We’re doing our best against extremism, Nawaz tells Cameron PM says Pakistan won’t allow its soil to be used for terrorism in Afghanistan
BRITISh MpS cAll FOR cUTTING pAK AId
Thursday, 1 May, 2014 Rajab 1, 1435 Rs 17.00 Vol IV No 302 18 Pages Islamabad Edition
stories on pages 02-03
pAKISTAN IS NOT Up FOR GRABS!
ARMY CHIEF SAYS INSURGENTS SHOULD UNCONDITIONALLY SUBMIT TO COUNTRY’S CONSTITUTION n PAKISTAN ARMY BELIEVES IN FREEDOM OF PRESS AND RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM remembering the martyrs of the country and acknowledging their ultimate sacriﬁces for the protection of pakistan, Chief of army staﬀ general raheel sharif on wednesday said though pakistan army supports all eﬀorts of the government to eliminate terrorism and restore peace in the country, yet all elements ﬁghting against the state must unconditionally submit to the country’s constitution or else there should be no doubt about the security forces’ capability to cut them to size. STORY ON PAGE 03 n
Army chief General Raheel Sharif salutes after laying a floral wreath at the Martyrs Monument at the General Headquarters during the Martyrs Day ceremony. A graceful event was organised by the GHQ to pay tribute to the country’s brave soldiers and citizens who have laid their lives for their motherland.
PETROLEUM PRICES SLASHED BY RS 4.51 page 04
SULTAN OF BRUNEI INTRODUCES STRICT SHARIA PENAL CODE page 02
pakistan represents worst situation in SHAH WARNS GOVT religious freedom, OF ‘CONSPIRACY BY HIDDEN HANDS’ reports us panel page 02
Thursday, 1 May 2014
PAKISTAN REPRESENTS WORST SITUATION IN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: US PANEL UCIRF SUGGESTS WASHINGTON SHOULD ADD PAKISTAN IN LIST OF ‘COUNTRIES OF PARTICULAR CONCERN’ WASHINGTON AGENCIES
N expert panel on Wednesday urged the United States to add Pakistan to a blacklist of violators of religious freedom, saying that the Ahmadi minority suffers “apartheid-like” conditions. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (UCIRF),
which advises the government on policy but does not take action on its own, urged the State Department to add Pakistan to its list of “countries of particular concern” subject to potential sanctions. In an annual report, the commission said Pakistan “represents the worst situation in the world for religious freedom” among countries that are not already on the US blacklist and that conditions in the past year “hit an alltime low.” Robert George, chairman of the commission, voiced alarm over treatment of the Ahmadis, who were declared by Pakistan to be non-Muslims in 1974. “The Ahmadi minority in Pakistan live under something really resembling an apartheid-like system subject to severe legal restrictions,” said George, comparing the situation to South
Sultan of Brunei introduceS Strict Sharia penal code
Africa's 1948-1994 system of forced racial separation. “They suffer from officially sanctioned discrimination, not just social or cultural prejudice,” he told reporters. Ahmadis have faced a series of deadly attacks and desecration of their graves. Ahmadis boycotted last year's election because they would have had to identify themselves as non-Muslims. The report also voiced alarm about Pakistan's treatment of Hindus, Christians and Shia Muslims. It said Pakistan has sentenced to death or jailed for life 36 people for blasphemy, far more than any other country. The United States has urged Pakistan to improve its treatment of religious minorities but has stopped short of putting the country, an uneasy ally in the Afghanistan war, on the blacklist. The United States designates eight nations as countries of particular con-
British MPs call for cutting Pakistan aid IDC REPORT SAYS AID TO PAKISTAN SHOULD BE CUT UNLESS THERE’S PROOF COUNTRY IS SPENDING MONEY TO STOP GROWING EXTREMISM LONDON AGENCIES
MONITORING DESK The Sultan of Brunei reportedly announced strict Islamic criminal punishments to go into effect May 1. "With faith and gratitude to Allah the Almighty, I declare that tomorrow, Thursday 1 May 2014, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases," Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said in a royal decree on Wednesday, according to The Guardian. The penalties reportedly will include flogging, severing of limbs and death by stoning. The initial phase introduces jail terms of fines for indecent behaviour, failure to attend Friday prayers and out-of-wedlock pregnancies, The Guardian reported. The second phase, which will be implemented later in 2014, includes the stricter penalties for theft and robbery. Death by stoning will be introduced next year for offenses including sodomy and adultery, the report said. Brunei is the first country in east or southeast Asia to implement a Sharia penal code on a national level.
cern: China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. The commission urged the State Department redesignate all of them. Besides Pakistan, the commission once again called on the State Department to add to the list Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. And, in an addition from the previous year, the commission called on the State Department to put Syria on the list, saying both President Bashar alAssad and his largely Sunni rebel opponents are responsible for “egregious” violations. The United States has imposed export restrictions and other measures against countries of particular concern although successive administrations have waived sanctions against ally Saudi Arabia.
British aid to Pakistan should be cut unless there is proof the funds help stop extremism, a report by British lawmakers said on Wednesday as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited London. Published just hours before Nawaz Sharif was to meet British counterpart David Cameron, the International Development Committee report singled out Pakistan for criticism. Pakistan is the largest recipient of bilateral British aid, with Islamabad set to receive £446 million ($750 million, 541 million euros) of assistance this year. “It is unlikely that expenditure would be so high if the country were not having to confront extremism,” the report said. “If this is the case, the budget can only be justified if there is clear evidence that DFID (De-
partment for International Development) support is effective in reducing the extremist threat. “If not, we recommend that DFID consider reducing spending in Pakistan and increasing it in low-income countries.” The British lawmakers also said that aid should not be increased until Pakistani political leaders pay their fair share of tax, and increase tax collection generally. A DFID spokesman said: "Our investment in overseas development, including in Pakistan, creates a safer and more prosperous world for the UK. "Tackling poverty in the world's poorest places can mean tackling the root causes of global problems such as terrorism, which matter to us here in Britain. Education is vital to transforming Pakistan's future and is where a significant proportion of our funds are directed. "This is firmly in the UK's own national interest." Nigeria was another example of a middle-income nation that benefited from significant help from British taxpayers, the cross-party international development select committee pointed out. The proportion of the rising aid budget devoted to the poorest countries in the world - the UK recently became the first G7 member to meet a UN target of spending 0.7% of national income on development was still too small, it concluded.
iSraeli SettlerS Storm al-aqSa moSque, pakiStan condemnS RAMALLAH/NEW YORK AGENCIES
About 60 Israeli extremist settlers on Wednesday broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, yards away from the Al-Magarbah Gate in Jerusalem, under the protection of Israeli soldiers and policemen, a Jordanian news service reported on Wednesday. During a debate in the UN Security Council on situation in the Middle East, Pakistan’s permanent representative to United Nations Masood Khan condemned storming of Al-Aqsa mosque compounded by Israeli extremists. He said debate in the Israeli Knesset on annexing Al-Haram Al-Sharif and provocative actions like disruption of Easter celebrations undermine peace, heighten tensions and further destabilize the region. Masood termed the occupation of Palestinian lands by the Israeli forces illegal.
mqm SayS amneSty report BaSeleSS KARACHI STAFF REPORT
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmakers on Wednesday said the Amnesty International’s report on the MQM was unfounded, baseless and fabricated. In a joint statement, they said the report was an attempt to discredit and malign the MQM, adding that the report had hurt the feelings of millions of MQM supporters. They said the AI had published malicious reports against their party in the past too. They added that the MQM had always issued explanatory statements in response to their reports, but they never published them. They said that the Amnesty International never published any reports on the massacre of MQM supporters. They added that they did not publish any reports on the massacre of MQM workers on October 31, 1986 in Sohrab Goth and on December 14, 1986 in Qasba and Aligarh. They deplored that the AI did not publish any report on the massacre in Hyderabad on December 30, 1988 when hundreds of people were killed. They added that Amnesty International never condemned the extrajudicial killing of MQM workers.
NAWAZ SAYS COMMITTED TO UPLIFTING WORKERS’ SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITION ISLAMABAD ONLINE Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the government is fully committed to uplifting socioeconomic conditions of the workers so that they can play a vital role in the country’s progress and prosperity. Nawaz expressed these views in his message on the occasion of Labour Day (May Day) today
(Thursday) being celebrated across the globe to commemorate the courage and sacrifices of those workers who laid down their lives in 1886 at Chicago for the cause and rights of the working class. Nawaz said, “I would like to emphasise that the dignity and welfare of workers is enshrined in the noble teachings of Islam. Islam has enjoined upon us to follow the golden principles of equity and brotherhood. The Holy
Prophet (PBUH) provided a role model for treating the workers with love and respect.” Nawaz said, “Our government is fully committed to uplifting socioeconomic condition of the worker so that they can play an important role for the progress and prosperity of the country.” The government has already started various programmes to improve the labour management and to ensure industrial peace for
increasing productivity in a decent work environment, the message also read. After 18th Amendment, the workers welfare has been devolved to provincial governments, who are also vigorously initiating programmes for welfare of the workers and amendments, in various labour laws to bring them in harmony with the International Labour Standards.
Thursday, 1 May 2014
info miniSter thankS army for ‘freedom’ ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed Wednesday gave credit of “all types of freedom” to the Pakistan’s armed forces. While talking to journalists after a cricket match for the blind held in the federal capital, he said, “Free media, free judiciary, free institutions and all the freedom that we enjoy today is because of our brave armed forces.” The government’s spokesman also clarified that he had not used the term “ghulail walay [ones with a catapult]” for army or InterServices Intelligence (ISI). The minister said that terrorists would have snatched freedom of speech and expression had the army and ISI not been protecting it. When asked if the government agreed with what Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar had said about Geo News’ “irresponsible behavior”, the senator said that many people including Geo’s journalists were reiterating the stance Nisar had asserted. He said that the matter was sub judice in Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) whose decision should be awaited. He added that the government has nothing to do with the matter. “We should introduce a culture of accepting institution’s decisions as PEMRA was an independent body,” Rasheed said. Commenting on the electricity disconnection of national institutions earlier Tuesday, the minister said that Power Minister Abid Sher Ali was just doing his job and no one was above the law. The senator said that the power minister had also disconnected electricity of his own office as well which reflected that no one was superior to rule of law. To a question pertaining to dialogue process with the Taliban, he said that peace talks were heading in a positive direction and hoped that better results would come soon. The minister added there was decline in terror attacks which was a positive sign.
mir won’t Speak in iSi preSence
no Bargaining on State’S writ, gen Sharif tellS inSurgentS ARMY CHIEF SAYS ARMED FORCES SUPPORT ALL EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE TERRORISM FROM COUNTRY BUT INSURGENTS SHOULD UNCONDITIONALLY SUBMIT TO COUNTRY’S CONSTITUTION RAWALPINDI STAFF REPORT
AKISTAN Army supports all efforts to eliminate terrorism and restore peace in the country, and it is our earnest desire that all elements fighting against the State should unconditionally submit to the country’s constitution and law and come back to the national mainstream, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said on Wednesday. Addressing the Youm-e-Shuhada (Martyrs Day) ceremony in the garrison city, General Sharif asked anti-state elements to unconditionally accept Pakistan’s constitution and join the national mainstream otherwise the military “with the support of people will take them to task”. In his first public speech since he became the army chief in November last year, General Sharif said that “democracy is the only way forward”
SAYS PAKISTAN ARMY BELIEVES IN FREEDOM OF PRESS AND RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM
to join developed nations of the world. He hoped that with each new day, the relations between the civilians and the armed forces will continue to strengthen. The ceremony was attended by a large number of dignitaries including Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and former army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. But General Raheel’s carefully worded speech, where he unequivocally supported democracy and freedom of media indicated that tensions between the civil and military leadership had been defused. However, he made it clear that there was no room for any doubt about ‘our ability to deal with’ insurgents. “The brave people of Pakistan and the army has the full capacity to take such elements to task,” he stressed. Gen Sharif also appreciated the role played by the civil society and Pakistani media. “We believe in freedom of the
SAYS DEMOCRACY THE ONLY WAY FORWARD FOR PAKISTAN
press and responsible journalism,” he said. The army chief also spoke on the development work undertaken by the military in the restive Balochistan province. He also termed Pakistan Army as a representative of all the four provinces, key for the national unity,
We’re doing our best against extremism, Nawaz tells Cameron PM SAYS PAKISTAN WON’T ALLOW ITS SOIL TO BE USED FOR TERRORISM IN AFGHANISTAN
BRITISH AND PAKISTANI PREMIERS DISCUSS BILATERAL TIES, PLEDGE TO COUNTER TERRORISM, EXTREMISM
AS NAWAZ APPRECIATES UK’S DFID’S SUPPORT FOR PAKISTAN, CAMERON TERMS PAKISTAN’S ENEMY AS HIS
Senior journalist Hamid Mir on Wednesday refused to record his statement on his assassination attempt in the presence of a representative of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general. The journalist who recently survived an attack on his life maintained that only ISI knew about his travel details and he could not record his statement in the presence of the same agency’s representative. Talking to the eight-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) who visited him in Aga Khan Hospital, Mir revealed that he had confided in a deputy inspector general (DIG) and a commissioner for this sort of information. The JIT included representatives of ISI, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Military Intelligence (MI), Crime Investigation Department (CID), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the police. Mir greeted ISI representative and told him that he had no enmity with the representative but had reservations with the mastermind of the attack on his life and other personalities within ISI. He told the ISI representative that he had no hope of justice in his presence as he suspected that the mastermind of the attack was within the agency.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has assured British Prime Minister David Cameron that Pakistan was committed to eliminating terrorism and will never allow the use of its territory against any country, including Afghanistan. The prime minister, who is on a three-day official visit to the United Kingdom, had a meeting with his British counterpart at 10 Downing Street and discussed “matters of bilateral interest, the regional situation as well as other issues of international importance.” The two sides renewed their commitment for further strengthening bilateral relations. Sharif recalled the visit of British premier to Pakistan last year and said he was there to reciprocate the sentiments expressed by Cameron. Sharif said that Pakistan had suffered a lot due to terrorism and extremism and was determined to tackle the menace under its newly formulated national security policy. He appreciated the continued support and assistance by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to Pakistan for different development projects. Earlier, Prime Minister Cameron warmly welcomed his Pakistani counterpart and reiterated UK's allout support in its pursuit of strengthening the economy and achieving socio-economic development of the South Asian country. He also backed the Pakistani government's efforts in combating terrorism and extremism. The British premier described Pakistan’s enemy as his enemy and said that Pakistan’s progress was in the interest of the world.
