid taking loans from foreign entities.
PM chairs eCC meeting, accord approvals for power sector ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet here at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday. The ECC accorded approval to Pakistan State Oil (PSO) for the import of furnace oil to be used by the power sector. The decision has been made to cater for adequate fuel stock and supply in the coming months. Transportation tariff for Machike – Taru Jabba Oil Pipeline (427 Km) project was approved by the ECC. Tariff will be ratified by OGRA after due process. The project will be completed in three sections and envisages environment-friendly and safe movement of fuel. The project will also provide for additional storage of fuel and enable supply to major distribution centres in central and northern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The ECC further directed that all future pipeline projects will require the approval of the Cabinet. In order to ensure stable and reliable power supply through the National Grid System and to enhance NTDC system capacity, the ECC accorded approval for issuance of Government of Pakistan Sovereign Guarantee against financing facility of Rs9,846 million from local banks for NTDC projects.
Pakistan’s circular debt surpasses rs935 billion enerGy sector owes rs266.4 billion to pso, company stats confirm ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Pakistan’s circular debt volume has surpassed Rs935 billion during the PML-N led government since it came into power following 2013 general elections. Meanwhile, both Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar had strongly criticized the erstwhile PPP led government with reference to the hike in circular debt claiming that PML-N government will contain circular debt after complete repayments. According to media reports, former finance minister Ishaq Dar tried to mislead the nation on circular debt by giving wrong statements while a particular person from the business community was favoured in the course of payment of circular debt worth Rs480 billion. Yet, the principal amount of circular debt remained unchanged. According to latest statistics released by Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the energy sector owed Rs266.4 billion to PSO. Moreover as of April 15, 2018, thermal power companies (GENCOs) were defaulters on payment of Rs148 billion, meanwhile, HUBCO and KEPCO owed Rs75 billion and Rs39 billion to PSO. According to sources the NAB and FIA have started mulling over strategy to investigate the matter to reach the real facts.
ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has urged the government to reduce cooperate tax to 25 per cent in the next fiscal year 2018-19. The president of OICCI Bruno Olierhock while talking to media said that OICCI is the largest chamber of commerce in Pakistan in terms of economic contribution. OICCI members are investing large funds in expanding their footprint in Pakistan and in the past five years have invested about $7.7 billion in net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). He said that despite an uncertain business environment due to the upcoming national elections, one of the OICCI members, a major international FMCG alone announced a new investment of $120 million. This is indicative of the potential for large FDI in the growing economy of Pakistan, which Pakistan has to-date failed to fully exploit due to various reasons including weakness in governance and policy implementation.
ECNEC clears Diamer-Bhasha Dam, poverty alleviation projects ISLAMABAD APP
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) under the chair of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approved various energy, poverty alleviation, railways and access to justice projects with specific costs, said a press release issued here on Tuesday. In the meeting held on Tuesday, ECNEC reviewed and approved the Diamer Basha Dam Project (only dam component) at a total rationalised cost of Rs474,000 million. After the completion of the project, the dam will have a 6.4 MAF live storage capacity and installed power
capacity of 4,500 MW. After completion, the project will increase national water storage capacity of Pakistan from 38 days to 45 days and will enhance lifespan on downstream reservoirs, including Tarbela Dam. Revision of Gawadar-Lasbela Livelihoods Support Project was also approved at a total rationalised cost of Rs2,998.10 million. The project aimed at poverty reduction in two districts of Balochistan i.e. Gawadar and Lasbella, comprises major initiatives, including community development, fisheries development and rural infrastructure improvement. Evacuation of power from 1320 MW RLNG power plant
near Trimmu, Jhang, was also approved at a total rationalised cost of Rs4,231.83 million. In the meeting, the committee also accorded approval to the revision of the federal programme under ‘Access to Justice Programme’ at a total rationalised cost of Rs4,711.981 million. The ongoing project is aimed at implementing legislative, judicial, police and administrative reforms with the construction of required physical infrastructure including office buildings. The ECNEC approved the replacement of old and obsolete signal gear from Lodhran-MultanKhanewal-Shahdara Bagh mainline section of Pakistan Railways (re-
vised) at a total rationalised cost of Rs18,346.60 million. The scope of work of this project also included remodelling of Yousafwala railway station and up-gradation of 24 unmanned railway level crossings into manned ones.
