Friday, 9 February, 2018 I Jamadi-ul-Awwal 22, 1439 I Rs 20.00 I Vol VIII No 222 I 20 Pages I Lahore Edition
Pm vows to name and shame senate ‘horse-traders’ g
Top judge admits ambiguity in law relating to honesty of MPs
AbbASI SAyS hAS repeAtedly ASked colleAGUeS not to pASS StAteMentS AGAInSt ArMy And JUdIcIAry ISLAMABAD
rIMe Minister Shahid khaqan Abbasi on thursday said that he has repeatedly emphasised on the need to abstain from passing statements on the military and judiciary, as he vowed to publicly name and shame ‘horse-traders’ in the upcoming Senate polls. he verbalized these views on the contempt of court cases against pakistan Muslim leaguenawaz (pMl-n) leaders in a tV interview on Wednesday night. While speaking on the show, the prime minister said that neither is there any room in the law or constitution nor is there any need to pass statements on the country’s military and judiciary. “I have specifically said in the cabinet and parliamentary meetings not to pass [such] statements,” he said. “If anybody’s sentiments have been hurt, then they should apologise,” said the pM while commenting on contempt of court cases against pMl-n’s tallal chaudhry and daniyal Aziz. HORSETRADING IN SENATE POLLS: Abbasi also vowed to publicly name and shame ‘horse-traders’ in the upcoming Senate elections. “[definitely], we will name and shame the [horse-traders], they should be held accountable. We will publicly name and shame them.” he said that he visited Quetta to ask party leaders about the rea-
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Ahsan sees Indian hand in targeted attacks on Chinese sons for bringing a no-confidence motion against the chief minister. “Whatever happened in balochistan, it will weaken democracy. the entire country will have its eyes on balochistan during Senate elections,” he said. Abbasi said the ones, who paid money to secure votes, cannot represent the province in the Senate. he said the government’s job is to improve policies and maintained that he has furthered them. “there’s no example of the initiatives undertaken by the incumbent government in past 65 years.” the prime minister said that the law and the constitution do not allow a politician to speak against institutions, however, individuals say emotional things at rallies and public meetings.
‘WILL BRING MUSHARRAF BACK IF COURT ORDERS’: Speaking with regard to pervez Musharraf’s return to country, Abbasi said, “Musharraf went out of the country after court orders and if the court says, we will further expedite efforts to bring him back.” he further said that being an independent candidate, he first contested an election 30 years ago on the wishes of the people of his constituency. “I neither changed the party, nor ever thought of it.” the prime minister said if an individual commits a mistake by leaving the party, but returns later, then there is some room, adding, “Several people had been under pressure to leave the party, a few endured, others could not.”
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STORY ON PAGE 04
Suspects acquitted in Mashal’s murder termed ‘Ghazis’ by JI and JUI-F STORY ON PAGE 03
02 NEWS ASMA JAHANGIR ENQUIRES UNDER WHAT PROCEDURE COURT WILL ESTABLISH CHARACTER OF PERSON CJP SAYS DISQUALIFICATION UNDER THE LAW WILL BE VALID TILL ‘DECLARATION IS ADMISSIBLE’ ASKS IF PERSON SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT CAN REMAIN THE HEAD OF A PARTY ISLAMABAD
HIEF Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday admitted the ambiguity of the Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution, saying that “the interpretation would be a difficult task”. The CJP made the observation as a
Friday, 9 February, 2018
ToP juDge ADmITS AmBIguITy In lAw relATIng To honeSTy of mPS five-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice Nisar and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah resumed hearing of 17 appeals against the disqualification of lawmakers. Over the course of the hearing, disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Rai Hasan Nawaz’s counsel Asma Jahangir termed the Article 62 (1)(f) as vague, as she prayed the court to merge the Article 62 and 63. The Article 62(1)(f) sets the precondition for a parliamentarian to be “sadiq and ameen” (honest and righteous). It was also used to oust the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from the office in the Panama Papers case in July 2017. Responding to Asma’s argument, the CJP asked that “how an ambiguous article can be defined and be nullified, if one considers Article 62(1)(f) unclear”, as he admitted the ambiguity in the article. He further said that Articles 62 and 63 are independent articles, adding that the disqualification under the law will be valid till the “declaration is admissible”. Replying to Ja-
hangir’s recommendation of setting the disqualification period to five years, CJP Nisar remarked that it was possible they decide minimum and maximum sentences, adding that in such an instance the court would decide the sentence case-to-case. Moreover, the chief justice observed that it is not the court’s prerogative to set a time period on its own. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed remarked chipped in, saying that “the period of disqualification under article 62-1F was not mentioned in the 18th Amendment [as well]”. Questioning the complexity of the law, Jahangir enquired under what procedure the fame or character of a person will be established. “Which court will declare the character of a person” Replying to Jahangir’s arguments, Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked the court can resolve “solid questions”, whereas Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked the legislators don’t want that a ‘dishonest’ person takes part in legislation. In an apparent reference to the constant axe of disqualification being hung over parliamentarians head, she went on to say
that parliament was not a free and independent body. CJP Nisar replied that the notion is incorrect. However, the counsel maintained that parliament should decide political matters and not any other institution” in order to not get undermined. Justice Ahsan wondered during the hearing how a dishonest person can become honest after some time, adding that the standard of ‘ideal people’ should be high. To this, counsel Jahangir responded that such ‘high-standard’ people can be brought from outside Pakistan as they would not be found in the country. After Jahangir completed her arguments, the bench adjourned the hearing till February 12 and directed the federal Attorney General to appear before the court on the next hearing to present his arguments. CAN A POLITICAL PARTY BE RUN FROM JAIL: Separately, while hearing petitions against the Elections Act 2017, CJP Nisar observed whether a person being party head can run affairs from jail or not. The act paved the way for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to become the Pak-
Sharifs’ counsel to be present during recording of video statements ISLAMABAD
ABBASI, ABDullAh Agree To enhAnce BIlATerAl TrADe
ISLAMABAD: Jordan’s King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at the Prime Minister’s House here on Thursday. The two parties held delegation-level talks during which they reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and exchanged views on ways to further expand these relations in a variety of fields. They agreed to bring a greater focus on enhancing bilateral trade and investment relations to make the bilateral trade, currently at USD 75 million, commensurate with the political ties existing between Pakistan and Jordan. The two leaders also reviewed the regional situation, with a particular focus on the Middle East in the aftermath of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by Washington. The PM expressed Pakistan’s unequivocal support for the cause of Palestine and reiterated Pakistan’s rejection of the decision. Abbasi also briefed the visiting dignitary on the current situation along the LoC, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and its commitment towards regional peace and stability. The following AgreementMoU was also signed – Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the Field of Civil Protection and Civil Defence. – Memorandum of Understanding between the Housing and Works Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Public Works and Housing Ministry of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. staff report
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday accepted Maryam Nawaz and her husband Muhammad Safdar’s plea seeking permission to allow a representative and defence counsel at the Pakistan High Commission in London during the recording of witnesses’ statements in the graft reference pertaining to the Avenfield Apartments case. A petition had already been filed Maryam Nawaz and Muhammad Safdar on Wednesday; however, earlier in the day Nawaz also filed a petition challenging the court order in relation to the permission of video link recording of the testimony. The father and daughter moved the IHC after the accountability court on February 2 allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to record statements of two witnesses of prosecution via video link at the high commission. On Thursday, the court heard both the petitions together. During the hearing, the division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb partially allowed the plea after hearing the arguments from both sides. It directed the authorities concerned to make sure presence of the representative of the petitioner during the examination of witnesses at the Pakistan High Commission in London. The court observed that the plea of the petitioners was based on jus-
tice, so their representative should be allowed at the time of the recording of the testimony. Presenting his arguments, Sharif family’s consul Amjad Pervaiz took the stance that in a criminal trial the attendance of the witnesses before a court was necessary unless the same was dispensed with the subject to the conditions mentioned in the Section-503 CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure). As per the declaration attached with the expert report, the witness Robert M Radley, the principal at the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory, declared that he may attend the court for cross-examination, and he had not made his attendance conditional. The reason for the excuse to attend the court is just an afterthought and prompted by malafide intentions, he added.
Radley, being a forensic examiner, had revealed that the type font used in trust deeds of two companies in Panama Papers case was Calibri, which was not commercially available before January 31, 2007, and the documents were prepared and signed on an earlier date. The Sharifs’ consul Pervaiz alleged that the order to allow the use of video link was also a violation of fundamental right of access to justice, treatment in accordance with law, due process and fair trial guaranteed vid Article 10 (A) of the Constitution. While passing the impugned order, he said, the court did not keep in view even the minimum safeguards as to rule out the possibility of tutoring, coaching and prompting of the prosecution witnesses and has felt satisfied and contended with the examination of the witnesses through video link in the high commission without any representation of either of the parties. He requested the court to declare ‘impugned order’ — dated February 2– illegal and without any lawful authority. Or, in an alternative, the order should be modified with directions for adequate representation of the petitioners during the examination of the witnesses at the Pakistan High Commission in London, the consul prayed the court. NAB Deputy Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar objected to the petitioner’s reservations, saying the accused were using delaying tactics in the case.
CII advises against public hangings of child molesters ISLAMABAD staff report
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Thursday advised against introducing an amendment in the law seeking public hanging for child kidnappers, suggesting instead establishment of speedy trial courts for curbing heinous crimes in the country. “There is no need to amend ‘Criminal Law Amendment Act 2017’ for a modification in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) Act’s Section 364-A with regard to kidnapping or abduction of a person under the age of 14. Rather there is a need to ensure punishing culprits involved in such heinous crime in order to build trust and confidence of judiciary among victim’s family,” CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said while addressing a
press conference. The CII chief was prodded for a more detailed opinion on public hanging of such culprits as demanded by a section of society in the wake of recent incidents of abduction, rape and murder of minor children particularly in Kasur. However, Ayaz desisted from delving into details. Speaking with regard to seven-year-old Zainab’s murder case, he said the council recommended speedy trial in such cases of heinous crimes in order to ensure easy and immediate justice for the victims. “Certainty of punishment is a solution to the growing social malaise. This can ensure reduction in crimes. The penalty can be publicised through modern means of communication to achieve Islamic objective of deterrence to the crime. This is the main objective of the Islamic theory of penalty,” he said.
The chairman said the council unanimously opined that the justice system of Pakistan has become outdated and has failed to provide justice to the people. “Major steps are needed to develop a totally new justice mechanism,” he remarked. Talking with reference to Paigham-i-Pakistan fatwa against suicide attacks, he said the council has unanimously adopted the recent state narrative and recommends that legislation should be initiated through parliament to ensure its practical implementation. “The Higher Education Commission needs to reflect it in the curriculum and make it part of the academic discourse in universities,” said the CII chief. “The provincial government should hold its commission of ulema and civil society in the capitals and cities to make it a topic of public discourse.” The council also
approved the draft submitted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs on Interfaith Discourse, understanding and cooperation. The council opined that a policy developed and based on that document would enhance respect of Pakistan in the global community. The council declared the growing trend of private interest system as a major cause of the exploitation of the poor people, while passing the proposed bill recommended that government should take immediate step to stop that practice. A few weeks ago, the Senate Secretariat referred the bill to the CII for its view over public execution. This move came after the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice discussed a proposed amendment to the section of 364-A of the PPC to allow public hanging last month.
istan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) head. The three-member bench asked PTI lawyer Babar Awan if someone convicted for life imprisonment can remain the head of a party. “Can a person who ridicules the judiciary be allowed to become a party head subsequently controlling legislative and executive affairs,” the CJP questioned as he referred to Article 5 of the Constitution. ‘SADIQ AND AMEEN’: Article 62(1)(f) reads “A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlise-Shoora (Parliament) unless-…he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.” On December 15, last year, the Supreme Court had disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen for failing to declare an offshore company and a foreign property in his election nomination papers. Similarly, then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on July 28, 2017, for concealing in his nomination papers the receivable income from his son’s company in UAE.
Abid Boxer was Shehbaz’s hitman, Imran alleges LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday alleged that former police inspector Abid ‘Boxer’ was involved in extrajudicial killings on the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Boxer, a fugitive on the run for 11 years and wanted for dozens of extrajudicial killings, has been arrested from Dubai through Interpol. Speaking to journalists on Thursday the PTI leader said, “the fugitive former inspector admitted that he used to kill people on the directions of Shehbaz Sharif.” “He left the country after knowing that Shehbaz was planning to kill him. Boxer is on record saying that he never killed anyone without the consent of the Punjab chief minister.” The PTI chairman announced to go to the court against Shehbaz. “Give me one example of an extrajudicial killing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There is a difference between KP police and the one in Punjab and Sindh,” adding, “ That is the reason why they called them mafia.” He appreciated the professional role of KP police in resolving Asma and Mashal murder case. “First time there have been action against mob violence. I have regrets for those parties who are turned this into a blasphemy issue. There is no doubt that Mashal never committed blasphemy. Parties who are making few people hero must think that they are setting a precedent in which anyone can kill anyone. You are trying to bring law of the jungle.” He challenged Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) President and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif of holding three times bigger rally on the same venue they organised their public gathering. staff report
PTI to challenge Dar’s nomination ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday decided to challenge Ishaq Dar’s nomination papers as a PMLN candidate for the upcoming Senate elections in March. The PTI is of the opinion that currently, there is a corruption case against Ishaq Dar which is being heard by the NAB court and a person embroiled in such a case should not be able to contest in any elections. PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry will lead a legal team to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and challenge the nomination papers of the disgraced ex-Finance Minister. Dar has submitted his nomination papers from Punjab where PML-N maintains a heavy majority in the provincial assembly. PMLN is likely to attain 25 more seats in the Senate with elections in the upper house due on March 3. Other PML-N leaders chosen for Senate tickets include Mushahid Hussain, Nuzhat Sadiq and Kamran Michael. Mushahid Hussain, who had resigned as PML-Q Senator and joined PML-N, is likely to be a Senator from the ruling party this time. staff report
Friday, 9 February, 2018
UTTAHIDA Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) chief Farooq Sattar and the party’s Rabita (Coordination) Committee have separately submitted nomination papers to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after both groups failed to agree on the Senate candidates’ names. Entering the fourth day of the controversy over the nomination of candidates and a widening rift, the Sattar-led group on Thursday announced the candidates for Senate and nominated Kamran Tessori and Farhan Chisti for general seats; Ahmed Chinoy and Hasan Feroz for technocrat seats; Nighat Shamim for the women’s seat; and Mangla Sharma for the minority seat. The candidates, including Kamran Tessori, Jamal Ahmed, Waseem Qureshi and Farhan Chishti, submitted their nomination papers from Sattar’s group before the end of the Thursday deadline. The rebellious Rabita Committee members based in Bahadurabad headquarters of the party also named their candidates, followed by Farogh Naseem, Nasreen Jalil, Abdul Qadir Khanzada and Ameenul Haq submitting their nomination papers. The committee members and the Sattar-led group, who are at loggerheads over the names for the Senate seats, earlier announced that they will continue deliberations to resolve their differences and a committee was also formed to diffuse tensions among the party leaders. Both groups told reporters that they would discuss the nomination, and that the nominations of all candidates other than the four final names both groups would decide on would be withdrawn. The differences in opinion seem to be taking a toll on the party’s leaders though. Upon their arrival at the ECP, Sattar and coordination committee members Waseem Akhtar and Faisal Sabzwari became teary-eyed as they met each other. SATTAR SAYS NO DIFFERENCES IN MQM-P: Speaking to reporters on his way back from the ECP, Dr Sattar said, “Today, we are submitting nomination forms of a few members and after the date
mQm-P remAInS DIvIDeD over SenATe cAnDIDATeS
MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar meets Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and Faisal Sabzwari outside the ECP office.
of withdrawal will finalise candidates with the consultation of Rabita Committee.” He claimed there were no differences within the MQM-P, adding that “we would have sorted this issue [earlier] but the media made it look like there was no solution to the problem.” Sattar also rubbished media reports about Farogh Naseem pitching the idea of Sattar’s removal as the party chief while stressing that the media blew things out of proportion. “No matter what you [the media] say, I don’t believe he can say that,” he said. However, earlier in the day Dr Sattar expressed reservations on Rabita Committee member Faisal Sabzwari’s press conference, in which the committee questioned the policies of Sattar as the party chief. “I promised the negotiators that I was coming so what was the hurry in doing the press conference. When I came to know about it, I immediately called Khawaja Izhar and Kanwar Naveed to stop them, we are coming,” he said. Subzwari was bitter in his presser, Sattar said, adding that the Bahadurabad faction of the party was constantly showing him the party’s consti-
tution for point scoring. Sattar, irked by the party committee’s meeting, said that the party meeting was unconstitutional because he didn’t permit that. RIFT IS DAMAGING: Dr Farooq Sattar’s optimism was, however, not shared by the committee member, Faisal Sabzwari. Speaking to media outside the ECP office in Karachi, Sabzwari said that he hoped that the rift between the two sides would be filled soon as it will make matters worse and none of us wants that. Pointing out the gravity of the situation, the member of the MQM-P committee said that the party suffered more in these four weeks than it had during the controversial botched alliance with the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). Sabzwari invited Sattar to join the reconciliations, saying that the doors of the Bahadurabad office were open to Sattar and he can come anytime and chair a meeting of the committee in order [for both groups] to reach a consensus. KHAWAJA IZHAR REMAINS HOPEFUL: MQM-P leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan — the broker— is hopeful
that the rift will be bridged. Speaking to journalists, he said that there was no trust deficit between the two groups and Sattar and the Rabita Committee will reason out the issue at a suitable time. He said that some elements had been spreading misinformation to create confusion, stressing that these elements had been exposed. Dispelling the rumours, he further said that the workers will not be divided under any circumstances. “MQM-P was united and shall remain united,” he had said. START OF TROUBLE: Rumours of a split in the party were rife after Sattar abruptly left a party meeting on February 5 over a disagreement on nominations of Senate candidates with senior party leader and deputy convener Amir Khan. Sattar’s blue-eyed party leader, Kamran Tessori, was removed from the list by the Rabita Committee after which Sattar had abruptly left the meeting and called a subsequent meeting of the party workers and leaders at his residence in the PIB. Following the open revolt against the party chief, MQM-P Rabita Committee in late night presser had also suspended Kamran Tessori from the party for six months and also removed him from the committee. Sattar had taken this as insolence and told reporters in a late presser that Amir Khan-group wanted to take over the party from him. He also complained that he cannot accept being treated as the ceremonial head of the party. After the pressers of the Rabia Committee and Dr Sattar, a reconciliation committee was constituted to defuse the tensions within the party ranks. Sattar has often been criticised for favouring Tessori over seasoned party leaders and workers. A jeweller-turned politician, Kamran Tessori, swiftly rose to the higher ranks of the party and he was made a deputy convenor of the party only after a year of his induction. Sattar had also given Tessori a ticket to contest a by-election on a Sindh Assembly seat (PS-114).