CultuRAl And EduCAtion CooPERAtion: Sharif’s visit marked the launch of a UK-Pakistan cultural and education cooperation ‘roadmap’ which sets out the basis of cultural engagement between Pakistan and the UK, enables collaboration on a calendar of cultural engagement for the next 3 years, and builds on elements of the strong existing UK-Pakistan relationship on education. In partnership with UK providers, the roadmap includes the British Council’s commitment to train 1 million teachers of English over the next 4 years in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces to help enhance the quality of English language teaching in Pakistan. A new memorandum of understanding on the status of the British Council in Pakistan maps out a range of joint activities around the British Council’s work there, including English language learning, arts and the creative industries. tRAdE And invEStmEnt: The UK
and Pakistan also discussed how to further the trade and investment links between the two countries. Both sides renewed their commitment to increase bilateral trade to £3 billion by 2015. On specific new initiatives, British company Asian Precious Minerals announced a new project with over £100m of investment in Pakistan. Prime Minister Sharif was also guest of honour at a trade and investment conference attended by over 100 delegates. EConomiCS And dEvEloPmEnt: The UK and Pakistan welcomed indicators of an upturn in economic activity and agreed on the importance of improved conditions in Pakistan to foster economic stability, inclusive growth and prosperity. Both sides agreed to work to improve Pakistan’s trade competitiveness, particularly in reducing trade barriers between Pakistan and its neighbours. They also agreed to exchange expertise and business dialogue on energy.
SAYS KASHMIR IS PAKISTAN’S ‘JUGULAR VEIN’ AND KASHMIRIS’ SACRIFICES WILL NOT GO IN VAIN symbol of nationalism and guarantor of the defence of the country. “The induction of over 20,000 officers and soldiers in the Pakistan Army from Balochistan is a testament to the province’s trust in the military,” he remarked. KASHMIR JUGULAR VEIN: He also termed Kashmir as a ‘jugular vein’ of Pakistan and called for its resolution in line of the aspirations of the Kashmir people. “Sacrifices of Kashmirs will not go in vein. Pakistan Army is in favour of peace but is always ready to respond to any aggression in befitting manner.” The COAS paid tribute to the personnel of Pakistan Army, Rangers, Levies, Frontier Constabulary and police, stressing that their role in maintaining peace and stability in the country will always be remembered. “Our martyrs’ blood will not go in vain. It is our duty to give the next generation a stable and prosperous Pakistan,” he said in his concluding remarks.
peace talkS loSt in tranSlation PESHAWAR: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Shura contacted the members of the TTP peace talks committee late Tuesday night, private media outfits reported Wednesday. According to TTP intermediary Professor Mohammad Ibrahim, TTP spokesperson Azam Tariq has expressed Taliban’s concerns regarding the situation in South Waziristan. He added that the government has been informed about these concerns. Addressing the journalists after a ceremony in the federal capital, Prof Ibrahim said that the government and army were on the “same page but not on the same line” on the issue of peace talks with Taliban. “It is said that government and military are on the same page with reference to peace talks. If it is said, we accept it. But some people say they are on one page but not on one line,” he said. “Efforts have been made for extension in ceasefire but success could not be achieved because the Taliban and government are facing certain difficulties,” he underlined. He went on to saying that Taliban should stop targeting army and other security agencies while army will have to end war against Taliban because “this is a war between two brothers”. “We have our relatives in army as well as in Taliban. Peace will prevail in the country if both sides stop targeting each other. If someone has reservations on the matter of release of prisoners then he should lodge complaint with the government rather than media. If all the stake holders take part in direct negotiations then solution to the problems can be found.” He further said that if implementation process of Islamic clauses of the Constitution is started, Taliban will also accept the Constitution. The TTP interlocutor held that the statement given by him with reference to Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has given rise to certain misperceptions. “I hold PM Nawaz Sharif in high esteem. The way PM is playing a vital role during talks with Taliban is highly commendable. But whenever mention is made any where about terrorism, Musharraf is also named. It is but natural then one goes emotional when such matters come and one’s tongue slips. Perhaps such thing happened with me. But it is crystal clear that the country is in a mess due to former military dictator Pervez Musharraf who put the country on the verge of destruction and gave passage to tyrannical US troops,” he added. He said, “If Musharraf goes abroad, we will seek account from PM Nawaz Sharif at every cost.” AGENCIES
Thursday, 1 May 2014
Shah warnS govt of ‘conSpiracy By hidden handS’ OPP LEADER URGES DEFENCE MINISTER TO ‘TOUGHEN CIVILIAN COMMAND’
SAYS ‘SOME OPPOSITION PARTIES’ BACKED BY ‘HIDDEN HANDS’ TRYING TO DERAIL DEMOCRACY THROUGH PROTESTS
PPOSITION leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Wednesday warned the government of a “conspiracy” being hatched against it by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and other smaller political outfits in the name of protests to be held on May 11 against alleged poll rigging in general elections held last year. Sources privy to details of a meeting held between Shah and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif told Pakistan Today that Shah shared with Asif his party’s concerns about the demonstrations being planned by some opposition
parties, stating that his party “smells a rat” in these protests at a time when relations between the military establishment and the ruling PML-N are “all time low”. Shah earlier had also publicly expressed his concerns about a “possibility of a conspiracy” allegedly being hatched to take down the democratic government. “During the meeting, Shah told Asif that there may be some hidden forces backing these protests aiming at derailing the democratic process. Assuring his party’s unconditional support to the government, Shah urged the defence minister that the government must take cognizance of the matter and a probe should be launched to determine who was behind this sudden and shocking
polio crippleS five more, toll reacheS 58 PESHAWAR: The total number of polio cases in Pakistan has reached 58 with new cases emerging from North Waziristan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Four new cases were reported from the federally administered area of North Waziristan while one case was reported from KP. The four affected children were reported to have never received an oral anti-polio vaccine, In this year, four polio cases have been reported from Sindh, nine from KPK and 45 from the FATA. With the suspension of polio campaign in tribal areas, following a strong opposition by militant groups, more than 160,000 children were at the risk of contracting polio virus. Since 2012, no anti-polio vaccination drive has been conducted in these areas. STAFF REPORT
Switzerland, norway moSt expenSive economieS: wB WASHinGton: Switzerland and Norway are the world's most expensive economies, followed by Bermuda, Australia and Denmark, according to a new ranking by the World Bank. The economies with the lowest prices are Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Laos, according to a review of economic data which seeks to compensate for exchange rate effects and measure spending power across countries. The United States, the world's largest economy, was in relatively affordable 25th place, lower than most other high-income countries. The richest countries, or those with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita on a purchasing power parity basis, were Qatar, Macau, Luxembourg, Kuwait and Brunei. Eight countries, including Malawi, Mozambique and Liberia, had GDP per capita of less than $1,000. Almost half the world's $90.6 trillion in total economic output in 2011 came from low- and middle-income countries, the World Bank said. Compared to the last time the exercise was done in 2005, with a slightly different methodology and mix of countries, middle-income countries gained a bigger share of the world economy, at the expense of both high- and low-income peers. ONLINE
fire killS five children in chiniot CHiniot: Five children were burnt to death in a fire on Wednesday in Chiniot. The children were playing in a storage room at their house when one of them lit a match and the wheat stored in the room caught fire. The victims include three girls and two boys, aged between five and 10 years. INP
subordinate institutions and rather exert the civilian authority, failing which the military will keep securing more turf in decision-making process, sources added. “Shah also advised the defence minister to exert the elected government’s constitutional powers otherwise the establishment would gain an upper hand in decision-making process and
decision to hold protest demonstrations,” sources said. The sources added that Shah also shared with Asif experiences of his party’s past government and urged the government to use professionals working under the civilian command to unearth any such conspiracy against the democratic government. He called upon the government not to retreat against its
Imran says not seeking midterm elections PTI CHIEF SAYS PROTESTS ON MAY 11 BEING HELD AGAINST POLL RIGGING PESHAWAR INP
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said that his party would take to streets on May 11 to strengthen democracy. Interacting with reporters, the PTI head dispelled the impression that his party was on the lookout for mid-term elections in the country. “We have made no such demand. Nothing can destabilise democracy now,” he commented.
RANA SANAULLAH SAYS IMRAN KHAN SUFFERING FROM ‘RIGGING FEVER’ He insisted that massive election fraud was carried out on May 11. “There is no use of conducting rigged elections. Democracy does not last in the third world because of election fraud,” he added. The PTI chief said that 400 cases were pending before election tribunals, but no action was taken. To a question, he said it seemed that it was a government of brothers. SANA CRITICISES IMRAN: Reacting to Imran Khan’s statement, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the PTI chief is suffering from “rigging fever”. He
said that elections had become a nightmare for Imran Khan after consecutive defeats in by-elections. He said that opposition should not worry as the government was taking steps to curb load shedding. Commenting upon the statement of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, the minister said that Imran’s dream of coming to power shattered after defeat in May 2013 polls. He congratulated the PTI chief for joining hands with Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri. He said that Imran has no other option but to launch a movement after representing the Taliban. He said that in Qadri’s company, Imran has completed the process of becoming Asghar Khan speedily. He said the PTI chairman would shift to Canada permanently with Dr Qadri after May 11.
Scorpions drummer in Dubai jail for ‘insulting’ Pakistanis DUBAI
the minister would be left to a ceremonial head of the department.” “During the discussion, Shah also informed the defence minister about the feeling of his party’s leadership of being left in isolation by the PML-N government’s policies about power shutdowns in Sindh.” Shah said the parliament was the supreme institution of the country and the opposition could not support any move which would undermine the dignity of the parliament and its elected representatives. He said that the sacrifices made by politicians for the sake of democracy would not be wasted, adding that they were not obligated to follow anyone's undemocratic desires. Later, talking to media, the opposition leader said that he had discussed power outages across Sindh with Asif. Shah said that according to the defence minister, Sindh had liabilities towards WAPDA and added that assurances were given that the problem would be resolved through contact with the Sindh government.
taliBan kill 5 SoldierS in South waziriStan WANA INP
At least five security personnel were killed and three others sustained injuries in a remote-controlled bombing in South Waziristan Agency (SWA) on Wednesday. According to sources, the roadside bomb went off when a vehicle of security forces was passing through Shaktoi area of Ladha Tehsil in SWA, killing five security personnel and injuring three others. The security forces cordoned off the area soon after the bombing and started a search operation. The bodies were shifted to Bannu and Tank hospitals. The banned terrorist outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility of the attack. A terrorist commander from an undisclosed place telephoned a private TV channel and claimed the responsibility. He said that explosives were planted in the way of the security forces' convoy in different areas.
5 militantS killed in new round of taliBan infighting in Swa
The drummer for German rock band Scorpions has been in jail for almost a month after being arrested for “insulting” Islam and offensive behaviour at Dubai’s international airport, media reported Wednesday. James Kottak, a United States citizen, was detained on April 3 while in transit to Bahrain, where he was to perform at the Formula One Grand Prix race, according to the reports. Kottak was on Tuesday sentenced to one month in jail by an Emirati court and based on time served would soon be released. According to Gulf News daily, ground staff at the airport testified that Kottak, who was drunk at the time, refused to travel with a group of Pakistani and Afghani passengers. He “started swearing”, criticising “non-educated
Muslims”, and flashed his middle finger at Pakistani passengers, The National newspaper reported. The dailies said that Kottak admitted he had been drinking alcohol but denied other charges.
A remote-controlled blast on Wednesday killed at least five militants and injured three others in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan. According to reports from the area, the blast was part of the continued infighting between rival groups of Khan Said alias Sajna and Shehryar Mehsud; under the umbrella of Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP). Key militant commander Amir Hamza was among those killed, added the officials. Previous clashes between the groups have left many militants dead. The infighting was reportedly suspended following a truce brokered by the Afghan Taliban.
Petroleum prices slashed by Rs 4.51 NOMINAL RELIEF OF 0.34 PAISAS IN PETROL PRICE, HSD PRICE CUT BY RS 4.51 ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT Government decided to cut petroleum prices by up to Rs4.51 per litre in line with the reduction in global oil prices and a strengthening rupee effective from May 1, 2014. Prime minister Nawaz Sharif approved
a summary moved by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) recommending that petrol prices should be decreased by Rs0.34 per litre, high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs4.51, kerosene oil (SKO) by Rs3.08, light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs0.93 and high octane blended component (HOBC) by Rs1.94 per litre. According to an official, price of HSD, widely used in heavy transport vehicles and the agriculture sector, has been reduced by Rs4.51 litre. The move is expected to have a major impact on prices of commodities and provide relief to the farmers. The new price of HSD will be
Rs109.34, down from its current price of Rs113.85 per litre. Unlike HSD, petrol would witness only a minor change of Rs0.34 per litre. Its rate will change from Rs108.31 to Rs107.97. The new price of kerosene would be Rs98.07 compared to its current price of Rs101.15, registering a decline of Rs3.08 per litre. Similarly HOBC price is being reduced to Rs131.14 and light diesel oil to Rs94.13. According to a statement, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, currently in London, discussed the cumulative reduction in POL prices over the past three
months. They noted that economic policies, stabilisation of the rupees and increase in foreign exchange reserves have stimulated the recent reduction in POL prices. Since March, petrol prices have been reduced by Rs4.71, diesel prices by Rs7.41, and kerosene oil by Rs8.69.
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
India’s aim to arm Afghan forces may anger Pakistan Afghan expert says arms deal could aggravate relations between India and Pakistan if the arms supplied were heavy enough to be deemed ‘oﬀensive’
NEW DELHI AGeNCieS
NDIA has signed an agreement under which it will pay Russia to supply arms and equipment to the Afghan military as foreign combat troops prepare to leave the country, in a move that risks infuriating Pakistan. Under the deal, smaller arms such as light artillery and mortars will be sourced from Russia and moved to Afghanistan. But it could eventually involve the transfer of heavy artillery, tanks and even combat helicopters that the Afghans have been asking India for since last year. India has already been training military officers from Afghanistan, hosted a 60-member Special Forces group last year in the deserts of Rajasthan and supplied equipment such as combat vehicles and field medical support facilities. But the decision to meet some of Afghanistan’s military hardware demands – albeit sourcing them from Russia – points to a deepening role in Afghanistan aimed at preventing it from slipping back into the hands of the Taliban and other militant groups that are hostile to India. It comes as China, another
Indian oﬃcials said they had held talks with China, Japan and Iran to find ways to fund Afghan security demands that outgoing President Hamid Karzai told his Indian hosts during a visit last year would touch $4 billion a year big player in the region which borders Afghanistan via a small, remote strip of land, is preparing for a more robust role in Afghanistan, also concerned that the withdrawal of NATO troops will leave a hotbed of militancy on its doorstep. Like China, India is unlikely to put boots on the ground to reinforce its strategy in Afghanistan. “We can’t commit troops on the ground, we can’t give them the military equipment that they have been asking us for, for all sorts of reasons including the lack of surplus stocks,” said an Indian Foreign Ministry official, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. “Involving a third party is the next best option,” the official said, referring to plans to source military supplies from Russia for Afghan forces. The lack of direct access to
Afghanistan poses additional hurdles to arms transfers. An Indian team visited Moscow in February to firm up the deal, the official said. The two countries will also help Afghanistan restart an old armaments factory near Kabul and prepare an inventory of Russian military equipment in Afghanistan that could be refitted for use. That dates back to the Soviet invasion of 1979-89, although much of the hardware is beyond repair. “We’ll work with India directly as well as trilaterally involving Russia,” said an Afghan official in New Delhi. “Most of India’s weapons are made in Russia or co-produced with Russia, so it makes sense. Also the three-way arrangement is cost-effective.” Indian officials said they had held talks with China, Japan and Iran to find ways to fund Afghan security demands that outgoing President Hamid Karzai told his Indian hosts during a visit last year would touch $4 billion a year. PAKISTAN TO OPPOSE: India’s neighbour and rival Pakistan is likely to be angered by any move to help arm Afghan forces, even if indirectly. Pakistan shares a long border with Afghanistan and has tradition-
ally exerted considerable influence on Kabul. But under Karzai, and since the ouster of the Taliban movement in 2001, relations have deteriorated amid accusations that Pakistan has failed to stop militants crossing into Afghanistan and launching frequent, deadly attacks. Asked about India’s plans to supply Russian arms to Afghanistan, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said: “I don’t have any confirmation, so it would be premature to comment on it.” A military spokesman did not return calls seeking comment. Ahmed Rashid, an author and expert on the region, said the deal could aggravate relations between India and Pakistan – nuclear-armed neighbours who have fought three wars – if the arms supplied were heavy enough to be deemed “offensive.” “Diplomacy and political dialogue are what will bring peace to Afghanistan,” he said. “What is not going to bring peace is more weapons.” Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, the state agency responsible for arms and military cooperation deals, declined comment on the agreement.