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
CORPORATE CORNER CCI Pakistan inaugurates $45m greenfield bottling plant in Faisalabad
sbP’s InFOrMal ‘CurrenCy COnTrOls’ MaJOr hurDle In sale OF bank alFalah, MeeZan bank, anD Faysal bank
FAISALABAD: Coca-Cola International (CCI) inaugurated its new facility, which is CCI Pakistan’s 6th plant in the country and CCI’s 26th in the region. The new plant comprises of CCI’s fastest and highest capacity PET lines and will add 450 million litres to the company’s volume annually. CCI has invested more than $500 million in its business in Pakistan since 2008. PR
synergy Group holds ‘synergy Google Day’ KARACHI: Synergy Group held a digital extravaganza by the name of Synergy Google Day on Wednesday. The event was organized at Karachi Gymkhana and was composed of insights and ideas that make the digital marketplace a goldmine for marketers from all over Pakistan. Youtube marketing was the focal point of this event. Google’s, SAF Market Development Lead, Hassan Imtiaz led the session and educated the attendees on ways they can consume Youtube content to brand themselves. PR
amreli steels inaugurates ‘City of Jinnah’ monument near Dolmen Mall, Clifton
KARACHI: Amreli Steels, Pakistan's largest selling brand of steel bars, launched the City of Jinnah Monument near Dolmen Mall, Clifton, Karachi. The monument features 4 portraits Muhammad All Jinnah, which have been made with Amreli Steel's product, steel bars. The monument was inaugurated by the Senate of Pakistan’s Deputy Chairman, Saleem Mandviwala. PR
‘eighteen’ launches its 1st commission disbursement programme for its consultants
S foreign owners look to sell off their stakes in three major Pakistani banks to local buyers, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is implementing informal ‘currency controls’ as such transactions are likely to decrease the country’s already dwindling foreign reserves and further devalue the rupee against the dollar, revealed a report published in Profit magazine. Bank Alfalah (BAFL), Meezan Bank (MEBL), and Faysal Bank (FABL) are all owned by foreigners who are looking to sell them off. In such a case, any payment made to them will likely involve the Pakistani acquirer drawing down the country’s dollar reserves by selling rupees and buying US dollars in the currency market and then sending that cash abroad to the sellers’ home country (in this case, UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia respectively). In the federal government’s asinine bid to control the exchange rate, and the constant fear of low foreign currency reserves, some
potential acquirers say that the government may give them hard time when they seek to close the transaction, and may find excuses to delay or even block any transaction that would have a significant impact on the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Sources familiar with the matter say that the State Bank is likely to ask any acquirer of these banks to either raise the money to pay the sellers from outside Pakistan, and then make the payment without any money ever traversing through the Pakistani banking system at all (and thus not impacting the country’s foreign exchange reserves), or if the money must leave Pakistan, that it do so in small installments paid out over an extended period of time. Both of those conditions are unlikely to work, the first being difficult if not outright impossible for the buyers, and the second being unacceptable to the sellers. Such concerns on the part of the State Bank are tantamount to introducing currency controls and effectively rescinding the right of foreign investors to repatriate their profits outside Pakistan. When asked to comment
Kse 100 recovers as results season starts LAHORE STAFF REPORT
Indices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) took a turn for the better as investor sentiment was positively fueled by speculations of healthy growth in earnings to be posted by Engro Polymers (EPCL) and Lotchem (LOTCHEM) in the upcoming results, followed by the news that the government is moving ahead to get a syndicated financing of $450 million, and with rumors making the rounds of a potential increase in cement prices. Among sectors, cement sector added 51 points to the index, followed by chemicals (29 points) and pharmaceutical (23 points). Moreover, market participation in terms of volumes and value went up by 2 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Top 5 scripts including LUCK (+1.9 per cent), BAHL (+2.1 per cent), COLG (+5 per cent), PAKT (+3.1 per cent) & NESTLE (+0.7 per cent) added 99 points to the index whereas stocks including HBL (-1 per cent), OGDC (-1.5 per cent), UBL (-1 per cent), FFBL (-5 per cent) and NRL (-3.1 per cent) withheld 104 points from the index gain. Market participation for the KSE 100 index increased to 73.71 million shares (+7.99 per cent on daily basis). Major contribution to total market volume came from EPCL (+2.71 per cent), UNITY (-0.64 per cent) and LOTCHEM (+1.47 per cent) churning 31.95 million shares out of the All Share volume of 147.47 million shares. Daily traded value for the KSE 100 index increased to $48.54 million from
$38.00 million in the previous session (+28 per cent on d/d basis); HBL ($4.87 million), EPCL ($4.34 million) and DGKC ($3.17 million) were among top contributors from traded value perspective. Major contribution to the 100 Index upside came from LUCK (+1.90 per cent), BAHL (+2.16 per cent), COLG (+4.98 per cent), PAKT (+3.05 per cent) and FCCL (+2.72 per cent) adding 101 points. Technically speaking, the KSE 100 index staged a buoyant close after bouncing off 20EMA (45,629) amid a slight increase in market participation. Meanwhile, analysts expect upside to face significant pressure as it tests next resistance at 46,004 (10EMA).
on the matter, a spokesperson for the central bank declined to comment on the matter, saying, they would only do so when they have official confirmation that a bank is being sold. “The SBP does not comment on hypothesis and assumption,” he said. If such concerns persist, buying a foreign-owned bank for a domestic investor is likely to be made difficult by the central bank. That might leave the potential foreign investors as somewhat stronger contenders, should they choose to exhibit a greater interest in Pakistani banking. However, the editorial in the same issue of Profit magazine pointed out that such policies will adversely affect ease of doing business in the country sending a negative signal to the potential foreign buyers as well. After assessing the problems of the current owners of the banks, they know that investing in Pakistan is a one-way street; you can put in money, but you can’t take it out. That doesn’t seem fair to international players who transfer huge amounts across borders as if it were wiring money to the bank across the street.
bank al habib declares pre-tax profit of rs3.40 bn NEWS DESK: The Board of Directors of Bank AL Habib Limited announced the financial results of the bank for the three months period ended 31 March 2018. As per the results, the bank declared the pre-tax profit of Rs3.40 billion for the three months period ended 31 March 2018 as compared to Rs3.61 billion for the corresponding period. Profit after tax for the first quarter was recorded at Rs2.09 billion against Rs2.30 billion for the corresponding period last year. Earnings per Share (EPS) of the bank were recorded at Rs1.88 per share. The bank’s loan book expanded by 12.6 billion, standing at Rs352.42 billion as on March 31, 2018, showing growth of 3.70 per cent in net advances, compared to the last year-end. Advances to Deposits Ratio (ADR) of the bank now stands at 49.07 per cent. Prudent financing strategies and sound risk management policies of the bank resulted in a decrease in non-performing to gross advances ratio to 1.41 per cent as at March 31, 2018, as against 1.52 per cent as on December 31, 2017. The coverage ratio of Non-Performing Loans is also improved to 145.80 per cent as at March 31, 2018, from 144.32 per cent on December 31, 2017. The deposits of the bank increased by 3.71 per cent as compared to December 31, 2017 reaching Rs718.26 billion as on March 31, 2018. The bank’s branch network has now reached 661 branches and sub-branches having coverage in 240 cities of Pakistan and 3 branches and 3 representative offices outside Pakistan. In line with the bank’s vision to provide convenience to customers, the bank is operating the network of 749 ATMs across Pakistan.