relIgIouS PArTIeS To holD ProTeST AgAInST convIcTIon of 31 SuSPecTS PESHAWAR: The politico-religious parties of Mardan are all set to protest the Mashal Khan murder verdict— that convicted 31 out 57 accused – on Friday. On Wednesday, while reading out the verdict, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Haripur handed out a death sentence on two counts to one suspect, convicted five to life imprisonment, awarded four years in jail to 25 others and acquitted 26 suspects in the murder case. The protest sponsored by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-IslamFazl (JUI-F) and Maulana Samiul Haq’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) will be held after Friday prayers at a mosque in Mardan, under the banner of ‘Khatm-i-Nabuwwat Mardan’. The religious parties’ activists, particularity JI’s, also held a welcome ceremony for the acquitted accused on Thursday. “The Haripur ATC honourably acquitted 26 individuals in the Mashal Khan case. This means they are innocent and today we are gathered to give them an exemplary welcome,” a Mardan-based JI leader told a local media outlet. Sharing the reasons behind the Friday’s protests, JUI-F’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa General Secretary Shujaul Mulk, he said these acquitted accused will address the protesters and share their ‘ordeal’.He also alleged that the men arrested for the murder of Mashal were beaten and forced confessions were extracted from them. Mulk said that the court may have sentenced one ‘lover’ of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to death, “but that there are thousands more Imrans on the streets” ready to act. Rejecting the government’s verdict, the JUI-F leader said that the party will challenge the sentence handed out to 31 accused in the case in Supreme Court. staff report
144 aspirants vying for 52 Senate seats as nomination deadline ends ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has received 144 nomination papers for the March 3 Senate elections. According to details, a total of 52 senators in the house of 104 will be retiring after the completion of their six-year term. The last date to file nomination papers was February 8, and the submitted documents will be analyzed before February 12. Any aspirant wishing to withdraw their nomination papers may do so until February 19, while polling will be held on March 3. “A total of 34 nomination forms were submitted from Punjab, of which 21 forms were submitted for general seats, five for reserved seats for women, five for technocrat seats, and three for reserved seats for minorities.” The number of nomination forms submitted from Sindh totals 47, out of which 23 were submitted for general seats, 11 for reserved seats for technocrats, nine for women and four for reserved seats for minorities. A total of 28 nomination forms were submitted from Balochistan, 15 out of these 28 forms were submitted against general seats, seven for reserved technocrat seats, and six for women-specific seats. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 34 nomination forms were submitted in total. Out of these, 20 forms were submitted against general seats, six for reserved seats for technocrats and eight for reserved seats for women. Whereas, not a single nomination form was submitted from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and only one nomination for technocrat seat was submitted from Islamabad. The schedule for Senate polls for the seats from the federal capital and FATA was withheld due to procedural hitches stated to be the presidencies failure to extend the Elections Act 2017 to FATA through an order and determining the manner in which polling is to be held for the aforementioned seats, under Article 59 of the constitution. A confirmation that polling for all 52 Senate seats will take place on March 3 came later after the schedule for seats from Islamabad was announced on Feb 4, as well as, the announcement of the schedule for FATA seats. By the looks of it, PPP seems to be the biggest loser, the reason being 18 of the party’s senators, including Chairman Raza Rabbani being replaced by newcomers. Although nine senators from the ruling PML-N are also retiring, the party is still expected to gain seats by the exercise, despite the recent brouhaha in the Balochistan Assembly which saw PMLQ’s Abdul Quddus Bizenjo replacing PML-N’s Sanaullah Zehri for the chief minister slot. staff report
Suspects acquitted in Mashal Khan murder termed ‘Ghazis’ by JI, JUI-F LAHORE aYesHa BIBI
Soon after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Haripur handed out death sentence to one suspect, convicted five to life imprisonment, awarded four years in jail to 25 others and acquitted 26 suspects in the Mashal Khan murder case, workers from different religious party gathered at the Mardan Motorway Interchange to welcome home the acquitted individuals. Workers from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) gathered at the Mardan Motorway Interchange and protested against the verdict, chanting slogans against the slain Mashal Khan and vowing to challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court. Social media posts declaring the same also started making rounds online, in which the acquitted individuals were likened to “Ashiqaan-eRasool”. One such post was circulated under the banner of Jamaat-e-Islami which urged the party members to welcome the acquitted “Ghazis”. The protest against the court decision and the general sentiment shown by the religious parties in glorifying the acquittal of the suspects was criticised by the parents of the slain student as well as civil society activists. Speaking to media, the parents of the brutally murdered student protested the acquittal of 26 suspects, saying the verdict had delivered “incomplete justice”. Rights activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir also deemed the court’s verdict as a “discourag-
ing sentence” and criticised the welcome celebrations of those acquitted. “These celebrations resulted in the glorification and encouragement of violence,” he said. Speaking to Pakistan Today, Jibran Nasir claimed,” The 26 acquitted are not innocent. They shamelessly lied to the court about their involvement in the case and pleaded not-guilty to the charges of Mashal’s murder, however, at the “welcome rally” in Mardan they not only admitted to their crime but vowed to act in a similar way in the future as well”. “The 26 suspects were acquitted not because they were innocent but because the prosecution was weak. At Mardan’s rally the same 26, as well as the religious parties, glorified the brutal killing and even incited more violence on the same pattern,” he added. On the other hand, speaking to Pakistan Today, JI Deputy General Secretary Mardan Imad Akbar stated that the welcome ceremony was to celebrate the release of individuals who have been caught up in the case and that the sentiment of the entire Mardan city regarding the unfairness of the decision could be seen in the welcome procession. He further added that in view of JI, the court’s decision to punish Mashal’s killers was unacceptable as Mashal was a “proven blasphemer who had committed sacrilege not just online but also in front of those who later got riled up and killed him”. “The main accused Imran Ali himself heard Mashal Khan spewing hatred against Islam and Holy Prophet (PBUH) therefore
to claim that he did not commit any blasphemy is incorrect”, Imad Akbar further claimed. On being pointed out by this scribe that no evidence of blasphemy was ascertained by the court during the hearing and the law enforcement agencies during the investigation, Imad Akbar stated that the online content which Mashal Khan posted and which was averse to the sensitivities of Islam was available for all to see. “I myself have 58 screenshots of the blasphemous content that Mashal uploaded,” he claimed and went on to question: “how can anyone say he was innocent?” Imad Akbar, as a further alleged proof of Mashal Khan’s blasphemous nature, pointed to the recent visit of his father, Iqbal Khan to the United Kingdom (UK) where he met Malala Yousafzai and delivered a talk in Oxford University. “Why do you think Mashal’s father was given the visa to visit UK? It is because Mashal had been serving the western interests, they would never grant me a visa if I wish to travel [in UK] but they granted one to Iqbal Khan because his son committed blasphemy and that is what makes these western powers happy,” he stated. He further went on to state that because JI deemed the decision in the case unfair they would appeal against them in the higher court and would push to get all the suspects released as the punishment of blasphemy was death and those who had killed Mashal had done nothing wrong. On April 13, 2017, Mashal Khan, 23, a student at the Abdul Wali Khan Univer-
sity, Mardan was lynched by a mob, allegedly comprising of his fellow students riled up by allegations of blasphemy against the young man. As details of this bone-chilling event, including a video recording of the event, were reported, a different picture started to emerge— one that had nothing to do with blasphemy. A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report later revealed that it was a well-planned attack by the Pakhtun Students Federation (PSF) and that there was no evidence of blasphemy involved. According to the report, Mashal was getting vocal about student rights and the increasing irregularities in the institution and was becoming an apparent threat to the PSF. An anti-terrorism court (ATC) indicted the 57 arrested suspects in the case after rejecting their bail application. It started hearing the case in September, during the course of which, nearly 50 witnesses were presented before the court and had their statements recorded. Even though JI’s Ameer in Mardan Maulana Ata-ur-Rehman while speaking to Pakistan Today, matched the sentiments expressed by Imad Akbar, he took a more cautious approach to the issue of the welcome celebrations in the honour of those released. “The welcome party was not to celebrate the “Ghazis” or the “Ashiqaan-e-Rasool” as some media outlets have reported, JI was there with the parents of the former suspects, to welcome those who had been honourably released by the country’s judicial system and as a political party we have
all the right to do that”, Maulana Ata-urRehman stated. On being questioned regarding Imad Akbar’s statement that as a party policy JI was against the verdict in the case and those who had killed Mashal had done nothing wrong, Maulana Ata-ur-Rehman stated that JI’s policy regarding was the same when this issue came to the front, that no individual had the right to take the law into his own hand even if it was a blasphemy case. “JI strictly condemns the mob mentality which killed Mashal Khan as we believe in the judicial system of the country and that Mashal should have been tried in a court for his crime of committing blasphemy”, he stated, “However, when we see that the cases of blasphemers in this country, like Asia Masih in Punjab, are quietly pushed back and no punishment is handed out, the masses often resort to vigilante justice,” Ata-ur-Rehman added. He further stated that the decision of JI to appeal against the punishments handed out in the case was not because they were “unfair” but because of legal technicalities. “Mashal Khan’s case was tried in the court as an ordinary case of murder and did not keep in mind the allegations of blasphemy on the deceased. Blasphemy, in the Constitution of Pakistan, is punishable by death. We will appeal in the high court that the case should be seen in conjecture with the blasphemy accusations and the verdict handed out should reflect the same,” Maulana Ata-ur-Rehman stated.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
InterIor mInIster sees IndIan hand In targeted attacks on chInese AHSAN iqbAl SAyS RAw AgeNt JAdHAv HAd Admitted to iNdiA’S PAtRoNAge of teRRoRiSm iN PAkiStAN iSLamaBad
NTeRIOR Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan has established a strong force of 10,000 personnel for protection of Chinese citizens but neighbouring country India, which has undue apprehensions over the China-Pakistan economic Corridor (CPeC) project, may be involved in the killing of Chinese nationals in Karachi. The minister gave these remarks during an interview with BBC. He said Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been convicted in Pakistan for spying and involvement in terrorist activities, has also admitted that an Indian spy network is working to sabotage the CPeC. The two Chinese were in their car in an upmarket area on Monday when the attackers in another car opened fire on their vehicle, according
to police, describing it as an apparent “targeted attack”. “Such incidents would not weaken friendship between Pakistan and China and in fact further strengthen it,” he said. On a question regarding allegations of terror havens in Pakistan, the minister quoted US as saying that 45 per cent of Afghan territory is under control of extremists and there is no reason for them to have sanctuaries in Pakistan. Ahsan Iqbal said the US administration has hinted that economic aid to Pakistan will not be stopped. He said that different lobbies are working in the US and want to introduce bills in the US Congress of their own choice. The US is using different war tactics in Afghanistan according to its new policy, he added. “The geography of Pakistan and Afghanistan is the same, and Pakistan is the only important and supportive coun-
Name and shame Senate ‘horse-traders’ Continued from page 01 PML-N’S CANDIDATE FOR PM: In response to a question, he said that a final decision regarding PML-N candidate for next prime minister would be made after the general elections. Abbasi said that a party finalises the name of a candidate only after having gained majority in the election. He, however, expressed hope that the PML-N will gain majority in the next elections. Asked about Shehbaz Sharif being nominated for the next PM, he said a formal announcement regarding his nomination would be made through official sources. Admitting the Punjab CM as one of the senior-most individuals in the party, the prime minister said Shehbaz has done a lot for the PML-N and he would have a key role in the victory in forthcoming elections. He elaborated that everyone acknowledges Shehbaz’s hard work in Punjab, including their worst opponents. NAQEEBULLAH’S KILLING: With regard to Naqeebullah killing
case, Abbasi said extrajudicial killings by the police are not a solution to the issue. He said efforts are being made to arrest Rao Anwar and the suspended police officer had better appear in court and defend himself. “It is not in favour of Anwar to not appear before the court and he is declaring himself guilty by doing so.” PAK-US TIES: With regard to Pakistan-US relations, the prime minister said this is the first time that such statements are being issued by a US president. He said if Washington wants it aid to be accounted for, then it should send a formal request. Abbasi said the country is still functioning despite suspension of aid. “We want Pak-US ties to remain cordial; we never closed our doors for talks.” Commenting on Afghanistan’s situation, he maintained that solution to Afghan issue lies in talks. “Pakistan is affected most for whatever happens in Afghanistan.” He urged the Afghan government to resolve its issues through dialogue.
SAyS US Aid to PAkiStAN will Not be StoPPed try for the United States in peace efforts in Afghanistan.” He rejected Afghanistan claim that the terrorists handed over by Pakistan were not Taliban but ordinary refugees. About protest by Pashtuns, Ahsan Iqbal said despite being out of the country, he spoke with the protesting people and assured them that Rao Anwar would be arrested. He said it was wrong to say that Rao Anwar was being given protection by any state institution or politician. Separately, speaking at an international convention on World Geological Threats in Washington, Ahsan Iqbal said that security risks pose a global challenge. He said that Pakistan has led the global war on terror and has rendered great sacrifices in dismantling terrorist footholds, Radio Pakistan reported. The interior minister said that the presence and activity of the Islamic State in Afghanistan is threatening re-
gional peace. However, Pakistan’s commitment to eradicating terrorism and the fruition of the National Action Plan has redeemed the security situation in Pakistan. Ahsan Iqbal took pride in the country’s forthcoming economic prospects and said that Pakistan is an attractive destination for foreign investments. In conversation with Senator Lindsey Graham, the minister stressed that Pakistan looks forward to working with the United States in restoring peace in Afghanistan. He further added that stability in Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan because it widens the economic horizon and installs protective guards against security risks for Pakistan itself. Senator Graham acceded to the minister’s remarks and maintained that continued engagement between Pakistan and the US is imperative to the peace process in Afghanistan. Both Ahsan Iqbal and Graham discussed other bilateral and regional issues. The interior minister also detailed Pakistan’s military successes in combating terrorism through the National Action Plan.
Marriyum says China to screen Pakistani films, dramas
SHangHai STAFF REPORT
State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, in her meeting with Shanghai Film Group Vice President Chunping Xu warmly welcomed the unprecedented Chinese assurance and sup-
port for exhibiting Pakistani films and dramas in China. She said that Pakistan was also looking forward to exploring possibilities of co-productions and joint ventures with the film industry of China. She informed her host that Pakistan would announce the new film policy next month, adding, “We have benefitted from Chinese model while formulating the film policy.” The minister said that various incentives have already been announced, including the establishment of film academy and artists welfare fund for the revival of the film industry in Pakistan. Referring to the agreement for cultural exchanges signed between the two countries during her recent visit, she said that both the countries would share technical assistance and expertise, exchange films after dubbing in the languages of each other and also hold joint exhibitions.
TTP's Sajna Mehsud reportedly killed in US drone strike in NWA A US drone strike along the Pak-Afghan border in the North Waziristan region has reportedly killed the deputy chief of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Sajna Mehsud, according to unconfirmed reports on Thursday. Reports suggested that Sajna was among two men reportedly taken down in the US strike. However, another report claimed that the US drone strike was conducted inside Afghan territory and it had killed at least three suspected militants linked with the Afghan Haqqani Network. Recently, the terrorist attacks by the Taliban had increased in Afghanistan leading the US to consider “unilateral steps in areas of divergence” to counter the militants. NEwS dESk
PHC rejects petition seeking judicial inquiry into APS incident PESHAWAR: A writ petition seeking the formation of a judicial commission to probe the 2014 Army Public School (APS) attack was disposed off by the Peshawar High Court on Thursday, ruling that it is the mandate of the government to initiate such inquiry. The verdict was announced by a two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Afsar Shah. Though the petition was rejected, the court told the parents that it will nonetheless send the petitioners’ request to the government. The petition was filed by APS Martyrs Forum, whose counsel argued that a judicial inquiry was a fundamental right of the APS victims’ parents. During the hearing, the police submitted its inquiry report before the court which, the court said, should be made public. On December 16, 2014, a total of 144 innocent people, mostly children, lost their lives when terrorists attacked an Army Public School in Peshawar. The day has become a day of mourning for the entire nation. STAFF REPORT
SC summons oﬃcials for Haqqani’s repatriation lAwyeRS ASmA JAHANgiR ANd CHAUdHRy AkHtAR iNfoRm CoURt tHAt HAqqANi HAS iNStRUCted tHem Not to PleAd HiS CASe iSLamaBad STAFF REPORT
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday summoned the secretaries of the interior and foreign affairs and the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to discuss possible steps for bringing former ambassador to United States Husain Haqqani back to Pakistan. The court has sought mechanism within one week for bringing Haqqani to the country. Additional Attorney General Pakistan (AAGP) Waqar
Rana requested the bench to give some time for evolving to bring him back in view of SC’s earlier order. The bench expressed surprise that why has this case not been listed for the last four years. “I will ask SC why did the office not put up file for the fixation of the case,” he observed. The chief justice said that there is no political consideration to fix this matter. Waqar Rana submitted that ‘Haqqani is abusing Pakistan’. The bench asked Rana to assist the court regarding the breach of commitment
by Haqqani. The hearing was then adjourned for one week. The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has also dismissed Haqqani’s review petitions against the Supreme Court order to form a commission to probe Memogate. The review petitions have been dismissed on non-prosecution. During the hearing Advocate on Record (AOR) Chaudhry Akhtar and Asma Jahangir appeared before the bench and stated that they have been instructed not to plead his case, therefore, they are withdrawing Wakalatnaama. HAQQANI WON’T PURSUE MEMOGATE CASE: Haqqani, on the other hand, on Wednesday gave clear instructions to his counsel to withdraw from all future Supreme Court (SC) hearings in connection
with the Memogate case, saying, “The judiciary holds no relevance in the eyes of the world as it was at its lowest ebb.” Haqqani said he did not trust the Pakistani establishment to provide justice on the basis of the fair play, adding that the Supreme Court was an important part of the establishment. He said that the reopening of the Memogate case after the passage of six years was “an attempt to make me the target of a propaganda to counter my forthcoming book, titled ‘Reimagining Pakistan’.” earlier, SC on February 2, constituted a three-member bench to resume the hearing of the controversial Memogate case involving former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani from February 8. The Memogate scandal erupted in 2011 when Pakistani-American busi-
nessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received an ‘anti-army’ memo from Haqqani for the then-US joint chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen. In this regard, a court notice has already been issued to Hussain Haqqani and other respondents of the case — including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The scandal, taken to the Supreme Court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, led to Haqqani’s resignation. The cases pertaining to the memogate were registered under Sections 120b (hatching a criminal conspiracy) and 121a (waging a war against Pakistan) of the Pakistan Penal Code. earlier, the chief justice had summoned details of the Memogate case while hearing a case related to the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
ecP dismisses Imran’s request to disqualify afridi iSLamaBad INP
The election Commission of Pakistan (eCP) on Thursday dismissed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s request for disqualifying Khyber Pakhtunkhwa MPA Ziaullah Afridi. While announcing its verdict in the case, eCP declared Ziaullah eligible to hold the provincial assembly seat. The eCP also dismissed petitions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) requesting PTI intra-party elections as null and void. Imran had filed a reference against Ziaullah, saying the latter had joined Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and therefore, could not stay in the provincial assembly on a PTI ticket. The PTI chief had also submitted proof of the MPA joining another party. Ziaullah, who was the minister for mineral development in the KP government, was dismissed on charges of corruption in his department. He announced the news of him joining PPP in August 2017, after meeting the party’s co-chairperson, Asif Ali Zardari. Out of five eCP members, three gave a verdict in the favour of Ziaullah Afridi and restored his membership while two gave the decision to terminate his membership. The eCP while announcing its verdict on Thursday, declared Ziaullah eligible to hold the provincial assembly seat. While submitting a record to the eCP regarding intra-party elections, the counsel for PTI, Shahid Gondal informed that there are total 1.7 million voters of PTI and in intra-party elections, 2,56,997 votes were cast. Insaf penal bagged 1,89,055 votes while ehtisab penal got over 1,41,000 votes and almost 26,255 votes were wasted. During the hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer sought details of the intra-party elections upon which Gondal justified that eCP can investigate but other parties could not respond. Gondal also objected to giving the election records to the other party as it would violate the sanctity of the vote, adding that providing the records would give access to the phone number of voters. He stated that eCP its can verify this process and further added that the supply of such records unveils who voted for whom.
Hidden cameras found in store’s changing room faiSaLaBad INP Police raided a women’s clothing store in People’s Colony area of the city after a customer alerted authorities over alleged discovery of hidden cameras in the store’s changing (trial) room. According to sources, police detained two of the store’s employees during the raid and registered a case against the incident at the People’s Colony Police Station. The authorities have nominated four individuals in the case, including the store’s owner and manager. The two detained employees, meanwhile, are being interrogated over the incident. Police sources said the raid was carried out after a young man complained that there were hidden cameras installed in the store’s changing room. The store belongs to a famous clothing brand, the sources added.
‘Us wIll have to work wIth PakIstan for afghan Peace’ PPP CHAiRmAN SAyS demoCRACy Needed to CoUNteR extRemiSm
PRoPoSeS meCHANiSm to ReSolve PAk-AfgHAN iRRitANtS
AKISTAN People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday commented on US President Donald Trump’s New Year’s tweet, terming it ‘deeply hurtful’ to the people of Pakistan, particularly to those people like himself ‘who have lost loved ones in the fight against extremism’. He was speaking on an American news outlet Fox Business in the show ‘After the Bell’. While speaking about the American president’s accusation that Washington had “foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years”, but Pakistan had in return given “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan”, Bilawal stated that while he doesn’t think President Trump intended to be crude, “this tweet sent a wrong message”. Agreeing that aid is “America’s right, America’s taxpayer money and absolutely your [the US government]’s right to [decide] how you want to spend it”, he made clear that the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) — under which a large chunk of the $33bn was transferred — “is actually reimbursement in exchange for services rendered by Pakistan in the fight against extremism.”
“The country [Pakistan] has seen a 75 per cent drop in terrorist activity, while in Afghanistan, terrorists are [still] active in 75pc of the country and 45pc of Afghanistan is not in the control of the government. If all the Nato forces — if all of America’s might and the Afghan government put together — can’t defeat terrorists in Afghanistan, how do we expect Pakistan to do it alone?” he asked. “Afghanistan’s war can’t be won on Pakistan’s soil,” he added. “Terrorists have killed Pakistanis; terrorists have killed more Pakistanis than Americans, and we want to end terrorism in Pakistan and in Afghanistan,” he reiterated. He also pushed back on the criticism against Pakistan. “The US government has
supported the Taliban and the mujahidin in the Afghan war,” he reminded his interviewers. “They forced the Pakistani state and government to support these forces [in the past].” Bilawal recalled that his mother, Benazir Bhutto, had warned then US president, George H.W. Bush, against creating “a monster” in Afghanistan, but insisted that he does not want to dig into the past, but look towards the future. “Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US will have to work together to defeat terrorism,” he concluded. MECHANISM TO RESOLVE PAK-AFGHAN IRRITANTS: Addressing scholars and researchers at the Woodrow Wilson think tank in Washington, Bilawal proposed a mutually acceptable verification mechanism, arrived at with international assistance, between Pakistan and Afghanistan to investigate allegations of cross-border intrusion of militants. He said this was a ‘credible and doable way forward’ to address concerns about militants crossing over borders with impunity that has bedevilled peace in the region. “extremists and militants of any persuasion who seek to advance their security and foreign policy agendas are a threat to peace and security and must not be allowed a foothold anywhere,” he said.
Wajid Zia told to testify against Dar on 12th
NAb chief tells Punjab govt depts to fall in line or face action
ISLAMABAD: The former head of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in the Panama Papers case, Wajid Zia, could not record his statement in court in relation to the graft reference filed against ex-finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Thursday, as the court is to acquire the final report of the JIT from the Supreme Court. The court adjourned the case till February 12 and ordered the JIT chief to reappear. As the hearing began, Zia informed the court that the final report of the JIT was submitted to the SC, adding that he did not possess the report. In response, the judge observed that they will ask the registrar of the SC one more time to provide the JIT report. earlier this month, the judge had asked the prosecution counsel to bring Wajid Zia and investigation officer Nadir Abbas for recording their statements. NAB Prosecutor Imran Shafique, however, had pleaded the court to summon both these witnesses, but Judge Mohammad Bashir had refused to issue the summons, stating that it was the duty of NAB to bring them to court as they were its witnesses. STAFF REPORT
LAHORE: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal on Thursday complained that Punjab government departments are not cooperating with the anti-graft watchdog, warning that such attitude will not be tolerated in the future. Addressing a ceremony, the former apex court judge said that they shall make all-out efforts to reject bail of influential culprits who pressurise witnesses, and to protect witnesses. He added that those who give directives on someone’s orders will eventually have to bear the brunt of their wrongdoings. However, Iqbal added, he will try to eradicate corruption till he is in office. It is necessary to clean one’s own house before raising fingers on someone else’s, he said. About the anti-graft body, Iqbal said NAB is not biased towards anyone. even NAB officials will be tried if complaint is received against them, he added. Regarding bureaucracy, the NAB chief said it is the backbone of a country. “[But] will not tolerate lack of cooperation on part of the bureaucracy.” The NAB chief also spoke about scams pertaining to private housing schemes, saying their owners should know they would be tried. STAFF REPORT
Saudi Arabia executes four Pakistanis for murder, rape riYadH AGENCIES
Saudi Arabia on Thursday executed four Pakistani men convicted of raping and murdering a woman and raping her teenage son, the interior
ministry said. The men were also convicted of stealing jewellery and cash after entering the woman´s home in Riyadh and raping and strangling her, according to a ministry statement cited by the
official SPA news agency. Saudi Arabia has executed 20 people since the start of 2018, according to an AFP count. Last year, 141 people were put to death in the kingdom, where executions are carried out by the sword.