BJP asks Pakistan not to meddle in India’s aﬀairs NEW DELHI iNp
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday slammed Pakistan for attacking Narendra Modi and asked it to “mend” its ways, saying the “manner” in which they have been functioning with India “will not work”. The BJP said Pakistan should not interfere in India’s internal affairs after its Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s strong comments against Modi over Dawood Ibrahim issue. BJP spokesperson Meenakshi
Lekhi said Modi had never talked about attacking Pakistan and was instead questioning Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s attitude of making public the government’s efforts to bring back Dawood Ibrahim. “We will tell Islamabad to mend their ways, the manner in which they have been functioning and trying to work with India will not work,” she said. She said Nisar had chosen to react to a statement of Modi which was critical of Indian home minister. India did not interfere in electoral politics or internal affairs of other countries and expected the same from them, she said.
Afghan and foreign forces kill 60 near Pakistan border KABUL AGeNCieS
.Afghan troops backed by Western air power killed at least 60 militants near the Pakistan border, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency said on Wednesday, in one of the biggest single assaults against the Taliban-linked Haqqani network. US officials say Washington has intensified its drive against the network in an attempt to deal a lasting blow to the militants in Afghanistan before foreign combat forces depart this year. About 300 Haqqani insurgents and foreign fighters came under intensive fire on Monday when they tried to storm Afghan bases in Ziruk district of Paktika province, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement. The NATO-led international force declined to comment. The Haqqani network, which professes obedience to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, is believed to have been involved in some of the most deadly attacks of
the Afghan war. The group has been blamed for attacks on hotels popular with foreigners in Kabul, the bombing of the Indian embassy in the capital, a 2011 attack on the US embassy and several big attempted truck bombings. The United States blacklisted the group as a terrorist organisation in 2012. It also accuses Pakistan’s powerful spy agency of supporting the network and using it as a proxy in Afghanistan to gain leverage against growing influence of its India. Pakistan denies that. Monday’s battle occurred in the southeast province of Paktika which shares a long and porous border with lawless areas in Pakistan where foreign fighters and the Haqqani network are believed to be based. Insurgents pledged to disrupt this month’s presidential election with a campaign of violence, but the vote passed off relatively peacefully. As the country readies for an expected second round run-off in June, there is concern the conditions will be more favourable for militant attacks.
Mosque built to honour Taseer’s assassin Mumtaz Qadri to double in size ISLAMABAD AGeNCieS
A mosque named in honour of the killer of the former Punjab governor who called for the reform of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws is proving so popular it is raising funds to double its capacity. The modest concrete building in the scruffy suburb of lslamabad is named after Mumtaz Qadri, a former police bodyguard who in 2011 murdered Salaman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province whom he was supposed to be protecting. Taseer had incurred public wrath by voicing support for Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy. Mohammad Ashfaq Sabri, the prayer leader in charge of the mosque, said he needed to expand to keep up with demand. “People love Mumtaz Qadri,” he told the Guardian. “More and more people want to offer their prayers in this mosque.” The £7,500 they hope to raise will create a new prayer hall on the roof so that the 500 worshippers who regularly come for Friday prayers will no longer have to spill out on to the dusty lane outside in Islamabad’s VIP Ghori Town. Qadri is celebrated for emptying a magazine of bullets into the back of Taseer outside a coffee shop in an upmarket shopping district of the capital on a winter’s day three years ago. Taseer had enraged many by describing Pakistan’s
antiquated blasphemy legislation as a “black law”. On Wednesday morning, one man among a handful offering prayers in the carpeted prayer hall said it would be unthinkable to alter laws he said were essential for protecting Islam from abuse. “Everyone gives Mumtaz Qadri respect,” said Ali Haider, a 27-year-old who runs a nearby mobile phone shop. “He was prepared to protect his religion and any one of us would have done the same.” It is a view widely held in Pakistan. When Qadri appeared in court after the killing, lawyers showered him with rose petals, while the judge who sentenced him to death had to flee the country. The plot on which the mosque was built was donated by Taji Khokhar, a wealthy developer, Sabri said. With such widespread public support for Qadri, even those who regard the incident as an especially horrifying example of Pakistan’s slide into religious intolerance have learned to keep quiet. Today, few dare to discuss publicly the many problems of the blasphemy laws, which include the difficulty of examining evidence in court for fear of repeating a blasphemous statement, and the ease with which malicious allegations can be made. Although the mosque was built three years ago, it attracted comment only this week from Pakistan’s tiny caste of liberals after a resident highlighted its existence on Twitter. The news of Masjid (mosque) Mumtaz Qadri comes shortly after it was discovered that another Islamabad mosque
– the infamous Lal Masjid – had named a small library after Osama bin Laden. Abdul Aziz, the high-profile mullah in charge, has publicly defended the Pakistani Taliban, with whom he shares the aim of introducing strict Sharia law. But whereas Aziz follows the austere Deobandi school of Islam, which critics say fosters extremism and intolerance, the worshippers at the Qadri mosque are Barelvis, a branch of the religion heavily influenced by Sufi mysticism
and generally considered a force for moderation and tolerance. Some counter-extremism experts ha e even argued for Barelvism to be quietly supported by western powers to help it deal with the growing challenge from Deobandis and other radical sects, which are growing in popularity in Pakistan. Only a few weeks ago Sabri attended a large demonstration in Lahore against the Taliban. Recently debate has raged over whether the
army should be sent to clear militants out of their sanctuaries on the Afghan border, with firebrand clerics on the religious right staunchly opposed. Sabri said the operation should have happened a long time ago. Although he regards Qadri as a hero, he believes the Taliban campaign of violence against both civilians and government forces cannot be condoned. “That way of doing things is completely wrong,” he said.
220C 130C Thursday, 1 May 2014
MAY DAY BLUES...
ISLAMABAD: And the laborer continues digging for food. INP
PBM wAnts free heAlthcAre for lABourers ISLAMABAD APP
Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM) was taking measures to provide free health facilities to labours and bear the educational expenses of their children up to university level, Managing Director Barrister Abid Waheed Shaikh said Wednesday. In his Labour Day message, he said, the contribution of labours is vital in the progress and prosperity of any country. He said PBM was devising various projects to enable labours to stand on their own feet and come out of the clutches of poverty. Currently, he said Pakistan PBM was providing free education, books, uniform, bags shoes and stationary to 18,187 destitute children of up to six years age in its 160 rehabilitation centres working across the country for eliminating child labour and rehabilitate destitute children. He said the children of the rehabilitation centres are being provided free health facilities and monthly scholarship. In addition the 158 centres of PBM was imparting vocational training to labour women, so that they could be enabled to earn their livelihood on their own.
Acidic AttAck on BAsic rights Men throw acid on 10-year-old girl next door RAWALPINDI ONLINE
Neighbours threw acid on a 10-year-old girl reportedly over an old enmity in Bihar Colony. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident and has directed for immediate arrest of the culprits. As per reports, the incident took place in Bihar Colony Rawalpindi when the neighbours threw acid on a 10-year-old girl over long standing enmity with her family. She was immediately shifted to Benazir Shaheed Hospital where the doctors said the girl was inflicted with 50 percent burns on her body.
A literary delicacy to tickle teachers’ taste buds
PArliAMent sAys it will Protect lABour clAss
Capital’s first ever Teachers Literature Festival opens today with enriching interactive sessions
National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Wednesday said that the rights of labour class will be protected by the Parliament as envisaged in the Constitution of the country. In his message on the occasion of Labour Day, he paid, high tributes to labourers of the country who, are engines and drivers of progress and a vital organ in the economy of the country. Islam emphasises the welfare and timely payment of awards and salaries to ensure well-being of labourers, he added. “We are observing May Day with a resolve to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of labour and to pay tribute to the valiant and heroic struggle of the workers of Chicago who sacrificed their lives for the fundamental rights of their fellow workers,” he added. While recognising their services, the speaker urged the labour class to work hard with devotion to contribute to the economic development of the country. NA Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi in his message lauded the services of working and labour class for their meaningful contribution towards the economy of the country. He assured them of government’s support in protection of their rights and also pledged to look after the social welfare. The NA is alive to their problems and will continue to debate their problems in the House, he added.
He federal capital is celebrating its first ever Teachers Literature Festival (TLF) today at Federal College of education (FCe), Sector H-9. The festival, organised by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi and Oxford University Press in collaboration with Open Society Foundation and FCe, is featuring many national and international celebrities participating in different interactive sessions, programs and activities. TLF is being celebrated first time in federal capital along with Children Literature Festival (CLF) and according to organizers TLF would be celebrated on May 1 while CLF would be held from May 2 to 3 at the same venue. These three-day literature celebrations would be featuring many interactive sessions and activities including talks, interviews, discussions, workshops, book fair, puppet show, competitions, food stalls and many others. At this occasion many national and international writers, poets, intellectuals, performers and journalists including
Hassena Moin, Chintan Girish Modi, Kishwer Naheed, Arfa Syeda Zehra, Fahmida Riaz, Farooq Qaiser, Rumana Husain, Ameena Saiyid, Saman Shamsie, Bushra Shahab, Fauzia Minallah, Baela Raza Jamil, Asif Farrukhi, Adeel Hashmi, Khaled Anum, Zobaida Jalal, Nargis Sultana, Nadine Murtaza, Samar Minallah, Taimur Rehman, would be spending their time with children and their teachers. TLF will be highlighting different interactive sessions including Art of Reading with expression, Understanding Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Understanding Ghalib, Teachers’ Voices, Nurturing Creativity in Children, Protecting Our Culture, Literature and Language, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah (Tasveeri Kahani), Heer Ranjha, Multi Sensory Stalls, Food Court, Technology in the Classroom, Book Stalls, Bacha Bawarchi. Second day of the festival, CLF would be inaugurated while eU acting ambassador to Pakistan Pierre Mayaudon and renowned author Haseena Moin would be addressing on this occasion. CLF inauguration would be followed by day long activities in-
cluding Puppet Show by known actor Farooq Qaiser, Storytelling for Peace, Sher Ke Baatain, The Magical Woods, Prose for Critical Thinking, Bol Keh Lub Azad Hain Teray, A Talk on Quaide-Azam, Curriculum & TextbooksProblems and Resolutions for 21st Century, How to Write Short Stories, Promoting Libraries and Reading Through Innovations in Pakistan, Main Aur Mera Pakistan, Interactive Music Session, A Children’s History of Baluchistan, Article 25-A: Right to education-From Access to Quality Learning for All, Safety at Home and Safety on the Road, music performance and a workshop regarding the art of book making. Last day of the festival will highlight Farooq Qaiser’s puppet show along with many other interactive sessions including Just Like the Other Kids, Simurgh and the Birds and Our Sheikh Saadi, Raj Wali Khattak, Brokering Peace, Tolerance and Citizenship, Poetry, Inclusive education – Just Like Other Kids…Can We Do It?, A Conversation on the Role of Media in Popularising and unlocking the power of Reading, Reaching out to Children Through Films, IQ Starter and IQ Genius, The Citizens Archive of Pakistan ‘exchange for Change’ exhibition, cross border correspondence between Indian and Pakistani Students.
PERVAIZ RASHID GOES SURREAL WITH THE ARTISTS Says federal government will provide financial assistance to artists on Punjab model ISLAMABAD APP
Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid on Wednesday said the federal government would provide financial assistance to artists in a better and transparent manner. For the purpose, Pakistan Culture and Arts Foundation Relief Fund (PCAFRF) would be reorganised, he said while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National
Heritage. The minister said, “We will follow the model introduced by the Punjab government to provide financial assistance to the artists. The federal government is committed to work for their welfare.” The suggestions from the committee members in this regard would be welcomed, he added. The committee’s meeting was chaired by Marvi Memon. Pervaiz Rashid said artists in Punjab were satisfied due to friendly policies of the provincial government. The minister said the objective of the PCAFRF was to provide financial assistance to artists, arti-
sans, musicians, dancers, drama, film, television and radio artists, and those involved in plastic and graphic arts having professional level of excellence. He informed the committee that in the past the federal government had extended financial support to the needy artists on the recommendations of provincial governments. He said the last meeting of the Administrative Committee of Pakistan Culture and Arts Foundation Relief Fund was held on February 24, which approved monthly financial assistance of Rs 5,000 each for 178 artists and artisans, which would be released on quarterly basis. The minister said presently the artists’ means of income were very limited. He
said the federal government now had very limited resources for extending financial assistance to the artists, while the provincial governments, after the passage of National Finance Commission award, had more funds for the purpose. He asked the provincial governments to provide assistance to the artists. He said after the passage of 18th Constitutional Amendment, health department had been devolved to the provinces and now it was the responsibility of provincial governments to provide medical treatment to artists if required. He, however, assured that the Federal Government would extend all possible medical assistance to the artists on the recommendations of chief ministers.