fDi up by 4.4pc, generating greater investment in first 3 quarters of fy2017/18 ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s most luxurious and modern residential project ‘EIGHTEEN’, today rolled out its first commission disbursement programme for its real estate consultants (RECs) and ambassadors, meeting the eligibility criteria. CCO Eighteen Ali Abdel Ghaffar, while hosting the ceremony, distributed cheques amongst the respective RECs. PR
JaZZ wins ‘best in bTl’ at Pas awards 2018 ISLAMABAD: Jazz’s initiative to showcase Pakistan’s cricketing talent has been recognised at the PAS Awards 2018 – an initiative of Pakistan Advertisers Society – under the ‘Best in BTL’ Category. The campaign ‘Jazz Rising Stars Season 2’ (JRS S2) won due to the mass level BTL activation and emotional connect with cricketing fans nationwide. Jazz’s partner agencies for this JRS campaign included IAL Saatchi and Saatchi, Iris Digital, and Blitz Advertising. PR
KARACHI STAFF REPORT
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) amounted to almost $2.1 billion, up 4.4 per cent or $89.1 million from a year ago in the first nine months of 2017-18. According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday, the country attracted FDI of $152.7 million in March, down 52 per cent from $318.3 million in the same month of the preceding year. China has been the primary foreign investor in recent years, mainly because of the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Investment originating from Beijing amounted to $1.34 billion in July-March, which accounts for almost 64 per cent of total FDI received. China invested $797
million in the same period of the last fiscal year, SBP data shows. Other than China, major investors were the United Kingdom ($220.8 million), Malaysia ($122.4 million), United States ($74.6 million), Switzerland ($64.9 million), the Netherlands ($60.4 million) and Hungary ($57.3 million). Countries that pulled their investments from Pakistan during the same period were Norway ($116.4 million) and Kuwait ($28.9 million). Pakistan received FDI worth $2.7 billion in 2016-17, which was 18.4 per cent higher than the preceding fiscal year. However, a major chunk of FDI flows received in 2016-17 belonged to a one-off transaction in which a Dutch company bought the majority stake in Engro Foods. Net FDI from the Netherlands in the
preceding year was $460.8 million, accounting for almost 17 per cent of the annual flows. More than 34 per cent of FDI in July-March came in the power sector, which is the centre piece of the CPEC project. The power sector attracted net flows of $712.4 million, up 52.2 per cent from a year ago. Within the power sector, the coal segment received $586.3 million investment. The construction sector received net inflows of $525.4 million in the nine-month period, more than double from a year ago. Financial businesses received $255.5 million, followed by the oil and gas exploration sector ($154.6 million), trade ($72.3 million), cars ($52.6 million), and electronics ($41.7 million). Investors pulled away almost $39 million from the communi-
cations sector, SBP data shows. “The stagnation in FDI calls for a more concerted policy effort. Although the improved power supply and law and order situation has provided some comfort to the business community, a lot remains to be done to advance the business-friendly image of Pakistan among foreign investors,” the SBP said in one of its recent reports. In the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 ranking of 190 economies, Pakistan stood at 147th position, only above Bangladesh (177) and Afghanistan (183), its regional peers. Foreign portfolio investment, which includes funds invested in shares and debt securities, amounted to $2.45 billion, up 150.7 per cent from a year ago.
12 WORLD VIEW
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
boMbIng syrIa wIll achIeve nothIng FROM NASSER OF EGYPT, SADDAM OF IRAQ, AND GADDAFI OF LIBYA, ERRATIC WESTERN BOMBS PROLONGED THE LIFESPAN AND BOOSTED THESE LEADERS’ DOMESTIC LEGITIMACY RATHER THAN ELIMINATING THEM
Middle east eye
n the Arab world, even those who support Western military strikes on Syria remain sceptical about their timing, purpose and outcomes. Whether the objective was punishing Assad, protecting civilians, or mere revenge, it is highly unlikely that the strikes are destined to yield positive outcomes. notwithstanding how hastily the decision was taken in Washington, London and Paris to bomb Bashar al-Assad's forces, the legality of the strikes remains controversial. Without a Un consensus and a full report from chemical weapons inspectors, the Friday strikes will always remain suspicious and will no doubt fail to achieve any of their stated objectives. A CONTROVERSIAL ENDEAVOUR Under international law, military intervention for humanitarian reasons remains a controversial endeavour. But the three Western capitals went ahead without international or domestic debate about their legality, let alone a resolution authorising them. neither the US, Britain nor France sought serious consultations with their own parliaments or with the wider international community. In the Arab world, Western military interventions from 1956 until now have a wretched history, achieving exactly the opposite of
THE ARAB WORLD’S MAIN PROBLEM IS DICTATORS WHO CONTINUE TO BE SUPPORTED BY FOREIGN POWERS, AND FOREIGN POWERS BOMBING THEM WHEN THEY CEASE TO BE USEFUL their stated objectives. Bombing Egypt in the 1950s, Libya in the 1980s, Iraq in the 1990s, and now Syria had always strengthened rather than weakened the agents they were meant to destroy. From nasser of Egypt, Gaddafi of Libya, to Saddam of Iraq, erratic Western bombs have prolonged the lifespan and boosted these leaders’ domestic legitimacy rather than eliminated them. When the objective was regime change such as in Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011, interventions resulted in upheavals unmatched in the history of the Arab world except for the displacement of Palestinians since 1948. It is a rule of thumb that Western military interventions have strengthened non-state actors such as the militias that operate on the ground in countries where central authorities have disintegrated or been fatally weakened. WHY NOW? Scepticism about the recent episode of military intervention in Syria has to be understood in the context of why Washington, London and Paris are only now ready to intervene in response to the Ghouta conflict where chemical weapons have allegedly been used by the regime and resulted in the death of hundreds of civilians over several years. To answer the question why now, we must look for the trio's
troubled relations with Russia and the recent visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the three capitals where he promised investment utopias and lavish spending on Western goods. During the visit, President Trump made it clear that he is ready to leave US soldiers in Syria, a force estimated to be around 2,000 only - and only if someone pays for them. The US president has truly converted the so-called superpower's military might into a hired mercenary force ready to be deployed upon receiving cash. The Saudi crown prince won’t hesitate to throw money at a thorny intervention by his own regime in Syria. Saudi intervention has yielded zero gain. Seven years into the Syrian conflict, Saudi Arabia failed to cut Iran off from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, topple Bashar Assad and install a puppet Syrian regime. With his Russian scandals unfolding in the US, President Trump needed to show that he is tough on Russia, hence his military strikes prove to his domestic audiences that he is ready and mighty when it comes to countering Russia's increasing influence in Syria. If the chemical attacks did actually happen, they were authorised by a client of Russia. Trump wants to punish Russia for the misdemeanour of its pro-