Usman mobin reappointed as NAdRA chief as SHC stays notification iSLamaBad/KaraCHi AGENCIES
The federal government has extended the tenure of Usman Yousaf Mobin as chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for three years on Thursday, even as the Sindh High Court (SHC) restrained the government from issuing the notification of the appointment till further orders. According to the notification, the federal government reappointed Mobin as NADRA chairman “on existing terms and conditions for three years in terms of Section 3 (5) of the NADRA Ordinance, 2000, with immediate effect and until further orders”. Mobin’s tenure expired on February 4, 2018 and the Ministry of Interior had recommended his name to Prime Minster Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the second time. He was previously working as chief technology officer in NADRA. Also on Thursday, while hearing a lawsuit filed by a citizen Rashid Qureshi against the Interior Ministry for fixing 55 years as the maximum age for a person to head NADRA, a single bench of the SHC directed the federal government not to notify the chairman’s appointment till February 13. “Till the next date of hearing, if the notification of appointment of NADRA chairman is issued, it shall be subject to the further order of this court,” the SHC ruled. The plaintiff submitted that Interior Ministry circulated an advertisement in leading newspapers, inviting applications for appointment against the post of NADRA chairman. The age limit was fixed at 55 in a bid to exclude him from the candidature for the post as he was highly qualified, holding a Master’s degree in science with extensive experience in management and administration in different institutions, he added. The lawyer representing the plaintiff said that his client despite his high credentials could not apply for the post in question. The court was prayed to declare the impugned advertisement as illegal, unlawful and strike it down.
CJP says medical profession should be free from profiteering iSLamaBad STAFF REPORT
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday observed that the medical profession should not have the objective of profiteering. He said this while hearing a suo motu case on the sale of substandard and expensive coronary stents. During the hearing, a committee headed by Dr Azhar Kiani submitted its recommendations to the apex court regarding the inexpensive production of stents locally. The committee will begin working on the recommendations in two weeks, the court said, adding that the court will make efforts to bring the price of stents below Rs100,000. Provinces have also been given a week to submit their proposals on the recommendations. The apex court also summoned details of all federal projects headed by Pakistani scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand, who was provided Rs37 million by the government for heading a project for local stent production. CJP, heading the three-member bench hearing the case, said that the court will take up the issues of expensive dialysis and kidney treatment in next hearings.
Death, jail and sex slavery await smuggled Pakistani youth in Europe iSLamaBad MIAN ABRAR
In the wake of increasing Pakistani immigrant youth deaths due to human smuggling, Pakistan has warned its youth not to travel to europe through illegal routes as most of these smuggled youngsters either end up in jails, drown in boat accidents, or end up as sex slaves in brothels as employment opportunities are drying up fast in europe. In an official communiqué sent by the Pakistani Ambassador to Athens (Greece), Khalid Usman Qaiser to the Interior Ministry Additional Secretary men-
tioned that he had been writing frequently about the unchecked human smuggling mainly from districts of Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Gujranwala and Sialkot which was ‘hurting Pakistan all around.’ “Apart from other crimes, many of the smuggled Pakistani teenager boys and middle aged women have become sex workers and are looking for clients at public places every evening. This is bringing legal community members and their families under psychological pressure and earning a bad name for our country,” said the letter – a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today. “You are aware that Greece currently
(is) facing debteconomic crisis. The unemployment rate is as high as 40 per cent (officially 23 per cent) and even the seasonal labour market particularly in the field of agriculture has become quite limited. Our immigrants have no prospects for moving to mainland europe in the near future as the doors are shut by the eU presently.” The ambassador said that in Greece, the smuggled youth (immigrants) end up in detention centres. “Some apply for asylum to buy time and stay on. As they do not find any job, they are trapped by criminals. Many of them perish on the way, bringing agony to their families.
Last month alone, I dispatched around 20 dead bodies. Today, upon our request, local border authorities are looking for three more dead bodies,” said the envoy. The ambassador said that some young boys wish to be deported back to Pakistan but the International Organization for Migration (IOM) doesn’t oblige underage children due to their regulations and eU laws. These boys are penniless. “They have become a financial liability for the embassy,” he lamented. He said that in the absence of any identification papers of these Pakistanis, the work for the embassy has been multiplied. “I am trying hard to address the issue
locally to the extent possible. However, the tap has to be closed at your end. This is a very serious issue that requires immediate attention. It is already becoming unmanageable. I would once again urge that our Interior MO take steps to curb this senseless human trafficking,” the letter added. The letter also mentions that incidents of boats carrying illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan and other third world countries sinking have become a permanent feature of late. Last Friday, a boat carrying illegal immigrants on way to europe capsized off the coast in Libya. At least 16 Pakistani nationals lost their lives while another 20 have landed in the abduction of smugglers. In December last year, 20 bodies of Pakistani nationals were recovered near the coast of Athens.
WEATHER UPDATES FRIDAY
Friday, 9 February, 2018
Govt employees occupy the mall SEPARATE PROTESTS OF HEALTH AND LITERACY DEPARTMENTS’ EMPLOYEES PROTESTERS DEMAND INCREASE IN SALARIES AND CHOKE MALL ROAD LEADING TO MASSIVE TRAFFIC JAMS REGULARISATION OF THEIR CONTRACTUAL JOBS LAHORE
pHOTO: ZUBAIR mEHFOOZ
He Chairing Cross Chowk of Mall Road remained once again over-crowded throughout the day on Thursday as hundreds of protesters hailing from two different departments of Punjab government staged a sit-in outside the Punjab Assembly to press for their demands. As per the details, hundreds of employees from Punjab Literacy and Non-formal Basic education (LNBe) and Health departments remained adamant at Mall Road while staging a sit-in demanding the regularisation of their contractual jobs. Protest of lIteracy and nonformal basIc educatIon: Under the banner of Punjab Literary Association (PLA), hundreds of employees from LNBe department including both male and female were demanding an increase in their salaries and regularisation of their contractual jobs. The protesters from different cities of Punjab, including Gujranwala, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Attock, Bahawalpur, DG Khan, Kasur, Rahim Yar Khan and Hafizabad reached Lahore in the wee hours yesterday and started gathering at Mall Road to stage a demonstration. Talking to Pakistan Today, PLA President Rai Zohaib Asghar said that they were forced by the government to take to the roads as they had no second option left because 15,000 nonformal teachers have been working on a salary of just Rs 5000 per month, which is not even equivalent to the minimum wage set by the government. “We have inculcated non-formal education to over 1.5 million children at primary level while more than 3.5 million illiterate young people benefitted from us since the inception of the department back in 2002,” he said while highlighting the importance of the department that was
created to increase the literacy rate of the province. He further added that his fellow colleagues are trying hard to uplift the literacy rate of Punjab by imparting nonformal education to over 450,000 children in 15000 schools but their future is still not secure as they have been working on contractual basis for the last 16 years at a meager salary. “We had a detailed meeting with the minister in charge, Dr Farrukh Javed in November last year and also moved an application to Chief Minister Shehbaz
Sharif but our issues are still unresolved and we are ready to stage a sit-in until the acceptance of our demands,” he said. It is pertinent to mention here that a circular was issued just one day before the sit-in by the department, which is also available with Pakistan Today, in which the employees were warned not to retort to protest otherwise disciplinary action would be taken against all those staging a protest. Faisal Bukhari, a protester who came all the way from Rahim Yar Khan said that the
small amount of his salary forced him to reach Lahore for protest as it is impossible for him to bear the expense of his household in this amount. “This protest has the representation of all districts of Punjab as every district was directed to bring at least 100 people,” he said. Protest of school health and nutrItIon suPervIsors: Meanwhile, school health and nutrition supervisors under the banner of Punjab Nutrition Association (PNA) also held
demonstration throughout the day demanding the regularisation of their contractual jobs which they have been doing for the last ten years. This protest also had the representation of people from across the province and their only demand was the regularisation of their jobs. Shafique Ahmed, a school health and nutrition supervisor from Kasur said that he has been providing his services to the health department for the last ten years and is still waiting for the regularisation of his job. Hired in 2008 under the Punjab Health Sector Reform Program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ABD), there are around 1800 school health and nutrition supervisors throughout the province who are involved in providing health education and screening programs to children in schools. “The polio vaccination campaign is to be started from February 12 and we all are on the same page to boycott this campaign if our jobs are not regularised by then,” Ahmed said. The protesters that included both men and women were ready to spend the whole night at Mall Road as they had brought their blankets and clothes with them. The protesters were occupying the Mall Road till the filing of this report. traffIc logjam: There was a traffic jam at the adjacent arteries of the Mall Road because of two protest demonstrations at Chairing Cross. The commuters were seen stranded for hours at Davis Road, Garhi Shahu, Lakshmi Chowk, Queens Road and Hameed Nizami Road (Temple Road) due to the traffic load and because of ongoing development work at the route of Orange Line Metro Train. The traffic jam in Lahore has become a routine matter because of different development schemes and the situation gets worst whenever the protesters reach Mall Road. It is worth mentioning here that IG Punjab himself was stranded the other day at traffic logjam while traveling from his office to the secretariat and the chief traffic officer had to face his wrath as well.
Mehmood criticises Rana Sana for using Asma’s name for political gains CALLS HIM PERSONAL DRUMBEATER OF SHARIF FAMILY
LAHORE STAFF REpORT
Punjab Assembly Opposition leader and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Mehmoodur Rashid on Thursday criticised Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah for alleged point-scoring in Asma murder case. He called Rana Sanaullah the personal drum-beater of the Sharif family. He asked why Rana Sana did not feel ashamed when 7-year-old Zainab was raped and murdered in Kasur. Talking to reporters in the Punjab Assembly Secretariat, he said, “Hundreds of children have been kidnapped and later raped in Punjab but the minister did not take action and was not ashamed of the heinous crimes which took place in the province. He should have taken action. The whole nation saw the mistreatment that Zainab’s father was subject to by the Punjab government higher-ups. Now, Rana Sana is using Asma’s name for political gains.” Asma, a third-year medical student
SANA ASKS IMRAN TO BE THANKFUL TO PUNJAB GOVERNMENT
in Abbottabad, was killed on January 27 in her hometown of Kohat where she had gone for vacations. Her killer Mujahid Afridi opened fire on her for rejecting his marriage proposal. Criticising Rana for staying silent on the Model Town incident, he said, “Why was he not ashamed when 14 innocent people were killed and 100 injured in Model Town?” He also asked the Sharif brothers to tame Rana Sanaullah and ask him to think before speaking. He said that the Punjab government has launched a well-planned conspiracy against the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government and is propagating distorted information about it. He alleged that Rana Sanaullah is an expert in propaganda and is behind the conspiracy to defame KP government. “The public cannot be misled through the propagation of wrong figures," he said. Answering a question regarding Abid Boxer, he said that the former inspector of Punjab Police killed innocent people on the order of the big-wigs of Punjab government. He claimed that Abid Boxer will make startling revelations about the Punjab government upon interrogation. "Abid has already made many revelations and will make further revelations in the days to come. He will expose many ‘well-respected’ people in Punjab,” he said. Former encounter specialist Abid boxer has been on the run for 11 years for his involvement in extrajudicial killings. He is notorious for his connections with the underworld and landgrabbing mafia. Abid was arrested from the Dubai
airport by Interpol and will be interrogated by the Punjab Police for his criminal activities. Imran Khan should thanK Punjab govt for helPIng arrest asma’s murderer: sanaullah: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday said four-year-old Asma’s murderers were arrested after Punjab Forensic Science Agency released the medical report. The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader said, “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan should be thankful to Punjab Forensic Science Agency because Asma’s murderers were apprehended after they released their report”. Speaking on the upcoming Senate elections, Sanaullah said that they had chances of winning four seats from Balochistan. We still can win two seats from there, he added. He further said that the opposition parties will win only one seat from Punjab if they join hands. The law minister stated that it is very difficult to apprehend former Malir SSP Rao Anwar.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
Timely payments being made aBD DeleGation meets shahBaz to review punjaB Development projects to sugarcane growers, PA told LAHORE
five-member delegation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) headed by Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday. During the meeting, progress on different projects started in collaboration with the ADB was reviewed. The meeting agreed to further extend mutual cooperation in different sectors including public-private partnership based projects. Talking on the occasion, the CM Shehbaz said that a number of development projects are being completed in collaboration with the ADB in different sectors including irrigation and energy. Asian Development Bank is providing 500 million dollars in funding for irrigation and energy projects, he added. “ADB should provide development funds to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars every year for health, education and other sectors. Financial support of ADB
for development schemes aiming at public welfare during the next five years in Punjab will be appreciated by the government,” he said. He further said that Greater Thal Canal and Greater Cholistan Canal Projects will also be completed with ADB funding and added that water reserves will be developed in the outback of Cholistan to save canal and flood water. The vast expanse of Cholistan will be made green and cultivable through Water Resource Management Project. The Cholistan will be developed as a green basket not only for Punjab but for the whole of
Teachers vow to uphold PhD condition for VC appointments lahore: Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) and elected members of other teachers’ bodies have announced that they would never compromise over the abolition of the condition of PhD for the appointment of vice-chancellors at public sector universities. In a joint press statement on Thursday, FAPUASA Punjab Chapter President Prof Dr Javed Ahmed, Central Vice President Dr Shoaib, University of engineering and Technology’s Teaching Staff Association President Dr Sohail Aftab, PU Academic Staff Association office bearers Dr Azhar Naeem, Syndicate members Prof Dr Sajid Rashid and Mahboob Hussain, Senate members Dr Zaid Mahmood, Dr Kamran Abid, Dr Abdul Qayyum Chaudhry and others said that they had conveyed serious reservations of academic fraternity in the meeting with Punjab Higher education Commission (HeC) Chairman Prof Dr Nizamuddin and Higher education Department Secretary Dr Nabeel Awan at Lahore Board. Inp
the country as well and contacts with Gulf States will be further improved by providing different facilities in Cholistan including an airport. ADB’s support for water treatment plant in Faisalabad is praiseworthy, he added. He also said that positive results have been gained in achieving the development targets through continued hard work. He added that Punjab is far ahead of other provinces due to its exemplary development in education, health, agriculture and other sectors. The credit for the introduction of cold chain project for the most transparent system of distribution of medicines also goes to Punjab government. He said that 50 more mobile health units will be introduced for providing best healthcare facilities to the people in far-flung areas. Meanwhile, best doctors from around the world will be invited to work in Multan Institute of Kidney Diseases (MIKD). He further said that helicopter service is also being introduced for transportation of specialist doctors in remote hinterlands. Punjab government is also giving Rs1000 stipend to female students to increase literacy rate among the womenfolk.
Nizam Sialvi bids farewell to politics lahore: Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi’s nephew MPA Nizamuddin Sialvi announced on Thursday that he was bidding farewell to politics. In a statement, he claimed that someone had provoked Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi’s supporters to stage a sit-in and had facilitated them. He further said that his uncle, the custodian of Sial Sharif’s shrine, would be the deciding authority on the future their clan’s politics. According to sources, the primary reason behind this decision was Nizamuddin’s personal differences with Pir Sialvi’s son Qasim Sialvi. earlier on Tuesday, he claimed that some powers were conspiring against the elected democratic government. Recently, in an interview, he claimed that he too was offered money for a similar sit-in because the rallies had proved to be unsuccessful in fulfilling the real goal of those powers. He further claimed that those powers were also using religion as a tool for their personal gains. STAFF REpORT
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan told the Punjab Assembly session on Thursday that farmers were being paid Rs180 per 40-kg sugarcane crop on time. On Thursday, the ninth sitting of the 34th session of the current assembly started an hour and 38 minutes behind its schedule with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair. Only 11 lawmakers were present at the outset of the sitting. While answering queries by lawmakers during the Question-Hour, the minister said that general managers of the mills that did not follow the payment mode set by the government, had been arrested and sent behind the bars and he vowed to fully protect interests of the farmers. The lawmakers both from treasury and opposition benches took the floor for registering their protest over the delayed payments to sugarcane growers. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami parliamentary leader Dr Wasim Akhtar staged a token walk-out for not addressing the grievances of sugarcane growers. Parliamentary Secretary Schools and education Department Roffian Julius told the house that the Punjab govern-
ment had handed over governmentowned schools to the private sector to improve their efficiency. "Now these privately-run schools are showing tremendous results," she added. The parliamentary secretary said that the provincial government had attached high significance to education and a number of steps had been taken to double the literacy rate by the year 2025. Responding to a question by a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member Dr Noushin Ahmed, she said that huge budgetary allocations had been made for construction/rebuilding of schools and 36,000 new classrooms. She told a treasury member Tahir Mehmud that provision of new furniture was being ensured to almost all schools across Punjab. The House did not take up legislative business while annual activity reports of the Parks and Horticulture Authority for six divisions were not presented. Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) member Shehzad Munshi read his motion against the human rights secretary on which the chair sought the report. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Nabeela Hakim Ali pointed out the quorum following which the chair ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes.
08 FOREIGN NEWS
Friday, 9 February, 2018
ClaShES EruPt aS KhalEda Zia jailEd for fivE yEarS in dhaKa a DHAKA
court in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, has sentenced former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to jail in a corruption case.
Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Court-5 on Thursday sentenced the two-time former prime minister to five years rigorous imprisonment. He read out selected parts of the 632-page verdict. "The verdict proves no one is above the law," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Haque said after the verdict was announced amid tight security. Zia, chairperson of the country's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and five others were accused of embezzlement of funds meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust. Tarique Rahman, Zia's elder son and heir apparent, and four others were sentenced to 10 years in this politically significant case that comes ahead of general elections due in December. Rahman, vice chairman of the BNP, has been living in the UK for the past nine
TWO-TIME FORMER BANGLADESHI PM SAYS SHE WILL BE BACK, ‘NO NEED TO CRY’ HRW CALLS ON GOVT TO STOP ARBITRARY ARRESTS, DETENTIONS OF POLITICAL ACTIVISTS years. The six were accused of embezzling over Tk 21 million ($252,000) from foreign donations intended for a charity named after former President Ziaur Rahman, Zia's husband. The four others who also received 10-year jail terms are former legislator Quazi Salimul Haq, former principal secretary to Zia, Kamal Uddin Siddique, Zia's nephew Mominur Rahman and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed. The verdict could bar 72-year-old Zia from running in the general elections as the country’s constitution prohibits a convicted person sentenced to over two years from participating. Zia, decked out in a creamcoloured printed chiffon sari and shawl, and sunglasses, appeared calm while hearing the verdict. After the verdict, she was taken to the Woman Cell and Daycare Centre at the old Dhaka Central jail, where jail authorities have already renovated her cell. Defence lawyer Khandakar Mahbub Hossain said the verdict failed to reflect the truth. "We will go to the higher court
against this," he said, adding that he hoped Zia would receive bail soon. Violence erupted in major cities across Bangladesh at the news of the guilty verdict, with BNP supporters clashing with police and activists from the ruling party.
Police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators in the northeastern city of Sylhet, spokesperson Abdul Wahab told AFP. At least four people have been injured in the clashes, he added. Police said they arrested at least seven BNP officials in the port city
'All options on the table': Pence warns North Korea ahead of Winter Olympics
Syria rescuers to cope with heavy raids on rebel zone DAMASCUS
YOKOTA AIR BASE
Exhausted and overstretched, Syrian rescue worker Abu Mohammad Omar could barely catch his breath between back-toback searches for survivors in his bombed-out hometown near Damascus. The uptick in bombardment over the past three days on the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta has left already-overburdened medical staff and emergency workers struggling to rescue and treat affected residents. “We can’t keep up. We’re trying as much as we can,” Omar told AFP. “We’re rushing, doing the work that we’re doing, but we can’t get to everything.” On Wednesday, more than two dozen civilians were killed in Syrian government bombardment on Eastern Ghouta, where some 400,000 people live under government siege. It followed one of Eastern Ghouta’s
bloodiest days yet, with 80 civilians killed and more than 200 wounded on Tuesday. At least 38 were killed on Wednesday and 31 on Monday. With few bulldozers and precious little fuel to operate them, rescue workers are struggling to reach trapped civilians in time, said Omar.
Putin and Erdogan discuss military, security coordination in Syria MOSCOW/ANKARA AGENCIES
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to strengthen coordination between the countries’ military and security services in Syria, the Kremlin says. Putin’s office issued a statement after the two presidents spoke by phone on Feb 8. It said plans for closer cooperation intended to improve “the fight against terrorist groups that are violating the cease-fire regime” in Idlib Province, which borders Turkey. A Russian military pilot died after a Su-25 warplane was shot down over rebel-held territory in Idlib on February 3. Russia and the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which Russia has been supporting with a campaign of air strikes and other military action since September 2015, refer to most of the forces fighting against the government as terrorists.
of Chittagong, including the local head of the party after opposition supporters scuffled with police. BNP Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Alamgir accused the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of trying to keep the BNP out of politics. "They have already detained more than 3,000 of our activists and leaders from various parts of the country," he said. Alamgir said that, anticipating what the verdict would be, Zia had earlier ordered that all BNP activists and leaders refrain from any violent protests and processions. "We call peaceful protests all across the country from Friday noon," he said. The BNP had boycotted the last election held in 2014, demanding that the elections be held under a caretaker government. After the verdict, supporters hit the streets of Dhaka, blocking roads and clashing with police. Earlier, thousands of BNP leaders and activists escorted Zia’s motorcade to court despite an overwhelming presence of security forces in the capital.
The 23-year-old’s voice cracked as he described trying to find survivors in the rubble of a five-storey building in the town of Douma on Tuesday. “There was a huge, huge escalation against the city. More than one place was reduced to rubble. The machines we had couldn’t keep up,” he said.
Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday the United States (US) was “ready for any eventuality” with regard to North Korea and warned that “all options were on the table” to deal with Pyongyang's threats. Speaking to US and Japanese troops at the Yokota Air Base outside Tokyo, Pence vowed to continue the “maximum pressure campaign” on North Korea in a bid to force Pyongyang to give up its nuclear missile programme. Pence's trip to Asia comes amid an apparent thaw on the Korean peninsula, spurred by North Korea's participation in what is being hailed the “peace” Olympics in Pyeongchang in the South. But he struck a tough tone, citing a string of rights abuses and stressing: “Those who dare threaten us would do well not to underestimate the capabilities of the armed forces of the United States.