Thursday, 1 May 2014
Safest building award announced RAWALPINDI APP
MAMnoon will APPreciAte if AfghAn guests leAve soon
President stresses UNHCR’s enhanced role in early return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan ISLAMABAD APP
ReSIDeNT Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday urged the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the international community to play their role in creating conducive conditions for the early return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. The president was talking to Antonio Guterres from (UNHCR) who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr to discuss matters pertaining to the Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The president said that Pakistan had been a patient host to millions of Afghan refugees on its soil for the last 34 years. He said that
Minister highlights virtues of science diplomacy ISLAMABAD: Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid Wednesday said that the soft image of the country would be projected at global level through promoting science diplomacy. Talking to executive director of Italy-based ‘World Academy of Science’ Professor Romain Murenzi, the minister apprised that Pakistan was keen to promote research in the field of science and technology. Pakistan has always played an active role in the international forums for the promotion of research in various areas of science and technology. “We were working for science diplomacy under the south cooperation, students of member countries of commission on science and technology for the sustainable development in Sindh are studying in leading universities of Pakistan.” Both discussed matters of mutual interest especially in the field of science and technology. The executive director appreciated the role being played by Pakistan in the area of science and technology, saying Science and technology was working as a tool for foreign policy in the world community. Secretary Science and Technology Kamran Ali Qureshi and COMSATS executive Director Dr Ie Qureshi were also present in the meeting. APP
Pakistan would continue to work with UNHCR, the international community and the Afghan government to ensure honourable return of the refugees and their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan. The president said that Pakistan shares multiple ethnic, religious and cultural commonalities with Afghanistan, adding that peace, stability and development of Afghanistan is in the best interest of the government and people of Pakistan. He said the successful and peaceful conduct of recent presidential election in Afghanistan was a welcome step forward and Pakistan looked forward to working with the new Afghan leader-
ship for the peace and stability in the region. President Mamnoon reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, saying that it was the most viable way to end violence and bring durable peace and stability to Afghanistan and the region. UNHCR Country Representative in Pakistan Neill Wright and UNHCR Headquarters Deputy Director Indrika Ratwatte accompanied the UN high commissioner. Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Ministry of States and Frontier Regions Secretary Qasim M Niaz were also present.
Parliamentarians want an end to violence against women ISLAMABAD APP
Senior representatives of major political parties and parliamentarians, civil society organizations and officials of Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights called on Wednesday for a national policy on ending violence against women in society. The policy dialogue organized by AAWAZ Voice and Accountability Programme was held at a hotel in Bhurban. It was presided over by National Assembly Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi and attended by representatives of PMLN, PPPP, MQM, PTI, JI, JUI-F, ANP, QWP and PML-Q. The participants agreed to develop the national policy in consultation with stakeholders through dialogue at provincial and local levels. The proposed policy framework suggested by the participants included a vision statement on safe spaces for women and girls, relevant legislation, institutional and
The provincial government of the Punjab through Rescue-1122 has invited participation in “Competition for Safest Building” in the provincial capital. The deadline for the participation is May 2 (Friday), 2014 and on April 4 (International Fire-fighters Day), Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar would give awards to the winners of the competition. According to the announcement, the competition is among the buildings which carry, emergency exits and stairs separated by the fire doors, emergency evacuation floor
cBr decides to move on… Pindi’s Cantonment board to regularise buildings constructed without approved maps RAWALPINDI ONLINE
Cantonment Board Rawalpindi (CBR) has decided to regularise the buildings constructed within its territorial jurisdiction without any map or against the approved map. The buildings which have been built without approved map or without map till 2010 in different areas of the board will be regularised after charging penalty to their owners. Sources said that CBR has constituted a special team for taking stern action against the people involved in constructing their buildings without seeking approval from the concerned quarters. Steps are being taken to simplify the procedure for approval of maps to curb the menace of illegal constructions.
response mechanisms, and rehabilitation of survivors of violence against women in a dignified manner. The policy must adhere to promote rule of law at all levels ensuring enforcement of the policy. The proposed policy framework also included a major awareness raising at all levels on the issues of violence against women and capacity building of police and judicial officers. It was also said that media, educational institutions and madaris as well as other social and political institutions should be involved for creating enabling environment for the success of the policy. The proposed framework highlighted the crucial significance of law enforcement agencies such as police and lower judiciary in curbing gender based violence. The participants also suggested that a onestop approach was required to address the issue, where medico-legal, police help, shelter home and rehabilitation facilities were put under one roof.
plans displayed at conspicuous places, installation of fire hydrant system inside and outside the building, installation of fire and smoke alarm system, installation of fire extinguishers, no encroachments for easy access to affected buildings by fire rescue vehicles besides safety training of building staff. The applications for participation should be sent to the Punjab Director General Rescue 1122 Headquarters, Shama Chowk Lahore. The competition has been launched to create awareness among the residents of building with special regard to those of high rise structures about their own safety as “Fire Safety is Life Safety”. The Rescue 1122 this years’ slogan is “Saving Lives Changing Minds”.
08 COMMENT An embarrassment for FO The interior minister’s tactless fulmination
hERE can be no two opinions about narendra Modi. But it is not a question of the BJP leader’s past only. Even during the election campaign he has made provocative statements. inside india many Muslims recoil at his name. his agenda has been called divisive by the country’s secular parties. Putting British understatements aside The Economist straightaway said, it would be wrong for a man who has thrived on division to become the prime minister of a country as fissile as india. after shunning Modi for years Britain revived contacts with him only in 12 when there were indications of his emerging as a national leader. For nine years the Us has refused to issue him a visa. india being a neighbouring country Pakistan will have to deal with the BJP leader in case he is elected prime minister. While making full preparations for the worst islamabad must not lose sight of the fact that Modi also says the BJP is fighting elections on the issues of governance and development. in case the BJP leader is really focused on economic development, he cannot allow a sectarian agenda at home and an aggressive policy towards india’s neighbours. he will have to tamp down his chauvinism and live in peace with both China and Pakistan. Pakistan will therefore have to formulate a well nuanced policy towards the BJP led indian government.
It has been widely noted however that the PML-N government has hesitated taking a clear cut stand on the option of the use of force against the Taliban. the Fo spokesman was the proper person to respond to Modi’s objectionable remarks about bringing back Dawood ibrahim from Pakistan. all the more so because only last week Pakistan’s envoy to new Delhi had welcomed Modi’s statement that he would pursue the policies followed by former BJP premier atal Bihari Vajpayee. high Commissioner abdul Basit had described the remarks as ‘very positive’ and had hoped that ‘if he is elected as prime minister we should expect more positive things’. on tuesday speaking at a Mumbai gathering Basit referred to nawaz sharif’s ‘region-first vision’ and called for taking ‘irreversible steps forward’ for peace and prosperity. Known for an absolute lack of finesse, Ch nisar is the person least suited to speak on foreign affairs, which need delicate handling. as interior minister he should not have gone beyond denying the presence of Dawood ibrahim in Pakistan. Forgetting that he is no longer an opposition leader but a responsible interior minister, he has referred to Modi’s remarks as ‘irresponsible’, ‘shameful’, ‘provocative’ and ‘condemnable’. the remarks would be a feast for the ears of the india bashing lobby but would be embarrassing for the Fo.
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Arif Nizami Editor
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Thursday, 1 May, 2014
The man without a plan What Nawaz Sharif should do with Pervez Musharraf Scheherazade Sultan
aWaz sharif is a very fortunate man – plucked from obscurity by a generous dictator. this despite being devoid of any charisma or great political intellect, he has continued to win elections, especially in the all important Punjab province. his first two terms were known to be filled with political turmoil mainly due to his bellicose temperament. Frequent clashes with various branches of the state occurred regularly during his two stints in power during the 1990s. a robust and feisty opposition lead by the late Benazir Bhutto kept him on his toes as well. But for his third term in the office the conditions are looking better. the troublesome chief justice is gone, Kayani is gone as well, replaced by a handpicked nawaz sharif nominee. the President is a sharif nominee as well: pliant and obedient as sharif likes his presidents. the political opposition is non-existent. the military establishment has been playing ball as well. Pretty soon he will have his own isi chief as well. given these set of ideal political conditions, one would think that the nawaz sharif government would show much more confidence and decisiveness in dealing with the biggest threat that this state is facing. But no sir,
sharif has been plagued by indecisiveness at best and complicity at worst when it comes to dealing with the taliban menace. some argue that it is an over cautious approach to be compliant towards imran Khan, the only possible politician that could mean something in opposition. others see a more sinister motive – basically an appeasement of the taliban and further islmalisation of the state. this would of course be perfectly in line with the zia era. after all, that is when nawaz sharif learned the tradecraft of religion based politics. appeasement to the religious right did not work for the most powerful and able civilian ruler this country has ever seen, the late Mr Bhutto, neither will it work this time. But sadly learning from history has never been the forte of our leaders. the only issue where the sharif government has shown some sort of urgency is on the Musharraf trial. that can be put down to pure revenge instincts. But the prime minister needs to tread carefully since inducting and putting on trial a former army chief might be the line that might be too far as far as the army is concerned. i have written against Musharraf in the past and also defended his somewhat botched but still credible action against the taliban extremists, including the Laal Masjid operation. But the truth of the matter is that a trial against Musharraf right now is probably the best chance that a civilian government may get to
show some sort of backbone against chestrated by generals who clearly the khakis. Unfortunately, having a view the interests of their institution strong backbone is not what one nor- above that of the state they continue mally associates with nawaz sharif. to feed on. if not today then tomorrow so this chance like many others will they will force sharif’s hand. Colluding with the establishment has not most probably go begging. if there is one thing in which our saved the sharif governments in the past neither will it leaders have exdo so in the fucelled in it is pure ture. short term thinkit is high time ing. it reflects not that the prime only a lack of political maturity Nawaz Sharif, the golden minister formulates and puts into but also a defiboy of Pakistani politics, action a robust ciency of a politianti-terrorism cal vision and will continue to be a man policy. But this courage. isn’t may be asking for there a single without a plan, a the moon from a wise man in the man who despite sharif coterie of reactionary to the events his exile has ministers and advisors who can that might be moving too shown an inability to learn from show to the prime fast for him to handle. the past mistakes minister the pitand move on. falls of his connawaz sharif, the t i n u o u s golden boy of appeasement of Pakistani politics, taliban? the eswill continue to tablishment has made it pretty clear that it will con- be a man without a plan, a reactionary tinue to bear the cost of taliban’s ter- to the events that might be moving rorism not only on civilians but also too fast for him to handle. on the soldiers and generals themScheherazade Sultan is a selves in order to achieve its flimsy ‘goals’ in afghanistan. the prime freelance writer. She blogs at: minister needs to understand that Pak- http://luscious69.blogspot.com; istan cannot continue to pay the price corresponds at: email@example.com; of these zia-esque afghan policy or- and tweets at: @Scheherazade_S.
Why is Putin in Washington’s crosshairs? Ukraine, Russia and China Mike Whitney
ashington wants to weaken Moscow economically by slashing its gas revenues and, thus, eroding its ability to defend itself or its interests. the Us does not want an economically-integrated Europe and asia. the de facto EU-Russian alliance is a direct threat to Us global hegemony.” Us provocations in Ukraine cannot be understood apart from Washington’s “Pivot to asia”, which is the broader strategic plan to shift attention from the Middle East to asia. the so called “re-balancing” is actually a blueprint for controlling China’s growth in a way that is compatible with Us hegemonic ambitions. there are different schools of thought about how this can be achieved, but loosely speaking they fall into two categories, “dragon slayers” and “panda huggers”. Dragon slayers favour a strategy of containment while panda huggers favour engagement. as yet, the final shape of the policy has not been decided, but it’s clear from hostilities in the south China sea and the senkaku islands, that the plan will depend heavily on military force. so what does controlling China have to do with the dust up in Ukraine? Everything. Washington sees Russia as a growing threat to its plans for regional dominance. the problem is, Moscow has only gotten stronger as it has expanded its network of oil and gas pipelines across Central asia into Europe. that’s why Washington has decided to use Ukraine is a staging ground for an attack on Russia, because a strong Russia that’s economically integrated with Europe is a threat to Us hegemony. Washington wants a weak Russia that won’t challenge Us presence in Central asia or its plan to control vital energy resources. Currently, Russia provides about 30 percent of Western and Central Europe’s natural gas, 60 percent of which transits Ukraine. People and businesses in Europe depend on Russian gas to heat their homes and run their machinery. the trading relationship between the EU and Russia is
mutually-beneficial strengthening both buyer and seller alike. the Us gains nothing from the EU-Russia partnership, which is why Washington wants to block Moscow’s access to critical markets. this form of commercial sabotage is an act of war. at one time, the representatives of big oil, thought they could compete with Moscow by building alternate (pipeline) systems that would meet the EU’s prodigious demand for natural gas. But the plan failed, so Washington has moved on to Plan B; cutting off the flow of gas from Russia to the EU. By interposing itself between the two trading partners, the Us hopes to oversee the future distribution of energy supplies and control economic growth on two continents. the problem obama and Co. are going to have, is trying to convince people in the EU that their interests are actually being served by paying twice as much to heat their homes in 2015 as they did in 2014, which is the way things are going to shake out if the Us plan succeeds. in order to accomplish that feat, the Us is making every effort to lure Putin into a confrontation so the media can denounce him as a vicious aggressor and a threat to European security. Demonising Putin will provide the necessary justification for stopping the flow of gas from Russia to the EU, which will further weaken the Russian economy while providing new opportunities for nato to establish forward-operating bases on Russia’s Western perimeter. it’s all about the pivot to asia and the future of the empire. this is why the Cia and the Us state Department engineered a coup to oust Ukrainian president Viktor Yonuchovych and replace him with a Us-stooge who would do obama’s bidding. this is why the imposter prime minister, arseniy Yatsenyuk, has ordered two “anti-terror: crackdowns on unarmed activists in East Ukraine who oppose the Kiev junta. this is why the obama administration has avoided engaging Putin in constructive dialog aimed at finding on a peaceful solution to the present crisis. it’s because obama wants to draw the Kremlin into a protracted civil war that will weaken Russia, discredit Putin, and
shift public opinion to the side of the Us and nato. Why would Washington veer from a policy that clearly achieves what it’s supposed to achieve? it won’t. here’s an excerpt from an article on antiwar.com: Putin and obama had been speaking regularly on the phone about Ukraine in March and early april, but Putin has not directly spoken to him since april 14, and the Kremlin says that they see no need to do any more talking.” (“Putin halts talks With White house amid sanctions threats”, antiwar.com) there’s nothing to be gained by talking to obama. Putin already knows what obama wants. he wants war. that’s why the state Department and Cia toppled the government. that’s why Cia Director John Brennan appeared in Kiev just one day before coup president Yatsenyuk ordered the first crackdown on pro Russian protestors in the East. that’s why Vice President Joe Biden appeared in Kiev just hours before Yatsenyuk launched his second crackdown on pro Russian protestors in the East. that’s why Yatsenyuk has surrounded the eastern city of slavyansk where he is preparing an attack on pro-Russian activists. it’s because Washington believes that a violent conflagration serves its greater interests. it’s pointless to talk to people like that, which is why Putin has stopped trying. at present, the obama administration is pushing for another round of sanctions on Russia, but members in the EU are dragging their feet. according to Rt: “at the moment there is no consensus among the EU members on which economic measures against Russia would be acceptable, or even if they are needed at all,” a European diplomatic source told itar-tass. the diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said only an open military invasion of Ukraine or irrefutable proof of Russian clandestine military presence in Ukraine would tip EU’s stance toward economic sanctions. so far every piece of evidence that Kiev and Washington made public of alleged involvement of Russian agents in Ukraine was either
inconclusive or simply false.” (“Us failing to push economic sanctions against Russia through EU allies”, Rt) once again, it appears that Washington needs to draw Russian troops into the conflict to achieve its objectives. Putin has stated repeatedly that he will respond if ethnic Russians are killed in Ukraine. that’s the red line. Russian Foreign Minister sergey Lavrov reiterated the same message in an interview last week with Rt’s sophie shevardnadze. the usually soft-spoken Lavrov, condemned Yatsenyuk’s attack on Ukrainian civilians as “criminal” and warned that “an attack on Russian citizens is an attack on the Russian Federation.” the statement was followed by ominous reports of Russian troop movements near Ukraine’s border indicating that Moscow may be preparing to intervene to stem the violence against civilians. according to Russian Russia’s itar tass “Defence Minister sergei shoigu said, “as of today exercises of battalion tactical groups has begun in the border areas with Ukraine.” also aviation will conduct flights to simulate the actions near the state border.” so there you have it: it looks like obama’s provocations WiLL draw Putin into the fray after all. But will things turn out the way that obama thinks they will? Will Putin follow Washington’s script and leave his troops in the east where they’ll be picked off by Us-funded paramilitary guerrillas and neo nazis or does he have something else up his sleeve, like a quick blitz to Kiev to remove the junta government, call for international peacekeepers to quell the violence, and slip back over the border to safety? Whatever the strategy may be, we won’t have to wait long to see it implemented. if Yatsenyuk’s army attacks slavyansk, then Putin’s going to send in the tanks and it’ll be a whole new ballgame. Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORLD VIEW 09
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
Pakistan hits Modi bouncer for a six rediff M K bhadRaKuMaR
RANKLY, I wasn’t sure that Pakistan would react to the admiration expressed by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for President Barack Obama’s grit to order the hunt for Osama bin Laden holed up in his ’safe house’ in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad. Pakistan could have let it pass — as if it were a wild swing outside the off-stump. After all, Modi has been notably rude and discourteous toward his own peer group in India as well, and Pakistan could have taken him as ‘grandstanding’ by a politician with insufficient grasp of nuclear war. But it hasn’t. And the
Pakistani reaction has been strong and has come from a very powerful political figure in the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — none other than Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. In sum, Pakistan has reacted at the highest possible level to Modi’s statement, although the latter still has only prime-ministerial airs and is far from wearing the crown, actually. And there could be more to it than meets the eye when it comes to powerful figures in Pakistani politics. For the benefit of novices who may not be familiar with the niceties of India-Pakistan diplomacy, let me also mention that Pakistan has a very profound knowledge of India and its rumbunctious electoral politics. In the normal course, if Pakistan had been
preparing for the outcome of a Modi government, it would have been savvy enough to hold the fire so that the prospect of a fresh start is not marred with the ‘powers that be’ in Delhi. Can it be that Pakistan too has serious doubts whether Modi is at all going to reach the top of the Raisina Hill by May 16 — or ever? That is the big question that occurs to me as I read Chaudhry Saheb’s sharp remarks which dispatch Modi to perdition’s gate. What Chaudhry Saheb said merits close attention. He has lambasted Modi as “irresponsible and shameful”, “provocative, condemnable” and hostile. How hostile? Not only toward Pakistan’s national defence, but also toward Muslims. Chaudhry Saheb gently
hints at Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent and its resolve to
retaliate against any Indian aggression in the name of
‘hot pursuit’. The clincher, however,
comes in the final sentence — that Modi is a threat to regional peace and stability. This virtually forecloses the door on meaningful dealings between a Modi-led government in India and Pakistan. So much for the wisdom of our pundits that one way Modi could ingratiate himself with the Americans would be to reconcile with Pakistan. In all these past four decades of Pakistan watching, I cannot recall a Pakistani statement interfering with a national election in India so openly. In the normal course, Pakistan wouldn’t have done this. But in this case, it weighed carefully for over 72 hours after Modi spoke and probably decided, ‘What the hell, we won’t have to deal with him as India’s prime minister anyway.’