tege, namely Assad of Syria, thus demonstrating to Americans that he is no ally of Putin. A GREAT OPPORTUNITY And what about Britain, the junior military interventionist? To understand the recent strikes, we must locate them in the current political situation in London where a Conservative government is desperate to unravel the consequences of the tension with Russia over the Salisbury attack. It seems that the expulsion of Russian diplomats is not enough to detract from the serious Russian actions on British soil. The strange thing is that the UK looked the other way at a number of Russian-linked murders over more than a decade and only now has taken action. This points to a government struggling with the intricacies of a major transformation following Brexit, and the nightmare of a shrinking economy that haunts British Prime Minister Theresa May. She jumped at the opportunity to flex weakened and sagging muscles, and to bolster her fragile domestic political position. Bombing Syria was a great opportunity to show how tough London is on the Russians, who can cause havoc on the streets of British cities when they unleash poisonous substances against their critics and dissidents. Britain bombed Syria to assert its
sovereignty against an intruding and aggressive Russia. As for France, Emmanuel Macron is struggling against domestic forces which have proved to be stubbornly resistant to his new economic policies. From the recent strikes of the railway workers to those of the airlines, transportation in France has been brought to a halt by a series of civil actions against Macron's flagship policies to curb the power of trade unions. In a country where no restaurant will serve you lunch after 2pm, working hours are the shortest in Europe, and concern with les vacancies overrides any other important endeavour, Macron needs to rejuvenate a nation plagued by several crippling forces. From racism, Islamophobia, right-wing ultra-nationalism and unemployment, Macron needs to prove that France is still great, especially in the Levant, its historically cherished region. Bombing Syria is just a way of saying that France still matters. ARAB WORLD'S MAIN PROBLEM no matter how precisely this bombing was executed, erratic US, British and French strikes are really not about the Syrian people and their seven-year-old plight. Dispossession, displacement and death are not going to be ended after a few bombs are dropped here and there.
What the rape and murder of a child reveals about Modi’s India new york tiMes Mitali saRan
India is sliding toward a collapse of humanity and ethics in political and civic life, as the recent reports of the rape and murder of an 8year-old girl from a seminomadic Muslim community in the disputed Indian-held Kashmir reveal. Politicians from India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party defended the men accused of the crime and ignited a furious debate about the fundamental character of the country. The child was abducted in January and imprisoned for a week in a temple, where she was drugged, starved and raped repeatedly before being murdered. Her body was thrown into the forest. At the time the crime passed without much comment beyond the local press. Outrage finally exploded last week, after a front-page report in the Indian Express newspaper revealed terrifying details from the police charge sheet, including the fact that one of the accused, a police officer, had asked his co-conspirators to hold off killing the child so that he could rape her once more. The charge sheet and other reports strongly suggested that this was not a random crime but one deliberately in line with the ugly sectarian politics playing out across India. Intimidation of religious minorities and violence against them has increased since Prime Minister narendra Modi led the Bharatiya Janata Party to power in 2014. India’s traditional secularism is now locked in battle
with the new majoritarian, Hindu chauvinist politics he represents. The 8-year-old girl belonged to the Muslim Bakarwal people, who move with their sheep and horses between high mountain pastures in the summer and the plains of the Hindu-dominated Jammu region in winter. There is tension with local Hindus over the right to graze animals on the land. According to the police, the motive of the premeditated crime was to terrorize the Bakarwals and dislodge them from the area. The bereaved parents were not even allowed to bury the child in the village. They have since fled the area. A newly formed group called Hindu Ekta Manch, or Hindu Unity Forum, organized a protest march in defense of the accused, who include a retired government official and two police officers. Thousands joined in, many waving the Indian national flag. Vijay Sharma, a co-founder of the group and an organizer of the march, was also a high-ranking leader of Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in the region. Mr. Modi’s party shares power with a regional political party in the Indian-held Kashmir. Two B.J.P. ministers in the state government joined the protest in defense of the accused. “So what if a girl died?” one of them remarked. “Many girls die every day.” They demanded that the investigation be transferred from the state police — the investigators included Muslim officers — to the federal Central Bureau of Investigation, a largely delegitimized institution that serves as a de facto arm of the ruling party. Lawyers at a court in the city of Jammu tried to physically prevent officials from filing charges against the accused and have
threatened the lawyer who is representing the girl’s family. Over the past week, horrified Indians have protested vigorously on social media and in some cities. The disgust and the fury at the complicity of politicians, and the federal government’s silence, grew into a thunderous chorus demanding that the prime minister speak up and fire the ministers backing the Hindu Ekta Manch. Belatedly reacting to popular outrage, Mr. Modi finally said: “Incidents being discussed since past two days cannot be part of a civilized society. As a country, as a society, we all are ashamed of it.” He promised justice. His vague statement delicately alluded to another case in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where a lawmaker from Mr. Modi’s party is accused of rape. Mr. Modi stayed away from his party’s involvement in both cases. Yet instead of uniting India in horror, the incident has deepened religious, political and ethical divides. It has also made clear that there is no automatic political cost to crime or falsehood if it furthers the hegemonic political narrative. The politicians involved were sacked only after a huge public outcry. Government ministers, officials, right-leaning media and right-wing supporters have been perfectly sanguine about using the dead child to polarize society with whataboutery, fake news and wild conspiracy theories. A spokeswoman for Mr. Modi’s party, Meenakshi Lekhi, attacked opposition protests, suggesting that they were selective and opportunistic. “You see their plan,” she said. “First shout ‘minority minority’, then ‘Dalit Dalit’ and now ‘women women’ and then try to somehow fix blame of
The bombs followed immediately after the Saudi crown prince's visits to the three capitals, where economic promises were made, and contracts to purchase more weapons were signed. Bombing Syria is a Saudi-sponsored adventure that won't resolve the conflict in Syria nor return refugees to their homes. The Arab world has learned to take Western pledges to save the people with a pinch of salt. When this West has been a contributing force to prolonging the lives of dictators, selling them deadly weapons, and draining their resources in return for useless Western military arsenals that only protect such dictators, it is very difficult to take seriously Western pledges of this kind. The Arab world’s main problem is dictators who continue to be supported by foreign powers, and foreign powers bombing them when they cease to be useful. The problematic Western interventions, past and present, will remain controversial and dangerous. When they are financed by Saudi petrodollars, they are even more problematic, serving the interest of a lethal repressive regime rather than the suffering people of Syria. Professor Madawi al-Rasheed is a visiting professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics.