“Let the world know, from here in Yokota Air Base and beyond, we are ready for any eventuality. “Let our adversaries know: all options are on the table and the American armed forces and self-defence forces of Japan will be ready to defend our people and our way of life.” Any provocation, including any use of nuclear weapons, would result in a “response that is rapid, overwhelming and effective”, he vowed. On Wednesday, Pence announced Washington would soon impose the “toughest” sanctions yet against the “rogue regime” in North Korea. He also said Pyongyang would not be allowed to “hijack” the Games in Pyeongchang to distract the world from its military build-up and nuclear weapons programmes. After addressing the troops, Pence will fly to South Korea to attend Friday's opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
Iran's hijab protests cap years of evolution TEHRAN AGENCIES
A spate of unprecedented protests against Iran’s mandatory headscarves for women have been tiny in number, but have still reignited a debate that has preoccupied the Islamic republic since its founding. Walking through central Tehran with a loose scarf tossed lightly over her head, Samar, a dentist, is typical of the relaxed approach to headgear many Iranian women have adopted since the 1990s. “Everyone should be able to decide for themselves what to wear. I don’t think a few loose hairs can provoke anyone to anything,” she said. She was referring to the conservative claim that men are unable to stop themselves assaulting women if they can see their hair. A typical sign — at a hammam in Kashan, south of Tehran — compares the veil to a pearl’s oyster: “The oyster keeps the pearl safe from the hazards.” “In our country, men are raised with the idea that women must be seen with a headscarf. I will never remove my headscarf in my country for as long as I live,” said Hanieh, a journalist, wearing a much tighter scarf around her head. The issue has returned to the fore in recent weeks after several women took the unprecedented step of protesting in public without their
headscarves. Police say 29 people have been arrested. Iran is the only country in the world to impose a mandatory headscarf on both Muslim and non-Muslim women as part of its ill-defined “hijab” rules that require modest clothing, including a ban on shorts for men. In practice the rules have been steadily eroding for years. Particularly in wealthier areas, the all-body black “chador” robes have been increasingly re-
placed by jeans, make-up and loose, colourful scarves which many let drop around their shoulders entirely. To see how much Iranian society has evolved, one need only listen to the president, Hassan Rouhani. He once boasted of personally imposing the compulsory headscarf on women in the years after the 1979 revolution, starting with military centres.
FOREIGN NEWS 09
Friday, 9 February, 2018
india’S ChiEf juStiCE wantS ayodhya CaSE trEatEd aS a 'land iSSuE' NEW DELHI
HE Supreme Court conveyed its clinical approach to the 70year-old Ram Janma BhoomiBabri Masjid title dispute, exhorting the parties on either side of the fence to treat it merely as a ‘land issue’. Indicating it would not be swayed by the history of religious conflict and violence associated with the Ayodhya site, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Dipak Misra addressed a tense and crowded courtroom, saying “please treat this as a land issue.” The Hindu parties and sects involved in the dispute believe Lord Ram was born on this land. Kar sevaks razed the 15th century Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. In September 2010, a three-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court attempted to bring quietus by pronouncing a three-way partition of the disputed site. But this judgment had only led to appeals and cross appeals filed by parties in the Supreme Court. On Thursday, the court warded off third-party inter-
venors, who said they wanted in as the Ayodhya appeals dealt with an issue that impacted the nation. But a bench, comprising the CJI and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, firmly told them that these were appeals and cross-appeals filed in land suits, and parties concerned were quite capable of arguing them without any third party interventions. When senior advocate CU Singh,
representing some prominent names, reminded the court that these Ayodhya appeals had come to the limelight because of an intervenor, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, Chief Justice Misra brushed it aside, saying “how do I know? The case was posted to this bench by my predecessor [then Chief Justice JS Khehar].” The court then recorded that over 500 exhibits, which include the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and documents
written in various languages like Sanskrit and Pali, have been filed. The depositions of 87 witnesses have also been filed along with the Archaeological Survey of India’s reports. However, some translations are yet to be completed and copies of videos have to be taken. The court asked the parties to do so in the next two weeks. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, for the appellants, objected to a submission by senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan that appellants should provide them with a synopsis of the propositions they are going to make in court. Dhavan said the respondents should not dictate what propositions he should argue on. “What is relevant for me, may be irrelevant for you. I will open the case however I want. I will not be curtailed by any propositions. Let me present the case as I want. You [respondents] want a proposition? Here is one. You are wrong. A 100 times wrong,” Mr. Dhavan said. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the Uttar Pradesh government, reacting to Mr. Dhavan's words, said, “Such hyperbole should be avoided.”
Eight candidates to run for Russia presidential election MOSCOW AGENCIES
Eight candidates will be on the ballot in Russia’s March 18 presidential vote, a poll that appears certain to hand President Vladimir Putin a new six-year term. The list of candidates was finalised when the Central Election Commission formally approved Ksenia Sobchak and Maksim Suraikin on Feb 8, the last day of the registration process. At a live-streamed meeting in Moscow, commission chief Ella Pamfilova said that eight candidates will compete for the country’s highest office. Putin’s popularity, his control over the levers of power, and what critics say have been years of steps to suppress dissent and marginalise opponents virtually ensure that he will win a fourth term. Opposition activists say that in past elections the Kremlin has used an array of tactics, both during campaigns and on Election Day, to manipulate the vote and achieve the results it desires. Sobchak is a journalist and TV personality whose late father, Anatoly, was Putin’s boss and mentor for a time in the 1990s. She was nominated by the Civil Initiative party. Suraikin is the little-known leader of the Communists of Russia Party, which is separate from the much-larger Communist Party.
The six candidates registered earlier are Putin, business ombudsman Boris Titov of the Party of Growth, nationalist Sergei Baburin of the Russian All-People Union Party, liberal Grigory Yavlinsky of the Yabloko party, flamboyant ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky – the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia – and Communist Party nominee Pavel Grudinin. Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, a vocal critic of Putin, has been barred from running because of a criminal conviction that he contends was the result of fabricated evidence. He has called on Russians to boycott the vote, which he has condemned as Putin’s
“reappointment.” Russia’s constitution bars presidents from serving more than two consecutive terms, meaning that Putin would not be eligible to seek a new term in 2024. A longtime KGB officer in the Soviet era, Putin served two four-year terms after President Boris Yeltsin stepped down on the last day of 1999 and put him in charge as acting president. After steering Dmitry Medvedev into the presidency in 2008 and becoming prime minister – a move that enabled him to retain power without violating the constitutional limit of two straight terms – Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012.
dozens killed in uS-led coalition airstrike in Syria: state media DEIR EZZOR AGENCIES
Syrian state media confirmed on Thursday that dozens of fighters were killed in United States (US)-led coalition strikes overnight but appeared to deny the victims were soldiers. “In a new aggression and in an attempt to support terrorism, coalition forces targeted popular forces” in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, state television said, apparently referring to paramilitary groups allied to the regime. According to a US military official, at least 100 pro-regime fighters were killed in what the US Central Command said were retaliatory strikes. State media acknowledged that what it termed “popular forces” were targeting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are supported by the coalition and host its advisers on its bases. The state news agency SANA said the fighters hit by the coalition were “battling Daesh terrorist and SDF groups”, referring to the militant Islamic State group and the Kurdish-dominated militia respectively.
Trump's military parade plan sparks backlash WASHINGTON AGENCIES
President Donald Trump’s dream of hosting a military parade in Washington was met with widespread derision Wednesday, with critics seeing evidence of creeping authoritarianism. White House and military officials confirmed preliminary planning was already underway, but said a date had not yet been decided. “I think we’re all aware, in this country, of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” said Defense Secretary James Mattis. “We’ve been putting together some options. We’ll send them up to the White House for a decision.” Democratic lawmakers leaped to pillory Trump’s plan as an “idiot” and “authoritarian” idea from a “Napoleon in the making.” Meanwhile support was thin on the ground, even among Trump’s advocates in Congress. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that a parade “makes sense,” with some caveats. “I’m not looking for a Soviet-style hardware display. That’s not who we are. It’s kind of cheesy, and I think shows weakness quite frankly,” he said. “But have a parade where we can display our finest and we can all say ‘thank you’ and honor them would be fine.” Republican congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally, suggested further delib-
eration was needed. “We’ll have that debate,” he said. While military parades are a highlight of the calendar in Moscow, Pyongyang and Paris, they are rare in the United States, where displays of patriotism usually take the form of flag-waving, fireworks and grilled hotdogs. The last major parade in Washington was in 1991 after the Gulf War, when missiles and tanks rolled through the streets of the capital. As commander-inchief, Trump could order the military to carry out a parade without any further debate. But in a sign of possible tensions between Trump and his own staff, White House officials stressed the idea was still in “discussion.” “We haven’t made a final decision,” said press secretary Sarah Sanders. “We are simply exploring options.” Sanders said Trump’s intention was to have “a celebration” of the military. Still, Trump’s request immediately fueled comparisons to similar events in autocratic countries.
Al Qaeda still going strong as Islamic State crumbles: UN report UNITED NATIONS AGENCIES
Al Qaeda’s global network remains “remarkably resilient,” posing more of a threat in some regions than the Islamic State group, UN sanctions monitors said in a report seen by AFP on Thursday. The report sent to the Security Council said that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen, served as a communications hub for the UN-designated terror group as a whole. “al Qaeda affiliates remain the dominant terror threat in some regions, such as Somalia and Yemen, a fact demonstrated by a continuous stream of attacks and foiled operations,” said the report. In West Africa and South Asia, al
Qaeda linked groups pose as serious a threat as Islamic State affiliates who “currently remain unable to reach a dominant position,” it said. UN member-states however see potential for linkups between al Qaeda and Islamic State groups to support each other, warning that in some regions this could be a new threat, the report said. The Islamic State lost its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq last year but al Qaeda “remained remarkably resilient,” said the UN monitors. In Syria, the al Nusrah Front “remains one of the strongest and largest al Qaeda affiliates globally,” with its fighters “using threats, violence and material incentives” to absorb smaller armed groups. al Nusrah commands between 7,000
and 11,000 fighters, including several thousand foreigners, and has its main power base in Syria’s Idlib province. In Libya, Islamic State remains intent on regaining a foothold following the loss of Sirte and has reinforced its presence with fighters returning from Iraq and Syria, the report said. Fighters from Boko Haram, which has expanded its reach from northern Nigeria, are maintaining small cells in Libya who could then move on to other regional countries. “Member-states assessed that there is a potential for the transfer of leaders from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Libya to other conflict zones in West Africa and the Sahel region, including Mali,” said the report.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
Lessons from the NHS
Religious extremism is the enemy within
Cultivating a certain temperament in professionals
Put a stop to it before it is too late
AKISTANI establishment and society have kept their eyes closed to religious vigilantism too long. Mashal Khan’s brutal lynching and murder show how a handful of manipulators can use blasphemy to rouse crowds to attack and kill any person without giving him a chance to prove his innocence. Four years back a young Christian couple was burnt alive by a violent mob of about 1,000 villagers on the charge of blasphemy. That those who attacked Mashal Khan were students of a university shows that even the educated youth is not immune to extremist religious impulses. Unless urgent and effective measures are taken to curb the trend no individual or institution would be safe in the country. It was proved in the court that Mashal Khan was entirely guiltless and the issue was used by a handful of people to implicate him for sheer personal motives. One person has been sentenced to death, five to life imprisonments, 25 others to four years in jail, and 26 acquitted by an Anti Terrorism Court (ATC). None in the large crowd that attacked Mashal Khan had heard him utter anything blasphemous; some might not have even known him but they got charged when mischief mongers spread the rumour. What should further make the establishment worry is that the workers of a prominent religious party took out a procession in a KP city against the ATC judgment soon after it was announced. Critics have raised questions about the reasons behind the acquittal of 26 accused who were arrested on the basis of a video of the tragic incident. Also about the failure to arrest one of the accused who happens to be an office bearer of the party ruling KP. The question that remains unanswered is how to ensure that tragedies of the sort do not take place in the future. Is there any way to build a firewall against the misuse of blasphemy allegations? Unless the state deals with extremist tendencies on a war footing, it cannot hope to win the battle against extremism.
Self-defeating deadlock US-Pak ties struck in a rigid groove
high-level briefing on Tuesday by two senior US bureaucrats to Senate Foreign relations Committee in Washington and officially released proceedings of 208th Corps Commanders Conference (CCC) held at GHQ on Wednesday, indicate that, amidst all the nice talk of cooperation and doors left ajar, the two sides have not budged an inch from their previous positions on Afghanistan, and an uneasy stalemate persists, with no knowing what direction future events will take. Indeed, the US officials went way beyond their usual allegations of ‘sanctuaries for militant proxies’ in Pakistan, by airing concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes, which they conveniently want aligned with American nonproliferation policies. While stressing Pakistan’s key role in an Afghan peace, they also acknowledged that cutting off US military assistance had failed to effect desired changes of policy. Coming on top of the ‘financier’ stick and carrot deals of Trump administration, restoring suspended security aid provided Pakistan took ‘decisive and sustained’ action against Haqqani group, this ominous ‘axis of evil’ kind of treatment regarding nuclear and missile assets, will be a non-starter at any given level, whether it be civilian government, military or ordinary people. Pakistan’s genuine concerns, indeed alarm, at increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan were neatly sidestepped in Washington, despite proven Indian role in destabilizing Balochistan, hostility(shared by US) against CPeC and intensifying brinkmanship at Line of Control and Working Boundary, with over 200 violations in 2018 alone, martyring 12 people, including four troops. Against this backdrop, the CCC made it clear that, though willing to cooperate with all stakeholders, Pakistan will never compromise on its vital national interests, give a befitting reply to any Indian misadventure on the LOC, while internally consolidating the gains of various anti-terrorism operations undertaken so far, which ultimately benefit the entire region. By Pentagon channels, Pakistan was assured that present unsettled relations were temporary, US would not take any unilateral action and that it only sought cooperation in its areas of concern, but the confused and desperate Trump presidency and baying enemies on all sides require extremely wary walking on Pakistan’s part.
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T’S an unpopular opinion among the Pakistani medical community, but I’ll say it anyway. The person who walks into your clinic is not a professional patient. He is not being accompanied by a professional attendant. Neither of them went to a special training colleges to learn how to be good patients or attendants; how to approach a doctor, how to cooperate with a physical examination, how to say ‘Aaaah’ properly when the doctor comes up to one with a tongue depressor. Within that clinic room, there is just one professional and that’s you: the doctor. you are there to manage the patient; the patient is not there to manage your temper and emotions. It’s irrelevant if the patient misbehaved first. It doesn’t matter that you’ve had a busy day, running around the ward examining patients and taking blood samples. It doesn’t even matter if the patient is noncompliant with the medical advice and prescription you gave him; it’s his body, he does whatever he wants with it. What matters is the way you deal with the situation, as a medical professional fully aware of the code of ethics to which you’re bound. This is a concept that many medical professionals in Pakistan, sadly, do not know. Unrestrained classism plays a role. The well-paid consultant considers it a personal affront when the lowly patient refuses the medical prescription, and says he’d rather go to a pir instead. The specialist feels annoyed when the patient bashfully admits that he cannot afford the medicine he’s been prescribed. His poverty, ignorance, and unscientific ideas do not justify the consultant’s misbehaviour. No, you cannot be-
rate your ‘jahil’ (uneducated) patient; he has not own neighbour. These aren’t just anecdotes. This is a wellhad the privilege of receiving the education organised system that has built itself over you’ve attained. Working for the NHS, I overhead my team decades of trial and error, with the assumption manager say that you can teach employees skills that ‘private’ medical care is not an option. The and competency, but you can’t teach them val- NHS is presently under a great deal of political ues. Knowing the correct dose of antibiotic to be and financial strain, with widespread protests given to a patient with kidney failure, is not what against funding cuts. Despite the sheer heartlessmakes you a good doctor. you can Google that ness and heinousness at display at the higher ofinformation in fifteen seconds, or look it up on fice, there is a general acceptance of the fact that nobody should be allowed to profit from your an app in half that time. The NHS demands a certain temperament cancer and your disability. The private sector is about private profits, not from its professionals. collective welfare. you must be polite. you But we are easily must respect one’s autontempted to look closer at omy. you’re expected to Within that clinic room, how an individual doctor advise one on his health treats an individual paproblems, but you must there is just one tient, and the difference be prepared to submit to between what we find in one’s agency over one’s professional and that’s Pakistan and the UK is own body. This is not a you: the doctor. You are absolutely striking. even vertical relationship beprivate medical practitween a guru and his disthere to manage the tioners in Pakistan cannot ciple; it’s a horizontal hold a candle to the compartnership between two patient; the patient is not passionate service ofadults to achieve a cerfered by doctors in the tain goal. there to manage your NHS. It’s not simply a you must respect his temper and emotions matter of facilities and confidentiality, and that equipment (even at the involves more than just NHS, I recall plenty of avoiding deliberate dislight infighting among semination of patient’s personal medical data. I was once at an educa- wards over skin stickers for eCG); but the way tional meeting with a junior doctor presenting a a doctor is trained to see his patient. you’re a patient in pain. you’re distressed. particularly complex medical case to a room full of medical professionals. Four minutes into the you are permitted to not be at your best behavpresentation, one of the doctors rose from his iour. It’s your doctor’s job to soothe your pain; chair and walked out of the conference saying, to manage your distress with medication, speech, “I think this patient is my neighbour. I’m going or a hot cup of chai if necessary. you mustn’t settle for the privilege of having a doctor touch you to step out!”. This is a particularly impressive display of with his stethoscope. expect your doctor to make you feel better. good values, considering that the case itself was anonymised. Although the patient’s name Faraz Talat is a medical doctor from and other identifiable details had been meticulously erased and left out of the discussion, Rawalpindi and an ardent traveller who writes there was apparently enough detail in it for the frequently about science, social politics and doctor to suspect that the patient could be his international relations.
Senate an unrepresentative body More like an elitist club?
Abdul QuAyyum KhAn Kundi
very Senate election raises questions and concerns about horse trading that most parties engage in. The upcoming Senate elections are not much different. There are billionaires that got the ticket from PTI-L (lotas). MQM-Pakistan split into two groups because they could not develop consensus on Senate candidates. each faction claiming their proposed candidate is more loyal to the party. There is the talk of Mr Zardari buying MPAs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. There are also concerns that PML-N will gain sufficient majority to control the legislative process to push through laws that would help them as a party but not necessarily further the cause of democracy. All these developments raise doubts about the viability of Senate as a body that can deliver on its constitutional mandate of providing a level playing field to smaller provinces to make the federation strong. This weakness of Senate is also undermining democracy and preventing the emergence of a stable political order. There are many structural reasons that are contributing towards a weak Senate. First is the question whether a bicameral arrangement has worked as it was envisioned by the builders of the political order. In most countries with a diversified community and varying size of provinces, it was considered important that rights of marginal groups and smaller provinces should be protected through an upper house that provides equal representation. It was also expected
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that many experts and marginal communities that cial to promote their business interests. It is imcan’t reach the lower house through general elec- portant Senate election process is reformed so tions should be given representation in the upper that it becomes more representative. For reserve house so that they can help build the nation. seats in senate party lists can be used to provide Women, non-Muslims, Ulema, and technocrats’ proportional representation but for general seats were created in Senate so that these special seats, direct elections should be held so that citgroups can have sufficient representation and izens of a province elect their senators to fight for their rights. voice in legislation. We proposed many such solutions to elecThese objectives are apparently not achieved because of civilian dictatorships in political par- toral reforms committee that drafted election Bill ties. For instance, PML-N gave Senate ticket to 2017 but since parties are controlled by civilian Nihal Hashmi on Punjab seat depriving the dictators they rejected these proposals as it goes province of its right in order to serve the interest against their interests. The passage of an amendment that allowed a disof the party. Similarly, on qualified person to women seat relatives of become party head was party officials are given the result of control of tickets rather than civic Women, non-Muslims, Senate by loyalists. In the activists that have experiabsence of a truly repreence of working on Ulema, and technocrats’ sentative Senate, the fedwomen issues. Technoseats were created in eration and democracy crat tickets are also given both will remain weak. If to loyalists of party Senate so that these political parties fail to act heads. These party failto reform Senate election ures demand that sepaspecial groups can have then the civic organisarate qualification criteria sufficient representation tion will be forced to apshould be developed for proach Supreme Court senate reserve seats so and voice in legislation for redress. that these marginal comempowered parliamunities get real reprement and truly represensentation. tative senate are the need For instance, technocrat should be properly defined so that candidates of the nation but this cannot be achieved until powith these special skills are given an opportunity litical parties become democratic organisations. Almost all political parties are facing internal to serve the nation. There is also need for laws so that election pressure to reform. But it can only be achieved Commissions of Pakistan (eCP) can monitor po- when political activists engage in collective eflitical parties in awarding senate tickets through forts to demand that internal democracy and rea process that is transparent and provides level spect for party constitutions is ensured. Failure of political activists to bring change in their parplaying field to all party members. None of the political parties announced their ties will be a lost opportunity as next generation ticket process or the criteria they will use to vet of status quo is getting ready to take over from candidates. The names announced by parties sug- their parents. General elections 2018 will be an gest that nepotism and cronyism dictated most of opportunity for the emergence of a new cadre of politicians that are more capable and passionate the tickets rather than capability and merit. The election of senators is also prone to to bring change. horse trading. This makes the Senate an unrepAbdul Quayyum Khan Kundi is former resentative body and does not enjoy confidence and mandate of the people they are meant to President of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, serve. It acts more like a rich man elite club USA, and member of PTI Central Tarbiyati rather than a platform of public service. These Council as Incharge of Curriculum people use this status to gain access to diplo- Development. He has also authored the book: matic passports and other perks that are benefi- Islamic Social Contract.