Political executions in Egypt Giving money to Pakistan won't make Britain safer New York Times
An out-of-control government in Egypt has now sentenced more than 680 people to death in a mass trial that lasted a few minutes and is part of an organized effort not just to crush its political opponents but to eliminate them. Last month, a court delivered a similar sentence on 529 others. The sentences further demonstrate that the military-led government’s ruthless disregard for the law and its contrary political views go far beyond anything that former President Mohamed Morsi was accused of doing when he was deposed by the army in July. And what did the Obama administration have to say about this travesty, which will further fuel hostility and division in one of the Arab world’s most important countries? “The United States is deeply troubled,” the office of the press secretary said in a shockingly weak statement. There was no indication that the administration would reconsider last week’s decision to provide the Egyptians with 10 Apache helicopters and more than $650 million in aid. The death sentences are subject to appeal, but that is little solace to the defendants who have been accused and sentenced with nothing resembling justice or even minimal due process. In Monday’s ruling, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, was among those convicted even though he repeatedly emphasized nonviolence in his public remarks in the
period leading up to the anti-Islamist crackdown that began with Mr. Morsi’s overthrow and the backlash against it. The sentences were imposed for inciting violence and disturbances in which one police officer was allegedly killed. But none of those sentenced were charged with participating in his murder. Mr. Badie and many others were given the death sentence for lesser crimes. In a separate outrageous ruling, a court banned the activities of the April 6 group, a liberal organization that spearheaded the revolt against thenPresident Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Its leaders are already serving three-year sentences for organizing an unauthorized street protest. The courts in Egypt were once regarded as relatively liberal within the country’s authoritarian system, but it is clear that the judges have become a government tool. There has been no serious attempt to deliver justice for the thousands of Islamists and other antigovernment critics who are now languishing in jails or the estimated 1,000 who were killed by security forces during last year’s protests by supporters of Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood. Like the United States, Israel has an interest in a stable Egypt that can honor the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty and defeat militants in Sinai. But an Egyptian government that persecutes its political opponents and denies them justice and any political role in society will produce only instability and violence.
Telegraph, Uk Rob CRilly
Nawaz Sharif arrived in London on Tuesday to be met with two awkward headlines. Both interlinked. And both cutting to the heart of what's wrong with Pakistan and its relationship with the UK. First it emerged that his government had failed to pay its gas bill. His residence and offices – known as the Prime Minister's secretariat – had their gas cut off on Sunday evening. With their emergencies generators using gas and with power black-outs on the increase as summer arrives, it has made for a sweaty few days for his civil servants. The electricity was even cut off for a short time on Tuesday too. The issue is not just a humorous aside. It underlines the way an inefficient, poorly governed country fails to properly utilise what meagre resources it can collect through tax or aid. The government is one of the worst defaulters on utility bills, contributing to chronic problems in the energy sector which has to rely on hours of black-outs to prevent demand bringing the whole system crashing down. This country, one that cannot pay its bills on time, is
due to receive more than £400m of British taxpayers money this year, which brings us to the second awkward headline. MPs on the international development select committee wondered why we were giving so much to a middle income country, where political leaders don't pay their taxes (or their utility bills). The answer lies in the country's troubling terror problem… "It is unlikely that expenditure would be so high if the country were not having to confront Islamic extremism. If this is the case, the budget can only be justified if there is clear evidence that Department for International Development (Dfid) support is effective in reducing the extremist threat," it said. "If not, we recommend that Dfid consider reducing spending in Pakistan and increasing it in low income countries." And therein lies the problem. When DfiD in 2011 decided to make Pakistan its biggest recipient of cash it did so because it would help to make the UK safer. As a spokesman said last night: "Our investment in overseas development, including in Pakistan, creates a safer and more prosperous world for the UK. Tackling poverty in the world's poorest places can mean tackling the root
causes of global problems such as terrorism, which matter to us here in Britain." Just one problem. The evidence that tacking poverty and education will make the UK safer is ambiguous at best. The 9/11 hijackers did not lack education. The biggest threat to the UK is from Britons radicalised at home. And one study in Pakistan found that education was inversely correlated with sympathy to militant groups. Mr Sharif himself has been instrumental in the country's appeasement of terrorists, backing down from plans to hit militant groups with a military offensive and instead opening pointless peace talks. It is difficult to see how British money can change things while Pakistan's government is unwilling to get tough. When Mr Sharif meets David Cameron he ought to have some good excuses ready. Rob Crilly is Pakistan correspondent of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. Before that he spent five years writing about Africa for The Times, The Irish Times, The Daily Mail, The Scotsman and The Christian Science Monitor from his base in Nairobi.
Secular ranks in disarray Times of iNdia Jyoti MalhotRa
The frenzy in Varanasi last week as Narendra Modi filed his nomination contrasts severely with the resentment in Amethi, from where Rahul Gandhi and members of his family have fought and won over the last several decades, surely a sign of the times. And yet Priyanka Gandhi is at least trying to change the discourse, steering the political battle of 2014 into the sharpest critique yet of BJP's prime ministerial candidate. In Amethi's Nandmahar village last weekend, people gathered to hear Sonia Gandhi despite a dust storm. She tells them, I have given you my son. They hear her, with exasperation rather than enthusiasm, as if to say, Alright, so we will vote for your son once again and make him win, but why do you take us for granted? An Amethi old-timer puts it
succinctly: Rahul will get our vote on compensatory grounds. He is the son of our beloved Rajiv Gandhi who was a member of the Amethi family and whose death in 1991 made us all so sad that we didn't eat for several days. But today Rahul treats Amethi as if it is his birth-right, his "haq". He rarely comes to meet us, listen to us, talk to us...There is a "deewar", a wall, between Rahul and us. Amethi's anger has been bubbling over in the ubiquitous tea shops across the constituency. In the age of 24x7 television, in which the media follows every gesture and act of Modi whether in Gujarat or nearby Varanasi, where development in the Samajwadi Party's bastions of Mainpuri-Kannauj-Etawah, courtesy Mulayam Singh Yadav's family, is an old familiar, the presence of mud huts and straw shacks as well as rising prices and unemployment, especially in the 21st
century, makes Amethi feel as if the world is passing it by. The question is if Priyanka's comments on the need for a "large-hearted prime minister", not simply a hero with a 56-inch chest, can halt the direction of the gathering wind in Modi's favour. Or are her remarks largely seen as defending her controversial husband and therefore a case of too little too late? An analysis of the constituencies that comprise larger Poorvanchal, east of Lucknow and all the way up to Gorakhpur, which will go to the polls over the next two weeks, shows that the so-called "Modi wave" will continue to be heavily moderated by the overwhelming pull of caste and community. If BSP leader Mayawati as well as Mulayam Singh can even now pull out the stops in eastern UP, campaigning for their candidates (including Mulayam for himself in Azamgarh), their respective
caste-based votes are unlikely to drift anywhere else. As for the large Muslim vote that is a significant factor in several constituencies in this region, a showing of secular leaders can still consolidate the Muslim voter in favour of the candidate — whether SP, BJP or Qaumi Ekta Dal led by Afzal Ansari and Mukhtar Ansari or Congress — best placed to defeat BJP. But if secular parties remain divided, especially in the wake of Modi's Varanasi nomination, BJP could be sweeping parts of Poorvanchal. Incredibly, the party is contesting places like Ballia, former prime minister Chandra Shekhar's constituency, for the first time ever — and winning. BJP is also trying to wean away dalit castes that are not core to the Mayawati vote, like Valmiki, Mali and Rajbhar communities, invoking the charms of Hindutva especially when the BSP candidate is Muslim, for ex-
ample in Deoria, where BJP's Kalraj Mishra is in a close fight with BSP's Niyaz Khan. As India embarks upon the last phase of the 2014 campaign, the challenges confronting the secular vote in UP have sharpened. The absence of a tactician who can stitch up various contradictory parts of a loose anti-BJP coalition is beginning to show. The ongoing caste battles between SP and BSP that reflect the region's pre-industrial politics, Mayawati's perception of Congress as a weak ally and therefore her refusal to ally with it, Congress's continuing confusion over what to do in eastern UP, as well as the treatment of Muslims as the great fallback option on whose shoulders must be placed the burden of defeating BJP, are other deterrents. As for Left parties, they have only themselves to blame for absenting themselves from the continuing arguments that Indians
have about their own destiny — Afzal Ansari, as recently as 1991, was a CPI MLA — and none of them feature the imperialist aggressions from America. In places where the individual Congressman or woman have decided to go hell for leather — for example, Naved Mian in Rampur, Annu Tandon in Unnao, P L Punia in Barabanki and Lalitesh Tripathi in Mirzapur — it has put up a real fight worth watching. In Rampur, the battle between Naved Mian and Nasir Ahmed Khan of SP, really a front for Azam Khan, will be particularly interesting, especially because Rampur's majority Muslims are fed up with the latter's Alauddin Khilji-like behaviour. Clearly, Congress is far too large to simply disappear — although it has tried its best to do so. Perhaps, the battle for 2019 has already begun — or if it hasn't, it should.
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
ADB investing $167m to upgrADe power DistriBution system ISLAMABAD
He Asian Development Bank (ADB) will invest $167 million in upgrading Pakistan's ageing power distribution systems. An agreement was signed by economic Affairs Division Secretary Nargis Sethi and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Werner e Liepach on Wednesday. "An efficient power distribution system is crucial to allow the power produced reach the consumers. The investment will help rehabilitate Pakistan's ageing power distribution infrastructure waiting for up gradation." said Werner Leapach. The loan is meant for Tranche-4 of the Power Distribution enhancement Investment Programme under the Multitranche Financing Facility (MFF). The MFF was approved in 2008 to invest $810 million in priority areas to improve distribution systems and help Pakistan meet its pressing energy needs. The programme aims at rehabilitating augment and expand power distribution systems and remove system bottlenecks. The power projects to be completed by December 2016 will aug-
ment the network and improve performance of the power distribution system, which is essential to increase the overall efficiency of the networks and to bridge the widening demand and supply gap of power in Pakistan. "This project is to upgrade transformer capacity at 284 grid stations which will bring stability in the power distribution network", said Adnan
Tareen, ADB's energy Specialist. Financing for the first tranche of $252 million, second tranche of $242 million, and third tranche of $ 245 million have already been provided and implementation is going on in more than 400 subprojects which upon completion will help reduce overloading of the system and improve power supply to consumers.