Mecca MasjId dargah acquIttals poInt to a dIsturbIng trend tiMes of india
state issues on the center.” An influential ex-editor tweeted that Muslim Rohingya refugees were to blame for the crime. A B.J.P. youth activist posted a comment, now deleted, on his Facebook page saying that the rape must have been fun. A pornography site reported a surge in searches for videos using the raped and murdered girl’s name. The sense of national crisis today is because Indians feel a rising urgency to either counter this ethical collapse or to capitalize on it in the run-up to the next election. Mr. Modi came to power in 2014, and four years into his term, religious and cultural bigotry stands mainstreamed in Indian society. Many who voted for Mr. Modi’s economic promises are disappointed by his failure to deliver, and impatient with his deliberate silences around sectarian and sexual violence and hate speech by his party colleagues and ministers. The systematic destruction of democratic institutions is hard to ignore. The B.J.P. and its Hindu nationalist affiliates are bent on refashioning India into a country that is increasingly hostile to sec-
ular, democratic, pluralist and minority Indians. The rape and murder of the little nomad girl has thus taken on a larger meaning, reflecting the struggle for the fundamental character of India. An open letter to the prime minister signed by retired civil servants strongly protested “the agenda of division and hate your party … insidiously introduced into the grammar of our politics, our social and cultural life and even our daily discourse” and held him directly responsible for “this terrifying state of affairs.” This battle for the soul and future of India is likely to get more violent in the lead-up to the national elections, scheduled for next year. Mr. Modi’s B.J.P. is braced for a desperate, ugly fight and has a long history of using religious polarization to electoral advantage. It will be up to the citizens of India to fight for a tolerant, pluralist country and stop the degeneration of its civic and political life. Mitali Saran (@mitalisaran) is a columnist for the Business Standard newspaper based in New Delhi.
The acquittal of Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast due to lack of evidence has highlighted the ineffective role of the national Investigation Agency (nIA) in cases related to terror attacks targeting Muslims. The five acquitted are associated with a rightwing organisation Abhinav Bharat which has been linked with similar cases like 2006, 2008 Malegaon bombing, 2007 Samjhauta Express and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts. Aseemanand has already been acquitted in the Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast case last year due to lack of evidence. The acquittal follows a disturbing pattern where key witnesses have turned hostile in related cases and nIA has chosen to remain a mute spectator. nIA seems to have done a complete turnaround in pursuing these cases after the BJP led nDA government came to power. The premier agency has not been able to arrest any of the absconding accused in these cases since 2014. They didn’t even challenge the court’s bail order to two accused – Devender Gupta and Lokesh Sharma – in the Mecca Masjid Dargah case earlier. nIA’s defence is they haven’t been able to recover any material evidence related to the case. This raises a bigger question mark on the efficacy of our investigation agencies where they have not been able to gather any concrete evidence for the prosecution in such cases. So far nIA has not been able to find clinching evidence against anyone guilty of orchestrating the Mecca Masjid Dargah blast. A government that cannot bring perpetrators of terror to justice doesn’t augur well for any democracy.
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
‘If you don’t want your pantS pulled down, JoIn a nunnery’, lagerfeld ‘advISeS’ modelS KARL LAGERFELD'S STANCE ON #METOO SPURS BOYCOTT OF CHANEL
N a recent interview, creative fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld stated that he’s fed up of the #MeToo movement and even slammed models who complained about sexual harassment in the industry. According to Huffington Post, Lagerfeld is shocked that most of the models who have complained took 20 years to remember what had happened with them and only spoke about it now. He also said that he “cannot stand Harvey Weinstein,” the
Hollywood producer whose predatory behaviour initiated the #MeToo movement in the first place. Lagerfeld stated, “I read somewhere that now you must ask a model if she is comfortable with posing. It’s simply too much. From now on, as a designer, you can’t do anything.” The ace couturier recalled an incident wherein a model complained because a high-profile stylist named Karl Templer, “pulled her pants down.” Lagerfeld said, “If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model. Join a nunnery, there will always be place for you in the convent.” In regards to male models, the Chanel designer said that they don’t even run the risk of getting harassed and called them “skinny things with wonky teeth.”
Lagerfeld’s comments have generated a fiercely negative reaction from celebrities on social media. American comedian Whitney Cummings, for instance, snapped back at the designer and said, “Karl Lagerfeld is fed up with the #MeToo. Well, I’m fed up with rich old entitled white guys with ponytails, who make their money off of women’s insecurities.” Hollywood actor Rose McGowan, who was amongst the first women to publicly talk about sexual misconduct in the industry and support the #MeToo movement, also hit back at Lagerfeld. In an Instagram post, McGowan posed with a nun and wrote, “Karl, I read your disgusting quote last night. It made me feel dirty. This morning I met Sister Irene and she made me feel light. I’m sure Sister Irene will for-
give you for being a dinosaur misogynist but I think you’re a mean, small, black soul and I don’t.” The 44-year-old actor also urged her social media followers to boycott Chanel. Addressing Lagerfeld, she penned, “You’ve made so much money off of women’s insecurities, it’s time for you to ride off into the misogynistic sunset. #BoycottChanel.” The German fashion guru has had a reputation for making controversial remarks about people. In 2012, he called Adele “a little too fat” and in 2016, blamed Kim Kardashian for being robbed. In November 2017, Lagerfeld also criticsed German chancellor Angela Markel for allowing more refugees into the country. The 84-year-old hasn’t responded to any criticism or the request to boycott Chanel.