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Friday, 9 February, 2018
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Multan Road widening THe usual trend is to lambast the government for every conceivable ill and overlook the major development projects. For instance, Multan road from Thokar Niaz Beg to Hudiara Drain is under the widening process. The road in its present state cannot take the load of thousands of vehicles of all sizes that ply on it daily. As a result, the road-users have to put up with terrible road congestion round the clock. Public time is wasted when vehicles are stuck in long lines. Punjab government has decided to widen the road and develop it into eight lanes, four lanes each way. This will greatly ease the vehicular movement on the stretch of ten kilometres from Thokar Niaz Beg to Hudiara Drain. Multan road serves as the main entry and exit artery to the provincial capital. Some circles have even criticised this project merely for the sake of criticism. On the contrary, a large majority of people who use this road appreciate Punjab government decision of developing this road into eight lanes. Better yet, service lanes should have been planned on both sides of the road to facilitate the flow of the traffic, as thousands of vehicles add up to our roads every month. Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif deserves much credit for enlarging the road network in the province. TARIQ KHAn Lahore
Baloch feudal mindset an impediment to CPEC And the province’s progress
SulTAn m hAli
ALOCH feudal lords have been notorious for opposing development in their province. Their mindset is fixated on the factor that denies the uplift of its people; be it socio-economic, educational, health, nutrition or other aspects. There is a method in the madness. The ordinary Baloch serve as minions and serfs on the lands and property of the Baloch sardars, who would not like to endanger their fiefdom if their subjects get enlightened. Generally Baloch feudal lords have been serving as the governors or chief ministers of Balochistan. Despite the allocation of development funds for the construction of educational institutions, communication infrastructure, water and energy projects, the province of Balochistan has remained under developed. Firstly because the allocated funds for development were siphoned off by corrupt political leaders, secondly because they wanted the ordinary Baloch to remain steeped in ignorance lest he demand freedom from bonded labour and refuse to serve as menials. Since 2015, with the advent of China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPeC) and the development of the port of Gawadar, there is hope for the social uplift of the ordinary Baloch. Besides the development of the Gwadar Deep Sea Port, the $45 billion mega project entails at least sixteen projects. These include Khuzdar Basima Highway (N 30), DI Khan Quetta Highway (N 50), Hubco Coal Power Plant, Gwadar Power Plant, Gwadar Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline, Gwadar eastbay expressway, Gwadar New International Airport, Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, expansion of Multipurpose Terminal including Breakwater and Dredging Wastewater, Treatment Plants for Gwadar City, Gwadar Primary School, Gwadar Hospital Upgradation, Gwadar Technical and vocational College, Gwadar eastbay expressway II, Fresh Water Supply and Gwadar Free Zone. On 29 January 2018, Gwadar Free Zone was inaugurated amidst fanfare. Spread over 60 acres, Gwadar Free Zone will be operated by China Overseas Port Holding Company, which has also set up a Business Centre for the handling of operations. The Business Centre will
provide a one-window operation for matters in- is a fear of a massive inflow of migrants from cluding immigration, customs, visa operations different areas of Pakistan which will change the demography of Balochistan and reduce the and port clearance facilities. Daily necessities and small household appli- Baloch people to a permanent minority in their ances, fishery, stone processing, machinery man- historic homeland. Hammal Haider, the foreign secretary of the ufacturing and metal processing are the main introduced industries. The Free Zone will adopt Baloch National Movement, was critical of tax exemption policy in the development of China, stating that “China is very aggressive towards its `One Belt One road’ policy and it’s not bonded logistics. CPeC is expected to usher an era of devel- taking care of human rights violations which opment for Pakistan in general and for the Pakistan is committing in Balochistan. China is Baloch in particular as it is providing the people very aggressive, but the problem is that euroa means of livelihood and enhancement of the pean countries are reluctant to say anything. The purpose of the conference is to raise awareness quality of their lives. Unfortunately, Baloch feudal lords would and to engage the good people of european like to deny their people the fruits of the CPeC countries and raise their voices against China’s bonanza because they would rather see their peo- aggressive policies.” Seeking to place impediments in the success ple live in darkness and ignorance rather than of CPeC, numerous foreign intelligence agencies challenge their authority. Detractors of Pakistan and China, who would are operating from Afghanistan to support bomb like to see the CPeC fail, have employed every blasts, suicide attacks, abductions, target killings, possible trick in the book of guile, deceit and de- ethnic and sectarian violence, etc, through their viousness to destabilise the project and scare the affiliated militant groups to fulfill their heinous plans at the cost of PakChinese away. From sediistan, China and Iran. Betion to sabotage, fomentsides martyring several ing insurgency to actual personnel of law-enforcacts of terror, Balochistan Daily necessities and ing agencies and security has been rocked to the forces in the province, hilt. It goes to the credit of small household these anti-Pakistan entithe law enforcing agenappliances, fishery, stone ties kidnapped and mascies that they have mansacred many Punjabis, aged to quell the processing, machinery Pashtun, Shia, people of insurgency while the reHazara community and silience of the majority of manufacturing and metal patriot Baloch including the Baloch nation has processing are the main Iranian Shia. In the past held the province intact. A few years, they abducted number of Baloch feudal introduced industries and killed many Chinese lords, who were on the and Iranian nationals in payroll of inimical secret Pakistan. On a number of services to stir up trouble occasions, these militant in Balochistan, have proceeded on self-imposed exile to safer climes to es- outfits claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. But, they have always blamed Pak army and cape the dragnet of Pakistan’s security forces. even in exile, they continue to play in the other security agencies for human rights violahands of Pakistan and China’s detractors and tions in Balochistan. The Baloch feudal lords have been active in having sought asylum in various countries, they continue to spread venom against Pak- denigrating Pakistan and CPeC. They run campaigns on the internet, blog despicably false istan and CPeC. reportedly, exiled Baloch leaders and ac- claims of human rights transgressions by Paktivists gathered in Germany’s city Berlin to voice istan’s law enforcement agencies and seek funds their concern against CPeC. The event titled from international donors to continue their “China’s One Belt One road Initiative – Its ad- machinations. Some Baloch feudal lords see the light of verse impact on Balochistan and the region” was organised by the european branch of Baloch Na- reason and have returned to Pakistan to become tional Movement (BNM), a Baloch nationalist a part of the historic resurgence of their province. Many insurgents have surrendered political group. Dr Zaffar Baloch, the organiser of the their arms and decided to work for the developBaloch National Movement in North America ment of Pakistan. regrettably, at the behest of made stringent demands that China and Pakistan some of Pakistan and CPeC’s opponents, leader should get out of Balochistan. He stressed that of the BrP, Nawabzada Brahamdagh Bugti, Balochistan is not a part of Pakistan and it has continues to shun the amnesty offered by the no right to sign any agreement with China that government of Pakistan and continues to mishas anything to do with Balochistan. The event lead the Baloch against the federation of Pakattended by experts, analysts, journalists, econ- istan by opposing CPeC. omists and policy makers also discussed the imSultan M Hali is a retired Group Captain pact of economic corridor in the region. The gathering of the cynics depicted the and author of the book Defence & Diplomacy. CPeC as a threat. They expressed the fear that Currently he is a columnist, analyst and TV as CPeC gets implemented in Balochistan, there talk show host.
Supreme Court is prime THrOUGHOUT the history of Pakistan, there are certain verdicts taken by the Supreme Court that shattered the democracy in the country. For instance, its support to the unlawful and unconstitutional acts of the dictators made its operations dubious. It is a fact that the court has taken decisions against the politicians. Attesting the martial law is among the series of verdicts that damaged its image. Those days are gone when then unpopular verdicts were passed through the judiciary. Pakistan’s legislative and judiciary are stronger than ever, although a continuous struggle is still required. Nawaz Sharif is on the roads and addressing public gatherings in various parts of the country. He has kept on saying that the court of the people is the leading court. This statement is quite strange keeping in view the contemporary situation. Maryam Nawaz and the entire family are cursing the SC since the decision of Nawaz’s disqualification surfaced. Our politicians do not seem to accept the sanctity of the courts even at this crucial time. Judiciary ensures proper implementation of the laws and once it starts happening, our politicians censure it terming it against the democracy. The apex court declared Nawaz Sharif disqualified on July 28, 2017 over corruption charges and from that time the ruling party kept on attacking the SC and its judges. Majority of the people might be wrong and a few jurists might be right. This is what is apparent in this case. By accepting the verdicts of SC whole-heartedly, all the stakeholders should come closer instead of indulging into futile efforts of bashing each other. They indeed should solve the long-standing issues of poverty, terrorism, unemployment. However, there is a need to throw caution to the wind while talking about matters of public interest as it goes on to say a lot of judicial activism post Iftikhar Chaudhary’s era. We already have a great deal of suo motos at our disposal to work around. JUnAID ALI MALIK Lahore
Saving public money IT is a matter of quite appreciable record that under the inspiring, untiring and committed leadership of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the Punjab government has set high benchmark of integrity, efficiency, transparency and merit in the implementation of numerous development projects across the province and in the process also effected huge saving rs 682 billion of public money. It is quite right to say that performance coupled with saving is the vision of the chief minister. The money so saved is almost twice of the size of the annual development programmed of the province and it will now be utilized for launching more development projects in different sectors for the welfare and well-being of the people across the board during the remaining few months of the constitutional tenure of the provincial government. It is also worth mentioning that while effecting saving of public money through transparent, efficient and honest utilization of public funds, the chief minister has not allowed anyone to compromise on quality and high standards. Twelve mega projects on which such huge saving of rs 682 billion has so far been affected include Chiniot Iron Ore Deposits, energy sector projects, Orange Line Metro Train, land retrieved from illegal occupants, Lahore Waste Management Company, ring road (Southern Loop 1 & 2), Metro Bus Network (Lahore, rawalpindi and Multan), Punjab Safe City, Pakistan Kidney & Live Institute, Selfemployment Scheme, Procurement of quality medicines and Solarization of schools. Those having any doubts about saving claims of the provincial government may take the trouble, go and ask for further information and clarification in this regard from the official quarters concerned in order to satisfy themselves. Seeing is believing, it is generally said, please. Thanks. ZAHID RIFAT Lahore
12 WORLD VIEW
Friday, 9 February, 2018
Pentagon readies the ‘father of all bombs’ for use against north Korea
The NaTioN, US
THE ‘FATHER OF ALL BOMBS’ WAS ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED ON A CRASH BASIS DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE PENTAGON WITH A NON-NUCLEAR WEAPON CAPABLE OF DESTROYING IRAN’S UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS
Michael T Klare
ast april, the Us military detonated the “mother of all bombs”—a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance air Blast (MOaB), with 18,000 pounds of explosives— over an IsIs tunnel complex in afghanistan. this being the first use in combat of the giant MOaB, its use in afghanistan generated widespread press attention. In many of the media commentaries, the GBU-43/B was described as the largest non-nuclear weapon in the Us arsenal—as powerful, in fact, as the smallest nuclear weapons developed by the United states. In turns out, however, that the GBU-43/B is eclipsed by an even larger non-nuclear weapon, the 30,000-pound GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), dubbed by some the “father of all bombs” to distinguish it from the MOaB. Originally designed to destroy underground nuclear facilities in Iran, the GBU-57 is now being readied for use against North Korea. It is no secret that the Defense Department is preparing for possible preventive attacks on North Korean nuclear and missile facilities, supposedly intended to prevent the Kim Jong-un regime in Pyongyang from developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering nuclear warheads to the continental United states. National security adviser H.R. McMaster has openly called for strikes of this sort, sometimes described as the “bloody nose” option. But any such scenario faces two major hurdles: First, a Us strike could provoke massive retaliation by the North against south Korea and Japan, producing vast numbers of civilian casualties; and second, it could fail to destroy all of the North’s nuclear and missile facilities, most of which are thought to be hidden in deep underground shelters. so far as can be deter-
mined, the Pentagon has yet to come up with a viable response to the first of these (though it is continuing to search for one), but, with the GBU-57, it may have come up with a solution to the second. It is impossible to minimize the risks of a first-strike “preventive” Us attack on North Korea. Even if american air and missile attacks succeed in destroying many of North Korea’s long-range missiles, that country would still be capable, in all likelihood, of raining vast numbers of artillery shells and short-range missiles (some possibly armed with chemical weapons) on seoul, located only a few dozen miles from the North Korean border, and on other heavily populated areas in Japan and south Korea—probably killing tens or hundreds of thousands of people (including many american soldiers and their dependents living there). this prospect has led some senior Pentagon officials—including, reportedly, Defense secretary Jim
Mattis—to caution the White House against ordering a preventive strike. Nevertheless, there are many indications that the Pentagon is putting in place the means to conduct such an attack—and recent enhancements to the GBU-57 bomb are among the most alarming of those. the “father of all bombs” was originally developed on a crash basis during the Obama administration to provide the Pentagon with a non-nuclear weapon capable of destroying Iran’s underground nuclear installations. One of those facilities, the Fordow nuclear-enrichment plant, was located in a tunnel complex dug deep into the side of a mountain. although President Obama was avidly seeking a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions—ultimately succeeding in 2015, with the adoption of the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action—his military advisers wanted to be able to destroy Fordow from the air in case the negotiations failed. the GBU-57 was
their answer. the GBU-57 is a 30,000pound behemoth made by Boeing that can penetrate through hundreds of feet of rock and concrete before detonating its more than 5,300 pounds of high explosive. as described by the Us air Force, “the warhead case is made from a special high-performance steel alloy and its design allows for a large explosive payload while maintaining the integrity of the penetrator case during impact.” (You can’t make this jargon up!) the bomb is so heavy that only one Us combat plane—the B-2 stealth bomber—is certified to carry it. Even after the signing of the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, the air Force continued to work on the GBU-57, seeking to improve its accuracy and destructive impact. By that point, attention was shifting from Iran to North Korea. as in Iran, the North Koreans have buried many of their key nuclear and missile facilities in fortified underground shelters, hoping to protect them from Us air and missile strikes. to destroy those installations, any munitions employed by the United states (short of city-busting nuclear weapons) would have to possess both high penetration capacity and great accuracy, to ensure that the bomb’s explosive power was not misdirected. In 2015, the air Force tested the GBU-57 at White sands Missile Range, dropping two bombs sequentially from a B-2 bomber to maximize their underground penetration. according to a report in the Wall street Journal, “senior officials say the results show the bomb—when dropped one on top of the other—is now more capable of penetrating fortified nuclear facilities in Iran or in North Korea.” With the possibility of war with North Korea looming ever greater, the Pentagon spent additional millions of dollars to im-
prove the GBU-57’s accuracy and to assess its effectiveness in new tests at White sands. Last May, according to a Pentagon report, “the air Force successfully completed a three-weapon drop [of the GBU57] from B-2 aircraft on a representative target,” demonstrating the bomb’s improved effectiveness. the installation of a more advanced guidance system on the bomb and the initiation of new tests were said to result from a “sECDEF [secretary of Defense] special-interest effort,” suggesting direct intervention by Defense secretary Mattis. In November, the improved version of the GBU-57 was deemed ready for battlefield use, according to a Pentagon report cited by anthony Capaccio of Bloomberg News. then, in January, the air Force transferred three B-2 stealth bombers and their crews from Whiteman air Force Base in Missouri to andersen air Force Base on Guam, in the Western Pacific. although described as a normal rotational shift intended to showcase Us airpower in the Pacific, it is impossible to view this move without considering possible plans for attacks on North Korea. Designed to penetrate heavily defended enemy air space and deliver a range of conventional and nuclear weapons, the NorthropGrumman B-2 “spirit” is the most expensive aircraft in the Us inventory, costing an estimated $1.2 billion each (some say much more). In any scenario involving a preemptive strike on North Korea, the B-2 would be expected to play a pivotal role, flying well into enemy airspace to deliver its payload on high-value targets, presumably underground nuclear and missile facilities. as the only bomber capable of delivering the GBU-57, their presence on Guam at this time is, to say the least, highly provocative. asked by Bloomberg whether GBU-57s
have been deployed to Guam along with the B-2s, the air Force has refused to say, one way or the other. It would be premature to say that a Us attack on North Korea, of a sort advocated by General McMaster and others, is just around the corner. While the Defense Department has moved a wide range of offensive weapons, including B-1 and B-52 bombers (in addition to the B-2s), within easy striking range of the North, we do not yet see the full mobilization of forces and the evacuation of Us dependents from south Korea that would signal an imminent outbreak of hostilities. Nevertheless, the fact that things have moved as far as they have—including the rushed enhancement of the “father of all bombs” for possible employment against the North—should have us all highly concerned. With the Winter Olympics just about to begin, and south Korean President Moon Jae-in desperately striving to arrange peace talks with the North, this is the moment to speak out for de-escalation of the Korean crisis and the commencement of serious talks involving all key parties, including the United states, leading to a reduction in threatening arsenals and behaviors on all sides. Readers should also voice support for two bills currently before Congress, HR 4837, the “No Unconstitutional strike against North Korea act,” and its senate version, s. 2016; both prohibit the president from launching a first strike against North Korea or otherwise engaging Us armed forces in hostilities with the North without a declaration of war or explicit statutory authorization by Congress. Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world-security studies at Hampshire College and the defense correspondent of The Nation.
Attacking Hezbollah might have devastating consequences JerUSalem PoST alON BeN-DaViD
It happens just about every year around springtime. When the sun starts shining, Israeli security experts start spouting the odds of another war breaking out in the summer. Maybe it's because of the unusually warm weather we had this week, but this year these rumblings seem to have started ahead of schedule, with talk of a third Lebanon War. One possible cause could be the growing tension from the precision missiles factory Hezbollah is building near Beirut. the threat might be real, but declarations and threats won't be enough to thwart it. In the three years since Operation Protective Edge ended, the IDF has focused its energy on preventing Hezbollah from growing stronger. the minor military incidents that take place between wars have become the IDF's prime preoccupation. according to reports from syria, Israel air Force attacks there have become routine, and not even the Russians seem to have accepted the new status quo. Iran and Hezbollah have finally realized that all their shipments that pass through syria will be exposed to attacks by Israel air Force jets. the attempt by Iran to build a precision missiles factory in syria was thwarted by Israel last september (according to reports in the foreign media). as a result, Hezbollah decided to try to circumvent Israeli counter-terrorism activity by moving the
factory to Lebanese soil. Unlike in syria, Israel operates in Lebanon under a different deterrence equation that is dictated by Hezbollah. Four years ago, in February 2014, Israel air Force attacked a weapons depot in a Lebanese town near the syrian border. Hezbollah declared that it would not tolerate such attacks and one month later it followed through with its threat and detonated an explosive charge on an IDF convoy on Mount Dov. thankfully, there were no casualties. Immediately following the attack, Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-General of Hezbollah, announced that this would be the equation from now on: every time Israel attacked Lebanon, there would be an attack on Israel's northern border in response. For some reason, Israel has accepted these game rules and refrained from attacking any locations on Lebanese soil. Nasrallah's mouthpiece, journalist Ibrahim al-amin, makes sure to remind us every few months in his articles that this equation is still valid and volatile. Over a year ago Israel began monitoring preparations by Iran to construct a missile factory in the Beirut area. the threat is clear: missiles from such a factory would give Hezbollah the ability to attack strategic sites in Israel with the precision of being able to pinpoint a specific house, and would arm the terrorist organization with hundreds of newly built missiles every year. We can assume that Israel searched for ways to thwart the
construction of this factory, but the article that was published this week by IDF spokesman Ronen Manlis in the arab media indicates that these efforts were unsuccessful. When Israel has the ability to operate clandestinely, it doesn’t make public declarations and threats. the publication of this unusual article signals that Israel has despaired from its attempts to stealthily thwart construction of the factory, and that it's seriously considering carrying out an aerial attack. this is a very serious dilemma: an Israeli attack would provoke Hezbollah to retaliate on Israel's northern border, which could easily escalate into a third Lebanon War, which neither Israel nor Hezbollah are interested in starting. this is the message that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought to Russian President Vladimir Putin: the continued construction of the factory will lead the region to the brink of war. It's hard not to be impressed by the way Netanyahu managed to connect with the Russian president. there is a lot more here than just the protection of mutual interests – Putin personally holds Netanyahu in high esteem and he also has a special relationship with Israel, which he views as a country with a strong cultural ties to Russia. Netanyahu's ability to receive an audience with Putin now, especially the same week he met with the Us president, is a great strategic asset for Israel. Putin respects Israeli interests with regards to syria, a state now under Rus-
sia's wing. He's not allowing the Iranians to get too close to the Golan Heights, and has held back from intervening when the Israel air Force carries out missions there. But with all due respect for Netanyahu, Putin can't really (and probably has no desire to) intervene in what is happening in Lebanon. He will pass on the Israeli message to his partners in teheran and Beirut, perhaps with an aside that Russia has no interest in a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, but the chances that he'll order them to halt construction of the factory is remote. While Netanyahu is trying to push forward with quiet diplomacy in Moscow, back at home a noisy group of individuals concerned about Israel's security are already pointing towards the next war. Hezbollah doesn’t need these descriptions. Its leaders understand quite well that it won't be the same organization and Lebanon won't be the same country after the next war. It would hurt the Lebanese to a much greater extent and push Lebanon back a few decades. Hezbollah might not win the next round of violence, but it could succeed in putting the Israeli people through an extremely difficult period like it hasn’t experienced since the War of Independence. It could deliver a severe blow to the Israel's civilian and military populations, and possibly even temporarily occupy a few Israeli communities. the face of Israeli society could be drastically changed, leading a certain percentage of Israelis
wondering if they have a future here. Both sides well understand the power that such destruction would have, and so Israel and Hezbollah are both deterred from entering into conflict. Hezbollah is also not really prepared to go to war today – it would prefer first to bring back its 6,000 soldiers who are currently stationed in syria to Lebanon, but it might be some time before that's possible. and yet, even in its limited capacity, Hezbollah is managing to conduct a damaging campaign against Israel. therefore, I recommend that all the Israeli leaders who have been going on lately about attacking Lebanon think carefully about how such a war might end, and whether the heavy price we'd have to pay as a society would make it worthwhile. the missile factory in Lebanon might turn out to be the most difficult dilemma Netanyahu will ever have face. If you look at how previous prime ministers dealt with such issues, the most common mode of action was inaction. that is just human nature: People judge the failure to make a decision more leniently than making a wrong decision. all leaders prefer to avoid decision-making over making a decisive move, and Netanyahu's talents in this area are far superior than all his predecessors. the thing is – in this case, not making a decision regarding the Iranian missile factory could have incredibly devastating consequences. Translated by Hannah Hochner.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
You are dangerously close to reaching your boiling point today and may struggle to keep a lid on your volatile emotions. Militant Mars is your ruling planet, tuning you into trouble before it even happens.
You may not be comfortable expressing your anger, but you can still be a formidable opponent if people push you too far. Although someone could challenge your motives, you're able to exhibit a great deal of patience today.
Nevertheless, the outcome of the current situation is still within your control. You could waste precious energy in a fight that won't likely matter in the long run or you can summon up enough courage to just walk away. The choice is yours.
If you decide to speak your opinion today, avoid getting mired down in the details. Concentrating on the big picture makes sense as long as you don't let your philosophical approach supersede the facts staring at you in the face.
However, there's a good chance that your plans will backfire if you don't express yourself one way or another. Proceed carefully; blowing your cool could alienate the very same people you want to have on your team.
You're motivated to take on the world today with the superhero Sun-Mars conjunction activating your 10th House of Responsibility. But it's difficult now to follow one task through to the end before finding yourself distracted with another one.
You often excel at playing the diplomat, but peacekeeping isn't your primary motivating force today. You're not as quick to acquiesce to the demands of others while warrior Mars hooks up with the willful Sun in your 9th House of Adventure.
But the fact of the matter is your friends and family can be your greatest asset if you include them in your plans. Be on your best behavior while manifesting your future or you may waste a cosmic opportunity to get what you want.
The combative Sun-Mars conjunction falls in your 7th House of Others, flooding your system with so much adrenaline now that you might project your own anger onto anyone who crosses your path.
You're typically quite proficient at taming the contentious energy of hotunder-the-collar Mars. However, you're tempted to ride roughshod over other people's needs today in order to stick to your regular routine.