TELENOR'S FREE 3G SERVICE AIN’T FREE! Report says Telenor users charged thousands of rupees in just couple of hours MONITORING DESK Telenor’s trial 3G service, which is advertised as a free service, can actually cost you thousands of rupees, especially if you are Telenor’s postpaid customer, according to a report by Pro-Pakistani website. According to the report, since prepaid users usually don’t have several hundred rupees in their credit so chances of losing huge money are far lesser than the postpaid customers who are usually given a credit limit of Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 or even Rs 15,000 if they have IR activated on their numbers. The news is that Telenor’s free 3G services can swallow your thousands of rupees in matter of hours, if not minutes. According to Pro-Pakistani, certain Telenor users were charged thousands of rupees in just couple of hours for using 3G services. This has happened despite a clear communication from Telenor that 3G services from the company will remain free during the trial duration, or till the commercial launch of 3G services. In fact Irfan Wahab Khan, Vice President Telenor Pakistan, had clearly mentioned during a press briefing on Friday that 3G services will remain free of cost during the trial duration. How Customers are Charged for Free 3G Services? If Telenor’s test 3G service is clearly free, then why customers are charged for the data
usage? This remained an unresolved mystery for Telenor itself for several hours. Telenor in fact took good amount of time to investigate the issue to ultimately find the real reason behind such 3G data sessions that are charged by the billing system, even when 3G data sessions are free. After intensive investigation, it was concluded by Telenor that if data-session is initiated in 2G environment and user travels into 3G environment without any session breakage then user will be charged for entire session at 2G rates or usual mobile internet rates, which are Rs 18 per MB. As we all know, 3G coverage at this point in time isn’t blanket and there are notable number of locations where 3G isn’t available. In such cases, If user is in 2G zone and he/she initiates a data session that continues even when user enters in 3G Zone then the entire session is charged as per 2G rates, which obviously isn’t free. The worst part is that since 3G data transfer rates are extremely high — and you can easily download tens of MBs in matters of minutes — the charges incurred by any such session may cross Rs 1,000 within a few minutes. This can be regarded as technical limitation for not logging a session as 3G session when user travels from a 2G zone into 3G zone with-in a session. It is still unclear if this problem will persist in days to come or Telenor will be able to find a solution of this problem, said the report.
BOP announces ﬁnancial result for 1st Quarter of 2014 LAHORE: A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Punjab was held on April 28 2014. During the meeting un-audited Financial Statements of the Bank for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 were approved by the Board. During the 1st quarter of the year 2014 the bank earned before tax profit of Rs 691 million as against Rs. 513 million for the 1st quarter of year 2013 thereby registering a rise of 35%. The Net Interest Margin of the bank stood at Rs 1,004 million as against Rs 475 million during 1st quarter of last year thereby reflecting a growth of 111%. The Earning per share (EPS) for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 remained at Rs 0.41. Bank’s Total Assets as on March 31, 2014 stood at Rs 362 billion as against Rs 353 billion as on December 31, 2013. The Deposits of the bank stood at the level of Rs 298 billion, while the Advances and Investments stood at Rs 155 billion and Rs 148 billion, respectively. PRESS RELEASE
CORPORATE CORNER us works to improve pakistan’s financial sector
ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Belgium Peter Claes presents the Award of Knight-Commander in the Order of Leopold-II to Sadruddin Hashwani, Chairman Hashoo Group. PR
Js Bank to introduce 4g enabled branchless banking solutions
KARACHI: Nadeem Malik, MD Master Group, Kazim Khan and Arif Khawar with dealers on the occasion of award distribution ceremony. STAFF PHOTO ISLAMABAD: The results of a first of its kind financial study for Pakistan, Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy (CPFL), was funded and released by the US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank at a one-day workshop in Islamabad. More than 220 leaders and professionals from the financial sector deliberated on the study’s key findings and the next steps to improve the country’s policy and regulatory environment. A primary objective of the study was to increase Pakistani consumers’ financial knowledge and explain to them how to responsibly access needed financial services. PRESS RELEASE
Zong wins the most coveted 3g & 4g licenses KARACHI: JS Bank Limited (JSBL) and Inov8 Limited (i8) have signed an agreement for the implementation of a Branchless Banking (BB) and Mobile Financial Services (MFS) solution. JS Bank plans to enter into the branchless banking domain of the country by developing a large agent network by partnering with network providers, telecom and other companies to deliver a unique set of transactions and services that are currently not available to the un-banked segment of our society. On the occasion, JSBL’ President, Khalid Imran, said, “I believe that the mobile technology has become an extremely important mass outreach platform for the delivery of banking services, worldwide and in Pakistan. JSBL wishes to play a significant role in this domain in the future and plans to reach a large under-banked segment, by enabling a set of new and desired services for this market. We are happy to be partnering with Inov8, in this strategic initiative.” PRESS RELEASE
ISLAMABAD: In a bid to honor its esteemed subscribers, ZonG, Pakistan’s fastest growing telecom network has achieved yet another milestone. The company recently won the much anticipated Spectrum Auction for Next Generation Mobile Services to become the only 3G & 4G operator in Pakistan. Thriving on this success the company will soon offer a complete new array of first of its kind services to its distinguished customers. ZonG’s parent company, China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC) officially launched its 4G services in December 2013. By March 31st 2014 the company had 781.08 million total customers making it the largest operator across the globe. CMCC’s successes speak for itself, today it has 2.79 million 4G customers & almost 225 million 3G subscribers. Till date CMCC has more than 252,000 4G sites across China and is targeting more than 500,000 4G sites by end of this year which makes CMCC the largest 4G operator in the world. At the same time, CMCC is also a giant within the handset distribution channel of over 200 million handsets sold to end customers on a yearly basis, out of which 50% are 4G handsets. PRESS RELEASE
mobilink launches 3g enabled samsung tablets KARACHI: Mobilink has launched 3G enabled Samsung Tablets for its customers. With the commercial launch of Mobilink’s 3G around the corner Mobilink’s customers will now be able to purchase 3G enabled Samsung tablets on highly affordable rates with Mobilink pre-loaded 3-month data bundle offer. Aamer Manzoor, Head of Data Mobilink commenting on the launch said, “With Mobilink’s successful acquisition 10 MHz 3G spectrum, customers are now looking for affordable and quality 3G enabled devices. In order to cater to the needs of the customers, Mobilink had launched its ‘Phone Trade Program’ earlier this month and in continuation is now offering its customers the chance to purchase state-of-the-art Samsung tablets. This program will enable our customers to acquire quality 3G ready devices and empower them to use the latest technology with Mobilink’s best data offers on the go”. The Samsung tablets were launched on 25th April 2014 and are available Nationwide at all Mobilink Business Centers. PRESS RELEASE
KARACHI: Pervaiz Inayat, CEO Toyota Indus Motors Company, K Murakami Vice Chairman, at the 8th Toyota Dream Car Art Contest. STAFF PHOTO
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
HaGaR tHE HoRRIblE
You need to be as clear as you can be today -- otherwise, you might end up confusing the wrong person. Communication is all-important right now, so that means that you've got to try twice as hard.
Try not to get into any serious business today -- keep it as light and fluffy as possible! That doesn't mean you get a free pass to deny all your problems, but you can at least put off hard work for a bit longer.
It's a terrific day for you to share your positive energy with others -- even if it comes across as utter flirtation! In fact, you may be able to work that to your advantage and score a date if you want.
Take a deeper look at the details of your latest deal or transaction -- you need to understand them better if you want to keep moving forward. Things are looking good if you stay alert.
You're less decisive than usual today -- which may be saying quite a lot! Your energy is best spent working on projects that require little to no judgment, as you see everything in a positive light.
Your hard, cold logic is all you need to win the day -- they may have more flash or prettier presentations, but you've got the facts on your side. It's one of those days when you're on the winning team.
Try to indulge your hunger for novelty today -- if you can try six new things, you are sure to be sated for a month or more. Plus, you may stumble upon your new favorite thing ever!
Are you paying attention to the small stuff? That's what's most important right now, and you can possibly make a real difference if you're in a position to catch the one flaw that can break everything.
What are you doing with your life? Now is the time to deal with that one issue that has been haunting you -and your energy is just right for handling whatever havoc it has been wreaking.
Your ability to communicate is greatly heightened today, so make sure that you've got the attention of those in charge -- or at least those whose opinions matter the most. You can change hearts and minds.
Creative energy makes you approach the day in a new way -- and you may find that your people are grateful for the new ideas you generate. It's a great time to lead a team or to blaze a trail.
You feel busier today -- even if your schedule is exactly the same as it was yesterday. It may be that your mental energy is taken up with other concerns so normal chores feel more overwhelming.
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.
miser mist moot parakeet pare pariah pastor pawn plane region reply salon scrap spasm speech teem thirst toil tremor worth
cHEss white tO PLAY AND MAte iN three MOVes 8
1 despicable (6) 4 saunas (anag) (6) 9 less fat (7) 10 woodwind instruments (5) 11 bonnie's partner (5) 12 spanish gentleman (7) 13 see-through (11) 18 tranquil (7) 20 muslim or hindu mendicant holy man (5) 22 la traviata composer (5) 23 authentic (7) 24 pact (6) 25 cling (6)
agony analyze ancestor attack budge chances cheap clan clergy common divan episode exile green idiom jacket local macaw mercy mimic
7 6 5 4 3 2
1.bh6 Rg8 2.bxg7+ Rxg7 3.Qxg7# *
1 join to something else (6) 2 succulent (5) 3 workplace eatery (7) 5 audibly (5) 6 distended (7) 7 hounds (anag) (6) 8 group of many islands (11) 14 keep for future use (7) 15 not coarse (7) 16 garden hedge plant (6) 17 zorba's land (6) 19 lacking clarity (5) 21 cutlery item (5)
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
Mother’s nutrition before pregnancy is ‘super-critical: British study
T’S often said you are what you eat. But it seems that what your mother ate is also important. Research points to a woman’s diet before she becomes pregnant affecting the genes of her future child. What is more, pre-conception diet may have a life-long impact on the as yet unborn child’s health. Researcher Andrew Prentice, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: ‘The key message is that a mother’s nutrition before she becomes pregnant is super-critical. ‘There is a lot going on before the moment of conception.’ The science is still in its infancy, but it could lead to women who want to start a family being advised to take a cocktail of vitamins and other food supplements ahead of pregnancy. To pin down the effect of a mother’s diet on health, Professor Prentice studied women in rural West Africa, where the marked seasons lead to distinct changes in the foods eaten.
Working with colleagues from the Medical Research Council’s unit in the Gambia, he measured the concentration of various nutrients in the blood of nearly 170 newly-pregnant women. Half had conceived at the height of the rainy sea-
son and half had become pregnant at the peak of the dry season. He also scrutinised the DNA of their babies after they were born and quizzed other local women about their diet through the seasons. Crunching the results together showed a clear link between a woman’s diet and her child’s genes. Crucially, it was what she ate before pregnancy that was important – not what eaten when carrying the child. The difference involved ‘epigenetic’ changes to the baby’s DNA. These aren’t mutations but chemical changes that affect when genes become active and how active they are. Not all of our genes are active all of the time, and if they are under or over-active, it can cause problems. It is not known if the changes found here affect health but, in other work, Professor Prentice has found linked pre-pregnancy diet to the chemistry of genes involved in obesity, cancer and the immune system. Some changes can be erased over time, others are life-long. Nutrients needed to make the chemical changes include vitamins B2, B6 and B12, as well as choline
and methionine and folic acid. Professor Prentice said that while it is too early to give advice, good sources of these compounds include, milk, green, leafy vegetables and protein. Women are already advised to take folic acid, or vitamin B9 in
the run-up to pregnancy. The professor said: ‘Now research is pointing to the need for a cocktail of nutrients, which could come from the diet or from supplements. ‘What is pretty thrilling is that we seem to have hit on something that has worldwide consequences for women trying to conceive.’ Almost ten years ago, scientists showed the nutrients in a mouse’s diet before pregnancy can alter the colour of the coat of her future pup. The latest research, published in the journal Nature Communications, is the first to definitively link preconception diet with epigenetic changes in people. It is part of a growing body of research that points to a child’s health being programmed early in life – including in the womb and even before conception. It is argued that these early days shape a child’s chances of everything from developing diabetes in their 40s and 50s to having a heart attack in old age. It is even said that life expectancy can be traced back to those early days and months, as can a lifelong battle of the bulge. VIA DAILY MAIL
Daily bowl of cereal prolongs life after heart attack: research
Skype removes offensive emoticons Skype, the online video chat service, has removed some of its emoticons which have the “potential to offend”, according to its community managers. Some of the icons include a smiley face showing its middle finger and a woman’s legs wearing high heels. The changes happened more than a month ago, according to TechCrunch. A number of Skype users have complained on the site’s forums about the update, which was brought in with the upgrade to version 6.14 in February. The removed emoticons, which could be used during instant messaging conversations, were part of a hidden range of icons separate to the standard ones. Other hidden emoticons are still available, including one of a smiley face smoking, another which is drunk and a third wearing boxing gloves. Skype was first launched more than 10 years ago. It was bought by Microsoft in 2011 which decided to phase out its Windows Live Messenger service in 2013 in favour of Skype’s instant messaging service. Skype has a number of rivals, including Apple’s FaceTime, Viber and Google Hangouts. VIA BBC NEWSBEAT
A bowl of breakfast cereal every day increases heart attack survivors’ chances of living longer, claim researchers. They found an increase in dietary fibre – especially cereals – was linked with lower death rates. Those who ate the most fibre had a 25 per cent lower chance of dying in the nine years after their heart attack compared with those who ate the least, according to a study. A bowl of breakfast cereal every day increases heart attack survivors’ chances of living longer, claim researchers. They found an increase in dietary fibre – especially cereals – was linked with lower death rates. Those who ate the most fibre had a 25 per cent lower chance of dying in the nine years after their heart attack compared with those who ate the least, according to a study. The top quintile –
the one in five who ate most fibre – had a 25 per cent lower chance of dying from any cause during the nine years after their heart attack compared with the bottom quintile. Of the three different fibre types – cereal, fruit and vegetable – only higher cereal fibre intake was strongly linked with an increased chance of long-term survival after a heart att a c k . Breakfast cereal was the main
source of dietary fibre for the participants. Findings were adjusted for factors that could affect lifespan, including age, medical history and other dietary and lifestyle habits. It has been previously found that people who have a high intake of dietary fibre are less likely to develop coronary heart disease. Fibre’s benefits include reducing blood cholesterol, improving blood glucose levels and lowering blood pressure.