Mahira Khan recreates Raj Kapoor's song, steals our hearts ‘Chori Chori’ New DeLHI Agencies
Mahira Khan, you just can't do this! You can't be this adorable, ya. The 33year-old actress recently recreated a song from 1956 movie Chori Chori, co-starring Nargis and Raj Kapoor. The legendary actor is the grandfather of Ranbir Kapoor, who Mahira Khan is reported to be dating but more on that later. For the video which is set to Jaha Main Jaati Hun, Mahira has roped in her make-up artist Adnan Ansari - she clearly steals the show with her priceless expressions while Adnan is the perfect cast as the object of her playful flirtation. Posted on Monday, the video has over 389,074 views and 800 comments.
"How can one do this with such perfection," read a comment while another added: "This is so damn
good. And I know I'm going to watch this million times or even more." Agreed. We won't keep you for long,
so here it is! Apart from her Instagram posts, Mahira also often trends for gossip reports about her rumoured affair with Ranbir Kapoor. In March this year, it was reported that Mahira and Ranbir secretly met in London - she was promoting her film Verna while Ranbir dropped by from Brahmastra sets. Last year, the Pakistani actress was brutally trolled after her photos with Ranbir from New York went viral. Mahira was particularly criticised for smoking and wearing a short dress as was seen in the photos. Mahira Khan made her Bollywood debut with Shah Rukh Khan's 2017 film Raees. She is currently busy with her upcoming films Saat Din Mohabbat In and Maula Jatt 2.
Beyonce donates $100,000 in scholarships at black colleges LOs ANGeLes Agencies
On the back of wide praise for her two-hour performance at the Coachella music festival, Beyonce said she was offering $100,000 in scholarship money to students at four historically black colleges and universities. The Homecoming Scholars Award Program for the 2018-19 academic year will give away $25,000 in scholarship money to a student respectively at the Xavier University of Louisiana, Wilberforce University in Ohio, Tuskegee University in Alabama and BethuneCookman University in Florida, the Lemonade album singer’s foundation said. Beyonce’s performance at the Coachella festival in the Southern California desert on Saturday was billed as a homage to education and black American culture, featuring a marching band, performance art, choir and dance. She was supported by more than 150 performers on stage. It was the first time a black woman headlined the two-weekend festival, one of the biggest US music gatherings of the year. “We honour all institutions of higher learning for maintaining the culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students,” Ivy McGregor, who administers the singer’s BeyGood foundation, said in a statement announcing the scholarship. The more than 100 historically black US colleges and universities were all established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when white-dominated institutions of higher education could bar African American students. Last year, the 36-year-old singer established a merit scholarship program to support young women. The Formation singer’s Coachella performance, which was streamed live on YouTube, was hailed as an “unprecedented celebration of black cultural influence in America” by NBC News. Trade publication Variety called Beyonce’s show, her first in more than a year, a “musical, visual and physical triumph.” Beyonce will perform again at Coachella this Saturday and she and her husband, rapper Jay Z, are set to begin a US and European tour together in June.
Kendrick Lamar becomes first rapper to win Pulitzer for music New YORk Agencies
Jodhpur court grants Salman Khan permission to travel abroad News Desk Bollywood actor Salman Khan has been allowed to travel abroad by the Jodhpur District and Sessions Court. The actor is who is currently out on bail in the blackbuck poaching case, had filed a petition before the Jodhpur District and Sessions Court seeking permission to go abroad. The court granted the Bollywood star permission and he will be travelling to Canada, Nepal and the USA from May 25 to July 10. Khan was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of killing two blackbucks in Jodhpur during the shooting of his movie ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain‘ in 1998. He spent two nights in jail before being granted bail on April 7 for INR 50,000. Khan is already back to work on his next project titled, Bharat alongside Priyanka Chopra. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Bharat is an official adaptation of 2014 South Korean film Ode to My Father. The film will also mark Chopra’s homecoming to Bollywood.
Kendrick Lamar became the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, a milestone for which the board cited his skill in telling the African American experience. With the Pulitzer, the 30-yearold from the historically deprived Los Angeles community of Compton joins the leagues of celebrated American composers such as Aaron Copland, Charles Ives and John Adams. The Pulitzer board, which also awards literature and journalism, gave Lamar the prize for “DAMN.,” an exploration of a classic hip-hop
sound for an artist who has shifted gears musically with each album. In its announcement, the Pulitzer board described DAMN. as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African American life.” DAMN., which reached number one on the US albums chart, moves forward the conversation about race that Lamar started on his previous album, To Pimp a Butterfly, which infused jazz and spoken word and gave voice to the Black Lives Matter movement. DAMN. opens with Lamar ad-
dressing his cultural role indirectly with a snippet from a conservative talk show criticizing his lyrics against police brutality, which he again raises in the track “XXX.,” a reflection on the meaning of America that features U2. But much of DAMN. is more personal and introspective, with the track HUMBLE. exploring the pitfalls of fame and Lamar also introducing a martial-arts alter ego, Kung Fu Kenny. The Pulitzer board rarely awards mainstream music, last year giving the prize to the experimental opera composer Du Yun. But the board in the mid-1990s
introduced changes to make the award more inclusive. It has given the prize previously to jazz artists including Wynton Marsalis and Ornette Coleman. Hip-hop also has been recognised by the Pulitzer board in the drama category with Hamilton, LinManuel Miranda’s modern retelling of America’s founding fathers, winning in 2016. Despite the wide praise for Lamar, he has yet to win the most prestigious award of the music industry, the Grammy for Album of the Year, with both To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN. losing out to pop works.
'Game of Thrones' to receive special award at the BAFTA Craft Awards LONDON
The show has filmed across various locations in Northern Ireland and set up a production headquarters at Titanic Studios in Belfast, the Northern
Television’s popular show Game of Thrones will be given a BAFTA Special Award at 2018’s British Academy Television Craft Awards. Actors Hannah Murray and John Bradley from the hit series, who play Sam and Gill, respectively, will receive the award on behalf of the team The accolade is recognition of the boundaries that have been pushed across all areas of production in the making of the fantasy epic. Filming is underway on the eighth and final six-episode season of Game of Thrones, which will air in 2019. According to BAFTA officials, the award also recognises the support that Game of Thrones has provided for high-end TV production in Britain.