You might be so excited about a project now that you ignore your friends as you pursue your ambitions. It's all too easy to forget about what anyone else thinks as the Sun-Mars conjunction fires up your 5th House of Self-Expression.
There could be so many things going on at home today that you don't know where to jump in. The action-packed Sun-Mars conjunction falls in your 4h House of Domestic Conditions, emphasizing your personal life.l
ACROSS 1,14 educated people expressing views on the issues of the day (10,7) 7 unselfish concern for others (8) 8 grow weary (4) 9 island of hawaii (4) 10,21 1996 tom cruise spy film â€” extremely dangerous assignment (7,10) 14 see 1 16 centre of a target (4) 19 locks (4) 20 indonesian capital (8) 21 see 10 DOwn
1 stringed instrument (5) 2 display by the red arrows, for example (3,4) 3 branch of a branch? (4) 4 stayed (8) 5 buttocks (5) 6 ornament with a hinged pin and catch (6) 11 deal with (6,2) 12 texas city where jfk was assassinated (6) 13 indistinct stage chattering noise by actors (7) 15 skedaddle! (5) 17 hades' river (5) 18 red planet (4)
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chess active arctic bladder bridge cancel chance clear cots cream crisp damper depend disputed factor fend field flick freeze gadget highlight
hurry jaded lumber need negative papa peace player poise rare rear sale secure spoon strong tender terse victor virus yield
black TO PlaY aND MaTE IN fOur MOVEs 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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sUdokU crossword solution sudoku solution
1...Be7 2.Rdh1 Rh8 3.Qxg5 Bxg5+ 4.f4 Bxh4 * chess solution
how to play fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the squares contains all the digits. the object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
Vaping may increase risk of pneumonia PARIS
APING may help pneumoniacausing bacteria stick to cells lining the airways, likely boosting disease risk, researchers said Thursday. A study published in the European Respiratory Journal did not directly compare vaping’s effect to that of smoking tobacco cigarettes. But the findings did suggest that users of electronic cigarettes may be at higher risk of lung infection than people who do not vape, the research team reported. “If you choose to take up e-cigarettes… this indicates a red flag that there may be an increased susceptibility” to pneumococcal bacteria, study coauthor Jonathan Grigg of the Queen Mary University of London told AFP. Grigg and a team conducted three types of experiment. One exposed human nose lining cells to e-cigarette vapour in the lab, while another involved mice inhaling vapour and then
being exposed to pneumococcal bacteria, the main cause of pneumonia. A third trial studied the nose lining of 11 e-cigarette users compared to six non-vapers. The team noticed a sharp increase in the number of bacteria sticking to airway cells after e-cigarette exposure. Such adhesion has previously been shown to increase susceptibility to disease.
“Some people may be vaping because they think it is totally safe, or in an attempt to quit smoking, but this study adds to growing evidence that inhaling vapour has the potential to cause adverse health effects,” said Grigg. “By contrast, other aids to quitting such as (nicotine) patches or gum do not result in airway cells being exposed to high concentrations of potentially toxic compounds.”
David Beckham fronts new malaria campaign LONDON AGENCIES
Last month, a US study said vaping may increase cancer risk because it leads to DNA damage, despite containing fewer carcinogens than tobacco smoke. That study, too, did not compare the effects of cigarette smoking directly to vaping. Research in the journal Tobacco Control last October said a large-scale switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes would prevent millions of premature deaths by the year 2100, even assuming the gadgets are themselves not risk-free. E-cigarettes said to contain no tar and fewer toxins than tobacco cigarettes were developed as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking. But many people fear that a harmless veneer may make e-cigarettes a “gateway” for young people to lifelong nicotine addiction. Commenting on the latest study, Peter Openshaw, an experimental medicine professor at Imperial College London, said any evidence that vaping raised lung infection risk was “only indirect”.
Football legend, David Beckham, is the public face of a new global malaria campaign, Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live, which is calling upon leaders to "unite and fight" malaria. The campaign's first focus is on leaders at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in April. “I’ve supported the malaria fight for over 15 years and it’s been exciting to see the progress made to save lives, including millions of young children. As the mosquito film shows, these insects are annoying in places likes the UK but in many parts of the world, a mosquito bite is terrifying and deadly, leading to malaria and the loss of a child’s life every two minutes. "This is totally unacceptable, especially when we know how to prevent and cure it. That’s why I’m standing with the millions who live with this threat every day. I urge Commonwealth leaders to be ready to take bold action when they meet in London in April and to unite to stop this disease in its tracks," Beckham, a founding member of Malaria No More UK Leadership Council says. This film makes the point that, like Beckham, people living in malaria-free countries are fortunate to be protected from the deadly disease, but half of the world’s population are still at risk.
Yoga beneficial for people suﬀering Almost 10pc rise in suicides following Robin Williams’ death from high blood pressure and sugar NEWS DESK
LOS ANGELES AGENCIES
Suicide rates in the United States spiked almost 10% following the death in 2014 of actor Robin Williams, and spiked even more among men and those who ended their lives, like Williams, by suffocation, according to a study published on Wednesday. The study, published in the scientific journal PLOS One, found that in the five months from August to December 2014 some 18,690 deaths by suicide were recorded – an increase of 9.85% from the expected number of cases for the period. Williams, the Oscar-winning star of Good Morning, Vietnam who was beloved for his humor, died in August 2014 at age 63 in a suicide that shocked fans worldwide. Authorities said he died of asphyxia after hanging himself at his home in northern California. An autopsy found that Williams was suffering from Lew body dementia, which causes a progressive decline in mental ability. Suicides following Williams’ death rose by 12.9% in men aged 30-44, and the study found a 32% increase in the number of deaths from suffocation. Although the study could not prove a definitive link, it said there appeared to be a connection. Extensive media coverage of Williams’ death “might have proved the necessary stimulus for high-risk segments of the US population (e.g. middle-aged men in de-
spair) to move from suicidal ideation to attempt”. While the effects of widely reported celebrity suicides have previously been linked to increases in the wider population, the study said media coverage of Williams’ suicide was particularly detailed and sensational and was amplified through social media. The suicide in 1994 of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, for example, appeared to have a minimal impact on suicide rates in his Seattle hometown, partly because of more restricted reporting, the study said. “The media industry can positively or negatively influence imitation suicides,” the study said. “Popular news media headlines suggest that media guidelines for suicide reporting were not followed in the case of Mr Williams.” The study used data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
graduate loses bid to sue oxford over failure to get top degree LONDON AGENCIES
An Oxford graduate who sued the university over his failure to get a top degree has had his claim dismissed by the High Court. Faiz Siddiqui claimed that “inadequate teaching” contributed to his low mark in a final year history paper in 2000 which allegedly resulted in him losing entry to a top US law college and sought £1m from the university. However, Justice Foskett, in his ruling said that he was not convinced teaching was “negligently inadequate”. Though Oxford University accepted that there were fewer teaching staff available in the Michaelmas (Autumn) Term in 1999 due to staff being granted leave of absence, it denied that teaching was “inadequate” and Mr Justice Foskett was not persuaded otherwise. Mr Siddique, who studied at Brasenose College, said his 2:1 degree result meant he had not had a successful career in law and resulted in him suffering from depression. Although the judge accepted the claimant had suffered severe depression, he felt this could not be attributed to his degree result. He also found there were other reasons beyond his bouts of depression to explain his failures to hold down the various jobs he had. Siddque also argued he was suffering from “insomnia, depression and anxiety” at the time of his finals and alleged that his personal tutor did not alert examination authorities. Meanwhile, Justice Foskett’s ruling said there was nothing in the email exchanges between them or medical records to suggest he was depressed or suffering from insomnia at the time of the exams.
One year of yoga training may help those suffering from increased blood pressure and high blood sugar, a new study suggests. According to the researchers from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, one year of yoga training decreased pro-inflammatory adipokines – signalling proteins released by fat tissue – and increased an anti-inflammatory adipokine in adults with metabolic syndrome and high-normal blood pressure. The findings support the beneficial role of yoga in managing metabolic syndrome by favourably modulating adipokines, the researchers mentioned. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions – increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol – that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. “These findings help to reveal the response of adipokines to long-term yoga exercise, which underpins the importance of regular exercise to human health,” said senior author Parco Siu from the University of Hong Kong. For the study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, researchers investigated the effect of yoga on people suffering from metabolic syndrome with high-normal blood pressure by exploring modulations in pro-inflammatory
adipokines (leptin, chemerin, visfatin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 or PAI-1) and an anti-inflammatory adipokine (adiponectin). Participants in the yoga group underwent a yoga training programme with three one-hour yoga sessions weekly for a year. The participants’ serum were harvested and assessed for adipokines. Generalised estimating equation (GEE) was used to examine the interaction effect between one-year time (pre vs post) and intervention (control vs yoga). GEE analyses revealed significant interaction effects between one-year time and yoga intervention for the decreases in leptin and chemerin and the increase in adiponectin concentration in the serum examined. Yoga exercise might serve as an effective lifestyle intervention to reduce chronic inflammation and manage aspects of metabolic syndrome, the researchers noted.
Kids with food allergies often put at risk by their parents NEW YORK AGENCIES
Parents of kids with food allergies often engage in behaviors that could trigger an allergic reaction in their child, a survey found. Almost half of parents of kids with food allergies reported at least one risky behavior, such as not carrying epinephrine autoinjectors or not reading food labels. These behaviors are likely due to knowledge gaps and misconceptions, as well as possible financial barriers, according to Dr. Julie Wang of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and her colleagues. Wang’s team conducted the survey to better understand food allergy management behaviors and attitudes in their patients’ households. ”During our patient visits, we routinely counsel families about food allergy management to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
However, we noted that in some cases, our patients experienced allergic reactions that were associated with risk-taking behavior,” Wang told a UK-based wire service in an email. “It is important to understand the barriers patients and their families face in managing their food allergies,” she said. As reported in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Wang and her colleagues surveyed 100 English-speaking parents of children ages 6 months to 18 years who had previously been diagnosed with food allergies and who came for follow-up visits at an urban allergy clinic. Parents were asked about potentially risky food allergy management behaviors. For example, Wang said, ”Risky behaviors include parents giving their child the allergic food to see if the child is still allergic and not always being prepared with emergency medication, epinephrine autoinjectors, in case allergic reactions occur.” Over 70 percent of the kids had experi-
enced food allergy reactions in the previous year, with almost 40 percent reporting at least three reactions. About one in four children had been treated with epinephrine at some point. About one-third had been treated in an emergency department and about 5 percent had been hospitalized in the past. The researchers found a correction between risky behaviors and having at least one food-induced allergic reaction during the past year. In addition, parents of kids with multiple food allergies were more likely to report risky behaviors than parents of kids with one food allergy. About 11 percent of the parents gave allergy-inducing foods to their kids because they didn’t have time to read ingredient labels, and 7 percent said the cost of food was a barrier to avoiding those foods. Nearly one in four parents said they intentionally exposed their kids to the food allergens to see if they were still allergic or to “treat” the underlying allergy.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
AfteR #Metoo, HollyWood MovIe studIos to Add MoRAlIty clAuses In contRActs
OLLOWING the sexual misconduct allegations that have come to light in Hollywood, from Bill Cosby to Harvey Weinstein, studios and distributors have now decided to include a morality clause in their contracts.
What's moral turpitude? Well, simply put, a concept that showbiz talent soon will be well-acquainted with. The term, which means "an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community," is popping up in contracts of actors and filmmakers in the wake of the #MeToo movement. According to Hollywood Reporter, Fox is just one of the studios
that is reportedly trying to insert broad morality clauses into its talent deals, giving it the ability to terminate any contract "if the talent engages in conduct that results in adverse publicity or notoriety or risks bringing the talent into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule." In recent months, productions houses have faced huge losses deal-
Was in a very committed relationship but I’m single now: Priyanka Chopra MUMBAI
ing with the aftermath of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct allegations and cases. For example, it apparently cost $10 million to replace Kevin Spacey in Ridley Scott’s All The Money In The World. And even though Spacey was ousted from the sixth season of his show, House of Cards, Netflix still had to pay his salary. Netflix’s chief finance officer, David Wells, cast a light on the need for such protection in a January earnings call, saying his company took a $39 million write-down due to “the societal reset around sexual harassment.” Entertainment lawyer Schuyler Moore is among those who have started using the clause to protect clients from similar fates. “Any distributor can say, ‘I’m not picking up this film if somebody involved in the film has some charge like that,’” revealed Moore.. Not all lawyers are on the same page though. “I’m all for [#MeToo]. I totally support it. But I think [broad morality clauses] create a bad precedent,” attorney Linda Lichter told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s one thing to say someone is a criminal. It’s another thing to say someone has been accused by someone and you can fire them and not pay them.”
Reese Witherspoon speaks up on her abusive relationship NEW YORK AGENCIES
Global sensation Priyanka Chopra Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra believes her life has been full of serendipitous moments – and therefore, she let fate take control of her love life as well. In a recent interview with Filmfare, the usually secretive actor opened up about her relationship status. Better yet, she admitted to being in a very committed relationship. “Right now, I’m single. Of course, I’ve been double! What do you think, I’m a saint?” she joked. Never catered to whims, fancies of powerful men: Priyanka “But recently, I’ve been single. Let’s just say that I’ve been single after a really really long time. I get a lot of attention but I don’t know what to do with it. Of course, I like it. I’m a girl and I’m vain,” the Quantico starlet shared. When asked whether she dated anyone in America, the Mary Kom actor responded in the affirmative. She went on to specify that it wasn’t any of her Quantico co-stars because all of them are married. On finding anyone interesting in the past year, Priyanka said, “I haven’t – I’m a serial monogamist. I was in a very committed relationship but it’s been almost a year that I’ve been single.” Priyanka lost 10 big films for saying no to sexual harassment She continued, “I’ve met a bunch of people, I’ve gone out with people. I let someone woo me but no… My mind hasn’t exploded, not yet!”
Being one of the actors behind the Time’s Up initiative, Reese Witherspoon aims to end gender discrimination and imbalance in a work environment, reported Glamour. She has been very vocal about the harassment she’s experienced – both professionally and personally – also revealing that she was abused by a director at 16. The actor has now come forth to share another incident about leaving an abusive relationship. Published in the March issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Witherspoon stated that she was verbally and psychologically abused for a very long time and leaving it helped her in life. The actor did not provide a lot of detail but according to her statements, it seems as if the person was torturing her mentally. She said, “I drew a line in the sand and it got crossed, and my brain just switched. I couldn’t go any further. I was really young, and it was profound. It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself. It’s part of the reason I can stand up and say, ‘Yes, I’m ambitious.’ Because someone tried to take that from me.” Witherspoon has also at several times shared her two cents on female ambition. She garnered a lot of attention when she once claimed that “ambition is not a dirty word.”
Black Panther breaks stereotypes, celebrates Africa and its culture LAS ANGELES AGENCIES
For Ryan Coogler, the essence of Black Panther came down to one question: What does it mean to be African? The Oakland-born filmmaker of both Creed and Fruitvale Station had been given the gargantuan task of shepherding Marvel’s iconic superhero to the big screen, with a budget five times bigger than he’d ever had, Hollywood’s most powerful studio behind him and the freedom to make Black Panther as personal as he wanted. Coogler had made his name creating films
about the black experience, but both were about the black American experience. Black Panther, which opens nationwide next week, was an African story and when Coogler signed on for the movie, he’d never been. Now, he’d finally get his chance. “This is the most personal film I’ve ever made, which is the strangest statement to say because I only make films that are personal,” Coogler said. “This film for me started with this question of, ‘What does it mean to be African?’ It’s a question that I’ve always had since I learned I was black, since my parents sat me down and
told me what that was. I didn’t totally understand what that meant. As kid you’re like, well wait, why? Like, so wait we’re from Africa? What’s that? “I’m 31-years-old and I realized I never really took time to grapple with what it means to be African. This film gave me the chance to do that,” he said. When the wheels touched down in Cape Town, South Africa, Coogler remembers being overcome with a visceral feeling that he still can’t put words to. He went to Table Mountain and thought, “I could be buried here.” In Nairobi he saw a Maasai man, wearing
Mahira Khan's to screen at women-centric UK Asian Film Fest KARACHI AGENCIES
Mahira Khan’s political drama Verna is all set to screen UK Asian Film Fest which will be held from March 15 to March 25 this year. The UK Asian Film Festival will be celebrating 20 years of championing independent South Asian cinema by hosting a 12-day season of film screenings and events in Edinburgh, Manchester, Leicester and London. The organisers announced that the film fest will be screening women-centric movies, and the opening gala, will feature an awards presentation honouring heroines that have challenged stereotypes, pushed boundaries and broken barriers to make a difference. The honourees will include Bollywood’s veteran Simi Garewal, who is also an acclaimed film-maker, producer and a famous talk show host. Regarded as one of the most inimitable female figures of Indian and international film fraternities, Garewal deconstructed the basic female heroine in Indian cinema from her screen debut in the 60s, and has since proved a consistent game-changer in the industry as both an outsider and insider. The actor will also lead a posthumous tribute to Indian actor Shashi Kapoor (1938–2017), with whom she starred in the controversial English language film, Siddhartha (1972), based on the novel by Hermann Hesse, in which she boldly featured in a nude scene – the first starlet in Bollywood to do so. The film predictably faced backlash and censorship issues at the time. Khan, who happens to be one of the Pakistani actors, has a massive international fan base.
After Padmaavat, film made on Queen of Jhansi’s life faces opposition in India MUMBAI AGENCIES
Another Bollywood film seems to have fallen prey to the wrath of extremist Hindu groups in India after the Padmavat fiasco. Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, starring Kangana Ranaut as the queen, is facing allegations of “distorting” history and having objectionable scenes involving Kangana, India Today reported. The film is based on the life of Rani Laxmibai and shows the relationship between her and a British officer, a Brahmin group has claimed. The group warned the filmmakers in a letter that the film's shooting should "not be allowed in Rajasthan till the complete information on the historical ground of the story is made available". The film producers rebutted the allegations and said the film does not portray anything objectionable. “The film doesn't portray anything objectionable about Rani Laxmibai and nor has the film distorted the history in any way. The film showcases Rani Laxmibai in a most respectful manner and is an inspirational story which every kid and every member of a family would love to see," the filmakers said.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
ChInEsE dElEGAtIOn tO vIsIt PAkIstAn tO REvIEw CPEC PROjECts SINDH AND CHINA DIRECTLY IN CONTACT FOR RESOLUTION OF ISSUES RELATED TO KCR ISLAMABAD
Chinese delegation is scheduled to visit Pakistan next month to review the progress under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), due to reports regarding delays in the execution of projects. Rejecting the reports, CPEC Project Director (PD) Hassan Daud Butt, while giving a briefing to media here on Thursday said, that all projects of CPEC including up-gradation of Main Line-1 (ML) railway track are going smoothly and without any delay. He informed that a Chinese special business delegation is due to visit Pakistan in March 2018 to review progress on CPEC projects. The delegation
would interact with government officials and local trade bodies and would visit all the provinces to ensure expedited work on Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The governments of Pakistan and China are actively engaged for early completion of all nine SEZs. The SEZs will be built in the federal capital, all provinces and special areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Besides, he said, the Ministry of Planning and Development has also sought time from cabinet committee on CPEC to discuss details of the project in the next meeting and discussion would help to further boost the progress on the project. In reply to a query related to the much-delayed project of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), he said the Sindh government and Chinese government are directly and actively engaged on the project to ensure execution of the mega project aimed at reducing traffic mess in Karachi. Talking about the one of the most important project of CPEC, ML-1 to be completed at the cost of $8.2 billion, Hassan Daud said, due to huge im-
Engro Fertiliser profits dip 2.17pc, sales decline 9pc for FY 2017
plications in the project, the revised PC1 of the first phase got delayed, however, the Ministry of Railways has assured to submit the PC-1 of phase-1 by February 20, therefore groundbreaking of the project is likely to be held in a few months. Giving details about preliminary design review of the project, the director said that work scope of phase-1 subprojects has already been completed. Similarly, he said work on standards and specifications, BOQs, and cost estimates have also been finalised. He said the approval of PC-1 and award of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) would be given on fast track to ensure groundbreaking of the project as early as possible. The phase-1 of the ML-1 project consists of seven priority sub-projects with three contract packages including LahoreMultan (334 km), Khanewal-Pindora (52 km), Nawabshah-Rohri (183 km), Peshawar-Rawalpindi (159 km) and Taxila-Havelian (55 km) while the establishment of a dry port near Havelian is also part of the project. Under the project, the entire track from Karachi to Peshawar would be
doubled and speed of passenger trains would be raised from existing 80 km per hour to 160 km per hour while freight trains would run at a speed of 120 km per hour. Moreover, signalling and control system of railways would be computerised whereas safety of train operations would be ensured by grade separation. After completion of the project, freight traffic will increase from five to 25 million tonnes per annum by 2025, and passenger traffic is likely to be increased from 55 to 80 million passengers per annum, official documents suggested. Keeping in view the importance of railway sector, the government decided to include the ML-1 project in CPEC and in the 6th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting held in Beijing in 2016, this project was declared 'strategic'. According to him, all the projects that were agreed by both China and Pakistan during 7th JCC on CPEC held here on November 21, 2017, are on track as both sides were committed to completing these projects as early as possible. As per available documents, the Framework Agreement on ML-1 was signed on May 15, 2017.