The researchers say heart attack survivors have a higher risk of dying than the general population and are often more motivated to make changes to their lifestyle. Yet treatment to improve their chances of living longer generally neglects advising a healthier lifestyle in favour of long-term medication, they say. Fibre works by reducing blood cholesterol, improving blood glucose levels, lowering blood pressure, promoting weight loss and binding to cancer-causing agents, making them more likely to be excreted by the body. The UK’s nutritional goals and guidelines are for people to eat 440g of fruit and vegetables every day and 18g of fibre. A study from Oxford University found 4,000 premature deaths a year could be prevented by increasing dietary fibre. ONLINE
Being called fat as a child tied to girl’s appearance at 19: US study A new study suggests that being labeled as “fat” during childhood is associated with how a girl looks in late adolescence. Specifically, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) psychologists report that girls who are told by a parent, sibling, friend, classmate, or teacher that they are too fat at age 10 are more likely to be obese at age 19. The study looked at 1,213 African-American girls and 1,166 white girls living in Northern California, Cincinnati, and Washington, D.C., 58 percent of whom had been told they were too fat at age 10. All the girls had their height and weight measured at the beginning of the study and again after nine years. Overall, the girls labelled fat were 1.66 times more likely than the other girls to be obese at 19, the researchers found. They also found that as the number of people who told a girl she was fat increased, so did the likelihood that she would be obese nine years later. The findings are currently published online in the journal JAMA Pediatrics
and will be found in hard copy in June. “Simply being labelled as too fat has a measurable effect almost a decade later. We nearly fell off our chairs when we discovered this,” said A. Janet Tomiyama, Ph.D., the study’s senior author. “Even after we statistically removed
the effects of their actual weight, their income, their race, and when they reached puberty, the effect remained. “That means it’s not just that heavier girls are called too fat and are still heavy years later; being labelled as too fat is creating an additional likelihood of being obese.” Co-author Jeffrey Hunger, a graduate student at University of California, Santa Barbara, said that simply being called fat may lead to behaviours that later result in obesity. “Being labeled as too fat may lead people to worry about personally experiencing the stigma and discrimination faced by overweight individuals, and recent research suggests that experiencing or anticipating weight stigma increases stress and can lead to overeating,” he said. The research findings also confirmed the results of a 2007 study in which Tomiyama and colleagues analyzed 31 long-term studies and found that people can initially lose five to 10 percent of their weight on any number of diets, but
the majority regain all the weight, plus more. Only a small minority, they discovered, sustain their weight loss. “If dieting worked, it wouldn’t be a $60 billion industry,” said Tomiyama, who said trying to be thin is about as easy as trying to be taller. “The genetic power over weight is about the same as the power of genes over your height,” she said. “People who say it’s your fault if you’re fat underappreciate the role of genes.” Research has shown that twins separated at birth have very similar weights, regardless of the environment in which they grow up, Tomiyama noted. She recommends focusing on eating healthier and fitness rather than obsessing about weight and strongly opposes stigmatizing people who are overweight. “When people feel bad, they tend to eat more, not decide to diet or take a jog,” she said. “Making people feel bad about their weight could increase their levels of the hormone cortisol, which generally leads to weight gain.” VIA PSYCH CENTRAL
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
ARTS HritHik officially files for divorce from sussane
A ‘MATURE’ VEENA RETURNS TO PAKISTAN ISLAMABAD
Hrithik Roshan and Sussane filed divorce papers today with mutual consent in Bandra family court, Mumbai. Since no allegations have been made by either of the parties, the couple will most probably get divorced by next hearing, which is tentatively scheduled on October 31st. The Roshans in December of last year delivered shocking announcement that they were splitting after 13 years of marriage. The couple, who dated four years before marrying, have two sons together Hrehaan and Hridhaan. VIA MIDDAY.COM
lady gaga outfit sells for more tHan $15,000
AKISTANI film actress Veena Malik arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday for the very first time post her marriage with businessman Asad Basheer Khattak. Speaking to media on her arrival at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad, Veena said that she has come back to return the favours of her country and work for social and human rights in Pakistan. The actress, accompanied by her husband, said that she has ‘matured’, adding that she would now be working only in Pakistan. She did not confirm if she would return to showbiz. Khattak told the media representatives that he had no issues Veena decides to make a comeback in the showbiz industry.
Pakistani artists to showcase Arabic calligraphy in Jeddah
disney eyes Bigger plans witH sHangHai
A costume worn by Lady Gaga has sold for more than $15,000 at auction. The elaborate outfit, created by avante garde designers threeASFOUR for the 'Applause' hitmaker's March 2014 photo shoot in Harper's Bazaar magazine, was sold at Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles for $15,625. The 27-year-old singer was the cover model for the issue and wore the flesh tone one-piece item, a stretchy power mesh bodysuit in a tiny size 4. The outfit is adorned with clusters of large triangular sequins in mirrored metal along the chest, arms and front of the thighs. Gaga's costume also features a built-in cowl hat upper and full gloves with stainless steel laser cutout mesh pieces wrap around the head, shoulders and arms. Only one fan made an offer for the costume, which had a minimum bid of $12,500. The star was zipped into the tight one-piece, which she also wore for a photograph featured inside the publication, and is one of many detailed costumes used for the shoot. VIA BANG SHOWBIZ
clooney steps down from un peacekeeping role Hollywood star George Clooney has retired from his role as United Nations Messenger of Peace after six years. The newly-engaged actor was given the role in 2008 following his work to raise awareness about violence in Darfur, Sudan. He also fought for aid for the millions of families displaced by the conflict in the country. During his role, he travelled to Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan but the actor has now decided he cannot give enough time to promote peacekeeping efforts properly. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric says, "After six years in this role, Mr. Clooney feels it is time to retire his official role as messenger of peace. The competing demands on their time from their professional and advocacy lives sometimes make it difficult for high-profile individuals to carry out a formal United Nations role." ONLINE
Twelve Pakistani Arabic calligraphists will display their work and conduct workshops in Jeddah from May 1 to 4. The "Beauty of the Message" event will be held at the Red Sea Mall, which will be organized jointly by the Pakistani Consulate and the World Muslim Congress (WMC). Individuals wanting to learn the art of Arabic Islamic calligraphy can attend the free workshops, The Arab News Reported. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, president of the WMC, said the Pakistani artists are known for their creativity. He said the exhibition would highlight the friendship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Pakistan Consul General Aftab Ahmed Khokhar
said that the purpose of the exhibition was to highlight the close cultural and religious ties between the two countries. He said the work of Pakistani artists and artisans are mature and confident, and they have also exhibited a willingness to innovate and experiment. With their exposure to new ideas and movements, their ability to synthesize and improvise has led to a variety of works, he said.
The Pakistani artists to participate in the event are Iqbal Ibn-e-Kaleem, Irfan Ahmed Khan, Mehmood Anjum, Malik Muhammad, Abdul Rehman, Mahmood Nasir, Ashraf Muhammed, Rasheed Abdul, Hassan Muhammad, Razzaq Abdul, Lashari Maqsood Ali and Qudoos Mussarat. The opening ceremony will be held on May 1 at 7.30 p.m. From May 2 to 4, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
BoB Hoskins dies aged 71 following pneumonia Bob Hoskins died on Tuesday night following pneumonia at the age of 71, it has been revealed. It comes two years after the muchloved actor announced he was retiring from showbusiness after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Hoskins's silver screen career spanned four decades and included Hollywood hits such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit. His most recent appearance was in Snow White and the Huntsman, released in 2012 and starring Kristen Stewart. His second wife Linda and children Alex, Sarah, Rosa and Jack said: 'We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob. 'Bob died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia.' The family also thanked well-wishers for their 'messages of love and support'. VIA DAILY MAIL
WASHINGTON: American entertainment giant Disney is set to pour an additional USD 800 million into its Disney Shanghai, its first theme park on the Chinese mainland, officials have said. CEO Bob Iger said the deal, with Shanghai Shendi Group, will total an investment of USD 5.5 billion, and the additional funds will be to boost the park's capacity and attractions. "Since we first broke ground in Shanghai we've been very impressed with the growth of China's economy, especially the rapid expansion of the middle class and the significant increase in travel and tourism," Iger said in a statement. "Our accelerated expansion, including additional attractions and entertainment, will allow us to welcome more guests for a spectacular Disney experience on opening day." Disney says it is decidedly upbeat about 330 million people being within a three-hour range of the park in Shanghai, the economic capital of the world's second largest economy. Started in 2011, Disneyland Shanghai will be the company's fourth theme park outside the United States after Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. AGENCIES
Beyoncé: women are pressured into perfection
1939 Oscar trophy auctioned for $150,000 LOS ANGELES AGENCIES An Oscar statuette won in 1939 by a cinematographer who worked on "Citizen Kane" was auctioned for $150,000 Tuesday. Gregg Toland won the Academy Award, the only Oscar of his career, for his work on another film, "Wuthering Heights" by director William Wyler and starring Sir Laurence Olivier. Toland was considered one of the most influential cinematographers in the history of film. He worked on "Citizen Kane" (1941) and "The Best Years of
Our Lives" (1946). At Tuesday´s sale by the Nate D. Sanders auction house, a navy blue overcoat that belonged to John Lennon went for $31,250, and a cowboy hat that John Wayne wore in six Westerns sold for $37,500. A Lady Gaga dress combining fabric and metal elements, which the singer wore during a photo session with Harper´s Bazaar magazine in March of this year, sold for $15,625.But personal effects including shoes that belonged to martial arts star Bruce Lee went begging at the auction.
Beyoncé believes there's too much pressure on women to look perfect. The 32-year-old singer has released a behind-the-scenes look into the making of her 'Pretty Hurts' music video, which is based on the standards of 'beauty' set by society. The video director Melina Matsoukas said: ''The concept of the video is really a behind the scenes look into society's take on beauty and how it doesn't bring you happiness and it doesn't move you forward in life. It's really finding yourself that brings you happiness.'' The video demonstrates the extreme lengths women go to into order to fit in, and in one scene Beyoncé pretends she's preparing for cosmetic surgery and Botox. She explained: ''I'm pretending to get a face-lift and Botox. It represents all the things that women go through to keep up with the pressure that society puts on us. Some of the things that young women go through, it's just really heartbreaking for me.'' BY CONTACT MUSIC
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
Anderson’s ten earns Lancashire win
Saleem Malik asks PCB to review ban
SPORTS DESK James Anderson completed a 10-wicket match as Lancashire sealed a 60-run win over Northamptonshire in their first match without Peter Moores at the helm. Moores has already started work as England head coach and will be thankful to have Anderson at his services in that role, as the seamer claimed the first two wickets on the final morning at Wantage Road to tee up victory and finish with combined figures 10 for 89. Northamptonshire resumed on the fourth morning 145 for 5 with 95 still to get but instead mustered only 34 as the visitors finished the job in just 15 overs. James Middlebrook, 78 not out overnight, resumed alongside Ben Duckett, with Anderson beginning alongside skipper Glen Chapple. The former got Lancashire going with the second ball of his third over, snapping up a low return catch off Duckett’s leading edge to send him back for 26. Just two runs were added before Anderson struck again, former team-mate Steven Crook attempting to pull a short ball from outside off stump only to be caught by Luke Procter at mid-on. That allowed Anderson to finish with 5 for 41 to go with his first-innings effort of 5 for 48, a statement of intent ahead of the international programme. Northamptonshire retained a theoretical chance as long as Middlebrook remained but when he drilled Chapple to the waiting Ashwell Prince for 87, the result was all but settled. Kabir Ali applied the finishing touch, accounting for Olly Stone and Azharullah to close with 3 for 17 as Lancashire banked 19 points. Off the field, Lancashire announced the appointment of former club captain Mark Chilton to the coaching staff. Although Chapple has taken an expanded leadership role in Moores’ absence, a vacancy behind the scenes was still created and Chilton, who retired in 2011, will be a popular choice at Old Trafford. Director of cricket Mike Watkinson said: “Following the recent changes in our coaching structure, it was vital that we had some continuity to enable us to carry on our progress. “He has demonstrated his leadership skills in his role of club captain and he will have a great influence on the squad. He is Lancashire through and through and had a successful career at Emirates Old Trafford. He hasn’t been out of the first-class game for long and is in touch with the requirements of the modern day cricketer.” Chilton added: “I am thrilled at the prospect of returning to Lancashire. We have an exciting crop of emerging young players and I am looking forward to working with them.”
SPORTS DESK Saleem Malik, the former Pakistan captain, met with PCB chairman Najam Sethi to request the board to review his life ban. Malik was given a life ban in 2000 by the PCB following an independent inquiry into the match-fixing scandal. “The PCB chairman met with Malik to hear his plea and will further review his case,” a board spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo. “He approached us and offered his service for cricket and requested the chairman to reconsider his ban as he claimed that a court had lifted his life ban.” In 2000, Malik became the first player to be banned from all forms in cricket after Justice Qayyum’s report found him guilty. Malik’s appeal against the ban in 2001 was rejected by the Lahore High Court, but seven years later another court lifted the ban. At the time, Malik expressed his interest in coaching and also claimed that the PCB had offered him the role of the head coach of the National Cricket Academy. The news of his apparent appointment drew the attention of the ICC, which sought an explanation from the Pakistan board. However, the PCB denied the offer. Malik then applied for the post of the national side’s batting coach in October 2012 but was not considered. Malik last played international cricket in June 1999. He played 103 Tests, captaining in 12 Tests in 1994-95, winning seven. He is also one of four Pakistan players to have played more than a hundred Tests, and also featured in 283 ODIs.
NO TALK ABOUT GAMBHIR’S PLACE IN TEAM: DAHIYA SPORTS DESK In his first four games this IPL season, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir aggregated 1 run. Against Rajasthan Royals, he redeemed himself, a little bit, with 45 off 44. However, his place in the eleven, according to assistant coach Vijay Dahiya, was never in doubt. “If you ask me, Gautam is our best batsman and there are no two ways about it that if your best batsman is not in form, it is a problem for the team. But it will be a different team when he starts scoring runs at the top. There is not a single talk about his place in the side,” Dahiya was quoted as saying by PTI. “Let’s not forget that he is not only one of our batsmen but also our leader. He has led the team very well and we need him in the mix.” WATSON’S CAPTAINCY SIMILAR TO
DRAVID’S: Ajinkya Rahane, one of the five players retained by Rajasthan Royals ahead of this year’s auction, has praised new captain Shane Watson for his style of captaincy. He is quite similar in his demeanour on the field to Rahul Dravid, the team’s former captain, Rahane said. “He has been wonderful. In so many ways he is very similar to Rahul bhai as captain. Like him, Shane too is very calm in the middle and makes his decisions with a cool head,” Rahane told the IPL website. “They both have the ability to hold their nerves in pressure situations and take their own time in making the right decision.” RCB HAVE TO RECOVER LOST GROUND: Royal Challengers Bangalore began the season with two wins, before three defeats in a row meant they slipped down the IPL points table. Yu-
vraj Singh, the team’s high-profile signing this year, admits that the losses were a big set-back, and the team will have to turn things around once they’re back in India. “After spending last 15 days in UAE, it’s time to come home and recover some lost ground,” Yuvraj wrote in his blog. “Losing three matches in a row is definitely a set-back, which we need to overcome very quickly. We had one terrible game against Rajasthan Royals and the other two games we just didn’t play the crucial moments well. In this format, you lose and win your battles in a very short span and unlike Test cricket or one-day cricket, you don’t have many chances to make a comeback.” The players have a couple of days off before the India leg of the tournament, Yuvraj said, and it would be important for them to come back refreshed.