Irish capital, which has been a base for the series since the pilot. D B Weiss and David Benioff, executive producers, jointly said in a statement: “Many, many people work insanely hard to create any film or television show. They are creators every bit as much as actors, writers, producers or directors, and deserve to be recognized as such.” Chairman of BAFTA television committee mentioned, “The craft behind what is one of the most popular dramas of our time is nothing short of incredible. From the breathtaking location shots to the intricately designed costumes and set pieces, and not forgetting the level of detail from the makeup and prosthetics team are just to name a few.” The BAFTA Craft Awards will take place in London on April 22, 2018.
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
A surprising development forces you to shift gears and turn away from your own issues. It may be work-related, but it's more likely a friend or family member in need that draws your attention.
Stick to your routines today -- they should keep you happy and engaged, even if others seem bored. You can get more done if your day is predictable, so put off any shenanigans for some other time.
It's hard for you to avoid having fun today -- as if you'd want to do such a thing! Somehow, even boring or somber events can bring a smile to your face, and then to others around you.
Focus on your home today -even if you're traveling or stuck at work. Your energy is a bit diffuse, but you should be able to focus it on cleaning, repairs or communicating with family.
Your social energy is perfect for teamwork or dates -- or anything else that requires back-and-forth. Of course, you can't just pair up with anyone; it has to be someone you really like.
You need to be wary of your impulses, especially as far as shopping is concerned. Things are sure to start getting weirder once you start checking your bank accounts, so hold steady for now.
You are quite the flirt today -- and those around you love it! You may find it easier than ever before to get a date or just to get someone flustered. It's all in how you work it!.
You're facing a tough choice today -- but it's one you can't put off any longer. You'll probably just have to trust your gut, as it's unlikely that there's an obvious right answer. Flip a coin, if you must.
Your friends are worth even more to you today -- and your terrific social energy keeps them firmly in your orbit. Ask for favors or just hang out -- either way, you're at your best.
It's time to think about the next step on your career path. That could be almost anything -- you've got more freedom than ever before, and while that's scary, it can also be deeply satisfying.
A wave of great intellectual energy flows through you today, and it may wash some great ideas up to the surface. Collect them for later -- this is no time for action. Deep conversations are satisfying.
It's hard to deal with that one partner or close friend who's being unreasonable -- but you have to keep trying anyway! Your persistence is sure to be rewarded, but it may take just a few extra days.
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2 Established rules for dealing with particular situations (4,2,7) 3 Lackadaisical (8) 4 fight against (6) 5 declare to be true (4) 6 fixed and uncompromising (4,2,3,4) 7 Recasts (anag) — performer (7) 12 Second largest Channel Island (8) 13 Morally just (7) 15 Triumphantly effective (6) 18 No longer fresh (5) 19 Marine mammal (4)
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white tO PLAY AND MAte iN SiX MOVeS 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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sUdokU crossword solution sudoku solution
1.Rxg7 Bxc2 2.Rg6+ kh7 3.Bxc2 Nc4 4.Rg7+ kh8 5.Rh7+ kg8 6.Rh8# * 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.
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
Rohit, Lewis batteR RoyaL ChaLLengeRs in imposing win MUMBAI INDIANS 213 FOR 6 (ROHIT 94, LEWIS 65, UMESH 236) BEAT ROYAL CHALLENGERS 167 FOR 8 (KOHLI 92*, KRUNAL 3-28, MCCLENAGHAN 2-24, BUMRAH 2-28) BY 46 RUNS MuMbai
UMBAI Indians’ first win of the season came in an imposing performance that saw them post 213 after being 0 for 2, through powerful performances from Evin Lewis and Rohit Sharma before their spinners went against the trend of the game to tie Royal Challengers up in a steep chase. Kohli made an unbeaten 92, but it was a subdued effort for the most part as the visitors looked to have settled for net run-rate halfway through their innings. It was another case of Royal Challengers’ middle-order crumbling under the pressure after their bowlers had struggled to keep the scoring down, even with the sixth bowling option of Corey Anderson who had been brought in to replace Brendon McCullum. ImplosIon and explosIon: Apart from his return against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday, Umesh Yadav has brought his captain wickets every time he’s given the ball. On Tuesday, he was
rewarded by being handed the brand new ball on a cloudy evening. Kohli said at the toss that the dampness and overhead conditions had prompted him to elect to bowl, an assessment that seemed perfect after the first two balls - both of beat the inside edges of a right-hander and a lefthander, one off the pitch another with bend through the air. But after what could have been a dramatic hat-trick to start the innings was averted, Royal Challengers could not keep the pressure on. It was a pitch that thoroughly suited Lewis’ propensity to hit on the up. Washington Sundar strayed short and wide too often in his 19-run first over, Mohammed Siraj followed a short ball with a yorker and two wide offcutters in his first over, and in both those overs, Quinton de Kock allowed two widess to run past him for a bonus eight runs. Despite that first over and the sixth that went for only four, Mumbai made 60 off the Powerplay. a strange method: Mumbai’s method was effective, but peculiar. They played 20 dot balls in the Powerplay, and
would play 24 between overs 7 and 15. After Lewis got to his maiden IPL fifty with a six in the ninth over, he played out two dot balls. At that point, he had made 51 with 42 coming off nine scoring-shots and seventeen dot balls. Lewis wasn’t
keen on risky singles after some mix-ups with Rohit and the pair missed out on quite a few runs when the fielders were at the edge of the circle. Still, the scoring rate didn’t subside, compensated in plenty by sixes off every
over of spin during that phase. By the time Lewis got out to a top-edge off Corey Anderson, the third-wicket stand had added 108 in 11 overs. grand fInIsh: Yuzvendra Chahal hadn’t completed his quota twice in three games this season. On Tuesday night, that would turn into three. With Sundar going for 32 off his two, Kohli decided to go with four overs from Anderson. Rohit particularly enjoyed this as he produced yet another innings where a seemingly innocuous start was amplified into a match-winning one. He took Anderson for 39 off 19 runs, his most productive return against any bowler, making use of the angle across him to strike predominantly through cover and extra for the fours, and picked up big sixes over the leg side off hip-height short balls from Umesh and Siraj. For all the talk of an improved bowling line-up, Royal Challengers now have the worst economy rate in the final four overs this season with 12.49. It was that kind of profligacy that allowed Rohit, starting the final over on 80, to be well within reach of a century with two balls to go. Mumbai finished with 213, with some luck at the end when Hardik Pandya’s caught-behind dismissal was controversially overturned in the 19th over and resulted in 16 off his next three balls.