Market Daily: KSE-100 index in the red again, declines 416.62 points
A bourse notification filed Thursday by Engro Fertiliser announced its financial year results for the year ending December 30, 2017. The results were disappointing as it was unable to amass more revenues than last year, and its profits declined much below industry expectations. Net sales went down by 9 per cent to touch Rs63 million in 2017 against Rs69.518 million at end of 2016, opposed to market expectations of 7 per cent increase. Gross margins declined by 19.64 per cent during the year opposed to analyst projections of a 27 per cent rise and its other income recorded a decrease of 25 per cent to touch Rs6.074 million. The finance costs were also down by more than 18 per cent and total profits dipped 2.17 per cent for the year 2017 compared against Rs25.177 million during 2016. The company also approved a final cash dividend for the year ended 2017 of Rs3 per share, following interim dividends of Rs5.50 paid previously. It reported diluted earnings per share of Rs7.60 for the financial year 2017, up 13 per cent compared to Rs6.72 in end of 2016. Engro Fertilisers Limited manufactures, purchases, and markets fertilisers in Pakistan. It offers urea, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium fertilisers Engro Fertilisers shares were trading at Rs69.50, up 0.85 per cent and KSE-100 index was trading at 43,794.76 points, down 301.73 points from close on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s gains on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) reversed on Thursday, as investors fretted and with sentiments mixed in global markets and foreign investors among the net sellers for current week, the benchmark KSE-100 index fell 416.62 points to close at 43,679.87 points. KSE-100 index was able to attain an intra-day high of 44,151.54 points, experiencing only a 55.05point increase and reached a low of 43,629.82 points after incurring a 466.67-point fall. KSE 100 index traded both in red and green zone initially but thereafter traded volume was down 9 per cent, whereas traded value declined 16 per cent. The KMI-30 index recorded a fall of 921.44 points during intra-day trading, before closing the session short of 708.00 points. And KSE All Share Index was also lower by 260.39 points at close of trading on Thursday. Lack of any positive trigger, fall in WTI prices to $ 61 (6 week low) and continuing weakness in global markets remain key concerns for investors. Worst index point performers were PPL (-2.8 per cent), MCB (-2.2 per cent), DGKC (-4.6 per cent), OGDC (-1.3 per cent) & HBL (-0.6 per cent) withholding 194 points;
while NBP (+3 per cent), ENGRO (+1 per cent), EFERT (+1.8 per cent), SNGP (+1.6 per cent) & MUREB (+5 per cent) added 64 points. On the sector front; Commercial Banks and E&P sector cumulatively eroded 341 points, while Fertilizer sector led by EFERT robust financial results and payout added 45 points, followed by Pharma contributing 43 points to the index. Advancers to decliners ratio was recorded at 118:224. Market volumes decreased to 246.02 million, with Bank of Punjab (-4.24 per cent) dominated trading with exchange of 16.59 million shares, followed by Fauji Foods (+4.96 per cent) 16.15 million and Unity Foods Limited (+4.72 per cent) 14.12 million re-
spectively. Unity Food stocks garnered investor attraction after its proclamation of commencement of operations at their edible oil refinery, followed by news of their solvency plant would also start functioning after expected arrival of imported raw materials by March 2018. Engro Fertilizer also posted its financial year results for 2017 ending December 31, with its sales shrinking 9 per cent, but gross profit margin increased from 25 per cent to 32 per cent. And it was followed by a 12 per cent rise in net profit, which contributed to net profit margins of 16.09 per cent. The company reported earnings per share of Rs 7.60 and announced a final cash dividend of Rs 5.50.
AGP IPO: Bookbuilding process ends up in strike price of Rs80 AGP's book-building process was over-subscribed by 1.598 times LAHORE MoHaMMaD farooQ
The book-building process of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of AGP Limited, one of Pakistan’s leading pharma companies has resulted in a strike price of Rs80 per share on Thursday. AGP is offering 35 million shares constituting 12.5 per cent of its total paid up capital in a two-phase IPO, with the first phase ending on Feb 8th with an oversubscription of 1.598 times and in second phase bidding would be opened to public on Feb 16th-18th. The offer value was for 35,000,000 and bidding volume was recorded at 55,956,120 at a strike price of Rs 80 per share, resulting in an over-subscription of 1.598 times, as reported on the PSX bidding website. “At a strike price of Rs80, AGP’s offer for sale comes at a multiple of 19x, which to some may seem cheap compared to peer average of 20-25x, while to others it may seem expensive given the offer brings no fresh equity for growth, ex-Topline Security analyst Adnan Sheikh told Pakistan Today. He added, “Given the historical dearth of offerings in the drug space and looking at the book building figures, circa 60 per cent over subscription vs Matco barely making it across the finish line, indicates that either the book runners have done a good job or the market seems to be jumping at a long overdue pharma offering. If forecasts pan out, forward multiple of 15x would entail a health discount from peers with room for growth.” The subscription offer is being carried out 100 per cent through book-building, but successful bidders were slated for provisional allotment of 75 per cent of offer size only which equates to 26.25 million shares. The remaining 25 per cent or 8.75 million shares was to be offered to retail investors. AGP is aiming to raise Rs2.8 billion by offering 35 million of its shares via book-building and it has hired domestic brokerage BMA Capital to run its bookbuild whose first phase ended on Thursday. The issuer has enlisted the services of JS Global Capital as consultant for its listing. This will be 2018’s second major IPO and follows delay in the process of AGP’s intent in August last year to list on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). In August 2017, AGP Limited notified of its decision to get itself listed on the stock exchange but in early-November last year it was stopped by SECP from proceeding further with its IPO. The process had been stopped claiming the matter of repatriation of divestment proceeds of Rs6.501 billion to Pharmonte Limited by AGP Private Limited was taken up with the State Bank of Pakistan. AGP began its commercial operations in 1989 as an independent pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Karachi, Pakistan. It distributes its products via Muller and Phipps’ network of 32,400 pharmacies, Pakistan’s biggest distributor of pharmaceuticals. The operations of AGP include manufacturing, marketing and sales of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products in the domestic and export market.
Wheat farmers saved by timely weather forecast LAHORE aGeNCIes
In early November last year, Muhammad Islam was surprised by news from the Pakistan Meteorological Department. The 40-year-old farmer learnt that good rains were forecasted for the crucial wheat growing months of November and December. That was important information, as farmers in the northeastern districts of Pakistan’s Potohar region had turned away from wheat – a favoured and high-earning crop – as unpredictable rains over the last decade led to repeated crop failures. This year, however, they expect their income to increase as they return to wheat production, after years spent planting some of their land with less lucrative vegetables and tending poultry.
Well-timed seasonal rain forecasts from Pakistan’s weather service – something new in the country – are making that possible. “I would have been, for sure, at a loss and missed the timely wheat plantation, had I ignored the rain forecast … on a local news TV channel,” said Islam, who farms 4 acres (1.6 hectares) of land in Bhata, a village about 50 km (30 miles) from Pakistan’s capital. Winter rains that traditionally fell in mid-November came as late as the end of December in 2016, part of a trend of erratic rains that has confounded farmers who are entirely reliant on rainfall because they lack irrigation systems. But last November the meteorological department correctly forecasted rain for early November, giving Islam and farmers like him the opportunity to
plough their land and be ready to sow. Islam planted wheat on half his land in the third week of November, leaving the rest for vegetables. By January 17, he says, the wheat plants had grown to a height of 70 cm, whereas in the past eight years they never grew to more than 10 cm over the same period. As a result, he and other farmers in the area expect to get at least 1,200 kg of wheat from each acre this year – 30 per cent more than in previous years. Islam reckons this will increase his own income by around Rs23,000. Wheat is grown on 22 million acres (9 million hectares) of land in Pakistan – nearly the size of Jordan – 30 per cent of which is rain-fed. Each year, the country produces 25 million tonnes of the crop. About 3 million tonnes of this is grown on the Potohar plateau, comprising
Islamabad and the surrounding districts of Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum and Attock. The area is characterised by subsistence and smallholding farming. Erratic rains ForcE switch to VEgEtablEs: Farmers usually finish sowing wheat by midNovember, and under normal circumstances two rainy spells in November and December drench the fields, allowing the seeds to germinate. After two or three more spells of rain in January and February, the harvest begins in April. But the erratic rainfall of the last decade has pushed farmers to shift to other crops in the Potohar region. Wheat acreage there has declined by around 30 per cent compared to 10 to 12 years ago, when rains were abundant and predictable and farmers could reliably harvest at least 1,000 kg of wheat per
acre, according to the Barani Agriculture Research Institute, a state-run body in Chakwal district. Many farmers say they struggle to build rainwater harvesting ponds, use groundwater or adopt the latest efficient irrigation technologies. “Lack of resources and access to technical know-how are major hurdles in our way to our adapting to the rapidly shifting weather patterns,” said 65-yearold smallholder wheat farmer Safeer Ahmed, from Gujar Khan. In response, some have turned to other sources of income like vegetables which require less water and can be irrigated with water fetched from ponds. “Many traditional wheat growers are gradually … switching over to vegetable, cattle and poultry farming,” said Hameed Bhatti, a statistician at the Punjab Agriculture Department in Rawalpindi.
Friday, 9 February, 2018
Corporate Corner PepsiCo celebrates 25 year partnership with mCR Group LAHORE: PepsiCo and the MCR Group celebrated 25 years of partnership on Thursday. Senior leadership from both companies was present at the event, where a five year extension in the partnership was also announced. “I congratulate the PepsiCo Pakistan family and the MCR Group on this landmark occasion”, said PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Asia, Middle East and North Africa region, Mike Spanos. While commenting on the extended partnership, PepsiCo Pakistan Vice-President Furqan Ahmed Syed, said that this silver jubilee is a celebration of the achievements made so far, and the partnership presents us with tremendous opportunities for the future. “We are pleased to extend our long association with PepsiCo. We, and our customers, greatly enjoy this partnership”, said MCR Group Chairman and CEO Aqueel Hassan. MCR Group is the master franchise operator for Pizza Hut, Burger King and TGIF restaurants in Pakistan. press reLease
GOvt lOsInG dIAmAR BhAshA dAm’s lAnd As ExECutIOn OF PROjECt dElAYs WAPDA CHAIRMAN CALLS URGENT MEETING TO AVOID ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION ON PROJECT LAND ISLAMABAD
LAHORE: Visitors taking interest in OneApple’s electronic products stall at the Expo Centre. pr
KARACHI: Dubai Islamic Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Junaid Ahmed and Zing Digital Founder and CEO Ghazafar Ali Khan signed an agreement for the deployment of branchless banking on February 8, 2018 at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. pr
ESPITE paying around Rs 64.8 billion in terms of compensation of land, the government starts losing the acquired land of Diamar Bhasha Dam (DBD) for delayed execution of the project as locals reoccupy their land constructing houses. Taking serious notice of the encroachment on project land, WAPDA chairman has called an urgent meeting on Thursday in Islamabad in which the representatives of the locals have also been invited. As the government of Gilgit Baltistan and district administration failed to vacate the land already acquired for the dam after paying compensation worth billions of rupees, WAPDA is fearful of losing more land in the area to the people, who have started constructing houses, in an apparent move to demand more compensation. According to reliable sources, WAPDA chairman has invited the district administration, representatives of various tribes in Diamar district and law enforcing agencies to settle the issue on February 8. Earlier law and order situation has deteriorated in the area when district administration started bulldozing the newly constructed houses in site area of the dam. “Since no lender is ready to finance the much delayed Diamar Bhasha dam project estimated at $ 14 billion, the delay in execution of work on the project is creating a number of challenges for WAPDA and local
administration as various tribes have come on the road in favour of their demands frequently. The process of complete land acquisition of the mega project is yet to be completed for different cases/disputes among tribes in the area,” said an official source while talking to Pakistan Today. “We will be facing the same issue as long as the government delays work on the mega project. Every day there is a clash or dispute on land-related matters,” he said. Sources at WAPDA said that Rs 58.27 billion out of the Rs 64.88 billion allocated for land accusation and compensation for assets have so far been released to the district administration. The disbursement of compensation amount started back in 2012. It may recall here that, after World Bank and Asian Development Bank, China had reportedly refused to finance $ 14 billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam power project due to a transboundary dispute between Pakistan and India.
Bitcoin driving investor insanity, appetite for alternative investments OVER $550B HAS BEEN WIPED OUT OF CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKETS DRIVEN BY NEWS OF INCREASED FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT LAHORE MoHaMMaD farooQ
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies since last two months have experienced wild swings as they slam dunked and rose again. From reaching all-time highs in December, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have endured significant erosion in their values, with over $550 billion said to have been wiped out of cryptocurrency markets in the last few days. The seismic shift has largely been driven by news of increased regulator oversight in various developed nations, where cryptocurrency is seen more of a threat to the existing financial system of conducting transactions, fears of over-valuation and absence of any regulations has stirred pandemonium globally.
In a statement on February 7th, Goldman Sachs predicted the value of cryptocurrencies would fail and its value would erode to zero and comparisons to the dotcom bubble of the late 1990’s were made. According to Goldman Sachs, head of global investment research in a note on Monday said cryptocurrencies had absolutely no intrinsic value and it is highly possible that most of these digital currencies are unlikely to thrive in longer run. On the contrary, according to Winklevoss twins made famous by their lawsuits against Mark Zuckerberg in an interview to Bloomberg said digital currencies cannot thrive without thoughtful regulation which inter-links them to finance. Both co-founded Gemini Exchange, a digital asset exchange in 2015. Tyler Winklevoss added regulatory oversight and jurisdiction needed to strike the right balance and both twins believed it would be a win-win situation for digital currencies in the longer run. Furthermore, they said regulators hadn’t moved fast enough to the advancements made by digital currencies and formulate frameworks for legitimate operators. But Strongin asked whether any of the current digital currencies would turn out to be a Google or Amazon or would they meet their
premature death like many defunct search engines. He added the present speculative bubble doesn’t mean current prices for particular cryptocurrencies couldn’t rise. The global rout that has spread across cryptocurrencies hasn’t vetted the appetite of investors and their interest in them keeps on rolling, as Bitcoin recovered its losses and traded at over $8,000 on Wednesday. In May 2017, Dawn had reported Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) unearthed cases of tax evasion and money laundering using Bitcoin. During FBR’s enquiry last year, it was revealed that Bitcoin trading was on the rise in Pakistan and was being exchanged against cash. It came to the fore; the accused were involved in trading of bitcoin were employed by a multinational telecommunication company in Islamabad and maintained bank accounts in other countries. Cryptocurrency trading in Pakistan is illegal as per laws of State Bank of Pakistan, but increased interest in digital currencies and its exorbitant rise is attracting individuals to make investments in them. The future is uncertain and as unpredictable, but the technology driving cryptocurrencies called Blockchain is being promoted and is in use or testing by telecom, healthcare and investment companies across the globe.
China agrees to accommodate Pakistan’s concerns on FTA ISLAMABAD staff report
During the 9th round of negotiations on ChinaPakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the Pakistan delegation led by Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha presented the demands of Pakistani exporters and industries for accommodation in the final draft of the FTA. According to official sources, the demands included those from exporters to provide tariff
concessions equivalent to the ASEAN countries. On the other hand, various industries and chambers had provided input to the Ministry of Commerce during pre-negotiations consultations, for protection of the local industry from Chinese imports by disallowing tariff concessions on several products. Dagha also suggested incorporating clauses for safeguarding the industry and the economy from any undue pressure on the balance of payments position. The Chinese side was led by China Min-
istry of Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen and comprised of 16 officials of various Chinese ministries. After intense negotiations for two days, the Chinese side agreed to accommodate these concerns and demands in the amended FTA which is expected to be signed in March when the Chinese vice minister will visit Islamabad along with his delegation. It may be mentioned that these negotiations had started in 2012 to finalise the revised version of the FTA.
Water Resources Secretary Shamail Ahmad Khawaja had earlier informed Cabinet Committee on CPEC that Chinese side had carried out a detailed study to assess the feasibility of DBD project. The assessment report was shared with Pakistan wherein some issues were raised regarding (i) seismic hazard; (ii) logistics; (iii) technical aspects of construction and equipment; (iv) social and environmental impact and; (v) geopolitical aspect. The sources said the Power Division secretary proposed that in view of the Chinese response, dam part may be constructed through indigenous resources through a combination of PSDP grant, commercial financing and WAPDA equity. He also suggested that the power generation facility may be started 2-3 years after work is started. He further informed the meeting that 85 per cent land of the project had already been acquired and resettlement was underway. The prime minister agreed to the proposal.
Parliamentary panel summons heads of cellular companies islaMabaD: A parliamentary panel, on Thursday, directed all the heads of the cellular companies to appear in next meeting and brief about the status of their issued cell phone sims, working of 3G and 4G internet service and installed antenna towers across the country. The 31st meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication was held here under the chairmanship of Member National Assembly (MNA) Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar. The committee unanimously confirmed the minutes of its two previous meetings held on October 24, 2017, and December 11, 2017. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication tabled the status of previous recommendations given by the standing committee, but the committee directed that the heads of all the cellular companies must attend the next meeting and give briefing regarding the status of their issued cell phone sims, working of 3G and 4G internet service and installed antenna towers across the country. The committee considered the proposed Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the financial year 2018-19 of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and its attached departments/organisations. After thorough consideration, the committee unanimously approved the proposed PSDP. The committee unanimously approved the report of the sub-committee appointed under MNA Farhana Qamar. The committee also took up the matter of the alleged audiotape related to supply of Rs50 million to the leaders of Faizabad Dharna. It directed Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication to investigate the matter through Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and submit a detailed report within 10 days. staff report
leather exports rise 1.82 per cent in six months islaMabaD: Exports of leather manufacturers from the country during first half of fiscal year 2017-18 witnessed an increase of 1.82 per cent as compared to same period of the preceding year. The exports during the period under review increased to $265.059 million as compared to the exports of $260.33 million during JulyDecember 2016-17. According to latest data revealed by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), leather garments' export witnessed a decrease of 2.03 per cent as it went down to $156.1 million in JulyDecember 2017-18 from $159.34 million in first six months of 2016-17. Export of leather gloves during the period under review was recorded at $103.254 million compared to the export of $94.1 million in same period of previous year, thus recording an increase of 9.73 per cent. app
Friday, 9 February, 2018
Schalke, FrankFurt into German cup Semi-FinalS BERLIN
first half goal from Guido Burgstaller fired Schalke to a 10 victory over Wolfsburg and a place in the semi-finals of the German Cup on Wednesday. Last year’s finalists Eintracht Frankfurt also progressed to the last four, as a comedy of defensive errors saw them beat local rivals Mainz 3-0. Frankfurt and Schalke join Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen in the last four, with the semi-final draw set for Sunday. Schalke’s winner came early in what proved to be a dull game. Just nine minutes in, Austrian Burgstaller broke free on
the counter-attack, picking up the ball on the halfway line before keeping his cool in the penalty area to slide the ball into the bottom corner. Wolfsburg rallied, with Yunus Malli hitting the bar and Ralf Faehrmann forced into two saves before half-time. The game fizzled out after the break, however, and neither side created another significant chance until late in the second half. Only in the 85th minute did Wolfsburg come close to equalising, Leon Goretzka clearing Daniel Didavi’s header off the goalline. In Frankfurt, a mistake from Mainz goalkeeper Rene Adler gave the home side the lead on 17 minutes. Making his first appearance since he picked up an in-
jury in October, Adler misjudged a backpass from Stefan Bell, providing Ante Rebic with an open goal. Eight minutes into the second half, Frankfurt doubled the lead, as Hack turned Sebastien Haller’s cross into his own net. Hack then gave the ball away in his own half just after the hour mark, allowing Omar Mascarell to loft the ball elegantly over Adler for Frankfurt’s third. Mainz’s misery was compounded in the 82nd minute, when Danny Latza was sent off for a reckless challenge on Marco Fabian. “We didn’t show any balls, and we played like amateurs today,” said Mainz midfielder Nigel De Jong. “I am disappointed and frustrated. This is a low point for us.”
Scotland ring changes for six nations clash against France Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend on Thursday announced six changes to his line-up for this weekend's Six Nations match against France as they seek to recover from a dispiriting opening defeat against Wales. Townsend has brought in scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw, centre Peter Horne, wing Sean Maitland, prop Simon Berghan, lock Grant Gilchrist and No.8 Ryan Wilson for Sunday's clash at Murrayfield. Tighthead prop Berghan is the only starting addition from outside last weekend's match-day 23, becoming available at the end of a six-week suspension. Laidlaw is reunited with stand-off Finn Russell at half-back, with this Sunday's Test the scrum-half's first Scotland start since being injured in the corresponding fixture last year in Paris. "We've seen a response from the players in training this week and that needs to continue into and through the 80-plus minutes of the match because France will pose a massive and immensely physical challenge," said Townsend.
"As a group we're delighted to be playing at home in front of another sell-out crowd... and are looking forward to putting in a performance that can energise our supporters. "To do that we need to out-work the opposition and be more accurate in a number of aspects of our play."
The Scots started their bid for a first-ever Six Nations title in the worst possible fashion in Cardiff last week, mustering only a Horne try and a Russell conversion in a chastening 34-7 defeat. The optimism generated by their autumn campaign, which included a
record win against Australia, vanished as rampant Wales ran in four tries and claimed a second-biggest victory since the countries' first meeting 135 years ago. Ali Price, whose intercepted pass handed Gareth Davies the crucial opening score in Cardiff, makes way for Laidlaw. Price is joined on the bench by last week's starters Jon Welsh, Ben Toolis and Chris Harris. Cornell du Preez and the injured Byron McGuigan drop out of the 23. France will also be desperate to win in Edinburgh after Ireland's Johnny Sexton conjured a last-gasp drop goal to give the visitors a dramatic 15-13 win in Paris last week. Scotland (15-1) Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Pete Horne, Sean Maitland; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw; Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson, John Barclay (capt); Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist; Simon Berghan, Stuart McInally, Gordon Reid Replacements: Scott Lawson, Jamie Bhatti, Jon Welsh, Ben Toolis, David Denton, Ali Price, Chris Harris, Blair Kinghorn. AGEnCIEs
Juventus at the ready as Napoli face Lazio MILAN AGEnCIEs
Serie A leaders Napoli face a tough test of their title hopes when they host bruised Lazio this weekend, while Juventus travel to Florence ready to pounce before they play Tottenham in the Champions League. Lazio — 14 points behind Napoli in third place — arrive in Naples desperately in need of three points after back-to-back defeats to AC Milan and Genoa. Failure could see Simone Inzaghi’s side slip off the podium with Inter Milan and Roma —also licking their wounds after recent struggles — on alert as they host Bologna and bottom club Benevento respectively. Napoli are just one point ahead of Juventus but this weekend could see the six-time defending champions pull ahead. Maurizio Sarri will be only too aware that Lazio inflicted just one of Juventus’s two defeats this season, ending the Turin giants’ two-year unbeaten
home record last October. And Inzaghi will be keen to avenge a demoralising 4-1 defeat the last time the two sides met in the Stadio Olimpico. Juventus are gaining momentum after a sevengoal demolition of Sassuolo — capped by a Gonzalo Higuain hat-trick —before Friday’s game in Tuscany against an inconsistent Fiorentina in 11th place. “We mustn’t be afraid of facing Juventus,” said Fiorentina’s Davide Astori, as his side look to build on last week’s win in Bologna. “If they feel we’re worried, goodbye, we’re dead,” the Italian defender continued. “Gonzalo Higuain is the number one danger. He’s ruthless, if you allow him just 30cm of space you’re doomed.” Massimiliano Allegri wants Juventus in shape before Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 first leg clash in Turin with Spurs. And what better way than an eighth straight league win, despite an injury list that includes Blaise Matuidi, Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado and Benedikt Howedes. “Right now, we have to think about the trip to Fiorentina first, and if we do well
then I’m sure we will be in good shape to face Tottenham,” warned Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic. Inter Milan and Roma are both jostling for Champions League football despite mixed fortunes in recent games. Luciano Spalletti blamed his side’s lack of character for going 10 games in all competitions without a win — a series that has seen them collect just six points from eight league games and score only five goals. But Inter captain Mauro Icardi should be back against Bologna after missing the draw with Crotone with a muscle injury. Roma have been showing signs of recovery since losing to Juventus before Christmas by winning their first game of the year last weekend at Verona. And Benevento coach Roberto De Zerbi has acknowledged his side, with just seven points from 23 games, will be up against it at the Stadio Olimpico despite new recruits including former Premier League players Sandro and Bacary Sagna.
kane is europe's best, admits Wenger despite derby tension
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger put North London rivalries aside as he accepted Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane is the most in-form striker in Europe on Thursday. Kane, 24, became the second fastest player to ever reach 100 Premier League goals by netting his 31st of the season in just 32 games to salvage a point for Spurs from a thrilling 2-2 draw at Liverpool last weekend. "If you look at the numbers, no, because he has high numbers," Wenger said when asked if there was a better striker in Europe at the moment than Kane. The England international spoke this week of how being released from Arsenal's academy as an eight-year-old left him with a "chip on his shoulder". Kane has more than taken revenge with a fine record against Arsenal, scoring six goals in seven North London derbies. Wenger broke Arsenal's transfer record last week to add more firepower to the Gunners quest to beat Tottenham to a top-four finish by splashing out £56 million ($78 million) on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And the Frenchman is hoping his new front line of Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan -- who shone in a 5-1 thrashing of Everton in their first outing together -can outgun Kane when the sides meet on Saturday. "I believe what you want in a game like that is to keep him quiet and for our strikers to express their talent." More than local bragging rights are on offer with Arsenal trailing fifth-placed Spurs by four points in the race for a return to the Champions League place with just 12 Premier League games of the season remaining. "It's a big game because we are behind in the table and we have to catch up," added Wenger. "It is more important for us to come back mathematically than it is emotionallycharged." Following their controversial draw at Anfield that saw Spurs win two late penalties and Dele Alli booked for diving, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino defended his players by criticising the fixation with diving in English football. Yet Wenger, who also spoke out against Manchester City's England international Raheem Sterling earlier this season, believes it is English players who have become the "masters" of diving. "I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now." AGEnCIEs
Johanna Konta, Heather Watson get Great Britain off to winning start
Great Britain made a winning start to their Fed Cup campaign with victory over Portugal in Tallinn, Estonia. Heather Watson and Johanna Konta won their respective singles matches, before a straight-set victory in the doubles ensured a 3-0 win.