Thursday, 1 May, 2014
Clarke won’t temper Australia’s aggression
Brown ‘encouraged’ by Trott latest
USTRALIA’S captain Michael Clarke insists his side plays the game “extremely fairly” and has no intention of reining in the overt aggression that was central to the team’s victories over England and South Africa last summer. In a theme familiar to members of the great Australian combinations of the recent past, triumphs in the Ashes and then even more notably over the world’s No. 1 team on their home territory had to compete for room in the public sphere with criticism of how Clarke’s men conducted themselves on the field. The final Test of the South Africa series in Cape Town was particularly fiery, as Clarke, James Pattinson and David Warner were all involved in confrontations with opponents in their pursuit of a win that was ultimately secured with minutes to spare. The ESPNcricinfo columnist Martin Crowe has been among the most vocal in his opposition to Australia’s aggression, penning a sharply-worded piece for the Wisden Almanack that stated “too often, it becomes crudely personal. And that is when cricket’s spirit and integrity are lost”. Clarke took note of Crowe’s words but disagreed, stating that the team had played the game hard but fair over the past 12 months with the exception of two incidents for which he had admitted fault - an exchange with James Anderson broadcast via stump mic during the Brisbane Ashes Test and another with Dale Steyn during the final drinks break at Newlands. “Firstly Martin Crowe’s certainly entitled to his opinion, like the rest of us. I think we play our cricket hard on the field but I think as Australians we understand and respect there’s a line you can’t cross,” Clarke told ESPNcricinfo in New York. “I made no bones about the incident in Brisbane and what I said to James Anderson wasn’t appropriate, especially being over stump mic where boys and girls can hear that, and I did the same with the Dale Steyn incident. “Sometimes when you’re playing sport at the highest level, emotions
come out for people to see, and I think that’s a great thing about our game. But we understand there’s a line you can’t cross. You can go close to it, but you can’t cross it. I think generally Australians play cricket extremely fairly, and play sport extremely fairly. I can tell you in my career 100 different instances like those that nobody knows about, because it’s not over the stump mic, or you can’t see it firsthand.” Other voices were raised in objection to the conduct of Clarke’s team following the South Africa series, emanating from the Australian press. In the Courier-Mail, the senior cricket writer Robert Craddock wrote that “the sight of Michael Clarke angrily confronting umpires and Australian fieldsmen barking like dogs at batsmen left a lot of people cold and alienated from the team and its success. “If a captain is carrying on like a saucepan whose lid has just popped off it is hardly surprising his team is running out of control. It’s a shame Australia behaved so poorly because this was an epic triumph.” In the Sydney Morning Herald, David Sygall wrestled with similar disappointment. “The Australian psyche is characterised by uncompromising toughness, determination and dignity,” he wrote. “Those traits must
no longer be confused with boorish and bullying behaviour. After another significant win by our national cricket team, too many people are only halfcelebrating. Too many people feel the team has not spoken for them.” Nevertheless, Clarke remained steadfast in his conviction that the team have conducted themselves fairly, and that CA and the ICC were invariably quick to step in with a harsh word and a sanction on the odd occasions that they did not. “The Australian way is to play tough, non-compromising cricket on the field. I think if you speak to a lot of the other [international] players you’ll find that we’re very social off the field, we go out of our way to make sure we see the other team, win, lose or draw, after a game,” Clarke said. “But with that we understand there’s a line you can’t cross and I think generally we’re pretty good on that.” “The integrity of the game’s crucial, we all know that as players, and certainly as captain of Australia that’s a big part of my job to make sure that we always uphold the integrity of the game. With those sorts of things, when you’re out of line you get pulled up by CA or the ICC anyway, so there’s things in place to ensure you don’t overstep that mark.” A little under two months since
the conclusion of a wildly successful summer, Clarke has had time to reflect upon the team’s achievements, and said he hoped they would prove to be the start of sustained excellence from the national team. Such a pattern would contrast with that of the 2006-07 side who also swept England at home, in what came to be recognised as the final hurrah of a dominant era spanning more than 20 years. “In 2007 we had a team with a lot of experience. Five, six or seven of those players will go down as the greatest. If you picked an all-time great Australian team there could have been five of them in that team,” Clarke said. “I don’t think we have that calibre in our team right now individually, but we certainly have a great team and I think we’ve proved that to a lot of people over the last 12 months. “The other side to that is we have a lot of improvement to do. Our greatest challenge is to not only win in Australia but also win away from home, and that’s why it was so pleasing to us as a team to beat the No. 1 team in their own backyard.” Australia’s next Test match assignment will be against Pakistan in the UAE in October, before home Tests against India ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
England’s Jonathan Trott joined his Warwickshire team-mates in the dressing room to witness their 98-run win over Nottinghamshire from the pavilion balcony but head coach, Dougie Brown, played down the prospect of another attempted playing comeback for the troubled batsman. Trott, who left England’s Ashes tour to Australia after the opening Test because of what was described as a stress-related illness, returned to Championship action for his county just under three weeks ago only to suffer a relapse, after which it was announced he would take an indefinite break. “I assume he will be around the dressing room for the next little while,” Brown said. “We had a good chat and we know where he is at and all I can say is what we spoke about is very encouraging.” However, Brown would not be drawn on the subject of a return to playing cricket, even at 2nd XI level. “Let’s just see where he is at,” he said. “He is dealing with something that has been ongoing for a while and the last thing I want it to be, just because he is back in the dressing room, is it turning into a circus. “I would really like it to be understated, for him to do what he needs to do to get back into cricket and for people to leave him to do that. People now understand that this is something he has got to focus on to get himself back to where he needs to be, without it being a circus.” Interviewed before the season began, Trott insisted he was not suffering from depression but burnout in Australia, where his problems became public knowledge after he suffered a peppering from Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson in the opening Test. He had hoped a period at home with his family, away from the pressures of an Ashes series, would enable him to make a quick recovery. However, after a low-key comeback in a pre-season University fixture, Trott was selected for Warwickshire’s opening Championship match against Sussex at Edgbaston, where he looked comfortable in the first innings but again struggled against shortpitched bowling in the second, twice being hit on the head and body before he was caught at deep square leg playing a poor leg-side shot. His troubles were compounded when he then dropped a routine catch in the slips offered by the Sussex matchwinner, Ed Joyce, and confessed to his team-mates afterwards that his problems had resurfaced. SPORTS DESK
Joyce hopeful of Prior return Afghanistan begin as favourites SPORTS DESK
Sussex captain Ed Joyce thinks there is a chance Matt Prior could play for the county against Lancashire this weekend. England keeper Prior has not played in either of Sussex’s last two LV= County Championship matches because of an Achilles problem. The long-standing injury has stopped Prior from being behind the stumps - he played as a batsman in Sussex’s season opener - but Joyce believes he may be back this weekend. Joyce will be missing as he turns out for Ireland in one-dayers against Sri Lanka, but hopes Prior, Chris Nash and Luke Wright could all return in his absence. “There is a chance we could have Chris, Luke and Matt back for the next game. It’s good to have people coming back and there is pressure for places,” Joyce said after his side’s innings-and-11-run loss to Somerset. “Matt is coming back from a fairly serious injury. He’s trying to make sure when he does come back he can play the game fully, possibly keep wicket and he’s trying to get his place back in the Test team.” Prior is looking to win back his England place having been dropped on the disastrous Ashes tour following a poor year with the bat. He was replaced by Jonny Bairstow but the
Yorkshireman, whose place is far from guaranteed, currently has a broken finger. Prior made a positive start to the year with 125 for Sussex against Middlesex. Joyce top-scored for Sussex with 93 as they were comfortably beaten at Hove and he conceded that Somerset deserved to end his county’s unbeaten start to the season. “After the first two games we were on a high but we’ve been blown away,” he told Sussex’s official website. “We’ve been beaten by an innings. We’ve blown two teams away and then been blown away ourselves. That’s the nature of the division. Fair play to Somerset for keeping their foot on our throat after the way they batted.”
The Asian Cricket Council Premier League is set to commence from May 1 in Malaysia, with tournament favourites Afghanistan up against Hong Kong in the first match. The 50-over competition features six teams, of which Afghanistan, Hong Kong and UAE have ODI status. The week long competition comprises 15 matches, with all teams facing each other. This edition of the tournament includes Nepal, who were impressive in the recently-concluded World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, winning two out of three qualifying matches. Shortly afterwards, Nepal’s cricketers boycotted the national one-day tournament that was meant to be a selection trial for this competition, but called it off a week later. Afghanistan enter the tournament as the team to beat. Although they had a poor outing in the World Twenty20 where they won just one match, they have the experience of playing against highly-ranked sides. They were impressive in this year’s Asia Cup, which they were part of for the first time, and also toppled Bangladesh. Hong Kong will enter
the competition with the confidence of having beaten Bangladesh, in the last match they played in the World Twenty20. UAE gained ODI status after finishing in the top four in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in
New Zealand; they lost the finals of that tournament to Scotland. The last edition of the Asian Cricket Council Premier League was in 2012. The title was shared by UAE and Nepal after a tie. SPORTS DESK
SPORTS Thursday, 1 May, 2014
Misbah to remain captain till World Cup
CB chairman Najam Sethi and the chairman of Pakistan’s selection committee Moin Khan appear to be at loggerheads over who will lead Pakistan at the World Cup. Moin had mentioned a possible change in leadership on Tuesday, but the notion was shot down by Sethi, who said today he had decided to stick with Misbah-ul-Haq.
“To be honest a change in captaincy was discussed,” Moin had said at a press conference in Karachi. “We have to take a decision, with consensus with everyone within the PCB and the incoming head coach. Whoever is better for Pakistan will be the captain [for the World Cup].” Sethi, though, threw his weight behind Misbah. “According to the rules, the PCB chairman selects the selectors and the captains of the team, while the selectors select the teams,” Sethi said.
Pakistan’s quadriplegic athlete Sarmad Tariq passes away
ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Motivational speaker, storyteller and Pakistan’s first ever quadriplegic athlete, Sarmad Tariq passed away late on Tuesday. After entering into a diving accident in his teen years, Sarmad Tariq was left with both his arms and legs sensation-less. Rather than give in to the situation, Sarmad chose a life full of challenges that even normal people would think twice before undertaking. He believed his condition was reason for his spiritual liberation. Confined to a wheelchair, Sarmad was the first and only wheelchair-bound-athlete
in Pakistan’s first ever Lahore Marathon in 2005. He not only participated in the event but finished the race distance of 42km in seven and a half hours, qualifying to represent his country in ING New York City Marathon 2005 and made history for Pakistan by returning with a finisher’s medal. He was an inspiration for a source of inspiration for many. Known as the ‘Chairman’, Sarmad was married and settled in Islamabad. He had been suffering from multiple ailments and his condition deteriorated during the past few months for which he was undergoing treatment that was more often painful rather than relieving.
“Whatever be the personal view of the selectors regarding who should be the captain, I stand by my decision to retain Misbah-ul-Haq as captain until the World Cup.” Misbah, 39, was named full-time captain of the ODI team in 2011, and has led it in 71 ODIs overall, winning 39 while averaging 47.21 with the bat that’s better than his career average of 44.38 in 146 matches. In 32 games over the past 12 months - of which Pakistan won 16 - he averaged 52.00, and was
the cornerstone of the batting. Pakistan is set to a play 13 ODIs in next nine months, leading up to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next February and March. ESPNcricinfo understands that there are some who believe Shahid Afridi should take the reins from Misbah ahead of the showpiece event. Similarly for 2011 World Cup Misbah was a strong contender for the captaincy but, following weeks of uncertainty, Afridi was named captain.
Murray to avoid horror WiMbledon draW despite loW ranking SPORTS DESK Wimbledon champion Andy Murray should be spared a horror draw at this year’s tournament despite his recent rankings slide, organisers said on Tuesday. Murray, who became the first British man to win the men’s singles at the grasscourt grand slam for 77 years last July when he beat Novak Djokovic in the final, has sunk to eighth in the ATP rankings which at most tournaments determine seedings. However, Wimbledon’s seeding system, which takes into account past performances on the grass surface, means it is unlikely Murray would find himself outside the top four seeds even if his world ranking does not improve. Seedings at Wimbledon are generally based on ATP rankings but the fact that Murray was unbeaten on grass last year and reached the Wimbledon final in 2012 as well will count in his favour, according to All England Club chairman Philip Brook. “For Andy Murray, as the winner of Queen’s last year and the winner here last year, and a finalist here in 2012, there will be a significant impact on him,” he told a news conference. Murray’s ranking has slipped from a career-high two down to eight, largely because of back surgery at the end of last year. Although he has fully recovered, his form has been inconsistent and he was well beaten by Roger Federer at the Australian Open. The 26year-old Scot is due to play in next week’s Madrid Masters as he gears up for the French Open which he missed last year due to injury.
Jayawardene plays down Farbrace impact SPORTS DESK Mahela Jayawardene has played down the impact Paul Farbrace’s change of allegiance will have when Sri Lanka tour England this summer. Farbrace was Sri Lanka’s coach for a little over three months before he broke his two-year contract to become England’s assistant coach shortly before the tour. “I don’t think Paul going to England will affect us that much. All the teams know how we play,” Jayawardene told the Daily Mirror. “We just have to adapt to the conditions and keep challenging ourselves to do well. I honestly don’t think that’s going to affect us.” Farbrace began his tenure as Sri Lanka coach on January 1 and the team lost only one out of 18 matches under his watch, winning the World T20 and Asia Cup. However, while acknowledging Farbrace’s skills as a coach, Jayawardene said the process that resulted in those victories had been in place well before Farbrace. “The team had been together for a long time and we became the number one team [in T20 cricket] before Paul came along. So it’s been a gradual process. We worked with Graham [Ford] for two years and things were in place. Personnel and individual players
chosen and all that.” “Paul is great guy, he is a good coach. He gives a lot of confidence to the players. That’s what he brought to the table. It helped us. There were things in place for some time and the team gradually worked their way through to the World Cup [Twenty20].” Jayawardene said Farbrace’s decision to leave was disappointing but he was not about to dwell on it and stressed the need to move on under new guidance from interim coach Marvan Atapattu and former Surrey coach Chris Adams, who was signed by Sri Lanka Cricket as a consultant for the tour to England. “As players this is something we can’t control obviously. It is disappointing on both sides because we would’ve loved to have him [Farbrace],” Jayawardene said. “But he had made a decision. I think we just need to move on like we’ve always done as a team. “We’ve got Marvan and the coaches who have been with us for the last two-three years. So there is continuity, which is great. He [Adams] will be a good addition to us just to get insight of how the wickets are playing, how the conditions are, and for us to keep someone in our corner. “Preparations have been very good. The practices we’ve had have been very well organised and a lot
Published by Arif Nizami at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
of input and practice done with purpose, looking at the conditions in England. Very proactive sessions. I enjoyed that very much.” The upcoming Test tour will be Jayawardene’s fifth to England, where he has scored 614 runs in 19 innings at an average of 34.11. “I’ve always enjoyed playing in England, especially at Lord’s. It is one of my favourite venues. We’ve got some very good young talent and with this young team I am looking forward to the challenge. Sri Lanka are going to England under Angelo Mathews as captain and a new vice-captain in Lahiru Thirimanne, who replaced Dinesh Chandimal in the role. Jaywardene said Thirimanne was deserving of the additional responsibility. “He had two great years with us. Obviously he has been rewarded for all the good work he has done. He is obviously a very strong player mentally. He has shown that in all forms of the game. He seems a very calm, cool-headed person and obviously the leadership qualities are there. It will be good move for the team.” Sri Lanka’s tour begins with two ODIs against Ireland on May 6 and 8, followed by a Twenty20 international and five ODIs against England. The two Tests against England begin on June 12 at Lord’s and June 20 at Headingley.