Indian police crackdown on IPL racket New Delhi Agencies
Sri Lanka likely to hire Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling coach cOLOMBO: Former Pakistan leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed is among those being considered by Sri Lanka Cricket for the position of spin bowling coach. Mushtaq, who has expressed interest in the position, has previously worked with England and Pakistan. The board is also on the hunt for a new fielding coach, reported Cricinfo. The search for new staff coincides with the exit of Nic Pothas – who was Sri Lanka’s interim head coach for roughly half of 2017 – two months before his contract expires. A Sri Lanka cricket official confirmed that the board had let Pothas go on good terms and that it would seek to appoint the two new coaches within the next two months. Pothas’ decision to quit early is understood to have been partially prompted by his disappointment with the scope of his role. Although he had been a contender for Sri Lanka’s permanent head coach position in August last year when he had been publicly endorsed for that role by Sri Lanka’s cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha, Pothas was not required by the national side after Chandika Hathurusingha – a coach of much greater renown – was hired. Pothas had been working as a general fielding coach since being relieved of the interim position. SLC officials expect him to take up a position in England. Agencies
Pakistan tees up first Asian Tour golf event in 11 years Karachi: Pakistan will host its first golf tournament with the Asian Tour in 11 years, organisers announced Tuesday, as international sports gradually returns to the country with improvement in security. The Chief of Naval Staff Open Golf Championship is set to tee off from July 24 to 27 in Karachi, attracting a talented cast of Asian Tour stars to the US$300,000 (34.59 million rupees) event. “Our talented members are excited to return to Pakistan,” said Josh Burack, Asian Tour Chief Executive Officer, in a statement. Regular Asian Tour events have been absent in the country since 2008 when a tournament was cancelled over security concerns. All international sporting events were later suspended in Pakistan following a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore in March 2009. Agencies
Indian police have arrested three men suspected of placing illegal bets on Indian Premier League matches as authorities crack down on gambling rackets that emerge around the billion-dollar franchise every year. The trio was accused of running an online betting syndicate from a residence in New Delhi. Nearly all gambling is illegal in India but is still a huge underground industry. “We arrested the three on Saturday while they were betting during the Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils match,” Youdhbir Singh, a senior police officer in Delhi, told AFP on Tuesday. “They were insisting that they are first-timers and it was just a oneoff incident, but we know that they were doing it since the start of the league on April 7.”
Eleven mobile phones, a laptop, a television set and a digital channel receiver were seized, Singh added. Media reports say police have busted other syndicates, in the southern city of Hyderabad and the eastern state of West Bengal, in the first two weeks of the 11th season of the lucrative IPL franchise. The money-spinning IPL, the world´s most popular domestic cricket league, has been plagued by controversy since its inception in 2008. Corruption and match-fixing have often taken centre-stage. A spot-fixing scandal in 2013 led to the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals being suspended in 2015 for two seasons. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, a Rajasthan Royals bowler, was banned for life along with teammates Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila.
They were arrested along with scores of bookies as part of a probe into allegations that players had underperformed in return for cash from bookmakers.
Criminal charges were later dropped but the players were banned for breaching the code of conduct of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Pakistani dockworkers,’ kushti’ and the way of life in Dubai Dubai Agencies
Every Friday evening in Dubai’s bustling Deira district, a sandy lot is transformed into the ring of champions. It is kushti wrestling night and Kala Pehlwan is ready to fight. As the sun sinks below towering palm trees, dozens of men — many in tunics, others in T-shirts — begin to form a perfect circle. Most are Pakistani or Indian, from the cross-border region of Punjab, where kushtiis a beloved pastime. They are also a pillar of the United Arab Emirates’ workforce. Veteran wrestlers, now referees, pour water over the inner ring to minimise dust. A peanut vendor drags a rickety cart around the circle, tending to the crowd — now three rows deep. “Clink, clink, clink,” ring out wooden cymbals with bells. The wrestlers unabashedly strip down to their underwear, donning yellow, red, or even floral-patterned loincloths. “Kala Pehlwan, son, come to the
ring! Suhail, son, come to the ring,” cries out 50-year-old Mohammed Iqbal — a Dubai kushti fixture. Glaring, the opponents swipe one another’s bodies with sand — a reciprocal move to counter sweat. The day’s matches are quick — sometimes under a minute — and hard fought. A foot is trapped be-
tween a rival’s legs, a fighter flips over his opponent’s shoulders to escape his grip. One pins his match down on his stomach and throws sand in his face before getting restrained by the referees. Spectators dart into the ring to film fights. Others watch in rapture, breaking out in cheers at decisive
moments in the match. The winner is declared when a fighter manages to pin his opponent to the ground on his back. If the fight starts going over 20 minutes, the referees declare a tie. On this evening, Kala Pehlwan finds himself overpowered — and faced with a challenge. “Find me a fighter that can beat me,” his opponent taunts. Kala Pehlwan says kushti is a way of life back in Muzaffargarh. “In our town, it’s a tradition to learn wrestling. Everybody grows up on kushti. They do not have bad habits like cigarettes or drugs. Everyone is trying to be fit for a fight.” Kala Pehlwan — whose real name is Mohammed Arsalan — took his nom de guerre from a hometown legend who shares his fighting style. He says a proper diet, coach and training are key to success. Eating right is his biggest challenge in an expensive metropolis. Here, the fish market has some benefits.
Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
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