Britain play their final game in Group B against Estonia on Friday and, if they top their group, will face a play-off against the winner of Group C. The winner of that tie will qualify for World Group II play-offs in April. Britain have not competed in the Fed
Cup World Group since 1993 - they reached the play-off stage in 2017, but lost 3-2 on the clay to Romania. Watson kicked off the tie with a 6-4 6-1 victory over world number 796 Francisca Jorge. The 25-year-old went a break down in the first set but fought back well, before closing out victory in one hour 13 minutes. British number one Konta was equally dismissive of Maria Joao Koehler, beating the 747th-ranked Portuguese 6-1 6-0 in 49 minutes. Anna Smith and Katie Boulter then
ensured a clean sweep with a 6-0 6-2 win over Jorge and Koehler in the doubles. Unlike the men's Davis Cup, which has a World Group of 16 nations, the Fed Cup divides its top teams into two groups of eight - World Group I and World
Group II. The 91 nations outside the top tiers are divided into three regional zones and Britain have one chance per year to escape - a format that hugely frustrated former captain Judy Murray.
FED CUP EUROPE/AFRICA GROUP I GROUP A Serbia Bulgaria Georgia
GROUP B Great Britain Estonia Portugal
GROUP C Croatia Hungary Slovenia Sweden
GROUP D Latvia Poland Austria Turkey
Friday, 9 February, 2018
Federer to bid For top rank in rotterdam PARIs
OGER Federer announced on Wednesday that he will play in next week’s ATP event in Rotterdam, where a run to the semi-finals will make him the oldest-ever world number one. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is 155 points behind old rival Rafael Nadal in the rankings, with 180 points up for grabs for reaching
the last four in the Netherlands. It will be the 36-year-old’s first tournament since winning a recordequalling sixth Australian Open title last month with a five-set victory over Marin Cilic. “The tournament is special for me,” Federer, a two-time winner in Rotterdam, said in a statement. “I remember playing for the first time in 1999 as it was one of the first events where I got the chance to play at the highest level. It feels good to join in the celebrations of the 45th edition.” American Andre Agassi has held
FiFa president infantino praises russian World cup preparations
the record as the oldest top-ranked men’s player in history since achieving the feat aged 33 years and 131 days in 2003. Federer could beat Agassi’s mark by more than three years.
The Swiss great completes a strong field for the Rotterdam event, joining compatriot Stan Wawrinka, world number four Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the draw.
Serena Williams ‘ready to go’, says US Fed Cup captain Kathy Rinaldi real madrid should sign neymar, says ronaldo Madrid: ‘Ronaldo feels Neymar is one of the greatest players in the world and is on par with the likes of Lionel Messi and himself’ Real Madrid need the best players and should sign Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, according to Brazil great Ronaldo. Neymar made a world-record €222million move from Barcelona to PSG last year, signing a deal until 2022 with the Ligue 1 giants. Despite that contract, the 26-yearold continues to be linked with a shock switch to the Santiago Bernabeu. Ronaldo, who spent more than four seasons at Madrid, said his former club were always looking to sign the best, and that included Neymar. “Neymar is a superb player, maybe he will be the best in the world in a few years, and Real Madrid need the best,” he said on Wednesday, via Marca. Despite the speculation, Ronaldo played down how close a potential Madrid move was for Neymar. The two-time World Cup winner believes Madrid, who are fourth in LaLiga and 19 points behind Barcelona, feels his former side could perhaps win a third straight Champions League despite their struggles this campaign. “I haven’t heard any official representative of Real Madrid say anything about Neymar,” Ronaldo said. “They should think about what they have and this year it’s difficult for Madrid, they have to keep going and end well. “The Champions League is a competition that they do well in and we will see how it ends, because everything changes very quickly in football.” AGEnCIEs
‘Serena Williams, who will be in action for the US team vs the Netherlands in their Fed Cup tie, has not played a WTA tournament since she won the Australian Open title last year and skipped this year’s opening grand slam as well.’ Serena Williams will be “ready to go” when she returns to action this week in the United States’ Fed Cup first round tie against the Netherlands, captain Kathy Rinaldi said on Wednesday. Williams has not played a WTA tournament since she won the Australian Open title last year and skipped this year’s opening grand slam due to concerns about her fitness four months after giving birth to her first child. Rinaldi said she expects Williams, who was named in the U.S. squad that will compete on an indoor hard court in Asheville, North Carolina, to make a
smooth transition in her return to competitive tennis. “Serena’s just coming back. She played an exhibition in (December) and it’s incredible,” Rinaldi told a news conference at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville. “It’s a quick turnaround after having her first child. She’s very professional and she has a lot of pride for playing for her country. She’ll be ready to go.” Williams, 36, has played once since winning an Open-era record 23rd grand slam singles title in Melbourne last year, losing to Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi last December. For Williams, this weekend will mark the first time she has competed in a Fed Cup tie since April 2015. She owns a 13-0 singles record and 3-1 doubles record in Fed Cup competition.
She heads a team made up of older sister Venus, world number 17 CoCo Vandeweghe and world number 62 Lauren Davis. The United States beat Belarus last year for a record-extending 18th Fed Cup title, their first in 17 years. The Netherlands squad is comprised of world number 108 Richel Hogenkamp, Arantxa Rus (124), Lesley Kerkhove (165) and Demi Schuurs, who is ranked 32nd in doubles. Netherlands captain Paul Haarhuis said his squad would have to pull off what he felt might be “the biggest upset in U.S. tennis history” to win. “If you look at Serena, how often does she lose to someone that’s not ranked in the Top 10 or Top 20 or outside the Top 100?” said Haarhuis. “The odds are not good, but we do believe that it’s possible. AGEnCIEs
Hanoi: FIFA’s president has praised Russia’s preparations for this summer’s World Cup. Speaking to reporters during a one-day trip to Vietnam on Thursday, GIanni Infantino said everything is ready for the world’s biggest sporting event, which will kick off in June. “Preparations in Russia are very, very well on track. The stadiums are beautiful, the infrastructure was there, the airports are operational, hotels are there and I think the world will discover this summer a welcoming country, a country which wants to celebrate together with the whole world the biggest, not only sporting event, but the biggest social and sporting event in the world, which is the World Cup,” he said. “We’ll experience the best World Cup ever this summer in Russia.” Infantino said the world soccer body will meet next month to decide whether video-assisted refereeing will be part of the laws of the game after almost 1,000 successful tests. “But I’m very confident and positive because I think in 2018 we cannot anymore afford that everyone in the stadium and everyone in front of TV screens can see within a few minutes on its phone whether the referee has made a big mistake or not and the only one who cannot see is the referee. So if we can help the referee, then we should do it,” he said. Earlier, Infantino met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to discuss how FIFA can further assist Vietnam in developing its soccer through financial and technical support. Soccer is the most popular sport in the country of 95 million people which is 112th in the FIFA ranking and No. 1 in Southeast Asia. Last month, members of the Vietnam U23 team were given a rock-star welcome after they finished runners up to Uzbekistan in the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship in China. It was the country’s best soccer finish to date in Asia-wide competition, although the national team won the Southeast Asian championship 10 years ago. AGEnCIEs
pochettino hails ‘important’ lamela after 20 win over newport county London: Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino backed Erik Lamela to hit top form after the midfielder scored his first goal since returning from a hip injury that kept him out for over a year in Wednesday’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Newport County. The Argentina international, who last found the net for his club in September 2016, struck the second goal after defender Dan Butler’s own goal to help Tottenham beat fourth-tier Newport in their fourthround replay at Wembley. “I think he is going to find it easy to recover his real level, or improve because he is more mature and you learn in a tough moment a lot. No doubt,” said Pochettino after the game. “Always it’s important to feel the net for offensive players and for him to play 90 minutes. It’s an important feeling for him. It’s important because he’s an important player.” Lamela underwent hip surgery last April before returning to the team in November. He has made 13 league appearances this season and two more in the FA Cup. AGEnCIEs
Warnock says City also guilty of 'horrendous' challenges MANchEstER AGEnCIEs
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock has hit back at Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola's calls for greater player protection following the FA Cup clash between the sides that left City winger Leroy Sane sidelined for six weeks. Guardiola was furious after his side's 2-0 fourthround win on January 28 when Sane suffered ankle ligament damage from a dreadful Joe Bennett tackle. Days later City were outraged once more when late challenges on Kevin De Bruyne and Brahim Diaz by West Brom's James McClean and Matt Phillips were only punished with yellow cards. The Catalan coach also named just six substitutes for last weekend's 1-1 draw at Burnley claiming he "didn't have any players" due to City's injury crisis. Yet, Warnock insists City are capable of "horrendous tackles" themselves with Fernandinho also lucky to escape a red card against West Brom. "I wished they would have put a slow still of
Kevin De Bruyne's tackle and studs on Jazz Richards," said Warnock, who believes his side suffered a backlash due to a lack of other action on the day they faced the runaway Premier League leaders. "And the bad tackle of Fernandinho, and then when they played West Brom the following week. "There were some horrendous tackles and nothing was said about that because there were another eight or nine games." Bennett was only booked for his late lunge on Sane, but eventually saw red for another bookable offence on Diaz in stoppage time. Warnock was so angry that he forced Bennett to train on his own last weekend when he was suspended for his side's Championship win at Leeds. "I got more stick than Joe Bennett," Warnock said ahead of Cardiff's league trip to Millwall on Friday night. "I slaughtered him when I saw it, I said you do a horrific tackle like that and I get three days of hell."
SPORTS Friday, 9 February, 2018
Sri Lanka on top after 14-wicket firSt day B DHaKa
Maxwell says Smith’s criticism on batting approach ‘justified’ MuMbai Agencies
Glenn Maxwell has contributed consistently ever since his return to the Australian cricket team in the fifth ODI against England in Perth. In the ongoing Twenty20 Trans-Tasman tri-series, Maxwell has been vital in Australia’s two wins over New Zealand and England. Speaking to cricket.com.au after his match-winning century at Hobart against England, Maxwell responded to Smith’s remark saying the Australian captain was probably justified in his assessment, but it was solely aimed at his performance in the ODIs.” “He was talking about one-day cricket and they were probably justified,” the 29-year-old said. “As a No.6 (in ODIs), it’s an awkward thing to prepare for because you’re going in (preparing for) about 15 or 16 different scenarios. If your team is 4-50, you’ve got to make sure you’re knuckling down and batting a long period of time. If you come in at 4-250, you’ve got to make sure and you’re coming with five overs left, you’ve got to go from ball one,” he clarified. In the last one month, Maxwell has gone through contrasting emotions. He was surprisingly left out of Australia’s team for the ODI series against England, with Smith asking him to ‘train smarter’. However, an injury to Aaron Finch resulted in his comeback and he has responded with an unbeaten 24-ball 44 against New Zealand followed by a splendid 58-ball 103 against England, his second in this format. Maxwell added the preparation advice from Smith changed his perspective. “That was more what he was talking about. When I sat down (with Smith) we had a good conversation about that. He wasn’t talking about my Sheffield Shield preparation, he wasn’t talking about my BBL preparation – he was talking about my oneday international preparation,” he added. Smith had earlier expressed his displeasure at Maxwell’s approach while batting. “Just looking at the way he trains, I think he could train a little bit smarter. We’ve all seen the way he can come out and play and do all his funky stuff and be pretty cool with that. If he keeps his head switched on and trains really well and focuses on basic things probably more than the expansive things then I think that will help him have his consistency,” Smith had said. The ‘Big Show’, who has also had great success in the Big Bash League for Melbourne Stars, will be seen in action again when Australia take on England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday.
ESIEGED batsmen, violent turn, wicked offcutters, fielders around the bat, and a hail of dismissals. It BANGLADESH was as if this 56 FOR 4 (LITON 24*, Mirpur pitch was LAKMAL 2-15) TRAIL SRI on a misLANKA222 (MENDIS 68, sion to compenROSHEN 56, RAZZAK 4-63, sate for five TAIJUL 4-83) BY 166 days of boredom in RUNS Chittagong. No fewer than 14 wickets fell on a treacherous dayone surface, and by the end of it, when, unaware that the throw was Bangladesh were the side in the coming to his end, he ambled towards poorer position. They finished on 56 the crease and failed to ground his for 4, still 166 runs short of Sri bat. That Sri Lanka managed to heave Lanka's 222. Nothing is certain on tracks such as this, but if Bangladesh themselves to a competitive score are to give themselves a good chance was largely thanks to Kusal Mendis, of winning this match, a first-innings who in the morning session, batted as lead is almost imperative. They will if on a different plane from his teamhave to bat last. And the fourth in- mates. Unlike at the start of his innings in Chittagong, he was clearly in nings will not be pretty. Playing his first Test in four good touch here, timing the ball years, it was Abdur Razzak who was nicely from the outset, and rarely apmost effective for Bangladesh, taking pearing overawed by the amount of 4 for 63, while Taijul Islam took three turn from the surface. He advanced at almost a run-awickets at the other end. For Sri Lanka, however, Suranga Lakmal ball for his first 30 runs, sweeping femade the early inroads, removing rociously and slapping spinners Tamim Iqbal to claim his 100th Test disdainfully over midwicket if ever wicket, before later bowling Mush- they dropped short. The clatter of fiqur Rahim, who shouldered arms. wickets at the other end slowed his Bangladesh's poor position at stumps progress, but in hitting 68 off 98 balls was partly down to their own doing: at the top of the innings, he gave the Mominul Haque ran himself out, innings a platform. His eventual dis-
missal was to a sublimely-flighted Razzak delivery, which pitched on off and spun just enough to beat Mendis' defensive prod, but not enough to miss the off stump. Earlier in the innings, Razzak had also accounted for Mendis' opening partner Dimuth Karunaratne, who got himself into a tangle when he ran at the bowler, but could not quite get to the pitch of the delivery, and was stumped. Roshen Silva, the other half-centurion in the Sri Lanka innings, batted with much less ambition than Mendis, perhaps because the team had slipped to 110 for 6 soon after lunch, and he had to make do with batting alongside the lower order. In both his significant partnerships - a 52-run association with Dilruwan Perera and a 43-run stand with Akila Dananjaya - Roshen was outscored by his partner. His innings featured only one truly risky stroke- the heave
for six over long-on off Taijul. Having completed his half-century - his third successive in Tests - in the company of No. 11 Suranga Lakmal, Roshen was caught behind off another near-unplayable ball, this one delivered by Taijul. Bangladesh left the field with a strut, but minutes after their innings had begun, it began to unravel. Tamim drilled the second ball of the innings, delivered by Lakmal, down the ground for four, but attempting a similar shot next ball, only managed to send a sharp return catch to the bowler. Mominul's complacency would leave the hosts 4 for 2 in the next over. Expecting the throw from mid-off to come into the non-striker's end, Mominul was caught short by Dhananjaya de Silva, whose excellent awareness saw him throwing the ball to the wicketkeeper. Mominul's bat was suspended above the crease when the bails came off. Mushfiqur and Imrul Kayes attempted a slow rebuild. Until towards the end of his spell, Lakmal noticed Mushfiqur was leaving balls that passed very close to his off stump. Lakmal continued to pitch it in a similar spot, until one moved back in off the seam and clattered into the top of off - Mushfiqur shouldering arms again. Bangladesh's fourth wicket came in the dying moments of the day. Having just raised an lbw shout, Dilruwan Perera pinned Imrul in front of the stumps with an arm ball. Liton Das, batting more adventurously than the other top-order batsmen, finished the day unbeaten on 24, having struck three boundaries. He had night watchman Mehidy Hasan for company.
Virat Kohli modest after India take 3-0 lead vs SA, ‘6-0 is far-fetched I think’ Cape Town Agencies
Virat Kohli produced a virtuoso hundred as India comfortably triumphed by 124 runs in the third one-day international against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town. India skipper Kohli scored an unbeaten 160 off 159 balls for his 34th ODI ton – leaving him just 15 shy of matching Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record – as the visitors took a 3-0 lead in the six-game series. Can India win six-nil? “You know, it’s quite a farfetched thing I think. There are still three games to go in the series and we just want to play like we have played until now. Maybe have more intensity in the next game to close the series out,” said a modest Kohli in a postmatch chat on Wednesday. “The biggest positive out of today is that with
three nil up there is no way we can lose this series now, and that is certainly something that even lifts the team even much more. “Compared to the mood in the first three games, we’ll have more intensity and more passion when we step out for the fourth game. Six games is too farfetched, we want to focus on one at a time and make sure that we do these things consistently well to be able to be in a position to win again,” said Kohli. The 29-year-old Kohli displayed magnificent placement as he racked up 14 boundaries, including two maximums, in fine fashion as India posted a commanding total of 303-6. “Every hundred is obviously very special. You know international runs are never easy ... with their (South Africa) kind of attack and the pace and bounce they were getting initially, you had to adjust your game,” said Kohli.
“It was pleasing from the point of view that you know we want someone to bat through the innings and I was able to do that today. We could get to 300-plus compared to 275-plus and that is psychologically obviously a big pressure on the opposition knowing that we have those two spinners as well. “Amazing things can happen when you’re thinking team all the time. You know you can push your body beyond limits. I experienced that today and that was an amazing feeling. I’m really happy for the team.” South Africa have struggled against spin in this series and that theme continued as Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal claimed four wickets apiece. The Proteas never looked in contention after the removal of JP Duminy (51) and lost their last five wickets for 29 runs as they were skittled for 179, meaning they must win in Johannesburg in to keep hopes of sharing the series alive.
FIRE & ICE
Sehwag, Afridi spice it up on Lake St. Moritz SwiSS alpS Agencies
At his prime, Virender Sehwag never had “surface tension”. Now at 40, with spectacles and big bald patch, it still does not matter. Just like he had thrashed a young Shoaib Akhtar 10 years back on turf wickets, a slightly round Akhtar was handed the same treatment in front of 500-odd spectators at the inaugural St Moritz Ice Cricket Challenge. Mostly Asian expatriates and tourists along with a few bewildered locals trying to figure out what the game was all about were present. A Swiss sitting on the stands commented: “This game seems as relaxed as a game of golf. Very relaxed I must say.” There was Sehwag hitting those sixes at the backdrop of breathtaking Alpine range, Shahid Afridi’s customary celebra-
tions, Akhtar sledging Sehwag in jest — every ingredient needed to make the event a success. The ground is basically the frozen St Moritz lake and the matting pitch fixed on a wooden plank.
Pink ball is being used but as Sehwag wants at least T10 to be included in the Winter Olympics, it’s still some way to go before it can even be considered a practical possibility. The biggest impedi-
ment is weather of subzero degree which forces every player to wear at least four to five layers of winter clothing, which impedes natural movements. The other thing that promoters of Ice Cricket need to worry is the ball they are going to use as normal leather ball that is used refuses to bounce on ice when a fielder is throwing it back to the keeper. The players are forced to wear normal trainers or sneakers — something not advisable to wear on thick layers of snow. If they wear snow boots, they wouldn’t be able to run. Sehwag agreed that there could be injuries. “It is an exciting concept and needs to be persisted with and it can only grow in people’s minds. It can also help St Moritz become a good sports tourism destination,” Sehwag told PTI. For the uninitiated, St Moritz had hosted two Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and 1948 but now the Swiss
Published by Arif Nizami at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Tourism wants to promote it actively as a new tourist hub. Switzerland witnesses more than a decent footfall of Indian tourists over the years but it is mostly confined to Zurich and other known locales like Mount Titlis (now famous for the shoot of ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’). But Indian cinema’s story telling has seen a paradigm shift and there are less dream sequences which require the protagonists to dance and sing in exotic Swiss locales. In fact, a lot of other European countries now offer discount and sops to shoot their films in their country and the tourism department seems to be redrawing their strategy. That’s the reason Swiss Tourism is thinking of cricket being made a medium to promote tourism. For the retired and semi-retired cricketers, it’s a win win situation. It’s like a paid holiday where they earn a few dollars, play some cricket and also enjoy holiday with their families like Afridi, Mohammed Kaif, Lasith Malinga are doing.